Monday, 23 May 2016

An Exciting Brew // T2 Tea

Tealeidoscope Teacup and Saucer £25*

If I told you that tea was overrated, I'd be a cruel liar. I've slowly grown into a tea lover over the last 5 years of knowing Dan. When I was younger, the stuff puzzled me - I couldn't understand why seemingly everyone was so obsessed with something that to me, was tasteless and boring. I honestly don't know how I ever had the audacity to question this, but its very obviously a thing of the past. 

As my love for tea has grown, I seem to have an ever growing collection of mugs. Some folk prefer a matching set, I prefer to pick one up every time I'm drawn to one. I need bigger cupboards. Now, though, I've pretty much finished off my collection. Behold this Moroccan style teacup from T2, in all of its beauty. Its got a perfect little handle, encouraging a pinky pop, and it begs for a more sophisticated brew. No Yorkshire Tea here. With this set, I received tea leaves to infuse into my teacup; here begins pretending to predict my own future. Wouldn't this make the cutest gift? A box sure seems expensive, but half a teaspoon seems to provide enough for a strong cuppa, and so I reckon this will last a very long time. 

Honestly, I've always been a lover of Chai, Peppermint and Chamomile tea, but I'm now set and ready to venture into the vast T2 range that I've been shown. Variations are vast, and I'm super keen to try their green, and herbal teas. Turkish apple and cinnamon, Creme Brûlée, and Green Rose. Don't they all sound utterly delicious? I can believe I'm this excited about tea! 

I've spotted a store opening soon near me in Milton Keynes - Eek, move over Whittards.
Have you tried anything from T2 yet? I need recommendations please!
Sarah xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mac Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact

Mac Prep + Prime Beauty Balm £25
(Also wearing  Benefit Erase Paste under eyes, Lancome bronzer, Hourglass highlight, 
Benefit Gimmie Brow, Estee Lauder mascara, and Mac Patisserie lipstick). 

Well, I picked this little compact up on a bit of a whim. It was only when I was browsing the airport duty free that I realised I had completely forgotten to pack my usual BB/Foundation two shades darker than my usual colour. I always wear a high SPF on my face, so it stays a lot whiter than the rest of me, which I then like to balance out in the evenings and for the next few months after the holiday. With 'holiday money' feeling like free money as usual, I picked up any old substitute to try out, and this was the closest. Although the shades available were pretty poor in variety, I swatched this on my bare face and estimated that I would roughly be that colour by the end of our honeymoon. Sold.

It wasn't until I actually got on holiday and started using this, that I realised just how amazing it is. The first few times, I used it to go to the beach, or by the pool. First things first, this stuff appears to be pretty much waterproof. Though I was in and out of the water all day, this stuff still gave the impression of an evenly toned face. It was only when I was wiping sweat from my brow with a towel that it shifted, as it would. My skin is combination, and I am usually shiny around my T-Zone by lunchtime. With this I'm usually okay 'til the end of the day, with a little smudge around the eyes and lips to smooth it out of fine lines. 
Since I've been home (a few weeks), I've been using this every single day and I am in love. 

I just wasn't expecting the coverage that it provided. Most BB's offer a little barefaced lie, smoothing out some of the redness and reducing the nastiness without looking like I'm wearing make up. This is more of a foundation, I'd say, whilst still remaining on the sheer side. The coverage doesn't cover total nasties, but in truth, I'm more than happy to sweep this around my face (in well under a minute) without using concealer to finish it off.

I am still trying to figure out how it feels, though. It somehow felt much simpler to describe on holiday, in super hot weather! It feels a little thick to apply, it almost drags, and does require a bit of extra blending. I love the applicator and although it is a little awkward to wash, I use it for ease and speed. My whole face is covered in no time, and thats been a little lifesaver whilst adjusting back to UK time and getting up super late, yikes. Its almost comparable to Maybellines Pan Stick, which shudders me right back to my early teenage years, but I promise its so much better than that. I feel like it clings to dry bits... They're most certainly not visible, but I can really feel that the product is on for the first half an hour or so. Of course, this is easily eradicated by actually moisturising before applying, or using a primer. But like I said, laziness and speed, at the moment, and it works for me!

Have you tried this?
What are your thoughts on it?
Sarah xx

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Most Wanted // 2016 Spring Wishlist

1 // Stripe Midi - Topshop
2 // Sandals - Birkenstock
3 // Watch - Armani @ Bablas
4 // Jumpsuit - Coast
5 // Clutch - Whistles 
6 // Bardot Dress - Toyshop
7 // Earrings - Kate Spade
8 // Burgundy Tiered Dress - Warehouse
9 // Flamingo Purse - Selfridges 
10 // Blazer - Helene Berman
11 // Necklace - Accessorize
12 // Peach Dress - Coast 

Thats it, I'm married and for the first time in almost two years of saving for a wedding and buying a house, I have expendable income! Needless to say, I'm keen to just enjoy feeling free for a little while, and I'm looking to give my wardrobe a bit of a makeover with more key pieces and a few statements! I am holding on to far too many things that either don't fit, or I just never wear! Depop here I come! Here are a few things I'm loving now: 

1 // As always, I seem to be drawn to anything with stripes on it. I'm so tempted to buy this dress, but feel like it might actually look a bit rubbish, when its on. Does anyone have it? 

3 // Its about time I had a fancy watch, and I've got my heart set on this one. I'm a bit bored of the same old Michael Kors watches popping up left right and centre, and this aqua stripy offering has got my heart fluttering. Who needs rose gold anymore?

9 // How amazing is this flamingo purse? Whats more, it only costs a measly £12! I'm tempted to buy a few dozen and stock them up for all future birthdays and events - EVERYONE needs one! 

10 // Stripes. Again. Structured Blazer. Pretty much a staple, and seeing as I've just thrown four flimsy ones away, this one looks like a good investment to replace them.

What are you lusting after? :D
Sarah x

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Colgate Max White Whitening Pen // Flash Teeth Whitening

 Colgate Max White Whitening Pen and Toothbrush £11.99*

If you're anything like me, trying to add something into your routine seems to be an impossible feat, whether it be making a habit of breakfast, buffing my nails, or using the laser hair removal that cost so much. Much like whitening my teeth, I just... Forget. However, this whitening pen is pretty impossible to ignore, and I've managed to make a habit of it so far. 

Although I usually use an electric toothbrush, I've been using this manual one since it arrived. Its design is focused on plaque removal and It felt a little tough the first couple of times I used it, but now I'm used to it, I actually prefer it, and the electric toothbrush has taken a backseat for now. The 'Proof' toothpaste is also pretty awesome, it changes colour after you've brushed for long enough. If that doesn't at least appeal to the kid in you, then maybe you're not so like me, after all.

The gel itself feels weird at first. Thick, sticky, and a little gritty, a little like Bonjela or Iglu (thanks to its water repellent properties). After a couple of applications though, I got used to it, and still think its more convenient and comfortable than whitestrips or syringe and tray gels. It has a fresh minty taste, and its mega easy to apply straight from the polishing end. I've been using it twice daily after brushing my teeth, and I definitely feel my teeth are looking a bit brighter. They look like they've been through a course of white strips, but I can never remember to apply those things every day.  

I'd like if the pen was able to be bought separately. At £11.99 its not too bad to buy the first time around, and far cheaper than white strips and other whitening products. But I'd at least like the option to buy another tube of whitening gel to use alongside my own toothpaste, or to take travelling with a more travel-friendly toothpaste.  I do suppose, though, that it'll be a good prompt to remind yourself you need a new toothbrush by the time the gel runs out. 

Have you tried this?
What do you think?
Sarah x

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Simple Contour // Nars Paloma Contour Palette

(Worn here on the left side of my face only).

Its no secret that contouring has gone crazy. I've always been more attached to highlighters, but over the last year I've embraced a little contour into my routine. 
What I don't understand, is the crazy contour palettes that realistically will only have half of their shades used, and day-to-day, out of camera/film, a yellow tinge to the face and three completely different tones just make the face look... Odd. 

One contour shade, that suits your skin tone, and some kind of highlighter. Surely, thats enough? Well, I have become obsessed with this little kit from Nars. I used to use Nars Laguna as a contour shade, but somehow this formula feels much more 'buttery' to apply, and in turn is amazingly easy to work with and blend, and the pinky undertones feel a little more natural. Here, I'm wearing 'Paloma,' the middle of the road option. It felt ridiculously dark for my pale skin, but I'm surprised as to just how perfect it is.

The highlighter shade is very matte, and not very illuminating, which I would probably prefer. I usually use this under the eyes, on the chin and forehead, and then add an Hourglass offering for the peak of my cheekbones. If you're looking for an entirely natural look, however, you're probably okay to stick within the lines of this small palette.

A super quick contour, in a couple of minutes. I'm not even bothered about the Anastasia offerings! 

Have you tried this?
S xx

Monday, 29 February 2016

What I Wore // Burgundy Stripe

Top - Zara
Skirt - Oasis
Jacket - Primark
Boots - Topshop

There are certain types of clothes, colours and textures that just make me feel like 'me!' Playing around with this leather skirt from Oasis, I paired it with my classics. Stripes, and burgundy. I was one step away from wearing my burgundy Dries Van Noten and frilly socks, but decided to stay away from the complete 22 year old Sarah look, and wore these black tassle boots I found in the Topshop sale. Yes, I also have 10+ pairs of black boots, but I can never have too many black shoes. I think I'll always be a lover of monochrome and a single colour. Thanks Nubby Twiglet! 

What makes you feel like 'you' clothing wise?
S xx

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera // Winter Snaps

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and 10 Film Pack £65*

Usually one for running around at weddings with my DSLR, its nice to try something completely fun and simple. I was contacted by Ocean Loans to take part in a Winter Polaroid Project, taking photos of my favourite winter moments. As you can see, we haven't had much of a winter past the frosty mornings that are gone by 10am - But its still been cold enough to make the most of winter foliage, candles, wooly hats and staying in doors cuddled up with the dog. Yep, that was pretty much my winter. And wedding planning. Lots and lots of wedding planning.

So, I chose the Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera in a baby pink colour, mainly to keep Dan from stealing it, but also because I thought its a splash of girliness in my usual 'black n' white' life, reflecting the fun the camera itself offers! I love how incredibly simple it is - Pop a couple of batteries in the side, a few self explanatory settings (theres a picture-orientated quick guide if you really need it) and snap away. A few seconds, and a polaroid style picture is making its way out to you. Theres something about the lack of control in getting the shot 'right' and waiting to see how it develops over the next few minutes.

My only concern is how expensive the film is (it works out about 70p per image), but for a few events, I'm really looking forward to using this and reckon its worth it for the novelty alone! I'm thinking it'll be a nice extra to use with my bridesmaids when we're getting ready on the morning of our wedding, or to take on our honeymoon - Scrap book anyone?

Have you got one of these?
What have you used it for?
S xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Multi-Benefit // Shea Moisture Superfruit 10-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

 Shea Moisture Superfruit Shampoo £10.99*
Shea Moisture Superfruit Conditioner £10.99*

It it said to be: age defying, hydrating, nourishing, and strengthening. It helps to hydrate, protect, revive body, improve manageability, and has anti-stress properties. Blimey, thats the whole hog, and its quite the claim to live up to. As well as that though, there are no nasties in the ingredients. No sulphates, parabens, mineral oils, and the list goes on. 

I must say, at first, I really didn't understand this duo. No, I hated it. My hair felt thick and 'claggy' after first using it, as though it was unclean and had a lot of thickening products in it, particularly at the roots. However, when I rinsed my hair properly - I.e under the shower rather than sitting in the bath with a pathetic over-bath shower head, I realised why this had won an award. I have no idea why an absolute thorough rinse is crucial, but with this it really is! After drying, my hair was definitely shiny, felt super swishy, and after a few weeks of using it, definitely stronger. All of this, with mountains of lather that I usually find lacking in shampoos with no sulphate. The duo give off a really fresh, zingy fragrance that is more than welcome into my shower. 

I do feel like, if really trying to nit-pick, the shampoo perhaps left my hair a little tangled. However, the conditioner is pretty much a holy grail of a moisturiser and detangler. Admittedly, I loved the conditioner even more when I used it with a different shampoo. I will absolutely definitely buy that again, though I could get by without the shampoo in my life, though its worth it just for the smell alone.

Shea Moisture is available in Boots too - Worth waiting for 3 for 2? 
Have you already tried this or others from the range? 
What else is good from it? 
S xx