Sunday, 29 September 2013

Origins VitaZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser with Mangosteen Review

I genuinely could have reviewed this years ago as I've been using it for that long!  I first came across it in my Mam's bathroom and since then have sneakily used it every time I've been round to her house ever since.  For some reason I've never got round to actually buying some but I guess my Mam finally got sick of me nicking hers as she bought me a tube for my birthday!

It's a brightening moisturiser with a slight pearliness to it and it really does make you look fresh, bright and awake. I apply it after cleansing my face on a morning and it absorbs really quickly while still keeping my skin feeling hydrated. It isn't heavy or oily at all.  The pearliness/slight pinky undertone to this is really subtle and doesn't look too shimmery or show through your make up. It smells nice and contains SPF too!

For me - now that I finally own a tube - this is a must have product that I think will really boost my skin over the coming winter months. It's ideal if you're looking a little tired/rundown/hungover as it really does give a glow that makes it look like you got enough sleep/vitamins/water. I think the name VitaZing sums it up perfectly!

VitaZing is available from the Origins website, selected Boots stores and John Lewis from £28.  It's not cheap but I do think for me that it's worth it as you only use a tiny bit every morning.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I got my eyes lasered...

You might have read some of my previous posts about my up and coming laser eye surgery, well I'm pleased to say I finally had my wavefront guided Intralase LASIK surgery at Freedom Vision in Manchester on Monday! Well, where do I start?

As with my previous visits the clinic was clean and tidy, the staff were all really welcoming and friendly and I was seen on time.  As it's a smaller clinic they really do have the personal touch and you don't just feel like a number on a conveyor belt.  My boyfriend came with me as you definitely can't drive afterwards so he offered moral support and a lift there and back!

You have a few eye tests again to make sure that nothing has changed and to programme the machines for your surgery then you have a chat with your surgeon before going and having an in depth discussion about aftercare. After that it's time for surgery!

I was a little nervous but the staff really put my mind at ease.  The surgery itself isn't massively pleasant but you have anaesthetic in your eyes so you can't feel anything other than a bit of pressure and you can't really see either. I also felt like the procedure was explained really well and any questions I had were answered so I knew what to expect.  The best part was that it was over really quickly! It's a bit noisy with the machines but the nurse and surgeon explain what's happening and what they're doing as they go along.  The machine already has all your eye measurements programmed in so it really is tailored to you, it also cuts out if you pull away or sneeze or anything...phew.  It's all so sci fi and high tech!

Afterwards I couldn't really see, it was really blurry. You have a sit down in a recovery room before heading off home with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to use for the first week plus artificial tears to use for 4-6 weeks to avoid dryness. You also get some rather sexy goggles to sleep in for the first week!  Once I got home I just put the goggles on and went and sat in my dark bedroom for a few hours with my eyes closed as my eyes were quite sensitive to light, felt really heavy and a bit gritty. It got better as the night went on and the next day when I got up...I could see!  My eyes were still a bit gritty feeling but much better.

You have a follow up appointment the day after (then a week, a month and 6 months later) and at my follow up it was confirmed that my eyesight has been corrected. My eyelids were slightly swollen the day after so to be on the safe side I had an earlier follow up appointment made and I'll be going on Friday too. I went back to work the day after surgery and I believe the majority of people are signed off to drive the day after surgery...amazing!

Two days on and my eyes feel way better, plus I can see! After 10 years or so of glasses and lenses I'm absolutely amazed by the fact I can see! It makes me realise just how poor my eyesight was.  In total in was there for just over an hour and my time in surgery was just 7 minutes which is such a tiny amount of time for something which I personally feel is a lifechanging experience.

If you're thinking of having corrective eye surgery I would thoroughly recommend Freedom Vision, the treatment and service I've had from them has been excellent.  The difference that this will make to my life is huge and I can't wait until it all settles down. You can't really wear make up or anything that sprays in case it gets in your eyes while they're healing so I kind of feel a bit like I'm in a transitionary period at the moment - I'll keep you updated with my progress as I go along.  I already feel like this has been one of the best decisions I've ever made!

For more information about laser eye surgery at Freedom Vision click here.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Glo Minerals Carnival Queen Collection - Lipstick in Siren

Glo Minerals is a mineral makeup brand that I haven't come across before, possibly because I'm not a huge fan of mineral foundation and concealer.  Siren is part of their Carnival Collection.  I'd describe Siren as a dark coral lipstick that veers towards red.  It isn't necessarily the sort of colour I'd usually go for, I tend to wear more pinks and true reds - I might occassionally wear a nude or a more orange type of coral colour.  I sound really boring actually don't I!

The packaging on this is pretty nice, I like the silver lipstick packaging and as it's a standard size it fits easily in your bag etc.  The actual box got a bit beaten up in my handbag so sorry about it looking a bit worse for wear in the pictures.

The pigment on this is really good and the colour is definitely well represented by the colour you see in the lipstick bullet.  It's not at all drying not is it so glossy that it just slides off the lips, it does last quite well and even after eating and drinking there's still colour left behind.

For me this is more of a night-out-with-a-tan-on colour as it really contrasts against my natural skin colour - I'm not that brave.  I would be great on someone with more olive or darker skin than mine.  Overall I was really pleased with this lipstick and I'd definitely look to try some of the other colours out.  The lipstick range is available from

Friday, 20 September 2013

Laser eye surgery checklist for Monday

Well, it's finally just around the corner - my laser eye surgery appointment at Freedom Vision is this Monday....eeeek!  As I mentioned earlier, I'm a mixture of excited and nervous but definitely more excited. I can't wait to be able to see and not to have to even think about it any more.  I don't know if I'm just being hypersensitive or I'm just tuned but everywhere I go people seem to be talking about laser eye surgery or their eyesight.  Maybe because it's National Eye Health Week?

With this in mind, here's what  I've been doing in preparation for my surgery on Monday:
  • Avoided wearing my (soft) contact lenses for the last couple of weeks as they change the shape of your eye slightly - Freedom Vision recommended not wearing them for a week but I've left it for two.
  • Filled in my consultation form to take with me on the day
  • Made an hair appointment for tomorrow as I really need my highlights done and you're meant to avoid dying your hair for a week after surgery...obviously I have my priorities right!
  • Booked a half day off work for my surgery
  • Arranged for someone to take me and pick me up from the surgery (and made plans to get a takeaway on the night as I don't think either of us will feel like cooking)
  • Booked my follow up appointment for the next day
  • Re-read all of my information aftercare advice so I know what to expect (I found some of the info here really helpful)
So I think I'm all set! I'll be back next week with an update on how it went and how I feel plus regular updates on my progress. I'll only be under the laser for about 30 seconds per eye and head off home straight afterwards.  I should be have better, clearer vision by the next morning which I think is amazing!

 Reading some of the testimonials on Freedom Vision's website has been putting my mind at ease, hopefully you'll see mine there soon!  In the meantime, read all of my laser eye surgery posts in one place here.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Best bath I've had for a while...

As I mentioned last week, the weather has gone really wintery hasn't it!  As well as getting my winter woollies out and really wanting to just hibernate, I'm getting back into having really hot baths.  Like baths that are slightly too hot that any normal person would step straight out of.  I'm definitely a bath person and if it wasn't for the fact it's awkward to wash my hair if I have a bath I'd probably have one every day!

I was recently sent some products to review by St Grape, a natural skincare brand that aims to provide pure, gentle and high quality products to use at home.  I hadn't heard of the brand before but I really enjoyed using the products and I would definitely repurchase some of them in the future.

This Exotic Pink Salt is pink and smells a little bit mentholly as it warms in the water, but not overpoweringly so.  It dissolves well and can be used as an exfoliator too.  It containt grade A Himalayan mineral crystal pink sale which contains up to 84 minerals and is millions of years old!  I don't know what it is about this but it's a really nice relaxing, lovely product that I enjoyed using.

The Aqua Bliss Bath Scrub was my favourite product out of those that I tried.  It's the finest exfoliator I've ever used, the grains in it are tiny and it almost feels like a paste.  It doesn't feel too scrubby at all and left my skin feeling really smooth and nourished without feeling greasy or covered in product.

The Ancient Foot Scrub (hate the name, it makes me think of old feet) looked really dry in the tub but it wasn't. Again this feels great and isn't too rough (but isn't as fine as the other scrub) or oily.  It felt really refreshing and I imagine it would be fantastic if you had achy or tired feet.

The Invisible Skin Massage Oil was another lovely product.  I don't really like the packaging, it reminds me too much of olive oil packaging and I don't feel like it's particularly transportable, I would worry about it leaking.  Again this smells really nice and a bit minty.  The best thing about it is that - especially for an oil - it doesn't feel at all greasy and absorbs into the skin really well.  Fantastic!  It contains 9 different types of oils which I think is great.

My only moan is that the packaging and brand name aren't really to my taste but that's a personal preference and probably just me being odd.  As regular readers will know, I sometimes like to include insights from my boyfriend - who really doesn't "get" beauty - in my reviews as some of his comments make me laugh.  I ran him a bath using the bath soak and his comments were "this bath is AMAZING!  I'm SO RELAXED!" So, er, there you go!

You can check out St Grape products at, I actually think they'd make a really lovely gift (I'd be happy if I received it!). 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Want to learn a new skill or hobby face to face? You need LearnCliki!

Online learning and tutorials are nothing new -as I went into my last year of the Open University, there was a massive shift towards webinars and video tutorials rather than sit down sessions that not everyone could attend - especially with the advance of YouTube.  But don't you sometimes wish instead of watching a tutorial video, then having some questions and either having to do further research or leave a comment (and remember to check back to see if it's been answered at some point) that you could actually have a face to face tutorial without the inconvenience of having to travel or be left with unanswered questions?

Well, you can now with Learncliki!  This new service allows you to log in, select a topic you want to learn more about and have a face to face, live tutorial with a tutor who you can ask questions of in real time and really tailor the session to your needs.  There's a variety of subject areas from academia to hobbies and interests, so whatever you're keen to learn more about, you're likely to find it here!

Or if you've got a skill that you think others might want to learn, you could always sign up as a tutor and impart your knowledge, whether it's about floristry, fashion or finance!  What are you an expert in?

For more information about LearnCliki whether you're interested in being a learner or a tutor, visit

*Sponsored post

New perfumes - YSL Manifesto and Emporio Armani Diamonds Rose

I was lucky enough to get, not one, but two new perfumes for my birthday last week and I really like both of them.

YSL Manifesto
I fancied this perfume for ages but always had something else to buy so I asked subtly hinted for it as a gift idea and luckily I got.  I love the packaging on this (even the box it comes in and the lid), it's all very opulent and typically YSL, great on your dressing table.

Described as a "woody floriental scent with blackcurrant, white flowers and a blend of vanilla and woods."  I'd agree with this really, to me this is a sweet fruity, floral which isn't too sickly or overpowering. The fragrance lasts really well and you don't need to spray loads on which I always think is a good quality for an expensive perfume.

Emporio Armani Diamonds Rose
This was one a total surprise but I really like it!  I can be a bit of a fusspot with perfumes but the person who bought me this obviously knows me well.  The packaging is pretty and looks fresh and clean, which I think is a good reflection of the scent.  Another pretty addition to my dressing table!

The scent is apparently a fresher version of the original Emporio Armani Diamonds (which I haven't smelled).  This has a hint of fruity sweetness too but is a bit lighter than YSL Manifesto, again it has topnotes of blackcurrant and some woody basenotes but these two pefumes don't really smell alike at all.

I'm really pleased with both of these perfumes and I'd recommend that if you're looking for a new perfume you check these two out - especially if you like fruity or sweet scents that aren't at all sickly.  Both are available from*.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

St Moriz Dark Tan Mousse Review

I was recently in the slightly odd position of being away from home and running out of my usual Xen Tan halfway through my application so I had tanned legs and pale everything else! The only tan I could get my hands on was St Moriz Dark, a budget tan that I've heard so many people rave about.  I was wearing a long sleeve top anyway so I wasn't too worried if I had a massive disaster or ended up two different colours.

Application was easy, the pump bottle dispensed well and the mousse sank into my skin.  My only worry was that the mousse really did look grey rather than brown or white which I'm far more used to.  I went ahead and applied it anyway, feeling paranoid all afternoon as I felt like my arms and chest had a bit of a blue tinge.

Once I washed it off I was left with an even, streak free tint that isn't at all orange (and thankfully not blue!) - not as dark or golden as Xen Tan but it is about a tenth of the price.  It didn't fade patchily either which is always a bonus but I have to say I don't feel like it lasts that well really, 3 days on and I can't really tell I've got tan on my arms.

Overall I thought that this tan was a decent budget option and I'm glad I tried it to check out the hype as people seem to really love it but I 100% prefer Xen Tan to this so I'll carry on splashing the pennies out on that and Melvita Gradual Tan when I want a more subtle glow.

I bought mine from Home Bargains but you can get St Moriz Dark from* starting from £4.99.  Have you tried St Moriz? What do you think of it?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

So, the weather's gone a bit colder hasn't it?

It's September, month of my birth, and that month when the weather gets much darker, colder and wetter and we all want to start eating soup. It also means that I need to look into my winter wardrobe  and possibly buy some new things - I tend to stick myself in cosy jumpers and printed leggings for winter.  There are some really nice chunky knit jumpers for women around already which I think I'm going to be treating myself to sooner or later I think!
I'm also thinking a bit about how I need to change my beauty routine to take into account the colder weather.  I'm definitely going to be investing in a more heavy duty moisturiser to protect my skin from the cold weather and harsh heating indoors, ditching the fake tan and wearing my hair curly more often as there's no way it's going to stay sleek and straight in the rain and wind so it's easier to just style it appropriately!
As much as I love the sunshine I actually think autumn and winter are my favourite seasons, I know it's cold and a bit dark at times but I love those crisp mornings where it's really light and bright (as long as you're wrapped up) and going and sitting somewhere nice and nosy while the wind races around outside.  Do you have a favourite season or do you think I'm a bit weird for liking the slightly gloomier of the four seasons?
*Sponsored post

Friday, 6 September 2013

Maybelline Fit Me 2 in 1 Anti Shine Foundation Stick

I've always had a little soft spot for stick foundations, whether it's a bit of nostalgia (the Max Factor stick foundations were some of the first I used) or just a love of convenience that drives this I don't know but when I first saw these advertised I was very interested!

After some swatching I decided on the shades that I wanted but unfortunately the stockists near me had none available that hadn't had someone elses fingers wiped over them - I've no general OCD about this type of thing but I just think when I'm spending money on a foundation I want one that's unused and clean!  So I bought it online from Superdrug*, thank you internet!  The shade I got was Natural Beige.

This is marketed as a "gel foundation with an anti-shine powder core inside" which I agree with to some extent.  It applies really easily and feels very smooth and soft on the skin.  It blends really well and provides light-medium coverage but you can build it a bit if you need to.  It doesn't feel heavy at all on the skin which I think is great for everyday wear.  In terms of being anti-shine, I do still need to use powder over the top (my skin is more on the dry side but I have an oily t-zone) but then again I prefer a pretty matte look when it comes to foundation.  I carry it with me too and do a bit of a top up through the day which is convenient!

Overall, I like this product and I'm happy I bought it.  It's not my favourite ever foundation - that's Estee Lauder Doublewear - but it's a good, reasonably priced everyday foundation that is buildable and does what it needs to do.  I would happily repurchase this to use on a daily basis and save my Doublewear for special occassions.  The fact it's a stick is good for when you're on the go or carrying your make up bag around as it won't leak or crack anywhere.  I think it would be a great holiday product and I wonder how good it would be to get some different shades for contouring (something I'm getting really interested in though I don't really have the skills).

Maybelline Fit Me 2 in 1 Anti Shine Foundation stick is available from Superdrug* for £8.99.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

I want, never gets.

There's a lot of clothes and accessories I want to buy at the moment but I'm holding off rather than hitting the shops (for now) so I just thought it might help me to put everything in a bit of a list so I know what I want:
River Island


Miss Selfridge

Monday, 2 September 2013

NOTD: Essie For The Twill Of It

I've totally fallen in love with this polish!  For The Twill Of It is part of Essie's A/W 13 collection.  I'd describe it as a metallic dark grey with purple and green duochromes.  It's one of those polishes that people notice, and someone at work called it the most beautiful colour she's ever seen!  It's also one of those polishes that I sit and look at on my nails.

My photos don't really do it justice, they don't capture the gorgeous duochrome in anything like enough detail, but here's my attempt anyway:

I wouldn't say it's a unique colour - plenty of nail polishes have been out in recent times with a duochrome to them, some which are pretty similar to this - but I do think it's absolutely gorgeous.  Application is easy and wear time is ok for a metallic polish.  Really glad I bought this polish, definitely my favourite from Essie's latest collection.


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