How to make long distance trips easier

I’d say that I’m quite a conciser of the motorway. I don’t drive on it that frequently but when I do I go in. I’m talking three/four/five hour journeys down south, usually with some sort of musical soundtrack to get me through. I feel like after a few trips to visit my friends  along the M1 I’ve perfected the art of the long distance drive (it’s long distance for me anyway – someone who only has a 20 minute drive to work in a morning). These are the four things which can make a daunting drive a bit more manageable:

Know where you’re going

Seems obvious but stick with me. There’s nothing worse then getting three quarters into your journey and seeing a sign flash up saying ‘road closed between junction A and junction B on random motorway’ and thinking “am I going on that one?”. “Do I turn off before we get there”. If you know which main roads you’re going to be heading on throughout your journey then you won’t get the fear when a warning pops up that has nothing to do with you. Also, knowing where you’re going means that you can work out how long it’ll take you to get to each point, breaking up the journey and making it seem a bit less daunting.

Take at least one break

It took me a while to realise the importance of this one because as soon as I get into the car, all I want is to get there as fast as I can. This usually meant no stops, no food and no toilet breaks (not great thinking on my part). Now when I travel down, Watford Gap is my service station of choice. Not because it’s the best but it’s one of the last ones on the M1 before I head off on what I class as the ‘second leg’. It’s also usually half way through my journey so I know there’s not much more to go. Make sure to grab a toilet break (if you don’t need it now trust me you will in 15 minutes!) and get some food. Even better, take food with you and have a moment in your car when you don’t have to concentrate on lane changes or traffic lights.

Get something good to listen to

If you’re a music lover or a podcast obsessive put something on that will 1. Fill the time, 2. Be enjoyable and 3. Not distract you from the job in hand – driving a tin can at stupid speeds on a busy road! My usual plan is to listen to one playlist for the first few hours and then to switch it up once I’ve stopped for the rest of my journey. My favourite things to listen to are my musical playlist with songs from the Greatest Showman and Mean Girls the Musical, and also a good podcast which is usually At Home With or Happy Mum Happy Baby. Something easy listening as well as songs I can swing my little heart out to (badly, very badly).

Chill out

I need to take my own advice here because from the minute I get in the car to the moment I’m on the drive at the other end, I’m constantly excited and desperate to arrive at my destination. You’ll get there when you get there. As long as you’ve given yourself enough time to get there, there’s no need to rush. Especially if it’s a long journey, like most of mine usually are, the time your sat nav tells you you’re going to get there isn’t going to be right. Add at least half an hour on. But no stress! Every mile you drive is a step closer to where you need to be so chill out and enjoy the ride.

Musicals, glitter and a day at Ascot | June Favourites

Well wasn’t June a great month! I don’t know about anyone else but I seemed to have a lot of exciting things going on and with this nice weather we’ve been having it’s just been a lovely few weeks. With that being said I’ve been a bit selective with my favourites this month and although there isn’t much to mention, the things that are in this post I am 100% obsessed with.

I think I’ve mentioned the Stila Magnificent Metals Liquid Eye Shadow before, and for good reason. It’s literally like magic in a bottle and it’s perfect for when you have a special occasion that could do with a bit of extra sparkle. I have Gold Goddess, a twinkly bright gold that is seriously versatile. I’ve used this with my Naked Heat palette, Naked 3 and a standard brown smokey eye – it’s worked for all of them. No mess as it’s in a liquid form and really easy to build up for a super sparkly lid. Such a great product I could recommend this endlessly.

This month I’ve fallen back in love with the Revlon Colorstay Foundation, specifically in the shade Sand Beige. I’ve been fake tanning a fair bit over the past few weeks so I’ve needed a darker foundation shade so my face matches the my body. This formula is amazing for me. Semi matte so it stays put throughout the day but doesn’t dry your skin out. Lots of coverage but it can be blended out to something a little lighter if you want. Just an all round good egg that I need to not neglect in the future.

Now, over the past month I have become obsessed with musicals, like seriously obsessed. I’ve always been a fan of some but it’s started taking over my actual life. I listen to soundtracks all the time (we’ll get onto those in a minute) and can’t stop watching musical YouTubers. Amy Lovatt and Katherine Steele have been playing on repeat for the last month. They both do videos on musicals, songs, actual shows, etc and I cannot get enough. If you want something easy watching then their videos will be just the thing to pass four hours of your life (I’ve been on some serious video binges recently). It’s through these two that I’ve discovered my new music obsessions – Mean Girls the Musical and Dear Evan Hanson. Yes you saw right, Mean Girls the Musical is an actual thing and the soundtrack is amazing. I think if you’re a fan of the movie then you will love this! I love all the songs but my favourites are Revenge Party, Someone Gets Hurt and Sexy. Easy listening and great to sing-a-long to in the car. Dear Evan Hanson has an equally sing-a-long-ish soundtrack. I’m not 100% sure what the plot is but that doesn’t matter when listening to the soundtrack. Again, easy listening, some songs more jolly than others but they all make you fell good. Anybody have a map and Good for you are my top picks.

A shout out has to go to the events I’ve had on this month. A weekend trip for my friend’s birthday followed by the best day ever at Royal Ascot! It seems to be becoming an annual thing and I’m so there for it – what’s better than a picnic, prosecco and betting with friends? Nothing, that’s what.

One week with HD Brows Eyeshadow Palette

The second in my ‘One week with…’ series is HD Brows Eyeshadow Palette in Foxy. I got this little beauty in my Look Fantastic Advent Calendar at Christmas and although I’ve used it a couple of times I have never given it a proper rod test so I wanted to spend the week giving it a go to see what I thought of it. There are five shades which are all golds and warm toned browns in a sturdy (but maybe kind of chunky) black packaging with a mirror. The shades are:

Bare – A matte warm toned cream
Golden – A shimmery gold
Honey – A matte light brown
Bronze – A shimmery mid toned brown
Truffle – A cool toned shimmery brown

Now I really like this palette. The shades are totally up my street, golds and browns, and because there are only five it’s really easy to decide which ones to use. I love a palette with a cream shade because that’s what I use as a base to blend out and to highlight my brow bone (some people like a matte black but I need that highlight). Side note: I love the brush in this palette. A fluffy brush that is a bit too small to blend but is good for applying shades onto the lid and a tiny angled, dense brush which is amazing for the brows and to put a little something something on the lash line. This is the perfect everyday palette for me, I can put Bare all over the lid, Honey in the crease and Bronze in the outer corners and that’s me done. I also love that I can use Honey in my brows as it is a great cool toned brown that just beefs them up a little bit.

But, what I love about this palette is also its downfall. The fact it’s so easy to wear day to day means that if I want to do something a bit more smokey means it’s quite difficult. The shadows aren’t the most pigmented so when you want to do something deep it takes four times as long as it would take something like the Naked Palette to do. I tried to do a smokey eye a couple of times over the week and although I liked the look, I wouldn’t use it for a night out or an occasion where I would usually go really dark on the eyes. That is the only complaint I have with this though – it really is a special little palette and I’m glad I’ve taken this week to really test it out because I’d love to start using it more often!

Have you tried this palette? Did you like it?

Are they worth the hype?

When products are hyped up I go one of two ways. Either I’m really not interested and actively don’t search them out to not be the same as everyone else, or, I totally can’t wait and have to have it RIGHT THIS SECOND. These three products definitely fall in the latter category and once I’d heard the hype, I caved and needed them in my life. But are they worth it?

I’ve mentioned Isle of Paradise in the last few blog posts so you can probably tell already that I’ve well and truly fallen for the hype, but there is good reason. Not only do the products look so instagramable you could cry but the one I’ve tried is pretty damn cracking. I have the Self Tanning Drops which I’ve used mixed in with my moisturiser to make my face a little more sun kissed. As terrifying as it I thought it would be it’s actually really easy to use and looks great when it’s on. Blends in with the colour I am when I fake tan and gives me that glow I have been craving during the warmer months. Totally worth the hype – I can’t comment on the brand as a whole but this product is definitely a cracker.

I’ve wanted to try out the Dior Lip Glows for AGES. A lip balm that gives your perfect colour with a bit of a plump thrown in? Sign me up! I think it’s not a bad price (£24) and the packaging is gorgeous. But is it worth the hype? A bit. I know I know! I do love this product, a lot, but I thought it was going to be better. Don’t get me wrong, I really love this product and it works really well on me – like the perfect barely there lip product – but I think I wanted it to be a bit more glossy than it is. It you’re wanting a lip product that needs next to no effort and feels nice on this lips then this is the one for you – but don’t be expecting any miracles.

The Stila Glitter and Glows. Worth the hype? 100 per cent without a doubt. A liquid glitter that stays on your lids all day without budging, sign me up! There’s a reason there’s so much hype around this product because they’re blumming amazing! I can’t comment on the different shades but Gold Goddess could not be any more glittery and shimmery. If you’re going to some sort of event then you need these in your life!

Have you tried any of these products? Thoughts?

A beginners guide to semi-successful tanning

I’ve never been a big tanner. When I was at uni I didn’t fake tan for a night out and tinted Garnier moisturiser was as adventurous as I got. But last year I decided to give the bronze glow a go and fell head over heels in love with the new tanned me. I’ve not got to the point where I crack out the tan for a random Wednesday at work but if I’m going out (not very often) or heading somewhere fancy (also not very often) then I get my tan on. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my love for the products that make my glow possible, and trust me when I say they are beginner friendly – because I am very much a tanning beginner.


I mentioned in a post last week about the St Tropez Express Tan kit which I think is pretty amazing for the price and is perfect for someone like me who doesn’t tan very often and wouldn’t go through an entire bottle over the summer. It comes with an exfoliator, a moisturiser, a mini bottle of the Express Tan and a mitt. I exfoliate 24 hours before I tan (because that’s what the instructions say and as I’m always terrified it’s going to go wrong, I stick to the steps) and I like the exfoliator because it’s gritty but it’s a fine grit and doesn’t feel like I’m ripping half of my skin off. On D-Day I usually have a quick shower to make sure I’m clean and moisturise my arms, elbows, knees and heels (as I said I go a bit OTT with the instructions). Now, when I apply this tan I literally go over the same areas about five times with my mitt to rub it in to make sure I have no lines and I don’t miss anything. It’s pretty easy to see where you’ve been already with this tan which is why it’s quite a full proof option for beginners. I also like this tan because you don’t have to sleep in it, I just wait three hours for it to get to its darkest and then wash it off, pop a bit of the moisturiser from the kit on and I’m done! By the next morning you look like you’ve spent a few days soaking up some sun and not sitting in a dark bedroom catching up on Love Island…not that I’m speaking from experience.
When I began my tanning journey last year I didn’t tan my face but after there was the whole hype surrounding Isle of Paradise I really wanted to give the Self Tanning Drops a go. I really love this product. Don’t get me wrong, I do find it terrifying to use because I imagine if it went wrong it would go terrible but it’s like magic. I’ve used it a few times and three drops gets me the same colour as my freshly tanned body which is going from pasty white to slightly sun kissed. I just drop it into my moisturiser, really rub it in to my face, including up to my hairline and down my neck, and then wash my hands. Wake up (after sleeping on my back in a desperate attempt to not make it patchy) and my face now matches my body. Hooray!
Are you a serial tanner or a fake bake beginner?

The products that have ‘saved’ my skin

I’ve been getting more and more into skincare recently, any post that pops up on my Bloglovin feed that is about moisturisers, toners and summer skincare I’ve been there! Since the start of the year I’ve been trying to get my skin into a better place. It’s never been totally horrendous but there have been times where every time I woke up there was a new spot that took FOREVER to leave. So after researching various products and giving my skincare a bit of a shakeup I’m finally in a place where I’m happy with things! So I thought I’d share the products which I feel have helped my skin get to where it is in a big way.

Let’s start off with the product that got the ball rolling, a serious serum. I’ve been using The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane for the past three months and it’s been doing wonders for my dehydrated skin.  I think that having a product that gets right down into the skin and hydrate the heck out of it. I use this every night after I’ve taken my makeup off and put some eye cream on. I leave it in to sink in for a couple of hours (it’s quite thick and oily so needs a long time to sink in) and then go in with some moisturiser for an extra moisture boost.

Mask wise there are two that I think are essential for me to keep my skin in check. The first is the Epoch Glacial Mud Mask, something that works wonders when I’m having a bit of a moment and can feel a load of spots coming. It does a great job at pulling all the badness out but not sucking my skin of all life and moisture. I try to use this once a week, especially when I feel a bit meh. It can be a bit messy but it definitely gets the job done and is the best detoxifying type mask I’ve tried. On the other end of the mask scale is the Glossier Moisturising Moon Mask. This thick cream is so intensely moisturising that you can feel it working for the 20 minutes it’s on. If my skin is textured then this is my go-to. Together these are the dream team and can combat pretty much any issue I’m having.

Last but not least is the Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen. Despite hearing “wearing an SPF daily is super important” I’ve never really paid attention to that (slaps wrist). BUT I do think that this has made a massive difference to my skin because since I’ve been using it my face has been pretty good. It’s so lightweight and now I’m in the routine of putting it on everyday, it doesn’t feel like a chore. As I said, I think this has made a big difference to the way my skin is acting nowadays and I will now continue to wear SPF everyday, promise!

What are you go-to skincare products?

I didn’t need to spend this money | Beauty Bay haul

I can’t stop buying beauty products. It’s becoming a problem and I need serious help for it. There’s no way I’d spend £50 on an item of clothing but I have zero issues with spending that on Beauty Bay – and that’s exactly what I’ve done! I’ve shopped from Beauty Bay before and they have a great way to get you to spend more money! Great service (ordered it at 10pm on Friday and it arrived at 12pm on Saturday) and tonnes of brands to choose from.

Here’s a run down of everything I got:

St Tropez Self Tan Express Starter Kit: This is such a good buy! I got this last year when I first dipped my toes in the tanning pool. It was £8 (on special offer from £12 I think) and you get a mini of the Express Tan, a moisturiser, a scrub and a tanning mitt. The little bottle was great for me, I think I had about ten applications of this over the course of the summer for various outings and special occasions which I think is great for the price. I was expecting to only have a couple of gos at it but it’s just the gift that keeps on giving. The scrub is pretty good and does the job and same with the moisturiser. If you don’t go ham with your tan and just need something to get you through the summer I would definitely recommend this.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops: Such a hyped brand and, in my mind, a bit of a pricy product for what it is. These little tanning drops are to mix with your moisturiser to tan up anything that needs a bit of glow and I got these to use on my face. I’ve just used this the once so I’ll report back when I’ve given it more of a test and it seemed to work okay. I only used two drops because I was terrified that it was going to turn my face bright orange and be streaky. It didn’t give my face much colour (probably because I didn’t use enough) but it was just giving me more of a glow.

The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil: I’ve used an Ordinary oil for the past three months and it’s been doing wonderful things for my skin. I fancied trying the rose one this time around because the reviews said it was good for redness and scarring – something I’m in need of. So affordable and hopefully it works for me.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA: I hadn’t planned on getting this moisturiser but my Body Shop Drops of Youth one was coming to an end and I thought I might as well pick one up whilst I was shopping. This was such good value for money – just over £6 for 100 ml, margin! I haven’t had chance to give it much of a road test but so far, so good. Thick and hydrating but not greasy, ticks all the boxes.

If I spent over £50 I got free next day delivery so I picked up the Jordana Contour Stick. I haven’t really heard of this brand before but I’ve wanted to try a contour stick for a while and I was only £4. We’ll see how it works! I also got the Yes to Cucumbers Super Eye Mask. Again, I haven’t tried it yet but if I end up loving it I’m sure I’ll mention it at some point.

What beauty products have you picked up recently?

Bumper month for TV | May Favourites

I was sitting down, thinking about what I’ve been loving this month, and it turns out I’ve been watching a lot of TV this month and most of it has been really good! There are also a couple of products thrown in which I can see being long time favourites, so all in all it’s been a great month for favourites!

Glossier. Boy. Brow. Now, will someone please explain to me what magic that is bottled inside this tiny tube? I’ve seriously never used anything like this. I have it in the shade medium and after just a few swipes my brows are full, plumped up and with no need to any powder or pencil. It works perfectly with my brows when they’re tinted and even when the colour has slightly faded, totally natural looking but without making them ‘barely there’ because believe me they still pack a punch! Literally THE most perfect brow product ever – totally a holy grail.

My Instagram has been full of pictures of the new Body Shop Body Yogurts, and because I am an advertisers dream, I went out and got myself a couple – mango and strawberry. Woah are these things good. Usually I’m all about a thick moisturiser if it’s not the consistency of a well whipped meringue then I’m not interested. But during this spell of seriously hot weather, these have been all I’ve used. I use a lot all at once, so the 15 seconds to sink in tagline that this product has doesn’t really apply to me, and I can feel it doing my skin some serious good. Both of the scents stick around for ages afterwards as well, spreading strawberry and mango wherever I go in the house – yummy!

Earlier this month I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and what better way to spend it than binge watching a load of shows! After Stranger Things was ticked off my list (although I still have a few episodes of season two to get through) I gave QueerEye a go on Netflix. WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE! People transforming other people’s lives with some sassy comments thrown in, yes please. I think part of the reason I hadn’t watched this before is because I’d heard it was emotional and, to be honest, I didn’t want to be a sobbing mess. In the end I really didn’t care less and I managed to hold it together most of the time, I did find myself ugly crying at one point but I blame the bottle of prosecco I’d enjoyed at home by myself – wow, I really know how to live. Next up on my Netflix spree was The Good Place. I’d heard about this before, can’t remember who from, but thought it would be a good ‘easy watching’ kind of show. Safe to say I got totally sucked in and cannot wait for the third series to come out! If you don’t know what it is, it’s about  group of people who have died and are in ‘The Good Place’ – basically heaven – and what they get up to. I don’t want to say too much because it’ll spoil it, but episodes are only 23 minutes long and it doesn’t take much concentration to get what’s going on. You’ll end up speeding through it.


One I’m currently loving at the minute is Love in the Countryside on BBC. It’s basically a dating show for farmers and trust me when I say it will melt your heart. Each ‘farmer’ has a few prospective candidates to choose from and invites them back to their farm to get to know them a bit better. Not only is it really cute to see people search for their soul mate but there are also some really cute animals! Also, I’ve been loving the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’m a massive fan and this year’s queens have been ticking all the boxes for me – excited to see who wins!

Mini shoutout to pink lip products – I seriously cannot get enough, it’s all I’ve been wearing over the past month!

What have you been loving this month?

One week with Urban Decay Naked Heat

One of my favourite blog posts that I’ve written over the past however many years I’ve been writing on this thing is the ‘A week with the Naked Smoky Palette’. I spent a week where the only thing I used was that one palette to see if I could make it work for a variety of different looks. So, I thought, two years on’ that I’d do the same with the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. I bought this last year and although I used it a heck of a lot when I bought it, over the past few months it’s been a bit neglected. So I used this palette everyday for a week, different looks for different occasions, and gave it a proper test.

So, how did the week go?

I started off with a makeup look that I used to wear all the time. Back in the day when I was at university I used to do a smoky eye situation everyday. I mean why I didn’t want those extra precious minutes in bed I don’t know! I do love the way it looks though especially with the warm tones of this palette. Basically, Ounce all over the lid (shimmery cream), Chaser through the crease (light matte brown) followed by Low Blow (matte brown) and Lumbre (shimmery peach) all over the lid. Finishing touches are Cayenne (dark warm toned matte brown) on the outer corner and Ashes smudged into my lash line. Loved this look and it wasn’t too hard to do – the eyeshadows are so easy to blend that they’re not hard to work with in the slightest.

Recently I’ve been all about the one stop eyeshadow. Basically a one swipe wonder that I can put on in the morning and not have to think about for the rest of the day. This palette has got a lot that can work for this. I love Sauced for everyday, a warm toned brown that is way on the reddy side but I’m totally in love with it. A couple of swipes blended out into the crease and I’m all set. The same with Lumbre and Scorched except they’re a bit more jazzy as they have plenty of shimmer in them.

I went out on a big hurrah with another old favourite – a bit of shadow with some winged liner. I realised when I wore it how much a love it but boy does it take a lot of maintaining. The basic shadows I used were Ounce (the shimmery cream) all over the lid with a mixture of Low Blow and Chaser in the crease (matte browns) and then on the outer corner. Easy and simple because, let’s face it, doing winged liner is traumatising enough without having it mess up a load of shadows underneath!

By forcing myself to use this for a week I’ve totally fallen back in love with the palette. I never didn’t like it anymore but I got out of the habit of using it and every time I went back to it – the warm tones scared me a bit. But after getting back into the swing it’s a yes, yes, yes from me. This will be my go to for a smoky eye situation and my one swipe wonders, in fact pretty much anything!

Go to guys: Sauced, Lumbre, Low Blow, Scorched, En Fuego, Ashes

Take them or leave them: Ounce, Chaser, He Devil, Dirty Talk, Cayenne

No thanks: Ember

My evening skincare routine

Welcome to part two of my skincare routine – the evening edition. I love nothing more than getting home from work, taking off my makeup and spending time doing my skincare routine. I have a little box that I keep it in so that in the evening I can easily get it and take it downstairs and chill out, watching tele whilst I spread creams and serums all over my face. For reference, my skin is oily but also dehydrated so my aim is to moisturise but not create grease.

After taking my makeup off with my cleansers and micellar water (read all about my cleansing routine here) I sit down and spray my face with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist to the point where my face is soaking wet. I love the stuff, I feel like it revitalises my skin and gets it ready for the rest of my products. Five minutes later, after leaving the spray to sink it, I give my under eyes a bit of TLC. I’ve been using the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream which does a good job at moisturising under my eyes – I just press it in, do a few taps and wipe the excess on my brow bone. A quick bit of the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom on my lips and we’re onto what I’d class as the main event!

At the end of last year, I didn’t use a serum and I didn’t really have any interest in getting one, but honestly it’s transformed my skin. It gets down deep in my skin and pumps it full of moisture that it definitely needs, something that the moisturisers I was previously using on their own just couldn’t do. My serum of choice at the minute is The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane and it’s very much an oil. Although it takes a while to sink in (about an hour to sink in enough to put a moisturiser on top) I love giving it time to work its magic. On days when I need a bit moreof a moisture boost (which is most days) I go in with the Body Shop Drop of Youth Moisturiser. It does a good job, and although I’m not totally attached to it, this is my third tub so I must quite like it!

And last but not least, hand cream. I’m not attached to any specific hand cream but I have been enjoying the Soap and Glory Hand Food in the Sugar Crush scent. The PERFECT summer scent and rounds off an evening pamper quite nicely.

Do you enjoy spending time on your skincare routine?