Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Body Shop: White Musk Libertine Body Wash

  Recently I signed up to the Body Shop's "Love Your Body" card, which alongside a host of other discounts also gave away a free gift - in my case, this White Musk Libertine body wash!

  I wasn't initially sure how I felt about this product. It was free, so of course I was going to use it, and I figured it would be a good way to sample their shower products as otherwise I would probably never actually try them - Lush have pretty much dominated my bathroom for quite some time now and it was always going to be hard work for another product to join them!

  However, I've been really pleasantly surprised with this product so far. As mentioned, I'm a big lover of Lush, and therefore it's probably no surprise for you to hear that I absolutely love really highly scented feminine products. Snow Fairy and Rose Jam are my favourite shower gels by far and both of them have the sort of scents that are so girly and strong that my neighbor can probably tell whenever I pop open a bottle! The scent to Libertine is nowhere near as strong and it's much more gender neutral - however, I've began to find that I actually quite like it! Different scents for different purposes and all that, but I've been surprised to discover that this scent actually works really well  for my day to day life - particularly for when I'm going to work, this works great in the morning as it's nowhere near as overpowering as my choices tend to be but the subtle scents still sneak through enough to get compliments on it.

  A little goes a long way with this bottle and it's easy to completely clean yourself over with just a little bit of product. It's really foamy and feels great and silky smooth on your skin.

  Overall, I've surprised myself by being really happy with this product, and it's made me excited to try some of the Body Shop's other shower products when I've finished this bottle! It's by no means replaced my Lush love, but it is great to have a more subtle scent that though wouldn't have been my favourite in the store actually works really well with me.

  This product is available for £6.50 from The Body Shop - you can buy it in store, online here, or if you're lucky you may be able to get it the same way I did, by signing up for their card (£5!).

  What do you think of the Libertine scent? Any Body Shop shower gel favourites?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Book Review: A Monster Calls

I first picked up this book on recommendation of a friend as I was intrigued by the storyline. When it comes to fantasy books I typically find them very hard to get into - I so WANT to be able to enjoy one but I'm extremely picky, and most of them just can't hold my interest. So, I'm always happy when one finally seems interesting enough to me that I pick it up and give it a try!

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, is a young adult book about - as the name may suggest! - a monster who comes visiting at night. It focuses around a young boy called Conor who is visited by the monster most nights ever since his mum started having cancer treatments and comes to him sharing his stories in exchange for what the monster thinks is the most important thing - and the thing that Conor really does not want to share - the truth.

Overall, I find it difficult to decide what exactly I thought about this book. I thought the story idea was interesting and in general the way that it was written really appealed to me. I don't mind the fact that it's young adult at all, if anything I thought the storyline worked  particularly well for this sort of age group in mind as I feel the way it was written and the amount of description etc within worked really well with it. The characters were really well thought out and I felt that I understood Conor and his feelings and could relate to me, in a way that made me want to keep reading. I also enjoyed the leads throughout the book, as I often found myself reading a couple more chapters (though to be fair, they're very short!) in order to try and figure out what Conor's truth was.

Despite all this, there's something about this book that I didn't quite love. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm normally a very fast reader and despite this book being pretty short, I kept not really finding myself in the mood to read it. I really liked the idea, and I found the monster character really interesting, but I wasn't too interested in the stories the monster told and though they aren't a massive part of the book I still found those sections a little dull despite them being quite important.

Overall, I'd give this book 3/5 but I'd recommend it if you want something a bit different!

My new box of books has arrived from amazon, and after consideration the book I'm now reading is Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Read along with me if you'd  like, or check out my GoodReads!

Have you read A Monster Calls? If so, what did you think? If not, think you'll be giving it a chance? What are you currently reading or planning on starting next? 


Monday, 17 February 2014

The Body Shop; Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil & Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream Review

I've been curious to try The Body Shop's new Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil product, advertised as giving your skin an eight hour beauty cream. The product costs £12 on it's own, and whilst there I discovered this little goody bag containing both the oil and the Vitamin E Intense Moisturising Cream for just £16 - so of course, I went ahead and got the bag for the both of them :) I've been using both products daily for just over a week now, so read on for both my first impressions and to see how I feel they've been affecting my skin over the week.


Friday, 14 February 2014

Tag Post: 30 Beauty Questions

1 - Do you remember your first make-up item?
It was a set of three nail varnishes - a dark blue one, a silver one, and a light blue one. I was probably around 8 and I was the first of the girls to get into make up. I used to apply it terribly and wear it all the time but the other kids thought I was awesome for it and so did I, haha!

2 - Describe your perfect mascara. Have you found one that fits your specification?
I really like Benefit's They're Real. I spent ages resisting because I thought it was so expensive compared to the other mascaras I owned but I love it and it is definitely worth it. 

3 - What kind of coverage do you prefer from foundation?
I prefer a light coverage. I like to look like I'm not really wearing any foundation!

4 - Favorite high end brand?
Probably in a minority here, but I really like Too Faced.

5 - What cosmetic brands have you always wanted to try but still haven't?
I'd really like to try illamasqua and maybe give Urban Decay more of a try. I'd like to try nars as well.

6 - Favorite drugstore brand
 I think Sleek is fantastic! Especially their eyeshadow and blusher pallettes.

7 - Do you wear fake eyelashes?
Literally never, but I'd like to try them. 

8 - Is there any kind of make-up you can't leave the house without?

9 - What is your most cherished beauty product?
Right now it is my Bouche de Noel, from Lush. It's worked wonders on my skin and really picks it up and makes it look and feel great. My only regret is that it goes out of date in one more month and then I have to wait forever for it to be out again, presuming it even returns next year :(

10 - How often do you shop for make-up? Do you like to pick up an item here and there or get lots of goodies at once?
I love my beauty boxes, but aside from that I tend to know what I want when I go out.

11 -  Do you have a 'beauty budget' or you spend freely?
I'm sort of somewhere inbetween.

12 - Do you utilise coupons, rewards cards and sales when you shop for cosmetics?
No, but I should!

13 - What type of product do you buy the most of?
Recently, it's been shower gels and bath bombs. I do love you, Lush.

14 - Is there a brand that you absolutely can't stand? 

15 - Do you avoid certain ingredients in cosmetics like parabens or sulfates?
I generally avoid animal tested products, but that's it.

16 - Do you have a favourite place to shop for make-up?
Superdrug tends to be my choice.

17 - Do you like trying new skincare products or do you keep to a certain routine?
I like trying new products. If it comes in a beauty box I'll generally try it out. I probably shouldn't because it doesn't impress my skin, but oh well!

18 - Favorite bath and body brand?

19 - If you could only buy from one brand, which brand would you choose?
Lush if we're talking bath and body, probably Sleek for makeup.

20 - What brand do you think has the best packaging?
Too Faced has great packaging. It's really cute, simple, and I love that their products often come with little guides and the colours are so clearly designed to be worn together.

21 - Which celebrity always has great make-up?
I think Selena Gomez always looks great.

22 - Do you belong to any online make-up communities?

23 - Five Favourite Beauty Gurus
I don't have five! I like watching Zoella, and I think HeyClaire is great as well and has really helpful tutorials.

24 - Do you like multifunctions products like lip and cheek stains?
Nope! I've never liked a multi that I've tried, but I'd be happy to have my mind changed on this!

25 - Are you clumsy putting on make-up?
I spend time on my eyes, but for everything else the mission tends to be to go as fast as possible!

26 - Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Yep. I use Too Faced's eye primer and it's always worked great for me, and I've also got an Art Deco primer which works well for me too. Oddly the only eye primer I've had problems with has been MAC's :(

27 - How many hair products do you use on a typical day?
I don't!

28 - What do you apply first, concealer or foundation?
I don't usually really wear a proper foundation, I generally go with powder foundation. Either way, I'm a backwards person (although maybe not as backwards as I thought if there's a question on it!) and tend to use concealer first.

29 - Do you ever consider taking make-up classes?
I have thought about it, just to learn to do some more creative eye looks.

30 - What do you love about make-up?
I enjoy using it as a form of expression. I like to wear bright colours and patterns on my eyes, and I like wearing it elsewhere if I'm looking a little bit dead that day.

Want to do this on your own blog? Feel free to link me to it :)


Monday, 10 February 2014

Degustabox: January Box

I recently subscribed to Degustabox, and their January box came the other day. Degustabox is a monthly box subscription company, much like all the various beauty box companies out there - but this one is for food items!

I've tried a few food box companies before but have never lasted more than one or two months with them; and generally, the companies themselves end up lasting not much longer than that! I've just always found them very disappointing. They're filled with these lovely looking niche products that end up still being in my cupboard about two years later because I just have no possible need or use for them.

Well, I'm pleased to say Degustabox may finally have changed my history of bad luck with these food box companies! My huge box arrived today, and the box is filled with much cheaper products than you'll find in other food boxes - but in much bigger sizes. However, what is most important to me is that I'm actually really excited to try the majority of these products, and they're all things that I'll happily potentially try again if I end up liking them. By the way, all products are actual sized! I've had this box for a few days before actually posting this, so there will be first impressions of all products and a more detailed look at any products I've got round to giving a fair trial to by the time the review goes up.

So here's a look at what's inside my January Degustabox...

Go! Kombucha
This is a live tea filled with live probiotic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that apparently cleanse, invigorate and revitalise the body. Frankly, that all sounds a little terrifying to me! The bottle states that it faithfully adheres to the original Chinese recipe, and it's a good sized bottle. My first impressions of this product isn't the greatest, but that's my own issue - It just doesn't sound very pleasant to me and I can't see myself enjoying it! I will definitely be giving this a try though.

Quinola Mothergrain Express
This is a ready to eat Quinoa mix, in the pearl and black variety. They are organic and fair trade products that have won 4 Great Taste awards, and are described as a superfood. This is another product that I'm a little wary of simply because I have never tried anything like it before! But since I've got a pack, and it only takes two minutes to prepare, of course I'll be giving this a try.

Dorset Cereals - Berry Granola
It's sort of sad how excited I am to try this product. I am a big fan of cereals, I would probably eat them all day if I could get away with it. And as well as that, I absolutely love raspberries, to the extent that I quite often get through a punnet a day. Well, this granola consists of oats, raspberries and blackberries and I'm so excited to try it! I have a huge variety of cereals but they're also very unhealthy ones, so I'm really excited to see what this one is like.

On review, I have to say I'm a little disappointed with this product. I think it could have definitely done with a lot more flavour, and I didn't find it all that filling! However, granola isn't something I eat that often at all so maybe I was expecting a little much. I ate it as cereal, but my housemate ate it mixed with some yogurt and told me it was way better that way.

Goody Good Stuff
These are gummy sweets that are all natural and meat free, as well as free from gluten and dairy etc. This box came with two packets; a tropical fruit range which sonsits of pineapple, raspberry, banana, orange and pear, and also a sour mix and match version. I'm looking forward to trying these as I love pick and mix and gummy sweets in general but tend to pretty much stick to the likes of Haribo and wine gums which are frankly getting more than a bit boring to me by now, so hopefully I'll love these!

On review, these are actually really tasty! I didn't expect them to be to be honest, as the texture is a little unusual for gummy sweets, but they were really good and actually sort of tasted healthy which isn't something I was expecting!

Maggi recipe mixes
The box came with three packets of different Maggi products. They are basically simple packs of cooking bags and papers infused with flavours, and I'm looking forward to trying these as I'm completely lazy when it comes to preparing food, and if I like these they will be great for making me eat properly without putting too much effort in! This came with an Italian herbs selection for chicken breasts, a sicky BBQ selection for chicken drumsticks, and a Mexican selection for chicken and peppers. I'm most looking forward to trying the Italian herbs one.

Jules Destrooper
This is a box of Belgian Butter Crisps. And, uh, that's the most I can tell you at this point! I'm not the most excited about these, but my housemate is, and I'm sure I'll get to them eventually!

ZICO Chocolate
This is a drink which apparently comes with all the benefits of their coconut water but with a natural chocolate flavour to it. It states that it's low calorie and provudes a source of electrolytes. I sense that this will either be really nice or absolutely disgusting, but it's an interesting idea and a product I'm not at all opposed to but otherwise probably wouldn't have tried.

Amy's Kitchen - Tomato Soup
These soups are described as being delicious, nourishing meals for health conscious but busy people. Which definitely describes me! I'm interested to see how this will be because it contains organic ingredients which I'm happy about, but I feel it's on the more expensive end for tinned soup - I'm excited to try this because I'm a big soup lover and often make my own but I get fed up with having the same sort over and over again, so hopefully I'll love this and be able to add a bigger rotation to my soup group!

On review: This was so delicious! I didn't even know tinned soup could taste this good. It has a great taste to it and I really enjoyed eating it. I definitely think I'll be buying this again and also trying out some of the rest of the range.

Belvita Breakfast - Cocoa with Choc Chips
These are some seriously delicious looking biscuits! They are made with five wholegrains and are designed for breakfast. It claims to be slowly baked so that it releases energy over four hours, and comes with a whole variety of benefits such as high fibre, cereals and vitamins. I'm just interested in trying anything chocolatey :)

  Overall, I'm really excited by this box and will definitely be seeing what February's box has to offer. There's a big variety of food in this box, and in particular I'm really looking forward to trying the cereals, the gummy sweets, the soup, and the recipe/sauce mixes.

  Degustabox costs £12.99 and you can subscribe here.

  Are you a Degustabox member or thinking of giving it a go? Tried any of these products already?

Monday, 3 February 2014


Hello, and welcome to!

My name is Nicola, a 25 year old Londoner, and this is very much a lifestyle blog. I will be posting my favourite fashion finds, beauty product reviews, restaurant reviews, reviews on food products and recipes, book reviews, and various other parts of my day to day life.

Hopefully you'll enjoy reading along with me :)

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