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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ruth Crilly: COLAB Dry Shampoo

When it comes to dry shampoo, I don't stray from the norm. The norm being Batiste. I've used the brand for probably a decade after my mum first introduced me to the concept of dry shampoo back when I was at school. As a result, I wasn't hugely fussed when I heard that Ruth Crilly aka A Model Recommends had created her own range of dry shampoo called COLAB.

However, as I queued up in Superdrug recently I spotted this travel sized mini and thought I'd live life on the edge and give it a whirl. The COLAB range comes in a variety of scents all with cosmopolitan city names. I picked up Tokyo but Rio, New York, Paris and London are also available.

Ruth's premise behind this range was that she wanted to create a dry shampoo that didn't leave that chalky, white residue in the hair. Having used Batiste for years, I've grown accustomed to having to massage the product into my roots and brush it out again to get rid of the residue  and although I'm rigorous with it, it's always been a bit of a pain. The range is made with a Sheer Invisible formula - which means it's super fine and whilst it doesn't completely eradicate white residue it's leaves significantly less than with other dry shampoo products I've tried. The reason I like it the most (other than the smell) is that it doesn't leave behind any stickiness in the hair - it feels revitalised and shiny. I generally just use dry shampoo between washes when my hair needs a pick-me-up to stop it looking greasy, but this can also be used to add more volume and texture to the hair - just remember to shake the can well before use!

This travel sized can costs £2 and the full sized versions are £3.50 which is a little more expensive than Batiste so not necessarily something I'd commit to full time, but I'll definitely be picking up a full size in one of the other scents (probably London) to see how I get on.

Are you a dry shampoo fan? What's your favourite brand?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

House of Fraser Cyber Monday £30 Giveaway

In the US, Black Friday follows Thanksgiving and is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, most major retailers have opened very early and offered promotional sales to kick of the shopping season (similar to how we have the Boxing Day sales in the UK). Slowly but surely, UK retailers seem to be taking note!

This year I've teamed up with House of Fraser to give one of my readers the chance to win a £30 voucher to spend on Cyber Monday (1st December).

Cyber Monday is one day full to the brim with deals and offers on big brands - including 15% off makeup, 20% off bags and 20% off womenswear, amongst much more. It's the perfect opportunity to scoop up a bargain pre-Christmas, so if you'd like to win a £30 voucher then you can enter using the rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to UK only and finishes on the 29th November.

 Good Luck! 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Candles

Whilst I've been trying to hold back on Christmas decorations till the start of December, Christmas candles are a different story. I've been quite literally decking the halls with as many festive scented candles as I can, to fill my home with fragrances of the season.

Despite being a candle obsessive, Yankee Candle were a brand I never really bothered with. However when I saw them in my local Tesco, I started to pick up their Christmas scents and have really been enjoying them. My two favourites are Frosted Spruce which has a wonderful pine smell reminiscent of Christmas trees and Frosted Cinnamon which is a delicious festive mix of cinnamon and cloves.

As ever, Bath and Body Works candles are a go to for every season, so I've been rolling out some of my favourite winter scents. Citron Cedarwood (which honestly smells like men's aftershave) was one I picked up on my last US trip. On a recent eBay haul, I picked up Mahogany Teakwood which is one of my favourite scents year round, but particularly in the winter as it has a spicy, woody scent that reminds me of the fireside.

The little wooden box was the first Christmas decoration I picked up in Frankfurt recently (from a shop called Depot). Although it's not had it official unveiling yet, I think it would look perfect on the kitchen table with a collection of candles and some fairy lights.

What are your favourite Christmas candles? When are you putting up your Christmas decorations? 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Bath & Body Works Ebay Haul

I have made no secret of my love for Bath & Body Works. I love the brand so much that when I go to the US, I'm potentially more excited to go in and smell their candles then I am to go into Sephora. Don't judge me.

In the last year I've been lucky to go to the US three times which means I've been able to keep my Bath & Body Works obsession in pretty good check. However with no trips likely until 2015, I realised that it was time to bite the bullet and restock some of my favourites from eBay.

First and foremost, let me just address the fact that sellers on eBay obviously over charge. In America, this bunch would have cost me under £10 - when in reality it cost me over £20 buying from eBay. A bit of a pain, but needs must and the heart wants what it wants.

I picked up four of their infamous antibacterial hand gels, a product that I simply can't be without. They smell so delicious, are moisturising and most importantly keep me germ free. I'm particularly keen on the tropical, fruity scents that B&BW have to offer so I picked up Island Nectar, Peach Poppy and Vanilla Berry Sorbet (an old favourite). I also thought it would be good to pick up something seasonal which is how Pumpkin Spice Latte ended up in my hands.

I also, on a whim, decided to pick up the Fragrance Mist of one of my favourite Bath & Body Works scents - Midnight Pomegranate. This is a gorgeous scent that mixes fruit and spice to create something that I'm positively addicted to. I love to spray this when I first get out of the shower as I feel it really lingers on my skin this way.

Although I did get slightly ripped off for this haul when you compare it to how much I would of spent stateside, I don't regret it for one minute. If you're like me and you need a Bath and Body Works fix with no hope of a US trip in sight - treat yourself. Go on, it's worth it.

Do you love Bath & Body Works products? What are your favourites?

Friday, 14 November 2014

Antipodes Jubilation Ultra Nourishing Hand & Body Cream

New Zealand's favourite beauty brand, Antipodes, have released an ultra nourishing hand and body cream to keep skin soft, healthy and protected throughout the winter months - when our skin tends to dry up and cry out for some TLC. The cream contains premium avocado oil as a base ingredient which is a nutrient packed skin moisturiser and conditioner known to heal the skin and help to reduce the appearance of scars and age spots. This potent avocado oil is also packed full of omegas and vitamins which help to mitigate skin damage and the ever unwanted ageing process. If it wasn't already full to the brim with goodness, it's also enriched with pure plant fragrances of fig and wild blackcurrant which deliver a gorgeous sub-tropical scent to the skin, which is really really addictive. 

This is a simply lovely product that feels luxurious on the skin and really adds the boost of moisture that my skin so desperately needs this time of year. Whilst it's a multipurpose product for both body and hands, I tend to just use it on the latter as well as any particularly dry areas of my skin (elbows etc). At £26.99 it's not the cheapest body moisturiser so I'm conscious of using it only on those areas that are begging for it. It's perfect for almost all skin conditions (particularly dry skin) and would be a lovely gift for someone this Christmas! 

Have you tried any products from Antipodes? 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Yes To Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

I was first introduced to the Yes To brand when I picked up a pack of these cucumber wipes in San Francisco back in May. Whilst I try to avoid using face wipes as much as possible, there is no denying that having a handy sized pack is a dream for travelling, or on one of those really, really lazy evenings.

I worked through my first pack in a matter of days, so was delighted when I won another pack in a Twitter giveaway from the lovely Megan of Thumbellina Lillie. These are such a great little product, the packet is deceptively small as the wipes are large and are brilliant at removing makeup (eye makeup included). They're packed with green super foods, are biodegradable and really do leave your skin feeling fresh, clean and rejuvenated.

Since being back in the UK, I've only seen the Yes To brand available in Holland and Barratt but it's also available from Boots stores. Alternatively you can pick them up online at ASOS or Feel Unique. This pack costs £1.99 with regular packs costing £3.99.

Have you tried the Yes To range? What's your favourite? 

Monday, 10 November 2014


Today's post is going to be a million miles away from my usual content, but a topic equally close to my heart.

Whilst I don't have the condition myself, a close member of my family does - so it's something that I've learnt to understand and deal with over the last few years. On the way home from a shopping trip on Sunday, a young girl with epilepsy asked for my help as she could feel the onset of a seizure. She did indeed have a seizure and luckily we'd managed to get her off the train and lay her out on the platform before it started - so she was out of harms way. This was the catalyst for writing this post.

For me, this situation wasn't particularly frightening as it's something I've experienced before - however I can understand for someone new to it, this could be. It was only when I was at home later in the evening that I recalled the faces of the other people on the train - that of panic, which I can only assume was down to the fear of not knowing what to do.

When I got home, I asked my Twitter followers whether they would have known what to do had that girl asked them for help. The general consensus was no. I decided that I'd write this post to provide a brief education on what exactly epilepsy is, but most importantly to provide some clarity on what should be done if a stranger, or someone you know has a seizure.

There are over 600,000 people with epilepsy in the UK. Around five in every 100 people will have an epileptic seizure at some time in their life. Given these statistics, the stigma that still surrounds this condition is pretty shameful.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. These seizures are caused by too much electrical activity in the brain. How a person behaves during a seizure will depend upon the area of their brain that is affected, but the kind of seizure you're probably most used to seeing in the media is called a Tonic Clonic seizure (previously known as a Grand Mal).

Tonic Clonic seizures can be frightening to witness - I'll be the first to admit that. However just imagine how frightening it must be for the person having one. The girl I helped on Sunday was only in her early twenties and on her own - she was the same age as many of you. Imagine how frightened she must have been.

Being able to help is simple and much more straight forward than people typically think. The below is a guide on how to help and whilst it's not going to be applicable to every situation you may come across, it's a good start.

1) Protect the person from injury - lay them out somewhere safe away from any harmful objects.
2) Cushion their head.
3) Don't restrain the person's movements, or put anything in their mouth. (It's a common myth that you need to stop someone from swallowing their tongue but this isn't the case. It's actually impossible to swallow your own tongue).
4) Once the seizure has stopped, gently place them into the recovery position.
5) Don't give them anything to eat or drink until they have fully recovered.
6) Stay with them until recovery is complete - they will likely be sleepy or drowsy for a while. Talk to them, be calm and be reassuring - let them know they're going to be OK.

These are six, simple steps that should be fairly easy to remember. Whilst calling an ambulance isn't always essential when someone with epilepsy has a seizure, if you're in any doubt you should as they will be able to talk you through what to do.

If you've read this far, thank you. Hopefully if at least one person is able to take any of this onboard then they may be able to help in a situation or realise that epilepsy doesn't need to have the stigma attached to it that it does - that in itself is priceless.

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