31 January 2013

Current Skincare Routine

I have been blogging for just over 18 months (gosh where has the time gone?) and I don't think I have ever done an in-depth blog post on the skincare products that I use. Over the years I have chopped and changed from various products, and never been happy with anything. But I think I have now sussed out what works for me and I thought I would share with you all.


Etat Pur Purifying Cleansing Gel - £7.70
 This is a fragrance free cleansing gel whereby a little goes along way. I dispense a decent sized blob into my hands before working well into my face. I then take my body shop facial brush and give my face a light but gentle scrub. I have been using this product for just over 5 months and I absolutely love it. It's light, doesn't strip my skin of its natural oils but leaves my skin feeling really soft and clean. I use this morning and night/weekly alternate with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser  - £8.99
 A light gel like consistency which is cloudy in colour. Must be applied to dry skin, is odourless, has very little lather when rubbed into the skin but does need a good amount of product to cover face. When I use this product I tend to work well into my skin, leaving for a few minutes before washing off thoroughly. If I am in the shower I tend to let the steam do a bit of 'work', help open the pores before washing off. I use this morning and night/weekly alternate with Etat Pur Purifying Cleansing Gel.



Aapri Exfoliating facial scrub gel - £1.99
A thick facial scrub gel filled with tiny natural apricot exfoliants which smells divine. A decent sized amount is sufficient enough to cover the face. I tend to wet my face first before applying, give a bit of lather. I have been using this product for a good few years, and I really enjoy using it. It's not harsh for my skin, too gritty unlike the cream version which is horrendous! Using this tends to leave my skin glowing, fresh and smooth. I use this every other day/weekly alternate with Origins Modern Friction.

Origins Modern Friction - £31.00
Thick creamy like product filled with skin refining rice starch. Scented with lemon to help start the illumination process, vitamin C and aloe vera. Before using I wet the skin first, dispense an ample size and then work well into the skin avoiding the eye area at all costs (it will burn/sting!). I tend to leave this on for a few minutes before washing off thoroughly. After use my skin tends to feel really fresh and bright. I use every other day/weekly alternate with Aapri Exfoliating facial scrub gel.



Skinetica Anti Blemish - £9.95
 A clear liquid with a slight scent. Enough product to cover a cotton pad is more than enough to treat the affected areas. I tend to gently sweep the cotton pad across my face and leave it to dry naturally before applying my moisturiser. I have only been using this product for just over a week and already I love it; no breakouts! If you're prone to blemishes/acne then this product may well be just what you're looking for. I use this morning and night.



Clinique Dramatically different moisturiser - from £17.00
Pale yellow non fragrance smelling cream with reasonable consistency (not watery). I have oily/combination skin. This product I find is really good especially for my skin type and the winter weather. Although I do tend to use it less during the warmer months as it can sometimes be a bit too much for the day. I use this in the morning mainly during the winter. 

Etat Pur Oil-free Quenching Gel - £7.80
An aqua coloured gel like substance which is lightly scented. Ideal for those with oily/combination skin who wish to use a light and oil free product that mattifies, moisturises and evens out the complexion. 1/2 pumps of this product is ample amount to cover the face. I tend to use this product a lot more during the warmer months as it's light and doesn't make me oily. I use this in the morning and night.


Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask - £20.00
A dark grey charcoal coloured thick mask designed to draw out those pore cloggers. Smells very 'earthy' and can get a little messy. I use a good amount of this product to cover my face and leaving it to dry naturally (I warn you now you may be quiet for sometime!). I wash off with warm water ensuring every trace is removed. My skin afterwards feels light and soft, and my skin isn't so oily after use and for a few days thereafter.
I tend to use this once every other week.



Body Shop Facial Brush - £4.00
Round brush which can be used with cleansers, facial washes and exfoliators. My mum purchased this and gave it to me, but I didn't pay much attention to it so put it to one side and completely forgot about it. I found it whilst clearing out a draw and decided to try it with my cleanser and completely fell in love with it. It made such a difference when being used with a cleanser; I got more lather and a deeper clean. I guess some may say it's like a miniature manual Clarisonic? But it really does work and I am glad I decided to start using it!

So there you have it ladies and gents that is my current skincare. I don't use a lot as I like to keep things simple and not aggravate my skin too much, otherwise all hell breaks loose!

Do you use any of these products in your current skincare routine?

(Disclaimer: Please remember that what I have blogged about here is what suits me and my skin type. Not everything here will suit all, so please do bear that in mind if you are thinking about trying any of these products).

29 January 2013

Skinetica Anti Blemish

As many of you know I am always on the hunt for a product that helps my blemish prone skin. I have spent so much money on varying things which people have said ''Yes, it's amazing, will do your skin wonders'', only for it to work for a short while before I get an 'attack' of acne. Towards the latter part of 2012 I saw a lot of tweets regarding 'Skinetica' and how fab this product was. Of course, fed up of trying numerous products with claims for 'magnificent' results I didn't pay much attention and ignored. I then received a thorough email detailing who Skinetica* were and what their product aimed to do. Of course, still somewhat a little unsure, I thought I'd give the product a try only because I had heard so many positive reviews within the blogging community. 

'' . . .Skinetica is a genuine product that actually does what it says on the bottle! ''
(Skinetica, 2013)

Skinetica is a product that claims to clear unsightly breakouts with visible improvements in 2-3days. The product can be used on any skin complexion, will help to reduce blackheads/whiteheads and is free of harsh chemicals (result!). The product was also tested on 30 panelists, both male and female, aged 18 years and over, and research concluded that no allergic reaction was discovered. Reading the short brief about Skinetica sounds incredibly promising especially for those who are fighting a losing battle with their skin, so I was quite intrigued to see how I and Skinetica would get on.
When I received the product I had mixed opinions. First impressions of the packaging I was not too keen; its colours made the product look like a cleaning aid, as the neon green (in my opinion) highlights germs. That said, the white does give the impression of cleanliness, freshness. The bottle has a flip top lid, with a single hole, making it easy to dispense the product. The product smells quite chemically (although it is chemical free), which didn't bother me or put me off using it. 

When it comes to writing reviews on skin care products, I like to trial for 3 months, but this deserved an early blog post. I have been using Skinetica for just under a week, and already the results are amazing. Previously every other day I would get a zit crop up, but since using this, I haven't had one. What I currently have at the moment are zits which I had before but are gradually reducing in size and leaving no blemish marks. Another thing which I noticed was my face wasn't burning/stinging or sticky. Previous toner like products I have used in the past have always burnt my skin, or left a sticky residue which resulted in me re washing my face which was an absolute pain. But with Skinetica, I didn't endure any of that whatsoever. I don't wear make up that often as I like to let my skin breathe, but if you do, then when using this product you must make sure you let your skin completely dry before applying your make up.

Although I am still in the early days of using this product, I think I will definitely be ordering a few bottles as it has proven to be really good. Skinetica currently RRP at £9.99 for 100ml. However if you fancy doing the 'Try before you buy' method, Skinetica are currently offering free 15ml samples. 


Have you tried Skinetica yet?

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.

*PR Sample

27 January 2013

Hear Muffs . . .

You've probably clicked on this blog post thinking ''What on earth are Hear Muffs'', which is exactly what I said when I first saw it. But fear not as I will briefly explain further in the blog post.

The past 10days + has been absolutely abysmal in the UK in terms of the weather; arctic conditions, which saw temperatures drop to -10 in some parts, which I have never seen happen in the country before. This of course made travelling conditions an absolute nightmare especially for those on public transport. Now, I don't know about you but I have seen some people wearing a wolly hat to protect their ears from the bitter cold, but then I can see they have their music headphones (buds?) peeking out. For some this then doesn't protect the ears from the cold as the headphones create a gap which is where I now introduce you to 'Hear Muffs'.

Hear Muffs are ear muffs with built in headphones. Simply connect your iPod, iPhone, MP3 Player or anything with a 3.5mm headaphone jack, and you literally have 'music to your ears'. Your ears become warm and toasty, and you're able to listen to music in peace, without having to fight the harsh elements. The cable is 1mm in length and there is also a volume control facility attached. These headphones fit nicely behind your head (adjustable) instead of the traditional 'on head' design. This is to ensure there is limited disruption to your 'hair-do' and are comfortable.

I personally think these are so cool, and as I write this review I am sat here with them on my ears bopping away to music! :) I have also noticed that you literally can not hear any background noise; I can't even hear the trains going past my bedroom window - no disruptions. I opted for the Magenta/Snowflake colour as it matches my iPod, and is a little different from the usual black.

Mr Teddy also likes them too . . .

Hear Muffs come in a variety of colours, and are available from John Lewis at RRP £9.95.

What do you think about Hear Muffs? YAY or NAY?

*PR Sample

25 January 2013

Elemis Spa Home: Quiet Mind - Temple Balm

A few weeks ago I went a good couple of nights without being able to sleep; at the most getting 2/3hrs kip, and then working a 9hour day! Of course unable to sleep I took to twitter, expressing my frustration, and then I had a response from the lovely Sascha, author to 'Beauty Geek' blog. Expressing my desire to get some decent 'shut eye' and what I had used previously, she suggested I try the Elemis Quiet Mind - Temple Balm as it's really good. I have never tried Elemis products but have heard many people talk about this brand and their products, and seen them stocked within the large department stores. I took Sascha's word for it and proceeded to ordering a bottle.

''This soothing temple balm contains a powerful blend of essential oils to help promote harmony, tranquility and relaxation''.
(Elemis, 2013)

First impressions of the product/packaging, I was quite surprised at how small it was considering how much it cost (which I will explain further in the post). However that said, like other products on the market which claim to be similar to this product, they do last for quite sometime. The colour of the outer packaging and bottle is very blue, conveying calm, peace and tranquility. The bottle itself has a turn mechanism, with a small nozzle, dispensing a pea sized amount of product which does go along way. So . .you're all wanting to know ''Did it actually work?'' . . .Answer? . . .YES!!

When this arrived I couldn't wait to use it that very same day/night. I followed the directions on the packaging ''Rub onto fingertips and massage into back of the neck, ear lobes and temples - breathe deeply''. The balm smells heavenly; essential oils, with lavender being very prominent. It's a clear gel like substance which dries quite quickly, but leaves no sticky residue. I did find after applying, I got a slight tingle on the areas I had rubbed the product, but those quickly disappeared. I got into bed and about 20/25mins later -  I was out like a light! That night I had the best nights sleep and actually felt refreshed for work the next morning. I bet you're wondering ''how much does it cost''? Well it can vary depending on where you decide to purchase.

I purchased mine from a reputable, legit seller on Amazon for £15.50, which sounds incredibly expensive for a 15ml bottle. But after using this product for a good few nights back-to-back, I think it's worth the money as I still have loads of product left, and it works!

The Elemis Quiet Mind - Temple Balm can be purchased from the following:
 Look Fantastic
Feel Unique
John Lewis
Harvey Nichols
. . . . And many more (google is your friend) . . .

If you are interested in knowing more about Elemis, click here.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.

21 January 2013

Panache Sports Bra

So . .approximately 90% of the UK population (myself included lol) are now on a 'get fit' regime in a bid to 'shake' off the extra pounds gained over the festive period. Of course with getting fit and joining a gym requires the purchasing of 'swanky' new gym clothes. One thing that is always drummed into us is making sure we have a good pair of trainers that are durable for the 'job' and are kind to feet. But for us ladies we have to go that one step further, and find a suitable, caring sports bra to look after those boobs. Now as many of you will know I dance (Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Pointe), and I always make sure I have a good sports bra on for class because you know . . I do a lot of 'jumping' about and I do not wish to give myself 'black eyes'! Of course I have a few sports bras of varying makes which all claim to do different things, but I have never worn a sports bra by Panache until now. 

 We all know how key a good sports bra is to enjoying comfortable sports performance. And this Panache sports bra* with under wire is as good as it gets. It’s a 5 star-rated sports bra that’s designed to reduce bounce by up to 83%. Panache have used moulded seam-free inner cups and breathable outer fabric for the ultimate in comfort too. The under wire of this sports bra is silicon encased; this means it won’t dig in, and nor will the wide padded straps.

This sports bra from Panache also features a padded hook and eye, as well as a racer back option.

Key features:
  • Sports bra – under wired – by Panache
  • 5 star-rated sports bra
  • Reduces bounce by up to 83%
  • Wide padded straps
  • Breathable fabrics
  • Silicon-encased under wire
  • Racer back option
49% polyamide, 37% polyester, 14% elastane. Hand wash only.
(Panache, 2013)

First impressions of the sports bra - I really like it; it's a very bright pink, sturdy with good support, soft and comfortable. As an individual who is 'top heavy', the shoulder straps are really thick so they don't dig in and give shoulder pain which is a big thumbs up for me. The fastening at the back has '3 hook and eyes' which I personally find gives more support than those which are '2 hook and eyes'. The sports bra also gives the option of 'racer-back' which I think is pretty cool as it gives the bra a different look but can offer more freedom of movement. Although I do think this is a very good sports bra, I would advise perhaps going down a cup size. I opted for my usual bra size but I found it a little bit too big (hence no blog picture of me wearing the bra), which makes me feel like I'm not very secure in the sports bra.

''If you're a B cup or larger, experts recommend wearing the best support possible whenever you exercise. The Panache Sports bra provides the ultimate sport, whatever your sport. It encapsulates your breast - lifting, supporting and shaping, rather than compressing them against your chest. And it reduces breast bounce by up to 83%. It could be the most import bit of sport kit you ever own''.
(Panache, 2013)

The Sports bra is fluorescent pink, but there is a reason for it . . . .Panache have joined forces with CoppaFeel to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. CoppaFeel is a charity aimed at young people to raise awareness of breast cancer. The founder of this charity is a young girl by the name of Kris who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23. Breast Cancer can affect anyone, at any age.

CoppaFeel has its own website which is filled with lots of helpful information, such as how to check your breasts on a regular basis. Not only does it have such good information, but there is also lots of other information which I personally found very interesting in how I can do my part for such a great cause.

Through the goodness of their heart, Panache are donating 10% of every sale of this sports bra to CoppaFeel, which I think is an amazing thing to do for such a brilliant cause.

The Panache Sports bra is available from the following:
Less Bounce
John Lewis

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. Stay warm and stay safe.

*PR Sample

15 January 2013

REVIEW: Burt's Bees: Tips & Toes Hands and Feet Kit

I make no secret of it; I am a big fan of Burt's Bees products. Although perhaps a little pricey, they are in fact a really good brand whose products are really kind and friendly to skin. I originally saw this kit in Boots but somehow never got round to buying it. But I figured seeing as I am off on my jolly holidays soon, I am starting the pampering and 'preening' now; my first stop - hands and toes.

I chose this little set as all the products are miniatures and are great travel sizes which can fit easily into your handbag/luggage. Not only that but the selection of products for this kit are a great choice, featuring a few of my favourites which I will tell you more about.

This kit contains:

Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey and Grapeseed Oil Hand cream 20g/0.75oz 
Daily therapy enriched with humectant Honey, vitamin-rich Grapeseed Oil and moisturising Jojoba Butter. Great for extremely dry hands.

 I blogged a few days ago about hand creams (click here to read) and for me it is important to have a good hand cream on your person; whether that be in your handbag, in your car, on your keys, whatever. My hands for some reason are always dry and I hate it, but this little hand cream is quite nice. It is white in colour with a soft consistency. It smells really nice, with a strong scent of honey. I found it quite moisturising for my hands, with not too much of an oily residue. I would be inclined to say that this perhaps would be much better as a hand cream for the summer months as I don't feel it's thick enough to resist against the winter elements. But that said, it is a nice hand cream, which smells really nice.

Hand Salve 8.5g/03.oz

''Our all purpose hand salve is made with Botanical Oils, Herbs and Beeswax, specially formulated to deeply norish and soften dry hands and other areas that need extra moisturising''.

The harsh weather has begun to really attack small areas on my hands, making them really dry and sore at times. I moisturise with hand cream to try and soften these areas, but it's just not cutting it. The hand salve seems to be doing the trick; it is of a pale yellow colour, solid in consistency, but once rubbed in it turns into an oil. It smells very 'herby and fresh, and really does work well on those areas stubborn to hand cream.

Almond Milk Beeswax Hand cream 7g/0.25oz

''This super rich, all-natural hand cream is made with Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E to moisturise dry skin and Beeswax to help seal and shield your hands from the elements''.

 This hand cream I would say is definitely more suited for the winter months; it is incredibly thick and rich. It is heavily scented with almonds, which if I am honest can be a little too much (especially if your not a fan of almonds). Nevertheless, it moisturises well and keeps those hands looking healthy.

Coconut Foot Cream 20g/0.75oz

''Our Coconut Foot Cream is enriched with a softening blend of super-saturated Coconut Oil and other natural emollient ingredients with a hint of Peppermint for smooth, pampered feet''. 

Now, I don't know about you but there is nothing worse (and more irritating) than having dry skin on feet. It doesn't look good especially if you're wearing open toe shoes/sandals. Regardless of footwear and weather, I always take care of my feet, ensuring they are well moisturised, and this foot cream sure does the trick. I was expecting the cream to be white in colour, but it is in fact a brownish colour and quite thick in consistency. It smells absolutely gorgeous and really does sink well into the skin. On appearance I was expecting it to be quite oily but once rubbed in well, there is no oily residue which is great. I have found from numerous other  foot creams that they tend to make the feet slippy and take a while to sink into the skin. But this one I really like and would definitely purchase at a full size.

Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil 4.25g

''Nourish and condition lips with out replenishing pomegranate lip balm''. 

During the winter months (along with millions of other people), my lips tend to get very dry. I have a stash of lip balms which all claim to moisturise and etc, but none of them (in my opinion) come up trumps like the Burt's Bees. I am no stranger to this lip balm as I am currently using one during the cold snap that had suddenly hit the UK. The lip balm is solid and red in colour to signify its pomegranate flavour/scent. It smells incredibly gorgeous, and actually moisturises the lips really well. Considering it's quite small at 4.25g, it does last quite a while which I think is really good.

Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream 8.5g/0.3oz

A soothing blend of natural ingredients to nourish weak nails and soften dry cuticle. 

As my hands are often dry, this of course goes hand-in-hand with dry cuticles. It drives me nuts so I in fact purchased the normal size of this a few years ago, and I absolutely love it. Its consistency is solid but once rubbed you get an oil like substance which you just apply to the cuticles and rub in well. I tend to leave mine for a few minutes, giving it chance to really work and soak into the cuticles. It is heavily scented with lemon which is nice and refreshing, and is a great size to keep in your handbag.  

I purchased this kit from Amazon at £10.39 which isn't a bad price at all. Would I purchase this kit again? for traveling, yes.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.

Are you a fan of Burt's Bees?

12 January 2013

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas

Valentine's Day is looming, and I know many of you will be spoilt by your loved one's. Some of you are already perhaps trying to piece together an outfit for the day (or night), so I thought I would do a blog post of outfits for Valentine's Day.


Some of you are probably thinking of spending the day with your loved one, and perhaps  have ideas to do something during the day. Of course, wanting to look your best on valentine's day I opted for a look that is casual, but can become smart casual with the simple addition of a blazer. Of course with it being valentines day I opted for 'Red' in the cardigan and strappy top to give the outfit a bit of colour.

Cardigan / Jeans / Handbag / Shoe Boots / Earrings / Strappy top / Blazer

The Dinner Date outfit

The evening has arrived and you're being whisked off to a gorgeous restaurant. I have opted for an outfit that is incredibly smart, yet classy. I have chosen the colour 'Pink' to brighten up the outfit, but also tie in to the whole valentine's day theme.

Outfit 1

Dress / Peep Toe Shoes / Taupage High Heels /  Pashmina / Earrings / Heart Clutch / Black panelled bag

If you're not quite feeling either of those outfits, below I have selected 5 dresses which I think are fabulous.

 Outfit 3
ASOS (from L to R dresses 1, 2, 3, 4) / Mango

So what do you think? YAY or NAY?
Hope this post has given you some ideas.

10 January 2013

Four for Hands

Hand Creams
Hello Everyone

So today I am back with an article which I thought was pretty good especially as the temperature outside in the UK has dropped suddenly. I have tweeted about this topic numerous times, as my hands at this time of year always suffer, and they feel horrible. Guaranteed somewhere on my person/or car, there will be some form of hand cream so I can continuously give my hands a good dose of hydration.Today I bring you four hand creams which all aim to hydrate your hands (and nails), but at varying costs to suit your budget.

Best for hand hygiene
Australian Bodycare Hand Cream (£9.99, 50ml from www.australianbodycare.com), contains 1% Tea-Tree Oil to help kill any bacteria, whilst also offering intensive nourishment for dry, cracked hands. Shea Butter and Argan Oil moisturise the skin, whilst Allantoin helps to reduce the signs of ageing. The multi-tasking hand cream is easily absorbed so won’t leave hands feeling greasy. The formula is a gentle and paraben- and perfume-free. 


Best for dry, chapped hands
Eau Thermale Avène Hand Cream with Cold Cream (£7.50, 75ml from Boots) is formulated with nourishing Cold Cream and Avène Thermal Spring Water. This luxurious, silky hand cream provides care and protection for dry, chapped and irritated hands. It also contains sucralfate, a powerful healing agent used in medical products which allows for rapid tissue regeneration.


Best for on a budget
Dr Organic Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hand & Nail Cream (£5.99, 100ml from Holland & Barrett) is a fast absorbing, deeply hydrating and nutritious hand and nail cream formulated with a tropical blend of organic oils and fruit extracts,. The tropical bioactive formulation is a powerhouse of natural, long-lasting moisturising protection using Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Best for ultra hydration
Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream – (£12.50, 75ml from Trilogyproducts.co.uk) sinks rapidly into the skin, delivering instant intensive hydration and antioxidant protection for super smooth, super soft hands. With a deeply nourishing combination of marula and certified organic rosehip oils, Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream also incorporates manuka honey to soften and protect.  Oat extract soothes dry or chapped skin, providing a natural barrier against moisture loss, while antioxidant-rich white tea extract rejuvenates skin and helps protect against free radical damage.

Out of the four brands, I have tried three of them (Avéne, Triology and Dr Organic), and I think the brand and their products are really good; do exactly what they advertise and claim, which of course is brilliant.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful.

Stay warm (and safe)



*Press Release

7 January 2013

Shopaholic Tag

I very rarely do tag posts nowadays as I simply don't get the time to do them, but this one I thought is pretty fitting to me *oh gawd lol*. The lovely Missy from 'Never a Dull Moment with the New Girl in the City' tagged me in this blog post, so I thought I would give it a 'bash', and give you all an insight into my shopping *ahem* behaviour. So here goes: . . .

1) How old were you when you realised you were a shopaholic?
I would say . . about 17/18. I was working 2 x part time jobs, teaching Ballet classes, and of course, I was racking in a nice little wage. I was good however and I did save a little every month, but guaranteed I would go into town the following day (after teaching or work) and blow my money on random things I simply did not need. Although at that time I did not really care, I do regret it to some degree as it's money now I wish I had saved away! But as the saying goes ''I lived for the moment''!

2) How do you feel after shopping, and do you have any weird habits you do after shopping?
Ummm . . . if I am honest I do find shopping quite therapeutic, in the sense that it gives me chance for my mind to unwind. I don't have to think hard, it's not strenuous, and I can just browse and chill for a few hours - bliss. As for rituals, I wouldn't say this is weird but I do wash new underwear first before wearing them . . not being funny but you get some *odd* folk out there who like to ''try on'' under garms when they shouldn't  . . (if you get my drift) . . 

3) What are your top 5 favourite shops to shop in and why?
a. H&M - I visit this store everytime I go into town; purely to see if there is anything new I could purchase for work, or just update my wardrobe, in particular tops. As an individual who has long arms (nightmare) it is sometimes difficult to find clothing that fits properly, and H&M seems to be the place that caters for my needs (at reasonable prices too).

b. Hotel Chocolat - What can I can say, I love chocolate. Yes this shop is ridiculously expensive, but I do like to treat myself every now and again, and that is by having a bit of 'blow out' on chocolate (Think I need to get out more . . .lol)

c. GAP - As previously stated I have long arms, which of course go hand-in-hand with long legs. Finding jeans is a nightmare, but GAP is the only place where the jeans are actually long enough and fit me properly in the leg and waist. I tend to head to the outlets as their clothes are always (all year round) on a saving, ie £45 jeans down to £20 = bargain!

d. Clarks - Yes, I know many of you will think ''Granny'', but I have grown up wearing Clarks (that's where my mum took me to get my first ever pair of shoes), and I always go in there to see what shoes are in that season. I have awkward feet (wide feet, narrow ankles), and Clarks is the only place where the shoes fit me properly. Not only are they well fitted, but they last for agessssss (I kid you not).

e. Debenhams - Nationwide this department store undertook a huge refurbishment, introducing lots of brands that were only obtainable (for me personally) online. So to see the store packed with more brands, is amazing. So as of late I am finding myself in there near enough every visit to town because there are so many departments/concessions, it's nice to see what new things are coming in to the store and etc. 

extra (f. Oasis - Although there is no longer a store in my home town, but a concession in Debenhams, I love love LOVE this store. I am always looking in this concession to see what gorgeous items of clothing/accessories are new in. I always find their items of clothing are of such good quality (I got a pair of jeans I purchased from them over 10years ago . . . and they still look good as new as the day I purchased them).

4) What item of clothing do you have most of in your wardrobe?
Tops! I have well over 100 tops to the point where my draws no longer shut, and I have had to rearrange my wardrobe space to try and fit everything in. I also have well over 70 . . yes 70 pairs of socks . . don't ask, but it's pure madness!!!

5) What is the most you have ever spent in 1 shopping trip?
Booking my flight to Jamaica. As of late because there is no competition between Virgin Atlantic (which flies to Montego Bay only, and British Airways flying to Kingston only), the flight prices have shot through the roof. Kinda sucks when you know the tickets use to be dirt cheap, now you're paying through the nose! But hey ho, I am thinking of that hot sunshine and Pina Colada's :P. 

6) Do you experience shoppers regret?
OMG Yes! I think we all get those thoughts for a few days or so, but after a while when you make up some lame justification and talk yourself into thinking ''Yea, it's fine'', those feelings soon subside lol.

7) What was something you regretted buying?
Ummm . . . a dress I had made that came all the way from China. On the website, it looked absolutely stunning, in reality, it looked pants, and I have never worn it!

8) What is your favourite thing to buy?
Dresses - less stress, unlike jeans/trousers/tops = nightmare!

9) Do you buy the same items but in different colours?
If the item fits well and I know I won't get better elsewhere, I will buy it in a few different colours - bonkers, yes, I know lol

10) Do you ever use dressing rooms?
Yes, but lately I have tried to avoid them because the ones in the UK are always filthy! Chewing gum stuck to the glass, lipstick smeared on the mirror, the lighting is rubbish - meh! So I just buy the clothes and try on in the comfort of my own bedroom.

11) Do you prefer to go shopping alone, or with others? . .and who is your favourite shopping buddy?
I tend to go shopping on my own; I get a lot more done, and I get to visit places I want to go to. I find going with friends you never get what you planned to get done, or visit the shops you want to visit, and the buddy is always huffing/puffing as they don't want to stay! (Well, mine never do anyway lol)

12) If you could go shopping with a Celeb, who would it be and why?
Ummm . . . although she is not a Celeb (more Royalty), it would have to be the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. She wears very simple pieces yet makes them look so classy and elegant, and I love that. 

13) If you could go shopping with a Blogger/Youtuber who would it be and why?
That's easy . . .Dawn from 'WhatDawnDidInHeels' - I kid you not, this girl is so so stylish. Even the most basic pieces of clothing Dawn can work her magic and make it look amazing. (If you're not already following her youtube channel, check it out).

14) What's your favourite treat, snack, drink during or after shopping?
I don't really have a favourite anything after shopping, I just go for whatever is available in the cupboard.

15) What is something you've always wanted to buy, but never had the money to do so?
 Those red soles . . yep Christian Louboutin 'Simple 70'. By the end of 2013, I am determined to get my mitts on them.

16) If you had £1000 to spend on anything you want, what would you splurge on?
Obviously the Christian Louboutins and a pair of Chanel earrings, and then the rest  . .SAVINGS account! 

17) Are you a proud shopaholic?
  . .Hmmm lemme guess . . .NO! lol And furthermore, who said I had an addiction anyway? :P lol . . . Think you're talking to the wrong person . . NEXT . . . .**shuffles away**

I tag . .


If you do the tag, by all means leave your blog post link in the comment box below, and I will definitely take a read.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.

Discounts and Savings - January 2013


 . . .Yep, my discount blog posts are back for 2013.

I originally started doing these blog posts in 2011, and they proved extremely popular with many of you in the blogging community. I took last year off as I wasn't really blogging a great deal, but I am back for 2013. What I will be doing is once a month I will do a big blog post on as many great discount codes and savings I come across online, and then if I come across something mega mega amazing (discount code wise), I will tweet it over at @Serenityofbeaut. So for January here goes . . . 

AX Paris - £5 off when you spend £15. Code: xmasgift5 Valid until: 31st January 2013

Barratts - 25% off orders. Code: GIFT Valid until: 31st January 2013

Bliss - 20% off Christmas sets. Code: XMSALE12  Valid until: 7th January 2013

Boohoo - Free delivery when you spend over £25. Code: FREE25  Valid until: 20th January 2013 

Brand Alley - £10 off your first order. Code: GET10 Valid until: 28th February 2013

Cloggs - Exclusive 10% off orders. Code:  VCD10 Valid until: 9th January 2013

Elemis - 15% off full size products. Code: JANAFF13  Valid until: 13th January 2013

Glossybox - 20% off your first subscription. Code: AFFJAN20  Valid until: 31st January 2013

Karen Millen - 20% off full priced footwear and accessories. Code: completelook Valid until: 15th January 2013

La Redoute - £15 off your first order when you spend £30 or more PLUS free delivery. Code: 4707 Valid until: 31st January 2013

Lipsy - Free delivery on everything. Code: SS13SHIPPING Valid until: 31st January 2013

Look Fantastic - £5 off orders over £35. Code: LFNEW5 Valid until: 7th January 2013

Philosophy - 20% off off orders over £50. Code: philofriend Valid until: 13th January 2013

The Body Shop - 40% off FULL PRICE items. Code: NEWYEAR Valid until: 14th January 2013

UGGS - Upto 75% off RRP  Valid until: {no date specified}

UNIQLO - Upto 50% off, plus free delivery. Code: FDEL Valid until 11th January 2013

Happy shopping!

6 January 2013

Social Buttons

Afternoon All

How is the new year treating you all? Hope it's been good to you so far. Anyway some of you may notice one has decided to do a bit of a revamp on the blog for the new year. I didn't quite know what I wanted, but I know I wanted something simple, but pretty with a bit of my personality etched through my blog design. I am not 'tech savvy' when it comes to blog design and etc, so it's not fancy but I have done the best I can to give 'Serenity of Beauty' a fresh start for 2013. As I said I am not techy savvy so a lot of what I have done to my blog I have either googled, or simply tweeted and got help/advice from savvy bloggers. However one issue which almost drove me up the pole was getting the right social buttons (the 6 buttons you see to your right). 

Of course, I googled and googled and googled and I couldn't find any that were suitable or fitting with the theme of my blog. So I took to picmonkey.com to try and make my own, and to no surprise, failed! So I took to google again as I was certain there must be buttons that would fit to my blog, and I came across a blog by the name of 'CarrieLoves'. This is a design blog that offers a lot of of help and advice, with free social media buttons. I had a quick browse through, and I found buttons that matched my blog design YAY. The next job of course was to link the buttons to the correct social platform, which I have previously done through uploading the icons through Photobucket, copying the link into HTML on blogger and then doing other long winded stuff which just takes ages. However I came came across a blog that mentioned 'Image-maps'.  

In a nut shell, you upload a picture of the social buttons you wish to use on your blog (I went into Paint, created a ''picture'' of the buttons and then saved it as a .jpeg file). I then followed the instructions which are clearly explained on the blog of 'Something Swanky', and hey presto! before I knew it, I had social buttons uploaded onto my blog in less than 10minutes!

So yes . . .I am happy I was able to teach myself something blog savvy, and I just wanted to share it with you all. I do believe however very soon Ellie, who runs the blog 'Missedesign' will be doing a tutorial on social buttons and a lot more in depth information, so if you want to know more, then I urge you to go and follow her blog/twitter.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.

1 January 2013

2013 New Year Resolutions . . .

 . . .So 2012 has flown by (where did it go?), and for the past 2-3days I have been rethinking about things that have happened over the past 12months. There are things I am happy about (getting a job), and some things I just think why (dating a twat with the name Simondo). But anyway . .there are so many things I want to do/improve/change in 2013 so I thought I would do a 'New Years Resolution' blog post. I don't usually make resolutions but I thought this year I would make a few and see how they pan out during 2013.


1) Be more socialable - Over the years I have gradually noticed friends drifting away; many of my ol 'stomping ground friends are all getting settled, whereas I am still young (I think I still am), free and single. Those who I use to 'roll' with (haha how gangster does that sound?), obviously no longer go out, so I spend many of my evenings indoors, nattering to many of you lovely lot on good ol twitter, or reading your blogposts. Of course, I don't mind doing this once in a while, but I am growing tiresome of it. So I made a promise to myself by being more socialable; going out with work colleagues, joining an activity club where I am mixing with people my own age. This hopefully will help me to find like minded people, and develop a network of friends who i can go out with and etc.


2) Confidence - This is a major major issue for me which I have been fighting for years. Although I do feel I have made small progress uploading a picture onto twitter of myself after a year+ of blogging. I have always had it in my head that I am ''Never good enough'' for anything, and it is that I need to snap out of it and believe in myself a lot more. My job has to some degree given me that belief that I can do it, although I still think ''I am not good enough''. 2013 I am aim to try and break that demon and believe that ''I can do it'' and believe in myself a lot more. Once I can master that, I think within myself I will be a lot happier. I also aim to stamp out negativity and have the PMA mentality - Positive Mental Attitude.

3) Travel - There are so many places in the world I want to visit, but friends always say no because they don't want to leave their gf/bf behind, or have other commitments. So I figured why should I not visit these places because friends don't want to? So I have decided to go it alone. One place I have always wanted to visit is Italy, and as a treat to myself I am going to try and go there at some point in 2013.


4) Job - Many of you will know that finding a job is ridiculously hard in this current climate. I graduated over 2yrs ago, and I still have not been able to find full time employment in a job that will allow me to grow and be happy. I did however manage to get a part time job at the start of the 2012, which I am grateful for, but it is not something that I want to do for the rest of my life, and my manager knows this. 2013 I plan to go 'hard' in securing that job that I am longing for. I am at that point in my life where it is now time to find my feet, and start paving a career path which I so desperately want to do. 


5) Keep Fit - I keep reasonably fit on a weekly basis doing my Tap dancing. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I don't think what I am doing is sufficient in comparison to what I use to do; dance 5days a week, plus teach. So I am going to join a gym in the new year. I know it's something everyone says; new year, christmas has just passed, time to lose weight, and blabla but I think not only will it keep my body healthy but also help to keep my mind healthy too.

6) Take more pictures - I was sifting through my pictures, and I have realised I don't have many of myself with family or friends as of late. Everyone is growing up so fast, things are always changing, and I thought I have nothing to have reminders of these memories. Since blogging I have enjoyed taking snaps, so I have vowed to take more pictures throughout 2013.

7) Be a better blogger - 2011 I was like a  blogging machine, blogging at every spare moment I got. However last year I got rather busy with work, and just didn't seem to have as much time as I had hoped to blog lots and lots for you all. This year I aim to blog at least 2 times a week; whether that be fashion, beauty or lifestyle.

8) Drink more water - I use to drink loads of water all the time, but for some reason last year I seem to have fallen off the wagon, and not drunk as much, which might be why I am struggling with my skin. Anyway, I will aim to drink at least 5/6 glasses of water a day.

I think I have set 8 very realistic resolutions which I feel I will be able to achieve by the end of 2013.

Have you done a resolutions blog post? If so, post your link below - I look forward to reading them all.