Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Beauty | Sweet Cecily’s Cocktail Flavoured Lip Balms*

I think it’s safe to say that we all know now how obsessed I am with lipsticks.  The obsession with lip products doesn’t stop there though, rather it extends to cover all aspects of lip beautification, I mean really, what good is a stunning lipstick without well prepped lips underneath? Not a good look is what!

As you can probably imagination, I have a whole raft of products with which I keep my lips cared for and these days it takes something really special to join the fold.  These lovely little cocktail flavoured lip balms from Sweet Cecily’s just might do that though.

First of all can we talk about the cuter than cute packaging?  From the way they arrived all wrapped up in brown paper with a pretty little ribbon, to the little individual tins, scent specific labels and nicely turned out typography, I love it all.

The product inside the packaging is right up my alley too!  So each of the Sweet Cecily’s lip balms I was sent are cocktail flavours and I don’t know if the team there just guessed, but they managed to pick out some of my favourites.  Top of the list for me is the Mojito flavour, it has a scent of fresh lime that is somehow right on the money, deliciously zesty but not overpowering.  The Pina Colada flavour is sweet and fruity as you would expect, but not at all sickly.  The final flavour is Espresso Martini, this is a brand new addition to the Sweet Cecily range and packs a good caffeine-scented punch, just like you’d expect of a real espresso martini (The one I got is in slightly different packaging as it was a sneak peak).

Of course, these lip balms wouldn’t make it into my favourites on packaging and scents alone, they’ve got to be a good product too, and let me tell you the Sweet Cecily’s lip balms don’t disappoint.  The texture to me is very reminiscent of some of my other favourite balms in that they feel almost slightly grainy when you first apply them, and then melt with your body temperature to a lovely smooth balm.  The moisturisation is great too, not too heavy but hydrating and long lasting enough that I can get away with application just a couple of times a day.  Almost unheard of for me, I’m a real serial re-applier!  This is probably down to the fab ingredients these little tins contain, there's no chemical nasties to be found here, just good, natural and more importantly, nourishing ingedients.

Sweet Cecily’s Cocktail Flavoured Lip Balms
I think the three lips balms I was sent will last me a good long while but I would without a doubt purchase some when I do run out.  Looking at the Sweet Cecily’s website there are some fabulous flavours to choose from too.

You can find the Sweet Cecily’s Lip Balms here, prices start from £2.95.

Have you tried anything from Sweet Cecily’s?  What are your favourite lip balms?

Sharon x

*Products sent for review purposes. Opinions 100% my own.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Beauty | September 2014 Favourites

Hello beautiful people!  How is everyone?  I feel like it's been forever since I posted anything on my dear old blog, might be because it has been forever.  Oops, let's move on...

I'm going to do the cliched thing here and say I can't believe it's the end of September already, and it's true, I can't, although more like I can't believe it's the end of the summer.  Sad times!

Anyway, I don't know whether it's the changing of the seasons or what, but I decided to try something a bit different for my favourites this month and did it on YouTube!  Uploading to YouTube has been a bit of a goal of mine for a couple of years now so I'm glad I finally took the plunge.  I hope you'll give it a watch, and bear with me on the complete lack of editing, good lighting etc.

Enjoyed the video?  I do hope so!  Leave me a comment below or on the video with your thoughts, I'd love to hear what you all think.

Sharon x

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Late Summer Homeware Haul

You may have noticed from my last post (click here if you fancy a read), but I've been feeling the need to splurge more than a little recently, and I don't know if it's because I've recently got married and want to nest, but I've been wanting to buy lots of bits and pieces for the home.  I've been hitting up TK Maxx and John Lewis most for my homeware buying needs, check out what I've been getting...

Wooden Wick Scented Candles (£6.99 each, TK Maxx) - I know summer isn't actually over yet, but since it's been getting a bit darker and a good deal cooler, I'm completely in a candle mood.  These two candles are deliciously scented and even better they've got a wooden wick that crackles away merrily like a fire when you light them.  I don't want them to ever run out.

Star Basket (£6.99, TK Maxx) - My kitchen table has become a bit of a dumping ground recently.  Literally, whenever we come into the house keys, wallets, post and all manner of other random things get dumped there until it feels like it's overflowing.  This basket is my attempt to ensure the flotsam and jetsam doesn't get too out of hand, it's small enough to not take up the entire table, but big enough to be a bit of a catch all for the detritus.  Here's hoping it works!

Sea Grass Place Mats (£1, John Lewis) - This is my attempt at brightening up my kitchen, I love the bright colour and the cotton edging on these.  Hopefully they'll last well, but whether they do or not they were a bargainous price!

Oriental Patterned Bowls (£14.99, TK Maxx) - Just how pretty are these bowls?  I've been eyeing a similar style in Waitrose but didn't want to pay £4 or £5 a bowl; I was helpless to resist when I saw these ones in TK Maxx though, I love the mismatched patterns and finish; so pretty.

H20 Embossed Glasses - I really like the style of recycled glasses and the embossed, typographic design on these really caught my attention, I've got a bit of a thing for anything with this design.  They'll get plenty of use in my kitchen anyway.

Do you get in the mood to buy homewares at times like I do?  What are your favourite shops?

Sharon x

Monday, 25 August 2014

Late Summer Beauty Haul

So I may have felt the need for a bit of a splurge recently.  It's been a while since I've really bought much in the way of luxury makeup or skincare so when the opportunity arose to do a little spending, I kind of went crazy.  Read on to find out what I got my mitts on...
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (here) - I've had my eye on this beauty of a palette since it first came out as a limited edition last year, so it felt like it was about time I treated myself to it.  I know the Ambient Lighting Powders have been incredibly hyped up in the blogging world but from what I've seen so far it's with very good reason.  I can't wait to start making use of this palette in my everyday routine.

Lipstick Queen Endless Summer Lipstick in Aloha
Lipstick Queen Endless Summer Lipstick in Aloha (here) - This is such a beautiful sheer cherry red lipstick, I couldn't resist when I first saw it and I haven't been disappointed so far.  I'm looking forward to trying more from the Lipstick Queen range.

Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Pore Shrink Pads
Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Pore Shrink Pads (here) - Rodial isn't a skincare brand I've tried before, but there's just something about the range that has been drawing me in recently.  It's definitely early days yet, but if these deep cleansing pads are anything to go by I'm excited to try more from this brand.

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner, Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil & Trilogy Eye Contour Cream
Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (here) - I love this toner, especially in summer; there's nothing quite like a quick spritz on the face to cool down my skin.  I couldn't resist picking up another bottle, especially as with two Trilogy purchases I got a free gift.
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (here) - it's been two years since I reviewed this lovely oil (see that review here), and I still use it every day.  I can't bear to run out so whenever I see an offer and I know I'm running low, I'll always pick up an extra bottle.
Trilogy Eye Contour Cream (here) - I was so pleased to get this eye cream as a GWP, it's not one I've tried before but has been on my wishlist for a long while.  I'll enjoy giving it a whirl.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator
Liz Earle August Skincare Essentials (here) - You can't deny that these skincare essentials offers from Liz Earle are an absolute bargain.  I've been running out of a lot of my skincare recently so this gave me an opportunity to stock up on some staples without spending a fortune.  You save a pretty impressive amount buying these items all together too.

Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser and Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser
Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser (here) - This range is completely new to me, but I've heard very good things about this cleanser from a few bloggers.  It was under a fiver too.  Bargain!
Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser (here) - I mainly picked this up because it intrigued me, and I really can't resist a bargain.  Here's hoping it's as good as people say the cleanser from the range is.

As well as beauty products, my hubby and I have been buying a few things for the house too, but I think they may be best shown in a separate haul, to follow very soon.

In the meantime, leave me a comment and let me know what beauty products you've been buying and loving this summer.

Sharon x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Film Review | Guardians of the Galaxy at City Screen Picturehouse, York

It was with giddy anticipation that I sat down at City Screen in York on Friday night to watch this latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Despite my incessant tweeting whenever a new Marvel Studios film hits the big screen, you might not know that I'm generally a huge fan of these films and their comic book origins (albeit to a slightly lesser degree on the comic side of things).

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of the more obscure would-be-hero teams in this particular film universe, so I wasn't entirely sure where this story would go, but I have learned to trust in Marvel Studios.  With the exception of one or two releases that were slightly wide of the mark (Iron Man 3 anyone?) I have never left the cinema feeling in any way disappointed with the experience.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Image Source
Without giving away any major spoilers let me tell you a little bit about the film.  Our leading man for this fantastic space opera is Peter Quill, who really wants to be known as Star-Lord (played to rakish perfection by the Chris Pratt).  We first meet the man trying to steal a mysterious orb from an abandoned planet and thereafter being set on a collision course, not only with several villainous types determined to have said orb for their own nefarious planet destroying purposes, but also his soon-to-be friends and somewhat mismatched team, the Guardians of the Galaxy.

First up is Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), the rather seductive green-skinned assassin, trying to do the right thing in the face of her powerful and evil adoptive father Thanos.  Next up are Groot, the humanoid tree creature (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket, the genetically altered raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), the bounty hunters who are in it for the money (at least at first).  Last but not least is Drax the Destroyer, the muscle bound alien intent on revenge for the death of this family.  This band of criminals and misfits are thrown together by fate and set out to try to achieve what seems like an impossible task, saving an entire planet and probably universe from main villain Ronan (the delightfully dark Lee Pace).


Stacked up like this there's no way this film should work, but oh it really does and so well too.  This film has everything I want from a cinema experience and more; from Peter's back story where your heart absolutely breaks to the laugh out loud moments in Groot's joyful destruction of any obstacle in his path and Drax's completely literal interpretation of anything said to him.  Not forgetting the pure childlike awe you experience at the magnificent alien landscapes presented to you, or the spectacle of the immense and absolutely epic spaceship battles and action scenes.

Guardians of the Galaxy has so much heart in each of it's lead characters too, but most often witnessed in the enterprising and foul-mouthed Rocket and his unexpectedly loveable and warm companion Groot.  How Vin Diesel managed to convey so much with just three words (all Groot says is "I am Groot") I really don't know!  Almost another character is the film's incredibly well chosen 70s and 80s soundtrack, blending seamlessly into every scene but making it just that little bit more memorable too.

Image Source
Seeing how the Guardians are fitting into the wider universe already occupied by superheros including The Avengers is just brilliant for Marvel fans and honestly I left the cinema at the end of this film feeling thoroughly entertained and almost elated.  Seriously, you should just go and see it!  I know I'll definitely be seeing it again soon.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is out now in 3D and 2D at City Screen, find the listings here.  You can also find City Screen on Twitter.

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy?  What's been your favourite film so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  If you fancy a natter about all things geeky, come and find me on Twitter.

Sharon x

*Tickets provided free of charge, all geeky gushing is my own.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Essentials Part 1: Sun Protection & Accessories

Got a summer holiday coming up, or just spending lots of time down at the beach or the park during this surprisingly fabulous British summer? Well then read on dear friends as I bring you part one of my essential kit for surviving the (hopefully) long hot summer looking cool, calm and collected!

Whether I'm living it up in the Costa del Sol (like I was a few weeks ago, sob!), chilling out in York's beautiful museum gardens or shopping away the summer, there are a few accessories I need for that relaxed warm weather vibe:
summer hat, flip flops, bracelet and sunglasses
A hat - A hat is a must for those times when you need to be out and about but want to keep the sun off your face. this one cost me €2 from a market in Fuengirola and when I haven't been at work I've been wearing it constantly. If you'd like one of your very own, I've seen some similar styles in New Look and Primark this summer. I'm sure they'll be a bargain too!
Flip flops - Who can be bothered with shoes when the weather is heating up? Certainly not me; flip flops have been a part of almost every outfit I've worn since the beginning of July and that's not likely to change until at least the end of August. These flip flops were one of a two pack from New Look, and I believe they were under £10.
Sunglasses - This one goes without saying does it not? You've got to protect those peppers from the sun as much as any other part of your body. With the sheer number of styles available in sunglasses, and at every budget too, the accessorising opportunities are endless! Personally I love an aviator style the best, this pair are by Storm and were around £12 from TK Maxx.
Braided bracelet - The obligatory leatherette bracelet, it can be either braided or beaded, it doesn't really matter - what does matter is that it's a vital part of the British holidaymakers experience and once bought should be worn with pride until it fades away - rather like that fabulous tan you've acquired. This year I bought three (including the one pictured), all for about €2 or €3 each and will be rocking them for many weeks to come!

No self respecting beauty blogger can go through the summer without liberally dousing themselves in their chosen SPFss for face and body and I'm no different. We all have our favourite products, those that work like a treat for us, these are mine:
 Clinique Super City Block SPF40, Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Spray Lotion SPF15, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm SPF20, Lancaster Tan Maximiser
Clinique Super City Block SPF40 (£18 from Boots) - I haven't been without this marvellous SPF from Clinique all summer long. It's been excellent worn on its own (it's so lightweight but I haven't burned in the sun once) and has worked so well under makeup that I wore it on my wedding day earlier this month. It offers protection from UVA and UVB rays too, perfect!
Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Spray Lotion SPF15 (£13 from Boots) - In all honestly the skin on my body never feels like it needs too much sun protection, with the exception of my shoulders I never get red or burn, that being said I like to protect myself anyway, and this is the product I like to do it with. It just smells like summer in a bottle, deliciously coconut-y and fresh - as a bonus it applies quickly and easily and and a bottle this size can easily last me for a two week holiday.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm SPF20 (£2.80 from Boots) - It seems to me that most people forget about protecting their lips from the sun when they're in a hot country - certainly not me, I need a lip balm with an SPF to make sure my lips stay soft and flake free. Ordinarily I'd go for something tinted but not being able to find one I liked this year, I turned back to this fail safe option.
Lancaster Tan Maximiser (around £22 from Selfridges) - After all the sun you've no doubt been getting you need to make sure to take care of that skin afterwards. a good after sun is key to keeping the dreaded peeling at bay. My favourite after sun this year has been this one by Lancaster, which I bought on the plane on the way over to Spain. It hasn't disappointed one bit, has kept my skin looking soft and well hydrated and really feels like it's helping to extend my tan. Of course this is exactly what you look for in an after sun.

That's it for part one of my summer essentials, part two will be coming up in the next couple of days and will feature some of my favourite summer skincare, makeup and the only fragrance I've worn this summer.

In the meantime let me know what you've been loving this summer, I'd love it if you left me links any posts you have.

Sharon x