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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

How To Become A Self-Employed Blogger

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I am just going to put this one out there this could be a lengthy post, but it's jam packed full of information, tips and advice from a personal perspective to help those who are looking at blogging as a form of self employment. Becoming a self-employed blogger is not something that I ever thought was possible and now I am making a regular income and I am earning more than I have ever made in any of my previous employment. When it comes to blogging and making money there seems to be a LOT of misconceptions out there about how much money bloggers can make, some are more successful than others of course, like all employment sectors. Most people just see bloggers are taking photos, writing about them and making a few quid here or there. But listen up folks there is an opportunity to actually a decent wage with blogging. Blogging and social media influencing is definitely a job. Now it's certainly not easy to make money from blogging. But with a lot of hard work, a lot of time and dedication this has become my job. Blogger, writer, influencer, whatever you want to call it. It's a money maker for lots of people. I have to say that I don't have the biggest following in this bloggersphere, but there are lots of people who follow me, take the time read my posts, send me emails to talk about my content on my blog and there are brands that want to collaborate. So YES it is a real job. Although I am by no means an expert, I’m here to share my personal story about how I got started as a self-employed blogger. And when I say I’m not an expert, I am referring to the fact that I make a part-time income that ranges from month to month. 


Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

When I first started my blog it was a time when I felt so low and my anxiety was at an all time high. I wanted to create a place that was just for me, to be creative, a place to write and most of all tell you all about the exciting adventures as a family of three. Two years on and I still absolutely love blogging. My little corner of the internet has done so many things for me as a person. It's kept me focused, encouraged me to chase my dreams and have a more positive outlook in life. I feel so lucky. I have got to know so many amazing and brilliant people from writing this blog. But to put it simply, my blogging became my true passion. It wasn't a future than I envisioned when I decided to press that publish button but it's been one of the most life changing decision I have ever made. And I am so proud of myself for following my heart and putting myself out there, warts and all instead of settling in a job that made me very unhappy.

And this is what you have to do as well. If you are going self employed because you think it will be easy way to make quick money and become an internet sensation overnight, sorry folks, but that's unlikely to happen. Even the likes of Tanya Burr, Hannah Gale or Corrie worked their butts off to create their amazing platforms. But if you are reading up on how to become self employed because you want to go outside of your comfort zone or want the flexibility of working from home then make those goals and be ready to work for it. So are you ready?

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

If you're thinking about earning any money from your blog, it's best to register yourself as self-employed just incase you do start earning a pretty penny. And by pretty penny, I literally do mean a penny. No matter how much you're earning you have to register yourself as a limited company, which basically means you're both the owner and an employee of your blog. To do this, all you need to do is set up a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system to pay yourself with the earnings from your blog.

Now I am just going to put it out there when it comes to tax returns or trying to calculate costs and working what you do and don't need for a tax return can be confusing. It's something that I have never thought about and something that really should be taught at school, as if algebra was useful for the real world. I really struggled when it came to figuring out what I needed to do and even seeking advise from websites and the HMRC can be overwhelming. Especially when it came to trying to figure out what I could and could not claim back for expenses. So much so, I purchased quite a lot of photography equipment, including lenses but I wasn't sure how I could claim the expense back as this was for my blog and my work with brands. When I was trying to find an answer I was completely inundated with answers and not really sure which one was right. I even called up HMRC and I was on that phone for hours being transferred to one department, to another. And in the end no one actually answered my query. 

One of the thing I noticed whilst being transferred to one to department to another, is that they had no clue why I was being passed to them. I would have to tell them my whole query over and over and I did feel as if they really just wanted to get me off the line. However, after my lengthy call with the HMRC I was none the wiser anyway. So back to the internet. But I came across a webpage for the HMRC direct contact numbers, which is amazing and saved me so much time being transferred to department to department. Specifically the Self Employment contact numbers which I something that I really needed that day, but I did find out what I needed to do and what I could and could not claim back for taxes. 

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

Once you are registered as self-employed you become a self assessment taxpayer, which means that you’ll have to fill in a tax return each year detailing your blog’s earnings and expenses. This needs to be done even if you have another job.The self-assessment tax form is actually really simple to fill out as long as you stay on top of your earnings and expenses throughout year, so be sure to note down any income and keep hold of your receipts to act as proof for anything you want to claim back on. You will have to do your Self Assessment to HMRC every year, keep records of all your earnings from your blog; it doesn’t matter if it was a one-off sponsored post, your monthly payment from a blogging network or any other payment you have received for work you’ve done via your blog. So from the get go try and figure out what kind of accounting system that works best for you. It's always best to try and keep it as simple as possible, especially if you intend on keeping your own books. Accounting is all about balancing what goes out with what comes in, then recording the transactions and cross referencing them to the documentary evidence. These could be invoices or receipts, and you’ll need to keep copies of everything for five years as a self-employed person. I keep my invoices and receipts in a little blogging file, so when it comes to doing my tax returns there's no last minute worries about finding invoices or receipts. However if you’re completely new to bookkeeping or accounting, get some professional advice on how to set up a system that will work best for your business. An accountant or professional bookkeeper would be happy to offer some help. And sometimes these can be a stress free option because they know exactly what they need to do. 

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

Depending on your business, certain things can be classed as expenses which are deducted from your annual gross earnings before any tax is calculated. You only pay tax on your profit. You can claim for all the costs of running your business, providing the cost was purely for business purposes. So what can be classed as an expense? Well, that all depends on the business you run. If you work from home, you can claim a portion of heating, internet, rent or phone costs. You could even claim a mileage allowance if you use your car for business or events, or claim allowances for stationery or postage costs. Expenses can be rather confusing, there is plenty of information on the HMRC website, if you you need help an account or bookkeeper can help you figure out which is expenses, so they can make sure you're not paying too much tax.
Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

As you’ll be self-employed or an employee of your own company, you’ll be responsible for your own tax. This is something you really don’t want to mess up because it’ll get expensive. Depending upon what sector you’ll be working in, there may also be numerous legal implications you need to consider. Each year, everyone who is registered as self-employed is required to fill in a self-assessment form; whether you have made profit or not. HMRC will send you a reminder notice which will prompt you to complete this either online, via telephone or through the post – again I opt for online as it is so quick and simple. This is where good record keeping comes in handy as you will need to know how much your income and outgoings were over the tax year. And once your assessment is complete you will be given a figure that is your payable tax and national insurance for that year. If you do not complete your self-assessment then you will receive a fine for not doing so. 

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

You can’t expect to start a business and instantly become successful. It’s going to take a lot of time, effort and hard work. Anything worth having doesn’t come easily. If you don’t have much patience, you’re going to easily become frustrated, especially during the early days. A successful blog is all about being a skilled writer and being amazing in marketing. A blog with great content and a successful marketing strategy can’t survive without the other. No one is going to read your blog if your content isn’t strong, and so no one is going to read your blog if they never come across it. So don't ever be afraid to share your content. So for all of your beginners out there who are reading this and having a panic attack, don’t freak out. It has taken me the good part of two years to grow my blog and platform, it's been a continuous learning curve and one that I am sure will continue from hear on out. 

So are you ready to become a self-employed blogger?

This is a collaborative post.

Is It Time to Restore The Floor?

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I was at the beach with my family enjoying a splash in the sea and making sandcastles and then my husband gets the football out, never one to shy away from a kick about we started to play. My husband is the competitive kind, and if truth be told, so I am. However, I tend to shortfall in comparison to him. But my determined little self thought, right no! I'm going to make it hard and jumped for that ball and punched it so hard in the air that...a little wee came out. I was mortified. I was embarrassed. Oh the shame. But you know what, this happens to so many women. 


It wasn’t a gush more so a trickle, but it was enough to make me feel like a pensioner, that's for sure. We all know how important pelvic floor exercises are, but let's face it we are all busy people and I know that I am not the only one who forgets. When I first had my daughter I would always do them as I was feeding her or reading to her, but now she's become her own little independent self, I forget. But these little leaks are something that keeps happening. I actually remember the first time it happened. My daughter was not even a year old and my sister brought a for a trampoline for her children, and the big child I am couldn't wait to have a go. But, yep it happened. I felt a trickle. Now I avoid that trampoline like the plague. But that is not the mum I want to be to my little lady. I want to run, jump, get on a trampoline, hell I want sneeze without a fear. 

There’s a common misconception that a bit of a leak when you cough or sneeze is just something you have to accept as you get older and have babies. But you know what it isn't. There are loads of things you can do yourself to strengthen your pelvic floor and prevent problems such as bladder weakness. A weak pelvic floor is definitely NOT something you have to learn to live with. And so I want to share this with you, not solely to embarrass myself, but to actually share that pelvic problems are completely normal and more common that you actually realise. 


Many women want to deal with pelvic floors, but more often than not they can't always afford certain procedures available on private health care, and therefore put up with it. But now, they don't have to with this non-invasive gadget INNOVO®. Keep in mind that even if this may seem a little costly it would still be considerably less costly than a medical procedure.

So what is INNOVO®?

INNOVO® is a non-invasive way to strengthen your pelvic floor, that doesn’t involve inserting anything, and so is ideal for anyone who feels a bit squeamish about that sort of thing. Instead, you strap yourself into a pair of conductive pads, and then you can just sit down and have a flick through a magazine or catch up on Netflix. INNOVO® does all the work for you, so you don’t have to worry about doing it right, or making stupid faces at your desk.

The great thing about Innovotherapy is that it doesn’t rely on you mastering the art of the Kegel, and it doesn’t involve you having to insert anything anywhere. I think the invasive nature of some pelvic floor treatments can put a lot of people off, but with this I can assure you that it won'y. The Innovo pack contains a two-part garment that you wear around your upper thighs and control using a hand held controller. Innovotherapy sends targeted impulses via a set of conductive pads, which activates all the muscles in your pelvic floor. You get 180 perfect contractions in every session without having to even think about it.


INNOVO® - Getting Started

Before starting with the Innovotherapy you need to charge the controller for 5 hours and I would recommend watching the introduction video on the Innovo website. Now I have to admit that I was a bit daunted when faced with all of this. But I took a deep breath and read through everything carefully. By reading the booklet and watching the video it made the whole process seem a lot less daunting and shows you exactly how to fit the pads and how to wear the garments on each leg.

The Innovo system can be used for a range of incontinence issues, but for me it was all about my recent stress incontinence that I have been experiencing so I would be following a special program. Over the course of 12 weeks, I would spend 30 minutes for 5 days a week using the Innovo product, while reading a book, catching up on Netflix or blogging. 


INNOVO® – How it feels?

Now I must admit the feeling is an odd one. It’s really hard to describe the sensation you have when the Innovotherapy takes place. You almost can feel your pelvic floor lifting without you having to do anything. It was in no way uncomfortable, just odd. You can control the intensity of the 180 impulses which are sent from the pads over the length of the session. Over the first 5 days I worked up progressively from a strength of 45-70. You can go higher, to 75, but I found that intensity a little uncomfortable, so I am sure I will be able to build up to the higher intensity. Don't forget to come back to see how I am getting on with INNOVO® and whether it's making a difference at all.

5 Places in the UK For a Holiday When Pregnant

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Listen up, getting away is the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy some time with your partner, family or friends before your baby arrives. All you have to do is decide where to go, and when. So today I have five perfect UK destination for those expecting, and you'll be quite surprised what's in the list.




There is no time you’re likely to need a holiday more than when you’re pregnant! Before all the sleepless nights that come with having a newborn, and before you get too pregnant to enjoy it, make sure you schedule in some time with your partner to enjoy the last few months before your lives change forever! You don’t have to go abroad to have an amazing holiday, and in fact it might reduce your stress levels a little to stay in the UK. Here are five of the best places to go on holiday when you are pregnant. 



L i v e r p o o l

Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture in 2008 and it’s easy to see why! A fun and vibrant city with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, Liverpool is perfect for a city break. The choice of places to eat are never ending, but try to find somewhere with a good view of the Albert Docks. In terms of things to do, this city's full of it! If you like music, you have to visit the Beatles museum, the Cavern Club, Penny Land and Strawberry Field! If you’re not a Beatles fan, check out St John’s Beacon for a view across the city, the beautiful cathedrals, the Tate Gallery, or simply head to Liverpool One for some shopping! 

T h e   C o t s w o l d s 

Nothing screams luxury and relaxation like the Cotswolds! Book yourself into a spa hotel and treat yourself to a real pamper break - which is the ideal type of holiday when you’re pregnant. Enjoy a couples massage, float weightlessly in a pool (you’ll be grateful to take the weight off your bump!) and order room service - you deserve it! Once you have a baby, these types of holidays will become a thing of the past, so really indulge yourself before the time comes. Enjoy romantic walks in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside with you partner, and spend time relaxing after what is sure to have been a stressful few months. 



C o r n w a l l

There is something just so lovely about a B&B near the sea, particularly for a babymoon. Cornwall is particular romantic, with quaint natural trails, beaches and castles to explore and all the afternoon teas you can consume! Some people will want a holiday where they do nothing but relax, whereas others like to explore and have little adventures, and Cornwall can cater to both of these types of people. Just make sure you enjoy breakfast in bed at least once! 

B a t h

If you have never been to bath, now is the time! A stunning part of the country, with the main draw being the amazing Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural thermal spa. There is so much to see and do in Bath, but be sure to enjoy a relaxing boat ride down the River Avon to take the pressure off your poor swollen ankles for a while! 



E d i n b u r g h

If you are looking for interesting culture, stunning architecture and incredible food then you need to head to Edinburgh. There are a few hills in the city, such as walking up to the castle, so perhaps don’t leave this trip too late in your pregnancy when you are likely to be exhausted, but otherwise it is a fantastic, vibrant city to enjoy. If you visit around November and December, you can explore the Christmas markets which are fantastic and will leave you feeling all warm and cozy, knowing that next Christmas you'll have a little one! 

There are so many amazing places in the UK to enjoy a holiday in when you are pregnant. Whether you want a spa break, a seaside trip, a city trip or a cultural excursion, You don’t have to jump on a plane to find the perfect holiday!

Let me know in the comments where you would recommend for a pregnant holiday in the UK.

A Few Simple Home Decor Touches

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When it comes to making a house a home, to put it simply accessories are what gives a room some personality. They add the all essential details that let you know what the atmosphere is all about and change the way you feel when to step inside. An array of greenery throughout the home gives your home an instant botanical feel and makes you think of embracing the outdoors. Warm golds like rose gold and copper are a great way to add some color in an untraditional manner, and they work flawlessly across pretty much any style. There's absolutely no rule that says your accessories can't be an eclectic mix. You just want that room to feel inviting. From plants, flowers, ornaments, vases, art and even lighting there are so many different ways to give a room some character for new guests. 


F l o w e r s 

Let’s be honest, flowers can really make a difference in a space. I'm literally obsessed with real flowers and I think that there is nothing quite like freshly cut flowers to liven up a room and they have a lovely smell, which is so much nicer than artificial room fresheners or potpourris. Flowers for Everyone have an array of gorgeous bouquets for all occasions, so you will most certainly find something for everyone. If you haven't heard about Flowers for Everyone already then they are are a luxurious brand of florists that are family owned by 'The Primrose Family' who specialise in creating some of the most unique, hand tied arrangement making your gesture gives ultimate impact. They also provide bespoke orders, whether you are looking for a custom bouquet or a number of arrangements to thank clients and colleagues. There is something for everyone and they like to make sure that your experience with as easy as 123. In addition, the Primrose family's long association with the flower industry has resulted in strong relationships with flower growers throughout the country making sure they go direct to the farm, ensuring quality, fresh flowers on a daily basis. I’m so obsessed with flowers in my home, they add a certain feminine touch and make my house smell amazing, not forgetting they look pretty too. There’s nothing I love more than fresh flowers around my home I have got into the habit of buying freshly cut flowers every week to ensure my home seems homely and inviting. So don't forget to visit flowers for everyone

P l a n t s 

An array of greenery throughout the home gives your home an instant botanical feel and make you think of embracing the outdoors. Plants in the home has become one of the biggest design trends over the past few years. People crave bringing a bit of the outside in, from big statement furn trees to tiny succulents and even arrangements of herbs in a kitchen window sill. In your own home plants can be arranged and clustered or spread out throughout rooms. Not only do they look nice and add a pop of colour, but they also help purify the air and can make you happier. 


M e t a l l i c s 

Metallics are so on trend in home décor, one in particular is having their own moment right now and to be honest it comes as no surprise why its cropping up all over the home. Copper is beautiful and brings a fresh new twists to spaces, however rather giving a room a cold and stark feel, the copper creates a warmer aesthetic. The love of the copper hues don't just stop with home décor, lightening, or furniture. Many who love the copper trend are even seeking changes within their kitchenware, accessories and even electrical appliances too. From bold brass to cool copper, metallic shades are a great choice to give your home a shiny makeover this summer. Trendy metallic homeware accessories have had us all going a little crazy. It comes to no surprise why though. Metallics are fun because they have the ability to add warmth to a room and mix well with any colour palette. 

P r i n t s 

Sometimes the best wall decor accents come from simple tones. You can achieve great effects by using black and white, especially on a pastel backdrop wall, but it’s also an easy decorative choice, because it simply pairs with everything. For the prints for my home I knew that I wanted some prints that we soft, pretty and very feminine and of course I really love typography too. Typography is favourite decor element to many people and it’s already used in many homes in a various ways and this Oh la la print is gorgeous and I'm planning on putting this in a white wooden frame too. It's very bloggeresque.



L a m p s   &  L i g h t i n g 

Through the lighting, your home can get an entirely new look and can change the appearance of your house. Good lighting can create a welcoming atmosphere in the home, which is why I have chose to use lamps and of course no room is complete without fairy lights. By finding the adequate lighting to brighten up my home is a must and will help create the ambiance and set the mood in room. I have been scrolling through the internet for the perfect copper lighting that will help bring out the pale pinks and white flooring to give them a certain edge. Consider dimmers and lamps in rooms where you want to create a warmer, cosy feeling, and track lighting in spaces where you want the room to feel bright and open all year long. Don't be afraid to have some fun! Lampshades can be changed, and chandeliers and pendant lights can completely change the energy in a room.

Changing My Skincare Routine with Sk:n Clinics

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I am pretty sure that if you have read a couple of skin care posts or seen my instastories you will know that I am having a big problem with my skin. It's has dry patches, spots, looks red, very sensitive and I can't seem to find anything that helps. And so I have decided to have a skincare overhaul and adapt a new skin care routine. I am one week into the new routine and so far my skin is feeling more nourished and certainly hydrated, however I still have a long way to go with battling my dark circles and breakouts. And so, I wanted to share a couple of products that I have been using from Sk:n Clinics. 


Before we do that I just wanted to tell you a little bit about Sk:n Clinics. So Sk:n is the country's leading skin clinic offering more highly medically trained staff than any other chain of clinics. They pride themselves on having the most regulated treatment approach in a meticulously clinical environment. No one offers more specialised skin treatments, from mole excisions to anti-ageing injectables, tattoo removals to facial resurfacing, or uses more advanced technology to do so. Sound pretty great, right?

I tested out the Facial Exfoliating Cleanser For All Skin Types and Anti-Ageing Cream For Younger Skin and adding these two products into my skin care routine will be super easy, and I couldn't wait to see if they help me in my mission to get radiant and blemish free skin, or at least try. When it comes to developing a skin care routine the first thing you need to do is find out what your skin type is, as it will be easier to determine which products are best for you and which ones to avoid. I have been battling combination skin for years. I have super dry and sensitive parts but I also have an oily t-zone which makes it difficult to get a routine that works with both skin types. 


Cleansing is an important part of a skin care routine, actually it's essential for clear and radiant skin. I really like using Soap and Glory's Vitamin C Daily wash, but seeing as I need to change up my skin care routine I started my day with this Facial Exfoliating Cleaner £28.00. This gentle creamy cleanser contains glycolic acid which exfoliates old skin cells, clears pores and keeps skin really clean. It also is pH balanced and contains lots of nice vitamins for your skin meaning that it also moisturises and rejuvenates the skin. First impressions with this cleanser is that it's slightly foaming cleanser and I haven't used anything slightly foaming in years because of my very sensitive skin. However I didn't have any bad reactions and felt my face was very soft and clean after using, rather than tight like other soaps for my skin type. The cleanser applied well and had a refreshing scent that left my face feel squeaky clean. While sk:n Facial Exfoliating Cleanser for all Skin Types is not specifically for oily skin types, exfoliating products are helpful in tackling oily skin, as exfoliation can temporarily reduce the amount of oil on the skin.

I have been using this facial exfoliating cleanser for just over a week and I do feel it has given me a fresher and brighter look because it removes the dead skin cells everyday. Obviously, this is only from a weeks use so I am pretty excited to see what my skin will be like in a month or so. But it claims to refine thicker skin, soften lines and wrinkles and lightens some dark marks, but only time will tell.


 

Next we have a product that I was really looking forward to trying the Anti-Ageing Cream For Younger Skin £35.00. Ever since having my little lady the late nights, the milestones, the early wake up calls and the threenager tantrums have taken it's toll on my skin. So it makes complete sense to begin to take care of my skin and delay the initial signs of aging. Sk:n Age-Delaying Cream for younger skin hydrates the skin and helps delay the initial signs of ageing. Clinically proven peptides target fine lines and loss of firmness, Vitamin A helps regulate cell turnover and anti-oxidants fight free radicals. When it comes to preventing the signs of aging it can be difficult to understand what you should be using and when, ageing of the skin in inevitable. So adding a cream, lotion or oil into a skin care routine will help battle the signs of aging. 


I have been using this one for just over a week. At first, it really didn't help my skin. As soon as I cleansed my face and then used my essence I used a small amount of the cream and added it to my face, eyes and neck. However, it really made my skin sting. So I had to take it off. But I am perserving with it, and my skin seems to be getting less sensitive with each application, so it could have been because it's something that my skin isn't used to. It claims to hydrate the skin and helps delay the initial signs of skin ageing where peptides target fine lines and loss of firmness by stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid and strengthening collagen in the skin. This cream also contains Vitamin A helps regulate cell turnover. But like the cleanser it will be something that I will continue to implement into my skin care routine, so watch this space. 

So what do you think of Sk:n Clinics? Have you ever tried their products? If you haven't would it be something that you would try?

GLOSSY BOX: Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo Limited Edition

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This week saw the launch of the very anticipated limited edition beauty box collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo by Glossybox and I must admit, this box is impressive. Who doesn't love a whole box dedicated to makeup. For those who don't know, Karl Lagerfeld is one of the world‘s most renowned fashion designers, and he has teamed up with iconic Australian beauty brand ModelCo to create the most exciting beauty collection of 2018. Karl Lagerfeld‘s vision and aesthetic, combined with the innovative quality cosmetics of ModelCo, has resulted in KARL LAGERFELD + MODELCO; a limited edition collectable beauty range. This Limited Edition GLOSSYBOX is filled with 6 products from the collection, with a total worth value of £117. In each box you'll receive four full-sized products and two deluxe minis. 


So without further ado, let's see what's in the Glossybox for this special edition Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo.

Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Baked Blush in Rose Pink. | RRP £31.00.

This baked blush brightens and highlights all complexions, and it's so pretty and looks super pigmented. I was so excited to try this as I am so in love with my other blush in light beige from a previous Glossybox. The Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo limited edition colour collection will channel the theme of Illuminated Beauty and if the blush is anything to go by, the rest of the collection will be absolutely stunning! I will start with this beautiful blush and it's packaging. The lightweight black rounded case has a clear lid with the signature black Karl Lagerfeld silhouette printed on top. This shade is a gorgeous pigmented pink and looks ideal for my skin tone and for this time of year. This highlighter has iridescent pearl pigments and light reflecting particles leaving an instant luminous glow with a warm tone and comes in a good size too. It offers more of a shine than a glisten which is perfect for a subtle glow appearance.

Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Lip Couture Lipstick in Red.| RRP (deluxe mini 1.5g worth £11).

I adore mini lipsticks. They are a great way to get a feel for a colour before making a big purchase and this one is a gorgeous shade of red, who doesn't love a red lip for those days where you want to feel empowered. It’s richly pigmented and feels long-lasting without being drying. This little mini has already made it's way into my handbag and would be perfect when going out out too. 

Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Lip Liner in Red. | RRP £21.

To complement the lipstick, there’s a matching Lip Liner in Red to complete the Couture Lip Duo. It’s one of those classic reds (as the lipstick is as well), and it glides on smoothly with a lovely creamy texture and pigmented finish. Ideal for giving your pout that flawless look.

Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Long Lasting Liquid Liner in Black. | RRP £22

For eyes, there’s an amazing Long Lasting Liquid Liner which allows you to draw on those coveted cat eyes and flicks with an easy to use pen-style applicator. The formula is long-lasting and water-resistant so it won’t smudge or fade throughout the day and it goes on a really dramatic black. Let's face it, eyeliner has never really gone out of fashion. I have to say I love discovering a new eyeliner, and this one is pretty epic and gives me some of the best winged eye looks. It’s smudge free and the felt tip end helps make my winged eyeliner work like a dream. 


Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Blush Brush. | RRP £22.

A good brush will give you excellent coverage. This will prevent you from getting excessive makeup in the wrong areas and helps you focus on particular areas. Nobody wants to have makeup that looks uneven to people who look at you. A good makeup brush will help you solve this issue and help you achieve a flawless appearance. So I was more than happy to see a brand new blusher brush in this limited box and I can apply my blush the pro way with the Blush Brush, a multitasking makeup brush which you can also use to apply bronzer, setting powders and highlighters. The shape of this brush is great as it has a slight angle to it so it works well with the cheekbones, and the bristles are ridiculously soft and feel very silky.

Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo. Lip Gloss in Ramatuelle | RRP (deluxe mini 1.2g worth £11).

Lately, I hav been pretty obsessed with another gorgeous mini from DOUCCE so the last product in this special box being a mini Lip Gloss in a classic nude shade made me really happy. It has a burst of highly pigmented colour and feels creamy and comfortable on the lips. A make-up bag must-have!

And that’s a peek at the Karl Lagerfeld + Model.Co special edition with GLOSSYBOX, so what did you think? I must admit, this box is pretty epic and has so many great products that are full sized as well as a couple of cute minis. Yep, an impressive box and well worth it's price. So grab yours for £25 or £30 for non-subscribers! But be quick, so you don't end up on the waiting list! 

Altruist Sunscreen

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Yep, the sun is shining and we are certainly having a heatwave at the moment. It's been beautiful. And it's strange to think that we are only just in May. Months after hibernating under those chunky knits, thick jeans and tan boots it's time to get ready for the bare leg season. Now I must admit, I am not a great lover of the sun because I have fair skin and tend to burn really easy. I wasn't bless with the skin that can go brown. I go full on lobster red, peel and go white again. However, it's not just me I have to worry about. I have a three year old daughter so we really need to be careful and make sure that she is protected all the time. 

So protection is something that we all need. There are so many benefit to using sunscreen, by protecting you from harmful radiation from the sun, sunscreen reduces your risk for skin cancer, premature aging and sunburns. You can optimise your protection by choosing the right sunscreen, wearing it regularly and using it as directed. And recently we have discovered a brand Altruist that will help use take care of our skin this summer.


Altruist was created by Andrew and David; two friends who met in Africa. They met many years ago whilst working in Durban, South Africa and became good friends whilst sitting in the morning sun on surfboards in the Indian Ocean. They set out with a vision: to reduce the incidence of skin cancer by enabling more people to use more sunscreen. Together with the help of the best scientists in Europe and BASF they created an exceptionally high quality sunscreen at the lowest possible price.

Altruist's Mission

It is our mission to reduce the incidence of skin cancer through the increased use of quality sunscreen together with better education and awareness.

We were kindly send over two products from Altruist. Sunscreen for both myself and my daughter. The Sunscreen SPF 50 for my daughter has been formulated to include safe and effective pharmaceutical materials that gently care for and nourish delicate infant skin. I was looking forward to trying this sunscreen lotion on my daughter as it promises to offer a high sun protection. I won't put anything that is less than factor 50 on my daughter, she has fair skin and would hate for her to burn So, a day at the beach and armed with our new SPF 50 Sun Cream we went to the beach and jumped in the waves. When we applied the sun cream we could see it creates a waterproof protective film, making it easier to get an even coverage. The formula is enriched with UV Protection, moisturizing elements, emulsion and preservatives to help protect against dehydration and irritation. Not only that, it's a hypoallergenic formulation, fragrance and paraben free it's also water resistant. I really like how quickly this absorbed into my daughter's skin and didn't leave any marks on her skin. With most sun screen they need to be reapplied regularly and we reapplied every twenty to thirty minutes. We also received some SPF 30 too, which is basically the same as the SPF 50 but with a lower factor and smaller bottle. Meaning it's more so for adult and one that you can pop into your beach bag or handbag when out and about on adventures.


W H E N  T O   A P P L Y

There’s a debate about exactly when in your make up routine you should apply sunscreen. Apply straight after cleansing and your essence, serum/oil/moisturiser can’t get to your skin and do their work. But apply after primer, then your foundation won’t ‘stick’ to your face.

H O W   T O   A P P L Y

The chemicals in sunscreen take time to bind to your skin and become fully protective. Apply your sunscreen before you go out. Sunscreen on the skin should be applied 30 minutes before you go out into the sun. Lip sunscreen should be applied 45-60 minutes before going into the sun. Sunscreen needs to be on the skin to be fully effective. This is especially important in the water-resistance factor. If you put on sunscreen and jump into the pool 5 minutes later, much of your protection will be lost. This is also very important for caring for children. Children are usually wriggly and impatient, and are usually doubly so when excited about an outdoor adventure. Instead, try to sunscreen before leaving the house, or in the parking lot, or waiting for the bus.

U S E   E N O U G H

Use enough. One of the biggest mistakes in using sunscreen is to not use enough. Adults usually need about an palm full. To apply cream or gel sunscreen, squeeze a dollop into your palm. Spread it all over the skin that will be exposed to the sun. Rub the sunscreen into your skin until you can't see the white anymore. Apply an even, generous coating. Be careful when applying spray sunscreens around the face, especially around children.

A L W A Y S    R E A P P L Y

Reapply after 15-30 minutes. Studies have shown that re-applying your sunscreen after about 15-30 minutes after going into the sun is more protective than waiting 2 hours. Once you’ve done this initial reapplication, re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours. Sunscreen is the most important step in your daily skin care routine, so don't avoid it! If you haven’t already incorporated it into your routine, do it now, for your ageing skin and for the ultimate protection.

Exploring The Adventure with Cabin Zero

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A trip to the beach. Nothing but the sun in your hair, sand in your toes, and a much needed dose of relaxation, right? A trip to the countryside. Nothing but quaint cottages and tranquil views. Maybe! That’s only if you discount the frantic packing and shopping and list-making that occurs the week before you go. And adding a little person into the equation guarantees at least triple the amount of planning, packing, and stuff to cart along with you. Honestly, the immense degree of forethought required when taking a holiday with little people may make it tempting to skip the salty waves and tranquil settings altogether. I am terrible when it comes to packing. As parents we all know that when you take a baby or a toddler away, there is so much you need to take with you including the kitchen sink. So, I have sat here and really thought about all the things that we will need to take away with us on our adventure and we need a lot! It use to be so simple, just packing for myself. Gone are those days where I could just sling a couple of thing in a bag and go, now I have to think of both my husband (he forgets everything) and my little lady. 


With this in mind, I knew that I needed a bag that I could wear on my back to free up my arms when setting off on a long journey, so I can grab what I need easily. It can get really awkward when you have a handbag, changing bag and need to focus on keeping a toddler occupied too. I needed something more practical and this is where Cabin Zero bags are perfect. Cabin Zero are a British luggage brand that specializes in cabin sized, lightweight luggage for adventure seekers, they are also ethically conscious company keeping a close eye on their environmental impact. Yay! The name Cabin Zero is from ‘Cabin Sized – Zero Hassles’. The point is that this backpack never has to leave your side, meaning you don't have to wait in endless of queues checking in. You save money and you save so much time. No stress before an adventure. The high-quality ensures long life and durability, creating a bag you can depend upon. They come in a range of colours and sizes and all of them are designed to meet the specifications of most airline carriers, which is amazing! The bags feature a built-in lost and found system, lockable zippers and have huge capacity. Every bag comes with a 10 year warranty too.



I went for a 36 litre classic ultra-light cabin bag in Lipe Blue, which measures 44 x 30 x 20 CM. I love that the blue shade was inspired by the sea at Ko Lipe beach in Thailand a destination that I hope we can explore as a family one day, I can hear the waves already! I really like the design and structure of the backpack. It’s a little boxier than typical backpacks, so it can fit more in without being squished. The front flap opens almost all the way so it’s easy to get things in and out without a struggle or if you're in a rush and need something to bribe a child in a meltdown. This bag is made with a thick waterproof polyester material that feels very durable, has thick-padded shoulder straps, a full lining to protect the inside, heavy-duty lockable zippers, and reinforced stitching. Pretty impressive, right?

For me there are a couple of features that make these cabin zero bags the best choice for travels. There is a carry handle on the top and the side, which makes it easier to lift. The clips on the side offer more support and added security, and a distraction for a certain little lady. Inside there is a compartment that is handy for storing your laptop or a tablets and there is a zipped mesh pockets. But the best feature of all is that these bag has a Global Luggage Tracker, powered by Okoban. I wish all my backpacks, suitcases and handbags had this feature. When you receive your bag simply hop online and register your bag on the Okoban website. The tracker makes your bag so much easier to find should it walk off one day without you. 

In a nutshell, these bags are pretty impressive, look great whilst being very practical for those seeking adventures. This bag will fit all my daughters clothing, essentials and anything else she may need. I’m getting so excited about our family getaway that I’ve already brought a few pieces to take along with me. And in doing so I made a little discovery that l wanted to share with you. I’d like to introduce you to @cabinzero. They do some of the most amazing and colourful cabin bags that are big enough to fill up for those adventures. Do you have a holiday coming up? 🌎👜✈️🏖☀️👨‍👩‍👧 Need a new bag for your travels? 🌸You can get 10% off any orders placed online by using MIMIROSEANDME

10 Top Tips To Save For A Budget Friendly Holiday

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It’s that time of year again when everyone’s thoughts are turning to the summer holidays and planning their upcoming vacations. Holidays are the highlight of most families and are full of the best memories, but let's face it they can be costly! With school costs, living costs and mortgages to pay, extra money goes on the more important things in life but we all deserve a nice holiday, right? If you're thinking about your family's next adventure but things are tight here are some top tips to save for a budget friendly holiday. 


Now when it comes to saving money, I will be the first one to admit that I am not always great at creating a budgeting and sticking to it.  So much so I can sometimes leave myself short and even at times I have found myself looking at payday loans as a way to help out. CashLady, a leading credit broker have launched their first ever consumer credit index, meaning that media professionals have a unique insight into financial situations of many families across the UK. However, I know that I can manage my money a little better if I actually stick to a budget. Last month I went through our monthly expenses and I must admit we are a little frivolous when it comes to spending money, we never go over budget on the weekly shop, but when we go to town we spend our money on things that are not a necessity! So if we want to be able to have a special holiday with the family, then saving is essential. 

Back To Basics

When it comes to looking for the perfect family holiday when you're watching the pennies considering the basic essentials for a holiday is a must. I'm talking about accommodation, travel costs, tours, food and drink and even travel insurance. It all needs to be a factor when it comes to figuring out what is essential or a necessity and what is luxury. Once you have figured these basics out then you'll be able to budget more effectively.

Invite Outside the Immediate Family 

Consider your family holiday on a bigger scale and ask grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins if they'd like to book into a self-catering lodge or house for a week and split the cost among all the family. Every year without fail my husband and I will book a little getaway in the UK with my parents and we will split the cost, ensuring that the holiday is more enjoyable as both parties are not having to pay for the full cost of the holiday, meaning more money can be distributed on other things. 


Go All Inclusive

When it comes to holidays, we often budget for the big things only to be totally unprepared for the many little extra costs that you accrue on holiday. Things like foods and beverages for example can be a massive cost. Sometimes, they add up to be as much as the entire holiday! The good news is there are so many amazing all-inclusive resorts all around that allow you to properly budget for your entire holiday. Even though dining out may seems like one of the most memorable portion of a holiday, keep in mind that most places cater to tourists, meaning it can be expensive. By choosing an all inclusive holiday package is going to be a cost effective choice when it comes to budgeting for a holiday with the family, it's one thing off that preparation list that you don't need to think about.

Think Off-Peak 

Now this may be a little harder for bigger families and for families with school children, but some school at the headteachers and school discretion allow time off when it comes to a holiday, but is all depends on the circumstances, but always seek permission from the school and headteacher before booking a getaway or you may be faced with daily fines. But travelling off peak will save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds! Research, ask a travel agent and look for flexible gaps in the calendar. If you can travel outside the holidays and school term you’re far more likely to nab a great deal.

Use Voucher Code Websites

I am literally obsessed with these kinds of websites, they help so much. So if you're booking a holiday why not check to see if there are vouchers for your holiday? Not with just the flights, but the package or the hotel either. Some websites can offer discounts on airport parking, bringing down the cost of those added extras that you don’t think of. When paying for your holiday we can be quick to forget about costs at airports, parking and holiday money. By checking for extra savings on day trips, activities and the basics you can save you so much.


Do Your Research

One of the largest expenses during any holiday involves the guided tours that are offered, and even though they are tempting to opt into try and avoid these tours in a bid to save some money. Do your research and look into the area and find out the most appealing spots ahead of time. Being a generation where the internet is at our finger tips, this is far more easier than it has ever been before. By simply printing up a map and marking the best spots, you have just become your own tour guide! You can also save a shed load of cash if you pre-book excursions and attractions online too, this may be a great option if you're still planning on these types of excursions. 

No Frills Still Get Thrills!

During the booking process the airlines normally offer you various extra services to make your flight more comfortable. Many passengers book these extra services thinking they are required to do so in order to complete the purchase of a ticket through the website. Booking your preferred seat, purchasing travel insurance or adding priority boarding all make travelling smoother, but will have an effect on the final price of your flight.

Book a VERY Last Minute Holiday

It often pays to get a last-minute deal. But if you can hold your nerve and book – and then travel just a day or so later, you could get an even better deal. Okay, so this one is tough if you have kids, and there’s a risk involved for sure. But if you have some cash tucked away, and know the places to go to save money for holidays on short notice, waiting for the last-minute holiday specials is a great way to get up to 50% off the cost of your holiday. Last minute can mean literally up to four weeks before you go – but think of the savings! So go and have a little look on the internet for the best late deals, cruises tend to be the better option in this instance. 

Holiday Villas and Apartments are Cheaper

Many families prefer to book a comfortable and spacious holiday home instead of a hotel. Renting a holiday home for your family is a much more affordable and often value for money solution. Booking self catering accommodation allows you to prepare all family meals whilst controlling a budget and you don't have to book several rooms for the whole family. Hotels can have good prices, but if you travel with your family, a holiday home can meet your family's requirements and needs far better than a hotel. 

Destination Unknown... Cheap and Value for Money.

Are your priorities sunshine, a decent beach and keeping costs down? Then choosing to go on holiday in the last two week of the school summer holidays is definitely something you should consider. Not forgetting the destination is always a great way to get the best value for your money, especially if you choose a location that is not overly familiar with holiday makers. From the beaches of Brittany to the Costas of Spain, the rivers of the Ardeche to the sparkling coves of Croatia. There’s a Eurocamp out there that’s perfect for your family adventures, perfect to make some big saving for a budget friendly holiday. However, if camping isn't your thing going to some of the best value destinations such a Turkey are a great option. Turkey is especially a great option for those seeking a budget friendly destination, after all the security fears over the last couple of year it is firmly back on the radar for many holiday makers. Not forgetting places like the big and brashy beaches in Bulgaria, The Algarve or even the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. If going abroad isn't a option or you prefer your holidays to feel like a home away from home, you'll love a cosy cottage retreat or a London city break. Just keep it local with a cheap UK holiday. Sometimes I think we forget about exploring the beautiful wonders that are right under our nose. 

There we have it, ten top tips to consider when you're trying to book a budget friendly holiday. There are always ways in which you can save money when it comes to holidays, with a little budget you can still make big savings after all, everyone deserves a holiday.

I can hear the waves already....

That Yellow Dress.

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Today it dawned on me in less than four months you my little lady will start actual SCHOOL. It was only last month that I was waiting for an email confirming your school place, but I somehow didn't think much about it until now. It was that yellow dress, oh you love that yellow dress. But it was you in that yellow dress that I realised that it was happening, a time that I was dreading and time that didn't think would actually come so quickly, but it has and much sooner that I would have liked. You're a little girl. No longer my baby, no longer my toddler but my little girl and now you'll soon start school. BIG school. 


I know as I write this that I’m being completely and utterly daft. Starting school is the beginning of a new exciting stage in your life. But I can't help but think it's the end of an era with feelings of sadness and anxiety too. I don’t know why I am finding it so hard to let you go, but I have to say it’s probably one of the hardest things I have had to do. You have always been there. Always been following me being my little shadow to fill my days with cuddles and giggles, not forgetting a few tantrums along the way of course. You have always been there with snuggles under your favourite yellow blanket as we watched some of your favourite programmes or Rapunzel for the umpteenth time. 


It's the end of those afternoons of snuggles, playing, writing your numbers or baking sweet treats. Our weekdays will consist of getting you dressed into your uniform and actually out the door on time before waving and kissing you goodbye at the school gates. I can't help but feel a little sad. As I watch the clock tick by and eagerly await the three o clock pick up, I know it will be hard for me because it feels like it's the end of something special. For four years I have had you with me pretty much all day everyday and now I feel somehow a little lost, I guess I lost myself a little along the way in this part of our journey. And now I'm left wondering what I will actually do with myself while you're at school. Ever since you made your entrance into the world, we've been together, we've been together every waking moment from the second you were born. Holding you, guiding you, comforting you, playing with you, and even teaching you a thing or two. It's going to be a hard change. 




You have been a delight. You love hard. Your cuddles are the best and you can change my mood in an instant. Your kisses are sweet and caring. And when you get cross? I can’t help but laugh at your frown making us laugh so loudly together. You’re such a character. I love the person you have become, you literally are the best little person and I love knowing that some many people love you as much I do. And even at times where your tantrums go too far and you stamp your little feet we somehow muddle through it. I know you, and you know me like no other person does.


This change is going to be big for the both of us. I know you love Nursery and you’re doing so well, and I hope that you continue to excel when you go up to big school. You’ve been my life for the past nearly four years, obviously you still are my life, but it’s time for me to allow other people to have an influence in your life. And it’s something that I have to endure as I watch you grow and become the best person you can be. 


I'm going to miss you my girl. More than you will ever know. You've been my shadow these past four years. You love to dance, sing, run in a the room or hide in the cupboard waiting for me to freak out not being able to actually find you. Sometimes when I am washing up I will take a peek through the crack in the door and see you putting on a show for an empty couch. Or acting out your own version of Beauty and the Beast. The house will seem quiet without you around. It’s going take me some time to get use to. And I know that I’m not going to wish those days away.


As I am sat here thinking about I think that pinch inside is me I'm feeling a little regretful. I regret those days when I became a shouty mum, and as I put you in room for a time out and left muttering 'Can it be September already?'. I regret those moments more than ever. The late nights, the hours I would count down to bed time, the times where my patience had reached it's peak or I couldn't handle another episode of Topsy and Tim! Or the times where I have told you to wait because I am busy doing something that could have clearly be done later. I regret that I didn't make the most of every single moment we had together for the past four years.


But with only one term left with you I have decided that from now on the cleaning can wait, I’ll work when you sleep and I relish in every bit of you and your amazing personality. The smiles, the giggles, the tantrums, the grumps I want everything. I want to watch every show you put on for me, get down and play ponies or princesses. I want to lay on the sofa with your head on the chest watching your favourite films. It’s just about me and you now. As from September I will be alone, the rational me knows you’ll be fine and you’ll grow in some of the most amazing ways. But I’m a little worried I will be ever so lonely without you.


I’m now going to sneak into your room to cuddle and hold you just for a little while...

I love you little lady.

BIRCHBOX - May 2018: Palm Leaves and Warm Breeze

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My Birchbox delivery was on point this month and for once it arrived in the first week of May. So here we are again, Birchbox time! And this month's Birchbox is definitely going to get you in the mood for summer and help us breathe fresh air into our routines with their Palm Leaves and Warm Breeze box, it's not my favourite design but still cute. Now inside the box, you will find a selection of good size samples of five beauty products, every subscriber will receive the Greenfrog Botanic Bodywash and each subscriber had an option to choose a DOUCCE Lip Stain in either Steaming Red or Amber Rose. During the summer I like to change up my makeup routine and it's all about the corals and pinks so I decided to choose Amber Rose and it's a gorgeous shade. So let's take a closer look, shall we?



DOUCCE Cosmetics. Luscious Lip Stain in Amber Rose. RRP | £21

Let's kick off the review with the exclusive product where subscribers could choose one of two options and for May's exclusive there was a choice of a DOUCCE Lip Stain in either Steaming Red or Amber Rose. Seeing as I am all about the corals and pinks during the summer I had to choose the Amber Rose, what a cute name too? This is a pigmented liquid formula which applies matte, dries in a few seconds meaning it won't transfer to anything and last for hours. I just love how this lip stain glided over my lips, with some wands you tend to make a mistakes and go over your lip line, but this one is perfect. I also like the fact that it came in a small size meaning it's perfect to pop into your handbag or put in a purse for a night on the tiles. 



Greenfrog Botanic. Geranium & Peppermint Botanical Bodywash. RRP | £8.95

I always get so excited when I discover new natural beauty companies, and even more so when they come in a beauty box. Greenfrog Botanic source botanical soap all the way from the Himalayas to make 100% natural, chemical free products. There are no parabens or SLS and no other nasty ingredients. They are vegetarian society approved, vegan and also palm oil free. The ingredients are not only good for your skin, but also the environment. The Geranium and Peppermint Bodywash was the perfect item for me as I often settle for natural bars of soap nowadays instead of gels, due to skin type and I also suffer from eczema. This product does not disappoint. It foams up beautifully and works just the same. It smells floral, refreshing yet uplifting and is great to use during a morning shower. 



Native Unearthed. Activated Charcoal Natural Deodorant Balm. RRP | £7.99

A little while ago I stumbled across a Holistic Massage Specialist who is keen on a more natural way of life especially when it comes to beauty  products and over on her blog she was talking about deodorant and what's actually in them. I must say I was completely shocked at all the different ingredients in them and the harm that they can cause. So I was pretty excited when I saw this little gem in my beauty box. We all know the wonder of activated charcoal, the beauty ingredient of the moment. It's been added to cleansers, face masks, toothbrushes, and even juices for it's ability to absorb toxins and pollutants. This is completely different from any deodorant I have used in the past. I tend to use aerosols and a Nivea roll-on. The activated charcoal deodorant comes in a small jar with a screw-top lid. On opening my first impression was that it looked rather odd, but smelled pretty good and in no way overpowering. I can't wait to see what this is like over the next few weeks. 



Caudalie. Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil. RRP | £18

Micellar waters seem to have become quite popular in the beauty world with lots of brands bringing out their own product to take on the trend. For those who don't know...micellar waters are a type of make up remover where oil is held in the water but in a way where the two don't separate. It is therefore a really effective make up remover that doesn't leave an oily feeling on your face and will help to cleanse and tone your skin too. For me I have been an avid user of Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. However, I have finished my bottle and this cleansing oil came at the right time. I have been using it daily. It’s a lightweight oil that emulsifies when you add a little water – standard procedure for most cleansing oils. It removes make-up effectively, although I need two cleanses to completely remove heavy eye make-up. Then again, I find this to be the case with all cleansers and I double cleanse anyway. But I am finding this one is perfect for getting rid of stubborn mascara and eyeliner without pulling on the skin too much.



Eyeko. Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. RRP | £16

This little liquid eyeliner is set to deliver some serious winged effect punch. This was the product that I was most excited to receive, but let's face it, eyeliner has never really gone out of fashion. I have to say I love discovering a new eyeliner, and this one is pretty epic and gives me some of the best winged eye looks. It’s smudge free and the skinny felt tip end helps make my winged eyeliner work like a dream.


Don't forget to check out our previous Birchbox boxes...








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