Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Feel like treating yourself? I think you should. You deserve it!  Struggling for an idea? Well this bumper beauty box from Selfridges is a treat and a half! Sure, it’s pricey as beauty boxes go at £40, but take a look, and I’m sure there will be something that’ll tempt you in. The contents are worth £174 (although I personally think that’s subjective – depending on how many products in it you’ll actually use) and I think there are a few good products in here that make it worth the splurge.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Hair stuff: The iconic (in some circles at least) Tangle Teezer. I’ve never used this before so I’m chuffed to finally have one.

How cute are the pastel Ribband hair ties? Pretty cute! The no-snag ties will be handy as my hair is starting to get to the length where it’s annoying again.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Two Starskin products – a brightening face mask and a cleansing face puff. These both look very interesting to me even though I’ve never heard of them before. Looking forward to trying them out.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

A Nails Inc Gel Effect polish in ‘Chiltern Street’ as well as a £10 gift voucher for a salon service. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to use the voucher (although I may give it to a colleague in Manchester) but it’s a nice gesture. I do like the colour of the nail polish. I don’t own many baby pinks but I do like them so it’s a welcome addition.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

I love Eyeko eye liners, although I’ve only used their skinny ones, so excited to try this one out. Might take a bit of practice though!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Face and body stuff: The Clarins body cream is a generous 100ml and smells gorge. I really need to get better at applying body lotion more regularly – I have enough!

DRAGON’S BLOOD Sculpting Gel from Rodial. I don’t know what DRAGON’S BLOOD is as a skincare ingredient but it sounds all Game of Thrones-ey and I’m down with that.

Some James Read gradual tan for the face. I’ve siad before, but I don’t use fake tan so won’t be using this. By the way, if you want any fake tan samples to try, give me a shout and I’ll send you mine! Genuinely, they might as well go to use.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Lip shit: Oooh – first Nars product! (useless blogger here). This is the ‘Orgasm’ lipgloss. It’s a gold peach. Interesting.

Next is the Illamasqua lipstick in ‘Luster’ – I think that’s the shade name although it could be the finish. It’s a really bright, bright pink. Not sure it’ll suit me but I’ll give it a go!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Lastly, a couple of face sprays. The Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray. This might be a bit drying for me as I don’t have oily skin, but I want to try it anyway.

I do like cooling water sprays so I definitely will use this Caudalie Grape Water. Yey for instant moisturising!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

But wait! That isn’t all! All those products came wrapped in this awesome Alphabet Bags pouch. As well as the funky slogan, it’s really huge and would be perfect as a holiday make up bag. You can fit so much in it. This was definitely the thing that made me what to purchase this box.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

The box itself also doubles up as a neat cat bed. Wins all round.

Have you tried any of these products? Would you buy the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box? Let me know what you think in the comments :)

August Wishlist | Palm Leaf Paradise

August Wishlist | Palm Leaf Paradise

This month’s wishlist is all about holding on to the holiday vibes with some tropical palm leaf inspired prints and goodies.

Left to right, top to bottom:

Corn Palm from Homebase (£39.99)
 This little guy will grow up to one metre. Or he will in a green thumbed house far away from me. I’m getting better with my house-plant keeping though – I’ve been practising on the office plants which are mostly all still alive! When we move into a (hopefully) bigger house I definitely want to put a few plants about the place.

Palm Printed Jacket from Dorothy Perkins (£17.50)
I love this jacket and it’s versatile enough for work and play.

Banana Leaf Phone Case by Kiwihen (£13.90)
I really need a new phone case. I’m a bit bored of my current marble printed one and it’s a bit cracked at the bottom. I love this illustrated banana leaf one – the prettiest of the leaf prints!

The Melt Crowd from Flamingo Candles (£10 per month)
Not exclusively tropical, but Flamingo Candles includes melts such as Tomato Leaf, Mango and Dragonfruit and Tropical Coconut and Honey. I just tried my first melt from them and it rocks so will be signing up for this subscription box very soon!

White Palm Tree Print Shirt Dress from New Look (£22.99)
New Look has stacks of palm prints clothes in all colours from blue, to green, to neon pink to this more subdued black and white number. I could have filled this entire list with New Look, but I decided to settle for just this one as I thought it was the most wearable (for me).

Palm Print Dress with Collar by Iska at ASOS (£14)
Another really pretty, but subtle dress. Spoiled for choice!

What are you wishing for this month? I’m also hoping for some sunshine but feel that might be pushing it!

Wreck This Journal #1

Wreck This Journal #1

Can’t promise this will be a regular thing, but I want to start doing my Keri Smith Wreck This Journal a bit more and share the results on here. Here’s my first few pages – of mixed success!

Wreck This Journal #1 Wreck This Journal #1

Ouchy!

Wreck This Journal #1

Totally gave myself RSI after this.

Wreck This Journal #1

Sweary words written in glitter gel pens. Classy.

Wreck This Journal #1

http://www.toomanyws.com

Wreck This Journal #1

You can’t really see the colours very well, but I floated the book on a bath bomb and now it smells (appropriately enough) lush.

Wreck This Journal #1

The cold never bothered me anyway!

If you have any similar post, please leave me links – I’d love to steal your ideas see them!

Book Review | I Let You Go

Book Review I Let You Go

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is very typical of the kind of book I’ve been reading a lot recently – a fairly classic psychological thriller – but this one brings it’s A-game, making it a must read if you are a fan of the genre.

It’s hard to sum up without spoilers, so I’m just going to let the blurb do it for me:

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating…

The book is split between two points of view – Jenna’s, a traumatised and grieving mother, and DI Ray Stevens, the lead investigator on the tragic hit and run that we see happening in the opening chapter. I really enjoyed this split perspective – you saw Jenna’s emotional journey trying to recover, while through Ray, simultaneously seeing the intricacies of disentangling the case. The author spent 12 years on the police force so this side of the book has an element of authenticity which is often lacking in these kinds of stories. Yes, there is a bit of a clichéd female rookie cop/male senior going on, but it’s not terrible.

If you pick up this book, you’ll see praise on the cover for the “big twist”. If you can resist trying to guess it, it is pretty good. It comes around half way through the narrative and prompts the plot to pick up pace massively. I really liked the twist and how it was handled. Despite what the cover suggests, it’s not the be-all and end-all of the novel – it still holds it’s own after the big reveal and  keeps you hooked until the end.

Overall, I highly recommend I Let You Go if you enjoy thrillers, domestic dramas and crime books – it ticks all three boxes.

#BlogClub June | Talking Paid Links and Disclosure

#BlogClub June

Blogging has become a serious business. As the awareness of bloggers and blogging has crept evermore into the public conciousness, the expectations have risen to ever higher standards, including when it comes to advertising. Although I still see my own blog as very much a hobby and do not plan to monetise it, I do attend blogger events and promotions and occasionally receive samples to review, so understanding the legalities around sponsorship and disclosure is important. With the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) now cracking down on companies and brands who have been flouting their rules (accidentally or knowingly) and readers becoming more aware of the situation, it’s crucial to know where you stand.

So thank goodness for #BlogClub! The June meetup was all about discussing the ins and outs of paid links and disclosure. Sophie from Saints on a Plane led the discussion and had even prepared a handy resource to refer to covering the basics. I’m not going to go into to much detail here as even the basics are a little complicated, but do go and check out Sophie’s post on the subject here if you are interested. It hits the key points about deciding what sponsorship to accept, and how to disclose it properly as well as useful links.

For me, the most important aspect of the whole debate is transparency and trust. Some bloggers seem nervous of declaring when a post or video is sponsored as they think it will discredit their opinion, but actually I think the opposite is true. The more transparent a blogger is, the more I will trust them, including what they say about a sponsored subject. I have a few beauty bloggers who I follow and trust their opinion 100% as I know they are always honest with it. They do have sponsored content, but as this is clearly declared, I can make up my own mind knowing this. I know this is the same for many other blog readers – transparency breeds trust.

#BlogClub June

We were hosted for the evening by Bath & Unwind, a local Bristol company with an awesome office (fully stocked bar and all). I had actually never heard of them before so it was really nice to discover a new company. Bath & Unwind are an online luxury beauty store with a carefully curated line of products from well known brands (such as OPI, Ren and Bumble & Bumble) alongside lesser known brands (Tokyo Milk, Phyto and A’kin). They were really sweet and made sure we had plenty of cupcakes, beer and snacks to keep the conversation flowing. We were also all kindly gifted a product from their range – I received this Aroma Works body cream which smells and feels amazing.

The next Blog Club will be on the 11th August in Bristol and will be discussing how brands can work with bloggers – I’m sure we all have a few ideas on that! You can sign up to attend via Eventbrite here.

I Read the F*@#ing Books | Jaws

Jaws Book vs Film

Here’s a film that I’m sure most people will be familiar with – Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. For, me, it’s one of my all time favourite films. It’s one of the ones I watch repeatedly – whatever time of day, if it comes on TV, I’m hooked again within minutes. I was vaguely aware that it was adapted from a book but never thought about reading it until I happened to see it on offer in Fopp (2 for £5 I think it was). However, as I am interested in book – film – tv – games etc. etc. adaptations I thought I would give it a fair go.

Peter Benchley’s Jaws was first published in 1974, just one year before the film was released as the producers had bought the rights before publication. The overall story arc of the book is the same as the film so will be familiar to most. When a young woman is fatally attacked by a great white shark on Amity beach at the start of the summer, the local police, mayor and business owners are hoping it’s a one off. As a small resort town relying on the summer trade, Police Chief Martin Brody is convinced not to allow the news to go public – believing that it was a one off, a freak accident. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case, the shark continuing to terrorise the beach. When it becomes obvious that the shark isn’t going to move on to more ‘natural’ feeding grounds, Brody teams up with ichthyologist (fish scientist to you and I) Matt Hooper, and pro shark hunter Quint. They head out on to the open water on Quint’s boat Orca to face the great white at sea.

The main difference between the book and the film are the various extra sub-plots in the book and the characterisation of the three main characters. There is also an additional main character – Ellen Brody, the police chief’s wife, who we do see in the film, but don’t get to know her so well. She is an interesting character and although I don’t think this is absolutely necessary, stops the book being entirely male dominated as the film is. Ellen feels like an outsider on Amity island, she is from a wealthy background and used to be part of the holiday crowd so even when she marries the local police chief, she never really feels accepted as a resident. When Matt Hooper arrives they realise they knew each other in their high school years and it triggers a restlessness in Ellen. Their pursuant relationship is uncomfortable, slightly shocking, but adds an element of ‘domestic thriller’ to novel as well as an interesting debate on class and status. It doesn’t redeem Hooper or Ellen to the reader, but instead focuses down Brody’s character more as a consequence. Brody has always suffered with an inferiority complex – from his wife’s wealth. Hooper’s intellect, even Quint’s masculinity – and we see how the fear of being right about this prevents him in confronting his wife about what is going on in their marriage. This also gives you an understanding of many of Brody’s motivations and actions, for example, his reluctance to stand by his convictions and how he allows the mayor and even the local news reporter to dictate how he does his job.

What I found to be lacking in the book was the development of the relationship between Brody, Hooper and Quint while on the Orca. However, I realise this is me looking at it through Spielberg tinted glasses – the scene where they compare scars, Quint makes his Indianapolis speech and they all sing “Show Me The Way To Go Home” is one of my favourites. And, Brody becoming friendly with Hooper just ain’t gonna fly with the whole Ellen affair debacle, BUT, it does mean that all three of them are pretty unlikeable and stay unlikeable for the duration. For this fundamental reason, I have to say that the film is miles, leagues if you will, better than the book.

That said, it’s a good book, even if it doesn’t match up to its, frankly, outstanding film counterpart. If you’re a bit of a sharkophile, you’ll cringe when the shark is described as a mindless killing machine, but because you’ll mostly dislike the human characters you’ll be pleased when he’s doing a good job of munching his way through them.

Have you read Jaws? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments.

Mani Monday | Shark Week

Mani Monday Shark Week

I’ve not done a Mani Monday post for ages but I thought one was due. I’ve actually not had nail polish on my nails for about three weeks which is crazy for me. Well, not crazy, just incredibly lazy! And nail art? Pfft… I think it’s been an entire year since I did anything. So I’m dipping my toe back in the water with a super quick shark week look.

Mani Monday Shark Week

I’m too out of practice to go for anything to rival some of the Shark Week looks by artists like Dull Like Glitter, or Miss Jen Fabulous, so I had to rely on some good old nail decals. These ones are from YRNails and are just £1.50 for 23 in three different sizes. I teamed it with Road Rage from the Barry M Speedy range and topped it off with the Gelly topcoat.

I like it. Might try a proper Jaws-like one soon.