October favourites

Beauty

My first proper blogpost in months, so I’m back with some of my current favourites.

First up, I have been loving the Freshly Cosmetics Red Velvet Oil Serum, this is a serum which you put on over your moisturiser just before you go to bed. It helps clear up your skin, get rid of blackheads and hydrate you over night. As you can see I only have enough left for one night as I have really been living for this stuff! You can check it out here. *

For my primer I have been using the Erborian Matte Cream, this is such a great primer which I am also nearly out off. It creates a flawless base for your foundation by blurring your pores. *

Another skincare product which I use nightly is the Pixi Beauty Rose Glow mist, this is an oil spray which I spritz on my face as I’m about to get into bed. Not only does it give an extra boost of hydration, it smells great. *

Another thing I have been doing before going to sleep is applying the Forchic lash serum which has actually helped my lashes grow. When wearing mascara I notice the growth a lot more, it also makes applying mascara so much easier as I don’t have to build the length up as much. *

On my lips my favourite lip product is one of the latest Pixi Beauty launches in the shade Coral Bang. Its such a nice transitional shade as its not a dark red. The formulation is also really good too as it lasts a while and its easy to wipe off. *

The mascara which has been my go to for a couple of months now is from Primark, I saw online that it was a dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex, and I can confirm it is. For only £3, the packaging is gorgeous, it applies great and lasts.

And lastly, the fixing powder from MUA Cosmetics which is the only powder I own, it leaves your skin look matte but your can still see a bit of a glow coming through, it lasts all day and doesn’t look cakey.

*contains gifted products*

Postcards from Pena Palace | Lisbon

Travel

Some tips for visiting Pena Palace from Lisbon:

  • The train from Lisbon is super cheap, around €5 for a return ticket. Trains run twice an hour, they get pretty busy so get there early to avoid standing for 45 minutes
  • When you arrive in Sintra, there are quite a few options for what to do, if you just want to visit Pena Palace then get a taxi
  • There are two different tour buses which are €20 each and offer a hop on hop off service
  • I recommend just getting a taxi as it works out cheaper because Pena Palace might take you the whole day
  • The palace is €7 to get into the gardens or €15 to get into the palace and gardens
  • The busiest time is the mornings, the queue to go around the inside of the palace is long in the morning
  • If you only want to take pictures of the outside then just buy a ticket for the grounds
  • If you pay to go inside the palace, no photos are allowed, if you go in the morning it is very over crowded
    After lunchtime the crowds ease up
    It is very easy to spend the whole day here wondering around

Skylar Scent Club | gifted

Beauty

Over the past few months I have been receiving an amazing little subscription of perfume! Perfume is something which I wear every day and I especially like to take it when I go on holiday. Skylar Scent Club is an amazing little club which send out a travel sized roller ball each month. Each month is such a unique scent and perfect for the month, I have been loving the summer scents especially!

What I also love about the scents is the packaging, every bottle just looks so cute and perfect making it a wonderful accessory to keep in your handbag. As you can see I took all three of my bottles on holiday with me because, why not?

I also find that because they are roller balls and not sprays they last so much longer which is great.

You can use my discount code VICTORIAS10 for 10% off your order!

You can check out their website here for yourself https://skylar.com/pages/scent-club-20?utm_source=VICTORIAS

A Spa Break with Bannatynes {gifted}

Travel

At the beginning of the week I had pleasure of venturing down to Hastings, East Sussex for an overnight spa break which was very kindly gifted by Bannatynes.
I decided to take one of my best friends as we had not been on holiday together in a really long time.

When we arrived at the hotel, it was pretty much everything I was expecting. A big country style house set in the middle huge green grounds, it truly felt like we were on holiday.

The spa is located a short 2 minute walk down the driveway, which we headed to straight away after we had checked in and seen our room. The room was extremely spacious and clean and had really quirky features. The highlight for me was the big bath room and bath tub!

In the spa we were given a little tour of the facilities and were made to feel really welcome. We headed straight to the Jacuzzi as it was empty as I wanted to get some photos in there before it got busy, so we timed it perfectly.

After being outside for a while we decided to try out the steam room and the indoor Jacuzzi before heading back to the room to get ready for dinner that evening.

Before dinner we headed back down to the gardens out the back of the hotel to take some photos, and ordered a cocktail from the bar for some more photos.

The gifted experience included a two course meal, as a really fussy eater I was a little bit concerned about not liking enough of the food, but I can safely say I liked it all. For started I had the watercress soup, followed by chicken in gravy with potatoes and cabbage.

On the second day we woke up nice and early to the sun streaming into our room making it feel like a sauna. We headed down to breakfast, it was buffet style with everything you could of wanted along with made to order specials.

Before driving to Hastings beach we had our treatments in the spa, we both chose to have facials. This was my first facial so I was a little bit anxious about having it as I was just thinking of all the horrible things the person would say about my skin. However, this was not the case. The lady who did the facial was really nice, and I just laid back and relaxed.

Thank you to Bannatynes for giving us this amazing opportunity and allowing us to come and stay!

If you want to get 20% off your own spa break over £200 then you can use my code VICTORIASMART20

Xx

Behind the scenes of Instagram photos | Indoors

Beauty

In todays post I thought I would share how I set up and take my photos as I have had a few questions about this and people are interested to see how I take them.

The majority of my indoor photos I take myself (unless I am actually fully in the frame), this means that I can choose when, where and how I take them.
I find that I am actually only motivated to take photos on certain days, some days I have no creativity or motivation to make it happen. Other days I am craving taking photos and get really excited to shoot.

A lot of the time I look for some photo inspiration on instagram and end up saving photos which inspire me, I use these as an idea for my photos. I have an album saved on instagram full of photos which I love. 

I take three different types of photos, the leg photo on my bed, the typical white wooden background and my bedside table. These three are my go-to and I love the fact this creates continuity on my feed.

The bedside table one is pretty easy, well they all are, I just have a pretty cute set up all the time which is practical but also good for photos. I have a sheet of wallpaper wedged behind the metal basket to create a different background, instead of just a plain pink wall. These photos I can only really take when the lighting is bright as its quite far away from my window so its hard to get bright light. I find this just a really nice way to lay out products and be able to get some nice shots of them, close up and as a whole on the table.

The next style of photo is the typical blogger style flat lay, I love this style so much and it’s my go to for lots of different photos. I asked my grandad to create the wooden background for me as I knew how I wanted it. I love the white wood effect in photos as it creates such a clean look. I also think, just looking at one of my photos you wouldn’t think that it was just a plank of wood sat on my bed.

And the final way is the bed photo, I like to do this one when I am holding a product and can hold the camera over my legs and get the shot that way. To do this I have literally just bought a white sheet from Amazon ad lay it on my bed to give it the effect of the typical ‘bloggers’ bed. Lets face it, I’m really accident prone, and anything I can spill on my bed I will, so white sheets are not practical for me, so this is the only way round it for me. 

Spring Morning Skincare Routine

Beauty

My morning skincare routine is a bit hit and miss, I am the least morning-ist person, so washing my face in the morning before work is a big no! I only wash my face in the mornings at the weekends and if I’m on half term. My morning skincare is a lot more basic than my evening one.

To cleanse I use the Freshly Cosmetics Rose Quartz Facial Cleanser* as I find it really gentle on my skin and refreshing.

To tone I spritz the Dermalogica multi active toner*, followed by The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid. And the final step is the Skin Smoothing Cream* from Dermalogica.

*gifted

Buying shell jewellery from EBay

Beauty

This year the shell seems to be the hot accessory, so I have gone through the whole of Ebay and picked up some of the best things. I have linked everything down below with the prices. I can already tell some of this will be a one wonder wear, like the gold chocker as I reckon it will tarnish, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get a bit more wear out of the other more hard wearing pieces.

Real Sea Shell Dangle Hook Earrings  £3.49

 

Everyday makeup routine

Beauty

I feel like I am pretty set in my ways when it comes to my everyday makeup routine, I tend to use the same set of products and do it all in a certain order and never really switch it up. So here is is my daily make up for work, it generally takes me about 20-25 minutes to slowly apply it all and be ready.

The first thing I do is prime my face, I have been using the Makeup Revolution Pore Blur recently, this has a very silicone feel to it and it makes my skin feel really smooth and soft afterwards.

Once my base is done, I then go and apply my mascara, I have to do this before I do any more of my face make up because I make such a mess no matter what. I have been using the Natural Collection waterproof mascara as I picked it up on a whim, decided to try it out, and low and behold it’s actually really good.

After I have cleaned up all the mascara which is on my face, I apply my foundation. I have just ran out of my favourite one, so I am going to give the Revlon Colourstay* a go for a while and see how I get on with it. To conceal under my eyes I have been using the Thin Lizzy concealer* as this is pretty full coverage. 

To set my make up in place I use the MUA Cosmetics loose translucent powder. I then bronze my face using a bronzer from MUA Cosmetics which was only £1, such a bargain. Followed by the Zoella x Colourpop blush which is super pretty.

To add some highlight to my face I have been using a highlighter stick from Natural Collection which is very similar to Glossier Haloscope Quartz, so I am super happy to have found a dupe for it!

Finally for my brows I use the HD brow pencil from Sainsburys to define my brows and Loreal Brow Plumper to set them in place.

*gifted

My hair care routine

Beauty

Hair care is not something which I take too seriously, I would much rather spend my money on skincare, than my hair. Luckily for me brands like Percy & Reed and ESalon keep my hair looking good. I am very lucky to be able to say all these products are gifted and sent for me to try out.

I use the Percy & Reed shampoo and conditioner , the packaging is just so luxurious and they smell amazing so it’s always lovely being able to use them. I have very long thick hair, so washing my hair is the least favourite part of my beauty routine, I tend to only wash it about two times a week which is more than enough for me. Having great products make washing my hair so much nicer.

After I have washed and conditioned my hair I bung it up in a towel and leave it dry as much as it can do before attempting to brush it. Before I brush I apply some of the ESalon Leave in Conditioner which helps add some more moisture to my hair and makes it easier to tackle.
The brushing is the worst part, no matter, my hair gets extremely knotty! I use either my Wet Brush or Tangle Teezer to battle the millions of knots.
After I have brushed it out, I like to apply a couple of pumps of the ESalon oil, just to help smooth out the ends and prevent any breakages.

Unless I am going out and need my hair to be styled a certain way I just let my hair dry naturally, although recently I have been loving curling it!

Once my hair is dry, the morning after the wash, I like to add in some of the Percy & Reed Wonder Balm, this acts as another leave in conditioner and helps tame it through the day. If my hair is looking a bit on the dull side, then I LOVE adding the shine & fragrance spray from Percy & Reed, this adds shine and makes it smell amazing, which is also great for when you havn’t washed your hair.

Testing the Leighton Denny Tanning range {gifted}

Beauty

I recently just got sent the brand new tanning range from Leighton Denny, I get sent so may tans, and I never really get around to reviewing them, so I have made a conscious effort this month to review these.

My initial impressions are that the products have a really cool and sleek feel to them, they are not overly bulky or huge bottles that you are never going to finish, instead they are the perfect size. I also like the fact that the bottles are black, meaning that no matter how many fake tan accidents you have it wont show and the bottle wont start to look manky and brown. 

I really like that Leighton has bought out a face tan along with body tans. There is a gradual tanner, which is normally my go to keep my tan topped up during the summer months and then an tanning mousse which develops in a few hours. 

My experience

Last night I tested out the mousse and the face tan, this morning when I woke up I looked like I had just nipped over to the Caribbean over night.

Applying the mousse was a really nice experience, the tanning mit that comes with the products had more of a silk feel to it, so the product glided on really smoothly. It did have a guide colour so it was easy to see where you had applied it.

When I woke up in the morning I was very very dark, bordering on the lines of too dark. I panicked and jumped in the shower with a body scrub hoping to undo the bits which had turned really bad. the worse bits, were my hands and feet, which I feel always are the hardest part of your body to tan. But once I was out of the shower and the guide colour had washed away I was looking a lot more bronzed than umpa lompa. I definitely look more brown than orange, but I would say it’s just a little bit outside my comfort zone for the moment, come the summer months when I have a natural tan I think it will look amazing.

The facial tan seems to have a very similar concept to the mousse, it seems to have developed over night and is not a gradual face tan which is what I’ve previously tried from other brands. Once again, I think this will be better suited for me in the summer months with a natural tan. I also like that the moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin e so its also a pretty good night cream!

Spring Evening Skincare Routine

Beauty

To start my skincare routine off every evening, I use Dermalogica Pre Cleanse*, this is an oil which you massage into dry skin and it removes pretty much all your make up, including waterproof mascara! I then use the Special Cleansing Gel* to cleanse my face, this contains lots of great skin ingredients and I find this especially good helping with my spots. The third step to cleansing is using the Daily Microfoliant*, this contains little rice granules and gently exfoliates your skin, removing all the bad stuff. 

Masking is the next step, I have a separate blogpost going up of my favourite masks, but for todays post I have picked two from Pixi Beauty which I like to use a duo. I apply the Peel & Polish* first and massage that in before I rinse it off, then I apply the Glow Mud Mask* which helps with blemishes. 

I use the Pixi Glow Tonic* toner every night with out fail, this is so good as another exfoliation step, and making my skin feel super fresh and glowy. 

On the nights when I’m feeling extra bougie I like to use the Pixi DetoxifEYE* eye patches along with the Glycolic Boost* sheet mask. 

To add in extra hydration and help with acne scaring I use two pumps of Aloe Vera Gel*, I find this really refreshing and cooling on my skin especially in the summer. Under my eyes I apply the Freshly Cosmetics Eye Serum* followed by the Freshly Cosmetics Golden Radiance Oil*.

And finally, I apply Pixi Beauty Rose Ceramide Cream* just before I go to sleep to lock in all the moisture.

*gifted

Ways to combat that Sunday night feeling

Beauty

Over the past few months, the typical Sunday night thought of “it’s Monday tomorrow” has been looming over me. I have developed my own coping tactics on Sunday afternoon/evening to help distract me and get me ready for the week ahead.

To start with, I have made Sunday my ‘Pamper Day’. I have a full on pamper, multiple face masks, foot masks, gel nails hair masks and just anything else which I could pamper myself with. As a few of these things are quite practical, I find it quite helpful as it keeps me busy and prevents my mind from wandering.

I like to get everything ready for the morning, I get my lunch ready, my bag ready and get out my outfit so it is ready and I’m not left faffing around when it gets to 8am.

I also find that having a clean room is also great, I tidy up, pack everything away and make sure everything is organised. I find organising very therapeutic so this is great when I am feeling on the stressed/anxious side of things.

I also like to make sure I’ve got something good to watch to wind down at the end of the afternoon evening. I am a Youtube addict so that can keep me occupied for hours, but I also find watching a series can be pretty good. I do find it hard to get fully invested in shows, so when I find one I like it do tend to binge watch, my go to show at the moment is The Purge!