11 Nov 2018

Shea Moisture: Natural, Organic and Cruelty-Free Haircare



If you've been reading my recent posts, you know that I've been on the hunt for more natural products. Discovering skincare is one my current favourites at the moment but I realised that I've also used a haircare range that ticks all the boxes: natural, organic, cruelty free and many many many other things.

I introduce to you Shea Moisture! So I've used Shea Moisture for a while - the Raw Shea & Cupuaçu range is great for frizzy hair and I've already mention the Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner in this blog post. But the brand has a new range out and I knew I had to share it on the blog.

The Manuka Oil and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo, Conditioner & Hair Masque* is made for those with dry & damaged hair, aka me.



In the shower, I shampoo first and let the product sit in my hair for a bit before rinsing off. I then pop the conditioner on and keep that on for a few minutes also. After washing & drying I noticed an instant difference in my hair. It was so soft and felt very replenished.

The three main ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner are Manuka honey, mafura oil and fig extract. They bring in moisture, controls damage and contains the antioxidant, vitamin C, which protects the hair and keeps the hair looking vibrant.



The hair masque is my favourite product in the range because it isn't your typical hair mask. You can either pop it on for 5-10 minutes and wash it off as a quick treatment or leave it in, put a plastic wrap (or shower cap) on your hair and apply heat for up to 30 minutes for a luxurious treatment. The Manuka honey in the ingredients acts as a humectant, which draws moisture into the hair. It sounds a bit like the haircare version of hyaluronic acid!



As well as being hydrating, the range is also free from sulphates, paragons, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic colour and petroleum - which is a-ma-zing.

I also really like the back story to the brand, which is on the back of their bottles, so I thought I'd share. Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside.

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Have you tried Shea Moisture before?



*PR Sample
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7 Nov 2018

Current Lifestyle Favourites



Can we just talk about how we are almost in 2019? I know that everyone is probably saying that but I'm actually so surprised how fast the year has gone by. I love the New Year - it's a chance for a fresh start, new beginnings and an opportunity to start over. I definitely want to plan some posts around New Years, planning and organising for it and other 2019 related content - if you have any ideas, let me know!

Anyway, I've found that I've accumulated some favourites from the past few weeks and months so I thought I'd share the current lifestyle bits I'm loving...





Something kinda boring but really excited me is the Nuxe Deodorant*. I was on the hunt for a natural deodorant as I've heard they can be really harmful for you and came across this one on Notino. It is really good  and also does not contain any alcohol but unfortunately still has aluminium - which is meant to be one of the most harmful ingredients in deodorants.

I bought the men's version for my other half and oddly, that one is free from aluminium so I might just purchase that version for myself next time!



Another Notino* find (that website has all the good stuff!) is the Woodwick Candle in Oudwood. As it gets darker earlier and the weather is colder, I love making our bedroom feel cosy and more hygge with candles. The Mr isn't so keen on my feminine fragrances and throughout the summer I've been lighting coconut scented tea lights so to switch it up, the Oudwood fragrance is perfect.



So I bought the Maybelline Lash Sensational Serum about two months ago and have been using it as much as I can - definitely not twice a day like he recommended amount - but I've definitely seen some results with it. It has made my lashes a little longer but mostly strengthened it. It claims that you see results within 6 weeks of using as per the instructions and I definitely noticed the length at the point but I most definitely didn't use it morning and night.

You pop the product on as you would a normal mascara rather than lining your lash line with it like other lash growth products. It's very easy to use and I definitely recommend it!



At the end of September I attended Little Old Goose's brush lettering workshop. I saw the post pop up on Twitter and thought I'd try something new so I booked in. I really enjoyed the class, she is really talented and I got to grips with the techniques really quickly. You don't have to have neat handwriting or be creative, you just have to be patient. If Lucy is coming to your hometown for a workshop, I highly recommend attending!



This is probably a forever favourite but I've really been into more regular pamper evenings over the past couple of months. I've been treating myself to a pamper evening at least once a week, whether it is at the weekend or mid-week, whatever day it is, it really makes me feel good. The J.One Black Jelly Pack mask is one of my favourites at the moment to use too. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious I recommend spending some time to yourself to have a little pamper and relax.



What have you been loving lately? 



*Notino kindly provided me with a gift voucher to purchase these products. All opinions are my own as always.
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28 Oct 2018

Three Hair Treatments To Try



My last post was all about my current favourite face masks for my weekly pamper routine so I thought I'd share my current favourite hair treatments too.

My hair is rather unruly, frizzy and honestly just has a mind of its own so a once-a-week treatment is the least I can do for it! I'm also trying to grow my hair out so keeping it in tip top condition is a must. If you have a similar hair type or just fancy a good hair mask / leave-in conditioner / hair growth treatment recommendation, I'd definitely recommend giving one of these a whirl.



I'm sure you've seen this one all over Instagram, but there is a good reason why. The Coco and Eve Super Nourishing Masque not only smells a-ma-zing (thanks to the coconut and fig ingredients) but does a fantastic job of smoothening and hydrating the hair.

I use this in a few different ways:
- Wash my hair as usual with shampoo and apply this as a conditioner, leaving the masque on for about 10-15 minutes, and wash out.
- Apply on slightly damp hair and keep on for 30+ minutes as a deep conditioning mask before washing out in the shower.
- Pop the product on dry hair and sleep on it overnight - the results are amazing this way!

This masque is on the pricey side but if you are after a luxurious hair mask that leaves the hair feeling soft, smooth and less frizzy, this is the one for you!

The brand state that the masque is for all hair types - they recommend using the product 2-3 a week for dry hair and 1-2 for oily hair (I prefer to use it a bit sparingly as it is expensive). It is also free of sulphates, is cruelty-free and vegan, so a huge bonus!



If your hair is prone to frizz or is extremely dry or damaged, I really recommend the Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner (available to purchase at Boots or Superdrug). They are a natural haircare brand that is also free of nasties like parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, DEA, petroleum, formaldehyde and propylene. I also use the Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner (from various ranges - review will be coming soon!) and have zero complaints. They are truly amazing.

I apply this product on damp hair and use a small amount. I make sure to massage it into the hair and not use too much as it is a rather heavy product. I'd recommend this for those who have thick, curly, frizzy or unruly hair.



As I am trying to grow my hair, I've read that the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment is one of the best products on the high street market. It sets out to encourage hair growth but also provides extreme deep conditioning, strengthens the hair, moisturises the scalp and improves volume.

I use this every now and then and keep it on for as long as possible before rinsing out. I left this on overnight once and my hair was so smooth and soft after washing out the next day.

It is a simple, easy to use mask, which does a great job at moisturising and encourages hair growth. My hair has definitely grown a lot as this product is one of the few that keeps my hair in great shape.



What are your favourite hair treatments? I'd love to know! 
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24 Oct 2018

Korean Beauty: Korika Masks



Today's blog post is all about masks! Once a week, I do try and have a pamper session, even if it is a mini one. There's just something about popping on a face mask & having some me-time that just balances out the week and makes me feel great.

Korika (available to purchase on Notino*) is a Korean beauty brand which uses Asian technology combined with active ingredients to create amazing masks for your face, hands & nails, feet & lips. I've always wanted to try K-beauty but never had the opportunity to! Korean beauty is spoken of very highly in the beauty industry too so I was very excited when I finally had the chance to try Korika.

There are three different ranges: StarBeauty (premium & luxurious), NaturBeauty (has natural extracts) and SciBeauty (masks for the face but also hands, feet and lips). Each mask focusses on a different skin type too, so whatever your skin requires, there is a mask for it!



I have mainly dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin so my favourites from the NaturBeauty range are the nourishing and calming sheet masks. They feel very nice and soothing on the skin and does exactly what it says!

Also, as you know from reading my more recent blog posts, I've been very interested in making the change towards using more natural skincare products. Since the NaturBeauty range contains natural extracts, I can definitely feel the effects it has on the skin after using.



Recently, there have been loads of beauty products which contain 24k gold. At first, I thought it was a gimmick but after reading up on the benefits of gold, I learnt it has several positive effects such as slowing down depletion of collagen in the skin, brightening the skin's complexion and overall, keeping the skin more youthful. I used the StarBeauty Brightening Face Mask with 24 Gold and it did exactly that.



The SciBeauty masks also sound brilliant! I have one that focusses on detoxifying and the other is a stress-shield one. I would definitely use these during a tough week!



The Korika masks are amazing, have something for everyone and ranging from £4 - £9, it is very inexpensive! You can browse and purchase the collection here




* I was very kindly sent these products to try by Notino but as always, all opinions are my own :)
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21 Oct 2018

My Handbag Essentials



Remember when blogger's used to do 'what's in my bag' videos? This blog post is basically that but without all the receipts, loose change, sweets & whatever else gets thrown into my bag! I often switch my bags out and found that I always carry a few essentials whether it be in my work bag, weekend bag or evening out bag (like that ever happens). I thought I'd share my handbag essentials in case you were as nosey as I am...



First things first, I always have a tub of Vaseline. I'm a big Vaseline fan but a) it's cheap, b) it is easy to carry around and c) it actually works! My husband hates this habit but I honestly can't live without my previous Vaseline tub.

Next up, a cream. I'm currently carrying around the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser because I got a mini tube and it was made for my handbag. Also, it is a great moisturiser for your face. I have been going out make up free 90% of the time and always apply cream when I can (as my skin is v dry) so this cream does a fab job as it is a part of my skincare routine sometimes anyway.

Hand cream is also another must-have, especially as the weather is getting colder and skin is getting more chapped. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Hand Cream is what is hanging around currently. I can't say much about it apart from the fact it is hydrating and smells amazing!



Hand sanitiser is a definite staple in my handbag - again this time of the year calls for colds and flus and all sorts going around so clean hands is important! This one by Rituals was kindly gifted to me and I feel so luxurious every time I use it!

I always carry around a Travalo with a fragrance in it because you never know when you'll need that extra spritz! Rather than buying rollerballs or mini versions of fragrances or even lugging around a big perfume bottle, it is easy to decant your fragrance of choice into a travel atomiser.



I also notice that even though I carry around my trusty Vaseline, I always have a lipstick or lip colour in my bag. I have had the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy in the red shade in my handbag for quite some time. As I have been going make up free, a little hint of colour on my lips looks quite nice once in a while.



In case you were wondering, my beautiful burgundy handbag and purse is by Marc Jacobs and was featured in my last blog post if you fancy purchasing it!



And those are my handbag essentials. What are your must-haves? 
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14 Oct 2018

My Weekend Style | Autumn Edition



PSA: It is officially autumn! Okay.. I know I'm late to the party but better late than never. Anyway, as the past few weeks have been getting colder, heatings been turned on and my summer wardrobe switched over - I am finally settled with the new season. I really like the autumn time, the weather is just perfect and it is probably one of the prettiest seasons.

I thought I'd share one of my go-to autumnal weekend looks - whether it is for shopping, brunching or a day trip! I find this outfit to be practical, seasonal and trend-led too.



So one of the first things I pulled out for the colder season was my trench coat. It isn't a super thick or warming coat yet isn't so lightweight that it just flies around in the wind. I also appreciate how a trench coat is a classic staple and capsule item in my autumn and winter wardrobe so it's one of those pieces that goes with many things, if not everything!

Trench coats don't just come in a typical beige colour nowadays. There are plenty of colour variations now so you can definitely find one that suits you, your style and your personality. I've even styled a trench coat for the summer (a British summer, that is) so there's a trench for every season.



Next up, these jeans. I recently popped into Primark after ages and surprisingly did not go super crazy but I did get my heart set on these jeans. In a light blue denim and mom jean style, they are super comfortable and wearable. I usually associate light coloured denim with the spring and summer months but bringing it into my autumn wardrobe has surprisingly been easy as it breaks up the darker and neutral tones.

I also like to wear these jeans with a top tucked in (like this outfit) or even with a shirt or a jumper untucked for a more Rachel from Friends vibe. I find that the fit is surprisingly good for a Primark pair of jeans, due to the 'new sizing' I had to pick up a size 4 - usually I am a 6-8.





This thin black knitted jumper is one of my favourites for the colder months. I like the frill details on the top as it gives, what would otherwise be a plain black jumper, a bit of an umph. The jumper is an old piece from Mango but there are plenty of frilly jumpers on the highstreet nowadays.





My heeled ankle boots have been in my wardrobe for yonks now and I always reach for them, whatever the season. Black boots are a staple piece, a capsule item and must-have in any wardrobe, in my opinion.

This beautiful burgundy maroon bag is by Marc Jacobs and it was a honeymoon treat from my husband. I fell in love with the colour of this bag because although it is not black, it seems to go with a lot of my clothes. I also think it is the epitome of this season and matches so well with the autumn colour palette. The style is what drew me to it too, I like how it is a saddle bag style and not too big or too small.




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7 Oct 2018

An Introduction To Space NK



A few weeks back I was invited to the latest Space NK store opening in Market Harborough, Leicester. Not only was I excited (to say the least) to even be invited by such a huge company, I was also very much looking forward to finally get the chance to try the brands and products in store! I feel like Leicester is filled with so many amazing beauty stores but deprived of some brands - which Space NK have now filled the void for.

I was lucky enough to get a tour around the store, be introduced to brands I've never seen or heard of before and meet the team who kindly gifted me with some of Space NK's best products. I also (obviously) had to purchase a few bits that I could not leave the store without so I thought I'd give a little rundown of the products & brands and introduce to you what I was introduced to by Space NK.



The products I was introduced to and purchased are skincare based but they also stock a bunch of beauty brands such as Hourglass & Nars and had an impressive candle and home fragrance collection (which was beautiful!). Anyway, onto the skincare products...

I was looking for something to soothe my dry irritable skin and my current collection of masks don't fully cater for moisturising. One of the Space NK team recommended the Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask which can be applied in a thick layer and washed off or you can use it as an overnight mask instead. So far I really like it and my skin feels very hydrated in the morning.

For body moisturisation the Oribe Côte d'Azur Restorative Body Crème* is divine. This not only smells good but feels so luxurious on the skin! I feel like this is a true pamper evening product.

I have always seen the Herbivore brand in peoples collections from Instagram - probably because their products are so pretty - but I was introduced to the Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Cream and fell in love with how it made my skin feel. It is so hydrating and is definitely a rich moisturiser, best for night time but can also be used in the day.

I remember a few months back the beauty bloggers I watched and read went crazy for IGK. It is a haircare brand that is killing the game when it comes to all things hair. I was kindly gifted the Direct Flight Dry Shampoo* and purchased the Thirsty Girl Leave-In Conditioner because it is meant to be the bomb for controlling frizz!



I was kindly gifted a lot of cleansers and I am glad because I've really been struggling to find the right cleanser in drugstores. The first is the Darphin Cleansing Foam Gel* which seems like a good everyday cleanser. I've heard rave reviews about the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel* so I'm excited to give this a go and I really have high hopes. Finally the Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser* seems to be a bit of a scrub / cleanser hybrid but would be good for those heavier make up days.

I've never tried anything by Caudalie but I finally get to. The Vinosource Quenching Serum* is, again, for ultimate hydration for skin like mine and I'm excited to test this out and see how it works within my skincare routine.



So those are just a small handful of the brands that are available in Market Harborough's Space NK. If you are in the area or based in Leicestershire, it is located at 28a High Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

My first experience in beauty wonderland - Space NK - was amazing. I took my mum along and she had a blast too and we are now planning another trip to empty our bank accounts with my sister too!

Have you been to Space NK? What are your favourite buys? 





*Gifted by Space NK
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30 Sep 2018

Our Wedding Day | The Details



As we have now come to the last of my Wedding Month blog posts I thought I'd finally share the finer details of our wedding day. I often get asked about the who, what, why, when and where's so I'll go through all of the deets for you all!





The Venue

We had our wedding at the gorgeous new venue situated in Braunstone Park in Leicester, Winstanley House. It is a recently refurbished building and now a boutique hotel with stunning guest rooms, two receptions rooms and a restaurant. We had some rooms booked for the night before the wedding so we all got to relax before the big day. The hotel is so beautifully designed and I knew it would make the perfect location.

We hired the Grand Ballroom, which holds up to 400 people but we had 300 guests - sounds like a lot, I know! Asian weddings are rather large because we have huuuuge families. Anyway, the guests were sat comfortably on round tables with lovely candelabras in the centre of each one.

The service by the venue was good but not great, as they had only just opened very recently they seemed a bit unorganised at moments but it wasn't so bad. I really recommend visiting this venue if you are looking to get married in Leicester.



Caterers

In terms of food and drink, we used the in-house caterers whose menu includes traditional Indian food. We met the chef during our food tasting and he was so lovely and listened to all our critiques about the food and on the day, everyone really enjoyed it!



Wedding Cake

If you are Leicester based, you may know that there are several bakers based in the city on Instagram. My aunt (aka wedding planner) recommended her friend who goes by @CandyCottonCakes on Instagram. We went for a classic style naked cake with flowers that matched my bouquet and the flowers in my hair too. I wanted to surprise my husband with his favourite cake flavour - lemon. He really enjoyed it and was indeed very surprised!



Favours

Our wedding favours were little bottles of zam-zam (holy water) and we also had a little jar of dates in the centre of each table. We got the bottles and jars from waresofknutsford.co.uk and they were a breeze to deal with. Organised, quick and easy!

Invites

I don't have pictures of our invites (as they contain a lot of personal information) but if you are Leicester or East Midlands based, I'd highly recommend Design&PrintCo. They listened to all my wants and needs and created the perfect wedding invitation.

Photo Booth

We had a Photo Booth at the wedding which was the best idea ever. The guests really enjoyed it and we got a very cool guestbook with the most hilarious photos! We went with Jackstar Weddings and they were very nice and easy to work with. Very happy with their service.





Photographer

I really struggled with choosing a photographer but I'd heard some great reviews about Sofia Mughal. At first, I was really happy with the decision but on the day of the wedding she was very unorganised and I wasn't 100% happy with the images and service. It's been almost 6 months since our wedding and we've only just received our wedding album - a whole 3 months after I was promised I'd get it. I hate to give bad feedback but I did send my concerns to Sofia and I feel I am entitled to share my own opinion, especially on my own blog.

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