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Miss Beauty London

A month or so ago I received a lovely surprise package from a new brand called Miss Beauty London. For those who haven’t come across Miss Beauty London before, they offer a budget makeup line that is exclusively sold in Poundworld. Their products are described as trend-led, stylish and affordable – a staple for every girl’s makeup bag. Here are my thoughts...

High Shine Lipgloss
I'm not the biggest fan of lipglosses, so I can't say I really had high hopes for this product. Unfortunately, I was right to feel that way. The High Shine Lipgloss in Orangeade* looked beautiful in the packaging, however once on the lips, the colour was very sheer and the main thing I noticed was how shimmery it was – not something I personally look for in a lipgloss. I also found that it had a very sticky consistency, which if out in the wind would result in an annoying hair-stuck-on-lips situation that no one really wants to find themselves in!

Volumising Mascara
Although the Volumising Mascara* felt quite wet upon application, I actually found that it was good for lengthening the lashes. It wasn’t clumpy but it did group some of my lashes together (however they have a tendency to do that anyway). I actually quite like the look it gives, especially for daytime wear.

Pressed Powder
The Pressed Powder in Ivory* is probably my favourite out of the Miss Beauty products I was sent. It’s the perfect shade for me and I like how it doesn’t feel cakey on the skin. I’ve been using it to get rid of unwanted shine and set my makeup with a big fluffy brush. It actually works pretty well!

Miss Beauty London also kindly sent me four of their nail polishes to try. I think the colours all look really pretty and found that upon application, they're actually very pigmented. The shade that initially caught my eye was 369 Purple*. This is an opaque polish with a lovely gel-like finish. It's a beautiful shade that will be perfect for autumn. It says you need to apply two to three coats but if you were in a rush, you could definitely get away with just one.

I also really love 376 Lava* which is the glitter coral pink polish. It's not at all me but even still, I think it's such a gorgeous shade for summer. You need two coats for this one.

The other two shades, 15 Top Pink* and 373 Glitter* are also very pretty. I found that all of the polishes are easy to apply and very fast drying. The only downside is that they don't last very long before chipping (I think I managed a day or two) but you have to remember that they only cost £1 each!

I think that's the thing to remember with this line - it is essentially budget beauty and to say that each item only costs £1, the quality is pretty good. Whilst I can't see myself buying it on a regular basis, I think it would be great for teenage girls who are just getting into makeup and don't want to spend a fortune. If you are interested it trying some of the Miss Beauty London products yourself, you'll find the range in your local Poundworld.

Have you tried anything from Miss Beauty London?
What are your general thoughts on budget beauty brands like this?
*PR Sample

My Second Trimester

I'm nearing the end of my second trimester, so I thought it was about time I shared another update with you. Firstly, I've just got to comment on how quickly this pregnancy is going. I always thought 9 months was such a long time to be pregnant for but now it's actually happening to me, it feels like it's flying by! How I am six months pregnant already, I really don't know.

Stretch marks
As expected, the second trimester has been pretty symptom-free. If you read my first trimester post, you'll know that I managed to escape the dreaded morning sickness (whoop whoop), instead only dealing with painful boobs and tiredness, which was pretty good going. One thing that I have noticed during the second trimester is the appearance of stretch marks. As you can see on the photos, I've got quite the bump, so it's hardly surprising! Whilst I'm yet to notice any on my tummy, I have quite a few on my hips where the skin must be pulling forward but in all honesty, they really don't bother me. Having said this, the lovely people at Secret Saviours have sent me their Anti Stretch Mark Pack, so it'd be great if it stops them appearing on my ever-growing tummy! I'll be doing a full post on it soon.

Baby movements
The other big change since entering the second trimester has been the best thing ever and that's baby movements! I began feeling light flutters quite early on (weeks 14 / 15) but as the weeks progressed this has turned into what feels like rolling movements and even better - kicks! I'm now 26 weeks+5 and the little mr's kicks are so strong. He responds to loud noises (like the dogs barking) and if I put something gently on my tummy, he'll try and kick it off. It's truly the most amazing thing I've ever experienced and it makes me all the more excited for his arrival.

Baby shopping
After I found out I was having a little boy, I started the exciting process of baby shopping. I always thought that baby boys' clothes wouldn't be as cute as baby girls' clothes but I was so wrong! John Lewis have some absolutely amazing baby boy clothes, some of which I've shared in my mini baby boy haul. I've also recently shopped the Next sale and bought so many gorgeous nautical-themed pieces, so I'll definitely have to do another baby boy clothing post soon to show you those.

Although I've still got a few bigger things to buy, I mostly know what I want to get. The only thing I'm having trouble with is a changing bag. I know that sounds ridiculous but I've found they're either super tacky-looking or stylish but expensive. If anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way!

I've finally decided how I'm going to do the nursery and even bought one of the decorations for it this week. I'm thinking of going for a mint green colour scheme, with the white Hensvik furniture from Ikea. Once it's all finished (which is likely to be in September sometime) I'll definitely be blogging about it but for now you can check out my Little Mr Pinterest board to see what I've been drawing inspiration from.

Other changes...
Now I'm getting bigger, I've started finding it a little trickier to do simple things, like getting up off the sofa and I've also experienced slight lower back pain - usually when I've been sitting typing for too long. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to move round more, as although there are SO many benefits to working from home, one of the downsides is that you tend to sit on your bottom all day! I've also been going on some gentle dog walks to keep things moving and trying out a few pregnancy yoga stretches, which have really helped.

Up until the last week or so I'd been sleeping through the night without having to use the toilet but I'm thinking that from now on these bathroom breaks are going to become more frequent! So far I haven't really experienced any heartburn so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I might just be a lucky one.

From around 21 weeks (ish) I started noticing that my boobs were leaking (sorry if you're grossed out). I was a little alarmed at first, as I thought that was supposed to happen later on (i.e. just before the baby arrived) but I've been reassured that it's perfectly normal. Although there isn't a lot, I've been using the Boots breast pads (as seen in my Pregnancy Essentials post) to keep myself comfortable.

During my pregnancy I have been seeing a consultant for my Hypothyroidism. This is something I've been treated for since I was about 8 or 9  and doesn't really affect me in any way but it is something they have to monitor during pregnancy. So far everything has been absolutely fine, they've just been upping my tablets to ensure I'm getting a high enough dosage of thyroxine now I'm pregnant. I think I'm having an extra scan at 32 weeks just to check on the little mr's growth but according to my midwife, he's already a good size!

I've also had the opportunity to listen to my little boy's heartbeat twice at my midwife appointments, which is just so magical. I even filmed it last time so I could share the experience with my family and best friends. I think it made it even more real for them!

The name
I'm pretty certain that I now have a name for my little boy but I'm still keeping it a secret on here. Obviously things could change but the name I've chosen is so special and I absolutely love it. I've already started saying it when I've been talking to him as he kicks away and it feels so right.

The third trimester is fast approaching and there's still so much to do before the little Mr arrives! I'm planning on sharing some more baby / pregnancy posts on my blog, so keep an eye out for them. I also share regular bump updates on my Instagram if that's something that interests you (haha).

If you've made it to the end - a big well done! 
It was a bit of a mammoth post but I hope you've found it interesting.


New Sk:n Favourites

One of my favourite things about beauty blogging is discovering brands and trying out new products, so when these two rather sleek looking products from Sk:n landed on my doorstep, I was pretty excited to give them a go!

For those who don't know Sk:n is actually the country's leading skin clinic, offering specialised treatments spanning from laser hair removal to skin peels. In addition to their treatments, which can be booked at clinics all over the UK, they also have a range of products, designed to help you improve the look and feel of your skin.

I chose the Sk:n Vitamin-Rich Cleanser for Normal / Combination Skin (£16.75)* and the Sk:n Anti-Redness Face Cream (£28.50)* to try out and I have to say, I've been very impressed!

The Vitamin-Rich Cleanser has a lovely creamy consistency, perfect for taking off my makeup and removing impurities at the end of the day. I tend to just pop a small amount on a couple of cotton pads, take my makeup off with it and then rinse my face with water. The cleanser makes removing makeup so easy and leaves the skin feeling lovely and soft. You could use this twice a day, though I tend to use a more refreshing cleansing gel in the morning and then leave this nourishing cleanser for the evening time.

Whilst I don't get a lot of redness, I have found that over the last few months (perhaps since falling pregnant) I've had a noticeable amount around my nose. The Anti-Redness Face Cream has therefore been a really handy product to have on my bathroom shelf. I just pump a tiny amount onto my finger tips and then gently massage it around the affected area. I didn't immediately notice a difference, however after using it for a good few weeks, morning and night, the redness isn't nearly as noticeable!

All in all, I've been really impressed with both these products from Sk:n. They do exactly what they say they will and the sleek, white packaging is a beauty bloggers' dream.

Have you tried any products from Sk:n?
*PR Sample

Mini Haircare Reviews

When it comes to skincare I have dozens of products filling the shelves of my bathroom cupboard but until recently, I've been really lacking in the haircare department. In the past I've felt a bit indifferent about haircare but over the last couple of months I've been making a conscious effort to use more products. The three products featured in today's post have all played a big role in changing my haircare routine.

Botanics Heat Protection Serum - £3.99
I've always been really bad at using heat protection sprays, for no reason other than sheer laziness. However, over the last couple of months I've been using the Botanics Heat Protection Serum from Boots and I really think it's working. I simply apply a little to the lengths of my hair before blow drying it and I'm pretty sure it's making a difference! Not only do I feel like its protecting my hair but I've also found it to help detangle it too, which is an added benefit when you have long, fine hair like me.

Befri Brush by Nanokeratin System - £19.99*
A few weeks ago I was sent the BeFri Brush by Nanokeratin System to try. The brush has a unique look with eight free-moving arms, designed to glide through your hair and leave it silky smooth. The idea is that rather than pulling at your hair, the brush pampers it, helping to condition and strengthen each strand.

When I opened the package, I saw it said ‘for thick hair’ which doesn’t really describe my hair. I have fine hair (and a lot of it) but I still wanted to give it a go. In terms of detangling my hair when it’s wet, it’s an absolute miracle worker. As per the instructions, I brush vertically and then horizontally to leave my hair knot-free. In terms of blow drying and styling, it’s not the best brush for me, however I’m more than happy to keep it as my detangling brush and use a separate one for styling.

Lush Sea Spray Hair Mist - £9.95
The Lush Sea Spray may not be the cheapest salt spray on the market but it's the best one I've ever used. After curling my hair with my GHDs, I simply spritz this onto the lengths and gently scrunch. It has a lovely pleasant scent, isn't at all sticky and offers a hold better than any hair spray I've used! Made from vegan-friendly, natural ingredients, it surely must be better for your hair than applying a load of chemicals? I love the beachy look it helps to create and will definitely be repurchasing it as soon as it runs out.

Have you tried any of these haircare products?
*PR Sample

Boots App

With a little one on the way, I decided that I needed to make it my mission to become a savvy shopper. This has meant cutting down on things I don't really need i.e. more makeup and making better use of the coupons and vouchers I get sent. After getting an email about Boots' Points Millionaire campaign, I decided to download the app and see what it was all about - after all, who wouldn't want to win one million points to spend at Boots?

Entering the Points Millionaire draw was so easy, all you had to do is enter your advantage card and visit the 'My Offers' section but upon reaching it, I actually realised how bloomin' useful it was!

This section of the Boots app shows a list of personal offers, which for me are predominantly baby related. I found so many great discounts and even a couple of freebies (breast pads and pregnancy vitamins), which I went to pick up from Boots on Sunday. All you have to do is download the offers onto your advantage card from the app and then present your advantage card at the checkout. It's as easy as that!

Whilst I haven't tried out the mobile app for shopping yet, I'm really impressed with the offers and will definitely be using it on future Boots trips. What's even better is that as a Boots Parenting Club member, you can collect 10 advantage points for every £1 you spend on baby products, so you end up racking up free £££ to spend at Boots in no time!

This post isn't sponsored by Boots or anything, I just wanted to tell other mummies-to-be and even just other Boots shoppers out there, because it's such an easy way to make savings on those must-have purchases.

The Boots app is free to download from the Apple App Store & Google Play.

Wardrobe Staple: Leggings

We all have our own wardrobe staples from the LBD to the Breton Stripe tee but one of my absolute must-haves is a good pair of leggings. Even before I was pregnant, I enjoyed wearing jeggings (a cross between jeans and leggings) but over the last few months, leggings have been one of my favourite things to wear.

So what makes leggings one of my wardrobe staples?

Well firstly they’re super comfortable! Just try on a pair and tell me you’re comfier in your skinny jeans – I think not. Whether you’re just lounging around in the house or popping out to the shops, you can guarantee that you’ll feel nice and cosy in a pair of leggings.

But just because leggings are comfortable to wear, it doesn’t mean they’re not stylish! You only have to take a look at these fashion leggings to see that they’re well deserved of their title as a wardrobe staple. Whether you’re into checks, metallics, leather look or velvet, there are fashion leggings designs to suit all! Pop on a pair of heels and a long-line top and you've got yourself the perfect smart-casual outfit for an evening out.

I think the fact that leggings are so versatile and go with so many different outfits also makes them a wardrobe staple. I like to wear mine with either a long top or an oversized piece of knitwear. They also look great with both ankle boots and sandals, making them perfect for all seasons.

Here in the UK, it’s rare for the weather to be warm enough to have your bare legs out but if you’re too warm in jeans, leggings make the perfect in-between garment. They’re light enough so that you’re still comfortable yet provide enough cover up so you’re not feeling exposed. A win-win I’d say!

If you’re looking to stock up on this wardrobe staple either for the more cooler summer days or for the upcoming A/W season, I definitely recommend checking out the World of Leggings website. They stock leggings in all sorts of amazing prints and textures, with something to suit all tastes.

I really love the look of the velvet leggings (velvet’s topped to be a big trend next season). I'll definitely be styling some myself once I’ve welcomed my little boy into the world and said goodbye to my ever-growing bump!

What do you class as your wardrobe staples?
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New Look Maternity

With the weather getting warmer, I thought it was about time I treated myself to a few maternity bits for summer. Luckily New Look had a sale on so I managed to pick up this gorgeous stripy dress for just £10. I've always loved stripes but even more so now I'm pregnant!

I also bought these gorgeous floral gem sandals. They're the prettiest sandals I've ever owned! I was tempted to get the gold version too but unfortunately they don't have my size.

Cat eye sunglasses - Zara // Stripy maternity dress - New Look // Floral gem sandals - New Look

As you can see, my bump's getting pretty big now! I'm 25 weeks+1 today and can't believe how quickly everything's going! My pregnancy app told me there's just 15 weeks to go and I had to do a double take! Look out for my second trimester update, which I'll be posting over the next week or so. If you want to, you can read my first trimester post here.

I also picked up a couple of other maternity tops in the New Look sale, which I'll probably end up featuring in other outfit posts, so keep an eye out for those!

This post contains affiliate links

Cactus love

Over the past few weeks I've been sprucing up my bedroom. The walls are now wonderfully white and I've got the dark flooring I've always wanted. Whilst I do like to keep my interiors simple, I also wanted to add a few simple touches to make the room more 'me.' With this in mind, I thought I'd share a series of posts featuring some of the room additions I've picked up, starting with these adorable little cactus plants.

They may look cute but don't let their appearance fool you - they're super spiky...trust me! 

What I love about cactus plants is that they don't take a lot of looking after. I've never been very good at keeping plants alive so hopefully this will work out better. They're currently sitting on my window sill and they look oh-so-lovely. I'm thinking they'll make a great prop for some of my blog photos too.

The three cactus plants come as a set and cost just £4.50. You can also buy them in various different pot colours but the white is definitely my favourite. I think they make a lovely 'green' addition to my room and even if I do somehow manage to kill them, at least they didn't cost a fortune!


Pregnancy Essentials

I'm now 24 weeks pregnant and although I've got a good way to go yet, I thought I'd share some of my pregnancy essentials so far. Warning! They're not the most glamorous of products.

Palmer's Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Despite initially calling the cocoa butter scent 'too sickly' on Twitter (I was going through a stage of not liking sweet scents), the Palmer's stretch mark lotion has ended up being my favourite pregnancy product. It sinks into the skin really quickly and actually smells gorgeous (my normal nose has returned haha!) I love that it has a pump for easy application and also like that it's very reasonably priced (currently £2.19 in Boots). The big question, does it help with stretch marks? I don't think any product can really prevent stretch marks but this is certainly keeping my skin nice and supple. I've not got any stretch marks on my stomach yet but I do have a few on my hips and boobs. I can't say they bother me - it's all natural - but I'm still going to use this product to keep my skin feeling nice and nourished.

Ark Age Prepare Moisturiser* & Merumaya Overnight Recharge cream*
All in all my skin's been pretty good in pregnancy so far - I've definitely not noticed the usual 'hormonal' spots and blemishes, which has been great. The only thing I'd say is that it has possibly been a little drier than usual. This is why I've been focusing on hydrating the skin with the Ark Age Prepare Moisturiser and Merumaya Overnight Recharge cream. Both offer just the right amount of moisturisation, without being heavy on the skin.

I've also been keeping my lips hydrated with the Origin Lip Balm*, which unfortunately has lost it's label. You can read my full review of it here but it's definitely the best lip balm I've ever used!

Boots Disposable Breast Pads & Bodyform Liners
This is where I start grossing you out. I would apologise but I'm trying to be honest about my 'essentials' rather than pretend they're all glamorous...pregnancy just isn't like that! So yes, I've had to start using breast pads. I thought that my boobs wouldn't leak until closer to the time / after I'd had my little boy but turns out it can happen a whole lot earlier! Don't get me wrong, it's not a crazy amount but enough to notice, so I've started slipping these in my bra and they've done just the trick.

I'm not going to gross you out any further by talking about using the other product but if you're pregnant / have had a baby, I'm sure you'll agree they're a good thing to have.

Other pregnancy essentials
Pregnancy vitamins are an obvious pregnancy essential but I completely forgot to photograph them. I've tried a few different types since getting pregnant but the ones I'm currently taking are from a brand called Valupak. I picked them up from my local pharmacy for £2.99 which makes them much cheaper than some of the other brands out there and I'm pretty sure they're exactly the same (but please ask your pharmacist - don't take my word for it).

Another pregnancy essential, which isn't really an essential at all but something I've been using is my One Line A Day journal. To tell you the truth, I've not been writing in it every day but more so when something has happened, like when I found out I was pregnant, when I had my first scan, when I found out I was having a boy. All of the important things that I wanted to document. I think it'll make a lovely keepsake, even if I've not filled it in in the conventional way!

What are / were your pregnancy essentials?
*PR items
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Soap & Glory Minis

I've been a huge fan of Soap & Glory for years (even before my days of beauty blogging) so I was over the moon (albeit a little confused) when Boots sent me these three little minis to try. Has anyone else been receiving gifts from Boots through the post? I received three separate parcels, each with a Soap & Glory mini inside. I don't know if this is a new thing they're trialling but it was such a lovely surprise!

The Righteous Butter
In terms of body moisturisation, The Righteous Butter* ticks all of the boxes. It nourishes the skin, has a lovely scent and doesn't leave you feeling sticky. The skin on my arms has been particularly dry during my pregnancy, so I've found this a really useful product. It says it's a 'Very Dry Skin' formula but I reckon anyone could benefit from the extra hydration it offers.

Vitamin C Facial Wash
Out of the three products, the Vitamin C Facial Wash* has definitely been my favourite and funnily enough I've never come across it before! It's a gentle gel cleanser that has tiny pink exfoliating beads, great for cleansing the face and getting rid of dead skin cells. I find it really refreshing and love using it in the shower in the morning to cleanse my face and wake myself up! I'll definitely be picking up the full size of this when my mini runs out.

Hand Food 
I've tried Hand Food* before and have always found it to be a really great hand cream. I can't say hand cream is something I particularly enjoy using (even though mum's been telling me how important it is all my life) but I do find this one very soothing and not at all greasy. It has the same 'traditional' Soap & Glory scent, which I love and is the perfect size for throwing in your handbag.

What's your favourite product from Soap & Glory?


*Samples sent from Boots

Mini Baby Boy Haul

Teddy Bear All-In-One - £7 (Next Clearance) // Bear Print All-In-One - £10 (Next Clearance)

If you saw my gender announcement post a couple of weeks ago, you'll know that I'm having a baby boy! Since then, I've started buying a few bits and bobs, so I thought I'd share some of the cute little clothes I've picked up...

Soldier Sleepsuit - £12 (John Lewis) // Terrier Stripe Sleepsuit - £12 (John Lewis)

For some reason, I thought I'd find it difficult to find baby boy clothes I loved but my oh my was I wrong. Next and John Lewis have been my favourite stores for baby shopping so far. They've just got so many lovely outfits! I mean, how cute are those soldiers? And don't even get me started on the little dog and his crown.

Lion sleepsuits - £12 (Next)

These adorable lion sleepsuits are from Next. You get two in a pack, plus the matching hat below for £12, which I'd say is such a bargain!

As you can see, I couldn't get enough of the Dog in the City collection from John Lewis and ended up getting these amazing dungarees. The striped jumper from Next was actually our very first baby purchase and it couldn't be more perfect.

Dungaree set - £16 (John Lewis) // Stripy Jumper - £9 (Next)

Last but not least I picked up these cute white and grey bodysuits from Tesco. I still can't get over how tiny they are! They came in a pack of five for £6, which again is so reasonable. I absolutely love white and grey (it's my favourite colour combination) but they have them in baby blue and white too, so I'm tempted to get those as well.

5 Pack of Grey & White Bodysuits - £6 (Tesco)

I've still got a lot of things to buy (including some much bigger purchases) but I just wanted to share a few of the little bits I've collected so far. A big thank you to my mum and dad for treating me to the John Lewis baby clothes. They're just the best.

Are you currently baby clothes shopping?
Share some of your favourite finds with me below!

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