Wednesday, 27 September 2017

September Favourites

September Favourites

This month, we said goodbye to the Summer and hello to Autumn, or Fall for my American readers. Sidenote - does anyone else much prefer the word Fall?! I am always happy to say goodbye to the Summer months. I love the longer days and the nice weather, but I much prefer Autumn fashion. Layers are my thing. Bring on the scarves, gloves, hot chocolates and the cosy nights in. 

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation
For work, I don't like to wear my more expensive, full coverage foundations. So, this month, I purchased this No 7 foundation to be my weekday foundation. Yes, I know how extra that sounds. But, I don't want to be putting £36 foundation on my face just to go to work. I often find a lot of cheaper brands of foundation can be really drying on my skin and just look awful by the end of the day. This one isn't the same. At £15 it isn't the cheapest foundation on the market, but because of this, it is really good quality and isn't drying at all. This foundation is really long lasting is pretty good coverage too.

L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara
This mascara has been all over Instagram and I also bought into the hype around this product. This is a bold statement, but it's probably the best mascara I have ever used. Never before have I used a mascara that has left my lashes looking so full and volumised. All those before and after pictures you see on social media with this product are true. Totally love it!

Batiste Stylist Texturising Spray
This month has been the introduction of Kate with short hair. You might have already seen on Instagram, but earlier this month I went for the chop and donated about 10 inches of hair to the Little Princess Trust. Since then, I have been getting used to styling my shorter hair. I think I might do a post all about this. This product, in particular, has been a complete saviour. It's very much like the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, only a fraction of the price. I have been spraying this into the ends and roots of my hair to give more texture to my curls and volume to the roots.

No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask
I don't know if it's been the change in weather, but my skin has been freaking out this month. It's been really dry and this has made applying makeup a real issue. One of my friends from work told me about this, she loved it so I thought I would try it too. I managed to get a 3 for 2 offer on No 7 at Boots - so that was a winner. I have really loved this mask. You have two options, either leaving the mask on for 2 mins, or 10 mins. Every time I have left it on for the full 10 minutes, and probably longer. After using, this makes my skin feel so soft and not tight/dry.

Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment - Naturally Nude
If you're a regular reader of my blog, there will be no surprise to you that there is a Kiehl's product in my favourites. I have to admit, this was a total impulse buy when I was at the till, but I am so glad that I picked one up. I have pretty much been wearing this every day in September....and August. This Butterstick is really nourishing, whilst giving a really lovely, subtle colour to the lips. It's a really handy, throw in your bag product that pretty much suits any makeup look.

What have been some of your favourites this month? I'd love for you to share them with me in the comments, or on Instagram and Twitter.
Love, Kate xx


Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane....With Scents

A Trip Down Memory Lane....With Scents

This post contains sponsored links

If you've read my Signature Scents post, you will have seen me talking about how I often associate memories with scents. As soon as I smell that familiar scent, it can take me right back to where I was at that point in my life. Clive Christian, a high-end perfume brand, has unveiled a Private Collection of the best perfumes. Whilst they are definitely more on the pricey side, they smell incredible and are made with rare and precious ingredients. This collection celebrates extraordinary lifetime moments and memories, so this got me thinking about some of my own memories.

Like I said in my Signature Scents post, I will often associate scents with people. If you wear a scent often enough around me, I will soon start to associate it with you. I had a friend at university who would always wear the same perfume whenever I saw her, I couldn't tell you the name of it, but if someone were to walk past me on the street wearing that exact perfume, I will always think of her. I can do it with ex-boyfriends too, if I smell an aftershave that they used to wear it reminds me of them - even my back to my high school boyfriend!

If there is a scent that I will always remember my Mum by, it has to be Calvin Klein Eternity. When I was very young, my mum would sometimes work away and I would cry my eyes out. She would always spray this perfume on one of her tops and leave it with me. I would always find this comforting and it would get me through the week.

Holiday scents have to be my favourite. I love to wear a specific scent all week on my holiday in order for that scent to be associated with memories from that holiday. Back in 2009, I went on my first ever girls holiday to Malia. Oh, it was a fun week. It really opened my eyes up to the world and gave me a sense of independence. I came home, and not that long after, ended my 4-year relationship with my childhood sweetheart. Even though it was just Malia, it made me realise there was more to life than my idiot boyfriend. Throughout this holiday, I was wearing Ralph, by Ralph Lauren. I don't have this perfume anymore (and I'm shocked you can still buy it). But, this scent will always remind me of that holiday.

I would love to hear the memories you associate with certain scents. Share them with me in the comments, or chat to me via Instagram and Twitter.
Love, Kate xx

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What To Buy A Dad Who Has Everything

This post contains sponsored links 

This picture makes me so happy. Unfortunately for my Dad, I have aged him somewhat since this photo - but to me, he will always be my absolute hero. His birthday is rapidly approaching, and it's a big one this year. He is probably the worst person to buy for as he doesn't generally buy a lot for himself, but when he wants something he will just buy it. This makes him so incredibly hard to buy for. With Christmas also rapidly approaching, I wanted to put together a gift guide for those Dad's, or men in your life, who are particularly hard to buy for. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you too if you have a Dad like mine!

FitBit Alta
If you've got a Pops who's into keeping fit this might be the perfect gift. My Dad loves to go walking so this will be the perfect gift for him to keep a track of the miles he has been walking and the steps he has done that day. There are more advanced versions of FitBit which monitor heart rate and all sorts if your Dad is keen into his fitness.

This might seem like a really obvious one - but it's always the option I seem to forget about. My Dad could always use a helping hand in the clothing department - no offence Pops! Find out your Dad's favourite clothing brand and you won't go far wrong. At the minute, my Dad is obsessed with the brand Napapijri. Let's be honest, no one can never have too many clothes.

Panasonic Speaker System
My Dad loves his music, so his speaker systems are really important to him. Panasonic has some really great speaker systems that are actually pretty reasonably priced. The multi-room options are perfect to allow them to create sound systems in the rooms they need it most - from the kitchen to the living room or even the garage.

This has got to be the most simple gift for a Dad who likes a drink. This is a gift that you can make really special depending on your Dad's taste. Whether it's a very nice bottle of wine, an expensive bottle of gin or a nice set of beers/ales. You can really tailor this to what your Dad likes best. Also, it then becomes a real treat that they wouldn't necessarily buy themselves.

Box Sets
My Dad is pretty old school when it comes to CDs and DVDs, he's got no time for Spotify or Netflix. He'll watch a series on Sky or on DVDs and that's it (even when I have given him my Netflix log in details!) For my Dad, box sets or CDs would be a perfect choice for him. If your Dad is a bit more in the 21st century, you could maybe pay for a subscription serivce for him, whichever one you think will suit him best.

I hope this list helps you with that difficult to buy for man in your life. 
If you have any other suggestons that have worked for you I would be so appreciative of them. Let me know in the comments, or contact me via Instagram and Twitter. 
Love, Kate xx


Sunday, 17 September 2017

How To Become A Morning Person 

Everybody always talks about either being a morning person or a night owl - you’re either one or the other. But that doesn't mean to say that you can’t make simple adjustments to become more of a morning person. For me personally, I am 100% a morning person. I’d much rather be up early, making the most of my mornings and heading to bed early. That said, I’m all about being a night owl when alcohol and dancing are involved!

I wanted to share with you some simple tips that I use to help motivate me in the morning and hopefully shift you into more of a morning person.

1. Get to bed at a decent time
This might sound blindingly obvious, but so many people complain about their sleep but don't get to bed at a decent time. My ‘wind down’ time starts from about 9 pm. I will watch my favourite TV, scroll through social media or read a book. I always aim to be in bed by 10 pm latest and asleep by 10:30. This might sound early to some, but getting between 7 and 8 hours sleep really helps me to be a morning person, and with an alarm set for 6 am, this bedtime is a must.

2. Ensure your bedroom is a place that you can relax
For me, my bedroom is like a sanctuary. I try to ensure that it is a place that I feel calm and comfortable, in order to get a good nights sleep. I like to keep clutter to a minimum, so I always try and tidy my bedroom before I go to bed. I also feel it’s important to have my room at a comfortable temperature, whether that's a window open in summer or an extra blanket for winter. Finally, my must have is a blackout blind. This isn't so much of an issue now we're heading into Autumn/Winter, but it is a godsend in the Spring/Summer where it helps me to stay asleep that bit longer.

3. Stay away from that snooze button
I am not going to be that person who is going to tell you that you need to get out of bed straight away. Because let’s be honest, who can actually do that? What I mean is ensure you wake yourself up straight away. Snoozing puts you in a false sense of security, and it's even more painful when the alarm goes off again. As soon as my alarm goes off, I grab my phone and have a scroll through social media for 5/10 minutes before getting out of bed. Some people may argue that this isn't the best way to start your day. But it helps me to slowly wake up without the pain of having to get straight out of bed.

4. Hydrate yourself 
Whilst I may be a morning person, that doesn't mean that I don't still feel groggy when I first wake up. I find a glass of water really helps to wake me up and get my brain working. As part of my evening routine, I will always take a glass of water to bed with me. It’s then this glass of water that I will chug down, even before getting out of bed. If you're not a water fan like me, try adding lemon, cucumber or strawberries to the water to make it taste a little bit better!

5. Shower/Cleanse your face
There is nothing better than a splash of water on your face to fully bring you into the day. For me, I shower before bed rather in the morning. I get up at 6 am, I don't need to get up any earlier to shower!! So, it’s very important for me to wash and cleanse my face in the morning to really wake me up. I love to use Vitamin C cleansers as I find they really invigorate my skin, further helping to feel motivated for the day ahead.

Whilst I’m not perfect, and there are days that I have to drag myself out of bed, these tips and tricks really help me to get up and get going with the day. I hope they can help you too. 

What are your tips for being more of a morning person? I'd love for you to share them with me in the comments,  or via Instagram/Twitter.
Love, Kate xx

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Maria Nila Haircare

Maria Nila Haircare

If you've read my blog before you'll know I'm a sucker for anything that promises to give my hair volume. So when I had the opportunity to try some of the Maria Nila products, I went straight for the volume range. I met with the lovely people at Push PR who gifted me these lovely products. When I met them, they said they were actually going on a PR trip later that week with Maria Nila, which I later saw in one of Niomi Smart's YouTube videos - crazy! It was lovely to meet the ladies there and to find out some more about Maria Nila, which was a new brand to me, but now a brand I totally love.

Maria Nila Shampoo and Conditioner

Maria Nila is a Swedish brand, let's face it great things come from Sweden - IKEA, ABBA,  and this brand can be added to that list. They pride themselves on producing their products in Sweden and filling them with amazing, carefully selected, ingredients. Their main aim is to produce the best product they can without compromising the health of your hair or the environment. Also, their products are 100% vegan, so you know they're filled with lovely ingredients with no harm being inflicted on animals.

Maria Nila Shampoo and Conditioner

This brand has a really extensive range of products. Everything from colour care, colour refresh to healing the hair and styling products. All of their products have a colour guard complex to keep coloured hair looking fresh. This guard helps to reduce the loss of colour associated with washing, heat styling, UV rays and free radicals. Also, they are all free from sulphates and parabens, which makes them so much better for your hair and skin.

Maria Nila Shampoo

Maria Nila Conditioner

Over the last couple of months, I have been trying out the shampoo and conditioner from the Pure Volume range. Firstly, how stunning is the packaging!? I really love the colours and the simplicity of the packaging for this brand. The shampoo and conditioner have Vitamin B5 as one of the ingredients to add long lasting volume to the hair. The conditioner is designed for fine hair to soften and moisturise the hair without weighing it down.

After using these products, I can say that they live up to the expectations and claims. Even after the first couple of uses, I noticed that my hair was more volumised and felt nourished. I don't have coloured hair, so I can't comment on the colour guard complex. But, it's really good that they have this as standard throughout all their products.

Maria Nila Structure Repair Leave in Cream

I have also been using the Structure Repair Leave in Cream. I really struggle with dry ends on my hair, especially when it was longer, and this product has been a total lifesaver for those ends. When using this product, I have been applying a small amount of the cream to damp hair, focussing mostly on the ends. I then blow dry as normal or leave to air dry. This product has algae extract to repair and rebuild any damages to the hair structure. I've noticed that my hair feels much more nourished after using and split ends seem visibly reduced. Totally loved it.

Have you used any of the Maria Nila products? What would you recommend? I'd love for you to share this with me in the comments, or via Instagram/Twitter.
Love, Kate xx


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Empties #3

Empties #3

I hope you're all ready for another insight into my empties collection. It's a bit of a mixed bunch this time. I've also got #1 and #2 in this series, so why not go check them out.

Exuviance Bionic Body Polishing Masque
Exuviance Bionic Body Polishing Masque
I picked up this product at the Bloggers Festival Event last year, but for some reason, it's taken me a really long time to get round to using it. I've really enjoyed using this product. It's full of really lovely ingredients that really nourishes the skin. You massage the scrub into the skin and then leave it on for a couple of minutes. I find this helps to moisturise the skin. This product is definitely more of a luxury purchase at £32. I really liked it and it felt so good for my skin, but the price tag does put me off somewhat.
Would I buy it again? Maybe - as a treat.

What's in it for me..? Body Cleanser
I was gifted this product a couple of months ago and wrote a full blog post all about it - have a read of it here.  Since writing this post, my opinion of this product hasn't changed - I've totally loved it. What I was pleasantly surprised with is how long it lasted - really good value for money. I also really loved the pump as it makes it so quick and easy to access the product in the shower. 
Would I buy it again? Definitely 

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo
I always need dry shampoo in my life - it's a staple as I do not enjoy washing my hair. Yes, I am totally gross. I will normally only use Batiste dry shampoo, but this one was on offer so I thought I would try out a different brand. Bad idea. I really haven't liked this product. I found that it actually made my hair feel more greasy, not refreshed. I absolutely love Aussie shampoos and conditioners, so it was a shame that I didn't love this too.
Would I buy it again? No, unfortunately not. 

Yes, I now realise that I have put two shower gels in this post, but everyone needs a great shower gel in their life. I love Original Source, always have. I really love the classic mint shower gel, but I also love to try out their different flavours (no, I'm not sure that's the right word either?!) Firstly, the smell of this product is incredible. Totally good enough to eat, like a banana Angel Delight. I also love how nourishing and moisturising this product is to the skin. It doesn't leave your skin feeling dry like other shower gels can. 
Would I buy it again? Yes - love this brand.

What have been some of the products you've been loving or hating? I'd love for you to share them with me in the comments, or via Instagram/Twitter.
Love, Kate xx
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