Current favourite skincare products and routine


Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm not the biggest skincare guru in any sense and it's not something, I've taken the time with other the years, however, I've now turned more attention to a routine. I was always that girl, who would wipe off my makeup, cleanse and moisturise, and that's about it. I'm very lucky in the fact I've always had nice and normal skin, and it wasn't an issue for me growing up.

However, blogging about beauty, I have dabbled into a lot of different skincare over the years, trialling out various products and see how they work for me. I've finally got to the stage in life where I've found a routine I love, with products that are equally as great. 

The past few months, my skin has been flaring up and I think it was due to stress, hormones and honestly, my diet. Using these products that I'm about to mention has put things back at bay and given me a routine I'm excited to use on a daily basis. 

Embryolisse foaming cream-milk cleanser

The first part of my morning routine is to use a cleanser and my go-to is the Embryolisse foaming cream-milk cleanser. I got gifted this a while back and fell in love with it since the first use. The cleanser's consistency is really thick and you only need a little as it lathers up like an absolute dream. The product feels incredibly soft on the skin, washes away easily and leaves my skin feeling ultra-smooth.

I love the fresh scent it has and the luxurious feel of the product. You can find my full review here.

Embroyolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate

After cleansing, I love to give my skin a rich moisturise and find the matching moisturiser to the cleanser does the trick. I was also gifted this product a while back and couldn't be more thankful. The product is incredibly thick and leaves my skin feeling really nourished. Despite the thick consistency, it blends into the skin incredibly quick and honestly, I'm obsessed. 


Superdrug Vitamin E serum

If my skin is feeling a little drier than usual or I fancy an extra step in my morning routine, I'll add a serum after the moisturiser. I love Superdrug's Vitamin E range; all the products I've used have done the job - and they're so affordable. I particularly love the serum as it smells divine (like coconuts) and blends on the skin so easily.

Zelens Daily Defence SPF

Call me naive, but I only learnt that you need to apply SPF separately to moisturiser onto the skin as the SPF in moisturiser/foundations isn't as effective. With that, I was straight on Cult Beauty and bought myself the Zelens Daily Defence. 

I've used this every day for the past few weeks after moisturising and before makeup application and I love it. Despite the small bottle, the product comes out pretty thick, and I only need the smallest amount to go across my face. 

Garnier's Micellar water

At the end of the day, its time for makeup removal and my staple product has been Garnier's Micellar water for years and years. I don't use it all the time now, however, it's an easy fix to taking off makeup. Makeup removes like a dream, and I love to use my reusable cotton pads to wipe it off with. You really can't go wrong with micellar water!

The Ordinary Squareline cleanser

I've heard too many good things about The Ordinary products and after getting my hands on one of their cleansers, I can see why. I've been using the Squareline cleanser as a makeup remover and cleanser. Most days in lockdown I haven't been wearing makeup so I can cleanse and carry on with the rest of my routine. However, on the days I have been wearing makeup, I like to use this to wash it off with and then cleanse again. 

The product itself is heavy in consistency and once warmed within my hands, it easily rubs into the skin for a deep cleanse. I apply it onto dry skin and wash it off with warm water. It's really easy to take off and I've found is actually a pretty good makeup remover as well (bearing in mind, I only wear light makeup.)

Pixi Glow Tonic and Pixi Retinol Tonic  

The Pixi tonics have been raved about on the internet and beauty community for the longest time - and it's taken me until now to give them a go. I can completely get the hype as I've fallen in love with these products.

As my skin had been playing up, I was recommended to try the Glow Tonic and the Retinol Tonic and use them on alternate days - and so far, it's done the trick. My skin has improved a lot! I like to apply each tonic on either a cotton pad or cotton ball and sweep all over the skin. This may sound weird, but when it's sinking into the skin, it really feels like it's doing something. 

I'll then go in and moisturise again to complete my nighttime routine.

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my favourite skincare products at the minute. What products have you been using?

Thank you for reading <3

10 reminders for when you're having a bad day

Well hello to you my reader chums! Having a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month is okay and totally natural. We all have times in our life when things are hard, whether that's because you've had some bad news or really, you're just not feeling yourself. As JessieJ once sang 'it's okay, not to be okay.'

If you're having a low moment or a bad day, here are 10 reminders for you.

10 reminders for when you're having a bad day

This too shall pass - This has become one of my favourite phrases and something I first learnt from a pal of mine who told me it when I was going through a really hard time. Now, whenever I'm having a bad day, I like to repeat it to myself. I know deep down the hard times will pass and it will get easier. The cloud will lift and things will get back to being okay.

It's okay to have a nothing day - I'm one of these people who always feels like I should be doing something, otherwise I feel like a failure. However, over time I've learnt that it's okay not to always be busy and if I'm having a down day, I don't need to be productive. I should take it easy and enjoy the nothingness, to give my mind that time to recharge and feel better.

You've fought hard days before and you can do it again - This point is so important. Everyone has been through hardships before and if you feel this time, that things are even harder, just remember, you've had the strength before - and you're strong enough to do it again.

You are so loved - You are loved by so many, your family, your friends, your work colleagues and whoever you surround yourself with. It may not feel like it right now, but know you have a support network around you that love you dearly.

Have patience - This is so important. When I feel down or my mental health has taken a turn, I want to feel better instantly and put pressure on myself to get to that point. But there isn't a rush, if you're not feeling okay, take the time to focus on you, and slowly, you'll get there. Have patience.

Social media isn't a true reflection of someone's life - When I'm having a down day, I always find myself scrolling endlessly on social media, as it's a mind-numbing thing to do. But, the problem with that is, I often see loads of happy photos and videos of people living their best life and in turn, it makes me feel worse. If you're scrolling, try to remind yourself that what you see online is only a small fraction of someone's life. They have down days and hard times too.

You're not a burden - Repeat this one 1000 times. If you're having a bad day, please know this. The people you love are there to confide in and they want to help you. A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about what's going on can really help you feel so much better.

Stop putting pressure on yourself - Life can be busy and there can be so many things you want to do and achieve asap. But, when you're having a bad day, try and put these worries aside and focus on no1- your mental health.

You're only human - Humans make mistakes, humans mess up and most importantly, humans aren't happy all the time. We have bad days and that's okay.

It will get better - Time is the greatest healer, trust me on that one. Even if it doesn't feel like that now, things will get better and you'll be back to yourself in no time.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other reminders do you have?

Thank you for reading <3



Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Well hello to you my reader chums! Some of you may or may not know that I run a home baking business with my twin sister Maria called Twinnies Bake. We started the business nearly 2 years ago now and it has been the best decision I've ever made - and I love doing it. We sell a range of products including our beloved brownies, celebration cakes, cookies, and much more. We also offer a postal brownie service all over the UK!

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies and I feel so thankful to turn it into a little business with my twin sister by my side. Something I've tried to do in my everyday life is to be more eco-conscious with what I do and what I purchase. I've begun purchasing reusable products to use in my everyday life - and I have started to look into ways to do this for the business. When Lil Packaging contacted me to talk about this subject, it seemed like a perfect fit, and here are a few eco-friendly changes I've made and will continue to make for the business.

*This is a paid collaboration with Lil Packaging.*

Buy products in bulk 

Our orders can fluctuate from week to week and this depends on what ingredients we need to purchase. Since the pandemic, shops have started to sell bigger packets of flour, icing sugar, etc and I've been utilising this as much as possible. When I buy in bulk, it means less waste as it's only one big bag rather than a few small ones and it saves the petrol of going back and buying more - as it lasts longer.

Packaging our brownies correctly

Finding packaging for our brownies has been something we've tested and trialled over the years to find the right packaging for us. I'm fully aware that packaging means waste so we like to think carefully before we buy. We've predominately bought boxes that were cardboard and recyclable on Amazon and been using them to dispatch out our orders.

However, when Lil Packaging got in touch, I felt like all my packaging prayers had been answered and they were exactly what we were missing out on as a business, especially when it comes to being more sustainable. The company sells a whole range of eco-friendly packaging for multiple different uses. For my business, we use a variety of boxes including specific postal boxes for our brownies, regular-sized boxes for local deliveries, and boxes large enough to fit our celebration cakes - and they do a range of everything. And, it's all plastic-free; the perfect way to implement sustainability into our small business. Reducing plastic is one of my biggest goals as a whole in my lifestyle and for the business - and at Lil Packaging, they do just that. It's a plastic-free and ocean-friendly brand - and if you know me, I love to support any business with those ethics.

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Recycling the waste

Running a business can mean a lot of waste from different food items, especially as we use a lot of different chocolate products, that I find myself binning so many things. However, I always ensure to recycle everything correctly to reduce the amount of waste that can go to landfill.

The ingredient shopping process 

Being eco-friendly in the business is all about the little things and shopping for ingredients and the way I do that is one of them. As we're only a small business and work from a home kitchen, we don't need truckloads worth of ingredients so we typically go to the local supermarket to stock up. We like to work our orders on a weekly basis so I'll designate one day to go ingredient shopping as it saves petrol and the need to go back and forth - and time. I think this is important as it reduces the amount of pollution we create, and although this may be small, it's an important factor.

Whilst I'm shopping, I'll bring enough bags to make sure I have enough space to carry everything home. It's all about the little things when it comes to reducing plastic waste.

Conserving water

I can assure you that running a baking business creates a lot of mess in the kitchen and that means washing up quite frequently is inevitable. When it comes to washing up, we like to do it in a way to not waste too much water and work effectively - in order to do our bit for the environment.

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Delivering process

Similar to the shopping process, I like to do everything in one smooth sweep. We typically like to arrange delivery times to customers accordingly so we can do it all in one go and visit the post office on the same trip. That way, it'll limit how much time we're using the car and traveling around - and lower our carbon footprint.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Is there anything else you'd suggest to be more eco-friendly?

Thank you for reading <3

My Organicup experience and review

Well hello to you my reader chums! Something I've tried to do recently is to implement a more eco-friendly lifestyle in my day to day life by investing in reusable products and doing my bit for the environment. One of the ways to do this was utilise the organic and eco-friendly period products out there like the Organicup.

I've heard a lot about menstrual cups and been wanting to try one for so long but always been really worried about the idea of it and what it entails. However, I thought I would take the leap and give it a go as I've heard so many positive things, and wanted to see what the hype was about. My best friend and I did it together to give each other the confidence in doing so - and I'm so glad we did.

My Organicup experience and review

Using it for the first time

It's safe to say that I was a little overwhelmed when I first attempted to use the menstrual cup. I've never been one for tampons and always used pads so doing that jump was kind of intimidating, to say the least.

First things first, I had to sterilise the cup which I did for 3-5 minutes in boiling water and also bought myself some lube (as it's recommended for your first try.) I read the instructions far too many times before I even attempted to use it and learnt that there were two different folds, the C fold, and the punch-down fold. Find more info about this on their website. I tried to use the punch-down fold as it makes the top of the cup smaller for insertion.

It took a few attempts to essentially put it in place but after failing a couple of times, I was able to secure it. I found the lube and relaxing really did help insertion become a lot easier.

It took multiple times to get used to the idea of inserting the cup and I just want to put it out there, I did not get it straight away - so don't be disheartened if you don't either. Once I got over the motion of putting it in and taking it out, I felt more comfortable with the whole process. They do say it takes around 3 cycles until you're fully comfortable with the process - and I can see why. It's only on the second cycle that I fully got used to it and felt comfortable going out and about with it in - and placed it correctly that there were no leaks.

Comfort and wear throughout the day

On the first day, I trialled it, initially, I couldn't help but notice it was there if that makes sense. However, once I was distracted, I didn't feel a thing and paid no attention whatsoever which I can really appreciate.

It did leak the first few times I used it as I didn't insert it correctly and allowed for the air bubbles to have a gap which gives it room to leak - if that makes sense.

It's not like pads or tampons where you need to be aware to check and change them as I had the security knowing it would last for up to 12 hours in the day. On heavier flow days, I did take it out once or twice just to double-check if it needs emptying or not, and for the most part, it was usually half full or a quarter of the way. It was easier to clean; I could either pour it out and rinse it in the sink or use the Organiwipes you can purchase with the cup.

When I felt comfortable with it in and secured it correctly, I didn't have to worry and I had the ease of getting on with my day.

Views compared to pads/tampons

Genuinely, I already prefer it to disposable pads or tampons for so many different reasons. Firstly, it's environmentally friendly and I'm able to reuse to for years and that means I'll save so much in the long run with the costs of sanitary products.

I love that it has a 12-hour leeway as I'm able to go out about my day and not even think about my period like I would using other products - and I can appreciate that it's all organically made so I'm not putting any chemicals in my body.

Although the process of inserting it and cleaning it is a little longer than using pads/tampons, all the other positives outweigh that completely. I think now I'm getting confident with it, I've been converted to the cup way of life.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I'm impressed with the menstrual cup and after getting over the initial worries and figuring out how to use it, I really like it. I like how it's sustainable, how long it can be left in for, and how it can literally last for years.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you used a menstrual cup?

Thank you for reading <3

How to plan a holiday on a budget

Well hello to you my reader chums! With lockdown slowly easing and the opportunity of travel rearing its head, many people are starting to plan holidays and making travel plans - and I'm one of them. I've missed the thrill of travel; booking a trip and the exciting venture to the airport, knowing I'm going to make a million memories somewhere new.

How to plan a holiday on a budget

 Something I frequently get asked is how I afford to travel to so many places? And I always answer with that I do so on a budget. Due to the pandemic, prices to travel have altered, however, there are still ways you can do it for a cheaper price - and here are my tips.

Consider a staycation

In lockdown, I've come to appreciate where I live, more so than I ever have and I feel lucky to live on the Kent coast. I'm minutes away from some of the most beautiful beaches and able to go on beach walks or picnics whenever I please. 

This got me thinking that venturing on a staycation is perfect to do, especially during this time. Staycations are a great opportunity to travel around locally and appreciate what you have on your doorstep. But the main reason to do it is you can save a lot of money by staying in the country. For instance, there is no cost going on an aeroplane, paying for luggage, or any transfer costs. You can simply take your car and everyone can pitch in for petrol - and with staycations, especially in England, there are plenty of campsites where you can host your own accommodation instead of paying for hotels.

Weigh up flight costs

However, if the thrill of jetting off somewhere is your idea of travel then there's no shame in that - and you can do it on a budget. Use the apps Skyscanner or Kayak to compare different flight times, flight dates, and compare them across loads of different countries. I love to choose the 'explore everywhere' option on Skyscanner as it compares the cheapest places to fly and sometimes flights can be as cheap as £10 to Europe - it's crazy.

Be flexible on your dates 

As I said when searching for dates, prices can really fluctuate depending on the day you choose to travel on. Prices are typically cheaper in the week than the weekend but that's not necessarily always the case, and it's worth having research around before booking your flights.

If you have a pretty strict work schedule, then I would suggest doing some research on the cheapest time to visit your chosen destination and then book the time off work.

Utilise your hand luggage as much as possible

I rarely travel with checked luggage unless I'm going somewhere for over a week as I can easily fit all my belongings into a hand luggage case. There are so many ways to minimise what you can pack into your suitcase including decanting your liquids, bringing versatile clothing, wearing your heaviest items, and rolling your clothes to fit in the case.

Avoid package deals from holiday companies

In my experience of booking trips, I've often found my travels to be a lot cheaper when I've put more research in and booked everything individually - as in paying for the flights and accommodation separately. Typically with holiday package deals, they often up the price for what a holiday costs - and that's why it's worth doing a lot of research before you buy.

Keep your eyes out for deals

Travel discounts and sales are everything you need when holidaying on a budget. These usually happen before peak season times - and what I like to do is sign up to airlines/holiday websites email newsletters so I'm the first one in the loop when a discount or sale is on. It may sound obvious but it's little things like this which can help you save a lot of pennies.

Plan a budget 

On any holiday, it's tempting to splurge or dine at the most expensive restaurant as we all say ' you've got to do it whilst on holiday.' But, I would say to plan out a budget for each day, bearing in mind your activities cost, food and transport and work within your means. Then, if you have a little dosh over at the end, you can do a big splurge on the last night. And, it'll stop you from paying out with the money you don't have.

Don't get too caught up in the cost

As much as planning on a budget is all about the costs, try and have a leeway with your minimum and maximum spend is, then you won't feel too pressured to find a price in a certain box. You'll be able to enjoy the process of planning and find a range of options in your overall budget.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What budgeting tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

What I've learnt from being single

Well hello to you my reader chums! Being single is something I think we all need to experience at least once in our lives. I came out of a long-term relationship at the end of last year and although the breakup was difficult, I've learnt a lot about myself since being single.

Here is everything I've learnt...

What I've learnt from being single

The love I have around me

When I was in a relationship, I was so focused on receiving the love from the other person, that my focus swayed away from what else I had around me: my family and friends. Since being single, it's like my world has opened up again and I've been spending quality time with the most special people in my life - and I realised how loved I really was. The love didn't just have to come from my significant other to feel appreciated by others. I'm so grateful for the best friends that surround me and my family who look out for me no matter what.

Loving myself

I'm a huge advocate for self-love and loving who you are. And, since being single again, I've been able to fast forward in my journey of self-love and boosting myself up. I lost the love for myself when in a relationship as I turned to my partner to give me that boost when really, I should be able to do that for myself. I've learnt my worth, I've learnt all about my flaws but also all the amazing things which make me, me.

Putting my happiness first

Again, when in a relationship, you're a unit so the other person's happiness is very important to you - and it was for me. I would put their happiness before my own as I loved and cared for them deeply. And, coming out of that, I've learnt over time to focus on me and my happiness - putting what makes me happy as the priority in my life. It's an important lesson which I'm glad I've come to realise and something I share with everyone.

Not to settle 

On the journey to loving myself and finding my worth, I've learnt not to just settle for anything. This goes for relationships, friendships or anything in life. If people aren't giving you the time you deserve or not treating you right in any way, they don't deserve to be in your life. Surround yourself with the people who boost you up, create a positive environment and offer so much love. And, when you're ready to get into a new relationship, take your time in finding someone else, and if the red flags show early on - walk away. Wait until someone comes around which deserves you.

Good vibes only

Single life has given me the opportunity to roam free in a sense, doing everything on my terms, living my best life and hanging out with my friends as much as possible. I'm not trying to say, being in a relationship isn't good as being in love is one of the best feelings in the world. However, now I'm single, I don't need to alert someone else or compromise for what I do - I can be me in every way.

It's okay to choose to stay single

As I'm getting a little older, there seems to be pressure about getting into a relationship and settling down with someone. However, know it's okay to choose to be single, to work on you and live your best single life. I always say you can't love somebody else until you love yourself and so - don't feel any pressure to fall into a new relationship or get onto a dating app. If you want to choose to stay single and work on you, that's okay.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any lessons you've learnt from being single?

Thank you for reading <3

Estrid razor review | gifted

Well hello to you my reader chums! I never really thought much about my shaving experience before, it was just one of those things I got on with. However, when I frequently saw the brand Estrid pop up on social media, I was intrigued about it. Not only did the razors look incredibly cute, but they were also vegan and aimed at the hair removal process to be a pain-free experience.

When Estrid contacted and said they were going to send over a starter kit, I was thrilled to try it out and see if their dreamy Insta feed was as good as the products. (Spoiler alert, it was.)

Estrid razor review | gifted

What is Estrid?

Estrid is a vegan razor brand that aims to change the shaving game and focuses on the idea of your body, your control. I resonated with their mantra a lot and really appreciated how they were all about self-love and a female first razor brand.

Predominately, the world of shaving is designed for men and most female razors do not work as well and are pretty naff - and that's why Estrid has put their stamp on the market: to make shaving pain-free and affordable.

They also don't use any animal products in their razors making them a vegan-friendly brand.

Packaging/ Starter Kit 

I'm trying to actively be a little eco-conscious with my day to day life that when I received the box to the razor, I was very impressed. It was packaged in a cardboard box and all the components in cardboard type bags, rather than using plastic.

The starter kit included my razor (I chose the lilac one), a spare blade, a razor holder, and an information pack about the brand/razor. It was put together simply and with all the information I needed.

My experience using the razor

I cannot rave about this razor enough. I didn't realise how before using this, I've been shaving with terrible razors that didn't do nearly as good as the job and were painful a lot of the time.

The Estrid razor is designed with 5 blades and has aloe vera and vitamin E on the cartridge to offer the smoothest and comfortable shave. When I first used it, I was taken aback by how smooth the razor glided up my leg and how lovely it felt on the skin. I shaved with ease, without any worry of cutting myself or missing a bit. It's honestly that lovely and kind of makes me not hate the effort of shaving.

Estrid razor review | gifted

I also want to talk about the idea of the razor holder. I love this, as I'm able to hook my razor in the bathroom and pick it up with ease and place it back down. It's convenient and adds a little cuteness to my bathroom.

Price

Considering how much money I've spent on razors over the years and having to throw them away quickly, I've probably wasted a lot of money on razors which don't do the job. The Estrid starter kit is £7.95 which includes a razor, its holder, and a spare cartridge - and considering the quality and weight of the razor, it's a good price. I would say Estrid is more of an investment for yourself and body-care routine as I know I'm using a product that'll be nice to my skin.

Overall thoughts 

I really love the focus on the mantra behind this brand and how they talk about self-love and putting your body first, and taking back the control, society tries to take away from us. They wanted to be seen as a brand that is raw and real, for all women, not something 'perfect' like other razor brands I have come across. 

Estrid razor review | gifted

The razor has become my new favourite thing. I love the colour and design, I love how easy and gentle it is to use and I love how good quality the product feels. 

Thank you to Estrid for sending over a starter kit and introducing me to your brand!

Also, when purchasing an Estrid razor, if you use the code 'EQUALITY' at the checkout, Estrid will donate 1€ extra for every purchase with that code to the organisation Fawcett Society.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you heard of Estrid?

Thank you for reading <3