Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Kate Moss for Rimmel London Lip Balm

I love Autumn - in fact I think it has to be my favourite of the four seasons! - but it's at this time of year that my lips start getting dry from the cold and my Vaseline tin becomes a staple in my handbag. I thought, however, that I would try something new, and that's when I saw that Rimmel had released a clear lip balm as part of the Kate Moss range.
If you can get past the earwax-yellow colour of the stick, it actually feels really smooth and smells really nice and fruity! Yes ok, it's a little more expensive than I'm used to paying for lip balm (I picked this one up from the Rimmel cabinet in Tesco for just over £5) but I get the feeling that this will last me quite a long time, considering it glides on so nicely without the need to smear it everywhere, and the convenient tube means I can apply it directly without getting greasy fingers or having to take off my gloves.
The fact that it is also SPF 15 means that it can be easily worn in the summer too, perhaps as a clear coat over your fave lipstick!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Birchbox: November

The November edition of Birchbox arrived on Friday and as usual I was really looking forward to opening it. I love that it arrives on a Friday because it really is the perfect end to the week. This month was a pastel blue and pink 'Skinny Dip' box,  
The 'menu' contains all the information about the products as well as instructions.
The box contained 6 products:
  • moisturising hand cream by Cowshed 
  • facial exfoliator by Pure & Light Organic
  • nourishing styling cream by Living Proof
  • a neutral lip liner by Lord & Berry
  • acquaconfort cream by Delarom Paris and
  • a grab and go ponytail holder by L.Erickson

I'm SO pleased I received hand cream this month. My hands have been so sore and dry at work recently and I think my usual hand cream has gone out of date - oops!
The neutral lip liner is really interesting actually. It's a one-shade-suits-all product that you actually can't see when it's on the skin. I thought it was a white eyeliner originally and thought my lips would look a little silly with a white outline

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Pink Parcel: October

OK, so I realise I've uploaded this a little bit late, but better late than never, eh?

I've been subscribed to Pink Parcel for some time now (possibly nearly a year?) and I think this is the most jam-packed parcel to date! Annoyingly their price has increased which I must admit has made me wonder whether or not to cancel, but for now I'm quite happy with them.

In case you don't know what Pink Parcel is, it's a monthly subscription box which provides tampons or towels (your choice) for THAT time of month, plus a bundle of goodies for you to endure yourself with, as well as. Little something to keep you feeling fresh, ahem, down there. Personally I really struggle during my period so for me, being able to come home from a rough day of work to this is sheer bliss!

The October box contained the following...

There was a very 'artsy' feel this moth with a set of mini nail files by Mad Beauty and a pop-art style reusable hand warmer. The packaging for the files is quite funky as remind me of the old boxes of matches that you sometimes get in hotels - perfect for the handbag!

Bandzees are very popular at the moment and I adore these ones because of the reference to breast cancer awareness.
To extend on this, CoppaFeel! have treated us to a friendly guide, encouraging us to check for abnormalities at least once a month. Breast cancer has affected my family and the thought of it absolutely terrifies me, so this foolproof credit card-sized list of symptoms is very reassuring!

Amie have included two travel sized products in the box; a facial wash and a moisturiser

And MUA and Revlon have included an eye and face palette (which contains lots of shimmery, metallic shades, perfect for all the Christmas parties!) and a nail varnish in the shade Grey Suade, which is a lovely natural pinky colour.

To fend of those autumn colds, there's a melon scented hand sanitizer! (I thought it was a packet of mints when I first saw it!)
And finally, the usual chocolate bar by Ombar and tea bag by TeaPigs.

The extra product this month is a Refreshing Mist by SASS which is an odour neutraliser. I rally like thi idea, but if you ask me the packaging is a little excessive... Slide the card cover off to revel a thick, embossed box and remove another lid to expose the spray tube.

Monday, 2 November 2015

York's Chocolate Story

I went to York last week with the bf to visit a friend who is at Uni there. During the days while he was at his lectures, we decided to visit some of the local attractions. We didn't go with a plan as such, but I had been on Trip Advisor and though that York's Chocolate Story would be worth a visit.

From the outside it didn't really look very big - no bigger than an average high street shop - so I was a little downhearted at first, wondering whether it would live up to the expectations that the reviews had given me. I was quite mistaken though!
To begin the tour we were lead into an elevator (Willie Wonka eat your heart out!) which took us upstairs to an empty room. We were greeted by our tourguide, who didn't seem very old but certainly knew his stuff. He told us all about how chocolate was originally an Aztec drink and was never considered a food until just before the war. We watched a couple of films and were given samples of how the Aztec's drink would have tasted (gross!) and how the first 1930's solid chocolate would have tasted (basically like dark chocolate) but sadly I wasn't allowed to take photos. 

There was a great part of the tour whereby videos of the numerous confectioners were set up like paintings on the wall (very 'Harry Potter') and our tourguide interacted with them. Even though it was scripted, it was great and a really creative way of teaching us tourists who's who! 
We then went into the chocolate factory, where I was allowed to take photos. It was here that we learned how chocolate goes from a bean into a bar, and it was demonstrated by an interactive workstation. The tourguide chose two volunteers to demonstrate each process as he explained it and we were given a sample of a cocoa bean to try. I really didn't like it at all!
Next we were shown how to examine and taste chocolate properly...
  1. First put the chocolate on the back of your hand (as this is the coolest part of your body and won't melt the chocolate!) Is it shiny? Yes? Good!
  2. Next, hold the chocolate near your ear and snap it in half. It should be a nice, crisp snapping sound.
  3. Now here't the tricky part... hold your nose and place the chocolate on your tongue and just let it melt for a few seconds. Don't forget to breathe through your mouth!
  4. With your mouth still open, release your nose and take a big breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. 
  5. You should be able to taste all the chocolate's flavours. The wheel below shows the kind of descriptive words that can help!
Now for the fun part - making our own chocolate lolly! Since it was nearly Halloween, the bf decided to decorate his as a scary Jack-o-lantern style face, whereas I just went for a mish-mash of different sprinkles.

Finally, to end our tour, we were given a chocolate making demonstration.
The chocolate is tempered and then gets poured into a mould. The excess is then scraped off the top and then... wait for it... the mould is then tipped upside down and the chocolate is allowed to drip back into the cycle. Ok, so that sounds a little odd, but actually a thin chocolate layer is left in the mould, leaving a hollow space for a flavoured filling. This was then allowed to cool and harden.
I can't remember exactly what the filling was, but I'm pretty sure it was a combination of raspberry and white chocolate. It was placed into the hollow shells and topped off with chocolate to create the base. Once again, it was put in the fridge to cool, but in true Blue Peter style, the chocolatier brought out a batch of chocolates that he had made earlier for us to try. I thought they were going to be a little bit sharp as I'm not the biggest fan of raspberry, but actually they tasted amazing!