Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Have A Better Period With Pink Parcel!

No girl particularly enjoys her monthly visitor. Personally, I think I'm pretty lucky - I don't get cramps or pains or cravings, perhaps just a bit overemotional a couple of days before. However, whether you do or don't get symptoms, being on your period isn't something that makes you feel glamorous.


Pink Parcel kindly sent me one of their subscription boxes to review. I've bought one-off beauty boxes before and loved receiving them and trying out new products I hadn't thought to buy before. The Pink Parcel comes beautifully packaged in a chic black and pink box. The box is FULL (and I mean full) of both practical and luxury products for when you're on your period. One thing I love about the Pink Parcel is that they take your preference of sanitary product into consideration so your box is personalised to your needs!

The sanitary products come in a gorgeous little pull-string bag which can be subtly hidden in a handbag. Extra sanitary products are provided as well in a sleek black box. I love that they provide these products as it saves the hassle of going out and buying more. I received 24 sanitary products, which for me is a pretty perfect amount for the month (but of course this will vary depending on your own cycle!)



I also received a full-size Sass pH Balanced serum - you can read my previous post all about Sass products here! I love the brand and would recommend their products to any girl. I think it's important you feel fresh and comfortable when you're on your period and I know, for me, Sass products are perfect for this.

The Pink Parcel also contains a box full of little treats to cheer you up during your time of the month. My box contained some yummy goodies, including a Teapigs teabag, Nairns outcakes and a Mallow and Marsh marshmallow bar. I love me some tea at any time of the month really, but particularly during my TOTM. And I'm really excited to try the Mallow and Marsh bar because who doesn't love marshmallow-y goodness?!


As a beauty blogger (primarily), I always love trying new products so I was excited to receive these little gems in the box as well. I've not tried the True Brit nail polishes before, and this polish in the colour Pink Parcel (I see what you did there) is beautiful! I have actually used this New Kid eyeshadow stick before - I received it as a present when I was about 15 before I knew anything about make-up. I do remember wearing it (subtly) everyday to school and I'm happy that it's back in my life now seven years later! The last product is a hand cream from Boozi in a French Martini scent. Now I don't know about you but anything alcohol-inspired is a winner in my books!


I was so impressed with my first box from Pink Parcel and was particularly surprised at just how many products I received in the box! For £12.99 a month (your first box is £9.95!), I think Pink Parcel is an ideal pick-me-up for any girl to receive at a time where you might not be feeling your most glamorous.

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Monday, 18 April 2016

MUSIC MONDAY: Cal Hillan + Falling In Love With Music Again


Music has always been a passion of mine: I started playing the piano when I was 8 and the guitar when I was 13. By 15, I was writing my own songs and even dabbled with playing the ukulele. I got my first tattoo when I was 18, which as you can see is a treble clef and a bass clef depicted as a heart. Since starting university, unfortunately music has taken a back seat. I've played a couple of open mics, but that's as far as it's gone. Now let me tell you why tonight's gig brought back my love for music again.


Cal Hillan is a singer-songwriter currently studying at Cardiff University. I've been lucky enough to play open mics with him where he's accompanied me on guitar and I also played a charity gig along side him. Tonight at the intimate Gwdihw cafe & bar venue in Cardiff, Cal played his first headline gig.

Supporting him were three other artists: Joe Merriweather, James William and Gareth Howaston. Unfortunately I arrived just as Joe finished his set, but you can check out his single Night Sky here. Have a listen if you're a fan of Luke Sital-Singh or Jack Savoretti. James William, originally from Stuttgart in Germany, was the second act. James' sound takes a more alternative route - think Benjamin Leftwich-type harmonies meet the undertones of José González's Heartbeats. I'd highly recommend having a listen to his song Blue Moon here

James William
The third support act, Gareth Howaston, came down from North Wales for this gig and I'm so glad he did because his voice and his musical talent is on another level. It's clear from just watching him that he's so passionate about what he does and his lyrics are raw and effortless. I'd describe Gareth's sound as a combination of Passenger-like vocals and Damien Rice-esque melodies. If you want to hear more from Gareth, you can check out his Youtube channel here

I've watched Cal play multiple times, but tonight it was clear that this was his moment. I think the thing I love most about Cal's music is I just can't put my finger on who he reminds me of as an artist. His talent is unique and draws you in. At tonight's gig, he had me laughing, and he had me close to tears with a song he wrote for his friend who sadly took his own life - something I can unfortunately relate to. Somehow, Cal is able to take the whole audience on a musical odyssey, from getting everyone shouting the *ahem* colourful lyrics to "Brother", to playing the more delicate "Together" and bringing the room to a halt. You can have a listen to Cal's music here (and download it for FREE!)

Cal Hillan
So why did tonight bring back my love of music? I was able to observe other artist's clear love for music. I observed the effect it had on the audience and the effect it had on me. It can elicit any and every emotion. And in my opinion, that's one of the most powerful things you can do.

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Friday, 15 April 2016

NEW IN FASHION: Ivy Park & Bristol Fashion Week

Contradictory to my blog name, the most recent blogger events I've been to have been fashion-based. As much as I love all things beauty, I'm also keen on keeping up with the latest fashion trends. I love seeing designer trends trickling down into the high street and seeing stores' own takes on the season's crazes.

On Thursday 7th April, I was invited to attend Bristol Fashion Week at Cribbs Causeway. It was my first ever fashion show so I was pretty excited about it. I invited my mum as my plus one as it was the day before her birthday (and she just happens to be more capable and experienced at driving than me so was designated driver also)! We did a bit of shopping beforehand and I treated her to her first ever Nando's.



We took our seats in the huge marquee which was absolutely packed! There was a canvas gift bag on each seat with a few goodies inside which was a lovely touch. The show was hosted by Denise Van Outen and morning TV's style guru Mark Hayes who kept us entertained and involved throughout the event. 



The catwalk showcased some beautiful Spring/Summer looks from high street store such as Marks & Spencer, Jack Wills, Warehouse, John Lewis and so many more. I loved that the models not only walked effortlessly down the catwalk, but some actually involved dance routines that really brought the whole show to life! Keeping with the seasons, each walk was themed around a different spring/summer scene, ranging from Wimbledon to the Royal Ascot, from the summer solstice to a country wedding.




The second fashion event I attended was the launch of Beyonce's sportswear line at Topshop, Ivy Park. The event started at 7:30am on Thursday 14th and as a Uni student with no commitments before 10am, getting up at that time in the morning was a struggle! However, I'd heard so many great things about the line, a couple of hours sleep was a sacrifice I was willing to make!


On arrival, we were given a glass of orange juice and prosecco and a breakfast muffin - perfect start to the morning! After a Beyonce-themed quiz and a chat about her new range, we were also shown some of the new make-up pieces at Topshop and how they can be applied. We then got to get up close to the range before the doors had opened and were asked to style up our own outfit. We were told the person who gets the most social media likes on their outfit photo would win a prize - go and check out my entry at www.instagram.com/charli1993




I ended up buying a top from the range, and no doubt I'll be back for more soon! The pieces are so well made and not crazy expensive as many celebrity lines tend to be these days. Most importantly, this line is set to be permanently in Topshop stores, so no need to miss out because of limited stock!

I think that's enough fashion for one week - over and out!

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Friday, 8 April 2016

Drugstore Beauty Haul + First Impressions


Hello friends!

I've recently bought some beauty items from a few high street stores (Superdrug, Wilko, etc) and thought I'd share them with you! I love watching haul videos on YouTube because 1. I'm super nosey and 2. I like to hear first impressions of things I'm thinking of buying.



 1. L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo & Conditioner (Wilko, reduced to £1.80 each)
This is a new release from L'oreal and when I saw these on offer in Wilko, I had to pick them up! I've always enjoyed using L'Oreal Elvive products and this was no exception. I love how thick the formula is and it leaves my hair really soft. Since having my hair highlighted a couple of weeks ago, I've noticed it gets greasy more quickly in between washes and so I'm hoping this will help keep it looking fresher for a bit longer.



2. Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm (Wilko, reduced to £2.45)
If you're a beauty blogger or a just a general beauty fanatic you've probably heard about the new trend of using this Nivea Men Post Shave Balm as a cheap alternative to a primer. I saw it on the shelf for half price and so I couldn't resist picking it up to try out this bizarre technique. The balm is slightly tacky once its put on the skin and I suppose it acts as a kind of an adhesive for your make-up to stay on your face for longer. I'm kind of rubbish at testing out things like this because I always forget to check the state of my face at the end of the day/night but looking back at photos taken through the night that I wore this, it does look like my make-up is fairing better than it usually does in a sweat-ridden bar/club!

3. Osmo Intensive Deep Repair Mask (Feel Unique, £3)
I feel like my hair needs a bit of a pick-me-up and so I thought I'd try this brand from Feel Unique. I've never even heard of Osmo but it was very affordable and I read some good reviews so I'm giving it a go! I haven't actually tried it yet so nothing to report back so far but I'll be sure to give it a review if I get on with it.



4. Marks & Spencer Two-Chained Necklace (M&S, reduced to £4)
Okay so not strictly drugstore beauty but it's a recent accessory purchase which I wanted to share with you. I couldn't find this on the website (possibly because I picked it up in-store in the sale) but oh my god I love this necklace so much. Confession: I am addicted to buying necklaces. I own so many and wear them all the time but this is definitely already one of my favourites. The semi-precious stone in the necklace is a marble-effect blogger's dream and I love the trend of wearing two chains at the moment. I'd definitely recommend checking out M&S's costume jewellery - it's VERY underrated!

5. Makeup Revolution Iconic Pro Lipstick in You're A Star (Superdrug, £2.50)
I've been a massive fan of Makeup Revolution since they launched in 2014 and I was even lucky enough to be invited to their 2nd birthday in London last month which was AMAZING. I've been on the hunt for a nude lipstick for a while and I'm very happy with this one! I love the packaging (IT'S SO PRETTY) and the colour is perfect. I'm still looking for a slightly darker nude as well so if anyone has any recommendations, hit me up!


6. Collection Highlight & Sculpt Contour Kit (Superdrug, reduced to £2.99)
I love me a contour but in all honesty, I'm rubbish at doing it. I own a couple of bronzers but they're both a little glittery for my liking. So when I saw this new Collection kit reduced from £4.19 to £2.99 I thought I'd give it a go! I love that it comes with a highlighter as well as I am becoming a huuuuge highlight fan and rarely go without it. I'm yet to try it properly but I'm very excited to test it out soon.

7. Essence Longlasting Lipliner in 05 Lovely Frappuccino (Wilko, £1.50)
Fun fact: I've never used a lip liner before! So I thought I'd break the lip liner seal (is that a phrase? It should be) and buy one that I've heard being raved about over and over. I love Essence nail polishes and so I have high hopes for their lip liner too. I'm yet to try it and I'm a little nervous that I'll look ridiculous so let me know if you have any application tips!


8. Kiko Velvet Satin Nail Lacquer in Cadet Blue (Kiko, reduced to £1.40)
Much to my over-excitement, a Kiko store recently opened in Cardiff so I had to have a little snoop around. I saw these bargain nail polishes for just £1.40 so I picked up this gorgeous turquoise colour and also a nude colour. I've tried out the nude colour and absolutely love the finish of it. It's kind of matte but not super matte (great at describing aren't I). It does chip quite easily but for the price I'm happy to reapply after a couple of days if needs be!

That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed my endless ramblings and let me know your favourite recent beauty buys!
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