Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Body Shop- Aloe Skin Range


Long time no blog. Working full- time doesn't seem to leave you with much of an opportunity to be a committed blogger but I do have a tried and tested product review to share with you today. My skin saviour- The Body Shop Aloe Vera Range!
I have been trying out the Aloe skin range from The Body Shop for around a month at the recommendation of a Body Shop representative called Rachel. My skin had fallen upon desperate times in November 2015 and seemed to react really badly with the cold weather. I had bright red patches all over my face which wouldn't go away, no matter how many products I tried (REN, Superdrug pure, E45 etc). This went on for around 5-6 months and my self confidence took a bit of a beating. I hardly ever had my hair up outside of my home because I needed it down to shield my skin and I would sometimes cancel plans to avoid the stress and pain of trying to conceal my skin. This continued until I found these products!
I popped into The Body Shop in my lunch break to see if there was anything I could purchase that would at least ease the redness on my skin (I do have a picture of my skin at the time that I planned to insert here but I can't bring myself to upload it!). The helpful Body Shop representative, Rachel, found me looking a bit puzzled in the corner amongst the skincare products and asked if I would like a skincare consultation. I would usually say no because of the fear of being forced to buy a load of products I don't want but I had given up on every other product I owned. She tried out a few different ranges on my hand and I eventually chose the Aloe Range as it wasn't too heavy or greasy and I was aware Aloe Vera is supposed to be quite soothing. She tried out the rest of the Aloe range in the order I would use them on my skin;

1. Calming Cream Cleanser- 250ml, £10.00
The Calming Cream Cleanser is a nice cream alternative to the cleanser I used previously which had to be washed off with water. This product prevents your skin from drying out when cleansing but also efficiently removes your make up and any impurities on your skin. You apply it all over your face, working it in to the skin (I try to avoid my eyes as it can sting a bit) and wipe it off gently with a cotton pad or tissue. I have found it to leave my skin lovely and clean without drying it out so I will happily repurchase this product once it runs out. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a link to this particular product on the website but they do have a normal cleanser on the website within the Aloe Range which seems to have brilliant reviews. If you are interested in the cream cleanser, I would recommend checking in store!

2. The Calming Toner- 200ml, £9.50
I was a little skeptical about this product in particular as I have very dry skin so in my mind, a toner would tone your skin and make it tighter. However, Rachel reassured me that the toner simply removes any extra impurities from your skin, cleaning up any excess cleanser and helps your moisturiser to soak into your skin. I apply this to a cotton pad and wipe it gently over my face, leaving it to dry on it's own. This is actually my favourite product of the lot- it helps the moisturiser soak in to my skin and makes any make up you eventually put on the top apply so evenly. The website also states that this product is paraben free!

3. Soothing Day Cream- 50ml, £12.00

I find the texture of an Aloe Vera cream so much nicer than that of a normal cream. There isn't a greasy or oily feel to the cream, it just feels really clean and light. I work a thin layer of this gently into my skin and leave it to soak in. I tend to go and eat breakfast once I have applied this or leave it on overnight (even though it's a 'Day Cream'- living on the edge). The website states this this product is a best seller at the moment along with the Night Cream that I am yet to try (50ml, £13.00).

Rachel encouraged me to use these three products twice a day in the order shown which I have done for around a month with great results. I will say that I think the price tag is a little extreme, especially when you consider the day cream is only 50ml and is priced £12.00. However, for me, these products have been worth the money I paid for them and they were on 3 for 2 when I purchased them so the toner was free! In total I paid £22.00 for 3 skin products which was still less than the single £28.00 REN moisturiser I used to use religiously (there will always be a place in my heart for this product too).
These Aloe products have been a skin saviour for me over the last month. The picture above was taken last night with no foundation/concealer on whatsoever. The products may work differently for different people and skin types so if you are interested in these products, it would probably be worth visiting your local Body Shop and asking a member of staff for a skin consultation so you can trial these on your own skin.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together!


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Autumn Wardrobe Haul


I'm back after months of no blogging. I prefer to write a blog post when I have something I'd like to blog about, as it hopefully makes for a more interesting read! 

Autumn is nearly upon us and as I have made clear in previous posts- I LOVE AUTUMN/WINTER! It's my favourite time of year and I love all autumnal clothes and colours. I went shopping with a good friend from University yesterday in Norwich. The shopping in Norwich is considerably better than at my home town so I bought a lot more than I would usually! The shops had such a good range of autumnal clothes and colours, I could have bought a lot more than I did if my bank account and self restraint would allow.

My favourite kind of blog post/ youtube video is a clothing haul, showing examples of what is available in the shops at the moment. Having bought a few autumnal things yesterday and having recently purchased a few items online with autumn in mind recently, I thought I'd collect them all together for a haul post. My clothing taste isn't that outrageous and a lot of what I bought I did so with the mindset of wearing it for work, so it's all fairly basic. I have tried to add links to the description below each item in case anyone is interested. Unfortunately, I couldn't find Primark links but I have seen these items in multiple Primark stores.

I hope you enjoy!


The work shirt
Primark- Size 6, Wine, £10.00
This was one of the first things I purchased yesterday with work in mind. I had tried on the same shirt in my local Primark in black and loved it but never purchased it as I tend to wear black trousers at work. I tend to wear a lot of black and could easily end up just wearing entirely black outfits every day, convincing myself I still work at Debenhams. Luckily they had other colour options in Norwich. As you can see from the label it comes with a removable neck tie, they also have a white version with a little black tie.

The boxy work top
Primark, Size 8, Wine, £10.00
This one I'm not too sure about just yet, I didn't try it on in store as it was rammed. I LOVE it on the hanger and I did try it on as soon as I got home but I'm not used to the lack of shape in a top. I think I may have to have a good ol' think about it.

The winter boot
Primark- Size 3, Tan, £15.00
I love these boots! I feel like it's so rare that you find boots and like the colour, the heel and the design. I have been buying tonnes of boots online and just sending them all back because the toe is too pointy, they're huge or they are too high/flat. The heel height is perfect for me and I don't own any brown ankle boots like this.


The basic, staple top
H&M- Size S, Burgundy/ Green, £7.99
I purchased this top in green around a month ago and LOVED it! It's great to just chuck on and accessorise, especially on those days where you aren't feeling a skin- tight top. I knew I wanted to buy the same top and size in another colour, so I opted for this in burgundy.

The relaxed work dress

H&M- Size 8, Petrol, £12.99
This is one of my favourite purchases in this post. I have seen so many people wearing dresses like this so I thought I would try it on. I love the shape of it on, I don't feel like I would have to wear a belt with it as it flows out but not too widely and fits in all the right places. Blimmin' chuffed with this! 

Dorothy Perkins

The smart jacket
Dorothy Perkins Sale- Size 8, Blush, £38.00, £25.65
I got this a little while ago in the Dorothy Perkins sale with work in mind. It's a little too formal for me to be brave enough to crack it out for work just yet, but I have worn it to a wedding reception already and it was just perfect to add a bit of colour to and soften an all black outfit. 


The perfect black jeans
ASOS- Size 8, Clean Black, £24.50
I bought these jeans a couple of months ago on ASOS and I love them. I'm always worried when I buy jeans about how they wear and whether or not they'll stretch over time. I have worn and washed these many, many times and they haven't stretched at all. They are called ASOS 'Sculpt me' jeans so I imagine they have a bit more elasticity in them. They have become a little more like washed black denim in places but I don't mind at all. They did also have quite a strong inky smell when I first purchased them but I have always found this to be the case with black jeans and it has worn off over time. They are 'ankle grazers' but awkwardly I'm so short they fit perfectly. If you're looking for a pair of staple black jeans, I recommend!

Shoe Zone

The winter wedge boot

Shoe Zone- Size 3, Black, £16.99
Woohooooooo!! My poor friends and my Mum will know how long I have been searching for a pair of black wedge boots. I have a pair in light brown and I love them, I think they're so comfy but they're limiting as to what you can wear them with. I have tried on so many black wedge boots and not found any I like. I also love boots/ shoes that don't make a sound as you walk, so people don't turn to see where the sassy 'clip-clop' is coming from. These are completely silent! I only popped into Shoe Zone as they had a closing down sale so I thought it would be worth a browse...and it was!

I hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know what your favourite Autumn/Winter items are!


Saturday, 2 May 2015

My experience of life after University

Hello everyone,

A bit of a different post today but I feel like it's something I have wanted to write about for a while as I think it's an important and relevant topic for people my age. I want to stress that this is my experience and is in no way a representation of everyone's experience post- Uni. Everyone is different but I think reading different experiences is interesting, especially if anyone has been in the same position and felt the same way. One blog that helped me in particular was

Making the decision to go to University is a big one and not one to be taken lightly, especially today with the extremely high fees. I definitely felt like I wasn't really made aware of other options when I applied to go to University, almost everyone submitted applications and talked about their preferred courses. I was never really sure which path to take, but focused on a subject I really enjoyed which was Sociology.

1. The rose- tinted expectation of life after University

I am really glad I chose Sociology as the subject of my Undergraduate degree as I found it fascinating to study, the huge scope of topics you can focus on within the subject allowed me to pick and choose according to my interests. I am also really glad I went to University, to have that taste of independence, moving out and fending for myself. I would always recommend it to anyone considering it, some of my closest friendships were made at University. I think it shaped me as an individual and allowed me to come out of my shell and develop my own personality and opinions. Living out in a big City (York) when I was used to living in a fairly small rural area opened my eyes to a different way of life. For example, I could get to wherever I need to be with ease either by walking or by jumping on a bus that arrived every 7 minutes and continued on through the night.

I grew in confidence taking on all these new experiences and working towards a degree as I had never considered that I would ever have the opportunity or ability to gain such a qualification. I also developed a positive image of the future, taking on a 7 week Internship in the summer of my second year 2013 at a local University, due to the promise of such an experience helping with employment later down the line. I absolutely loved the internship, I got on really well with everyone I worked with and it made me feel completely sure I wanted to start working after my degree. 

 I looked forward to graduation due to the prospect of employment with the qualifications I had worked hard to gain and a bit of work experience. I didn't have a specific field I wanted to enter into, I was interested in Health and Illness but was unsure of opportunities within this field. I didn't feel like I wanted to progress onto further education and I was unable to afford it, I just had a real incentive to work and start earning money.

2. The tough reality

Upon leaving University in 2014 I found it was a lot harder than I had hoped. Even having submitted application after application for jobs before graduating and attending interviews, I was unsuccessful in every application. I had also spent a lot of time and money on these applications and attending these interviews. It felt as if my friends were finding their feet, gaining successful places on Masters degrees and being offered jobs and I was just gaining a pile of rejection emails. 

I was so proud to have graduated and was looking forward to the break from the intense workload of University so I put my lack of successful applications to the back of my mind. I thought I would continue to apply and enjoy being back at home with my family. I loved being back with my family but I also started to feel guilty that I was still doing nothing with myself. It got to the point where I didn't mind what the work was, I applied everywhere locally and even started applying further afield in hopes of finding anything anywhere.
After a while it finally dawned on me that I had worked so hard, solidly for three years and had got nowhere. I appreciated everyone in my life and everything I had achieved but felt entirely useless. I was pity party central! I was no longer cooking and food shopping for myself and paying my own bills. I was unable to get anywhere I wanted to without a lot of planning and harassing my family and friends for lifts as I was unable to drive (this is sadly still the case...for now, sorry!). All buses run hours apart where I live and any time beyond 5:30pm was out of the question for public transport. I had little to no money left and it was unlikely that this would change any time soon with the lack of success of all of my job applications. 

It felt like all my effort had been pointless and that instead of taking steps forward in my life, I had just taken a giant leap backwards. I was and still am very lucky to have family, friends and a boyfriend that support me. I will always fully appreciate that my family allow me to live with them at home as well as giving me lifts (as do my friends) when I have no other option. 

3. Coming out of the other side

I eventually had no choice but to apply for JSA and I attended meetings for a couple of weeks before I finally had a successful interview for a job at Debenhams as a Christmas temp. I was over the moon to have the opportunity to work and earn some money, it was also a chance to develop my work experience.

I loved working at Debenhams, it was a little daunting as the Christmas period is a hectic one everywhere but especially within retail. I gained a sense of purpose and developed friendships with the people I worked with. There were also people I met in the same situation as me. My confidence began to restore as I dealt with more situations I hadn't been in before and started to earn some money of my own. After Christmas 2014, my Christmas temp contract was drawing to a close. I started to apply for other jobs, especially within the University I had my internship with as I had loved working there. However, I was offered a new contract at Debenhams when my contract ended which I wasn't expecting and I felt so relieved to have some employment secured.

After a few weeks of continuing to work at Debenhams, I received news that I had been invited to interview for a part-time role at the University I had worked at during the Internship. I went for the interview and on the same day received news that another full- time job I had applied for within the University wanted me to attend an interview too! In order to see if I had a chance at a full- time position I had to turn down the part- time role which wasn't an easy decision.

4. Ups and downs

I was unsuccessful in my application for the full time job having built my hopes up a little too high so I came back down with a bit of a thud. I continued to work at Debenhams but began to feel unhappy knowing that there had been an opportunity to move on and to expand my field of experience and I had missed it. 

One day after a shift I was stood waiting for a bus home and I received a call, it was the University I had been hoping to work in. The department that the original part- time role was based in had a new position opening up and they were wondering if I was interested!! I felt so happy and fortunate to have been given a second opportunity, I began work at the University a couple of weeks later. Although I was extremely glad to move on and take a step forward, I was very sad to leave my Debenhams family who had given me my first ounce of hope!

5. The only way is up

I am still working within the University and have now been given another opportunity in a different department! I am continuing to progress a year after graduating and feel much more positive. I think I was naive to assume that a degree alone would have such an impact on my future. Instead, it seems (so far) to be a combination of qualifications and experiences gained along the way which you can continue to use to grow and develop. 

The experiences I gained at Uni helped me to become a more grown up individual with ambition. My Internship helped me to decide work was the right option for me. The experiences I have gained in work have given me a sense of purpose and most of all, the crap times made me appreciate what I have! 

All in all, leaving University may have seemed bleak at times but I managed to learn from it, which has helped me to grow and I feel positive for the future!


Sunday, 8 March 2015

A Month of The Body Shop Shampoo and Conditioner- The Results.

I haven't written a blog post in a looooooong time, partly due to starting a new job working more hours but the main reason is because I wanted to do a proper trial on a couple of products to test their effectiveness over time. In particular, I wanted to try some more 'pure' forms of Shampoo and Conditioner and the period of time I tested them was just over a month.

For a long time I have read and heard about all the bad chemicals such as Silicones and Parabens in hair products, and how these can impact the health and appearance of your hair. 
I have never really changed my hair routine or products much, mainly due to the cost of specialist hair products that don't include these ingredients. I have used the Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Shampoo, it is lovely but I just can't get along with the smell. To me it smells like hand wash and leaves the hair feeling a little odd. It also didn't add a great deal of moisture to my hair. I do like it as a clarifying shampoo though (if I can try and ignore the smell).

I have quite frizzy, dry hair to which I used to have to add multiple products in an effort to add moisture and shine (mountains of conditioner, hair masks, hair butter, oils). I tended to gravitate towards Dove products after trying many different brands, which would appear to temporarily maintain the frizz but over time it left my hair dry, lifeless and frizzier than ever. I wash my hair every other day which may be seen as a little too frequent as I know leaving it longer improves the condition of hair (like Kim K who is rumored to wash it every four days!) but I hate leaving it.

I have used the Body Shop Hair Butter (£3.00) and always quite liked it. I would quite often pop in to see if their Rainforest Moisture Shampoo and Rainforest Moisture Conditioner were on offer (£4.50 each for 250ml). At the end of January there was a big event at The Body Shop, with members receiving 30% off products. I wasn't a member but I decided to join up and take the plunge. I purchased the Shampoo and the Conditioner and received a free gift of an Almond Hand wash, which I quite enjoy using (win!).

I was told by the assistant in The Body Shop not to expect the Shampoo to lather up too much because the only reason other Shampoos do is because of all the chemicals within them. 
The Body Shop Shampoo and Conditioner were easy to use. When using the shampoo I found it easiest follow the instructions on the bottle and squeeze it into your hand, add water to it and rub between your hands to create a little lather before putting it into your hair. I started using these products on the 26th of January and have been using these until the present day (8th March). Here are the Pros and Cons of using these particular hair products;
  • The shampoo in particular is very thick and the nozzle is only small, the consistency like syrup is quite tricky to squeeze out. 
  • I found the shampoo (I am assuming it was the shampoo as I worked this into the roots of the hair) did tend to build up a bit and leave the hair occasionally a bit thick with a greasy texture even after washing it out a couple of times
  • The Body Shop Shampoo and Conditioner cost £4.50 each. My normal Dove Shampoo when it's not on offer, costs £3.99 which isn't a huge difference but it is cheaper. Especially when my normal Dove Shampoo is on offer which is frequently is, for £1.97. However, I had to use more of the Dove product to try to add moisture to my hair and so I would have to frequently repurchase these products. This ends up costing more than the amount of The Body Shop products I would buy (and achieve a better end result with).
  • I love the smell of these but of course, it is down to the individual whether or not they like the scent as I can't speak for everyone's smell preference.
  • Within a couple of weeks I found a noticeable improvement in the quality of my hair, I had less frizz and the products increased the shine in my hair.
  • My hair is now looking and feeling much more healthy.
  • My hair is now much more manageable and I even enjoy styling it! 
  • I actually ended up spending LESS money on my shampoo and conditioner because of the consistency of the shampoo in particular. It is very thick and so is quite a challenge to squeeze out a large amount. Therefore, I only used and needed a small amount which has meant I haven't had to re-purchase as many times as my usual drugstore brands. 
  • Now I am a Body Shop member I get 10% off anything I buy in store so I can save 10% on these hair products. However, becoming a member involved paying £5 for the year. I am hoping the savings I will make over time and the freebies and offers (I was informed I will receive) will be worth this.

These pictures may not seem that ground- breaking to many but for my hair to look this shiny and not covered in a wall of crazy frizz is so refreshing for me

A bit of life has been injected back into my hair, it looks and feels healthier and is easier to style. I will continue to use these hair products but I may have to use a clarifying shampoo from time to time to try to avoid product build up.

I hope this has been useful for you, if you have any affordable but effective Shampoo or Conditioner recommendations, please share! Everyone likes to save money and still have delicious hair. Likewise, if there is another product you'd like me to review over the course of a month I would be happy to give it a go!


Rosie xx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The City of York


I wanted to make a post about the beautiful city that is York. I went to the University of York and loved it, I have now moved back home with my family down South. Having lived in York for 3 years I thought I'd share some of my pictures over those years!

I'm missing Uni a lot at the moment and going through all the photos and videos I have from York today was hilarious. I won't be posting any pictures with friends in them as I don't know how they would feel about being featured in a public blog post, but I hope you enjoy!

University pictures:
The first of these two was taken on just down the road from the University of York on the way to my old student house and the second was taken on the University of York Campus on my phone.

Walking the City Walls:
I definitely recommend walking the city walls if you do visit York, I didn't end up doing it until after I finished my final year at Uni as I was always so busy with essays etc up until then. We ended up getting such amazing weather that day too so the pictures came out quite well! These pictures were taken using my DSLR camera which is a Nikon D3100.

 York Minster:
 These pictures were also taken on my DSLR camera inside the Minster. It was incredible inside there, I will never forget it. I wasn't too happy with how my pictures came out that day, all at jaunty angles but I don't think a picture can do this place justice anyway. Entry into the Minster is quite expensive (around £10 each) but this money goes towards supporting the future of the building and it is worth doing if you visit York. Luckily we managed to get in for free as we were York residents but equally if you aren't willing to pay this much the outside of the building is pretty incredible too and worth a look.

York Races:
 I went to York Races with some of my housemates and it was such a good day. We all got glammed up, drank Pimms and placed bets. Some of us won and made a bit of money, unfortunately I won nothing and went home worse off. I didn't mind though as it was fun anyway, it was hilarious watching people going crazy watching their horse lose or win.

Bettys Tea Rooms:
If you're ever in York (or Harrogate) and you haven't been before, I hugely recommend that you visit a Bettys Tea Room. They are traditional tea rooms that offer beautiful cakes and drinks presented beautifully on trolleys by waitresses and waiters dressed in traditional clothing. I have a lot of lovely memories of visiting Bettys with my boyfriend, we particularly enjoyed Bettys Afternoon Tea! They're also open until 9pm, we visited once in the evening and they had a pianist playing which made it even more special. This picture was taken one Easter with all their special Easter eggs!

ASK York:
A bit random I know, but the ASK Italian in York used to be the York Assembly Rooms so it is set in a grand building. If you're planning a trip to York and you're looking for places to eat out, this one is worth a visit!

I can't recommend York enough if you have ever considered visiting, or even if you haven't. It has a lot to offer all different types of people, there is still so much of York I didn't get pictures of or didn't manage to visit but I hold very fond memories of the city.

Have you ever visited York? Do you have any recommendations of places to visit in York?

Thanks for reading!

Rosie xx