Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sanctuary Concentrated Bath Relaxer.

Sanctuary Concentrated Bath Relaxer - Boots £5.00

I got this a few weeks back and have given it a go a few times. This has become my new favourite bath time treat. I love a good bubble bath, but there are times where I get annoyed cos the bubbles go in my hair (is this just me?!) but this little baby has no bubbles at all and is just a gorgeous addition to my bath time. 

The only way I can describe the consistency is much like baby oil, which if you've used in the bath, you'll know how soft it leaves your skin. This does an amazing job at moisturising dry skin and makes you feel sliky smooth after using it. This contains almond oil - much like the L'Occitane shower oil that everyone is raving about, but for a much more reasonable price.

As with all of the Sanctuary stuff, it has that amazing smell, that just makes you want to relax. I've said it before, I adore this brand so maybe I'm biased but this stuff is perfect. I've only been using a tiny 10p sized amount which is fab cos this will last such a long time I love, love, love it.

Have you tried any bath oils?

Katie xx


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Naked Kids Shampoo.

I know I've posted raving about Naked Shampoo's before, but this time it's a little different - I'm trying the kids range. If you saw my post a few days back about my skin, you'll have seen me mention I've started using kids shampoo on my very dry scalp. I don't like the idea of using Head and Shoulders, because I don't have 'dandruff' as such, I just have a very itchy scalp due to the medication. I also am aware that Head and Shoulders stripes the colour from your hair, and is owner by one of the biggest companies known to test on animals. So of course, I went back to trusty Naked.

I spotted on Boots website that all the Naked Kids range was on offer buy one, get one free, so of course I popped down to my local store to pick some up. I also spotted on the Advantage Card machine, they had a 25% of shampoos voucher so I got these both for a tiny £2.25. They had these two and another banana one I think. But Jam Sandwiches and Toffee Apple sounded yummy. These shampoos are lovely, they are so kind to my scalp and leave my hair super soft ans shiny. They smell good enough to eat too! Although, these are 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, I still use a hair mask or another conditioner as my hair gets really knotted at times!

I've raved about this brand before, they are 97% natural and certainly don't test on animals. Plus make really gorgeous affordable products! I also managed to pick up a bubble bath from Savers a few weeks ago for £1! I haven't got round to trying it yet but I will let you know how I get on.

Have you tried this range? 

Katie xx

Don't forget my GIVEAWAY here

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ebay Wishlist.

Untitled #38

I have so much love for eBay at the moment, along with the rest of the blogging world. Here are just a few things I'm lusting over at the moment.

Glo-Wax Candle
Vintage style bag
Coca-cola Tie-Dye Jumper
Make Up Brush Set
Ceramic Heart
Hand Made Phone Case

Katie xx


Monday, 25 February 2013

The Blend Collective Samples.

I received a rather exciting envelope last week, full of lovely Blend Collective samples. The Blend Collective is a company that specialises in Natural Bodycare, which of course is right up my street. They use gorgeous essential oils in their products, which are 99-100% natural. 

The Blend Collective do a range of different skin and body care, each in one of three ranges: The Enlivening Collection, The Balancing Collection or The Unwinding Collection.

The Enlivening Collection (blue packaging) - This collection has Sicilian Lemon, May Chang, Myrtle and Lime. This is a gorgeous refreshing scent, I love citrus so I'm very partial to this hand and body cream. It's smells very natural, as you would expect but really zesty too.

The Balancing Collection (green packaging) - This collection uses Star Jasmine, Geranium, Vetiver and Rose - to be honest I've never heard of some of these essential oils/scents but I certainly like them. This is really lovely, again very fresh and natural. I really like floral scents, so I enjoy using this cream - it's a very soothing scent, not as zesty as the first one. So if you aren't a fan of citrus, this is probably better for you.

The Unwinding Collection - This is Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cedarwood and Neroli - this is very different to the first two and was my least favourite scent. I love scents that are very sweet, and girly but this certainly isn't. If you love a woody based scent, this collection is certainly for you. 

The consistency of all of the creams, is gorgeous and soaks in really well and quickly. I know these little pots are only little testers but I love the convenience of plopping them in my bag and taking them to work with me. They are really handy to put in my pocket with my hand sanitzer too.

The hand and body lotion full sized (200ml) are priced a really reasonable £19, and I've just spotted on their website here that you can pick up lip balms, I will certainly be looking into this!

Katie xx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Body Shop Candles.

The Body Shop - £10 £5

It's no secret, that I love candles. This was one I got for Christmas from my parents, but for some reason didn't get round to doing a review until now. Unfortunately, this candle is now long gone as I was desperate to try it the minute I got home. 

I'd never really thought of buying candles from The Body Shop before, mainly cos I think they are a fairly new addition to their products. But they were doing crazy online offers before Christmas (and actually after) where if you spend £50, you get £25 off - so 50%. I told my mam about it, and she filled up her basket with things for me and the hubby - as he loves the men's skincare range. As she was a little short of £50, I asked for this Mandarin and Tangelo candle. Apparently a Tangelo is a weird shaped orange...I love citrus and fruity smells, and I adore the Mandarin lip balm from The Body Shop so this one was the perfect choice for me. And I certainly wasn't let down, the scent is AMAZING and very much like Body Shop's signature fruity smell. 

I the candles are priced at £10 each, which I think is really reasonable for the quality and the length they burn for and a fab price considering my mam got it for £5. I can't see on the website how long they are supposed to burn for but I would say I got a good 20-30 hours out of it. It burned quite well, without leaving too much excess wax along the way, but I did scrape a little off the sides to get the full amount burned. But other than that, this is amazing value for a lovely candle.

All the candles from The Body Shop are paraffin free, and use essential oils to 'flavour' them. You can check out the rest of the candle range here. I'm lusting after Green Tea and Lemon! 

Have you tried any of these?

Katie xx

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Roaccutane 6 weeks in.

I'm now entering week 7 of my course of Roaccutane, so I thought I was due an update to let you know how I'm getting on. I you want to see my previous posts and hat my skin looked like beginning the medication click here or here.

This week I went back to the dermatologist, for a check up to see how I was getting on. The consultant was very happy with my progress on the medication, and has upped my dosage. I'm now taking 20mg/40mg on alternate days, this is only a small increase from 20mg daily but I should notice a difference. Reading up on the medication I saw that the dosage goes off your body weight, so I think everyone would receive different dosages depending on their own body weight.

So what have I noticed that is different with my skin? Obviously as my skin isn't producing sebum due to the Roaccutane it has become very dry. I've been tackling this with plenty of moisturiser and some good face masks. My favourite mask at the moment is Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask, which is really helping with the condition of my skin. I've also noticed cos of the dryness my make up is staying all day, without needing topping up, which is amazing. Aside from being dry, the spots I have been getting have been much different from those I used to get. Roaccutane isn't a miracle worker so I am still getting the odd pimple here and there, but when I get it I find the spot will heal, pretty much over night. This is something completely new to me, and used to suffer with spots lasting at least a week. Of course my lips are still very dry, and my trusty Carmex seems to be resolving that issue for me.

 I have found my skin bleed a lot easier too, which is certainly not a good thing. Cos the skin gets a little cracked, if I knock the dry patches when I'm washing my face I find it bleeds and need pressure to control the bleeding. I am now suffering with small nose bleeds too, I tend to wake up and blow my nose as find dried blood (ew!). The mucus in my nose has completely gone now too, so it can become quite sore when it's cold outside, as there isn't anything protecting the inside of my nose.

My back is still taking longer to clear up, however it is having the same healing time as my face. Once a spot appears it tends to go pretty quickly. I have still had a few cystic spots, under the skin but they tend to go in a few days and aren't too painful. 

A nice side effect, is a very dry scalp - meaning I don't have to wash my hair half as much. I currently wash my hair twice a week, which is unknown for me. In the past I've washed it everyday due to the oiliness of my hair, then when I discovered dry shampoo that was reduced to every other day. But at the moment I haven't even been reaching for the dry shampoo, my hair is soft and silky five days after washing. I have switched my shampoo for a kids shampoo, as it's more delicate on my flaky scalp!

Other than that, the headaches and nausea have gone, so I'm putting that down to the steroids I was taking. In my self I feel fine, all of the side effects are physical and 'on the surface' so I'm pretty happy with how the medication is going. I'm not back at the dermatologist until May now, then hopefully that is my last visit - fingers crossed.

No Make Up (and I'd just dried my hair, hence the messiness)

Just applied make up - forgot my lip balm!

After 6 hours of make up wearing!

Katie xx

Enter my GIVEAWAY here

Friday, 22 February 2013

Freebies, Samples & Vouchers.

I am obsessed with saving money, and getting the best deal out there. I literally have vouchers coming out of my ears, usually for things I don't actually need (or want) but once in a while I get amazing deals. This week I've some how managed to get two freebies - they aren't beauty related but I thought this was well worth a share anyway.

I received vouchers through the post, after signing up on the internet. I got 2 free liters of Cravendale milk and 4 rolls of Cushelle free too saving me just under £5. I found these vouchers via Facebook and just signed to their websites. I've found if you just sign up with an email you don't use often the spam doesn't annoy you. These vouchers actually got sent out via the post so that's a little easier than printing off.

I've found all these offers and others from 'liking' a page called '10 ways to have more money as a student, without working'. They share all freebies, samples, vouchers etc daily so you get the best deals going. They also give you links to fab sale items like these Bare Minerals Lip Glosses - here. I have a few samples on the way to me too, some tea bags, a face mask and a perfume sample. People also comment to let you know any deals that are in magazines, like Tesco mag or lifestyle magazines - I've just downloaded some vouchers from Tesco for 50p off ice cream, what more could you want?

Just to clarify, i'm haven't been asked to write this post, I just wanted to share a great page with you all, so you can be in on the bargains too!

Do you know any fab websites/pages like this?

Katie xx

Enter my giveaway here

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Superdrug Vit E Day Cream.

Superdrug Vitamin E Day Cream - £2.99 

This has been my go-to moisturiser for a good few weeks now. Due to the Roaccutane my skin is becoming more and more dry, and craves moisturisers at least three times a day. I managed to get my Origins sample of Drink up Intensive mask, so that is certainly helping but this is my everyday moisturiser.

I've moved on from my other moisturisers because I owned a lot of moisturisers made for oily/combo skin, which my skin certainly is not at the moment. All the others I've tried have been far to thin and my skin starts feeling tight and flaky by dinner time. This just has the perfect texture, kind of like sudocrem. It's so thick, yet soak in quickly and makes an amazing base for make up. The scent is delicious too, it's really sweet but soothing too, if you've tried any of the Vit E range you'll know the lovely smell.

Vitamin E is renowned for being amazing for our skin, and this is packed full of anti-oxidents too. This hasn't caused my acne-prone skin to break out at all, and is really calming when my skin is getting itchy and sore.

Have you tried anything from this range?

Katie xx

Enter my giveaway here

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Formby Beach.

The sun came out in Lancashire this week, so me and the hubby took the opportunity to go to Formby beach. It was surprisingly warm, considering it is February and we had really lovely time playing Frisbee and climbing sand dunes.

Katie xx

Enter my giveaway here

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dainty Doll.

Amazon is amazing for some bargains and the other day I spotted some Dainty Doll stuff for a really good price. If you've never heard of this brand, it is Nichola Robert's brand, and was originally designed for those with really pale skin - cue me. I've been eyeing up some product in Boots for yonks, so was unbelievably excited to see these reduced.

I ordered a blush and a lippy from the range. Unfortunately they didn't have my colour foundation, but they were on a really great deal too.

You are my Sunshine Blush -  I have been lusting after this for SO long. My friend got this from Boots last year and ever since we discovered it I've been desperate for my own. I couldn't quite justify the £13 price tag though, but this was reduced down to a tiny £3.35. It is so, so pretty and has gorgeous gold flecks in a corally pink.

Storm in a Teacup Lipstick - This is the perfect shade for me, it looks so much like one of the colours from my Soap & Glory palette. I've tried this a few times and it looks gorgeous, I finally don't look like I've been digging in my mam's make up bag! This was down to £2.99.

Have you found any goodies on Amazon recently?

Katie xx

Don't forget my GIVEAWAY here


Monday, 18 February 2013

Pooch Pals.

Illustrated by Imogen Smith

A week or so ago, I spotted on the lovely Imogen's blog that she was offering to do illustrations of people's dogs as part of a 'Pooch Pals' series. As my puppy dog lives in Middlesbrough, I don't get to see him a lot so I jumped at the chance to have Fudge featured in the series. I sent Imogen a photo last week and here is the finished illustration! Isn't it amazing? I love that it looks exactly like Fudge, and this was from a photo I has made him pose for - by bribing him with doggy treats!

Thank you so much Imogen, it is just perfect. If you would like to catch the rest of the series, pop on over to Imogen's blog - actually just pop over anyway and look at her gorgeous illustrations!

Katie xx


Sunday, 17 February 2013

600 Followers Giveaway.

WOOHOO!!! I reached 600 followers last night! I am so excited, thank you all so much. As promised I have a little giveaway starting today for 20 days, here is what you can win:

Superdrugs Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Shampoo
Sanctuary Travel Size Body Wash
Sanctuary  Travel Size Body Scrub
German Face Mask
Miss Selfridge Earrings
MUA Nail Fur
Models Own Nail Art Pen

PLUS a box of Twining's flavoured Green Tea of your choice - you can see the selection here. You can also so the post I did about the benefits of Green Tea here.

This giveaway is open to UK only - sorry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Katie xx


Saturday, 16 February 2013

The wonder product: Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is something I've been wanting to try for a while, but couldn't justify £14.99 from Holland & Barrett, so when I saw this in Tesco world foods section for £1.29 I had to pick myself a tub up. 

I didn't buy this for a replacement to olive oil or to cook with at all, I bought it for beauty purposes of course. I am using this as a body moisturiser and as hair care.

Coconut Oil for Hair - Coconut Oil is something used by many people world wide to help with damage and re growth of hair. This is due to the Lauric Acid in coconut oil, it has anti-microbial properties that prevent hair loss. Use of coconut oil as a scalp massage will reduce dandruff and hydrate your scalp, this is why it is used in many conditioners and anti-dandruff shampoos.

I'm currently using my coconut oil as a pre-wash to my shampoo and conditioner. This apparently allows the coconut oil to get further into the hair shaft and protect the cuticles, therefore preventing snapping and breakage. This is apparently a good idea if you suffer from frizzy hair during the warmer months or on holiday.

A word of warning, make sure you wash the coconut oil out, as it can leave a strange texture on you hair, that makes you look like you've not washed it in about 12 years.

Coconut Oil for Skin - Coconut oil is a really effective moisturiser, even for very dry skin. There are no bad side-effects to using coconut oil, as it is a purely natural product, unless of course you are allergic to coconuts.. Coconut oil will sooth flakiness and itching, and works for Eczema and Dermatitis too. Not only this, but coconut oil is a anti-septic and full of anti-oxidants. 

If you've never come across coconut oil before, you may not realise it is solid at room temperature. I've just been scooping a bit out on a spoon and letting it warm up in my hands, it then turns to a more liquid form. I also took the tub into the shower with me, to try and warm it up a little before using it.

Have you tried using coconut oil? What do you use it for?

Katie xx

Friday, 15 February 2013

HUGE Primark Haul.

No, I haven't come into any money, unfortunately, but I did have a final bit of Christmas money that was burning a hole in my pocket. I haven't been on a 'proper' shopping trip, when I actually have money to freely spend, for so long, so I took this week as the opportunity. I did go to other shops, but I always end up back at Primark, the clothes prices have gone up everywhere including Primark but it's still a lot cheaper and the same quality as Topshop. I actually walked in Topshop and turned back round when I realised I could get A LOT more for my money elsewhere. Anyway, I will get on with the haul - some of the stuff in the bags is the hubby's hence the reason I haven't photographed it.

Ankle Boots - £18 £10

Aztec Print Coat - £25 £10

Striped Skater Dress - £5

Lace Midi Dress - £18 £5

Bolero - £15 £5 (I loveeee the tassels)

Sheer Shirt - £11 £5

Spotted Skinny Jeans - Not sure how much originally but were reduced to £3

Bobbles - £1
Tights - £2

 I know this is random, but this is literally the softest bath mat ever.
Bath Mat - £5

Soo many bargains, I absolutely love the coat and the boots, I'm too excited to wear these.

Have you got any bargains from Primark recently?

Katie xx


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Marc b. & ASOS.

Untitled #37

Another competition from the lovely people over at Etail PR. This time to design a collage using ASOS clothing and a gorgeous marc b.handbag.

I've picked this over sized bag from marc b. called Giselle - I think this would be perfect to take to work as a casual bag and amazing dressed up for shopping! Imagine how much stuff I could fit in there! You can check out all the handbags from marc b. at their website - here.

Creating an outfit around this bag was pretty simple, I thought I would go for the monochrome look, for sophistication but casual too. I love the idea of tailoring at the moment, it kind of makes me wish I worked somewhere I could get dressed up for work. I'm loving the tailored trousers with a casual over  sized jumper to give an outfit an edge. I adore the loafer shoes with tassels too!

You can find out more about this competition, and enter here.

Katie xx

Good Customer Service.

A little more positive that the other day, I had some excellent customer service. I popped into Debenhams in Preston to speak to the Origins lady about my dry skin. I know it's not going to be like this forever but I am very itchy and flaky at the moment. My concern is, when I come off the medication I'm going to have loads of left over moisturisers and skin care made for dry skin, when in fact my 'normal' skin is combination. I explained this to the lady and she talked me through some things I could use now, and after I come off the medication.

She then gave me not one, but three samples! She suggested trying a serum under my moisturiser, which is good for acne scarring and will be able to be used after I come of the Roaccutane as it is made for combo skin and won't clog my pores.

I'm so excited to try the Drink Up Intensive Mask, cos I've heard so much about it - I actually can't wait to put it on tonight before bed and see if it works for me. This probably won't work for me too well when my skin goes back to 'normal' as the last thing I want to do is revert back to oily, clogged skin.

I also booked myself in for a free facial in a few weeks time!

I will let you know how I get on with these samples and how my free facial is.

Katie xx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Green Tea Benefits.

My new love, Green Tea. 

I've been meaning to try green tea properly for a while, by properly I mean not that bottled rubbish from the supermarket with added preservatives etc. So about a month ago, I picked up a box of Twinings apple and pear. 

After trying a few times, I thought either this isn't for me or I'm doing something wrong. The tea smelt and looked right but just tasted of hot water. After getting a few tips from my Twitter followers (@katieatki) I was advised to leave the bag in, and to try a different flavour. Back I went to Tesco, and piked up orange and lotus flower and left the bag in. This is a really good tip if you are wanting a bit of flavour!

I picked up this box of Clipper with Lemon and these are by FAR my favourite. I can imagine this would taste amazing cold on ice too. I'd actually got a lemony flavour and gorgeous smell.

So you might be wondering why I've decided to drink green tea, well I will tell you:

1. I don't drink tea or coffee, and I need warming up in this cold weather.
2. Green tea is packed full of natural anti-oxidants - the particular one's in green tea apparently help to fight off some cancer cells.
3. Green tea has natural anti-bacterial properties.
4. It can help improve your immunity - no more nasty colds!
5.It apparently does good things for your skin too, helping to rejuvenate cells.
6. It helps to potentially protect against: diabetes, Alzheimer's, lower blood pressure, the list goes on.

The cleanser that I use at the moment from Origins also has green tea in it too! Regardless of all these benefits, I'm quite enjoying the taste and the idea of having a 'brew' when I get to work. It is an acquired taste, so don't expect a really fruity flavour, but it certainly is work shopping around until you find one you really enjoy drinking.

Do you drink green tea? Which is your favourite?

Katie xx


Monday, 11 February 2013

Mini Sanctuary Haul.

Just a quick post today, to show you the few things I picked up in Boots the other day and to give you a heads up on the Sanctuary offer. Boots are offering this candle (worth £10) if you spend over £10 on Sanctuary goodies. When the hubby agreed it was a good deal, I jumped at the chance to spend some money on these lovely things.

I've been desperate for the 2 day moisture shower oil, since I heard this is a due for the L'Occitane almond shower oil (I think it's called, you know what I mean). But this is a tiny £6.99, which is much kinder to my purse than the L'Occitane one. I can't wait to give this ago and do a proper review, but the hubby says I'm not allowed to open it until my other shower gels have been used - meany!

The other thing we picked up was the concentrated bath relaxer - this was £5.99 and is a sort of oil for the bath. I'm hoping this leaves me super soft and relaxed.

I will let you know how I get on with these goodies soon. Sanctuary is becoming one of my favourite brands - and features in my 600 followers giveaway prize too!

Oh, and the candle smells AMAZING.

Katie xx 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Bad Customer Service.

Image from Google

I feel I need a rant, and I also feel you readers will be able to relate to my problem - bad customer service. I'm not going to name names in this post, cos that isn't fair, however I will tell you my annoyance and things that have happened to me lately.

A visit to the Trafford Centre last week, clarified my need to do this post, after not one but two restaurants were extremely rude. Restaurant one - we walked in and waited to be seated, the only staff we could see available were sat right next to the entrance having their breaks. Fair enough, however not one of them apologised or went to get another memember of staff. After several minutes of waiting, being stared at by the staff on their break, and no communication we left the restaurant - very hungry.

On to restaurant two - after leaving hungry, we went in search of more food. Obviously, due to my dietary needs it's pretty difficult to eat out, so we spotted somewhere we knew did GF food and wandered in. This is a well known pizza restaurant, who do an extremely good deal on an evening - I ordered my GF pizza (as I always do in our local branch) to be flat out refused it cos they don't do GF on the meal deal. As I said, I've had it several times on the deal and this was the first I'd been refused. Why they are penalising people who can't have gluten, I will never understand, is that not some sort of discrimination?

Then to top my night off, I received an extremely snotty email from a company I did a review for a few months back. I was accused of not doing a review, despite emailing the link over TWICE previously. I had a similar, but more polite email from them several weeks after I'd sent the link over, after explaining that I already had sent the link, I happily sent it again (we are only human right?!). The third email got me very irritated though, I was called 'cheeky' as I hadn't done the review and 'not lived up to my end of the bargain'. Surprisingly I haven't had an email back apologising for the mistake..

I don't know if this is just me, but it really ruffles my feathers when people are just plain rude. I think from years of working in retail, you expect to be treated the way you would want to be. All of the retailers that I've worked for in the past, pride themselves in good customer service. I don't like to complain, and I think that's a British thing in general, we are worried we might offend. But at the end of the day if you aren't happy with the service you are PAYING for, your entitled to some compensation. So on that note I'm looking forward to hearing back from my complaints to the restaurants.

Have you had any good/bad customer service recently?

Katie xx

P.S. When I reach 600 followers, I have a GIVEAWAY planned!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Ones to Watch; 5.

Its been a long time since I shared my love for other blogs out there, so I've finally got round to doing another 'ones to watch' post. 

 The lovely Dan writes this blog, a mixture of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I adore her lifestyle photos, the places she visits look amazing.

My favourite post is here.

 Firstly how amazing is Adora's name? It's so unique and lovely. I only discovered this blog a few months back, and I love the layout and design.

My favourite post is here.

Another gorgeous mix of beauty and lifestyle brought to you b the lovely Laura. Laura is currently on a spending ban, so I'm enjoying following that.

My favourite post is here.

The lovely Andrea brings us this blog all the way from the USA. I absolutely love her beauty posts and FOTD's.

My favourite post is here.

Jess is another blogger from across the pond and shares her gorgeous purchases and makes me very jealous! Jess does some fab videos too!

My favourite post is here.

What blog have you been loving lately?

Katie xx
Blog Design Created by pipdig