Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Nighttime Skincare Routine


To be honest, my morning skincare is pretty minimal. Despite the fact that I'm usually walking around like a zombie, makeup brush in one hand and coffee in the other, I never actually leave myself enough time for a complicated routine before work.

This is why, for me, evenings are well and truly allocated to skincare and I've been using a combination or products lately, some new and some old, which have been working really well. I may have also made an exciting purchase from The Ordinary very recently to add to my routine too, but more on in a few weeks time!

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

The One Where We Start Again


Happy New Year! (and Merry Christmas, Happy Halloween and everything in between...

I know, it's been a little bit quiet over here on Beauty and the Brunette. Since my last post a lot has changed and I still can't quite believe that it's been 6 whole months since my last post. Where did all that time go?

Sometimes, you really just need to take a break. It's funny, during my time away I've been reading more blogs and watching so much YouTube it doesn't really feel like I've left. And with 2017 finally here, I think it's about time I finally stop pressing pause on my own content.

July brought so much chaos (in the best possible way) and blogging just had to take a step back. So much has happened, and at the end of June I finally moved out of my parents' home and into an apartment in my favourite city. As well as finally being able to call Leeds home again, I've also started my first full-time job. I'm now a content writer for a marketing agency and every workday is so different. From creating content on bathrooms and pensions to fashion posts and writing about sex toys (I'm deadly serious, haha!), I won't deny it took me a little while to find my feet. 9am starts were (and still are) hell for this night owl, and doing laundry and planning meals are certainly not the highlights of adulthood. But the freedom it brings and the fact that I'm financially independent are definitely major perks.

I mean, I even have a company email address and I've purchased a fancy decorative hand towel from M&S. If that doesn't scream 'adult' I don't know what does.

So here's to 2017, to navigating adulthood and to the many adventures the new year will hopefully bring!

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Flamingo Candles | The Melt Crowd June 2016


#TheMeltCrowd

I know it's a huge blogger cliché, but I absolutely adore candles. It must run in my family as my Mum is just as obsessed as I am and I can guarantee that at least 2 will be burning every evening without fail. When I discovered The Melt Crowd from Flamingo Candles, a subscription service where Wax Melts are delivered directly to your door, I literally squealed with excitement. After reading rave reviews from two lovely bloggers, BlondeAmy and TheDiaryofaBeautyAddict, I was sold and I placed my order straight away, impatiently waiting for June to arrive!

How much does it cost?

For £10 a month Flamingo Candles deliver 8 EcoSoya Soy Wax melts to your door (you'll find no nasty chemicals here) with an additional melt added to celebrate your 3rd, 6th, and 9th month as a subscriber. With your first order you also receive a free Wax Burner so all you need to do is add a tealight and your good to go! Every month 8 melts or more will be delivered straight through your letterbox so you don't have to be in for the parcel to be delivered. Boxes with 8 melts have a RRP of £18.95 (£2 each per melt plus an additional £2.95 for delivery) so it's certainly great value for money and the added excitement you feel before the box arrives just adds to the value for me. The scents also vary every month and often feature The Melt Crowd exclusives that you can't buy online!

What's in June's Box?

Before I even opened my June edition of The Melt Crowd I could tell it was going to transport me away to a tropical paradise. The scents were already bursting out from the box before I opened the lid and with one sniff I could already detect so many fresh and fruity fragrances. With Summer officially starting in June, this month was packed with vibrant, exotic scents to celebrate the warmer weather and to fuel those dreams of spending summer nights in the Maldives, relaxing by the ocean with a cocktail in hand. But it's not all about fruity fragrances, there's definitely quite an exciting mix of fragrances this month. Four exclusive scents are included: Beach Please, Peach, Gin & Tonic and Chilli & Coriander, alongside the dessert inspired Lemon Curd and Cheesecake Crunch, the iconic summer cocktail Pina Colada and a special WILD fragrance, which is Flamingo Candles' 90s inspired range, in the scent Strawberry Millions.

Pina Colada | When I think of summer I can't help but start singing that famous song... if you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain... Pina Colada is a true iconic holiday cocktail and Flamingo Candles have nailed the scent. It's not too sweet or sickly as the mix of pineapple, orange and grapefruit is balanced with a rich coconut and vanilla base. I love this one and I'll definitely be burning it the night before my holiday!

Beach Please | A special edition for June, Beach Please is fresh and zesty and reminds me of the ocean. This one would be perfect for the bathroom and it's a welcome addition besides the majority of fruity, sweet scents.

Peach | Peach is rather self-explanatory and it's another exclusive this month. I was worried that this would smell rather artificial but thankfully it doesn't and instead it has a lovely refreshing sweet peach scent that I can't stop smelling. It's not as complex as Pina Colada or Beach Please but it's just as wonderful.

Gin & Tonic | An exclusive added to celebrate World Gin Day on the 11th of June, Gin & Tonic has a very zesty and punchy gin aroma. I'm a big fan of gin so I was really excited to smell this and I'm very impressed, it's a very clean, clarifying scent. It's a fragrance that is hard to put into words but just think about an uplifting mix of lemon, lime, herbs and gin and you'll have Flamingo Candles' Gin & Tonic!

Lemon Curd | Lemon Curd has a very strong scent which I'm hoping will weaken a little once lit. I'm not a big fan of lemon scents in general so I don't love this but it is quite a nice scent. It's very refreshing, definitely very lemony and it is part of the High Tea permanent collection.

Cheesecake Crunch | It takes a lot of self-restraint to not bite straight into this melt! It honestly smells amazing and so more-ish, it's definitely not one to burn if you're feeling peckish or you might end up devouring an entire cheesecake before you realise it. If you hate sweet, dessert inspired scents you won't like this but I adore them and I can't get enough of Cheesecake Crunch!

Chilli & Coriander | When I first read the name of this melt I wrinkled up my nose and hesitantly gave it a sniff. I don't really enjoy eating Chilli or Coriander at all so I really expected to hate this one but I was pleasantly surprised. I'm very intrigued to see how this smells in a room once it has melted but for now I'm torn. It's very fresh, herby and woodsy but it's also rather weird... but in quite a good way. I like it, I think... I'll have to update you all after I've used this!

WILD Strawberry Millions | The WILD range from Flamingo Candles cast you back to the 90s, full of nostalgia and retro vibes. I do enjoy actually sitting down and smelling the Strawberry Millions melt, it's ridiculously sweet with a sherbet-like strawberry scent, but I'm not sure if it's something I would want my entire room to smell like. It's definitely one I need to burn to fully make up my mind on. 

Overall I'm really pleased with June's melt selection. There are a few instant hits that I know I'll absolutely love but I'm most excited to try some of the more unusual scents. I think I love the concept of The Melt Crowd as it definitely forces me to try fragrance I wouldn't necessarily choose myself. My favourite? It's a difficult decision but I think I'd have to go with Cheesecake Crunch, closely followed by Pina Colada! 

Will I be continuing my subscription?

Absolutely! Due to moving house at the start of July I've been forced to suspend my account for the moment as I have no idea which address I would send July's box to but as soon as I'm settled in my new home I'll be reactivating my account immediately! I'm already eagerly awaiting August's box and by then I'll definitely be in need of more melts. I never usually stay loyal to subscription services, I always feel that they're very hit and miss between each month, but after reading reviews of The Melt Crowd for the past year it seems like they're very consistent with their quality! 

The only tiny, negative thing I have to say about my experience of The Melt Crowd subscription is honestly so petty I'm not even sure why I'm mentioning it. The paintwork on the wax burner I received had sadly been chipped quite a bit on the inside and I was a little bit disappointed that I received a plain black burner instead of one of the prettier cream and blue burners other subscribers had received. Complete and utter #firstworldproblems right here, I know. I'm still so thrilled with my introduction to Flamingo Candles!

If you're a candle lover, you simply have to try The Melt Crowd. You also receive a 20% off discount code for the Flamingo Candles website every month in case you find a favourite scent you just have to stock up on. Let me know if you've joined The Melt Crowd already and if you haven't which scent from June's box do you like the sound of the most? 
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Monday, 13 June 2016

Getting Lippy with Lord & Berry

Have you heard of Lord & Berry? They're a brand I've only ever encountered in beauty box subscriptions such as Birchbox so I was actually really surprised when I did a little research and discovered that the likes of Selfridges, Boots, Look Fantastic and even Asos stocked them. They don't seem to be a brand that's talked about very often in the beauty community, so when I was sent 3 of their lip products to try I had no idea what to expect! 

The 20100 Crayon Lipsticks* caught my eye immediately, as they instantly reminded me of the NARS lip pencils which I've been desperate to try. Retailing for £10 each they're considerably cheaper the NARS crayons and although I can't say whether or not the 20100 Crayon Lipsticks are dupes I can happily say that the they are are wonderful products in their own right! And better yet, Boots are currently selling them for half price so they're an absolute steal at £5 each! I never expected to be this impressed, mainly because I hadn't heard much about them or the brand before, but the application was so easy and comfortable due to the super creamy formula and I found them to be long-lasting, highly pigmented (especially the bolder shade) and not drying at all on the lips!  I was sent 2 shades, Vintage Pink and Fuchsia, which you can see applied to my lips below.
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