Tried & Tested: Pro-5 Collagen Bee Venom Day Moisturiser

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So, I am on a bit of a Skin Chemist kick at the moment, having recently started using their facial oil and thanks to a few good deals right after Christmas that let me try a brand I had always fancied but found too expensive.  The facial oil was good, though not as good as my usual brand – which I will be returning to – and so is the Bee Venom Day Moisturiser, which promises to keep my skin hydrated and smooth from morning till night.

The bee venom is the bit that got me, I have to admit, with it’s claim to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and that forever chased “more youthful-looking complexion”.  Apparently, it tricks the skin into thinking it’s been stung and brings blood to the surface, creating a plumping affect and stimulating collagen production. Because of it though, before you try it you have to do a sample test to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.  That done, you are ready to go.

After a month, here’s what I think… Continue reading

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Reasons to be Happy (part one)

Abraham Lincoln said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds to be.”  At least I think it was Lincoln.  Whoever said it, it’s very true.  This week, I was feeling more than a bit grumpy.  I was working on a project that wasn’t inspiring me at all and – over on my book blog – a reading slump was getting me down; not even my favourite author could get me back in the groove.

Then, last night, sat with a glass of wine and an episode of Real Housewives, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment.  Life really wasn’t that bad and the things that were getting me down just weren’t worth getting down about at all.  I went to bed feeling a little lighter and determined to see the good and feel the happy…. Continue reading

Made it myself: Indulgent bath oil

All natural beauty headerLast year for my birthday, I got a sample set of Balm Balm bath oils. I love bath oils (possibly because I’m lazy and it means I don’t have to remember to moisturise separately) and these were great; they smelt amazing and my skin felt really soft afterwards. My three favourites were Relax, Calm, and Indulge. Unfortunately they were tiny – there was really only enough for a couple of baths each – and I quickly ran out.

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See, I told you they were small!

Whilst they aren’t overly expensive, they felt like they should be the type of thing I kept for a treat and so I asked for some more for Christmas – only my husband couldn’t find them anywhere.  I was lucky enough to get some Aromatherapy Associates bath oil instead but now that’s gone too so I started the hunt for something else that smells great and feels lovely on my skin.  Continue reading

Places to Visit: Beamish Living Museum

Always one to ignore the weather when a trip out is planned, the recent half-term was no exception. I work on the philosophy that if it isn’t raining when you plan on leaving the house, you should just head out and see what happens. Which is why, with dark clouds covering most of the sky, last week we went to Beamish Living Museum just outside Stanley in County Durham – for about the 100th time (it’s one of my favourite places).

Just a few dark clouds in the sky...

Just a few dark clouds…

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Favourite things #5: Benefit beauty products

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So I had a bit of a panic this morning.  I realised I was out of one of my favourite products – Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer. Panic ensued.  My day, I thought, was ruined – in fact, the next three days as that’s how long it will take for me newly ordered bottle to arrive.  Thankfully, I then remembered a sample size of the bronzing powder that would see me through.  Calm was restored.  My day would be o.k.

It made me think, though, just how much I rely on certain products and how many of them are made by Benefit.  Time, I thought, for a favourite things post – something I haven’t done in a while – and a bit of a love “letter” to a favourite brand.   Continue reading

Hot Cross Bread & Butter Pudding Recipe

seeds-2908636_1920So, I know it’s not Easter yet and, technically, I shouldn’t be eating Hot Cross Buns but I, for one, can’t resist picking up a packet when I’m wandering down the aisles of Tesco.  They are just so yummy.  The problem is, by the time Easter rolls around, I know there is a good chance I won’t want to eat another.  So, with variety being the spice of life and all that, I decided to mix it up a bit this weekend and use them to make bread and butter pudding.  It came out quite well, if I do say so myself, so I thought I would share the recipe…. Continue reading

My Sunday Photo: Castle Guards

So I’ve finally gotten round to swapping over all the photos from my old laptop to my new one (it’s only been four months!).  While I was I came across this one – though I have no idea where it came from.  I was obviously playing with taking a photo in black and white and filters on my photo app but I quite liked it.  Anyone got any idea where it was taken?

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Places to Visit: Middleham Castle, North Yorkshire

placestovisit2We are big ones in our family for making the most of the holidays and, with half-term coming up next week, the discussions have already started about what we are going to do and where we are going to go (with my daughter pushing for the seaside, because who doesn’t want to paddle and eat ice-cream in the freezing cold?).  It got me thinking about what we’d done last year, and how a lot of them are wonderful places that aren’t always first on a tourist to do list but are really worth a visit. So, starting today and periodically as I find the photos, I thought I would share them – starting with Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire, which we visited last summer.       Continue reading

Tried and Tested: Skin Chemists Whitening & Lightening Nourishing Facial Oil

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I am a big fan of facial oils, especially at this time of year when the weather is cold and my skin constantly feels dry and tight.  Normally, I use one by Sanctuary, which is reasonably price at under £20 and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple on a morning.  At the end of last year, though, I was running out and saw an offer for an Whitening & Lightening Facial Oil by Skin Chemists that I couldn’t resist as I had never tried the brand, but had always wanted to.

The oil is supposed to brighten my complexion (a good thing as cold weather can leave it looking dull as well as dry), even out skin tone and reduce age spots (which I don’t actually have but, given I’m on the side of 40 that’s closer to 50, I figure it’s better to start preparing for the inevitable!). The key ingredients are Illumiscin, which I haven’t heard of, and Vitamin E, which I have and which I do think is great for the skin.  With regular use, I was promised a “fresh and youthful looking complexion”, one that “looks brighter, healthier and more radiant.”

I’ve now been using it for a month, applying every night, and – for the most part – I’m very happy, though I don’t think it’s lived up to all its promises.  Continue reading