The Little Theatre by the Sea

The Little Theatre by the Sea – Rosanna Ley

I love a good book. I love books that have the power to transport you to a different time and place and most of all I love books that you genuinely feel sad about finishing because of how captivating they are.

These are all feelings I had when reading Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea. The story is marketed as ‘the perfect holiday companion’ and the scenery described definitely explains why.

The story begins in England. Grey, dreary England. But then it moves to the fictional town of Deriu in Sardinia, which is a seemingly very idealistic place to live but – as the story goes on the reader is shown the harsh realities of living in a small town.

The Little Theatre by the Sea follows Faye who is a 30-something graduate and is given a break by her friend living in Sardania, who offers her services to restore the town’s theatre. However, the story follows the underlying issues of her parent’s separation, her own love life and a mystery that has haunted the town for decades.

I love that this book has so many themes within it from suspense to romance to exploring pain and loss. Having read a few of Rosanna Ley’s books I can say that her stories stay with me a long time I finish them, so much so I am always drawn to go back and reread them time and time again.

This page-turner is a read I recommend to everyone, no matter what your favourite genre is!

Coconut oil for beauty

Coconut oil is one of those products that take multi-tasking to the next level. I’ve seen it be used for cooking, hair treatments, moisturising, make up removal and even cleaning!

While I have not had experience with all of those tasks, I have been using coconut oil as a moisturiser for a few months and thought it was time to dedicate a post to the powers of coconut oil.

I started using the oil to combat winter dryness on my face and body and was amazed at the results. Coconut oil is one of those products that promises to do a lot for your appearance and the fact that it’s unbranded means you can pay as much or as little for it.

I was introduced to Neal’s Yard Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and after six months of daily use on my face and body, the pot is only just finishing now!

What I like about Neal’s coconut oil is, it’s solid texture – however be warned in the summer months my oil tended to melt a lot so it’s wise to not use too much. Saying that, only a bit of this definitely goes a long way.

For daily use, I rub the oil between my hands to warm it up then apply to my face, working it in until there’s no trace of the oil anywhere.

This keeps my face moisturised for the whole day and even though in between I’ve been using high-end brands, I always come back to my trusty coconut oil as I know it will never break me out, nourishes my skin and gives my face a smooth base for make up.

Nip+Fab Kale Fix

Make up removing pads

In my not so expert opinion, there is one brand that seems to be taking over right now and that is: Nip+Fab. They are all over my social media feed with products ranging from skincare to innovative make up in the form of foundation drops.

I’ve wanted to Nip+Fab for a while now and when my holiday came round it seemed like the perfect time. I normally use a cleanser and muslin cloth to remove make up, such Emma Hardie or Liz Earle, but with baggage restrictions I’d rather pack light and save space for shoes.

The reviews I read about Nip+Fab kale fix make up removing pads say they are specifically designed for dry skin suffers and after using most people saw an improvement in their skin’s condition. While I’ve spent a long time drinking kale and hating it, I was interested to see what would happen if it was applied topically.

I got lucky and got the product on a half price promotion at Boots a few weeks ago and used them on my recent holiday to Portugal where it was hot and humid, so I needed something that would remove all traces of make up and dirt.

I sweep one-two of these over my face, depending on how much make up I am wearing and they leave my feeling clean and refreshed. Unfortunately, a few times I did struggle with leftover eyeliner smudges, which is why I’d probably use two pads on special occasion days.

I saw an improvement in the overall appearance of my skin after a few weeks of using the pads and didn’t break out once – although if that’s due to Nip+Fab or my regime I will have to investigate further. But the bottom line is, I will be making these make up removing pads a regular in my daily skincare routine.

 

Under a Sardinian Sky – Sara Alexander

Every book I’ve read for the past month has, in some part, been centred around Italy. The language used has made feel as though I am able to smell, taste, hear and see the scenes that the characters from the books are experiencing– which is the beauty of a good novel.

Under a Sardinian Sky begins in present day England and follows Mina as she tries to discover what happened to her aunt Carmela years ago in a small Sardinian village.

If I’m honest, I found chapter one painful to read, there were too many descriptions and too many characters which confused me and I was thinking of giving up on the book altogether – but I’m glad I didn’t.

As the story progresses, Alexander’s use of metaphors and similes calms down a little and the reader is drawn into a story of love and deciding whether to rule with your head or your heart.

I felt so drawn into the story that I’m already planning my summer 2018 holiday to Italy because of the beauty and simplicity written about has compelled me to discover the country for myself.

Tony Moly Jelly Mask Sheet

I recently read an article that the secret to Korean women’s beautiful skin is sheet masks. Since then, I’ve tried a lot of them but this post is dedicated to Tony Moly’s Pudding Chamomile Jelly Mask sheet (try saying that with a mouth full).

It’s no secret that my skin is drier than the Sahara – even in the summer! I am obsessed with anything that says the words ‘hydrating’ or ‘moisturising’ and when I came across this product in Sephora Prague I just had to try it then and there.

The packaging is probably what attracted my first as its like a ‘jelly pudding’ – thus the name – and says its contains chamomile which I’ve heard to be very good for skin.

I tried this after a shower where my face was completely clean and make-up free and left it on for around 10-15 minutes as is recommended. In spite of looking like a mummy it actually felt really nice as the effect was quite cooling.

After the time was up I tapped the remaining moisture into my face and after an hour or so applied make up and went out. My face felt sooo moisturised and my make up applied like a dream.

I’ve found the effects of this mask to be just an instant moisturiser and nothing actually beneficial for my skin. I didn’t feel or look glowing after and the day after I applied it I found that the dry areas of my skin were back.

I would rate this a 2/5, if only for the cute packaging and the instant effects.

Balance Cosmetics

Balance Cosmetics Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum

With the hot weather finally hitting England, skincare has never been more important. For some time I’ve been on the lookout for a daily lightweight, simple serum. I came across Balance Cosmetics and was so shocked at how the product was around £5 and had glowing reviews so I just had to try it for myself…

The bottle comes with a simple drop applicator, which is a game changer. I apply one drop on either cheek, one on my forehead and one to my chin. This serum is so lightweight and leaves no traces. There is a slight sticky consistency at first but I find that if I apply nothing else to my face for 5 minutes the effect is gone.

I like how this brightens my face but as I’m yet to be on the receiving end of wrinkles I can’t comment on whether it works, however I did give this serum to my mum for a few months and she is hooked on it.

I definitely recommend this for a light-weight, summer serum!

Too Faced Born This Way foundation

Foundations, BB creams, tinted moisturisers – where do we begin with them? I’ve tried and tested so many in recent years and I finally thought I’d landed on a winner with Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation. But me, being me, thought I’d try out something new in the form of Too Faced’s Born This Way foundation.

I’ve only heard glowing reviews about this from people I know and online websites so I just had to join the bandwagon.

Let me start by saying, this foundation is by far the only one ever to be matched perfectly to my skin! I am shade Light Beige. The foundation is definitely undetectable in terms of colour but, sadly that’s my only true positive about it.

I want to love with foundation, but it doesn’t sit well at all on my face. My skin is dry due to regular used of topical retinoid and my current skincare routine includes using either coconut oil or a thick moisturiser as a base.

I use a thin layer of primer and apply the foundation on top but no matter what/how I apply it is doesn’t seem to sit without caking and lines after a few hours! I’ve tried beauty blenders, fingers, stippling and flat brushes and while the coverage is amazing it just doesn’t look right on me.

My most recent revelation to this came when I was in Prague, got off a flight, looked in the mirror and saw that the colour had oxidized. Now I know that foundation shouldn’t be worn on flights due to the air/oxygen but I had no time to remove it.

This foundation would be the one if it wasn’t for the inability to be worn on dry skin. However, that being said I am currently sitting in the British Library wearing this on top of my Luminous Silk foundation and hoping that this will lessen the drying effect.

Any tips on how to wear this with dry skin are welcome below!

 

Tony Moly Shiny Foot Peel

img_8566

Summer means a lot to a lot of people but I think we can all agree that it signals saying bye to Ugg boots and hello to sandals, flip flops and open toe shoes. With that in mind, foot care is fast becoming a huge trend and if you, like me didn’t know that foot peels are a thing – then trust me they are!

Tony Moly is a huge South Korean brand and I recently when to Prague where I spent most of the trip in Sephora but I was amazed at how many products Tony Moly actually has.

I tried this foot peel on recommendation and also out of intrigue – what in the world is a foot peel? What does it do? Does it work? (before you read on don’t worry there are no pictures of my feet here).

The product comes with two feet shaped packets with instructions on how to use them, which I will summarise here:

  1. Set aside 1.5 – 2 hours
  2. Make sure your foot is in each of the bags then pour one sachet over one foot
  3. Once its been on for the recommended time thoroughly wash your feet making sure all of the product is gone
  4. Be patient!

If you are going to use this then be sure to sit still for a 2 hours, I put a Bollywood film on giving me ample time but my insatiable appetite lead me to get up and walk to the kitchen where I proceeded to leave a trail of the peel in my wake.

After day one I watched my feet very closely for sign of peeling but when I saw nothing I was so disappointed, until I went to the gym on day 4 post peel – in the ‘hot’ British weather – came home and took off my socks and finally my feet were peeling! It was the most grossly satisfying thing.

It took about 4 days for the peeling to stop and when it did my feet were so soft and smooth, just in time for my holiday.  

Its currently been around 4 weeks since I used the first peel and I’ve found that while the soles of my feet are smooth and soft, the heels have begun to harden. I think, to get the full effect of this product it should be used regularly whilst also giving the feet time to breathe.

I got this product from Amazon for around £10

 

The Hourglass – Tracy Rees

It’s been a while since I read anything that wasn’t to do with law, government or shorthand so I was so happy to stumble upon this book one day.

The Hourglass follows Nora as she goes through a difficult period in life from breaking up with her boyfriend to quitting her job and switches to the narrative of young Chloe spending her summers in Tenby.

The split between Chloe and Nora is set in London/Tenby, Wales and it is truly one of the best books I have read in such a long time.

Halfway through the book you’ll figure out the crux of the story, but that didn’t make me want to stop reading – if anything I was drawn further in and didn’t want it to end.

When Chloe is in Tenby with her best friend Llew, the way that Rees writes about childhood naivety and innocence made me so happy. The way the pair is so content to spend days having a simple picnic or looking for coins was so perfectly written. It made me want to go to the beach and do all the things they did but without the outlook of a 20-something year old.

Nora’s story was more relatable, as she is older and going through things in life that many people do. But her decision to go to Tenby changes her life and while the story ended well I wanted more. I want to know what happens next – I guess that is the beauty of a good book.

I recommend this to anyone looking for the perfect summer read or just a bit of escapism! One of my top 5 of 2017 so far…

 

Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment

I am finally free of exams and the sun is shining – can life get any better? Well a beach would be nice but for now this will do, added to the fact that I have a huge list of all the products I’ve been using in the last few months that I need to review, starting with Glamglow!

If there’s one brand that comes to my mind when it comes to face masks it has to be Glamglow. I received this for my birthday a few months ago (I really do have the best friends) and after using it weekly-ish I’m ready to do a review.

The mask is part of the latest fad in peel off masks; it’s a silver colour that’s quite runny so you have to apply it with a brush. The brush is honestly my favourite part of the mask! It makes my life so much easier and means that application is even everywhere.

The mask promises to leave skin ‘firmer and more lifted’, which in all honesty I don’t think I’ve noticed but I do feel very clean once I’ve used it and I think the results promised would probably take using twice a week for a few months.

If you have very sensitive skin I wouldn’t recommend this mask as on first application it does sting in any sensitive areas but, this does go down after a while.

I apply one layer of this all around my face, leave for around 20minutes – or whenever it’s completely dry everywhere and peel it off. There is something so satisfying about peeling off a mask that you just don’t get from washing it off.

Glamglow’s official website says the mask is ‘Powered byTEAOXI™ Marshmallow + Licorice Leaf’ and has a distinct smell of Malibu (take me back to the uni days please).

Let me know below if you’ve used any products in the Glamglow range!