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!

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!

 

The Secret Wife

My favourite genre to read will always be historical romances. I just love how the past can turn be a muse for the greatest love stories and The Secret Wife is no exception. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gill Paul and I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it the way I did but I’m so glad that I bought it.

The story follows Kitty, who lives in North London (yay North London’s on the map!) after she finds out about the betrayal of her husband. She traces back her ancestry to America and lives in her great-grandfathers disused cabin while taking a much needed break. This is where things get really good! Her great grandfather happened to be in possession of a diary…Duchess Tatiana Romanov of Russia’s diary.

The diary sets the scene for the love affair between Tatiana and Dmitri – Kitty’s same great grandfather – and tells of the life they lead and the many problems they faced due to love.

I have never really learnt about Russian history and to be honest I never even knew Duchess Tatiana existed but she did and this novel is based on these real life people which makes it all the more compelling!

Both Dmitri and Tatiana, along with the Emperor and Empress of Russia and their children have such an interesting story and while it ends in death, the story that Paul has plotted is so beautifully written that I, like her, hope her version is true and does come to light one day!

This is a book so well researched and written that it’s made me want to explore Russian aristocracy because I feel as though I am part of the lives of those whose story I was briefly let into.

Review: Obagi Blue Radiance Peel

My resolution to try and post twice a week didn’t go to plan eek! However I’ve been waiting enough time after having the peel done to give an honest opinion of it!

Note: this isn’t the same as the Obagi Blue peel, which stains your face blue for up to 24hours after and has to be performed by a qualified doctor.

 I’m not really a fan of over-expensive skincare and like to stick to a simple and natural regime for my face to combat any skin problems that may arise from using new products. I had this peel done six days ago so I feel like enough time has passed for me to review it but I guess I won’t know any further effects until a few weeks down the line.

In the past I’ve tried salicylic peels which to be honest, did nothing at all for me. They didn’t combat oil production or acne and in all honesty I just felt as though I’d wasted money and time for nothing. Due to this I was apprehensive about the Obagi peel, however my clinic gave me 50% off.

Anyway, back to the actual peel itself. The beautician therapist started with cleaning my face, then she applied one layer of the peel and the burning began. She said that you can do up to three layers but as it was my first time to just go for two. So after layer one, she fanned my face and we went onto layer two! This one burned even more and even though my face was being fanned it felt as though it was on fire. The pain did subside after a few minutes and then it was left on my face for a few minutes more before being washed off and I had a hydrating mask put on me and lastly some tinted moisturiser and my experience was over.

Flash forward two days and my face is peeling, I’m not allowed to exfoliate and no amount of coconut oil is curbing the peeling! I stupidly decided to go out and wear make up which accentuates the dry skin on my face and I’m beginning to regret my decision, but also realizing there is nothing I can do about it!

I’m currently on day six, still have an extremely dry face and in all honesty I have no desire to try this peel again. Obagi markets this as a ‘lunchtime peel’ because they claim there’s no downtime. I feel as though this is extremely untrue and if my face is like this after just one, how would it look after the recommended six peels! 

All in all, I’ve noticed absolutely no change in the texture/brightness of my skin and instead of making it glow it’s done the opposite and I’ve had a few breakouts from the harsh chemicals in the peel. I’m beginning to wonder if it was too strong for my young skin (I’m in my early 20s) or just wasn’t right for me. 

Let me know if you’re tried this or are planning to! 

Obagi Blue Radiance peel is around £100 per peel.

Christian Louboutin Beauté

Silky Satin Lip Colour- Rouge Louboutin 001

 

This post is so delayed seeing as my boyfriend bought this for me last Christmas! Eek sorry, but better late than never – I guess. Anyway, I love love love Christian Louboutin; I also received his nail colour last Christmas, read my review here.

When I think of Louboutin I think of red. That’s just the way it is, I mean he patented red soles so he is the king of all things red! When I saw he had a make up line coming out I was intrigued but knew I’d ever be able to spend such a huge amount on lipstick (it’s £65!) so you can imagine my surprise and happiness when I received this! As you know from my endless posts, I am always on the hunt for the perfect red lipstick and thankfully my boyfriend picked 001 as its such a good shade!

The formula is called ‘silk satin’ but I’d say it’s a mix between matte and creamy which lasts for hours and is smudge proof too. To get the best out of the lipstick I line my lips with a simple bright red liner and put the lipstick on top. The use of liner makes the colour pop and stand out!

I absolutely love this lipstick and I’d definitely recommend it to any who are after a high-end lipstick – if not for the colour then for the fact that it comes in the most beautiful red and black box and the lipstick itself has such nice packaging! I’ve attached a pic below from the Louboutin website.

Aveda black mulva colour conditioner.png

The Shadow Sister – Lucinda Riley

Happy New Year!

My 2017 is off to a great start mainly due to this book! I love Lucinda Riley’s novels, she is definitely my favourite author at the moment and I’ve loved all of her books thus far. The Shadow Sister is part of The Seven Sisters series of novels that Riley is writing about a family and how they cope with the aftermath of the death of their father.

The novel follows Star – or Asterope – in her journey to finding about her roots and how she’s gotten to where she is right now. What I love most about Riley’s stories is that they begin in the present day and then float between present and past as we are shown another character’s story. The novel is so well researched and written that I feel as though I am with Flora in England as well as with Star in Kent and as part of their lives as the characters they meet along the way.

I finished this book in less than three days because I honestly could not put it down and it was probably my best Christmas present this year! If you’re looking for a book to read then I suggest The Seven Sisters series because it takes you on a journey with so many twists and turns that you’ll never guess what’s coming next!

The Kashmir Shawl – Rosie Thomas

I can’t believe 2016 has nearly finished! This year has definitely been good to me in terms of career and finding my path in life so I will be sad to say bye to it but bring on 2017! As this is my last post of 2016 I thought I’d finish off with a book I’ve just read.

I bought The Kashmir Shawl from Amazon because I needed to buy enough to qualify for free delivery but who’d have thought that a random purchase would be one of my best reads on the year! Its written by Rosie Thomas who’s novels I’ve not read yet however after this one I’ll be sure to give her a try. The story has many different settings; Leh, Ladakh, Kashmir, Wales, Switzerland and Dehli and the descriptions throughout make me feel as though I am in these places and friends with the characters which are what make a good read worth it, for me.

As I’ve recently been to India I was intrigued to read something written by a non-Indian and see their perspective on a country which has so much to offer and so many different stories within it. The fact that the book was literally about a shawl is interesting but at the same time vague – how can one shawl tell a story worth 400 or so pages? Whose story is it? Will it end happily? As much as I hate to admit this, I love happy endings – some stories deserve them more than others and without giving too much away this story did have a happy ending – of sorts. Around halfway through the book whilst it was still in 1940s india following Nerys and her group of friends I was wondering when it would end because there were so many open narratives which needed to be concluded for the reader to feel satisfied. I have mixed feelings about the ending but I’ll leave that for the next reader to ponder upon!

If you plan to read this book please let me know your thoughts on the ending!

Happy 2017 xo

Lakmé – Eyeconic Kajal

Happy Boxing Day! Well happy just-finished-Boxing-Day. This post is a little late as it’s about a product from Lakmé’s range – a brand I saw and heard of whilst in India in November. I haven’t posted in ages but have decided as of now to try and post twice a week every week – meaning I’ll need to invest in new products and spend a lot of time make up shopping!

I am always looking for black eyeliner and for my waterline I only ever trust kajal as opposed to conventional black liner so I was happy to come across this product in a small drugstore in India for less than 200 rupees (not even £2!). This cheap, yet effective product has become my staple for nights out, daytime and work aka I literally wear it everywhere! Its not a pencil but instead a push up stick of kajal which I think its more hygienic than constantly using a sharpener and it lasts all day.

Whilst the colour is black, for someone like me who prefers simple make up for daytime I simply use it lightly and it comes up as a gray-ish colour giving me a natural look which lasts. I mix this up for evenings by applying it to my waterline – again lasting aaaalll night! Honestly I can’t fault this product at all and with such a good price I may have to fly the thousands of miles back to India to get another!

Aveda – Black Mulva Hair Conditioner

Happy October! Now I’ve definitely begun my countdown to Christmas and whoever tries to stop me is just a scrooge in my eyes!

I’ve never blogged about hair care but mainly because I believe that everyone’s hair issues are different and not everyone has the same kind of hair however those who’ve coloured their hair and had a bad experience will definitely relate to this post.

It all begins in the summer when I went to the hairdresser and she cut my hair a little too short but I was all for it thinking this was the perfect excuse to change my style and add some highlights to my hair. I used to highlight my hair once a year and have always stuck to having two tones of red and brown to blend in to my dark brown hair and lift the colour without looking too fake. However this one particular colour experience was honestly the worst and has scarred me for life!

I opted for one colour – medium brown and one and a half shades lighter than my natural hair colour. This should’ve been a no brainer however the hairdresser added a colour enhancer to my hair and decided to colour it in thick streaks!! It basically came out bright brown and looked awful – normally I don’t care about hair blunders but this was borederline ginger and didn’t suit me or my skin tone at all. This is where Aveda’s black mulva came into the picture.

I’ve always liked Aveda’s natural haircare policy and this product was recommended to me with good results and even better reviews! Here’s how I use it:

  1. Put some coconut/cactus oil in my hair and leave for a few hours or over night
  2. Next wash my hair with Kerastase Bain Satin shampoo
  3. Using a generous amount of the black mulva conditioner I coat my hair in it and leave for around 10 minutes but no longer than 20
  4. Rinse with water and if needed add an additional conditioner

It took me around three uses to see a difference with this and whilst it’s a slow process its definitely worth it! The colour started looking a lot better and was darkened enough to blend into my natural dark brown hair! This is a form of black henna so if you’re allergic don’t use it as I’m sure there are other alternatives out there especially because black henna dries your scalp out which is why I suggest using an additional conditioner on top!

The results take a while but it is definitely worth the wait! Just don’t use a white towel after using this as it definitely stains therefore I’d suggest using the 10 minute waiting time on exfoliating your hands!

 

Kylie Cosmetics – Lip Kits

Koko K, Posie K and Mary Jo K

If you love beauty and don’t know about Kylie Jenner and her lip kits then you’ve most definitely been living under a rock for a while and if you have then you’ll know that these are literally like gold dust. I’ve wanted to write about my lip kits for ages but it took me a while to get over the trauma of buying them….

So we all know that before Kylie updated her website and has some products on sale all the time that she would promote them on her social media with a date/time. Let me just say that living in London and staying up way past my bedtime was not something I wanted to do however for Kylie’s famous lip kits I did – only to find that the website had a glitch so I ended up waiting for nothing! The next day I tried again and was lucky enough to get hold of these gems and ordered Koko K, Posie K and Mary Jo K. After paying plus the shipping fees and then import tax is came to £90! Whilst I don’t mind spend money on quality I was a little apprehensive especially as the reviews I read were hardly promising to start with.

Verdict: I love the lip liners in the kit, I think they’re so good over clear lip balm and line my lips really well and last ages however the actual liquid lipstick is too drying and heavy for me, which I guess is the whole point of matte colours. If I do use them – and I rarely do – I’d apply the lip liner first, lipstick second and after a few minutes some lip balm as the dryness isn’t attractive and I don’t want flaky lips!

I don’t have any pictures of me wearing this but I do agree with Kylie that she has made such a perfect red in Mary Jo K and it goes really well with my skin tone! Posie K is a purple-ish colour and I love it! However Koko K is a little too light for me and I’d use it on top of lip colours to even them out.

My conclusion on Kylie Lip Kits is that in future if I was ever to reorder I’d buy the lip liners alone as they’re so much better for me personally however if you can withstand heavy lip colours then by all means try Kylie Lip Kits!