Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A Review: Malibu SPF30 Protective Lotion Spray

Malibu SPF30 Protective Lotion Spray
UVA/UVB Sunscreen

What Do I Think?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is so, so, so important, whenever your skin is going to be exposed to the sun, protect it! I am very fair skinned, and burn easily, so will never wear an SPF of less than 15, but for the most part I will use SPF between 30-40. Not only does SPF protect your skin from the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays, it also helps with anti ageing - damage from the sun is one of THE most ageing things for skin. This Malibu SPF is from the 'high protection sunscreen' range, meaning it is suitable for sensitive skin than burns easily - I tick that box! The spray function on this bottle appeals hugely to me, there is less product wastage, its easier to distribute evenly over the skin, and is prefect for fast skin protection. This product sinks into the skin so, so quickly, and unlike some of the more 'mainstream' SPF's, I find it actually moisturises my skin as well as protecting it from the sun (it contains Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B), instead of just coating me in a thick, greasy, heat retaining layer of product. Another fab aspect is the water resistance, although I would never be entirely reliant on that, and if I was using it whilst on holiday and going in the pool/sea, I'd reapply before and after - this is where the quick and easy application factor comes into its own, its almost effortless. The biggest bonus of this Malibu lotion for me is the scent, it is such a perfect holiday smell, but its not too strong that it would interfere with any perfume/body spray. I can rest assured that my skin is well protected with this Malibu lotion, and as long as I can get hold of it, I'll continue to use it.

Where Is It Available?
I could have sworn I'd seen this in Boots, but perhaps they have recently stopped stocking it, because it only seems to be available (locally to me at least) in discount stores, like TK Maxx, TJ Hughes and The Factory Shop, or selected pharmacies and online retailers.

How Much Does It Cost?
I paid £3.00 for my bottle, from local 'discount store' The Factory Shop. I've found this on Amazon for approx. £5.00 too, but anything under £10.00 is a bargain for SPF that works so well! The low price almost worries me, if it weren't for the fact I've tried and tested this and am satisfied with the results, I'd probably be put off!

Would I Recommend It?
Yes, I'm sure it is no more or less effective at protecting against the sun that other, more widely available SPF's, but the moisturising effects and the scent make it a winner for me.

Star Rating:
5/5

TAG: 30 Days: Day 9

Day 9
A photo that you took

I pretty much just randomly selected a photo album from my laptop, and picked my favourite picture, because this is really quite ambiguous, and as I said before, I have a lot of pictures!


This is a picture of the Colosseum in Rome, that I took in 2005, when Colin surprised me with a long weekend trip there for our first Valentines Day.

Italy is such a beautiful country, one I hope to see a lot more of, and Rome is such a fabulous place to visit, so full of history and beautiful ruins such as the Colosseum.

It was such a lovely weekend, I wish we could afford to go back, just the two of us, before the baby comes!

*I have applied a sepia effect to this photo at some point I think!

A Review: V05 Extreme Style Surf Spray

V05 Extreme Style
Surf Spray

What Do I Think?
There is nothing I hate more than beach style wavy hair that is crunchy instead of loose, gentle waves! The amount of styling products that I've used that leave that horrible crunch is ridiculous, so when a friend recommended I try a V05 spray, I thought, why not?! I can't say I'd ever used anything from V05 before this, it tends to be a brand I've just overlooked in the past, but then, as I've said I'm not massively into haircare! I had very simple expectations - all I wanted was a spray that gives some texture, and accentuates the natural waves in my hair, allowing me to embrace the lazy 'wash and go' style I seem to favour! Essentially, this is just another sea salt spray, all types of which are designed with creating beach style waves in mind, but this one accentuates the waves without the crunch - hurrah! Most styling products make my hair greasier quicker, but I've probably experienced the exact opposite with this. You can use this on damp or dry hair, my preferred method is spritzing on when slightly damp and scrunching/twisting. This is perfect for summer too, as it contains a UV filter to help protect your tresses from the sun - it smells of summer too. If you like your hair to look perfect and polished this most definitely is not for you, but if laid back, relaxed hair is your thang, I'd recommend you check this out.

Where Is It Available?
V05 products are available from most drugstores, supermarkets and probably nationwide, but don't hold me to that!

How Much Does It Cost?
£3.22 for 150ml of product (according to Boots).

Would I Recommend It?
Yes, I am really impressed with this, it works quietly and unobtrusively, a simple, affordable product that works! This lasts for a long time as well, I've had mine for over 6 months and there is just under half left!

Star Rating:
5/5

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

TAG: 30 Days: Day 8

Day 8
A photo that makes you angry/sad

I wouldn't post a photo on my blog that made me angry, this is a happy place, not a negative place! However, I can post a photo that makes me sad...although, it makes me happy too.


This is a picture of my best friend Paul, with another of my best friends and his girlfriend, Emily. Paul died on the 26th May 2006, very suddenly from a brain haemorrhage, it was a complete shock, and he was only 23 at the time, the age I am now.

I cried and cried for days, I couldn't accept the fact that my best friend, someone so young, vibrant and full of life as he was, could just die, just like that, with no warning. To this day I don't think I have fully accepted the fact that he is never coming back, I can't quite bring myself to believe it.

I think about him most days, it's hard not to. I still cry to this day, but I also remember the many happy memories and they make me smile. Loosing someone you love is very, very hard.

When I graduated from University with a 2:1 after a very tough three years of not knowing if I was doing the right degree etc, I wished I could tell him, and see the pride on his face, and hear him say "I told you you could do it".

When I found out I was pregnant, I cried because I knew how happy he would be for me and Colin, and I cried for the Godfather he would never be able to be.

When I hear his favourite song on the radio, it makes me think of him and smile. He's out there somewhere, still raving!

When I do something stupid I can picture the look on his face and hear him mocking me, and I still laugh at our private jokes.

I miss him so much, and I'll never, ever forget him.

R.I.P. xxx

My everyday products - Spring/Summer 2010

My everyday products, as of spring/summer 2010 - they might not be the most glamorous of products, but I am always interested in seeing what it is people actually use, day in day out, without fail, so here is my loot...

HAIRCARE
V05 Surf Style Spray & John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo

I have mentioned before how easy going I am when it comes to haircare, I literally wash and go these days (does anyone remember Wash & Go shampoo?!), and my shampoo of choice at the moment is from the John Frieda Root Awakening range. Partly through laziness, partly through time saving and partly through routine, I leave my hair to air dry 99.9% of the time, but after I have combed it out post washing, I spritz some of the V05 Surf Styling spray onto damp hair and scrunch it, to encourage my natural waves.

SKINCARE
The Body Shop Facial Buffer, Cetaphil Cleanser, Superdrug Natural High Brightening Eye Cream, Lush Tea Tree Water toner & Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel

I literally would not be without any of these products, they are 100% my staples, and I can't see myself deviating from any of them to be perfectly honest - although I would like to find another eye cream purely because this is one area I haven't really experimented much in! Used in conjunction with The Body Shop Facial Buffer the Cetaphil Cleanser seems to be perfect for my skin, and this bottle is lasting me forever too, making it much better value for money than I had initially anticipated after forking out £8.00 or so for it. Although I want to try some new eye creams out, for under £5.00 the Natural High Brightening Eye Cream is a wondrous buy, and I'm still seeing noticeable results after using it for over a year now. My HG toner is without a doubt the Lush Tea Tree Water, I have yet to try anything that yields better results for my skin than this, and I'm not going to try and find anything else, I'm stuck like glue! Something else I wondered if I'd ever be lucky enough to find it a facial moisturiser that worked perfectly for me, thinking I'd probably just settle for 'almost perfect', until I found the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel and realised it did exist! I used to be somewhat anal about only using products from the same brand/range, because surely they are all designed to work alongside each other in perfect harmony, but I've actually found by switching it up a bit, I've found a routine that works for me, but better than anything else I've previously tried. Here's to hoping curiosity doesn't get the better of me...!

BODY
Palmers Cocoa Butter, Holland & Barrett Aloe Vera Gel & The Body Shop Body Brush

If I didn't have Palmers Cocoa Butter in my life, I think my skin would probably resemble some sort of scaly looking creature from the abyss, but thankfully, I do, so it doesn't!!! Now I'm using this daily, in conjunction with dry body brushing using The Body Shop Body Brush, my skin is noticeably healthier, softer and smoother, and I'm certainly going to try and keep this up. I don't know if it's just the warmer weather, or the pregnancy, that has encouraged this sudden burst of enthusiasm for a daily body skincare routine, but I'm glad I'm not neglecting myself as much as I used to, and my skin is certainly thanking me for it! A product I think everyone should have in their life is Aloe Vera Gel, such as this one from Holland & Barrett, which is 99.9% pure Aloe Vera, none of this synthetic crap! I have an actual Aloe Vera plant in my bathroom too! There is nothing that soothes sun exposed/burnt skin, rashes, bites, burns, irritation, dryness etc etc better than pure Aloe Vera, and I've been known to slather my body from top to toe in it before.

FACE
Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25 and SPF40, No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Concealer SPF10, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer & MAC MSF Natural

SPF for the face is ESSENTIAL, and one of the most important tools you can use to prevent skin damage and ageing. In my quest to find a facial SPF that won't coat my face in a slick of grease, I've come across City Block Sheer by Clinique (review imminent), which is offered in SPF 25 or 40 (I have sample sizes of both), so I now feel much more protected against the sun when I wear these. I'll even wear them mixed in with my trusty No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser, which has an SPF 15, just to boost my sun protection even more, and because I love both products so much I want to wear them both at the same time! If I'm wearing foundation rather than just TM, I use the Bourjois Healthy Mix, which I really love, and I always use the matching concealer with it too, it's just another thing I am weirdly anal about! When I'm not using the Bourjois concealer, I'm now completely faithful to my Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place SPF10, which is just heaven in a tube, for concealing at least! The perfect partner to any of these facial heroes is my MAC MSF Natural, again, something I just can't conceivably imagine life without!

I change up my blusher, eyeshadow, lip products etc most days, so I obviously didn't post those...we'd be here all day otherwise! I might blog about my favourites of the moment if anyone is interested in a more make up specific post, just let me know!

*I've linked throughout this post to reviews I have already done, which is for the vast majority of products mentioned.
** Disclaimer: Every single one of these products was purchased by me, for me, with my own money, and without any influence of illegal substances, aliens or subliminal messaging...or anything else that might influence ones state of mind - aside from friendly fellow bloggers recommendations!

Monday, 28 June 2010

A Review: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (MSF) Natural
Light Medium

What Do I Think?
You may have noticed on the right hand side of my blog I've listed my 'daily essentials', and at some point I will be doing a more detailed, dedicated post to my 'daily arsenal' of products. I realised that I've individually reviewed the majority of the products on my list, but hadn't done so for this MAC product, which I use every single day without fail. MAC describe this as a "luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to provide a dimensional yet natural-matte finish. Provides perfect low coverage. Use to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day". Especially now the weather is warmer, this product comes into its own, it's the perfect partner for a light summer foundation/tinted moisturiser, or even used alone over moisturiser and SPF for a light coverage. I can't stand that cakey effect that some powders give, and thankfully I have never experienced that with the MSF Natural, and I can't see that it would be possible unless you really layered it on with a trowel! It has such a nice finish and natural looking effect on the skin, it mattifies excess shine but still allows your natural skin and 'glow' to show through. I would say the coverage of this is light to medium, but the beauty of it is that you can use as much or as little as you like, to achieve the desirable results that you want. It doesn't irritate the skin - I sometimes get itchy or irritated skin from mineral/powder products - and if anything I would say it helps to calm redness/existing irritation. Also, I'm super duper pale, but I'm not the lightest shade - hallelujah - I use 'light medium', and think the shades offered cover a pretty good range of skintones. I have experienced all skin types through pregnancy, and I can safely say that whether oily, normal or dry, this product has worked perfectly on my skin. I honestly wouldn't be without this product, and as much as I probably overlook it in terms of thinking about how good a product it is, if I suddenly couldn't have it, I'd probably cry (well, that's a given at the moment, silly hormones!).

Where Is It Available?
MAC products are available instore and online from MAC stores and counters, for more stockist info check out their website.

How Much Does It Cost?
This retails for £18.00, and I would say with medium daily use (obviously the amount used will vary from person to person) these last for approx. six months - although, having said that, I'm only my second one in just over a year.

Would I Recommend It?
Yes, yes, yes! This has been an absolute must have in my daily routine for ages now, in fact, I can't believe I haven't used it for longer! I remember buying it after the Barry M Bloggers Event because everyone was so shocked that I didn't use it already...boy am I glad for all those recommendations, which I'm now passing on to anyone else who hasn't tried it!

Star Rating:
5/5

In and Out - June

It's almost that time again, the end of another month has crept up on us all! Eagerly counting down the months/weeks/days has become something of a ritual to me of late, every day brings me closer to meeting my little bundle of joy! The end of June also brings us to my favourite month, July - my birthday month!

IN:

Summer food ~ BBQ's, salads, strawberries and cream, ice lollies...I love food in the warmer months! In normal circumstances I usually lose my appetite a bit as it gets warmer, so evenings meals of cold meats, salad and jacket potatoes, for example, fill me up perfectly. In these last couple of months of pregnancy though I'm hungry ALL the time, and eat whatever I can lay my hands on! I'm missing the odd glass of cold wine or Pimms though, but it's a small sacrifice to make!

Mummies and mummies-to-be ~ I've joined an online forum that really has been like a lifeline - particularly in relation to the issues I talk about below. Real life support from family and friends is fantastic, but it's so nice to be able to log into a world of people in exactly the same boat at exactly the same time, and share stories. I don't know many people locally with babies or young children, so I worried that I might feel a bit isolated once baby arrives and Colin is back at work, but I've use Netmums 'Meet-a-Mum' facility to find some people in my local area (one even has exactly the same name as me - spooky huh?!) so hopefully once I am on maternity leave I can meet them and make some 'mummy friends'.

Baby bumps ~ Everywhere I look at the moment I see baby bumps, in all shapes and sizes, and they are all blooming marvellous! I'm really going to miss my bump once Nugget arrives, even though obviously I'll be more than a little over the moon! For one thing, it's nice to show off my tummy, instead of always trying to disguise it or suck it in, hehe! Just knowing that just inside this growing (bigger by the second) bump is a teeny tiny baby is still so surreal and exciting - as if you hadn't noticed because it's all I can talk about!

OUT:

Stress ~ I think this is something that has featured in so many of my 'In & Out' posts, but at the moment it's more specific to baby related things - lack of money, lack of sleep (which exacerbates everything tenfold!), lack of preparedness! I'm in my 8th month of pregnancy now, and I'll have days where I think yeah, you know, aside from a few little things, I'm ready for this baby to arrive, and other days where I panic and worry about everything, and feel so unprepared. In reality, I'm probably in between the two, which is fine! We have all the essentials for the babies arrival, more clothes than we could possibly need I'm sure too, and I don't think you can ever be 100% prepared for labour/babies arrival because it's all so out of your hands!

Midwife issues ~ I've just about had enough of midwives - I apologise to any fabulous ones out there, and I really hope the midwives at the hospital are better! I'm just fed up of feeling like my midwife appointments are a waste of time, and I've now seen 5 different ones, some of whom are better than others, but all of whom seem to give completely contrasting advice.

The heat ~ I'm sorry, I know that is such a British thing to say - we always complain about the weather though, I think it's part and parcel of being British! I'm just really struggling in this heat and humidity, I just can't cool down once I 'overheat', and it's so uncomfortable at night meaning I'm sleeping even less than normal. It's also not helping my elephant sized swollen hands and feet...but buckets of cool water are a blessing - pregnant or not!

That's all for now...I'm all outta steam for writing any more!

TAG: 30 Days: Day 7

Day 7
A photo that makes you feel happy

This is a pretty hard one again, because there are soooo many photos in the hundreds/thousands that I have that make me instantly happy and smile just from looking at them, or even thinking about them.

So, I'll just have to think of a photo that makes me feel happy right now...it's the photo I use as my 'happy place' - you know, the place you transport yourself to when you've just about had enough? I'm wishing I was in this place right about now...


I took this lying on my sun lounger in Grenada two years ago, and it's more the memories and feelings that the photo conjures up than the actual photo itself...although that is blissful!

I think it's actually hotter in the UK than it is in the Caribbean at the moment, but what I wouldn't give to be back on that beach, with that perfect view, without a care in the world. I've only been on a couple of holidays abroad, and this one was perfect: all inclusive, gorgeous resort, lovely country, amazing locals, perfect weather and scenery, you just didn't need to worry about a thing.

I'm sure I'd be just as hot and uncomfortable there as I am here at the moment, that goes hand in hand with being heavily pregnant, but being there without all the stresses and worries of day to day life at the moment, would be heaven...

Sunday, 27 June 2010

TAG: 30 Days: Day 6

Day 6
Whatever tickles your fancy

I've seen this on another couple of blogs recently, apologies that I can't remember who or where...baby brain...and that is to list your most visited websites. I've assumed most visited is daily, and we'll classify daily as every day that I switch on my laptop, which, surprise surprise, isn't every single day!

I use Google Chrome as my default Internet browser, which helpfully allows you to save tabs along the top of the window (essentially a bookmark bar), and I'll click onto these websites, in this order, without fail:

Google Mail
Facebook
Twitter
Bloglovin
Tumblr
BBC News
Met Office Weather
SwapsiesUK
Halifax

Not hugely interesting, and probably much the same for most of my followers I would imagine?! I used to religiously watch YouTube videos, but I don't do that on a daily basis now, it's more as and when I'm bored!

I don't know what I'd do without an Internet connection...(although at the moment ours seems to be up a certain creek without a paddle, and is dropping every five flippin seconds, grr!), was there a life before the World Wide Web?!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

TAG: 30 Days: Day 5

Day 5
Your favourite quote

I have a few of my favourite quotes written on the side bars of my blog, and reading them always inspires me, which I suppose is the sign of a good quote!

I think my favourite is probably this one from Marilyn Monroe; when you think about it, everything she says is perfectly spot on, and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement:

I would much rather my imperfections make me beautiful, rather than conforming to some predetermined society ideal, we all know that madness is indeed genius, and I spend my life trying to be absolutely ridiculous, it's a hell of a lot more fun that way!

Whilst searching (on weheartit) for a graphic of that quote, I cam across this one, which I really do love too:

My 'Most Used' Make Up Brushes

I've never been they type of blogger that 'hauls', or religiously buys from the latest MAC collections, and now I have a sprog on the way, I have even less money to spend on myself and make up, so I've been 'racking' my brain trying to think of interesting posts to do about the things I already have!

It occurred to me that I rely on make up brushes on a daily basis, and certainly couldn't 'do' without some of them in my routine, so what better thing to post about, right?! I have amassed quite a collection now, but these are my 'most used', or 'go to' brushes:

MAC 217
This was one of the first MAC products I owned, and I don't think eyeshadow application would be as easy without it! It is such an effortless blending tool, and it honestly is foolproof. I cringe at really badly blended eyeshadow, and although I am sure there are slightly cheaper alternatives, I personally think this is well worth the initial investment. Besides, if you care for and clean your brushes carefully, they will last you years and years.

MAC 239
I use this brush for packing eyeshadow onto the lid, and blending out slightly, before finishing off with the 217. It picks up so much product, and can make good work of even the less pigmented, lower quality shadows. Other bushes do the job just as well, but I really love having this brush in my collection, and it's always the first I turn to when applying precise colour.

MAC 219
This is MAC's pencil brush, which can be used for more precise colour application in the crease or along the lashlines. I use mine to smudge colour along the lower lashline, and darken the upper lashline if I'm creating a smokey eye look. Not all MAC brushes are of the same good quality, but this (and the other brushes I mention) has never shed and I've never found a brush quite like it.

MAC 168
This is MAC's contoured cheek brush, which I use daily to apply my blusher/highlighter. Depending on how pigmented the blush itself is, I find it picks up just the right amount of product, and applies it evenly over the cheekbones. The angled bristles make application pretty foolproof, and it blends nicely too, so you (hopefully) won't end up looking like a clown! I've found this to be the best blusher brush I've used so far.

Eco Tools Powder Brush
I use this brush to apply my MAC MSF Natural everyday or any mineral foundation/loose powders I might apply. This is one of the softest brushes I have ever felt, it picks up and distributes just the right amount of product and for the price, the quality is impeccable. I have a more detailed review on this brush somewhere in my archives!

Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Blush Brush
I have a separate review post on the Sonia Kashuk brushes that I picked up in their online sale in January, for bargain prices, and this is another great brush for applying blusher, or blending after application with another brush. I tend to use this for my brighter, more pigmented blushes, like MAC Pink Swoon, and use this to dab it onto the apples of my cheeks, then blend out slightly. I wasn't convinced I'd like it but wanted to try it out and I'm glad I did.

Sonia Kashuk Angled Liner Brush
I use this brush to apply a touch of MAC Embark eyeshadow to my brows, and it picks up just the right amount of product for me, I don't want heavily or noticeably defined brows, I just want to fill in the gaps and make them look a little less straggly. Brow maintenance is something I am pretty lazy at, plucking is a pain in the ass and makes me sneeze, but with slightly filled in brows I can get away with grooming them less!

Sonia Kashuk Large Eyeshadow Brush
I literally use this brush on my eyes every single day, I couldn't be without it now! It's such a perfect, staple brush for applying a wash of colour to the lid with minimum effort, for example a couple of brush strokes with a shadow like MAC Vex, a touch of colour along the lower lashline with the 219 brush, slick of mascara = eyes good to go! All of the Sonia Kashuk brushes are beautifully designed and super soft too, bonus!

Sheer Cover Large Shadow Brush
Another great brush for applying a wash of colour all over the lids, or for applying loose pigments over the top of shadow. This is my favourite of the Sheer Cover brushes (separate review in the archives), and although it isn't of the most superb quality, after a couple of washes it doesn't shed at all, and applies shadow really well.

No7 Eyeshadow Brush
Another brush that does a great job of packing on colour. I tend to use this one for applying lighter colours over a darker shadow, or even loose pigments, just because I tend to devote one job to each brush! I don't wash them obsessively, I only really use them on myself after all, and am too lazy to do it really regularly! This brush does shed occasionally, but I got it free in a swap I did once, and am glad to have it in my collection.

Ruby & Millie Brow/Lash Groomer
As I mentioned, I've started to pay a teeny bit more attention to grooming my brows, and I use this just to brush them into shape, just as you would brush your hair, brush your brows! This brush came in a random kit I had, and has a metal lash comb on the other end, but I don't fancy the thought of putting that close to my eyes, so I just use this grooming end!

Honourable mention: Elf Eyeshadow Brush
For a brush that costs only £1.50, I feel this ELF offering deserves a mention. It's great quality, soft, doesn't shed, and picks up and packs on eyeshadows superbly. I didn't have the highest of expectations for this brush, purely because of the low price, but I've had this well over a year now, and as you can see from the picture, it's still going strong, and I really recommend it!

So, there we have it...my most used brushes! If you'd like any more information on a specific brush, or have any questions, just let me know! Phew...after all that, I'm off to bed, after a cool shower, because to put it bluntly, I am BLOODY HOT! 30degrees in the UK today, plus the humidity, not pregnancy friendly I can tell you!

*click on the pictures to enlarge

Friday, 25 June 2010

A Review: Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous

Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous Maternity
Stretch Mark Oil and Leg & Foot Treatment

What Do I Think?
The skin of a yummy-mummy-to-be is going to be tested to the limit throughout the 9+ months of pregnancy, it's going to be stretched further than feels and looks entirely possible, and it's going to be ravaged by ever changing hormones and sapped of all nutrients as your body directs everything to your baby, first and foremost. So, a little extra help in the shape of some nice pampering products will never go amiss! Cowshed products are trickling into the mainstream (by this I mean they are available at Boots, so therefore more accessible to those of us unable to afford regular trips to the spa!), and they have a delightfully named maternity range: Udderly Gorgeous. One thing all yummy-mummies-to-be want to prevent, or at least reduce, are the dreaded stretch marks, and massaging oils into your growing tummy/boobs is one way to help in this battle. This oil "contains sea buckthorn oil, an emollient packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to pamper and protect the skin. Calendula and jojoba oils work with vitamin E to moisturise and soften the skin". These ingredients combine to make what I determined as an oil with a 'funny kinda smell, that's not entirely unpleasant', that is easily absorbed and leaves nourished, softer skin in its wake. There is a slight residue from this oil, no matter how much or how little you use, so I would only use this at night so it doesn't stick uncomfortably to my clothes. Another thing that yummy-mummies-to-be will experience, at some point I'm sure, is hot/swollen and tired feet, ankles and calves, so the cooling and soothing Leg & Foot Treatment is something of a blessing! This also contains the previously mentioned sea buckthorn oil, and is instantly cooling as soon as you apply it. I didn't notice any difference to the skin after application, other than the cooling sensation, it didn't eliminate any of the rougher skin on my feet for example, which would have been beneficial, but not essential. If only I could just sit with my feet in tubs of this! One huge plus point of Cowshed products is that they are all free from from the nasties: parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, allergens and artificial fragrances/colours. I also really like the packaging of these products, they look very attractive in the bathroom, and are also easy to use!

Where Are They Available?
Cowshed products are available to buy from larger Boots stores in the UK, instore and online from Cowshed itself and from all stockists listed here.

How Much Do They Cost?
Cowshed products are quite pricey, but then they are 'spa products', made with premium ingredients, which is obvious from the packaging and products themselves. I would class these products as luxury treats rather than bathroom essentials, purely based on the price tags. The Leg & Foot Treatment retails for £18.00 for 250ml and the Stretch Mark Oil retails for £18.00 for 100ml. On the plus side, both of these products would last for a relatively long time because you don't need to use a huge amount for each application.

Would I Recommend Them?
As a special, luxurious treat - which all yummy-mummies-to-be are entitled to - these products are lovely, and provide a well deserved opportunity for some pampering and TLC. I probably wouldn't repurchase them myself (I have to watch the pennies), but I would ask for them as a pressie and will continue to use them! I don't use the Stretch Mark Oil daily, instead preferring to rely on my trusty Palmers, but this is good to use as a treat a few times a week, after a nice warm bath.

Star Rating:
4/5

*Disclaimer: I hate writing disclaimers, but, I do! These products were kindly sent to me by a PR lady who realised a girl in need of pampering was inhabiting this growing pregnant body! I have no affiliation with Cowshed or the PR company, and as ever, these views were transmitted to me from outer space (that's where my brain lives now, dontcha know!)...bla bla bla!

TAG: 30 Days: Day 4

Day 4
Your favourite book

I love reading, I've always been a bit of a bookworm, and I can happily spend hours and hours sat reading, I love the pure escapism a book allows you...plus a good book is the perfect partner to a nice soak in the bath! I have a few authors that I look forward to reading new material from, most recently I have been enjoying Zoe Barnes and Rowen Coleman, and although I 'tend' to stick to the same 'chick lit' type genre, which I probably favour for their 'easy reading' qualities, I do allow myself to dabble in other fields occasionally!

My favourite book(s): The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Myer

Before the films, there were the books, and no matter how much I adore the films, the books will always, always be better. In a book, the characters don't come predefined, with actors depicting their faces, personalities and relationships, they evolve in your head, you create the perfect image...and I have to say, in my head, they didn't come much more perfect than Edward Cullen!

The movies haven't spoilt the books for me, probably because I read the books prior to seeing the films, and although I wasn't sure about the casting of Kristen Bell as Bella at first, I think she does convey the awkwardness well, and she looks good with Edward and Jacob.

I know these books were initially marketed at the 'teen' age bracket, and I did originally hold off from buying them, partly for that reason, but then the Twilight bug got too hard to resist, so I caved and purchased them all at once...and fell in love! I am probably what they call a 'Twihard' now...and on that note, MEGA excitement at the fact my sister and I have tickets to the midnight screening of Eclipse next Friday!!!!!!!!!!

Who knew vampires and werewolves could be so sexy, or become so popular?!