Friday, 29 November 2013

De-Stress Aromatherapy.




I'm currently enduring a 6 day week, which is stressful enough at the best of times. But with going back to uni next week (I've been on placement) and Christmas creeping just around the corner my stress levels are pretty much through the roof. I wrote a little something about the things I use for stress and anxiety a few weeks ago (post here), but I've just got another little gem to add to my chill-out collection.

This little handy roller ball from Tisserand* is just the perfect thing to take with me on the go. This little nifty thing has been with me everywhere recently, it's perfect to pop in my pocket so I can use it any time I feel my anxiety coming on. Of course, it doesn't make all my worries disappear but it certainly helps me relax a little and just take a moment to breathe in the soothing scents. The idea of the roller ball is to pop the oil on any of your pulse points to help de-stress, I find it best behind my ears and on my temple. I like to use a little on my nose too on an evening before bed time to help me drift off.

All of the aromatherapy oils used in this roller ball are 100% natural and the product is vegan too. The particular oils in this one are Patchuoli, Orange and Rose oil, all designed to work with one another to help rebalance and sooth. This is the perfect device for on the go stress relief, and if you're like me and you can get a little embarrassed about stress, it's really discreet too.

You can find out more about Tisserand and their products here.

Katie xx
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Partners Salon Experience.







Earlier this week myself and Emma, as well as a few other lovely bloggers, headed to Partners salon in Manchester for a complimentary blow dry. I was really excited as I very rarely get the opportunity to go to the hairdressers and truly pamper myself, so it was lovely for a good bit of me time. We were greeted by the lovely staff with a glass of bubbly and introduced to our hair dresser. I, very luckily, had the salon owner sorting my locks out, he explained the particular Schwarzkopf treatments used and why they were used on my very dry hair. He then dried and styled my hair to leave me with super bouncy locks, which was amazing considering my hair does very little in terms of movement. I even had rollers in for the first time! 

It was a really fab experience in a gorgeous salon, thank you for a great evening!

Katie xx
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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

REN Vita Mineral.


If you'd told me a few years ago I'd be using a moisturiser every day, in fact twice a day, I'd have laughed. Before I started blogging I knew pretty much nothing about skincare, my skin was super oily so I logically thought it didn't need any added moisturiser. How wrong I was. Of course even oily skin, in fact, especially oily skin, needs moisturiser. My skin was so dehydrated and crying out for moisture, and therefore compensating by producing more oil - not good when you have serious acne to contend with too. Fast forward a few years and moisturiser is a firm must for me. I think the course of Roaccutane gave me the kick up the bum I well and truly needed.

REN Vita Mineral* moisturising cream is the perfect consistency for me and certainly made for my 'normal' skin-type. The cream isn't thick and heavy and isn't too light either, you can really feel it sinking into your skin and preparing your face for make up. The scent is a subtle rose scent, not over powering but quite soothing, which again I like. REN use no parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, etc. there are no nasties to clog our pores, which is a huge plus for me and certainly converted me to this gorgeous brand.

I need more REN products in my life asap, love. Check out more about the Vita Mineral here.

Katie xx




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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

John Lewis Secret Santa - My Gift.

You may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was taking part in the John Lewis Bloggers Secret Santa (post here). I was given Lucy from Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter, to choose a gift for - I won't tell you what I chose as I don't know if Lucy has received it yet, but I picked something I thought she would love. I'm not sure if we were paired or not so I don't know who picked my Secret Santa, but who ever it was did a VERY good job. Here's what I Santa brought to me:




Bare Minerals - Bring on the Night set

This was the first box I opened, and I was too excited to see this. I've always wanted to give Bare Minerals a go but just never got around to it, and now I have no excuse. My friend has this make up brush and I'm forever lusting after it and even considered going to buy it myself, but now I have my very own! I don't know a huge amount about Bare Minerals mascaras, but I checked out the wand and it's bloody beautiful. I can't wait to give the blushes a go either, I have a pressed blush and a mineral powdered blush to try out. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.




Nails Inc Nail Diary

Okay, I won't lie, I did a little squeal when I opened this. I was actually looking at the nail diary online a couple of days back and desperately wanted to add it to my basket. I am so overwhelmed with happiness that this is now in my life. I can't control my excitement and really need to try EVERY single polish right this second. Control yourself Katie..

Thank you so much John Lewis, for letting me take part!

Have you taken part in this Secret Santa? I'd love to see what you've received.

Katie xx

P.S I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to all of my lovely followers, I hit 1000 GFC last night and I couldn't be happier. I love you all!
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Monday, 25 November 2013

Perfect Pets: Sawyer & Scout.

If you know me, you'll know I am a HUGE bunny lover. I have been dying to get some bunnies involved in Perfect Pets, so this week I am so excited to introduce you to Erin and her rabbits Sawyer and Scout.




"Hi Gold Dust readers! I’m Erin and I blog over at www.e-eliseetc.com but today I’m here to tell you about my two bunnies Sawyer & Scout (aka Squidge).
Back in 2010, on the day I moved back home after graduating, I was finally able to become a bunny owner. Although I wasn’t expecting to find my perfect bunny that day, we stopped off at the pet shop on the way home a short time before it closed (car fully loaded with all of my belongings) and I found a very cute little bunny who’s ears that were far too big for his face instantly won me over. I’d found the Sawyer I was looking for.
The next year when I set up my small business I decided to name it after Sawyer and the name I would use if I ever got another bunny – Scout – and so, Sawyer & Scout was born.
In early 2012 we decided that Sawyer would love to have a bunny friend to keep him company and on a trip to look at treadmills, we instead brought home a tiny black otter bunny who I of course named Scout. After a few months living in our kitchen as neighbours they became best friends when their new outdoor house was ready for them to move in.
Before owning bunnies I had no idea how big their personalities could be and these two, team trouble as I like to call them, are both very cheeky. I think Sawyer might be the most excitable bunny ever, he’s become very friendly and will jump up onto your lap… especially if you have his favourite – banana! Squidge is a little less sure about humans and can get scared quite easily but will give you the cutest little look when she wants something  (usually food!) and enjoys following her pal Sawyer around.
Owning bunnies is a big commitment but definitely a rewarding one. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Sawyer & Scout!"

Thank you so much Erin for featuring your bunnies!

Katie xx
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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pink hair: Crazy Colour in Candy Floss.

If you caught my post on Bleach London semi-permanent hair colours (here) you'll know I've been experimenting a little with my ombre. After my bright pink washed out, I re-ombred my hair and thought I would try a different brand and shade of pink. I picked up the Crazy Colours Candy Floss, which is described as leaving a really like 'candy' pink colour, which I really like. Don't get my wrong, I loved the Bleach London pink, but I loved it even more after a few washes and it became more subtle. 

So how did Crazy Colours pay off? The process is exactly the same as the Bleach London dye, you applied to shampooed towel dried hair  and leave for 15-30 minutes to let it works it's magic. One thing I will say is, this seems to be slightly thicker than the Bleach London colour and therefore is sligtly less messy as it doesn't slide off your hands. I left the dye for the full 30 minutes and rinsed off, and I was left with a really subtle pink tone to my ombre. I'm actually really pleased with the results, they're much less 'in our face' than the Bleach London colour, which is perfect for me at work, plus it's added a little interest to my ombre. 

I picked my Crazy Colour bottle up from an independent shop, priced at £3.99 it is cheaper than the Bleach London offering. If you're looking for a really light pink wash over your hair, I may have found the perfect colour for you.

Katie xx
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

eBay Finds.

Untitled #58

Left to right - 1/2/3/4/5/6

I've found some amazing bargains on eBay recently, so I thought I would share some of them with you. I think these are all actually from the same seller, so definitely go and check more of their products out. I think there is something very Zara-esque about these items, particularly the printed shirts and baby pink coat, so pretty.

Have you found any eBay bargains lately?

Katie xx  
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Friday, 22 November 2013

Seksy by Sekonda.




I've struggled to find a watch for a few years now, that doesn't look huge on my tiny wrists. I love the look of these chunky masculine watches that are on the highstreet at the moment, but I just can't seem to get away with them. So when I was asked if I'd like to try the new Crystal Hearts watch* from Seksy by Sekonda, I couldn't turn down the opportunity of a watch that might actually fit. And boy was I right.

The watch is the perfect mix of bracelet and watch, so obviously doesn't look too chunky for me. It is gorgeously girly with a mother of pearl dial face and Swarovski crystals and elements. It's so sparkly and lovely, I can't take it off! The design is from ancient Celtic designs, with interlocking hearts making it even more feminine and special.

I was worried it when it arrived it would be really difficult to adjust. However, how wrong I was. The links all have open and close clasps so you simply open the clasp and remove the link you don't want - giving you the perfect size watch. 

You can find out more about Seksy here and pick up your watch from H Samuel and other jewellers.

Katie xx
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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Beaded Vs Chemical Exfoliators.


I've used beaded exfoliators for a long time, when I was younger I think I tried anything and everything from the Clean and Clear range. The cleanser was always combined with beads and exfoliation of some sort. I've since grown up and moved on to a better skin care regime, but I do from time to time need a good grainy exfoliator. This one Face Smooth from Tropic Skincare* is the perfect mix of oils, goodness and tiny sand-like beads to exfoliate my skin. The texture is really fine which makes massaging my skin feel amazing and certainly gets my circulation going. 

This has a gorgeous citrus smell and leaves you feeling really fresh and revived. The Face Smooth is perfect if my skin is feeling a little sorry for it's self and desperately needs a pick me up. A couple of minutes massaging this into my face gives me an instant radiance boost.

You can find the Face Smooth here.



I think I only heard about chemical exfoliatents at the beginning of this year, they sound pretty scary but actually they do a great job at getting rid of dead skin cells. I've learnt pretty much all I know about skincare from Caroline Hirons (blog here) and if it has a seal of approval from her, I am happy to give it a go. I've has a few samples of this Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and finally took the plunge and picked up the full size bottle. At first I questioned whether this actually did anything for me, however a few weeks back I had a small break out around my nose, so I upped the amount I used this toner and within days my skin was back to it's usual self. I used to use this every other day on an evening, I've now upped my game and use this every evening and it really does make a difference. 

The toner contains AHA's the same kind of thing in Alpha H Liquid Gold and Pixi Glow Tonic, but this toner is much cheaper than the Liquid Gold and far easier to get hold of than the Pixi Glow Tonic. As the levels of glycolic, salicylic and tartaric acids (amazing for acne!) are much lower than other AHA toners, this one is much more suitable for everyday use. I seriously can't imagine my life without it.

I picked this up from Escentual here.

Katie xx
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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

OOTD: The Pink Coat.


Primark Coat - £25 £15

I've been wanting a pink coat since they started coming into shops late summer time. I think most bloggers have been waiting for THE pink coat to arrive in Primark but I still haven't spotted it and as it's getting colder times were getting desperate. I do have a winter coat for casual wear that is super warm, but it's not very pretty so I wanted something a little more girly to start the winter months. I spotted this coat a few weeks ago with my friend, I tried it on and thought it looked a bit silly so never picked it up again. However I was shopping in Liverpool last week and spotted it had been reduced to £15 and they had a size 6. I tried it on and the rest is history. I know the colour and style won't be to everyone's taste but I love it, it's perfectly oversized to fit a cosy jumper under too. 

Katie xx

P.S For those that were asking how the Bleach London (full post here) hair dye washes out - this is pink hair after wash number 3.
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Thorntons Christmas Hero.



This post is dedicated to my Christmas Hero, my gorgeous hubby. Thorntons asked me if I'd like to send someone special a gift to let them know they're my Christmas Hero and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving than my other half. 

Here's a few reasons why Jonathan is my hero:

Jonathan is my best friend and never ever fails to make me smile, even when I'm not having a great day

 He works incredibly hard for both of us and thoroughly deserves a huge thank you from me for supporting me through uni and letting my dreams come true

I know he would do anything for me and I would do anything for him.

He will let me shop for as long as I want, if there is a seat in the shoe section!

 So here's my little thank you for being the best husband a girl could ask for, I love you Mr A.







Jonathan was very excited about his special gift, so Thorntons deserves a HUGE thank you for helping me make Mr A's day!

Who is your Christmas Hero?

Katie xx
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Monday, 18 November 2013

Perfect Pets: Cosmo.

It's time to meet another furry friend, this week from Beeta, this is Cosmo.




"Hello, my name is Beeta and I run a little lifestyle blog, Fill My Little World. I write on a whole range of topics but quite recently my posts have been dominated by a certain little someone. I am thrilled to be guest-posting on Gold Dust with a small introduction to the newest member of my family. A few weeks ago, my family adopted a gorgeous black and white kitten from the local animal shelter. Everybody meet Cosmo!

His name was given to him by the volunteers at the shelter who also named his mother “Dancer” because when she was rescued she was heavily pregnant with five littl’uns, yet she was pretty nifty on those paws and danced! A couple of Cosmo’s siblings were called Billy and Elliott too.
Cosmo is currently five months old so he is still learning right from wrong but definitely errs on the naughty side! Amongst his naughtiest habits are jumping into the kitchen sink, chewing fairy lights and ripping wallpaper. As a result of being born at the animal shelter and therefore being used to people, he is such a cuddly and friendly kitten. He happens to like skidding around corners, jumping like a show horse and destroying plants, but somewhat irrationally he very much dislikes men. 

He is pretty good at hiding in drawers but a handsome thing like him can always be spotted thanks to his distinctive features – the black heart on his white chest, his zigzag markings and his one singed eyebrow hair from the time he stuck his face in a candle flame. I am so enchanted by his cute little paws and shiny, vampire eyes too!"

Check out Beeta's blog here!

Katie xx
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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Una Brennan Faves.

Both Boots:
Una Brennan Tea Flower Clay Mask - £8.99
Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil - £10.99

You might recognise this photo from my mini-Boots haul a few weeks back, now I've tried some of my products I thought it was time for a little review. I'v tried a few Una Brennan products in the past and have been really impressed with the quality and price of the brand, and these are no exception.

First up the Tea Flower Clay Mask, I think this has become something of a cult product in the blogging world. It's raved about by many bloggers and Anna from Vivianna Does Make Up finally convinced me to by it after watching one of her videos. I've tried a few clay masks in the past and I don't particularly like the tight claustrophobic feeling you get after it's been on for five minutes. This one is a little different and is much lighter than any clay mask I've had before, which means you don't get that awful feeling of needing to wash your face ASAP. I can actually leave this mask on and carry on with my life without having to run to the bathroom and scrub my face.

The mask leaves my skin lovely and soft and really matte, so it's great for oily skinned girls but gentle enough for those with sensitive skin like me. The morning after using this, my skin seems to have that little bit more of a glow and that's when I really notice to good job that this mask does.

Next up is the Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil. I knew it was time for me to pick up a new bottle of my beloved Body Shop Cleansing oil (review here) but I spotted this one in Boots with 1/3 off, so I thought why not give it a go. I'm so glad I did, I actually think I will never go back to my old oil. This has a delicious smell of oranges, which is a lot different to the Chamomile scent of the Body Shop's offering. The oils texture-wise are pretty much the same and leave my skin feeling amazing and so, so clean. Seriously, if you've still not tried a cleansing oil, go buy one now, it's even had the seal of approval from my hubby.

The only thing that I dislike about the cleaning oil, is the packaging. There is no pump which is a bit of a pain. Thankfully I still had the pump from my oil cleansing oil so I just trimmed it to size and taped it on my bottle. Other than that this product is pretty much perfect.

Have you tried anything from Una Brennan?

Katie xx




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Saturday, 16 November 2013

OOTD: Dragonfly Dress.

Shoes - Primark

This dress is so flattering, I love the shape, the sweetheart neck and the pleated skirt. I love it so much, it fits like a glove and is perfect for a day to night look, it's casual enough for a day shopping and would look fab with some heels and a clutch for cocktails. The dress is really well made and a gorgeous chiffon fabric which makes it really floaty. The dragonfly print is really cute too, and certainly something I haven't seen on the high street which makes it even more lovely!

Pussycat London have some gorgeous pieces and lots of cosy jumpers to wrap up warm during these chilly months. Check out the website here.

Katie xx
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Friday, 15 November 2013

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer.




NYX HD Photogenic Concealer - £6.00

I've always found it difficult to find my HG concealer, it's either too orange, too light or not enough coverage. However, I think I may have found it in this beauty, the NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in Yellow. I already had this on my shopping list before I went to Pro Beauty, and it was the first thing I grabbed at the NYX stand and it really is love at first use.

 I've been using this religiously every day since Pro Beauty last month and it's just the perfect concealer for me. It's actually a yellow concealer and looks pretty daunting at first, but the yellow counter acts dark circles perfectly, leaving me really fresh faced and my eyes bright. The formula is really creamy, gives amazing coverage and blends perfectly. As the formula is so creamy it means a little goes a long way, and I mean a little. I pop a dot under each eye and blend, then I'm good to go. It leaves a really matte but not drying finish too so is perfect for covering any spots or pimples.

I can't recommend this product enough, it does an amazing job and does exactly what it says on the tube!

Have you tried this concealer?

Katie xx
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Christmas Wishlist.

Untitled #57

When I saw Etail PR's competition to write a Christmas wishlist I just couldn't resist. I'm not a huge Christmas fan, but this year I'm really trying to get into the spirit, and looking at things to spend my Christmas money on, certainly gets me excited. These are just a few things I'd like from Santa.

I can sense a little berry theme here, I just love that gorgeous mulled wine colour for winter clothes and accessories. I've been eyeing up the Zara Mini City Tote bag for so long, I saw it in the flesh the other day and fell head over heels. The River Island coat is another thing I've lusted after for some time. I feel the need to stroke it every time I walk past it in the store, it's the perfect jacket for casual wear.

Nars is slowly becoming my favourite make up brand. Not only is it cruelty free, it's also available on ASOS - hello student discount! This cheek and eye palette is beautiful, I'm not a huge eye colour fan but that lilac looks amazing. I've also been eyeing up the exclusive ASOS cheek palette too, I'm sure that will be making it's way into my basket soon.

Finally, this Marc by Marc Jacobs Baker watch from The Watch Hut is an absolute dream. I have pretty tiny wrists, but I love the shape and size of this watch and the black and gold detailing makes it, pardon the pun, timeless. It would look amazing with anything, it's just too pretty! The watch is available from The Watch hut here.

What are you lusting after this Christmas?

Katie xx
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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Winter Wonderland Nails & Manchester Meet Up info.




Products used:
Seche in Prim and Proper
Barry M Nail Effects in Lady
Seche Vite Top Coat

If it's possible to fall in love with a nail varnish combo, I think I may have. I've been dying to try the Barry M glitter nail effects since they arrived on our shelves, so once I'd got my hands on one I couldn't wait for the weekend so I could paint my nails. The texture effect isn't great on it's own, without a undercoat of colour but once you have a base colour the textured varnish comes to life. I imagine it's a lot like the concrete effects from Nails Inc but wayyyy cheaper and a better colour selection, in my opinion. Lady is a gorgeous wintery white colour and reminds me of snowflakes and frosty mornings. Definitely a winner in my books.

Have you tried any nail varnish from this range?

Katie xx

P.S. I am organising a beauty swap event in Manchester for bloggers, if you are interested I do have a limited number of places. Please leave me your email for more information. 
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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Large Cup Lingerie.





Tutti Rouge Frankie underwear set via Large Cup Lingerie*

Is this or is this not THE most beautiful underwear you've ever seen? Frills, lace, pink detailing, bow and a cute heart on the bra strap - what more could a girl ask for? This set is part of the Tutti Rouge collection at Large Cup Lingerie and is by far, the girliest and nicest underwear I own. The detailing and little added extras make you feel like so much thought has gone into designing this set and there is finally an underwear brand that knows what kind of thing women want to wear. 

The fit for me is amazing too, the underwear is so comfy and flattering. I love the balconette style of the bra, it really suits my body shape and the frills underneath the cups are just perfect. I just can't get enough of how pretty it is. I struggle to find nice bras for a reasonable price because my back is quite small, but this bra is a tiny £20.80 reduced from £26 from Large Cup Lingerie (link here) a huge bargain if you ask me.

I will certainly be shopping with Large Cup Lingerie again and I would definitely pick up something from the Tutti Rouge collection in the future - I have my eye on the Betty bra to try next!

Katie xx 
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