Always, Alice

Beauty, Food, Fashion & Lifestyle

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Beauty: Handy Heroes From Lush

If there's one thing working in a bar has taught me, it's that hand cream is definitely your best friend.

Anyone who spends all day long carrying hot plates, pulling pints and polishing cutlery until their hands are as dry as the Sahara will feel my pain here, so I want to share with you my little hand care heroes from Lush that have made my hands super soft and lovely again!

The first step on the quest to softness is to scrub away all the dead and dry skin and the Salted Coconut hand scrub does just the job. It's a light scrub that can be used sparingly for a quick fix or generously for a proper pamper and intense exfoliation. It's made with natural sea salt and coconut oil so it's really good for your skin and instantly makes them feel super soft and smooth. The smell is a little odd - somewhere in between playdough and the seaside - but it's strangely comforting and I've really been enjoying adding this extra step into my nightly pamper routine.

My favourite Lush product EVER (a bold claim, I know) is the Helping Hands hand cream and let me just tell you that it is worth every penny. It's a deeply nourishing hand cream made from almond, cocoa butter and chamomile that nourishes and restores moisture within minutes and I cannot leave the house without it in the colder months! It was originally created with nurses in mind to restore moisture after all of the hand washing they have to do and you can definitely tell as it works better than any hand cream I've tried before. A little goes a hellllll of a long way too and one little 100g pot lasts me a good few months before I need a new one!

These two little beauties make for the best little hand pamper ever after a long day at work and it's probably my favourite part of my pamper routine at the minute. They work so well together and I've even got my other half using them both before bed so he feels pampered too!

Have you ever tried Salted Coconut or Helping Hands? What are your favourite Lush products?
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Beauty: Bonbon Couture by Viktor & Rolf

Ever since it's release in 2014, Bonbon EDP by Viktor and Rolf has been one of my most loved and worn fragrances so you would not believe how excited I was to get a surprise package in the post with V&R's latest creation - Bonbon Couture!

What initially drew me to the original Bonbon scent was how bloody sexy it is and Bon Bon Couture goes one step further with the sexiness whilst also adding a hint of sophistication and maturity in comparison to it's sister's super sweet scent.
It's a scent inspired by the glamour and elegance of the brand's Haute Couture fashion pieces and enables the wearer to have a touch of glamour and luxury at home without the couture pricetag. 

It's scent layers mandarin, neroli oil and peach accord with base notes of orange blossom, sambac jasmine and intense caramel for the signature sweet smell. What makes it so different to the original Bonbon scent is less of the sweet notes and instead, Bonbon Couture is a lot more woody and oriental which definitely makes it perfect for a woman who loved the original scent but has perhaps outgrown it slightly and needs something a little more.

It's a scent that invites a lot of interest and compliments from people around, and I cannot help but feel my best when I'm wearing it! It has immense staying power too and even on the longest working days I can still smell a hint of it at the end of the day.

Something I'm glad has stayed relatively the same though is the bottle itself. Like the original Bonbon fragrance in a hot pink bow shaped bottle, the new edition is much of the same just with an almost ombre pink hue to it, which takes pride of place on my dressing table for the world to see!
It's certainly become my scent of the moment and I look forward to it taking me into the colder months which I think suits it best as it's so indulgent and warming!

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Couture is available exclusively from Selfridges as of today (September 14th 2016).

What is your favourite scent at the moment? Are you a fan of the Bonbon range? 
Let me know in the comments below and follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts.

Always, Alice x


Monday, 12 September 2016

So we got MARRIED...

I am a wife.

No, I can't believe it either but I am now a wife and a Mrs and I have a ring on my finger and I can't quite believe it!

You might have noticed things have been a bit quieter on these parts in the last few months but with juggling working ALL the hours at work and planning our wedding I had no time to produce blog content I was proud of and decided to spend the entirety of my spare time planning our wedding instead and make it the day of our dreams.

Cue the STRESS.

Anyone who's married/planning a wedding knows the drill - irrational emotional breakdowns, over ambitious projects and turning into a complete and utter control freak - yet in the end I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Fast forward to the 20th of August 2016 and all the stress and worries melted away and me and my Mr had the most amazing day with our family and friends and I'm excited to share some photos of our big day with you all!

We had a relatively small wedding, which was something we both felt very strongly about. Almost a year ago now we were in the process of planning our wedding and cancelled the whole thing bar the ceremony as it just didn't feel like us - but you can read more about that here. We started again from scratch, booked our favourite restaurant to feed and entertain our close friends and family and started organising an intimate garden party for the evening to dance and get a bit silly!
We had a lovely little ceremony in our local registry office and took everyone off for our wedding breakfast at Ogino's Japanese restaurant which was AMAZING! Everyone was so sceptical about us having Japanese food for our wedding reception and we had a lot of people turn their nose up at the thought of it, but it's our favourite restaurant and it was what we wanted to do! And guess what? Everyone LOVED it!
As for the after party, we had a bit of a last minute stress as the wind kindly decided to blow our marquee to bits that we had spent hours decorating the day before - but we turned it into a blessing and with a shit tonne of fairy lights here and there, a fully stocked bar and a dangerous game of beer pong - it was a bloody amazing night!

I hope you enjoy looking through a few of our photos and sharing the experience with us!
Always, Alice x


Thursday, 9 June 2016

My First Spa Visit

Yes, you read the title right. Up until recently I'd NEVER been to a spa, or had anyone pamper me at all other than my boyfriend's occasional attempts at a back massage or the odd trip to the hairdressers so it was a lovely surprise when I was contacted by Sessions Spa in Beverley to pop in for a relaxing evening of treatments!

Sessions Spa is encased within a grand old building that I've walked past countless times and wondered what it's like inside. Instantly on my arrival I was greeted with smiles and offered a lovely comfy seat in the main beauty salon area while I waited to be shown into the spa itself and after a short wait I was taken into the spa area to begin the treatments!

The spa area itself seemed a world away from the busy salon and instantly I felt relaxed and soothed by the calming music. Surprisingly, I was the first to arrive so I got comfy on the sofas with a peppermint tea and obviously my first instinct was to Snapchat everything in sight!
I was joined by some of the other girls invited and we changed into our swimwear (and the biggest robes I've ever seen in my life) and went off for our massages!

I was treated to a 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage and since I'm stressed beyond belief planning my bloody wedding, I couldn't have been more ready for it! The masseuse used a range of Espa products that I got to pick from initially for the perfect spa experience that was personal and best suited to my needs at the time. Afterwards I honestly felt amazing and I highly doubt it will be my first and last massage!
Afterwards me and one of the other girls took some time out in the Steam & Relaxation room which was like an intense sauna. It made my skin look and feel amazing and the steam seemed to clear out all of my pores and detox my skin - just what I needed!

Lastly, it was time for my complimentary cut and blow-dry in the salon area. Cappuccino at the ready, I had a little trim and refresh of my hair and with the help of some L'Oreal and Kerastase products it was looking soft and shiny rather than my usual dull and dry!
To top it all off, we were given a generous goodie bag filled with lots of products that were used and are available to buy at the salon and of course I couldn't help myself but pick up even more bits from the shop area...

It was a perfect evening and I'm so thankful to Sessions Spa for inviting me along! I'll definitely be back in the run up to my wedding to relax a bit and stop me tearing my hear out!
If you're in the Beverley area, I'd strongly recommend you pay Sessions a visit as there's so many treatments available and the standard is top class!
Now what to book next...?

Always, Alice x

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Beauty: Discovering New Brands With Audreystyle

This year I'm all about trying new things and discovering new favourites so with that being said, I was so happy when I was asked to collaborate with Audreystyle - a new beauty, fashion and lifestyle online boutique that features exclusive brands from all over the world!

I was kindly sent a lovely little package of goodies which I couldn't wait to dig into and try out and I'm excited to share what I think!

Audreystyle stocks an exclusive range of lipsticks from Australian brand Nudus (£22 each) and I was lucky enough to be sent 2 of them! The idea behind the brand is right up my street - they're all organic and cruelty-free and made with amazing natural ingredients like avocado, pomegranate seeds and coconut - and the packaging itself is gorgeous (and looks fab in my new muji lipstick holder!). I have the shades Dirty Diana (a deep wine red) and 27 Kisses (a lovely mauve-nude) which are both definitely my kind of colours! On first glance, the bullet looks like the perfect matte texture, but once I swatched them both I realised they're actually quite sheer and creamy, and as a gal who loves her matte lipsticks more than life itself, I was actually glad to try something a bit different and I love them so far, especially on those "no-makeup" makeup days!

Sheet masks seem to be EVERYWHERE at the minute, and while they're not the most flattering face mask ever, I've been dying to try one out - so was happy to be sent a few of the Real Honey Moisturising Masks from Skin Factory (£2 each). Again, Skin Factory don't use any of the bad stuff in their products and it's all cruelty-free and to be honest with you, the Real Honey mask is probably one of the best masks I've tried! There's a few others to choose from too, and for only £2 each, you can't really go wrong!

As well as beauty products, Audreystyle also stock accessories, jewellery and lifestyle bits including the most instagram-able candles EVER. Kerzon is a French brand that specializes in scents that are inspired by places rather than your standard floral/fresh scents which I think is a lovely concept and mine was inspired by the Jardin De Luxembourg in Paris! While of course it is floral, it's unlike anything I've ever smelled before and I can't wait to light it in my office while I'm blogging away (whilst pretending I live in Paris with views of the Eiffel Tower out of my window obvs...). The candle comes in the most adorable green jar that will make the perfect makeup brush holder when I'm done, and also included is a scented sachet to freshen up your handbag!
In the fashion category, I have a pair of Spring Break Bangers sunglasses (£27) from Dicks Cottons - which although are a big bright and playful for my taste - will make the perfect present for my other half! They're well made and stylish and there are quite a few different styles to choose from so there's definitely something to suit everyone. Each pair comes in a cute little fabric pouch for protection too, so they're very travel friendly!
Last but not least in my little package of goodies was 2 nail polishes from Trust Fund Beauty (£11 each). Again. all of the nail polishes are free from any nasty stuff and are vegan, and the colour selection available so far is gorgeous! I received the shades Wine 'O Clock and Dirty Rich and having tried them both prior to writing this, I am IN LOVE! It's no secret that I'm a little addicted to nail polishes and can't help but pick one up everytime I'm in Boots, so these were a welcome addition to my collection. The staying power is fab when paired with my Seche Vite topcoat, and the amount of product you get for your money is something to be happy about too! To top it off, I just love the whole packaging - even the bloody box they come in are adorable and I definitely have my eye on a few of the darker colours next.

All in all, I'm really impressed with everything I've tried so far from Audreystyle. They have a really good selection of brands that will only get bigger and better over time, and I look forward to making an order and perhaps trying out some of their new jewellery selection from Gorjana ('s all GORGEOUS!)
The customer service I received was second to none too and I could not recommend it all more!

Have you tried anything from Audreystyle? What do you like the look of most?
Let me know in the comments below!

Always, Alice x

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Beauty: A Mini High-End Haul

It happened again...

When in Leeds earlier this week, I couldn't resist getting a little bit spendy in Harvey Nichols and Space NK, and inevitably I spent a little bit too much money on things I probably don't need but I SO want in my life.
As soon as I'd left the car park, I made a beeline over to Harvey Nichols and the Charlotte Tilbury counter, AKA my one true love. If you know me well, you'd know I'm CT's biggest fan and I couldn't wait to add more to my growing collection.

My favourite products of hers are definitely the Matte Revolution lipsticks so I picked up another to add to my stash in the shade Bond Girl. I already have Love Liberty (a deep red) and Glastonberry (a berry purple) and they are two of my most worn lipsticks. Everything about them is great - the finish, the formula, the staying power and of course the GORGEOUS rose gold packaging - and the unique square bullet shape makes application so much easier than the norm when you get used to it! Bond Girl looks like the perfect brown nude shade that I've been missing from my collection and I'm so excited to try it out properly but upon first swatch I think it's going to be a match made in heaven.

I couldn't help but make a complete whim of a purchase too and after swatching probably the whole counter on the back of my hand, I decided to take home with me one of the Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils in the shade Champagne Diamonds. The whole range of Colour Chameleons is based around what shades are best suited to different eye colours, which I think is a fab concept and there's also a day and night eyeshadow stick for each eye colour - mine being the day time shade for blue eyes. Its a gorgeous shimmery golden shade that applies effortlessly like a dream and I'm so excited to give it a proper try!

It wouldn't be right to visit Leeds and not stop by Space NK and I finally picked up the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel after drooling over it for MONTHS. Every blogger and her dog has heard of this little badboy and I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and added it to my skincare collection. I've used it a couple of times and upon first application I honestly thought I'd wasted my money but after rinsing the gel cleanser off my face, I felt bloody amazing. I can honestly say that my face has never felt so clean and a little goes a long way with this so you only need to use a tiny blob on each application! Definitely worth the investment of nearly £30 as I think this is going to last me a good while to come. It's made from all natural ingredients too so it's truly good for the skin and there's no nasty chemicals hiding in there!

What have bought recently? I'd love some more higher end recommendations for my next shopping trip!
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with all of my posts...

Always, Alice x

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Health & Beauty: Bathtime Beauty With Holland & Barrett

If you caught my previous 'Make The Most Of Your Beauty Sleep' post, you'll know I've been very lucky to try out some sleep and relaxation products from Holland & Barrett as part of their Sleeping Beauty campaign. Beauty sleep is SO important but perhaps what's even more important is how we prepare for it! So as well as some lovely bedtime products, I was also sent some bathtime treats and I've been loving my little evening routine starting with a bubble bath...

After running my bubble bath, lighting a LOT of candles and brewing myself a hot cup of Heath & Heather Camomile Tea (also from Holland & Barrett), I've been adding a few drops of the Tisserand Sweet Dreams Bath Oil to my bath. I can smell the lavender and essential oils right away and to make the experience even more intense, I chuck in a few handfuls of the Deep Sleep Lavender Bath Salts (as part of the Dead Sea Spa Magik Sleep & Moisture Therapy set). Normally in the bath, I would prop my iPad on the side and get stuck into a Youtube video or 5 but since using the bath salts and oil, I just get into the bath now and close my eyes and let the scents completely relax me without any distractions. It's such a great remedy after a bad or stressful day and I've found it really helps to relax my muscles after the gym too! I normally soak for about 20-30 minutes without distractions and it definitely gets me in the right frame of mind for a deep sleep!

Once out of the bath, probably my favourite step of all is to apply the Tisserand Sweet Dreams Body Oil to my super relaxed skin. It's fragranced with Jasmine, Sandalwood and of course, Lavender so again it's such a soothing product to apply to the skin and the scent calms my mind as effectively as my bubble bath. It's also really good for the skin and contains so many antioxidants and vitamins and is rich in Omega 6 and 9 which means the morning after my skin feels amazing! I normally skip moisturising on an evening altogether because I'm lazy and quite frankly can never be arsed but I find applying the oil so much quicker and easier and it's a step I really notice the difference the next day if I miss it out!

I'm so pleased how much of a difference using all these beauty sleep products has made to my day to day life and as well as having a much better nights sleep every night, it's also a hell of a lot easier to wake up in a morning and jump straight out of bed without needing a litre of coffee!
I'd definitely recommend everything that I've mentioned and I'm so thankful to Holland & Barrett that they let me try all of these out!

How to do you like to unwind on an evening? Are there any products you'd recommend?
Let me know in the comments!

Always, Alice x
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