Always, Alice

Beauty, Food, Fashion & Lifestyle

Friday, 21 October 2016

Health & Beauty: Changing Your Sleep Persona With Holland & Barrett

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my sleep. Like I literally can't function unless I've had at least 9 hours - and even then I need a million coffees to get me going in a morning - so the recent early starts at work (I'm talking 4am guysssssss...) have been a STRUGGLE. 

It seems as though the babes over at Holland & Barrett read my mind and knew I needed help getting my arse out of bed in a morning, and also jumping into bed earlier on a night to prepare myself for the day ahead and get the best nights sleep possible!
As part of their What Is Your Sleep Persona campaign, they sent me a whole bag full of goodies to help calm my mind and relax before bed to inspire me to be more of an early riser rather than "The Biggest Snoozer".

After working with Holland & Barrett earlier in the year, I got the chance to try out lots of lavender scented goodness as part of their Beauty Sleep campaign, and the theme was definitely continued this time around! From Miaroma, I have their Soothing Lavender Essential Oil (£8.49) and the Relaxing Lavender Temple Balm (£8), and after using the Relaxing Lavender Sleep Mist (£7) religiously for months now, I know I'll love both of these just as much! For the last week or so, I've been using the temple balm about half an hour before bed before I settle down with a good book and I've definitely noticed a difference in how quickly I fall asleep and how good a nights sleep I end up getting. 
Also from Miaroma, I've been trying out the Peppermint Pure Essential Oil (£5.59). It's my go-to when I wake up in a morning, and it helps me wake up quicker and feel more invigorated!

Next up is the Cherry Active Ltd Concentrate 473ml (£16.49). At first I just thought this was VERY expensive energy drink (due to the fact it contains super fancy Montmorency cherries) but you actually only use a little bit of this each time and it can be combined into smoothies and juices to add an extra kick. After reading some reviews, I've heard this is fab for aching muscles after the gym which is just what I need after hammering the treadmill this last fortnight!
The Cherry Effect Capsules (£13.69) I've been trying out are in effect just a more convenient version of the Cherry Concentrate. I've been enjoying using them every day and I find I'm much less tired throughout the day which I'm putting down to these! Again they're quite expensive but definitely worth it - especially in a cheeky penny sale!

A couple of other supplements I've been giving a try are the East Meets West Sleep Formula capsules (£17.99) and the Lemon Balm capsules (£8.99). Again, both of them are fairly pricey but I believe you get what you pay for. For those of us with mild anxiety both of these are a godsend, as they not only send me into a peaceful sleep almost as soon as my head has hit the pillow but they also help me wake up feeling fresh and my mind is clear for the rest of the day - YAAASSS!
Back to the lavender obsession, I've happily added the Dr Organic Lavender Skin Lotion (£6.59) to my nightly pamper routine. It's amazing to use after a steaming hot Lush bath, ready to wind down for the evening. It does the job in making me feel relaxing and zen but it's actually really good for my skin too!

Probably my most favourite item in my "Sleeping Bag" is the silk pillowcase from SilkKiss (from £19.99). I've heard so much about silk pillowcases and how they can help make your skin and hair look AMAAAZING but I've always been too sceptical to invest in one. I've not been using it long enough to see any long-term benefits but the difference it's made to my hair in such a short time is amazing. Normally my hair is a greasy mess (TMI, soz) after a couple of days after washing, but I'm currently sat here on day 6 and my hair is just as silky smooth and soft as when I washed nearly a bloody week ago!

Last but not least in my little bag of treats are the Holland & Barrett Valerian Plus tablets (£9.99). I've tried out Valerian tea before but this was a whole new ball game in keeping my mind clear and calm! They claim to help with sleep disturbances due to mild anxiety and while I'm pretty much knocked out cold for 8 hours straight, these have helped massively with my day to day anxiety, especially at work! I've never really been one for taking supplements and vitamins before but I can't live without them now and I think my body and mind is starting to thank me for it.
Since working with Holland & Barrett on their sleep campaigns, I've become so interested with wellbeing and how important sleep really is for you and I'm so happy that I've finally got into the routine of going to bed earlier and waking up earlier instead of at 12pm wondering where the hell the day has disappeared off to!

What helps you have a great nights sleep? Have you ever tried any products like these before?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

*I was kindly gifted the products in this post but all words, thoughts and peaceful nights sleep are my own.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Beauty: #ScandaleyesReloaded

If I were to define my signature make-up look, it would definitely be long, bold lashes and a fabulous feline flick of eyeliner - so when I received a package of the new Rimmel Scandaleyes Reloaded products in the post, I knew they'd be right up my street.

Along with the two new Scandaleyes Reloaded mascaras (one black, one extreme black), I've also been trying two of the liquid eyeliners from the original Scandaleyes collection. I've always been a fan of Rimmel products but weirdly enough I've never tried any eye products - except maybe a grubby kohl liner back in my embarrassing emo days - so I was excited to see if they were any good and if the mascaras would replace my beloved Maybelline Lash Sensational as top dog in my makeup bag. 

Lets start with the eyeliners...

On first glance, I thought they were both the same product but once I'd actually put my specs on, I realized that one has a thin precision tip and the other is a multi-tasking thin and thick one. I've been wearing liquid eyeliner for years and more recently I've had a lil' love affair with Soap & Glory's Supercat but since they no longer sell it in my local Boots (BOOOOO!), I was hoping one of these badboys would fill the void. Cutting to the chase...they are amazing, especially the precision tipped one! They apply like an absolute dream and make doing my signature feline flick an absolute delight, even with my recent 4am wake up calls for work! They staying power is pretty good too and even after a long arse shift it's all still in tact.

As for the mascaras, I can't complain either. The extreme black one is my go-to at the minute and although nothing could replace Maybelline's Lash Sensational in my little heart (soz Rimmel), I don't mind using Scandaleyes Reloaded instead sometimes. It doesn't quite give me the huge volume I crave from a mascara straight away but it's a great one for building up and the bristle brush means that the product reaches every little eyelash and my eyes have never looked more bright and awake! It's definitely a fab one to use on the lower lashes too as it's easy to control the amount of product you're adding so as not to end up looking like a panda after one swipe.
Overall I'm really impressed with the Scandaleyes and Scandaleyes Reloaded collection and I'll definitely be trying out more in the range. Plus if it's good enough for Cara Delavigne then it's good enough for me!

Have you tried any of the Scandaleyes range? What's your favourite high street makeup brand? 
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Fashion: Topshop A/W Wishlist

Since being a responsible adult with bills and rent to pay, I don't think I've dared to set foot into Topshop for fear of wanting to buy ERRRRYTHANG. But at the weekend, a brand spanking new store opened in my little town so I decided to give the website a little browse so I could scout out some pieces that I really love and can perhaps treat myself to (apparently putting my spending ban on hold...)

The first thing that caught my eye during my perusal were these yummy leopard print boots. OH MAAAA GAD. I've been looking for some leopard print boots for so long and although these ones are a little pricey, I think they would go with so many things in my wardrobe and I'd feel sassy as hell wearing them!
To carry on with the animal print theme, I also love this leopard print saddle bag. Again, it's something that I've wanted for so long and it's just perfect! I think this will probably be my first purchase and they also do it in black so that might have to come home with me as well...

Combining the trend of pyjama shirts and you guessed it - animal print - is this adorbs navy pyjama shirt. It looks absolutely fab on the model on the Topshop website and I think it would look great paired with some black ripped jeans and the leopard print boots! 
Another top I'm in love with is the black trumpet sleeve blouse. I really like the whole 70's vibe but I'm not quite brave enough yet  to pull it off so this blouse looks like a happy medium. I'd definitely get a load of wear out of it and I think it comes in other colours too.
I also really love the frill neck long sleeved top - I saw it on Liv from What Olivia Did and she rocked it! I think it would look fab with a high waisted skirt or under a pair of dungarees and it's only £15 so it's a bargain!

A little more daring for me is this pair of embroidered mom jeans. I've wanted a pair of mom jeans for so long but can't find any that are quite right and then I saw these and just fell in love. Truth be told, these probably wouldn't suit me in real life at all but aren't they pretty?!
Another purchase I probably couldn't get away with but really want to is the pink velvet skirt! I don't know how I feel about rocking velvet and pink but I think I just need this in my life. I think it would pair really nicely with this oversized funnel neck jumper which is a standard Autumn staple for me.

I normally just stick to wearing jeans, jumpers and boots in A/W but I really want to start wearing more dresses, so this khaki midi one is perfect. It's so casual but I think would look great with a pair of heels too and the colour is gorgeous! It would look amazing with a leather jacket and a vampy lipstick, so I've picked out the 'Phantom' lipstick too as it's SO my shade at the minute. 

What do you think to my wishlist? What things with you be adding to your wardrobe this A/W?
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x


Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #30

What made me happy this week...

- I've had a really healthy week diet and fitness wise and I feel as though this time I actually might stick at it! I find it easier to actually drag my fat arse out of bed and into the gym in a morning and eating healthy is a lot easier this time around. Finger crossed, I'll be toned and gorgeous in no time!

- Deliciously Ella homemade cacao truffles. OH.WOW.

- Autumn has actually arrived and I can finally wear my cosy coat and put my heating on. Life's small pleasures.

- I went looking round Unis with my Mr and I've never been prouder and more excited for him to pursue his dream job!

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Life: Honeymooning In Brighton...

So since it's officially Autumn now and it's actually started to get slightly cooler (she says wearing 3 layers, cosy socks and still shivering...), I thought a good way to warm myself up would be to take a look at our honeymoon photos from Brighton.

If you've never been to Brighton, let me tell you now that it bloody amazing. It's like a completely different world down there and everyone and everything is so cute and quirky and THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WORDS. 

When we first started thinking of honeymoons, Brighton was definitely at the bottom of the pile and we were thinking of going to a number of places from St Lucia to Thailand to New York at Christmas to Venice! But me being as last minute as always and not having sorted my passport and the fact that weddings cost a FORTUNE, we decided to stay in the UK and booked a gorgeous hotel on Brighton seafront for a week. 

Literally in the blink of an eye we were married off, (you can read my wedding post here!)bags were packed and we were on our way. 238493805 hours on various different trains later we arrived and since we left a very rainy East Yorkshire behind we didn't have high hopes for the weather that week but it was BOILING. Like seriously, any regrets we had about not going abroad went out the window and we had the sunburn to prove it. 

Cue a weeks worth of walking around the pier and along the seafront, eating 3 massive meals a day in the best cafes and restaurants (Lucky Beach and Mangé Tout, I'm looking at you babes) and drinking ALL the coffee. We didn't plan too much for our trip apart from a day in London at the end of the week, and after months and months of working our arses to the bone to afford the wedding and running around like mad people getting all our plans together, it was nice to just do nothing and potter around like tourists. North Laine is now my absolute favourite place ever and I was loving how everything was all organic and vegetarian friendly and there were so many cute stalls selling jewelry and bags and skincare. There's so much amazing street art and I could have spent every single day wandering around seeing everything there was to see!

I thought you might like to have a nosy at some of our photos from the week and if you've never been to Brighton, I'd suggest you book a trip ASAP! 

Have you ever been to Brighton? Where are your favourite places?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts.

Always, Alice x

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Recent Favourites

I haven't done a favourites post for quite a while so I thought I'd share with you all what I've been loving recently! The last few months have been CRAZY busy so I haven't discovered a great deal of new things, but there's a small selection of beauties that I just can't live without at the minute.

After having my wedding makeup done by my lovely friend Eve, I have been totally obsessed with brows. I've always spent ages preening mine to perfection everyday anyway with various different tools, but after she used the Anastasia Dip Brow on me, my brows were on fleek and my life was changed. Since I was too god damn impatient to wait the delivery time for ABH, I went straight out and bought the Benefit Ka-Brow alternative (£18.50) and I probably love it more! Now my brows are my ultimate pride and joy and it's my favourite part of my makeup routine. I can't recommend Ka-Brow enough to everyone who will listen and I daresay I love it more than Dip Brow...

Next on my love list is the L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion foundation (£14.99). I put off buying this for ages because to be looks weird. I always shy away from hyped products too until I know if they're really worth the purchase but I finally took the plunge and bought this and I won't be looking back! I'm used to more full coverage foundations but to use something lighter is actually a godsend. It never looks like I'm actually wearing anything which I love but my skin looks flawless. The only downside to this is that after using it for a month, the product inside is nearly all gone, which for a relatively expensive foundation compared to other high street offerings is a little bit disappointing. I'll still be repurchasing though and now I'm intrigued to try the Lancome version too!

I've rarely been without Barry M's Pink Lemonade Gelly nail polish lately (and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon! It's a gorgeous nude pink - but not too baby pink - and it's the perfect colour to throw on when you're in a hurry but still want to look fabulous.

If you read my last post all about my handy heroes from Lush (geddit?!), you'll know how bloody obsessed I am with the Helping Hands hand cream (£7.95) I won't witter on about it but basically it's heaven in a tub and it's my number one essential this autumn when it comes to skincare. If you suffer with dry hands, you need this in your life!

Fragrance wise, I have been absolutely dousing myself in Viktor & Rolf's Bonbon Couture* (from £57). Again, I wrote a cheeky lil' post about it here which gives you the lowdown but I couldn't help but feature it again. I love how sweet but sexy it is and it seems like the perfect scent for the colder months as it's so warming and comforting!

I discovered Nip & Fab skincare about a million years after everyone else, but I've been using barely any other brands on my face these last couple of months. My favourite of them all? The Glycolic Fix Serum (£14.95). I have such rank visible pores but since I've been using this little badboy, they're barely noticeable and my skin feels so much smoother and tighter. My makeup also sits better on my face and doesn't dissolve into nothingness after an hour. WINNER!

Beauty products aside, I've been spending lots of cosy nights on the sofa getting my bookworm on and my favourite read so far is You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher. It's a cute love story with a bit of a twist and I'm really enjoying it (I'm only halfway through though, so no spoilers please gals!). I'm always on the hunt for book recommendations though, so please pop some in the comments if you think I'd like them!

What have you been loving this month?
Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to know some of your product recommendations, especially those that are perfect for Autumn!

Always, Alice x

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #29

I've missed writing these little posts! Since having a break from blogging to focus on my wedding and new job, I've not really taken much time to just appreciate the weeks and days at face value recently so I'm bringing it back!

What made me happy this week:

- I've had lots of exciting emails this week, and the chance to work with some amazing brands and companies and I'm so excited and thankful for it! I'm full of inspiration at the minute as far as my blog goes - now if someone could just give me the inspiration and motivation to get off my arse and into the gym so I can get the bod of my dreams, that would just be fan-bloody-tastic...

- I spent some time with my besties and it was lovely! I've not really seen either of them since the wedding as we've all been so busy starting new jobs and uni etc so it was nice to spend some quality time with them and get a good gossip in.

- I bought a dressing gown. Boring married woman life goals right there, but let me tell you it's like wrapping my body up in a fluffy cloud and I've never been so happy!

- I spent the first half of the week feeling a bit under the weather but it was the perfect chance to have some me-time having Lush baths and wrapped up in bed with coffee and a good book. I'm currently reading You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher and I'm loving it!

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget you can follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts.

Always, Alice x
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