Always, Alice

Beauty, Food, Fashion & Lifestyle

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

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Health + Beauty: Make The Most Of Your Beauty Sleep With Holland & Barrett

I'm a gal who's always loved my sleep. I love being cosy in bed and catching the z's (for probably a lot longer than I should) and after Holland & Barrett asked me to be a part of their Sleeping Beauty campaign, I've since realised just how important beauty sleep and a solid 8 hours a night really is for our health and wellbeing.

Getting just the right amount of shut eye (ideally 7-8 hours a night) plays a pivotal part in good mental and physical health and can make or break your day ahead so with that in mind, Holland and Barrett send me a generous selection of their bed and bathtime beauty products which all aim to help relax the mind and body before bed for a better and more fulfilling beauty sleep and after trying them all out for a couple of weeks, I'm excited to share my thoughts with you!

I'll be sharing with you my relaxing bathtime routine tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled for that, but today I'm talking about my new bedtime routine. Before working on the Sleeping Beauty campaign, I was one of those that would never take the time to wind down on an evening, and would be scrolling through Instagram and Snapchat until I turned out the lights and closed my eyes. And you're probably not surprised to hear that my night's sleep wasn't great. It was restless and light and I would wake up at the drop of pin and wake up the next day for the most part feeling groggy and rubbish.

So enough was enough and first things first I set myself a new bedtime of no later than 11pm every night and by 10.30pm, I go technology free and spend it winding down before hitting the sack. The first thing I like to do is absolutely slather myself in moisturising body butter. I'm sure I'm not the only one who moisturises their face but ignores the rest of the body, but since receiving the Spa Magik Organiks Moisture Therapy Triple Oil Body Butter (as part of the Dead Sea Spa Magik Sleep & Moisture Therapy gift set), I've been converted! For a start, it smells amazing and the lavender scent instantly calms and relaxes me. I've also been using it on my feet and popping a fresh pair of cotton socks over the top and you wouldn't believe how soothing this is!

While waiting for the body butter to do it's thang, I like to brew myself up a warm cup of herbal tea to drink before bed with a good book. I was sent a box of Heath & Heather Camomile tea as well as the Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus brew and I've been alternating them nightly. I'd heard of the benefits of drinking herbal tea before bed, but always thought it would disturb my sleep - oh how wrong I was! It's the perfect accompaniment to my bedtime routine and often I find myself dozing off before I've even finished my cup!

Probably my favourite product of the whole bunch and my favourite step in my new bedtime routine is applying a few drops of the Deep Sleep 6-Oil Super Serum (again, part of the Dead Sea Spa Magik Sleep & Moisture Therapy gift set). It's an amazing multi-functional oil that be used on the face, hands and hair but I like to use it mainly on my face before moisturising especially when I'm looking a bit tired and dehydrated! Again, it's lavender scented, super soothing and the perfect product to relax my skin after a long day.

If you read my March Favourites, you'll know how much I loved the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray so I was BEYOND excited when in my little box of goodies there was not one, but two of the Miaroma Relaxing Lavender Sleep Mist! Pillow sprays are my new favourite thing, and I can't go to sleep without spritzing a good helping of this one everywhere - even my other half can't sleep without it! It's always the last step in my little routine before I turn out the lights and the one that I don't think I'll be parting with anytime soon as I'm convinced that lavender pillow sprays are the main reason I'm sleeping so well recently!

If ever I do have a restless night though, I reach for the Tisserand Sweet Dreams aromatherapy rollerball. I apply it to my temples and the back of my wrists and it instantly calms me and it's not long before I'm snoring away again. I think this would be ideal for anyone who's a nervous traveller too and I'll definitely be taking it on my honeymoon later this year to calm me down on the plane!

It's been such a pleasure being part of the Sleeping Beauty campaign and I think I've benefited immensely from my new bedtime routine. I've noticed that I'm a lot happier and less stressed, and having a good night's sleep has made it so much easier to get up and about in a morning!

How do you wind down at bedtime? What are your favourite products to help you relax?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to check back tomorrow for more on the Sleeping Beauty campaign!

Always, Alice x

*The products featured were kindly sent to me for review but all my opinions and views are completely my own and 100% honest!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Fashion: The One-Stop Shop For Jewellery

Never one for outrageous accessories or wacky wardrobe choices, I'm always on the hunt for those simple, sophisticated pieces especially in terms of my jewellery. I've worn it all - pearls, chavvy earrings, and those rubber charity wristbands that EVERYONE seemed to have - but as I've gotten older, my taste has evolved too and I'm all about the classic pieces that look luxurious, but without the price tag to match.

They're a friendly South London based company who strive to provide the most gorgeous array of good quality jewellery at decent prices and I was over the moon when they emailed me asking if I'd like to try out some of their pieces!
After looking through their extensive range of gold, silver and rose gold (!) jewellery, I just couldn't pick my favourites so left it down to the lovely girls at Jewellerybox to pick me some beauties...and that's just what they did!

A couple of days later, I received the cutest package EVER (seriously, whoever is responsible for that deserves a pay rise!), and was surprised with not one but FIVE of their products!
I have the gorgeous and dainty sterling silver V pendant necklace and matching bracelet and they're so pretty! An absolute steal at under £10 each for real silver and the photos on the website really do not do them both any justice at all. I've had so many compliments on them and I can't get enough of telling people where they're from!

I was also sent a selection of sterling silver rings and I am in love. I haven't worn any rings other than my engagement ring in ages but I'm always so envious of those arty nail art Instagram photos with all the midi rings...and now I have my own! They all came in different sizes so can be worn on different fingers or as midi rings, which is perfect for me as I'll love swapping and changing them. The braided one - a totally affordable Pandora dupe - looks great stacked up with the plain silver band, and I've been wearing the wishbone style one as a midi!

With so much more to choose from (over 8,000 styles in fact), I'll definitely be making another order soon and I cannot recommend it enough that you do the same!

Have you purchased anything from jewellerybox? Where are you favourite places to buy jewellery?
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

*this post contains items kindly sent to me for review but all opinions are completely and 100% my own!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Beauty: Another Day, Another Drugstore Haul...

Ohhh I'm a sucker for those 3for2 offers! You know the story - go into Boots for some shampoo and hair grips, end up coming out with none of the above and half of the Barry M is hard.

I'd heard about the new(ish) manicure range from Barry M and was seriously intrigued. I have horribly brittle nails that need some TLC, so I picked up one of the Super Mani 7-in-1 treatments. Filled with argan oil and keratin to name a few nourishing qualities, this applies as a basecoat to bare nails which treats the nails as well as providing the perfect base for nail polish.
I also finally picked up Essie's Cocktail Bling after having it on my wishlist for a gazillion years and I have barely stopped wearing it since I got it if only to wear the other shade I picked up - Barry M's Speedy Quick Dry in Sprint Finish. One is a gorgeous lilac-grey, the other a dark wine red and both are going to be my nail favourites for a long while to come!

I was in the market for a new mascara and after scrutinizing every stand's array of mascaras, I finally settled on the new Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara. Revlon have recently overhauled their mascara collection in favour of a range of similarly packaged wands all of which claim to do something different to the lashes. Whether you're after length, volume or definition, there's a mascara to suit, and to get the best of both worlds, I went with the Ultimate All-In-One. It definitely does a little bit of everything and while it will never replace my beloved Lash Sensational, I'm really enjoying using it so far! If anything, it definitely makes for a fab bottom lash mascara.

I happily repurchased the Soap & Glory Supercat eyeliner, and I kid you not when I say that this is probably my 6th one?! I can't get enough of this little badboy - the formula, the staying power, the application, I LOVE IT.
Something else I've been loving is the L'Oreal Sculpt range and I couldn't help myself but pick up a bit of the action. I decided on the Sculpt blush (in shade Soft Rosy), which has contains 3 lovely pink shades that can be used separately or together for the ultimate contoured cheek. I love it so far and have my eye on the Infallible Sculpt Contour palette next!

Lastly and probably my pick of the bunch is the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme. My skin has been suffering in the transition from winter to spring and I needed something to give it a bit of a boost and these have definitely done just that, Plus they smell bloody amazing and it's the first product I've used in a long time where I've seen instant results!

What have you picked up recently? Any recommendations?
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
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