Wednesday, 31 May 2017

What's in my hand luggage .. Hong Kong edition

Hi guys,

As you read this blog post, I should be enjoying the sunshine and tourist delights of Hong Kong. I mentioned in my 2017 round up blog post that I would be visiting Hong Kong this year with some family and I honestly cannot believe how quickly it has come round.

We do like a holiday and have now got my hand luggage down to a T so thought I would share with you what I like to take with me on a plane.

We are flying from Newcastle Airport which is around a 40 minute drive from us. Our first flight is to Dubai which is between 6 and a half and 7 hours. We have around a three hour layover in Dubai airport (shopper's paradise) and then a further 7 hour flight to Hong Kong.


The Bag

Rather than take an extra bag to HK, the bag that I will be wearing every day will be my carry on bag - it is big enough to fit everything in but small enough to fit under the seat in front and not be too heavy to carry around both airports. This bag is a cross shoulder blue and white chevron print that I got from Ebay. Most of my holiday clothes are cream or navy so they go perfect. The bag is really lightweight and crossbody so will be super easy to carry around. You can take a peek at the designs here.*

Travel Wallet

My travel wallet is also from Ebay.  * I again went for the navy version - I like to match! This has several compartments in - for money/coins, passport and even a little keyring so you can attach your keyrings to it. Pick one up here.*

Memory foam neck cushion

Again, blue! I purchased this one from Matalan, here. This is a supersoft cushion that I hope will help me to sleep on the second flight on the way there and the first flight on the way back. I can never EVER sleep on a plane but I have completely challenged myself this time to be as relaxed as possible and be able to sleep!

Additional Checklist:

Pashmina - super comfy as a pillow or a wrap.
Kindle
Slippers - my feet always get cold on a flight!
Hairbrush
Reading Glasses
Sunglasses
Kalms Night
Toothbrush
Buscopan - planes always set off my IBS and make me completely bloated!
Tissues
Wipes
External Charger
Hair bobbles

Hand Luggage Beauty

Toothpaste
Hand Sanitiser
Deoderant 
Lip Balms
Moisturiser
Perfume
Night Cream

What do you pack for your flight?

Rachael xox

Friday, 26 May 2017

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush

Hi guys,

So to day I have written a review of the Maybelline Baby Lips Balm & Blush. I am a big fan of the Mabelline Baby Lips Balms - the normal versions which look like regular lip balms. You can pick these up from around £2.99-£3.99.

I have repurchased those A LOT. They are so moisturising and hydrating and perfect for summer holidays. I especially love the yellow and blue coloured tubes as they seem to be the most refreshing!

Because of my love of this this particular product from the Maybelline range, I decided to check out this Baby Lips Balm & Blush



The packaging is a little weird for a blush product and quite chunky for a balm, it is a little bit bigger than the EOS balms, but a similar size balm inside. I went for the peach colour, available here, The actual shade is shimmering bronze but is a peach tone, which is ideal for my skin tone. 

The shade has a slight shimmer to it but it isn't too overpowering. I can even use this as a highlighter on those days when I have a good bronzing going on. 

I have found that I use this blush more on holiday too when you can get away with a little bit more shimmer. The formula is also quite creamy so isn't too sticky and it blends really well on the face. I did use a makeup brush once upon a time but I now use a beauty blender with it and find that it works in so much better. 

I don't use it as a balm so much in this shade as the peach and bronze tones don't look as good on the lips. I think I will purchase it in a pink tone to try on the cheeks and lips. This darker shade in booming ruby looks amazing.

Have you tried this product before?

Rachael xox

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Lush bubble bar review: The Ba Ba Bar

Hi guys,

I recently bought this bubble bar in a haul that I shared and I have now used it and absolutely adored it! 

I have so far reviewed the Sakura and the What came first bombs from that haul but this one is definitely my favourite!


So as it was part of the Spring & Easter range from Lush, it has the form of a little sheep which is absolutely adorable. It has the most beautiful lavendar scent and gives of a clean and fresh scent too. 




I adore a bubble bath so I think from now on, I will be sticking to the bubble bars rather than the bombs. It is quite nice to have a coloured bath, but I do miss the bubbles. At least with the bubble bar, you get a canny few baths out of it as well. I always find my skin feels silkier and smoother after using the bubble bars too.

This one unfortunately was on a special edition, but I will be back to purchase some more bubble bars and fingers crossed, this one reappears next year for the limited edition.

Which do you prefer - bubble bars or bombs?

Rachael xox

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ward Jackson Park outing ...

Hi guys,

So we took Luna and Dexter to one of our favourite places recently, Wags & Whisker's Canine Cafe in Stockton. If you live close by and haven't been, you need to check it out. It is absolutely amazing - not just for doggies either!

On the way back, we decided to take a trip into a local park which is quite big so they enjoy quite a big walk to tire them out after the excitement of being with the other dogs in the cafe.

Ward Jackson Park is in Hartlepool and has several walkways, children's playground, a fountain, quite a large pond and a cafe. The cafe caters lots of different types of food and you can even hire out the rooms in there as well for parties or conferences. 
















Such a beautiful walk on a bit of a cloudy morning, but the route is quite big meaning little legs tire quickly. We didn't stop off at the cafe on this occasion, but we will be back again. I highly recommend it for your dog if you are in the area!

Have you got any local spots to walk the dog?

Rachael xox

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Avon Nailwear Pro Review: The Naked Truth

Hi guys,

So I have to say that Avon nail varnish are some of my favourite nail varnishes. You always get a decent size bottle, some good long wear out of it and the shades are absolutely incredible.

I decided to try a nude shade due to usually going for a red or pink and I had not yet tried it - however, my results are mixed.



As you can see form my fingers, this polish is a lovely shade, it had really good coverage and had a lovely glossy almost gel like consistency to it. 

However, this picture was taken only a day after I had painted my nails - as you can see there has been some chipping and the finish is no where near what it was originally. I am really disappointed in the quality of these.

Avon has now relaunched this brand into the Mark range so I am hoping the quality will improve for second day finishes!

Have you got any products you were excited for, but were disappointed?

Rachael xox

Monday, 22 May 2017

Boots & Superdrug Haul ...

Hi guys,

I am not hauling too much recently just because I am trying to save lots of money up for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong. However, I did buy some essentials recently when out shopping for some Hong Kong clothes. I visited both Boots & Superdrug.

Here is what I picked up ...




£2.66 currently at Boots

This is Garnier's new micellar but it is in a gel form rather than the water. It is basically a cleanser for makeup. I have used it a couple of times so far and it works really well! I don't find I have a lot of makeup left over after a couple of washes with it. It is also suitable for sensitive skin.

£6.99

This is a double ended pencil that defines and accentuates your brows. It is a waterproof formula that lasts for a full 24 hours. First you use the pencil to fill in the brows and add definition and you then blend and groom with the brush. 

This pencil is great for natural looking brows - my only issue so far is that my oily skin sometimes lifts the colour. It is waterproof, just not great at reacting to oil. 

£1.89

Bit of a basic essentials buy but I do especially love these from Boots due to the size and shape of the pad. They cover a larger surface area and make it easier to cleanse with!




£9.99

This razor is the best razor I have ever used. I have repurchased this razor time and time again and I love it. You can switch out the head too. What I love about this is the little size of it making it ideal for travel and going away. You can use it wet or dry (only used it dry for emergency hot tub nights). It doesn't miss any of those little pesky hairs. I get a lovely close shave and very soft legs.

£1.49

These wipes are so good. They are fragrance free, suitable for sensitive skin and they soak up all of your makeup. I only got them because they were free with the Glycolic cleansing peel but I would definitely repurchase. 

£6.66

I love this product and I feel like this has been a great starter with my war against my wrinkles. I only have two wrinkles - a huge line across my wardrobe and then a smaller one just below it. They are the absolute bane of my life. This cream has started to fill the line out a little. It has definitely stopped any further lines appearing. It is also amazing to put on your skin at bedtime and wake up with crazy refreshed skin too. Definitely a great product.

£3.95

I picked up this cleansing peel as I have had a lot of success with the Avon peeling pads. You can take a peek of those here. I haven't tried this product yet but I will try it shortly.

£4.00

I picked up this loose setting powder for my terrible oily skin in the hopes to rein in the oil but I haven't yet tried it enough to review. I did use it once and while it did set my makeup well, it did make a little bit of a mess!

£6.99

I bought this product as I never EVER clean my makeup brushes and thought it was about time that I started to do it. I usually just bin my makeup brushes after a little while when they get a bit thick with product. It is super easy to use. I use a pad which I picked up from Ebay to rinse them against with the gel. The gel smells good too. It also doesn't saturate the product which means it doesn't take ages to dry either. So all in all, I think this is a fab product. I haven't really compared it to anything else but I found it easy to use which is always a bonus in my books. 

£2.99

I love this brow pencil. This is my go to brow pencil at the moment. It is only £2.99 and I get the wear out of it because it isn't retractable and can be sharpened. I fill in my brows every day unless I am having a complete day at home. They are growing in really well but I find that I need this little bit of help for the shape. I do love this product and will definitely repurchase. It is so long lasting and even if my oil shines through, it doesn't affect the shape at all.

Have you tried any of these products?

Rachael xox


Sunday, 21 May 2017

My favourite jewellery pieces ...

Hi guys,

I thought I would share with you my bits and bobs of favourite jewelry pieces. When it comes to jewelry, I keep things simple and classy. I don't wear a lot for work (due to food hygiene reasons) and it isn't often that I will get dressed up with a lot of jewelry on a night out.


So, my favourite pieces are my engagement, wedding and eternity ring. They are all white gold and my hubby purchased all three of them which make them quite special in my opinion. We got engaged on holiday in 2011 in Rhodes and I have worn this princess cut diamond solitaire ever since. We got married on 24th August 2013 and I then had a wedding ring to match the set. The wedding ring is just a simple band. 

The eternity ring is a cross over ring with several diamonds embedded in it. I absolutely adore this and Chris got me this for Christmas (last year) and I just love it. He always picks jewelry for me so well and these bands are no exception.


Next is the Joma Jewellery bracelets. These bracelets are an elasticated silver bracelet that just look amazing stacked up. The first is a karma circle which I bought myself on a trip to the Lakes. I found it in a little boutique and I bought it as a bit of a reminder to me. I 100% believe in karma and this karma circle definitely shows the "what goes around, comes around" part of Karma. 

The second one "a heart of gold" was a gift from my best friend as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. I always think of her when I wear this. I see her all the time and we live super close by but it's still nice to have this little heart on my wrist!

The third is a little birthday gift that I got from another close friend a couple of years ago too. It was actually from her little girl which was super sweet but I feel like we have a bracelet each that lives on my wrist so they are super special to me.


I got this Tiffany & Co bracelet from my hubby as a Christmas present quite a few years ago now! It was such a super surprise and this is one bracelet I will never lose. I absolutely adore this piece and I look forward to adding some charms to it. Unfortunately, when we went to New York a couple of years ago, I couldn't make my mind up as to a charm so I have decided to wait until I really see something I like!


This bracelet was a gift for my 21st from my parents. I adore the colours. Pink, white and grey are some of my favourite shades and I do wear a lot of this colour. It is made from pearls - not the expensive hundreds of pounds version but still extremely special and I have worn this a million times.


I love Michael Kors as a brand and I picked up a purse from Bloomingdale's in New York a couple of years ago and I bought my friend a set of earrings from there too. While there, Chris bought me these as a bit of a special token from the trip. I adore these earrings and they are so wearable. They are the perfect size so I have got loads of wear out of them.  You can see some here. I also like these danglies!


This next jewellery set is absolutely amazing. I got this from my friend Natalie as a birthday present and they are out of this world. They are from Shrieking Violet and this photo goes nowhere near how stunning they really are. Check out this amazing brand here. They literally take tiny flowers and press them to make jewellery out of - amazing gift ideas!


I got this next necklace for Christmas from Natalie also - well more specifically, from her daughter Holly. Holly is three and has impeccable taste! Natalie knows me so well and buys me jewellery quite a bit. I love simple and classic jewellery styles and she does this really well. I absolutely adore this necklace and have worn it a few times so far but I know this is something I will wear for years to come. 


My final piece is my wedding jewellery. I saw this in Swarovski and showed my parents it. We had just bought a house, had a wedding and a honeymoon to pay for so I was looking for a cheaper alternative to it. However, about a week or so later, my dad presented me with a blue box with this exact set it. I have worn this only once - on that day but it is extremely special to me. I like the idea of future generations having this to borrow for their wedding day.


So these are my favourite pieces! Have you got any favourites?

Rachael xox


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Lush Bath Bomb Review: Sakura

Hi guys,

If you read my blog regularly, you know I love Lush products. I recently did a haul with the new season products and so far have What Came First bath bomb.

This bath bomb is the Sakura bomb and it smells divine. The smell that comes from it is literally the smell you get when you walk into the mall and know that Lush is approaching. It is quite a strong scent.

As you can see, I popped the bath bomb into my bath and it dissolved with a lot of foaming, ending up in a pink bath. This bomb is inspired by the Japenese cherry blossoms and feature jasmine, lemon and mimosa oil - all which create the stunning scent.












Now as I have previously mentioned, I adore Lush bath bombs, but I think I am going to make sure to buy more bubble bars in the future so I get  lovely bubbly bath instead. The bath bombs create more of a coloured water with a relaxing feel. My skin felt super soft after this bath.

Do you have a fave lush product?

Rachael xox

Friday, 19 May 2017

Primark Homeware Haul ...

Hi guys,

I have been doing some redecoration in my study and wanted to pick up a few pieces from the Primark Homeware range to decorate. 

Luckily for me, they had some cute little items for me!



Cactus Candle £1.50
Mermaid notebook £2.50
Mermaid tail dish £1.50
Mermaid trinket tray £2.00
Cactus dish £2.00


While there, I picked up some of the beauty products too.

PS Pro brush £3.00
PS Contour Kit £2.00


The brush is fantastic - I am now using it on a daily visit. It is a better quality than others I have purchased from Ebay and roughly the same price.

The contour kit is extremely good quality as well. The kit comes with a little diagram to show exactly how to contour and which shades to put on which part of the face. 
The middle shade is a little bit too dark for me but I have used it several times and I am getting used to how to blend the shades. 

I only contour and highlight when I am going out on a night out or date night but I have found this product to be amazing - for the price as well, it is an absolute steal!

Have you purchased anything from Primark lately?

Rachael xox

Thursday, 18 May 2017

New Look Lust List ...


Hi guys,

I haven't shopped in New Look for quite a while and when I walked past a store recently, some of the window items just dragged me inside! Some of their new season products are just my type. I especially love the floral items.


Summer dress £23.99
Satchel £25.99
Gold Parka £45.99
Sandals £25.99 or the heels here or heeled sandals here.
Floral Shift Dress £41.99

Oriental Skirt £24.99






Bardot Blouse £20.99

Rose Mules £19.99


Out of this entire list, my favourites are definitely the floral dress which looks such a flattering shape. I also love the gold mac. I think that would just smarten up any casual outfit!

I also really love these rose mules but the thought of the velvet against my feet knocks me a little sick!


Which are your favourite??

Rachael xox






Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Avon Colour Correcting Pearls Review

Hi guys,

I wanted to share this review of the Avon ideal flawless colour correcting pearls

As my regular readers will know, I love Avon products and I often find the quality is definitely worth the price. I think the quality of the packaging is great too - it comes boxed firstly, and then is displayed in black glossy packaging with white writing.

I have never really tried face pearls much so this was a new one for me and you do need to be careful as when brushing them around I lost a few to the floor. Luckily, I have dark carpets but if you have cream - be extremely careful.





So, the pearls' purpose is to even out the skintone and correct uneven pigment. I have some darker pigmentations on my skin and often, I find that my tone is quite uneven so I was excited to try.

You can use this alone or under makeup. I have tried both and I find I don't see much difference when wearing it with makeup as I have good coverage makeup.

However, for the days when I want to go makeup free, this is a definite confidence booster of a product. The different coloured pearls have different uses.

Purple- counteracts yellowness. 
Cream-highlights.
Yellow- neutralises purple tones.
Green - reduces redness. 
Peach - balances dark spots. 

I am thrilled with this product. I find that I can go without makeup, even on a bad skin day as I use this product to even out my skin tone. I did think it would be a bit difficult with it being in the pearl form, but it is easy to use.

Usually £10, it is only £6 at the moment so grab yourselves a bargain!

If you want to give it a go, then try it out here.

Have you tried a colour corrector?

Rachael xox

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Nyx Wonder Stick Review ...

Hi guys,

I have been using the Nyx Wonder Stick for quite a while now and it has fast become one of my go to products for events or a night out when I actually have the time to contour and highlight.

The stick is double ended with a lighter end and a darker end. 


The Nyx Wonder Stick has one end which is highlight and one end which is contour. The fact that this is 2 in 1 makes the product even better - especially if you need a product to pack for a weekend away. It does come in several shades and I think mine is a shade too dark for my face but it just adds to the definition. The colours are very pigmented and have a cream type formula which is easily blendable.

The highlighter is to be applied under your eyes and on your forehead. The contour is for your temples, cheekbones and jawline. I apply it one at a time and then blend with my little sponges from Ebay. 

Priced at £10.50 at Asos, it isn't one of the cheapest highlight or contour products I have purchased previously, but it is two in one and of such a high quality, that I feel it is a great value product. 

If you haven't tried this product, I definitely recommend it!

Have you got a similar product you could recommend for me?

Rachael xox

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Larry's Lanes in Seaton Carew ...

Hi guys, 

The other weekend, Chris, my best friend Charlotte and I decided to go bowling in the new lanes in Seaton Carew. Larry's Lanes is situated in the rear of the two amusement arcades in Seaton, which used to be a soft play area. We had a bowling arcade in Hartlepool a while ago but it was changed into a retail park meaning that the nearest place was at Teesside Park - a bit of a trek for us from Hartlepool!

We decided to go along for a couple of games to check the new place out.







The bowling arcades are decorated beautifully. It has a retro style with picnic bench style tables and a lot of wood detailing but the comic book artwork is the icing on the cake for me. There are cosy seating areas around the lanes and a table to hold drinks. We played alongside another couple so we shared the space but if you had a lot of people playing, you would be able to have the two lanes to yourself. You can hire their shoes or take your own - I prefer to wear my own shoes!

If you go before 6pm, it is only £8 for an adult for two games which is quite reasonable and it is even less for concessions and children! Prices go up a little after 6pm. The arcades close around 10pm - I think it depends on how busy it is.

We didn't have food here as part of bowling just because we had eaten not that long before but we would definitely make sure we can eat there next time. The menu consists of lite bites, sharing trays, burgers, pizzas and mixed sides. You can also order from the restaurant just next door which is Fizzy Izzy's. The bar area is very well done and they even serve cocktails too.

You can check out their facebook page and their website here too

This is definitely a must visit for me and we will be going back very soon!

Have you got any local places to recommend for me?

Rachael xox