Monday, 2 March 2020

Elgetec Silicone Face Cleanser

I've been lusting after a Foreo for over a year now, and the constant promotion and the ADs everywhere definitely haven't helped, but I couldn't justify the price when I couldn't guarantee that I would use it enough, or that I would get on with it.

When in TK Maxx around a month ago, I saw the Elgetec Beauty dupe of the Foreos, and for just £9.99, I picked one up and thought I'd give it a go.

The box is very bare inside, with an instructions booklet mainly in a multitude of other languages, but it had the basics, comes with a charger, and tells you how to turn it on.
First Impressions
I was surprised by the feel of the device. I was expecting it to feel somewhat cheap, but this isn't the case. It feels durable and well made. The buttons are easy to press and it is clear how to use, and change the power.

Does it work?

I also grabbed myself a new foaming cleanser to use with it, and I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed using this device.

I followed the guidelines on starting on a cheek, moving to the other cheek, and then the chin/forehead/nose. Whilst using it, I found that being able to change the power is really handy! For the first few times of using it, the full power is definitely a bit too intense in certain areas of the face, but I found that when you have used it a few times, you do become used to the sensation and then I don't feel the need to change it.

My face definitely feels much cleaner when I use this, and my skin feels refreshed and clear fully, which is a feeling I don't get after just using Micellar Water. The fact that it is waterproof is great and means that I can also use this to cleanse my face in the shower etc too, and being silicone means that cleaning it and ensuring that I don't transfer any bacteria to my face is as easy as running under water.

It's comfortable to hold, and there is a light in the bottom that tells you when it needs to be charged which again makes it user-friendly.


  • Price point - being a fraction of the price of the Foreo devices, this is accessible to all, and is also a great way of testing out whether a device like this can fit into your skincare routine before committing to a larger purchase.
  • Ease of use and cleaning - simple buttons & made with silicone means that this is a no fuss device. Easy to start up, easy to tidy up!
  • The actual area covered by bristles is quite small in relation to the device as a whole, whereas with Foreo devices, this is larger on devices of a similar size.
  • Limited availability to purchase - I couldn't find these online anywhere which means that they are difficult to get hold of!

Will you be heading to your local TK Maxx to try and get your hands on one?

Saturday, 29 February 2020

It's okay to not be okay

In a world obsessed with social media and our presence online, it is very easy to be caught up in the mentality that we must pretend to be okay at all times, and that showing any vulnerability is to be seen as a weakness. With recent tragedies, there is an outpouring of love and support, and people everywhere sharing and offering their support and help to anyone who needs it, but why do we find it so hard to accept this?

When things get tough, people tend to become introverted, and to try and deal with the pressures and worries by themselves, but why? The people around you in everything you do, and to help in any way possible, but the hardest thing is to accept hat you need that help. 

Anyone who knows me will be reading this thinking that I am a hypocrite, because I absolutely shut everyone out when I find things tough, but gradually I am learning that I have built a circle of people around me who want nothing but the best for me, and just as I would drop anything to be by their side, they would do the same for me. 

At times, the most important thing to do is to take a step back, and consider the cause and contributing factors to what is happening. Where possible, you must remove yourself from these situations. Whether this be social media, social situations, even friendships. Think about the people who are there for you in your time of need, they are the people that you should surround yourself with. Why are we so willing to accept and put up with people in our lives who don't care enough for us? Why are we putting ourselves through this? All this does is prolong the inevitable, the breakdown of a friendship or relationship.

In the last 4/5 years, I have cut so many people out. Friends, family, the people I thought would be by my side forever. It certainly wasn't easy, and even now there are times when I question these choices, but I am constantly reminded that these are the people who made me feel inferior when I was at my lowest, when they should have been my biggest support.

My circle now? I have the best support system I could hope for. They are there to celebrate my wins and pick me up when I need it, they are the people who repeatedly remind me that it is okay to not be okay! 

So the next time you are down, you need advice, you just need to talk? Reach out to someone, anyone. Vulnerability and needing support is not a weakness. The hard things in life are put there to test us, they make us resilient, tenacious, and more determined than ever to continue working to be the people we aspire to be. The people who are strong, the people who embrace their differences, and tackle the difficulties face on.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

The Stranger

I had a few weeks where I was without the motivation to read, and then Tom steered me into the book aisle of Tesco and brought me The Stranger and said that I had to start reading it straight away so that I could watch it on Netflix!

I devoured this book this weekend, and I cannot wait to get started on the show!

I was instantly hooked with this novel, the opening grip works well, and the shifting of focus throughout keeps you engaged and wanting more. The ending for me was a little rushed, but I find this with most thriller novels, and I also don't know what else they could have added so I guess it works!

The character development was wonderful for some, and lacking for others. I would have liked some more information on The Strangers themselves, and the reasons behind their decision to get involved etc., but loved the exploration of Adam, and the multiple other minor characters who are all intricately entwined within the plot. This all leads for the shock at the very end, as you are constantly trying to predict what has happened!

Book 3 of 2020 was a huge success and I am definitely back into my reading routine!

What are you currently reading?


Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Having a Blair Waldorf Moment

Recently I've been trying to mix up my work outfits. I am incredibly guilty of chucking on black trousers and a cosy jumper every single day, and I am bored of it!

However, since I have been purchasing a few new pieces to add into my work wardrobe, I've found that I'm adding a lot more monochrome. This isn't a bad thing in any way, I like my wardrobe to be classic and include pieces that I will wear year in year out, with the odd statement piece. Due to this, I have had my eye on some headbands from Accessorize for a few months.

I originally told myself not to be ridiculous, and that spending £16 on a headband was not a sensible choice when I hate spending money on clothes/accessories. Then a guardian angel appeared and put a 70% off sale sign in the shop window. I picked up the three headbands below for just £3 each - a fraction of the price, and even Primark wouldn't have them for less! 

The quality of them is amazing, they are comfortable on the head, and I can't wait to style them this week to brighten up an outfit and add a bit of glam!

Who doesn't want to channel their inner Blair Waldorf?


Sunday, 26 January 2020

GHD Glide Review

My first introduction to the GHD Glide brush was through Lisa Potter Dixon, and I instantly knew that I wanted one, but they sold out instantly, and then as with most beauty products, I forgot all about it...

Then at Christmas Tom brought his Mum one, and after trying it for myself, I fell in love. Not a 'this is quite good' sort of love, a head over heels, I never want to use anything else on my hair again sort of love! Then one day, I finished work, went for coffee with a friend, and wondered why Tom was being so weird about when I was going home. When I finally got home, I walked into my room to find a GHD Glide brush on the bed, a few grateful tears later, I put it straight to the test!

The photo above is taken after just 2-3 strokes of the brush, and you can instantly see the difference. The frizzy bushy hair after having my hair up in a bun all day is no more, and instead I am left with my hair perfectly straight and smooth in a matter of seconds.

The ceramic technology with ioniser ensures that the brush is consistently at 185ÂșC for 'guaranteed healthy looking hair'. The ions within the brush help eliminate frizz which leaves you with silky smooth hair after 2-3 strokes of the brush, meaning that even on those mornings when you wake up late, you are able to keep your hair looking its best. The combination of shorter and longer bristles help to style larger sections at once, the need to section your hair off is no longer a thing!

The brush retails at £139, which is in line with the newer GHD Straightener releases. Since receiving this, I haven't reached for my standard straighteners once, as this brush is quicker, easier to use, and leaves my hair looking healthier.


Have you tried the GHD Glide?


Saturday, 18 January 2020

Children of Virtue and Vengeance

My favourite genre of fiction is definitely YA, and more specifically, magical realism. I first discovered Tomi Adeyemi when I was given Children of Blood and Bone at a Waterstones event with my last school, and I devoured the proof copy I was given, and couldn't wait for the sequel, even though it was a year or two away at this point.

I was sold the series as the new Harry Potter, and I massively disagree with this. The magic of Harry Potter lies within the beautiful imagery and the description and language that entrances the reader, and for me, Tomi Adeyemi doesn't do this. This is not a criticism against Adeyemi in the slightest, as I love her own writing style, and it is common for more contemporary YA fiction to be written in this way. I think it is natural that when you are tackling wider issues such a politics, gender etc., the focus will shift from setting etc., to how these themes and ideas are represented.

I love both Children of Blood and Bone, and Children of Virtue and Vengeance, but I find that these novels are far more about building and developing the characters, and the main focus is definitely on the plot. These books definitely aren't ones that you go to for a relaxing ride, they are packed with action and plot twists throughout. You never know what is coming, and you definitely get carried away with the plot.

You are in a constant battle of preference in regards to characters, and this is largely down to the multiple narrative voices used throughout the novel. With each chapter comes a change of narrator and perspective. Due to this, the chapters are considerably shorter than standard novels, but this is a common trait found when using multiple narrators. This led to me spending lots of late nights reading, as the temptation to read just one more chapter is too much, especially when you know they are so short!

Children of Virtue and Vengeance ends with yet another plot twist, and I was definitely expecting one as with 20 pages to go I was still waiting for a big climactic event, however the twist itself was not what I was expecting. It sets itself up nicely for a third book, as the majority of series similar to this do, but with this only being released in December, I know I'm in for a long wait! Tomi Adeyemi has said that she knew how she envisioned the trilogy ending before even finishing Children of Blood and Bone, and I am excited to discover from myself how Orisha will be left. Adeyemi took part in a Q&A about her writing and novels which you can find here.
Tomi Adeyemi talks herself about the production of the films, and I for one can't wait to see how the world of Orisha translates onto the screen.

If I was to rate this book, it would definitely be a 5/5. I love these novels, and I love the world that Adeyemi has created, and the story of a battle for power and the injustice suffered by a hierarchal society taken to the extreme.

What are you reading at the moment?


Sunday, 12 January 2020

The Last Decade

As 2019 came to an end, my social media was filled with people celebrating everything they have achieved in the last decade, and whilst I initially refrained from doing this, I have since been reflecting on how much I actually have achieved.


I was 15. I had no real idea of what I wanted from my life, I had a vague idea of teaching, but had no idea of how to achieve this, University wasn't even an option at this stage. I had no self-confidence, and lots of questionable appearance decisions. I'm still haunted by the fact that my colleagues can still see my Year 11 School Photo where I have a jet black pixie cut... I still thank my best friend from school for that now - luckily she's now my hairdresser and has said that she'd never let me do it again! My friendship circle was small, and I was yet to meet Tom. My support system? That was my friends, the family situation has been tense for years, and my support came from elsewhere.


I was 20 years old, I'd been with Tom for over 3 years at this stage, it genuinely amazes me on a daily basis how someone can be so selfless and caring. He came into my life, saw the wreck that stood around me, and helped me build the life that I wanted. I graduated University for the first time with an English Degree, and began studying for my PGCE. The family situation deteriorated, and I moved out. For over a year, I lived in a dingy room above a pub, it may not have been ideal, but it was absolutely the right decision for me. I began believing in myself for the first time, I gained new friends, and lost some of them along the way. My circle grew, Tom's friends became mine along with their partners, I put myself out of my comfort zone and actually tried to make friends!


Where am I now? I'm 24, I graduated university again and work as an English Teacher. I moved schools this year, whilst it was hard leaving my friends and department behind, I joined the school I always wanted to be at, and it was a great decision.  I have friends who've been around for years, (14 to be precise Katie!), and friends I've made in the last year yet it feels as if they've been there forever. I live in a lovely little flat with one of my best friends, and I feel content. I've been with Tom for 8 years... he deserves a medal!  We are currently saving and searching for our first home together, and I can't wait! My family? Tom, my brother and his family, all of Tom's family, and all of our friends. They are my family. They are the people I rely on daily, the people I celebrate my achievements with and mourn my losses with. The people that make me feel worthy, and also, the people who are always up for an adventure - it's very handy having two friends who own a flat in London!

Looking back at myself in 2010, I barely recognise the 15 year old with a bleach blonde pixie cut. If I could give her some advice, it would be to stick it out, stick with your gut, because everything you ever wished and hoped for will come.

The last decade certainly hasn't been a breeze, but I couldn't be happier with where I am at the beginning of the next one. There are still multiple things that I am focusing on changing this year. I want to tackle my eating, I am so fed up of being controlled by an irrational disorder that affects every single day of my life. Alongside this, I want to take responsibility for my health, I want to be more active, run the Race for Life again, get out of the house more! I cannot wait to buy a home, and to welcome some four legged friends in! And finally, I can't wait to continue making memories with my favourite people!

The last decade cost me lots, but brought me so much more. I graduated University twice, I made some incredible new friends, and developed friendships with old ones, I gained 3 nieces and a nephew, I got the job I'd always wanted, and I found the person I want to spend the rest of my life. It is easy to focus on the negatives in life, when actually, it brings some pretty good things too! I am optimistic about the next ten years, and I'm excited to see what they bring!


Saturday, 11 January 2020

American Gods

I've set myself a challenge to read 30 books this year, I'm hoping to smash this and be able to hit 52, but I have to be realistic with how busy my job gets!

I'd heard so much about American Gods, and I've read a few books by Neil Gaiman and have loved them, but unfortunately this book didn't live up to my expectations.

Parts of the book are beautifully written and had me captivated, but other elements seem so fractured and out of place that at times the plot was hard to follow.

The characterization at points is so beautiful, especially concerning Shadow and his aquisition and practicing of magic tricks. The setting of Lakeside and the subplot that occurs here was calming and beautiful. As a reader I was left longing for Shadow to remain here and to rebuild his life. 

The entire plot builds up to the climactic war, however this was anything but a climax of tension. I found this to be rushed and brushed over rather than given the time and attention needed to fully explore the events that occur and the consequences of this.

In the foreword Gaiman tells how this version has an extra 12,000 words than originally published, and I'd be interested to see if these are the elements of the story that I personally struggled with. 

Overall, I did enjoy reading this, but there were too many times when I had lost interest and the plot!

I'd give this book 3/5 stars, mainly due to the intricate description and character building at points.

What are you currently reading?


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Show @ Mayflower Southampton

Before receiving an invitation to go and watch Buddy - The Buddy Holly Show, I hadn't even heard of Buddy Holly, however as I told people that I was going, they told me of his influence on the music industry and assured me that I was in for an incredible night, and they certainly weren't wrong!

I went in not knowing how the show itself would unfold in front of me, and it was certainly unlike anything I had seen before. The cast itself was small and the stage minimalistic, because the power of the voices of those on stage needed no dressing up, their talent spoke for itself.

The story itself follows Buddy Holly's rise to fame over the course of 18 months. As the audience, you watch him playing at radio stations with The Crickets, you watch them recording their first album until early hours in the morning, and then you become the audience of their first performance at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem. You see Buddy meet his wife, Maria, and then for the final scene, you see Buddy following the separation from The Crickets. You are the final audience of his life, and watch him in his full glory, soaking up every second on stage, yet equally desperate to return home to Maria. The voiceover tells you of his death, with his two friends on the plane at just 22 years old, and there was a moment of complete sobriety, where you could feel the mourning of the loss of such a talent at such a young age.

Buddy Holly himself said that "It's not that I want to be rich. i just want the world to remember the name Buddy Holly" and that rang true through the theatre. The audience was enthralled by the music of Holly. The idea of Buddy Holly being forgotten seems impossible, when his influence can be heard in the songs of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

There were moments of hilarity, with witty jokes and great acting, there were moments of stillness, and moments when you couldn't help but clap along and want to get up and dance! The cast were phenomenal, interacting with the audience and each other, with flawless vocals that blew me away. There was no backing track required, as their talent shone through with their own instruments throughout. 

To me, The Buddy Holly Show felt so much more than a show. It was a celebration of music and joy, but more so, a celebration of a life taken too soon. A story of pure determination, hard work and perseverance. The refusal to take the 'No', and continue until somebody realises that you were not destined to follow the crowd, but that you were born to stand out, and change the status quo.

Buddy- The Buddy Holly Show is touring until July this year, and you can see the dates and venues here.

*I was kindly gifted this ticket by The Mayflower Southampton, but all views & opinions are my own.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

A beauty-full house - Soap & Glory

Back in February 2016, I first purchased the Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot primer, and you can actually read the post it first featured in here. Ever since it has been a staple in my makeup bag, and when I ran out on Christmas Eve, I was not happy! Boxing day came, and in desperate need of a primer to save my very uneven, dry skin, I made a mad dash to Boots and found myself a bargain!

The primer itself retails for £11 alone, but the A beauty-full set was half price at £12.50!

As I said, this has been a staple since 2016, and it's stuck around for a reason. This provides me with a much smoother base that allows my foundation to sit better on the skin, and helps it last even through the longest days at work. I love the finish and I love the effect it has on my base! 

Thick & Fast Mascara

I've used this one before, and I'm happy to have another mascara in the stash, but I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy this on it's own. I find that this doesn't give me enough volume as I'd like on the lashes. It does give length, but my lashes are long anyway, so I'm not that impressed. It's nice enough for a natural minimalist look, but definitely not one I'll be reaching for daily.

Archery Brow Defining Crayon & Setting Gel

I'm a big fan of the standard Archery pencil. but hadn't seen this one before. This has the sculpted edge to help build a precise brow, and then the other end of the crayon twists off to reveal a hidden gel to help secure this in place! I've been using this since I picked it up, and I really like the gel, but am still trying to get used to the sculpted edge as I am used to a thin pencil. Overall, it blends well and leaves a strong yet natural brow. Luckily, the blonde colour that came in the set is perfect for my brows!

Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss - Bare Enough
On a daily basis, I only reach for lipsticks, nude and preferably matte, so I was cautious of this gloss. The colour is lovely, yet sheer enough that it isn't a disaster if you cannot top up during the day. The one thing that is a put off for me is the very overwhelming scent. This is common with other plumping glosses I have looked at, but it would be enough to put me off wearing this frequently.

Supercat Liner
I definitely don't wear liner everyday, but on the occasion that I do opt for either a thicker lash line or a feline flick, it is exclusively the Supercat Liner that I reach for time and time again. The felt tip nib makes it super easy to apply, and in one swipe it is opaque and will last all day without smudging. This is a staple in my makeup bag, and holding just a £7 price tag, it won't be going anywhere any time soon.

 Love at First Blush
Soap and Glory blushers have been in and out of my makeup bag for years, I love the glow that they give due to the variety of colours in the pan. The white highlight shades combined with the continuous shimmer ensures that you are left with a healthy glow and it also makes it buildable depending on skin tone! A lovely range of pinks, and also doubles up as a shimmery eye look in an emergency!

Overall. I was so impressed with the value for money here, and due to the fact that I use the primer every single day, I even stocked up on two more of these sets ready for when I run out! The spare blushes and glosses will be making their way to a new home, as I won't use those products up for quite a while!

Did you pick up any bargains in the sales?

J x

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