My Travel Makeup Bag: Short Summer Break

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I did a post like this a couple of years ago and have meant to do it since but they sort of fell below other posts and, since I’ve just come back from a couple of nights in Wales, I thought this was the perfect timing for an updated summer version. I really like reading these by other people, seeing what they choose to take and it gives me ideas in case I’ve forgotten something so I hope you guys like this post. It’s also interesting, to me anyway, when I was writing this to see how it compared to the same sort of things I was taking when I wrote the last one.

I have been known to take more than I need makeup wise, three palettes for two nights may be slightly over the top, so I tried to pack light and think I succeeded. As it’s summer time, or supposed to be, my makeup routine is quite different to a few months ago. The main difference is the foundation stage and this group of products has actually become my go to easy look for the past couple of weeks anyway so I guess it’s part my travel bag and part just my everyday look. I think I’ve actually reviewed most of these products so if I have I’ll try to link them.

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Book Review: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

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Title: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

Author: Agatha Christie

Year Written: 1934

Publisher, Year Published: Fontana, 1984

ISBN: 0-00-616606-7

My detective book summer has continued with another crime novel from Agatha Christie, though this time not a Poirot mystery. Why Didn’t they Ask Evans? Is about Bobby Jones, who witnesses someone die, though he is unaware at the time it’s a murder as he thinks he fell off a cliff, but as it’s an Agatha Christie it couldn’t be that simple. It is set in the early twentieth century, I can’t remember a date being mentioned but as it was originally written in 1934 I would assume around then, and is a quiet country setting as with a lot of her books, that hides a story of murder with twists and turns.

This book has been sat in my parents bookshelf so I thought, having enjoyed the other Agatha Christies I’ve read recently, I’d give it a go. It was adapted into a Miss Marple story fairly recently for TV so it may be familiar if you watch the ITV dramas but it’s not originally one of that series. I have to say I didn’t remember the storyline from the TV series so it was like reading it without any previous knowledge which was a bit of a change from the others.

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Review: Soap and Glory Heel Genius

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Heel Genius from Soap and Glory is one of those products that I don’t think I’ve ever bought individually, it’s come in a lot of their gift sets over the years I’ve been buying from them, but when I do have it I like it and then forget about it until the next time I have it. With sandal season having hit here in the U.K., though it may have disappeared at the moment, I thought I’d see if I had some in my stash and I found this tube Christmas gift last year. I try to look after my feet but I will admit that, apart from a month or so before and through sandal season, they tend to get forgotten. I also tend to just use hand creams which, although they’re effective, aren’t deigned for feet and tend to be more perfumey.

Heel Genius is normally available in a 125ml tube for £5.50, at least that’s what I can find online outside of gift sets, so this is a mini version but it’s just a scaled down version of the tube and the product itself is the same. It’s a foot cream designed to help keep your feet feeling fresh and in good condition and It’s recommended that you apply a good amount to your feet in the evening and put socks on so it can sink in and have the maximum benefits.

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Marie Claire Free Product and First Impressions: Eyeko Black Magic Eyelash Curlers

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I was looking for a magazine to take with me on the car journey to Wales and browsing through the ones they had on offer at our local store I saw Marie Claire. To be honest the free Eyeko Black Magic Eyelash Curler wasn’t much of a pull, I rarely curl my eyelashes and the Elf one I have is ok for when I do, but as it was the magazine that actually interested me the most I picked it up and thought I’d do a first impressions post of the eyelash curlers themselves and see how they compare to previous ones I’ve owned. They were never the best quality so I’d hope these would work better given the difference in RRP and maybe these would change my mind about eyelash curlers.eyekocurlers2

With this month’s Marie Claire in the UK there is an option of three different Eyeko products; the eyelash curler (£12), a brow gel (£10) and a waterproof mascara (£10) and I probably would have picked the mascara if it had been an option. Considering the magazine costs £3.99 it’s a pretty cheap way of getting one of these if you’re on the market for an eyelash curler, I know part of the higher price is the free gift but it’s still a third of the original RRP.

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Book Review: A Meditation on Murder (A Death in Paradise Novel) by Robert Thorogood

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Title: A Meditation on Murder

Author: Robert Thorogood

Publisher, Date: Harlequin MIRA, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-848-45371-5

Until a recent trip to the library I didn’t even know that there were books based on the Death in Paradise TV show from the BBC. As it’s one I love and I’m on a bit of a detective novels kick at the moment I thought I’d give it a go. It’s also the perfect book for the recent heat here in the UK, with its setting of Saint-Marie, a fictional island in the Caribbean. After a bit of a look online it turns out A Meditation on Murder was the first Death in Paradise novel so it’s a great one to start with.

I was interested, going into this, to see how close it comes to the actual TV series and characters, also which of the characters it was written about as there have been a few combinations over the series. Being written by the creator of the show, Robert Thorogood, I was hoping it would be close and, to me, it doesn’t disappoint.

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Getting Motivated Again

Possibly a bit stereotypical with a field of wheat (or barley) but I like it and it has a link to the post, in a way.

To be honest the past three months have kind of gone in  a a bit of a  blur. With the operation and recovery I realised that recently I’ve lost some of the motivation I had. It started with the whole build up, feeling rubbish and then the four or five weeks where I was told not to do too much but it’s sort of stuck with me. I was so motivated, I have a list of posts I had planned to write and schedule for my recovery and I realised that I only ended up doing a few other them and then doing others instead and my whole organisation has fallen to the side. It’s not just my blog that it’s happened with but I know noticed I’d got down to 2 posts a week with not real schedule and it’s given me a bit of a kick up the backside to try and get my motivation back. 

There are a few ways I’ve found in the past that helped so I thought I’d do a post on it, we all go through patches like this so I thought it would be interesting to see if there are any of the things I do that you guys use to get back your motivation or if there’s anything you do that’s different that I’d never thought of. 

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Review: Red Carpet Manicure Envelope Please Gel Nail Varnish

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In a recent trip to Sally’s I found this Red Carpet Manicure gel nail varnish in Envelope Please. The official description for it is a ‘mauve nude creme’ which actually describes it pretty much perfectly. I wanted a fairly deep neutral pink sort of colour and this one was the closest in this range I could see. Price wise it ranges from £10 -£14 depending where you buy it from, the range of places that stocks them seems to have grown recently and I’ve seen stands in Marks and Spencer as well as Sally’s when it comes to physical stores.

I like the Red Carpet Manicure range in general, though the formulas do tend to range in thickness. I’ve found that, as a brand, the nail varnishes last the two weeks they claim in general and they stick well. I use them with the Red Carpet Manicure light and find them quick and easy to use, I can’t really comment on how well it works with other brands but you can see the colour and how it lasts with their own UV lamp. These are all gel nail varnishes designed to be used with a UV lamp.

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Review: Pro-Voke Liquid Blonde Colour Activating Treatment Shampoo and Intense Shine Conditioner

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For the past few years I’ve had my hair blonde, though mainly through lighteners rather than actual dye, and the recent heat wave in the UK and all the sun naturally turned my sort of ashy blonde hair to a very light, skin out white, blonde without me doing anything. I recently found the Pro-Voke Liquid Blonde Colour Activating Treatment Shampoo and Intense Shine Conditioner in Tesco so thought I’d give them a go. I haven’t seen these around before, they said they were new on the shelf too, and as I was planning on using dye to make my hair less of a white blonde and a more golden tone I thought this would be worth a try. I loved their purple based toner for white and platinum blonde hair when I had it before, definitely recommend that if you want to get rid of any brassiness in your hair, so I had high hopes for these too.

These bottles are larger than the intense versions of the purple toner I’d used before but the same size as their everyday ones at 200ml. They cost £5.50 each which isn’t too bad for a shampoo or conditioner, especially as going from past experience with their other products a little goes a long way with them so they do last better than some cheaper shampoos I’ve used.

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Review: Nina Ultra Pro Nail Varnish in Orchid


I haven’t bought anything from the Nina Ultra Pro nail varnish line before, I’d seen them in Sally’s a couple of times but tended to stick to the brands I knew. However, the last time I went this was the only company that had the kind of colour I was looking for so I decided to give them a go and bought Orchid, a sort of darker version if the melenial pink that’s everywhere at the moment.
I can’t find this exact nail varnish on their website, maybe it was a limited edition or it’s just out of stock at the moment, but the rest of their standard nail varnish line is £4.88 a bottle online which is a pretty good price for a nice nail varnish that actually lasts so I thought I’d see if it could do as well as some of my current favourites.
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Mini Hauls: Sally’s and Mark’s & Spencer

I seem to have been buying things recently, I do have a bit of a TK Maxx haul coming up that’s been building up for a few months so it’ll be a pretty big one and deserves its own post, I just haven’t been posting my recent purchases. I’ve found that posting then actually helps me to keep my spending down so I’m back to posting them more. 

We recently found an out of city shopping centre that has some great shops in it, mainly TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer were the ones we’ve been to as I didn’t need clothes and most of the others would probably end up with me spending even more! Today’s post is the few things I got from M&S as well as their nail varnishes I bought in Sally’s on the same trip.

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