Review of The Cake Shop In The Garden by Carole Matthews

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Published: 23rd August 2015
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 432

Blurb:

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn’t do all this, who will? Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she’s ever made. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay’s entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn’t know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision – even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?

Review:

Thank you to Little Brown for kindly sending me a review copy.

The Cake Shop In The Garden begins with the main character Fay attempting to put her Mum in a nursing home just for a week while she sorts the cafe out. As the two have a slight disagreement, readers are given a touch of a background on the Merryweather family, home and business. Fay’s life isn’t what she expected; in her early forties, not married, living at home and caring for her Mum 24/7. I really liked how Fay’s personality was rather mellow and determined all at the same time. Her assistant Lija was the total opposite but they worked extremely well together.

“She is a sweary, Goth version of the goddess Mary Berry.”

The introduction of the handsome Irish man was hilarious. Instead of the leading lady being repulsed by the new male (believe me, it happens in stories!), she actually gave into his good looks, charm and her response really did make me laugh. The conversations between the pair were easy and it was crystal clear that they had hit it off immediately. The Irish hunk, Danny, was certainly sticking around and possibly for more reasons than he was willing to admit. However, Danny wasn’t the only sweet man in the cafe; Stan pulled on my heartstrings with his cute cardigan that was buttoned up wrong and his daily lunch visits. What’s not to love about the 93 year old?

“I can’t help but feel a rush of affection for him.”

Fay’s only concern doesn’t just sit with her bedridden Mum, her sister in New York City also seems to burden her with a lot of secrets. As a character, Fay was definitely the glue of the family, the person you go to with any slight problem and the person who would do anything for anyone. The only excitement in her life is Danny; he’s the light at the end of the tunnel and when he asked her out for the day – I was pretty excited for her. Let’s just ignore the fact that she’s been with another man for ten years. Yup, just pretend he doesn’t exist Fay..

“We might not get the chance to do it again.”

Fay and Danny. Danny and Fay. What a pair. They were two incredible characters who I really enjoyed reading about. With the setting of the beautiful house by the canal, it was so simply effective. I could have read about them being in an empty room and I would have still been thrilled by their conversation. When they’re apart for the smallest amount of time, it’s clear that Fay has it pretty bad for Danny and I don’t blame her! Yet when they reunite, I couldn’t help but smile and thankfully, I wasn’t in public.

“And I could weep. Weep for joy.”

Towards the end of the book, heartbreak hits Fay in two ways and I wondered where the plot would go next. Carole’s writing in this particular narrative was extremely enjoyable and I devoured it within days. It was easy to relax with and to fully know the characters as if they were friends was a treat. The revelation at the end of the book explained on awful lot and it came as such a shock, yet it all clicked into place. Now we know why Fay and her Mum didn’t have the greatest of relationships. But how could you not love her? She is the sweetest, kindest character I have ever had the pleasure of reading about – she puts everyone’s needs before her own and I  really did admire that about her.

“How is it that people who aren’t related to me want to do so much for me, when those who are seem to be intent on treating me so badly?”

Carole’s choice of setting was perfect; I fell in love with the house and the canal. Can I visit? Please and thank you. It was liking reliving my Rosie and Jim childhood memories with it all. The description was so effortless and incredibly enjoyable. The characters were just superb despite Fay’s Mum, sister and other half – they were very annoying and I just wanted to shake them from all their irritable traits. The Cake Shop In The Garden is one of my favourite books of 2015 – by far! If you love cake, do check it out.

Twitter: @carolematthews

Review of The New Yankee Candle “Cafe Culture” Collection

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Hi everyone, 

Today I’m back with another Yankee Candle blog post for you all. I loved writing and taking the photographs for the last one (go have a nosy if you haven’t already) and when they got in touch again regarding their new collection, I jumped at the chance because, lets face it – they smell amazing! The new Summer candles are Cappuccino Truffle, Tarte Tatin and Pain au Raisin. So brace yourselves because they’re pretty spectacular..

*Disclaimer: Yankee Candles have very kindly sent these for review but my opinions are 100% my own.

Pain au Raisin

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If you don’t know what a Pain au Raisin is, it is basically raisin bread. Yup, that’s right. It’s commonly eaten in France – oh to be in Paris right now stuffing my face. I thought I’d clear that up because I knew what one was but I’m eat to actually eat one! Pain au Raisin (the candle) is quite a sweet smell and I can most definitely smell the raisins which I’m very happy about because I could eat them all day, every day. It’s a gorgeous light brown colour, just like the bread ought to be. There’s a strong sense of vanilla which is just my absolute favourite when it comes to candles so no complaints from me with this!

*This is the one I’ve been burning the most and it’s almost all gone!

Tarte Tain

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After obsessing over Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off for the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of tarte tatin which in case you didn’t know is caramelised fruit  in an upside down pastry. In this particular candle, spices are included which I can’t smell but the apples are SO strong! This is a smell which doesn’t linger for very long but it’s one I just can’t stop sniffing. Mum, please make a tarte tatin. Thanks!

Cappuccino Truffle

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If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I really don’t like coffee. I like the smell and the fact that you can get so many different variations but I just don’t like the stuff. Then, Yankee Candle send me a coffee candle and… IT IS MY FAVOURITE! There is a strong smell of coffee which I do like but there’s also a heavenly scent of chocolate mixed in there as well. I think I’ll be lightly this when I’m tempted to reach for the chocolate cupboard..

Overall, I absolutely love the new Cafe Culture collection. I think it’s cute, stylish and anyone who likes cake/afternoon tea will adore these three. You can purchase them as wax melts (can’t light) for £1.49, samples for £1.80, tealights for £6.99, small jars for £7.99, medium jars for £16.99 and large jars for £19.99. They also come in a gift set for £14.99, a small jar gift set tin for £21.99 and finally, a 6 votive gift set house for £9.99.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Which Yankee Candle is your favourite?

EL xx

10 Tips On How To Contact Brands/PR Companies

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Hello everyone,

Want the low down, the how to guide, the razzle dazzle when it comes to working with the best of the best? Well, here are 10 helpful tips (or so I think they are) and FYI, they are in no particular order: do what works best for you…

*Disclaimer: I’m not an expert and I don’t pretend to be but these tips have worked for me so I thought I would share them with you.

ONE: Be Polite
This is by far, the best tip I can possibly give a fellow blogger. Being polite to the brand and the person who you’re speaking directly to will really help you. Don’t start off an email with “what free stuff do you give bloggers?” That won’t get you very far and it’s quite rude.

TWO: Ask To Be Put On Mailing Lists
I’ve personally never done this but many bloggers have because it’s a great way to keep up-to-date with the brands without emailing them every week or so to ask about new products etc.

THREE: Show Your Interest To The Brand And Do Your Research
Don’t go into an email blind, not knowing who they really are because what if they ask questions about their products and their website just happens to be down? Egg on your face right there. Take some notes, see if they test on animals or not etc.

FOUR:  Ask For Deadlines
If they don’t give one, let them know when the review will go live. Show that you’re keen to get the review up within a week or so because that’ll give you plenty of time to try out the product.

FIVE:  Send Social Media Links
Twitter, Blog URL, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, Facebook – the whole lot or just ones you use. Let the brand know if you’ll be tweeting about the review and/or putting a picture on Instagram. This way, you’re helping them out with more than just a review. Don’t let the Social Media links stop at yours, make sure you include theirs in your post.

SIX: Be Respectful
If you’re given a no, don’t do what X Factor hopefuls do and kick off. It’ll give you a bad reputation and brands contact one another so keep it short with a simple “thank you for your time.”

SEVEN: Recommend To Bloggers
I’ve done this many times on Twitter when there has been a bloggers chat. Saying something along the lines of; “I tried the W7 Absolute Lashes and it did wonders for my Spring makeup routine.” Don’t forget to tag them in the tweet, obvs.

EIGHT. Explain How
Imagine if you contact a clothing brand but you’ve never done a fashion post before? Let them know how you’d involve them onto your blog – for example, you could wear it to a blog meet up and ask a fellow blogger to take some OOTD pictures for you.

NINE. The Price
Some bloggers charge so if they ask, let them know. Only one brand has asked me because it is best if you make it clear on your blog or not whether you charge. Some brands just offer products so if I were you, don’t be cheeky and ask for more.

TEN. Build Up A Relationship
Continue to keep the brand up-to-date when your product(s) arrive, let them know your instant thoughts, let them know what your overall thought is and ask them if they’d like you to include anything in particular in your review.

I hope today’s post was helpful in some way. Brands are full of helpful people so if you contact them, show some confidence and let them know that you’re interested in working with them. They don’t bite – I promise.

EL xx

Review of The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

Published: 5th April 2015
Publisher: Gallic Books
Pages: 208

Blurb:

Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street, and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

Review:

Thank you to ED PR for kindly sending me a review copy.

The Red Notebook begins with a frantic rush, panic, blood and darkness. A woman (whose identity we do not know yet) is robbed right in front of her building door. Her purse, keys, tissues – everything has been taken. Soon, we learnt that our female character, Laure is safe in a hotel room and despite not knowing her identity (when robbed), readers can still sympathise with her and some may even relate. We then are introduced to Laurent, our male character. For me, the similarity of the name was a little bit too much but the idea of the book kept me hooked.

“It was remarkable how, in situations like this, all the tiny details that had seemed totally insignificant an hour before suddenly seemed to conspire against you.”

The handbag is found just before 20 pages and who knew what would happen in the upcoming nameless/numberless chapters. I liked how he attempted to hand the bag into the police station but after a quick decision, he returned to his bookshop. I noticed very early on of how the descriptions are rather short, straight to the point yet simply effective all at once. The inclusion of snippets from Laure’s notebook were added beautifully into the narrative. Despite us technically snooping, it was kind of exciting knowing that he would soon put the jigsaw pieces together and hopefully find her.

“… as Dominique kissed him, the phrase ‘I’m scared of ants’ seemed to take root permanently in his brain.”

I really liked the premise of the book; it sounded sweet and romantic – it was but it seemed to be on a low notch and the characters just glided along with barely any humps and bumps. I enjoyed reading about Paris, I mean, who doesn’t? The bookshop elements were my favourite (no surprise there), however, I just wasn’t crazy about the plot.

COME ALONG WITH ME: Breakfast At Bills

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Hello you lovely lot,

When I first began my Come Along With Me blog posts, I didn’t think they’d be so popular with you all so firstly, thank you for loving them. They’re a real inspiration to get out of the house, to see more of what is around me even if it’s just a train ride away and I’ve been doing that quite a lot recently.

On Wednesday 20th, I went to Liverpool with Laura for breakfast at Bills – a place I’ve heard a lot about but never actually been and it’s always fun to try new places. It’s situated right near John Lewis and Liverpool One en route to the Albert Docks so it’s hard to miss.

*Disclaimer: Bills have not sponsored either myself or Laura. We just went for a chat and some food.

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Oh hi, Laura!

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Bills is a really cute, authentic place which serves food from both breakfast to bedtime. We were seated at the window and it was the perfect opportunity to take plenty of blog pictures! Laura opted for water and a bacon roll (she’d already eaten, oops) and I went for a cup of tea as it was freezing as well as the blueberry and buttermilk pancakes with bacon – YUM!

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The pancakes were really soft, buttery (obviously) and full of tasty blueberries which I adore in pancakes. I opted for crispy bacon simply because they go quite well with pancakes. But I think they’d go well with other ones, perhaps a second option is needed?

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Overall, breakfast was really nice but I honestly believe that Bills is the type of place to visit when you’ve got something to celebrate because it is a little pricey but the food is delicious. It was wonderful to finally meet Laura and have a good natter with her. You know when you just click with someone? Basically that. She’s got a heart of gold and I truly consider her as one of my good friends.

Have you ever been to Bills?

EL xx

Review of Catch Me If You Cannes (Pt4) by Lisa Dickenson

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Published: 25th May 2015
Publisher: Little Brown

Blurb:

Just one week ago, Jess was safely tucked away in her quiet seaside home, running her cafe and not really doing much of anything. So what on earth has happened between then and now that has her stealing a super yacht from Cannes marina? Leo. Leo happened. Jess doesn’t want to believe what everybody is saying about him. He’s her Leo, with his lazy smile, soft kisses and firm hugs, and she knows he’s a good man. But she can’t deny that something isn’t quite right so she just needs some time to figure things out. All Jess did was fall in love with a boy who liked Nutella. How has it come to this?

Review:

Thank you to Little Brown for kindly sending me a review copy. As part of the blog tour which I’m a part of, I’m reviewing Lisa’s book in four parts. This is the final installment. *cry face*

Seeing as I believed the opener of part 3 was drama town, well… What is this? Drama Universe? With Jess and Leo speeding away on a boat, things aren’t all peachy keen jelly bean. There was a lot of ironic moments from the way Jess and Bryony started with all the white lies and then towards the end.. I’m saying nothing. It’s brilliantly done on Lisa’s behalf – very clever writing!

“So she slapped on a smile, shook out her hair, even sang loudly the first line of Let It Go.”

I thought the ending (before the epilogue) was rather sweet and realistic. It seemed like the right thing for Jess and Leo, but of course, Lisa wasn’t done with them just yet! The epilogue changed it all and I thought the mention of an adventure seemed like the ideal way to end it. As much as I love Lisa, her hilarious ways and her writing, I just wasn’t crazy about the book and that’s sad to say but as a reviewer, I’m always 100% honest. It was great to curl up with every now and then – sometimes reading these books in the individual parts dampens your love for the book but fear not, it’s coming in Paperback!

Twitter: @LisaWritesStuff

Review of Fudge Urban Hair Products

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Hi everyone, 

Today, I have teamed up with Fudge Urban who are a hair brand for both male and female. With their products ranging from Matte Wax to Sea Salt Spray to Raspberry & Vanilla Hairspray – they’ve got you covered!

*Disclaimer: Fudge Urban very kindly sent me these products for review and my opinions are 100% my own.

Iced Raspberry & Vanilla Styling Mousse

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I’ll be honest – I don’t use mousse at all and when my hairdresser offers it, I always say “no thank you.” I’ve used so many in the past and it’s made my hair look super greasy even though I’ve just washed it. But that was back in the day when I used to apply it ALL over. No, Emma, just no. Now, I apply it to the tips of my hair as I always have trouble with those remaining straight once I’ve straightened it. They always tend to flick out and it’s kind of annoying. However, with this beauty of a product – my hair has received more staying power and no I have no flicky hair!

With 5 out of 10 per cent chance of holding, this iced raspberry and vanilla (well, you want your hair smelling nice) does an awful lot for £5.99 from Superdrug:

* Anti-frizz mousse with strong hold
* Conditioning base for a smooth, sleek look
* Updates your style quickly
* Seals loose ends
* Protects from the heat
* Prevents blow-outs from excessive blow drying

The only disappointing part of this mousse product is that it’s sticky, but with a quick hand wash, that’s easily fixed. I would deeply recommend this to anyone who wants their hair to stay in place – especially if you’re attending a family event or just a night out on the town. I personally can’t smell the vanilla but if I’m out and it’s windy, I can smell the raspberry quite strongly which is always nice!

Feel The Heat 

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I’ve used heat protection spray for years and it really has worked wonders on my hair. I know it’s very difficult to see whether a spray is doing anything for your hair but just by seeing whether your ends split after blow drying is one way! With the spray doing so much more than protecting your hair up to 235°C, you simply can’t go wrong. So what else does it do?

* Gives you poker straight hair when continuing after drying
* Reduces frazzled ends or singed tips
* Allows your hair to look super shiny and keep it tip-top condition

I do like this heat protection spray but for some reason, it’s got that lingering smell of hairspray. Weird right? It’s not nice and it clings to the back of your throat even if your mouth is shut tight. But, I’m going to continue to use it especially when I wash my hair with Tresemme (I don’t have their heat spray).

I’m afraid I don’t have a link for you – I looked high and low, but no look.

Iced Raspberry & Vanilla Hair Spray

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When I’ve got my hair tied up in a bun which is basically ALL the time, I sometimes find that a little touch of hairspray helps to hold it down rather than having it feel loose and all over the show. What I like about this in particular is that there’s no linger smell or taste to it. It’s completely fresh and I’m in awe of how Fudge Urban have managed to do that. NO NASTY TASTE IN THE BACK OF YOUR MOUTH!! They need to write that on the can.

With a hold factor of 6 out of 10, the £4.99 from Superdrug hairspray does quite a lot..

* 24 hours of hold
* Finishes off hairstyles nicely
* Controls your style with anti-frizz
* Seals loose ends and keeps your locks smooth

So what about the brush out effect? I tried this the day before I needed to wash my hair and I was glad I did because I could feel the spray in my hair when once I’d used my tangle teezer. It’s not exactly pleasant but with the whole “no lingering taste or smell” bonus, I don’t mind because I’m not a girl who uses hairspray every single day. You can also get this hairspray in a Coconut Cocktail scent.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with these three Fudge Urban products. I’ve never spotted them in Superdrug before but now, I’m on the hunt for the sea salt spray! For me, I love the whole iced scent which is included – the vanilla isn’t as strong as the raspberry but it gives off a sweet scent which lingers for majority of the day! You guys all know I’m all about the package and for me, I love the pink and orange cans much more than the pink and white ones.

Have you tried Fudge Urban before? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx 

Review of W7 Mascara, Blusher & Lipgloss

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Hello beauty lovers,

Today, I’m bringing you another glorious W7 makeup post. If you saw my last one, you’ll know that I’m amazed by their products. This time around, they very kindly sent their new Spring mascara, the honeycomb blusher and a clear (although it looks pink) lipgloss.

*Disclaimer: W7 have sent these products for review but my opinion is 100% my own.

Foxy Lashes Mascara

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I’m rather picky when it comes to mascara because I expect results and not all mascaras bring them to the table. I’ve never used a mascara before which promises foxy lashes but naturally, I gave it a go. The wand is extremely soft and the bristles are big and fluffy – what a way to describe a mascara! I love the mint colour of the packaging and it truly is perfect for Spring. I would personally save this mascara for evening time because I’m not sure I want foxy lashes during the day, especially if I’m just relaxing.

In terms of the other Spring mascaras, there are Bunny Lash and Queen Bee – all for £4.95!

Super Kiss Lipgloss

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Are you a lipgloss or lipstick fan? I’m more a lipstick kind of girl but when it comes to wanting something simple – I love nudes lipstick or a clear lipgloss and W7 have delivered just that. With a petite wand applicator, the clear lipgloss (despite looking pink on the packaging) applies very easily and it’s not overly sticky which a win!

I have the colour Graceland, but for £2.95 you can also purchase the others – Birthday Girl, Iridescent and Venice Beach. I think these are ideal for days when you’re wearing a lot of colour and you fancy more of a natural look.

The Honey Queen Honeycomb Blusher

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If you saw my Max Factor blog post, you’ll know that I never wore blusher because I was worried I’d resemble a clown. I love using very soft pink blushers but with the W7 Honeycomb one, it’s more a pigmented bronze colouring so my bronzing pearls take a step back when I’m using this. I really like the fact that it comes with a little brush just in case you want to apply it differently and I find that this blusher is perfect for all over your cheeks rather than just sitting on the top of them.

For £3.76, other bloggers have compared it to Benefit’s Rockateur but for me, that’s much more of a pink tone rather than what the Honeycomb has to often.

Overall, I love W7 products but I wish Superdrug or Boots would stock them but for now, I’m happy to purchase from Amazon. Their products are very reliable and more bloggers out to know about them because they truly are amazing and for the price, people would continue to repurchase – I know I would.

Which W7 products have you purchased? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx

Review of SuperFruit, Popcorn & Green Mint teapigs Teas.

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Good afternoon tea lovers!

I’ve teamed up with the incredible teapigs (no capital letters please!) to showcase three of their delicious teas and they very kindly let me choose which ones I wanted to taste and review so I decided on three which I wouldn’t drink on a daily basis. I actually choose the teapigs which were recommended by the website with the ‘great taste’ logo because being disappointed by tea wouldn’t be a good thing.

*Disclaimer: teapigs have kindly sent me these products for review and my opinion is 100% my own

Super Fruit

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I LOVE FRUIT TEAS SO MUCH!

Ingredients: hibiscus, elderberry, blackcurrant, raisin, natural flavours, ligonberry, blueberry

I’m seriously impressed with this Super Fruit tea. It’s extremely tasty, full of fruit (obvs) and it’s actually good for you – THREE CALORIES YOU GUYS! I really enjoy this in the afternoon when I need a boost. The smell – let me just tell you how delicious it smells. I’ve never smelt such a powerful tea in my life. From the second you open the packet to when you add the hot water, the power of fruit is in your nostrils and it’s divine!

For 15 of these teas, they are £3.99 (from the website) which is 27p per tea!! Amazing.

Popcorn

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I chose the popcorn tea because I watch a lot of films and TV shows on my laptop so I thought, why not? The popcorn tea isn’t as strong as the mint one but there is definitely a smell of salty popcorn floating around. I’m definitely more of a sweet popcorn kind of girl and I love that you can actually see the corn inside the tea bag. While I watched Silver Linings Playbook one evening, I opted for the popcorn tea and I’m really sad to say that it just wasn’t for me. Pass me the sweet popcorn in a cinema bag please.

Ingredients: 50% green tea, 50% toasted rice

I like how with pretty much every teapigs tea, you can turn it into iced tea by covering one tea temple with boiling water, infuse for 3 minutes, remove temple and top-up glass with iced water. I’m definitely doing this when the hot summer days arrive (if they ever do!)

For 15 of these teas, they are £4.49 (from the website) which is 30p per tea!! Wowza.

Green Tea With Mint

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I’m not a minty person at all. I love After Eights but that’s about it. However, I really wanted to try them and even my Dad was looking at them! When I opened the packet, the smell of mint HIT ME in the face. Wow, that’s some strong tea! After brewing it for 4 minutes, I would not do this again because it turned out too strong for my liking so for my second one, I brewed it for something silly like 1 minute. The taste is very minty but it doesn’t leave me feeling refreshed. This is probably the tea to drink after you’ve eaten something with garlic in.

Ingredients: chunmee green tea and peppermint leaves

Just like the Super Berry tea, for 15 of these teas, they are £3.99 (from the website).

I hope you enjoyed today’s tea based blog post. The Super Berry was my absolute favourite! Have you tried any teapigs? 

EL xx

My Nail Polish Collection

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Happy Friday!

I may not own a lot of beauty products or jewellery or nail polish for that matter, but what I do have, I make great use of. I’m not particularly fussy but when it comes to spending money on products, I only buy things which I truly want/need. Well, sometimes.. You’re probably thinking that I have 10+ nail polishes, right? Erm.. I only have 9. But I really enjoy writing these collection posts purely for fun. I did one on jewellery, lipsticks, eyeshadows and now nail polish.

*insert nail polish emoji here*

The Clear Polish 

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Whether it’s nail care, a top coat or a base coat – I do love browsing the clear polishes as much as the jazzy ones. Taking care of your nails is just as important as your hair. With plenty of milk and vitamins, they’ll grow and harden in no time.

Nail HQ: The Nail Care

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I’ve never truly taken care of my cuticles. When Nail HQ kindly sent me some oil with vitamin complex (via. NW Bloggers Meet Up), I didn’t try it for a while due to the fact that my nail are pretty much always painted unless I’m waitressing. But on the rare times they’re bare (and I hate it), I rub this into my cuticles. A little does go on the skin but that’s perfectly ok. I don’t know if it’s made much difference but it’s an ok product to have in your collection.

Make Up Academy: The Top Coat

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Ever wanted to know how your nail polish lasts that little bit longer and remains shiny? Top coat does just the trick. You will find that pretty much any brand does one and if they don’t, well clearly they’re not that serious about nails. I’ve used a top coat (two layers to be precise) for many years now and it really does an awful lot. This particular one from MUA is £1. Winner!

Essence: The Base Coat

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Quite the opposite to the top coat; I have always just started wearing a base coat this year. Giovanna Fletcher mentioned it ages ago in one of her YouTube videos and I couldn’t find one for quite some time until I stumbled across Essence in my local Wilkinson’s. It comes in handy especially when wearing red nail polish (kind of still stains the nails). It dries very quickly and it’s reassuring to know that it’s under there; protecting your nails.

The Colours

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Seventeen

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Who says glitter is just for Christmas time? Not me! Let me have it all year round please and thank you. When I’m wearing red nails, I tend to put a coat or two of this either on my thumb or my index finger. It adds a bit of sparkle and fun to your nails. It actually looks good on top of any colour. Experiment away!

Little Ondine

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If you saw my blog post about my Little Ondine nails, you’ll know that this particular one came as a duo. I wasn’t a fan of the green one which came alongside the above one and after a month or so, it dried up really quickly. It’s a shame really. But I kept this one and I tend to use it with my Essence Mint nail polish so it hasn’t gone to waste.

Mavala

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This was another nail polish from the NW Bloggers Meet Up and much like the Little Ondine one, I also did a post about this gorgeous moscow red. Mavala are a top nail polish brand and they’re one of my favourites! They’re around £4 for a pack of three which is amazing. One coat is all I need of  this colour (plus a top coat) and I’m ready to go.

Collection

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Collection are a makeup brand who do extremely well with their concealer, eyeshadow palettes and nail polishes. This was the very first red varnish I bought and I’ve repurchased it a few times now as well as other colours in the past. It’s not as luxurious as the Mavala one but it’s a great colour to pop on when you’re wearing a simple outfit. Plus, it’s my Christmas red.

Make Up Revolution

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Make Up Revolution have taken the world by storm and this was the very first item I purchased from them. It’s a light brown neutral shade and I absolutely adore it. In Autumn, this is fantastic and when I’m not sure which colour to apply next – I usually opt for this one. The price is amazing and the products are so reliable.

Essence

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Out of all the nail polishes, this has to be my favourite. Mint green looks amazing in Spring and Summer. I’m basically at the end of the bottle and I’m itchy to repurchase another. If you’ve got pale or tanned hands, long or short nails, it looks incredible. Is it wrong to fangirl over a nail polish colour? LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

Which nail polish brands do you love? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx