Monday, 31 March 2014

MARCH FAVOURITES

This month I've been loving a range of things, from beauty products, to books, to films. My monthly favourites have been a bit sporadic on amyjanealice, but I'm definitely making the effort to have them up each month from now on. There's a few favourites for this month so let's just get stuck in!



Washcloths are a necessary part of my skincare routine to smooth away any cleansing balm or facial oils I've used to cleanse my face with. The ones I'm using currently are from Primark; they're super cheap, around £1.50 for a pack of three, and they come in a range of colours. One of the best things about the cloths are that are really soft on your skin therefore not causing any irritation. Continuing with skincare favourites, I've been absolutely loving the L'Oreal Skin Perfection Miracle Cleansing Oil. As I have quite dry skin, I love using an oil to try and get some moisture back into the skin. As you only need one or two pumps of the oil, it last ages and is gentle enough to use morning and night. I also use The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum after cleansing and before moisturising to achieve the same thing.

You may have seen my review of the Laura Geller Spackle Primer on my blog earlier on this month, and it definitely deserves a mention in my favourites. It aids application and improves the staying power of my make up, which with my skin type is really important to me. It also doesn't feel as though I've got a layer of really unnatural product on my skin, which was my issue with most of the other primers I've tried. 

If you've read about my Book Challenge 2014 (if you haven't, click here!) you'll know that I'm an avid book reader and love getting comfy and losing myself in a story. So, it's no surprise that a book has made its way into my March favourites! I first discovered Paige Toon earlier on this year; I fell in love with her writing straight away and so picked up a few paperbacks of hers in the Tesco book deals. The Longest Holiday is definitely my favourite of hers so far. Laura is whisked away to Key West in Florida with her friends after her husband of seven months makes a huge mistake. While there she meets a gorgeous Cuban scuba diver, Leo, and Laura must make the choice between going home to sort her life out, or to listen to her heart. It might sound a little cheesy but I really enjoyed the book and got through it in just a couple of days. There's a few twists and so the story isn't as predictable as you might think! I 100% recommend the book, and it would be a book I would definitely take on holiday with me to enjoy on the beach.

As for television and film, this month I finally caught up with the latest season of Pretty Little Liars, and let me tell you, I was hooked! Although I'd caved and made my sister tell me some of the plot before I got around to watching it, each episode still managed to surprise me and keep me guessing. If you've never seen Pretty Little Liars, watch it. I highly, highly recommend it, and I apologise now for the fact you'll be glued to your laptop for the foreseeable future. I also went to watch the latest Marvel release, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and loved it. I am a little bit of a superhero geek (never ask me to choose between Marvel and DC, please) so I actually went to the midnight showing and even though I was tired, as soon as the film came on I was gripped for the entirety. Even if you don't really rate superhero films, go watch it anyway, Chris Evans is amazing.

So there's quite a mixture of favourites this month, but these are the things that have really stood out for me in March.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

THIS WEEK #4


Clothes rail envy / Pepper doesn't want my kisses / Enjoying a cup of tea and watching Pretty Little Liars / Empty Cineworld carpark just before the midnight showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier / There's no way I could choose between Captain America and Superman / I'm such a cat lady! / A very old throwback Thursday of me and George / The latest additions to my Bioderma collection / Honeycomb sundae 

Friday, 28 March 2014

BLOGGING ORGANISATION

Over the past few months, I've really got on top of my blog and had posts scheduled quite a few weeks in advance. To tell you the truth, it took me nearly a year to get this organised. I wish I'd sorted myself out sooner as I think my blog could have grown so much more had there been a better structure. I'm by no means an expert, and what works for me might not work for you, but these are the things that I do to make my blog more organised.



image source - edited

Use A Notebook

Writing all of my ideas down in a notebook is really useful for me. I have a particular notebook that I use from Huck & Pucker, which you can read about here. I write down all my ideas for future posts, any products I'm lusting over and sometimes I'll plan the main points I want to include in a post. I have it next to my bed so that if inspiration strikes when I'm about to fall asleep, I can jot it down quickly. When I'm on the go, I make notes on my iPhone that I'll transfer into my notebook later on.

Use A Calendar

I use one that I found on Google Images, which is basically a grid with one column to write the name of the post, one where you write the date of when it is to be published and another with boxes to tick when you've written the content, taken the photographs and when the post is ready to go live. It's really useful to have a quick glance at to see if there's anything I've missed. There are tons available online here if you can't make one yourself.

Have A To-Do List

This is pretty similar to the calendar but I like to use both of them. My to-do list is a Kirstie Allsopp notepad with 52 pages, one for each week of the year. On each day I like to write what post is due to go live, and also make any notes if there's something I need to do on a particular day like "Take picture of Lush Bath Bomb".

Take Pictures In Bulk

I'm guilty of not always doing this, I do sometimes panic and take a picture quickly for a blog post to go up straight away, but taking pictures in bulk is really helpful. On a day you're not doing much, pile up the things you need to take pictures of and do it. It shouldn't take too long and that way you can write and schedule all your posts in one sitting.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

SIMPLE WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR ROOM

When I was younger I hated tidying my room, as I'm sure the majority of children did. Though recently, I can't stop! I've been throwing tons of things away and I definitely feel much better for doing so. Being in a clear and clean environment is much better than a messy and unorganised one; I always feel like I do better quality work on a clutter free desk. Attempting to sort your room out after letting the clutter build up for a while can seem like a bit of a daunting task. You might have an overflowing wardrobe and have no idea what clothes you actually own. Either way I may be able to help you!


image source - edited

When starting to tidy your room, prepare yourself with some bin liners or boxes to help sort all of your clutter into. It's also best to start in one area, for example your dressing table, and then work your way clockwise around the room. Doing it like this means you focus on one task at a time which will probably mean it gets tidier quicker! You can use the boxes and bags to sort all your items out. One can be for things for the bin, one can be for storage and the other can be for items you can donate to your local charity shop.

Wardrobe

First things first, get rid of everything you know you don't wear and won't wear again. If it's in good condition and can be worn again, put this in the donate pile. Otherwise, chuck it out. For those things you aren't 100% sure on but don't want to get rid of, I've picked up a handy little tip. Take your hangers out of your wardrobe and turn them the opposite way, so that the hook is facing you instead of the back of the wardrobe. Then, each time you take something out and wear it, place the hanger back in the correct way. Then, in 6 months or so time you can go back to clearing your wardrobe out and those items with the hangers that haven't been put back to normal, you know you don't wear so these can be either donated or binned! To keep your wardrobe organised, you could store all the clothing that can only be worn in a certain season away. If you wanted to be super organised, you could put your clothes into sections. For example, skirts, jeans, tops, jumpers, shirts and jackets etc. I find this is really easy when picking out an outfit or looking for a certain item. You can do the same for your shoes.

Dressing Table

If you're anything like me you'll have all sorts of beauty products stored away in your dressing table, though there's only a certain selection that you use on a regularly basis. To combat this, every couple of weeks pull out a couple of products and place them in an easy to reach place, maybe in a basket or box on your dressing table. Work your way through the products and you can either throw out or give the items you don't like to your mum or sister or realise that the eyeliner you bought 3 months away and never used is actually the best one you've ever bought! You can do similar things for bath and hair products you've accumulated. Store them together and work your way through these instead of buying new things. You will also come across some new products to review on your blog! Makeup does have expiry dates, so be wary of these when de-cluttering. Mascaras only tend to last a couple of months at most so throw away any that you've had and been using for a long time. Powder tends to last a lot longer but it's down to your own judgement whether it can still be used or not. Try not to hoard just for the sake of it.

Desk

Like I said before, working at a tidy desk really helps me to feel more motivated and think clearer. When I sorted my desk out, I started by emptying each draw one at a time and separating everything into piles: what should be in the draw, what should be somewhere else and what should be in the bin. Anything that should be in the draw can be put back in neatly, and then you should sort the other items out straight away. Being at university, I like to keep all my paperwork in folders. I bought a pack of five magazine holders from Ikea for around £2 and I wrote each unit on the front of the holders. Everything related to that unit goes inside it. I also have a folder for bank statements and pay slips, so that if I need a certain one I can get to it really easily. When you get paperwork or anything in the post, store it away straight away so it's easy to keep on top of.

General

For the rest of the clutter around your room, ask yourself "Do I really need it?" "Will I use it again?". If so, put it in the correct place, and if not, donate or get rid of it! Each night, or every couple of nights depending on how tidy you are, spend five or ten minutes sorting your room out. It could be as simple as putting away the makeup and hair tools you used that morning, or hanging any clothes back up. Doing this means you're much less likely to have to do a huge tidy up every month. After everything is back in it's place and you've taken the bags out of your room, give it a good hoover and a little dusting. I always find my room looks a lot nicer after doing so! I love adding some fairy lights and a few photos around just to make it a little more cosy.


Don't get me wrong, my room doesn't look like a show room, I have plenty of little trinkets and things around my room but it's a lot more organised that it used to be. These are only a couple of tips and if you have any you'd like to add, please do in the comments! I hope that I may have helped you a little bit.

Monday, 24 March 2014

WHAT'S ON MY iPAD MINI?

This is a post that I haven't featured on amyjanealice before, and as I love being nosey and seeing what's on other people's iPads, I thought it might be something fun to upload myself. I treated myself to an iPad after I started university and I've used it every day since, it's completely worth every penny! This post is a little wordy so grab a cuppa and enjoy.


Lock and Home Screen
I love having a pretty lock and home screen, it just makes the whole iPad look nicer! Chevron and flowers are two of my favourite backgrounds so it was a no brainer really!

Top and Bottom Row
I keep my most used social media apps on the top row for ease of access, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On the frosted bottom row, I have Safari, Mail, Videos and Music. Aside from Video, I use them all really regularly so it made sense to keep them there. Messages is also on the top row which I don't use that often, but it is a useful app if I'm too lazy to look at my phone when I get a text.

Apple Mandatory Apps
On the second and most of the third row I have all the apps that come automatically loaded with the iPad, such as photos, camera, Photo Booth, iBooks, app store, settings and calculator. I also have a folder called Productivity that I haven't shown in this post just because it includes the rest of the Apple apps: calender, contacts, iTunes store, reminders, notes, maps, newsstand, game center, clock and Facetime.

Social 

YouTube is a must on both my iPad and iPhone. It's great for catching up on my subscriptions on the move and also to listen to music I don't have in iTunes. Bloglovin' is the same, I like to browse through all the new posts in my breaks at uni or at night if I don't want to use my laptop. I use Blogger to draft posts as it's not very good at actually organising and posting them. LinkedIn is really useful to have as you can connect with potential employers, friends, and people in the career you want. It also advertises jobs and there are really interesting articles posted on there. It really helps you be more professional. There are plenty of apps and websites for scheduling posts but my particular favourite is Hootsuite. It's super easy and you can check out your home feed, mentions, DM's and scheduled tweets all in one place and the majority it all on one page! I don't really use Pinterest often, but if I need some inspiration or just want to browse through some pretty pictures, it's the first place I go. Vine is brilliant if you need a laugh, though I've never posted one myself! My blog is hosted on Blogger, but I have Wordpress downloaded on my iPad as a blog I created for uni is hosted on there. It's quite useful and I use it the same as I use the Blogger app. A Beautiful Mess is one of those apps that's been talked about a lot in the blogging world, and I downloaded it to see what all the hype was about. If I'm being honest, I always forget to use it! I just take a picture and upload it to Instagram straight away, I definitely need to get into ABM more as it creates some gorgeous pictures.

Work Folder 

MyMMU is an app that can only be used by students at Manchester Metropolitan University. It's really handy for checking my timetable, catching up on the latest news and alerts and also gives me access to the MMU student portal that shows all the lecture schedules, slides and all assignments. UniDays  and Beans ID are brilliant for browsing the latest student discounts and to enter competitions. Chrome is downloaded onto my iPad but I don't use it very often. I just find Safari so  much easier to access so I think I might delete it. Probably should have done that before writing this post.... Pages is sooo good for writing reports, essays, letters, resumes and you can even design business cards, newsletters and posters! I know it's easier to write on a laptop, but Pages has so many templates and formats for you to utilise; your work appears much more professional. Pages does cost around £5 now, I bought it when on offer, but it is definitely worth it. Especially if you don't have access to software similar on your laptops or computers. I use Barclays iPad Banking to check my bank balance (always scary!) and to do any transfers, pretty self explanatory really. Amazon is really useful to quickly browse their daily deals and to search for something you may be looking for. I use PayPal for similar reasons as the Barclays app, for making payments.  use CloudOn for opening powerpoints on my iPad. The title of this folder is a little misleading, it's not really work related! It's mostly student apps and banking - I suppose I should change the name.

Games

You've got to have some games on your iPad haven't you! Saying that, I don't use them very often but they're useful for when you're bored. I have Hill Climb at my boyfriends request, Tapped Out which if you don't turn your iPad to mute, will have Homer shouting at you in the middle of uni which I have learned from experience, Millionaire Monopoly which sadly is no where near as good as the real game and Happy Street which was introduced to me by a friend at uni and is surprisingly addictive! I also have Netflix and Talking Emoji in this folder as I didn't feel they fit anywhere else really.

Lifestyle

I'm so happy that Kindle is available on Apple products, geeky or what! I love reading, and although I do have iBooks it's nice to be able to choose between the two. 4oD, TV Player and BBC iPlayer are used for catching up on the latest programs, especially while relaxing in the bath. Nando's is definitely one of my favourite restaurants, so of course I have a loyalty card! The app is super useful for checking your Nando's rewards and also browsing the menu deciding what you want to eat.... yum! My network provider is Three so I like to check up on my usage and what allowance I have left. Fingers crossed I won't have to use Find iPhone, but it's definitely worth having it just in case. Amazon could probably be in this folder along with eBay, and this app is self explanatory. BeautyLish is a relatively new app for me, which has all sorts of makeup and beauty tips on and also gives you the opportunity to shop for products too!

What apps do you recommend I download?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

This Week #3



Spring is finally on it's way / Fish and chips courtesy of the boyfriend / Only three months until my holiday to Spain! / Pepper cuddling daddy's clothes while he's at work

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Book Review #7 - Private Peaceful



It's been so long since I posted a book review, but after reading this book I felt compelled to write about it. I first read Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo when I was in secondary school, so about seven or eight years ago now. A couple of weeks back, I suddenly remembered being really moved by this story and reading it in one sitting when I was younger, though I couldn't remember the plot and what actually happens. I downloaded it onto my iPad right away as I wanted to re-read the story and see what the effect was now I'm older. Despite the book initially being aimed at children, I still think it's suitable for any age group as the themes can be really appreciated by anyone.

Private Peaceful is told by soldier Thomas Peaceful, known as Tommo by his family and friends, who is looking back on his life in the trenches of World War 1 in Belgium. The story charts eight hours in Tommo's life, with each chapter bringing you closer to the present day creating an ominous feeling. The story begins when Tommo is a young boy starting school for the first time where you are introduced to his older brother Charlie and a girl they meet for the first time there, Molly. The trio become extremely close until the reality of war hits the small town they live in. Charlie and Tommo are inseparable, so when soldiers are being recruited, it is inevitable that they both should go together.

I don't want to give any more away and ruin it for you, but the story is so moving and actually brought me to tears a few times. Private Peaceful epitomizes the themes of war, loss and the unfair treatment of soldiers in the World Wars which I found really powerful and poignant. After finishing it, I felt like I just needed a good cup of tea and just to relax while thinking over what I'd read; Private Peaceful is definitely not just a book you can read and forget about a week later. Morpurgo writes many children's books but I think this one is probably the most tough, in contrast to many children's books who's plots can sometimes seem a little patronising in their simplicity. 

Private Peaceful has been adapted for theatre and in 2012 was turned into a film. Although I am desperate to watch it, I'm worried it will spoil the book for me. I would highly recommend this to any age group, whether you like war stories or not. It's filled with love, happiness, loss, joy, warmth and fear, so make sure to grab a few tissues first! 

Have any of you read this book or seen the film? 

Friday, 21 March 2014

My Yankee Candle Tart Wax Melt Collection

I love Yankee Candle, as I'm sure a lot of you do too. My personal favourite product from Yankee Candle are the tart burners. They are easy to burn with no wick and are quite inexpensive, so if you like to switch scents around, these tarts are perfect. You place the tart on top of a tart burner and place a tea light underneath it and light it. The tea light heats the top of the burner which in turn melts the tart, releasing a wonderful fragrance. 



I pick up the tart burners quite often, as they are sold all over in a lot of different shops and are only around £1.20 - amazing! I have a small collection of tarts that I'm trying to use up before buying my next batch, and as I bought quite a lot at the end of last year, I do have a couple of Christmas tarts, but they're lovely so I'm using them in Spring!


Vanilla Satin is one of the classic tart melts. It's a smooth blend of rich vanilla and sandalwood with a slight floral scent. This tart isn't too sweet or overpowering, and can be used at any time of year.


I love this tart. It smells so clean and definitely reminds you of the ocean waves breaking - perfect for relaxing on a Spring day!


So this is one of the Christmas Collections and is actually quite sweet, which I don't mind myself. I love snuggling up with a Christmas film on with some chocolate and this melting in my room.


This has to be one of my absolute favourite tarts from Yankee Candle. It's quite a masculine scent so the Mr can't complain about candles being too girly! Midsummer's Night is musky with a sage and mahogany cologne; it's a cross between a sweet and spicy scent. I love it any time of year!

Red Berry and Cedar

This is the second tart in my collection from the Christmas range, and as the name suggests, this tart blends a sweet berry scent with fresh cedar. It stirs up a welcoming fragrance which I think is really lovely to have burning while family are round; it helps to spread the Christmas cheer! It's actually sold out right now but I have no doubts that it will make an appearance this Winter.


Baby Powder is my other all time favourite tart from Yankee Candle. It's a gorgeous soothing and fresh scent which brightens up any room.

Yankee Candle are one of the world's most renowned brand of scented candles and it's not hard to see why! There are so many more beautiful fragrances that they offer and you can pick them up in large, medium and small jars, tea lights and even sample votives. Are you a Yankee Candle fan?


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Lush Sugar Body Scrub

On a recent trip to Lush, I picked up this Sugar Body Scrub on a whim as I was making my way to the till. It's a mix of sugar, grated ginger and fennel which helps to brighten the skin and it also claims to help areas of cellulite. I don't have cellulite myself but anything that claims to help tighten up the skin on those areas that need a little help can't be bad! 



I'm a huge fan of body scrubs, and my all time favourites are from Soap & Glory. These ones come in tubs and tubes, so I was really intrigued to see how I'd get on with a more solid scrub like this one. You run it under the water before rubbing it across damp skin and at first I'd recommend getting the scrub quite wet and rubbing gently, as it can be quite harsh until you get used to it. As I began using it, I immediately thought I should have broken it in half.  Once I had ran the scrub under the water, it began to dissolve and break down quite quickly, which I should have anticipated really! This meant that as I didn't use the whole Lush Sugar Scrub in the one shower, I was left with a sort of mush, and as I couldn't do anything with it I unfortunately had to get rid of it. 

The scrub definitely felt like it was making a difference to my skin while I used it, but after finishing my shower and moisturising, I didn't feel as though it had done as good a job as my Soap & Glory scrubs do; my skin wasn't as smooth or soft. Although, at £2.95, it is definitely worth trying out and does leave your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring and Summer Clothing Wishlist













I'm usually a dark colours kinda gal when it comes to clothing, even during Spring and Summer, but as I'm going away to Spain in a couple of months it's definitely about time I update my wardrobe. I'm loving the pastel trend this year, as you can probably tell by the colour theme of my wishlist; longline jackets and printed trousers always look smart and stylish, especially in these colours! Backpacks aren't the kind of bag I usually go for, but while I was doing some online shopping I fell in love with these two. The tan backpack is so versatile and will look good all year round, while the pastel pink one is right on trend. With my body shape, I feel that high-waisted bikinis are the best style for me, and this vintage floral pattern is absolutely gorgeous! Of course I had to get some black in there, hence the kimono and the cami, but I absolutely love the floral prints on them. I think the kimono would look great over a plain cami tucked into some high-waisted demin shorts. 

What's on your wishlist for Spring and Summer?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

This Week #2


Lush Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb turning the water a lovely pink / Freshly cleaned makeup brushes / My favourite primer / So happy with how much my hair has grown over a year / Pepper getting ready / Off out for a meal with my family / Fantasising over bigger bags of Quavers while giving up crisps for Lent / Getting food inspiration from Instagram / Mexican food at Lucha Libre in Manchester

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Lush Easter Collection: Fluffy Egg

You've probably realised from a couple of my other posts that I love Lush products, particularly their bath bombs and melts. In February I sadly missed their Valentines collection, so this month I made sure to pick up a couple of their Easter themed products nice and early. The Fluffy Egg Bath Ballistic is fragranced with the Lush famous scent, Candy Fluff, meaning it smells exactly like Snow Fairy; I just had to buy it! 



When dropped into the water, Fluffy Egg began fizzing and exploding while turning the water a gorgeous vibrant pink colour and filling the bathroom with a delicious candy scent. I'm usually more of a bubble bath kind of girl but sitting in the water being surrounded by the Candy Fluff scent was really relaxing and left my skin feeling nourished. The smell also lingered on my skin for a couple of hours after my bath which was particularly lovely! At £2.95 I would definitely recommend you go and try it, especially if you're a fan of Snow Fairy.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer

My skin is quite dry, and can sometimes be sensitive so it's been pretty difficult to find the perfect primer for me. Some primers made me break out, some made my make up cakey and my skin appear oily, and others had no affect at all. As I was complaining to my mum about my primer situation, she handed me Spackle by Laura Geller and told me to give it a try. I've tried a few other products by Laura Geller and am a huge fan of them so I had pretty high expectations of this primer. 



I was not disappointed! The Spackle primer applies as a clear liquid, so is suitable for all skin types, smooths onto the skin easily and dries quickly. The rest of my make up applies really well too, and the primer definitely makes a difference in my appearance; my skin looks dewy and fresh which will be perfect for Spring and Summer! I've had no issues with my skin since using this primer and my face feels nice and moisturised after use, which is a must for me with having dry skin.

Overall this is a really lovely primer, and although it isn't one I would usually try as I don't think it's available in any high street stores, I'm so glad my mum suggested it! It's available from QVC from around £19, so although it isn't the cheapest primer, it's definitely the best that I've used.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lush Space Girl Bath Bomb

I love baths. They're a great way to end a busy day, and are a necessary part of a pamper night. Lush is my absolute favourite place for bath products, as I'm sure it is for most people. My boyfriend did very well on Valentines Day, as he bought me a gift card for Lush where I stocked up on my favourite bath bombs and bubble bars. You can read my haul here. One of the products I picked up was Space Girl as I'd read so much about it and had been wanting to try it for a long time!



When I dropped Space Girl into my bath under the running tap, it started to fizz and spin around turning the water red at first. After it started to calm down, the water turned a lovely deep purple and I began to hear a crackling sound which is the Space Dust (popping candy) inside the bomb. Space Girl has grapefruit oil and bergamot in it, which are very relaxing and help to tone your skin. I really loved the smell of Space Girl, it's very sweet and smells a lot like Palma Violets. The only issue I had with Space Girl is that it didn't last too long in the bath once I'd put it in. I usually use bubble bars from Lush, and have only used a bath bomb a handful of times so I'm not sure if the bomb lasted as long as it was supposed to. However, I would definitely repurchase Space Girl as it definitely helped me to chill out and wind down.

Have you tried Space Girl? What did you think?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

This Week... #1

Getting back on track after an unhealthy weekend / Spending far too much money in Primark and Topshop / Pancake Day / Lush Space Girl Bath Ballistic / Top Secret Coffee event / Scones and jam / Balance Me cleansing balm / Lovely pastel coloured furniture at Ikea / Re-arranging my dressing table

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Boots & The Body Shop Haul

With the offers on in Boots, and a trip to The Body Shop, a haul was inevitable!




The Body Shop


After speaking to the lady who worked at The Body Shop about what moisturiser would be best for me, I picked up the Aloe Vera Night Creamas my skin tends to be quite sensitive so this is less likely to react badly with me. I've been needing another moisturiser for a while now, and I love how thick and creamy this is. The Aloe Vera Face Serum looks like it will be the perfect partner to the night cream. I've been looking for a serum to add to my skincare routine for a while now, and after seeing this in Essie Buttons latest video and blog post, I had to get it. She has dry skin too, so I'm hoping this product works as well for me as it does for her. Having dry skin means I suffer from chapped lips quite a lot too, and the Aloe Vera Lip Balm looks like the perfect thing to combat this. I plan to apply this after the rest of my skincare just before I go to sleep to keep my lips moisturised throughout the night. I also bought another lip balm - I do love a good lip balm - the  Vitamin E Lip Balm. I plan to carry this around with me during the day to use whenever I feel like I need a little added moisture.


Boots

I bought the Sactuary Moisturising Body Mist, Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion and the Johnsons Baby Shampoo on a 3 for 2 offer at Boots. The Sanctuary products were bought with the intention to take them on holiday with me, however of course I've already started using them! The moisture lotion is a great addition to my morning skincare routine, and the body mist will definitely come in handy over the warmer months! I recently ran out of baby shampoo, which I use for cleaning my brushes, so this was just a repurchase. I'd been wanting to try the L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara for a while now, so while Boots had their offer on I just had to buy it. I've also been on the hunt for a good primer, as I haven't had much luck so far - all you dry skinned gals, please leave recommendations in the comments! Anyway, I picked up the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer and so far I'm a little undecided on whether I like it or not! It is illuminating but it doesn't seem to make my make up last any longer. The search continues it seems! Finally, I bought the Rimmel Scandaleyes Liner, and this is a firm favourite of mine. I wear winged liner near enough every day and this liner is a must for me!


Do you have any of these products? What do you think of them?

Friday, 7 March 2014

#TopSecretCoffee Event

A couple of days ago I was invited to a #TopSecretCoffee event at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester; it sounded really interesting so I couldn't wait to get there. Top Secret Coffee is touring the UK giving out free coffee for free in return for answering a few questions on a survey. The coffee comes from a high street brand, but it's all undercover so that all opinions are formed solely on the coffee you taste. The brand was revealed only this morning, so I had no idea while actually at the event!

Yesterday morning, I met Callie Rose and we made our way to the hotel with the help of my trusty friend, Google Maps. On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Caroline who had invited us to the event, and immediately I was stunned by how beautiful the hotel was! They're were mismatched chairs and tables dotted around and it looked so luxurious and vintage. The room the event was held in was like an old library, with big comfy sofas and a gorgeous bookcase that I would love to have something similar to in my house.





We sat down and started chatting to the other bloggers and journalists attending the event while we waited for it all to get going. First we got the chance to learn how coffee is made and produced, told the differences between the types of coffee and got to taste a few different kinds of beans. I'm not a lover of black coffee so I didn't love this part but it was nice to try something new! We then got to choose which coffee we would like, and the barista made these for us free of charge. I chose a cappuccino and it was honestly gorgeous. The staff from Great John Street Hotel served sandwiches, pies, cakes, scones and other delicious treats which of course I couldn't say no to, despite trying to be 'healthy'. 



I had a great afternoon and loved meeting some other bloggers in Manchester, all while enjoying lovely food and drinks. We were also given a box of amazing goodies, including our own coffee filter and free coffee! I'm so grateful for being invited and being able to experience the #TopSecretCoffee campaign first hand. This morning we were sent an email announcing the high street coffee retailer and it was..... Greggs! I was pleasantly surpised at this, the coffee definitely tasted much more expensive.

Did any of you visit a #TopSecretCoffee van?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Evening Skincare Routine

My skin can be a nightmare sometimes. It's mainly dry and dehydrated, and no matter how much water I drink it seems to make no difference. I suppose I could look at the positive side, that my face doesn't look oily, but sometimes I feel like I would much prefer that as cakey makeup sticking to dry patches is not a good look let me tell you. My skin really can be a huge pain and it does get me down, but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel as I have recently switched up my skincare routine and already I can see improvements.



In the evenings, I take off my eye make up with my trusty Bioderma. I then use my L'OrĂ©al Paris Skin Perfection Cleansing Oil all over my face to make sure all the make up is removed. I'm really loving cleansing balms recently, and at the moment I am using the Espa Nourishing Cleansing Balm. This is only a sample size that I ordered from the website, but I'm considering buying a full size tub after I use up a few others that I have stored away.  I smooth the Espa balm all over my face and then add a little water and rub it in circles before wetting a washcloth to wipe it all off my face. 

After patting my face dry, I use either a serum or facial oil. Currently I'm using the Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum, part of the Aloe range for sensitive skin. I only recently bought this, and so far it's looking good! Anything that gives my face some added moisture is a gem in my books, which is why I really get on with cleansing balms. 

Once I'm tucked into bed and my face is dry, I moisturise. Right now I'm using the Aloe Soothing Night Cream as it's the perfect partner to the serum. It's really thick and creamy so I love it! Finally, I apply some lip balm. On my bedside table at the moment is the Aloe Lip Care cream, also part of the Aloe range. I've only used this a couple of times but I'm really impressed so far; when I wake up in the morning my lips still feel nice and moisturised.

What do you use in your skincare routine?

Monday, 3 March 2014

North West Bloggers Liverpool Meet Up

I felt as though I hadn't attended a blogger event like this in months, so I was really excited to head to Liverpool for the North West Bloggers Meet Up, and it would also be a chance to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while. Today was the first day I actually got a train by myself, so I was pretty nervous and was hoping that I got on the right train at the right station but of course, I was fine! Once I got off the train in Liverpool I met up with Callie and Naffy, while we waited for the others. Fran, Rachel and Natalie then arrived so we made our way to the venue. I'm sorry there isn't more pictures, I had an absolute nightmare with my camera, but that's a different story for another day!

L-R: Natalie, Me, Callie, Allie, Naffy, Rachel


I really enjoyed catching up with people I hadn't seen in a while, like the lovely Megan (far right), and also meet people I'd only spoken to before online.



I especially loved the Lush table at the event; I had a chat with one of the girls that works there and she was so helpful informing us of the products, their ingredients and what they do. She also told me that for Easter they will be releasing a bath bomb that smells exactly like Snow Fairy, I can't wait! There were plenty of lovely jewelry companies there, along with St. Moriz, skincare brands and a hair stylist who was styling peoples hair throughout the event. The event was held in A Hard Day's Night Hotel, which is obviously Beatles themed. There was a bar along with Krispy Kreme doughnuts (my favourite!), Popchips, Jelly Beans and homemade #NWB cupcakes. It was all very delicious but my diet has gone right out of the window this weekend! We also received an amazing goodybag which I'm so grateful for!  I had a really great time at the event and Hannah did such a great job of arranging it all, I can't wait to attend more #NWB events!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

OOTD: Mint Green & A Date

It's not often I get a Saturday off as I'm usually working, but this weekend was an exception so me and my boyfriend took full advantage of the situation and decided to go out for the day on a 'date' as such. We do go out every few weeks but that's usually at night for an hour or so,  but today we went the whole hog and went to the cinema, for some food and bowling; we used to go bowling when we first got together nearly two and a half years ago, so it was lovely to do it again! 



Jumper: Primark / Shirt: New Look  Necklace: Primark 
Jeans: Warehouse / Boots: Boohoo / Bag: Warehouse / Ring: Warehouse / Nails: Rimmel 


I don't post OOTD's a lot on amyjanealice, but they're definitely something I plan on featuring more. Do you like these kinds of posts? I had a lovely day, it was nice to get out there and do something different on a Saturday!