Femme Luxe Haul Review

– This post contains gifted products –

I made a few resolutions at the start of the new year. I’d had a crazy, stressful 2018 and had been on a jouuuuuurNEY with my mental health and anxiety. Luckily, I was finally coming out the other side and had amazingly just become ENGAGED.

Quite frankly, I was sick of feeling sick in myself. I don’t want to say all of my resolutions – although I might further down the line – as it’s all still a work in progress. However, one of them was to begin dressing more adventurously and trying to accept my body and face for how they are.

My general uniform is black jeans, heeled boots or AirMax, with a variety of different ‘nice tops’. I admire fashion from afar, often jumping on trends too late, usually at the tail-end of the item’s popularity. Part of this is confidence, but part of it is definitely because I just don’t have the ‘eye’ for fashion. A few of my friends throw outfits together without even blinking and look incredible, it’s a skill. I just either stick to what I know or half-heartedly copy my pals.

I digress. I wanted to start wearing things that I wasn’t used to and start loving myself more. I’m approaching 30 (shut up) and I won’t have this body forever; it needs to be enjoyed instead of covered up! In the age of fast fashion, things are becoming easier for Fashion Losers like me. Returns are super easy, so I can buy a heap of stuff and only keep what I enjoy wearing and the CHOICE of items is just incredible.

Femme Luxe black and white logo

Bold choices

I was approached by Femme Luxe to try out some of their new clothing range. I was delighted, of course, but found myself adding things to the basket that were things I was used to. I had to stop and make myself choose some items that I would have once admired from a distance. These clothes are likely to be standard for everyone else but I was super pleased with my choices.

The ordering process was easy and the items were dispatched quite quickly. However, when I checked the dispatch notice, I saw that a couple of items including a great pair of jeans were not on there. I double checked and I’d definitely ordered them. When I contacted customer service, I was told that the items probably weren’t in stock. That was confusing to me as usually the website is updated if something is out of stock. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a little disappointing that this wasn’t communicated to me.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set

Lounge sets for life

The first outfit I chose was a khaki lounge set. I’ve majorly relaxed my style since meeting Will. I used to wear heels everywhere and have a FULL face of makeup morning, noon and night. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers. He has taught me that I can be loved and be a great person to be around without all that. With that revelation came the age of Ella In Athleisure. God I love a lounge set with trainers.

This one was different though. It’s cropped. I’ve hated my stomach for as long as I can remember and often get caught in a little bubble of feeling gross about it. It’s not until I am shown a picture of myself that I can actually see that I’m not fat. Like, at all. N.B. This is a story for another day.

The set is really up my street – it’s not the most quality of fabrics but it definitely does the job. I’d say that the sizing is good – I chose a 10. The top was fine but the bottoms were a little loose on my legs. I’d probably size down next time. Although the top is cropped, the trousers come up high, so I actually felt much more comfortable than I thought I would.

This set was £31 but there are often great deals and discounts on Femme Luxe so keep an eye out.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set crouched on decking

Free the nipple

I have absolutely no problem getting the girls out and this black bodysuit was a winner when I first saw it. I think I’m going to wear it to Wireless with some coloured nipple pasties underneath. I like the backless look, too. It’s true to size, the size 10 was fine for me.

Girl wearing black lace bodysuit and zip leggings from Femme Luxe

I paired the bodysuit with the Femme Luxe zippered high-waist leggings. Unfortunately, the material is quite thin so you could see the body suit seams, which isn’t a good look. Again, I’d ordered size 10 which was a little on the big size for my legs, but fit nicely on the waist. I’d probably size down next time!

Blonde girl facing away from the camera wearing Femme Luxe bodysuit and zippered leggings

Femme Luxe verdict?

Femme Luxe has so much choice across the site and is definitely going to help me in making bolder fashion choices. Although there were a couple of issues with my items, the ones they did send arrived really quickly. The materials used are obviously not the best BUT, at these amazing fast-fashion prices, what would you expect?

I’m impressed enough to want to work with Femme Luxe again, so I hope I’ll be sharing a few more outfits over the coming months. Maybe I’ll get better at posing in my garden. Who knows?

St Moriz Express Mousse Tan Review and Bridal Prep

– this post contains gifted products –

Stop the actual press, could I have found the tan of my dreams?

I was recently sent the new St Moriz Express Mousse Tan to try. It’s a new water-to-mousse formula and I was excited to try out a water product from such a budget-friendly brand.

Here’s what the brand has to say about the product:

“This moisturising formula has been created to provide you with the perfect tan. The Express Tanning Mousse starts to develop after just one hour and can be left on the skin until you have

reached your desired shade. Once rinsed off, the product will continue to develop, leaving behind a gorgeous glow. With fragrance technology, this mood boosting mousse will leave you feeling tan-tastic!”

Well, I have to say – it’s a yes from me.

Application

I first used the tan on Friday night, ahead of a girly brunch. Fully prepped and primed, I applied the tan using the new St Moriz tanning mitt. I think a lot of brands are really beginning to realise that the tools to apply tan as just as important as the formula itself, and I was suitably impressed by this mitt – it felt thicker and smoother than ones I’ve used before.

Because the water turns to mousse, for me it took the guesswork out of where you’re applying product, as with Tanologist which dries super quickly and doesn’t give you much ‘play time’. The mousse was really, really smooth, with a scent I haven’t encountered with any tan so far. It was clean-smelling, pleasant. The mark of this is that William didn’t call me ‘biscuit tin’ once whilst using this tan. Bonus – the sheets didn’t smell either!

Once applied, the tan is slightly tacky, but I was able to put clothes on about 5-10 minutes later. I also washed my hands an hour in (cos sis, I have learnt my lesson).

Development

I wasn’t blown away by the development of this in the first few hours, but I think it’s because I’ve been used to tanning behemoths such as Skinny Tan’s Pro-Tan Moisture Mousse which you really need to be SO CAREFUL with. However, in the morning, my tan had become this beautiful golden brown colour, which really complimented my hair and eyes – no orange streaks either.

I’d say it’s definitely a tan you need time for, i.e. I’d recommend planning ahead and leaving it overnight. If you needed a quicker result, use St Moriz Insta-Grad Tanning Mousse.

Aftermath

As it’s not a very, very dark tan, the patchiness wasn’t as dramatic, which is a dream when you’re busy in the week. I got a good few days out of the initial Friday tan application and only scrubbed and started again on Wednesday – which is true to the brand claims that the tan give you five days of good colour.

I was so impressed, I used the tan again when we all went to Rugby Sevens the following week, and was complimented on my tan several times. I’d also applied some St Moriz Body Bronzer and Highlighter to add some extra glow.

The downside to this tan? I’m going to run out soon.

Not sure it comes out very well in the pictures, but have some stupid neon ones of us at R7s anyway.

 

What else have I been trying?

Finding the perfect tan has been part of my (very early, I know) bridal prep. In addition to the tan quest, I’ve been using a few other things.

Money is pinched at the moment due to the wedding, and who can honestly be bothered to pay a solid £75 to the hygienist? We’ve been taking care of our teeth with our amazing Oral B electric toothbrushes. We’ve gone the extra mile though with Dentek Easy Brushes and Floss Picks. For me, it just feels extra, extra clean and so much easier than traditional flossing. Visit the website to see the full range.

We’re also being really healthy at the moment. I’m being a whiz in the kitchen and making so many healthier choices. Can’t beat some extra vitamins though, right? We’ve been using Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil. We have both capsule and liquid form and you’re supposed to have a capsule or 15ml with food – to be honest it’s become part of our routine in the evenings. The liquid is lime flavoured and is nice on its own or can be added to food so it makes things very flexible. The capsules have Vitamin K2 MenaQ7 in which is good for your heart – perfect for any pre-wedding stresses!

We double and triple checked whether Will could have this supplement with his epilepsy. It’s a bugger like that, for example, he suffers from hayfever and isn’t allowed antihistamines! Funnily enough, we found LOADS of research and anecdotal evidence that fish oil can be beneficial for epileptics, reducing seizures because it contains docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. Although these claims aren’t 100% substantiated as fact, we’re taking it and running. Available from wileysfinest.co.uk.

SensatioNail Strip Gel Kit & Luxe Studio Cosmetic Tools Review

SensationNail nail kit

– this post contains gifted products –

I’m absolutely obsessed with my nails. I paint and repaint them an average of three or four times a week in an attempt to use the hundreds of colours I have. Safe to say, my nails aren’t obsessed with ME after all the trauma of harsh chems and filing! I take supplements to keep them growing and condition them to keep them healthy but sadly, they are naturally quite thin.

When we got engaged, I started getting professional Shellac nails. This was a fab idea as it maintained my colour and my natural nails grew well underneath, meaning that in just a couple of weeks, I had a beautiful, long set of nails.

Natural, bare nails and and has an engagement ring
Never had lovely nails like this in my life!

But it’s so EXPENSIVE. Living in London, you’re looking at £25 for a full set with a manicure, or around £15 with just colour (no filing or anything, just the colour plonked on and zapped in the UV light). Then it’s £5-8 to take off and start again. I can’t bear the gap between the colour and nail bed so I was doing this every couple of weeks. I just began to accept I’d either have to pay the premium, or just make good on what I was given and try my best.

A new method

Thankfully, SensatioNail came to my rescue. One of the biggest buggers about gel nails is the removal. You either need to soak them off in acetone, or file them off. I’ve used both of these methods at home – the chemicals make my hands all dry, and although my electric file is good, I’m not a professional and I often catch my skin.

LUCKILY, SensatioNail has introduced a Peel Off Strip Gel Base Coat. I was really intrigued by this – it’s pitched as the perfect base for nail addicts who love to change their polish colour on a regular basis as you can peel it off any time from 48 hours after application. It claims not to change the wear time so you can still wear the gels for up to 2 weeks if preferred.

How did it go?

I first used the Luxe Studio tools to prep. These were really weighty and felt expensive, as well as looking lovely in a rose-gold hue. They did the job perfectly.

Luxe Studio tools including tweezers, scissors and nail clippers

The whole process was pretty easy. You add the base coat, let it air-dry, then add two coats of colour (curing for 30 seconds under the UV lamp each time) and then add a final glossy gel top coat which cures the whole lot.

I was worried that the colours weren’t curing, but when you add the top coat, the entire thing seals dry. As for longevity…hmm I’m not 100% sure about a two-week wear. Don’t get me wrong, they looked great and lasted better than normal varnish, but at day four, my thumb nail began to peel and I can’t bear that, so I got rid of it all and redid them. Alternatively, you can just redo one nail if the rest are fine.

I was worried about damage but it feels incredibly gentle, with no pulling of the natural nail layers. Always make sure to use a cuticle oil or conditioner afterwards, though.

Honestly, this is a great product for someone like me who changes their look all the time, but if you need the guarantee that your gels are going to stick around, I’d either go professional OR just use this kit with a normal gel base coat, it’s really versatile.

You can take a look at the rest of the SensatioNail range here.

Skinny Tan Pro-Tan Moisture Mousse Review

Pair of legs on a pink background wearing pink socks– this post contains gifted products –

I absolutely love having a tan. It makes me feel healthier, more in shape and gives me an overall glow. Sods Law then that I’ve been cursed with skin that goes slightly pink, before returning to its milky-white standard. Pretty unfair, I love the sun and would LOVE to rock a natural tan. Unfortunately though, without burning myself to a crisp and risking skin cancer on regular sunbeds, or actually injecting myself with drugs, there’s not much I can do about it.

For me, my sun comes in a bottle. I’ve tried huuuunndreds over the years. From the classic Rimmel Shimmer Tan using the ‘rub it in everywhere with bare hands and hope for the best’ method in sixth-form to professional spray-tans, I’ve used every brand, consistency and been every shade you can imagine. You can check out my reviews of Madame LA LA and the St Moriz 2018 Collection here.

Currently, I’m using Tanologist Tanning Water in Dark and am still getting to grips with its development time, although I love the formula – lightweight, non-greasy, doesn’t smell. However, I was recently sent Skinny Tan’s brand new Pro-Tan Moisture Mousse to review. Never one to shy away from a new product, I gave it a crack – here’s what I thought.

Exfoliating Mitt

Gotta say, I absolutely love this mitt (£5.99). I generally use a coarse scrub in the shower ahead of tanning but sometimes don’t feel like I do the job properly. This mitt has two sides – orange for exfoliating in the shower, and brown for rubbing off excess tan. It also has an elasticated cuff which I LOVE as it prevents the mitt slipping off under the water. It actually works – I used it to get some old tan off before starting with Skinny Tan and it didn’t hurt or take a lot of effort. Definitely a winner.

Dual-sided Tanning Mitt

I was a little sceptical when I saw and felt this mitt. It’s practically FLUFFY (£5.99). Made of true velvet, it’s dual-sided and glides the product onto the skin. Because it’s so fluffy, I’m not sure how much of the product was lost to the mitt, but it didn’t come out patchy and that’s all the matters in the world of tan.

Pro-Tan Moisturising Mousse

Here is how the new tan (£27.99) is described:

“Pro-Tan luxury whipped moisture mousse glides on fast and develops to a tanned glow in up to 60 minutes. Prefer a darker shade? Simply leave Pro-Tan on for up to 3 hours to achieve a medium tan. Leave on for up to 6 hours for a deeper bronze or leave it overnight to achieve your deepest, natural looking SkinnyTan™ ever. No orange, no streaking, no nasty smell and achieves all the SkinnyTan™ professional results at any shade!”

Like the Tanologist Tanning-Water, I get a little confused by the tan development times, as it involves timing and working out when to shower. If you’re working 9-5 or don’t have much free time, you might be a little bit screwed.

In all fairness, I didn’t time it as I wanted to see how dark it would go. I applied the tan and slept in it overnight. The consistency is a mousse and you can see exactly where it’s going on your body. It doesn’t dry instantly so you have a little bit of playtime before you need to worry about streaks or lines – the mitt helps with this.

The smell isn’t too overpowering, a little like chocolate and not as biscuity as some on the market. I washed it off in the morning and had a lovely, deep golden tan, which was actually quite dark. The shade perfect for the night out I was planning that night, but maybe a bit much for day-to-day.

The tan does cling for days which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you’re going for – all you need is the exfoliation mitt though, and you can go back to your base colour!

Overall, a really nice tanning product – the tanning tools also really help to create a smooth, long-lasting tan. The tan is SUPER deep, so definitely time yourself and make sure to wash your hands after an hour, because I didn’t and…regrets.

The new products are available from the Superdrug website, along with the rest of the range.

Join the Revolution – Intimina Ziggy Cup Review

Sanitary pad on pink background with red sequins

– this post contains gifted products –

Way, waaaay back in 2016 (feels like a million years ago to me, HOW much my life has changed OMD), I wrote about menstrual cups for the first time. The blog blew UP and I got so much feedback, good and bad. Ranging from admiration that I’d written about my period online, to complete horror and disgust that I’d written about my period online. Two types of people pals, two types of people.

Lads, it’s 2019 now and I can’t explain how PROUD I am of the progress everyone has made over the last few years, in terms of talking about the important stuff – men’s mental health, suicide, admitting our anxieties, adverts no longer using blue liquid to euphemise a period – just so much stuff that was often taboo that just needs to be talked about.

The Eco-Revolution

I’m still an advocate for the menstrual cup. Environmentally-friendly, they’re made of silicone and you can wear them for up to 12 hours – a dream when you’ve got a busy day and don’t want to be counting on your fingers the amount of tampons you’ll need to stuff in your bag. They’re fabulous for women in developing countries and also for homeless women, who often have to resort to unhygienic practices during their period.

There’s loads of menstrual cups to buy nowadays, in different shapes and colours and for every phase of your life – whether you’ve just started your periods, whether you’ve given birth and much more.

What’s Next?

Not TOO much has changed on the blog since 2016, you probably all know that I’m still no stranger to talking about my fanny on the internet.

Let’s go one step further and talk about…period sex.

I was approached by Intimina to review its new Ziggy Cup, which offers all of the protection of a normal menstrual cup but with a flat-fit design so you can, er, do the dirty with no mess. I was really intrigued by the design and whether it would truly work.

It arrives in a bright pink, but very subtle in size rubber box. The rim is thick and bounces back when you squeeze, so I was fairly confident it would hold. The actual ‘cup’ is fairly thin and very moveable but I suppose it needs to be, to make room for…other things.

Ziggy Cup and packaging from Intimina

Using the Intimina Ziggy Cup

I wore it for a few hours before doing the deed. Without going into too much detail, for I fear my poor fiancé will die of embarrassment…it was absolutely fine. No mess, or no more than usual (soz mums) swift removal and then business as usual. Despite it looking nothing like a regular menstrual cup, it worked exactly like one!

Honestly, no one absolutely NEEDS to be having period sex, but if you fancy it, a totally useful product is now on the market.

I asked this is 2016 and I’ll ask it again in 2019…what do you think? Intriguing or still totally gross? Thinking of investing in a cup or sticking to what you know? Any questions – let me know!

Check out the rest of the Intimina range here. They’ve also got a fab campaign on at the moment which started on International Women’s Day this year which details periods through the ages and excellent achievements by women over time. Definitely worth a read: #whilebleeding.