Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The #BeYou Project

I think a lot of us can relate to the idea that it's easier said than done to just be ourselves - I know that it's definitely something that I struggled with. School's are all too often a breeding ground for teasing and bullying, and the more social media grows - the harder it can be to escape a world wherein you might not always fit in. When Treaclemoon, a company I worked with before, emailed me to ask me to post about their #BeYou Project to raise awareness (not for their company and products, but for their charity partner BulliesOut) it was something I just couldn't turn down.

I often talk about how difficult that I found school - I was coming to terms with my sexuality, reading age old literature whilst all of my friends were out at D and E (a local club for under 18's looking for a token other half) and learning to knit and sew. I couldn't have felt more like I didn't fit it - and so I tried my best to like what other people liked, I did what other people did but ultimately? It actually just made me really unhappy, for a really long time.

People say that things get better - and it's true. It's not that time will cure all those ailments that you felt you harboured as a teen or adult, it's that you will learn that the things that you felt weird because of, the things that teased you for? They're the things that make you, you - they're not weird as much as unique, the parts of you that really do make you who you are. I know it's easier said than done to say embrace them, but one day you really will, and you'll wish you'd done it earlier - nothing will seem as rewarding to you as allowing yourself to just, well... Be You.

In a world where social media only adds to the pressures on young people, BulliesOut are using the same platforms for this campaign - allowing people like me to spread the message about how important, fulfilling, healthy and amazing it is to just be yourself; and it really is a charity that I stand wholeheartedly behind. If you want to support the charity like I will be, you can post your reasons online as to why you think it's important to #BeYou (remember to tag @treaclemoon_uk and you'll be entered into a fortnightly draw) or you can head on over to their merchandise page, where merchandise starts at just £1 and all profits go to help BulliesOut.

If there's one thing that I truly believe in, it's that we should be doing all we possibly can to stop bullying - it's going to take more than a few posts to stop bullying, but I post this in the hopes that it inspires a little confidence in just one single person - come on guys, it's time to #BeYou.

Like I said, although this is supported by Treaclemoon it's advertising their charity partner and so it's not sponsored or anything, I just think if I can add just one single more positive note to social media today, I should jump at the chance.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

On The Quest For Beauty Sleep

I am a notoriously bad sleeper - usually linked with bad bouts of anxiety or depression - I don't often struggle to get to sleep, but I wake up at least a solid three times a night and I'm more often than not wide awake at 5/6am; thus, I often then struggle to stay awake during the day. It's a rough, daily catch-22. So, when I saw that Beauty Expert were looking for bloggers who have issues with sleep - I was more than happy to become a guinea pig for them and one of their brands Neom, after all I had very little to lose. I opted for one sleep promoting product - their Perfect Night's Sleep Bath and Shower Oil* - and one energy boosting product - their Intensive Energy Boosting Treatment*.

scents to give you energy

When these arrived through my door, I fell in love with the packaging before I'd even managed to read the boxes or take out the products. I love the clean, whimsical look of these boxes - and it's really nice to see a company that doesn't put less into the packaging just because these are the travel sizes of their products. I looked online and was pleased to find that these are only £8 each too - which is a lot cheaper than I'd imagined and pretty reasonable for the sizes that they are; a product that works is great, a product that works and is affordable is something entirely different altogether. You also only need a capful of the oil and a couple of rolls of the rollerball and so even these small sizes will give you a decent amount of uses, in my opinion.

Okay - I'll admit that when these arrived, I worried that I might have made a grave mistake. Remember that I literally hate lavender? It didn't click in my entirely stupid head that most things that are designed to help you sleep usually contain the devil herb - and this is no exception. It's made with 100% natural ingredients including Safflower Seed Oil, English Lavender Oil, Sweet Basil Oil and Jasmine Oil amongst 16 other specially selected pure essential oils, and in the bottle smells like straight up lavender; cue impending dread. I have to say though, in the bath this smells ominously minty and fresh and left my whole bathroom smelling amazing (I made Katy come in and give it a good sniff), and I was pleasantly surprised with it; I'm now admittedly a little bit obsessed. 

scents to make you feel goodScent to boost your energy

So did it work? Well, yes and no. I sat in the bath and breathed deeply for the longer side of the recommended time (15 minutes) and I really did feel more relaxed, and Katy informs me that I did manage to fall asleep within approximately 26 seconds of telling her that I was going to sleep now - so we'll definitely consider that bit a success. This is supposed to promote a perfect night's sleep - which I'd say was a little bit of a stretch, although I wasn't expecting a miracle. I did feel better rested after using this, even after waking a few times in the night - so I'm putting this in the success column.

As for the rollerball - I'm on the fence. I loved this smell at first sniff - it's a heady mix of Coconut Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Lemon Oil, Rosemary Oil and 14 other specially selected oils and it's gorgeous and subtle in all the right ways. I actually also really like the idea of this - when I used to get stressed as a teenager in Spain I used to lie with my wrists on the cold tiles of the floor and that's what this reminded me of. I even love the feel of the rollerball against my wrists, and the smell lingers for a solid few hours in my opinion - so where's the problem? Okay, well - the instructions for this say to roll on pressure points to activate the smell, which is fine, and then breathe in through your nose for 7 seconds and out through your mouth for eleven and then repeat three times, which is really only fine if you're alone and in your own house.

Basically, I love both of these products - I simply think that the rollerball would make me look a little strange if I did it in public (and in fact Katy thinks it's hilarious to watch me doing it - rude). I do think that both help to do what they say on the tin (bottle), the rollerball definitely helps with focus if not energy directly, and I do think that the bath oil at least helps to provide the mindset for a good night's sleep, and for £8, I figure they're worth a go; I'll definitely be picking up a few more of their offerings.

Have you tried any Neom products? What could you recommend?

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by BeautyExpert in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Selfish Gin (Cocktail Recipe)

When the summer makes it's transition into winter - there's only one logical thing to do; turn to drink (no, I'm joking, I'm sorry - please always drink responsibly). This one has lemon, elderflower and coriander to help reminisce about the Summer that was rude enough to make it's way out, as well as honey and gin to help warm the cockles - which is the grossest expression ever by the way - and get you through those long winter days back at work. This came about as part of a project with the lovely Ness Gardens, who asked me to be one of four bloggers to create a cocktail for them - but it's so simply and lovely, I thought I'd share it on here for you lot.

What you'll need;

50ml Gin (I used Hendricks because you can get a 50ml miniature) 
10ml Water
5ml Runny Honey
Elderflower Presse
Juice of Half a Lemon + slice for decoration
A Handful of Coriander + sprigs for decoration

1: Mix 5ml honey and 10ml water together to make a thin syrup, set to one side.
2: In a cocktail shaker or glass add 50ml gin, ice and a handful of coriander
3: To the gin mix, add the honey syrup and the juice of half a lemon
4: Top up with elderflower presse
5: Shake together and then pour into a glass (if in a glass already, just give it a good stir!)
6: Add more ice, a few sprigs of coriander and a slice of lemon 
7: Enjoy!

It's quite a strong taste, but it's definitely not unpleasant - give it a go and let me know what you think!

Sammy xo.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - Lolita

I've been waiting to get my hands on this for what seems to be a small lifetime - it's always gracing my cousin Caitlin's lips and I always admire it, yet it's difficult to get your hands on. You may recall that in my Sephora haul last month I actually couldn't get this and so I settled for the deep red Vampira which I had mixed feelings about - however, this was in stock on Sephora when Caitlin made an order last week and so she threw one in for me because she's a little angel. So cue the newest addition to my lipstick collection - Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita.

I had read a lot about this and knew that the colour would look slightly different dependent on skin colour etc. but I'd seen it on someone with a similar skin tone to mine and so I knew that although this is marketed as a "Chesnut Brown" this would likely look a lot more brown than rose on me - something I was totally okay with. This feels a lot smoother on and considerably less chalky than Vampira, and definitely feels a lot lighter on the lips. This led me to worry, however, that wear time might be an issue in comparison to the practically impossible to remove Vampira. I have to say, wear time on Lolita is probably longer than Vampira - you don't get that dirty wash line as it's starting to wear off and so you get a lot more wear before you're actually forced to top it up.

Kat Von D appears to be the champion of taking traditional colours and making them like nothing you've ever seen before - in the same way as her previous offering stands alone with no close dupes in my make up drawer; I have to say Lolita does exactly the same. I might have just struck lucky with the colour choices, but I'd definitely be interested in trying the theory out further (which must mean that I'll have to buy more, what can you do - it's in the name of science).

I have to say that, whereas Vampira left me wondering whether it was worth the money I paid; with Lolita, I'm in absolutely no doubt whatsoever. I think Lolita is more forgiving in a number of ways - it's smoother and cleaner on, it goes on much much opaquely and evenly and it generally just wears better. In basic terms - Lolita is everything that I'd wanted Vampira to be that it fell short on; Kat Von D has definitely redeemed herself and her liquid lipsticks with this one, for me.

Have you tried any good liquid lipsticks?

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Blurb Photobook

I am obsessed with photographs - I have polaroids hanging in my room, I have photo strips randomly strewn throughout my diary and books and boxes entirely full of selfies with friends and printed photographs that I probably wouldn't remember now if I was put on the spot. So, when Blurb offered me the chance to make my own Photobook* I jumped at the chance. Photos and books mixed into one? Yes, I'm 100% on board, sign me up.

graduation photographs

I played around with the site a lot before I got to grips with it and made the perfect book - I decided to make the book using their online tool instead of downloading software specifically to really get the whole experience. First up - I love the importing from Instagram and Facebook; I know a lot of sites let you import photographs from Facebook now, but it's nice to see the options to easily add Instagram photos as, let's be honest, that's exactly where most of our best pictures find their home.

blurb photobook label

Now, you will hit a few sticky points using Instagram photographs, and even certain Facebook photographs. Making an Instagram book (which you can do here) is possible, but I will point out at this point, that the layout for that book is different than I would have liked so I had to start out from scratch make mine. I tried making a large square book, not wanting to stretch already square photographs however it turns out that Instagram photos seem to be too poor quality to be stretched this large (which I'd thought would probably be the case, if I'm honest) and, as there isn't a medium square shaped book, I had to settle for the small square book. Save any picture I tried for the cover being flagged as too low in resolution, the whole process was easy to use - it's a drag an drop system with all of your photographs ready in a bar across the bottom of the screen. I enjoyed using it and I like how many options there really are even just using this basic software.

This came in around 4 days I think, which is impressive, and I have to say that the quality is amazing. I did a nice thing for my mum and got my brother's graduation photographs made into one she can show around and, as it was a little special and a keepsake, I opted for a hardback book. The photographs, most of which are photograph to page, are glossy and clear - even those I worried about the resolution with turned out fine with just the slightest adjustment.

front and back covers

You can add around 18 photographs to these books I think - although I think it would be nice to be able to add a few more photographs, or remove some if you want to (as it is, pages without photographs will still be added but left as plain white photograph paper), but my mum seems to like it (probably as there's a rare photograph of me and my brother together where we actually seem to want to be there). At £27.21 I'm not sure I'd be splashing out for another one of these, unless it really was a special event of some kind. Expensive? Yes. Well made? Yes. It really is a lovely book, just probably not for every day photographs in my opinion, as it is on the pricier side (however, I am told that myvouchercodes often has offers on, so keep an eye out.)

Have you ever bought a photobook before?

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by Blurb and myvouchercodes in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

This Material Culture

I'm going to be straight up when starting this post - this isn't a sponsored post (my god, I wish it was, I'm in love with this company) it's just that I rarely find a company that I form such an emotional bond to. I love quirky jewellery - I always have and This Material Culture has it in abundance, something a little different to add as a prized piece to your collection.

If you read my #NWmeet post - you'll know that this was a brand that I invited to come along, knowing little about them except having seen a few pieces in Super Cute Box and knowing that they were based in Liverpool. Emailing Rebecca was the start of a love affair (not with Rebecca, who has a husband, but rather with the company). You know there are companies that just seem a little special? Companies that you're proud to say - hey, these guys came from my city and you should check them out because they're something else? This Material Culture was one of those.

I bought a pizza necklace from them, and a lotus one for Caitlin when we were at the event (I can't remember exactly how much, but around £5/£6 I think) - and they're fabulous, just the right length and fabulous pricing considering the quality. I know a lot of bloggers also bought rings from them, of which Caitlin and I scoured and spotted some favourites including a My Little Pony one and a Jack Skellington one. On top of selling jewellery, Rebecca gave us a really interesting speech that gave us a solid insight into what companies (or their company in particular) look for in a blog review. All the way through talking to This Material Culture, it's felt personal in the best way - they feel accessible and friendly in a way that you don't always see in companies.

All in all - I just wanted to say go and check them out. Pick out a jewellery piece with a little bit of a difference, drop them a tweet - just go and take a look because they really are a brand with a little bit of a difference and this is sort of my love letter to them.

Like I said, not a sponsor - I'm just a big fan.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Mojo Food Launch

If there's two things I evenly split my waking life between, it's eating and blogging - so, when Mojo invited me to their new food launch* this Thursday just gone, I jumped at the chance. I'll admit - I haven't spent much time in Mojo but when I found out it was a rum and cocktail bar, I knew it was Katy's sort of place and, when I read the menu, it became abundantly clear that it was exactly my sort of place too. Bonus. You know when you walk into a new place and it's so unlike what you thought that it was going to be that it makes something swell inside you - like, it genuinely makes you happy? I think I speak for the four of us that went along (I spent the evening gossiping with Katy, Aisling and Hannah) when I say that Mojo felt a little like that. Some of us had danced there on nights out, some of us had never been - but Mojo was warm, quirky and so much more than I'd ever imagined it would be when I spotted the neon sign down the world's smallest side street.

Everything about the night was amazing - from the cocktails and popcorn we were welcomed with, to the appetisers that we shared, to the truffles that we ended our meal with. Having already corresponded with Sam and Sharon via email it was lovely to be able to put names to faces for the PR team, and we also got to meet the lovely Emily (their marketing specialist) and Mal, their director. We were sat down with a cocktail (mine was A Mezcal Cooler which I'm told starts with a base of smoked tequila, cointreau, lime and pineapple juice all topped with a mint garnish), a bowl of popcorn covered in their base rub and a whole ton to catch up considering I last saw the girls a whole week and a half ago.

After the popcorn came the food - and oh god, was it good. We started with Quesadilla, Mac and Cheese Ball and Fried Pickles, which really stole the show for me (yes, me; the girl who still picks her gherkins out of her burgers with a look of distinct disgust). After this we were treated to The Achiote Burger (Achiote pork with a heady mix of chipotle mayo and jalapeno poppers), The Veggie (a beetroot and bean burger that really did take my breath away) and The Chicken (Fried chicken thighs with jack cheese and their Lousiana no.1 hot sauce). All were honestly phenomenal, but there's something to be said about a bean burger you would pick over meat even when you're not vegetarian, and The Veggie definitely hit the spot. Always keen for new experiences, we also delved into Chicken Wings - half with Lousiana Hot Sauce no.2 (so spicy and yet so good) and the real star of the night; the half that were smothered in peanut butter and jam (so wrong, and yet we all agreed so, so right.) We also had a nice recommended Pinot Grigio to go alongside it, which even for us (not massive white wine drinkers) was a brilliant choice and just added an extra something to the meal - and Grant Burge Pinot the really does come highly recommended from me.

The night was lazy and long, and we were barely halfway through the gossip when the brownies (rum and ginger spiked, and amazing) showed up on the table, but we still managed to chow them down and finish the hard shakes popped alongside them - we had the Barrel Aged Hard Shake (a milk shake made with vanilla, ice cream, bourbon and maple syrup) - and then settled down for a good old gossip and a coffee. We also got a little truffle each made with the same base seasoning that the popcorn we'd had when we arrived had - and it was delightful, just like the popcorn (but in a totally different way). We ended the night being offered cocktails from the new menu and so I gulped down an espresso martini with rum (amazing, but not nearly enough caffeine for me) and, after we'd finished talking about just about everything that's been happening in the last week (bare in mind we're all at another event together a mere week later) we said our goodbyes, promising their PR Sam a night doing showtune Karaoke at a local bar, and headed back home with bottles of hot sauce and base rub (and full, satisfied stomachs).

All in all, Mojo surprised me - not just by introducing me to new foods I actually liked (seriously, the fried pickles and the peanut butter and jam wings are the ones to beat), but by also being just so... perfect. There's something about the whole thing that just pulls together - the casual attitude to the food that they've put so much thought into to make it perfect, the matched drinks they seem to have for just about everything, the friendly smiles from everyone around. It's undeniably a place I want to settle down and have lunch in - a dive bar at first glance, with projectors with now playing screens on, and tv's in the old school pub toilets. It's comfortable, homely and - the more Mal told me about the stories behind it, the more I realised - so well thought at that it couldn't be anything less than perfect.

I'm not one for going out to eat, but I'm taking my mum and dad next week. Mojo have got bars in Manchester and Leeds to and I really do suggest you give it a go - it'll change your view on the notorious late night bar for good.

Sammy xo.
*This meal and included drinks were provided by Mojo Liverpool in return for the consideration of a review - This has no influenced my opinion in any way and all opinions are my own. Honestly, the PBJ wings are something else, entirely. Read my disclaimer for more.

Monday, 21 September 2015

One Year Of Little Fickle!

Today marks the first year I've spent creating, writing and actually (for once in my life) keeping up with Little Fickle. It's been such a huge learning curve, and what started as a place where I'd allow myself to be just a little bit fickle turned out to be just about as far away from fickle (or I hope so!) as it could get, at least a lot of the time. Blogging has helped me to grow and move forward with my depression and anxiety, it's allowed me to meet friends, and a girlfriend, and it's marked such a change in my life (is that cheesy? It feels cheesy).

Blogging has allowed me an anchor, and I've really grown up - not because of Little Fickle, but definitely documented on here. I've developed a voice that I never thought I'd ever find, and I've become a proud advocate of speaking out about mental health and self harm (all the while still posting pictures of me in pretty dresses, and swatching tons of eyeshadows). I've fallen in love with the idea that I've suddenly found a voice that people want to listen to, and along the way I've found a ton of voices that I too want to stop and listen to.

As I sit here writing this post next to a sleeping girlfriend I would never have met without blogging, and I marvel at the idea that when I started this blog I didn't see, nor did I particularly want, a future for myself - I have a lot to be thankful for. Most of all, I want to thank everyone that's been here from the start, everyone that we've picked up along the way, everyone reading my blog for the first time right now; I really do appreciate it.

Here's to my first blog birthday, and I'm allowing myself to be proud of this one. Here's to many more to come.

Sammy xo.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep

When LookFantastic got in touch with me to see if I'd like to try out some Vichy products, I couldn't have been more excited - however, when I found out what it was that I would be testing, it couldn't have been a better fit for me; Idealia Skin Sleep*. It's not secret that I have a... turbulent relationship with sleep - and so when the offer was there to try out a night cream that claims to carry out your skin's optimum nightly functions even if you don't get an optimum nights sleep (for real, check the blog post out here), it wasn't a chance that I was about to let pass. I have to say, in the time that I've had these - I do think that I've really put the Skin Sleep to the test.

Vichy Idealia Skin

When I opened this package, I was delighted to find the Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream* alongside the Idealia Skin Sleep - not only do the jars looks adorable when they're put together, I think it's always really nice to have matching day and night creams where possible. I have to say though - I was definitely more impressed with the Skin Sleep than I was with the original Idealia. Both have a similar smell, a classic cold cream undertone with a much sweeter top note which actually lends to a really subtle, calming smell - however the Idealia is much thinner and slightly lighter, whereas the Skin Sleep is a lot thicker and a little darker (matching the pots, which is adorable).

I find that, although perfectly fine and useable, the Idealia sits for much longer on the skin than the Skin Sleep does - it leaves a thin residue, although it's only really noticeable if nothing goes on top of it afterwards; if you put make up over it, it seems to hold up perfectly fine. Strangely, the Skin Sleep seems to sink in within a few minutes but it really does leave the skin feeling softer and better hydrated in the morning. Would I say my skin looked as good as if I had a full nights sleep? Maybe not, I still look a little run down as I'm waking up in the night - however it does look considerably better than when I was just using a bog-standard face cream.

Day Cream and Night Cream

So is it worth the money? Well, yes and no - these definitely come in at much cheaper than I'd anticipated; with the original Idealia coming in at £20 (here) and the Skin Sleep coming in at £21.20 (here). I'd definitely say that the Skin Sleep is really worth the money - the only thing that's ever come close to the boost that this gives my skin is when I was using The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping Mask, however this does lack the stickiness that the Bouncy mask has - which is a bonus. Would I pay the money for the original Idealia? Honestly, probably not. I don't hate it, but it's expensive for what it is - I like having the matching jars but I'm not sure that's enough to convince me to swap out my considerably cheaper staples; I do like that they have one available for dry skin as well as normal to combination, however.

Have you ever tried anything from Vichy?

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by LookFantastic in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

OOTD - Taking This One To The Grave

Confession time - I am A. Katy bought me this dress shortly after the Pretty Little Liars midseason finale, and found it hilarious. I'm surprisingly all over this dress, it's pretty shapeless but it's made of a silky material and it's nice to wear with or without tights - so I'll get a lot of wear out of it over the Winter too. These shoes were also kindly donated by Katy and I'm in love with them. They're actually Katy's socks too. The cardigan is mine though, I swear.

Checked Shirt Dress
Rose Gold Sandals
Cardigan - Asda (similar) // Dress - Missguided // Socks - Primark // Shoes - Missguided

Daisy London Bracelet
Ring - Clogau // Bracelet - Daisy London (similiar) // Initial Necklace - Primark // Stone Necklace - Never Spent // Bag - Vendula*

This is probably the last time I'll be going bare legged in a while, I suspect!

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by Vendula as part of a contribution to #NWmeet however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Kneads Must Kneader

Katy and I love massages - not in a creepy way, more just that both of us are old before our time and there is nothing better than feeling knots in your back straightened out; and so when Beauty Crowd Pro told me they were sending out a kneads must kneader, we couldn't wait to give it a go. I have to admit that when it arrived and came with a whole DVD of instructions, I was a little dubious as that made me think it might be a little further from straightforward than I'd anticipated - but then I accidentally threw the DVD away which alleviated much of that worry (I did watch the videos on YouTube though, to avoid any massive disaster).

ominous kneader

Katy expected this to be a sort of flexible rubber, but it's a hard plastic - in theory, this is great because it really would work out knots; however, in reality? Not so much. The videos are as you'd imagine, you use an oil to prep the skin and then rub the larger side over the back avoiding directly pressing on the spine, then swap to the edges and the thinner side to tackle more precise areas - easy. Or not so easy as it turned out. We tried this with an oil to absolutely no avail - unless you're super skinny but have absolutely no jutting bones, this will almost definitely catch uncomfortably on at least some parts of your back. 

Thinking it might be the oil that we used we swapped to a thick-ish lotion which is what we'd usually use - but this didn't help with the catching and the kneader just seems to collect the oil or lotion and push it around instead of actually kneading it into the skin like would happen if you were using your hands. We considered using a massage candle (for reference - I'd recommend these Lovehoney massage candles if you're in the market for some) but decided if it all got caught, it would then solidify and be impossible to get off and so after much trying, we sacked it off.

finger kneading

All in all - I'm torn about this. After watching the video and both Katy and I giving it a solid go, I'm reluctant to think that this is human error on our behalf - yet, I can't help but think that, to have it go so wrong, we must have missed something along the way. Having said that, where it did work - this really did feel pretty nice and so, it's a toss up. Maybe it's user error, maybe it's poor body shape on both mine and Katy's part - who knows. I do know that this unfortunately just doesn't seem to work for me.

Have you tried anything similar - if so, share with us your tips!

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by Beauty Crowd Pro in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What's (really) In My Handbag?

Oh come on, we all know it's not just pretty diaries and gel pens thrown in with your purse and your phone - everyone's bag is a minefield of crap they've managed to accumulate since whenever you last emptied it out. So, in the spirit of being truthful (and because it strikes me as hilarious) I thought I'd show you what's really in my bag right now. If you're interested, my bag is a Michael Kors - I'm not sure what type if I'm completely honest, but I'm pretty sure it's now discontinued (mine is also a little scuffed, oops).

Michael Kors Bag

First up - the useful stuff. I have a (nearly) matching purse to the colour of my bag in here - I can confirm that this is filled with as much crap as my bag itself is (including, but not limited to, receipts, bus tickets and many, many loyalty cards), but nothing that I thought was worth you seeing! I also usually carry round two coloured and a black pen, for a diary that seems to have gone missing somewhere along the way it seems, and also hand cream which I've literally remembered to use maybe twice. Katy's Mum was impressed I had Elizabeth Arden hand cream once though, so - there's that.

Mulberry Purse

Other handy things found in pockets etc included a red One Direction zipper bracelet (which will be worth a fortune when they finally go on that break), a forever tangled skull bracelet (which is my own fault because I have basically knotted it together) and a lighter (very strange, as I only ever use them to light candles. Of which there are none in my bag; spoiler alert). I also have a mandarin flavoured EOS which I feel weird putting on in public, a purple lipstick from Barry M I don't recall ever wearing, Diesel L'overdose that I'd worn to the Botanist party a few weeks ago and a packet of paracetamol that will undoubtedly go missing completely between now and me actually needing them.

One Direction Bracelet

Junk. Seriously - so much junk; mostly junk gathered simply because I'm too lazy to walk to the bin. I found 3 invoices from various parcels, 6 receipts, some labels and business cards and a drumstick that I've left in a candy striped bag because, judging by the nature of this part of my post - I'm a lazy rubbish hoarder. This is further proved by the Quavers, Barney Bear, Love Hearts, Millions and Maoam wrappers that I also found - I'm a heathen.

Receipts and Invoices

Now for the fun bits - a handful of various Maoam (promptly eaten after this photograph was taken) - I love Maoam but I never buy it for myself, however when Katy was poorly we bought it to share and she shoved some in my bag; I'd forgotten about it until I was doing this post so, you know, swings and roundabouts. I also have a few sets of toys in here. Let's just remember that I'm twenty one for a second - although, in my defence, I didn't buy them. Over the Summer both Lidl and Morissons were giving away toys with purchases and so I made a small stockpile - the Sofia The First pairs game will probably go to my younger cousin, however the Stikees are all mine, I think they're hilarious.

Maoam Stripes

So, there you go - that's what's really in my bag, rubbish, toys, sweets and all! Don't pretend yours isn't just as much of a graveyard! 

What's the weirdest thing in your bag?

Sammy xo.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Bee Good Honey & Wild Water Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

If there's one thing that's come out of my relationship with Katy (besides hopefully spending my life with my soulmate, of course) it's an obsession with bees. Katy's obsession has become my second hand obsession and so I find myself squealing at anything that looks like a bee, depicts a bee, helps the bees etc. With that in mind, when Bee Good asked me if I'd like to try their Honey & Wild Water Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water*, I couldn't resist. Not only do Bee Good provide skincare that is made with the help of British Bees, but a share of their profits also go back to protecting the bees in Britain - which is impressive, if you ask me (and you're on my blog, so you sort of did).

Bee good cleansing water

I've tried the Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser before at Katy's house (and in fact Bee Good provided us with a travel sized one in each #NWmeet gift bag) and got along really nicely with it but never quite made the jump from my beloved Body Shop cleansing butter. This product, however, is on a totally different plane - I'd expected a micellar water I think, but this isn't even close; it's almost like a thin gel and you can use it on your eyes and without water (I guess in that way it sort of is like a micellar water). I put this to the test on my make-up for the first time after the meet up - think full face of make-up including very, very smudged and runny eyeliner - and to be honest, I have to admit I was impressed.

This isn't a straight up cleanser for me if I've been wearing make-up all day, more a pre-cleanse before a thicker cleanser like the aforementioned Body Shop offering; however, this does manage to take off a considerable amount of eye make-up and eyebrows; no mean feat. I have to admit that the smell was a little bit of a letdown for me - it's a little nothingy and generic cleansery where I expected super fresh and clean, however it's not unpleasant and so more than bearable. I like (and you should have come to expect this if you've been around here for a while) that this is a no water cleanser, as in the morning or on days I've felt too rubbish to actually wear make-up I can do this from bed with just a cotton pad; bonus!

honey and mint 3in1

All in all, the smell of this could be better - but I like Bee Good a lot. I like the company, and the ethics, how affordable that their products are (you can get a duo pack of the waters for £16.50), that they put money back into helping British bees. This definitely does leave clean, fresh skin without too much residue and it does remove a good portion of my make-up as a pre-cleanse. Probably not one to use alone, or if you go for sweet smelling skincare, but definitely a nice addition to my skincare routine nonetheless.

Have you tried anything from Bee Good?

Sammy xo.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by Bee Good in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap Review

Lately, I've been on a bit of a Lush thing. I like being able to go in and browse, whilst seemingly always finding something new, something clever, something I could use. You might have seen in my Lush Haul a few weeks back that one of these items that I'd managed to pick up to give a go was D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap. This was sort of a on-a-whim buy when I was doing an online order, but it is something I've heard a fair amount about and I have thought about trying in the past and so when it arrived I was super excited to give it a go.

Lush D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap

We have to start with the smell because although this is described as strawberry scented, that's definitely not the smell that I get. I definitely am not a big fan of this scent, it's floral and almost medicinal - and me, Katy and my mum all agree that this smells like something that we just don't seem to be able to place at all. If you can get over the smell though, this is definitely a product worth giving a good go.

At £5.75 for 70g worth of product, this definitely isn't towards the higher priced end of Lush products, however it is worth noting that that's considerably more than I'd ever consider paying for shaving foam, personally. Having said that, I tend to use conditioner and regularly cut myself to shreds, so six quid was more than worth it in order to have my legs still intact by the end of the bath. Although I hate the scent of this, I really do like the texture. This is soft and buttery - almost whipped - and goes on much like you would expect from a body butter; it doesn't foam, but it does lather up in the same way that a bar of soap would if you rub it between your hands. I find it better to wet skin, rub this in and shave one leg at a time - you really do have to wash your razor every few strokes though, but when you finish shaving I have to say this does leave skin remarkably soft without the need for a body butter or lotion (although I do still use it because, you know, go skincare.)

Strawberry Shaving Soap

All in all, this product definitely has it's flaws, mainly that it only comes in one scent which makes me feel a little ill (although might work really well for you, who knows!), but it really is worth the money. I'll be repurchasing it in the future for sure, I just have to make sure I'm mixing it in with a really strong bath bomb or bubble bar to make sure that the smell is muted a little!

Have you ever tried D'Fluff? What did you think?

Sammy xo.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Wishlist - Get Your Boots Out

I spent my life growing up in Dr Martens and, although I rocked them with dresses for a while during my teenage years, there came a time that I needed a new pair and couldn't face the horror of breaking new Dr Martens in. So, instead, I started shopping around; and there came the love for boots in general. I love the versatility of boots, although I only wear trainers with my jeans, boots can go with just about everything else and - given that I'm always freezing - anything that gives me a little more of a barrier against baltic Liverpool winds I consider to be a bonus! 

patterned cat boots

1: Lori Ankle Boots (Jones Bootmaker - £120)
I'm a sucker for a good brogue and so when I saw these leather ankle boots from Jones Bootmaker, I knew I had to have them for winter. I'm all for investing in a good shoe that can be worn casually and formally, and I feel like these could be just those. Similar enough to my beloved brogues to be a great winter alternative without my mum being able to shout about how I keep buying identical pairs of shoes (not all black ballet flats are the same, mother.)

2: Cat Walala Beet Red Boots (ASOS - £70)
Katy and I both fell in love with these boots upon first glance, there's something sweet and comic book-esque about them and - although we both agreed they would make the perfect edition to any shoe collection - we just can't work out what we'd pair them with. It probably won't stop me buying them though, if I'm honest.

dr martens 6 holes

3: Rieker Ocean Boots (Shoetique - £62)
I want nearly all of the Rieker boots, if we're being upfront - but, these combat style boots only remind me of The Princess Diaries, which makes me want them even more than I normally would. These are the perfect styled down pair of boots, and ones that I actually might risk swapping out my trainers for and wearing alongside my skinny jeans (it's only a pity that I don't have a ballgown and a tiara to pair them with really...)

4: Dr Martens 6-Eye Boots (Asos - £110)
Okay, I know what I said about Dr Martens, but tell me that these aren't adorable. Shorter than the traditional 8-holes I really think that I could make them work (after going through the hell of breaking them in, of course) - and I'm so, so keen on the white alternatives to the usual yellow stitching and laces.

5: Holly 70's Chunky Ankle Boots (Topshop - £69)
I've gotten a pair of ankle boots like this for the last three years or so and, realistically, I don't need another pair - having said that, I love the colour of these and so don't be surprised if they end up in my collection. In my defence, I'm as lazy as you can get and so pull on boot are my dream.

What boots are on your wishlist?

Sammy xo.

This post is written in collaboration with Jones Bootmaker and Shoetique - for more information please view my disclaimer

Thursday, 10 September 2015

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Unbeknownst to me until earlier this morning  - today is World Suicide Prevention Day 2015. I talk a lot about mental health and mental illness on Little Fickle and, although Thursday isn't a usual posting day for me, I feel as though it really is important to use days such as these to start a conversation about things we may feel dubious about bringing up otherwise.

Mental illness has a stigma, and therefore so does suicide; but it's not as uncommon as you might think. Worldwide, a person dies from suicide around every 40 seconds - there were times in my life that I worried one of those people might have been me, my girlfriend, one of my best friends. Mental illness and suicide will likely touch all of our lives at one point or another - and it's time we stepped forward and starting talking more about it.


So what can we do? We can start spreading like wildfire the symptoms that some suicidal people might display - take a look for yourself here - we can send texts out to friends we haven't seen in a while to check they're okay, we can start accepting that it's okay to ask for help because (and I've been there, I know how hard it is) as easy as it is to feel worthless, you are worth the help. 

We all deserve to grow up, to live fulfilled lives - even when we can't see it. It's difficult, it's hard to see your hand in front of your face sometimes, but there's help out there. As empty as the words seem, it gets better. Not immediately, and you will have dips - but the woods eventually clear to something a little less dark and unforgiving. If you are struggling, reach out, if you think you know someone that might be struggling, reach out. If you haven't been in a suicidal frame of mind, it can be impossible to envision what it might be like - but you can support people none the less. It's World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 - start a conversation; you never know who you might help that thought they were alone.

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

#NWmeet - The Gift Bags

personalised bag

Okay, so on Sunday I did my post about the #NWmeet but because of the insane amount of pictures I decided to leave the gift bags for a separate post and so, here we are; what you've all been waiting for (probably. Or is it just me that's super nosy about these sort of things?). Our bags were kindly provided by Tailored Chocolates and Gifts, and we were really, really happy with how they turned out. I'm sure I'll be going into more detail individually about a lot of these things so I'll just do a quick rundown of what brands were in the bag.

rocket and rye letter light
Soaq // Rocket and Rye
pineapple candle
Lush // Rose and Grey // Phil Smith
Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes
Oribe Hair Serum
Personalised Pencils
Smith and Cult Nail Varnish
Alpha H Liquid Gold
Halloween nail stickers

What do you think of the #NWmeet gift bags?

Sammy xo.