Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Blonde Sexy Hair

This isn't me giving myself a really big compliment here, it's actually the name of the blonde range from Sexy Hair. Blonde Sexy Hair has two ranges; one based on blonde hair and one targeted more specifically to those of us with bleached or dyed blonde hair - luckily, I have a mixture of the two and so when Blonde Sexy Hair offered to send me some products to try out; neither were completely wasted on me and so I've been able to try both ranges out before I gave my opinion; to be honest (spoiler alert) I just feel as though I'm majorly on the fence with Blonde Sexy Hair as a brand.

I've tried the Big Sexy Hair Big Blow Dry Volumizing Gel in the past and been really impressed by it, and so I was a little disappointed with the Blonde range - however, it's not terrible. Let me explain a little more; starting with the packaging, which I love - each range in the Sexy Hair product line has a different colour and the blonde range is, quite fittingly, in gold packaging. The packaging is sleek, the shampoo and conditioner both have caps at the top, which I really do like, and half of the range (the Blonde Sulphate Free Bombshell half) have pictures of Marilyn Monroe on, which is a nice touch in my humble opinion, although it doesn't really fit with the packaging of the other ranges.

Half of the products that I have are the purple range, and half are just the colour protectant range and to be fair, both of them do what they say that they will on the bottle. The purple shampoo is great at knocking the brassy tones out of my hair, which is something that I need some days when I've just re-dyed the bleached parts of my hair, and the sulphate free blonde bombshell shampoo keeps my hair from being dry for the most part, which anyone with blonde hair will tell you is a small miracle. So, so far so good - but not all good, I'm afraid.

My main issue with this is one that I just can't work out - and it's that I just don't seem to be able to completely wash it out of my hair no matter how hard I try. It smells amazing, I love how it makes my hair look, but I end up with such greasy looking roots from not being able to wash it out properly that I just don't seem to be reaching for it as much as I would like, or as much as I'm reaching for other products like Pureology's Perfect 4 Platinum, in any case. This could, admittedly, be human error - but now I'm aware that it keeps happening, I find myself really scrubbing at my roots to get the shampoo off my hair, and I'm still facing the same problem.

Although the products aren't awful, and more competent (if there's such a thing) hair washers might have some more luck - but I personally won't be paying £14 for more bottles of this in the future. Tips of how to get it to work on my hair appreciated, however! 

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Patisserie Valerie Madame Valerie Slice

I’m all about cake - and if you gave me the option for any sweet food in the world - I’d always pick cake over sweets or chocolate. So, when Patisserie Valerie invited me along to have cake for breakfast last week and try out their new slice - it seemed very, very rude to say no and so I had to accept. Luckily, Katy got invited too, so without shame we put on our best clothes and head over to Liverpool to eat some chocolate cake at 10am on a Monday morning.

Katy and I were a little bit late, and so when we finally made it to the event, we nabbed a seat by the lovely Antonia (and her gorgeous son, Gabriel) and set into the already set out macarons, before Gabriel could steal all of the pink ones! We ordered some drinks, caught up with some of our favourite Liverpool bloggers and then settled in for the long run just enjoying macarons, fruit tarts and chatting about this and that (mostly Katy and I’s engagement!)

After a while, and to be honest me almost forgetting the fact that we were actually there to try a cake - we each were presented with a new slice to Patisserie Valerie - a slice of the Madame Valerie Gateau, made by a chocolate cake loving member of the public, for other chocolate loving members of the public countrywide. The cake is so much more than the usual gateau, it's an entire slice of cake with a profiterole on top, layers of chocolate cake, caramel cream and honeycomb pieces, and all in all it's just everything that you could want in a cake and more; sickly, whilst still remaining light and tasty. It's not only beautiful to look at, but the taste lives up to the idea, and it's so amazing that it's hard to believe that it's only £3.95 per slice when you're eating in (and even cheaper when you take it out!)

Now if I thought the slice was amazing, and I do, I was blown away when I saw the entire gateau, which is topped off with chocolate cigars and salted caramel truffles - I'm usually a bit iffy about Patisserie Valerie cakes; I'm not a big fan of cream, or fruit and so it can be hard to know what to pick when I'm that fussy - but this is the perfect cake for me; amazing, light, sweet and no cream or fruit in sight. This is the one for us fussy eaters, or for the children out there, or just for anyone with a sweet tooth, in general.

All in all, I'd recommend the Madame Valerie slice to just about anyone; it's beautiful, has an amazing taste and it's definitely one of my favourite Patisserie Valerie slices to date; good job on that one, guys!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

2 Years Ago Today

2 years ago today - I met the love of my life. We don't keep in touch with many of the people we met that night, purely because we've all head our seperate ways - some people have moved away, some people I still speak to regularly, but one person I wake up to every morning. Two years ago, Katy and I came face to face at a Body Shop event in Liverpool; we swatched makeup, laughed, followed each other around and talked about mutual friends and ex girlfriends. I can easily say that I loved Katy from day one.

I've never met someone so easy to speak to, so openly and unapologetically herself. I've never met somebody so annoying, somebody with the confidence to wipe makeup swatches off on my arm the first time that we met, someone so willing to whip her tattoos out, ask if I'm rich and help plot the demise of an ex of mine all within the first hour of meeting. There is nobody quite like Katy, and I probably could have told you that just shy of 2 years ago, because I've known it from the beginning. I think that I've always known that the girl in the fluffy jumper posing with Body Shop baskets with me and getting her makeup done was going to be a huge part of my life.

I so nearly didn't go to the event two years ago today - I was ill, I was anxious and I wanted nothing more than to be in bed; it took all of my energy to get up, get dressed, get my shit together and head over to Liverpool - but I did it, and so did Katy, and we ended up meeting the women we would later marry; each other (just in case that wasn't clear). Katy and I have been mostly inseparable for a huge portion of the time since, and I owe a lot to that Body Shop (and Aisling, cheers pal, for setting it up).

So I'm sitting next to Katy now (and she's trying to see what it is I'm writing about her), and we're both wearing our engagement rings (a lie, because I've just put a face mask on and haven't gotten around to putting it back on quite yet), and I realise that I owe a lot more than good skin due to the bouncy skin mask to The Body Shop. Two years ago, I was getting ready for an event that I didn't know would change my life, and now I'm sitting with the woman I'm going to marry and writing about it - which seems more surreal and trippy every time that I think about it.

There's no point to this except to remind myself how much can change in two years, and it's allowing me to take some time out to consider how lucky I am, how happy I am, how different things have become between then and now. Two years ago today I met the love of my life, and I couldn't be more glad that it happened.

Sammy xo.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Que Sera, Sera

It might have been said once (in fact it was, because they made an entire song about it) that “whatever will be, will be” - and it’s something that little, karma-loving little me has come to accept. Whatever will be, will be. Whatever’s meant to be will find it’s way. Whatever way you find yourself wanting to say it, it’s irrelevant because in my case, it’s definitely proved itself to be true. Today, I wanted to talk about it - as a word to all of those who may be waiting on something they think will never come, and as a reminder to me; the girl who once thought the things she wanted, and the person she wanted to be would never come around. 

Life has a really funny way of taking what you thought you needed to prove that you didn’t - and I’m not talking about huge losses or people, but you know like when you lose your mobile and realise that you don’t actually need to be permanently attached to it at all times, or relationships that you thought that you couldn’t live without and it turns out that you can, and you’ll thrive without it. I find that life comes  to test you as a person, or it definitely tested me as a person; it made me learn to cope with situations that I thought I never would, it put me through the ringer and back, it made me the person that I am today - a person that I really, really wanted to be.

In my case - the big hitter came when I lost Katy the first time round; something I’ve tried not to talk about on my blog where possible. It was one of the worst times of my life, not only because I lost the person that I loved, but because I had hit rock bottom, I was ill, depressed, desperate and done with life. Breaking up with Katy really spurred me on - losing her made me realise that most of all, there was no way that I could cope with losing myself and so I worked harder; sat in CBT, blogged more, found more friends. I became the person that I had wanted to be, and I settled comfortably in.

Then that’s when the Que Sera, Sera moment hit me - because after a few months of living my life how I wanted to, and being the person that I had always wanted to be, I met up with Katy again - and I was healthier, happier, a better person to be with; and now we’re engaged, and the second time has been so much more rewarding, so much more beautiful, and so much more healthy than the first. By finding myself in life, and by going through what I needed to - I managed to get Katy back, we managed to get to where we needed to be; by helping myself a little bit, life dealt me a solid.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is - everything happens for a reason; and sometimes that reason is that you need to fall flat on your face before you can learn to get back up on your own two feet again. Hang in there - whatever will be, will be.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Engagement Dress Wishlist

Since we got engaged, there's only been one thing on my mind; not the wedding venue, or the date, or the rings (which are gorgeous, by the way) - but rather dresses. In my case, the wedding dress is currently by the by, because in the next few months we're planning on having an engagement party, and that means that I get a pretty dress to show off to all of my friends and family. As this is in the immediate future, I can get away with searching the perfect one out right now; and so, here are my favourites so far. 

1: Floral Stone Jacquard Prom Dress - £85
Actually my least favourite of all of the dresses in terms of wearing it to my engagement party because I think wearing black at an engagement party/wedding/etc. is unlucky - but how gorgeous is the green in this dress? The skirt is a real old fashioned flare skirt and I just love everything about it. I do have a sneaking suspicion that it might feel like crepe paper though, and clothes made of that material are the actual bane of my life.

2: Cream and Coral Satin Skater Dress - £19.99
This one is actually sold out, and I'm not surprised at the price - but there are plenty of other options over on the occassion dresses page of Quiz's website. When I was a teenager, I remember Quiz having quite a poor reputation, but my twenty first dress was from Quiz and I absolutely loved it, and I often find myself looking on their site and so I'd be happy to buy from them again. Potentially a bit too "wedding-guest-in-Summer" for this occasion, but a beautiful dress nonetheless.

3: Hybrid Tie Back Midi Dress - £36
I actually want this for my everyday life, but I definitely think that I could pull off wearing it to our engagement party. The gorgeous skirt colour of this, paired with the gentle grey sweater like top and the pink tie on the back is just gorgeous - and paired with heels, this could definitely be dressed up, but I'd also be able to get a fair amount of wear from it in the future, too.

4: Vero Modo Floral Shirt Dress - £38
I love the pattern on this so, so much - but I'm so torn about the shape of the dress because I feel like it'd probably look a bit nothing-y on me, to be honest. I like the collar and cuffs though, and I think it would look dainty and respectable; which probably means that this one isn't the best to suit my personality.

5: Floral Embroidered Cami Dress - £27
Probably my favourite to date, even though it is black. This will be my choice if we have a few months between now and our engagement party, but unfortunately it's not the one if the party happens to fall in the winter months. I like the neckline of this, and I've had a fair few Summer dresses from Forever 21 in the past, so I know it'll be top quality if nothing else.

If you have any suggestions for a dress for my engagement party, let me know!

Sammy xo.
*post sponsored by Quiz Clothing*

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Mental Health Update


I know I post sporadically about mental health, but I feel as though it's been a while since I've done a big update, which is actually something that I used to do every few weeks. I think that as I've gotten better, it's been easier to skip these posts because I feel as though as I'm recovering, I have much less right to speak about my mental health - and I know that's the wrong way to think. I know that mental health is a stigma that we need to step over, and every voice contributes - and I know looking after my mental health doesn't end with the control of my mental illnesses, but I also feel as though my recovery somewhat invalidates my feelings, opinions and stance on the whole situation. Nevertheless, I'm getting over this - because it's important that we keep talking about this, and so I'm going to keep talking through recovery and beyond.

I am still clean of self harm - and we're fast approaching a year of being clean; a huge milestone that I didn't think I'd hit anytime soon. I still struggle every few weeks with urges, but it's getting further between each instance, and they're getting much easier to push off each time I do it - this is, arguably, one of my biggest steps forward in the whole of my recovery, and definitely the one that I'm most proud of. My second most proud of is definitely the fact that I seem to be sleeping a lot more - still sporadically, and still often via naps during the day, but I'm definitely getting towards a normal sleep routine; slowly but surely!

I'm still taking 40mg of Fluoxetine, and this is something that I hope to change soon - although I don't really need the medication to keep my depression in check anymore, it does help daily with my anxiety, and I'm very conscious of the withdrawal symptoms I'll face, and so I'm very reluctant to start this, but I know that this will be a huge step in my recovery when I come to it. I have had to consider the fact that coming off anti-depressants doesn't mean that I will be off medication altogether, and I'm still potentially going to have to look for anti-anxiety medication, but this is something that I'm coming to terms with.

I'm generally coming to terms with things a lot better - I'm coming round to the fact that I might not be off anti-depressants for my entire life, that this recovery stage of my life might not be permanent, though I will likely reach it again in the future. I'm coming to terms with the fact that my mental illness truly is something that is likely to touch my life, but in the words of my therapist; it will never be as hard to drag myself out of it as it was the first time, and I did that.

In general - life is good. Update me on how things are going for you guys!

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Il Forno Liverpool Review

You may have seen that last week, Katy and I went on a date night that consisted of cocktails, pasta, amazing desserts and shots of prosecco - and, happily for us, we had been invited along so we also got to take some pretty pictures whilst spending some quality time with each other. Just outside of Liverpool's City Centre, up Duke Street and by the college campus, lies the beautiful, warm and inviting Il Forno. A fan of Italian cuisine? We are too, and I can guarantee that after seeing the pictures of the food at this place, you're going to be calculating how much your uber there would cost you; brace yourselves.

First up were the drinks, and we opted for something on the more simple side; Katy went for Magner's Cider and I went for Lemonade, and then we ordered some focaccia to start, some pasta dishes for mains and settled in to chat, hold hands, and generally be adorable across the table top (or obnoxious, depending on how you feel about touchy-feely couples). Then, after what seemed like forever because Katy and I were really hungry, our focaccia arrived; we had both opted for rosemary and salt, and it came on rustic bread boards and was genuinely amazing. I would say that it's not for the faint hearted - it's almost a whole loaf of bread for starters; but it was fantastic, soft and well flavoured, and Katy and I both managed to finish it completely.

For mains; Katy opted for tomato and mozzarella gnocchi, and I chose pumpkin and pancetta risotto, and Katy tells me that hers was absolutely fantastic (more on that in her post in the future, I'd imagine), and mine definitely was. Risotto can be a little bit hit or miss for me; it can be a little soggy or wet, or it can be not soggy or wet enough - but this was spot on. It was creamy and sweet with the addition of the pumpkin, but with the salty addition of the pancetta to cut through that, and to be honest; it was one of the more enjoyable pasta dishes I've had in a while (is risotto technically pasta or rice, because I feel as though it's the latter?)

After a small break and a decision that took approximately three seconds, we both also opted for dessert - and although Katy went for the slightly lighter Raspberry Cheesecake, I picked Toffee Cheesecake with a Profiterole topping - but my eyes were bigger than my belly on this one, because whereas Katy managed to finish all of hers, I had to admit defeat partway through the slab; both were amazing, although Katy's was closer to pannacotta in texture, though that's not really a bad thing in any way. All ready to leave; we stopped to chat with the manager and somehow got roped into cocktails; oh, the cocktails.

Katy picked a peach crush (amazing, not as peachy as you might imagine) and I opted for a surprise. A surprise I certainly got, as the waiter seemed to entirely forget what went into the cocktail, but it was amazing nonetheless, and was basically an alcoholic orange and passionfruit j2o, which is all good in my book. Mine not only came with a round ice cube that had orange peel in the middle much to my fascination, but also with a frozen shot glass with an orange segment inside that was a shot of prosecco. This was a highlight of the meal, really - and trying to drink out of a shot glass made of ice is harder than you might imagine. 

The whole night was amazing, and the staff on hand were brilliant - all in all, it's somewhere that I thought was way too out of my pay range; but I have to say that even if this hadn't have been a PR meal, we definitely wouldn't have struggled to pay for it. If you're around Duke Street, Il Forno should definitely be your choice destination for lunch.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Rites Of Passage Since I Left Home

Since I left home - I've hit some major rites of passage. Of course some of these were like staying out and not being back at my mum and dad's for a month, or my room finally being taken over with shit and the ironing board so my mum can finally have the junk room she's seemingly alway wanted - but mostly, there were tiny things I've been through that made me think, "oh shit, I've actually moved out". Living here is one of my favourite things, waking up with Katy will never get old, I love waking up with a tiny dog in our room - but there are also times I've had a slight meltdown about the fact I don't live with my mum and dad anymore, and these have quickly become rites of passage since I left home, at least in my head.

1: Being Ill
Nothing makes you realise just how final moving out is than when you're sick, curled up in bed and crying for your mum. Now, my mum lives approximately 20 minutes down the road, so realistically I could have gone to her home when this was happening to me, however, being ill without her there to bring me presents, stroke my hair and tuck me into bed was definitely one of the first rites of passage when it came to moving out. Surely if I can handle a poorly tummy without my mum there to snuggle me back, I can definitely handle most other things; you know, like eating broccoli and remembering to take my vitamins and whatnot.

2: Running Out Of Money
There's nothing I can quite compare to running out of money when you've moved out. You want to be a grown up, you want to prove that you can do it - but running out of money when you first move out has definitely got to be one of my rites of passage. Sheer panic, deciding whether you're going to ring your mum, crying and living on eight quid for a solid three weeks is definitely something that makes moving out feel a lot more realistic. Definitely a rite of passage for me was when I ended up paying off £300 of overdraft fees.

3: The First Time I Ran Out Of Clothes
Not all clothes, I can always find a spare set of leggings or jeans, especially as I live with another girl, but the first time I really realised how much my mum used to do with me was when we ran out of nearly all of our knickers. This was a rite of passage for me; and I can happily say that Katy and I still regularly forget to do enough washing at least once a month. 

Those are the rites of passage I've been through since I left home, but I'd love to know if you share them, or if you've had some of your own!

Sammy xo.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Merci Handy Hand Sanitizers

Katy and I have this weird thing about nice smelling hand sanitizers - meaning that we have huge collections full of Bath and Bodyworks, Carex and Primark options; and we use them surprisingly often. I find it a good option to alcohol gel my hands before starting skincare or makeup to ensure I'm spreading as little bacteria all over my face as possible. Similarly, Katy and I often both use them before we eat in University if we've been in lectures and whatnot, and also before we put hand cream on (which seems a bit weird to me know I'm saying it). But, the point of all this was simply to say when Merci Handy offered to send me out some of their hand sanitizers to try, I was all over it and eagerly awaited the arrival of the parcel.

We had seen this brand in Sephora in Krakow, and so I already new that the packaging was adorable - the bottles are similar in shape to the old school Bath and Bodyworks bottles (the angled, rectangular type bottle as opposed to the smaller, more circular bottle that they use now) and they have really cute, almost retro type logos and labels that all correspond to the colour of the product inside, as well as the name of the product (cherry is red, black vanilla is black etc. etc. etc.) which is a nice little addition that makes the scent I'm looking for easy to find even when I haven't got my glasses on.

Now let's get onto the scents - because it's worth noting that I'd say that this is where they seem to fall short. There's seven scents overall, and I can't speak for all of them because I've only been testing three - but I will be speaking about Flower Power, Cherie Cherry and Black Vanilla; and none have really massively taken my breath away - except for the fact that they all seem to smell overwhelmingly of alcohol which literally has taken my breath away on a number of occasions. My main thing about the scent is that I'm used to the Strawberry Lace of Carex, or the Vanilla Sugar of Bath and Bodyworks - distinctive smells that you can put a name on even if you're applying them in the dark, and Merci Handy just doesn't have that.

They smell nice and they sink in fast, but Cherie Cherry and Flower Power both smell, in my opinion, like old fashioned soap - clean, and fresh, but not overly flowery or fruity as you'd imagine; Black Vanilla does smell more like vanilla than the others smell like their respective intended scents, but it's not like cake batter on your hands by any means, more like the leftover smell if you washed your hands using a vanilla hand soap three hours ago and have been touching things since then (get your minds out of the gutter, there).

Now these aren't going to disappoint for €3 per bottle (prices may vary in Sephora, but I'm gone from the Merci Handy website), they're nice little products, but don't think for a minute you're going to meet the most amazing smelling hand sanitizers of your life (much more pleasant once they're settled than the actual plain alcohol ones, though, so that's worth noting).

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Our Travel Plans For 2017

More than our wedding, or moving out together (both of which are still fairly close to the top of our agenda, don't get me wrong), the thing that Katy and I wanted to do most this year was travel. We debated so many places, we've looked at deal after deal and in the end the only thing that stuck out was that we both shared the same want to travel to places fewer people go to; we wanted to experience the world; not just from costas and resorts, but from walking through towns, taking trains into other countries, trying different food and going to as many places that we can before we have to get our shit (and money) together, and be real adults.

So, in two weeks time; we go to Riga in Latvia. Want to know what Riga is famous for? Absolutely no clue whatsoever; there are tons of museums, art galleries and churches and we are going to go and visit them all. We've decided that we're not making solid plans this time around - we aren't making and itinerary; we're taking it as it comes, seeing as much as we can, travelling through cities and finding whatever we can find; touristy or otherwise. It'll be cold, we've got our walking shoes ready for the sheer amount of miles we're going to cover; and I'm excited to be travelling like this, to be stumbling upon things we love instead of planning it to the very last minute like we might have done in the past (partly to curb my anxiety, admittedly).

Latvia is already booked - and then when I get paid this month; Slovakia will be too. Slovakia is a big trip for me, one that I'm so excited to book - but also one that includes taking a train to another country altogether for a night to visit Vienna, something that I wouldn't have been able to do this time last year. Slovakia will mean taking trains from one country to another, with a language barrier featuring two languages I can't speak well at all; but I'm ready to try it, ready to get Duolingo on the case to cover the basics - ready to push myself to my limits.

The Summer brings Sofia in Bulgaria and an actual beach holiday together for the first time ever; then the Autumn brings Romania, then December brings an annual trip to Poland - though this year we won't be visiting Krakow; we're branching out and visiting a different city in the beautiful country to see what else there is for us to fall in love with. Travelling marks a new start for me; both in my relationship with Katy and realising what is most important to us right now as a pairing, but also individually - this marks a huge step in my recovery; a step I wouldn't have been able to take this year. I'm no longer scared of seeing the world, I'm absolutely terrified I might not see every piece of it; in one way or another.

If you have any travel plans this year I'd love to hear about them!

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

DHC Pore Cleansing Oil

Now, before you start this review; this isn't the much hyped about Deep Cleansing Oil that is so beloved on YouTube, but rather it's older, arguably better, sister; DHC's Pore Cleansing Oil. I don't get on with the Deep Cleansing Oil, it's just a little much for my skin and I feel as though it clogs my pores in a really uncomfortable way, however, this is a whole different ball game. I've always thought that cleanser was cleanser, and to have a holy grail cleanser seemed a little ridiculous, but I just might have to eat my words, because DHC has stolen my heart.

Let's talk about the first revolutionary part of this product; it's an oil with a pump. You might think that this seem ridiculous, but if so I can only assume that you're not the kind of person who's tried to use an oil from a "tip upside bottle" and got it on every surface within a 6cm radius. This pump is a definite bonus when it comes to the product; I always get the right amount of product right into the palm of my hand, and there's none of that slippery hands, trying to get a lid back on a bottle scenario that I've come to hate so much. This ode to a pump has gotten a little out of hand, hasn't it? I can probably move onto something else now, really.

Now let's talk about the oil itself - which, Katy rightfully pointed out the first time that we used it, is almost like a gel in it's consistency. I know that with this being a Pore Cleansing Oil I should have realised that it wouldn't be greasy, but I just wasn't expecting it to leave my skin as matte as it does. This melts down makeup, cleans all of the gunk out of my skin and generally does seem to leave it feeling better, cleaner, and a lot less shiny and greasy than before I start. It's the best kind of oil for me personally - in that it isn't like an oil at all when it comes to the bad parts of an oil.

Now this stuff isn't cheap at £25, but it really isn't going to break the bank either and so, if you're looking for a good cleanser and you have oily skin like mine, this might just be worth shelling out the extra dollar on. All in all, I have found DHC to be worth the money that you pay on it, but I am willing to concede that if you have dry skin then this might be a little too drying, but for a deep cleanse then this could definitely be the one. £25 is definitely more than worth it for what this does for my skin - and I really would recommend it, especially to those with oily skin.

If you've ever tried an oil that did really good things for your skin - I'd love to hear what it is!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Succession Anxiety

When I was in therapy, one of the first things that they told me was that I needed to be realistic, that I was never going to completely rid myself of anxiety and that, no matter how hard I tried not to, I was always going to dip and relapse when things got particularly hard for me. This was something that seemed a lot more ideal in theory than in practise - I saw recovery as a time when I was no longer having daily panic attacks and struggling to get out of the house, and it was, but I didn't realise that recovery from Generalised Anxiety Disorder would bring a whole new sense of anxiety; Succession Anxiety.

My recovery came with a need to prove how well I was doing. The more people complimented my steps forward, the more it felt like I had to keep pushing forward, I had to keep taking that next step, I had to go above and beyond to prove that I was 'better' now, suddenly I was okay, able to cope with whatever life threw at me. I took on University, then I moved out, upped my blog posts, started a YouTube channel and then, finally, got a job - all within the space of a few months, and it was like proving to myself and everybody around me that I'm okay, I'm fine and coping, I can do adult things and live my life without anxiety tying me down every move.

And I am okay, I am fine and coping - but this sheer anxiety to succeed has trapped me in a whole different way. I'm always juggling to make sure things get done, working late into the night, swapping pieces of work that can be left out for more important bits. My life is one conveyer belt of "what absolutely has to go out tonight, and what can wait?", and I've now taken on so much that I don't know another way to live other than this permanent position where I feel like I'm running from plate to plate attempting to keep them all spinning.

The sad thing is, I know I'm not the only one out there that's feeling like this; we are made to feel so guilty about our mental illnesses by the people around us and the media alike, that in recovery it seems as though the only options are 100%, or nothing. It's all in or bust. If you don't go the whole way you might as well have not set off at all. But, I've learned the hard way that that isn't the way to look at my life. I might not be where I want to, but I'm a hell of a lot further than where I was when I was a girl crying in bed at the idea of putting makeup on (now I just cry about makeup because I'm too lazy to battle with my eyebrows every morning).

So it's okay to say you're struggling, whether you're recovered or otherwise - it's entirely fine to drop things because you can't handle them. You are doing well enough. You are enough.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mudmasky Recovery Mask Review

I love a good basic name and so Mudmasky ticked that box for me and immediately peaked my attention. I have to say though, this stuff is bizarre; I love a good mud mask, but surely one of the simply pleasures in life is scooping that mud mask out of a jar and slapping it on your face. Admittedly, Mudmasky takes the fun out of that now that it's in a tube, but that means that basically what Mudmasky is, is a number of face masks in one handy tube. Good for the traveller, lazy person, and those of us prone to dropping mud mask all over the bed (not me, of course!).

Now, let's get the elephant in the room (tube?) out of the way, and that's the price - because this tiny tube of supposed miracle will set you back a hefty £61. Now if it works, that's a small price to pay for pore refining, hydrating, anti-aging, brightening and smoothing if it works like it should. Well, not a small price, but probably a "worth it" type price, you understand. This is suitable for all types of skin, however you have to leave it on different amounts of time dependant on your skin type; mine being oily, I left this on for 11 minutes, and did it do miracles? Did I whip it off thinking "wow, that £6.10 face mask was worth it" (assuming you'll get a good ten masks out of one tube given the extortionate price).

Well... No, I really didn't. I left this on until I felt like a weeping angel from Doctor Who, and when I washed it off I mainly thought that my face looked exactly the same, only very, very red. Katy tried this at the same time as me and it didn't really seem to make her face react, but mine was left itchy, shiny and uncomfortable and so, to be honest, since then I haven't really risked using it again, because my skin is finally clearing up and I'm not willing to fuck that up just yet.

So is it worth it? In my humble opinion, no. It's not a bad product, but something in this definitely reacted with my face, and so it's worth saving yourself the £60 if you might have sensitive skin. Sorry Mudmasky, you almost had my heart there, but it's goodbye from me.

EDIT: I have since talked to Mudmasky, who tell me the products are higher quality adding to the price. Also, contrary to the packaging, it should be test patched on all skin, not just sensitive.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 16 January 2017

"When's The Wedding?"

Katy and I getting engaged was the best day of my life (except that day in the future where she finally allows me to get a puppy when we have our own house) but since, it's been met with questions. 'Will you both wear dresses?', 'Will you have a big wedding?' and the golden question of the hour, 'when's the wedding?". Don't get me wrong, I know that it's natural curiosity to want to know - you want to see our cute instagrams of our bouquets and bitch about which bloggers we did and didn't invite to our reception - I get it, but people don't seem to understand that, as excited as I am, the wedding isn't our priority right now.

We're living in Katy's parents house; so above the wedding on our list is our want for our own place. With blogging, working, studying for my undergraduate degree, Katy studying for her masters, us having seperate youtube channels as well as a joint one, and the fact we're still putting on events; even that hasn't topped the list. Being here allows freedom, it allows us more money to play with (a good thing when we're paying a small fortune to get to University every week) and although a flat would be great right now, and it comes above a wedding, our priority isn't that.

Our priority right now is the life we might not have for much longer. It's each other, and travelling (Latvia, Slovakia, Vienna, Bulgaria and Romania this year, if you might be interested) - it's seeing the world together, something that we likely won't have chance to do when I start my law conversion in a few years time, when we're married and Katy is working full time and we're looking into children and puppies. Together, we want to experience life around the world, we want to see cities that we've barely heard of before, and we want to fall in love with other countries (and their escape rooms).

And I mentioned another thing above; I want to do my law conversion. It's been a long time coming for me to try and decide what I'd like to do, but after speaking with Citizen's Advice Bureau as part of my Criminology Degree, I think I want to study family law and work as part of one of their pro-bono law programmes; this likely means that for at least a year, we'll probably live away from Merseyside, or perhaps England, and so this is high on our list of priorities. That makes it sound like we're not interested in a wedding, but that's not true - just we are strong right now, and secure, and so aware that this might be the only period in our lives that we have such flexible amounts of time in order to take long weekends off to go to foreign countries, and we're saving every penny we have for that 'rainy day' instead of our wedding right now.

So when's the wedding? I'll let you know when I do.

Sammy xo.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Beauty Pie Pro-Glow Highlighter

People say that there's a first for everything, and this particular one is "the first time that I've felt like I need some sort of business degree in order to wrap my head around a product and share it with you guys". Beauty Pie is everywhere right now, and still people are struggling to get their heads around the concept of a buyers club for beauty addicts, myself included. What I am good at though is highlighter so strong that you can see it from another continent, and spoiler alert; Beauty Pie has got me shook.

There's a very distinctive high end highlighter that this looks like and I'll be honest, I think that's the point of making the Pro-Glow Highlighter look like this (Laura Geller for those of you who have never seen a highlight in this pattern) but instead of £21, this will only set you back £5.46 - sort of. The catch is that to avoid paying 'regular' price (based upon similar premium products with similar formulas, packaging etc.) you have to pay £10 a month to 'buy yourself in' and the products are cheaper, by far, but you also have to pay a minimum of three months membership (you still with me? I'm trying my best, guys.) So, if you only but this it will actually knock you back £35.46, but if you buy tons and max your limit (£100 a month regular price) then you've split the price a little more. Does any of that make sense? It's hard to get your head around.

Complicated maths and business aside, this highlighter is seriously good, and you can tell that it's been made by experts. This one was sent to me but, truly, had I shelled out the £5 for it I definitely wouldn't have been disappointed. It's got a delicate bronze shade mixed with a shiny white shade that combine together to create this really beautiful champagne colour, and I'm in love, oh my god, I'm in love. Admittedly, it's more glittery than I'd like, it's very strong and you can overdo it easily; but it's seriously buttery, so pigmented and just generally a beautiful product.

The truth is, as gimmicky as I thought that Beauty Pie was the first time that I was looking it up, you really are looking at high end products for drugstore price here, the packaging is shiny and clean, there's a big mirror, the product is undoubtedly so much closer to Bobbi Brown than it is to MUA - it's got that glitter of a drugstore product, but not in a bad way, and that softness, that pigmentation of a high end product. It's well worth the £5, and for a beauty junkie like me - I know I'd make the most of a 3 month subscription, so I don't think I'd be mad at shelling out an extra £10 a month to keep myself in cheap, high end quality beauty products.

I'm trying to get my hands on more Beauty Pie so I can talk about it on here, but so far, so good. I'd love to hear your experiences with Beauty Pie if you've tried any of their products so far!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Friday, 13 January 2017

What It's Really Like Living Together

When I thought about moving in with Katy, I imagined that it would be into a tiny white flat with new bedsheets and student crockery. Instead, it turned out to be me moving into Katy's mum and dad's house, and sharing a room in a family home - and it's fair to say that, as lovely as it's been, it's just not really what I expected. People say that moving in with your loved on is all waking up with the person you love, one of you cooking whilst the other adorably sits on the countertop wearing just a long top and some socks, decorating rooms together until you find your perfect space and fall into bed together, in your respective sides.

Moving in has been an eye opener, it's been bickering because we never seem to remember to do the washing until we literally run out of whatever it is that's taking up all of the room in the washing basket, it's too much stuff for this bloody space, it's a snoring dog having Katy's side of the bed whilst we both share my side, it's sleep training a dog via the method of controlled crying, as though we already had a child. Moving in together is always forgetting to throw the bottles we seem to hoard away, it's so much make-up you wouldn't believe, and at least two trash receptacles full of rubbish we "need for our Youtube channels".

It's always wearing each other's clothes, and being mad because that hoodie you wanted for University is in the wash even though you didn't get makeup on it in the first place, and it's always forgetting to empty the bins out. It's realising that your holiday, birthday and christmas traditions are different, and it's realising that your sleep pattern will change, and someone getting up early means you're getting up early as they move around you, and it's realising that you're perfect white colour scheme might not fit with the flowers and bees that your partner has in mind, but there's definitely a compromise in there.

More than anything, since living with Katy I've realised our pyjama collection is out of hand, that I will easily forgive her stealing the cover in the night because they're worth it for the mornings that she's awake first and smiling at me when I open my eyes. I've realised that living together has pushed us to our limits, but it's worked, and we're taken it in our stride and we're stronger, happier and more in love than ever.

Moving in together isn't perfect, it's messy, and you'll bicker, and you'll have disagreements on how often is often enough to take the glasses in your room downstairs, or to change the bedsheets - but it'll be worth it when you realise just how lost you'd be without them, and their clothes next to yours in the wardrobe. Plus, that wardrobe just got two times bigger, in my case.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Lee Stafford Fix It Detangler

I have notoriously tangly hair - imagine Rapunzel's after than scene in Tangled where she's running in circles, and you've got what it's like for me when I've gotten out of the bath. No amount of conditioner can solve it, ragging through it in the shower only results in a number of welts on my body and a clogged plughole, a tangle teezer doesn't help, a wet brush is useless - basically, I've been at a loss, and it's gotten to the point where it's so unmanageable that I literally dread washing my hair because I know I'm going to have to battle with it when I get out of the shower. Enter hair heroes Lee Stafford and their Fix It Detangler - no, I know you think this is a gimmicky product for six year olds repackaged, but stick with me here.

First thing I'll admit is that I actually don't brush my own hair these days; it's so long, thick and messy that I need another set so most of this review is written by me, but has come from how many times I feel the need to shout ouch out loud when my beautiful fiance is doing me a solid and trying to tame my hair. Second thing is that the only other detanglers that I've used in the past genuinely are aimed at children - as in, the last one that I had genuinely had a frozen themed bottle and smelled like strawberry calpol. This is a far cry from poundland's offering, it's fresh, clean and aimed at adults who not only need to tame their hair, but need to make sure it's taking the best care of their hair possible.

This genuinely does seem to be some kind of bizarre miracle worker - and I'm yet to work out why, but I'm just not willing to complain at this point. You just spray this on damp hair and brush through, and I'm not going to go from Hermione in the first Harry Potter film to Cher from Clueless after one swift spray, but it definitely does mean that I don't have to tug my hair out in order to get the knots out. This smells like some sort of beautiful seaside salon, doesn't make my hair greasy, and does seem to be sent by some subtle hair god that isn't willing to create a miracle product, but is willing to get pretty close.

Truly, this is the one. I don't really fall that easily for hair products, my hair is just messy and I've come to accept that, but this little wonder is definitely worth talking about. Also, it's not going to break the bank, because this little beauty (in an obnoxious pink bottle that I literally love) will only set you back £6.99, and you can even grab it in your nearest Boots.

So messy haired girls, rejoice - because Lee Stafford has got your back and there's a detangler out there that really does work.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Sleepless in Seattle (and just about everywhere else)

I write this wondering how I'm still sitting up. In between training for a new job, university exercises due in next week, actually turning up to university, writing a business plan to apply for a business loan, (somewhat) keeping up with my blog, attempting to launch both my own youtube channel and a joint one with my girlfriend, I'm also attempting to find time to live, to find time to eat and sleep and see my friends in a way that doesn't just include business plans and researching competitors for a business we're attempting to set up.

 My biggest issue right now is sleep; between anxiety based insomnia that has me awake at 4am wondering how they did get those statues on Easter Island to stand up, a dog that likes to lick the air, wander round the bed and snore as loud as possible, and the fact I want to spend some time with my girlfriend that isn't just me on my laptop in a last ditch attempt to catch up on whatever I'm behind on - I don't get a lot of sleep, I don't get nearly enough sleep.

I used to think that my regular lack of sleep was mostly to do with something normal that happens to busy people, or young people, or people suffering from a mental illness (or two in my case). I always thought it came from worrying about being in debt, or worrying about not speaking to your family, or having aching joints that you can't ever get quite get comfortable with. To an extent, all of these contribute to a bad night's sleep - but when I add them all together (not by choice, I'd like to point out here) it means that my regular lack of sleep has gone beyond 'normal' levels and far into 'unsure how I'm functioning on a daily basis'.

This is beginning to sound like a woe-is-me sort of post isn't it? How many of you are considering closing your laptops in frustration, telling me to just stop doing so much stuff? I don't blame you, if I was reading someone else's post like this I think that I'd be feeling the same - but the point I think I was trying to make when I started this post (I don't exactly remember, tiredness will do that to you) is that we all overwork ourselves, we all need to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves, taking time out when we need it, knowing that there's no shame in asking for a break every now and again.

I know it's easier said than done, and I know that nothing that I say will stop you working too hard and just using your tunnel vision to stay focused on your next holiday, or the summer, or the end of a big project, or whatever the 'end point' is for your current stress; but just remember to drink enough, get enough sleep and take care of yourself. I'll definitely be trying harder!

Sammy xo.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

L'Or des Pharaons Face and Body Mist

It's unusual that I can't make my mind up on a product, and even more unusual that that's still the case even when I actually finish the entire product. However, enter L'Or des Pharaons Face and Body Mist, 15ml of pure confusion that's got me firmly sitting on a very uncomfortable fence. You all know that I'm a sucker for skincare and I go through those times where I like to change out a lot of things and completely revamp what I'm using to take care of my skin; this came into one of those rotations a few months a go now and I've finally just pumped the last spray out of the bottle and I just can't put off talking about it any longer.

From the packaging of this product, I simply assumed that it wasn't for me. It does fall into that trap of cool brands that haven't got their labelling up to date, and so I found myself staring at a bottle that looked as though it had been designed and printed on paint and then stuck on the bottle. Although I know this isn't the biggest deal in the world, it is the thing that can make me decide to, or not to, buy a product and so it's just something that I personally would change if I owned the company, especially for such a premium product. But, I don't, so it's all good.

Remember that I told you that this is 15ml? Well, to put a price on this 15ml, you'll be paying around £40, which is a premium price for something that technically, isn't an integral part of any skincare routine. Still, I've scoured the packaging and the website to get a better idea of what it is that you're actually spending your hard earned dollar on. From what I can work out this is 'purified and revitalised water' containing 'pure gold, platinum and zinc'. Supposedly, the metal particles are so small they can travel in through the pores and infuse the skin - but I'm not entirely sure I'm convinced.

Is the spray bad? No, not at all. It adds a good layer of moisture between toning and serum, but so does a cheap facial mist from somewhere else not infused with gold. Has it entirely changed my skin? No, not at all - and that, in itself, is sort of the issue. It's not that this has done bad things to my skin, it's just that I think I could get the same sort of result if I refilled the bottle from the tap and tried using that. I think the main issue is that I'm not solidly convinced that this isn't actually just water - without the purification and revitalisation process - or at least I'm definitely convinced those processes have made little to no improvements on it's skincare benefits.

All in all, if you've got the dollar then feel free to spring for L'Or des Pharaons, but don't expect some sort of miracle, and try and consider whether it really is worth the money for you, because there are definitely other alternatives out there.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

You're fooling yourself if you think we're in the age of acceptance

Ben Wardle, an LGBT Ambassador and writer has done some great work - but he ended last year telling us over on The Huffington Post that we are "witnessing an incredible revolution in attitudes to homosexuality". I like the idea, this idea that a dawn is breaking on a new world and I'll rejoice and skip down the street brandishing my rainbows and flaunting my engagement ring and chatting about my future wife to any sucker that will listen - but, the truth is, we're fooling ourselves if we truly believe that times have changed when it comes to acceptance of homosexuality.

It's hard to know where to start on this one, with the shooting in an Orlando gay bar that killed so many people and destroyed the LGBTQIA+ community, made us fearful in a way that in the modern world we have been thankfully mostly shielded from. Perhaps instead we could start with a homophobic president; the fact that nearly half of America thought a man that disregards the rights of thousands purely because of their gender, the person or people that they love was the best man to represent their country. We aren't in the light anymore, one of the most progressive countries when it comes to homosexuality and LGBTQIA+ attitudes has quickly gone from a country wide raising of the same sex marriage ban to many people, quite rightfully, fearing for their lives because of who they are.

Perhaps we should start with the fact that homosexuality is still illegal in 70 countries, still punishable by death in 12. Perhaps we should talk about the fact that people who consider their gender non-binary in my very university are having to fight for the right to change their gender on their registration forms. Perhaps we should talk about the fact that suicide rates, and self harm rates, are just as high in LGBTQIA+ individuals as they ever were, and considerably higher than are shown in their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. Perhaps we should start with the fact that I only went to buy curly fries last week and the woman in Iceland was so disgusted I kissed my girlfriend when she was scanning my junk food that she felt the need to stare.

Maybe we should start with Trump, or Pence. With the fact that, less than twelve months ago, the UK fell down to third place in LGBTQIA+ rights rankings, or perhaps we should focus on the fact that in the survey to decide the rankings, the EU's financial keystone of Germany scored just 55%. We are on a dawn of something, Wardle is right; we are witnessing an incredible revolution in attitudes; but we're fooling ourselves if we think that rights for LGBTQIA+ individuals are going any way but down.

It's not the time to be complacent about LGBTQIA+ rights, 2017 is the year to claw our way back.

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lucardo Manchester Breakout Room

I've been in touch with Lucardo for a while now and so, when we were in Bury a few weeks ago, we gave them a call to see if they could fit us in for a quick game. It involved us getting stuck in a lot of traffic, getting lost, turning up late and then bigging ourselves up a disproportionate amount before we got into the room but, speaking as an expert on escape rooms at this point, I thought it was worth writing about Lucardo purely because it's been one of the best escape rooms that we've done both here and in Poland. Well in Lucardo, I can do you one better than a tripadvisor review; here's an entire review.

I'm obviously not going to sit here and write out the entire thing - I'm not going to spoil it because I strongly think that you should all go and support these guys; but I will give you the run down. We picked the room Contamination which usually focuses on finding a vial before the town's water supply is contaminated (hence the name), but as we went in December our task involved us heading into a lab to find a vial of Christmas Spirit that was being held captive. Although our room was slightly different to the usual, the premise was the same and I have it on good authority (in that I asked the nice guy on the front desk) that most of the tasks are the same, just ours involved more tinsel, baubles and a cruel red herring.

I'm not going to sit here and give you the answers, because that would be like going into Crystal Maze on Season Four (come on, Richard, you played the same games for the first four seasons, you just changed the background and everybody knows it) - but I will tell you why we liked it so much. We did so many that just involved keys and locks, they involved direct clues from one spot to the next, and although the clues were challenging - the whole thing ended up with us escaping with plenty of time; and as much as I don't want to fail, I definitely don't want to be out twiddling my thumbs with half of my time to spare.

Lucardo seems to have struck the perfect balance - there are puzzles that need you to use a maths head, puzzles that need a logic brain, and English bases brain and there's even some puzzles in there for those of you who like to mess around and play with everything you can get your hands on (in fact that came in really handy for us this time around, so big thanks to our resident messer, Kaz).

All in all, if you're looking for an escape room, don't even bother flicking through to find the cheapest, head straight over to Lucardo and get locked in by the best (ooer).

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New Year, Same Antidepressants

Cheery title there, Sam, you've really outdone yourself. Though, contrary to what said title would suggest, this really isn't a negative one, just one that seems relevant to me right now, something that I wish that somebody else was saying. In a world of Facebook statuses declaring New Years, New You, it's okay to have a new year and be the same old you. It's okay to not be some amazing, advanced version of yourself as the minute hands tick from 23:60 (technically correct this year, look it up) to 00:00.

I am a very different person this year than I was this time last year - I'm bolshy, loud, confident and a million other things; but that doesn't mean I'm a new person. I sit here, a new, confident person, ready to enter 2017 and still be this confident - still be this person; antidepressants and all. I won't be going into 2017 without my depression, without my anxiety, my fluoxetine prescription suddenly redundant except to serve as kindling for a log fire - I'll be going into 2017 sure of myself, and more than aware of the fact that my development and advancement can't be measured by the new year's that tick into existence.

I wasn't going to write this post; but I realised that throughout my recovery I made it seem as though I went from rock bottom to cloud nine in a matter of no minutes whatsoever, I went from not wanting to live to seeming as though it was easy, I was suddenly a ray of sunshine. I stopped mentioning my fluoxetine, stop mentioning my illnesses; they seemed fake somehow, false if I was happy, it seemed like some kind of weakness to accept that my chemical imbalance was fine now, but only as long as I kept taking those green and white capsules.

As people talk about how far I've come in the last year, I am grateful for the support; for the people that walked this journey with me - but I also want to remind everyone that hasn't made it here yet that not reaching where you want to be by the New Year isn't something to be ashamed of, battling and surviving year round is fine, relying on false chemicals because you lack what you need is fine, being recovered solely due to that medication is fine. New year, same old medication - and I'm fine with that, I really am.

Sammy xo.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Smile Makers The Frenchman Review

I'm starting my real post of the year as I mean to go on - sat at a desk and surrounded by new sex toys. Today's toy of choice is from a brand I've talked about before (you can catch me chatting about Smile Makers last year some time here) - and it doesn't disappoint. Pastel coloured sex toys with smiley faces that have adorable taglines? I don't know what more I could possibly want in a company to be honest, but I have got a little more to say than "aesthetically pleasant".

Let's start with the company itself - Smile Makers makes some solid products, but they're also making huge leaps forward in terms of normalising masturbation, and you'll even find their affordable products on the shelves of a Superdrug near you (I mean admittedly the top shelf, but fair enough). The Frenchman is the final addition to our sex toy collection from Smile Makers (you might think it's excessive to have all of the sex toys from one company, but I'd raise you the fact that you're wrong). Like you'd expect, this fits into the pastel colour scheme of the brand, and so let's talk about this baby blue slice of excitement.

In it's design, this is pretty simple - a basic curved bullet vibrator with the added addition of a curl of thin, flexible plastic. Like the other offerings from this company they have four vibration modes and one pulse mode and will let you play anywhere up to four hours on one AAA battery, so you probably won't even need to head out to get this one started, just dig around in your junk drawer (we've all got one). I found this one a little harder to get to grips with than the others - using it on someone else was fine as I could see just where the curl of plastic needed to be, but on myself it just seemed a little fiddly and unnecessary when I could just whip out a bullet. It's not unpleasant by any means, but when I want to get off, I don't want to spend half of the time it takes to get myself off trying to work out the best angle to work a toy.

Does it feel like a tongue? It does and it doesn't - I get why it's been made in the way that it has, and in some ways it does mimic a tongue; but, you're never going to mistake it for your partner. Having said that - it moves more quickly than a tongue ever could and the sensation is very different to the traditional hard ended bullets out there, so it's definitely a good addition to a collection, I just can't imagine it will ever become a fast favourite for me personally. For £34.95 though, it's not going to break the bank and it's certainly not a bad toy to add to the collection.

Let me know your favourite toys at the minute, and if you've tried Smile Makers I'd love to know your favourite product of theirs!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.