Parissa // Natural Sugar Hair Removal

Waxing and sugar hair removal is a hair raising topic (sorry bad pun) but it's definitely not pleasant. I've tried both before and hated both methods of hair removal, I have a pretty high pain threshold but using home hair removal kits have always filled me with dread and complete terror. I tend to be someone who has sensitive skin and I've in the past literally felt like my skin was on fire after whipping off a sticky strip. 

I'll admit I was absolutely apprehensive when I received the Parissa 2 in 1 roll on back in the summer and it took me a few months to try it out, again due to crap organisational skills I didn't hit the 'post' button and found it here when I was doing my end of year drafts declutter *oops* but they say good things come to those who wait and in this case it's certainly true. So I have whipped off strips and had my legs turn bright red, I've used hair removing cream that has left me with an allergic reaction and I've yanked off waxing strips only to have no hair on the bloody strip - I did go back and try again but it was a complete fail. 

You can imagine why I stick to using a men's razor can't you (Mach 3 bay-bay). So a few months after receiving this I figured I had to try it out all in the name of blogging and all that jazz. I am absolutely willing to put myself in the line of pain or disfigurement just to get you an honest review. 

Inside the box you will find the sugar paste inside the ball applicator. You will find the roller nozzle (I've popped it on for the picture) and you will also find the strips which are washable as well as the instructions. 

As first I thought ow-ma-gawd this is going to be tough but I was so wrong. It's literally three steps, warm up the nozzle, roll on the sugar paste and the pop on the strip (to the area where the sugar paste is) and pull against the grain of the hair. Just as you would do waxing. 

I tentatively applied the sugar paste and then kind of had a mini freak out, calming down I applied the strip and again had a mini freak out which lead to hubster deciding he'd pull off the strip which he did with a little bit more of a smile than I would have thought necessary, would you believe it didn't hurt. Well of course you have that initial 'ahhh it's going to hurt' and then the 'ooh nope that wasn't nearly as bad as it should have been.' 

The best thing for me however was that I wasn't red, I wasn't blotchy and I was actually smooth with no leftover sticky crap stuck on my legs. I tend to be quite a hairy lady (too much I know but it's nearly New Year so I can get away with it) and even when I shave literally 24 hours later I'm stubbly. I've tried everything from epilation those sand paper smoothing mitts and nothing leaves me smooth for long with the exception of sugaring. 

Back in August I did buy another two kits. I tend to overbuy things that I've been hugely impressed with over the year, I suck that way and I'm pretty sure it annoys hubster but I did and now it's gotten to the start of a new year and I'm glad I stocked up. Valentine's Day, Spring, Birthdays and then Summer all call for smooth-tastic legs and I'm ready and armed for it. 

I don't use this every time I need to remove hair (because that would be expensive) but for those occasions where smoothness is an absolute must I bring out this product. If you've had trouble with waxing or other hair removal systems before then I'd fully recommend this, even Veet sensitive hair removal creams were too strong for me yet Parissa sugaring system isn't. It lasts for a long time too. You can get your pins in on the action by hitting your local Boots or popping over to the Boots website here if you fancy trying it out. 

* First kit was PR, I've since purchased this many times myself * 

Style // Fashion Mid-Life Crisis

I don't have any crazy resolutions and over the past few years I've actually accomplished mine which I'm super stoked about, it may sound big headed but for me I am really proud that I was strong enough to achieve them - I use to be someone who never finished anything that was started, it frustrated the life out of me but it just came down to confidence as I didn't believe I could do what I set out too. 

Having stopped smoking three years ago, built up my confidence, get my degree, lost weight, got fit and organised my life so that I could achieve more I now find it's smaller resolutions that I plan to tackle. Again I do plan to get more organised, as my life gets incredibly busy organisational skills are a must and as someone who's a serial procrastinator I need to get my butt in gear and sort something out. 

I also continually work on confidence and I try to be the best version of myself for my sons and husband. I've found though as I get older my confidence is knocked by my style not being where I want it to be and my hair - they just don't feel me if that makes sense. My issue is that I bloat like crazy so anything super tailored or with no stretch makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm also 5 foot 1 and my legs are only 29 inches - this means that petite trousers (standard 30 inches) are too long, sometimes far too long even with heels. My hair gets me down because I have a large forehead with a U shaped front (thanks mum), I have two cows-licks which means a fringe doesn't sit right unless it goes really far back and I've tried it and it doesn't look right. 

To fix the issue I'm tackling the style aspect and hoping the hair will follow. When you become a parent and reach your thirties there comes a point where the hipster stuff just isn't right. I still want to look stylish but realise a lot of clothing styles out there make me look crazy ridiculous and I feel it too. Yup I want to look good but I want that sense of 'damn I look good and feel confident' to go with it and with current younger trends I just don't get that. 

I've gone back to the drawing board and taken a look at some of my favourite thirty year old celeb's such as Fearne Cotton, Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Biel and Natalie Portman and realised that the key to being stylish but sophisticated is shape and texture. 

Clean lines, layering, mixing up the textures and key accessories seem to be the way forward. I do now believe in buying well made key pieces even if they do cost more the whole capsule wardrobe concept also appeals to me too now where as it didn't at all in my early to mid-twenties. The roll-over outfits are at the top of my 2014 wishlist because they're functional but grown up without being dowdy. I figured I could still retain the fun aspect with accessories such as the Hipanema bracelets below and the cut outs on the boots, I know I could go more colourful also with my footwear and blazers so I'm more than happy about tackling this wardrobe change for 2014. 

What do you think? Did you have a style mid-life crisis, if so how did you tackle it? 

Nail Inc // Gel Effect SS14

They've finally arrived. Gel polish effect, bold colours and by one of my favourite, if not my actual favourite polish brand - Nails Inc. I've been waiting for a few months for the release of these, there's another shade to be included later in the spring and while I was itching to post about them I had to wait until I had pretty decent promo pictures because I'm fussy that way. I mean who wants to read about a pretty product without an actual visual? Not me anyway. 

As you can see there are three polishes, here's the shades...

The colours are Mayfair Lane (light pink), Mercer Street (blue) and Soho Place (aqua blue) and... Kensington Palace (coral) is due to arrive on the scene in March 2014. 

You can get your mitts on these right now over on the Nails Inc website here. I plan to snap up Mayfair Lane for sure, remember 2014 is all about the nudes sweetie-pies! 

* Nothing to Disclose *

Sweet Elyse // 2013 Product Awards Round-Up

It's that time of year where the run-down posts start appearing in their droves. Well I'm on that bandwagon but instead of covering old ground I decided to feature the top ten products from each category that blew me away over the last twelve months. These are all tried and tested products and cover a range of categories and price ranges..... Enjoy. 

Did you spot any of your favourites? Here's to a beautiful New Year and 2014. 

Burt's Bees // Sensitive Day Cream

Er-ma-gerd! I had this post snuck away in my drafts from ages ago, I seriously thought I had posted this but clearly I was wrong. I am now mentally making my resolution to get organised a major priority especially since this imae was my original product image and it's since been purchased a minimum of three times since - I suck huh. 

The product in question is of course Burt's Bees Sensitive Day Cream, I have repurchased this time and time again because it's a great all round cream that leaves you soft and supple with lasting effects. It's not scented, doesn't contain any nasties and the packaging ensures you get every last drop out of the tube. 

My family know I love this brand and this cream so much that I think I now have enough stock of it to take me to June or July 2014 - I'm not complaining of course as I go through creams like they're going out of fashion. 

The tube is 50g and the cream's dispensed via a pump top, I've had no issues with the pump top and actually prefer them as I tend to get overly frustrated at squeeze tubes, especially when you're covered in cream and try to open those tough flip caps - I think I may have thrown a tube or two in the past *pms* 

I love natural creams and this is 99% natural, ingredients include cotton extract which helps to replenish moisture, sunflower and jojoba oil, shea butter and aloe extract. There's no parabens or fragrance included so you can use this if you have even the most sensitive skin. 

You can get this from the Burt's Bees website here. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a cream that lasts all day without any nasty side effects. 

* Nothing to Disclose *

Ted Baker // Treasure For Treasure Hat Box

I previously blogged about Ted Bakers latest offerings, I knew right there and then that I had to have the Treasure for Treasure Hat Box gift set. It was the notes in the fragrance and the pretty box that drew me in, I love boxes for storing my bits and bobs in don't you? 

The gift set includes Indulgent Body Souffle, Body Wash and a Body Polisher. The souffle is absolute luxury as it's rich but not greasy and has the most delicate feminine scent which lasts for a few hours at least. Here's a peek at it...

The products work well with each other and do exactly what they're suppose to. I'm cleaned without feeling irritated, I'm moisturised without feeling oily or having to re-apply ten minutes later - when I think of it there's no negatives about this set other than I wish the actual box was a huge version so I could fit in more stuff. 

It's a pretty gift set isn't it? I was actually pleased that the whole thing was functional, there's nothing worse than having to rip off a ton of plastic and cardboard wrappers before you get into a gift set - I feel deflated sometimes when you have to ruin the packaging just to get use of the products. With this I could use each of the products - and - reuse the awesome hat box. More companies need to take note I think. 

You can get your hands on your own one for £15 over on the Boots website here. It's also currently included in the 3 for 2 offer. 

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Cath Kidston // Sale

Cath Kidston

Shabby Chicsters rejoice the Cath Kidston sale is on. It's been on for a couple of days but I wanted to shout out just encase you weren't aware of it. 

I've been a long term fan of the brand and love how the brand do their own thing rather than copy the catwalks, styles tend to be very feminine, retro, kooky and vintage yet hold themselves up against the big fashion brands firmly. I've always found that because the prints are so unique any of the products I've purchased last for seasons without looking dated and un-fashionable for me that's important. Yes I want to look good but I want the items I purchase to look good for more than three months, call it thrifty, call it maturity I don't know, but for me it just makes sense. 

Purchasing key items that will last and make me look and feel good is what I'm about, I love a kooky print but at times those prints can make the wearer look incredibly childish, kawaii or just plain silly, if you're over the late teen stage it's pretty hit or miss and unless you're known for being a street style worthy hipster I'd normally advise you to stay away. The Cath brand has made kooky prints accessible to all ages, the prints are fun, colourful but iconic in some strange way and don't look childish, yup it can still go oh so wrong if you team up a few prints but chances are you'll know not to do that (spots and stripes do look crazy good though). 

I swoon over the new season catalogues that pop through my door, I've gone Cath Kidston fabric print crazy when I had time to sew and I've watched every vintage and crafty episode of anything that Kirstie Allsopp has ever recorded for TV as well as purchased the books yet I'm not Kidston bored yet. My living room, hallway and bedroom to be will also be Kidston inspired and those ditsy floral prints just make me so happy that I doubt I'll ever grow bored of them. 

The only problem I seem to have is with my sons. They just don't share the Kidston love and will not under any circumstance wear the cutesy clothing - oh tell a lie, my middle son Cooper has the Kidston football print rucksack and pencil case and my eldest Cole has the Stanley car pencil case *yay* but that's as far as they'll go. 

As much as I adore the brand (as if you couldn't already tell) the prices can be on the expensive side, I'm not moaning though because I think it helps to keep it a little bit exclusive; if it was a low cost shop then everyone would wear it and I think that would take the 'special' feeling away when you do purchase from them. I mentally decide what I plan to purchase but the reality is I don't tend to buy the clothing as it's out of my mummy price range (I feel guilty buying for me when I could be spending on my sons) that is until the sale starts! I actually get excited for the sale starting, it's one of a few stores that I do get excited for. 

If you're like me and you weren't aware it had started then go, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Cath Kidston sale here  before everything sells out. 

* Nothing to Disclose *

Space NK Sale // Be Quick

Space NK

Laura Mercier Votive Sampler Candle Set (was £42 now £21)/ Lipstick Queen - Dancing Queen Lipstick Set (was £18 Now £9) / Terrybly Or Rose Highlighter Compact  (was £72 now £36) / Lacque De Rose in Rose Romance & Rose Du Diable (was £29 now £14.50) / Rodial Glamoxy Snake Venom Pen (was £78 now £39) / Laughter Nuit Collection (was £45 now £22.50) / This Works Dream Believers Set (was £20 now £10) / Diptyque Do Son EDT (was £68 now £34) / Laura Mercier Ambre Vanilla Quartet Set (was £60 now £30) /

Another sale post oh yaas but I couldn't not post. I can't promise I'm not going to post more sale posts between now and New Year simply because they're so g-ooo-d this year. This one of course is all about Space NK and their beauty goodness. 

A few years back I was all about buying low cost products with the belief that anything over £50 you were really just paying for packaging and branding, while this is true in some cases I was completely wrong in others. For me buying branded products that are more expensive isn't about the showing off, it's about how well they work, what ingredients they contain and the long term benefits to your skin and overall health. Yup low cost brands will work but they contain the lowest priced, cheap and nasty ingredients that are known to cause allergies, migraines, break-outs, dermatitis and.... cancer. While you would need to absorb a lot of those nasty ingredients they do build up over the years and if given the chance would you really play Russian roulette with those odds? 

Because of my penchant for good products I do get overly excited by sales such as the Space NK one because most products I have mentally lusted after for months, I may have even blogged about my love of the product and my need to have it. Now with discounted prices all of that time I spent lusting may come to fruition *smiles* 

These products were all ones I had added to my wishlist. The Snake Venom Pen by Rodial did cost £78 but is now discounted to £39, I've tried snake venom based products and they work - really good with emphasis on the really. You can literally see lines relax and dull down straight after applying it so this product was a must-have because it's half price! that's just incredible. 

Terrybly Or Rose compact highlighter has received amazing reviews across the net, it's not a brand I've tried simply because it's so expensive normally and I just can't justify £72 for a highlighter but it's in the sale for a more affordable £36. You can completely get a sense of how luxurious this product is from the image alone can't you. It apparently contains vitamins, mother of pearl and real 24k gold flakes - damn I want it even more now. 

Diptyque perfumes are my new love. I only recently tried them would you believe only leaving it so long because I actually forgot they made perfumes. While I would happily add any of their unisex note fragrances I chose Do Son EDT. This EDT contains notes of Orange Flower, Rose, Tuberose, Pink Pepper, Benzoin and Musk and normally costs £48 for 50ml but costs only £24 in the sale. There are other EDT's of course if those notes don't take your fancy. 

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Quartet was £60 but now costs £30! bargain. Sensual scents with that warming homely undertone, the gift set contains Honey Bath, Scrub, Souffle Body Cream and a Candle - perfect night in I say. 

While I could go over each and every product in my wishlist above I'll save you the earache (I do go on at times don't I) Each of these products were chosen for their reviews, brand name and promises, discount and purpose. Now which one do I purchase first? 

What brands or products have you managed to snap up in the sales? 

Seasonal Sale Time Continues // Get Your Shop On


Tatty Devine / Yankee Candle Classic Gift Set / NOTHS Personalised Sheep Booties / Neom Organic Reed Diffuser / Neom Serenity Candle / Anthropology Matt Bernson Booties / Day Birger et Mikkelsen Velvet Shift Dress / Calvin Klein Naked Glamour Bra / Marc Jacobs Bolt Ring / Wildfox Marilyn Monroe Top / River Island Boys Dog Jumper / River Island Tartan PJ Bottoms / Fairtrade Pink Leather Notebook

Each day there's a new notification email trying to lure me on to their sites with the promise of money off their wares - damn it because it works! My inbox is chock-a-block with sale emails at the moment and funnily enough I like it. 

Chances are you're the same, do you like sales or do you find their overwhelming? I use to hate them with a vengeance as they always seemed to stock the same items, last seasons stock, summer items or still seemed as though they were priced too high. Now, I love them simply because I've gotten into online window shopping more than previously and I can appreciate things for their value rather than just what they're used for. As I get older I fully welcome the spend more for pieces that will last rather than pay less for throwaway products. 

So those gorgeous goodies pictured above were my top twelve picks. I included a range of products and prices because sometimes it's good to spoil yourself especially when it comes to buying a product that's beautiful but costs half the price. I adore Anthropology but it's one of those companies that's more for looking rather than splurging, the velvet tunic dress and those utterly lust worthy boots are huge discounts. 

For the kiddo's there's that absolutely awesome Snoop-dogg rap jumper and those personalised sheepskin booties for younger dudes, cosy and cool and purse friendly. To take you into the New Year I had to include a leather notebook - I am weak when it comes to journals and notebooks, I literally have them for everything from Cosmic Ordering wish books, notes, blogging feature ideas, lists, references, drawing and more. A fresh notebook for me signifies a new start and I totally recommend getting a new one even if it's just for a diary or a cosmic ordering wish book. 

Candle........ do I need to explain these? candles are good, especially when they're fragranced with a scent that travels outside of it's container and all around your home. Yankee Candle are one of the most popular brands, I received Christmas Cookie from Santa and it's gorgeous, sweet but not too sweet with a hint of warm homeliness. I've yet to try the Neom candles but I've heard so many positive reviews about them and they're currently heavily discounted *yay*

The Wildfox vest - how cute is that! I'm not a Wildfox fan generally although I do love their products. I realise that just doesn't make sense *haha* their prints and shape just aren't 'me' as I would look like a hipster gone wrong or a little girl simply because of my height and post-baby body shape. This vest however is so me and I want it, like really want it so badly. That bolt ring I've been oogling for a long time possibly about nine months, I can imagine this alongside some glossy nails and delicate stacked rings - that would look so amaze wouldn't it and that Calvin nude lace bra is simple but sexy - it's a woman's bra rather than a man's bra isn't it. 

I'm braving the weather tomorrow for a days shopping to Livingstone, it's going to be messy but after a year of penny pinching I think we deserve to let loose before the need to save begins again in 2014. What have you purchased in the sales, are there any amazing brands, companies or products I've missed? 

* Nothing to Disclose * 

Magnitone Pulsar Thoughts & Opinions

You know the struggles I've had with my skin so I won't go into the full details again but I've tried cutting back on the products I was using, I've tried cutting out products that contain wheat and wheat derivatives and it has helped somewhat. The one thing it didn't stop was the marks left from scaring and the daily break-outs which were causing me quite a bit of pain. 

I was embarrassed by it all because my foundation and concealer just couldn't hide the huge cysts and my confidence was knocked completely (which is why there was decidedly less lipstick lip swatches and facial images), I know it's completely shallow and petty but I just couldn't shake how I was feeling. 

I was kindly sent the Magnitone Pulsar to try out and I was so excited but nervous because I realised this was either going to improve my skin or make it a whole lot worse and the latter scared the beejesus out of me to tell you the truth. I um'd and aah'd at whether I should give it a go and then realised it couldn't make me feel any worse than I did if it all went wrong, here's the product images...

The Magnitone Pulsar (pictured above) is shaped like a massager or brush I suppose, it's lightweight and comes with a docking station that charges it up via a mains adapter. Inside the box you will receive the docking station, two brush heads and of course the Pulsar machine and instructions. 

There's two brushes, I have the normal brush but there's also a sensitive brush which is shown on the left side picture - the sensitive brush has a black ring to it where as the normal has a blue ring. To pop on the brush or to take it off you simply twist it into place which is so easy and stress free. I charged it up when I first opened it but if you're too impatient it does come with enough charge to try it out. I did accidentally bend some of the bristles when putting on the cap *oops* so watch out when you're doing the same. 

So what does it do? it's main focus is to cleanse your face and body of course but it's fancier than that, there's four 'modes' that cover a range of pressures which is great if you need a gentler clean or if you're like me and want a tougher clean. The modes are deep cleanse, sensitive, exfoliate and pulselift massage. I love the massage option on my face as it does an incredible job of cleaning even in the tougher areas such as corners of your nose and bridge of your nose. My sons love that option for getting their backs tickled.

I spent hours completely overhauling ALL of my beauty and skincare products which stopped the cysts and boils (celiacs) as the wheat and gluten based products were clearly causing those problems. I've tried to be stricter with my diet as I've found the days where I do accidentally eat gluten or wheat I've woken up with a break-out and now that I've gained control this has eased. It's advisable to use the sensitive option for the first three days but I didn't (such a rebel eh) and my skin didn't get worse, it actually improved - a lot.  

To use the brush you rinse the brush and dampen your face or the area you plan to clean with water. Select the mode you're going to use and then apply a little cleanser to the brush, using a circular motion you just move the brush unit across your skin for a minute or two on your face or around three minutes for your body and then rinse. It's super easy. At first I was nervous about getting it wet but I shouldn't have been as it's fully waterproof, when the red light starts to flash I just pop it back on charge until the light returns back to a solid red shade. 

Now my skin has cleared, I still have marks from previous boils which I know will fade in time, I do believe it comes down to using the Pulsar and not eating or wearing any wheat or gluten products. I've noticed though if I go a few days without using it my skin definitely goes down hill. Over time the Pulsar is suppose to help provide the skin cells with oxygen and vital nutrients, this helps to promote a healthy skin metabolism and natural collagen - I so need this, I want my youthful glow back pronto. 

You can probably guess that I would recommend this product to anyone who asked. Regardless of skin type or concerns this is the best skincare cleansing machine that I've tried as it does what it promises, it's comfortable to use, it's customisable to your skin type and doesn't make you break out. Brushes are suppose to be changed every three months because they can bend (think used toothbrush) but in comparison to say the Foreo Luna which doesn't require brushes to be purchased I'd choose this a thousand times over. It did cost £130 at Boots but it's in the sale at only £64.99 which is so worth it. You can pop over to get yours at Boots here if you want in on the action - healthy skin for 2014? Yes please! 

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