End Of May Haul.

Now, I don’t plan for these to be monthly feature on my blog but apparently I can’t help spending my money so here is another Haul for you all, because I’m sure you haven’t read enough of these already. I literally can’t believe it has only been a month since my last haul, I have a serious problem developing!

I went into town and ended up spending even more of my money because I just couldn’t help myself. I also bought myself some things because it is my sister’s birthday on the 1st and I ordered her some real techniques eye brushes (I’ve already given them to her so don’t worry, I haven’t ruined the surprise) and of course I had to treat myself too.

The first things I bought this month along with my sister’s birthday present were the EcoTools Six Piece Essential Eye Set and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I would always consider buying and put them in my shopping bag but never actually go through with it because I was never sure if they would be worth it.

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I really love the idea of EcoTools brushes. I love the bamboo handles, I think they look really beautiful and I love that they’re recycled so they’re great for the environment. These brushes are so soft. I have other brushes but I think these are softer as well as super affordable. I’m excited to try them and see how they fare out.

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We’ve all heard a lot about the real techniques sponge and how it is a dupe for the beauty blender, which I don’t have because it always seemed ridiculously overpriced for a sponge and I’ve always preferred using brushes. But I thought I would give it a go and see if it was worth the hype. I haven’t used it yet but it feels super soft but also pretty durable so I’m actually pretty excited about it.

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I then when to town and spent a whole lot more money, which wasn’t my intention but I just cannot help myself! I was doing great until we went into Superdrug and I caved. I picked up The Nudes Palette by Maybelline New York. I’ve seen a lot of posts on this and the L’Oreal Paris La Palette Nude. Which I almost got as well but they only had the Rose version and since I just bought the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette I didn’t really think I needed it. Even if I felt like I did I was trying to be responsible. I’m really intrigued by this palette as it has quads, trios and duos. It’s really well thought out and would be a great beginning palette as all of the instructions are clear on the back. It was on offer for 2 for £10 as well which is awesome and I’m so impressed by the affordability plus it has some really pretty neutral colours with a mix of matte and shimmer shadows.

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I then went into Boots. Is anyone else’s Boots and Superdrug right next door to each other? It’s like a recipe for disaster every time I’m in town. I went in looking for a new mascara and I went straight to the Bourjois counter, because they have my favourite mascara and I picked it up. Bourjois always has a 3 for 2 offer so I thought I would take advantage of it. It’s the Volume Glamour Mascara Ultra Volumateur in Noir Ébéne 06. It is great for volume and one I keep going back to. I also recommended it to my sister and she loves it as well. We’ve both been using it for a long time now.

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I wanted to get the Sleek Blush By 3 but I couldn’t find it in Superdrug so I hunted all of the make-up stands in Boots looking for a new Blush. My favourite is by Revlon but I wanted to try something new. Then I remembered that Esté from Essie Button had talked about the blushes by Bourjois, so I had a look. I decided to go for their blush in 48 Ashes of Rose. It’s a super pretty matte rose-pink.

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The last thing I bought was the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in 51 Light Vanilla. I already have the Healthy Mix Foundation and it is my favourite. I have used the Serum before but wanted to go back to it.. I got this a shade lighter than the foundation which I already have because it is better suited to my skin tone even though with the darker shade there is not much difference and it’s not noticeable by anyone else but me. My skin loves this stuff, it really is hydrating and if you have problems with dry flaky skin then this is a great foundation!

That’s it for my haul today and I really am hoping these don’t become a monthly feature because my bank is probably going to hate me! I accidentally dropped my bank card behind my chest of drawers and I still managed to spend my money so even taking my card away from me doesn’t help! I hope you enjoyed reading this, if you have made it this far! I love reading hauls because it’s always interesting to see what other people are buying.

Don’t forget to follow me on the social media below! I recently reached 1000 followers on Twitter and 500 on Instagram which is pretty cool and I love following other bloggers and seeing what they’re up to and getting to read their posts first when they tweet about them. Plus, bloggers always have the prettiest Instagram photos! I need to up my game!

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Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

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It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

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The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

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Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

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Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

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Skincare Routine.

I thought that since I have mentioned my favourite skincare quite a lot in recent posts that I would do a post on how I use them and all that jazz. My skincare routine is fairly simple since I am too lazy to have a full on routine, even though my skin  would probably benefit from it! I also have Birchbox to thank for sending me some awesome skincare products which have now become possible staples in my skincare routine.

All of these products have been mentioned in my Birchbox and Collective Haul Over April posts alongside some other products so if you haven’t already and would like to then please click the links to have a read!

DSC_0077AThe first thing I’ll do is remove all of my make-up using the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. This stuff removes my make-up like no other. I’ll apply this all over my face using circular motions and I leave my eyes until last so I don’t rub my eye make-up over my entire face. Then I’ll take the Muslin cloth and get it damp using hot water, ring the water out and then wipe it over my face. I literally have to use two swipes and my make-up has been removed! Sometimes, if I have been wearing heavy eye make-up I will use a little extra cleanser just to make sure everything is gone. This is also great to use in the morning, the tea tree makes you feel fresh and awake.

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Once my make-up has been removed I like to exfoliate. I love the Dr Jart+ Clear Away Gel. I’ll apply a small amount to my fingertips, rub together and then apply this to my face. I’ll rub it in using circular motions for about a minute and then rinse this off with cold water. I love this because you can actually see and feel it working. Afterwards your face feels super soft and clear.

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When my face has been cleansed and exfoliated, I like to take a little bit of bio oil and pat this onto my face. This helps with all sorts of stuff but I like using it because I typically have dry/normal skin type. This makes it feel moisturised and healthy and I have zero visible dry patches. Since using this I find that make-up sits a lot easier and it doesn’t sit it any creases. I don’t use this every evening because you only need a small amount and it will keep your skin hydrated for several days. A little goes a long way. My sister also uses this regularly so I haven’t been getting through this bottle alone. It also helps with dark spots and scarring, so its great to use after having a breakout. DSC_0076A

Next step is serum! Serums are so important in skincare because they add extra hydration. This one is lovely because it sinks into the skin really quickly, even after using oil, my skin drinks this stuff up! Again, I don’t use this every evening and if I’m using oil I might skip this step, or I alternate between the two. This product is so expensive so it’s only in my routine until it runs out and then I doubt I will be purchasing it, but I’ve loved using it whilst I have it and I’m trying to make the most of it!

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As I mentioned in my Haul, I have used the Simple Moisturiser for a really long time. It’s pretty lightweight and doesn’t take a long time to set. I’ll apply this all over my face and down my neck.

The Eyebalm I only use in the evenings. After a long day when my eyes are hurting from staring at a computer screen all day or if I’ve been outside and squinting from the sunshine, I love using this. It soothes my eyes and makes me feel a lot more relaxed. I tend to suffer from insomnia so this really helps when my eyes are hurting but I can’t sleep!

I’m usually super lazy when it comes to skincare so it has to be quick and effortless! What are your go to skincare products when you’re feeling lazy or if you’re in a rush?

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The Photographers Gallery

Last Thursday was one of those awful rainy days that we have here in the UK. The ones where its beautiful. sunny and warm the day before and then the next the heavens open and you remember what it’s like to be British again. Me and my Dad took our monthly trip to The Photographers Gallery to visit the new exhibition for the month. We’ll usually visit the gallery first, have some lunch, visit the bookstore and then wonder around Soho and take some street photographs.

The current exhibitions are The Chinese Photobook and DEUTSCHE BÖRSE. The Gallery is made up of Five floors, you start on the first floor and make your way up. By accident on our second visit we started at the top and worked our way down, since then this is what we’ve been doing. We love to be different. The exhibitions are separate, the third floor dedicated to the Chinese Photobook, the fourth and fifth floors dedicated to the DEUTSCHE BÖRSE photography prize. The first floor was holding a private exhibition or some sort of class, I can’t remember.

The photography prize was compiled of several runner ups and the winner will be announced on the 28th of May with a book signing on the 29th. The Photographers Gallery always pulls off the most incredible exhibitions, holding some really wonderful art. Please click here  if you’d like to read more about the artists and their displays. I won’t go into too much detail on my thoughts on each one, since there are 4 different sections to talk about.

The one that stood out most was the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.  “Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg”. The images were heartbreaking with a contrast between the apartments before they were abandoned and after. There were also photographs of the doors, the windows and the televisons of each apartment, presented in light boxes  .

 17728005982_27065b5c6a_nDSC_0012AViviane Sassen’s display was also really interesting. I particularly like this landscape photograph with the red filter. Each individual display was interesting but the photographer’s gallery is something which is probably easier to absorb in two trips since there is often two separate exhibitions to view.DSC_0011A

After we were done in the gallery we decided to take some street photography. I really like this little shop, we didn’t buy anything in there though but they had some pretty cool stuff. Here are some of the photos I took. I took more but I wasn’t that pleased with them and I’m still feeling uninspired when it comes to photography.
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Thank you for reading!

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May Birchbox 2015 Free Your Mind

In my Birchbox Favourites post I asked if anyone would like to see monthly reviews of my Birchboxes and a few of you said you would! If you would like to see my favourites from my first 4 Birchboxes then please go and check out that post because I talk about some really lovely products!

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This months theme is “Free your mind” and the box itself is for you to design with your own colours. Not only is the design super pretty but you get the cutest little pencils too! I love the concept of this box and if you have read any of my older posts, then you might have seen my A Book To Pass The Time post. If you haven’t then I talk about a colouring book that is full of quirky and adorable designs for you to colour in. Adult colouring books are actually becoming a thing now and I think they’re a great idea! Perfect for de-stressing. They also help get your creativity flowing so pick up those pencils!

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My favourite product in this months box is probably this nail varnish! This was this month’s sample pick which I actually didn’t get to choose because I’m awful at checking the Birchbox website to see if they’re doing sample picks. The choices were a nail art pen, nail press ons or a nail varnish from the brand WAH London. I received the nail varnish in Baby Gurl. I always love this colour nail varnish for spring/summer. A perfect baby pink.

DSC_0096ANormally I find that with these colour nail varnish, in pink shades, you don’t get great colour pay off and you’re left with streaky, translucent and highly disappointing product on your nails which is immediately removed. Not this one though and props to WAH London because you’ve completely won me over!

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Next is this Jelly Pong Pong Caribbean Sun Bronzer Duo in Martinique. This comes in adorable packaging with a mirror, which I love in these little compact cases. It means I can chuck this in my bag and have a mirror on the go.

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Unfortunately though, the product isn’t that great. In my swatch below you can barely even see the colours. It hardly looks like I’ve swatched them at all. But of course I wouldn’t let the swatches do all of the talking. When I tested this little duo out on my face the bronzer ended up doing better than expected. It adds very subtle colour. This works well on fair skin or it would be great if you’re a newbie when it comes to bronzer and the idea of being bright orange terrifies you, you can’t over do it with this one. The blusher goes a little further and has slightly more pigment. You can build this up but again you can’t over do it. It adds a lovely rosy glow. This duo is perfect for those ‘no make-up’ make-up days.

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This Parlour Moisturising Sea Salt Spray was a little disappointing to find in this months box. Having naturally curly hair, which I rarely straighten, a sea salt spray is simply useless to me. However, I didn’t want to leave it un-reviewed. So I kindly asked my, beautiful, two oldest nieces to test this product out for me (they reluctantly agreed after some polite persuasion).

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They both have a very similar hair type. Here they are side by side, on the left is Courtney with no product and on the right is Bailey. Both of them tried the product, I only photographed Bailey with the product in. We found that it works better on damp hair and using a diffuser to dry (the huge terrifying contraption that comes with your hair-dryer and usually gets forgotten about). Courtney told me that she didn’t like the way the spray felt in her hair because it left her hair crunchy. Bailey liked the way her hair looked afterwards but wasn’t sure if she wanted to use it again. I would say it did a pretty good job at adding a slight wave to the hair and is good for achieving the beach waves that everybody loves but if you don’t like crispy hair then this probably isn’t for you.

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Next up is the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser in Light. I was excited to find this product in my box since I don’t own any tinted moisturiser and I’m always seeing different ones being talked about but I’ve never been sure which one to go for. Despite this though, I don’t think tinted moisturisers are for me. I like a medium coverage when it comes to make-up and because this is only a moisturiser you can barely notice it on your skin. It does even out skin tone and obviously hydrates the skin but after using this I went and put foundation over it anyway because I wanted more coverage, which defeats the object!

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Last but not least is the Lumiere d’hiver Recontructing Masque. Firstly, lets talk about liquid products that come in a sachet. There is nothing quite as disappointing. I feel like the majority of the product goes to waste because I can’t get it out, especially when its a conditioner and I’m in the bath, doesn’t really call for easy handling. Secondly, opening these little buggers is always an issue for me. It took me like 10 minutes and I had to use my teeth, not really ideal. Anyway, the product itself is rather nice but I just didn’t have enough to cover my entire head of hair, I had just about enough to do the ends. My hair looks and feels soft but I didn’t have enough product to give this a decent review. So the product could be great! I’m leaving this one down to the sample size. 😦DSC_0099AIf you are interested in subscribing to Birchbox then you can use my referral link – https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/amberelizabeth. If you would like to know more about Birchbox then you can visit their site here.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to follow me!

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A Few Things….

Firstly, Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend. There are a few things I’d like to let you know about/ask about and since it’s the start of a new week I figured this is the best time to do it.

The first thing is I’ve hit 100 Followers, which is awesome and kind of strange because I didn’t think I’d get more than 5. Thank you for following me and reading my little blog posts. I’m also trying to figure out a blog post schedule that I can stick to for consistency and so you all know when I’ll be posting!

Second thing is, I have a skincare routine blog post which is ready to be posted but it features a lot of products which I’ve mentioned before so I wasn’t sure if that would be something anyone would like to read just let me know and I’ll post it sometime this week or next week! Please let me know what sort of posts you’d like to see from me as well and I’ll write them all down.

And lastly, for anyone who reads my blog but isn’t on WordPress, or if you are on WordPress but would like to follow me in other places, then please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin’. I’m not following enough bloggers on any of those platforms so I will follow you back! I love seeing bloggers photos and tweets! I follow a few bloggers already but I can never get enough of other bloggers beautiful pictures of food and beauty products.

That’s all for this Monday morning! Be sure to check my previous posts for more Monday morning reading.

Collective Haul Over April

The Isle Of Wight

Fitness Update

Birchbox January – April Favourites

Collective Haul over April!

Over the entirety of April I found myself picking up bits and pieces and by the end of the month I had bought a whole load of stuff – Sorry bank account! I thought it would be interesting to share with you all since I love reading hauls and seeing what people have bought. Plus I have two feelunique vouchers for 10% off for two readers at the end of this blog post, so keep reading to find out how you can get one of them!

DSC_0091AOne of the first things I picked up this month was this really pretty, ivory duster jacket from Primark. I picked it up at random because I saw it and liked it. After I had bought this I was in Miss Selfridge and saw that they had one similar to this for £65, so I’m pretty happy that I got this one for only £17. I love a good bargain!

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There was a Groupon voucher for 40% off feelunique about two weeks ago so I decided to pick up a few bits from there, since it was such a great offer. Firstly I want to talk about the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I have wanted one of these for so long and when it came to buying one I wasn’t sure which to get! I loved all of the colours in this one so I chose it, but I do plan on getting one (or both) of the other two at some point.

The eye shadow palette also came with 4 little sachets of 4 different eye primers from Urban Decay. I believe the palette used to come with a bottle of their primer potion but I guess they stopped doing that, or it only came with the Naked palette. Either way I’m pretty happy that I get to try out some of their eye primers.

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Next I picked up this Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in no.8. This is one of the first lipsticks I ever bought but it disappeared (I think my niece stole it!) and I meant to pick a new one up ages ago, so I finally did and I love it just as much as I did when I first bought it.

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Lastly on feelunique I picked up the Bourjois happy luminous primer. I have wanted a primer for ages but couldn’t find one that was affordable but also had good reviews. This is super lightweight and my foundation sits so much nicer on my skin after using this. It seems like a big bottle but its only 15ml and it cost £10, but it’s worth it because you only use a small amount of product at a time. If I continue getting along with this product it’s likely that it will become a staple.

I also picked up a new concealer, I usually use the Bourjois Healthy Mix concealer, Bourjois is my favourite drugstore brand in case you couldn’t guess, but I wanted to give something else a go so I picked up this Maybelline Super Stay 24 hour concealer. I don’t know about 24 hour but I do like how this sits. It’s not drying and doesn’t crease under my eyes but it definitely works better at covering up spots, which I find with most drugstore concealers.

I also had an impulse trip to B&Q one day and saw that they did Yankee candles! I love Yankee candles but they’re so expensive! These little tart melts were only 99p. I also picked up a large jar in Sweet Pea which was only £12, which is great for Yankee candles big jars! No photo though because I have been burning it every day since I bought it and the jar is kind of gross now, oops!

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Some skincare products which I picked up were the Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser (why are the names always so long??) and the Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm. I have used the moisturiser for the longest time now and it is yet to fail me! I picked up the eye balm on a whim because I tend to get really dry and puffy under my eyes, I didn’t expect much from it since the consistency is really lightweight but it is soothing, so I guess it does what it says!

DSC_0073ALastly, for you lovely readers I have two feel unique vouchers for those who haven’t bought from feelunique but would like to, for 10% off your first purchase! Feel unique has loads of great products and I got these two vouchers when I ordered from them. I would give them to my sisters but I wasn’t sure that they would actually use them and I don’t want them to go to waste. So if you would like these vouchers then I will give them to the first two people who comment and say why they would like a voucher, please leave your email so I can send you the code! This isn’t a competition so they will go to the first two people, you must be following my blog here and on bloglovin’, I am offering these because I want them to be used!

Thank you as always for reading my post and hello to my new followers! I just passed 80 which I am pretty happy about and I’m getting more excited the closer it gets to 100!

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