Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Beauty Blogger Box: February 2016 edition -review and impressions


The Blogger Beauty Box was created by Vicky of Vix Meldrew.
A blogger herself. As a way for bloggers and brands to connect and discover each other as well as new products.
Vicky sources products, manufactures the boxes and sends out between 30-50 of these carefully curated beauty boxes herself each month. 
I really like the idea of a beauty box created by a blogger for bloggers with the option of buying them on an adhoc basis. 
Also the fact that it will have a minimum of FIVE FULL SIZE products for £10 including P+P in excellent value for money.

February is my Birthday month (I am claiming the whole month for me lol) and I decided to gift myself little treats throughout. 
Now that my actual birthday is over.
This box is one of them. 
This is actually my first Blogger Beauty Box and I am not disappointed.
Once I saw the delivery tweet go out.
I eagerly awaited delivery and rushed to the door. 
Face mask and hoover head in hand ready to see what goodies awaited me.

DHC Mineral Mask  rrp £29

This is great timing. 
This has been on my beauty list for a while and I am happy to finally have it.
DHC is renowned for their skincare, especially their masks and cleansing oil.
I have tried the mask twice so far and like it a lot.
It is a light weight mixture of clay and botanics that doesn't suck all the oils and moisture from your face.
Even when fully dry, my face is mobile and once removed my face feels fresh but not stripped.
which is important as my cheeks are currently a little dry and my inner cheeks is where I have slight pore visibility.
This will come in handy during colder months.

I know Threads more for their threading and nails, which I am a fan of.
Than their eyelash range as I am not the biggest falsie user.
The band is very flexible and light due to the handmade lashes  being made with feather weight technology.
These unfortunately do not suit me at all.
They are way too dense for my eyes and preference.
Something a little more wispy would suit me better but the good thing about a beauty box is that, if it doesn't suit you it can be gifted to a friend or family member.
As I didn't apply this to my eye with the glue but just placed it near my eye, I am totally happy to pass this on.
Another great thing is the glue is fragrance and latex free so you wont have any flare ups if you have an allergy you aren't aware of.

Now here is a product that I know well!
When this launched in 2014.
I did manage to get a few samples from a friend and really enjoyed the ease of makeup removal.
Testing it again over the last few days has been a joy, as it didn't sting or leave my eyes irritated.
I don't wear eyeshadow as often as I used to but mascara is an essential and I never miss an opportunity to add some winged eyeliner.
I have even tried it on my eyebrows, now that I use a gel pomade.
The bi-phase and hydrating gel formulation has removed those quickly and without dragging my delicate eye area.
I always shake the bottle to ensure that I get a mixture of all the ingredients.
Created with feedback from long term customers, it is only natural this products gets so much praise in the blogging community.


PURISKIN by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics Lip Treat in clear rrp £16.99
PURISKIN Lip Treat is an organic naturally therapeutic botanical plant wax formulation.
Designed to maintain and relieve lip conditions.
Containing an SPF of  6 to 8 and added Vitamin E this moisturising emollient is great as a year round lip protectant. 
Not only is this product vegetarian friendly, ethically made, non animal tested and paraben free they are customisable!
The Lip Treat comes in clear, scented and a taste free formulation to minimise irritation to sensitive skin.
However they do offer bespoke options such as scents, spf, extra moisture and colour.
I have spoken before about biting my lips which can lead to dry patches so I am looking forward to trying this out.

This is a bronzing self tanning serum for the face catering to all skin tones.
Infused with Coconut water & green tea to hydrate whilst the bronzer works on giving you that bright "LA glow".
The bronzer is also infused with antioxidants, Vitamin C , CQ10,Vitamins A and E. 
I really like the formula and consistency of the serum and it applies evenly. 
I have tested this with a foundation brush and my fingers. 
Both work well and the serum develops gradually over a few hours and fades naturally on me with visible difference after 3/4 days.
I tested this first on my inner wrist as this is one of the lightest areas of my body that is exposed to the elements and I wanted to see how the serum would look and develop. 
I am super happy the serum isn't orange or muddy and has full coverage but clarity to it.
In regards to staining, I didn't experience any major staining on my fingers after washing. 
There was a slight tint but that was easily removed by using a bit of coconut oil.
There was absolutely no transfer on to my clothing and the serum dries quickly too
Black people and people of colour can and do use fake tan/ bronzers.
 It is more common than you think.
My friend has been putting tan on her legs for over 14 years! 
These products are not really marketed to us mainly because we already have melanin and the difference may not be as obvious. Amongst other reasons.
However speaking for myself, using a product like this would be less to change/ deepen my skin tone and more to even out/ add a bronzey glow.

This will be amazing for my body and face in summer. 
When I want to look glowy and bronzed without putting too much on my face.
As well as in winter when we too get "pale or ashy" to varying degrees and warmth/ sun-kissed skin deserts those not in hot climes.
An excellent all rounder!


*Bonus samples*

I am always on the look out for skincare and I have never heard of this brand before.
JR Naturorganic is an ethical, natural and organic skincare brand based in the UK.
Focused on providing affordable and effective organic skincare made from quality natural ingredients.
The box contained samples of their gentle cleansing milk and a hydrating mist from their Madarin & Chamomile range targeting normal, combination and sensitive skin.
Containing a essentials extract blend of  chamomile, marigold, lavender and mandarin for their soothing, balancing and calming properties..
I have been testing out their mist which I really like it so far. 
It lasts longer when sprayed, so I have transferred half of it into a clean spritz bottle.

I am very impressed with this box.
Especially value for money and the diversity of products sourced.
This box is worth approximately £95 by my calculations excluding the samples which is amazing.
It is a very well rounded box so hats off to vicky!!!

I would highly recommend checking out the Blogger Beauty Box and signing up!

I will definitely be ordering more in future!

Until next time......

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Handbag heroes #2

Ms_Wednesdays_Girl_Handbag_heroes_ and_essentials

Hi Loves,

I am back with part two of my Handbag Heroes.
Those little things that make pounding the streets of London smooth sailing.

I have been sectioning my bag into pouches since my Uni days and I found it really worked for me.
So just kept doing it.
Considering I am not the most organised in my personal life, It is surprising how organised my bag actually is.

As I enjoyed going through my pouch in my last post and having a little declutter,
You can check my Handbag Heroes #1 if you missed it.
I decided to do another one as I have a new pouch I have been loving and it gives me a chance to see what is actually in there.

My newest pouch* was actually gifted to me last year by the lovely team over at  LYDC London after taking part in a #FBLCHAT and being picked as one of those who they thought interacted well and enjoyed talking to.
This iridescent, metallic very on trend featuring pantone colours of 2016, serenity and rose quartz purse/pouch turned up a few days later.
It being a totally different colour and texture to my other pouch is also useful, so score.

Here's my second set of handbag essentials.

This is the one thing I guard fiercely lol, it's a London thing!
Especially now as all public travel transactions are cash free and using my debit card just seems like a hassle to me.
Having experienced that moment of heart bursting, mindless burrowing deep into my bag thinking I have lost my card.
Whilst being miles from home is something that haunts most Londoner and is just not the one!

Mints & sweeties
I am obsessed with mints.
Give me that tingling menthol freshness any day of the week.
Trebor XXX is my all time fav but I have been leaning towards chewy ones hence the Mentos.
I also always have a few Jakemans Menthol & eucalyptus lozenges because I am a granny lol!
There is also rarely an excuse for bad breath and as it is a pet peeve of mine, I make sure I am not guilty of that eye watering faux pas.

This the best and safest/easiest way for me to carry my perfumes around.
Without worrying about breaking them or just being super clunky and heavy.
I have about 4 of these which I got from eBay.
This also means I have the option of scent combos and using my perfumes more sparingly.
They are of really good quality and incredibly cheap (99p each).
My current scents on rotation are Moringa and Vanilla body mists from the body shop.
They are super affordable and very different.

I don't often use these but they are good  to have none the less. 

Vintage compact mirror
This is actually belongs to my mum.
I like to say she gave it to me like a heirloom butshe prefers the version of me *ahem* aprehending it as a teen.
I like my version better!
It is very dear to me.

Emergency funding (money)
This should actually be £10 but I kept spending it, so I reduced it to £5.
Clearly there is £2 on in my picture so I can't be trusted!
In my defence I will say for the last 3 years £5 has been in there but I ended up breaking it a few days ago.
I always keep a few quid separate from my purse just in case of an emergency.
This is a habit I actually got into at secondary school and it really comes in handy.

This is such a must, just like hand sanitiser.
Just to have for general hygiene but because this is London.
 So either you will find something super vile on the tube or somebody crying uncontrollable on the metropolitan line.
Tissues are great for both.

There we have it. A few more of my handbag heroes.

What are yours?

*This item was gifted to me.
 Not for review or as part of sponsored content.
 Please see the  Ms. Wednesdays Girl disclaimer in full here.

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Death by homemade double chocolate cheesecake & custard

Mswednesdaysgirl_homemade_chocolate_cheesecake_and custard

I don't know why but I have been craving custard lately, day dreaming about it.
For the longest time I loathed the stuff. 
Powdered/ tinned is not an option for me but I even hated the homemade from scratch good stuff!

Then one glorious day in my in my 14th year. I reluctantly tried some and YES, It was amazing.
I have been dreaming of creamy vanilla and cinnamon infused custard oozing down the side of a no bake chocolate caramel cheesecake for the last two weeks and finally got around to making it.
It that usual? 
Cheesecake and custard-I don't know but it tastes mighty good.

Ingredients for custard:
250ml double cream
3 free range eggs
2 teaspoons mixed spice or cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 vanilla pod (split and scraped)

  1. Whisk your eggs, corn flour, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together in a bowl and pour into a new sauce pan.
  2. Heat the double cream in a sauce pan on a low heat then bring up to boiling point.
  3. When the double cream is hot pour into egg mixture slowly whilst continuously stirring (if you added the vanilla pod to cream remove it).
  4. Place the saucepan back on a low heat still stirring the custard mixture until it has thickened.
  5. keep at a low heat to avoid lumps. If it is too thick for you, add a little bit of milk/ cream and continue stiring away from the cooker.

On to the Cheesecake. 
If your house is anything like mine.
It is likely that you will have a fair few snacks leftover from christmas and new years.
Those ones just left to languish in the back of the cupboard because we just can't be bovved/ can't face to eat them any more.
A great way to get rid of your chocolately bits is to put them in desserts.

Ingredients for base and filling:

150g Oreo biscuits (remove stuffing)
70g of butter
150g dark chocolate (chopped/grated)
50g milk chocolate
400g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
130ml cream cheese
*I also made a ganache topping, as you can see in the picture.
My design didn't go well. Lets not dwell on it lol!!*


Put your biscuit base into a food processor and pulse in to crumbs or into a food storage bag and bash until fine. Then add melted butter and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
  1. Form base by pressing the mixture into tin of your choice. Leave in the freezer to set for at least an hour.
  2. If you haven't' eaten the oreo stuffing, you can smear this across the base. I also added some salted caramel spread as I wanted to use it up.
  3. Melt chocolate over a bain marie on a low heat. Allow to cool a bit.
  4. Leave cream cheese out of the fridge to soften and mix leftover cocoa powder, sugar and cooled down melted chocolate together.
  5.   Pour mixture into the base tin and chill in the fridge for a minimum 1 hour.
  6. Serve your sexy delicious cheesecake, bask in all the praise thrown at you.

And that's it guys chuck a few frozen berries on for texture , flavour and as part of your 5 a day .
I want to say this could serve 8-9  but in reality I  am going to say a serving of 6.


Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Escentual haul: My French Pharmacy top picks

French_pharmacy_top picks___

So I went a little sale happy over the last few days of 2015 and the first week of 2016. 
Just a tad press pay now with delirious abandon, during that no mans land time zone of the 27th Dec-3rd Jan.
Whilst catching up with friends/family and watching TV.
I hunted out great deals in my festive flannel pj's. 
Appropriate online sofa shopping attire.

2015 was very much about spending less on myself and shopping my own closet/ beauty stash etc and as the general sales were not a good as expected, I went into total "treat yo'self" mode when I found a excellent deal.
I also needed to replenish said stash or how can I shop it?

I wanted to stock up on some of my essential French pharmacy skincare and Escentual, with their sales/ varying codes didn't disappoint!
I took full advantage of their 1/3rd off French Pharmacy items discount code and am super happy with my purchases.

These are a few of my restocked top picks:

The Face mists
These are great for all year round.
 Especially in the UK where the weather is often conflicted and can really play havoc with my facial hydration levels.
They are multipurpose and can be used as toners, face refreshers/soothers and to purify blemishes.
The Caudalie grape water is also very handbag friendly.

The lip repair balm
Great for soothing lips and creating a lasting barrier between delicate lip skin and the elements.
This is a must have for me as winter is not only harsh but I have a habit of biting my lips as explained in my skincare savers/saviours post.
So I enjoy revolving my lip protectants and discovering new ones that work for me.
I like that this doesn't disappear after a few minutes.

The multipurpose balms/ creams and ointments
Biafine Emulsion
(An excellent hand mask.
Slathering your hands at night and wearing gloves.
Helps keep hands soft)
Boiron Homeoplasmine 
(Great for chapped lips and healing piercings)
Mustela Vitamin Barrier Skin Discomfort 1-2-3
(Works great on sensitive skin, when irritated)
These are great balms and creams to have in your stash.
As great for scrapes/ burns/ bruises as they are for irritations/dryness and soothing skin.
They are incredibly nourishing to the skin as well as helping the skin to heal.
These are also very adaptable and some can be used as intensive lip balms/ hand or foot treatments.

So those are a few of my top picks, I just had to stock up on as they have served me well before.

What are your French Pharmacy must haves?

Until next time................

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and