Monday, 25 March 2013

A little catch up

So I haven't been doing my weekend catch-up posts like I did last year ( I don't know why to be honest because I actually enjoyed writing them and reading back over them) so I thought I'd do a little catch up of a few little bits I've been up to recently!

- I had some surgery-I had a ski accident back in 2007 and it's only now that we've decided to go down the surgery route (mainly down to me being a big baby, but also because we have never really been quite sure what was actually wrong). Finally bit the bullet and went in for key-hole surgery back at the end of January. I had a few weeks off work feeling very sorry for myself but I'm back up on my feet and building strength back in the knee which is going well and fingers crossed, I will be all sorted-FINALLY!

- Linking in with the knee - now that I'm back on my feet and need to build strength, the bf and I headed out a couple of weekends ago for a 'leisurely stroll' around a local woodland. It was much less leisurely that we imagined it would be, but it was a beautiful adventure and it was snowing a little which made it even better! The walk was topped off by lunch in their cafe with the biggest chicken sandwich I have ever eaten (think doorstop bread butties)!

- I was finally able to take my bf out for his Christmas present - some absolutely beautiful food at The Hand & Flowers, a 2 starred Michelin restaurant. I had booked it back in November and this was the first available booking I could get anywhere near a weekend (we went on a Thursday night as the first Fri or Sat wasn't until August). I can honestly say it was well and truly worth the wait - everything about it was just perfect! The restaurant itself is pretty much a cosy pub, not your typical style of michelin starred restaurant but perfect for the type of people the bf and I are. The service was second to none, so attentive but not in your face and the food - OH MY GOD, the food was just amazing! I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to food but decided, whilst I was there, I would go all out and started with Crispy Pigs Head with Artichoke puree - a little crazy but it was absolutely delicious and I'm so glad I went out of my comfort zone. For main, I opted for the Slow Cooked Duck with duck fat Chips. I felt a little strange having chips at a michelin starred restaurant but my god they were THE best chips I have every eaten. I finished with Chocolate and Ale cake with salted caramel and muscavado ice-cream and...a builders mug of tea (being a tea lover at heart, as soon as I saw this on the menu I just had to order it). The chocolate pudding was more than delicious and there was just enough to fill up my 3 courses! All in all it was the most amazing dining experience I have had and will most definietly return at some point (hopefully soon).

 - Catching up with friends has been top of my list of late - I don't live very close to most of my friends so I don't get to see them that often so it's lovely when the opportunity pops up. This weekend I got to spend some time with 2 of my best friends from uni (unfortunately not together)! I spent Friday with my little godson  catching up on all his new tricks and cheekyness (he's only 18months) then once he was sounds asleep, we gorged all evening on fondue which was amazing! Then on Saturday I headed up the motorway to catch up with a bestie who is due to have her first baby in just over a week so I had a little hamper that I had been putting together for the last 8 months that I wanted to give her. It's so lovely catching up with friends-and you really know you have some amazing friends when you don't see them for a while but nothing at all has changed - I just wish I got to see them more!

So, there's a little catch up - it was rather long I'm afraid but I really enjoy writing these kinds of posts and reading them (if you have any like this please link me in thee comments-love having a good nosey)!

I hope you're all well and looking forward to the long weekend we have coming up! I will be off on my annual lambing day which I just cannot wait for!

Speak soon xx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Benefit Radiant Skincare: Instalment #2

If you haven't read instalment numero 1, then you can here, but basically, these are my thoughts on the Benefit Skincare products I received (from a lovely friend) in a little giftset.

Foamingly Clean faical wash:
What Benefit Says: Effectively cleanses the skin & removes make-up & impurities with a soft, gentle lather. 

Full Size: £16.50 127.5g

My Thoughts: I had high hopes for this product - I have been looking for a foaming cleanser to work with my skin sonic and have yet to find one good enough. This didn't disappoint as such but it didn't wow me. It definitely foamed up, but, maybe a little too much to work with my skin sonic - it was all just a bit messy to be honest. I did find it pretty good in removing my make-up, but if I'm completely honest, I will probably still be using a swipe of Bioderma before cleansing, regardless of which cleaners I use.
All in all, it's a nice cleanser, but it didn't rock my socks so won't be rushing out to purchase a large size.

On a side note, if you have any recommendations of a great foaming cleaners that works with clarasonic type gadgets, please do share!

Refined Finish Facial Polish:
What Benefit says: Beautifully brightens the complexion, gently exfoliating to purify the skin & help minimize the appearance of pores. 

Full Size: £17.50 127.5g

My Thoughts: Now, all cards on the table, I very rarely (if ever) use an exfoliator - I know I should every now and then, but, well I just can't be bothered. Since having this, I have been using it once a week (usually on a Sunday when I tend to go a bit OTT with my face pampering) and I do really like it. Like most exfoliators, it has little beads in it which help to get rid of all the dead skin. It's very gentle which is perfect for me as I have in the past suffered with sensitive skin so don't like anything too harsh.
This week I did use it as a mask - I popped a small amount on all my face (obviously not on the eyes) and left it on for about 5 minutes to sink it, then removed with some warm water. I wouldn't say it was amazing, but my skin did appear somewhat more radiant and brighter once removed.

The final instalment will be along shortly with my thoughts on the Moisture Prep Toning Lotion and the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Benefit Radiant Skincare: Instalment #1

I recently received a lovely little treat from one of my bestest online friends Roisin as a little pick-me-up after having some surgery on my knee!

The lovely treat was the Benefit Radiant Skincare gift-set (and it arrived on valentines day-how sweet). The b.right! range consists of basic skin care products that cleanse, moisturise and add radiance to the skin for a brighter, more youthful complexion. Benefit has specially formulated a key ingredient for the b.right! range, called the tri-radiance complex, which does three things: (i) captures water on the skin’s surface, (ii) maintains water on the skin’s surface, and (iii) develops the skin’s reserves of water. 

I have wanted to try the Benefit Skincare for so long and this is just a perfect way to give it a go with 6 different little samples of their skincare treats.

The set includes:

+ Foamingly clean Facial Wash (8.9g)
+ Refined Finish Facial Polish (8.9g)
+ Moisture Prep Toning Lotion (8.9ml)
+ Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
+ Total Moisture facial cream (8.9g)
+ It's Potent Eye Cream (3g)

I absolutely adore the packaging of the products (especially the little glass bottles-I'm hoping I love these products as much as I want to so I can get full sized products, they'll look very cute on my dressing table).

Now, I haven't used all the products yet but I thought I'd share my thoughts as and when I do start using them - starting with the 'Total Moisture facial cream' & 'It's Potent eye cream'.

One general thought I have on all the products so far is that I'm not 100% sold on the scent (minus the eye cream which is unscented) - I'm really drawn to products with a lovely smell (as you'll notice from my other posts I go on and on about the smells of products) but I'm not sure where I am with these. I don't dislike it, but I don't like it - makes no sense at all but I'm hoping it's something that will grow on me as I start to really make use of the products.

Total Moisture facial cream
What Benefit says: Provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration. Contains exclusive tri-radiance complex to help develop the skin's reserves of water.

Full Size: £26.50 48.2g

My thoughts: I've really enjoyed using this. For some reason I've had some dry patches on my face recently (probably down to the rubbish weather and central heating being on full constantly) and this has actually made a difference. It's a lovely thick consistency but sinks in quickly to the skin - I hate moisturisers that make my face feel wet. I would say this is probably more of a day moisturiser for me as it isn't as thick as my Origins Night-a-mins which I just can't get enough of. 

It's Potent Eye Cream
What Benefit says: Fades dark circles & helps smooth fine lines for brighter, younger-looking eyes.

Full Size: £23.50 14.2g

My thoughts: So far so good - I wouldn't say this has done miracles for my dark circles just yet, but I've only been using it for a few weeks so can't expect too much! It's a lovely light consistency and very refreshing and sinks in to the skin very quickly. 
A Benebabe suggested mixing it with Porefessional to give a lovely smooth consistency under the eye and I have to say I really do like it - would definitely suggest giving it a go if you have both products.

Have you tried the Benefit skincare yet? What's your favourite product(s)?