Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Favourites

This month I have not been leaving the house without these Mini Swallow Nail Files from DotComGiftShop. I think they are so pretty and are an absolute godsend when you break a nail when you are out and about. They were a bargain as well at £1, which makes me love them even more!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum is a really light, non-greasy oil, and with only a few drops before bed you are guaranteed to wake up with radiant skin and the appearance of 8 hours of blissful beauty sleep. If there was an award for world's worst sleeper, it would definitely go to me as I rarely get a full 8 hours or wake up feeling refreshed. This has been perfect in making my skin look a lot healthier and for that, I'm a lot happier!

The Catwalk Haute Iron Spray is something my hairdresser always uses on me and I just had to buy. A mist of this before using heat not only provides heat protection but also leaves your hair looking so shiny and healthy. I've never had so many people complimenting me on the condition of my hair before!

The Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion has been preparing my skin for the summer months. I am literally Casper the Friendly Ghost, and I don't really suit a full on tan, but this is perfect to give me the subtle radiant glow I like. I haven't really experienced any streaks with this (only on my feet and hands but that is my own fault) and have noticed a difference after applying this for only 2 or 3 days. It does smell very biscuity but I think this is the perfect buildable glow and really moisturising at the same time.

Johnson's Baby Powder has been an absolute treat for my skin after I've had a shower or bath. I use this after drying off because I've found that my skin has been really itchy and sore whenever I have just been in the shower, and this not only smells dreamy but is great for soothing skin and ensuring smooth silky skin. After using this I find that my body moisturiser applies so much better.

What have you been loving in March?

Monday, 30 March 2015

River Island Haul

So just lately I have gone a little mad shopping. I've lost nearly two stone in about a year and a half, so I wanted to treat myself to some new things ready for Spring and Summer. Lately I have been loving River Island and thought I would share my latest purchases with you following the Primark Haul I posted last week. Warning - this haul contains lots of embellishment and sparkle! Anyone who knows me knows I'm literally a magpie when it comes to jewels, and this haul proves no different!

Embellished tee: £25

Slogan Stripe Tee: £7 in the sale

Embellished Sandals: £45 

I cannot believe the detail on these babies! They look 100 times better on, and these were a wonderful gift from my Mum as an early graduation present, so thanks Mum!

Swing Earrings (in my piercing closest to the right): £4

Friday, 27 March 2015

Primark Haul

Earlier today I went to Primark and thought I would share my latest buys with you. I haven't done any Fashion related posts before, so I thought I would try something new. Our nearest Primark is about an hour away so I don't get to go very often, and I love being nosey and looking at what other bloggers and Youtubers have purchased! I thought I would treat myself as I've been so stressed lately what with job applications, my dissertation and all of my university work.

Copper LED Battery Fairy Lights: £6

to fuel my Rose Gold/Copper obsession!

Cushion: £2.10 in the sale, originally £3

Workout Skipping Rope: £1 in the sale

From the Beauty Section:
This light pink glittery pencil case/ make up bag: £2
Cellulose (Exfoliating) sponges: £1

Friends tshirt: £6

This is my new lazy day/pyjama top

Plain Grey Boyfriend Roll Sleeved tee: £4.00

I think this will look great with black skinny jeans and a leather jacket for every day!

Scallop and daisy edged vest: £5

It's difficult to photograph the detail but the daisy cut outs around the scallop go all the way around the bottom, the neck and around the armholes. Super pretty - I think every Youtuber has this!

Cream Cami Vest: £4

Running outfit
Black vest: £4
Black 3/4 leggings: £6
Mint blue geometric crop top: £3.50

Bambi wrapping paper: £1.50 per roll

I am Bambi obsessed, and I've purchased this to give to my Mum to wrap my birthday presents in - never heard of anyone purchasing their OWN wrapping paper before but oh well!

Sandals: £6 

I can rarely find an 8 for my elephant feet in Primark so I was well chuffed when I did as I love the embellishment and rose gold detailing to these. It is a suede effect ban around your ankles and between your toes, with a flexible rose gold bar across the foot

Sliders: £4

What do you think of my purchases? Have you been to Primark lately and blogged/vlogged about it? If so, leave your links below and I'll make sure to have a read :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spa Day

Last week it was my Mum's birthday, and I decided to treat her to a Spa Day for two people at a beautiful hotel on the outskirts of Grantham, Lincolnshire. I didn't manage to get many photos because I just wanted to unwind and relax and so I switched all technology off for about 99% of the day.

The package included: unlimited access to the swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, a 30 minute neck, shoulder and back massage and an Afternoon Tea. Rarely do I get the opportunity to use a steam room or sauna, but I absolutely love them. After around 10 minutes, I feel like my skin is refreshed and I feel like I've completely detoxed. At one point, my Mum had to lure me out of the jacuzzi with the promise of food because I was hogging it a bit - I think the other guests were getting a little impatient waiting!

We toddled off in true spa style in our gowns and slippers for our massages. The beauty room was absolutely stunning, with relaxing music and candles dotted all around the room. The Afternoon Tea was very generous and we couldn't manage it all. We received a sandwich platter, two scones each with jam and cream, and then two brownies each and four mini cheesecakes each. The food was SO delicious.

It was such a lovely day and I'm so glad my Mum enjoyed herself and had a day of relaxing and pampering because she is so selfless and always running around after everyone else. It was nice to unwind and forget about everything, as I've been quite stressed lately worrying about my uni finals which are just around the corner. I would definitely recommend looking online for vouchers for your local spa, as there are some brilliant packages out there.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Homemade Pink Lemonade Slush Recipe*

Recently I was followed by a small business on Twitter called Prairie Charms, and after browsing the amazing range of little goodies they have to offer, I couldn't resist purchasing these cute little paper straws. I thought they would be perfect for the Mason Drinking Jars I have, and I felt inspired to make one of my favourite drinks recipes - homemade Pink Lemonade Slush! I thought I would share it with you as it is great for all those barbecues and summer parties coming up in the next few months. You can either leave it as a lemonade or follow the extra steps to make a batch of slush, but either way, this is the perfect refreshing drink for the warmer weather.

Homemade Pink Lemonade
What you will need
4 tablespoons of caster sugar
1 lemon
50g raspberries
500 ml fizzy or still water (depending on your preference)

1. Cut the lemon into 8 sections
2. Place the 8 sections and all of the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until the lemon resembles purée
3. Sieve the lemonade into a serving jug and then pour into your Mason Drinking Jars or glasses and serve with ice and maybe an extra slice of lemon.

To make the slush
Pour your pink lemonade into a blender and gradually add ice until it is to your desired consistency of slushy wonderful-ness.

I did originally make the slush, but while I was faffing around with my camera and serving it to family and friends, mine melted and I completely forgot about it! So mine is just lemonade I'm afraid.

I think it looks so cute and summery in my little Mason Jars and Prairie Charms Floral Straws. They have been going down a treat with friends and family, and I think I will soon be having to stock up on more straws!

I purchased the Mason Jars from Home Bargains for 69p each a while ago, and the straws were £3.50 for a pack of 10 from Prairie Charms.I can't see them on their website anymore, but they have so many other pretty patterns here

*It has been a pleasure collaborating with Prairie Charms, the customer service has been fantastic. I purchased these straws myself, these were not gifted to me, and 25% of the sale went to the amazing Make a Wish Foundation charity.

Let me know if you try this recipe out, I would love to know what you think!

Friday, 20 March 2015

London: Phantom of the Opera

So I completely forgot to take photos for about 99% of my London break. I'm looking to invest in a pretty little camera in the next few months and I'm hoping that will give me the nudge I need to remember to take some snaps.

For my Mum's birthday, my Dad decided to treat the three of us to an overnight stay in London and to see a West End Show. We stayed in the Travel Lodge down Drury Lane which is brilliantly cheap and cheerful if you are like me and spend virtually no time in your room, other than to sleep. For around £7 (pre-booked) you can have an all you can eat breakfast in the morning, including your standard fry up and continental options.

My Mum chose to see The Phantom of the Opera and we managed to get tickets on the second row. The view was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, although I got a little scared in places because there was a lot of fire and it is quite dark for a West End Musical. What can I say, I'm a wuss! I knew nothing about the plot before I went, but I absolutely loved it. It was one of the best musicals I have ever seen on either West End or Broadway, and the musical set list was just stunning. One of my favourite things about a musical is beautifully intricate scenery and the changing of backdrops, and there were so many changes throughout the entire show and I was absolutely amazed by the boat on stage, the scene in the graveyard, and at one point a chandelier swung from the top of the theatre right down onto the stage and I think I nearly jumped out of my skin! It was one of those shows where you actually feel your skin tingle the entire way through, it was just mesmerising and I definitely would like to go and see it again in the future.

We paid about £40ish per ticket which I thought was an absolute bargain! We purchased our tickets from www.lovetheatre.com and I would definitely recommend scanning the site before planning your trip to London, because you can really overpay for tickets if you buy them from alternative sites.

The next day we had a very relaxing and chilled walk around one of my favourite London hotspots, Covent Garden. I love looking round the market stalls and got drawn in by these personalised wire photo frames. I paid around £4.50 for this and can't wait to find a little place for it in my room. We enjoyed watching the buskers in Covent Garden as well.

After spending forever in the Mac Cosmetics store in Covent Garden and then finding a Costa, we decided to head back to the hotel and check out before coming home. We really did have an amazing two days and it was nice going mid-week for a change. It was so quiet because obviously everyone was at work and tourists usually come at the weekend, so if you have the option, I would definitely consider going sometime in the week. Especially because theatre tickets can be a lot cheaper.

Where are your favourite places in London? Which shows should I see next?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Benefit that gal Brightening Face Primer

With Spring around the corner, I've been on the look out for the perfect products to give me that glowing radiant skin that every girl lusts after. I picked this up a while ago in my latest Benefit haul, and have absolutely fallen in love with it. I'm a sucker for Benefit packaging, I just think it's so pretty. This reminds me of New York City, which is actually where I first discovered my love of Benefit Cosmetics. The bottom twists and I'm usually a bit wary of products packaged like this as I find they distribute too much product, but this gives off just the right amount. The primer is a pearly pink silky light liquid and only a tiny amount is needed. Blended in with fingertips, this primer feels weightless and is perfect for under make up, on its own, and can also be reapplied over make up throughout the day if you want a quick top up. I look fresh-faced, my skin looks brighter and more radiant, and my make up lasts a lot longer and doesn't slip down at all throughout the day now. 

I picked this up for £22.50 on the Benefit website and you can find the link to the product here. I think this will last a while as you really don't need much, and most of my Benefit products last absolutely ages. I will definitely be repurchasing this and think it is worth every penny.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Things to do when you are bored

1. Plan presents/cards for the birthdays coming up in the month ahead
2. Clean your make up brushes
3. Baking - try my Malteser Tiffin recipe
4. Take up a new craft - I make my own greetings cards, jewellery, soaps and candles (Google recipes!)
5. Pamper yourself - face mask, bath bomb, the works!
6. Offer to babysit for someone or catch up with family
7. Sign up to Netflix or start a new TV series
8. Go for a walk
9. Clear out your wardrobe
10. Plan meals for the week ahead before you go food shopping
11. Spring clean or move all of your furniture around
12. Make a/add to your bucketlist
13. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
14. Start organising and updating your CV
15. Try out a new hair or make up look

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Shannon Stacey is on Facebook!

So I've been back and forth in my head a million times about whether to set a Facebook page up for my blog or not. I decided to go for it as I thought it would be another platform on which people can follow my blog and get regular updates, especially if they don't use Bloglovin.

I will love you forever if you like my blog's Facebook page, and if you post the Facebook link to your blog in the comments below here, I will make sure I like them all back :)

Here are my current social media links if you would like to connect with me in anyway, I would love to hear from you if you fancy a chat!


Not Your Mother's Way To Grow Shampoo & Conditioner

I purchased this shampoo and conditioner on Amazon in December as I am a sucker for any product which claims to help your hair grow, and I love any opportunity to try American products which aren't readily available here in the UK.

I like the simplistic tell-all packaging and that I don't have to search all over the bottle for which hair type it suits or anything. When I started to apply the shampoo, I did have a mini heart attack because almost straight away while massaging it in, my hair started to feel quite straw-like. However, the conditioner is really really thick and lives up to it's 'intensive moisturising' claims. Once I'd used and rinsed both products, my hair felt beautifully sleek and smooth. It smells quite similar to the Aussie range, but perhaps not quite as nice, but I love that the smell is long-lasting between washes.

I have been using this shampoo and conditioner on and off since Christmas, alternating with another of my favourites, and I have really enjoyed giving this a try. My hair has grown a lot since Christmas and I've had two hair cuts since purchasing this and have barely needed anything cutting off because I have had virtually no split ends or dryness whatsoever. I'm still unsure whether I will be repurchasing this, because it is a bit too much effort for a lazy bum like me to keep ordering it from America - I'm one of those people who will spend half an hour squeezing the dregs of a bottle before I remember to go and repurchase some - but it is definitely something I will treat myself to every now and again.

Here is a quick comparison of my hairgrowing progress over the past 12-18 months. Considering in the photo on the left I had my hair shaved underneath, I think I've done quite well!

Each bottle was £5.59, and you can find the links to the shampoo here, and the conditioner here.

A while ago I did a post on my top hair growing tips - if you fancy a read, I've posted the link here

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I'm sorry but when I decided to write a Mother's Day post, I just HAD to include a photo of the classic Spice Girls song 'Mama'. Any excuse to listen to the Spice Girls or mention them in a blog post right? I thought I would do a quick post on my top tips for Mother's Day ideas for the special ladies in your life.

1. Make Something // I am a firm believer that when it comes to gifts, it's not always about how much you spend. How about making her a little book of I.O.U vouchers for various things, e.g. I will do the washing up for a whole week, or I will cook dinner one evening for example. Or how about preparing an afternoon tea? I did this for my Mum last year and she absolutely loved it. Just buy some scones, mini cakes, make some finger sandwiches, stick the kettle on and set the table all lovely. 

2. Choose something personal // Has she been eyeing a top up in the shop lately, or perhaps a make up product? My Mum is so incredibly selfless and doesn't like spending money on herself, so when she was complaining she had no eyebrows and it made her feel quite self-conscious, I thought I would treat her to some eyebrow products from the Benefit Cosmetics counter for Mother's Day. Is there a song she always perks up to on the radio? Personal gifts will make the person super happy and are things she will get her use out of. It also shows that you've put a lot of effort in.

3. It's all in the card // Me and my Mum love receiving and opening greetings cards just as much as presents. We love when someone has spent time and effort picking one out with a beautiful verse of poetry or a lovely message, or just has something relevant to our particular relationship. Me and my Mum are both obsessed with vintage style, pin up girls, or anything with swallows on as they have such a personal meaning for us, so if I can find a card with any of those things on I know I am on to a winner. 

4. A few gift ideas in case you are stuck! // I thought I would also include a few gift ideas for all budgets, which I think will make the perfect gifts for Mother's Day.

Personalised Apron, £18  From Mum to me Journal, £13 Photomug, £5 Sanctuary Set, £22 (bargain!)

Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a lovely Mother's Day

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Serum

This year, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to stop biting my nails. After a few weeks of no nibbling, I was a bit disappointed to see that my nails hadn't really grown at all. I am probably to blame after biting them for all these years, but I thought I would try one of the Sally Hansen Nail Growth treatments before I gave up hope of ever having beautiful natural nails. I have been using this treatment for around two weeks now and thought it was about time I reviewed it!

The Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Serum claims:

Up to 59% longer nails. This concentrated Peptide Serum formula with Biotin supplements supports natural nail growth without brittleness. Nails become resistant to damage.

I'm personally not a fan of the shiny gold packaging, but I love the syringe applicator which I think is a nice alternative to a standard nail brush. Rather than brushing the formula on, you place a drop on your nail near your cuticle and massage in, which I think has helped to really hydrate my nails better than a brush would. My cuticles are much smoother and my nails feel really healthy, hydrated and nourished.

I'm not completely sure if my nails have grown 59% - this is a little precise for me to judge! but my nails are so much stronger and just look so much better. I find that they are chipping or breaking less because they are so much stronger and I have little white tips for the first time ever. Overall I'm really happy with my purchase and will probably buy again.

This retails at about £9.95, but I picked it up in Superdrug with my NUS Student Discount card so paid just under £9 for it.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer

I picked up this concealer on a bit of a whim after I was so disappointed with the cake-like 17 Phwoar Paint, which didn't cover up my dark circles and creased heavily. The product claims:

'The active formula with Goji Berry and Haloxyl reduces the look of puffiness and shadows while fading the appearance of under-eye circles'

My favourite thing about this product is the sponge applicator, which I have found to be super soft and gentle which is perfect for my sensitive skin, but it is also really effective as an applicator. The concealer is really light and I have found that I only need the teeny tiniest amount to achieve perfect coverage, even after endless late nights and years of not getting enough sleep. So far I have found that this concealer doesn't crease at all, and the Brighteners in this have worked wonders at masking my dark circles without appearing cakey, while also helping me to look a little more alive early in the morning. The one negative I will point out is that the shade range is extremely limited. I have only ever come across two shades - even on Maybelline's UK Website! For me this isn't really a problem as the 'Light' shade is perfect for my skin tone, but I always feel a little disappointed when companies don't accommodate for women of all skin tones.

Overall, I'm really happy with this concealer and definitely think I will be repurchasing in future. I might even go as far as to say this may become a make up bag staple!

This retails for £7.99 and at the moment Boots are offering 3 for 2 on Maybelline products.

Have you tried this concealer? What did you think? Can you recommend any other amazing under eye concealers which you think could rival this?


Monday, 2 March 2015

February Favourites

February was so windy and the weather has just been generally awful, which only means one thing for me - bad hair days. I've been so used to having a short bob for around 4 years that now my hair is long I'm not used to it flying absolutely everywhere. I have been thanking the high heavens for my Tangle Teezer this month and haven't left the house without it.

Last month I purchased the Blanx White Shock Intensive Whitening kit and I am so impressed with the results. I've never felt this confident about my smile, and I featured on their Twitter and Facebook pages for the review I posted (here), which made me super happy.

My main New Year's Resolution was to stop biting my nails, and I've been doing really well so far, although my nails haven't decided to grow very much. I think they're still upset about the years of abuse I've given them. Uh oh. I decided to purchase the Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Serum and within only a few days I'm happy to report stronger and prettier nails. Also, it comes with a little syringe to place a little drop on each nail, which I just think is so much more fun than it being just another paint-on-with-a-brush jobby. It really is the littlest things in life which amuse me.

This month I have rediscovered my love for the Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in Shade 003 - Mauve it Over. For me it is the perfect nude colour and I feel it really counters how pale I look and prevents me from looking too washed out. It is perfect for every day, any occasion.

I've also been loving the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara since purchasing it last week. It separates my lashes beautifully and gives them a nice curl, and I absolutely love the pinky rose-gold packaging. If you'd like to read a full review of this, you can find mine here

What have been your favourite products this month?

Bionsen Caring Touch Deodorant Review*

*Disclaimer: I was kindly sent this product to review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

I was kindly sent this Bionsen Caring Touch Deodorant to review before it is released in store. I have been trialling this for about a week now and I can say I'm definitely going to be purchasing this once it is released. I suffer terribly with sensitive skin, and so this hypo-allergenic deodorant is just perfect for me as it is both Aluminium- and Paraben-free. I'm prone to rashes and irritation from deodorant, so the added Vitamin E in this Bionsen really helps to soothe and smooth my skin. I can safely and happily say that I've experienced no discomfort, rash or irritation at all. 

While it is gentle, this by no means affects its lasting appeal. After applying once in a morning, I find that it works all day long, even on my busiest days. I absolutely LOVE the fragrance too. This product uses 'Onsen', which are natural minerals from the volcanic spas of Japan. Which not only sounds extremely fancy and luxurious, but smells incredible and these minerals also help to really look after your skin. Usually I find deodorants either lack fragrance or are overbearing and conflict with my perfume, but there is no worry of that with this product which gets the balance just right. 

The packaging is a very simple, narrow bottle which is perfect for me as someone who travels frequently and often has a deodorant in my handbag - the last thing I need is a huge product drawing everyone's attention to it! Overall, I'm really pleased with this product and think it will be perfect as the weather heats up (hopefully) over the next few months.

The Bionsen Caring Touch Deodorant will be launched on Monday 9th March and will be available in Boots stores for £2.35.

You can find Bionsen Beauty via the following links - they are currently holding a giveaway over on their Facebook page so I would definitely check that out:

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