Sunday, 15 April 2018

LUSH: Sleepy Lotion

The Sleepy Lotion by Lush has been all over social media for a few months now and it's been a part of my bedside table since before Christmas now. I am one of those people who will go out and buy something if there is a lot of hype around it but only if it's something that I genuinely think will benefit me.

I have always suffered with insomnia and crappy sleeping. I've tried herbal tablets, medication prescribed by a doctor, anti-anxiety meds, baths which is half relaxation bubble bath and half water... bath salts, bath bombs all specifically to make you sleep... you name it. I've tried it. I've never slept well since I was a teenager. When I was at home I'd end up staying up watching TV until silly o clock, or reading whole books in a night. Now, years later, I end up in the spare room or on the sofa trying to get to sleep after tossing and turning trying to get back to sleep and not wanting to wake Nick up. I don't know why I'm like this - it's worse when I'm stressed but sometimes even when I'm exhausted I can't get to sleep, or back to sleep if I wake up. So yes... I'll try anything.

I used it a lot before Christmas and towards the start of the year but it's only the last month or so where I've used it religiously and really been able to see a difference. I've been telling a few people about it so I thought I'd keep a track of my sleeping patterns over a 7 day period and see if I could say it genuinely works or if it was just in my head. It's safe to say that I don't think it's just in my head.



Night 1:
No Lotion
Got into bed: 11pm
Fell asleep: Roughly 2am
First wake up: 2.56am for approximately 40 minutes (or 2 episodes of the IT Crowd)
Second Wake Up: 4:50am until 6:10am
Third Wake up: 8.15am - ended up getting up and getting ready!
Total Sleep: 4 hours and 15 minutes (approximately)

Night 2:
No lotion
Got into Bed: 9.40pm
Fell asleep: Roughly 12am
First wake up: 12.50am for around half hour
Second wake up: 2.15am until around 4.45am (had a bit of Pinterest time looking for flat lays!)
Third wake up: 5.53am for around 20 minutes (or less than an episode of How I Met Your Mother)
Final wake up: 7.50am when Nick went to work.
Total Sleep: 4 hours approximately

So even after 2 nights of 4 hours sleep and not taking a nap in the day, this pretty much carried on through night 3 too!

Night 4:
LOTION!
Got into bed: 10.45pm
Fell asleep: within an hour - had Big Bang on TV and fell asleep before the second episode!
Woke up: 3.20am for around 40 minutes.
Woke up 6.50 am until about 8am,
Final wake up: 10.36! YES - 10.36!
Total sleep: 8+ hours sleep approximately!

I still woke up in the night but falling asleep for the first time was so much quicker. It was certainly a mix of having maybe 8-9 hours sleep in 3 days and also using the Lotion - I'd only used a bit on my neck and chest as I had fake tan on my arms so Night 5 was going to be testing with a full half body having been lotioned!

Night 5:
LOTION:
Got into Bed: 11.30pm
Fell asleep: approximately 12.45 after an episode of 8 out of 10 Cats in bed!
First wake up: 4.50am! (4 HOURS SLEEP!) - Until around 5.20 (less than an episode of Big Bang)
Second wake up: 7.20am until just after 8am.
Final wake up: 9.40am.
Total Sleep: 7 hours 50 minutes approximately.

Night 6:
LOTION
Got into bed: 10.20pm
Fell asleep: Within an hour.
First wake up: 2.40am for around 10 minutes.
Second wake up: 4am for around half an hour.
Third wake up: 6.55am until about 7.30am.
Final wake up: 10.15am.
Total Sleep: 9 hours approximately.
PLUS - managed to not lose patience and stayed in my own bed all night!

I got a bit cocky on night 7 and thought that it might just be in my head and I might have magically sorted out my sleeping pattern so didn't bother with the lotion as I wanted to fake tan. But safe to say, I went back to the start and was waking up what felt like every 10 minutes and ended up with about 3 hours sleep.

I have a horrible sleeping pattern and sometimes I know I don't help myself however since being with Nick (who can't fall asleep without the TV on in the background), I always watch TV in bed right up until I fall asleep - or end up falling asleep with the TV on and I can't remember a time when this wasn't the case. I end up getting in the other room and putting Netflix on my phone quietly in the back ground and laying my phone next to my pillow just for the sound. Especially since moving to the new pub I've lay there feeling quite anxious at all the new noises in the pub and being next to a main road certainly doesn't help. But I can safely say that even if I didn't sleep through the night, the Lush Sleepy Body lotion DOES make an incredible difference and I fell asleep SO much quicker and easier without tossing and turning of having my brain go 100mph over various issues that were not worth worrying over.

With it's lavender and oatmeal extracts, it really does smell amazing and really does comfort you when you slip into bed.  Not only does it help sleep and makes you smell luscious, my skin has also felt so much smoother and nourished too since using. It's not cheap and the product gets used quite quickly but it's definitely worth it and I'll certainly be repurchasing and getting a bigger tub - sizes vary from £8-14! And don't forget if you're a Lush addict, you can take 5 empty pots back for a free Face Mask! ;)




Saturday, 7 April 2018

Leicester Date Night: Ft Head Of Steam Launch

We're moving into week 4 of living in Leicestere (well... 20 minutes out of the town centre) so it was about time we headed into town to check out what Leicester has to offer. This also coincided with the opening night of Head Of Steam; a bar Nick was desperate to try as it had a large variety of beers and ales.

We made a bit of a date night of Leicester this week while we both had a day off and got an Uber into town mid-afternoon. It was lovely walking around the Lanes with the retro shops and smaller cafes and it was nice just exploring and finding what I'm sure will be our favourite places in the future. Our first stop was a little bar we found by the off chance as I needed the loo and it advertised Coffees so Nick decided to try it. Rutland and Derby has a lovely little sun terrace which was sat on in the beaming sun (with a pint - not coffee!) and it was a great atmosphere. The weather was warm and it had a great sized outdoor area. We only stopped for a drink but the food menu looked lovely so this will certainly be one we come back and try.

BrewDog was top of Nick's list as it is in every single city we visit - remember that time we celebrated getting engaged by going to Brewdog 5 minutes later?! *Rolls eyes* It's always a favourite of Nick's and has been for years so as we had a voucher, we decided that this would be the perfect time. Even myself, over the last year or so specifically have learned to love BrewDog now they have their own Gin and Vodka so we had a couple of drinks each an one of their gorgeous hand made Pizzas (then a second when we realised it was BOGOF) - all while playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo 64! BrewDog is always a great atmosphere with knowledgeable staff who can recommend the best beers and spirits for you and Leicester BrewDog is certainly no exception! 3


We then headed over to Head Of Steam to check out the new bar and restaurant in Leicester City Centre which had caught my eye on Facebook some time ago when we first moved. We'd been keeping an eye on their social media pages for the latest information about it's opening and luckily we both had Thursday night off so we made the most of if and turned it into a whole date night. We arrived less than an hour after it opened it's doors and it was so unbelievably busy! We managed to grab a booth as another couple were leaving and we made ourselves comfy for a couple of hours while we tried a couple of beers (The Timmermans Strawberry beer was the winner for me!) and even a cocktail or 2 (the Pink Elephant being Nick's drink of the night). There was plenty of staff so there was no waiting around at the bar which is something that I hope remains.

We didn't eat as we'd just eaten but the menu is great with such a large variety and the food we did see go out, including burgers, hand made pies, hot dogs - all looked and smelt incredible so it's definitely somewhere we'll be coming to eat soon.

The atmosphere and music is homely but you can feel a great buzz in the air and there was so much excitement with it being opening night too- it was just such a great feel of the place and it's somewhere that will certainly be one of the top places in Leicester to visit that's for sure. The d├ęcor itself too is great and there's smaller details such as the light fittings made of bottles, the prints on the wall, the steam train photos that all make it quite unique. Even though the bar industry is so big with so much competition, they seemed to have nailed their own look and feel.

My only drawback is that the prices are quite high - with it being proper Belgian beer it is bound ot be high but with a pint of Strawberry beer being £5.70(!), I could've had a Rekordelig or a Gin a little cheaper. Even still, the new Head Of Steam is certainly one of my favourite places in Leicester already and it's somewhere I shall definitely be visiting (I sat that as I'm sat in the same booth 2 days later as it has great booths with plug sockets which for me and many others, is such a massive reason to visit!)



We finished off our date night with BOGOF cocktails in Revolutions which I love as I have a Revs card which gets you discounts on food and drinks. I love the Revolution menu as it has such a variety of cocktails and with some being 241, it's great for when we're saving the pennies. We had a cocktail each (PornStar Martini eeeeevery time!) and shared a main of shredded Steak Fries with Cheese and Peppercorn sauce (so random but bloody good) which was a great way to end the evening.


If you're from Leicester and can recommend your favourite places to go, please please get in contact and let me know where we should visit next!

Twitter and Instagram: MsSarahJack xox 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Micro Blading: My Experience

So this is one of my most exciting posts in a long while and one I've been waiting for write up for weeks.. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you'll know that about 2 weeks ago I finally had the balls to go and get my eyebrows Micro-bladed after one of my favourite salons, Identity in Clevedon, held an offer on their Facebook page. When I messaged the team and asked about it and mentioned that I am a wimp (anyone knows me will know what level I am a wimp to) and Beth replied saying that they actually use numbing cream. THAT WAS IT. I'M IN.

Around a week and a half before I went in for my consultation with the lovely Courtney who went through every detail with me. I thought it would be a couple of minutes to do a basic patch test but I was surprised at how thorough it was and how much we went through to make me feel so much more at ease. We went through the shapes and stencils that I could choose from so I knew how I wanted my brows shaping as well as testing a number of different colours to see which suited my skin tone and my also ever changing hair colour. We decided on both of these and took photos so we knew how we were going to start on the big day. The patch test was the first sign for Courtney of how much of a wimp I am when I realised that they use a tool to actually scratch the skin - I had a bit of a freak out but with numbing cream on, I felt like a tool after sitting there going "oh, is that it?".

So I then spent 2 weeks buzzing like a bee with excitement, talking about it to everyone as though it was my birthday and Christmas but then finally.. the day I was waiting for came! So the first Issue was me having had my hair coloured a TOTALLY different colour just the day before (again, with Identity!) and I knew from Courtney's face while the colour was going on that there was going to be an issue the next morning.

Courtney spent a good half hour or so measuring the brows, plucking areas to make them as even as possible, deciding a new colour then putting a base colour to know on the skin to where to work with and that was it... we had lift off!

I made a small video on the day and of various days after just to keep a record of how the brows looked throughout the healing process so I'll pop that just below..



The micro blading experience itself was pleasantly easy and so much different from what I expected. I was honestly a little petrified inside deep down that I'd want to lay and cry in pain and regret my whole choice after 10 minutes but when we actually started, I had so much numbing cream on that I hadn't even realised the needle had even touched the skin. I can honestly say that I didn't once feel the needle. Towards the start it was so relaxed and chilled out, actually felt I could nod off while listening to my iPod to block off some of the sound of the machine (which again, no where near as loud as I expected - just like a vibrating sound) and even for the first hour or so it was fine as we swapped between eye brows to give the skin some relief - plus to top up the numbing cream. The only pain, and even then it wasn't necessarily a sharp pain, pain, more of a "pressing on a bruise" pain, which was around 30-40 minutes before the end as the skin was starting to bruise and even started to reject the ink towards the end which meant we kept going over Skin that had already been bladed. After a while we settled on round 2 at the touch up appointment to save the skin having to go through anymore.

Over the first couple of days I felt that every time I looked in a mirror the colour had changed but after around 24-48 hours after, I was beyond in love with the colour after it had settled and I'd got to a point where I was able to put on a Face of Make Up. On the Sunday (I had it done on the Wednesday) the scab was slightly starting to peel back from the centre of my brows towards the top of my nose so I knew that this was the start. It's taken until today... a whole 7 days later (writing this on a Sunday) for the last bits of the scab to come off so I can finally see the finished result.


Now I can see the finished result, I can see why a touch up is needed after 4 weeks. One brow is darker than the other due to the skin rejecting the ink towards the end but overall, I can see the shape that the brows now are and can see a base colour on the skin itself as a block. I definitely got over excited and thought that I may get away with not having a touch up as they seemed so dark to start with which is what I wanted but I now understand what people say when they said that I'll need to go back for a second go.

I've done a bit of a Q&A below with questions that I've been asked on Facebook/Twitter and that I've been asked in general with lots of other information but in general, even though this is only stage 1, I still think it's one of the best choices I've ever made. It was so much easier than I expected, I didn't hurt and it was so much better than a "tattoo experience". I'd highly recommend checking out a few places first and meeting up with the consultant before hand before even agreeing or booking and paying a deposit etc. See the environment where it'll happen too - I've seen reviews where they said they felt like they were in a Drs surgery but I was so lucky to be able to visit somewhere where the whole team are so friendly and supportive, the room I was in was homely and cosy on a comfy salon bed where I could chill out. I will of course do a second blog post after my touch up appointment in a few weeks to show you the absolute final results.

(round 1 before and after)


FAQs

Does it hurt?

The needle itself doesn't hurt at all with numbing cream on - it's just sore towards the end.

Do you need to go back and have it done twice?
You are advised to go for a touch up to go over any spots that may have not taken the ink as well as other areas of the skin. I'm excited for mine to go a little darker and for the final results.

How long did it take?
In total I was in the "chair" around 3 hours. But had breaks to go to the loo or get a drink or just to walk around and give the skin a bit of a break.

Does the numbing cream where off?
Nope - in fact it was still going strong hours later.

What needle do they use?
Each salon can vary so ask the consultant directly. Courtney used a device on myself with 3 needles on.

Are there different types of Micro blading?
You can get your brows done in strokes or a block. I had mine blocked out but we think on the touch up we're going to do strokes and go darker to see how much darker I can get them.


PS - MASSIVE shout out to Liz, Beth and Courtney over at Identity for being my personal beauty team over the last 6 months when I was in Clevedon. I've loved having my hair done and changed a number of times and to help me have the courage to go and do something I've wanted to do for a while but never been brave enough. I'll definitely be back for my hair every few weeks even though I've now moved.. thank you for making my Clevedon experience so fabulous! xox

Check out Identity's Facebook here: 
https://www.facebook.com/Identity-Hair-Beauty-Salon-Clevedon-162315607165673/?ref=br_rs



Sunday, 4 March 2018

Lush Spa: The Validation Facial Experience

A bit of a different one for this blog but I had such a fantastic day with the team at Lush in Bath within the Spa that I couldn't not write about it..

Last week I took my gorgeous best friend, Laura, on a surprise mini-hen do before she gets married later in the year as I wanted to do something just the 2 of us to say thank you for just being so generally fantastic in my life so we had a girly weekend in Bath. This only came about though as my friend kindly gave me a Lush Voucher for the spa. I contacted Lush in Bath (one of only a handful of Lush Spas in the country) and advised that I had a voucher and we came up with a plan for the 2 of us to have treatments at our visit.


We booked into have the Validation Facial which is one that I knew I wanted from the get go when I started reading about the different treatments online. It was a 60 minute treatment however we also received a 30 minute consultation to discuss what products we could choose from for the treatment so it would be 100% personalised to our own skin which is just fantastic. Everyone's skin is different and even looking at Laura and I's selection, they were so varied.

We went into the store itself and picked a variety of products to be used within the treatment including a cleanser, a face mask, a hand cream, moisturiser, lip scrub plus a lovely primer-style moisturiser to finish on. The Team in the Spa talked us through each step and found which of each product would work best for what we wanted for our skin and their calm and relaxed aura really made us feel special.



Once we'd picked our products, we went and relaxed downstairs in the spa itself which was set out like a beautiful winter cabin complete with front room area, kitchen and a stunning bathroom with shower which was free to use. You were also able to use a number of products that were available to hand too which was just a wonderful touch. The treatment rooms too were just incredible - with a soothing CD on with the sounds of the sea and calming words, this set a fantastic atmosphere along with the dimmed lights, candles and gorgeous Lush aromas to help you relax on a bed with heated blankets ready and waiting for you.




The Validation Facial itself was just beyond words.. I've never been a "spa person" and I've never really been into massages so this for me was a bit different but I've never experienced anything like this. For an hour solid, both me and Laura agreed that we literally didn't think of anything. The treatment had so many stages to it and went beyond just the face - with arms and hand massages, neck and shoulder massages.. it was just incredible with the personalised products.




The experience as a whole was just phenomenal and made up of so many fantastic little touches including the music, the personalised products, the refreshing drinks and the team themselves. I would highly recommend visiting a Lush Spa to anyone who is a Lush or a Spa fan and I already can't wait to go again!

You can read more about the treatment and the official information as well as where you can get the Treatment HERE: https://uk.lush.com/products/validation-facial






Friday, 16 February 2018

Tiger Gin

So if you know me.. let's be honest loves, I love m' Gin! Tbh.. I love my alcohol in general but Gin in particular has been a new love over the last year or so and I've loved trying out new gins with new flavours - made easier by working in a pub where I can order as many gins as I pretty much want ;) But a new favourite of mine is certainly Tiger Gin. I'd never had it until recently when I tried it in a bar in Bath and it's certainly a contender for the top spot. Having a little more time off of work lately (by that I mean working 50 hours a week not 70!) has meant more time for drinking and making up wonderful concoctions so I thought I'd share my favourite ways of having my new favourite Tipple...

The Classic!
Tiger Gin, over plenty of Ice and orange wedges finished with a classic tonic - preferably Fever Tree! What else can you say?




The Earl Grey and Elderflower
Yes.. you read right. But don't you go knocking it just yet. It may sound random and a gross mix but holy all that is alcoholic and good... yes... just yes. We serve this in the pub since I started and I'm in charge of the set up - Earl Grey Tea brewed with plenty of Elderflower Cordial mixed (when cold) with a shot of Tiger Gin, topped with either a Ginger Ale (my fav) or a simple Tonic water. I love this in a balloon glass with plenty of ice and wedges of Lime. Definitely worth a try and surprisingly easy to make at home too.

Berry Gin Fizz
There's so many ways of making this and it does generally depend on the time of year and what frehs berries you can get at the time of year or even the flavours you fancy each season. With it being Winter, my current method is Tiger Gin with a small dash of a nice Winter Berry Syrup (got some for Christmas and I don't drink Coffee so had to find a use somehow!) finished with Prosecco! A little bit more of a fancy, glitzy Gin cocktail but perfect for those girly nights in!


Wowza.. my mouth is literally watering. Is 4.09pm in the afternoon too early for a cheeky drink? No? Why, thank you kindly - let my pour myself a Tiger Gin ;)




Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Current Favourite #FOTD

So it's safe to say that over the last few months, maybe a year or so , my make up range has drastically changed (and improved!) and I've spread my wings away from just whatever I could get in Boots and bitten the bullet to spend a bit more money to try some new beauty products. I've spent so long watching YouTube videos and reading blogs to know that the money I'm spending is worth it and I feel that for the first time in a long time, this is the happiest and most confident I've been with my current make up bag..

So this is the look that I've been going with day to day over the last few weeks - sometimes I'll do more an less depending in how long I have before I start work or if I'm going out at night etc but for a standard look, this is how I'm going:

FOUNDATION: Fenty Beauty
CONCEALER: Nars Cream Concealer
CONTOUR: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Face (Bronzer)
BLUSH: No7 Rose Gold Shimmer
HIGHLIGHT: Fenty Beauty / Illamasqua Loose Powder Highlight
BROWS: HD Brow Kit
EYE SHADOWCharlotte Tilbury Instant Face
EYELINER: Primark (can't be all fancy can I now?!)
MASCARA: Maybelline Lash Sensational
LIPS: Nyx Lip Cream in London 



This is me without Fake tan so if I'm tanned, it's obviously lots more bronzer and possibly my Estee Lauder doublewear which is too dark for me naturally. If I'm out at night or for a meal I go for a super dark lip too while the nights are still drawing in early. I am looking forward to Spring through for bright lips and pastel nails.

If you were like the 2-years-ago me and are wanting to experiment and expand your make up range, I'd definitely recommend spending a lot of time online, speaking to the girls in stores such as Boots or House Of Fraser etc and really spend time looking into what you want before spending money. This is the first time in a long time I've felt so confident in myself as a make up artist as well as happy with my current collection. My aim in 2018 is to get back into being an MUA more and to develop my skills as much as I can. I'm even debating doing a few videos for YouTube etc so fingers crossed, watch this space!


Friday, 9 February 2018

January Haul!

So after working 70+ hours a week throughout the majority of November and December on hourly pay and then not having the time to spend any of it, I knew January was a time to treat myself to some new clothes now I've lost weight and a fit bits and pieces to make our house more of a home as we'd really not paid attention to it in the 3 months we'd been there so I did a bit of sale shopping and treated myself/us to a few new goodies...

BOXING DAY SALES:
Ok so it wasn't boxing day but we managed to go shopping between Christmas and New Year over at Cribbs Causeway and I spent a couple of vouchers that I'd received. Helloooooo Piggie goodies in Cath Kidston - just when I thought I'd got every item from the Guinea Pig Range I spotted a 2018 diary! I managed to pick up a candle, 2 note books, diary, land yard and some stationary all for less than £30 - bargains galore. I also had a One For All voucher which I used on a Yankee Candle (which smells amaaaaaazing) and a Ghost perfume gift set from Boots. Both half price in the sale. And of course... voucher or no voucher, Lush had to be on the list too. There wasn't a huge amount of Christmas products left but I managed to pick up a gift set and a couple of single bombs as well as the Once Upon A Time body lotion. 


PRIMARK:
So I went into a Primark for the first time in a few months and was so excited - but that was short lived as I was so disappointed with their current range. There really wasn't anything that took my fancy. It was a pretty boring shop - you know, the typical, 3 packs of boring knickers, boring socks and tights, black shoes for work etc.. but I did manage to pick up a couple of pairs of cute shoes in the sale for work as well as a floral blouse. I also bagged a couple of really nice, pretty bras in the sale too. 


NEW LOOK
Just lately, New Look has been my go-to for everything for clothes and shoes and I've loved everything I received. So when the sales hit I placed 3 big orders and got some really good bargains - jumpers for £1 (including a gorgeous cashmere one), dresses for £3 - you name it! But these are a selection of my favourite items that I picked up. There was such a great selection in the sales for both work and casual and managed to get a couple of nice dresses too for the odd occasion I may go out on a Friday or Saturday night for cocktails. 


SUPERDRUG:
I got a fair amount from Superdrug including a large Zoella Giftset for £7.50 down from £60 which is great just for every day body items as there was such a variety. I even got the Snowella Perfume for £2 too. But my favourite item that I purchased from Superdrug (and possibly throughout January in general) was this Charcoal toothpaste. I keep seeing them all over social media etc but this was at the tills for just £1.49 so I threw one in my basket when I got to the till. I'm tempted to do a full post on it in itself as it's so amazing, but that's really all you need to know. It's made such a difference to my teeth already in just a couple of weeks - it has no bad taste or texture and is just the same as normal toothpaste apart from it's black! Definitely recommend. 


TAM BEAUTY:
I did a whole blog post about this incred section of my January haul so I'm not gonna babble on about it now. If you wanna see how I got £300+ worth of make up for £73, go and check it out! 


So yeah... a few treats and good bargains throughout January! 
Is there anything else I need in my life for February? Let me know!