Lil' Black Boots

Beauty, Lifestyle and Style

Hello October! 
My favourite month of all time, time to bring out the jumpers, candles and have far too many evening baths (and red wine). This month is a busy but exciting one:

01. Go on holiday! October is the month that we finally get to go away. We're off to Kos, in Greece, for a relaxing all inclusive week off work. I hope the weather stays nice, but I plan on doing absolutely nothing except reading 3 or 4 books and lying in the sun for the entire trip. Bliss!

02. See Little Mix! Rob's Christmas present to me last year was tickets in Leeds for Little Mix, so we're heading up to stay in our friend's new home and boogey the night away. I know, I know, Little Mix... but I love them ok! Plus combining it with getting to see the dreamy interior of Matt & Sarah's new home, it's an opportunity not to miss. 

03. This Works: Sleep Solutions with Carly Rowena. Carly has teamed up with the lovely brand This Works and Nick Littlehales, a leading elite sleep coach to help us through the importance of maintaining good sleep. Hosted at the Hoxton hotel in Holborn, I'm off with Ellie and excited is an understatement!

04. Head to Boston! Another work trip to Boston to round the month off, it'll be a busy one but hopefully I manage at least one cheeky trip to the shop of all shops- Sephora!

What are you up to this month?

Lil’ Black Boots

So this was meant to be posted in September, but guess who got ill and was bed bound for a week!? Then recovering, then got a bout of the lazy arse syndrome... So here is my birthday post, not on my birthday, but hey I didn't want to waste it!

26 life lessons for my 26th birthday

1. Surround yourself with real friends- quality is better than quantity
2. Mums always know best
3. Pets make the world a happier place
4. Have a work/life balance
5. You don't need everyone to like you
6. There is time to do 'adult' things- I don't have to buy a house just yet!
7. Enjoy the little things
8. Do something you love every single day
9. Make decisions right for you, not to please someone else
10. Clean bed sheets make any day better
11. Look after your mind & body- it's not a crime to look after yourself
12. Take time to be alone sometimes, the best things can come from having some time to think
13. Don't compare your chapter 1 to their chapter 10 (I wrote about this back on my 25th birthday)
14. Be kind, always- you don't know what personal battle they are fighting
15. Meet new people
16. It's ok to not know where you're going sometimes
17. Go exploring
18. Good manners should never be forgotten
19. Drink more water!
20. Always wear SPF on your face, the older you will thank you one day!
21. If you don't ask, you don't get
22. It's ok to fail sometimes
23. Pools are better than the beach 
24. Being organised and tidy makes me feel a lot less stressed (take note Katie)
25. A bubble bath and a glass of Prosecco can pretty much cure anything
26. Dream big and go the extra mile

Despite being ill (and an unplanned nap break in between)   Emma (my twin) and I went off to brunch in Putney, and then to the Decleor Boutique Spa on Westbourne Grove to have a mini facial and deep tissue massage- birthday treats are definitely the best!!

Dress- Zara
Shoes- Converse
Bag- Zara
Watch- Olivia Burton

Lil’ Black Boots

What is in this months #LFBEAUTYBOX ?

I'd like to start writing about my monthly subscription to the Look Fantastic beauty box, so I might be a little behind this month, but it's going to be a new series for me and wouldn't want to miss one! These boxes offer a selection of handpicked beauty items, wrapped in a beautifully presented box- usually containing around six products that are a selection of skin care, hair care, and cosmetics.

This month's 'Global Glamour' Look Fantastic beauty box is all about taking a journey around the world to discover some of the best kept beauty secrets from around the globe- from places like Korea to right here in the UK. I've only recently subscribed to this monthly box, as I decided I wanted to discover more unusual products that not everyone is raving about (yet).  Below is a little more detailed about the goodies that were in this month's handpicked box.

Mane 'n' Tail: Shampoo & Conditioner (travel size)
I've seen a lot of promotion of this brand over social media, but never actually picked it up myself. It's an odd marketing plan for this US brand- originally designed for horses but now deemed suitable for humans! Anyway, the scent of these is pretty plain- nothing too strong, nothing too subtle. I'm excited to see if these really do provide the 'body and shine' everyone on Instagram is raving about!

Skin79: BB Super Plus Beblesh Balm SPF 30 (sample size)
Next up is a Korean brand which is definitely new to me. This is a BB cream that according to the press release, harnesses powers of vitamin-rich Damask rose flower water and Acerola extract- which aims to absorb excess oil, combat dullness whilst also protecting against those harmful UV rays. I've had a quick google of this BB cream and the reviews are a resounding positive, so fingers crossed for this one! Korean cosmetics are all the rage at the moment, so there must be a reason for all the hype!

Lord & Berry: Magic Brow Pencil
I'm a big fan of Lord & Berry makeup already having discovered it at one of the Blogosphere Magazine's cover reveals, and use their black khol eyeliner religiously every day (it has staying power like nothing else). I've yet to try this brow pencil as I have my perfect duo on the go at the moment which is a combination of a benefit powder, and Blink Brow Bar brow builder- but one day I will!

Korres: Santorini Vine body milk (travel size)
This is one sample that I've used over and over again already, the body milk smells absolutely amazing. It is fresh, light, and sinks in really quickly which is always the defining factor for me and a moisturiser. Again, enriched with vitamins, this is a perfect little pick me up for your skin in the morning.

Gatineau: Gentle Silk Toner (travel size)
This is a French brand, and the French definitely do skincare the right way, so I'm expecting good things of this little guy. This toner is to refresh, and clarify your complexion without drying it out, and is suitable even for sensitive skin (alcohol-free).

Lottie London: Balm Ball (full size)
Lastly, we're back in London to this cute and deliciously scented lip balm. A unique packaging style, but it does work!

The Look Fantastic Beauty Box is the perfect treat to try a range of beauty brands, without buying the full size. I paid £13 for my subscription which I feel is totally reasonable and a guilt-free way to trial beauty products. Also, a free Elle Magazine- what a lovely bonus!

If interested, you can subscribe yourself here!

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? I would like to try some others like Birchbox- any recommendations? I would love to hear!

Lil’ Black Boots

Not getting those 8 hours of sleep? Feeling lacklustre and missing your get up & go? Here are my tips on how to establish a night time routine to get you back to your good ol' well rested self.

Wrap it up

There is nothing worse than getting ready for bed and knowing you still have a million and once things left to do on your list. Before you leave work, or pack up for the day, write a priorities list ready for tomorrow. Not only will this calm your mind and help you to realise that the mile long list is ok to wait for tomorrow, but it will also help you to close off the part of your brain dedicated to work. You're prepared for a productive tomorrow, so it's now time to relax.

Take 'me' time

Whether it's simply taking time removing your makeup or a full blown pamper routine, taking time for yourself does wonders for your mindset. How about a bath, or simply a cup of tea. Establish a night time ritual that will set you up for the perfects night sleep.  Practice it regularly and it will soon become a habit that your mind associates with the perfect nights sleep.

Technology Break

Granted, i'm not the best for this, but we all know that time away from that blue light of your phone is essential for a restful nights sleep. The benefits are supposed to come from staying away from technology at least an hour before bed. Take some time to pick up a new book, take that little bit more time on your skincare routine, anything to stop that continuous scrolling of Instagram and Twitter which you've read countless times before. *takes note*

Something comfy

Get yourself into something comfy, soft & sleepy. Pyjamas are my jam, and as soon as I get into them i'm ready for a good nights sleep. There are so many beautiful ones around these days you don't need to look like a grandma (although those are my personal favourite!). I'm also slightly odd and sleep with an eye mask and ear plugs-without fail- every.single.night. Without my comforts, I won't be getting those 8 hours!

How do you ensure a good night's sleep? Will you be taking on some of these tips?
Let me know in the comments below!

Lil’ Black Boots

Review | Hourglass Surreal Lighting Edit

Firstly, have you ever seen such a beautiful palette, ever? Perfectly packaged in marble with subtle gold lettering, and then the most stunning products hidden inside.

I have had the pleasure of owning this since Christmas, and have used it every single day since. Hourglass have always been a high end brand that I have admired (see my previous review here), and the addition of this product doesn't disappoint.  

This is a complete face palette, offering everything you need for a glowy makeup up look: 
Surreal Light- a sheer nude powder that provides that 'perfect lighting' look
Surreal Bronze Light- a subtle warm bronzer that I use for contouring
Surreal Glow- a pale peony pink blush for the perfect flush of colour
Surreal Effect- a pink rose blush for that pop of colour (my least used item to be honest)
Surreal Strobe Light- the ultimate highlight of all time!

All shades are designed to give you everything you need for a glowy makeup look, my version of which you can see below! I wear this look pretty much every day as all of the powders are so easy to blend which is perfect for that quick look before work. I pair the look with a slight winged liner (pretty awful in these photos, sorry!), a subtle filled in brow, and my favourite Lancome juicy shaker lip oils. 

You can shop the palette here for £69:

Will you be treating yourself?

 Lil’ Black Boots

 Philip Kingsley Flakey/Itchy Scalp Shampoo & Toner review

An embarrassing problem right? Sure it's a pain, but 1. It shouldn't be (it happens to the best of us) and 2. Philip Kingsley doesn't think so, it's right there on the bottle not hidden around the back in small print. 

I recently had an allergic reaction to a shampoo, leaving me with a painful and yes.. flakey scalp. So after a few weeks of trying to convince myself that it would fix itself, I finally bit the bullet and found these products having seen Lily speak about them on her Instagram story. 

Its hard to find a shampoo designed for targeting dandruff/flakey scalp that doesn't strip the colour out of your hair, which considering I recently had a trip to Samantha Cusick for balayage I wasn't willing to risk. 
Lily's recommendation didn't disappoint- this is an extremely gentle and soothing shampoo which is mild enough for daily use. It has a lovely apple fragrance too. My scalp is on the mend and significantly less flakey than it was a few weeks ago.

In purchasing this product, I also saw that Philip Kingsley has a flakey/itchy scalp toner. Having never heard of a toner for your scalp I was intrigued so picked up the travel size bottle. This toner has an anti-microbial and anti-flaking formula that claims (and delivers) immediate and long lasting relief from dandruff and irritation. I section my hair into strips and dispense a little all over my scalp, then dry my hair like normal. It doesn't leave any residue is is extremely cooling. This addition has a big thumbs up from me and I will continue to use this just for the soothing nature.

           Lil’ Black Boots

I'm on the shortlist for the #BlogosphereBlogAwards 2017!

Yes, that's right, Lil' Black Boots has been shortlisted for the Blogosphere Community Award! 
You can vote for me, and your other favourites HERE *wink wink* *hint hint*

If you've been a reader for a while, you will know that it was Blogosphere Magazine that really made me decide to take the plunge and start up Lil' Black Boots. I have every print, they're full of amazing interviews, information and stories that you don't find anywhere else and I've even been to one of their cover reveals!. I've reviewed the magazine here before too. 

This is Blogosphere Magazine's first ever Blogosphere awards, and the nominations have come from you! There are 10 categories including fashion, beauty, food, fitness plus the Blogosphere Blogger of the year! The shortlist is full of some seriously inspiring bloggers so head over and click their links, its an easy way to discover some new reads. Also, whichever fabulous lady wins the Blogger of the year will get to star on the cover of the magazine in the September issue- amazing!

The Community Award which is what i'm shortlisted for, was chosen by the Editorial team and features those of us who either interact on social media, contribute to the magazine, or join in with Twitter chats. It's an honour to have been noticed!

Voting closes on 22nd May so you have 10 days left, Go Go Go!

The awards ceremony will be on June 22nd and winners will be invited to an interview and photoshoot with the Blogosphere Editorial team. Good luck to everyone!

Remember to share with the hashtag #BlogosphereBlogAwards 

I'll have another beauty post up on Monday, so until then, have a browse of the *hopefully* new and improved blog, and remember to let me know if you have voted!

Lil’ Black Boots
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