Review: The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation

Almost a year ago I fell head over heels in love with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation. Unfortunately, Maybelline isn’t cruelty free – so I needed to find a new foundation…

I saw The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation on their Twitter account and immediately knew I needed to try it! When you have oily skin, the words matte and clay tend to jump out as good things. At £10 it is a little on the pricier side for a ‘drugstore’ equivalent foundation but considering The Body Shop regularly has sales, it’s quite easy to get for less. Also, I feel like £10 is a perfectly decent price?

The Body Shop claim that it offers a full coverage, matte finish and I largely agree. I’d say it’s more of a medium-full coverage but it’s certainly build-able to reach full coverage. I would also say that how matte the finish is very much depends on how I apply it but it does keep the oil at bay well with just a bit of blotting. If you have normal/dry skin it would definitely be a matte foundation and it might not work for you.

It contains tea tree oil and I would say that it has improved my skin since starting using it. It For such a decent coverage foundation, it doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t seem to clog my pores. Also, once it’s on, it’s barely budging – even when I’ve worked out wearing it, it manages to stick around and look awesome. It doesn’t break down, it doesn’t go patchy or weird… It’s great! I did feel like it slightly oxidised on me, so it might be worth trying a sample on your skin and seeing if that happens before buying.

My only complaint is the shade range. There are only 10 shades total and as always they’re basically all for white people. For example my summer shade only has three shades darker than it… wtf? I know The Body Shop do the shade adjusting drops but ehhh no.

Overall though, if you can get a shade that matches you, this is a gorgeous cruelty free foundation for oily skin.

What’s your favourite foundation? I know there’s a Sleek foundation that I’ve seen a few people recommend now that I’m tempted to try next.

xo Fleur xo

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Book Review: Aaru

I don’t know why but I always find it difficult knowing what to say to start a book review! Unlike makeup where I tend to fall in love with something and have to buy it, my reasons for picking up a book are a lot more varied. So I can’t just start with ‘I saw this and needed it’ I’ll figure it out at some point!

Aaru by David Meredith* is a fascinating book where the theme running through it reminds me very much of Tad Williams Otherland series – a series I absolutely loved. It also, in a way, reminds me of Ready Player One. In both the Otherland series and Ready Player One, people are able to enter a very real virtual reality. In Aaru the idea is to save people, download their essence as it were, so they can remain living in a virtual reality.

I will say from the start that I don’t think the cover suits the book brilliantly well. Certainly it’s not what I would have chosen and had I not read the blurb I wouldn’t have read it.

aaru david meredith

Aaru centers around two sisters Rose and Koren. Rose is hospitalised and dying from leukaemia when a new doctor offers one last treatment that Koren convinces her to take a chance on. Neither Rose nor Koren know what this treatment involves and Koren is heartbroken when Rose dies soon after. I don’t want to go into much more detail as I think it spoils the story to an extent!

Overall I thought this was such an exciting book, especially as someone who has studied biophysics. The idea that there’s the potential to save people from death, that they can go on living in a virtual reality but also all the problems inherent with that. I think David Meredith does an excellent job of bringing all of this together whilst keeping an exciting storyline.

There is only one plot line that I struggled with and that may have more to do with me. I don’t enjoy reading about stalking and violence towards women, particularly sexual violence. If you also struggle reading about that I would avoid this book. I also don’t think it added much to the story and takes the book from being perfect for teens to potentially being quite disturbing for that younger audience.

Back on a more positive note, I just love the imagination authors can have when setting stories in virtual reality and David Meredith’s creativity shone through in so many of those scenes.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves young adult books and virtual reality/science fiction. If you do struggle, like I mentioned above, I might avoid it and I would consider reading it before giving it to anyone from a younger audience.

It is available through Kindle Unlimited (which I’m definitely debating getting – if anyone has it, do let me know what you think!) or for purchase on Amazon.

xo Fleur xo

*This book was sent to me for review but all opinions are my own. I also can’t get my nofollow links to work – hence why there are no links in this post… YAY

Resolutions for 2018

I actually did pretty well with my 2017 resolutions and overall I did do SO much and I’m really proud of myself. This year I want to go for a few more achievable resolutions, alongside some more challenging ones.

I want to continue to improve my health. I’m not setting targets but I want to continue working on my mental health. I’m determined to continue getting fitter and as part of that I want to enter more events this year (especially Virtual Runner events as they are stress free but make me try hard & you still get an awesome medal!). I also want to feed my body better. I will start cooking more again and eating a more nutritious diet. I’m not dieting, I’m not ‘clean eating’… I just want my digestive system to hate me slightly less and to hopefully feel less shit all the time!

I want to get better at adulting. I want to keep the house cleaner, buy new bed linen, towels and pillows, get on top of everything a bit better. I’m going to get a new bookcase & continue making our sitting room nicer. I’m also going to try and make our second bedroom less of a dumping ground – plus I might be able to fit a place for my makeup in there if I sort it out! I want to grow up and be more responsible.

I want to buy less. I want to think more about how much happiness something will give me before I buy it. I want to buy fewer clothes, less makeup, less random shite. I want to buy from smaller businesses more and more from charity shops. I want to continue learning about ethical purchasing and try to improve because every little step helps.

I really want to find a new job. I really want to have the confidence to search for and apply for new jobs. I applied for 1 job in 2017 and they’d already filled the position, hopefully I can succeed in conquering my fears in 2018.

I’m going to continue reading and blogging about books! I’ve set my Goodreads goal to read 75 books this year and I think that’s achievable. I would set a goal to finally read from the start to finish of the Wheel of Time series but that might be a bit ambitious alongside my other goals…

I’d also really like to have another holiday with my OH this year. I had a work ‘holiday’ to Italy, a few nights away in Brighton, Portsmouth and Weymouth and a trip to Minehead Butlins last year and they all really helped my mental health.

A harder one but I’d like to think kinder thoughts. I’m not saying more positive because I find it damaging to try and only think positively, I can’t manage it and then I stress. Kind I can possibly manage. Kinder to myself, to others, in general.

I’m not putting too much pressure on myself this year. They’re all largely goals that can be achieved by simply trying and I’m alright at trying. I think my New Years resolutions need to be things that will make my life better and happier.

How well did your resolutions go last year? Have you made more for this year?

xo Fleur xo

Blogger Book Nook: Christmas

Okay, I know Christmas has totally gone and we’re in January now BUT I really didn’t want to miss out on a Blogger Book Nook post! Basically, I had a book I bought specially for this prompt but I hated it. I then picked up another Christmassy book and hated that one too?! Finally I read two books in a series that whilst not super Christmassy were themed around winter! SO they’ll still be a gorgeous read in January or February when it’s grim outside.

If you like books do join the Blogger Book Nook on Facebook – it’s such a lovely community and getting to talk to people regularly about BOOKS is great! Also Abbey is incredible with coming up with the prompts as well as questions for us all to answer and discuss ❤

I’ll only discuss the first book in the series so I don’t let out any spoilers but I did really enjoy both books.

Mini review – The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This book very much reminded me of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, as it has a similar theme of people honouring new gods and the old gods struggling as a result. It was also interesting to read more about something that is part of so many fantasy novels and fairy tales – the leaving out of bread and milk for the creatures that look after the house and family.

The book is set in Russia (before it was truly Russia) and the story mainly follows Vasilisa, a child who her mother deliberately wants to bring into the world because she will be different. It also provides so much depth and richness of detail to the rest of Vasilisa’s family. Seeing into a different culture and family traditions is always so fascinating to me.

It is a slow moving book but I was completely caught up in the story and writing. Especially with the snow and ice, I loved reading about the freezing cold from the warmth of my house. I do think the second book is arguably better in terms of progression but I completely fell for both and can’t wait for the third!

Q&A

1. Do you have an all time favourite Christmas book? If so, what is it?

I don’t but I do love the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke. When I remember I love reading it before bed on Christmas Eve.

2. Are there any books from childhood that you associate with Christmas time?

Again, no! I don’t think I read many Christmas themed books growing up, nor did I make a habit of reading any particular books at any time of year.

3. Which book are you hoping to find in your stocking this year?

I was hoping for the colouring book for the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas – and I got it! Always lovely when you get exactly what you asked for 😛 I also received the book Ink (which I also asked for) and how gorgeous is that cover?! Totally wanted it based on that alone – which means it’ll be a perfect read for the January prompt!

4. Have you ever received a book at Christmas that you still have on your book shelf unread?

Yep and not just the ones I received just over a week ago! I do keep meaning to read the one I haven’t read but I have too many books vying for my attention… I’ll get round to it this year, promise!

5. Where is your favourite place to curl up with a book in the winter weather?

Definitely on my sofa, in my pj’s, fire lit, fairy lights on. Absolute heaven! To be fair, bar the fire being lit, that’s my favourite place year round. It’s just so cosy and perfect.

Sorry this post was late & a little too Christmassy for the first week in January but at least the book would certainly still be awesome whilst winter is here.

Happy New Year!

xo Fleur xo

What I got for Christmas!

I know a lot of people don’t like this kind of post… so if that’s you, just scroll on past ❤ I happen to love them! I love seeing what other people got & it’s such good inspiration of what to buy people in the future. Basically I’m nosey. I want to see your presents, what you eat, what’s in your handbag… ALL of it.

I’m not going to describe every item or it’ll be a stupidly long post but if there’s anything you see and want to know what it is, just ask 🙂

I do like getting calendars for Christmas – it makes such a lovely gift. The cards are a gift card for Amazon and some Christmas money!

I got a PORG!!! (I’m also going to need a new bookcase to put all of these on)

We did also get a massive metre long & pretty wide box of chocolates too but they’re still in the car…

I’m going to be so clean!

I think people realised I like Pusheen haha ❤

YESSSSSSS – I can’t wait to use these! Subculture AND Naked Heat ❤

Can never go wrong with a candle for me… Also, how cute does that colour drip candle look?

I did know I was getting this colouring book and book 🙂 – but look how cute that phone case is?! I can’t wait to get a photo of it actually on my phone because it’s gorgeous.

I’m so in love with these AND I can have comfy feet again! (In the past week I’ve thrown two pairs of shoes in the bin because I’ve gone through the bottom of them…)

Sooooo these were apparently a bit of an accident & are actually fake, from a dubious website! I can defo wear them for my walk to work though… they’ll be great for that

I want to take the Christmas tree down so I can put my Moroccan lantern up!

Unicorn, rainbow life…

How cute is that little panda in the bottom of the mug?

My OH got me a kindle oasis and I’m over the moon! My kindle had started freezing (SO annoying), so I’d been using his but now I have my own again 😀 honestly so over the moon with this present!

I’m totally going to have to take these unicorn post-its into work!

 

I am very aware that it’s a little excessive and that I am very, very spoilt. I’m so happy though and I know some of the presents I’ve bought have made people happy too.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you have a wonderful 2018!

xo Fleur xo

Review: Fair Squared Coconut Body Scrub and Body Lotion

As you may have seen, I made the decision to buy only cruelty free cosmetics this summer. So, I’ve definitely had a journey in finding brands that offer cruelty free products but it’s been way easier than I thought!

Fair Squared is one of the brands I’ve encountered since and they’re so impressive to me. Not only are the PETA certified cruelty free but their products are vegan, halal, Fairtrade labelled and have the Natrue label, which I hadn’t seen before but is great if you want to look into it. So, as a brand goes, they’re pretty decent ethically!

I tried the Coconut Body Lotion and the Coconut Body Scrub from them and straight away I want to say how lovely the packaging is. They come in cardboard boxes which immediately makes them feel special. They would genuinely make such a lovely gift. They also both contain great ingredients including Fairtrade olive oil from Palestine and Fairtrade coconut from Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Coconut Body Lotion – £12.95 for 250 ml

I’ll say straight away that this is far more than I’d normally spend on a body lotion for myself. At the same time though, what I’ve usually bought in the past has a petrochemical base and isn’t cruelty free…

The lotion comes in a pump that you can easily turn back off – which I love because it means I can travel with it and put it in my gym bag. It’s also great now I often have long fingernails because I don’t have to awkwardly try and scoop a bit out, YES.

Onto the actual product. I was really surprised the first time I used this that it didn’t have that standard, slightly artificial, slightly too vanilla ‘coconut’ scent! It smells slightly nutty, slightly like fresh coconut as soon as you’ve cracked it open. It’s not too strong and doesn’t linger. The lotion is wonderful. It’s hydrating and sinks in so quickly. I can really recommend it for summer, for using after swimming or when you need to get dressed quickly. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, like so many body lotions can! They also have other scents such as lime and vanilla if coconut doesn’t appeal.

Coconut Body Scrub£12.95 for 250ml

I can’t find the small tub I have on their website, that one is £8.95 for 150ml. I do really like the idea of the 250ml bottle though as it has a pump! The idea of a scrub in a pump bottle is amazing as it’d mean it could stay so much more hygienic.

I LOVE love love this scrub and it’s something I would happily re-purchase for the price. I was very confused when I opened it up as it’s a kind of jelly like consistency. This actually turned out to be great as I could pour a small amount into my hand. The scrub is super ‘scrubby’ and is the first one I’ve used in far too long to actually leave my skin exfoliated (does anyone else get loads of body scrubs for Christmas?). It actually contains coconut flakes as the exfoliant, which I think is great. It also leaves my skin feeling hydrated and like I’ve lightly moisturised it BUT not oily. I used a scrub recently that left me feeling like an oil slick, ugh! Also, again the scent of this was so natural and inoffensive.

Overall I really like both of these products! I think they work well, have great ingredients and I love that they’re more ethical than my previous purchases. If you are interested Fair Squared currently have free shipping when you spend over £10 and you can choose a free lipbalm with each item!

xo Fleur xo

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review but all opinions are my own and in my own waffling words! 

Blogger Book Nook: Young Adult

If you’ve seen my last two posts Something New and Spooktacular you’ll know I’m loving the Blogger Book Nook! It’s a Facebook group where everyone gets to talk about books and share their book blog posts. There’s also a reading prompt and Q&A each month – this month it was Young Adult and I love YA books!

Ink and Bone Rachel Caine

Q&A

1. Young adult books sometimes have the reputation of being a bit cliche – what do you think about this? Does it spoil your enjoyment of a book if you can predict the ending?

I think I read enough of a variety of YA fiction to avoid this. Or maybe I just don’t notice it? I do think there can be a fair number of love triangles in YA books but most of them aren’t as obvious as the one in Twilight! I find that often they’re much more complicated and related to people trying to save their world. With endings I quite like being able to figure it out and going ‘HA I knew!’… If it’s way too obvious it can be frustrating but I haven’t encountered that too much in YA.

2. Lots of YA books such as The Fault in Our Stars, 13 Reasons Why, and Everything Everything have been made into movies/TV shows lately – have you seen them? What did you think?

I actually haven’t read or seen any of these! I am kind of terrible in sticking to fantasy in both my reading and watching habits… Also, I just can’t say that any of them caught my attention in a positive way.

3. Where does YA rank in your order of favourite book genres? Is it a genre you’d usually reach for?

It’s probably my most read genre alongside fantasy. Though most of the YA books I read are also fantasy… I love YA fiction because it has to be engaging, it generally has a moderate to fast pace and it’s interesting. It also covers heavier topics so well, in a way that isn’t as stressful as adult books can be.

4. Who is your all-time favourite character from a YA novel? Why do you love them so much?

How am I supposed to choose?! I love my sassy warrior characters, so Alanna the Lioness and Keladry of Mindelan from Tamora Pierce’s series. Also more recently, Aelin Galathynius from Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass series. Characters like these meant I grew up wanting to be a knight and the fact that hasn’t happened is constantly devastating. Though steel plate or even leather armour doesn’t sound too fabulous in retrospect!

5. Pick a favourite YA series: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles or The Mortal Instruments?

I read The Lunar Chronicles recently and I absolutely adored the series. It’s so well thought out, especially the way the stories link together. It’s also a popular YA series where the last book/books aren’t slightly garbage. It continues being excellent to the end. I think The Mortal Instruments also manages this but I didn’t love the story quite as much. This may well be because I watched the first season of Shadowhunters first and the plots really don’t line up that well – so it got fairly confusing!

Mini Review

This month I found The Great Library series by Rachel Caine in my local library – or at least I found the second and third books… I then went home and bought the first book on kindle so I could get started reading them straight away. The series currently includes the books Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire and Ash and Quill. The fourth book is coming out summer 2018 and I can’t wait! I’ll mainly focus on Ink and Bone in this review as I don’t want to spoil anything but all the books are excellent, with twists I wasn’t expecting.

Ink and Bone is set in a parallel to our world and timeline where The Great Library of Alexandria wasn’t destroyed. Where the library came to be protected by it’s own army, in it’s own land and controls all knowledge. Ink and bone follows the story of Jess Brightwell, who comes from a family that smuggles original books, as he tries to join the library.

I think the concept of this series is absolutely incredible. One where what you know can be completely controlled by such a powerful force, stronger than governments, basically unchallenged. They can also see exactly which books have been accessed by whom. Any book they don’t approve of, they destroy. The books are fast paced and full but they still leave time for decent world-building, I would love to step into that world (so long as I could quickly step back out again too). I’d certainly recommend them!

Do you love YA books? Are there any I need to read immediately? My TBR might be overflowing but I can always add more…

xo Fleur xo