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LUSH Sparkly Pumpkin

Damn, it got cold in October! The scarves are out, the heating's on, and I've been looking up recipes for soup (salad is the last lunch you want when it's chilly). I've had a tonne of work to do for university, not to mention a week of working office hours like a proper adult, and frankly, I'm shattered. But despite that, I've always had a soft spot for this time of year, and there have been plenty of lovely moments in October.

What's Made Me Happy This Month? October 2015

LUSH Sparkly Pumpkin

Damn, it got cold in October! The scarves are out, the heating's on, and I've been looking up recipes for soup (salad is the last lunch you want when it's chilly). I've had a tonne of work to do for university, not to mention a week of working office hours like a proper adult, and frankly, I'm shattered. But despite that, I've always had a soft spot for this time of year, and there have been plenty of lovely moments in October.

I'd wager that I feel the cold more than your average twenty-something; it certainly shows. The skin on my hands gets cracked, my lips get sore, and I find myself reaching for moisturisers which are a lot, lot richer than my usual staples.

Winter products may be very functional, but they are by no means boring, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.

Winter Essentials

Heat Holders Wool Socks*

I never really accept any kind of clothing to review, but I had to make an exception for these because a) they're fluffy socks, b) they fit with the theme of this post, and c) my feet get absolutely freezing in winter, so anything that can help is worth a go.

Heat Holders are apparently eight times warmer than regular cotton socks, too, and while I have no way of measuring that, I can confirm they've been keeping my feet cost during the cold Welsh nights. I thought the wool was going to be itchy, but the lining is soft and fluffy  these are the most comfortable socks I've ever worn.

Where can you buy them?

The Heat Holders website, at £11.99 a pair.

Superdrug Intensive Vitamin E All Over Body Cream (v)

The extra-strength version of one of my favourite body creams has been a godsend. It feels exactly the same as its sibling - thick, non-greasy, quick to sink in - but the moisturising effects last for that little bit longer, and that can make all the difference. The tub is huge, so it'll last you for ages; not bad for £3.49!

Where can you buy it?

The Superdrug website

Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream (v)

My hands get terribly cracked and sore when it's cold outside. The cream is gorgeous - it has a light, silky texture, but don't let that fool you, because it leaves skin soft and smooth.

Best of all, it doesn't take forever to sink in, which means you can use it whenever you like and then go about your day. Plus, it smells of marzipan, so it's more than suited to the winter season.

Where can you buy it?

From Naturisimo, or the Weleda website

Soap & Glory The Scrub of Your Life Smoothing Body Scrub

I love a good body scrub, but I tend to want something a little less abrasive in winter. The Scrub of Your Life isn't as gritty as Flake Away or The Breakfast Scrub, but it still does its job admirably, buffing skin gentle to get rid of flakes. I've yet to find anything from Soap & Glory's bath and shower range I don't like; they can do it all.

Where can you buy it?

From the Boots website

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia

A good lip balm is essential no matter what the weather, but I especially love this one because it leaves a lovely berry tint, and if berry shades aren't wintery then I don't know what is.

The balm itself is very soothing for cracked lips and feels very moisturising. Low-maintenance lip care at its finest.

Where can you buy it?

From the Boots website

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (v)

To the shock and horror of, well, most of you, I hadn't actually tried Snow Fairy until recently. And what a mistake that was. I bloody love it. It smells of cough syrup and cupcakes and doesn't strip the skin of moisture  I plan to buy a bigger bottle before it's too late. Dreamy.

Where can you buy it?

The Lush website (during the Christmas season)

What do you reach for in winter? Do you feel the cold as much as I do? Let me know in the comments.

(v) = vegan

Winter Essentials

I'd wager that I feel the cold more than your average twenty-something; it certainly shows. The skin on my hands gets cracked, my lips get sore, and I find myself reaching for moisturisers which are a lot, lot richer than my usual staples.

Winter products may be very functional, but they are by no means boring, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.

Winter Essentials

Heat Holders Wool Socks*

I never really accept any kind of clothing to review, but I had to make an exception for these because a) they're fluffy socks, b) they fit with the theme of this post, and c) my feet get absolutely freezing in winter, so anything that can help is worth a go.

Heat Holders are apparently eight times warmer than regular cotton socks, too, and while I have no way of measuring that, I can confirm they've been keeping my feet cost during the cold Welsh nights. I thought the wool was going to be itchy, but the lining is soft and fluffy  these are the most comfortable socks I've ever worn.

Where can you buy them?

The Heat Holders website, at £11.99 a pair.

Superdrug Intensive Vitamin E All Over Body Cream (v)

The extra-strength version of one of my favourite body creams has been a godsend. It feels exactly the same as its sibling - thick, non-greasy, quick to sink in - but the moisturising effects last for that little bit longer, and that can make all the difference. The tub is huge, so it'll last you for ages; not bad for £3.49!

Where can you buy it?

The Superdrug website

Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream (v)

My hands get terribly cracked and sore when it's cold outside. The cream is gorgeous - it has a light, silky texture, but don't let that fool you, because it leaves skin soft and smooth.

Best of all, it doesn't take forever to sink in, which means you can use it whenever you like and then go about your day. Plus, it smells of marzipan, so it's more than suited to the winter season.

Where can you buy it?

From Naturisimo, or the Weleda website

Soap & Glory The Scrub of Your Life Smoothing Body Scrub

I love a good body scrub, but I tend to want something a little less abrasive in winter. The Scrub of Your Life isn't as gritty as Flake Away or The Breakfast Scrub, but it still does its job admirably, buffing skin gentle to get rid of flakes. I've yet to find anything from Soap & Glory's bath and shower range I don't like; they can do it all.

Where can you buy it?

From the Boots website

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia

A good lip balm is essential no matter what the weather, but I especially love this one because it leaves a lovely berry tint, and if berry shades aren't wintery then I don't know what is.

The balm itself is very soothing for cracked lips and feels very moisturising. Low-maintenance lip care at its finest.

Where can you buy it?

From the Boots website

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (v)

To the shock and horror of, well, most of you, I hadn't actually tried Snow Fairy until recently. And what a mistake that was. I bloody love it. It smells of cough syrup and cupcakes and doesn't strip the skin of moisture  I plan to buy a bigger bottle before it's too late. Dreamy.

Where can you buy it?

The Lush website (during the Christmas season)

What do you reach for in winter? Do you feel the cold as much as I do? Let me know in the comments.

(v) = vegan
Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Generally, I don't really follow trends that closely, I just pick and choose what I like, but all of that goes out of the window at this time of year. The berries, the camel colours, the copper... and also less-raved about shades like these.

I found Barry M's Gelly Nail Paints to be a little hit and miss when they were first released, but they've most certainly perfected the formula by now because all of these apply very smoothly (as long as you don't get too much paint on the brush). Boots had a 3-for-2 offer on recently (it might still be going) so I picked up three shades: Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Autumn Nail Polish Shades By Barry M

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Generally, I don't really follow trends that closely, I just pick and choose what I like, but all of that goes out of the window at this time of year. The berries, the camel colours, the copper... and also less-raved about shades like these.

I found Barry M's Gelly Nail Paints to be a little hit and miss when they were first released, but they've most certainly perfected the formula by now because all of these apply very smoothly (as long as you don't get too much paint on the brush). Boots had a 3-for-2 offer on recently (it might still be going) so I picked up three shades: Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli


After all the stress of last week's post about feeling the pressure, I thought I'd start the week with something a little more positive, and the little things list was born. It is by no means exhaustive, I just let my mind ramble and these are the fifteen things that I thought of first. Enjoy!

15 Little Things That Make Me Happy


After all the stress of last week's post about feeling the pressure, I thought I'd start the week with something a little more positive, and the little things list was born. It is by no means exhaustive, I just let my mind ramble and these are the fifteen things that I thought of first. Enjoy!
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

I'm quiet and baby-faced, and I use nonsense words when talking to dogs I come across in the street, but berry lips make me feel like I'm absolutely ruthless. I've said this many a time, especially on Twitter, but I'm gonna reiterate anyway: berry lips make me feel like I have my shit together. Make-up doesn't just transform you on the outside; it also has an effect on your state of mind, and I love that.

The Berry Lips are Back

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

I'm quiet and baby-faced, and I use nonsense words when talking to dogs I come across in the street, but berry lips make me feel like I'm absolutely ruthless. I've said this many a time, especially on Twitter, but I'm gonna reiterate anyway: berry lips make me feel like I have my shit together. Make-up doesn't just transform you on the outside; it also has an effect on your state of mind, and I love that.
I picked this photo because there are few things that intimidate me more than a blank page (or screen!)
By pressure, I mean the pressure I put on myself. The things that I feel like I should be doing, and therefore fret about when I don't get them done, or don't do enough of them. This list includes, but is not limited to:

Pressure

I picked this photo because there are few things that intimidate me more than a blank page (or screen!)
By pressure, I mean the pressure I put on myself. The things that I feel like I should be doing, and therefore fret about when I don't get them done, or don't do enough of them. This list includes, but is not limited to:

I first became familiar with Neal's Yard Remedies when I picked up their hand creams as magazine freebies. I love their hand creams, but I'd never really considered looking into any of their other ranges until recently. This, I quickly discovered, was a damn shame, because Neal's Yard make some excellent products. Curious? Here's what I've been loving.

Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month: Neal's Yard Remedies


I first became familiar with Neal's Yard Remedies when I picked up their hand creams as magazine freebies. I love their hand creams, but I'd never really considered looking into any of their other ranges until recently. This, I quickly discovered, was a damn shame, because Neal's Yard make some excellent products. Curious? Here's what I've been loving.
Umberto Giannini Curl Friends

My hair is a bit of  a contradiction: fine but wavy (with the odd most-definitely curly section thrown in), it hangs somewhere between straight and not. Products designed for curly hair are usually too heavy for me, but products made for fine hair don't always calm the frizz I'm prone to getting. This means I'm often in a bit of a hair dilemma, with no idea what to use.

#GetYourCurlsOut with Umberto Giannini

Umberto Giannini Curl Friends

My hair is a bit of  a contradiction: fine but wavy (with the odd most-definitely curly section thrown in), it hangs somewhere between straight and not. Products designed for curly hair are usually too heavy for me, but products made for fine hair don't always calm the frizz I'm prone to getting. This means I'm often in a bit of a hair dilemma, with no idea what to use.

We're taking a trip back in time to my teenage years today  hence the clock. (I couldn't find any stock photos of smushed lipstick and there was no way I was ruining one of my own.) My experiments with make-up have definitely helped me to (slowly) learn what works and what doesn't, and I pick up new tips all the time. It was, and still is, a trial and error approach, and I will be eternally grateful that I went through my early teens before social media became the huge thing it is today. Since there are no photos (none I'd be willing to share, anyway!) I made a list instead. Here are my beauty mistakes.

8 Beauty Mistakes I Definitely Made


We're taking a trip back in time to my teenage years today  hence the clock. (I couldn't find any stock photos of smushed lipstick and there was no way I was ruining one of my own.) My experiments with make-up have definitely helped me to (slowly) learn what works and what doesn't, and I pick up new tips all the time. It was, and still is, a trial and error approach, and I will be eternally grateful that I went through my early teens before social media became the huge thing it is today. Since there are no photos (none I'd be willing to share, anyway!) I made a list instead. Here are my beauty mistakes.


I found my favourite undereye concealer months ago, but I've had less luck when it comes to a concealer for blemishes. When you suffer from breakouts, this can be a problem. When you only buy cruelty-free products, this can also be a problem, because you can't just pick up any old thing while you're shopping  you have to research it first. Oh, and I'm incredibly pale, so unless I go high end the chances of finding a decent shade match are slim. But I can't afford to buy high end base products on a regular basis. My mission? To find a decent, spot-covering concealer that's a) cruelty-free, b) pale, and c) affordable enough for me to make part of my everyday make up routine. 

(In case you're wondering just how pale I am, I wear the shade Siberia in NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, and I use their Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under my eyes.)

Cruelty-Free Concealer


Makeup Revolution Matte Effect Cover & Conceal in 01 Fairest
Formula/packaging: Solid concealer in twist-up stick form.
Shade match: Good. On the yellower side, but I find this tends to cover redness more so it doesn't bother me too much.
Spot coverage: I'd say medium; it can be built up to full if you apply it in light layers but this looks cakey.
Texture/blending: Takes some effort to work it into the skin; for this reason, I tend to use my fingers to apply it because the heat helps with blending.
Longevity: Not the greatest  I usually need to reapply at lunchtime.
Price: £1
Where can you buy it? [discontinued as of 2018]
Conclusion: Not amazing, but not too bad for a mere £1. Will do in an emergency.

GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Anti-Redness 4
Formula/packaging: Green liquid corrector in a pen. You click the end to release more product, and use the built-in brush to apply it.
Spot coverage: It's a fine line with this one. Apply too much and you just look like you're sick; apply too little and it doesn't make a difference. Proceed cautiously.
Texture/blending: Thin liquid, very easy to blend. Again, don't use too much, or you'll end up with it all over your face instead of just over your blemishes.
Longevity: It stays put once it's been set with all your other base products. Works particularly well with mineral foundation.
Price: £6.99
Where can you buy it? Superdrug
Conclusion: This isn't something I'd have the patience to use every day because of how careful you have to be with application, but it does make a difference to the redness of blemishes. I'll be saving it for important occasions and nights out.

GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Light 1

Formula/packaging: Liquid concealer in a pen. You click the end to release more product, and use the built-in brush to apply it.
Shade match: Not amazing, but not too bad  it's a bit more peachy in tone than the other offerings here.
Spot coverage: Light, but because the liquid is so thin you can build it up  carefully. Like the Anti-Redness Concealer, it's best to use a tiny bit of this at a time.
Texture/blending: Thin liquid, easy to blend.
Longevity: Can just about survive a crazy night out.
Price: £6.99
Where can you buy it? Superdrug
Conclusion: It's good, and I can make it work, but I wouldn't repurchase because the shade match isn't quite what I wanted. If they made this in a slightly lighter shade I would buy it again, so this might be worth looking at if your skintone is a bit warmer than mine.


Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer in Blondie (v)
Formula/packaging: Mineral powder in a pot with a sifter. The lid is the usual matte black shade with the Lily Lolo logo on, which makes it look way more expensive than it actually is.
Shade match: Perfect! This is very pale  Chantilly pale  and doesn't leave tell-tale marks on my skin like some darker concealers do.
Spot coverage: Ranges from sheer to medium, depending on how much you build up the layers. It's best to work lightly and then add more if you need it.
Texture/blending: Blends in well over mineral foundation and spots, not so well under the eyes (I found it sat in fine lines). Apply it with a fluffy concealer brush for the most natural-looking result.
Longevity: It can make it through the day with maybe one touch-up needed. It's not a product I'd use on the go, though, because I'd probably end up spilling the powder everywhere.
Price: £8.49
Where can you buy it? The Lily Lolo website
Conclusion: Good if you want natural coverage and a product that feels light on skin. The pot is quite big so it should last a long time, even with daily use.

Hmmm, this is quite a mixed bag. None of these blew me away, but all of them managed to get the job done one way or another. The Lily Lolo concealer definitely wins in terms of shade match, but the GOSH concealer stayed put for longer, so I'd probably reach for that on a busy day. If somebody could make a concealer that's pale and long-lasting (and under £10) that would be wonderful! Anyone?

What's your favourite concealer to use? Or are you still searching? Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

Looking for a Cruelty-Free Concealer


I found my favourite undereye concealer months ago, but I've had less luck when it comes to a concealer for blemishes. When you suffer from breakouts, this can be a problem. When you only buy cruelty-free products, this can also be a problem, because you can't just pick up any old thing while you're shopping  you have to research it first. Oh, and I'm incredibly pale, so unless I go high end the chances of finding a decent shade match are slim. But I can't afford to buy high end base products on a regular basis. My mission? To find a decent, spot-covering concealer that's a) cruelty-free, b) pale, and c) affordable enough for me to make part of my everyday make up routine. 

(In case you're wondering just how pale I am, I wear the shade Siberia in NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, and I use their Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under my eyes.)

Cruelty-Free Concealer


Makeup Revolution Matte Effect Cover & Conceal in 01 Fairest
Formula/packaging: Solid concealer in twist-up stick form.
Shade match: Good. On the yellower side, but I find this tends to cover redness more so it doesn't bother me too much.
Spot coverage: I'd say medium; it can be built up to full if you apply it in light layers but this looks cakey.
Texture/blending: Takes some effort to work it into the skin; for this reason, I tend to use my fingers to apply it because the heat helps with blending.
Longevity: Not the greatest  I usually need to reapply at lunchtime.
Price: £1
Where can you buy it? [discontinued as of 2018]
Conclusion: Not amazing, but not too bad for a mere £1. Will do in an emergency.

GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Anti-Redness 4
Formula/packaging: Green liquid corrector in a pen. You click the end to release more product, and use the built-in brush to apply it.
Spot coverage: It's a fine line with this one. Apply too much and you just look like you're sick; apply too little and it doesn't make a difference. Proceed cautiously.
Texture/blending: Thin liquid, very easy to blend. Again, don't use too much, or you'll end up with it all over your face instead of just over your blemishes.
Longevity: It stays put once it's been set with all your other base products. Works particularly well with mineral foundation.
Price: £6.99
Where can you buy it? Superdrug
Conclusion: This isn't something I'd have the patience to use every day because of how careful you have to be with application, but it does make a difference to the redness of blemishes. I'll be saving it for important occasions and nights out.

GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Light 1

Formula/packaging: Liquid concealer in a pen. You click the end to release more product, and use the built-in brush to apply it.
Shade match: Not amazing, but not too bad  it's a bit more peachy in tone than the other offerings here.
Spot coverage: Light, but because the liquid is so thin you can build it up  carefully. Like the Anti-Redness Concealer, it's best to use a tiny bit of this at a time.
Texture/blending: Thin liquid, easy to blend.
Longevity: Can just about survive a crazy night out.
Price: £6.99
Where can you buy it? Superdrug
Conclusion: It's good, and I can make it work, but I wouldn't repurchase because the shade match isn't quite what I wanted. If they made this in a slightly lighter shade I would buy it again, so this might be worth looking at if your skintone is a bit warmer than mine.


Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer in Blondie (v)
Formula/packaging: Mineral powder in a pot with a sifter. The lid is the usual matte black shade with the Lily Lolo logo on, which makes it look way more expensive than it actually is.
Shade match: Perfect! This is very pale  Chantilly pale  and doesn't leave tell-tale marks on my skin like some darker concealers do.
Spot coverage: Ranges from sheer to medium, depending on how much you build up the layers. It's best to work lightly and then add more if you need it.
Texture/blending: Blends in well over mineral foundation and spots, not so well under the eyes (I found it sat in fine lines). Apply it with a fluffy concealer brush for the most natural-looking result.
Longevity: It can make it through the day with maybe one touch-up needed. It's not a product I'd use on the go, though, because I'd probably end up spilling the powder everywhere.
Price: £8.49
Where can you buy it? The Lily Lolo website
Conclusion: Good if you want natural coverage and a product that feels light on skin. The pot is quite big so it should last a long time, even with daily use.

Hmmm, this is quite a mixed bag. None of these blew me away, but all of them managed to get the job done one way or another. The Lily Lolo concealer definitely wins in terms of shade match, but the GOSH concealer stayed put for longer, so I'd probably reach for that on a busy day. If somebody could make a concealer that's pale and long-lasting (and under £10) that would be wonderful! Anyone?

What's your favourite concealer to use? Or are you still searching? Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

I've said previously that I don't want to make too many changes to my skincare routine, but my skin always needs that extra something at this time of year. I've added two products: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, and Dirty Works Perfecting Eye Cream.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Skincare: New In For Winter


I've said previously that I don't want to make too many changes to my skincare routine, but my skin always needs that extra something at this time of year. I've added two products: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, and Dirty Works Perfecting Eye Cream.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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