Skin SOS: Rescued by Pixi Glow Tonic

My skin is looking better than ever at the moment, and it's definitely down to my current line up of skincare products.

I've made a conscious effort in the past few weeks to stick to a proper regime; make up remover, cleanser, toner and moisturiser. It might sound like a fairly minimal routine to those who double cleanse, exfoliate and use oil, serum and four different creams, but I'd fallen into the bad habit of barely managing to wipe a cotton pad of micellar water over my face before hitting the pillow. As a result, my skin wasn't bad but was just looking a little dull and was beginning to take on an uneven texture.

Pixi Glow Tonic

The main thing that has overhauled my skin over the last few weeks is the Pixi Glow Tonic. I know there have been endless blogger reviews of this stuff, so I was a little dubious about boring you all with yet another one, but it really is so good that it didn't feel right to not sing it's praises on my blog.

I've been using it twice daily for about two weeks now and already my skin is smoother than it has been in years. Initially I came out in a big spot on my forehead, obviously all the toxins being drawn out, but it went within a few days and now, all the little bumpy bits that had previously appeared on my forehead have gone, and my skin feels so soft all over.

The Pixi Glow Tonic contains 5% Glycolic Acid, which gently exfoliates away dead skin cells and has not only improved my skin texture but also my complexion looks brighter and glowing. I can really see a massive difference - probably more so than with any other product before.

£18 from Marks & Spencer

And the rest...

Alongside the Glow Tonic, I've also rediscovered my Clarisonic sonic cleansing brush (check out my full review of the Clarisonic Smart Profile here), which I use around 3 times a week, to give my skin an intense deep clean.

I use this with the Nuxe Micellar Foam Cleanser with Rose Petals, which is probably also in part responsible for my brighter complexion as rose is a natural astringent, which means it helps to tighten pores and restore suppleness.

Finally, my old favourite, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate. I've raved many times (here, and here) about how smooth and nourished this stuff makes my skin. I've gotten back into the habit of using it daily; every evening and in the mornings when I'm feeling in need of a moisture boost, and my skin is more plumped and feels velvety.

Have you tried the Pixi Glow Tonic yet? Also, it appears I'm missing eye cream - leave me any suggestions in the comments below! 
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Brunch, delivered.

This week, Deliveroo made a pretty exciting announcement in just one word: brunch.

Yep, we can now enjoy some of our favourite Brighton brunch-eries from the comfort of our own homes from 9am on Saturdays and Sundays, and this morning I took full advantage of this.

We ordered from LangeLees; Eggs Benedict for me, a LangeLees breakfast with black pudding for Rich and two bottles of fresh orange juice. The menu has a large selection of vegan and meaty full English breakfasts, eggs and pancakes. For me it was a toss up between the pancakes and the eggs, so I'll be getting pancakes next time!

Our food arrived well packed up and piping hot (although it was cold by the time we'd photographed it #bloggerproblems). It took around 40 minutes, and you can even track your food's journey in real-time on the Deliveroo app, which was accurate to the second!

My eggs were poached to perfection, the sourdough bread was chewy with a crisp crust and the hollandaise was lovely. The bacon could have done with a few more minutes, but I like it really crispy. I really enjoyed the Frobishers OJ too - you really can tell the difference when you have a premium brand and, as we're both feeling a little poorly, it was just the hit of Vitamin C that we needed! Rich said his brekkie was 'nice' - perhaps you'll get a bit more info over on his blog.

Sat in our sunny bay window, still wearing our PJs, enjoying a home cooked breakfast that we didn't have to cook was a perfect start to the weekend! We're seriously considering getting our dinner delivered tonight too. Porkers.

If Deliveroo deliver in your town you can get £5 off by clicking here: Let me know what you get! 

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Coffee with Clinique

Katy, the lovely (and rather hilarious) manager of my local Clinique counter, invited a few Brighton beauty bloggers for a quick coffee after work on Friday to show us the brand new 'Chubby in the Nude' foundation sticks, which launched that very day!

Chubby in the Nude is the latest addition to Clinique's popular Chubby Stick range, meaning there is now a Chubby Stick for eyes, cheeks, lips, contour, highlight and foundation. As you can see, the one photo I managed to take, SUCKS, so I've embedded a clip of Georgia's vlog below, where you can see the Foundation Stick in action.

I tried it out for myself too, and despite not being much of a foundation wearer, I was left super impressed. Here's why:

  • They're far more creamy and moisturising than you might expect
  • They give a lovely sheer coverage, that disguises any uneven skin tone but looks really fresh and glowy...
  • ...but builds up to a moderate coverage, should you need it
  • The sheer coverage means that the shades are a little more versatile, and you won't need to worry too much about changing shades when you get a tan
  • They'll be great for taking in hand luggage on holiday - one less liquid to worry about! 
  • They're fun! You apply the sticks by doodling patterns/flowers/cat whiskers on your face before blending it in

Katy also gave us some good skincare and make-up tips; my favourite being her sworn method of disguising dark under eye circles - using pink lipstick underneath your concealer!

Unfortunately for me, there are no sample sized Chubby in the Nude sticks (boo hoo!) so I'm going to have to wait until pay day to buy one of my own. But, Katy did give us a few goodies to take away; a chubby stick for lips in 'Super Strawberry' which is a universally-flattering pink shade, a sample mascara (which I'm yet to try) and a little tube of Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum which, after just a weekend of use, has left my skin insanely soft! I think I'll be picking up the full size of that too!

Have you tried any of the Clinique Chubby Sticks?
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Debenhams Beauty: my favourites from the SS16 Press Day

There are worse ways to spend a Thursday afternoon, than in a beautifully decorated London townhouse, packed to the rafters with beauty products. Debenhams' SS16 Beauty Press Day was held in the gorgeous Haymarket Townhouse, where florals (for Spring? Groundbreaking.) featured on the walls, the furnishings, and even in the baths. A selection of this season's best in beauty from Debenhams was presented over three floors, and Laura (from What Laura Did Next) and I had a rather lovely afternoon exploring what's in store for the sunnier months of this year. Here's a run down of my absolute favourite picks of the day... 

I fell in love with Jurlique's brand story, which I heard over recieving a lovely hand massage with their luxury Rose Hand Cream. The brand have their own farm in Australia, where the 8,000 rose petals that go into every 100ml bottle of their famous Rosewater Balancing Mist are handpicked, amongst the wild Kangaroos that share their fields. New in for SS16 is the Intense Deluxe Edition of the Rosewater Balancing Mist, which contains five different rose extracts and is packaged in a limited edition bottle. Also new for Jurlique, are the aromatherapy mists in a choice of revitalising, calming or balancing blends. 

I loved this Urban Decay bronzer so much that I had to pick up one of my own on my lunch break the next day! Obviously the palm tree artwork on the compact and big mirror inside won me over, but the velvety formula, matte finish and perfect natural golden shade sealed the deal. 

And continuing the theme of cute compacts is the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfecting Primer. How adorable is the baby pink with gold detailing?! Inside, is a pale pink balm that's silky-soft and weightless. It feels and performs a little like Benefit's Porefessional, minimising the appearance of pores and blurring over imperfections, but in million dollar packaging. I also loved YSL's limited edition hero product (the Touche Eclat) for this year; three designs each featuring a handwritten quote: 'all eyes on me', 'I am not a morning person' and 'no need for sleep'.

Clarins have some exciting new launches for SS16. Four gorgeous waterproof cream-to-powder eyeshadows in dazzling metallic shades (I love 'copper brown'), a new shade of Instant Light Comfort Lip Oil in Red Berry, and the Double Fix Mascara - a clear gel that you apply over your favourite mascara and brow products to make them totally waterproof. A must have holiday product! 

Guerlain's SS16 collection includes these five travel-friendly tubes of effective skincare solutions that provide instant visible effects. Stop Spot is supposed to combat spots and blemishes in an instant, and is tinted so it can be used to conceal and work throughout the day. Super Lips is a gorgeously glossy and smoothing lip balm. Midnight Secret is an overnight miracle cream that provides a glowing, fresh complexion in the morning. Radiance in a Flash is a tightening, lifting cream with a pearlescent finish for radiant skin, and finally, Creme SOS - a skincare saviour that rescues skin from environmental stressors like UV rays from the sun, harsh sea winds, air conditioning or pollution. 

I have and love Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream (the blue one), but the latest Daisy Dream Blush is even more me. Aside from being pink, it has more powdery/woody scent that I just love. 

Too Faced's Mr Right Powder Brush is just the cutest! It's multi-functional too (like any Mr Right should be) and can be used for foundation, powder, blush or bronzer. Maybe the perfect partner to my new Urban Decay Beached Bronzer...?

I mean, I don't really know what to say about these weird twisted essie bottles. There was no explanation and I can't find anything online about them... but they're pretty trippy! Laura thought they might be a new design that are easier to hold, which I guess makes sense!

What are you most looking forward to adding to your beauty stash this season?

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10.03 I turned 25! On my birthday, I went to the Mermaid Spa with my mum (where I pulled out the 'make a wish' mermaid oracle card!) and out for dinner with my Dad. 

12.03 Rich and I spent my birthday weekend in Dorset. We went out for a lovely meal at The True Lover's Knot, where we had an entire baked camembert with french bread! 

13.03 We also went to Monkey World in Dorset. I loved the Lemur enclosure where you can walk alongside the Lemurs who are left to roam free!

19.03 I went to the Brighton Blog Meet, where I caught up with some of my favourites, got an amazing goody bag (here's a look inside) and met some lovely new bloggers; Georgia, Katie and Beth

25.03 The long bank holiday weekend started with some cocktails with my new work friends.

27.03 We went to my mum's for a big Easter Sunday lunch, including my mum's amazing and very yummy Simnel cake!

28.03 Easter Monday - I slobbed out all day (after a double workout) in my new pyjamas (which are just the best in the world) and finished off all the cake/chocolate/junk food in the house ready for....

30.03 ...getting back on a health kick in my new Pink Soda Sport gym top. I also bought the Body Coach's Lean in 15 book and made...

31.03 .... a Nut & Mango smoothie. SO GOOD. Raspberries, Mango, Almond Butter and Almond Milk - perfect quick breakfast!

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5 ways to care for highlighted hair

1. Protect your colour 

Highlights aren't cheap, so it's worth investing in some decent colour protect shampoo & conditioner to keep your colour looking fresher for longer! My hairdresser recommends using any salon professional brand (My favourite is Pureology's Hydrate range which has Anti-Fade Complex) but you can get some great, more affordable options on the High Street, like John Frieda's Sheer Blonde range for one. Their 'Everlasting Blonde' shampoo & conditioner is really good for maintaining a vibrant colour straight from the salon, and then the 'Go Blonder' shampoo & conditioner* are great for lightening your colour by up to two shades, after it starts to fade.

2. Use a nourishing mask

Blonde hair is often prone to being dry and brittle; this is because the cuticle shafts open during the bleaching process and allow moisture to escape. Highlighted hair will never be as soft and healthy as untreated hair, but using a nourishing mask on the regular will help to rehydrate and regain elasticity. I love amika's Nourishing Mask with Sea Buckthorn Berry, which looks gorgeous, smells gorgeous, and leaves my hair deeply conditioned.

3. Leave-in products

The downside of blonde hair is that it has a tendency to go frizzy, dull and straw-like! Serums, leave in conditioners, oils etc are so necessary to keep blonde hair looking healthy. My two absolute favourites that I use on a daily basis (sometimes together, sometimes alone) are the Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Primer and the Original & Mineral Project Sukuroi Smoothing Balm*.

The Bumble Primer is an infusion of six lightweight oils that leave my hair super soft and manageable, reducing frizz and protecting against heat and UV. The O&M Smoothing Balm is also wonderfully softening and can be used on wet hair, as a leave in repair treatment, or on dry hair as a finishing, smoothing, shine-enhancing balm.

4. Lay off the heat

Overheating already dehydrated hair just further reduces it's moisture and elasticity, making it dryer and even more damaged. When I have the time I try to let my hair air dry, or if I need to use the hairdryer I use the cooler heat setting. As my hair is super frizzy, it needs smoothing down with the straighteners (which isn't the best) but I always use a heat protection spray (the ghd Heat Protect Spray, if you were wondering!)  

5. Get a decent hairbrush

As well as being brittle and prone to breakages, the raised/rough cuticles of highlighted hairs interlock and tangle, so a gentle detangling brush is an absolute must. I couldn't live without my Wet Brush; I actually have three! One for the shower, one for my dresser and one for my bag. It's 'intelliflex' bristles and air cushion work together to minimise tugging and pulling (therefore minimising breakages) and make easy work of detangling. I recommend everyone get themselves a Wet Brush, regardless of hair colour - read my full Wet Brush review here if you need further convincing.

How do you care for your coloured hair?
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What's in my #BtonBlogMeet goody bag?

Last weekend was rather lovely; I got to catch up with some good friends, meet some new ones, and get a bag full of goodies to boot!  The Brighton Blogger Meet was a nice, laid-back affair in the basement of The Globe pub. It was pretty dark (minus the pretty fairy lights), and I have no idea how to work Rich's big DSLR camera properly, so none of my photos were blog-worthy, but I thought you'd be most interested in having a nosey through my fantastic goody bag! 

Let's start with my absolute FAVOURITES, shall we?

  • E1 Candles Rose & Sandalwood soy candle, from WICK candle boutique in Hove. Rose & Sandalwood are two of my favourite scents so I was pretty chuffed with this, and I love the design of the jar. I will definitely be stocking up on candles from WICK next time I venture into Hove. 
  • Meraki Aloe Vera Make Up Wipes & Mint Lip Balm. Do what they say on the tin, but I'm pleased to have discovered Meraki! It's a Danish skincare brand with ultra-stylish packaging that reminds me of Aesop but for a fraction of the price!  
  • Grey Checked Washcloth & Pink Geometric Notebook from Homage; a homeware/lifestyle store located on Seven Dials who actually exhibited a selection of products at the meet (but as I say, my photos sucked!). I was in love with their enamel mugs, stone vases, and throws. 
  • Chill ed protect leave in treatment, which detangles, repairs and gives shine to dull hair - I definitely need this! I've just used it and it certainly detangles (my hair is still wet as I type, so will report back on the shine factor!)
  • Anatomicals face masks, a mattifying one and a deep cleansing mud mask. Can't wait to pop one of these on (Rich will probably steal the other).
  • Body Fantasies 'Pink Vanilla Kiss' Body Spray. Vanilla isn't usually my thing, but I love this! Always handy to keep a little body spray in one's handbag (especially if you walk up three hills to get to work like I do... peeewwww)

So those are the things I loved the most, but wait there's more!

  • Minty Coco - I've heard oil pulling is great for teeth whitening and oral hygiene, but I've heard it's pretty unpleasant. Minty Coco are little sachets of mint flavoured coconut oil, so it tastes rather nice and leaves your mouth feeling super fresh!
  • Purepotions Skin Salvation samples, a hand cream, daily moisturising cream, and intensive moisturising ointment. They're ideal for really dry, eczema prone skin and 100% natural. 
  • Bio Oil, I used Bio Oil a few years ago to get rid of a scar on my arm and it totally worked! Handy to keep in the medicine box!
  • Bee Good Youth Enhancing Lift & Brighten Eye Cream, I really like BeeGood products so I'm excited to try this!
  • Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator, which I've used before - it smells lovely and leaves skin glowy, and samples of the Quinoa and Artichoke shampoo & conditioner which I've reviewed here
  • MooGoo Anti-Ageing Face Cream, this is 100% natural and contains SPF 15, which is great as I always forget - but it's quite a thicker consistency than I usually prefer.
  • Patisserie Lemon Bon-Bon Hand & Body Lotion, this is a lovely, refreshing, sweet lemon scent and a nice thin consistency makes it quick and easy to slather on.
  • Stigu Planner 2016. I've decided to give this to Rich as I work in a paperless office and it's a pain to be different and keep a paper diary! But I'm quite sad to give it away as it's really so cute; the left hand pages have cute illustrations with little life hacks (like stress busters, stretches/exercises to try, ways to keep organised and happy) and the right hand pages are a week-view diary. He needs to be more organised so I hope he'll enjoy using this!

And some tasty treats too!

  • Life Tonics flavoured coconut water - I got Dalandan Orange and Elderberry and Juniper. 
  • Funkin Cocktail Mixers in Peach Bellini and Raspberry Mojito. I'm not a big drinker really, but can't wait for an occasion to crack these open!
  • esthechoc - chocolate that gives you radiant skin - I admit I was sceptical. But it tastes nice (if you like dark chocolate) so that's good enough for me!
  • UFit protein milk in chocolate and strawberry. I'm doing three Body Pump classes this weekend so will be drinking these afterwards to repair and grow my muscles!
  • Collagen+ Beauty Milk containing collagen, vitamin C, protein and green tea extract!
  • Tasty Little Numbers Treats. These were my favourite snacks, SO tasty and everything is only 100 calories - great for when you just need some chocolate but don't want to feel guilty! I got a milk chocolate and white chocolate biscuit bar, and a bag of chocolate coffee beans - YUM! 
  • Metcalfes Cinnamon Sweet Skinny Popcorn....which has mysteriously disappeared. I'm sure whoever ate it thought it was very tasty. 

Laura of LolaandBehold had spent months working hard organising the Brighton Blogger Meet (she is seriously superwoman, this is the second time she has organised a bloody brilliant meet up, whilst studying/working full time!) and I think I speak for everyone when I say we had a great time! Thanks Laura!

Have you been to a local blogger meet up before?
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Essie Retro Revival

Important announcement: Essie have a new, limited edition collection, and it's selling out fast! It'll be off shelves by mid-April, so I'll keep this short so you can hurry out and pick yourselves up a shade or two!

The Retro Revival collection has been created to celebrate Essie's 35th anniversary, and has brought some of the most loved shades back into the spotlight. There's something for every taste; a sultry pearly red (Life of the Party), a pearly white (Cabana Boy), a sheer, glittery bronze (Sequin Sash), a daring navy blue glitter (Starry, Starry Night), and my two favourites; A chic translucent nude (Birthday Suit) and a sheer, iridescent pink (Bikini with a Martini). 

As you can tell from the names and the limited edition brush handle design, there's a bit of a theme going on, and it's a nod back to the brand's Las Vegas roots. The first ever Essie collection was first sold to showgirls on the Vegas strip, and the rest is history.

The two shades from the collection that I've got, Birthday Suit* and Bikini with a Martini*, are far sheerer than most of the other Essie shades in my collection, but both just give a nice wash of colour. Birthday Suit would work particularly well over a french tip, and Bikini with a Martini works well as a subtle shimmer on it's own, or to add a bit of glitz and glam over the top of another pink polish. 

Get your skates on if you want to get your hands on any of these shades, and I recommend you do. They're just lovely, and you'll own a piece of Essie history.

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Dining with Deliveroo

We do love a Saturday night takeaway in our household (and let's be real, on most other nights of the week too) so I was pretty excited when Deliveroo started up in Brighton a few months back. Deliveroo is a takeaway service that'll pick up food from your favourite restaurants and deliver to your front door; from nationwide chains like Wagamama and Yo Sushi to local independent restaurants and cafes.

I'd wanted to try Deliveroo for aaaages, but was worried that the food wouldn't withstand the journey via motorbike to my house, so always ended up sticking with a trusty Dominos or Chinese takeaway. So I jumped at the chance to try out the service for free to review on my blog!

There are loads of my favourite Brighton restaurants on Deliveroo, but my Dad and I ate at the Chilli Pickle on my birthday (a kooky street-food inspired Indian restaurant in Brighton) and I really enjoyed it, so we decided to order from there. Chilli Pickle have just launched a new takeaway lunch menu, but we decided to order at dinner time.

The Deliveroo website, in general, is super easy to use, and the mobile app is even better as it gives you a countdown and even shows you your driver (biker?) making his way to your house! However, the Chilli Pickle menu isn't a conventional curry house takeaway (they present your curry in cardboard trays with little pots of different dishes to try) so I did find myself having to check out the Chilli Pickle's own website to understand quite what I was ordering. On there, they had helpful little diagrams showing what you get in a 'Railway Tray' vs the 'Grand Thali Box'- it would be helpful to have these on the Deliveroo site I think. Having said that, I've since ordered a Gourmet Burger Kitchen from Deliveroo (which has a much more self-explanatory menu!) and that was a far more simple process!

The food did in fact survive its motorbike ride, and arrived perfectly in tact and piping hot, within about 45 minutes. We each ordered a Railway Tray; a curry of your choice (I had a Persian Royal Chicken Korma, Rich had a Kashmiri Gosht), rice, and a selection of dishes including chutney, dal, crackers and naan bread. Aside from being beautifully presented in fun canteen-style cardboard trays, this is no ordinary Indian takeaway.

I'm no food critic, but the Chilli Pickle is far from your average curry house; my chicken was beautifully cooked, the korma sauce was divinely creamy and made with cashews, ginger and rose. The brightly coloured pink and green rice crackers are a far cry from your standard popadom and as well as using authentic ingredients from all over India, The Chilli Pickle use locally sourced ingredients too; Rich's curry fused Kashmiri chillies with South Downs Mutton Shoulder. 

I don't think we'll be going back to ordering greasy takeaways anymore, when we could have our favourite restaurant meals delivered for just £2.50! 

What's your favourite takeaway? 

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The bag of dreams

After lusting over all the Cambridge satchels for years, I've finally got one to call my own! I'd been eyeing up the new range of 'Cloud' bags online, which have a beautiful scalloped detail on the flap, and knew it was meant to be when I found one in The Cambridge Satchel 'Pick & Mix' Store in my hometown of Brighton. 

The Cambridge Satchel Company's Brighton store is different to their other boutiques. It's their first outlet store and is full of hidden treasures; one-of-a-kind sample designs that never made it into production, bargain seconds and bags from collections gone by. As the cloud bags are brand new, I wasn't expecting to find one in there. But as luck would have it, an 11 inch dusk blue cloud bag, the exact colour and size I was dreaming of, was sat right on middle shelf. Fate!

As it had been used in a press shoot, where it had acquired a few little scuffs and a barely visible black pen mark on the bottom corner, it had 40% off the RRP, taking it down to just £87! My Dad had asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and as he's not one to miss out on a bargain, I quickly sent him a snap and asked if he'd mind buying it for me! He very kindly gave me the go-ahead, so I ran back down to the Bond Street store to grab it before someone else did! 

Aside from the minor imperfections, the bag is beautiful; gorgeous dusky blue leather with a shiny (but not quite patent) finish, pale gold hardware and that stunning scalloped edge. It's a little stiff at the moment, so I can't wait to break it in a bit. It's surprisingly roomy too; I can fit my keys, small purse, sunglasses and a few bits of make up  AND my lunchbox in there. 

The lady who served me was absolutely lovely, and offered to give me free embossing because it was my birthday! I opted for my initials in 'blind' (just imprinted into the leather) placed underneath the lock. I think it looks quite subtle and chic; I was afraid the gold foil lettering would be a bit too bling! 

On this visit to the store, I was too in awe over my gorgeous cloud bag to pay too much attention to the rest of the stock, but I can't wait to go back in with a bit of rainy-day money to see what other gems I can find. I spied a few of the pastel backbacks, which I quite fancy for the summer.

Have you got a Cambridge Satchel?
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I got my hair did!

Entering the second quarter-century of my life, I thought it was about time I updated my look with something a little bit more sophisticated. My long blonde locks were looking a bit worse for wear, having rarely been cut in the past two years; the ends were dry and scraggly, the length was weighing down any volume and the colour had gone a bit yellowish and straw-like.

So, as an early birthday treat to myself, I booked a half-day off work and spent the afternoon at the hairdressers for a colour refresh and a BIG chop!

I go to Shine, on Gloucester Street in Brighton's North Laines - it's lovely in there, and has a really different atmosphere to most hairdressers; wood and scaffolding, tan leather chairs and exposed light bulbs give a cool, laid back vibe, and the staff are really chilled and friendly - no stuffy receptionists here! It's not cheap, but not the most expensive in Brighton either, but I truly believe you pay for what you get when it comes to hair. I've had too many hair disasters to try and get a bargain! Plus, they make it worth it, with little treats like an aromatherapy head massage when you arrive and incredible massage chairs at the sinks!

Shine Hair & Beauty Brighton

Shine Hair and Beauty Brighton

This time round I had a new colourist (Alice) and stylist (Dawn), which is always a little nerve wracking at first, but they both put me at ease with a really in-depth consultation and totally putting up with my indecisiveness without showing a hint of frustration!

I knew I wanted to go shorter, but was scared about getting so much cut off. So before my colour, Dawn literally just chopped off my ponytail in one snip - no going back!  When it came to the proper cutting/styling though, she was one of the most attentive hairdressers I've ever had. She cut a centimetre off at a time, taking it shorter and shorter in tiny steps until we found the perfect length I was happy with.  I also had some much-needed shaping around my face, which looks SO much better than the one-length-all-over that I had before.

Cut and colour at Shine BrightonHead of highlights at Shine Brighton

I absolutely love the finished look. The brighter, cooler blonde is much fresher (and I think it suits my complexion better) and I am loving the length - it's so much bouncier and easy to manage! Now I'm just playing around with styling it myself (little french braids for the gym were fun!) I think loose curls look best, or salt sprayed and scrunched for the mornings when bed beats curling tongs! 

Would/have you had a drastic amount cut off your hair? (OK, 'drastic' is a bit overdramatic, but losing six inches was terrifying!) 
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Mermaid Wellbeing

This week, my mum turned 62 and I turned 25, and it’s become a bit of a tradition for us to celebrate our birthdays together with a girly pamper day. I’d been invited to review Mermaid Wellbeing, a boutique day spa in rural Sussex, which looked just like the kind of place I knew my mum would love too, so I thought I’d treat her to a treatment and it’d be the perfect place for us to spend the day. (Plus, I needed a lift.)

The retreat is literally out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere between Petworth and Chichester, in an old stud yard surrounded by fields (hence the need for a lift.) It was a bit tricky to find but the drive was well worth it. As soon as we got out of the car, we were surrounded by nothing but peace, quiet and beautiful countryside.

Susie Mermaid welcomed us into her beautifully converted stable, where no detail has been spared to create the perfect, luxurious, private retreat: candles twinkled from a pretty shelving centrepiece, with their relaxing lavender scent filling the stable to help us instantly unwind; A roaring wood-burning fire created a warm and cosy atmosphere; Egyptian cotton sheets dress the bed and we sunk our toes into a gorgeously soft sheepskin rug. Susie has ensured there's something in the room to indulge every sense.


As well as a range of 'mermaid' treatments, Susie runs one-to-one Pilates sessions, which she kindly gave us a little taster of. (Totally makes up for the giant brownie I ate later in the day). 

After unwinding with some deep breathing exercises and getting a feel for the ‘Pilates breath’, we tried out a few stretches on the ‘tower’ - a streamlined version of the original Cadillac Pilates equipment which was created by Joseph Pilates himself. The equipment has springs which adds resistance to your workout. I thought I had pretty strong legs from all the cardio/body weight exercise I do, but doing a thigh stretch using this equipment - my legs were shaking all over the place! (Which explains why I look so worried in the photo!)

Mermaid Facial

During my facial, I became so deeply relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep, that it's going to be difficult to relay exactly what was going on. But, below is a post-facial no-make up selfie, which is a testimony in itself to how incredible this facial was. 

I had the Signature Facial, which is holistic experience, individually tailored to you.. It began with hot pebbles being placed between my toes to relax, and being wrapped up warm in blankets. I felt so content and zen... I was already practically out of it before it began! 

My face was double cleansed and exfoliated with Green and Spring products (one of my top rated skincare brands FYI), and botanical oils were used to massage away all the toxins, dullness and puffiness. I think this is when I dozed off, so needless to say it was incredibly relaxing!

While a face mask was applied, Susie gave me a lovely head, shoulder and hand massage. Although gentle and relaxing, I could feel the tension release from my shoulders as she worked out a knot. Having my hands massaged was lovely too, especially for my knuckles which are a bit worse for wear from my boxing classes! 

My favourite part of the treatment was use of different temperatures using hot and cold stones (which are made of marble and cooled on ice) to massage my face. The intermittent heat and cold helps to flush toxins, reduce puffiness and tighten the skin, whilst providing a calming and healing sensation. This process was repeated a few times and felt wonderful!

I kept hoping the experience was never going to end, but eventually it was time to come back to reality. My skin was absolutely glowing with natural radiance, and I felt glowing from the inside too.


After my treatment, I curled up in an armchair next to the fire, with a cup of peppermint tea and some heart-shaped biscuits, while my mum had her 'Mermaid Glow' facial, which focuses more on facial massage rather than products. This is particularly good for more mature skin, as it releases tension held in the facial muscles, improves circulation and stimulates cell renewal. 

It took about ten minutes for me to float back to reality, and it was nice to just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Then I got out my laptop and made a start on this post - not a bad office for the day! 

After my mum was done and looking at least ten years younger, Susie got out her mermaid oracle cards to show us our destiny! I picked the 'Make a Wish' card; it said that I should take a moment and wish to the angels for my deepest desires - I still don't know what to use this wish on,  the pressure is real! Mum picked out the 'Helpful Person' card and on our way home, we decided that Susie is that helpful person. She was offering us all sorts of ideas to help my Nanna overcome anxiety about her upcoming operation through holistic healing! 

Thank you Susie Mermaid for a wonderful day and making us both look and feel glowy!

What's the most luxurious treatment you've ever had? I think this was mine!
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