Friday, 28 April 2017

Upping my jewellery game for S/S

A few months ago i vowed to get my hands sorted, by sorted i mean actually maintaining my nails and stop letting my hands go so dry that i looked like a 70 year old at 19. I'm pleased to report that i've actually done it, my nails are at a pretty normal length and rarely go unpainted, which means i can now wear rings and other jewellery without wanting to hide what used to be my stubby fingers.

I realised that because i used to stray away from Jewellery it meant i had very little to work with; so when Jewellery Box got in touch offering to send me some pieces, i knew i would finally be able to show off my new found "hand confidence" ..is hand confidence a thing? It is now.

jewellery box .co.uk review necklaces rings bracelets bloggers blog post


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Face masks you need to try

Nothing makes me feel more like i've got my life together than doing a face mask, there's just something about feeling like you're going the extra step with your skincare that really makes you feel good about yourself - whether that's the results of the mask or just a placebo effect. These 5 mask brands aren't just a placebo effect however, they're my 5 favourites that i reach for when my skin is looking for some help. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

It's important to point out that masks are quite dependant on the person using them, so something that works for me might not work for you, but it's worth a try right? Okay, on with the show..

I have a love hate relationship with sheet masks, i hate the whole concept of having something stuck on your face that literally makes you immobile for 20 minutes, but i love the effect they have on my skin so i get over it for that reason. My favourite sheet masks are by Dr Jart, i got these in Sephora while in New York and fell in love when i got back home and started using them. My favourite Dr Jart masks are the ones based around hydration, they leave my face so soft and soothed and are drenched in serum - they'll sort out the driest of skins. 

Dr Jart masks can be quite pricey in the UK, although i found these in TK Maxx for £4.99 elsewhere they're much more expensive; if you're on a budget you can also get these TonyMoly masks from TK Maxx at £1.99 each, which will give you a slice of Korean skincare on an affordable basis. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

If sheet masks aren't your thing and you fancy some peeling action, look no further than the crystal clear "10 minute glow" peel off mask. I love a peel off mask when i want some serious exfoliation and this leaves my skin feeling smooth, clean and more even. I used to think peel off masks being drying was an inevitable fact, but this is so comfortable to wear and it means i don't have to make the sacrifice of being left with dry skin after using it. 

The most traditional masks i use are the quick fix facials masks, they come in a tube so you can get multiple uses out of one and they're super affordable to begin with. The one in the picture is the overnight glow boost but my favourite is the anti-blemish mud mask, i always notice a reduction in blemishes when i use this and while it's powerful it isn't harsh or drying. These are seriously budget friendly, although they say you get 10 x masks out of a tube it usually lasts me around 3 months using them every week or so, so you really get your moneys worth. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

The last mask I'm going to talk about is probably the most unconventional formula but one of the most powerful and affordable masks there is. The aztec secret Indian healing clay mask is 100% powder clay that you mix with water and or apple cider vinegar, which you then leave on your skin and rinse off. 
This is like a normal mask in that it completely dries down but when i say it dries down it really dries down, you can feel your face pulsating with this on, which I'm not sure is a good thing or not but it's something right? This definitely won't be for everyone, it's super powerful and i can imagine a lot of people would find it drying but it works for me when i want a seriously deep clean. Be warned, this will leave your face quite red for a while after using it, it's not one i'd use before an important event but its useful every few weeks before bed to keep my skin in check. 

Shop the post:

Do you have a favourite face mask? - Maria x


This post contains a PR sample but the majority of products have been bought myself.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The spring clothing edit

A change in temperature is always an excuse to head to the shops, although with spring fashion i usually end up either sweating or freezing, the current additions to the shops have me really excited. These are my picks for the current season, basically things i just reallly realllly want. 


Friday, 21 April 2017

So...? Summer body mists giveaway

If you're a regular around here you'll know recently i did a post featuring some of the new So...? summer body mists. Seen as i loved the mists and i got some great feedback on the post So...? helped me expand my collection and asked if i wanted to host a giveaway, obviously i said yes .. 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

The giveaway is going to contain 4 of my favourites from the new summer body mist collection, these are perfect for travelling (even with dreaded cabin baggage) and all have scents perfect for the warmer months - whether you favour a sweet scent or prefer something fresh for the summer. 
If you want to hear more about the mists in general you can check out my original review post here!

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

What is included? 

Like i said the 4 scents included are my favourites from the collection: Sparkling Tea, Iced Melon, Water Melon and Vanilla Milkshake. Even though a lot of these are sweet scents i did try to vary it a little bit, sparkling tea is definitely a fresh clean scent and while iced melon is sweet too, it is on the fresher side. Vanilla milkshake is a classic warm sweet scent and water melon is such a true to life fruity spritz for summer. 
I feel like i've covered all the bases with the scents in this spectrum, from fresh sparkling tea, clean iced melon, fruity true to life water melon all the way down to a warm vanilla - it really means theres something for everyone within the giveaway! 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

How to enter? 

Head over to my twitter @mariajblogs and retweet my pinned tweet at the top of my profile, after that make sure you're following both my twitter and the @sofragrance twitter; both accounts will be tagged within the pinned tweet. 
It's as simple as that! Make sure you read the terms and conditions below and if you're reading this after the 29th April 2017 then sadly the giveaway has closed, but you can still shop the fragrances at the end of this post. 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

Terms and conditions:

1. No purchase necessary
2. The Contest is open to candidates aged thirteen years of age and over (13+) who are legal residents of the UK excluding employees of Incos Ltd. (the “Sponsor”), their affiliates, licensees, agents and members of their respective immediate families and anyone professionally associated with the administration of this promotion.

3. CONTEST PERIOD. All eligible entries have to be submitted between the 21st of April 2017 and the 28th of April 2017. Only one entry per person. Multiple entries will not be counted and will be cancelled.

4. Incos Ltd. or its distributors do not accept any responsibility for late or lost, ineligible or incomplete entries

5. WINNERS: One winner will be chosen by Maria J Blogs and contacted by @Mariajblogs by private message on Twitter within 48 hours of the contest closing.

6. PRIZE DETAILS: The winner will receive One (1) So…? Vanilla Milkshake Body Mist,(1) So...? Sparkling Tea Body Mist, (1) So...? Watermelon Body Mist, (1) So...? Iced melon Body Mist. The prize is worth a retail value of approximately £15.96.

7. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred although Incos Limited reserve the right to change the prizes in the event of unforeseen circumstances to the same value or higher. There will be no cash alternative.

8. CANCELLATION AND AMENDMENT: The Sponsor reserves the right to amend or cancel this Contest at any time.

9. SOCIAL MEDIA: The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Twitter. By participating in this contest, you agree to a complete release of liability of Twitter, who is not affiliated with this promotion. You understand that you are providing your information to the Contest Sponsor and not to Twitter.
10. Entrants and parents and/or legal guardians of Entrants under the age of 18 years old will be deemed to have accepted the official Terms and Conditions (the “Rules”) and to agree to be bound by them.

11. The Promoter is Incos, Congress House, Lyon Road, Harrow, HA1 2EN, UK

Shop the fragrances:

Whats your favourite fragrance for summer? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Hydrated summer skin & my new favourite affordable facial oil

You know me, i'm an oily skinned person obsessed with hydration and lately my thing has been facial oils. So when Palmer's offered to send me some bits from their new skincare line, i jumped at the chance to try a more affordable facial oil, amongst some other bits.

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review bloggers mariajblogs

Everyone knows Palmer's, i remember when i was about 7 my mum let me buy a Palmer's cocoa butter formula lip balm and i cherished that thing until the very end .. mostly because to a 7 year old it smelt like chocolate. Although Palmer's are really well known for their body care, i had absolutely no idea they had a range of skincare and an extensive range at that, until now. 

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review

Even though i bang on about skincare a lot and i never fail to do a full skincare routine, the one thing i find myself skipping is SPF, i know i know I'm a skincare hypocrite. When I'm on holiday and my bare face is in the sun i always apply a facial SPF, but i have to admit on a daily basis i don't go out of my way to apply it, and i really should. So when i saw the new moisturising day cream had a built in SPF my lazy self was more than pleased, and i was pretty impressed with all of the claims and ingredients on the front of the bottle - Vitamin E really gets along with my skin and it's free from lots of nasties like parabens, which can be found in a lot of other skincare products.

When i first pumped this out i have to admit i panicked, when this is in it's freshly pumped out form it's thick, but as the product claims to be fast absorbing and non comedogenic it put my mind to rest. Once i rubbed this into my skin it really did absorb quickly, somehow my face felt soft (and bouncy??) but when i touched my cheek it didn't feel like it even had a heavy cream on. My skin felt so hydrated i couldn't believe what was on my face was the same product that pumped out so thick initially. This also provided a great base for my makeup - hydrated skin is always the best condition to apply makeup to and this smoothed so well it meant my foundation sat really evenly on top of my skin. 

I have oily and acne prone skin, so trying something new is always worrying for me incase the product causes a breakout, but i had no problems with this. Once rubbed in the cream was lightweight, left my skin perfectly hydrated and i haven't got to worry that the sun is reeking havoc anymore because of the built in SPF. 

Palmers skin perfecting facial oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review bloggers mariajblogs

The next product is the thing i was most excited about trying, recently i've gotten into facial oils but i've only ever tried quite pricey options; although i've been really impressed with them i was intrigued to see if a much more affordable oil would have a similar effect on my skin. Again the packaging claims of the skin perfecting oil and ingredients really impressed me, amongst other things this contains retinol, and i'm pretty sure it's quite hard to find a facial oil containing something as effective as retinol for as little as £9.99.

I love this, usually when I'm trying out products i leave my thoughts about them secret until i publish my blog post, but i couldn't control my excitement with this one i had to tweet about it, yes my life's excitement does come from beauty products.. 

Waking up the morning after using this for the first time i couldn't believe it but i actually saw a change in my skin, it's hard to explain but my skin felt calmer in a way. I suffer from redness and acne marks and both appeared reduced, although other higher end oils had helped with this too, the palmers oil made a more noticeable difference in the all round quality of my skin . The reason this makes me so exited is because i love finding affordable products, but oils are something that are hard to get right and honestly i didn't think one costing under £10 could compete with higher end alternatives, but this seriously competes. 

I don't want to go on a whole tangent on the importance of oils and moisturisers for oily skin,(because lets face it i do talk about it too much) but i will say if the idea of a facial oil scares you with oily skin, don't be alarmed! Using an oil will regulate your skins oil production thus resulting in less oily skin. 

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review

One of the most classic Palmer's products is the Daily skin therapy, as i said before Palmer's are most well known for their body care and it's because they just get it so right; somehow the products are so affordable but so effective at the same time. My hands are my biggest problem when it comes to dry skin, but i often find hand creams leave my skin greasy, but because this is so concentrated you can get away with using the tiniest amount - fixing my dry skin without leaving my hands greasy. Also the size of this is perfect, my handbag is never without a tube of hand cream so i can carry this without adding too much extra weight to my already heavy bag. 

Shop the post:

Have you tried a facial oil before? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Makeup free from animal testing : My picks

Cruelty free beauty isn't what it used to be, although the market is far from perfect, getting your hands on makeup free from animal testing is no longer too difficult. What can be difficult is finding a brand to fit within your budget, here are my favourite brands and products across three price ranges. 

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics

Drugstore / seriously affordable:

One of my favourite drugstore brands is NYX, which also happens to be cruelty free. They're probably most well known for their endless array of lip products (of which i have quite a collection, especially the soft matte lip creams) but all of their products are varied and forward thinking. You might pay a pound or two more for a NYX product over a similar one from another brand, but the quality is usually miles ahead, they'll have way more colour choice and they'll probably have products related to the latest makeup trend first. 

America has a way bigger selection when it comes to cruelty free drugstore brands, however it's recently been announced that Superdrug are going to be stocking E.l.f, but if you can't wait that long other brands include Makeup Revolution, Gosh cosmetics and Eco tools for brushes, amongst others. 
{Source - NYX}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics nyx

When i first went into Kiko i thought my friend had bought me into an exclusive stand alone boutique, that was until i looked at the prices. Kiko products can cost sometimes even less than drugstore products with mascaras being around the £7 mark, but the products would usually fit in a bracket just over drugstore prices. The few extra pounds you pay for a Kiko product make all the difference, they feel so high end - from the packaging, the quality of the products, to the experience of actually shopping in a makeup store dedicated to a brand rather than at a stand alone counter. 

I feel like these Kiko products are the perfect example of being able to get high quality, varied, cruelty free makeup without making any sacrifices. These products from the less is better collection* are such natural tones but still packed with pigment, just like their other ranges; usually i stray from cream products because i find they break up product underneath but these preformed perfectly - cruelty free and no compromise. 
{Source - Kiko}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko less is better collection too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko swatches less is better collection liquid highlighter eyeshadow stick pigment


Too faced has been one of my favourite brands for a long time now, (somehow i still haven't gotten round to buying an eyeshadow palette but never the less) the milk chocolate soleil bronzer is a staple in my daily makeup routine and the melted liquified lipsticks remain one of my favourite formulas. Based on what i own in my collection, in my opinion, too faced is one of the most consistent brands when it comes to producing high quality products every time. Too faced is one of those brands that just seems too good to be true, because often the biggest brands aren't cruelty free; but with Innovative formulas, (you've smelt their products right?), high quality finishes and that packaging. It's an all round cruelty free winner.

Urban Decay is another brand i would've never assumed was cruelty free, simply because of how big a name it is and is another example of cruelty free beauty becoming more and more accessible. Obviously urban decay are famous for their eyeshadow palettes but my favourite products include the cult primer potion and naked skin concealer. 
{Source - Toofaced, Urban Decay}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics too faced melted lipstick

One of my 2016 beauty discoveries was Zoeva, i use their palettes everyday and the fact they are so affordable makes the use of them even sweeter. I'd still call Zoeva midrange because a palette like the one below sets you back £18, but in todays makeup climate where we're paying £60 for palettes, i'd call that pretty good damn value. I'm yet to try other products from Zoeva, so the powder palettes have to go down as my pick from this brand free from animal testing. 
{Source - Zoeva}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics

High end: 

Tarte is a brand i wish was more readily available in the UK, not only are they free from animal testing they also have a huge percentage of Vegan products within their lines. It's another brand that i constantly hear good things about; consistency and quality is key but the brand still has a really fun and quirky vibe which can really be seen though their packaging. 

Tarte is like the makeup equivalent of mermaids and unicorns, best known for their palettes and vegan friendly shape tape concealer. Although a product from Tarte when bunched together with shipping costs will be slightly pricer than others, they're packed with natural ingredients and stick to a good ethos - so if thats you're thing it'll be perfect for you. 
{Source - Tarte}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 kiko too faced urban decay hourglass cosmetics tarte  in bloom 2 palette swatches

Hourglass came to my attention with the rise in popularity of their ambient lighting powders, it's what i call a classic high end brand - the products are pure luxury, from the packaging, the formulas and ..the price tag. There is no doubt that hourglass is pricey (thats also why i only own one hourglass product) but there's also no doubt you won't the disappointed. The one product i own from hourglass is an Ambient strobe lighting powder, but I'm desperate to get my hands on one of their beautiful blushers too, if my bank balance lets me. 
{Source - Hourglass cosmetics}

Cruelty free makeup brands 2017 hourglass cosmetics ambient strobe lighting powder

Hopefully you found some cruelty free cosmetic inspiration for within your price tag! I've linked the source to either the companies page on the PETA website or the brand's own animal testing policy where relevant, if you want to look into it yourself. 

Shop the post:

What's your favourite cruelty free brand? - Maria x


It's important to point out that both NYX and Urban decay are owned by L'OrĂ©al and Too faced are owned by Estee Lauder, however all brands mentioned have made statements saying despite their parent companies, they will not sell in China and will in keep with the brands commitment against animal testing. {Source - PETA statement on the companies} The same goes for Tarte, here's the PETA info on them too. 
This post contains PR samples marked with an *
This post contains some affiliate links

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Ideal World bloggers box

Shopping channels aren't the same as they used to be, to many peoples surprise (including mine) they now stock some of the most popular brands especially when it comes to beauty; Ideal World have put together a bloggers box to showcase some of the amazing products they have on offer, even with exclusives from brands like Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder .. here are my thoughts.. 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review

I was excited to see a really good mix of beauty, makeup and skincare products - some from brands i knew and some i had never heard of, with my constant quest for clear skin this Crystal Clear 10 minute glow mask caught my eye immediately. The tube comes in a really lovely smooth touch box, the packaging feels high end and the design is really simplistic; I'm a sucker for good packaging so i already had really high hopes for this. 

On first application the texture of this is sticky and thick (but don't let that put you off) this is a peel off mask so it has to have that slightly gloopy texture to be able to peel off after it has dried. Within 10 minutes the mask was completely dry, and while it was dry it wasn't uncomfortable, my skin had a completely even layer of mask which no longer felt thick - it actually felt quite thin once completely dry. It took a couple of seconds to find a bit that would pull up to peel off, but once i managed to grab onto a corner it was fairly easy to peel off pretty much in one go. I've been suffering a lot with my skin recently and i definitely noticed a difference when i used this, particularly the morning after. Although immediately after peeling off a mask your skin is redder than usual, after it had calmed down i noticed my skin overall was brighter and more even. Peel off masks are some of my favourites, so i will definitely be adding this to my weekly routine. 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review crystal clear peel off mask

Whenever lipsticks are involved I'm always excited, so it was lovely to see a few lip products included in the box as well. To my surprise i opened one rather high end looking lipstick to find out that it was actually a balm! Never before did i think i wanted a lip balm that looked like a fancy lipstick, but now i've got it i love it. I love packaging so anything that slightly glamorises an everyday product gets my vote and thats exactly what this Elizabeth Grant moisturise stick does. These aren't too thick of a consistency so it means they provide a great base for other lip products, without making it feel like you've got too much product on your lips. 

The other lipstick was also a little bit different from a traditional lipstick, in that it has an outer balm coating made up of Argan and rose hip oil with creamy lipstick inside, i've seen these before from other brands - they're like a lipstick balm hybrid so they're simultaneously pigmented yet hydrating. This Skin plasma fusion nourishing lipstick will be perfect for summer, lipstick is the one thing that can go seriously wrong in warmer months, i always find matte lipsticks take a back seat and more hydrating formulas take over, so this will fit the bill. 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review elizabeth grant moisture stick lipstick

Keeping with the theme of lip products the last included was this "Beautiful Colours" gloss by Elizabeth grant, this is the perfect colour for me - a pink that isn't too deep but isn't too light either. I'd wear this by itself if i was going for a light natural look or on the top of a pink liquid lipstick if i wanted to add some shine and moisture, kind of like a lip topper! 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review elizabeth grant beautiful colours lip gloss

When i opened the box and saw a product from my favourite brand, i have to admit i got slightly over excited. I bang on about it enough but if i had to reduce my entire beauty regime down to one brand it would be Estee Lauder, i was extra excited when i realised this was a gel liner, a product i hadn't tried from any brand let alone my favourite! This is Estee lauder so it comes as no surprise this is creamy, pigmented and oh so luxurious. I comes with a little brush to apply with which i didn't think i'd be able to create a wing with but i managed it; i like to use this when I'm just doing a very soft line on my lash line rather than anything dramatic and because it's from my favourite double wear range it doesn't move until you take it off. If you want to do a wing on the daily with this, i'd probably pick up an angled brush to work alongside the liner, but like i said I'm using this for a soft line along the lash line so the little brush works well for a simple look like that. 

I had no idea you could get brands like this at Ideal world and most of the time they're actually cheaper than getting them at regular counters, this gel liner comes in a pack of two which i don't believe you can get anywhere else!

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review estee lauder double wear gel eyeliner
Immediately i noticed the box contained a Wet Brush, i had heard of these before and like it says on the front of the box these are the #1 brush in America so i really wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I have such thick, long, quite curly hair so brushing it is always a nightmare that usually ends with tears running down my face.. but not anymore! The bristles on this are really soft and means it can detangle my hair without tugging or causing breakages and i've found the time it takes to brush my hair is almost cut in half now. Again these come in a pack of two meaning they're available cheaper than anywhere else i've seen them, my old brush is well and truly retired. 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review wet brush proThe last product from the box was this Elizabeth Grant graceful angel bath and shower gel; I'm a bath lover so I'm always excited to get lovely smelling products to add under the running tap and this smells gorgeous. The scent is hard to describe but it's definitely sweet, soft and floral; i think it works perfectly along side the pink packaging because instantly you think of pink cotton candy. This creates lovely bubbles or also works as a regular shower gel, either way to leave your skin soft and sweet smelling. 

ideal world bloggers box beauty product review Elizabeth grant graceful angel shower gel

I was pleasantly surprised to see all the different products available, from some of my favourite brands to ones i'm completely new to. It's something i never considered before but it's worth checking out Ideal World before making a beauty purchase to see if they could save you some of your cash! - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

My guide to instagrammable London

I can safely say the majority of bloggers have snapped a photo of their lunch, stopped to admire a row of houses perfect for their upcoming outfit post, or gone to a location specifically with photography in mind. I thought i'd take the work out of finding these locations and put them all together in one post : my guide to instagrammable London. This is a post for people like me, who spend their time looking for the perfect #ootd location or pick where to eat, based on which restaurant out of the options has the most photogenic interiors. 

peggy porschen london bloggers instagram guide to london


Farm Girl, Portobello road. @farmgirlcafe

I couldn't start anywhere else but farm girl could i? The favourite haunt of bloggers and vloggers alike, you'll feel right at home getting out your camera and photographing everything around you from the interiors, the avocado you'll most definitely be eating, to the rose latte you'll be drinking. Farm girl is really popular so i wouldn't attempt a weekend trip, try and find the most inconspicuous time to visit, to avoid the queue of people you probably already follow on instagram.. 
Oh and one more thing, for the best lighting sit outside - they've got pink tables out there too. 

farm girl cafe instagram bloggers guide to london blog post notting hill portobello

farm girl cafe instagram bloggers guide to london blog post notting hill portobello avocado on toast

farm girl cafe instagram bloggers guide to london blog post notting hill portobello

197 Chiswick Fire station, Chiswick high road. @no197chiswickfirestation

A little further out of central London, located on Chiswick high road is 197 chiswick fire station - a breath of fresh air if, like me, you're used to the regular suburban London restaurants that haven't been redecorated since 2009. If you didn't pick it up from the name, this restaurant is housed within the old fire station, meaning it's got high ceilings and exposed features aplenty. This place has all the features of an #instagramgoals location: white washed walls, hanging halogens, cacti everywhere you look and even blush pink sofas.

Interiors aside the food and drink is perfect too, they've got your regular selection of burgers, steaks and chicken dishes but if you're looking to extend to full on instagrammability, they've also got an all day brunch selection - so you don't have to get up at 7 am for your Sunday brunch post. 
no 197 chiswick fire station restaurants in chiswick west london guide where to eat in chiswick brunch

no 197 chiswick fire station restaurants in chiswick west london guide where to eat in chiswick brunch

no 197 chiswick fire station restaurants in chiswick west london guide where to eat in chiswick brunch

Peggy Porschen, Belgravia. @peggyporschenofficial 

When bloggers aren't brunching at Farm girl or Farmacy, where are they having their afternoon tea? Nearly always at Peggy Porschen. This is like a pink beacon at the end of the road, you'll almost definitely say "there it is!" when you spot it. Said to have the best cupcakes around (they're probably right) and with baby pink decor even down to the tea pots, this is a photogenic haven - especially if you're partial to a pink instagram theme. 

Like many of the other locations featured in this post, it won't be out of the ordinary to whip out your camera here - most people are there because they saw it on Instagram after all. Peggy Porschen is the type of place you just have to visit, even just once, even if it is all for an Instagram post. 

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe pink puppy dog friendly

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe chocolate haven

peggy porschen parlour london cakes cupcakes instagram bloggers pink cafe

Dum Dum doughnuts. @dumdumdoughnuts 

Okay so technically i'm cheating with this one because i didn't actually visit a dumdum donutterie (not entirely sure if that's a word) but i did go to Harrods where they're stocked. The food does all the work here; sometimes you want envy filling healthy brunch, but other days you want chocolate filled zebra doughnuts and that's where dum dum come in. 
These are quickly rising in popularity, i found out about them after seeing them popping up on Instagram every so often, so it's only right they made an appearance in my own insta feed. Find their London locations in shoreditch, croydon, harrods and brixton. 

dum dum doughnuts zoella donuts zebra doughnut cronut london harrods brighton


Holland Park / Notting Hill. 

Many a joke has been made about bloggers meeting each other on the streets of Notting Hill and fighting over checkered steps, but as stereotypical as it is, it doesn't stop it being one of the best locations for ootd and outfit posts if you like a clean white background. No where else in London is like this, pockets of streets all with perfectly lined white houses and black railings, this area will undoubtably give you serious property envy. Although you might feel slightly like the residents of the area are thinking "oh god the bloggers are back" it'll be worth it when you get that perfect shot and your vision comes to life.

west london streets notting hill holland park bloggers photos locations

Primrose Hill.

The classic Instagram always has something to do with skies and or sky lines right? Ask any Londoner and they'll tell you the best place to see London in it's entirety is from North London's Primrose Hill. London's skyline might not quite live up to the likes of manhattan, but it's still fun to try and spot every recognisable building you know the name of, even if we do name them "The gherkin" and "The cheese grater". 

Primrose hill provides the perfect picnic spot with a view and as you can see from the picture, it's pretty popular on a nice day. North London has some beautiful streets and instagram worthy houses too so you can combine both and get an ootd out of the day too.

Primrose Hill chalk farm london skyline view of London sky bloggers

Other instagrammable locations include:

  • The flowers outside Liberty of London, or saying that just liberty in general..
  • Sketch London, for blush pink and varied interior goals
  • General Touristy places, for classic London living 
  • Farmacy, another blogger favourite vegan friendly option 
  • Bodyism for smoothie things and somehow workouts at the same time (this one I'm not sure on, I'm more into the sitting down and eating rather than the working out and juicing side of blogging). 
This post has come to an end, and i can no longer use the excuse that we need to eat cake here "for a blogpost" .. whats your favourite Instagram friendly London location? - Maria x


Monday, 10 April 2017

Seriously lazy with body care : My essentials

Like the title suggests i'm seriously lazy with body care, while i'll spend half an hour doing face masks and a complicated cleansing routine, when it comes to body care i want my routine to be as minimal as possible. These are the products i've added to my routine to get the best results in the fastest possible time.


sarah chapman skinesis overnight body serum review

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Getting a tanning education

Fake tan used to fill my mind with thoughts of streaky legs and orange arms, that was until last Wednesday when i was invited along to the launch of Skinny Tan's new 1 hour express mousse at Farm Girl cafe. Usually you have to wait around 5 hours for a tanning mousse to develop but with the new mousse you can see results within 1 hour, i've been testing out this and some of the products from the range to see if they live up to the claims.. 

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I'm a big fan of brands with a good ethos and it was lovely to hear all about skinny tan at the event, all the products use natural tanning agents and natural skin smoothing actives, (hence the name "skinny tan") and all of the products are cruelty free and vegan certified. 

First things first i want to talk about the dual tanning mitt, never before did i think i could be in love with a mitt but here i am.. When i read the packet and the words "true velvet luxury" i didn't think they were being serious, that was until i opened the mitt to be met with actual velvet (i spent a good few seconds stroking the mitt, i won't lie to you). This makes application so much nicer, you can tell just by feeling it that it's an incredibly high quality, well made product that actually makes me enjoy tanning. I'm ashamed to say i haven't used good quality mitts in the past but after using this i will never go back!


The pre tan primer actually makes me excited about exfoliation because it just makes such a difference to my skin and the finish of the tan i apply; i didn't realise how bad my knees were until i actually started using this and realised how good they could look after good exfoliation. The consistency of this is quite thin, but the bits inside do an amazing job at prepping your skin before tanning. I use this in the shower or bath a few hours before tanning and I'm left with even, smooth skin - a perfect base for a tan. 

My new found skinny tan collection also contains the exfoliating mitt which you can actually remove old tan with, the orange side of the mitt has professional level dermabrasion which means you can correct your tan if it goes wrong, or buff away stubborn old tan buildup before applying a fresh layer. This is really good if you've been lazy with exfoliation lately and you need a really good powerful exfoliator to get rid of dry skin on those dreaded areas like knees, ankles and elbows. Also there's nothing worse than finishing your tan and realising that you've built up too much in one area, so you can use the orange side of the mitt to buff away any mistakes.

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The tan:

I'm as pale as a ghost so when i saw the words "ultimate dark" i have to admit i almost dismissed the 7 day ultimate dark tanner, but after trying out the other products i was feeling adventurous and decided to give it a go. This is now my favourite tan, when i squeezed this out and saw it was as dark as chocolate i did have a little panic but as soon as i started applying this i knew i was going to be okay. This is almost effortless, i really don't know how it happens but it just seems to blend with your skin; I'm not experienced when it comes to tanning but a complete newbie could apply this perfectly. I was really surprised at how well this goes on, the finish is so even and so natural you'd think my usually pale skin had been in sunnier climates for a week and actually managed to get a tan.

I applied this sparingly and left it overnight to develop and it left me with a beautiful natural tan, the products are really cool toned so you don't run the risk of turning orange and i can confirm..it doesn't ruin your bed sheets!

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Finally we have the express mouse, just like the original 7 day tanner this is impossible to streak, so much so much that skinny tan offer a money back guarantee on their products because they're so confident you'll love them. A lot of tan brands make claims like that but i haven't heard of any others that are so confident in their products that they actually offer a guarantee, especially when it comes to self tan. 
The mousse went on evenly and provided a natural tan within three hours, you can leave this on for as little as 1 hour to get a light tan or overnight to get a really deep tan. Like i said i left this on for around three hours and the results were really good, the people from skinny tan talked about this as a kind of customisable tan where you can find your perfect timing whether that be a 30 minute tan or a 4 hour tan. My inner laziness also comes out when i realised even though this feels like a quick fix it still lasts up to 14 days, no tanning for two weeks? Yes please. 

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Shop the post:

              Exfoliating mitt                                    1 hour express mousse

Transfer proof, streak proof, orange proof and it smells amazing? I'm so glad i've been introduced to skinny tan, whats your favourite tanning brand? - Maria x


The products featured in this post have been gifted to me for reviewing purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. 
This post is not sponsored. 
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