Thursday, 21 January 2016


It's a Saturday morning after a long night of essays and university work. I hauled my extra heavy bags from bustling St Pancras train station, into the heart of Victoria, only to be half an hour late and lost (the house numbers went the wrong way.. honestly…). A quick phone call and Gemma was kindly on her way to rescue me from the wrong end of the long road. It wasn't until the next day that I was told that Gemma likes to stick to a timetable (woops! Sorry Gemma!). After some greetings and introductions, the session was underway.

I won't be taking you through every scheduled activity, as I truly feel that, without being cliché, you really just need to go and do the training to reap the benefits.
The best and most eye-opening part of the experience to, not only me, but what seemed like the rest of the group was finding out our personality types. Gemma explains how, overall we tend to fit into one of four categories. After much tossing and changing between two, we came to the conclusion that I most fit into the Choleric category. Finally, I have an excuse for being an absolute pain! Knowing this allowed me to understand who I would best work in a team with, and how to identify strengths and weaknesses in others. This skill is absolutely essential when it comes to leadership of both yourself and teams in both a work/school environment.
We demonstrated how different personalities worked in group exercises by doing what sounds like a complicated activity – it’s hard to explain, but it is straight forward. Each of us had a piece of short rope, and then we had to hold on to the end of another person’s.  Without letting go, we had to manoeuvre our way around till we were stood next to those who we held the rope of – with no cross overs. Communication was encouraged and to use each other’s strengths to work it out. No significant help from me, but we did it (and that’s without me leaving in a fit of rage too, which was predicted by the mentors; who’s the real winner here?!)

I find it very tough to organise my time. Being a student, having a job and needing to attend to clients from freelance work, I am left with very little time. Everything is urgent, and yet I still manage to find time to watch EastEnders instead. It is important to understand how to manage these deadlines before crawling into a hole of procrastination with Netflix, coffee and the promise to start it later. The Self Leadership Initiative showed me to lay it all out in a chart and distinguish what is urgent, not urgent, important and not important, making the tasks look manageable and giving you an order. They train you in self-motivation, study skills and goal setting.
The positive attitude and outlook that the group setting and mentors give out is infectious. You are encouraged to push your comfort zone, stretching your potential and ambitions. Chat with Gemma about what can be arranged, and follow their social media sites to learn about upcoming events and what they are up to.

PS, They teach you to juggle. It may have taken me a ridiculous amount of time and a bulging forehead vein, but it’s sat proudly at the top of my CV.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Special Hair Loss Shampoo.
Yes, you read that right. My hair falls out a lot more than is probably average, and yes it worries me, but I always thought that that was that and you just deal with it and move on. There is no miracle cure.

The lovely ladies at Mitonia approached me a little while back and asked me my haircare woes. I told them the typical "it's dry, but it gets greasy quickly. Well, really my hair actually falls out a lot" fully not expecting them to do anything about it.
When I got the package (I wish I got some photos for you, it came in such a nice box, all wrapped up) and I saw the Extreme Caviar Special Hair Loss Shampoo, I was all say whaaaat. My prayers have been answered. This is it. This is what I have waited for.

I cannot lie, I immediately jumped in the shower, eager to put my new shampoo to use. The instructions read to give it a lather then let it sit for 3-5 minutes, which is not something I've come across in a shampoo. Post-shower, my hair felt so smooth, I did still have a lot of hair come out whilst showering and brushing, but I couldn't expect miracles from the first wash. Over time, I have definitely noticed a difference when I use this shampoo consistently. I don't know how, or why, but there is definitely a difference in how much hair I notice I'm losing.

The Platinum and Diamonds Luxurious Serum is undoubtedly the best smoothing serum I've used. My hair quite easily goes frizzy if I don't use something, but it's also super easy for me to use a touch too much product and have to sport greasy locks for the rest of the day. This is just easy, it's fuss free and it keeps everything in check.

The products are pricey, but if you struggle like I do, then it's insanely worth the investment. I don't think that I will ever finish the serum because it's so big. The shampoo, I have washed my hair with so many times, and I am only half way through the bottle. So if it's something you're wanting to invest in, then do it.


Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Have you ever had a palette that just does EVERYTHING colour wise that you might need? Well, look no further than this dark horse.

This is the Hot Cocoa Palette from the, you guessed it, Hot Cocoa collection that came out what, 2013? I seriously underestimated this until the beginning of this year. You can see that this one is fairly well used, so if you're after some pretty photography then look in the other direction. But this does absolutely everything. Not only does this hold a blusher cased under the eight eyeshadows (quite a bright peachy pink, nothing special), it has eyebrow colours, eyeliner, the perfect greige contour and the finest, most glowy highlight in my collection. All of these can be made from the eight eye shades. It even has that Charlotte Tilbury-esque packed glitter press on. It's about as good as it gets.

Now I know this was limited edition, but if you have it, dig it out! If you don't, well I love Bobbi Brown, but most palettes look fairly similar to this. I can assure basically everyone that you WILL have at least a couple multi-use products in your collection, whether you use a relatively normal bag or house all of your beauty products in a chest of drawers (ahem). Just get creative!


Monday, 31 August 2015


I know that I won't be the only person that hadn't really heard of Sk:n skincare products. Their massive list of impressive treatments? Yes. Do I still want to try out some of their treatments? Yes. Do I have a voucher code for £25? Well you'll have to read on..

The Vitamin-Rich Cleanser (I chose the normal/combination skin formula, but they do have options for dry/sensitive skin and oily skin) is absolutely lovely for a second cleanse. I did use it to take my make up off once but I find that the product is just too nice to wash straight down the drain with the daily dirt. First up, it smells frickin' incredible! Literally. It sits on the skin long enough for you to get a good covering all over, but then as soon as you start massaging, it really sinks in and starts to get a little tough. I love this because it actually feels like you're getting in there, down and dirty. Add a teeennyy drop of water if it's a little dry and it creates a lovely, rich milk. It's just an incredibly satisfying product to use. So much so that it's sat on my bathroom vanity rather than in my skincare drawers. Now that's saying something. Not a fan of the dispenser though - you have to squeeze it out, so I can see a lot of product being left behind!

The Corrective Anti-Redness Face Cream smells on par with the cleanser, because clearly that is the most important aspect of a skincare product. Unlike most Anti-Redness products, this is NOT green! I repeat NOT GREEN. Finally, it's 2015 and we're beyond the point of having to look like Elphaba if we want to soothe our redness. I am not a colour wheel. It's ultra-light formula is almost slightly mattifying which makes it a perfect option for underneath your make up. I prefer to sandwich this in between my oil and moisturiser and use it as a treatment. Does it solve the redness? Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever come across a product that has dramatically reduced or resolved my slight redness, but it certainly hasn't made it worse, and I do feel the need to reach for this every night. So take from that what you will.

So keep this on the low-down, but in the box that the products are housed in comes a little slip of paper. On there is a voucher for a free facial skin analysis, plus £25 off of any treatment at sk:n Clinics. I reckon they're worth it even just for that.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015


A month or so ago, Kore Skincare named me as one of their Top 10 Most Influential Bloggers (I had to brag about that at some point, so best to get it in there early, right?) and as a well done, they sent me a few goodies to give a go.

Let's just get this one out of the way. The Foaming Cleanser is not for me. I need a touch more richness from my cleansers, but that totally doesn't mean it isn't for you!

Two of my most stand out products from the range are the Gentle Exfoliator and the Revitalising Toner. Now I like quite a bit of grit if I'm using a manual exfoliator (think: REN Micro Polish Cleanser, from the Radiance range, you get me?) as I only tend to use them pre-mask, and this is slightly lacking in that department. But let's remember it's called a Gentle Exfoliator for a reason. You know sometimes you wake up and your skin just feels a bit grimy and you're like "I just gotta get this shit off my face"? This just does the job. (edit: I just used this for this exact reason whilst on a bit of a hangover. Heaven!) 

I'm aaaalll for the spritzing toners. It's a novelty thing. But this stuff is actually really refreshing. It's spiked with a few acids in there, who doesn't like that? Doused all over the face pre-serum leaves Hayley a happy lady.

Let's talk serums and creams. The Intensive Serum isn't quite as intensive as one would imagine, but as serums go, this is a fairly standard addition to the routine when your skin is in need of the low-key treatment.
I wanted to love the Optimal Repair Cream, I really, really did. But this light moisturiser just did not live up to it's predicted pedestal that I'd so wishfully placed it on. It sinks in well, lovely under make up, but I expected something I little more thicker, richer and frankly repairing. Sad face. The day cream is kinda on the same vein as the serum - great when you wanna keep things simple.

I've never found an eye cream that I love, and the hunt continues. This is very nice, but it's not the one. I'm looking for James Franco and only just getting Dave. Not that this is an issue, hit me up, Dave.

Despite what probably looks like a negative review, I do really enjoy Kore Skincare, but I definitely advise to read up about the products - names can misleading. You can pick up some of there products here. They're a little on the pricey side, but we all know that skincare is worth the investment. Did I mention I was a Top 10 Blogger? Oh...

PS, This stuff is all natural, paraben free and not tested on animal, so if you dig that then I suggest you get with that.


Monday, 6 July 2015


Guest Post

Most people hate packing, and I'm one of them. Next week I am going on a conference in New Zealand and it’s a week’s trip, so I need to figure out what I really need. Since I travel alone, I have to bring everything I need, and yet try not to clutter my travel bag with lots of unimportant things. Apart from picking the clothes I want, I always have a problem choosing what to bring when it comes to beauty products, because I have so much of them. I usually make a list of make up and skin care products I need to pack whenever I go on a trip. So, here’s a brief list of the essentials you simply need to have in your travel bag.

1. Basic toiletries 
No matter how much you pay for it, hotel room service isn’t always as good as you expect it to be. Since I travel a lot, I have gone through numerous unpleasant situations just because I trusted hotel service. Now I always bring some basic toiletries with me, that is my deodorant, makeup wipes, hand sanitizer, shower gel and cotton balls.

2. Make up
I'm a make up freak, so I really have a lot of make up at home. Whenever I go on a trip, I need to decide what I really need to bring. This year, I've decided to pack only the essentials. What I always have in my make up bag is a lightweight foundation and a concealer, as well as my favourite mascara, eye liner, a natural colour eye shadow palette and a lipstick. I always go for neutral and natural shades that you can match with every outfit; a classical, coal eye liner and two lipsticks- a bright one for daily use and red for parties. 

3. Skin care
I cannot imagine a trip without my basic face products. What I always pack in my cosmetic case is my quality moisturiser with SPF, lotion, day and night cream, eye cream, make up remover, and mask. What you should always have in mind when packing your face products is the type of your skin. For example, I prefer using Osmosis skin care products, such as Osmosis MD Cleanse, a gentle cleanser I use to clean my skin at the end of the day.
In the summer it’s essential to bring numerous products for sun protection. Apart from body lotion, I always bring products that will protect my skin from the sun. So, I always have in my sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, self-tanner, body scrub and lotion in my cosmetic case.

4. Hair products
Being exposed to the sun for a long period of time, our hair becomes damaged, brittle and extremely dry. I have tried out numerous products and formulas in order to solve this annoying and never-ending problem that bothers most women. Although most hotels provide us with shampoos and conditioners, I always bring those that are best for my hair type.
Maybe some experienced travellers would perceive my list as overly simplified, but I really need something, be that a list or notes, to restrain me from packing all my cosmetic products for a short trip. I am just too attached to all of them! Hope this lists helps you, too, if you have the same problem. Have a great holiday and don’t forget to smile! 

About the Author:
Amy Mia Goldsmith is an Aussie who loves to read and has been writing novels and short stories as long as she can remember.  She is currently studying, working in a bookstore and writing her first book.  Her passion is beauty and makeup and she loves to spend her free time reading reviews and of course - makeup shopping!  Contact Amy on her Facebook page.
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