Blogmas 2017 Day 14: It’s Okay To Feel Blue During The Christmas Period

DSC_3984So, I know that I usually like to be really upbeat and chirpy during the Christmas season and during the blogmas posts, but this one is a little different. But, I was inspired by the recent alternative Christmas ad from the Children’s hospice, which I’m going to insert below.

Now, I’ve got to admit, Christmas hasn’t always been the happiest of times for me. I’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, as I’m sure most people have, and Christmas never feels the same again without them. But Christmas is also a time when so many people are so happy, and that can hurt even more if you’re not.

But, I’m writing this post to let you know that your feelings are valid. Just because it’s the time of year for the man in the red suit to nearly visit, doesn’t mean your feelings are invalid or wrong. You can be sad, upset and emotional any day of the year, including Christmas, and that’s perfectly justified.

And, if you’re a person who expects everyone to be chirpy around Christmas, please understand that some people might not be, and that they will have their reasons.

As I said, I’ve had hard Christmases in the past. But I’ve come to realise that Christmas is a time for appreciating the people you love, and from that I’ve managed to enjoy it and for it to become a happy time again. But not everyone is at that stage yet, some people may never reach that stage, and like I said, that’s okay.

If you’re struggling with something, please don’t be afraid to reach out. If you need help, please still get the help you need even though it’s Christmas. Christmas can be exhausting, especially if you struggle with MH issues, so don’t feel like you have to put on a brave face, or ignore your feelings just because it’s a time when you should be happy.

And, if you know someone who’s experiencing their first Christmas since the loss of a loved one, or even just someone that finds Christmas a very difficult time of year, please reach out to them. Go and visit them so that they are not alone, ask them if they’d like to join in your festivities. Even if you know that they’re going to decline, ask anyway so that they know that you thought of them.

Please don’t let anyone you love feel alone this Christmas.

Love,

H x

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Blogmas 2017 Day 13: Stocking Fillers For £5 and Under!

DSC_3948Hello!

The big day is approaching now, but stocking fillers can be easy to forget! So I’ve compiled a list of fun, stocking-size gifts from asos! I chose asos as they do next day delivery, so your order can definitely be here in time for Christmas!

Sass & Belle Mini Eyes Shut Planter


How cute is this little plant?! And only £4.50! This would look perfect on any desk/bedside table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty & The Beast Bath Petals


Perfect for any beauty & the beast fan, or any bath lover!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Colour Cats Colouring Book

This is such a cool gift for a cat lover, and really useful too for relaxation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Angle Selfie Camera Lense


This gift is a really nice idea for anyone who loves taking photos (*cough* bloggers *cough*)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Are Awesome Jewellery Tray

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Know someone who needs a little encouragement every time they put on/take off their jewellery?! This little tray is perfect (and adorable!).

 

 

 

Desktop Foosball Set


How cool is this?! I actually think it’s amazing! Such a unique stocking gift!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horoscope Ceramic Mug

I absolutely love horoscope mugs, they’re just so adorable! Plus they’re pretty personalised, which is really thoughtful!

 

 

 
Jungle Survival Book


Zack would love this, he loves things like this! This is definitely a pretty unique present, but fun for any budding bear grylls’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Face Mask

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Know a PSL lover?! This one’s for them! IN.gredients have a fab range of festive face masks at the moment, perfect for a little Christmas Eve gift!

 

 

 

 

Beard Bunting!

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This is just perfect for that person you know who is super proud of their beard!

 

 

 

 

Rudolf Christmas Drink Bottle

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I am DEFINITELY getting this for my little brother when it comes back in stock, how adorable?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Love About You Book

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Zack got me a similar book to this for our anniversary, and I love it, it’s so special to me. Definitely a sentimental gift!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Star Photoframe

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This reminds me of the snowglobe photo frames that I used to have when I was little, ooh the nostalgia!

 

 

 

 

And there we have it! What stocking fillers have you found this Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

All photos sourced from asos.com

Blogmas 2017 Day 12: Cocktail Making With Friction Free Shaving!*

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Hello, hello, hello!

If you follow me on social media, you will probably know that I recently spent the evening at the Alchemist in Birmingham with Friction Free Shaving, as well as some amazing bloggers. We had a lovely evening learning how to make cocktails, chatting and taking plenty of photos, so here’s a little rundown of the night, including a review of the goody bag given to us at the end!

The Venue

The setting was perfect for an intimate night. The small group of bloggers made the atmosphere really lovely, as you could chat to absolutely everyone, including the brand! The Alchemist was the perfect setting, and Caleb (our cocktail teacher for the evening) also made the experience very pleasant, even if many of us struggled to count to three when it comes to vodka- oops! Melissa and Amber (the FFS PR team) were so welcoming and friendly all night, and they were also open to giving pointers and answering any questions we had! It was really nice to go to such an intimate, personal event where everyone could get to know each other.

The Cocktails

Hmmmm… When Caleb made us cocktails, they were lovely. When I made them? Not so much! I didn’t actually realise how difficult cocktail making is, and I couldn’t imagine having to make so many of them in an evening- your hands get so cold! It was a really fun experience though, and everyone at the event had a little giggle!

My turn! Photos taken by the lovely Abbey!

Some of the cocktails changed colour, smoked, it was amazing- just like being in a real laboratory!

The Goody Bag

FFS were very generous in their goody bag indeed, as we each received a FFS gift box. These are currently on their website for £25, and would make the perfect Christmas gift! Inside we have a gorgeous, vegan razor (weighted for an easier shave) in either rose gold (Rose) or silver chrome (Silvia) as well as four blades, a blade cover and a little suction hook to hold your razor handle. Then we have three more products- two of which are brand new! The shave cream has been around for a while and has even won awards, and it smells absolutely beautiful! And the two new additions are the pre-shave scrub, and post-shave balm. This means that in one box you have eveeeerything you could possibly need for the perfect 3 step shaving process, and for only £25! All of these products are cruelty free, although the scrub and the balm are currently awaiting their official CF badge as they are BRAND NEW! This would be the perfect gift for someone else, or even for yourself, this Christmas.

Review

I absolutely love the Rose razor from Friction Free Shaving, and have actually done a full review before which you can read HERE. However, I have not tried the shaving cream, scrub or balm, so I was very excited to give these a test!

I found that using all three products together left me feeling the smooooothest I ever have in my life.. like a dolphin! 🐬🐬🐬 I knew I would love the scrub, as love exfoliating, and I’ve always found that a good exfoliation pre-shaving makes my skin so much smoother and leads to less ingrowing hairs. The scent of this scrub is absolutely lovely, and it’s gentle enough to be used on your more delicate areas, such as under arms, whilst still exfoliating.

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The shave cream was a dream (that rhymed, haha!). I have always wanted to use a shave cream, but due to my aloe vera allergy, I haven’t really found one that works. So, I often resort to conditioner, but this leaves me feeling greasy and not too great! This cream worked perfectly to add smoothness to my legs, as well as not leaving them feeling greasy, I am VERY impressed for sure!

And, last but not least in this three-step process, it’s the post shave balm! I. LOVE. THIS. PRODUCT. I hate moisturisers, there, I said it. I find them too heavy for my skin, and they never seem to fully absorb and leave me feeling sticky and icky. I was a little worried about this product for that exact reason, as although it is a lot thinner than your usual moisturiser, it seemed to apply in a similar manner. But, after around 30 seconds, I realised I had it completely wrong. This product soaked into my skin SO quickly, and didn’t leave that horrible sticky feeling at all! This is genuinely perfect for me, and now my legs smell amazing and are super smooth too! I’m not even joking, they were still smooth 24 hours later, I was amazed!

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The only criticism I have for FFS is that they’re draining my bank balance, as I’m now for sure going to have to add the scrub, cream and balm to my subscription!

So there we have it! Thank you so much to FFS for inviting me to such a wonderful event, and for the lovely goody bag! If you’d like to get your very own FFS gift box, you can do HERE. You can also get 25% off of your first month’s subscription with code ‘J2FCO7’ or by clicking HERE!**

 

Thank you for reading!

Love,

H x

Group Photo
Photo taken by Melissa Keen from FFS

*This post is in exchange for these products and this amazing event.

**Affiliate Code/Link

For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Blogmas 2017 Day 11: The best (un)official Christmas films!

And, by unofficial, I mean that they’re not actually Christmas films, but they still make me feel super Christmassy anyway!

The Harry Potter Series

For some reason, these films just make me feel so Christmassy! Plus, when better to have a HP marathon than by the fire with a hot chocolate at Christmas time? It’s just the perfect time for it!

Notting Hill

I love this film, and it just makes me feel so cosy and relaxed. That’s how I like to feel at Christmas time, so it fits perfectly for me!

Paddington

This one’s a film that you can watch with the whole family! It’s funny, and there’s something about that little bear that makes me feel Christmassy. Maybe it’s because he’s featured in the M&S advert this year?!

The Sound Of Music

There is NO better time of year to watch a musical than Christmas time! The sound of music is so special to me, I just love it.

Edward Scissorhands

I don’t know why, but I’ve always watched this film at Christmas time so now it just feels Christmassy to me!

Frozen

I think it’s all of the snow in this film (and this music, of course) but it just makes me feel so happy and Christmassy!

Moulin Rouge

Another musical! I actually got this on dvd for Christmas a few years ago, and ever since it has just reminded me of that Christmas feeling!

Bridget Jones

Another film that I always seem to watch at Christmas! I love Bridget Jones, I really really do 🙌🏻

About A Boy I loveeee this film! It just warms my heart so much, and Christmas is truly a time for heart warming films!

Mean Girls That iconic Jingle Bell Rock scene makes it Christmassy, right?! My life motto is that every time is the perfect time to watch mean girls, so Christmas is the perfect time too!

What films do you like to watch at Christmas, but they’re not actually Christmas films?! Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

Blogmas 2017 Day 10: Top Tips For Christmas On A Budget!

Hello!

I am doing Christmas on a tighter budget than EVER this year. This is mainly because I’m a student, but also because I have a wedding to pay for. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t still treat the people I love! So, I’ve decided to compile some savvy tips on how to do Christmas for less…

Go to discount shops

B&M is your best friend! They often sell the exact same things as other shops but for a few quid cheaper, and a few quid quickly adds up to a lot where presents are involved! They sell some fab brands (such as yankee candle, Vera Wang and Nivea) and also do a 2 for £20 offer on toys, perfect for the kids of the family! There’s also home bargains, pound land, and many more; be sure to shop around this Christmas and save yourself some pennies!

Watch out for ‘offers’

This might sound obvious, but stay with me here. Offers aren’t always offers, sometimes they’re a marketing ploy. Argos is a big offender for this with their 3 for 2 offer… You do get 3 items for the price of 2, but this can often cost you a little more as they increase their prices before the offer starts! Similarly, Boots’ ‘star gift’ ranges are planned with the prices of the items in mind. So, whilst you may think that you can get this item for 50% off for one week only as it’s a star gift, it will often only be worth the star gift price, or maybe even less (*cough* Zoella Advent Calendar *cough*). Sneaky little tricks like this can actually result in you paying more so be smart about what you buy, and when!

ALDI

Aldi doesn’t have the best shelf life when it comes to their veg, I’ll give you that. But, it is the cheapest place for those Brussels by far! And, when you’re cooking up a Christmas feast, you don’t really need your veg to last very long, so keep them in mind for your spuds for roasting! (Their own brand gravy is also veeeery inexpensive and tastes incredible, I can vouch for that). Local produce can also be found on local markets etc, and often they are cheaper than the supermarkets, and you get to help out a local business, win win!

Complete Savings

For a price of £15 a month, complete savings is a complete saviour if you do your Christmas shopping online! £15 may seem a little steep, but if you do all of your shopping at once, you will only have to pay for one month, and you can cancel your subscription after this period. You get a minimum of 10% cash back on purchases from a range of online retailers including asos, Debenhams, eBay and look fantastic! It’s definitely worth the £15 if you’re doing the majority of your Christmas shopping online.

DIY

I always think that personalisation makes any gift magical. Thoughtful gifts are definitely the way forward, and they can save you some money too! I see so many sweet/food/biscuit hampers on sites such as Not On The Highstreet, but why pay so much for these when you could create them yourself?! Source some baskets from places such as Amazon, and get creative with your loved one’s favourite things! I, personally, like to bake some cookies and cakes and do a little basket full of home made goodness! (I used to make gifts like this all of the time when I was younger as my mum ran a little business doing such things, and they really do make people smile!).

What tips do you swear by for saving money at Christmas time?! Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

Blogmas 2017 Day 9: Christmas 2017 Bucket List!

So, last year, I actually didn’t feel very christmassy right up until Christmas Eve. I think that’s because I let the stress of uni work take over. So, this year, I really wanted to create a bucket list so that I can tick off the christmassy things that I’ve done, and not be sad on Christmas Eve when I realise that I haven’t really built up to the big day! So, here we go…

  • Go To York Christmas Shopping

York is the ultimate christmassy place for me, and if you saw my post last year, you’ll know that it’s my favourite city to shop in for Christmas gifts! Zack and I are trying to arrange a day trip here as we both love it, so I’m really hoping it happens…

  • Have a Christmas Film Day

Sounds simple, but I often do my uni work whilst watching films etc, so I’d like to take a day off for film watching purposes ONLY.

  • Give Back 

You may have seen my Charity Gift guide and know that I am really trying to give back this Christmas. I may even do some volunteering if I can find a local place to do so!

  • Put Out Cookies and Milk For Santa

I forgot to do this last year!!! How bad!!! But, I’m sure my two year old brother will remind me this year…

  • Listen to Christmas Songs

I’m not a massive lover of Christmas songs, I must admit, but last year I actually really missed them after Christmas. I definitely need to listen to them a lot more this year!

  • Go to Lincoln Christmas Market

I am planning to go here again as I love it and every year it really gets me in the Christmas mood!

  • Have a Day of Baking!

Again, if you read my post last year, you’ll know that I always bake on Christmas Eve, it’s just a tradition! So, I’m hoping to spend it baking again this year!

 

And, that’s it from me! What are you hoping to do more of this Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

Blogmas 2017 Day 8: Top 5 Christmas Adverts!

Christmas adverts are honestly one of my favourite parts about Christmas. Often, they contain heart warming messages of love and the true meaning of Christmas, it’s the only time of year when I don’t mind watching the Christmas adverts for sure! So, let’s have a look at my top 5 of this year…

5. Debenhams

I like the Debenhams advert. I wouldn’t go as far as love, as it’s not very original is it? Everyone knows the tale of cinderella, it’s not exactly mind blowing, but I do like it and it makes me smile so it deserves this spot.

4. John Lewis

A lot of people said they don’t ‘get’ this advert, but I find it really heartwarming. It’s not my favourite John Lewis ad ever, but it’s something different and it makes me smile every time I watch it.

3. Children’s Hospice Christmas AD

The first time I watched this ad, I couldn’t see I was crying that much. It really hit home for me. But, I’m glad that this advert exists. It’s a reminder that Christmas isn’t always a time of joy for everyone in the world, and that that is okay.

2. Sky Cinema 

An unexpected addition, I must add, but I think the sky cinema ad is really something this chirstmas! I have a huge soft spot for the Sound Of Music as it’s what made me fall in love with musical theatre, so for that reason this advert just gives me super warm fuzzy feelings!

  1. M&S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfaSxIkLslE

I LOVE the M&S advert this year! I have loved paddington the bear for so bloody long, and it just seems absolutely perfect to feature him in a Christmas ad! The story is humorous too, and it really makes me feel warm fuzzies and get a little tear in my eye. Snaps for M&S!

So, there we have it! Which Christmas ads are you loving this year? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

Blogmas Day 7: Winter Favourites!

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s that time of the season where I tell all about the things I’ve been loving for the last few months. I’ve had quite a lot of blogger mail recently if I’m honest, and I am excited to share some of the new things that I’ve been loving! So, without further ado, let’s go…

Public Desire Boots

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I actually got these in a flash sale from Public Desire for just £10! I’ve been loving wearing them this winter, and I’m so glad I spotted the bargain 🙌🏻

Essentialle Revival Nectar*

I actually wrote a whole seperate post on this, but I needed to mention it here because it is the best thing since sliced bread. Read my full review HERE.

The Big Bang Theory Ok, this is a bit of a random one, but recently I’ve really been rediscovering a love for the Big Bang theory (the TV show that is). I’ve always watched it on e4 when it’s on, but now it’s on Netflix I’ve been watching them in order and I actually find them hilarious! Zack says I’m the only person who actually laughs out loud at it, but oh well…

642 Things About You (That I Love)

Zack actually got me this for our anniversary back in October and filled it with (mostly) our memories. This book makes me tear up every single time I read it, and it’s definitely one of the best presents I’ve ever received ❤️.

Chocolate Orange McFlurry

If you haven’t tried this yet, you NEED to! It’s my fav things combined, yum.

Photo book from Saal Digital

This is a book that I got zack for our anniversary, and I was so so so impressed by the quality! The images printed look so amazing, and it’s so nice to have a proper constructed book for us to look back on!

Call the Midwife

I heard lots of people chatting about this a few years ago when it was on BBC, but I never really watched it. It’s on netflix now though, and I’ve not managed to stop since I started! I really really like this programme, it might be one of my ultimate favourites!

Brain Fud*

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ef0 I did a review of these drinks recently, but I’m still loving them! Particularly citrus and mint, yum…

Mom Jeans

I’ve wanted some of these for so long! And, I finally found some that I love on Boohoo/ASOS and now I can’t stop wearing them!

Sleep

A strange thing to put in your favourites? Yes. But, I’ve been loving catching up on sleep this season. I really need to learn when to take a break sometimes!

 

So, there’s a few things I’m loving this season! What are you loving right now? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

* product sent in exchange for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

Blogmas 2017 Day 4: Real VS Fake- The Christmas Tree Debate!

So, something that I hear about year after year is the great Christmas tree debate. Hence, I have decided to compile a list of the pros and cons of each to give you a little idea!

Real

Pros

  • Smell bloody amazing
  • You get to get an imperfect one which is really cute
  • They look better (in my opinion!)
  • Picking them from a farm is a fun day out! (Think pumpkin picking but in November)
  • You get to get a new one every year-  change it up!

Cons

  • They drop needles EVERYWHERE
  • They don’t last as long
  • If you’ve got a pet/small child, the needles can be dangerous to them
  • You have to pick it pretty early to get a good one

Fake

Pros

  • No need to buy another one every year!
  • They stay perfect (if you package them right that is)
  • Less mess
  • Can become quite a sentimental decoration
  • Can go up as early as you like!

Cons

  • It just doesn’t have the amazing Christmas tree smell
  • Some of them can look very cheap and tacky (soz)
  • Sometimes their branches stick out at weird angles due to improper storage
  • They make your hands itch when you put them up!

So there we go. Tell me, do you have a real or fake Christmas tree? Why? We’ve gone for a real one at home this year, and it looks gorgeous! I haven’t actually seen it in person yet though, but when I do I shall take some pics! I look forward to reading your comments!

Love,

H x

Blogmas 2017 Day 3: My New Holy Grail: Essentialle Skin Care Review*

So, a few weeks ago I got a super exciting invite to an event in London to celebrate the launch of Essentialle skin care. Unfortunately, I had uni that day, and I definitely don’t live close enough to London to pop down for a spot of brekkie, so I had to decline. However, their lovely team were nice enough to send me some ‘samples’ instead! I say ‘samples’, because they actually sent me TWO full-sized products, which was very bloody generous of them indeed!

Anyway, contextual information covered, I’ll actually begin my review now…

The Brand

Essentialle were a brand that appealed to me from the get-go because of their company’s moral values. They are completely cruelty free, have a great purity about their products (using only natural and organic ingredients), and they also ship for free world wide, which is pretty incredible!
The Trial

So, like I said, I was sent two full-sized products to try. These were the ‘Revival Nectar’ nourishing face oil, and the ‘Remedy Multi-Active’ re-balancing face oil. Now, I’ll be honest, never in my life have I used a face oil. I have combination to dry skin, and using an oil has always seemed a little alien to me as I couldn’t understand how it would help my skin, rather than break me out. So Essentialle, you’ve definitely taken my face-oil virginity.

I decided to trial the ‘Revival Nectar’ which claims to have restorative qualities, for renewal of dry and lack-lustre skin. Like I said above, I have combination to dry skin, so this seemed like the best fit for me. Zack (my fiancé) trialled the ‘Remedy Multi-Active’ oil for me, as this claims to be for oily, problem skin. We’ve both been using these products daily after our normal skin care routines, in order to give them a fair test.


The Packaging

The products arrived in an adorable package (I’m a sucker for good packaging) and the first thing I noticed was that they were both in glass bottles. This really took me by surprise, I’m not sure why, but I actually really like this. As these products retail within the region of £62-£70, this packaging definitely added to the luxurious feel of a definite luxury skin care brand.

First Impressions

For the ‘Revival Nectar’, my first impressions were definitely the amazing smell of the product. It genuinely smells like the inside of a lush shop, and it gives me great enjoyment to slather it all over my face. I also liked taking the time to work and massage the product properly into my face. This is something that I am not used to doing, but I found it really relaxing and it was really nice to take a little time out of my daily routine just to focus on massaging my face. The product absorbed quickly, and Zack commented that my face smelt nice when I got into bed, WIN.

For the ‘Remedy Multi-Active‘ oil, Zack followed me in massaging it into his skin. He also dabbed it on his problem areas, as advised by the instructions on the bottle. We both remarked that it had a nice scent, although we did prefer the ‘Revival Nectar’ scent. Zack didn’t enjoy the feeling of the oil on his face at first, but it quickly absorbed and off to sleep we went.

The Morning After

Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous because it was way too early to judge at this point, but my skin actually looked incredible. I didn’t notice until I sat down to apply my makeup, but I was genuinely taken aback by my skin. It looked more glowy and healthy than I ever remember, and it actually resembled my skin before I had even begun to use make-up, the change was that different. Although the Remedy Nectar is not for problem skin as such, all of my break outs had also cleared up. I don’t know whether this was because of the product, or if this just happened to happen over night just as I had started using this product, but I was very impressed and I wondered how I had ever gotten by without it!

Zack had a completely different experience with the ‘Remedy Multi-Active’ however, and found that it had caused quite a few break outs. However, he admitted himself that we couldn’t judge the products after one application, and noted that sometimes products have to draw out impurities before they can actually improve your skin.

4 Week Review

So, now we get to right now. We have both been using these products daily for 4 weeks now, and here are our final thoughts.

I absolutely love the Remedy Nectar! I genuinely don’t know how I ever lived without it, it’s for sure my new holy grail that I shall be recommending to everyone. It makes my skin look so much clearer and brighter, I just love it!

Zack didn’t get on with the Remedy Multi-Active. However, his skin is used to quite harsh formulas as he uses alooooot of skin care products, so I think this product just isn’t right for him. But, I have been using small amounts of this and dabbing it on my problem areas. It seems to be working pretty well for me, so I can’t personally fault it!

So, there we have it! Quite a mixed review. Thanks so much to Essentialle for sending the products over for this review, I am officially a fan girl of your brand!

Have you ever heard of essentialle skin care? Which product would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Love,

H x

*Products gifted in exchange for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.