27 May 2016

Best Sun Protection For Summer

If you have as sensitive skin as I do, then you will know finding a sun cream to suit your skin type can be really hard.  Over the years I have tried so many and taken so many different allergic reactions to them, actually it was only recently when I was trialling a new one that I took another skin reaction, so I have got it down to my 3 summer must-haves and thought I would share them with you.

1.  Nivea - This is my holy grail, can never be without, buy in bulk type sun cream.  My skin seems to love it so much.  Not only have I never taken a reaction to it but it also seems to really hydrate my super dry skin really well.  This is an oil type consistency rather than a cream.  Its invisible on the skin although I find it has a sort of golden sheen whilst rubbing it in.  It's really easy to see what bits you've covered and what bits you've not as its really oily looking on your skin when you first put it on. This doesn't give you a white sheen on your skin or pale you out and I actually think it makes my skin look really glowy and healthy as its oily.  This does leave your skin feeling kinda greasy although that texture does wear off the more you have it on, it honestly doesn't bother me at all but it is something to consider if you don't like that feeling on your skin.

2.  Delph* - This is a newer cream to me that I have been trying out.  Its one of only a handful of sun creams that you can get on prescription from your doctor if you have a skin condition.  It's made to be used for really sensitive or problem skin and I really like it.  Its much more of a traditional sun cream than the one above that I mentioned but it does have a really nice smell and I felt really protected and covered wearing it.  My skin didn't have a reaction to it either and it felt really smooth and soft after using it too.  Its a thick cream and because of the texture it does leave your skin slightly tacky to the touch but again like the one above this doesn't bother me in the slightest and I don't know any sun cream that doesn't leave your skin feeling slightly greasy.  This is definitely one that I will always have on hand now too.

3.  UltraSun - This is sun cream for your lips basically.  My lips can get really, really dry in the sun and this seems to work wonders at protecting them and keeping them moisturized too.  Just a really handy thing to always carry about with you.  Its clear and just looks like you are wearing a little bit of lip balm.

I hope this list might help you pick a new sun cream if your looking for one.  Let me know what your favourite one is...?

23 May 2016

My Favourite Podcasts

I don't know about you but I have been getting really into podcast's over the last year or so.  I feel since the whole 'Serial' hype there has been such a surge in amazing and inspiring podcasts to choose from.  They seem to cover just about every subject matter and they are just such a good way to pass the time on long journeys, when your exercising, or my favourite way when I'm chilling out in the sunshine.  So I thought I would share with you a few of my favourites that I have been loving lately....

1.  Gilmore Guys - This is probably what got me started listening to podcasts, once I found out that this existed then I was like oh my I need this in my life.  This is a show created by two guys, one who loves Gilmore Girls and knows everything about it and the other who has barely seen more than a few minutes of an episode in his life.  Each show talks and discusses each individual episode in chronological order.  Show one is about Season One Episode One and so on.  If you are a massive fan of GG like me then you will just love this, hearing someone else's take on the story and characters is so interesting and they also have some of the cast on to talk about the show in later episodes too.  Its such a great fun, light-hearted listen.
Where to start - The very beginning

2.  Ted Talks - This one is pretty self explanatory I suppose but I just can't get enough of it.  It's the audio of every Ted talk you can think of.  Ted Talks bring together such an amazing array of inspiring and interesting people and I could listen to them all day long.
Where to start - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's inspiring and now super famous talk will really let you know what Ted Talks is all about if you've never had a listen before.

3.  WTF with Marc Maron - Probably my favourite ever podcast at the moment.  I had no idea who he was until I was browsing through some podcast lists and thought it looked quite interesting and gave his show a listen and I'm so glad I did.  Marc is a comedian but don't let that put you off as he takes on the role of presenter and sort of unofficial buddy to the guest rather than trying to crack jokes and make them feel awkward which I find so many comedians do in their podcasts.  Each show varies, Marc can sometimes talk to one guest for about an hour or he might talk to a few people in that time, it always changes.  He has the most amazing list of people who he has spoke to.  I love that his show feels so natural and intimate.  It sort of feels like you are listening in to a couple of friends just talking about life.  I love though that he asks some tough questions and really delves into people's lives though too without being pushy or it feeling invasive to them. If you like hearing a learning more about people's lives then I would urge you to have a listen of this.
Where to start - Such a hard question but two of my favourites have been the Jason Bateman episode because I didn't think it was possible for me to love that man more until I listened to this but turns out it was possible and I now definitely love him more haha and the President Obama podcast is just really, really wonderful and inspiring too.

4.  Desert Island Discs - An oldie but a goodie right? This takes one celebrity each week and asks them which songs, book and luxury item they would take with them on a desert island whilst chatting and talking about their life too. I love the format and I always think you get to hear some fun things from the guests.
Where to start - If you love Tennis like I do then you will love Judy Murray's episode as much as I did.

5.  Song Exploder - This is what I have been listening to a lot at the minute.  If I had a podcast I would want it to be this one, I just love the idea so much.  Take a musician or band and ask them what one of their songs is about, explain the meaning about it then listen to the song.  And that's literally the format of every episode but I really love it.  I have always loved hearing what some of my favourite songs are about and getting to hear the actual musician tell the stories behind some of their biggest hits is just amazing.
Where to start - The Lumineers Ophelia episode is my new favourite.

So there you go just a few of my favourite picks.  I have a lot more beauty/fashion/food ones that I have been loving that I think I'm going to put in a separate post soon.

Also to listen to the podcasts I use either the PodcastAddict app or the Stitcher app, they are my two favourites just in case you were looking for some good free apps to listen to your podcasts on too!

I hope you enjoy this post and please do leave me all you favourite podcasts in the comments below as I am always on the lookout for some new finds....

19 May 2016

Unrivalled Book Tour- Interview with Alyson Noel


I have a really exciting post to share with you all today. 
If you read my post yesterday (if not you can have a peek HERE) then you will know how much I fell in love with the book Unrivalled.  If you are a fan of Gossip Girl or Pretty little Liars then this book should be on your must read list this summer.
As part of the Unrivalled Blog tour I have been lucky enough to ask the author of the book some questions and I really hope you love reading her answers as much as I did.

So read on to find out more about the inspirations behind the book, if it will be made into a TVshow (I've got my fingers crossed) and what we can look forward to in book 3 and 4.....

1.     This has been one of my absolute favourite books I have read this year. It’s such a perfect mix of fun but full of suspense too.  It really made me reminisce about my days of watching The Hills and how much the LA club scene was also a major character in that show.  What was your inspiration for the story?
 AN: Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, because I can honestly say I’m having so much fun creating this world. After writing 14 paranormal themed books in a row, I was ready for a change and decided to return to the sort of contemporary stories I wrote at the start of my career. As a teen, I devoured books by Judith Krantz, Jackie Collins, and Sydney Sheldon. I was drawn to the big, juicy, glamorous worlds and the strong female characters that weren’t afraid to do what it took to succeed—all while wearing fabulous shoes, of course! But I also love mysteries, and as a Southern California native, I thought it would be fun to sort of combine the two by dropping three ambitious teens into LA’s star-studded landscape and seeing what happens when the choices they make in pursuit of their dreams make them all suspects in a mysterious crime.

2.     Social media and blogging play a major part in the story.  I thought it was so interesting how that was the darkest element of the story, how things can get so twisted and skewed on the internet in today’s culture, how everyone bends the truth to make it work best for them. Was this something you really wanted to incorporate into the story?
AN: Definitely. While I’m a big fan of social media and its power to connect people all over the world, it also has a propensity to become a sort of global bully pulpit where sound bites rule and spin masquerades as the truth. I find that side of it so disheartening, and so I made a conscious choice to explore the effects of that in the book.

3.     Being a California native yourself, did you have any crazy personal experiences of the LA nightlife scene that you brought into the book?
AN: While I definitely have my share of crazy memories—I spent the bulk of my senior year sneaking into clubs, which was a lot easier back then than it is today—the scenes in the book are purely products of my imagination.

4.     LA has been somewhere I have wanted to visit forever and it acts as the most perfect backdrop for your story.  What made you choose that location as the setting for the novel?
AN: I think LA is an aspirational place for a lot of people. Even those with no desire to visit, still have fixed ideas of what it’s all about. And while it’s true that the sun really does shine most days and our beaches are especially beautiful—the picture on the postcard doesn’t reveal the whole story. With UNRIVALLED, I wanted to explore the grit behind that glossy Hollywood veneer, and see what happens when 3 unsuspecting teens end up on the dark side of an industry known for building people up only to tear them right down.       

5.     All the chapters are named after songs, what was your inspiration for matching which songs to which chapters?
AN: Using song titles has been a really fun way to head the chapters and sort of highlight each character’s journey. I have a growing list of titles that I choose from, and while I’m mostly looking to invoke the general mood of the scene to come or a particular character quirk, sometimes a title is so on the nose in the way it explains what’s about to happen that I just can’t resist. 

6.     I think Unrivalled would make the most amazing TV show or film, is there anything in the pipeline?
AN: While it would be a dream come true to see it on the big or small screen, all I can say for now is that the wheels are turning behind the scenes and my fingers are crossed!

7.     I know some authors when they are writing their books sometimes have an idea of who they would like to see play the main characters if a show would be to happen.  Did you have anyone in mind for Tommy, Aster and Layla?  I thought Hayden Panettiere would make the most amazing Madison?
AN: Oh, she would be great, I agree! And while I hate to disappoint, I have to confess that I’ve never been any good at this game. I think because the characters become so real to me that it’s difficult for me to see them as anyone else but the images in my head!

8.     And finally, Unrivalled is the first book in a three part series.  What can you tell us about the next two books and when can we expect to see them on the shelves?
AN: I’m finishing up the second book now—title to be announced soon!—and it picks up right where book 1 left off, with the stakes higher than ever and Layla, Tommy, and Aster facing serious consequences for their actions. New characters are introduced, old alliances are tested, and it becomes increasingly unclear who can be trusted. Look for book 2 to hit shelves in May 2017, with book 3, which I’m about to start soon, out 1 year later in May 2018!

I want to say a massive big thank you to the awesome Alyson for taking the time out to answer these questions, let me know what you thought of the interview and the book in the comments...

If you want to buy the book you can get it now on Wordery with free delivery on your order too!

P.S. Quote in the picture above from Unrivalled

18 May 2016

Book Review - Unrivalled by Alyson Noel


Unrivalled* by Alyson Noel
"EVERYONE wants to be someone.
Layla Harrison wants to be a reporter.
Aster Amirpour wants to be an actress.
Tommy Phillips wants to be a guitar hero.
But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her own a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.
That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and are lured into a competition. The prize, or rather the target? Madison Brooks.
Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies."

So I just want to sound the alarm (Cue some old school Beyonce) you need this book in your life.
Shall I just end the review here?  Honestly its that good.  I feel like that's all I need to say, just read it!

If you have ever read the Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liar books or watched the tv shows of them then I know you will fall so hard in love with this book.

Set in the LA nightclub scene, the story revolves around three main characters who at first don't know each other but through taking part in a competition run by nightclub owner and LA's main man Ira,  their lives become entwined and by the end of the book they are more involved and connected to each other than they ever could have imagined.
The competition starts out being something that they are all using for their own gains, a way to reconnect with their past, a way to further their careers or get a career but they soon realise that maybe they were the ones getting played by the game all along?

The book is full of fun, comedy, suspense, intrigue and flat out glamour.  If you are a fan of the above books or shows I mentioned, then I don't know how you could not enjoy this.  I got the exact same feeling reading this as I did when I started the Gossip Girl books, they were addictive, you were desperate to see what happened next and you went from desperately wishing you had a life like Serena and Blair to then reading the next chapter and being so grateful that you don't.  This book gives you all the same feelings, it pulls you in and immerses you into this world that isn't the LA that you see on the tv shows, its much more dark and murkier but its sort of the one that you always knew must exist, not everything can be that shiny and perfect all the time right?

Remember The Hills with Lauren Conrad and co.  That was one of my favourite shows and something about this book kept making me think of it.  I think it was because so much of that show was also set around the LA nightlife scene and they made it look so wonderful but sort of awful at the same time.  Like at night, the clubs that LC, Audrina and Heidi would go to looked so glamorous and they'd be filled with A-lister's but as they would walk by them during the light of day, you would see how dingy and un-glamorous they really are.  Like the night adds a veil of mystery and helps the nightclub promoter sell you a lifestyle rather than a drink and I think that's what this book does so well, show you the behind the scenes of that life.

If you are anything like me and love reading about whole celebrity/LA/reality type world and you often wonder what the other side of fame and celebrity is like, the side where people do anything to succeed then Unrivalled will answer a few of those questions for you. 

I have been so excited to share this review with you all for the longest time and I'm so happy that now you can all go out and get your hands on a copy as I genuinely do think that so many of you will love this story.

In even more exciting news I have an interview with the author Alyson Noel coming up on my blog tomorrow, where I talk with her about the inspirations behind the book and she gives us a sneaky peek at what we can expect from book 2 and 3 so check back tomorrow for that!

Buy Unrivalled on Wordery and get free delivery.

16 May 2016

MAC 'So Chaud' Lipstick Review


1.  I wanted to do a little post on 'So Chaud' from MAC.  I have always wanted to try an orange lipstick but was always a bit scared it wouldn't suit me but when I saw a few reviews of this shade I knew I needed to try it.  The people I've seen wearing this, it looks almost tangerine on them, its such a strong orange shade and even in the lipstick bullet it looks a really deep orange but on me it seemed to look a more reddish orange which is actually the official description on MAC's website.  I have Lady Danger which is a really orange based red and this is definitely a lot more orange than that but they are kinda similar in tone.  I can't believe how much I loved this on.  Its super matte which I love and it is really bold and strong but it felt so summery and fresh too.
I wanted to keep the rest of my makeup really subtle and glowy so I just bronzed myself up, and put a little bit of brown eyeshadow, lined my waterline with brown liner but didn't put any on my lash line and put on some brown primer instead of mascara to really give me a paired down look and let the lipstick do all the talking.  I felt so summery and glowy!

2.   This weather though...how beautiful is it?  It has been so beyond warm this past weekend and I've been chilling in the sunshine.  I love when you start to smell barbeque's in the air, you know?  It felt like every neighbour I have was having a BBQ on Saturday and even though I don't like eating anything from them I just think that smell sums up the beginning of summer for me.

3.  Because I've been sitting in the sun for a few days all my freckles have come out (even though always wear a super high SPF) and I love that they peek through my makeup when I wear a more natural look like this, I always feel very sun-kissed!

I hope you like this little quick lipstick review and seeing how I've been wearing my orange lipstick.
Are you guys fans of bright lipstick for summer?

You can buy So Chaud from MAC

P.s. The first picture reminds me so much a JLo's music video hands from the James Cordon Carpool thing...I look like I'm mid dance move, so funny!
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