Friday, 31 October 2014


I'm not sure what it is about October, but each year I find it filled with a month of facing demons. Whilst it now seems like this has been brewing for a long time, I've come to the realization that I have this thing where I never feel I've actually accomplished anything, as if what I've done is not good enough. From work, to blogging to even my make-up, I'm often left thinking hmm, it's ok, it will do. Not yes, I've done something amazing here. The sad truth is too, I think the vast majority of people experience this in their own way. This month I've really noticed the effects of this, and how it makes every day appear to be a bit blah unless you have something unusual planned. So my plan to combat this? Be more reflective. Appreciate the starting point, the period of time that's passed, all the lesson's learnt and remember that just because I've not achieved the same thing someone else has, doesn't mean my achievement is any less. Someone going down a different route to me doesn't mean my route is wrong. 

So what else happened this month? Apart from spending 4 hours in car just to go through Blackpool Illuminations (essential a stretch of a couple miles of the same fairy lights that are hung every year), I've been recovered from the flu, which if I'm being honest completely knocked me for 6. 

Things I've learnt this month:
  1. People say the British like to queue. It's a vicious rumor. 4 hours to sit and look at colored light bulbs is enough to make you hysterical.
  2. I own far too many books. I have piles and piles of books I want to read but haven't had a chance to because I've been so busy. Now is the chance.
  3. Sometimes people do change. A tricky one but often true.
  4. Ed Sheeran is my idea of the perfect man. He can sing. He can dance. He's ginger. Need I say more.
  5. When you know work is one degree warmer than LA (OK so LA at 9am), you know your counting down the days to your USA trip a bit too much.


Monday, 27 October 2014

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

FAB Cleanser, First Aid Beauty, Red Clay
Cleanser - £14.40

As sad as it sounds, I love cleansing my skin. When your tired and feeling a bit blah the feeling of super clean skin really peps my mood up. For the last year I've been bordering on obsessed with skincare and have tried to learn as much as I can about different types of products and ingredients. By now I think I'm pretty clued up on what I like and what suits my skin, and First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay is the best one I have found so far. I've not seen this cleanser mentioned on many blogs so I thought it was about right it got it's moment in the spotlight.

The actual product is a red glittery gel which is incredibly cooling on the skin. Suitable for oily, combination and problem prone skin types, it's perfect to unclog pores and purify sensitive skin. Containing a concoction of minerals, antioxidants and botanical extracts, it draws out the skin's toxins, helps to reduce outbreaks and reduce sebum production. With no noticeable fragrance, the gel lathers up well so only a small amount is necessary to remove traces of make-up and dirt from your skin. After just a couple of days my pores were noticeably smaller and my skin was magically blemish free and radiant. The best bit? That effect wasn't short term. It was long-lasting and just got better and better the longer the product was used. Gentle enough to use as your only cleanser but providing noticeable effects, this is one product you should make space for.

Have you found a perfect cleanser?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Things I'm Trying to Save For

Timeless Classic Fashion Iconic

I'm not aloud to shop. I've said it countless times before but I honestly can't. I need a car. I need to save up for Greece in May. I need to save up for London in August. I need to save up for America in September. The list of next year's expenses is endless. No more silly spending. Obviously I'm going to shop between now and September, but I don't want to impulse buy things I will wear twice and then let them collect dust in my wardrobe. And because I've told myself I can't shop, all I can think about is shopping.

Ever since I was really little I and I first went to a big department store I decided I wanted to get some investment pieces in my wardrobe. Flash forward to now and I have the makings of a nice little collection. Quite a few vintage pieces, a Mulberry bag, a few Radley pieces and some lovely jewelry. But there are some pieces I really want to save for. Apart from my Chanel 2.55 Flap bag which I have sworn I will get when I finally qualify as a solicitor, I am desperate to get my hands on a Chanel Tweed Jacket.  As I spend every week day in smart clothes at work, I think I'd get a lot of wear from it too! A Burberry Trench Coat is also on my list. On my first trip to London we walked past Burberry and I was absolutely transfixed by the window displayed. Living in Manchester, not only is a Trench Coat practical, it's never going to go out of fashion! A Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress and an Alexander McQueen Scarf are modern classics and would be wardrobe essentials throughout my life. Lastly, I'd love a pair of red soles, and by that I mean some Louboutins. Although super glamorous, I don't want a pair of ridiculously high heels. Instead I'd choose a more sensible heel or some ankle boots so they have slightly less of a chance of ending up in the air. With a wishlist like that, I think I better start saving now!

What are fashion items are you trying to save for?

Monday, 20 October 2014

St. Grape Aqua Bliss Bath Scrub

St. Grape Aqua Bliss Bath Scrub - £12

If there's one product I am very specific about, it's body scrub. I've tried a lot and I know what I like. I like quite an abrasive scrub that you can visibly see the difference after you've used it. Of course it needs to smell nice too and it wasn't too expense. Not really much to ask for?! 

I mentioned this scrub in my last empties post but wanted to do a full review on it to truly do it justice. Enriched with 4 kinds of pure Essential Oil extracts the natural high quality mineral sea salt scrub has been created to rejuvenate, refresh and heal the body whilst at the same time provided a calming and relaxing sensation. On top of that, it hasn't got any nastiness in it as it's Sulfate Free, Petrochemical Free, Silicone Free, Paraben free, with no artificial colours and it hasn't been tested on animals. On paper, this ticks all the boxes, for everyone. However, in reality I was left a little disappointed. The fragrance is a somewhat powdery floral scent which, whilst pleasant enough, doesn't specially appeal to me. The product itself is very smooth and I did think it wouldn't exfoliate as much I'd like. This was completely wrong and it really does work very well without being too abrasive or harsh. My skin also felt conditioned after using this, more hydrated and pores looked reduced. Using three time a week, the jar surpassed a month's use too.

Despite the positives out weighting the negatives, I was still left a little flat. Apart from the scent, I couldn't find a single flaw yet I just didn't enjoy using this scrub as much as others. The expectation for this scrub to do everything it promised was so high I think I was bound to feel a bit underwhelmed. Without a scent which appealed to me I don't think I could ever experience the calming and relaxing sensation. Clearly fragrances are down to personal preference, but setting such high standards has made this product good instead of great. Ultimately I think this is a case of a good product trying to achieve too much. If it was advertised purely as a rejuvenating and healing body scrub it would get top marks. Sadly it's not and for me it just didn't deliver. 

What good products have you been underwhelmed by?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Recycling Bin #6

I am genuinely trying my hardest to use up products as they seem to be multiplying every time I turn away, and I quite frankly, don't have the space for them. That being said, I do try and make the most out of what I've got, meaning I use up products a little bit slower than the average blogger. But let's celebrate these empties! Yes that is a Ponche shower gel bottle from last year's Lush collection. Let's not judge people, I'm a shower gel hoarder. Last Christmas I seemed to amass a vast quantity of all sorts of beautiful shower gels. This one seemed to be left to last, but oh my was it a nice one. Very autumy and a bit akin to Yankee Candles Spiced Orange, but with a hint of tequilla. I think I'm most depressed about saying good by to Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Fragrance(*) . It was my Summer scent and saying goodbye to it really does mean the start of cold, dark nights. At least it's Halloween and Bonfire Night soon! I have a detailed review of St. Grape Aqua Bliss coming soon, but what I will say is it's not my perfect scrub. Lastly, I'm making a determined effort to moisturise more and I've finished the Dead Sea Spa Magik Silky Smooth Body Lotion and Whish Body Butter. Whilst both were lovely to use, I wouldn't rave about them. To me, there just standard lotions. 

On to skincare and I think I'm really starting to understand what I like and what I don't like. Sadly all of these products I loved. The Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask is one of my all-time favorite masks. It's such a luxurious product and really helps to decongest your skin. It's great for this time of year too as it's warming! I fell head over heels for Murad Skincare, especially their Pomegrante Range. My favorite products are the Energizing Pomegrante Cleanser and the Pomegrante Exfoliating Mask. Both help to make your skin glow and smell so fruity. Lastly, a cleanser I truly love, the First Aid Deep Cleanser with Red Clay. I've never tried a cleanser that has been so gentle yet so effective in maintain blemish free skin. It won't be too long before I have to buy the full size.

Have you tried any of these products?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Blog Life Crisis

It's taken me a month to come to the conclusion. I've pondered over the symptoms for hours; lack of engagement, reluctance to log-in, avoidance of checking feeds. It's all lead me to one thing. I'm having a blog life crisis.

I'm doing everything I should be doing, but for some reason I'm just not happy. I have my dream layout, I'm posting regular and I'm keeping up-to-date with the blogger world but something's missing. My spark has gone. In a moment of flu-induced pitty I even blurted "what's the point?"! Before I continue, I would like to clearly state, in bold, that this is not a I'm giving up blogging post. It's more of I've lost my direction and purpose kind of post. For one reason of another I just feel The Crown Wings has become stuck in a rut and I think now's the time to stop and reflect on how to move forward. 

Never one to mope around for too long (praying my Mum doesn't read this), I've come up with an action plan to get my blogging buzz back. And because I'm an obsessive list maker, I've made it into a list.

  1. Read someone of my favorite blogs and make a list (of course) of the reasons I keep coming back for more. Whether it be the selection of posts, the photography, work out what makes me want to scroll down, and then scroll a little bit more.
  2. Apply said list to The Crown Wings. OK, so Rome wasn't built in a day and change won't happen over night, but everything needs to start somewhere. I've re-jigged my blog plan to include a wider variety of topics and I'm going to work on how they are presented.
  3. Stay true to me. If I don't want to blog about something or present it in a certain way, I won't/ If it feel's like a chore, it's going to show. Stay original, individual and make the Crown Wings a true reflection of me.
  4. Get more involved in the blogger community and the twitter chats. Talking to other bloggers and hopefully building links will help me feel part of something again.
  5. Have fun. Blogging isn't my career, it's a hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be fun and not stressful. I need to stop focusing on statistics and more on what matters, doing something that I' happy with.

So there's my master plan for getting some mojo back into my blog. Have you got any tips?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in Nude (*) - £8.99

The struggle with foundation is real. I should know, I battle with it on a daily basis. Thank's to my Dad I have the curse of his Irish genes and deceivingly pale skin. Shades can go one of two ways for me, orange or ghostly. Neither look is something I want to achieve. The other problem is down to my skin, it fluctuates from oily to dry over night relegating my foundation choice the day before into the bottomless draws of my IKEA Alex. However, this Summer I stumbled upon this little bottle of amazingness. Yes I did just say amazingness, but this foundation deserves it.

I'm actually rather surprised I took a chance on this foundation in the first place. Foundation without a pump is something I have avoided at all costs and always buy the additional pump. I know how clumsy I am, I do not need to be reminded with suspect stains on everything I own. Well I was right in that prediction, there have my the odd rushed morning when I've had to make an unplanned outfit change after I decided to pour the bottle slightly too close to me, slightly too far away from my foundation brush. However, if you are significantly more coordinated than me, and that 99.9% of the World's population, you will have no problems whatsoever. 

The foundation blends like a dream. It's towards the start of the medium coverage range, so you will need some concealer if your skin has blemishes. Saying that, this has covered up more angry red spots that I care to tell you. It genuinely does give you your skin but better. It will cover imperfections but allow your natural features (aka freckles) to show through. People don't think I'm wearing foundation when I have this on, and that is a look I always want. If you have combination skin this will be perfect for you. I find that it adapts to my ever changing skin and doesn't look shinny on my oily days or patchy if it's decided to be dry. It's just a great suits-everyone foundation that will last you all day without slipping.  I urge you to look past the lack of a pump flaw and give this foundation a chance, it deserves a place in your collection.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Made By Me || Jewellery

Confession Alert: I'm a secret crafter. Well, I say I am, I used to be. I used to be really into card making, calligraphy and so on and even did some for a friends wedding. However since I went to University way back in 2010 I just kind of stopped and forgot how much I enjoyed doing it. Whether it was down to being busy with my new life I don't know, what I do know is that it wasn't something I made time for anymore.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to start making things again and turned my hand back to my favorite craft of all, jewellery. I forgot how much I love making jewellery, from curling the head pins for earrings to making simple jump ring chains. When I design something then find the right materials and then make it, I get so absorbed and forget about everything else. It's my little world full of shinny things. It definitely appeals to my magpie tendencies. Although I'm a little rusty now, I can still control my pliers. After this weekend I've decided to take jewellery making back up again along with a whole bunch of crafts I forgot I could make. Watch this space ...


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Fashion & Lifestyle Exhibition 2014 || Fashion Shows

With one week to go until the big event, it's time I let you into even more details about the fashion shows at the event! As I've mentioned before, this event really does cater to all ages, genders and tastes, and the fashion show is no different. From alternative, ready to wear and high fashion you will find the your inspiration for S/S '15!

The order of running varies ever so slightly each day:

Saturday 11th October 2014
12 pm Cocktail Arrival
12.05 pm Tora Harlow Performance
12.15 pm Intro by hosts Jsky and Melissa Travis & Streetwear and Ready to Wear 
12.35 pm 
Mid-show performance by Jsky
12.40 pm Streetwear & Casual
1 pm Performance by Eustratia
1.15pm Grab your goody bag before you leave!

Sunday 12th October 2014
12 pm Cocktail Arrival
12.05 pm Nathan Howard Performance
12.15 pm Intro by hosts Jsky and Melissa Travis & Evening & Partywear 
12.35 pm Mid-show perfromance by Jsky
12.40 pm Lingerie & Swimwear
1 pm Performance by Eustratia
1.15pm Grab your goody bag before you leave!

If you want to make sure you get a seat, I'd recommend you to buy your ticket before you get to the event! Click here for more info.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Face B4 Skincare

Face B4 Cleanser Serum
Face B4 Daily Cleansing Foam (*) - £14.95
Face B4 After Cleansing Serum (*) - £14.95

Spots. Pimples. Zits. Different names but all describe the sane dread. There is nothing worse than on the lead up to a big event, where you know everybody will be snap happy, than waking up with a small mountain on your face. Whilst your camoflaging skills may rival the Army, having a spot or two is enough to knock anyone's confidence. I'm a big brliver in preventation being better than cure so when I was given the opportunity to try Face B4 skincare, I had to give it ago.

Face B4 is a skincare brand with a difference, aiming to make achieving clear skin simpler. Suitable for all skin types, Face B4 consists of a two step routine to help prevent blemishes. The Daily Cleansing Foam is exceptionally lightweight and not at all drying. A combined Cleanser and Toner, it helps remove all traces of dirt and excess oil from your pores, fighting the bacteria that causes spots. Once the foam has been applied and washed off you can then apply the After a cleansing Serum. Combing the properties of a serum with the benefits of a moisturiser, you only need a pea-sized amount to treat your whole face. It's i,potent not to apply too much product, otherwise your skin is left a bit greasy and shiny. Similarly I'd recommend using the serum only at night as I find it doesn't work well with some of my bases.

After only one week of using the duo, I noticed a massive difference in my pore size and amount of blemishes I had. Whilst all my blemishes didn't disappear overnight, they did reduce in severity and quantity. I loved being able to cut out steps and use the combined products. I will be the first to admit that I sometimes skip skincare regime steps. Sometimes your too tired or pushed for time, other times you simply can't be bothered. Whatever the reason, using Face B4 ensured I had a consistent routine that fitted into my life. Another thing which appealed to me when using the combined products was that you are using fewer things on your skin. It sounds obvious, but I think sometimes my skin gets a bit overloaded by using different products. Using just two made everything simpler and ultimately, my skin thanked me for it.

What are your top blemish preventing products?

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