Books I’ve Read Lately 2018 Part 2

Books I've Read in 2018 Part 2

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

I kept seeing this book in Waterstones & heard so many people saying how good it was so I knew I had to read it too. It did not disappoint & lived up to every good review I’d read. I loved it and was completely gripped from beginning to end. This book is the diary entries from an NHS Junior Doctor from 2004 until 2010, I laughed (a lot), cried and quite often gasped out loud at almost every page. This is an eye-opening, honest and quite often shocking account of working on the front line in the NHS from a Junior Doctors perspective. I loved the way is written and I won’t give anything away but I cried and laughed in equal measures. It is heartbreaking to think our NHS staff are working almost 100 hour weeks at the expense of their mental and physical well-being. I urge you to add this book to your reading list, I think it should be a mandatory read for everyone.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Another true story and an account of a middle-aged couple who find themselves in a situation beyond their control and completely out of their depth. This book gave me the sobering realisation that we are all only ever one step from losing everything, I found this humbling and inspiring. I felt like I was walking with Ray & her husband Moth every step of their journey. This story will lift your spirits, inspire you to embrace the unexpected and reminds you to be a little kinder to people you meet along the way. I found this book to be a quick read and I recommended it to my Mum who also really enjoyed it too.

Stalins Daughter

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan 

I am completely fascinated by Russia and always gravitate towards books about its rich history and culture. It’s a country that has been through so many changes and it’s people have so often triumphed over adversity. I couldn’t wait to read this book when I heard about it.

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan is an in-depth account of the little princess of the Kremlin who never escapes her father’s legacy. Svetlana endures so many tragedies in her early life, most at the hands of her brutal father Josef Stalin but after his death, she learns more about the extent of his reign of terror and makes the decision to defect from Russia.
Then begins a life of emotional turmoil and her constant search for peace that sadly never came. This is an emotional account of Russia’s most important defector. I found it heartbreaking that she wasn’t able to become her true self. The world just wouldn’t allow her to be anything other than Stalin’s Daughter and that was such a heavy burden to bear.

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

This book by Viktor E Frankl who is a Holocaust survivor and a leading psychiatrist explores what keeps people from giving up & what gives a life meaning and purpose. He talks about his time in Auswitch and how the people who managed to survive the longest were the ones who refused to succumb to depression or a broken heart but instead had an attitude of hope which gave their life meaning and purpose. They were the ones that helped people at any cost even if they made the smallest difference, they were the ones that refused to give away their inner fight for survival. You learn a lot about the strength of the human spirit.  It is a very interesting book and one that makes me realise your attitude can have such a positive impact upon everything you do. If like me you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or having a low time of it, this book might help you focus and make some positive changes to the way you think and your ability to focus on the good.

The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana

This is a book about solving a crime that happened years before, about understanding family lies and secrets that stop the truth from surfacing. It all centres around what happened to Gabriella 30 years ago and her sister Anna returning to the family home to finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I thought it was a little hard to follow in places but I couldn’t put it down and loved the twists and turns. If you like crime/mystery novels this is one to add to your reading list for 2018.

The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is so out of my comfort zone and not the usual genre I go for, it is what I would call a crime/fantasy/thriller. Most people describe it as a gothic novel and I would agree. Set against the backdrop of post World War II Barcelona and centres around the enchanting Cemetery of Lost Books and what one boy discovers there. The Shadow of the Wind’ becomes a hunger to discover what really happened to its author Julian Carax to save those left behind. There is no quiet moment in this book, my heart was always in my mouth and I couldn’t put it down. It is enchanting, harrowing and the plot is so dark in places that I was scared to read it at night (what a wimp, I know). I enjoyed it from start to finish and want to read more books from Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Bring Me Back by B A Paris

Bring Me Back by B A Paris

Now, this was a book I really did not enjoy, it was disjointed and odd. It is about the disappearance of a young woman 12 years ago & the odd things that start happening that question what really happened to her all those years ago. If she is dead or alive. I found the whole book far-fetched and not very well written. Not a book I would recommend at all!

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

I loved Jamie Ford’s debut novel ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweetwhich was a lovely read and I so wanted this book to be as good but although I enjoyed it and loved the main character Ernest Young, I just felt the story wasn’t as gripping. It is set in Seattle and much of the plot centres around the fate of a young Chinese orphan who finds himself in an adult world and all that comes with that life. The story flits between Ernst as a young boy & as an older man and I quite like the way this is done. Although I wouldn’t say this is a must read I would say it is a nice, easy read.

The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans

This was the second book in this roundup which I wasn’t blown away by. It was quite boring in parts and often I felt the story was rushed. This is a story that will leave you with more questions than answers and I struggled to connect with any of the main characters. This is a book to avoid!

If you have any book recommendations please leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear them.

October 2018 Product Empties

October Empty Beauty Products 2018

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

I really like DHC skincare & this cleanser is up there in my top 5 skincare products, I’ve used this cleansing oil for years and have found nothing removes my makeup quite as effectively. It melts away even stubborn mascara and removes lip-stains with gentle ease. I like to spend time really massaging it into my skin which is a great way to give yourself a mini at home facial (oils are so good to use as they make massaging the skin super easy). It is a good cleanser for protecting skin against environmental aggressors, is extremely gentle and leaves no greasy residue behind (which a lot of oil-based cleansers do). If you haven’t already tried this you really need to.

  • Olive oil – Rich in antioxidants, it helps fight damage caused by free radicals without clogging pores
  • Rosemary leaf oil – Extracted from the leaves of the plant, it contains invigorating properties and imparts a refreshing scent.

The Ordinary Buffet

I always feel like a scientist when I use products from DECIEM as they all come in very scientific looking bottles with intelligent sounding names & most of them have you dispensing the product using a dropper, I love it! I do use quite a lot of The Ordinary products in my skincare routine – I just love the affordable price point and I see real results in my skin. I have used up their Buffet this month and this is a serum that I really miss when I don’t have it in my skincare routine. It appears to be nothing special but let me tell you it is a wonderful serum with a multitude of benefits.  This Peptide Serum is designed to tackle the signs of ageing and includes some really effective anti ageing ingredients including hyaluronic acid and Matrixyl 3000 (which is an anti-wrinkle peptide).

This serum is plumping, nourishing and will diminish those fine lines. I use this daily and love how lightweight it is on my skin. It is a great product to layer other skincare on top of and I think it is a must-have product for anyone worried about fine lines and a dull looking complexion. It is so affordable that you need to add it into your routine.

October Empty Beauty Products 2018

Hand Chemistry Pro Repair Skincare

I suffer terribly from dry hands and find that a lot of hand creams just put a greasy layer of cream on my hands but they never feel nourished and 10 minutes later they’re dry again. That was not true of this one from Hand Chemistry – this is so good at keeping my hands feeling supple and hydrated whilst the skin looks smooth and bright. I also like how it helps improve skin tone on your hands. It is a gem of a hand cream and I always have a 30ml one in my handbag & the 100ml one by my bedside.

Korres Black Pine Anti Wrinkle Serum

Although this serum had quite a sticky consistency and I wasn’t a big fan of that, I did like the results I saw from using it. I felt it really helped my skin look more firm, feel plump and hydrated whilst looking less tired. It contains some fantastic skin loving, anti ageing ingredients,

  • BLACK PINE EXTRACT & EPIGALLOCATECHIN Protects and strengthens connective tissue, firms and boosts connective tissue’s resilience, has strong anti-inflammatory properties combined with exceptional firming action as well as protecting against free radicals and collagenases.
  • HEXAPEPTIDE 11 THE 1ST NATURAL POLYPEPTIDE: Strong firming action, skin elasticity increase.
  • ACTIVE AGENT DERIVED FROM FERMENTED BLACK TEA: Restores the ‘volume’ of the skin, while providing radiance and luminosity, thus improving the overall appearance of the skin.
  • NATURAL OLIGOSACCHARIDES: Enhance elastin and natural hyaluronic acid synthesis and improve skin resilience.

Although I wouldn’t rush out & repurchase this serum again, I really did like it and if you’re 40+ you will really see the benefits. This product lasted me for almost a year and that was using it 3 times a week.

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00%

Another product from the DECIEM group and this is an interesting one as it is a product that really encourages your skins ongoing health and wellbeing. It promotes your skin to be the best it can be. When I use this my skin is more glowing and looks very healthy and fresh.

This CAIS helps to prevent and reverse largely all aspects of visible skin ageing, including textural damage, uneven pigmentation, loss of elasticity, lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and general lack of a healthy radiance present in younger skin. In short, the skin will act and look younger starting within 5 days with continued improvements over time.

I don’t 100% understand all the science & ingredients included in this product but from the results I have seen I am 100% buying it again – if you want to learn more/understand what exactly goes into all the DECIEM products their website is a wealth of information and really breaks down all the percentages, active ingredients and makes the science jargon a little clearer. So I would direct you there.

superdrug naturally radiant pads

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads

One of my favourite affordable exfoliating treatments. These pads are a godsend for lazy people like me. They already come soaked in the glycolic acid so all you need to do is sweep it across your skin as part of your skincare regime. The glycolic acid and fruit acids gently exfoliate away dead skin to reveal bright, radiant skin. You get 60 pads in a pot and they’re an affordable way of keeping your skin from becoming congested but also keeping it looking bright and refreshed. I am a huge fan of these and have repurchased them countless times.

60 pads soaked in a specially developed blend of Glycolic Acid & fruit AHA’s. Help to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin leaving it fresher. With witch hazel to help tone the skin and added Aloe & Pro Vitamin B5.

Previse Vitamin e Body Oil

This is quite a pricey product but it is a plant-based beauty brand and this range is entirely unscented, specially formulated with dermatologists, free of artificial fragrance and essential oils and is really popular amongst green beauty enthusiasts. I liked to apply this product after a shower, it comes in an easy to apply spray bottle so you can spray the oil on a targeted area. I used it mainly on my thighs and chest as that is where I have cellulite and very dry skin. It is very nourishing, smoothing and left my skin feeling soft and deeply hydrated.

Previse’s nourishing Bodymist Vitamin E Oil features silky and dry, eco-certified sunflower and botanical oil extracts for long-lasting non-greasy comfort. This plant-based body oil includes sustainably sourced oils that are naturally rich in vitamin E to promote supple, elastic skin.

nspa Expert Rejuvenating Serum

Another affordable brand that I really enjoy is nspa – they’re available exclusively in ASDA and they have a wonderful selection of skincare and body care. I really loved this Rejuvenating Serum which is part of their Expert Skincare Collection, and if you haven’t already guessed from the rest of the empty products in this post I like skincare that is for more mature skin, evens skin tone, plumps and helps my skin look radiant and this serum ticked all those boxes & for only £10 that is pretty amazing in my book.

This light-weight, effective formulation has been developed to support your skin. With a blend of anti-ageing actives including Crocus Chrysanthus Bulb extract and Millet Seed Extract, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate your skin. Reveal a radiant, smoother, firmer looking complexion and love your skin.

 

MUK SPA Argan Oil Haircare Collection

Muk. Spa Argan Haircare

MUK Spa-Argan Oil Haircare

When it comes to my hair I am so low maintenance and that includes styling & hair care products. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week (maximum) and really like multi-use products, ones that help my hair not only look it’s best but also strengthen it so it will be stronger and healthy as the years go on.

I have been trying out 2 new products from muk.spa, they’re part of their Argan Oil Collection and we all know how incredible Argan Oil is for our hair. They use 100% pure Argan Oil in the muk.spa Argan Oil Collection sourced directly from Morocco. Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small & specific geographic areas where the trees grow.

Muk hair care is an Australian professional brand founded over 10 years ago and with 34 core range products including 5 specialised Argan Oil products, this is a hair care brand which caters to the hair needs of everyone.

MUK. Spa Argan Oil Treatment

The two products I have been trying from the Muk Spa range are very similar – they are both great for getting glossy, healthy frizz-free hair. One is more of a treatment which I use weekly and the other is a shine spray which I use every time I wash my hair.

Argan Oil Shine Spray Muk Spa

Muk Spa Argan Oil Treatment

This lightweight, absorbent oil is a fantastic weekly hair treatment. It nourishes the hair and provides intense conditioning, shine and moisture so your hair looks so healthy and full of bounce. I also like how it eliminates fly-aways and smooths frizz. I have naturally curly hair so my hair can get so frizzy but this oil is fab for getting smooth sleek curls.

If you’re worried about damage from styling tools and the sun, this treatment oil is rich in essential fatty acids including Omega 9 and Omega 6. Formulated to protect hair from blow-drying, hot irons, chlorine, salt water & sun exposure so your hair is not going to look fried or dry.

    • Spa Argan Oil Repair range is 100% free of sulfates, parabens, phosphates, mineral oil
  • Contains a blend of pure Moroccan Argan Oil, linseed oil, sweet almond oil, keratin protein and aloe

It provides repair, moisture and softness for dehydrated, damaged and brittle hair with a delicious fragrance of sandalwood and wheatgrass. The perfect fusion of nature and technology, muk Spa Argan Oil Repair range is 100% free of sulfates, parabens, phosphates, mineral oil and contains no added sodium chloride.”

After shampoo and conditioning, towel dry hair, then apply a few drops to the palms of your hands. Emulsify, and then apply evenly to hair.

MUK SPA ARGAN OIL HAIRCARE COLLECTION

MUK. Spa Argan Oil Treatment

Muk Spa Argan Oil Repair Shine Spray

This lightweight oil is more fluid than the oil and I find the spray really convenient to use, it lightly mists my hair and never weighs my hair down or leaves it looking greasy.

Much like the Treatment Oil, It contains a blend of pure Moroccan Argan Oil, linseed oil, sweet almond oil, keratin protein and aloe vera, which are great for dull, dry hair.

It provides intense conditioning, shine and moisture to the hair, whilst smoothing frizz and eliminating flyaway hair. This Argan Oil range is also formulated to protect the hair from blow-drying, hair irons, chlorine, salt water and sun exposure. So your hair will be less brittle and frizzy.

I wouldn’t say you needed both the Treatment Oil & the Shine Spray because they are so similar.

MUK also say that this range can reduce hair drying time up to 50% but I don’t often blow dry my hair so can’t really say if this is effective.

Muk Spa Argan Oil Range

Made in Australia, all products within Muk Spa Argan+ range are PETA approved and available in professional hairdressing salons nationwide or at www.mukme.com

*This post contains PR samples

CND Vinylux Wild Earth Nail Polish Collection

New Vinylux Wild Earth Nail Polish

Vinylux Wild Earth Nail Polish

I was first introduced to CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish in 2017 and they’re one of the best, long-wearing nail polish brands I have tried. I adored their Nude Collection from last Summer and more recently their Boho Spirit Collection was super pretty too. So that brings us to their latest release for Autumn/Winter (how did we get here so quickly?). This is their Wild Earth Collection and right away you notice that they’ve not gone traditional A/W but still kept a bold pop of colour and I’m over the moon about that. This new collection has 6 wearable shades and I particularly love the bold red and think it is the best shade for Christmas Parties & Events the gorgeous subtle peach shade is my favourite for everyday wear.

Vinylux CND Wild Earth Nail Polish

CND Vinylux polishes have a lovely thick formula, which is easy to apply and gives you that salon quality smooth finish. The brush is a perfect size, I like that it is short and wide which I personally find quick and fuss-free to use. I applied two coats of all the polishes so the colour looked even and opaque. I would say that the blue (Blue Moon) would need 3 coats just to make it really bold but apart from that the other shades looked great with just 2 coats.

Blue Moon – is a gorgeous bold cool toned blue
Element – is the perfect bold Winter red
Brimstone – is a subtle stone nude 
Spear – is a soft pumpkin peach
Dreamcatcher – is a creamy intense purple
Arrowhead – is a warm Autumnal Brown

CND Vinylux Autumn Collection 2018This long wear formula dries quickly and I didn’t have to wait long at all to apply the topcoat & I think this is when the magic happens.

The Vinylux Weekly polish Top Coat is a must, it gives your nails a high shine finish and the quality looks as good as a professional nail salon. I feel that without the topcoat the nail polish would not have lasted as long without chipping over time the high shine finish didn’t dull either with is so good. This topcoat is a serious winner and I’m going to use it on top of all my manicures from now on.

CND Vinylux Wild Earth Polish 2018

CND Vinylux Wild Earth Nail Polish Collection

Vinylux™ – weekly, chip-resistant wear, fast-drying, two-step application, brilliant shine which lasts without the need for a base coat. Increased durability with natural light.

CND products are available from pro nail salons and on-line at ellisons.co.uk to find a pro salon near you, go to lovecnd.com