So a few weeks ago I popped into Wilkos to pick up some new cheap beauty bits. As you all must know by now I'm forever trying out new Essence products as they as super affordable and usually really good quality.

It's nice to be able to pick up several products for a couple of pounds each and know that they will work just as good as more pricey versions. Most Essence products I own are really good quality and I have repurchased many for that reason. Unfortunately on my last trip I picked up this little lipstick and I didn't get on with it at all.

I'll start with the pros as this product does have its good points. The first major pro is the price. Essence Cosmetics main selling point is their dirt cheap prices and this lippy is no different. Priced at just £2 is really is a bargain and even if you hated it, for £2 you wouldn't really mind.

Another thing I like about this product is the packaging. Its cute, girly and looks more expensive than it actually is. It makes a nice change from my usual black or dark coloured lipstick cases and it looks pretty in my lipstick holder. 


The last good point about this lipstick is how easily it applies. Its a really creamy smooth lippy that applies to the lips with ease. The consistency is really nice and one I wouldn't mind finding more in some of my more expensive products. It's also very moisturizing and I don't feel like I need to apply a coat of Vaseline after.

And that's about all the nice things I can really say about this product. As much as I hate to say it, I don't ever see myself wearing this lipstick which is such a shame as I thought I would really like how I looked with this glittering princess shade on my lips.

Unfortunately it doesn't really show up all that well. The colour is very faint and its hard to tell you are wearing lipstick at all. The glitter on the other hand is very visible and I feel like i'm wearing lipstick made for a 5 year old. I don't really know what I was expecting when I picked this up as I could clearly see that it had a lot of sparkle in but I guessed it wouldn't be that vivid?


One of the most important things for me when wearing lipstick is how long it lasts. Bar the colour this is one of the things that makes or breaks a new product for me but as I hated how it looked on my lips I didn't wear it long enough for it to wear off. If its anything like the other Essence Lipsticks I've used it will last ages, but the consistency is completely different to any of my others and I wouldn't have high expectations for it.

If you are going for the 12 year old 90s kid who has just bought her first Miss Sporty lippy look then this lipstick is for you. Although I imagine someone somewhere could pull this off, that person certainly isn't me and for that reason I would give this lipstick 3/10.

Have you tried this shade? What did you think?

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*This was a gifted experience

On Sunday Sean and I were invited down to Fort Dunlop in Birmingham to experience the Super Spa Cinema. I'd never heard of it before but it sounded really fun and not like anything I'd ever done before.

For those of you who like me hadn't heard of it, Super Spa Cinema is a really fun event where you watch a film whilst relaxing in a hot tub. They were showing films all over the weekend; Cocktail on Friday, Point Break on Saturday and on Sunday we saw Jaws. I've never actually watched it before so I was looking forward to seeing it!

On the roof of Fort Dunlop. Chairs and tables can be seen across the roof, as can a surfboard ride
My self and Sean on the Roof of Fort Dunlop with Birmingham in the background
myself standing on the surfboard ride moments before I fell off
Sean on the surfboard ride, a photographer can be seen in the background

When we arrived at Fort Dunlop we were greeted and given a drinks token each. We were then sent up to the roof where a bar, surfboard simulator and lots of comfy bean bags awaited us. Being on the roof added such a glamorous touch to the event whilst still maintaining its relaxing beach party vibe. After taking a few photos me and Sean headed over to the surfboard simulator to try our hand at surfing. I've never surfed before or even been on a simulator so needless to say I didn't stay on for too long, Sean on the other hand was quite good!

We then took a few more photos and decided to forfeit our tokens in exchange of a drink. The drinks menu had quite a nice selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks suitable for everyone. I decided to grab a little cocktail which turned my lips blue and then stuck to coke for the rest of the night as I found the cocktails a little pricey. The bar works on a token system, when we arrived we were given one free token which we could exchange for one regular sized drink. You could then purchase any extra tokens for £5 each. After the first drink me and Sean just wanted Pepsi which was priced at a very reasonable £1 for two glasses.

The Rooftop bar at foot dunlop
An obligatory selfie on the roof
Standing at the back of the spa cinema. Multiple hot tubs can be seen in front of the outdoor cinema screen

We relaxed on the bean bags for around an hour drinking our drinks and watching the sunset whilst planes flew over head. It was such a nice relaxing evening and a brilliant way to finish off the bank holiday weekend. 

At around half 8 we headed to the other side of the roof to find our hot tub and settle down for the night. We were given a hot tub near the screen and were asked if we would like any glow sticks, of course the answer was yes. The heat on our hot tub was turned up and we dived in. I was really surprised at just how warm the hot tub actually was and I was quite relieved to get in and out of the breeze. We played around with the settings for a while, turning on the bubbles and changing the colour of the light in the hot tub. Although everyone was in their beachwear there was a very relaxing non judgmental vibe which was nice as I was a little but nervous as I didn't feel even slightly bikini ready. 

The inflatable shark inside our hot tub
a selfie in the hot tub. My lips are stained blue after drinking a slush puppy
a close up shot of the bubbles in our hot tub

Before long the sun was setting and the film was starting. I can't explain the feeling but it just felt like such a luxury event, watching a film in a hot tub on the roof as the sun went down. As we settled in for the night were asked if we wanted any drinks which would be brought over to us as and when we asked for them. We were asked regularly if we needed anything which was nice as we didn't really want to leave the warmth of the hot tub. Later in the night we were even asked if we wanted pizza as they were putting in an order at Domino's. We didn't fancy it but lots of others enjoyed their glamours hot tub pizza.

a view of the cinema screen from our hot tub
the cinema screen as the film was playing
another shot of the cinema screen as the film was showing

Sean loved the film, it wasn't really to my taste, I would have preferred a little chick flick but that wouldn't have really gone with the theme at all. I think something like this would be such a good thing to do for a birthday or even a romantic anniversary. We both had a really good night and would love to go to another event like this again if it was to ever return to Birmingham. Thanks to everyone at Fort Dunlop for such a good evening!

Have you guys ever been to a hot tub cinema event? Would you ever go to one?

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a tube of Balance Me facewash

Today I'm going to be talking about Balance Me, a brand I haven't heard of until earlier this year when I picked up one of their products as a freebie in a magazine. Balance Me started in 2005 by two sisters who would make their products up in their kitchens before making it big. Their products mainly use natural ingredients and they are against animal testing which is always a bonus in skin care products. 

A few months ago I picked up a travel sized Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash in one of my magazines. I had never heard of the brand before so I was looking forward to testing the product out. The first thing I noticed when I opened the lid was the gorgeous smell. I love pretty smelling products and this face wash contains essential oils and and blended grapefruit so it has a really complex luxurious scent. I cant quite put my finger on the exact smell but its almost spicy, it reminds me of and old English herb garden. 

a close up shot of the label on the facewash

I also love the consistency of this product. It's not as gloopy as some of my other face washes and it feels really light on my skin. It foams up really quickly and leaves my skin feeling very smooth and soft. I will use this face wash with my face cleansing brush every week or so to get a really deep thorough cleanse. 

One thing I have noticed about using this product is that I really have to keep on top of moisturizing after using. Although it claims to be a hydrating cleanser I feel as though it does dry my skin out. This isn't really too much of a problem as I moisturize daily after cleansing with any product. 

One thing I love about this face wash is that as I mentioned earlier they use mostly natural ingredients, 98.8% natural to be exact. This product doesn't have any parabens or artificial fragrances or colours. I know it sounds silly as I'm only 20, but as i'm getting older my once bright teenage skin is starting to look very tired and i'm really looking to use more natural products to get my skin back into a nice condition.

a tube of face wash with the lid off

The only thing I didn't like about this face wash was that it wasn't exfoliating. Although I do feel like I got a good cleanse with this product, I much prefer using exfoliating face washes as I love the feel of my skin after using them. I did use this product with my electronic face brush and the cleanse I got with that was great, but I don't like to use it every day as it can be quite harsh in my skin. Saying that I have enjoyed using this product daily as it is a very gentle soothing face wash.

After using this product for a few months I do think it helped balance my skin and stopped any possible break outs. It smells amazing and I feel very fresh after using it. I'm going to continue using this product until it runs out and after that I don't think I could bring myself to repurchase. Although it's a very nice product, it's more of a luxury than an essential and to me it just isn't worth £11 for a 50ml size. Overall I would give this face wash a 7/10 as it just wasn't perfect.

Have you tried any products from the Balance Me range?

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Thinking of taking a break in the city of tulips? You won't be disappointed! There is so much to see, do, and erm, smoke, in Amsterdam that you could spend weeks wandering the pretty city. And with no end of visitors flocking there I thought I should pop together a list of the most typical tourist things to do. There are tonnes of cultural things to do in A'dam, but were going to ignore those for now!

So what are my top 5 things every tourist should do in Amsterdam...

Neon Hard Rock Cafe sign on the front of the Amsterdam Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam

1. Eat or drink at the Hard Rock Cafe - This one of the main things me and Sean wanted to do when we planned our trip to Amsterdam. We're slowly but surely ticking off the list of Hard Rock Cafes, previously visiting the Barcelona and the London branches. Although we had been to others before we had never actually had a meal there and that was at the top of the to do list! Although it was slightly pricey our meals were delicious and I wouldn't hesitate to dine there again. We each had a burger which was cooked to perfection and was really well presented. If you do make a trip there you have to try a Southern Rock Cocktail. I cant remember whats in it but I know it's super strong and really tasty!

A giraffe licking its lips inside Amsterdam Zoo
A Giraffe at Amsterdam Zoo

2. Go to the Zoo - We went to the zoo on the last day after running out of realistic things to do. We said before we left for Amsterdam that we wouldn't go to the zoo as we have been to so many over the last couple of years but I'm so glad we went. It's around 20 Euros to get in but it's a really fun relaxing day out. There's so much to do that we just couldn't possibly do it all, but we took our time and saw the most important things. I was really happy to find out that they have elephants here and as they are my favourite animal I did spend quite a long time looking at these beautiful creatures. While you are here make sure you take a trip to the aquarium. It's not huge but there's some lovely setups in there and it's a quite a relaxing way to finish the day off.  

Myself sitting on the infamous penis chair at the Sex Museum Amsterdam
The famous penis chair inside the Amsterdam Sex Museum

3. Visit the famous Sex Museum -  I'm sure you've all heard about the Sex Museum. Most people I've spoken to about Amsterdam say you have to visit the Sex Museum. It's only 4 Euros to get in and it really is a must see. There's tons of sex related tat and a fair bit of actual interesting information too. You can do the whole thing in maybe just over an hour so I wouldn't set aside much more time than that to visit it. If you do go make sure you take a photo with the giant penis chair shown above!

Taken from a canal boat looking across one of the wider canals in Amsterdam. In the background you can see two house boats and behind those the famous thin houses stacked side by side
A typical cityscape in Amsterdam

4. Take a canal boat trip - There are so many boat trips available in Amsterdam you really are spoiled for choice. Before we went we knew we wanted to take a boat trip but we didn't know just how cheap and how many there were. We decided to go with a company just outside the train station who did the same tour as Thompson's but for around £7 cheaper. Tours usually last around an hour but you can get longer or shorter ones depending on how much time and money you have spare. If you really want a boat trip but are short of cash, the ferry to North Amsterdam is free so that's worth doing if you are running out of Euros. 

Two cocktails sitting on the bar at the Amsterdam Ice Bar
Cocktails at the fiercely cold Amsterdam Ice Bar

5. Grab some drinks at the Ice Bar - Before we went to Amsterdam my cousin said I had to go for drinks at the Ice Bar. I hadn't heard of it before but after a little research Sean and I really wanted to go. It costs 16 Euros to get in and you get 3 drinks included, one in the normal bar and two in the actual Ice Bar. I didn't think that was too pricey considering a beer would cost you 5 Euros in most bars in Amsterdam. When you book your ticket you choose the time you want to get there and usually spend around half an hour in the Ice Bar itself. We spend around 20 minutes in there as it was just too cold to be in there any longer. This isn't somewhere you would visit more than once but I would definitely recommend it to start a night out!

So those were my top 5 things every tourist should do in Amsterdam. There's so  many touristy things to do in this beautiful city so it was really hard to narrow it down to just 5. 

Have you been to any of these places? What do you think should have made the list?

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