Life Update and Back to Blogging

It feels like such a long time since I blogged on here and I don't think anyone has missed my blog as much as I have. My blog is everything and more to me and I am so glad (fingers crossed) that I am slowly but surely getting back to blogging. So, what happened since the last time I was on here? To be honest, not much has happened. If you follow me on Instagram (and you totally should), you would probably have caught up with what's happening in my life as I usually post a little bit more on Instagram.

Moving to Scotland
I am sure many people who read my blog will know that I was previously based in London and I still absolutely love London (even more now that I have moved away). I moved to Scotland in November 2017 (almost a year now) and I had bittersweet feelings about it. I was happy moving closer to my husband and sad because it was such a big change. For the past 3-4 years, I always visited Scotland at least once every month (or every two months) so I was quite familiar with Scotland. However, I do have to say that visiting a place and living in that place are two different things. I didn't have time to feel sad or process anything because I moved to Scotland one day and started a new job the next day so everything was a bit of a whirlwind. In a way I think it worked out best that way because it just meant I got on with life pretty quick. Nevertheless, it has been great so far and for sure, it has been a learning curve but most of all, I am happy which is the most important thing.

Wedding Ceremonies in Nigeria 
Shortly after moving to Scotland, we started planning our wedding ceremonies which we decided to do in Nigeria because that's where we come from. Planning a wedding from across the continent is no mean task but we had God on our side, an incredible wedding planner and amazing family and friends. I could totally write a whole blog post on all I learnt from planning a wedding as it was really an eye opener and a true tester of several things. We had two ceremonies- A Nigerian Traditional Ceremony infusing both of our cultures/tribes (2 mini ceremonies) and a Church Ceremony. It was a two day event; the traditional ceremony was on a Thursday and the Church Wedding was on a Saturday. Both days will  always remain favourite days in my life and I can't believe I am actually typing that because I am not a wedding-y person as such. Anyway, it was just so good having all our family and friends celebrate with us and I could not stop smiling at all. You can check out some Instagram videos of our ceremonies here, here, here and here.

Back to Everyday Life
We came back shortly after the ceremonies as I had work commitments. I work as a clinical pharmacist in the hospital and August is not a great time for annual leave and everyone needs to be considerate to let others go too . To be honest, I did not mind because we know we will have more time to plan a honeymoon and it will be totally worth it. Now that the wedding is done, I have a teeny weeny bit of time to blog again. My work is still very much full-on but I think I am getting better with my time management so hopefully I come back to blogging as much as I love to.

Where do we go from here?
I have so many reviews of amazing products that I can't wait to share on here. I have done several hauls that I am almost losing count. I have also been sent some great products which I will definitely be reviewing at some point. Lastly, I am even thinking of reviving my YouTube channel (like seriously, who do I think I am?). What would you like to see me blog about on here? Let me know in the comment box below. Most of all a massive thank you for sticking with me...xx

American English Hair Review


I never thought I would be a haircare junkie at all until I went natural with my Afro and started loving so many hair care products. In my natural hair journey, I have come to realise that less is more, at least for my hair type. I am not too precious about my hair but I do like to use great products as much as I can. I found out about American English Haircare last year and I was naturally interested because I liked the name. Silly, right? I just loved the fusion of American English and I read great reviews about the brand. When I got the chance to try out a selection of products from the brand, I was really looking forward to it. I was very kindly sent the Youth Repair Shampoo, Youth Repair Conditioner, 24K Karat Thickening Lotion and Seaberry Dry Oil. I have tried all the products out for at least a month and my other half also tried it out so I have a lot to share about how we got on with these products.


Brief Overview American English Haircare 
American English Hair was founded by two seasoned individuals who know their onions when it comes to hair care- Stephen Durham and Michael Kanyon. Together, they have over 20 years of experience and have amassed a wealth of knowledge which they have invested in the range. I am sure you can already guess that the name American English stems from the heritage of both founders- one is English and other is American. The brand prides itself as a vegan hair care brand that utilizes natural ingredients because they believe that nature is the best and I can totally agree. You can find many natural ingredients in their hair care line including Seaberry, Baobab, Quinoa, Vitamins (A,C and E), etc. The American English Hair care products are formulated without Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfates and Phthalates. You can read more about the founders and their philosophy.


Packaging
I am so glad that many brands are moving towards minimalist designs and I love it. American English Hair care products are very practical and easy to use. I love the design because it is minimalist with a slight twist that makes them stand out among other pretty packaging. I particularly love that they have somehow captured a packaging that is unisex and easy for both males and females to enjoy. I think they have done a great job and it means they are suitable for anyone.


American English Youth Repair Shampoo //Link //£23
I was so delighted when I was sent the Repair Shampoo because I love any shampoo that has repairing properties. The Repair Shampoo is specially formulated for color treated or damaged hair. I won't classify my hair as damaged but it is very dry and constantly needs to be well taken care. The Youth Repair Shampoo is infused with Seaberry, Amino Acids, Quinoa, Vitamin B5 and Rosemary which all work together to restore damaged hair types. It has a slight fragrance which is not overpowering at all; I love how subtle it is. This has to be one of the thickest shampoos I have tried and I am not mad at all. Despite being thick in texture, I am still able to dispense the right amount I need and believe me, a little goes a long way. For a shampoo that does not contain Lauryl Sulfate, I have to say I am quite surprised that I get a good lather and my hair feels clean and not very stripped. I feel this is one shampoo that will suit many hair types.


American English Youth Repair Conditioner //Link //£25
The Youth Repair Conditioner also has similar ingredients as the shampoo which is amazing. It has a similar light fragrance to the shampoo which is lovely. I tend to leave my conditioners for much longer so my hair absorbs as much as goodness as possible. My curls look completely snatched when this conditioner is in it and my entire Afro just looks alive. When I rinse off, I still retain some of the curls and my hair is tangle free and soft. I think one can even use this as a hair mask and I will try it out as a mask soon and share my thoughts too.


American English Seaberry Dry Oil // Link //£25
My hair absolutely loves oils mainly because of its Afro texture however not all oils are created equal. When I use regular oils, I find that they weigh my hair down so I tend to choose light oils that pack a punch while leaving my hair looking healthy and nourished. The American English Seaberry Dry Oil is described as a lightweight formula designed to give a blinding shine without weighing the hair down. I was totally sold by this description and I could not wait to try it. Again, it has a light fragrance which is quite pleasant. I would describe it as a hybrid of a dry oil and a regular oil so it does not completely disappear when I apply it and it does not weigh my hair down. It is great for post styling as it helps my hair retain moisture which is super important for my hair texture. I am so pleased it has a pump so it is quite easy to use and does a great job.



American English 24 Karat Thickening Lotion*// Link //£25
This has to be the product that I was absolutely intrigued about because it has 24 Karat in its name. Was my hair going to turn to gold after use? I was really curious. American English Hair care describe it as a revolutionary water based formulation designed to create astounding volume while perfecting and protecting the hair. The texture is such a unique one and I don't think I have used any hair care similar to it.


It reminds me of a water- gel texture but it completely sinks into my hair and gives it that added moisture and volume. I know most people think that Afros don't need any extra volume but I beg to differ. The bigger the volume, the more gorgeous the Afro looks. I just apply a dime sized amount and work it through section of my hair. It provides that added oomph and it is perfect for styling as well. I have used it on my hair (on its own) and used it when doing braids and cornrows. It surprisingly helps in keeping my curls popping as well. For the very few days when I have pout my 'fro into a puff, it has really helped in keeping it in place and preventing any stray strands. I also love the packaging as it looks really elegant.


Where to Buy // Link 
American English Hair care can be purchased directly from their website, MMCL Pro and other select retailers including ASOS, John Lewis, Beauty Collection, etc. If you want a great discount on the brand (at least 25%), I would recommend purchasing from MMCL Pro (you do have to register to get access to this discount). With BBPRO 25, you could get 25% discount which is amazing. If you wanted to get just one product,  I would highly recommend trying out the 24 Karat Thickening Lotion at the very least.


Overall Thoughts
I know I am an absolute hair care junkie and I love discovering new brands. I am trying my best to stay away from unhealthy ingredients in hair care, skincare and makeup (which is very difficult if I might add) so finding a new vegan brand warms my heart. My current styling products consists of OUAI and American English and I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to try these amazing brands. I hope you enjoyed this post and massive thanks to the MMCL Team for sending me these lovely products. Have you tried American English Hair care products?
*PR Samples + Affiliates links used, read my full disclaimer here


Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette Review

I can't remember when last I was so excited by an eyeshadow palette launch as much as I was for the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. It was launched last year and it went straight into my wish list. I popped into Debenhams to swatch it and I was completely sold. I was waiting for any store to offer a 10% discount so I could save a few pennies from my purchase. It never happened because it was always excluded from discounts and the stores that offered discounts had sold out. I just really wanted it and purchased it from the Urban Decay store in Kings Cross Station (which is fabulous by the way) and I have no regrets at all. I have to say this is definitely my favourite Naked palette from Urban Decay. I used it a lot last year when I got it and I am still using it at least 3 times a week. I have already made some slight dents in some of the eyeshadows and that's why I am so glad I take photos before using my products. 

Brief Description
Urban Decay describes the Naked Heat Palette as a warm eyeshadow palette that has all the shades needed to create sultry day time looks, intense smoky looks and everything in-between. I totally agree with this description and more. It is that warm toned eyeshadow palette that even cool toned and neutral toned eyeshadow lovers will adore because you can create so many looks from this palette. I lean towards warm toned eyeshadow palettes and this is one of the few eyeshadow palettes that I love and have some use for every single shade in it.

Packaging
I have always loved all the Urban Decay Naked palette packaging except for the Naked 1 which has a velvet/felt lining packaging (not the best in my opinion). I completely wish Urban Decay will change the packaging of Naked 1 because I will purchase it in a heartbeat. The Naked Heat Palette has a gorgeous sturdy plastic packaging complete with a brush. It is such great quality and it looks absolutely gorgeous. It is slightly heavy but I have traveled with it quite a few times and it's been fine. It has not been messy and the eyeshadows are well protected in the casing. It comes with a dual ended eyeshadow brush which I use a few times but I like to stick to my holy grail eyeshadow brushes. 

Shades in the Palette
There are a total of 12 eyeshadows within the palette and I love that they have names on them. The inscriptions have not rubbed off from the palette which I am happy about. The eyeshadows within the palette go from a gradient of light shades to darker shades. There is a mix of matte, shimmer and metallic shades within the palette and I absolutely love the combination. The eyeshadows include: Ounce (ivory shimmer), Chaser (light nude matte), Sauced (soft terracotta matte), Low Blow (brown matte), Lumbre (copper shimmer with gold pearl), He Devil (burnt red matte), Dirty Talk (metallic burntred), Scorched (metallic deep red with gold micro shimmer), Cayenne (deep terracotta matte), En Fuego (burgundy matte), Ashes (deep reddish brown matte) and Ember (deep metallic copper burgundy). I love the names of the shades and I think they suit with the eyeshadow shades so well.

I tend to use either Ounce or Chase as a brow highlighter and they really flatter my complexion. For everyday/work looks, I reach for Sauced and Low Blow in my crease. If I am going out or I want some extra dimension in my crease, I reach for He Devil, Cayenne, En Fuego and Ashes. For my lids, I adore Lumbre (a nice dent has already been made in this shade), Dirty Talk and Scorched. Ember and Ashes are perfect for smoky looks. The colours are so complementary and you can create a complete look with just this palette which is why it has remained my top eyeshadow palette from 2017 and till now.

Pigmentation/Longevity/Texture 
It's no secret that Urban Decay make great quality eyeshadows that have stood the test of time and they did not disappoint with the Naked Heat Palette. All the eyeshadows are intensely pigmented but (as expected), the shimmer and metallic eyeshadows stand out. They are just so gorgeous to use. I always an eyeshadow primer with every eyeshadow I own but I do think these eyeshadows will still last long with or without an eyeshadow primer. The texture of the eyeshadows are very buttery and soft to touch and apply. I particularly love that the way they swatch on my hands are the same way (and even better) when I apply them on my lids. I have experienced little fall out with the matte eyeshadows but it is very minimal compared to other matte eyeshadows I have tried. The best thing about the matte eyeshadows in this palette is that they don't feel chalky at all which is a huge plus for me.

Is it worth the splurge? Where to Buy? // Link //£39.50
I have to say a big YES to it being worth my coins. I will buy it allover again if I have to. I have been contemplating buying a backup because it's just one of those eyeshadow palettes I want to always have in my collection. I know there are so many warm toned eyeshadow palettes out there but this is one of the best I have tried.  The Naked Heat Palette can be purchased from the Urban Decay website (they offer free delivery and 10% discount to students). You can also purchase the palette from other retailers such as John Lewis, House of Fraser, Fabled, Debenhams, Selfridges, etc. If a website is offering any discount and/or free shipping. I will suggest purchasing from them.

Overall Thoughts
I don't think I have loved any eyeshadow palette as much as the Naked Heat Palette and I can't sing its praises enough. I still love my Naked 3 Palette but I have a special love for the Naked Heat Palette. Urban Decay recently launched a mini version of the Naked Heat Palette but if you wanted to try this palette out, I will definitely say go for the full size. You get better value with the full size. I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried the Naked Heat Palette?
Affiliate links used above and below, read my full disclaimer here.




Glossier UK Review

I know everyone, their mums, nans, etc must have heard about Glossier at some point. It's a brand I have always wanted to try because there was (and there still is) a lot of hype from bloggers and vloggers about the brand plus the founder is also a blogger (Emily Weiss from Into The Gloss). I think she is absolutely amazing for developing such a lovely brand and I feel very proud of her as a blogger. Glossier was mainly a US brand but last year things changed and it was finally available in the UK. I was over the moon and I made a quick order on the launch date because I did not want any product to go out of stock. Thankfully, the brand was well prepared as they have their warehouse here in the UK so they don't actually ship from the US to the UK for each order. I think this is amazing because you know you can get your order in good time and there will be no custom charges. At the time of launch, there was free delivery and a discount code which was great. I am sure there are still loads of discount codes floating around. If you fancy a 10% discount code, you can use my link here. Just for transparency, I get some store credit if you use my link above and you also get 10%.  There is free delivery for orders over £25 as well. I did not go crazy at all as I wanted to try out the brand first and then make future orders later. I got the Glossier Phase 1 Set which consists of the best selling Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturiser and the Balm Dotcom (Cherry Flavour). You get to choose what flavour you want of the Balm Dotcom which is great. Let's get into the review.







Packaging
If there is one thing that instantly caught my attention, it has to be the packaging. I am not usually a crazy pink lover but I love the shade of pink used in the brand. It is a soft pink that feels feminine without being too girly. I love the pink and white theme of the entire brand and how minimal the packaging is. I am not going to lie; I was looking forward to ordering so I could get the pink ziploc pouches and stickers (super big baby me!!). It's so silly but I think it is a unique  touch and really stands out. The pink ziplock-like pouch is very handy for travelling. I actually want to place more orders just so I can have more pouches. My order came really well packaged in a white box with all the products in the pouch, stickers and some samples. The box is really sturdy and can be used to store makeup or any bits you fancy. I love the minimalist theme of all the products and they look so pretty in my bathroom, dresser and makeup drawer. They just look very aesthetic and photograph well.




Milk Jelly Cleanser // Link //£15
This definitely has to be one product I really wanted to try because I have read several reviews and watched countless videos on it. I was really glad I could finally see what the hype was all about. I love the bottle as it is very handy although it contains 177ml of product. It is quite travel friendly and I love that it has a safety pump lock to prevent any accidents. Glossier describe the Milky Jelly Cleanser as the ultimate daily face wash that dissolves makeup and grime. It can be used on dry skin or wet skin but I prefer it on wet skin. It contains Glycerin, Rosewater, Pro-Vitamin B5 among other ingredients so it does feel quite moisturising. I feel like people with dry skin will adore it. I don't think it is great at removing my makeup (I do full coverage whenever I wear makeup) and I almost feel like I want to go back with another cleanser whenever I use it. However, it is amazing as a morning cleanser as it feels gentle and non-stripping. It gives my skin a clean feel in the morning but a gentle one which is one I prefer for mornings. Sometimes, I feel like I still have some product on my face but I actually don't; it's just the texture of the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I have mixed feelings about it because I wished it could work well as a cleanser and makeup remover (so I could use it in the evening). Still, I think I will repurchase it at some point. If you are looking for a similar texture, I will highly recommend the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gelee Cleanser which has a very similar texture.



Priming Moisturiser // Link //£18
I love trying out new primers although my absolute favourite will always remain the Wilko Silky Mattifying Primer and the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Primer. Anyway, I was excited to see how this product lived up to the hype surrounding it. Glossier describes it as a base that visibly plumps the skin up with moisture to create a cushiony bounce and even texture to the skin. Basically, it is a hydrating moisturiser with priming abilities. Now, people go for primers for different qualities but I look out for a primer which will act as a great canvas for my makeup and one that gives me shine-free makeup for a good while through the day. I love primers that are non-greasy and matte and most of the primers with these qualities are not usually hydrating but I am okay with that because I use a different moisturiser.




Naturally, I was keen to see if this primer will be one that does all I want while being hydrating. It has a great hydrating texture and I will say it is almost watery so you have to be careful when you dispense/pump it out of the tube. It feels really moisturising on the skin, non-greasy and absorbs well. If you have dry skin, you will adore this primer/moisturiser hybrid. As a primer, I have to say it has not worked well for me. For some bizarre reason, it makes my makeup get shiny and dewy way quicker than if I don't use any moisturiser or primer. It totally baffled me and I tried different methods to tweak it but I always ended up looking shiny even with matte foundations. I just think it works best as a moisturiser for my skin and if ever I wanted a dewy look, I know what primer to choose. If you have dry skin or combination skin and you are looking for a primer which is hydrating while giving you a dewy look, this may be one to try.




Balm Dotcom // Link //£10
This was another product I was so excited to try because I'd heard so many good things about it. I almost made an international order just to try it especially when I heard it was a non-greasy lip balm. I am not a huge lip balm girl at all because many of the ones I have tried tend to feel heavy on my lips. A few of my favourite lip balms include the By Terry Baume de Rose and the ILIA Lip Balms/Tinted Lip Conditioners because they work well on my lips. I was really glad that this was included in the Phase 1 set and I could choose the flavour I wanted. I went for the Cherry Flavour because I felt it will look the most flattering against my complexion. Glossier describes the Balm Dotcom as a hydrating, long lasting, multi-purpose lip balm and skin salve designed to nourish and repair dry/chapped skin. I have to say I absolutely agree with this description as it captures what the Balm Dotcom does to a T. It can be used on the lips, cuticles, hands or anywhere that has dry skin. I tend to use it mainly on my lips and I love it.



Some of the ingredients include Beeswax, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Castor Seed Oil, etc. I did raise my eyebrow when I saw it contains Petrolatum as its first ingredient but I have actually enjoyed using this balm so I don't mind too much.  It feels like a matte lip balm with all the moisture retention abilities of other regular lip balms. It does not sit heavy or greasy on my lips and that's why I really enjoy it. My lips are quite pigmented but the Cherry flavour still manages to give a very slight hint of colour which I love. I am glad I chose this flavour and it smells so lovely too!! It's definitely a handbag staple especially with the current weather.



Is the Phase 1 Set Worth Buying?
I will definitely recommend the Phase 1 Set especially if you just want to test out the brand. The price is a great one because you save at least £8 if you buy the set as opposed to buying the products individually. It's almost like you get a free Balm Dotcom for purchasing the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Priming Moisturiser. I will definitely say it is worth the price. . They also have the Phase 2 Set which consists of some of their essential makeup products (the Boy Brow, Stretch Concealer and Generation G Lipstick) and you can customise the products too. I am totally for that idea and I am considering getting it at some point.


Where to Buy
Glossier is currently only sold on the Glossier website in the US and UK. I believe the US website ships to a number of countries which you can check out here. I am not sure they will stock them elsewhere but it will be great to see the brand stocked on maybe ASOS so more people can get the brand. It will even be more amazing if they are stocked in Beauty Mart, Urban Outfitters or any other retailers which are more accessible other than the Glossier head offices. I am sure they may be planning something soon for the UK (I know they had pop up shops in the UK last year).


Overall Thoughts
Overall, I am really pleased with my purchase even though I was not over the moon by all the products. I still use these products often except the Priming Moisturiser which I use as a night moisturiser when my skin needs that extra moisture. I  am keen to hear what your thoughts are if you have tried Glossier. Do you have any other recommendations?
*Affiliate links used above, read my full disclaimer here.

 

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