beauty, Skincare

Beauty Review | Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask and Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub

I always remember when I moved back home from England and we were looking for a new house.  We stayed with a family member and I had only brought a suitcase of stuff.  Of course there were many things I forgot and an exfoliator was on that list.  I will never forget the impact on my skin when I didn’t exfoliate for around 2 weeks.  My skin looked almost grey and when I bought a cheap exfoliator to use when I seen the difference I vowed never again would I neglect the need to exfoliate regularly.

Enter stage left –>

Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub (£14.99 for 50ml)



Of course I use many acids as well as physical scrubs but the Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub is a good scruby scrub when I want to feel like I have exfoliated well.  Made with a natural exfoliant of ground wallnut shells, this scrub is free from micro-plastics – hurrah!  In fact, Pacifica like to avoid a whole lot of beauty badness and are made without animal testing, animal ingredients, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates, synthetic fragrance and petroleum.

The scrub itself feels very course when using, I almost feel like I need to be cautious I don’t cut the skin with it (though let’s be honest, it’s likely there are micro tears that the naked eye can’t see).  It has a geranium scent which is lovely and I find the product great for exfoliating around the sides of the nose and crease in the chin.  Once washed off my skin feels super smooth and this is no doubt down to the plethora of oils used in the scrub along with the geranium oil to keep the skin hydrated.

It’s not always easy to find Pacifica in stores in the UK however you can order it online from Feel Unique or Baba Me who have it for a few pence cheaper at £14.94.  If you are very lucky, some large Tesco stores with a well stocked beauty section have Pacifica too.

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Hydration Mask (£15.99 for 59ml)

Matching nails are from the Kiss ImPress collection.

I love night masks.  It feels like the laziest way to use a mask and achieve great benefits all in one go.  Just like the scrub, this mask has a pleasant floral scent with rose and jasmine coming through.  The fragrance is very mild, making it a super easy mask to sleep with, a calming smell if you will.  It also contains aloe juice to soothe and hydrate, shea butter to soften and hyaluronic acid which helps your skin retain moisture.

I really enjoy using this mask and while it can feel heavy when you first apply it, it certainly sinks in to even my oily skin so don’t worry that it will sit there making you feel sticky all night.  By the morning my skin always feels well hydrated and like the overnight mask has done it’s job.  I tend to rotate this with my Aromatherapy Associates Sleep Mask but if you can only pick one mask and you want to go for a cost effective option that works well then you wouldn’t be going wrong with Pacifica.

As with the scrub, this product can be purchased on Feel Unique or Baba Me again have it for a few pence cheaper.

Emmy x

P.S If you’re a fan of Pacifica then be sure to check out my recent blog on their nail polish range here.




anti-aging, beauty, Skincare, Uncategorized

Beauty Haul | Marks and Spencers

I always enjoy a trip to the Sprucefield M&S because they have the best beauty selection with loads of cruelty free options.

Last month when I went in for the Studio 10 demo with Patsy Kensit the girls were kind enough to send me away with some more goodies so this haul review is 100% gifted but the opinions are my own.  I’ve had a good old month trying to make time to try all the goodies in here along with my usual stash of incoming products and the results are in!


REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (£33 for 75ml)

First up were the samples of the REN 1 minute face mask.  This mask is activated with water after you apply it.  The purpose of this mask is to tighten the skin, fight the signs of aging and effects of pollution.  It does this with Vitamin C, Boswellic Acid and Magnesium for a boost to your skins glow.

With it only taking a minute, it really is the perfect mask for anyone short of time but in need of a mini pamper session.  I am pleased to say I did notice a positive effect on the skin using these but I wasn’t a big fan of the smell and dare I say acidic taste that was left on my lips after washing the mask off.

Rodial Stemcell Magic Gel (£55 for 50ml)

Rodial Stem Cell

I am a huge fan of Rodial as a brand and this product was a lovely one to use.  You can use the Stemcell Magic Gel as a night mask or an intensive treatment during the day.  The gel hydrates, tightens and tones the skin while also protecting against pollution (and if you weren’t aware, pollution plays a major part in our ageing).  It contains “Pronalen™ Bio-Protect complex and PhytoCellTech™ Alp Rose stem cell technology work towards maintaining the skin’s moisture balance”.  The product has a really silky feel when applied to the skin which I loved and the smell is very gentle and pleasent too.

Pure Super Grape Day Cream (£15 for 50ml)


The Pure Super Grape Day Cream comes with an SPF 15 which is always a good bonus.  It hydrates the skin with 95% natural ingredients and avoids synthetic colours, fragrances and parabens.  It is made with a complex of echinacea, peptides and an exclusive source of resveratrol which combined help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate and protect the skin.  This product feels non greasy when I apply it to my skin and hydrates well.  Great value for the price.

Rosie for Autograph Eau de Parfum (£14 for 30ml)


This is a really lovely fragrance if you are a fan of floral and rose scents. It is part of the exclusive range with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  The fragrance lasts well on the skin like any of the other perfumes I have tried by M&S.  I love that they have a good range of fragrances to pick from and that they are all cruelty free.  So chuffed they popped two of this into my goodie bag so I can keep one in my handbag and one in the car.

Overall this was a great goodie bag and it really highlights a small portion of the wonderful range available in Marks and Spencers.  You may not find all these products in your local store as some are only kept in larger stores with a dedicated beauty department but you can 100% order them online for free pick up in your local store.

Do you have any favorites you have spotted in M&S recently?

Emmy x


*Although products are gifted, all opinions are my own.

beauty, Uncategorized

Beauty | How to go cruelty free in 2018

Going cruelty free can be a challenge.  It’s tricky to know what products you can use and what you want to avoid when you first start out on your journey to change your beauty products over.  And if I am honest, companies don’t make it easy on us.  Lots of brands will happily tell you they are cruelty free when the reality is they are not.  Others will fob you off and tell you that they comply with EU guidelines and animal testing is illegal in Europe (Which it certainly is) but that doesn’t mean the products haven’t been tested.

So here is my advice on what are you looking out for when it comes to keeping your beauty routine cruelty free.

Check for the Leaping Bunny logo

You will see a lot of bunnies on your journey to cruelty free but not all are equal.  Some brands will pop a bunny on their packaging and state the product is cruelty free.  These bunnies are worthless.  You need to be looking out for the official Leaping Bunny image, this is the only logo to assure a product is 100% cruelty free.  You will still find cruelty free brands that do not pay for the Leaping Bunny (such as Lush) but it sure is a good start to help you on your journey.


Vegan and Cruelty Free are not the same

If a product is listed as vegan, this does not mean it is cruelty free.  Companies such as Loreal have now started to offer “vegan” beauty products.  Sadly this no more makes them cruelty free than the moon is made of cheese.

vegan loreal

If a product is sold in China, then it is not cruelty free

It can be difficult to tell sometimes if a company sell in China, however if you can be sure they retail there, then you can be sure their products are tested on animals.  Sadly the Chinese government require products to be tested on animals by law before they can be sold in the country.  No matter how much care and attention a company has paid to its production of products, their efforts are undone the second they enter the Chinese market.

However do not confuse this for products made in China.  Products can be made in China and do not require any animal testing so long as they are not sold in the country.

loreal china

Google is your friend

We are blessed to be able to use our phones and laptops to check if products we wish to purchase are cruelty free.  There are so many wonderful resources out there to help you such as Logical Harmony, Ethical Elephant, Cruelty Free Kitty and Peta who all have their own lists for what brands are cruelty free.


You are on a journey and not every choice you make will be correct but it is important to forgive yourself for any mistakes.  It isn’t your fault, if only it was easier for you to know which products fit in line with your ethics.  You have made a choice to commit to small changes to your beauty routine and that is wonderful.  My advice is if in doubt, double check and if you need a quick replacement for an old product but have no time to research then stick to safe brands that you know you can walk into a pick cruelty free products with ease from such as Lush, Marks and Spencer own brand, Superdrug own brand and Aldi own brand.

This is actually my store where you will find me in most days of the week.  A 100% cruelty free business I am proud to work for.



beauty, Skincare

Beauty Review | July Lush Haul

I don’t tend to go nuts buying as much in Lush as others.  I loved the store before I worked there for it’s skincare range and I still tend to love skincare products the most and so only buy a few bath products a month for myself and the kids.

DSC_0737.JPGLast week the new Paint Brushes launched and I knew my kids would love them.  These bad boys are reuseable wands to do around 5 bubble baths BUT and it’s a big but for a reason, you can PAINT the bubbles with them!  Come on now, what kid wouldn’t love to be able to paint pictures in their own bubble bath?  I picked up the pink and blue ones which smell of Snow Fairy (bubblegum) and mint.

Butterball is such an under appreciated product.  It smells beautiful, like baby powder and it leaves your skin silky soft.  I always love bubbles with a Butterball so I grabbed one to pop in my bath along with a Creamy Candy I have at home already.

Next on my pamper list was Catastrophe Cosmetic.  This is one of the Fresh Masks from Lush and it is hands down my favorite.  It absorbs excess oil with the calamine powder, softens with the Irish moss seaweed and those blueberries are packed with anti-oxidants to help fight the signs of ageing.


We had an in-store product making session going on too where customers could make their own jasmine scented Sex Bomb.  I made a cheeky bath bomb too as there was some kit left over at the end of the session.  Those compounders in the Lush factory do a far superior job to my effort but it’s always fun to make products in store (in fact, did you know Lush do birthday parties too and you can arrange to make your own products during the party?).

I had also purchased a Gorgeous moisturiser which I forgot to photograph before gifting to my mum as a thank you for taking the kids overnight.  Gorgeous is a bit of an ouch price for a lot of people but it’s my mums favorite so I daren’t deviate and always get her it when she needs it.

Super pleased with all the bits I got today and I know they will all be used and loved.

Do you have any favorite Lush products?  Which ones do you use the most often?

Emmy x


Beauty Review | Pacifica nail polish

You may have seen me share my love of Pacifica products before but I have always found it very difficult to get my hands on many of their products.  Step in Baba Me.

Baba Me are an online store I used to get my cloth nappies and baby stuff from when I had my kids but I was pleasantly surprised to learn they now offer beauty products, including a full range of Pacifica!

I was in my element when they invited me down to their store for a look at what they had to offer.


They had a full range of shades available to purchase and they kindly let me pick 2 to try out at home.  I went for Crimson Kimono and Totally Coral.

polish colours

This range of nail polish is all vegan and cruelty free and they are also free of petrochemicals, sulfates, mineral oil, SLS, parabens, phthalates, peanut oil and propylene glycol.

I was so excited to try them out I removed perfect nail polish to get the Totally Coral on during my lunch break in work.  Perhaps I am dedicated to my blog…. or perhaps I am a nail polish junkie.  I will leave that for you to decide!


The coverage is good but it took 3 coats to feel my nail was fully covered though it didn’t take too long to dry which was good.  The shade was lovely, I am a bit obsessed with coral shades and the girls in work often laugh at how many shades of coral nail polish I own.  I will add that I work with my hands in and out of water all day so I was impressed at how well the polish has lasted me over the last 2 days.  I also think it offers a lovely shine once dry.    The Crimson Kimono is a very true red, though the image on the website makes it look more pink.  A great colour for winter and I am confident it will match many a Christmas jumper in my wardrobe.

polish on
Totally Coal

So let’s talk money.  Well at £9.95 they are a higher end price range competing with the likes of Nails Inc and Leighton Denny which are my go to cruelty free nail polish ranges.  I feel they can hold their own with these brands when you think about the fact they are also marketing to those who want to avoid the likes of preservatives, petrochemicals and mineral oils.  People expecting these standards know to expect to pay a little more for their products and Pacifica is without a doubt a well known and loved product globally for it’s quality.  I would 100% recommend these for people to purchase in the future and it’s highly probable I will be going back to purchase a few more shades and perhaps the top coat to add more durability too.

Emmy x


Please note that although these products were gifted, opinions are my own honest thoughts and I was not asked to offer a positive review in exchange for the products.


Deciding to study Beauty Therapy as a mature student?

When I was 15 I can remember going to visit the local tech because I knew I didn’t want to do my A levels in the grammar school I was in.  When I was doing the tour they asked if I wanted to do the beauty course and I laughed while saying I had more brains than that, I wanted to study double Business and Retail.  And I did indeed study those subjects and then went off to university where I got a degree in Music and Entertainment Management.  Miles away from doing a course in Beauty Therapy right?

Skip forward a few years when I had been living and working in London and decided to move home.  I couldn’t get a job what I was doing before but what could I do?  I pondered setting up my own business and I pondered beauty.  In the end I got a part time job, enjoyed the extra free time with my daughter and put beauty to the back of my mind.  A year later I decided to give in and at the ripe old age of  27 I went to study Beauty Therapy!

Let me be clear, regardless of my background education and employment, I always enjoyed beauty.  I loved going for treatments and I enjoyed buying products and researching their ingredients.

My reason for wanting to study beauty was not just enjoyment of the subject, it was to leave myself in a place where I never had to depend on finding a job to have a job so to speak.  I wanted to be in a position to be self employed wherever I lived if I was unable to find a job.  I think this is a common thought with most mature beauty students and honestly with a good work ethic it’s a really good idea.  If you want to be self sufficient and run your own business then I fully believe that beauty is a great road to go down.

I always thought when I came out of my course I would set up my own business. I was going through the Princes Trust to get a start up loan when I was offered a job working as a Trainee Manager with Lush.  The guarantee of steady income lured me in and I put the idea of my own place to the back of my mind.  I did however still go back to do my level 3 in Massage when I was on maternity leave to ensure I was building upon my skills.  I am currently pondering going back to do gel nails too as I like to keep my nails looking good and well polished.  The theory is if I keep learning new skills then if and when I decide I want to go back to open my own beauty salon I will be skilled up with the required services to offer my clients.

If you are sat pondering if you should study beauty as a mature student then I’d say all you need to ask yourself is A – Do you enjoy beauty?  and B – Are you willing to put the hard work in to be good at it?  If you answer yes to either of those questions and then I say go for it!  Even as a part time course, you will still have skills to fall back on if you need them and that is never a bad thing.

If you take the leap then also remember you may qualify for grants to help with funding the course and buying your supplies and uniform so definitely check with the college for advice on this.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any specific questions about studying beauty as a mature student – I’m always happy to share my own experience.

Emmy x


Day Trips

Family Days Out| Dalriada Festival 18


Excited small person ready to go!

This weekend I grabbed the small people and off we went to the Dalriada Festival.  I’d never been before but the website made the whole thing look pretty great so I was over the moon when our local radio station Cool FM gave me some free tickets.

We were only able to make it up on the Sunday and it was tipping it down when we arrived but the small people were too excited to care.  The setting of the festival was beautiful!  I wish I had been able to bring the proper camera to take photos of the scenery but sadly you are going to have to make do with some phone photos as I didn’t want to risk getting it damaged in the rain.

Tea Party


We took a quick look at the map and decided our first port of call would be the Punjana Tea Party.  It was set in an open tent with some beautiful ladies performing songs we were able to sing along to.  In an effort of reducing our waste at the event we brought our own picnic along and munched on it while sipping our tea.  I was pleased the cups had no caps, one less bit of waste however I was sad that the buns my mum decided to buy came on a polystyrene plate.  I’d love to see them change this to real crockery or paper plates in the future.

After our lunch we wondered through a tent filled with stalls the kids tried strange and wonderful flavours of cheese including strawberry cheese and seaweed cheese.  Annabelle loved it and so we bought some seaweed cheese for her to enjoy at home.  She then spotted a stand full of American sweets and what kid doesn’t love American sweets? I was also pleased to see a Tropic skincare stand.  I managed to try their sunscreen which I have been itching to try for a while.  It smelt beautiful, a little coconut like.  Ingredient wise it is pretty amazing looking too, Tropic are an all natural range of products with are proudly cruelty free and vegan.


main stageThe main stage had some great fun acts on and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves having a dance (as did my dad).  Matt Cardle was playing in the evening which would have been wonderful to see had the kids been able to last that long.  I can imagine if you were staying for the weekend the main stage would be guaranteed fun to dip in and out of.

Kids Zone

With a whole lot of the festival dedicated to the kids having fun we spent a good amount of time and money putting the kids on rides.  There was a great selection available and you could no doubt spend a clean fortune but they did have other things for the kids to see such as the PJ Masks and Tractor Ted.

Let’s not forget this is also the home of the wife carrying contest, a course of hay bales and paddling pools for men to run through while their wives hang over their shoulders.  All looks a bit mental but it’s all in good fun.

So I guess once you know what all was going on you would wonder “Would you go back?” – well the answer is a big fat YES!  Yes I would go back again and I fully intend to bring the kids again next year but with a caravan to make the most of the weekend rather than a day trip.  We left early this year due to the kids being tired out but had we brought a caravan they could have taken a nap and gone on to have so much more fun.  Who knows, we might even bring the fur baby with us as they allow dogs into the festival so long as they are on leads.  We adored seeing everyone’s dogs and stopped to talk and pat so many dogs it was an animal lovers dream.

We were sad to leave but until next year Dalriada, we will see you for #DalFest19 .