A summer sales haul!

C: as it was my first day off work (week off wahooo!) and my birthday week I thought I would pop in to town, get some jobs done and have a look around the sales. Annie of course came and met me on my lunch break as she also cannot resist a bit of shopping/seeing my lovely (sweaty) face.

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First up is this amazing maxi skirt from New Look which was only £10! We are going glamping in Norfolk for the weekend on Friday so this will be perfect for those warm summer nights around the fire. It is a lovely thin material too so I won’t be too hot!

I then got this amazing top from Dorothy Perkins for £10, an absolute bargain when it is all black and gold sequins. If you are a regular reader you will know that we both love anything flowery or glittery, so Annie was super jealous that I found this first!

Annie had bought these pyjama shorts from Store 21 (I had never heard of it either) last week and after trying them on/stealing them I decided to get my own pair. They are lovely and loose/thin so perfect for these hot summer nights (and only £3.99!).

Lastly I went into Sainsburys to do my food shopping and they had some amazing offers on their candles. This one was only £2.10 reduced down from £7! I picked up the vanilla flavour (A: “its scent not flavour” – same thing) as L moans if I get anything else but they had some lovely scents available. I think this jar will look lovely on my coffee table, and it has 3 wicks inside so will create a lovely atmosphere!

Have you guys got anything amazing in the summer sales? Let us know! #twolittleowlsblog

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Review: Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage

A & C: there was recently a lovely offer from Mac on Facebook where you could sign up to receive a sample of this bad boy. Luckily for us we both received a rather generous sample which we have been trying out just for you (/to make us prettier obviously.

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“An ultra-fluid lotion formulated with special-effect silicones. Calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves the laydown and application of foundation or powder.”

C: I have been using this for the past couple of weeks now (only special occassions of course, Mac is too good for work/ I’m stingy) and I love it! I apply a pea sized (small – stingy remember?) before my make-up and it makes my skin super soft and provides the perfect base for foundation etc. I have recently had quite dry skin and my make up has not been blending easily/settling right and this has completely solved that problem! It also makes my make up last all day without my skin getting oily (a big achievement in this humid weather!). If I wasn’t poor at the moment this would be an immediate re-purchase, but for now it will have to go on the birthday money list.

A: I don’t want to just repeat what Chloe has said on this one but she’s right. It is amazing. The formula is lovely, really silky and easy to blend – without it just sitting on your skin like some primers. Like Chloe, I’ve only even using this on special occasions but it keeps my make up in place all day and means I don’t have to do any emergency re-applications. I would highly recommend this and will definitely be saving my pennies for it.

Has anyone else tried this, what do you think? #twolittleowls

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Embroylisse Lait-Crème Concentrate: a review

A: I received this in my June Birchbox and I thought it was about time a shared a review with you all.

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So what do Birchbox say about this product?

“Take a peek in any make-up artist’s kit and you’ll spy a well-loved tube of Embryolisse’s cult Lait-Crème Concentre. Since we’re just as picky as the pros, you’d better believe we’re fans too. This velvety moisturiser is rich without being heavy and gives skin the ultimate silky finish, thanks to generous amounts of soothing shea butter and aloe vera. It absorbs quickly without any residue. Plus, it doubles as a makeup remover, post-shave soother and all-over body lotion. Who says beauty isn’t practical?”

I’ve been using this for just over a month now and I’m quite picky about moisturisers so this is pretty good going. It has a really thin texture which I like in a moisturiser and the shea butter keeps my skin super hydrated throughout the day and feels lovely, plus it acts as a primer so for those everyday make-up looks, you don’t have to use product after product and can let your skin breathe throughout the day. My sample was pretty small so I couldn’t use it as an all-over body lotion like Birchbox suggest, but I did use it to remove my make up once or twice and it worked really well which I was surprised about – we all know how stubborn ‘they’re real’ can be!

I was hoping it would help with my break-out situation that seems to be going on and on forever. Although it hasn’t reduced my break-outs, it hasn’t made them worse either -  I have had a pretty stressful month with exams so I’m inclined to forgive it of this one. But I do have sensitive skin and this has been really good for soothing because it’s scent free and doesn’t cause any irritation = happy Annie!

Overall, I’m really happy with this as a moisturiser/make-up remover/primer - Birchbox have done good! I hadn’t heard of this brand before and it is renowned as a cult classic in virtually all of it’s reviews so I’m really excited to have discovered it.

It’s priced at £12.99 for 30ml on the Birchbox website, which I think is pretty reasonable for such a multi-use product. I’m pretty sure it’s helped me decide on what to spend those lovely Birchbox points on!

What do you think to this beauty must-have?

Have you subscribed to Birchbox yet? Don’t forget to use our refer a friend code to get extra points http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=21200

#twolittleowls

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Vinted!

A: So I may be late jumping on the Vinted bandwagon here but I have only just discovered this amazing little app for fashion lovers.

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You can download this from your App Store and once it’s installed, you log in and set up your profile. Now the fun starts! You can start browsing, buying, selling, swapping and gifting all things fashion including, shoes, boots, dresses, shirts, jewellery and pretty much anything else you can think of.

The app uses those handy little hashtags to help you find what you’re looking for, and you can sort and search for particular brands. It also calculates the postage amount due and has a catalogue and search section so finding why you want is super easy. Plus if an item you add is ‘added to the catalogue’, you get a cheeky £5 to spend! To get an item added to the catalogue, the Vinted team just have be happy with the photos and item you’ve uploaded which is given in guidelines in the app. Easy!

This is a perfect solution for all of you dedicated followers of fashion out there, so if you’re anything like me and buy something you love but only wear it once – this is the app for you. Plus you can get some real bargains, whilst making a bit of money too!

Have you used this app, or are you a #vinted virgin like me? #twolittleowls

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Review: One Love Organics Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm

C: I received this sample in my Birchbox a couple of months ago, and I have finally put it to the test!

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Here is what Birchbox say about this little skin saviour : “This vibrant citrus-scented natural balm is formulated with pure, cold-pressed plant oils, rich mango butter and three critical extracts to break down dirt and make-up. It cleanses without stripping the skin’s protective layer and, like the rest of the natural collection, is free from nasties. It doesn’t just cleanse and hydrate, the multipurpose balm tames flyways and you can even mix with your foundation for a smooth, dewy complexion.”

I was pretty excited when I first received this and it has so many uses, and I received a 15ml sample size which is almost half of the full size product (RRP £30) but I put it in my beauty stash and completely forgot about it until last week. 

I have had a super awful cold (and no one likes what having a cold does to your skin) and this bad boy has saved my skin (/life). I have been putting it on my dry patches (you know the horrid Ive-Blown-My-Nose-Too-Many-Times areas) every night before I go to bed, and each morning I have woken up with perfect, baby smooth skin. I also tried it on some eczema patches – yes I really have been super unlucky this month – and by morning… gone! No skin irritation, no horrid greasy feeling. Amazing. 

I also tried it as a cleanser, and although it just moved my Benefit Mascara around a bit it helped remove my foundation etc and just left my skin feeling clean, refreshed and moisturised. I haven’t tried it on my hair yet to tame flyways, but I’m starting to think this balm might actually be some sort of miracle device so I am definitely going to give it a go! Best part is… it might be £30 but I have been using it for nearly 2 weeks now and I haven’t even made a dent in it… a little definitely goes a long way and I can see this lasting ages, so good value for money too!

Have you guys tried this? If so what did you think? #twolittleowlsblog

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Buying a house…

C: Something a little different from us today, but a blog post that would really have helped me a couple of months ago… tips on buying a house! I know a lot of people that are saving their house deposit/house hunting so I thought I would put a little post together on some of the things I have learnt along the way. And hopefully in a few weeks time, I will have a more exciting post about the house I have bought (fingers crossed, no jinx).

1. Save Save Save. work over time, cancel the gym membership you never use and stop buying thousands of lipsticks that you don’t need. Okay… this is a hard one, because we all need thousand of lipsticks and we never know when we might fancy a little aqua gym. But seriously, do your best and set yourself a saving target for each month/search through the beauty stash for old favourites you had forgotten about.

2. Start looking at houses. When I first started saving for a house I thought I wanted a massive new build that was all modern and perfect, and now I have just put a deposit down on a tiny, old house that needs so much renovation work. By looking at all sorts of houses (including those we don’t think we will like) you get a much better idea of what you want and this will help your estate agent too as they can then send you property details as they come on the market. This was the best tip I have been given (by Annie of course!) and I am now so in love with the house we are hopefully getting.

3. Plus side of number 2… it makes you more motivated to save. By looking at houses you keep being reminded of what you are saving for. As it is a long process saving a deposit and you can get off track/disheartened. Keep reminding yourself on what you are working towards and it makes it 100 times easier.

4. Get a mortgage advisor/certificate of mortgage approval. If you aren’t going for a new build having a mortgage certificate proving that you will be able to get one means you are more likely to get any offers you put in approved. By having this ready you are a more attractive buyer than someone who hasn’t and may mean your lower offers gets accepted due to a quicker sale! Plus by having a mortgage advisor all the stress of looking at/comparing mortgage rates are given to someone else! Perfect.

5. Drink wine/make sure chocolate is readily available and you have a good friend to moan about it all too. Turns out buying a house is super stressful/a horrendous experience. The past month has literally been the best/worst month of my life. Be prepared for the stress/sleepless nights.

And a few tips from Annie….

6. Stand your ground. Estate agents can be (not always!) difficult to deal with when you’re a first-time-buyer. I was pretty young when my boyfriend and I bought our house and the agents can try and use that to their advantage when you’re placing offers and trying to purchase a house for as little money as possible – you obviously don’t want to spend more than necessary but the more the agent can sell it for, the better for them as a company so just bare that in mind.

7. This one is a bit pessimistic but don’t let yourself get your hopes up until you’ve got the keys. My boyfriend and I were super lucky when we found our dream house and got the keys just six weeks after our offer was accepted BUT tried really hard to not let myself think it was our house until I got those keys in my hand and opened our front door. This is really hard because all I wanted to do was plan what furniture can go where and how I could decorate, but I stopped my self getting to over-excited (a little bit excited is allowed). House purchases can be so tricky, and so many things can go wrong so easily, and you can be left disappointed if the house sale falls through – but super super happy when it all goes through and you’re left with your very own home.

Any of you guys got any house buying tips that might help? Let us know! Good luck and happy house hunting!  #twolittleowlsblog

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July Birchbox: Sun, Sea & Sand

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A: if you’re one of our lovely followers, you’ll probably have seen Chloe’s July Birchbox first impressions a few days ago (if not you can find it here). Although I got the same in my July box, here’s my first impressions…

WELEDA MILLET NOURISHING SHAMPOO. Full size is £8.95, sample value is £0.85.
I’m a massive fan of this brand and I’m hoping this is going to be as good as it’s smells! It’s is a pretty small sample and I’ll probably only get one use out of it, but I’m looking forward to reviewing it!

BALANCE ME WONDER EYE CREAM. Full size is £20, sample value is £9.33.
I don’t actually use an eye cream in my beauty regime, but I will be adding this in to see if there’s any major advantages I’m missing out on.

LAQA & CO SHEER LIP LUBE PENCIL IN MENATOUR. Full size is £14.00, sample value is £7.57.
Okay I am going to be totally honest about this…it’s a horrible colour. I’m really surprised I got sent this colour because I’ve filled in my surveys on the Birchbox website and I can’t speak for all gingers out there but for me, purple is 100% a no go for lipstick. Or anything actually. Plus it’s got a really weird mint scent?! I won’t ever use this. Unless I’m going to a fancy dress party as a crazy witch/Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

GILCHRIST & SOAMES ENGLISH SPA SEA KELP EXTRACT MINERAL BATH. Full size is £11.25, sample value is £1.90
This is a pretty well known brand, and it smells lovely. It’s a pretty good sample size too, and in a hot bath I’m sure it’s going to be perfect for relaxing.

WHISH THREE WISHES LAVENDER BODY BUTTER. Full size is £14.50, sample value is £2.13.
I was a little dubious about this, although I love lavender – it is a little old lady-ish. But it doesn’t really smell of lavender – it actually smells super yummy. I almost want to eat it. I’ll be popping this in my handbag to use as a hand cream, and it should last a while because it’s a good size!

ULTRADEX ORAL SPRAY. Full size which is worth £3.65.
This was my favourite product this month, which is a little weird as it’s classed as the lifestyle extra. I’ve already tested it and it tastes really good!

The total value of this months box is £25.43, and it cost £12.95 including p&p – this is really good value and Birchbox even included a sneak peek card of what’s going to be included in the August box which is exciting! I’m reasonably happy with this months box, but the theme of Sun, Sea & Sand was a little off as I can’t see how the products follow this.

What did you receive in your Birchbox this month? #twolittleowls

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