Shiny new things: a long overdue round-up

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Shiny New Things: A Long Overdue Round-Up

Shiny New Things: A Long Overdue Round-Up
If I manage to create haul or producted-featured posts every now and again, I'm pretty proud of myself. I believe this is my first of the year, haven't done well since it's September, now have I?

I used to post round-ups like this all the time a few years ago (I've had this blog 4 years now, can you believe it?) , although my pictures were horrendous and my flatlays needed a lot more work. Although I've massively improved my limited photo-taking skills, I'm so rubbish at posting about new bits and bobs on the blog.

So behold this mammoth update of shiny new things I've bought and received over the last few months! I've even treated you to two separate flatlays, just to make up for the sheer lack of product features or reviews. So strap in and make yourself a nice cup of coffee while you catch up.

1. Amy Harwood's Print Collection*
Amy Harwood is a fellow #sotonblogger from Southampton, and I've met her a few times at various blogger events over the last year. She has a wonderful prints and illustration shop on Etsy, and when she reached out to us offering samples of her collection, I couldn't wait to see what she'd send over! This notebook, illustrated and designed by Amy is stunning. I love writing in notebooks, especially to plan posts or simply get out my thoughts onto paper, so I will be using this at every opportunity. It feels great to support other bloggers, especially those as talented as her!

2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
It feels so good to own this again. I used it for a while obsessively last year after my year abroad in Spain, because of course I bought this before I came home where everything was cheaper (sigh). Since I'm working in front of a computer every day, with constantly varied temperatures, for example freezing air conditioning or uncomfortably warm in my office, a good day moisturiser is key. My face can get quite dry in places, and slightly oily on the forehead so it keeps the skintone in check. You don't need a lot so this bottle will last me for ages!

3. Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil*
I was asked to review this hair oil a few months ago, and I received the package this week. I can't stop staring at the bottle - how gorgeous is the design?! Everything about the packaging is what makes me weak at the knees; minimal colours and sleek design. Crying for an insta, essentially. Aesthetics aside, this hair oil is a blend of some unique  ingredients - no less than olive, sesame, coconut, arnica, rosemary and lavender oils!

The first scent that hits you when you open the bottle is the rosemary, which I found a little strange but it does settle. My hair is super thick, which means my ends can end up quite dry, so hair oil is a frequent feature of my haircare routine. I'm looking forward to seeing how this shapes up!

4. Skinny Dip Archer Backpack
As a recent newcomer to commuting and working in London, I learnt very quickly that a backpack is the way forward on the tube. It means less faffing about shuffling bags around the delightful floor when a million people get on and you have to keep making space for others. It also means less strain on your shoulders, as you spend a lot of time waiting around for trains and walking around. You can usually spot seasoned commuters in London because they are normally wearing backpacks!

And so began my arduous search for a backpack that wasn't ugly, too small or too bulky. It took a while! I found this gorgeous Skinny Dip Archer backpack in Topshop, and it was love. It's the perfect size - it's got enough room for a lunch box and for my laptop if I need to take it home with me, and isn't too bulky so not as much shoving other people on the tube! The design is perfect too.

5. GlassesShop Dodge Square Sunglasses* 
I received this glossy-looking pair of sunglasses from GlassesShop around a month ago, and I was rubbish at getting round to reviewing them! I tend to go for this Ray Ban style or Aviators, as there's certainly nothing wrong with an extra pair to hand. They specialise in eyeglasses, glasses frames and prescription sunglasses. Since I do not need regular glasses, my choice was more limited but I'm always up for trying out new fashion accessories!

Being honest, I was disappointed to find that the frames were larger than I thought, so they didn't suit me very well. I have a small face so that didn't help things! They fared well in this flatlay I must say though. If you wish to buy a pair for yourself (do check sizes of frames and lenses), you can grab a cheeky 50% off any sunglasses, eyeglasses with the code GSHOT50 at the checkout! (Sale frames excluded).

6. M&S Skincare
Gone are the days I used to work part-time here, but I do miss the discount as I bought myself a fair amount of amazing products from their beauty hall! I would say Marks and Spencer's beauty range is a quite well-hidden secret, they have so many fantastic brands there, including my all-time favourite skincare go-tos, REN. You may not know they also have a super affordable range, Formula, which offers quality skincare products at a seriously good price. I picked up their toner for sensitive skin, which as you imagine is really gentle on the skin. It has lasted for ages too since I bought it.

Another little known brand in their beauty hall is Pure, slightly more expensive than Formula but just as great quality and value. I picked up the Rose Cleansing Balm, a great choice for those who can't get enough of rose-scented products. It feels lovely to massage into the skin, is easy to rinse off and leaves my face feeling super soft afterwards. I prefer gentle cleansing products over harsh now as I've begun to notice that my skin doesn't react well to more industrial products. I would highly recommend both!

7. Clinique High Impact Mascara
I had this cult mascara a long time ago (I'm really liking Clinique again right now) and I'm happy to have it back in my life. It leaves a natural effect on the lashes, I'm really over high-maintenance make up at the moment. However, I have noticed that this doesn't like all-day wear like my beloved Maybelline Lash Sensational, so I prefer to wear this for evenings out or when I know I won't be out of the house all day. It still feels special to wear though as it leaves a gorgeous natural flick on the lashes.

Congratulations to those of you still reading, it was quite the monster of a round-up! Perhaps you'll see another next year, or two... who knows.

What shiny new things are you loving right now? Fill me in! Thanks for reading!

*These products were sent to me in exchange for a review. For more information, see my disclaimer

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