March Glossy Box!

A couple of day ago I received my first ever Glossy Box! It’s a monthly subscription Beauty Box that usually contains 5 travel-sized beauty products, delivered to your door! There are various ways of paying for it (the longer you sign up for it, the cheaper it becomes), but if you pay monthly it’s £10 plus £3.25 P&P. So they can send you the products right for you, you fill in a short survey including questions about your skin tone, skin type and hair colour, so, for example, you can avoid being sent a concealer three shades too dark!

IMG_4723.JPGThis month’s box was all about getting the glow back into your look: “If you’re as fixated as I am on giving skin back the glow that winter stole, then your search ends here.”

IMG_4724.JPGFirst of all, I was really impressed with the packaging. The actual box itself came in another box to stop it getting bashed about in transit, and even this outer box looked lovely! When I opened the parcel up, I was met with a simple, elegant pink box with the Glossy Box logo on. Inside this, wrapped in pink tissue, tied with a black ribbon and nestled in black shredded paper were the six products, as well as a note from the Editorial Director explaining what was inside, and a £10 discount voucher (minimum spend £50) for an online store called Zalando.

Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504 Full Size (Worth £10.42) 

— “This angled brush is specially cut to hug the curves and contours of your face, making it perfect for all your contouring, highlighting and strobing needs! Simply pat it into your chosen product and sweep along your cheekbones, down your nose and along the jawline for a beautifully sculpted face.”

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I was kind of annoyed with myself when I saw that the box contained a contour brush, because I just bought one last week! Oh well, I guess you can never have too many make up brushes, and I can use one of my brushes for bronzer and the other for highlighting. I love the pink handle of this brush, the bristles are very soft, and it’s cruelty-free which is always a bonus! My only issue with this brush is that the handle feels a little bit cheap, it’s made out of a very light plastic, and I tend to like brushes that are slightly more weighted.

Olay Regenerist Luminous Skin Tone Perfecting Cream Travel Mini (Full Size £29.99)

— “Working to fade the look of discolouration and dark spots, this clever cream goes above and beyond evening out your skin tone. How? It hydrates, exfoliates and smoothes the skin to leave you with a healthy, glowing complexion. Suitable for all skin types, you can apply it to cleansed skin both morning and evening.”

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This is a tiny tube! The packaging of this is a bit plain and boring, and I wasn’t overly impressed the appearance. However, I’ve just used it for the second time and it feels amazing on my skin. It sinks in almost immediately, but it leaves a cool, soothing sensation for a long time afterwards! (I applied it about an hour ago and my face is still feeling refreshed!) I’m not entirely sure how a cream can “exfoliate”, but it certainly feels hydrating and I can see how, after time, it could help to smooth your skin. As for evening skin tone, I’ll have to use it for a little bit longer to be able to tell if it would help with that!

Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum Travel Size (Full Size £28.81)

— “Infused with honey and propolis (two of nature’s most potent antiseptic and antibacterial ingredients made by bees), this light and luxurious serum replenishes and protects the skin, leaving you with a glowing complexion day after day.”

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At first I thought this was an eye cream, as the packaging looks exactly like one, but on closer inspection I found that it is a ‘facial serum’. I’ve never used a serum product on my skin, so this is a new one for me! I love products with honey in, they do absolute wonders for my skin so I’m really excited about this one. It’s a lovely, silky smooth products that glides really nicely onto your skin. The tiniest amount goes a long way, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it makes my skin look when I use it underneath my make up, as it suggests.

-417 Catharsis Vitamin Mineral Shampoo and Conditioner Travel Sizes (Full Sizes £16.89 Each)

— “The combination of Dead Sea moisture balancing minerals, energising vitamins and essential oils in this duo ensure your hair is left super gleaming, hydrated and lustrous. Apply the shampoo to wet hair and rinse, then apply the conditioner and leave on for 5 minutes.”

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I’m always very apprehensive to try out new hair-washing products, because I’m so in love with my Seanik Shampoo Bar and Big Solid Conditioner from LUSH, but I was intrigued by the Dead Sea minerals in these. I used it this morning for the first time, and I have mixed opinions about it. They’re both extremely watery and thin formulas, and they don’t really have any kind of smell (isn’t half the joy of a shampoo and conditioner the amazing smell?!). However they rinsed out really well, and I was able to comb through my hair really easily when it was still wet. My hair feels really soft and pretty much frizz-free (which is pretty impressive on my curly hair), but it’s definitely not as volumised as it is when I use my normal shampoo and conditioner bars. I definitely prefer the conditioner to the shampoo, and I’ll use them again but it wouldn’t be something I’d consider re-purchasing, especially at £16.89 each!

Collection Speedy Highlighter in 01 Pearl Sheen Full Sized (Worth £3.99)

— “Fancy drawing on the cheekbones of your dreams? Well, this crayon delivers makeup artist-worthy results in a few simple swipes. Simply glide across the tops of your cheekbones, brow bones and above the cupid’s bow and gently blend using your fingertips or your Luxie Brush.”

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Being relatively new to highlighting, I’ve only ever used a liquid one – I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a crayon one! I am so impressed with this. The shade is perfect for my skin tone – it’s a lovely pearly champagne-pink, and it blends out beautifully. I wouldn’t use the Luxie Brush as it suggests to blend it out, because it’s much quicker and easier to just use your fingers! I’m definitely going to be switching out my liquid highlighter for this one!

Overall I’m pleased with the products in this box. The Luxie Brush alone is worth more than the price of the box, so it’s a definite thumbs up on value for money. The fact that you can personalise your profile to make sure you get the products right for you is a great feature, and it’s always nice to get a surprise in the post every month! You can also complete feedback surveys about the products on the website, and earn points (Glossydots) towards getting free boxes!

If anyone’s interested in giving a Glossy Box a go, you can use my refer a friend link below 🙂

https://www.glossybox.co.uk/referal?CI=MzAyMDEx

Enjoy!

Jessica xXx

Instagram: @lovelylittlelighthouse

Twitter: @lighthouse_93 and @JessicaaO_o

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovelylittlelighthouse

 

 

 

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Courage, Dear Heart

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I recently posted the above picture on Instagram, with the caption: “My anixety and depression is pretty bad at the moment. Everyone around me seems to have their shit together and I feel like I’m stuck. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning and I’m constantly beating myself up about it. I need to remind myself to be gentle. Guys, your mental health and wellbeing should always come first. Hopefully I’ll have a new blog about it all soon.

As many of you know, I struggle with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and the depression that often comes along with it. It’s hard, and every morning I wake up wondering if it’s going to be a good day, or a bad day. Recently, I’ve had a lot of bad days. I’ve had what seems like a string of bad luck in my personal and professional life, and I’ve felt incredibly low. I worry about things that are seemingly insignificant, but that build up and up in my head into something enormous and out of my control. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, and I feel like giving up.

I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to comparing my life to other people’s. I see my friends getting engaged, buying houses, thriving in their dream careers, and it feels like I’m treading water. I have a full time job but I still struggle to make ends meet, I go to auditions where I ‘almost get it’ but never actually do, and I’ve let my diet and exercise plan go out of the window. In all honesty, I feel like I’ve failed a lot of the time. I focus on the things I haven’t got, rather than the things I have got. Even though I constantly encourage people to talk about their feelings when things get tough, I’m the worst for keeping things inside and bottling things up until I can’t stand any more and I break down completely. It’s often really difficult to remind myself that what I’m feeling is temporary, and it will pass.

People are always surprised when I tell them I suffer from a Mental Health Disorder. In public, I’m the clown, the one who’s always joking and trying to make other people happy, so it’s hard to believe that a lot of the time I’m feeling really shitty.

One of my ‘New Year’s Resolutions‘ was to find ways to cope with and ease my anxiety, and I’ll hold my hands up and say that I haven’t been trying as hard as I should. I’ve been making excuses to myself about why I haven’t tried out coping mechanisms, but there’s really no excuse.

So I’m going to breathe, be brave, and be strong. I’m going to invest more time in finding ways to deal with my anxiety. I’m going to take the time to do things that make me happy, and spend time with the people that make me happy. To anyone else feeling low right now, whether you struggle with a mental health disorder or not, please talk to someone about it. Even if they can’t to anything about it, simply saying “I’m not okay” helps. Grab your mental health by the balls and take it seriously. You don’t have to be strong alone.

I’m so lucky to have an incredible support unit, and I want to give a special thank you to the people who have supported and encouraged me this past week. I don’t think those friends realise how much a simple text has meant to me. You know who you are, and I love you.

I didn’t want to write a blog this week. I wasn’t feeling inspired, and I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. But I did, and although it’s a slightly more serious tone this week, it’s something that needed saying and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Starting this blog has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined, so thank you to everyone for your continued kind words and support with it. When I’m feeling down, I need to remember the real Lovely Little Lighthouse that’s the namesake behind this blog, and the hope it gives me.

Jessica xXx

 

 

March Cosmetics Haul!

Spring is finally upon us, so I went out in the sunshine to update my make up and skincare collection! I had a load of Boots advantage card points to spend, so I didn’t have to part with too much of my (very hard-earned) cash. I’ll be posting individual reviews for the Bourjois products once I’ve tried them all out, so stay tuned for those!

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  1. Ultrabland from LUSH. This is my favourite cleanser, and I used it every morning to clear away any oil or dirt, and every evening to remove my make up.
  2. Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH. I wasn’t hugely keen on this product when I first used it, but the more I’ve used it, the more I’ve grown to love it. It smells amazing, and I used it about twice a week to help keep spots away and my complexion clear.
  3. Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser. I absolutely love this facial moisturiser, and I find it’s perfect for my combination skin, keeping the dry patches moisturised while not leaving an oily residue.
  4. Metal free hair bands from Superdrug. I’m always losing or breaking hair bobbles, and as my hair grows it’s getting more and more important for me to just tie it up and get it out of my way!
  5. B. Blusher/Contour Brush from Superdrug. I needed a new brush for contouring and this one was on offer so I decided to give it a go! It’s Superdrug’s own brand and I’ve never used their brushes before so I’ll keep you updated on what I think of it!
  6. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush. This is the only dry shampoo that I use, so I always stock up when I’m out in town. It’s amazing at getting rid of any oil build up on your ‘in between hair wash’ days, and it adds volume without leaving your hair feeling stiff and crunchy.
  7. Imperial Leather Sherbet Lemon Shower Cream. I needed a new shower gel, and this one smelt incredibleI cannot wait to use this!
  8. Bourjois Bronzing Powder in  shade 51 Light. This is the first Bourjois product I picked up (I’ve never used any of their products!) I’ve heard really good things about this, and as the weather gets warmer I like to have a bit more of a bronzed look to my make up. It contains cocoa powder and does actually smell like chocolate!
  9. Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet Sheer Matte Liquid Lipstick in shade 04 Ravie En Rose. I swatched what seemed like a hundred of these in Boots! This is the first one I picked up, and it’s a lovely light, coral-pink shade. It feels really light and is a buildable colour, perfect for Spring!
  10. Rouge Edition Velvet Matte Finish Liquid Lipstick in shade 07 Nude-istThis is a gorgeous liquid to matte shade, perfect to take a make up look from day to night!
  11. Maybelline The Eye Eraser in shade Light. This is my favourite concealer. I used it to cover blemishes and dark circles, and also as a highlighter.
  12. Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation in shade 51 Light Vanilla. I get bored of foundations pretty quickly, so I thought I would try one from Bourjois this time. It was the lightest shade they had so it’s lucky that I’m not any paler!
  13. Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in shade Ultra Black. Now I love my Benefit They’re Real! mascara, but it’s pretty pricey, so I’m trying to find a mascara that I get on with just as well.
  14. Bourjois Blusher in shade 41 Healthy Mix. I’ve been wearing the same blusher for about 3 years now, and it’s really time for  a change. I was staring at blushers for absolutely ages before I finally settled on this coral/pink shade. I thought it would go really nicely with the Ravie En Rose liquid lipstick which is a similar shade.
  15. Set of 3 nose studs/rings from Accessorize. These speak for themselves really. I want a new nose ring that wasn’t going to turn my nose green like ones from Claire’s, so I was pleasantly surprised to find these in Accessorize!

I’ll keep you updated of the Bourjois products! I’m so excited to try them out!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica xXx

People That Inspire Me: Mother’s Day Special

Throughout my life, I’ve been inspired by a lot of different people. Having recently been reminded of the importance and significance of these people, I decided to start a blog mini-series dedicated to those individuals.

IMG_0243In honour of Mother’s Day, it felt only right that this post be dedicated to my mum. She brought up me and my sister (and my dad, too), and still found the time to work part time in primary schools and study for a degree in English Literature with the Open University. I wasn’t the most mild-mannered of teenagers, my ’emo’ phase is still a favourite topic for my friends to bring up at gatherings, and it’s thanks to my mum’s patience, guidance, and lack of shame about constantly embarrassing me in public that made me into someone who grew out of my ‘moody bitch’ phase, and someone who can look back and take the piss out of myself. It’s also thanks to her suggesting I join the school drama club that I overcame my shyness, gained some confidence, and ultimately found the one thing that I’m most passionate about: performing.

11162076_10153241654577438_551891469495242661_nWhen I went off to university, mum decided to pursue her dream of getting a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), which is pretty damn badass. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of revising and a lot of battling with the elements, but she’s doing so well. I don’t think many people can say that their mum can fly a plane, and it gives her ultimate cool points in my book.

10152427_10152491711142438_5716047872095560240_n (2)My mum has pretty much been my counsellor since I first developed Anxiety. Day or night, whenever I’m having an episode, a panic attack or just feeling down, she has this ability to talk complete nonsense to me and bring me out of it every time. I don’t have to explain or justify my feelings to her, she just gets it. I’m completely aware of how lucky I am to have someone like that in my life.

Our family has been through a lot recently, and through it all, my mum has stayed strong, been brave, and still managed to smile through everything. It’s her positivity that holds our family together, and makes us see the funny side in everything.

10168146_10152425703305337_5442420665373584081_nMum raised me and my sister to be strong, independent women, and how to hold our own in this world. She taught us about body confidence, being happy and healthy, and not letting yourself be taken for granted. She gives me the space to be myself, and she accepts me for who I am (ridiculous piercings and dreadful taste in men included), and she is always telling me how proud she is of me. She also spell-checks every one of my blog posts, for which I am eternally grateful.

11114272_10153207273752438_717926147848041789_nShe introduced me to the old movies I love, brought me up listening to Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, introduced me to the joy that is Neighbours (yes, we’ve been watching for 20+ years, don’t judge) and dragged me to art galleries and museums that I may not have appreciated at the time but am so thankful for now. She keeps me and my sister constantly entertained with our games of ‘pointlessly pointing’, ‘how many jelly mounds are in this room?’ and ‘let’s see how ugly a face we can make’. My mum got me into reading – a difficult task with someone as easily distracted as me – by lending me her copy of Goodnight Mister Tom, which I quickly destroyed because I read it over and over again. She also gave me one of the best presents I’ve ever received: my National Trust membership. You may think I’m joking, but I’m really not. 

12417831_10153918394440337_7887121059056126369_nOn top of all of that, she’s apparently frozen in time, and has the best skin ever. Seriously mum, you look incredible, all my friends think you’re hot and it’s really annoying.

Mum, you’re the best, and I’m not just saying that. My counsellor, my spider-catcher and my best friend.

 

American Cream

Although I really love my Big solid conditioner from LUSH, I thought I’d give the American Cream hair conditioner a go, just to mix things up a bit! I bought the smallest bottle, which is £4.75 for 100g, but it’s also available in a couple of bigger sizes too. I thought the small one would be perfect to try it out, and because I’m going up to Derby for a couple of days and it’s a really handy travel-size.

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The conditioner contains honey water, fair trade vanilla, fresh strawberries, organic orange and sage and lavender oils. It’s designed to ‘leave your hair gorgeously soft and smelling sweetly’.

First impressions are that I really like the smell – I was worried that it was going to smell overpoweringly of strawberry, which is one of my least favourite scents, but it’s actually a lovely vanilla scent, with a hint of strawberry coming through.

It’s a lovely, thick and creamy consistency, but it doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down which is often the case with thicker conditioners. It spreads really nicely through my hair, and I like to concentrate it on the ends which need the most moisture. 

Something that I’m really impressed with is the amount of shine it gives my hair! As you blonde readers will know, it’s often tricky to get your hair as shiny as those with darker hair, and it can often feel really soft but still look a bit dull. American Cream has brought my colour out and made my hair look beautifully healthy! 

All in all I really like this conditioner, and I’ll definitely be purchasing a bigger bottle next time!

Jessica xXx

Herbalism

It’s pretty clear by now that I’m completely in love with LUSH, and I particularly love trying our their face scrubs and cleansers. This time I picked up a tub of Herbalism!  It’s described as ‘a herbal combination of nettles and rosemary to balance and cleanse the skin, with almonds and rice bran to gently exfoliate’. It’s priced at £6.95 for 100g, and although you can get it in a bigger size, I don’t think I’d be able to up a bigger one before the use by date!

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It contains ground almonds, nettle, rosemary and rice vinegar extracts, chamomile blue oil and sage oil, all ingredients that are meant to soothe and cleanse the skin, and, as with the majority of LUSH products, it’s made with 100% natural ingredients.

First impressions are that I love the colour – it’s a brilliant, bright green! It also has a fresh, herbal smell – I can really smell the rosemary and sage coming through which is light and refreshing.

IMG_4316IMG_4319Like with a lot of the LUSH cleansers, you take a chunk of this product and mix it with a little water in the palm of your hand to create a paste, and then use it on your face and body as required. I love the control this ‘paste’ method gives you over how thick the product is – sometimes you want a really intense cleanse, and sometimes you just need a little lift!

Herbalism leaves my face feeling unbelievably soft and nourished, and is actually really lovely to use if I’m having a shower in the evening, as the herbal smell is very relaxing. The one thing I will say is that whilst it can remove base make up, it won’t remove eye make up, so it’s best to use something like Ultrabland (reviewed here) either before or after to properly take your make up off.

It’s a lot less grainy than other exfoliators I’ve tried from LUSH, and although I love a good, concentrated scrub, this will be nice for those days when my face needs something a little bit more gentle. It’ll be perfect to alternate with my Ocean Salt scrub, which you can read my review of here.

Let me know what you think of Herbalism, or if you’d like me to try out any other LUSH products!

Jessica xXx

Express Your Selfie

The craze of ‘selfies’ has been growing over the past couple of years (the term ‘selfie’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013), and now in 2016, it’s bigger than ever before. People have different opinions on this trend, some love taking, sharing and viewing selfies, and others don’t. And then there are those who don’t really mind either way.

Now I’m a huge believer of people being entitled to their own opinions, and the world would be a very boring place if everyone felt the same about everything. But what really baffles and upsets me, is when someone bashes another person when they post a picture of themselves. On Instagram in particular (which is an app specifically designed to share photos), I’ve seen some really heartbreaking comments on pictures that people have posted of themselves, comments that are not only targeted at their appearance in a selfie, but personal comments about someone that that ‘troll’ doesn’t even know. It saddens me to think that someone can be okay with insulting someone like that, and get away with it because they’re hiding behind a screen.

In my opinion, being confident and comfortable in yourself is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s something that can take a person years to develop, and something that can take someone else seconds and a few words to completely tear down again. If someone feels confident enough to post a picture of themselves for the world to see, then that’s surely an incredible thing? Who is a stranger to bring a person down for feeling good about themself?

As someone who struggles with mental health problems, and battles daily with self-image, posting a selfie is a big deal for me, as I’m sure it is for the majority of people. There are some days I feel like the ugliest person in the world, and there are other days where I feel absolutely incredible. Everyone has good days and bad days, and I really think the good days should be celebrated, and not destroyed.

As an actor, people judge my appearance every day. My CV has a headshot, so my face is literally the first thing someone sees, before they even read about my qualifications or experience. I’ve grown accustomed to being told ‘you just don’t have the right look’, and it’s something I’ve learnt not to take to heart. As part of my training, I was taught to identify what I thought as ‘flaws’ as a ‘unique selling point’ (USP). For example, my big nose means that my face has ‘character’, and I can play Jewish – hurray! In the same way I can identify something I’m not overly keen about, I can also remind myself of the parts I do love about myself. For example, I might not be the biggest fan of my nose, but I love my eyes!

If you look at my Instagram, I’d say about 40-50 per cent of my photos are selfies, and I have absolutely no problem with that. In the same way I love feeling good about a picture of myself, getting likes and positive comments about it, I also love seeing other people’s selfies, and seeing how good someone else is feeling about themselves. When a friend of mine posts a picture of themselves, it genuinely makes me happy, because in that moment, they’re happy.

As yes, Instagram does provide filters, but so what? That doesn’t make a person any less beautiful in real life. People who wear make up are essentially wearing a ‘filter’ on their faces, but it doesn’t make them vain or narcissistic.

There’s a difference between vanity and self-confidence, and if someone doesn’t like you posting selfies, then that’s their problem and you shouldn’t let it stop you doing it. In fact, you should post even more, because it’s fun to annoy those people.

So, readers, keep posting those selfies. You’re all beautiful, and you deserve to feel like you are.

Jessica xXx