Beauty · Reviews

Boots Botanics skincare review

I’ve suffered with bad skin for almost 6 years. In that time, I’ve tried literally every high street brand of skincare from the ones that gently do nothing, to the ones that burn off layers of your skin.

Recently, I’d been using products from ‘Simple’ just because it seemed like a safe bet. It wasn’t likely to sort it out but at least it made me feel like I was being careful with my face. I’d been told by multiple people that ‘Simple’ products were honestly the worst thing you could put on your skin both because of the perfume and chemicals that are in their products. One of the other brands they suggested I tried was ‘Boots Botanics’ products. To be honest, I’d never heard of this brand/range before.

The Botanics range has 180 products and uses plant extracts and the latest skincare technology. They’re working on decreasing the carbon footprint of the brand and is working with KEW gardens to ensure their plant extracts are as sustainable as possible. In case you couldn’t tell, they’re a Boots own brand and so only available in Boots.

I picked up 3 products from the brand and have spent the last few weeks trying them out.  My skin at the start was pretty terrible because I’d run out of any skincare products and had been too lazy/hadn’t had time to pick up any new stuff so it had a lot to do.

The 3 products were: ‘Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser’, ‘Botanics Hydration Burst Hydrating Day Cream‘ and the ‘Radiant Youth Exfoliator’. They can all be found here.

My first impressions of the products are how unusual they are. I’ve never seen products like them in terms of their textures and so on (I have seen moisturisers and exfoliators before, don’t worry!). The exfoliator is far more like a herbal cream and doesn’t look at all artificial like all the other exfoliators I’ve tried seem to be. The cleanser is so different from anything else I’ve tried and I can’t decide if it’s a good difference or not.

Firstly, are they worth the money?

The moisturiser and exfoliator are going to last me for ages as they only need a little bit at a time. Too much of the moisturiser and you have it running down your face and too much of the exfoliator and you scratch your face off. They have a 12 month sell-by date and I can see myself using them for the whole 12 months without it running out.

However, the face wash is so thick, it runs out fast. For perspective, I started using these products on Thursday 16th March and by a week later it was beginning to get hard to get the wash out the tube. I don’t think I’m using too much, I think it’s just that as it’s a thick paste, there isn’t actually that much in the container, it just seems like there is. The face wash is £4 and lasts about 3 weeks although it was very difficult to squeeze the last few drops out of the tube.

I wouldn’t say it’s too outrageous although it does mean that due to the amount you have to re-buy it, it would be more expensive in the long run. I don’t mind this if it actually works, so let’s move onto the results!


The first thing that I’ve noticed in my trial stage is how much more oily my face feels. My face is naturally very oily and shiny but due to so many years of harsh skincare, it’s also very dehydrated. Therefore, I chose to buy the ‘Hydration Burst’ cleanser to try and combat the dehydrated skin.

According to the Boots website, the cleaners is a gel that transforms into an oil. Applying the gel to my face left my hands very oily but made my face feel very hydrated. It then appears to turn into a soapy liquid as it lathers up a bit. It didn’t appear to be oily once it reaches this stage but it I don’t wash off all of the lathered up liquid it feels like I’ve left actual oil on my skin. The oily feel does make my skin feel plumper and more lively.

The moisturiser definitely moisturises and my only real criticism is that it take a while to dry/soak in and therefore leaves your skin feeling slightly sticky for a couple of hours. It does surprise me how little is needed to successfully cover my whole face. It’s honestly such tiny dots of cream.

The exfoliator tells you to ‘gently use weekly’. As I’ve only used it a few times due to the lack of weeks, I can’t give such a broad depth of review however I have noticed how hard it is to gently use.

It’s quite easy to accidently scrub at your skin using it and it leaves my entire face light red the next day rather than just the spot prone areas. I personally have found that the more I use it, the less red my face turns so I am happy to continue using it. I just advise that you don’t use it in a bad/angry mood!

In terms of packaging, I think it’s ok, not too complex but still looks professional. My only complaint is that the caps on the products don’t close completely and so I’m not sure I’d 100% trust myself to travel with them. I wish they closed with a reassuring snap.


After testing these for a while, I can say, my skin feels so moisturised and in really good condition but perhaps it’s too moisturised as it seems to be causing more smaller spots from clogged pores… I think this face wash is perfected for deeply dehydrated skin but not necessarily the right product for me.

I wouldn’t have a problem with continuing to use this face wash however I don’t see it sorting my skin (not that I really expected it to) and I think there are some less oily face washes out there. I’m interested in the other ranges ‘Boots Botanics’ have and may well try them out next. I will be continuing to use the moisturiser and exfoliator as I think they are OK and the exfoliator is the best one I’ve tried.

Have you tried the Boots Botanics range? What did you think?


(This is my first beauty(ish) review, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you did please comment below.)


Collabs · Photography · Tips

10 tips to up your photography game.

As a blogger, when I see a blog post about photography, I assume they mean blog photography. After all, photographs are one of the key parts of blogging that differentiates you from every other similar blog.

However, it would be pretty hypocritical for me to complain constantly about how bad my blog photos are and then give you tips on how to take them so that’s not what todays post is on.

I haven’t really mentioned it much before but I’m actually quite a keen photographer.

I got a new camera back in October but haven’t had as much time to play around with it as I’d like. I know there are a lot of people who’d like to take good photos for whatever reason, maybe they travel and want something to remember their trips by. Maybe they’d like to be able to capture the beauty of the countryside around them or something like that. Whatever the reason, if that’s you, I’m bringing you my top ten tips to up your photography game. I’m no photography genius but I still hope these tips help!!

And if 10 tips aren’t enough, today’s post is a collab with the lovely Jade from ‘Simply Jadey’ who is an wonderful photographer and will be setting up her own small photography business over the summer which I CAN’T WAIT for!!! Go and check out her blog because you won’t regret it! (And if you came from her blog, Hi!)

  1. Look for something unusual– Anyone can take a photo of the Eiffel Tower but who can take a photo that shows the delicate details on it? When taking a photo, it’s always going to seem more interesting (which is a goal when taking photos) if you take it in a different way from anyone else or if your subject is different from another person’s subject. Maybe you spotted a quirky little something and take a photo of that, it is likely to be so much better than a generic photo of something everyone else is photographing.
  2. If taking a photo of an animal, you don’t have to incluse the whole of it’s body– Something that I think shows the difference between a ameuter and more professional photographers is how they take photos. Do they include the whole of the subject so everyone knows what the photo is about or do they focus on a detail they find particularly interesting? Everyone knows what a dog looks like. If you’re taking a photo of your dog, focus on the characteristics that makes it different from every other dog you meet in the park.
  3. Take lots of photos everywhere- As the good saying goes, Practise makes perfect! Just take photos of anything and everything to see what works and just to get yourself in the photographing spirit. No one needs to know how many attempts it took you to get that 1 amazing photo so just constantly keep snapping away. The best photograph might surprise you. It might be the one photo you jokingly took in a rush rather than any of the other 100 that you took hours perfecting the angles/ lighting etc.
  4. Only keep the best- Your camera roll needs to be a gallery of your best work. There’s no point keeping a photo that’s out of focus or that could’ve been so much better if that man hadn’t been there. It’s not going to improve with time. Bad luck, delete it and try again. If you have 3 almost identical photos that are all equally good and you can’t decide between, choose a random one of the 3 and delete the others.
  5. Play around with focus/settings/lighting– Modern day cameras have so many different options in terms of how the photo is taken that even a complete beginner can learn to use. Make the most of what options you have even if you have the simplest camera or just your phone you still can play around with Black and White. Try taking photos with flash and without flash because sometimes, even if you think its too dark to have the photo without flash, it just doesn’t look right with it. Same goes with zoom, I guess. Have a go at taking photos really close up. Sometimes it provides the individuality your photo needs .
  6. Include the sky for silhouette or instant brightness. I really like photos that are set against a bright blue sky and I think it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of a bright sunny day especially photos of buildings. Sometimes people ca become a bit over-exposed in the bright sunlight but anyway… You can take these photos as silhouettes or still include the details but I personally really like including the sky in my photos! 
  7. Play around with angles. Not every photo has to have the object straight up in the middle. Have a play around, I know I keep saying this but photography is subjective. How you like to take photos won’t be how everybody likes to take photos but that’s OK. Angles really interest me as they can show something from a completely different perspective (does that make sense or does it make me look like a weirdo??)
  8. Take inspiration from others. Obviously as with everything in life, don’t go and straight out copy their work but if they take photos or edit them in an unusual way that you really like, have a go at taking photos in their style. I personally really want to take one of those long shutter photos of a road with all the lights blended together, you know the style I mean?? Visit a gallery or do a quick google to find some photographers and their styles to experiment with.
  9. Try out different styles/subjects. This is pretty much exactly what I was talking about above but try out as many styles as you can. It might surprise you which style you like and actually works. It might be the one you were think ‘nahh, not the sort of thing I like, bet it’s really boring to shoot’ and then try it and actually find you really like it. Go on, test it out!
  10. It’s meant to be fun. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t panic that you have to get perfect photos every time. If the photos are to remember an event by, just take some photos without spending the time to sit and think about what angle to take it from and so on. Don’t let the want to get a smashing photo get in the way of your enjoyment of whatever memory you’re trying to commemorate. Also, even though I wrote all these tips, they’re only tips not rules. There are no rules in photography. Do what you want, take photos of what you want and enjoy it!!

The reoccurring theme with all of my tips is generally, try stuff out and play around with it to find the photos you like. Anyone can take a photo of something but you need to find out what it takes to make it an interesting photo.

I’d love to see any photos that this helps you take and please share it if you think it helped!

If you have any tips I’ve missed here, leave them in the comments and I’ll have a play around with my photography using your tips!




Collabs · Favourites

5 things I take to the Gym

Believe it or not, I’m actually quite an excersize-y person. If you’d told me that 3 years ago, maybe even two years ago, I’d have died of laughter.

See, I’ve never been a sporty person purely because I don’t like ball games or any games that involve things flying towards your face. However, over the last couple of years I’ve become quite heavily into rowing, particularly in the last year. I now train at least 11 hours a week on a ‘light’ week so it’s a big step up from no hours a week of exercise if I could help it a few years ago!

So now, I even go to the gym! Not as much as I’d like to but a minimum of once a week and in a collab with Lauryn from ‘Life of a Blonde’ today, I wanted to share my top 5 items/things I need in the gym. They’re quite ‘generic ‘ items but I guess there are only so many things you can take to the gym!

Sports top

I quite often just wear my old, baggy tops to the gym just because I’m quite limited with my choice as I really need to expand my workout wardrobe. However for Christmas, my cousin got me this top from USA Pro and it’s been what I’ve been wearing a lot recently. Although I’m not very comfortable with my body, I find that wearing non-sports tops, while OK, does tend to leave everything soaking in sweat (lovely…).


I’ve got through so many pairs of leggings as I always seem to manage to rip them at the seams… At the moment I own these Karrimor full length leggings as they were cheap and I was in a rush! They’re quite thin but not see-through and they do the job. However, on my wishlist are some Gymshark leggings (maybe these ones) or some new Nike leggings. For me, I prefer leggings just because, as I mentioned above, I’m not very keen on my body so shorts show off a bit too much for my liking however I do own a pair of Nike cycling shorts for the very hot days!

An Idea of What To Do.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I have so many plans of what I’d like to do in the gym but when I actually turn up at the gym, I lose all motivation to do anything, end up doing a bit of nothing and then leave. It helps if I have my plans for that gym session written down and I have 2 main sources of inspiration for this.

1. Pinterest. IT IS GREAT. There is so many workout there all of which are tested and tried. This is my first port of call for ideas followed by

2. Sworkit. I use this app all the time and the good news is, it’s free. I have the general one rather then the specialised ones. There is a paid upgrade but from all the research I’ve done, it doesn’t seem to bring anything extra… It also has stretching routines and yoga if that’s what you want to do. The only downside to the app is that every exercise has a weird name and that normally ends up making me laugh!!

Water bottle

I ALWAYS forget my water when I go to the gym but I find I’m more likely to remember in an actual reusable water bottle rather than a plastic bottle I buy and throw away. I personally love S’well water bottles for 2 reasons. 1. They’re so pretty. I would happily buy every single water bottle they own. Also 2. they donate a huge amount of money per sale to UNICEF and WaterAid. I love finding products that give something to people in need with every sale.

Snacks for after.

I don’t always take snacks but I love food so therefore I normally do but I try to avoid Chocolate. Even if I eat something just as unhealthy, I still feel proud that I didn’t immediately eat the calories again in Chocolate even if I did eat them in something else. (Does that make any sense??) I eat these ‘Stoat’ cereal bars and they seem healthy. They even contain seeds and that means they HAVE to be good for me! My favourite flavours are the ‘Apple & Cinammon’ ones and the ‘Raspberry and Honey’ ones. Yum!!

I hope you enjoyed getting an insight into my gym bag and do let me know if you’d like more exercise themed posts in the next few months.

Question do you pronounce Nike: Niyke or Niykee?? (don’t know if you get what I’m saying but I’m very curious if you do understand!!


(My bloglovin follows are powering up and I’d LOVE if you could go and give me a follow as I’m striving for 150 followers by the start of my summer holidays (16th June))


Favourites · Music

Current Playlist

It’s been ages since I shared with you my favourite songs of the moment.

In favourites posts, I only tell you one song and apart from that I’ve only done one playlist post before. That was literally my 4th or 5th post ever so it’s not very good!! Even though it was 9 months ago, a lot of the songs on my playlist are still the same!

I don’t really listen to music much and I only have one playlist on Spotify which has about 50 songs on it. These songs are such a mix of genres but I like all of them so that’s good. There haven’t been many new songs that I’ve liked so these are more the ‘classic’ new songs if you get what I mean! I’ve not listened to many of Ed Sheeran’s new songs hence why they’re not on my list but maybe next time I do a playlist post they’ll feature!

My favourite genres are: Pop, musicals, ballads, general sad/feelings songs.

  • Love me Like you– Little Mix
  • Human Nature– Taylor Henderson. (Makes me so sad!)
  • How to save a Life – The Fray
  • Final Song– Mø
  • The Greatest– Sia
  • Audition (The fools who dream)- Emma Stone from La La Land
  • Secret Love Song– Little Mix
  • Scars to your Beautiful– Alessia Cara (see my March Favourites post for more on this)
  • You ruin me– The Veronicas
  • Fix you– Coldplay
  • Pride– Amy MacDonald
  • Slow it down– Amy MacDonald
  • Rise- Katy Perry
  • Brave– Sara Bareilles
  • Our Last Summer– ABBA
  • How long will I love you– Ellie Goulding
  • Don’t you Worry Child– Swedish House Mafia

As you can probably tell due to the repetition of their song’s on this list, Little Mix’s new album is currently top of my Wish List. If you like the look of the songs I’m featuring here, I’ve made a special playlist of this post over on my Spotify which you can find HERE.

This is a bit of a shorter post but I hope you enjoyed it. What’s your favourite songs at the moment?? I’m always looking for more.


(I’m trying to reach 200 followers on both here and Bloglovin and I’d love it if you helped me reach my goal!)



Collabs · Life · Tips

5 ways to de-stress – Collab


So this is the 3rd post in my sort of ‘exam series’. And if that made you go to click off this post, please just stop for a second!

While this is to do with exams because exams are stressful, it can also be used in everyday life because that’s stressful too!! So, yes, I’m aiming this at exam taking people just because that’s the situation I’m in at the moment, you can alter this post to whatever situation you’re in at the moment!

If you’d like some more suggestions or just fancy reading another blog, this post is a collab with Anna from ‘Me and My Beauty Blog’. Definitely go and check out her blog!

  1. Listen to music– This is quite a well-know destresser. I suppose it depends what you like to listen to as to how successful it is. My friend likes to listen to heavy metal songs and apparently they work especially well to help remove stress and to help her sleep. I don’t see how it works so well for her as to me it just sounds like a complete mess of loud noises but for her, it works. Catchy songs with great lyrics work well also as you can create a karaoke dance party in your bedroom which is great fun and definitely distracts you from whatever else is going on!
  2. Have a bath and pamper yourself. For this, you need to be able to take your time. It’s not relaxing if you know you only have 15 minutes to have your bath and get out. I recommend a bath bomb (especially LUSH bath bombs e.g Shoot for the stars), a face mask and some relaxing music. Just sit back and relax in the bath. If you feel like it, you could paint your nails or something but basically use the bath as a good long time to just step out of your life at the moment and into another world of deep relaxation. I love to just take the time to pamper myself as this is definitely a favourite tip of mine.
  3. Read a book– escape into another world with a book. I don’t know about you but a book is such a good way for me to escape whatever is happening. I can visit another country, another world or another universe all in the space of a few minutes. There are so many books out there that you could visit every century since the Big Bang, visit 100s of countries around the world, have every job you could imagine and meet people you never actually could meet all in the space of the time it reads you to read the books! If you ever need book recommendations, I have loads but there are so many out there that you will always find something you like! (Side Note: I wrote a guest post on ‘How to encourage Reluctant Readers to read’ if anyone’s interested: HERE). Also leave any book suggestions down in the comments!
  4. Exercise or Food. People have different ways of dealing with stress. For some people, exercise is the first port of call after a stressful day, for others, their destination is the fridge. I’m not going to discriminate against either of these but I would suggest a mix of the two. Food, especially chocolate, can really raise your mood while exercise both helps balance out the food and, due to the release of endorphins, makes you feel good. AND, the actual actions involved in exercise help you forget your stress!
  5. Go for a walk/be at one with nature. Take your dog for a walk if you have one or just get out of the house. Not only does walking count as exercise (see point above!) but it’s so peaceful and beautiful especially if the sun is out. Also it keeps you healthy as being attached to a screen 24/7 doesn’t help you calm down. A fun game to play would be get a coin and head means left, tails is right. Basically every time you reach a junction, flip the coin to decide which way to go. Don’t get lost though!!

In exam season, try to prevent the stress as much as possible. The main way to do this is make sure you put in enough revision (as much as I hate it, I know it’s important, see the last few posts!) and also, once you’ve done your exam/s, avoid talking about them.

If you felt it went badly or even if you felt it went well, talking about it with your friends/class mates isn’t going to help! If you have got different answers, it’s not going to make either of you feel better about yourself! The best way to prevent stress after exams is to copy the famous trio in ‘Harry Potter’ with their OWL exams and just not talk about the exam you’ve just been in. 

If you really have to tell someone about how the exam went, chose someone who didn’t just do the same exam and can’t compare answers with you!

I really hoped this helped.

(I’m trying to hit 200 blog followers so I’d love it if you’d click the follow button!)