August Things

August is birthday month in the Untold Blisses household.  And what do birthdays mean?  A trip to the…

Celtic Manor!
Our new birthday tradition – a trip to my favourite UK hotel which this year included afternoon tea, a trip to the spa, and much booze.  WIN.

We bought a car
I adore my car.  His name is Kasper and he is my favourite possession.   But he’s getting on a bit, and I feel like he needs to retire to a nice farm in the country, so Husband and I took a trip to the car shop to look for something new.

The new one won’t be here for a couple of months yet so I have plenty of time to find a name for it.  And also to say goodbye to Kasper.  Oh no, I can feel the tears coming already.

Jessica Jones
I have resisted Jessica Jones for such a long time, dismissing it as too similar to Veronica Mars, or too superhero-ey.

I was wrong about that – it’s amazing and there are not enough episodes.  We’ve now moved on to Daredevil to see if that gives me the same feels, after which we’ll get started on The Defenders.

Bicester Village
I do feel bad for Husband this year, as I haven’t really helped him figure out what to get me for my birthday.  We’re both still trying to do this mindful/purposeful shopping thing so he didn’t want to buy me something for the sake of it.  So we took a quick drive up the A34 to Bicester Village to see if anything took my fancy at the Liberty Outlet store.

It turned out to be the quickest visit I’ve ever made as we just dipped into Liberty and Kate Spade, I decided on a Liberty purse, then we were back on our way.  We’re nothing if not efficient.

Much skincare
I’ve talked enough about my first online Sephora order but this month I also managed to scoop up a silly amount of K-Beauty from TK Maxx, and bought the Net A Porter On The Go Beauty Kit which has an awesome amount of fun things to try.  I really do need to start using this all up (what was that I said about mindful shopping?).

June Things

Is it time for the second instalment of my monthly things already?  But I’ve barely done anything all month!

June has whizzed by, with my downtime spent mostly online researching my next holiday (New York, very imminently).  So what else have I done (*scrolls through Instagram and my bank account…)

My Garden
At the end of May, my Mum very kindly tidied my garden and planted some flowers, so I spent June worrying myself over them – are they getting enough sun, too much sun, are they thirsty, have I drowned them?  It’s a lot of pressure.  I have been rewarded with some gorgeous roses however, and am very much looking forward to adding to my garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show next month.  Is this middle age?

My Kindle was getting old and tired, ironic considering it’s named after my favourite robot from Humans, Odi who was also old and tired, so Husband kindly bought me a new one which I have named Mischa.  This month has seen me read a few blah books, and a couple of good ones including Eddie Izzard’s memoir and The Portable Veblen which I’ve been meaning to read for a while.  If you want to see what else I’ve been powering through, check out my Goodreads shelf on the left side of my blog.Footloose at Liberty
Watching the Backyard Cinema showing of Footloose at Liberty was everything it should have been – sand, deckchairs, excellent company.

Family Time
My Mum was in charge of my adorable nice one Saturday, so asked if I’d like to join them for some shopping in McArthur Glen in Swindon, which is pretty much my favourite shopping centre in the UK, so of course I said yes.  Driving the tiny blond one around in a one of those Little Tikes cars was so much fun – she’s such a joy to be around.  
The Election
I don’t understand this country.  I really don’t.

You really can’t dance here, man

I hope that one day, I’m asked where’s the weirdest place I’ve watched a film (a common question), because after this week, I’ll be able to say in a sand filled room on the fourth floor of Liberty.

I haven’t really got into the whole pop-up immersive cinema scene.  I’ve seen friends get all dressed up to see Star Wars or Back to the Future and thought “meh, seems like a lot of effort to me”.  I love comfort, so sitting on a rug on the floor whilst straining my neck to see the screen doesn’t scream fun for me.

However, something about the Backyard Cinema screenings at Liberty appealed to me. It might have been the Miami theme (considering my recent visit), it might have been that it was being held in my favourite store, or it could have been the brilliant selection of films.  We’ll never know.

The whole summer, Backyard Cinema is based at the Mercato Metropolitano in South London, a place I have yet to visit but looks amazing.  They’re showing some absolute classics there – new and old, children’s, comedy, action – all sorts.  And as a little offshoot to their summer season, they set up shop in the Disappearing Store on 4 at Liberty.  
Tim and I got tickets for Footloose, and I really do recommend seeing Footloose with him as he is a world renowned expert on all things Ren McCormack.  The last time I watched it with him was at the Prince Charles Cinema at one of their overnight PJ parties, and I shamefully fell asleep midway through.  I’m not sure if he’s forgiven me for that.

We were given flip flops before we went into the room because they had filled the whole place with sand, sadly not Liberty print flip flops which was my only criticism.  There were about 20 deckchairs set up with little tables full of sweets and popcorn, and we were given a drink when we arrived.  It was so satisfying to sit in the deckchair and feel the sand between your toes.  Made me really nostalgic for Surfside.  I really can’t think of a better place to watch a film.  They did such a great job with the staging, and I’m tempted to visit their main location.  I’ll definitely keep checking in with them to see what new experiences they come up with.

Also, I became obsessed with the Liberty cushions.  Damn, they’re pretty.  Possibly just a wee bit outside my price range however…

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 – week 4

Liberty Advent 2016_4And just like that, 25 drawers of fun beauty treats have all been opened.  Once again, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the calendar, and whilst I’m sure I’ll deliberate about whether I buy again in 2017, I’m already looking forward what Liberty comes up with again next year.

I’m a sucker for miniatures, what can I say.

Day twenty-two – Surratt Artisique Blush in Ponceau.  It’s quite an orangey blush, so I’m not sure it’ll suit me  (but then I said that about the Nars blush from 2014 and it looked ok).  I’ll give it a go!

Day twenty-three – Espa Overnight Hydration Therapy.  I love a good overnight mask.  The previous two years have featured an Espa cleanser, so I’m pleased to try something different from them.

Day twenty-four – Le Labo Santal 33.  Hurrah, a unisex scent – Husband is so pleased.  This one is a lovely warm scent and smells great on him.  It’s even more special as they’ve put “Happy Christmas” on the bottle – adorable.

Day twenty-five – Diptyque Figuier candle.  I don’t think Liberty will ever deviate from having a Diptyque on day 25.  Very classic, very elegant, but a little migraine inducing for me so I might pass this on to my Mum.

Liberty Advent 2016_5Liberty had some really great products on their Beauty Advent Calendar this year (not all of them pictured, as some of them have been used up already!).  My love for the Liberty beauty hall is eternal and unwavering!

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 – week 3

Liberty Advent 2016_3Week three of the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar ends with a healthy dose of side-eye.

Day fifteen – Trish McEvoy Lip Colour in Pink Nude.  Nice enough, although I don’t wear lipstick so can’t give an in depth review.  My mother will love it though I’m sure.  It’s nice to get some of the Trish McEvoy make-up products as opposed to the skincare that’s been in the previous year’s boxes.

Day sixteen – Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant.  This stuff is brilliant, and although I got some last year, I really don’t mind as it’s so worth it.  My face always feel so clean after using it, but it’s not really harsh.  A winner!

Day seventeen – Votary Facial Oil.  Super interesting.  I’ve seen many excellent reviews of Votary products so I’m definitely keen to try it.  I never seem to see any benefit when using serums or oils on my face, but my skin has gone really odd this winter so lets try this out.

Day eighteen – BBrowbar Night Brow Balm.   I spent way too long Googling this to find out what it was for.  It apparently “acts as a mask for your brows” – why do my brows need a mask?  Sure, I’ll give it a go, but I don’t spend too much time thinking about my brows so I’m not convinced of the benefits.

Day nineteen – Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash.  This I love (you can see I’ve already been using it).  I think I would be too nervous to get one of their renowned facials, what with all the lasers and what-not, but I’m all in for their skincare.  This is a fantastic product.

Day twenty – Kai by Gaye Straza Body Lotion.  I don’t know who Gaye Straza is, but Liberty need to stop giving me bottles of this.  I don’t mind when I get duplicate products, but they need to be exceptional.  Which this isn’t.  Sorry Gaye.

Day twenty-one – Dr Sebagh Serum Repair.  And another duplicate. It feels a bit like they got to the end of their planning and started chucking in leftovers from the previous two years.  I know this is pricy, but it just doesn’t work for me.

Three products will be off to live with my Mum, so I would judge this to be the weakest week.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 – week 2

Liberty Advent 2016_2Week 2 is a good mix of old classics and new discoveries.

Day eight – Malin+Goetz Vitamin E moisturiser.  Always a pleasure to receive this.  Literally the only negative I can think of is it’s too hard to get out of the bottle.  Everything else about it is amazing. WOO!

Day nine – Davines Oi All-in-one Milk.  It has been just over a week and my bottle of this is almost empty.  IT’S BRILLIANT.  The Davines Oil from last year’s box has been the best product ever which I’ve gone on to repurchase a number of times, and I’ve been really enjoying the milk as well.  They can do no wrong.

Day ten – Marvis toothpastes in mint and liquorice.  Mini toothpastes are always useful, so the mint one will be coming with my on my trip to the States in a few weeks.  Not sure about the liquorice though…

Day eleven – Byredo Bal D’Afrique hand cream.  I love this scent, but I get is in every set from Liberty, so as some point I’m going to have to visit their counter to smell what else they have!

Day twelve – Nars Baby Doll lip gloss.  A brand I occasionally dabble in.  I’m not loving the colour as it’s a bit 90s frosted but I’ll get a bit of use out of it.

Day thirteen – Eve Lom Cleanser.  I get this every year, and say the same thing – it’s genuinely a really great cleanser, but I just cannot get on with the smell.  I’ve learnt to hold my nose.

Day fourteen – Odejo eau de toilette.  Husband was very sad at this – he’s enjoyed the unisex Escentric Molecules fragrances that I’ve received in the past.  I’m not really a fragrance person, but I’ll give it a go.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 – week 1

Liberty Advent 2016_1Yes friends, it’s that time of year where I irritate you all by splashing my Liberty beauty advent calendar all over my Instagram.  I’m not really into the whole Christmas thing this year, so I debated about whether I’d invest in another calendar, but I’m glad I did.  I’m choosing to consider it a countdown until my week off work.

This year, Liberty have treated us with a gorgeous rose gold and blue box, and I’m already super pleased with the contents of week one. Lets see what I got:

Day one – Aveda Hand Relief moisturising cream.  Very much looking forward to using this.  Aveda is a new brand to the Liberty calendar, so we’re already off to a promising start.

Day two – Aurelia Refine and Polis Miracle Balm.  I did genuinely think this was a repeat of the cleanser that I’ve had many a time, so was happy to see it was something else from the brand for me to test.  Have used it once already – very luxurious.

Day three – Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink.  I thought this colour was too dark for me, but it’s perfect!  Another new brand for the calendar – an excellent choice.  You just can’t go wrong with Bobbi Brown products.

Day four – Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo.  It’s always brilliant to find Kiehl’s, and even though I had this last year, I love it so I’m more than happy.

Day five – Jin Soon nail polish in Coquette.  I haven’t heard of this brand before, but Jin Soon is apparently the Nail Guru of New York.  You bet I’m now researching her spas  for my February trip.  Coquette is a lovely cherry red colour.

Day six – Laura Mercier Hydrating primer.  Laura Mercier products are always fantastic, and I love a good primer so very excited to get this.  It provides an excellent base for my foundation and doesn’t get horribly drying.

Day seven – Co Bigelow Rose Salve.  I love Co Bigelow more than any other brand, and although we’ve had the rose salve in the past two boxes, this one is in a tube format so slightly different (although come on Liberty, there are so many other balms to choose from – give us something new!).   Don’t care though – love it!

And incredibly strong start to the month, and I definitely have no regrets.

Beauty Advent Calendars – week 4

Week four is a short one, and uneven for the two calendars – Liberty choosing to give us 25 days on their advent instead of 24.  Not that I’m complaining!

Advent week 4


Day twenty-two – Liberty lavender and wild chamomile soap.  I had this last year and couldn’t bring myself to open the beautiful packaging.  I think I will now though – it’s silly to keep things for ‘best’.
Day twenty-three – Une Nuit A Bali dry shampoo.  This is exciting – something I’ve never heard of before.  It’s a powder rather than a spray, so I’ll give it a go!
Day twenty-four – Eve Lom cleanser.  I want to like this, but I just can’t get my head around the smell.  It’s the same scent as the Eve Lom cleanser I got last year, and it just makes me feel queasy.  Skin feels nice though.
Day twenty-five – Diptyque Tubereuse.  It’s amazing that they give us a Diptyque candle as the final gift.  That said, the one from last year gave me an awful migraine so I had to throw it away.  I hope it won’t be the same with this one

Marks and Spencer
Day twenty-two – REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial.  I’m never going to complain about more REN stuff.  This is very exciting.
Day twenty-three – Stila lip glaze.  I remember being a teenager, taking my first steps into the make-up world, and this lip glaze was the first lip product I tried.  Super happy to get this for twenty-three.
Day twenty-four – Morgan Taylor nail varnish.  Not heard of this brand before, but I’m sure I’ll be painting this on my nails shortly.

Even though week four is only half a week, I declare:

Week Four Winner
Marks and Spencer!

And that’s it all over for another year.   I think if there weren’t as many repeats of last year, Liberty would have stormed into the lead – they did up their game from last year by adding hair care products, not as many body lotions etc and I love all the new brands they included.

However Marks and Spencer did good too – I love their beauty hall, and this was a great representation of what they offer.

The main problem I have now is that my bedside table is completely overrun with miniature products.  Dozens.  I won’t need to buy any beauty items for the next few months anyway!

I’m off to enjoy my Christmas now.  WOO!

Beauty Advent Calendars – week 3

It’s 2-0 to Liberty.  Is this going to be Marks and Spencer’s week?

Liberty 15 week 3

Day fifteen – ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Cleanser.  I was not impressed with this cleanser in the Liberty 2014 calendar.  I’ll be giving this away.  Boo.
Day sixteen – Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo.  This one I am pleased with.  I do love me some shampoo, and as you might be able to tell, my bottle is already half empty.  It’s a great product.
Day seventeen – NARS Audacious Mascara.  Why would you have two mascaras in one box?  One for each eye?
Day eighteen – Malin+Goetz vitamin E moisturiser.  Woo!  I love this brand, and am excited to try this out.
Day nineteen – Omorovicza Facial Polisher.  A lovely exfoliator/mask, but the very first time I used this, I got a piece of grit in my eye and it hurt like hell.  It still hurts.  I mean, obviously you’re not supposed to get it on your eyes but holy crapola.
Day twenty – Dr Sebagh Serum Repair.  I was really excited about this last year, and it’s an amazing product to have in the calendar, but I used it extensively and didn’t really see any difference.  I don’t think I’m the right customer for this product.
Day twenty-one – Surratt Lipslique.  I’m sure this is lovely, but I don’t wear lipstick.

Marks and Spencer
M&S week 3

Day fifteen – Roger and Gallet hand and nail balm.  I have seen this brand in M&S before but don’t have much of an opinion on this balm.  Smells nice I suppose
Day sixteen – Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel.  So I scoffed at this when I opened it, but it’s actually really good.  And it smells amazing.  I have high hopes for this one.
Day seventeen – Swell Ultimate Volume Masque.  This made my hair feel horrible. I don’t know if I used it wrong or something, but my hair ended up feeling dirty and lank.  Meh.
Day eighteen – Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Soap.  Honestly, I forgot I had this until I was writing this post.  It’s a soap.
Day nineteen – M&S Ultimate Shine lip colour.  This is really good!  I was very pleasantly surprised – very glittery.  I will definitely be using this up and investigating the other colours.
Day twenty – L’Occitane Verveine shower gel.  Yeah!  Love a bit of L’Occitane.
Day twenty-one – Pixi Glow Tonic.  Oh hello M&S!  Bringing out the big guns!  Nicely done – this is a lovely sized sample as well so I’ll be taking this on holiday with me.

Liberty have dialled it down a bit this week, so:

Week Three Winner
Marks and Spencer!

Beauty Advent Calendars – week 2

Liberty vs Marks and Spencer – GO!

Liberty 15 week 2

Day eight – Aurelia Miracle Cleaner.  This is a lovely cleansers, and came with THE MOST ADORABLE MUSLIN CLOTH.  Wrap something up in a bow, and I’m going to love it.
Day nine – Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle Serum.  The cheeky monkeys changed the colour of the packaging, so I thought this was new.  Nope – repeat of last year.
Day ten – Deborah Lippman Magic Carpet Ride.  I put this all the day I received it and made a complete bloody mess.  I love these polishes, but they take a bastard long time to dry.  Must remember that.  Anyway, glittery black is A-OK for me
Day eleven – Davines Oi Absolute beautyfying potion.  This stuff is amazing.  I can’t believe the difference it makes just using three drops.  MIRACLE!
Day Twelve – Kai by Gaye Straza body lotion. Another repeat from last year – I’m not a body lotion person so boo.
Day Thirteen – Decleor Aroma Cleanse toning lotion.  I’m currently using the legendary Pixi Glow Tonic, but I’ll enjoy using this toner once I’m done.
Day Fourteen – Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift.  This product has some bold claims – lets see how it does with my hideous eye bags.

M&S week 2

Day eight – Marks and Spencer Pure Day Cream.  You can’t really blame M&S for slipping their own products in.  This one has gone to my Mum however.
Day nine – Filorga Time Filler.  This one has gone to Mummy as well.  My very pale skin is largely wrinkle-free so I don’t think I would have any benefit from this.
Day ten – Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream.  You cannot go wrong with Neal’s Yard.
Day eleven – Josh Wood Shampoo.  I tried his shampoo last year and it hated my hair.  So Mum has this now too.
Day Twelve – Diego Dalla Palma lipstick.  Uh, so this has also gone to my Mum because I don’t wear lipstick.
Day Thirteen – Mio Liquid Yoga.  This has stayed with me!  Need to feel a bit poorly now so I can use it (what an odd sentiment).
Day Fourteen – Percy and Reed No Oil Oil.  I love Percy and Reed.  On a normal day, this would win but the Davines one from Liberty beats it hands down.

Sorry M&S – based on the fact that four out of seven items went to my Mum:

Week Two Winner