Beauty

I bought something from an Instagram advert

Do you ever get sponsored videos popping up on your Instagram or Facebook, advertising seemingly revolutionary products? I certainly do and one that caught my eye was the Etude House Tint My Brow Gel. The video managed to make me stop scrolling and watch as the product peeled off the brow, revealing perfectly filled in brows!

I knew I had to give this a go to see if it was a just a huge gimmick or not. I hopped on over to Amazon and quickly found the gel for a mere £5. It surprisingly only took a few days to arrive and I was excited to try it out, so the evening before my next day off I got to work. I cleansed and dried my eyebrows to ensure the product went on clean skin and opened up the lid of the gel. The applicator is quite thick, making is a little hard to apply the gel evenly. The gel its self is very thick, making it easy to get a good coating on the brow. I put the gel on as neatly as possible and use a few cotton buds to clean up the shape. The gel dries quite fast and the directions suggest to leave it on for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. I left it on for about 4 hours and decided to peel it off before bedtime. When I peeled off the hardened gel I was a little horrified – it had tinted the skin under my brows bright orange!

Luckily for me, the staining removed pretty easily with a little bit of water and any residue came off with make up remover. Not too desirable as I’d want to at least be able to shower without the tint coming off if it had been the right colour! I had expected the look to be a lot like my brows after being tinted (in the photo below all I have on my brows is staining from my tint!) but it came out a lot more opaque and it was obvious I had something on my brows. I think this is what most people would be hoping for, but my brows are really sparse so I don’t want anything that looks too obvious.

Overall, I don’t think I’ll be using the Etude House Tint My Brows Gel again. There are different shades that might not come out so orange, but the finished look is just too obvious for what I wanted to achieve and since it came off with water, I feel like I’d end up needing to top up every day!

Has Instagram or Facebook advertising ever lead you to a purchase? I’d be interested to know the things that work and are a waste of money so let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

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Beauty

GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD

I’ve wanted to try out GlamGlow for a long time now, but I’m not exactly the richest person in the world and it’s a bit scary to part with a chunk of money for a product that might not even be that great. But after hearing glowing (haha) review after glowing review, I eventually caved and decided it was time to try one of the GlamGlow masks. I was so tempted to go for SuperMud as I love a deep cleanse, but the sensible side of me took a step back and decided to be a bit more realistic, as my skin is much more on the dry side.

As soon as my tub arrived I gave my face a nice exfoliation and painted on the mask.  It smell lovely, like a coconut smoothie and has a gel consistency – a bit surprising for a moisture mask! The directions say that it can be used as a leave on treatment, so I put on a thin layer went on with my day. When it was first applied the mask it made my skin feel slightly tingly – not in a sore, is-this-mask-irritating-my-skin way; more like a minty fresh feeling.

After 20 minutes or so I gently rubbed in the mask and used a tissue to blot off the excess. I could still feel a slight residue, but nothing compared to the other “leave on” masks I’ve tried – I’ve always had to wash them off in the end! I didn’t wear make up for the rest of the day, but even the day after when I wore and removed makeup, my skin still had that fresh, plumped feeling that face masks give you!

After three uses I’ve noticed a difference in my skin – it’s a lot more glowy and hydrated, and the dry patches on my cheeks are starting to disappear. My nose and between my brows still looks a bit dry, but I’m hoping over the long-term my skin will improve!

Have you ever tried anything from the GlamGlow range? Or maybe you can recommend a good hydrating mask? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

Lifestyle

So you’re getting a dog for the first time?

If you follow me on any form of social media then you will be well aware that just over a month ago, Scott and I brought home our little bundle of joy, Walter. I’ve wanted a dog for as long as I can remember – the only pets I had growing up were fish!. When Scott announced that he was going to see a man about a dog (see what I did there?) I was ecstatic, but nervous as I have literally no experience of looking after a dog!  I decided to write a little post about our first month and a half with Walter and my experiences of owning a dog for the first time.

I’m going to skip over some of the stuff I think is obvious if you’re already looking for a dog. Research which breed is best for you, your dog and your lifestyle. Look up health problems. Look up breeders. Speak to owners of the breed you want to go for. Get your dog registered to a vet, get a health check and get them microchipped.

Moving on, here are the main lessons I’ve learned since we took Walter home –

No amount of research will prepare you for your first week of owning a puppy. It’s exhausting. I cried near the end of the week because I was so tired from waking up every few hours for a pee break. We got Walter at 10 weeks as his previous owners already had a dog and the two just didn’t get along, so the first night when we tried to crate him he screamed non stop. Getting him to willingly go into his crate was a nightmare and it’s only in the past week he’s started to see it as his own little space that he can nap in during the day. He nipped non stop, cried if we left the room, cried when we crated him so we could have dinner, tried to chew cables…but even though everything was so new and trying, it was all worth it for the snuggles, the sits and paws and just having a little furry shadow.

Train your puppy from day one. One of the main comments made about Walter (other than his cuteness) is how good he is. Almost everyone who meets him comments on his behaviour and I was so surprised at how many people said their own dog didn’t know sit. All we really did to train Walter was spending around 10 minutes every morning and evening teaching him commands. We started with sit, paw, stay and come, which I think are pretty essential to every dog! We’ve been a bit unlucky with our puppy training class as it’s been postponed for two weeks, but it’s great for teaching Walter to concentrate on us around distractions. (Especially as there is a boxing class in other half of the room at the same time as puppy training -.-) The main thing we’re working on now is getting Walters recall down. We have a whistle that generally works if calling his name doesn’t, but there are still certain triggers that give him tunnel vision and selective hearing!

Socialise, Socialise, Socialise! Walter has always been generally good with other dogs, but to start with – and even now – if a dog is bigger and a bit of a barker, he tends to sit and hide between our legs. On our first few playdates he would lie on his back and submit as soon as the other dogs got a tiny bit boisterous, but since going on walks where there are a lot of dogs he’s starting to get a lot better at playing. He still hasn’t learned not to run up to every single dog, but when he does find someone to play with he’s a lot more confident! We’re pretty fortunate as there is a park next to us where everyone walks their dogs after work, so we go most days and everyone gathers in the middle of the field to let the dogs play together. It’s great as there is a mixture of big and small dogs, puppies, adults and elderly dogs and most importantly to me, dogs that want to play and dogs that just want to chill and watch everyone. Walter is slowly learning the signs of a dog that doesn’t want to play with him and is starting to chill out and just sit about near the dogs rather than being in play mode the whole time. We also have friends who also have a miniature schnauzer a couple of months older than Walter who is a great influence, as well as friends with a puppy the same age who Walter can play with and grow up with.

If everyone likes this kind of post, I might move on to a mini series about Walter! I want to do a post on his breed in particular, as well as some update posts like this one. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

hannahessonx

Lifestyle

Hello Fresh

My biggest downfall when eating healthy is dinner. I work on rotas so sometimes I don’t get home until 9pm and I really can’t be bothered thinking up a meal – half the time I end up having toast and snacking as I still feel hungry. Scott recently joined Hello Fresh and when his first box arrived, I knew I wanted to join too.

The boxes are designed to be 3 meals for 2 people, but both of us signed up separately to get 6 boxes each a week, giving us 1 cheat meal. The main box has 8 options to choose from a week, whereas the Veggie Box has preset meals. The meals all sound amazing so this didn’t bother me at all! If you decide you want to miss out a week, you can sign in up until the week before and select an option to skip the week.

The way Hello Fresh works is simple: each week you get sent a box with measured out ingredients needed to create 2 portions of your 3 recipes. Each recipe comes in a different brown bag with a coloured sticker and a bag with wool and ice packs for perishable items. There are also usually money off vouchers or brochures for affiliated companies as well as your recipe cards. Most of the packaging is recyclable too, which is great!

So far I’ve had two weeks of food, all of which so far has been great and surprisingly easy to cook! (Sidenote: I suck at cooking and even following recipes is a struggle for me.) Each meal takes roughly 40 minutes to make from scratch and it’s a lot less faff having everything already measured out for you. I also just discovered that as well as the recipe cards, you can log into the Hello Fresh app and follow the recipe with preset timers for each step, making sure you’re cooking everything for the right amount of time! Each week you can also log in and rate each of your meals, with the option to add comments as well.

Even though I’m only a week and a meal in I’m already obsessed and actually look forward to making my dinner! It’s nice to already have everything planned out, so it’s just a case of coming home and getting your cook on! Each box is only £34.99, which is amazing as I’d normally spend that on 3 days worth of food.

The last perk I want to tell you about is Refer-A-Friend. As you can probably guess, it’s a cheeky little code to get money off! If you are interested in giving Hello Fresh a go, use HANNAHESS to get £25 off your first box! Happy Cooking!

hannahessonx

Beauty

H&M Beauty 

When I was in Finland visiting my brother, my mum and I had a day to ourselves where we decided to go shopping. After spending the day in the many shops of Helsinki, the only place I ended up buying from was H&M!

We found a massive H&M that had both a homeware section and a beauty section – something I’ve never seen before, even in Glasgow! (Let’s not even talk about the measly H&Ms in Aberdeen.) The homeware was lovely and it was great to be able to see everything in person, but as it can be quite bulky I decided it would be better to buy online at home. We went back upstairs and spent a good 15 minutes oohing and aahing over the hair and body items, sniffing the perfumes and constantly calling each other over to look at something new we’d discovered.

The haircare had me at hello and with all the products costing under 10 euros, I couldn’t say no! The one thing I’m always on the lookout for is the perfect product for curls. My hair used to be beautiful and curly when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older it’s turned into a frizzy wave and I long to get my curls back! I picked up the Beachy Keen Salt Water Cream as I like a little bit of hold in my curls to stop them from dropping. I then spent a little time with the Defining Moment Texture Paste in one hand and then Conscious Texture Styler in the other. Eventually my mum saved the day and offered to buy me one so I could buy the other, meaning both promptly went in our basket. All three products are amazing – I mix the Salt Water Cream and Texture Paste together and they give me tousled hair when it dries natural lyor killer beach waves when I use a diffuser! Then on day two I comb out any tugs and add some Texture Styler to refresh the hold.

After picking up and putting down the perfumes many times (they all smelled divine, but Caribbean Crush was my favourite), we decided against buying any and moved on to face masks. They come in cute little pods with many different options for each skin type. I chose two for tired skin and one for dry skin, although I had to refrain from buying all of them as they sound amazing. I’m excited to try out the Dead Sea Minerals, it sounds like it’s exactly what my skin needs!

Have you tried any of the H&M Beauty products? I love everything I’ve bought so far, especially the Salt Water Cream for my hair! I will definitely be keeping an eye on the online store for more goodies to snap up!

hannahessonx

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My First Spa Day

I’ve always wanted to go on a spa day, but I’ve never gotten around to booking one and to be honest, I was a little nervous about whether or not I would like it. For my mums birthday Scott and I decided to treat her to a spa day – and of course I had to go along too!

When I was searching different spas, I found the Spa Seekers website, which had heaps of great deals for the main spas in Aberdeen. The best deal I found was Time To Melt at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, which includes two treatments, lunch and use of the leisure facilities.

I managed to book so that both my mum and I had our treatments at the same time, one at 10.15 and the other at 12.15, followed by lunch at 1pm. We both chose the Warm Stone Massage and the Aromatherapy Discovery Facial. When we arrived, we filled in a short form and each received our Robe, Towel and Slippers. After we got changed it was coming up to 10am, so instead of sitting beside the pool we decided to wait near reception for our treatments. Our beauty therapists came over and introduced themselves before taking us to our treatment rooms. I’ve now forgotten the name of the girl who looked after me, but both ladies were lovely!

My beauty therapist asked if I had ever had a Warm Stone Massage before and when I said no, she explained the process, before leaving the room for me to get ready. I expected to find the warm stones to be too much pressure, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were pretty much perfect. The 40 minutes flew by and I found myself trying hard not to fall asleep, which is a weird sensation when you realise you stopped noticing someone touching you!

Once the treatment was finished, I met my mum outside the treatment rooms and we went to pick up the trashy magazines we had taken with us to read by the pool. For the next hour or so we lazed about on the loungers, talking and showing each other the ridiculous articles inside the magazines. There was a sauna and a steam room to be used as well as the pool, but neither myself or my mum are good with the heat so we didn’t spend much time in them!  We sat and chilled in the jacuzzi for a little while before going back to the main reception to wait for our Aromatherapy Discovery Facials.

We had the same therapists as the morning which was nice, so off we went to our treatment rooms to discuss our skin. I explained that my skin can be quite dry, with rough patches on my cheeks and forehead. Again, my therapist left the room while I popped up onto the couch (according to google this is the correct term for it?!)  and came back after a couple of minutes. Since my eyes were closed for the most part and I was pretty tired so didn’t speak, I really had no idea what went down during the facial. My favourite part was some sort of mask/peel that went on feeling like a mud, then left a residue when wiped off that was literally rolled and flicked off my skin! The facial finished with a massage and afterwards my skin felt amazing so I tried my best not to touch it for the rest of the day.

The final part of our day was a light lunch. I chose the Greek Salad Box and Brownie, which arrived in a gorgeous sectioned plate with macaroni, salad, olives and of course, a slice of brownie with cream. It didn’t look like a large portion, but it was extremely filling and by the time I got round to the brownie I was struggling! The salad was nice and fresh, with a lovely seasoning and dressing.

I really enjoyed my spa day and both myself and mum have vowed we will go to the spa more often. I’d recommend Ardoe as everyone was so friendly and there was a great atmosphere, I don’t see us trying anywhere else for the near future! Have you ever been for a spa day before? Let me know what treatments you went for in the comments below!

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Beauty

Trying Out A Silicone Sponge! 

Ever since the rise of the silicone sponge, I have to admit that I’ve been a tad curious! So when my mum surprised me with the Violet Voss silicone applicator, I was more than happy to give it a go.

The Violet Voss version has a design on one side and is clear on the other. There is a seam with a slight frill separating the two sides, which I find a little random as it kind of gets in the way during application. The first foundation I tried out the silicone applicator was MAC Face and Body. It’s water based and gives a super light coverage, which works pretty well with the applicator. I used little dabbing motions with the applicator to blend in the foundation and as I mentioned, the frilly seam got in the way around the nose and the eyes. I ended up using my fingers for those areas and overall the result wasn’t all that bad.

The next foundation I tried out the silicone applicator with was NARS Sheer Glow. As it’s a lot creamier than MAC Face and Body I thought thatx I might encounter some problems. I saw a few videos on Instagram where people used circular rubbing motions with their silicone sponge, so I decided to give it a try. All I really achieved was a nice smearing of foundation on my face, so I went back to the dabbing motions to try to blend it in. Even then, I still feel like the foundation was just kind of sitting on the skin. As you can see in the above photo, even with the dabbing motions I couldn’t quite get into the little nooks and crannies around my nose.

In all honesty, after I set my foundation with powder, the MAC Face and Body didn’t look all that bad! I think the Silicone Applicator works a lot better with thin foundations, where they don’t need to settle on the skin too much. I still sometimes use the Violet Boss silicone applicator when I wear Face and Body, but I’m definitely sticking to my sponge for thicker formulas!

Have you ever tried a silicone sponge before? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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