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

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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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hannahessonx

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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Beauty

The £5 Rose Gold Brush Set | One Month Update

I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I wrote about the Rose Gold Brush Set I purchased on Amazon (post here) and I have to say – so far I’m in love! I’ve washed the brushes plenty of times with next to no shedding and although they have stained slightly, they’re easy to clean and still feel super soft and fluffy.

I find myself using the square-shaped white bristle brush the most, as it slots perfectly into the socket line to blend out my eyeshadows. My next two most used are the small pointed brush – perfect for adding in darker colours in the corners and blending underneath – and the small flat duo fibre, which I use to carve out my cut creases.

Since I bought this kit I’ve hardly touched my MAC 217 blending  brush – which is really saying something as it’s been my most beloved brush for a good 4 years now! The only other brushes I use on my eyes now are a small flat eyeshadow brush for glitter or for adding colour in the inner corner, and the MAC 224 for blending away any harsh edges.

Again, I will add an update in a few months to see how the brushes are lasting and if I still use them, but I really do have high hopes so far!

What are your favourite brushes? Do you have any bargains to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

Beauty

Make Up Revolution Luxe Lip Kit Reign | Review and Swatches

It’s not very often I buy something that I’m disappointed in, as I’m pretty good at doing my research first. So it is with a heavy heart I write about such a highly rated product with a negative view! I’ve been interested in the Make Up Revolution Luxe Lip Kits for a little while now and after seeing so many reviews raving about them, I decided it was time to give them a go. I’ve tried Lime Crime Velvetines, MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks and MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer so I’m no stranger to liquid lipsticks and kind of knew what to expect.

I originally wanted Echelon or Noble, but when I was in Superdrug the only light colour I could see was Reign and since there were no testers I went on a whim and bought it. It’s a lot pinkier than I expected, especially the liner! The lipliner does feels amazing, it’s so smooth that it glides on with ease. I think I would probably still use the lipliner when I’m wearing a pink lipstick, as it has incredible staying power, doesn’t transfer and feels comfortable on the lips.

So now we move on to the liquid lipstick, wherein lies my issue with the kit! The colour of the lipstick is a lot more what I had expected – a nude with a pink undertone. As the lipliner is such a different colour I had to put the lipstick all over my lips, right up to the edges. I waited a good 20 minutes, expecting the liquid lipstick to dry completely to a matte finish, but instead it stays really tacky and I found my lips sticking together! As you can see in the photo above, it looks really cakey as it only half dries and you can even see that the corner of my mouth is stuck together!

The one thing I will give the lip kit is that it is transfer resistant. I kissed the back of my hand, expecting to leave a tacky mess behind and I was so surprised to see that although the lipstick doesn’t set, it didn’t leave any trace on the back of my hand and neither did the liner! I expecting to have a photo where I either had a ring on lipliner or little bits of the lipstick on my hand, but it was completely clean so I decided taking a photo of my clean hand was pretty pointless!

The tacky feeling is definitely a deal breaker in my eyes, I couldn’t last more than 20 minutes with it so there is no way I could leave it on all day! As I said, I’ll maybe keep the liner to wear with other lipsticks, but the liquid lipstick is unfortunately going in the bin. If I were looking for a budget liquid lipstick in the future, it would be MUA I’d go to!

Have you tried the Make Up Revolution Luxe Lip Kits? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

hannahessonx

Beauty · Fashion

How To Have Killer Nails On A Budget

I’ve never really been the kind of girl who gets her nails done – I’ve had it a few times and although I love the look, I don’t have the money for the upkeep! I do however, get a lot of compliments on my nails, with people asking where I get them done. So here is my secret – I use Primark stick on nails!

One of my clients mentioned she uses Primark nails when she doesn’t have time to do them before an occasion and said they last a good two weeks, so the next time I was in Primark I couldn’t help but pick up a couple of sets! I first went for the pointed nails, buying one nude and one black set. They are super-duper long, so I give them a good file down as I go along! I find it best to start with my pinky finger, glue the nail on, file it down, repeat on the other hand, then move onto the ring finger, and so on.

I currently use the glue that comes with the nails – it’s a little bit of a pain as you cut off the top of the tube and I find the nib gets covered in glue, but so far the glue has been great! I find that between having a hands-on job and having a bad habit of picking at the sides of my nails, I do pull a few off and have to stick them back on. However, after two weeks they’re still going strong and my main reason for soaking them off is to put a different coloured set on. I make sure I always use acetone to soak of the nails rather than forcing them off and damaging my own nails, which are still a bit soft from my last set of gels!

My only complaint about the nails is that the sizes aren’t all that great. There are heaps of massive nails – I’m going to go ahead and say thumb sized since they are pretty big! – and not many medium sizes. I struggle to fit the nails on my index finger, as they’re either too big, or slightly too small and curved to stick on firmly. The nails are easy to paint over and there are so many options for colour and shapes – my new favourite are the Squareletto!

Do you use stick on nails? What brand do you use? As a bit of a side note – I did buy the clear nails from Primark to paint my own, but I found they always seemed to snap down the middle after a few days!

hannahessonx