I've got books on make-up, health, vegetarian recipes and loads on true crime but I actually have none on how-to do hairstyles. The first time I learnt how to do a fishtail plait was by an illustration, I found it a lot easier than watching someone demonstrate. Which surprised me. That's why I decided to look at this book - The Hairstyle Directory*. I got this not long before the festive period, so I've had a look through but not managed to try anything as of yet. You know how this season does us but I'm going to let you know what I briefly think of this book.
This is a book by a fellow blogger, Christina Butcher, maybe you've seen her blog already Hair Romance, Christina has previously released 3 e-books but here a book comes in, touch form - which I prefer. This book boasts, 4 chapters, each chapter is dedicated to a main hairstyle and several variations. Ponytails, Plaits, Buns, Knots and Twists and Bouffants. With 82 different styles, there's something for most hair lengths. Even though I'm sure YouTube for some is more easier or convenient, I enjoy having something just in my hand, that I can flick through , learn at my own pace and possibly find more hairstyles plus why do most of the online demonstrations feature ladies with gorgeous, flowing long locks or feature extensions?! I automatically feel 'Oh it's a style I can't do.'
The Hairstyle Directory gets straight to the point and with each look it's set out with a Description, Difficulty level, Ideal hair length, Hair Extensions Needed?, Assistance Needed?, Accessories, Try This (suggestion). You will get two hairspiration photos and on the right hand page all the illustration directions needed with a top tip.

I like that Christina lets you know tools that are needed, if you need help, how hard it is and is your hair long enough to achieve this style to its full potential. It narrows it down, you'll know how much of a practice lesson your in for. That I like - a lot!

Majority of the styles I've seen floating around Pinterest & Tumblr but seeing as I've become this wash & go lady, I seem to like them and leave them. I guess some I don't feel I can do or will suit me. I will make 2014 a nice chance and give these curls a treat. As my hair has grown I'm looking at more braid styles to try out. I think my fun challenge is making these hairstyles my own with curls, a lot of these hairstyles are done on more straight / wavy styles than curls. Although I'm not being discouraged it would of been nice to of seen a variation of different hair textures that these styles are done on.

How do you prefer to learn, step by step online demonstration or does a book guide help?

Hair Style Directory: The Ultimate Practical Guide to Creating Classic and Modern Styles
Released on January 2nd 2014 - RRP £14.99.

The book is known as The Hairstyle Directory within the UK & Asia & Braids, Buns and Twists elsewhere.

The Hairstyle Directory

Since last Winter I've been paying a lot more attention to my hair since going back to curls. One thing is protecting the hair with wig/braids when it needs a rest and the obvious protection. I made a half wig, around this time last year and I've kept using it throughout the past year when my hair needed it. The company the hair came from was The Virgin Hair Company*, the company says that it's not the highest quality of hair but it's affordable hair for those who can't afford to buy expensive hair. With the 3 packets of hair I was given 18, 20 & 24 - Grade A Virgin Indian Body Wave Remy Hair in #2, with that I decided to make a half wig.
Upon taking it out of the plastic bag, it reeked of that 'new plastic scent' so I washed it and left it to air dry before starting to make this new half wig.

I prefer to do wigs as I've found the hair lasts longer, I'm not wearing it all year round it lasts a fair bit longer than if I was to glue / sew in. Even though this hair is cheaper and This hair can be straightened out, curled and washed back to it's natural state. I don't put any product in the hair, the texture of the hair, it's not silky baby hair soft but it's manageable, since I've had this hair, I've not dealt with any excess shedding, it tangles a bit when washing, I'm not sure cos it's quite long, I don't like the way it feels while being washed but once it begins to dry and fall back into it's natural state, the condition is fine. I wouldn't say this hair is the purest of pure virgin, considering I've got virgin hair before.

The company itself says the hair is Grade A hair, your not paying the price for hair that is Grade AA and Grade AAA & they never claim their hair is the best on the market but they are giving you hair they feel is the best within the price range they offer. It's very heavy so I'm careful where I place the clips, don't want to ruin my hair or break it with a heavy piece. Seeing as I coloured my hair, I wanted to just give it a little rest for a while so protective styling it is, I will just braid my hair and leave some out at the top, which that doesn't bother me I just wanted the majority to be rested. At night I'll braid the other pieces and wrap my hair after clipping the wig off.

I've had this hair now for just over a year and it's still going, considering you get a 3 packets of hair in the chosen lengths above for £154 it's definitely a lot more affordable than other companies. I'm currently whipping my Indian hair - in my head, my neck is sore and for trips out this neck needs the strength for this thick bundle.

Have you tried The Virgin Hair Company before?

The Virgin Hair Company Review

I'm getting my curls, camera ready for the festive period!

When I first tried to restore my curls back in 2011, I came across the website British Curlies , the website who was created by Keisha Jo Lawler who gave it's name because " I feel that we deserve a website where we can connect and share as having curly hair in the UK is a unique experience that anyone living here can attest to. Also we are based here in the UK." So along with a great forum that helped me there was also a shop "www.britishcurlies.co.uk/store" that was later relaunched as Curly Emporium.

As more women are getting into loving their natural hair, we are finding more products we'd love to try and see what works for us. Unfortunately because not many of these brands aren't readily available in stores or most websites, I love to shop at the Curly Emporium. I'm discovering more brands that I'm able to get that are discussed frequently by our US counterparts, amongst those is SheaMoisture, Mixed Chicks and Sunny Isle. Of course I did some topping up of my favourites:
SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque
SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
SheaMoisture Retention Shampoo
SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Shampoo
SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk
Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Knot Out Conditioner
Mixed Chicks Curly Hair Band

Most the time I make sure I see if they have discount codes or offers albeit it's rare so I made sure before I grabbed two curl enhancing smoothie when it was half price. My two original tubs of the smoothie and deep treatment masque are at the end and will last about a month maybe which is good as I've had it since about June/July.

Being able to support a business that is dedicated to sharing, helping and providing us curlies/naturals with products & information that could help us manage and learn about our hair is important. It's independently run and they really do try and get the products that we desire to try. Barclay's are also trying to support the way we shop by introducing their new Freedom Rewards card. Earn points as you shop. Something I strive to do all the time. Curly Emporium is my go to online store 98% of the time, the prices can work out cheaper than other websites and I've never had a problem - yet, just how I'd like it to stay.

Do you shop at the Curly Emporium? What's your HG product?

Most items were paid for using a gift voucher.

Curly Emporium Haul

Bath Elixirs sound so much better than bath oils don't they? More luxurious. This trio of oils feature 3 of Cath's scrumcious fragrances, each of these oils are certainly perfect for the time they are suggested for they all contain these beautiful oils, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Evening Primrose Oil.

Flowers of the Orient a spicy & woody scent this one is my favourite out of the 3. It's suitable for morning or evening. The scent is all me, I'm really for the floral / woody scents, never seem to head for 'spicy' cos that word just doesn't bring up good feelings for scents but this one will be used & abused.

Evening Flowers to me this scent even carries more of an evening fragrance scent, it's more 'mature'. Reminds me of older ladies who will wear a musky scent for the evening. It's not musky but this floral scent is quite sweet. Maybe a bit too sweet for me but it does give a, end of the day, relaxing aroma.

Morning Flowers citrus / floral, it's fresh and one for a Cinderella morning moment, birds tweeting. Good way to start those tired mornings with a nice wake-up, I know some find baths more for relaxing than they got time for in the morning but of course none of the oils really have a allocated time to be used!

I love that these are available as EDT so the scents can be carried during the day. This gift set is lovely, these Elixirs are 100ml £26.95 each meaning you will buy 3 for £80.85 while 3 in a box set can be purchased for just under £40. I poured a lid full of oil and no more into my running water and shut the door to keep the scent flowing through the room. Walking back in, I adored the scent coming back at me. It's said the oils can gently moisturise the skin, well it doesn't dry out the skin or make it oily but ME, girl, this time of year (any time of year) it needs more cream/oil afterwards but for the most part it's nice to have the skin being moisturised while soaking.

I'd put this under a luxury as of course there are cheaper bath oils on the market. Yet maybe for a wishlist, a gift for family - friends it's a nice gift set to try out. Me myself - if I can get my bathroom products down to a minimal, I'd love to continue to get more.

Are you a bath oil person?

Cath Collins Bath Elixirs

Imagine when I opened this months TheVeganKind* I was excited about everything as I browsed through, it's so refreshing to have a box of this nature and it's helping me find more things for my chosen dietary needs & lifestyle. I think even Zephyr was impressed, he was sitting patiently to have a nose through too, so let's start off...

Greenfrog All purpose natural cleaner 500ml (RRP £2.49)
Imagine I was so excited about this, I love cleaning and looking for a natural cleaner I wouldn't say it's hard but it's definitely not readily available within stores. This also has soapnuts which I enjoyed using in my wash, it contains the essential oils neroli and geranium. It was shortlisted for Best New Natural Living and Home Product at the Natural and Organic Awards 2013. It smells delicate and there's no overbearing chemical stench.

Freedom Mallows 75g (RRP £2.50)
A few months ago I was on a 2 day detox because someone gave me marshmallows that contained gelatin and contrary to what some believe marshmallows are not just whipped up sugar! My body just didn't handle it well, being able to have these is comforting as this is the season (for me any season) to be drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. These are made with natural colours, fat free and there's no fructose corn syrup. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, also those with a Halal and kosher diet.

Dr Bronner's Baby mild magic soap 59ml (RRP £1.99)
Handy all purpose soap, to me the brand is suitable for any sex and age. Even better for travellers as you can use it for just about ANYTHING. This is an unscented baby mild soap, so there's no fragrance which is good for those with sensitive or allergies. It's made from 100% recycled plastic bottles while the content ingredients which are oils and essential oils are certified organic to the Natural Organic Standards Program. Definitely check out Dr Bronner's for more of their range.

YAOH Lipbalm 4g (assorted flavours) (RRP £2.75)
Blueberry lip balm has organic hemp seed oil within but the smell reminds me of the Parma Violets sweets. It's very moisturising and smooth running over the lips, these come in different flavours Spearmint, Strawberries & Cream, Mango & Kiwi Fruit, Coconut and Blueberry.

Arbonne Protein bar -fruit flavour (RRP £2.00)
Balance of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals it's a supplement bar that satisfies hunger and helps to boost energy. Packed with 15 vitamins and minerals it's made with nutrient rich quinoa and 9 grams of pea and rich protein. Good snack in between meals which would be good throughout the holidays!

Mendill Organic Towlettes samples (RRP £1)
100% certified organic therapeutic essential oils that are endowed with antibacterial, antiseptic and unique therapeutic properties. These can be used as a refreshing handwipe or simply keep them in the bathroom, Can be used everyday, suitable for travelling, after dinner, to remove make-up or use them as a soothing scent near your pillow for a good nights sleep.
- can also be purchased at LoveLula

The Vegan Kind £10.00 + p&p

I think I welcome these type of boxes (besides menu choice monthly boxes) because it's so fresh and targeted plus I love the fact that I can find more companies that specialise in animal cruelty free products, kind of like I've got a sample of my shopping for the months ahead.

What do you think of TheVeganKind?

TheVeganKind #2

Love Me Beauty is proud to present it's Christmas edition box, once again with the choice of 3 different boxes, I opted for Edition 3.

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick "Glazed Pink" RRP £12.00 & Lord & Berry Kissproof Lip Liner in "Romantica" RRP £7.50
These two products are included in all three boxes, in the same shade. I wasn't so keen on the choice of lipstick, for me it's too light but the kissproof lip liner I could rock with, I like the shade and as this can be used as a lipstick as well as a lip liner. I'll see how it feels on the lips as a lipstick before I give it a full rating.
Headline Colours "Quicksand" RRP £9.00
I've wanted this shade for a while now, so I'm happy to get this into my collection so when my nails are a bit more stronger and longer I can paint my talons with this. It's a light chocolate nude, I love the formula that Headline colours provides, it's free from toluene, DBP and formaldehyde, quick drying and made in the UK!

Matriskin Vitamin C Serum 30ml RRP £56.35 ( sample size 7.5ml )
This is the reason I chose box 3, it's the Vitamin C serum, aimed at reducing age spots and pigmentation and also to help fight acne due to the vitamin C antioxidant & anti-inflammatory benefits. To be used daily on cleansed and tone skin like any other serum and before moisturising.

Rodial Glamtox Night 50ml RRP £90 ( sample size 15ml )
I've never used anything from Rodial before but I've heard good things from the brand. This night gel protects against the visible signs of ageing by smoothing the skin, helping to give it a radiant, youthful glow. This too has Vitamin C within the ingredients, this helps to retexture and improve the skins appearance of uneven skin tone and pore size all while you sleep.

As the year draws to an end Love Me Beauty is a strong contender I believe for the upcoming beauty boxes for 2014. The choosing your own menu concept is a brilliant idea. I'm hoping that next year more brands are featured so the boxes don't get too repetitive, that would be my personal preference.

If you are interested you can get aLove Me Beauty for £10.00 + p&p.

Love Me Beauty December Box

Another brand I've been introduced to this year is Skin Chemists*, the first product I reviewed was their Venom face mask which you can read about here.

This year I started to use serums and constantly now use them in my routine, a new one I've been using is this Bee Venom Face Serum, with such ingredients as honey, nettle, horsetail, & watercress that are there to help anti-ageing (wrinkles, fine lines) even skin tone and shrink pores & also antioxidants. Serums I find no matter what ones always is less is more, I find this one is quite drying & tight as it begins to absorb in the skin so moisturiser is necessary afterwards. In terms of improvement to skin, I never had wrinkles or fine lines before but even skin tone is something I battle with a lot if my spots decided to turn vicious and scar. I'm using this in conjunction with my other even skin tone products and so far the scarring is getting a bit lighter - not as quickly as I'd love. That's more my impatience than anything.

Guess my lips are plump enough as honestly I couldn't see much of a difference, I'd love plumper lips - yes that's right I would love plumper lips. I find this lip plump gives more of a fuller dimension when applied, almost as there are some light reflectors giving an impression of larger lips, there was a very slight tingling sensation. Not unbearable as it goes as quickly as it comes. I wouldn't purchase this as I suppose it's something I don't need but if you'd like plumper lips you could give it a go.

Bee Venom Serum 30ml £135.00
Lip Plump 6ml £79.95

Skin Chemists Bee Venom Serum & Lip Plump

It's no secret I adore NEOM. I find it great to give to loved ones as gifts, it's pricey but that's the price we pay for luxury, so when this bath & shower set was offered to me, ahh my love of bath times and oils - perfect. To me minature sets are great for everyone. It allows me to discover what products could potentially become a favourite, handy for travelling and also for gifts.

This small box contains 6 different 5ml bottles their is 2 bottles each from a NEOM collection :- Real Luxury (Lavender, Jasmine & Brazilian Rosewood), Tranquillity (English Lavender with Sweet Basil & Jasmine) & Complete Bliss (Moroccan Blush Rose). One of my favourites out of the 6 has to be the Moroccan Blush Rose, reminds me of their body oil that I adore.

Now I'm on more of a health kick start, this has come at an ideal time, relaxing scents to calm the mind at the end of the day.

Gift yourself or someone else this Christmas with this beautiful set.
Have I steered you wrong with NEOM yet?

NEOM Organic Bath & Shower Indulgence Set £19.00*

NEOM Organic Bath & Shower Indulgence Set

I have known about GlowwBox* for quite a while before it had launched and I liked the concept. Being able to share this box with you today is a nice change, it's a company aimed at women of colour. Inside the 'Pamper Me' Christmas 2013 edition box you can find:
As the colder weather is turning everything upside down, my skin is starting to really dry out, PREMAE Radiance Boost Cleansing Oil 100ml £22.50 and PREMAE Radiance Boost Face Tonique 100ml £19.50 are two of the skincare products this month that are anti-ageing and for drier skin. The cleansing oil has Safflower Flower & vitamin A, to moisturise dry, chapped and mature skin while the tonique is alcohol free, even better for those with dry skin - no irritation.

Design Essentials Natural Curl Enhancing Mousse 7.5oz £8.95 This smells like a certain product/drink and anyone who I've ended up shoving this under their nose, has agreed but the memory of what it is, just isn't coming to mind but what is certain is, this has a sweet, pleasing smell. Ideal for loose, wavy - tight curls. This is applied to wet hair and combed through evenly, left to dry or diffuse.

SHEADO Honey Love Hairmilk 50ml £5.75, 250ml £14.00 Ooo this smells ah-ma-zing. I use hair milks as suggested for my hair type so this one is welcomed greatly and I'm interested to see how well it works in my hair, ingredients such as organic honey, avocado oil, shea butter and black oat extract.

BENETA BERRY Exfoliating Face Gel for Girls 30ml £10.65 is a 100% natural active ingredient cleanser with pineapple, grapefruit, raspberry, strawberry, lime and ground apricot seeds helps remove dead skin cells and brightens the face, strawberries have vitamin C which is a natural antioxidents.

My first introduction into Glowwbox has been a nice one, I like the fact the products are well needed at this time of year as the skin and hair can change a lot. As it's aimed at women of colour the products are going to be a lot more suited than probably other boxes available on the market.

Glowwbox £15.00 include p&p per month - 15% currently off until the 15th December.

Have you ever heard of or tried Glowwbox?

Christmas "Pamper Me" GLOWWBOX

Kevin Murphy is another brand I've been introduced to this year. I'm always on the look out for products for my curls and of course with this being a sulphate, paraben & animal cruelty free brand, I wanted to see just how great these work on my hair. Kindly sent four products, I've tested these out in between washes of my current routine, well only because the bottles are quite small and expensive so I only used them when my hair was in dire need or special occasions.

In general I've been lucky with curl aimed products since going back to my born day hair but it's also finding brands that suit my beliefs and preferences.

To me all these items smell gorgeous, I was talking to a PR earlier this week about the brand and she complimented me on my hair and I said, oh I used Kevin Murphy, with her being from New Zealand she knows all about the Australian brand & it's one she also loves. Believe me, my curls were popping and defined.
These were my curls on before my wash. Surprisingly since using the Kevin Murphy products my hair stays a lot more curlier longer.

My hair is coloured as well as curled, curly hair can easily get dry and it makes me steer from shampoos, the Kevin Murphy Luxury Wash 250ml £16.95 is specifically aimed at coarse, thick hair and while I normally condition before shampooing, I don't while using this wash. The main fact is my hair feels like it's being moisturised while shampooed, could it be down to the mango & shea butter? Maybe so. It also has Buriti Nut Oil, a natural source of Vitamin A, this gives the hair elasticity and shine, it's also more ideal for curly hair as it has the right hydro lipid balance that suits the needs of curly hair. Now I believe this as even when wet my curls look more defined.
Key ingredients
Buriti Nut Oil : A natural source of Vitamin A. Gives hair elasticity and shine
Vitamin A : An antioxidant and cellular renewal ingredient that smoothes the appearance of the hair shaft and increases elasticity
Murumuru Butter : Provides hydro-lipid balance that improves hydration and lustre
Mango Butter : Exhibits excellent moisturising properties and counteracts the effects of a dry environment
Shea Butter : Delivers moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the hair and scalp to rehydrate without clogging the cuticle. It is particularly beneficial for processed and heat-treated hair. It restores lustre to damaged hair

After the wash, it's onto the conditioning, Kevin Murphy Luxury Rinse 250ml £16.95 this just apply's like a dream, the hair feels so soft and smells heavenly. I leave this on for 2-4 minutes before rinsing.
Key ingredients
(Same as above with the addition of):
Kukui Nut Oil
Has proven its effects in treating damaged hair due to chemical

When I feel my hair just needs an added umph, this isn't a Kevin Murphy product but I've been using the Amazonia Preciosa Ucuuba Restructuring Hair Mask 120g £10.35 it comes in a squeezeable tube, reminds me of toothpaste. I section my hair so I can evenly apply this and I wrap my hair in my turban and leave on for around 15 minutes before rinsing. This product is ideal for curly, fragile hair types, my hair is colour treated, still repairing from heat damage and now that it's cold, believe it's a lose-lose situation, heat inside - cold outside, my hair just loves to frizz. This mask helps to seal in the hair moisture and being that my hair is low porosity so locking in moisture is key. While my hair is still wet, this is the best time for me to put my hair butter or milk in.

I use Kevin Murphy Young Again Treatment Oil 100ml £24.95 mostly on the ends of my hair, I pay more attention to my ends as they are coloured and quite dry. A little goes a LONG way, I section my hair for this serum to be applied and pump a small amount for each part, once I warmed it in my hand, I finger comb my hair before paying more attention to the ends. I leave my hair to air dry which doesn't take long and this is when I can see if it needs anything more to treat fly away's. My hair is normally free of a frizz halo!
Key ingredients

Immortelle : Produced from the flowers of the Helichrysum plant. It is rich in antioxidants to help stop
the onslaught of damage to hair.
Bur Oil : Improves hair strength, shine and body. Helps penetrate the scalp to relieve dry, flaky skin.
Horse Chestnut Seed Extract : Adds strength, shine and body.
Safflower Seed Oil : Acts as a lubricant to give the hair a soft and smooth appearance.
Apple Extracts : Help to remove dead cells from the hair’s surface.
Sugar Cane Extracts : Alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA’S) a gentile exfoliate to the hair prepares the hair to receive the nutrients and give a smooth shiny surface to the hair.
Citrus Limonium (Lemon Oil) : Antioxidant rich.
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract : Strengthening antioxidant that helps prevent breakage.

So what's the shiny gold disco looking product? Well that my dears is the Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine 100ml £19.95 this here..looks gorgeous, smells lovely oh and it sparkles. This can also be used on the skin to give a hydrating, glisten over the party season, the hair didn't sparkle as much, I've used this on wet & dry hair, it's to help revive your hair & shine. It has light reflective technology from high-end skincare that adds the shine to the hair without making it oily. Nobody wants their curls to be oily and weighed down.

I really have enjoyed testing this line, I only use these products for special occasions, they are quite pricey and using them for every wash wouldn't be an option! Would I purchase, hell yes. You have to invest in what works for you!

Have you heard of or used Kevin Murphy products?

Kevin Murphy Hair Products for the Curly Girl

Since deciding to start 2014 early, I thought of ways that I could jump start my year and make good patterns come January, I mean come on, how many resolutions do we end up breaking before the middle of January? Easier to make the good habits now so you don't feel that your resolutions are such a let down.

Juicing I've wanted to do for over a year now, kicking my backside into gear, I got the Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer - Aluminium and within the box this book is included Juice Master Keeping It Simple: Over 100 Delicious Juices and Smoothies which of course makes a good read.

Deciding to break myself into the juicing routine I embarked on the 3 day detox, I only gave myself about two days to mentally prepare and I'm not sure if you can ever fully prepare for a detox. Each morning is started off with hot water and a slice of lemon/lime.

Day One: Starting on Friday because I thought, I could hibernate and moan throughout the weekend. I awoke craving my morning sugar and my mentality obviously wasn't strong because I didn't want to budge to start the day. I was working outside most the morning and early afternoon, I started to feel like a headache was coming on, I didn't want to use no medication especially if I'm detoxing just didn't seem plausible. I wasn't keen on the morning - lunch juice AT ALL, tasted like I was sipping on pepper. I dragged out my lunch until I had to juice later. By now my mood was extremely snappy, I stopped taking messages. Oh did I mention, my period also decided to start (TMI) I know but whatevs, the bloating, double hormonal imbalance, yeah it's all visible. I felt quite light headed and weak and the hunger pangs lingered until I fell asleep. Miserable.

Day Two: Upon waking up, I didn't feel hungry until I started to move about to go and make the water & lemon, I wanted to see that with a day of detoxing what was the change with my body, yeah too soon, I've only just started, call it impatience. My body fat was 37.7% and went down to 37.5% and I gained 1lb, yet I felt lighter within myself. After that I just needed something, I felt cold - I buckled and ended up having porridge. Straight away I felt bad but gosh did it feel good just to have something warmer in the stomach. I continued with my juicing for the day, that slight headache feeling was still lingering around, like it wanted to become a headache but just didn't. I tried to keep active most the day, which I guess I wasn't much, the energy still felt low. Whenever I got that empty feeling, I had some water or herbal tea and made an additional smoothie. Before going to bed I didn't feel as hungry as I did the night before.

Day Three: I felt human today, didn't feel that hungry in the morning. My body must be getting use to this detox. Of course my fat ass bounced on the scales again, 37.7% body fat and I lost 3lbs. Safe to say my mind was boggled about the up & down feat but just to know there's been some change made me want to stick at it more. Carried on my day and even though I had that not quite 'full' feeling, it always felt like there was something more to fill up the stomach.

Total Loss: 5lbs
Body Fat: 37.8% - that went up from 37.7%

I would say for me, I'm carrying on with juicing maybe not full on days of juicing like these, that wouldn't be wise but incorporating it in-between meals, is a definite.

Would I do more detoxes? Yes I would. It's definitely more of a mental preparation and I hope to do more in 2014. You have to remind yourself, nobody is forcing you to do this, it's has been YOUR choice. Now I honestly know how much is on hand mentally, I'd be more prepared that way as it's more than just having the right materials. They cannot push you and if your mentally not ready, I feel that's where you can falter more.

Being that I am a vegetarian you'd think my diet is a lot more clean but how I've been eating home-made chips & cheese like it was going out of fashion. Eeeek!

Time for exercise, when I did do any sort of exercise was on day 3, I did a yoga workout which helped me more clear my mind. I find meditation is a long-term practice. Trying not to focus on anything but the task on hand. Plus the support of family & friends makes all the difference, as soon as someone is negative - brush them away. You don't want those vibes around or doubts put into your mind.

Waking up on the 4th day I feel really good, I could even possibly continue today, I've got my hot water & lemon as I type this.

Remember you never have to weight until January 1st to start anything. Each day we are given is a day to start with a goal.

*affiliate links

Jason Vale 3 Day Detox

I adore my baths, I can spend non advisable amount of hours in the water the only issue is I always need to use bath salts for a few reasons, I love the way the salt can soften up the water which is needed in hard water areas like mine. The benefits of sea salt baths help to hydrate the skin, increase moisture retention, stimulates circulation, detoxifies the skin promotes cellular regeneration. Also it helps to heal scaling, irritated and dry skin. If you have issues with muscles / joints sea salt baths also help to reduce inflammation, relax and relives pain & soreness. All these products above contain sea salt, yes even the shower gel & moisturiser.

These salts and bath sets come in different "flavours" so to say, as you can see I have the Tangerine care set but the bath sets that contain 3 x 400g of different salts which is honey, almond & apple. Also inside you get a sachet of the salt flavour/scent oil. They do have different sets, think it would be great if you could choose your own 3 to have.

I thought I'd find that the salts would be overwhelmed with a citrus sensation but there's not much of a smell to them, the moisturiser is thick & creamy has a faint tangerine smell but nothing that you could really detect if you didn't know to be honest. You don't want to use a lot of this moisturiser because the skin can feel sticky as it takes more time to absorb but use a little it absorbs a lot better. Honestly I'm not sure if I'd use this again. The shower gel gets a good enough foaming but due to the fact it does contain SLS - I didn't use this much only because I've noticed that my skin doesn't take well to SLS products, feels more dried out.

I will definitely continue to use the salts in rotation, they come from a online website called Nu3* which is based in Berlin, spend over €49 and there's free shipping or a standard charge of €5.90

Do you use bath salts? I'd love to hear recommendations if you do - 
Or maybe these take your fancy?

DermaSel SPA Dead Sea Pampering Bath Set £8.29 {similar}
DermaSel SPA Tangerine Body Care Set £15.29

DermaSel Spa Bath Salts

World Duty Free & Dolce Vanity last collaborated during the Summer, this time it's for the festive period. I had a lovely delivery of wrapped up presents from them, they were so beautifully wrapped I didn't want to tear open the paper, gently or excitedly.

Once I did I was gifted* with brands such as OPI, Clarins, L'Occtaine, Twinings & a mini Bottega Gold Wine.

Clarin's Travellers Exclusive Set, this is a great thing for someone to grab at this time of year and before travelling, I don't know about you but my oil has dried up and where I'm oily, I'm normal and where I'm normal, I'm dry. This set is for normal - dry skin. You get 6 items within this zip locked bag:
Moisture-Rich Body Lotion with Shea Butter (dry skin) 30ml
HydraQuench Cream (normal - dry) 30ml
One-Step Facial Cleanser with Orange extract 100ml
Eye Contour Gel 3ml
Beauty Flash Balm 15ml
Hand and Nail Treatment Cream 50ml

L'Occitaine Traveller's Hand Cream Collection, within this tin you get four of the best hand creams the brand has to offer. I personally used the shea butter hand cream for quite a while last year. The four different hand creams you get are:
Shea Butter Hand Cream (dry skin) 30ml
Velvet Hand Cream Rose 4 Reines 30ml
Cooling Hand Cream Gel 30ml
Cherry Bloosom Hand Cream 30ml

OPI Passport to Color contains 6 mini OPI shades 3.75ml and a few I've been wanting to try for a while, I will definitely have some swatches up later of this package - it's only little spotlight post. The shades are:
Passion / Tickle My France'y, Charged Up Cherry, Cajun Shrimp, Malaga Wine, Lincoln Park After Dark

Twinings Christmas Thanks Black Tea, this is loose tea and as soon as you open the tin, you get this infused Christmas flavoured scent. I've personally never brewed tea, I have teapots, so this will be different to try out. Bottega Gold Wine this 200ml bottle I think I will leave until Christmas and eat with my breakfast, comes in such a lovely gold bottle, I keep saying it's perfect for a straw or of course, be classy a nice glass.

These items are only available at specific airport locations, so if you're travelling this season. This can be a quickie guide for what you can get your hands on for gifts or just something for yourself during your flight/break.

World Duty Free Beauty at Christmas

It's always nice to have a scent that lingers on the skin all day, Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy* has been one of those scents for me. This limited edition parfum that's a Selfridges exclusive comes in a hot pink, bow decorated satin box with the traditional crown logo in gold on the front. I find the box alone makes this a gift. It is housed inside a box once opened with Juicy Couture written in gold in the top of the lid on a monochrome striped background. I never know whether to keep it inside this box or let it share a space with the rest of the the perfumes.

The bottle itself has a generous weight to it, a pure white enamel bottle with a gold logo plaque and a charm. What I think really catches the eye on this bottle after you get past the satin bow tied ribbon, is the clear, glass like topper. You can dress down the bottle or keep as is.

Being this is my first experience with the Juicy Couture brand, I have to say this is a flirtatious perfume I'm happy to wear, fruity & sweet, I've had compliments and the best part about it is less is more. Will last a lot longer that way. The scent really comes alive with a few sprays and stays lingering around. I normally sometimes spray a bit on an item of clothing but I spray behind my knees, especially when wearing a dress/skirt as the smell travels upwards.

A blend of some of my favourite notes are included such as mandarin, vanilla and sandalwood - automatically makes this a scent to have for any season.

Top Notes: Wild berries and juicy mandarin
Middle Notes: Honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine
Base Notes: Amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline

Is this something you'd love to see under your tree this Christmas?

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy Luxe Parfum Limited Edition

First being introduced to the company Crystal Spring last month through The Vegan Kind, they kindly supplied their crystal deodorant so when I was contacted asked if I would like to get more involved with the company, I thought why not as I've quite liked their deodorant, it's taken me a while to get use to as it's slightly different from what I'm used too but I've had no issues. I was sent their Great British Travel Gift Set*, containing 6 x 30ml products & a bamboo wash cloth.

I have never used a bamboo wash cloth but from researching it's an ideal cloth material to have, gently exfoliates, anti-bacterial and naturally absorbs a lot more and honestly has to be one of the softest cloths I have touched. It's baby soft, ideal for anyone.
Luxury Natural Shampoo & Conditioner. Free from parabens, alcohol, mineral oils, animal derived ingredients and SLS. The shampoo has an amazingly fresh scent, I can't stop smelling it as I'm typing this only because it's almost soothing and has a comforting effect. The conditioner has a different smell, not as pleasing for me at first but it does release a nice smell after a while. Wonder how great these are for curly hair like mine.

There's also a hand wash, hand lotion, shower gel & body lotion. What I've noticed through smelling these all the water based products have a similar smell and all the creams carry a similar smell(?) I hope it's not just my senses and this is the case. One of my favourites out the six is the hand lotion, it's moisturising without leaving an slip to my hands, absorbs nicely and let's me get on with whatever I was doing, I hate using some creams that just sit on my hands and I need to go wipe off the excess cream - slip'n'slide hands!

What do you think of this little travel gift set?

Crystal Spring Great British Travel Gift Set