Let your books do the talking!

As you have probably seen on my blog I am an avid reader. But when I’m busy with work I don’t always have time to sit down for a couple of hours and read a book. So in February I decided to sign up to Audible so that I could listen to books while I commute to work and also while I’m working.
Audiobooks by nature are pretty expensive, and you are normally looking at paying around £19.99 for a recent audiobook in the current book chart.
Audible offer a monthly subscription service where you pay £7.99 for one book a month. This may seem like not that much but many books can have a listening time of 45 hours while others are just 5 hours so it is worth having a look and trying to get a book that gives you value for money.
Also Audible often offers you the chance to buy 3 extra credits (that’s 3 books) for £18.00.
Audible is also owned by Amazon so you often find that if you have the Kindle book then Audible will offer you the Audiobook version for even cheaper.
I have signed up to www.bookbub.com and they send you emails everyday letting you know what books are either on offer or are free on the kindle store.
So I’ll get the book for free on kindle and then just buy the Audiobook for a couple of pounds – there are plenty of ways to get cheaper audiobooks, they also offer a 30 Day free trial too so you get your first book for free and only get charged for your second book after 30 days.
I am really enjoying listening to a variety of books while on the go and it helps the work day pass quicker. I wanted to let you know what I’ve been listening to for the last few months so here are my top picks…

 
The Bride of Casa Dracula – Book 3 of The Casa Dracula Series
Length: 8hrs 1min
Plot: Milagro de los Santos is marrying the man of her dreams – he just happens to be a vampire. As the plans for the wedding are coming together Milagro has to navigate various obstacles from an over zealous friend to the ancient vampire council – will she ever get to marry Oswald?
Thoughts: I have read the first two books on Kindle and really enjoyed them. I had this on kindle but decided to get the audio version and really enjoyed it. I would say this is supernatural chick-lit but is lighthearted and well written.
Rating: 7/10

 
Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper: Ellie Jordan Book 1
Length: 8hrs 19mins
Plot: Ellie Jordan is a paranormal exterminator, her job is to release earthbound spirits into the hereafter. She comes across an evil ghost and soon realizes maybe she has bitten off more than she can chew.
Thoughts: This is a great book for fans of the paranormal. I liked this book so much that I have already purchased the Audio Book for book 2.
Rating: 8/10
 

The Housewife Assassin’s Hand Book – Book 1.
Length: 5hrs 59mins
Plot: Donna stones husband is killed in cold blood hours after she has given birth.
Donna becomes an undercover (assassin) housewife hell bent on avenging her dead husband.
Plot: This book was so well written, I enjoyed the mix of comedic moments with tense situations. I will definitely be getting more books in this series.
Rating: 8/10
 

Rosecliff Manor Haunting – Addison Lockhart: Book 2
Length: 5hrs 1min
Plot: Addison is a paranormal investigator with a sixth sense. When she becomes haunted by dreams of Vivian & Grace, twin girls who met their demise nearly 40 years earlier, Addison becomes embroiled in the mysteries of Rosecliff Manor.
Addison comes face to face with something much darker than she could have ever expected, can she save the souls of the little girls?
Thoughts: I had read Book 1 in this series and loved it so I knew that there was a high chance I’d enjoy this too. I loved it. I will be getting more in this series in the near future.
Rating: 9/10
 

Single Woman Seeks Revenge – By Tracy Bloom
Length: 8hrs 36mins
Plot: Suzie is an Agony aunt for a magazine, when she is cruelly dumped by text.
She decides to tell the women who write to her exactly what they should be doing to those who treat them mean. Soon Suzie is on a mission to take her revenge against her old flames that have done her wrong. But will she get so caught up in revenge that she won’t see that true love has been right in front of her all along?
Thoughts: I loved this book. It’s a must for any fan of Bridget Jones.  A funny rollercoaster that leaves you with the warm fuzzies.
Rating: 9/10
 

My Not so perfect life – Sophie Kinsella
Length: 11hrs 58mins
Plot: Katie moves to London to become a highflying executive only to find that once she gets there London isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Working for Demeter the boss who has everything. Style, a high powered job, a loving family and the respect of her peers. Suddenly Katie is fired and she has to go back home, her tail between her legs. She begins working for her father on his Glamping venture. When Demeter comes to stay Katie disguises herself to get close to her, But is Demeter’s life really all that wonderful?
Thoughts: Written by the woman who brought us Confessions of a shopaholic this was everything I hoped it would be. Funny, cringe worthy and heart warming in equal measure. I couldn’t turn it off!
Rating: 10/10
 
I am loving listening to books I wouldn’t necessarily read, but are great for getting through the work week! I have downloaded a number of other audiobooks so I will do a Part two soon. What books are you currently reading?  Let me know!
 
The Secret Girly Girl
xxxx
 
 

Advertisements

A Long weekend away.

Hi Guys,

Last weekend my Boyfriend and I went to London for the weekend. Partly, for pleasure but mostly for Business. We were attending London Edge on Sunday so we figured we would make the most of it.

London Edge is a trade Fair for Alternative, Gothic & Vintage fashion. It’s a chance for us to see new product releases from our existing suppliers and also to discover new brands.

We traveled down to London on Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Regents Park. We were upgraded to an Executive room for free, which was nice.

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but at home we don’t have a bath we just have a shower/wet room, so when we go away I always make the most of having a room with a bath. Before we left for London I made sure that I had stocked up on Lush Bath products and the first thing I did when we got to the hotel was run a bath.

Friday evening my Boyfriend had made plans for us for date night but didn’t tell me what they were until we got to the venue.

chris & i smiling

Every time we go to London we always try to catch a burlesque show or go to theatre and he had booked us tickets for a Burleque/variety show. It was hosted in the Rah Rah Rooms which is a Drag/Cabaret venue. There was a Burlesque troupe called the ‘It Girls’ that performed with the fantastic singer/burlesque performer Tempest Rose.

it girls blk 1

tempest sing 2

The variety show also had a comedian, a magician, a contortionist, a fire eater and an acrobatic performance on silks. It was such a fun show and we had fantastic seats, the cocktails were good too!

fire2

After the show we went to the ‘Angus Steakhouse’ for dinner. Unfortunately the meal wasn’t great. My steak was undercooked, the mash potato tasted awful and while we were there the waiters somehow managed to drop two lots of orders on the floor. The service was really slow too and they gave us the wrong bill at the end of it all.

Saturday was a nice relaxing day, we went for dinner at ‘Steak & Lobster” on Warren Street and had the most delicious steak & Ale pie – it was so good.

We then went to the ‘Grant Museum of Zoology’ at UCL. It was so interesting. They had lots of jars full of animal species and cabinets full of skeletons. They had an elephant skull that was huge, and a bell jar containing an Elephants heart that was bigger than a beach ball.

elephant

ellie heart

Cat SkeletonCow faceskulls

If you are looking for something interesting to do in London then I recommend coming for a look around, it’s free admission but you can give donations. You an also sponsor the exhibits.

After the Museum, I went to Space.NK to pick up some of the Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel and I really wanted to pick up the Becca Champagne pop but they were sold out so I purchased the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is shade Euphoric, which is a really nice highlighter.

We then went back to the hotel to relax for a little while and I had another bath (with more Lush Goodies). We went out for dinner to Fat Lorenzo’s Kitchen & Bar for a nice Italian Meal.

Sunday was super busy. We went for Breakfast at the Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street. The food here is amazing and I highly recommend the French toast with a side of Bacon. I would say it’s best to book in advance as it does get really busy (we were unable to get in at all on Saturday morning).

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Olympia for the London Edge show. It was nice to chat to our suppliers face to face and we placed a few orders with new suppliers, which was exciting.

After London Edge we stopped off at the Ace Café, which is a biker café. My other half has always wanted to visit, as it is well known in the biker community (my other half rides a Harley). The ace café do the best toast by the way, it was so good.

When we left the café we drove up to Birmingham for the Spring Fair (another trade show) at the NEC. We spent Monday and Tuesday at the spring fair placing orders and finding new brands. It was very tiring but lots of fun. Come Tuesday afternoon, I was so happy to be heading home. We had lots of fun in London and Birmingham so I wanted to share it with you.

I hope you enjoyed it.

The Secret Girly Girl

xxxxx

Skincare – An Update.

So it’s 2016! My Facebook feed is full of people posting with a ‘New Year, New Me’ attitude. I personally can’t be assed with that. I don’t want to lose weight, I may be chunky but I like that. I work hard to make my little business succeed and grow. I have a loving partner and family and I’m not trying to be an obnoxious git, but I’m perfectly happy with my life right now.

But this year I turn 34! Not quite mid-thirties but pretty much as close as you can get! So I know that I’m at the point in my life where I’m losing collagen in my skin. My skin is starting to age and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to fight it every step of the way!

I know eventually I’m going to end up with wrinkles and sagging skin, that is inevitable, but I would like to try and maintain good skin for as long as I can.

So I’ve decided to take a really good look at my skincare routine.

The main ingredients that my routine was severely lacking in are acids.

Firstly, Glycolic Acid – This is a compound that chemically exfoliates the skin (I’m too sensitive for harsh scrubs, my skin deserves better) it is also a great ingredient for treating fine lines and acne and is often used on skin that is dull. I have extremely oily skin and Glycolic acid helps treat that too (trust me it’s like magic).

The Second Is Hyaluronic Acid this is a compound that has the ability to retain water so is great for hydrating the skin. It is often found in anti-ageing products as it temporarily plumps fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps maintain a healthy skin barrier for those with Acne.

After much research on the web I thought I would try three new products:

 

The first items are the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads.

img_9073

They cost me £22.00 from Look Fantastic and these contain Lactic and Glycolic acid and are an ‘Acid Toner’ which means they are used to chemically exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells. They are said to make your skin radiant. I’ve only used them for 24 hours so I cant really give them a full review just yet. I heard that they can sometimes give you a little sting when you first apply them but I didn’t get that, but then I don’t suffer from acne and I didn’t have any blemishes.

The Second Item was the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum.

img_9080

Jesus that’s a mouthful! I was lucky that Boots currently have a 3for2 on their skin care so I picked up two of these. I opted for this serum because as I mentioned I have oily skin, and being a water-based serum this won’t put any more oil onto my skin. This serum also contains Hyaluronic acid so is highly moisturizing and is so light-weight that it seems to just absorb into my skin really easily. It usually costs £24.99 a bottle but it is on 3for2 at the moment.

The last Product I bought was the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly by Indeed Labs.

img_9079

I was reading a post on Caroline Hirons Blog where she suggested the Hydraluron serum as it contains Hyaluronic acid and is really hydrating to the skin. Once in boots though, I opted for the Moisture Jelly as this is more like a moisturiser but with the added benefits of Hyaluronic acid. I’ve decided not to add this into my routine just yet as I want to ease myself in gently with the acids and I have moisturisers that I need to use up first.This cost £24.99

It has only been 24 hours so I’m not going to write a full review until I’ve seen the results of incorporating these new products into my routine for a few weeks.

Already I have noticed that my skin isn’t nearly as oily as it usually is so we will see if this is a permanent effect of these products or not.

I just wanted to let you ladies know what I’ve learnt and let you know what items I went for.

Have you got a new skincare routine? What new products have you bought?

Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl

xxxx

Beauty Trends Spring/Summer 2016

Hi There,

With Christmas behind us it’s time to look forward to Spring/Summer beauty trends and there were plenty of fun looks on the S/S16 catwalks. Here are the most coveted looks and the products I use to achieve them…..

Feeling Blue

118870-41235825_2139719514_n

Blue/Turquoise Statement eyes were all over the catwalks for spring/summer. Wear as a bold block of colour on the lid or simply line your peepers with a subtle smudge of Navy Kohl instead of Black. My favourite products are as Follows:

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Cleopatra – £22.00

This is a fantastic Deep Green/Turquoise cream Eyeshadow. This little pot will last you a long while as just the tiniest amount goes a long way!

Charlotte Tilbury

Bellápierre Eyeshadow in Starry Night – £9.74

Available from Amazon this shimmery dark Blue powder is perfect for taking that party look to the next level. As this is a mineral powder it is highly pigmented you only need the tiniest amount.

Bellapierre starry night eyeshadow

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in LSD £15.50

This Eye pencil is fantastic for giving a sparkle to your look. This is a navy pencil with a bold Blue glitter running through it. It’s subtle but gives your eyes that perfect party pop.

LSD

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Sabbath £15.50

Perfect for when subtlety is key. A deep navy eyeliner with a matte finish. This is a great eyeliner for smudging out into a smoky eye.

Sabbath

Black Graphics

imgres

Spring/Summer sees the return of grunge inspired eye looks. Bold graphic eyeliner was extremely popular or for a subtle look simply tightline your waterline. Smudging your liner is a must this season too. Any black eyeliner is great for this look

 

Bat those lashes

tumblr_nwot7vEeDd1qmyebso1_1280

60’s style lashes are in this season. Think less feather-like and more spidery when it comes to your lashes. For those of you wishing to stand out from the crowd go super clumpy and be a real show stopper! Get the look with these mascaras:

Maybelline Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying mascara – £ 7.99

I love this mascara, it’s a real drugstore steal. It builds thickness and lengthens your lashes. Add several layers to get that thick spidery lash effect.

lash sensational

MAC False Lashes Extreme Black – £19.00

This Mascara is my everything right now! It builds volume and lengthens your lashes and just makes them 100% perfect So much so that people have asked if I’m wearing falsies when all I had on was this. I highly recommend this mascara to everyone.

 

Rimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme Black Mascara – £6.99

Again this is a great drugstore mascara and gives your lashes a great curl. Great for giving your lashes a dramatic day-time look.

Scanadaleyes mascara

Going for Gold

imgres-1 images-2

Metallics are not just for the festive season and were well and truly rocked on the s/s catwalk. From bold Golden lips to subtle washes of metallic colour on the eyelids, make it as daring or as demure as you like! These are the products that are set to make you sparkle…..

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow stick by Kate in shade 100 Rose Gold £4.49

This is great for adding a touch of glamour on the run. As it’s a stick it’s easy to apply and can simply be smudged out with your fingers for a day-time look or layer for the Wow factor.

rimmel kate shadow stick

Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in 05 Eternal Gold – £4.99

This cream Eyeshadow is super intensely pigmented and will give a really high dose of colour to your lids. Great for a nighttime look.

colour tattoo

 L’Oreal Paris colour Riche Mono Eyeshadow – £5.49

This is a really great versatile colour. It can be used for a subtle day look or layered to create a glitzy golden eye. Fantastic value for money.

L'oreal gold

Perfect Pout

OscardelaRentaSS16

The classic red lip is everything this spring/summer especially in a matte finish. For a day-time look simply pat on the lips with your finger to give yourself a subtle hue. These are my favourite Matte Red’s perfect for spring…….

Maybelline 14hr Superstay Lipstick in 540 Ravishing Rouge – £6.99

This is a really nice matte red lipstick. It wont break the bank and gives a nice subtle wash of colour.

Maybelline 14hr lipstick

 NYX Soft Matte lip cream in Amsterdam – £5.50

This is a beautiful Corally Red. It does take a little while for it to mattify on the lips but when it does, it pretty much stays putt. Really highly pigmented and a beautiful bright red which can take you from the office to cocktails.

NYX amsterdam

NYX Matte Lipstick in Eden – £5.50

This is a lovely Blue based Red. It feels really nice on the lips and isn’t drying. It’s also cheap as chips so what more could you want?

Nyx matte lipstick

MAC Lady Danger – £15.00

A stunning Orange based red this is a show stopper. Beautifuuly bright and unapologetic it’s definitely for someone who likes to be noticed.

Lady Danger

Beautiful Blackberry

imgres

Forget peachy pink girly tones this spring and think dark, daring and edgy. The Berry lip trend is still going strong this season with Burberry going for ‘the darker the better’ approach, while Anna Sui went for a beautifully feminine red berry shade.

Sleek Makeup Eau La La – Shade Venom £4.99

I adore this lip pencil. It can be used on it’s own as an all over lip colour but I tend to use this every time I apply a berry lip. It’s so versatile and the formula is wonderfully creamy. Highly recommended.

eau la la

NYX Soft Matte lip cream in Transylvania £5.50

I love a nice dark berry lip and this is one of my favs. I am a huge fan of anything horror/gothic so the name of this product is just perfect. A nice dark plum colour.

NYX transylvania

NARS Velvet Matte Crayon in Damned £18.00

This is a nice subtle berry shade. It’s more pink than purple which makes it a fantastic daytime berry shade.

Nars lip pencil

Urban Decay Matte Lipstick in Blackmail £15.00

I adore this lipstick. It’s the deepest shade of Berry that I own and I love it. I tend to wear it on special occasions where I’m attending a gothic event or want to unleash my inner goth chick. A stunning colour!

urban decay blackmail

Inner Glow

7d490286d4bdc99be11cf585089f56a6

The phrase being banded around this season is ‘Gym Skin’. So forget those thick full coverage foundations and allow your natural glowing skin to shine through with a BB or CC cream.

It is all about illumination and making the best of your skins natural features. Freckles are also huge this season. Don’t have freckles? Simply add some using a brow/eyeliner pencil but don’t get too carried away they need to look natural.

Clarins Instant Light radiance boosting complexion base in 01 rose £26.50

I have wrote about this before, this product looks like your skin is lit from within. It gives your skin a beautiful rosy pink highlight and smells absolutely delicious.

Max Factor CC Instant Complexion Enhancer in 50 Natural £9.99

I wore this a lot last summer. A light to medium coverage this is definitely a your skin but better product. I wore this over my Clinique Super City block for high SPF coverage with a subtle amount of colour. I love it.

MAC BB CREAM

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 £25.00

I really liked this last year so I’m bringing it back again. It counteracted my redness really well without looking cakey. It is quite a greasy formula so I would recommend setting it with a powder. But a great product to carry in your hand bag.

So they are all the trends to get you through Spring/Summer 2016! Which trends will you be rocking? What are your favourites? Let me know!

 

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl xxxx