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Beauty Haul | A Few New Bits From Lush

  • Monday, 27 February 2017


Like most beauty enthusiasts, I love a good Lush product. I think that they always have fantastic products on offer and agree with a lot of what they stand for as a company. All of Lush’s new releases are forever on point and are created with all natural and plant based ingredients, which makes a lot of it vegan friendly. 

I recently when into a Lush store to pick up a few of my beauty staples and left with a few more products, including a couple of new releases. 


Old Favourites

When I took my trip to Lush, I had a few products in mind that I wanted to pick up, one of which was the Cup O’ Coffee Face & Body Mask. I have written about this a number of time here on Madolyn Thinks and you can read a full review of this product here. It is a lovely, exfoliating facemask that I love to use once or twice a week that leaves my skin feeling really soft and fresh. 

Another Lush staple of mine that was on my shopping list is the No Drought Dry Shampoo. Again, you can read a full review of this product here, but I love this dry shampoo, as it is so easy to control when applying to my hair and it is really quick to rub in. As I only wash my hair twice a week, I love to use this product as it provides a fresh, sweet scent to my hair and it is great at mattifying my roots. 


Some New Products To Try 

Whilst I was in Lush I was tempted by lots of new products that they had to offer. One product that I have wanted to try for a while is the Miles of Smiles toothpaste tablets. These look so cool and I can’t wait to try them. The idea is that you take one tablet, chew it and brush your teeth with it. I think that this will be a great product to take away with me whilst I travel and I am really looking forward to giving it a go.  


I also picked up the Scrubee Moisturising Exfoliator Bar. This is made of cocoa butter with strips of ground almond and coconut shell to act as a moisturising, exfoliator bar. This is another product that I thought would be great for travel as it is a two in one product that looks really easy and lovely to use. The Final purchase I made was the Ladybird Bubble Bar. This smells truly amazing and I can’t wait to use this product over the next few weeks to add something a little special to my baths. 


What have you picked up from Lush lately? 
Have you tried any of these Lush products?

Madolyn
xxx

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Monthly Favourites | February 2017

  • Sunday, 26 February 2017


I can’t believe that February is drawing to close and we will soon be heading into the month of March, madness! Although, I must admit, I am really looking forward to pancake day on Tuesday, give me all of the lemon and sugar! 

I have had a sit down and thought about my favourite bits and bobs that I have loved over the past few weeks. Below I have divided my favourites in to beauty and lifestyle categories, and there is also a favourites video over on my YouTube channel.


Beauty

One of my February beauty favourites is Essie’s nail varnish in Cocktail Bling. This is a lovely soft, cool, lavender grey that can be worn both during the day and in the evening with a number of different outfits. I think that it is great for this transitional time of year, whilst we’re in between seasons. I have also loved using the Sunday Shampoo by Bumble and Bumble. I have been using this once a week to give my hair a deep clean and really get rid a week’s worth of product build up. It has become an absolute staple in my hair care routine. 

My final February beauty favourite is the Moroccan Rose Shea Butter Body Cream from Dr Botanicals. I have written a full review of this product earlier in the week, but it is a beautiful body cream that feels really rich and luxurious yet soaks into my skin like a dream. Be sure to use my discount code MADOLYNBLOG for 20% off the entire Moroccan Rose range. 


Lifestyle

Moving on to my February lifestyle favourites, my new Coconut Lane Blog, Insta, Coffee, Repeat white slog jumper has been an absolute lounge wear staple over the past few weeks. You can see what else I picked up from Coconut Lane in my recent Haul post and YouTube video. It is so soft, oversized and really comfy to wear. 


Another lifestyle monthly favourite isn’t a specific product but the act of reading. I love to read and really get my Hygge on with candles, blankets, a big mug of coffee and a lovely book. I have been actively putting time to one side that is just for me to read and enjoy doing something that I love and it has been incredible. 

My final February Favourite is the Beverly Hills Perfect White, Black toothpaste. This is lovely toothpaste that I have been using over the last few weeks that has the key ingredient of charcoal. Once activated, the charcoal gets rid of the bacteria that causes bad breath and helps to whiten teeth without harming any enamel. I have noticed a difference whilst using it and my teeth feel a lot brighter and whiter. 

What have been your February beauty and lifestyle favourites?

Madolyn
xxx

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Twelve Cities In Twelve Months | Sheffield

  • Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Carrying on with my Twelve Cities in Twelve Months series, today’s post is all about my recent trip to Sheffield City Centre, a Northern city that I was yet to explore before last weekend. 

As you may already know, if you read my January Twelve Cities in Twelve Months blog post, I have decided to set myself the goal of visiting twelve different cities throughout 2017. I love to travel and explore new places and so I felt this was a reasonable goal to achieve within a year, which will feed my travel cravings and allow me to explore and try new things. 




Last weekend, James, my brother and I hopped in the car and decided to have a day exploring Sheffield City Centre. I find it odd that I have never visited this city before, especially considering that it is just over an hour’s drive away from my front door. We didn’t have an agenda, nor indeed any plans for the day, which was a lovely way to explore the city as we just walked where we pleased and stopped as and when we fancied it. 

I didn’t have any pre-conceptions of the city, however I would describe it as more industrial that York, but with less going on than in Leeds. We enjoyed walking around the high streets and venturing off to little side streets that played host to some lovely independent coffee shops and thrift stores.


We stopped at a cute little coffee house that served the prettiest lattes and James’ gluten free salted caramel brownie was incredible. The décor was very on trend with bags of filter coffee acting as table numbers and little cacti sitting on the tables, each made of rustic, refurbished wood that gave off an air of relaxed sophistication. 




We had a wonder around a few of the shops and I spent a small fortune in Lush which I blame on the fact that it is a larger store with a bigger range of products than what we have in York. Be sure to expect a Lush haul soon! Sheffield had a huge range of thrift stores, which were fun to look around and mooch about in. We veered a little off track on our quest to find Primark and stumbled upon a huge indoor market that sold everything from fresh meat and fish to clothes, trinkets and fabrics.  



On our way back to the car we came across a beautiful building we discovered to be the Sheffield City Hall. After a few photographs and a walk through the fountains we ventured back through the streets to the car park and drove back to York. Although a short visit, I feel as though I have had a well-rounded impression of the City of Sheffield and I am glad that I am able to tick it off my list of places to see. 


Madolyn
xxx

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Brand Focus | Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose & Shea Butter Body Repairing Cream

  • Monday, 20 February 2017


As a lover of all things beauty, I love trying out new products and discovering new brands. There are so many available with some fantastic products on offer and I think that it is important to branch out and try things that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick up in our local beauty stores. 

I have recently been introduced to the brand of Dr Botanicals and their amazing Moroccan Rose body range. Dr Botanicals pride themselves on creating products that are one hundred per cent natural, vegan and completely paraben free.  

The Moroccan Rose & Shea Butter Body Repairing Cream has become a bit of a go-to product of mine over the last few weeks. It featured in my, A Few New Products & First Impressions blog post a few weeks ago, and I have been using it regularly ever since. 


It is a beautiful body cream that is made up of a number of essential oils, each designed to provide hydration and nourishment. I am not usually a fan of floral scents, however this soft, velvet smooth body cream has only a very subtle underlying scent of roses that isn’t at all overpowering. 

I have enjoyed applying this product after a hot bath or shower and find that it soaks into the skin very quickly, providing instant hydration. It doesn’t feel sticky on the skin and I love that I can get dressed or pop on my PJs pretty much as soon as it has been applied, without feeling as though I have to wait for it to soak in. 

Dr Botanicals have a whole range of Moroccan Rose products including a Facial Oil, a Bath Oil and a Concentrated Body Oil, which are all currently on offer over on their website. They have also kindly provided a discount code for all of my readers to receive an extra 20% off this range, simply enter MADOLYNBLOG when you get to the checkout. Be sure to act quick though, this offer is only valid until the end of February. 


Madolyn
xxx

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Visiting Sheffield | Coffee, Shopping & Lots of Walking

  • Sunday, 19 February 2017


Sheffield is a city that is fairly close to my hometown of York, in the north of the UK, yet I have never been to explore the main city before. A few of my friends went to University there and although they said it was worth a visit, I never did. 

My brother has been staying with James and I over the past few days so we thought that we would all hop in the car and take a trip over to Sheffield. As none of us had been before, there wasn’t a great deal of expectation, nor did we have much of a plan. 

We parked up and wondered through the main strip, stopping whenever and wherever we fancied. Although a little windy, we had some glorious sunshine which made exploring a new city very enjoyable. 


Sheffield will be my City Focus for February, the second installment of a new series on Madolyn Thinks so I won’t go into too much detail about the city just now. Be sure to have a read of January’s City Focus, which was Leeds City Centre.

If you want to see what we got up to, there is a new Vlog live on my channel, which you can watch down below. 


Madolyn
xxx

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Beauty Products To Transform Dull & Tired Looking Skin

  • Friday, 17 February 2017



It seems as though this time of year can really play havoc with my skin. Not only is it exposed to the elements outside, what with constant wind, rain and general greyness, but once inside the central heating in on full whack and it seems as though my skin takes the brunt of it. As a result, my skin can become very dull, dry and prone to breakouts, due to the constant flux in temperature. There are a couple of skincare and makeup products that I like to use when this happens however, that help to transform my dull and tired looking skin. 


Skincare

I find that using the right sort of skincare can really effective the texture and appearance of my skin. Around this time of year, I feel as though my skin is desperate for any amount of hydration. For this reason, I tend to pick quite nourishing and moisturising, oil based products to transform dull and tired looking skin. 

A favourite of mine is the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I have used this about once or twice a week for the past year as I find that it is really hydrating on the skin. As it is oil based, I don’t want to unbalance the natural oils in my skin by using it too often. However, because of the colder weather I find that I need a little extra moisture and so I have increased my usage to three or four times a week of late. I have also been using the Oskia Renaissance Face Mask which has the same benefits as the cleanser but in mask form. I love to use this about once a week on an evening for a bit more radiance. After which, I love to apply the Three Organics Control Me Facial Oil, which I feel provides instant hydration and I wake up feeling as though my skin is more plump and ultra-soft. 


Makeup

As well as skincare, there are a few makeup bits and pieces that I find, work really well at transforming dull and tired looking skin to create a dewy and radiant completion. If I want my skin to feel and look particularly dewy, I love to apply the Too Faced Hangover Primer before my base product, as I find that it adds an extra dose of hydration that keeps my makeup in check throughout the day. I find that my face can look quite tired a dull especially under my eyes and I have found that the Clarins Instant Concealer is perfect for hiding dark circles and really brightening up the under eye area. I also find that highlighters are a really great product to use to create a dewy and glowing completion and I really enjoy using the Seventeen Wow Three Way Highlighter. With it being a liquid I find that it takes away the dull and tried appearance of my skin. 


Madolyn
xxx

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Bloggers Spotlight | An Interview With Heather From 100 Ways To 30

  • Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I am so excited to share February’s segment of the Bloggers Spotlight series. This month is an interview with Heather from 100 Ways To 30. I first met Heather the summer before last at a blogging event we both attended in London. We have stayed in touch and attended a few more events together over the last year and a half which has been lovely. Be sure to keep reading to find out more about Heather and her brilliant fashion and lifestyle blog. 


Introduce us to 100 Ways to 30 - what can we expect to find there?

100  Ways to 30 is a fashion and lifestyle blog. You will find outfit posts, showcasing my personal style and a few of my fashion favourites. A health section, which includes advice on mental health and tips on how to maintain a healthy and positive wellbeing. I also have a lot of fun list posts, mainly on my tragic ability to catch and hold onto a man, but also on more trivial topics such as the lack of diversity in the blogosphere and the future of blogging. 100 ways to30 is a little bit of everything and there is something for everyone on there. 

How would you describe your personal style?

I always have described myself as androgynous, classic and a little bit preppy. I like to take men’s clothing and style it in a feminine way and if I can throw a bit of plaid into the mix then even better. For me my personal style is mainly driven by what I feel expresses who I am the most and is a chance to showcase who I am to the world in a more visual way.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not blogging?

I adore writing and on the very rare occasion when I am not working or blogging (which feels like all the time these days) I like to spend my spare time writing short stories or continue writing my novel. As well as writing I also love to curl up on the sofa and get lost in a good romance or fantasy novel.


Do you have any advice you would give to aspiring bloggers?

Be yourself. The blogging world is full of so many of the same bloggers doing the same things. Don’t feel like you have to do all the things that the “bigger” bloggers are doing, to make your following grow larger. What worked for them, may not necessarily work for you, so it’s important to just do what you feel comfortable with and enjoy it while you’re doing it.
Do you and be yourself!

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

I mainly take my style inspiration from movies and theatre costumes, particularly from previous decades. I am a big fan of 80’s & 90’s fashion and always get inspiration for outfits when I watch movies from these decades. 

Follow Heather over on Twitter and Instagram

Madolyn
xxx

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If you would like to get involved with the Bloggers Spotlight series get in touch and send me an email at madolynblackburn@gmail.com

Valentine GRWM | Beauty Prep & Cocktails

  • Sunday, 12 February 2017


Valentine’s Day is a funny time of year, it seems as though people either love it or hate it. I feel as though it is a holiday for couples that are starting a new relationship or for those who are currently dating because it has that very love-y-Dove-y vibe about it. I have been with my boyfriend now for over eight years (I’m still not quite sure where that time has gone) and even though we’re in our mid-twenties, it isn’t an occasion that we dwell too much on. I guess we just don’t feel the need to have one day in particular to celebrate being together, but that’s just me and I know a lot of other people will think differently on the matter.

That being said, I love perusing the shops at this time of the year because a lot of brands bring out some amazing limited edition Valentine’s Day products. In this post I wanted to show some Valentine’s Day preparation that can be applied no matter your plans on the day of love. So if you’re heading out on a romantic dinner, having the girls over for a takeaway or enjoying an evening in watching Harry Potter and eating chocolates, these beauty prep tips are to ensure that you get the ultimate pamper and feel good feeling. 


Beauty Prep

Regardless of what your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, I love to put some time to one side, by myself and have a little beauty preparation. I think it is important to have little pamper sessions all year round, but why not apply a little extra self love on Valentine’s Day itself. 


For me, the ultimate pamper and beauty prep is a bath filled with lots of lotions and potions, most likely from lush, candles, facemasks and a good book. I love the Tisty Tosty bath bomb from Lush that has a very floral scent with rose and lemon, and actually contains seven real rosebuds in every product. Although this isn’t a part of Lush’s Valentine range, it is supposedly based on a medieval love potion and the jasmine scent and rose oil work perfectly together.


Once out of the bath, I like to freshen up completely before getting ready and I have loved using the Beverly Hills Formula, Perfect White Black Toothpaste* in Fresh Mint and the complimenting Mouthwash*. Both contain activated charcoal, that not only eradicates the bacteria that causes bad breath, but also helps to remove tannins which is the stain caused by tea and coffee, without harming any enamel on the teeth. This is an ideal oral combination for me as I drink a lot of tea and coffee and so I want minimal staining wear possible. It really leaves my mouth feeling ultra fresh, very clean and ready to get on with the rest of the day.


Makeup

As always, I like to mirror my make up for any occasion and Valentine’s day is no exception (and let’s be honest, this is only for myself, I’m pretty sure most guys aren’t really paying attention to see if our eye shadow colour co-ordinates with the festivities…!) My base products will most likely stay the same but I like to play around a little more when it comes to my eye make up, as I feel as though this is my focus when applying a face of makeup. 


I love using the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour for some added drama and definition. I think that the shades Aubergine and Rosegold work really well together with the deep purple is offset by the light golden shimmer. For some extra definition and sparkle I love applying the Barry M dazzle Dust in the shade 39 which is a soft copper with a golden base and plenty of shimmer. Just incase there isn’t enough shimmer on my eye area, the Seventeen WOW Glow and Prime 3 Way Highlighter is a beautiful finishing product to apply to the cheek and brow bones to provide a very luminous glow. 


Cocktails 

Once I’m all prepped and ready, I think it’s nice to start any Valentine’s Day plans with something a little fancy, like cocktails. Again, no matter what your plans are, whether you’re heading out for dinner, making something at home, having the girls over or just spending the evening by yourself, indulge in something you wouldn’t normally and have a little treat. 

I love these flavoured syrups by Monin because they are so versatile and can transform a pretty dull mixer into a tropical cocktail. I love the Grenadine* flavour which is a pretty red, perfect for Valentine’s Day, which has an almost sweet and sour taste to it. A lot of cocktail classics use this flavouring and it works perfectly in alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks.   

There is lots of inspiration and different ideas on the Monin website, but a few of my favourites are;

Queen of Hearts cocktail:
Take 20ml MONIN Grenadine syrup, 20ml MONIN Vanilla syrup, 40ml of light rum and 60ml orange juice. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker (if you don’t have one, a thermos flask or anything with a tight lid) filled with ice cubes, shake well, and strain the liquid into a cocktail glass. For extra flavour, garnish with a strawberry or, for maximum romance, serve with a red rose on the side.

10 ml Grenadine Syrup
Ingredients
20 ml cognac
30 ml orange juice
top sparkling wine
Method
Combine ingredients except soda / lemonade in a shaker filled with ice cubes.
Shake vigorously.
Pour into a glass.
Top with soda / lemonade.
Serve.
Glass
Wine Glass


Madolyn
xxx

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Simple Style | A Winter OOTD

  • Friday, 10 February 2017


I always find it difficult to know what to wear during this time of year. It feels freezing cold whist walking around outside, with the constant threat of rain and even snow over the last few days. Yet as soon as you step into any shop or café you instantly feel 100 degrees hotter and begin to strip off your layers like it’s nobody’s business! 


James and I had a lovely Saturday morning stroll in to York City Centre last weekend and treated ourselves to a lovely Breakfast at Betty’s Tearooms and had a mooch in and around some of our favourite shops. I decided that as we walked home past York Minster, it would be the ideal spot to take a few outfit pictures.



I opted for my classic Topshop, Camel Coat with my trusty Primark, tartan scarf for added warmth and bonus layering. I love this combination as everyone always seems to wear really dark colours around this time of year but I think it’s nice to wear something a little brighter. As I knew we would be going for a wonder I decided to wear my staple black skinny jeans from New Look with my Topshop Heeled Chelsea boots again for warmth, and a little extra height. 


It was a very simple outfit, but for me, this is my constant go-to type of outfit for this time of year. I love cosy, comfy and warm with a hint of practicality and a splash of personality. 


Madolyn
xxx

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A Few New Products & First Impressions

  • Monday, 6 February 2017


Although I have a lot of beauty favourites, I also love to try new products from different brands and new releases from brands that I already love. Recently, I seem to have tried a number of new beauty products so I thought I would compile them into a blog post and write about my first impressions. 


Oskia Face Mask

I have been a huge lover of the Oskia Renaissance Cleanser for the best part of a year and when I saw that they had brought out a facemask I knew it was going to be good. I picked this one up from Space NK in their Boxing Day sales so it had the added bonus of being half price! It has the same fresh, floral scent as the Renaissance Cleanser and is the same soft blush colour. The texture is quite a lot thicker with it being a facemask, but only a small amount is needed to cover the entire face. It is a brightening facemask that is brilliant for this time of year, as my skin can often feel fairly dull during the winter months. It is recommended to be used once or twice a week and I find it a really lovely and luxurious product to use during my weekend pamper routine. 

Lush Mask of Magnaminty

I have also recently picked up Lush’s Mask Of Magnaminty. I have already tried this product about this time last year, however since then the ingredients and make up of the product has changed slightly. This product is now one hundred per cent self-preserving, which means that it’s now made entirely of natural products. I find that this is a really good mask for keeping breakouts and impurities at bay and I have been using it a couple of times a week to exfoliate and eradicate blemishes. I find that it has the same benefits as the previous version but I now have the comfort of knowing that it is completely natural. 


Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo 

I have wanted to try the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo for ages, and finally treated myself to a bottle with my boots points a few weeks ago. The idea behind this shampoo is that it is used once a week to give your hair a deep clean to get rid of any build up of product used in between washes. I have only used it a few times as it is a once a week product, but my hair does feel exceptionally clean afterwards. It smells very much like a hair salon product, which is really fresh and cleansing. I have loved using this so far and think that it will now become a staple in my hair care routine. 

Lush Sleepy Body Lotion

This is another bargain product that I picked up in the Boxing Day sales. This was a part of Lush’s 2016 Christmas collection but the consistency and effects really remind me of their Charity Pot Lotion. This is a lovely product to apply just before bed as it has lavender as it’s key ingredient that not only soothes the skin but the scent is also really relaxing. It soaks into the skin really quickly providing instant hydration and minimal sticky-ness. 


Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Body Butter

The last new product that I have been trying out recently is this beautiful Moroccan Rose & Shea Butter Body Repairing Cream by Dr Botanicals. This is a brand new range that has been devolved by the lovely guys at Dr Botanicals just in time for Valentine’s Day. It smells amazing and is such a luxurious product that feels incredible on the skin. I really like to apply this to my calves, arms and shoulders after I have had a lovely hot shower. It soaks into my skin beautifully and ticks all of the boxes when it comes to a good moisturiser. Dr Botanicals currently have this product on offer and you can also use my discount code MADOLYNBLOG for a further 20% off. Be sure to head over to the website and have a look at the rest of the range which my discount code can also be used on. This offer is only valid until the end of February so be quick if you want some great savings on their new range! 


Madolyn
xxx

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