Why Hate Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of year again, when the entire world is split into three camps: the lovers, the haters and those who couldn’t care less. Despite the day’s focus on romance, there seems to be a huge amount of bitterness and hostility between the lovers and haters of Valentine’s Day, and I’ve never understood why. Personally, I love Valentine’s Day – I don’t go out of my way to plan something special every year, nor do I buy or expect expensive gifts and gestures. I just really like the idea of a holiday that’s sole focus is romance.

Matthew and I are both thrifty (well, you have to be when you’re a poor student) romantics at heart, so Valentine’s Day has never been a chore for us. Last year, we made a huge blanket fort, watched films and slept in the living room. It was memorable, cute as hell and it meant we could spend the whole night being totally together. Sure, we could have done that any other day of the year too, but our blanket fort felt like a great idea for Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re making our own pizzas, having a glass of wine and watching a film – for us, that’s perfect.

Valentine's Day Flowers - Why Hate Valentine's Day?

The busy parents, unhappy singletons and those who are struggling either physically or mentally, simply can’t and/or don’t want to celebrate, and of course I understand that. However, there are also some popular yet trivial problems that people tend to have with Valentine’s Day, and although I recognise them, I really do not understand them.

I love my partner every single day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day:

Of course, me too! But, I also don’t see any harm in saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” instead of “Morning!” when I wake up – either way, Matt still gets a kiss and a cuddle.

You can’t celebrate when you’re single:

Sure you can. Go see your mum or your grandma and, if you have some money, buy them a bunch of flowers. Celebrate with your single friends. Why not just have a night in, with your favourite food and favourite film? Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, not just romantic love. Celebrate familial love, friendship and self-love.

It’s a day for couples to rub their relationships in other people’s faces:

Definitely not. If love, or seeing love in others, bothers you then you’re clearly going through some hardship that you need to take control of. If you’re not and simply seeing happy couples genuinely bothers you, you have issues and your hate should not be projected onto the happiness of others. That’s your problem, sort it out.

It’s just another money grabbing holiday:

Yep, probably, but who is making you spend money? Romance isn’t expensive gifts and extravagant date nights. It can be a homemade meals, or making your own Valentine’s Day cards. Self-love doesn’t have to be expensive either. No need for fancy spas: run yourself a bubble bath and paint your toe nails.

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There’s no need to hate Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t celebrate, you have to admit, it’s a pretty cute idea. Love is in the air today, so don’t shoot it down.

What do you think of Valentine’s Day?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

The Wall Street Crash

My lovely friend Kat, who’s a qualified makeup artist and is studying a degree in the subject, recently asked me if I’d be the model for a 1920’s makeup competition that she was taking part in. Now, if you don’t already know, I’m ridiculously uncomfortable in front of the camera. I can tolerate the odd “Matthew, take a photograph of me in front of this beautiful landmark” type thing, because I know it’s my camera and I could always delete it anyway. Again, when I’m feeling pretty fly (hands up if you just mumbled “for a white guy”), I’ll take a cheeky selfie. But, the idea of putting that power into the hands of a professional, meaning I’d be unable to double check and delete any images that made me look bad, gave me the jitters. She’s my friend, though, and I was absolutely over the moon to help her out. Either way, I got to dress up as a rich 1920’s lady of leisure and that was pretty exciting.

For me, a full face of makeup is made up of my trusty mascara, winged eyeliner, translucent power on my nose and a bit of red lippy. Being put into the hands of a makeup artist, who literally has a suitcase full of makeup with her, was pretty daunting. I was met with primer, foundation, a ridiculous number of different eye shadows, false lashes and lots of other things that I don’t even know the name of. Honestly, it felt weird but I definitely wouldn’t look too out of place during the 1920’s.

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The brief was “Wall Street Crash”. Kat’s plan was to do a full face of 1920’s inspired make-up, before sitting me down alongside lots of other models, as all of the makeup artists performed their special effects magic. I was expecting a pretty tense atmosphere but I actually had a really good time – Kat covered me in fake blood, cuts and bruises, whilst I just sat there and watched the world go by. There was such a range of different looks going on in the competition room. Some makeup artists went for realism, like Kat, and some took it to the other (far) end of the spectrum with stilettos in eyeballs or shards of glass sticking out of the model’s skin.

Kat’s overall look was incredible. It showed how I was trampled during the people’s rush to the banks, hence the huge bruising to one side of my face. It looks bloody painful, right!?

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Ouch…

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Didn’t she do such a good job!? If you want to have a look at her makeup artist Facebook page, you can click here! She posts all of her makeup work – from beauty makeup to special effects – on this page, so it’s definitely worth a like.

What do you think of the final look?

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My Year in Review #3/3 | Photographs

They say a picture speaks a thousand words… Throughout 2016, I took over 5,000 of them.

Despite how overwhelmingly rubbish this year was, when I look back on all of these beautiful photographs, I can’t help but feel thankful that some good came out of it. I saw some wonderful things, I made a lot of life-long memories and I grew hugely as a person. Yes, a lot of these memories were made as a way to distract myself from the big black dog but that doesn’t make those memories any less important!

So, to recognise all of the good that came from this year, I’m going to focus on those best bits in my final instalment of ‘my year in review’.

Here’s my best bits of 2016, summarised in photographs!

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Happy new year to all of my lovely followers, friends and family. 

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Patisserie de Bain: Creme Pâtissière Review

If you’ve ever wanted to rub the sweet scent of vanilla all over your body, then you’re going to love me for introducing you to Patisserie de Bain.

I picked up this gorgeous gift set (which includes a shower gel, a body souffle and a vanilla-scented body scrubber) from Superdrug a couple of weeks ago. It was actually a free gift for buying two selected skincare products and I didn’t even realise what a little gem I had my hands on until I got home.

Patisserie de Bain: Creme Pâtissière Review

Before I even gave the products a sniff, I did a quick bit of research to check if the company was cruelty-free, vegan friendly and/or owned by a nasty parent company. I was over the moon to discover that not only are all of the products cruelty-free but they’re almost all suitable for vegans. The exception to the rule here is the lip balm, which does include beeswax. Routine checks, done.

Simply opening up these products was heavenly. The vanilla scent hit me immediately and it’s really, really mouthwateringly realistic. Both products smell equally as beautiful, too. The shower gel does take a bit of effort to lather up nicely, but you really can’t complain too much as the scent lasts on your skin all day. The body souffle, which is just a fancy way of describing a body butter or body cream, is absolutely perfect. It’s thick, it’s moisturising and it dries quickly, leaving you smelling fantastic.

I’m in love with this set. I, stupidly, presumed that these scents would be the company’s only choices but I was so wrong. There’s a massive range of other scents, including lemon bon-bons, cranberries and cream and orange zest. You bet I’ll be going back for some more!

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Have you ever tried any Patisserie de Bain products?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Superdrug Store Opening, Beverley

Being a cruelty-free kitty, Superdrug is my idea of heaven when it comes to buying new skincare and cosmetics. Alongside the shelves of cruelty-free brands, Superdrug even has it’s own completely cruelty-free and vegan line of cosmetics and skincare called B. So, as you can imagine, I was super pleased to be invited to the opening of a new Superdrug store at Beverley’s Flemingate shopping centre.

Beverley Flemingate Superdrug Store

Superdrug stores are always super colourful and this Beverley branch isn’t any different. It’s pretty pink in there! As expected, there are aisles full to the brim with practically everything health and beauty related but it’s not the pretty aisles that make this store stand out, it’s the beautifully mirrored back wall, full of high-street make-up. Each stand towers around six-foot tall and displays such a range of cosmetics that any lipstick lover would throw a wobbly just looking at them all.

Towards the back of the store, you’ll find a Beauty Bar. This little gem offers eyebrow threading and tinting right there in the store. If I hadn’t recently tamed my own eyebrows, I’d of loved to try this out for myself! With it being at the back of the store, it’s nice and out of the way too so if you’re a bit shy (like me!) you wouldn’t be put off.

Beverley Flemingate Superdrug Store

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Whilst I was there, I also picked up up some goodies for myself. (How could I resist?)

I have tried a couple of Superdrug’s  cruelty-free ‘B’ products in the past, but I hadn’t ventured into their skincare range. My trip to this brand spanking new store was the perfect excuse to try something new, really, so as well as a Makeup Brush Cleanser, I picked up the B. Confident Day Cream and the B. Nourished Night Serum. 

Superdrug B Skincare Product Review

I’m still in my early twenties, so I’m not particularly covered in wrinkles but I do have the tenancy to scowl or smile way too enthusiastically. Before these little lines get any worse, I thought it would be a good idea to try something out. Both the day and the night creams are supposed to help with the prevention of early signs of aging. It’s only been a week or so since I began using them but I’ll be sure to share the news if these end up being miracle workers.

Either way, they both smell fantastic and they soak into the skin super quickly. This is especially a bonus for the night serum, as you don’t wanna be going to bed with a sticky, moist face! As far as face creams go, they’re really lovely.

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I really enjoyed my trip to Flemingate! Whenever me and Matthew go to Beverley, we always end up gravitating towards this place because who doesn’t love a shopping centre?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I purchased these products with a complimentary gift card for visiting the store. As always, all views are my own. 

Lush Review | Pumpkin

Some bath bombs are loved for the spectacular shows they put on in the tub and some are loved for their simplicity – Lush’s Pumpkin bath bomb, part of the Halloween collection, is the latter.

Pumpkin doesn’t spill out a myriad of colours. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling silky and moisturised. Once it’s plopped in the tub, it doesn’t even stick around for very long. Yet, despite all that, this Halloween exclusive is the perfect accompaniment for an autumn soak.

Lush Review Pumpkin Bath Bomb

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As the name suggests, the bath bomb looks like a pumpkin! You don’t often see character themed bath bombs so it’s definitely an eye-catching product. It screams Halloween and, if anything, it’s worth picking up as a seasonal treat just to get your spooky fix. The colour though is very simple – like the resulting bath water, it’s a basic shade of orange.

What makes this bath bomb so special is the smell. It smells like autumn! It’s sweet (thanks to the vanilla extract), spicy (hello, cinnamon) and incredibly warming. If that doesn’t sound perfect for these colder nights, then I don’t know what does.

Lush Review Pumpkin Bath Bomb

Although Pumpkin doesn’t leave your skin feeling super moisturised like a lot of Lush bath bombs, it melts all your aches and pains away. When I jumped into the bath, I slowly laid back and let out a very dramatic groan of approval – it’s incredible. This is completely down to the warming cinnamon bark old extract, making this ideal for those achy, tired autumn nights.

Lush Review Pumpkin Bath Bomb

If you’re looking for a taste of autumn for £3.95, give this a try.

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Have you tried Pumpkin yet?

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Halloween Lush Haul

It’s time! Yesterday, Lush’s Halloween products were released in my local store and I couldn’t have snapped them up any quicker. Straight from work, I jumped onto a bus and then practically ran to the store. In all honesty, I presumed they’d have ran out by the time I got there but, luckily for little me, the products were still piled high. Like always, I almost drooled upon arrival. The smell is intoxicating. Walking into a Lush store is one of my favourite things in life – those colours, the smell, the atmosphere and the fantastic staff make shopping there an actual experience.

Alongside lots of other fellow Lushies around the world, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this release for a long time. The return of Lord of Misrule, my all time favourite holiday exclusive product, is a personal highlight, for sure. I previously caught a sneak peak of the Halloween products when they were leaked, not too long ago, and lots of them caught my eye. I imagined I’d pretty much buy the whole store. However, I did refrain from buying one of everything and, instead, I stuck to a handful of products that I was eager to try.

Lush Halloween Haul

So, what lovely Lush Halloween goodies did I pick up this year?

Monsters’ Ball:

I love themed bath bombs! They’re a bit of a guilty pleasure really. Whenever a silly or strange looking product is released, I snap one up. Monsters’ Ball looks like a pink Mike Wazowski and what’s better than that? I’ve already seen a sneak peak at the show this bath bomb puts on in the tub. I can’t wait to use it.

Lord of Misrule:

Lord of Misrule is a showstopper. It’s a must-have Halloween bath bomb and if you haven’t yet tried it for yourself I urge you to treat yourself. It’s a beautiful combination of spicy, earthy and vanilla scents. That smell is quite something, but it’s the performance it gives in the bath that makes this product stand out.

Pumpkin:

Pumpkin combines spicy cinnamon with the sweetness of vanilla and, I think, it’s the most pleasant smelling of the Halloween products.  It smells like autumn.

Autumn Leaf:

This is one of the most beautiful bath bombs I’ve ever seen. It’s made up of jumbles of baby blues, yellows, oranges and pinks. It has a very fresh scent which only emphasises the autumnal feel of this bath bomb. Look at the size of it, in comparison to the others! It’s massive.

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I’m super pleased with my mini Halloween haul. I managed to snap up some gorgeous smelling and incredible looking bath bombs that I just can’t wait to try! It really is starting to feel like autumn now. Roll on, Halloween!

Have you tried any of Lush’s Halloween products yet?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills