Sunday, 30 November 2014

Winter Survival Kit GIVEAWAY!

So as it's nearly Christmas, I thought I'd do a little giveaway, featuring a Santa stockingful of products that have been mentioned on the blog to help you get through these cold, dark and miserable winter months!

The stocking includes: 
Topshop Hair Bobble 
Dorothy Perkins frilly socks
Seventeen Eyeshadow Pallete
Seventeen Miracle Matte Primer 
Seventeen 18 Hour Stay concealer
Rimmel Kate Moss Nail Polish 
No7 BB Lip Balm 
Nivea Soft Rose Lipbalm
Garnier Ultimate Blends Sleek Restorer Hair Treatment 
St Moriz Tanning Lotion 
Nivea Hand Cream 
Heaps of Fruit Porridge Sachet 
Golden Cinnamon Porridge Sachet
Love Heart Sweets 
Dib Dab (my personal favourite from the whole Giveaway!) 

How to win:
- Follow me on Bloglovin -
- Follow me on Twitter - @MsSarahJack
- Follow me on Instagram - @MsSarahJack
- Tweet me what product would be your favourite from my Stocking with the hashtag #WinterSurvivalKitGiveAway
- Share the image I'll shortly be putting on Instagram and tag me in it as well as using the hashtag #WinterSurvivalKitGiveAway
- Share the Giveaway as much as you can!


- You can enter as many times as you like
- I'll ship anywhere in the world :) 

Disclaimer - I'm not being sponsored by any of the products included. I brought these out of my already very tight bank account! ;)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Happy Birthday Caroline

For those who've followed me for some time or know me personally, you'll know that I lost my little sister to a rare form of Bone Cancer 7 years ago when she was 12. 

Today, she would've turned 20. 

20... I can't even begin to imagine what she would be like now. It's crazy how much it can mess with your head when you start asking the questions you'll never know the answers to..

What would she look like now? 
What would she be doing? 
Would she have a boyfriend?
Would she still be living at home? 
Would she be into make up and fashion? 

Sometimes I think about it so hard I have to bring myself out of a trance and shake it off.. I'll never know and there's nothing I can do about it. But what about the future? 

Who's gonna be my Bridesmaid? Who's bridesmaid will I be?
Who's going to be an Aunty to my kids? Or make me an aunty? 

I wrote a similar blog over on our 3000 Mile Challenge blog which we're doing next year in her memory to raise money for Bone Cancer Research trust so go check it out - 

In the mean time, I really hope she's up there partying as hard as I'm sure she would be down here. I'd would literally give anything to be able to take her out on her birthday.. spoil her with presents... just see her happy. 

This photo was taken at midnight on 26th November 2006.. her last birthday. She waited up until Midnight so she could open a present. (And yes.. she was naturally tanned! Something I certainly didn't get from my parents!) 

Recently we've met so many people online and in 'real life' who've lost people to cancer thanks to starting up our challenge and it's crazy the things you think about that you think you're the only person. If there are any other bloggers out there who ask themselves the same Questions, Tweet me - would love to speak to you! We'll be arranging a bit of a sibling meet up next year so see you there :)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Mark Hill: Flexi Hot Rods

I've stalking for ages now as the Mark Hill: Flexi Hot Rods have been on offer but out of stock.. until however, last week it popped up "In stock" and I did a little dance in my office chair! So yes, placed in store within minutes and they arrived the next day (love the Boots instore ordering service!). 

Tried them this weekend for the first time and there's definitely some pros and cons! 
The packaging is actually quite nice - a bit bright but it's really slick and sturdy and actually quite smart. It does say leave them for up to 25 minutes to heat up but after about 15 I got bored waiting and made a start.

It took no longer than about 20 minutes to put them in which is amazing as it can take me an hour or so normally to curl my hair regularly but I definitely didn't leave them to heat up long enough. To start with, I could pick them up and put them in without having to wear the dodgy half hand glove (definitely a bit of a weird one, only covers thumb, index and middle finger!) but by the end my fingers were covered in blisters as I kept burning myself when folding the rods around at the end. 

I only used about half of the rods as I didn't want the curls to be to tight so I sectioned my hair in half and started along the underneath and then worked across the top.

It definitely took some getting used to and by the end I was doing it quite quickly despite them being so hot but I really should've left them in for the full amount of time as annoyingly, one side was a lot curlier than the other and the underneath (where I started) barely curled at all but the curls that were there looked amazing and and really natural. 

It took some time to take some of them out as the hair had got tangled around the rubber rod at the end but in general it was quite easy to get used to. My biggest disappointment was that the curls dropped so quickly but I do think this was caused by having freshly washed hair, no hair spray and not leaving the curlers to heat up for long enough.

I'll definitely be giving them another go using what I've already learnt so fingers crossed I have more patience to leave them in long enough so they turn out better! For £20 while it's on offer, it's potentially a huge investment - keep an eye out on Twitter and Instagram for updates on the next attempt!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Birthday Weekend & What I got for my Birthday!

It's a week overdue and my birthday feels like a million years ago already but just had the best weekend with the boy, friends and family I couldn't not blog about it! 

The people who are unfortunate enough to know me around this time of year know how much I'm like a little kid when it comes to birthdays and Christmas and I get so super excited I probably annoy the life out of everyone who I speak to! My poor boyfriend has had me whittling on for weeks and literally counting down the days so I'm pretty sure he's glad it's all over. 

For my birthday this year we had a bit of a roadtrip and went up to Blackpool for a couple of days on the Thursday night-Saturday afternoon then went up to Nottingham Saturday night for a few cocktails and lovely meal with my girlies and they're lovely men. Sunday was spent slightly hungover however after a birthday tuna melt panini from Starbucks downstairs in the hotel, I just about managed to unwrap the pressies that Nick had spent ages trying to hide (quite successfully may I add)! Just spent my birthday on the Sunday with family and finished off with a trip to Cheshire Oaks shopping on the Monday and spent a little birthday money and got spoilt rotten even more! 

Managed to get to Blackpool for late evening time on the Thursday after work so first stop after getting to the hotel and wrapping up in the thermals was curry and wine at good old Spoons along the sea front - the illuminations looked so pretty outside!We stayed at the Norbreck Castle Hotel which I used to stay in as a kid and after 8 or 9 years since last staying there, it's certainly aged but it's still got that "Blackpool" feel and even smell about it which I loved!

(Hat: M&S £18, Scarf: Primark £6, Jumper: Asda £12).
Of course it's not Blackpool without an ice cream (even at half 10 at night) and spending some time on the arcades and feeling like you're going to leave with a 2p gambling problem and a ticket addiction!

On the Friday, we hit up the Sealife Centre during the day as I've not been for years and apparently it's recently been done up - it was actually really good considering we're not kids! Definitely a big recommendation if you're ever in Blackpool, kids or no kids! Following on with a little bit of shopping and a highlight of the weekend... the first Christmas Starbucks! Oh my, the Almond and Honey Hot Chocolate...! That is all. Finshing the day off with theeee best Chinese ever for my Grandad's birthday!

Saturday we finished off with a bit of a stroll along the beach before having one last go in Coral Island to win as many tickets as possible (which actually one us 2 huge cuddly things, a football table and a few other bits... clearly we spent 80% of our time here during out stay!) before heading back to Nottingham for some time with my gorgeous girlies and their boys! 

So a few too many cocktails and drinks later the next day, I managed to wake myself up enough to of course crack open some presents of my lovely man (cheese alert)! 

(Yes - that's guinea pig wrapping paper and no, the guinea pig craze didn't stop there!)

Nick brought me a "Crazy Guinea Pig Lady" sign which is already pride of place on my dressing table along with a Jack Wills hoodie, Ella Henderson's album (it's sooo good - much better than I expected!), Jamie Oliver Cook Book, Casserole pot and a cook book to match along with a freaking Instax Mini 8 Polaroid Camera which I've been eyeing up for ages and will be doing a separate blog post on later as I'm actually in love with it! The food theme continued with a cook book holder from my Dad and the gang along with a lovely smelling candle advent new jumper and amaaaaaze pair of boots (again, been eyeing up for ages) from New Look.

 (Clearly Jess chose the candles!)

After (another) chinese for dinner, headed for birthday number 3 at Mums and came away with some birthday money to spend from herself and Mum's side of the family so a day shopping at Cheshire Oaks in Chester was more than welcome the next day! 

 (Jumper: French Connection £19 - it's Legendary!) 

So a big thank you to all my family and friends who have spoilt me rotten this year and to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday on Twitter etc - really was one of the best birthdays! 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

#NOTD: OPI Nail Envy

I've Tweeted before about how much I'm in love with OPI's nail envy. I've used it so many times as I'm the worst person in the world with acryllic nails... on off, on off, on off! I get impatient and end up picking them off and now my nails are a mess and never grow past a certain length.

A friend recommended it late last year and I was really surprised with the effects. My nails grew so quickly and the difference even after a couple of days was really noticeable so you can imagine what it was like after about 10 days. A few people commented on an Instagram picture asking if it really works and so thought I'd give my little view...

There's loads of different OPI Nail Envy's but I just use the basic max strength in the green package (photo in the Boots Haul blog a few blogs back)! It's so simple - double coat on day one, then add another coat every day for 2 weeks. I know what you're thinking... it's going to build up and go funny! It kind of does but not as much as you'd think. If I do a 3 week stint, I normally only have to take it off and restart once, maybe twice depending on what I'm doing.

As soon as I get my nails to a length I like, I try and Sensationail them for as long as possible but you can guarantee that they'll break at some point :( But the growing process is magical.. quite literally. I have no idea how it works (it's probably on Google if you really wanted to know) but all I can say is that... it bloody does! You just have to have a little patience, avoid your regular nail polishes (if you put it on a coloured polish, it'll come off on the OPI brush which means it leaves colour in the clear nail polish) and watch the magic happen! Yes it's a little pricey and when I accidentally smashed my bottle a couple of months ago, I promised I wouldn't spend another £18ish but less than a week I'd given in and brought a new one... it's just that good!

(About 9 or 10 days difference) 

Would love to know if anyone else has used it and what you think or any other tips to help nail growth so be sure to Tweet me @MsSarahJack and for more #NOTD photos, follow me on Instagram too!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Boots: Top 20 under £20

Yes... I am one of those annoying people who have pretty much finished their Christmas shopping and even made a start on wrapping up everyone's pressies ;) 

For those who don't know, I work for Boots and each Christmas feel that I can recall the gift guide and the best pressies on the shelves. Plus with having 3 for 2, you really can do what I've done and spoil everyone that little bit extra. But like everyone else, I've found there's so much choice out there this year and there's so many ideas flying around so I've really been stuck for what to get who. Now I've finished, I can sit back and look at what else is out there for any little extra stocking fillers and thought I'd help and try to inspire you.

So if you're on a bit of a budget and looking for a few gifts for Mum, Sister, Grandmas, Aunties and your girlfriends, here's my top 20 under £20 from the Boots Gift Guide! 

French Connection Body Care Collection - £16
Champneys Christmas Cracker Selection - £10

Distant Shores Bubble Heaven (50ml)
Mediterranean Bliss Bubble Heaven (50ml)
Exotic Retreat Bubble Heaven (50ml)
Oriental Opulence Bubble Heaven (50ml)
Florence Anne Fragrance Patchouli & Clove Reed Oil Diffuser - £14
Jack Wills Ladies Cosmetic Brush Kit with Bag - £16
Sanctuary Little Bag of Treats - £8

Cleansing Burst Body Wash (75ml)
Silky Smooth Body Lotion (75ml)
Gentle polish Body Scrub (50ml)
Buff & Polish Body Puff
Pink drawstring bag with bird and flowers print
Aroma Home Owl Hand Warmers - £10
Joules Soap - £8
Colours by Technic Complete Colour Vanity Case £18

3 x lipsticks
2 x lipgloss pans
4 x nail varnishes (6ml)
2 x blusher compacts
6 x eyeshadow compacts
2 x lipliner pencils
2 x eyeliner pencils
2 x double-ended foam applicators
2 x eyeshadow brushes
1 x lip brush
1 x blusher brush
1 x carry case with mirror for use with interchangeable compacts
1 x make-up guide
1 x large vanity case
So Snug Berry Earmuffs - £10
Classic Cocktail Bible - £6.50
Essie Duo - £12.99
Clarins Lip Collection - £19.50
So Snug Flower Footsie size 4-7 - £6
Soap & Glory™ SOAP FOR THE BEST™ Gift Set  - £10
Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Eau de Parfum 30ml Gift Set  - £23
No7 Instant Glamour Kit - £18

No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Trio in Cappuccino middle shade 
No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Quad in Chocolate Fondant top right shade 
No7 Blush Damson
No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencil in Black
No7 High Shine Lip Gloss in Happy
No7 Directional Powder Brush
Seventeen Day to Night Make up palette  - £18
Yankee Candles - £19.99
Ted Baker London Peach Perfect - £8

Contains a lipgloss and nail polish
Bistro Bleu Heart Shaped Chalk Board £8

Monday, 3 November 2014

Battle of the Balms!

Now it's getting a tad chillier outside, I've given in and finally got out the lip balms and made a few new cheeky purchases. I'm a big lip balm person anyway and end up buying so many as I continuously lose them (or think I've lost them so buy another one when it's actually just in another coat pocket) so I always end up buying a new one to try! But thought I'd let you know about my favs and the winners in the battle of the balms. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Faking it: My favourite Dupes!

If you're like me, you're on a bit of a budget and therefore always hunting round for a cheaper version or the more expensive products. I'm such a geek when it comes to stuff like this and I can spend forever smelling different perfumes and testing different products if I've heard along the grapevine that it's a great dupe for something I love! 

Thought I'd do a little post about my favourite Dupes :) 

Jimmy Choo Vs Soap and Glory! 
I flipping love both of these and have for at least 4 or 5 years but Jimmy Choo is sooo expensive so I definitely only use it on special occasions. In the mean time, I go through a bottle of the Soap and Glory perfume every 3 or 4 months. Obviously the scent doesn't linger as the real stuff but it still smells amazing and I don't mind if I go abit overboard with it as it's only about £16... or spray my whole bedroom... or car... I definitely overuse it! 

 MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Vs Seventeen Stay Time Concealer
I first brought the MAC concealer when I was in America last year and since then I have repurchased it twice! I recently had a voucher for a free Seventeen Product at Boots so I thought I'd try their concealer, totally expecting it to be a bit pants. But oh my days, I was so wrong. This stuff is amazing, it's a bigger size tube, it's just as easy to apply and blend and stays on for just as long. There's about £25 in difference and as Seventeen normally have a 3 for 2 offer on, I've not repurchased MAC since I ran out a couple of months ago.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer Vs Seventeen Instant Glow Bronzer
A friend told me about this a couple of weeks ago after I heartbreakingly dropped my Benefit Hoola Bronzer and it smashed everywhere. I couldn't afford to get a new one so she suggested this little beauty. About £17 cheaper and has pretty much exactly the same time of bronzed look, with no sheen or no shimmer. The only difference is that this can take a bit more product to achieve the same look but still, for less than a fiver, who cares if I use a bit more!

Calvin Klein Euphoria (for women) Vs Jack Wills Hope Cove Body Mist
Last week you may have seen a Tweet or an Instagram of the new Jack Wills holdel I picked up from Boots which contained 7 or 8 body product. Since then, I've fallen in love with the body mist as it had a familiar smell to it. It's taken me a few days but it smells just like Calvin Klein's Euphoria! I smell it I could swear my Mum's in the room. Obviously with it being a body mist it doesn't have much staying power and I've been using it as a room spray too but I believe that Jack Wills sell the proper perfume version which must smell exactly the same - may invest in that for the Mother this Christmas instead!

Clinique High Impact Mascara Vs Maybelline Define a lash Mascara
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a mini version of anything so when I got this mini version of a Clinique Mascara I was pretty chuffed. I was actually gutted when it ran out as it's one of the best mascaras I've ever used. The same day it ran out, I got given a free tester at work - the Define-a-lash Mascara by Maybelline.. well... it was meant to be! The brushes are so similar and the consistency is so close. Sorry Clinique, as much as I loved you, I won't be buying the full version!

Gucci Guilty Vs Kylie Minogue Darling 
My all time favourite dupe.. My favourite perfume is Gucci Guilty by a looong shot! I have so many perfumes they have a drawer to themselves but Gucci is the one I go back to time and time again. So when I had lunch with a friend a few years ago and asked her if she had Gucci Guilty on, I was gobsmacked when she told me it was a £10 bottle of perfume by Kylie Minogue! Gobsmacked I tell you. Gucci is that one bottle of perfume that my family buy me over and over again for Christmas the one bottle of perfume that I don't mind paying a bit extra and treating myself too however if I'm just popping out to the shops, or in work and not doing much else, I'll have a spritz of Kylie instead. Sooo many times I've walked in the office and someones asked if I'm wearing Gucci and been surprised when it's not! Plus the staying power is almost just as good as the real deal. Definitely one I'll be keeping up for life!