My Sisley Experience

imageIn February 2017 I decided to buy a few make-up items from Sisley. The ladies on the counter in the Metro Centre were very helpful. They also gave me samples of the skincare products suitable for sensitive skin. I used these samples sparingly as I didn’t want to use them up before my birthday in April.

The make-up items I bought were:

Kohl pencil in Plum – this is a lovely soft kohl pencil which doesn’t drag on application. It can wear off during the day. The colour is lovely and the application is easy. I would rate this 4/5

Eyeshadow in Stardust – an easy neutral which you can wear on it’s own as a single eyeshadow or use it with a second shade to create a smoky look. I would rate this 4/5

Eyeshadow shading brush – I bought this after reading about the quality of their brushes online. They’re made in Mauritius. Even though the brush appears dense, it is soft. I would rate it 3/5 as it’s no different to a cheaper one I have.

Update – April 2017

I received some skincare for my birthday after enjoying the skincare samples. They were the cleansing milk Lyslait and Compound Ecologique (Ecological Compound).

The cleansing milk I loved, it melted make-up away with no effort. I would’ve rated it 5/5

Ecological Compound can be used in two ways, either as a serum under a moisturiser or as a stand alone moisturiser for oily skin. The lady on the counter described this as a multi-vitamin for the skin. I would’ve rated this 4/5

I was using these products as recommended by the ladies at Sisley, after a week my skin was spotty and I looked like a teenager again. I decided to persevere, and after another week my skin was still spotty and on top of that it was red and angry looking. I had dry patches around my mouth and across the cheeks and temples. It felt like sand paper. I phoned the lady at Sisley to explain what had happened and when she saw my skin she couldn’t believe it and was very apologetic. She was shocked as one of the products she recommend is supposed to be for extremely sensitive skin.

If your skin isn’t sensitive then I’d say don’t let this review put you off. Sisley make lovely products. If you are thinking of purchasing anything, make sure you use the samples on consecutive days so you can see if they are suitable. Don’t do like I did and use them every 3 days. This is why I didn’t know how my skin would react to using the products daily until I bought the full sizes.

If you live in the Newcastle/Gateshead area I can highly recommend the ladies at Sisley House of Fraser.

Unfortunately I found my experience in John Lewis Newcastle disappointing and I won’t be returning to that area of the store.

A Fine Romance by Susan Branch

imageAt the weekend I finished reading ‘A Fine Romance’ by Susan Branch. A book about her voyage to England on the Queen Mary 2. The book starts off with the transatlantic crossing from New York, here she shares her experiences of life aboard the ship. A Fine Romance follows their journey throughout England, visiting places like the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and The Lakes. She also takes us to the homes of Jane Austen and Beatrix Potter.

The book travels back in time touching on when Joe and Susan met, and mentions how their relationship blossomed. The voyage to England starts on the remarkable ship ‘The Queen Mary 2’ embarking from New York. They will be spending two months in England travelling around various parts of the UK, where they will be visiting friends and national trust properties along the way. The book features beautiful illustrations and photographs of their travels. And this book wouldn’t be complete without the recipes!

It was an easy read which I couldn’t put down (I finished reading this within a week), it quickly became my bedtime reading. I was saddened when I turned the last page and the trip was over. So much so, I’ve just ordered Martha’s Vineyard and The Fairy Tale Girl. I plan on purchasing a couple of Susan Branch books each month as a treat to myself.

This would be the perfect read for anyone who loves the English countryside and historic properties belonging to the National Trust.

Have you read any books by Susan Branch? What was your favourite?

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Capusle Wardrobe – Part One

imageI am currently in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe. Not only that I’m also downsizing my hair, skin, make-up and body care products.

I think we all have our happy numbers when it comes to the things we own. Photographed is my current make-up collection, which is far too much for me. I’m on a complete make-up buying ban until something needs replacing.

In future these are the items I’d like to own for hair, skin, make-up and body. Having less will cut down on my daily routines, and the space required to store everything. It will also free up time to enjoy doing more of the hobbies I enjoy.

Hair care
• Shampoo – twice weekly only
• Conditioner – twice monthly (first Monday and last Monday of every month)
• Serum/de-frizz – coconut oil
• Heated tools – three times a month and foam rollers the rest of the time
• Hairstyle – soft layers at a manageable length

Skincare
• AM – a splash of warm water and moisturiser (either sukin or almond oil)
• PM – non make-up days a hot flannel to gently exfoliate the skin, no moisturiser
• PM – make-up days, coconut oil and a hot flannel, no moisturiser
• Lip-balm (a homemade recipe) used morning and night

Make-up
• tinted moisturiser or all in one powder to even out skin tone
• blusher (special occasions/weekend use only)
• single taupe eyeshadow (special occasions/weekend use only)
• mascara
• tinted lip balm

Body care
• unscented hand and body wash for when I want a foaming product (also for hand washing)
• homemade bath oil or homemade Himalayan bath salts
• homemade unscented soap
• homemade body butter, Shea butter or coconut oil as a hand and body moisturiser

It will be many months until I am achieving all of this list. I have already switched my skincare and it’s working great!!

The Wardrobe

Another area I’d like to focus my attention on is my wardrobe. The colours I’d like to have, how many bags, belts and shoes I need to accommodate my lifestyle. Jewellery, scarves etc which will add a touch of interest/colour to the outfits. I would also like to have a few outfits for special occasions/nights out.

I will do an update post as things progress.

Another birthday ending with a zero

imageWhy do birthdays always make you question life and our life choices? Last week I celebrated a birthday ending with a zero. I was thinking about what I had achieved since my last milestone. In the grand scheme of things not much had changed, but in other ways they have.

I am now focusing my time on those people who I love dearly – close family and friends. These are some of the other things I’m hoping to achieve in the next ten years;

  • To focus on making our house a home
  • To spend money on experiences rather than impulse buys
  • To support independent businesses
  • To continue purchasing vintage items
  • To only buy a maximum of 2 magazines a month
  • To read everyday

I think the worst thing I’ve been doing these past few years, is thinking too much of what others think of me, my circumstances etc. I’m hoping to retrain myself to be less of a worrier. I’m hoping to care less about not keeping up with the Jones’!

Dreaming

imageWhen I started my blog The Little White Croft it was just a dream. It is still is my dream to have a Croft/Crofter but where and when that will be I don’t know. It could be Ireland, Scotland or Wales, all 3 places have a connection to me.

Crofts can be small or large depending on whether they’ve been extended or not. Having this dream of mine is the focus for my future but also for my current life. It is helping me buy less things and to also stop and pause to see if it is something I really need. Something I haven’t done until now is to think about the future. A life with excess stuff and hardly any pension when I retire isn’t my idea of fun. I have decided to cut back in certain areas and to start saving for my future.

The thing I have done prior to this dream is to buy on impulse or to purchase something to fill a void in my life at that moment. Now I’d rather have less and think each purchase through thoroughly. A Croft doesn’t have a lot storage, so you have to be crafty with the space, having less is a sure start to help with that.

I also get distracted quite a bit as I love many different fabrics in a wide range of colours. I know in a north facing room you’re supposed to stick to warm tones. However in my bedroom I’ve gone with cooler tones blue soft furnishings, ivory lampshades and grey walls. I’ve kept the furniture warm with the use of oak and the flooring is also wood with a rug to soften the scheme a little. I find this palette calming but I do know pinks or reds would’ve been better, but I don’t think they’re for me.

Pinterest is invaluable for being able to put a mood board together easily. It’s a great way of seeing if a scheme will work well together. I’ve been pinning lots of ideas for my dream Croft from kitchen dressers and china to bathrooms with a deep bath. It’s a fun way of seeing what styles really appeal to you and keeping them all pinned in one place.

A Croft lifestyle to me means not keeping up with the Joneses, growing my own fruit and vegetables, baking, being part of a community and lots of walking with my dogs (optional). A general slower pace of life. It should be cosy and welcoming too with lots of home cooked meals using seasonal produce. A place my family and friends will want to visit and to have a feeling of never wanting to leave.

For now it’s just a dream, but a lovely one to have!

Product Empties – March 2017

imageOne of my Resolutions for 2017 was to use up a product I have before replacing it.

During March I have used up

• Various samples from Sisley – I loved everything I tried and I’ve asked for some for my birthday. I’m in two minds about Sisley because although I like the products I’ve tried, I haven’t seen massive improvements and I don’t know if the products are worth splurging on.

• A’kin Rosemary shampoo – I loved the smell of this, but I didn’t notice much difference in my hair. Wouldn’t repurchase.

• Bamford One Morning fragrance – a lovely light day time fragrance. Might repurchase.

• Kjaer Weis lip tint ‘Passionate’ – it’s a lovely soft pink/red shade but it didn’t have much pigment. Wouldn’t re-purchase.

• Honeypie Minerals foundation sample – didn’t like this on my skin. Wouldn’t repurchase.

• Plum & Ashley hand and body wash – I used 2 of these up during March. I found it very drying on the hands, so wouldn’t repurchase.

• Bamford Rose hand & body wash – I loved this and would repurchase.

• Little Soap Company olive soap – very gentle and low lathering. Would repurchase as it’s perfect for sensitive skin.

• Kjaer Weis cream blush ‘Blossoming’ – lovely colour but difficult to blend. Wouldn’t repurchase.

• Aveda Scalp a Benefits conditioner – wouldn’t repurchase

• Chanel Les Beiges Foundation – nice colour and coverage. Would repurchase but it’s pricey.

• Kjaer Weis cream blush ‘Lovely’ – I couldn’t use this sample up as the colour was too vivid for my pale skin.

• Honeypie Minerals rose blush – didn’t like the colour, wouldn’t repurchase.
I’m planning on doing more of these posts and also beauty favourites which are my go to repeat purchases. Let me know if these posts are of interest.

Book Review – L’art de la Simpicité by Dominique Loreau

I first stumbled upon L’art de la Simplicité by Dominique Loreau whilst shopping in WHSmith in January. When I returned home I downloaded the sample to my kindle app. A month later I decided to purchase the book from WHSmith as I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I must admit to judging the book by its cover, and it didn’t disappoint!

The book is split into three parts. The first part Materialism and Minimalism covers material excess, in praise of minimalism and ethics and aesthetics. Part two Body covers your beauty, minimalist beauty care and eat less but better. Part three Mind covers your inner ecology, other people and polish yourself like a pebble.

I found the writing style easy, never patronising, and because of this I wanted to continue to turn the pages. I will re-read certain parts of the book again and again.

If you enjoy reading self-help or self-improving books then you’ll enjoy this. If you enjoyed Marie Kondo’s writing style, this is on par with that also. If you’re wanting to curb materialism this a good place to start.

I will never be a minimalist with 100 possessions but I am being a more conscious consumer since reading this book. Part one of the book is something I will read on a monthly basis as I found that chapter of the book struck a cord with me. I’ve also found myself letting go of things since reading this and being picky with what I bring into my home.

Let me know if you’d read this or will read it. I’m interested to see what you think of it.