Beanies Decaf Flavour Coffee - Vegan & Sugar Free

If you saw my recent Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar post, you'll know that I've been trying to cut a lot of sugar out of my diet. So I was tantalised to hear about the Beanies Flavour Coffees, which claim to contain the right amount of flavour so that they don't need extra sugar.

I received Decaf Chocolate Orange £2.75, Amaretto Almond £2.75 and Irish Cream £2.75, which are all as deliciously tasting as they sound. I've been drinking these with soya milk and the flavours are strong, but don't overpower the coffee taste. As promised, the coffees don't taste like they need extra sugar and these three pots all have a richness that makes them feel quite naughty, even though they're vegan, sugar free and have 2 calories per serving. My boyfriend tried them and said he thought the flavours were too strong, but who would listen to a Nespresso addict like him anyway?

My favourite of the three is Chocolate Orange and I particularly enjoy a level teaspoon stirred into hot chocolate to give the flavour an extra dimension. A teaspoon of the Irish Cream flavour is really good in an Irish hot chocolate with a dash (or two) of whiskey which creates a creamy warming drink that has the perfect level of sweetness to bitterness. 

Beanies also do a range of instant and ground full caffeine coffees, including a Stash Box with nine flavours in which I think would make a great gift. Although I haven't tried it yet, I bet the coffees would be awesome for baking too- Amaretto Almond coffee cake anyone!? The choice of flavours is huge and perfect for those of us who have a sweet tooth and are looking to spice up the drinks cupboard. 

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*This post contains one or more sample products

Holiday Beauty Essentials

I've put together a list of my must-have beauty and hair products for a holiday in the sun, whether you're travelling abroad or staying in the UK and hoping you won't have to dig out your wellies. Read on to find out what's made the cut for my bag! 
When it's hot you need a foundation that stays in place and I haven't found one better than Revlon Colorstay £12.99, even without a primer. The normal/dry version is water based, whereas the oily version is silicone based, so I find the former holds up better in hot weather as it doesn't separate or turn patchy when you get a bit sweaty in the heat. 
For oil control and mattifying power, Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot £12 is definitely one of the essentials. It removes shine in an instant and sometimes actually looks its best when you start to get a little oily. You can read more of my thoughts on the power here.

Instead of trying to squeeze all your palettes and compacts in your makeup bag, use a Make Up For Ever Metal Palette £6 to hold your most used creams and powders. The medium sized magnetic palette holds singles and depotted pans perfectly and there are plastic and foam sheets included to protect your powders on the journey. 

I find nail files to be a handbag essential for pesky splits or breaks, and the Stylfile Emergency Nail FIle £4.49 is perfect for taking on holiday. Not only does it feature the innovative curved design for the emery side and smoothing/shining side, but also has a spiral holder that prevents the file from scratching your phone.  
If you're looking for a really long lasting lip colour that will see you through eating and drinking from morning to night, then I'd suggest trying Maybelline SuperStay Bold Matte 24 Hour Lip Colour £8.99. Although application is a little tricky (you need to keep your mouth open until the creme has dried completely) the results are definitely long lasting. This bright Peach Cocktail shade is the perfect holiday colour and there's a balm on one end of the tube so you can choose between a matte or glossy lip. 

There's something quite endearing about travel minis and a 7 pack of Simple Cleansing Wipes £1.25 just screams holiday to me. There's the perfect amount for a week in the sun so you can easily remove your makeup before a bedtime cleanse without having to carry a heavy big pack or take unnecessary liquids in your bag.

I recently switched to Right Guard antiperspirant from another brand and now I wouldn't use anything else in the summer. With the Right Guard Total Defence 5 Floral Power £2.89 I guarantee you will only smell lovely, whether you're hanging out by the pool or picking up the pace on a walking tour. Also, the Floral Power scent smells quite like passion fruit to me, the perfect exotic holiday fragrance! If you don't want to pack a big bottle of perfume too then the Flo Refillable Atomiser £9.99 is the perfect solution, holding up to 77 sprays of your favourite scent.

For hair basics, there's Batiste Dry Shampoo £1.50 which comes in a handy (and cute) 50ml travel size for root refreshing, and Tresemme Freeze Hold 100ml £1.69 to hold your style in place once it's finished. 
To cut down on bulk in your bag and to make styling easier, swap your hair dryer, round brushes and styling tools for the Nicky Clarke Frizz Control Hot Air Styler £24.14. This all in one tool blows the hot air straight into the brush so you can get a perfect volumising blow dry every time. The Hot Air Styler comes with two different sized round brushes and has a cool shot setting to set your style along with an ionic setting to reduce smooth hair and reduce frizz from humid weather. 
An essential, whether you're going abroad or staycationing, is sun protection. I would thoroughly recommend Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh £8 and Garnier Ambre Solaire Light and Silky Lotion £7 for being light, easily absorbed and non greasy enough that you don't feel the need to wash your hands after application. They're also budget friendly and don't increase in price if you need a higher SPF like with some brands I've seen! 
Eyes need protecting from bright sun as much as skin and my favourite shop for sunglasses this year has been River Island. I picked up four pairs to replace some old ones in my collection- a couple of aviator styles and I found some great tortoiseshells Wayfarer style glasses in the men's section. I'm really impressed with the big selection and they're only around £10 each.   
What do you take in your beauty travel bag?

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*This post contains one or more sample products


Origins Clear Improvement Mask

My skin has always been oily and easily congested, but it's only in the last couple of years that I've found products that work with it to combat breakouts instead of working against it to make it dry or irritated. One of the products that my skin seems to love is Origins Clear Improvement Mask £23 which contains charcoal and white china clay to absorb dirt, oil and toxins, along with lecithin which dissolves impurities in the skin.

The dark grey mask feels creamy when applied and dries to a slightly chalky finish which washes off easily with water. Clear Improvement really cleans my pores and, from using it once or twice weekly, I've noticed a big reduction in breakouts and the annoying little bumps that oily skin is prone to.

Another benefit of the Origins Clear Improvement Mask is that the tube seems to be never ending! I first tried the product as a mini at Christmas time and it kept on going for around three months before the tube finally emptied and I knew I had to purchase the full 100ml size.

While some people think masks are gimmicky, I believe that when they're used regularly enough they can really improve skin of all types. If you're prone to roughness, congestion and breakouts I would highly recommend this mask for keeping oil and spots at bay. 

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