Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 20

Clinique is a worldwide superpower when it comes to cosmetics and skincare, and it’s no wonder why. It’s a brand with decades of experience, and whilst it’s still a little behind on the times with some things (animal testing to name but one), it must be getting something right to have gone on for so long.

The Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer* is one of those somethings.

Now, technically this is labelled as an “age prevention” moisturiser, aimed at those experiencing the “first signs” of aging (as told to me by a Clinique advisor in a department store last year). I am 22. I am technically not that old at all. I am not an advocate of moisturisers and serums and special concoctions that cost hundreds just to stop myself from looking wrinkly and saggy. It’s going to happen whatever I do, but that’s not to say that some of the “age prevention” aspects of this don’t appeal because THEY DO. The inclusion of SPF 20 into this moisturiser is a huge must for me because of my pale skin, but with sun damage being a big factor in ageing skin too… it’s kind of a great added bonus to something that I want from a moisturiser anyway. It also claims to have antioxidants and whatever else in it but… I don’t particularly care about those. I’m all about that SPF. (And did I mention it’s scent free? Because it’s scent free.)

Also, as a person with very sensitive skin that will go from dry to greasy to erupting with grossness, and then back to being painfully dry but with little face demons still erupting all over, all within the space of a week, it’s often difficult for me to find a moisturiser that works for me. Either they do nothing to ease the drying effects of daily washing and being battered by the UKs glorious weather, or they turn my face into a total oil slick. I struck lucky with the Superdefense moisturiser when I found it over a year ago. It’s very thick, but it glides on easily and absorbs into the skin very quickly too. Unlike highstreet brands that I’ve used (Nivea is one that springs to mind) it does not absorb quickly and then half an hour later your skin is the same as it was pre-moisturisation. It absorbs and leaves your skin feeling very smooth and hydrated for most of the day, dependent on the conditions you’re putting your face through.

Of course with all high end cosmetic products you will find that it is quite expensive for a relatively small amount. The standard price for 50ml of Superdefense is £39.00. Luckily, it is also a thick consistency, so tends to last quite a while. With daily use I can get a good 4-5 months out of this. Also, always try to look out for discounts and special events that will reduce the price (Feelunique often have discount codes and events going on for customers to take advantage of).

This moisturiser comes in the “combination oily to oily skin” and “very dry to dry combination skin” formulas. I always opt for the former, as my skin does tend to get more oily with moisturisers than it does dry. From what I’ve seen from tester pots in stores, they both seem to be very similar in formulation… quite thick but then easily absorbed and very hydrating.

My only hope is that, one day, I will find a facial moisturiser (with SPF) that is ethical and works as well as Clinique Superdefense Daily Mouisturizer, but until then I’ll happily continue using this little pot of miracles.

If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, please leave a comment below or go to my contact page

*Excuse the fluctuation in spellings of moisturiser/moisturizer. Clinique is a US brand, and it names it’s products with US spellings and I am from the UK. As such I’m having to spell the product name differently to how I naturally would… but I refuse to alter all my spellings so instead we have this weird uncomfortable mash up of English spellings. Eurgh.


HERBALISM – Grab yourself a face salad

There are only several Lush products that make my list of products that I will buy again, and again, and again, and again…

Herbalism is now on that list. I’d seen it around for a while, but I didn’t really dig it’s smell and it is a bit of a ridiculous green colour… there were better smelling cleansers out there, and much better scented ones by Lush that I already enjoyed. But, with Lush, it’s not always about the look and smell of the product that makes it an absolute must have.

A few weeks ago I grew the balls to buy a pot (£6.75 for 100g of the stuff… not a big loss if I didn’t like it), smash it on my face a few times a week and then go about my day with no one knowing that I’d momentarily looked like Elphaba that morning.

First Look:

My initial impressions of the stuff were a bit mixed. On one hand there was the smell and the green and the thickness of the stuff (unlike Let the Good Times Roll it took a lot more liquid to make it usable). A word I find a lot of people use when reviewing Lush products is “literally”… often because many of their products do literally smell of candyfloss, or chocolate orange, or strawberries… The same goes for Herbalism. It literally smells like someone has taken a handful of herbs and other garden plants, taken a pestle and mortar to those bad boys, potted it up and declared it to be a new Lush product. And, for all I know that is exactly how they come up with their new products.

But then on the other hand, the effect of the stuff was just a little bit magical. I have entirely combination skin (sometimes oily, with dry patches and then I’ll break out but still be so dry…) and very few things diminish the redness of my blemishes when I have them, but this actually did something. It got rid of a patch of dry skin I had over some blemishes on the left side of my face, and made my skin a little less irritated. A miracle!

As an exfoliant (which is what I’d call it over “cleanser), it was very gentle and not at all scratchy or drying as some exfoliators tend to be. Rather than the typical sandy/gritty texture you’d find with an exfoliator, it felt much more like the texture of an oaty exfoliator. There was definitely potential in this to be used every day, unlike most highstreet brand exfoliators. I was in love, after just one use.


After using this at least 3 times a week for a couple of weeks, my love of this pot of green gold just grew and grew.

It’s been gentle on my sensitive skin, but exfoliating enough to get rid of any flaky patches of dead skin that I’ve had. Unlike some highstreet exfoliators, this hasn’t dried out my skin and left it irritated, which is most likely down to all the natural oils packed into it.

Prior to use I had a lot of blemishes break out on my skin, particularly on the left side of my face. Obviously it’s only been a couple of weeks since using this regularly, but I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my skin to the point where it’s clearer than it’s been for over a year! Huzzah!

The smell itself is obviously still very unusual to me, but then most Lush scents are a bit bizarre. After frequent use I’ve also noticed that it’s also not a bad smell, per se: it’s very fresh, and green and good smelling. Good as in “Damn if I ate this I’d be so healthy”. It’s the equivalent of a salad for your face. It might not look or smell the most appetising, but it is SO FRESH and so good for you.

I am now a devout follower of Herbalism, and you should be too (go on… grow some balls and pick up a tub!)

If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, please leave a comment below or go to my contact page.

Neglected Book Challenge

We all do it. We see a book; the cover looks interesting, the blurb seems like something we’d be into, we flick through and we like the little bits our eyes take in. And so we buy it. We take it home, and put it on our shelves, ready for when we’ve finished our current read.

And then it never sees the light of day again.

Other books come along, life gets busy, you lose it, you’re in a reading funk… there are a load of different reasons – ahem, excuses – as to why we never quite get around to reading a certain book.

The only problem is, this doesn’t happen to us bookish types just once. Oh no. This’ll happen three, four, five times… until suddenly we can fill a whole shelf with books we haven’t read (yet).

Now, this was never our intention. We love these books. We’re attached to them so much that someone will suggest we get rid of them and we will defiantly say “No! I’m going to read it!” and then we’ll completely forget we ever said that and go on to read something else. Again.

But the point is, we fully intend to read these things at some point. It may take years, but we will.

And so, that is what I am going to do. For the month of September I’m going to be reading and reviewing those books that I’ve had for too long to have not read. You can follow my progress by checking the neglected books tag on my blog, and I’ll also be keeping (and updating) a list of my progress right here for you to follow!

Are you going to join me in reading your neglected books this month? Let me know in the comments below, or tell me which books you’ve had on your shelves but have yet to read. I’d love to know!

SHADOW – K.T. Parker

EMPRESS – Karen Miller

THE SONG OF ACHILLES – Madeline Miller


THE COLOUR OF MAGIC – Terry Pratchett

QUICKIE: The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear is the second installment in Patrick Rothfuss’s bestselling series The King Killer Chronicle. I’ve read it previously, but this series is so good (and I am so impatient for the third book) that it most certainly deserves a reread.

This book not only manages to lead seemlessly from the first, it manages to be a step above the first installment too. And not just because we do actually discover what “The Wise Man’s Fear” is*, unlike The Name of the Wind, where we’re still none the wiser about the name of the wind by the end of it. The characters are well-rounded, the story-telling is fantastic and has multiple layers and to be quite honest it’s a credit to the genre. It really is must read for any fantasy fan, and whilst the length of each book might be a bit daunting for someone new to the genre, it’s definitely less intimidating than well known fantasy series such as A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin or The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

So, if fantasy is your thing, or you’re looking for your first step into high-fantasy before you take on the giants of the genre, do not give this series a miss. I think it’s wonderful, and I’m sure you will too.

*Wise blokes should fear a moonless night. Obviously.

If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, please leave a comment below or go to my contact page.

Most Anticipated New Releases 2015

There’s a host of fab looking books coming out in the UK in the latter half of this year, so I thought I’d give you a list of my most eagerly awaited books that’ll be hitting shelves (and e-readers) in the coming months.

(Please Note: The release dates listed are UK release dates. Releases may vary for your country, and books may already be available for purchase.)

SKINilkatampke1) SKIN by Ilka Tampke (6th August 2015)

This historical fiction meets fantasy novel is set in Iron Age Britain, where a young “skinless” woman sets out on a journey to find the knowledge that will help her protect her people.

History, romance, fantasy… it has something to appeal to everyone, it seems, and early reviews are largely positive. Not to mention a cover that is perhaps the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life.

The publishers really do need to be commended for what they’ve done to get this book out there. Their publicity on this thing has been phenomenal – some of the most creative and fun publicity I’ve seen for a book this year – and all I can say is that I’m so disappointed I never got my hands on a SKIN themed bottle of mead.

If you’re interested in learning more about SKIN, a free e-reader only extract is available for download from Amazon.

TROUJLHpatrickness2) THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness (27th August 2015)

An interesting and exciting take on the post-apocalyptic/dystopian trend that seems to have taken the YA world by storm over the last few years. Ness’s take on the genre centre’s on a kid who is… just a kid. Not the Chosen One, not the Saviour of Human-Kind, just a regular teen with regular dreams and wishes (like graduating, getting the girl,not getting killed…).

Typically I’m not a huge lover of YA dystopians, or any dystopian for that matter, but the premise of this one really caught my eye. The more fantastical elements appealed to me too, of course. It also seems to have a really great message, which I find in most highly rated and poignant YA novels is usually too poncy and ridiculous for my liking. The message that sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life, is a really great one, and one I know I would’ve loved to have when I was this novels target demographic. Heck, I still love it now.

With 5 YA novels under his belt already, and a few awards to his name too, Patrick Ness isn’t new to the scene at all. Early reviews are saying very good things, and if the likes of YA superstar John Green highly rate Ness’s work, then that can only be a good sign.

If you haven’t encountered his work before, I highly recommend it, especially if you love authors like Cassie Clare. An extract of THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE is available on Patrick Ness’s website.

FURIOUSjennylawson3) FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson (22nd September 2015)

Some say laughter is a way of defending ourselves against things that might hurt us, but what those people often forget is that it’s a way of healing our hurts too. The Bloggess hasn’t forgotten this with her newest book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY – a book filled with a funny look on horrible things. Because sometimes, no matter how bad things are, you just have to laugh.

Her first book, a memoir, was a huge hit, and FURIOUSLY HAPPY seems like it will be too. If it’s anything like the first, it’s coming popularity will be entirely justified as there’s no doubt that Lawson has a way with words and, though to some she might seem eclectic with her evident love of bizarre taxidermy, she speaks of mental illness in a way that is refreshing and relatable to so many sufferers.

If you’re unfamiliar with Jenny Lawson, but think this book might be of interest to you, check out her blog, The Bloggess.

June 2015 Book Haul

Summer is here and so is reading season! I’ve acquired way more books than I expected, mostly down to finally having the money to spend on books (and it being Indie Bookshop week here in the UK!) so I went all out on the book buying front. I was also lucky enough to win 2 books this month too (a huge thanks to Penguin for Louise Candlish’s new book and Neel Burton on goodreads for a copy of his book on emotions!)

THE SHADOW CABINET – Maureen Johnson
DIVERGENT – Veronica Roth
INSURGENT – Veronica Roth
ALLEGIANT – Veronica Roth
HALF BAD – Sally Green
HALF WILD – Sally Green

What books have you added to your collection this month?


Good day to you, and welcome to my new blog! As the title suggests, this blog is going to be just slightly bookish.

Primarily I will be posting book reviews, however there’s also going to be hauls, challenges and giveaways! On the odd occasion I will also be posting different content such as recipes, beauty product reviews, and personal blogs (like this one!). Over the next few weeks I’ll be compiling all my current book reviews, writing new ones, and getting a posting schedule set up, so please wait a while whilst I get everything together.

If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, please leave a comment below or go to my contact page.