Making the Most of Everyday #SpendItWell #ad


"So if it doesn't make you feel 10 feet tall...
 if it doesn't take you somewhere extraordinary, say no."    #SpendItWell

I've never been one to save things for best... I've always believed in drinking from crystal glasses every day, wearing sequins to the supermarket and using the limited edition palette until it hits pan. 


In a recent survey, M&S found that 81% of us think it’s the small things that make a big difference, but don’t make enough time for them. It takes effort to shift this mindset and personally I find that simple things often make the most impact.... 
  • Starting my day with a walk on the beach
  • Wearing a dress and red lipstick, just because it makes me feel good
  • Buying myself flowers
  • Resisting the temptation to scroll through my phone when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil
  • Making more time for people I want to be around (and saying no to those I don't!).

On 1st June, Marks & Spencer is launching Make it Matter Day with a series of national events in support of communities around the UK. It's all about making time for what's important and empowering us to change from a place of frustration to one of greater contentment. Locally to me, M&S is supporting Foyle Search & Rescue, a volunteer-run suicide prevention charity, where M&S Foyleside and Crescent Link staff will make over, spruce up and maintain a memorial garden used by those who have lost loved ones. Derry-Londonderry is one of ten pilot community transformation programmes to support 1000 communities, with the ultimate aim of living happier, healthier lives.

I'd love to know what you do to make time for things that matter... please leave a comment below or share online with #SpendItWell - you'll find more info and inspo here

*This post was sponsored by Marks & Spencer


Free Lancome Gift at John Lewis

A quick heads up on a free Lancome gift with the purchase of selected beauty bundles at John Lewis this month (while stocks last). Bundles are available on a range of budgets, from a lipstick and mascara to skincare. I opted for this one, which includes Advanced Genifique Yeux Eye Illuminator, a beautifully cooling serum to target eye bags and lines, and Hypnose Mascara, for seriously fluttery lashes. I was also very tempted by this lipstick & mascara duo as the colour is right up my street.

Every bundle (regardless of value) comes with the same free gift, which includes a generous mix of travel and full sized products:

  • Creme Mousse Confort Cleanser 125ml
  • Cils Booster XL 5.5ml
  • Hypnose Mascara 2ml
  • Muslin Cloth
  • Hydrazen Day Cream 15ml 
  • Hydrazen Night Cream 15ml

I haven't had a chance to try everything just yet, but wanted to share details while the offer is still on... quite a few things were out of stock when I got mine, but seem to have been replenished since. So far I've been particularly impressed with the Hypnose mascara and Cils Booster XL, a white mascara primer for extra length and volume - it really does make a difference though the mascara is great on its own.

Offer is available while stocks last - full details on all bundles here

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples & purchases and some links are affiliate. See my full disclaimer here.


Jo Malone Star Magnolia Hair Mist: Review

Jo Malone London has released its first ever hair mist in new Limited Edition scent, Star Magnolia. 

Star Magnolia is fresh and bright, a crisp yet gently creamy white floral, with notes of magnolia leaf and orange blossom alongside lemon, ginger and shiso (an aromatic Asian herb). Also available in cologne, I find it quite youthful yet sophisticated and think it will appeal to a wide age range.

The Hair Mist is perfect for anyone who wants to take fragrance layering to a new level, fancies a lighter way to wear scent or whose skin can not tolerate perfume. While this isn't my typical go-to scent, it's perfect for Spring and I've really enjoyed wearing it. We've had beautiful warm sunny weather this week and it's been great to spritz my hair with this rather than applying perfume on top of sunscreen.

If making my hair smell good was its only asset, I'd probably opt for the cologne instead, but I find the hair mist surprisingly functional. It acts as a great finishing product on my easily weighed down hair, adding a delicate mist of lightly conditioning definition and shine, with a waft of scent every time my hair moves. And don't even start me on the white ombre bottle and (removable) floral collar. 

Jo Malone London Star Magnolia is a Limited Edition scent available in 30 or 100ml Cologne and 30ml Hair Mist, available now. It's just launched and selling out fast already... find the range here or here. 

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples and purchases. See my full disclaimer here.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules are one of the first age-defying skincare products I recall from many moons ago, now available in a new formula that claims to have 'triple the anti aging power'. While I can't compare them to the original, I'm really enjoying these little capsules of serum as a night time treatment. Designed to be worn under moisturiser, personally I find them self sufficient.

Ceramides are naturally present in the skin and like many good things, decrease with age. They help retain water and hold cells in place on the outer layer of our skin, for that plump, smooth (youthful!) appearance. Advanced Ceramide Capsules help strengthen the skin's moisture barrier and retexturize skin for a fresher, more radiant look.

Each little pearly capsule contains a single dose of serum... just twist off the little end and squeeze the product into your palm before massaging into skin. I actually find the dose quite generous and could probably eek it out to two nights; instead I've been extending it to my neck and decolletage, which I'm making a concerted effort to do with all skincare lately.

I'd recommend Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules for anyone in their 30s or older who is concerned about the effects of aging. As the consistency is rich and slightly oily, I think they're best suited to dry or normal to dry skin.

My smaller bottle of 30 capsules is sold out online although may be available in store... two larger sizes are available here (and actually work out better value in the long run). If you fancy treating yourself, now is a good time as House of Fraser has a lovely Gift With Purchase worth £47 when you buy any two Elizabeth Arden products (one to be skincare).

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples and purchases. See my full disclaimer here.
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