Thursday, 14 March 2013

Travel and Inflight Essentials

Hello, hello, beautiful readers,

How are you all on this (where I am) sunny Thursday? It's Caitlin writing to you all, today, and I must start by apologising for my absence from the blogging world. As Christie mentioned in her last post, 'Good Luck to my Best Friend' (the most lovely, lovely post; I am so flattered by her lovely words... I love you) I have had an emergency appendectomy and so have spent the past two and a half weeks in bed recovering. On top of that, I finally had my interview for the PGCE (teaching) course at the University of Sussex for which I had spent three months preparing! Thank you all for your lovely messages of good luck; you have no idea how much they meant to me. I'll keep you posted on my PGCE progress! But, now that both things are well and truly out of the way, I'm back on the radar and ready to blog! 

Today I thought I'd post about my travel and inflight essentials. This might seem somewhat random, but, I was actually planning for this post to be up in time for my arrival in South Africa; two and a half weeks ago! As Christie mentioned in her previous post, my mom and I travelled to South Africa for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (amazing, isn't it?). We left on Saturday the 23rd of February and arrived in Johannesburg on the 24th, where we departed for Port Elizabeth the same day. The flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg is a long-un at 11 and a bit hours, so I thought it appropriate to share with you my inflight essentials. Needless to say, by Monday (the 25th) I was in hospital in Port Elizabeth with acute appendicitis, so this post never made it to press (phew, take a breath!)

So, although I am not currently about to fly anywhere, I thought this post might be useful to a few of you (or, at the very least a little bit interesting!) Before my trip I thought long and hard about what I needed to take with me onboard. After watching Sammi's (AKA BeautyCrush) video on her inflight and travel essentials I decided I needed to be a bit more organised when I travelled! I have always noticed that my skin suffers tremendously after a long-haul flight and so thought I'd do my best to try and combat this... After all, there's nothing worse than travelling for a big event only to find that your skin looks like a collage of spots, dry skin and general yuckiness! I must say, although I felt like death (quite literally, due to my rotten appendix) upon arrival in South Africa, I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin because of the effort I made to care for it on the plane. 

The products I took onboard included: 

Johnson's Facecare Daily Essentials face cleansing wipes for dry skin
Bioderma Sensibio H20 (in the cutest travel-friendly size of 100ml!)
La Roche-Possay Effaclar Duo
La Roche-Possay Toleriane 
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Hand Cream
Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner
Soap and Glory 'Hand Maid' sanitizer gel
Dentyl Active Mouth Wash (alongside my toothbrush and Colgate toothpaste!)
Estée Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup 
Benefit Speedbrow

As soon as I got on the plane (we were on an evening flight) I used my Johnson's face wipes to remove the majority of my makeup. I must admit, my skin does not generally like face wipes (I find they make my skin quite sensitive and even sore at times) but once in a while they really do the trick. I then used my Bioderma Sensibio H20 (if you haven't tried this product yet, DO!) to remove the last traces of makeup. Although I know Bioderma Sensibio H20 is specially formulated to remove the majority of makeup, I like to use it more as a toner; mainly because it is slightly pricier than face wipes. I find that Bioderma H20 makes my face feel really nourished and loved. I then applied my La Roche-Possay Effeclar Duo face cream on the majority of my face and a little bit of my La-Roche Possay Toleriane face cream on the drier areas of my face. I then used my Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner on my (seemingly always at the moment) chapped lips and my Elizabeth Aden Eight-Hour Hand Cream on my hands. My skin felt SO much better for having taken the time to care for it; something I usually shrug off because long-haul flights are usually once or twice a year events for me. Although I usually suffer breakouts on long-haul flights, this time my skin arrived in South Africa as it left the UK... A huge relief!

I arrived in South Africa barefaced and refreshed, but wanted some coverage for my skin and some taming for my brows. So, I used my Estée Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup as a base for my face (I'm a poet and I didn't know it...) and Benefit Speed Brow to give my brows some much needed taming and definition. Although I never usually leave the house with so little makeup, one has to make exceptions when one travels and embrace the natural look! Estée Lauder's Invisible Fluid Makeup is a product that I highly, highly recommend for those days when you are in a rush but don't have time to apply a full-face of makeup. It's light-weight texture makes it comparable to a tinted moisturiser, but, in my experience, much less greasy feeling! 

     *Post-appendectomy me, and my beautiful cousin Pippa, on the night of our grandparents 60th wedding anniversary*

So, beautiful readers, that's about it from me for today... I hope you found this post somewhat interesting. I just wanted to check back in with you all, and let you know I am as committed to the blogging world as ever, despite my appendix-induced absence! 

Please feel free to comment and let us know what your travel and inflight essentials are. We love trying new products and hearing from you! 

Oh, and... Tonight's the night that the winner of our 6-month Blogaversay Giveaway will be announced, so WATCH THIS SPACE!

Lots and lots of love to you all, From the Heart,

Caitlin and Christie <3

And the Winner Is...

Hello beautiful, beautiful readers,

It's Chris and Cait here, with some SUPER exciting news. Our 6-month Blogaversary Giveaway is now over, and, the results are in. We'd like to thank you all SO much for entering our giveaway. It was so lovely to read all of your comments about what you like about From the Heart. If we could, we would send each and every one of you the Urban Decay Basics pallette, but, alas, our bank accounts do not extend that far. Your support and kind words are appreciated more than you know. You're the reason we love blogging.

So, without further a due, the winner of the Urban Decay Basics Palette (RRP: £20.00) is...


Congratulations Vânia! We will be sending you an email shortly to confirm where you would like your prize to be shipped to. We really hope you'll love using the Urban Decay eyeshadows as much as we do! 

Vânia commented that what she loved about From the Heart was 'I'm a new follower, but I love the concept of two sisters blogging together. I love my sister and she is always talking about create a blog! Who knows if someday I and she create a blog together like you!' Thank you Vânia, for your kind words!

Thank you all for all of your love and support, and for entering our 6-month Blogaversary giveaway. We hope to run lots more giveaways in the future, so watch this space. Please don't hesitate to let us know what you would like to see on From the Heart. As always, we love hearing from you; your comments truly make our days.

With lots and lots of love, From the Heart,

Christie & Caitlin <3

*Disclaimer: We are not in any way affiliated with Urban Decay and were not sponsored to run this giveaway. The Basics pallet was purchased with private funds and is intended as a thank-you gift to the winner of this competition. The winner was chosen 100% randomly by Rafflecopter 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Good Luck to my Best Friend

Dear all,

I hope you have all had a lovely day, celebrating and remembering mothers and their special places in our lives. It's always good to leave the craziness of our busy lives behind for a day and to cherish a day dedicated to moms, in any way we can.

x Happy Mothers Day x
So, how did you spend it?

So, Cait and I spent the day in Brighton with ours. The reason that we were in Brighton specifically was that our wonderful mama was accompanying Cait down there for her PGCE (teaching) interview at the University of Sussex tomorrow; Dad and I just decided to tag along for the ride and make a Mother's Day Special of it! Wow, it was cold though!

So, in view of the big day tomorrow, I wanted to write a few words of good luck and encouragement to my beautiful sister.

Now, you may have noticed that she has been a little quiet on the blogging front of late and that is because the universe has been sending a few 'tests' her way...Having decided to apply to complete her teaching qualification, and having worked inspiringly hard in completing her application, she was struck by a few stumbling blocks, not least including the fact that the University has filled its places before she even had the chance to interview. And to add insult to literal injury, this news arrived just days after an emergency appendectomy in South Africa! The poor patient still can't drive or work and now has an impressive (but neat) war-wound just wear her appendix used to be!

                    x Some of the heart warming cards Caits received from the school she is a teaching assistant at...x 

Nevertheless, like the super star that she is, she has decided to put all that hard work to use and to go and interview anyway. And to give it her very best while she is at it. For this choice, I have the utmost admiration - lesser girls and boys may let this news (with or without an appendix!) get the better of them and may have decided to opt out of following the application process through. As a result and simply because they weren't lucky enough to get an interview date early, universities around the country may be losing out on some the best students and potential teachers they may ever have seen.

Because that girls and boys, is what my sister is - one of the best teachers there is, and will be. Following in the footsteps of our gorgeous and inspiring mother who certainly was.

Cait will give her heart (a big one!) to her students, will nurture each and every one of them (just as she has her family and her friends her whole life) and will, without doubt, inspire hope, not only in every one of her students but in anyone who has the privilege of studying and working with her.

She is the most tenacious person I know and despite never really appreciating her brilliance herself, she never, NEVER, gives up. And this will be no exception.

So I can only hope that the University can see not only what potential she has, but what an honour it would be to teach her.

Because she is wonderful.

And because to make any decision other than to find a way to accept her despite being 'full' would be an unequivocal mistake. Because she is, and will be, the best thing that ever happened to the children she will one day teach.

I love her with all of my heart; she is without doubt my best friend and my inspiration and, coming from an older sister, apparently that is quite something ;)

So beautiful readers, I would really really love it if you could root for her tomorrow, as I will be; your positive vibes would be appreciated more than you could possibly know.

x Always my best friend x
We love you all and don't forget - we will be announcing the winner of the giveaway THIS week! Eep - excitement!

Love love,


Saturday, 9 March 2013

x Lush Lust x

Hey beauties,

How is life treating you this fine Saturday? It seems as though London flirted with the possibility of Spring today, what with a couple of rays of sunshine and even a little blue sky. Exciting times!

So, Cait has been in South Africa and I have been moving house, so yet again, we must apologise for having been so quiet but don't worry, we haven't forgotten you, or our giveaway for that matter! It is not long now until the winner will be announced so, for anyone who hasn't yet gotten round to entering, you still have time! (not much of it mind you so get moving - 3 days to go!)

So, I am sitting on the sofa watching some terrible day time TV and enjoying some tea and a gorgeous box of artisan du chocolat so as you may have guessed, its been a girlie pamper day. And as you will also have guessed, such a day would be simply incomplete without an array of gorgeous Lush products.

I must admit, I hadn't ventured into the heaven that is Lush for years and only set foot in a store again fairly recently but wow, I have been missing out! As many of us know by now (Instagram leads me to believe there are many many a sharer of this passion for Lush products), the bath bombs are, quite simply, AMAZING. Add to that the face masks, the Roe's Argon Body Conditioner and the Bubblegum Lip Scrub and you are away. Whilst every time I set foot in store (which is worryingly frequently I must admit), I like to try a different bath bomb, my staples are undoubtable the Comforter, the Dragon's Egg and the other products mentioned above.

The Bubblegum Lip Scrub is so gorgeous - it is ideal for these Wintery months we have been fighting our way through as I am not sure about you, but my lips certainly get pretty dry and chapped. Making a my favorite red lipsticks a no-go just when I need it the most! This sad state of affairs is no longer though as thanks to this divine tasting scrub; it is even made from sugar so you can literally eat it off your newly soft and polished lips! The only thing I will say is, because it is pretty much just like 'damp' sugar, it has the propensity to be a little messy so do do it over the sink; sugar underfoot is never pleasant.

I came across the Roe's Argon Body Conditioner in one of the Lush gift boxes which I was lovingly given for my birthday - I had to replace the sample pot with a BIGGG pot because I loved its unusual, 'rose but not quite' scent and its insanely potent moisturizing properties. You can literally see the change in your skin and you can also see your skin craving it when you miss it for a couple of days (perhaps that is not ideal?!). What I notice about the majority of creams, regardless of price, is that if I moisturise in the evening, by the time I get into the shower in the morning, my skin still feels sorta slimy and like the moisturiser has just been sitting on top of my skin. Now, unless I am literally lathering myself in a bottle a day (which I assure you, I am not), this leads me to conclude that, more often that not, the cream isn't sinking in. Which doesn't make me happy. But again, no longer because this is absolutely not the case with the body conditioner! Now, you can use the conditioner in the shower, much the same way as you would for your hair, but I have tended to apply it to dry skin and leave it in and by the time I take a shower in the morning, my skin seems to have lapped it all up! Literally!

The two face masks I have tried and loved are the Brazen Honey and the Catastrophe Cosmetic masks - both of which I highly recommend. Don't be alarmed by the colour of the latter - it does look a little gross, but smells deceptively gorgeous and really does calm down alarmed skin - if it works for me, I can say with relative assurance that it is a GOOD product, being that my skin has been participating in some sort of strike action in recent weeks. I can't say it miraculously got rid of all blemishes and imperfections, but it left my skin feeling calmed, less red and generally pampered and encouraged to behave itself better in future.

I would probably recommend the above, Catastrophe Cosmetic, over the Brazen Honey mask but saying that, the latter is just a really nice mid week, radiance boosting treat. If you are like me, and your skin starts heading towards the greyer end of the luminosity spectrum when you get to about mid week and fundamentally haven't been getting enough sleep, this is your weapon of choice; its a great pick me up, and followed by my new favourite foundation Rimmel Wake Me Up, you will be looking alive again in no time!

Speaking of makeup, who knew Lush did it?! Now, I must admit I was, and still am, a little sceptical - I am something of a make up snob so I am not sure that I will be venturing into the bright blues and greens on show in Lush. But I did decide to give the mascara a go - actually primarily because of it's size and handiness for travel (a key consideration when you find yourself constantly on the go!). And what can I say - I am MASSIVELY impressed. It lengthens without being clumpy and it does 'malt' on to the lower eye area as so many lengthening mascaras do. It also has an almost dewy sheen to the finish - making your lashes look so fresh and brightening your eyes as as well. I would definitely recommend giving this a try - we would love to hear what you thought of it.

So, what Lush products do you Love and which do you Lust after?

Have a beautiful Saturday readers - we would love to hear how you are spending it.