Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Festive Gift Guide - Soap & Glory Gift Sets From Boots


'Tis the season to be smelly, fa la la la la la la la la...

And by smelly, I mean smelling soap-tacular (okay, I'll stop) because until the 25th of December, it's Buy One Get One Free on a HUGE range of Soap & Glory Gift Sets in Boots Middle East

I have two of these fabulous sets to show you today:

Festive Gift Guide - Soap & Glory Gift Sets From Boots

Glow Maintenance - A brilliant bag of Soap & Glory's bestselling bath and bodystuffs.

Soap & Glory Glow Maintenance Gift Set From Boots - Life in Excess Blog
Soap & Glory Glow Maintenance Gift Set From Boots - Life in Excess Blog

Contents:

Clean On Me Creamy Moisture Shower Gel 75ml

The Scrub Of Your Life Body Buffer 50ml - A favourite of mine!

The Righteous Butter Body Moisturiser 50ml

Face, Soap and Clarity 3-In-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash 50ml - A foaming facial wash made with natural Yuzu superfruits. I can't wait to try this!

Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream 50ml - Another favourite of mine! Works wonders on dry hands.

Bright And Beautiful Radiance-Boosting Mask - A sheet mask with a white flower brightening complex - lotus flower, cherry blossom and rooibos tea extract. 

Plus, everything comes packaged in a generous-sized, Glow Maintenance toiletry bag - perfect for travelling with. 


Soaper Heroes - A marvelous medley of award-winning minis.

Soap & Glory Soaper Heroes Gift Set From Boots - Life in Excess Blog

Contents:

Clean On Me Creamy Moisture Shower Gel 75ml

The Scrub Of Your Life Body Buffer 50ml

The Righteous Butter Body Moisturiser 50ml

Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream 50ml

Sugar Crush Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Pod 8ml 

Rich And Foamous Shower And Bath Body Wash Pod 8ml


I'm a huge fan of Soap & Glory products and these gift sets offer such value for money, and a great way to try out some of the brand's bestselling products. So, if you live by the, 'one for me, one for you' gift buying rule or you just fancy stocking up on some amazing Soap & Glory goodies this December, get yourself down to Boots pronto! 

Soap & Glory Christmas Gift Sets From Boots - Life in Excess Blog

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for review; however all words and opinions are my own. 
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Monday, 11 December 2017

My Thoughts On The New iPhone X


Disclaimer: If you're looking for in depth technical advice, you're in the wrong place. I'm no tech wizard - or whatever those Apple guys are calling themselves these days. I'm just a girl with a new phone and an urge to chat about it. 

Here are my honest thoughts on the new iPhone X:

Review Apple iPhone X Life in Excess Blog
Review Apple iPhoneX Life in Excess Blog

New phone day wasn't quite the joyous occasion I'd been anticipating. 5 hours into trying to set up my new phone, I was ready to throw that X right out of the window like every other bad relationship I've ever had. It seemed that my old iPhone 6 and my new iPhone X couldn't see eye to eye and trying to back up and restore all of my personal info from one phone to the next would take an entire evening, plus a very lengthy phone conversation with Apple's tech support. 

If you're a habitual 'back up' procrastinator (i.e. haven't backed your phone up in over a year) and you have over 15,000 photos and videos, mostly of your dog, that you've never bothered to save anywhere else, I'd pour yourself a large glass of wine and clear yourself an entire day. Trust me.

So, with my phone finally set up, here's what I love about the iPhone X:

The camera - This is arguably the iPhone X's best feature and honestly, the only reason I opted for the X over the iPhone 8. It has the dual lens, like the plus models, meaning that it gives you those nice blurred backgrounds that we all love, it performs better in low light settings and gives you clearer, sharper images. The X also has the new Portrait Mode which is perfect for taking selfies and allows you to adjust the lighting effects, depending on what type of image you're trying to produce. The front facing camera is also of a significantly higher quality than any other iPhone I've ever used, which means incredibly clear selfies - freckles and all. Make of that what you will. Most of my latest Instagram images have been taken on the iPhone X and I'm blown away by the quality of the images every time I use my phone's camera. Here are some images I shot recently to prove my point:

Review Apple iPhoneX Life in Excess Blog
Without Portrait Mode, edited to brighten image

Review Apple iPhoneX Life in Excess Blog
Portrait Mode, unedited

Review Apple iPhoneX Life in Excess Blog
Portrait Mode, edited to brighten, de saturate parts of image

The Size - This was another important factor in my decision to buy the iPhone X. I've always felt that the Plus models are too big for me and with this just being a fraction larger than my iPhone 6, but with a much larger screen, I feel like you're really getting the best of both worlds. 

Facial Recognition - I never realised how much I hated having to manually unlock my phone until I started using the X's facial recognition. I just pick up my phone, swipe up and I'm usually good to go. (We'll come back to the usually part in the 'things I hate' section.) I also really like the fact that my notifications are private when they flash up on my screen and the content is only shown when I look at my phone - perfect for if you've ever had an embarrassing message flash up on your screen when you've been sitting out in public. Also, the animojis, whilst being incredibly gimmicky, have provided Scott and I with endless laughs. It's the small things, right?

Review Apple iPhoneX Life in Excess Blog
Private notifications

Onto the things I hate about the iPhone X:

The Facial Recognition - Ahh yes, the facial recognition. When it actually works, it's brilliant but truthfully, it's about as reliable as the lottery winner from Nigeria looking to share his good fortune. It works about half of the time and practically never when I'm wearing sunglasses... which is more or less every time I'm out and about in Dubai.

Blurred Scrolling - Through a bit of late night googling when I first started using my phone, I found out that this is possibly due to the iPhone X's OLED display but whenever the screen is set to a low brightness, text and images can sometimes become sort of blurred when scrolling. It's kind of hard to describe but the text and images look like they break up and have lines running through them when you fast scroll. I found this extremely off putting at first but I must have got used to it because I don't notice it as much now. Although, for such an expensive phone, I wouldn't have expected there to be such an issue.

Price - Okay, this is definitely a subjective thing but for me, I feel like the price of the iPhone X is just ridiculous. Yes, on the whole, it's a very good phone, but still... it's just a phone. I paid AED 4,729 for the 256GB model, which at the current exchange rate works out around £956. It makes my stomach churn to see it on paper like that. Would I buy it again knowing what I do? Yes, I would, but only because I hadn't upgraded my phone in years. If you have 7 or 8 Plus models, I'd be tempted to wait this one out. 

Overall, I am really happy with my new phone. There are some tweaks that I think Apple need to make, but for their first full display phone, I think they've done a pretty decent job. I haven't even thought twice about the home screen button, which I thought I would miss more than I actually do. 
As a blogger and Instagram obsessive, the camera definitely makes this purchase worthwhile for me and is very much my favourite thing about the iPhone X.

What are your thoughts about the iPhone X? Have you upgraded or are you considering taking the plunge? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Review Apple iPhone X Life in Excess Blog

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Updated Minimal Makeup Routine


Confession: I don't like to wear a lot of makeup.

Okay, scratch that. I DO like to wear a lot of makeup, just not every day and not when I'm nipping out to buy apples in my intermediate clothes - you knowclothes that fall somewhere in between pjs and acceptable casuals. 

I've also never, 'nipped out to buy apples' but in the spirit of trying to tell a tale, I'm just going to roll with it. 

I often get asked about my every day makeup routine on Instagram and so I finally decided it was time to share the products I use pretty much every time I do my makeup. Of course, I mix it up when I'm going for full blown glam, but any other time you see me, this is what's on my face:

Updated Minimal Makeup Routine - Life in Excess Blog
Updated Minimal Makeup Routine - Life in Excess Blog
Updated Minimal Makeup Routine - Life in Excess Blog

Foundation: Depending on whether or not I'm having a good skin day, I flit between my Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser in shade 05 Natural and the Diorskin Forever Foundation in shade 020. The Dior foundation is a slightly newer purchase but I have been using Complexion Rescue for years - I love them both. Complexion Rescue is lightweight but adds a touch of colour to my skin and has relatively good cover for a tinted moisturiser. The Dior foundation is perfect for when I want my skin to look flawless and I need that extra coverage. 

Concealer: My absolute favourite concealer at the moment is Rimmel Wake Me Up Skin Brightening Concealer in shade 040 Soft Beige. It isn't too thick or heavy and the slight peach undertone works perfectly to cover my under eye dark circles. I'm also really enjoying using Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in shade 030 Classic Beige when I want to conceal the rest of my face. 

Powder: My skin can be quite dry so I have been skipping using a lot of powder on my face when I want to keep things simple and I usually just apply a light dusting of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette to my face - I just run my brush across all three shades.

Bronzer and Eyeshadow: Yes, I've clubbed bronzer and eyeshadow together because I usually use the Seventeen Instant Glow Gold Bronze Shimmer Brick for both. I don't go mad with this, because it's quite shimmery but I use all four shades swirled together for my bronzer and then I use a combination of the shades for my eyeshadow - usually the 2nd and 4th in my crease and the 1st shade on my lid. It's perfect for when I'm in a rush or I can't be bothered using lots of different products. This shimmer brick is such an inexpensive product but I really love it. 

Blusher: I love a peachy pink blusher and MAC New Romance Mineralize Blush is my absolute go-to. It has a lovely sheen to it and so I usually forgo the highlighter when I'm wearing this. If you prefer a more matte blusher, I highly recommend MAC Blush All day Pro Longwear Blush. It's the most perfect, neutral pink. 

Brows: I didn't bother to include my brow products because A) I forgot and B) everyone has their preferences but I usually use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in shade Ebony

Setting Spray: No questions asked, my setting spray of choice is always Urban Decay Chill or All Nighter Setting Spray. I don't notice much difference between the two so it usually depends on what I can get my hands on from Sephora at the time. 

Mascara: Also not pictured because I was wearing lash extensions at the time (you can read my review of those here;) however I'm currently using, and loving, Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara in Indecent Black. And I posted it after the setting spray because I have yet to apply my mascara and then use a setting spray without ending up with black smudges all over my face - so moral of the story is apply mascara last!

And there you have it. Using these products, I can typically be ready in about 5-10 minutes. 

What are your go-to, ever day makeup products? Are you into minimal makeup? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Updated Minimal Makeup Routine - Life in Excess Blog

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