Friday 31 January 2014

Degustabox: The Monthly Food Subscription Box

Degustabox* - £9.99 + £3 Delivery

There's only one thing better than a beauty box & that is a food box. I've read about quite a few other food subscription boxes recently & they all seem to have a slant to them, whether they're gourmet, vegan or diet food. Degustabox angles itself as more of a general 'tasting' box - after all 'degusta' is the Spanish word for 'tasting' (thank you A-Level Spanish!). They've recently launched in the UK & I got to try out their first ever box. Every month subscribers can expect to receive between 10-15 food & drink products from 6-8 different well known brands. The idea is that many of the items included will be new, special or innovative in some way so that you can experience new flavours or something slightly different to what you would usually pick up from the supermarket. The boxes cost just £12.99 including shipping with no minimum subscription term. The value of the food inside will always be at least double the price of the box. I'm always trying to trim down my food budget so this is a fantastic way of trying out some new products & saving money at the same time. I was slightly concerned that I would receive things that I wouldn't like as I'm a bit of a fussy eater. However I'm pleased to say that I have tried everything in the box & all of it was really yummy.

The main difference that stands out to me between Degustabox & other food subscription services is the sheer quantity of products you receive. Everything is delivered in a huge box & it's packed to the brim with food & drink. I have purchased items from many of the brands featured before & I like that there's a lot of cupboard staples included. You know that this stuff will all get eaten & that is why it is excellent value for money.

Inside the box you're presented with a list of all the products & some recipe ideas of how to use some of them. I think the recipe card is such a great idea. I sometimes don't know which seasonings to use when cooking so this was really helpful. I loved making the potato wedges!

Finally onto the goodies! In my box I received three cans of Bavaria beer, Spiced Chai Latte, four sachets of Bisto gravy, Oxo Shake & Flavour seasoning granules, Bisto chicken stock melts, two jars of Reggae Reggae sauce, two packs of Yu! granola clusters, two packets of Belvita breakfast biscuits and a bar of Green & Black's Spiced Chilli dark chocolate. The beer was great - low alcohol content but flavourful & sweet, especially the lemon one. I always buy the Drink Me Chai teas so I was very happy to receive a new tin. The Bisto gravys were really nice, very rich & delicious. I made the garlic & herb potato wedges using the seasoning granules, they tasted fantastic. I always buy the stock melts for making soup & quinoa, they're much better than powder stock cubes. The Reggae Reggae sauces were nice, the cooking sauce tasted like a Caribbean version of sweet & sour chicken. The Yu! granola clusters are my new obsession, I've repurchased several packets already! I love Belvita biscuits, especially the yoghurt ones. I've tried lots of Green & Black's chocolate products before but never Spiced Chilli. It reminded me of Mexican chilli hot chocolate, quite unusual but tasty all the same.

If you want to sign up for one, Degustabox have given me a special discount code so you can get £3 off your first box. Just enter sparklyvodka999 at the checkout. You can even order a gift subscription for someone else. If I was still at uni I'd be begging my mum to buy me one haha. I will definitely be ordering another Degustabox. It was such a brilliant treat & I can't wait to see what'll be in the next one. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Thursday 30 January 2014

Uevo Design Cube Soft Gloss

Uevo Design Cube Soft Gloss* - £15.50

I tend to be quite minimalistic with my hair. I only wash it once or twice a week so after going through the whole blowdrying process I normally stick to a single styling product. I prefer a sleek & polished finish so I often look for things that can smooth any frizz or flyaways without flattening my hair down completely. A hair product that I've been really loving lately is this Uevo Design Cube. Uevo is a Japanese brand & their products are apparently very popular in Japanese hair salons. The Uevo Design Cube is available in 10 colours offering a variety of holds & finishes. The range is comprised of unisex hair waxes, gels & glosses. Not every product will be suitable for every hair type or length but there's a clever system in place to help you decide which Design Cube is the one for you. Each product has been assigned two numbers. The first number dictates how hard the product is & the second number shows how heavy it is.

I was kindly sent a tub of Soft Gloss by Hyde Park Hair Shop, the exclusive UK supplier of the Uevo Design Cubes. Soft Gloss is suitable for all hair types & lengths. The numbers on this product are 2-9 which means it offers a soft heavy hold to your hair. Soft Gloss contains natural pearl essence which gives the most beautiful shine & moisture. You can even see some pearlescent pink tones in the gloss which adds to the shimmery effect. It smells really amazing too, you can tell it's a salon quality product. Plus how cool is the packaging?! The neon pink shade definitely drew me to Soft Gloss. It looks like a lego cube & if you buy more than one of these products you can actually stack them like lego. Pretty cool huh?

In terms of performance this is exactly the kind of styling product that I like to use. I simply take a small blob of the gloss, rub it between my palms & run it through the lengths of my hair. The result is some seriously sleek & frizz-free hair. It adds some separation & definition but it still looks soft. I sometimes get a bit more product and twist it through the very ends of my hair to make it a bit more piecey. It's great for ruffling up your hair with to make it look effortlessly stylish. I don't find that it weighs down my hair or makes it greasy either which is always a dealbreaker for me. I've mentioned my love for Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine many times before & this product is actually comparable to it. Obviously one is a creme & the other is a gloss but they have a fairly similar effect on my hair. The pearlescent particles in Soft Gloss manage to add even more shine for a perfectly glossy finish. It makes my hair feel incredible too. Basically if you like Brilliantine, you'll absolutely love this. There's a Design Cube suitable for everyone so make sure you check out the collection.

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Wednesday 29 January 2014

Love Me Beauty Box January 2014

Love Me Beauty Box* - £10 + £2.95 Delivery

Another month, another Love Me Beauty box & it sure is a good'un! Love Me Beauty launched last year as the beauty box with a choice. Every month you get to choose between three boxes, each with a slightly different menu of products. Only you know what kind of products you want to try so this method is much better than getting sent loads of stuff you'll never use. I personally love having a few options & it's always exciting to check out the new menus. This month I went for menu three because I'm a big fan of Arran Aromatics & this box had the least scary shade of eyeshadow in it! It contains four full sized products & one sample. It's rare to find a beauty box that consistently sends out so many proper products. That's just one of the many reasons why Love Me Beauty is such a fab service. Here's what I received:

Anatomicals Rose & Jasmine Body Cleanser
I'm kinda bored of Anatomicals products popping up in beauty boxes. Apart from the colourful packaging & witty product names I don't feel like they have much to offer. You can never have too many shower gels though & I do really like the scent of this product. Rose & jasmine are two of my faves!

Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier
I've heard a lot of hype about Pureology products so I was excited to finally try one of them out. This is a volumising mousse for coloured hair. A lot of the mousses I've tried in the past would make my hair feel sticky & horrible. This one is much nicer. My hair felt really soft after using this & had a lovely shine to it. It didn't add that much volume to my hair but it did make it feel a lot thicker & fuller. I'd really recommend trying this if you have fine hair.

Arran Aromatics Apothecary Wheatgerm & Vitamin E Soap
I've been using a few different products from Arran Aromatics recently & they make some great quality stuff. I used to always buy the Lush body soaps but they ended up being quite pricey for what they were. This soap is a lot cheaper but just as lovely. I tend to think that soap is more drying than shower gels however this one is actually quite moisturising. The bar has got oatmeal particles inside which are fairly gentle yet exfoliate effectively. The wheatgerm & vitamin E ensure that your skin stays soft. I love trying out new body scrubs & I highly rate the Arran Aromatics ones. They're some of the best around with both exfoliating & moisturising properties.

Cosmetics À La Carte Divine Lash Mascara
I'd only vaguely heard of Cosmetics À La Carte before but the product that really piqued my interest in this box was their Divine Lash Mascara. This mascara alone costs £23 so January's box is excellent value for money. I'm wearing it in the above photo and as you can see it provides your lashes with lots of length, separation & definition. The slim brush easily fits into the corners to coat every tiny little lash. It's not as volumising as I would like but that means that it's not clumpy either. My lashes stayed well curled with this mascara & I've not experienced any flaking or smudging with it. Pretty impressive I'd say!

NYX Single Eyeshadow in Toffee Shimmer
On the menu it said that NYX Sahara eyeshadow was supposed to be in this box but instead I received Toffee Shimmer. I really like this colour though as it's just a very pretty sheer white gold shimmery shade. You can use it as a regular eyeshadow but I think it works really well as a highlight colour - both on the eyes & the face. In the above photo I packed it onto my eyelids & then blended it right up to my brow bone. I have a couple of NYX eyeshadow palettes & generally I think they're pretty good quality. You can expect lots of fallout though. Luckily that doesn't matter with a light colour like this. The texture is a little bit chalky but the colour is really nice.

All in all I think this was a brilliant box with a great selection of hair, body & makeup products. It was nice to see some different brands included as well. The contents are valued at nearly £40 so this box is well worth paying a tenner for. You can subscribe to Love Me Beauty for £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with no minimum subscription term. Visit the Love Me Beauty website to find out more.

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Tuesday 28 January 2014

Clarins All About Lips Gift Set

Clarins All About Lips Gift Set - £18

Clarins are one of my favourite skincare brands but I cannot recall ever trying any of their makeup before. Weird right? Personally I've always assumed that their cosmetics line was aimed towards the more mature lady so I've never really bothered looking at their makeup range. I've heard lots of praise for their lip products though so when I spotted this cute little set of miniature lipsticks, lip glosses & lip balms complete with an adorable makeup bag, I snapped it up immediately. I bought this a few months ago during one of those epic Boots events where you spend £50 & get 1200 Boots points in return. Clarins also had a GWP offer when you bought two products so it would've been silly not to. This is actually one of their Christmas sets so apologies for posting about something limited edition again! I thought I'd share the Clarins prettyness anyway because each of the items is part of their main collection so you can still buy all the products individually. The set contains a 2.5ml sample of Gloss Prodige, a 5ml tube of Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, a 7ml tube of Colour Quench Lip Balm & a 1.5g Rouge Eclat Lipstick.

Clarins Gloss Prodige in 04 Candy

Gloss Prodige is a highly pigmented, high-shine gloss with radiance-boosting pearls. It has some small glitter particles but they're not gritty at all. The shade Candy is deep plummy pink & I think it looks really gorgeous. The gloss is infused with raspberry oil to nourish & hydrate your lips. It also contains hyaluronic acid to plump up your lips. It has a gel formula so it does seem to last longer than a lot of other lip glosses. My favourite thing about this product is the scent. It smells absolutely incredible! The combo of blackberry & liquorice reminds me of sweeties & Ribena. Yummy stuff.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer

The main reason I decided to buy this kit was so I could finally try out one of the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. A full size one of these costs £17 so I figured I'd just spend an extra quid and get four products for the price of one. I've seen countless bloggers proclaiming their love for this lip balm so I'm not quite sure why I've waited this long to try it. This glossy pink lip balm might not look like anything special but it's so lovely. It's very moisturising & not sticky at all. It also makes your lips look slightly plumper. Rose Shimmer is just the sweetest baby pink shade. I finally get the hype!

Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm in 02 Peach Nectar

I'm not normally one for glittery or frosty lip products but I like this Colour Quench Lip Balm a lot more than I thought I would. Peach Nectar is a beautiful peachy colour with lots of golden flecks. It kinda reminds me of the NARS Orgasm lipgloss but this one is a lot shinier. Despite it's super glossy appearance this is classed as a lip balm because it really smooths & moisturises the lips. It feels very comfortable to wear & this one isn't sticky either. This balm also has a sweet cherry scent & flavour. It's delish!

Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in 13 Woodrose

Isn't that just the teeny tiniest little lippie you've ever seen? It's like something you'd get with a doll styling head! In the photo at the top of this post you can see how it looks wound up to the top. You don't get much of this lipstick in this set because a full size one will set you back £18.50. I can see why though. The formula is really rich and provides a soft & smooth satin finish. It contains Clarins' Nutri-Youth Complex to help create fuller, younger-looking lips with every use. It feels very silky & moisturising on the lips. It lasts quite a long time too although I did have to reapply after eating. The shade Woodrose is a pretty rosy red that would be very flattering on a lot of skin tones.

I couldn't be happier with my little lip set. These gift sets are a great way to try out lots of different products & it was much better value than just getting a single Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. To be honest I'll probably never need to repurchase a full sized one. I can't believe I've avoided Clarins makeup until now. Let me know which other Clarins makeup products you rate!

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Sunday 26 January 2014

New Nails: Maybelline Color Show Brocades

Maybelline Color Show Brocades - £3.99

I normally try not to post about limited edition drugstore products because once they're gone, they tend to stay gone. However I'm making an exception for these gorgeous glittery polishes from Maybelline. I received these for Christmas & I think they're some of the loveliest glitters I've come across. Maybelline brought four of the colours over to the UK & here I have Rosy Rosettes, Woven Skyline & Knitted Gold. All three are packed full of glitter & have a subtle golden iridescent sheen to them. Rosy Rosettes is a reddish pink jelly with small gold hex glitter & medium red hex glitter. Woven Skyline is a charcoal jelly with small silver, black & gold glitter particles and larger gold hex pieces. Knitted Gold is a clear base with lots of golden shimmer & two sizes of pink hex glitter. They all look great either on their own or as a top coat. My favourite is easily Knitted Gold. Those rose gold glitter particles are just way too beautiful to resist.

On my nails I'm wearing the classic Essie Mint Candy Apple topped off with one coat of Knitted Gold. The golden pink shimmer & glitter particles reminded me of mermaid scales so I figured they would go well together. I don't think the picture truly captures how pretty this looks. The subtle shimmer makes them really sparkle & shine. Just call me Ariel! I seldom look at nail polishes that aren't located on the Essie stand these days but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Maybelline's latest collections. I spotted their Street Artist top coats on my last visit to Boots & they look pretty awesome too.

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Thursday 23 January 2014

Moisturiser Medley

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ / Clarins HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15
HealGel Face* / Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins

The key to a good skincare routine is consistency. However it is still important to make sure you're using the right products for the right occasion. I'm quite content to use the same cleanser & toner everyday but something I always switch up is my moisturiser. My skin needs something different during the day, during the night & in different seasons. With my combination skin type it can be tricky to find something that will balance everything out & still give me all the hydration I need. Here's a roundup of four tried & tested products that my skin really loves:

I'm sure everyone knows the virtues of using AHAs & BHAs by now but they also make your skin more sensitive to sun. I use lactic acid, glycolic acid & retinol on a regular basis so I always make sure I wear some sun protection during the day. I've yet to find a separate SPF product that doesn't smell, give me a white cast, feel greasy or break me out so I prefer to use a moisturiser that already contains SPF. My favourite one has to be the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+. I mainly wear this one during the Summer. It's quite a thick white cream but it absorbs very quickly & feels very light on the skin. It hydrates my face perfectly & sits nicely under makeup. The high SPF is ideal for my pale skin & it lacks all the things I hate about other sun protection products. It is also a UVA/UVB broad spectrum sunscreen so with this you can be sure that your skin is fully protected.

During the Winter I don't feel the need to wear such a high sun protection factor so I switch to the Clarins HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15. I think the HydraQuench range is intended to be used in countries with high temperatures but SPF 15 isn't enough for me when I'm spending hours in the sun. It's other intended use is for people with dehydrated skin. People tend to think they need to use something really rich when the weather turns colder but this stuff contains hyaluronic acid so you get lots of hydration packed into a light lotion. The moisturiser I have is for anyone with normal to combination skin but there's a different HydraQuench product available for every skin type. I'd highly recommend checking them out if you have dehydrated skin.

HealGel Face is an all-rounder moisturiser. You can use it during the day or at night & I often do both. Like the HydraQuench Lotion this moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid so if you use one of those you no longer need to buy Hydraluron. I tend to use this during the day if I don't need to leave the house. I use my Hourglass primer on top if I end up going out to add some sun protection. This always makes my skin feel incredible & gives it a nice matte appearance. This is another really light lotion that absorbs instantly but it also deeply hydrates & nourishes my skin. HealGel Face smooths & plumps up my face beautifully due to it's many anti-ageing properties. It also helps to reduce redness, scarring & irritation. Magic in a bottle basically!

My favourite ever night cream is Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins. It has the most amazing consistency & it really melts into your skin. As the name suggests it's packed full of vitamins & minerals to feed your skin with. It works to slough away dead skin cells overnight so you wake up looking refreshed & ready to start the day. I like to mix it with some Trilogy Rosehip Oil for an even more intense hit of hydration. Massaging that combo onto my face at night ensures I wake up with brighter, softer, healthier looking skin. What could be better?

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Wednesday 22 January 2014

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara - £12

Clinque's Bottom Lash Mascara is one of my makeup bag essentials. I cannot go a single day without using this product & in my opinion it's something that no girl should be without. It's one of those things where until you try it you won't realise what you've been missing out on. I've spoken before about how my mascara always used to end up migrating down my face during the day. I love the look of having thick, black, voluminous lashes so I used to really pile on the mascara & it always resulted in ridiculous panda eyes. Setting my undereye concealer with something like the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder pretty much put paid to that happening. But this product goes one step further & stops your mascara from being able to smudge in the first place. If waterproof mascaras have failed you so far then look no further, this is the answer to your eye makeup woes.

Bottom Lash Mascara is a tubing mascara. Regular mascaras are normally wax or oil based & act like paint on your lashes. The formula of tubing mascaras is actually water-based & contains polymers that form tiny individual tubes around each lash once it dries. This makes it incredibly long lasting but it's also really easy to remove. Tubing mascaras can be taken off with just plain water yet they won't budge with normal eye watering, sweat or tears. The mascara doesn't dissolve & you can see the tubes coming off when you wash your face. I love the tiny little mascara wand. It's the perfect size & shape and it allows you to coat even the smallest of lashes. I can sometimes get a bit overzealous with my mascara application & end up with lots of blobs around my eyes. The size of the brush completely stops that from happening & I never make a mess anymore. The mascara tube is also really tiny, in fact it contains just 2ml of product. It lasts a surprisingly long time though. After using it every day for two years (I know, super gross! I binned that one shortly after realising how long ago I'd bought it!) it still hadn't dried up or run out. It wears really well without any clumping, flaking or smudging. It separates my lashes nicely, defines them & adds a good bit of length to them too.

When I first tried this mascara I really wasn't a fan. I was in the middle of an episode of trichotillomania & would compulsively pull off all my mascara shortly after applying it. If you use a tubing mascara then the tubes become more firmly attached to your eyelashes so when I started pulling off my mascara, loads of lashes would come out too. Bald patchy eyes are not a good look on anyone. Eventually this mascara helped me to kick the habit because it was slightly painful & I was losing so many hairs that I managed to snap myself out of it. I still naughtily pick at my top lashes sometimes but if I use this mascara then picking the bottom lashes is just not an option anymore. I also wasn't too impressed with how it made my lashes look at first. As I said I love thick black lashes & this didn't make my lashes fat enough for my liking. The formula is very wet so it was hard to build them up at all. This is definitely one of those mascaras that improves as it dries up a bit. After a couple of months the consistency becomes a lot better & the result is lots of beautifully defined lashes. Nowadays I'm a huge advocate of this mascara & I've not used anything else on my bottom lashes since 2011! Using a different mascara for your top & bottom lashes might seem like a bit more effort but it's worth it for smudge-proof eye makeup all day long. Forever repurchase.

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Tuesday 21 January 2014

80s Night In

Although I may have only been a baby in the 1980s I still think that the decade was an amazing one & I'm obsessed with 80s culture. My parents are practically OAPs now so I was always exposed to music & movies from times gone by when I was younger. Luckily Andy also shares my passion for the 80s. In celebration of the launch of Ladbrokes Crazy 80s Slot Game we were treated to a fantastic care package with everything we needed to put together an 80s night in. I thought I'd also share some ideas for how to host your own!

THE MOVIES: We were sent a selection of four classic 80s films. We ended up watching Back To The Future (although I prefer the sequel) & The Breakfast Club (one of my faves!). The 80s were a golden age for movies with huge blockbuster series like Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones & Die Hard. John Hughes was an unstoppable force & I'll happily watch any film with Molly Ringwold or any of the Brat Pack in it. If you're planning an 80s night here's some more cinema greats that I recommend: Heathers, Little Shop Of Horrors, Weird Science, The Man With Two Brains, Sixteen Candles, Blue Velvet, Labyrinth, Pretty In Pink, The Lost Boys, Raising Arizona, Twins, Beetlejuice, Return To Oz, Stand By Me, The Goonies, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Short Circuit, Gremlins & Fletch.

THE MUSIC: My favourite thing about the 80s is definitely the music! One of the first things Andy & I bonded over was our mutual love of Hall & Oates. The only radio station I like these days is Absolute 80s & I probably listen to 80s music more than anything else. We were sent this CD of 100 'hits' & that term should be taken lightly. There's some good bands on it but the song choices were pretty obscure. Instead here's whats on my personal playlist. I could list hundreds of songs I adore so this is just a small selection of tunes that I love to sing along & dance to:

1. The Smiths - This Charming Man
2. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
3. ABC - Poison Arrow
4. Spandau Ballet - Gold
5. Cameo - Word Up
6. The Specials - Ghost Town
7. The Cure - The Lovecats
8. Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
9. Visage - Fade To Grey
10. Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
11. New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
12. OMD - Enola Gay
13. Orange Juice - Rip It Up
14. Duran Duran - A View To A Kill
15. Gary Numan - Music For Chameleons
16. Human League - Don't You Want Me Baby
17. John Foxx - Underpass
18. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
19. Hall & Oates - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
20. Ultravox - Vienna

THE SNACKS: Whilst watching our films, dancing about like crazy to some 80s tuneage & playing some party games we stuffed our faces with some retro sweeties. We were sent this huge box full of goodies from A Quarter Of which is an amazing online sweet shop. I'm rather partial to Fruit Salads & there were so many lovely treats like Parma Violets, Love Hearts, Sherbet Fountains, Wham bars, Drumstick lollies & lots lots more. We also got a bag of hard boiled sweets & a bag of chewy sweets. Let's just say the chewy sweets were devoured within minutes of me putting them out. It was the very best kind of sugar rush.

THE GAMES: The most iconic toy of the 80s has to be the Rubik's Cube. Andy & I completely failed at matching any of it up. I gave it to Chloe the next day & she actually managed to do one side?!?! Some kind of child prodigy I tells ya. We all had loads of fun with the remote control Pac-Man racers. Andy got given this cool Pac-Man mug for his Secret Santa at work so we had to get it out for this occasion - although we just drank cocktails instead of hot drinks! I made Sex On The Beach because that's one of our favourite drinks & apparently it was very popular in the 1980s. If Chloe hadn't been in the house we were gonna do a Back To The Future drinking game but that would've gotten us pretty wrecked!

When you're a parent to a young child every night becomes a night in so it was a lot more fun to give it a theme. If you don't get much time to go on a night out then I'd really recommend doing something like this. Themed nights in are a great idea if you're looking for something fun to do without a huge budget. I'm already planning a 90s one. Any suggestions are very welcome!

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Saturday 18 January 2014

Jewellery For Stretched Ears

Jewellery For Stretched Ears From

When I was younger I used to be really into body modifications. I always wanted loads of piercings & tattoos because I just love the way they look. I ended up with snakebites, an industrial piercing, normal ear lobes, stretched ear lobes & a Smashing Pumpkins tattoo. I've since taken out the snakebites & industrial because I got bored of them but I decided to keep my stretched lobes. Once you've stretched them they're the easiest piercing to take care of & there's some really cool jewellery available. People often stop me on the street to ask about them & I always get guys asking me for stretching tips. A lot of them couldn't stand the pain & wondered how I'd coped!

The first thing I'm always asked is where I get my flesh tunnels from & the answer to that is I've been buying from them for years and I only ever wore their bioplast labret studs in my lip piercings. If you're worried about metal allergies or labret backs rubbing down your teeth then bioplast is the answer. I do have a metal allergy so I only wear silicone flesh plugs & tunnels in my stretched ear lobes. They're really comfy to sleep in and their squidgyness makes them easy to put in & take out. My favourite pair are the black jewelled silicone flesh tunnels & I hardly ever change them because they go with everything. I also have them in pink because they're such a cool style. In general I prefer tunnels but I fancied trying some new plugs out. I was kindly sent a few new pairs of tunnels & plugs by the lovely people at I really wanted to try out the hider flesh plugs to see if they worked. They seem like a great idea if you work somewhere that doesn't allow piercings. Here's some pictures of my earring collection:

Black Jewelled Silicone Flesh Tunnel

Pink Jewelled Silicone Flesh Tunnel

White Jewelled Silicone Flesh Tunnel*

Neon Green Silicone Flesh Plug*

Neon Pink Silicone Flesh Plug*

Solid Silicone Hider Flesh Plug*

Incase you're wondering my ears are currently 10mm/00 gauge and it took me a whole year to get them that big. I did it a few years ago & have never felt the urge to go any bigger than that. By keeping them at a fairly small size I always have the option of healing them up if I do ever decide to take them out. If you're interested in stretching your ears then here are some of my top tips:

- To stretch your ears you need a tapered insertion pin. Normal ear piercings are about 1.6mm so you want to buy the next size up and very slowly push the pin through your lobe. You should only push it in until you can feel your lobes tingling, there shouldn't be any pain. You then hold it in place using O rings whilst your ear adjusts to the bigger hole.

- Pure vitamin E oil is your earlobe's best friend. I use this stuff to add some lubrication when I need to change jewellery. You should also use it when you're doing a stretch. You cannot stretch your ears without oil. It's also important to massage your lobes with oil to keep them healthy.

- Be patient. Your ears take time to heal between stretches so don't go up to the next size too quickly. It took me a year to get to 10mm for a reason, it is much safer & less painful that way. I'd say at least one month between stretches is best.

- Keep them clean. Ear gunk stinks so it's important to take your plugs out and give them a good clean every now & then. If you have a fresh stretch you should only clean them with saline solution. Turn the taper around very gently to prevent buildup & clean inside of the hole.

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