Dior Beauty VIP

Love the idea of high end beauty freebies?
Then you NEED to get yourself on the Dior VIP beauty mailing list!

Every time you purchase something at your local Dior counter make sure they fill out a VIP form for you.

Sometimes I haven't even made a purchase and I'm just there picking up some new samples and or checking out the new collection. I still ask the staff to fill in a form for me and have never been refused.

Being a VIP means I receive invitations through the post several times a year to go to my local counter and be given freebies. These can be anything from a sample of a new product to full on gift sets! The more times you have purchased from a counter (and so had a VIP form filled in) the higher value gifts you receive – it's that simple!

You also get invitations to special Dior events held in local department stores, invitations to have free makeovers and sometimes miniatures and samples are sent direct in the post.

Today for example I popped in to replace my trusty Diorskin Nude Air Powder (in 030 if you were wondering) and left with the bundle of goodies you can see in the pictures below. I've also included the Miss Dior Soap gift set that I received about 2 months ago as I forgot to share it at the time.

Lastly, don't forget to ask for it all to be gift wrapped. This costs nothing, the boxes are stunning, they change designs seasonally and are the perfect dressing table/bedroom storage solution for little bits and bobs. Just look how pretty today's box is!

– neonwanderlust xo


Norway Winter 

2 weeks aboard Fred.Olsen’s Braemar. Our first ever cruise and I for one am hooked! 

Norway is stunningly beautiful. The further north you go the colder and snowier it gets but it was all magical.

I intend to do more in depth posts on each port and excursion but have had to get straight back into writing my dissertation after slacking off for two weeks on the cruise! I’ve also been suffering with quite a few migraines recently which has meant crossing anything not marked ‘urgent’ off the to-do list! 

For the amount of places you see and the amount of stuff you get to do and the amount of amazing FOOD they provide you with, it’s really reasonable money wise too. 

I feel that a lot of young people don’t even think about cruising when looking for their next trip or adventure and to be honest we were the youngest people on the boat by about 25 years! But, I can honestly say it didn’t bother us, the other guests were all lovely and curious to know how we felt about cruising. It was like being on holiday with a whole bunch of grandparents, great aunties and uncles etc. 

As always, any comments and questions are welcome 🙂

– neonwanderlust xo 

Bullet Journal: March Monthly Spread + Weeklies

I absolutely LOVE my layout for March this year! Green and leafy, it makes me happy every time I look at it.

My usual mini calendar overview has been included. So helpful, I refer back to it the most during the month, when making appointments or needing to check dates. I also really like having monthly goals, I set myself smaller weekly goals anyway but it’s awesome to have some bigger goals to smash for a real sense of achievement. 

I’ve cut my habit list down slightly and changed the order. My uni work is a priority this month as I have several essays due and my dissertation to work on. I removed the ‘2.5 litres+ water’ tracker as I drink a LOT of water already and was hitting the target every day. I aso removed the ‘yoga/work out’ tracker as with uni and work I just haven’t had the time to get to the gym and it was bumming me out every time I looked at the empty tracker. 

This March starts on a Wednesday so I had space to fill where the Monday and Tuesday would normally be in my weekly layout. I have used this as a place to note special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries etc. 

I’ve stuck to my simply weekly layout. Handwritten day to break up the page with date numbered underneath, in colours to match the months theme.

Let me know what you think!

– neonwanderlust xo

Brunch Review: Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

Five girlfriends and I visited the Sanderson Hotel on Saturday 18th February for a 25th birthday celebration.

The Alice in Wonderland theme is fantastic and very well executed, although it could maybe be a tad more experimental considering the crazy antics that occur in the book and Disney movie.

The food was AMAZING. I was ‘Hank Marvin’ after skipping breakfast in my rush to get to the train station in time and the sandwiches and scones really hit the spot. 

The tea selection was great, I had the ‘Mad Hatter’ which was a green tea that tasted of mango and pomegranate, very light and refreshing. We also sampled the ‘Cheshire Cat’ with its chocolate and orange notes which was lovely.

I was well catered for as a vegetarian. I got given a different selection of savoury snacks to the rest of the girls and they were all yummy and extremely moreish. 

The one thing that really let the Sanderson down was the service, and it wasn’t any of the waiting staffs fault. The staff who served us were lovely, polite and friendly but there simply was not enough of them! We waited 10 minutes after being sat for anyone to come to us for drinks, our sandwiches then arrived before we even got our drinks, the teas we ordered never came so we had to ask for them again and even then they were brought over without milk and we had to wait another 10 minutes to catch a member of staff. 

You could see how busy they were, it wasn’t like they were stood around talking or ignoring us on purpose, they were running around like headless chickens trying to ensure every guest had a good experience.

Either we were unlucky and on this particular day they had a few people pull sickies on them and couldn’t get cover, or the Sanderson do not rota enough staff in order to maximise profits, and I really hope it is not the latter!

At £56 a head plus £12 a cocktail, my party of girls agreed that is was not really worth the money, purely based on service. They also charge a 15% service charge which is slightly above the average in London. I am a generous tipper having worked as a waitress myself for over 6 years but when you are paying these prices you just expect a bit more.

I just want to emphasise again that the staff who were there were great. The food was delicious, as were the cocktails, so kudos to the chefs and bartenders, and the waiting staff really were working their hardest. 

The garden area outside was lovely as was the inside of the hotel. You really don’t expect to walk into such a beautiful interior when you arrive as the outside does not look like much.

There was a good amount of jam and cream provided for the scones, something that may seem ridiculous (I’m laughing as I write this) but the scone-jam-cream ratio is crucial to me and can really make or break an afternoon tea! 

The sugar cubes being in a music box and the menu being inside a vintage book were both lovely touches, as where the vials of tea that came so you could make an informed decision based not only on a written description of the tea, but also the smell and look of the tea leaves.

Of course I was in the company of some of the greatest people on Earth (biased, but I love my besties) so the afternoon was always going to be wonderful!

I give our experience of The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel a 3/5. The theme, atmosphere, food and drinks were great, and it’s good as a novelty outing for a special occasion. However it missed the mark on service due to, in my opinion, being understaffed and we all agreed it wasn’t very good value for money. We wouldn’t pay that amount to dine here again based on our experience.

Let me know what your experiences were at the Sanderson if you’ve been, or if you have any recommendations of where I should go next or somewhere you’ve really been wanting to try that you want me to test out!

– neonwanderlust xo

Product Review: Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Nose Pore Strips With Activated Charcoal

Okay, so these bad boys are awesomely gross and satisfying and just 100% my guilty pleasure! I’ve always been a fan of the nose and facial strips but have wanted to try the charcoal ones for a while as apparently they draw out way more gunk and nastiness.

These come with 2-steps, which I’ve never seen before. The first strip you put on a clean wet nose and leave for about 15 minutes or until rock hard. They you rip it off and get to admire all the crap that just came out of your face!

Then you rinse off any leftover residue, dry your nose and put on the second strip, which is saturated and has an immediate cooling and tightening effect to close your pores but also moisturise.

Pretty impressive for the price. Needs to be used regularly for maximum impact I would say.

£5.99 from Boots 

4/5 stars

Any recommendations or products you want me to try let me know! 😘

– neonwanderlust xo

Bullet Journal: February Monthly Spread + Weeklies 

February is here already! (What!? How!?) 

A new month for me means a fresh start, new goals, new priorities for work and university, and most excitingly, a new layout for my journal!

February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day, and whilst me and The Beard are not big celebrators and tend to work this day, I thought it was the perfect excuse for a pink and red heart theme! 💕

Let me know what you think, send me pictures of your February layouts, and as always, ask any questions you like!

– neonwanderlust xo

Top 5 hot water bottles

Cold winter nights? Hot water bottle will fix that.

Period cramps? Putting a hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen is the way forward.

Migraine? Hot water bottle on your feet draws the blood away from your head.

Your partner is away for the night? Spoon your hot water bottle.

Don’t have a partner? Spoon your hot water bottle.

Feeling sad? Mad? Bad? Hot water bottle.

You may have guessed by now that I ADORE my hot water bottle. I buy a new one roughly about once a year and that time of the year has come around again so I though my I would share my current shortlist with you all 💕

1. Heart Stripe Hot Water Bottle – £18 from John Lewis

2. Unicorn Hot Water Bottle – £10 from Paperchase

3. Aroma Hone Fragranced Hot Water Bottle – £14.96 from heat-treats.co.uk

4. Cream Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle – £9.99 from Argos

5. Floral Spot Knitted Hot Water Bottle – £28 from Cath Kidston

– NeonWanderlust xo