Breastfeeding: 6 month update.

I can not believe we have actually got this far, 6 months?! I mean, I’m so amazingly proud of us, Tristan and myself, we did it. We got to 6 whole months of exclusively breastfeeding. The biggest reason I think I got this far? Not having expectations, or setting a “goal” in my mind. I mean, goals are great we should all have goals and things we want to achieve. I am certainly someone who likes to aim towards things with a certain time frame in mind, however breastfeeding is just not one of those things. Its not something that needs the extra pressure, or the niggle in the back of your mind that if you don’t make it you’ve failed, because all that leads too is an unhappy momma, who feels she didn’t try hard enough or didn’t do enough.

Breastfeeding for these 6 months has been one of the hardest things Ive probably done, but it has by far been the most rewarding and incredible experience of my life. (not of course including child birth, but that’s a whole other level of rewarding) Tristan began having a small amount of baby rice at 5 months. (something to talk about in another post.) Knowing that for all these months I have been Tristans source of nutrients, the reason he has grown, the reason he is thriving, smiling now crawling is just such a indescribable feeling of pride. Your body is doing something amazing, your keeping another human alive outside of the womb!

But lets get down too the nitty gritty details and the reason your here, how my breasts are dealing with a feeding teething tot, and if they are right when they say it does get easier…

I can tell you now, it is true. With the right guidance and support it does become easier over time, that is the most important thing here. Time, Time to adjust to someone needing you, of course when you have a baby you expect that someone is going to need you, however you don’t expect that they will only need you. You’ll also need time to let yourself heal. Not only your cracked sore nipples but your womb will be contracting… Because no one tells you about those after pains. Whether you have had a C section, assisted delivery or a natural birth, we all have to heal and recover from childbirth.

Getting past those first few weeks are the hardest part.

When you get past those first few weeks, any tenderness slowly passes from your nipples, they heal and they become “stronger” so they don’t get sore etc. Your milk production will settle. You may from time to time get slightly tender breasts, if your baby is fussing a lot at the boob, or you find your baby is feeding more often than “normal” this is probably just your babies way of upping your milk supply for a growth spurt. So don’t worry. Unless of course they become very sore or you feel unwell then seek medical attention from your health care provider.

The leaking boobs do settle, your breasts will become a little less sensitive to the cry of every other child around you and the tingling sensation you get as your milk is letting down will become less noticeable, I still get a slight sensation. However I only get it during a feed and on the rare occasion the Tristan doesn’t ask to feed at his usual time.

Routine?! Have we got one? kind of.

It’s not like bottle feeding where you can be prepared every 3/4 hours that your baby needs a feed, it’s demand feeding so when baby cries you stop what your doing and feed that baby. We do have some kind of routine, I know in the afternoons between 12-2 I will probably get very little done! Because he cluster feeds, naps for a short period then wakes for another feed. The mornings are pretty easy now that we have introduced a “breakfast” meal, and in the evenings we are introducing another meal while also trying very hard to create a bedtime routine/structure for Tristan. So anytime between 6pm till 8pm Tristan can be feeding.. — quite often on and off the breast.

One of the hardest parts for me is my partner not getting to do as much for Tristan. If he tries to settle Tristan while I’m getting sorted to feed him, then Tristan will scream blue murder until I’m ready. If Richard tries to change his nappy before he feeds again he’ll scream the house down! These are all things that I have mentioned in another post, The Isolation of breastfeeding.  The title is brutally honest, but you can take a read if you want.

I will leave you with a quick note that Tristan is now 9 months and we are still breastfeeding this post was written a while ago now, but the hours in the day are never enough with three children, a house too sort and birthdays too organise! So I apologies for this post being late. I hope the post brings you the words you may have needed to hear (read) for your journey into motherhood, and your breastfeeding. If your choose too breastfeed your baby. Good luck.

 

Love Sara xo

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The November Birchbox; Vogue collab

As we enter the start of December I thought I’d quickly show you what was inside the November Birchbox collaboration with Vogue. I did like this months box but I didn’t love the contents, I was really expecting some amazing pieces from the vogue top 100. Enough chitter chatter lets have a look at what I got. You can also expect reviews to start popping up from the October Birchbox very soon.

Drum roll please…

I thought I’d show my favourite piece first, Benefits Hoola bronzer. Retails at £24.50. I used to have one of these in my collection, and threw no fault of its own. I never repurchased it and forgot just how much I love it!! Absolutely gorgeous bronzer, perfect for contouring as it’s totally matte. It even flatters my pale complexion.

Here we have the Seche Vote, dry fast top coat. Full size. RRP £9.00

Sadly I’m yet to try this, I get gel nail polish on my hands, and haven’t yet got a gel pedicure. As who really see’s my feet at this time of year? Other than myself and the future husband. So this I look forward to trying as my current top coat is shocking, whether it’s just old or not very good. I have no clue I think I’ll say it’s just old!

 

Up next we have the Percy and Reed, Smooth, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil. RRP £14.00.

Now this so far since using it has got a mixed review. I’m all up for a good hair product especially when it comes to volume. Since having babies my once thick volume filled hair is now still just as thick however lacking the volume around the roots of my hair due to post partum hair loss.

This last item I was a little disappointed to get, I’m sure it’s amazing and I’m sure lots of people love a winter glow. However for me, winter is when I can totally embrace my pale skin. Of course I embrace it all year round, however in the summer I tend to fake the tan than burn! I’m yet to try this James Read, Overnight Sleep Mask Tan for the face. RRP £25.00. I’m also mildly scared of self tanner for the face because of my pale complexion so we shall have to try this one out before Christmas!  

The last product is another beauty tool, and certainly one that would be useful. I again had just hoped this box would be filled with some of vogues top favourites. This is a brush cleaner by Birchbox themselves. RRP £5.00. I’m sure however this will come in very handy for cleaning my makeup brushes.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the goodies I got in my November Birchbox. December is the last box of my 3 month gift subscription, so let me know if you think I should try another beauty box. If so what kind? Where from? Recommendations welcome! Or shall I do a few more months with Birchbox?

Love

Sara xo

The Isolation of Breastfeeding

I feel like this topic is something that I need too talk about, It’s something that I feel nobody talks about. The hardships that come with breastfeeding your baby. Their are so many things online about the benefits, how amazing it is, the bonding that mother and baby experience. But what about the moments that aren’t amazing or wonderful? The little things going through many women minds. At least I hope it’s not just my mind.

Recently I have been battling my emotions on if I am ready too wean Tristan onto formula to then wean him onto cows milk at 12 months. He is 7 months old. So here goes a blog to put all those feelings, emotions and the constant battle I have in my mind about it all.

I’ll start by saying I never set a time scale, on how long I would breastfeed for, how long I wanted to keep going. Purely because I didn’t want to feel I failed if I couldn’t get past that first month. Month after month since then, I’ve just told myself I’ll keep going until I feel I want too.

Of late Tristan has been a handful. By handful I mean, demanding too say the least. I understand that breastfeeding means on demand feeding, because their’s no way of telling how much a breastfed baby is taking. However, and I feel I’ll be judged for saying this. Recently I’ve noticed signs, of him just demanding a feed for the sake of it, not because he’s really that hungry, or not because he wants to go too sleep, but purely too suckle, for comfort. To be near me. He’s been whining to be held for almost a week, he won’t go down in his cot.. or anywhere for that matter unless I hold him. Many will say oh, you’ve spoilt your baby. However I’m not the kind of person too constantly hold my baby, when he has slept I’ve put him in a basket, or somewhere safe so that I can get things done, looking after my other children, cooking, cleaning — all the task’s motherhood brings — a list so long that it could reach the moon and back, who gets this? So I know deep down the “spoilt” part of this doesn’t come from bad habits.

I’ve never wanted to encourage behaviour in Tristan that allows him too think he will get  what he wants when he wants. (breastfeeding wise) but recently he’s become dare I say it… impossible too please.

Why does nobody tell you how alone breastfeeding can have you feeling, the guilt you feel for wanting your body too be yours? The isolation of being alone, to have to sit alone for the night feeds too create some kind of routine. Being unable too go anywhere without Tristan. Not even getting a relaxing bath for longer than 30 minutes. I feel awful writing all of these things, but I can not be alone here?! Surely other mom’s feel this too. And before people try to label me, as having post natal depression or anything else, I know I am happy, motivated and loving life, just like any other human I am allowed thoughts that aren’t always 100% positive. I’m struggling with the lack of the routine he has, and my choice too change our feeding journey. I struggle with routine because I’m a person who thrives on routines and timings.

I hate (hate is probably a strong word for this) feel bad that Richard can never console Tristan. That if he goes too him when he wakes in the evening that Tristan screams the house down, like an axe murderer has entered his room. That Richard has never settled him too sleep because Tristan only wants me, his mum, his care giver and his provider. I feel like Tristan should need Richard, his dad, just as much as he needs me. Perhaps this is because its our third baby, and our first two were bottle fed. Meaning anyone could feed them. It’s a whole new ball game, breastfeeding.

My choice to possibly change the way we are feeding Tristan is not the battle, as I have no guilt or worry that breast is best, I’m all for fed is best. My eldest two are more than healthy and they didn’t have much breastmilk at all. William had a month Tyler probably only had two weeks, but both were combination fed, if even for a short time.

I’m sorry this blog seems to ramble, but emotions and thoughts can be just that, a load of words and sentences that jump from one topic too another. I’m sure I am probably not the women too ever feel this way. I’d say its probably perfectly normal too feel alone, and isolated at times when feeding your baby yourself. Not even just breastfeeding but in general being a mum can be lonely. Mum guilt can play a huge part in it – a subject for another blog post. I would love too be able to go off for a few hours alone, but I know I can’t because I have a little guy that totally depends on me, and over time, that will change. I’m sure we’ll work through this little set back. I will keep you all updated.

Love Sara xo

The October Birchbox

Something exciting coming to my blog, is a beauty subscription box. I was lucky enough for my birthday that my lovely sister in laws got me a 3 month subscription to Birchbox. I’ve been looking at a beauty box for a while. Wondering which one to get and never being able to decide! So now I have one, if I like it enough I may keep the subscription going or we can mix it up by getting a different box to try and compare?! So many options, but we shall just have to wait and see.



My first Birchbox is gorgeous, the packaging is a beautiful marbled effect of pinks and purples. Inside are 5 products, 1 beauty tool and the rest a mix of face, body and hair products.

As well as products in the box, at the bottom is a little bit of information about this months box and all the products inside, This months box is dedicated to Breast cancer awareness month, CoppaFeel an amazing charity collaborated with Birchbox to create this months package. CoppaFeel are on a mission to beat breast cancer, and to help raise awareness to women (and men) about the importance of checking our breasts. To do this you’ll find a sticker for your shower to help you know exactly how to check yourself.


The theme of the October box is Feel Good. Listed below are whats contained in this months box.

  • ModelCo; contour stick.

What is it: A creamy formula lightweight contour stick. To define those cheekbones and your other favourite features. RRP £8* This already looks like it may be too dark, but we won’t cross it off the list right away a light hard and we might be able to work with it!!

  • Balance Me; Pure skin face wash.

What is it: 99% natural cleanser. RRP £16*

  • BIRCHBOX EXCLUSIVE Anatomicals; Grab your Melons shower gel. Full size.

What is it: A zesty shower gel collaborating with coppafeel, so while you lather up you can take 5 minutes too literally coppafeel with the handy shower sticker in your box you’ll know exactly what your doing. £1.50*

  • BIRCHBOX EXCLUSIVE Number 4; Super comb Prep & Protect.

What is it: For hair that needs help! This product claims to strengthen, de-tangle, de-frizz and nourish.  £26.25*

  • ecoTOOLS; Contour perfecting applicator. Full size.

What is it: Create the appearance of chiselled cheeks like Kate Moss with this firm beauty sponge.

I look forward to reviewing each of these products in full for you all over the next coming month.

 

 

Twinkle Night Light Soother; Little Chick.

I was lucky enough to be sent this night soother, by Little Chick London. 


I’ve been looking for a soother for Tristan for a while now as we are trying to settle Tristan into a better bed time routine, which seems to be going well… I say well, he’s at least learning when bedtime is, and showing signs of knowing we’ll be going to sit in the bedroom for some quite time, the occasional book to be read while he feeds and then into his basket.

I’m finding breastfeeding has a whole new range of “challenges” when it comes to bed time routines, feeding and sleeping patterns! So I thought that some kind of background noise/soother could help Tristan settle. So when I saw this I thought it could be perfect. I mean for one it’s a star, I absolutely love anything star shaped, patterned, printed you name it and I’d want to own it. The colour is also gorgeous and matches Tristan’s nursery, Although for now while he’s still in our room in his basket it matches his basket from mothercare (I have done an unboxing on this on my blog which you can see by clicking here).


I had thought about getting a Ewan the Dream sheep, however we live in Wales, so we are surrounded by sheep on a daily basis, I don’t really need Tristan becoming dependant a singing light up one!!

So on to the actual review, my thoughts and some information on the features.

Features of the Twinkle night light soother;

  • Coloured light projector, projecting onto the ceiling or wall. The soft lights help soothe baby too sleep, or are great for night time feeding.
  • Has a velcro strap, for hanging on the cot.
  • 10 lullabies, heartbeat and bird songs to help settle your baby.
  • Battery operated, it needs 3 AAA batteries. (not supplied)
  • Removable, washable plush cover.
  • Comes in two colours, A gorgeous soft grey and pure white. In September they have brought out a heart shaped soother in the two shades.

The cot isn’t huge, so its best to be attached to a cot mobile. The plush star is so soft, which will hopefully suite Tristan to the earth to touch as he loves to stroke anything soft. Especially when he is sleepy.

To put the batteries in you quite literally just pop the certainly projector out, no fuss, no zips or fastenings just slips right out. When putting the centre piece back into place, its sits securely. It’s amazingly easy to re-fit into place as well. When back in you really wouldn’t think it comes out at all.



The light is quite bright, but the projector is so lovely, shining red, blue and green. It’s gorgeous and quite calming too watch. Tristan absolutely loved it. The lullabies are also lovely, lots of options to find the right tune for your little one. With birds chirping and also a heart beat sound.


For the first time in quite a few weeks, possibly even months! Tristan went down with his little eyes sleepily looking up at me after his feed, then even when he went into his cot, (putting Tristan in his cot is something new we are trying to do at bedtimes.) he gave me a sharp frown of the eyebrows — with baited breath I expected his usual screaming too follow. However the lights projecting on the ceiling and the lullaby singing he slipped into a peaceful slumber.

You can purchase the product from Argos or Amazon. At £20.99 it’s not overly expensive.

It’s a winner in our household, definitely something I’d recommend for anyone with a little person.

**I will make note that I have been lucky enough to have been sent this item for review. I have not been paid by little chicks London in anyway. All opinions are my own. I will always give my honest opinion on products whether I have purchased them or been sent them.**

Soothing Baby Salve – Organic Babies Review

Looking after my kids skin, has always been, and still is a really important part of teaching our children to look after themselves and their bodies. Their is nothing feminine or girly about taking care of your body, So I feel teaching the boys while they are younger will ensure as they grow older it’ll be “normal” to them.

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Part of that is moisturizing their skin, when Tyler was younger he had some outbreaks of mild eczema under his arms and the backs of his legs. William hasn’t been bad at all, barring some dry skin from time to time. After Tyler’s breakout’s I really started looking at what I was using on the boys skin. I saw Organic Babies by the green people offering samples for their Soothing Baby Salve Lavender, which is Eczema friendly, the sample was fairly small, however I used on Tristan, so being as he is the smallest child it went a rather long way!! (I think that calls for a laugh out loud moment) 

You don’t need much of this at all when using the product. Its quite oily when warmed with your hands, applies really easily. Leaving skin soft. Its absorbed fairly quickly too.

I’d definitely consider purchasing a full size tube. The product costs £10.50 from Green people.

Lady Sara xo

Into The Woods – Orangic Swaddle

Today is a mini review, and more than anything I want to spread the word about this wonderful company that spread its wings back in November 2016 called Little Blue Nest.

They sell beautiful, unique organic swaddle clothes. With gorgeous prints. When I was looking for a baby blanket/swaddle cloth for Tristan I wanted something different, something that would go with the theme we have for his nursery, we have a stag ornament along with a squirrel  and he will eventually have a wooden plaque above his cot, so I wanted something woodland themed.

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The company is owned by Ila, who set up the company for the exact reason I just mentioned above. The lack of unique and individual baby items for sale. Everything looking the same, the same general colours and patterns.

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Each of her swaddle blankets are printed with hand drawn illustrations. The woodland print that I purchased for our little boy reminds me of an old cartoon/animation I watched when I was very young called The Animals of Farthing Wood..

(Who else know’s what I’m talking about?!)

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The print I chose is called “Into The Woods” which retails at £17.95. They have a few other prints which are also just as gorgeous. They have 4 prints in total at the moment. You can also buy a set for £31.95.

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The swaddle cloth comes with instructions on the back of the packaging and also inside the pack is a small leaflet with the instructions on how to swaddle your baby. Which I think is a great idea for new parents, and experienced ones!

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Have I mentioned how incredibly soft their swaddle clothes are?! I’m close too getting myself another one, just for me! I’m talking super soft…. Babies bottom kind of soft!

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Please check out the Little Blue Nest’s website

Lady Sara xo

 

The above product has been purchased by myself, all opinions are my own. I have not been asked to share this post.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner; Review

Today’s review is on one of my must have items in my bathroom cabinet, The body shops vitamin E hydrating Toner. I’ve repurchased this item more times than I can count I love it that much.

They also changed the packaging, however I’m not sure when it was changed. All I can say is I love the packaging even more now, its simple yet it doesn’t look as cheap as it used too.

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The toner soaks into the skin wonderfully, it doesn’t leave the skin feeling damp and like it needs a dab down to help absorb the moisture, which I love in a toner. It leaves my face feeling refreshed. Their is a slight fragrance to the toner, however it’s very mild and I actually find it quite calming, with a very very slight citrus scent.

The product is aimed at all skin types. I have dry/de-hydrated skin, and it works fabulously well at hydrating my skin. It retails at £10.00 so it’s not going to break the bank, which we all know I love!

Hope you enjoyed this blog, I’m currently using the Vitamin E cleansing milk from The body shop too, so look out for a review on that soon.

 

Sara xoxo

Breast Feeding: Getting through the first 2 weeks

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Today we’re talking all things boobs, that’s right boobs, those things that have either got a baby attached or a pump if your pumping, and they are either tingling because your baby needs a feed or their leaking because your baby slept too long. Either way today’s blog is all about surviving those first 2 weeks of establishing breastfeeding.

I’m writing this blog, not only from the knowledge of my most recent experience but also from my previous two breastfeeding experiences, taking into consideration the “mistakes” I think I made last time, and things that could have helped me even more. This breastfeeding experience has definitely been my easiest, maybe because I felt I was armed with a brain full of information, or maybe it’s just third time round, learning from previous mistakes.

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One of the first things I’d say is most important with breastfeeding is too remember their is no routine, their are no “set” times to feed. Some babies may be great and feed every couple of hours, some babies cluster feed and need feeding maybe every 20 minutes. So don’t panic when you baby isn’t going long between feeds, eventually a routine will come.

The second most important thing new mom’s need to know, is your not the only one learning here, your baby is too. Midwives give this impression that baby should latch beautifully within seconds and off you go, when really that’s not the case at all. You can have a perfect latch, or you can stress yourself trying to get the most amazing latch ever but your newborn is learning too. They need to learn what’s comfortable for them, and so do you. Sore nipples aren’t just caused by an incorrect latch, your nipples need to time to adapt to being sucked on for up to an hour for every feed, they need to “toughen up” so to speak. So to a degree sore nipples are to be expected to a degree.

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With my first baby, I actually made my nipples worse by constantly trying to switch breast while I was feeding as I was told by a health professional to feed Tyler on both breasts to make sure he wasn’t taking more from one boob, explained to me as 20 minutes on one breasts then another 20 on the other etc. However you don’t need to do this at all! As long as you remember which breast you last fed on so you can use the other one for your next feed! Simple.

Engorgement: I’ve always become pretty engorged by day 3, with each of my babies. So be prepared for boobs that look like you just had implants put in. They will be pretty tender and leaky. I’ve never known how to deal with being engorged before. With how leaky your breast can become I’ve always kept a bra (nursing) on. However the best advice I got was from my sister in law, to strip down from the waist up, skin to skin with baby so he can have access to the breast when he wants. Not wearing anything stops you breasts being restricted, and lets any leaking just happen naturally – just remember to pop a towel under your bust to catch any leakage! I also expressed just enough to get some relief however don’t over express as you body will continue to produce the same amount of milk, and then it becomes a continuing cycle.

Both with my second attempt to breastfeed and this time I ended up with a blocked duct in my right breast, which can be pretty painful. With William (second baby) I couldn’t feed on that breast at all it was too painful, so I pumped. I also got very little support from the midwife I had seen. I was also suffering a really bad cracked nipple too so that also didn’t help. This time around I actually got a small lump in my breast, (the same breast as last time) this was within the first week. I got myself an appointment with the midwife, and she was fantastic. She examined the lump, checked my breasts for any other signs of infection. Then she offered me an electric breast pump to use to get the duct to unclog. Again only using the pump after Tristan had fed, for a little extra relief. However ended up I didn’t use the pump at all as massaging my breast with the palm of my hand worked really well to relieve the blocked duct. I was so pleased we got through it as with William it just seemed to get worse and worse and I couldn’t put him on the breast at all. Which ultimately lead to expressing, combi feeding and then all formula. Due to my supply decreasing and him latching less and less to the breast.

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A mistake I think I made along the way, especially with William, as he was originally Breastfeed to begin with then as explained above we introduced bottles. With Tyler he started on bottles as I hadn’t planned to breastfeed.  Is combi feeding or introducing a dummy. It doesn’t matter how “alike” a bottle claims to be to a human nipple, nothing can really compare to that. As you can imagine a baby has to work a lot harder with a bottle and the shape is completely different. This with William I think is were our path went wrong (other than the blocked duct and pain) Perhaps for some people combi feeding works but for us it just didn’t. Tristan has been exclusively breastfed, and he’s thriving. I’ve never been so proud of myself.

With things like this though, I think it’s so important to remember you did what you thought was right at the time. I have absolutely no regrets for how I fed my eldest two, they are thriving, both of them are healthy and happy, just like Tristan. I’m 100% behind believing that a fed baby is a happy baby, whether that be from a boob, expressing or giving formula from a tin. It doesn’t matter as long as you are happy. Their’s no point stressing yourself over what could have been, or the what if’s. If your stressed your baby will pick up on that. So just let all those feelings go, look at your baby and smile.

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That is THE most important thing to remember when your surviving those first two weeks, keeping yourself happy and stress free. Don’t worry about the little things. If you need to sit around the house half naked, ignore that front door and just sit with your baby.

I really hope this helps someone struggling to get through those hard 2 weeks, I promise now, from the experience of sore cracked nipples, to blocked ducts and over engorged boobs, it DOES get better. You just have to push through and remember why your doing it. It does get easier.

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Lady Sara xo

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Crayon

Another great budget friendly beauty brand are Barry M. Added to my collection a while ago that I’m looking forward to pulling out more often as we hit the spring is the Matte Me Up, lip crayon.

Matte lip products can be well known for being quite drying on the lips, lacking in a moisturizing feeling. I’d say this product is almost similar to a lip stain, in that it does sit well on the lips, however it will need touching up regularly throughout your day/evening.  Application of the product is very easy, and smooth.

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Its a crayon pencil shape, twist up function. Making application rather easy. The packaging is the same colour as the product itself so makes finding the right lip colour for the day ahead super easy. Barry M have 5 shades in the range, none of which are all that “out their” so I’d say their is a wearable colour for most people. Ranging from peachy, nude and then deep pink and red.

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For £4.99 (From Boots) you can’t go too wrong with the product. I’d still favor the Collection Velvet Kiss lip cream to this. But overall not a bad product at all. I would potentially buy more of them to try a couple of different shades from the range.

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Lady Sara xo

 

all opinions are my own.