I’m still on the lookout for something that will diminish my dark circles without me having to undergo any kind of cosmetic procedure and one product that I had heard rave reviews on was the The Body Shop’s Oils Of Life Eye Cream Gel.

Formulated with caffeine, oleic acid and black cumin seed oil, this cream/gel is said to help reduce signs of aging around the eyes. Most of the eye/dark circle related products on the market have some sort of caffeine in it but the ingredient that had me most intrigued was Black seed oil. If you’re from the middle east or an Asian background you’ll more than likely have heard of how great it is and how many different uses this miracle worker of a product has. Generally I don’t frequent The Body Shop much but I made a special trip just for this eye cream.

On first impression I loved the packaging. the entire Oils of life range comes in an orange tub with a black screw cap. There’s also a lid in between so that the product doesn’t spread all over the place. It looks a little bit more luxe than some of the previous packaging I’ve seen on other products. I know that lots of people do say that tubs are really unhygeinic but on small tubs like this it doesn’t bother me, plus my hands are always sanitized when touching my eyes.

The gel itself isn’t completely clear, it actually has minute shimmery particles called  micro-pearls that you won’t feel or see on applying but it illuminates the eye area. For me, I use this as a night cream so the illuminating aspect is wasted on me plus I don’t really want to be drawing attention to my dark circles.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the tub up was the scent because it’s quite unusual, it has a spicy fragrance but definitely not one to dislike. It’s actually grown on me because of how different it is to the usual florally scents that products have.

As soon as I put the eye cream to my face, I loved how it melts into the skin so easily and keeps the area moisturised and hydrated without being oily. It is very lightweight and does not feel sticky at all.

Despite how dry my skin can get, I really dislike thick, heavy textures on my face. I was really pleasantly surprised at how light the consistency was and so you definitely need very little product each time you use it.

As soon as it’s on, it instantly gives a cooling effect on the eyes and feels so good after a long day. Definitely no stinging or irritation on my sensitive skin. Priced at £20 for 20ml, this product is an absolute bargain. It will probably last you the entire year because a little really does go a long way.

Other than the ingredients, the other other thing that really drew me into purchasing this product was the statistics that are clearly printed on the box:
  • Eye contour looks smoother – 100%*
  • Radiance appears revived – 96% agree*
  • Dark circles appear faded – 90% agree*
  • Wrinkles appear smoother – 87% agree**
  • *Results of Eye-Cream Gel self-assessments on the eye contour – 50 women
  • ** Results of Eye-Cream Gel self-assessments on the eye contour – 100 women

Let’s face it, those are some pretty high statistics. That paired with the fact that The Body Shop is an ethical brand that wouldn’t just throw statistics like this around, had convinced me that this was a product that I had to try. I’ll be perfectly honest, so far I haven’t yet seen any results at two weeks into using the product. I have been getting less sleep than usual and not been on top of my water intake game so I guess that all plays a part. I will continue to use the product and see how I get on. So far though, I am really enjoying using the product and I’m really hopeful that it will yield some pretty good results!

What’s your favourite eye cream?

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Alright, so my scheduled ‘comeback’ didn’t quite happen. I’m not sure why but something feels a little bit…off. I use my Twitter platform to stay connected with lots of other bloggers and signing back in properly after a month feels all weird. Some of my fave bloggers have deactivated, some are taking an indefinite hiatus and other’s are saying they don’t feel like they fit in any more. If I’m honest, I’m kind of getting the same vibes. Still, for someone who has a very very short attention span, I’ve never stuck to something for this long (7.5 years!) and I’m not about to give up on it now. I have come to a decision though and I’ve decided to be less ‘editorial’ and more real/diary-esque, because that’s what I always enjoy, having a sneak peak into other people’s lives. Not that mine is at all interesting, but hey, you’re here reading this so it can’t be all bad!

Zara Stripy Floral Shirt

So now that I’m getting into the swing of normality after recent events, I wanted to share with you some of the things that I’ve been loving lately..

  1. Don’t fall off the bridge – I’m not a gamer. I generally do not download games on to my phone at all, because a. I’m very very competitive and it can get ugly and b. I don’t do losing. This game however had got everyone in my family (and now my friends) hooked! I can’t seem to get past my score of 67 but others are on 400. It’s so so frustrating but I love it!
  2. Inglot liquid lipsticks – These babies aren’t a recent discovery but after a recent inglot haul, I rekindled my love for them and I have to say they’re really very good. They’re matte but not at all drying and very very pigmented. They don’t crumble or peel off over the course of the day and they’re completely touch proof.
  3. Prawn cocktail crisps sandwiches – I didn’t realise how few people know about how delicious prawn cocktail (Walkers) crisps sandwiches are. Please tell me you’ve tasted one?
  4. Instagram – I know, I know, the algorithm screwed us all over big time and growth is near impossible at the moment, but there’s something about it being such a challenge and results paying off that makes it kinda rewarding.
  5. Oversized denim jackets – I’ve always loved denim jackets (on other people) but I’ve never been sure about how good they look on me. I always thought the stiff structure of the jacket made me look broader then I am so I’ve stayed away, this season though I’ve finally purchased an oversized one which looks wayy better on me. Can’t wait til the weather warms up now!
  6. So Cosmo – I finally ditched Netflix for HayU because – Kardashians. However, it’s actually something else that I’m loving. So Cosmo follows the drama that takes place in the office of Cosmopolitan magazine in New York and I am hooked! Currently there’s only 5 episodes that have aired but so far I’m loving it!
How have you all been? And what have you been loving this past month?
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I love to look at pretty jewellery, in fact I always notice it on other people but I rarely wear it myself. Over the years I’ve amassed a great deal of costume jewellery but I moved away from wearing it all. Very recently I was very kindly sent a bracelet from The Lifestyle Blogger UK and all of a sudden I fell back in love with jewellery again.

The bracelet is a string of pink metal hearts on a stretchy elastic band. I’m someone who like taking my jewellery on and off throughout the day and so I was really pleased that with the stretchy band it made it really easy for me to do that. I love that it’s not actually plastic either so it will be pretty hard wearing.

I’ve teamed it up with a number of different outfits and I can safely say that it can be worn with a casual outfit or when I’m dressing up for an evening. This week I teamed it up with a Boohoo jumper dress, black leggings and some ankle boots.
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Things have been a little bit quiet around here, my posts have been sporadic for quite a few months and I’ve been too exhausted to post in the past fortnight. I’ve also been in two minds about how much of my personal life I wanted to share and in the end I opted for just a vague tweet or two. It’s been over a week now and I guess I’m ready to talk about it.

For a long while my granddad was ill. There were endless hospital trips, complaints to the NHS, family get together’s just to ensure he was as comfortable as he could be during this difficult time.

On the 14th of this month I lost my grandad and I’m finding myself drowning in an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

He was the type of man you never hear anyone say anything bad about. He had extraordinary sense of humour and a heart of gold; he was the backbone of my family. To know that he’s not around anymore is just such a surreal feeling.

It’s been hitting me in waves all week and the look of actual heartbreak on my grandma’s face is something I keep playing in my head. 60 years of companionship just coming to an end is a strange thought to say the least.

Something else I’ll always remember is that just as we left the hospital after his passing, my sister and I saw a lady at the parking ticket machine. We had only been there about 20 mins so I went over to give her our ticket. I smiled at her as I passed the ticket over and she beamed back at me and said “I’m going to see my new baby!”. They always say when one persons life ends, a new begins.

It’s a funny world we live in.

My family and I have started a small fundraising page to build a classroom/educational facilities in my granddad’s name. He was a teacher for a little while and he loved kids so we thought it would be apt. If you would like to donate towards this, my family and I would be very grateful. Donations can be made here.

As for the blog, I’m hoping to be back on track from next week. Thank you to all the PR’s and of course readers for being so patient with me.
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This week I was invited by the lovely people at Comptoir Libanais to visit their brand new store on Gloucester Road. It’s literally a stone’s throw away from the Gloucester Road tube station and easily the most eye catching place around. Since I’m a huge fan of lebanese food I couldn’t turn the offer down and boy am I glad I visited.

Comptoir Libanais Baklava

Before we even stepped foot inside the restaurant, we were greeted by someone at the door serving passers by mint tea. I thought this was such a nice touch and so welcoming. They have a few steps going up and an outdoor area where you can also sit and eat if you’re feeling an al fresco experience.
I thought it was really cute how every seat also had a blanket draped over it incase you go cold too. Since the weather was cold we decided to dine inside and headed indoors.

Now i’ve been to other Comptoir branches before but the interior at Gloucester Road is so stunning. The walls are jam packed with brightly coloured baskets and the most beautiful teapots and best of all they’re all available to buy. I love how the price tags on each item add to the kitsch feel of the place. It’s kind of every bloggers dream restaurant, because there is SO much to photograph and even the flooring has the coolest tiles for those FWIS shots. There’s not an inch of the place that doesn’t give you the exotic feels. I must have taken a few hundred pictures and it’s been so hard narrowing them down – I’ll try my best not to make this post too photo heavy!

comptoir libanais

The staff at Comptoir were so friendly and immediately made us feel really welcome. We sat in a cute little booth overlooking the street and outdoor area. I fell in love with the fez hats on the wall and was so tempted to purchase one! In fact I was so busy taking the interior in that I completely forgot to decide what I wanted to eat!

When eating in middle eastern restaurants I often find that I struggle with the menu because I’m not too sure what the dishes entail but the staff were really helpful and even though the menu was clear about what each dish was, they helped us decide catering to our individual tastes.

The menu is packed with everything you could possibly want but what I love most is that you won’t find anything deep-fried or covered in fat here. Everything is made fresh and all the meats are grilled and garnished with the best greens – mint yoghurt, harissa and garlic sauces, zaatar grilled tomato and green chilli. It’s so refreshing to be able to dine out and not feel guilty afterwards!

For starters we opted for a mezze for two which included: Baba ghanuj, hommos, tabbouleh, falafel, lentil salad, cheese sambousek, pickles & pita bread.

Comptoir Libanais Mezze Platter

mezze platter for two comptoir libanais

I mean seriously, how delicious does that look? Honestly, we were so excited by the food that we went a little bit crazy with it and were tucking into it as if it was the main course! We were famished before we came to the restaurant so we ordered the mezzo platter for two and it was HUGE. I think I’d definitely recommend that you stick to a platter for one if it’s just a starter. If you’re a vegetarian, you could actually probably just have this and you’d be completely satisfied. Everything tasted fresh and even the pita was warm.

For the main course the manager talked us through some of the dishes they had and I have to say it all sounded delicious. I’m not very big on red meat so I definitely wanted just chicken and opted for the Shish Taouk which is cubes of grilled marinated chicken breast served with vermicelli rice and my friend ordered the Mixed Grill which was Lamb kofta, chicken kofta, chicken shish taouk served with vermicelli rice. Now I do love rice but I love Batata Hara more so we both decided to replace our rice with it. Batata Hara is Lebanese spiced fries with red pepper, fresh coriander, garlic & chilli. Once you taste it, you’ll never want to eat anything else again, I swear!

mixed grill Comptoir Libanais

For drinks we ordered a Virgin Mojito Twist which is a soda with muddled mint lime over crushed ice topped with pomegranate juice. The staff were very accommodating about turning it into an alcohol free drink for me and we also ordered ‘Mira’ which is Fresh mint, lemon, lime & orange blossom lemonade. Both drinks were absolutely delicious. The mojito was super refreshing but Mira was definitely more traditional. It had a middle eastern kick to it, so if you want to go all out and get into the Lebanese spirit I would definitely recommend it.

Whilst we waited for the food, I took a closer look at some of the things they were selling and I got a little carried away at making a list of everything I would be coming back to buy. On closer inspection of the goodies they have displayed, they actually sell all the ingredients you need to make all of their dishes and best of all they have two recipe books that allow you to make all of your favourite dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Since visiting the restaurant I actually went online and bought the ‘Express’ book from Amazon because for someone like me who isn’t that great at cooking, it had healthy and tasty dishes that were made so simple to make. Plus all the ingredients are so easily available now that it’s even easier. If you don’t want to order a big hardback book then you can even download it on your kindle! Get the book here. If you’re interested in buying any of their crockery and can’t get to a restaurant you can buy some bits here.

Whilst my food was settling into my stomach, I decided to have a little walk around and have a look at all the treats around the restaurant such as displays of beautiful baklava and the cute flooring. We were seated next to a staircase which led downstairs and so I took a little wander downstairs too and oh my goodness, when I had thought the upstairs looked good, downstairs was on another level (no pun intended!). There was less of the objects for sale and less of a ‘Kitsch’ feel but it still looked amazing. They’ve also got lots of seating and could cater for group bookings too.

Comptoir Libanais Gloucester Road

Also, you guys all know how I love to check out the toilets too and I stayed in there a little longer than necessary taking selfies with the cute tiles.

comptoir

When I finally made my way back upstairs, I realised that I was way too full to eat any dessert but since we were enjoying the place so much we decided to have some hot drinks. We ordered Fresh Rose Mint Tea served in a silver teapot (without the rose) and Lebanese spiced hot chocolate which was Steamed hot chocolate infused with cinnamon and tahini sprinkled with halva.
I’m not a fan of mint tea so I passed on that but the hot chocolate was something else! Honestly, even if I  wasn’t hungry for food, I’d come here just to have the hot chocolate again.

Hot chocolate Comptoir Libanais

All in all, I had a fantastic time and I would definitely recommend Comptoir Libanais on Gloucester Road to anyone and everyone. They exceeded my expectations on every aspect, including the food, service and atmosphere. The food is halal too so even higher marks from me!

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