About Me

My photo
hi, I am a 40+ year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly. I also enjoy trying out and reviewing new makeup products, finding stylish walking sticks, reading and writing book reviews. I will review anything from bird tables/ hedgehog houses to the latest fashion! My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Anna Sui Hand Mirror

I bought this mirror from ASOS for £15 as I wanted a travel size hand mirror.  This one by Anna Sui measures 18 x 0.7 x 10cm and comes in a little embossed pouch.  It has an embossed rose on the back of the mirror and has a black patent finish.  The handle is quite short and stubby. I have small hands and find it easy to grip, someone with larger hands may not. As the mirror is flat it is easy to pack and is protected by the case. The mirror itself is decent at magnifying. There are matching items available.

Available from:
Amazon UK

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Mio Fit Skin For Life: Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator


I am currently having Ellipse IPL hair removal on my legs which requires them to be exfoliated to remove the dead hairs. My current exfoliator wasn't brisk enough, so I went for the Mio Double Buff. Unusually you apply this when you are dry  then remove once you get in the bath/ shower.   Double Buff gives you double action body buffing in around 30 seconds.  The pumice and volcanic micro lava exfoliate without scratching your skin, the pineapple fruit extract gives a gentle enzyme exfoliation, papaya extract accelerates the skin cycle, the organic sweet almond protects and infuses the skin with omega moisture, the fig extract balances the skin's appearance and the organic shea butter gives the skin intense moisture packed with vitamins A, E and F. 

The scrub is a greyish colour and the scrub particles feel quite fine.  Once it has been rubbed into the skin you can smell the scent.  It doesn't irritate or feel harsh as the scrub is washed off, Double Buff exfoliates, moisturises and leaves my skin with a gently lemony smell. It is quick and easy to use. No environmentally harmful micro beads, my skin feels and looks better and the exfoliator is removing the hairs for my IPL.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in the blog post are my own.

#WIN £80+ surprise box of makeup

As I have now got 60,000+ unique views, thank you very much for reading, I thought I would run a thank you competition to win a surprise box of makeup worth £80+ Just complete the rafflecopter requirements to be in to win! Open internationally, c/d 8 July 2017.

Follow the link below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wet Brushes

Due to long term medication, the texture of my hair has changed.  Before I had to have Duralgesic morphine patches my hair was poker straight and easy to manage.   Now my hair is coarse, wavy and a lot harder to detangle.  I cannot use a tangle teazer as I cannot reach the top or back of my head without a decent brush handle.

The detangling and shine brush has soft and flexible intelliflex bristles which makes the detangling process painfree and easy to do.  The brush can be used on wet and dry har and also on extensions and wigs.  The brush does not seem to snag on my waist length hair but glides through a lot easier than other brushes I have tried.  It does make my hair my hair shinier.  

 I use the paddle brush to brush my hair when I have just washed it as the bristles are wider apart than the detangling brush.  I then use the detangler to go over and smooth and finish detangling my hair. Like the detangler the paddle brush has intelliflex bristles, The soft tips make the bristles glide through without snagging and hurting my sensitive scalp.  The soft tips massage the scalp stimuating circulation of the hair follicle.   

 The lil' lovin hairbrush is a cute, handbag size wet brush. It has the same intelliflex bristles as the larger versions and is freat for travel or just to pop in your bag for use on the go.  

 I got the key chain version via eBay. It is a fun little brush, great for shorter hair or fringes but its not much use for my waist long hair, it does brush though and I use it to target and detangle big knots or tidy up the end of my plait. 

 This nifty little item is designed to clean all hair from your wt brush (it can be used with other brushes, hair dryer filters, shavers and razors).  I just swipe down through the bristles with it and all the hair is pulled out from my brush.  It doesn't just pull out the hair from the brush but also sweeps away any gunk from the base of the bristles.

I love all my wet brushes and would not use anything else. I have a tried a lot of different brands at different price points but I find that Wet brushes do not hurt my sensitive scalp and that they detangle rather than just  skin over or rip out knots of hair!

Astley Clarke Mini Moon Ring in Vermeil Yellow Gold

My mum gave me this Mini Moon Biography Vermeil ring in yellow gold for passing my law degree. Currently £45 in the sale, the ring is pave set with white sapphires and the setting and band is 18ct yellow gold plated sterling silver.  The ring measures 8x3mm and can be worn alone or stacked with other rings.  It fits flat against my finger so there is no risk that I will scratch my glasses when I rub my eye - that was a very expensive mistake and I haven't worn that ring again.  It has a very thin band and is so light I can forget I am wearing it, which is important for me as I find wearing certain rings painful due to neuropathic pain in my hands.  The moon is supposed to symbolise enlightenment which is why I chose it as a graduation present.  There are also matching items - a pendant and earrings and all these items are also available in sterling silver.  

I ordered the ring from AC's online store, it was very easy to navigate and the customer service was excellent. I decided I wanted to change ring size and they changed it immediately.   It came securely packaged within 3 days of ordering it.  There is a grey pouch and jewellery box  to keep it in.   I really like AC jewellery. I have pieces I have bought from their online store and via eBay and they always look stylish, timeless and wear well.  I have, of course bookmarked the matching earrings for my birthday!

Available from Astley Clarke

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Benefit: Dream Screen

As this weekend is supposed to be hotter than Brazil I thought I would post this today. We should wear sunscreen everyday in order to protect our skin from long term sun damage/ skin cancer, but often sunscreens can be greasy, which can put us off from using it.  Dream Screen by Benefit is a broad spectrum, oil free, fragrance free spf of 45. It is £27 for 45.0 ml.  It delivers a silky matte finish and sinks into the skin immediately leaving the skin feeling sofft, moisturised and hydrated.   it doesnt leave a film or white overcast on the skin.  

I have found that a little goes a long way and that it makes a great substitute for primer.  It feels as though I am applying a serum which transforms quickly into a velvety finish.  My makeup doesn't go patchy when i am wearing this sunscreen and it increases its longevity.  As it is oil and fragrance free it doesn't break me out as some sunscreen do as they clog my pores.  The bottle is easy to find in my bag as I just feel for the unusual cap.  

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.
All Benefit products are available from their online store, Boots. House of Fraser, Look Fantastic etc.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dower & Hall Enchanted Vermeil and Black Pearl Drop Earrings

Dower & Hall are a leading British jewellery brand.  Designed and manufactured in the UK their pieces of jewellery are timeless, refined and elegant. Their handcrafted and bespoke designs are made from sterling silver, vermeil, 18 carat gold, platinum and palladium.  Assisted by a business loan from the Prince's  Trust, Dower & Hall were established in 1990 by Dan Dower and Diane Hall.  Their first stand alone store opened in 1995 in Knightsbridge and they now have over 100 stockists and a celebrity following.  Dower & Hall have raised over £25,000 for the Chain of Hope Charity, £20,000 for Breakthrough for Breast Cancer, £10,000 for the British Heart Foundation and worked with several wildlife charities including the Tusk Trust.

 I purchased the Dower & Hall Enchanted Earrings in vermeil and black pearl from their Amazon store.  The black baroque pearl is 14 mm and set with a 8 mm harlequin cut onyx stone. They are set on a vermeil/ sterling silver ear wire setting. The total drop is  40 mm. 

These earrings are enchanting! They are well made, comfortable to wear and just the right length. The colour of the stone/ pearl/ vermeil gold compliment each other, making the earrings timeless, elegant and fabulous. They go with anything and everything!

I purchased these items myself from Dower & Hall's Amazon Shop and cost £145. They are available here
Dower & Hall Website

Monday, 12 June 2017

Bachelor Dad: A Single Dad Romance: Roxann Delany

Bachelor Dad by Roxann Delany  is a Mills and Boon American Romance.  Set in Desperation, Garrett Miles, an attorney receives a package, his four year old little girl that he didn't know he had!    Libby Carter and her son,  Noah, also live in the town after fleeing her abusive husband when she lost custody of Noah to him.  She is eeking out a living as a waitress and desperately needs child care as does Garrett. They come to an arrangement, minding each others child.  Garrett is not aware Libby is on the run until her ex husband turns up to drag her home.  You will have to find out the ending!

Bachelor Dad is a very clean cut all American romance.  Unlike the Mills and Boon Modern series it is very clean cut, sweet romance (no explicit sex scenes).  The book focuses on Libby's trust issues, Garrett's determination to step up and learn to be a dad, his relationship with Noah and his past experiences as a child custody/divorce attorney colouring his opinion of Libby and her ex which very nearly leads to tragic consequences.   

I received this book for free from Netgallery as i am  a #millsandbooninsider but this does not affect my review.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Latelita London Petite Studs

Established in 2012, Latelita London uses semi precious stones, precious metals and exotic skins   to combine Eastern influences with contemporary Western designs in order to create intricate, unique, timeless jewellery.  

I have the petite studs in gold and lapis lazuli and rose quartz set in rose gold.  I purchased both sets of earrings in the House of Fraser sale for £15 a pair (RRP £39).  They both measure 4x4mm.  The lapis studs are made from 925 sterling silver plated in 22ct gold with butterfly backs.  The rose quartz studs are plated in 22 ct rose gold.  

They are very light, minimalist and elegant to wear. I did find it difficult to put the butterfly on, the fit was tight, but once I had slotted it in place the studs felt very secure.  The earrings came in little pouches so would make great gifts or to even buy to put away for Christmas and hang them on the Christmas tree for extra presents. 

I feel that at £39 they are overpriced as stud earrings go, but at £15 they are great.  

I purchased these earrings myself.
Latelita London Website
Latelita London Petite Studs Gold Lapis Lazuli
Latelita London Petite Studs Rose Gold Rose Quartz

Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 Dryer

I have used a Babyliss hot brush hair dryer for years but it sadly died. Scouring Amazon I found the Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 dryer (£49.99, currently on offer for £26.95 and free delivery with Prime). 

I prefer using a hot brush hair dryer as they have long handles and as I cannot reach above my chin with my hands I couldn't reach the top of m head with a "normal" hair dryer. The Revlon dryer, because of the long handle allows me to dry my hair myself rather than asking someone to dry the back/ top of my hair for me if I feel well enough. If someone is drying my hair for me it takes less effort as they just brush it through my hair a few times and it's done.

The paddle brush, which is where the heat comes out is padded, has flexible tangle free bristles and massaging ball tips, so doesn't scratch my scalp or feel too uncomfortable. Due to lack of coordination I can't brush and hold a dryer to do even the bottom part of my hair so the paddle brush is great as it  is quite large, covers a large part of my scalp and leaves my hair looking groomed and straight but not poker straight.

Heat wise there are 2 heat settings and a cool shot.  It has an ionic conditioning ioniser which eliminates static and ensures your hair is smooth.  It also has a tangle free swivel cord.

I found it quite easy to use, although the switch was stiff for the first few uses.  It did half the time it takes to dry/style my hair as claimed on the box. My hair looked groomed and frizz free. It is a great hair dryer for anyone with coordination, certain spinal problems or spatial awareness issues.  As someone who has to ask for help a lot, it is great that the long handled design and the paddle brush mean that I can dry my hair myself and have some independence.

I purchased this item myself.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Yokono Jamaica 203 Sandals

 I have small, bony feet and coupled with neuropathic pain I find it difficult to find comfortable, stylish sandals that hide my toes!  

Yokono are a Spanish footwear firm that have been making shoes, sandals and boots for men, women, children and babies since 1981.  They now sell in 35 countries.  They focus on quality, trends and comfort.  Yokono also supports various initiatives aimed at improving society.

I first shopped in Jake Shoes when it was a tiny shop in Barton Arcade, Manchester.  It has since moved in to the Arndale Centre (Unit 20) and is a much roomier store with a lot more choice.  They now also have a web shop so it is easier (for me) to browse online and compare styles before I go in to the actual shop. 

I purchased the Yoknono Jamaica 203 sandals in fuchsia and tan (youths 2 UK) as they are the onlu sandals that I have found that are stylish, comfortable and do not make my feet feel as though they are being ripped to shreds as soon as I put them on.  They are kids/children's sandals and come in sizes 7 UK to 2.5 UK. The cost £29.99.  The upper and lining are made of leather and the inside has a suede feel.  They "fit" to your feet like birkenstock do so if you get the wrong size they will be uncomfortable.  My feet do not swear in these sandals as it is absorbed by the foot bed.  The leather straps do not rub the back of my ankle and fit comfortably across the top of my foot.  My toes feel protected by the pieces of leather and they do not rub them.  There is a cute little ladybird stamped into the ankle strap and Yokono is embossed on the buckle.  The sandal bed is a contrasting colour to the sandal.


I ordered the fuchsia pair on a bank holiday Saturday and  got them the following Thursday. I ordered the tan pair on that Thursday and got them the following Tuesday. Postage was free. There is a chat function on their website and I got motivation of dispatch, tracking numbers etc. I have also shopped in store and the assistants have been helpful without hassling me.

Even though they are children's sandals they look stylish and would go with jeans or a long floaty dress.  Yokono also do adult shoes and sandals which are stylish and comfortable.

I purchased these items myself and the views expressed in this blog post are my own.
Yokono website
Jake Website

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Disney Pinnochio: Figaro & Cleo Stud Earrings

This Blog post reviews these Disney (Pinocchio) Figaro and Cleo 10mm silver plated stud earrings. I bought them from Rockshaw Accessories via eBay UK for £3.70 inc p&p. They are handmade and so detailed. Figaro and Cleo both look inwards as though they are looking at the wearer. They are so light and comfortable to wear. Even though they are butterfly fastenings they are easy to fasten and feel secure once the butterfly back is clipped in place. They fit close to the ear so you don't risk losing them if they snag in long hair etc.  Customer service was great. They arrived within 3 days of purchase and were well packaged in a Jiffy bag, bubble wrap and a business card inside. There were lots of other Disney designs, so well worth checking out.

Available from: eBay.co.uk

Monday, 5 June 2017

June Birthstone: Pearl, Alexandrite & Moonstone

June is only one two of months which has 3 birthstones.  June birthdays have a choice of alexandrite, pearl or moonstone.  

Alexandrite was the official gemstone of Imperial Russia as it changes from green to red.  A comparatively late starter in the gemstone world, it was discovered in 1834 in the Russian emerald mines located in the Ural mountains.  It was found on the same day Alexander II came of age, hence the name.  Alexandrite is a chameleon gemstone as the colour shifts from emerald to ruby.  It is now mined mostly in Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa,  Alexandrite is supposed to help concentration and learning, inspire imagination, intuition and improve creativity.

Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures (mollusks).  The most expensive pearls are a creamy white with an iridescent sheen. Cultured pearls can be dyed any colour. Black pearls are mostly purple, green or silver dyed black as authentic black pearls are very rare and very expensive. Natural pearling is now mostly confined to the Persian Gulf.  Australia has one of the few diving fleets, harvesting pearls in the Indian ocean.  Fresh water pearls come from China.  Pearls symbolise purity and innocence.    

Moonstone was named by the Roman natural historian Phiny who felt that the colours in moonstone shifted in sync with the moon.  The most expensive moonstones (colourless with a blue hue)  are mined in Sri Lanka.  Moonstones are also mined in India, Madagascar, US and Australia.  It is a relative weak stone, prone to cracking.  As per the name, moonstone is associated with lunar energy, mystic and magic.  It is supposed to have calming, balancing energies. It is rumoured to be the ultimate fertility crystal, sparking new relationships and reigniting old ones.  Moonstone is also known as the traveller's stone and is believed to protect travellers at night.  It is used to ward off insomnia,  sleepwalking, encourage a good nights sleep.

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Going to numerous Doctor's/Hospital appointments I do not necessarily want to take a large or favourite bag to be cluttered up with. I still, however, want to be comfortable and fashionable.  The 101 Dalmatian x Cath Kidston range is cute and practical. The items I bought can be wiped down or washed, they are practical and cute.

The Dalmatian spot kids pocket purse is great for loose change and as it has a key ring fob can be attached to zips etc.  It measures 13 x 9 x 1 cm and has a zip.  It has the dalmatian puppy print on it. It is made from PVC coated cotton and  wiped clean.

The Dalmatian spot kids cross body (£18) has an adjustable strap, popper fastening, red lining and adjustable strap.  It is made from PVC coated cotton, can be wiped clean and measures 16 x 18 x 2 cm.   I can fit my ipod, bottle of water pocket purse in it. As I am only 4ft 7" the strap is just the right length for  me.  When I buy adult sized bags I have to get extra holes put in the strap otherwise the bag is around my knees!

Made from 100% cotton, the Dalmatian spot print kids puppy pocket book bag measures 30x30x1cm and can be wiped clean.  There is a front pocket and the bag itself is quite roomy.  There are bo fasteners which is my oly issue with the bag.

Available from:

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Lynne Graham: Sold for the Greek's Heir

This is the third book in the Brides for the Taking trilogy.  Sold for the Greek's Heir by Lynne Graham encompasses a whirlwind affair, misunderstandings, interfering fathers and a baby.  Jax (the hero) is determined to marry Lucy and claim his heir.  
 Lucy has been mistreated by Jax due to his interfering father she is thrown off his boat when she goes to tell him she is pregnant.  She meets him again in Greece, tells him about his baby daughter, he wants his heir so he forces her to marry him.  
Well written, this will they or wont they get together/stay together has family drama, angst and a happily ever after. 

I am belong to the #millsandbooninsiders programme and this book was sent to me via netgallery to review for free.
Available from:

Friday, 2 June 2017

Sticks & Stones: Butterflies

Spring has officially sprung and summer here on 20th June so I thought I would look for a summery but not flowery theme for this months sticks and stones. So the theme is .... butterflies. I have often wished I could fly off looking all elegant and colourful, the downside to being a butterfly is that you only live for a day.  I have included the obligatory walking stick/ umbrella. Very pretty and eyecatching but I don't  think I would depend on it for support but would use it to help with balance. Some of the sticks are collapsible so harder to cut down if you are a shorty like me, but the non collapsible ones are easier to adjust as the end can be sawn off (I take mine to my local independent shoemakers or Timpsons). All the links can be found below 

I found some really pretty accessories and jewellery, all of which can be used to jazz up your Autumn /Winter wardrobe. I especially like the bug/ butterfly scarf as it shows bugs can be pretty too!

Available from:
Handbag sized Walking Stick - Butterfly (£22.41)
Danielle Butterfly Print Zoomer Cane (£20.45)
Classic Canes, Blue Paisley & Butterflies (£27.99)
Verko Butterfly Print Cane (£36)
Offset Handle Butterfly Walking Cane (£50)
Folding Walking Stick - Butterfly Print
Large Butterflies & Mountains Walking Stick and Umbrella (£26.50)
Chamilia: One in a million
Chamilia: Flutter
Women's Butterfly & floral scarf (£4)
Butterfly & insect scarf (£17)
Butterfly Scarf (£16)
Blue & turquoise butterfly pendant (£78)
Cath Kidston Enamel Butterfly Pendant