When I learned Millie Bobby Brown was launching her own beauty brand I was immediately intrigued, I mean the girl is only fifteen/ and Although I was very tempted to try everything right away, I waited a bit for some reviews come out and see what to general feeling towards the brand was.
While there was was a bit of backlash from Millie’s fake evening routine video, the overall consensus was that the brand wasn’t at all what people were expecting from a 15-year-old actress.

The whole feeling of Florence is keeping it fresh and natural. While it isn’t exclusively for teens, it does seem to be directed towards more youthful

Some of the products I have been using for months, and a couple I have been using for a few weeks, I am super excited to share my thoughts with you today.

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Get That Grime Face Scrub

This scrub is designed to gently buffs away dead skin, oils, and dust freeing the pores. It contains vitamin E and cucumber extract which help calm and nourish the skin. This scrub is super gentle using ivory palm seed powder as the exfoliant.
I have very sensitive skin and have had issues with some scrubs before, however, this one is so nice and gentle, it leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed.
This like all the Florence skincare products I have used has a strong cucumber fragrance, which I really like it but if you don’t then just keep that in mind.

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Dreamy Dew Moisturizer

Dream Dew is a beautifully soft moisturizer, formulated to calm and moisturize without feeling heavy or greasy and it does just that!
It instantly sinks into the skin feeling silky smooth.
My skin is quite dry but still pron the occasional breakout, and I have had no issues with this moisturizer

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Zero Chill Face Mist

I may be slightly addicted to face mists, this is my second bottle of Zero Chill. Made with rose, lavender, seaweed and thyme extract, this mist calms and moisturizes the skin. I absolutely love the light floral scent, and how it makes my skin feel so refreshed every time I use it.
I mainly use this on bare skin, but it works well over makeup as well.

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Like A Light Skin Tint F010

I got the lightest color out of twenty, its fair with cool undertones. I feel like that’s a pretty wide range for a skin tint whenever I see a tinted moisturizer or anything like that I usually only see three of four color choices.
It evens out the skin and adds a healthy glow. This is pretty much just a very light coverage, perfect if you want that my skin but better look.
I love the wear this with a little cream blush and the Tint N’ Tame brow gel for a fresh, natural look.

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Love Liv Eyeshadow Palette

This palette was created in honor of Millie’s friend Liv, who passed away from pediatric cancer $75,000 of the proceeds from the Love Liv palette are donated to the Olivia Hope Foundation.
As for the palette itself, it has five neutral shades, two shimmers, and three mattes. all of the shadows have a cool tone.

Lulu: A lovely muted peach shimmer.

Angel: Glowy cream shimmer.

Sisters: Light, cool matte tan.

Ducky: Soft cream matte shade.

Hamptons: Cool dark brown matte.

While the shadows are very pretty and are definitely workable, I don’t think they are anything special. They are kind of middle of the road as far as color pay off goes. That being said, as it is more targeted towards younger people that might have been their intent to keep it simpler and more natural look.

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Tint N’ Tame Brow Gel in Brown
I have been using brow gel for ages, but I have been enjoying combining the two or just using this on its own.
It’s basically mascara for your brows. It adds color, thickness, and a little bit more texture, while still looking pretty close to natural.
I got my brows tinted recently, so I haven’t been needing to do the usual steps in my brow routine. Just brush a little of this on and they are good to go!

I am extremely impressed with Florence, the skincare products, in particular, have really surprised me and I can’t wait to try more of their products. My favorites so far are the Dreamy Dew moisturizer and the Zero Chill mist.

Florence promises to stay free from parabens, sulfates, dyes, animal testing or animal by-products, synthetic fragrances.

3 Favorite Cleansers: My Cleanser Routine.

Simple Everyday Self-Care Tips

Cheeseboard for the Perfect Night In: With Maine Crisp

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to gather around the living room, usually watching a movie or show that we all enjoy, and devour a cheeseboard.
Cheeseboards have always had a special place in our house, whenever we have company, a special occasion, and lazy Sunday afternoons, there will be one in some form or other.

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Lately, they have become the go-to for holidays and birthdays rather than a big fancy meal that takes so much time and effort. It’s nice and simple so everyone can relax and enjoy their evening.
What is a cheeseboard? Well, it can be whatever you want it to be! Just crackers and cheese or you can make it super fancy with different varieties of everything. I like to have a good balance of sweet, salty, and a little bit of tart.

One thing I think a lot of people forget about is crackers. Most of the time we treat crackers as a canvas for all the other flavors, with no thought to it being anything but bland with maybe a hint of salt. Which is a shame really because the right crackers can completely transform the flavors they are paired with.

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Maine Crisps is a wonderful Maine company that makes the most marvelous grain-free, gluten-free buckwheat crackers! They are incredibly flavorful and crisp with the best possible ingredients. You can tell they are something special the minute you bite into them.dsc_0172-1

Cranberry Almond.
With cranberry, raw honey, and Herbes de Provence, these are a delightful balance of sweet and savory.

“Tart cranberries, a smidge of raw wildflower honey, and a medley of organic seeds with the savory undertone of Herbes de Provence. Pair this crispy crunch with soft oozy cheese and you’ve got your newest obsession.”dsc_0157

Cinnamon Maple.
Have you ever eaten something that simply made you feel happy inside? These do that to me. They have such a light, subtly sweet taste with maple, cinnamon, and nutmeg as the dominant flavors.
These are delightful with cranberry and goat cheese. I would also really like the try these with pumpkin hummus.

“Subtly sweet, slightly earthy, touched with pure maple syrup, a hint of cinnamon and balanced with sea salt. Irresistible with mild goat cheese. Great snack for the kids. They’re better than a cookie.”dsc_0167

Wild Blueberry Walnut.
The principal flavor in these is the rosemary, with a light fruity sweetness from the blueberries.
I love these with a generous bit of blue cheese and pomegranate.

“Savor naturally gluten-free buckwheat flecked with wild blueberries, California walnuts, and rosemary. Terrific paired with goat cheese and creamy blues. Deliciously satisfying on their own!”

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Fresh fruit is another thing that is absolutely essential in my opinion. Fruits add sweetness and a little bit of sharpness depending on which ones you choose. I had always just done apples, but lately, I have been enjoying incorporating berries and pomegranates. The sweetness is also a really good way to balance out stronger cheeses, I never liked goat cheese until I had it with cherries.

What is your favorite treat for a cozy evening at home? Do you have any traditions you and your family do on special occasions?

Thank you much to Maine Crisps for sponsoring this post and for sending me some of their delicious crackers! Make sure you check out their website mainecrisp.com and follow them on Instagram @mainecrisp

 

An Evening In Dublin City.

Happy Birthday Sparkle Of Grace! Three Year Bloggerversary.

3 Favorite Cleansers: My Cleanser Routine.

 

Hello!

Back in September I spent a day in Dublin, I didn’t get to see very much of the city, but it was enough to make me want to return and explore more.

We flew into Dublin on Saturday afternoon, rented a car and headed into the city to find our hotel. We stayed at the Westin on Westmoreland Street.

DSC_0548We only had a short stay in Dublin, one day and two nights so we didn’t get to see much of the city. Must of our exploration was within a few blocks of our hotel, and mostly on Grafton St in sweater shops and at the weekend doctors on Nassau St.
I wasn’t feeling quite the thing so I don’t get out to take photos until the evening. It was a slightly rainy evening with a pleasant coolness in the air.
We walked for a bit until we found a place to eat, we settled on O’Donoghue’s for a quick bowl of stew than off to explore a little.
Dublin is absolutely gorgeous at night! especially since it was a little dreary all the city lights reflected beautifully off the streets.dsc_0592image.png

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There you have it! Just a quick little glimps into my short visit to Dublin!

Don’t forget to check out my other posts from me U.K trip if you haven’t read them already.

Afternoon in Oxford: A brief History.

Dover & Brighton Travel Journal

London Highlights:

Pusheen Snack Parlour.

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
This is a day for some serious reflection, with the new year right around the corner there is no better time to gaze back at the year and appreciate all the fun and amazing things it was brought.
Today marks A Sparkle Of Grace’s third birthday!
I can’t believe it’s been three years! It seems like I started just yesterday that I started fresh, and rebranded myself as A Sparkle Of Grace. I have loved every minute of it, even the frustrating ones, after six years of blogging I’m still learning something new every day.

While I didn’t do nearly as much writing this year as I didn’t last year, 27 posts compared to last year’s 73, it has been a huge year of growth for both the blog and myself.

At the beginning of January my family I headed to Quebec for a week-long snowy adventure. Quebec City is truly magical in the winter I think it snowed somewhere around four feet while we were there. We visited the fabulous Hotel De Glace and the breathtaking Montmorency Falls, but we spent most of our time just soaking up the festive scenery of the city.
I neglected to write up a travel journal for Quebec city,
oops.


In late 2018 I decided to start a Maine blogger group and on February 16 we had our very first Meet up. Since then we have had three other events, and I’ve met some of the sweetest, lovely people. March brought my collaboration with Jord Watches. I had been an admirer of Jord for a while, so having them reach out to me was a dream!


April and May were the months for recipes, I shared my Not Your Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, my Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Butter Cream Frosting and The Perfect Iced Cut-out Sugar Cookies. There were also a few mini skincare reviews sprinkled in.


June and July were brought a bunch of additions to my Wandering Maine series, I spent the summer enjoying Maine, with many day trips around the coast, and a wonderful family vacation. I got to see one of my favorite bands( Gaelic Storm) in concert for the second time. They are so much fun and super nice people.
I also attended my first BloggersliveBoston event at the Rustic Arrow in Freeport, which as a blast!


August had a shocking lack of blog content but I had the awesome opportunity to so an Instagram collab with Loft Outlet, which as incredible fun as Loft is one of my favorite stores.


The whole month of September my mom, dad, brother and I spent in the U.K, so there was very little written content that month except for my review of the Pusheen Cafe. There was however some much material that I’m still working at writing up all of it.


October brought my travel journal for London, one for Dover and Brighton, and a history-based post about Oxford and Oxford Univerity. This trip as one that I have been wanting for as long as I can remember, and it was a dream come true and I’m so incredibly blessed. I also turned twenty-two.


November was another quiet month on the blog. With just one post, 3 Favorite Cleansers: My Cleanser Routine.

Which brings us to December!
This is the first and last post for December because this month has been crazy busy. A couple highlights were the Windham Chambers Singers Christmas concert, which is always amazing and getting to meet Norm Lewis again was really nice.

And who can forget about Christmas! As I’m writing this it’s the day after, and I feel tired but very happy. It was wonderful to see all the family again, I haven’t seen everyone in a while. This was my nephew’s second Christmas, but the first one that he was really able to enjoy, getting to experience that with him was the sweetest thing.

Top Five Post of 2019

Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Sizzle Palette

Tartes New Sugar Rush is Just In Time For Spring. First Impressions and Review.

Wandering Quebec: Montmorency Falls

Zoella X Colourpop Brunch Date Haul & First Impressions

Revolution SophX Nude Lipsticks

This year’s top five surprised me a little, I guess you can’t go wrong with a good old fashioned review.

Instagram.
While this year has been pretty quiet on the blog front, I have been putting more effort on Instagram, most of my activity, growth, and brand collabs have been there. There are a couple of reasons for this, one is that it’s easier and doesn’t take as much time as sitting down, writing and researching a blog post. It has also been simpler to follow my brand’s growth and to see what kinds of content my followers like and dislike. Plus, I have been loving the supportive, encouraging community.

Health.
I had pertussis (whooping cough) this year which was quite the adventure. Since I had been vaccinated the infection took its unique direction. I came down with it in the middle of August, and it continued through our U.K trip when it developed into severe asthma and I ended up going to a doctor in Dublin to get an inhaler.
While I was still able to enjoy the trip, it slowed me down considerably, I had pretty much constant discomfort in my lungs, and I couldn’t walk of stairs, hills, or even laugh without having a coughing fit.
I think I’m finally better now! I do still have occasional asthma attacks but other than that I’m back to the way I was before.

Chronic Pain.
This has been an interesting year on the health front.
I have talked a little bit about my adventures with chronic pain in the past, but it’s been a long time since I gave an update. If you would like a more in-depth chat about my fibromyalgia, and chronic migraines let me know I might do a post about that soon.
For the most part, this has been a good year there has been ups and downs like always, but the number of good days increased and the number of bad days has decreased( not counting the ones caused by whooping cough)

This year has been amazing!
I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings, it’s already promising to be a wonderful year.
I hope you all have a marvelous New Year.

 

Find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

Cleansers are a very personal product, everyone has different preferences and different skin types. What works for one person with one skin type may not work for someone else with the same skin type.
Finding the right cleanser is a daunting task, the options are never-ending and each brand has one marketed for every different skin need.DSC_0007

My skin is dry around my eyes, noes and sometimes my cheeks, with occasional breakouts on my forehead, chin, and jawline. So when looking for a cleanser it needs to thoroughly clean without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. I have found that instead of having one cleanser that I use exclusively, it works better for me to have a few different ones that I can switch and use depending on how my skin feels at the time. I have finally found three cleansers that I love and use regularly.DSC_0052

Soap & Glory Peaches And Clean Deep Cleansing Milk.
I use this one every morning, and in the evenings where I have worn little to no makeup that day. It is very gentle and soothing and works beautifully for removing the day from bare skin, dust oils and any light makeup you might be wearing. The peach scent is very sharp and refreshing too, it’s one of the reasons I love it so much in the morning.
This does claim to be a makeup removing the cleanser, but I have found it doesn’t do a very good job at removing mascara and eyeliner, and a full face of makeup is a bit more then it can handle.DSC_0055DSC_0057

YesTo Cucumber Exfoliating Cleansing Balm.
This one is the next step up, I use it at night after a day of wearing makeup. It comes with an exfoliating pad that I use every time to get that lightly exfoliated clean feeling. This does a great job at removing any extra makeup and leaves my face feeling clean, bright and fresh.
I love the smell of this cleanser it’s exactly like cucumber, but it is quite a strong smell, so I’ve your not a cucumber fan, just be aware.
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Origins Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash.

We have now reached phase three!
I had a facial done at Origins and they used these cleansers, I was instantly obsessed and purchased it then and there.
It has both spearmint and lavender so it smells incredible, and my skin just feels happy after using it! It is definitely gentle enough for everyday use, I used it morning and evening for three weeks when I was traveling recently and my skin didn’t give me any of the normal travel issues. As it foams and is more an intense clean I don’t find I need it every day. I only use this in the evenings when I’ve had a long day in makeup, or when my skin feels itchy and tiered( you know the feeling). It’s a bit like a breath of fresh air for your skin it feels extremely clean, but not over-dry or tight.

What it really comes down to is what your skin wants! I spent a long time trying to find one cleanser that did it all and worked perfectly for my skin at all times, but it turns out my magic number is three!