Basic Witches

When I was really young, a teenager who didn't quite know the length of her limbs yet, I liked to read Silver Ravenwolf books. They've aged a fair bit by now, and they show it here and there in problematic language with a 90's American mentality, but those books taught me a lot. They taught me that magic isn't about controlling the outside world, or bending it to your desire. In fact, they stressed the importance of respecting free will, and of never dishing out that which you aren't happy to receive in return. It gladdens my little rebellious, moon-worshiping heart when I see books like this emerge for a new generation, who might be drawn to the idea of witchcraft, but not know where to start. I was lucky, I had wise women I could go to for advice, but not everybody is so fortunate. 

Basic Witches, by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, is an utterly beautiful-looking book. The illustrations, courtesy of Camille Chew, are pretty magical on their own. If you're looking for instruction on rituals, the witch's calendar, goddesses and gods et cetera, then it probably won't be very helpful, and it doesn't claim to be. More than anything, I feel it's a kind of feminist manual for discovering, or rediscovering, your own personal power and balance. It guides you through caring for your body, creating your life, and nurturing your friendships in a deliberate way full of witchy intention. It's packed full of many cool, simple spells that are easily adapted to suit your needs, if that kinda thing is up your street. You don't need any prior knowledge of witchcraft to have a go at them. Throughout the book you'll also pick up some of the associations witches connect to colours, crystals, days of the week and such, so that you can begin to create your own spells (in my opinion, spells you create from your own knowledge are the most effective and fulfilling) but these aren't the main point or substance of the book. It deals with some weighty and very current issues; body positivity, contraception and abortion, imposter syndrome, consent, libido, abusive relationships, self-care, social media, and mental health are all up for discussion. These conversations are woven through with more light-hearted magic, such as emoji runes, pop culture witches, cutting your own hair, whipping up your own makeup, and choosing a pet familiar. There is levity in the substance, and vice versa. You never feel talked-down-to or silly, and I would have loved the chapters on Glamours (beauty magic) and Enchantment (love and sex magic) to be a bit longer, as I found them so enjoyable.



The finished product is a book about witchcraft that feels very accessible, grounded, and modern. It's a sisterly work filled with witty and progressive advice for anyone, regardless of gender or religious background, who relates to the archetype of the witch: one who is persecuted for taking matters into their own hands, or for possessing too much knowledge. I would especially recommend it to people who might not consider themselves "magical", or "spiritual". I read a lot of books about the craft, about the ins and outs of herbalism, astrology, sex magic and goddess worship, but I also love to dive into books like this just as much; ones that are less about ceremony and more about the badass spirit behind all witchery. You don't have to believe in anything to read this book, except perhaps the power and potential within women, and the marginalized of this world. The magic being cooked up here is all in your mind, and there can be little debate about the power of the mind. Whether you're an atheist or just starting out on your journey into nature-based religions, there's much fun to be had in Basic Witches, and also much empowerment. Let's raise hell.


This post in NOT sponsored, but items were sent for consideration. All opinions are my own and completely honest, as always. For more, see my PR page.

Witchy Wallpapers For Your iPhone



Pentagram and roses, via Pinterest // Magic rose, by Natacha Birds // I'll put a spell on you, via Pinterest // Witch, please, via Pinterest  // Moon and sky, via Pinterest // We are the weirdos, mister via Pinterest // Magic powers, by Natacha Birds // Hand and moon, by The Moon Bacon // Spell jar, via Pinterest

I have a fairly old iPhone 5S that has served me well for about three years now. I like buying phones outright, and never get contracts. I don't really feel an urge to have the latest model of anything, and much prefer just waiting until I can afford to pay cash on the barrel for whatever I'm after. Until the day my 5S finally kicks the bucket though, I'll be dressing it up with cute wallpapers to make it feel all pretty and new. Here's a selection of my favourite witchy and autumnal ones, to tide you over if you're waiting to get a new device, or the one you have needs some magic. 

If you want to make your phone extra witchy, another cool thing you can do is take a picture of your Tarot card or spread, and set that as your wallpaper to remind you throughout the day. Sometimes I set a screenshot of my horoscope as my background too. Right now I'm using the beautiful bottom middle illustration by The Moon Bacon. So simple and otherworldly.

Planning My Wardrobe For Autumn

Autumn brings out the minimalist witch in me. I always have a huge clear-out around this time each year, and I feel the need to go back to basics. During September, October, and November, I want to buy black t-shirts, statement jewellery, oversized coats, plaid skirts. My personal style is very similar to the look and feel of my blog; mostly black and white, with accents of bold colour and metallics, and an otherworldly vibe. I like great shapes and tailoring. I try to buy at least 80% of my clothes second-hand, and the rest must be high-quality enough that I know I'll get many years of wear out of them. I'm always up for going thrifting, but never more so than in the autumn, when rummaging through old bracelets and band t-shirts feels like a picturesque experience from You've Got Mail.

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In Cardiff, Sobey's is my number one vintage spot; the rose-gold triangle ring you can see below is from there! It's a little big for me so I wear it on my thumb most of the time. They sell gorgeous button-down shirts and old Converse in every colour of the rainbow. For new clothes, one of my first stops is always Urban Outfitters. I love their homeware, lingerie, and books as well as the pretty dresses and jumpers. For the colder months, I might invest in a new coat through Lyst.co.uk (In an ideal world, I'd get this one by Whistles) and keep an eye on their site from the comfort of my bed on those days when I know exactly what I want but I'm not sure if it actually exists. In reality, my budget will probably stretch to one of these Twin Peaks-style babies from Missguided (all the Madchen Amick vibes). For minimal and delicate spooky details, have a look at Eclectic Eccentricity; they sent me the crescent moon and cluster necklaces pictured above. All their stuff is gorgeously magical and exquisite, and I'm newly obsessed.

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Part of the reasoning behind having a clear out and rebooting your wardrobe is that you rediscover things you already own. If I get rid of enough tat, eventually I find a few gems underneath the rubble. One item I had almost completely forgotten about is this simple black bag from SkinnyDip. I picked it up in the sale during some sleepless-night internet shopping. I've also remembered a passion for acrylic nails, especially in black. The ones above are from Elegant Touch but I hear there's a place in Cardiff market that will do you a set of gels for £9, so I may have to go and give them a try.

Witchcraft For Self-Care



In recent seasons I have moved away from body "goals", and beauty "routines". I've started to embrace sensual rituals that make me feel good and more at home in my body; more magical practices that leave room to create, and become more in tune with my true self. Human bodies, especially women's, are constantly flowing and evolving, shedding, growing, and changing. Patterns and repetition are crucial for keeping yourself healthy (getting enough sleep, remembering to brush your teeth, taking your medicine or supplements etc) but a routine can't tell you what your heart craves on a deeper level. Eventually you'll have to go digging. Instead of scolding myself into following a regimen of self-care, I'm trying to listen to myself. As I become accustomed to interpreting the signs, and responding with love, magic is mostly how I nurture this kind of intuitive self-care.

witchcraft-for-self-careAttempting to keep my heart open is one of the most difficult things I do to care for myself. I often instinctively close, shut down, get on with things, go numb, whatever you want to call it, and then when a situation arises where I need to be loving and show my vulnerability again, it can catch me off guard if I haven't been making a conscious effort to work through any unhealed wounds. Warmth is a simple physical way to begin shifting this. All too often we stiffen our bodies from the cold, creating nervous tension, and then stiffen even more from the nervousness, a vicious cycle that is most easily interrupted on a physical level. I like to lay in a hot bath filled with Heart Chakra Love Bath and hang one leg over the side, breathing deeply or singing (LUSH's soundtrack for The Comforter treatment is one of my favourite magical CDs). Making a colourful masterpiece through water and flowers has often helped me, albeit clumsily, through. Feeling the elements in my hands and enveloping my skin as I sink into a potion of my own design brings me back into my body slowly, and with kindness. In times when I feel I cannot create, I can usually at least create a bath, which then shifts my physiological state into something better. If a bath isn't an option I wrap myself in a dressing gown and warm my feet and hands. Dragon Herbs tea helps calm my nerves and ground me into my body, but any loose-leaf tea can be a soothing process. Find one you like or get witchy and mix your own. Making tea with a loved one often opens up the space to talk about whatever we're going through.

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I am terrible at meditating, but creating a small empowerment spell from natural ingredients or a spell candle (I used this Aquarius candle from House of Intuition) helps me focus and recharge. I like to write down some notes on what I would like to manifest, then read them and see what words or phrases pop out, and use those to build a spell. Try keeping a diary for this purpose, so that you have a place to pour out your heart and make powerful, authentic magic. If your spell produces a talisman or charm, so much the better. A talisman can be anything from a small rock you used in your magic to a whole bag of ingredients, or a piece of jewellery. I carry a piece of dalmation jasper during anxious times, then hold it in my hands and focus on its smoothness and its shape when I need to. I take rose quartz with me whenever I want to have an open heart; it reminds me of my intention and helps me balance my emotions a bit faster. House of Intuition spell candles all contain stones or shells that will be supercharged once revealed.

In my sleeping space, I use an aromatherapy lamp like these ones that changes hue and pumps out mist made from whatever essential oil you put in it. Being able to choose the colour it emits also helps control my mood, as I'm sensitive in that way. At night I tend to stick to lavender oil, and I also burn lavender incense for its calming properties. During the day I find the scent of pine helps brings the outdoors in, and make my room feel less stuffy. If I'm clearing my space, lately I've been using some distilled Violet Water to wash down any surfaces, and even my floor. Violet helps to cleanse and release negative energy, so I use it to clean my altar and crystals too, and I add it to baths if I need to literally and figuratively wash the day away.

Finally, all witchcraft is in essence, an act of radical self-care. Witchcraft centres its practitioner, whilst also looking out onto the world with love and responsibility. It frames each and every one of us as our own goddess, or god, with the emphasis on personal power, free will, and positive manifestation. As it brings you closer to yourself and your own nature, knowing what you need to feel whole gets a bit easier.

Some of the products mentioned here have been sent for consideration but this post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own, as always. For more info see my PR page.

Showgirl Wishlist

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, stripper heels are the most comfortable heels you'll ever wear. The skintight plastic means they never rub or give you blisters, and the plush cushioned soles make it possible to dance and run around in them all night. The pair I usually wear are only 4" with no platform, from the Pleaser bikini-fitness range (a great option for tall girls, or dealing with low ceilings). However, now that I have some auditions coming up and will be performing in different venues, doing different shows, I want to get a more theatrical pair just for stage performances. I have my heart set on these rose-bud beauties. I want to frolic like a woodland Barbie.  

I also want to get myself feeling fierce for September and book in for rose quartz or amethyst acrylic nails. Crystal and marble effect nails are my new favourite thing, check them out on Pinterest if you don't know what I'm talking about. I was going to get eyelash extensions too but seeing as I sleep on my front, I think I'll stick to falsies. A new Pacifica perfume would be great too, and some Urban Decay Setting Spray. In an ideal world I'd be filling my closet with fantastical outfits from Love Child Boudoir, like the gorgeous flowery harness top above. I'm also going to re-read my copy of Striptastic by Jacq The Stripper, which the utter babe sent me a while back! I insist you check it out, it's red-hot, scorching genius from a fellow ripper babe. All of this stuff will be thrown into a new weekender. Hopefully a cute eggshell one from Victoria's Secret PINK.

Unblocking My Creativity

My creativity ebbs and flows. It dips and rises in sync with the seasons of my life. When I feel like I am being pushed forward relentlessly, my urge to make things simply disappears. I cannot find the energy to reflect when I am focused on living, on finding my way out, or through. I'm not talking about periods of depression; I'm talking about the outward-facing or exhausted dark times of the soul. Times when maybe some part of you is being forged, and you cannot stop to describe it. The days (weeks, months...) afterward can be even worse for my productivity. Numb and quiet days spent staring at my phone, or consuming art instead of making it. Although I should be used to them, times without creativity still scare me. That never goes away. It always feels as if they will never end. Is that it, I ask myself? Will my ability to bring new ideas into the world just run out some day? Has it run out already? Am I going to feel bored forever, unable to shift? You never get used to it. It is hard to have faith.

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Everyone is different, but here are some things that help me when I get stuck like this. Re-reading the chapter on creativity in Women Who Run With The Wolves. Designing a playlist of brand new music for inspiration. Remembering that this has happened before, and will happen again. Plenty of time spent alone, drinking coffee. Forcing myself to move, as difficult and unnatural as it feels, pick up my camera, my notebook, my laptop, whatever, and make something. Asking myself as gently as possible to remember and to recreate the parts that hurt. Come to terms with the fact that whatever you make will be shit. The finished result is not the point - the point is to unblock yourself. I am clearing out my creative drain. I don't need to have something for Instagram at the end of it. It doesn't have to feel good.

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Limiting my time on social media also really helps me. The other day I went out and bought a pin-board, and some cute rose gold pins from Paperchase. It just felt like something I wanted to do, and I'm glad I did. It's provided a physical space where I can work on visual ideas quickly with my hands, without picking up my phone and falling into a vortex. I haven't added a page to my kink scrapbook in a long time, even though I have more than enough raw material to draw from. I'm planning to make a series of works inspired by my last stint as a stripper, and for that, I know I will need all my skills warmed-up and ready to go. I also want to do a few pages on magic and witchcraft. The pin-board is practice space, an experimentation and reminder. I'm taking more pictures, writing more posts, and I have a clear vision of my autumn content. Bringing it all into the world has already begun, but for me creativity is a wave that I have to ride, as I wait patiently for it to reach its peak. I have a tendency to burn myself out faster than I need to, and speed up the repetition of the cycle. As I grow older, I want to learn to accept the waves however they crash, and learn to harness them better when they come. For they will come.

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How To Have A Good Skin Day

I first heard about Tropic skincare from my mum; she brought me home a Super Greens Serum from London to try out; it immediately worked well with my clogged-pore prone, combination skin. Using three drops before bed, when my face is still wet with toner, has given me noticeable results and much more confidence in my skin. It made my face feel plumper, brighter, and "fed" by the morning. That was a few months ago now, and through Super Greens, I've become a raving fan of the brand. Adding Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum to my night-time ritual has only made things even better. It's another serum, designed to be used 3-4 times a week; I alternate these two products each night, so that my skin gets a balance of nutrients. After a night using Good Skin Day, my skin feels balanced, more youthful, almost a bit... airbrushed? It's hard to describe, but I'll go into more detail about how the product actually works to give you a better idea.



Good Skin Day is a resurfacing product. It contains willow bark BHA, which exfoliates your skin, leaving it smoother and softer, and AHA fruit enzymes. It's also packed with glycolic and hyaloronic acids, both amazing for fighting red marks from past blemishes. On your fingers, it feels really light and thin, drying quickly on the face and leaving you with that ultra-clean, tingly feeling as it refines the top layer of your skin. I'm obsessed with the sweet, sugary papaya scent; it's not overwhelming at all and I honestly look forward to putting it on at night. 

In the last month of using it I've probably had one, maybe two spots, and those were hormonal ones arriving like clockwork just before my period. A vast improvement from before I started using this serum. My pores and skin texture are noticeably refined; my makeup goes on smoother, and I use a very light layer of foundation now, if any. I feel like my face is a lot calmer, more even, and just generally less troubled. Tropic products can be quite pricey (Good Skin Day retails at £42, which isn't too bad for something all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and effective) but they do last a very long time. Because you only use a few drops, serums last me literally months. I've hardly made a dent in mine even though I've been using them consistently.

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If you have similar skin to me, with a multitude of small, mild issues, then I really recommend this. It will be especially good for those in their twenties, who may be fighting blemishes, fine lines, clogged pores and redness all at the same time. If you don't quite know what is up with your skin or how it could be better, but you just know it could be, that's exactly where I was at too, and I feel like I've made huge improvements recently. Where are you guys at on your skincare journey?

This post was NOT sponsored but contains products sent for review, see my PR page for details

How I Practise Magic In My Daily Life

I was raised in a Pagan family. Every year we celebrated Samhain as well as Halloween, with candlelight and midnight dancing, tequila on the kitchen table for the adults, no bedtime for the kids. I learned the relationships between colours, planets, stones, elements, emotions. I learned how to feel at home in the forest, and I learned how to let go. I was taught that animals are friends, not food, and I still believe that now. I became a person who wants to make everything around her more beautiful. Someone who is kind, I hope. Magic was such a huge part of my upbringing, a way of living; so much less about ritual than simply a way of interacting with the world. As a result, people often misunderstand what I mean when I talk about magic. To me, magic is in the way certain people always know just what you need, or in the way they can bring any dying creature back to life. Science is magical, and magic is not unscientific. Magic is just pure creation. It is influence and control over ourselves, not over others. It is cherishing the earth; something most of us have forgotten how to do.



I do many things to bring more magic into my life. I grow plants in my home. Having living things around me, growing and flourishing and being born over and over again helps me stay in tune with the seasons and with the needs of other life forms. It reminds me of the cyclical nature of life, and of my eventual insignificance, and simultaneous preciousness.

I draw a tarot card when I get up in the morning, or sometimes I pluck a book off my shelves, close my eyes and point to a sentence at random. Whether you believe in the Tarot or not, doing this will bring things from your subconscious into your conscious mind, allowing them to be processed and worked through. 

I make a ritual bath. By this I don't mean just throwing in a bath bomb or two, but of course you can do that! What I tend to do is think of what I want to achieve (do I want to feel sexual, calm, safe, to get a good night's sleep?) and then work synesthetically around that. I use colours, scents, flowers, products, and temperatures that work together to change my physiological and mental state. 

I try to stay in tune with the phases of the moon, with Pagan festivals, and on a wider scale, the seasons of the year. You can do this with an app, an almanac, or even a good daily diary. Eventually it becomes a habit. I've always been a moon-worshipper by nature and I look to her instinctively on nights when I feel happy and alive, to give thanks. I'm also guilty of screaming "THERE'S BLOOD ON THE MOON" at the slightest wisp of red.

I enjoy reading my horoscope, but not every witch does. I personally don't think you have to believe in astrology for it to bring you inspiration. A good astrologer speaks like a philosopher, and can trigger realisations without faith. For an in-depth monthly forecast, I go to Susan Miller, and for weekly poetic insight I check out Madame Clairvoyant. Refinery29 and Teen Vogue also do cool horoscopes.

I write down my dreams, and use them in my writing and in my art. During stressful periods of my life, I suffer with sleep paralysis, which causes intense lucid dreams and hallucinations. I try to view them as a creative gift, rather than a curse, and just a part of my own personal magic. I draw, write down, or even come up with a photograph to record what I saw in my dreams.

I chat to other witches. If you don't know any who live near you, why not set up a WhatsApp group or online Coven? Having that support and understanding is invaluable and can help you learn so much, just by asking questions and sharing your experiences with other witchy people. Try filling your Twitter feed with magic too; I recommend Audrey Kitching, Anastasjia Louise, and The Hoodwitch for starters.

Dancing, lastly, is one of the most vital ways I stay in touch with my power and with myself as a woman. Whether I'm doing it on stage, in private, at home, on a dance-floor or in a field, through dancing I can work myself into a trance-like state where I feel most free and uninhibited. That's where the magic happens. 

Why We Should All Be Using More Lube



This post contains paid-for content, see my PR page for details


There are loads of shitty ideas out there about how sex (and vaginas, especially) ought to be, and frankly I'm sick of it. In my honest opinion, everybody should be using lube as a sex enhancement simply because it makes sex feel better for everyone, as well as helping minimize any chances of injury. You're not broken if you need lube. Whether you own a foreskin or a vagina, make "the wetter the better" your personal sex mantra. Forget whatever you may have heard from magazines or clueless partners about how your sex organs are supposed to work, and start doing what feels good. Lube can make it easier to get aroused, to stay aroused, and even to orgasm. Read on if you want to get the most out of your lubricant.

Lube Is Not A Shortcut: Lube isn't designed as a replacement for being properly turned-on. This misconception convinces some people that it is fine to rush ahead with sex as long as everything is wet, or makes them think that if they get wet on their own they have no need for it, neither of which is true. The reason we need lubricant is because our bodies can only produce so much even if we are completely gagging for it; foreplay is still required so that vaginal/anal muscles are relaxed. If you're finding sex is painful even if you're slathering on lots of lube, it might just be because you're skipping all the completely essential preparation. If you want to have prolonged, strenuous, rough or adventurous sex then you absolutely should be using a lubricant and enjoying lots of foreplay to make it as pleasurable as it can be for all parties. And just so we're all clear, SPIT IS NOT LUBE. Spit is fun, safe and fine to use during sex, but it is not lubricant. It is not the same consistency as natural moisture, and will only get you so far. If you spit all over a vagina it is only going to wash away and water-down any juices that are being produced. Enough already.

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You Can Find A Lube For Every Occasion: The more tailored to you it is, the better sex will feel. Having the right thing to hand makes all the difference. For example, if you enjoy rough sex, anal, or want to play with large toys, then a thick lube like Generous Gel is what you're after. If you like a realistic feel that you'll hardly know is there, go for Stay Silky Serum. For a super thin, spit-like texture you would get from oral, try Little Light Liquid. All Smile Makers lubes are vegan-friendly, as well as body-safe, water-based, and condom-compatible. They only contain a handful of ingredients (the fewer the better) and come in dressing-table worthy, minimalist, and sensual packaging. No garish fonts or gaudy colours here. This range is all unscented and unflavoured, but I can definitely see an opportunity for Smile Makers to add a couple of subtly-garnished products to their offerings. I could totally imagine sweet and understated tastes like rose, vanilla, candy floss, or green apple working really well with their brand. The thing I like most about them is that they never feel sticky, like other lubricants can, and are pretty much undetectable once applied. They have never irritated my skin or stained my sheets, either. For all these reasons, they are my go-to no matter what kind of sex is on the cards. If you give them a go, send me a tweet or let me know in the comments, and if you just want to chat about lube I'm totally here for that too.

A Week On A Fetish App



For introverted kinksters, the dating world can sometimes be fraught with anxieties and awkwardness. It's hard enough, in jarring fleshy reality, to figure out if someone might be interested in you at all, let alone appreciate your enthusiasm for being slapped across the face or wearing a fluffy butt plug and meowing like a cat. Adding kinks into the mix only makes things more complicated. It can become a minefield of subtle hinting and what feels like huge emotional risk. I don't have a very good freak-radar, and often find out people are completely closed to trying new things only once it's too late and my heart is already committed. Where do you turn when, for whatever reason, you don't want to deal with guesswork, and get straight down to kinks? Scrolling through Tinder can be laborious if you have rare and demanding needs. There's FetLife, of course, and CollarSpace. Both useful and well-trodden websites, if you're at your desktop. The good thing about those two is that it's easy to fish-out genuine kinksters and experienced fetishists, rather than the simply horny and curious type of single guy that frequent most dating apps, hoping to meet sexually confident women. But neither are the swiping, kinky singleton-market of dreams.

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At first glance, KinkD does feel like a sort of Tinder for fetishists, and that impression isn't totally misguided; however, KinkD is brand new and still a raw, slippery baby of an app, with inbox errors and a confusing layout. Absolutely anyone can send you a message, not only your matches, and setting up a profile is as anonymous as you want it to be, no Facebook login required. Get your blocking finger lubed-up, pals, if you want to try this app. It's difficult to exist as a woman online - to exist as a kinky woman is just that little bit harder. There's nothing fun, or flattering, about having to sift through threats to find the sparks of rapport and excitement. What I find most tiring though, strangely, is the relentless stream of approaches that are simply not right for me; a barrage of stabs in the dark from men who haven't read my profile, begging to be beaten, to be punched in their tiny dick, to be my loyal minion; the profiles with no avatar who send an intrepid "hey" four times in a row. Within 24 hours I received over 300 messages. There are so many ways to like, heart, wink, message, and match with people that it's difficult to bundle together your faves in one place, which means the good ones are easily lost. Some use cringe and hilarious usernames. "CumEaterBoy3000" (not to be confused with that imposter, CumEaterBoy4000), "Vindaloo", and "SlipperyFun4U" were some of my personal favourites. Not as people, I'm sure you understand.

So, did I find what I was looking for on KinkD? Yes, mostly. Due to technical errors, it was impossible to clear my inbox, and deleted conversations kept reappearing; I had to engage my intuition and be more ruthless about asking myself, "do I trust this person enough to share my blog or phone number?" which actually resulted in less time wasted. I have plans to meet one prospective Dom, which is very exciting, but I no longer actually use the app now that I've rinsed it of suited and bearded daddies. If KinkD can fix its messaging problems, and take a little more care to enhance the user-experience for women, then it may become a haven for kinky people. Until then, I think it's somewhere they can go, but not somewhere they can stay.

A Little LUSH Haul (And Cardiff Spa Opening!)





I never thought I'd have so much in my LUSH stash that I would feel compelled to spread the love and give some away to friends and family, but recently that's exactly the position I've found myself in. Having a mate who works for one of my all-time favourite companies, I end up going in there to so often and picking up samples, hauls, and little treats. On top of that, LUSH recently opened their Cardiff Spa mega-store, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to the press night to take a tour around all the treatment rooms and see the new shop. I'm sure most of my Cardiff-based readers will have already been in to town and visited the new store, but if you haven't, make sure you do. You'll love the upcycled, minimalist, industrial interior. I was blown away by the treatment rooms and just how unique and immersive the spa experience has been designed to be. Soon I'll be having my first ever LUSH spa treatment, The Comforter?, and I'll be blogging all about that too, so keep an eye out!

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For now I'm going to take you through some of the absolute best products I've bought or received as presents lately. I must start with Tea Tree Water, as I've been using it every day as my toner for several weeks now, and it's delightful. For the price (it's £4.75 for a small one, which has lasted me a couple of months) it's a great quality, refreshing toner that actually feels like it's doing your skin some medicinal good. I will be re-purchasing. Next up is Mask Of Magnanimity, swiftly becoming my favourite mask. The texture of this is mouse-like and grainy at the same time, and it smells and feels almost as if you're smearing mint chocolate chip ice cream on your face. I've been using it more often than is required and have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin, and fewer breakouts. Pearl massage bar has been my go-to post-shower moisture shot; it's in the Rose Jam family, so it smells almost spiritual. Enzymion is the facial moisturiser that my skin wants right now, as it's packed with lemon juice, and in the summer my skin wants to feel light, matte, and fresh. I'll be buying a full pot when I next splash out, and maybe one of the exclusive body sprays from the Cardiff store. I've got my eye on the scent version of Twilight.

Recent Cruelty-Free Beauty Favourites



Lately, I've been rejuvenating my skin and hair care routines; focusing on natural, cruelty-free products, and picking up bits that have helped me reshape and properly tailor my regimen to my needs. In recent months I've been far too lazy with it all, and my skin and hair really paid the price. I went to bed wearing my makeup too many times, and had gotten to a point where washing my face in the morning felt like a chore, not a ritual. When it wasn't full up with temporary colour, my hair was dry from bleaching. I'd grown out nearly six inches of fresh roots, but I still needed to give my lengths a bit more TLC. I had fallen totally out of love with beauty, and knew it was time for a spring clean.

First, I started with my combination skin. I decided to take a Korean-inspired approach, and build a more specialized routine. Instead of going back to a brisk cleanse, tone, and moisturise, I gradually introduced more steps and built a skincare ritual that aims to clean and tighten my pores, balance redness, and help with hormonal breakouts. I picked up two serums, LUSH Full Of Grace and Tropic Super Greens. The latter is about as close as I've found to a holy grail product; it leaves my skin feeling smoother, calmer, and healthier, like a literal green smoothie for your face. It fades any blemishes whilst not clogging up pores with oil. I love how I look in the morning now, thanks to this serum. Full Of Grace has had less of a trial as I'm keeping it at my boyfriend's house, but I'm still loving it. It's packed with calamine powder, Portobello mushrooms, and chamomile blue oil, and it sinks beautifully into the skin without any greasiness.

When it comes to my hair, I need to be careful to provide enough moisture without over-saturating my mop with heavy products. Regardless of the colour I'm sporting, the Hempz Blushing Grapefruit And Raspberry shampoo and conditioner have been treating me really well; they smell sweet and fruity, and not at all like hemp. I even use the conditioner as a mask or a pastel-iser for my hair dye, and it works a treat.

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On my body, I've been trying out the new The Body Shop Almond Milk And Honey range. For me, the standout is the body butter. I've always been a big fan of Body Shop body butters; the formula is pretty perfect for dry or thirsty skin, and they have a cult following for a good reason. The cleansing bar was a nice surprise, a product I wouldn't try but ended up loving. Instead of using it on my face I use it to gently cleanse my neck, decolletage and chest, where regular soaps or shower gels can be a bit too harsh for me. All of the products seem to go a long way as well, which is a huge plus if you're slathering yourself daily, trying to be rid of the scaly hide you've grown over winter and emerge, dolphin-like, into spring. As I am.

One last thing I really want to mention is the Body Shop BB Cream. I fell in love with this product in Morocco, after picking it up in Stansted airport for a tenner. Since I bought it, I haven't worn regular foundation, only this and a bit of concealer. My skin is thanking me for the change, and I'll definitely be re-purchasing soon. It does a great job of adapting to my pale yellow-toned skin, and not aggravating any breakouts. I get so many more "your skin looks lovely" kinda compliments now that I use this, which is not the most important thing in the world, but sure is pleasant.

Some of the products here were sent for review/as pr samples, but as always my review is completely honest, see my pr page for more details

A Big LUSH Haul

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Somehow, I've unwittingly managed to pick up a humongous LUSH haul over the last couple of months. It all started at Christmas, when I got a gift box of bath bombs big enough to last me all year. Then, I got another one for my birthday - plus extra individual products from friends and family. My stash of ballistics is now bordering on the ridiculous, but I'm not complaining. I go around raving about LUSH for a reason. They really are my favourite beauty brand, perhaps my favourite brand period. I never get anywhere near boredom with their stuff; there are always more products I want to try, and that is an incredible skill for a company to possess. The hype is real.

I won't take you through every single product I have in my haul, although you get the idea from these pictures just how much there is. I'll try to stick to highlights and things I'm extra excited to try. My first mention has to go to Prince Charming Shower Cream. This stuff is insane. The smell is one of the most edible LUSH scents, infused with vanilla, marshmallow, pomegranate and grapefruit. All together, they make a kind of raspberry-sorbet smell that lingers on your skin for hours. I use it as shampoo as well, and it leaves my bleached rose hair soft and manageable. A standout bath ballistic was Over And Over, as it wasn't the kind of thing I would normally buy for myself, and yet it gave me one of my best baths in recent memory. A legendary bath, even - soft and moisturising water, with the sweet and fruity scent of summertime ice lollies, mango, and orange. My number one bomb will probably always be The Experimenter, with it's mouth-watering, earthy scent of churches, bonfires, and libraries, so I'm branching out a little in that direction with my The Experimenter Gift Box. This box is a godsend for anyone who likes the woodsy, vetiver-type scents, or the most colourful waters. All my biggest loves are in here; Sex Bomb, a bed of rose and jasmine; Guardian Of The Forest, packed with oakwood and cypress oil; and Twilight, a sleepy mix of lavender and earthy vanilla.

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The Little Dragon reusable bubble bar was an unexpected discovery. Filled with cinnamon, ginger, and clove, it's a warm and fiery gem that would be perfect if you had a cold or needed a pick-me-up. I've only used a small amount so I'm going to save the rest for when I'm really under the weather. I'm also a newly-converted fan of Butterbear, a gentle ballistic that has the soothing air of baby-powder or marshmallows. It's not available year-round but you can still get it in a Festive Friends box if you love the Christmas products. I should add before I go that NONE of these were gifted products or samples, and this post isn't sponsored in any way - I just really love all of it. And as always, more than happy to talk LUSH in the comments!

Why Every Woman Should Get A Vibrator For Valentine's Day

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*This post contains paid for content, see my pr page for details*


I've been collecting sex toys for about 4 years. I always have an open tab on the sale section of a kink store or vibrator emporium, like most people would with their fave clothing shop. Everyone has their thing. This is my thing. I've tried nearly the entire Smile Makers range (I'm obsessed with their lubricant, I don't even care who knows) and today, for Valentine's Day, I want to tell you exactly why I think we should all be trying more toys.

They Free You From Always Needing A Partner - Everyone goes through times when they want to be alone, or when casual sex is unappealing, or when, for whatever reason, sex with another human isn't on the cards. Having a healthy sexual relationship with ourselves first and foremost is a strong, secure place to come from when going out to seek a lover/s, leaving less room for poor choices made in desperation. It also raises the standard of pleasure we expect from sexual experiences, leaving no desire for selfish/unsatisfying pokes with clueless people.

 And Most Partners Will Find Them Exciting, Not Intimidating - I was talking to my boyfriend in bed the other day, rambling on and on about the new Tennis Coach that just arrived in the mail, and as my thoughts trailed off I said to him, "sorry, I just get really excited about sex toys", to which he replied, "I get excited about how excited you are about sex toys". The notion that your mate will run away screaming in horror when they see the silicone stash you have beside your bed is outdated and untrue. The vast majority of men and women are THRILLED by the idea that their lover has a high enough sex drive, not to mention the curiosity, initiative, and self-knowledge that implies.

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You Can Double Up For Mind-Blowing Results - Most toys are highly versatile and can be used in a whole combination of different ways, together or alone. The Tennis Coach is an internal massager, designed for G-spot stimulation. I've always had a bit of trouble with internal toys, as I'm quite tall and my G-spot is hard to reach if the shaft on a toy isn't long enough. A way around this is to ramp things up with an external vibe like The Surfer on your clit at the same time, or any other sensitive spots. In a Smile Makers Love Box (either Romantic or Sporty) you'll get two toys and a lube, leaving you loads of room to experiment.

They Help You Figure Out What Feels Good - This is obvious, but deserves repeating often. There is no safer or more risk-free way to discover your sexual tastes than through masturbation. Any worries we may have about contraception, how we are perceived, sexually transmitted infections, performance, what they other person enjoys etc, can all go out the window and leave us free to explore in complete peace and solitude and delicious selfishness.

They Can Help Us Push The Boundaries - I had my first internal/blended orgasm because of a toy. I discovered anal play through plugs and toys. My Hitachi wand helped me break my multiple-orgasm record. The list of experiences I wouldn't have had without toys would be as long as my fanciest black linen Shibari rope. No matter what your sexual goal or aspiration, there is a toy that can help you get there.

Tell me in the comments if you've ever tried anything from Smile Makers, or what your all-time favourite toy is!

Valentine's Gift Guide For Very ~Aesthetic~ Women

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Two-toy Romantic Love Box, by Smile Makers // Coco de Mer salons and day-schools, go to Coco de Mer for availability // Rose Jam perfume, by LUSH Kitchen, subject to availability // "Off To Daddy's House" overnight bag, Alien Outfitters // "Bad Bitch Fuel" hip flask, SkinnyDip // "Babe", by Petra Collins, at all good book stores // Rosebud glass dildo, Alien Outfitters.

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and if you're anything like me, you'll be spending it gleefully up to your tits in every rose-scented, chocolate-covered, heart-shaped thing you can find. I made my views on Valentine's Day very plain in this post, so I won't bore you with all that again, except to say that this year I'm particularly excited for the big event. I'm lucky enough to be spending it at home with my boyfriend, and it's our first Valentine's together. We'll be exchanging presents, cooking together, taking a LUSH bath, and possibly trying out some of my newest sex toys. I am the easiest person in the world to buy for as I have so many interests, but I know it can be difficult with romantic partners, especially if they are relatively new ones. The above are some unique items and ideas that might spark your imagination for a gift, if you (or the person you're buying for) is anything like yours truly, i.e kinky and all about dem aesthetics.

First we have the Smile Makers Love Boxes, which are a really good choice if your partner is new to sex toys or if they get turned-off by garish-looking dildos and huge rabbits. All the toys from Smile Makers come in ultra-smooth silicone and cute pastel colours, and I'm in love with their range of lubricants! A Love Box contains two toys and a lube, so they make a great gift. If you want to read more about them I did a review of their lightest toy, and I have another one in my drafts, so keep an eye out for that.

Next up we have Coco de Mer salons in London, day-schools and workshops you can attend alone, with a friend or as a couple, that will teach you new sexual skills and introduce you to new sensual experiences. Workshops range from expert instructions on burlesque, to oral sex, from Tantra to rope bondage. It's on my bucket list to attend one in 2017!

LUSH products make amazing presents all year round, but anything Rose Jam feels very right for Valentine's Day. The "Off To Daddy's House" overnight bag is perfect for the girl who just doesn't give a fuck, or wants to show off her babygirl status when she's waiting for a train. The "Bad Bitch Fuel" hip flask from SkinnyDip is similarly badass. "Babe" by Petra Collins makes a gorgeous and thoughtful gift for artistic women, photography-lovers, bloggers, or indeed anyone.

Glass toys are fantastic for many reasons, not least of all their versatility. Some glass dildos are truly Art with a capital A, taking all kinds of whimsical and aesthetically-pleasing shapes and colours. This one is my most recent favourite, as it reminds me a little of Beauty and The Beast. It's by Alien Outfitters, and for something so beautiful, is very reasonably priced. If it's sold out, Lovehoney do similar designs!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission should a purchase be made :)

How I Got Raspberry Pink Hair At Home (And Kept It Bright!)

As anyone who follows me on Instagram will know, my hair colour is constantly changing. I am a veritable human sunset. At this moment in time, it's a kind of washed-out violet with dark brown roots, but for the most part of 2016, it was a neon, multi-tonal raspberry. I did it all at home - I don't really trust other people with my hair, so I bleach, colour, and cut myself! Even though I've moved on from this look, I still love it and wanted to share the how-tos with you all.

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I used a blend of several dyes to get this look, some of them by Bleach London, Schwarzkopf Live Colour (this was before I went fully cruelty-free in my cosmetics - if you want to use a cruelty-free dye then stick with the Bleach pinks and purples) and a fair bit of Paul Mitchell conditioner. Paul Mitchell are truly my favourite haircare brand, especially when I'm colouring/maintaining dyed hair. I'll go into that more later, but for now I'll briefly walk you through the hair-painting process.

Prep: Get together some mixing tubs, a couple of hair dye brushes (I got mine in Poundland and they came with a free tub!), your dyes, a conditioner that is clear white, a Tangle Teezer, a ratty old towel that you don't need anymore, and whatever else you want with you.

Mixing The Dye: For this look, I wanted a blend of colours that resembled a sunset or a raspberry swirl in an Eton Mess. I wanted the shades to fuse together naturally rather than create a defined ombre. So, in one mixing tub I stirred 3/4 of a tube of bright purple, into 1/4 of a tube of bright pink. In the other bowl I did the exact opposite, and mixed together the larger bulk of the pink with the remaining quarter of purple. I put a little bit of conditioner in each one, to make the whole formula go further over my extremely long hair! You can add as much as you want to dilute the colour, or to cover more ground. Whatever colours you are using, mixing a little of each into the other makes everything more cohesive.

Application: I started with dry, unwashed, bleached hair. I might do a big post on how to bleach if anyone wants one (let me know in the comments) but for this post I'll stick with the actual hair-painting. First, I separated my hair down the middle, into two sections, and then into four by taking the upper layers of hair away from the lower ones. Going section by section, I took my brush and literally painted the mostly-purple formula from my roots down to the mid-lengths of my hair. Once all my roots were painted, I mashed them together with my fingers to make sure I'd reached everywhere. Then, I took my mostly-pink formula and started to paint the mid-lengths to the ends of my hair, making sure to really saturate the ends. Once all my hair was painted, I took my Tangle Teezer and brushed through all my hair, which helps to mix colours together where they meet and create a smoother look. Leave everything on for about an hour (or however long it says on the box of your chosen dye!) and you're ready to wash off.

Washing: I always wash out with cool water, not warm, and obviously you don't want to use any shampoo or conditioner - your hair is already done. Wash out until the water is getting kinda-almost-clear, but not completely clear. You don't want to wash out more than necessary, because from now on your aim when showering is to keep as much colour in your hair as possible!

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Maintenance: Once you have a full-on unicorn hairdo, you have to shampoo like it costs you a thumb. Cleansing your hair is what will strip all your pretty colour until you have to shell out more cash on dye, so use cleansing products sparingly, wash in cool water, and become really good friends with dry shampoo. I wash my hair maybe twice a week when it's coloured. By far the best shampoo I've ever come across for bright hair is this one by Paul Mitchell. It was given to me to try at an event by Salon Success, and I've used it ever since, it really is that good. I haven't dyed my hair in two months, and the gradual fading process provided by this shampoo has taken me really beautifully from a bright fuchsia to a pale, rosy violet. Once my hair is almost bare again, down to it's bleached and ratty roots, I love to clarify and tone down any brassy residue with a silver shampoo like this one before I go off on another colouring adventure. Detanglers are also super useful at managing bleached/coloured hair without breakage.

I know this post is PACKED with information but I hope you found some helpful nuggets and tips on how to create your own hair-painting! Everything I know is just trial and error, so don't be worried to experiment. As always, if you have a question about hair or any colour I've used, just hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.




This post contains PR samples sent for consideration, please see my PR page for more details

26th Birthday Wishlist

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Edward Scissorhands Funko Pop, Leeloo Dallis Funko Pop, both available on Amazon // Pink glass tentacle dildo, Alien Outfitters // Cosmic Metals lip cream in Speed of Light, by Nyx // Audacious Lipstick in Audrey, NARS // "The Performers 111" art print, by Apollonia Saintclair // Amethyst towers, where they at? // Lens, Canon (to replace my broken one) // Rose-gold nipple piercing studs, Amazon.

It's my birthday soon, and I have huge plans for this new year. The majority of them revolve around experiences, not things, but I still have my eye on a few choice items that I think will add value to my life and that reflect the true, weirdo me. All of these picks are things I've had in the back of my mind for a while, so no impulse buys here (impulse buys are being left in 2016), only beautiful objects that will enhance my quality of life or simply make me smile when I look at them. The gallery print by Apollonia Saintclair is something I've lusted after for years now, and finally decided it's time to invest in. I also want to upgrade my starter nipple piercings in regular gold to a prettier set in rose gold that will match my septum. The last few months I've been really drawn to amethyst (so much so that I'm thinking of getting an amethyst watercolour tattoo!) and I want a large piece for my apartment. I love having crystals around me and yet I've managed to lose most of my collection over the years. Lastly, I've been fantasizing about a shade of red lipstick since I was very young, and I think I may have finally found it in Audrey, by NARS. The tentacle dildo needs no explanation.

Oral On Your Own

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*This post contains paid for content, see my PR page for details*

I am a collector of sex toys. Going shopping for vibrators and rope is one of my favourite things to do with my friends. When I get home, they sit scattered around my bedroom, organised by colour like my Funko Pops. Getting to review them as part of my job will never stop being crazy and amazing. Today I am lucky enough to be collaborating with Smile Makers, a brand I'd already heard so much about before they reached out to work with me. Before I go into details about the toy, I want to talk a bit about why I chose to review their softest design, The Frenchman.

Oral sex ranks as one of the top most-enjoyed sexual activities, across all genders and orientations, and yet within the sex-toy industry, products that mimic the sensation of oral sex are a relatively small and hard-to-find pocket of the market. Most toys are made to go harder, faster, deeper, for longer; I suppose because a lot of the appeal of oral sex comes from its vulnerability, its intimacy, and our subconscious desire to feel totally accepted and devoured by another person, as this video from The School Of Life perfectly explains. That is hard to copy with silicone. But to me, sexual freedom isn't just about sleeping with whoever we wish, but also about getting to a point where we need no other person to have a flourishing sexual life. We all go through times when, for whatever reason, we must be alone. I love people, but I'm an independent little bean. I think we all owe it to ourselves to acquire as much power over our body as we can, so that we choose partners not for a sensation we cannot achieve alone, but for a merging with the other.

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The Frenchman, by Smile Makers, is the first "toy for women who love oral" that I've ever tried, although I definitely fit the demographic. It's a sleek, aesthetically-pleasing design, in pastel blue. The "tongue" is not some garish knobbly eyesore, but a thin, curved, flexible feather. It's made to be used with a light, velvety lubricant to make the experience even more life-like (I used Smile Maker's Stay Silky, which is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and water-based). The Frenchman is totally waterproof so you can even use it in the bath or the shower for extra, ahem, wetness. You have four speeds to choose from, more than enough to adapt to your sensitivity level.

The information for The Frenchman describes it as a foreplay aid, but personally, I prefer to use this alone rather than with a partner. To me there's something too cold and distant about having another person sit back and prod me with a toy that was designed to mimic their eager mouth, in much the same way I would never drop to my knees in front of a man and pull out The Auto-Blow 3000. But that's just my own preference. Instead I'll use The Frenchman solo, on days when I want an exquisite, slow-building orgasm. That being said, I would definitely get this out if I were getting ready for a partner to come home and didn't want to lose too much sensitivity. If you've tried anything by Smile Makers, please let me know what you thought in the comments, and also where you stand on tongue-like toys! Are you a fan?