Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Face Facts: Easy, Everyday Spring Look

I've decided I'm definitely going to need to get a proper camera/tripod system going on.  It is so hard to not go bog eyed when I'm taking photographs of myself this close, haha. know the morning, I like to have maximum sleep time which ultimately means getting ready in the morning is quite a rush.  I've been aiming to get my make up Spring ready and this is what I've been opting for the past few weeks.

Every Day Spring Make Up Tutorial

Every Day Spring Make Up Tutorial

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Ivory
Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette Left Eyelid and Definer Shades
Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Real Techniques Setting Brush
Real Techniques Contour Brush
The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush

Every Day Spring Make Up Tutorial

For my base, I kept it light and hoped for some radiance from the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, and used the Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer to brighten under my eyes and lightly conceal any redness.  I really have been quite liking this concealer, but do think I need something with a bit more coverage for concealing blemishes.  I also have found that it needs to be set, and for that I have rediscovered my Bourjois Java Rice Powder.  I used this under my eyes, and also across the tops of my cheek bones, a little down my nose and a touch across my forehead.  It's got a touch of shimmer to it, but it's not at all glittery; it just gives a light and lift to the skin.  I also think that the loose powder helps to blur my skin.  But, looking back, I might not go for the forehead next time seeing as I have oily skin and micro shimmer to there won't be doing me any favours up there.

On my cheeks, I used the Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear - another rediscovery from my collection!  It's a lovely bronze shade, which isn't metallic or shimmery, but it's not matte either.  I think it's a great way of adding some colour to the skin and definition to the cheeks without having to use a bronzing powder.  I quickly combed through my sparse brows with Benefit's Gimme Brow Gel.

Another collection rediscovery was the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette.  I absolutely love the left hand side, and used the eyelid shade and the definer shade for this look.  The eyelid shade is a gorgeous rosy/copper shade with shimmer that looks amazing when it reflects the light.  I think it really helps to open and further brighten my eyes.  I just applied this with my finger and blended it out with a clean finger.  I then lined my eyes with the definer shade using The Body Shop's Eyeshadow Brush.  For my mascara, I used the Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara to give some length and lift to my lashes.  Finally, I used MAC's See Sheer lipstick to add some subtle colour to my lips.

Have you tried any of these products?  What are your Spring make up picks?

Monday, 30 March 2015

Favourites: March 2015

My favourites this month were an absolute breeze to choose.  I've been using these products near enough daily for the entire month, and haven't really been using anything else.  The days have been getting warmer, lighter for longer and today marks the official start of British Summer Time.  I've been whipping out my best bits for creating my own Spring ready look.

March 2015 Favourites

The only skincare item that has made it into my favourites this month is The Body Shop's Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil.  I mentioned this briefly during my Body Shop Haul back in January and never really knew what to expect from it, but I have been reaching for this almost every night instead of, or as well as a moisturiser if I feel like my skin needs some extra moisture.  It's not greasy, not overpowering in scent and just leaves my skin plumped and hydrated.  Definitely one to try if you haven't already.

I have two cheek products for this month.  At the beginning of the month, I was constantly using the Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop.  I absolutely love it, and I'm convinced I'll be hitting pan soon...the embossed flower is getting very flat now, just look at it in comparison to when I first reviewed it here!  It might even be my most worn blush in my collection?  It's been perfect for adding a bronzey, peach flush to my cheeks.  For the last couple of weeks of March, I've been using the Bourjois Cream Blush in Pink Sunwear.  I've got a post coming on Wednesday with me using this, and it's just another perfect colour for Spring.  I love that it's a cream too, because it just looks that little bit more glowy than the Clinique blush.

For my brows this month, I've just combed them through with the Benefit Gimme Brow.  Since I ran out of my clear Collection mascara, I've been using this a lot more.  It's great for adding colour and making my brows look a bit fuller, and I also love it when I'm rushing in the morning because I feel like there's enough definition that I can get away with not filling them in.

My lipstick of choice this month has been MAC's See Sheer.  It's such a beautiful shade, and I honestly don't know why I haven't used more of this.  It's a coral shade that has some slight brown undertones in it.  I've seen See Sheer on so many different reviews and it's one of those shades that just looks different on everybody!  I like to apply this to the centre of my lips and pat it in a little bit for a more subtle colour.

On my eyes I've been using the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, specifically the left hand eyelid shade that I've actually hit pan on now, and the left hand definer shade.  The eyelid shade really helps to brighten and awaken my eyes, looks great for Spring and Summer and lasts all day.  I also love the defining shade too; previously I had been using a brown kohl liner, but it was just too harsh.  I love the soft definition this shade gives!

What are your favourites this month?  Leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Fit Friday: Goal Update and Current Workouts

I've been a little absent on the whole gym/fitness front lately.  To be honest, I've just not got my rhythm going and unfortunately I've just taken any excuse lately to not go to the gym.  The early, dark nights made me want to just go home and be warm instead of sweating it out in the gym.  But it's getting lighter in the evenings now, and the clocks go forward on Saturday (handy reminder there!) meaning it'll be lighter for even longer, so I'm feeling much more energised after finishing work recently.  It's so nice being able to drive home without needing my lights on!

I spoke of my new goals for 2015 back in December, and I'm so pleased that this week I managed my first ever unassisted pull up!   I've been trying to do that for so long, and I was so proud of myself when I managed it on my own.  I can't do any more than the one without putting my feet down between pull ups, but step at a time.  Maybe next month I'll be able to do five in a row?

Talking of my 2015 goals, running has not got well for me at all.  I've been once this entire year and that was also my first ever outdoor run that I did off my own back.  My route takes me down the lane, along the riverbank and over farmers fields along public walkways.  I ran using the Nike Running app, and ran for sixteen minutes and forty seconds for supposedly 1.43 miles.  I'm pretty sure that's a terrible time for such a short distance, but I say supposedly because my route that it mapped out seemed to cut out a chunk?  I ran down a straight between the two red sections on the map, so I don't know if it ran out of signal at that point and stopped recording or what?  If anyone uses it then please do let me know if I did in fact run further...please say I ran all of a smidge further!  

I'm very lucky with the area that I live in that I have such a pretty route to run, so I can't excuse why I've only been once.   Needless to say, it was tiring, but I'm pleased I went - even if it did feel as though my ankles were bending the wrong way for a few days afterwards.  I feel like I need a running buddy to spur me on to turn this into a routine, and so far I've only had Liam volunteer to bike alongside me, which is nice but I'd feel like I was in a scene of Run Fatboy, Run.

Image Here

For my workouts, I've still been mainly doing weights over cardio and I'm really enjoying seeing my strength building and my body changing.  I've actually maintained my weight, but have managed to lose a few inches on most of my body!  The jeans I got for Christmas are even starting to feel loose around my waist, so I'm definitely pleased.  I won't lie that I'm disappointed I'm maintaining my weight, but my diet hasn't been great recently.  I'm finally out of Christmas chocolate now though so hopefully things will improve a little.  I really need to start trying to ignore what I weigh and go on how my body feels.

This week I've been picking out a couple of workouts to do that I've found on Pinterest and I've really enjoyed them.  I find that I work best when I have a plan of what I need to do, otherwise I end up floating around not really knowing what to do next.  I'll continue with these workouts a little longer and then come and report back on them, but in the meantime here is my Fit Board if you wanted to check that out!  I also cracked on with Carly Rowena's Leg and Butt legs were like jelly afterwards, and going downstairs as I was leaving the gym proved pretty difficult!  It's definitely one to give a go, and a workout I'll be slipping in every week!

What does your work out routine look like?  How are your goals coming along?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The NARS Yu Dupe

It's not often that I come across dupes in my stash.  I'm usually quite good when buying make up and stick to buying things that are different to what I have already.  But whilst browsing my collection of pinks, I happened to stumble across a very good dupe for the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in the shade Yu - and you will be pleased to know that it costs just £7.99.

NARS Yu Dupe Swatches Review

I actually said in my post on the Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret that I didn't own anything similar to Yu.  Turns out that was a big fat (unintentional, might I add) lie as my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the shade Lovesick is pretty identical in colour.  The Revlon Balm Stains are one of my favourite lip crayons, and I have pretty much the entire original release.  They're comfortable to wear on the lips, are moisturising, not sticky, buildable in colour and when the balm feeling fades, you are left with a great stain.  I remember being quite shocked at how good the pigmentation was in a balm stain, and Lovesick is no exception.

NARS Yu Dupe Swatches Review

On the left is Lovesick; the Revlon offering is a bright fuschia pink which, because it applies like a balm, is slightly glossy with a slight sheerness to it.  It's still packing some pigment, but isn't quite as opaque in one swipe as Yu.  That said, I think you can layer up to get a decent colour intensity.  To the right, we have Yu.  Yu is opaque in one swipe, and is also a very bright fuschia pink.  Yu isn't as glossy as Lovesick as it has a satin finish, but I don't find it to be as comfortable to wear as the Revlon alternative.

NARS Yu Dupe Swatches Review

In the photo above, Lovesick is on the left again and Yu is on the right.  As you can see, they are very similar in colour - Yu just has a touch more opacity which makes for a slightly bolder lip.  But, the photograph below, I'm wearing Lovesick on my top lip and Yu on my bottom - I honestly don't think I can tell the difference wearing it together!

NARS Yu Dupe Swatches Review

I'm quite into getting my moneys worth, so I think if I ever lost both of these, I'd be buying Lovesick in a heartbeat.  Whilst I love my NARS lip pencil, spending £19.00 on something I could get which is nearly identical for just £7.99 just seems silly.  Especially with how much I love the Revlon Balm Stains!

Have you found any dupes in your stash?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara

I don't know if it's because it's Spring, or my lack of time in the morning because I favour sleeping over getting ready time, but I've been opting for a fresh faced simple make up look recently.  Simple and natural has been my morning mantra, and to help me achieve it, I've been using the Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara a lot lately!

Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara Review

You'll have to excuse the complete state of this tube of mascara.  I won a goodie bag of Rimmel bits on Twitter, and a nail polish smashed in the bag it got sent in and completely covered everything!  I tried to take it off, but it's a fine glitter nail polish and it's just not having any of it - drives me insane to look at it so messy!  That aside...I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this mascara, but all in all it's definitely a product worth checking out if you want natural looking lashes with plenty of length.

Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara Review

The wand has plastic bristles which is perfect as I've always favoured this over a fibre wand - I just think that the plastic bristles really work to comb through and separate your lashes.  The only downside to this wand, which is where the hate side of the relationship comes in, is that the bristles are so damn sharp.  It took me a while to get used to using this mascara, because you really can't get to the root of your lashes because it's actually painful - you can see in the photos that the bristles are like spikes.  So...a  bit of practice is required to get to grips with not scratching your waterline.

As you can see in the photographs above, my eyelashes are near enough invisible without mascara.  They're quite long, but the colour is just so light, especially on the tips, they just look like they aren't there at all.  The photograph below shows my lashes with one carefully applied coat of the Extra 3D Lash Mascara.  As you can see, my lashes are lengthened and lifted.  I don't use an eyelash curler, in fact don't even own one, but I think I might have to look into getting one as this kind of lift just doesn't last all day unfortunately.  

Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara After Photo Review

At £4.99, this mascara is definitely reasonably priced and I wouldn't hesitate to buy this again when mine runs out.  It's the perfect addition to any Spring make up routine and is ideal for creating defined, long, natural looking lashes.  I'm really impressed!

Have you tried this mascara?  What's your favourite?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spoil Yourself Sunday

Sunday.  The only day of the week that I have completely to myself; no work commitments, no nothing if I wanted to.  Today has been a bit of a busy one for me actually.  I got up earlier than normal, had my breakfast before going out to clean both mine and Liam's car, stocked up on logs for our log burner and stacked them in our shed, washed and dried three loads of washing and even did a bit of tidying up.  So as I sit here leisurely tapping away whilst Liam plays on his Xbox guilt free, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my 'me time.'  I've been making time for this for quite a few Sunday's now, and at the moment it features these...

Sunday Pamper Routine

It's not often that I have the time during the week to sit and relax in the bath, so come Sunday I am all about bath time.  After cleansing my face and taking any make up off if I've even been bothered to put it on, I like to sit in the bath with my hair piled on top of my head with a face mask on.  The face mask I've been using recently is the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask from The Body Shop, but in all honesty I'm not entirely sure if I love it - it can sometimes be quite uncomfortable on the skin, dries it out lots so I can't leave it on too long and  I always have to follow with a hydrating toner and an oil afterwards.  I definitely think there is a face mask out there which will be perfect for my Sunday routine...let me know in the comments what your favourite is!

I love to use my absolute favourite LUSH product which is The Comforter Bubble Bar.  I get lots of bubbles from just crumbling a quarter of the bar under the hot tap, and it turns my bath water purpley pink!  It also smells like Vimto; very berry scented and I just find the scent really relaxing!

After having my bath and going through my skincare routine, I like to sit downstairs in my comfortable pyjamas and paint my nails.  I have been using the OPI Nail Envy for Sensitive and Peeling Nails as my base coat recently, which I much prefer to the Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Base Coat.  I've been neglecting my nails for a few months now, and they need to get some strength and length back in them so Nail Envy has been ideal.  When this runs out though, I think I'll be opting for the Original version.

For colour, what better way to spoil myself  than cracking out my Christian Louboutin Rouge Nail Lacquer.  Liam surprised me with this for Christmas, and I absolutely love it.  The colour is just the perfect red, and it's so glossy!  Plus the packaging is just beautiful...  It's definitely the most luxury beauty product I own, so fits perfectly into my 'Spoil Yourself Sunday' routine!

What's do you do on a Sunday to spoil yourself?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Two From Yes To

There are a couple of things that have been featuring rather heavily in my daily routines lately that I have been absolutely loving.  One I have mentioned previously in my Sick Day Skin Care Routine, and the other is one I've been enjoying using over the past few weeks.  Yes To is a brand I've heard of, but it's not one that I regularly see raved about.  I've seen their facial wipes being spoken highly of quite a few times, and whilst I wasn't really a fan of the Cucumber Facial Wipes that I tried, I don't understand why nobody has branched out to try much else.  There are five different ranges to choose from, each aimed at a certain type of skin and here today I have the Yes To Blueberries Firming Eye Treatment and the Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub to talk about. 


Yes To Blueberries has a "clinically proven formula to treat fine lines and nourish age damaged skin," which whilst it may not be strictly for my age group, I've been really enjoying using the Yes To Blueberries Eye Firming Treatment in my daily routine.  I have been using it daily during my evening routine for the past few months now, and I don't think I've got a bad thing to say about it.  It's thicker than any other eye cream that I have, which is why I choose to use it in the evenings, but it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or feel heavy on the skin.  It absorbs really quickly and leaves the area feeling really soft.  At first, I didn't think that I was too bad for fine lines, but I think that using this combined with the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream in the morning has made a noticeable difference - maybe not noticeable to anyone else, but I feel like I can tell that something good has gone on.  Because I use two eye creams, I don't think I could pin point if it was one or the other in all honesty.

Next, the newer Yes To addition to my collection, the Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub which I think smells just like sour gummy worms or something.  It's sweet, but sour and just smells pretty amazing.  I have often tried daily face scrubs before and some of them are just so harsh and scratchy that using them can become quite sore and leave my skin feeling irritated.  This one however has just been a complete pleasure to use; the exfoliating grains gently buff the skin, leaving my skin feeling soft without being at all abrasive.  Acne and big cystic spots haven't been an issue on my face recently (I almost don't dare type that in case it's one giant jynx...) and I'm feeling confident that introducing an exfoliator more regularly to my routine might have played it's part in keeping my skin look fresh and clear.  A random positive is that it also sits happily in my shower and doesn't collect water in the cap - don't you just hate when that happens!

Have you tried anything from Yes To yet?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hyped: The Maybelline Champions

You might be sick of reading about these two.  I won't lie, I am too and often skip on by the reviews of the On and On Bronze Color Tattoos and the Eraser Eye Concealer because how many times can you read the same thing over and over again.  I avoided the hype particularly on the Color Tattoo's for what must have been years and here I am...I've finally given in.

Maybelline On and On Bronze Color Tattoo Eraser Eye Concealer Review

So let's start with On and On Bronze as this was the one I was definitely most excited to try.  The majority of my eyeshadow collection are powder.  In fact, this is one of only two cream eyeshadow to grace my stash.  The shade itself is great; easy wearing, perfect for wearing every day, it adds a subtle gleam to the lids which I think can be easily built up to pack a real bronze if you fancied for the evening.  It's pretty much been a go to for me in all honesty!  The Color Tattoos leave a beautiful sheen to the eyes which I think can only look nicer as it gets into the warmer months - think a more wearable, every day version of the MAC Eye Glosses.  This all said...I don't think I'll be picking up any more shades because my heart has already been stolen by the Jouer Long Wear Creme Eyeshadow as mentioned in my January Favourites.  The Maybelline texture feels almost like Vaseline compared to the mousse like cream shadows from Jouer, and whilst the Maybelline Color Tattoos are long wearing, the Jouer version beats it and dries to a nice powder finish.

Maybelline On and On Bronze Swatch Review

The Maybelline Eraser Concealer...damn it took me a long time to get hold of this one because it was constantly sold out.  I went for the shade Light, and I actually really do quite like it.  It really brightens under my eyes and conceals dark circles nicely.  I wouldn't say it's a completely flawless concealer - it's definitely a natural looking concealer and isn't completely opaque but I quite like that, even for covering blemishes because it just gives a natural finish.  I love wearing this on the weekends without foundation too - it brightens my entire complexion and just makes everything seem a bit nicer.  

I also don't see why everyone is moaning about the fuzzy applicator tip being unhygienic - if anything, it's more hygienic than doe foot applicators, because you're not dipping the wand back into the product and contaminating it.  It's no different to any other concealer unless you're telling me you honestly wash your wand.  It looks grubby because it's not white like when you bought it and the tip can touch the inside of the cap, but I think that it applies really nicely so no complaints here from me.  I have found though that this settles pretty much on application into fine lines around my eyes.  I'll often apply it, set it, finish the rest of my make up and have to go back and buff the creases out with a setting brush before leaving the house and then I'm good for most of the day.  I think I'd buy this again, but I might try out a few other concealers before committing to this one...

Have you given into the hype too?  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

February Empties: Make Up and Hair Care

The final installment of this months empties is some make up and hair care bits!  There's not too much, but still a couple of bits worth sharing!

February Empties: Make Up and Hair

The frankly horrendous looking tube on the left is actually a tube of clear mascara from Collection and it's their Little Mix Full On Clear Mascara.  I was looking for something cheap and cheerful to sweep my brows into some sort of shape, and this did the job perfectly.  It doesn't leave them looking white, doesn't feel overly crispy and keeps brows in place.  The only downside is that the tube itself is clear so you can see your product getting coloured with any brow wax/powders that you use.

This was the first time that I'd tried the Rimmel Match Perfection foundation and I have to say I do quite like it.  I've already bought a second bottle of this and used it as my day to day foundation all the way through Winter.  It is really light weight, not at all heavy and blends nicely into the skin.  My one downside to this is that it's just a light coverage foundation, and leaves the skin with a glowy finish.  Sometimes, I love this aspect of it, but only when my skin is having a seriously good day, and when it's not so warm.  I think I'll be swapping this for a matter foundation come Summer, because it does have the tendancy to make me look a bit oily.

I got this little bottle of Maghrabian Oil in a Glossybox forever ago, and it's not one I'll be picking up again.  I've honestly had this so long, and I just don't ever see any difference in my hair when I use it.  It's not any more hydrated, not particularly any smoother and I just think that there are better hair oils out there for the price.  A hair product I have loved though is the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shine Shock.  This adds amazing shine to my hair without making it look greasy, really illuminates the brunette tones in my hair and helps to smooth it all down.

The blank tube on the end is actually a Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer.  Like with the Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer, I'm going to go against the blogger grain and declare that I don't like this concealer.  Yes, it's got great coverage, but I just find it to be so drying and almost cakey on my skin unless I try mixing it with some sort of eye's one to test as it's not exactly pricey, but as it stands, I'm not a fan.

Have you tried anything from this months empties?  What concealer would you recommend?

Monday, 9 March 2015

LUSH Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar

When I got the Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar for Christmas, I really wasn't expecting that much.  I'd never heard of a shampoo bar before, and the closest I've been to trying one was when I went for a Turkish Bath whilst on holiday in Turkey where I got brutally scrubbed with a bar of Olive Oil soap all over my sunburnt scalp before being drenched with a bucket of cold water after being steaming away in a steam room.  Ah memories.

LUSH Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar Review

All this aside...this shampoo bar was actually amazing, and you really do get your moneys worth with this LUSH product - you supposedly get eighty uses from one bar!  I've used mine so many times now I've lost count, and the bar still seems to be in pretty decent shape and seems to have a lot of life left in it.  Jason (for short) smells like the Rose Jam shower gel, but I don't find that the scent lingers in my hair unfortunately.  Also, I really wasn't expecting it, but for a solid shampoo this gives off the most amazing lather ever.

I have quite fine hair which tends to be lacking in any body whatsoever without a big of help, and found that using this alongside a separate conditioner really weighed down my hair.  Used on its own though, my hair looks super shiny, really healthy and even had a natural bounce whilst still feeling pretty soft.  I did notice that it really brought out the red tones in my hair, which I also quite like!  When ever I manage to finish this one, I'll definitely repurchase another along with a little storage tin - I currently use the bag I got it in to keep it safe, but a tin would be much better and would be perfect for taking this little guy on trips away!

I've already got my eye on the next shampoo bar I'd like to try - Montalbano, which was recommended to me to help keep product build up at bay.  I'm a regular user of dry shampoo, so it's something I'm always worried will be sitting on my scalp.  In fact, all of the shampoo bars on the LUSH website look to have incredible reviews of all of the bars so I think your best bet if you want to try them is to nip in store and see which is the one for you!

Have you tried a LUSH Shampoo Bar?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

February Empties: Skin Care

So my mission for starting a regular blog posting schedule has dramatically failed.  For some reason, just as I gained momentum, the momentum quickly ground to a full on halt.  I can't believe that I haven't posted since the end of January; it's the longest I've ever gone without posting anything...  I honestly can't believe we've hit March now - where the hell did February go?  It feels like it's only just finished being Christmas and here we are almost at Easter.  In fact, this whole year has gone fast - can you believe it's almost a year now since Liam and I came to first view our house?!  Even though I've not written a hello in a while, sharing my thoughts has still been on my mind and I've collected a nice box of empties again.
February Empties Skin Care

Probably the product I'm most sad about finishing this month is Soap and Glory's Smoothie Star Body Milk.  I absolutely love this moisturiser, but I have such a stash of moisturiser at the moment that I just can't physically justify buying another bottle.  It smells incredible, like an oaty, almondy flapjack.  It's also really light, but really hydrating so this would be an ideal moisturiser to use in the morning instead of a richer body butter, or on a warmer evening.  I also finished the Soap and Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter.  It smells similar to Smoothie Star, but there is something about it that makes it smell a bit sharper than the Body Milk, and for some reason I didn't like it as much.  It was nice to use, but I wish it smelt identical to the Smoothie Star.  This lathered up really well, and left my skin feeling really soft.

From The Body Shop this month, I've finished up a sample size of the Vitamin E Moisture Cream.  I've already repurchased this in the bigger size and I love it - it smells amazing and really hydrates the skin.  I've been using this in the evening when I don't want a really rich cream to sit on my skin.  I've also finished the Camomile Cleansing Oil which again, I've already repurchased.  I don't think I can be without this anymore; I'll have a review up on this at some point, but if you haven't tried it, get on down to The Body Shop and get it.

I was sent the Eucerin Even Brighter Night Cream* quite a while a go now, but never really used it religiously.  It's supposed to even out skin with hyper pigmentation.  I think this would work for me in terms of acne scarring maybe, but I honestly don't think I used this regularly enough to see the benefit.  It was quite a thick, rich cream, but it was very easy to apply and you don't need to use much.  I'd definitely try this again to see if it lives up to claims of evening skin tone.

I bought the Clearasil Superfruits Refreshing Facial Pads on a Caroline Hirons recommendation as they were hailed as a high street version to the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads.  Now I've not tried these because they're expensive, so I gave these a go.  These smell super sweet, and leave my skin feeling really refreshed but not at all tight, or leave it looking red.  I think these have been helping with congested pores around my nose, and I'm already onto my second tub.  I am in a bit of a fluster now though, because I've gone to link you guys and can't track them on Boots or Superdrug so I hope they're not being discontinued!

Finally, the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash and Mask is actually a repurchase of mine already.  I do actually really quite like this face wash.  Like the Clearasil Superfruits pads, this has Salicylic Acid in, and has a creamy, ever so slightly grainy texture.  It doesn't foam, and is just really nice to use.  I tend to see a difference in my skin when I've been using this daily, so I'll eventually repurchase this again.

That's all I've got for you for today, but I've still got some empties to talk about including some make up bits!  I'll be back again soon!

Have you tried anything from this months empties?
*This product was sent to me for consideration

Friday, 30 January 2015

Favourites: January 2015

As promised, I'm starting off the year as I mean to go on and am sharing with you today the bits I've been loving this month!  I haven't done a favourites post since...I think it was July 2013.  I don't tend to buy myself bits too often, so I've always worried that I'd just have the same favourites month in month out, but with my mission to clear through my ridiculous stash of bits, I think I should have something different to share with you every month!

Starting with my ultimate favourite for this month - The Body Shop's Almond Body Butter.  I've had this in my stock for a while now, but had been working my way through other body moisturisers.  I can't even begin to say how much I love this body butter - it's super moisturising, but this one smells incredible.  Even though it's just almond, I feel like it smells a smidge like a cherry bakewell because it's also a bit sweet!  But because of all that...I'm absolutely gutted that this seems to have been discontinued.  I can't see it online, and when I asked The Body Shop they told me to check outlet stores and the sale in April - please let me know if you spot it!

The lip balm that I've loved this month is LUSH's Lip Service.  I got it for Christmas from Liam's parents and spoke about it in my LUSH Christmas Haul - I've never tried a lip balm from LUSH before but I really like it!  It smells a bit orangey, but it's not a tangy citrus scent...more of a sweet orange scent.  It's really helped my lips this month - they were seriously dry when I was poorly with the flu!  Revlon's Matte Balm in Sultry has been my lip shade of choice this month.  I have already spoken about it here, so I won't bang on about it again, but it's definitely one that's worth checking out if you're into the whole 90's lip look.

I have a review of this coming up soon, but don't wait for it - you need the Jouer Long Wear Creme Mousse Eyeshadow in your life.  I have the shade Dusk and I hardly wear anything else.  I bought the Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze this month to see what the fuss was on that - it's got nothing on Jouer.  I've already got my eye on the rest of the shades, particularly Galaxy and Twilight!

This month, I also picked up my first Illamasqua Cream Pigment in the shade Delirium.  It was in the sale already, but I got an extra 15% off with my birthday discount code!  It's been my contour of choice since I bought it, and I can't see myself switching to anything else anytime soon - it's really long lasting, and creates a beautiful natural shadow on the face because of the grey undertones.  I've been applying it with the Eco Tools Complexion Blending Brush as it's perfect for contouring.  It's paddle shaped which makes it ideal for slipping under the cheekbones, and because the bristles aren't super dense you can easily blend upwards!

What have been your favourites this month?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

Following on from Monday's Face Facts post, I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on the NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret.  I won this set through a giveaway on Tasha's blog Hello Freckles and I can't thank her enough - definitely go and check out her blog!  The NARS lip pencils have always been on my mind, but I've never committed to buying one myself.  Unfortunately, this gift set is no longer available but I thought I'd still share it with you because there is only one set exclusive shade meaning you can still get your hands on most of the colours if you like the look of one of my swatches!

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

The set contains three Satin Lip Pencils which are Descanso, Torres Del Paine, and Yu and two Velvet Matte Lip Pencils which are Iberico and Cruella.  I'll admit I was pretty worried about the two lighter shades completely washing me out or giving me a concealer lip, but I actually really quite like them!  The bold shades are my favoutites, but I am surprised that I like the lighter shades too.

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret Swatches
Swatches Top to Bottom - Cruella, Iberico, Yu, Torres Del Paine, Descanso

The formulas for these are really nice, but I feel like I have to say I don't think they live up to the longevity I'd read about.  The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils last around three hours before they've faded a bit or have come off a bit patchy if you've been eating or drinking.  I found that the mattes do leave a stain behind, but the colours really need reapplying again if it hasn't faded evenly, so I always made sure to be carrying mine around with me.  The formula was also quite drying which is to be expected with a matte lip, so I shan't complain too much.  The matte formulas did last a little longer using a liner underneath.

The nuder Satin Lip Pencils lasted a couple of hours before fading, but Yu lasted a good three hours the same as Cruella and Iberico.  Yu even left a gorgeous stain behind!  These were really moisturising and comfortable on the lips - far better than any moisturising lip crayons I have that are from high street brands.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Descanso Swatch

Descanso is a nude peach with pink undertones.  This was my favourite of the lighter shades, and the one that I wear the most day to day.  It's so easy wearing, and definitely fits into the 'my lips, but better' category.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Torres Del Paine Swatch

Torres Del Paine is a light peachy coral shade, which I do like but haven't worn as often as the other lip pencils.  It looks pretty similar to Descanso on the lip, but it does pull slightly peachier.  I think this will be great to use in Spring/Summer to use when creating a really fresh make up look.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Yu Swatch

Yu is seriously an in your face colour, but I really love it.  I don't own any lipsticks that are similar to this shade - it's a bright fuchsia with violet undertones.  I think it really brightens the face, whitens the teeth and looks insane with simple make up and a jet black cat eye.

NARS Velvet Matte Iberico Swatch

Iberico is unfortunately the exclusive to this gift set.  It's a bold orange with red undertones and is the shade I've worn the most.  I love how it can be worn day or night.  It applies opaque in one swipe and really is a great shade - I hope they bring it back permanently!

NARS Velvet Matte Cruella Swatch

Cruella is the only shade I'd heard of before receiving this set.  It is a deep red with blue undertones and was my lip of choice for New Years Eve!  The swatch on my lips looks a lot brighter in the photograph than it is in real life - it's the darkest red I own!  It definitely looks more like the swatch on my arm.

As far as shades go, I think I'm pretty covered.  The only one I might need to add to my collection is Palais Royal which is a gorgeous plum shade!  But that can wait until next Autumn I think!  Whilst I love the boldness of the Velvet Mattes, I think I'm leaning towards the Satin Lip Pencil formula, just because they feel amazing on the lips.  The Mattes were just a little too drying for me, and for a high end product I'd want to make sure that I got plenty of wear from it.

Which shade is your favourite?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Face Facts: Orange Pop

It's been quite a while since I've written one of these Face Facts posts!  I hate taking photographs of myself.  If you didn't know/couldn't tell, all of my blog photography is done on my phone.  I don't have a super fancy camera and I don't have fancy lighting so something I find quite hard is taking a quality photograph of myself.  All of this said, I really enjoy doing these types of posts and maybe in the future when I maybe have invested in some kit, I can look back on these and compare my old style to the new!

Onto the look...I'm fed up of being cold now, I'm just not a fan of Winter and can't stand being freezing all the time.  I decided I was going to hop into Spring a bit early this year - I've started to dismiss my darker lips in favour of bolder and brighter ones and the look I've been reaching for a bit quite lately is this one!

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer in 002
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Ivory
Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Concealer in Light
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Delirium
Naked Palette - Buck
NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley
Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara in Black
Barry M Brow Kit
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Real Techniques Setting Brush
Eco Tools Complexion Blending Brush
Eco Tools Full Powder Brush
Naked 3 Palette Dual Ended Eyeshadow Brush

Topshop Nails in Concrete

I started by prepping my skin with the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer in 002.  I won this on a giveaway before Christmas (it and some other goodies look a total state because a nail varnish smashed during transit!) and haven't really used it too often.  It's really nice actually; velvety rather than feeling like your skin is coated in silicone so I'll start making an effort to use this more.  For foundation, I have been using my Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in the shade Ivory.  This is actually my second bottle and it's currently my every day foundation - really illuminating with a medium coverage.  I concealed my under my eyes with the ever hyped Maybelline Anti-Age concealer and I like it, but I'm not sure if I love it just yet.  I only got it the other week, and I'm pretty hard to please concealer wise.  I set that with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.

I contoured my cheeks with the Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Delirium and ohhhhmahgod...I love it so much.  I only got it last week, but I've used it every single day since I bought it.  It creates the most perfect shadow that looks really natural.  I then blended that up lightly to give a hint of colour to my cheeks but nothing to dramatic because I wanted quite a simple look.  I used the shade Buck from the Naked palette to quickly add some depth to my eyes by applying that into my crease, and lined with the NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley.  For mascara, I chose the Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara.  I hated this when I first got it because the formula was so wet and application was always so messy, but it's okay now - I don't think I'd buy it again though when it runs out.

For my brows, I once again used my Barry M Brow Kit.  I use this every day, but again I don't think I'd buy this again.  It's pretty warm toned and I just feel that there must be something better out there to try.  I have a review of this coming this week so keep an eye out for that!  And for the main part of the look, I used NARS Iberico on my lips.  This was a lip pencil that came in the Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret and is currently my most used shade!  It's a warm toned orange red which is really in your face - I love it and don't own anything like it already!

What's your current go-to make up?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Warming Chunky Chilli Soup

I've really been getting into cooking lately.  I'm finding myself constantly flicking through my growing collection of recipe books, and forever collecting the free supermarket magazines offering recipes ideas.  I love cooking, and actually have started to enjoy making my lunches for the week of work ahead which used to be a real chore.  Every Sunday, I set aside an hour to prepare my week of lunches and for the last few months, I've been really enjoying experimenting with different soups and stews.

Healthy High Protein Lunch Ideas

Last week, I created this chunky, warming chilli soup.  It's not expensive to make, didn't take long to do at all and is also high in protein!  I think it's the perfect soup to enjoy when it's freezing outside - the first bowl I had was when it was snowing!  The recipe makes enough for four people, or four lunches.  If you fancy trying it yourself, you'll need:

  One tsp Chilli Infused Olive Oil
  One Red Onion, sliced
  Two Chillies, sliced
  One Garlic Clove
  300g chopped Turkey (I used breast because that's what we had in)
  Two Tins (800g) of Chopped Tomatoes
  One Tin of Mixed Beans
  Three small, baked Sweet Potatoes (roughly 350g)
  One tsp Ground Paprika
  One tsp Ground Cumin
  Half tsp Ground Cinnamon
  3/4 Pint of Chicken Stock
I started by preheating my oven to 180 and placing my sweet potatoes onto a tray.  If I was intending on eating the skin of these potatoes, I'd add a spritz of olive oil to crsip the skin, but seeing as I'll be peeling these later, I skipped the oil and just placed them in the oven.  I then heated my chilli oil in a big pan before adding my chopped onions, chopped chillis and mincing my garlic.  I chose to leave my chilli seeds in because I love the heat, but if heat isn't your thing then you should scrape them out before adding them.

Once the onions have softened, add your turkey to the pan and brown that off before putting in your chopped tomatoes and mixed beans.  Add your spices and a quick grind of pepper before topping up the soup with your stock and leaving to simmer until the turkey has cooked through.

Don't forget about your sweet jacket potatoes - take them from the oven after around thirty five minutes.  You should be able to make a small slice in the skin so you can peel the skin away easily.  Chop into chunks and add to your soup!  I left my soup simmering for a total of around forty five minutes before pouring into a storage box and putting in the fridge for my work lunches!

What's your favourite easy lunch meal?  Share your recipes below!

Friday, 23 January 2015

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I don't go to LUSH too often.  Lately though my Instagram has been filled with photos of what I've got from LUSH, but everything was either a gift I was lucky enough to receive either for Christmas or for my birthday, which was on the 12th January!

One of the bits that you might have spotted in my Christmas LUSH haul was the Snowman Shower Jelly.  I've never tried a shower jelly from LUSH before so it was all pretty new territory for me.  I didn't even realise that inside the pot, the jelly was actually a snowman shape that stays self preserved on its own!  I've been using him most days since getting him, and there's still a smidge of him left that hasn't melted down.  I'm actually quite surprised at how long he has lasted!

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly Review

The Snowman smells really nice as you'd expect from LUSH; it's a fruity blackcurrant smell with some warming citrus scents powering through.  It's quite an unusual festive scent and it's not at all overpowering, it's just the right balance of sweet and citrus.  My skin is always left with a slight hint of the scent, but it doesn't linger around for long and my skin is left nice and smooth thanks to the carrot, bergamot and buchu oils that the Snowman is made with.

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly Review

Compared to other shower gels I use, the Snowman was pretty hard to get a decent lather out of.  I often full body washed with my usual shower gel and then finished off my skin with the light lather of the Snowman to give my skin an added boost of moisture, focussing on dryer areas such as my shins and elbows.  I spotted on the pot that the Snowman was meant to have "plenty of shimmer" but I didn't notice even a hint of sparkle, but maybe they were just referring to the glisten of the oils that might be left on your skin?

As nice as the Snowman was though, I don't think I'll be picking another one up if he returns this year at Christmas - he was just so damn slippery!  It turned what would have been a pretty quick shower into quite the ordeal in trying to keep hold of the shower jelly!  I did love the scent though and the condition it left my skin feeling - I'd pick up the Snowman again if he came in true shower gel form or even a bubble bar, but I'll admit it wouldn't be as much fun!  The Snowman is no longer available this year, but I'm sure he'll be back this Christmas!

Did you manage to try the Snowman this year?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Body Shop Haulin'

Just throwing it out there...I love The Body Shop.  Who doesn't?!  I don't think I've bought anything from there that I haven't really, really liked, and whilst I'm not keen on their prices, I am keen on the fact that there is always an offer on.  And the offers are usually pretty damn good.  I got a £25 gift voucher for Christmas to spend there (from my dog, Ronnie...he's a good dog!) and I am pretty surprised that I managed to hold off spending it for so long!  I was a bit disappointed to see that I couldn't spend it online, but hey ho, a trip in store it is - which by the way, was brimming with all of the Christmas stock!  There's hardly anything Christmassy left online, but there was practically all of the Christmas bits in store from the limited edition products to the gift sets at bargain prices!  Definitely worth popping in store if you missed something!

Despite all the Christmas stock, I didn't buy any of the sale bits really.  It was a pretty focussed shop actually and I must have been in and out within five minutes!  Onto the haul and it's going to make for a fairly long post...

The Body Shop Haul

Okay first off, I picked up the full size Chocomania Shower Cream as mentioned in my December Body Care Empties post.  I really liked using the miniature that I got, and couldn't resist picking up another!  At £2, it's hardly bank breaking either!  I also picked up a full size version of the Vitamin E Moisture Cream which I've been really liking lately.  I haven't finished the miniature that I've got, but I couldn't let it run out and not have one as a back up - seriously nice to use.

I went on a bit of a Vitamin E spree as I also picked up the Vitamin E Hydrating Toner and the Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil.  I've not tried either of these bits, so I'm definitely looking forward to slipping these into my routine.  I've not ever really managed to religiously use a toner in my skincare routine, but quite fancy using this Vitamin E one in the evening alongside the Serum in Oil.  When it first came out, I heard lots of raving about the Serum in Oil but that died out pretty quickly so I'm hoping it's as nice as everyone once said it was.  Of course I'll report back on it!

I really have been loving using the Soothing Aloe Day Cream lately, so thought that I'd add a second toner to my routine - I've really gone for it with toners guys - and that's the Aloe Calming Toner.  There's something about the Aloe Day Cream that I think has really calmed my skin down - I rarely break out anymore, and my skin just seems so much better recently now I've started focussing on skincare.  I even think I'm breaking out of the full on oily skin type and breaching the combination skin type!  Hopefully this will keep the good skin comin'...

I picked up the Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Wash as I'm running a bit low on my face wash stash.  I'm really looking forward to finishing my current ones so I can wack this one out - I can just imagine this feeling so soothing and nice on my skin!  I'm currently using a gel cleanser, so this cream will be a nice change!  And finally, I picked up a Facial Massager!  Facial Massages are actually really important for the skin as they aid moisture absorption, can lead to firmer, younger looking skin, and my main reason for getting one, they can help with lymphatic drainage.  I often get quite sore lumps along my jaw line, which I assumed were just annoying under the skin spots, but reading about facial massage made me realise that it might just be trapped toxins from the lack of blood circulation around my face - so...massage, circulation boost, no more sore lumps?  Fingers crossed.  Plus, Caroline Hirons recommended it so for £6 it's no biggie.

Better yet, the offer on at the minute is spend £50 and get £25 off!  Which meant I got £50 worth of product for my £25 gift card!  Well I went £4 over my gift card, but oh well...Hurrah!  Good times all round!

Have you picked anything up from The Body Shop lately?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Calm Your Tits

I never really go into full on debate mode, but this week I'm just so confused by this whole feminist movement thing that seems to be always in the media lately.  This week The Sun stopped printing the topless ladies that we've seen on page three for as long as I can remember.  I'll get straight to the point here - we can't be on a mission for #NoMorePage3 when we're on a mission already to #FreeTheNipple.  

I feel like a man here in the way that I literally don't have a single clue what women are wanting.  The thing is, I'm all for women working to stop men seeing women as objects, but at the same time, I'm all for women being equal and having the freedom to do what ever the hell they want.


If someone wants to get their boobies out on page three then good for them, and go for it!  I get that there is a time and a place for it, but page three never harmed me when I was younger so why have we got to get rid of it now?  If I had a little boy one day, I'd rather his lady part curiosity was half answered as he looked at the boobs on page three than go trailing the internet for a picture of boobs because god knows what will come up then.  I just don't see why women are stopping other women from doing something that they want to do?  We should be celebrating women, boobs and all - not making our bodies some sort of taboo.  Are we aiming to get Heat's Torso of the Week banned next because it's objectifying men?  Didn't think so.

I don't want anyone to think that I'm in favour of objectifying women, because I'm not.  I  despise the new found 'LAD' culture that has emerged in the last few years - but I just don't see why we seem to be working to repress women and whinging when we have our boobs out, or are showing a bit more cleavage than usual when the women fifty years ago were working so hard to be equals?  Leave the men to sort  the 'LAD's' being such dick heads and let us women just focus on getting equal pay in the work place and other important things other than whose tits are out where.

I don't even read The Sun and don't think I've ever bought a copy other than to get a £5 voucher to buy fruit and vegetables at Morrisons; it's hardly going to affect me in terms of not being able to look at page three anymore.  I just wish people wouldn't be so offended at every tiny thing.  Calm down - Hakuna your Tatas.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, 19 January 2015

December Empties: Body Care

It's the final installment for what has turned into a December Empties series!  I've never seen an empties series before, but these empties have gone on long enough now!  I've already started on this months collection!  Throughout 2015 I'm really going to aim to do a monthly empties (if I have any) and a monthly favourites - they're posts I always enjoy reading but never actually managed to do myself!  So onto the last empties: Body Care.

December Body Care Empties

The Body Shop's Chocomania Shower Cream was one I really didn't like the scent of in the bottle.  It is seriously sweet.  I love chocolate, but this is like the most chocolatey fudge cake topped with chocolate brownies, dipped in chocolate sauce served hot and all melted.  It really does smell too much in the bottle.  But, lathered up the scent isn't so intense and it's just really nice.  It's still really sweet and chocolatey, but it is really nice and warming.  I do really quite like it as a bit of a shower treat in the evening!  I actually bought the full size of this as I spotted it in The Body Shop's sale for just £2.

I've spoken about the Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Back Spray previously here, and Liam and I both really like this product.  If you suffer with body breakouts, this is definitely something that you should try.  This was our second or third bottle, and I will be repurchasing.  I haven't yet though as I'm waiting for it to come onto a three for two offer like it usually does, although it is currently £1 off at the moment at Boots.

The Champneys Overnight Hand Therapy Cream was a real favourite of mine.  I used it most nights before going to bed and found that the scent of it was really relaxing and helped me get a good nights sleep.  I would buy it again, but don't think I'll be buying it anytime soon as I have a ridiculous amount of hand cream stock piled.  But as soon as I've ran out of all of my stock, I'll be adding this back into my collection.

I don't know anybody who doesn't like Soap & Glory.  I love everything that they do and The Righteous Butter is no exception.  This isn't the first tub of this that I've gone through and it might not even be the second or third, and I'm almost positive that I have another one ready to go.  It's super rich, super nourishing and I like to use this straight out of the shower.  It's not too greasy and it doesn't sit on my skin like some body butters do so I feel like I can get straight into bed with it on without feeling sticky.

I imagine I'll be seeing you all again soon with some empties as I'm on a mission to use up some more of the products I've got!  If you didn't see them, you can see my Hair Care Empties, Skin Care Empties and Make Up Empties through the links!

What are your current body favourites?