Sunday, 12 July 2015

Life Lately - On Turning A Year Older, Being Away From Home and Sensing A Change

It seems as though the older you become the busier life gets. Not a complaint I am making rather just an observation. I'd rather be busy than sit and watch time whittle by, however the last few weeks have been exhausting: hectic for both brilliant reasons and stressful ones too. Suddenly I find myself another year older, 23 sounds so much older than 22? Especially when it feels like turning 18 five years ago was just in the blink of an eye. I feel as though I've hit an age now whereby I need to take the future ahead of me seriously because time is vastly on my tail. When I think about the next five years I realise that a lot could happen.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Guilt Free Cookies

For the last few weeks I have been experimenting around with these ‘guilt free cookies’ a great snack for when you fancy something a little sweet but still want something was some kind of nutritious value. I wont call them healthy as they do contain sugar however the basis of these cookies can contain as little as four natural ingredients: oats, banana, coconut oil and maple syrup. You can also add in optional extras along the way. One A few of these cookies ahead of a workout satisfy my hunger for hours and keep me feeling energized. Plus they taste lovely!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Review

Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm: its a product that's pretty well heard of within the beauty world  but today I'm going to be giving my two pennies worth on it. There are plenty of rave reviews on this skincare classic from Clinique, but I started using this towards the end of last year so this isn't like a first impressions type of review. I made my mind up about this months ago yet I still wanted to give it a fair trial as I know our opinions can change. Its not very often that I have had to repurchase skincare but six months and a brand new jar later I think you can already tell how this review is going to go. 

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Link

Monday, 29 June 2015

Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour in Hyde Park

Saturday was honestly the best ever. A day involving Taylor Swift perform in concert was always going to be incredible but add in a park and an amazing summers day and we had a recipe for perfection. For months now I had been crossing my fingers that the unpredictable British weather would be kind to us when June 27th came along and it must have worked because it was beautifully warm and sunny all day which made it all the more special. The day started in Soho at Bill's for brunch: I had poached eggs and salmon washed down with a tasty jug of Pimm's. It was delicious! With full stomachs and giddy heads from the Pimm's me and my friend made our way to Hyde Park.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Monsoon Maya Print Maxi Dress

As soon as the warm months roll around I'm definitely one to embrace the maxi dresses. For me its always a sign that summer has arrived. Be it the bright colours, floral prints or the way that they swish around at your ankles but there is just something so summery about a maxi dress. I absolutely love how flattering they can be and when I find the right one they're a complete confidence booster. However as I've mentioned before, not being the tallest of girls I have to find a maxi dress that isn't ridiculously long or else it ends up trailing on the floor like a wedding dress! Speaking of weddings: a few weeks ago I was shopping with my Mum, who was on the lookout for a dress to wear to one and she took us in Monsoon. Not a shop I would ever usually look in myself, however I was surprised at how much caught my eye in there including this beautiful maxi dress.

Maya Print Dress Link
Carvela Peep Toes

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer Review

One of my best beauty discoveries of 2015 so far has hands down been the Hourglass Immaculate Foundation (review here.) In trying to sort out my skin this year I've also been trying not to overload my face with dozens of different products and different brands. Hourglass seems to have been a consistently reliable makeup brand I can turn to without it seeming to upset my skin. Although it is considerably better these days I still have the odd acne scaring and depending on how much sleep I've had the night before - darkness around my eye area. So a few months ago I decided to give the Hourglass Hidden Concealer a whirl. It is definitely a product that goes hand in hand with Immaculate!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Current Crochet Project - Paired Popcorn Cushion Cover

There is a lot of alliteration going on in today's post title! A year into being taught how to crochet and I have yet anything to show for it in my possession- for a while I stuck to the safety of making baby blankets; a couple of friends were having them and it was a good excuse for me to crack out the pink and blue wool to have a practice of my new skills. So I decided my next project would be something for myself and I got the inspiration for this from Kate aka gh0stparties bedroom tour - her style is incredibly tasteful in my opinion and I got a lot of ideas from watching that!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Taking Care In The Sun - Clinique SPF 30 Body Cream

I am guilty to admit that in the past I have neglected taking proper care of myself in the sun. I'm sure we've all been there at some point, whether you caught the sun by accident or deliberately to catch some rays in the hope of getting your pins looking a bit more bronzed. However there is more and more evidence out there to suggest the effects of sun damage and I for one have vowed to avoid another summer of sore lobster coloured flesh.

Clinique SPF 30 Body Cream  - Link

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Carers Week & Living With Dementia

If you're not aware this week was Carers Week: a week celebrating the voices of those who care for a loved one. All week on the Jeremy Vine show exceptionally moving stories of carers in all walks of life were shared on the radio. Being a subject so close to home, I found the show very touching to listen to and its also helped put some things in perspective for me. Earlier this year our family moved in to care for my Nan with Dementia (you may remember this post.) In doing so we sacrificed a life that was normal to us. Consequently a lot has changed in the last few months.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Products I've Used Up | Empties #8

I'm back with another empty products post - I have been storming through the empties this year! I'm splitting the empties up into two categories Bath & Body and then Makeup like I did in my last post. Starting with a new empty product for me, a dry shampoo (I know this isn't really classed as a bath or body product but it didn't fit anywhere else today!)

Monday, 8 June 2015

From Bricks To Bungalow: Before & After [Exterior]

I Did Something A Little Crazy...

I signed up to do next years Bupa 10k! To some this may not sound like such a crazy thing but when you add into the mix that I'm not a runner, or have never done any running it suddenly becomes a little bit of a mad thing to do, signing up to say you will run 6.2 miles (in London!)... This is such an exciting albeit scary step and I can't wait to share the journey on my blog. 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The 501 Shorts

Top - Primark
Shorts - Levis
Sandals - Moshulu

Thursday, 4 June 2015

50 Facts About Me Tag

As I have decided to transition my blog away from purely beauty topics I thought that the '50 Facts About Me' tag would be the perfect opportunity to share a bit of information about myself. I feel like this is a good starting point to take things back to basics and tell you a bit about who I am if I'm going to be sharing more of myself on this blog.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

An Honest Reflection Of The Last Six Months

At the start of this year I promised that my blog was going to be more than just a beauty blog: if you don't know what I'm on about I'll link the post here. Back in January I thought that I was ready to turn my blog into something a bit more personal, I looked forward to sharing pieces of my life through this outlet... but as it turns out just a few weeks after writing that post I was about to have the most emotionally challenging month of my life to date. Even though I had known for so long that it was coming, it was not something that I was prepared for. And I certainly was not prepared to share it on my blog.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Skin Update: Managing Adult Acne

Since starting this blog I've openly mentioned my skin problems, but I've never properly taken the time to talk about it in a dedicated post - until today that is. However I think I have finally reached a stage where my skin seems to be quite happy and I wanted to share how I've got there for anyone who may be in the same boat suffering from adult acne. I'm not going to be mentioning the exact products that I have been using as such because I think that sort of stuff should be saved for another post and I may eventually write up my skincare routine. Today I just want to focus on the changes I made to improve my skin. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick | Amazing Grace

If you caught my recent Selfridges haul you will already have seen that I made my first ever Charlotte Tilbury purchases a couple of weeks ago, and today I'm talking about the matte revolution lipstick I picked up in the shade Amazing Grace. Ahead of my

Friday, 22 May 2015

Disappointing Products #2

Another installment of disappointing products today on the blog! I'm going to be talking about a handful of products that didn't quite meet my expectations...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

In the last couple of months I have become completely besotted by Hourglass makeup, it is a brand that has been popping up a lot lately on my blog. Their products continue to blow me away and my latest Hourglass love comes in the form of their brand new Ambient Bronzer. I have been waiting patiently for the release of these for what seems like ages now and I finally got my hands on one Friday, which you may have already spotted in yesterday's haul. Today I am going to be doing a first impressions type post and the shade I picked up was Luminous Bronze Light.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Summer Beauty Haul | Real Techniques, Hourglass, John Frieda & more

All of a sudden we find ourselves in the middle of May (!) and bloody hell, summers right on the doorstep now. I went shopping yesterday intending to buy only one thing and ended up coming home with a few more bits than I expected to, but lets just call it getting ready for summer...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection

Grab a cup of tea and get comfortable in your seats as today I'm going to be sharing my Mac lipstick collection. Everyone loves a Mac lippy and its one of those classic nosey blogger's post that I myself always find quite interesting and so I thought I'd share my own stash. I suppose I ought to start with the usual disclaimer that comes with these sort of posts. This is in no way bragging -  all the lipsticks have been paid for with my own money (minus the odd birthday /Christmas treat) and the majority of these purchases have been well researched and thought out. Lipstick is probably one of, if not my favourite makeup item hence my army of little black Mac bullets.

I turn 23 this summer and I currently own a collection of 23 Mac lipsticks, and so it seemed like an appropriate time to share this post. Of course 23 lipsticks is an absurd amount to own, and nobody ever needs that amount of lipsticks, but naturally I've got my reasons for owning this many Mac lippys'. As you may be able to tell from the pictures above I like wearing lots of different colours, I don't just stick to nudes or pinks or whatever. Although since starting my collection nearly two years ago, I have discovered my favourite shade to wear (if you know by now) is a red, and shock horror I only have two reds in my entire Mac collection.

I'm going to do this post in the order in which I've photographed them above, which is sort of nudes, darks, and then brights. I'll do a quick summary plus my thoughts on them and if I've written blog posts on them I'll link them here. I'm not going to be doing swatches with this post as I'd be there forever swatching 23 colours plus you can find them all online anyway!

The 'Nudes.'
L-R Double Shot, Creme Cup, Lovelorn, Angel.
Double Shot - [Amplified] A browny pink nude lipstick, very creamy and opaque. Great for pale skinned girls like me because of the hint of pink also looks amazing on darker skin tones making it a very versatile lipstick.

Creme Cup - [Cremesheen] A cool toned pink and one of the cult classic MAC nudes. I've seen this lipstick look gorgeous on so many people but it just does not suit me, something about cool toned nudes just completely wash me out.

Lovelorn - [Lustre] This is another cool toned pink but this lipstick is quite sheer and has just a tiny bit more brightness to it which you can see from the bullet it looks a bit darker compared to the others next to it, and so I can manage to pull this lipstick off!

Angel - [Frost] Here we have a slightly warmer pink with subtle hints of silver, its another cult classic from MAC. And is yet again another lipstick which doesn't quite sit too right on me. I wish I could pull of a nude lipstick as I love how they look on other people!

The 'Darks.
L-R Up The Amp, Heavenly Hybrid (LE) Cyber, Rebel, Russian Red, Lady Bug

Up The Amp - [Amplified] A creamy light purple, great for anyone who wants to start wearing purples but isn't brave enough to branch out to anything too dramatic. If you're not careful this lipstick can wash you out a little, plus the colour really makes your teeth appear quite yellow and for those reasons its not the most flattering of lipsticks.

Heavenly Hybrid - Limited Edition [Lustre] A sheer purply pink lipstick from the Fantasy of Flowers Collection. I really like this lipstick as I find its the perfect balance of not too purple not too pink. It looks gorgeous on.

Cyber - [Satin] Still the most intimidating lipstick in my entire collection to date, I've written a full post here. I have to admit I was actually only brave enough to wear this out the house once back in the winter I believe? I think that unless very dark vampy lips are your 'thing' this lipstick is rather limited maybe I'll be braver this winter.

Rebel - [Satin] Now this ... ah Rebel is one of my top Mac lipsticks and unlike the last lipstick I spoke about this is one I've gotten so much wear from. I love it! I'd describe it as a sultry berry red. Quite matte but not at all drying its very comfortable to wear  - the longevity of this is pretty impressive as the dark colour stains your lips. This is such a versatile lipstick as you can make it day time appropriate with the whole berry lips sort of vibe or you can really vamp it up dramatically for an edgier look. Great autumn/winter staple makeup item.

Russian Red - [Matte] A gorgeous classic cherry red lipstick its a little cool toned and makes your teeth look nice and white which I love about this. Its long wearing because of its matte formula but it isn't drying, its quite creamy considering. Goes perfectly with Cherry lip pencil.

Lady Bug - [Lustre] A sheer almost glossy pinky red. This is a pretty lipstick but its a bit high maintenance because its not matte it seems to slip around a bit and doesn't have good staying power at all.

L-R Syrup, Craving, Amorous, Twig, Girl About Town, Show Orchid
Syrup - [Lustre] A beautiful muted pink berry lipstick. On me I find that this has a bit of a purple tone to it and so I especially love this lipstick in the autumn/winter months. Its sheer because of the lustre finish but I find you can build this up quite a bit if you want to.

Craving - [Amplified] This is virtually the more opaque version of Syrup. Very similar in colour but this is more pigmented.

Amorous - [Satin] A browny pink berry this is actually a gorgeous lipstick and I really like this again in the autumn months. Very long wearing because its quite matte which I like about Amorous.

Twig - [Satin] Another browny pink woops. I've written a full review here. Not going to lie I sort of bought this one because of the hype around it - I definitely didn't need another lipstick in this colour!

Girl About Town - [Amplified] A blue toned fuchsia pink very flattering lipstick which I purchased before the next lipstick I'm going to speak about Show Orchid, which it is very similar to and I don't think that you need both of these in your collection.

Show Orchid - [Amplified] I absolutely adore this lipstick, its stunning. A vibrant fuchsia pink with a subtle hint of silver shimmer. Its creamy but not so creamy it slips around I find this one of the longer wearing amplified lipsticks I own from Mac so its great on evenings out. Definitely one of my favourites and I'd pick this over GAT any day.

The Brights.
L-R Brick-O-La, Saigon Summer, Dreaming Dahlia (LE) Morange, Vegas Volt, Impassioned

Brick-O-La - [Amplified] A berry red and on my skin leans ever so slightly on the orange side - I really like this its surprisingly easy to thrown on and wear. Quite versatile I would imagine.

Saigon Summer - [Cremesheen] Best described as very orange! I've written a full review here. Its orange with a hint of gold shimmer to it and leans quite yellow toned - another guilty culprit of making your teeth look more yellow than they are sadly.

Dreaming Dahlia - Limited Edition [Lustre] A sheer orange red, very pretty but sadly another limited edition that I picked up in the Fantasy of Flowers collection, reviewed in this post.

Morange - [Amplified] Oh Morange. I have mixed feelings about this lipstick. I adore the colour its a hot orange which is stunning come summer however I think the formula lets it down - its just a bit too thick and creamy, it slips around on my lips and I just don't find it the easiest to wear which is a shame.

Vegas Volt - [Amplified] A peachy coral orange and a very underrated lipstick in my opinion. This is gorgeous and one of my favourites for Spring, its great when you want a pop of colour to your face.

Impassioned - [Amplified] a vibrant pink with a hit of peachyness to it. Another of my top lipsticks its quite unique to other pinks. Full review here.

Kelly Yum-Yum (LE)

Kelly Yum-Yum - Limited Edition [Satin] a bright neon pink and leans more fuchsia than the original Candy Yum-Yum. Its got an amazingly comfortable finish, very easy to wear and great for those vibrant makeup looks especially during summer.

Phew! And there we have it - my Mac lipstick collection.
 What are your favourite Mac lipsticks? Feel free to link me up if you've shared your Mac lipstick collection as I love to have a nose myself!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Jo Malone White Lilac & Rhubarb Scented Candle

Jo Malone White Lilac & Rhubarb Scented Candle | Link

After purchasing my first Jo Malone candle back at the start of the year (Wood Sage & Sea Salt) it seems I've well and truly caught the bug now. I kept seeing the newly released White Lilac & Rhubarb popping up on my social media in recent weeks and I was keen to give it a smell. Firstly how gorgeous is the packaging? The fresh green and floral prints just make me feel so happy and is a perfect reminder that summer is on the way. Secondly which I didn't realize until I saw this in store is that this is actually a charity candle. The proceeds minus VAT go towards community garden projects - you can read more about where the money goes here.

Naturally, this candle smells, incredible. I've only ever really been a candle person during winter as I tend to associate candles with being something cosy however I'm totally converted now and love burning a candle throughout the day to give the house a fresh burst of fragrance. White Lilac & Rhubarb is both sweet and sharp, tangy and subtly floral. Its also a surprisingly clean which gives it a rather uplifting feel when its burning and filling the room. Its so beautiful and unique smelling, I am obsessed. Also even when its not lit if you take the lid off the candle the aroma still lightly fills the room which I love!  I definitely wish that there was a cologne in this as I would be all over that!

QOTD: Have you checked out the new charity candle from Jo Malone?

Friday, 8 May 2015

Shiseido Eyelash Curlers, Worth The Money?

A little while ago now I finally invested in a proper pair of eyelash curlers when Feel Unique had an offer on. By 'proper' I mean a pair of eyelash curlers I haven't paid like £2 on from Boots or wherever. My natural eyelashes are pretty non existent and I've struggled over the years to make them even slightly noticeable. And although I've just accepted now that I'm never going to have lusciously long lashes, I was still interested to see how a high end pair of curlers compared to my usual cheapy ones. So as I mentioned when Feel Unique had a discount on at the start of the year I picked up the Shiseido eyelash curlers.

Now I'm no expert on eye makeup and I wont pretend to be, so keep that in mind as you read, I'm just going to do a brief review of these and answer the question are these worth the £19 price tag? The very first thing I noticed is how much wider the Shiseido curlers are in comparison to my old curlers, and I have noticed that when using these my eyes do look more open as these are able to curl more lashes. Another thing is that the Shiseido curlers seem very firm and the rubber pad grips the lashes nice and comfortably.

These are undoubtedly quick and easy to use and open up your eyes because of that wide shape however, in my honest opinion its nothing that a £2 pair of eyelash curlers wouldn't be able to do. There was no wow factor for me. I know that my natural lashes are notoriously difficult to make appear nice so it could be that and these might work really well for someone else, but for me I'm not sure I'd hurry out and spend out on them unless they were discounted again with like a 20% off or whatever. I don't regret buying these as there isn't anything wrong with them and they do have a few benefits to them like the wide shape but I was just expecting a bit more of a wow effect.

QOTD: Have you tried the Shiseido eyelash curlers? Do you have any other recommendations for me to try?

Monday, 4 May 2015

Selfridges Splurge: London Beauty Haul

At the beginning of last week my friend Ayesha and I made spontaneous plans to take a trip into London for a girly shopping day. We both had the day off and Selfridges was just calling our names. You've got to love a last minute plan, especially when it concerns Selfridges. We don't live that far from London but I still only really get round to going once or twice a year, but it makes it all the more exciting when I get there.

On my first trip to Selfridges last year, I think I must have been a little overwhelmed by the vast beauty halls as I managed to miss taking a look at some of the exclusive brands that we don't have at home, think Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, Illamasqua. So when I went earlier this week I made sure to take full advantage and drool after absolutely everything. As you can see from the above picture, the counter I was most awed by was Charlotte Tilbury - this was very nearly a 'Charlotte Tilbury Haul' apart from a cheeky Burberry purchase I managed to snap up in John Lewis.

I had done my research and so I had a few lipsticks in mind that I knew I would be swatching at the Charlotte Tilbury counter and I did end up buying the two I had my eyes on most. These were the Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace (because we all need a lipstick with our name in it) and the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Velvet Underground. Two very different but very me lipstick choices. I then decided to get the lip pencil Pink Venus to go with Amazing Grace. I'll be popping up reviews with my thoughts on the lip products in the next few weeks! And then the only non lip related purchase I made was the eye shadow pencil in Champagne Diamonds a colour best suited for the blue eyed lady. I'm so chuffed with all my Charlotte Tilbury purchases and am very happy to finally own some bits in my collection, everything from the packaging to the products themselves seem amazing.

And lastly, one little sneaky purchase I actually stumbled across in the Oxford Street John Lewis was from the Burberry counter. I had a little moment when I spotted Burberry. Again the packaging and quality of the makeup just looks fantastic. Being a lover of the red lip you can imagine my delight when I spotted Military Red, a gorgeous classic red lipstick. Ah got to love a trip to London to make the most of all the beauty bits you can't buy at home!

QOTD: What would you splurge on at Selfridges?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Hourglass Immaculate Foundation Review

I've been looking forward to doing this review on my blog for a while now, but I knew that I wanted to take my time and collect all my thoughts on it carefully before writing them down. But basically the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid to Powder Foundation has been an enormous game changer for me. I had never even heard of this foundation but as I explained in my recent haul a lady working on the Hourglass counter introduced me to it and I sort of haven't looked back since.

Immaculate is a liquid foundation but as the name suggests it does turn to powder making it a matte foundation. I've never owned a matte foundation but I was willing to give this a go as its supposedly great for acne prone skin because it absorbs your skin's natural oils which as a result gives you this fantastically long wearing foundation, two big ticks already. When you apply this foundation it feels lovely and silky, not what I expected from something claiming to be matte - however because it does turn to powder you don't want to hang around buffing this into the skin as it sort of sets relatively quickly.

Once buffed into the skin (recommended with a brush) this foundation becomes what I can only describe as weightless, it literally feels like I'm not wearing a scrap of makeup which for a medium to full coverage foundation is amazing. This tackles redness, covers blemishes well and gives my skin an effortlessly flawless finish. I was expecting the finish to be somewhat flat because it is a matte foundation however it makes your skin look so vibrant and healthy.

One thing that I would say is that properly moisturizing your face and neck ahead of using this is essential because of its matte tendencies or it will highlight any dryness. But as long as you apply a moisturizer beforehand you should be fine. My skin type is normal so I can get away with wearing this however if you are dry then I'm not sure how well this foundation would work, however for all the oily skinned girls out there this would be fabulous.

I was matched to the shade porcelain which is an absolutely perfect match to my skin tone. Since using this my skin has seemed a lot calmer, I haven't had any crazy out of control breakouts. My skin just seems to agree with this foundation, I can wear it on a daily basis and it doesn't cause any breakouts which is another bonus as I find so many foundations upset my skin.

I cannot even begin to explain what this foundation has done for me in terms of confidence and for that alone it has been worth every penny for me.  Which brings me on to the price tag, yes this is probably one of the heftiest priced foundations on the market at a steep £50 but the quality is 100% reflected in the price. To me it has no downfalls at all which makes it worth the money, it honestly lasts on your face all day so you don't need to make touch ups meaning what you apply in the morning will still be looking as good by the time you go to take it off. It comes in a glass bottle with a pump which feels quite luxurious but I suppose you would expect that from such a high end product.

Before Immaculate I had lost a bit of love and trust in my foundations as none of them were cutting it either the shades weren't right or the coverage wasn't there. Basically I wasn't very satisfied but now I actually look forward to putting on my makeup each morning as I know I am going to get gorgeous results every time. Definitely the best makeup purchase I've made this year.

Wearing Hourglass Immaculate Foundation
QOTD: Have you tried Immaculate? What's your favourite high end foundation?