Thursday, 31 December 2015

My 2015 Favourites!

My favourite primer of the year has to be the Makeup Forever Step 1 Mattifying Primer. I bought this when I was on holiday in Florida and it's the only primer I've used since. It's in between a silicone and a cream texture and makes my makeup stay all day and helps control shine. Foundation wise this year has been the year of L'Oreal. Although I have loved the True Match Foundation it's been all about the L'Oreal Infallible Matte 24 Hour Foundation. I know that I love this because I've bought it in a shade lighter for winter which I never normally do! I love the way that it's high coverage without feeling it and looks really good on the skin. It also deals well with my oiliness and lasts all day on my face. There have been a few concealer favourites this year but the Maybelline Eraser Eye came out on top with it's amazing coverage and lasting power on the skin. I discovered the Boujois Healthy Balance Powder this year and fell absolutely head over heels in love with it! Good coverage, not cakey and smells amazing. I don't think I'll ever change my powder, this is the one for me!

I discovered brow tinting this year which has been an amazing life saving and when my brows are in a pretty good shape all I need to use is the Maybelline Brow Drama and I use the shade medium brown. I've had this one for a very long time so I could probably do with a new one but I love the way that it distributes the perfect amount of product and doesn't leave my brows feeling hard and crispy. In terms of brow pencils there has been one absolute winner, the Soap and Glory Brow Archery Pencil. I have this in two shades, Blondeshell and Hot Chocolate, the latter being my favourite of the two. The nib is thin so is great for precise brow drawing and the colour is great. I couldn't imagine using any other brow pencil!

Eye primer wise I have used the Mac Painterly Paint Pot all year and nothing else. It matches my eyelids perfectly, neutralises veins and stops my eyeshadow from creasing. I've also used it pretty much everyday for an entire year and haven't made much of a dint in it. Palettes. This was a very hard category to choose a favourite but I have to say there is one clear winner and that is the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette. I've used this so much this year and have hit pan on several shadows, a tell tale sign that things must be going well! The right mix of neutral and party I can do a lot with this palette and it's great and compact. I use it so much that I've left it in my uni room and brought other palettes with me to convince myself to use something else!
Winged liner has become a big thing for me in the past 12 months and I now wear it pretty much everyday. Although I've tried three types of liners from the L'Oreal Super Liner range I can't pick a favourite. I've used the original, Superstar and Perfect Slim. All of them were amazing. If you're a regular reader of my blog then you'll know that the only eyeliners I use in my waterline are the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajals, especially Jet Black. I've used these for years and they work really well and last for quite a good length of time, especially considering the price. I've had a very up and down year in the mascara department and I have to say that the start of 2015 was where the best mascaras were, and they were both magazine freebies. I enjoyed using the Benefit Roller Lash but my favourite was the Clinique High Impact Volume Mascara. It volumised, lengthened and was an all round amazing product. I never got round to repurchasing it but remembering how amazing it was makes me want to have it back in my life.

On New Years Eve 2014 I bought the Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer and I haven't looked back. It's an all round amazing product, especially since they updated the package, and I don't think that I could change back to another bronzer. Winter or Summer I get so much use from this product. I've never been one to have an extensive blush collection and this year hasn't changed that but I think I have found one that will keep me going for a very long time. When I was in America I picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy and I absolutely love it. It's a warm pinky peach and it goes with all of my makeup looks, at the minute there really is no need for me to have another blush in my life, but we shall see what 2016 holds in that department. Things have been quiet on the highlighter front this year so there's nothing in that category, but if anyone has any recommendations that would be much appreciated.

This year has to have been the year where I got seriously into lip products. Before this year I owned a few, select products that were pretty much none existent on the  lips but I have really broadened my horizons. I could have chosen a lot of products to have been my overall favourite but I have to say that looking at them all there is one clear winner. That winner is Mac Kinda Sexy, which was kindly gifted to me by some pretty great friends for my birthday. It is my perfect nude, an amazing lipstick and gorgeously matte. It's my go to night out lipstick and works well with or without a lipliner. Simply amazing! 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

December Favourites

I wasn't planning on doing a December Favourites post due to my 2015 Faves that will be coming up next week, but I thought that I've been loving a few things this month so I might as well share!

I bought Harper's Bazaar last month because I saw that it came with a free mini Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I'd never used a serum before and I was curious to see how it would work on my oily skin. I am in love with this product and will be really sad when it runs out. It gives my face some much needed moisture without creating a load of oil. I've noticed that it also has a real effect on spots as well as I get much less when I use this. If you saw my Nine Ladies Dancing post then you'll have seen that to get my glittery lids I used the Collection Glam Crystals Glitter Eyeliner. I've found that this is so much better than a normal glitter as it sticks to the lids and stays on for a very long time. It does make my eyes sting for a bit whilst I apply it but that's completely worth it. My lips seem to have hated me this month so lip balm has been my best friends and the Maybelline Baby Lips gives me just the right amount of moisture to keep my lips from getting dry. Also my Lush Lip Scrub has been great at getting rid of the skin on my lips after they've gone through a dry patch.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Mini L'Oreal Haul and First Impressions

Just a small little post today about a favourite product of mine that has been repurchased and a new product that is a new one for me. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that I was in the love with the L'Oreal Infallible 24H Matte Foundation as soon as i tried it. The first one I bought was in the shade 11 Vanilla, the second lightest shade, as I felt like the lightest shade was a bit too white. I could get away with it in the summer months but now I feel like 10 Porcelain is the perfect shade for me. It has a slight yellow tint to it but mixed with my Boujois Healthy Balance Powder (which is also yellow) it works out. It's a medium to full coverage but feels really light on the sky and manages to keep my very oily skin pretty matte all day.

I was in desperate need of a new concealer so I thought that I'd try something new and went for the L'Oreal True Match Brightening Concealer in Ivory. I don't have a brightening/ highlighting concealer in my collection so I was intrigued to give it a go. I have to say, for a first try I'm a big fan. It, like the foundation, is quite yellow but that's fine. It took A LOT of twisting to get some out at first so if you get it, it's not broken, it just takes a while to get it going. It give a nice amount of coverage and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. So far I like it but I'll keep trailing it out and report back!

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Most Exciting Festive Bath Ever!

Beauty bloggers seem to have this complete and utter obsession with Lush, something that I've never really had. I've had a few Lush products but they were a few years ago when I couldn't really appreciate what was going on and thought that bath bombs were just something that turned my bath a cool colour (which is still something that's important to a degree). Because of my lack of Lush knowledge and the fact that apparently Lush brings great things out around Christmas I thought that I would trial some products, and boy am I glad that I did.

I knew that I wanted to get Candy Mountain because last year I bought the Snow Fairy shower gel and loved the scent. Candy Mountain has the Snow Fairy scent and is a Bubble Bar, something that I have never tried from Lush. If you are a Lush newbie, as I am, I'm going to say that they bubble bars are really hard to dissolve. You have to really massage the bar to get the bubbles going but once you get the rhythm it's really easy and totally worth it! It gave me plenty of bubbles and turned my bath pink, but to be honest it didn't stay pink for long. I don't know why I went for the Father Christmas Bath Bomb but I wanted something that was festive and a bit different, and I mean come on just look at his cute face! I was told by one of the staff that it had the same scent as Snow Fairy but that didn't matter when it got into the bath. I was expecting a bright pink but what I got from my little santa chum was a very festive green! Amazing!

I am DIEING to try more Lush products so if you have some suggestions please let me know because I am a complete newbie when it comes to things like this!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Twelve Drummers Drumming

THE LAST DAY OF EYEMAS! I can't believe it! I have to say these three weeks have totally flown! Drummers Drumming, another one that I found difficult to do. I used blue shades in the end because I could picture the little drummers wearing little blue jackets and thought it looked cute! Also I've not done a blue look in this series so I thought I'd end it with a bang!

I primed my eyes and then got to work with my Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette. I started with the shade Truth, a cream matte shadow, to give the look a clean base to open up the eye. I then started on the blue and used the shade Freeze which is a light blue shade in the crease. I layered it on with a fluffy brush to get an intense colour with a soft edge. To darken up the look a little I took the shade Heroine, a dark navy blue, on an angled brush and used this to define my lash line. I also took this underneath and blended it out to deepen the eyes. Eyeliner and mascara then finish off the look. And that's eyemas done! I've really enjoyed doing this little series so don't be surprised if you see something like this in the future!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Eleven Pipers Piping

Eleven pipers piping! One of the ones I always get confused with the number on. This one is the shimmery version of six geese a laying and I'm starting to sense that dark browns are kind of where I'm at right now. The Urban Decay Naked Smokey palette is the one to thank for this look and I have to say I'm going to be using this palette a lot this winter!

After priming my eyes I went into the crease with Combust, a light ashy brown that I use as a base colour. I then used the shade Dirtysweet all over the lid, which is a beautifully gorgeous shimmery gold. I layered this on to get a lot of intensity as I just love the colour. I then went into the crease with the dark matte brown shade Whiskey to darken up the crease. I then used the light brown shimmer called Radar on the outer part of the lid and took this underneath the lid and blended it out. Winged liner, black eyeliner in the waterline and lashings of mascara finished off this look.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Ten Lords a Leaping

Every day it seems to be getting harder and harder to make these looks different and not repeat! This was a very brave look for me, there's a lot of red which may border on 'punched in the face'. I do quite like the way it turned out though, whether I'll be wearing it again is another thing!

Primed the eyes as per usual and got straight to work. I was feeling really brave so took a risk with the shimmery, vampy red shade from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette called Sonic. I patted this all over the lid and blended it out so that the edge was really soft. I also took it underneath and did a lot of blending. To give the look a bit more depth I used the warm, dark brown shade called Reign from the same palette  on the outer corner of the eye and did a lot more blending! To make it look like I didn't have some kind of eye problem I did a little bit of liner quite close to the lash line. To finish off I lined my waterline with Rimmel Sable Brown Eyeliner and a little bit of mascara.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Nine Ladies Dancing

I am absolutely, head over heels in love with this look! I love the colour, I love the drama and most of all I love the glitter! I decided that 'Ladies Dancing' deserved its very own video, because I've not done one in a while and I wanted to do one in this little series. I'm so glad I decided to do that because I like the way it turned out and I am literally in love with these eyes! This is clearly the most dramatic look I've done so far and is what I'd class as definite Christmas party makeup. Don't be expecting every day from now on to be this intense because it won't be, just to pre warn. Hope you enjoy the video and I apologise for the awful nails, totally forgot they'd be on show!

Mac Painterly Paint Pot
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette // High and Smoulder
Mac Metallic Pigments // Femininity, Dusty Desire and Maribu
Collection Glam Crystals // Funk and Dancing Queen
L'areal Super Liner Perfect Slim // Black
Rimmel Kohl Kajal // Jet Black
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Taste Lights Camera Splashes Mascara

Friday, 11 December 2015

Eight Maids a Milking

Yep, I know what you're thinking. Abz, I'm so glad that you finally got to use that milk jug in the shape of cow. I know, me too! I seriously apologise for the state of my brows in this look. They're in dire need of a wax and I didn't realise how bad they were until I saw these photos! For this look I went down the pink route. I know, very stereotypical to go pink for girls but I've not done a look like this so far and I kept it quite neutral. I really like how it turned out and it rekindled my love for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, which is all I used shadow wise for this look.

A little change in this look in terms of primer as I used the Kiko Shadow Stick in 21 Passionfruit. I used it because it's a sparkly pink/gold and I thought it might add a little extra pinkness to this look. Using the matte white shade Strange from the Naked 3 palette I put this on the inner part of my lid just to brighten it up a little. I then went into the crease with Nooner, a matte brown with a tint of pink that I absolutely love. This was all I used in the crease and layered it to build up intensity. To make the lids a bit sparkly and festive, I used Dust, a shimmery pink, on the inner lid and Trick, a gorgeous rose gold, on the rest of the lid. Finally I took Blackheart, a black with red shimmers in it, on an angled brush and then across the very close to the lash line. A swipe of black liner to the waterline and a bit of mascara and the look is complete. Now I'm ready to go and milk some cows.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Seven Swans a Swimming

I've never really understood a no makeup makeup look before until I did this to my face. When I planned to do this look I knew that I wanted to go very simple on the eyes, understated but great like a swan. I thought about going for the liner look but I've done that quite a few times already in this little series so I thought I'd use a little bit of black eyeshadow instead. I wasn't sure about this look at first but I quite like it. It's taught me that you can still put makeup on without having to go over board with the eyes. You learn something new everyday!

All of the eyeshadows I used for this look are from the Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette, ironic when this is the furthest thing away from a smokey eye! I started off by putting the shade Thirteen a pale white, all over my lid to lighten up my eyes. I then used the cool light brown shade called Combust in the crease, but only lightly as I wanted to keep the eyes quite bare. The last shadow I used (yes I only used three, crazy right) was Black Market, which as you probably guessed is a black. Not quite matte but also not shimmery, somewhere in between. I took this on a small pencil like brush and lined the top of lash line with it, focusing on the outer edges. This was the first look in these twelve days that I haven't used eyeliner in my waterline and I have to say I think that's what makes my eyes look bare. So all I did was finish off the look with mascara. 

I hope you like this one and the fact that it was something a little bit different for this blog!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Six Geese a Laying

Welcome to the inevitable neutral eye with winged liner look with was bound to come at some point in these twelve days. I just felt that geese are brown, these eyeshadows are brown, it was meant to be. I'm still loving the Fleur De Force eyeshadow palette so that's all I used to complete this look and I love wearing this everyday with a big jumper. It's seriously become my staple. 

Primed my eyes as per normal and then used the shade Coconut Cream from the Fleur De Force Eye Quad in Cosmic Bronze all over the lid. I then used the light brown matte shade called Taupe Brown in the crease, doing it layer by layer to build up the intensity. To make it a little darker I use the shade Cocoa Brown on the outer corner in a 'V' shape to flick the shadow out a bit. I also did this in layers to make the colour more intense. For a bit of sparkle I used the brown shimmery shade Mink Shimmer and patted it onto the lid for an extra something something! Finishing off the look I winged out my liner with a fancy cat flick, put black eyeliner in the waterline and piled on the mascara. Look this look and it's one that I think I'll still love for years to come!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Five Gold Rings

This was the look I was most excited to do and I have to say it didn't disappoint. I was glad to crack out the sparkle and get my glitter on which to me is what Christmas is all about. I added the winged liner because I felt that this was more of a Christmas Party look and the liner would make it night time appropriate, even though I rarely ever not where liner nowadays. Everyone knows the five gold rings so I wanted to make this eye look very special.

As per I primed my eyes with the Mac Painterly Paint Pot and got to work. I used the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette for this look and first took Honey Pot, a nice shimmery gold shade that was the inspiration for this look. I simply patted it on the lid with a flat brush and did this a few times to build up the intensity. To add a little bit more sparkle I used the Gold Barry M Dazzle Dust and patted it all over the lid as well. Back to the Too Faced Palette I used the shade Chocolate Martini, which is a gorgeous chocolate brown with gold glitter and shimmer running through it, into the crease and the outer edges. I did this a little at a time to build up the colour but also to keep a bit of softness as I wanted the main focus to be on the gold. I did a very thin line of liner for this look, using the L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim, and I think that it worked out well as it defined the eyes but didn't take attention away from the gold. Black eyeliner in the waterline and lashings of mascara and we're done. Lovely!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Four Calling Birds

I'm not going to lie I was a little stuck with what to do with this one but I think that it turned out pretty well. I went for a smokier eye to anything I've done so far and I really like the way it looks. I went for the darker, grey/black tones because when googling the good old calling bird (as per with these 12 days) I noticed that they are jet black. So because black isn't the best colour to work with I just decided to smoke it out. I also like the harsh line and liner as it intensifies it even more.

You know the drill, I primed my eyes with the Mac Painterly Paint Pot and got to work. I started off with a bit of a base and put Combust from the Urban Decay Smokey Palette softly in the crease. I then put DTF from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette on my lid as it matched the grey theme but kept it light. Defy from the same palette then went into the crease, with lots of building up to intensify the colour, and Black Market from the smokey palette was focused onto the outer corner. All of the shades were blended underneath the eye, with a particular focus on Black Market and Defy. I finished off the look with winged liner, black eyeliner in the waterline and lashings and lashings with mascara! This look may be making an appearance on my next night out, you never know, I do like it a lot.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Three French Hens

I was rather excited to have a go at this look as I knew it was going to be a bit different. As with most of the looks I'll be doing in the upcoming weeks I googled what french hens actually look like. I don't know why but I assumed that they were all red but the ones I looked at were orange with a bit of red so there was a slight change of plan to what I was going to do, but not massively. Red eyeshadow scares me slightly but when I use it I like the way it looks on the lid and the way it makes my eyes look really blue. If I was to do this again I'd put liner on because I think it would finish off the look a little more but other than that I really like how this turned out!

As always I primed my eyes with the Mac Painterly Paint Pot and then got to work with the shadows. I took Lucky, a shimmery orange, from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette all over the lid but leaving the inner corner clear for a lighter colour, I used Last Sin from the same palette. Now for the exciting part. My Kiko eyeshadow in 128 is what I used for the red in this look as it's a poppy colour red and matte which was great for using in the crease. I built the colour up as opposed to going straight in with the full colour so it didn't look I'd got punched in the face. I made sure I blended it out to the max as well and I think it was successful. I also look all three colours underneath and blended them out, keeping the red strictly to the outer corner. Finishing the look off with brown eyeliner for a softer look and used a lighter mascara to open up the eyes. I also lightly dabbed on my Clinique Lipstick in Poppy Pop to add a little bit more red (as if there wasn't already enough!). Love this look and I'll definitely be trying it again.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Two Turtle Doves

Day two of the 12 days of Eyemas and we are on to the very cute Two Turtle Doves. I knew that I wanted this to be a clean and light look but also with a little bit of sparkle. I assumed that turtle doves were all white but when I googled them they had a bit of a grey touch to them as well, which I used as well in my eyes. I really like the way this look turned out and it's a bit of a more wintery version of what I wore throughout the entire month of October. I think I'll be cracking this look out sometime next month no doubt!

Priming my eyes with my Mac Painterly Paint Pot I covered my entire lid with Bobby Dazzle from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette (I have a feeling I'll be using this palette a lot this month!). Bobby Dazzle is a shimmer shade which is whiter than white and made my lids super shiny. I then used DTF from the same palette, which is a soft matte grey, through the crease to soften it out and add the all important grey to this look. I added a little more to the outer corner to intensify that up and then took both of the shades underneath the eye and that's the shadows done. I finished off the look with some winged liner and I did a smaller wing than normal so not to overpower the look. The I added some black eyeliner to my waterline and a bit of mascara. Two turtle doves complete!

Monday, 30 November 2015

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The Christmas countdown has officially begun and it's safe to say I'm a little bit excited! If you didn't read my post last week then you won't know about the special thing I'm doing this festive season. I'll be doing what I've named the 12 days of Eyemas which is where I do an eye look inspired by the 12 days of Christmas. As this is the first day it means that we jump straight into A Partridge in a Pear Tree. I went for a mix of oranges and browns with a bit of a mix of green for this look to incorporate the tree and the pear. I think that it turned out pretty well and I like the softness to it because I'm so used to wearing eye liner these days.

I started off like I always do with my Mac Painterly Paint Pot and primed my eyes and then did a base coat of Truth from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette, which is the palette I used for this entire look. I pressed the shimmery orange shade Lucky onto the lid and did this quite a few times to build up the intensity. I then took Dragon on the outer corner and patted it in so you could still see the orange but so that there were still hints of green coming through. I blended the shades together so that they meshed smoothly. I then took Reign and blended it in the crease to give the look a little bit more dimension. I blended all four colours underneath the eye but with more focus on the green to give that a bit more prominence. I finished the look with some black liner in the waterline and mascara on the eyelashes. I think I'll be wearing this again because I liked the way how it was neutral but also had a little bit of colour.

Friday, 27 November 2015

November Favourites

One more month to go until 2015 is well and truly behind us and the year my student card expires finally arrives. Crazy! On the favourites front this month I feel like I was lacking. Last month I was loving literally everything in the world whereas I feel like November was just a working month where the only interesting things I discovered were new words to write in shorthand! However I did find time to like a few things so here they are.

Last month I had a favourite makeup routine but this month it is the complete opposite. I've been loving experimenting with my eyes this month, which is where the 12 days of Eyemas came from. I've missed trying and testing different colours and combinations it's been great! I've missed doing a smokey eye on a random Thursday just for the heck of it! I've also fallen back in love with my Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette. I love the shade range, the pigmentation and the shimmeryness of the summers. Gorgeous.

At the beginning of this month I hopped on a train and went home. Because I lost my headphones there was no way of me watching anything on my laptop so I decided to do something really old fashioned and read a book. I know, so retro! I bought Yes Please by Amy Poehler just after I binge watched Parks and Recreation on holiday and I never really had a chance to read it so I cracked it out on the train. It is amazing. It's like an autobiography crossed with just pure comedy gold. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud and found it hard to put it down. I don't want it to end! The next thing is really random but it's also amazing. It's a tuna sandwich that they sell at my uni. I think that brand is Tiffin Sandwiches and they are insane. For £1.50 you get a chunk load of tuna with the perfect amount of mayo all in-between two slices of chunky white bread. Insane, I love it.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Throwback Thursday

I thought as a little change from the how to's and just before we crack on to Christmas I'd have a look down memory lane and share some memories and also have a look at how much I've changed over the years. Let the cringing commence!

Let's start with the oldest picture, and my first ever Facebook profile picture, cheerleader Abz. Not my pom poms but was my bow tie number. This was taken when I was in year 7 and dancing in my first school 'gym and dance show' where I did a tap number. My friends were part of a cheerleading dance so I stole their pom poms and shook them as if they were my own. It was just before I had my hair cut into a bob and I don't think I'd got into foundation at this point, not too long though before the Dream Matte Mousse came into my life!

Who would ever think that posing for pictures with one of those kid's rides outside the supermarkets would be a good idea, oh yeah me. No idea why me and my friends thought that this was a good idea but we did and I like the photo so much that it was my profile picture on Facebook and I'm pretty sure Bebo for months. It was around my birthday and we'd just gone to Pizza Hut for a spot of lunch, so what better way to finish it off!

The pop art style picture sums up pretty much all the sleepovers I had in high school. Dressing up (to be fair the picture was halloween), singing songs into the webcam and chatting for ages with whoever on msn. They were pretty fun times and there are plenty more pictures where this one came from, *face palm*.

The two on the bottom left were taken in the Summer of 2011, with me going to prom and then having a great summer doing things with my friends. I have great memories of that time (including going to see the final Harry Potter and sobbing in the cinema). Another random thing that we did was go to the park and have giant photo shoots of us jumping in the air, doing the splits and doing whatever it is I'm doing in that picture. Weird! Also I'm pretty sure that top is see through too, winner all round.

The picture which looks like it's been doused in sunlight is possibly one of my favourite pictures of all time. I don't know why I love it so much but it brings back lots of happy memories. We were going on a shopping trip to Leeds, which seemed to be the in thing at 15/16, and as per we did a photoshoot on the train. The weather was really nice so I was wearing a strapless dress and I just remember that it was a really nice day.

Now, confession time, the last photo was the first time I ever got properly 'off my face'. It was in my first year of uni and it was our course's Christmas party. Needless to say I had way too much to drink and cannot remember 90% of the night. Those are not my reindeer antlers and I don't know who's they were. All I know is that I ended up with them. Don't worry I paid for it the next day, but I feel like we all bonded as friends that night and it was the start of a very drunken first year for us all!

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, slightly cringe but it was nice looking back at some of the good times I've had over the years. I also liked doing this slightly different post to normal!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

La Cachette (Take Eight)

Another delicious meal once again from what I think I can now safely say is my favourite restaurant. I visited home the other week and I felt like the occasion needed to be celebrated with a meal at La Cachette. The menu has changed once again which I was please about as it means that I get the chance to try out some new things. Without further ado let's jump into it!

For starter I went a little bit out of my comfort zone and had a French Onion Tart. For someone that loves onions and pastries I'm surprised that me and this dish have never crossed paths before but I'm sure that after this we will again. I find that whenever I have onions at a restaurant they have a tendency to be pretty crunchy which I'm not a fan of but this wasn't the case for this dish. They were soft, sweet and very well caramelised and everything was delicious together. The inside was like that of a quiche so it was all very soft which contrasted very well with the crisp, buttery pastry. One thing that I wasn't overly keen on in this dish was the parsley salad as the flavour of parsley was a little bit too overwhelming. I did however like the red things (sorry I have no idea what they are but they were really nice, tangy but sweet).

I tried something I've never had before again for my main and had Hare Fillet with Cabbage and a Hare Leg Hot Pot. This was amazing! I didn't know what I was expecting but whatever it was it was surpassed! The fillet was a mix of liver and steak, cut like butter and melted in the mouth but still had a little something about it. I am in love. The leg in the hot pot was divine as well and was cooked to perfection. The potato on the top of the hot pot was amazingly buttery and crisp as well, I could have eaten twenty more! The cabbage was cooked to perfection and went really nicely with everything else on the plate. If I had one downer it would be that the hot pot was a tad orange-y but that is literally so minor in comparison to everything else which was stunning. My new favourite dish!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Twelve Days of Eyemas

This is a very exciting post for me! Last year around Christmas time I did 'blogmas' where I uploaded a post everyday leading up to Christmas. I thought about doing it again this year but because I have such a busy life (*cough* all lies *cough*) I won't really have enough time to write 25 posts. Instead I'm going to do something pretty exciting! I've decided to do something called the twelve days of eyemas. Basically what this is is me doing an eye look which is based on whichever day of Christmas I'm on, for example day five is five gold rings, etc. I'll be uploading on my usual upload days with day one being this Friday, exciting! It will take me up to Christmas Eve which is really scary to think that we are just weeks away from the festive season. Where has this year gone! Once Christmas is over I'll be resuming to normal posts and will be having the necessary yearly favourites which I'm excited for as it will be my first ever one so I better get thinking!

Anyway I hope you're just as excited for this as I am and let's get this festive season started!

Friday, 20 November 2015

The 'it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' eye

It's getting to that time of year where Christmas is literally everywhere, including in the blogging world. The festive period and winter in general is my favourite time of year because I'm just a jumper loving Christmas weirdo! Anyway this has nothing to do with this post! I've been enjoying experimenting with my eye makeup again because I've been through a patch of finding my everyday look and sticking to it. I remembered how much I liked the Kiko Shadow sticks so I decided to put one on again and it was amazing! I love how easy they are to apply and how pretty and long lasting they are. I like the subtle festiveness of this eye with the purple shimmer, it's so pretty!

So for this look I used the Kiko Shadow Stick in the shade 05 Rosy Brown. I just apply it to the lids and blend out the edges. Because of the colour and the shimmer, you don't have to apply a lid shade. It shimmers blue and purple and is so gorgeous! To make it a bit deeper I took Bondage from the Urban Decay Vice 3 palette in the outer corner and brought it out in a sort of wing and went underneath with this shade. It's a deep plum/ purple with lots of sparkle and I love it, I need to use it more often. In terms of liner I used the L'Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim to do a really thin line and I didn't do a flick because I thought the winged shadow was enough. Finishing it off with Rimmel Kohl Kajal in Jet Black and my Clinique High Impact Mascara

Thursday, 19 November 2015

How to: Beat the Stress

I thought that this picture was very apt when talking about stress, who can be stressed and annoyed when looking at these cute little furry creatures. In the past few weeks I have felt the stress building up from all of the things I have to get done before Christmas, and trust me it is quite a lot. The problem with my stress levels are that they don't get released when I have the stress. It all gets bottled up until I just have a little explosion once every few months where I hate everyone and everything and have to just let it out for a few hours. Probably not healthy but it's been working so far. So I thought I'd share some tips on what I do when I have an 'episode' and what I do to cool myself down.

Listen to some music which calms you // This can be whatever, calming piano tunes, the sound of rain, or hardcore rock music if that's your thing. I have a playlist on my Spotify called 'Cool Down Abz' and it's filled with songs that are 'swingy', like Michael Buble and Robbie Williams. I have no idea why but listening to these on full blast make me feel a lot less like stabbing someone in the face. My favourite is Me and my shadow because it's so happy and upbeat.

Change your phone screensaver // I discovered this the other day. When I was feeling annoyed I randomly changed my screensaver to a cute picture I had on my phone. I went for a cat that was really close to the screen every time I look at it I nearly cry with laughter. It's just so cute!

Delicious food // There's nothing that makes me feel calmer than eating really nice food. Whether it's a nice meal, preferably with pastry, or a piece of cake (I love cake so much), it brings me happy thoughts. Hot drinks also bring me the calm vibes, tea or hot chocolate I'm easy.

Finally, watch a TV programme that makes you feel happy!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


This was a beautiful thing.
At the moment, myself and the Nottingham Crew are trying to have at least one meal in most of the Notts eateries before we sadly leave in June next year. They're currently adding more places to eat so soon we'll have lots of choice but at the minute we're working with what we've got. Reds has been opened for a little while now but I've still not had a chance to try it out so we put it in the diary and off we went. They have quite dark, 'rocky' vibes which is pretty cool and the table we sat at looked like a giant desk with drawers in the top. It's one of those typical cool places and the decor really fits the food that they do.

The menu was full of loads of different things but I went for the Pulled Pork Switch with skin on fries and onion rings. I'll get the bad bit out of the way first, I didn't like the onion rings. They didn't have much onion in and what onion there was had been deep fried so much that it was non existent. But everything else was literally amazing! Normally with this kind of thing it's all bread and no filling but there was the perfect amount of each. The flavour of the pulled pork was intense, sweet, and slightly barbecue-y and I loved it! The coleslaw was creamy and a nice contrast to the meat and the bread was sweet so added a little something to the overall flavour. The chips were delicious, and I only like a certain type of chip, soft on the inside but super crispy on the out, and they had a nice, well seasoned flavour. The portion size was perfect and I'd happily go back and have this again plus try other things from the menu. Loved it!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Amazing Magazine Freebies

I'm not going to lie, magazines have really upped their game with their free gifts this month and I have no idea where it's come from. Pretty much all of the 'women's' magazines have some form of freebie from a high-ish end beauty brand and I am totally on board with this. About 18 months ago I got obsessed with the Clinique High Volume Mascara because I bought it in Glamour magazine and it made me realise that these testers are amazing value for money. So when I walked past the magazine stand in my local Tesco and saw that Clinique products were once again on offer I grabbed what I assumed was a mascara and darted for the till. Ever since I've been seeing some great products for very low prices.

As I mentioned before, the first product I got was the Clinique High Impact Mascara. It's a fibre brush  which applies really well and the product is one that sticks to the lashes and makes them look amazing. I do think that I prefer the High Volume Mascara (I think that's what it's called) because of the way it clings to the lashes but they are both very good and for £2 it's a real steal! I think that putting mini Clinique Pop Lipsticks in a magazine is a stroke of genius. There is so much product in there I doubt I will ever come close to finishing it. The size of the bullet is perfect to fit to my lips and the consistency and lasting power is exactly the same as the full size product. I have the shade Cherry Pop which is a slightly deeper red than Poppy Pop. Next stop though is Nude Pop because I think that I'd get a lot of use out of it. Last but not least is possibly the most exciting of the freebies and that's the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum. I've never tried a serum before so I thought why not start with the best?! I have to say I'm really enjoying using this at the minute and I think it's giving my skin some much needed hydration, which is strange considering I have oily skin. I feel like I'm giving myself a pamper everyday.

If anyone has tried any of the other free magazine products that I haven't tried yet then please give me things that I should get my hands on before they go.

Friday, 13 November 2015

My Current Wish List

I recently discovered the very amazing Wantfeed (give me a cheeky follow, Abzfabz) which is basically Pinterest but for things that you're lusting over. Scrolling through all the amazing products, and seeing that Christmas is just around the corner, I thought that I'd do a post all about what I'm eyeing up.

I've asked for the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette for Christmas and to be honest it's all I'm thinking about. It's the glitter in the bottom left that's getting me excited. I've heard so many good things and I seriously can't stop googling pictures and swatches, help me. Something a little more on the cheeper side is the Hollywood Eyeshadow Quad from Tanya Burr Cosmetics. I'm having a real eyeshadow moment. It just looks like a normal palette but the shade 'alohomora' got me sucked in. Plus I've not tried that much from the range and I feel like I need to branch out! I'm not overly enamoured with the Zoella Beauty range but I really want to try out the set of two lip balms. I'm in need of a lip balm so why not kill two birds with one stone! Back to Charlotte Tilbury and another thing I've asked Santa for the Matte Lipstick in Sexy Sienna It's a gorgeous nude/pink/coral and when I had a cheeky swatch I fell in love! Come on Santa don't let me down! One thing I've wanted for a very long time is a Kitchen Aid Mixer, the type that they used to use on Bake Off. That in pistachio green would be my absolute dream! I don't know why I'm so obsessed with it but the fact that I could properly pretend to be Mary Berry would be amazing.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

How to: Capsule Brushes

I've never really done a post on brushes on this blog so here we go. This will showcase my brushes of choice but mainly focusing on those brushes that can do more than one job, and do it well. I could easily spend any money that comes my way on a brush. I don't know what it is about them, but the thought of using a fresh new brush on my face excites me. So without further ado, here are my top brushes that can do multiple jobs.

The Christmas that I received the Mac 217 was a great day. I don't know what it is but it's literally the best blending brush in the entire world. Although it doesn't have too many uses, it is so good at the job that it does that it HAS to make the list. You can do straight blending with it or you could apply eyeshadow in the crease with it so it is a little versatile brush. The Real Techniques Blush Brush is a great allrounder. I use it for bronzer as it's the perfect size and slightly tapered so can carve out my non existent cheekbones. It' a good blush brush, you know what it's meant to be used for, as it fits snuggly to the cheeks. I can imagine it's also really good at applying powder! The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is my go to foundation buffer. It's small to get into my face cracks but big enough to cover a good area of the face. When I went through my 'stippling brush phase' I used this to contour and it was amazing! It could carve cheekbones like no other! I'm tempted to buy another so I could use one for foundation and one for contour. Winner!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Pizza Express!

Pizza Express is one of those places where I've been a few times but not one that I think about when I think of places to eat. Weird I know. I've been a couple times and never really rated it but this visit was surprisingly very nice! I'd choose a different thing to have for main but other than that it was a very enjoyable visit! Let's get into it.

For starter we all shared a portion of calamari, doughballs with cheese and brushed. They were all delicious and if I was to go back I'd happily have all of these again. The calamari was Bella Italia good, and if you know me then you'll know nothing beats BI calamari but this is definitely a close second. They were nicely breaded and perfectly seasoned with a great texture that wasn't awful and chewy that can sometimes happen to squid. The dip was great, I have no idea what it was but it went really nicely with the squid. I've had the doughballs before and liked them but the addition of the cheese really made a difference. It was a little strange in the fact that there was more cheese on the plate than stuck to the dough but with a bit of tactical dipping and sticking it was delicious. The garlic butter was nice and soft as well but there could of done with a little more of it. Last but not least is the brushetta. Slightly different to a normal brushetta it was on a giant doughball and was covered in onions, tomato and pesto. Everything was delicious. The dough was soft, the tomatoes were fresh and the pesto was really tasty and brought everything together. An all round fantastic starter!

For my main I decided to go out of my comfort zone so I chose the Autumno pizza which had chorizo, butternut squash, spinach and goats cheese on it. I came to the conclusion that I hate goats cheese, hate it. It tastes really weird and infects everything it touches. So it's safe to say this wasn't a great thing for me to eat but there were elements that were nice. The butternut squash was soft and sweet and the chorizo added a nice meaty flavour. The only other thing I'd say about this pizza was that there was a bit too much base and it was all a bit doughy but other than that it was nice.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Updated Skincare Routine

It's been around six months since I posted my first skincare routine on this blog and although the barebones is pretty much the same, the products are nearly all different. Not all of these products are 'firm favourites' as I'm testing something out but I'll let you know what things I'll be repurchasing when I run out of certain products.

I don't know what I would have done if micellar water wasn't invented. That and cleansing is the only thing that I use to take my makeup of because they're so quick and easy. I'm currently trying out the H&M micellar water but I don't know how I feel about it. It smells a bit weird and stings my eye a bit so I doubt that I'll be repurchasing it. My favourite micellar water is the Garnier one so I think I'm going to go back to that. I repurchased my favourite cleanser which is the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean. It takes off makeup with such ease and smells amazing, as the name suggests. I need to repurchase my Nivea Toner but at the minute I'm using the Nivea 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner. It's a milky consistency so is a bit of a toner and moisturiser in one. I still don't know how I fully feel about this product but it leaves my face feeling really clean and fresh so it does the job. My eye cream of choice is the Simple Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm. I've used the rollerball version of this as well but this is my favourite because it's cooling without being cold, the rollerball was sometimes a bit too much, and the get does a really good job at soothing my under eye area. The Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Spot Wand has quickly become my favourite spot treatment. It has a day side and a night side, although I'm not sure what the difference is, and they are really good at making spots go away really quickly. My day moisturiser is the Simple Oil Balancing Moisturiser. I feel like it's going to last me a very long time before I finish this as it's huge and I don't use that much. Great value for money! Probably my favourite item of skincare is my Vichy Normaderm Night Detox Moisturiser. Buying the full size of this was a great decision! It's a great moisturiser and gets rid of spot scars within days. An all round winner!

Friday, 6 November 2015

What's in my Travel Makeup Bag

It's that time of year again, I'm going home for the weekend and I've set myself the challenge of streamlining my makeup bag as much as possible. I did the same thing last year (read about that here) and although I didn't over pack I reckon that this time I've got it down to the bare essentials. So without further ado let's get straight to it.

I'm taking my Makeup Forever Mattifying Primer because it is literally the best primer I've ever used. It goes on smoothly and I don't know what I'm going to do when it runs out because I love it so much. The L'Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation is the best at staying on my face without bringing out the oil so that was the only choice really to be taking away this weekend. My Mac Pro Longwear Concealer is sadly coming to an end (*wipes away tear*) but while it's still got a little life left in it I'll be taking it home with me. Still don't know if I'm going to repurchase it but it is one of my favourite concealers. Another concealer fave is the Maybelline Eraser Eye which is great for under the eye so I wouldn't leave home without it. The Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder has fast become my favourite powder of all time. Lightweight on the skin but still having the power to block all of my disgusting oils, this is an absolute winner!

I'm LITERALLY obsessed with the Soap and Glory Brow Archery Brow Pencil in Hot Chocolate. I picked this up a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it. The pencil glides on so smoothly, making it really easy to apply and the colour is the perfect brown. Even through I have light blonde hair it doesn't make them too dark so I look stupid. If you like a strong brow I definitely recommend it. I can't go anywhere without my Mac Painterly Paint Pot as it's the perfect base for any eyeshadow, and my life wouldn't be complete if i was without my new favourite eye quad, the Fleur De Force Eye Quad in Cosmic Bronze. I can create my favourite eye look with this one palette and it's nice and compact to travel with. My L'Oreal Superstar Superliner is coming with me, and although I love it it does need replacing. My life wouldn't be complete without the Rimmel Kohl Kajal eyeliner in Jet Black and I'll be taking my Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara. I really liked this one but it seems to have run out really quickly so if anyone has any mascara suggestions please let me know!

I'm in love with the new packaging for the Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer. Not only is it more robust but it makes it so much better for travelling. I rarely use anything other than my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy because it is such a gorgeous colour and formula. I'm not sure whether I like the Benefit Shy Beam Matte Highlighter but I'm taking it home anyway as something to use. Any highlighter recommendations would be much appreciated. I'm taking two lip options home, a nude and an autumn option, and if you've read my blog before you probably know what they are. The Clinique Pop in Melon Pop and Fleur De Force Lip Gloss in Starry Starry Night. Both great, nothing more to say.

I told you I streamlined it!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

How to: Survive on a Budget

Budgeting is hard. Like seriously quite difficult, but if you think about it and really plan it out it gets a little easier. WHY IS BEING A STUDENT SO DIFFICULT! Over the past two and a bit years I've tried all sorts to get my budgeting in order and although sometimes they work, they fade over time. It's like vegetables, got to keep it fresh (wow, don't know what that was but it was awful, let's move on).

In my first year I pretty much had one bank account for my spending money, money from work and rent money, and I'll tell you now, it was hard to keep track. I had to write down every single penny I spent and took it away from the larger total and had to remember what number I was allowed to go down to before I started spending my rent money. Told you it was confusing. What I learnt from this was that it's much easier to work things out with many separate bank accounts. However it was good to write down what I spent because it would show me when to slow down with the spending.

I find it helpful to CONSTANTLY check my finances to make sure I'm not on a mad spending spree. But one way you can kind of go on a bit of a spree is if you get every single discount card you can, like me. I'm currently waiting for the perfect time to use my Boots points and when I do I'll have saved £20. Tell me that's not a good deal. Also if you are a student, not using student discount is criminal. Think of all the money you can save! Want that dress but slightly too pricy? Budget around it. As long as it's not ridiculously expensive and you can live from the remaining money I say go for it. Budgeting important but life is too short not to be happy, and if the dress would make you happy then I say do it!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Zizzi's (Take Two)

It's happening! Back to Nottingham means back to eating out and I LOVE eating out (in fact as I'm writing this I'm going to Nando's tomorrow, YES!). Hopefully there will be more Nottingham related food outings but as the bank balance is low there may be few and far between so have your fingers crossed that I win the lottery or come into some cash! Without further ado let's get into it.

I plumped for a calzone with chicken, ham and spinach in a creamy mushroom sauce. I was totally won over by the sauce on the menu as I fancied something soft and creamy and I wasn't disappointed. It was hard to cut at first as the edges on the bottom were crispier than the rest of the dough but this dish was a dream. The chicken was so moist and cooked beautifully and went really nicely with the creamy sauce. It was the perfect size and unusually the ratio of dough to filling was on point, normally there's much more dough. The only problem I found with this was that there was a lot of cheese inside, and I'm not a big fan of cheese, and sometimes that flavour was a little overwhelming and wet due to the sauce. But overall it's the best calzone I've ever had, I loved it.

I still had a little room left when it got to dessert so I went for the chocolate melt, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. It was sickly but in a good way. The portion size was perfect for something that packed quite a chocolate punch and the ice cream was a nice, cooling touch. The middle melted which is what it was meant to do and I'd happily have it again. I also had a cheeky try of the vanilla pannacotta and that was delicious so I may need to go back and have the full size of that.

Monday, 2 November 2015

What's Been Pumping Through My Headphones

I don't really talk about music very much on this blog and to be honest it's because my musical taste isn't very eclectic. If it's in the Spotify chart then I'll probably like it. The 1975 is as 'out there' as I'm prepared to go. I'm going to share with you the music I'm currently liking but also the songs that I've loved for a long time, and some of them are a bit random.

Life is a Highway- Rascal Flatts // The eagle eyed, disney (an Pixar) lovers amongst you might recognise this song from the Cars soundtrack. I have no idea where I found this song but the first time I heard it I instantly fell in love. It's upbeat, countrified and I just love it. It's a great shower song and I don't think that I'll ever get bored of it!

Lies- McFly // I think that this is one of my all time favourite songs! I used to love McFly back in the day but this song is one that stuck. Rocky, and a little angry, I just get so into this when I put it on and it's just great. I have no idea why I love it so much but I do (so great at describing songs, I can tell this post is going well!).

What Do You Mean?- Justin Bieber // Every man and his dog loves this song so it's no surprise that it made the list. When this song comes on in the club I'm there having a boogie. I like the fact that I can sing along as well as dance, it's just an all round great song that I think I'll like for years to come.

Any Olly Murs Song! // I am in love with Olly Murs, that is no secret, and I'm pretty sure there isn't a song from any of his albums that I don't like. But I do have my favourites. Oh My Goodness is the song that made me full on fall in love with him. It was on his second album, the first one that I bought and it's so upbeat and happy that it made me realise he was the artist for me! Busy is a favourite, it's chilled but still upbeat and is a great one to belt out in the shower. A newer love is Stick With Me from his latest album (and let's not talk about the fact that he didn't sing it on tour). It's a bit like What Do You Mean in the sense that you can sing along but it's also a good dance tune, great stuff!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Skeleton Halloween

Halloween is just one day away and I'm back again with another last minute option to look semi-good this scary season. I like this as I think that it looks pretty complex but takes 20 minutes max. I basically just did it over my normal makeup with winged liner on the eyes. First things first, I got up a picture on pinterest of someone that drew something like this on their face and basically just copied that. There were some really easy ones but there were also some really hard ones so if you're feeling ambitious maybe try out something daring! Then pretty much all I did was draw the outlines of the shapes with a face paint crayon and filled in the dark areas with black eyeshadow. For any shading I went over the line with the shadow and carefully blended it out. The lips were the hardest part. Trying to make it not look strange over the lines was hard but after going over them a few times I got it to look half decent. I used a really shimmery white eyeshadow for the 'in-between' bits and I really like the way it turned out and the fact it gave an interesting, intense highlight. To finish it off I put on a purple lipgloss on the spare half of the lips to vamp everything up. There we go, see I told you it was easy!

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