Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Is it worth the hype | Glossier impressions

I thought that today I'd give an update on the Glossier products I picked up a couple of weeks ago. My initial impressions on the products were really positive and *spoiler alert* I'm still in love with them now. Let's start with the Milky Jelly Cleanser. My skin has been seriously awful lately, I have so many spots and nothing seems to be working and although this product hasn't been an absolute miracle and cleared up all of my problems it has been nice to use it in the morning and at the end of the day. I've got used to the smell now (is it just me that thinks it's a little bit strange and floral?) and the thick consistency feels like it's doing my skin some serious good. It's not broken me out and I'm hoping that if I keep up using this in the morning, adding it in as a double cleanse in the evening and use it along with some other products my skin issues will get better soon...please?

Now the balm dot coms were products that I was desperate to get my hands on and am I glad that I did! The coconut one is what I use during my skincare routines in the morning and evening and I love the scent - really nutty (duh it's coconut). My favourite of the two is definitely the birthday one, I mean, who doesn't love glitter! I keep it in my bag and I use it at work when whatever lip product I put on in the morning has worn off which usually happens at about 10am because lipsticks never stay on my face (I must eat it without knowing!). The scent is literally like a dream, sweet sweet cake, and the longer it's been in my bag, the warmer it is which I prefer because I sometimes find the coconut balm dot com a little bit stiff.

So what will I be trying next? Boy brow is definitely on my list, I'm running out of my Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Gel so now would probably be the perfect time to test it out. I would like to try the concealer but I don't know if it would be a bit slippy make my skin too greasy (any advice would be great). Also the Generation G's are something I'd like to have a little test of. Basically what I'm saying is I just need all of the products right here right now okay thanks!

What's your favourite beauty product you're using right now?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | The most amazing afternoon tea

Just look at this. Pictures speak louder than words so here it is - afternoon tea at The Signet Library in  The Colonnades in Edinburgh.
*scroll to the bottom to see my thoughts*

This was one of the best afternoon teas I've ever had, seriously stunning. Even starting with the setting, you're sat in a library under a very high ceiling surrounded by stacks and stacks of books. It's really cool. The table was like a mirror and pretty much everything else was also reflective and looked really sleek. There were loads of different teas and coffees to choose from so whatever floats your boat, they have something for you! I went for earl grey and it was goooood.

We started with an amuse bouche of parsnip soup, a nice surprise and really tasty. Then it was onto the main event. I don't want to go into too much detail so I'll give you the highlights. The mini game pie was to die for, just a bite of delicious pastry goodness and the mini fish burger (I should stop saying mini because let's face it everything is mini) was very tasty. The bizarre star of the savoury section was the red pepper cheesecake...yeah, that's right. It sounds really weird but it worked, buttery base with a red pepper filling and a crispy pepper bit on top. Might be one to recreate at home! 

Scones were delicious - one criticism was that we could have done with a bit more clotted cream and jam but I'm sure we could have asked for more. I'm usually a little let down when it comes to puddings on afternoon teas because 1. in general there's a lot of cake and 2. I'm too stuffed from the savoury section to even think about anything else. But well-thought out selection of mini pastries was amazing. Again, the highlights were the treacle tart, like a sticky bonfire toffee in pastry and the gin and apple jelly, a nice way to end off the meal. I was also a big fan of the pumpkin spiced macaroon. I'm normally not the biggest macaroon fan but this was filled with white chocolate and it was so tasty I could have had about 17 (obviously not right then and there - I was literally stuffed to burst).

There's a general theme with my Edinburgh posts of "if you're ever in Edinburgh you need to visit insert name of establishment here" but I really mean it with this one. Such a great experience, I wouldn't hesitate about going back!

Where else shall I try for afternoon tea?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

It's the little things | What makes me feel good

I have to say I was a little bit late in deciding what to write for today's post (note to self: take pictures in bulk). The nights are closing in and my motivation is on a downhill slope before Christmas BUT as I'm determined to share my infinite wisdom with the world (ha) I thought now would be a good time to share the little things that make me happy. 

Just a disclaimer before we begin: I'm very easily pleased.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before but a couple of months ago my dad made me a bath bar and yes it is as amazing as it sounds. Basically a plank of wood that sits on the bath, it has changed the game and I can now relax with a glass of prosecco whilst watching something on my laptop without ending up with a twisted back from my old 'chair by the bath' set up. There's a slot for my laptop, a cut out for a glass of prosecco to fit snugly and a pint glass spot. It's probably one of my most loved items and it makes getting in the bath even better (it's also added an extra half an hour to my already hour long efforts - oops.)

Winter scents bring me great joy. As much as I like a fruity candle there's nothing better than a reed diffuser that smalls like a Christmas tree or body butters that make me feel like Santa's going to spring into action any minute. I've been having the debate with myself about when its acceptable to start filling my room with festive scents and I decided on Sunday that it was time. It's lifted my mood three million per cent and I can't wait to continue smelling like a bag of tinsel for the next couple of months. Personal favourite scents are Red Apple Wreath by Yankee Candle, Vanilla Chai by The Body Shop and Peppermint Snowflake by Partylite.

I love soup. It makes a huge difference to my day if I'm having soup instead of salad. I'm not the biggest fan of veg (when I say that I mean I wouldn't pile it high on my plate if I was at Toby Carvery) but when it's blended together with delicious spices I'm all over it. Butternut squash is a personal favourite of mine but tomato soup will always hold a special place in my heart. Anyone with Madeline Shaw's A Season of Beautiful Eating should definitely try the sweetcorn and squash soup. The prep takes a bit of work but it is really easy to make and tastes amazing!

An amazing TV drama is probably top of my list. I'll keep it brief because I've expressed my love for a number of shows on this blog (*cough* Happy Valley, Granchester, Endeavour *cough*). Becoming invested in a programme to the point of obsession is something I live for. Like now even thinking about Happy Valley makes me feel excited! 
Side note: Visiting TV filming locations makes me ridiculously happy.

What makes you feel happy?

Friday, 3 November 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | Food

When we went to Edinburgh we were greeted with so many options for places to eat. It was like a foodie haven and I was totally ready for it. As with finding places to visit, there was a lot of research on trip advisor, top ten lists and word of mouth before we had a list of places we wanted to try out. We didn’t over do it with eating out but we managed to sample some amazing places! I’m going to split them into meals and hopefully give you a few ideas of where to eat should you find yourself in the Scottish capital.

Why not start with the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. Ever. 
I’m a huge pancake fan, they’re my thing at the moment and I was determined to find an amazing brunch spot for one of the days. There were plenty to choose from (like seriously so many) but we settled on Loudons . With so much delicious sounding to choose from in a light and airy atmosphere this place was insane. It was a little bit pricy (just under £10 for pancakes) but the portion sizes are huge and really sets you up for the day. I went for the American Style pancakes with bacon, baked banana and topped with syrup and cocoa powder and an earl grey tea. There was plenty of sauce which was delicious and sweet, the banana was tasty and the actual pancakes were pillowy and soft. Also the bacon was crispy which I’m all about.

I wouldn’t even hesitate in going back here again, it was to die for. I truly memorable experience.

Tea (dinner/evening meal)
This meal was both amazing and bizarre. I think my mum and dad heard about Locanda De Gusti from a friend so off we went one night. Two buses and a short walk later we were stood in front of this small space filled to the brim with people in what I’d describe yas someone’s lounge. But in this random room on a random street was a totally delicious and memorable meal. An Italian restaurant with no pizza in sight it’s definitely an experience but one that’s worth having. I went for a seafood starter with mussels, scallops, prawns, squid and probably other things that I’m forgotten. Cooked to perfection it came with a chunk of bread to mop up the juices - not going to lie I was totally sold on the starter for the bread alone. As it was such a meaty starter I went for simple ravioli for main. The buttery was nice and buttery (duh) and the ravioli was delicious. Simple but not boring, and I’m usually someone who gets bored of pasta dishes if they are a little same-y. I was totally stuffed but I also really wanted a pudding so I went for a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso. It was just like coffee ice cream and it was the perfect way to end an amazing meal.
Please, if you’re wanting something a little bit different with delicious food then pay Locanda De Gusti a visit, you won’t regret it.

Afternoon tea
Two words: the best. Stay tuned for next week’s post when I’ll go into more detail. Trust me it’ll be worth the wait!

What is your favourite thing to eat for brunch?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Jumping on the hyped bandwagon | Glossier Haul

It happened.

Pay day came and so did the day I could finally get my hands on some bits from the most hyped up brand of 2017 - Glossier. Ever since Anna from The Anna Edit started sharing her love for the brand earlier this year I've been counting down the days until I could try out some of the products.

I have to say, I was a little overwhelmed when I was trying to decide what to try out first. I didn't want to get loads and end up with products I wouldn't use but I also wanted to make sure I got enough to start off my little collection. It was so easy to order, just add to basket and checkout. I went for standard delivery, which came free as I spent over £25, and it came in two days. Amazing service.

The first thing I knew I wanted to get was a Balm Dot Com, but which flavours?! Birthday was top of my list because 1. smells like cake and 2. there's glitter in it. Yes yes yes. I also went for coconut because it's one of my favourite flavours/scents. When they came I have to say I thought they looked a little flat but once you work it from the top, the product shifts down and puffs it out a bit. Another thing to note is that the consistency is quite thick (amazing when on the lips) and it took me a while to squeeze it out of the tube to begin with - I thought there was a piece of plastic covering, there wasn't, it was just me being thick. I love how moisturising these are, but not sticky or slippery. I'm literally obsessed with them and if you're thinking about possibly doing an order you should definitely add these to your basket.

Everywhere I've turned in the world of Glossier has been Milky Jelly Cleanser, Milky Jelly Cleanser, Milky Jelly Cleanser, so I had to get the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I've only been using it for a few days but here are my first impressions. I'm really enjoying it so far, a thick jelly consistency that feels soothing on my face and gives it a good clean. I have to say it has a bit of a weird smell, like rose, and I'm not the biggest fan but I can get over it because the product it so good. I'll keep you updated if it ends up breaking me out, etc.

Bonus: With your order you get a sample of their new perfume and I'm in love with it. I can't really describe the scent but it's meant to match itself to your own personal smell and if that's true then my DNA must smell goood.

I think when I make my inevitable second order I'm going to try out the Priming Moisturiser as I've heard it can be good for oilier skin and also the Boy Brow and maybe one of the Generation Gs (who am I kidding I'm going to end up getting it all!) In case anyone wants 10% off then here's my link.

What Glossier product is your favourite?

Friday, 27 October 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | Sights

 Are you ready for some Edinburgh posts!?!

I spent four days in the Scottish capital with the parents a couple of weeks ago and I want to share where we went, what we did, all of the things we ate so sit down, get a cup of tea (or glass of prosecco, whatever beverage you fancy) and here's part one: the sights.
Note: I'll link the TripAdvisor pages for everything I mention, then it makes it easier if you want to take a look yourself!

Before we arrived in Edinburgh we did a little bit of research on popular places to go and I picked up a Lonely Planet guide to the city which proved to be really useful. So with the list of places we fancied going there were a few which we needed to book and by the time we were on the train heading up there we had a loose schedule of where we were going and a list of places that we could go to fill in any gaps. It worked really well and we managed to fill our day without sitting clueless about where to go next.

Attractions - Things that cost dollar (or scottish pounds)

The first place we visited was Real Mary King's Close. It's an underground history tour that goes through street that's sort of buried underground. It's a strange reason why it's there and to be honest I'm still not 100% sure why but it was really good. The tour lasted about an hour/ hour and a half so not massively long and it was so interesting that time just flew by! The Royal Yacht Britannia is a great way to spend half a day. Based out in Leith (half an hour tops on the bus from the centre) it's the ship that the Queen and the Royal Family used to go on holiday, go on state visits, etc and it's basically a floating museum. It's really interesting, you get something that looks like a phone and it talks to you as you walk round giving you information about where you are on the ship. It's good because you get to go at your own pace. Also, if you're a child like me, there are sometimes like cuddly creatures to spot walking round and at the end you can guess how many there were and get a badge. We did this with corgis and it was literally the highlight of the trip...seriously. There's a car onboard to in case you need a quick scone stop mid trip. Now the final 'attraction' is Edinburgh Gin and I'm not joking when I say you have to go here, it's not an option. For £25 it's an hour and a half (I'm pretty sure anyway) and you have a chat about the history of gin, tour of how they make it and at the end you and the rest of your group get to taste some gins and get a bit merry, what's not to love?! You also get 10% off in the shop and a small bottle of your favourite gin included in the price. Amazing, I totally recommend it!

Freebies - Places that are free (obviously)

If you go to Edinburgh and end up with a few hours to kill, go to the National Museum of Scotland.  It's free and has so much to see and do inside that it's just a good shout. I'd say it was like a standard 'big' museum - very similar to the likes of London's Science Museum with interesting facts and interactive games. You may need to kick a couple of kids off some of the games but it's fine, they'll get over it.

Sights - Places to go and things to see outside

One of the places we wanted to slot in somewhere throughout the trip was Arthurs Seat. It's a 251m high hill/cliff that looks out over the city. It took us about an hour to go up and down so not too long. Now, here's a word of warning. Everyone we passed was wearing giant coats, scarves and walking boots, you know, sensible attire for walking up rocky paths. I was wearing black culottes, a polo neck jumper with no coat (because I'm hard) and my loafers with not form of suitable sock (I'd just like to point out that we were going for afternoon tea straight after, hence the unsuitable walking outfit). Although there was no need for a giant arctic coat and hat like some of the walkers were wearing, more suitable footwear would have been a better choice and may have saved my feet a fair few blisters. A fun thing to do that's not such an intense walking experience if have a wander round Greyfriars Kirkyard. It's where Greyfriars Bobby is buried (if you don't know the story look it up, it's possibly the cutest thing you will ever read) and also it's where JK Rowling got some of her character names for Harry Potter.

Any more Edinburgh places suggestions? Loved it so much I'll probably be taking a trip back!

Friday, 20 October 2017

My basket full of goodies | Empties

Sorry I've been a bit MIA - I've had serious laptop issues but all resolved now and I'm back with a bang!

It's taken me a fair few months to gather this collection of empties but I think I have plenty to go on now. Instead of going through all of the products individually, I'm going to put them into three categories - Defs repurchasing, Enjoyed it but could leave it and I'll pass. A lot of these products are body care and skincare as those are the ones I use up the most.

Defs repurchasing

Starting off with the creme de la creme of products I've been using and the Body Shop Coconut Body Butter is something which I would totally repurchase again and again. I love how thick this is, it smells amazing and is everything you want from a moisturiser. I've been through three of the Body Shop Christmas Bubble Baths from last year and I love them. All three of the scents were great and they gave great bubbles! Fingers crossed they bring it back this year. Why not keep on the theme of the Body Shop and move onto the Drops of Youth Concentrate. I'm not going to lie my skin is having a bad spell so I'm trying to rethink my routine but I've really liked this serum. Not only did I use up the one you can see in the photo but I'm also coming to the end of another in the larger size. It's not oily and gives my skin a little bit more hydration under my moisturiser. Winner. Body Shop shower gels are great and the Pina Colada was no exception. Great summer scent. I've spoken about the Simple Micellar Water before so I'll keep it brief - love it, works really well, will definitely be buying it again.

Enjoyed it but could leave it

As much as I love the Coconut Body Butter, I didn't love the Strawberry Body Butter from The Body Shop as much. It was nice and I enjoyed using it but it wouldn't be top of my list of scents to use. Just to clarify, liked it, but didn't love it. As much as I liked the scent of the Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub it just wasn't scrubby enough for me. It was okay and did the job but I do like just a little bit more bitty-ness to my scrub. I'm still yet to find the perfect shampoo duo which is why the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and Conditioner falls into this category. Nothing special but I used it up. Other products I liked but didn't love are the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, Merci Handy in Lollipop (although I would like to try a different scent and the actual product was really good) and the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream (I'd repurchase the product in a different scent).

I'll pass

Something I wasn't overly keen on was the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Eye Cream. Although I really like the cute little pot and the hydration it gave my eyes, it also made them sting like nothing else. They'd start to water before I went to sleep and I'd wake up with quite (incoming TMI warning) 'gunky' eyes. Nothing too concerning so I did use it all but looking back it didn't quite work for me.

What's your favourite product to use at the moment?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Chatting and driving | My top four favourite podcasts

As much as I like music, I'm not a massive music lover. I get bored about a quarter into a song so when I need to keep my brain occupied, like on the way home from work, I put on a podcast. I never seem to get bored when I'm listening to people chatting so podcasts are a perfect distraction and background noise. Over the past few months I've discovered a few new podcasts which keep me going during long drives down south to see my uni pals and on the shorter journey to and from work. So here are my favourite podcasts that I'm listening to at the minute (spoiler alert: there's a major YouTube theme with these, like all of them).

At Home With...
I thought I'd start with my favourite one, I'm obsessed with this podcast and I can't wait to see if there's another series sometime soon! If you don't know what this podcast is, Lily and Anna (from the Youtubes) visit someones house and have a chat about life, jobs, their actual house, etc. Some of my favourite guests include Kate La Vie, Giovanna Fletcher and Madeline Shaw, this is actually what got me started on my slight obsession with Madeline Shaw. The chats are just really chilled, easy to listen to and I could happily just listen to them on repeat.

A podcast chatting about old films, sounds good to me! I love how long these are, usually about and hour and a half, and there's usually three people chatting about a film from the eighties, what they thought of it when they watched it as a kid and how they felt about it re-watching now. You will never think of these films the same way again, when you think about some of them, like Big with Tom Hanks, there's something really weird and creepy about it. Really funny and great for long car journeys.

Happy Mum Happy Baby
A more recent find, this one from Giovanna Fletcher is all about motherhood. Each week she chats to a mum, so far we've had Emma Willis and Jo Elvin, who share their experiences with different parts of motherhood. It's so funny and even though it's not really relevant to me at all I find it really interesting. I can't wait for the new episodes to keep coming!

Not Too Deep
This could be seen as the podcast that started it all. Although I've only got into podcasts in the last few months, I've been listening to this offering from Youtuber Grace Helbig since it first began about three years ago. Conversations with other Youtubers that never get 'too deep', it's so easy to listen to and accompanied me on my train journeys when I worked in Leeds for a few weeks last year. There's so many to catch up on so there's plenty to keep you going for a while!

What's your favourite podcast?

Friday, 15 September 2017

What's worth a try from | Tanya Burr Cosmetics

Thought I'd try something different (when I say different I mean for me not totally because this has been done a lot before - anyway, moving on) and write more of a brand focus post today. I thought as a starting point I'd go for Tanya Burr Cosmetics, a well-known brand in the blogging world but one that has a relatively small selection of products compared with a brand like Rimmel or Max Factor which dominate Superdrug with their massive stands. I first tried out Tanya's range when she released the lip glosses and nail varnishes in the rounded packaging with black lids. Since then as the packaging has become more luxe and the products better and better, I've become very impressed with each new release.

I've had a few Tanya Burr products which have come and gone over the years for one reason or another so the oldest product I still have is the nail varnish in the shade Fairy Godmother. This colour is seriously stunning and a shade of nail varnish I hadn't had before or really seen since. A pastel blue that makes you think 'yeah, I can see why that's called Fairy Godmother' as you swipe it on your nails I'm a big fan of the colour and formula. As someone who rarely paints their nails I need something easy and this isn't made in terms of opaqueness meaning less coats needed and less waiting time required by lazy me. I must admit I haven't tried out any other shades recently (the only other one I've ever tried is Penguin Chic back when it was first released) but I really like the look of Soft Pajamas. I'd appreciate any recommendations!
(Just been to look for the original line up of nail varnishes - have they been discontinued?)

In terms of eyeshadow palettes I have one hit and one sort of miss. A couple of years ago I was really excited to get my hands on the Hollywood Palette. My local Superdrug isn't the best so it took them about four months to get them in once they were released but when I saw they were in stock I snatched it off the shelf and bought it. Finally, the answer to my Charlotte Tilbury Dupe prayers were answered. But sadly I was left a little disappointed. The colours just didn't come off as brightly as I had hoped and everytime I used them the pigment seemed to be less and less intense. I got about one good use from the shade Enchantment before it turned into a hard lump that wouldn't give anything in the way of product when I swiped it (anyone else find that that happened). I was pretty gutted. But this year when she released her Neutral Ambience range I decided that the shades in the My Paradise palette were just too stunning to pass up. And wow am I glad I gave them a second chance, this palette is gorgeous. Beautiful shades with a decent pigment that last on the lids, this was my go-to Summer palette. You can read my full first impressions here but I'd totally recommend picking up this palette. Great for the price, handy to travel with and shades that I didn't have already my collection.

LIPSTICKS! I have two shades in Tanya's lipstick range and they're both easy to wear, through in your handbag shades that I switch between regularly as my work lip options. Pink Cocoa is the one I picked up first. A brown-y nude this is totally up my street and the formula is hydrating making it really easy to wear. Sunday Walk is exactly the same as my lip colour and if I want to give my lips a little bit of something extra this is what I go for. If I had one complaint I would say that they smell a bit funny but it's not that offensive and it's only while applying it so can't really complain too much.

The Tanya Burr Matte Lips are some of my favourite lip products to use. I'm not a massive liquid lipstick wearer and I haven't tried a lot of different ones out but these are something special. There are three shades in total but I have two; Rhubarb and Custard (a rhubarb coloured pink) and Martha Moo (a very nineties nude). The formula of these is a bit mousse-y and glides on the lips. As long as you apply a thin coat and don't keep layering it up this lasts for a seriously long time, it's stuck on my lips through many a buttered bagel on a Friday morning. Martha Moo is my favourite of the two but if ever I veer away from my usual nude palette then Rhurbarb and Custard is really the only 'bright' lipstick I wear. I hope Tanya brings out more shades in this range because I'm sold!

Last, but really the reason I wanted to write this post, is the Illuminating Powder. I am obsessed with this. I bought it a couple of months ago and when I got it I liked it but I felt like it was a bit too subtle for me. Now however I've become totally obsessed. I don't know what's changed but it gives my face a real dewy glow that I'm just so into I'm excited to put it on in the morning. I haven't tried the other two shades in the range but from what I gather they're also pretty good!

Side note: I have tried the lip glosses but sadly after sitting in my drawer for a few too many months I had to get rid. For lip glosses though did like them, not overly sticky, smelt delicious and the shades I did have (Champagne Toast and Lunch Date) I really did like.

Must try: My Paradise Pallette | Champagne Sorbet Illuminator | Matte Lips

Worth a go: Nail Varnishes | Lipsticks

Maybe miss: Hollywood Palette

What's your favourite thing from Tanya Burr Cosmetics? Anything I should try out?

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Rediscovering old favourites | Makeup change up for Autumn

Isn't it funny. It's as if as soon as September graced us with its presence my subconscious was like 'give me all of the change'. I suddenly wanted to smother myself in jumpers, eat warming soups and snuggle under a cosy blanket - the normal things for autumn. One thing I hadn't expected to happen was a sudden urge to crack out some old products. Not all of them seasonal changes either, there were just some products that I hadn't used for a while and fancied giving them another go. So here they are.

First up is a very autumnal lipstick shade that I couldn't wait to start re-wearing once the colder months rolled around. It's the Mac Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond. I mentioned it in my last post (read that here if you want to know what makeup I wear on the weekend) and I'm totally obsessed with it. It's my perfect autumnal shade as I don't like anything too dark on me but this is just slightly deeper than my usual lipstick shades of choice. It sticks around on the lips but isn't drying and I'd totally recommend trying this range out - I may need to invest in more shades. Another Mac product is the blush in Immortal Flower. This always disappears when summer rolls around but once the warm days are over this makes a reappearance. It's my perfect blush shade and goes with pretty much every makeup look possible. It's also impossible to overdo.

Another one which makes a reappearance every so often is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Whiskey. Easy to swipe on for a more natural look I've been loving it paired with any of the shades from my Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. It gives me something softer than my usual intense black waterline when I use it (obviously -  because it's brown) and at the minute I'm loving using this everyday. Now, we move on to the inspiration for this post, the Sleek Brow Kit in Dark. I haven't used this in so long and one day I had this sudden urge to give it a go again. I loved this product a few years ago and for a while it was the only thing I used on my brows. After moving on to pencils and pomades I forgot about this little gem, but now I'm so glad its back in my life. I used to go in with the wax then the powder on a brush that was way too big to create anything close to natural brow hairs but after trying it back out again I just use the powder with a tiny little angled brush. I'm so glad I decided to use this again, it gives my brows a slight warmth and soft fullness that nothing else really gives. If you haven't ever tried this before I seriously recommend it (I'm acting as if its some kind of revolutionary product - it's not, it's a brow powder, but it's a really good one!).

Have you recently rekindled your love for a product? 

Friday, 8 September 2017

My go-to face for a weekend outing

On Wednesday I had a day off work and because my dad was off work as well we went to the Trafford Centre. As I was putting on some slap I realised that I've fallen very much into a routine with my weekend makeup, so I thought I'd share what I've been doing!

After I've done my skincare I get cracking on my eyes to let the moisturiser sink into my skin. I prime my eyes with my trusty Mac Painterly Paint Pot - one of my holy grail products - and set over the top with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. My go-to eyeshadow palette at the minute is the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, but mostly the light matte shades. For work I quickly put Low Blow in the crease but on a day where I have more time this is what I tend to do. First off I take Chaser and dust it all over my lids. Then I get to work on the crease with Low Blow, little bit in the crease, blend it out, in the crease, blend it out (I seriously over blend). I also take a bit of Chaser on a Mac 217 and put that through the crease as well, because you know we haven't had enough blending yet! To finish off the eyeshadow portion of this endeavour, I used He Devil with a very light hand on the outer corners and then - of course - blend! Ooh I almost forgot, I also take Ounce on a fluffy blending brush on my brow bone as a highlight. 

Urban Decay Naked Heat Pallete: Ounce | Chaser | Low Blow | He Devil
I would like to try out a new primer but for now I'm using the L'Oreal Infallible Matte Priming Base which is working okay. It sometimes feels a bit slippy but it does keep me matter than I would be without it. I'm still loving the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Ivory (don't let the picture fool you, I'm very close to the end of this but because it looked a bit dodgy in the photo I shook up the bottle to make it look shiny and new!). I really need to try out a new concealer (any suggestions let me know) but at the minute I use the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer under my eyes and then the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - one of my favourites - everywhere else. To set it into place I went back in with my Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and dust it all over. My Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer gives my face a little bit of warmth, the Mac Blush in Eternal Flower gives my cheeks a bit of colour and to finish off my base I smother my cheekbones in the Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Champagne Sorbet. I LOVE this. It's not the most intense highlight but it makes my cheeks look kind of wet of I really like that kind of vibe.

Brows! The Fleur de Force products are my go to for all my brow needs. As I've not had my brows tinted for a few weeks I went in with the Fleur de Force Brow Pencil in Medium to bulk them out a little more and then used the clear brow gel from the Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Tamer. I love how cool toned it is, it makes them look more natural than my usual products, but still a bold brow. 

Time to finish up the eyes, I took He Devil underneath my eyes and smudged it out a little with a fluffy brush. I need to get a new eyeliner because my Soap and Glory Supercat Liner is running very low but it had to do. This product does a good wing and I love a winged liner look especially with a brown crease. A quick line in the waterline with my Soap and Glory Smoulder Kohl Eye Liner and a few lashings of the L'Oreal Paradise Ecstatic Mascara (love this!) and that's my eyes done. I'm so happy we're getting into the warmer months because I've been ready to crack out my Mac Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond for a while. I, love, this! It stays for a long time on my lips but doesn't feel drying and it's like a nude but has a bit more about it. I can't wait to keep wearing these throughout the colder months.

What's your favourite lip colour for Autumn?

Mac Liptensity Lipstick: Smoked Almond

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

I've been spending again | Body and skincare haul

Another day, another haul.

I need to have a serious word with myself because I can't afford to keep spending my wage within minutes of it landing it my bank account. But I can't help it! There's so much I want to test out and that means digging my hand in my pocket and hoping I'm getting the best deals for more Boots Advantage Points. This haul is very much half things I needed and half things I've been wanting to try for a few weeks, so no real impulse buys here (for once).

I needed to get some new shampoo and conditioner and I wanted to try one of the new Garnier scents. I'm not 100% sure what my hair type is but I felt that it could probably do with some nourishment so the Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut Milk and Macadamia was the one for me. Garnier was on 3 for 2 when I snapped these up (and they're still on 3 for 2 so go troops go!) so I bought the shampoo, conditioner and the hair mask. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to take better care of my hair and hopefully the hair mask will give my hair some TLC. Also it smells amazing! Another product I needed to stock up on was micellar water. I've been using the Simple Micellar Water for a few months but when I saw the 700ml bottle of Garnier Micellar Water was on offer for £5 I had to get it. It's huge! And it came with a free makeup bag! Win, win, win! I'm a big fan of this micellar water and it's definitely top of my list along with the Simple one so I'm glad to have such a big bottle.

Now onto things I really didn't need but that I've been eyeing up for a little while. First up is the new (at least I think they're new) Being Sanctuary Spa Body Butter and Bubble Bath in the Salted Caramel and Macadamia scent (I must be having a real macadamia moment). I'm a huge fan of sweet, cake-y scents and this is as sweet and as cake-y as they come. I've not had a chance to try the bubble bath yet but I'm seriously impressed with the body butter - it's thick, hydrating and doesn't leave me feel super sticky. They were £10 each, which for me is a little on the pricy side but the packaging makes it feel good quality and I'm impressed so far with the product inside. Last but not least in this haul are two new masks by Soap and Glory. I really excited when I saw Soap and Glory were releasing sheets masks because I've become a bit obsessed with them in recent months. Every time i go into Boots and Superdrug I seem to walk out with one - I really should learn to buy in bulk! I went for the Puffy Eye Attack Eye Mask, because I've always wanted to try out an eye mask, and The Fab Pore Pore Refining Mask, because all of the sheet masks I've tried have been for dry skin but this one is for oily - exciting!

What's your favourite bath product - bath bomb, bubble bar, bath salt? I'd love to know!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Giving my skin a treat | Evening Skincare Routine

Part two of the skincare saga and we're onto evening (if you missed my morning skincare routine read that here). There's a bit more to it in the evenings as I like to give myself a bit more of a pamper. What I do is snuggle down in bed with my Q&A a day book and a box of my skincare stuff. I like to do it in bed because it takes me about 15 years to do it as I like to let it all sink into my skin.

Before any of this happens I take my makeup off. Usually I do it as soon as I get home from work, get the sweaty foundation off my face. I always do a double cleanse. First I start with my Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, massaging it over dry skin the wiping it off with a wet flannel. I like this oil. I never thought I'd be into oils as my skin is quite oily already but it gives my skin a boost of hydration and takes off my makeup like a dream. Also, minimal mess - and I can get drops of makeup all over the sink. I then go in with my Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk, love love love. It's quite thick and I use it to get off the little bits of makeup the oil cleanser missed. It feels so cooling and luxurious on my skin, it's just what my skin needs after a day of makeup.

I got the Body Shop Satsuma Hand Cleanse Gel in my Body Shop Advent Calendar last year and in an effort to use it all up I started applying it before I start my evening skincare - now I'm addicted. It's as if it starts the whole process off and I know that my hands are a clean before I start prodding my face. I give my face a quick wipe with the Simple Micellar Water, a spritz of the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist then we crack on. I use the same eye cream as I do in the morning, the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream, and really tap it into my under eyes giving them tonnes of hydration. I also use the same lip balm as in the morning, the Palmers Coconut Oil Lip Balm.

Now onto the exciting stuff. I only started using a serum about six months ago and now I couldn't imagine my skincare routine without one. It stops my skin from becoming too dehydrated but doesn't turn me into a massive greaseball. I use the Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate, not too oily and it has sort of a bouncy texture to it. I smooth it over my skin and then pat it in. After waiting maybe ten minutes I go in with my moisturiser. I'm using the Body Shop Oils of Life. It is a good moisturiser but I don't know if it's a bit too oily for my skin. To be fair I've been using this since before Christmas  and I've not had any major issues. I am coming to the end though so if anyone has any recommendations for a new moisturiser I'd be more than grateful! All I do is bounce it into my skin, apply some Soap and Glory Hand Food and then it's done! Sleepy times for me (or more like watch the end of the episode of Grantchester then watch some YouTube and fall asleep watching people trying to live in a tiny house).

What's your favourite skincare product?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Naked Heat and cool new tech | August Favourites

A few beauty products in the love pile this month. First up is the eyeshadow palette of the moment - the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I've only had this palette for a week and a half but I'm already head over heels in love with it. A great selection of warm shades this is totally different to all the other palettes I have. I'm surprised at my favourite shades though. I thought I'd be all over the shimmery metallic shades but I've been drawn to the amazing mattes. I've been wearing Low Blow in the crease, blended out with Chaser and I've been loving that look, not too much but makes me not look half dead in the morning! I'm really excited to try out a serious smokey eye with this palette but for now I'm truly smitten. A new mascara favourite is the L'Oreal Paradise Mascara. One swipe and it's ba-bam, dream lashes! It reminds me a lot of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara which I was totally obsessed with a year of so ago when I had it. It fans out my lashes really well whilst still pumping up the volume. Definitely the best mascara I've tried in a while!

I'm a big fan of the Eylure Fleur de Force brow products and this month she released some new double ended brow products (see more of my thoughts here). My new favourite eyebrow pencil by far. I didn't think I would like the cool toned shade as much as my warm Soap and Glory Brow Archery in Brownie Points but I'm seriously impressed. I have the pencil in the shade medium and what I like is that it would be really hard to over do it with this product. Unlike something like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade, which although I love it can be really easy to give yourself slug brows, it doesn't really matter how much you apply it doesn't look overdone. The fact that it has two tones and there are so many different options - I could rave about this so much!

This is the most exciting thing that's happened this month. I am now the proud owner of an Apple Watch, I know! So exciting! I've been wanting one for a while and when the opportunity presented itself jumped at the chance to get one. I decided to go for the Rose Gold with the Pink Sand Strap because then it matches my phone, yep this is what the world has come to. I love the activity options with the watch. It gives you a little buzz every hour if you haven't moved which is great if, like me, you sit at a desk and can be glued to it for hours on end. A few trips up and down the stairs every 60 minutes will keep your watch happy and your health too! I might do a more detailed post after I've used it for a little bit longer but so far I'm loving it.

Quick TV mention. We watched The Loch this month and is was SO good! It's an ITV drama about a murder in a small town in Scotland and everything that happens afterwards. We watched it over two nights and it was so gripping and there were many hide behind the pillow moments and there were multiple twists, ahh! I definitely recommend watching it if you like a good drama. Six episodes and it doesn't drag, really good! I've also started rematching Granchester, one of my favourites as it's easy watching but murder mystery-ey, love. Also, James Norton.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Giving my face a wake up call | Morning skincare routine

I love reading posts about people's skincare routines, partly because I'm nosy and partly because I want to know if there's some sort of miracle product that I need in my life. So, in case anyone is nosy like me, here's what I slap on my face in a morning in an attempt to perk up my skin and make me look half awake. For the record, my skin is blemish prone and oily but can be dehydrated (I've never had someone tell me so I could be wrong but that's what I think it is).

The first thing I do when I wake up is go and splash my face with water. Just a little bit to get the grease off and I rub it on my eyes because I always seem to have some mascara leftover from the day before, no matter how much I try and take it off! The first proper step is using the Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Water on a cotton pad over my face, just to make sure every last scrap of dirt is off my face from the day before (and also because it feels nice on my sleepy face). This is one of my favourite micellar waters along with the one from Garnier. They do the job and are really affordable, you can't really go wrong. Next I give my face a spritz with the Body Shop Vitamin C Face Mist - not because I think it does anything magical but because it feels great in the morning. As I'm writing this I'm realising that my entire routine is based around what feels refreshing on my face and I don't actually know if there are any benefits of putting it on my skin!

Next up I apply my latest eye cream of choice which is the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream. I'm not loyal to any eye cream and I have to say so far nothing I've tried as ever blown me away. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know! I just get half a pea sized amount and slather it under my eye until it feels like it's sunk in. It's quite thick but I feel like my under eye area needs a bit more hydration. I mentioned this product in my July favourites post and you can read just how much I love it there but it's the Palmer's Coconut Oil Lipbalm. Tastes amazing and does the job at hydrating my lips. Yum! Last but certainly not least is my moisturiser. I've been using the Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturiser and I think it's been doing a pretty good job. It smells amazing! Zingy and delicious it feels cool on my face in a morning and really helps to brighten everything up. What I like about it most is that I can feel it sinking into my skin and not just sitting on top like some of the moisturisers I've tried previously. It doesn't make my skin feel greasy either which is a win win!

I'm enjoying this routine at the minute, it seems to be working well for me. Stay tuned for the second part of my skincare routine next week.

What moisturiser are you using at the moment?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My willpower is non-existent | Urban Decay Naked Heat First Impressions

It happened.

I have zero willpower, I will always give into the hype and I should never be trusted with more than £5 at a time. BUT I haven't been this excited about a set of eyeshadows in a long time, probably since I got my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette. But we're not talking about that today, oh no, we're talking about the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. No doubt you all know what this is so I'm not going to bore you with the background all you need to know is I wasn't planning on getting it (well, not really), I bought it and I love it. Great packaging, sturdy, good sized mirror and an amazing shade selection, warm reds, just something totally different but still wearable.

I've tested it out for a couple of days so these are pretty much my first impressions of the palette. As I haven't given it a lot of testing yet I don't have any favourites so what I'm going to do is run through the shades and say if I love it, like it or take it or leave it.

Ounce | Like it. This is one that although I'm not gushing over I know for a fact that it'll be the most worn eyeshadow in this palette. A white with a bit of shimmer I'll probably use this all over my lid as a base and then as a brow bone and inner corner highlight.

Chaser | Like it. Another one that doesn't blow me away but I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. A light matte brown I'll use it in the crease day to day and as a transition shade on something more smokey.

Sauced | Love it. Similar to Chaser but a heck of a lot warmer this is such a different shade that I know I'll still get a lot of use out of. I'm excited to give this more of a test run.

Low Blow | Like it. Again I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this one, especially putting it through the crease and slapping on some winged liner, but it's quite a standard shade.

Lumbre | Like it. A gorgeous shimmer that will be great for something simple everyday I'm a big fan of this light warm toned pink that reflects rose gold. However, this is a more pinker version of Trick from the Naked 3 palette which I'm totally obsessed with so anything that resembles that shade will take a bit of beating.

He Devil | Take it or leave it. Not to say that I don't like it but this looks terrifying. I'm going to need to give this a trial because it's very warm and red and I'm going to have to concentrate to make it not look like I have an eye disease.

Dirty Talk | Love it. love it, love, love love! This swatch...I can't. Can we all just appreciate the warm shimmery amazingness that is this shade, thanks.

Scorched | Love it. Another stunning shade, very similar to the last one, just swatches like a dream. I'm so excited to give them a real try on my eyes but if I love the way they look no doubt I'll be posting on here about it.

Cayenne | Love it. This palette just keeps bringing these amazing mattes. I can tell this one is going to look great either with winged liner or in a seriously smokey eye.

En Fuego | Like it. A very autumnal cranberry colour I have nothing like this at the minute and it looks great but I just need to decide how I'm going to wear it - any tips?

Ashes | Love it. Autumn in a shade. If all of my clothes were this colour I would be one happy person. I'm thinking lower lash line goals so we shall see. I have high hopes for this one.

Ember | Love it. Look at this. Dark, shimmery, reflecting colours all over the place. Yes please put it on my eye thanks very much. Another one I may be too terrified to use on a regular basis but that swatch is so stunning I can't help but love it.

I may post an update in a few weeks about my actual favourite shades and what I've been gravitating towards but so far I'm in love with this palette and if you're not buying it because you're resisting the hype, don't. Let the hype consume you so you can feel the feels of the Naked Heat palette.

Do you have this palette? What are your favourite shades? 
(Please satisfy my nosiness I really would like to know)

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