Monday 25 April 2016

Spring Beauty Launches | The Good, The Great & Disappointing

Whoa, well I assure you it wasn't supposed to be almost a whole month since my last post, but with Belgium and Ibiza thrown into the mix (amazing times all very well documented on my Instagram!), I became all very slack on the beauty blogging front. The 'trying out beauty front' on the other hand was a very different matter and I have SO many new finds to share with you over my next few posts, starting today with three spring offerings. 

THE GOOD: Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray // I've always been a big fan of makeup setting sprays, particularly from Urban Decay, as I find they're a great way to add glow back into a long lasting base. So it's no surprise I've fallen head over contour for this new vitamin-infused complexion prep spray from the big UD. Not only does this prep, set and refresh makeup, it also comes with all sorts of skincare benefits such as the ability to reduce redness, minimise pores and absorb pesky oil. I've been using this as a toner before moisturiser twice a day and my skin seems to be loving it and behaving itself for once!

THE GREAT: Benefit Hoola Brush // I've always struggled to find the ideal contour brush- some have been so big they've turned my whole face into a rather more questionable level of bronzed, but others have been too thin, making the whole sculpting situation a little too stripy. Cue those babes at benefit strolling in with a brush as technically perfect as it is pretty (look at that oh-so-shiny gold handle). Use with Hoola or any other bronzer for a golden sweep that gives you colour and cheekbones in equal complexion perfection measure.

THE DISAPPOINTING: Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle De Velvet Lipstick // I've been caught hook, line and lipstick for the Bourjois Rouge Editions ever since velvets first hit Boots' shelves and caused a frenzy. However, I'm sad to report the new souffles don't have me swooning all over the makeup aisle. Promising a sheer-matte coverage and finish, I had high hopes this peachy pink could be my ultimate barely there spring lip, but the reality is a formula barely there for about an hour that wears down so unevenly you need to start the whole debacle again. My advice? Stick to 'Hot Pepper'.

Have you got any new Spring staples to share?

Monday 28 March 2016

Bunnies & Braids | OOTD

Happy Easter you lovely lot! I hope you're suitably gorged on mini eggs and malteaser bunnies, ready for a spot of outfit post reading this bank holiday Monday. I shared a snap of yesterday's Easter Sunday beauty look on Instagram which went down very well indeed (aren't you a nice bunch), so thought you might like to see the rest of the outfit and get all the hair/makeup deets...

I actually picked both the shirt and pinafore up last season, but they've turned out to be great transitional pieces going into Spring. The h&m bunny shirt is pretty much the perfect piece of Easter clothing and so many people have commented on how cute it is. The camel corduroy pinafore is something I also get asked a lot about and everyone is always surprised to hear it came from Primark- just one of those 'be there at the right time to grab your size and fight to the till' type purchases! I feel like my wardrobe is starting to consist soley of differing takes on the dungaree/pinafore, as they're just so cute and comfy and can be styled in a ridiculous amount of ways. I'm also clearly a child at heart/more like whole head and body.

Yesterday I wanted to go down the more preppy route, so fashioned la barnet into my new favourite 'undone halo braid'. It's taken me a few attempts to pin this- quite literally- down to a style I feel comfortable leaving the house with, but now I find it fairly easy to put together in 3 steps: 1. Part hair to the side (2nd/3rd day hair with texture works best) 2. dutch braid the side of your head with less hair first, bringing it round the back and to the front until you have a full circle 3. Plait any leftover hair into a normal braid and pin this into the 'halo', teasing out the finished style for a more relaxed look. Et voila! The Easter makeup was much more simple, using my beloved Rimmel Lasting Finish Nude Foundation, Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer and Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder to create a flawless-ish base, with winged out Rimmel Exaggerate Liner and Kate Moss '107' to finish. Oh yes, just because it's slightly sunnier does not mean I shun my precious '107', or ignore the pile of eggs looking at me for fear of bikini body season for that matter... on with the Lindt!

What looks have you been wearing this weekend?
Sunday 20 March 2016

The March Wishlist

1.Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer // 2. Converse All Star Core White Ox (to replace my tattered ones!) // 3. ASOS A-Line Pinafore // 4. REN Clearcalm Clarity Restoring Mask 

What's on your March wishlist?
Sunday 13 March 2016

Sephora Haul

There are few things which make a girl happier than those two little words, Sephora Haul. This is, in fact, a mini Sephora Haul to show you the main three things I picked up when I went to New York last Christmas. Very late I know, but this way I can give you a mini review of each item too (there's method in my madness/unorganisation...).

KAT VON D LOCK-IT CONCEALER // The unthinkable has happened. After 5 whole years of being faithful to the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, another has stolen my heart. I felt like I couldn't come back to the UK without clutching Kat's infamous concealer and now I'm not sure I could live without it in my makeup bag! The perfect shade match (light 18), creamy blendable formula, hygienic applicator and all day full coverage -without a hint of dreaded cakeyness- make this the go-to for any gal with a little something to hide. 

MARC JACOBS HONEY ROLLERBALL // Oh, I do love a rollerball. In fact, I'm constantly wondering why the rollerball isn't commonplace in our UK perfume world?! Perfect for popping in your handbag and picking up whenever you need a scent spruce, this is an ingenious and perfectly pretty way rocking portable perfume- a travellers dream. I'm a big Marc Jacobs Daisy girl so I love having the slighter sweeter, blossom and vanilla noted Honey in my collection for Spring too.

CINDERELLA COMPACT MIRROR // Would you look how beautifulll this is! I made my poor boyfriend visit 5 Sephora stores in NYC just so I could get my hands on this limited edition Disney Princess Cinderella compact. I also bought my sister the Snow White edition and we're both besotted. I'm afraid they're very much limited edition, but definitely keep an eye out for more collaborations like this one as its a such a special collectors item. It also does makes a very good compact mirror for on the move- if I ever actually let it leave the 'pride of place position' on my dressing table that is...

What's on your Sephora wishlist? (Every beauty junkee has at least one. Or three)

Sunday 6 March 2016

5 Skin Sins (which are easy to stop!)

This #SkincareSunday I wanted to bring you 5 big skin sins I was guilty of until recently, which are actually so easy to avoid... simply stopping them has changed my skin dramatically from grumpy and congested to a right clear happy chappy! They may seem simple but sometimes a little look at your daily skincare naughtiness can do so much more than expensive products can...

1. Working out with makeup on.
2. Touching your face.
3. Lazy cleansing (without water).
4. Using concealer applicators straight on the skin.
5. Using abrasive or acidic skincare every day.

Add in barefaced sleep and water and voilĂ , you've got sensational skin!

Do you have any skin sins to confess? On a side note, a very Happy Mother's Day to you all!
Sunday 28 February 2016

February Favourites

FLEUR DE FORCE EYESHADOW QUAD // As February is the month of St Valentine, I've been turning to my pretty pink Fleur De Force eyeshadow quad in 'Lunar Rose' almost every day. The formula of the shadows is amazing; buttery, pigmented and crease proof, you can create gorgeous lots of gorgeous looks that last all day. The top right shade might just be my favourite ever.
FRANK BODY SCRUB // If you haven't heard of Frank Body's natural coffee based skincare before, then it's time to get better acquainted. I've been obsessed with the Original Body Scrub and whole brand in general this month- it's slowly but surely saving my grumpy skin and leaving everything silky smooth in the process. Frank's Insta is also pure genius.    
BAREMINERALS COMPLEXION RESCUE // In the bid to get my troublesome skin back on track, I've been turning to a lighter every day base that I can easily take off/reapply when I'm gyming- bareMinerals Complexion Rescue completely fits the bill, with light gel texture that blends beautifully when applied with the fingers, it evens skintone, hydrates and when combined with concealer, gives a nice level of coverage too. 
BENEFIT GIMME BROW // I just missed my monthly brow appointment for the first time in about a year and I'm thanking my lucky stars that Benefit invented Gimme Brow so no one will be able to tell! This fibre gel shapes, smooths and fills the brows in a matter of seconds, making it the perfect apply-on-the-tube product that somehow always manages to look totally natural. #HolyGrailStatus 
UNITE 7SECONDS DETANGLER // I've tried a serious amount of post wash, pre blowdry products and have never found one that does everything I need. Until now that is, because UNITE's leave in spray detangles, heat protects, and conditions with proteins, all in -you guessed it- 7 seconds. I've noticed a serious reduction the amount of hair breakage and fall when brushing after using this and in general my hair is feeling the best it has in a long time!

What are your February Favourites? 

Sunday 21 February 2016

The #LoveList // Food & Fitness Gurus

Beauty was my first love and it shall be my last (obvs), but moving through the twenties I'm finding more room in my heart for these two things called healthy food and fitness. If you told that to the girl who ate snickers sandwiches for lunch and thought shopping was exercise enough (spoiler alert, that girl was me), she would have laughed, but here I am actually ENJOYING going to different gym classes at least 3-4 times a week and getting as excited about superfoods as smoky eyes. Although age-and working next to a gym- has played a part in this change, it's not a journey I could make on my own. So for my first post of February (there will now be a new post each Sunday, promise!), I'm sharing major love for the top 5 ladies in my healthy lifestyle #LoveList, who constantly inspire me to move, mash and be more mindful...

FYI: I learnt almost everything I know about nutrition from Deliciously Ella (and very much enjoy wearing her avocado related sweaters), but as I'm sure you all know and love her already I wanted to give some other ladies the limelight!

1. THE YOGI // Madeleine Shaw
Madeleine is the ultimate all-round guru on fitness, fresh food and fabulous skin. Her mission? Reveal the 'hottest, happiest, healthiest you'... I absorb everything this goddess tells me and keep her book 'Get The Glow' close by at all times in order to steal as much of her 'zen' as possible ('Ready, Steady, Glow' is, of course, on preorder).

2. THE YOUTUBER // Naomi Smart
She needs no introduction, but if you're just getting into clean eating and working out then you must introduce yourself to Naomi's plant based 'What I Eat In A Day' videos and her new healthy snack box business, Sourced Box. She'll give you a crazy amount of meal inspiration and sort those sugar crave moments between meals in minutes.

4. THE VEGAN // Aine Carlin 
I try to generally eat clean, rather than eat vegan, but Aine's brilliant book 'Keep It Vegan' is accessible to even the biggest meat and dairy eater- with recipes like snickerdoodle bowls/breakfast brownie and reassurance that it's okay to use the odd pre made sauce when you need food fast, this lovely lady has my heart. And stomach.

4. THE BRAND // Frank Body 
A brand?! I know, I know, but if you don't adore coffee based skincare brand Frank Body already then go and get acquainted immediately. The products are amaze, but it's their hilarious insta & blog posts entitled 'How to Work Out In Bed...' which makes this the most feel good brand around, always giving me a kick up the old bum to look after myself inside and out. 

5. THE BLOGGER // Vivianna Does Makeup
Anna will always be my number one makeup maven, but recently she's been getting right into her healthy cookery videos and 'fitness files' too and I am lapping it up. We're both on a journey from coco pops to cacao nibs and sofa sitting to spinning, so I feel she's the perfect partner to take on my current lifestyle trip and I'm sure she'd love to keep you company too.  

Which fabulous folk would make your food & fitness #LoveList?

Monday 1 February 2016

3 Mane Changing Hair Hacks

Happy Monday/February! Today I wanted to do a little throwback to the 'beauty hack' posts you guys always seem to love- good timing as I've just discovered 3 hair hacks I'm not sure how I've gone for 24 predominantly beauty obsessed years without knowing...

1. CONDITION AFTER APPLYING TREATMENTS // OMG, who knew?! Having dry, heat styled and coloured hair, I've always reached for the most intense mask formulas possible to sort out my mane after shampooing, but never knew you still needed to apply a normal conditioner afterwards! These deep treatments really open the hair follicles in order to penetrate them as much as possible- so it's important to use a regular conditioner afterwards to seal them again, leaving you with much smoother, softer, less porous hair once styled. I did this for the first time a few weeks ago and couldn't believe how much sleeker and more manageable my barnet became.

2. ALWAYS COMB CONDITIONER THROUGH YOUR HAIR // This may seem like a mightily simple/obvious hack and yet I'm pretty sure it's one product bottles (& Meg's former hairdressers) never instruct you to do. I've previously only worked the aforementioned conditioner through my hair with fingers, waiting until I'm out of the shower and ready to get blow drying before brushing with a tangle teaser. However, if you brush your hair in the shower whilst it's wet with conditioner still in, not only does the product evenly reach every hair on your head, but the conditioner acts as a lubricant (oo la la), which massively reduces breakage and tangling.

3. PROTEIN IS YOUR HAIR'S BEST FRIEND // No, I'm not suggesting you start smothering your hair with egg yolk & chicken each morning (hair omelette anyone?), but pick any hair product packed with proteins and you're well on your way to repairing the blow dries, 90's poker straight curtains and retro curls we've all exposed our hair to. They might not make your hair feel quite as silky, but high end protein based products will make a real difference to breakage, split ends and growth- they won't be filled with silicones or hidden nasties either! Two new favourite ranges in my routine are: Organic Power Build & TIGI Oatmeal & Honey.

Do you abide by any hair hacks?

Sunday 10 January 2016

What I Got for Christmas

Better late than never, here are a few highlights from this year's lovely Christmas stocking which I was very lucky to receive...

1 // 'Facepaint' by Lisa Eldridge - 'Everyday Super Food' by Jamie Oliver - 'Get The Glow' by Madeleine Shaw - Shop Planner - 'Eat Pretty' by Jolene Hart - Boomf Marshmallows
2 // FitBit Charge HR - New Balance 996 Trainers
3 // Alex Monroe Rose Gold Baby Bee
4 // Shop Planner - Mixed Makeup & Sweets - Rose Gold iPhone 6s Cover

What did Santa bring down the chimney for you this Christmas?

Saturday 2 January 2016

2016 | Review & Resolutions

First things first, a very Happy New Year! This morning I have finally emerged from my prosecco induced haze filled with motivation and excitement for 2016. Last year was a truly amazing one, with some really big life changes and events- the main two being moving to London with the boy in our very first flat together and the birth of my beautiful niece, River Rae, who has instantly become the light of my life and brought my family together into such a close, special unit. I also just had ridiculous amounts of fun in 2015, as me and my fabulous uni friends now live within a few tube stops of each other and this has caused wonderful relationships to blossom and the kind of memories we'll treasure forever. And how could I not mention travelling to New York at Christmas time with my brilliant man for 24th Birthday and 6 Year Anniversary celebrations. It was something I thought I'd be waiting years to do and was truly the holiday of dreams (The New York post will be coming very soon I promise!). 

Looking back on last year's resolutions -although tidiness is not something I've mastered- I'm happy to say my exercise and eating habits have changed for the better, leaving me with a much greater feeling of energy and well-being than the year before. I managed to 'explore more', taking trips to Paris, Finland, Brighton, Jersey and New York and I'm also proud of what I achieved in my job at feelunique, where I pushed myself to gain lots of new skills and experiences. Even though it was definitely the best year of my life so far and I felt incredibly lucky and blessed, I also started worrying more in 2015- about work, my hair/skin (ridiculous I know), relationships, not being able to blog/youtube as much... I always seemed to find something to worry about and that's the main thing I'll be aiming to do differently this year. I've learnt from all the terrible events which happened in the world last year that the only truly important thing in life is the health & happiness of you and, even more importantly, your loved ones. If you have that, then life is pretty darn fantastic! Although, because I do love a good resolution and list I've still come up with my usual aims for next year, as it's always nice to get excited for what you can achieve in the next 12 months alongside the bigger picture... 

1. GIVE BACK | Do at least one big act for charity per quarter and consistently give back to/show kindness/treasure Dave, family , friends and everyone in whatever way I can.
2. MINDFULNESS | Quite simply, don't sweat the small stuff and go forward as a positive influence, counting blessings, enjoying the moment and remembering health and happiness of those around us is the most important thing.
3. WORKING GIRL | Learn as much as possible-extending skills in photography, copy, social media, business etc and make progression in my career. Keep up with the beauty/blogging industry with at least a weekly post. 
4. NOURISH | Consistently enjoy nourishing my body with fitness and clean eating, continuing what I started last year with regular gym class attendance, delicious healthy home cooked food, more sleep and water.  
5. GET SORTED | Be organised, tidy and on time. This is the year!
6. CARE & REPAIR | Treat hair, skin and nails as well as I can to repair/keep in the best condition possible.
7. EXPLORE | This resolution has another appearance- travel and new experiences with loved ones makes each year different and special, so explore more and more (with the confidence to drive long distance!). 
8. PIGGY BANK | Start that savings account, add to it each month and leave the money in there. No more flirting with the overdraft either.
9. SCRAPBOOK | I have every ticket, photo and token from last year sat in a box next to a scrapbook... Early this month organise it, stick it in and keep it up.
10. READ | Coming from an English lit background I adore reading but don't make time for it, so I aim to pick up the kindle instead of the phone and read at least one book every month. 

Thanks so much for reading and sticking with me for another year! I'd love to know your highlights of 2015 & dreams for 2016?

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