Sunday, 30 October 2016

October Beauty Favourites 2016

beauty, favourites, makeup, skincare

It only feels like 5 minutes since writing up my September Favourites, and we're already at the end of October! But, as always, I have five beauty products to share with you that I've been LOVING this month.

witch, beauty, skincare, serum, primer

Witch Daily Primer & Clearing Serum (£6.99*/Superdrug)
I received this in my East Mids Bloggers Meet Up goody bag and started using it straight away. A daily primer that evens out skin tone, helps hold makeup in place AND prevents spots. Pass me that Witch Hazel! I don't often suffer with spots nowadays but I'm prone to the odd hormonal friend making an appearance. I've been loving using this stuff. I've been using it most days, it works great as a gentle daily primer, soft and comfortable on the skin. I'd definitely pick this up again if it was on offer. 

beauty, primark, makeup, highlight, contour, sculpt

PS... Strobing Kit Highlighting Powder Palette (£5.00/Primark)
As with all things Primark, you can pick up some real beauties and you can get some bits that are not so great. And Primark's beauty range PS or PS Pro is no different. But when you find a little treasure, at this kind of price, it's worth raving about. I use this kit every single day, it contains 3 powders for sculpting and highlighting and they're just beautiful on the skin. I love playing around with them for a gentle, natural everyday look or going a little heavier on the sculpt and highlight for a more dramatic look. For a fiver, it's a great little product! Everyone should have one! :)

beauty, makeup, mascara, loreal

L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes So Couture Mascara (£9.99/Boots)
I'm not going to go all 'this is the best mascara I've ever used in my life' on you, but it's a bloody good mascara, will that do? :) The couture brush has been designed to coat every lash without clumps and gently thicken the lashes. It does exactly what it says on the... wand?! It's a good mascara, it opens up and defines my eyes, leaving my lashes looking long and thick ALL DAY. I've found that nowadays, my lashes have lost their natural curl and it takes a lot to keep a decent curl in all day, but this mascara seems to be doing the trick! I like it, it's a good un!

beauty, brush cleansing pad, primark

PS... Brush Cleansing Pad (£1.00/Primark)
Next up we have another Primark Beauty number for you, this time in the form of this pretty pink, silicone cleansing pad for brushes. For me, cleaning my brushes is a bit of a chore. I'll spot clean during the week but come Sunday it's time for a deep clean, so when I saw this for just a pound, a fraction of the cost of many other versions, I snapped it up in the hope it'd make cleaning my brushes a little easier. It has a sucker on the bottom to sit securely in the sink whilst you swirl your brushes in cleanser and massage them into the pad. It has 2 different textures to accommodate different brushes. It's definitely made cleaning my brushes quicker and easier. Rubbing the bristles into the cleansing pad, the brushes are getting a much better clean than they did when just swirling them in my hand. It's a no brainer, you and your make up brushes need this in your life!

beauty, skincare, toner, pixi beauty, glow tonic

Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner (£18.00/Pixibeauty)
Now, I've left this one till last but in no means is it the least favourite, in fact undoubtedly my most favourite product of the month. The famous Glow Tonic that everyone shouts about. The famous Glow Tonic that I eventually decided to get my hands on. Pixi Beauty is now taking pride and place in Marks & Spencers so I decided to grab a bottle. And well, why have I not been using this stuff forever? You know that moment when you find a skincare product that truly works, that truly makes your skin LOOK and FEEL amazing? Yep, well we're having that moment right now. It tones, tightens and firms the skin. TICK TICK TICK! It removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. TICK! I can't rave about this stuff enough, it honestly has dramatically changed my skin. I use it twice a day and I'll continue to use it for the foreseeable future. LOVE! 

What about you?
What products have you been loving lately?

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Monday, 24 October 2016

15 Things That Make Me Happy

lifestyle, happiness

1.  Being able to work from home and be with my little boy 
    - I know I'm super lucky to be able to do this, he is growing up so fast and it makes me so happy that I'm there to see every new thing he does.

2. Family time 
    - it's pretty rare that we get to spend time as the 4 of us, so it's special when we do.

3. Cheesy TV 
    - catching up on my favourite shows; think TOWIE & The Kardashians.

4. A text 
   - there is something about knowing someone is thinking about you. A simple text asking how I am makes me happy.

5. A good makeup day 
    - self explanatory right? And when someone compliments my brows. That's a whole new level of happy!

6. A PR email 
   - I'm talking one with my name spelt correctly, showing they've had a good look at my blog and chosen to work with me as they think I'm ace. That kinda email ;)

7. A good book 
    - it's not often I get much time to myself, it's usually late at night in bed I wind down with my book and for a little while I'm in a totally different world.

8. Date nights with my Mr 
    - unfortunately we don't get much time together currently, we're like ships in the night, he works all day, I work in the evenings, so on the rare evening we get to spend time together, I love simple nights in with food, a movie and an early night. The kind of nights most couple probably take for granted. 

9. Great lighting
    - I know you know EXACTLY what I mean! If you need me I'll just be taking a few selfies, or slaying that flat lay. Or possibly both.

10. Amazing skincare
      - the kind of happiness I feel when I find great skincare that makes my skin look and feel good... yaaaaaas!!

11. The gold Snapchat filter 
      - RIP

12. Buying new makeup 
      - this makes me hella happy!

13. When my toddler sleeps all night and wakes later than 6am 
       - I cannot remember the last time this happened but pretty sure I'd feel a lil happiness if it did!

14. Pizza
      - make mine a Hawaiian. Treat days are the reason for my happiness. And the reason I don't have a thigh gap...

15. Feeling successful 
     - success means something different to everyone, reaching goals I set for myself makes me all kinda of happy.

What makes YOU happy?
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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

5 Items to Revive Your Wardrobe

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

If you follow my Snapchat, you would have seen me visit Highcross, Leicester recently for the Your 5 event. It is based on a French fashion theory that you only need to buy 5 staple pieces for your wardrobe each season, that you can mix and match with things you already have, without having to completely overhaul your entire wardrobe in the process.

We're all guilty of a good splurge when the season turns around and we think 'Wow, I have nothing to wear, I need to go buy a load of new clothes for Autumn!', right?

But this theory shows that you simply need 5 pieces to shake up your Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

I was invited down to Highcross for a fashion and beauty consultation, to discuss how to adapt my existing style by pinning down the following 5 key items this season; 

  • The Coat
  • The Knit
  • The Wide-Leg Trouser
  • The Skirt
  • The Ankle Boot

Professional stylist, Jo walked me around each key item, showing me lots of different options from different retailers, discussed what was in this season, how best to wear them, what they'd go well with and what she thought would suit me. She helped me choose an item from each rail to suit my personal style.

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

The Coat - a good quality coat is a must-have this season. There are some great pieces around right now. Creams, greys and blacks will finish off any outfit perfectly, day or night, but Jo advised that throwing a bit of colour and pattern in this season is a great look. Pinks and plums are big colours this Autumn! And the best thing about purchasing a decent coat is that it'll stay in your wardrobe for years to come!

We picked a gorgeous camel coloured Belt Wool Coat, £139.99 from Mango, for me.
It's beautiful, a great colour that would go well with most things, is a wool mix fabric, long sleeved with an asymmetric fitting and has a removable belt at the waist.

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

The Knit - jumpers, cardigans, throws, knitted tops & dresses, there are no end of pieces to choose from this season and can easily be dressed up and down for many occasions. Again creams, pinks, plums and greys are filling the shelves this season. Something good for throwing on with smart trousers or a pair of jeans, dressing up with boots or heels and a nice jacket or coat.

For me we chose a super cute slouchy black jumper Sequin Star Sweater, £32 from Next.
I love this stylish version of a Christmas jumper, it would look lovely with some textured or leather look leggings or even just some denim for lounging around at home. 

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

fashion, autumn, wardrobe

The Wide-Leg Trouser - a pair of versatile 'smart' trousers are a must have for your wardrobe this season. There are so many to choose from, from culottes to those smart jogger style trousers that are in right now. Plain or patterned, you can style them up with a cute shirt or a simple vest and jacket. 

Jo chose a pair of black & white Check Trousers £35.99 from Mango.
I love these, I'd wear them for a smart occasion, a few drinks at a bar or a press event. They'd look perfect with nice white top tucked in.

The Skirt - this season there are many different styles of skirt on the market, the short skirt is back and would look great with opaque tights or an over the knee boot, pencil skirts are of course bang on trend, you'll find a pleather skirt in every colour in your favourite retailer. Long and pleated are also favourites this Autumn too.

I'd never have chosen the skirt Jo picked out for me. But she convinced me that this navy pleather Pencil Skirt, £29.99 from Mango, [are you sensing a theme, yet?] would look great on me and gave me lots of ideas of ways to dress it. I'm most definitely going to try it on!

fashion, autumn, wardrobe, footwear

fashion, autumn, wardrobe, footwear

The Ankle Boot - the perfect footwear this season is the ankle boot, a simple boot you can dress up or dress down for any time of day. There are so many styles and colours around to choose from.

We went with these gorgeous camel coloured Ankle Boots, £90 from Aldo.
They'd go perfectly with the coat we picked out, would look great with denim or black. I love them, and I'm a big fan of Aldo boots.

beauty, makeup, autumn

I also got to have a consultation with the super talented celebrity make up artist Sally Rowe MUA who after a little chat about my makeup and the things I struggle with, gave me some great tips on how to fake the perfect lined eyes. I left with a card with the tools and products she used... and pretty eyes!

Sally was available to share tips and advice on how to work with 1 of the 5 key looks; the Red Lip, the Smudgy Eye, Contour and Highlight, Winged Eyeliner or Dark Romance. 

fashion, autumn, wardrobe, Your 5, Highcross

fashion, autumn, wardrobe, Your 5, Highcross

I had a great time at the Your 5 event. It was a great to get advice on what items would suit me and   a real eye opener on ways to revive my wardrobe each season, I'm most definitely going to keep this in mind before going on a crazy spree!

It was really interesting to see that the majority of bits we chose were from Mango. I never usually shop in Mango, so it was refreshing to find items of clothing that I liked and that I was advised would suit me from somewhere different, I'll be paying them a visit soon!

Have you concentrated on purchasing key items this Autumn?

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Many thanks to Highcross, Leicester for inviting me along to the event


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lush Christmas Launch 2016

Lush, Christmas

It has taken me a while to let go of Summer and start embracing all things Autumn-y! But if someone mentioned the C word [not that one, the other one!] I'd instantly turn my nose up! 
Christmas, already? NOOOO, SHHHHH!! But all this changed come the evening of the Lush Christmas Launch, which I was super lucky to have been invited to!

Heading into the Lush Leicester store, we were met with the familiar wave of heavy fragrance, a lovely bright welcome... and Christmas music!

We were able to look around all the usual favourites plus the new Hallowe'en and Christmas goodies they're spoiling us with this season. The fantastic staff members were on hand to chat about the products and there were demonstrations going on at every turn.

Lush, Christmas

Lush, Autumn

Lush, autumn, halloween

Heading upstairs into the party room, we were able to create our own products with the amazing Aiyaaz. If you followed my Snapchat story, he was the super crazy guy in head to toe glitter that was constantly dancing away. Lush have definitely got a good one there, and that is one thing I do love about Lush, their passionate staff. They clearly do LOVE the products they sell. I even popped in again today [my kids adore the bath bombs] and ended up having a nice little chat about the launch and a few of the products.

It was so much fun to get the chance to mix and make our very own products. I made the Big Blue  bath bomb for my eldest who is a big bath bomb fan. The main ingredients for this are arame seaweed which is rich in vitamins and minerals, and sea salt which removes dead skin cells. It smells of fresh lavender and turns your bath water sky blue.

We also got to create a Creamy Candy bubble bar which we mixed and squeezed into shape. I made, or at least attempted to make, a cute pink heart. With a blend of almond and cocoa butter, it makes the water and your skin silky soft. That and the fact that it creates lots of candy floss smelling bubbles and turns your water pink makes it a pretty amazing product.

Lush, Christmas

Lush, Christmas

Lush, Christmas, vegan, cakes

Upstairs we were also treated to some vegan cupcakes, which tasted SO good! You'll have to take my word for it of course, but they really were beautiful. We ate them whilst posing in front of the selfie wall with the complimentary selfie sticks! ;)

Once back downstairs I set about discovering all the fantastic seasonal pieces on offer this year.
Of course I had to head over to the Snow Fairy display. Now let me tell you about my relationship with this sweet shop scented number. I ADORED this stuff, I bought bottles of it, had the perfume and everything. It smelt so so good! Candy floss, pear drops, bubble gum... YUM! Then in early December 2013 I fell pregnant, was really poorly and couldn't handle strong fragrances, it made me feel so ill and completely put me off the fragrance, to the point that I couldn't use Snow Fairy for a long time afterwards, I'm only just coming around to the smell now. I'm going to have to get myself a bottle soon so I can fall in love all over again! I love how it leaves a slight shimmer on the skin afterwards and this year they've introduced a body conditioner for extra Snow Fairy layering!

Lush, Christmas, Snow Fairy

Lush, Christmas, shower jelly

Lush, Christmas, bubble bar,

There are so many exciting products that my kids will love! I'll for sure be filling the boys stockings with some Lush bits this year! I've already got my eye on a few...

The new Santa's Belly shower jelly is a wobbly, glitter filled jelly that smells of juicy apples and will most definitely make bath time fun!

The Christmas Penguin bubble bar is super cute, smells amazing and creates lots of frothy bubbles.

They've also released some seasonal FUN bars, for extra fun in the bath tub. If you're not familiar with FUN, it's basically colourful, scented play dough that you can play with in the bath, create shapes, models, whatever you wish AND it is gentle enough to be used as a shampoo, body wash and can be crumbled under running water to create lots of bubbles. This season they have Santa, Elf on the Shelf, Snow Fairy and Reindeer & Robin to choose from. 

Lush, Christmas, Bubble wand, bath bomb

Lush, Christmas, bubble wand

Lush, Christmas, Bubble Wand

I'm also a big fan of the Bubble Wands as gifts. They make perfect stocking fillers, Secret Santa gifts or just a cute little present for a friend. They're reusable bubble bars and they're always super cute! The sparkly orange one above is Christmas on a stick! With fragrances of almond and cinnamon, it's the perfect cosy winter evening bath accessory!

And don't forget to treat yourself whilst you're at it. I mean, after all that Christmas shopping, you're going to need a relaxing candlelit bath with some Lush goodies, right?

I purchased the beautiful Never Mind the Ballistics bath bomb after the event and it quickly became one of my favourite bath bombs. It fizzes a lather of bright pink and orange foam into the bath water, whilst filling the air with lime and orange-y goodness! It's also half coated in a bath melt made from cocoa butter and fresh bananas, leaving your bath water and skin really soft. And the best thing about this bath bomb is that it doesn't make your bath filthy afterwards. WINNING.

Lush, Christmas, bath bomb

Lush, Christmas, bubble bar

Lush, Christmas, lip scrub

My most favourite thing about Lush at Christmas is their Christmas Gifts. 
Gorgeously pre-wrapped in pretty paper & ribbons. TICK. Fresh, handmade products that are fun to use and smell amazing. TICK. Lots of different options for different price ranges. TICK.
What more could you want?

I've been eyeing a few up to buy for family and friends this Christmas. 

I love 'Sweet Christmas', wrapped in bright pink and purple and contains Snow Fairy shower gel, Snow Fairy conditioner and Rock Star soap. Hell, I want this! ;)

The 'Ice Cube' gift box contains Whoosh shower jelly, Christingle body conditioner, Frozen bath bomb and Igloo soap. I think that's a great present for just £23.95!

And if you fancy splashing out on someone special, the 'Magic Cube' gift box is £62.95 and contains 11 items! I won't list them all but there's a mixture of bath bombs, soap, dusting powder and more, including Karma bubble bar, Magic Wand soap and Sugar Plum Fairy lip scrub to name a few!

Lush, Christmas, gifts

Lush, Christmas, gifts

Lush, Christmas, gifts

So if you're a fan of Lush, make sure you get yourself over to your local store this season to check out the new pieces for yourself. Stock up on your favourites before they disappear and pick up some fab Christmas prezzies whilst you're at it!

Big thanks to all the staff at Lush Leicester for inviting me along to the launch, I had a great evening, I left with lots of new favourites. I mean, hello? Why have I not used Bubbly before?? That stuff is AH-MAZING! I have lots of new products to try and a list as long as my arm [possibly both] of things I want to purchase!

Lush, Christmas, gifts

Lush, Christmas

Are you a fan of Lush Cosmetics?
What do you have your eye on this Christmas?

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

September Beauty Favourites 2016

beauty, favourites, skincare, bath/body, makeup

It's time to share my most favourite products of the month with you. I have a mixture of makeup, bath/body and skincare for you this month...

Merumaya, makeup removal, beauty, skincare

Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm (£16.50*)

I received this cleansing balm in my East Mids Bloggers Event goody bag. If you read my blog often you'll know I'm a huge fan of my micellar water, but when it ran out a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd give this a go.

Using a double cleansing method, the balm removes makeup on the first use and cleans the skin on the second. My makeup is pretty hard to budge so I was impressed when this stuff removed it well!

Lush, bath, bath/body

Lush 'Never Mind The Ballistic' Bath Bomb (£4.25)

I picked this one up at the Christmas preview [keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on this soon] as I loved the colours; bright yellow & pink, and the fact it is half coated in bath melt, which makes your bath water and skin really soft. If you follow me on Snapchat you will have seen me talking about this and showing it fizzing in the bath.

I rarely get time for a relaxing bath, I only really get time for a quick shower nowadays but when I treat myself to a relaxing candlelit bath, I like to go all out with a bath bomb or something special. This smelt amazing, a mixture of fruity and sweet. The bath was full of frothy pink and yellow swirls, so pretty! And the best thing of all, I loved the fact that it didn't make the bath filthy afterwards!

NYX, primer, beauty, makeup

NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer (£10.00/Boots)

I was doing my best friends wedding makeup [NO PRESSURE!] so it was important for me to use products that would work well with photography, so no SPF, which most of my primers contained. So I was on the hunt for a decent primer and came across this by NYX.

It was perfect, makeup lasted all day long with no need for touch ups! It covered lines and pores and quickly went to the top of my list of favourite primers.

makeup, beauty, makeup revolution, palette

Makeup Revolution 'Flawless' Eyeshadow Palette (£8.00/Superdrug)

I'm a fan of a lot of MUR products, for a budget brand, some of their pieces are little treasures! I raved about their Beyond Flawless palette here. I often reach for these palettes over my high end brand palettes, I just find them really easy to use, really creamy and blendable with next to no fallout.

My bestie had this one and I used it a couple of times on myself and had to go out and purchase one for myself as I just fell in love with the Autumn colours. This palette could easily be the only one I use over the Autumn period!

bath/body, scrub love, coffee body scrub, beauty

Scrub Love Mint Temptation Coffee Body Scrub (£12.95*)
Yes, coffee! If you follow my Snapchat, you will have seen me do a live review of this! First of all can we discuss how cute the packaging is? It comes in this super cute spotty pouch and contains roast organic coffee which is said to be nature's finest exfoliator. This mint version contains peppermint oil, tree tree oil, dead sea salt, argan oil and aloe vera! Can we get any better skin lovin' ingredients? 
Now I won't lie, it makes a bit of a mess of my bathroom and the upstairs of my house smells of coffee for days afterwards but if you can see past that, it is really fun to use and makes my skin feel amazing afterwards. I suffer from keratosis pilaris and this stuff really helps even out any redness, so it's a big coffee stained thumbs up from me!! 

What products have you been loving lately?

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*features products sent to me for the purpose of review

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