Beauty / Lifestyle / Interiors

Friday, 31 October 2014

HALLOWEEK DAY #5 - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

pumpkin-carving

The instant Alex arrived home from work on Monday we wolfed down our tea and got started on our Pumpkins ready for Halloweek. Its become quite a yearly tradition for us to have a little Pumping carving competition, I had been secretly researching my chosen face for months now (little to Alex's knowledge) as he is really quite artistic and wins every year. This year I had it in the bag, surely...

With newspaper laid and our carving weapons of choice in hand, we laughed as pumpkin seeds bounced off the walls and our little pumpkins faces slowly came to life. I went for a feline style for my face, Alex a smirking zombie. After removing sticky seeds from the kitchen and washing up the evidence, we popped in tealights and admired our handiwork.

I think it was a draw this year, (I'll have him next year!) Right now our pumpkins are in pride of place shining out on our balcony. With tea lights flickering and dancing inside illuminating  their cheeky pumpkin faces and giving off a faint scent of roasted pumpkin, it truly feels like Halloween.

I've really enjoyed doing 'Halloweek' this year - I hope you enjoyed the posts?

Happy Halloween!
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Thursday, 30 October 2014

HALLOWEEK DAY #4 - PUMPKIN SPICED CUPCAKES WITH GHOSTLY BUTTERSCOTCH BUTTERSCREAM ICING

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These little ghost cupcakes are perfect for halloween. The combination of warming pumpkin spice and sweet butterscotch make these cupcakes a perfect autumnal treat! I made six large ghostly cupcakes but you could also make 12 small ones with the recipe.

You will need:

For the cupcakes-

70g Brown Sugar
75g Butter, softened.
2 Large Eggs
150g Self Raising Flour, sifted.
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp Milk or milk alternative (I used Almond milk)
2 tsp Pumpkin spice - (I used this recipe to make a batch but added a little more cinnamon than the recipe states as I love cinnamon!)
Pinch of salt

And for the buttercream Icing -

250g Icing Sugar
75g Softened Unsalted Butter

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan oven)

Place all of the cupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until well mixed and smooth with an electric whisk. Add a little more milk if needed so that the batter is of dropping consistency. Spoon the cupcake batter into your cupcake cases so that they are  half to 2/3rds full and then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until they are starting to turn golden brown and the middle is cooked (check with a skewer). Once they are cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream: Add all of the buttercream icing ingredients above to a clean mixing bowl and beat until thick and smooth. 
Add the icing to a piping bag and then to make little ghosts hold the bag steady and pipe down onto the cupcakes until it spreads out to make the base of the ghost. For the head, stop squeezing and lift up slightly and then pipe a smaller amount. To get the point, pull sharply up as you stop squeezing and then pop in two little chocolate drops in for the eyes.

I've made these twice now as they taste so good. I only like to add a small amount of sugar to the cupcake batter as the butterscotch buttercream icing is pretty sweet, but add more if you like super sweet cupcakes!

Let me know if you give these a go!
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

HALLOWEEK DAY #3 HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN NAILS

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For the past two years I've created a Halloween nail art design. This year, I've been loving decorating my home with little pumpkins and drinking pumpkin spice hot chocolates so much that I decided to create a little pumpkin nail art tutorial. I thought that I would have a go at dabbling in the world of youtube and make a video tutorial this year. I'm still getting used to the filming and editing but I really hope you like it!

Products used: 

Nails Inc Savile Row Nail polish
Soigne Permission Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Haute Chocolate Nail polish
Max Factor Cactus Green Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top coat
Nail Dotting Tool

What do you think of these pumpkin nails?
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

HALLOWEEK DAY #2 MERMAID MAKE UP

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halloween-mermaid-makeup
mermaid-makeup

My 'I am Mermaid' make up post is probably my most viewed post on my blog. I created the look over three years ago now, I've always been unhappy with the way that the post looked and so I thought it was about time to revisit it! This is a really easy and effective way to create a halloween mermaid make up look, the photo's don't quite pick up how pretty it looks, it's so simple but looks like it could have taken hours! This time, I wanted the scales to blend in a little bit more and to look almost like skin whilst still having a pretty aquatic mermaid feel.

I kept my base make up pretty simple, foundation, a hint of pink blusher and Revlon Sweet Tart lip butter on the lips with a small amount of iridescent glitter dabbed in the centre.

For the scales - You can cut out a square of fishnet tights and then pin it into your hair and over the areas that you want to create the scales on but I find it so much quicker and easier to just pop the tights over your head and pin the back so that you can then just dab the pigments easily where you want the scales. Using a big powder brush I started with collection dazzle me eye dust in Spellbound and pressed and swept the pigment over the fishnets roughly where I would normally contour - the hollows of my cheeks and high on  the temples, forehead and into the hairline. I then used Barry M dazzle dust in purple and overlapped the blue slightly and blended down onto my forehead and up onto my cheeks, I repeated this with Barry M Dazzle dust in Kingfisher, blending slightly onto the purple so that it created a fading/ombre effect. I then dusted a gold pigment - Collection Dazzle me dust in Bedazzle onto my cheekbones, the middle of my forehead and dusted any excess gold over the whole scales.

The thinner the fishnets, the more it blends into the skin and looks more realistic, in my previous attempt I used a thicker material fishnets, which gave a bolder look which still looked effective but less skin-like and realistic.

To finish the look I ran the purple pigment under my jaw and blended a mixture of the colours down my neck and onto my chest, adding more scales on the body and giving a blueish green aquatic effect to the skin. I also sprayed blue chalk spray through the ends of my hair and added Barry M Dazzle dust in iridescent (I can't find this online but Illamasqua Static is similar) on the top of my cheeks and under my brow bone.

What do you think of this halloween mermaid look?
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Monday, 27 October 2014

HALLOWEEK DAY #1 - THE LEAD UP TO HALLOWEEN

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It's cold and blustery outside and so I'm spending the evening inside with fairylights twinkling and candles burning whilst decorating my home with pumpkins and spooky things ready for halloween. I've started to add little halloween touches to my style and make up for this week which is getting me so excited for halloween!

For my nails, I painted them with two coats of Barry M Nail paint in matte black which gives a great, spooky and almost leather looking effect to the nails. On my ring finger I applied a coat of Essie Vanity Fairest before painting a little black cat face with Orly rage rose gold features and a red heart nose with Nails Inc St James.

On my feet I'm planning to wear my Zara embellished flats with a dark purple slouchy top and my topshop black leigh jeans for subtle halloween style. They have such a cute little face and seem perfect for halloween.

To add a vampy halloween hint to my make up, I've pulled out some purple eyeshadows to smudge under my lower lash line. My favourite is MAC nocturnelle which I wore a lot last year with spidery lashes (See the look here). For something a bit more subtle then MAC Quarry eyehadow is a pretty muted plum brown or for something really bold then MUA purple eyeshadow is a bright electric purple.

What do you think of these little halloween touches?
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

FOUR EYESHADOW PALETTES

best-eyeshadow-palettes

I love eyeshadow palettes because they work well in my make up kit, you generally get more for your money and they're great to take away with you when you travel! Here are four of my current favourite eyeshadow palettes: 

Sleek Oh So Special palette*: As with all Sleek eyeshadows that I've tried, the shades are all really pigmented and the palettes are really affordable for such great quality. I own a couple of other Sleek palettes (Storm and Au Naturel palette) but this is definitely my favourite. The colour selection is beautiful, perfect to create festive make up looks and it is also great as an every day palette. I've been loving wearing this throughout autumn as it contains quite a few matte shades which go perfectly with a bold berry lip.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette: This was at the top of my Christmas wish list last year and a beautiful palette full of shimmery rose golds and coppery bronzes. I love using this palette when I want to go for a more girly look, you can create soft pink smokey eyes, or use the muted dusky pink and purple browns in the crease for definition. For a full review and swatches click here.

Nars And God Created the Woman palette: - Like the Sleek palette, the Nars shades are all so pigmented and long lasting on the eyes. Nars eyeshadows are so buttery in texture and all the shades in this palette are perfect for autumn. This Nars palette is great for travelling as the packaging is small and feels sturdy and the shades are so versatile and can take you easily from day to night.

Stila in the light palette: This is the newest addition to my palettes and I've just recently written a full review and swatched the palette here. This has become my current everyday palette. It's perfect for the transition into winter and has a great mixture of mattes and shimmery shades.

Which are your favourite eyeshadow palettes?
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

ESSIE ANGORA CARDI NAIL POLISH

Essie-angora-cardi

Autumn is the time of year for wearing berry, vampy nails. Essie Angora Cardi is a great choice if you want something still autumnal but a little bit softer. The dusky mauve colour is really pretty for autumn, I've paired this with a cosy grey sweater (and a mug of hot cinnamon tea!) for a pretty, homely feel.

Essie Angora Cardi has a creamy, non streaky formula that lasts a good 3-4 days on my nails without chipping and as with all essie polishes, the brush makes application so easy with just three swipes up the nail. I have my eye on Essie's in stitches next, which is a dusky dark pink that looks like a similar formulation to Angora Cardi and again would be perfect for autumn.

What do you think of Essie Angora Cardi?

(The mug is from Anthropologie last Christmas, I think it was limited edition but this one is similar!) 

-Edit, the mug is back again this year here
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

STILA IN THE LIGHT PALETTE

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stila-in-the-light-swatches

I've wanted the Stila in the light palette for the longest time and after seeing so many positive reviews of this palette I decided to invest. The packaging, although just made from cardboard has a pretty rose embellishment on the front and holds 10 eyeshadows, 4 matte finishes and 6 shimmery. The matte colours are great for blending, I especially love to use the shade 'Bliss' in the crease and to blend out a smoky eye.

All of the shades in the Stila in the light palette are well pigmented, long lasting and easy to blend. Theres a small amount of fall out in some of the shimmery shades but I find they are best applied with a flat shader eyeshadow brush and then it isn't too much of a problem. 

The only downside for me to this palette is the eyeliner that comes with it. I've read reviews that it doesn't twist up properly and so had my fingers crossed when testing mine but unfortunately mine didn't twist up or down easily either! 

I love every single eyeshadow in the Stila in the light palette, especially 'Kitten' and 'Bubbly' for everyday wear. I know I'll get a lot of use out of this natural palette and it will be great to take away with me for creating day to night looks. It really is a beautiful palette. 

Have you tried Stila in the light palette?
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

WHATS ON MY DESK: AUTUMN

desk-inspiration

I've added little autumn touches to my desk recently, here's a few things that are currently on my desk!

Pumpkin Garland: I'm definitely not an expert crocheter but with this cute pumpkin crochet tutorial and a little help from google for the stitches I had made 8 little pumpkins. I simply threaded some white wool through them all and then strung it up! I love the way that it looks and it's perfect for autumn and it's getting me pretty excited for halloween!

MAC Rebel lipstick: My favourite autumn lipstick shade. I could probably wear this every day in autumn as it's so versatile. Apply straight from the bullet for a rich berry lip, dab on and blend with your finger for a pretty stain and then you could also add gloss over the top for a high gloss vampy berry lip.

WIP nail polishes: I love the colours of these nail polishes, the bottles are really pretty and I find these shades so autumnal and inspiring.

The Body shop honeymania lip balm: Throughout Autumn and Winter I am constantly applying lip balm. I love this little honey lip balm as it contains fair trade honey, smells amazing and contains beeswax instead of shea butter. Bee's wax helps to retain moisture in the long term and help to protect your lips. It also smells lovely!

Whats currently on your desk?
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Sunday, 12 October 2014

LIP BALM SEASON

best-lip-balms

It's the time of year where I pull out my collection of lip balms and distribute them among the rooms in my home and into my make up bags. I'm a self confessed lip balm addict and I have quite a collection of them!

For a hint of colour I reach for either Soap & Glory a great kisser lip balm in juicy peach or Korres lip butter in Quince, both add a subtle sheen of colour whilst keeping your lips feeling soft and moisturised. I use the Maybelline baby lips lip balms quite sparingly as although they contain shea butter and honey, they also contain petrolatum. I find that Maybelline baby lips give me plumper lips and a burst of moisture (that lasts around 2 hours) and they are really good for easy application on the go.

Figs & Rouge 100% natural balm tin in Vanilla Cherry and The Body Shop Honeymania lip balm both smell delicious. The tin packaging of the Figs & Rouge balm is so pretty and they are both petrolatum free. I've just moved the honeymania lip balm onto my desk for the colder months as it uses beeswax instead of shea butter which helps moisture to be retained for a longer period of time.

And heres three of my absolute favourites:

Nuxe Rev De Miel: If I could only choose one lip balm to use then this would be it. Dab a small amount of this sweet citrus and honey scented lip balm on your lips before bed and wake up with plump, soft hydrated lips. It contains honey, sweet almond oil, calendula and shea butter that leave your lips looking and feeling deeply moisturised. I've written a full review of Nuxe rev de miel here.

Smith's Rosebud lip salve: I use this lip balm when I'm out during the day if my lips are feeling sore and dry. It soothes and moisturises your lips and has a subtle rose scent, pretty packaging and leaves a glossy sheen. This has a petrolatum base but the rose oils in it are great for healing and moisturising your lips.

EOS Lip Balms: Another great everyday day lip balm, EOS lip balms contains vitamin E, jojoba oil and shea butter and are 95% organic, 100% natural and petrolatum free. These are great to pop in your bag and for easy application and leave my lips feeling soft and smooth.

What are your favourite lip balms?
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

FIVE THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT IN AUTUMN

fall-collage

1. Autumn Walks: Layering up in cosy knits and wooly scarves to go for a long walk on a crisp autumnnal morning. Crunching through falling colourful leaves and conker collecting along the way!

2. The Produce & Markets: Ginger and butternut squash warming soups. Apples, pears and parsnips fresh from the farmers market. Pumpkin spiced hot drinks, cinnamon infused apple pies and warming blackberry crumbles with cream.

3. Halloween: Creative make up and nail art everywhere, the spooky decor and recipes floating around and carving pumpkins - theres something so enjoyable about carving pumpkins, picking the best pumpkin, choosing it's features and watching the tealight flickering inside, illuminating it's fiendish face.

4. Beauty: Changing up your skincare and make up for the cold autumn days. Adding moisturising oils, thick creams and breaking out Nuxe rev de miel to save your lips. Braving vampy lips/Mac Rebel, wearing berry nails and sweeping shimmery golden browns on your lids.

5. The build up to Christmas: Festive songs slowly creeping into the shops, along with Nordic style home decor and warm spiced scented candles. Fairylights twinkling in the streets and getting excited about Christmas beauty advent calendars.

What do you love most about Autumn?
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Sunday, 5 October 2014

AUTUMN NAIL POLISH

autumn-nailpolish

When I think of autumnal colours I think of golds, plums and deep orange hues so I'm drawn to these when picking autumn nail polish shades. These are my favourites this year:

Ciate Encore: A pretty, muted burnt orange/terracotta that's perfect for autumn. It's opaque in just one coat and something about this colour reminds me of fallen leaves, bonfires and Thanksgiving (I wish we celebrated it in the UK!).

Essie Bahama Mama: One of my all time favourite nail polishes, Essie's Bahama Mama is the perfect autumn berry shade. It looks great on fingers and toes, with midi rings and lasts well on my nails. The only downside is that it takes 3 coats to look opaque on my nails and so I use it up so quickly! 


Orly Rage Nail Polish: This pretty, golden nail polish is opaque in just one swipe and looks so pretty on the nails. It has particles of shimmery rose gold and is perfect for the cold autumn months and the run up to December without being too sparkly and Christmassy.

What are your favourite Nail polishes for Autumn?
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Friday, 3 October 2014

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK #5

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Monday: Hot honey spiced porridge for breakfast on a cold foggy morning.

Tuesday: Planning a possible week full of spooky halloween posts (Halloweek?!), it's making me pretty excited for Halloween now!

Wednesday: October - Getting ready to wear cosy tartan scarves, vampy lipstick, champagne/gold eyes and a hint of Topshop glitter polish on my nails. And GBBO, I'm still dreaming about those doughnuts from last week!

Thursday: Secretly planning Alex's Birthday (which is on Sunday) wrapping gifts and purchasing helium balloons and birthday cake! 

Friday/the weekend: Taking a long weekend off to celebrate Alex's birthday. Our/His plans include having freshly baked croissants and orange juice for breakfast, watching the F1, eating a lot of celebratory cake and visiting our families.

What has made you happy this week?
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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

SEPTEMBER BROWN FAVOURITES


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I thought brown would be quite fitting for this months favourites as the leaves are slowly starting to change and shiny brown conkers are dropping everywhere! Here are my September brown favourites:

Maybelline 24hr color tattoo in On and On Bronze: A cool metallic bronze that is great as an eyeshadow base or blended out all over the lids as a pretty wash of colour over the eyes. These last all day on me and are so great for quick and easy application.

Urban Decay Naked palette: This palette has so many pigmented, pretty colours that are perfect for almost every occasion. I love the warm shimmery browns and matte browns in the naked palette as they are great for blending, running under the lower lash line and creating a brown smokey eye.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Haute Chocolate: I'm not normally drawn to brown nail polishes but this rich, conker shade is so pretty on the nails. It has a hint of ruby red and coppery brown running through it and as it's part of the complete manicure range theres no need for a base or topcoat (although I still use Sally Hansen Insta Dri on top for a glossy finish and for quick drying!)

MAC Woodwinked: This is one of my favourite MAC eyeshadows and my go to eyeshadow for that 'Victorias Secret' look. I love wearing this bronze gold MAC eyeshadow either swept over my lids and blended out or under my lower lashes to really make my eyes stand out. 

Rimmel professional eyebrow pencil in dark brown: This is a constant repurchase for me. It's affordable at only £2.99, lasts all day and has just the right natural brown tone thats perfect for my brows. It's pretty versatile as you can sharpen it and add individual brow hairs for a more defined look or I like to have it quite blunt and soft to shape my brows and then blend in with the little brush provided with it. 


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