Beauty / Lifestyle / Interiors

Friday, 30 January 2015

MY 4TH BLOG BIRTHDAY

beauty-blog

I can't believe I've had this little space on the internet for four years now!

For the past four years I've been so in love with blogging but It's only really been over the past year that I've been able to focus a lot more on my blog. Due to some health issues, I've been at home a lot more and so have really been able to put my all into my blog. I really am so grateful for blogging, the nice comments and the lovely community. I can't believe that collectively around 1,500 of you follow my beauty blog, it's so incredible to me and I really am truly grateful.

I've also spoken to so many lovely people through blogging, Stephanie was the first ever commenter on my blog and now I'm lucky enough to be able to contribute towards the beauty section of her amazing website, Chalk Kids.

I'm so grateful to have a kind boyfriend who sits there patiently with his stomach growling whilst I take a hundred photos of food before he can delve in, big french doors that give me great natural light for photos and for such a lovely community of bloggers who read and comment on my blog posts.

I've been thinking a lot recently whether to do a little 3 part blogging series on my blog but I'm not sure it's something that anyone would be interested in? Also, there are so many amazing blog guides and series out there at the moment, I've been particularly loving Michelle's blogging with daisybee series!

I'm off to celebrate my blog birthday with a big bowl of cinnamon caramel porridge and I might bake some of Hugh's Chocolate Chip Cookies (the best!) later in honour of the occasion!

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

FIVE PRODUCTS FOR GLOWING, RADIANT SKIN

dull-skin

During the winter my skin tends to lack radiance and can look quite dull, I try to incorporate brightening products into my make up and skincare routine to help to keep my skin looking fresh and dewy. I've found a few hero products that have really helped to keep my skin looking radiant and glowing throughout winter:

Sanctuary Therapists Secret Facial Oil: This 99% organic lightweight oil works miracles on my skin overnight. The mixture of hydrating, radiance boosting and soothing oils help to make my skin stay nourished, dewy and glowing, it's fast becoming one of my favourite skincare treats and has become a staple for me in my skincare routine.

Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polish: I love to dab a small amount of this creamy, iridescent highlighter onto the tops of my cheekbones, brow bone and on to my cupids bow for a radiant glow. It keeps my skin looking dewy and the pearl pink/peach tones help to really brighten up my complexion.

Topshop blushers: I own so many of these brightening, cream to powder blushers. I love the formula of these as they blend so seamlessly onto your skin as a cream before setting in place as a powder and the range of shades available are beautiful. My favourite shades from the range are Neon Rose, Head Over Heels (a bright coral) and Flush (a pink coral). They really help to keep your skin and make up looking fresh, I have my eye on Afternoon Tea next which looks like a pretty bright pink.

Seventeen Skin Wow Highlighting Primer: I love to mix this shimmery opalescent, pearl pink primer in with my foundation to help give my make up base an illuminated glow. It really helps to make your foundation look dewy and gives a boost to lacklustre skin.

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask: This mask is so great to use once a week to help to renew your complexion and to improve skintone, It leaves skin looking bright, smooth and clear. It contains natural fruit acids and has no parabens, petrolatum or silicone's.

What are your staples for glowing skin?
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Sunday, 25 January 2015

WINTER DATE NIGHT MAKE UP

winter-makeup

Although I'm starting to get excited for spring, I'm still clutching on to the wintry reds, shimmery golds and frosty pastels. Since getting engaged, me and Alex have been enjoying going out more to celebrate and I've been wearing this make up look non stop on our date nights and days out.

I really love to wear frosty pastels in the winter and MAC Well Dressed (swatched here) is the perfect powdery cool pink blusher to wear together with a long lasting bold red matte lip, like Nars Cruella (full review and swatched here).

On my eyes, I've been wearing a mixture of the rose and gold shades in Nars Alhambra, which is a beautiful eyeshadow duo that really brightens up the eye area. It's one of my favourite eyeshadow duo's and is great to take away with you travelling, see swatches here. I've also just recently repurchased my current favourite mascara, L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara which I apply after curling my lashes with my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers for long, fluttery lashes.

On my nails, I love wearing an ombre glitter accent finger and Essie Summit of Style is such a pretty bronze glitter that seems to work well with any dark nail polish.

Lastly, for highlighter, Topshop Glow highlighter in Polish is one of my all time favourites. There's something ethereal about the colour of this Topshop highlighter and it gives a such a beautiful luminescent glow. See me wearing it here.

What are your favourite date night products?
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Friday, 23 January 2015

STAYING HAPPY IN WINTER

winter-blues

January's frosts, bitter cold days, dark mornings and even darker nights can lead towards feeling a bit blue. The fairy lights and festive decorations have been packed away for another year and winter can bring a slump in energy which can leave you feeling a little down. Here are a few things that I make sure to do to keep me happy throughout winter.

1. Eat well - I think it's so important to eat well during winter to keep your spirits high and your immune system in check. One of my favourite uplifting things to eat is a hot, warming butternut squash, sage and ginger soup - the butternut squash gives you a boost of vitamin c, sage helps with anxiety and depression and ginger helps when your feeling a bit run down or for winter colds. I also love buying fresh berries rich in vitamin C and antioxidants such as blueberries and strawberries plus I like to buy little treats to make me happy like Mini eggs!

2. Treat yourself - Whether it be a cosy night in with a large hot chocolate, a long bubble bath or buying an item that you've wanted for ages, I think it's important to give yourself a little treat every now and then. I always buy myself a new planner or diary from paperchase so that I can keep organised and note down any exciting things I have planned or goals I have for the new year. I've also had the Hourglass blush palette and the Zoeva rose gold brush set in my online shopping basket for months and I think now is the perfect time to make a purchase!

3. Plan something - Whether it's an upcoming holiday, meeting up for coffee with a friend or planning a Pinterest wedding, planning something exciting can help to keep you focused on the positives. I read a while ago that the actual planning and anticipation of an exciting event can be more beneficial to you than the actual event itself, I'm not sure how true this is but I absolutely love planning and organising. Searching for a wedding/honeymoon destination is definitely going to make me happy this winter!

4. Get outside/exercise - A brisk walk around the block early on a sunny, frosty morning can really help to wake you up and motivate you. I have such a love/hate relationship with exercise but when I do work out it really does make me feel generally happier. Rather than sticking to a strict workout routine sometimes I find its best to just stick on some music and dance around the kitchen for half an hour!

5. Bright colours - Whether its a huge bunch of fresh yellow tulips to brighten up the home, a bright pink lipstick or even painting your nails in a brighter shade, I find that introducing a bit of colour to your home/routine can really make you feel a bit happier. I've pulled out Essie Mint Candy Apple to paint on my nails and Revlon colorburst matte balm in Showy for a burst of colour to my lips.

I absolutely love winter and although January can sometimes make me feel a bit down I try and focus on the good things to stay happy. The possibility of snow, first whispers of spring and cosy nights in keep me feeling happy and positive throughout winter.

What makes you happy in winter?
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

FIVE WINTER HYDRATION HEROS

moisturiser

During the winter my skin tends to look a little dull and feels quite dry and dehydrated. I have a selection of products that I like to use throughout winter to keep my skin feeling and looking it's best. These are five of my favourite hydrating products:

Origins Drink up Intensive Overnight Mask: I love to use this rich, nourishing mask once a week to really hydrate and give my skin a boost of moisture. It contains Japanese seaweed which works overnight to repair the skins barrier and helps to prevent future dehydration.

Sanctuary Therapist's Secret Facial Oil: This smoothing, hydrating oil is like magic in a bottle for my skin. I apply just a few drops of this at night to wake up with radiant, soft, hydrated skin that is a perfect base for make up. It's 99% organic and contains jojoba, sunflower and wheatgerm oils which are rich in hydrating vitamin e, rosehip oil which rebuilds and strengthens and frankincense and rose to soothe the skin.

Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream: This moisturiser really helps to keep the skin hydrated, plump and supple. I use this for visible next day results on dry skin and fine lines, it contains rose of Jericho, watermelon and rhodocrosite which help to lock in moisture whilst you sleep and to help your skin repair overnight.

Origins High Potency Night a Mins: This, together with a good serum underneath (I love to use it with Estee Lauder ANR - full post here) helps me to combat dull, lacklustre skin. I use this moisturiser whenever my skin is in need of a boost as it really helps my skin to stay radiant and smooth during the winter months. It contains vitamins E, C and H and also helps to fade acne scarring.

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser: If you suffer from tired, lacklustre skin in the mornings then this moisturiser gives a great boost of radiance whilst also leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated. The lightweight gel formula is perfect to use on mornings after a thick hydrating treatment and you don't need to use much product at all. It contains natural and organic ingredients, is paraben free and smells amazing - like a burst of fresh citrus.

What are your favourite Winter moisturisers?
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Sunday, 18 January 2015

WHAT'S IN MY BAG

whats-in-my-bag

Whilst sorting out things to put in my new H&M bag I realised that I haven't ever really written a 'whats in my bag' post. They're one of my favourite posts to read and so I thought it would be a good idea to take some snaps while packing my new bag. It also made me realise that I really needed to go shopping to buy some handbag essentials like hand cream and a proper purse, I've ordered this pretty gold and black purse from New Look but I still need to find a good hand cream - would love any suggestions please!

Over the past couple of years I've slowly decreased the size of my handbag and really cut back on the amount of things I carry around with me. I like to keep my bag light and clutter free so apart from the essentials I try to only carry things that I need.

I normally carry a book with me in my bag but since ruining my copy of Pride and Prejudice (as I always rummage around for things and end up crumpling the pages) I now just carry a book if I need one. I'm currently reading Rivers of London which tells the tale of a detective constable/trainee wizard.

I finally tracked down this mint version of the Paperchase Noto 2015 diary last weekend, I've used a page per day diary for the past couple of years now and I love reading back through them to see what I was up to in previous years. Luckily this diary fastens shut and so I can pop it in my bag without having to worry about ruining the pages. 

Now that I own some Nars lip pencils I'm excited to be able to compare them to the Maybelline color drama lipsticks. I've added the shade 'keep it classy' to my bag to test it out this week and to see how they compare. I also like to have a glitter nail polish tucked away in my bag for an accent nail or for quick application if I have bare nails. I find that a layer of Essie A Cut Above glitter nail polish can look really pretty and it dries quite quickly if I need to apply a quick coat when I'm out. Lastly I sorted through my 5 lip balms that were in my old bag and chose the Smiths Rosebud Salve lip balm to put in my new bag, it contains rose oil and is healing as well as moisturising and so perfect for winter. I've also started carrying around my Denman hairbrush as whenever I wear a scarf my hair somehow works its way into such a tangled mess beneath it.

My current perfume of choice is Vera Wang Lovestruck. It's a sweet, slightly floral scent with vanilla, musk, mandarin and pink guava. It really smells lovely and so I have placed it in my new bag to make sure I wear it more often.

Lastly, for a snack on the go I've popped some left over Christmas chocolate in my bag, we still have quite a lot left and so I'm trying to finish it up so I can finally start a healthier eating routine next week.

What's currently in your bag?
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Friday, 16 January 2015

FIVE THINGS I'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK

books

1. Blogs: Recently on these cold, blustery winter evenings I've been enjoying catching up on my favourite blogs with a hot cinnamon tea. There are so many wonderful blog posts around at the moment, three I've loved this week are: Rosie's inspiring post about resolutions (#IAmEnough), Rebecca's An honest post about friendships and Cat's beautiful and inspirational Flat tour part 1.

2. Books: As part of my 2015 goals, I've been trying to take time to read a lot more this year. Along with re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I'm also currently reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch which has been described as a Harry Potter meets Sherlock style book. It tells the story of a detective constable/trainee wizard, I'm only a couple of chapters in but I'm enjoying it so far.

3. Smoothie Recipes: In keeping with my new years resolutions and in trying to adopt a more healthy lifestyle I've been reading some new smoothie recipes to use in my Nutribullet. I found this healthy salted caramel cookie dough smoothie (with dates, vanilla and frozen bananas) on pinterest and Megan from briarroseblog has been posting some amazing recipes on instagram including a 'cheeky carrot cake smoothie' and a 'laudree inspired raspberry and rose smoothie'.

4. Pottermore: During the festivities over christmas I didn't get any time to stop and read J.K Rowlings 12 days of Christmas on Pottermore. I've been catching up on the 12 new writing pieces that she's uploaded and I'm absolutely loving them.

5. Beauty Websites: As mentioned in my previous five things I've been reading this week post, I love reading Vogue beauty to keep up to date with the latest beauty trends. I've also recently discovered Into the Gloss which is another great website for beauty inspiration.

What have you been reading this week?
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

MALM DRESSING TABLE DETAILS

mirror
muji-storage
malm-dressing-table
malm-dressing-table

Having a dressing table is quite a new thing for me, usually I would just sit crossed legged on the floor, surrounded by products and have to get up to rummage through my Alex drawers if I ever wanted to switch up my make up. 

I got the Ikea Malm dressing table for Christmas and I'm already in love. It's such a pretty area which really inspires me and makes reaching for and applying my make up a dream. Also, i've been using a lot more of my make up since having my Malm dressing table and so have made some great rediscoveries. 

Although it's nowhere near perfected, I already love the way its coming together. I've been spending my evenings watching make up storage videos and reading dressing table blog posts to gather some idea's for mine.

I used Nouvelle Daily's post to DIY some storage inserts, it makes the drawer look so neat and organised. So far I've sorted through all of my eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushers to pull out my favourites before organising them into the drawer inserts and the acrylic storage on top. 

I sprayed the legs on my mirror a rose gold colour to personalise it slightly, I really love having golden touches and this fits in perfectly with the look I'm trying to achieve. Lastly I arranged my Real techniques, MAC, No7 and bdellium tools brushes into a muji acrylic desk pot and organised the sections into powder brushes, face brushes and eyeshadow/highlighting brushes so that I can reach them easily for daily use. 

I still have a long way to go but I'm happy with how it's starting to all come together. I've got my eye on some Muji acrylic storage to sit on top and I want to get some rifle paper cards or instagram print outs to stick up for inspiration and to brighten things up a little.

What do you think of my dressing table set up so far?
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Sunday, 11 January 2015

NARS DIGITAL WORLD LIP PENCIL COFFRET

nars-velvet-matte-lip-pencil
nars-digital-world-lip-pencil-coffret
nars-satin-lip-pencil

Nars is one of my favourite make up brands and after being so impressed with the quality, pigmentation and texture of their blushers and eyeshadows I've been wanting to branch out and try a few more Nars products, especially Nars lip pencils.

I thought that the Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret would be a great way to test out a few of the different Nars lip pencil finishes and shades, It's pretty good value for money at £32 for five shades and includes the beautiful acrylic box that they are contained in. The lip pencils are smaller in size than the normal 2.4g £18 pencils, these weigh in at 1.7g-1.8g making each pencil in this set £6.40 each, even though these pencils would normally work out at around £13.

Nars Digital World Lip pencil coffret contains five travel sized lip pencils - three are satin lip pencils and two velvet matte lip pencils. The bold shades are stunning and although initially I was concerned that the nude shades wouldn't suit my skintone, they look really pretty as a sheer wash of colour on the lips.

The shades included in the set (in swatched order above) are:

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu - A beautiful blue toned shocking fuchsia pink.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Torres Del Paine - A pretty peach coral.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico - A bold orange red.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso - A peach-pink nude.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella - A blue toned scarlet red.

These Nars Lip pencils all have great pigmentation, last well on the lips and are a nice formula. The only downside is that you have to sharpen these pencils which will waste some of the product.

All in all these Nars lip pencils didn't disappoint, I have my eye on Nars base products next!
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Friday, 9 January 2015

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK #7

home-office

Monday: Starting this week a-fresh and getting back into a normal routine. Waking up early, drinking more water and organising absolutely everything.

Tuesday: A day spent admiring my new fresh pink tulips and enjoying homemade vegetable wholewheat ramen (which I managed to take a quick photo of before I polished off the whole lot!).

Wednesday: An early morning pink sunrise and late night exciting purchases! I finally took the plunge and ordered a Roberts radio. I chose the cream/gold revival mini which I absolutely love the look of and will hopefully fit in perfectly with our little flat. Alex discovered a box of old audio book tapes recently (full of J.R.R.Tolkien and Philip Pullman) so not only will I be able to listen to more music but we can plug in our old portable tape player and spend the evenings listening to audio books together.

Thursday: Enjoying a cosy, rainy, gloomy winters day and baking vanilla cinnamon rice pudding topped off with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg. The house smelled incredible!

Friday: I'm planning on spending the afternoon stationary shopping, I hopefully want to find a new 2015 diary and i'm on the look out for a few postcards and some pretty washi tape!

What has made you happy this week?
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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

CHAMPAGNE PLEASE

bridal-makeup

Champagne eyeshadow is my absolute favourite colour of eyeshadow to wear. I like to use a flat shader brush to pat on a shimmery wash of colour all over my lids before adding winged liner and plenty of mascara for my everyday make up look. These are some of my favourite champagne eyeshadows:

MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize SkinFinish: After highlighting, I like to dust this light golden champagne highlighter over my lids for a pretty, natural shimmer. I love to use this if i'm in a hurry as I just use any excess product on my brush after I've finished highlighting to sweep over my lids. See swatches here.

Loreal 206 Little beige dress: This buttery pressed pigment is a beautiful light champagne with a hint of peachy pink shimmer running through it. It's long lasting on my eyes and looks great in the inner corners and as a brow bone highlight as well as applied over the lids. See swatches here.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow in Champagne: This is a really sheer eyeshadow that leaves a light shimmery champagne wash of colour over your eyes. It's very sheer and so is great for days when you want a more natural make up look.

Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow in Champagne Quartz: This beautiful eyeshadow is a lot more pigmented than the shimmer wash eyeshadows and feels more buttery in texture. It's a beautiful peach champagne eyeshadow and one of my favourite eyeshadows.

MAC Bare Study Paint Pot: This cream eyeshadow is so easy to apply with your ring finger and gives a long lasting, light golden pink champagne wash of colour over your eyes. It brings a lot of light to the eye area and lasts all day on me without smudging or creasing.

MAC Naked Pigment: This beige, champagne colour pigment is actually really similar to my skintone and so I love wearing it to bring another dimension and a hint of shimmer to my eyes. MAC pigments last absolutely ages as you only need such a small amount and although it's quite a neutral colour the iridescent gold shimmer gives it a lovely glow. See me wearing it here.

Which are your favourite champagne eyeshadows? Any I should add to my wishlist?
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Sunday, 4 January 2015

WINTER BLUSHERS

blusher


As it's been getting colder I've been changing my make up and adding frosty pastels and rich winter tones to my make up routine. These are the blushers that I've added to my make up bag for winter:

Nars Dolce Vita: This deep, rose red blush is extremely pigmented and gives my cheeks a pretty rosy glow. You only need the smallest amount of this blusher to give you long lasting berry cheeks. I've been loving wearing Nars Dolce Vita with MAC all that glitters on my eyes, winged liner and Revlon Lip balm in crush on my lips and the combination is so pretty and great for Winter.

MAC Well Dressed: For the days when I want something a bit more subtle on my cheeks I opt for MAC well dressed. I love wearing frosty pastels in winter and this powdery cool pale pink blush really works well with a pastel bobble hat, shimmery champagne eyeshadow and MAC Soft & Gentle highlighter.

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar*: This contains three highly pigmented blushers that are perfect for Winter. The berry red shade is similar to Nars Dolce Vita, but with brighter red tones. The middle shade applies as a deep wine with copper tones running through it, it's such a beautiful shade that reminds me of a deeper version of my all time favourite blush, Sleek rose gold. The warm matte orange shade has peach undertones and looks so pretty with shimmery eyes and subtle pink lips.

Which blushers have you been wearing this Winter?
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