Monday, 22 December 2014

Our Winter Wonderland...

This post is a little bit of a different one but I was scrolling through our pictures from a recent trip to Winter Wonderland and figured with it being so close to Christmas I'd put together a festive little post.
Being a couple that had never been to Winter Wonderland before we figured we'd make our first winter as a married couple the one to brave the cold and venture through Hyde Park...  

We masqueraded and then got told off for doing so...

We then realised that we were very very silly and forgot to bring cash, which way is the cash machine...?

We snapped Santa and his Sleigh in the Ferris Wheel...

I took some blurry pictures in the crowds...

We walked and walked and got a bit lost...

We found the Haunted House and...

...We picked up some very over-priced tickets for the haunted house and came out a little disappointed but all in all it was a very picturesque and romantic evening and I really enjoyed it.  we then walked through Sloane Sq and nuzzled our hot cups of coffee home.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The lip lovers perfect little gift...

Coming from a family that doesn't give Christmas presents but rather just all get together to eat our body weight in sweets and poultry I couldn't do a full fledged Christmas gift guide but on a rare shopping day in London I decided to seek out this adorable little gift set with my John Lewis vouchers in hand.  I'd watched Vivianna's gift guide and instantly fell in love with it and coming in at around the £17 mark it's great value for money. 
I'm probably one of the only girls on the planet that still hasn't tried the infamous Instant light natural lip perfectors and this gift set having two mini's in the shades 01 and 06 meant it was a no brainer! The set also comes with a mini Rouge Eclat satin lipstick in #13 and a Gloss Prodige in #04.  All wearable neautral shades and the Clarins attendant was lovely and picked out all the shades from their testers so that I could actually see what came in the box and let me have a quick swatch but I had walked into John Lewis knowing I wanted this and with some John Lewis vouchers from my wedding burning a hole in my purse I took it without a second thought.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not you have to agree this is the season for gift sets and a bargain so If you're looking for the perfect little gift for a loved one or just a little treat for yourself like me I'd recommend checking out your local Clarins counter!  

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Cheap as chips but oh so good...

Those of you that follow my Instagram account will know that this time last week me and my husband took our first holiday together to Marrakech.  The instant that holiday was booked I felt the urgency to revamp my makeup wardrobe.  I didn't want to pick up anything expensive as this trip was going to be all about taking in the sights and enjoying the sun with my man, not spending hours in front of the mirror.  However I am still a makeup junkie and I wasn't going to spend 5 days out there without any makeup at all so I had a quick snoop around in my stash and identified the obvious gaps in my collection.
Being a very dry-skinned girl I've never really felt the need to powder my face or set my foundation, it tends to stick around all day regardless however seeing as we were going to a fairly hot country I figured a powder may be quite useful.  Enter my first cheap as chips companion, the MUA Pro-Base prime and conceal powder.  At first I assumed I would just pick up the Rimmel pressed powder that everybody seems to rave about however the colours of this little baked powder, aimed at complexion correction, really intrigued me.  After swatching this on my hand I was sold instantly! It not only matches my complexion perfectly and evens the tone but gives me an almost undetectable glow which doesn't look like its been applied, just that its coming from within! It's amazing and priced at just £4 a total bargain! Go out and have a play with this if you're near a Superdrug store, you will NOT be disappointed.
Now aside from my obvious need for a setting powder I felt the need for a simple little palette.  One with mattes and shimmers, nudes, beiges, pinks and smokey browns and this little palette from I Heart Makeup London called #Selfie fits that description pretty well.  This was a brand I'd never heard of before venturing into my local Superdrug store.  They have a pretty basic range which consists mainly of eyeshadow palettes so I gave them a swatch and was very impressed.  No matter the formula each colour transfers beautifully onto the skin and lasts a whole day of shopping, eating and sunbathing without any difficulties.  It has enough of a colour range to satisfy all occasions be it a simple day look or more vampy evening look.  This was a total bargain at £4.99 and I figured if this got lost, stolen or broken in transit I really wouldn't worry as much as I would have taking my Urban Decay Naked palette along.
For drugtore products you can't really go wrong with these two products and I'm intrigued now to try out some other cheap but cheerful drugstore finds.  Any suggestions anybody?

Monday, 3 November 2014

My little winter skin life savers...

And here they are!  I am one of those very fortunate (not) people who's skin shrivels up like a prune as the weather changes.  Pair that with being horrendously ill for the past week and my skin has just been hating me and craving some TLC... 
So along with getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of hot lemon water and popping numerous vitamins and pills I've been reaching for some skin saviours to try and look human again.
I've had this bottle of Espa Balancing Herbal Spafresh Spritzer for about a year and have literally only used a quarter of it because I tend to savour every spritz and use it very sparingly.  It has a calming herbal scent and just gives my skin a little instant boost.   
With a blocked nose and cheese grater throat comes dry sore lips and despite piling on lots of The Body Shop coconut or honey lip butters the only thing that has really soothed my lips is the Blistex Intensive Moisturiser.  This stuff is instant gratification and relief in a tube, it just gets the job done. I love it!  
I have never really tried anything from the 'Yes to..' range so I decided to pick up the Yes to Carrots Rich Moisture Day Cream for normal to dry skin.  This is so good I want to slap it on every five minutes just because it feels so good and smells like floral carrots.  If thats possible...??  I'd say this moisturiser is a one-size-fits-all as my husband who has very oily skin has been loving this too.
The newest additions to my little skin stash are the Nivea Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream and the Boots Botanics Super Serum Triple Age Renewal.  Both of these products are geared more at anti-ageing than hydrating but being somebody who doesn't generally use either an eye cream or a serum (shock horror!!) I think my skin has just been enjoying the extra layers of product and having noticed a few laughter lines around my eyes I'm hoping I can nip that in the bud ASAP!!
I will always have a jar of the Clarins HydraQuench Cream in my cupboard ready to work its Hydrating magic when nothing else will cut it.  It's a thick but light moisturiser that just sinks into the skin and leaves it feeling plumped and soothed.  It's like a little skin drink in a jar that I think I will love forever.
Finally I like to conclude my routine with the Loreal Paris Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk-Up Cream.(link)  Aside from having the worlds longest name this cream does what it says on the tube and more.  It's a skincare/makeup hybrid which goes onto the skin as a grey tinged moisturiser and once blended morphs into a good skin day dewy tint that matches my skin tone perfectly.  As the name suggests it instantly perks up fatigued and dull skin and leaves you looking awake and healthy.  This has to be my absolute favourite product of the bunch at the moment as it just makes me look alive again especially throughout the past week when I've felt a bit like the walking dead and not having slept for days.
I hope this post has been a little bit helpful for anybody feeling as poopy as I am or for those suffering with their skin with the current climate.  Let me know your skin saviours, I'd love to know!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Cutest Little Bear...

Recently I did some serious financial damage on a trip to Lush.  I'd had a stressful day at work, I wasn't feeling too good and I was in need of some serious retail therapy.  As probably all of you know Lush Halloween and Christmas has officially landed so naturally I headed over, picked up a basket because I knew I was going to need one and began sniffing everything new in sight.

I picked up a few things but rather than do a haul I figured why not try and tell...
Ok I admit it I just couldn't wait to fill up the bath and get trying with my new finds.

First to join me in the bath was this adorable Butter Bear.  This little bear is packed full of Cocoa butter which just melts and clings to the skin in the water and leaves you feeling silky soft all day.  It has the same sweet vanilla scent as the Butterball Bath bomb and at just £1.95 each these are fast becoming my favourite Lush find so far.

Stay tuned for a lot more Lush themed posts because I have a feeling there will be a few more trips happening very soon...
Is there anything from Lush that you've discovered and fallen in love with because I'd love to know...?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Mustard on my nails...

EI'm not usually a paint my nails kind of girl and I didnt even have them done for my wedding. Shocking for a beauty blogger but all that is changing slowly.

I'm still not a cuticle pusher backer or a file em down to perfection girl but I have recently been enjoying kicking back in front of some trash tv and slicking on a fresh lick of paint.

At the moment I have Barry M's latest offering Mustard on my nails.  As the weather changes I'm enjoying the transition from brights and neons to more muted dirty colours.  Having picked up the entire Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Autumn collection *looks sheepish* I figured I would review them all seperately.  So far the verdict on Mustard is a positive one, I've had numerous compliments from complete strangers in stores to the ever hard to please spouse... shock horror!

The formula of this range I have found to dry slightly quicker than their previous offerings however this shade did begin to chip after 2-3 days whereas I have had Greenberry on my nails for well over 7 days before I noticed any wear and tear..

Does anybody have any Autumnal recommendations for polishes while this new love of painted nails overcomes me...?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Adding some more drama in my life...

Yes I am literally adding some more drama in my life, Maybelline Color Drama to be precise.  Whilst perusing the aisles of Superdrug in search for a new anti-aging moisturiser yes I can see wrinkles! I was very easily distracted by these beauties.  As Autumn is imminent I was searching for a orangey-browny-red brick shade to add to my collection but haven't had much luck as of yet.  Fab Orange does however come very close to fulfilling my lipstick needs.  Although very orange there is also a very obvious red hue which deepens slightly when applied.  These are very aptly named Intense Velvet Lip Pencils as the feel is very velvety matte on the lips and color payoff very intense. 
 Currently buy one get one half price in Superdrug I decided to go for Nude Perfection to make a pair.  The Pinky-browny nude is a great everyday choice for those days when you don't want to layer on a bright fuchsia or do the whole red lip, lip liner jazz however this line does have quite a range of colours from your pinky nudes to your fuchsias, corals, reds and deeper berries there's something for everyone and call me old fashioned but in the day of the twist up lip pencil era it's quite nice to have an old school wooden pencil to sharpen once blunt.  
Anybody else get a secret satisfaction from sharpening a lip or eye pencil to a fresh new point ready for action...?

Monday, 1 September 2014

20 Facts About Me....

1.  I have incredibly low self-esteem..just looking at my mug shot headlining this post is giving me anxiety but I'm working on getting over it!

2.  I'm 27 years old, don't let that baby face fool you! I still get ID'd in stores...

3.  I'm very recently but very happily married, he's my rock when things get too much and gives me a kick up the derriere when I'm slacking! Love you babe!

4.  I've had my blog for almost 3 years now but I'd given up on it for a while...It was hard doing something I'd lost all passion and drive for but it was actually the aforementioned hubzy who encouraged me to get back into it and I've realized just how much I enjoy being a part of this community.

5.  I'm a fully qualified Adult Nurse, I love my job, hate what it's become...

6.  I am physically incapable of functioning without my daily dose of caffeine.

7.  I've always wanted to start a YouTube channel but my nerves keep getting the better of me, I'm working my way up to it though so maybe one day in the not so distant future i'll bare my YouTube soul for the world to see.

8.  Beauty and Fashion are real passions of mine, the ultimate life goal is to turn those passions into a career.

9.  My ultimate beauty blogger babe has to be Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and fashion fave the beautiful Ascia from Hybrid In A Headpiece.

10.  My all time favourite film is Scarface...that is all!

11.  I am an Aries, yep I'm an April baby

12.  I love giving gifts, even more than I love receiving them!  I get so excited and spend ages wrapping them, tying ribbons and topping with bows although sometimes it is wasted on boys...

13.  I also love painting, drawing, calligraphy, and all general arting and crafting...

14.  I suffer from horrendous panic attacks, I've had them on the bus, while out having coffee with friends or just lying in bed at bedtime.  They're horrible, even worse when you don't understand them.  They are probably the reason I don't do half the things I'd love to...

15.  My guilty pleasures in life are Made in chelsea (any forms of trash TV will suffice), Catfish (the tv show, not the scaley kind), and Emmerdale, gotta love the Dales in the evening.

16.  I love baking, the satisfaction of the rise in the oven, I havent heard the husband complain either...

17.  I would love to live abroad for a few years, and ultimately travel the world.

18.  I can't wait to have children! I've been maternal since puberty hit and it's been a long time coming! I want babies!

19.  I to this day don't own a designer handbag or piece of clothing, all my money went on getting through uni and living out so I could work and get as much experience as possible.  The first thing I'd want to buy is a pair of red bottoms, it's still a dream though.

20.  Writing this post took 3 days, numerous coffee breaks, utter frustration and the realisation that after 27 years I know squat about myself!  Hope you enjoyed this little insight into me.

I've loved reading these sort of posts and learning new things about all of you lovelies so link me your posts below so I can curl up and read all about you...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The one with all the protein...

For quite some time now I've been collecting, trialing and glugging my way through various offerings of protein shakes. Why? do you ask...Because getting married means getting comfortable, a lot of eating out and slipping into a vicious cycle of sitting-on-the-sofa-snacking while in a little loved up bubble!  And that means gaining a bit of a 'marriage tyre' and nobody wants one of those.  So I've begun operation 'lose the marriage weight'!
So after a long conversation with the better half about various protein shakes and their uses I took to the interweb, found a few companies selling various different flavours of the stuff.  I have been drinking mine post workout mixed with 200mls of water and 100mls of skimmed milk.  Generally you can mix your shakes with whatever you feel like I just prefer to add a bit of milk for creaminess and added calcium.

My Protein - My Protein offer a wide range of flavours, of which I ordered chocolate smooth, white chocolate, choc nut and toffee.  Each sample is 25g which is enough for one use.  Each sample costs £1.49 and delivery is charged at £4 or thereabouts which is a bit of a pain when you think I could have had another couple of samples with that!!!  Delivery timing was adequate but when I received the package one of my samples had somehow opened and subsequently went all over me when I took everything out, I wouldn't have minded so much if somebody from My Protein would reply to my emails...I did after all pay for a sample I ended up wearing instead of drinking!  As for taste they are gorgeous with a slight proteiny after taste.  They are sweet and creamy when mixed which makes them much easier to consume.

Bulk Powders - I can't praise Bulk Powders enough.  The delivery was on time if not slightly early, always a plus.  Each sample only costs 99p and the flavour range is incredible.  I ordered chocolate cookie, chocolate peanut and peaches and cream.  Each one tasted like heaven but my absolute favourite was peaches and cream and another order of a 2kg's of the stuff is on the cards!  Each sample contains 25g of product which is again enough for single use, they are well packaged and they even reply to my tweets!  I think I've developed a slight obsession for these powders.  Their flavour range makes the whole protein shake experience which I used to dread so pleasurable and something I even looked forward to in my sweaty panting breathless state.  For anybody new to protein shakes and a bit dubious I would definitely recommend Bulk Powders as you can try before you buy and there's so much variety...

Gold Standard - These shakes just seemed standard to me.  I picked these samples up for £1.30 each in Holland and Barrett which meant no delivery charges but the only flavour choices were French Vanilla, Double Chocolate and Strawberry (which you can most definitely pass on, I did not enjoy the strawberry nearly as much as the other two)  As you can probably tell I'm a bit of a chocaholic and have picked up the chocolate version of every kind.  The Gold Standard shakes weren't bad at all but they didn't wow me, it was just your average protein shake and thats not a bad thing.  I just found the Bulk Powders shakes a bit sweeter and pleasant to the tastebuds.  If however you don't like your shakes too sweet and prefer a bulkier shake I would recommend Gold Standard.

PhD - Now I'm probably not the best person to review this company, (the hubby swears by PhD and has regularly ordered multiple 2kg tubs of the stuff).  I only managed to pick up one flavour from an independent health store being white chocolate which I did not like at all.  The 25g sample had a very distinct aftertaste which was not pleasant.  I will let the hubby give you his take on the very popular brand...
Hubby's POV - so my opinion on PhD is..... it works! that's the whole point right. I use PhD Synergy, an all in one protein shake. It has hardly any fat and lots of protein and also contains creatine, amino acids, BCAA's Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, all of the things you need to build strong lean muscle. PhD Synergy used to taste nice and smooth but now that they decided to stupidly change their formula it doesn't taste as good but it does what it says on the tub! My verdict if you're looking to build muscle fast, then PhD is the way to go. I use the strawberry flavor so others may taste better...

And there you have it...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Chocoholics dream...

I've been meaning to put this post together for a while but somehow doing nothing seems to be taking up all my time!  It's finally come to a head though as I can't resist ripping these beauties open and getting muddy pawed any longer!
Being probably the only Beauty Blogger on the planet who hasn't tried the original Bourjois chocolate bronzer, when I stumbled across these gorgeous 'milk, white and dark chocolate' versions I figured Why not give them a go instead.  The Highlighter (white chocolate) section is perfectly milled, not too disco-bally with a pinky-golden iridescent hue.  The milk chocolate bronzer also has those very subtle glints of gold dust running through it but gives a healthy tanned glow.  The darker product known as gold bronzing powder however is filled with shimmer which makes it not so good for countour bronzing but absolutely gorgeous for adding to an already tanned face or body.  The inside of the packaging when opened out has a quick set of instructions for how to use the product which is a nice touch.  Both products are quite heavily scented however the Gold Bronzing Powder much more so than the Bronzing powder and Highlight so if that is something that you know reacts with your skin you should probably steer well clear of these.  I must add though that I have quite sensitive skin and I have enjoyed every second of using these without any adverse reactions.

And finally not forgetting the little pot of dreams in the middle that is the cream blush in 03.  This warms ever so slightly to the touch making it easily blend-able, and dries to a powdery finish which doesn't actually look powdery on the skin.  As a dry skinned girl i tend to palpitate at the thought of putting anything powdery on my face however this blush just gives a healthy muted flush without further drying my skin or doing that weird crumbly thing on contact with the skin.  To sum up! Good job Bourjois! I am very very impressed and can't wait to see what's next....

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The lazy girls face menu..

I don't know if it's marriage or just the fact that the sun has got his hat on (most days!) but recently my face menu has been more on the minimal and bronzey side.  The Dr Jart water fuse BB cream is all the base that I spread on my face with a side of Rimmel's wake me up concealer for those horrifying eyebags.  For that bronzed 'glow from within' I have fallen head over heels for the new Seventeen Instant Glow shimmer bricks.  I usually swipe a touch of the lighter two shades from Pink Bronze as a highlighter and finish with a touch of the bronzier shades swiped along the cheekbones.  To top off the minimal effort lazy girls makeup menu I'm loving the new Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara.  The brush is unique and definitely one to have a nosey at and I must say as the formula becomes drier it just gets better and better.

The base factor...

Recent base related discoveries from Max Factor which left me pleasantly surprised.

When shopping for the perfect base product for my wedding day I automatically ventured towards the Giorgio Armani Luminous silk and Dior Forever skin options thinking that the more I paid the more flawless my face would look but surprisingly Max Factor did bring it when it came to a healthy glowey yet highly covered mug shot! 

The whipped cream foundation is exactly what it says on the jar, a whipped moussey cream which blends like a dream into the skin and looks flawless, can be used with a Real Techniques blending brush but looks equally as good just blended with fingers.
The Pan Stick however I feel needs the warmth of the fingers to achieve that good skin day look as it is much more of a solid oily formula.

On those days when I'm feeling really adventurous I'll use a combination of both to create an almost perfect base.  A light wash of  the Whipped Cream buffed into the skin with a few swipes of the Pan Stick under the eye bags and around the nose.

Who else has been pleasantly surprised by the highstreet offerings in the base department?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The storage edit

A lot has happened since my last post, I took the giant leap into married life and am now Mrs A! However along with the wedding bells comes moving into a new flat and ultimately stamping my own little makeup storage/application authority on the new place...
Enter the Ikea Ransby! The retractable mirror is the perfect height and angle for everyday use and opens to reveal an additional storage compartment for whatever take your fancy, mine currently holds my Pandora watch, keys and my wedding rings.
The stool shown comes available to purchase seperately, along with all assembly instructions.

Husband equipped and able to assemble this beauty is not included, I'm just extremely lucky I had one lying around at home.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My current wishlist...i.e. things I want right now but can't collectively afford...

What do I do when I want to go shopping but know I shouldn't spend any more money...window shop as my other half would say! And when the weather's pants I window shop from the sofa with a cup of caffeine in my hand.
Every girls dream is Zara, so that's where I headed on my fictional tour first where I spied this Leather Pouch.  Its small, it's cute, it says 'stressed' hence it's perfect for me.  Also from Zara's offerings come this gorgeous Pique Blazer and this cute Bucket Bag. I don't wish for much...
Now this wouldn't be a fictional shopping trip without some makeup thrown and who doesn't want Tom Ford makeup! I don't own anything from Tom Ford's beauty range but if I could first on the list would be this Eye colour quad or the ever popular Lip Colour in wild ginger.
And of course you can't end a virtual mooch around the shops without paying homage to space NK.  First stop, the By Terry stand where I spotted the ever talked about ombre-blackstar in brown perfection and of course I couldn't leave without perusing the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes.
Sometimes virtual tours are better than the real thing....

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My current skin saviour...

You know that feeling when you're feeling run down, exhausted and like you just want to crawl into bed and come out when its summer?! yep that has been me this past couple of weeks paired with the virus from hell! I've had achy joints, fever shakes, the lot but my skin has looked pretty good all down to this wonder bottle.  Clarins usually bring it when it comes to skincare and this toning lotion is not exeption, it's made for dry skins like mine and alcohol free so it isn't stripping or drying at all.  The standard sweeping of the cotton pad ritual with this has been all I've been able to manage in terms of skincare routine these days but it must be working as my skin is clear and radiant in the morning.  Priced at £19.00 for 200ml its fairly standard Clarins pricing however for the results totally worth it in my opinion.  Only the smallest amount is needed for a full face and neck sweep and this bottle is still going strong 6 months post purchase however I must say I don't use this everyday.  This being my good skin in a bottle skin saviour of the moment means I whip it out in dire times of need and am never left disappointed!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Beauty from the inside...

I felt like blogging today! Now that hasn't happened in a very long time... So I figured while the mood was right I should just run with it!
I haven't done a healthy eating post in a very long while so I figured why not start there! I've always believed that while a good skincare regime is important its equally as important if not more to feed yourself from within.  I know I bang on about it a lot in my health posts but if it feels good on the inside, it'll show on the outside.

Drink lots of water! Water helps aid digestion, helps keep your body well hydrated, works wonders for glowy skin and has 0 calories!  If you're like me and don't think water tastes as good as a can of diet coke try adding some fresh fruit to your bottle of water and popping it in the fridge to keep it nice and fresh.  My favourites are lemon slices, strawberry and kiwi chunks and blueberries for that extra antioxidant hit!  Drinking a glass of water half an hour before your meal will ensure you probably eat a bit less and having another glass half an hour after your meal will help aid digestion.

Don't skip breakfast! It sounds so simple but it really really helps!  Eating a well balanced healthy breakfast will keep you going until lunchtime, it'll stop you from craving sugar and fats mid morning and give you all the energy you need to achieve your full potential rather than feeling lethargic and grouchy like I often did.  My favourite breakfast choices have become porridge oats with 1% milk topped with blueberries and sometimes a cheeky banana if I'm feeling devilish or A slice of wheat free toast topped with rocket leaves, poached egg and sliced smoked salmon....mmmm delish!

Freeze your fruits! Buying larger fruits or fruits in bulk means you can freeze what you don't eat immediately, frozen fruits taste great in smoothies or just as they are as a refreshing hit and it means you don't waste what doesn't get eaten the day you buy them.

Switch to Coconut Oil! The apparent benefits to this new wonder product are endless so obviously I had to jump on the Coconut Oil bandwagon!  Now I've not been cooking with it long enough to sing its praises too much just yet but according to the numerous articles that have popped up recently the possibilities are endless with this product.  You can cook with it, cleanse your face with it, condition your hair with it, moisturize your body with it as well as it's endless digestive and medicinal properties.  I'll leave you to make your minds up about this one for now while I continue to test it out.

Until next time