January Favourites

Friday, 30 January 2015

So the first month of 2015 is nearly over and I hope it’s been good to you so far! I’ve been pretty busy with work this month but I’ve still had time to play around with some new makeup and beauty products. Unsurprisingly my January favourites are all Christmas presents I received! Let’s get started…

Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick - If you read my full review of Bitch Perfect by Charlotte Tilbury, then you’ll already know just how much I love this lipstick. Although the beautiful packaging is enough to draw you in for a closer look, it’s the gorgeous pink nude shade that really wowed me! It’s a really flattering colour, even on a pale girl like moi! I'm thinking of giving away a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick when I reach 600 Bloglovin followers so keep an eye out...

Barry M Caspian nail polish - I’m really into metallic finishes at the moment, so this nail polish from Barry M suited me down to a T. It’s a beautiful metallic gold shade but in some lights it has a rose gold tint to it. I’m big fan of Barry M nail polishes because they’re great quality, especially for the purse-friendly price of £3.99! You can see my full review of Caspian and swatches here.

TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer - I’ve been after a good highlighter for a while and I think I’ve finally found it in the Mary-Lou Manizer by TheBalm. This is a gorgeous champagne coloured powder that is perfect for highlighting the top of the cheekbones (I need all the help I can get) and creating a healthy glow. A little really goes a long way so I’m sure this is going to last me a good while. I also love the retro-style packaging and the oh-so-awesome name!

Sherlock - My last favourite of the month is actually a TV series that goes by the name of Sherlock! I’m really late jumping on the Benedict Cumberbatch bandwagon but my-oh-my he is wonderful and the series is so captivating! I didn't think it would be my sort of thing but I love the way they've updated Sherlock Holmes and given the stories a contemporary twist. I’ve completely caught up now though and I feel rather sad that we’ve got to wait so long for the next special! Ah well…I’m sure I’ll be hooked on another programme next week!

What have you been loving this month? xo

This Works Dream Team review

Thursday, 29 January 2015

If you find it difficult to get to sleep in the evenings, then you may want to try the Dream Team Duo by This Works. Now I know what you’re thinking, does it really work? And the only thing I can say is that it does for me!

The Deep Sleep Pillow spray is a calming spray infused with Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Chamomile and is designed to help you enjoy a deep and restful sleep. These are all ingredients that are typically associated with relaxation and aromatherapy, so you can see how they would encourage you into a sleepy state. Having said this, I still think that it has a bit of a placebo effect but what’s the harm in that if it does the trick? All I know is that it helps me drift off and in the morning I feel like I’ve slept well.

In the little Dream Team set you also get the Deep Sleep Stress Less Rollerball. Like the Pillow Spray, it is designed to make you feel relaxed but it also works to clear the head and help you relieve stress and tension. You can apply it to your pulse points but I tend to just roll a little onto my pillow or the top of my duvet now I’ve run out of the pillow spray and it works just fine! I can’t really tell much of a difference between the two products, despite them containing different ingredients (the rollerball contains Eucalyptus, Lavender Oil and Frankincense), however on the plus side they both leave me feeling calm, relaxed and ready to sleep.

You can currently buy the This Works Dream Team Duo for £8.60 from Beauty Bay (it’s usually £10). I think it’s a great little ‘tester’ set for those who want to see if the products work for them before they invest in the full size and it also makes a lovely gift. I actually bought this for James for Christmas but as we live together, I got to use it too (clever thinking – I know). We’ve both found that it really works for us and I’ll definitely be picking up the full size of the pillow spray when our rollerball has run out!

Have you tried anything from This Works? 
Did it work for you?
PS, If you struggle to wind down in the evening, see my 6 tips to help you switch off.

My Wardrobe Staples

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Jeggings - I think jeggings are possibly one of the best fashion inventions ever and I can't believe it took me so long to get some. I know I shouldn't be excited about anything with an elasticated waist at the age of twenty four but they're just so comfortable! If you buy the right pair, it's hard to tell they're not real jeans. I like to get mine from Next!
Stripy Tops - If you read my post all about my love for stripes then it'll come as no surprise that stripy tops are one of my wardrobe staples. Throw one on with a pair of jeggings or a high waisted skirts and you've got the perfect casual outfit.

Faux Fur Jackets - My wardrobe is slowly being taken over by faux fur jackets but my pink one from Next is my absolute favourite. I feel like it makes my outfits instantly more glamorous and it's so soft and snuggly.

Ankle Boots - Heeled ankle boots are my shoe of choice. They go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe and I love how they give girly outfits more of an edge. I've just spied these ones on the New Look website and fallen well and truly in love - if only I had a spare £70...

LBDs - No list of wardrobe staples is complete without a little black dress. They're just so flattering, versatile and easy to wear. The LBD will never go out of style and as much as I love the idea of incorporating more colour into my outfits, nothing will ever make me feel as good as an LBD.

What are your wardrobe staples?

6 tips for switching off at night

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Does anyone else find that their brain is particularly active right before they go to sleep? I often find myself playing out scenes in my head, thinking about all the things I need to do the next day and even pondering the ‘what ifs’ of my life. I think it can be really difficult to switch off at night, especially if you work from home or write most of your blog posts in the evenings, so I thought I’d share some of the things I do to try and wind down.

Put down the technology – I know it’s easier said than done (especially for bloggers) but it definitely helps to put your laptop away and switch off the notifications on your phone. I find that if my phone’s not buzzing and my Macbook isn’t flashing up new tweets, I’m not tempted to reach for them, so I can concentrate on getting ready for bed.

Give yourself time to wind down - I find that gradually getting ready for bed really helps me to wind down. Rather than rushing the process, just do one task in between watching a little TV, reading or doing whatever you like to do before you go to bed and it will gently ease you into the idea of going to sleep. Well it works for me anyway!

Create a night time skincare routine – It sounds silly but I really enjoy taking off my makeup and applying my night cream in the evening - it’s somewhat soothing. I honestly don’t know how people can even try and sleep in their makeup, it must be so uncomfortable.

Have a bath – If I’m feeling stressed or poorly, I like to have a bath before I go to bed. What makes it even better if I’ve got a Lush bathbomb or bubble bar to use. If you want one that helps to wind you down and relax your body, I recommend trying either the Twilight or Blackberry bath bomb.

Light a candle – I’m a big fan of candles anyway but I particularly like to light them in the evening when I want to relax and wind down. Obviously I don’t recommend keeping them lit whilst you sleep (just in case) but you could always try a pillow spray to get the same soothing scent. James and I have been using the lavender one from this works and we love it!

Make a list – If I have a lot on my mind before I go to sleep, I sometimes find that it helps to write it down. For example, if I’m thinking about all the things I need to do the next day, I’ll just make a list for the morning and I’ll feel much better. I know it won’t work for everyone but it’s definitely worth a try. 

What do you do to switch off in the evenings? 
PS, Isn’t my cat Thomas adorable? I’m always jealous of how comfy he looks!

My least favourite beauty chores

Monday, 26 January 2015

As a beauty blogger, it'll come as no surprise that I love skincare and makeup. I'll happily spend ages in the bathroom pampering myself and I'll schedule extra time before I go out just so I can enjoy doing my makeup. But there are some beauty tasks that I find a chore and it's those I'm sharing with you today...

Painting my nails
I love nail polish, I really do, but do I enjoy painting my nails? Nope! I think it's because I'm impatient and don't like sitting there waiting for my nails to dry when I could be doing a million and one other things. I also chip my nails so easily and sometimes wonder why I bother in the first place. Having said this, the Ultimate Fix nail spray has made painting my nails a little more enjoyable, as it helps to dry them quickly and prevent chipping. You can read my full review of it here.

Plucking my eyebrows
I'm sure I'm not the only one that finds plucking eyebrow hairs to be a real chore? It's not exactly fun and  there's always that risk that you're going to pluck the wrong hair and end up with noticeably odd brows. I think it's time I looked into getting them threaded!

Doing eyeliner flicks
I've been doing eyeliner flicks since I was fifteen and going through that emo phase so you would think that at the age of twenty four I'd have mastered it by now? Unfortunately not. It still takes me so long to get the perfect eyeliner flicks, cat eyes or whatever you like to call them, making it a painfully long task. This image describes it perfectly.

Anything hair related
I think drying, straightening and curling my hair are my least favourite beauty tasks of all. Even though I've got fine hair, there's a lot of it, so it takes so long to dry. The fact it's so fine also means that as soon as I've curled it and got it looking all voluminous and lovely, it drops. Maybe with the right haircare products I'd actually start enjoying doing my hair a lot more. Any suggestions?

What are your least favourite beauty chores?

My Instax Mini 8

Sunday, 25 January 2015

In our household, Christmas presents are all about getting something that you want but wouldn't necessarily buy yourself and for me that was the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera. I've wanted one for so long so you can imagine just how excited I was come Christmas day!

The main reason I wanted this little camera is because I want to start capturing little keepsake photos that I can look back on in years to come. I realised that whilst I take hundreds of blog photos every week, I rarely take photos with my family, boyfriend and friends and that needs to change!

I love everything about the Instax Mini 8, from it's super cute design to it's credit card sized instant prints. It's so easy to take photos with and the wait to see how they turn out is always so exciting! The camera has built-in flash, as well as brightness settings on the lens, to help you take the perfect shot, even in poor light conditions.

My mum and dad got a really good deal, as they managed to pick up the Instax Mini 8 camera in a bundle with twenty films (£69.99 at Argos). Urban Outfitters and other stores are selling the cameras on their own, for a much higher price, so if you want one, it's definitely worth going for the bundle if you can. The films aren't exactly cheap but I'm happy to pay the price if it means getting to keep these extra special photos.

I was also treated to this gorgeous pink Instax Mini case, which is perfect for carrying my camera around in, along with a mirrored lens (not pictured) that you can use to take selfies! It's super easy to clip the selfie mirror onto the lens, so if you haven't got someone to take your picture, you can simply do it yourself!

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera is one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received (thanks Mum and Dad) and I definitely recommend it to anyone out there that enjoys capturing memories too.

What do you think of the Instax Mini 8?
Let me know what your favourite Christmas presents were this year!

Oldies but goodies #2

Saturday, 24 January 2015

As much as I’d love to go out and buy everything on my beauty wishlist, I’m trying my hardest not to purchase things that I don’t really need. With this in mind, I decided to ‘shop my stash’ and pick out some oldies but goodies to re-introduce into my life.

First up was the No7 Essentially Natural foundation. The reason I’d not used this for a little while was that I’d fallen in love with the Balance Me BB cream, however recently I’ve been looking for something that offers a little more coverage (mainly for going out) and I remembered just how much I love this foundation. It’s really easy to buff into the skin (I use my Real Techniques buffing brush) and offers a lovely light and natural finish.

I’ve long been a fan of The Sanctuary but until a week or so ago I’d completely forgotten that I owned this Radiance Exfoliator. I used to really, really love this for brightening up my complexion and whilst I still does the job, I’m not so fond of the oversized exfoliating ‘bits’ any more and find them a little harsh on the face. For this reason, I’ve decided to use it as a body scrub instead and do you know what, it’s great!

My lips have been so chapped since I was ill a couple of weeks ago but thankfully I found my Born Lippy strawberry lip balm from The Body Shop and it’s worked wonders. Not only is this a lovely nourishing lip balm but it also adds a subtle, pretty red tint to the lips. Oh and it smells sooo good.

Last but not least we have the Maybelline Color Tattoo in the shade On and On Bronze. I’d forgotten just how much I loved this eyeshadow, which has a formula that lies somewhere between a cream and a gel. It makes it so easy to create a smoky bronze eye (even I can manage it) and is the most long-lasting eyeshadow I’ve ever used. Love it.

Have you shopped your stash recently? 

Read my first Oldies but Goodies post here.