Monday, 30 January 2012

January GlossyBox.

After such a wonderful box last month, I think it was always going to be hard for GlossyBox to improve on that for this months box ♦. I must say, I'm more impressed than I expected to be but I still think last months box was the best so far. I do really love the hot pink box they've used for this special Valentine's theme, I think I even prefer it to the usual soft pink shade of the boxes!

The first item I was drawn towards was the Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner and I received the shade Emerald Green. I can't lie and say I'm overly thrilled with this colour, in all honesty I will never use this and I was secretly hoping I would get the pale pink shade, but nevermind. The packaging of these seems to be a bit deceiving, the pencil looks really long but the pointed silver end doesn't appear to contain any product, making this liner quite a bit shorter than average.

The pencil itself is pigmented, it doesn't drag along the skin in an unpleasant way and it smudges quite easily. To me this feels ever so slightly waxy, but I'm not a huge expert on pencil liners, and it smells quite like crayons. Overall this isn't a product for me, but everyone is different - you may adore this product! The full size pencil retails at £9.50.

The second product that I picked out is the Murad Skin Perfecting Primer and it's promises of a dewy finish are pretty exciting to me because I'm sure everyone knows how much I love the Satin Primer from Illamasqua. This Murad primer is oil free and promises to ignite a radiant glow powered by light-enhancing minerals. This is a product I'm super excited to try out, my only reservation is that it seems to be slightly tinted but I'm hoping that it won't give too much colour to the skin because I am quite pale. The full size 30ml bottle retails for a fairly pricey, £29.

Clarins has always been a brand I've been drawn towards, their products get excellent reviews all the time so I'm not sure why I've never tried anything from the brand before. The Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream promises to infuse the skin with firming benefits that are immediate and long lasting and I'm really excited to try this out. In my opinion it's never too early to start looking into product that promise to firm!

The Clarins Extra-Firming Night Cream contains an intensive night time skin renewal complex and again, I'm looking forward to giving this a whirl. The only reservations I have with these are that they are for all skin types, so I'm unsure if these will be moisturising enough for my dry skin. Like I mentioned before, I've never really delved into Clarins as a brand so I'm not entirely sure what to expect. A full size 50ml jar of the Day Cream is £46.50 and a full size 50ml jar of the Night Cream is £48. Not cheap, but if they do the job then I'd say it's well worth the investment!

Finally, I've saved my favourite product for last and that is the FAB Gentle Body Wash. This is the only product I've really tried out so far and on first impressions I think this is a wonderful product. It's creamy in texture and doesn't have much of a scent to it making it perfect for sensitive skin. My skin feels especially soft after using this and also very moisturised. I have already been perusing the rest of the range on the Boots website and I feel some purchases are going to be made very soon. This is a brand that appeals to me because they don't include harsh chemicals or known irritants in their products and I'm definitely intrigued by the Anti-Redness Serum and the Facial Radiance Pads! The full size 226g or 8oz Body Wash retails for £10.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed and think there are some really lovely products in this months box. Admittedly I would have liked this Valentine's box to have had a pretty pink lipstick, blush or even nail polish in it because I know those are the kinds of colours I'll be opting for this Valentine's Day and that would have got more love from me than the Eyeko eyeliner!

What do you think of this months GlossyBox? Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?
xoxo

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Everyday Foundation Routine.

Totally forgot to take a proper photograph of my make up, sorry for the video still! Note to self, must try harder!

For the last couple of months I simply haven't been able to start my make up routine without using the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Moisturiser and the Illamasqua Satin Primer. These two products work amazingly well together and my foundation never goes on as smoothly if I skip one of these products!

Foundation wise, the star of the moment is of course, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. I'm sure you're all getting sick of me mentioning it all the time but honestly, I'm so in love with it! The coverage is wonderful, it blends so quickly and easily and the colour is pretty perfect for me which is always a good thing! Concealer wise, there are a few I really love. In the video I'm going to embed at the end of this post I use all three of these, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection, Benefit Boi-ing and Benefit Erase Paste. On the day I filmed my foundation routine video my skin wasn't looking so great, as you will see, but hopefully it gives you a pretty good idea of how well they work!

Another Bourjois product I'm head over heels in love with is the Delice de Poudre bronzing powder and I use the shade 52 which I believe is the middle shade, but don't quote me on that! I use this with an ELF Complexion Brush and I love the way it helps to really sculpt my face without looking too fake and just a bit, well, odd. No one likes looking odd! For my blush that day I opted for MAC Something Special Cream blush which is the perfect peach shade & I popped a little bit of NARS Douceur over the top, because one blusher is never enough for me! I'm pretty obsessed, but obviously my blush shade changes from day to day!

Which products are featured in your current every day foundation routine? I'd love to know what you're reaching for at the moment!
xoxo

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Princess Shoes - A Fairytale Sarenza Competition Entry.

Once upon a time in a land not so far from where you're sitting, there was a little, okay not so little, girl named Jennie who dreamt of having her very own pair of Princess shoes. She had spent hours imagining what the perfect pair would look like right down to the very last detail and she was beginning to think she would never find them! They would be a beautiful soft pink shade, a perfect red heart would sit right on the toes and they would have a soft bubblegum scent to them!

Retiring to her bedroom to weep privately for the shoes that existed only in her dreams, Jennie popped on to twitter, her favourite social networking website, and learned that Sarenza were having a competition and she immediately clicked over to have a look at all the wonderful shoes they had to offer. This was too much of a coincidence. Surely her dream Princess shoes couldn't be on that website just waiting for her to stumble across them?


Much to Jennie's surprise, (but I'm sure you could all see this one coming a mile off) there were her dream Princess shoes (these Vivienne Westwood & Melissa Lady Dragon Vii shoes just in case you were wondering!) just sitting there patiently waiting for her to stumble across them. Upon reaching for her purse where her debit card was nestled safely she realised that she had left it in her boyfriend's car...I mean on her boyfriend's, err, horse? Because obviously dating anyone less than a Prince just wouldn't be suitable for a Princess, right? Sighing and flailing her arms in dispair she wondered if she would ever have her magical Princess shoes and promptly decided to enter Sarenza's competition & that is where we leave this story for now, where this particular fairytale ends is still unknown...

xoxo

*This post is my slightly unconventional (I'm not sure I've entirely followed the rules!) entry for the Sarenza ambassador competition. If you'd like to hear more about it you can do so here.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Favourite Products of 2011.

2011 was a year of exciting product launches and discovering some really fabulous beauty products that I now can't imagine my collection without! I had hoped to narrow down my top picks to just 11 so that I could do a top 11 of 2011, but in the end I just couldn't decide! If I were to mention everything individually in this blog post I think I would have been photographing products for hours upon hours so I've decided to just include a selection here!

Last year was the year I discovered some incredible base products, some are fairly high end but there are also some much more affordable options. I'm so happy that I discovered beauty blogs because without them I'd probably still be using some rubbishy foundation completely unaware that there are some lovely products out there. MAC Studio Sculpt foundation is an expensive product but my gosh is it brilliant! The gel based formula makes it lovely for all you dry skinned lovelies, the lightest shade is a perfect match for me and it gives a medium to full coverage depending on how much you build it up. A more inexpensive foundation option is Bourjois Healthy Mix serum. This is also gel based but much thinner in consistency and it gives a light medium coverage.

Concealer wise there is only really one star of the show for me and that's Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer. It has amazing coverage, the lightest shade is a perfect match for me & it costs under £5!

Eyebright from Benefit is a product I discovered quite late in 2011 but it's one that I wouldn't be without now. I absolutely hate the feeling of putting things in my waterline but this is worth it because it really brightens and opens up the eyes which is something I need because I only have tiny eyes! Another Benefit product I absolutely love is the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in the shade Recess. This is the only thing that keeps my eyeshadow on for longer that 10 minutes which is nothing short of a minor miracle!

I'm not the biggest eyeshadow person, a lot of heavy eye make up really doesn't suit me so I tend to always go for subtle neutral colours. There are two palettes I discovered last year that I'm in love with and they are the MUA Heaven & Earth palette and the infamous Urban Decay Naked Palette.

Somehow I managed to narrow my favourite blushers down to just four, which for a blusher addict is pretty amazing, don't you think? Illamasqua cream blush in the shade Promise is the most perfect warm mid toned pink and it really does look beautiful with so many different make up looks. Another Illamasqua blush I adored last year is their powder blush in the shade Tweak and yes, it really is as bright as it looks! A red toned hot pink, this is quite a tricky shade for someone as pale as me to wear but with a light hand this gives the most beautiful flush of colour. NARS Douceur and NYX Natural are both similar subtle neutral shades that gives a lovely healthy glow to the skin.

Firstly I'm super sorry for including the limited edition Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick but I just absolutely adore it. Other lipsticks that really stand out are Topshop Pillow Talk and of course, Revlon Cherries in the Snow. Last year I wasn't a huge fan of nude lipsticks and since I'm usually a fan of a more natural base I branched out into lipsticks that make a bit more of an impact!

Finally I had to include a couple of stand out hair products the first being the John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray which really has worked wonders at lighting my hair colour by at least two shades! The conditioner that stands out to me as really helping to make my hair feel and look healthier is the Lee Stafford Treatment For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length. I feel like I get a lot less breakage which is pretty amazing considering I backcomb my hair most days!

Have you tried any of the products I've talked about in this post? What did you think of them?
What were your favourite products of last year? I'd love to know! 
xoxo

Monday, 16 January 2012

What I Wore: Breathe Me.

This trench coat is one of my favourite Primark finds, I'm not sure when I got it but it must have been a few years ago now. Trench coats are definitely the most flattering style for my body shape and I'm feeling the need to invest in a couple more, I think a nice navy colour would be perfect, especially if it had little touches of gold on it too. Pretty!



Coat: Primark, Dress: Love Label, Cardigan: Boohoo, Tights: Matalan.
Shoes: ASOS, Bag: Disaster Designs Dandy Bag purchased from Yumi
Necklace: Sailboat, Ahoy! Heart Ring: Scape Jewellery, Ruby Ring: Studio59.
Eyes: 17 Wild Curls Mascara - horrible, don't purchase!

Venturing outside to take outfit photographs is probably one of the best choices I've made regarding the ol' blog but oh my gosh, something embarrassing, silly or just plain ridiculous happens every time! This time as I was merrily posing away an old man walking his dog came up to my boyfriend and said 'ooh no no no, this isn't right, she should be in a bikini and posing in the river. That would look nice that would'. Cue nervous laughter and hello red face & a quick exit. Oh how I hate feeling awkward and that conversation was probably the epitome of awkward. I hope these things happen to other people too...

Just wanted to quickly say a huge thank you to everyone that takes the time to leave a comment! Now that blogger has finally added a reply function making it easier to see my replies, I'm aiming to reply to every single comment, even if it's just to say a simple thank you. I figured that if you take a few seconds to type something to me, it's only right that I do the same!

I hope you're all having a lovely Monday. I'm going to hopefully finally film a new video for my YouTube channel (yay!) & make a start on my next University assignment (not so yay!). Lots of love!

xoxo 

Friday, 13 January 2012

Twenty Five Before Twenty Five.

Okay, so it's Friday and this post should be a Five Things I Love Friday but it's not because honestly, I've had one of those weeks where I haven't found much to love and I don't want to try and make up a bunch of stuff because that wouldn't be very real. I'll try harder for next week, things are looking up!

Instead I thought I'd pop up my list of twenty five things I'd like to do or achieve before I'm twenty five years old. I was going to do a thirty before thirty list but we'd be waiting around a pretty long time to see if I actually achieved them. This May I'll be turning twenty three years old so I have a little over two years to see how many things I manage to achieve!

One. Set up a rainy day savings account and regularly pay into it. 
Even if I can only manage to pay in a small amount each month, it's better than nothing and you never know when you'll need a few spare pennies in life!

Two. Move in with my boyfriend.
My boyfriend is very fortunate to own his own home and I realise how lucky we are to be in a position where we won't have to rent. There's absolutely nothing wrong with renting, I know it suits so many people perfectly, but it's just not for us. His house was a pretty big renovation project and at every step of the way he's asked my opinion on things which is really lovely because one day this is going to a home for the two of us.

Three. Fully set up my online jewellery and photography stores. 
Sailboat, Ahoy is my little online handmade jewellery store and in the coming months I hope to turn it into something really quite wonderful. I'm not someone that's been arty or crafty all my life but I'm certainly enjoying learning as I go along and making new pieces to put into the shop. My next aim is to set up a little online photography based store selling prints, note cards and greetings cards. I'd really love to make these little shops into something special. Fingers crossed that I can!

Four. Get married. 
I never thought I'd get married. At school all of my friends had boyfriends and I never really did, I was kind of the chubby kid with unflattering glasses that no boy ever looked at apart from to have a bit of a laugh at. For the most part I was okay with it, having a boyfriend wasn't such a big deal to me. Over the years there were a few boys I went on dates with but no one was really very special until I met Mark. You know when things just feel right? I remember telling my mama that I had just met the man I was going to marry.

Five. Adopt a dog. 
From when I was a baby my family have always had a dog and that's something I'd like to continue. Ideally I'd love to adopt a dog from a rescue centre although I know they have strict rules and I'm not sure if our small garden will be large enough. I hope it will be though because I'd love to give a dog that's had a hard time a really lovely home.

Six. Welcome our first baby.
I never thought I'd be in a position where I was saying that I'd like a baby. This is another one of those things that comes with meeting the right person. I'm not quite ready just yet and it's just not quite the right time at the moment. With something as big as this I want everything else to be as perfect as it can be, I'd like to be married, in the position where I can be a stay at home mum and just able to give everything I possibly can to another life. I'm also excited to see what our future child will look like, my boyfriend is half Filipino and I'm as white as can be. Boy or girl I don't mind, I just know it's going to be such an exciting time in our lives.

Seven. Lose around 14lbs and keep it off. 
This may be slightly too ambitious, I'd be very happy with just losing 10lbs and I think I'd feel much better for it. I mean I'm okay with how I look right now but I know I'm not as healthy as I could be and that's the aspect that bothers me.

Eight. Finish my degree. 
I'm currently studying English Language and Literature with the Open University and I'm not sure if I'll end up doing anything with my degree in terms of employment - I'm twenty two and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! I think a degree is always a wonderful thing to have, even if it's just something that helps you grow personally and not professionally.

Nine. Keep blogging. 
Blogging is probably one of the few things I've ever stuck at for a long period of time and it's one of my proudest achievements. Right now I can't imagine not logging on to blogger and typing up a post so I hope I don't give it up for a long time to come & I hope you all stick with me!

Ten. Find a job I really quite like. 
It's no secret I'm not the biggest fan of my current job, I essentially work on the tills in a shop and I'm super shy so it's pretty much my worst nightmare having to talk to strangers constantly. I can't lie, it has been good for me to push myself but a quiet office job would suit me down to the ground!

Eleven. Make a homemade lasagne completely from scratch. 
This is a bit of a silly one I suppose but lasagne is one of my absolute favourite foods but for some reason I've never made one from scratch by myself before!
Twelve. Learn to drive. 
This is something I've been saying since I turned 17 and I've still not got around to learning. I'm a little bit scared I suppose but it's mostly the cost of lessons and then the cost of running a car. Admittedly it would be handy to know how to drive and I wouldn't need to get my own car after. We'll see with this one!

Thirteen. Watch the sun set and the stars come out in the middle of the country. 
Living in a large light polluted town most of my life doesn't lend itself to seeing stars as clearly as I could from right in the middle of the countryside so this is something I'd love to do this summer!

Fourteen. Go on a real holiday with my boy. 
I haven't been on a plane since I was thirteen and honestly I'm not overly keen to get back on one. I've watched far to many movies and documentaries featuring plane crashes than is normal and it's safe to say I've been thoroughly put off. My boyfriend on the other hand is plane obsessed and I know he'd love for us to go on a 'proper' abroad holiday. I've promised him we'll go somewhere nice for our honeymoon, so all he needs to do is marry me. I think that's a fair deal!

Fifteen. Purchase and keep a One Line A Day: Five Year Memory Book. 
Keeping a diary and documenting my inner most thoughts has never been my thing, I would always start one on January 1st and from then on I'd just forget. This sweet little book just looks perfect and finding one sentence to summarise your day could be a pretty interesting challenge!

Sixteen. Take on a project 365: take one photograph every day for a year. 
This is something I've wanted to do for a long time but I'm always afraid this will be another thing I'll just end up giving up on. I think I'm going to try and rope my boyfriend in on this one and we'll do a joint 365 project starting on the first day I officially move into his house.

Seventeen. Regularly print out our photographs and organise them into albums or scrapbooks. 
The digital age has seen most of my photographs staying firmly put on my computer or saved on various external hard drives which to me seems like such a shame! It's my goal to have a bookcase full of photo albums that I can look back on when I'm older. Memories like that are just priceless.

Eighteen. Give blood. 
This is one of those things I've been meaning to do for a long time and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same. Blood donations are so important, you never know when you may need to receive blood yourself and this is one goal I'm determined to achieve - hopefully more than once!

Nineteen. Stop biting my nails. 
This was something I managed last year but getting a job that doesn't allow me to wear nail polish soon had me biting them again. No nail polish means my nails break so easily which is rubbish but biting them is such a horrible habit and I need to stop!

Twenty. Have a picnic in the countryside in the summer time.
I've got this vision of sitting in a cute field surrounded by flowers and getting homemade sandwiches and cupcakes out of my new picnic basket while sitting on a cute gingham picnic blanket. In reality my picnic blanket will probably get blown away, the sandwiches will be stolen by ants and I'll be chased by a bee. But it'll be fun and that's all that matters!

Twenty One. Make sure date night happens at least once a month. 
Since moving closer to my boyfriend we seem to have almost stopped going on proper dates which I really miss. I think going to the cinema or out for dinner once a month is achievable and I also think it'll be a lovely thing to do together.

Twenty Two. Make vegetarian maki at home more often. 
Yo! Sushi is the restaurant that first introduced me to the world of sushi and maki is probably one of the easiest things to make but it's also super yummy. We've made it at home a couple of times before but it would be nice to have it more often!

Twenty Three. Find a good quality black eyeliner that actually lasts on my eyes without smudging. 
I touched upon this in my last post and although it's quite a trivial goal to have, it's something that's been bugging me for ages. I really love the winged eyeliner look so I'm really hoping I can find a liner that won't smudge on me.

Twenty Four. Plan my meals better and incorporate more healthy foods. 
Lately I've found myself filling up on unhealthy snacks and then when it comes to meal times, I never really want anything. I'm aiming to have 5 portions of fruit & vegetables every single day and to start eating breakfast!

Twenty Five. Comment on every single blog post I read. 
This is one that sounds simple but I think it's going to be one of the goals I find the most challenging. When I'm on my iPad it won't let me comment on blogs that have the disqus commenting system which is super annoying and it's not often that I browse blogs on my laptop anymore but getting better at leaving comments is something I really need to improve on!

Have you made a similar list of things you'd like to achieve? I'd love if you would let me know in the comments or link me if you have a blog post!

xoxo

Thursday, 12 January 2012

What I Wore: When the evening shadows & the stars appear.

This time last year make up was definitely my thing, it was what I was choosing to spend my hard earned pennies on but this year I can sense my tastes have changed and I'm finding myself lusting after more and more clothing items. As someone who is generally more comfortable behind the camera, I'm surprising myself by really enjoying taking photographs for outfit posts. It also makes me proud of my boyfriend, he's such a talented photographer but he hardly ever has a camera in his hands anymore except when I make him do these pictures for me. He loves it really!



Dress: Boohoo, Blazer: Primark, Tights: Matalan

I really love this dress from Boohoo, I hadn't placed an order with them for a long time and I'm really impressed with the things I got. The quality seems to be quite a bit better than I remember it being. This dress would be perfect if it were a few inches longer, this seems to be a problem I'm having with a lot of dresses on the highstreet at the moment so I'm taking it as a sign that I need to get back on the ol' exercise bike and tone up my legs. It's no secret that I've put on a few pounds lately which I'm now ready to do something about, it's one of my 25 things to do before I'm 25 (a post on that will be coming soon!) and hopefully within a few months of healthier eating and exercise I'll begin to really notice a difference. I don't own a pair of scales or anything, I have a tendency to get a little obsessive if I'm constantly weighing myself so I just judge on how my clothes fit me. I can tell my hips & legs have filled out a little bit, typical pear shape, a big fat nothing ever heads for my two friends - damn!

I'm currently nursing a few scratches on my hands, last night was spent trying to trim Ralphie's nails down and it was an eventful experience. Not quite as difficult as giving him a bath is, but it came pretty close. It's not something I'm keen to repeat too soon. 

Last night I asked on twitter if the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner is better than the MAC fluidline & everyone that replied said yes! Will the Bobbi Brown last longer on my eyes without smudging? I gave up with MAC blacktrack and sold it in a blog sale because it just didn't last very long on me at all. If you have any long wearing black gel or liquid eyeliner recommendations, of any price range please let me know in the comments! I'm really missing winged eyeliner!

xoxo

Friday, 6 January 2012

Five Things I Love Friday & Five Blogs I Love Friday 027.

Back by popular demand are my Five Things I love Friday posts! Hopefully I'll be able to keep these up every week like I used to, sometimes it's hard finding things I love a lot every single week and there is a real issue with photograph copyright - I don't want to get shouted at for using other people's images without their permission. I'll try my best to find my way around that though because I really do miss putting these posts together!

One. These exquisite jewellery pieces from RUST!
Yesterday I saw a post by Estée on her blog featuring the beautiful ring her boyfriend bought her for Christmas from an online jewellery boutique called RUST & I instantly fell in love and had to have a look at every single piece they sell. Gosh, I'm not even sure quite what to say. Everything just looks so elegant and that first ring up there is my absolute favourite piece!

Two. yyellowbird's flickr photo stream! 
I've been following Cari's photostream on flickr for probably around four years now and I have absolutely loved watching her talent grow and grow. I'm no longer a regular flickr visitor but I always make sure to have a look at Cari's page every once in a while! 

Three. This amazing children's bed. 
I have recently been hit, well, pretty much smacked in the face if we're being honest, with an overwhelming feeling of broodiness and I have no idea where it's come from. I'm not overly keen on other people's children so it's not like I'm surrounded by babies or anything like that but I'm finding myself cooing over all things baby. But we won't talk about that anymore, not for a little while anyway! I stumbled across this adorable little bed on Kaelah's blog and it's just the sweetest thing ever. I would have loved a bed like that when I was small! 

Four. Winning the battle against flat packed furniture! 
Now, I love ikea as much as the next person, the prices are pretty amazing and the restaurant always manages to lure me in for chips and lingonberry juice. I do not however like the flat packed nature of it's lovely furniture. You know it's going to be a big job when something comes in two boxes and you have to pay them £15 to deliver it to your door because you can't make it fit in the car! A little bit of cursing, several cans of coke, a doughnut and two & a half hours later this baby was up. It was worth all the effort because I love it. Yay! 

Five. New make up storage!

I had been after some new make up storage for a little while, specifically of the clear acrylic variety. Over the past couple of years I've watched copious amounts of videos and read a lot of blog posts from lovely ladies that had these acrylic drawers of wonder! Leanne tweeted about some drawers that she had found at Homebase a little while back and it must have just stuck in the back of my mind because recently I ventured to a Homebase store and picked up two of their acrylic paper sorters. Now at £20.99 each they're fairly pricey but they do seem to be really good quality and I love them so it's worth it in my eyes!


xoxo