Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winter Sleek Cheek Triple...

Ask anyone what their favourite autumn/winter make up is and I can pretty much guarantee the word berry will be mentioned. Everyone loves berry tones during the colder months, whether it’s deep reds, plums or purples.  I’ve not only been darkening my lips and eyes, but my cheeks too.

This Sleek Blush By 3 is my go to cold weather blush palette and has been in my make up bag since October. First off let me just take a moment to praise its incredible value and quality - £9.99 for three highly pigmented blushes is amazing.  Obviously at that bargain price it would be rude not to pick it up! 

There are three blushes in the Sugar palette – Turbinado, Muscovado, and Demarera.  You can pick these up individually for £4.50 each as Turbinado is very similar to the single blush shade Flushed (if not exact), Muscovado is similar to Antique/Sunrise, and Demarera is very similar to the single blush shade Coral (if not exact).  For me, these three colours are all I’ll need for the next few months.  The packaging is sturdy and sleek (no pun intended) with a good sized mirror inside the compact which is always welcomed in a palette.  This has already survived many bashings in my make up bag and you can't tell! The blushes have good colour pay off and don't give much fall out which is amazing - no-one likes powder products that crumble after a few uses, no no.

Turbinado is a dark red.  I was a bit worried about this to start with; rosy-cheeked elf was not my desired look of choice.  With a light hand and fluffy brush (Real Techniques blush brush) this can give a lovely warming “just been for an outdoor walk” flush (hence the name, again, no pun intended at all… cringing a little now). 

Muscovado is a pink/terracotta shimmer.  Again, you probably want to go in with a fluffy brush and a light hand, as it can become OTT quite quickly.  I’ve been reaching for this in the evenings for meals and nights out as the shimmer gives it a pretty look on the cheeks and the colour is quite natural if you’re concentrating on statement lips or smokey eyes.

Demarera has been my day-to-day choice.  I’ve been using my Zoeva 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek brush with this as it’s not as heavily pigmented as the other two (so a bit less dangerous). It gives me a lovely natural cheek, warming up my face and dream-teaming with my bronzer!

With a light hand and buffing brush at the ready to blend any harsh lines, I think these colours could work for everyone during the winter months.  

(Top - Bottom - Turbinado, Muscovado, Demerera)

Will you be adding this palette to your drugstore wish list?  I’d love to know if you’ve got any favourite Sleek blushers as I’m always looking to add to my collection!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Gift Sets For You...

It seems that every other post on my Bloglovin feed at the moment is about either a gift set or a gift guide for your friend/relatives/boyfriend/dog/etc.  Tis the season of giving and everything, and yeah I love buying presents for other people, but I also love buying for me.  No shame.   If you can solely buy gift set for other people then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re a better person that I am. 

I wanted to (annoyingly… soz if you’ve read stuff like this already!) share the gift sets I have picked up for myself as they would be a good treat for you… Don’t tell me you aren’t using the “one present for you, one present for me” rule…

Yes, I’m sure I would have been delighted to open this on Christmas day or watch someone else’s face open it, but using my heard earned (lol) Boots points to pick this up was heart-warming.  You’ve probably read 1000 reviews on this once, complete with swatches so I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Great value, pretty blushers in a range of colours – win, win!  It’s something I can see myself packing to go away with even if it’s a little bulky as I know I’d be prepared for all occasions (with blushers and a bronzer) and you can’t go wrong with Benefit!

I nabbed these on Monday whilst Christmas shopping.  Some girls were stood around the make up discussing which gift sets and colours their friend/relative would like.  I was pondering which gift set I would like. These two Lip Bullets are in Wine Gum (deep berry) and Motel (natural brown), which look to me like perfect winter colours.  They apply really easily and are super pigmented.  I think they’re a bit smaller than the individual Lip Bullets Topshop sell, but at £10 for both it was a bargain I couldn’t resist! 

I have never tried this (shock horror) as I’ve always opted for high street cleansers and cleansing oils.  I saw this whilst looking for a secret Santa present for work (a fluffy bird/reindeer pen if you must know…). I thought the price was really good for a big 100ml Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Instant Boost Skin Tonic spritz (30ml) and 2 muslin cloths.  Boyfriend did try and ask who it was for, but I defiantly answered the question with a solid “Me” before he could finish the sentence - Poor boy!  I can’t wait to give this a go, especially if it’s as good as everyone else is the blogging world is saying!  It’s exclusive to John Lewis, so I’d definitely say to have a look if you want to try out these products!

I’d love to know if you’ve bought yourself any gift sets (so I know I’m not alone!) and if you’ve discovered any products you love!


Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Christmas Tag...

I've been reading and loving peoples Christmas tags, partly because I’m really nosey and partly because I am MAD for Christmas.  I’m talking excitable clapping, squealing (much to my boyfriend’s embarrassment) and OTT smiles.  I have been loving everyone’s answers and seeing what other peoples Christmas traditions are as everyone’s families are difficult!

Quite a lot of people have tagged readers to give it ago (I read Blonde Amy’s) so of course, I didn’t need any more encouragement.  I even pondered doing it with out being tagged (sad) but that’s just how excited I am, okay?

Favourite Christmas film?
Oh lord.  Elf, Muppets Christmas Carol, or The Greatest Store In The World.  I’ve seen a few people mention this one and it is a corker. When I was younger I used to dream of being able to hide out in a store over Christmas.  I think mum even taped this off the TV for me and my brother, retro!

For those of you that follow me on twitter, you will know that I LOVE Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special… I’ve already watched it at least five times (would have been more but Nick banned me from starting it from the beginning the minute it ended).

Do you open your presents on Christmas eve or Christmas morning?
Always morning for stocking, then late morning/afternoon for the downstairs presents.  Me and Justin (younger brother) used to open one present together from our stockings, probably around pre 7am as we were banned from Mum and Dad’s room before then (scrooge).

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I’ll always remember the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning, but I was always so scared that he would still be out on the landing (I was scared of Father Christmas) so naturally I sacrificed my younger brother.  We then had our sacks downstairs under the tree and there would be glitter footprints all round the house from where he’d been! We’d be screaming like lunatics once the parents were up.  And opening stockings on my parent’s bed. Perfect!

I guess just the precious family time and just been so excited that I could burst.

Favourite festive food?
Anything and everything I can get my hands on.  Mainly mince pies, Christmas pudding, cheese twists, cheese in general, Terry’s chocolate orange… etc etc etc.

Favourite Christmas gift?
Ooohhh I don’t know. The main one the springs to mind was a Barbie Campervan I got back in the day.   I think I also got her open top beach car too.  Barbie was loving life that year and was racking up a hefty fuel bill in her Barbie world.

Favourite Christmas scent?
Real. Christmas. Tree.  Hands Down.  It’s such a Christmas morning memory scent for me and I just get super excited whenever I smell it again.

Christmas eve traditions?
We always have a picky tea on Christmas Eve and watch whatever Christmas special is on the TV.  Getting all cosy at like 5pm and just having family time, wrapping presents and eating!

What tops your tree?
An angel, which I used to think was magical and beautiful but is actually a little creepy...

As a kid what was one of the crazy thing you asked for buy never received?
Probably an animal of some sort like a kitten or a puppy.

What’s one of the best things about Christmas for you?
Family time.  I love spending time with my family, eating, drinking, chatting and just having a lush day!  I get on so well with my brother so we’re usually laughing about something or other (usually at my Dad much to his annoyance). Giving out my presents is another favourite part of the day and seeing peoples faces and happiness. I just love how everyone’s mood changes at Christmas and everyone becomes a lot nicer and friendlier.

I tag anyone that wants to do this...  just one week to go!


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

An Alternative Gift Guide...

With all the gift guides flying around at the moment I thought I’d give my input to it all, but with a twist.  Everyone is featuring gift sets, which are a really good idea if you know said person likes that brand or you've got a secret santa but I personally won’t buy them for people unless it’s exactly what I'm after of it's what they've asked for. 


I don’t meant to blow my own trumpet (I do) but I think I’m pretty good at buying presents.  Probably an 8 or a 9 out of 10 on the scale of present buying, and I get super excited when giving them.  Like ‘throw them in your face and squeal’ excited.  

But what do you do when you don’t want to get the generic gift set or gift card (we’ve all done it… guilty)? What do you get the people that have everything or buy themselves the best of everything (Dad I’m looking at you)?

I thought I’d let you all know my alternative gift ideas that I may or may not have used this year (depending on who’s reading this…) which can be tailored to your budget, preferences and interests.

1 – Food Hampers 
Lets not beat around the bush (Christmas tree).  Everyone loves food at Christmas so how can you go wrong with making up some food hampers for the foodies. When I was looking at buying these from larger farm shops and department stores they were around £60-£80 depending on its filling (and sometimes even more!) so putting it together yourself is a perfect idea to keep to your budget and add a personal touch.

Get down to your local farm shops, delis and markets and grab some proper good food!  I’m talking cheese, pate, crackers, beer/cider/wine, crisps, pies, olives, chutney… the list is endless!  You could also get all domestic goddess and make some of the contents yourself.

I’ll be putting mine together on Christmas Eve with my brother as we always go halves with parents presents and I’m so excited to buy everything that I know my Dad will love (I can say this because 100% he won’t read this.  If he does - surprise!).

2 – Golden Ticket
I know a lot of people do this already over getting actual presents, but tickets for a gig, comedy tour, or theatre show is a great idea as (unless it’s a tradition or it’s been asked for) it’s such a surprise as I know that I personally wouldn’t be expecting anything like this. 

Have a look around to see what’s upcoming in 2015 and there’s bound to be something that will suit (oh man I had to resist breaking out in Kanye there!).  I know buying more than one ticket isn’t necessarily cheap, but depending on the venue and the act you can usually find something that will fit with the money side of things (as long as you’re flexible).

3 – Treat Yourself
No not literally, this isn’t a personal gift guide and getting yourself something certainly doesn’t count as someone else’s present sadly enough!  Linking back to the food hamper idea, why not make an alternative hamper?

Put together a pamper pack with some of your personal favourites for someone that’s constantly rushing around or has been stressing out pre Christmas (who can say no to a face mask and a manicure?!) or some homeware bits for someone who’s recently moved (candles and trinkets galore!).  You can go hamper crazy and make one for pretty much anyone depending on what they’re like and it’s also super thoughtful! Hampers all round then guys!

4 – CDs
This is maybe a bit cheapskate for a Christmas present (hehe) but could always be a good little side bit!  If you know your friend/relative loves a good sing along in their car then compile some of their favourite tunes for them.  I made this for a friend’s birthday recently (30 for 30) and it has been on repeat in her car since.  Great success.

5 - Stay Away
Similar to the ticket idea, why not book a night away for you and your partner/mum/relative/whoever.   Alternatively you could use this as a great gift for parents and couples (two in one - ideal!)  A spa weekend or a mini city break always goes down well.  You can go as expensive or as budget as you want with the accommodation and I’m sure it will be truly appreciated.  

6 – IOU
Okay, maybe not literally giving out IOUs as your present, cause ain’t nobody got time for that.  But if you’re mum/sister/friend has been going on about that perfect pair of boots/jeans she hasn’t found and your local town leaves much to be desired, why not give her an IOU and take her for a shopping trip somewhere bigger with more choice so she can pick the pair herself rather than trying to second guess.  It also gives you a great excuse to get your shop on at the same time (hehehe).  Of course, can also be applied to the males in your life too!

(source: Pinterest)

I hope this helps for some people panicking about presents and gives you a little bit of inspiration!  Have you got all your Christmas shopping done yet?  Do you think you’ll be using any of these ideas?


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Make Up Wish List...

Make Up Wish List 1

With Christmas on the horizon (sorry, but it’s true.. eee!) I’ve put together a little beauty wishlist below of some of the things that I’ll be adding to my Christmas list…

I think these two are pretty self-explanatory.  I don’t own anything by Urban Decay *shock* but after trying out many drugstore palettes I feel like I need to get my hands on one from the Naked selection.  I’m not sure whether I prefer 1 or 2 so I’ve got both involved!

I saw this palette floating around for a while but was always a bit “meh, I don’t need that”.  However, since reading a few reviews I have been lusting over it.  Glowing skin in a powder?! Erm yes please!

This was influenced by the above.  It’s so pretty I just want to heart face emoji.  It comes with the same hefty price tag as the normal ambient powder palette (I say normal there’s nothing normal about it) so these wouldn’t be cheeky stocking fillers for sure, but would definitely make my day.

Again, another blogger influenced addition to the list.  Claims of a one coat wonder really entice me.  I’ve never tried any high end mascara apart from benefit’s offerings, so I’d really like to welcome this into my make up collection.  Not gonna lie, I’ve also been sucked in by the packaging.
I’ve been umming and arring about these for a while.  Since mastering the cream blush (derp) I’m feeling that this little beauty wouldn’t go to waste.  I’m really liking the colours Flushed and True Love.

Two’s company, three’s even better.  Third Tarte pick, and a set of three lipsticks.  I haven’t read about these anywhere, but I’d imagine the quality would be great and super moisturising.  The colours are also perfect for winter.  A totally justified Christmas gift I think…

I own and adore Coralista and Hoola so when I heard about this set I knew I had to get my hands on it, whether as a cheeky self-purchase or a Christmas present.  I’d love to try out more of the Benefit blushes to see which ones I’d want in a full size so this is the perfect way!

*Update – I caved and bought it with my hard earned Boots points

So many people rave over this foundation!  My friend Lauren was wearing it the other day and her skin looked absolutely flawless and glowing (duh obviously).  I’d love to try it out for myself, but the price tag holds me back from it being a casual purchase and guessing my shade. I’ll have to get matched up the next time I’m anywhere near a NARS counter.

I’ve got a couple of sleek contour kits so I’d love to try NARS’ offering to compare (and cherish).  I loved their blusher bronzer duo in the form of Orgasm and Laguna, so I’ve got a feeling this would be just as great and would be reached for a lot!

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Bobbi Brown Blush...

I am not a ‘pinky’ person at all.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but corals and more natural browny shades are more my blush bag.

A couple of months ago now when apparently I was having a very lavish month, I convinced myself I needed to try some Bobbi Brown make up (my best friend at school swore by the stuff) so off I popped to spend my lunch hour perusing through.  I “treated” myself to one of their make up sets, which I personally think are really good for trying out a few products before you take the full plunge.

Pretty Powerful (£59.50) is made up of an eye shadow quad, liquid eye liner, mini Everything mascara, limited edition lip gloss, mini face blender brush and the blush itself - Maui Illuminating Bronzer.

I was quite surprised when they had called this a bronzer, as I’m sure you can see from the photos – that ain’t no bronze.

You can buy this bronzer (blusher!) on the website here for £28 as it isn’t set specific *yay*.  It comes in 6 colours ranging from more pinky tones to more bronzy tones. I think the price is very reasonable considering the amount and quality of the product you get.  Oh, and the compact also has a good sized mirror inside – two birds, one stone!

The first few times I used it I wasn’t convinced.  I felt it made me look doll like, clashed against the bronzer I was actually wearing and just didn’t suit me at all.  Not gonna lie, I also felt a bit stupid paying £59.50 when my only true loves were the eyeliner, and a couple of colours from the eye shadow quad.  Into the make up storage it went.

It was only when I mixed up my make up bag a couple of weeks ago that I had another swatch and decided to give it ago.  Applying it with my Real Techniques Blusher Brush rather than the mini face blender, this pink is the perfect mixture of cool tones and warm tones for my skin making me look fresh and giving me a “cold walk” glow. The shimmer doesn’t translate onto the skin, so no glitter punched cheeks here!  The product blends out really well and doesn’t produce much fall out.

Think it’s safe to say I’ve found one of my autumn/winter go tos. Big words I know, but it’s love.

Have you tried any Bobbi Brown products you think I need to check out?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

My Current Reads...

Blogs make the best type of reading, but obviously I'm biased.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't usually read unless I'm on holiday so day to day I'm usually flicking through my iPad catching up on my favourite reads and bloglovin feed.  This type of posts is one of my favourites as they're great for finding new blogs, so I thought it would tie in really well with day 6 of the blogger challenge.  Get ready for some big love.

1.   The Little Plum - I just love Chloe's blog!  Being petite like me, I love her style and have major wardrobe envy whenever she put a new post up.  Let's just say she's enabled a few purchases... easily led?!  I also love how she writes her blog - such a sass.  She's started up her YouTube channel which you should check out and to top it off, she is so nice!

2.   Zoe London - I love Zoe's life posts.  They are so refreshing to read, knowing that it's okay not to be okay, do what you want to do and be who you want to be, and actually you don't have to have your life figured out.  Like a comforting arm round you as you read and nod along feeling better that it's not just you having a life flange attack in your 20's.  

3.   Beautybyalicee - Alice is such a lovely girl and her blog is a lovely little beauty read which I'm glad I've stumbled across.  She also has a great YouTube channel which I've been catching up on with GRWM and hauls.  Who doesn't love a haul?!

4.   Dizzy Brunette3 - First off, Corrie's hair is absolutely amazing.  Now we've got that out the way, she has some great (hair) tutorials on her blog (not that I'm obsessed...) and great OOTDs for a monochrome lover like me!  It's great that she's taken the plunge to go self employed as her videos and vlogs are great, no matter how boring she thinks her days are!  

5.   A Yellow Brick Blog - Kirstie's blog covers all beauty bases and more for me.  She has some great reviews and hauls (again, who doesn't love a haul?!) and there's always something in her favourites that I feel that I need to rush out and buy!

6.   Fifi And The Diamonds - Antonia's blog pleases my inner weirdo with it's monochrome theme and crisp pictures.  Her weekend wishlists make me want to splurge (aka buy everything on her list) and she's just an all round lovely lady. She hasn't been blogging for long (like me, since June) but she's already one of my favourite to check for new posts!

7.   EffStar Beauty - Francesca gives me some serious brow envy!  Her whole face, actually, is always on point in the most non weird way possible!  Her blog has introduced me to some new brands that I need to try out, and I like how she doesn't just do singular reviews which can sometimes get boring.  Her Chihuahua is also so adorable and makes me want to go and grab the cat to force her to blog with me, but it's just not the same as Shitbag just is not interested! 

So there are my favourite reads of the moment.  Naturally there are more, but as I was writing the list it was just getting stupid, so maybe I should do these posts once in a while?  What do you think? I'd also love to know your favourite reads recently!