Friday, 28 February 2014

February Favourites

It's that time of the month again...favourites time! This month I have been loving a mixture of new and old products. You might notice that I have been stepping up my skin care routine after making it one of my New Years resolutions (better late than never to start!)

First up is Elegant Touch Rapid Dry Spray for nails. This is such a time saver for me as I usually have to plan what colour nails I want to have the night before, so I can paint them and leave them enough time to dry before I start my day, as I am a nightmare for smudging them! This has been an absolute god send as it dries my nails in less than 60 seconds and doesn't smudge the colour.

Next up are three skin care items which have been my little saviours this month. HealGel Face has been my go to moisturiser for the majority of this month as my skin has been quite dry in the cold wintery snap we have been having. 

I've been teaming this with Lush's Grease Lightning, which I won't go into too much detail about as I mentioned it in my last post but it's really been sorting out my blemishes.

I've been using Lush's Let The Good Times Roll cleanser at night for most of this month since I received it as a Christmas present. The smell is a-ma-zing! It's the first product from Lush that I have actually finished and gone back for more. There will be a blog post coming up on this soon - so keep your eyes peeled.

Finally, I have been loving my Nails Inc polish in the shade Kings Road. It's a beautiful metallic rose gold shade which has been gracing my nails for most of this month. I'm making the most of being able to use this before I swap to spring pastel shades next month. 

What have been your favourites this month?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

February Empties

It's been quite a while since I have done an empties post. I use the same products regularly but they seem to take me ages to get through. I've managed to save a few up this month though into albeit small but post worthy size!

Vaseline Spray & Go moisturiser
Will I repurchase? Although I have enjoyed using it I probably won't repurchase this for now as I have lots of half used moisturisers that I need to finish. I liked the idea of not having to get moisturiser all over my fingers as you can just spray this on and leave it to dry.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O
Will I repurchase? I already have! This is my favourite make up remover. It's gentle on my skin and doesn't make it feel greasy. It's also great for removing eye make up. i buy the 500ml bottles which last a really long time. Next time I buy some I'm going to pick up a small travel bottle too which will fit more easily into my bag while travelling.

Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation in Ivory
Will I repurchase? No - I wasn't sure about this foundation to begin with but I persevered with it and have made it to the end (although I'm slightly annoyed that the pump only goes so far and I'm going to need to break into the packaging to get to the last bit!). I feel that this foundation didn't provide me with the coverage I needed (especially during bad breakouts) so I am on the hunt for something else again. 

Lush - Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser
Will I repurchase? Yes! After hearing so many good things about this cleanser from bloggers and friends I popped it on my Christmas list and since it arrived I have been using it all the time. It smells delicious (but trust me if you get it in your mouth accidentally it doesn't taste very nice!)

Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Lush: Grease Lightning Spot Treatment

2014 for me is all about stepping up my skincare routine, I'm a big believer in changing little things that can ultimately have a bigger impact on your health and well being. Since getting married in 2012 my lifestyle has changed quite dramatically, I've lost weight (not enough, but some) increased my exercise and started to take better care of myself. 

Whilst taking a regular look around my local Lush, I decided that I would pick up the Grease Lightning Spot Treatment. I've been suffering a lot with breakouts recently (something I have been putting down to stress) and have ended up in a bit of a vicious cycle as when I get stressed, I get spots which makes me more stressed and the cycle never ends.

The product has a gel like consistency and contains aloe vera, rosemary, thyme and tea tree. Another key ingredient is witch hazel which contains anti inflammatory properties to reduce redness of the skin.

I started off using this every evening all over once I had removed my make up and cleansed my face as my breakouts were quite bad but about a week into using it I found that it was making my face quite dry so switched to every other day instead.

I have noticed a big improvement in my skin but it's not a product I want to become completely reliant on. I think it is best to use this as a target treatment rather than in a regime.

The 45g bottle costs £5.95 but you only need about 1/2 pumps to cover your face or a small dab to cover an individual blemish so it lasts quite a long time. Once I have finished this bottle I will definitely be picking up another. Lush triumphs again!

Have you tried Grease Lightning? What are your favourite Lush products?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Meadowhall Sheffield Haul

The week before last, hubby and I went to visit some family who live in Doncaster. While we were there we managed to fit in a spot of shopping in Meadowhall shopping centre. The closest I live to a large shopping centre is West Quay in Southampton and you could probably fit two of those in Meadowhall so obviously I was in my element!

The first place I made a beeline for was Debenhams as I was armed with vouchers I got from my Mother in Law for Christmas and I am now the proud owner of a Naked 3 palette! I have been wanting to purchase it for ages but knowing I was going to receive some vouchers I held off until now! I can't wait to use it! Also in Debenhams I picked up Clinique's three step cleansing package in an attempt to sort out my skincare routine. Inside the box is a month's supply and if I don't get on with it the assistant said I can get a refund in my local Debenhams.

I also popped into Boots and spied some Christmas stock. I was instantly drawn to the Philosophy sets and picked up Granny's Apple Pie shower gel. It smells sooo good and I can't wait to use it once my Snow Fairy runs out. I also needed a new primer and wanted to get another MUA one as that's what I have been using over the last few months but they didn't have any. I have heard good things about L'Oreal's Skin Perfection range and have decided to give this a go. I will let you know my thoughts once I have used it for a while.

The two Yankee Candle purchases weren't actually from Meadowhall but an outlet shopping centre (I'm not exactly sure where!) They had so many candles at amazing prices! The small one in the house is a small jar of Christmas Cookie and your eyes do not deceive you, it did cost £2.87! I regret not picking more of them up now as I get through the small ones quite quickly. The larger jar was a present from my Mother in Law and its a medium Salted Caramel candle. She had one burning in her house when we arrived and I loved the scent so she picked one up for me. That size jar cost £11.99 instead of the usual £16.99 they cost back at home!

Finally, we went to Ikea where I was hoping to pick up my Malm dressing table but after seeing how big the packaging was we couldn't fit it in the car so I'm going to get it from Southampton, hopefully next weekend. I was able to pick up a few little bits though including the pink candle holder you can just see next to the Yankee jars. I'm going to use it as a make up brush holder. I also got two bigger white ones but they are a little too big for what I wanted them for so I am using them as flower pots for my two orchids. Also not pictured, I got two white boxes and two floral boxes to fit into my Expedit when I pick that up too.

What do you think to my haul?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Whats In My Travel Make Up Bag?

Last week I went to visit Bradley's family up north in Doncaster. Whilst we traveled up by car so I could really have taken as much make up as I wanted, I narrowed it down to a few key pieces so I was up and ready to make the most of each day we had up there.

I've fallen back in love with my HealGel face this month (you can read my original review here) as my skin has been suffering quite a lot (mainly due to an amount of bad food and laziness in not removing my make up properly). I'm trying to use it sparingly as at £48 a bottle its not the most purse friendly of products but for now its working a treat, providing a great base for my make up too.

Instead of packing several different eye shadows, I settled on taking my Naked 2 palette with me so I could change my look and not carry around lots of different products. Although a little big, this palette fitted perfectly in my new make up bag.

A few regulars worked their way in too, including my Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation and MUA Matte Perfect Primer, which despite my original review compared to Benefit's Porefessional has actually grown on me. The price is especially enticing at only £4 a tube and you don't need to use much to create an even base.

I'm still in love with my Sleek Rose Gold Blush and the packaging makes taking it away with me very easy. It comes in a sturdy black case and I can fit a small brush inside so I don't have to take all my RT brushes with me.

I didn't fancy packing my nail varnish remover and pads so I chose one colour to last the whole time we were away, I chose Essie's Sole Mate which is a beautiful burgundy red, perfect for everyday and looks great with a night time look too.

My Benefit Bad Gal Mascara mini also made the cut, I love that it is small but the brush is still long enough to apply perfectly without jabbing it in your eye or getting it all over your face!

Do you have a separate make up bag you use to take away with you?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

This Week I...#8

Finally bought the Naked 3 palette...if you're a regular reader you'll know how long I've wanted this for and last week it finally became mine! I can't wait to use it! Be prepared for a post soon!

Went for a lovely lunch with my two favourite bloggers...Jaye, Becca and I headed to Nando's yesterday for some lunch and a spot of shopping after, amazingly none of us bought anything!

Tried a new foundation...after swatching various foundations all up my arm the other day I have settled on trying L'Oreal's True thoughts on it will be up soon!

Found some amazing new favourite brand of coffee is Douwe Egberts and they have recently released some flavoured ones. I've tried the new hazelnut flavour and its amazing, no more using sugary coffee syrups!

Reached 700 Bloglovin followers...I was overjoyed the other day when I received an email from Bloglovin saying my little blog had reached 700 followers! Thank-you all for reading and for your continued support!

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Blogging on the go...

Working a full time job and keeping on top of blogging can sometimes be quite stressful so today I thought I would share how I organise my time which might help some of you.

My Nexus 7 tablet is a godsend, if it wasn't for this I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with everything. My husband bought mine for my birthday the year before last so it's coming up to two years old now but I love it (it's usually permanently attached to my hand, unless I'm sleeping!) I'm not saying that you need to have a tablet of some kind but it definitely helps and this post is kind of dedicated to my Nexus! I have an app on there called Colournote which I use to jot down any blog post ideas I have whilst I'm out and about because if I wrote them on scraps of paper I would definitely lose them all!

My Nexus doesn't have 3G but it does have WiFi which I can switch on and tether to my mobile phone. I wouldn't recommend doing this if you don't have an unlimited data plan as it does use a lot of data and nobody wants a hefty phone bill! Or, if you go to your local cafe/library/pub they may have free WiFi. When I am connected I can log into Blogger using the Android app and create blog posts - also if I'm super organised I can download photos from my desktop computer to my tablet and add them into the blog post too, otherwise I can just write the blog post, save it and then add the photos when I get home later.

I usually take my blog photos in bulk at the weekend. My husband usually works one of the days so I try to get up early to make the most of the light. I get my products, set up my camera, and snap away until I am happy, then pop them all on my desktop computer and edit them (if required) on Pic Monkey.

I usually write my blog posts on my lunch break at work as when I am at home I like to spend time with my husband. Then I just add the photos I previously took. I can use either the touch keypad on the Nexus or sometimes I use my IVSO Bluetooth Keyboard if I fancy using a proper keyboard which I bought from Amazon for £16.99 (since gone up to £24.99). The keyboard is a little bit fiddly and I think it must be an American design as there is only a $ sign on it, no £ sign, so it's a little annoying if I want to write how much something is, but besides that it's quite handy. It also doubles up as a protective case so I can pop my tablet in my bag and know that the screen wont get scratched.

Android also have an app for Bloglovin so I can keep up to date with reading blogs really easily.

Although I have never had any other tablet device, I'm pretty sure that most are now supported by either Android or Apple so you should be able to download any of the previously mentioned apps.

How do you keep up to date with your blog?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Topshop Gloss Ink: Cruel

Have you ever had one of those times, when you've seen a product on someone else's blog and immediately thought, I have to have that? Well this was one of those times for me. I was browsing through my Bloglovin feed and came across Fleur de Force's post on these Gloss Ink's from Topshop. I was instantly drawn in by the amount of pigmentation there was and the colour payoff on her lips was amazing. She had mentioned several different shades in her post but I have a soft spot for deep berry colours so I knew the shade Cruel would be perfect for me.

Next time I went to my local shopping centre I browsed the make up stand in Topshop and found the only sealed Cruel colour gloss and paraded down to the till with a smug satisfied look on my face and handed over my £8.

When I got home (after taking photos of course) I popped it on my lips. My immediate reaction was relief as I was worried that it would be sticky and if there's one thing I hate about lipglosses its getting my hair stuck on my lips. However, this one is a stain so after applying it stains your lips rather than resting on them, the colour payoff is AM-A-ZING and lasts for several hours before you need a touch up. You can build up the colour too to get your desired shade.

Obviously, I realise we are heading into spring so there are plenty of other brighter shades to suit everyone's taste but I'm pretty happy with my choice.

Also, hurray for me, I have now also purchased something off one of my wishlists in the same month I posted it! Usually all my money is swallowed up in the first week after payday!

Have you tried any of the Gloss Ink Stains from Topshop? What do you think?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Haul: Featuring Topshop/Boots/H&M/Forever 21

It's been a long time since I've done a haul post, mostly because I tend to pick up a few bits and pieces here and there rather than buying things all at one but I have done a few little shopping trips recently and combined them so you can see what I've been purchasing.

After reading Fleur De Force's blog post on Topshop's new Gloss Ink stains I knew I had to pick one up. She swatched the shade cruel which is a beautiful deep plum shade (I'm a sucker for plum shades) even though I know we are heading into spring I'm not a fan of corally pink colours so I will still get some wear out of this.

I popped into Boots with my Sister as she was looking for a Valentine's gift for her boyfriend and found my way to the make up aisles (as always) I picked up four nail polishes to start with and until my sister bumped me back to reality with how much they would all cost I settled for Essie's Sole Mate in the end. I've seen this shade on a few blogs and decided it was now time for it to me mine. I also picked up L'Oreal's Red Ombre Kit, I know I am a little behind with the times but I really want to give it a go. I love the look of the red shade and am considering going this colour all over, I'll see how the ombre looks first though before I take the plunge!

I picked up two jumpers from the basics range in H&M for £9.99 each. My sister and I actually picked up the same stripy one (but have agreed not to wear it together!) I bought them in a medium so they are oversized and I don't like tight fitting clothing and they are perfect for work and home teamed with my leggings or jeans. (Apologies for the quality of the photo - I can't fold clothes properly and I made the mistake of wearing the white striped jumper before photographing it!)

Forever 21
These were definitely Gh0stparties inspired purchases. I was stalking browsing her instagram last week and saw that she had some beautiful make up bags. I was particularly drawn to the cream one with gold spots which is now in my possession. I also bought its larger counterpart as sometimes I stay with family further up the country and have to take more with me. The black make up bag is actually a clutch bag which I will also use as a make up bag too.

What do you think to my purchases? Have you bought anything recently?

Monday, 17 February 2014

February Wishlist

Another month, another wishlist and they seem to be getting bigger and bigger every time!

On the top of my wishlist this month is the Naked 3 palette, I have been waiting to purchase this ever since it hit the shelves of Debenhams back in December (patience is definitely not my thing!) but I've been a good girl and waited until February as I will be receiving some Debenhams vouchers very soon - rest assured they will be a post on this beauty as soon as its mine!

I have also been lusting over Topshop's latest Gloss Inks after seeing swatched on Fleur de Force's blog. I love the look of the shade Cruel and at £8 it isn't going to break the bank.

Next up is Garnier's Micellar Water - at £4.99 its a lot cheaper than my beloved Bioderma and I would love to see how this compares.

Looking forward to spring, Ciate have released their Dolls House collection which is a set of five mini porcelain pastel shades in a beautiful box - I could buy this for the box alone!

After watching Gh0stparties latest favourites video I really want to try L'Oreal's Mythic Oil. Sometimes my hair feels quite dry and in need of a bit of nourishment and this looks like it would do the trick.

Yankee Candle have bought out some new limited edition scents and the jars have some beautiful patterns on, I have been particularly taken with the sweet pink design and hope that I can pick one up soon.

The most affordable products on my wishlist this month are Barry M's matte nail polish colours. I have my eye on three shades, Crush, Mocha and Vanilla. Hopefully Boots or Superdrug will have 3 for 2 soon.

Finally, I am looking to spruce up my bedroom storage and came across these beautiful floral boxes from IKEA - they're only £3.50 each and would be perfect for storing everything under my bed!

What's on your wishlist?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

This Week I...#7

Celebrated hubby's birthday...Monday was my husbands 31st birthday and as we didn't have anything specific planned I asked him where he would like to go for lunch. He loves a roast dinner so we went to our local Toby Carvery and then had birthday cake for dessert!

image source
Visited Meadowhall in Sheffield...we went to visit some relatives this week as we both had a week off work and whilst we were there I got to visit Meadowhall Shopping Centre. It's huge and has the biggest MAC counter in Debenhams that I have seen (apart from London). I picked up some items whilst I was there so look out for a haul post soon!

"Celebrated" Valentine's Day...we don't really celebrate Valentine's as hubby says he doesn't need one special day to show that he loves me so the most we do are cards. As you can see our tastes are quite similar!

Visited Ikea...whilst we were away we visited Ikea in Leeds. I love Ikea, its one of my favourite shops. I had planned to pick up the Malm dressing table and Expedit shelves whilst I was there but there wasn't enough room in our car for what we had bought with us and those too so I'm going to pick them up from Southampton (hopefully next weekend!)

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Lush: The Kiss

I'm not usually one for Valentine's products, but when I walked into Lush recently and wandered over to their Valentine's section I was instantly swept up in Valentine's hype. Even when the event has come and gone I know this is something I will be using a lot over the next few months.

This little tin smells absolutely delicious! It reminds me of love hearts (which is very relevant considering the time of year it is for!). As you can see from the photo it is a beautiful pink colour and there is some colour payoff when you apply it to your lips.

You don't have to use it sparingly as a little goes a long way, to be honest I'm pretty sure I won't be through it by next Valentines!

This has now become a permanent addition to my handbag and is perfect if you're having one of those days when you can't be bothered with lipstick.

I bought mine from Lush for £5.75, if you're lucky they might still have some left in your local Lush.

Have you tried this or other Valentine's products from Lush?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Elegant Touch Rapid Dry Spray

I first came across this spray on Lily Pebbles blog a few weeks ago, naturally it was out of stock on the Boot's website, but I was planning on taking a little trip into town that weekend so eventually hunted it down in my local Superdrug. Luckily, I had enough points on my Superdrug card to get £1 off so instead of the normal price of £3.05 I managed to get it for £2.05.

I hate waiting around for my nails to dry, I had a ritual the evening before I needed to have them done which included, filing, popping on a base coat, then the colour I like and then a top coat before I went to bed so that I didn't smudge or chip them. Now I have this, I can throw all of that out of the window. I've given this a go several times and have been very impressed with the results. All I have had to do is basically what it says on the tin (can!), paint my nails, spray them (from approximately 10cm away), wait 60 seconds and voila!

I save myself so much time and can now just do my nails the same morning. Obviously I can't see inside the can, so I'm not sure how long this will last as I am using it every time I paint them, I guess it is dependent on how often you paint your nails but for the price I know this will definitely be a repurchase.

(Also on a side note, this is the only beauty product I purchased in January and I am pretty chuffed with myself!)

Have you tried this before?


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Steamcream Limited Edition Thalia Tin

Moisturisers for me, are one of those products I don't tend to take much time choosing. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important to moisturise your skin (particularly for me as I'm not getting any younger!) but they never seem to excite me like other products do, I always think they're a little bit boring, that was until I was introduced to Steamcream*.

Steamcream is the latest concept in skincare which sees high quality ingredients fused together with a shot of steam. This unique method makes the cream very lightweight and provides long lasting hydration for the face as well as for your body and hands too.

The cream is packaged in beautifully decorated tins and there are so many bright and eye catching designs to choose from. Pictured above is the limited edition Thalia tin. Thalia is the goddess of fertility and nature in Greek mythology. Her blessing bought lush blooming flowers to barren fields. This design is a tribute to Mother Nature in her Ancient Greek disguise.

I have been using this for a few weeks now and I have barely made a dent in the top of the tin, a little definitely goes a long way. I have been suffering with breakouts a lot recently and have noticed that my face feels less greasy after using this particularly in the mornings when I wake up. The formula is light and non greasy and when I have applied it before bed, I find that my make up applied better the next day.

I have also been using this occasionally on my hands when I get home from work. My hands suffer a lot as I have to constantly wear latex gloves, wash my hands and use an alcohol gel (for those of you who don't know - I work in a hospital). During the winter I get a lot of cracking on my hands, sometimes to the point that when I moisturise them it stings but using this cream has kept them in better condition.

The cream has a pleasant, refreshing scent which in a weird way reminds me of sudocream (which is probably the antiseptic properties) but you can definitely smell lavender and other essential oils.

Steamcream pride themselves on using the best quality, natural vegan ingredients. Each tin is packed full of Cocoa butter, antioxidants and vitamin E as well as lots of other sustainable ingredients.

The tin is small enough to fit into your make up bag which makes it perfect for travel and has a screw lid which prevents any accidents whilst on the move.

Steamcream is available on the Steamcream website (with free delivery) and Feel Unique for £12.95. On a personal note, a big plus for me is that Steamcream is made locally to me in Poole!

Have you tried this moisturiser before?


Monday, 10 February 2014

instagram polaroid prints from inkifi

One of my new years resolutions this year was to use Instagram more, and since I found an app on the Windows Store, finally (come on Windows, sort yourself out!) I have been happily snapping away.

I rarely develop photos anymore, I have been saying I'm going to develop our Wedding photos for over a year now and that's still not happened, so when I was given the opportunity to order some mini Polaroid prints from inkifi* I was really pleased and selected 40 of my favourite Instagram photos to print.

Inkifi is an online printing site which can transform your Instagram prints into beautiful collage frames, canvases, mini prints, greetings cards and more.
It's really simple to upload the prints as the site allows you to log into your Instagram account and select the ones you want. The mini prints are roughly credit card size and there is space on the bottom for you to write a little caption. Price wise, it's only £8.49 for 12 and then a little extra for 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 or 200 prints.

There is also free delivery within the UK and a flat rate of £4.95 (approx $8) for the rest of the world. Delivery takes approximately 7-8 days in the UK (slightly longer for the rest of the world) but I received my prints really quickly.
I'm really pleased with how cute they look and I think this would be a lovely idea to give as a gift for someone for Valentine's day to remember all those special moments.
I also have a few craft projects planned for these so look out for those soon!
What do you think? Have you had any Instagram photos printed before?


Sunday, 9 February 2014

This Week I...#5&6

Some of you may have spotted a lack of This Week I... post last week, well it was a pretty super busy week for me! So this week, I thought I would tag on what I did to this weeks post.

Got all arty with some roses...Hubby bought me some roses this week as we are actually away for Valentines so I popped out the camera and took a few snaps. I'm trying to improve my blog photography and have been reading up on some tips, hopefully you'll notice some improvement soon!

Celebrated my Mum's birthday...last Sunday my Sisters and I took my Mum to a hotel for a massage then we surprised her by putting on a slimming world buffet (she's already lost two stone!) with salad and syn free snacks (apart from the birthday cake!)

image source
Watched the Superbowl...hubby is a big American Football fan (and I must admit I like it too) so we stayed up and watched the Superbowl. The team we wanted to win (Seattle Seahawks) won (by a considerable margin!) so we were pretty happy!

Shopped a little...I was a little bit naughty this week and picked up a few bits when I went shopping with my sister. I will be posting a mini haul soon so I don't want to spoil it too much but here's one of the bags I bought some items from!

Bought out the tripod...we have had a tripod for quite a while but I haven't really used it, as I have been practicing my photography I thought it was time to bring this baby out!

What have you been up to this week?