5 Feb 2016

The January beauty breakdown

So a year or so ago, I gave up on monthly favourites posts because I just don't have that many new or changing favourites to talk about with that kind of regularity.  I've done the odd seasonal favourites, which I enjoy, but I think I'm now missing some sort of monthly round up, and that's where the beauty breakdown comes in.  It's somewhere for me to talk about all that's gone on for me in beauty in the month, that might include favourites, products that didn't work out for me, new releases and everything in between.  I love a little new year refresh, blog included!  So let's do this, here's the January beauty breakdown...

26 Jan 2016

Drugstore bargain beauty products (and some high-end dupes!)

January can be a difficult month for so many reasons - you get the post-Christmas blues, your clothes are too tight, it's freezing cold and worst of all, you've blown all your money and January pay day takes forever to come round!  My pay day is on 27th each month, so I'm still waiting - one more day!  January's not the time to be blowing what little cash you have left on high-end beauty, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite bargains from the drugstore - some of them are great dupes for pricier products too.

21 Jan 2016

Eloquence skincare review

Well hello there mid-January - my Christmas break seems to have over-run slightly...  After a lovely Christmas and New Year I've embarked on a few big lifestyle changes (more about that in an update post soon) which have taken up a lot of my time, coupled with the fact that my ring light bulb has blown *sob* and is proving very difficult to replace!  But, silver linings and all that, it's meant that I've had a long, uninterrupted trial period for some fresh new skincare from a brand called Eloquence.

22 Dec 2015

Home for Christmas - decorations, tableware and home comforts

Oh my goodness it's Christmas week - Christmas is actually on Friday!  No matter how hard I try to prepare, or how early I start planning, a familiar panic sets in during the final few days leading up to Christmas.  Have I forgotten to buy a gift for someone?  Have I missed a vital item off the grocery list?  Did I get all the neighbours' names right for their cards?  Everything's probably fine, but that little bit of Christmas fretting always happens to me regardless - partly I think it's pure excitement - I still can't sleep on Christmas Eve!

16 Dec 2015

Christmas gift guides 2015 - gifts for men

It's my final gift guide today, and I've saved the trickiest one until last - well I find men the trickiest anyway.  I love buying beauty gifts for all of my female friends and relatives, but the boys in the family can be really awkward to buy for, and very unhelpful when it comes to giving any ideas.  I've gone for a nice mix of practical and fun gifts at lots of different price points, so hopefully something for everyone and no standing in long refund queues come January!

14 Dec 2015

Christmas gift guides 2015 - gifts for her under £20

These gift guides have taken me absolutely bloody ages to put together - I probably shouldn't say that and shouldn't be moaning, but it's just a pre-amble to me wanting to mention just how much I've enjoyed doing them.  Shopping is my number one hobby, and taking photos is starting to feature pretty highly too, so it's been a labour of love let's say!  Today's gift guide is more pressies for her (because we need all the things) but under the £20 mark or thereabouts.

11 Dec 2015

Personalised Christmas gifts from IJustLoveIt.co.uk

In the run up to peak Christmas shopping season, I was contacted by personalised gifts website IJustLoveIt.co.uk to see if I wanted to try out some of their unique gifts.  Considering my shopping list was rather lacking in ticks at this point, it was perfect timing!  There are tonnes of gifts on the site, and it took me a really long time to decide what I wanted to order as there's so much choice - definitely a something for everyone type of site, and lots of quirky things for the hard to buy for people on your list.  Most things can be personalised, but they also have other gifts on there they don't need any names or details added, as I suppose that's not for everyone, although I think it adds such a nice thoughtful touch.  I really liked this fun gin & tonic drink stirrer, the personalised cushions and this adorable Girl's dress keepsake which would be perfect for a little girl's bedroom - I'm keeping this one in mind for when my best friend's daughter is a bit older!

9 Dec 2015

Christmas gift guides 2015 - gifts for her over £25

Following on from my stocking fillers gift guide, we're moving on to slightly more substantial gifts over £25.  There are some of personal favourites that I'm giving and receiving this year, and some rather special makeup palette gifts - because let's face it, they're the ones we're most excited for!

7 Dec 2015

Christmas gift guides 2015 - the stocking fillers

Finally it's time to talk all things Christmas!  I really wanted to start posting my gift guides last week, but what with parcel robbing neighbours and black Friday slowing down deliveries, some of my gifts have been slow to arrive!  I'm still awaiting one or two things for my my other gift guides, so I'm starting with stocking fillers.  I hope this might inspire you for your secret santa, or whoever else you need an extra something for, or maybe you'll just add some of these bits and bobs to your own Christmas wish list - most of them are on mine!

4 Dec 2015

End of Autumn beauty favourites

You may have noticed that I became bored with monthly favourites, and decided to stop doing those sorts of posts a while back.  I found my favourites didn't always change all that much in the space of four weeks, and it was becoming more of a 'what I tried this month' rather than a list of products I loved.  Seasonal favourites four times a year seems much more of a good fit for me, and now as it feels like winter's here (officially I don't think it's supposed to start until 21st December!), I thought it would be good to take a look at what I've been loving during autumn.

30 Nov 2015

Panasonic IPL hair removal system first impressions review

Next to make-up brush washing, unwanted hair removal has got to be up there with the most hated beauty chores, right?  As someone with dark hair and fair skin, shaving, waxing or epilating is all part of daily life, especially in the summer.  It's nice to have a bit of a break in the winter when you can hide away in thick wooly tights a lot of the time!  I've never considered having a salon based laser treatment, as I don't think my level of hairiness is all that extreme, but an at home solution I can try myself is very tempting.  Panasonic have asked me to try out their IPL hair removal system, which works to delay regrowth over time with continued use, so I thought I'd start off by sharing my first impressions.

26 Nov 2015

Urban Decay Vice 4 palette review and swatches

Urban Decay are on a serious roll at the moment.  Not long ago we were introduced to a new palette in the Naked family (here's my Naked Smoky palette review and swatches), this weekend saw the launch of their amazing collab with Gwen Stefani (Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani palette swatches) and there's a new Vice palette just in time for your Christmas list!

24 Nov 2015

Wunderbrow and Wunderextensions review - gimmicky names, great products!

There are two things guaranteed to make my face look slightly more lively and presentable to the world, the first is mascara, and the second is filled brows.  I feel naked without either of them, and every year when I go on holiday I stress over waterproof products to use for the beach or pool.  Shallow?  Maybe.  Vain?  Yes.  But that's what makes me feel that bit more comfortable.  

19 Nov 2015

The limited edition Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani palette collaboration

So many makeup palettes get released in the lead up to Christmas, that it can all get a little bit much for an eyeshadow hoarder like me.  My Christmas list reads like a Sephora stock check, and I have to remind myself that I have just the one face, and should whittle down to just the palettes I really *need*.  If you're the same, one palette I'd recommend reserving a special place for under the tree this year is the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani collaboration.  It's such a lovely mix of shades and textures in gorgeous packaging, but be warned, it's limited edition, and going on sale this weekend!

17 Nov 2015

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation review

Make Up For Ever originally introduced their HD foundation in response to advances in technology meaning that HD cameras and TVs were showing skin in greater detail than ever.  HD quality has progressed more and more over time and we now have 4K, so the new Ultra HD foundation is the upgraded version of the original formula. 

13 Nov 2015

Christmas Gifting - Gillette Flexball Spectre gift set

I love everything about Christmas, but the one thing that bugs me every year and puts me off just a little, is the stress I go through trying to work out what to buy the men in the family.  When I ask them what they'd like for Christmas I'm greeted with helpful responses like "I don't need anything" or "I don't know, you choose" and worst of all "I'll have a think about it..." which of course they won't - it's just a fogging tactic to get rid of me!  

11 Nov 2015

My favourite autumn treats

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, autumn is my favourite season.  I know it’s so ‘in’ to like autumn now, but truly I’ve always loved it.  I’m not a summer person at all – hot weather is not my thing – two weeks on holiday in the sun is plenty for me, and after that I’m ready for tights, cosy socks, blankets, candles, hot chocolate… you get the idea.

I love to change up practically everything in my routine once the colder weather sets in and my holidays are over – I nearly always go away in September, and it’s like I leave during summer and arrive home to autumn having begun.  So I thought it’d be nice to share a mixture of the treats I’ve been enjoying this year.

6 Nov 2015

Red Carpet Ready starter kit review - gel nails in 5 minutes? Really?!

I love having glossy, bright, painted nails.  It makes me feel pulled together, and finishes a look perfectly.  I'm one of those people that would never choose to go out with naked nails, and I change my colour every couple of days - mainly because of chipping.  It means I must spend a whole lot of my week doing my nails - I'd prefer it if my polish lasted longer and didn't need attention every 48 hours or so, which is why I love at home gel kits.  I've tried several before, and I like to think I'm quite good at it, but the whole process from start to finish usually takes about an hour with most methods, so I don't make the effort to put on a gel often enough.  The answer of course, is a gel manicure that takes no longer to apply than a regular polish, and that's what Red Carpet Manicure have created with their Red Carpet Ready One Step system.  They claim it takes just five minutes to complete their manicure, and I was more than happy to put that to the test.

3 Nov 2015

L'Occitane's 2015 Christmas gifting collection in collaboration with Pierre Hermé, and an amazing advent calendar!

L'Occitane make some of the loveliest gifts around, and this Christmas is no exception!  2015 sees a collection of beautifully presented gifts designed in collaboration with pastry chef extraordinaire Pierre Hermé.  I love the colourful packaging with a subtle nod to macarons and all things sweet, combined with delicate, fresh and floral scents.  

29 Oct 2015

Too Faced haul of gorgeousness - Cocoa Contour, Love Flush Blush, Melted Metal lipstick and Love eyeshadow palette

There's nothing more satisfying to me than photographing beautiful makeup in pretty packaging.  My photography skills are kind of still evolving, but when it comes to shooting products as good looking as this, even I can't mess it up!  The products I'm talking about today are some new and new-ish launches from the Gods of amazingly presented makeup - Too Faced.