31 Dec 2014

2014 beauty favourites


I'm not going to be all cliche go on about how quickly the year has flown (although it really has), and will just get on with my 2014 favourites.  What I will mention, is just how much I'm enjoying that little bit of reflective thought that you tend to naturally fall into during the gap between Christmas and New Year.  You can choose to have a fresh start any time you like of course, but for me, I sometimes do need an extra kick up the butt, and the whole fresh page feeling of starting a new year gives me just that.  I don't make many resolutions any more, I just try to set really well thought out, achievable goals.  All it takes to change your life is will, determination and a list, so watch out 2015, I'm coming! 

30 Dec 2014

Five top interview tips for getting a new job in 2015



In contrast to the usual beauty fodder I serve up, today I have a post for you on a completely different topic, but it’s one which I think I know a lot about.  Most of us see the new year as a fresh new start, and for some that means starting a search for a new job.  I’ve had various interviews for office jobs in my time, but more often I’m now on the other side of the table doing the grilling, so in collaboration with City Calling who find jobs in construction, I'm offering up my top tips for your next interview!  

29 Dec 2014

Beauty: November and December beauty favourites


Before I review my favourite finds of 2014, I thought I should first catch up with my monthly favourites.  I get so busy in the run up to Christmas, planning for the big day, that almost everything else gets left to one side, so I missed my November favourites entirely and my blog was a little bit neglected :( I can breathe a sign of relief now as although I love Christmas, it feels good to now be able to think about planning for other things, and to use my Christmas tree as a blogging backdrop!  So onto the juicy stuff, these are my favourite and most used products from November and December.

24 Dec 2014

The 15 Festive Favourites Christmas tag


I don't usually get around to doing any tags - although I do enjoy reading them - but as I'm so excited for Christmas at the moment, when I spotted the 15 Festive Favourites tag on Alina's blog beauty with charm, I instantly wanted to give it a go!  

23 Dec 2014

Food: Easy chocolate Baileys fudge recipe - in the microwave!

I can waste hours and hours on Pinterest thinking about all the cute little DIYs I could try instead of actually getting around to doing any of them...  I vowed to be a little more prepared this year, and to think in advance about what I might want to make and I decided Baileys fudge would be a perfect treat to give as little homemade gifts.  I struggled to find a recipe online that was for chocolate Baileys fudge rather than vanilla, so a little bit of experimentation was needed.  

22 Dec 2014

Guest post: My first blogger event by Lizzie

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Today's post comes from Lizzie who blogs over at lizaboo.co.uk - she's sharing her experience of her first blogger event.  Thanks Lizzie! x


21 Dec 2014

Nails: Sensational Fuse & gone fission glitter pink polish


I've been lucky enough to get to try quite a few a home gel manicure options lately, but this one called Fuse from Sensationail is by far the quickest and easiest.  I have the Fuse starter kit with the colour gone fission which is a gorgeous glitzy pink.

19 Dec 2014

Food: Quick and easy mini mince pies recipe


One of my favourite things about Christmas is the food - the whole month of December is just one big indulgence, and it's also the perfect excuse to get in the kitchen and start baking.  I never used to like mince pies, but started to eat them a couple of years ago, so this year it seemed like a good idea to try making my own.  When I say 'making' really I mean 'assembling',  because I've used shop bought ready rolled pastry and shop bought mincemeat - you can make both yourself, but for my first attempt at mince pies, I thought I'd keep it simple!

17 Dec 2014

Pink reindeer fair isle Christmas onesie from Tipsy Elves


Taking photos for this post made me appreciate fashion bloggers on a whole new level.  I only wanted a few photos of me in my new onesie which was sent to me by Tipsy Elves, and literally, Dan managed to catch me at every horrendous angle possible - this was the only passable photo of the lot!  Fashion bloggers, I salute you - you make it look so easy.  

12 Dec 2014

Christmas gift ideas: Non-beauty Christmas gifts!


About 90% of the gifts I get for Christmas are always makeup and beauty related - not that I'm complaining, it's what I love and I think it makes me a rather easy person to buy for!  I've rambled on about beauty gifts for the past couple of weeks now, so I thought it was time I gave a mention to some of the other lovely gift options I'm giving and getting this year, even if I can't put them on my face...

11 Dec 2014

Christmas gift ideas: Stocking fillers and gifts under £30


I've very nearly finished my Christmas shopping - there are still a few niggly little gaps in my list which I need to fill, but in the main, my Christmas corner is filling up nicely!  With my friends and family, we tend to get lots of small gifts and it's quite unusual for anyone to think of one really big gift they want, so it means I get to enjoy picking out all sort of stocking filler type bits and pieces.  I felt like it was getting a bit late to do this post, so even though I have a few deliveries still to arrive (including the world's slowest ever asos order due to the Black friday madness!), I thought it was time to show you some of the smaller gifts I'm getting and giving this Christmas.  

9 Dec 2014

Christmas gift ideas: L'Occitane Sparkling Verbena Collection


Apologies for being a little thinner on the ground with content this week; I've spent virtually every evening either in a shopping centre, supermarket or some sort of retail outlet trying to complete my seemingly never ending Christmas shopping list!  I hate shopping when it's crazily busy, so I intend to get as many trips as I can in this week while it's still manageable and then I'll finish up any last minute bits online next week.  I have to have an action plan when it comes to Christmas or else I get myself stupidly stressed out and don't actually enjoy the build up!  Anyway, today's post is bringing you what is hopefully a perfect gift idea for someone on your shopping list - possibly a slightly older female with a more discerning taste than a 3 for 2 Soap & Glory set can cater to - we're talking luxurious, show-stopper bathing gift sets here, and it has to be L'Occitane.  This is the gloriously lemon scented, beautifully gift boxed Sparkly Verbena Collection.  

5 Dec 2014

Beauty: Makeup Revolution eyeliners and brow pen review


Following on from my initial taste of what Makeup Revolution has to offer (blog post here), I've now also had the opportunity to try out some of their eye and brow pen / pencil products, and some of them are serious rivals to the (far more expensive) options I usually go for.

3 Dec 2014

Christmas Beauty: KIKO Haute Punk Precious Touch shimmering body oil and Haute Flower eau de toilette


Are you sick of all the hyped up Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales already, or did you swoop in and finish your Christmas shopping with a hefty discount?  I was all up for a few special offers, but despite planning my attack and gathering up information on codes and offers, I was still left kicking myself when I realised there were a few great deals I missed out on.

2 Dec 2014

Beauty: My favourite winter lip shades


I realised last week that there's quite the theme to my lips looks of late - it's a far cry from this time last year when I was wearing Kate Moss 107 to death alongside a clutch of other deep plum shades. This winter it's an altogether brighter affair, and I'm mixing and matching my textures and brands too.

1 Dec 2014

Food: Low calorie beef stew - the perfect winter comfort food



Sometimes in winter, only comfort food will do, so yesterday I plugged in my slow cooker and set about bubbling up a cold weather stew feast.  

27 Nov 2014

UK Black Friday beauty and fashion deals and discount codes


If you're not in the market for a new TV, it can seem like Black Friday is a bit of a bore, but no - since it's become a 'thing' in the UK over the past couple of years, loads of stores and brands are getting in on the action, it's not just electricals - there are fashion and beauty bargains to be had! 

Christmas gift ideas: NEOM Organics Perfect Peace scented candle


Ahhhhhhhhh mmmmmmmm.   That's my main main thought right now as I'm sitting here typing this with NEOM's Perfect Peace flickering away on the other side of the room.  NEOM candles truly have some of the most relaxing scents of any candle I've ever tried, and burning one is a wonderful treat.  

26 Nov 2014

Christmas gift ideas: Beanies flavoured coffees review and giveaway


There's always that one person on your list that's just so hard to buy for isn't there?  The person who's got everything and gives you absolutely no help with what to get them for Christmas - I'm not like that, I have a list as long as my leg which I start up in August, but hey maybe I'm just super greedy decisive.  Anyway if your person who has everything and needs nothing likes coffee, I might have just the thing to sneak into their stocking this year.  

25 Nov 2014

Beauty: My first Makeup Revolution haul



If you've not heard of Makeup Revolution before, prepare for a Makeup Revelation!  It's got to be the most exciting thing that's happened in budget-friendly makeup this year.  Literally out of nowhere Makeup Revolution has appeared online and in Superdrug stores with an enormous range covering just about every product you can think of, and they keep adding to it with fresh launches on what seems like a weekly basis.  It's amazing and slightly overwhelming, so I thought I'd start off by showing you where I started with the brand when I hauled myself a few bits to try out back in the summer.  I do have some more Makeup Revolution products now (so, *spoiler* I liked these!), but I'll save those to chat about in another post.

24 Nov 2014

Skincare: Switch to Witch skincare range and giveaway


Today I'm having a total blast from my skincare past with Witch and their #switchtowitch campaign.  That iconic Witch blemish stick reminds me of being about 13 years old and being obsessed with the Spice Girls and Smash Hits magazine!  Witch's packaging and line has changed a lot since then, but that little blue stick is still going strong.  I have one to giveaway together with two of Witch's newer releases, so read on if you fancy switching to Witch and keeping your skin clear throughout the winter.

21 Nov 2014

Christmas gift ideas: The Body Shop glazed apple Christmas range


The Body Shop are really knocking it out of the park right now.  Not only have they got some gorgeous Christmas ranges, but they also keep tempting me with amazing offers like 40% off, £25 off when you spend £50, free gifts and all sorts.  You don't even have to hunt around for the deals - they helpfully pop the latest codes up right on their home page!  There's a distinct possibility that everyone I know is going to be getting a Body Shop gift from me this Christmas, and my favourite contender from all the ranges so far, is the juicy glazed apple.  

20 Nov 2014

Christmas beauty: My Selfridges Christmas wish list



Next weekend I'm off on a festive girlie shopping trip, and the first place we plan to hit up is Selfridges.  I'm not sure if it's those famous window displays, the seemingly never ending beauty halls, or the lure of high end luxury goods I can barely afford to touch, but Selfridges has me super excited for Christmas shopping.  I can guess we'll be spending more time than is healthy in the beauty hall swatching, sniffing and swooning, so it's best to go in with a plan.  These beauty treasures are at the top of my list for closer inspection...

19 Nov 2014

Christmas beauty: Benefit sweet shoppe gift sets for 2014


Christmas is one of the best time of year to be a beauty addict - some brands bring out gift sets which are amazing value compared to their usual lines of singular products, and Benefit is one of them.  I remember in my mid-teens Benefit was the first semi-high end brand which caught my eye, and every year I'd have some of their gift sets at the top of my Christmas list.  Fast forward more years than I'd like to admit, and I'm still their Christmas offerings are still amazing - these are my top picks for this year.

18 Nov 2014

Skincare: The new anti-ageing skincare range from TEN



You may have heard of TEN before if you're a mummy, as TEN started out with a boutique mother and baby skincare range, but this new range is focused on anti-ageing.  

17 Nov 2014

My autumn / winter bath-time pampering routine


Those cold, dark nights are drawing in, and long gone are the refreshing showers of sticky summer days.  I could insert a little moan here about cold weather and lack of daylight, but actually I love autumn and winter, plus any excuse for a long hot bath and pampering session and I'm there, with a blanket!  So this is my slightly indulgent, but super relaxing and comforting autumn / winter pamper routine...

13 Nov 2014

Christmas gift ideas: Men's fragrance - Hugo Boss Bottled and Bvlgari Man Extreme


My boyfriend hates spending money on aftershave.  To him all the nice ones seem expensive, and if there were a Tesco value aftershave out there (maybe there is? don't tell him!) he'd probably make do with that.  However, he's more than happy to wear a really nice aftershave if he gets it as a gift.  I want him to smell good, so I get him aftershave for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's etc.  I guess it's a win / win situation.

12 Nov 2014

Beauty: October 2014 favourites


I'm a bit late with my October favourites this month, and I've realised that I didn't really have any eye favourites, as for the whole month I had lash extensions, so I couldn't really wear eye liner, shadow or mascara.  The lashes are off now, but I really loved the look, so my Lara Lashes are my first favourite for the month.

11 Nov 2014

Nails: NYK1 Secrets Nailac at home professional gel polish system review


For ages I'd wondered how I could try a proper gel manicure at home like the ones you'd pay about £30 for at a salon.  I've only had Shellac professionally done once, and I think the girl was new as the finish was really bad and led to the gel peeling off within a few days!  I like to think that I'm pretty good at doing my own nails, so I thought I'd be able to master the technique at home, if I knew what all of the steps were and all the equipment / products.  NYK1 Secrets offers exactly what I was looking for - professional quality kits with everything you need to achieve a long lasting, shiny and strong manicure at home.

10 Nov 2014

Skincare: Nivea smooth nourishing hand cream and blueberry blush lip butter review


Hand cream and lip balm are such absolute cold weather necessities, so these little treats from Nivea couldn't have arrived at a better time.  The weather tricked us throughout most of October, lulling us into a false sense of snugly security - I didn't even wear my coat until November arrived, and then a couple of days in and bang, it's freezing!  Time to whip out the cold weather skincare essentials!

7 Nov 2014

Christmas beauty: NARS Christmas gift sets 2014 - Virtual Domination blush palette and Digital World lip pencil coffret


There are many things I love about the lead up to Christmas, but one of the best has to be the multitude of amazing beauty deals, limited editions and gift sets tempting me around every corner.  One launch I always have my greedy beady eye on is the NARS holiday gift sets.  This year's offering has not disappointed me, and I've already snapped up two of the kits for under my tree.  

6 Nov 2014

The Library of Fragrance single note blendable scents review


I love wearing perfume - it's always the last step in my routine each morning after doing my makeup and getting dressed, and I don't feel myself without it.  I'm not really one for having a signature scent - I have some favourite perfumes, but I also like picking different scents from my collection depending on the occasion, time of year, my mood etc.  The Library of Fragrance, which has just launched in the UK, is a concept which really appeals to me - you can actually create your own perfume by mixing and matching the single note scents to switch things up depending on what you fancy at any given time.  There are over 100 fragrances to choose from, so everyone's personal perfume tastes are catered for too! 

5 Nov 2014

Nails: Sensationail deluxe gel starter kit review


I'm always moaning that no matter which nail polish I try, it never lasts much more than a day on me before I get chips, so if there's anything which promises longer wear, I'm up for trying it!  Sensationail is a system that combines the quality of a salon gel manicure finish, with the ease and speed of an at home manicure, and it promises to last up to two weeks!

4 Nov 2014

Nails: Beautybay The Collection festive nail polishes


Beautybay's own brand products - Beautybay the collection - are really expanding, and I'm pleased to see that they've brought out some festive additions to their great value nail polish range.

3 Nov 2014

Christmas Beauty: Beauty Christmas Crackers 2014


Following on from my post on this year's beauty advent calendars, I've spotted that a fair few brands are also offering Christmas cracker sets filled with makeup and bathing goodies.  I've seen lots of brands putting gift sets into single cracker shaped packaging, but these are all sets of crackers which you can actually pull across the dinner table, minus the naff hats and silly jokes...

31 Oct 2014

Food: Quick and easy spooky Halloween treats


I couldn't resist just a little nod to Halloween today in the shape of these spooky little treats.  Halloween is probably the best 'holiday' or occasion for themeing, there are just so many ways to make things look a bit creepy!  If you fancy a bit of last minute spooky action, all of these treats are super quick and easy to throw together, and most of them are pretty healthy and kid-friendly too.

29 Oct 2014

Beauty: Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Apocalipslick Paranormal lipgloss from CutECOsmetics


"Neutral make-up loving blogger in blue lip shocker!" - ha ha!  I never expected to see myself with blue lips either, but it is Halloween week after all.  When I was contacted by CutECOsmetics about their new range of glosses from Lunatick Cosmetics Labs, I decided to be brave a picked out one of the wilder colours from the collection!

28 Oct 2014

Food: Waitrose sea salt fudge brownies recipe


It seems like there’s a day for everything now – Vegetarian day, Talk like a pirate day, even Bubblewrap appreciation day (yes, really), and I didn’t know until now that Chocolate actually gets a whole week - I’m not going to argue with that!  National chocolate week was 13 to 19 October, and to celebrate this wonderfully sweet occasion, Waitrose asked me if I fancied trying out one of the many yummy ultimate chocolate cake recipes on their website. 

27 Oct 2014

Christmas beauty: British Beauty Blogger for Marks and Spencer - review and swatches


The bloggers are really doin' it for themselves lately, and I couldn't be more pleased to see that the amazing Jane of British Beauty Blogger now has her own range at Marks and Spencer ready for Christmas!  To me Jane's a cornerstone of beauty blogging in the UK, and her site is my go-to when I want to know what's new and exciting in the beauty world - you can guarantee, if it's out there, Jane knows about it.  She knows what's she's talking about when it comes to products, the industry and blogging itself - I've had the pleasure of meeting her on a few occasions and she's a truly lovely lady with a wicked sense of humour, and I wish her so much success with her collection.

There are five different makeup kits to choose from in the British Beauty Blogger for Marks and Spencer range,  all with amazing packaging illustrated by Nuno da Costa, and I have two to play with...

24 Oct 2014

The Anthony Nolan Trust #thankyoustranger

Something a bit different today – I want to talk to you about the Anthony Nolan Trust (the UK's blood cancer charity and bone marrow register) and their new campaign – Kindest of Stranger.  The thought behind the campaign is those random acts of kindness that we might sometimes be fortunate enough to experience, or perhaps give out.  I love the idea, and it’s really made me think over the past week about ways that I could make a stranger’s day.  Life can be so busy, especially in London, that often nobody talks to each other or even makes any eye contact – sometimes it’s just a sea of barging people all in a mood and a hurry, so I’ve set about making just a little bit of a difference each day. 

Beauty: Lara Lashes semi-permanent lash extension review and experience


Noticing anything different about my lashes?  They're rather lush, long and lovely right now, don't you think?  I wish I could say grew them that way, but no, they're semi-permanent lash extensions!  I was invited along for a treatment at Lara Lashes in Clapham / Battersea and came out with the amazing super-charged lashes I've always wished I was born with...

22 Oct 2014

Skincare: Vichy Idealia life serum and eye contour cream review



I know it's the product inside that counts, but it really doesn't hurt for skincare to come in pretty packaging like these from the Vichy Idealia range.  They compliment my beauty mess dressing table nicely, as well as being a brilliant addition to my skincare routine!

20 Oct 2014

Christmas beauty: Illamasqua's Facet collection - Multi Facet palette in Semblance - review and swatches


I'm beyond excited for all of the Christmas collections which are either landing or being announced right now.  My wish list is unspeakably long, which is a sign that standards are pretty high this year!  I've been lucky enough to get a pre-Christmas treat from Illamasqua's Facets collection for 2014 - the stunning Multi Facet palette in Semblance.

16 Oct 2014

Skincare: shu uemura tsuya skin youthful crystal transparency lotion review


I love branching out and trying new products and brands, and today's one of those occasions, as I've been trying Shu Uemura for the first time.  The brand's completely new to me, and although I didn't know much about it before, I'd thought it was predominantly a makeup brand, and I'd not realised that there's an extensive range of skincare too!  

13 Oct 2014

Nails: New from Models Own - the Disco Pants collection


Models Own are getting all D-I-S-C-O on us ahead of the party season with their new Disco Pants collection.  It’s a super-bright, jazzy collection in beautiful jewel shades, and the pearlised, shimmering finish really does remind me of Disco Pants!  I don't have the legs to be working the pants, but my nails are certainly up for wearing the polish!

8 Oct 2014

Giveaway: Jewel Candle surprise jewellery candle review and giveaway


I’m a little bit over-excited about the brand I have to share with you today.  I often daydream about starting my own business, but I always get stuck when it comes to what my unique idea or invention would be.  Jewel Candles are one of those products that just leave me wondering - why I didn’t think of that? - sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best! 

1 Oct 2014

Christmas: Beauty advent calendars for 2014


The past week or so has seen a series of exciting releases in the beauty world - it's advent calendar time!  Any excuse to talk about Christmas early and I'm all over it - I can't help it, Christmas makes me happy, and I'm very excited to decide which doors I want to be opening for beauty treats throughout December.  This year's offering looks better than ever, but in some cases it's also the priciest!  Let's start off gently, with the calendars costing under £50...

29 Sep 2014

Beauty: September favourites


It's nearing the end of the month already, so time to have a look at my most loved products.  I was on holiday for part of the month, but it feels odd to still be talking about summer products, so this selection is a bit more like what I've been using and loving since I got back.  I think I'm properly ready to transition into autumn now, so maybe next month they'll be some berry lip and nail colours in the mix with other darker, warmer things!

24 Sep 2014

Beauty: New from Urban Decay - Naked Basics 2



I'm a bit (a lot) of an addict when it comes to Urban Decay's naked range - I love nice simple nudes, dusky taupes and smoky neutrals, so the palettes never disappoint me.  The Naked Basics original palette and I have been friends for a very long time now - as evidenced by the actual state of my palette which you'll see in a mo - but I'm ready to branch out with some new colours which still fit nicely into the original theme.  Enter the utterly dreamy Naked Basics 2...