11 Dec 2017

Home and lifestyle Christmas gifts from Amara Living

Believe it or not, I don't just give and receive beauty gifts at Christmas - honest!  There was a time when all of my family were allocated a different luxury eyeshadow palette to buy me at Christmas, but I've toned things down a lot.  I mean, a girl only has one pair of eyes, and I think I've only 'hit pan' on an eyeshadow once in my life... I know I should be ashamed!  So we move on, we learn, we grow, and in pulling back on my beauty bad habits I'm enjoying shopping for some of the other fine things in life, including gorgeous homeware gifts.  I've been having a kitchen and dining room renovation, and although it's taken twice as long as I was promised and I've gone half mad eating microwaved dinners in my bedroom, it's all been worth it in the end and now all I want for Christmas is pretty things for my house!  

8 Dec 2017

Five top tips for applying perfect party lashes

I absolutely love the look of false lashes on me.  Naturally I have very short and stumpy little lashes, so it makes a massive difference when I apply a pair of falsies.  Sadly I've not been blessed with a natural flair for lash application, and have had a fair few traumas with lashes in my time.  Tears before a night out have not been uncommon, as well as totally messing up my makeup and having to start again after poor attempts to apply lashes and getting glue everywhere!  I've learned a lot of lash lessons over the years, and finally have some tricks and techniques that work for me, so I thought what better time to share them than in the run up to all those Christmas parties!

5 Dec 2017

L'Occitane Christmas Gifting

Following on from L'Occitane's gorgeous Luxury Beauty Advent calendar which I shared with you a few weeks ago, I also wanted to show off some of the highlights of their gifting range for Christmas this year.  I love to have a bit of a quirk or a twist to my gift giving, as let's face it, you're probably going to buy your auntie a bath and body set of some description every Christmas, so it's nice to mix it up with something that little bit different and special, which is exactly what you get with  the L'Occitane crackers and baubles.  

30 Nov 2017

Beauty and the Beast beauty stocking fillers

How's your Christmas shopping coming along?  Are you sitting smug having finished the lot or are you a last minute Christmas Eve shopper?  I'm somewhere in between - I try to start early and get things ticked off my list, but there's always someone who's hard to buy for, or that perfect gift that's always out of stock which slows me down and sees me panic buying as time runs out.  I did a good bit of shopping online over the Black Friday weekend and have made a serious dent in my Christmas list which I'm pretty happy about.  One of my best finds was the Beauty and the Beast range from Mad Beauty - girlie stocking fillers don't come cuter than this!  


23 Nov 2017

Paul & Joe's Cat Makeup Collection for Christmas 2017

Calling all cat loving ladies - this one is most definitely for you!  If there's one thing you can guarantee at Christmas, as sure as a speech from the Queen, dry as old boots turkey and wall to wall re-runs of Love Actually, it's a Cat themed Christmas collection from Paul & Joe.  I know so many people avidly collect all of the beautiful cat adorned makeup pieces because they're just so unique and intricate - I mean just look at that little cat face!

21 Nov 2017

REN Christmas gifting - Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium and Moroccan Rose

Ahhh REN, I can always rely on you to come up with a beautiful Christmas range that gives me a reason to bring out the sparkly snow and baubles :) As you're reading this I expect I'll be tucked up in bed feeling sorry for myself after having all my wisdom teeth out - but don't feel too bad for me, I've stocked the freezer with ice cream!


16 Nov 2017

Caudalie Christmas gifts - The Divine Body Collection and French Kiss Trio

Caudalie is a brand that I only started to become familiar with around this time last year, but I've already tried several products and have found some that I really love.  I'm currently trying out the Resveratrol Lift Eye balm and also have a tube each on the go of my favourite Instant Detox Mask and Deep Cleansing Exfoliator.  Christmas can be just the right time to try new products from a brand as usually you'll find gift sets which work out much cheaper than buying each product separately, and that's exactly the case with Caudalie's Christmas collection


14 Nov 2017

Gatineau Christmas gifts


I absolutely love this time of year for so many reasons, with one of the main draws being all of the amazing Christmas launches that are around.  I completely get that feeling of being a kid armed with the Argos catalogue and a marker pen all over again when I browse through my favourite online shops or the Christmas gift guide magazines.  One of the ranges that has first caught my eye this year is Gatineau because I absolutely love how pretty they've made their sets.  Everything is either pale pink and rose gold or grey and rose gold - call me basic if you like, but I'm in heaven!

9 Nov 2017

Botanical beauty buys from thehut.com

Love them or loathe them, some of the latest trends in fashion are hard to miss, jumping out at us from magazines, Topshop windows and those oh so candid instagram OOTDs.  But are you as likely to notice what's trending in beauty?  Beauty trends are often influenced by the fashion industry but are also branching out in their own right as brands gain cult followings, new product launches have waiting lists and we're all obsessing over skincare trends from foreign shores.  Korean and Japanese beauty influences are one of the biggest trends that you've probably noticed within the last year or two - the popularity of sheet masks  for example seems to have rocketed out of nowhere, and you can hardly move for brands offering to hydrate your skin while you relax looking like a tiger / panda / unicorn etc.  


2 Nov 2017

Christian Breton Delicious Face Oil and SOS Eye Balm review

My skin is becoming more and more dry and dehydrated as I'm getting older, and I'm finally coming to terms with that, I think!  Moving into autumn and winter my skin would always become less oily, but I do now really have battles with dry patches, particularly under my eyes.  Christian Breton is a skincare brand I've not tried before, but the two products I'm talking about today really seemed to speak to the skin I'm finding I have now, so I was happy to give them some proper road testing.  


31 Oct 2017

Jessica Street Style autumn / winter 2017 collection swatches

I know it's such a blogger cliche, but I love pretty much everything about autumn!  Changing up from the pastel shades of spring and hot brights of summer, I love the contrast of autumn's moodier colour palette.  Jessica have a new collection our for autumn / winter 2017 called Street Style, and it's full of the kind of shades I can't wait to wear at this time of year.  

26 Oct 2017

L'Occitane luxury beauty advent calendar for 2017

What better way to kick off my first Christmas post of 2017 than with an extra special advent calendar from one of my favourite brands?!  I've enjoyed opening the doors of a L'Occitane advent calendar for the past couple of years, but for 2017 there are two options for your festive count downs - the classic beauty advent calendar and the new luxury beauty advent calendar.  You wouldn't be disappointed with either as they're both packed with goodies, but there's something extra special about the new luxury advent calendar which has caught my eye this year.  

23 Oct 2017

Too Faced melted latex liquified high shine lipstick review and swatches

Too Faced have done it again with their latest stunning range of lip colours in a fab new formula.  I own a fair few shades from their original melted lipstick range and really like the intense pigment and smooth texture.  Next came the melted matte lipsticks, which pack the same colour punch and also last practically all day - the shades I have are Child Star (gorgeous nude) and Queen B which I'd say is a dirty pink-mauve sort of colour - I count this one as one of my all time favourite lipsticks - it's certainly my most worn.  So my expectations were pretty high for the new collection which is the Melted Latex liquified high shine lipsticks.  


20 Oct 2017

REN atlantic kelp and magnesium anti-fatigue body cream and body wash review

Now you might not believe this, but a couple of months ago, I joined the gym.  It's incredibly unlike me to have a go at anything remotely physical, so nobody's more surprised than me that I've taken the plunge!  I'm still very much a newbie and am taking things one step at a time, but I've been trying aquafit and zumba classes alongside stints on the bike and treadmill.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a big change for me, and I'd go as far as to say that I'm enjoying it!  

12 Sept 2017

Nyasa London skincare review

I really enjoy trying out new skincare and felt like I was in for a real treat when I received some products from the Nyasa London range.  For one the packaging is beautiful - I can never resist a butterfly! Nyasa's a natural brand, but that doesn't mean that there's any skimping on performance - one of the main ingredients in the range is the resurrection plant, a plant which is native to the desert and can withstand prolonged periods of dehydration.  The mantra is restore - refuel - recharge and the focus is on providing the skin with all of the nutrients and support it needs every day, including ensuring the right amount of sleep, water and good food.  

31 Aug 2017

Crystal Clear COMCIT Elite facial experience

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited down the Beauty-Plus salon in Dulwich to experience the Crystal Clear COMCIT Elite facial.  It's more commonly known as the 'frozen facial' as part of the treatment involves using extreme cold!  I knew it probably wasn't going to be the most relaxing and pampering facial I'd ever had in my life, but I was really interested to give it a go and to see the glow-giving and anti-ageing results it promises.  

24 Aug 2017

Benefit's new Boi-ing concealer range

Just when I was thinking to myself that I needed to try a new concealer, along comes Benefit with a fully re-launched range!  Some days the makeup Gods really do smile down!  

Benefit have taken some of their best loved concealers and have put them into snazzy new packaging together with renaming them all under the Boi-ing banner.  I've been trying out all four concealers over the past month or more, so I now know them all really well and which each is best for.


15 Aug 2017

Blossoming Gifts bouquet review plus 33% off discount code and giveaway!

There's literally nothing guaranteed to brighten your day more than receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers, is there?  Although maybe a chocolate bouquet pips the blooms at the post just a little, if you're a chocaholic!  Both of these gorgeous gift bouquets are from blossoming gifts, and one of you lucky people is going to win a bouquet of your choice!


11 Aug 2017

The palette EVERYBODY'S talking about - Urban Decay's Naked Heat

Having always been a fan of more nude and muted shades when it comes to eyeshadow, I've been a natural follower of Urban Decay's Naked collections, and I actually have all of the palettes.  There were the three original Naked palettes one to three, the two Naked Basics palettes filled with matte shades, and then the Naked Smoky palette, which was a bit of a leap into a new direction with some much moodier shades.  I think the next palette to come out was the Naked Ultimate Basics, and possibly I thought that was the end of the road for the original Naked style palettes, as this one was a new style square palette - bigger than the other Basics palettes, packed with neutral matte colours, but not the same shape or layout as the long Naked Palettes.  I guess I thought that we'd run out of ways to get Naked, so I was genuinely taken by surprise when Naked Heat came along.  I saw it on Instagram for the first time one day, and didn't connect it as being an Urban Decay Naked palette immediately - it looked kind of red - what sorcery was this?! It was the first time that I thought an eye palette from the Naked range wasn't for me, and I must admit I was a little bit sad about that!  


7 Aug 2017

The best lighting for applying makeup #ad

I'm not the biggest fan of summer - I'm much more of an autumn and winter kind of person - but one of the best things about this time of year is the long days and all the wonderful natural light.  It makes taking blog photos a whole lot easier, and putting my makeup on in natural daylight is a huge bonus too! 

When the darker nights are back I'll love cozying up with my cinnamon scented candles and wearing my thick tights and fluffy socks, but I'll dread the gloomy mornings.  As well as struggling to get out of bed, I know I'll be battling against badly blended contour and foundation tide marks on my neck all over again!   


4 Aug 2017

My summer essentials

It feels a little odd sitting down to write about my essential summer products when it's so grey and drizzly outside - you'd never know it was August!  I won't complain though, as we've had some gorgeous weather so far this year, and I'm sure there's more to come.  I haven't got a nice beach holiday to look forward to this year, so I've been making the most of the British summer!


31 Jul 2017

Too Faced Natural Love Palette and Love Light Highlighters - review and swatches

I've long been a fan of Too Faced and I think I've mentioned before that I still have a collection of their 'quickie chronicals' palettes from way, way back in the day.  They're probably to old to use now, but I just like to hoard them anyway!  I own a lot of Too Faced eye shadow palettes, so when the new Natural Love palette was launched, much as I thought it was beautiful, I wasn't sure I needed it, as some of the colours are repeats of previous smaller palettes such as the Natural Eye and Natural at Night palettes which I have.  On a trip to Oxford Street I saw the palette in real life in Debenhams, and despite there being some dupes with my existing collection, some of the new colours were just too pretty to resist.  I bought the palette there and then and haven't regretted it one bit!  

6 Jul 2017

The new summer nail collection - Prime from Jessica

Summer calls for bright and fun nails, and the new prime collection from Jessica is about everything you could wish for.  Every sunny summer hue is covered, and you might need your shades ready because they're all beautifully bright.

22 Jun 2017

Rose gold brush collection from Beau Belle

It's no secret that I love rose gold, I mean come on, don't we all?  There's just something so irresistible about things that are pink and shiny, and this new brush collection from Beau Belle is no exception - just look at them - aren't they amazing?  And they're super instagramable too of course! 


13 Jun 2017

The YSL brow wardrobe

Embarrassingly enough, it wasn’t all that many years ago that I didn’t own any brow makeup – I used to just pluck and go and my goodness the results were pretty horrendous when I look back!  I think all us nineties kids have been there though to be fair, tadpole brows went so well with those peddle pushers and Spice Girls t-shirts...


7 Jun 2017

The Pixi Glow skincare review and giveaway

My beloved little space on the internet disappeared for a bit and I can't tell you how relieved I am that it's back.  The blog went down on Saturday due to my debit card having expired, which meant the annual feel you have to pay for being a .com domain wasn't paid.  Oh my goodness the trouble I've had trying to get it back - so stressful!  Finally on Tuesday night my site was back and I was able eating my feelings and driving my boyfriend (and all of twitter) nuts with my panicking and moaning!  

Phew - I'm so pleased that's over and delighted to finally be able to share a new review, especially considering that today's post is about a beauty and skincare brand I've really fallen in love with.  Pixi are generally known for beautifully packaged makeup, in soft, pretty shades, but also their cult glow tonic, which a few years back you couldn't get your hands on for love nor money!  It's now much easier to track down, comes in lots of sizes and options, and Pixi have some other really amazing products in their skin care line up too.


2 Jun 2017

In my spring makeup bag

So yesterday an email popped wished me a happy first day of summer - I thought it was still spring until about 20 June, but hey I guess in the UK you have to take summer wherever you can get it!  Technically, weather wise it's spring from March to September, and summer occurs on a few random days here and there in between.  Anyway enough of me trying to convince you that it's not to late to talk about what's been in my spring makeup bag... let's look inside my spring makeup bag!

31 May 2017

Gatineau Aquamemory Moisture Replenish Cream Gel and High Hydration Mask for dehydrated skin

My skin is so up and down between seasons it's untrue.  Generally it's severely combination anyway, but I get these periods a few times a year when it just really rebels and pretty much rejects all of my usual trusty products.  My skin was having a tantrum just like this earlier in spring, and as luck would have it, I received two products from Gatineau's Aquamemory range to try, and they turned out to be just the thing to give my badly behaved skin a time-out.


25 May 2017

New spring nail polish shades from Smith & Cult

Smith & Cult win the prize for most beautifully packaged nail polishes in my book.  The wide, squat bottles complimented by the luxe, chunky gold lids with the signature 'battered' look are so unique and instantly recognisable.  I own a lot of nail polish, and these are the ones I like to have out front and centre taking pride of place.  There are three new shades out for spring, and I think you're going to have trouble choosing a favourite because they're all gorgeous! 

18 May 2017

The new Tili box from QVC

QVC have a new Tili box just out, and it's packed with some really fab brands that I've been wanting to try.  Tili stands for 'try it, love it' and it's QVC's beauty box concept.  The thing that really sets this apart from all other beauty boxes though, is that you don't have to subscribe and you can have a good old browse of what's going to be in the box before you buy!  It's also the best value of any beauty box I've ever seen and you get decent sized samples and sometimes even full sized products.  

12 May 2017

Five spring lip picks

I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been naturally gravitating towards some softer shares and lighter formulas since Spring has sprung.  Most days you wouldn’t know it because it’s been so cold ( I actually passed a woman wearing earmuffs the other day – true story) but the pretty pink blossom on the trees and the arrival of daffodils, tulips and what not have me assured that it is actually supposed to be spring.  I can’t bust out much in the way of a spring outfit due to the apparent threat of hyperthermia, but I can sure rock a spring appropriate lip!


8 May 2017

Tying Temple Spa for the first time

One of my friends is a Temple Spa devotee - I think she goes to a salon that uses Temple Spa products for their facials, and she has raved to me about one of the masks she's tried.  Obviously this set my expectations pretty high for my first try of some products from their massive range!  I've been lucky enough to get to road test some of the skincare and makeup over the last few weeks, and these are my thoughts on everything I tried.  Stay tuned for the a particularly flattering photo of me trying out the face mask called The Contourist! 


3 May 2017

Viktor & Rolf bonbon spring summer sparkling eau de toilette fragrance review

We all know I'm a massive sucker for pretty packaging, so I was obviously going to fall in love with Viktor & Rolf's latest pink, bow-shaped offering - Bonbon spring summer - but you have to agree that this really is a thing of beauty!


20 Apr 2017

The Too Faced sweet peach collection

I'm beyond late to the party talking about these I know, but how could I not sing the praises of such a gorgeous collection?  You can always rely on Too Faced to bring it with unique and quirky packaging, and the products inside are darn good too!  A blogger I used to absolutely love put some of these in her ‘anti-haul’ and said she wouldn’t be buying them because the packaging is so childish… I’m a fair bit older than her but couldn’t disagree more, I think makeup should be fun!


17 Apr 2017

Insta-scam? Instagram fakery, how to spot it, and that time I gave it a go (and instantly regretted it...)

They say "fake it until you make it", but when it comes to your social media following, instagram in particular, I think honesty is the only policy.  Over the last week or two there's been so much chatter on social about fake followings on instagram, and the whole thing has really fascinated me.  I mean I haven't been living under a rock, I knew buying fake followers on instagram was a thing, but I don't think I appreciated the extent to which this is happening, and with bloggers / vloggers I follow and look up to.  I don't know exactly who it is (although I'll explain later how I've narrowed down my suspicions), but people have been alluding to some very big bloggers having built their whole careers on a purchased social media score, and they're living the high life on fancy blogger trips and raking in the high end makeup, handbags and so on.  It feels to me like this is all about to blow up, as people just don't want to be duped anymore, and once the PRs start to care about this too, well you bet that's going to kick up a stink!

13 Apr 2017

L'Oreal Infaliable Matte and Infalliable Total Cover foundation comparison review

When I saw that L'Oreal had added a new foundation to their Infallible range I was really excited to try it.  I've used the Infallible matte foundation before (I'm on my second tube) and have always really liked the coverage and the finish, so a new version that suggests 'total cover' was something I was all over.  


5 Apr 2017

The pixi pretties blogger collaborations - full review on all the products!

Pixi have recently teamed up with some youtube and blogger heavy-weights to bring out some awesome collaborations, and I've been lucky enough to get to try them all out!  I know, Pixi are so generous, and because of that I wanted to give each and every product some proper on-my-face time so that I could really do this review justice.  I've spent time using all of the products and I've definitely found some firm favourites that I now reach for daily.  

31 Mar 2017

Old favourites and new launches from YSL

For a long while now, YSL's Le Teint Touche Éclat has been one of my favourite foundations, and I always use it alongside the matching YSL Touche Éclat blur primer.  I thought it was about time I explained why I think this foundation is amazing for combination skin, as initially it wasn't one that I expected to work for me on both the dry and oily areas of my face.  There's also a lovely new mascara out which you need to try - it's even better than my beloved YSL false lash effect mascara!


19 Mar 2017

Luxury Mother's Day gift ideas from Amara.com

Mother’s Day can really sneak up can’t it?  Somewhere between the excitement of pancake day, the start of spring and Easter, you can easily forget (it's next Sunday if you're wondering!).  I feel bad for my boyfriend because he also has my birthday and his Mum’s birthday in the run up to Mother’s Day, so I think he kind of runs out of ideas and energy!  This year we were invited to choose some Mother’s Day gifts from amara.com and it’s totally taken the pain out of the process for him - you can see the relief on his little face!

17 Mar 2017

Mother's Day gift ideas - bath caddy and accessory storage stand

Yep, it's that time of year again - hit the panic button because it's nearly mother's day and you've no idea what to buy Mum this year!  Don't worry, because I have some really practical and beautiful ideas for you from aplaceforeverything.co.uk 

14 Mar 2017

My end of winter beauty favourites

It's probably a really daft thing to say, but much as I love a lot of things about winter, the cold and darkness really seems to have dragged on this year, and I'd had enough by the end of January!  Spring is finally on the way, and I'm excited for all the new-ness that brings, so what better time to look back at the products I've been loving over the past season eh?


7 Mar 2017

The Beauty Breakdown

Hey, I'm back with another beauty breakdown and this time it's a real mixed bag of new discoveries, some have been really good and are new favourites for me, while others have just been plain weird!


23 Feb 2017

Too Faced and Kat Von D Better Together Collection

Too Faced are knocking it out of the park lately with their collaborations!  You may have seen recently over on my Instagram I mentioned a limited edition collaboration between Skinny Dip and Too Faced which resulted in a gorgeous glitzy makeup bag filled with some of Too Faced most popular products.  That one was a little more difficult for us to get hold of here in the UK, so it's good to know that the next amazing collab Too Faced have for us is available at Debenhams.  Oh and did I mention it's only a collab with the amazing Kat Von D!!!

21 Feb 2017

My current beauty wish list

It's typical for me to make wish lists when I can't spend, go guess what? I'm on a ban!  What's funny about it is that I've not put myself on the ban - my best friends have imposed it because it's my birthday next month and they don't want me going out and buying things they might have already bought me!  Sounds sweet right?  It is, but their warning was rather venomous and they're not to be messed with, so window shopping only for me!


17 Feb 2017

Purple Heart - the new fragrance by Katie Price

When I was a kid my Mum called me the 'pink and purple people eater' because those were my favourite colours and I would always put them together.  I think back then if I'd been able to create a perfume, it would have looked exactly like this one by Katie Price!  All the gorgeous shades of Pink, purple and holographic to boot!  The fragrance is called Purple Heart, and it's available exclusively from Tam Beauty - the Makeup Revolution guys.

14 Feb 2017

Tropic Colour Click Lipstick and Lip Gaze review and swatches, plus win your favourite shades!

I'm back after what feels like so long!  I've been poorly with the whole cough and cold situation that's been going around and I just couldn't find the energy to blog and take photos - I could barely keep my eyes open for Netflix! Anyway, a great post to come back to and make me feel better is one filled with beautiful new makeup colours, like this collection of lipsticks and glosses from Tropic.  This is my first time trying the brand, so it's been really fun to experiment with the products.  Stay on until the end for all the lip swatches and a chance to win your favourite shades!


31 Jan 2017

Benefit They're Real Double The Lip - lipsticks with built in lip liner

Benefit have added a new line to the They're Real range, and to my surprise, it's not an eye product!  They're Real Double the Lip is a range of lipsticks with a built in lip liner, all cleverly shaped like a teardrop to make application super easy.

26 Jan 2017

Elemis Skin Solutions Hydrating Facial at Debenhams

After the excesses of Christmas and the general toll winter takes on my skin, my poor little face was in need of some TLC, so it was good timing for Elemis to be launching a new collection of in-store facials!  They're called Skin Solutions facials, and there are five to choose from depending on your skin's needs. 

18 Jan 2017

Bringing back the glow with Pixi skintreats

January can be such a grey and gloomy time, Christmas is over, it's cold and we've spent all our money - it's no wonder that even my skin feels glum!  My skin becomes very dry and dull in winter, so I'm always keen to try out anything that might make me look a little more lively, and these gems from Pixi's skincare range are just the trick 💕


10 Jan 2017

Winter knitwear wish list

Last weekend, when the weather was pretty chilly and I was about to get dressed to go out, I realised that I hardly own any jumpers!  I'm not really sure how this has happened, but over time I've just become more and more of a dress wearer, to the point where I hardly have much of a winter casj wardrobe at all.  Generally I don't think jumpers are the most flattering on me, certainly not if they're bulky and have no shape at all to them.  But, I decided to have a look around for some more interesting knitwear that might work well - generally longer styles with a bit of structure or a finer knit seem to be good options.  And somehow, unintentionally, all of my choices are either pink or grey!
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