A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Eve Party Nails

2013 has been and gone, and it's time to end it in style.  There's still time (just) to get those nails looking glam, so thought I'd post a bit of 'nailspiration' using my current party favourites...

1. Mavala Nail Colour Cream in Bordeaux + Barry M Nail Paint in Superdrug Limited Edition 347
2. Bourjois So Laque! in Rouge Escarpin + Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz Glitter
3. Barry M Nail Paint in Cappuccino + Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz Glitter
4. Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Plum + Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz Glitter
5. Mavala Nail Colour Cream in St Germain + Mavala Nail Colour in Sparkling Red
6. Topshop NAILS in Crystal Clouds

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Plum paired with Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz Glitter
I absolutely LOVE this coupling.  I think they are perfect for the party season, I couldn't stop looking at them when I had them on my nails last week!

For tonight however, I'm having a night in with the hubby and some family for some games and nibbles so I opted for a plainer nail (but I had to add an accent nail to glitz it up a little)...

Mavala Nail Colour Cream in St Germain with a Topshop NAILS in Crystal Clouds accent nail!
Hope you all have a fabulous evening whatever you do, and wishing you all the best for 2014 xxx


Monday, 30 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas...

My blog seems to have taken a back seat recently, what with Christmas and a 15 month old to run around after... I seem to have let it all get on top of me and have been struggling to get back into it.  There seems to be so much I want to blog about, that I haven't known where to start.  I figured showing you all the beauty bits I got for Christmas seemed like a good place to start!

*Boring disclaimer alert* - I'm not in any way bragging/showing off with the pressies I got, just simply that I love reading what other people got so thought it would be a fun post to do.  Sorry about the amount of photos.. I got excited!

I won't go through them all or I'll be here all day - I'll stick to the beauty bits...

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual
Soap&Glory The Yule Monty Gift Bag

Origins Merry Moisturisers Gift Set

Benefit Hot2Trot Gift Set

LUSH Out Of This World Gift Set

RiRi <3 MAC Bad Girl Gone Good Blusher

Woohooo!! Finally got the Urban Decay NAKED 1!!!

None beauty related but I couldn't leave these out, 2 more to add to my ever growing Disney collection :) ...

Sorry again for all of the photos, I got carried away!  I'm so chuffed with the gifts I received this year; A makeup manual to rival all others; the annual Soap&Glory must-have set; A set of Origins lovelies, my first ever Benefit boxed blush, an amazing smelling LUSH gift set; Limited Edition Riri <3 MAC blusher, THE palette that everyone who is anyone should own, Body Shop goodies; for the child at heart - Disney blurays; pyjamas, dressing gown, slipper socks, clothes, a satchel, a bracelet, Black Cherry Large Yankee Candle, a Gregg's Gift Card (lol) a bottle of amaretto & not to mention money and a crazy amount of choc/sweets! heheh!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2014.

Here's a cheeky little photo of my boy George opening some of his presents on Christmas morning...


Thursday, 19 December 2013

My Essential Nail Kit!

Want to get your nails ready and looking special in time for Christmas?  I have the solution (that's worked for me anyway).  I've been playing about with nails and nail products for so long, and I've finally found a set of products that can do no wrong in my eyes.  They work so well together in making my nails strong and healthy...

I don't do this whole step EVERY time I paint my nails, as buffing and using cuticle gel too often isn't good, but every other time I like to do a complete manicure using all of these steps....
  1. Remove any existing nail polish with the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover.
  2. Remove any gunk from underneath the nails using pointy end of cuticle tool.
  3. Wash hands.
  4. Remove cuticles.  Apply Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and leave for a minute or so.  Push back and remove dissolved cuticles with cuticle pusher backer (lol).
  5. Wash hands again.
  6. Clip nails to desired length using scissors/nail clippers.
  7. File to shape (I'm loving square nails at the moment) using the BEST nail file in the world - the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.
  8. Buff & Shine using any nail buffer, mine has seen better days and really needs replacing.
  9. I like to do one last dip in the nail varnish remover to remove any gunk and dehydrate the nail (this helps your nail polish to really cling to the nail.
  10. Apply OPI Nail Envy as a basecoat/nail strengthener.  This product is truly amazing in repairing and strengthening weak nails.  It's actually supposed to be used as an intense nail treatment to repair nails over a week (which works by the way), but`I find it also makes a fantastic base and strengthens at the same time.
  11. Apply polish.
  12. Apply topcoat.  I use Essie's Good to Go, as it dries RAPIDLY and leaves a lovely shine.
And finally... I'm on the lookout for a good cuticle oil to add as a final step, so if anyone has any recommendations - send them my way!

Mwah xx


Monday, 9 December 2013

Wishlist #5 || Christmas Edition

Christmas is coming!! Every beauty lover has a massive wishlist! Here's just a cheeky few from mine.. (a girls gotta dream, ha)...

ASOS Large Satchel Bag - £28 (or any similar black satchel would do lol)
Urban Decay Naked Palette - £36
Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual - Around £15
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation - £29
nails inc. The Editors Collection - Around £16
New Look Black Jersey Front Waterfall Leather-look jacket - £39.99
Smashbox Try It Kit - £19
Origins Mask Marvels Set - £25
Topshop Black Satin Overlay Shorts - £30

What's on your Christmas list??
Hope you've been good this year!!


Sunday, 8 December 2013

November Favourites 2013

Another month = another monthly favourites post... (a little bit late)

  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 103 True Ivory
    This foundation is probably my second favourite (after Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum of course), and I recently bought it again and have been loving it for every day.  I haven't actually done a review on this foundation so I might just have to!
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant*
    I was contacted by the lovely people behind the website beauty900.co.uk, who asked if I would like to try some Dermalogica skincare samples from their website.  This is the only product I've tried so far and I've been absolutely loving it.  Once I've had a good try of all of the items I received I will do a full review.
    The Daily Microfoliant comes in a powder form, which, when mixed with water turns into a white paste.  I've been using this on an evening after my cleansing routine and I've truly noticed a difference in the appearance of my skin.  The product aims to unclog pores, gets rid of surface skin cells and reveal a brighter complexion.  I usually shy away from harsh exfoliators, as my skin is so sensitive - but this is perfect.  It exfoliates without feeling like it is scrubbing your skin.  I might even splash out on the full size!!
  • Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer (dry/sensitive)
    I've been using this every day, and it's been doing a good job at providing a nice smooth base for my makeup.  I won't say anything else as I wrote a full review (here).
  • GOSH Cosmetics Eyebrow Kit
    I won't say too much on this product either as I wrote a review (here), except that I have used this every single day since I bought it, haha!
  • Maxfactor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in 14 Soft Pink
    Ohhh I just LOVEE this blush!!  I do love a good cream blush, and I've been using my beloved Bourjois Cream Blush for a good few months, but I thought I'd give this a go as I'd heard lots of good things.  I honestly think I prefer it to the Bourjois one.  It's a bit more of a sticky consistency, but I find it works much better in achieving a dewy look.  Winner!
  • Maybelline Baby Lips in Mint Fresh
    I got this in the Glamour Beauty Edit box (which I wrote about here).  Obviously I only received this at the end of November, but I have been using it every day since, so wanted to include it.  It's a really lovely lip balm, with a menthol-style freshness that just feels and tastes gorge! mmm ha!

I'd love to know what your November favourites were...


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

#TheWinterProject #4: Christmas Gift Ideas

Hiiii all!  It's week number 4 of #TheWinterProject, which means only one thing.. CHRISTMAS THEEEMEEEE! Yayy!  This week we are focusing on Christmas gift ideas (mainly beauty & fashion) for both males and females.  I've put together a separate list for both sexes, along with a little selection of adorable Christmas minis that you won't be able to resist! I'm sure many of you will have done a fair chunk of your Christmas shopping by now, but if you're stuck for more ideas then hopefully this will help...

For Him...

1. Soap & Glory Fit For a King Gift Set. Boots. £8
2. Navy Aztec Panel Onesie. New Look. £15 (was £24.99)
3. Tan Leather Look Weave Wallet. Topman. £10
4. Lynx Apollo Ultimate Manwasher Gift Box. Boots. £15
5. Touch Screen Gloves. ASOS. £7

For Her...

1. nails inc. The Editors Collection. £16
2. Origins Mask Marvels Gift Set. £25
3. Benefit Crescent Row Limited Edition Fragrance Gift Set. John Lewis. £25.08
4. Topshop Best Of Gift Set. Topshop. £40
5. Me To You Navy Scarf Fairisle Pyjamas. New Look. £19.99

Christmas Minis...

1. Philosophy Hope in a Jar Ornament (15ml). £10
2. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ornament (90ml). £9
3. Origins Christmas Bauble. (x5 minis). £12
4. Aromatherapy Associates Little Bell Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml). £10
5. Smashbox Try It Kit. £19
6. Weleda Pomegranate Christmas Cracker Body Lotion (20ml). £3.50
7. Benefit Love at First Shine Lip Gloss Gift Set (x6). £19.50

How cute are they?  I really NEED the Origins Christmas Bauble in my life!!

So that's it.  Hope you all enjoyed this post.  I'm hoping I gave you all a few extra little ideas.
Happy Blogmas! :-) xx


Christmas Cake

Hiii everyone.  So I'm going to do something a little bit different today and write a recipe post!  I make a Christmas cake every year from an old family recipe, so I wanted to do a post this year and share how I do it with you all.  It's important to note that there are lots of different ways/tips/tweaks when making Christmas cake, but this is just the way I have learnt to do it.  This is the first year I've ever attempted to ice it though, as usually I never bother and we just scoff it without icing or marzipan (lazy really, lol).  Depending on how the icing goes, I might update this post in a couple of weeks with my technique, once I've had chance to feed the cake with alcohol.


1 ½ lbs Currants
(½ lb) Sultanas
4oz Mixed Peel
4oz Cherries (washed and chopped)

12oz Butter
12oz Soft Brown Sugar
4oz Treacle
6 Eggs
1lb Self Raising Flour
4oz Ground Almonds
1 tsp Mixed Spice
Small amount of Milk
Small amount of Brandy

8" Baking Tin
Greaseproof Paper / Baking Parchment

Step One - Soaking the fruit (the night before I plan to make the cake)

Add the fruit to a large bowl (preferably one with a lid) and add a couple of tablespoons of brandy and mix.
Cover and leave to soak overnight.

Step Two - Making the Cake

Cream the butter, sugar and treacle using the classic creaming method...

Add the eggs a little at a time.
Add a small amount of milk, flour, ground almonds and mixed spice...

Fold in the fruit...

Every year I tell myself I need a bigger bowl, then always forget.  Haha.

Step Three - Cooking

Grease the bottom and sides of the baking tin.
Take some greaseproof/baking paper, draw around the bottom of your baking tin and cut out.
Double up the paper and line around the edge of the tin.
I like to put some extra paper around the outside and tie with string just to protect the outside of the cake a little bit more.  I think it's better to do this with thick brown paper but I didn't have any, lol.
Cut out some more paper and loosely cover the top...

Bake in a cool oven for 4½ - 5 hours.
Allow to cool and remove from tin...


I'm glad I took it out when I did, as any longer and I think the top would have been cremated, lol.  I always struggle to find that happy medium.  Apart from the top being a tiny bit well done, I'm really pleased with it!   The best thing to do now is wrap in foil and keep in a tin of some sort, and keep "feeding" the cake with brandy for a few weeks. That gives me time to plan my icing tekkers.  I might actually slice a tiny crusty layer off the top so that the icing it neater. Hmm?

How do you make Christmas cake?
What's your icing technique? I'd love to know!


Sunday, 1 December 2013

FREE Bourjois Iconic Glam Gift Box when you spend £15 on Bourjois at Boots!

 Looook, Bourjois are offering a lovely Christmas gift this year when you spend £15 or more on their products in Boots (which is not at all hard to do).   I got my mitts on mine up a couple of days ago and love it.  I picked my favourite foundation; Healthy Mix Serum in a lighter shade for the Winter months, along with the 1seconde Magic Nail Polish Remover, which I've been gagging to try for ages after reading so many good reviews.  Here's what's inside the gift box...

These iconic goodies are worth a whopping £29.  Not bad eh?! 

So Laque Ultra Shine Nail Polish in Rouge Escarpin
Effet 3D LipGloss in Rouge Democratic
Volume Glamour MAX Holidays Mascara in Black
Smokey Eyes Trio in 01 Gris Dandy

How amazing is that?  All for spending £15, on two things that I actually wanted to buy anyway.  Bonus!  I tried the lip gloss this morning and it's really beautiful.  Feels so moisturising and applies really nicely.

Grab yours now at Boots.

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