A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Friday, 31 January 2014

January Favourites 2014

Goodbye and good riddance worst month of the year! Ha. Bit harsh, but January is just so dull, I'm always glad to see the back of it! Here's what I've been loving this month!

January Favourites. Naked Palette, Baby Skin, Origins

Cliché I know, and yes I'm only about 3 years late on the bandwagon! I got this for Christmas and have been loving it all month. There isn't a shade in there I don't like and I love love love how easily they blend.  I've been having so much fun practising with this and I can now understand the hype surrounding the NAKED collection.

I've been using this most days this month, and I really like how it applies.  I wrote a review (here), so I won't say too much more, other than if you like your silicone based primers - then give this one a whirl!

I've had a bad case of sore lips for the past couple of weeks, and my Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms (& others) just didn't seem to be touching it.  I grabbed this while I was in Boots one day and we have become firm friends.  It feels so cooling and has really helped clear my sore lips and keep them soft and supple. Review to follow.

I've been using this as a toner every evening and I've been loving the results. I have quite sensitive skin, which often starts to feel very dry, tight and sore when I'm tired, especially after I've had a hot bath.  So after cleansing, I pop this on a cotton pad and this stuff instantly soothes my skin and reduces redness.  Got a lorra lorra love (Cilla Black style) for this here product - although not overly keen on the smell.

My first Origins moisturiser! I've been using this as a night cream all month alongside the above toner, and I really, really like it! I'm loving the results, so much so that I'm already worrying about what I'm gonna do when they're empty, as I don't think I can afford this type of skincare on a regular basis! Again, not a huge fan of the smell but that can be overlooked when it makes my skin so supple and smooth!

What have you been loving this month?


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mavala Madness

Mavala Gift Set Waikiki Orange Vegas Pink Nicosia

Mavala Gift Set Waikiki Orange Vegas Pink Nicosia

Mavala Gift Set Waikiki Orange Vegas Pink Nicosia

Mavala Swatches
Vegas Pink, Waikiki Orange, Nicosia

I was browsing TK Maxx for some beauty bargains the other day when I spotted this hidden gem! A lovely set of summery Mavala mini nail colours along with their quick dry top coat and some nail polish remover pads.  TK Maxx were true to form too, this set was an absolute steal at only £7 (RRP £25.50).  I grabbed two, and have put one away for a certain sister-in-law's Birthday! Oops just spoilt the surprise (Hi Katie if you're reading, haha).  I had to write this incase she ran to TK Maxx and bought one for herself lol.

I've spoken about my love of Mavala nail polishes before (here).  For me, they are the perfect formula.  Not too thick, not gloopy, glide on with ease and the brush is the perfect size.  I did say back then that they're not the longest lasting, but since then I have change my mind.  My nails are much healthier these days and the polish seems to last longer. I'm excited to try the Quick Finish Topcoat, anything to speed up the nail painting process.  These 3 are the perfect summer colours.  I think  these shades were from the 2011 SS Collection, but when do beautiful colours like these get old? Waikiki Orange jumped out at me as I simply love orange nails.  Can't wait to give these a go when the weather gets a bit nicer!

Have you tried Mavala nail polishes?


Monday, 27 January 2014

2014 Wishlist

So the items below have been on my radar for a while now, and I can't get them out of my head.  I'm hoping to be able to get my hands on them at some point this year.  I'll most probably ask for some of them as gifts for my birthday or something, as they are the type of items I wouldn't just run out and buy for myself "willy nilly".

2014 Wishlist. Canon eos 600d, Nars Laguna, Vans, Nuxe Reve de Miel, Mac 217, YSL Le Teint Touch Eclat, Vans

Nars Laguna Bronzer - Who doesn't want this?  The Beauty Bloggers' No.1 bronzer! I don't think I've ever seen a bad review on it. (I'm sure there will be some).  I will have this in my life!

Nuxe Réve De Miel Lip Balm - I've heard so many good things about this lip balm (especially from Essie Button) about how it moisturises and repairs the lips like no other! I struggle to find a good lip balm and my lips get sore so easily so I think I'm gonna have to try this! This is one that I will be buying myself - and soon!

Canon eos 600d
The camera of all cameras, right? I really want to get into photography and learn all about DSLR's.  Obviously this camera is quite pricey so I'll probably be saving all year for this.

YSL Le Teint Touché Eclat
I got a sample of this a while back and it was the best my face have ever looked, haha! I need a full size!

MAC 217 Blending Brush
Apparently nothing compares to this brush when it comes to creating a smoky eye (or any eyeshadow look for that matter).  Think this needs to accompany my beloved Naked Palette one day!

Black Vans
I love Vans, and think a black pair will be perfect for the summer as they will work with just about any outfit.

What's on your wishlist for 2014?


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review || NYX Dewy Finish Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray Review

NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray Review
NYX Dewy Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray. £8
I'm going to be honest, I've always been a bit reluctant to try makeup setting sprays, as I really didn't like the idea of spraying a product onto my freshly made-up face and 'ruining' all my hard work.  But after hearing lots of good things about them, I thought it was finally time I tried one.  NYX do both a Dewy and a Matte finish setting spray - I opted for the dewy finish as I love that look.

This product, as most setting sprays, aims to make your makeup last longer, by creating a barrier and shielding it from all those pesky factors which make it fade throughout the day, keeping you looking fresh faced for longer, without the need for frequent touch ups.  It also aims to tone down any excess cakey/powdery areas of the face where you may  have gone a little overboard on the foundation (we've all done it).

First impressions weren't great if I'm honest.  I used it above my liquid foundation and I didn't really notice a whole lot of difference in terms of staying power.  I also thought it felt a little bit tacky for the first minute or so which actually just scared me.  I wasn't impressed, but carried on using it anyway to give it more of a chance.  I decided to use it to set my bareMinerals loose powder foundation one day and it was a completely different outcome.  It felt so much nicer on my skin, not at all tacky but more refreshing and hydrating.  It made my makeup look so much nicer and made that fresh faced look last that little bit longer.  I'm glad I gave it a second chance, as it was obviously operator error!  I tend to spray this about 6-8 inches away from my face at the very end of my makeup routine and it works nicely that way.

All in all, I'm glad I broke my setting spray virginity - lol.

What setting sprays have you tried?  I'm actually curious about the other makeup setting sprays out there now.  Wondering if all of them work better alongside powder foundations?


Monday, 20 January 2014

Review || Seventeen Phwoarr Paint

Seventeen Phwoarr Paint
Seventeen Phwoarr Paint 1
Seventeen Phwoarr Paint. £5.49

Seventeen is a brand I haven't really been familiar with since browsing the aisles of Boots as a young teenager (when it was actually called '17'), but since they rebranded last year and gave it a whole new look, I've started to see more and more of their products cropping up in the blog world, bringing with them some rather good reviews! I currently own their Skin Wow Liquid Highlighter (which I really like), and now of course their Phwoarr Paint Heavy Duty Under Eye Concealer.  The packaging is quite cute, including a handy mirror for on the go!

Often compared to: Benefit Erase Paste, Benefit Boi-ing & Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer.

This product is a thick, creamy concealer, designed to cover up dark, under-eye circles.  It comes in 2 shades; fair and medium. I think some people will have a problem with the shade range, as there isn't a shade that will suit the very fair or very tanned/dark skintones. My skintone is probably a medium, but I opted for fair, as I like my under eyes to be highlighted. Both shades are slightly orange, as orange is supposed to be good at counteracting any blue tones (those pesky dark circles).  I don't suffer terribly with dark circles as such, but I wanted to give it a go for those days I look like a walking zombie due to George waking up 256 times in the night!

For those days, I think this concealer works very well! It's thick, its fairly easy to work with (providing I warm it up in my fingers first so it doesn't drag the skin) and it definitely covers well.  However, for the days I'm not looking for a camouflage, I prefer something a lot lighter, such as the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch, or a similar liquid-based highlighting concealer.  I found, that while this does cover any blue tones, if my skin is suffering, it can also cling to any dry patches and even settle into any lines and creases under my eye after the first hour, meaning I end up having to go back in and blend again. Given that it's actually aimed at teenagers, I can't really complain at that! Urgh - not getting any younger am I? WEEP! I know this is primarily for the under eye area, but I have used it on other problem areas such as blemishes and redness around my nose and it also works well so don't be put off by the name.

Overall I think this is a great product, especially for the days when I need a little extra under-eye help and will be (well, it is) a big hit with a lot of people. However, if, like me you don't need something quite as thick, or if you have a delicate or particularly dry/oily under-eye area then this might not be for you.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review || Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask Review
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask Review
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. £22 per 100ml

Origins is a brand I've read so many rave reviews on that I knew I needed to try them out.  I got the Merry Moisturisers gift set for Christmas, which included Origins' well adored cult product- the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask.  This product aims to refresh and replenish the skin with moisture while you sleep, leaving it looking plump and youthful when you wake the next morning.  Sounds inviting doesn't it?

This isn't your typical face mask. As the name suggests, this product is intended to be left on overnight so that your skin can literally 'drink it up'.  There's no mess and no washing off after - so really it's more like an intense moisturiser to be applied once or twice a week as a deep treatment.

First impressions were awesome and it hasn't let me down yet! For me, this product definitely lives up to the hype. The mask itself is a thick moisturiser-style cream that smells good enough to eat (peaches and cream, yum).  I apply this to clean, moisturised skin twice a week just before I get into bed.  The instructions say to 'tissue off excess' but I prefer to just leave it as it is and let my skin enjoy it.  I have noticed a huge difference in the overall softness of my skin since using this mask, so for that reason alone I can see it being in my routine for a long time to come.

Have you tried anything from Origins?
What's your favourite?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Outfit Of The Night (OOTN) #1 Tea at the pub + casual drinks

OOTN Topshop Primark New Look
My first OOTN post. The hubby and I were baby free on Friday evening so we went out for tea and for a few drinks (but made sure we were home in time for a bit of TV before bed, ha OLD).

Dress - Primark
Super Cosy Tights - Primark
Belt - Vintage Shop
Scarf - Local Stall
Jacket - New Look (here)
Boots - Topshop (here)


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Post-Christmas Haul + Topshop Sale!

Come on, who CAN resist a cheeky little post-Christmas haul when they're out and about browsing the sales?  I can't, especially when it's going to be the last time before my strict spending ban!  Here's what I picked up..

Boots Haul Botanics Seventeen Maybelline
Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm. £6.49 (usually £8.99)
Seventeen Phwoarr Paint. £5.49
Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in On And On Bronze. £4.99
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. £7.99

Ok, so technically these weren't in the sale, but I was actually going into Boots for my trusty Botanics Cleansing Balm, of which I am onto my second tub (review here) and couldn't resist leaping onto the Baby Skin and Colour Tattoo bandwagon (admittedly slightly late on the latter).  I also had some advantage card vouchers which meant I got some points when I spent anything in the Botanics range, plus a cheeky voucher for £1 off any Seventeen Concealer or Primer so it would have been downright RUDE not to!
Topshop Alite Chelsea Boots Denim Jeggings New Look Waterfall Jacket
New Look Black Leather-Look Waterfall Jacket. £34.99
Topshop Alite Elastic Chelsea Boots. Was £65. Now £40
Topshop Bleached Denim Leggings. Was £22. Now £12
A New Look Voucher from Christmas meant I could get the Jacket I had my eye on since before Christmas - bonus!!  I was browsing the Topshop sale when I came across these beautiful black boots (of which I moaned I couldn't afford).  My Mam then piped up and offered to buy me them as a treat. How sweet? She's a legend!  I actually think she felt embarrassed/sorry for me clumping around in my 3year old scruffy UGG boots. haha! For some reason these boots are coming up at £45 online but they were definitely £40 in store!  I spotted the denim leggings on the way to the till in TALL and I had to grab.  I can never seem to find anything in the sale in my size from the tall section and they are perfect for my lengthy legs - yayy.

So that's it! I'm officially on a spending ban as we really need to watch our finances for the next few months, what with me being a stay-at-home mother and all!

What have you picked up recently?


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Review || Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Maybelline Baby Skin Review
Maybelline Baby Skin Review
Maybelline Baby Skin Review
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. £7.99

Good news to all you Baby Lips lovers out there.. the eagerly anticipated Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is now available in UK stores.  I instantly picked one up when I was passing through Boots (as lets be honest, we all like to jump aboard a bandwagon and put our 2 cents worth in).

The packaging is cute, and it's small enough to fit into even the smallest of makeup bags.  It's a clear, gel-like formula, which glides onto the skin with ease.  I think it will cause many to compare it with Benefit's Porefessional, as they both aim to create smoother skin and disguise any large pores.  The Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is also a multifunctional product.  It can be used on normal skin to create a more flawless natural skin, underneath makeup as a primer and even on top of makeup to mattify the skin.  Primers such as this one are more difficult to find on the high street, and the fact that it is fragrance free will be a winner with most people.

I really like how this product applies, as it sinks into the skin quickly and does create a nice, smooth base and manages to disguise those pesky pores (or at least minimise them).  I find my makeup applies so much better and has a much better finish when I apply this first.  If you are a fan of silicone based primers, then give this a go as I honestly don't see how it differs from any of the higher end silicone based primers that I have tried - so for the price it's a winner for me!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

December Favourites 2013

What I've been loving in the month of December...

Barry M Nail Paints in Plum (Gelly formula) & Rose Quartz Glitter
Ohhhh yes!  These two beauties as a couple are a winning combination for me!  I was loving this look for the party season!  They are so vibrant and pretty. See my NYE Party Nails post for a picture of them on my nails.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 103 True Ivory
Same as last month.. I honestly think this foundation might be overtaking my beloved Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum.  I dunno if it's better, the same, or the fact that I've been using this on my clearer, well hydrated skin thanks to the face oil (mentioned below)! It glides on with ease and leaves such a beautiful glow to the skin! Enough said!

Yankee Candle Limited Edition Santa's Candy Castle

We got this at the beginning of the month from my step son who had been on holiday to Florida (lucky thing), and brought it home as a gift - cute.  I've had a look online and I think it's only available in the US so it makes this even more special because it's so hard to get hold of!  Been burning this pretty much every day and it smells delish!! It reminds me of strawberry sweets and it smells good enough to eat! Mmmm!

Elizabeth Arden 8hour Cream (80's Collector's Edition packaging)
I've had this in the back of my drawer for a few years (I actually think this edition was released in 2009).  I got it as a gift from my cousin and never used it as I couldn't bare the smell.  But I've been reading lots of reviews recently about the wonders of this miracle cream, so I've been using it every night as a lip balm and it really does work wonders - once you get used to the smell! hah!  I'm hoping the fact its 5 years old won't affect it!

Balance Me Extra Care Radiance Face Oil Rollerball
This product has been my saviour this month and I'm gutted I've nearly finished it! I've been having some skin problems, especially around my nose for a couple of months, where makeup just wouldn't sit right, and I had horrible wide open pores and blemishes.  I thought the problem was that my T-zone was too oily and so I've been steering clear of face oils and rich moisturisers, but it was in fact the exact opposite. I put my problem on twitter and I got a few responses about the fact that my skin may actually be dehydrated (which actually makes sense as the rest of my skin can be pretty dry/tight at times).  A few of you mentioned trying a facial oil so I was delighted when I got one in The Glamour Beauty Edit to try.  I've been using this cute little rollerball every night after cleansing and before moisturising. My skin has honestly been transformed and I can only put it down to this.  I have now realised that my pesky skin actually needs more moisture, not less.  My poor skin, I feel like a bad mother that's been neglecting her young!

(isn't it just the best feeling ever when you find a skincare product that was made for your skin? - ahh)

What have you been loving in the month of December?


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Introducing George Alexander Thompson...

As promised in my New Year's Resolutions post, I would like to properly introduce my Son, George, onto my blog in the hope that I can start including some more lifestyle posts, as the main part of my life at the moment is staying at home and looking after him.  The majority of my posts will still be predominantly beauty-based, but I'd like to have the option of including any other exciting bits too!

George's Story
On 16th September 2012, at 02:29am, after a whopping 26hours of labour, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world, just 3 days early.  We didn't know whether he was going to be blue or pink at the time as we wanted the surprise, but had already chosen names for both sexes - so George Alexander he became (yes, yes, the same first names as our new Prince and future King, and we got there first - how cool!!).  I actually had 2 radio interviews about the fact we had a child with the same names, and me being a Kate too! #claimtofame hehe!

George Alexander Thompson, 1hour old. 8lbs 3oz

The first couple of weeks of George's life are a bit of a blur to be honest.  I was so completely zombiefied by the lack of sleep during the labour and the first couple of nights in the hospital, that by the time we got him home I was struggling to function.  George was a little tinker the first few days at home and refused to breastfeed - resulting in an even more stressed Mammy.  I just remember feeling so guilty that I had to put him on the bottle - not because there's anything wrong with it - just that I had my heart set on breastfeeding and felt a bit of a failure.  But once I seen that he was happy and content that he was finally feeding properly and gaining weight, all those feelings of guilt vanished, and I felt 100% more relaxed and could begin to enjoy my baby!  Martin (my husband) was at home with me for the first 3 weeks and I honestly don't know what I would have done without him!  I have so much admiration for single mother's who do it alone because I was a tired, emotional mess!  I soon settled into Motherhood and I wouldn't change it for the world.  Becoming a Mother is without a doubt the best thing I have ever done.  Cliché I know, but I cannot imagine life without him now.  He is now walking, babbling, and is the happiest, funniest, most loveable little character I have ever known - to me he is perfect and I feel so lucky to call him my Son.

George just the other day- aged 15months

I made my first ever YouTube video a few weeks ago - just a cheeky little montage dedicated to George's first year, in the hope that one day I will pluck up the courage to start making videos relating to my blog.  Don't forget to hit the thumb's up button if you like it :)

Hope you're all well and hope this Mumsy post didn't bore you all too much, lol.


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year Everyone!! 

Hope you all had a fantastic New Year's Eve whatever you did, mine was pretty quiet (just how I like it), we had some family round, had a takeaway and a few drinks and played some games - such a hardcore life when you have a baby haha!!

Speaking of my baby, I've made a few New Years resolutions relating to George and my blog;

  • Write a post introducing George
  • Include a few lifestyle/parenting posts
  • Find more time to write posts
  • Plan and schedule more posts instead of rushing them
  • Start using a notebook
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Spend less, SAVE more
  • Improve photography
  • Save up for one of these....

Hope you all have a fantastic 2014 and I look forward to reading more New Year's resolution posts over the next few days...

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