A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Monday, 23 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

*Cliché alert* - I cannot believe it's that time of year again. This year has definitely been the fastest one yet for me, since the birth of Freddie in February it seems to have gone by in a flash and here we are at the end of November writing Christmas lists and gift guides. Wowzers! I'm actually pretty organised with the kids presents this year and think I'm pretty much done. I'm so excited for Christmas this year as it's Freddie's first and George is that little bit older and even though he doesn't understand the concept of Christmas yet, I still can't wait to see his little face on Christmas morning with all of his lovely presents.

I thought I'd put together a little Gift Guide for her of some ideas of gifts I know I'd love, to maybe help spark some inspiration for your own gifts or Christmas lists...

Hair Styling - I always think Christmas is the perfect time to get a new hair styling tool of some kind, and this kit in particular is just fab! Diva have teamed up with China Glaze to create the Diva China Glaze Ruby Collection*. This limited edition kit contains a Dynamica 4000 Pro China Glaze Edition Ruby Red Hair Dryer, 2 concentrator nozzles, a blow dry brush, 3 sectioning clips and 2 beautiful China Glaze Polishes in the shades Ruby Plumps & High Maintenance. It just screams Christmas and think it would make the perfect gift! Also available in Violet. | £49.99 | link

Jewellery - Obviously a new watch is always a winner! I got this Olivia Burton Big Rose Gold Watch last year off Martin and I haven't worn anything else all year. Just stunning! Olivia Burton do the most beautiful watches that you definitely need to check out! | £80 | link

Perfume - Show me a girl doesn't like a new perfume for Christmas! Two of my favourites at the moment are the Britney Spears Rocker Femme Fantasy EDP* & The 007 For Women EDP* (which has won 2 beauty awards in 2015).

Makeup - Well durr! Makeup is a must for Christmas. I'm sure the Naked Smoky Palette will be on a lot of Christmas lists this year, along with numerous Benefit Gift Sets. You can't go wrong with Benefit when it comes to Christmas gift sets. They're always so beautifully packaged and contain some fabulous minis.

What's on your Christmas list this year?

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Mini Collective Haul

I was reorganising all of my makeup into my brand spanking new dressing table and Alex drawers last week when I realised I had a few new bits I hadn't mentioned on the blog yet so I thought I'd pop a little collective haul up. To be honest, I've massively neglected my blog recently. It's mainly due to the fact that I don't get 2 minutes to myself until about 7.30pm when the babies are in bed, and by then all I wanna do is eat snacks and watch Netflix #youknowhowitis. I've also been really busy lately getting new bedroom furniture so all my stuff has been a bit upside down and then on Thursday I had laser eye surgery so I had a couple of days recovering from that. Anyway, let me tell you about the newest products to enter my stash...

Last month I was very kindly sent a little parcel from Natural Collection at Boots, and in that was one of their moisture shine lipsticks in the shade Berry Sorbet*. I'd been meaning to try their lipsticks for a while as I love their blushers and wanted to see how the lipsticks compared. Oh Em Gee. Seriously, for £1.99 this lipstick is amazing. It's the prettiest deep raspberry shade and is perfect for this time of year. I'm not a massive fan of the strange almond shape of the bullet, but looking past that I'd say this is fast becoming one of my favourite lipsticks. It's so creamy and moisturising and leaves a beautiful sheen on the lips. I loved it so much I ran out and picked up another one, this time in the shade Fig Leaf: A muted brown nude that I think will go great with a deep smoky eye. The next thing is another lipstick is probably the one I was most excited about. My Mam & Dad went to Dubai at the end of October and asked if I'd like them to bring me anything back. The only thing I could think of was a new MAC Lipstick, ha. I'd been eyeing up Crosswires for a while after seeing Estée rave about it and knew it had to be my next MAC lippie. When they arrived home I instantly fell in love with it. Definitely expect a full review soon.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Freedom makeup was now available in Superdrug and I put together a little wishlist of the things I was eyeing up from the site (here). I ended up caving and getting a couple of bits in my recent Superdrug order. The first is the Brow Pomade in Soft Brown which I've heard is a decent dupe for the ABH Dip Brow, for a fraction of the price. Review coming soon! I also picked up on of their Pro Glow Powders in Roar, mainly because it looked too pretty not to! As they were on 3 for 2, I scouted the website for another item of similar price, and then suddenly remembered about the Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencils and how I was yet to try them! I know, shocker!! I went for the shade Minimalist, a universal pale pink which looks perfect for everyday. The last thing I picked up (on a whim in Wilko one day) was the Collection Speedy Highlighter in the shade Pearl Sheen. I've heard so many great things about this highlighter and for £3.99 I just had to get it!

I haven't got round to trying any of these yet as everything's been getting organised, so I can't wait to have a play around!

What have you picked up lately?

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation

So I wrote a post last month about some of the awesome new products arriving at The Body Shop (here). One of which was the new Fresh Nude Foundation*.  I have a weakness for new foundations, especially from high street brands, so I was excited to get this bad boy slapped buffed onto my face.

Available in a whopping 16 shades, TBS Fresh Nude Foundation was launched alongside their Shade Adjusting Drops, which I think will be a massive hit when people cotton onto the idea. Not having to buy your favourite foundation in different shades when the seasons change? WINNER. What they say about the foundation;

Make every day a good skin day with Fresh Nude Foundation. Enriched with English rose water and aloe vera, this hydrating formula leaves skin feeling beautifully fresh and comfortable all day. It also contains SPF 15 to help protect your skin. With a semi-matte finish, each of these 16 nature-inspired shades mimics the look of fresh-faced natural skin with a nude glow.
  • 16 nature-inspired shades
  • Up to 24H moisturisation
  • Light to medium coverage
  • Semi-matte, fresh-faced finish
  • SPF 15
  • Suitable for sensitive skin & dermatologically tested

Being the first foundation I've ever tried from TBS, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The lovely Clare from TBS Middlesbrough matched me to the shade Fiji Sand 026 (which, annoyingly is the only one that isn't available online). It's a perfect match for me, it's lightweight, breathable, buildable to a medium coverage and blends in leaving a natural finish. It's not matte, not dewy but it does leave a healthy glow to the skin. It's one of those 'my skin but better' foundations which are great for everyday.

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation | £15 | link

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

New | Seventeen All Out Pout Lip Palettes

I've said it before and I'll say it again, SEVENTEEN are fast becoming one of my favourite high street brands. They're back on the blog today, in the form of the new All Out Pout Lip Palettes*. I'll be honest, I've never really been one for lip palettes, I'm more of a 'straight from the bullet' kinda gal, but I did swoon when I opened these and seen how pretty they were. There's 2 to choose from; Fancy Free which is a pink toned palette, and Woo Me which includes berries, reds & oranges. Each palette contains 5 shades aswell as a stand alone clear glittery gloss and a small lip brush. Both are wonderful but on the whole I'd say Woo Me is much more pigmented, probably due to the fact they're darker shades and they stand out more. Each come in at £7.99 each and are currently included in the 3 for 2 offer!! 

Fancy Free*

Woo Me*

 What do you think of SEVENTEEN'S newest offerings?

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* = Press Sample

Friday, 13 November 2015

Non Beauty Favourites #3

So I came to realise that it had been over a year since I last shared my non-beauty favourites, how naughty of me! I've been obsessing over quite a few things lately, so what better way than to pop them into a post to show you all and get you all hooked too! Martin and I always like to have a few TV shows on the go, and as soon as we get the babies into bed (7.30 ish), we get the kettle on, grab some snacks and run to the TV, ha! So this post is basically just snacks and TV... #sorrynotsorry

The Affair
This show has had me absolutely hooked! We pretty much binge watched the 1st series on Now TV, and they're now showing Series 2 every Wednesday on Sky Atlantic (or Now TV like us if you don't have that channel). It's really strange and can get a little bit confusing but it's so well written and the acting is excellent. Definitely one to try!

Walkers Mix Ups
I only tried these for the first time last night and I know I'm already obsessed. I'm slightly annoyed that I didn't know they existed before now. They're basically my 4 favourite crisps (Wotsits, French Fries, Doritos & Monster Munch) in one big bag! They are available in Spicy and Cheese - and I've got a bag of Cheese sat patiently waiting for me to demolish them tonight.

Puzzler Logic Problems
Yes, I realise I'm not 80 years old, but I do love a good puzzle book. I find them so relaxing and that feeling of accomplishment when you finish one is second to none - LOL. These Logic Problems are my favourite and I've found myself picking up the newest copy every month. Nothing wrong with a bit of brain training! 

Butterkist Sweet Cinema Style Popcorn
I was always a die hard toffee popcorn fan and would never entertain anything else. This was until I tried this offering from Butterkist. I (and basically my whole family) became obsessed and toffee popcorn became a distant memory. So moreish! 
Side note: Cinema style is not to be confused with the regular sweet popcorn - that's grim.

Chocolate Orange Popping Candy
OK so I've always loved Chocolate Oranges, think I'd go as far to say they're my favourite chocolate ever, and I do love them all, but my fave has to be the Popping Candy version. Every time they're £1 anyway I tend to pick up a few. Dunno how I haven't turned into one yet tbh.

The Returned (The French (original) Version)
Another programme we've been hooked on recently. Martin had been asking me to watch the first series for about a year as he said it was so good, but I don't usually like anything creepy so I was saying no for ages. When I eventually gave in I became hooked and we're now upto the second series which is currently being shown on More 4 (it's also on Netflix and there's an American version on there too). It's not too creepy and it's really well done and you get used to the subtitles pretty much straight away so it's not an issue.

What have you been loving lately?

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Saturday, 7 November 2015

How To Combat Dehydrated Skin

Before I start, I just wanna say that I naturally have dry skin that occasionally feels dehydrated. I feel as though there's always huge confusion between dry and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin condition related to oil production, that's usually hereditary or caused by hormones etc, whilst dehydrated skin is actually a skin complaint, related to lack of moisture and can show it's face in all different skin types, not just dry skin as many assume. Dehydrated skin can be aggravated depending on lifestyle & skin care, and can therefore be rectified if these areas are looked at. When the skin is dehydrated, the epidermis is suffering from a lack of water, which leads to tight, rough, dull skin that feels generally uncomfortable and needs much more than just plain old moisturiser. Dehydrated skin needs humectant products that will help the skin to retain moisture. I've got some tips on how to combat dehydrated skin that I've learnt over the years so I thought I'd share them today...

- obviously, that goes without saying, as we all know that drinking water is one of the best ways to hydrate the skin from the inside, but it's so easy to forget. I for one definitely don't drink anywhere near as much as I should. Having said that, if your skin is truly dehydrated, simply drinking more water won't be the cure, you're gonna need to combine that with some humectants...

- this is the game changer for dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid holds upto 1000 times it's own weight in water, making it great to apply after cleansing, giving it chance to sink in and absorb all of the other moisturising products you're going to apply after.

- one that gets a lot of confusion. As I said above, dehydration can present itself within oily skin types, and more often than not I hear people saying they cannot use facial oils because they already have oily skin. This is not the case at all. Oily skin is often aggravated by a lack of moisture in the skin, thus the skin produces more oil to try and combat this. Therefore, if used with the steps above, the skin will become a lot more hydrated from deep down and thus not need to produce excess oil. I use a facial oil twice a day religiously, and I couldn't be without one.

- obviously, moisturising is important in keeping the top layer of the skin moist and plump, but it will only work to it's full effect to combat dehydration if the steps above are followed. Choose a moisturiser that's for your skin type.

- not a necessity, but with my skin being both dry and dehydrated (at times), I've found these really help in plumping the skin and giving an overall healthy glow. I genuinely notice a difference on the mornings when I have used an overnight treatment.

What are your top tips to combat dehydrated skin?

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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Freedom Makeup Wishlist

So Freedom Makeup is now available at Superdrug, this is not a drill, I repeat, this is NOT A DRILL! If you didn't already know, Freedom is a pro 'sister' brand of Makeup Revolution, which is an absolutely amazing and unbelievably affordable brand available in Superdrug. I've been reading more and more about Freedom recently and it looks like they do some amazing dupes of high end products - I love a dupe me, and knowing they're made by the people of MUR, I just know they'll be great quality. I was really excited to find out they were now available online at Superdrug and slowly being filtered into stores across the UK. So much so that I've put together a cheeky little wishlist (let's be honest, I'm probably gonna make an order as soon as I've finished writing this to utilise Superdrug's current 3 for 2 offer, ha!).

Freedom Pro Contour Stick in Medium 01 - £5 | link
Freedom Pro Brow Pommade in Soft Brown - £5 | link
Freedom Pro Glow in Roar - £3.50 | link
Freedom Pro Correct Palette - £5 | link
Freedom Pro Melts in Up - £3 | link
Freedom Studio Solid Brush Bath - £7 | link
Freedom Studio Glow Tonic - £6 | link
Freedom Pro Studio Strobe Cream - £8 | link

Really excited to see that they do a dupe of the Pixi Glow Tonic (£18), definitely be trying that!!
Have you tried anything from Freedom yet?

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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

New | Seventeen Easy On The Eye Palettes | Birthday Suit & The Big Smoke

Ooooh don't you just love a new launch? I bet you're probably sick of me ranting on about SEVENTEEN by now, but I tell you what, they're fast becoming one of my favourite brands. 
One of SEVENTEEN's latest launches, are the Easy On The Eye Eyeshadow palettes. There's 2 to choose from, and I might have let out a very high pitched squeal when they both arrived at my door unexpected last week. Obviously, I had to get them on here asap to show you....

Birthday Suit* | link

Birthday Suit
Reminding me very much of the Sleek eyeshadow palettes, these palettes are housed in a sleek *ahem*, matte black, slim case with a full sized mirror and 12 round shadows inside. Birthday Suit* contains 8 powder eyeshadows, 3 cream eyeshadows and a primer. It also contains a dual ended brush that is a major step up from the usual foam applicators that nobody ever uses. Well done SEVENTEEN. I'll do my best to describe the shades below...

Left to right, top to bottom:

1. Gentle Pink - a light, metallic, peach pink.
2. Warm Ivory - a cool toned shimmery pink.
3. Sun Kissed Peach - a warm, pink toned light matte brown.
4. Radiant Gold - a metallic pink tinged bronze.
5. Cool Rose - a light, pink tinged bronze cream.
6. Warm Mink - a light peach cream.
7. Toasted Almond - a matte ivory.
8. Basked Chestnut - a metallic, almost glittery gold.
9. Bronzed Buff - a cool toned, light, shimmery taupe.
10. Burnt Copper - a deep, red tinged metallic bronze.
11. Pink Flush - a neutral, mid toned bronze cream.
12. Eye Primer -  (no swatch below as it's clear).

All in all, for £7.99, this is a fab little palette. The pigmentation on some of the powders isn't quite as good as others, but they all blend well and the creams are great. What I love about it most is the fact there's a mixture of both powder and creams, and the creams can double up as highlighters, making it ideal for travel. I am quite sceptical though, about how this will hold up in time, as no doubt some powder will fall into the creams, creating a bit of a mess. We'll see though ey?

If you're not into warm, neutral shades or if you're like me and already have a massive stash of these kind of palettes, then why not try the cooler, smokier version....

The Big Smoke | link

I'd say The Big Smoke* is Birthday Suit's cool toned, smoky sister, reminding me of UD's Naked Smoky. Again containing 8 powders, 3 creams and an eye primer. The shades are as follows;

Left to right, top to bottom:

1. Twilight Blue - a satin mid toned blue.
2. Onyx Black - a deep, taupe toned glittery plum.
3. Cocoa Brown - a light, blue tinged grey.
4. Slate Grey - a metallic, cool toned taupe.
5. Smoky Marble - a light, metallic, silver cream.
6. Cloudy Lilac - a bright, copper cream.
7. Wild Khaki - a matte, cool toned dusky plum.
8. Warm Ivory - a light matte taupe.
9. Cool Aluminium - a soft, mid toned lilac.
10. Pink Flush - a creamy, yellow toned ivory.
11. Illuminating Bronze - a light, pink, metallic cream.
12. Eye Primer - not a shade but an eyeshadow primer.

Again, the pigmentation differs depending on shade, but I'd say it's certainly worth £7.99. I absolutely love the cream shades in this one. Great for Autumn. 

What do you think of these new releases?

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