March Favourites

Monday, March 31, 2014
If you haven't noticed, I'm attempting to make more of an effort with my monthly favourites. I started this feature back in December of 2012 and have done about three ever since. Monthly favourites are actually one of my favourite posts to read, and I love writing them too so I can combine all of my favourite products of that month!

The first thing I've been loving is the Bourjois Colorboost in Red Sunshine. Now that Spring is almost here and corals are becoming slightly more seasonally appropriate, I've been loving wearing this on my lips as a little something with a gorgeous gloss. I also have been loving my MAC Studio Fix Fluid. If you've been reading my blog for some time, you'll know how much I love this. I'm still yet to find another foundation that I love as much as this.

I have also been enjoying using the Sugar Crush Body Scrub. Now that I find myself spending more time in the bath than I do in bed, a gorgeous scrub is an essential. The Sugar Crush scent is even one of my favourite ever scents that I'd happily wear it as a perfume! One of the best things in life is finding a hidden gem that you find in your makeup storage that you completely forget about. I found the Bourjois Intuitive Liner in my stash and when I first tried this, I really disliked it. I gave it a whirl at the start of the month and fell in love with it!

More Lip Crayons?

Friday, March 28, 2014
"More lip crayons?" - a question I get asked by pretty much everyone I'm shopping with when I'm drawn over to makeup counters. I've always said that if I was ever able to create my own makeup line, I'd definitely opt for lipsticks. They're so much fun and I really love how you can change your whole face and attitude when you change your lip colour!

I really don't know when the obsession started - it was probably way back when Bourjois released their new ColorBoost. I picked up one, then went straight back the day after to pick up the other three. Since then, I've been completely hooked. I've never bought any of the cult Clinique Chubby Sticks because they're just too expensive for me, but at around £7/£8 a pop, drugstore alternatives are totally worth it.

A few of my favourites are the ColorBoost. They're glossy, pigmented and completely hydrating. Ok, the 8 hour wear-time is slightly questionable but I don't mind topping up throughout the day for the look they create. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have noticed me expressing my love for the Revlon Colour Burst matte & lacquer balms. I prefer matte lipsticks so I picked up two matte shades but I couldn't help picking up this gorgeous glossy red. Again, super pigmented and really hydrating. You can't go wrong!

DIY Headband

Thursday, March 27, 2014
I'm all for quick and easy when it comes to physical appearance, whether that be with hair, makeup or clothing. I've come up with a little DIY headband that takes a matter of seconds to do and will look like you've spent some time on it... Perfect if you're heading to work in a rush!

All you need to do is braid a small bit of hair from the bottom corner of your head, below your ear. Once you've braided it, pull it over the front of your head and clip it down with a bobby pin or two on the opposite side behind the ear. Your hair will need to be medium-long length to do this because it needs to go the full length of your head. Once you've done this you can really style it however you want - curly, straight or even tied up. 

I must add, this looks better if your hair is ombred. My hair at the moment is a mess, due to asking the hairdresser to blend it in some blonde and I left the salon with a line across my neck where the ginger starts. Not good. It looks like I'll have to continue this until I dye it back! Why is it always hairdressers do the opposite of what you ask? Not fun.

Currently Coveting

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Why is it always just after you go on a spending splurge that you find better things that you could have bought instead? Perhaps it's just me - whenever I get money, it's usually spent on something silly like McDonalds.. Can you class that as an impulse buy?

The first thing on my wishlist is the NARS Spring Collection Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Birmini. You should know me and collections by now - I never tend to buy into them unless I really love them, but this peachy collection is too good to miss. The MAC 33 lashes have also been on a wishlist of mine for so long but is just one of those products you always forget to pick up. As for candles, the Diptyque Figuer Candle is probably one that I'll lust over for so long but never be able to justify the massive price tag - I can't help but compare it to burning money.

Now that Spring is pretty much almost here, I'm needing to up my tanning game. The St Tropez Bronzing Spray is a gem that's been passed down from my mum but we've now run out. As for luxury makeup, I'm all for Tom Ford. The Tom Ford lipstick in Bruised Plum looks right up my street - bold lipsticks and gorgeous packaging... Need I say no more? Other luxury items that I've been wanting to try are the Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base and the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser, both which I keep putting off due to the price tag.

The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick band-wagon is one that I'm yet to jump, as well as the infamous Tangle Teezers. I often question how I can be a beauty blogger and not buy into these hypes. Finally, although I'm not too keen on Essie, their polish in Van D'go looks absolutely stunning.

PORTER Spring 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
One of my ultimate dreams in life is to own and write my own magazine consisting and revolving around everything beauty and fashion related. I'd love the work in it to be solely my own but whilst we're dreaming, it's completely natural to gain some inspiration!

I have quite the obsession with magazines - I've been collecting Company for 2 years and even began collecting Vogue from the age of 12. I bought the newest and first PORTER magazine last week and enjoyed flicking through it so much, I thought that it'd be a fun little idea to photograph some of my favourite pages and show you some of my favourite quotes. Powered by the amazing online fashion shop, Net-A-Porter, the magazine launched a few weeks ago and is set to be a rival of the much-loved and iconic Vogue.

I collected Vogue magazines when I was younger and I have to say, I much prefer PORTER. Whilst Vogue mainly consisted of gorgeous and stunning editorials from big fashion houses, there was not much to read. With PORTER is a combined sense of fashion, beauty and travel all rolled in to a luxiourious 250+ page magazine. I sense another collection coming along here!

Has Spring Really Sprung?

Friday, March 21, 2014
On a last minute whim to a nearby town, I grabbed my camera to snap some shots of Spring when I noticed one thing was missing... Spring. I thought Spring was supposed to be full of birds and flowers, and buds on trees but I only actually noticed a few daffodils. This British weather really does baffle me sometimes.

Now I don't know whether the lack of Spring is just in Manchester, but we had two good weather days and now they've disappeared, probably until late August if it's in relation to England's weather! I don't understand this weather at all. There's barely any leaves on the trees and I'm just waiting for the tree in my back garden to bloom. Blossom trees are so beautiful and are one of the best things about March. A few years ago in February, we were off school for almost two weeks due to really heavy snow. Three years later and the snow has been replaced with flooding and gale force winds... What is going on?!

Finishing Touches

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
 I think I must be the only girl who loves getting into her scruffs and doing a bit of decorating. I love it when you walk into the house and just smell paint, then your eye catches on all of the new decoration bits every time you walk in the room. So, that's what I've been doing for the past few days! Spending my time in the kitchen, adding all the finishing touches to our newly decorated room.

Has anyone told you how difficult it is to decorate with kittens in the house? Meenie ended up jumping on the wallpaper pasting table, getting paste all over her paws and trotting around the kitchen. Never mind trying to escape through the garage door and into the garden. I hate keeping her in the house but I can't let her out until she's been spayed and micro-chipped. I don't want all of the boy kittens coming around to our house!

If you couldn't tell, the new colour scheme is browns and cream. My mum and I actually ended up having a huge argument in B&Q because she wanted to do it a similar theme to my bedroom- Parisian Vintage. No can do. Anyway, we made a compromise and agreed to have it still cream, but with more brown in too. Panic over. We got the majority of the bits from stores like B&M, B&Q and Dunelm Mill.  My favourite pieces has to be the heart shaped home quotes. Every time we re-decorate, it makes me so excited to decorate my future house exactly the way I like it

Super Easy Rocky Road

Monday, March 17, 2014
Rocky Road cake is something that's been in my family for years. In the Summer time, we always go for picnics and have barbeques, but there's always one thing that we notice if it's missing - Rocky Road cake. Normally I have to pick out all of the raisins and cherries but when I found this recipe from BakingMad, it helped me make my own (minus the fruit!). 

Before we start, here's a list of what I used:
3 tbsp of Golden Syrup
100g butter
10 chocolate digestives (or jidestives as I like to call them)
Mini marshmallows
Silverspoon Chocolate Chips*
Silverspoon Baking Chocolate*

So, to make this, the first thing you need to do is gently boil the chocolate, butter and syrup in a pan. Take the word "gently" as the most important - we heated it too high to begin with and some of the chocolate separated so we had to start again. Do this until melted and smooth. 

The next step is to crumble up and gather all the other bits. You can add whatever you want, but I opted for marshmallows, biscuits and chocolate chips to make the traditional Rocky Road (without the cherries and raisins!)

After gathering your fillings, add them into the pan and stir until it's fully coated. You can dip a little finger in and have a taste, just to make sure it's OK. Once you've coated them fully, pop into a silicone tray. We actually put half of the mixture in, then added cherries to what's left in the pan as my brother, mum and dad love cherries. At least I got half for myself and they got half between three!

Pop into the fridge for 20-30 minutes and it's ready to go. This is one of the nicest (and easiest) things I've ever made and could even be checked off my March Goals list under "learn and practice to cook more"! This is perfect if you're just dipping your toes into the "I'm trying to cook and have nowhere near enough skills to make something using the oven" water. I still have a small bit waiting for me in the fridge, that is if my mum or brother haven't eaten it by now...

*product sent for reviewing

Weekend Reading

Saturday, March 15, 2014
It's always good to have a little spot of Weekend Reading. This week I've had a few good links that I'd like to share with you, although some of them aren't exactly 'reading', unless you turn on the captions. I love sitting down and taking some time out to have some "me" time. Although my goal for this month was to read real-life things, reading is reading, right? 

  • Nicole's photos from her trip to Tuscany. I've always wanted to visit Italy and these photos are absolutely stunning - no surprise as she's such an amazing photographer. Dreamy photos, leaving me longing for a bit of the Italian culture.
  • This piece written by Rachel about the pro's and con's of teenage blogging. It's such an amazing post to get it out how teenage bloggers can sometimes be patronized by older bloggers.
  • The link that Zoe shared on her Facebook page a few weeks back about the two brothers trying to re-create their childhood photos. What an amazing idea! Genius.
  • These 61 quotes that will make you feel beautiful. Again, amazing.
  • Although it's not quite reading, take five minutes out of your day and listen to John Legend's new song, All of Me. It made me cry.
Don't forget if you have any links you've been loving, leave them in the comments! I love reading random links that are sent :) Leave your blog links too! I also have my MAC lipstick giveaway running at the moment so make sure you've entered for a chance to win a lipstick of your choice.         

Evening Skincare Routine

Thursday, March 13, 2014
If you read my Morning Skincare Routine yesterday, you'll know why this post has been long overdue. A mixture of technical problems and laziness were the main principles, but it's here at long last. Yet again, let's get a few of the boring bits out of the way. I have combination skin and if you're using this as a little suggestion on what to buy, you may not want to follow it 100%! This is just what works for my skin and every skin is different. I also have sensitive patches on my cheeks.

The first thing I do at night is take my makeup off using the Bioderma Micellaire Solution and some cotton pads. This takes off the bulk of my makeup and is really easy to remove eye makeup with as it doesn't sting in the slightest. I then follow this up with a small blob (so technical) of the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. This takes off any excess makeup that the Bioderma doesn't remove and smells amazing too.

Once I've cleansed, I take the La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo and apply that on any blemishes. I then follow up with the same moisturiser, the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser, and take that all over my skin and down to my neck, making sure that you pull upwards instead of drag down. Finally, I take the Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Eye Balm and apply that just beneath my eyes. Simple as that!

I exfoliate my face twice a week using the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator and rub that primarily on my T-zone. I also like to use a face mask once a week and if I'm having a pamper evening, I like to use a Lush fresh face mask. My favourite at the moment is probably the Cosmetic Warrior.

Morning Skincare Routine

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Ahh, my skincare routine. A subject that's been a long time coming for plenty of reasons. I originally planned to incorporate this into a video for my YouTube channel but because of technical difficulties, that unfortunately can't happen. However, I am working with it so it's kind of turned into a blog post. I hope you don't mind! Here it is nonetheless.

Let's get a few of the boring bits out of the way. I have combination skin and if you're using this as a little suggestion on what to buy, you may not want to follow it 100%! This is just what works for my skin and every skin is different. I also have sensitive patches on my cheeks.

The first thing I do in the morning is take my Bioderma Micellaire Solution on two cotton pads and run that around my face. I use this as a really gentle cleanse because it can remove any excess makeup/germs that've stayed on my face the previous night and is really kind to sensitive skin. Then I take my La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo and put that on any spots. I tried this for reducing the redness in my skin but it wasn't the best, so I use it primarily as a spot cream. I then finally take the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser (and breathe) and put that all over my face, then we're done! Simple as that!

The Mint Mani

Monday, March 10, 2014
Can we first start off this post with an appreciation to girls? We handle birth, pregnancy and even painting the nails on the hand you write with. It's a tricky business, especially the latter. At least brighter shades make it easier, as you can't see that little smudge you made on your little finger.

Barry M's Mint Green has been on my nails constantly for the past few Springs, but it's only now that I'm acknowledging it's full glory. It doesn't chip, has an amazing formula and is an absolutely gorgeous colour. When it comes to nails, I'm usually a burgandy kinda girl, but this shade would make me pack in the berry hues altogether. 

I like matching my nails with the season and it's only recently that this nail polish has become appropriate. I love how it's still light at 6pm, how we can start taking off just a few of those layers and also, more natural light-time to take photos. Yay! Spring also sees the arrival of Easter, but I've been eating Mini Eggs for the past few months. I have half-eaten packs of them everywhere - in the car, my bedside table and the fridge. They're definitely my guilty pleasure!

This Week #10

Sunday, March 09, 2014
Yay! Another series of This Week is back! I'm actually planning on doing this little feature every other week because it then slots in perfectly if I post every other day... If that makes sense. I know it's very cliche of me to say but the weeks are really flying by, it only felt like New Year a few days ago!

Meenie snoozing // Pancake Day // Fish are friends, not food // Blog post coming soon
This week has been a busy one, blog-wise. I've started a brand new blog organisation spreadsheet and it feels so good to have everything planned. I'm such a control freak, so having posts planned and scheduled up to the middle of April is perfect for me! We've been decorating this week too, and I managed to snap a few snippets that you'll see pop up over here very soon. 

Watch of the Week: Although it came out a few weeks back, Miranda Sing's cover of Timber never fails to make me laugh and if you're feeling down, this is the perfect way to cheer yourself up. There hasn't been a time that I've watched it without crying with laughter - even in bed, on my own. It's hilarious. You must watch this, I'm giggling to myself just thinking about it! I actually shown my mum, too and she was in stitches, haha.

Hype of the Week: I think this week's hype has to be waking up, checking Facebook and noticing that Estee shared that Sephora now ships to the UK! My wishlist is growing more and more by the day, but the £10 shipping means I need to save up and do a huge haul all at once so I'm not shedding out hundreds on shipping & handling fees! A few of my lusts at the moment are; the OCC Lip Tar in Jealous, the Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo foundation and also the Sephora Flatter Yourself Contouring Brush Set.

Health Kicks

Friday, March 07, 2014
In an attempt to get a bit more healthy (and lose a few pounds), I'm trialing a new theory. Nope, it's not one of them fad diets that means you eat greens with everything and do 2 hours of exercise a day, but the theory is in fact drinking one cup of warm water with a lemon plonked in, every morning before eating or drinking anything.  

The apparent health benefits to lemon water are endless; aiding in digestion, clearing skin, reducing any pain and also cleansing your system by flushing out all of the bad bits (toxins). The latter seems perfect for me - I've been feeling a bit 'meh' recently so I'm hoping that this can make me feel a little better, plus I'm still feeling all of the effects from Pancake Day. I'm also unfortunately been blessed with the sniffles, so blankets, hot tea and tonnes of tissues has been my life for the past few days! Although it doesn't taste the best (why is that always the story with healthy things?), I'll keep trying it. Don't worry, I'll keep you updated!

Pancakes Galore!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014
What is the point in savory pancakes? I mean, for every other day except for Pancake Day I can tolerate the idea of savory toppings, but other than that, it's a no go. What's the point though, seriously? If you're going to go to all of the effort to make pancakes, you may as well go all out and pile in the calories... Sack the diet!

These were the photos from my Pancake Day this year. First up was pancakes at my mum's - the basics of Nutella, lemon juice and syrup, but then we went to dads... Cherries, banana, aero, chocolate chips, marshmellows and even whipped cream. Me and my dad have one small thing in common, the sweet tooth. Of course my dad however is small and skinny and can eat as much chocolate as he wants, whereas me on the other hand, I just have to look at it and I put on 2 pounds. That's the one benefit of having parents who've separated... Double pancakes for all!

The Lipstick Emergency Kit

Monday, March 03, 2014
If you're a regular lipstick wearer, you'll soon realise that the next few words, you'll probably say every half an hour. "Is my lipstick smudged?" "Is my lipstick OK?" "Is it on my teeth?". If your friends/family are anything like my friends of family, they'll say the right answer just to shut you up... Cue the lipstick emergency kit.

The first thing you need is a little makeup bag. Mine's a Clinique one - gifted from my aunty, the Clinique obsessive. It's small enough to fit in any bag or even pocket, yet big enough to put a few brushes in. The next thing is a lipstick, of course the one you're wearing/you're going to be wearing just if you need a top-up. The worst thing is when you're having a drink and get that awful little gap on your bottom lip... Nip to the loo and pop on your lipstick and wa-hey, fine!

The next thing is a lip brush. I take this out instead of a lip liner and take a bit of lipstick on this to run around the edge of my lips if it gets smudged. I also find it handy to take out a concealer and a small foundation brush just to tidy up the edges and sort out that "I forgot I'm wearing lipstick and now it's stained all of my face" situation. It's also handy to take a little mirror. Mine actually says "Lipstick on teeth syndrome". How very fitting!


Drugstore "No Makeup" Makeup

Saturday, March 01, 2014
I think everyone's had one of those moments where you have to slap on a bit of makeup in what seems like 5 seconds in an attempt to make yourself look a bit more presentable. This has happened all to often to me, meaning I've mastered the technique of "no makeup" makeup. Running late for work? All you need is five simple products and you're good to go.

The first thing I do is find a good concealer to pop over any blemishes or red areas (mainly around my nose/chin). My concealer of choice is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - one that every blogger and their parents love and rightly so. This stuff is amazing. I then take the Rimmel Stay Matte translucent powder to set the concealer and mattify the oily parts of my skin. I also then took a Rimmel brow pencil and run that through my brows but of course, silly Elise forgot to photograph that.

To me, mascara is a genius thing. If you're running late in the morning, pop on a bit of mascara and you're good to go. It's crazy how much more awake mascara can make you look and it takes a matter of seconds. I use the Maybelline Rocket Volum' Express but I think it's coming to the end where I need to repurchase. Finally, top it off with a good lip balm. I use The Body Shop's Born Lippy* in Plum and it also gives a nice little subtle colour to the lips. To go one step further, you can add a blush of your choice but my cheeks are naturally quite flushed so I skipped that bit.