Friday, 31 October 2014

High5 4 Friday

Happy Halloween!  I'm currently sitting on a train heading to London for the weekend which I'm super excited about. I just love that city! This week has been really enjoyable.  It's been a funny old week really.  It's October half term so the kids are off school which normally means a week off work for me but I've worked some of this week.  I feel like I've been really busy all week and not really had chance to catch my breath.  Let's take a little look at 5 things I've enjoyed this week.

1. Starting vlogging has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of this week.  I've always been a video/photo taker and have wanted to vlog/record little moments of life for such a long time.  I finally decided on Sunday to bite the bullet, stop wishing I was doing it and actually start doing it.  It's really made me open my eyes and enjoy the precious little moments in life. I would definitely recommend anyone who's thinking about doing it to just pick up that camera/iPhone and go for it.

2. I live in quite a rural area and I'm loving all the tractors in the fields at the moment.  Whenever I go anywhere in the car I see at least 3 or 4 tractors ploughing up and down the fields - it makes me happy.

3. I'm loving Awkward at the moment on Amazon Instant Video.  I watched the first season ages ago and this week I discovered that Amazon had seasons 2 and 3.  I've been doing some major binge watching.

4. I loved eating chips on Southport pier with Mini Greenoid.  It was a wonderful day on Tuesday and we headed out to Southport (after a failed pumpkin picking trip) to have a wander around.  We bought chippy chips and sat on the pier next to the carousel. Of course I caught the day on my vlog so make sure you check it out on Sunday.

5. Looking at Xmas trees.  Ok ok I'm sorry. I dropped the C bomb.  I have a rule that Christmas shouldn't be mentioned until November.  I'm a day early.  Shoot me.  One of the things I love about this time of year is visiting garden centres where they have delightful, sparkly, beautiful Christmas displays.  It makes me feel all giddy inside.

How's your week been? 

What are you planning for Halloween tonight?

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Monday, 27 October 2014

What's On My Nails #2

In my quest to sort out my nail polishes I'm trying every single one to see if it's a colour I still like or if it's gone all gunky and whether it can stay in my polish collection or move on to a better home. I started this a week ago and have decided to keep the polish I had on last week.

This weeks polish is a beautiful classic red from Rimmel in shade Ready, Aim, Paint.  Oh. My. Goodness. I literally adore this.  I'd forgotten two things 1. How much I love a classic red polish and 2. How fantastic Rimmel 60 second polish is.  I picked this out last night to paint my nails and it was quite late.  Now, I don't know if this is just me but you know when you paint your nails in the evening and think they're dry so you totter off to bed. Then in the morning, disaster happens and you wake up with what I call 'pillow nails.'  ie. you've got the pattern of your pillow embedded in your nails because you've put your hand under or on your pillow whilst you're asleep.  This has happened to me on more occasions than I care to mention and man, it's annoying. 
I was so surprised by how quick this dries and I mean dries completely, not just that top layer dryness that can still be dented and ruined, but real, rock, hard dryness that ain't budging.  It claims 60 seconds, now I'm not sure it was quite that quick but it wasn't far off.  I applied two coats, but honestly I could have got away with one as the formula is really opaque.  Oh and I haven't mentioned the brush.  The brush is a flat, which I love in a polish as I think it's much easier to apply.

I don't know how long it will last without chipping as I only applied it last night but I think this is definitely one which will be staying in my collection.  The only problem is I now want to go and more Rimmel nail polish...

Do you like a classic red polish?

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ima Weekly Vlogging!

Happy Sunday! If you're in the UK you'll have had an extra glorious hour in bed this morning.  My extra glorious hour didn't quite go as planned as at 6:30am a glass of water fell on my head. Lemme explain...
I'd put a glass of water on my window sill last night and my adorable but naughty cat has taken to going behind the curtain and trying to push it off.  This morning he managed it, it landed on my head, bounced off, hit the radiator and smashed all over the place.  Not the Sunday wake up call I wanted.
Anyway, I'm checking in today to let you know that I've decided to weekly vlog.  I've always enjoyed taking photos and videoing moments of my life but I found that I didn't do anything with the outcome.  I have piles of mini DVD's and, dare I say, VHS's of moments that I want to remember but have nothing to watch them on.  I wanna save memories and moments that are created everyday that I know just blur in to one big moment called life.  I wanna look back and view my life.  So weekly vlogging is what I gonna do...


If the embedded video isn't working you can view it here
I'm excited, apprehensive and well, just wondering if I'll be able to do it but I'm looking forward to trying.
I'd love it if you subscribed and join me on the journey. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Real Techniques Brushes | Core Collection

Now, I am no make-up artist, far, far from it so if you're looking for an experts opinion on these brushes you've come to the wrong place.  I have never been massively in to brushes - I know, sounds crazy right? I've always had a few knocking about but I have always been a rub my foundation in with my fingers kinda gal.  I know, I know, some of you will think I'm crazy and it's not like I didn't read all the stuff about how using make-up brushes really does transform your make up, I read it, I just ignored it.  Until now. 
I decided to go with Real Techniques Core Collection & Starter Set (more on the starter set in my next post).  The reason I chose these was 3 fold
1. I love Pixiwoo (those girls rock!)
2. They have rave reviews all over the internet
3. They're relatively inexpensive
I've been using them in my morning make up routine for the past month now so I thought I let you in to my thoughts about each brush and the set as a whole.
First off, I kinda like the packaging.  I know I'm gonna eventually take them out and place them in a container on my dressing table (when I finally get one!) but for now they live in the handy little casing.  You can fold them over so the brushes are hidden away or there's a little toggle that you pull and you can stand the brushes up (like I have in the photo) 
The brushes are all made with taklon bristles which is a synthetic fiber.  They all feel very soft and are 100% cruelty free.  The handle is made from aluminium which makes them very light and the end of them is flat which means they can stand up on your dressing table (if you have one *insert sad face here for my non existent dressing table*)
I am absolutely in love with this collection as a whole and I have to admit it, you people that have ranted and raved at me for years that I really should invest in make up brushes were right (dang you, I so hate it when I'm wrong).  It's made such a difference to my make up routine and it is now my goal to collect every single one of the Real Techniques brushes.

Contour Brush | use with bronzer to define the cheekbone, contour the crease above the eyes, for highlighter
A truly fantastic brush for contouring cheekbones which I've used every day since purchasing it.  It's a really good size and fits perfectly in the hollows of my cheek.

Buffing Brush | Use for cream to powder foundation or a mineral foundation.  It can also be used to apply bronzer, blush and highlighter.
This is my absolute favourite brush from the set.  Literally, I don't know how I did my foundation without it and another one I've used it every single day without fail.  I've been using it to buff liquid foundation on my face and blending it out.  It does a really good job of evening out the foundation, leaving a really natural, non caked look.  I find it quite a dense brush and because of this density I've struggled using it with bronzer or blush.  Having said that it is good to use if you want a highly pigmented look.

Detailer Brush | Precision cut for concealer, under eye concealer or to define lips with lipstick.
This is a teeny tiny brush. I've found it most useful for spot concealing such as in the corners of my eyes or round the sides of my nose where I can get some redness.  I find it too small for using concealer under the eyes as it's too time consuming and I ain't got time in the mornings to be messing around! I have recently been experimenting with it for highlighting my inner eye with shadow and also putting shadow on my lower lash line. 

Pointed Foundation Brush | for liquid foundation and under eye concealer
I have found this brush is way too small for my liking to use with liquid foundation so I've been using it to blend out concealer under the eye.  It's actually my least favourite brush from the set.  I just don't work well with this style of brush.  I found that by using a slight dabbing technique I achieved quite a good result although I have to say it's just not my style.  If you like this style of brush than this would definitely be good for you as it's very soft and flexible.
Overall, these brushes are fantastic.  They are very reasonably priced for the quality and have defiantly helped me in my make up application. 
If, like me, you're not hugely confident in using make up brushes you can head over to Real Techniques Channel where Samantha has tutorials on how to use each brush. 

Have you used the Real Techniques brushes? What do you think of this set?  Any other RT recommendations for me to try out?

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Success Breeds Jealousy

I'm skipping out on my usual #WIAW post today as I feel compelled to write this post instead.  So if  you've arrived here expecting to see my eats I apologise and you've have to hop on over to Jenn to get your fix of What I Ate Wednesday.
Whilst lying in bed this morning checking my Twitter feed and reading some articles I came across, what I consider, to be an awful article on the beautiful Zoella, AKA Zoe Sugg.  I'm not going to post a link because, well, it just annoys me.  If you want to read it you'll have to google it but in summary the writer slates Zoe for her Disney-fied-ness and hypocrisy uploading beauty videos and then advising young people not to fret about appearance.

I am 32 years old and not what I consider to be the average demographic for most fashion and beauty vlogs.  However, one girl who has had my attention for a long time is Zoella.  I have nothing in common with her - I'm quite a bit older and a single mum and yet I found myself reading her blog posts and watching her tutorials and vlogs.  There's one reason and one reason alone why I do this: I like her, and by her social media followers and huge success I am definitely not alone in this.  She's a positive, bubbly person that I genuinely enjoy watching.
It seems that suddenly Zoe's success has skyrocketed.  She's everywhere in the UK at the moment.  She's recently released her own beauty line, she's releasing a book next month, Girl Online , she's become a spokesperson for Mind, a mental health charity (you may have seen her sporting a red button in her vlogs recently), she's won 2 Teen Choice Awards, her face seems to be on the advert of every YouTube video I watch at the moment.  She's hugely successful and fully deserves every bit of her success. Is she squeaky clean and slightly Disney-fied? Possibly, but hey is that not a good thing for our kids to look up to?  She doesn't drink or smoke or do drugs.  She works hard and seems to be a genuinely nice, positive person.
As a mum of a 9 year old it scares me to think of the people our kids look up to today.  it's a crazy, scary world out there and honestly, if Zoe is being considered as not a good role model who on earth is? 
I was so disappointed with the article in the press this morning and as is so often the case in the Great British Press - they build them up to knock them down.  Zoe is nothing more than a 'normal' girl who started a beauty blog as a little hobby and it has expanded in to something that I'm sure was beyond her wildest dreams.  This article served no purpose other than to belittle and criticise a young woman who has made a success of herself.

If this journalist took time out of her busy schedule and actually watch Zoe's videos she would see that Zoe does not tell young girls and teenagers to plaster themselves in make-up - in fact she vlogs regularly with a bare face, spots and all, for the millions of young impressionable girls to see.  She teaches them that everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin.  Indeed it was only the other day that #barefaceandwhat was trending on Twitter after Zoe encouraged young girls and woman to be comfortable and confident with their fresh, bare faces. 

Zoe is undeniably beautiful, as are a lot of her vlogging friends, but surely these people are better role models than many in the public eye.  Glossy magazines are crammed full of pictures of airbrushed models and celebs.  I doubt very much that Zoe has ever airbrushed her videos or put together a script or tried to tell girls and woman what they should look like.  

Zoe shows us her life, albeit an edited version of it, but her life none the less.

She shows us that it's ok to be sad, happy, anxious, scared, excited and emotional. 

She encourages people to look to their inner beauty and not worry about what people think of them.

It's sad that, for this, she get's criticised. We should celebrate successful women, not knock them down.

Have you read the article? What do you think it?

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Glossybox October

My GlossyBox has arrived! It's literally the best thing that gets pushed through my letter box each day.  This months GlossyBox has a Pop Art theme and oh my goodness just check out that box. I love it.  Each month Glossybox just rocks it with the design and it's definitely part of it's appeal for me.
I did have a little problem in that this month Glossybox were trialling an online product card which I didn't know about so I had to tweet them to ask where my product card was as I thought they'd left one out of my box.  They got back to me almost instantly letting me know to check my email which I promptly did and found my online product card.  Not sure how I feel about having it online yet.  I quite like the paper version.  It's only a trial for this month and you can leave them feedback on what your opinions are on it.
But on to the products... I received 4 full size products and 2 trial sizes this month.

I've actually never owned a Ciate paint pot before and I have to say I'm really impressed.  If you follow me on Twitter (and if not, why not?) you'll know I've been loving this colour on my nails for the past week. I wouldn't normally go for something quite as bright but I received s many compliments whilst wearing this colour. It's quite highly pigmented and you could get away with one coat although I always like to do two coats.  The brush is nice and thick and the polish glides on the nail beautifully.  I'll definitely be checking out more of the Ciate polishes in the future.

This product couldn't have come at a better time for me.  As I mentioned here my lips have taken a hit over the past few weeks and I've desperately been trying to rehydrate them and get them back into good condition so this gentle and moisturising lip exfoliator is perfect. 
Etre Bell is not a brand I'm familiar with so after a bit of research I discovered they are a German company who stand for innovative products which is a result of many years of research and development. 
The lip peel is a gentle and moisturising exfoliator for the lip area and it removes dead cells and refines the surface of the skin. I like that it comes in a handy little tube instead of a pot. I scrubbed my lips with this for around a minute and removed any traces with a damp cotton wool pad.  It has teeny tiny granules in it and smells very sweet.  My lips instantly felt softer and smoother creating the perfect base for my lipstick. 

This is full size Nuxe mask is guaranteed inside everyones Glossybox this month so on one will miss out on this 24 hour moisturising mask which is said to 'quench the thirst of the driest skin types.'
Again, with the change in weather recently my skin has definitely been suffering as well as my lips.  I always look to find some more hydrating products when the temperature drops and my skin definitely thanks me for it.
When I squeezed it out of the tube it wasn't what I expected as the consistency was very cream like.  Honestly, I'm not in love with the smell which I find quite floral but in an artificial sort of way.  It's enriched with almond and orange white flowers and infused with plant milks, aloe vera sap and salicornia. 
I popped it in to the fridge beforehand, which it something I like to do with a product like this as I feel it helps even more to combat any redness and refreshes even more. I then applied it to my whole face and around my eyes and left it for 10 minutes.  My skin felt smooth and hydrated afterwards - just a shame about the smell. 

Not my scent I'm afraid.  It's a cute little bottle with a heart on the side and I love getting mini perfumes in my Glossybox as I love throwing them in my handbag for during the day when I feel I need a top up.  It has a rose, floral, fruity scent that just doesn't do it for me so I'm going to give this to a friend who I know will love it.  That's one of the great things about Glossybox - if I do get a product that just isn't for me I can always think of someone who will really appreciate it so nothing goes to waste.

There's not much I can say about this product that hasn't been said before.  It's my favourite BB cream from Rimmel which is a 9 in 1 perfecting make-up cream which minimises the appearance of pores and evens out the skin tone.  It hides blemishes and redness and gives a flawless matte base which also includes an SPF15 (always a bonus). 
This is a cute little sample size of 8ml which is perfect for popping into my makeup bag or taking with me when I travel down to London for the weekend.

  I've never purchased a So Susan product before and I do love trying out new mascaras so I was excited about this one.

I love the packaging. The mascara is encased in a gold case with simple black lettering and a beautiful bird design (I think possibly a hummingbird, but don't quote me on that).  It is an intense carbon black mascara which has a decent brush.  My first thoughts on this were that the mascara seemed to have a very thin consistency but I found it ok.  It has a great colour pay off and is almost too black (is that even a thing?) against my blonde hair.
Overall, this month I've been pleased with my Glossybox contents.  There are some great skin rescue products to get me through the winter months and I've had the chance to try some brand new products and brands.
What did you think of Octobers Glossybox?
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Whats On My Nails? #1

I've decided I want to sort out my nail polishes. I don't have a huge collection compared to some but I feel my collection possibly contains some polishes that I'll just never wear again. I don't believe in keeping things just for the sake of it so to sort them out I've decided to try every single one and decide if I like it or not.

The first polish I grabbed out of my collection this morning is Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Grape Goddess. It's quite shimmery and has tiny glitter pieces in it.  I think it's quite a good Autumn shade but I'm not sure how I feel about the sparkle in it.  I had a little look on the Avon website and this shade is no longer available which kinda makes me want to keep it.

What do you think of this shade? Should I keep it?
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lush Halloween & Christmas Wishlist

Can you believe I didn't used to be a fan of Lush? I used to hate the smell of the shop when I walked past.  Crazy, I know. I've since seen sense and now love the place. 
I mentioned in my High5 4 Friday post that I've been really enjoying pretend internet shopping lately - you know browsing the internet and sticking loads of stuff in your basket that you just know you're not really gonna buy.  So let's take a look at what's currently sitting in my Lush basket.  These ones I might actually buy.
I don't tend to take many baths in the summer time so the Halloween and Christmassy Lush stuff is definitely for me.  I literally want everything new in Lush at the moment but I've managed to whittle it down to my top 9. 

What's on your Lush wish list?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Maybelline Electro Baby Lips

I was browsing the stands in my local drugstore last week and as I passed the Maybelline section I saw these neon bad boys glaring back at me. I mean really, I couldn't miss them, they're so bright and they really intrigued me. So, as any good beauty blogger does I popped them in my basket without a second thought, excited to try them out when I got home.  They were of course the Mayelline Baby Lips Electro Lip Balm.

I picked up 3 of the shades (they were on 3 for 2) and I just love the names. I really think names are important when making a make-up product because as well as the shade of a product, the name is important to me too. Please say I'm not weird and you think like that too? The colours I got were Strike A Rose (pink), Berry Bomb (purple) and Oh! Orange! (errrr orange). 

I've been experiencing some problem lips in the past week or so and they've become quite dry and flaky (nice, I know) so I figured these products would be good to add a little tint to my lips during the day yet still give some moisture to try and get my lips back in good condition.

According to studies these produce smoother, more hydrated and better looking lips and I have to say I think I agree. I've been using various different shades on my lips over the past week and my lips have definaetly improved. They feel really moisturising when you apply them to the lip and give a lovely hint of colour.

The colours kinda scared me at first but they look really lovely on the lips. They're a really nice alternative to the heavy autumn plummy lip I have been wearing. Oh and the flavour! I love having a flavour or scent to my lip balms and the flavours on these are subtle and not too artificial.  Oh! Orange! tastes like, what else? oranges, Berry Bomb is a grapey, berry taste and Strike A Rose is a kind of sweet taste.

Overall, I'm really glad I picked these up. They're a great bargain buy if you need a quick fix for your lips and don't want to spend a ton of money. They will definaetly stay in my handbag for the next few weeks and I'll continue to reach for them to give my lips a moisture and a hint of colour when I'm having a no or little make-up day.
What's your favourite bargain product to wear on your lips?

Friday, 17 October 2014

High5 4 Friday

Happy Friday peeps!  How are you today?  Excited for the weekend? I am, but then I always am. 
I've got a lovely weekend planned of lots of family time with my sisters, niece and nephews and possibly a few drinks out tonight with a friend.  I love having lazy weekends with nothing planned but I also love when it's a busy one full of special people and fun times.  What have you got planned for the weekend? 
Let's take a little look back over all the good things that have happened this week...

1. I've loved seeing how many people have been entering my Canon DSLR giveaway. So far there are over 13000 entries! It's a fantastic prize that one lucky entrant is going to win. There's only a day left so be sure to head on over to the post and enter. 

2. Trying out Walkers range of odd flavoured crisps.  I love the whole concept of it - the ones I'm currently loving are the Hotdog with Tomato Ketchup.  Not good for me I know but surely every girl deserves a little treat now and again.  Have you tried them? What's your favourite flavour?

3. My GlossyBox arrived this week and Oh My Goodness I love it.  It's one of my most favourite things that comes through my mailbox.  This month they have a Pop Art theme and it's amazing.  The box is awesome.  The products are awesome.  It's awesome.

4. I've really enjoyed painting my nails this week.  For a long time I neglected my nails but I'm so glad I've got back in to painting them as I adore having some colour on my nails.  I'm currently rocking this little beauty from Ciate - beautiful don't you think? It's the one I received in my GlossyBox.

5. I've enjoyed some indulgent pretend internet shopping this week.  Don't you just love doing pretend internet shopping?  You know when you browse a store putting all your must haves/wants in your basket with no intention of actually buying them as there's just no way you can afford all that stuff.  In particularly I've loved my Selfridges pretend shop which included hundreds of pounds worth of beautiful lipsticks and other makeup goodies.
 Enjoyed this post?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What I Ate Wednesday | Veggie Chips Don't Do It For Me

Are you having a fantastic Wednesday so far?  I hope so! I do like Wednesdays...I'm not sure why, maybe because I'm off work in the morning or maybe because it's What I Ate Wednesday and I love having a nosey at what everyone's been eating. 

Before we get in to this weeks #WIAW I wanted to ask you if you fancy a sparkly, new camera?  Are you a food blogger? A beauty blogger? A budding photographer?  If so, make sure you head over to my Canon DSLR Giveaway  post and enter.  There are 59 chances to win and only 3 days left. 
Quick, go do it now then you can head back over and continue this little read.



So, without going in to too much detail I needed some prunes.  Is that TMI? Maybe.  But hey, we're all friends here, right? I've not eaten prunes for a hell of a long time and I'd forgotten how delicious they are.  Don't you just love it when a super healthy food is also delicious.  Prunes are full of fibre and antioxidants such as iron and manganese.  I teamed my prunes with a few tablespoons of simple natural yoghurt.  Delish.


A staple for me as you can see from #WIAW A Day of No Fruit and #WIAW A Healthy Holiday? is my avocado & tomato toast.  I'm no bore though, I mix it up with (oooo check me out) different breads, maybe a chilli flake or two, mashed or sliced avocado (that is normally dictated to me by how ripe my avocado is) and if I'm feeling really adventurous like I was today maybe even adding an extra ingredient.  I know, I'm a thrill seeker! 
The bread I use is amaranth/quinoa rye bread which I think is amazing.  I've tried it with normal toast and it just isn't the same.  Today I had sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes, spinach and cheddar cheese.  It's a winner every time.  Mama taught me if it ain't broke, don't fix it and various forms of this will continue to feature heavily in my diet.


These little babies are a new(ish) one for me and I'm still trying to decide if I like them or not.  They are kale chips.  I'm a huge, huge crisp girl.  I love them.  I have to be really disciplined with myself not to just eat them all the time.  Once, when googling alternatives to crisps, in one of my many attempts to eradicate crisps from my diet, I stumbled across this little idea.  And let's be honest, there's just no way a vegetable, let alone kale, can replace the yumminess of a real crisp.  But, I'm persevering and maybe one day I might write on here how much I love kale chips and how you should all be converted to them. We'll see...


What a boring tea this is.  I figured that just to combat all the goodness I did by eating the high fibre prunes for my breakfast I'd eat two eggs for tea.  Go figure.  Not much to say about this one really. I had spinach I needed to use up and heck, why not still two eggs with it?

Do you like kale chips?

Have you one lunch time staple that you always return to?

If you liked this little read why not