Saturday, 28 February 2015

What I've Learned From Blogging

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My blog is over a year old now an although I still consider myself as a bit of a newbie, I'd say I've learned a lot of things along the way too. I had a few ideas of what blogging would be like before I started and I think it's safe to say my perception of those has changed quite a lot too. Here's just a few things I've learned from my 14 months of blogging.

Friday, 27 February 2015

My Favourite Budget Eyeshadow Palettes

Whilst for me nothing will ever quite beat a good Urban Decay palette, there have been some really good alternatives cropping up on the high street recently which are really starting to rival them in terms of quality, and beat them hands down on price. It's making feeding my eyeshadow addiction that little bit cheaper! Here are some of my picks of the drugstore palettes.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My Favourite Essie Polishes

I love walking up to the Essie stand in my local Boots and having a browse at the amazing colour range they boast. I always find it so difficult to decide which ones to buy though - I want a pink, but which pink, there's about ten to choose from! As a result of my indecisiveness, I've ended up buying way more than I could possibly need, but here I've narrowed down six of my favourites.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Muji Storage Re-shuffle

It's that time again! Spring is on it's way and I have to admit I was getting bored of berry lips, so I've switched up the makeup in my Muji storage again, so here's what I'll be wearing on an everyday basis over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Spring Wardrobe Wishlist

So spring is on it's way (ish) and the shops have started stocking up on their shorter sleeved tops and pretty pastel colours. I really can't wait to start wearing spring clothes - I'm getting a bit bored of wrapping up in big fluffy jumpers now, so I've been having a little browse and have found a few items I'd like to add to my wardrobe this spring.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Best Of Maybelline

When I came to prepare for this blog post, I realised that Maybelline is very much a "Marmite" brand for me - I either really love the products that I buy or I hate them, there's no middle ground! Luckily, there are a bunch of Maybelline products in my stash that I do really love - as you can see from the battered packaging of some of them, they really do get a lot of love.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

My Favourite Blog Discoveries of 2015 So Far

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I have to be honest, I've barely had time to catch up on some of my favourite blogs this year, let alone discover new ones to follow. It's all been a bit manic but I did find time a few weeks ago to sit and go through links I'd been sent after a Twitter chat, and others I'd saved for future reading, and here are some of my favourites. They may not all be new blogs, just new to me, but I'd definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't already.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

My Most Reached For Makeup Brushes

Brushes are an essential part of anyone's makeup kit. You can have the most beautiful products out there but without the right tools to apply them, they could still end up looking a mess! My makeup brush collection has grown quite significantly over the last few months, but rather than bombard you with the whole lot, I thought I'd share with you the brushes I use most regularly.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Makeup Revolution Sugar & Spice Blush Palette

I saw this palette doing the rounds on blogs and Instagram towards the end of last year and it went on my wishlist straight away. Having tried Makeup Revolution blushes before, I knew they were really good quality, but having a palette is so much handier than carrying around several single pans, and the colours in the Sugar & Spice palette looked stunning from swatches I had seen.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

My New Fitness Routine

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If you follow me on Instagram you may know that, after much deliberation, I bought a Fitbit at the weekend. This has now spurred me on to create a whole new fitness programme for myself so I can keep a track of my progress, after all I want to get my monies worth!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Underrated Brand - Natural Collection

Quite often I see people asking for recommendations for really cheap makeup items and whilst the praise that the likes of Makeup Revolution receive is well deserved, there's one brand that I think gets quite overlooked in the beauty world, and that's Boots Natural Collection. Whilst there are a few duds in there (I'm really not a fan of their foundation), there are some real gems to be found and I thought I'd share them with you.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner

I've been disappointed with a few eyeliner products that I've tried recently. I wouldn't say I was a complete beginner when it comes to winged liner, but I could most definitely shape up on my technique and having a really easy to use product helps a lot. I'd heard Suzie rave about this product a few weeks ago, possibly in a favourites video, and thought for a mere £2.99 it must be too good to be true, but wouldn't break the bank if I was to buy it and see for myself.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Slimming World Brownies

As a Valentine's treat to ourselves, my husband and I baked a batch of brownies at the weekend. With both of us still being on a mission to lose some weight before my sister's summer wedding, we thought we'd better behave ourselves a little and made the Slimming World friendly version, which was really easy and affordable to do.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Rimmel Brow This Way

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that one of the product launches from last year that I really enjoyed was the Benefit Gimme Brow. Although I very much love the product, at £17.50 it's very much at the top end of my budget for a product like this. When I spotted Rimmel had launched a range of brow gels for just £3.99, I was really hoping to have a great dupe on my hands to save a few pennies.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Products I'll Forever Repurchase

I hope you're all having a lovely Valentine's Day whatever you're doing. Since it is Valentine's Day today, I thought I'd share the love and show you some of the products I always have to keep in my stash, and love so much that I'll continue to repurchase them - unless the dreaded day comes when one of the is discontinued, eeeep!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Pretty In Pink

Happy Valentine's Eve, haha! So, as it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, and it's seems that wherever I go I'm surrounded by all things pink and hearts, I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite pink makeup products, just I case you feel like getting with the theme tomorrow!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

Oh my days, I am in love with this palette. I've wanted to try the NARS Dual Intensity eyeshadows since they launched. They looked so pretty wherever I saw them, but at £21 per shadow, I really couldn't justify making a purchase. I first saw images of this palette just before Christmas, and knew instantly that I wanted to buy it, so I waited with bated breath for it's UK release - which seemed like a lifetime by the way!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Valentine's Day On A Budget

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So Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and whilst dinner at a fancy restaurant and being showered with gifts sounds amazing, it's not always within everyone's budgets, particularly so soon after Christmas. I know for sure that my husband and I will be spending Valentine's Day on a tight budget this year, so I thought I'd share with you some lovely date and gift ideas to make the day special without breaking the bank.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Next Home Haul

It's been over eight months since my husband and I tied the knot, and a couple of weeks ago we finally got around to using the Next vouchers that some of our lovely guests got us as gifts. It was quite difficult trying to decide what we wanted to get. We are currently living in a rented property, so we can't go and fully redecorate the place, and a lot of the things we did want we already had! But I did manage to spot a few gems in Next Home to give the place a more personal touch.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

For me, Maybelline are top dog when it comes to mascaras, some of my favourites are by them, and I don't think I've yet come across one that I particularly dislike. So when I heard that Maybelline were releasing the Lash Sensational mascara, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, not least for the gorgeous rose gold packaging, but I was also really intrigued by the design of the wand.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Updated MAC Lipstick Collection

Ok so it's been a little under a year since my last MAC lipstick collection post and I'm ashamed to say that in that time my collection has grown from 8 to 18! That's a lot of lipstick and a lot of money - I don't even want to think about what I could've bought with it! Given that my collection has expanded so much in the last 11 months, I thought it was about time I did an updated post for you. There's no lip swatches this time I'm afraid but hopefully you'll understand why - reapplying all of these would've been pretty painful!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Breville Blend Active

One of my favourite things to have for breakfast, particularly in the week, is a smoothie. Quite often I'm running late, so I don't have time to sit down and eat a bowl of fruit and yoghurt, and a smoothie is the ideal way of packing all that in with more time to spare. I've had my Breville Blend Active since last summer and it's proved to be very handy indeed.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Rimmel Lasting Finish Nude Foundation

This was a bit of a random purchase for me. I was in Boots stocking up and noticed there was a 3 for 2 offer on Rimmel products. I already had the two, and whilst searching for the third, this foundation caught my eye. I'd not seen it around in stores before and couldn't recall reading anything about it, but thought I'd give it a go anyway - so not like me.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Accessorize Wishlist

A couple of weeks ago I was having a wander around Fosse Park and noticed that Monsoon/Accessorize still had their sale on, so I thought I'd go in for a look around. Whilst nothing in the reduced section took my fancy, I did notice that there were a lot of lovely new things in there (typical, I always want the full price stuff!). Unfortunately my bank balance prevented me from buying anything at the time, but I've got a few things in mind for when my next payday comes around.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Disappointing Products

It's not often I'm disappointed by a product, I usually do a lot of research before making a new purchase, particularly when they're quite pricey, so see if it's going to be worth my money or not. But there's always that odd occasion when a really hyped up product just doesn't seem to work for me, or doesn't meet my expectations. Sometimes I'll include a full review of them on my blog, but here are five that didn't quite make it into a post of their own.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Color Drama Pencils V NARS Velvet Matte Pencils

NARS Velvet Matte pencils have become a much loved product among the beauty blogging community so I was really happy to receive the lip pencil coffret for Christmas, which contained two of the Velvet Mattes, so I could really see what all the fuss was about. Whilst I was pretty impressed with them, the Maybelline Color Drama pencils, labelled a NARS dupe, had also caught my eye, and I was keen to see if they really were as good as their high-end counterparts.

l-r: NARS Iberico & Cruella, Maybelline Keep It Classy, Light It Up & Berry Much
The shades that came in the NARS set were Iberico and Cruella, both reds but Iberico with much more of an orange tone to it, with Cruella being more of a classic deep red. Looking at the photo above, all of the Maybelline pencils I bought look pretty similar, but I can assure you they're not! Keep It Classy is a reddy-plum shade, Light It Up is a classic red, and Berry Much is a intense, deep purple berry shade. Having looked at both ranges in store, although Maybelline do have some beautiful colours available, NARS win hands down on the variety.

I found the NARS pencils relatively easy to apply, but found that with them being really matte, they dried out my lips quite easily. The Maybelline pencils on the other hand were really creamy in texture and found them much more comfortable to wear. The downside to this was that they didn't last quite as long as the NARS pencils, though they do still have quite good staying power.

The real snag I have with both of these products is that, unlike a lot of other lip pencils on the market which have opted for the twist up mechanism, you have to sharpen these ones to get more product. A little thing to grumble about I know, but it's a tad inconvenient.

Left - NARS Velvet Mattes in Iberico & Cruella, Right - Maybelline Color Dramas in Keep It Classy, Light It Up & Berry Much
I think the Maybelline Color Dramas are a really great product and good dupe for the NARS Velvet Mattes. Personally, I'd purchase more of the Maybelline pencils over NARS, mainly for price, £4.99 compared to £19, but also for comfort too, though if your lips don't tend to dry out as much as mine, you may prefer the NARS pencils for their greater staying power. I really hope that with the love these products have also been receiving, Maybelline will add more shades to their line in the future.

Have you tried either of these lip pencils? Which would you rather buy?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January 2015 Beauty Favourites

I know a lot of people have said January has flown by and they can't believe we are into the second month of the year already, but for me January seemed to really drag and I'm quite glad it's over! You may remember last year I tended to restrict myself to just five favourites a month, but I always felt like there were more products I wanted to share with you, so this year there are no limits!