Wednesday, 24 September 2014

soap & glory hand food

Hi everyone!

Today's post is about something I have grown to love, but definitely wasn't love at first use - the Soap & Glory Hand Food.

Soap & Glory Hand Food

I know this is one of the most raved about hand creams in the history of blogging, but it's taken me a while to come round to it. I have been receiving the S&G Christmas sets for quite a few years now, so have had lots of tubes of this. It's been mentioned on the blog before but in general it's just been "It's okay".

However, over the last few months I have been reaching for this a lot more. For some reason I am finding that my hands - more specifically the skin around my nails - are really dry in the morning. Only the morning though, not sure why. So I have been keeping a tube of this hand cream on my desk at work, and applying it when I get in every morning.

I still find that it doesn't sink in quite as quickly as I'd like, but it is doing a great job of keeping my hands from feeling all tight and dry, and the smell is lovely. The bottle says it contains marshmallow which is probably a large part of why I like it. A little really goes a long way with this, and it keeps my hands soft for hours, so a tube lasts for a long time, which makes it great value for money.

Overall, although I'm not sure I'll ever be a complete hand cream lover, this is a great one and I've been enjoying having it to hand at work every day.

Are you one of the many, many fans of this hand cream?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

the best shower gel ever

Hi everyone!

I don't normally care much about shower gel. As long as it cleans me and doesn't smell bad, I'm happy to use whatever. So I never expected to be posting about a shower gel on my blog, but I just had to show some love for one that I finished up recently...

Treaclemoon Marshmallow Hearts

This is Marshmallow Hearts from Treaclemoon. I wasn't really expecting much but this is incredible! It smells so dreamy, like cake frosting, sweets and everything delicious! If you're not a fan of sweet scents you would definitely hate this, but for me it smells absolutely amazing. I am so sad that it's run out! I don't really have much to say in all honesty, I just wanted to recommend this shower gel to anyone who loves anything sweet smelling.

They have plenty of other scents which look delicious and I would love to try, but I'm not sure anything can beat the marshmallow scent for me! 

Have you tried this, or any others from the range?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

mua blusher - shade 1

Hi everyone!

Today's post is about a blusher I never expected to blog about. I mentioned this blusher in this post, but very briefly with a small swatch on my finger. I haven't really used it much since then, but I suddenly had the urge to and I'm so glad I did!

MUA Blusher Shade 1

MUA Blusher Shade 1

In the photo above I have the blusher on one cheek but not the other, so you can see the effect better. I really love the pink flush this gives my cheeks - I often gravitate towards more peachy shades, so this was a welcome change. It brightens up the face without looking too obvious. The formula of the blusher was great too, really soft and I didn't need much product in order to get a lovely colour pay-off.

Obviously there is one last plus point - the price! This blusher is only £1 which I think is a fantastic price for what you get. I am a fan of quite a few MUA products and I'm happy to say I can add this to my list of products I would recommend. There are a few new shades in the collection that weren't around when I bought this, which look quite nice, so I think I'll need to make some more purchases soon!

What are your favourite MUA products?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

wedding nails

Hi everyone!

So a few weeks ago I was bridesmaid for one of my best and oldest friends. I knew I wanted to do something fun with my nails, and the colour scheme helped it fall into place. The colours were orange, pink, purple, blue and green, so I went for an ombre over all my nails, from each colour to the next.

Ombre nails

The colours I used were (L-R):

Barry M Emerald Green
Essie Orange, It's Obvious
Barry M Grapefruit
Barry M Bright Purple
Barry M Guava

I'm not 100% happy with how the green blends into the orange, but that was the only way for the 'rainbow' to loop round. But overall I am pleased with how they looked, and they looked great with the bright colours of the day. It was a lovely day and I wish I could do it all again!

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

wood fen lodge spa

Hi everyone!

One of the other birthday gifts I got this year was a spa day that I went to with my mum on my actual birthday. I had such a lovely time that I wanted to post about it.

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

We went to Wood Fen Lodge which my mum actually found on Groupon, so we got a great deal. When we arrived we were given drinks straight away, and an explanation of how the day would go. They actually switched our day timings around a little from what we had originally booked, so that we would end up being more on our own rather than around lots of people, which I really appreciated. 

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

To start with we had a wander around the grounds a little - the spa is set in 4 acres of countryside so there is plenty to explore. We ended up relaxing on loungers in the sun while we waited for lunch. There was a pig who had 12 three week old piglets with her, which I loved! There was also a chill out room inside which we sat in for a while too. 

Lunch was soup and jacket potato which was simple but still tasty - all the food is made with home grown ingredients where possible which I think is a lovely touch - you can see the vegetables being grown when you explore.

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

After lunch, we were taken into the spa area. This is a separate building with a sauna, steam room, changing rooms, a relaxing area with seats and magazines, and a jacuzzi outside. As I mentioned earlier, they shifted the timings around so that me and mum were the only people in this area, which was really lovely. We spent time in each of the different areas, just relaxing, chatting and enjoying ourselves.

Wood Fen Lodge Spa

It was then time for our facials - I went first and I had a much better experience than I was expecting. I've had one facial before, at another spa, and it seemed to be over very quickly, nothing seemed tailored to me and nothing was really talked through with me - it just felt like they were getting through people as quickly as possible. This time felt the complete opposite. The facial was half an hour long, beforehand Catherine asked me how my skin was and any concerns I had, and at the end I was given a 'face mapping' sheet which showed the condition of the different areas of my face, which products she used on me, and any additional advice she had for me - namely to drink more water! I was really pleased with my facial and the tailored experience that I received.

All in all, I had a really lovely day, it was a great way to spend my birthday! Wood Fen Lodge have plans to expand in the future, one of which being to add in a pool which I think will be a great addition. I thoroughly recommend going there, and would love to go back, especially once there is a pool.

This is only the second spa I've ever been to, but I think I've caught the bug now! Which spas would you recommend?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

my mac makeover experience

Hi everyone!

Last week was a busy one for me, but a great one. I had a couple of days celebrating my birthday, and then it was two of my best friends' wedding. I hope to have more on that soon.
Last Tuesday I went to Cambridge with my mum for some lunch, shopping and wandering. One of the birthday presents I got the day before was an hour long MAC makeover. It's something I've mentioned to my mum before, but never been quite sure if I wanted to do. The timing was perfect though, with the wedding coming up - I did both my own makeup and the bride's - I took the opportunity to get a few tips and ideas.

MAC Makeover

I sat in the chair and explained to the makeup artist what I was looking for, what sort of makeup I usually wear, and so on. She then went off and chose the products she thought would be best, and we got started. Something I wasn't expecting but really liked, is that once she had done a step on one eye, she let me have a go on the other. I thought this was a really nice touch as it helped me learn skills rather than just watch them being done. After every step she checked I was happy and didn't want to change anything.

I do have a few photos to show you but they aren't great - one was taken by my mum in the shop but I clearly wasn't ready for it to be taken! And the others are taken a few hours later once I got home, on my phone. Sorry I couldn't get better photos.

MAC Makeover
MAC MakeoverMAC MakeoverMAC Makeover

On my face is:

Oil Control Lotion
Natural Radiance Primer in Radiant Pink
Studio Fix Fluid in NW10
Select Cover Up in NW15
Select Pressed Powder in NC15
Mystery Eyeshadow (brows)
Painterly Paint Pot
Showstopper Palette (Oh My Darling, Jest & Showstopper)
Rapid Black Liner
Splashproof Mascara on my bottom lashes (I have eyelash extensions on the top)
Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark (used as bronzer)
Fleur Power Blusher
Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish
Prep & Prime Lip
Dervish Lip Pencil
Please Me Lipstick

Once the makeup was finished, the makeup artist then laid out in front of me everything that was used, and I got to choose what I wanted to take home. This was the hard part! On all MAC makeovers the price you pay is redeemable against products, which I think is really good. For me it was an hour, so that was £30. In the end I chose the Showstopper eyeshadow palette as I loved my eyes the most from the whole look. This was the same palette I ended up using the day of the wedding. I was also given samples of the foundation and primer which I thought was a lovely touch, as these are often products that you don't know if you want to buy until you have tried them out a little.

MAC Makeover

She also gave me this sheet with every product listed, and the products were actually used on the face sketch which I really liked, it was so handy to refer back to!

Overall I really enjoyed my experience, I think it was great timing but even so I would have loved it anyway. I would highly recommend getting one of these MAC makeovers, especially if you are looking to purchase items anyway, as a sort of 'try before you buy'. So a big thank you to Elly in the Cambridge MAC for a lovely birthday experience :)

Have you had one of these makeovers? Would you like to?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

nail polish storage

Hi everyone!

Monday marked a month since we moved into our new home. I thought this would be a good time to show you the 'housewarming' present my lovely fiancé made for me.

The house is 3 bedroomed, so we have a spare room, our room, and then I got a makeup/dressing room (squeal!). I knew I wanted to have my nail polishes on display as anyone who knows me will know how often I paint my nails different colours. I have known for a long time what I wanted to do, I saw this post (I think it was a video initially) from Dulce Candy and loved how it looked. 2 years on, I have one of my own!

Nail Polish Rack

Nail Polish Rack

Nail Polish Rack

I am so happy with it! You can see in the first picture there is room for one or two more shelves on the bottom, which I'm sure will be needed eventually! I'm still not entirely pleased with the order of colours at the moment, but that will come with time I'm sure.

Anyway, I don't have much more to say. I just wanted to share this with you as I'm so pleased with it and also wanted to say a big thank you to my fiancé, if he reads this, for building it from scratch for me!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

life #7

Hi everyone!

I've been super busy for the past few days, so this week's post is going to be a bit of an update/instagram catch up. To be honest, most of these are food pictures, so if you're not interested in that, don't read on!

As you might know, almost a month ago I moved out. My job in the house is to cook, so I've been experimenting a lot more with cooking and food in general.



Vegetable pasta with salad - Paella (I was so proud of this!)
Chili time! - Tortellini (This was tonight and we got to eat outside, I love the sun!)
Snacking on sugar snap peas - Apple & Snickers pie

and some bonus non-food photos:

Cool floor in Giraffe - I love having this as my new view
Reunited with my favourite for the night last weekend - This week I went to see Chance the Rapper, which is why this week's post is late. Awesome night!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

collection nail polish - lilac daze

Hi everyone!

Bit of a late post from me this week, and not much different from last week, but I just wanted to share the latest colour I've been loving for my nails.

I would first like to apologise in advance for the state of my middle finger in this photo. I had a tragic accident (!) at work and yes, it is very painful!

Anyway, this is Lilac Daze from Collection's Work The Colour range...

Collection Nail Polish - Lilac Daze

After painting my nails, I realised I have something like this in my collection already - Prickly Pear from Barry M, which I talked about here. I painted them next to each other on paper and it turns out they are identical, but the Collection version is cheaper!

The fomula is a little thin and streaky on the first coat, but because it's thin it dries super fast, so it doesn't really take any longer to get my nails looking good - I think I did 3 coats in the end. And this photo was taken without top coat! I know this is more of a spring colour but the weather isn't exactly blazing sun and blue skies at the moment, so I think it's okay :)

I am pretty impressed with my second polish from this range - I find Collection to be one of my favourite high street brands, I think. Such a great price too!

Are you a fan of Collection polishes, or the brand in general?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

collection nail polish - tropical pink

Hi everyone!

Another quick one from me, today I just wanted to show you a new nail polish in my stash. 

Collection Nail Polish - Tropical Pink

This is Tropical Pink from the Work The Colour range by Collection. It was actually a little hard to photograph this - it's a bit more pink than how the camera picks it up, but it's still very coral toned.

I found the formula of this to be really easy to work with, some fingers needed 3 coats but most are fine with 2. The shine you see here is without top coat. I just love the colour, it's perfect for summer but still slightly "safe" I think for those who don't like to branch out too much.

One last thing to mention - the price. This is £1.99! I think that's an absolute bargain! Here it is on the Superdrug website, I would definitely recommend checking this out. I have another shade from this range to try, hopefully I like it just as much as this one! 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

rimmel kate moss lasting finish matte lipstick - 101

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post from me today, as mentioned in my last post I'm still getting settled in to the new house. But today I want to share with you a new lipstick. This was a little leaving present from my sister.

rimmel kate moss lasting finish matte lipstick - 101

rimmel kate moss lasting finish matte lipstick - 101

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 101. 
I posted about shade 107 here and mentioned how impressed I was with the formula, and this shade is no different. It's so matte that it's drying, and feels nice and creamy on the lips.

As for the shade, this is obviously a lot more wearable than the berry shade I already own. It's just really easy to put on with any makeup look, a fairly neutral pink that isn't too pale or too bright, it's great for everyday just to add a little colour without being too much, with the little bit of baby pink that comes through.

Overall I am really glad I have this in my collection now. Although it might be considered quite 'standard', I don't actually own anything like it, so I'm sure it's going to get plenty of use! And for £5.49, it's a great buy!

Would you recommend any of the other shades in this range?

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

glitter nails

Hi everyone!

This week is a little bit special. Almost 2 and a half years after buying our first house, we finally move in to it this weekend! In celebration, I decided to pain my nails as inappropriately as possible, meaning LOTS of glitter.

Glitter Nails
Glitter Nails

I used W7 Moondust with W7 Multi Dazzle on my ring finger - 2 coats of each polish. This isn't really a review post, but I have to say that Moondust dries SO fast. It's probably the fastest drying polish I've ever used. I'm assuming it's because its more glitter particles than liquid, but it made for a super speedy application. I actually did these nails about an hour/half an hour before bedtime, and I got ready for bed with no problems whatsoever. Yay!

So, now I have nails that are totally fit for the role of packing, unpacking, decorating and so on. We all know they'll be an absolute nightmare to remove too. But for now, they're making me smile :)

So that's all from me for now. I'll see you on the other side! I'm sure these nails will be a total mess by then...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

real techniques powder brush

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to quickly share with you a brush that I've been using every day for pretty much as long as I've owned it - a long time! This is the Real Techniques Powder Brush. I've posted previously - here - about the core collection of brushes, and wanted to expand my collection. I'm glad I did...

Real Techniques Powder Brush
Real Techniques Powder Brush

I don't really have too much to actually say about this brush, I just wanted to share my love for it. I use it for what it's meant for - powder. Once I've done the rest of my base, I use the brush to set everything in place and mattify my skin. The brush does the job perfectly, and I've never needed to try anything else. As always with Real Techniques brushes, the quality is great and the bristles are super soft, even after multiple washes and daily use for what must be well over a year by now. Like I said, I don't have many comments other than this is a great powder brush and I highly recommend it!

Have you tried this brush?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

pink & glitter!

Hi everyone!

I was on my lunch break, catching up on blogs when I got to Cristina's post - here. I loved the way the colours looked, my nails were in need of a re-do, I felt inspired and then this happened...

Pink & Glitter Nails

It's nowhere near immaculate as Cristina's, and I'm sure it will be ruined pretty soon, but I love the combination of colours, and it's giving a bit of cheer to my day when the sky has gone back to it's cloudy self. And in the meantime, There is a mist of glittery goodness on my desk!

The pink is Barry M Grapefruit, and the glitter is one I picked up in Spain, in a Chinese supermarket for €0.75. Bargain!

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

eBay blush palette

Hi everyone! 

 Today I wanted to talk about a blush palette I got for Christmas, and have been loving.

eBay Blush Palette

This palette is from eBay, I don't remember which blog I originally saw it on but I knew I needed one the moment I read about it!

Unfortunately one of the shades was ruined when it arrives, but there is a little product still in the pan so all isn't totally lost.

eBay Blush Palette

These swatches left to right are 1-10 from the labels above. As you can see shade 2 doesn't have quite as much impact but on the whole the pigmentation of every shade really packs a punch. I am super impressed with the colour payoff of these, and they also blend super easily on the skin - which is a good thing as it can be easy to pick up too much product especially with the bolder shades.
Most of the shades are shimmery, but 8 and 9 are more matte and 6 is more of a satin finish I would say. None of them are what I would describe as glittery though, the shimmer is subtle enough once on the face. Initially most of the shades can come off quite chalky, but because of the easy blending, this is soon rectified.

eBay Blush Palette
eBay Blush Palette

On the left cheek here I'm wearing shade 8, and on the right is shade 7. I think these pictures demonstrate the difference in finishes quite well. Shade 7 (and the other warmer toned shades) gives a nice glow to the face overall which I think helps my pale complexion. Shade 8 (and the other cooler colours) is better for giving a flush of colour to the cheeks, which is also good for different makeup looks. I like that there is a variety of shades and so far I haven't found that any of the colours don't suit my skin tone. That being said, I think the brighter shades like 4 and 9 would look gorgeous on darker/tanned skin tones.

Overall I am super happy with this palette, I think it has a great spectrum of shades and the formula is much better than I expected it to be. And then there's the price! There are lots to choose from when searching 'blush palette' on eBay but I've included this link - here - as the photo looks the most similar to the shades I've got. Either way, they're basically all under £5 which I think is a total bargain. I really recommend this palette, even if you just want to test out what sort of colours suit you, this could be really useful for that.

Do you have one of these palettes, if so what do you think of it? Do you have any other eBay bargains to recommend me?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

w7 salt n pepper

Hi everyone!

This post is almost the total opposite of my bright and cheery spring and summer nails from last week! Today I wanted to show you a polish I've had for a while and just never got round to blogging about. 

W7 Salt n Pepper

This is Salt n Pepper by W7. As you can see it's a white polish which is fairly sheer, packed with black matte 'glitter' - not sure that's the right word really! I like that this is sheer because you can get the effect of the layers showing through like it appears in the bottle. Hopefully you can see how the polish is a little textured - I quite like this but I'm sure a couple of top coat layers would fix this.

I actually have another polish from this same line with red 'glitter' which I am now looking forward to trying.

What do you think of this effect of polish?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

spring/summer nail picks

Hi everyone! 

The weather where I am hasn't been very spring or summer like recently. But, it is the middle of May, so I wanted to share with you some of my favourite nail colours for spring and summer, some shades that put a smile on my face while it's grey and dull outside.

Spring/Summer Nails

What I tried to do was pick 5 colours, and then choose shades that would be more suited to spring and summer - basically pastels and brights. I've painted each hand in a different season, with a sort of colour graduation. For reference I used two coats of polish with every nail.

Spring/Summer Nails

For my 'spring' hand, I used top to bottom...

Kiss Me Quick pastel blue - I blogged about this here. I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed using this polish - easy, smooth application and a lovely colour too.

Barry M Greenberry - a vibrant mint. Mint is one of my favourite colours in general and I love it for on the nails. The Barry M Gelly formula is one of my all time favourites, so paired with the colour this is an obvious choice.

Barry M Prickly Pear - This is the only Gelly formula I've had any sort of problems with. I just find it a little thin, but the colour still applies pretty evenly so I don't mind too much.

Essie Penny Talk - This one doesn't really fit in so much with the rest but I love this rose gold colour. This polish is super opaque and could easily be ready to go in one coat, so it's great for applying last minute. 

Barry M Papaya - Peach is another of my favourite shades for cheeks, lips and nails. The Barry M offering is an orangey peach which is fairly vibrant too. Not that my super pale self has much experience in this, but I'm sure it would look awesome on tanned or darker skintones!

Spring/Summer Nails

And for my 'summer' hand, this time bottom to top...

Barry M Guava - A vibrant blue with a hint of green. I especially love how this looks with Greenberry.

Barry M Teal - This is probably one of my favourite colours ever. I know it's not hugely summery as it's on the darker side, but the colour reminds me of holidays and the ocean, it's such a lovely shade!

Essie Jamaica Me Crazy - Bright shimmery pink toned purple. Post here.

Nubar Summer Love - the name says it all! I'm not often one for pinks but this one is gorgeous. It has a purpley blue shimmer running through it and a really interesting finish which I love. Full post here.

Essie Orange, It's Obvious - A fairly simple bright orange. This reminds me of summer just looking at it!

All in all I think I do prefer the spring hand, but maybe that's because summer just seems so far away! I also just wanted to share some of the other posts about spring nails I've done over the years:

Last year - this post about the Gelly polishes from Barry M includes 3 of the polishes in this post and two others that I also think would be perfect for the sunnier months.

And here's a bonus bright spotty nail look!

Compiling this list has made me realise I've got a bit of a routine for doing spring/summer nail posts, which I didn't even realise!

Hope you liked! What polishes would you recommend for this time of year?