Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Philosophy Peppermint Stick Shower Gel



I've been hearing brilliant things about the Philosophy Peppermint Stick shower gel for ages and when I saw this pop up for a bargain £7 in the January sales I snapped up a couple of bottles before it sold out.

I've been using it a lot this month and it's safe to say I'm in love - for real. The scent is heavenly and whenever I use this my skin feels gorgeously soft afterwards. I've used this almost every day this month and I'm only a quarter of a way through the bottle so this will last a long time, which makes the price tag a little less painful.

Although I've used this primarily as shower gel I've also used it as shampoo quite a few times and it's actually pretty decent. I've got long, thick hair and I was worried that this would make it tangle but as long as I use enough conditioner it's great - it seems to strip a lot of build up out of my hair so I've been using it roughly once a week (shampooing twice for an extra deep clean) and so far, so good. I'm always wary of shower gel/shampoo combos but this actually keeps my hair looking lovely and shiny.

I haven't used this as bubble bath yet but based on the way it lathers so easily on my skin I imagine it would be pretty darn good and, damn, that'd be a great smelling bath!

Big thumbs up for this product. It might seem ludicrously expensive for a shower gel, and I'm not 100% I'd pay full price for it, but I'll be first in line next Christmas to snap up a few more bottles if they make an appearance in the sales!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Origins No Puffery Eye Gel


My under eye area is the bane of my skincare life. Even worse than my dry forehead, and that's saying something.
Bags, dark circles, puffiness - the works. I've managed to find a few concealers that do a great job but, unfortunately no skincare that really makes a huge difference.
I'd read a few positive reviews of the Origins No Puffery Cooling Eye Gel and decided to give it a go, as I haven't dabbled too much in eye creams. I've been using the same Olay one for over a year now so I figured it was time to add a new product into the eye routine.
This is a gel formula that comes in a handy dandy tube with a rollerball on the end. It's full of the usual Origins goodness, the ingredients include aloe vera and it's supposed to cool and depuff problem undereye areas.
So, does it work?
I've tried this out in a variety of situations and can confirm it definitely does help to depuff my baggy eyes.
At the end of a hard day: I've used this at the end of a long day of work, when I'm nick nack paddywhacked and my eyes are a bit sore from too much rubbing when I'm in a rush to take my make up off. The rollerball is so soothing cool, it's perfect to perk you up in the mornings or chill you out before bed.
After a good old-fashioned sob fest: After a few hours of wailing on the sofa I've pulled myself together and slathered this on my soppy, tear-stained eye area and it feels sooo good it's almost enough to set me off weeping again. I think this is where the No Puffery really comes into its own - I guess Origins didn't want to market it as 'sort your face out after you've had a huge bust up with your boyfriend' but in this situation it's a complete winner. Often the night after a good cry I wake up with hideously puffy eyes but if I use this before I go to bed it halts puffy eyes in their tracks.
To combat a hangover: Well, this isn't such a miracle product that it will stop a hangover but rolling this under your eyes when you've woken up after too many cocktails and feel like death completely helps. It won't get rid of the bottom of a birdcage feel in your mouth but it does stop your eyes puffing up like a blowfish. Phew. A pint of water and a hell of a lot of concealer and you're good to go.

So there you have it, a few ways that the Origins No Puffery can come in handy. It won't replace the eye cream in your repertoire but it's a lovely product to add into your routine on days when your eyes need a little TLC.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

Hair = wet, not greasy. Just to clarify!

I picked this foundation up on a whim, purely because it was so cheap and I fancied trying something new - man, am I glad I did as this has swiftly become my favourite budget foundation. I've used the Make Up Forever HD foundation and MAC Studio Fix but this completely trumps them and is the closest thing I've found to an airbrush finish.


I've got dry skin so it's important that my foundation doesn't cling to dry patches and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day. I haven't had any issues at all with this one drying my skin out and it gives me a lovely glow, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve when you have dry skin.

This one provides quite a light coverage, which I really like as it doesn't feel like you're wearing much make up when you have it on. It evens out my complexion but doesn't cover up my little freckles, so this is perfect to wear during the day. 

The shade range of this is great and I'm not actually the palest shade, for once! I'm wearing shade #120 Ivory, and it's the best match for my skin that I've ever found - I might sound like I'm exaggerating but I really do adore this foundation. 

It lasts all day long and gives me the exact finish I'm always after. It's so reasonable for the price and buffs into the skin like a dream; the only criticism I have is that it's a pain to get out of the bottle as it doesn't have a pump, but that's a small sacrifice to make for such a brilliant product. If you're after a new foundation I'd 100% recommend this absolute gem.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Chocolate Nutter Butter Bars

These bars are amazing, simple as that. They turned out so much better than I thought they would and, honestly, I can't stop eating them, which is exactly the point when I know a recipe is a good one!

Crammed full with all sorts of goodies, like dried fruit and nuts, oats and coconut oil, these bars will keep you full for hours and are a great snack to grab if you're on the go and need a quick, filling bite between meals. I've actually eaten a square of this for breakfast for the last few days, washed down with some fruit and vegetable juice, and it's kept me full until lunchtime.

Anyway, on with the ingredients:


To make a large tupperware tray full (this would cut into about 16 but it does depend on your serving size!):

Clear honey - 120g
Coconut oil - 3 tsp
Peanut butter - 250g
Mixed fruit, seeds and nuts (use whatever combo of fruit/nuts you like - I find dried cranberries, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds are particularly delicious in this recipe!) - 150g
Golden linseed - 30g
Chocolate chips - 100g
Desiccated coconut - 80g
Porridge oats - 200g
Vanilla essence - a splash (this is optional, I just like to add it to pretty much everything sweet, ha)

Method:

1. Heat your honey, coconut oil and peanut butter on the hob until it's all melted together


2. Add in the nuts, fruit, seeds, chocolate chips and coconut and mix it all together. Turn the heat way down for this part - just enough to let the chocolate melt


3. Add in the oats and stir thoroughly, to ensure the chocolate is evenly distributed



 4. Press into a tupperware tray (I greased mine a little to make sure nothing got stuck), refrigerate for two-three hours to until everything sets and then serve it up!


If you make this one let me know what you think! What's your favourite combination of fruit and nuts to add into recipes?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Lush Box



I love Lush. What an original statement for a blogger, right? Ha, but it's easy to see why we all love that place so much. Gorgeous products, wonderful scents, cuter-than-cute product names and a pretty decent price tag. What's not to love?

I store my 'to use soon' Lush products in a vase in our bathroom but the majority of my products are kept in a big cardboard box in one of my wardrobes, ready to be grabbed when I need to lay in a deep bath and surround myself with candy scented bubbles. Mmm, I quite fancy a bath right now after typing that!

I added a couple of new products to my Lush box earlier today and it made me realise I really do have a lot of things stashed away - oops! Time to start shopping the stash and stop, well, shopping the shop!

Products I'm loving at the moment? Rose Jam shower gel, the Comforter bubble bar, Cinders bath bomb (this was a Christmas limited edition, I think) and Ro's Argan Body Conditioner.

How do you store your Lush products? Do you tend to stockpile your favourite products or just pop into Lush as and when you fancy trying something new?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A Freelancer's Emergency Kit

So last week I left my office job to make it on my own as a freelance writer. Exciting, right? Scary, too!

I've been freelancing part time and working part time for the last two or so years and I'm now in a position that I have money for a few months saved up so I can dedicate a bit of time to finding new clients and becoming a fully-fledged freelancer. 

It's day three of being my own boss and so far...well, I love it. I have time to get up and make my boyfriend breakfast, take him to the station, do a bit of shopping if I need to pick up groceries and take my dog for a big walk, all before 9am. It's great! I've spent my first three days chasing up leads for new contracts (fingers crossed they come in soon!), writing blog posts, watching a LOT of Pretty Little Liars and baking. I think I've baked more in the last three days than I have in the last month, so I've got lots of recipes coming up soon!

On my last day my lovely mum surprised me with a little bag of goodies that she dubbed the 'Freelancer's Emergency Kit', which I wanted to share with you guys because I thought it was so sweet!


So, the kit includes:

Heat magazine: So on a bad day you can always see someone is worse off than you are
Chocolate: In case you're having a down day
Food voucher: So you won't have to go hungry
Boots voucher: So you can stay pretty

Isn't that the sweetest thing? I bloody love my mum!

And I also wanted to share a snap of the card and leaving presents my workplace gave me - thanks guys, you know me so well! Lots of Lush goodness, yay!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

FotD - A Springtime Pink Lip



Just a quick face of the day today! This one's from the weekend, when we had our first hints of Spring this year, hooray! To celebrate I decided to whack on a bright pink lip, so MAC's Candy Yum Yum was the obvious go to.

For my eyes I used my Naked 3 palette, which I'm still regularly using and loving just as much as when I first opened it. I applied Strange across my brow bone, Limit across the lid and Nooner blended into the crease and smudged out under my bottom lash line. I've got Benefit's Gimme Brow on my brows, Clinique's High Impact mascara on my lashes and Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Eyeliner in Black Ink for eyeliner.

To finish off, on my face I've got Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation on, with Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer under my eyes, on my chin and to cover a couple of blemishes. I dotted some Hard Candy Glow All the Way in Doll Face onto my cheekbones and set everything with MAC Pressed Powder. Last of all, I applied Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful to my cheeks.

And there we go, that's the finished look!

Monday, 10 March 2014

A Weekend Dog Walk

Wasn't the weekend a beauty? After weeks and weeks of rain we were finally given two full days of gorgeous sunshine so we decided to make the most of it and take the dogs for a big walk to knacker them out...and knacker them out we did! I wanted to share a few of the photos I took; the light in these is absolutely beautiful and I might be a bit biased but I think the dogs are looking pretty good too, not to mention the hunk who was on ball-throwing duty!






Everything was going so well for Ernie...until the post-walk bath!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Streak


I'm a long term fan of Urban eyeshadows (and the glorious Primer Potion, of course) but it wasn't until recently that I branched out to try a range of their other products. Something I was desperate to try was something for the lips, so I picked up a couple of the Revolution lipsticks, one of which was the shade Streak, which is the lovely colour I want to talk to you about today.

Streak is a delicate coral pink that's a little lighter than I usually wear, but I love the understated wash of colour it gives to my lips. This shade is lovely and pigmented and lasts for about three hours on me before I have to reapply. It does stain the lips a little so wears down nicely and evenly, which is always a bonus if you don't have time to keep reapplying.

I'm quite picky when it comes to lip products as I do have dry lips, so a poor formula will cling to my lips and generally look a bit dodgy. I do prefer a creamy formula, for obvious reasons, so I was massively pleased to discover the UD Revolution lipsticks are rich, nourishing and long-lasting. The formula contains jojoba oil and cocoa butter, along with lots of other lovely moisturising ingredients, which is probably why it feels so great on the lips.

The shade range is spectacular and I have my eye on approximately 1234231 other colours from the collection, oh dear. I really recommend this shade as a no-fuss, subtle day time lippie. For something a bit more attention-grabbing I'd point you in the direction of Venom, which is high up on my wishlist!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

#BrizBlogMeet!


FotD!
A cherry vodka cocktail - YUM

Lovely bloggers! Kathleen (from Kathleen Pavey), Tasha (from Elsie Delilah) and Amy (from Amy Loves)

Alllllllll the vodka cocktails

My outfit of the day!

Goodie bags!

Goodies

Goodies (part two!)

On Saturday I attended the #BrizBlogMeet, along with a whole bunch of other lovely fashion and beauty bloggers, and had an absolute blast! I'm a big fan of meet ups and if any bloggers reading this haven't attended a meet up then I really do recommend it; it's such a brilliant way to meet other like-minded people, chat about blogging and make some new friends!

I met up with my pal, the gorgeous Amy from Amy Loves, and we headed to the event together, where we met up with a group of other bloggers who I spent the afternoon with. Everybody I hung out with was so much fun and, as I always say after meet ups, it was so inspiring to spend a day surrounded by a group of young girls and not hear so much as one bitchy word. There's nothing but encouragement and friendship and it's something I've really noticed - go supportive bloggers!

As well as bloggers, brands and a dash of booze, we were also lucky enough to be joined by Natalia from iamsociable, to talk to us about positive thinking, empowerment and turning our creative dreams into reality. This is absolutely perfect timing for me, as I finish my job this Friday to start my own copy writing business, so I definitely needed a pep talk about believing in myself! Natalia was an absolute star and I completely recommend getting in touch with @iamsociable_uk on Twitter to find out more.

An absolutely huge thank you has to go to Emily from Pretty Please and her boyfriend Phill for organising such a fantastic day. I had the best time and went home exhausted, inspired and laden with insanely generous goodie bags - thank you both so much for all the effort you put in and huge thanks to the brands for providing so many bits and bobs, I can't wait to try them all out and get reviewing!