Monday, 30 November 2015

November Favourites


It's been a while since I've done a monthly favourites post, partly because I haven't particularly had any new favourites! But here I am with what I've been loving lately:

I've fallen back in love with The Body Shop recently, and I picked up this cleansing butter a few weeks ago after shopping around for a new cleanser. This literally melts eye-make up so I use it at the end of the day to make my face feel squeaky clean, I love it.

This is very different from the usual type of scent I go for, it's quite unusual. But I really like it, its refreshing and the smell lingers all day. It feels quite luxurious in its glass bottle, I'm trying to be stingy with it to make it last!

I've been waiting to use this for a while and it didn't disappoint. It's quite a novelty having a bubble bar I can re-use, and I love the smell. It made my water nice and bubbly too.

One of these days I'll stop raving about Guerlain! But for now I'm afraid I'm going to keep on banging the drum! This foundation is fairly light coverage, I suppose it may be better suited to the spring/summer months, but I actually find it brightens up my skin and gives it a nice glow for winter. 

I must say I'm not usually one for life-planning/self-help books, but this one has really impressed me. I saw it mentioned on a couple of other blogs and as I've been feeling a little lost lately, I wanted to delve a bit deeper and make sense of my feelings. I'm still only on the first part and haven't started on the workbook section yet, but I've been recommending this to everyone.


This is a bit of a mixed bag because I started watching AHS on Netflix and it really scares me, but in a good way. It's not really my usual sort of thing (I'm more of a PLL / Gossip Girl fan) but I feel compelled to keep on watching it. It's quite messed up, but the acting is incredible.

Shamefully, I've been using the same concealer for ages, it was actually disgusting. I popped into Boots and picked this up, I wasn't sure how good the coverage was going to be or whether the shade would fit, but it's amazing, and affordable.

My friend bought me this book for my birthday, and I'm currently fluctuating between this and the Desire Map. This book is so uplifting (it was made into a film a few years ago but the book is better) and is the memoir of Liz who leaves behind her settled life in America and sets off travelling to discover what it is she really wants from life. I'm absolutely loving it.


This has been a bit of lengthy post, with more faves than I realised!
What do you think of my favourites this month?
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Next Make Me Beautiful Shimmer Bricks

 

Recently while in Next, I had a quick look at their make-up range. I've never thought of buying make-up from there before, but this new range caught my eye. The shimmer bricks reminded me of a Bobbi Brown dupe, but loads more affordable. I was looking for a new bronzer and this one ticked all my boxes. The blusher brick looked pretty too, so I picked one up for good measure!


This bronzer has a recently nice glow to it, it isn't overly pigmented or orangey like some bronzers, but you can build up quite a bit of depth.


I think the range of colours in this palette are lovely, you can mix and match to have different colours if you like, or just sweep a brush over the whole brick. It's nice and shimmery but hasn't got too much sheen to it.


Have you tried any from this range?
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Christmas Wish List


As Christmas is fast approaching I thought it would be fun to think of a little wishlist. Weirdly enough while I was doing it I realised how hard it was to think of things I'd like this Christmas, maybe I'm not as materialistic as I thought?! Well, either that or the several  consecutive huge shopping sprees I've been on recently have got rid of most of my wants! I've always been big on gestures, but they're a little more difficult to photograph! Haha!

Ohhh, I am a sucker for Lush's seasonal products, and I love their gift sets. This is pretty expensive but you DO get 10 items inside so as someone who only has baths every other week or so, this would last me ages. Love love love.

As I've mentioned loads of times on this blog, I absolutely adore Guerlain products. These pearls are definitely NOT a necessity, as I already have the pressed compact, but I keep visualising how stunning these would look on my dressing table. Total unncessary indulgence, but it IS Christmas!

It's pretty hard to look through the Anthropologie website and not want everything, but sadly most things are out of my price range. These cute little mugs though are definitely purse-friendly, and I love the gold.

My phone is due for an upgrade and I've definitely got my eye on this beauty. Thankfully on a contract I wouldn't have to part with that obscene amount of cash, but its too pretty for words. Better get down to the phone shop pronto.

Every blogger and their dog wants one of these, but as a huge candle fan I don't think you can beat the White Company. I absolutely love winter-based scents and this just looks so cream and crisp, I love the simplicity of it.

I usually get a perfume for Christmas, and this is one I've had my eye on for a while. While my favourite scent is 'Peony' by Stella McCartney, I love the look of these bottles, and always have a quick spritz whenever I'm shopping.

What do you think of my wishlist? What's on your list for Santa this year?
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Glossybox / Nars Limited Edition

"Don't hold back.
Be bold.
It encourages others to do the same"
- Fran├žois Nars
Even as I write this post I feel like I need to pinch myself that I managed to get hold of the Limited edition NARS Glossybox! Like hundreds of others, the pre-registration link didn't work for me on the morning the box was launched, so I didn't think I'd manage to get my hands on one. But somehow, luck was on my side that day! I'm still so excited!


I was really surprised and impressed with how quickly the box landed on my doormat. After a particularly horrific week it was a lovely treat to come home to last night!
Here's what the box includes:


I've read various reviews saying that people are going to keep the items as collectibles seeing as NARS have never been included in any subscription box before; but for me personally I can't wait to get stuck in! I've been lusting over NARS for ages and this seems like the perfect opportunity to get to try the products I've been dreaming of!



Everyone seems to be particularly excited about this product, and I guess its because its so versatile! It can be used as a highlighter or blusher, and can be used on the eyes, lips, cheekbones and body. I love the shade, and I can't wait to try it.


Eyeliner is and always has been my desert island product, the one thing I can't live without. Because of this I'm quite particular about it, and I usually use Smashbox which is the best I've found, but lately I don't think its lasting as well as it used to. This eyeliner promises to last 12 hours and is said to be smudge-proof, so no more panda eyes!


Lately I just can't get enough of lip products, and I've always liked lip pencils as they're a little more subtle for daytime than lipsticks, and also have a more creamy consistency. I really like the shade of this pencil, it's something that I think will suit all skin tones, and is perfect for Autumn.


This is the product I've been most excited about! This is a cult classic and best-seller and everyone raves about it, I tried it on when I was in Sephora last year, but just didn't feel I could justify the price at the time. This travel-size is perfect and I'm so happy I finally have it in my collection.


The fifth and final product in the box is the Audacious Mascara, again the perfect travel size. I do seem to have a massive amount of mascaras in my collection, but the one I'm using at the moment is really not that great, so I'm looking forward to giving this one a go. It has mixed reviews, but what product doesn't?

My verdict is that I'm over the moon with this NARS box, I think its just absolutely amazingly good value and I love every single item in the box. Every detail is superb, including the stylish packaging and the NARS branding as a whole. It's definitely a good introduction for those of us who have been wanting to explore the brand for some time. 

What do you think of the box? Do you have any other NARS recommendations?

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Friday, 20 November 2015

ASOS Shoe Haul

Mid-season dressing and shopping can be so difficult. Most days for work all I want to do is put my feet into thick socks and ankle boots and be done with it, but with my new job involving going to meetings and generally looking presentable, I've been giving my work wardrobe a bit of an overhaul.

I knew I wanted a couple of new pairs of smart flats to wear with fitted trousers or leggings, and I chose ASOS because their shoes are good quality but also really affordable. I personally find I get a better bargain shopping on ASOS than I would in New Look, River Island etc. The only issue I have is their sizing - is it me or are their shoes quite big?! I'm a 4/5 but opted for 5's as I wanted them to be comfy for all day in work - cue one pair falling off and the other pair pinching. Typical! 


My brief was simple - black flats. So I ended up getting these in bottle green as my mind tends to work in strange ways. I really love the look of these loafers and they're sturdy enough (hopefully) to withstand this horrific November weather.


I love these shoes; they may not be quintessentially workish but they're so comfortable and I like the simple stylishness of them. Silver is perhaps a bit out there for work, but I'm sure I can get away with it, and they're also versatile enough to wear at weekends.

What do you think of my ASOS haul?

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Microdermabrasion

Photo taken from Google

If you regularly read my blog, you'll probably know that I suffer from problem skin and am always up for trying anything that might help. I love beauty treatments anyway, and over the last year I've tried several different ones in general, but I'm always particularly keen when it comes to ones that will improve my skin.

I saw an offer for Microdermabrasion in a salon locally, and my Mum who's had it before recommended I give it a go. Having had a chemical skin peel a few years ago which left my skin red and peeling (clue is in the name!) I was a bit apprehensive but I needn't have been.

Microdermabrasion uses tiny rough grains and light abrasion to buff away the dead outer layer of skin to reveal the softer new skin cells beneath.
It's completely painless, and actually feels quite nice in a weird way, like a deep exfoliation. It takes about 40 minutes and there are no nasty side effects; my therapist just recommended I avoid washing my face that night before bed and not to wear facial make up the following day.

I didn't take any before or after shots but I've noticed a massive improvement in the condition, texture and smoothness of my skin, Foundation seems to glide on more easily now and I have less spots (my therapist showed me the skin that had been buffed off by the crystals and it had removed several blackheads from around my nose I hadn't even seen!)

I have one more treatment booked, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more improvement.

Have you ever had Microdermabrasion?
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Monday, 16 November 2015

Glossybox / November Review



November's Glossybox has landed, and as usual it hasn't disappointed! The box this month brings us 3 full size products and 2 travel sized. While I don't think there's quite as many exciting products as previous boxes, I think this one is still really good.

Here's what I got in mine:


Royal Apothic Body Lotion


Body lotions aren't my favourite products if I'm honest, mostly because I always find I have loads in different perfume gift sets and I tend to never get round to using them up. Having said that, this smells nice and the packaging is pretty, it contains lactic acid to keep skin smooth and hydrated over the winter and its a handy travel size.

MUA Eyeshadow Palette


I'm really impressed with this, I think its a great product to include and I really like the shades in this palette. 12 shades for £4 is great value for money, and I like the smoky shades in this for winter.

Eyelure Natural Lashes


False lashes are one of my night out staples, as someone who is not blessed with long curly lashes I have to wear them to make my eyes pop a bit. Eyelure are my favourite make, they can be pricey but I personally find they last longer and the glue is better quality than some cheaper brands. I wore these for a night out over the weekend and I was really happy with them, they look dramatic but not too long and spidery.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick


All Glossies were given the option to choose from 4 different shades, and the one I chose is 'black cherry' This is not a colour I would normally have chosen, but lately I'm really getting into bold lip colours and I hoped it would suit me. The other options were a nude, a pastel pink and a fuschia, and I'm pleased with my choice. It's quite dramatic and has good longevity.

Emite Diamond Heart Primer


The final product is this primer from Emite, I haven't used it yet as I seem to have an abundance of primers on the go at the moment, but again it is the perfect travel size. This retails at £29.50 so I'm expecting it to be pretty good, I always like receiving the products from lesser known brands that can end up being a pleasant surprise!

What do you think of this month's box?
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Friday, 13 November 2015

Guerlain Stash


A few months ago I discovered my new dream make-up brand - Guerlain. 
I stumbled upon them when the Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer caught my eye and I ended up compiling a wishlist.

Through blogging I've learnt so much about make-up, but Guerlain isn't a brand I ever really see mentioned, I really love their products and I always think there's something quite special about French cosmetics.

Since then I've picked up a few more products (one at a time as they don't come cheap!) and now have the Meteorites Compact Light Revealing Powder,  the Rouge G L'Extrait Creme De Rouge Matte Colour Lipstick in shades 'M25 Colere' and 'M65 Paresse' (Paresse is a lovely dusky pink perfect for day, while Colere is more of a siren red) and finally the one remaining item from my Autumn Beauty WishlistMeterorites Baby Glow Light Revealing Sheer Make Up

Now I'm older, I feel like I've honed my make-up desires, and I'm using a more streamlined regime; I used to spend a fortune on make-up and had a whole drawer full of glittery, bright eyeshadows and glitter eyeliners, but unless I was going out they just didn't get worn. Now I have a much smaller collection, but I spend more on key pieces. The Meteorites range seems to work for my skin, so I'm happy to spend more but less often (because they last ages)

Having said that, I also really like MAC and was torn between getting the Baby Glow or a MAC foundation, which is still on my wishlist, because I absolutely loved the MAC foundation that was used on me when I had my make-up done for my birthday, and their lipsticks are amazing.

Have you used Guerlain? Am I missing out on not having MAC foundation in my collection?

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

It's Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas


For me, one of the things that's guaranteed to make you start feeling seasonal and festive is the smell of Christmas. 
Buuuut, as it's still only early November I'm not quite ready to fully embrace my Christmas candles yet,  and I was looking for a nice mid-season Autumnal scent to tide me over until December (and then again in January/February)

So when I found these two Yankee Candles (Honey Glow and Home Sweet Home) reduced in my local garden centre I had to have them, I LOVE Yankee Candles but I can't usually afford to buy the full size ones so I have to make do with the votives and melts! These two scents are perfect for Autumn, because they're both quite spicy and herbal scented. 


That said, I couldn't resist buying this pack of 6 votives from Asda last weekend. I thought £6 was such good value. This is a good way of finding which scents you like before you splurge on a full size candle. I couldn't wait and already opened and used 'Merry Berry' before I took this photo, but in the pack I also got 'Sunlight on Snow', 'Savour the Season', Candy Cane Forest', 'Christmas Treats' and 'Christmas Morning', I'm going to wait until a bit nearer to Christmas before I use them though.


If you follow me on Instagram you'll see that I started using my 'Merry Marshmallow' from last year already, but I don't think the sweet ones smell quite as festive as the spicy ones. Well, that's my excuse anyway!

Have you got started on your Christmas candles?


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Monday, 9 November 2015

Life Lately Through My Camera Roll


It's nearly Christmas!! Well it may as well be seeing as Halloween and Bonfire Night have now been and gone. This is definitely my favourite time of year, I love all the seasonal activities, not to mention what a beautiful autumn this year's has been!

1&2: I got a little crafty this year, and I must say it felt good! I think possibly I'm in need of a hobby as I really enjoyed doing this. Rather than carve a pumpkin as usual (because it's so messy and stinks, despite being fun) I used some of my Mum's chalk paint (she upcycles furniture) and thought they looked really pretty. And how cute are the little mini munchkins from Waitrose?!

3: My friend and I met for a coffee in Costa and they were doing special Halloween drinks. Being a sucker for a seasonal promotion I had to try one, and I can report it was a bit sweet for me but otherwise nice. I can't remember what it was called but it was basically a cappuchino with praline flavouring and sprinkled with gold dust.

4&5: I walked up Snowdon last Sunday with some friends, and considering it was the 1st November it was ridiculously hot and sunny! So hot in fact that we even had to use Factor 45 sun cream! I spent most of the climb obsessing that I'd be the only person to burn in November in Wales. but thankfully my fears were unfounded! We were in agony afterwards but the views were well worth it.

6: What a truly beautiful autumn we've had this year, with proper colours and crispy leaves. I go for a lunchtime walk every day in work and I just can't believe how stunning it's been.

7: Bonfire Night! One of my favourite nights of the year, and our local display was amazing this year. They had it set to classical music and it really worked. 

8: One of my local garden centres always goes all out with their Christmas displays, I love going for a look round! Last year they even had some real reindeer there! 

9: Drum roll please - the Costa Christmas drinks are back! Forget the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Costa wins for me every time. So far I've only had the Black Forest Hot Chocolate from the collection, but I absolutely love them and seeing them back in the shops makes me so excited.

How have your weeks been?
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Friday, 6 November 2015

Words to Help Get You Through Dark Days


[source]
Heartbreak. Literally the worst feeling in the world. When your heart hurts so much it feels like it's broken. When the future you thought you had comes to nothing. When you feel you keep on giving but can't take any more. When someone deliberately hurts your feelings because they get satisfaction from it. 
I just keep thinking: how will I ever get through this? 
But life doesn't suck. Life is good. Life goes on and the world keeps turning. Even though my own little world feels like it's ended. 
[source]
I do feel so unhappy at the moment, low and helpless. I don't know what I want from life, I feel uncertain and confused, I don't have much confidence and nothing seems to be getting any easier. But I'm happy that despite all this I can still see a light at the end of the tunnel; I can still appreciate a beautiful sunset, a really good cup of tea, I can find comfort in the company of my loved ones. I just feel scared, I'm at an awkward age and my life is not how I imagined, and I don't know whether i should just accept that it probably never will be. Accept that yes I can make myself happy again and live a life I love, but whether the 'vision' I had will ever come to fruition is another thing.
[source]
As usual, Pinterest has my back. She always knows what I'm thinking and has a ready quote lined up for me that just seems to sum everything up and make things seem better.

Also, these articles have been getting me through and giving me hope, even on the darker days:






Hope everyone is having a great week.


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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Hotel Gotham, Manchester

When I was in Manchester a few weeks ago, I popped into Hotel Gotham - a spectacular new hotel situated in the heart of midtown Manchester.

The hotel opened in April this year and has had rave reviews, so being the sucker for a hotel that I am I couldn't resist popping in for a little snoop and I was lucky enough to be invited to have a look around, despite there being a private function on at the time.


The hotel has a modern industrial decor with some vintage 1930's touches throughout. There is a old-school glamourous, gold luxe feel to the bar area. Outside the bar there are a series of balconies boasting unparalleled panoramic views across the city. 



As I wandered around I just felt my jaw drop at how beautifully decorated the hotel is, there are so many quirky and interesting little details dotted around that show real thought has gone into the aesthetics of the hotel in general.
The staff were also really friendly and helpful, it was very obliging of them to let me explore and I was even promised a tour of the bedrooms if I drop in next time in Manchester (I'll be holding them to that...)


This hotel has definitely joined my 'hotel bucket list' - I'm sure its an incredible experience to stay there and I definitely hope to find out for myself some day.




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