December 18, 2013

Essie A-List

When it comes to nails, I have two true loves; Essie and reds. The formula and design of Essie is unbeatable and I just love to add new bottles to my collection, so to combined this with my love for red tips it is going to result in a winning duo.

Essie A-List is what I would call a true red. It is not too dark, too bright, too orange toned.. too anything - it is just perfectly red. Red nails are a classic beauty statement, just as a red lip is and although I am an all year-round lover of red tips I think that they are perfect for the festive season - especially if you add a little glitter on there too.

What is your favourite red polish?

December 06, 2013

Gift Guide: for the Beauty Blogger

Gift Guide: for the Beauty Blogger
Us beauty bloggers are much more specific in what we are lusting after for Christmas, so I thought it was only right to have a dedicated gift guide just for us - so feel free to sent this link to that person in your life that doesn't take hints very well.

With the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette coming out, all of us beauty junkies have got a little hot under the collar waiting for it's release. However I suspect that it will sell out almost immediately so if you're not lucky enough to get your hands on it there are two other options for you, the Original Naked Palette and Naked 2. The original one being my favourite. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume is a popular choice among us, not just for the cutesy name but also for the girly design. Limited Edition for Christmas they have released Flowerbomb Crystal which, let's face it, is just gorgeous. Another product that has us lusting after it is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, a well documented hero product that pretty much everyone seems to love. Laura Mercier are known for their luxurious products and the Creme Brulee Body Product Range smells absolutely beautiful.

Something else that has had us all going a little crazy is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. These powders have become very popular in the beauty community over the past few month so a palette including a selection of shades, one of which is limited to only this palette was destined to be a success. We all love makeup, which means we all love storage and the most lusted after storage in the beauty world has to be the Muji Drawers. The acrylic designs makes for a chic storage system that is oh so photogenic, plus the price is pretty reasonable too! If you're a makeup lover, you're a Real Techniques lover. These brushes dominate our collection and this latest set called Sam's Picks is a great place to start or to add to your already excessive collection. The Diptque Baies Candle has become a very coveted product lately but the price tag is a little steep, this would make the perfect gift for a beauty blogger as most of us won't purchase it ourselves! My final pick for a beauty obsessive is the NARS One Night Stand palette, a product that sent the blogging world into over drive when it was first released. Selling out before it's actual release date this palette would make a great gift - if you can get your hands on it!

This was probably the easiest gift guide to put together as I just went through my own personal wish list (and makeup collection). There are some fabulous beauty Christmas gifts around this year for us - I hope you manage to get some as I know they are selling out quick!

What are lusting after most for Christmas?

P.S - don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway!

December 04, 2013

Gift Guide: for Him

Gift Guide: for Him
Men can be a little tricky to buy for... you ask what they want and all they reply with is 'I don't know'. But I have gathered a collection of presents that are on the safe side when it comes to buying for the men in your life, nothing too out there, just a few staple pieces.

Let's start from something that would be universally accepted by everyone, even men - the iPad. This is the perfect gift to give and there is no doubt that they will get a lot of use out it, more on the pricey side of things but I definitely think it is worth it. Whether they like a long beard or a bit of stubble, every man needs a trimmer in their life and this BaByliss iStubble is one that my boyfriend owns and loves as you can control exactly what length it is. For the more musically of men (or hard-core gamers) the Beats by Dr Dre Headphones would come in more than handy - plus it means we wouldn't have to listen to what they are doing! It is becoming much more known that men are starting to look after themselves a bit better so this Clarins Men Collection which contains a few bits of skincare to get them started.

There are two kinds on men out there; those that wear watches and those that don't. This Daniel Wellington St Andrews Watch is perfect for the watch lover or the man that you want to start wearing a watch. With the basic brown strap this non-offense watch looks sophisticated with out standing out too much. Choosing a fragrance for a man can be a little tricky but I have found this Jean Paul Gaultier Aftershave to be loved by both all men and woman - it is definitely one of my favourite scents for men. For the man that has pretty much everything, you can't go wrong with a Barbour Jacket. Simple and classic in design these jackets are perfect for brothers, boyfriends, dads and grandfathers. We all know about boys and their toys. There is always a great selection of remote control gadgets for them to keep them entertained for a few days, including this AirCraft. Finally, one of the most spoke about things for men this year - Grand Theft Auto 5. Pretty much all guys either already have this or want it.

Although they can be tricky to buy for, I hope this has given you some ideas what to buy for your male relatives or boyfriend. Either this or just give them some money to buy something they want!

What are you buying for the men in your life?

P.S - don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway!

December 02, 2013

Gift Guide: for Her

Gift Guide: for Her
When it comes to Christmas shopping, ladies are by far easier to buy for then men. The chances are we have something in mind that we would like and if not there are plenty of offerings out there that will have us swooning at first sight.

Firstly, you cannot go wrong with jewellery - especially something from Tiffany. This Silver Heart Key Necklace is a beautiful piece that will remain timeless. I personally own this necklace and it is one of most treasured bits of jewellery in my collection. Speaking of timeless, this Mulberry Bayswater Bag is something that every girl/woman would dream to own. One of their more popular bags, this classic design is perfect for any occasion. Everyone loves a candle, especially girls and Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie is my favourite of them all. A super sweet scent that fills the house at first burn, I recommend picking up the large size as it burns for weeks. A makeup pick that everyone will love, no matter their degree of love for cosmetics is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. A small palette containing six neutral shades that makes for simple smokey eyes for everyday wear.

Something everyone will love is the iPad Mini. A great little device that functions as a normal iPad but is a little more compact for fitting into handbags. Another perfect gift is a Ted Baker Wash Bag that comes in multiple colours to suit the personality of any girl, plus - it looks great as a feature on a dressing table. When it comes to the colder weather, slippers are a must and these Knitted Bow Slippers from H&M are super cute and come in a few different colours. Fragrance is always great gift to give and one of my favourites at the moment is Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, this is definitely one to check out if you are on the lookout, also... you can never go wrong with Chanel. My final gift idea for her is this Origins Moisture and Be Merry set that contains a collection of their Make A Differnce range to sample.

This gift guide ranges in price from £12.99 to £895 so there will be something for everyone - I know I wouldn't mind everything on this list! Keep an eye out for the men's gift guide coming up on Wednesday!

What do you most want for Christmas?

P.S - don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway!

December 01, 2013

A Little Christmas Giveaway

A Little Christmas Giveaway
As it is now December 1st I think it is OK for every thing to start getting a little more Christmas-y, so I thought what better way to start off the most festive month of them all than with a giveaway? I am giving away a Benefit Boxed Blush in Rockateur, their latest offering. This is the perfect blush for any occasion and accompanies both simple and more dramatic makeup perfectly, you can read my full review here

HOW TO ENTER
- You must be following A Day in Beauty either through Bloglovin' and/or GFC. 
- Simply leave a comment on this post with an email address (and/or twitter name) that I can contact you on.
- You can comment as many times as you like.
- For an extra entry you can send out a tweet with the link to this giveaway and tag me in it '@adayinbeauty'.
- This giveaway is international. 

This giveaway will close on Thursday 12th December 2013 at 8pm (UK time) but until then - happy entering! 

>>>>>>>>>>This giveaway is now CLOSED <<<<<<<<<<

November 29, 2013

November 2013 Favourites

November 2013 Favourites
Another month, another lot of favourites. However I seemed to have gone back in time by a few months as all of these products seem to have a summery feel to them...

Summer complexion: bright and glowing. I have been loving the Origins Mega-Bright Serum (full review here) to give me a smooth and more radiant complexion over the past few weeks. I also find this to give a great base for applying makeup and helps to improve any redness in the skin. The Laura Mericer Silk Creme Foundation (reviewed here) has been another favourite of mine for giving me a more glowing look. 

Summer colours: pinks and corals. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy was my go-to blush over the warmer months and it has definitely made a return this month for days when I feel like my skin needs a little pick-me-up as it brightens up my makeup look, no matter how simplistic it is. A lip combo that just shouts summer, but has been adorning my lips in November is MAC Lovelorn and KORRES Lip Butter in Jasmine (read more here). This duo gives a bubblegum pink colour to the lips which I have been wearing almost everyday. 

See what I mean by a summery feel to this months favourites? It's OK to mix it up though - right? 

November 27, 2013

Red Cherry #415 Lashes

Red Cherry #415 Lashes
Red Cherry #415 Lashes
Lashes have become a recent obsession of mine, to the point where I am wearing them at any chance I get. Although I have already have some favourites, I am still on the hunt for my perfect  false lashes and these Red Cherry #415 Lashes* are a real contender...

These are the perfect lashes for adding a little bit of drama to your makeup with out looking over the top. With a combination of different lengths throughout the lashes, the #415 style creates a flirty, wide-eyed effect that can be worn everyday or for a special occasions. The spine of the lashes are clear, making them more natural looking however I still like to wear false lashes with a slick of eyeliner to make them seamless, plus I really like eyeliner. Once applied (which I like to do with tweezers), they are super comfortable to wear and you cannot even feel that they are on. Also, I have quite big eyes and these lashes were the perfect fit for me.

I can definitely see these getting a lot of use over the festive season, or just for days when I have a little extra time to get ready! What are your favourite false lashes?

November 24, 2013

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder
It is always a bonus when a product that works amazingly, looks amazing as well. And when it comes to finding a gorgeous product that you know will deliver, you don't need to look much further than Clarins. Each season they bring out something extra special, something that makes you swoon at first sight and this season it has to be the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder.

Encased in reflective gold packaging this powder looks very luxurious and definitely stands out in your makeup stash. The product itself is one of the prettiest I have seen, a simplistic yet effective design that you cannot help but stare at. Made up of peach, pink and soft brown shades this blush leaves you with a natural peach flush that accompanies any makeup look perfectly. There is also one stripe of gold shimmer running through this product, but this disappeared after the first use meaning that this product has a matte finish. Along side the blush a mirror, and quite a large one at that, making this really practical for travelling or just doing your makeup in the morning.

You all know my love for blush, and this one from Clarins is one of my favourites. I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring out next. What is your favourite blush?

November 20, 2013

Origins Mega-Bright Serum

Origins Mega-Bright Serum
I mentioned, here, last month about my newly developed love for serums. I thought I would continue to share the love by telling you about my new favourite serum in town - Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Serum.

Still on my quest for brighter looking skin, this serum has been on my list of things to buy for many, many months but with quite a hefty price tag I popped it on my birthday list instead. From the first use, I couldn't believe what a difference it had made to my skin. I like to apply this after cleansing and double toning, by simply patting it onto my face, leaving my skincare routine at that so that it can work it's magic overnight. The next morning my skin is glowing and radiant, something that I have never fully achieved before. My skin is also left feeling incredibly soft to the touch. The Mega-Bright Serum works by using White Peony and Licorice to improve the appearance of redness, dark spots and UV damage which in turn evens out any discolouration of the skin to give a much more luminous complexion. 

Although it is advised to apply this serum AM and PM, I only reach for this in the evenings, on rotation with other serums. However this is my favourite of the bunch so I tend to use this two to four times a week depending on what my skin needs. I would recommend this serum to anyone wanting a more brightened complexion as it is neither oily or dry in texture or the effect it has on your skin. 

Serums and I are currently having quite the love-affair - I just can't help myself! What are your favourite serums/treatments?

November 15, 2013

Benefit World Famous Neutrals: Most Glamorous Nudes Ever

I'm all about palettes at the moment. Blush, eye shadows... whatever, put it in a palette and the chances are I will want it. The prettier the palette, the better. I'm a little bit rubbish at choosing eye shadows that compliment each other, so palettes are essential for as they cut out all of the thinking - making getting ready in the morning a much quicker process. 

This pick from Benefit requires minimal thinking. Two creamy eyeshadow bases, four eye shadows and cute packing - what more could you want? Designed like a book, or mini makeup bible if you will, the Benefit World Famous Neutrals: Most Glamorous Nudes Ever palettes it a great way of getting to grips with eye shadow play for the less adventurous of us. Inside is a (removable) 'Tips and Tricks' fold out to make the process a little easier, giving you directions to create the perfect smokey eye. There is also a very handy, and quite large mirror in there too. 

Now on to the colours. If like me, you like to keep things pretty neutral on the eye front then this is for you! My Two Cents is more of an orange toned bronze, whereas Birthday Suit is more of a brown toned bronze. Both equally as pretty and both work great as a base to keep the eye shadows in place throughout the day and give the colour pay off a little more oomph. Call My Bluff is a illuminating soft cream, almost white shade that also works perfect as a base, It's Complicated is more on the chamagne side with a bit of shimmer running through it. Guilty Pleasure is the most golden of them all and is great for putting all over the lid. Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy is a warm brown shade with specks of glitter, this works best worked through the crease and outer corner. I get all day wear out of these shades when paired with the creamy eye shadow bases so the cute names are just a bonus. 

Another day, another palette and I already have my eye on my next one... hint: it begins with 'N' and ends in '3'.

November 13, 2013

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm

Finding a good cleanser, is like finding a good friend. There will be some duds out there, but one you have found the one, you know that they will always be there for you to rely on. A trusty worth cleanser that ticks all of the boxes can be hard to find, so say hello to your new bestie...

The Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - long name, amazing product. Oily to the touch, this balm cleanser has a definite luxurious feel to it and the scent only adds to this. This non-offensive slight citrus scent helps to refresh and clean your skin, while leaving you soft and smooth to the touch. This product comes in as my double cleanser, I apply this to dry skin by taking a little scoop on my finger and then proceed to massage it onto face for a minuet or so then remove using a flannel and some hot water. Although I can't say my pores have been minimised as described on the box my skin is noticeably more hydrated, plump and silky smooth - even my boyfriend has commented on how 'soft my face is'.

From the first use I could notice the difference in my skin, but what amazed me most about this cleanser is it's ability to break down/remove makeup. When used as a double cleanser I can trust that every last scrap of my makeup, mainly mascara, is gone but when I'm feeling lazy I will only use this to remove my makeup and it does this perfectly! The lashings of mascara that I wear is no trouble for this product. I should also mention that this stuff lasts forever, you only need a tiny amount - I have been using mine every day for a couple months and I'm only about half way through.

I can't see myself being with out this cleanser in my collection, ever. It is just that good.

What is your favourite balm cleanser?

November 11, 2013

Essie After School Boy Blazer

Essie After School Boy Blazer
When it comes to nail polish, Essie have us beauty fanatics go a little crazy - especially since releasing the diffusion line in our favourite drugstores a while back. The 3 for 2 offers are usually used to expand our ever growing stash, but nothing gets us quite as excited as the release of their seasonal collections. There is usually one cutely named polish that sells out immediately and has us searching high and low to find it... 

After School Boy Blazer is this years pick of the pack from Essie's autumn collection. A navy so dark it can be passed off as black, this shade has bought our manicures right into the fall season. We all love a vampy nail polish and After School Boy Blazer does it well and is a real contender for my favourite autumn polish. I've got blues and I've got blacks, but this stands out in my stash as being the only polish to balance out the two.

If you're lucky enough to see one of these in your nearest Boots, then be sure to make it yours... you won't be disappointed. 

November 10, 2013

KORRES Lip Butters

KORRES Lip Butters
KORRES Lip Butters
When it comes to lip products, I am all about the colour. Lipstick over lip balm - any day. However, over the past year or so I have discovered, what has now become my all time favourite lip product... the coloured lip butter. Maybe not a revolutionary discovery, but one that has made a big difference to my makeup routine by giving me a pop of colour whilst conditioning my lips.

The KORRES Lip Butters are the newest edition to my obsession. Light and non-sticky in texture with a hint of colour and a range of shades to meet your every needs. Wild Rose, the most autumnal out of my bunch, is a gorgeous plum shade with a slight burgundy undertone. A great choice when create a more vampy look for either day or night. Quince in more on the red side of the pink spectrum, but still a pretty shade. I like to pair this with a slick of eye liner and lashings of mascara to keep focus on the lips. Jasmine is my favourite. A pale pink that goes with absolutely everything, I love to wear this over pink lipsticks to give them a glossy shine. I should give a little mention to the cute packaging that makes them so very photogenic. 

As a side note, KORRES Lip Butters contain no nasty ingredients - no silicone, no mineral oil and they are dermatologically tested. 

I have now have a whole Muji drawer dedicated to tinted lip balms/lip butters and a list of ones to purchase, the Dior Creme De Rose keeps catching my eye... 

November 08, 2013

Life Lately #5

Life Lately #5
@adayinbeauty
1. The barn I stayed in for my birthday weekend | 2. A very toffee cake - toffee on toffee on toffee with a bit more toffee | 3. My little kitty is no longer that little | 4. Blogging life - waiting for my camera to charge | 5. My new MAC blush palette | 6. New Muji and new a Yankee Candle | 7. Some bits from FeelUnique | 8. Freshly organised makeup in my tower of Muji | 9. Makeup picks for the day | 10. Light or dark hair? | 11. NARS One Night Stand palette in all of it's glory | 12. Kevyn Aucoin purchase | 13. Halloween - I want to play a game... | 14. The morning after the night before | 15. Cosy socks | 16. A new blanket, a new candle.

Current favourite product: after a long time being faithful to mattifying powders I have dipped my toes in to the world of brightening powders with the Bourjois Java Rice Powder. This has become my favourite step in my makeup routine as it gives the most amazing finish, see my full review here.

Most lusted after product: as I love the Bourjois Java Rice Powder I feel it is only natural to progress with the brightening powders and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette seems like the perfect next step...

November 06, 2013

Building My MAC Blush Palette

The world of beauty blogging is currently dominated by palettes, in particular a blush palette - I'm looking at you NARS One Night Stand . So I thought what better time to share with you another palette that has recently been added into my collection.

After completing my first MAC eye shadow palette (pictures and swatches here), I decided it was time to start up a blush one. Now this wasn't an easy decision, did I want single blushes that I could easily rotate in my Muji drawers or did I want a palette, or two , that was a bit more travel friend? I chose to go for the palette (obviously) as I love the idea of customizing it to my own tastes and choices, plus I think the newer style of palettes from MAC look very sleek and the ability to see the shades through the transparent lid is always an added bonus.

I started off my palette with Frankly Scarlett, an super deep pink it is almost red shade which looks beautiful when used to add a pop of colour to your makeup whether it is a more simple or dramatic look. When it comes to blush I tend to stay with pinks and peaches and currently on my list to get are Well Dressed and Peaches but I would love to know what your favourite MAC blush shades are?

What are thoughts on blush palettes?

November 04, 2013

NARS One Night Stand Cheek Palette

Top L-R: Devotee, Mistinguette, Orgasm 
Bottom L-R: Laguna, Deep Throat, Goulue

Having missed out on the previous NARS blush palette that was released a couple of years ago, there was no way that I would be missing out this time around - especially after seeing the pictures. NARS blushes are a favourite of mine, not just for the cheeky names but the texture is dream to work with and black packaging gives the product a classic look. Now, there is no denying that this NARS and Guy Bourdin creation is a work of art, I just can't stop looking it at , so let's do a run down of the shades...

Devotee: the highlighter of the bunch and a nice finishing touch to any of the blushes. Packed full of shimmer, this pink-toned highlighter creates quite a striking look if used with a heavy hand, but for a more natural look I find this is best used with a duo-fibre brush for a soft application.  

Mistinguette: my favourite and the most stand-out shade from palette. A blue-toned bright pink shade, you all know how I love my pinks, adds a great pop of colour to any makeup look. I love this blush paired with lashing of mascara on pale skin  to create an almost doll like effect.

Orgasm: possibly the most popular blush shade, ever! Loaded with shimmer, this blush does look a little OTT - so use with caution. A little too ruddy for my complexion but this would be perfect for those of you lovely tanned people out there... it is best seller after all.

Laguna: the bronzer of the lot that works perfectly on both tanned and pale skin. A soft brown shade, with little to no red undertones makes this the ideal shade to not only bronze up your look, but to also contour with. Again, this is a best seller and with good reason.

Deep Throat: my first NARS blush and, still to this day, long term lover. A naughty name, but a very good shade, Deep Throat provides you with that peachy pink shade we all crave in the summer, and sometimes in the winter...

Goulue: the most autumnal shade from the pack. A plum shade with reddish undertones makes it perfect for the colder weather, whether paired with a simple makeup look for a bit of drama or used to a accompany a bolder look this shade is definitely the most pigmented.

If your a NARS lover, or a NARS newbie the One Night Stand palette is something that every beauty lover and their mother should own and with Christmas just around the corner it will make a great present for a loved one, or for youself.

P.S. each pan in this palette contains 4g of product so for £45 you are saving a load of money. Not that you need anymore incentive to purchase this ...

November 01, 2013

I Heart Fall Tag

I Heart Fall Tag
01. Favourite Fall Lipstick: when the leaves start to change, so does my makeup and fall is all about the berry tones. MAC Rebel lipstick is the perfect shade for the colder months, a plum shade with a hint of fuchsia adds a dramatic look to the simplest of looks.

02. Favourite Fall Nail Polish: As with my makeup, my nail polish choices change too and I find my self reaching for plums, reds and any shade on the darker side of things. Essie Bahama Mama is my top pick, a lovely red toned plum - perfect for fall.

03. Favourite Fall Starbucks Drink: Little fact - I'm not a Starbucks fan, never have been. But my favourite fall drink is hot chocolate, with all the trimmings - marshmellows, whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate. Actually this is my favourite drink ever.

04. Favourite Fall Candle: Yankee Candles are my favourites, they are big and burn for weeks. For me, fall is all about the sickly sweet scent and the new Snowflake Cookie smells delicious. My other favourites include the original Christmas Cookie and Fireside Treat.

05. Favourite Fall Scarf or Accessory: My Mulberry Scarf wins this by far. A present from my boyfriend last year is easily my most worn accessory as the colours are perfect for fall and it is super cosy!

06. Haunted House, Haunted Hayride or Haunted Corn Maze: We don't really do haunted hayrides of corn mazes in the UK so a haunted house would have to be my top choice - plus, it would be nice to go through on with out keeping my eyes tightly shut.

07. Favourite Halloween Movie: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It has to be the original, not one the many many remakes. This is the only horror movie that has ever actually terrified me and I loved it!

08. Favourite Candy to eat for Halloween: I'm not really a candy person but I am a chocolate person and chocolate is my favourite for any occasion; Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Tuesdays...

09. What are you dressing up as for Halloween: I am going as the jigsaw doll from the Saw movies, another favourite of mine. Although I am going to try and make it look a little more girly so not too be too creepy.

10. What is your favourite thing about fall: having the perfect excuse to have a cosy night in watching movies, drinking hot chocolate and snuggling up with a cosy blanket.

October 30, 2013

October 2013 Favourites

October 2013 Favourites
October was a good month for me, not only was it my birthday month but I discovered a load of new beauty products that I have fallen in love with. The products featured this month are all new to my stash and are the ones that have stood out to me most throughout the month.

Now I have raved about these before (here) but the L'Oreal EverRiche Shampoo & Conditioner have been giving me silky smooth hair all month. They have that 'unable to stop touching my hair' effect which I love. Another product that I have already reviewed (here) and sang it's praises is the Bourjois Java Rice Powder, a brightening powder that has been giving my skin the perfected look that I have craved for so long. Something that every beauty lover has been instagramming the past few weeks is Essie's After School Boy Blazer and with good reason. A navy so dark it is pretty much black adorns nails perfectly for autumn. The final two products are both from NARS, and both presents from my boyfriend - heavy hints were given . Gaiety blush is one that I have been after for a while, being a pink kinda girl, for both lips and cheeks, this bright pink shade gives a gorgeous glow to my complexion. The Fairy's Kiss Palette is probably the perfect palette to see you through the autumn/winter months as it is filled with plumy shades to create every day and evening looks and I have been using this nearly everyday.

The leaves have started to fall, meaning all of my berry toned products are coming out, and my wishlist of berry toned products is ever growing... you can probably expect a haul sometime soon.

October 27, 2013

Slimming World: Information, Advice & My Journey

Since joining Slimming World a few months back I have has many people asking me to do a post telling you what it is like, how I'm finding it and mostly importantly... what I eat. Having recently reached my 2 stone weight loss I am feeling inspired and wanted to share this with you.

Why I Joined
I made the decision to join Slimming World to change my life. Which does sound a little bit dramatic but I found myself to be so unhappy with my weight and how I looked to the extent that I was only going to places if I absolutely had to (such as work/college) and would turn down family gatherings and social events because I felt too self conscious. I knew this needed to change, and with a encouragement from my boyfriend and family I went to my first Slimming World group, I also bought my mum along as well so we can help each other out as we go through our journey.

About Slimming World
The first thing you need to know about Slimming World is that it is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. They teach you to change how you are feeling about food and not to kick yourself if you slip up, or have a gain one week as it can be due to many other factors other than what you are eating such as water intake, monthly cycles or it could just be for no damn reason at all. Going to a group is a lot different to doing it by yourself at home. When I would diet at home, it would last about a week (if that) and I would be stuffing a chocolate bar down my throat but knowing that I am going somewhere to get weighed gives me motivation. Because let's face it... you don't want people knowing that you are not trying and just keep putting weight on. They will never announce your weight to the group but they say 'Emma has lost 'this many' pounds this week' and then you get a round of applause - which is nice! You also receive stickers and certificates for each mile stone, for example - 1/2 stone, 1 stone, 1 & 1/2 stone and so on. You also get a sticker for being Slimmer of the Week and Slimmer of the Month. This is probably my favourite bit as I love adding the stickers to my book.

The Food
This is probably the most important bit as no body likes to feel deprived of anything. Nothing is off limits... if you want a take away you can work it in, if you want a bit of chocolate you can work it in and if you want a huge blow out one night and want to eat every naughty thing under then sun then do it and get back on plan the next day. Simples. There are hundreds of recipes to try online, you can share them in group with other people, there are lots in the magazine and the hashtag 'slimmingworld' on Instagram gives me loads of inspiration. What you do have to watch and measure out is what you are cooking in such as oil, the fat that is in meat, diary such as milk and cheese and things like bread and cereal - however you are given a generous amount of each to use every day. Some of my favourite recipes are the curry sauces, homemade double stacked cheese burgers with chips and macaroni and cheese... just to name a few. If you would like to see recipes for these - let me know!

My Journey
In my first week on Slimming World I lost 5lbs which was a huge motivation to keep at it and with in 5 weeks I had lost 1 stone. In just 18 weeks I have lost 2 stone and that is with having about 3 weeks off plan for various things like holiday and birthdays and having a couple of weeks where I gained. I also had a quick measure the other night to find that I have lost 15 inches all over since losing my first stone (I forgot to measure myself at the very beginning). Although I still have a way to go as yet I am looking forward in seeing the changes in myself, not just physically but also mentally. I have so far been losing weight with out any exercise but once I achieve my 3 stone weight loss I will be looking into starting an exercise regime.

I am so happy that I took the step to join Slimming World and I am more than happy with the changes that I am seeing in myself! If you want to know anything else, or see any recipes just let me know!

October 23, 2013

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping & Lash Potion Mascara

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping & Lash Potion Mascara
Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping & Lash Potion Mascara
When it comes to mascara I have always been a loyal Falsies by Maybelline kind of girl, but after testing out two of Revlon's offerings I cannot remember the last time I used something else for my lashes. Being a lover of lashings of mascara, my day time lashes are just as dramatic as my evening ones and these mascaras bring it when it comes to volume. 

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara is a twist on the original version, it still has the conditioning properties but this time it gives your lashes a little more oomph. The tapered wand is what makes this product special, it helps to ensure that each lash is well and truly coated - even those little ones in the corner of your eye. The result? Super long and full lashes. Not overly full so that they are clumping together but a little more drama than your usual mascara. 

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara is more about the volume. Having a smaller, but wider, wand helps to pack the product on to your lashes giving the voluminous effect. Perfect to accompany a smokey eye, this mascara will give you big fluttery lashes for any occasion. 

Now, I did pick up these mascaras for the promise of making my lashes stronger and longer and although I can't say they increased the length of my lashes, I did have some sparse areas that are now full and even which I put down to using these products. 

P.S - both of these are in 'blackest black' because, you know, black just isn't good enough...

October 21, 2013

Pepta-Bright Serum

Pepta-Bright Serum
If you were to ask me what makes the most difference to my skin, serums would win - hands down. Yes, you need to cleanse, tone and moisturizer day and night but to see a big difference in your skin I find that a serum can make the world of difference. However, rewind a few months back I had never thought about serums being included in a morning routine, but then I discovered Pepta-Bright...

Now this is not strictly a serum, it is a cream-serum but it does the same job. I'm a girl with a naturally rosy-red flush to my cheeks, and my skin tends to lack on the luminous front. So when I saw that Pepta-Bright helped in evening skin tone whilst reducing hyperpigmentation and restored radiance into the skin, I was all over it. You are directed to use this AM and PM but I use this solely in the morning, after my eye cream but before my moisturizer to help even out any redness to create an even base for my makeup.

I noticed a slight difference in my skin immediately after the first use but it wasn't until after a few days of continuous use that I had the 'wow' moment that really made me fall in love with this product. My skin tone was undoubtedly more more even and the redness wasn't such an issue, but the main difference was how much more glowing and brighter my skin looked. Which was something I hadn't had before. Not only that but Pepta-Bright makes my skin feel super soft, making my makeup appear a little nicer. I have normal/oily skin, but this would work perfectly for dryer skin types as well as it helps to stimulate cell turnover while hydrating the skin and the same time.

I am now a full-fledged member of the Serum-Lovers Club and have a nice little collection growing with in my skincare stash... any that you think I need to add?

October 20, 2013

Chanel Le Blush Creme De Chanel

Chanel Le Blush Creme De Chanel
Chanel Le Blush Creme De Chanel
Once hearing about the Chanel Cream Blushes and seeing many, many reviews and swatches of them online I was just waiting for the day that would finally be released in the UK. It took me about two weeks to decided on the shades that I wanted and about five minuets for me to click purchase. Although the hype around these blushes has decreased since the launch date several weeks back, I feel that they are still a note worthy product that deserves a place in every girls makeup collection.

Pictured above are Affinite which is a bright, hot fuchsia shade, and Inspiration which is not just a pretty name but also a beautiful muted pink shade. Out of the two Affinite is a much bolder choice, but not so much that it is hard to wear. Once blended out, which I like to do using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Affinite becomes a great pop of colour to adorn a simple makeup look. Inspiration is much easier to wear and works well with any makeup look to add a simple flush of colour to your cheeks, it also accompanies pale skin perfectly.

The texture of the Chanel Cream Blushes is what really makes them stand apart from all of the others. In the pan these are most definitely of the cream variety, they are not too creamy and not too dry, making them easy to work with. However these dry to a velvet finish, which is not only bang on trend for this season but it also gives a youthful glow to your cheeks with out being too dewy. I like to apply the product with my fingers, placing it just wear I want it to be and then blend it out with a brush, you could also do this with your fingers if you so wish.

What do you think about the Chanel Le Blush Creme De Chanel? Does one (or three) have a place in your makeup collection?

October 18, 2013

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Bourjois Java Rice Powder
Over the summer months, having a glowing complexion was my main aim but even now the colder weather is upon us and I find my self opting for a more full coverage look I still want a bit of  radiance to my skin. I am a powder girl, but the ones I reach for are usually to give my foundation a more matte finish in order to reduce shine so stepping into the world of illuminating powders was a big one for me...

The Bourjois Java Rice Powder caught my attention after seeing it popping up here and there and with promises of radiance boosting properties it was quickly in my hand on the way to the tills. I think there should be a little mention of how cute this packaging is... the vintage design combined with the pale green packaging makes for a very pretty product. But it is what's on the inside that really makes the product shine, quite literally if you go a little over the top when applying this! In the pot the product appears a soft pink shade however once applied it becomes translucent meaning it is a great universal product for people with different skin tones.

You can definitely notice the shimmer running through the loose powder but I can assure you that it is not like applying glitter all over your face, the shimmer gives it it's radiance properties and works well at brightening your over all complexion. As for setting my makeup? The Java Rice Powder ticks this box as well. No need for a mid-day top up as it keeps oil at bay and makes sure your makeup stays put. My favourite thing about this powder is the 'blurring' effect that it has. Once applied, I immediately noticed how much more smooth and perfected my skin looks, it gives your makeup an almost air-bushed look to it. I like to apply this last thing using the Real Techniques Contour Brush so I have more control over exactly where I place it.

I cannot get enough of the Bourjois Java Rice Powder, it has even become my favourite step in my makeup routine and that is quite a big statement to make...

October 16, 2013

Empties #2

Empties #2
After my last empties post I expected it to take a while before having another one to share with you, but within about three weeks my 'empties bag' nearly brimming to the top so when it got to the point of it over flowing... I thought I should show you what I have used up.

Two products that I use up on a monthly basis are the Batiste Dry Shampoo and the Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo. I use this on rotation depending on what look I want to achieve and what I am doing that day, these will forever been repurchased and I always have some stashed away for when I run out. Another product for my hair that I have finished is the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Strengthening Cream. I always spritz this throughout my hair before blow drying as it leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft and smooth, again I had a back up in product stash for when I ran out. Soap & Glory's Heel Genius is quite isn't exactly a glamorous product but it is an essential in my collection and I quickly repurchased this. If you want super soft feel, rub this is and pop on some socks over night!

The five remaining products are all skincare ones because I bought them all at the same time, which seemed like a good idea at the time however my collection quickly decreased over the space of a week or two. First up is the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser which may be a mouthful to say but it will work wonders if you have got oily/blemish prone skin. Another cleanser that I love is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, a favourite in the beauty community and with good reason. If you are looking for a great all round cleanser to clean your skin and remove makeup then this one is for you! Once my skin changed from oily to normal I swapped my toner for a balancing one in the form of Origins United State Balancing Toner. This has already been repurchased and is sitting happily in my collection. Another pick from Origins is the GinZing Moisturizer which has been a favourite of mine for months now, this makes for the perfect early morning pick me up as it is hydrating and filled with a citrus scent. Finally... the Indeed Labs Eysilix. This does the job that and eye cream is supposed to do and keeps my eye area hydrated, however it doesn't wow me so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them!

I have just restocked my skin care stash so I'm hoping that it will be a little while until I have this many empties again...

October 13, 2013

Recent Skincare Additions

Recent Skincare Additions
After stepping up my game on the skincare front last year, my skin has gone from an oily mess to somewhat of a manageable state, however I seemed to have developed a skincare addiction. Anyone else suffer with this? Thought so. I'm always on the lookout for the next best thing to add to my collection...

It was a sad day when I released that my beloved Bioderma just wasn't cutting it anymore. So I picked up the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover to help remove the lashings of mascara that I apply everyday. I had a little bit of birthday money left over so quickly added the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask to my basket. I have been after this mask for a while after reading so many great reviews, so my expectations are for high for it's trial this evening. The Origins Mega-Bright Serum has been on my wishlist for as long as I can remember, so I was over the moon to receive it as a present from my boyfriend. I have tried a few samples of this over the past few months and I have loved the results every time. Hydraluron is a cult favourite in the beauty world and almost impossible to get hold of, especially if there is an offer on... but, I did it! My skin gets a little dry in the colder weather so I am hoping this will give my skin a little shot of hydration. Being a girl with large pores I like to do anything I can to minimize the look of them. The Clarins Pore Minimizing Serum has been in the back of my mind for a while now and looks just like the sort of thing I need to help disguise my pores.

Three serums, a face mask and a new eye makeup remover should keep my going for a while, unless you have any recommendations for me...

October 11, 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips

Mayeblline Baby Lips
I think it is safe to say that every beauty blogger and their mother now own a Maybelline Baby Lips or two... I know my mum picked some up. The super cute design and playful colours of the packaging is what most us attracts to them but for us UK people, the fact that they were finally launching these in our favourite drugstores sent everyone a little bit crazy. As I didn't want to feel left out, I made sure to place my order. Plus they were on 3 for 2 so it would have been rude not to, right?

Pink Punch, Hydrate and Cherry Me were my shades of choice. Pink Punch comes off as quite a stand-out baby pink shade, this is a little too bright for my liking but if you dab it on with your fingers and do a little blending it becomes more muted and easy to wear. Hydrate is clear, but nourishing and a great base to lipsticks that dry out your lips as it is not at all sticky, nor does it apply thickly. Cherry Me is my favourite out of the bunch and quickly worked it's way into my handbag for everday use. This is a gorgeous fuchsia, plum shade that adds a great pop of colour and can be built up for a bolder lip.

As far as lip balms go, the Maybelline Baby Lips won't do anything revolutionary for you but they will brighten up your makeup stash and they are a great way of just quickly applying a slight lip colour. If you're in the market for a Baby Lips, go for Cherry Me... it is a great shade for autumn.

October 09, 2013

L'Oreal EverRiche Shampoo & Conditioner

L'Oreal EverRiche Shampoo & Conditioner
I am a little bit of a hair care addict, I will hold my hands up and admit that. Usually I lean towards higher end, salon brands such as Redken or Tigi with the exception of the Herbal Essences Bee Strong range. But after reading rave review upon rave review of these L'Oreal products I went on a mini hunt and finally managed to get my hands on them.

Aimed at 'very dry rebellious hair' I knew that these were the ones for me. Although my hair isn't too bad, I am a keen heat user when it comes to my hair and an avid dyer meaning that I am always looking for something to make my hair feel silky smooth and keep it in tip top condition. The main attraction to these products is the 'no sulphates' aspect, which although it is what cleans your hair it is an element that damages your hair which is why it is so important to always condition your hair.

To use I apply the L'Oreal EverRiche Shampoo, massage it in and rinse out. Apply the L'Oreal EverRiche Conditioner, massage it in again but then I like to leave it on for 3-5 minuets before rinsing out. I follow this up with my post hair wash routine (read here) and my hair is left feeling incredibly silky, nourished and smooth. More so than when I have used some other, more expensive products.

If you're a lover of silky hair (who isn't?) then I would recommend picking these up... if you can find them . If these don't sound up your street, try one of the other versions more suited to your hair type... you won't be disappointed.

October 07, 2013

A Weekend Away...

A Weekend Away...
A Weekend Away...
As a part of my present for my birthday, which is today, my boyfriend whisked me away to a barn in the Suffolk countryside for a quite weekend away from everyday life. No internet or phones were allowed, and I even went so low maintenance that I didn't bring any makeup with me and just the skin care essentials (four products in total). 

We stayed at the Woodfarm Barns, the Stour Barn to be exact, and it was every bit as perfect as we had expected it to be. The barn had been kept very traditional with big wooden beams, very shabby chic esk furniture and a wood burner to keep warm. The barn had a private garden in which was a small, hand made table decorated with hanging baskets of colourful flowers, along with some chairs and both a patio and grassed area. There was also a communal area just outside the door step which featured two water features and a decked area for anyone to use. 'The Shed' which was there for any vistors to use contained bikes, DVDs and books to borrow free of charge whilst on your stay. Being in the middle of the country side there was vast amounts of land and roads which were perfect for taking our dog Bella on a walk.

Whilst we there we visited the near by town of Debenham, which had a lake and some fields to walk Bella in and we picked up a home-made jar of jam, because you cannot beat home-made jam. We didn't venture out too much as we wanted to spend as much time in the barn as possible and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. So we spent most of our time snuggled up on the sofa watching Breaking Bad while the birds chirped away in the background. Oh, and enjoying a huge fry up! My idea of the perfect weekend. 

After a lovely weekend away I am looking forward to my favourite meal this evening, my mum's home-made lasagne and lots of birthday cake. Also well done to my boyfriend for planning this weekend away all by himself!

October 06, 2013

Life Lately #4

Life Lately #4
1. Enjoying having curly hair | 2. Finally completing my MAC palette - see post here | 3. My ever growing skin care stash | 4. Reaching my stone and a half award from Slimming World | 5. Merryteaser - probably the nicest tasting thing, ever! | 6. The first autumnal manicure | 7. My sample basket which needs to be used up | 8. One of my casts just being cute | 9. Getting my hands on the L'Oreal EverRiche range | 10. Making my own blog planner | 11. Doing bloggy things | 12. Loving the Maybelline Baby Lips | 13. Getting a Canon 600D for my birthday | 14. Cute fairy lights | 15. Hitting pan on NARS Laguna | 16. Spot which one is my doggy.

Current favourite product: my MAC eye shadow palette (see post/swatches here). I have been using this day-in, day-out for weeks now and I just can't get enough of it. I feel like I have got the perfect selection of shades, even if I do say so myself!

Most lusted after product: the Origins Mega-Bright Serum makes for the perfect serum in my eyes as it is brightening and makes your skin incredibly soft. I have tried a couple samples of this product but a full-sized bottle is definitely on the horizon.

October 02, 2013

Bad Skin Saviours

Bad Skin Saviours
My skin has been up to no good lately. Yes, this is mostly my fault as I was slacking on the skincare routine for quite a few weeks and I ended up only doing the bare minimum to remove my makeup. As expected my skin was looking dull, I had a few breakouts (which is very rare for me) and my makeup wasn't apply as it should either. Anyway, I stepped up my skin care game, my skin is back to how it was before and I have a few products to credit for the transformation.

Firstly is the REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I noticed a huge difference in my skin when I stopped using this - my skin become a lot oilier and much less manageable. So when I finally got around to repurchasing this my skin lapped it up. I use this every morning and thankfully I can go the whole day with out powdering over my skin face. The Origins Out of Trouble Mask was another product I stopped using and after seeing such amazing results from it at the beginning I knew that it would work wonders for my again. I have been using this three times a week/every other evening and my break outs have been banished from my skin. I will definitely be keeping this up to keep any blemishes at bay, you can see my full review here.

On to the brightening... the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate is the product that the majority of the credit goes to. Again, I have been using this every other evening (the opposite ones to when I use the Out of Trouble mask) and most of the time when using this I have been leaving my routine at this step so it can work it's magic. This has helped to make my skin appear much brighter and has given it a much nicer feel making my makeup apply more evenly in the morning. Another brightening product I have been loving is the Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright serum, which I have been applying in the mornings only. Not only has this smoothed out my skin to give a better base for my makeup but I have also noticed a more even skin tone and the redness in my cheeks reduced.

I am very happy to have my some-what nice skin back in action and to be clear of any breakouts, all of which I owe to these for products. If you can relate to any of these skin woes, I would really recommend checking these out to help combat the problem. Next up for my skin? Some doses of hydration...

September 30, 2013

September 2013 Favourites

September 2013 Favourites
September has been a good month product wise, meaning that picking my monthly favourites was super easy. Most of these products are some of my more recent purchases that have stood out, wowed me and have had me reaching for them every day.

First up is Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation which I have been reaching for day in, day out, over September. I went almost a year with out using this but with work being more hetic with Christmas coming up I needed something to stay put all day - and this foundation is the one  that will stay in place for a sixteen hour day. Something that I have repurchased lately is the REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, a mouthful - yes, but it also an oily/blemish prone girls best friend. This is my go to morning cleanser to reduce oiliness throughout the day. The product that has stood out to me most over September is the Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me. A perfect pink/plum shade that has a glossy finish and hydrating properties to see you through the day. You will need to top this up through the day but I find it to last through a four hour shift at work. This has been adorning my lips every single day and I absolutely love it!

Something else that has stood out to me is the CHANEL Creme Blush in Affinite. A super hot pink shade that I like to use with a more simpler makeup look to add a pop of colour. The finish of this is a gorgeous velvet texture which is bang on trend for the autumn/winter seasons. A cult favourite in the beauty community, which has now become a favourite of mine is the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. A lovely nourishing cleansing balm that removes every last scrap of makeup. I picked up the Revlon Grow Luscious on a bit of a whim when I saw it on offer in Boots, however I have to say that I am loving it! If you want long, thick lashes then I definitely recommend that you pick this up!

I don't think I will be putting down these product any time soon but I am looking forward to seeing what October brings me beauty wise... It is my birthday month so I am hoping for some good'uns.