Friday, 20 October 2017

My basket full of goodies | Empties

Sorry I've been a bit MIA - I've had serious laptop issues but all resolved now and I'm back with a bang!

It's taken me a fair few months to gather this collection of empties but I think I have plenty to go on now. Instead of going through all of the products individually, I'm going to put them into three categories - Defs repurchasing, Enjoyed it but could leave it and I'll pass. A lot of these products are body care and skincare as those are the ones I use up the most.

Defs repurchasing

Starting off with the creme de la creme of products I've been using and the Body Shop Coconut Body Butter is something which I would totally repurchase again and again. I love how thick this is, it smells amazing and is everything you want from a moisturiser. I've been through three of the Body Shop Christmas Bubble Baths from last year and I love them. All three of the scents were great and they gave great bubbles! Fingers crossed they bring it back this year. Why not keep on the theme of the Body Shop and move onto the Drops of Youth Concentrate. I'm not going to lie my skin is having a bad spell so I'm trying to rethink my routine but I've really liked this serum. Not only did I use up the one you can see in the photo but I'm also coming to the end of another in the larger size. It's not oily and gives my skin a little bit more hydration under my moisturiser. Winner. Body Shop shower gels are great and the Pina Colada was no exception. Great summer scent. I've spoken about the Simple Micellar Water before so I'll keep it brief - love it, works really well, will definitely be buying it again.

Enjoyed it but could leave it

As much as I love the Coconut Body Butter, I didn't love the Strawberry Body Butter from The Body Shop as much. It was nice and I enjoyed using it but it wouldn't be top of my list of scents to use. Just to clarify, liked it, but didn't love it. As much as I liked the scent of the Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub it just wasn't scrubby enough for me. It was okay and did the job but I do like just a little bit more bitty-ness to my scrub. I'm still yet to find the perfect shampoo duo which is why the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and Conditioner falls into this category. Nothing special but I used it up. Other products I liked but didn't love are the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, Merci Handy in Lollipop (although I would like to try a different scent and the actual product was really good) and the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream (I'd repurchase the product in a different scent).

I'll pass

Something I wasn't overly keen on was the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Eye Cream. Although I really like the cute little pot and the hydration it gave my eyes, it also made them sting like nothing else. They'd start to water before I went to sleep and I'd wake up with quite (incoming TMI warning) 'gunky' eyes. Nothing too concerning so I did use it all but looking back it didn't quite work for me.

What's your favourite product to use at the moment?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Chatting and driving | My top four favourite podcasts

As much as I like music, I'm not a massive music lover. I get bored about a quarter into a song so when I need to keep my brain occupied, like on the way home from work, I put on a podcast. I never seem to get bored when I'm listening to people chatting so podcasts are a perfect distraction and background noise. Over the past few months I've discovered a few new podcasts which keep me going during long drives down south to see my uni pals and on the shorter journey to and from work. So here are my favourite podcasts that I'm listening to at the minute (spoiler alert: there's a major YouTube theme with these, like all of them).

At Home With...
I thought I'd start with my favourite one, I'm obsessed with this podcast and I can't wait to see if there's another series sometime soon! If you don't know what this podcast is, Lily and Anna (from the Youtubes) visit someones house and have a chat about life, jobs, their actual house, etc. Some of my favourite guests include Kate La Vie, Giovanna Fletcher and Madeline Shaw, this is actually what got me started on my slight obsession with Madeline Shaw. The chats are just really chilled, easy to listen to and I could happily just listen to them on repeat.

A podcast chatting about old films, sounds good to me! I love how long these are, usually about and hour and a half, and there's usually three people chatting about a film from the eighties, what they thought of it when they watched it as a kid and how they felt about it re-watching now. You will never think of these films the same way again, when you think about some of them, like Big with Tom Hanks, there's something really weird and creepy about it. Really funny and great for long car journeys.

Happy Mum Happy Baby
A more recent find, this one from Giovanna Fletcher is all about motherhood. Each week she chats to a mum, so far we've had Emma Willis and Jo Elvin, who share their experiences with different parts of motherhood. It's so funny and even though it's not really relevant to me at all I find it really interesting. I can't wait for the new episodes to keep coming!

Not Too Deep
This could be seen as the podcast that started it all. Although I've only got into podcasts in the last few months, I've been listening to this offering from Youtuber Grace Helbig since it first began about three years ago. Conversations with other Youtubers that never get 'too deep', it's so easy to listen to and accompanied me on my train journeys when I worked in Leeds for a few weeks last year. There's so many to catch up on so there's plenty to keep you going for a while!

What's your favourite podcast?

Friday, 15 September 2017

What's worth a try from | Tanya Burr Cosmetics

Thought I'd try something different (when I say different I mean for me not totally because this has been done a lot before - anyway, moving on) and write more of a brand focus post today. I thought as a starting point I'd go for Tanya Burr Cosmetics, a well-known brand in the blogging world but one that has a relatively small selection of products compared with a brand like Rimmel or Max Factor which dominate Superdrug with their massive stands. I first tried out Tanya's range when she released the lip glosses and nail varnishes in the rounded packaging with black lids. Since then as the packaging has become more luxe and the products better and better, I've become very impressed with each new release.

I've had a few Tanya Burr products which have come and gone over the years for one reason or another so the oldest product I still have is the nail varnish in the shade Fairy Godmother. This colour is seriously stunning and a shade of nail varnish I hadn't had before or really seen since. A pastel blue that makes you think 'yeah, I can see why that's called Fairy Godmother' as you swipe it on your nails I'm a big fan of the colour and formula. As someone who rarely paints their nails I need something easy and this isn't made in terms of opaqueness meaning less coats needed and less waiting time required by lazy me. I must admit I haven't tried out any other shades recently (the only other one I've ever tried is Penguin Chic back when it was first released) but I really like the look of Soft Pajamas. I'd appreciate any recommendations!
(Just been to look for the original line up of nail varnishes - have they been discontinued?)

In terms of eyeshadow palettes I have one hit and one sort of miss. A couple of years ago I was really excited to get my hands on the Hollywood Palette. My local Superdrug isn't the best so it took them about four months to get them in once they were released but when I saw they were in stock I snatched it off the shelf and bought it. Finally, the answer to my Charlotte Tilbury Dupe prayers were answered. But sadly I was left a little disappointed. The colours just didn't come off as brightly as I had hoped and everytime I used them the pigment seemed to be less and less intense. I got about one good use from the shade Enchantment before it turned into a hard lump that wouldn't give anything in the way of product when I swiped it (anyone else find that that happened). I was pretty gutted. But this year when she released her Neutral Ambience range I decided that the shades in the My Paradise palette were just too stunning to pass up. And wow am I glad I gave them a second chance, this palette is gorgeous. Beautiful shades with a decent pigment that last on the lids, this was my go-to Summer palette. You can read my full first impressions here but I'd totally recommend picking up this palette. Great for the price, handy to travel with and shades that I didn't have already my collection.

LIPSTICKS! I have two shades in Tanya's lipstick range and they're both easy to wear, through in your handbag shades that I switch between regularly as my work lip options. Pink Cocoa is the one I picked up first. A brown-y nude this is totally up my street and the formula is hydrating making it really easy to wear. Sunday Walk is exactly the same as my lip colour and if I want to give my lips a little bit of something extra this is what I go for. If I had one complaint I would say that they smell a bit funny but it's not that offensive and it's only while applying it so can't really complain too much.

The Tanya Burr Matte Lips are some of my favourite lip products to use. I'm not a massive liquid lipstick wearer and I haven't tried a lot of different ones out but these are something special. There are three shades in total but I have two; Rhubarb and Custard (a rhubarb coloured pink) and Martha Moo (a very nineties nude). The formula of these is a bit mousse-y and glides on the lips. As long as you apply a thin coat and don't keep layering it up this lasts for a seriously long time, it's stuck on my lips through many a buttered bagel on a Friday morning. Martha Moo is my favourite of the two but if ever I veer away from my usual nude palette then Rhurbarb and Custard is really the only 'bright' lipstick I wear. I hope Tanya brings out more shades in this range because I'm sold!

Last, but really the reason I wanted to write this post, is the Illuminating Powder. I am obsessed with this. I bought it a couple of months ago and when I got it I liked it but I felt like it was a bit too subtle for me. Now however I've become totally obsessed. I don't know what's changed but it gives my face a real dewy glow that I'm just so into I'm excited to put it on in the morning. I haven't tried the other two shades in the range but from what I gather they're also pretty good!

Side note: I have tried the lip glosses but sadly after sitting in my drawer for a few too many months I had to get rid. For lip glosses though did like them, not overly sticky, smelt delicious and the shades I did have (Champagne Toast and Lunch Date) I really did like.

Must try: My Paradise Pallette | Champagne Sorbet Illuminator | Matte Lips

Worth a go: Nail Varnishes | Lipsticks

Maybe miss: Hollywood Palette

What's your favourite thing from Tanya Burr Cosmetics? Anything I should try out?

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Rediscovering old favourites | Makeup change up for Autumn

Isn't it funny. It's as if as soon as September graced us with its presence my subconscious was like 'give me all of the change'. I suddenly wanted to smother myself in jumpers, eat warming soups and snuggle under a cosy blanket - the normal things for autumn. One thing I hadn't expected to happen was a sudden urge to crack out some old products. Not all of them seasonal changes either, there were just some products that I hadn't used for a while and fancied giving them another go. So here they are.

First up is a very autumnal lipstick shade that I couldn't wait to start re-wearing once the colder months rolled around. It's the Mac Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond. I mentioned it in my last post (read that here if you want to know what makeup I wear on the weekend) and I'm totally obsessed with it. It's my perfect autumnal shade as I don't like anything too dark on me but this is just slightly deeper than my usual lipstick shades of choice. It sticks around on the lips but isn't drying and I'd totally recommend trying this range out - I may need to invest in more shades. Another Mac product is the blush in Immortal Flower. This always disappears when summer rolls around but once the warm days are over this makes a reappearance. It's my perfect blush shade and goes with pretty much every makeup look possible. It's also impossible to overdo.

Another one which makes a reappearance every so often is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Whiskey. Easy to swipe on for a more natural look I've been loving it paired with any of the shades from my Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. It gives me something softer than my usual intense black waterline when I use it (obviously -  because it's brown) and at the minute I'm loving using this everyday. Now, we move on to the inspiration for this post, the Sleek Brow Kit in Dark. I haven't used this in so long and one day I had this sudden urge to give it a go again. I loved this product a few years ago and for a while it was the only thing I used on my brows. After moving on to pencils and pomades I forgot about this little gem, but now I'm so glad its back in my life. I used to go in with the wax then the powder on a brush that was way too big to create anything close to natural brow hairs but after trying it back out again I just use the powder with a tiny little angled brush. I'm so glad I decided to use this again, it gives my brows a slight warmth and soft fullness that nothing else really gives. If you haven't ever tried this before I seriously recommend it (I'm acting as if its some kind of revolutionary product - it's not, it's a brow powder, but it's a really good one!).

Have you recently rekindled your love for a product? 

Friday, 8 September 2017

My go-to face for a weekend outing

On Wednesday I had a day off work and because my dad was off work as well we went to the Trafford Centre. As I was putting on some slap I realised that I've fallen very much into a routine with my weekend makeup, so I thought I'd share what I've been doing!

After I've done my skincare I get cracking on my eyes to let the moisturiser sink into my skin. I prime my eyes with my trusty Mac Painterly Paint Pot - one of my holy grail products - and set over the top with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. My go-to eyeshadow palette at the minute is the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, but mostly the light matte shades. For work I quickly put Low Blow in the crease but on a day where I have more time this is what I tend to do. First off I take Chaser and dust it all over my lids. Then I get to work on the crease with Low Blow, little bit in the crease, blend it out, in the crease, blend it out (I seriously over blend). I also take a bit of Chaser on a Mac 217 and put that through the crease as well, because you know we haven't had enough blending yet! To finish off the eyeshadow portion of this endeavour, I used He Devil with a very light hand on the outer corners and then - of course - blend! Ooh I almost forgot, I also take Ounce on a fluffy blending brush on my brow bone as a highlight. 

Urban Decay Naked Heat Pallete: Ounce | Chaser | Low Blow | He Devil
I would like to try out a new primer but for now I'm using the L'Oreal Infallible Matte Priming Base which is working okay. It sometimes feels a bit slippy but it does keep me matter than I would be without it. I'm still loving the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Ivory (don't let the picture fool you, I'm very close to the end of this but because it looked a bit dodgy in the photo I shook up the bottle to make it look shiny and new!). I really need to try out a new concealer (any suggestions let me know) but at the minute I use the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer under my eyes and then the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - one of my favourites - everywhere else. To set it into place I went back in with my Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and dust it all over. My Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer gives my face a little bit of warmth, the Mac Blush in Eternal Flower gives my cheeks a bit of colour and to finish off my base I smother my cheekbones in the Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Champagne Sorbet. I LOVE this. It's not the most intense highlight but it makes my cheeks look kind of wet of I really like that kind of vibe.

Brows! The Fleur de Force products are my go to for all my brow needs. As I've not had my brows tinted for a few weeks I went in with the Fleur de Force Brow Pencil in Medium to bulk them out a little more and then used the clear brow gel from the Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Tamer. I love how cool toned it is, it makes them look more natural than my usual products, but still a bold brow. 

Time to finish up the eyes, I took He Devil underneath my eyes and smudged it out a little with a fluffy brush. I need to get a new eyeliner because my Soap and Glory Supercat Liner is running very low but it had to do. This product does a good wing and I love a winged liner look especially with a brown crease. A quick line in the waterline with my Soap and Glory Smoulder Kohl Eye Liner and a few lashings of the L'Oreal Paradise Ecstatic Mascara (love this!) and that's my eyes done. I'm so happy we're getting into the warmer months because I've been ready to crack out my Mac Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond for a while. I, love, this! It stays for a long time on my lips but doesn't feel drying and it's like a nude but has a bit more about it. I can't wait to keep wearing these throughout the colder months.

What's your favourite lip colour for Autumn?

Mac Liptensity Lipstick: Smoked Almond

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

I've been spending again | Body and skincare haul

Another day, another haul.

I need to have a serious word with myself because I can't afford to keep spending my wage within minutes of it landing it my bank account. But I can't help it! There's so much I want to test out and that means digging my hand in my pocket and hoping I'm getting the best deals for more Boots Advantage Points. This haul is very much half things I needed and half things I've been wanting to try for a few weeks, so no real impulse buys here (for once).

I needed to get some new shampoo and conditioner and I wanted to try one of the new Garnier scents. I'm not 100% sure what my hair type is but I felt that it could probably do with some nourishment so the Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut Milk and Macadamia was the one for me. Garnier was on 3 for 2 when I snapped these up (and they're still on 3 for 2 so go troops go!) so I bought the shampoo, conditioner and the hair mask. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to take better care of my hair and hopefully the hair mask will give my hair some TLC. Also it smells amazing! Another product I needed to stock up on was micellar water. I've been using the Simple Micellar Water for a few months but when I saw the 700ml bottle of Garnier Micellar Water was on offer for £5 I had to get it. It's huge! And it came with a free makeup bag! Win, win, win! I'm a big fan of this micellar water and it's definitely top of my list along with the Simple one so I'm glad to have such a big bottle.

Now onto things I really didn't need but that I've been eyeing up for a little while. First up is the new (at least I think they're new) Being Sanctuary Spa Body Butter and Bubble Bath in the Salted Caramel and Macadamia scent (I must be having a real macadamia moment). I'm a huge fan of sweet, cake-y scents and this is as sweet and as cake-y as they come. I've not had a chance to try the bubble bath yet but I'm seriously impressed with the body butter - it's thick, hydrating and doesn't leave me feel super sticky. They were £10 each, which for me is a little on the pricy side but the packaging makes it feel good quality and I'm impressed so far with the product inside. Last but not least in this haul are two new masks by Soap and Glory. I really excited when I saw Soap and Glory were releasing sheets masks because I've become a bit obsessed with them in recent months. Every time i go into Boots and Superdrug I seem to walk out with one - I really should learn to buy in bulk! I went for the Puffy Eye Attack Eye Mask, because I've always wanted to try out an eye mask, and The Fab Pore Pore Refining Mask, because all of the sheet masks I've tried have been for dry skin but this one is for oily - exciting!

What's your favourite bath product - bath bomb, bubble bar, bath salt? I'd love to know!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Giving my skin a treat | Evening Skincare Routine

Part two of the skincare saga and we're onto evening (if you missed my morning skincare routine read that here). There's a bit more to it in the evenings as I like to give myself a bit more of a pamper. What I do is snuggle down in bed with my Q&A a day book and a box of my skincare stuff. I like to do it in bed because it takes me about 15 years to do it as I like to let it all sink into my skin.

Before any of this happens I take my makeup off. Usually I do it as soon as I get home from work, get the sweaty foundation off my face. I always do a double cleanse. First I start with my Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, massaging it over dry skin the wiping it off with a wet flannel. I like this oil. I never thought I'd be into oils as my skin is quite oily already but it gives my skin a boost of hydration and takes off my makeup like a dream. Also, minimal mess - and I can get drops of makeup all over the sink. I then go in with my Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk, love love love. It's quite thick and I use it to get off the little bits of makeup the oil cleanser missed. It feels so cooling and luxurious on my skin, it's just what my skin needs after a day of makeup.

I got the Body Shop Satsuma Hand Cleanse Gel in my Body Shop Advent Calendar last year and in an effort to use it all up I started applying it before I start my evening skincare - now I'm addicted. It's as if it starts the whole process off and I know that my hands are a clean before I start prodding my face. I give my face a quick wipe with the Simple Micellar Water, a spritz of the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist then we crack on. I use the same eye cream as I do in the morning, the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream, and really tap it into my under eyes giving them tonnes of hydration. I also use the same lip balm as in the morning, the Palmers Coconut Oil Lip Balm.

Now onto the exciting stuff. I only started using a serum about six months ago and now I couldn't imagine my skincare routine without one. It stops my skin from becoming too dehydrated but doesn't turn me into a massive greaseball. I use the Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate, not too oily and it has sort of a bouncy texture to it. I smooth it over my skin and then pat it in. After waiting maybe ten minutes I go in with my moisturiser. I'm using the Body Shop Oils of Life. It is a good moisturiser but I don't know if it's a bit too oily for my skin. To be fair I've been using this since before Christmas  and I've not had any major issues. I am coming to the end though so if anyone has any recommendations for a new moisturiser I'd be more than grateful! All I do is bounce it into my skin, apply some Soap and Glory Hand Food and then it's done! Sleepy times for me (or more like watch the end of the episode of Grantchester then watch some YouTube and fall asleep watching people trying to live in a tiny house).

What's your favourite skincare product?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Naked Heat and cool new tech | August Favourites

A few beauty products in the love pile this month. First up is the eyeshadow palette of the moment - the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I've only had this palette for a week and a half but I'm already head over heels in love with it. A great selection of warm shades this is totally different to all the other palettes I have. I'm surprised at my favourite shades though. I thought I'd be all over the shimmery metallic shades but I've been drawn to the amazing mattes. I've been wearing Low Blow in the crease, blended out with Chaser and I've been loving that look, not too much but makes me not look half dead in the morning! I'm really excited to try out a serious smokey eye with this palette but for now I'm truly smitten. A new mascara favourite is the L'Oreal Paradise Mascara. One swipe and it's ba-bam, dream lashes! It reminds me a lot of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara which I was totally obsessed with a year of so ago when I had it. It fans out my lashes really well whilst still pumping up the volume. Definitely the best mascara I've tried in a while!

I'm a big fan of the Eylure Fleur de Force brow products and this month she released some new double ended brow products (see more of my thoughts here). My new favourite eyebrow pencil by far. I didn't think I would like the cool toned shade as much as my warm Soap and Glory Brow Archery in Brownie Points but I'm seriously impressed. I have the pencil in the shade medium and what I like is that it would be really hard to over do it with this product. Unlike something like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade, which although I love it can be really easy to give yourself slug brows, it doesn't really matter how much you apply it doesn't look overdone. The fact that it has two tones and there are so many different options - I could rave about this so much!

This is the most exciting thing that's happened this month. I am now the proud owner of an Apple Watch, I know! So exciting! I've been wanting one for a while and when the opportunity presented itself jumped at the chance to get one. I decided to go for the Rose Gold with the Pink Sand Strap because then it matches my phone, yep this is what the world has come to. I love the activity options with the watch. It gives you a little buzz every hour if you haven't moved which is great if, like me, you sit at a desk and can be glued to it for hours on end. A few trips up and down the stairs every 60 minutes will keep your watch happy and your health too! I might do a more detailed post after I've used it for a little bit longer but so far I'm loving it.

Quick TV mention. We watched The Loch this month and is was SO good! It's an ITV drama about a murder in a small town in Scotland and everything that happens afterwards. We watched it over two nights and it was so gripping and there were many hide behind the pillow moments and there were multiple twists, ahh! I definitely recommend watching it if you like a good drama. Six episodes and it doesn't drag, really good! I've also started rematching Granchester, one of my favourites as it's easy watching but murder mystery-ey, love. Also, James Norton.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Giving my face a wake up call | Morning skincare routine

I love reading posts about people's skincare routines, partly because I'm nosy and partly because I want to know if there's some sort of miracle product that I need in my life. So, in case anyone is nosy like me, here's what I slap on my face in a morning in an attempt to perk up my skin and make me look half awake. For the record, my skin is blemish prone and oily but can be dehydrated (I've never had someone tell me so I could be wrong but that's what I think it is).

The first thing I do when I wake up is go and splash my face with water. Just a little bit to get the grease off and I rub it on my eyes because I always seem to have some mascara leftover from the day before, no matter how much I try and take it off! The first proper step is using the Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Water on a cotton pad over my face, just to make sure every last scrap of dirt is off my face from the day before (and also because it feels nice on my sleepy face). This is one of my favourite micellar waters along with the one from Garnier. They do the job and are really affordable, you can't really go wrong. Next I give my face a spritz with the Body Shop Vitamin C Face Mist - not because I think it does anything magical but because it feels great in the morning. As I'm writing this I'm realising that my entire routine is based around what feels refreshing on my face and I don't actually know if there are any benefits of putting it on my skin!

Next up I apply my latest eye cream of choice which is the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream. I'm not loyal to any eye cream and I have to say so far nothing I've tried as ever blown me away. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know! I just get half a pea sized amount and slather it under my eye until it feels like it's sunk in. It's quite thick but I feel like my under eye area needs a bit more hydration. I mentioned this product in my July favourites post and you can read just how much I love it there but it's the Palmer's Coconut Oil Lipbalm. Tastes amazing and does the job at hydrating my lips. Yum! Last but certainly not least is my moisturiser. I've been using the Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturiser and I think it's been doing a pretty good job. It smells amazing! Zingy and delicious it feels cool on my face in a morning and really helps to brighten everything up. What I like about it most is that I can feel it sinking into my skin and not just sitting on top like some of the moisturisers I've tried previously. It doesn't make my skin feel greasy either which is a win win!

I'm enjoying this routine at the minute, it seems to be working well for me. Stay tuned for the second part of my skincare routine next week.

What moisturiser are you using at the moment?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My willpower is non-existent | Urban Decay Naked Heat First Impressions

It happened.

I have zero willpower, I will always give into the hype and I should never be trusted with more than £5 at a time. BUT I haven't been this excited about a set of eyeshadows in a long time, probably since I got my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette. But we're not talking about that today, oh no, we're talking about the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. No doubt you all know what this is so I'm not going to bore you with the background all you need to know is I wasn't planning on getting it (well, not really), I bought it and I love it. Great packaging, sturdy, good sized mirror and an amazing shade selection, warm reds, just something totally different but still wearable.

I've tested it out for a couple of days so these are pretty much my first impressions of the palette. As I haven't given it a lot of testing yet I don't have any favourites so what I'm going to do is run through the shades and say if I love it, like it or take it or leave it.

Ounce | Like it. This is one that although I'm not gushing over I know for a fact that it'll be the most worn eyeshadow in this palette. A white with a bit of shimmer I'll probably use this all over my lid as a base and then as a brow bone and inner corner highlight.

Chaser | Like it. Another one that doesn't blow me away but I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. A light matte brown I'll use it in the crease day to day and as a transition shade on something more smokey.

Sauced | Love it. Similar to Chaser but a heck of a lot warmer this is such a different shade that I know I'll still get a lot of use out of. I'm excited to give this more of a test run.

Low Blow | Like it. Again I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this one, especially putting it through the crease and slapping on some winged liner, but it's quite a standard shade.

Lumbre | Like it. A gorgeous shimmer that will be great for something simple everyday I'm a big fan of this light warm toned pink that reflects rose gold. However, this is a more pinker version of Trick from the Naked 3 palette which I'm totally obsessed with so anything that resembles that shade will take a bit of beating.

He Devil | Take it or leave it. Not to say that I don't like it but this looks terrifying. I'm going to need to give this a trial because it's very warm and red and I'm going to have to concentrate to make it not look like I have an eye disease.

Dirty Talk | Love it. love it, love, love love! This swatch...I can't. Can we all just appreciate the warm shimmery amazingness that is this shade, thanks.

Scorched | Love it. Another stunning shade, very similar to the last one, just swatches like a dream. I'm so excited to give them a real try on my eyes but if I love the way they look no doubt I'll be posting on here about it.

Cayenne | Love it. This palette just keeps bringing these amazing mattes. I can tell this one is going to look great either with winged liner or in a seriously smokey eye.

En Fuego | Like it. A very autumnal cranberry colour I have nothing like this at the minute and it looks great but I just need to decide how I'm going to wear it - any tips?

Ashes | Love it. Autumn in a shade. If all of my clothes were this colour I would be one happy person. I'm thinking lower lash line goals so we shall see. I have high hopes for this one.

Ember | Love it. Look at this. Dark, shimmery, reflecting colours all over the place. Yes please put it on my eye thanks very much. Another one I may be too terrified to use on a regular basis but that swatch is so stunning I can't help but love it.

I may post an update in a few weeks about my actual favourite shades and what I've been gravitating towards but so far I'm in love with this palette and if you're not buying it because you're resisting the hype, don't. Let the hype consume you so you can feel the feels of the Naked Heat palette.

Do you have this palette? What are your favourite shades? 
(Please satisfy my nosiness I really would like to know)

Friday, 18 August 2017

One of the best meals ever | Bar Iberia Nottingham

Prepare yourself for one of the best tapas meals ever. I know, bold claims, but it's true. When I popped down to Nottingham on my visit a couple of weeks ago we went out for a meal and cocktails. Wanting to try something, we settled on Bar Iberico in Hockley. They didn't take bookings but because we really fancied tapas and wanted to try it out we risked it and turned up at 7.30pm on a Friday. There was no issue, we were straight in and there were plenty of tables free downstairs (however I would say by 8pm it was pretty full). The place itself was really cool. Lots of wood which made it feel cosy and at times it did feel like you could be eating delicious tapas abroad. 

There was plenty to choose from on the menu without it being overwhelming. There were three of us there and we got eight dishes in total, which worked out great for us. We pretty much all of the dishes, the only thing we left a lot of was the patatas fritas (we ordered two portions, we only really needed one). We went for:

Patatas fritas - two portions
Sweetcorn fritters
Crispy chicken
Garlic and onion tortilla
Cheese board

First up, I didn't touch the cheese board but that's because I don't like raw cheese (as in cheese that isn't cooked and on like a pizza or something). Everything else I dabbled in and it was ALL delicious. My favourite were the sweetcorn fritters, they were sweet and crispy, a winning combination. The chorizo was also great. Lots of chunky pieces that were filled with the usual delicious chorizo flavour and they weren't at all chewy. Portion size wise there's plenty to go around. The crispy chicken was a perfect example of this - it was never ending! But because they were in smallish bowls we weren't over faced. Speaking of the crispy chicken that was amazing. Sticky and sweet but SUPER crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. I can't describe how good all of this was. I'm sure my friends agree with me, everything was delish.

Seriously if you're ever in Nottingham and fancy an amazing meal out, give this a go. Chilled atmosphere, buzzing vibes and delicious food. Win win win.

I'm heading off to Edinburgh in a couple of months, if anyone has any food recommendations of where to go please let me know!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

All that glitters | The best sparkle for your eyes

I love glitter. To the point where I'd happily shower in the stuff. I love a bit of sparkle on my eyes, I just think it looks great packed onto the lid with winged liner - dreams! Here are my favourites to get that shimmer on my eyes and staying on through a night in the club, day trip out or slowing round the house (just sometimes like to bring a bit of glamour to life).

First up is the Pop shade from the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette, my first dip in the 'sophisticated glitter' pool. This pressed pigment sort of powder transforms any eye look from standard to something a bit more smokey. It's a dirty gold shade with lots of glittery flecks in it so  when swiped across the lid it's subtle but pretty. I like to apply using my finger just before I use mascara and really build it up so it's super sparkly.

Next up are the Collection Glam Crystals. I first heard about these on Lucy and Lydia's channel and haven't really looked back since. I mean these are £2.99 and they're pretty incredible. Basically a glitter eyeliner with flecks of different colours in it, it works great over other eyeshadows and lasts all day because of the wet formula that dries right down. When I use these I really layer them up, like eight coats, so there's so much glitter is blinding, but they don't feel sticky or thick on my eye lids. I have the shades Dancing Queen, a pink with silver flecks, and Funk, a bright gold. Love them both, they look so cool, I especially love them under the eye - although word of warning, they can sting a little when really close to the eyeball.

Now the last one is my favourite of all the glitters. I haven't had it for very long but it's so amazing that I have to share it. The NYX Glitter in Copper and the NYX Glitter Primer are a beautiful combination. Now, unlike the others, you should really put this on first before the rest of your makeup otherwise it will end up all down your face, but once it's on it's on. I put an eyeshadow down first, Sonic from the Urban Decay Vice 3 palette is good - a pinky red. Then I take a bit of the glitter primer and dab it on the top using my finger. After that I take a brush and pack on the glitter. Like the other two I pack a lot on but it looks great and is like a true glitter. Love it.

What are your favourite glitter products?

(Also can we just take a minute to appreciate this Primark cushion. I'm in love)

Left to right: NYX Copper | Collection Dancing Queen | Collection Funk | Charlotte Tilbury Pop

Friday, 11 August 2017

For the fleekiest brows | Fleur de Force Brow Products

I was so excited when I saw Fleur's instagram story where she said she was releasing brow pencils. Yes! I'm totally in love with the Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Tamer Brow Gel in Medium and use it everyday so my expectations for the pencil were sky high. In Boots all Eylure products were on three for two so I went all in and got another brow tamer (my tinted side had totally run out) and two pencils, one in medium for me and another one in light for my mum (because I'm so generous, also I seriously don't need any more products).

Let's get into why these are my favourite brow products, ever. I love that the brow tamer has two ends, a tinted gel and a clear gel. The brush on the tinted end is really small and makes it really easy to fluff up my brows and fill them in a little bit more. I use this side more when I've just had my brows tinted and they just need a bit of something extra. Not crispy and doesn't make all the hairs stick together, great! The clear side has a slightly thicker brush so it's really easy to just swipe and go. I use this when I've filled my brows in with a pencil or a powder to set them into place. If you're in the market for a new brow gel I definitely recommend this one, two in one and they're both great.

Now onto the Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Define in Medium. What's not to love about this product (well maybe that it doesn't have a spooley thing but hey-ho). There are three shades, light, medium and dark and each of them have two ends, a lighter shade and a darker shade. I've never really attempted 'gradient brows' before so I was excited to give it a go. I have to say, I'm totally into it. The pencils are soft but not so soft that 1. I end up with really creamy brows and 2. they look like slugs. At first I thought the fact that it's quite cool toned would put me off as usually I go for quite a dark warm brown but so far I'm loving the way it looks. I go in with the lighter tone on the inner part of my brow then the darker tone on the rest. Love love love.

I seriously suggest checking these out. I haven't tried the powder yet, is it worth a go?

Medium -  Lighter tone | Darker tone

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Castle and cocktails | What you should do in Nottingham

Nottingham will always hold a special place in my heart. It's where I spent three years of my life, on and off, making new friends, seeing new places and wandering around the streets after a few too many proseccos. So, I was very happy to find myself back there last weekend visiting one of my friends who has been there for the last 12 months doing something intelligent (go Nisha go!). When we arrived in the city it felt like we'd never left, like returning home. So I thought that this would be a good time to share a few of my 'must do' things if you ever find yourself in Nottingham.

Robin Hood Statue
So we're starting at something which I didn't actually visit until last weekend (I know, three years in the city and I didn't visit a statue which is just sat there). It's very close to the outside of the castle so you could go and pay Robin a visit and then go into the castle. He also makes for a very nice photo opportunity. Also somewhere to quickly pop when round here is

Coco Tang
Exposed brickwork. Dimmed lights. Underground. Got your attention? Probably not but hear me out anyway. Coco Tang is a cool cocktail bar that has something for everyone and makes a really good night out, from casual drinks to big celebrations. It's plonked in the middle of a row of shops and you would probably walk past it if you didn't know where to look. Once in you go down some stairs and are greeted by a dance floor, heavy house music and  We used to go all the time at uni, especially in first year, and if you decide to give it a visit I'd recommend going for a Toblerone. It's creamy and chocolate-y and something a bit different to your usual fruity drink. Although, this time I went for a Rhubarb Spritz and that was good too - quite strong but tasty.

Go for a meal
Nottingham has some AMAZING places to go and eat. I think I remember them telling us during our first week of uni that Nottingham has the most cafes, bars and restaurants per square metre than anywhere outside of London - don't quote me on that but there's definitely loads. From chains to independents there's something for everyone (plus it also has Deliveroo which is just what absolute dreams are made of). Some of my favourite places to eat in Notts are Fat Cats, Dinos and George's. 200 degrees is also a really nice cafe. Last weekend we went to Bar Iberico in Hockley and I cannot even tell you how good it was. There will be a post coming soon about my full thought but *spoiler alert* it was pretty special.

Market Square
The poster image of Nottingham. Market Square is just an empty space that houses the Christmas market in winter and, as I found out this weekend, a beach fun fair situation in the summer. Although there might be nothing on when you visit, it's just something you should probably do. Also there are shops nearby so why not.

(If you go to uni in Notts) Ocean
Just trust me on this one. Dress up as a lifeguard, go on your bar crawl of choice and enjoy. You can thank me later.

Friday, 4 August 2017

My favourite highlighters to make my face shine

In two years I've gone from having zero 'proper' highlighters to become an absolute shimmer fiend. 

When I started university I used a shimmery champagne eyeshadow as my highlight, as I didn't see the point in spending money on something if I already had something similar. Since then I've gathered a collection of highlights for every eventuality and I just love them. The first 'proper' highlighter I bought was the Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter in Aura. I went for this pink shade because I'm quite pale and thought this would be the best one for me. Looking back I should have got Sin, the champagne shade, as I suit warmer colours but it does still look nice. It's a very subtle highlight that catches the light nicely and shines purple. I imagine this would look amazing for a festival as a highlight underneath a tonne of glitter. Next up is The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer. This. Changed. My life. This will forever be one of my favourite highlighters. It's the perfect champagne, gold shade for my skin tone that never looks overdone. I take my fan brush, give it a swish and then slather it on the tops of my cheekbones. For the price - under £20 - you cannot go wrong, the pigment is amazing and it performs just as well as the one I'm going to mention in a minute. If this isn't already in your collection then go out and get it, now! My next highlight purchase is one that was totally hyped up and I lapped up that hype and put it in my basket. It's the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop. I bought this with my birthday money this year and I haven't looked back. It's intense, it's in your face but that's what it's meant to be. It looks better when I've had a tan as the shade is a little darker than my normal skin tone but I still love this. I am terrified of it breaking when I travel but so far the two cotton pads I've wedged inside it have done the trick (fingers crossed this continues). Last but not least, my most recent highlight purchase is the Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Champagne Sorbet. To read my full thoughts read this post but it's such a great everyday highlight that is in my current makeup stash. Good packaging, stunning colour and hard to overdo it. Lots of bang for you buck.

Any highlighters you think I need to try? Let me know!

L-R: Becca Champagne Pop | Tanya Burr Champagne Sorbet | The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer | Urban Decay Aura

L-R: Becca Champagne Pop | Tanya Burr Champagne Sorbet | The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer | Urban Decay Aura

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Rose gold, podcasts and seasonal eating | July Favourites

I have fallen in love with the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette all over again this month. I dip in and out of love with this palette but I'm seriously obsessed. Everyone knows how pigmented and bendable Urban Decay eyeshadows are so I'll gloss over that, these shades are beautiful. So easy to just slap something on on a workday but it can also do a nice, pink-ey smokey eye. My favourite way to wear it before shooting off to work is Trick on most of the lid, Buzz on the outer lid and Limit in the crease. If I'm feeling I bit fancy I'll smudge Blackheart into my upper lash line. I'm still debating whether I need the Heat Palette in my life but for now I'm pretty happy using this.

Bit of a small and random favourite but I haven't liked a lip balm this much in a while. It's the Palmer's Coconut Oil Lip Balm. It's hydrating, comes in a handy stick and smells and tastes amazing. I'm obsessed with this scent and I think I need to try more from the Coconut Oil range, smells like heaven and holidays!

After listening to the episode of 'At Home With' (more on that later) with Madeleine Shaw, I thought I'd give one of her books a go as I liked the sound of eating well and eating what's in season. So, after a couple of weeks of looking in all my local shops (to find that we were looking in the wrong section, well done) I finally got my hands on it. It being A Year of Beautiful Eating. I am so impressed with this and I think I can say the rest of my family are too! The recipes are pretty easy to do (I say that but my mum has made both of them) and so tasty. I can't wait to make more and I've just recently bought her second book and can't wait to try recipes from that one too!

I've listened to a few podcasts over the years but none as religiously as 'At Home With'. I've been hooked on every episode, even when I had no clue who the guest really was, and it was so entertaining I was longing for more when the 30 minutes was up. My favourite episode was Giovanna Fletcher but after listening to the one with Kate La Vie I've become a massive fan of her blog. As an avid follower of Anna and Lily I'm really pleased it has gone well for them and I really hope it comes back for a second series!

I bought the Nina Perfume from Nina Ricci when I was on holiday last month and this scent has just become the staple summer scent for me. Sweet but not sickly and in the cutest bottle it will brighten any sunny day.

One week ago today I decided to bite the bullet and finally watch Riverdale. Oh wow am I glad I did. It's the perfect mix between a gripping crime drama and a high school programme. I only had a brief idea of what it was it was about so I kind of went in blind and I was hooked from the first five minutes. I cannot wait for series two and if you haven't watched it yet, please do, you won't regret it and it won't take up too much of your time.

I'm in serious need of another series to binge, any suggestions?

Trick | Buzz | Limit

Friday, 28 July 2017

The 'my purse wants to cry' haul

I need to stop spending money. Like seriously.

When it gets to the middle of the month and pay day is in sight I get really spend-ey, especially when I have money left to spend. I should be starting to save the money I don't spend in the month but I end up blowing it all on random stuff. So here is the most recent time I blew my hard earned cash on pointless things!

Let's start with something I was really excited to get but it took my local Superdrug so long to get it in that I'd forgotten what I wanted when I walked up to the stand, but I knew I wanted something! It's the Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Champagne Sorbet and it was definitely worth the wait. It's not the most intense highlight I have (Champagne Pop I'm looking at you) but it gives an amazing daytime glow that brings life to my face when I'm struggling in the morning. What a gorgeous champagne shimmer!

Skincare wise I was in need stocking up and the Body Shop didn't disappoint. Once again they had an amazing deal/offer on and I ended up paying WAY less than full price. First up is the Vitamin E Eye Cream. It's a thick cream that feels cooling and I'm enjoying using it so far. I really wanted to get a new moisturiser because the one I was using wasn't sinking into my skin and making me feel greasy. I picked up the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser. This smells amazing and makes my skin fell bouncy and hydrated. I also picked up the Vitamin C Energising Spray. I forgot how much I loved this spray, it just gives my skin a refresh and is just what it needs half way through the day. Repurchase of the Simple Micellar Water, love this.

When I was in Superdrug I spotted this L'Oreal Multi-masking Play-Kit and I'd definitely recommend picking this up if you've thought about trying these masks. There's so much in these little pots, I've used it twice and I reckon I have another ten applications left, yeah I know. Also just had a check and they're on offer! Also from Superdrug I picked up a Colab Dry Shampoo in Tropical. It gives my hair volume, makes it look less like a greaseball and smells amazing! Literally every time I move my head it smells like an island paradise.

Random bits and bobs include stuff for my bedroom. I'm having a redecorating moment so I bought a copper pencil pot for makeup brushes, a fake succulent plant and some copper spray paint, I've just spruced up my old desk chair, all from Wilkinson's. I love Wilkinson's for home stuff, it's good and at a really good price.

What's been a favourite recent purchase of yours?
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