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?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Five minute summer face (that takes me fifteen)

It takes me forever to do my makeup in a morning. What would take some two minutes will take me ten, especially when I've still not woken up properly. So, this has been my go-to 'work face' that takes  about 15 to 20 minutes in a morning and] lasts just long enough to get me through the working day. A lot of the products are cream as well as I've found that I can pretty much swipe, blend and go.

After some good weather and an experiment with the St Tropez Self Tan Express Face Sheet Masks (which side note worked out quite well) my skin is looking quite tanned so I've ditched the foundation. I've been going straight in with concealer and I've been reaching for the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer. I just apply it under my eyes so I don't look quite as dead in the morning and maybe a little bit on my chin if it's looking a bit spotty. This is normally when I go in with powder but because I'm all about the cream products it's time for bronzer. Last year I bought the L'Oreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil and I love the way it makes my skin look, like a natural glow. I use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply this and put it where I usually bronze, forehead, cheekbone area and jawline down my neck. I then do two swipes of this Collection Speedy Brush in the shade Cheeky on both of my cheeks and blend out with my Body Shop buffing brush, a flat topped brush. One swipe on each cheek is enough to blend out to a nice flush and it lasts pretty much all day without making me look like I'm red, hot and sweaty. Highlight wise I've been using the MUA Luxe Ombre Highlight Stick. There are three shades on the stick, light, medium and dark. What I do is angle the stick to just put the lighter two shades on the tops of my cheek bones, cupids bow and the end of my nose. It gives a great glow that isn't overly subtle but not as in your face as my others.

A quick dusting of my Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder and that's my base sorted. I sometimes give my face a quick spritz with the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, just to make sure I don't sweat everything off throughout the day (because, TMI, I do get a little greasy).

For my eyes I start off with the Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 21 Passion Fruit. It's so easy to use, swipe blend and done. It's a gorgeous pink gold that goes well with Tanya Burr My Paradise Palette. I usually use the shade Tranquility all over my lid and just blend it out, leaving a shimmery pink that to me screams summer. Add a touch of mascara (L'Oreal Baby Roll is my pick at the minute, does the job) and that's my eyes done. Very toned down from what I usually do but it takes me next to no time.

To finish everything off my brows, which will have been waxed and tinted within the last month, get a quick brush through with the tinted side of the Fleur de Force by Eyelure Brow Tamer in Medium. My lipstick of choice is something light, in both colour and texture. I've been reaching for the Clinique Pop Lipstick in Melon Pop. The peachy colour makes my skin look more bronzed and I like the fact that it's glossy but doesn't come straight off. Love love love!

What's your favourite summer makeup product?

Clinique Melon Pop | MUA Luxe Ombre | Collection Cheeky | Tanya Burr My Paradise | Kiko Passion Fruit

Friday, 21 July 2017

Zoella Jelly & Gelato Collection | First Impressions

Just realised that I'm going to be posting two first impressions posts in a row. Sorry, but also I HAD to post this. Normally I'm not sucked into a new launch where I absolutely have to buy the product the day it's released. For some reason this one was different and I found myself frantically scrolling through Feel Unique trying to decide which products to buy. I settled on a shower gel, Shower Shake, and a scrub, Cream Scrub, partly because these caught my eye the most but also because I'm running out of scrub and I can always use a shower gel.

Just a disclaimer, I haven't been a religious buyer of the Zoella Beauty range but I've been getting more and more interested in the products with each new release.

Starting off with the packaging I am totally in love with it. The bright but muted pastel colours go really well together and massively give me summer vibes. That font is the thing dreams are made of and the shiny gold just finishes everything off. The straw on the Shower Shake is literally the cutest thing ever. When I saw the picture of it online I thought it was a bit gimmicky but in the time I've had this I've pretended to drink from it like thirty times. The pot that houses the Creamy Scrub feels really sturdy and there looks to be a fair amount of product in them both.

The scent. For some reason I was thinking this was going to be a sweet, vanilla scent, much like the Sweet Inspirations collection from last year. I know, I know, the description of these products is that they are Elderflower and Pomegranate but the ice cream theme and packaging took my mind to something sweet. That being said I do really like this scent. It makes me feel really nostalgic, I have no idea why, but it does remind me of jelly so maybe I'm thinking back to birthday parties. It's slightly sweet but also a bit floral, not in a granny way but in a refreshing way. Definitely summery.

Let's get into the actual products. When testing these out I went for the scrub first which is an orange colour (the same as the orange on the Shower Shake packaging). It's one of the thicker scrubs I've used and I found that I had to scoop right down to get out the product. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it shows how thick it is. I also had to rub the product together in my palm to make it soft enough to rub on my leg. This scrub sits somewhere in between rough and gentle, not quite as scrubby as the Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub but not as gentle as the Body Shop Coconut Scrub, which is the scrub I'm currently using. The texture is like a thick balm with soft flaking beads in it which gives a good scrub without being too harsh and feeling like I've rubbed sandpaper up and down my leg. I'm a big fan of this scrub and I think it might become a firm favourite in my stash.

I'm just going to get this out there, the Shower Shake is amazing. I'm a big fan of the Soap and Glory Whipped Clean because it's so thick and this is exactly the same. It's a really thick cream that made shaving my legs an absolute dream and made my entire body feel soft in the shower. What I wanted to really test out though is how moisturising it was. The product description said that it would give a boost of moisture so I wondered if it would make my skin feel as it I had used a moisturiser after using it. I'm a serial moisturiser, I can't go a day without slathering a body butter on my body, so I was intrigued to see if I felt the need to moisturise. Although I will moisturise after using this product in the future, I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. My skin didn't feel tight and itchy like it does sometimes when I get out of the shower. My skin felt smooth and soft and I didn't feel like my skin desperately needed extra moisture.

Overall both of these products get two big thumbs up from me and I definitely want to try more from the range.

Have you tried any of the other products from this range? What did you think?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

From white to whoa that's tanned | St Tropez First Impressions

My uni friends will tell you, I'm not a fake tanner. I went through my uni years without the tactile tanning sessions to make sure the body glow was at the optimum level for nights out, I never understood what all the fuss was about. That was, however, until a couple of months ago. I was going to my cousins wedding and wanted a little bit of a tan so I didn't look like a ghost up against my other family members. I read reviews and it looked like St Tropez Express Tan was the way to go, a natural tan that develops in three hours and means I won't have to sleep feeling sticky. On my trial run I didn't go overboard and I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't looking much darker than I did when I was going au natural. So the next time, I went all out a smothered myself in the stuff. This is when everything changed. I think I like the compliments I get more than anything. Like, 'ooh you look tanned' or 'have you been away'. No I have not, it was all done in the comfort of my own bathroom!

Anyway, since this revelation I've still not delved majorly into the world of fake tan but there are two products I've found work for me so I thought I'd share them. The first is the above mentioned St Tropez Express Tan. So easy to use, you just have a shower, tan yourself, wait one to three hours, shower it off, go to sleep and wake up in the morning to find yourself a golden goddess. If, like me, you're quite new to the tanning world I'd recommend getting this little kit. It's £15 and you get a bit, a mini exfoliator, a mini moisturiser and a mini Express Tan. It means you can try out the tan without having to shell out £33 on something you might not like. Plus I've had three applications from the mini and I reckon it could do another so there's plenty to give it a good test! I'd read reviews that the St Tropez In-Shower Tan was good but not great and that it worked best as a top up for a pre existing tan. So after my recent holiday I thought I'd get it to give it a whirl. Cue an email from Beauty Bay saying St Tropez was 20% off and I was soon the proud owner of another money saving (well sort of) minis set. This set (which I can't seem to find on the website anymore which is a shame seeing as I only bought it a couple of weeks ago.) features the Classic Tan, In-Shower Tan and Gradual Tan. I'm yet to use the other two products (but I'll let you know what I think if I like them) but I quite liked the shower tan. After I got over the fact that I have no idea how much to apply or where I had already applied it, it worked quite well. I can understand that there would be next to no colour had I not had a 'base layer' but I can see this as a good product to top up my holiday glow.

What's your favourite tanning brand and product. Obviously I'm still new to the world of tanning so I'd appreciate any recommendations!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Why Quads Hold a Special Place in My Heart

As much as a huge palette filled with 40+ shades really gets me pumped up and ready for a smokey eye, I always find myself reaching for my quads. I don't know if it's the fact that they're filled with my favourite shades or because all the shadows of together, but I just can't get enough of them. 

My journey into the world of quads started at the beginning of my third year of uni when I bought myself the Fleur de Force Cosmic Bronze Quad (which I don't know if they actually sell anymore - sad). At first I thought the shimmery shade would be the one I used the most and the others would kind of get left behind. But oh no was I wrong, that's definitely my least used. I love the way the other three shades go together and are so versatile. I like that I could go full out brown smokey, something a bit more natural or with a deep brown crease and winged liner. 

The fact that I can just pull out a palette and work my way round really appeals to me but I also the love the fact that usually there is one or two shades that can be slapped on your eye on their own. My favourite 'slap on' shade is Innocent by NYX. It looks like nothing in the pan but paired with the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Jean it transforms into a lovely shimmery, golden eye. In fact all of these shades are gorgeous (to read my full thoughts on this palette, click here.)

My favourite quad has to be my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette. I mean, look at it. How could this not be my top dog. It has all the shades you need for the perfect smokey eye, and that 'pop' shade is just stunning! At the minute, for more of a warm summery eye, I'm really liking the Tanya Burr My Paradise Palette. although the three shimmery shades aren't overly different from each other, they create a nice, warm, rose gold eye that I like to pair with winged liner and tonnes of mascara.

Know of any other quads I should try out? Please let me know (I need to be enabled to buy more makeup I don't need!)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The 'I Need A Good Pamper' Haul

Whenever my parents tell me they're going to ditch me on an evening my immediate response is that I'm going to have a bath. So when they told me that I would be spending a Sunday night all on my lonesome, I decided to stock up on some 'pamper products'. I already had my bubbles of choice (The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Foaming Bath from Christmas - still available online) so it was just a case of picking up a new candle and something to give my face a good detox.

Let's go with masks first. I've been eyeing up the L'Oreal Pure Clay Masks for a while so I decided to bite the bullet and go for the Purity Mask. I didn't want to buy all three at once because I thought that would be a bit hard on my bank account and this one seemed to do the things I look for in a mask, clean my skin and mattify. I really like the texture of this, a bit like a gel, and it dried down totally in 15 minutes and left my skin feeling tight and cleaned but also moisturised. If anyone has all three masks let me know if it's worth getting the other two because I really like this one so far. I also got myself a Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask. I love how easy these are to use and how hydrated my skin feels after applying one. I put this one once I'd finished with my L'Oreal mask and the cooling effect this had on my face just made me sink into the bath and relax even more. I'd definitely recommend checking these out. I don't have dry skin but it is quite dehydrated and this works wonders.

I picked up some of the Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Facial Pore Strips from Boots. I love these! It's really grim but they're so satisfying and I feel like my skin gets a good clean when I use one of these. Anyone who likes watching 'those' videos on the internet then get yourself a pack of these (I feel like a disgusting human). Also from that range I bought a new blemish stick. Now let me start off by saying this is the weirdest spot treatment I've ever seen. It comes in a tube as fat as my thumb and is bright blue...yeah, weird. I've not been using it for long enough to see if it's doing the job but it hasn't broken me out yet so so far so good.

Last but not least I picked up a Zoella Lazy Days candle. I've been thinking about trying one of these for a while and I found the scent quite interesting, quite clean but also kind of sweet. I can happily report that I'm quite impressed. What I love about this candle is within just a few hours of first burning it, the wax had burnt all the way across. I've had candles of the same size that take eight plus hours to burn all the way across and it really gets on my wick (haha what a pun). I think I might be picking up some more of these!

What's your go-to pamper product?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A very exciting airport purchase | Dior Addict Lipstick

I recently came back from a week away in Lanzarote and what an amazing week of relaxation it was. Seven days of sun, tapas and lots of reading, we were back at the airport waiting to catch a flight back to unusually sunny Britain, *sob*. As a final holiday treat to myself I decided I was going to buy something a little more high end that I wouldn't think about getting at home. After wandering around the duty free shop in Arrecife airport I decided with it's beautiful packaging and great shade selection that a Dior lipstick would be the way to go. A fair few swatches later I walked out of the shop with the Dior Addict Lipstick in Tout-Paris.

I'm in love with this lipstick. The texture is soft and creamy but not at all sticky and it has a decent lasting power on the lips. The colour I went for, Tout-Paris, is a sheer bright pink. I wanted something that I would wear everyday because even though it will be a 'special product' I wanted to make sure it wouldn't just sit in a drawer gathering dust. It works well on it's own and gives a sheen to the lips but I also love to use it on top of my Body Shop Lip Liner in Clover Pink, a my lips but better colour. I think it's the perfect product for summer and I can't wait to wear it on the daily!

I'd love to add more high end products to my collection so any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Dior Addict Lipstick | Tout-Paris

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Travel minis to make your heart melt

I'm going to sound like every blogger on the internet when I say I love minis. Not only do they look really cute and dinky but they drastically reduce the weight of my suitcase.

I'm going to start with one of the cutest things I'll be taking away with me, the Gillette Venus Snap Portable Razor. It's a normal sized razor head on a short stubby handle and comes in a small plastic case. Whoever invented this is a serious genius because it just makes so much sense. It's just as good to use as a normal razor but is 10 times cuter!

One thing that takes up an unnecessarily large amount of space is micellar water. It's big, it's bulky, but I can't live without it. So I've finally been organised and bought (or got my parents to buy because I'm too lazy) the mini Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. Although at the minute I'm using the micellar water from Simple, this one is just as good and will do a great job at taking off the makeup that doesn't disappear after I've used my Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter - another great product to travel with.

The Body Shop are great for minis and thanks to my advent calendar at Christmas I'm pretty stocked up. I have the Rainforest Radiance Shampoo, Coconut Shower Gel and Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream. They all smell amazing and work really well, what more can you ask for! I also have minis of both of my moisturisers which I got in the advent calendar - talk about luck, Vitamin E Moisture Cream and Oils of Life Sleeping Cream. I'm going to use them both up and if I change moisturisers I'll just wash out the pot and refill!

Something which I totally love is the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner. I don't use it normally but it is just what my hair needs after it's been battered with chlorine. I also like to take a mini Batiste Dry Shampoo just in case I don't go for a swim so don't need to wash my hair but want to refresh it a bit. my favourite scent is Tropical but Blush will do.

Other cute products I have in my bag are a Nivea Invisible Deodorant, Burts Bees Coconut and Pear Lip Balm, Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Eye Cream and, of course, a toothbrush!

What's your favourite product for summer?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Summer products that come out of hiding

I love winter, it's my favourite of the seasons but there's something about summer makeup that gets me excited. I love the bright colours and the glossy finishes that summery products give, although a high coverage matte base is what I'm all about.

The first product that comes out in the summertime is SPF. I know! I'm sorry! I should wear SPF all the time but I only ever remember when it's sunny outside. I'm currently using the Clarins UV Plus UV+ SPF50 neutral which I got free from a Sephora once upon a time. Because I always forget to wear it except in summer, it's one of the product that gets introduced back into my collection at this time every year. Another product that I've reintroduced into my collection is the L'Oreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil. It's a really good product when you just want to give your face a natural bronze and give it some warmth. I use a stippling brush to apply this where I normally put my bronzer and it gives such a nice warmth to the face and makes me look a little more sun kissed. I'm totally loving it at the minute. 

Two years ago when I was in Florida I bought the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy and fell in total love. It's a beautiful coral/pink colour that is perfect for summer and has been a staple in my collection since I bought it. It can be quite easy to overdo it with this product as it's very pigmented but using just a little bit at a time means you can build up a gorgeous glow. I've been loving this blush when I use the Tanya Burr My Paradise palette on my eyes. Now last but not least the Clinique Pop Lipsticks in Melon Pop and Poppy Pop. Just look at these. Not only do the shades scream summer but the formula is so creamy they are perfect to wear when it's boiling hot outside. I'm not often brave enough to wear Poppy Pop but Melon Pop is so easy to wear, it's perfect for everyday.

Do you have any products that you get out of hiding when summer rolls around? Let me know!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Tanya Burr Neutral Ambiance | First Impressions

I knew I wanted to try this collection as soon as I saw it. I mean look at these colours! Totally stunning and nothing like I currently have in my collection. I've tried a few things from Tanya Burr Cosmetics before, I like the Pink Cocoa lipstick, I love her matte lipsticks but I didn't get on with her Hollywood Eyeshadow palette. I didn't think the pigment translated onto the eyes, but as soon as i saw this palette I knew I had to try it. So, I bought the eyeshadow palette in My Paradise and the lipstick in Sunday Walk. The packaging on both matches the rest of the range, which I really like on the lipstick, sturdy. But I wish the eyeshadow packaging was thinner, that would just make it perfect because it closes nicely and the mirror is a nice touch.

For this first impressions I really wanted to give you a thorough review. So, I'm going to split it into two sections, swatches and throughout the day. So let's get into it!

L-R: Champagne Cocktail | Tranquility | Miami Sunrise | Hammock

Starting with the lipstick. Very soft and creamy. When I applied it onto the back of my hand it felt moisturising but that it was going to stay on my lips for a while, unlike Pink Cocoa which is very creamy but is gone from my lips within the hour. I love the colour, very pink but a soft pink that I think on my lips will pass as a nude.
 These eyeshadows are stunning. They really do look like a sunset, very rose gold and I can't wait to put them on my eyes. When swatching the shimmery shades (Champagne Cocktail, Tranquility and Miami Sunrise) they were really pigmented with one swipe and give off a gorgeous sheen. What I will say is on my arm, those three shades are very similar. They might look different on the eye but that was just what I noticed when I first swatched them. The one thing I am wondering about is Hammock. It's a ashy matte brown which I think will look lovely in the crease but when I swatched it I was quite disappointed. It wasn't coming up as pigmented as the shimmer shade but I do find that can happen with matte shades. The proof will be in the pudding when I test it on my eyes.

Sunday Walk
I applied my makeup at about 7.30am in the morning before I set off for work. I wanted to make sure I gave the eyeshadow the best chance at staying on my eyes so I applied Mac Painterly Paint Pot as a base and then went over that with the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. I first applied Champagne Cocktail on the inner part of my lid, packing it on with a Mac 242 brush. I then used Tranquility on the second half of my lid and took Miami Sunrise in my crease with a Mac 217. Finishing off, I used Hammock, also on a Mac 217, on the outer corner of my eye. The eyeshadows were nice and pigmented and there was literally no fall out. I'm still not sure about Hammock as a shade, it looks really nice with the rest of the eye look but I'll have to give it more of a test I think.

I 'checked in' with my makeup every two hours from finishing my makeup at about 8pm.

*Something to note about this day is that it was very warm, like 26 degrees warm*

10am // Eyes: Look just as good as when I applied it, no change.
Lips: After a bagel and a cup of tea a lot of the lipstick has worn off, there's still a little bit of pigment hanging around but not loads. May have to reapply soon.

12pm// Eyes: Can start to see it wearing away on the inner part of my crease, which is where my eyeshadow usually wears away first. Other than that though it still looks great.
Lips: One more cup of tea later and the lipstick's all gone now, I'll have my lunch then reapply.

Lipstick reapplication: 1.10pm - Reapplied nicely but there was pretty much nothing left on my lips

2pm// Eyes: Just a little bit more wearing on the inner crease but as I said that's usually what happens with my eyeshadow throughout the day. I'm still pretty impressed as it is a VERY warm day today.
Lips: Looking good, it's 50 minutes since I reapplied and it's looking good. I've only been drinking water but still intact. Loving the colour, really natural.

4pm// Eyes: As I said before it's looking a little greasy on my inner crease and the shadow has pretty much disappeared from part of it but on the rest of my lid it's still totally there and when my eyes are open there's no way you would be able to tell that some of it had rubbed off. It wouldn't be too hard to touch up either if I wanted to.
Lips: The shine has gone but I have to say the pigment is still there. I've eaten an apple and drunk some more but it's looking not too bad

6pm// Eyes: It has started to wear off on the rest of my lid now. Still looks fine when I open my eyes but you can tell when they're closed. The outer corners still look great though.
Lips: One Magnum later and it's pretty much gone but there is a tint of pink that's been left behind. Not too bad for a moisturising lipstick.

Reapplication: 6pm - I touched up Champagne Cocktail on my inner lid and although it took quite a bit of blending it looks just like it did this morning. I also put a little bit of Tranquility on the centre of my lid, it hadn't really warn off there but just to blend it in more to Champagne Cocktail. Also, reapplied my lipstick but this time I used the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk as I'm going out for tea and I want to see how long it lasts with something to cling to.

8pm// Eyes: The same. Just as I'd reapplied.
Lips: Eaten a starter and a main and drunk some wine, the lipstick has gone so just the lip line remains. I have to say I'm a little disappointed, thought it was going to stick around a bit longer with the lip liner.

I love the eyeshadow. It sticks around just as long as some of my high end eyeshadows do, which for £5.99 is pretty great. The shades are also gorgeous, although I am still a bit unsure about Hammock but as I said it worked really well with the rest of the eye look. I love the colour of the lipstick and that it does look like a more spring 'my lips but better'. The only issue is that if I have a drink or eat anything I can pretty much guarantee it's not going to be there. I'm going to try it with a different lipliner or applying it with a lip brush to see if it could last just a little bit longer. Overall I'm very pleased with them both - definitely want to try the My Escape palette now!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Making the most of a relaxing bath

I love a good bath. No I REALLY love baths. If I'm bored, I'll have a bath, if I'm home alone, I'll have a bath, spare hour, you get the picture. It's just nice to hop into a nice warm bath with some YouTube videos and give yourself a pamper. Here are the products I like to use when I step into the relaxing bath world.

Let's start with candles. A bath is not a bath without a candle. I normally burn four non-scented tea lights, put two at the end of the bath and two on the ledge that sits behind my head. For scent I then light whatever candle I have on the go. When this photo was taken I was burning All is Bright by Yankee Candle but my current candle is The Body Shop Hawaii Kukui. I love the scent of this candle so much, I just wish it burnt perfectly flat and not in steps. I've tried everything but it won't burn all the way across! Bubbles make a bath for me. I love a good lush bath bomb as well (I recently tried Dragon's Egg and it was just a citrus delight) but bubbles are what make it special. After Christmas I made sure I stocked up on The Body Shop Frosted Berries Foaming Bath. It makes beautiful big bubbles and gives off the fruity scent all throughout the bath which I love because this is one of my favourite Body Shop scents.

After sitting in the bath for ten minutes I give my face a bit of a pamper. I make sure I cleanse my face before I start with The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil then scrub my nose with the Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It to get rid of the dirt on my nose. I then apply a face mask, usually a mix of two Origins masks, Out of Trouble and the Clear Improvements. They give my skin an intense clean and bring out any impurities.

After 20 minutes, and usually a Lily Pebbles video later, I wash off the mask and start with my least favourite task, exfoliating. I love it when I do it, I'm all about soft skin, but the thought of doing it just makes me tired and lazy. When I do remember to scrub I use the Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub. It is seriously scubb-y and smells amazing, like pure sugar and sweetness. Hair wash time! My hair wash of choice at the moment is L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology, a shampoo and conditioner that's meant to thicken fine hair. It's good and I'm enjoying using it but I can't say I've seen that my hair is noticeably thicker but it cleans it and doesn't make it greasy which in my book is a win win. I've been using the Soap and Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel and I have to say nothing else lathers like it. It makes me feel super clean and (CAUTION: TMI) it gives me a really good shave and leaves my legs super soft. To finish off the bath I just have one final relaxing moment and it's time to get out. Did I mention I just love baths!

I'd love to try some more bath products so if you have any recommendations for bubbles, bath bombs or oils please let me know!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The foundation so good that I bought two

I think I've finally found my perfect foundation that gives me everything I need. In January I spontaneously bought the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in the lightest shade they had, 110 Ivory, and instantly fell in love. I'd heard good things about it before but assumed it wouldn't be matte enough for my skin as at the time I was using the L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation. However, the first time I used it lasted all day. All. Day. Without it separating or rubbing off. I was pretty amazed. This was the start of a serious love affair that is still happening.

I forgot to mention this is for the combination/oily version of this foundation and not normal/dry. I also have dehydrated skin which can be quite oily.

This is what I'd call a true liquid foundation if that makes sense. So instead of being slightly thick and mousse-y like the L'Oreal Infallible 24 Matte or really runny like the Bourjois CC Cream it sits in the middle. This means that when I apply it to my skin it gives me the medium to full coverage I like in a foundation but it sinks into my skin instead of sitting on top. It creates a smooth canvas on my face and when I use it I notice the rest of my makeup applies a lot better. Throughout the day I do still have to blot a little to remove any excess oil but I'm definitely not a sweaty mess by the end of the working day, which I sometimes find when I use my beloved L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation. Now, if I'm having a particularly oily day, the foundation does rub off a little but it's not nearly as bad as it could be. So although it's not a miracle worker, it's pretty close!

Anyway, on to why I have these two shades. I've started to dabble in fake tan, a world which I'm totally involved in, and I needed to get a foundation I can use when I'm a little bit more tanned. It was a no brainer that this was the foundation I would choose as it is by far my favourite at the moment. I chose the shade 180 Sand Beige, two shades up from my natural skin tone shade. I was going to go just one up, which would have been Buff, but I didn't know if that would have been dark enough. I'm glad I went with Sand Beige as even though it is quite a bit darker it means that when mixed with Ivory I can create the best colour I need for how tanned I am at the time.

Do you love this foundation too or is there another one you think I should try? Let me know!

Left to right: 110 Ivory | 180 Sand Beige

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The most Instagramable Coffee place - Tamper Coffee

This place was one of the most cool places I've ever been. Cool in the fact that I imagine cool bloggers to go there, have a latte with a fancy pattern on the top and instagram a perfectly flat-layed photo. Oh the dream! Anyway, my brother shared this little gem with me and my mum when we went to drop him off at university. It's called Tamper Coffee and is on Arundel Street.

It looks like nothing from the outside, just a wooden door that you would walk past without giving it a second look. But as soon as you step inside it's like you're hit with cool vibes. So much wood and exposed brickwork, I love it! There was also such a buzz inside it was full of people, weird when we had just come from a dead quiet street. We had to wait about five minutes for a table but everything else came super speedily.

It serves breakfast and then lunch from 12pm but there's a lot of crossover on the menu. There was a decent amount of choice, something for everyone without leaving you overwhelmed. I went for a hot chocolate and an eggs benedict, you could add smoked salmon or bacon but I wanted to try it in its 'original' form. Tick number one for this dish, perfect poached eggs. I think you can always tell a good place by their ability to cook poached eggs. Tick number two, it came with bubble and squeak. I am ALL about bubble and squeak and it was a nice addition that gave the dish just an extra pinch of tastiness. The hollandaise sauce was delicious and the muffin that everything sat on was soft and doughy. The only thing I would say about it is that there was a heck of a lot of spinach, and I like spinach, so I did take some of it off. Other than that I have to say I was very impressed and it was a delicious experience. Not much to say on the hot chocolate front other than it was really nice, not overly sweet but also not sickly. A good, simple hot chocolate.

If you're ever in Sheffield then I would definitely recommend checking this place out, especially if you want a good instagram or you're hoping cool vibes will rub off on you (no, just me?).

If there are any more places, preferably in the northern area of the country, that serves delicious food but will also do my instagram some good then please let me know!

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