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?

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