Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas 2014

Hello there!

I know a lot of people have already posted about their Christmas but I've loved seeing what other people get up to, their decorations and their traditions so I thought I'd share mine too.

One of my favourite things about Christmas is my dog; he absolutely LOVES wrapping paper! He waits patiently for you to unwrap your present and then runs away with the paper to shred it up. By the end of the opening session he's surrounded and normally has a load stuck to his tail! What a beauty!



I've dyed my hair back dark now and have been loving curling it and having it all back to my usual colour again. Blonde highlights were fun for the summer but I do prefer it this colour.

Wasn't long before Christmas dinner was served, we have ours about 1ish so I hadn't had many snacks beforehand and piled my plate up high! We had a massive turkey joint from our local butchers that we are still eating now.....even after the turkey curry!




My job was to make a cheesecake for the big day so I made a ferrero rocher hazelnut cheesecake in the tin above. It took a good few hours to set but when we removed it it looked really good and didn't last long at all!

My dog seemed pretty happy with his new blanket and teddies that he had, what a spoilt pooch!


We spent the afternoon playing games including a beetle drive, boy girl fruit flower and a few others. They were so much fun with everyone joining in especially making mistakes and coming up with wrong answers!

I had some lovely things for Christmas. My main present was a Hudl2 which is a tablet, I've wanted a tablet for ages but haven't been able to afford them and had no idea my parents had got me one! It was a lovely surprise and I'm hoping it will make blogging a lot easier too as I can do it on the go.

I also had a jar of nutella with my name on which was a personal highlight:



I also had some amazing Alice in Wonderland items, my mum went on a bit of a theme! There was a mug and loose leaf tea from Whittards, a vintage Alice in Wonderland book and a diary for the year. I also have an owl diary so will have to decide which is going to be my work diary and which is going to be for blogging and fitness related things!




In my Secret Santa gift I had a lovely bauble from Molton Brown filled with hand wash; how beautiful is this! I've never seen them before so it was a lovely surprise (though i think was well over our £5 budget!)


Since Christmas Day we've been making our way through the leftovers by making Bubble and Squeak which is a Boxing Day tradition for us and also our annual winter beach walk. I've been shopping in the sales and spent a ridiculous amount of money on a black wool coat from Linea and a black Ralph Lauren dress that I'd seen full price and loved; I never thought it would be in the sale so I had to get it!



I have been shopping for a dress for New Year's Eve too, this little black dress cost me £20 in the sale so I'm really pleased with such a bargain! I'm going to a friend's house for the night so needed something nice but also comfortable; this doesn't come with a belt and has a nice elasticated waistband and can be worn with tights so its perfect. I will be keeping warm and comfortable as well as hopefully looking nice too!



I love the gold details on the bottom of the dress; black and gold is definitely a favourite of mine. I also did my nails nude and sparkly; this is Essie's Sand Tropez with Barry M's Rose Quartz glitter on top. It's a simple but pretty combo and I've added as many layers as possible for the ultimate New Year's bling!


What have you been up to? Did you all have a good Christmas?

What will you be wearing tonight, do you have big plans or a quiet night in?

I'm hoping mines a bit of both!

L xxx


Monday, 29 December 2014

Nars and God Created Women Palette

Hey All

Hope you've had a great Christmas. Mine was spent at home with the family. The week I was home has flown by in a busy rush and I'm not lookin forward to work today.

This Nars palette was something I got in my space nk haul bak in October. I was drawn to it as the natural colours looked like something I could use everyday and the palette was much smaller than my naked palettes to throw in a make up bag for when I stay at the other halfs.



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The colours at the top are with primer.

I also loved that it came with a mini eyeshadow primer and brush. I'd heard a lot about the primer and wanted to try it, especially as I'd heard it was good for oily skin.

When the palette arrived it didn't disapoint. I love the compact size of it and the colours were gorgeous. Having never tried Nars eyeshadows I didn't know what to expect with pigmentation and blendibility (have I just made up that word?). The shimmer colours were easy to apply to the eyes and had a soft buttery texture. The two matte shades also b
ended well but weren't as soft as the shimmers. The pigmentation is also impressive and all the colours apply well. With primer the colours are even more intense.

The palette is versitile and the colours easily work for day time but can be built up for a more intense evening look.

Here are some of the looks I've created with the palette. The last few photos also show te shadows after twelve hours where. An eyeshadow that really lasts is imporant to me as I usually end up doing things straigh after work so need something that last through.

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This is with the lightest colour all over the lid and the light matte brown/taupe blended in the crease.

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Here I used the darker colours to deepen the crease and outer V.

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After twelve hours wear

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The handbag size of this appeals to me as I quite oftendo my make up on the bus. The packaging is the standard Nars monochrome so it is quite grubby now from being in my handbag. Each eyeshadow is a gram so a reasonable size (a regular mac eyeshadow is 1.5 grams).

I can't wait to get my hands on more nars eyeshadows. I'm impressed with them. Have youtried the Nars eyeshadows?

Love M



Friday, 26 December 2014

Festive Make Up Ideas

Hello there!

I'm sure we are all feeling very full and probably a little ashamed of our eating habits yesterday. As usual I ended up eating a massive Christmas dinner with cheesecake to finish and then following it up with a second round later on in the evening along with chocolates and nibbles....the guilt is unreal.

The last thing that is on my mind right now is getting ready for my next night out, particularly New Year's Eve as it seems so far away and another eating/drinking session seems a bit vile. However the planning necessary for the hair and make up element of the night seems a nice and easy task right now.

I've been looking up some inspiration and instead of trying to create my own to show you I thought I'd leave it to the more capable hands of Pinterest. All of these images have come from there and have been pinned to the Make Up board on my account if you'd like to view them (username is Dora263)

So yes, to double clarify, none of these are my own just purely some inspiration for some simple and some more extravagant beauty ideas for the end of year party.

I'm not sure you can ever go wrong with a winged liner and a red lip; even amongst these photos there are differences and each and every one of them look amazing. The bed head hair and the shiny red lip, porcelain skin and a matte red lip, followed by Kim Kardashian type eye make up and an ombre lip. The world is your oyster but each one looks classic and if you're not sure where you'are going or want to play it safe this is the perfect option. (Or if you're like me you'll end up choosing it as a standard look every time you go out - what a fail safe)

Another fave is a winged liner and vampy lip, works best on super pale skin for the biggest contrast but also this liner is purple giving her a fresh take on the classic black and red combo. Experimenting with colours on the eyes is so much fun, I will definitely be using my new sets from Urban Decay for this as the brighter colours are gorgeous!

Another look that cannot go wrong is glitter, especially in metallic and nude form. Start with a nude smoky eye and you can build up glitter on the inner corners of the eye, the centre of the lid or generally all over for a proper princess look. I'm a fan of all three to be honest, sometimes you can get glitter to stick on top of eyeshadow with water but otherwise lash glue will work and I've even used vaseline to get it into a paste and that works really well.

As for hair styles, I'm very much a straightened or curly kind of girl. There's no level of experimentation with my hair and I do feel quite boring sometimes. Tying it up for work everyday takes its toll and I love having it down when I can. Having said that, if I had some talent I would be trying these hair styles:

When has a messy bun ever looked out of place?
Allegedly super easy - I may have successfully done this myself - it also looks chic and you can do it whatever your hair length or type (almost!).

If I could wake up with any hair it would be this. Every day I dream of having hair with volume and bounce and a little bit of a wave but still being sleek. Siiiiiigh.

Volume is the key here so patience with blow drying upside down and some mousse is probably a good idea. Sleep in rollers allegedly do the trick so I'd love to try these out a few times but I struggled previously as my hair was so long I couldn't reach the ends of it to roll it up which was a problem!

Another favourite is this one, the Barbie ponytail:

Another classic (I'm clearly restrained in all manners of beauty!) but this one is perfect if you've had to work and don't have much time. Products like the XXL volume dry shampoo from Batiste are 100% your best friend. It makes my hair feel like the bark of a tree but nothing has ever worked wonders on slightyl dirty hair like this has. My hair looked like it had been transformed and re-blow dried and it curled so easily and held for hours. You'd have no problem getting the root volume and curling the ends for a look like this with little effort; girls having to work til late on NYE, I've got your back!
(Just don't let anyone touch your hair all night...)

Last for discussion today is nails. And really, there's only one answer for that:


I'd say whatever colour combo you like as long as it's glittery!

What make up, hair and nail looks will you be sporting over the festive period? Did you get any new products for Christmas that you're desperate to try out?

Let me know if you have any additional ideas, I'm always looking for more inspiration!

If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest feel free to, I love browsing on it as much as I can. There's always a beautiful set of pictures to look at.

L xxx


Thursday, 25 December 2014

2014: The Round Up

So a very Merry Christmas to you all!

Hope you are all having a lovely day so far and looking forward to your Christmas dinner as much as I am...

Today's post is a bit of a round up of my year in pictures, I was hoping it would be an easy post to write and read but I seem to have been up to a lot in the last year!

One of my favourite pictures from the year of myself (in a non up myself kind of way - good way to start a post!) is the one below, I finally fitted into a dress that I've had for a while without looking like a right pig. I really liked this dress from M&S Limited Collection when I bought it but although the zip did up it never looked right and I certainly didn't feel comfortable in it.

My actual weight hasn't changed much but my composition of muscle and fat has changed and hopefully will continue to.
Going to the gym initially was something to stop me gaining weight and to get me active again whilst at uni doing my masters. Now it has become habit I enjoy going a few times a week and it feels weird if i don't go; hopefully throughout the next year I will see further improvements as I plan to work harder and push myself even more.

Next up was my first ever festival, Glastonbury. 
I'd also never stayed in a tent before so it was a lot of firsts all rolled into one and I loved it!

I saw so many bands and ate so many different meals it was GREAT. I'd love to go back again but I've no idea what the future holds and the tickets completely passed me by this year, maybe I will have to try another festival.

Not long after I went to Edinburgh on a hen weekend and it was AMAZING. We went to the dungeons and wandered around Edinburgh shops for a bit and also went to the zoo, as well as karaoke and a night out - so much fun and I can't wait to go back to Edinburgh again as it was so beautiful.

I can see exactly why JK Rowling managed to write Harry Potter in a place like this.

A few weeks after this I spent a long time making a decision to leave a job that I thought would be a career that lasted years, if not the rest of my life. It was a massive and scary move to leave a job that I knew I would never be able to get again as they are like gold dust. I also didn't have another job to go to, and leaving a job (albeit one that made me feel like shit) was a pretty risky and some might say stupid move. Thankfully it has all worked out for the best and I have a new job now that I love and feel so much more comfortable and happy in and am really looking forward to the future there.

Around the same time there was a lot of other things going on in my life; my mum was also ill and had to go into hospital to have a tumour removed so it was stressful and definitely taking a big leap into the unknown. Thankfully everything is ok, her recovery has been pretty good and fingers crossed it's all over now and she can enjoy her early retirement (and make me extremely jealous with all of her holidays!).

I'm so unbelievably proud of myself and M for completing a Tough Mudder challenge in August; it was one of the hardest things I have ever done before both mentally and physically and the relief of getting to the finish line was overwhelming. But we both managed to do it and get there to claim our tshirt and most importantly, the headband and the pint.

We've just signed up for another for next year to get the green headband so I feel like comparing it to childbirth (not that I know what that feels like) but in the way that the pain doesn't seem to last as long as the feeling of triumph! Training begins after the Christmas food is out the way.

In fact leaving my job, my mum being in hospital and Tough Mudder all happened within 4 days so it was a pretty stressful, crazy and emotional few days and I'll be grateful for that to never happen again.

I've also been on a lot of walks around Wales that I am really looking forward to doing more of in 2015. My dog loves joining me and with views like this who can blame him?! It has certainly been an active year.

Beauty wise a few things have changed too. I had highlights and ombre in my hair so many times my hair was unrecognisable from its natural state. After a summer in Glasto and multiple hen weekends it certainly took a bashing so I've decided to go back dark again to my natural colour. You can see the massive difference in the photos above! I'll be staying dark for a long time now.

I kept telling myself I'd be restrained in 2014 and not buy so much....I did a lot better than previous years but seemed to have 2 rather large splurges at the end of the year. Oops!

I managed to use a lot of points, vouchers etc to get these and even cashed in a few Back to Macs this year so I definitely can't complain. The Pulp Fiction collection has been a firm favourite of mine and Nars is my latest favourite brand as I've been so impressed with everything I've tried from them.

2014 has been a massive whirlwind and for the first time since I started working at 16 I actually have time off over Christmas; and I'm not just talking the UK holidays, I have a whole 10 days off!

This year I'm really looking forward to spending the day with my family, eating a lot of good food and of course our annual Boxing Day walk on the beach (yep, you read that right!)

Having such a busy year has been both good and bad but I'm keeping everything crossed that next year will be happier and more successful than ever.

What are your plans for 2015? Do you have any hopes and dreams or resolutions to complete?

I'm having a little think about mine before publishing them next month!

L xxx

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