Saturday, 31 January 2015

MAC Brule Eyeshadow


Good morning!

I'm really excited to show you my latest Mac purchase, its been a while since I've picked anything up from Mac so it was a pretty random purchase when I bought the Brulé eye-shadow. I've been building up my palette extremely slowly; I think this year it's definitely going to be a challenge for me to buy a few more shades and build up a palette that I can take anywhere. 


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Brulé is described as a soft creamy beige, its another nudey colour that so many people rave over. I absolutely love the eye shadows in the urban decay naked basics palette but I've been using Venus - a shimmery white satin colour - a lot more than the other colours so I know I need a similar colour in my Mac palette too so that I have one in every palette!

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You can see the colour with flash above and without flash below. To give Mac their credit this is a really smooth and blendable colour, I use it to cover my whole eyelid and create a good base before adding any further colours for definition. Their eyeshadows are a well respected area of their product range but they really are good and the colour range cannot be competed with.
However this isn't the colour that I thought it would be, it blends perfectly with my skin tone which is surprising as it's so light but just goes to show how pale I really am.

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You can see Brulé in my palette below, it fills a gap of a matte light nude colour and I know it will be used a lot I'm just surprised it didn't turn out lighter than it did. It seems my skin tone is even lighter than I thought so I will really need a white ish colour to use as a highlight for the inner corners of my eyes! If anyone has any suggestions of a colour that fits this description please let me know, I have a Debenhams beauty card with £10 on it that is now burning a hole in my pocket!

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So here is Brule applied evenly all over my eyelid:

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You can see it blends perfectly and creates an even base for any other eyeshadows to be applied on top.

The photo below shows All That Glitters and Sable applied to give my eye a bit more contour; this was for work so I've gone for a lighter look than usual!


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I really like this colour and think it fills in a gap in my palette perfectly. It wasn't the colour that i thought it would be on my skin but actually that's ok, it will definitely get used for most eye make up looks. It just means I will need to keep searching for another....

What do you think of Brule? Do you have a MAC palette like this? Do you have any suggestions for the next addition to my palette - preferably a light shimmery off white?


L xxx



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Friday, 30 January 2015

Fitness Friday: Food Maths



Good morning!

I've had a really bad 2 weeks of exercising, I've had a bit of a virus that wiped me out for a week or so. I thought I was OK but went to Body Combat and had to leave when the stars came rolling in and I thought I was going to hit the floor!

After a few days without the gym I felt better but work has taken over a session or two so I haven't really got my A game back yet.

Throughout this time I've had to try and reel in my eating habits. I do eat healthily and can't remember the last time I had crisps, biscuits or chocolate but I am constantly hungry so keeping my food and snacks all within a decent calorie range and without overdoing the sugar is important.

There's one thing that always helps me keep my raging food monster from taking over, and that's Food Maths. Bear with me, I'm not about to get some crazy equations out and boggle your brain in a Friday.... This is pretty simple. 

I'm giving you some foods and their equivalent exercises you would need to burn them off. Get ready to be horrified!

To start off, here are images from Pinterest so you understand what I mean:
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Image from Pinterest but property of Skinny Mom

I don't know about you but 87 minutes of crunches, 272 burpees or endless running sound horrendous and boring and totally uninspiring!

There are definitely more fun ways of burning these foods off but MY GOD isn't it a wake up call?!

Let's have a browse of the next one.....


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I love fried chicken but 65 minutes on a bike? I struggle with a 45 minute spin class!

159 minutes of climbing stairs?! My heart rate would sky rocket doing that, and don't even get me started on the 170 minutes of Pilates.

Wow, doesn't it all make it really hit home what you're eating??

I do find things like this really help but a lot of these snacks aren't what I eat so I've looked up a few of my favourite snacks and treats to see what I'd need to do for those:

1) Starbucks Blueberry Muffin - admittedly I am more likely to eat my mums homemade muffins as I'm a cheap individual and wouldn't fork out the cash (forever a student....) but blueberry muffins rate highly on my treat scale and I would pay for these when I had the cash....These come in at 380 calories which according to My Fitness Pal would take me 40 minutes of running (at 5mph) to burn off or 32 minutes of swimming.

2) Whitworth's Fruit, Nut and Seed mix - this stuff is the best mix I've found. It's an even distribution of fruit and nut as opposed to a game of 'spot the almond amongst the raisins' and all of it tastes great. In my opinion it's healthier than eating chocolate and sweets but it's easy to get out of control. A serving is 25g but I never measure.....going with a 50g helping this would give me 240 calories to burn. This equates to 23 minutes on the elliptical trainer as punishment...just for a few bits of dried fruit and nut!

3) 9 Bars - I can't get enough of these beauties, so many gorgeous flavours and some even have a bit of chocolate on them.....drool! The 50g bars can take you into the 280 calorie region meaning a 33 minute Zumba class is coming my way!

4) Nutella - its a shameful secret that I have a tub of Nutella by my bed (literally with my name on thanks to Selfridges!) that I tend to have a teaspoon out of when I'm feeling low, it does work to cure my chocolate cravings usually so I don't feel guilty about it but the other day I sat and ate quarter of the tub with a spoon straight out of the jar....whoops! That's 520 calories for a few spoons of happiness - I felt seriously better afterwards (long day and feeling run down, you know the drill) but the 65 minute hike with a weighted back pack necessary to burn them off definitely wouldn't!


So even with my seemingly healthier alternatives to a pizza and a family bag of crisps I'd still have to do some serious exercise to burn off my treats.

Have you thought about your snacks as an exercise to complete afterwards? Have you really thought about how much your weekend takeaway chinese food or pizza might be ruining your hard work during the week?

It's a scary thought, but it's all about balance. Being aware of your calorie intake from treats goes a long way to helping you towards your goals!



L xxx



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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Nip and Fab Body Wash - Energy Boost and Detox Blend


Shower gel can be a bit of a boring topic can't it?

Everyone uses it, most people would just use whatever is on offer during their weekly shop and I'm no different. I have been making my way through my stash and have finally used up the Soap and Glory bottle that seem to last for up to 6 months at a time.

However I couldn't resist picking these up from Nip and Fab, on offer at the moment in Superdrug in a buy one get one free offer. If I'm honest £7.50 is a lot for a shower gel but in a deal like this at £3.75 it didn't seem too bad.

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I picked up both the Energy Boost and Detox Blend and have been testing them out.

The Energy Boost Body Wash contains uplifting Lemon, Grapefruit and Sweet Mandarin fragrances. It's a lovely awakening scent which is something to be welcomed in the morning, however it's not as authentic as the Original Source shower gels. I'm a big 'sniffer' of products (if that doesn't sound weird and disgusting) and scents are a big hit or miss for me. This was strangely neither, it had a lot of promise but didn't amount to anything which was a little disappointing.

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The packaging is perfect though, colour coded for each scent and just like the rest of the Nip and Fab skincare range which I really like. I also like that all of the info is on the front of the bottles and just on the one sticker. Its funky and draws your eyes to different areas.

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The Detox Blend Body Wash contains Tea Tree, Green Tea and Jasmine to purify and detoxify as well as cleanse.
This scent was the same for me, it had lots of promise and whilst I'm grateful that both weren't overpowering (I get headaches from strong smells) they were just a bit too bland and could have had more of a punch, particularly with the lemon.

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That said they both lathered up easily courtesy of SLS being the second ingredient in the products. I just feel a bit disappointed with these and can't say I would pay the £3 for them again let alone the full price of £7.50.
I'm a self confessed lover of Nip and Fab but feel like these products have misfired and are a bit 'meh' when compared to other products such as their Viper Venom and Dragon's blood ranges (both of which are fabulous!).

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With Original Source recently on offer in Tesco for half price at £1.10 for 250ml or in fact Superdrug who had them for 98p (!) smelling a good ten times better and more authentic than these I know which one I would choose....

I hate to write negative reviews but feel like its necessary sometimes to save another from spending hard earned cash on something that ultimately is a little disappointing - sorry Nip and Fab! It's probably because i have such high expectations from how amazing the skincare range is that this was a bit of a surprise.


Have you tried the body range from Nip and Fab? Are you a fan of authentic scents from real essential oils?


L xxx



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Monday, 26 January 2015

Sale Picks

Hey All

I'm meant to be saving my money at the moment as I'm off on holiday tomorrow but with all the sales around I can't seem to stop spending money. They keep on tempting me with the bargains especially with things being reduced down by 70% now.

Accessorize was the first to take my money. I absolutely love rings so when I saw these bargain packs which were reduced from £10 to £3 each they were too cheap to leave behind. The stacking rings are perfect as I don't have many gold rings but have a few gold belt buckles so when I wear them I like to wear gold jewellery. I love the big purple stone one. I tend to wear them on different fingers as for me the 5 on one finger is a bit too much. I love the crossover ring on the silver set and that was the main reason I bought them. I love midi rings but don't tend to wear them much. These are simple with the sparkle to add a bit of glam. I didn't plan to get new gloves but when these real suede ones were reduced to £10 I couldn't resist. They are quite old fashioned ladies gloves but I think they are quite classic. I love burgundies for winter so can see me using these lots.




This North Face jumper I've wanted for ages. It's the crescent sunset hoodie. As I'm off to Iceland tomorrow I've been eyeing up warm clothes. I couldn't resist this. I've been trying it on since October but as it was £100 I couldn't spend that much. After Cotswolds reduced it to £65 I couldn't resist it. It's so warm and snuggley. I can see me getting lots of wear out of this.


Dorothy Perkins was another shop with an amazing sale. I'm always on the look out for dresses that are long enough to wear to work and don't need ironing. I managed to pick up the red lace sleeved dress for £7. It's a waffle material so really comfy and easy to wear. I love red dresses. The burgundy skater dress was £10. It's got a lace print through it. This is surprisingly long which I love. On me it finishes a little above the knee. I find it hard to find dresses that are longer than bum skimming. I couldn't find the picture of the skirt I got but this nude one is similar. I got it in black. It's perfect for work as it's high waisted and long. It also looks really smart and will be great for summer and winter.




Fat face also sucked me in with great skirts and jumpers. I'm starting to prefer more expensive classics and getting a few fashion pieces. I also grabbed some great boots which were reduced from £80 to £25.


What pieces have you grabbed in the sale?

Love M

xxx


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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Beauty Rehab


Hello there!

This is my first installment of Beauty Rehab for 2015, and I'm off to a good start. I know I say this every post, but I really do want to make headway in using up my stash and create more valuable space. I've got so many drawers full of products and I really don't need them all so instead of throwing them and buying more I'm just working my way through.

Body moisturisers are the worst for me; I seem to be really lazy with them and although I've started using up more and more of them I need to do better!
Same with face masks, I need to use them up before they all go off. I've learnt my lesson the hard way recently as one of my creams had gone off.

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Heel Genius from S&G - a product that sadly went off; I went to use it and it smells vile, absolutely disgusting so it had to go. Brand new as well, annoying.
Sugar Crush Body Wash from S&G - Love the smell of the matching scrub but this doesn't quite smell as authentic. Nevertheless a good body wash and I'd buy again in a 3 for 2.
Eau Pure Body Lotion - This was given to me by my aunty from a set, it was nice but nothing special. I liked the twisting lid design but it did get hard to get it out towards the end.
Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash - a favourite, have another already!

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Aussie 3 Minute Miracle - Amazing stuff, the only thing that saves my hair! Always have more in the sides as I cannot live without it
Good Things Stay Clear Cleanser - a great cleanser for a bargain price, would definitely repurchase if my skin broke out
PhytoKeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray - This was from the Space NK bundle that we got from spending over £150 that they do every year in October. It costs £18.50 for the full size 150ml, I'm not sure I'd pay that but it was a lovely spray that was really lightweight and did make my hair feel better. It also went down in the tube pretty damn fast!
Nip and Fab Dragon's Blood Plumping Serum - love this! Already have another and am really impressed that it's in a 100ml bottle whereas most others are 50ml. Love how hydrating it is.

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Lush Ocean Salt Scrub - loved this and would repurchase, quite pricey for a small pot but does a great job using only natural ingredients.
Lush Mask of Magnaminty - another product that I really liked and would repurchase when my skin needs it in a future breakout!
Boots Cocoa Butter - a small pot that was great for travel, wouldn't repurchase as i have too many others and find the smell a bit overwhelming
Nip and Fab Bee Sting Fix Cream - also really liked this, really soaked into my skin and hydrated it. Would repurchase when a deal was on
N&F Dragon's Blood Cleansing Pads - another surprise like for me, I'm not normally a toner-like product fan but these pre soaked pads I've really liked. I have another pot of them to keep trying them out and see if they really have a long term effect

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From the Lab Face Primer - no idea what this brand is now as we trialled it before it was officially produced, it was good but sadly separates weirdly and has definitely gone off now!
Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment - this was the most luxurious foot cream I've ever used, such a treat! I'd love a full size tube!
Batiste Dry Shampoo - the best dry shampoo on the planet
Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo - a good dry shampoo, I don't think it's worth the mark up in price from Batiste though

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Caudalie Cream Mask - loved this sample! My skin drank it all up overnight and I'd definitely repurchase
Bioderma Atoderm Cream - really good for a night cream/mask and helpful to dry skin over winter. I've had a lot of Bioderma samples but never a full size product and I've never been disappointed so need to invest!
Avon Nail Experts Base coat - an average base coat, did let some polishes through and stained my nails
REN Hand and Body Cream - the sample lasted one full body use and was moisturising, again not sure if it's worth the full price but was nice to try
REN Global Protection Day Cream - unfortunately this brought me out in tiny little spots so had to give up on it but it sounded promising before that!

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This was mostly a clear out - the glosses are either really old or going a bit gloopy so getting rid is the best option.
Bourjois 1 Second Volume Mascara - got this in a beauty box, the brush looked interesting and promising but it seems a full bushy brush is the only option for my lashes! Wouldn't repurchase.

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S&G Youthful Super Serum - really loved this sachet, super hydrating and made my skin feel fabulous!
Dr Organic Snail Gel - same goes for this, loved the hydrating feeling and would buy this in future, once I've got my head around the snail gel factor.
Revlon PhotoReady contour kit - this has unfortunately gone really weird, you can see in the photo below that it seems to have dried out (even though it was a powder) and loads of crystals have formed on it. I'm a little too dubious to use it with this on it!

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Last image!
Collection Lasting Concealer - loved this initially but unfortunately now I've tried Nars this one just doesn't compare. I have a spare of this so will use it for work until its gone, but Nars is just amazing.
Caudalie Polyphenol Eye and Lip Cream - this absorbed really easily, wouldn't repurchase as I have others I'd prefer for my sensitive eyes but it was really good.
YSL Lipstick - was given to me by a friend but was a weird gold colour that I just cannot wear! Time for the bin
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - lovely product and I would repurchase and I'd especially buy the magazines that come with a sample of this


Have you been using up your products recently?

This is all from Christmas onwards, so I feel like I'm on a roll but possibly thats just wishful thinking!


L xxx



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Friday, 23 January 2015

Fitness Friday: Best Foods To Eat After a Workout


Good morning!

After giving you a load of tips that I've found help me and have helped others I thought writing a list of post workout foods would be a good idea. We all know that it's good to eat after a workout to replenish your glycogen stores, help prevent muscle breakdown and recover faster. The best time to eat is within 30 minutes of finishing a workout so it can be hard to have something with you if you're on the go or even just finding an appropriate snack. (source)

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Most days I drive straight to the gym from work (otherwise once I'm home I won't leave the house again!) so when I finish my workout I most often have a protein shake - when I have really gone for it - and then I eat my tea. 
On the weekends however I normally go in the mornings and so need a snack to keep me going until my next meal. It's hard to choose what to eat to keep you going so I've listed some of the best foods you should eat after a workout for optimum nourishment and minimum fat gain:


1) Milk - The easiest thing you can have is a glass of milk. It's liquid so is easily digested and contains protein and fats that your body needs for recovery. Not only this is an easy and cheap snack it's also easily taken with you and if not, bought from a local shop. Perfect! Stick with full fat though, although the fat is higher it hasn't had as many chemical processes performed on it and is actually better for you.

2) Greek Yogurt - Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein of normal yogurt so is a great food to snack on, and mixed with fruit such as berries and a handful of nuts its a great way of getting in some vitamins and good fats to your day. It's also got enough carbs to keep you going.

3) Wholewheat wraps - If you really are hungry after your workout and not near a meal time your best bet is to have a wholemeal wrap, cook up some eggs and veggies and make a wrap, otherwise prepare them the night before and you can easily take them with you. Chicken, fish and feta cheese are all good sources of protein that can be put into a wrap with veggies and some other carbs such as quinoa, rice or beans and you'll be sorted.

4) Peanut Butter - One of my favourite foods! Spreading this onto some rye bread or rice crackers will help to stave off any cravings. Eating this with an apple or banana will also make a great snack and I've seen many pictures where other people have stuck 2 piece of fruit together using the PB to make a mini sandwich. Otherwise just a spoon or two straight out of the tub should see you right!

5) Quinoa - the superfood that contains a lot of protein but acts like a grain. Fills you up without filling you out, and can substitute so many other carbs such as oats, pasta and rice. I've had this for breakfast with almond milk, yogurt and fruit, as well as in salad to replace pasta and in wraps to provide some stodge to fill me up. It's a winner!

6) Smoothies - if you have the chance to make a smoothie than you're on to a winner all around. You can add in some oats or quinoa to thicken it up, whatever fruit you like for flavour and vitamins and yogurt and/or some protein powder to help rebuild your muscles. Using a smoothie maker would make this so easy and would be something I'd love to try more regularly! I'd even add in some peanut butter or chia seeds too for some extra protein and good fats.

7) Dried fruit and nut - I've made my own mix that I take to work with me and keep in a drawer for snacking on when things get a bit too hectic and the hunger just won't go away. Dried cranberries are my favourite and as for the nuts I just mix up any I can find to keep a good variety and also add in pumpkin and sunflower seeds too. This kind of snack is easily carried around in your handbag.

8) Protein shake - I tend to only have these when I know I won't be eating any actual protein any time soon. I personally think that eating chicken or fish is a much better option but sometimes life doesn't allow it! In this case I have a shake and I mix it with water, mainly to keep calories down but mixing with milk can give a better protein complex if you're not worried about calories. The protein that I have is just a normal chocolate flavour protein with 80% whey protein per scoop. I wouldn't bother with diet protein powders as although they may have less fat per scoop, you often need 2 scoops for the same amount of protein, cost more, and contains up to 10x the amount of sugar that a normal protein powder contains, pointless right??

If you want to check you can compare the one that I use - here - and the diet version from the same brand -here -


Another tip I was told by my personal trainer, as long as you consume a snack or meal that has equal parts carbs and protein then you will be sufficiently supplying your body with fuel after a workout. If you choose carbs only then you will cause your insulin to spike and then leads to a crash afterwards where you'll be reaching for more sugar to overcome it.


Just remember.....:

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I'm on a personal quest this year to eat cleaner myself. I need to work on my snacks, and also wean myself off things so that they are just a treat. I've weaned myself off honey on my breakfast and now I need to reduce the amount of peanut butter I consume! It's a favourite snack but it's getting a little out of control oops!

What do you snack on post workout? Do you need to wean yourself off certain foods like I do?


L xxx


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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Neal's Yard Remedies Nourishing Orange Flower Daily Moisture


Good morning!

Today's review is of Neal's Yard Remedies Nourishing Orange Flower Daily Moisture. I picked this up from Waitrose when the weather started to change before Christmas and have been using it a lot over the last few months. I bought it during a 10% off sale but it costs £23.75 from the NYR website.

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This moisturiser contains Neroli for nourishment and Pomegranate oils for moisturising, soothing and protecting your dry skin.

This is a 95% organic product - one of my favourite things about products from NYR. Not only do they create wonderful products but they are also as organic as possible and the brand as a whole have the best ethics for protecting the planet. They even boast having the UK's first high street retailer to be certified Carbon Neutral, amongst many others.

They also list all ingredients, and here they are for this moisturiser:

Aqua (Water), Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil*+, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) extract*, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl glucoside, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Citrus nobilis (Mandarin) peel oil expressed*, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) seed oil*, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) flower oil*, Cananga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil*, Avena sativa (Oat) kernel extract*, Sodium hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Alcohol denat.*, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Xanthan gum, Benzyl alcohol,Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

In my opinion the amount of natural ingredient such as oils and extracts is really impressive. I know some people may be allergic to certain oils but at least with NYR you will be safe in the knowledge of finding it in the ingredients list!

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I've been applying this lotion to my skin morning and evening and it has been thoroughly hydrating my skin. I do find that it does take a while to sink in so I've resorted to using it as a night cream and it works perfectly for that.

The white lotion sinks in and doesn't leave any residue but I do feel that on my skin it takes a little while to absorb and so using it in the morning isn't ideal.

That said it makes my skin feel lovely when it does eventually absorb the moisturising and protection comes into play.

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I'm also really impressed that this is a 100ml bottle for just under £24. Many of the jars from NYR (which I would really love to try, particularly the Frankincense Hydrating Cream!) cost the same for a 50g jar so I think this is definitely getting more moisturiser for your money.

That said though, I'm not sure I'd be able to use this year round as my skin isn't typically 'dry' all year round. It's been a great boost for my skin whilst it has been suffering courtesy of the cold winds and the contrasting hot air conditioning in work.
I'd recommend this for anyone who does have dry skin year round as although it has worked well at moisturising it really isn't heavy at all, and with a serum would be the perfect combination for dry skin that doesn't like to be overloaded with product.


Have you tried the Orange Flower Daily Moisture? Do you have a favourite Neal's Yard Remedies product?
There's so many I'd love to try I'm going to have to make a shopping list, their Frankincense line is supposed to be amazing!


L xxx



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Monday, 19 January 2015

The Theory of Everything and Annie

Hey All

Back to Monday fun. Apparently this is the most depressing day of the year and buses made sure mine didn't start great but the boy has tempted me to pieminister and a trip to the cinema after work.

The Cinema is somewhere I've been a lot lately, there seems to be loads out I want to see so I thought I’d share something different today and give an overview of some films I've seen. 

Just over a week ago I went to see The Theory of Everything. I'd seen it advertised over Christmas and was really keen to see it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the film or what it was going to be like but it seemed to be receiving great reviews all round.

Let's start with the unexpected, I cried. I hadn't expected it to be a film that would make me cry so I wasn’t prepared for that. The tears started pretty quickly and seemed to cry quite a lot of the film.

It's one of the best films I've seen in a while. It was a film that totally drew you into and it was interesting to see the progression of the disease and how he and his wife dealt with it. To see someone battling with their body shutting down but the mind still being so active was sometimes difficult to watch and you can't imagine the struggle. The film really showed a lot of his personal life and I absolutely loved it
it. It really deserves all the nomination it's got. Both me and the dude loved it
 I think it's a great all round film.

Yesterday I went to the cinema with my housemates they'd really wanted to watch Annie
. I hadn't been so keen but went along anyways. It was so strange going to the cinema not only on a Sunday but also before lunchtime. It turned out we were the only one's in there. I hadn't expected much but it was a really good feel good film. It made me smile throughout and was really good. I loved the songs and you can't help but sing along. 

It was a great take on the original. The only thing I didn't like was Jamie Foxx singing. This is a personal thing. He has a great voice but I just found it a bit cringey and almost awkward to watch him. I didn't expect to enjoy it but really loved it. For an easy to watch film I'd really recommend it.

Tonight we're off to watch American Sniper and I'm hoping to go and watch Taken 3. What have you seen at the cinema lately? For our Cardiff readers I would fully recommend going to the Vue. It's so much quieter than the other cinemas and a lot cheaper too. On normal days it's only £5.50 much cheaper than cineworld and odeon and they do do cheap Tuesday's as well.

Love M

Xxx


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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes and Cheeks


Happy Sunday!

I don't know about you but i will be spending my Sunday lazing around and enjoying a free day. There's going to be reading, tv and food, along with some dog walks to get me outdoors but that is it! The last few weeks have been so busy I'm really looking forward to having a quiet weekend or two.

In the post Christmas sale there was one store that I was really looking forward to having a browse of....sadly in Wales we don't have an individual store but we do have access to the wonderful Space NK website, and so I made my very first sale purchase: the Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes and Cheeks.


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Originally this was priced at £45 but I managed to get it for the bargain price of £22.50 - who on earth could refuse that?!

With eight eyeshadows and a super flattering blush in the centre it was sure to be a winner in anyone's make up collection, especially mine. I've long lusted after LM palettes and products in general and having only tried the Silk Creme foundation and the hydrating primer I am yet to find one that I don't like.

And with an animal print exterior I was surely not going to let it pass me by.

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Sometimes I think they could be a bit more creative with their names....but nevertheless at least their names make some sense - there's no use in calling something a completely ridiculous name that has nothing to do with the colour, you know what you're getting here.

Opening the palette reveals a sturdy mirror along with the product inside, I love the arrangement and the equality of the palette pleases my OCD tendencies.

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I also really like that they're named on the front, a lot of brands do this now and I think it's a lot better than scrabbling around trying to find the box it came in to work it out! I like products with names, feels a lot more personal than '001'.

How do you like my Christmas leggings by the way? I seem to have snapped them in the mirror in the image below - a Primarni special they are my absolute favourite things to wear right now.

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The blush in the centre is a Rosegold Shimmer; it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a beautiful rose gold product that I've been wearing all day every day recently; its extremely flattering and gives me a warm glow kind of look. It also has a really subtle shimmer that does not look glittery in any way and it's great for day and night.

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So the colours. Vanilla Nuts is a super matte, creamy textured shadow that I've been using as the perfect base. It glides on and covers my whole eyelid easily. It's almost a bit dark for my (pretty much) ivory skin but it's a great colour.
Stone Taupe is exactly that colour and I love using it in the crease of my eyelid to define it, it blends so smoothly it's like it belongs there.
Pewter is a gorgeous shimmery dark silver and will be great for an evening look, again it blends seamlessly and flatters my skin tone.
Deep Night is a gorgeous dark blue that I've been using as a liner; it's perfect and a pretty change from black which I am otherwise hooked on.

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Topaz is essentially a shimmery version of Stone Taupe and again will look great for evening, though I would wear it in day too as they have such a subtle shimmer to them and blend so well.
Morning Dew and Cashmere are again matte shadows and between them they feel so buttery. They create the perfect nude eye look for work and don't seem to fall or slide during the day.
Crystal Beige is the last colour in the palette and is a warm toned shimmer shadow with a touch of gold in it.
I can't describe them any better than this as I'm far too busy playing with them and marvelling at their beauty!

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Here are some colour swatches taken in daylight, so these are true to colour. Taking photos in winter is so restrictive don't you think??
The above shows without flash and below shows with:

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Here are the first four eyeshadows closer up without/with flash and also the blush, found at the far left of my arm. It blends so well you can barely see it!

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And here are the last four, with and then without flash. They are so finely milled that when swatched they almost blend seamlessly into my skin:

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Still not convinced? Here are some photos I've taken from the last few weeks:


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I absolutely love it, and i love that I got it for £22.50 even more! 

What do you think of the palette and the eyeshadow colours?
Have you tried a palette from Laura Mercier before? Have you bought anything in the Space NK sale?

I can see this coming with me a lot when I start travelling with my job; it has almost every look I could need!


L xxx




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