Friday, 21 December 2012

MUA Haul...Again

So here we are again, yet another post featuring MUA Cosmetics, these guys should put me on the payroll! At the rate they are releasing new products I very much doubt this will be my last MUA post.

I just couldn't resist the recent online 40% off promotion they were running, I tried believe me and I left it right until the last day of the promotion before I cracked. I just couldn't let this opportunity pass me by, especially as they had added the 5 free Nail Quakes to the offer. So I did it, I went online and splurged a massive, wait for it...£24.90 on all this...


 
 
To be honest I thought I had ordered more, and when I checked my order online I was missing 2 eyeshadow brushes. I am still waiting to hear back from them regarding those as on my account it says they were shipped.
 
I'll keep this brief as I haven't tried any of the products yet, my order only arrived this morning. I was really impressed with the service (apart from the missing items) as I have seen loads of comments where people haven't received their order for weeks, I only ordered a week or so ago so I was sure I wouldn't get my stuff until after Christmas. It's my works Christmas party tonight so they arrived just in time, I can't wait to try out the new brushes as I have heard really good things about them.
 

Order includes...

Brushes - Contouring/Blusher, Stippling, Concealer and Eye Shadow Blender (missing eyeshadow and eyeshadow contouring)
Lipsticks - Bare and Juicy
Boom - OK.com
Eyeshadow pallet - Dusk til Dawn
Mascara - Mega Volume (Black)
Blusher - shade 3
Nail polish - Pistachio and Fairy Dust Glitter Nails in Rose Dust
Eyelashes - Flair
Free Nail Quakes - Jail Break, Shattered Ice, Quiver, Shiver and Broken Arrow
 
Have you tried the MUA brushes? What did you think?


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Don't bin it, give it

In the run up to Christmas we're all getting very excited about all the new beauty products we are going to find in our stockings. We have all put together very lovely (and very long in my case) wish lists hoping that our loved ones conveniently stumble across them whilst reading our blogs and go out and buy everything! 
 
But, even after trying out products before hand, swatching to find the perfect colours and reading review after review, how many of those products are going to end up being cast aside? The brand that I work for recently carried out a survey amongst 3000 women via One Poll and found that the average woman will throw away at least 2 beauty products this Christmas, equating to £676million worth or perfectly good products and some very expensive. 
 
Now I know us bloggers are very resourceful young ladies (and gents) and would never dream of throwing a perfectly good beauty product in the bin just because it wasn't the exact shade we thought it was or it doesn't quite sit as nicely as we hoped it would. I have seen many bloggers holding blog sales to pass on their unwanted items and I know many of us have boxes of products that we let loved ones rummage through and take what they want. But there is something else you could do with it, something very lovely in fact.
 
How many of you have heard about a fantastic charity called Give and Make Up? Some of you might have and some of you might not, for those how haven’t this is what they do...
"Each week two women in the United Kingdom are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. One woman in four experiences domestic violence in their lifetime. 
Refuge and Womens Aid protect the lives of thousands of women and children every day.

Give and Makeup is a non-profit initiative whose sole purpose is to get everyday essentials into the hands of these women and children who need them the most."
Some people might think that make up is just a selfish vanity product, but we all know that's not true and to many people make up can mean the difference between having a good day or a bad one. It can make us feel super confident when really we are feeling pretty rubbish, it's true what they say sometimes, if you look good you feel good too.
 
Women who have had to leave their homes in a hurry stopping only to collect the essentials and in the case of those with children they have probably only been thinking of them when they leave, take very little for themselves.  
 
Now I'm not pretending to know anything about domestic abuse because I don't, I have no experience of it what so ever in fact. But what I do know is that as a mother I can only imagine what is going through those women's minds when they make the brave decision to leave and I bet it isn't make up, skin care or even really themselves.
 
After the shocking and wasteful statistics our recent survey revealed I just thought it would be useful for me to bring this charity to your attention before you cast aside your unwanted cosmetics. Many of us will have a clear out in the New Year and I hope now I have given you another option for disposing of your items.

You can find a full list of the things Give and Make Up need and accept here.



You can read all about our survey results here.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Nail Art

As you may or may not know I have a HUGE love for nail polish, I change my nail colour almost on a daily basis. Painting my nails is like a form of therapy for me, it really chills me out, which is strange as I have zero patience and fiddly things usually get me quite hot under the collar.

I have been wanting to try some festive nail art for a few weeks now as I keep seeing amazing images on Pinterest and Instagram and some of them look really easy to do. I only had one problem, up until yesterday I never had the tools to do it. Then this happened...

 
 
 
Whilst in Boots looking for gifts I idly wandered by the Models Own section, as I always do, and straight away the Wonderland collection caught my eye. I have seen some great posts featuring these polishes and I thought it was about time I added them to my collection. I picked up 'Jack Frost' and 'Southern Lights', I love how sparkly they are, perfect for Christmas. I also picked up the Wah nail art pen in white and because I had bought more than 2 products I got get a nail art kit for FREE!

So anyway back to my point of this post, the festive nail art. I thought I would give the red and white snow flake design a go, but mix it up a little with some dots, a bit of sparkle and a Christmas jumper design. What do you think?


I used Ciate 'Mistress' red for the base coat then used my Models Own white nail art pen to do the designs. For the snow fakes I used the tapered brush end and for the dots and the Christmas jumper (pinky finger in case you wondered) I used the dotting end. I then used my new 'Jack Frost' polish to add the sparkle, which I think just finishes them off nicely.

 
It was my first attempt at any form of nail design and I am pretty impressed, they are not as messy as I thought they would be and I cannot believe how easy it was. Seriously even if you are a bit clumsy when it comes to painting your nails you definitely need to give it a go, the Models Own nail art pens make it so incredibly easy to do.

If you want some more nail art ideas take a look at my Pinterest board...









Monday, 17 December 2012

Sleek True Colour Lipstick Review

As I mentioned in my December Glossy Box review, one of the best products this month was the Sleek True Colour lipstick sample. Although it was only a sample size it is quite a decent size and for someone who rarely wears lipstick (I'm more of a gloss girl) it is more than enough and will last me a good while I should say.

The shade is called 'Candy Cane' and it is a pinky red colour, I am usually a bit scared or wearing bold lip colours and I tend to stick to either a neutral or pink lip gloss. However after trying this colour on whilst at home I absolutely loved it!



 
The lipstick itself has really good pigmentation, you only need one coat to get a lovely bright finish. What also surprised me was the staying power it had, not long after I applied the lipstick I sat down for a rather messy Mexican feast and I expected the lipstick to have come off. But no there it was bold as brass, I then went on to have a few drinks (it was Saturday night after all) and still the colour did not budge from my lips.

In fact I had to use my Bioderma to remove it before I went to bed, and even that didn't get it all off, my lips were still a little pink.

I think this is a really fantastic product and really pleased it was in my box, it brought me out of my comfort zone and I will now be more tempted to try bolder lip colours. I will definitely be wearing this to my Christmas parties and if my test is anything to go by I wont be having to reapply all night which is a bonus! For £4.99 I think this product is a real bargain.

Did you get this product in your Glossy Box? What did you think?

 




 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

December Glossy Box





My lovely December Glossy Box arrived yesterday and to my surprise it was not in the usually pretty dusky pink box, but a nice shiny silver one. Very Christmassy indeed!

I was really impressed with the box this month, even though I have seen a few pics on Instagram of what other people got and think I would have preferred some of those. In my box was...

Rituals Magic Touch body cream
Ayuuri Turmeric & Bergamot face wash
Lemon by Mary Greenwell perfume sample
Seche Nail Lacquer in 'Elegant'
Sleek lipstick in 'Candy Cane'
Glossybox Blusher in 'Glossy Rosewood'

The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the Mary Greenwell perfume sample. The samples are never very big and they always seem like they're a last minute addition just to fill a gap. After seeing some of the things other people got I feel a little short changed by the perfume. The blusher was the Glossy bonus product and has been made by Kryolan especially for Glossy Box which I think is quite cool and it's a really nice shade, one I would probably have picked myself.

The best product in the box has to be the Sleek lipstick, it's definitely not a colour I would of picked but I really do love it, I won't say too much as I'll fully review this product very soon. Some of the other boxes received Sleek eyeshadow pallets and I would of loved to try some of those as I've not really tried any Sleek products before but have heard really good things about them.

Did you receive any of the other products available from Glossy Box this month? I'd love to hear which was your favourite...



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Tag...

Whilst looking over some of my favourite blogs I came across this lovely Christmas tag on Georgina's blog, Live Laugh Lipstick, and thought I'd give it a go.



Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, here's why...


1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Everything! I love the food, the presents, the decorations, the smell even the cold weather (especially if it snows). I love buying presents for other people, it really makes me happy to see other people happy and I enjoy taking the time to find the absolute perfect gifts for my family. Also the girls make it magical, they make it acceptable for me to act like a big kid. The look on their faces on Christmas morning just melts my heart.

2. What is your favourite makeup look for the festive season?
 
Glitz and glam! For me Christmas is all about the glitter, the more the merrier when it comes to sparkles I say. I usually rock a smokey eye on a night out and at Christmas I just add glitter, glitter makes everything better :)

3. Real of fake tree?

Fake! It's all I have ever known and loved. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my tree (just like my Mum) and to be honest real ones just don't cut it. They're all uneven and messy looking and always bare at the top, plus I'm not a fan of picking up the needles.


4. Giving or receiving presents?

No question, I much prefer giving presents than recieving them. Like I mentioned I love hunting out the perfect gift, when it comes to gifts for myself I never really know what the right response is when I open them. I don't like the feeling of people watching and waiting for my reaction, especially if it's something I don't really like. But nevertheless I am always very greatful for whatever I receive, I would just prefer to buy to my own presents.


5. Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

The morning! I just don't understand these people who wait all day to open their presents, how do they not spontaneously conbust?


6. Handmade or bought Christmas cards?

I'd like to say homemade but in reality it's always shop bought cards, the kids usually make cards for the Grandparents but that's about it.


7. What is your favourite Christmas film?

It used to be Santa Clause the Movie, a oldy but a goody, who wouldn't want a lollypop that made you fly? Most people reading this probably don't even remember that one it's so old and doesn't really get shown anymore. Now it has to be Elf, it is the only thing I can stand to watch Will Farell in and it just makes me giggle every time I watch it.


8. What is your favourite Christmas food!

Hmm, this is a tricky one...I think I would have to say the Christmas Day evening buffet tea we have, that's a mixture of left over meat from lunch, a selection of cheeses and crackers, party platters and no Christmas buffet is complete withouth pickled onions!


TAG! You're all it...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

MUA Nail Constellation review

A little while ago I had an MUA haul and one of the things I bought was the Nail Constellation in Scorpio. I had been wanting to try the Ciate Caviar manicure for a while but I knew they were featured in the Mini Mani Month advent calendar, which I had my eye on and there was no chance I wasn't getting, so I didn't want to splash out on the full size just yet. However when I saw that MUA did their own version for just £3 I thought brilliant I could give it a go without over spending.

I bought the Scorpio version as I loved the mix of colours, I decided to partner it up with a navy blue No.7 polish then added a topcoat of clear Nails Inc.



It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, I tried first to use the funnel to pour the balls onto my wet nails but because the tube is rubber they just stuck to the sides and didn't come out fast enough. So I poured some out onto a piece of kitchen roll, then rolled my nail over the balls to get them to stick. I then pushed the balls down onto the nail to make sure they were stuck down properly and my whole nail was covered. After tapping off the excess I repeated the process to fill in the gaps.
 
I find that whenever I do my nails I always have one that doesn't want to play and I have to re-do it over and over again. This time was no different and no matter how many times I tried I just couldn't get the balls to stick, this meant that I had to press them down quite a few times, which resulted in some of the colour transferring from the balls onto my finger, which then meant I had lost some of the colour on that nail. But apart from that one naughty nail I think the result was pretty impressive, but there's always one that has to spoil it!

 
 
What I will say is it didn't last very long, I felt like I had to be really careful when getting dressed and washing my hands so that I didn't knock any of the balls off and after a day at work my desk was covered in little balls that had fallen off. This is a great look for a night out or a one off but not for everyday, but for £3 I think they're great! I can't wait to wear this look to all my Christmas parties.


 
 
 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Lovely bbloggers

After last nights #bbloggers chat I came away feeling rather lucky and inspired to part of this community, I really do see blogging as my little support network. As there were so many people talking last night about how and why they got started with blogging I thought I would write a little post about why I started blogging.
 
I started playing around and dabbling in the world of blogging about a year ago, my first site was hosted on Wordpress because that's what I thought all blogs were hosted on at the time. I started because firstly I love to write, always have ever since being at school, that's partly why I chose a career in PR and marketing and it's a lot more fun than being an English teacher (in my opinion). I also thought it would help me with my job, keep my writing skills fresh and the creative juices flowing. However I wasn't really sure what to write about, I started off writing about family stuff but it just didn't keep me interested so why would it interest anyone else? Although I love my family and my little girls are my world, I am after all a girlie girl first and foremost, and it just proves that there is no point starting a blog just for the sake of it or to jump on the bandwagon. You need to believe in and be passionate about what you write about.
 
I hate the term 'Yummy Mummy' it suggests that all you have going on and the only defining characteristic you have is that you are a Mum, that manages to get up in the morning brush you hair and get dressed. Like that is some sort of achievement, believe me I know it is stressful being a Mum and yes you might not look your best everyday but you also don't need a medal every time you make a bit of effort. After all you should be making the effort for yourself, to make you feel good not to fit into some sort of Mummy stereotype.
 
Phew rant over, and long story short 'Mummy' blogging wasn't for me. It was a while before I got the urge to start again, after I had to do a lot more work with bloggers for my job. When anyone mentioned beauty bloggers to me before I thought it was all about well to do socialites blogging about high end products that they'd been 'gifted' by PR companies. I didn't realise that there was also a huge community of bloggers out there that were just normal girls like me blogging about everyday products that they bought themselves because they genuinely had a love and a passion for cosmetics, fashion and generally making the most of themselves.
 

It took me a little while of reading a LOT of blogs before I had the courage to start my own, I thought who the feck would want to read about what I had to say? This all stems from a sever lack of self confidence and self belief. I was always the girl at school, college and university that during group work would get talked over and when I put ideas forward they were dismissed until someone with more confidence and a much louder 'voice' repeated them pretty much word for word, then of course it was the best idea since the Internet. I think this is why I enjoy writing so much, because it doesn't matter how loud your voice is or how popular you are, if you write with confidence then people will read!

 
When I first started I would check my stats about every half an hour like a maniac, and I could not believe that even one person was reading about what I had to say. I was even more amazed that these were people that I didn't know, they weren't my friends or my Mum being supportive and giving it a quick glance, they were people that had stumbled across my blog and were actually interested. I can not tell you how amazing that feeling was, and unless you are a blogger yourself I don't think you will ever really understand. It might sound a bit daft to other people that something as simple as another human having a quick flick through my blog to see what I think about my new nail polish would have such an effect. Well it does! When I got my first follower I literally nearly fell of my chair and when I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Laurie, from Life Envy I felt like I'd been nominated for an Oscar. Daft I know, but it's lovely when you get the appreciation from your peers that you haven't had much before now.
 
Although my friends are lovely (they wouldn't be my friends if they weren't) it's not really normal to sit around saying how great you all are, unless your those sort of girls who actually don't like each other very much and over compensate on the love to hide this fact. We all know girls like that and we all went to school with more than a few of them. When I started my blog I think some of my friends were genuinely surprised that I had it in me, although I am confident and quite loud in my group of friends, I am always seen as a bit of a joker and perhaps not as 'deep' (if a girl who talks about make up and clothes can be seen as deep) as I am. A few of them have commented that it doesn't sound like me when they read my blog, but I think I am more me. I write what I think when I can't always say what I think and I write they way I speak in my head, which I don't always do out loud.
 
It is all still very new to me and I am still learning and finding new things everyday, I think I still need to find my niche but at the moment I am loving every minute of it. I really feel like I am part of something and what I say matters, if I have influenced even one person to go out and try the products that I write about or I help someone feel a little bit better about themselves then that's enough for me. Just the fact people even read the thing is a bonus and it means that it's not a waste of time after all. I think that my self confidence has grown massively since I started blogging and I am willing to put myself in social situations that would have previously seen a no go, if it helps me with my blog.
 
After reading all of the lovely tweets last night it was comforting to see that I am not alone and it's amazing how many girls feel the same as me. Beauty blogging is not all about girls who 'love' themselves and want to rub it in other girls faces, it's about girls who share a passion for something that just so happens to make them look as nice on the outside as they are on the inside : ) Ahhhhh que the violins....
 
If you are thinking of starting a blog and it's for the right reasons, not just to jump on the bandwagon and get free stuff then go for it. But make sure you blog about something that matters to you, because believe me the free stuff doesn't just land on your doorstep the minute your blog goes live, so if that's why you're doing it then don't bother! Also it can be a very expensive hobby, regardless of what you are blogging about whether it be beauty, music or family etc. My husband has started to notice that my make up collection has grown considerably since starting my blog so I think I best put myself on a little spending ban, well at least until the New Year : )

 
 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Scottish adventure

Phew! (Slumps in the sofa surrounded by shopping)

I've just literally got back from a lovely little trip up to Edinburgh where I managed to get pretty much all of my Christmas shopping done! I have left it so late this year to get started, I hadn't even bought one present for the girls until Friday and although I have now bought enough to start my own toy shop I fear I'm still not finished with those two.

My sister is absolutely done, she has done very well out of me (even though things are a bit frosty between us at the moment). My Mum is also done and the in laws too, I've just got my Dad and hubby to get for. Probably the two most difficult people on the planet to buy for. Hubby insists there isn't anything he wants other than some boring sports coaching book. Argh need help!!

Well enough about that as I'm sure you all have your own gift worries to well worry about. So my trip to Edinburgh...

I've never been to Edinburgh before but I had heard it was a beautiful city and everyone I spoke to said how lovely it was, and they weren't wrong!





The Christmas markets were lovely and I even managed to get a couple of gifts from there, usually it's just all about the crepes and hog roast (obvs made sure I got those in too!). I loved how laid back everything was, even though it was busy and there was lots of traffic it didn't seem as scary as it does when you go to London or even in Manchester sometimes. Everyone was really jolly and polite, which you almost never get when in a city.

I have to say the old town was really lovely but typical for us we only discovered it this morning and we had to leave at lunchtime :( I really wanted to go down and see the volts, I've watched the Most Haunted that went down there and it was really scary. I'm a sucker for ghost stories and the paranormal, which is odd for someone with a real hatred for magic. We were thinking of going on one of the ghost walks in the evening but chickened out. So we ended up at a lovely Thai restaurant and like the sados we are back at the hotel in time for X Factor, hard core we are most definitely NOT!

I just wish had more time there as it was a lot longer drive than I thought and it felt like we spent more time driving than we actually had in Edinburgh.

If anyone has any gift ideas for the 50 something's and the 30 year old fuss pot that isn't toiletries or mega expensive gadgets your thoughts would be most appreciated :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas hair phase one

I've been desperate for a hair cut for the past few weeks but I was holding off as I always like to have a new do for Christmas. I've been dark for a good few years now and the last time I had my hair done I decided to go for the ombré look, because it was so dark I didn't quite get it as light as I would have liked so nobody really noticed.

This time I decided I was going to go for something quite sleek and as I seemed to have developed a natural centre parting I was going to run with it. I really love those hairs styles with the parted fringe that sweeps to the sides, a bit sixties like. I'm really lucky that my friend is my hairdresser so when I come up with these ideas and have no idea how to explain them she is quite good at guessing what I want.

Voila...


What do you think?

This is only phase one as after my attempt at ombré I have decided it is definitely time for a colour change and I'm taking the plunge and going a lot lighter. I love the colour of Taylor Swift's hair right now and also Lauren Conrad's hair. They have it a lovely dark blonde and slightly lighter on the ends. I'll hopefully get time to squeeze in an appointment next week so keep your eye's peeled for phase 2...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas giveaway winners


Thank you to everyone who took part in my recent Christmas blog giveaways, and a special thank you to the lovely brands that donated the prizes, BlanX and Stone Bridge Hair.

The winner of the BlanX giveaway is Julie Kenny (she has been notified via email) and the winner of the Stone Bridge Hair giveaway is Claire Maamoun, who was picked using random.org.

Once I get to 100 GFC followers I will be doing another giveaway so watch this space...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dear Santa...

Eek it's that time of year again, the time where it is absolutely acceptable to consume your body weight in chocolate and wine on a daily basis and pretty much revert back to your five year old self!

Finally I get to put my tree up and start singing those Christmas songs that have been going around my head since June and I get to finally open my Ciate advent calendar! Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year and the fact that it seems to come around quicker and quicker every year pleases me very much. Luckily I have two little girls to enjoy it with, they make it all 10 times as magical and exciting!

I find it very difficult at this time of year as I just want to buy everything in sight! For other people that is, I can never think of anything I want for myself, which drives my family round the bend. This year is a whole different story, since I started blogging and reading more blogs myself, the problem is not thinking of things I want it's that there are too many things that I want! To help my mum out I put together a wish list on Feel Unique, and I can see that she has already got a couple of things off there, but shhh don't tell Santa I peeked.

Here are a few other things that have caught my eye and made it onto the (very long) shortlist...

1. UGG boots - £165 from Office
2. Kindle Fire HD - £159 from Amazon
3. Lauren Conrad Beauty
4. Either the Stella & Dot 'Lucky Charm' - £32 or the Tiffany 'Heart' necklace - £80
5. Ice Watch - £100
6. Heart sweater - £28 from Next
7. Benefit 'Away We Glow' - £29.50 and 'Concealaholic' concealer and brightening kit - £28.50
8. Dr. Sebagh Breakout Cream - £49.95 from Beauty Bay
9. Stilla lip gloss - £18.50, Still 'In the Light' eyeshadow pallet - £28, Burberry Body - £38 all from Feel Unique
10. Dress - £45 from Miss Selfridge

I am guessing that I will receive about 2% of what is on this wish list but a girl can dream can't she, after all I have been very good this year.

My beautiful tree, not a branch out of place!


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