Monday, 14 April 2014

My new favourite face...

I have recently had a bit of change up when its to my makeup (re. previous post) and I have to say I am loving it!

After discovering the NARS Sheer Glow/Matte I never thought I'd use another foundation again, but whilst in Vegas I found the Estee Launder Double Wear foundation to be really cheap so obviously I had to give it a try. I got the shade 1CO Shell and it is a perfect match for my skin tone, I think I will go a shade darker in the Summer though.

The staying power of the Double Wear is absolutely amazing, it stays put well into the evening even after being applied at 6.30am! The coverage is really good too, I don't need to worry about any blemishes or spots being on show and it evens out my skin tone perfectly. Since using the Estee Launder Double Wear my skin has been really good, I've had no breakouts, which sometimes happens when I use a long wear foundation. It doesn't feel too cakey either which is something I find with the MAC long wear foundations, they can feel really waxy but the Double Wear is nothing like that. It still feels like a natural finish and I don't need to use too much of it to get the coverage I need. 

Nice white teeth courtesy of BlanX White Shock
I then add the Sephora setting powder over the top and it just gives my face a little lift as I'm so fair, and then the Sephora highlighter/blush/bronzer to my cheeks. Mascara wise I'm opting for the YSL Babydoll in black these days, I did try the YSL Shocking but found it was shocking for all the wrong reasons but that's a whole other post...

My brows are always something I battle with, no matter how often I pluck them I always find little stays, I also have have an odd little bald patch in one where I had a bit of a DIY fringe cutting disaster when I was a kid. In Vegas I picked up a fab Sephora brow pencil that has more of a gel texture to it, similar to the gel liners, it also has a little brush on the end of it which helps me tame them and sort out a little brow comb over for my baldy patch.

I will definitely be repurchasing the Estee Launder Double Wear Foundation and I would encourage anyone who hasn't already jumped on the bandwagon to do so immediately! Sometimes it pays to shake things up a little and not get too stuck in our ways, I'm glad I did as I could not be happier with my new favourite face.

Which new products have you tried and loved?

Monday, 7 April 2014

The one you've all been waiting for...Vegas haul!

In my last post about my recent trip to Las Vegas I mentioned I did a lot of shopping, and I mean a lot! Now I am going to show you just what I bought...

As you can see I hit Sephora hard! What I love the most about Sephora is that there's a dupe for just about every product ever made by any of the high end brands and the quality is amazing. Because I found that the price of most of the branded stuff was the same as the UK and there didn't seem to be anything that I couldn't get over here I opted mostly for the Sephora own stuff. Although I did splash out and get myself another YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick, then I got a bloody cold sore and couldn't wear it, typical!

I also treated myself to a Carisonic Mia, I have wanted one of these for a while now but could never bring myself to part with that much money, however when I saw this in Sephora for $125 and I think it is around £125 in the UK I thought I'd snap it up as it worked out quite a saving. I also got the Calrisonic cleansing lotion for acne prone skin. I've not had chance to try this out yet as I've had some pretty big spots recently and I didn't want to aggravate them, but I'm itching to give it a go and who knows maybe this will mean the end of those horrible big spots?

My favourite purchase has to be this beautiful Sephora It Palette...

As you can see it is a fairly neutral toned palette and it includes a base, 2 highlighters, 2 eyebrow colours and 7 'ombre' colours. As well as a dual ended brush for the lid and eyebrows/liner and a brown eyeliner pencil. 

Excuse the swatches, I ran out of arm!
As you can see the colours are so pigmented, there is a nice mix of shimmers and matte shades, I just think it is one of the most beautiful and more importantly wearable eye shadow palettes I own (and yes I do have the Naked 3 palette). I find with so many eye shadow palettes the colours look beautiful in the pan but on the eye they just look awful, such as the Naked 3, hence why I haven't published my review for fear of the backlash from the Naked lovers out there.

I couldn't wait to wear this as soon as I got it, which then resulted in 3 of the girls I went with rushing out to get their hands on it too.

A couple of other lovely products I bought and have worn everyday since are this setting powder and blusher/bronzer/highlighter...

I bought the setting powder in medium and it sits perfectly on top of my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, it just takes any shine away from my oily areas and it lifts my face. As I am quite fair foundation alone can make me look a bit ghostly, but by adding a setting powder that is a slightly darker tone it helps brighten up my face.

The blusher/bronzer/highlighter product then gives my cheeks a lovely summer glow, which is perfect as with this weather I've got no chance of getting one of those naturally! It's fantastic for contouring the cheekbones too.

As you can see form the first image there was just too much to mention in one post so I have picked out my faves for you. Don't worry though there will be more reviews of the other products I bought coming very soon.

If you spot something in particular you like the look of in my haul and want to see a review of just let me know. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Viva Las Vegas...

Ironic that we did our 'Welcome to Las Vegas' photo on our way to the airport going home

Well it's been a whirl wind of a couple of weeks lots of lovely and exciting things have happened, not only have I just got back from Las Vegas but I came back to the fantastic news that I have been promoted at work! 

I'll start with the super exciting stuff, the trip to Vegas...

I was so excited about going that I didn't quite believe it was happening until I got to Manchester airport at 7am last Friday morning. It was a girls holiday (plus one husband) so it meant a week away from my little loves but I think we all coped quite well and Lylah only went to nursery in one questionable outfit! 

After the 14 hour flight I thought all I would want to do when we arrived was go to sleep but I think I felt more awake after being up for 24 hours than I do now after a weeks worth of sleep! We had hired cars so we could road trip it to the Grand Canyon and it was amazing driving down the strip to our hotel as all the lights were coming on and spotting all of things I'd only seen in films. 

After a hectic and a little bit scary drive to our hotel we finally arrived (after driving the wrong way down a street) and it was beautiful! We stayed in the Vdara Hotel and Spa, which is great if you're like us and didn't want to have temptation constantly thrust in your face. It is one of the only hotels on the strip not to have a casino or night club, which meant it was a lovely retreat after a crazy night. The suite we were in was lovely and had an amazing view of the strip, for a girl who has never been to America before or stayed in many luxury hotels it was quite a treat! 

We did all the things a person should do in Vegas, gambelled and won, saw a show, eat giant slices of pizza, drank margaritas in giant plastic glasses as we walked down the street in broad daylight, ate some more, went to Sephora, went to the top of the Stratosphere (but chickened out of the rides), drank free drinks in the da cluurb, went to Sephora again, went on the New York New York rollercoaster, had a pancake breakfast, had my picture taken with a half naked cowboy, went to Sephora again, saw a bride and groom on a Harley, and laughed a LOT! Phew!

The Grand Canyon was amazing but absolutely freezing! I didn't realise how vast it was until we flew over it on our flight into Vegas, it looked the size of a whole country on it owns. I have to say these sorts of things don't exactly float my boat, it was the same with the Hoover Dam, yes it was impressive but without knowing the history of it and it's significance I don't think you can really appreciate it. 

It might not have been your typical 'Hangover' style Vegas trip but it was amazing! Vegas isn't somewhere I had really wanted to go, I'm much too desperate to go to New York to have even considered anywhere else but I'm glad that I got the chance. One thing that I was super disappointed about was Britney, the one month I'm there is the one month she wasn't doing any shows I was gutted! However we did go to see Rock of Ages, which was amazing. I've seen it in London and I think I preferred it because the theater was a lot smaller and you really got the sense of being part of the show, saying that you did get an LED lighter at the Vegas show to sway in the air so it was worth it just for that! 

Whilst we were on our road trip to the Grand Canyon we came across a Walmart so we stopped off to get some supplies. The first thing we saw as we walked through the doors was this giant tub of cheesy puffs, this picture does not do it's giantness any justice, this thing was so big it needed it's own seat belt and it kept us entertained for not just hours but days! I think this may be more of an inside joke :-) 

Drunken cheesy puff challenge (I managed 13)
In Vegas unless you're young and skinny with no body hang ups at all and want to hang around the pool parties there isn't a lot to do during the day other than gamble and shop, so I shopped! Whilst the girls I was with took advantage of the sunshine around the pool I took full advantage of the four Sephora's Vegas had to offer and I have a rather big haul post coming your way. 

If you've not been to Las Vegas before I would definitely recommend it, however not if you are planning on taking children or any age. There is nothing child friendly about Vegas, there isn't even a child's toy shop and not many clothes shops so finding presents for the girls was tricky. It is somewhere I would go back to but because of the long flight I would make it part of a bigger trip. I'd love to do LA, Vegas and San Francisco. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Packing for Vegas...

Wowza can you believe it, it's only 17 more sleeps until I go to Vegas baby! I've been looking around for the perfect outfits to take with me, I don't want to take too much so I have plenty of room in my case for all the goodies I'm planning on bringing back. 

As I have been busy saving my spending money I've not had chance to go out and buy any clothes for my trip yet but I have done plenty of browsing and one shop that I think is excelling itself at the moment is Primark. I know Primark always have amazing key pieces but I don't think there has ever been so many things that have caught my eye all at the same time as there has recently.

All images from
As I am currently packing a few extra pounds I have been looking particularly at things that hide my tummy as this is my trouble area. Lucky for me there are plenty of high waisted skirts around at the moment, and these two on my list I think are just so cute and girly. Both are only £12 and would look great with a pair of flats during the day and I can switch it up for a night time look with a pair of heels. High waisted means I can give the cropped T a go too, my waist is actually quite small in comparison to the rest of my body so if I can cover up my tum I don't have to worry about anything being on show. 

As I'm going in March and apparently all of the pools are closed I'm not sure how much need I'll have for a swimsuit but you always have to take one just in case. Primark have got some lovely nautical style swimwear and I find that these two styles are most flattering for my figure. 

When it comes to evening wear I know Vegas is famed for it's sequins and glamour and I just thought this black sequined body con dress would be understated but still quite glitzy, and a steal at only £15. I'll have to make sure I pack my spanks though! 

My absolute favourite is the pink floral dress at only £8 this is a complete bargain! The image online really doesn't do it justice as in really life it is such a bright and vibrant pink. I really love this style of dresses that Primark do, I own a lot of them as they are so comfortable and cheap. There is another smock style dress I have seen but I couldn't find it on the website, damn you Primark when will you add an online shop to your site?!

So I know where I'll be heading this weekend, how about you? 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Mani Monday - kids edition

As many of you will know I have two little loves that are as girly and nail polish obsessed as me! It has got to the point now where I can't do my nails in front of them as they always want theirs doing too, it's not that I mind them wearing it I just don't think it's great for their nails to wear it all the time and definitely not for school.

So I was delighted when I was contacted by a company called Safe-Nails to try their child friendly, non-toxic nail polishes. Their products are completely chemical free, they're water based so they wash off easily and great news for mums with little girls who like to do their own nails they're stain free too!

I received two nail colours (both my girls favourites), a soft nail file, nail wipes and a pretty little gift bag. I thought the bottles were really cute and girly and my girls liked them because they looked like my Ciate polishes with the little bows. Although I get why they've called the brand 'Snails' (Safe-Nails) and the little snail on the pack is cute, I do think it is an odd choice for a little girls nail product. I don't really know any little girls who think snails are cute, the word that most comes to mind when they think of snail is 'yucky'. 

Glitter Bomb
Purple Comet
The Glitter Bomb has a pretty shimmer to it and Purple Comet was really pigmented and only needed one coat to get a great colour pay off.

The great thing about these nail polishes is that because they are chemical free there are no nasty smells when applying them, they also dry really quickly so you don't have to worry about them getting it everywhere. I love the idea that they're washable too and it comes off really easily with the wet wipes that came with the set, although it came off just as easily with a little bit of soap and water. In fact maybe too easily, as shortly after we had applied the polish my little girl went to the loo and like the good girl she is washed her hands and the polish came off. I can't say she was too happy about this and I had to reapply the polish. The information I was sent does say to use the top coat for a longer lasting finish but it wasn't included in my pack, I would recommend getting the top coat when buying any of these products. 

As you can see Snails come in lots of lovely bright colours and you can also get nail art markers which are available in 10 different colours. Snails don't currently have distribution in the UK but you can buy online at their website, the set I received is €16 and the individual polishes are €8 which I think is great value and would make the ideal gift for any little girl. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bourjois Erasable Liner review...

Like a lot of girls I have never been able to master the art of the perfect cat flick eyeliner, liquid liners are my nemesis! I was about to give up on them altogether when I read about the Bourjois Erasable Liner in Pure Beauty magazine, I immediately ran to Tesco on my lunch break and snapped it up and man am I glad I did.

This little guy doesn't like much but I promise you if you are as liner challenged as I am you will love this product. My problem was I would always end up with one eye that looked passable but not perfect and the other eye would be a complete dogs dinner. This meant starting over A LOT, which then left me with red puffy eyes and ruined eye make up. 

The brush itself is much like any other liquid liner. I will say one thing, the formula of the product is quite gloopy so I have to run the brush around the edge of the bottle a few times to remove the excess. It glides on nicely though and you can get a good solid line in one straight run, there's no need for multiple coats unless you want a really thick line.

The best thing about the actual product is that it stays put, I have hooded lids and until now every liquid or felt eyeliner I have tried has transferred all over my eye within about an hour. The Boujois Erasable Liner says it lasts 16 hours and I would say it probably lasts even longer than that without any movement or transfer.

The genius thing about this product is this little eraser on the end of the brush, it's made of rubber and when you make a mistake you just rub it out. It's so small that it makes removing the smallest mistake easy peasy. The eyeliner comes off instantly and doesn't leave any smudge marks or eyeliner across your face and it leaves all other eye make up in tact. It's as though the eyeliner is being lifted off the skin, you can even peal off the liner once you've been over the edge of the eye with it if you wanted to remove the whole thing. I usually just need to do the edges where the flick is supposed to be, and with this I can do it as many times as I need to before it looks perfect. 

It makes doing my eye make up much less stressful and I can now do my eyeliner in seconds rather than hours!

What do you think? I'm pretty chuffed after so long trying and failing. I would recommend the Bourjois Erasable Liner to anyone, whether you're an expert or a complete no hoper. For £7.99 you can't afford not to have this in your life!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Revlon Colurburst Review

Today's post is a review of the highly anticipated Revlon Colorburst Balms, I  picked up two of the Lacquer Balms and one Matte Balm in the Boots 3 for 2 this week.

I was a bit dubious about getting them at first as I have tried the Kissable Balm Stains and I really didn't like them. However as usual it never takes me too long to jump on the bandwagon of a new beauty release, and I'd read only good things about these lip products so far. 

Firstly I was really impressed with the colour choice of the Lacquer Balms, I went for Demure, Whimsical and Elusive from the Matte Balm collection. 

Secondly the formulation of these is much better than the Kissable range, they're a lot more silky and moisturising, they don't cling to any dry patches and they feel a lot lighter on the lips. Another thing is that the colour pay off is really good, with the Kissable Balms the colour on the stick was not necessarily the colour you got when applied, with the Colorburst Balms it's pretty bob on. 

The two Lacquer Balms have really pretty flecks of sparkle in them, not so much so that it looks like you're off to the school disco but just enough to give your lips a subtle light reflective shine. Demure is a lovely nude shade, my images really don't do it justice I haven't quite mastered the art of lip shots. Whereas Whimsical is a beautiful berry shade.

Elusive is the Matte shade, a cute pink. I'm not really one for the matte lips as I find they are usually quite drying and I have very dry lips, this however was surprisingly moisturising and felt lovely when on. I was a little disappointed with the colour selection of the Matte Balms as they all looked a bit garish for me, but if you have a warmer skin tone you could probably get away with them better then I could. 

The only downside to the Revlon Colorburst Balms is that they don't last very long, I found I had to reapply after about an hour or so. I think I probably still prefer the Rimmel Lasting Colour Rush Balms as they last forever on the lips and I'm not one for remembering to reapply. 

All in all I was pleased with the new Revlon Colorbust Blams, they're a vast improvement in the Kissable Balm Stains. When I go to Vegas in March I'll be interested to see if they have any colours not yet released in the UK. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Best invention ever? I think so...

Ok so today's post is a little bit of an odd one, I'm not usually one to rave about techy things as I know precisely zero about anything slightly technological. But I am loving this particular piece of kit so much at the moment I couldn't not tell  you all about it. 

So this little box (and my new best friend) is Apple TV, it's not a new thing and all you techies will probably know all about it, but for those of you like me who can just about manage a phone you might find this interesting.

Basically this little box of wonder turns your ordinary (HDMI ready) TV into a smart TV, without you having to spend a fortune. It costs around £100 and enables you to stream things such as films, music and even photos from your iPad, MAC or iPhone onto the big screen. Not only that but it comes enabled with Netflix and You Tube along with a load of other sports type things, and you can download stuff from iTunes straight to your TV and then they are stored in your Cloud the same as usual. 

The quality is absolutely fantastic, there is no buffering and it's just like watching a programme on Sky or Virgin (other digital networks are available). You might think it sounds daft me mentioning this but I can tell you now, I have watched You Tube on some so called smart TV's and the quality is shocking you'd be better off watching in on the PC with dial up. With Apple TV you wouldn't even know that you weren't just watching regular TV. My little girl is obsessed with You Tube and she was ecstatic when we said she could watch her videos on the TV, she has now decided she wants to be a You Tube 'sensation' (her words) so watch out the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr there's a feisty 6 year old hot on your heels! 

Since having Apple TV I have become obsessed with Netflix, I signed up to it when it first came out but cancelled after the free trial as there was very little of interest on there. It seems to be much better now and my new favourite programme is Orange is the New Black, we've also been trying to get into House of Cards. If you have a Netflix account and haven't picked up on these shows yet I  recommend you do, they're fab!

As I said I am by no means an expert in these things and I know there is probably so much more to say about Apple TV but I just wanted to draw your attention to what I think is the best invention EVER! Seriously whether you are or aren't a gadget lover you need this in your life so go check it out, plus as Vicki from Lets Talk Beauty said, it also has a cute remote :-) 

Friday, 31 January 2014

Vegas baby!

Las Vegas yeah baby!!

So in my last post I told you all about how I'm going to Vegas in March for my friends 30th birthday, I can't quite believe it's happening to be honest. I thought it would be one of those things we talk about but never happens, but it's booked and everything is go go go!

Vegas has never really been a place I've been desperate to go to, I'm more of a New York ginda gal, my husband on the other hand (like most men) would love to go so I feel extra guilty that I'm going and he isn't. But what the hell, he insisted I go so I intend to make the most of it! 

I have been manically researching where to go and what to do and I couldn't plan a trip to the US without putting together a Sephora wish list now could I? The problem is at this rate I will be blowing all of my spends in there, bettering than gambling it away I suppose...

All images from Pinterest
I have started putting a board together on Pinterest and as you can see from the image above my list is getting quite long and this is only half of it. When I was in France last summer we visited a small Sephora and I picked up some of their own make up and I was really impressed so this time I'm going to get a whole lot more, as you can see. I really love the idea of the top left image, it's a multi eyeliner brush, it works like those multi-coloured crayons you get where you take one from the bottom and put it in the top. There's also a couple of things on there like the Benefit Boo Boo Zap that I haven't seen in the UK.

If any of you have some other recommendations of products or brands I need to take a look at I'd love to hear them.

The best advice I have found yet!
I have also been scanning the interweb for things to do and 'must see' sights as I don't want to miss anything! So far I have learnt about 'long hauling' which is when the cabbies take you the long way round to charge you extra and about the $50 24hr buffet bands which sounds amazing! Now you know why I'm on a mission to lose weight, I need to give myself a head start before I eat my body weight in Vegas!

Now January is over the fun can really start as my spending ban is over and I start to get the necessary holiday essentials. I'll keep you updated on my Vegas prep over the next few weeks and I'd love to you know if any of you have ever been.

Lots of love...

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Life lately...

Well it's been quite a while hasn't it! 

I can't believe I haven't written a post since November, that's the longest break I have taken since starting this blog a year and a half ago. Now some might say it was a little early in my blogs life to take a break, but to them I say there are no rules to blogging that's why I love it! The reason for my little break was that life just seemed to get on top of me without me even noticing. I suddenly found that I was so busy with work that life was passing me by, Christmas was coming up and I felt like everything other than my work was suffering. Usually I am the most Christmassy person I know, but this year (last year, whatever) I just wasn't feeling it. I was missing out on girly nights out and meals because I was so tired from work I just couldn't be bothered, I was having too many nights away from my beautiful girls. So I thought it was about time I stood back and took a deep breath and get everything in order. 

I have decided 2014 is the year to break the rules and take chances, start saying yes to more things (non work related), spend more quality time with the girls and my hubby and just generally stop being so lazy and letting life pass me by. There are so many terrible and unlucky things happening to people I know that it has made me realise that life is just too short to be miserable and full of worry, I have vowed to live more and worry less this year. 

So I just thought I'd give you a quick update as what has been going on since we spoke last. Well obviously we had an amazing Christmas, one thing that usually spoils my Christmas is the pressure I feel to please everyone. With us not living close to any family we usually spend the whole of our Christmas break moving between both sets of parents. But from Boxing Day on-wards it becomes our duty to keep everyone happy and usually at the expense of our own enjoyment. This year we decided we weren't going to spend the whole time away from home and we were just going to go for a few days and I can't tell you what a difference that made. The children didn't start to get bored and play up which meant that we didn't get stressed out and argue and I think this was the first year I have actually felt refreshed after the Christmas break. 

Then I said YES to something I would have felt too selfish and guilty to do a year ago. In March I will be going on a girls holiday the Las Vegas! It's my friends 30th and she decided very last minute that she wanted to go, I said no originally as I just couldn't justify spending that much money on a holiday that didn't involve the whole family. Whenever I get the opportunity to do anything like this I always turn it down, I walk round everyday with a constant feeling of guilt, something I think comes with being a parent. It's very difficult balancing the feelings of being a mother and wanting to remain a fairly independent woman and have a career. They are two very conflicting worlds and it's all about balance, something I still haven't quite got the hang of just yet. So anyway back to Vegas, after much reassurance and eventually insistence I agreed to go and I still can't quite believe it is happening! There will be more Vegas related posts coming soon.

I have also started back on Slimming World (again)! Last year I started a Beat the Bulge series but I just lost all will power and motivation. However as I stepped on the scales on the 1st January 2014 and realised just how much I had over indulged not just over Christmas but for the past couple of months I couldn't quite believe my eyes. I am currently the heaviest I have ever been at, wait for it...13st 1lb, and I vow to try and lose 3 stone by summer and hopefully a lot of that before I go to Vegas. My weight is a constant battle and I turn to food in times of stress and sadness, and I am stressed A LOT! I hope to restart the Beat the Bulge series and keep you updated with my progress and hope you can support me in what will probably be a 'two steps forward three steps back' situation.

On the beauty side I have been on an unofficial spending ban during January, purely to try and tighten my belt through what is usually a pretty bad month financially. I think I have coped tremendously well and I think my husband would agree as he knows the extent of my shopping addiction. So as you can imagine after a month of no spending and a trip to Vegas to plan I have wish lists longer then my arm! 

Sorry this has been such a rambling post and congratulations if you have made it to end with me, but it just felt right that for my first post back after my break I update you on what's been going on and why I left for a while. I am already making very exciting plans for the rest of the year and the spending ban is almost over so I will be back with some great posts very soon...

Lots a love...

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