Monday, 24 February 2014

Catch Up With Me: Volume 5

Hey Guys,

It's that time of the month again for me to let you know what I've been up to over the last 4 weeks. It's been pretty manic with work and my weekends are just non stop, although I'm not complaining, I love it.

The most exciting thing that has happened in the last month is my job is now permanent with a salary, yay! I absolutely love my job working on PPC and SEO, learning new ways to digest data and the best strategy for results, I love it. As well as having a job I love having a salary and knowing I'll be paid the following month is amazing. It's the first time I've had a proper job and I'm so lucky to actually do what I want to do. Really exciting news too I'm off to Google in London on Friday and I'll be taking my Google exams in the next coming weeks.

Now that my job is permanent it also means I can go on the hunt for a flat and move out of my parents house and start living with my friend and having some independence. I'm so so excited to move out and move to a less middle of nowhere location with my best mate! I can't wait! Don't get me wrong I do like being at home, but now I'm working its starting to get really tough having those time boundaries and having to plan everything.

What else have I been up to, nothing really exciting just general weekend antics going out, drinking, shopping you know that kind of thing. My weekends at the moment seem to be filled with playing poker, Xbox and drinking too much, I'm such a boy sometimes. Although each weekend I seem to be seeing different people which is nice and seeing a few people from uni so it's been a fun filled month.

I've recently purchased a lot of make-up so I have a massive haul coming up either this week or next.

I think thats about it at the moment, I really haven't been up to much just you know living and loving whatever life throws at me right now.

Although I really want to say a massive thank you to everyone who's followed my blog and regularly reads my posts, I honestly couldn't wish for more, so thank you <3. Thats it from me for now if you want to see more from me on a daily basis get following me or Instagram and Twitter.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review Thursday: Natural Collection Blush

Hey Guys,

It's Thursday which means a review post from me. Today I'm going to review the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks. I love the Natural Collection eyeshadows and bronzers, so it was no surprise that I fell in love with the blushes too.

I bought my first Natural Collection blush a good 6/7 years ago and I'm still yet to hit pan, despite using it most days. The first one I bought was the colour 'pink cloud' which is a really pretty pale Barbie pink and then more recently I bought 'Peach melba' which is a darker slightly dirty pink.  

These blushes are a pressed powder which loosens up when applied to the brush, making them easy to sweep over the cheeks beautifully. The pigmentation is really good, especially with the 'pink cloud' colour, a little goes a long way for a natural flush or you can really build them up for a full impact of colour.

I really like how well they apply for a natural look, they also cling so well to the cheeks all day without loosing any colour. In the range there is only 4 colours, although I really want to purchase the other two, because at £1.79 there an absolute steal!

The only downside of these little pots is the white plastic containers, although this is the signature packaging for the brand, I'm not overly keen. I don't mind them so much however both my pans of product has fallen out there containers which makes travelling a little tricky. It would be good if I could make a blush palette and buy the two other colours.

 Peach Melba swatch

Pink Cloud Swatch

I would seriously recommend these to anybody as there perfect for everyday and night. Although there are only 4 colours the colour range is pretty good. I would also recommend checking out the eyeshadows and bronzers while your there too!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Monthly Wishlist: One Thing On My Mind

Hey Guys,

Todays post is about something which hasn't left my mind for the last few weeks, investing in a smokey eyeshadow palette. Theres three in particular which have caught my eye and I've been debating which one I should invest in, in the very near future. I do admittedly want all three, however with each retailing between £35-£50, one of them will do for now. All three of these palettes I'm sure you've all heard of but I just can't decided. I've been reading reviews and theres such a split vibe about them.

Here are the three I'm debating about:
Smashbox Full Exposure
Urban Decay Naked 2

You can probably see my predicament right? So as well as this being my monthly wishlist I also want my readers help..WHICH ONE?

I'll give a few must haves for my palette: a range of brown tones, a matte black and a champagne colour. Now I've put them all together in a line and I feel the NARS palette may not have enough brown tones for me but I do like the range of different colours. I really like the Smashbox because of the split of matte and shimmer shades, then the Urban Decay has the warm brown tones I like. Oh it's such a hard choice!

If any of you guys have any of these palettes please let me know what you think, or which one I should get in the comments or even tweet me here! Or do you know of any other ones which I might like? please let me know.

I'm also thinking about doing a give away soon when I reach 250 Bloglovin' followers so when the time comes for my decided purchase I may even pick up two, one for the give away. Don't hold me to it but it's in the pipeline.

That's it from me today, any help would be much appreciated and I'll see you Thursday for a review :).

Saturday, 15 February 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge: Highend Vs Highstreet

Hi Guys,

Firstly I'll start with, I'm sorry I missed the last topic for this challenge, however I'm just not a reader. I mean I read blogs and articles but not an actual book, I think the last book I read was about 2 years ago. So to be honest writing a book review is a bit of a lost cause for me because it's just not my thing.

Now that's out the way, the topic for this week is all about highend vs highstreet. The way I've interpreted this topic is to kind of give my opinion of whether or not more expensive products are better than a cheaper version.

For me personally I'm very new to dabble in the higher end of beauty products because when I was a student it didn't even occur to me to buy like Mac or Nars, I just went straight to Boots to the Rimmel and Natural Collection stands. I've always been a cheap make-up user and have only really started using like Bourjois and Soap&Glory, which don't get me wrong not exactly pricy, but buying a £10 foundation never sat right with me. Although now I have a 9-5 job and the money I make is actually mine, I'm starting to branch out and spend a bit more on the products and experiment a little more. Like 8 months ago I had one foundation which I swore by, now I have about 4 or 5 with different coverages and different uses. You could go as far as saying once I left uni I went on like a make-up binge. Nowadays when popping into Boots I see myself browsing round the Mac counters and Smashbox stands more and more.

I think the main thing I'm getting at in the post is I am new to highend products so I can't really give a good enough answer to whether I think there better or worse however watch this space.

Although there is one thing I have definitely found an improvement in from using a pricier product, and that is make-up brushes. I never valued how a make-up brush could changed the way your make-up looked. My friend at uni always used MAC brushes and I just didn't see the big deal. It was only when I started blogging and saw people banging on about how important they are and swooning over one brush, I thought it was crazy, but no no no I was the crazy one!

The day I purchased a Mac 217 brush changed my life, I know big statement, but wow it was a real game changer. I'm a lover of a smokey eye but I could just never master it, until this god send of a brush came into my life. I then went on to purchase majority of the Real Technique brushes, and my make-up has never looked so flawless. Gone where the days of buying a cheap set in the Christmas sale, although I'm not saying some cheaper brushes don't do the job I'm just very happy with my slightly more expensive ones. It's also safe to say that I am converted to a higher end make-up brush.

That's it for this post, I know it doesn't have a great amount of substance to it but I think if I were to revisit this topic in say 6 months time I'd have a bit more to say. I may do that like a part 2. I can't wait to read everyone else's posts and see there take on the topic, I'm pretty sure I'll end up with a massive wish-list from them all!

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' and Instagram where I tend to post what my make-up looks like (selfies) and my nails, as well as day to day rubbish haha.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review Thursday: OPI Top This

Hey Guys,

Today I am going to give a review of this OPI collection I got for Christmas, my mum bought me this and I believe she bought it from TKMax, but I think I've seen it on nailpolishdirect too.
Anyways in the pack you get three full size OPI top coats, one normal glossy one, a glittery top coat called 'Snowflakes In The Air' and finally the one I've been lusting over for so long, a matte top coat.

This little set is so perfect as it holds my top three favourite nail effects. I love doing my nails, even though I have acrylics, I end up repainting every week because I enjoy it so much. I like to get quite inventive with my nails and end up going for the forth finger different colour/glitter effect. I'm a lover of bright pinks and oranges or masses of glitter, I'm a big glitter fan.

I've always wanted to buy a decent top coat, because I find drugstore ones never do a great job. However the price tag of one OPI top coat scares me a little so I just end up making do. I'm so happy I received this one and I've loved using it ever since. The bush is long and medium thickness which makes application really quick and easy, making any polish instantly glossy and protected.

Next up the glittery 'Snowflakes in the Air' is very a pretty silver based glitter with a holographic light hitting effect. The glitter itself is a mix of medium to fine glitter pieces although the polish is packed full of them. I haven't used this just yet because I also got a mini Mavala glitter in my Boots beauty advent, so I've been using that. However on the image below I've painted it on a nail reel on top of a white so you can really see the effect. The glitter itself when it hits the light is so pretty and I got this coverage in two coats. Although I personally tend to go for a higher coverage of glitter but I'm quite liking the glitter on white if I'm honest.

Finally my most anticipated top coat, the matte one. I've been wanting this for way too long, I'm talking like a year! About a year ago I started to see matte finish nails on Instagram and absolutely loved the idea although when having a look on the internet I couldn't find any for the life of me. I eventually found a few colours on Ebay from China but when they arrived they didn't turn out quite like I wanted. Until Barry M released there Matte finish colours which when I tried I fell in love! (see post here). After I tried these I was like I have to get me a matte top coat because I have so many colours which I'd love to try as a matte finish. When I unwrapped this on Christmas Day and I was so happy, I couldn't believe my mum even remembered I wanted it.

The application is as easy as a normal glossy top coat, with the brush easy to use and comfortable to hold. On application it comes out as a liquid and almost like a normal top coat until it dries and it's completely matte. I love the finish it gives and the durability is so long, although this could be because I have acrylics and they don't tend to chip. One thing I really love about this top coat is that it makes my nails feel so soft, because sometimes with normal top coats they can feel a bit grippy, this one is so velvety. Below is an image of the matte and normal top coat on top of a black from Barry M.

That's it for review Thursday I hope you've liked this post. If your a nail addict like me then this set is a must have. Although it's just top coats, do not underestimate the power of top coats! I feel they finish the nails off so nicely compared to not wearing any and just make the nails so much smoother. If you do like seeing nail pictures then I'm a regular guilty Instagramer for this you can follow me here. Anyways that's it from me, I'll be back soon :).

Monday, 10 February 2014

My Weight Loss Journey: Food

Hey Guys

So this is the third instalment my weight loss journey to you all. If you missed the last two you can catch up here (Part 1 & Part 2), Ive also created a page which will filter all the posts about my weight loss, so there all together. The last two posts were all about my personal history with my weight, starting out, planning and goals, so all you need to get going, in my opinion anyway.

As this title suggests this post is about my relationship with food and what I eat. Although I'm sure your'll be happy to know, even though this post is about what I eat to loose weight, I am currently sat in bed eating a bag on mini eggs and incredibly hungover. Sigh of relief that I'm not just going to talk about eating rabbit food?

From my previous posts I've always said I don't want to go on a diet and simply loose the weight I want to change my lifestyle and my relationship with food. Otherwise I feel once I've got to my goal weight I'll slip back into the bad habits and pile on the pounds, any weight losers worst nightmare. So it's about the choices you make and the easy, realistic adjustments you can change to your lifestyle in able to maintain these changes. I'm trying to make life long changes so I avoid this feeling:

I've now been doing this for about 8 months and in total I've lost 2.5 stone, it's quite a slow process but that's because I'm not just strict dieting. I now live by a rule of Monday-Friday I eat a healthy balanced diet, then when it comes to the weekend I'll treat myself and I refuse to feel guilty about it, kind of a backwards 5:2 diet. I do this because I love chocolate, I love coca-cola, I love cheese, I love bread, my list could go on forever but I feel if I was to just cut all my favourite foods out, I just wouldn't keep the momentum to carry on. By setting my days where I allow myself treats I don't crave them through the week, I look forward to them at the weekend. With me so far?

So let me break it down how I do this:

As I said during the week I have a healthy balanced diet, I eat three meals a day and 2 snacks. Now I'll explain a few tricks which work for me:
  • Planning what your going to eat 
  • Try and make set times when your going to eat 
  • Little changes in what you eat  
Let me break it into each meal time changes.

Breakfast: 7:15am: I never used to eat breakfast so I almost had to train myself into eating it every day but now I can't go a day without it. The healthy changes I made for breakfast time is simple, I have 40g of high fibre cereal with 60ml skimmed milk. Changing my milk from the green top to red was hard at first and took me a while to get used to but now drinking semi-skimmed taste like cream to me. I also have a cup of coffee, skimmed milk and no sugar. I used to always have sugar so I slowly reduced it and started replacing it with a sprinkle of cinnamon as it's a natural sweetener and fat burner, bonus. Although after about 2 months I've completely stopped and just have coffee and milk. Now I'm not sure if changing milk has made a huge difference but every little helps right?

Am Snack: 11am: A Banana or a piece of fruit to keep me going till lunch.

Lunch: 2pm: This time does vary depending how busy I am at work but it's around that time. The main change here is stop the sandwich and have something a lot lighter, I feel lunch time is the easiest one to make a change and cut the calories. So lunch time for me is either a salad or left overs from the night before. However my salad consist of spinach, cucumber and radish's just because I don't like that many salad components haha. I always have some sort of protein with my salad either tuna or chicken, then a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to finish it off, tasty.

Pm Snack: 4:30pm: This is the time of day when my energy levels really drop and I get so hungry so I have 35g of mixed nuts and dried fruit, at the moment my favourite is a mix of walnuts, pumpkin seeds and dates.

Dinner: 7pm: Dinner changes every day and varies week to week, this is my favourite meal so I don't want to get bored. The main adjustments I've made is stripping out the white carbs, now that sounds a lot harder than it really is. I no longer eat bread, white potatoes, white rice, pasta etc I eat brown rice, green beans and sweet potato. I've also taken out unnecessary fats like butter and oil. I make substitutions where I can like Olive Oil for Coconut oil and Creme Fraiche instead of cream. I love cooking so I had so much fun discovering new ways to cook, in a healthy way, it's about being clever and looking at foods thinking how can I make this healthy. I did want to put a weeks meal plan in pictures, but I kept forgetting :(. I will try again this week to remember and update, but I'll repeat I'll TRY haha. However heres some of my favourites meals I now cook:
Healthy Fish Pie
Thai Red Coconut and Tomato Curry
Creamy Thai Green Curry
Lime Chicken
BBQ Chicken
Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

If you see anything above you want to try then drop me an email and I can send you over the recipe. Most my recipes have been from BBC Good Food website, but I'm also a monthly subscriber over here, however I have altered them to my tastes and dietary requirements. All my meals above only take 1hour to prepare and cook, honestly I don't have time to slave at the stove so I limit 1 hour for cooking and prep.

So that's it, I hope that helps any of you diet strugglers out there and it gives an insight into what I eat and how I go about food nowadays. Like I said before the approach I take to loosing weight is to make adjustments which are easy to stick too for years ahead, because once I loose the weight I have no intention to put it back on again! I'm in this for the long run.

If anyone has any more questions or would like a little bit of advice from what I do or some friendly motivation then please feel free to email me, tweet me, comment whatever!

Otherwise other than that I'll see you Thursday for a beauty review :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review Thursday: Bourjois Blush Exclusif

Hey Guys,

Today I am going to review a blusher, this blusher is a stable in my everyday makeup bag for the last few months and I thought it was worth a mention, this blush is the Blush Exclusif by Bourjois. It retails at £7.99 and you can find it here.

The blush itself contains pH reactive pigments and is suppose to adjust to the perfect blush for your skin tone. A self adjusting blusher I hear you say? now that is something I had to try!

The tin itself has very little information about the product so after a bit of research online I instantly had a few queries. 1. Would the colour adjust differently from wearing foundation to bare skin and 2. Wouldn't the pH in the air effect the colour in the pot?.

As you can see from the image above the top of my blusher has reacted to the pH in the air, so when you scratch away the top surface it's white.
The formula itself is a cream to powder texture with a fairly matte finish. Although its not incredibly cream like some blushes can be, it's quite a dry cream, if you know what I mean. As it's not a wet creamy consistency I find it lasts for ages on the skin and stays in place all day.

I apply mine with the Real Techniques Blush Brush and finds it applies really easily and it's super blend-able, which is good because as it does adjust to your skin you don't want to risk putting too much on. The swatch below shows how the colour can change from my hand to my finger tips and how on my fingers it's a really deep fuchsia however on my hand it's more what I would call soft Barbie Pink.

The bottom line is I really like this blusher and I love wearing it on a daily basis for a fresh natural flush to the cheeks. It's especially good because I'm quite fair so most blushes can be a bit bright. I would definitely suggest this to anyone who may be in school and can't wear too much make-up or someone who may struggle to find the perfect blush!

I hope you've enjoyed this post, I've also uploaded a picture of me wearing this blush on my Instagram here (see me). I'd like to just quickly thank everyone who's followed me or read my blog I've hit over 150 followers and omg it's amazing! so thank you thank you thank you!

Don't forget to come back Monday for the next post on my weight loss journey where I'll be talking about what food I eat! If you've missed the previous posts you can catch up here: Part 1: Part 2.

Monday, 3 February 2014

January Favourites.

Hey Guys,

I feel like January has gone so quick this year, normally it drags so much but it's flown by! I must say though this January has been so much better than last year due to extreme tonsillitis and my throat closing up, you no casual. So this year has already started pretty darn well!

Right enough of the babble lets get going with my January favourites. This months favourites are pretty much all new bits which I got in and around Christmas but they have pretty much since overtaken my life.

First up is a bronzer from Rimmel, now this bronzer was a bit of a stressful buy. Leading up to this purchase I just could never get my bronzer colour match right and was getting myself quite worked up about the situation. However I stumbled across this when in Superdrug stocking up on my favourite Stay Matte Powder, I picked it up and though meh it's worth a go. I really love the natural glow it gives and how it warms up my skin in the winter months. The powder in the pan itself has a very minimal amount of shimmer which doesn't transfer to the skin at all, it's quite matte. Overall I really love it however I'm still on the hunt for the perfect bronzer.

Whats a favourites without mentioning a Real Techniques Brush eh? So I bring you the stippling brush, I got this for Christmas but didn't start using it until mid Jan and man I'm kicking myself. I love how it applies my foundation giving a flawless but natural look. As I find with the buffing brush it gives a heavier application, so the stippling is perfect for week day foundation.

Soap&Glory is a brand I've always loved but the price tag was always a little high for a student way to into drinking. So when I got a few bits for Christmas I was so happy to get trying and its safe to so I've loved them so much I'm featuring two in this post!

First up is the Righteous Butter, now I know this has already been spoken about this in the #2014bloggerchallenge skincare post (read me) but It needs a special mention here. I simply am in love with this product, it makes my skin so silky smooth for days after use. It also smells incredible, it's so buttery yet with a light texture. Such a perfect product for winter or dry skin.

Second S&G is the Kick Ass Concealer, however specifically one part of it, the setting powder. I'll talk about the concealer as a whole latter in the month but for now the setting powder is my new love. I've always used Rimmel Stay Matte since I care to remember and it's done me fine however this setting powder has changed me. I love how it really locks in my concealer not looking cakey and staying put all day, I'm not really sure how I can explain why I love it I just do!

Last beauty product of the batch is the L'oréal Line Studio #TXT volume texture spray. This is a fairly new edition to my hair products, over the last year I have been hunting for a good volume spray. Now I love using the Schwarz got2be volume mouse however if my hair gets wet my hair gets very matted and it's not great for if you don't wash your hair everyday. So When I found the L'oréal spray it solved my problems! This is such a good spray and go to product which gives instant lift to the roots and makes bed hair that little more tamed. Again I'll do a lengthy review on this later in the month, but bottom line you will not regret buying this product.

Lastly in this favourites post is a song, I know I never really include things like this but I am really really loving Clean Bandits 'rather be'. It's such a uplifting end of winter song and it's been stuck in my head all week! Love it! 

So that's it for my favourites, I feel this was quite a quick job done post, if you know what I mean. I hope you've enjoyed seeing my favourites, what have you been loving last month? let me know in the comments!