Sunday, 31 August 2014

Make Up Rumours | Naturals Nail Polish

There's a new kid in the blog when it comes to affordable make up ranges available both online and in drug stores. Say a huge hello to Make Up Rumours. This will be the first of my series of posts dedicated to their make up range, all varying from nail polish, eyeshadow and lipsticks! Their vast range starts from £1, a quid, one hundred pennies (although please don't take a hundred pennies into Superdrug, I don't think they would be too happy!).

Let's starts with their nail polishes; I bought two from their naturals collection. The shades aren't listed by colour, but by number. I chose shades 3 and 5, a pale pink and buff colour. Although the packaging doesn't state which shade is listed, this makes it a little harder to identify the correct one. Not necessarily with these two polishes, but it's certainly confused me with lipstick shades (review to come soon). 
Shade 3 is a very pale pink. And because of it being so pale I would say the naturals collection would be more suited for French manicures as they are really light. I did apply six coats to show the polish, but you can still see the tip of my nail underneath. The brush was thick enough to get a good first time application but the product liquid is a little bit thin. I'm not sure if this would be the same with the darker shades, I imagine the application would be much easier and obviously the colour would be a lot deeper and pigmented. 
The second shade is 5, this is more of a buff colour. On the site is does look much darker than the bottle too which was a bit of a let down, although I love the colour on. Yet again I had to apply it a few times to show the shade for the photo. Yet again I think this shade would look much better with one or two coats just to add a hint of colour to the nail. At the moment the tips of my nails are extremely white so I might remove it and just apply one coat for a hint of a tint, giving that French manicure look. 

I'm not 100% taken with the packaging. Let's be honest, I'm not much of a 'pink tease'. The packaging itself is strong and definitely the better out of the other two contenders; but it's certainly aimed at the younger market. This wouldn't put me off trying more of their products though to check the quality out. I think it's always useful to have a few cheaper alternatives in your make up bag. Both of these polishes were £1 each but they now have an offer on where you can buy the whole naturals collection for £5.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Life lately.

I know my posts haven't really been 'me' lately. I've had a few posts in my drafts and scheduled for a rainy day or if I wasn't feeling too well.

You may have noticed a few weeks ago that I was in hospital for almost a week. At Beacons Festival I sat on the floor in a funny position when doing a craft class. I thought I'd just done my back in like I sometimes do, but progressively through the week the pain got much worse. So bad that on the Saturday I was rushed back to hospital in an ambulance. First time, so exciting! They gave me gas and air which was amazing, and gave me morphine in A&E (maybe that's why I felt so excited). They wanted to discharge me later in the evening but the morphine wore off and I couldn't move at all. They finally admitted me to the ward and I was in there until Thursday. I had an MRI scan which showed two slipped discs so it was attributed to that.

On Wednesday I went to my first physio session where my physiotherapist told me my pelvis was dislocated and the sciatic nerve between my muscle and pelvis was trapped; this is what she believed to be my diagnosis. She had to push it back into place which was really painful, but surprisingly felt a lot better afterwards. I'm concerned that this wasn't picked up on the MRI scan so I'll be looking into that further.

I'm on plenty of medication and I'm feeling pretty rubbish. To make matters worse I'm on crutches, and they don't work well when I'm having dizzy spells. I also have ME/CFS (something I've never blogged about and only a few people know about now), and I've had quite a bad flare up over the past few months as a result of my traumatic pregnancy and birth. Team that with my bipolar disorder and you may guess, I'm not a happy bunny.

I'm most unhappy about the fact I can't spend much time with my son. I can't hold him long, or sit up long enough to feed him, I can't bend down to pick him up, or even put him to bed. So I've been super down and feeling insecure and a big of a bad mother really.

Anyway, after my little rant and moan, I've been reading a lot of books; mainly Matthew Reilly (book reviews to come soon) and watching plenty of trash TV in LoveFilm. My favourite current series is Awkward and I'm on to season three of that. To cheer myself up I've bought a faux leather jacket from BooHoo (thanks to Sera the enabler) and a gorgeous pair of tan leather brogues from ASOS. Being the stationary geek I am, and a new university year starting, I've bought a gorgeous Filofax and have some printables. I bought two sets from Etsy, a blogging planner set and an academic/student planner set. Oh and some super cute printable paper and dividers. I might do a blog post on that soon. 

So, here's to a brighter week next week, with a new hair colour and possibly leaving the onesie and putting on one of my beautiful new dresses; along with trying out my new beautiful sewing machine!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

I've seen a lot of mixed reviews of this product lately on the blogosphere, and even though it looked amazing, as I'm not a fan of Benefit products I thought I would try and avoid the push up liner altogether. Although a few weeks back when it appeared on Cohorted and was going to be considerably cheaper, I thought I might have to get in on this one; and I'm really glad I did. 

So the idea behind this product is that essentially it's a gel eye liner in a pen. It claims not to smudge, dry out or budge either. It comes with an 'AccuFlex' tip which is flexible and designed to hug the lash line. When I first received the product I was really excited to try it, I really suck with applying gel or liquid liner and I've pretty much used the same Barry M Wink eye liner pen for maybe the last five years or so. 

Applicate was super easy and that's coming from me! All you do is twist until the gel eye liner comes out the tip and whack it on. It applied really easily with no dragging and mess (like a lot of reviews I've seen) and really quickly too. I had a perfect flick first time all within 30 seconds, and that is saying something. The eye liner is matte black and lasted all day without budging or smudging too. It's the perfect consistency for easy application, and simple to remove if you do make any mistakes.  I'm not sure how long the product is meant to last but I could definitely see me repurchasing this in future as it gives the definition I've been longing for.

I think I'm slowing warming more and more to Benefit. This is the second Benefit product in my collection that I believe will be a perfect make up bag staple!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Be a savvy shopper. | Voucherful.co.uk

I'm always shopping for one thing or another, and you may have seen that reflected in my latest post where I bought quite a few dresses. Yes, I like to shop. I like to buy things. I like to shop and buy things all the time. I always try and set myself one of those 'spending ban' challenges, and even without thinking I've gone and bought something by the end of the day so fail constantly. But one thing about my shopping and spending is that I always buy things in end of season sales, from eBay, or using discount codes and vouchers. I do like to see myself as a savvy shopper. 

I know I'm not the only blogger out there who likes to shop and save as much as they possibly can, and I quite often see Tweets asking for discount codes, or if anyone knows of any vouchers that are out and about at the moment. This is where Voucherful.co.uk comes in. It's my main port of call when I'm looking to see if there are any offers and voucher codes doing their rounds on the internet. 
They cover everything, and I mean everything. Fashion, beauty, electricals, supermarkets and shopping, travel, restaurants and food. The list is endless, and you can find it all on the same site, rather than searching around or having limited codes emailed to you every day.

Here are a few of my favourite discount offers at the moment.
Fashion:
ASOS - up to 75% off dresses in their summer sale. Yep, I have indulged in this already.
Dorothy Perkins - 20% off full price items for the bank holiday weekend.
New Look - a whole 60% off in the summer sale. More clothing...

Beauty:
The Body Shop - 25% off when you enter the code during the checkout process. I absolutely adore their Honeymania range. So yummy!
Time to Spa: Fancy trying out some new beauty treatments, or spa products? You get free UK delivery on all orders.
Hair Trader: Looking for some new hair care products, like Moroccan Oil treatments or Fudge hair colours? You can get 5% off your order by entering their code during the checkout process.

Back to University?:
Debenhams - University essentials for under £30!
Paperchase - 70% off Paperchase products from their Outlet range; perfect for stationary lovers like myself.
Apple - they have lots of codes on their site at the moment; you can save up to £175 on a Mac and up to £32 on an iPad.

Food:
Whittard - 10% off your first order when you enter the code during the checkout process. I mean, who can resist tea right?
Domino's Pizza - 25% off when you spend over £25 by entering the code during the checkout process. I've never actually had a Domino's Pizza before but this is a good excuse to try, right?
Tesco - How about saving £12 on a £60 grocery shop? The code needs to be entered at the checkout when you place your first order online.

How about checking out the site and seeing what discount codes you can find? You can save yourself a packet and splash out on other things then. Like that Domino's Pizza offer... Mmmm... Pizza. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

What have I bought lately? | Clothing.

I know I've been buying a lot lately. So much so that I often forget what I've bought. This is a collective haul from around six weeks, but proves that I must be back in my dress phase. Most of these have been bought in the end of season sales, which suit me fine really as my winter style is layering up with a chunky cable knit granny cardigan (I managed to find a perfect one on eBay!). I've also used stock photos, mainly because I'm too immobile at the moment and trying to get each item out of my wardrobe to photo would be a complete pain for me. 

Beware: this might be a long post. I have bought a lot.

First up we have three dresses from Dorothy Perkins, all picked up in the sale but all at different times.
Pink, blue and grey gingham smock dress - £5.
Navy blue and white smock dress - £5.
Black and white checked skater dress - £9.

You may have seen these three dresses floating around on my Insagram account lately, but you gotta love an Asos sale! The first dress wasn't in the sale but after some considerable uhming and ahing I decided to add it to my order, and I'm so glad I did, it's beautiful

Black and white origami animal dress - £25.
Leaping tiger smock dress - £10.
Gingham and daisy smock dress £16.
I also treat myself to a Leather Satchel Company charcoal black 14" satchel yesterday for £75, but £67.50 with my student discount. I've had so much trouble with Zatchels lately that I've really given in on buying satchels. Three times I've bought from them and three times they've never arrived with numerous ridiculous excuses. Luckily I've paid with PayPal each time and have claimed my money back. They are a poor company with a lack of customer service and are just plain awful. I did also buy a metallic gold satchel from the Leather Satchel Company before and when it arrived the gold paint just flaked off. After speaking to their customer service it seemed they had just spray painted a silver metallic bag and that was the issue. They did refund me (via Asos) so all was okay. It still left a nasty taste in my mouth. I thought I would give them a second chance because let's be honest, not much can go wrong with a plain black satchel!

Lastly on the clothing side of things I bought two items from Simply Be.
I've had my eye on this 'I Am Fashion' top for a while, and when it was reduced to £12 in the sale I didn't feel too guilty buying it. I normally don't buy slogan t-shirts as I find them immensely tacky, but let's face it, I am fashion! 
The shirt dress is from the AX Paris Curve collection and really caught my eye. I love the bright, neon pink floral print and a high fastening collar. This will be great for layering with a pair of tights and chunky boots in A/W!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Mustela | For baby, and me.

I'm really excited to be reviewing more Mustela products on my blog. You may have seen me review their multi-sensory bubble bath on the blog a few months ago (and absolutely loving it may I add!). This time I'm reviewing their high protection sun screen and PhysiObébé (no-rinse cleaning fluid). I headed off to Beacons Festival last weekend, and these were the ultimate handbag essentials, not just for Dexter, for me too. These are travel sized products too, making them ideal to carry in your nappy bag or handbag.

First up is the sun screen. I absolutely adore the packaging of this product, the lid is easy to remove with one hand, and as it comes with pump action, it's really easy to apply on a wriggly baby without you being covered in it. The consistency is thinner than normal sun creams too, meaning that is applies and soaks in the skin quickly without leaving lots of greasy residue. It's a high SPF of 50 meaning it's offering the highest protection for baby (and adult!) skin. I've been using this too as I quite often forget to put sun scream on, it's the perfect consistency for putting on my face beneath my foundation just to offer extra protection. I'll definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out. You can pick this product up for around £9.00 online. 

I was a little confused by the concept of PhysiObébé when I originally opened the bottle. I couldn't quite work out which part of the body it was meant to be used on, until I realised it's for the whole body! I also took this with me to the festival, I mean we all know the circumstances of not being able to wash out hands? This product was perfect for that. With it being no-rinse, all you do is whack it on and wipe it off. It cleanses without leaving any sticky residue and leaves the skin so soft afterwards as it contains avocado and aloe vera. Of course I did use it on Dexter too, great for cleaning up his sticky hands! As I received a sample/travel size of the product it made it perfect to keep in the nappy changing bag too. Oh, and the lid is really easy to pop up! What can I say, I love being able to easily open things one handed. You can pick up this product for around £7.30 online. 

All Mustela products are safe to use on newborn babies, and contain no nasties so everything is gentle, even on the most sensitive of skin types. I often use these products myself too. I honestly love European baby brands, I've found they really think about product packaging and ease of use; in face so much so that I've been buying a lot of German drug store baby products for my husband to bring back with him. 
*Products sent for review.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Galaxy.

Here is an old outfit of the day from Munich. I wore this dress during the 32 degree heat when we visited the Sea Life centre. I absolutely adore this dress, the cut is stunning and very flattering on my figure. Normally I have problems with maxi dresses and their length but because of the cut at the front it doesn't look too bad. 

The dress is a Simply Be galaxy print maxi dress that I bought from the fabulous Mrs BeBe in her blog sale. I wore the dress with a simple pair of black and silver buckle gladiator sandals that I bought from Primark a few years back.

Isar River | Munich (Photo Diary)

For Teas' Afternoon Tea | #NationalAfternoonTeaWeek

As it's National Afternoon Tea week, it seems the perfect time to write about all the loveliness I've been having lately. A week or so back I headed to another tea room in Keighley, this time being For Teas. The inspiration being the forties (can you see the pun now?). The tea room itself is quite small, and they were having a surprise vintage party that day, so we were rushed out quite quickly. It was awkward to get the pram in so maybe next time I wouldn't take Dexter with me. The service was a little brash and abrupt too, but I guess they were organising the birthday party so I'm willing to let them off with that.

Afternoon tea costs £9.99 and you get the usual: sandwiches, salad and crisps, pot of tea, scone with cream, fondant fancy, cake and a chocolate sweet treat. All served on a beautiful cake stand. The afternoon tea was simply divine, and I opted for corned beef and onion, and egg mayonnaise sandwiches. All were freshly made too. My dad had the most amazing milkshake covered in all kinds of sprinkles, strawberries, marshmallows and cream, and that tasted delicious too! 

Compared to some afternoon teas I've had before, this was absolutely delicious and well worth the money too. I would definitely go back, perhaps at a different time of year when they are less likely to be preparing for parties, etc. 

Festival face.

As some of you may have seen on Twitter, last weekend I headed off to Beacons Festival. We all know festival weather is pretty damn and this was no different, in fact we had Hurricane Bertha to hold off, and the worst thing you can have? Yep, that's your make up running down your face. I'm pretty lazy anyway and like to use the least amount of product possible that I can get away with, and these four products are perfect for travelling, definitely for festivals, and creating a simplistic, fresh-faced summer look. Oh, and they don't run either. 

First up is an amazing BB cream that covers everything, and happens to be the perfect shade for my skin. I received this in a MeMeBox (Korean beauty box) a while back (review here) and have used it a lot since. It's my go to BB cream when I'm lazy and can't be bothered with lots of base steps. It's made by Gowoonsesang (otherwise known as Dr. G), contains SPF 50 (perfect!), and costs around £20 for a 50ml product. This might be expensive to some, but as I've used it on an almost-daily basis for the past few months it's really lasting. 

The second on my list is Miner's Maxi mascara, the volumising one. There are a few mascaras in their Maxi range, another of my favourite being their waterproof one, but this is my favourite. Easy to apply, not too thin on the brush, and with great lasting power. You can go from morning to evening with this one in your kit. This costs around £3.50, so a great drug store price mascara for your collection

The MeMeMe coral blossom cheek tint is new to my collection as it's a new release product. It may be new, but it's easily becoming one of my favourite make up back staples. Although labelled as a cheek tint, it makes an excellent lip stain too, so two products for the price of one. It leaves a gorgeous light coral colour to your cheeks and brightens the complexion. Dab it on the lips for a little extra rosy colour. Perfect travel and festival staple. And at £5.50 it's a great price compared to similar cheek and lip tints on the market. 

Last on my list is the Benefit They're Real push up eye liner. Now I've read lots of different reviews on this product, some really hating the product and others really loving it. Now I personally love this product. I've been using the same Barry M Wink eye liner pen for the last (god knows how many) years because it's simply to apply, even for me. On a whim I bought this eye liner from a Cohort and it cost around £13 (I think) so I didn't feel too guilty if it wasn't that good. I was amazed when I tried it. It only took me a few seconds to apply a perfect winged line without any excess or drag, and that for me is something, I'm usually hopeless. I've worn the eye liner a few times now and can really highly rate it, the lasting power is great and it's a really dark matte black that stays for the day. I'll definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out, even though it does cost around £18.50 per go. 

What do you think to my four product festival face? Quick and simple, and easy to remove at the end of the day. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

'Wish List Wednesday' Baby & Me | feat. Joules

I haven't created a wish list in absolutely ages, but these are my favourite posts! I'm excited for today's 'Wish List Wednesday' because it features one of my all time favourite British brands, Joules. I absolutely love their English heritage prints, and even more so now they are translated onto baby clothes too. I'm a bit of a fashion geek when it comes to baby clothes, and try to match Dexter's fashion as closely to mine as I can, perhaps with matching colours or prints. 

With autumn fast approaching (yes I know it's August but damn, haven't you looked outside?!) it's time for me to get out those seasonal hues of mustard and burgundy (which also happen to be the best colours of clothing don't you know?) out and have a play around with colour and print. I never used to be a fan of navy blue but I'm slowly finding it sneaking it's way into my wardrobe. It all started with a navy and white polka dot tea dress that I picked up at Beacons Festival, then a cardigan, then a pair of shoes, and it's multiplying. And you know what? I quite like it! 

So yes, I did mention a little earlier that I like to make Dexter into my twin, and thought that was easily reflected with the navy blue jacket and denim. I absolutely love quilted jackets, and he's now at that age (9 months!) where he can wear small people clothing and look quite good in them too. I had to pick the fox socks, I mean, who doesn't like fox print? 

The pheasant print tunic would look super with a thick pair of tights and tan boots, matched perfectly with the mustard cardigan and the navy blue leather saddle bag. For little bug I've checked out their amazing section of baby clothes and chosen a checked shirt with a pair of jersey jeans, a classic navy blue quilted jacket, and of course, the most super cute fox socks I've ever seen. 

PS: The jersey jeans are an absolute essential for any little ones who are starting to crawl, the stretchy material makes it so much easier for them to get around with! (Just a little momma top tip there!). 
*This is a PR collaborative post. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Afternoon Tea | Roast + Conch, Leeds

Last weekend myself and the lovely Faith from Music and Eyeliner headed over to Roast and Conch in Leeds for the most delightful and delicious afternoon tea. If you regularly read my posts you may have seen that as best dressed at the Plus Size Pre-Party, I won the afternoon tea! I'm such a lucky lady. 

So we headed along to the restaurant (after heading to tyne newly opened Kiko!) and got ourselves sat comfortably for the first round of afternoon tea... The afternoon tea comes in 'two rounds', firstly the sandwiches which included mackerel pate on cocoa nib bread, beef and white chocolate horseradish on cocoa nib bread, and an aubergine concoction on the same bread. (I can't exactly remember what everything was and I can't find the afternoon tea menu online either so I'll just wing this.) Oooh I forgot to mention as well the super amazing folks even amended our menu slightly to include gluten free options too, the service was so fantastic. The sandwiches were extremely filling and quite rich, but tasted absolutely delicious! With this course I had a jasmine tea infused white hot chocolate, I seriously couldn't fault this at all, but Faith said it felt like she was drinking plants!

The second round of afternoon tea came full of sweet treats! Two chocolate shots arrived, which were just mini milkshakes, but gosh you could really taste the chocolate. The top layer had gluten free treats on, and the chef had just made the gluten free chocolate muffin there and then, so kind! The chocolates were a praline swirl and banana and peanut butter. I only managed to have half of the banana and peanut butter as I was super full from the sandwiches! The chocolate disc was covered in cocoa nibs and was bitter-sweet, just how I like my chocolate. The scone was chocolate and orange and was massive, I literally only had a bite or two with the almond and cocoa nib butter along with the strawberry jam. Honestly I felt I was in heaven. The brownie was light but full of flavour, and again was quite bitter. Lastly was a chocolate mousse cake, oh my, silky smooth. 

We were there for around three hours chatting with the staff, who may I add really know their stuff and have such a passion for their job, and eating away. An afternoon tea like this needs to be savoured as it truly is a taste experience. I couldn't more highly recommended Roast and Conch, and we will definitely be heading off there again to experience more of their cocoa goodness!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bradford Media Museum | #OOTD

Probably a bad idea to upload this now judging the weather, but here is a post I wrote a while back showing one of my summer looks!

I've been spending a lot more time with the family lately, having my brother and sister-in-law, niece and nephew over from Australia back in June and July so have been 'dressing up' and going out in public haha. Here is what I wore when we headed off to the Media Museum in Bradford. 

Necklace - ASOS, old. 
White camisole - George at Asda, £4 (for pack of two - black and white). 
Floral print joggers - New Look Inspire (via ASOS Curve) £17.99
Acid bleach denim jacket - G21 at George at Asda, £18
Flatform sandals - Primark, £10.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Need more make up brushes? | 22 piece professional brush set.

I was recently contacted by the folks over at Tmart.co.uk to see if I would like to try out their service and review one of their beauty products. I needed some more make up brushes, due to my ever expanding make up collection (and being too lazy to simply wash them, ahem) so I chose this gorgeous 22 piece professional cosmetic makeup brush set in pink. I do love pink. 

A complete set with a whole twenty two brushes. That is a lot of brushes. So here is exactly what comes in the collection:
4 x powder brushes, 8 x eyeshadow brushes, 1 x eyeshadow blending brush, 2 x oblique eyeshadow brushes, 2 x fan brushes, 1 x eyebrow comb, 1 x eyeliner brush, 1 x eyelash brush, and 2 x lip brushes; and all these come in a beautiful pink pearlescent carry case. 
The brushes are all synthetic brushes with nylon hairs and wooden handles, and are of the most amazing quality. I've only used a few of the brushes during my daily make up routine: one of the powder brushes to apply my foundation and the rest for my highlighter, bronzer and blusher; the larger fan brush to apply my translucent powder; and the eyeshadow brushes and the blending brush to create a smokey eye. These have all applied my make up smoothly and very precisely, and none of the fibres have fallen out yet too. Oh and they are super soft too! 

The best thing about these brushes, the price. They are a bargain from as low as £12.00 including free postage. Shipping is super fast, and they dispatch within 24 hours of ordering too. Tmart not only sell beauty tools, they also sell make up itself, and there are some super dupes for high-end products out there, and all at fantastic, low prices. 

You can buy this make up brush set direct from Tmart, here.

*Product sent for review. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Allertons | Leeds (The Beauty Salon Post)

You may have seen my recent post on Allertons from a hair salon perspective, but they also offer beauty treatments too. Whilst I was there I had a little makeover with products that they also sell in store. They stock some of my favourite cosmetics, Paul & Joe, and they come in the cutest packaging to rival my favourite Korean brands. I'm not 100% sure of what exactly the MUA used on me, but I've taken a photo of the table with the cosmetics on afterwards.

The MUA set my base and foundation, applied a bronzer and blush, and gave me a bronzed smokey eye with a fairly pale lip. I absolutely love this look and it's definitely something I could recreate at home, given a little time obviously. It's a simple look that I could wear on a daily basis, and has certainly given me the incentive to get my eyeshadow palettes out and have a play with the cosmetics I own.

They also offer a range of beauty treatments from waxing services to facials and massages, all at a great range of prices too. I can definitely see me going back for a facial! As well as offering salon services, they are also a store which sell cosmetics and other beauty products from brands including Caudalie, and the most delicious smelling candles from Neom. Honestly, I felt like a kid in a candy shop.