I recently discovered Gifts & Pieces on Instagram after seeing a photo of the Polka Dot Monogrammed Mug & absolutely loving it! It's such a cute design & I would like to get two, one with the initial L & one with a D for Dom, although I'm not sure he would appreciate drinking out of such a pretty cup ;) I think they would also look lovely sat on my dressing table holding some of my makeup brushes, I'm always looking out for little bits & pieces to store beauty things in!
Gifts & Pieces is basically my ideal shop, it's full of girly little things, pretty homewares with a shabby chic theme & lots of lovely gift ideas too! I've spent ages looking through the website admiring all the pretty items I'd love to buy for our flat & imagining where I would put them all. I'm developing a huge obsession for interior design at the moment, I can't wait to be able to buy my own furniture & decorating each room to my style rather than living in a flat that could do with a lick of paint & some new furniture, I wish my landlord would agree to let me update it! I've also found a couple of things I'd like to get for my mum, I can guarantee you'll find a a nice little present for someone, especially if you want to get something a bit different! I think Gifts & Pieces will become my go-to website when I'm searching for gifts for family, friends & of course myself from now on! It's full of lots of treasures & treats & I just wish I could buy everything on my wishlist & much more, I found it really difficult to narrow it down to the items on this post!
Last Sunday the #bbloggers chat was focused around foundation which led me to realise I was yet to properly feature one of my all time favourites on my blog! YSL Touche Éclat Foundation made it's way into my makeup collection last Christmas after wanting it for months. I took a while to decide if I definitely wanted this product mostly because the price is crazy but also because I actually got a few samples in different shades to see if it suited my skin etc! I was originally matched BR10 which is the palest shade but because it was rose toned I wasn't a fan of the colour, I didn't want to be adding pink tones to my skin, I wanted a shade that was more neutral. The shade I have is B10, the palest from the 'beige' family - this foundation comes in 22 different shades & in 3 different categories, B is 'natural beige', BR is 'Beige Rose' & BD is 'Golden Beige', there is definitely a shade for everyone!
The foundation was formulated with the same technology as the YSL Touche Éclat Highlighting pen to achieve the same illuminating result for the entire face. It enhances the complexion by brightening shadowy areas & defining contours with the light infused formula whilst erasing imperfections & providing even coverage. The formula is weightless, it doesn't feel like you are wearing anything on your skin which is a great benefit as I hate the feeling of wearing a thick mask of foundation. The finish of the foundation is natural, it's silky soft to apply & leaves my skin looking the best it's ever been - a bold statement to make but it really does improve the look of my skin a noticeable amount. When I'm having a dull skin day I always reach for this foundation to brighten my complexion & to create a healthy glow. The product doesn't cling to any dry skin patches or imperfections, as it's a thin consistency it glides over & doesn't draw attention unlike other foundations do. My skin is left feeling really smooth & even, it's a perfect base for me to work with & other face products such as blusher blend nicely on top. I absolutely adore the packaging, the glass bottle & gold lid really make it feel like the luxury that it is! It's such a lovely product it's an absolute joy to use, it applies well with both makeup brushes & fingers & provides enough coverage without being over the top & heavy. I don't use much powder as I like the dewy effect it has on my skin, a light dusting is all I need. I'd like to pick up the YSL Touche Éclat pen next for days that I don't use the foundation so I can still achieve glowing, healthy looking skin.
Over the cold Winter months my hands got very dry & chapped. Walking Tilly in the freezing cold wind & rain without gloves on was not one of my best ideas & resulted in sore handies. I often forgot to apply hand cream regularly but because my hands were in an awful state they really needed to be slathered in moisturiser throughout the day. I've had a mini bottle of Soap & Glory Hand Food in my handbag for the past few years but it would often just be one of those items you carry around for the sake of it. When my hands started getting cracked skin from being so dry I decided I needed to be more regular with my hand cream application! I already had a good supply of S&G's Hand Food as I always seem to receive a few S&G gift sets around Christmas time so I just needed to get into the habit of applying it. Hand Food really helped to soothe my irritated skin, the cracked skin instantly felt relieved as a I applied it & within a few days my hands would be fully repaired. Once I got into the routine of applying hand cream as often as possible I saw the benefits quite quickly & had lovely soft hands. Hand Food is fragranced with Soap & Glory's signature Rose & Bergamot scent which is a fresh, girly smell. One of the best things about this hand cream is that it doesn't leave my hands feeling greasy after application. It's not too thick either which means I don't need to wait for ages whilst the product sinks in. Even though the weather is warming up I still get dry skin quite easily on my hands from washing them regularly as all doggy owners should do! Soap & hot water really dries my skin out & if I don't keep them moisturised they quickly become chapped again. I also have a really bad habit of picking the skin around my nails when I'm anxious which leaves my nails looking like a right mess & results in the skin becoming very hard. I really hate the feeling of rough skin but applying Hand Food regularly my hands are now hydrated & soft to touch. Dom got me the Hand Wash & Hand Food set for Christmas so straight after I wash my hands I can put on a thin layer of Hand Food. I like having the little matching set on display in my bathroom, it looks cute & my guests always mention how lovely it is to have a nice hand cream to use! I now always make use of the mini Hand Food in my bag, I have the larger tube either on my bedside table or on my desk whilst I'm working & the pump bottle sitting on my sink next to the pink coloured Wash Your Hands Of It hand wash.
Have you tried Soap & Glory's Hand Food Hand Cream?
Last Saturday little Tilly pug celebrated her 1st birthday with pupcakes, lots of new toys & treats plus an adventure to a local woodland & lake. Of course me being a crazy pug mama I had to take lots of photos of her day & so I thought I would share a few on my blog as Tilly posts always seem to go down well with you guys! I made her peanut butter & banana muffins, I got the recipe from one of the pug groups I'm part of on Facebook as a lovely member was willing to share a couple of dog friendly recipes. If any other doggy owners would like the recipe please feel free to tweet or email me!
I've recently been trying out quite a few new eyeshadow products to experiment with & practice different looks. I'm often at the Collection stall to pick up a new Lasting Perfection Concealer & I spotted these on offer for £2.50 so I thought I'd pick one up. The eyeshadow pencils come in 6 shades but I opted for the champagne golden shade called Vanilla Sky.
When I swatched these in Boots they applied really smoothly so I was a little disappointed when I tried to apply this onto my eyelids & it seemed to drag a lot. Now that the pencil has been used a bit it has softened up & is much easier to apply, first impressions weren't great but I'm glad I didn't give up with it. It's a lovely shimmery shade, similar to MAC paint pot in Bare Study, that can be worn alone or built up with other colours to create a smokey eye. I've also used it as a brow bone highlighter & it has worked really well. I will say though that you need to be quick when working with this product otherwise it seems to stick & literally won't budge! I also tend to use my fingers to blend this in as the heat from my finger tips melts the product slightly allowing me to blend it evenly. As I mentioned, once this product is in place it doesn't move at all, the staying power is amazing & my eye makeup lasts all day.
Have you tried these Collection Eyeshadow Pencils?
There has been a lot of talk about the release of the Revlon ColorBurst Matte & Lacquer Balms over the past couple of weeks & with Revlon being one of my favourite makeup brands I was really intrigued by these lip products. The two formulas available, Matte & Lacquer come in 10 different shades ranging from nude & orange tones to reds & even purple!
I opted for a Matte Balm as I only have a few Matte lipsticks in my collection & I like the lasting power Matte products tend to have. Revlon claim that the Matte Balms have a velvety matte finish. The balms are infused with Shea, Mango & Coconut butter meaning the matte effect shouldn't dry your lips out too much, infact these balms are formulated to actually work as a moisturiser. They also have a very light peppermint fragrance, it's subtle but enough to get a little hint of it.
I chose the shade 'Elusive' a light pink with blue tones, it's a neutral kinda shade but has a good hint of pink without being overpowering, does that make sense!? I have countless red & berry shade lip products so I've been trying out different colours that are more out of my comfort zone. It might seem silly as I'm comfortable to wear bright reds but not pinks, however I never thought pink lipstick suited me until recently so I'm still getting used to it! I was really surprised at just how easy the product glides on, it's almost as if it's a creamy lipstick, it doesn't feel like a matte at all & the product feels velvety on my lips. The chubby crayon packaging is a winner with me too, each crayon reflects the shade of the product & also helps reduce wastage as there is no need to sharpen thanks to the retractable twisting. Elusive a perfect pink shade to wear everyday, I'll be wearing it most days for work but it's also one of those colours thats great if you're wearing heavy eye makeup & want a bit of colour on your lips without looking to OTT!
Whilst Boots have their famous 3 for 2 offer on across all beauty products I'm going to pick up a couple more of these. The balms provide the benefit of a matte product with their lasting power & opaque coverage but they act like a lacquer with the velvet finish & moisturising properties.
Have you picked up any of the Revlon ColorBurst Balms?
I've been having a mooch around the shops the past week but not allowing myself to spend anything, I'm sort of on a spending ban but not officially. I really want to save up for a holiday but being a beauty addict I always spend money I shouldn't do in Boots! Creating little wishlists is my way of "shopping" without having to spend, I enjoy picking out my favourite things & putting them all into a post to share with you all! They're also quite useful because if I do have any spare money I can come back to these posts & easily find the items I was after!
The ASOS Camel Coat is the coat of all dreams, for years I've wanted a boyfriend style coat in a camel shade & thanks to a few bloggers I came across this one. I just need to bring myself to spend £80 on it, it is basically the perfect coat & will be ideal for the chillier days of Spring & Summer. I love my Michael Kors rose gold watch so much but I often wish I had a watch that was more simple. The Olivia Burton watches are all so lovely & I think this white strapped one looks quite chic. Benefit Gimme Brow has appeared all over the beauty blogosphere this month, with lots of rave reviews I'm really tempted to give it ago. Filling in my eyebrows is quite a task, they never look right but I definitely think this product could help me out as it's filled with fibres to thicken your eyebrows, I'm forever wishing for thicker brows! The Cath Kidston weighing scale is adorable, I'm still adding little bits & bobs to my pastel themed kitchen & I could do with a nice scale as I love baking. The second Cath Kidston item on my wishlist is the really pretty patchwork case for our iPad. Dom & I have shared an iPad for a couple of years now & believe it or not we still don't have a case for it! Lastly, the pastel pink satchel bag from ASOS is so so cute. It comes in a couple of other colours but I'm developing an obsession with baby pink at the moment!
When it comes to shower/bath/pamper products Soap & Glory are always my number one choice. I love everything about S&G products, from the cutesy packaging to the range of delicious scents. The Smoothie Star range is my absolute favourite though, the smell of these products is delicious, I literally want to eat the stuff it smells so good! Filled with oats, sugar, banana, almond & honey it creates a breakfasty porridge/maple syrup fragrance that I can't resist, I often just sit with the tub in my hand unscrewing the lid every few seconds to enjoy the smell haha!
I take a scoop of the scrub & rub it in my hands before applying it to my damp skin in circular motions. The golden sugar scrub particles & the gentle oatmeal grains exfoliate my skin without being harsh at all. What I really like is that the scrub doesn't feel overly gritty, the grains are small but the right size to have a good scrub with. It also doesn't get messy like some scrubs I've used where I end up dropping blobs of it all over the bathtub, this formula seems to stick together well which means I waste less product too! Now that the weather is perking up a little I've been baring my legs more when wearing dresses/skirts so I've been trying to improve the condition of my skin as it can quite be dry & flakey. The Breakfast Scrub is definitely helping to make my legs appear smooth & they feel a lot softer. Afterwards I use the Smoothie Star Deep Moisture Body Milk which has a really similar scent, although slightly more of a cocoa butter smell rather than a breakfast pancake kinda smell it's still super yummy & I love how the scent lingers all day! I read on the Boots website that the Breakfast Scrub could be used as a lip scrub too, however I just tried this & although my lips do feel smoother, the taste is so so strange!
I always look forward to exfoliating now because it's one of those scrubs you can see the results with, plus I get to enjoy the smell & it really pleases me that the scrub doesn't drop everywhere, it's hardly any hassle at all to exfoliate now! I know that I will be using this loads over Summer & I'm going to invest in a few more Smoothie Star treats whilst Boots have their 3 for 2 offer on!
Have you tried anything from the Smoothie Star range?
This is more of a heads up post rather than a review as I recently noticed Asda stock Real Techniques Brushes. My collection has been growing ever since I invested in the Core Collection, I find adding new brushes into my makeup routine really exciting haha! When Dom & I were doing our food shop I spotted these brushes whilst I went to pick up some cotton wool.. I can never resist having a quick peak at the beauty aisles even if I don't really need anything! When I noticed them I instantly had to go over & see which brushes were stocked & I was really surprised to see the prices of them. The Core Collection was available to purchase at Asda for only £12, almost £10 cheaper than other retail stores such as Boots, although I've just checked the Asda website & they're now selling it for £15.43 - still a bargain & saving yourself £6 or so. I decided to pick up the Blush Brush as it's one of the brushes I've wanted for a while now, I think it'll be a good brush for contouring as well as being a blusher brush. The other brush I bought was the Shading Brush, after little Tilly pug decided to try & apply makeup herself resulting in a very chewed up 'Deluxe Crease Brush' from the Starter Set. That brush was one of my favourite for applying concealer but also blending eyeshadow so I'm pretty gutted that it's not sold individually as it was one of my most used brushes! I thought the Shading Brush I bought would be a reasonably good substitute, although it is a lot smaller & thinner I'm sure it'll do a similar job & will help me be more precise with eyeshadow blending! I'm really glad I managed to get these two brushes cheaper than the recommended retail price, they're a perfect addition to my collection!
Will you be picking up any Real Techniques brushes from Asda?
The other morning I had to go for my first ever blood test which I was absolutely terrified about, I hate needles/injections & blood, I freak out so I was in a complete state about having to have one. It didn't help that I had to go alone as Dom couldn't get the morning off work to come with me, I'm not usually a baby when it comes to things like this, I'm quite independent but I was genuinely petrified & could have done with a bit of support! Anyway, this resulted in me having one of the worst panic attacks to date, usually my panic attacks are quite mild but this one completely wiped me out. As soon as I stood up to leave the Nurse's room I knew I wasn't feeling right, a mixture of having blood taken, seeing the blood in the little canister & generally being anxious about the whole situation really overwhelmed me. I ended up losing my vision almost entirely, my sight went blurry very quickly which was really frightening & I also felt like I'm going underwater. I hate going underwater after having a near death experience when I was younger & almost drowning but when I have my really bad panic attacks I always seem to feel the effects of being underwater, it's very strange! I couldn't hear properly now & my vision was limited so I ended up tripping over & falling onto some chairs nearby. I was really trying to fight my way through it but I honestly felt like I was going to die & nobody in the waiting room seemed to notice me, or so I thought.. I ended up sitting on the chairs bent over trying to calm down & get my breathing back to normal but it wasn't working. After what felt like a lifetime my vision started to come back so I went to the toilets to splash my face with water as I had also had one of those strange cold sweat moments, grim. I was literally as white as a ghost & I'm already pale enough, I'd never seen myself look that pale before. I still wasn't feeling quite right & ended up sitting on the floor, something I'd never do as I find the whole idea really unhygienic but I didn't care, I just needed to try control my breathing! I thought I had only been in there 2 minutes but a nurse ended up coming to check on me as a patient had mentioned I'd looked really unwell & been in the toilets a while. I'm so thankful someone came to see if I was okay, it's awful feeling like that in a situation where you think no one will help.
Anyway when I'd managed to get myself home, had some proper breakfast & a nap I realised it was a lovely day, the sun was shining & it felt like Spring was here. I decided to take Tilly on a walk through the village to enjoy the sunshine & get some fresh air. It was so nice I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the pretty flowers & blue skies. It really cheered me up, it's amazing what the Sunshine can do to your mood! Of course Tilly had to be a little monkey & eat the plants off the wall, she's always eating something! We ended up meeting her favourite doggy friend, Bertie the French Bulldog. I honestly swear those two are in love, they really hate saying bye to each other & Tilly actually cries as he walks away, he keeps turning to look back it's so so cute!!
Recently I've been dreaming of owning a Mulberry bag more & more, which has led me to create a wish list of all the luxury items I'd splash my cash on if I ever won the lottery!
If it's possible to be in love with a bag then I'm officially in love the Mulberry Willow bag, it's a bit different from any bag I've owned before too & I love the soft gold hardware. I'd also have to get a Chanel 2.55, such a classic. Of course, I'd have to treat Tilly Pug & she would look absolutely adorable in this pastel pink cashmere jumper. I would without a doubt splurge on some high end makeup, the Naked 3 palette contains such pretty shades in rose gold tones & I'd love to own a Tom Ford lipstick, the quality of them looks amazing. I've heard so many good things about Bobbi Brown makeup brushes, but the price of them is slightly scary, especially when I can pick up Real Technique ones for a fraction of the price but the Bobbi Brown brushes would be an incredible addition to my collection. Every time I'm in John Lewis I can't resist heading over to the Laura Mercier counter to smell their bath & body products, they all smell divine, even Dom will happily stand at the beauty counter with me as he thinks they smell so good. Bath time is one of my favourite times to pamper myself & relax, it would be a real treat to have a Laura Mercier Bath product to use! My kitchen is a mixture of pastel pinks, blues & greens with lots of cupcake items & Cath Kidston prints dotted around, the finishing touch would be to add a cute Radio like the Roberts one, it would fit in perfectly.
I could get completely carried away browsing on sites such as Harrods & Selfridges, I can't even imagine what it must feel like to go into a shop & drop thousands of pounds in one go but these are some items I'd be picking up if I did win a crazy amount of money! Obviously I'd be sensible to & invest money into a house etc, & also I'd have to get myself a little Mini or Fiat 500 but it's so much fun looking at beautiful designer bags, high end makeup & lovely house products! I need to start paying more attention to the Euromillions Jackpot Hunt option if ever I want to splurge on some of these things anyway!
Micellar Water is a product that has recently found it's way into my beauty regime, after first giving into the hype & trying out Bioderma I've been testing out different ones along the way. When I spotted this Garnier one on the shelves of Superdrug for just over £3 I couldn't say no to picking up a bottle, especially since Bioderma isn't the easiest to get hold of now I don't live in London, an affordable version is just what I've been after!
The water like consistency removes all traces of my makeup without the need to rub any product in, literally sweep a soaked cotton pad all over my face & ta-da, my face is wiped away! It's also great for people like me who admittedly get a little lazy when it comes to skincare as this doesn't require any rinsing afterwards. I do tend to cleanse again after using it with something more creamy, just to ensure all makeup has disappeared & any dirt is removed. My flannel always seems to be clean, so Garnier's claim that this product is like a magnet when it comes to lifting dirt away is pretty accurate! I love the feeling of Micellar Water's on my face & it's no different with this one either. It's so refreshing & soothing, leaving my skin clean & fresh. One of the best things about this product is the fact it doesn't sting my eyes which is blumin' amazing because I often wear a lot of eye makeup which can be quite tricky to remove. This wonderful solution sweeps away everything, even stubborn mascara in a matter of seconds. It's also great to use this product in the morning to freshen up my face before I use my morning face wash. Another positive is that theres a lot of product for your money, 400ml which apparently equals up to 200 uses, I've been using it each day for the past week & hardly used any, I can definitely see it lasting for ages! In comparison to the L'Oreal water I much prefer the packaging of this one, I waste a lot less product due to the bottle being a better design it pours out at a more controlled rate, whereas the L'Oreal one tended to squirt everywhere! It's basically identical to Bioderma, the solution works exactly the same & even the bottle is very similar! I'd actually go as far as saying this is my favourite between the two because it's less than half the price, I can purchase it easily & I don't waste as much product when pouring it onto cotton pads. In my opinion, it's definitely the high street dupe for Bioderma, it's secured itself a firm position in my skincare routine & is one of my favourite skincare products yet!
MAC Studio Fix Foundation was the first MAC product I ever tried & loved, I used to buy it as a treat & made sure I had a bottle purchased before I started university as I knew I wouldn't be able to spend so much on beauty products once I had rent to pay & food to buy! Then my little blog came along & I started trying out lots of other foundations & I know Zoella often mentions how good Studio Sculpt is, so when I was in Gatwick Airport in August I took advantage of the Duty Free & bought it in the shade NC15. To me, this is seriously thick foundation & is definitely the highest coverage I've ever worn before. When I was purchasing it the the lady on the MAC counter described it as a gel like consistency & I can see what she means, it's quite different to most other foundations I've used. I do like this foundation but as it's so thick I often feel like my makeup is very cakey so I add moisturiser to it which thins it out a little! It's great when I'm having a bad skin day though because it literally hides everything & gives me a flawless base. The finish is lovely & dewy, my skin looks amazing & it stays in place all day. Overall it is a nice foundation but I think I will be repurchasing my beloved MAC Studio Fix next time (:
Today I had a little disaster with my hair. I've been meaning to ombre my hair again for a while now as I really liked the style, especially over Summer & I finally got round to doing it. Unfortunately this kit & my hair didn't get on & it's resulted in my hair being really orange toned & very brassy. I was looking forward to having my ombre hair back & I'm really gutted I've gotta go spend money on toners etc to try sort it out now because I've never had a problem with any other dip dye kits before!
The bleach kit contains:
1 x Developing Lotion
2 x Bleaching Powder
1 x Blending Lotion
1 x Tint Brush
1 x Mixing Bowl
1 x Pair of Gloves
1 x Reincarnation Mask
I decided to purchase this kit because I really liked the idea of being providing with a blending lotion to prevent any harsh lines occurring, as I have been a victim to this when previously dip dying my hair! I found it a little messy to apply but I do think it helped as I don't have the obvious straight line where the bleach starts. I ended up having to spread the lotion the entire way down my hair, even though it said to just put it 2-3cms from the start but there was just so much it kinda got everywhere anyway. Perhaps this is what stopped my hair from taking to the bleach so well but I'm not sure because where the bleach started it's actually quite a nice colour then the middle section turns into a ginger brassy tone & the ends are lighter. I ended up having to bleach my hair twice with this kit as there was loads of dye left after the first go & I was hoping it would lighten it more but it didn't make a difference. Luckily though the reincarnation mask that is included is seriously good stuff, my hair doesn't feel like it's been bleached at all! It's so so soft & easy to brush through, it's not dry at all so at least I can continue to use that over the next few weeks to try keep my hair in a decent condition. Overall, yes my hair is brassy but I'm hoping an ash toner will sort that out, at least my hair isn't too damaged & has been lightened!
Have you used this dip dye kit? Please recommend me some toners to try out & also your favourite purple shampoos!
Tilly wearing her red harness my friend kindly gave us | Yummy cupcakes from the vintage fair | Pamper night
Tilly sticking her tongue out at the pretty flowers | Cups of tea in bed are the best | Pug socks in Topshop
Cute new things for the kitchen | Tilly trying to eat my flowers | Nicest Valentines evening :)
I haven't done an Instagram post in almost a year, my last one was in April & after reading over it I really can't believe how much has changed! I'm glad I posted them now as it helps to remind me of what I'd been doing with my life etc!