A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Laura Mercier Body and Bath | Beauty

I was very excited for this product to arrive because it cost me £2!!! Utter bargain right? This is the Laura Mercier Body and Bath in Fresh Fig and Honey. I have had my eye on it for ages because I bought it through Birchbox. 




For those of you who don't know, Birchbox actually has a point scheme where you can earn points when you subscribe but you also get points when you give them feedback on their boxes per product. 

I've been subscribed to Birchbox for a year now which has meant I've accumulated just over 300 points which was bloody amazing. I had a look at their shop and found this little beauty priced at £32 which I would never spend that much on essentially bubble bath. However when you use those 300 points it makes it just £2, which is amazing! Plus I had free postage. 

The reason I went for this Laura Mercier Body and Bath product is because I absolutely love the smell of fig and honey, plus it's such a silky beautiful lilac colour, I just knew I had to try this product when I saw it. I also love the details of the little honey dipper to distribute the product into your bath. Otherwise I would just end up pouring it in and wasting a lot of product, but I just love the details. 

The scent is really beautiful, it's describe on the box as "Celeste Figs mingle with a dewy Apricot Nectar and sensuous Ylang Ylang to create a rich, luxurious scent, unlike any other"  I think this description is spot on, is such a beautifully unusual scent I don't think I would have been able to fully describe it, it's very soft and not over powering at all but also just very luxurious.  

This is one that I'm going to use when I need that extra bit of indulgence. I actually think it's worth the £32 price tag because it is just so gorgeous and I'm so happy I was able to try this out for just £2.  Seriously, I'm in love. 

Have you tried any of the Laura Mercier bath products?
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stila Lip Glaze Review | Beauty

If you have read my previous post from January you'll know that I received the Stila Lip Glaze in my Birchbox and said that I would do a proper review on it so here it is. 



I have this Stila product in the shade Glamour, so you know I'm loving it already. It's actually incredibly shimmery, so I'm not too sure how I feel about that. When I swatched it the first thing I noticed was the scent, it smells so sweet and fruity, just lush. I was quite excited to try it out and see what it actually looks like on me, personally it's fractionally too dark. I like nudey colours and this is a little deeper than what I'm used to.   

Now, here is where I have to be honest, the formula is awful, its like glue. Incredibly sticky, I was so disappointed. I really wanted to like this product but it's just too sticky, even when I swtached it I had to rub my hand so hard to actually get it off, it was a nightmare. When I applied it to my lips, it dragged my whole lip with the brush. I found that if I just dabbed the brush on my lips it applied a little better but as soon as I rubbed them together again it was just so sticky. 

I have worn other lip glosses before and I understand that most are a little sticky but this is on a whole other level. Also I found that it dries quite quickly so you'd have to reapply quite a lot and in this weather it would be a nightmare with the cold wind.

I really want to try out other Stila products though because it might be that their other stuff works better for me. 

Have you tried any of the Stila Lip Glazes? What would you recommend I try out from Stila? 

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Month Two Update | Lifestyle

So, I thought each month it would be a slightly different update, this month is going to be what I generally what I have been eating lately, not all meals because I'm rubbish and forget to take pictures of my dinners. 

Everything is still going well, I'm loosing weight and toning up which is great, I'm on target, if not slightly ahead. Again, I'm not going to disclose how much I have lost, I will tell you when I reach that goal. 





Sorry the pictures are crap, I had such drama trying to put two pictures side by side it was just easier to do an insta collage.


Every week day I must eat:- 

Two apples
10 almonds
Two green teas, at least
1 bowl of cereal
My dinners change every night

Every weekend I must eat:-
4 turkey bacon rashers
Two slices of wholemeal bread
Two bowls of porridge 
Two apples

Treats:- 

Mini Milk Ice Lollies
Any one small item that I fancy, which you can see was a Reeces cup
Friday lunch - changes weekly at work, it's free!

Food Scales:- 

I have actually started weighing out my food, for example, when I'm having a roast dinner. I found that it's much easier to control my portion sizes if I allow myself a set amount of grams of potatoes/meat because then I can work out exactly how many calories I'm eating on the myfitnesspal app. 

What I have noticed is how much my body thrives on consistency, if I break that routine even slightly it really effects my body and my energy levels. 

So there we have it. How is your fitness and health regime going?
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Thursday, 19 February 2015

February Birchbox | Beauty

And here is my monthly Birchbox post, a little earlier than last time. This is my last Birchbox post because my subscription has run out, but I may do one last Birchbox favourites post. I have been a subscriber for over a year and I just feel that now is the time to try other boxes. I have loved my little Birchbox and definitely think it's worth the money.

So let's take a look inside the February Birchbox. 



I must admit I was incredibly happy when I opened mine, Birchbox has actually released a slimmer size so it can fit through letter boxes, however I didn't sign up for that one. As it's my final I just thought I would leave it. But if I did sign up again I would definitely make mine a slimline. 



Liz Earle - Botanical Shine Shampoo


I'm always a massive fan of anything from Liz Earle, they always put so much care into their products and they use a lot of natural ingredients. The one thing that bloody annoys me though is, when they give me half the product. When you shampoo your hair you always follow up with the same conditioner, it even says that on the back of the product "for best results". I completely understand that it's more cost effective to just send out the one product but how am I supposed to get an honest option of the product when I only have half? I will use it, it actually smells amazing. I just wish I could try it with the conditioner. 




Wild About Beauty - Rose Water Illuminating Serum

A full sized product, how exciting! Wild About Beauty is a brand I have seen around a lot but never actually tried anything by these guys so I was incredibly excited to see this in my box. Apparently the value of this full sized product is £22, so again this just proves what a great bargain Birchbox is. When I pumped it out on my hand it has a beautiful pink pearlescent sheen to it, which didn't show in the picture but it's almost too pretty to use. The thing I really like about this product is when you take the lid off there is a pump so you can really control the amount of product you want to use. 

I'm not sure how I am going to use it yet, again it's for my face but there are two ways you can wear it, either over the top of your moisturiser and nothing else or wear it under your make up. I'm going to give it ago and see how I get on. 


The Chia Co - Oats + Chia

I always love a snack lifestyle item in my Birchbox, everyone is on a health kick right now so I'm sure this will get a lot of use. Personally I prefer my porridge to be plain so we'll see what this tastes like but I'm actually going to write a full review on this one, so watch this space. 


London Butterflies - Bath Salt Scrub

This was the one product I literally squealed when I saw it! Firstly, how cute is the packaging, love it! Secondly, it's in a little glass jar, perfect and finally it smells amazing!!! It has a sweet and delicate scent, it's made with almond oil which you know is going to feel amazing when it's on your skin.  I think I'm going to write  a full review on this product, the sample size is frickin' amazing. I'm definitely gonna get a couple of uses from it. 



Cynthia Rowley Beauty - Eyeliner in Silver

I love an eyeliner, there isn't a day goes by when I don't wear eyeliner. However eyeliner in Silver? Definitely not something I have ever used, I would have preferred it in black for sure. That being said, when I swatched it on the back of my hand I was so impressed by the formula, it's a really soft/blendable buttery formula. I think I am going to try this out but use it more for a smokey eye. 



The Balm - Stainiac

Ok, so this is the one I am least excited about, a lip and cheek stain. It's too pink for my cheeks and it's too red for my lips. I will say it's very long lasting so if this kinda product is your thing, I'd definitely recommend trying it out.

There we have my February Birchbox review!

What did you get in yours?
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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Max factor Lipstick | Beauty

One thing I love about working in London is that the train stations actually hand out freebies, I've had all sorts over the years but this little gem from Max Factor is definitely one of my faves. 






A free full sized Max Factor Lipstick, I love it but of course when I saw that it was rather red, I thought what a shame. You know me, I don't like bold colours on my lips, I'm a nude kinda gal but still it's a great way to try out these types of shades because I haven't actually spent any money on them.

I've used Max Factor products in the past, I actually use their foundation and mix it with my Rimmel foudation but I haven't actually used any lip products from this brand before. 

The thing that confuses me a little is that this product looks like a very bold, almost tomato shade of red however when I swatched it you can see it's more of a pinky berry which I found a very nice surprise because I feel like this shade is actually something I can work with and at least try out. Though if I really wanted the shade that is advertised I'd be a little annoyed but it works for me. 

It swipes on really nice and has quite a soft texture, I wouldn't say that this was a matte product this lipstick is kind of in between it doesn't have any shimmer nor does it have a sheen to it but it's not as drying and some matte shades I have seen in the past. 

Have you tried any Max Factor lipsticks?
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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Yellow Roses | Lifestyle

Do you ever just wander around supermarkets and spot something and just think "Yes! I need one of those"? Well this happened to me the other week and I ended up walking out with a yellow rose bush for my room. 



My all time favourite roses are yellow roses, I love how bright and cheery they look. My bedroom is actually very neutral, lots of whites and creams and magnolias, but I love it. Every now and then I will buy a bunch of flowers for my room, just to brighten a corner but I always love the way that yellow looks in my room, it can look better than pinks or reds. 

I haven't bought myself any flowers in a while just because I couldn't really be bothered, they always die and then it's just a bit of chore to get rid of them. I'm never in my room long enough to appreciate them whilst they are in full bloom. But when I saw this lovely little rose bush, I though that this was something that would potentially have a long shelf live and it's something I really genuinely love. I think it was about £3 which is cheaper than a normal bunch of flowers and it's an actual house plant. 

I've never really had many house plant, I think once I definitely killed one just by forgetting to water it so this time I'm going to be really good and make sure that I remember this time. 

What are your favourite colour of roses and why?
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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Benefit Roller Lash | Beauty

I know what you're thinking ANOTHER post on Benefit's incredibly hyped up new mascara release but I love a freebie and why not? 




I have a yearly subscription to Elle magazine, and when I saw everyone banging on about this I was very eager to receive my free sample. Benefit always run an incredibly good PR campaign with the release of a new product that has pretty much every blogger scrambling to get their hands on. We all remember the hype of the They're Real range. I was pretty honest with my thoughts on the They're Real Mascara, in fact I kinda hated it. It didn't separate my lashes, it didn't make them look longer or more volumous. The mascara literally did nothing for me, so with the Roller Lash release I was a little apprehensive. 

However, I actually really like this product. I know, I was shocked too. First things first, I love the packaging, this one is more "me", even down to the font they use. Love it. But also I absolutely love the brush too. The shape is quite different to what I am used to you can see in the picture that it does have a curve to it, which has first I found it a little tricky knowing which side to use but you get the hang of it really quickly. I think it's supposed to replicate the curve of a hair curler/roller. 

Right from the first swipe, my lashes looked incredibly long and it really does open up my eyes. You actually get quite a lot of product on the wand so you don't even need numerous coats to get the desired effect.  Though I will say I think it gives possibly a little too much product on the wander but actually I don't know whether this is just with the sample size, maybe the full sized product has a better stopper.

Overall, I actually really like Roller Lash, I'm fiercely loyal to my Volume Million Lashes but this is actually a very serious contender now. 

Have you tried Roller Lash? 
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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Elena Kara | Fashion

Today is going to be a bit of a different post because I would like to introduce you all to Elena Kara who is a new fashion designer from Athens. She actually went to  NYC to attend Parsons School of Design where she did her BFA in Integrated Fashion Design. Elena has also interned at established fashion labels like Donna Karan, John Vravatos and Alice + Olivia.

I was first introduced to Elena by my wonderful work colleague Angelika and immediately fell in love with her pieces, because they were just so different and yet so beautiful. The first range she has just launched the Solid Connections collections.




 Pillar Scope






Stunning aren't they?



The really unique thing about these bags are the materials used to make them, she actually uses marble! Can you believe marble in a bag? Something you just wouldn't put together and yet the designs work so perfectly. 

Elena explained her collection in a little more detail below:- 

"The inspiration behind the collections is the materials. I wanted to use a material that relates with Greece, and transform it to fit in the contemporary luxury fashion industry. 

The collection is grounded on a visual interpretation of the materials and having them be the guide of the final outcome. A balance between hard and soft dictated the structure of the artefacts. The combination of marble, which carries a variety of connotations with the quilting of leather to match its scale lead me to a product that relies on volume, texture and material to serve an original function. From the beginning my focus on the design of the artefacts was to create a sense of parallelism; I wanted the users to have the experience of holding an element of history through their physical contact with the marble whilst using the receptacles themselves to hold their possessions. 

Another starting point was the minimal aesthetic I wanted to achieve in order to let the materials and their surfaces be the focal point of the pieces."

Elena also openly admits that these bags aren't made to be mass reproduced, they are bespoke items due to the sensitivity of the marble material. Personally I think this is a fantastic selling point because they are unique and different to other bags you see. Each are made to order and the prices do vary, these bags don't come cheap but true quality and design never does. 

I know my favourite is the clutch bag pictured first in the sequence called Pillar Scopes but Elena does have a larger range so check out her website Elena Kara

What do you think about Elena's collection?
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Healthy Snacks | Lifestyle

I'm trying to be a little better with my eating habits lately, it's very easy to fall into a rut and my biggest problem is snacking. Oh boy do I love to snack and because my job isn't very active at all, you know it cannot end well. 

It's really hard to know what snacks you should be eating, sometimes a handful of nuts (oh my) just isn't enough. So I thought I would share with you a few snacks that I have come across that I think work really well.

I have included the calorie count, the saturated fat and the sodium content of all 3. I think these are the most important things to look at when snacking especially saturated fat, as we know this is the bad fat. 



Let's Start with...





Emily Fruit Crisps

We've all heard of apple chips and you can get them in most health food stores but isn't the packaging of these Fruit Crisps just so lovely? They literally are bits of apples, nothing fancy, no added sugar just apple pieces.

Calories - 124 per pack 
Sat fat - 1.2g
Sodium - Trace

My biggest surprise was the taste, I do like apples but the thought of dried apple pieces doesn't thrill me I must admit, but these tasted so yummy and incredibly light but quite sweet. I love the fact there is apple skin on these pieces as to me the skin is actually the best part. I probably wouldn't devour the pack in one go, this is the type of snack you can open up and eat a little every now and then over the day.

Moving on to... 





Urban Fruit Smashing Strawberry

Hands down this isn't the most visually appealing of the 3, I mean little dark bits of fruit you can barely tell them as strawberries at first glance. But I promise that they do taste really good.

Calories - 102 per pack
Sat fat - 0g
Sodium - trace

I have tried a similar brand before and actually I really love these starwberries, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth and find yourself reaching for little gummy sweets or Haribo I personally think these are a great replacement. They are sweet but they're also chewy like a gummy sweet, so they're actually really nice. These I could eat all in one go, I also love the fact there is no saturated fat what so ever. 

And finally...





Popchips Sour Cream and Onion

These have been around for quite some time now, I always see them, even Starbucks sells them, however I have never actually tried them until now. There are a lot of health crisps on the market and I never really know which one differentiates from the other.

Calories - 95 per pack
Sat fat - 0.5g
Sodium 0.21g

These are exactly like crisps, you prefer savory things to sweet then there are the ones for you. They fulfill that crunchy crisps craving that you often get when you're trying to be good. These are probably the strongest flavour of all three, the scent as soon as you open the packet is strong, if you don't like sour cream and onion you're going to hate these. I love this flavour of crisps but even this was almost too much for me (almost)

So there we have a selection of healthy snacks. 

What healthy snacks do you recommend?

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

New York Mac Haul | Beauty

I have to admit, I was a Mac virgin! I've never owned any Mac products but have read probably a hundred reviews on the lipsticks, let alone anything else. As you may know I don't really wear lipstick, I never know which shade suits me and I certainly don't like anything bold. 

But whilst I was in New York recently, I stumbled across the Mac store in Union Square and well I just had to go in and look what happened when I did...







I spent quite a bit of time looking at all the different lipstick shades and kinda felt over whelmed, I mean I just didn't know which one to choose and then the loveliest store assistant came to my rescue.

I really liked her because she was honest in a nice way she said "Personally I love the colour of your lips without the lipstick. Also your eyes are very defined with your eyeliner and shadow so we should try and go for a neutral lip."  Like music to my ears! So several swatches later we found the one. She sat me down and straight away and knew which lip liner would work for me and she was drawing away saying "sorry I just love the shape of your top lip" and boom I was sold. I absolutely loved the nude lip she had created for me. 

So I walked out with both the lip liner in Subculture and the lipstick in Blankety and they are a perfect match for my lips, it probably had a little more brown toned than my natural lip but oh my god I love the way it looks.  

Subculture is such a gorgeous shade, when I am putting it on it blends perfectly onto my lips as if it almost isn't there. It's incredibly easy to apply for someone who has never worn a lip liner before but I think that's possibly because it's such a good shade it blends right in anyway so even if my lip line is a little wobbly to start with it's still ok. In fact I love it so much I kinda wanna wear it without the lipstick sometimes just all over the lip. 

Moving onto Blankety, I frickin' love this colour, It really was love at first swatch! The formula is just beautiful, when swiping it on my lips it's very soft and buttery and goes on incredibly smooth, I completely understand the hype surrounding Mac lipsticks now. Even all the other lipsticks I swatched, they were all beautiful colours. 

So there we have my little haul. 

What is your favourite lipstick?
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Trip to New York | Lifestyle

IIf you follow me on Twitter you'll know that recently I went to New York. I was given the most amazing opportunity by the company I work for to attend an event and work from the New York office, I was out there for 10 days. 

I wanted to share with you some pictures I took whilst I was out there, so enjoy! 
























Just a couple but there we have it. 

Have you been to New York?
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