A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 30 April 2015

MAC 217 | Beauty

MAC 217 brush, eye shadow brush


I really needed a new eye shadow brush, I have my Real Techniques ones but I needed another one that was slightly bigger and a bit fluffier. I was actually intending to buy the Real Techniques Bold Metals collection one but it was out of stock. Then I read a review on it that made me second guess my choice. 

I have seen the Mac 217 brush appear is any beauty videos/tutorials and I don't have any Mac brushes so I though for a couple of extra £ I would buy the 217 and I am so happy I did! 

This brush is perfect for what I was looking for, it's a little larger than my other ones but that exactly what I needed, I needed a good fluffy blending brush for the crease and for the outer corners of my eyes and this works great. It's incredibly soft on the eye lids and applies shadow/blends like a dream. I also like the weight of the brush, which I know is a fairly odd thing to say I must admit. 

I think this brush has opened my eyes to other brands for beauty tools, I think RT is just such an easy and accessible brand  to buy from but I'm glad that the brush I originally wanted to buy was out of stock. It made me have a look around and find something else that really works for me. I love Mac for lipstick but the 217 brush is a perfect addition to my ever growing collection. 

Have you got the Mac 217?
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Fake Tanning | Beauty

Fake Tan

St Tropez Gradual Tan, fake tan

Cocoa Brown Fake Tan

Now the sun has come out, I've realised how damn pasty I am. I never went on a sun holiday lasted year to my poor skin is lacking some serious vitamin D. It's not quite warm enough to sunbathe just yet so instead I turn to the master of fakery - fake tan. 

I love a bit of fake tan but I'm really paranoid that I will end up orange so I'm always very cautious of the fake tans I use. As you can see pictured above there are two I go for which are the Cocoa Brown tan and St Tropez Gradual Tan. 

I think the St Tropez bottle is from last year so it may look a little different in shops now but you can definitely still get it. I love this fake tan! It's one I have used for years, I usually hate "gradual" tanners because it takes so long to build up a nice colour but this one I whack on a tanning mitt and smother it over my body. I would definitely advise on using a tanning mitt with the St Tropez Gradual Tan because the colour does take to the skin quite well and it just saves you from having orange hands. Also I think you get a much better looking tan with a mitt, less streaks! Another major selling point is that it works amazingly as a moisturiser as well, my skin always feels so soft after using this gradual tan. 

Moving onto Cocoa Brown Tan, this tan I picked up last year on a whim. What I really like about this tan is that you can leave it on for 3 hours for a dark tan or just for 1 hours for a light sun kissed glow. I like the colour, of the Cocoa Brown tan, it really does have a deeper colour than just your standard orange tan. I also really like the scent of this one too and the price point is actually pretty low.  Again, always use a mitt. 

Sometimes, I layer both products together. So I'll use the Cocoa Brown tan all over my body for a couple of hours, wash it off and then add the St Tropez one over the top it make for a quite a nice shade but it's fairly noticeable that you've been tanning. 

What are your favoruite fake tans?
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Friday, 24 April 2015

Top five quotes to keep me motivated | Lifestyle

Isn't it amazing, the power of words? Some have the power to fill you with joy and some make you feel completely numb. 

I wanted to share with you some quotes that I have stumbled across on my Pintrest. These quotes have genuinely helped me to keep myself motivated, as you know if you are a regular reader, I'm on a massive health/fitness change and I think sometimes you just need a little pick me up to keep focused. 

I have narrowed down my top 5 quotes that keep me motivated. 



People always ask me how I can get up in the morning and go to the gym and this quote perfectly explains why I do it. I make sure I start my day right and feel so much better after I have had my morning workout because I know I'm actively trying to improve myself


I think this is a massively important one, often we all compare ourselves to others when really we shouldn't. Don't focus on any one else other than you and your body, work towards making your body how you want it. You're never going to have another persons body so just work with what you've got and make it the best you can. 




If you want to lose weight or become healthier then do it right, don't starve yourself you need to fuel your body with the right things to make a healthy change. Don't set yourself unhealthy goals and listen to your body. Even if it does take longer, it will be worth it. 




This one I found to be a massive influence, sometimes you'll need the help of others but do not depend on them because they will let you down. It's your body, these are your changes, do it for you! Also a bit of body inspiration in this picture too!




I live by this, it's that simple! I never miss a Monday, Mondays are my favourite day because over the weekend I don't go to the gym. My body thrives on routine and consistency and these simple rules help keep me motivated. 

There we have it, sorry the images are all different sizes, I just kinda had to work with what I had! 

Have you got any great motivational tips?


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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Barry M Speedy range | Beauty


Barry M Speedy Nail Polish

Stop the Clock, Eat My Dust, Pit Stop, Barry M Speedy Nail polishes

How gorgeous are these Barry M nail polishes!? I mean the shades are literally perfect for me. I have seen a few reviews on these Speedy nail polishes and I think Barry M just has the most beautiful range of shades it was pretty hard to pick out which ones I wanted to buy. However the Boots 3 for 2 offer certainly helped me to narrow it down. 

I went for Stop the Clock which is such a pretty pastel lemon colour, Eat My Dust  a sky blue colour and Pit Stop which is more of a taupe/nude kinda colour. I really love soft pastel shade at the moment. We all know about my love affair with Essie Fiji, so I thought these would be a nice change/replacement. 

Another selling point with these Barry M polishes are the fact they are Speedy. There is nothing more I hate than waiting for nail paint to dry, I mean it's boring you have to sit still because otherwise you'll end up smudging it, it's awful. What I found with these is that once you have added one layer on all 10 fingernails you're ready to start all over again. This product does try very quickly which is handy because as you know which all pastel shades you have to add 2 or 3 coats to get it opaque. 

I must admit I don't actually have that many Barry M nail polishes and never quite understood the Gelly obsession but the Speedy range is something I can get my teeth into. In terms of longevity, these aren't that great, they chip quite quick on me. I always use my Essie Prep and Protect which helps make all polishes last just a little bit longer.

I have to say that Stop the Clock is probably my favourite shade, it's just so pretty and summery and I know it will look absolutely fabulous with a tan. But Pit Stop is a VERY close second! 

Have you tried any of the Bary M Speedy range?
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Makeup Revolution - Redemption palette iconic 3 | Beauty

Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 palette

Close up Makeup Revolution Iconic 3

Extreme close up Makeup Revolution Iconic 3

I know what you're thinking, I'm late to the party again! But I'm one of those people who doesn't like to buy make up online simply because I like to have a look and a swatch. Makeup Revolution took a while to come to my Superdrug so I just didn't buy anything for ages. 

Beauty bloggers absolutely adore Makeup Revolution and there are thousands of posts written about their various products so I was a little overwhelmed as to what I should get. However I went for the Redemption palette Iconic 3 because I've heard it's a dupe for the Naked 3 palette which is a palette I really really want and for £4 you simply cannot go wrong. 

To be honest I think it was the price that got me more because it is so bloody cheap it's really easy to try out various different palettes and shades from this brand which actually is a massive appeal for those of us who love makeup. The thing that really drew me to into purchasing this specific palette was the range of shimmers it had. I adore pretty shimmers, never really been a massive fan of of the muted matte shades so I love the fact that this only has like 3. Don't get me wrong I understand the need for the matte shades for definition but I don't need a whole palette full of them. 

I was incredibly impressed with the quality of the product, I mean this is a budget makeup brand but the quality is amazing. I like that some of the most shimmery ones in the pan can be built up on the eye to look the same intensity. I am also incredibly impressed with the longevity of this product, my eyes look pretty for hours without needing any sort of touch up! 

I totally understand the hype now and can't wait to get my hands on more.

Which Makeup Revolution products would you recommend?
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Fabletics Workout Clothes | Lifestyle


Ok, so first things first if you sign up to this website please be aware that VIP membership actually means they will charge you £44 every month  to use as credit towards a new outfit which I didn't read properly when I first joined so I had to cancel my VIP membership which was a bit of a hassle. You can buy items without being a VIP member. Nothing against the brand or website I just clearly didn't read properly what I was signing up to! 

Moving on, as you know I'm throwing myself into the gym and loving it though recently I have been meaning to buy some new gym gear, a lot of shops do affordable gym wear now which is great but they are pretty basic. I was watching the TV and this Fabletics advert kept popping up and I just thought yes I was some of those clothes. The have a pretty impressive range lots of bright colours and lots of dark colours. I pretty much live in black so you know I opted for the black versions. 

I didn't even look for reviews on this brand before I purchased which these days is incredibly rare I just went on what I wanted and what I liked. I went for the Rule Outfit, I kinda liked the black and grey with a bit of camouflage on the sides, I also liked that the top is a long sleeved top because it means I can wear it outside when I start going for runs again. 

Firstly, I love the material of these products two very different fabrics doing different things. For example the capris are "maximum compression" so they are quite tight and a little thick but so incredibly comfortable, they looked quite small when I first got them out of the bag but when I put them on I was really impressed they seemed to mold to my body. Also they don't go see-through at all when worn either which is the most important thing. I actually am in love with this capris! 

The top is a completely different material but just as nice, this is cut a little looser than the capris and much thinner you could probably wear a vest underneath it. Some people have mentioned that the shoulders of the top are a little big which I agree with but because my boobs are quite big it sits a little different on me and looks fine. The neckline is quite board but actually that shows my slimmest part of my body which is my collar bones so I'm not complaining. 

I was incredibly impressed with these workout clothes and I think paying £26 for this is an absolute bargain considering the quality. However I wouldn't pay full price which is £92!! I just wouldn't spend that much money on anything I'd just be wearing to the gym. 

Have you bought anything from Fablectics? 
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Clarins Everlasting Foundation | Beauty



My utterly gorgeous friend Vernia's sister works for Clarins (the lucky thing, I know) and recently she gave me a couple of samples which you know I was thrilled about. 

To be honest, I haven't really tried that many Clarins products because it's just a brand I never think to look for. I know they do fantastic skin care ranges but it's just not a brand I immediately think of for make up. The sample I received was the Everlasting Foundation which actually I think is a fairly new release. They do a great range of shades online and I've got it in Ivory 103 which is a pretty nice match actually, it has a slightly pinkier tone than the next shade up which is Nude 105. 

When I pumped it onto my hand I saw that is a very liquid foundation which isn't something I'm used to actually, most of my foundations are a thicker consistency. Once I pumped it out I had to work quite quickly with it because I didn't want it to start drying on me. I tried it with my Real Techniques foundation brush and it actually worked quite well. I was toying with the idea whether to use my Beauty Blender, but the Everlasting Foundation was just a bit too runny and I though that the sponge would probably just soak the product up too quickly. 

Clarins Everlasting foundation was actually pretty full coverage, which I wasn't expecting it to be because of it's consistency. This isn't a bad thing I just wasn't expecting it. It also leaves a dewy look on the skin which personally I prefer, it just makes my face look a little more hydrated. I think the colour match was pretty perfect for me, which I was really impressed with. 

I'm not sure how this foundation would be on oily skin, my skin is fairly normal if not a little dry and it definitely worked for me but I would imagine if I had oily skin it may not look as good. But I don't know. 

Have you tried the Clarins Everlasting Foundation out?


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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

April Birchbox | Beauty




It's that time of the month again, a beautiful little Birchbox arrived at my door. This one is a collab with Tatler Magazine , you can buy a limited addition Tatler Birchbox for £25 I believe but this one is just the standard Birchbox. 

Firstly, I just want to explain how much I love the look of this box, it is so bloody pretty!! It's got pink, it's got birds and it even had a touch of rose gold, what's not to love? It's a "Royally Good" box with a nod towards Royal Baby #2 and this box has 6 beauty samples to try out. 

Now, I've gotta be a little honest here, I was a tad disappointed. There wasn't that wow factor for me, it's a nice box but I'm not blown away by it. This month we have a Laura Mercier eye pencil in the shade Violet which is a pretty strong blue/purple shade and I don't think I'm going to get a lot of use out of this. 

There is also a Percy & Reed volumising No Oil Oil, which I know I'm going to struggle to use because my hair is quite thin so the more product I add to it the flatter and limp it looks and I have actually tried a volumising cream from this brand before and didn't really like it. We also have Bliss foaming face wash which I will try out but I'm going to be quite careful as I have a feeling this wash could dry out my face a little. 

There is also Pommade Divine product which is a balm to apply on dry skin and kind of multi purpose product which I'm happy to give a go! Next is the Befine warming clay mask which I'm quite excited about, gotta love a face mask and this one has cardamon, arnica and pomegranate in it. 

One product I'm actually pretty excited to try out is the Lola Barcelona nail polish in Born, this is an utterly gorgeous shimmery nude shade, I'll probably write a separate review about this one. 

What do you think to this month's Birchbox?




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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Month Three Update | Lifestyle



That's right it's months 3 already and am I any better looking? Damn right I am! In all seriousness, everything is going incredibly well. I'm still absolutely loving my new lifestyle and my routine. So for this months update I thought I would share with you my workout routine. 

I must admit I'm definitely one of those people who does everything to the extreme, if I say I'm going to go to the gym and change my lifestyle, I throw myself into it. That's just how I am, it's a gift and a curse. Right so down to the nitty gritty... 

I go to the gym 8 times a week Monday - Friday, which even I admit sounds like a lot but it fits in well with my work schedule and my life in general. Three times a week I go in the morning and evening so I thought I would break down exactly what I am doing at the moment. I do change things up a little when I feel like I've stopped progressing which is an incredibly important thing to do. If my muscles no longer ache then I'm not working hard enough and it's time to change things up.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 

Morning:- 

  • Leg Press - 3 sets of 20
  • Lat Pull down - 3 sets of 12
  • Seated Row - 3 sets of 12
  • Chest Press - 3 sets of 12
  • 15 mins of cardio

Evening:- 

  • 50 mins of cardio - most of the time it's on the cross trainer but other times I will split the 50 mins up by doing 10 minutes on the bike or jogging
Tuesday and Thursdays

Evenings:- 
  • 50 mins of cardio 
OR
  • 40 mins of cardio
  • Russian Twists - 3 sets of 20 
  • Sit ups - 3 sets of 20
  • Kettle bell shoulder pull up - 3 sets of 15
  • Kettle bell bicep curl - 3 sets of 15 

These are just my workouts and what actually works for me, I haven't mentioned what size weights I lift but if you'd like to know just let me know. I think it's great because I'm starting to feel some muscle definition coming through my flab, my body is changing and it's looking so much better than what it was even a month ago let alone 2 months ago. But this is coupled with my diet as well, I wouldn't be able to go to the gym as much or progress my workout if I wasn't fueling my body with the right foods. 

What are your favourite workouts?
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Five products I love | Beauty




To be honest, I rarely ever do these types of "monthly favourites" posts just because I like so many things that the post will be so long people would just get bored. However this month I feel like there are a select few that I find myself reaching for more and more. 

Let's start with the Urban Decay Naked On The Run palette  I know I have already written a review about this one but I just feel like it has almost everything I need in it and the eye shadows are to die for. I've been experimenting quite a bit with the 6 little eye shadows and the quality is just amazing. 

The Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick is something I've had for a little while now but I just found myself being drawn to it more and more, plus Bitch Perfect is a great everyday shade. Benefit Roller Lash seems like a bit of an obvious one but I use this mascara every day and I keep getting complimented on it .

The skincare product I have been loving is easily my favourite face mask product, Clayspray honestly is amazing, my skin looks transformed from just one use. I've already bought a bottle because I love it so much but one thing I will say, this product costs £25 for a bottle but the bottle is small! 

Finally the Sleek Makeup CC Cream , I bloody love this product! Whilst the coverage isn't great and by that I mean it doesn't cover my acne scars very well though I imagine it would be perfect on smooth skin, I love this product for when I'm going for an "everyday makeup" look. It's really evens out my skintone. 

And there we have it, what are your favourite products that you think I should try out?
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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

MicroCell Cuticle Pen | Beauty




If you have read my post from last week you'll know that I recieved this cuticle pen with some nail polishes too. This MicroCell Cuticle Pen* offers intensive protection for cuticles and sensitive nails. 

I must admit, I'm probably the laziest person when it comes to looking after my cuticles, I never push them back, I never put oil on them. Part of me forgets and the other part of me just can't be bothered. I have bought cuticle pens in the past but they are very oily and I end up loosing it or something. 

What I really liked about this MircoCell Cuticle pen is  what the tip of it, it kinda reminds me of a felt tip pen. It's hard which means you can push back the cuticles a bit whist adding oil to them. The oil that is released is a really small amount so it's just enough for each nail. It's really controlled and really good, I'm surprised how much I love this product. I really like the packaging as well, I like the shimmery blue and it's incredibly light weight so easy to pop into your bag if you needed too.

I'm definitely going to make more of a conscious decision to look after my cuticles now because to be fair my nails are pretty weak, but I feel that with the MicroCell range my nails are going to be looking better than ever. 

What tips do you recommend for looking after your nails?

*This is a PR sample however all views are my own
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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hot Cross Bun Recipe | Lifestyle




This wasn't originally what I had planned to be posted today but this Hot Cross Bun recipe just fits so perfect with Easter I thought I'd to it today. 

These Hot Cross Buns may not be the prettiest - I kinda lost the crosses because they were too runny, however it was a first attempt so I don't think it went too bad. I got the recipe from BBC Good Food  where I get quite a lot of my recipes from but I didn't realise how hard this one would be. Next time I'd definitely have a look around at some different recipes because this one took forever and I wasn't too happy with them, but the family were which I guess is the main thing. 

Let's start with the ingredients for the buns:- 
  • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more - I used skimmed milk I don't know why you'd need to use full fat
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped - I grated it instead
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g of glace cherries - I decided to add these

For the cross
  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


Method

The BBC Good Food website suggest you've gotta boil the milk and them add the butter but then you have to wait for the milk to cool to hand temperature which bloody takes forever. I think next time I'd melt the butter and add it to the milk which would heat it up a bit but not a massive amount. 

Add the caster sugar, yeast, flour and salt in a bowl together, once you have your "hand temperature" buttery milk add it little by little to the dry ingredients. Keep all the fruit in a separate bowl for later.  I say add the milk little by little because I added the whole lot in the bowl and it was an utter nightmare because there was too much liquid, I couldn't knead the dough properly. Once you have kneaded it put it back in the bowl and cover over with some oiled clingfilm in a warm place for an hour.

Once it has risen, add all the fruit into the bowl and knead again to make sure the fruit is evenly distributed. I added glace cherries because I saw an M&S advert which had them in their hot cross buns so I just had to add them too. I must admit they make a lovely addition. Once all mixed put it back in the bowl and leave to prove for another hour

Then you can separate the dough into 15 little buns - leave to prove for another (!) hour, then add the crosses on them. I really would advise adding the water to the flour in very small amounts because if it's too runny the crosses just disappear, as you can see. Then pop them in the oven at gas mark 7 for 15-20 mins and you're done. You can add the apricot jam but I didn't actually think it added anything extra and made it incredibly messy to eat. 

The end result 




Have you got any other hot cross bun recipes that are slightly easier?
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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Biscuiteers | Lifestyle




As you know last week I ran a competition with Biscuiteers where my very lovely reader Lauren guessed correctly where Peter was and won her own set of biscuits. 

But I thought I would do a separate post to kind of introduce the brand to my other readers a little more. If you haven't heard of Biscuiteers, they hand make just the most gorgeous range of biscuits and all biscuits are hand iced. The actually sell in places like Fortnum and Mason too. They do various different ranges for different occasions such as birthdays, christenings, weddings etc. They also sell a range of cakes, chocolates and icing/baking equipment as well. 

I haven't tried anything from Biscuiteers before so I was incredibly excited to run this competition because it meant that I actually got to try this brand out. 

I must say that this little Peter rabbit is just the cutest little biscuit I've ever seen, I really didn't want to eat it at first. Biscuiteers really own the food gifting space because I know if I was sent a range of these biscuits I would feel pretty special. I love the detailing in the icing on this biscuit and they just so so many different varieties it's hard not to fall in love.They have even released a Beatrix Potter tin that is so sweet and perfect for Easter or any occasion really, I think this would be great for christenings or a gift for a child's birthday. 

I must admit this was a pretty yummy biscuit too, it was a real treat considering I haven't had a biscuit in about 3 months I really enjoyed this one. 

Have you ever bought or been sent anything from Biscuiteers before?

*This post contains an affiliate link
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