Friday, February 12, 2016

A snowy walk

A couple of weeks ago I took my camera out with me for a walk in the snow.  Normally it's too cold to stay out for long enough to take pictures but the temperature was just about warm enough to spend a few extra minutes outdoors.  So on our way to a cafe for some lunch I snapped some snow!

I love fairy lights and what could be more romantic than fairy lights, snow and a swing?!  I definitely needed that cup of tea to warm up after taking pictures in the cold though!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Z for Accessorize necklaces

Ever since I spotted the Z for Accessorize range in the Accessorize shop in the summer I've been a fan.  I love delicate jewellery and everything in this range is just that, super delicate with some sparkle.  I really wanted to buy something but it's really hard to choose when there are so many lovely pieces and the jewellery is slightly pricey, so buying a few different pieces wasn't an option.  Luckily quite a few lovely things were in the post Christmas sale so I managed to get two beautiful necklaces!

The blue stones really sparkle and look lovely against the gold plated chain.  I got a long necklace and a shorter layered necklace which basically has the same stones on it as the long one plus a crystal and gold circle on a chain.  Both the necklaces have a little Z gold tag on the end which is a nice touch.  The shorter chain actually wasn't in the sale but the store I went to had put it in the sale section with a half price sticker on it by mistake!  Lucky for me they said they had to honour the fact it said half price on it even though when they rang it through the till it had come up full price.
I really love both these necklaces.  The long one is really good for prettying up a plain outfit or jumper and the short one looks great with any kind of V-neck or open necked blouse.  I couldn't find the long one on the Accessorize website but the shorter one still is,.  Obviously it is full price as it was meant to still be in the current range!
I was even inspired to buy myself some gold chain and dark blue beads to try to make my own delicate jewellery so look out for that in a future post!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My new Cath Kidston bags


I hope you are coping with the month of January OK.  It's a dark long month isn't it?  I think being busy at work, whilst stressful at times, is helping the month to go by faster.  I'm already trawling the internet for pictures of beaches and sunshine though.
I wanted to post about a couple of bags I've recently acquired.  One was a Christmas present from my brother and the other I bought in the boxing day sales.  I have had a love for Cath Kidston for a few years now.  Whilst there's a part of me that longs for everything to be white and pale and minimalist I can't help but also be drawn to the 50's floral patterns that adorn everything in the Cath Kidston stores.  There's something so cheerful and cozy about them.  I do struggle to find I can afford the prices in there so every time the sales come around I come out of the store with something.
The most common Cath Kidston purchase is probably a handbag.  I can justify spending money on a Cath Kidston handbag because I find that they last really well.  They are also really light.  If there's one thing I can't stand with a bag it's it being heavy even when it's empty.  I hate having a heavy handbag pulling on my shoulder and am very susceptible to neck and shoulder pain if I'm not careful.  These Cath Kidston bags are made from the oil cloth fabric which is very light, almost weightless.  The oil cloth is also water resistant so you don't have to worry about any belongings getting damp in the rain.  The fabric of the bags I've been using for a while now has no damage to the outside or the fabric handles.  I've found them to be extremely durable.
Because of my neck problems I try to use a hand held handbag when ever possible so I went for the white floral handbag in the sale to replace a dotty green one I'd had for a couple of years.  The green one is still completely usable I just really wanted a new pattern!  This hand bag is slightly roomier than the green one I own and has a pocket on the outside which is useful as I like to keep my keys or oyster card there within easy reach.  It also has loops on the outside which I assume means you could add a shoulder strap if you wanted to.  It would be useful to also have a pocket on the inside but I have a handbag organiser that fits inside this really easily so it's not needed.
The other handbag with the shoulder strap was the Christmas present and it's also really useful for times when I want a strap.  I tend to prefer to use a handbag with a shoulder strap when I'm going to be in a busy city for example because I feel more secure.  I love the red print with the birds on it, I haven't seen that print in Cath Kidston before.  It's a really good size to fit just your essentials in, you wouldn't want it to be any bigger and pull on your shoulder even more.
I'm really pleased with these bags and can't wait to take them out with me in the coming year!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mottos for 2016 and a Clinique eyeshadow purchase

Hi there!  Happy 2016!  I can't believe we're already in to the second week of January.  This part of the year is really busy for the theatre as we have a lot of shows.  It's been go go go since I got back from the Christmas holidays which means I haven't had much time to think about New Years resolutions and the like.until this past weekend.  I've been thinking about something like, I should try to follow what brings me joy.  That applies to so many things in my life, including my blog.  I've been trying to think about which direction I want to take my blog in.  Do I want to try to turn in to a job?  Should it be beauty based, lifestyle based, advice based....?  Ultimately I think I have come to the conclusion that I should just write here for myself about whatever I feel I want to write about.  If I enjoy what I'm writing than I think the posts will be better.  So I plan to focus on that for now and see what direction it takes me in!  Perhaps I will write a more in depth post about how this also applies to other areas in my life but for now I'll leave the deeper thoughts here.
Something that has been bringing some joy in to my life lately has been make-up.  Our local department store had a sale on again (they seem to have one every couple of months now!) and I spotted some eyeshadows that were on sale at the Clinique counter.  I swiped them all and decided that two were the prettiest, at dusk and foxier.  They were still relatively pricey though for single eyeshadows so I decided to think on it.  After a couple of stressful days of work I felt like I needed a treat (who doesn't!) and decided to spend some the hard earned cash on one of these eyeshadows if they were still available.  Both were and though I loved them both I went with the more unusual shade of the two, at dusk.

This is such a stunningly pretty golden shade with some orangey copper tones in it that just seemed to glisten in the light when I swatched it on my hand.  I own a Clinique travel palette which was a gift and contains four eyeshadows and the quality of those eyeshadows is great.  I find them really soft and highly pigmented, in fact they are my favourite powder eyeshadows that I own.  So I always planned to buy myself some more Clinique eyeshadows one day.  Despite the slightly unusual shade I definitely would be comfortable wearing this day or night.  It would be glam for a night out,  winged out all over the lid for a golden shimmer that could work well with a bold lip for drama and subtle enough to just highlight the eye with simpler make-up during the day.  I already wore this out once for a lunch date at the weekend and can't wait to wear it to work to cheer myself up on these cold winter days.  There might not be much golden sunshine right now, but you can make-up for it (pun intended) with some golden shimmer on your eye!  If only it came with added vitamin D :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dark lipsticks for Winter

Hello there!  Happy New Year!  I hope you had a great Christmas holiday.

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about things to do when the days get shorter.  One of the things I wrote about was changing up your make-up.  Now that we are deep in to winter I thought I would elaborate on some of the ways I change up my make-up for winter time.  Wearing dark lipstick is one of my favourite things about winter as I think you can get away with it more in the darker months.  I only really felt brave enough to try out some darker lipsticks last winter so I don't have many in my collection yet.  Here are some of the ones I have been using recently.

L'oreal Blake's Pure Red - I bought this lipstick because I wanted a blue toned red in my collection.  It isn't super dark but is still much darker than the more orange toned reds I own.  It's highly pigmented which is good and relatively matte which helps it to last longer on the lips.  It's quite strongly scented, the scent reminds me of parma violets which I like but it could put some people off.  A great date night red.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate in shade 107 - A recent purchase, I wrote about it here.  Even darker than the Blake's red, it is even more blue toned, almost purple toned.  The formula is similar to the L'oreal one in that it is relatively matte but this formula is creamier as well.  This is also strongly scented!  One of my favourite shades right now that I wish I could wear more often.  I need to go on more nights out!

Topshop Lip Bullet in Get Me Bodied -  I'm wearing this in photo above.  I love this dark plum shade.  I bought it recently in the Topshop sale, it was a mini lipstick in a Christmas bauble.  For a mini you still get quite a lot of lipstick and it fits so easily in to a small bag.  It is matte giving it longevity but you definitely will want to moisturise your lips before you wear it or it will cling to any dry places.

Misslyn Shade 119 - The creamiest of the four as it is not a matte shade.  This is the first dark lipstick I bought.  I decided to buy it because it was relatively cheap and I was not sure how a dark lipstick would work for me.  This is the darkest shade of the lot and although it is more comfortable to wear on the lips it is not as long lasting.  The pigmentation is good though and the shade is a super glam, super dark plum for when you want to make a bold statement!

If you're going to go for dark lipstick and are relatively pale like me I find you need to add some blusher to warm up your complexion so it doesn't look too draining.  I also like to make sure I'm wearing a bit of eye liner or else I find my eyes disappear a bit!

Do you turn to a dark lip in the colder months?  Do you have any recommendations of other lipsticks in the dark plum shade I might like?  I hope you're having a great start to 2016!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Recent Beauty Buys

An annual sale at our local department store means I get to go and buy a few new bits and pieces for my make-up collection.  This time I bought an eyeshadow trio, a blending sponge, and a new mascara.  The eyeshadow I bought was by Isadora, a brand I don't own much make-up from but I passed up the chance to buy a palette from them last time there was a sale and regretted it.  I spotted a few different selection of eye shadow shades and picked the cool toned browns one because I knew I'd get the most use out of it.
The shades aren't quite as pigmented as I thought they would be but they do have a lovely shimmer to them.  I prefer to use the middle one as an all over shadow by itself for some natural looking day time definition.  The darkest shade is probably the prettiest and I've used it as an eyeliner so far but would consider wearing it on a night out all over the lid.  The lightest shade is a nice, cool toned, silvery highlight which I would wear on the inner corners of my eyes.  The formula of these shadows isn't my favourite but the shades are wearable so I will get some use out of it.
The blending sponge I bought to try out because of the hype.  I didn't want to fork out for the beauty blender and this one looked so similar but was so cheap I thought I'd test it out.  I haven't tried the beauty blender so I can't compare but I've used this a few times and I'm pretty pleased.  It works well when you dab it on the skin blending in concealer to your foundation.  I wouldn't drag it across the skin as it's quite a hard sponge.  I will be using this when I apply my stage make-up as I don't tend to wear full base make-up everyday.

The best thing I bought in the sale was the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara.  I had been using the Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara and really liking it but it was going to dry out soon so I thought I would buy this to test out next.  Of course I couldn't wait until I had finished my old one to open it and give it a go and once I had tried I wouldn't use any of my others.  The Max Factor one was really good but I think it must have already been starting to dry out already because the Maybelline one blew it out of the water in comparison.  The formula is quite wet which I like because I can get a lot of product on to my lashes.   The brush is also really good because of the different length bristles on it.  It's a plastic bristled wand which I normally am not a fan of but I find I can achieve different results with this one depending on which part of the wand I use.  The longer bristles are good for lengthening and separating and the shorter ones are good for achieving a thick coat of black.  I tend to use a combination of both ends to achieve thick lashes with length towards to outside edges.  It's a really good mascara which might take a bit of practise because you get so much product on the brush it can clump some lashes together so I find brushing strokes one way and then the other helps to keep them separated.  Even without using eyelash curlers I can get a really good curl out of this mascara which is useful seeing as I lost my eyelash curlers this summer!  Over all I would really recommend this mascara.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Recent empties

Hi there!  It's been a few days hasn't it.  Winter time is the busiest time for the theatre so it's been go go go at work.  I've been pretty exhausted by it.  Yesterday our show of the Nutcracker was cancelled which meant I had nothing but ballet class in the morning but I spent most of the rest of the day asleep in bed or curled up on the sofa.  I've been so tired and I rarely nap so I must have needed the sleep!  I'm feeling much better today which is lucky as we have another show this evening.  I think it's because I had a good rest yesterday that I've finally found the energy to come and write on my blog!  I thought I would do a little post on the products I have finished most recently.  My husband will be glad I can finally throw away the empty pots!
Lumene Vitamin C Night Cream - I bought this a while back in the sale and I really really liked it.  I have dry skin, particularly during the harsh winter and this was really thick but still absorbed  very well in to the skin.  I like the idea of the vitamin C as well as any extra radiance is welcome in the winter.  When I bought this it was just before they reformulated the packaging.  It has a pleasant fruity scent.  I didn't buy another pot for ages even though I liked it because it was quite expensive (for me).  I found it this weekend in another sale so I grabbed another pot.  I've only used it once but the cream seemed lighter than before so maybe they reformulated to product too, although it still seemed really good.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Nivea Pure and Natural Night Cream - I bought this because it was a good price and because of the natural ingredients.  It seemed like a good moisturiser, though it doesn't do anything special.  It was quite thick and even a little too heavy for me in the summer.  It didn't make my sensitive skin sting which is good but other than that it just does what it says on the tin-moisturises.  However once I had purchased and tried the Lumene night cream this cream was relegated to the back of the shelf.  When I tried to use it again after a while it had basically turned into wax, which didn't surprise me because the cream really was quite waxy.

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter- Love this, great light fruity smell, sinks in to the skin really well and is cooling and soothing.  I use this to calm the eczema on my arms.  I just wish it was a bit cheaper, I buy this when it's on offer!

Body Shop Chocomania Beautifying Oil - Super yummy sweet scent.  More praline-y than chocolate-y scent but yummy all the same.  I really like this smooth oil.  The lemon one was my favourite but since they discontinued it this seemed a good alternative.  I would buy this again and use it in winter as it's too sweet for summer!

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Cream with Kukui Nut - Very strongly scented.  Sweet smell, reminiscent of caramel.  This was too strongly scented to use on sensitive areas of my skin but worked fine everywhere else such as on my legs for example.  The scent would really linger and the cream was very rich and moisturising.