30 November 2014

The Holidays Are Coming: Christmas Giveaway

Christmas Giveaway

It's hard to believe that we're heading into the last month of 2014 already!  I honestly think that this year has quite literally flown by; before I know it I'll be putting together my favourite products of the year and thinking about that Christmas detox. However before I get too ahead of myself here I wanted to share with you my first Christmas giveaway as this year I will be running not just one, but two! 

They're not huge and extravagant yet they are a big thank you to each and every single one of you who read my blog and leave me such lovely comments throughout the year. It's hard to put into words how much I enjoy writing my blog and being able to interact with such a lovely bunch of people. This blog is a big part of my life and is something that I hope continues to grow and develop throughout next year.

So as a thank you I'm offering up a few goodies from Benefit that I picked up from Boots a few weeks ago. Whilst I was in store I discovered a pick n mix stand for want of a better word where you could choose four miniatures along with a Benefit stocking. Naturally I was all over this and found myself choosing some for myself to try (being relatively new to Benefit myself) along with picking out a selection of miniatures for one of you guys too. I really liked this idea as it allows you to try a few things without having to buy the full size first, plus, the stocking idea was pretty awesome too. I've also included a Balmi Lip Balm in raspberry which sounds like it will be really nice along with a Kimmidoll 'Kyoka' Key Ring which means 'happiness'. The Kimmidoll range is something that I have really liked for a long time where if you're interested in a random fact I actually did a painting of Eika in one of my very first blog posts, cringe! I do have a few figures myself so overall I thought this would add more of a personal touch to the prize.

This giveaway is open internationally and will run for one week in order to give myself time to select a winner and get it posted out in time for Christmas. Please follow the rules in the rafflecopter widget below and I'd like to politely request that this giveaway is not posted to any competition websites, thank you. Good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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28 November 2014

Oldies But Goodies

Oldies but goodies

There are a few items within my make up collection that to this day I still reach for. Despite new releases popping up left right and centre and older ones being forgotten about I can't help at times reverting back to some of my favourites.

The Revlon Kissable Balm Stains were so incredibly popular when they were released so it's no surprise to see them as being one of my all-time favourite lip products. The shade honey is my favourite from the original range and is still a product that I reach for frequently. Having tried some of the newer releases such as the matte balms and lacquers I have to say that the original version is still my up most favourite. Overall I think Revlon do lip products extremely well whereby my second favourite comes from the Colour Burst Lip Butter range. Again these were very popular upon release with in my opinion justification as they are easy to wear, pigmented and affordable. My favourite shade would have to be Juicy Papaya although there are quite a few in the range that I'm a fan of. Lastly for lip products my old faithful the Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick in the shade beehive is probably something that I should throw out. The packaging is really old now and has since been updated yet this is one of the first products I ever purchased when I started blogging so it has in some weird way a bit of sentimental value to me. Once again these are incredibly affordable and are worth having a look at in Boots if you're new to lipstick or are simply looking for a budget friendly lipstick range for every day.

Onto mascaras these two particular products that I've chosen are products that I have read mixed reviews on over time; however for me personally they are two of my favourites. Starting off with the Natural Collection from Boots I find that they are extremely affordable £1.99 mascaras that work really well for me. I have quite long lashes already so most of the time I'm not really looking for lengthening properties, especially seeing as I wear glasses. The Natural Collection Mascaras simply add definition, separation and a little bit of volume which on a day to day basis if I'm honest is all I'm really looking for. In contrast to this when I'm wanting to achieve a little more POW with my lashes I always reach for the Benefit They're Real Mascara. Originally I tried this when it was a free sample within a magazine and found that I wasn't completely sold however over time I have changed my mind on this and now happily use it on days when I want to have big lashes without the dreaded spider look occurring. 

Blushers are one of my favourite beauty items of which the two here have had their fair share of popularity in the past. The Sleek Blusher in rose gold was one of the first items I picked up from Sleek and is an apparent dupe for the NARS orgasm blush; however having never tried that myself it's not something I can definitely say yes to. The Topshop Cream Blusher in head over heels is once again another favourite of mine yet if I'm honest with myself this is another product that should be thrown out soon; I've simply had it a bit too long. These are not strictly cream blushers as once applied they do have more of a powder formula however they are easy to use, pigmented and are not too expensive either.

Finally the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze has been one of my most used beauty products of all time. These products are simply incredible and are such good value for money considering how long they last. In my experience I have found that they are quite simply effortless to use making them perfect for picking up at 7am when you only have fifteen minutes to get ready for work.

It hasn't escaped my notice here that barring one product, Benefit They're Real all of these are high street purchases which come under £10. There really are some beauty gems to be found out there.


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26 November 2014

RMK Beauty Event

RMK Beauty RMK Beauty RMK Beauty Event

A few weeks ago now I attended a little get together at the Birmingham Selfridges RMK counter after being invited along by the lovely Vanessa. Having never tried anything from RMK before I was really excited and curious as to what the brand had on offer, it's always fun discovering a new beauty brand and getting together with the girls. It was lovely to catch up with Aimee and Sarah again whereby I also got to meet some new faces, Ting and Natasha.

The event involved learning about some of the products that RMK have, along with a demonstration of the new Christmas in Manhattan Collection which has recently launched. Within the collection there is an eye shadow quad, blush palette including two blushers, a nail polish and a lip gloss all for £49. I actually thought that was a very good price indeed considering one blush alone normally costs £19.

Natasha was our model for the evening and she looked absolutely flawless both before make up and after. Shanara from RMK created a natural everyday look initially using the new Christmas collection and then intensified this for an evening look. The pearly white shade in particular really added dimension to the whole look and for me is what made the palette extra special. 

What I found interested me most aside from the make up was the skincare as you all know me by now I'm very interested in skincare and learning more about it. Before I attended the event I had heard about the RMK Cleansing Balm and how good it was whereby after having a closer look at it at the event I was even more intrigued. The balm itself smells beautiful, if you like rose scented things then this is certainly one to check out. At the event I was kindly given a sample of this so I'm looking forward to testing it out once my current cleansing balm runs out. 

One of the stand out products to me at the event had to be the RMK Skintuner Treatment which is like a water based solution that contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. Having tried this myself I was pretty impressed with how soft my skin felt after sampling it and now I cannot wait to give this a try myself over a week or two. I think I may be able to stretch my little sample there just enough to get a feel for this product; we shall see. I have to say I found myself thinking about this product more than any of the others there, I think that this is because it seems like something so very different to what I have used before.

I'd like to say a big thank you to the RMK team at Selfridges for having us for the evening; it was a wonderful event that gave me a real insight into the RMK brand.

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23 November 2014

LUSH Big Blue Bath Bomb

LUSH Big Blue Bath Bomb
When it comes to LUSH products I'll be honest and say that in the past it had been a brand that I had not paid that much attention to. Having said that in the last six months my shopping habits have changed somewhat and I've found myself visiting the store on a regular basis. 

Big Blue here was actually within a gift set that I had last Christmas so it has taken me pretty much almost one year to finally get around to reviewing it. Big Blue was one that I had a feeling I would like as in the past I've alluded to the fact that I like my water to turn blue as opposed to an orange/red so I knew that I'd be off to a good start with this. Of course the first striking thing about this bath bomb is the fact that there are little pieces of seaweed inside (you can see them protruding out the seal of the bath bomb in the image above). 

Initially I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I'd never had used a bath bomb before that had anything inside, so this was rather a new experience for me. Upon use this fizzed as per normal and released A LOT of seaweed, far more than I anticipated and if I'm honest far more than I was comfortable with. Whilst I adored the colour of the water and the scent of the product itself there was just too much seaweed for me, I found myself wanting to sieve some of it out of my bath; quite the opposite to a relaxing bath time I must admit. If you're interested in seeing what I mean there was a mini video of this on my instagram which shows you the bath bomb in action.

Having said that whilst I found the amount overwhelming I did notice just how moisturised my skin was afterwards, this was an incredibly moisturising bath and it left my skin feeling really good. Moving onto the scent this was really refreshing and calming for me, I can't say that I was able to pin point individual scents but after looking it up there are notes of lavender and lemon included.

Once my bath was over I did decide to remove a lot of the seaweed myself as I dreaded the thought of it going down the bath plug. Overall whilst there were positives regarding this bath bomb there was just simply too much seaweed for me. I'm quite quickly coming to the conclusion that the LUSH bubble bars are the best way to go for my personal preference.

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21 November 2014

Dream Team

Dream Team


Throughout my time writing about beauty over on A Little Boat Sailing I have come across my fair share of hyped up products which have and haven't at times warranted the craze and excitement surrounding them. In all honesty I could probably count around ten products that have in my opinion lived up to the hype over almost three years which I think says a lot in regards to our individual likes and dislikes.

This year I have discovered a few new products that in my opinion are worth every single penny. Two such products will be featured today as they have been products that I have continually reached for ever since they made their way into my morning routine. 

Starting off with the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette* this was something that I held off purchasing myself for a very long time as I wasn't too sure how I would feel about matte eye shadows. Back in August I took part in a festival challenge with Folli Follie whereby one of the packages they kindly sent to me had this palette within it which took me by complete surprise as I didn't know what would be in it until it arrived. Since that day I can honestly say that this product has been my most reached for when it comes down to eye shadow, no other product has come remotely close.  

Right from the compact size (perfect for travelling) to the wonderfully pigmented shadows this palette is a dream to work with. My favourite shades are 'naked 2' and 'faint' where I find myself using 'w.o.s' all over my lid as a neutral base on top of my primer of choice. I then like to use 'naked 2' over the top, following with 'faint' within the crease where I find that these combined provide a lovely, effortless yet natural look for every day. If I'm wearing liner that day sometimes I will like to set it with the black eye shadow 'crave' in order to prolong the longevity of the liner, doing this works so well and also increases the intensity of the liner. 

My second favourite product just so happens to work beautifully with this palette, the MAC 217 Eye Shadow Brush. After thinking about this for so long I finally made the purchase back in June and have not regretted it one single bit. I'll be honest and say that I did not understand what the fuss was about where this brush was concerned however having now used it myself I can categorically say that I would buy this again in a heartbeat if anything was to happen to mine. If you struggle with eye shadow in general, particularly in achieving that smooth blend between shades then this brush really is worth considering having a look at,  it works a treat and to this day I still cannot believe how good it is.


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19 November 2014

Guest Post - Top Five Winter MAC Lipsticks

Winter MAC Lipsticks Winter MAC Lipsticks

(Photo L-R: MAC Rebel, MAC Viva Glam Rihanna, MAC Plumful, MAC Velvet Teddy, MAC Viva Glam IV)

Hi everyone, my name is Charlee and I'm really excited to be guest posting for the lovely Amy! Thank you so much for the opportunity! Over the past year I've grown more and more confident with experimenting with different lip colours, and venturing from the once overly worn safe nudes to brighter and bolder shades. For me MAC are my go to brand for lipsticks, not only do they stock a wide range of shades but I have yet to come across a lipstick that disappoints.

MAC Rebel

Rebel is one of those shades that is truly unique, and I think this is the main reason that it is one of my favourite Mac lipsticks. This is a gorgeous cream plum with hints of fuchsia, and to be honest in the bullet can appear a bit shocking as it is one of those purple vamp shades. However when you swatch or apply this lipstick it’s a whole different story, and gives off more of a berry shade making it the perfect wintery plum for a night out.

MAC Viva Glam Rihanna

The Viva Glam Rihanna was probably the first lipstick from the Viva Glam range to really excite me and for many different reasons. The lipstick is described as a frosty blue red, and I find that this really suits my skin tone. Red lipsticks are something I used to stay away from as I felt I could never find one that suited. I like that this is once again one of those lipsticks that can easily take you from day to night, dab it on slightly for a daytime deep pink and then apply properly for a dark red. 

MAC Plumful 

I’d describe Plumful as Rebels younger sister, as I find the colours quite similar just not as bright. However that is what I love about this, whereas Rebel is quite in your face this is described as a blossoming rose-plum and is a little more conservative meaning that this is the perfect everyday winter shade. This does look a little dark in the bullet but once applied this is a little sheerer, but with saying that this makes Plumful my first choice for an everyday plum. 

MAC Velvet Teddy 

Velvet Teddy has quickly become a cult favourite thanks to the 90s lip trend. For me a dark nude is essential for the winter, and is one of those shades that can easily take you from day to night. Once applied this gives the ‘your lips but better’ effect, which I love. I always find that with this particular lipstick it always enhances my bottom lip giving it a more fuller look. Velvet Teddy is a matte lipstick, and surprisingly isn’t drying on the lips and applies smoothly on the lips. 

MAC Viva Glam IV 

A second Viva Glam lipstick has made it into my top 5, this time I have chosen Viva Glam IV. This lipstick is described as a mid-tone rose with gold pearl shimmer, and what I love most about this lipstick is that it’s a great everyday reddish/brown shade with a stunning lustre finish. I don’t think this lipstick really gets the recognition it deserves especially this time of year as for me it is one of my most used everyday winter shades.
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17 November 2014

Key Hair Products

Key Hair Products

My mop and I have never really got on. From the frightful experience as a child when I got a round brush caught in my hair (I mentioned that last night in the blogger chat) and was frog marched to the hairdressers to have it cut out to the more present indecision of whether to dye my hair brunette. When it comes to styling I'll hold my hands up and say that it is not my forte by any stretch of the imagination, therefore what little skill I do have is very much helped along by some of my favourite products at the moment.

Starting off with the Charles Wortington Texturising Spray this is a fantastic little product to use if you want to achieve a slightly tussled look, whereby this is created quite easily and lasts quite well throughout the day too. I really dislike having my hair flat on my head so this comes in really handy, especially on fresh hair days. Another product I quite like for providing a bit of volume is the Batiste Dry Shampoo which although as suggested the product is to help tackle greasy hair in-between washes I do find that it helps to provide a little bit of lift too.

A long term product of mine now is the Argania Liquid Gold Hair Oil* which is something that I purchased myself a while back where before it had a blue label on it, since then it has been repackaged. The team at Argania kindly sent me some of their products a little while ago now of which they are just as good as they once were. This oil smells incredible and works a treat leaving my hair silky soft without feeling weighed down. I like using a small amount of this when my hair is still wet, focusing on the ends primarily I work it to about half way where I ensure to avoid my roots.

Tools of the trade of course always involve a decent hair brush of which recently I have being using the new Air Motion Hair Brush*. A unique product designed in the UK this is a great hair brush no matter whether your hair is wet or dry. Claiming to reduce hair breakage by 95% and being suitable for all hair types this sounds like a good product to have for everyday use. Of course I cannot comment on it being suitable for all hair types as I only have my hair to compare it to yet it works well for me. It's also incredibly light weight too which was something I noticed when I started to use it.

Onto bobby pins I feel as though I would not be able to mention a hair product post without featuring them. Every day I use these for one reason or another, be it to help keep hair out of my face when having a wash in the morning or to keep loose ends in place. These are one of the most important items I use so naturally they have a habit of disappearing on me quite a lot; if there's one hair product I buy more than any other it is bobby pins.

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15 November 2014

The Muji Files | Part 2

Muji Files 2

Roughly one month ago I decided to share with you my make up collection in a roundabout way. Like most people I store my make up in Muji, it's practical, easy to keep clean and looks relatively nice too so long as in my opinion you don't go too high. At the moment I have six draws and if I'm honest it's too much for me, I wish I had stuck to just four however I'm sure I will have no problem in finding another use for them in the near future; I'm thinking jewellery or possibly a few nick knacks that I have floating around.

The Muji Files Part 1 featured my base products whereby my foundations, concealers and primers were all discussed. Today however I'm going to share with you my eye shadow products that I use, of which I use some more regularly than others. Starting off with my eye shadow primer I'm currently using the Lancôme La Base Paupières (Long Wear Eye Shadow Base) which I find to work very well in keeping my eye shadow in place throughout the day. As well as this I also have a mini sample set from Urban Decay which came with my Naked 1 palette however I'm yet to try those.

Next up I have two Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Paints which are incredible for the price. It was way back in February when I originally posted about these whereby I have continued to use them quite regularly since, although I must admit I opt for rich russet considerably more than golden bronze. Upon overview of this image I have realised I have missed my Maybelline Colour Tattoo which was a complete oversight as that is probably my most used product to date; it was probably lying around somewhere having being used that morning. My one other individual eye shadow is the Nude Swings Eye Shadow* from Benefit which is a lovely champagne shade however I must admit I don't wear it much at all as I use my palettes most days which tend to have something similar within them.

Onto quite possibly my favourite make up products; palettes! Palettes are generally quite pleasing to the eye which is partly why I love them so much, this is a far cry from how I used to feel about them as believe it or not I used to dislike palettes as I found them to be too bulky for my personal use. Fast forward on a few years give or take and my opinion has changed dramatically as I now really like them and tend to shy away from individual eye shadows; hence why I now only own two. Only one palette featured here was purchased by myself so starting off with the NARSissit Palette I managed to pick this up from ASOS whilst I had a voucher; this made quite an expensive purchase much more bearable. Sticking with NARS I also own the limited edition Fairy's Kiss Palette which my mum bought for me as a Christmas present last year; I have to say I use this one a lot more than the NARSissit Palette.

Finally I'm going to round off with my Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes of which the first one I won from the lovely Laura and my second was a birthday gift from my mum. These despite being from the same brand are quite different where I have to say I think my preference lies with the first one of the series as the tones are much warmer. The packaging however in my opinion could be so much better as I don't like the fact that the velvet case picks up the slightest hint of fluff, meaning that the sellotape comes out a bit too often for my liking.

So there we have it, an insight into my eye shadow collection. Since photographing this image back in September I've since picked up the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette which is utterly beautiful however in my personal opinion I'll go out on a limb here and say that if I had to pick any it would be the Urban Decay Naked 1; it is for me so far unbeatable in terms of value for money and quality.

Don't forget to check out the first in the series, The Muji Files Part 1 if you missed it!

What are your favourite eye shadow palettes?

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12 November 2014

A Topshop Wish List

Topshop Wish List

Topshop is a place I tend to avoid as it can potentially cause serious damage with just one singular item. I honestly do think it is incredibly overpriced for what it is which is another reason why I do tend to steer away and look elsewhere. Having said that they do have some really nice things in quite a lot of time whereby at the moment is of no exception. Recently I have spotted a few things which have caught my eye where I've even managed to shock myself in breaking somewhat of a tradition ever so slightly by choosing a colour other than black, grey and white; hallelujah!

Onto a little bit of the old tartan print I have picked out yet another scarf whereby this time the soft grey and white hues of the Gingham Scarf have got me really contemplating whether to pick this up; I'm a scarf-a-holic. In contrast to this the green and blue Check Nightshirt is right up my street, I absolutely love this type of thing however for some reason this doesn't seem to be stocked in any stores in my vicinity so it will be an online order if I decide to go for it. The Fluffy Crew Neck Jumper in the deep forest green is gorgeous and is more typical of my style.

The Bobby Chelsea Boots are in my opinion not too badly priced for Topshop, I may just have to eat my words. For me Chelsea Boots are the one thing that I tell myself I will pick up each autumn and every year another autumn goes by without picking up a pair. 

The Rib Waist Scuba Skirt really caught my eye due to the way it is cut and how it sits, in fact I think it's a really flattering shape and of course it looks really nice too. Lastly I chose a deep burgundy nail polish shade called 'Exhibit', it has been a long, long time since I had a look at the nail polishes at Topshop where I have noticed that there are quite a few new ones since I last browsed the stands.

*Since posting this post it has been brought to my attention that the cropped jumper I featured in this wish list had angora within it. This is something I would never condone and it is something I would never buy. As it happens I didn't buy this however if I had of done it would have gone straight back to the shop. I'd like to thank Rebecca in the comments below for highlighting this to me and being so very polite about it in the process.
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11 November 2014

Born Pretty Store Make Up Brushes

Born Pretty Make Up Brushes Make Up Brushes

Make up brushes are a key part of my morning make up routine yet they are something I have very rarely spoken about on my blog. I'm quite loyal to a certain brand at the moment however I have being trying out a new little set from the Born Pretty Store in order to see how I get on with them. 

The Delicate White Wooden Handle Cosmetic Brush Kit* arrived quickly from the online store and came wrapped up within a peony floral bag in which the brushes were all kept secured in their own individual compartments. Within the set there are twelve different brushes all suited to the different various needs when applying your make up.

There are two blush brushes, numbers one and two of which I think one is more typical in appearance of a blush brush yet it is a brush that I use for setting my make up rather than for blusher. For me it's a little too big for my cheeks yet it works perfectly for setting powder. It's a super soft brush too and I have experienced no shedding at all, in fact that would apply to all of these brushes so far. I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised with this brush in particular. Brush two is for me much more ideal for applying my blush as there is a nice angle to work with and the size is much smaller allowing me to have more precision and control of where my blush is going. When it comes down to brush three which is what I would associate with a traditional foundation brush I would have to say that this one and any other that looks like this no matter what brand is often left redundant in my collection; I never use brushes like that as I just cannot get them to work for me.

The eye shadow brushes are quite nice yet I couldn't help compare them to a certain cult favourite of which they sadly did not however bear in mind that there is a price leap here. Out of the three available number five was my favourite as I found it easier to work with and more denser therefore it allowed me to achieve a relatively nice blend with my eye shadows.

Onto the spoolie brush (number seven) this has been quite a little handy tool to have as I didn't have anything like it beforehand. It's so incredibly useful despite it initially breaking after two days; however that was nothing that a little dab of glue couldn't solve. In fact my whole brow routine is now dominated by brushes from this set as both number seven and number eleven are brilliant little tools to have at hand. Much like brush three brushes eight and ten were brushes that I decided not to use as once again these are not something I ever find the need for. If I'm honest I'm not entirely sure what I would even do with the fan brush when I have the blush brush there already.

Overall for the price currently at £8 you're getting a mixed bag of brushes in my opinion. They're not the best quality out there however they're also not too bad for the price either. There are some pretty good brushes there I think, numbers one, two, seven and eleven are all brushes that I'm using on a regular basis therefore even if you were to just use a few out of the set you're most likely still saving quite a lot in comparison to buying one similar brush in Boots for example. In my experience with this set I think it is simply lacking a good foundation brush. For me would be my only main criticism as for an overall price it is a relatively OK brush kit; especially for those just starting out with make up. If you're looking for a few new brushes, perhaps as backups or as a gift to a younger family member then these are worth taking a peek at, there are of course many more online too.

The Born Pretty Store has kindly provided me with a code for 10% off (AMYH1O) if anybody is thinking of taking a look on the website, there's a wide variety of beauty based products on there so something may tickle your fancy.


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10 November 2014

I want to be creative

I want to be creative
For a while now I have being wanting to do something different, I've being wanting to start something new and exciting within the realms of illustration and design; a craft of some sort. Having said that I have also being considering pushing myself and having a go at YouTube. If I'm honest the thought of that used to terrify me although in recent months I've not felt as daunted by the prospect. I've always been somebody who has appreciated the world of art and indeed that HUGE array of work that is out there. Typically when you think of art (or at least I did when I was younger) you may think of intricate drawings and precise detail that captures the moment, the expression and emotions of the subject as if a drawing had quite literally been a photograph; it looks simply too real to be by pencil or paint. Yet art can be so much more than that, it can include such a wide variety of different forms of media from the likes of film, photography, painting, illustrations and many, many more. 

Within my life at the moment I feel like I'm lacking creativity, I've always been a creative person yet I have let it slide considerably. In a way this is down to time of which I'm not about to use as some sort of excuse. It's something I have let be pushed aside for other things that may at that particular time have been more important and yet I have never returned back to that creative impulse. I have let that happen although not intentionally. In another way I rarely feel happy with what I produce which then sadly puts me off even starting. I know that is a quitters attitude and is one that I should nip in the bud but it can be easier said than done. I have all these ideas in my head yet I find getting them down onto paper never quite transpires how I had envisioned making me feel a bit of a failure. I have a nasty habit of comparing myself to others which is not good, it's not healthy and will only make me feel worse. It's not something I intend to do and I don't go out of my way to do it; let's face it who does? I think it generally boils down to a lack of confidence, courage and self-assurance; you'd think by the age of 25 I would have got through that stage in my life and be wearing the t-shirt to prove it.

At the moment I feel like I want to do it all, I'm not pacing myself. My ideas are BIG (for me anyway) yet I don't even know where to start off; does that make sense? My educational background where the arts are concerned are poor, I didn't do a art based degree whereby my only qualifications and general artistic knowledge feel like they stem back to the stone age when I was studying my GCSEs. Feeling a bit out of touch would be a bit of an understatement at the moment, I miss being creative. I've let it be sucked out of me in the world of work and studying and somehow I need to change that, I need to make time for it once again although in what form I'm not entirely sure.

To all the artists out there, whether you paint, make music, produce jewellery or spray walls (waves at Banksy) how did you find your niche? How did you discover what you were good at? What has made you feel like your work was unique without resembling somebody else's?

Writing this post I feel like I lost my way with it a bit, I do hope it made sense in some way or another.

 
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9 November 2014

LUSH Haul

LUSH Haul
A few weeks ago I made a joint online Lush order (and I popped into store too) with my sister and picked up a few treats from both the Halloween and Christmas collections. Lush is always incredibly popular at this time of year with the Christmas collection in particular always being a big hit with so many people; Snow Fairy anyone?

Last year I was pretty reserved and only picked up The Christmas Penguin as far as I recall however between then and now my interest in Lush has grown tenfold whereby needless to say I found it very hard to resist the collection this time around. Within the collection there is a variety of soaps, bath bombs, bubble bars, bath melts and body lotions along with a few other bits and pieces all of which are ready to have you swinging into the festive spirit.

Of course I wanted pretty much everything (I found myself absorbed in the moment) however I restricted myself to just a few things from the collection as well as one from the permanent range.

Starting off with soaps I picked up Yog Nog and Baked Alaska which are two very contrasting scents. Yog Nog has to be hands down one of the nicest scents I have smelt this year; it's so rich and creamy and for me smells like butterscotch. Originally I purchased one piece of this and cut it in half to split with my friend however I have already been back and picked up another piece as it smells so darn good. If there's one thing you look at from the Lush Christmas collection let it be this. In contrast to this Baked Alaska is incredibly invigorating and uplifting whereby the citrus scents will be sure to awaken you from your slumber in the morning. In the image above my block of Baked Alaska is still in its wrapping so it does appear a lot darker than it really is as it is extremely bright and is quite simply awesome to look at. As with Yog Nog I'm also considering picking up one more piece of this before Christmas is over.

Onto Bubble Bars (my favourite) I picked up Candy Mountain which made me think of something from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is a similar concept to the penguin from last year which I really liked. I also then decided to go with Holly Go Lightly and the Sparkly Pumpkin because after putting off trying a glitter product from Lush for so long I finally decided it was time to give them a go. Having so far only used the Sparkly Pumpkin I can say that I was super impressed and was not left resembling something from a Stephenie Meyer novel when I stepped out of the bath.

The concept of FUN had always intrigued me yet I had never picked one up as I'd previously had the impression that it was aimed at children, I honestly wasn't going to sit in my bath making little models of anything so didn't think it would be for me. Having said that after smelling the limited edition gold FUN I completely disregarded my previous thoughts and popped it into my basket. Scented like Honey I Washed the Kids this smells truly incredible and made for a beautiful body wash once it was warmed up in my hands; it is without a doubt my favourite Lush product that I have tried all year round.

To finish off my Lush haul I picked up Stepping Stone which is a scrub to help soften your feet and make them super-duper soft. To me this product smells utterly amazing and is even now making my bathroom smell so good yet sadly I found that it didn't live up to my expectations. In all honesty I think I just found this difficult to use as it breaks up and isn't one solid piece to work with once it is combined with water.

Have you treated yourselves to anything from LUSH recently?


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7 November 2014

Autumn with Liz Earle

Liz Earle Skincare Liz Earle Skincare

Now here's a brand that's close to my heart.


Just this week it seems as though the weather has taken a strong sharp turn where the cold blast really is being felt, therefore I like nothing more than coming home and running a nice hot bath where I can then take off my make up and dig out my pyjamas. Of course settling down for the evening makes me think of one brand and one brand only; Liz Earle.

Being interested in skincare and make up means that I come across a variety of different brands on a weekly basis, therefore for a brand to firmly stick in my mind and to be one that I always return back to says something loud and clear. Liz Earle was one of the first brands that I discovered through blogging and has been one that I have continued to use ever since.

Over two years ago now I made my first purchase from Liz Earle which was the infamous Cleanse and Polish that I had read so many reviews on. Since that day I have repurchased it for myself, popped one in a give away and have even managed to get my mum on the bandwagon; it's safe to say I'm a huge fan of the brand. Ever since my first delve into the botanical brand I have tried a few more things which have only confirmed to me that this will be a skin care brand that I continue to purchase from. Where in fact just yesterday I decided to repurchase the Skin Boost Tonic which I love, along with a couple of other things for Christmas, one which may or may not be for one of you guys reading this right now; stay tuned.

The Cleanse and Polish is a long term product now within my skin care routine, as I mentioned it is one that I always go back to and it's the one that I find myself comparing a lot of things to as my bench mark product. Along with this I have also being trying the Skin Repair Moisturiser* for normal/combination skin which is where my skin type would fit as I have areas of dehydration along with oily areas too. Whilst I haven't being using this that long I have to say so far so good as I'm finding it to work very well for me thus far. I'll be returning back to this at a later date in order to share with you my overall thoughts.

Of course Liz Earle do not just deal with skin care as there is a beautiful selection of make up ranging from bases to blushers to eye shadows and nail polishes. The Healthy Glow Cream Blush* in the shade Nectar is a beautiful coral pink which is a dream to work with and glides onto the skin and blends perfectly. There are currently six shades within the range of which I have to say I'm quite keen on the sound of the palest option in which Camellia is described as a 'barely there' blush. Onto eyes the Signature Eye Colour* in Bronze has hints of gold within it which looks really nice against blue eyes. The pigmentation is very good and I find that they blend really well too, in fact I think if Liz Earle were to offer a little eye palette I would be very tempted.

Liz Earle recently launched a few new products within their bath and body range of which the Tiare and Jasmine range appeals to me most. Their original range however features the Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash* which to me smells incredibly relaxing, almost medicinal in a way which I find makes it perfect to use of an evening time just before bed.

After referring a friend a while back (my mum) I was sent a little treat as part of the Liz Earle refer a friend scheme which consisted of a number of mini hands and feet products. The Hand Repair Cream has already become a friend in my hand bag and is incredibly handy (excuse the pun) in the cold weather as my hands can become really dry; this is really helping to keep them in a much better condition.

Overall a little bit of an ode to Liz Earle here but one that is most truly justified. It's rare to come across a brand that ticks all of the boxes so it makes me pretty happy when I do.


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5 November 2014

JorgObé Skin Care

JORGOBÉ SKIN CARE JORGOBÉ SKIN CARE
JorgObé Black Peek Off Mask
JorgObé Skin Care  is a completely new brand to me and one that had me intrigued as soon as I saw the fact that they boasted a peel off black mask. Needless to say I was sold on the idea and a brand as a whole. The Danish brand has only just launched in the UK where their goal has been to create natural and effective products without unnecessary chemical additives. 

The JorgObé Skin Care range consists of three products at the moment of which their first the JorgObé Peel Off Mask became a best seller across Nordic countries. Due to this success their range has expanded to a further two products of which I'm very lucky to say that I was given the opportunity to try all three out. All of the products are developed and produced in Denmark and are free from parabens, paraffin, mineral oils, silicones and colours. A quick mention here has to go to the packaging which is one of the best styles I have seen in a long time, you know me I like simple straight to the point design which I think JorgObé achieves extremely well.

Firstly onto the first product that caught my eye instantly, the JorgObé Peel Off Mask*. This product aims to cleanse the pores and reduce the skin's production of excess oils which in turn helps to prevent blackheads. Now peel off masks were something I used to love when I was younger so it was pretty fun to try another, of course being black in colour this was something completely different and made the experience even more unique. A wide range of ingredients are within this product such as black kaolin clay and witch hazel which help to absorb excess sebum and to cleanse clogged pores, whereas echinacea helps to prevent bacteria and infections.

The peel off mask is used by applying a thick layer onto cleansed skin and leaving for 25-30 minutes. I must stress to you that you should avoid any delicate areas, particularly around the eye area as after all this is something you will be peeling off. Generally speaking I literally only applied this to my t-zone area and pretty much followed the image on the JorgObé website. After the allotted time had passed I simply peeled it off and then rinsed my face afterwards. Once I had done this I definitely noticed that my skin looked clearer and brighter where after a few days I did notice a few impurities coming to the surface which is part of the cleansing process. Using this mask once or even twice a week has helped to keep my skin looking a lot clearer since I started using it. A tip I found was to use a make up brush in order to apply it as I found I had more control in order to ensure the mask didn't end up in areas I didn't want it to and don't worry it washed out of the brush just fine.

Onto the JorgObé Scrub Mask* I found this to be a nice addition to the range whereby I have being using this just once a week.  This is white in colour and consists of tiny black jojoba beads which help to remove dead skin cells. Whilst the beads are not as soft as I would have hoped they are most certainly not as harsh as products I have tried in the past therefore I was quite happy to carry on using this. Generally speaking I don't manually exfoliate that much these days as I tend to use acid toners instead. Having said that if I was to eradicate it completely I wouldn't feel quite right therefore it's nice to have a product I can turn to. I've used this just as a facial scrub and a mask depending on how much time I have and can say that it works really well and leaves my skin feeling once again clean, soft and not irritated in the slightest.

Last of all I finish off with the JorgObé White Tea Balancing Cream* which I have being using in the morning time after I have washed my face although you can use it overnight if you wish. Having combination to oily skin myself I'm always wary of moisturisers as I worry they may be too heavy however this was perfect for my skin. It was light enough not to feel too weighed down upon my skin yet provided plenty of moisture and kept my skin hydrated throughout the day. It has been formulated to target all skin types where if you have oily skin it helps to regulate the production of excess sebum, where in comparison if you have dry skin it helps to provide extra moisture. 

Overall my first experience with JorgObé has been really positive; my only real comment would be to ensure that when using the black peel off mask that you keep it away from delicate areas such as the skin around your eyes. 

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