30 September 2015

Creating A More Relaxing Space

Creating A More Relaxing Space

Tranquillity for me has been something I have strived to achieve within my bedroom for a very long time. It is, after all the room where I spend most of my time, therefore I really wanted to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere. I have been very much inspired by beauty bloggers throughout my decorating process, there is no denying this. Over the last year or more I have come to adore the crisp white surroundings and well thought out ornamental pieces. 

Whilst I am not ready to feel like I am walking into Alaska just yet I do find that white d├ęcor adds a really refreshing vibe to a room; it is a stark contrast to the harsh red and gold walls that I have being waking up to for the last five months. Currently there is still plenty of work for me to be doing as I am in the process of finishing painting the walls as well as picking out new curtains, however having reached the point of having purchased some new furniture I already feel so much calmer; not least because I finally have a wardrobe to put my clothes in.

In attempting to create a more relaxing space I have quite clearly aimed for a white bedroom whereby the general theme for my room will ultimately be white and grey along with slight elements of colour here and there. I have already purchased some prints which I hope to pop up on the walls soon in order to soften the room slightly. Alongside trinkets and my jewellery box I think things are starting to already look pretty and feminine yet still minimalistic, this for me is fundamental as I am a person that is easily stressed out by clutter.

Naturally the added element of copper has not escaped my notice, it sure is popular at the moment and I can understand why. Visually it is very beautiful and it also goes perfectly well with my white theme that I am slowly creating. The Copperfield Desk Lamp* will actually be going on my bedside table as it will be ideal for when I am reading at night time. Despite being a huge bookworm I have admittedly over the last three years struggled to read more than five books a year. To physically write that down upsets me in more ways than one as I truly believe reading opens up new means of escape, plus, I really enjoy settling down and sinking into a good book.
Creating A More Relaxing Space

My room not only acts as a place to sleep but also a place to blog. My desktop PC is set up at my desk where for the longest time I had being using a straight forward dining room chair to sit on, which I have to say wasn't very comfortable at all; in fact it was anything but relaxing. Homebase however came to my rescue and now what with the introduction of the Hygena Charlie Chair* I find myself blogging in comfort at my desk.

There is still a long way to go as decorating isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially when you're doing it on your own however so far I am pretty happy with the way things are turning out. It is funny how much a room can get you down when it isn't to your taste, it had become a room which I didn't like to be in and I had found myself irritated by the fact that I couldn't, for a long time do much about it.

Ultimately creating a more relaxing space all comes down to personal taste. Over the next few months I am looking forward to making the most out of my bedroom in terms of decoration. I am also hoping that now the room is much brighter that I will hopefully have a little more success with my photographs for blogging purposes as the light will be reflected more around the room instead of being absorbed by the darker walls.

How do you make your surroundings more relaxing?

28 September 2015

Testing Testing | Hair Care #1

Hair Care products to try

When it comes to looking after my hair I must admit that I can be more than a bit lazy. I am most certainly a wash and go kind of girl who simply lets her hair dry naturally, whereby the only form of styling comes in the form of hair straighteners to iron out the kinks before work of a morning.

Over the last few months however I have being trying to look after my hair a bit better. The reason for this change in attitude is because I now find my hair to the longest length it has been for a very long time. Whilst I actually do quite like having long hair again I have noticed that it is more prone to looking a little worse for wear, in fact, the general maintenance required has increased quite considerably.

Nevertheless the new found interest of hair care has seen me pick up a couple of new products to try out; therefore I thought it would be nice to share my experience with them so far. Firstly the Ogx Kukui Oil Shampoo caught my eye as I had being wanting to try Ogx for a rather long time. After much deliberation in Boots I finally opted for the hydrating option as my hair in my opinion was looking quite dry, particularly at the ends. The scent of this shampoo is lovely and it really does make my hair feel super soft and more importantly I have noticed that my hair doesn't look as dry or feel as dry as it had being.

My second purchase was the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm which had been a product I had read about numerous times from Fleur de Force. I had being wanting to pick this up for a while but the price had put me off as generally I am not one to spend much on hair care. This is a hard balm which when warmed up within the palm of your hand it turns into oil, you then of course apply this to dry hair and leave it for twenty minutes and then wash your hair as normal. At the moment I am on the fence with this because when I first used it I found that the product was still left within my hair despite shampooing and rinsing it out, therefore I then had to rewash it. I will definitely be trying this again next weekend in order to see how I get on with it the second time around.

The Unite Texturiza Dry Finishing Spray* for me is more of a luxury product rather than one I need within my hair care routine. Having said that it is a great product which delivers volume and texture to my hair, in fact, it helps me considerably on days when I am running late and when I don't have time to even straighten my hair as it gives my natural waves more definition and hold.

Are you trying out any new hair care products at the moment?

20 September 2015

My Mac Eye Shadow Palette

MAC Pro Palette
Since I started blogging there has been one brand in particular which has left me feeling really excited, yet somewhat overwhelmed all within the same breath. That brand is of course MAC. From the abundance of eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks and limited edition collections I have always found myself wanting to play catch up, there's so much to discover that I just never knew where to start. Fast forward on three years later I still haven't tried that much from MAC; it is still uncharted territory for me and is forever a battle to actually see the products for myself at the counter. It has only been in the last three months where I have spread my wings as it were and tried something other than a MAC lipstick, that rite of passage we all have come to know and love.

For a little while now I had wanted to start my own MAC eye shadow palette up, yet due to sheer array of shades available I did find it pretty overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless after numerous trips to my local MAC counter and with recommendations from some of my favourite ladies (Vanessa, Sarah and Aimee) I finally managed to pick up a few shades to kick start my very own palette off. 

MAC Pro Palette

Initially I was going to only build up a simple quad of eye shadows; however I knew that I would end up feeling a little restricted. I know deep down that I do like to experiment with colour now and then, I like the option of variety therefore I wanted to take advantage of having a bit more room within my palette. The Pro Palette which holds fifteen eye shadows seemed like the obvious choice because whilst it is bigger I do believe that I will end up filling this up one day and being really happy with the shades that I have chosen.

Currently I have five eye shadows within my palette which I am really happy with. The first shade I chose was Texture which is described by MAC as a 'peachy brown with shimmer'. Now I have to say that in the pan I would agree because it does have shimmer within it, yet once applied I honestly don't think that it is all too visible at all which is why I tend to use it as a shade within my crease to help create depth. Paired up with Amber Lights which is my second eye shadow, I think these work absolutely beautiful together. Personally I think Amber Lights would look amazing on anybody, however if you have blue eyes and you haven't yet had a chance to check this out then I would highly recommend doing so.

My second two shade choices are probably my most used out of the five because I naturally gravitate towards cooler neutrals as opposed to warmer ones. Quarry is a soft muted plum brown which has a matte finish which makes it a perfect transitional shade on the eye. Initially this shade was not one that was recommended to me; however I knew that I wanted to pick up Satin Taupe which is a taupe shade with elements of silver present. With this in mind I enquired with the assistant at the time as to what she thought would be a nice complementary shade to wear with it. After applying both shades together for me and creating a beautiful soft smoky eye I was sold.

From the amount of MAC eye shadow posts I have read in my time it is hard to come by any that do not feature the shade Cranberry. It is a beautiful red based plum shade which also provides a pink shimmer, yet do not let that last bit put you off. I wasn't too sure how I would get on with cranberry yet Sarah did somewhat ensure me that it would look great and do you know what, she was right. It is a stunning shade that offers something very different to my usual eye shadow choices. This brings me right back to my original reasons of wanting to start up my own MAC eye shadow palette as in doing so it has allowed me to explore what is truly on offer from MAC.

At the moment I am currently contemplating purchasing Sumptuous Olive and Vanilla however if you do have any other recommendations then I would love to hear them.

16 September 2015

Make Up on the Go

Make up on the go

These days my mornings start very early, so much so that even after pressing the snooze button for the third time I am still left feeling a little disgruntled that morning has arrived so soon. One day I will get the hang of 'going to bed at a reasonable time because I know I am up at 6am' yet for now, whilst I am writing this post at just gone 10 I think we can all safely assume that I haven't quite got the hang of that just yet.

In order to save myself those precious minutes in bed I have being looking at ways I can save a bit of time in the morning. At the moment I tend to spend a good fifteen minutes or so preparing my skin and applying my make up. Now I know that isn't a particularly long period of time, however every minute is golden when you have to be out the house by 7. Whilst I have never been one for applying make up on the go (I have never really had to) I have found myself becoming much more open to the idea since starting work full time. I also spot so many women doing their make up on the train and have definitely come to appreciate that there is an art to it; I mean trains are not too steady, trust me.

Recently Debenhams have put together a great feature in which Emily shares some handy tips for make up on the go when we are running a little bit short of time in the morning. Debenhams also kindly provided to me the products featured in the video today in order for me to try them out myself, so let's see how I got on.

Firstly MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation* was a product that I had heard of before but had never tried for myself. Being a powder based product I was very sceptical as I had up until this point only ever used liquid foundations. Consisting of very finely milled powder I have found this to be incredibly light on my skin and very easy to apply. At first I was worried that this would not provide enough coverage for me, especially because whilst being out at work all day I do like to know that I have relatively good coverage. Nevertheless I have found this to be easy to build up without it looking cakey and because it is powder based it means I can skip on applying a setting powder.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush on Glow BB Highlighter* for me has to be the stand out product of all of those featured here today. This is something which I would never have considered before, in fact, I wasn't even aware that it existed. I have the shade extra light which I think is a really good match for my skin tone as whilst it would be too light for a foundation it works perfectly for brightening up under the eye area and for highlighting my cheek bones. The coverage of this product has also impressed me quite a lot. Whilst I am aware that the Double Wear range from Estee Lauder has always being highly recommended, I must say that if this product is anything to go by then I will certainly be checking out the range properly next time I am out shopping. It isn't very often that I will aim to achieve full coverage however every now and then it is nice to have something which looks a little more flawless.

Make up on the go

For eyes I have found myself opting for less eye shadow these days, mainly because I have being running out of time therefore a bit of liner and mascara has been pretty much my standard when it comes to eye make up. I noticed that Emily also skipped out eye shadow too so this made me wonder just how many of us skip that of a morning when we are in a rush. Benefit Roller Lash* is a great mascara for the day time because I think the finish that it provides is really natural. I know from experience that it adds volume, length and a lovely curl however I do not think it is over the top at all which is why I think it is a great mascara for day time use. In conjunction with the mascara I am also using the Bare Minerals Lasting Long Wearing Eye Liner* in black which helps to define my eyes when I have skipped out on eye shadow. I actually really like this and have found myself surprised to read a few negative reviews about it because so far I think it is one of the longest wearing liners I have tried, it also applies very easily and does not drag on my eye lids at all. 

Finally for lips and cheeks we have somewhat of a multi-purpose product in the form of the Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush* in the shade pink hedoniste. This is a lovely product for the cheeks and is once again easy to apply with the applicator meaning you don't have to take a make up brush with you, it is also very easy to blend with your fingertips. Having tried this on both the lips and cheeks I do think that it works much better as a cheek product although you could get away with this for both if you wanted as little to carry as possible. If however like me you do prefer a separate lip product then I highly recommend the Too Faced Melted Lipstick* which are long wearing and very comfortable on the lips. The shade I have here is nude which I initially sounds great, I love a nude lip however it isn't the typical nude that I have come to expect as despite it visually swatching quite nice I do find that upon application that it can be rather unflattering as the brown can appear quite muddy, especially against my fair skin tone. Whilst the formula of these is fantastic I personally would check out some of the more pink toned options as they do look much nicer, in fact I have my eye on berry as that looks like a gorgeous colour, especially as we are fast approaching autumn.

Debenhams kindly provided to me all of the products featured within this post today to coincide with the launch of their make up and go video. All views and opinions are of course all my own. 

What are you go to make up products for on the go? Be sure to check out the Debenahams Make Up on the Go video and let them know what you think.

13 September 2015

Sunday Evening Cleanse | Clay Masks

Clay Masks

When it comes to Sunday evenings I have found that I have fallen into somewhat of a ritual of preparing for the week ahead. I fill out my diary for any upcoming appointments, make one too many lists of the things I will at least try and complete and of course treat myself to a pamper before work rolls around Monday morning.

It is a given that each Sunday I will use a clay mask of some description. Once I have cleansed I will then pop on my choice of mask, sit back and either read or take part in the beauty blogger chat at 8pm; yes I am most likely tweeting away with my face mask on looking rather scary! Since I have being writing about beauty on here I have in that time tried my fair share of clay masks, some more expensive than others. From my skincare stash I have picked out five of the clay masks that I currently have on rotation in order to share with you my thoughts on them.

This was a mask which for the longest time had been one that I had wanted to try. It has an incredibly smooth texture and dries quickly once applied and does, in my opinion a rather good job at cleansing the skin and leaving pores appearing smaller. After around ten minutes give or take I simply use a hot flannel to remove this whereby my skin is left looking clearer and feeling really smooth. Had I not tried other masks before this then I think I would have been shouting about this from the roof tops about it, however I have certainly tried masks which have provided me with just as good results for less than half the price. What I will say on this mask in particular is that it is very comfortable to use. As you are probably aware some clay masks can be very tight on the skin whereas this one feels nice and light; I do think there is a lot to be said for this as nobody wants their skin to be feeling tight. 

Back in February I was provided with a selection of products from the Herbalife Skin range which was a brand that until then I had never heard of. Out of those products sent to me there was one in particular which stood out to me more than the others, that being the Skin Purifying Mint Clay Mask. First and foremost this is a mint green mask upon application which made it more unique in comparison to so many others that I have tried in the past. It does have quite a strong rosemary scent to it which I think is almost on the verge of being a little too strong for my personal taste. Having said that I do my very best to look past this factor because the actual product itself is actually pretty good, hence me featuring it today. Unlike the previous mask I find the texture of this one to be much thicker however I do find that it dries just as quickly. Again, as I do with all of my clay masks I simply use a hot flannel to remove it where afterwards my skin feels nice and clean and ready for the next step in my routine.

Amie skincare is for me a lovely little gem on the high street and deserves a little more recognition than it gets. This white clay mask is lightly scented with peppermint which provides a lovely cooling sensation to the skin; in fact this is a really nice clay mask for use during the summer, particularly on those humid evenings. Free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil and animal extracts this is a clay mask that I would happily purchase for myself in the future. 

Aesop Skincare for me ticks all the boxes when it comes down to presentation. From the ascetically appealing design to the beautifully presented packaging in brown glass jars I think we can all certainly agree that this is a luxury skincare brand that we would all like to try a piece of. One of their most discussed skincare products within the beauty blogging community has to be the Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Mask which boasts purified clay to draw out impurities as well as Rosehip and Parsley Seed extracts to provide anti-oxidants to brighten up the skin. Whilst there is no denying that this mask is a little on the pricey side I must admit that I have found myself struggling to find anything else to fault with it. At the moment I save this for days when I want to go all out because of the price, it is simply not a product that I wish to use all of the time as I am not quite ready to repurchase it any time soon. However despite the price it really is a lovely mask to use as it is gentle on my skin, it is purifying yet not drying, in fact it is quite the opposite as out of all the masks featured here today I would definitely say that this is the most hydrating out of all of them. 

It wasn't too long ago when I first featured this mask whereby it only felt right that I should feature this within today's post too. Out of all five masks today this is the most affordable by far as coming in at under £2 I really do think that this is a complete bargain. Whilst this product is not free from parabens I do think that if this is something that you are not overly concerned about then it may be worth checking out. 

In all honesty in my experience so far I do believe that most clay masks tend to give me the same results. It does not matter if they have cost me £1 or £25 as I on a whole have tended to have very similar experiences which have often left me questioning whether it is worth spending more on this particular skincare item. Nevertheless I am a beauty blogger after all; therefore curiosity will always get the better of me when it comes to skincare. I am quite certain I will be back with more clay masks in the future to mention, although for now I have five very good ones to carry on using.

What are your favourite clay masks?


2 September 2015

Outfit of the day | Radley Millbank

Petit Bateau Breton Top Radley Millbank Flap Over Grab Bag Radley Millbank Flap Over Grab Bag Radley Millbank Flap Over Grab Bag

So what I have basically featured here today for this little outfit post is quite simply what I wore to work; true story. Just over a month ago I bagged myself a new job where I now have to at least try and look relatively smart, although seriously, my hair needs a dramatic make over as it is leaning more towards dragged through a hedge backwards as opposed to looking like I'm put together and know what I am doing; I feel more like Ugly Betty rather than Blair Waldorf.

Be as that may I have had to embrace a whole different wardrobe in recent weeks which has been somewhat challenging, because between you and me I am pretty much a hoodie and converse kind of gal through and through. Nevertheless the recent addition of the Radley Millbank Flap Over Grab Bag* has made me feel a little bit more grown up, it is incredibly beautiful yet is simple and sophisticated; it is a classic design which I think will go with so many outfits at a variety of different occasions. Radley bags historically for me have had an older target audience, however I have being looking at their bags for a little while now where I must say that quite a few of them have tickled my fancy. They also have some gorgeous new designs for autumn such as the Grosvenor which I know will look amazing paired up with tights, a loose knit and boots and of course the obligatory tartan scarf.

Speaking of autumn I am well aware that most people will be hanging onto the last thread of summer but I know deep down that I just cannot wait for autumn fashion. The Petit Bateau Sailor Striped Top* fits the bill for me as it is cosy enough for the cooler weather yet still has a flattering cut. This has been my first experience of the brand whereby I am pretty confident that it won't be the last. The quality of this top truly is lovely, it has certainly made me think about paying a little bit more for my basics as I have no doubt that this will last me quite a long time.

To round this outfit off I paired everything up with a simple skater skirt from New Look and my patent flats from Clarks. Naturally a little bit of added radiance from Charlotte Tilbury was needed as well as a good old fashioned nude lip from Clarins.
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