29 February 2016

February Beauty Favourites

February Beauty Favourites

February has come and gone and once again I am sitting down to write this post last minute on a Sunday evening. Some things never change. With it being a Monday I will keep this post short and sweet, therefore without further ado I will jump straight into my monthly beauty favourites. 

The first product is an oldie and is one which I for the longest time refrained from picking up. The Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers have had their fair share of hype and I can honestly say they are worth every single penny. These are typically an everyday beauty staple of mine and I always notice a difference in my lashes when I use them. They add a beautiful curl to my lashes which stays in place throughout the entire day, I honestly cannot fault them and I truly would recommend them to anybody.

As a huge fan of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar's I found myself looking for a more affordable alternative and I have most certainly found that in the Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick. The shade I have is Rosy Brown which I think is pretty similar to Misty Rock by the ever loved By Terry, if but a fraction of the price. For just under £7 these are a fantastic alternative as they are so easy to blend, they're super creamy and stay put throughout the day. Of course eventually they do crease, much like every other eyeshadow out there, yet these will last me throughout my working day which is all I really want. 

It isn't often that I sing the praises of a high street foundation these days, the only reason for this being is that I haven't got any left baring the one above. The L'Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation rivals most, if not all of my high end foundations as it is a great match for my skin tone, it looks beautiful on and has fantastic coverage. Every morning I opt for this foundation as I know that it will see me throughout my day and will also not come off so easily. I do wear glasses and have known to really struggle with my foundation caking up along the bridge of my frames in the past, even when using a setting powder. If you have combination to oily skin and are looking for a new foundation then it is well worth taking a look at this next time you visit Boots or Superdrug. I like it, I like it a lot.

The Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment has been my favourite eye cream for the past two years and to this day it continues to remain so. Just this week I have come to the end of my third pot, therefore I will have to make a trip back to the store sometime very soon. It is a lovely eye cream which I find perfect for hydrating my under eye area, it also works really well under make up too which is a bonus.

My final beauty favourite comes as no surprise as it wasn't too long ago when I wrote about my love for the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade. This is a gorgeous highlight which is quite cool in tone, making it different to the typical champagne shades that I normally choose. Generally speaking I use this on the tops of my cheek bones and softly along my brow bone as I think it makes such a difference to my overall make up look, in fact it is very rare that I do not reach for this at the moment, making it one of my most used products in 2016.
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23 February 2016

Omorovicza Skincare

Omorovicza Skincare
If I had to scale it down to five skincare brands that I wanted to try out, then it would have most certainly include Omorovicza. The Hungarian brand is one which has slowly crept into the beauty blogging world and has remained in my mind since I first set eyes on the black cleansing balm, yes I said black. 

A little while back I was kindly sent out to road test the Omorovicza Introductory Set* which contained a lovely little selection of some of the most popular products from the Omorovicza  range. Initially my first impression before I tried any of the products out was good as I felt as though the sizes within this set were of a decent size; there is most certainly in my opinion enough of each product to get a feel as to how these will work for you over a longer period of time.

There is a lovely little skincare routine to be found within this set as you are provided with a cleanser, clay mask, toner/mist and moisturiser making it a perfect introduction to the brand.

The Omorovicza Illuminating Moisturiser* hydrates the skin and minimises the appearance of find lines and imperfections. Having now used this for the last few weeks I have arrived at two conclusions. The first being that it is for me most certainly a beautiful, light weight moisturiser which will be perfect for my skin come the summer when the weather is warmer and my skin is naturally more oily. The second thing is that although this is an absolutely beautiful product, it does lean towards a price bracket which I would struggle to come to terms with when paying for a moisturiser. In all honesty I would much rather pay more money for a serum and then use a more budget friendly moisturiser on top. Nevertheless, there is no denying that Omorovicza have created a gorgeous product here.

The Omorovicza Queen of Hunagry Mist* was the first of two products within this kit which I will hold my hands up to being more than a bit sceptical of. The reason for this on this occasion as this product in particular has received its fair bit of attention from beauty bloggers. I think now would be a very good time to point out that I rarely get along with facial mists, a certain beauty elixir has to be one of the most useless products that I have ever tried, therefore this product was always going to struggle to wow me. It is not that this is a bad product, in fact the sensation of this on your skin is really quite lovely and incredibly refreshing, however to me that's all it really does and not much else.

Omorovicza Skincare

The Omorovicza Cleansing Foam* was second of the two products within the kit which I was curious about, because like any other product which has the word foam within the name it immediately makes me feel a little bit concerned as foaming products are generally notorious for drying out your skin. In all fairness to this product I have not experienced any dry feeling upon using this, in fact I find it to be incredibly refreshing and delicate on my skin which is why I have found a use for this of a morning time. In contrast to this, of an evening I opt for something which is more heavy duty, although perhaps heavy is the wrong word to use here as the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm* is anything but.

This gentle black cleansing balm works beautifully as a second cleanse. Due to its price tag and of course with it being more of a luxury product, I do prefer to use something more affordable to remove the bulk of my make up as I really want my skin to benefit from using this through a gentle massage as I work the product into my skin. This cleansing balm is packed full of minerals which help to purify the skin which is something I am always looking for within my skincare products.

The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is perhaps my favourite out of all the products featured today; I just love a good mask. Unlike most clay based masks this does not dry my skin out, nor does it make it feel tight and stripped which is incredibly important, particularly if you have oily skin as you will just exacerbate the problem. This dries relatively quickly, where after ten minutes you can simply wash it off whereby it leaves your skin feeling remarkably soft and much clearer too.

Overall, my first experience with Omorovicza has actually been a pretty positive one indeed. The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask and the Cleansing Balm are most certainly stand out products for me. In the future if money were indeed no object then I can safely say that these would be purchases to come, they really are delightful products which have worked really well on my skin.

Omorovicza can be purchased from Beauty Expert where you will find the products featured above and indeed the whole Omorovicza range.
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18 February 2016

January Beauty Favourites

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Seeing as we are now in the middle of February I feel slightly uncomfortable that I am only now getting around to publishing my beauty favourites from January. Next month I promise to be more organised in that respect, therefore before I feel even more awkward about just how late this post is I will get straight down to business. 

Last month was generally a quiet one for me in terms of beauty, which is relatively unheard of here, however there was one new product which I picked up which made it straight into my beauty favourites for the month (and no doubt every month continuing on from here). 

The NIOD Photography Fluid was a product which I first saw being raved about by Stacey, quickly followed by Adrienne, which only led to me placing an order on Look Fantastic within a few days of reading their reviews. This product is certainly one to look into if you like to achieve a nice healthy glow to your base, alongside an almost flawless finish without of course looking Edward Cullen-esque. The product boasts light refraction prisms which transforms skin to look better both in person and on camera. Whilst I haven't really tested this out in practice when it comes to the camera, I can most certainly vouch for the smooth appearance that this product creates. To use this I simply apply a small amount to my face after I have moisturised, in doing so I have found that it also works as a fantastic primer too which is an additional bonus. The only downside to this product is the packaging which simply does not work as the product is just too thick for a pippet style dispenser to be warranted. In hindsight a tube would have worked much better for this, however I am sure that this could be addressed by the brand in the future. 

 My second favourite product is a MAC lipstick in the shade Amorous. This is a shade that I rarely see mentioned within the beauty community, yet it is a shade which I have worn throughout January on a regular basis. Amorous is a satin finish which means that they are high in pigmentation and are long wearing, they're just simply not as drying as the matte formula which makes them a lovely alternative for those that suffer with dry lips like me. MAC Amorous is to me a deep plum shade, in fact I would argue that it is a deeper version of Plumful which is one of my all-time favourite lipstick shades. 

The final product that I have chosen for this monthly round up is actually one that I have being using since autumn last year. The First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy was a purchase made on a whim after I read about how much Fleur liked it. As an early riser I often find myself with dark circles, especially when sitting writing a blog post at 11:30pm on a Wednesday night. This product really does help me each morning to mask the dark circles under my eyes. It is of course no miracle worker, however I really do notice a significant improvement when I use this. The cream itself is tinted with a salmon toned pink pigment which counteracts the blue tones from the dark circles. Whilst I would not replace my normal eye cream for this as I personally do not find it hydrating enough. I do ensure that I use this on top of that in order to help minimise the appearance of my dark circles because it really does work beautifully. 

What are your current beauty favourites?


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16 February 2016

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - The Perfect Pair

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

For the longest time I went without buying any makeup from MAC. Perhaps it was because so many people loved the brand that I sometimes found myself a little bit hesitant, although upon reflection I think it was purely down to the fact that the makeup range is so incredibly vast that I often found it somewhat overwhelming.

To this day I still head up to a MAC counter with trepidation, I mean trying to get past the hoard of people trying on the lipsticks at the stand is bad enough. That raises far too many hygiene issues for me, especially with it being a make up counter and then of course, you have the mammoth task of finding somebody who is actually free to assist you. 

Whilst I may not be initially painting the experience of shopping at MAC to be one to write home about, I can, however happily profess my love for the two products I am featuring today; both of which were purchased from the counter and not the online website.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Mineralise Skinfinish products were most certainly one of the first things I read about from MAC alongside their infamous lipstick range. The cult classic of Soft and Gentle was something which I really wanted to pick up due to so many positive reviews, whereby it wasn't until late last year where I finally took the plunge. Fast forward on a few more months and I have added one more to my collection, that being Lightscapade. 

Lightscapade is a beautiful soft beige with a multidimensional finish. This adds radiance to the areas in which you apply it without you looking like a disco ball in broad daylight. When I originally purchased Soft and Gentle I did not even look at this option as I had been so focused on the previous, however having now used this I can safely say that they are so incredibly different and achieve beautiful results whether used alone or together. Each morning I like to use Lightscapade to add a soft highlight to the top of my cheek bones, I also like to use it lightly under my brow bone in order to add a little bit more definition. 
 MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

Soft and Gentle is a warmer in comparison which is why I use it differently to Lightscapade. The peach tones to this product help to warm up my skin tone, providing a really healthy glow which looks natural and elegant. At the moment I currently use this as a blush as I really like the finish of it and the colour on my cheeks, particularly during this drab weather we have at the moment. MAC Mineralise Skinfinish powders can be used in a number of ways, however I will most likely stick to using this as a blush for the moment, perhaps branching out a little bit as we head into spring and summer by using it more as a light bronzer. 

Upon reflecting on both of these purchases I have to say that they have both been two of my favourite make up purchases in a long time. Whilst perhaps they may initially seem a bit expensive at £24, I do truly believe that they are worth the investment as they will last you a really long time and can be used over and over again to create a really healthy glow to your complexion. If there is anything from MAC that I would recommend to you then it would be these two products. It is not often that I praise a beauty product so highly as I find myself becoming hard to please these days, however I have not been able to find a single fault with either; they truly are beautiful. 

Have you tried any of these products from MAC?
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14 February 2016

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Valentine's Day can be a funny time of year. Judging from social media over the last few days I have come to the conclusion that it seems to have quite the marmite effect with most people, you either love it or you hate it, or you quite simply couldn't care less. Personally I like it a lot, I think it is really nice to celebrate with your partner no matter what stage of the relationship you are in. Don't get me wrong, I think it is extremely important to express your feelings and love throughout the whole year and obviously it should not be left to just one day; I would like to think that goes without saying.

It is true that it has without a doubt been even more commercialised as the years have gone by, however one does not have to fall into the trap of spending a small fortune on gifts. Valentine's Day is essentially all about love and as J-Lo once told us, love does not cost a thing.

Today's post was short and sweet, a bit like the day itself really.

The above image is my own coloured version of the design found within the Johanna Basford Secret Garden Colouring Book. If you haven't heard of these books before and enjoy art and also relaxing then I would highly recommend checking them out. 

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11 February 2016

Bloggers Block and Why It Is Not Always So Easy To Overcome

Bloggers Block

Bloggers block is something which I currently find myself battling with more and more often. It is an odd experience for me to deal with because in the past I have always had something to write about on here. Lately however, I have become extremely critical of what I publish online, I over analyse everything and I will openly hold my hands up to comparing myself against others. 

Having being reading a vast amount of blogs now for what will be four years come March, I have in that time seen a variety of different posts on how to deal with this type of issue, many of which have been super helpful. However, how do you deal with bloggers block when it just keeps on happening? Is the solution to really take a break? When this feeling keeps on rearing its ugly head it can make you panic somewhat. So many thoughts have run through my mind recently, maybe I will never get my blog mojo back, maybe, just maybe this isn't for me anymore.

I would be lying if I was to say that this thought had not popped into my head, although, as I have said on here a number of times before, I really do adore blogging and therefore find it somewhat inconceivable that I would ever stop; at least not any time soon anyway. 

There are a great deal of websites and articles online which are out there to inspire us and to get our creative minds on the go. Although for me (at least currently), no matter how many ideas I initially seem to have, I can never quite get them down onto paper or laid out before the camera lens. The harsh reality for me is that I rarely feel confident about the content that I produce. This has over time led to me feeling a little bit inadequate, which even by saying that makes me feel a little bit ridiculous. However when you enjoy something and care about it in equal measure then it can be quite demoralizing at times to think you are not good enough. We have probably all been there at some point. 

When I have been stuck for ideas I have found myself trawling the web for ideas, sometimes it is useful, sometimes it often can just make me feel worse and even more critical. One would think that with age comes the wisdom to simply do your own thing and to not worry what others think. I thought I was once there, but a few knock backs can often put you on the back foot. As a beauty blogger on a whole I generally worry my blog is a bit stagnant which is why I am trying to remove myself from dedicated reviews, although if I love that one particular lipstick then you betcha there will be one dedicated entirely to that. 

Upon writing this post I thought I knew where I would want to take it, however as I have made my way through it I realise that I have lost my way a little bit. It has ended up a bit of a jumbled mess, which I guess may resemble my mind set on blogging at the moment. 

How do you overcome bloggers block?
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8 February 2016

Life Lately #4

Olympus Pen E-PL7

It has been over three months since I had a bit of a personal catch up over here, where in that time we have welcomed in a New Year and I have already failed a couple of my 2016 resolutions; that was always going to happen. Nevertheless this year has kicked off pretty well for me in terms of life outside of A Little Boat Sailing which I am forever grateful for. 

There isn't a huge amount to report on as I do like to keep my career and personal life to an extent private on here, although there are a few things that over the coming months I would like to write about. I know that for me personally I am in a relatively good place now, not just physically but also mentally as I think I finally know what I want from life and more importantly what I do not want. 

It won't have gone unnoticed that over here on my blog things have slowed down considerably. It is not that I don't want to blog anymore, it is purely because my time is taken up by so many other things. At first I found this pretty darn difficult to come to terms with, this space after all has been an escape from life for the past four years and to this day it still continues to be. Blogging will always be something that I keep on doing, however I just cannot post four times a week in an attempt to keep up with so many of my favourite bloggers. They say comparison is the thief of joy and do you know what, it is very, very true. For the longest time I have compared myself to so many bloggers, many of whom actually do this as their job, meaning that they have time to blog 9-5 each day, whereas I get about two hours of an evening and then the weekends. I have been very silly to even think that was possible for me. Kudos to those that manage it as so many bloggers do it extremely well, however I know that deep down I cannot and that's OK!  

My re-brand isn't going as well as I had hoped, although that is purely down to my lack of direction with a blog name. Deep down I know that I have outgrown A Little Boat Sailing, although the thought of calling this space something else does terrify me a little. Time again is an issue here as I won't let myself rush into a re-brand until I am really happy with the choices, therefore at the moment this is on a bit of a back seat until I either have a light bulb moment or until I next take some holiday from work. 

On the upside though I have noticed that the dark nights are slowly but surely drawing out which pleases me immensely. The last few months have had me convinced that I was suffering from SAD as the weather and darkness really have being getting me down; I just cannot wait for spring to arrive. Speaking of things which make me happy I have very recently purchased the Olympus Pen E-PL7 which I had being pondering over since last autumn. It is without a doubt a beautiful camera and that is before you have even turned it on. The fact that there was £100 off this was the reason I finally decided to purchase it, although I think I will have to wait until next pay day before I can buy a suitable case and strap for it. There are a great deal of bloggers who have this camera already, therefore if you are one of them and you have some recommendations for stores that sell nice accessories for the Olympus Pen then I would love to hear them.

Casetify iPhone Case

Remaining with accessories for one more moment, I have being meaning to share with you the Glitteresque iPhone Case* which I was kindly sent by the team at Casetify just before Christmas. They have so many different cases ranging from minimal to the outright crazy, there is most definitely something there for everyone so the site is worth looking at if you're in the market for a new phone case. Being able to change my phone case really does remind me of the good old days of the Nokia 3310; I had a mini wardrobe for my phone which was pretty awesome at the age of eight.

Olympus Pen E-PL7

Onto other things I have once again started to read the Harry Potter series, this will be heading towards the tenth time now and let me tell you something, it never gets boring. I have also finally started to use some of the colouring books which I have collected, namely those by Johanna Basford and Mille Marotta. Some people knock these and I am all for those having their own opinion, heck it would be a boring world if we all agreed wouldn't it. That being said I personally love these and have really being enjoying working on them over the weekend, I even managed to finish two recently which I will share over on my Instagram in the coming few days.

Beauty is never far from my mind, although I will admit to being a bit lax with it throughout January. I have cut back quite considerably on the amount of beauty products I buy, although I did fall for the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette at Christmas as it really is a beautiful and fantastic product. I have a few beauty favourites to write about next weekend which really, in hindsight, it should be the post that I am working on now instead of this one, however things don't always quite go to plan do they. That being said I can share with you a sneaky preview in that one of my beauty favourites is the Barry M Vintage Violet nail polish, it is a gorgeous muted violet with the trusty formula which I have come to know and love from my favourite budget nail polish brand.

If you made it to the end of this post having read all of this then I salute you, I most certainly didn't intend for it to be this long when I started. 
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3 February 2016

Currently Coveting #2

Currently Coveting #2

In good old traditional blogger style I find myself reverting back to one of the more classic types of post; the good old fashioned wish list. These have always been of an interest to me when it comes to reading other blogs, therefore I thought it may be nice to share with you some of the current products that I have being reading about lately.

The first product is the odd one out, that being the Cambridge Satchel Medium Push Lock bag in this beautiful deep wine colour. For the longest time I have wanted to own my own Cambridge Satchel as they are so well crafted and are of a classic design. This one actually popped into their sale and left it rather quickly, too quickly in fact for me to take advantage of that so perhaps I will wait a little bit longer before I finally pick one up. 

From Kiehl's there is a new product which has just launched, I spotted this on their Instagram feed the other day and it immediately caught my attention. The Cilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Mask defends against impurities and also replenishes the skin with vital nutrients. Whilst I will admit to not trying much from Kiehl's thus far, this product certainly intrigues me due to the fact that I commute a lot during the week; I dread to think of the pollution from the cars and trains that I am exposed to each day. 

Chanel Boy from the Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick range has been on my lipstick radar for a little while now. However for some reason whenever I go to see it for myself in store it never seems to be in stock; it must be quite a popular shade given that I have popped along three times and each time have not been able to swatch it for myself.

From Space NK I have picked out two products, both of which have received their fair share of hype over the last six months or so. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette looks beautiful in store and from all the reviews online it certainly lives up to the hype. There's no denying that these products are more on the expensive side of things, however I do plan on picking this up in the next couple of months, although I may be tempted to buy one full size one as opposed to this set of three. The majority of products on Space NK lean towards the high end bracket, therefore it comes as no surprise that the Sunday Riley Luna Oil is expensive. I will admit to being very close to purchasing this just after Christmas, however I did think better of it at the time. I am extremely reluctant to pay out for this without having tried a sample before, something of which my local Space NK store never quite seem to be able to provide me with as they never have a tester bottle on display. 

The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist has been mentioned within a wish list before and it currently still remains on it as I haven't yet got around to picking it up. I know a couple of people who really enjoy using this and their recommendations have to date always seen me well, therefore it is about time I finally purchased it. 

It is quite unusual for me to feature a base product as I rarely start to fall for the hype surrounding them. Whilst I would not say that there is a great deal of hype surrounding the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light I would say that what I have read from a number of trusty sources is that this is a great base. Unlike most beauty enthusiasts I have never tried the cult Double Wear foundation, as to me it seems as though it would be just too thick for my personal preference and skin type. Having said that I am extremely interested in trying this lighter version as it sounds like it would be much more suitable for me.

Have you tried any of the above products? 

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1 February 2016

Detox With Debenhams

Detox With Debenhams
Over the last few weeks I have been making a conscious effort to eat better and to cut back on the old sugary treats. In fact, I have to say that I have being doing pretty well so far as I have being eating good during the week and then allowing myself something extra special of a weekend. I will admit to being the sort of person that will give in and eat all the rubbish if I deny myself that piece of chocolate for too long. Today my post ties in nicely with my attempt at looking after myself better as whilst sat planning a couple of blog posts on Saturday afternoon I received a surprised package from the team at Debenhams as part of their #DetoxwithDebs campaign. 

Inside was the Breville Blend-Active Blender*, which having never used one of these before I was super excited to give it a whirl. If you have any recipes of your favourite smoothies or healthy drinks then please do let me know. Seeing as though I had a few things knocking about in the fridge I did have a go at making my own shake, I used milk, strawberries and bananas and it wasn't too bad at all. This product did a fantastic job of blending the fruit and it was lovely and smooth, for the price of just £30 I actually think it is a fantastic buy.

Detox With Debenhams There were of course some delightful beauty treats sent out too which were focused upon the detox theme. The Nails Inc Overnight Detox Mask* and the Nails Inc Nail Growth Treatment* are both welcome additions as you all know the issues I face when it comes to growing my nails. These are actually pretty unusual compared to most Nails Inc polishes as they have a doe foot applicator, where you are promoted to rub the product into the nail bed as opposed to brushing it on. Over the next few weeks I will be giving these a road test because if anybody needs help with their nails then it is me.

The last product comes from Trilogy which is brand that I have very little experience of. The Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil* is one of the new products from the newly reformulated Age-Proof range. The combination of four plant oils known as Glycablend, which consists of pomegranate oil, chia seed oil, strawberry seed oil and blueberry seed oil helps to slow down the naturally occurring process of glycation. This is one of the key causes of ageing as it causes collagen and fibres to lose their elasticity. At the moment I am currently trying out a different product which this would replace in my routine if I were to start using it now, therefore I will come back to this in a couple of months. Nevertheless, reading up on this has me very intrigued about this product.

How did your new start go in January? 
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