Sunday, 29 March 2015

March Favourites

March is almost over and it's gone so quickly. I can't believe we're three months into 2015 already!

It's been a good month though. Not only has the weather began to pick up , but it's meant I can start going out on walks. I love hiking through the countryside. Though the picture in my header was from a walk that didn't turn out so well! We got caught up in the rain, so we ended up having to head back halfway into the walk.

One of the best things in March was Comic Relief. This year, I decided to volunteer by taking calls for donations. I've never worked in a call centre before, but it was oddly fun, and it was great to be doing something for a good cause. Sadly, I didn't take many donations.

Though all this I have enjoyed beautifying myself and watching some many shows. Here are some things I've loved.

Favourite make-up

This month I went to repurchase the Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray, and whilst I was there I decided to try the De-Slick Setting Powder. It's a translucent power but has the added selling point of having white rice, which helps mattify the face. It's a little bit pricey, but I love they way it looks. Especially as I don't find it cakey at all.

I also received the Benefit Roller Last this month in my Birchbox, and it has quickly dropped into my everyday make-up. I wrote about what I thought about it here. I may even like it more than the Real Lash mascara.

Finally, I have also loved the Illamasqua Skin Base Lift. Not only does is it an under eye concealer, but it also has corrector properties. Just wearing this alone brightens my eyes so much.

Favourite skincare

The moisturiser I have been using the most lately is the No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream. I've actually been using it for some time, but it's become my favourite moisturiser. It sinks into my skin easily and leaves it feeling soft without any stickiness. It also has added SPF with is always a bonus!

I am also loving the Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream. I have started using it again this month to get my feet looking great and feeling soft for when I start wearing sandals again, and it does the job. My feet are feeling so much better!

Favourite Television

I have two favourite television this month. The first is, without a doubt, Parks and Recreation. I've always struggled to get through the first season, but my friend kept telling me to persevere, and I did. I ended up binge watching the entire thing. It is so well written with such amazing characters. Why did I not watch this sooner?!

The second is the Netflix original, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Once again I binged watch the show. It's very quirky and very entertaining and it's acted so well. If you haven't watched it yet, you really should.

Favourite music

I have been on a bit of a Ed Sheeran kick this month, and I really love Thinking Out Loud. It's such a beautiful song. I can't help but sing along to it!

What have you been loving this month?

Friday, 27 March 2015

Wreck This Journal

If you don't know what the Wreck This Journal is, then it is a book with various prompts on each page. It's a chance to find your creativity and well, wreck the pages of the book.

I think my creativity has been a bit stifled lately. I have a normal everyday job in an office which doesn't allow me show my artistic side. I thought something like this would be perfect to work on some mini daily projects that I can fit around my schedule. I actually bought the book over a year a go but it's only recently I've taken its seriously.

I wanted to share some of my initial pages with you. Some of these are actually still work-in-progress,but they are getting there. I think I'm already realising that I like to put colour onto my work!

Have you started the 'Wreck This Journal'?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Current daily make-up

I last wrote about my make-up routine all the way back in July. Back then the weather was much warmer, so my routine had to fit the bill. Since then my routine has changed, not only to fit with the colder climate of winter, but also because I have constantly been finding new and exiting products to use.

After cleansing and moisturising my face, I first use a primer. The primer I am reaching for the most at the moment is Matte Veil from Illamasqua. Sadly, I have pretty oily skin so I need a good primer to mattify my face and keep my make-up on all day. This completely fits the bill.

For foundation, I use L'Oreal's True Match Foundation. My shade is N2. I use the the Real Technique's Expert Face Brush to buff in the foundation. I love the True Match foundation, as I think it makes my skin look great. To cover my dark under eye circles, I use the Illamasqua Skin Base Lift in light 2. This is a corrector and concealer in one, and really brightens the eyes.

Next I brush through my brows using the Benefit Gimme Brow. It is the only thing I have ever used for my brows and I love it! As it's a daily look, I don't like to go heavy on the eyes. I keep it simple by using the Revlon Eye Pencil in Earth Brown to give my eyes a little extra definition. I then use L'Oreal's Volume Million Lashes for my eyelashes.  

For the rest of my face, I just put a little bit of blush on my cheeks. I dab on the Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic, which just looks very natural.

To set my make-up I use both the Urban Decay De-Slick Powder and the Urban Decay DeSlick Setting Spray to minimise the oil on my face, and stop my make-up from slipping off. I finish off my look with the Pixi lip balm. Not only does it soften my lips, but it also gives a little bit of colour, and brings my look together.

What is your current make-up routine?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spotlight: Benefit Roller Lash

If you have read my Birchbox post this month, you will know that I was excited about receiving a sample of the new Benefit Roller Lash.

I've had a hit and miss relationship with Benefit mascaras. Their Real Lash is one of my top mascaras. The Bad Girl Lash on the other hand just doesn't do it for me. So the Roller Lash could have gone either way!

What makes the Roller Lash different is the curved wand, which is designed to enable you to curl your lashes without the use of a curler. In Benefit's words, the idea is to 'hook 'n' roll'. It also comes with a really cute packaging design. I love the rose gold colour, and full size has even been made to look like a hair roller. It's so pretty.

I have been wearing this all week to get some full use out of it. To me, it is a great daytime mascara. It doesn't offer as much of a dramatic look as the Real Lash one does, but it's perfect for definition and lengthening. I can be quite picky with mascaras, but I love this one. It ticks all my boxes, and my lashes look great. After a week I'm still loving at how long they look!

It took me a while to be able to roll it over my lashes to get the curl. I still find that I, weirdly, struggle with my right eye, and end up with masacara on my eylid! But it comes off easily enough before it dries. The best bit is that I'm finding I don't have panda eyes at the end of the day, which has been something I struggle with other mascaras!

One thing I would point out is that the Roller Lash doesn't give volume, so if that is important, then this mascara is not for you.

Overall I really love it. the downside of course is the price. I'm not really sure I can justify £19.50 on a mascara. But the mascara is good enough to make me reconsider.

Friday, 20 March 2015

One year on; Birch Box disappointments

I don't like to be negative, but I think it's hard to have gone one year without some disappointing products within the Birchbox. Due to the nature of the box, not everything is going to be amazing. It's always a gamble.

There are products that I have used, and enjoyed but probably wouldn't buy again, but then there are the products that have just disappointed me. Either my face fell when I saw them in the box, or I had so much hope for them, but they just didn't rise up to my expectations. Luckily this is a short list, but I wanted to highlight the products that I just didn't like.

I would like to point out before I get into them, that these are all personal to me. Someone else could find these products perfect!

The biggest disappointment for me were the Drinkwel capules, which are designed to help you recover after a night out partying, I was actually a little annoyed at receiving these on two accounts; 1) I don't drink, so it immediately makes them redundant, and 2) I don't like the idea of taking pills for those types of things. Other people may find them perfect, but they were very, very wrong for me,

One of the other biggest disappointments was the Stila lip glaze. I was actually very excited about receiving it, as I really wanted to try something from Stila. I like the design of tube - you twist the bottom and it brings product onto the brush at the top, even though it did take a while to initially get some product out. The finish though just doesn't cut it. There is no pigment at all to the formula. It gives a gloss, but it mostly just wipes glitter onto the lips. I personally cannot see a time when I will want glittery lips. To top it off, it is very, very sticky. It just didn't work out at all.

The next ones are a very personal disappointment which I'm sure most people don't share. I have said multiple times I do not like red nail polish, and I received two in consecutive boxes - one from the OPI Coca-Cola collection and one from Lollipops. The formula may be great, but they were never ones I was interested in trying out to see how they fared in the first place. Benefit's It's Potent eye cream is another one that falls under this category. I used the eye cream prior to receiving it in the box (here), and it just doesn't work for me, as it's not gentle enough.

I think I may have been more disappointed by the Model Co lip lacquer than I would have been if it wasn't a choose-your-own product that didn't work out. Not only was there not much off a colour pay-off, but it was also too gloopy and sticky, so I couldn't really find any benefits to using it.

Finally, the last thing on this list is another nail polish. This was the Model's Own glitter nail polish (not pictured as I gave it away ) I received back in the July box. The Model's Own nail polishes have redeemed themselves since (with a glitter one!), but this one was disappointing. The pay-off is very minimal with this one, as it is effectively just pink glitter with nothing else to it. I think it may be obvious about now that I am not a fan of glitter!

Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

5 happy things; Spring

It's not quite spring yet, but just knowing it's on its way makes me very happy. I do like winter but the dark days and cold nights can make me lose motivation, and all I want to do is curl up in my pyjamas with a hot drink.

But now we are heading into spring I wanted to celebrate five things I am looking forward for the coming months.

1// Longer evenings - This month the clocks go forward, which means it will begin to get dark later. There is nothing better than knowing when you leave work in an evening, it will still be light. It means I can open my curtains in a morning! I can also take up more activities. Maybe it'll encourage me to finally take up running in an evening.

2// Warmer days - With the longer days, comes warmer weather. Already we have seen a little bit of sunlight. Warmer days means it's finally time to wear less layers. Out goes the bulky winter coat, and in come cute jackets. Warmer weather also means I can venture outside more. I like to go on more adventures when it's warmer. Already I have a trip to a theme park planned for next month.

3// Flowers and blossoms - In spring the world just seems to come alive. One day all the trees are bare; the next they're covered in buds ready to bloom. Blossoms are one of my favourite things about spring. It is just so pretty. I also like to buy more fresh flowers when it comes to springtime. In fact, I already have a vase of chrysanthemums sitting on my windowsill.

4 //Wear brighter colours - For me, spring means it's time to start pulling out my brighter t-shirts and dresses to wear. In fact, including any colour at all is a leap for me. I always find adding colour to a look really brightens my mood. And that's not just colour in clothes, adding a brighter shade to my make-up really helps.

5// Summer is just around the corner - Finally, the best thing about spring is that it means that summer is on its way.

What are your favourite things about spring?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

March Birchbox

This month, Birchbox is collaborating with Habitat for a theme they are calling 'DO try this at home'. It's all about spring cleaning the everyday, from beauty to the home. The thing I love the most about this month is the box it comes in. It's such a lively design!

Birchbox appears to have started a new look with their boxes, and gone are the usual pouches the products come in. I'm a little sad about that, but I guess I never knew what to do with them anyway! They're also offering a slimmer box which can fit through the letter box. For now, I am happy sticking to the regular box, but I'm happy that option is there.

This month the products are hit and miss for me. there are some I'm happy to see, but others I'm just not interested in.

Benefit Roller Lash - This month Birchbox gave all subscribers the chance to pick which Benefit mascara to try. I was a bit late in choosing, but luckily I got the product I wanted. Having tried the other two Benefit mascaras previously, I was excited about getting the new Roller Lash. The brush on this is interesting, as it is curved. It's designed to curl and define your lashes using what Benefit call the 'hook 'n' roll' technique. I'm going to try this one out and then do a proper review in the near future, so look out for that!

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris - I know fragrance samples and can be a bit of a hit and miss, and many people who don't enjoy receiving them. I am not one of those. I think they're great for trying a perfume out before shelling out a lot of money, especially as they can be so expensive. I've not road tested this one yet, but the fruity notes in the fragrance is giving me a good first impression.

Philip Kingsley Elastizer - This is a pre-shampoo treatment, which is intensive and super-conditioning, so it's great for damaged hair. I don't dye or use much heat on my hair any more so it's not in a terrible condition. I think this is one I may give or away or hang onto it for in case I need it in the future.

Serenity Skincare Dead Sea Bath Salt - I think this is one another one that I'm going to hang onto. I really like products to help unwind, though my bath isn't very suitable to relax in. It's too small! But I can definitely see me getting use out of it in the future when I have a pamper day.

TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil - This is probably the thing I am least excited about, as I don't self tan. I'm actually someone who doesn't care about being tanned at all, and prefer my paler skin! Apparently this is the world's first tanning oil, and it's organic, so I can see that there are benefits for people who do like to use tanning products.

A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi - One thing I do not like getting in the box is book samples. Generally, all the samples are ones I'm not interested in and wouldn't read, so this isn't for me at all.

Birchbox and Habitat Exclusive Notebook - I must admit, I can be addicted to notebooks! This is another one to add to my collection. It's very small which makes it great for jotting down notes or shopping lists, and so will fit great in any handbag.

Have you tried any of this month's products?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Accessory haul

Recently I seemed to have spent some time looking over cute accessories. There have been so many that have caught my eye, that inevitably, I've found it hard to resist. I actually don't own that many accessories. I am one of those people that when I have found something I like I will wear it constantly until I wear it out. I finally thought it was time to shake it up and buy a couple more pieces.

I'm really loving the jacket earring trend at the moment (I might be a little bit behind on it), and these ones from River Island (here) were just what I was looking for.The little flowers on these ones were too cute to pass up, and it very affordable. So far, these are my only pair on jacket earrings, so I really want to get more.

When I saw them, I felt like the knot bracelet and the origami earrings were very me. In particular I love making origami animals, and so as the earrings (here) reminded me of an afternoon I once spent folding butterflies, that they were hard to pass up. It helped they were on sale too! They're a little bigger than I would have liked, but they're so pretty that I can let it go. In contrast the bracelet (here) is much daintier, but I love the way it looks. It's really great for work, as it's quite a subtle piece.

Lastly, I bought two head scarves from ASOS (here). I have short hair, and there's not many ways I can style it, so I'm trying to jazz it up with some hair accessories.These came as a pair; one black, and one with a very cool popcorn print on, It's safe to say I'm a sucker for cute print.

What are your favourite accessories?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

One year on; best Birch Box discoveries

I have now officially received twelve Birch Boxes, and so March marks my one year Birch Box anniversary! To celebrate, I decided to take a look over what I have received throughout the year to see what my favourite discoveries have been.

Some products I have gone out and bought full size, some I plan on doing getting in future, and others I use in my everyday routine. I have liked a lot of the products in my boxes, but these are ones that have made such an impact on me that I want to rave about them.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to the products I've loved.

My first box back in March last year was a great introduction to what Birch Box was all about, and I fell in love with two products immediately; one of which I still continue to buy today. These were the Molton Brown replenishing hand cream  and the English Laundry perfume. The hand cream not only smells gorgeous, but helps my hands feel so soft, and the perfume is just the perfect scent for spring. Birch Box is also where I discovered my favourite mascara of all time; Benefit They're Real. I love how much definition it gives to my lashes, and it lasts throughout the day.

I have found some great skincare products. In the April box, I discovered the Yes to Cucumber face wipes, which are great at get rid of daily dirt without being too harsh. I like to use them when I need to refresh my face. I was introduced to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser the month after, which is great for not only removing all make-up but gently exfoliating too. I have liked giving my face a deeper cleanse with the Cattier clay face mask. I really loved how my face felt after using it.

One of my favourite products from all the boxes I received was the Pixi lip balm which I still use every day. It has shea butter to soften the lips, and then a hint of colour! The October box was a great box, as it also introduced me to The Cool Fix, which is perfect to use after shaving the legs to get rid of any irritation.

I have received a number of nail polishes in the boxes and there have been a couple of particular stand-outs. These were the OPI Thrill of Brazil and the Model's Own Nail Polish is Amethyst, which are both sparkly and such gorgeous shades, they are so hard to resist!

One of the new, exciting brands I have discovered over the year is TheBalm. The aesthetic of their packaging is really quirky, and I love the quality of their products. They are a brand I really want to try more from, and I already have my eye on a few of their other products.

There have been some great lifestyle products throughout the year. My favourites are usually the food! Back in April I discovered Proper Corn which is a very delicious way to eat popcorn as they have such great flavours. I particularly love the very tasty vanilla and coconut flavour. I have also received Urban Fruit and most recently Chia oats, which is a healthy way to have breakfast.

Have you tried any of these products? what do you think?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Spotlight: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

I know, I am late to the party on this one. If I'm honest, I'd first heard of micellar water long before now. I've seen bloggers raving about it and giving it great reviews for a long time, but I passed it off as something I wouldn't really use.

Turns out though, this stuff is great! The Bioderma one gets mentioned quite often, but the market is full of different versions now. I purchased the Garnier one, as not only does it works great, but at under £4.99, it is also a really affordable choice.

Micellar water is simple as it works to gently cleanse the skin. Because it's so gentle it's suitable for any skin type and it's very effective at removing dirt and make-up, without having to do any rinsing.

I received a tip a couple of months ago, which changed my mind on buying the product. After going through a full cleansing routine the night before, micellar water is great to use in a morning to cut down the time it takes to get ready. All that is needed is to put some of the miceller water on a cotton pad and wipe across the face, then follow with moisturiser and eye cream.

For me, it's a great addition to my routine.

Have you tried micellar water yet?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


It seems a long time ago now, but back in January I took a trip down to London. It was a pretty cool weekend in itself - there was an amazing American-style diner - but the trip was primarily to go on my second Illamasqua make-up course.

I am really loving the courses Illamasqua put on. I'm even deciding which one to go on next! I still feel like a relative beginner to make-up, so I find having the guidance on how to apply my make-up really helpful. The course I went on this time, 'Mastering Rush Hour Make-up', was particularly great, as it gave me useful tips for doing my daily make-up quickly, as well as giving me a full work appropriate look. For example, did you know some lip colours are a no no, as they totally give the wrong impression, and stop you from being taken seriously? Interesting stuff!

Like last time, afterwards, I bought some of the products that we used in the lesson. If you want to see the products I bought after the last course I went on, the post is here. The course this time used some if those same products, like the Matte Veil and the Skin Base foundation, both of which I really love; the former in particular being a staple of my daily routine.

But this time I chose four of my favourite products from the lesson to take home with me:

Skin Base Lift; in Light 2 - Not only is this is a very creamy under eye concealer, but it also has a peach tone to it, so it doubles up as a corrector. This is great as it means putting on less product helping it look a little more natural. It's designed to compliment the Skin Base foundation, but I use it regularly without, and I still love the way it looks. It doesn't take much product, but it makes my eyes look much brighter, and I look so much more awake, even if I don't feel it!

Cream blusher; in Zygomatic - Before I discovered this product, I hadn't really used a cream blusher before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I ended up loving it. It's a very neutral shade so once blended it looks very natural, and it blends so easily. All I do is use my fingertips, and it gives a great finish.

Sculpting Powder Duo; in Lumos and Heliopolis - This powder is designed for highlighting and contouring. The highlighter, Lumos, has a buildable shimmer to it, whereas helios is a light brown matte shade, which is perfect for creating shadows. They compliment each other perfectly. For the lesson, we also used the product as eyeshadow, so it's great for multitasking in a morning.

Lipstick; in Climax - I still don't feel ready to wear a bold lip, so I was matched up to this neutral shade. It is actually close to my own lip colour, but it's a matte finish and actually helps my lip colour look much softer and even. We paired this with a lip pencil in Fantasy (which, unfortunately, they had sold out of) and together it just brought the look together.

Have you tried any Illamasqua products?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring Wishlist

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

It's officially March! Even though it's not yet officially spring, in my mind March means the weather is finally on the up, and we are finally on the other side of winter's grasp. It may be obvious that I am really looking forward to the warmer months ahead.

So for me, this is the month to start adding bright colours and bold patterns to my outfits. There is nothing brighter than yellow, and this jacket is perfect for warding off the cold and the rain, as well giving me some cheer! Of course pastel colours feel very spring-like too, and so slipping on these mint shoes will just brighten up each step.

What is on your spring wishlist?



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