Saturday, 25 August 2012

[Guest Post : Wonderful You] Body Shop Shimmer Cubes

Our final guest post is from the ever so lovely Megan of Wonderful You. I adore her blog & Youtube videos, shes the kind of girl I'd imagine everyone wants to be friends with! She's such a sweety, awesome blogger and all round beautiful lady, I'm so pleased she wanted to guest post over here for me! Be sure to check out her blog, follow her on twitter & have a look at her Youtube videos!

It’s quite odd really, the product I’m about to mention has been a staple in my makeup routine since I can remember. I’m talking almost 10 years folks (I know, I’m that old); but it’s the only makeup product I own from this brand. How ridiculous.

The Body Shops Shimmer Cubes are literally my favourite thing ever. In one little pot you get 4 different cubes of eye shadows. There are quite a few to choose from in the range and I own the Shade 06 in ‘warm’.

I love the idea of them being in cubes, it’s super cute and makes me happy (it’s the small things, eh?) :) Each little pot is generous in size, meaning that they last forever and a day. I’ve literally had mine for over a year and have hardly made a dent. Obviously the colours chosen in each palette are there to complement each other, and blend beautifully. I’m not the best at achieving a ‘smoky eye’ look, but here’s my typical way to wear these four shades together…

Now, pigmentation/staying power is clearly a huge factor considered when choosing your eye shadow and these certainly don’t disappoint. I think the main reason these last so long is that you need minimal product to achieve a dramatic look, and even less to achieve a subtle glow; and it will stay put for hours. One of these bad boys will set you back £16, but when you take into consideration the quality of the product, and how long it will be sat on your dressing table, I think it’s completely justified!
What do you think; does this beauty tickle your pickle? Or do you have a favourite palette I should know about?


Thursday, 23 August 2012

[Guest Post : Friday is Forever] Holiday Hair Essentials

Second guest post of the week! Introducing Sarah aka Friday is Forever. I'm always in such awe of Sarahs lovely fashion sense, her posts are always so pretty and I love her style! Naturally, I'm super pleased she agreed to guest blog here for me. Even though I'm based on Wordpress, and she on Blogger - I always make sure to check up on her recent posts! I'm 100% certain you'll love her as much as I do! You can find Sarah's blog here, on Twitter & Bloglovin'.

My hair is a nightmare at the best of times. I think though, when faced with the harsh sun and heat, most hair probably is. Remembering what a disgusting mess my barnet usually transforms into whenever I've previously been on holiday, this time I decided to take preventative measures, and these products were the hair weapons of my choice. I bought small sizes of this lot as to save as much space as possible in my suitcase, and I honestly wouldn't have been without any of them!

♥ Lush Rehab Shampoo - This gorgeous shampoo is for dry, damaged hair - The main result of sun and chlorine exposure. This is the only shampoo that strips my hair of excess product and chlorine without making my hair dull and dry.

♥ Lush American Cream Conditioner - One of the best smelling hair products I've ever found, this compliments Rehab nicely and is a really light conditioner that doesn't weigh hair down.

♥ Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner - I used this every single night to keep my hair smooth. I actually took a small bottle with me for convenience but used it all up! Without this, I'm certain my hair would've been a huge, frizzy mess.

♥ Charles Worthington Sunshine UV Protection - You've probably burnt your scalp at some point, and you'll know how horrible it feels when your whole head is sore, and you turn into a walking Head & Shoulders advert as the peeling begins! This wonderful spray protects the scalp and hair from harmful UV rays - If you're like me with dyed blonde hair, it'll also help prevent uber bleaching/fading of your colour.

♥ Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging spray - One of my all time favourite hair products. This is like an ultra fine serum which locks in colour and keeps hair strong & shiny. I got this small bottle in a glossybox a long time ago and have since bought and used two full sized sprays - I keep this one topped up for travelling and to pop in my handbag.

♥ Organiz Moroccan Argan Oil - I didn't want to take my glass moroccan oil bottle with me, so bought this from Boots instead, and I'm so glad I did because I  now prefer it! I used this after washing my hair to smooth down the ends of my hair and enhance shine.

♥ Lee Stafford Dehumidifier - I would never dream of going on holiday without this miracle spray. You probably know how horrible it is when you've styled your hair and the instant you step outside into the humid air, you're a ball of frizz again. If you do, this really is for you. I have absolutely no idea how this works, but it really, really does.

♥ Lee Stafford Texturising Super Spray - Most nights I used this to style my hair as it was too hot and I was too lazy to use straighteners. A mix between hair wax and sea salt, its perfect to spray on your hands and scrunch into the hair for a cute beach look. I also used this to tame any pesky baby hairs around my scalp.
Hopefully Sam is having a lovely time in Spain (and remembering to look after her luscious locks)!

Do you take measures to protect your hair on holiday? What do you use?
Sarah of xx


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

[Guest Post : Tattooed Tea Lady] Do You Clean Your Make-up Brushes?

The first of three guest posts that will feature on my blog while I'm away in sunny Spain! Introducing, the lovely 'Tattooed Tea Lady' aka Sophia! I've admired Sophias love for skincare and very detailed posts for quite some time now, and as we share that mutual love I felt it only right to ask if she'd like to guest post for me. Luckily enough, she said yes! So here you have one of my favourite beauty bloggers doing their thing right here! You can find Sophia & admire her lovely blog here, on Twitter & HelloCotton - so be sure to check her out!

Cleaning your brushes is to me, as important as my skincare routine. Our makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, and considering we use makeup brushes on our face every day, it is extremely important to keep them as clean as possible. Everyone has a different routine for keeping their makeup brushes clean, this is mine!

Once a week, sometimes twice, I will wash my makeup brushes. The brushes in the photo above are my most used makeup brushes; the entire Real Techniques Core Collection, a MAC 190 foundation brush and a cheapo eyebrow brush. This is how they look after three days of use. Disgusting, right? There are two steps I follow to keep my makeup brushes clean.
Step 1 – E.l.f. Brush Shampoo

The main product I use to clean my makeup brushes is the E.l.f. Brush Shampoo. It is an anti-bacterial brush cleaner which thoroughly cleans your brushes. I find this works best on brushes which have been used with powder products. For my foundation brushes, my eyebrow brush and my concealer brush, I first wash them with oil which helps to remove all of the more liquid product from the brush, before using the E.l.f. Brush Shampoo.

Step 2 – E.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner
This is a step I use in-between washes and I use it straight after using each brush. I spray the E.l.f Daily Brush Cleaner onto my brushes to keep them clean between washes. It is an anti-bacterial daily brush cleaner for quick cleaning in-between makeup applications. It disinfects brushes to provide a fresh and clean application every time.

I don’t think I could ever not wash my makeup brushes. Keeping them clean not only prevents them from building up germs and bacteria, but it also helps prevent spots and blemishes, as it doesn’t aid them in forming. And don’t the brushes just look so much better and lovely when they are sparkling clean? I really enjoy washing my brushes and it’s something I make sure I do at least once a week. A good tip for larger makeup brushes is once you have washed them, wash them again but with conditioner; this keeps them beautifully soft!

Thank you Samantha, for letting me do a guest post on your blog. I hope you and your lovely readers enjoyed it! If you clean your makeup brushes, what products do you use? I’d love to hear what works for you. If you didn’t wash your brushes before now, do you think you will now? Let me know!

You can find me over on my own blog which is Tattooed Tealady, and I also co-run a weight-loss blog called Bloggers Go Skinny. Alternatively, you can also find me on Twitter, I’m always happy to chat so send me a tweet @tattooedtealady!

Love, Sophia xo

Sunday, 19 August 2012

BRB! Spain!

Mm... I remember how good that sangria was in Barcelona!

Anyway! As I mentioned earlier last week, I'm heading to Spain - tomorrow, for a week of sunshine! I've been a fairly bad blogger recently (sorry! busy, busy) but as of Tuesday I have some awesome guest blogs lined up. I'm sure you/(whoever reads this) will love them!

I've truly missed my life in Spain and I'm so excited to hear Spanish speakers again, eat Spanish food and feel some Spanish sunshine of my skin! It is so miserable here, I really can't wait! I've always felt like Spain should be my home, even after being there a year I still didn't feel like I'd been there long enough. So this trip will be very much appreciated!

We dropped little Herbert off yesterday with his hog sitters & got updated this morning that he his quite a happy hoglet, so I'm really pleased he's enjoying his holiday too!

And that's it. I have some packing to do! See you on the other side!

Have a great week! xo

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Following Your Dreams & Learning Languages

Every once in a while I get a lovely email drop into my inbox asking for a little advice/support/words of encouragement with regards to learning Spanish (or languages in general/going to university).

I genuinely love hearing from people that read this blog and always try to reply in the most encouraging, positive way I can, so I thought I would share all that information right here, right now!

I want to start by saying - I am in no way shape or form a 'natural' at learning languages (I envy those that are!). I've been trying to master Spanish for over 15 years (hah) and there is still a lot I do not know, even after graduating with a degree in it. However it was always a dream from my very first encounter with Spain, it's language & its people; to fully immerse myself in that countries way of being, and so that is what I set out to do.

So I'm going to break this doing into tips & tricks on how to achieve this;

♥ Follow your heart : as with anything in life, your heart will be the main element in your decision of learning a language - taking it to college or university level - you will need your heart to want to do this as it will not be an easy journey otherwise. I was very close to choosing art over Spanish when making my decision of university courses; my head said art,  my heart said Spanish. I know now, if I'd have chosen a subject only because I was technically good at it, but my heart wasn't in it, it wouldn't have lasted.

All you need is determination : if you are determined, you can achieve anything. A lot of problems are mind over matter and during the course of learning you will, 100%, come across things that will make you want to give up. In every year there was an exam I did bad in, just about scraping a pass, but take those bad points and be determined to make them your strength - study harder and keep going.

♥  Make WordReference your best friend : if only someone had told me about this little gem earlier in life, I'm sure I'd have found A Level a lot easier! Honestly, language learners, if you haven't already - have a look. It is fantastic. Reading, listening to music, the news or a book are all also great ways to pick up new vocabulary and practise grammar structures (note: at first it will take an age, but you'll get there. trust me).

♥  Be realistic : as much as I believe if you're determined, you will achieve - I also believe in being realistic to your own knowledge. In life, there will always be someone better than you, but that doesn't matter, as long as you remain realistic. There will be people who have spent longer in spain, who can pick up grammar quicker than I can say 'que?!' - and will always have a better accent - but don't let it bother you or get you down. Know your strengths, as they may be their weakness.

♥  Find a native & practise : there is no better teacher than a native of the language you want to learn. Even if  they cannot speak english or if this means going for a coffee once a week to just chat, practise makes perfect. You will pick up an accent, learn useful & relative vocabulary (lets face it, when are we going to talk to someone about Franco or Womens Rights when abroad?) and you will make a friend!

♥ Give it your all : this applies to anything - anything at all. There will only be one person disappointed on results day if you do not do this. If you genuinely, 110%, give ANYTHING your best, you know in your heart, you have done everything you can; and so your result will reflect that. It is the best feeling, despite the percentage, despite the grade, to know that you gave it everything you had. that is all anyone can ever ask.

I'm forever wanting to learn new languages, and yes, it is difficult, but when you're in a foreign country and don't feel like a tourist? One of lifes highlights! All of the above, I feel, can be applied to any dream you have (apart from maybe, word reference & chatting with a native!) and so if there is something you want to do, but have yet to do so; what are you waiting for?
I hope this has helped in anyway, shape or form. If nothing else its made me want to crack on with Italian again :)

Ciao! x

Monday, 13 August 2012

Jewellery I Heart Today : ShopDixi Mila Bracelet

As a bit of a jewellery hoarder, I'm constantly on the lookout for shiny, pretty, things!

Fourth in my 'Jewellery I Heart' series is my lovely Baby Mila Ocean Green Stone Bracelet (£7). I came across ShopDixi via Twitter and it was pretty much love at first sight. If you've ever noticed in some of posts you will have seen I am forever wearing my amber & silver ring - I am a huge fan of precious stones & crystals, especially in jewellery form and as soon as I clocked eyes on the Baby Mila Bracelet, it was in my basket within seconds.

Read more here on Wonder You's blog... 


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday Snap #6

A quick snap of Herbert, snoozing about on my lap. I know how much he is loved so I don't want to go another week without posting his little snout!

He looks a bit like a vampire hog in these ones. His little teeth do make me laugh!

I havent been up to much exciting stuff this week so I wont bore you with an update :) just generally busy-bodying & preparing for holidays really!

One interesting thing is that I'm hoping to get back into lots of drawing & illustrating soon, I found an old sketchbook at my mums house this week & it has really got me wanting to do it again! (you can find my old (very old) art here). So fingers crossed I will find the time/inspiration to get started again!

How has your week been? :)



Thursday, 9 August 2012

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

Remember my graduation post? This is the lipstick I wore for that event!

My lipstick collection seems to be ever growing, as a late starter to the trend I feel like I have some catching up to do! I love how a lipstick can change your mood, overall look & just give your face a bit of extra colour! So when I was headed out to choose one for my graduation I had a particular shade in mind.

I've never bought much Chanel before in the past, but as it was such a special day - I figured my makeup should match & so I treated myself by visiting the Chanel counter. As soon as the MUA showed me the colour in the mirror I knew I had to have it! I'm a big fan of berry/nude/browns and Deauville 67 ticked every box. I particularly loved the sheen and how moisturising it felt (thanks to the shea butter) - and so water light in texture, almost 'lighter' than vaseline! It's lovely & pigmented and is easy to build up, too.

I think this is one of the best feeling lipsticks I've ever bought! The colour doesnt hang around like some matte/lip tints however it averages around 2-3 hours, which I dont think is too bad. Especially as its one of those easy colours to apply, even if you don't have a mirror to hand.

At £24 (link to Boots here), I don't think I'll be running out to buy many more, but overall for that occasion it felt great & it's a nice, natural shade that I can wear daily... (if  I wanted, I don't think I will. Savouring this one!) 
Do you have a favourite makeup product that will instantly make you feel 'special'? Have you ever tried Chanel lipstick?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Three Beauty Blogger Cliche Favourites Worth the Hype!

You'll find me over on Sarah Scribble's blog today! A guest post on my favourite hyped up products influenced purely from the beauty blogger 'world'!

I've said it before and I'll say it again; there are products that circulate the blogosphere like wild fire, some worthy of the hype & others - not so much, but I don't think you can judge until you try. So here are my thoughts on the current cliche purchases of this month!

Three products that I just had to try out for myself were; the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (£5.99), Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm (£9.50) and Collection 2000 16 hour Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19 - cheaper in Superdrug *hint*).

I'm just going to go ahead and say I am genuinely impressed with all three. Hate to sound like a makeup snob; but as a rule I think you get what you pay for and normally I wouldn't really look at Collection 2000 as a brand I would buy, however that thought has been fully blasted from my mind by the quality of these products.

So starting with possibly the most talked about/wanted of the three; the Nuxe Reve de Miel. 

I'm a big Blistex fan, generally assuming - a lip balm, is a lip balm, is a lip balm, no? Well... This is something else. This wonderfully creamy, lemon-y / honey scent balm is so long lasting, so moisturising and just all-round awesome, I couldnt love it anymore if I tried. Claiming to be a product that "restores suppleness and comfort to dry, chapped lips" - I would say it does exactly that and then some. I put the balm on for bed and wake up with it still there! I don't have to constantly reapply and after just one small swipe of balm it stays put & does its job perfectly. My lips wil no longer be sore & dry! Hurray! I couldn't recommend it more. This will 100% become a staple in my makeup bag!

Read more here...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Croatia, Malaga, Costa Rica - Oh My!

Exciting news x THREE!

A quick impromptu post from me today, as there will be a couple of changes going on around my blog shortly.

Its been a week of surprises in my casa - August is turning out pretty nice (apart from the weather in the UK)!

So first of all, as some of you may or may not know, at the end of August I will be heading to Venice en route to Croatia for Outlook Festival. I booked this months ago with my good buddy ol' pal Leitara as we've wanted to go for literally years - and so this year seemed like the right time to get organised and actually go do it! So from the 28th August to the 4th September I shall be MIA; partying on a beach in sunny Croatia - although I'm hoping to schedule some posts and/or post lots when I get back :)

Secondly, IM GOING TO SPAIN! As of the 20th August for a week. If you follow me on Twitter I'd imagine you've already seen me pining for Spanish life as I've been missing it like crazy - and so it was a lovely surprise to find out we are heading off to the most beautiful region of Andalucia in the next two weeks! I have some amazing guest posts lined up so please be sure to read & get to know some of my lovely beauty blogger amigas :) they're all great!

Thirdly, and
possibly without a doubt, the most exciting... I'm going to the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica!!!  *pauses for a second before I burst with pure excitement* ...

I couldn't even tell you how long I've loved sloths & ever since hearing about the Sloth Sanctuary; how long I've wanted to visit for! There are vacancies through September and I'm really hoping all will go through & I'll be able to visit for FOUR WEEKS - of sloths. How amazing is that? It will literally be a dream come true. Helping & caring for sloths of all different sizes and visiting a new country - all by myself! It's going to be an amazing adventure and something I've wanted to do for such a long time. I can't wait to meet my very first sloth! (there may be tears... not going to lie)!

So as you can see, quite a busy couple of months! My blog naturally make take some twists & turns as I'm busy-bodying all over the place but I hope you'll enjoy the adventures & photos as much as I will!
Hope you all have a great week! xo

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Cleaning Makeup Brushes.

As my makeup brush collection grows I'm paying more and more attention to 'deep cleaning' my brushes at least once a week. Why? Well, you wouldn't eat with the same fork over and over again, would you?

Makeup brushes can harbour lots of dead skin & bacteria over time and that is not something I want to be putting back on to my face! You can spot clean - with makeup brush cleanser, or deep clean with good old soap and water. I've never seen any particular recommended soap/shampoo to use on brushes so I just went ahead and used what we had at the moment.

So heres my super quick routine for cleaning your beauty tools!

Spread out your dirty brushes - analyse the damage. (ew).

Pump some soap onto the brush, or the palm of your hand...

Swirl/gently scrub the brushes in a circular motion, adding water, more soap if needed & repeat until water runs clear!

Squeeze out any excess (clear!) water...

Admire your shiny, clean brushes! Leave to dry overnight on a towel/cloth, et voila! 

Simple really. Its one of those things that you need to get in the habit of doing I suppose, and once you do - you won't even question why. Plus, they always feel nicer when they're all lovely & clean!

I'm keeping my eye out for a makeup brush cleanser at the moment, so, do you have a favourite?

How do you clean your brushes? Any particular products used? xo


Thursday, 2 August 2012

A New Favourite : Ginvera Green Tea Nude BB Cream

Every now & again, a product spreads through the beauty blogger-verse (?) like wild fire. Everybody raves about it, everybody thinks it great; sometimes the product is worth the hype, sometimes not. 

Ginvera was one of those products. I'd been slowly seeing an increase of posts featuring this miracle BB Cream for quite a while as it came in a sample size packet in a beauty subscription box.

I heard the words 'For all Skin Tones' and decided that cannot be true and shelved it as maybe something to look more into/possibly another product not worth the hype.

As I'd been running out of my Benefit Hello Flawless foundation and needed something lightweight for summer/going to Croatia at the end of August - I figured a BB Cream / tinted moisturiser with SPF would be perfect. After reading even more rave reviews of Ginvera I decided to take the plunge and buy some! (£18 from cocktailcosmetics).

...I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but this really is a fantastic BB cream.

I applied the product using my Real Techniques buffing brush; it is a very runny liquid, the cream claims to be a "non greasy formula that provides natural matte finish" - as much as it is matte (and even looks good on my dry/combination skin) it does give off a 'dewy' look. It really brightens your skin, evens out any redness, feels moisturising AND weightless, all at the same time - all things I'd never imagine getting from a matte product (more of a glowy kinda gal). It's long lasting, and did I mention if actually matches the colour of my skin?! No idea how, but it does! When applied to the back of my hand it looks slightly darker, yet miraculously blends like a dream to the real shade of my natural skin tone.

All in all - amazing. It smells quite nice, kind of like fruity cucumber, too.

The one thing I'd note is that I do have a blemish on my forehead which I still had to apply a bit of concealer to; guess you can't have it all! But any other pigmentation it covered very well.

I think this is genuinely a first of my hand matching the colour of my face (see above), no more two-tone going on! What more could you want? I can imagine this is going to be a strong favourite for quite some time and I will definitely be using it in Croatia (hello SPF 30!).

Whats your favourite bb cream/tinted moisturiser? Have you ever tried Ginvera? xo

OH! And its a cruelty free brand. I feel like an excited child with this product, can you tell? It just keeps on giving.

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