Friday, 28 February 2014

Whats In My Gym Bag?

I do love to be nosey, particularly with what other people carry in their bags.
That sounds a little bit odd, doesn't it? Regardless, I find posts like these quite fun, so I thought I'd add my two cents.  

Why gym bag? Well, my handbag is full of utter crap, so that would be reason number one & reason two; I've been heading off to the gym more often over these past few months, and I tend to have this bag with me more than my other. Not a sentence I really thought I'd ever type, but hey.

First up - the actual bag itself. I like my gym-bags like I like my handbags; comfortable, easy to carry and generally go with any outfit (not that I have any fashion-sense, whatsoever). This Sweaty Betty Holdall, which apparently they don't sell anymore - sorry! - ticks a lot of those boxes. Sure, it has a great big pop of neon orange that may not technically go with everything, but as I said, fashion sense? Don't have any. But I do love it for that fact it's a bit different but still practical, and is really easy to just sling over my shoulder and go. 
There aren't too many pockets inside, but thats a good thing for a hoarder like me, as it makes me a little more selective about what I do put in there. Of course, I have the boring bits & pieces like my Virgin Active Membership Card, a padlock (fyi, you will have to take your own for your locker or pay £5 for one of theirs), iPhone headphones & my house keys. Pretty self explanatory.

As for 'beauty' bits, I carry the Benefit 'Justine Case' travel makeup set & any of my current favourite lipsticks for facial emergencies. I bought the compact when I lived in Spain and it really is a great little set for people on the move. It contains 'Eyecon' brightening cream, 'California Kissin' lip shine, 'Benetint' lip & cheek stain plus 'Some Kinda Gorgeous' foundation. I'm not one of those people that puts make-up on just to go to the gym, but after an intense thirty minutes of Spinning, they do come in handy. Especially as I have to walk through a busy city centre to get home; and you know I will bump into someone looking like a blotchy monster.

I don't think deodorant, a towel & hand sanitizer need much of an explanation, but I don't really tend to use the gym showers, for numerous reasons, but mainly for the fact they're a bit grim. Plus, I only live a 10 minute walk away from my own shower! So a quick freshen up is enough, although if things really aren't in a good way, or I have somewhere important to be straight after; I carry a little sachet of shampoo & conditioner. It's a good way to use up your samples & it keeps your bag nice a light, so you don't have to lug round huge bottles of products!


Another permanent addition to my bag is my YFumble, which is looking a little faded, but I have had it for years now. If you're looking for a cheap, comfortable & practical 'arm pocket' (their words, not mine) I highly recommend these! They keep my iPhone in place for any & all of my exercises and they feel uber lightweight and comfy. Bonus!

As for nibbles ('cause I'm always thinking about food, no matter where I am) I tend to carry some kind of natural protein source; whether it be a 'Bounce' energy ball or Nakd bar, just something to fill me up until I get home. As I pass nearly every fast-food place on said walk, I don't want to be so hungry that I ruin everything I've just done!

And finally, possibly the brightest and most in-your-face footwear I own/will ever own, are my Nike iD LunarGlide's… I'm not sure what kind of happy pills I was on when I designed these at the Nike store in London (when I was training for a half marathon with Team Bangs on the Run) but they still make me smile every time I see them!

What do you have in your gym bag? 
xo
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Products of the Day

Between working from home, early starts and heading to the gym; things have gotten a little lazy in the 'beautifying myself' department. 

So, today I thought I would actually put a bit of effort in; which included a much needed hair pamper, i.e. actually washing it and not just throwing it up in a bobble, plus a full face of makeup. I seem to have developed a knack of leaving my hair in between washes as long as I can possibly get away with (around four days, five at a push. yup. lazy), and not exactly bothering with time consuming looks such as liquid eyeliner - ain't nobody got time for that; or at least, I don't anymore. Painting such a pretty picture here, aren't I? 

Anyway, here are some of the products used today… Some I love, some I don't.
Base : 

Revlon PhotoReady Primer - this stuff is awesome & a new one for me. I couldn't tell what it was that I loved about it at first, until I went to a Spinning class and realised my foundation was STILL in place after thirty minutes of intense sweating. Great for oily skinned gals as it gives a slight matte finish to your base and keeps everything in place like a dream. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum - my current go to day - to - day foundation. It's lovely and lightweight but provides enough coverage for my liking. *thumbs up* 

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer - cheap & cheerful but does a good job of hiding the fact that I'm a very light sleeper and am constantly tired. One swipe and you're good to go.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer - another product for under the eyes, but one that I actually prefer to use on any blemishes as it hides them brilliantly! You only need a small amount and it's like they were never there. Hurrah!

Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder - I received this for Christmas (thanks to blogger influence) and I'm not sure how I ever really lived without it… It does what it says on the tin and you only have to use the smallest amount, so you know it will last forever (and so you'd hope at £35 a pop). Sculpted cheekbones all round!

Eyes & brows : 

Hourglass Arch, Soft Brunette - another blogger influence purchase, but one I couldn't miss out on. Naturally defined, amazing looking brows? Uh, yes please. After a bit of practise, I do find it easy to use, but not one for girls with thinner brows, I wouldn't think, due to the thick nib. It has a lovely natural colour to it and the wax/powder hybrid keeps my 'brows in place all day (and night) long.

Origins Peeper Pleaser, Cream Puff & Mac Wedge - being new to trying Origins makeup range, I was really pleasantly surprised by their eyeshadows. It has great staying power and the shade makes a great base for any look. I added a bit of Mac Wedge for extra definition!

Illamasqua Precision Ink, Abyss - this stuff really gets on my nerves. Why are you using it then? I'm sure you're wondering, (probably not, but I'mma tell you anyway). It's very wet and doesn't set quickly; meaning once you go over it, which you need to do as it doesn't come out completely black, it starts to disappear. The nib is good for fine lines, but that's probably all I like about it. (I can't afford to buy a new one as of yet; recommendations, for when I do, would be much appreciated!) 

Maybelline the Falsies - do I really need to explain? No. Have a quick look around my blog and you'll see why. All time favourite. Wonderful lashes. End of. 

Colour & shimmer : 

Origins Pink Your Cheeks, Tropical Pink - another newbie to my collection is this lovely, if not a little daunting, blush from Origins. Don't let the intensity put you off, as this gives the prettiest, most natural pink flush to your cheeks. I absolutely love it & it would be great for Summer! Plus the compact has a mirror too. Winning. 

Mac Mineralise Skinfinish, Soft & Gentle - a lovely, natural highlight, that's not too 'in your face shimmer' but rather a gentle glow, as the name would suggest. 

Mac Plumful - sticking to the pink-ish theme, I opted for a swipe of Plumful. It adds just enough colour to lift the whole face, but not too dark to get away with in the day time. One of my all time favourites - thank you Amy! 

That is a long list isn't it? So it's not the quickest make-up look in the world, but it definitely made me feel slightly more 'put together' than normal! 

What's your favourite product that you're wearing today? 
xo

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Repurchases

In a (beauty) world where everything is ever-changing, it's almost impossible to stay faithful to certain products.

But, there are some that are just so good it's hard to even think about entertaining anything else. I think it definitely says a lot when you repurchase products, so here are a few of the staples in my stash…

Maybelline The Falsies(Okay, I'm sorry if you just rolled your eyes). Yes, yet another mention to my all time holy grail mascara. I don't think I really need to go into too much detail, but it is fantastic; it lengthens, adds volumes, doesn't clump or smudge and picks up every lash. I'm not sure I'll ever purchase a 'high-end' mascara again. Honestly. THAT GOOD!

Dove Leave-in Conditioner & Nourishing Oil Range. Me and my hair have a love/hate relationship. In the past it has been bleached beyond all recognition, attacked with heat and generally not cared for. Now, I'm trying to undo all of that damage and the only products I feel genuinely help at the moment are these from Dove. The leave-in conditioner is perfect for detangling my hair post-wash AND for hydrating after blow drying. The shampoo & conditioner combo are also lovely for thick hair as they add a lot of moisture without making my roots oily. It's a miracle!
Bobbi Brown Corrector. If there's one product I'd say I couldn't live without, it would probably be this one. I've been trying to make this little pot of wonder last as long as physically possible. Hitting pan was a sad day, but to say this was kindly gifted to me last Christmas (2012) it has definitely lasted me well. It corrects even the darkest of dark under-eye bags, doesn't crease, doesn't look cake-y and has saved me from looking like the walking-dead on many occasions. 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. Having combination skin can be a tricky one to please, so when I found this from Kiehls I decided to hold on with both hands. It's a wonderful product, even if the pot is something to be desired. It hydrates my dry patches like a dream, doesn't make my oily areas any worse, plus it's kind to even the most sensitive parts of my face. It does a great job of balancing my skin, day and night and I will continue to use this until my face disagrees! (please don't be any time soon).
YSL Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. Another product I've had for over a year now is this lovely foundation. Sadly it's coming to the end of its life but I will be repurchasing, for numerous reasons. The colour match (BD40) is unlike anything I've ever known; it is perfect. It is lightweight but with good coverage, has a great 'blurring' effect on the skin and has decent lasting power. It's a great all-rounder, so I'm looking forward to having it back in my makeup collection asap!

Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume. I've used this perfume for over four years now and I still can't get enough. It's such a classic, sophisticated yet delicate floral fragrance that works for both day and night. It's almost guaranteed that I will be wearing this 90% of the time. It's love.

What do you repurchase?
xo

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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Lazy Girls Weekend Make-Up

Truth be known, I normally spend my weekends being as lazy as physically possible.

This translates to how I dress, (if I even) brush my hair, and minimal makeup application… What a lucky guy my boyfriend is, eh? Yes, I hold my hands up; I turn part sloth at the weekend, but that's what they're all about, in my opinion. So here's what I apply to my face to make myself half-decent, with as few products as possible. I don't want to completely scare people, after-all…

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, 51. It's cheap, it's light, it's luminous. If I had a tinted moisturiser to hand; I'm sure I would use one of those instead, but as I'm trying to use up what I have at the moment - this is the next best thing. It's a lovely, lightweight foundation that adds just enough coverage to make me look human again.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, Ivory. The clue is in the name. One swipe of this under each eye and we're good to go. It has such a great 'awakening' effect, again, without being too heavy and I love it for that!
Mac Omega Eyeshadow. Applying this with an angled brush is about as easy as eyebrows come. I'd love to just brush a spooly through these bad-boys and be done, but unfortunately they're aren't as thick & lush as, say, Vivianna Does Makeup or Lily Pebbles' offerings (ultimate brow envy). So a little help is needed. This is a great shade for ash-blonde/light brunette 'brows and I would highly recommend it!

Maybelline The Falsies. My go-to mascara, as I'm sure it is for many others - this stuff is awesome. Length, fullness, all round great mascara that ticks all the boxes & gives a great 'wide-eyed' effect. Which is exactly what I need, 24/7.
left : sweet berry, right : lillium

Stila Convertible Colour Blush, Lillium. If you're looking for speed and ease of use, nothing quite hits the mark like a cream blush. This little compact from Stila is a pretty, natural pink that gives an effortless hint of colour in seconds. And if you really want to - you can add it to your lips too… Not that I really recommend it. 

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse, Sweet Berry. To add a final hint of sheer colour, I like to opt for these 'lipsticks'. They're so light they almost feel like a water/balm hybrid on the lips, which is great for those of us that need a little help in the moisture department. The colour is also lovely and, again, quite natural, which makes it easy for mirror-less top-ups throughout the day.

Now if only I could get out of my pyjamas as quickly…

What are your go-to products for lazy weekends?
xo
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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Antipodes : Manuka Honey Face Mask & Juliet Cleansing Gel

My first run in with Antipodes (a natural skincare & make-up brand from New Zealand) was their beautiful Vanilla Bean moisturiser. I picked it up on a whim, but it quickly became a skincare staple for me. Since then I have been hooked on their great smelling, miracle working, all-round-lovely products. So when these two little gems arrived in the post, I was excited to say the least.

First up, the Aura Manuka Honey Face Mask (£21.50)*.

I think one of the first things to note is the wonderful, sleek & clean packaging. I'm a sucker for 'good looking' products and this definitely ticks all the boxes for me. Secondly, the smell, as with the majority of Antipodes products, is just yummy; plenty of vanilla pod & mandarin notes with a lovely smooth, almost 'yoghurt-y,' type texture - which is a good thing, by the way. Not too thick but not too runny, just a good, well balanced mask.

It's a product aimed at all skin-types and unlike other masks you can use this every 'sunset' - their words, not mine, which I think would be great if you really suffer from dry or blemish prone skin on a daily basis. As I fall into the combination category it works wonders for me, particularly when having a bad skin day/week or winter-induced dry patches. It leaves my skin feeling so hydrated, smooth and soft, but not overly oily or 'heavy' once removed. The manuka honey element also gives is a great cleansing & antibacterial feel to the overall process; leaving me with clean, healthy skin. 
It's something I will definitely repurchase as I think it's a very unique product & it leaves my skin feeling heavenly! What more can you ask for?

Next, is the Juliet Skin-Brtghtening Gel Cleanser (£24.99)*.

I can't deny that this product took me a long time to decide whether I liked it or not. I can honestly say I do after a good few weeks of use, but perhaps for unusual reasons...

Firstly, the smell of this product is very intense, however still natural. I think the manuka honey, green apple & cardamon pack a strong punch and to me it was a little bit overwhelming at first. Some people like the scent, some don't, so if you can give it a whiff before you buy - that might be a good idea. Either way, it has grown on me & I do find it quite nice, it's just something I'd never really smelt before!

Secondly, the texture is very runny. I would expect a gel to have a certain amount of thickness or something, anything, to it, but as you almost pour this product out, its consistency is very watery. This isn't a particular problem to me, but may be to someone who prefers a balm, although if you like your cleansers on the lighter side then this could be for you. Having said that, as you apply the gel to your  damp face it does thicken up and slightly foam (in a good way) which quickly disappears and takes your makeup with it.

One thing to note is that I don't find this particularly great on the eye area, it stings a little & I do struggle to remove eye make-up with it - although, to be completely fair, it doesn't say to use it on your eyes, or claim to remove that, so maybe I'm being a bit harsh. As for the rest of my face however, it does work wonders.

My skin is left feeling very cleansed, not stripped, but perfectly balanced. I prefer using this in a morning as it gives a great, fresh base for make-up. I personally think people with combination or oily skin would enjoy this product & it could be a great Summer cleanser for you, however if you do have drier skin I can't say you'd enjoy it as much. It can leave my skin a bit tight, but not in a uncomfortable way. Oh, and the brightening part? Not something I have noticed, but if you have particularly dull skin, you may notice this. 

As mentioned above, I think during hotter periods this would be a really nice cleanser to use, but for the winter I feel I perhaps need something a bit thicker & nourishing.

In short : do I like it? Yes. Do I love it? No. 

I can't hand-on-heart say I would repurchase this, although I am getting a lot of use out of it. For £24.99 and 200ml you do certainly get your money's worth! I've been using it for a few months now and I'm still not even half of the way down.

What have you tried from Antipodes?
xo


*pr sample
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