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30 Jul 2014

MUA Poptastic Palette Review

Seen as it's summer I thought a little colour may eventually be in order.  I went out to buy a Sleek palette but when I saw this beauty for only £4 I figured it was worth a shot.

MUA-Poptastic-Palette-Review-swatch

As you can see in the picture below all the colours are highly pigmented and suffer from minimal fallout on application. I must say that I like the purples and blues the best, especially the shimmery ones.  I also have to question MUA's sanity in including a bright pink/red colour, this could only be worn a long distance from you actual eye otherwise your just going to look as though you have allergies.

MUA-Poptastic-Palette-Review-swatch

With regards to lasting power, I have noticed the blue and purples can easily last the day.  Here is a picture of the same shades as above but after some vigourous rubbing, so you can see how well they last.


I would love to try some of the amazing eye makeup looks that you see on Pinterest but I don't suit full-on make up so here are the sort of looks I do with it.




As usual, they are hardly going to set the fashion world on fire with their originality to but sometimes it's nice to have a pop of colour.

Pros
  • 12 colours for just £4
  • Good lasting power on the darker shades
  • Some nice shimmer effects without being OTT
  • Great way to try some new looks without breaking the bank


Cons
  • Small size of each individual shadow
  • Packaging sucks as always, this is a shame as some of MUA other products have cute packaging
  • Horrid bright pink colour, should have been a shimmery dark emerald green in my opinion


All-in-all this is a great palette for trying something new and also to see what kinds of colours work well with your eyes/complexion.  

If it takes your fancy Buy here for just £4.





28 Jul 2014

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful - Rejuvenating Serum Review



Make-Yourself-Youthful-Review


I have been craving this beauty ever since Sarah over at Seriously Shallow recommended it on her blog.  The main reason I love this so much is the packaging, could it be any prettier, it makes me happy every time I use it.

I picked this up at Boots for just £10 (the usual 1/3rd off Soap and Glory products offer.)  This is amazing value as you get 50 mls of it and it has a pump, so no nasty germies lurking around ready to create spots on your face.

Make-Yourself-Youthful-Review


The smell of this is lovely and fresh, it is a pink grapefruit style scent.  The texture is great, it is very silky yet not loaded with silicones, so it is thin enough to glide on without leaving any visible sign of it.  It feels very light on your skin and not at all greasy like some serums, so you can layer it with a SPF or night cream.

According to the literature it is jam packed with penta-peptides, which are the darlings of the beauty world right now.  This little beauty has as many as some of the best formulated, designer serums at a fraction of the price.  Plus, look at that packaging.

It also claims to -

  • smooth surface imperfections, reduce depth of fine lines
  • brighten, tone and tighten
  • refine pores, recalibrate uneven skin tone

I LOVE this stuff, I will update this post in a month or tw when I can tell you how well it worked over the long term, but in the week since I bought it, I feel like my skin has already improved.

Buy it here for just £10.67, plus the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleanser is just £5.33 and the Ultimelt hot cloth cleanser is just £6.67.

Absolute bargain.




22 Jul 2014

Superdrug Haul under £20

I have had a list as long as my arm for ages, of products I want to try or re-purchase but Superdrug and Boots have both been on 3 for 2 strike for too long.  In this dire situation there was nothing left for me to do but go on a budget beauty haul.  I absolutely cannot buy a product at full price when I know that sometime in the next month to 6 weeks I will effectively get a third off, and when you have as many beauty purchases as me, this adds up to quite a bit.

I went shopping looking for a jewel colours eye palette, some waterproof mascara, a face powder in my summer skin colour and an eyebrow pencil for lazy days.  Here is what I got



MUA Eyeshadow Palette in Poptastic

First I bought an eye palette from MUA, I was looking for a Sleek one but the colours in this one are better and it's half the price!  I love the quality of the shadows by MUA, there is only one major downside and that is the size of the individual colours, but at £4 I can't complain. I am really happy with this, and can't wait to wear the bright colours on holiday with a tan.  Full review to follow shortly.


Bourjois 1 Second Volume Waterproof Mascara

I hate the name, 1 second, really!!!  But I had heard good things about this mascara and the packaging is gorgeous.  I went for waterproof ready for my holiday as we spend most of the day in the pool when we are there, so I will give a full review post-holiday.  It has a very odd shaped brush but I have high hopes.  This was on sale at £7.99



MUA Pressed Powder

MUA-pressed-powder-review

I had gone in to buy the Rimmel Stay Matte as it is my face powder of choice but when half the testers for the medium to dark shades were missing, I decided to try something new.  I looked at the powders on the MUA stand and they were only £1 each.  When I sampled it (yes MUA had samples, so there! Rimmel) it was really smooth, easily as smooth as high-end pressed powders and the colours were nice and yellow toned.  I decided that seen as they only cost £1, I would buy one in my current shade (I got no 3) and one for my holiday skin colour (no 4).  I figured I could also use the darker one as a subtle contour shade too in winter. The packaging is actually much better than the Rimmel or Maybelline equivalents and they blend in seamlessly. The only down point is the lack of powder puff, but I very rarely find you get one as standard these days even on an £8 or £9 powder.  I am really pleased with these and would happily pay more for them.

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil

Rimmel-Eyebrow-Pencil-Review


I usually use Benefit Browzing in the colour "medium" for my eyebrows but sometimes, when I am in a rush or travelling I find it too much of a faff.  I was looking for something that I could just apply in a hurry and that had a brush on the other end for the removal of foundation/facepowder out of my brows.  This seemed the closest colour match I could find, the blonde ones were all too light and the dark ones, scary looking.  It was only £2.99 and it has a lovely consistency, not too waxy that it slides, but not so hard that it pulls and drags.  The only thing that slightly lets to down is having to sharpen it, but at least I will be able to get a nice sharp point on it.  I got in the colour hazel.


Garnier Ultra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover



Boring, Boring, Boring.... this was £2 something or another and looked like it would work (has an oily layer and a watery layer.)  I like that it is a small bottle, as it takes me a couple of years to get through a bottle by which point I am well and truly bored of the sight of it.  Apparently this particular one helps condition your lashes, I seriously doubt it, but for £2 who cares.  I like the purpley colour.  I think that its all I can say about it.

Overall I am ridiculously over-impressed by the items I got for just £20.  I feel I have some real bargains and lots of fresh new lovelies for my makeup drawer/holiday.

If you fancy reading my more full reviews of the MUA Poptastic Palette and the Mascara, follow me on Bloglovin to receive updates.



18 Jul 2014

1 Month to Holiday Countdown - Preparation


In 1 month I get to spend 17 days in Spain!!! eeeeeeee. Let the countdown begin.



This time of year every year I always aim to loose half a stone, and up my beauty routine ready for a few weeks in the Sun.  I aim to loose 8 lbs or 4kg in 4 weeks, which I reckon should be manageable as I have lost 1.5kg already. 

Food and Exercise


I have read two really inspirational health books lately.

Cameron Diaz's Body - I got this as the reviews were so good, and I am really glad I did.  Cameron really knows her stuff and doesn't go in for any of the pseudo-science bull, that you get in so many health books.  She speaks in her book, the way you would imagine she would chat to you in real life and the book is so positive.  I completely recommend this.

Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath 

I bought this after reading about the authors struggle to avoid cancer.  Tom has spent most of his adult life trying to avoid getting tumours due to a genetic disorder the makes him more prone to them than you or I.  He has spent an enormous amount of time studying everything he could find to discover how best to preserve his health.  I loved reading this book and zipped through it, as it is so easily digestible and gives you lots of easy-to-implement ideas to improve your health.


My Main Changes 


Apart from weekends and nights out (of which there are many to navigate my way through) I will be trying to stick with veg/fruit, dairy and meat most of the week.  

  • Breakfast - Yoghurt with Granola (still obsessed with this.)
  • Lunch - Beetroot Rainbow salad with egg
  • Dinners -Courgette pasta with creamy tomato sauce and lime basil chicken or Cauliflower Paella/ Kedgeree

Beauty 


I have the worlds worst feet so most of my efforts will be spent trying to improve them. I have knobbly toes and dry skin on my heels from wearing flip-flops and open shoes nearly constantly. 

  • Foot Sanding - Twice weekly sessions with the Scholl pedicure spinny thing - just checked it is actually called the Scholl Express Pedi.  I got this for free as a sample and I love it, so easy and satisfying to see all the horrid dead skin come away.  It goes through batteries like no bodies business though, so you may want to invest in some rechargeables if you fancy one of these.
  • LOTS of foot cream,  I use Sanctuary Foot balm as it is relatively cheap and smells nice and fresh.  It is usually £5ish but is often on 3 for 2.
  • Deep Conditioning Hair - twice weekly - My usual favourite of Aussie 3 minute miracle, I will also be taking a full bottle of this to use everyday after going in the pool.


To Buy


Suncream - I am so sick of the ramped up prices everywhere for suncream, Boots are advertising products that usually cost £6 as 1/2 price but still costing £6!

I have found my newest favourite Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration (LOVE the smell) for £5.25 a bottle at Asda usually around £7.50 a bottle, and Boots claims it costs £15 before their half price deal, really!  This stuff looks so nice on your skin it really sinks in whilst leaving a lovely flattering sheen.  I would use this as a moisturiser just for the smell and finish regardless of it's SPF protection.

We have a collection of my husband and my favourite Malibu SPF 15 dry oil spray, that we get in Home Bargains Up North for £3 a time, but it is not any good for the kids. Smells divine though and so easy to apply as you can spray from any angle.  I have just realised that they stock this at Asda too for £3 and it comes in an SPF 30.

hawaiian-tropic-silk-hydration-malibu-oil-spray


Organisation


As I have mentioned before, I love a good list, nothing makes me happier than writing things down and checking them off.  I designed these sheets a couple of years ago, and I use them every time I go away to ensure that I have everything covered before I go.  I have now printed off the ones for this holiday and am busy checking everything is ready.


I will try write a post each week about all the bits I am doing to get ready and leave me all set to enjoy my holiday without worrying about details.




16 Jul 2014

DIY - Cheap, Quick and Healthy Iced Coffee

It is too hot out there at the moment, but I need coffee to wake me up, and I am currently trying to be more healthy so no trips to Starbucks for me.

1.  Fill cute glass 1/3rd full with ice
2. Put a spoon of instant coffee and your sweetener/sugar of choice in a small cup/glass
3.  Pour about 2-3tbsps of boiling water on and stir thoroughly.
4. Fill glass with cold milk - I used about 200ml of skimmed
5. Pour on coffee mixture
6. Add straw



Quick hot day coffee fix for only 70 cals. x


5 Jul 2014

Leighton Denny Miracle Mist Review - Speed Dry.


While perusing the shelves of my nearest TK Maxx, I spotted this gem nestling between the endless swathes of shockingly bad Nails Inc colours.

I had been wanting to try a fast-dry spray, as they sound ideal for those nights out when you are rushed, but your nails look dreadful, so need the help of a quick coat of polish.

Leighton-Denny-Miracle-Mist-Review


This retails for £11. But I bought it for £4 which I think is a much fairer price.  

You use it after you have applied the usual 2 coats of polish plus top coat (I used Seche Vite as always) by spraying a fine mist over your nails with your hand held in a claw like manner (very attractive)



It makes your nails touch dry almost immediately, which is usually enough to let you leave the house, as long as your careful. I have used this 3 times in the last week and it has meant I could get on with my day much more quickly

Leighton-Denny-Miracle-Mist-Review

There really isn't much more to say about it, it does what it says.

Would I buy it again?
Yes at £4 or if it came in a bigger can.



1 Jul 2014

June Empties

I love reading these posts on other peoples blogs as you get a quick summary review of a bunch of products you might otherwise not have tried.



Gok Wan Gorgeous Body Butter

I don't think I have ever been more satisfied to finish a product.  I am rubbish at applying body lotion/butter, this is probably because I have oily skin, so need to less than most, but obviously my feet (aaargggh) shins and forearms still need a good moisturise to look half decent.   I got this as a Christmas gift about 5 years ago, and only just got round to using it.  It is so old that they don't even stock it anymore! The age hasn't effected it one bit though.
I used most of the other products in the set quickly as they have a really lovely fragrance, but this just got left behind.  I find this is a really effective body butter, though it can leave your skin a little tacky for 15 mins or so afterwards, so maybe not one to apply before wearing a chiffon dress!

Would I Buy It Again?  Yes, if I ever run out of body moisturiser (this is incredibly unlikely though as I have about 8 currently circling the house looking for a dry spot to get smeared on.)

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean


I am sure I have rattled on about this before.  This is my everyday cleanser since discovering the wonderful Caroline Hirons site.  It is a balm/cream cleanser and I use just 1 pump and massage into my face morning and night to remove makeup and skin products.  I find this does a great job and emulsifying the products so they can be easily wiped away with a warm muslin cloth.  The fruit acids in it also give it a bit extra oomph when it comes to exfoliation.  This can also be worn as a mask if you want so more deep cleansing.  It smells like peaches hence the name, but when I say it smells like peaches I mean it, not that sickly canned peach smell, more like bowl of peaches with that slightly musty dusty tang to them.  I only buy this when it is 3 for 2 or a third off so it works out at around £5 a bottle which I think is very reasonable.  I think this is a good budget choice of balm cleanser for us oily-skinned girls.

Would I Buy It Again?  Yep, and I have one in my spares drawer already

Soap and Glory Hand Food


Good old Hand Food, there really is nothing else to say about this.  "Is it the most astonishing hand cream ever?" as asked on the bottle, nope but it is good for the price and has that classic S&G scent.

Would I Buy It Again? Probably, though I slightly prefer the scent of the sanctuary one and the efficacy of the La Roche Posay Cicaplast.

Rimmel French Manicure Polish in Rose Praline


I do not like this, so I have thrown it out.  It is supposed to be a neutral for your nails, but has sparkle in it, Rubbish!  It also claims that it can last up to 10 days chip free, hmmm let me see, more like 10 hours, absolute pants.

Would I Buy It Again? No

Phyto Hydrating Mask


I got this in a gift set and thought it was going to be amazing, it has lovely packing like an old metal tooth paste tube and it has no silicones, but theta is where the positives end.  It does absolutely nothing for my bleached hair, it actually makes it worse I would say.  I have used this a handful of times and every time I have wished I hand't.  My hair looks like straw after using this, and it cannot be tamed by either straighteners or serum.

Would I Buy It Again? Hell No

Alien by Thierry Mugler


I was gutted when this ran out, because I didn't realise I was on my last spray.  The bottle is quite opaque and also heavy so I thought I had quite a bit left.  This smells lovely for an evening it has jasmine, Amber and a slight floral smell.  I always judges Mr Mugler's scents to be a teenage and downmarket, but this one is gorgeous.  It isn't a summer scent at all, but in winter I adore it.  I had been using it for holidays only so that the smell reminded me of good times, it seems to have worked.

Would I Buy It Again? Definitely.  It is on my list as we speak, are your listening Mr Lego, it's only £26 at the moment?

Aussie - Aussome Volume


I'm sure I have mentioned this before, if not, I love this.  It's super concentrated so a little goes a long way, it cleans like no bodies business and leaves my hair soft and light. It is nearly always on 3 for £10 so I stock up on this and the 3 minute miracle every couple of months.  This is my Holy Grail Shampoo.

Would I Buy It Again? I already have.

Disney Detangling Spray


I bought this for my 2 girls as both have long hair and have started to look after it themselves (with a bit of help.)  They use this after washing to help brush their hair through, it is very lightweight which is great at the 7 year old has incredibly fine hair like me.  I found this a godsend on holiday when they spend 6 hours at a time in the pool each day.  This stops their hair turning into a crispy mess.  My middle child particularly likes the Rapunzel picture on the bottle and it smells lovely and fruity.  The eldest just likes that it gets her dreaded knots out.

Would I Buy It Again?  Currently in the process of trying to find the same one, we have others but this is their favourite (and mine), it was only £1 in Poundworld/Land whatever...

I'm pretty sure there was more than this, but I am extra specially terrible at remembering to keep all my empties together.




27 Jun 2014

How to Whiten Your Own Teeth for under £50

I'll start by saying this is not a guide on how to get that blue/white look, I like mine to look like they are just naturally white (I'm not sure I'm fooling anyone, but anyhow!)  As a rule, if your teeth are whiter than your eyeballs, you have gone too far!

I first whitened my teeth about 3 years ago, using at home kit that I bought from The Smile Place (this has no stopped trading as new laws have come into place.)  It cost £99 at the time, and it took about 2 weeks to get to a colour I was happy with.  I now do top-up treatments every 2-3 months to remove any new marks.

You can now buy the individual parts from retailers on eBay or Amazon and still get the same results.  I did this for my Husband, because his teeth looked bizarrely yellow next to mine , and it is the same stuff.  I get my top-up gels from eBay too.

The reason I didn't get them done in a salon or dentist was firstly the cost (you need to pay every time you need a refresh) and secondly I wasn't keen on getting the TOWIE look.

DIY-Home-whiteneing-Teeth-UK-How-To


The most important part of this to get right is the moulds, they will help you get professional results and not burn your gums.

You will need


  • Decent Sonic Toothbrush - I have an Oral B one (actually my Husband does, and I steal it and put my own head on it)
  • Teeth Moulds £30 ish (you WILL need to the technician-made ones, don't get the DIY ones)
  • Peroxide Gel £10
  • Sensodyne Toothpaste £2 (you will almost certainly need this, so keep a look out for an offer on it)

I recommend making sure your teeth are as clean as you can possibly get them before you start to bleach.  If you don't do this, you will get an uneven result and the gaps between each tooth will look yellower, so spend a few days getting busy with your best vibrating toothbrush and floss first.  You can get your teeth descaled by your dentist if your feeling super motivated (I hate dentists so I skipped this)

Teeth Moulds


Now you need to order some custom made teeth moulds, Amazon and Ebay both have suppliers who sell these.  Mine was a little kit that came in the post with some playdoh-like substance that you knead to create the dental putty and then you bite into it to create the mould.  The most important pointer here is that don't exceed the time kneading or the putty will set before you get chance to imprint your teeth.  Once I had made the imprint I then posted them back to the technician and they made the mould and sent it back to me.  This is what they look like.



Mine are the 1ml version to make them comfy to wear, though I am told they won't last as long, but mine have been going 3 years so far.

Can I wear them whilst going about your day?
I regularly wore these out on the school run, no-one seems to notice, though I felt so odd wearing them, I couldn't help but mention it.

What happens if they are uncomfortable?
You can trim any protruding bits, you don't want the mould to go above your tooth line, or you won't be able to easily remove any excess bleach.

Whitening Gel/Bleach


There are other gels that you can use, but I am only recommending Carbamide Peroxide as I have had good results with it and it isn't expensive.  I use 22% which is a mid strength gel.  I wouldn't touch the high strength with a barge pole as I got quite sensitive teeth with the 22 and so I wouldn't want it any stronger.  Basically the stronger the gel the quicker the results, it doesn't affect how white they eventually get, just how many sessions it takes to get there.

The bleach can burn your gums, so only apply a small amount and immediately remove any that squishes out onto your gums with a tissue.  It won't stop it working by applying less, but it will help you not get the side effects which might make you stop before you get the right shade for you.

How long does it need to be on for?  
I always do a minimum of an hour but no longer than 2 as the bleach looses power after this time so it is pointless carrying on wearing them.  It takes at least 15 mins for the carbamide peroxide to convert into hydrogen peroxide on your teeth and start to work.

Does it hurt?
Nope, but after 5 or so sessions you may (I say may, everyone I know who has done this has suffered from this) develop sensitivity.  I just switch my toothpaste to Sensodyne for the duration of the whitening.  Another clever friend just applies some Sensodyne to the tooth mould and wears it for a while to reminerlize her teeth.    The sensitivity doesn't last, but can be a bit annoying when you try to have a decent hot cup of tea or an ice cold G&T.

How many times will I need to do this for, and how much gel will I need?
My teeth were probably about average and mine took about 6-8 goes.  I reckon a 5 ml syringe will do you about 4-5 sessions, I don't bleach all the way to the back, just the ones that can be seen when I smile.

Can I eat while I am wearing the mould?
NO, don't be ridiculous!  I use it as a good way to not snack for an hour or so.

Hopefully, this is of some use to those of you who want brighter teeth, but don't want to blow £200 on it.  This method is the same products that you would get if you asked your dentist for at home whitening.

Feel free to follow me on Bloglovin if you want more bargainous beauty hacks.

Disclaimer : I am not a dentist, I am just saying what worked for me, Please use caution when following any advice and if it seems stupidly cheap, perhaps skip it as I doubt it will be safe.


26 Jun 2014

OOTD - Mixed Weather

You have to love the British weather, I am not sure any other country in the world can rival it for sheer indecisiveness.  Just when you think it's safe to wear a sun dress, then along comes rain, so you think, fine, I will wear jeans and a top, and oh look! the sun has come out again.

This is what I wore the other day when it was a mixed bag forecast.  I took the black long-sleeved top off later when the sun came out which just left me with a long length cami dress and capri jeans on, so it kind of solved the dilemma, a bit, maybe???


Unfortunately you can no longer buy the shoes.  I got them in the sale at Dorothy Perkins for just £15 and I have worn them heaps, but they no longer stock them.  I wish they, or anyone else for that matter) would restock them as they are really versatile.  The only ones I can find similar are Lanvin and cost £360. Don't you hate it when you find something so easy to wear and comfortable and then are unable to repurchase.

The jeans I got as a more fashionable version of capri's, I wanted to try the boyfriend jeans look out, but with my figure I couldn't go too baggy so this was my compromise, I just rolled out these ones from Next.  I can't say I am crazy about the colour and they may meet the inside of a washer full of dark indigo dye very soon.




Jeans- Ankle Slim Jeans - Next £26
Shoes - Similar here for £360!
Cami Vest - Primarni £3
Black Slouch Top - similar here for £15, mine was from Next 2 years ago. 



24 Jun 2014

New Home Haircut


I have been hacking at my hair again.  After last times much needed 3 inch trim, my hair has been steadily returning to it's original length.  I liked the volume that the shorter style gave me but I like a longer length of hair, and I am also loath to cut my hair off as all women of around 30 do when they have kids.  Why is this?? It isn't any easier having shorter hair.

So I had a good look around Youtube and watched some good home haircutting videos and settled on a heavily layered look.    I have super fine hair and so layers have to be done carefully, or it just makes my hair even lanker.  I choose to put in 2 layers, one at a bob length, and one further down towards the ends.  I like that I get the volume from the top layer and the length from the ones underneath.


You can see the "faux bob" look in the picture below. 



I did this in my usual cack-handed manner, by just damping my hair (slightly) and then using a comb and some hairdressing scissors I try and get a decent line wherever I want it to be.  I did some softening of the bob by angling the line downwards (only marginally, maybe my 10 degrees further) and by doing a bit of point cutting.