Friday, 30 January 2015

Favourites: January 2015

As promised, I'm starting off the year as I mean to go on and am sharing with you today the bits I've been loving this month!  I haven't done a favourites post since...I think it was July 2013.  I don't tend to buy myself bits too often, so I've always worried that I'd just have the same favourites month in month out, but with my mission to clear through my ridiculous stash of bits, I think I should have something different to share with you every month!

Starting with my ultimate favourite for this month - The Body Shop's Almond Body Butter.  I've had this in my stock for a while now, but had been working my way through other body moisturisers.  I can't even begin to say how much I love this body butter - it's super moisturising, but this one smells incredible.  Even though it's just almond, I feel like it smells a smidge like a cherry bakewell because it's also a bit sweet!  But because of all that...I'm absolutely gutted that this seems to have been discontinued.  I can't see it online, and when I asked The Body Shop they told me to check outlet stores and the sale in April - please let me know if you spot it!

The lip balm that I've loved this month is LUSH's Lip Service.  I got it for Christmas from Liam's parents and spoke about it in my LUSH Christmas Haul - I've never tried a lip balm from LUSH before but I really like it!  It smells a bit orangey, but it's not a tangy citrus scent...more of a sweet orange scent.  It's really helped my lips this month - they were seriously dry when I was poorly with the flu!  Revlon's Matte Balm in Sultry has been my lip shade of choice this month.  I have already spoken about it here, so I won't bang on about it again, but it's definitely one that's worth checking out if you're into the whole 90's lip look.

I have a review of this coming up soon, but don't wait for it - you need the Jouer Long Wear Creme Mousse Eyeshadow in your life.  I have the shade Dusk and I hardly wear anything else.  I bought the Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze this month to see what the fuss was on that - it's got nothing on Jouer.  I've already got my eye on the rest of the shades, particularly Galaxy and Twilight!

This month, I also picked up my first Illamasqua Cream Pigment in the shade Delirium.  It was in the sale already, but I got an extra 15% off with my birthday discount code!  It's been my contour of choice since I bought it, and I can't see myself switching to anything else anytime soon - it's really long lasting, and creates a beautiful natural shadow on the face because of the grey undertones.  I've been applying it with the Eco Tools Complexion Blending Brush as it's perfect for contouring.  It's paddle shaped which makes it ideal for slipping under the cheekbones, and because the bristles aren't super dense you can easily blend upwards!

What have been your favourites this month?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

Following on from Monday's Face Facts post, I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on the NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret.  I won this set through a giveaway on Tasha's blog Hello Freckles and I can't thank her enough - definitely go and check out her blog!  The NARS lip pencils have always been on my mind, but I've never committed to buying one myself.  Unfortunately, this gift set is no longer available but I thought I'd still share it with you because there is only one set exclusive shade meaning you can still get your hands on most of the colours if you like the look of one of my swatches!

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

The set contains three Satin Lip Pencils which are Descanso, Torres Del Paine, and Yu and two Velvet Matte Lip Pencils which are Iberico and Cruella.  I'll admit I was pretty worried about the two lighter shades completely washing me out or giving me a concealer lip, but I actually really quite like them!  The bold shades are my favoutites, but I am surprised that I like the lighter shades too.

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret Swatches
Swatches Top to Bottom - Cruella, Iberico, Yu, Torres Del Paine, Descanso

The formulas for these are really nice, but I feel like I have to say I don't think they live up to the longevity I'd read about.  The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils last around three hours before they've faded a bit or have come off a bit patchy if you've been eating or drinking.  I found that the mattes do leave a stain behind, but the colours really need reapplying again if it hasn't faded evenly, so I always made sure to be carrying mine around with me.  The formula was also quite drying which is to be expected with a matte lip, so I shan't complain too much.  The matte formulas did last a little longer using a liner underneath.

The nuder Satin Lip Pencils lasted a couple of hours before fading, but Yu lasted a good three hours the same as Cruella and Iberico.  Yu even left a gorgeous stain behind!  These were really moisturising and comfortable on the lips - far better than any moisturising lip crayons I have that are from high street brands.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Descanso Swatch

Descanso is a nude peach with pink undertones.  This was my favourite of the lighter shades, and the one that I wear the most day to day.  It's so easy wearing, and definitely fits into the 'my lips, but better' category.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Torres Del Paine Swatch

Torres Del Paine is a light peachy coral shade, which I do like but haven't worn as often as the other lip pencils.  It looks pretty similar to Descanso on the lip, but it does pull slightly peachier.  I think this will be great to use in Spring/Summer to use when creating a really fresh make up look.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Yu Swatch

Yu is seriously an in your face colour, but I really love it.  I don't own any lipsticks that are similar to this shade - it's a bright fuchsia with violet undertones.  I think it really brightens the face, whitens the teeth and looks insane with simple make up and a jet black cat eye.

NARS Velvet Matte Iberico Swatch

Iberico is unfortunately the exclusive to this gift set.  It's a bold orange with red undertones and is the shade I've worn the most.  I love how it can be worn day or night.  It applies opaque in one swipe and really is a great shade - I hope they bring it back permanently!

NARS Velvet Matte Cruella Swatch

Cruella is the only shade I'd heard of before receiving this set.  It is a deep red with blue undertones and was my lip of choice for New Years Eve!  The swatch on my lips looks a lot brighter in the photograph than it is in real life - it's the darkest red I own!  It definitely looks more like the swatch on my arm.

As far as shades go, I think I'm pretty covered.  The only one I might need to add to my collection is Palais Royal which is a gorgeous plum shade!  But that can wait until next Autumn I think!  Whilst I love the boldness of the Velvet Mattes, I think I'm leaning towards the Satin Lip Pencil formula, just because they feel amazing on the lips.  The Mattes were just a little too drying for me, and for a high end product I'd want to make sure that I got plenty of wear from it.

Which shade is your favourite?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Face Facts: Orange Pop

It's been quite a while since I've written one of these Face Facts posts!  I hate taking photographs of myself.  If you didn't know/couldn't tell, all of my blog photography is done on my phone.  I don't have a super fancy camera and I don't have fancy lighting so something I find quite hard is taking a quality photograph of myself.  All of this said, I really enjoy doing these types of posts and maybe in the future when I maybe have invested in some kit, I can look back on these and compare my old style to the new!

Onto the look...I'm fed up of being cold now, I'm just not a fan of Winter and can't stand being freezing all the time.  I decided I was going to hop into Spring a bit early this year - I've started to dismiss my darker lips in favour of bolder and brighter ones and the look I've been reaching for a bit quite lately is this one!

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer in 002
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Ivory
Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Concealer in Light
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Delirium
Naked Palette - Buck
NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley
Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara in Black
Barry M Brow Kit
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Real Techniques Setting Brush
Eco Tools Complexion Blending Brush
Eco Tools Full Powder Brush
Naked 3 Palette Dual Ended Eyeshadow Brush

Topshop Nails in Concrete

I started by prepping my skin with the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer in 002.  I won this on a giveaway before Christmas (it and some other goodies look a total state because a nail varnish smashed during transit!) and haven't really used it too often.  It's really nice actually; velvety rather than feeling like your skin is coated in silicone so I'll start making an effort to use this more.  For foundation, I have been using my Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in the shade Ivory.  This is actually my second bottle and it's currently my every day foundation - really illuminating with a medium coverage.  I concealed my under my eyes with the ever hyped Maybelline Anti-Age concealer and I like it, but I'm not sure if I love it just yet.  I only got it the other week, and I'm pretty hard to please concealer wise.  I set that with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.

I contoured my cheeks with the Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Delirium and ohhhhmahgod...I love it so much.  I only got it last week, but I've used it every single day since I bought it.  It creates the most perfect shadow that looks really natural.  I then blended that up lightly to give a hint of colour to my cheeks but nothing to dramatic because I wanted quite a simple look.  I used the shade Buck from the Naked palette to quickly add some depth to my eyes by applying that into my crease, and lined with the NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley.  For mascara, I chose the Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara.  I hated this when I first got it because the formula was so wet and application was always so messy, but it's okay now - I don't think I'd buy it again though when it runs out.

For my brows, I once again used my Barry M Brow Kit.  I use this every day, but again I don't think I'd buy this again.  It's pretty warm toned and I just feel that there must be something better out there to try.  I have a review of this coming this week so keep an eye out for that!  And for the main part of the look, I used NARS Iberico on my lips.  This was a lip pencil that came in the Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret and is currently my most used shade!  It's a warm toned orange red which is really in your face - I love it and don't own anything like it already!

What's your current go-to make up?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Warming Chunky Chilli Soup

I've really been getting into cooking lately.  I'm finding myself constantly flicking through my growing collection of recipe books, and forever collecting the free supermarket magazines offering recipes ideas.  I love cooking, and actually have started to enjoy making my lunches for the week of work ahead which used to be a real chore.  Every Sunday, I set aside an hour to prepare my week of lunches and for the last few months, I've been really enjoying experimenting with different soups and stews.

Healthy High Protein Lunch Ideas

Last week, I created this chunky, warming chilli soup.  It's not expensive to make, didn't take long to do at all and is also high in protein!  I think it's the perfect soup to enjoy when it's freezing outside - the first bowl I had was when it was snowing!  The recipe makes enough for four people, or four lunches.  If you fancy trying it yourself, you'll need:

  One tsp Chilli Infused Olive Oil
  One Red Onion, sliced
  Two Chillies, sliced
  One Garlic Clove
  300g chopped Turkey (I used breast because that's what we had in)
  Two Tins (800g) of Chopped Tomatoes
  One Tin of Mixed Beans
  Three small, baked Sweet Potatoes (roughly 350g)
  One tsp Ground Paprika
  One tsp Ground Cumin
  Half tsp Ground Cinnamon
  3/4 Pint of Chicken Stock
I started by preheating my oven to 180 and placing my sweet potatoes onto a tray.  If I was intending on eating the skin of these potatoes, I'd add a spritz of olive oil to crsip the skin, but seeing as I'll be peeling these later, I skipped the oil and just placed them in the oven.  I then heated my chilli oil in a big pan before adding my chopped onions, chopped chillis and mincing my garlic.  I chose to leave my chilli seeds in because I love the heat, but if heat isn't your thing then you should scrape them out before adding them.

Once the onions have softened, add your turkey to the pan and brown that off before putting in your chopped tomatoes and mixed beans.  Add your spices and a quick grind of pepper before topping up the soup with your stock and leaving to simmer until the turkey has cooked through.

Don't forget about your sweet jacket potatoes - take them from the oven after around thirty five minutes.  You should be able to make a small slice in the skin so you can peel the skin away easily.  Chop into chunks and add to your soup!  I left my soup simmering for a total of around forty five minutes before pouring into a storage box and putting in the fridge for my work lunches!

What's your favourite easy lunch meal?  Share your recipes below!

Friday, 23 January 2015

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I don't go to LUSH too often.  Lately though my Instagram has been filled with photos of what I've got from LUSH, but everything was either a gift I was lucky enough to receive either for Christmas or for my birthday, which was on the 12th January!

One of the bits that you might have spotted in my Christmas LUSH haul was the Snowman Shower Jelly.  I've never tried a shower jelly from LUSH before so it was all pretty new territory for me.  I didn't even realise that inside the pot, the jelly was actually a snowman shape that stays self preserved on its own!  I've been using him most days since getting him, and there's still a smidge of him left that hasn't melted down.  I'm actually quite surprised at how long he has lasted!

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly Review

The Snowman smells really nice as you'd expect from LUSH; it's a fruity blackcurrant smell with some warming citrus scents powering through.  It's quite an unusual festive scent and it's not at all overpowering, it's just the right balance of sweet and citrus.  My skin is always left with a slight hint of the scent, but it doesn't linger around for long and my skin is left nice and smooth thanks to the carrot, bergamot and buchu oils that the Snowman is made with.

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly Review

Compared to other shower gels I use, the Snowman was pretty hard to get a decent lather out of.  I often full body washed with my usual shower gel and then finished off my skin with the light lather of the Snowman to give my skin an added boost of moisture, focussing on dryer areas such as my shins and elbows.  I spotted on the pot that the Snowman was meant to have "plenty of shimmer" but I didn't notice even a hint of sparkle, but maybe they were just referring to the glisten of the oils that might be left on your skin?

As nice as the Snowman was though, I don't think I'll be picking another one up if he returns this year at Christmas - he was just so damn slippery!  It turned what would have been a pretty quick shower into quite the ordeal in trying to keep hold of the shower jelly!  I did love the scent though and the condition it left my skin feeling - I'd pick up the Snowman again if he came in true shower gel form or even a bubble bar, but I'll admit it wouldn't be as much fun!  The Snowman is no longer available this year, but I'm sure he'll be back this Christmas!

Did you manage to try the Snowman this year?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Body Shop Haulin'

Just throwing it out there...I love The Body Shop.  Who doesn't?!  I don't think I've bought anything from there that I haven't really, really liked, and whilst I'm not keen on their prices, I am keen on the fact that there is always an offer on.  And the offers are usually pretty damn good.  I got a £25 gift voucher for Christmas to spend there (from my dog, Ronnie...he's a good dog!) and I am pretty surprised that I managed to hold off spending it for so long!  I was a bit disappointed to see that I couldn't spend it online, but hey ho, a trip in store it is - which by the way, was brimming with all of the Christmas stock!  There's hardly anything Christmassy left online, but there was practically all of the Christmas bits in store from the limited edition products to the gift sets at bargain prices!  Definitely worth popping in store if you missed something!

Despite all the Christmas stock, I didn't buy any of the sale bits really.  It was a pretty focussed shop actually and I must have been in and out within five minutes!  Onto the haul and it's going to make for a fairly long post...

The Body Shop Haul

Okay first off, I picked up the full size Chocomania Shower Cream as mentioned in my December Body Care Empties post.  I really liked using the miniature that I got, and couldn't resist picking up another!  At £2, it's hardly bank breaking either!  I also picked up a full size version of the Vitamin E Moisture Cream which I've been really liking lately.  I haven't finished the miniature that I've got, but I couldn't let it run out and not have one as a back up - seriously nice to use.

I went on a bit of a Vitamin E spree as I also picked up the Vitamin E Hydrating Toner and the Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil.  I've not tried either of these bits, so I'm definitely looking forward to slipping these into my routine.  I've not ever really managed to religiously use a toner in my skincare routine, but quite fancy using this Vitamin E one in the evening alongside the Serum in Oil.  When it first came out, I heard lots of raving about the Serum in Oil but that died out pretty quickly so I'm hoping it's as nice as everyone once said it was.  Of course I'll report back on it!

I really have been loving using the Soothing Aloe Day Cream lately, so thought that I'd add a second toner to my routine - I've really gone for it with toners guys - and that's the Aloe Calming Toner.  There's something about the Aloe Day Cream that I think has really calmed my skin down - I rarely break out anymore, and my skin just seems so much better recently now I've started focussing on skincare.  I even think I'm breaking out of the full on oily skin type and breaching the combination skin type!  Hopefully this will keep the good skin comin'...

I picked up the Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Wash as I'm running a bit low on my face wash stash.  I'm really looking forward to finishing my current ones so I can wack this one out - I can just imagine this feeling so soothing and nice on my skin!  I'm currently using a gel cleanser, so this cream will be a nice change!  And finally, I picked up a Facial Massager!  Facial Massages are actually really important for the skin as they aid moisture absorption, can lead to firmer, younger looking skin, and my main reason for getting one, they can help with lymphatic drainage.  I often get quite sore lumps along my jaw line, which I assumed were just annoying under the skin spots, but reading about facial massage made me realise that it might just be trapped toxins from the lack of blood circulation around my face - so...massage, circulation boost, no more sore lumps?  Fingers crossed.  Plus, Caroline Hirons recommended it so for £6 it's no biggie.

Better yet, the offer on at the minute is spend £50 and get £25 off!  Which meant I got £50 worth of product for my £25 gift card!  Well I went £4 over my gift card, but oh well...Hurrah!  Good times all round!

Have you picked anything up from The Body Shop lately?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Calm Your Tits

I never really go into full on debate mode, but this week I'm just so confused by this whole feminist movement thing that seems to be always in the media lately.  This week The Sun stopped printing the topless ladies that we've seen on page three for as long as I can remember.  I'll get straight to the point here - we can't be on a mission for #NoMorePage3 when we're on a mission already to #FreeTheNipple.  

I feel like a man here in the way that I literally don't have a single clue what women are wanting.  The thing is, I'm all for women working to stop men seeing women as objects, but at the same time, I'm all for women being equal and having the freedom to do what ever the hell they want.


If someone wants to get their boobies out on page three then good for them, and go for it!  I get that there is a time and a place for it, but page three never harmed me when I was younger so why have we got to get rid of it now?  If I had a little boy one day, I'd rather his lady part curiosity was half answered as he looked at the boobs on page three than go trailing the internet for a picture of boobs because god knows what will come up then.  I just don't see why women are stopping other women from doing something that they want to do?  We should be celebrating women, boobs and all - not making our bodies some sort of taboo.  Are we aiming to get Heat's Torso of the Week banned next because it's objectifying men?  Didn't think so.

I don't want anyone to think that I'm in favour of objectifying women, because I'm not.  I  despise the new found 'LAD' culture that has emerged in the last few years - but I just don't see why we seem to be working to repress women and whinging when we have our boobs out, or are showing a bit more cleavage than usual when the women fifty years ago were working so hard to be equals?  Leave the men to sort  the 'LAD's' being such dick heads and let us women just focus on getting equal pay in the work place and other important things other than whose tits are out where.

I don't even read The Sun and don't think I've ever bought a copy other than to get a £5 voucher to buy fruit and vegetables at Morrisons; it's hardly going to affect me in terms of not being able to look at page three anymore.  I just wish people wouldn't be so offended at every tiny thing.  Calm down - Hakuna your Tatas.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!