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Category Archives: make up

Beauty Review – January Birchbox

Hello and happy Saturday. I have had a relaxed yet productive weekend so far (the best type in my opinion) and am now sat with a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn, candles are lit and we have lined up a film to watch later on.

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My first Birchbox of the year arrived this week full of products meant to get 2017 off to a great start. I like the design on the box and was keen to see what was inside.

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The first item was a Nails Inc polish in a pretty pale pastel blue. Now, I love Nails Inc as a brand and would normally be chuffed to receive something for my nails but I already have this exact colour! I have seen on social media that there were a range of colours included so I obviously was a bit unlucky with the one I received.

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Next was a handcream from French brand Merci Handy. I received the scent Flower Power and it is a sweet-smelling, rich cream that I will use to try and counteract this harsh weather.

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An interesting product next from Lord and Berry. I own a couple of lip items from this brand and at first thought this was another nude shade. However, I received their Conceal-It Crayon in the shade Beige. It is a pencil concealer which, at first, I really wasn’t sure of. I thought it would be too dry to blend well and almost made my mind up not to like it. After testing it out, I was impressed to see it was a great colour match for me and was actually quite creamy when applied and blended with my fingertips. I have put it with my current foundation to test out a bit more next week but I actually quite like this.

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A brand I have been wanting to try out for a while now – Yes To. I got the Yes to Carrots Moisturising Eye Cream and I was really impressed that this was a full-sized product. This is a nourishing eye cream that I have swatched and am looking forward to using. I was just coming to the end of my Benefit eye cream so this was perfect timing.

Finally, I received a good-sized sample of Monu’s Rosewood Reviving Mist. I love rose-scents and I enjoy a good facial spritz so this was a good inclusion for me. It is refreshing and smells great but I probably wouldn’t spend the £20 to repurchase it.

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Overall, this was actually quite a good box but I can’t help but feel a bit ‘over’ beauty boxes. I have so many samples now, I struggle to use them all and I just don’t get as excited anymore when my Birchbox arrives. Saying that, I think I would miss it if I cancelled my subscription as it pushes you out of your make-up comfort zone and almost forces you to try products you might not try but end up loving.

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Five Friday Favourites #2

Ahhhh Friday! I think I’m going to enjoy writing my weekly summary on Fridays rather than Sundays as there is no way you can be in a bad mood when Friday rolls around! This weekend I plan to have a lie-in, bake and generally potter about. Whilst I love a busy weekend, there are times when you crave slowing down a bit and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Anyway, on with the five highlights of my week…

Absurd Bird

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Ian and I had a lovely meal at this new restaurant in Bath. I wrote a review of it here. If you like chicken, it’s great but don’t be fooled by the size of the portions!

Organic Surge Rose Hot Cloth Cleanser

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I have loved using this Organic Surge cleanser. It smells like Turkish Delight and is so gentle yet effective at removing make-up at the end of the day.

10 Cloverfield Road

Ian and I watched this film and it was an unexpected hit with us both. I don’t want to give too much away but it was very cleverly done with a great twist at the end. Although it’s the sequel to Cloverfield, it is nothing like the original.

Comedy Tickets

This week, we managed to get tickets to see James Acaster on tour and Ricky Gervais when he comes to Bristol. I am so excited to see Ricky live and I always think it’s great to have something in the diary to look forward to.

New iPhone

My cracked iPhone6 has finally bitten the dust and been replaced. In other words, my contract was up for renewal so I upgraded to a beautiful rose-gold iPhone7. I’ve already ordered a protective anti-smash screen cover (and some pretty marble phone cases!) so I’m hoping this one lasts a bit longer than my last one did.

Five Friday Favourites #1

Welcome to a brand new weekly feature! I like to mix this up every year as I tend to get bored of doing the same style of post for a whole year and having categories, such as fashion and food, can be a bit limiting at times.

So, I have decided to move my weekly summary-style post to a Friday and just post whatever things have floated my boat, whether they are food-related, a film I have seen or somewhere I have visited.

Healthy Eating and Meal Planning

These two kind of go hand in hand and I’m sure most people are trying to undo some of the gluttony of Christmas! I find meal planning so handy to ensure we eat healthily and don’t end up throwing anything away at the end of the week. My favourites this week include a cauliflower curry with brown rice, trout and couscous, lime and coriander chicken with giant cous cous, eggs and avocado, thai style seabass with brown rice and edamame stir fry and banana pancakes.

A new favourite eyeliner

I am in love with this Ciaté eyeliner that I received in my December Birchbox. The Fierce Flicks Eyeliner is a true black, lasts all day and the thin tip ensures perfect application. I would definitely repurchase this.

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Cross Stitch

I don’t do this very much but I feel I should as I find it so relaxing and I am always so pleased when I finish and have something to show for my efforts. I made this one for Ian as it is a joke we make a lot and I love how the flowers give it a kitsch, old-fashioned look. I have ordered a frame for it so just need to find the perfect place to display it.

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A Great Meal

We treated my parents to a meal at our favourite pub, The Longs Arms. I am yet to have a bad meal here and the food is always seasonal, sourced locally and packed full of flavour. I enjoyed a beetroot and cheese soufflé, brill in a lobster sauce and a scoop of Parma Violet ice cream.

A New Podcast

I have really enjoyed listening to Dawn O’Porter’s Get It On podcast. Each week she talks to a different guest about what clothes and style mean to them and I just find the relationship people have with clothes fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the chats with Dawn French, Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman.

Beauty Review – Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balms

One of my biggest regrets this Christmas is not being able to rock a statement lip colour. I love a deep berry shade or a bright festive red but the state of my lips has meant I have been reaching for lip balms instead.

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I have a pretty decent collection of lip balms but when my lips are sore and chapped I reach for the Rêve de Miel balms from Nuxe. They are bestsellers and I use both the balm and the stick formula.

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The little pot of balm comes in pretty frosted glass packaging and I tend to keep this on my bedside table. I’m not usually a fan of lip balm pots as I don’t think it is overly hygienic to keep dipping fingers in but I use this before bed and it really does work. It is a nice matte texture that doesn’t disappear but equally doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the lips.

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The lip balm in stick form is much more convenient for when I’m on the go and has the same moisturising qualities. The formula is slightly greasier than the pot of balm but both have the lovely honey and citrus scent.

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The lip balm is about £10 but I bought my most recent pot with my Birchbox points. The stick balms are about half the price and if you buy them from the Nuxe website they are currently doing a buy-one-get-one-free deal plus they always send a load of nice samples.

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The only other high-end lip balm I want to try is the By Terry Baume De Rose but at almost £40 it would need to be pretty amazing stuff! In the meantime, this duo from Nuxe does the job for me.

Beauty Review – December Birchbox

An early Christmas present arrived in the form of the latest Birchbox. I had just got used to the new little trays the products were coming in and Birchbox have changed things up again with this new style box. The colours are festive and the idea is that the box can be used a desk tidy afterwards which is handy.

 

The ‘Merry and Bright’ box contains a selection of beauty treats to use over the Christmas period and up to New Year’s Eve.

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Firstly, I received a full size Ciaté Fierce Flicks Eyeliner, worth £15. I love these types of eyeliners – my favourite being the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – so I cannot wait to try this out for some serious flicks. I have tested it out on the back of my hand and my first impression are good – it is a true black, very pigmented and applies beautifully. I hope it has good longevity too.

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Next, a Benefit POREfessional: Matte Rescue. This is a mattifying gel to minimise pores and create a smooth base for make-up. I used to love the original POREfessional primer but kind of went off silicone-based primers. However, I am keen to try this gel version and see if it works any better.

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I received a hair product from Percy and Reed. The Wonder Balm is a leave-in hair primer that claims to do an awful lot of things with one application! I am so fussy with hair products but will give this a go and see if it does anything for my curls.

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Next, a New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish from Amie Skincare. This is a good sized sample and smells amazing – like peaches. I try not to use harsh exfoliators on my skin too often so I will try this one with caution.

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Finally, the product I was most excited about receiving – a Caviar Stick in the shade Amethyst by Laura Mercier. These creamy eye shadow sticks are fab. I have one other colour already and find the product to be well-pigmented and it really does last with minimal creasing. This colour is beautiful and exactly what I would have chosen myself. It is a mauve/ taupe shade with a touch of sparkle making it perfect for Christmas and New Year parties.

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I read a blog post this week about how beauty boxes need to up their game if they want to survive in 2017. I agree with this and I think this month’s Birchbox is definitely a step in the right direction after a few average boxes. I think the inclusion of Ciaté and Laura Mercier products are great and it is higher end products like these which will keep me subscribing.

Sunday Summary #51

Life

It has been a pretty quiet week for me but I am in full Christmas mode now and am counting down until the end of term (5 more get-ups!)

We watched Home Alone 2 through the week which is making me want to visit New York in December next year to see all the beautiful window displays. We have also been watching Billions this week – such good dialogue and actors in it.

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I also spent yesterday putting up the final Christmas decorations so the house is looking so festive and cosy.

Food

I made mince-pie pastries which I will try and write the (very simple!) recipe for this week.

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We went out for a roast dinner today at a nearby pub for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday. I had rare roast beef which was delicious!

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I bought a little blast from the past this week – Fry’s Turkish Delight…as good as I remembered.

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Fashion

I have tried to avoid buying anything in the run-up to Christmas but I am obsessing with pleated midi skirts at the moment, especially slightly metallic ones.

Beauty

I have been enjoying my L’Occitane en Provence advent calendar each morning.

With the constant cold weather and central heating, I have pulled out the big guns with a new body butter from The Body Shop. This is the green olive scent and is so rich and moisturising.

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Finally, a duo from Eyeko that I have been loving. The FAT liquid eyeliner is a great product, and you can create either a thick or thin line with the felt tip-style applicator.

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The Black Magic mascara is also really good. It has a curved brush which helps to curl my eyelashes slightly.

 

Sunday Summary #48 and #49

Life

I have been a bit MIA on the blog recently so what better time to start afresh than the start of the month and the start of the most magical month at that! Yes, it’s December today which means all Christmas activities are now entirely appropriate and I don’t have to hide the fact my Christmas tree has been up for almost a week now – I even had the bands on my braces replaced with red and green ones!

I was shocked to hear the news that Fidel Castro had died and it made me so happy that we had managed to get to Cuba and see Havana earlier this year before things really start to change.

For my book club, I started reading The Versions of Us. It has good reviews and I’m enjoying it so far.

I’m not usually a huge fan of reality TV but Ian and I are loving I’m a Celeb this year. I find Ant and Dec hilarious (and so camp!) and the contestants seem a really nice group this year.

It has started to feel like winter this week with ice on the ground and having to spend ages de-icing my car in the morning. I’m overcompensating with extra blankets, cosy knitwear and lots of candles! Talking of candles, I made a few purchases at Bath and Body Works when we were in Boston and am enjoying starting to burn them.

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The cold weather has meant I have been drinking tea non-stop and tea addicts will appreciate the importance of a good mug. I love using this glass cup I bought in St. Petersburg this summer – something about holding it in both hands makes it feel so warming and comforting.

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Food

I headed up to London last weekend to catch up with several friends. I had the most delicious brunch with my friends Cat and Lucie at Jam in a Jar. I could have ordered most of the menu but instead opted for a healthy-ish breakfast plate with eggs, sourdough, smoked salmon, avocado amongst the contents…heaven!

I also met up with my friends from uni for our annual Thanksgiving meal. The food was delicious, especially the slice of pumpkin pie.

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We had an amazing meal recently at a local pub, The Longs Arms. It is probably my favourite place to eat at the moment and I am yet to enjoy a meal there I haven’t raved about! This time, I had lamb scrumpets followed by brill and cockled and a lemon crème brûlée and they were all divine.

Fashion

I made a little ASOS order this week for a couple of items. Firstly, a pair of Christmas cacti socks!

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I also picked up this striped jumper with suede elbow patches. I love the split sides on it and plan on wearing it non-stop.

Beauty

Despite telling Ian not to bother this year, he bought me this L’Occitane en Provence beauty advent calendar. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the hand cream I received today.

I was a little bit blasé about all the Black Friday deal that kept appearing in my inbox but I did put an order in at Organic Surge which I will share soon. I bought a bundle of their bestsellers and cannot wait to start using them as they smell amazing, are all organic and the company has a really great ethos too.

Finally, I have been really enjoying rediscovering the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. I used them years ago and recently bought Bad to the Bronze and forgot how pigmented and long lasting they are.

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