31/05/2015

Drugstore Haulin'

So, I might have gotten lucky this month and been paid more than I anticipated. And I might have gotten a little excited and waltzed into every shop in town without hesitation, waving my purse in the air and ticking off wishlist after wishlist of things I've wanted for an absolute AGE...

Ok so that might be a bit of a dramatisation but you get where I'm coming from, right?

High street beauty haul makeup flatlymaybelline brow drama medium brown colour drama 630 nude perfection revlon colorstay sand beige 180 combination oily seventeen stay time concealer fair

Revlon ColourStay foundation for combination/oily skin in 180 Sand Beige
I've been after a higher coverage drugstore foundation for a while, and after hearing nothing but great things about Revlon's offering, I thought I'd give it a whirl! The thing I really like about this foundation is that it's tailor made to specific skin types - either normal/dry or combination/oily so it's pretty much guaranteed to agree with my skin.

Seventeen Stay Time concealer in Fair
I'm pretty sure this little guy is the new kid on the block when it comes to drugstore concealers. When swatched, it feels very similar to Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer (which I have repurchased over and over again), but doesn't seem to feel as drying on the skin. Same consistency, same price, same coverage, but a little more creamy which I like!

Maybelline Colour Drama velvet matte lip pencil in 360 Nude Perfection
Rumor has it that this is a pretty accurate dupe for Mac's Velvet Teddy in pencil form, so naturally I had to have it. It's lovely and matte without being too drying - I don't have Velvet Teddy to directly compare it to, but on the lips it looks very convincing! The formula is wonderfully pigmented, and it lasts a good while on the lips on it's own. I'll definitely be picking up more of these. 

Maybelline Brow Drama eyebrow mascara in Medium Brown
I've been using the same grubby not-so-clear-anymore mascara to set my brows for what feels like centuries (ew?!), and without the budget for a Benefit Gimme Brow, this was the next best thing. Luckily, the medium brown shade is almost identical to my natural brow colour and I find the brush applies just enough product without it going all gloopy and gross. I can't say I'll be wearing this on it's own, but it works like a dream over the top of my Dipbrow Pomade. 

I've not treated myself to new makeup in what feels like forever, and it felt sooooooooo good giving my makeup bag a little update! Note to self: must do this more often! If you've picked any of these bits up recently, let me know your thoughts! 
Also, is blogger reeeaaallly killing the quality of anyone else's photos recently or is it just me?!


Big love,

xxx

P.S. My apologies for my absence this week, I felt like I was doing so well with keeping my little internet space up to date when BAM - I've been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries which is super painful and means I've been testing out a cocktail of tablets like a little guinea pig all week. Cry! I'll survive though, I'm sure :) x
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15/05/2015

Spectrum Brushes | Concealer & Brow Brush Review

I'm a self confessed makeup brush freak, and I'm always on the lookout for good quality brushes that won't set me back £50 a piece (MAC, as nice as your brushes are, I'm looking at you). Considering Spectrum are a brush brand I'd never heard of before, their brushes are insane. They're completely vegan and cruelty free, which is so nice to know especially if you're a head-over-heels animal lover like me - not to mention they're super affordable too. 2 brushes for under £10? Yes please...

spectrum brushes angled brow brush domed contour concealer brush
Zelda is a nickname - my actual name is Emma for those confused by the note haha!
spectrum brushes angled brow brush domed contour concealer brush

First things first, can we all just appreciate for a moment how bright and beautiful these brushes are?! It's so nice to see something other than black brushes for a change, and the ombré bristles are right up my street. They even come with a sweet little storage bag and a handwritten thank-you note. Swoon. 

spectrum brushes angled brow brush domed contour concealer brush

Since getting my hands on the Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown (woo, what a mouthful and a half that one is), I've been on the hunt for a decent brow brush to accompany it. Unfortunately my budget right now can't stretch to a coveted MAC 266, so I was looking for the next best, affordable thing! Enter Spectrum's Angled Brow Brush. For me, this is a little brush of dreams, it's got perfect length bristles with a lovely stiff-ness for all things brows - and I don't know about you but I've had my fair share of soft, almost fluffy brow brushes with bristles that are too long to actually do anything with. At £3.99, I was worried that this would be the case with this brush too, but I was so wrong. Very very impressive!

spectrum brushes angled brow brush domed contour concealer brush

I've never really had a brush for the sole purpose of blending concealer - I'm typically lazy and most of the time I'll use my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for absolutely everything - so I thought it was about time I got myself sorted. I decided to grab the Domed Contour Brush, which I think is actually meant for the eyes but it's the ideal size for blending around smaller areas of the face - especially because my eye sockets are so teensy anyway! Let me start by saying this brush is stupidly soft, and blends even my thickest Lasting Perfection Concealer in like a dream. I find that a lot of the time thicker concealers go all dry and crease on me, but after they're blended in with this little bad boy, my complexion looks flawless. If I didn't know otherwise, I'd think it was much more expensive than it's £4.99 price tag. 

Not only am I a makeup brush freak, but I'm also really picky with what brushes I use, and all things considered, I'm ridiculously impressed with Spectrum's brushes. I'm counting down the days till payday so I can get my hands on some more! Let me know your thoughts, especially if you've tried any brushes from Spectrum before! 

Big love,
xxx
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13/05/2015

Aussie's Miracle Dry Shampoo

I have always been a die hard fan of the Batiste dry shampoos. I am also a die hard fan of Aussie hair products. Put the two together and out comes this Aussie dry shampoo. Ding ding ding, we have a winner, people!

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a damsel in distress (i.e. me) hit the snooze button one too many times. Behold, on a very rushed morning before work, with no time for a shower, she discovered she'd run out of dry shampoo - DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN!!!!
Haha sorry, I couldn't resist.
Anyway, this did actually happen and after running into Asda on the hunt for a bottle of Batiste, I spotted this and was stopped dead in my tracks. Aussie's offering is a little more pricey than Batiste coming in at £4, but I honestly think it's worth it. Here's why...

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo Aussome Volume

When I first used this dry shampoo I was slightly skeptical. I'd sprayed it on and shimmied it through my hair at my desk while at work, and my computer screen was as good of a mirror as I was going to get. To me, my hair still felt greasy, and without a mirror to check for greasy patches and/or white powdery patches, I spent the day not knowing if my hair looked half clean or old lady-esque. Thankfully, there wasn't a grey hair in sight. There's sometimes still a little bit of powder left over, but you really have to give it some welly on the same patch of hair for it to notice - a few little spritzes here and there leave no colour behind at all.

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo Aussome Volume

I found a lot of the time with the Batiste XXL Volume dry shampoo that it made my hair feel very stiff, but the Aussie one does a really great job of giving the hair tons of volume without the stiffness (and I think that's why I started my 'oh god I bet I look like old Gladys across the road' sort of panic before I could get to a mirror ha!). Also, as I've found with all Aussie products, it smells GREAT. It doesn't smell at all powdery or like it's trying to mask something, instead it wafts around during the day and makes your hair smell like it's been freshly washed - well, as freshly washed as it can get when you've hit snooze 5 million times and left yourself with 15 minutes to leave the house! 

All in all, I can't fault this little bottle of goodness and I'm so glad I made the decision to pick it up. I'll probably keep a mini bottle of Batiste in my handbag for super emergencies, but for your every day 'I've woken up SO late' panics, or for the days your hair needs a little bit more oomph, you really can't go wrong with this. Have you tried this or any other dry shampoos that have left you pleasantly surprised? Let me know in the comments so I can try too! 

Big love,
xxx
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09/05/2015

Super Yummy Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Breville Blend Active Breakfast Berry Smoothie

Good morning and a happy Saturday to you all! I'm smoothie obsessed - always have been, always will be - so the day I bought my Breville Blend Active was the best day like, ever! Every day before work I'll chuck all manner of fruit into the little bottle and whizz myself up a breakfast smoothie before the drive, and believe me, I've tried and failed on many occasions to create the perfect taste (Note to self: don't ever ever use orange juice in a smoothie again, bleughhhh).

The past couple of mornings, I think I've finally found 'the one'. It makes me feel fuller in the morning, takes 2 seconds to whizz up and tastes insane. Here's what I used:

Breville Blend Active Breakfast Berry Smoothie Recipe

1 Banana
I use banana in every smoothie as it helps to fill it out and are so good for you, especially in the morning when it comes to giving you energy, boosting your mood and helping you to remember things - 3 absolute must-haves for most Monday mornings, don't you agree?
1 Kiwi
Kiwi's contain so much vitamin C, they can actually help boost your metabolism - not to mention really helping to improve the skin too. 
A handful of mixed berries
Any berry of choice will do, but I find using frozen berries a lot cheaper, they last longer and it makes the smoothie icy cold and lovely in the end. This selection contains mostly strawberries, which again have antioxidant properties that can help with collagen in the skin and the immune system, as well as blackberries which have the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit, and contain vitamins similar to spinach but a lot more yummy!
A handful of ice 
Just to make sure it doesn't come out too thick and warm and gross haha. Also, an icy cold drink first thing in the morning can help to kick start your metabolism. 
Fruit juice of choice
I used mango, but any juice apart from orange works pretty well!
A few spoons of greek yogurt & a handful of rolled oats 
A breakfast smoothie wouldn't be a breakfast smoothie without yogurt and oats to fill you up now would it?! I use natural yogurt just in case I decide to change up the flavours with different fruits, but normal yogurt works just as well.

I've not had the best luck with blenders in the past. My last love affair with a proper old, chunky, 'impossible to put in the dishwasher' blender ended up with me blending the rubber seal in with my smoothie. It leaked out everywhere, all over the wires, smelt like burning rubber and the smoothie tasted, well... like a blended up car tyre. Not cool, guys. 

Breville Blend Active Breakfast Berry Smoothie Recipe

I can guarantee you that this smoothie doesn't taste like burned rubber haha. I'd had my eye on the Blend Active for a good few months before I took the plunge, and now all of a sudden it's becoming a super raved-about product (so I thought I'd join the bandwagon ha!). I'm not getting paid to say any of this, I'm literally just fangirling so hard over this blender - especially because it has the same power and can do pretty much everything an original Nutri Bullet can do, for £20 instead of £100! I can't get over how easy it makes smoothie time haha. You literally chop everything up, chuck it all into the bottle in whichever order you please, screw on the top (v. v. important!) and whizz it all up. Then replace the blades with the proper bottle top and you're good to go. Not a rubber seal in sight. Perrrrrfecttttt for someone like me who is always late and always in a rush. AND it can all go in the dishwasher. Bliss.

When it came to getting my 5 a day and living a healthy lifestyle, I was useless. I've decided by this summer I want to be happy with my body, and I'm definitely seeing a difference already in my skin and health just by making the effort to have a smoothie every morning. Granted, you won't see me giving up the chocolate any time soon, but hey, it's a start right!? YAY SMOOTHIES!

Let me know if you give this recipe a go or if there are any other recipes you recommend! 
Big love,
xxx
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07/05/2015

Long Hair Problems I'm Sure You'll Understand


All my girls with boob-length or longer hair, this one's for you. Having grown my hair out for the past 18 months or so, I've discovered the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with having long locks. Here are a few of my findings...

Finding your hair EVERYWHERE
There is no escape. It's like getting snitched on all the time. Snuck that last piece of cake out of the fridge? No matter how careful you might have been, best believe there will be hair at the scene of the crime. Busted. People at work always know when I've nicked the comfy spinning chair out of the office, because it's guaranteed that my hair will be all over it...  There goes my chances of being a #1 stealth ninja.

Sleeping with your hair down = Suffocation
Especially in summer. Disgustingly sweaty, tangly, suffocation. Enough said.

Brush, brush, brush, and brush again
Because as soon as you step out of the door on a windy day it's like armageddon - girl vs. hair. Not to mention the 'large-bird's-nest-esque' state of your locks when you emerge from bed the next morning. On a bad day, I will spend at least half an hour in the morning ripping through my hair with a tangle teezer, trying to tame it, which usually ends up with me drenching my hair in conditioner, and my puppy running away with the tangle teezer...

The sheer volume of shampoo & conditioner you manage to get through
Literally in a week you're three quarters of the way through what you thought was a large bottle of shampoo. Although, don't you find that you always run out of shampoo before conditioner? Boo. Thank God I don't have to go to the same place every single time I need more shampoo. I'd be there so often that people would start to think I had serious problems and/or a very large dog.

Don't even get me started on styling your hair...
Because every day - EVERY D A Y - is arm day. No need for weights at the gym ladies, oh no no no. When you've got your hair half suspended in a top knot /slash/ messy bun /slash/ 'I have no idea where I'm jamming these bobby pins, but please lord let my hair stay in place when I let go because I've been holding it up for so long I can barely feel my fingers', it's a hell of a workout for those triceps. 

I couldn't not add this in, bravo helicopter lady, bravo. 

Let me know if you can relate to any of these little findings! Hats off to Rapunzel, I just don't know how she does it...

Big love, 
xxx
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