Friday, 13 November 2015

10 Things To Do This Weekend That Won't Cost You A Penny

As I get older, I find myself spending more and more weekends at home to save money. I have so many outgoings and things to save up for, so sacrifices have to be made in order to do so. But that doesn't mean your weekends have to be boring! Here are a list of my favourite things to do that won't cost you a penny.

1. Exercise
I find it difficult to find the time to exercise during the week because of work, especially at this time of year when the days are shorter. Working out is the last thing on my mind after a long day, all I want to do is go home and relax on the couch! So for me, weekends are the perfect time to get some exercise in. You don't have to go to expensive classes or the gym, there are plenty of videos on you tube (Jillian Michaels is my favourite) and several apps you can download for your phone. I love starting my weekend off with a yoga session- it makes me feel so refreshed and ready for the day.

2. Have a clear out
If you're not a clean freak you probably won't find this task enjoyable, but I love a good clear out! It's the perfect way to pass the time if you are spending a weekend at home but want to do something productive. I like to have a clear out every few months; it's amazing how much clutter you collect and it saves time in the long run if you make the effort to do it on a regular basis.

3. Get around to all the tasks on your To Do list
I would be lost without To Do lists, I am an unorganised mess without them! There always seem to be so many things I never get around to doing and I know I'm not the only one. I get so much satisfaction getting through all my tasks!

4. Explore your city
You would be surprised at how many things you can do in your city or town that are free. I live in Glasgow and many museums and galleries are completely free and have different exhibitions on all the time. You could discover your local farmers market, spend an afternoon in the park or spend a day wandering and discovering new places to go to when you DO have money.

5. Learn a new skill
What have you always wanted to learn? Whatever it may be, it is a fun and productive way to spend your free time that costs nothing. There is so much information out there on the internet and tutorials on you tube  -whether it be learning a new language, working on your cooking skills or getting to grips with HTML (bloggers will understand), there's no excuse not to expand your knowledge.

6.Catch up with your favourite blogs
I could easily spend hours reading my most loved blogs and discovering new ones. I often find that because I blog myself, I don't have the time to read blogs like I used to as most of my spare time is spent creating content for my own!

7. Cook a lovely meal
I love cooking, but during the week I normally stick to cooking meals that are quick and easy t0 prepare. But if you have hours to spare, there are so many incredible meals you could make! So this one isn't technically free, but it does cost a lot less than eating out. One of my favourite ways to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon is preparing a Sunday roast with my boyfriend, it's so much fun and tastes delicious! If I do say so myself.

8.Enjoy some 'me' time
I think it's really important to make time and completely switch off from the world and it's every day stresses. It's crazy to think that younger generations will never know a world without the internet, smart phones and iPads. So avoid social media for a few hours by reading a book, treating yourself to a night of pampering or spend some quality time with your pet. You will feel so much better for it.

9. Have a Netflix binge
I think most people have a subscription to Netflix now; I love it for the selection of tv series more than the movies and I could easily lose many enjoyable hours watching my favourite shows. Grab some blankets, your favourite person and some yummy snacks and your weekend is sorted! I'm currently watching The Office, American Horror Story, Parks and Recreation and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I'm a 90's teen at heart).

10. Sleep in!
The best thing about the weekend that won't cost you a penny? Spending as much time in bed as you like! It's the best feeling in the world not having to hit the snooze button.

How do you like to spend your weekends when you are trying to save money?

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Sheep Lined Suede Coat

Say hello to my new coat! I've been excited about showing it off since I got it and with the temperature dropping over the last few weeks, I've had the chance to wear it every single day.

This Sheep Lined Suedette Coat (£90) is my first purchase from Ark, and as soon as I spotted it online I snapped it up straight away. I am actually quite surprised that I found a coat so soon as I usually spend months looking for the perfect one for Autumn/Winter. I've seen similar coats in Topshop and River Island but they just don't compare to this one. The lining makes it cosy and warm, and the fit is just so flattering. Coats like this are a classic and never go out of style, which is good as you can guarantee it will still look great in years to come. I am quite hard to please when it comes to coats, but I'm so pleased with my new investment!
I teamed my new coat with this Denim A-Line Skirt (£39) from Urban Outfitters and my Stripe Ribbed Turtle Neck Top (£22) from Warehouse, which I think looks adorable. A-line skirts are my favourite right now, I always seem to get into a bad habit of loving a specific look and then before you know it, I have several skirts of the same style! First world problems, huh?
 What do you think of this coat? I'd love to know what you think in the comments.

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Four Lipsticks I'll Be Wearing All Autumn

As soon as the seasons change, so do the colours on my lips. One of my favourite things about Autumn is getting to wear my most loved lipsticks again that really complement the season. I have always favoured bolder lip colours over nudes as they make such a statement and look so flattering against my dark hair and pale skin. With that being said, I thought I would share with you all my favourite lipsticks that I'll be wearing over the next few months.

MAC Lipstick in Heroine (£15.50)
This is a very adventurous and eye catching shade that won't appeal to everyone, but I think it's really wearable and pretty as it has the slightest hint of pink, just with a little more edge. This is the only matte formula I own from the brand, it glides on to the lips effortlessly without any tugging and has a lovely creamy consistency which surprised me. I always keep my outfit quite plain and the rest of my make up minimal when I wear this so that the lipstick is the main focus of my look. It's such a unique colour and I just love how it brings out my brown eyes too.

You can't beat a classic red lip, it's sexy, glamorous and looks good all year round. I got Dragon Girl as a birthday present back in April and it's been my most worn lip product ever since. The lip pencil formula is designed to allow the precision of a lip pencil and applies effortlessly over the lips, leaving a matte and long wearing finish. I like to apply some lip balm over the top just to keep my lips moisturised because my lips get so dry and chapped this time of year. It's the perfect shade of red for me and I love how it instantly boosts my complexion! I'd actually like to get my hands on a few more of these as this is the only one I have currently.

Even though this is not my most worn shade, it's definitely my absolute favourite to wear at this time of year. It's pretty daring and for someone that prefers a more natural look, but if you love bold shades that make a statement, Rebel is the one for you. I first purchased Rebel around this time last year when I was looking for the perfect A/W shade and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It's a gorgeous deep purple shade with hints of berry, which really stands out against my fair skin. The formula is very creamy so it does tend to fade fairly quickly, especially if you are eating or drinking, but I still love it and the finish is just beautiful. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Roomiest Rose (£17)
I really like these crayon style lip products and this one from Clinique is a firm favourite. Roomiest Rose is a super lovely and wearable bright pinky-red shade that is perfect for every day wear. It's definitely the least striking of the bunch, which makes it perfect for days when I'm going for a more natural look but still want my lips to stand out.  I love how moisturised these Chubby Sticks leave my lips; they make them look and feel so soft and nourished. 

What do you think of these shades?

Monday, 26 October 2015

My Favourite Things About Autumn

Autumn is officially here and I have to say, I couldn't be more pleased! Autumn is my favourite time of year, and here's a few reasons why...

Cosy nights in
When it's cold and dark outside, there is nothing I love more than snuggling up on the couch with a blanket, my boyfriend and my cat - it's so cosy! I would much rather be inside in the evenings at this time of year than outside in the freezing cold. I love lighting some scented candles and spending my evenings catching up and re-watching some of my favourite tv series and getting lost in the books that have been on my reading list for months.

This is probably my favourite thing about this time of year. I have always preferred Autumn/Winter style over Spring and Summer, I just think it's easier to look more stylish and chic wearing lots of layers! I always spend so much money on updating my wardrobe as soon as it starts to get colder; I'm currently obsessed with A-line skirts, chunky grey knits, roll neck jumpers and anything suede. I also recently purchased my A/W coat which I can't wait to blog about,so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post on that.

Bold lips and nails
Just like fashion, I much prefer darker lip colours and nail polishes that complement the season. MAC Rebel is my favourite lip shade to wear as it creates such a dramatic look. I also love to wear my most loved Essie nail polishes, Bahama Mama and Fifth Avenue, at this time of year too. 

Copious amounts of hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is my favourite drink in Autumn, I love grabbing one for the train home after a long day of shopping in town, and experimenting with different flavours at home. Last year I made coconut, Nutella and orange which were all delicious!

Long walks
During the daytime, I try to spend as much time outside as I can as I just love going for long walks, wether it be in the park or just wandering up and down all the lovely tree lined streets with a hot drink in hand. I think most cities in Europe are their most beautiful in Autumn and Glasgow is no exception. There's nothing prettier than all the bright orange and yellow leaves scattered all over the ground!

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Falling for Mustard and Suede

Mustard is a colour that I've never had much of in my wardrobe (I think this might be my first piece actually) but it's the perfect colour for Autumn, so when I spotted this Ribbed Roll Neck Top from Urban Outfitters I snapped it up! It's so comfortable and effortlessly stylish, I couldn't quite believe it only cost £19 as clothes from Urban Outfitters can be more on the pricey side.

I wore this outfit last week on  a day trip to Edinburgh. I teamed it with my trusty Zara bag, Dr Martens and new black suede skirt. I think this might be my favourite skirt of all time, which is a pretty big statement to make! The shape and fit are just so flattering and it goes perfectly with so many other tops and shoes in my wardrobe. 

What do you think of this outfit?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The New Autumn Wardrobe Staples

It's that time of year again when I spend more money than I'd like to admit on filling my wardrobe with new pieces for the autumn and winter months. I am so over summer and have never been the biggest lover of summer style, so I'm more than happy with the recent change in the weather.

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I was in Amsterdam recently for my boyfriends birthday. Despite treating myself to several new outfits for our trip, I only managed to shoot one outfit post while I was there due to the weather. It was very wet with downpours of rain, but thankfully it stayed dry long enough for me to get these shots!

I have been wanting a denim borg western jacket for months, so when I spotted this cute one in Topshop I just had to have it! My trip to Amsterdam was my chance to wear it out properly for the first time, it's beautifully warm and cosy lining is so comfortable and is the ideal jacket for the colder months ahead. Priced at £58, it's not the most affordable jacket but I know I will get so much wear out of it as it goes with everything in my wardrobe.

I teamed my new jacket with a grey crop top that I picked up in the states a few months ago, and my new high waisted black suede skirt from Urban Outfitters. The best thing about this skirt is that it can be worn casual like in the outfit above, or can be more dressed up depending on the occasion. It's certainly made the perfect addition to my wardrobe. 

What do you think of this outfit?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Amsterdam Photo Diary

It's been far too long since I last updated and I can only apologise! As you can see I am just back from my first trip to Amsterdam, it was my boyfriends 30th and I wanted to surprise him with a present that he would never forget. We have always talked about going so I treated us to three days in the picturesque city.

Amsterdam has to be one of my favourite cities; it has lots of character, the people are so friendly and it has a much more relaxed vibe compared to the other cities in Europe I've been to. I didn't take as many photos as I normally do when I go on a city break, it rained most of the time we were there but it didn't stop us from doing all the things we wanted to do. We spent our time there exploring the city by foot, wandering up and down the pretty streets and taking it all in. We also squeezed in a visit to the Van Gogh museum and decided to live like the locals and cycle too which was fun.

We stayed in the most adorable Airbnb apartment in De Pijp, a lovely neighbourhood in the south of the city that is full of locals and has the best selection of restaurants, cafes and bars I've ever seen!  We really were spoilt for choice. A lot of cheese, Dutch pancakes and wine were consumed during our time there. If you are going to Amsterdam and staying in De Pijp I recommend checking out OmeleggUnited Pancakes and CT Coffee and Coconuts for a delicious breakfast or brunch, and Boca'sThe Butcher and Paper Planes for dinner.

It was a much needed and relaxing city break. I've had a serious case of the holiday blues since I've been home!

Have you been to Amsterdam?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Date Night Make Up

Date nights are my favourite kind of nights to get all dressed up for and experiment with different make up looks. At the moment this look is my absolute favourite and I can't see myself getting bored of it anytime soon. I usually keep my eye make up pretty minimal, but I've finally mastered the feline flick after months of practise and I just love how it looks with red lips - it's such a classic look. I've listed all the products I used to create this look below, let me know what you think in the comments!

- Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in the shade Porcelain (£30)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Chantilly (£22)
MAC Pro Longwear Blush in the shade Rosey Outlook (£20)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in the shade Ebony (£17)

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

What make up do you love to wear on a date night?

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum

I was really excited when Origins announced they would be releasing a serum targeted as us girls in our mid to late twenties. There doesn't seem to be that many skin care products out there specifically aimed at our age group, and at an age when you are thinking about taking the first steps towards anti ageing but don't want or need anti ageing lotions, this is a great product to get on board with.

The Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum (£32) aims to gently restore the skin, minimise the appearance of imperfections and add a dose of radiance to the complexion. The formula is made up of skin loving ingredients such as Persian Silk Tree, Willowherb and Chestnut Seed Extract, which work to de- stress, brighten and smooth out the texture of the skin, while Algae reduces oil production and makes pores appear less visible. Perfect for me as my enlarged pores are my biggest skin complaint. 

I apply this serum morning and night shortly after cleansing and before I use moisturiser. It's very light and has a smooth, gel like consistency which absorbs quickly and feels lovely and fresh on the skin. A pump or two is all that's needed to dispense the perfect amount to cover my whole face - I love how I instantly see a difference in my complexion, my skin glows with health and appears so much smoother!

My expectations of Origins products are always high as they are one of my favourite skin care brands, and this product does not disappoint. I have been using this everyday for the past three weeks and I have noticed such an improvement in the texture and tone of my skin; my pores look smaller and my complexion looks smooth and brightened.  The scent is lovely and pleasing too, and I have to say I adore the cute pink packaging!

Have you tried this? 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Make Up For Oily Skin

After clearing out my muji drawers recently, I realised I've gathered quite the collection of make up aimed at controlling my oily skin. Here are a few of my favourites...

This is the only setting spray I have tried so I can't compare it to any others, but it's become a staple in my make up routine. The formula aims to prevent make up from fading over the course of the day, while controlling oil and shine. I spray this all over my face in a criss cross style three or four times after applying my make up; it feels really light and refreshing on the skin and only takes a few seconds to dry. My make up still looks freshly applied, even after hours of wear and in warm weather too. I've had this bottle for almost a year and it's still going strong, I highly recommend investing in a bottle of this if you have oily skin.

This has to be one of my most loved and talked about products, it really is perfect skin in a tube! I'm a big fan of light formulas that offer buildable coverage when it comes to my choice of base, it blends seamlessly into the skin to even out imperfections, resulting in a dewy matte finish that lets my actual skin show through. The oil free formula keeps my complexion shine free and contains antioxidants that allow my congested skin to breathe. I have just purchased my fourth tube of this, no other moisture tint has impressed me as much as this one!

If you prefer a bit more coverage but without the cakeyness, you can't wrong with this foundation. The long wearing formula offers medium to full coverage that looks natural and stays fresh all day - I don't have to touch up my make up as often when I'm wearing this. When I really need my base to last this is what I always reach for as it let's my skin breathe while managing to keep my complexion looking fresh all day. The formula is oil free and non-comedogenic too so it won't clog your pores. 

Even though I mainly use this to cover the dark circles under my eyes, I also use this to mask any imperfections such as redness. I didn't give in to the hype when this was first released, but it really is as incredible as everyone says. The coverage is second to none but doesn't look heavy on the skin and lasts all day on my oily complexion. The doe applicator make touch ups effortless too, so it's a perfect handbag essential. 

Benefit POREfesional  (£9.99)
I got really excited when I spotted the mini version of this in Boots - not only is it super cute but the smaller tube makes it more handbag friendly and much more affordable to repurchase. This is my favourite primer for minimising the appearance of my pores; the pores on my nose are my biggest skin complaint, but a few dabs of this completely diminishes their appearance and smooths out my skin, whilst controlling oil and making my skin look flawless. It's a product I never leave the house without and is perfect for touch ups throughout the day. 

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light (£25)
This offering from Smashbox is the answer to all my primer needs! I've tried and tested several primers, but this is the one I always come back to. It's incredibly smoothing and only a pea sized amount is needed to create a smooth matte finish that lasts all day. The gel like texture feels cooling when applied and my complexion looks balanced and perfected. This is one of the best primers I've come across in terms of oil control and it keeps my make up looking fresher for longer.

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot (£12)
An oil controlling powder is one of my most essential products and my make up never feels complete without a dusting of powder. This oil free powder works to remove excess oil and shine, leaving the skin looking beautifully matte and fresh. It's so light and feels weightless on the skin, so you don't have to worry about a chalky finish with this powder as it gives a smooth, natural finish. The price tag is also equally pleasing. 

Have you tried any of these products? What are your top make up picks for oily skin?

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Disapointing Products

It's not often that I come across make up and skin care that I really don't like- mainly because I do a lot of research into products before buying them and read lots of reviews, so most of the time I'm left more than happy with my beauty purchases. Everyone is different though and not every product is going to please every person that uses it, so while I was having a clear out recently and came across this handful of products, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all why they left me feeling unimpressed.

The first of two primers that have left me disappointed is the MAC Prep+Prime Skin (£21). I bought this online as I thought it would be similar to the brands Prep+Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment, which works incredibly well to smooth out the texture of my skin and keep my complexion shine free for hours. I was expecting the same results (if not better) from this primer, but what I didn't know is that it leaves your skin looking glittery and shimmery, which just looked ridiculous on me! When it comes to my base I love a natural looking finish, so even though it smoothed over my skin and provided a good base for my make up, the glittery-ness (is that a word?) of this product ruined it for me.

I was similarly let down by the Jouer Essential Matte Touch (£18), a colourless balm-like skin perfecter that aims to degrease the skin and diminish the appearance of pores. I am always on the look out for products that will control shine and give my skin a natural looking matte appearance, so the idea of a balm intrigued me. Unfortunately though this is such a difficult product to use - because it's a balm it's such an effort to apply to the skin and it barely did a thing for my pores. I would say this works in the same way as oil blotting paper, it does absorb oil but that's about it- there are so many other products out there that work so much better than this. 

Despite Origins being one of my favourite skin care brands, I wasn't that keen on their Clear Improvement Mask (£23) - I swear I think I'm the only person out there that doesn't like this! Even though the product description sounds perfect for my congested skin, I never seen much of a difference to my complexion at all - my pores still looked clogged and overall my skin didn't look any healthier either. I've used this mask several times as I really wanted to love it, but it just doesn't work nearly as well as other face masks I've used where I see results instantly. 

Another product that didn't agree with my skin is the The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion (£12). As someone with oily skin, I can be very picky when it comes to moisturisers and sadly this one just didn't impress me. It sounded perfect for me, but I didn't like the texture or the scent of this at all. I found the texture quite thick for a moisturiser that claims to be lightweight, and it didn't absorb well into my skin either. It's not often that skin care from The Body Shop disappoints me, but this is one product I won't be purchasing again. 

Lastly, as much as I love Topshop nail polishes and have quite the collection of them, I thought the Matte Nails in Prince Blue Blood (£6) was just terrible. It didn't apply properly and I had to apply quite a few coats of this for the colour to show up on my nails. To top it off, the finish looked horrible and cheap- it looked like I had painted my nails with blue tipp-ex! I didn't even give this a second chance because I hated the results so much the first time round.  I don't think matte nails are for me. 

Have you been disappointed by any of these products? Or have you tried any of them and loved them?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I've been pretty loyal to my Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm for months now, it's been an essential product in my evening skincare routine and I hardly ever stray from it. Until now that is , because I have discovered another heavenly cleanser that works in exactly in the same way for a fraction of the price.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10) is a make up remover that effortlessly melts away every trace of make up, leaving the skin feeling clean and clear of impurities. This is such a lovely product to use, I like to squeeze a pump or two of this oil into my hands and massage it gently into my dry skin and eye lashes to remove my mascara. It's so easy to use and dissolves all my make up so quickly, even my stubborn waterproof mascara. Don't be put off by the oil texture, it doesn't feel greasy or leave a horrible residue behind, it rinses away easily and leaves my skin feeling impeccably clean and soft. The formula is very gentle on the skin too thanks to the camomile oil, so even those with the most sensitive skin will have no trouble using this. I love how fresh, soothed and calm this leaves my skin after every use, I really can't believe this only costs £10 because it feels like a much more luxurious product!

In my opinion, The Body Shop make some of the most effective and high quality products out there that don't cost the earth, I'm so pleased I picked up a bottle of this and you should too! I honestly can't recommend it enough.

Have you tried this?

Saturday, 21 March 2015

My Purse Friendly Beauty Favourites

I find it quite a challenge to find good skin care and other beauty products on a budget- I would much rather spend my money on a high quality product that will give me incredible results than a cheaper alternative that won't work as well. Saying that, I have discovered a few affordable beauty treats that work just as well as higher end products (and some even better).

Una Brennan Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Purifying Cleansing Wash  (£7.99)

I've read nothing but good things about this cleanser, so the last time Boots were offering 3 for 2 on skin care, I decided to pick this up. This refreshing foaming gel is formulated with salicylic acid which deeply cleanses congested skin of excess oils and other impurities, leaving the skin more balanced and healthy. My skin feels purified and unlike many other foaming cleansers, this doesn't leave my skin feeling tight after use, just lovely and soft. I've only been using this for a few weeks and I'm so pleased with the results!

Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion (£12)
I am incredibly picky when it comes to moisturisers - they need to be oil free, light and hydrating, but not feel too greasy or heavy on my skin. I have tried a handful of high end moisturisers that have left me disappointed, so I was thrilled when I came across this offering from Avene, it's just perfect. As well as regulating oil production to keep the skin balanced, it deeply cleanses and purifies, resulting in a beautiful, shine free complexion. It feels lovely and refreshing once applied and sinks into my skin like a dream, which I just love. This is one of the best moisturisers I've come across for oily skin, I urge you to pick up a tube if your skin is similar to mine!

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm (£10.99)
My favourite hair care brand to splurge on is Bumble and bumble, but many of their products never seem to last me long enough to justify the eye watering price tag. I could easily go through one of their masques in less than a month because my hair is so long and thick, so I was thrilled when I came across this. It's a mask that comes in the form a balm that melts into a silky oil, which intensely nourishes my dry thirsty hair. The formula is made up of a blend of exotic oils and butters which work quickly to help the hair soak up all the nourishment it needs without weighing it down.  This has transformed my dry and over styled hair, leaving it beautifully soft and healthy. 

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.50)
Flakey lips are my worst enemy in the colder months, so I need something that will gently buff away the dry skin - lip balm just isn't enough to keep my lips looking kissably soft. I've worked my way through a few of these pots of sugary goodness, they contain jojoba oil and caster sugar which slough away all the dead skin and leave my lips smooth, while injecting some much needed moisture into them. This is a great product to use before applying lipstick as it ensures it glides on smoothly as there will be no dry patches left on your lips for it to cling to, and stops the colour from bleeding too. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask (£10)
This is the mask I turn to when I am suffering from hormonal breakouts or when my skin is just looking a bit rubbish. It works to soothe and cleanse the skin of excess oil and other skin nasties to reveal a clearer and more even complexion. It's instantly cooling and feels so refreshing on the skin, I love how I can really feel this mask getting to work! Along with tea tree oil, it's packed with skin loving ingredients which help to improve the skins healing process by generating new tissue, leaving my skin feeling calm and soothed, all in under ten minutes. The big tub lasts ages too!

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite budget buys?

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My Current Base

I've been loving my current base at the moment, it's fuss-free and perfect for every day, so I thought it would be a great idea to share with you all the products I've been using. I love a natural looking base which lets my actual skin show through, and these products help me achieve the complexion I've always dreamed of. 

I start by prepping my skin with the L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Primer (£7.99), a new release from the brand that I'm really impressed with! I find it very similar to the Smashbox photo finish primer, the only difference is that it's so much more affordable. It's incredibly smoothing and really helps to even out my skin before I apply make up, leaving my complexion with a velvety, matte finish that lasts all day, while keeping my make up looking fresher for longer. This is one to check out if you have an oily skin type, I promise you won't be disappointed.

I must admit I've been struggling to use anything but the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint (£30) for months now, it's just perfect skin in a tube! It's everything I need from a base- it's really creamy and blends seamlessly into the skin, covering all imperfections, pores and redness without looking cakey. I wear the shade 'Porcelain' which is a perfect match for my fair skin, but they have a good range of shades to suit darker skin tones too. If you've been following my blog for a while you're probably getting bored of me talking about it, but this is one of my most loved products and I can't stop raving about it. 

To cover my dark circles and any other imperfections, it's a job for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22). I didn't give in to the hype around this concealer until recently, but it really is as incredible as everyone says. I use this on my under eye area and to mask any redness around my nose - the coverage is second to none but doesn't look heavy or obvious on the skin, it blends seamlessly and becomes one with the rest of my make up. The doe applicator makes touch ups a doddle too, so it's a perfect hand bag staple. 

I finish off my base with a dusting of an old favourite of mine, the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder (£23). My make up never feels complete without a dusting of powder to set everything in place, I actually forgot I had this until I recently found it hiding in my Muji drawers! I use a big fluffy brush to apply this all over my face, it's not chalky like some powders, so leaves a lovely matte finish that is so natural looking. 

What products make up your base? Have you tried any of these products?

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Two for Perfect Feet

I think we are all guilty of forgetting to take care of our feet, myself included. After spending the colder months hiding away in tights and thick socks, my feet were in desperate need of some tender loving care. On my last visit to The Body Shop, I picked up a couple of treats for my feet and they've made all the difference!

Peppermint Soothing Pumice Foot Scrub (£7)
My poor feet have been extremely dry with cracked heels (I know, gross), so this scrub sounded like the answers to my prayers. The formula is made up of volcanic rock granules which work to slough away rough, dry skin to leave your feet super soft and smooth. To use, I massage a generous amount over my feet when I'm in the shower, paying particular attention to any rougher patches of dry skin. It's gentle but very effective - you can really feel the little granules getting to work and the peppermint scent is so refreshing! Even after the first use my feet looked summer ready, it's impressive stuff. 

Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion (£8)
As well as buffing away the dry skin, I also needed something that would soothe and moisturise my feet, so I picked up a bottle of this. I've been smothering my feet in this dreamy lotion every night since I got it, it's light but very nourishing and leaves my feet feeling oh so soft. It's formulated to be cooling and refreshing, so after a long day this makes a wonderful soothing treat . I can see the big bottle lasting me for months too!

These two products are a dream team for beautifully soft feet! Have you tried either of these?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Morning Skin Care Routine

It's been a while since my last morning skin care routine post, I remember it being one of the first ever posts I did on this blog! So I thought it was time for a long overdue update on the products I use every day that keep my skin clear and healthy. I'm not a morning person at all and I'm always in a rush to get ready, so my routine is pretty quick and fuss free.

I start by cleansing my skin with the Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser (£18.50). This is starting to run low and I usually change my cleanser every time one runs out, but I can see myself repurchasing this at some point. It's the perfect cleanser for oily skin as it cleanses the skin thoroughly, working deeply to remove excess oil and impurities, while gently sloughing away dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. It leaves my complexion looking brighter  and more balanced, and the refreshing minty scent really helps to wake me up.

After cleansing, I add a few drops of the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (£13) to a cotton pad and gently sweep it over my face and neck to remove any remaining traces of dirt and oil. This has only been part of my skin care routine for the past few weeks, but it's already made such a difference to my complexion. This is the first exfoliating toner I've tried and I love how it works magic on my congested skin and makes my complexion look more balanced. It reduces excess oil without stripping the skin of moisture and is gentle enough to use every day - my pores have never looked clearer!

Another new addition to my morning skin care routine is the Odacite Clogged Pores Serum (£22). It smells lovely and contains natural ingredients such as lavender and jojoba oil, which have anti bacterial properties and prevent excess oil production. This little wonder works by binding to sebum blockages and embedded skin impurities to help minimise blackheads and blemishes, while flushing out all those nasty skin toxins. I love to mix a couple of drops of this with the Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion (£12), which is one of my favourite moisturisers as it's so light-weight and sinks into my skin almost instantly. I love it because it's hydrating, but doesn't feel greasy and leaves my complexion shine free.

I have a terrible habit of staying up way past my bed time, so anything that is going to make me look bright eyed and more awake is a must. The Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (£23) has been my saviour in the mornings; it brightens up and refreshes my under eye area instantly, making me look like I've had a full nights sleep. This cream has a slight shimmer to it, which really helps to illuminate and add some radiance to the skin. Containing ingredients such as caffeine and magnolia extract, it really soothes the delicate skin around the eyes and reduces any puffiness and signs of fatigue. I couldn't be without this in the mornings!

Have you tried any of these? What products make up your morning skin care routine?

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

My make up never feels complete without lashings and lashings of mascara; I just love big fluttery lashes, it really completes my look and draws so much attention to my eyes. I've always been a big fan of Benefit mascaras, the brands BADgal Lash was the first high end mascara I ever tried and I always remember being so amazed at the difference it made to my lashes. The beauty blogging world  seems to be obsessed with the brands new release at the moment - Roller Lash, and I was tempted to give it a go too but I've wanted to try They're Real (£19.50) for the longest time, so I went with my instincts and picked this one up instead. 

It's easy to see why this mascara has been the number one selling mascara in the UK for the last two years, it's pretty impressive! It's incredibly easy to use, the bristles on the specially designed brush lengthen, curl, separate and pump up the the lashes resulting in a wide eyed look - it really does do it all. The brush grabs every lash, even the tricky ones at the corners of the eye, making lash building quick and effortless. I like to apply quite a few coats of this to create the look I want, taking my time to apply the mascara in a zig zag motion. The long wearing formula doesn't smudge or flake, and I can apply as many coats as I wish to make my lashes look more bold without any clumping. 

This mascara is truly amazing, I couldn't believe the difference it made to my lashes, they look so much longer and fuller and stay curled all day. There's not a clump in sight and gives my lashes this incredible 'doll eyed' effect which I just adore. They look so pretty and fluttery, it's given my lashes such a boost! Most days mascara is the only make up I use on my eyes , and this one really defines them, making them look so much bigger and more awake.

Have you tried this mascara?
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