Friday, 30 January 2015

Monthly Favourites | January

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I don't know about you but it scares me slightly that we are already up to the first monthly favourite of the year - where did January go at all. Although, i am glad to see the back end of it - January is quite possibly one of my least favourite months and I'm also rather excited for payday to finally be making an appearance this week.

Beauty Favourites

Mac Lipstick in Plumful
This is a really gorgeous sheer pink toned plum - it's so beautiful and it's almost like a toned down version of Rebel, so it's very wearable. It's really moisturising and pleasant to wear on the lips and i really like the finish; it's a lustre finish, which isn't glossy but it's not matte either - it's somewhere in between and i really like it.

Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask
This is the perfect quick fix for your skin - if I'm going out somewhere but my skin isn't feeling so great and i feel like it needs a bit of a boost, i tend to put this on. It's so quick and easy to use and it instantly leaves your skin feeling so much softer and smoother, it also makes the perfect base for make-up. It does have quite a strong scent, it reminds me a little bit of Vick's vapour rub so it won't be to everyone's taste but i don't mind it. I absolutely love this mask and i can see such an improvement in my skin since using it.

Witch Spot Concealer
I normally hate these type of concealers but I've been using this for a while on my chin (where i tend to break out the most) and since I've been using it, i feel like my chin has really cleared up and i barely get as many blemishes there as i once did. It may just be a big coincidence but i feel like this has helped it. In terms of being a concealer it blends easily and it covers my blemishes well.

Seventeen Cheek Stamp in Bashful
I did a review on this quite recently (See here) and if you read you will know that i absolutely hate the packaging, the stamp is just unnecessary and inconvenient and i actually just dip my brush into it rather than using the stamp. The blush itself i really like; it's the perfect everyday blush colour, it's like a pinky brown tone and an in between of a blush and bronzer. It looks to lovely and natural and compliments all make up looks, but it does actually work well as a subtle contour too. My only issue with this is that i wish it was in a pan form.

Rimmel Wonder'full Mascara
I really like this mascara; it adds volume and length to the lashes but it's quite natural looking. It adds a subtle oomph to the lashes and the it separates the lashes out really well. It lasts ages on my eyes it doesn't smudge and i just generally love the way it looks on my eyes. I also really love the packaging, it looks way more luxurious and more expensive than the usual Rimmel mascaras.

Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Make Up Remover
This removes your eye make up so easily; it feels a bit like an oil so it breaks down the make up making it much easier to just wipe away. It even removes stubborn products quite well too and its really gentle on the eyes, it barely takes an effort to wipe the make up away.

Natio Glow Skin Brightening Face Balm
I'm trying to use up more products that i have in my stash and since i ran out of my S&G moisturising i decided to give this a go and see what it's like and i actually quite like it. As it's a balm it's a bit thicker than your usual face creams but it really does leave the skin feeling moisturised, it doesn't feel heavy on and my skin always feels so soft and looks much brighter after i use it.

Other Favourites:

My friend has been trying to get me to watch this for absolutely ages but I've just never really fancied it. I was on Netflix and facing the usual struggle of what to watch so i randomly clicked on it and decided to try and it - and well, I'm on season 5. It's so good.

Car Ride and Resolutions
A few days after new year my and my friend gem went on a long random drive and we literally just drove around, had coffee and just had a really good chat. We talked about so much including some of out resolutions and things that we was hoping to improve on this year, we got things off our chest and it was just a really good and empowering chat.

The Lakes
I've mentioned it a million and one times how much i love the Lake District, me and the girls had another day trip down there at the start of the month and it was so lovely. Id felt a bit down so just getting away for the day really made all the difference, we also went on a little boat trip along Lake Windermere which was really lovely - it was freezing but lovely.

Three Nights
I go out on a lot on night outs but i rarely do three in a row and for some reason all my plans seemed to fall together on one weekend so i ended up going out three nights in a row with minimum sleep in between - i don't quite know how i coped but it was such a brilliant weekend.

Learning CPR
This week in work i was trained in CPR - the place that i work for has made it a requirement for paid staff to know it. Its terrifying and being in that situation i don't quite know how id handle it but it's quite a good feeling knowing that i could potentially save someones life by knowing CPR.

Book Favourite: Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon
Music Favourite: Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson, Blank Space by Taylor Swift and Take Me To Church by Hozier

I was ill for quite a bit of January with a cold and i had one of the worst sore throats I've ever had - to the point i could barely swallow and it hurt to even yawn, so yeah that was not fun!

What products have you been loving this month?

Natalie xx
Twitter | Blog Lovin' | Instagram

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product i've recieved in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review | Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten

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I picked this up a few weeks ago in a blog sale as I've wanted to try Stila's Kitten for ages because I'm always hearing people rave about it and it seems exactly like the type of shade i would love. Ideally, I'd have preferred the powder version of the eyeshadow as i know that it's much better than but when i saw the Stila Smudge Pot i decided to pick up and give it a try anyways.

Kitten is a really beautiful shade; it's a pinky almost peach champagne shade and it's just one of those really great all round shades that looks lovely alone but also works really well paired with other shades in the crease - i really enjoy wearing this on it's own with winged liner, as it creates a really subtle eye look and it goes really well with a bold lip.

As for the smudge pot itself - it's not an amazing product. It takes a bit of elbow grease to apply it because it's not that creamy, it does blend out okay (I'd recommend a big fluffy brush to blend it out though) and it does actually looks really nice once it's on the eye but id probably pick my Maybelline Colour Tattoos or Max Factor Excess Shimmers over this one any day because they are much better quality and less than half the price.

As i mentioned, it does look really nice once it's on - it lasts ages on the eye and it doesn't crease on me either, i will continue to use this but i definitely want to look into the powder version of 'Kitten' because i think it'll be much better. If it wasn't for the smudge pot being on a blog sale, i wouldn't have bothered to buy it as i definitely would not pay the full retail price for this.

I love cream eyeshadows; recommend me some of your favourites?
Natalie xx
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Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product I've received in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My Blogging Desk Essentials

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When I'm blogging there are a few essentials i like to have around me on my desk; some items are useful in terms of motivation and organising, others are just random things i like to have near me.

Diary, Organiser and Notebooks
I literally use all of the above - the diary and organiser help me to plan what posts i want to do and when, i also like to use it to keep track of anythings i need to do whether it be blog photos, scheduling tweets or general life appointments. The notebook i use is to keep track of all my post ideas - i do have a lot of other notebooks that i use for various things like making notes for posts etc... but these are the mains ones i utilise and i like to keep them on my desk so i can refer back to them whenever i need to.

I seriously love stationary - pens and pencils are an obvious essential to have on the desk but i love having different coloured pens near me, especially highlighters because i find them so useful. I used each colour for different things, one will be for crossing something off on a to-do list and another is for marking a post from my notebook that I've done. I'm a visual learner so i work really well with colour and i find it not only helps keep me organised, the satisfaction of marking something off is quite motivating.

Lip Balm
This isn't really an essential in terms of blogging but my lips get dry quite a lot so i like to always have a lip balm on hand. At the moment I've been using the Hurraw! Lime Lip Balm which is really lovely. It smells incredible and it keeps my lips nice and moisturised.

A Hot Drink
My drink of choice differ between tea or caramel lattes (I currently have a cup of tea) but i love having a hot drink when i sit down to blog. I don't quite know why, but not having one next to me just doesn't feel quite right.

Hot Cookie
The hot cookie is a bloody brilliant invention, when you have a hot drink - plug your hot cookie into your laptop and place your hot drink on top and it keeps it warm so you don't face the disappointment of it going cold. Now far too many times have i picked up my drink and its gone cold and it's so disappointing but now with this, it doesn't have to happen anymore!

Post It Notes/Memo Pad
You'd think having a billion notebooks would be enough, wouldn't you? But no, i also like to have a little memo pad on hand for any quick notes i need to make - it's just much more convenient.

So those are my main blogging desk essentials that i like to have; i also like to have hand cream near to but i completely forgot to include it in here.
What are your Blogging Desk Essentials?
Natalie xx
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Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product i've recieved in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Review | Studio 10 Youth Lift Glowplexion

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I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with highlighters; it's that fine line that can go from having lovely glowing skin to ending up looking like a shimmery disco ball that scares me a little bit. Apart from my beloved Benefit High Beam i tend to stick to powder highlighters, i don't know but i feel like i can control the application better but inbetween my love affair with MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlight ive been having a little fling with the Studio 10 Youth Lift Glowplexion*.

Studio 10 is a high quality brand that is actually aimed at 35+ to help them enchance their feature and help bring back their youthful looks (Well as much as make up can) and to be honest, despite the fact that i'm 12 years younger than their intended audience, i'm really impressed with this brand - their contour palette and concealer palette are two of my most used products, i've been able to try quite a few of their products out and im yet to be disappointed.

I've had the Studio 10 Youth Lift Glowplexion* for a while but it's taken me ages to actually get round to using it. It's a liquid/cream highlight and illuminator that you can either apply before your foundation to give you an all over radiant glow or concentrate it on the cheekbones and other high points of the face to highlight - i prefer to use it mostly as a highlighter rather than an illuminator but it does work well either way.

I'd say it's almost a peachy toned highlighter which is quite unusual as most highlighters are either pink or gold toned but this is somewhere in the middle - i tend to opt for pink toned as i find they compliment my skin tone much better. I really like that the packaging uses a pump as you can control the amount it dispense and avoid wasting any product and it also means it's less mess. It is longlasting, lightweight and creamy - although, it does requite a little bit of extra effort to blend in, which is partly one of the reasons im not a big fan of cream products like highlighters and blushes but that little bit of work does end with a really lovely healthy glow.

It is quite a pricey product at £26.00 (available here) and whilst it won't be replacing my affection for MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlight anytime soon, it's still a lovely product and i will definitely continue to use it - i think it's going to be a lovely product to wear in the spring summer especially because it has a peachy tone to it.

Do you prefer powder or cream highlighters? I'd love to know your thoughts.
Natalie xx
Twitter | Blog Lovin' | Instagram

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product i've recieved in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Making The Most Out Of Your Smile

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It almost seems slightly ironic that i would be writing a post on making the most out of your smile as smiling is not something that comes easy to me - i suffer from something i like to call 'Resting Bitchface Syndrome', my face has one default setting regardless of the emotion I'm feeling; happy, sad, upset, overjoyed etc... it always looks quite mean or expressionless. I wish this was an exaggeration but I've frequently had people ask me if i didn't like them or constantly ask me if I'm okay because my face doesn't convey emotion quite as well.

Anyways, on the occasions that i may need to smile for the camera there are a few things i like to do to make the most out of that pearly white smile...I'm going to get the most obvious tip out of the way and that's to look after your teeth - brush your teeth, get regularly checks up at your dentist, avoid smoking and cut down on caffeine, sugar, coffee and wine etc... I try to look after my teeth the best i can but as someone with a sweet tooth and a slight Starbucks addiction there are a few others sneaky tips i like to do to make them whiter than they actually are!

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Wearing Rimmel Apocalips in Shooting Star with a slight contour on the cheeks
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Wearing Mac Lipstick in Ruby Woo

**Disclaimer - I have used a filter on these photographs (Called Dusk on Picmonkey) but it hasn't had any effect on my the colour of my teeth it's just made the photo look less dull. Please note that i'm not very confident when it comes to smiling especially with my teeth so please bear in mind it took a lot for me to upload the teeth-y photos.

Make Up
If you are conscious of your smile, like me (i hate mine, it just doesn't look right - just look at the awkward smily photos) you can use make up take away the focus from it. Wear a really bold eye look or a heavy contour - emphasise other areas of the face so your smile or your teeth won't be the focal point.

Choose the Right Shades
Or alternatively, choose the right shades that will compliment your skin tone and that will help give the appearance of whiter teeth. Cherry Reds, Rosy Pinks, Wines, Berry and Plum shades are the best options in lip products for helping give the appearance of white teeth - also, blue or pink based undertones in products help to minimise yellow tones. Red lipstick in particular is one of the hardest lipsticks to pull off without it making your teeth look yellowy, you can help this in two ways; either find your perfect red shade that matches your skin tone or wear a blue toned red, this will give the impression you have white teeth as it minimises the yellow tones making them look much whiter. A good blue toned red is Mac's Ruby Woo Lipstick!

This is quite a random tip but for a quick fix strawberries actually help to whiten the teeth something to do with their acid content. Mash up a ripe strawberry and dip your toothbrush in it but rinse your mouth well afterwards to reduce the acidity in your mouth and that should brighten up your teeth.

It may sound really silly or make you feel like a bit of an idiot but if you are conscious of your smile or showing your teeth; practise, sit in front of a mirror and smile at yourself - this is a good tip to do for when you're going to be in photos. Find which smile you like best and which you feel most comfortable doing; big cheesy grin, toothy smile, half smile or closed. Forcing a smile looks worse and will you look really uncomfortable, at least this way you will have a go to smile that you can rely on - even if it is just for photos.

Teeth Whitening
If you have a couple of bob going spare and you want an option that a little more permanent than the other tips mentioned, you could look into The Centre for Advanced Dentistry for teeth whitening - personally, I'd love to have this done but at the moment it's a little out of my budge, it is something i am genuinely interested in having done in the future though.

Love your smile regardless
Easier said than done i know. Despite all these tips and idea you should learn to love your smile regardless - I'm very conscious of my own smile but I'm slowly learning to love it and you should too. There is nothing nicer than seeing someone which a genuine smile on their face.

I'd love to know if you have any tips to make you teeth look whiter or for making the most out of your smile?
Natalie xx
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This is a sponsored post.

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product I've received in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Products I Like But Wouldn't Repurchase #1

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A little while ago i came across a post by a blogger who did something very similar to this and i thought it was a really good and original idea - i want to give her full credit but like the idiot i am, i didn't save the link (if you think this is you please let me know!) Since reading the post, I've really wanted to do my own take on it so I've taken my time to peruse my collection and think about what products that i like but not enough to go out and buy them again - i found four products (surprisingly all high end) that fit the bill.

Mac Fix+
I've had this for a little while now and my issue with it, is that i just don't know what I'm really meant to do with it. At first i thought it was a setting spray, then i read you spray it to freshen up and add moisture into the face and I've also seen someone spray it onto a sponge and dab it across the face to give a dewy look to the skin. I've tried all three ways and whilst it is pleasant to use and does give decent results, i just don't think it's worth it. It's fairly expensive for what it is and its just not something i reach for all that often.

Mac Creme Blush in Ladyblush
This was one of the first Mac products i bought a few years ago (it should probably be thrown out by now but I'm too sentimental) When i bought this it was the bees knees, all youtubers were on about it and i felt like i was part of the gang owning it too. It's a gorgeous colour - it's a warm pink tone and it's a very natural looking. It's a good blush in terms of being pigmented and lasting well but i just don't enjoy the formula of it and because of that i find myself rarely reaching for it and when it retails for i think it was £16.00 at the time (now £18.00) it's a lot of money. I have just read up that Mac have changed the formula of their creme blush from 'blushcreme' to 'cremeblend' - mine is a blushcreme so i don't know what the difference is.

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner
There was so much positive hype around this that i went out and bought it a few days after its release because as a eyeliner lover i didn't see how i couldn't not like it. My problem with this is the way it applies to the eye - considering it's a gel pen liner and a bloody pricey one at that the applicator is awful, it drags along the eyeline and i find it sometimes crumbles too, to me gel eyeliner should just glide along effortlessly. After the battle of applying it, it does look good and i do like that it's really long lasting and it doesn't smudge either but the results just aren't worth the application or the price - their are much better and cheaper alternatives out there.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation
I do actually like this foundation; it's really lightweight and gives a nice natural finish - which if you've followed my blog for a while you'll know are two qualities i like in my foundation. My issue with it, is that it has a tendency to cling to dry patches so it requires some extra effort at blending it in. If I'm paying £30+ for a foundation, i expect it to be pretty amazing and not to require so much effort to make it look half decent. I do try to wear this a lot mostly because i want to use it up as it was quite a pricey foundation but i don't like the results of it enough to go out a repurchase it as  he Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation is the perfect dupe for this foundation which is much cheaper and it doesn't cling to dry patches.

Are their any products you like but wouldn't repurchase?

Natalie xx
Twitter | Blog Lovin' | Instagram

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product I've received in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Perfect Everyday Blush | Seventeen Cheek Stamp Blush in Bashful

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Don't you just love it when you've been looking for a certain type of product or shade and you end up finding it without even trying. For ages I've wanted an everyday blush shade that was a really subtle and natural shade that would add a little something to any make up look. I didn't have an intention to try the Seventeen Cheek Stamp Blush in Bashful and it would never have come to my attention if it wasn't for the lovely Mariette sending it to me in the Christmas beauty swap we did and it's quickly become one of my everyday blushes.

My biggest gripe with this product is the packaging - I'd much prefer it to come in your typical pan form as the stamp applicator just doesn't work that well for me. It transfers the colour quite well but the stamp leaves a circle of product on your face so you have to blend it out after you've applied it - unless you're going for that ragdoll type of look. The information given on the product does tell you that you need to blend it out so it's not like it's hiding that from you but i just think it defeats the object -- surely, the idea of stamping the blush on your cheek is to make the application process easier but to me this just adds an extra step.

The shade Bashful is the perfect in-between of a Blush and Bronzer - it's almost like a nude pink toned brown and i find it to be quite a versatile shade - i like to wear it on the cheeks as a blush or sometimes I'll wear it along the cheekbones and on the temples as a very subtle contour. Stamp and packaging aside; the blush itself is really lovely - i adore the shade of it, it really is the perfect everyday shade as it compliments pretty much any make up look. It blends out easily, lasts really well and i do really like the blush - i just wish it was in a pan form.

What's your go to everyday blush?
Natalie xx
Twitter | Blog Lovin' | Instagram

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or products I've received in giveaways. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review | W7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted Natural Nudes Eye Colour Palette

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Teddy Bear | Wonderland | Cracker | Happy | Lady Luck | Twister
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Di Di | Delilah | Magic | It's a Dream | Up in Smoke | Dawn
The latest addition to my neutral palette family comes in the form of the W7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted Natural Nudes. Neutral shades are my go to eyeshadows - I'm a bit of a wimp and don't like to branch out into bright colours so i like to stick to my neutrals: beige, browns, taupes and gold tones and this palette has the perfect array of those shades. The eyeshadows are predominantly shimmery but there is the odd one or two matte shades thrown into the mix as well, which i really like as i tend to use these more for nights out.

It's a very affordable palette that won't set you back too much and considering the price point it's pretty decent quality - I'm not sure of the exact price as it seems differs on different websites on some it's £7.49 and on others i found it's around £5 but it's still affordable. (I found it on Amazon for £5 - if you're interested) They're quite buttery eyeshadows, they apply and blend out really easily and they last quite well  and don't appear to crease either - i do always wear my Mac Painterly Paint Pot underneath to help prolong my eyeshadows.

My favourite shades from the palette are: 'Wonderland' - which is a shimmery champagne pink shade, it's the perfect base colour and it's a close dupe of Sin which is one of my all time favourite eyeshadows by Urban Decay. I use 'Cracker' a lot which is a matte nude brown toned shade - it's nothing too exciting but it's a really good crease colour and it ties all the eyeshadows together quite well. I also really like 'Di Di' a shimmery brown shade with a slight gold and copper tone to it, 'Delilah' a dark shimmery brown and 'It's a Dream' a shimmery taupe shade - these are my three go to shades to blend into the outer corner, there are really lovely shades and i find they pair with Wonderland and Cracker really nicely.

This palette is very similar to the Urban Decay Naked Palettes - in fact I'd actually say it's a dupe for the original Naked Palette - all the shades are very similar and the palette has a similar tin casing that the Naked 2 and Naked 3 both have -- so if you are interested in trying the Urban Decay Naked Palettes but they are a little out of your budget, this palette maybe a good alternative for you.

What neutral palette is your favourite?
Natalie xx
Twitter | Blog Lovin' | Instagram

Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself - they were either gifted to me, items I've received at events or product i've recieved in giveaways or swaps. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!
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