Saturday, 28 February 2015

High Street v High End: Mascara



Both these mascaras claim to lengthen lashes, but there is a rather big difference in price. Read on to find out which one wins!

High Street: Collection Lengthening Mascara - RRP £3.99




This mascara is amazing. I could end the review there but I'll go into a little more detail for you! The main thing I love about this mascara is the brush. It's a thin, rubber brush which really means you can shimmy (I'm sure that's not the official term but do you know what I mean?) it on at the bottom of your lashes without getting serious panda eye. This definitely does lengthen lashes and also curls at the same time. For £3.99 this product has definitely surpassed my expectations!

High End: Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara - RRP £19.00




I've got the mini size of this, which came in the Smashbox Try It Kit (which I would definitely recommend as a great way of trying some of their products by the way). There are some quite hefty claims made on the Smashbox website about this mascara - it's supposed to lengthen, curl and volumise. It definitely lengthens and curls and is a really natural looking mascara - I hate clumpy mascaras that stick your lashes together! My favourite thing about this mascara is how kind it is to lashes - it doesn't make them brittle at all which means you don't pull ten eyelashes out trying to remove it! The only thing I'm not convinced about is the brush - I do end up getting this on my lids sometimes!

Winner - Collection Lengthening Mascara. As you can see from the photos, these mascaras have such a similar effect on lashes that I have to choose the Collection one due to the price! I'll definitely be re-purchasing. 

Have you tried either of these products? What did you think?

Amy x


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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Perfect Nude







 I'm talking about lipstick of course (don't know what else you could have possibly thought). I've been searching for the perfect nude lipstick for aaaaages. The problem I usually have with nudes is that they show up everything that is wrong with my lips so I can only wear them if my lips are in tip top condition, which in winter is never! I picked this up from Soap & Glory in the shade Super Nude in their recent three for two offer at Boots - this was the thing I chose as my free item, but it has quickly become my favourite! Not only is it the perfect colour for my skin tone, it is also super moisturising and makes my lips look matte yet moisturised at the same time. Hooray! Oh and it also smells divine too!

Have you tried Soap & Glory lipsticks?

Amy x

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Homemade Tea Light Holder



My inspiration for this came from Lincoln Christmas Market where there was a stall selling old wine/spirit bottles decorated with paper like this with fairy lights inside. They were super cute, but the cheapest was £25, which I thought was rather steep! So I thought I could probably do one myself and decided to do a candle holder rather than a bottle because as cute as they were I'm not sure I really want an old wine bottle as an ornament!

What you will need:


- A plain tea light holder/glass.

- Paper - I'm not 100% sure what this paper is called, it's like thick tissue paper with a slight pattern to it, but you can pick it up in most craft shops. 

- Scissors.

- PVA glue or similar. My glue came with a brush but if yours doesn't you will need a brush also.

How to:

1 - Cut two squares of paper that are a bit bigger than what you would need for half of your candle holder. 

2 - Coat your candle holder with the glue using a brush.

3 - Stick one sheet of paper onto the candle holder diagonally. Stick the other sheet on the opposite side. 

4 - Stick down all loose edges either underneath or tucked inside the candle holder. Make sure they are properly secured inside - you don't want your paper burning the first time you use it! If you can do it neatly then cut at the top instead.

5 - Wait for it to dry and then voila! 

Have you done anything crafty recently? If so leave your links below! 

Amy x
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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Blouses

One item I can't seem to stop wearing this month is blouses. I love that they can be dressed up or down, they are just so versatile. Here are some of my favourites at the moment.




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From top: H&M/Topshop/New Look/Topshop/Topshop

Amy x



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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Ways to Sleep Better


I've never been a massively good sleeper and I'm still not great, but over the years I've learnt a few tricks that help me relax and make sure that I'm not tossing and turning for hours on end! I have to admit that I don't always do these things, which is realllly silly of me because I have such a better night's sleep when I do!


1 - A hot drink. This seems like an obvious one, but my rule is actually to have a hot drink a whole hour before I go to bed. Nobody wants to feel all relaxed and drifting off just to be woken by the call of nature do they? Plus this means that your going to bed mindset begins a whole hour before you intend to go, which I feel helps me relax a lot earlier. At the moment I'm favouring herbal teas, especially this Lemon, Ginger and Honey variety from Sainsbury's.


2 - A bit of pre-bed pampering. I always take my make up off as soon as I get into the house for the evening, but I now leave the rest of my routine until I go to bed, as I find it really does relax me to have a bit of a pamper and feel good about myself before bed. Simple things like moisturising my face or moisturising my whole body with something that smells really yummy just seem to work! At the moment I find the scent of Garnier Oil Beauty Moisturising Lotion really relaxing. If you have more time then run a deep bubble bath and have a good soak.


3 - A scented candle. But you have to get one that works for you. Try out a few candles outside of the bedroom first, as you don't want to have to try and sleep with an overpowering scent that you don't really like! If you have time for a bath then a scented candle is a great combo.


4 - Half an hour before bed with no technology. This is an important one and probably the one that I find makes the most difference. No technology means no TV, no computer, no phone, no tablet. Have half an hour before bed (I prefer to do this in bed) of something relaxing you enjoy like reading a book or magazine or just jotting things down.


5 - A decrease in light. During that half hour of no technology a great way to wind down is to dim your light if you have a dimmer switch or use a lamp instead of the main light. Obviously if you are reading then don't strain your eyes, but I find that even using a bright lamp to read with and having the main light off creates a bedtime mindset.


6 - Keep a notepad and pen next to your bed. This is one that I've only started doing recently. Those million things that you suddenly remember when you're in bed? Quickly jot them down so they're not on your mind anymore. I find it almost gives me a sense of closure when I write them down as I know I won't forget in the morning so I don't need to think about them so much while I'm trying to sleep.

I hope some of these points helped - please let me know in the comments if you have any other techniques for a better sleep!

Amy x


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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Valentine's Day Nails


I love any excuse to do a bit of nail art and Valentine's Day is no exception, despite the fact that Nick and I don't actually do anything for it! I've tried to keep these designs quite subtle (partly because I'm not amazing at nail art haha) but still in the spirit of things! I know most of them are typically red, but it's Valentine's Day so what else did you expect?


I think this one is my favourite design. You could use any red, but I used Technic in Fire Engine Red then drew on the hearts with a white Barry M nail art pen. I think it's quite endearing that they're not all that neat (or at least that's what I like to tell myself to make myself feel better!).


This is a really nice design when done properly - this was my first try so it didn't turn out amazingly, but I look forward to giving it another go! I used Barry M gelly nail paint in Coconut and a red Rio nail art pen.


Nice and simple one now - I actually did a rather complicated procedure of cutting out a template and painting the red over that so that I could do the white heart straight onto my nail rather than on top of the red polish. Probably not worth the hassle, I'm sure it would work just as well painted straight on top! I used the same Technic polish and Barry M nail art pen as in the first design.


Wooo it's not red! The base colour is Collection in Champagne and I dotted on the border with a Barry M nail art pen in black and for the heart used a red Rio nail art pen.

Will you be painting your nails for Valentine's Day? I'd love to see some other designs!

Amy x



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Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Body Shop Haul


I couldn't resist the temptation of The Body Shop's online offer of £25 off when you spend £50 (I think I just caught the offer on its last day!). Here is what I bought!

Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in Light 



I saw this a couple of weeks ago and nearly bought it then as it seems like such a good idea - make-up that actually works to prevent blemishes while you are wearing it! If this lives up to my expectations I can see this becoming a spring staple.

Vitamin E Eye Cream 


I've heard such good things about the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop and I don't currently have an eye cream so I thought I'd give this one a try. I'm working a lot of late shifts at the moment so I'm hoping this will help my ever increasing bags!

Hemp Hand Protector


This is my all time favourite hand cream and I haven't got any at the moment so this was a no brainer! It's so thick that it lasts ages because you don't need to apply it too often.

Honeymania Lip Balm


I haven't tried any of the Honeymania range yet and I love The Body Shop lip balms so thought this was the perfect way to start!

Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


I've had a really dry scalp recently and can't seem to find a hair product that will moisturise my scalp without making my hair oily. This seems like a lighter option than others I've tried so fingers crossed!

Rainforest Balance Conditioner 


I was a bit gutted that they didn't do a ginger conditioner as it would smell divine, so I opted for this one instead. I already have the Rainforest Detangling Spray so know that it smells yummy!

Coconut Oil Hair Shine


I don't get my hair cut very often because I resent paying to have my hair chopped off when I'm trying to grow it! That means I have to try and keep it in good condition including keeping split ends under control. After reading good reviews of this I'm hoping this will do the trick.

Detangling Comb


I didn't really need a new comb, but my current one is plastic and I thought this wooden one might be kinder to my hair. Plus at 50% off it only cost me £2!

Fijian Water Lotus Mini Eau De Toilette


I think these minis are such a good idea for your handbag. I gambled on the scent as I had never smelt this one in my life before but it smells great! An absolute steal, I can't imagine this will last very long though!

Have you bought anything from The Body Shop recently?

Amy x
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Thought of the month: February

The Undateables



Have you ever watched the Channel 4 show The Undateables? I've always avoided it on principle because it looked obscene - the fact that the participants were branded as 'undateable' seemed unnecessary and cruel and it completely put me off.  

I caught the first episode of the current series by accident and watched it out of curiosity. I was pleasantly surprised as the concept of the show is actually really nice. I totally agree that everyone is entitled to love and be loved and a lot of good seems to have come out of it in terms of a confidence boost for the participants - so the fact that this lovely premise is completely ruined by branding these people as 'undateable' is beyond me.

To find out a bit more I went online and watched some of the online videos of past participants of the show, which tell you a bit about how they are getting on now. It was clear to see that they'd gained such a huge confidence boost from appearing on the show - just going on that first date seems to have given some of them the self esteem to date successfully and go on to find love. I absolutely love that the show has done this for them and that hopefully it does the same for others who just watch it and feel empowered by it, but I just can't get past the fact that the name undermines the whole point.

We had a bit of a debate about this at work and a colleague actually pointed out that the 'un' is apparently knocked away in the titles to essentially make the title The Dateables. As well intentioned as that might be, I managed to miss that (and I work in telly so I really should notice these things...) so I imagine plenty of other people don't notice either.

I feel like I haven't really reached a conclusion to this post, as I have such mixed feelings about this programme! Have you ever watched The Undateables? If so I'd love to hear what you think and if you agree/disagree with me about the title!

Amy x
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