High Street v High End: Lipstick

Another month, another high street v high end comparison post! This month (along with every other blogger) I got a free Clinique Lip Pop in Cherry Pop with Glamour magazine so I thought I'd compare it to the cheap red lipstick I usually use - my well loved Natural Collection lipstick in Cherry Red.

High Street: Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Cherry Red RRP £1.99

This has been my go to red lipstick for a long time. It's a classic red shade with very good longevity - I only need to top this up after I've had food or drink (and I wouldn't expect any lipstick to last through that!). It can be slightly drying on the lips if worn all day, but it's not too bad and although the word 'shine' is in the name it's more of a subtle and really quite flattering slight sheen. For £1.99 I really can't fault this at all - the only thing that lets it down is the packaging which does look cheap, but when a product is cheap and also good I don't really care that much about the packaging!

High End: Clinique Lip Pop in Cherry Pop - RRP £16.00

This is an extremely similar shade and the first thing I noticed was that it applies like a dream. The formula is so smooth and buttery and it feels so nice when you're wearing it too. It's not drying at all and in fact feels more like you're wearing a lip balm than a lipstick, but the colour is still there. The longevity is good - again I only needed to top up after I'd been eating or drinking. Obviously the packaging is much nicer than the Natural Collection lipstick - this is the type of lipstick that makes me feel like a real grown up lady when I carry it in my handbag (ha).

Winner: Natural Collection Moisture Shine LipstickI do adore the Clinique lipstick, but when there's that much of a price difference and not a massive difference in quality I'll go down the cheaper route every time! Plus I think I like the look of it on my lips slightly better.

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

Amy x

Empties #7

A little run through of my recent empties and what I thought of them:

Imperial Leather Foamburst Body Wash | I looooove this stuff and featured it in my Everyday Favourites post. It lasts ages, makes me feel squeaky clean and smells pretty good too! I've already repurchased this because it really is my favourite body wash ever! 

Xen-Tan Luminous Gold Gel Self Tan | I got this in the LIB Glamour Party Edit waaaay back in December, but didn't see much point in fake tanning then so only just used it up. The only good thing about it was the smell - it smelt a bit like honey and definitely not like fake tan, but it was a bit patchy and made my pale old self look a bit orange - not the best look. I would definitely not pay full price for it! 

Vaseline Aloe Vera | I'm not sure why I included Vaseline in my empties because there's not much to say about it apart from, well, it's Vaseline... I loved this cute vintage tin though and Vaseline is always a staple for me so I'm already on my next tin. 

Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Replenishing Night Cream | I loved this night cream and it smelt so dreamy, like berries! It was really nice on my skin and I barely broke out at all while using this. I would definitely repurchase this in the future, but I'm quite fickle with skin care and like trying new things too much!

Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream | I wasn't impressed with this at all and I was really disappointed because I usually love Burt's Bees! It smelt a bit funny, I wasn't a massive fan of the consistency and it didn't seem to do much for my skin at all. I won't be repurchasing this! 

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

Amy x

Stylelux Blackhead Killer Face Mask

I am very lucky in that my skin has actually really cleared up recently - I'm usually very prone to breakouts, but I haven't (fingers crossed and double crossed and triple crossed) had one for ages. One thing I do suffer from though is pesky blackheads. They don't actually bother me as much because I don't think they're too obvious, but I'd much rather they weren't there!

Recently I was sent these Blackhead Killer Peel Off Masks* by Stylelux. The masks come in sachets, which are quite handy, although I'd love it if they did a tube of the stuff so you could just use a small amount on targeted areas. When using the product myself I did just apply to the areas of my face that are affected by blackheads, although seeing as it doesn't just remove blackheads but also removes dead skin and excess oil it would also be a great all over mask. 

The first thing to note about this product is that it's black and it's sticky! It is quite messy and I would definitely not recommend wearing a cream jumper like I did! It kind of felt like applying treacle to your face, but once it's on it stays put and you feel it start to harden and tighten. After about 10-15 minutes it's ready to peel off and I was surprised at how easily it came off - there was no mess! I was also surprised at just how much the mask removed from my pores - I didn't take a picture because it really was a bit grim! Afterwards my skin felt so soft and I kind of wanted to do it all again - it's kind of addictive removing gunk from your pores!

Overall I was really impressed with how well these worked. I think they're slightly pricey (£14.95 for 5 sachets) but I've never tried anything as effective so I really would recommend if you want to get rid of blackheads!

Have you ever tried this product or something similar?

Amy x

#WrenFamilyFavourites Event

Because of just moving house and all, a new kitchen is pretty high on my wish list (even if it's not a realistic wish until we've saved up some more pennies) so I was pretty chuffed when I was invited along to Wren's live cooking event with none other than their designer Linda Barker (the Changing Rooms lover inside me fan girled quite a bit).

The event was based around their #WrenFamilyFavourites campaign, where people have been sharing pictures of their favourite family meals on Instagram to try to win an AEG Food Mixer - there's still time to enter if you're quick (details here). We got to watch Linda cook three family favourites and then taste them for ourselves (obviously the important part!). My favourite was the banana and peanut butter loaf - seriously good! Linda also made marble cake and mince pies - it's officially Christmas for me now that the first mince pie has been eaten! We also got a recipe scrapbook each which we were able to start on the night and it was so lovely to finally meet some other local bloggers and have a bit of a natter while we were eating and scrap booking.

While the baking was in the oven Linda gave us a tour of her collection which is seriously dreamy - like is it OK to have five different kitchens in my house please? We also got to see Linda's own kitchen, which had been recreated in the showroom (she has an extractor fan to rival a James Bond gadget by the way). Basically all of the kitchens were like something off Pinterest and there was a enough marble to keep a rabble of bloggers happy. My personal favourites were the more rustic and traditional style kitchens - one had a blackboard over the cooker which I adored!

I went home stuffed full of sweet treats and feeling very inspired to get in the kitchen and do some baking of my own as well as feeling inspired to get on with saving up for a new kitchen!

Thank you so much to Wren Kitchens for an amazing event - it was such a lovely night and we even got the cutest goody bag with a personalised apron, scrapbook and the sweetest wooden spoon (which although it's called Amy's Magic Mixing Spoon will most definitely be Amy's Hanging on the Kitchen Wall Looking Pretty Spoon).

Do you like baking? What's your favourite thing to bake?

Amy x

Autumn Favourites

Hello hello...a quick round up of my favourite products I've been using throughout autumn:

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess | So autumn may feel like an odd time to be crushing on a bronzer, but I totally am. Even though this bronzer lost out to a Bourjois offering in my comparison post I'm just loving using it. I think it's the luxury of using a high end product in a proper compact more than anything (and the fact that it is really good). 

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in #30 | I actually wrote a whole post about this here because I've been loving it so much. It's a very stereotypical autumnal lipstick colour, but I could bang on all day about how long lasting it is (and my lipstick would still be on at the end of my rant!)

Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Mocha | I've actually had this shade quite a while, but only really started wearing it (religiously) this autumn. I love that it's matte and it's just the perfect sophisticated shade for autumn (for those days when I'm pretending to be sophisticated). 

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask | In the past I've always gone for blemish preventing masks, but recently my skin has really cleared up (hallelujah) and I've been going for gentler and more hydrating products now that it's getting cold and windy. This mask is so refreshing - it's actually a leave on mask that you're just supposed to rub in after about 15 minutes, but I wash it off because my face doesn't seem to be able to absorb that much mask! Afterwards my skin feels so soft and refreshed.

Asos Brave Soul Jumper | I've never included clothing in a favourites post before, but I've been so attached to this jumper that I couldn't not include it. It's oversized, super warm and a lovely cable knit pattern and I just looove it. Let's see how many times I can get it on my blog as I've already featured it here.

What have your favourites been this autumn? 

Amy x

Autumn Print

I love a good blouse in autumn - they're perfect for days when you don't quite need a coat and you can just throw one on with jeans or leggings and look like you've made way more effort than you have! New Look did good for me again with this find and imma be wearing it all autumn long. 

Blouse - New Look (link)
Leggings - Asos (link)
Boots - Topshop (old)
Bag - Primark (old)

What are your favourite things to wear in autumn?

Amy x

Homeware Wishlist

I'm so far off being able to buy any of these things for my house because I need to waste money on the boring details like a boiler, a bathroom and paint first, but a girl can dream right? Here's my dreamy homeware wishlist (oh and it's all from either George at Asda or H&M so 100% affordable when the time comes!)

1. Copper Lantern | Asda
2. Cushion | H&M, here
3. Copper Tealight Holder | H&M, here
4. Tray | H&M, here
5. I Love Tea Mug | Asda
6. Pinecone Tealight Holder | Asda
7. Rose Gold Tone mirror | George
8. Elephants Design Tumbler | Asda
9. Metal Storage Basket | H&M, here
10. Glass Box | H&M, here
11. Ceramic Plant Pot | H&M, here
12. Engraved Wooden Drawers | Asda

Which is your favourite item?

Amy x

My Favourite Autumn Lipstick

I'm a sucker for red lipstick and if I'm going to wear a standout lipstick it's usually red whatever the season. This year however I've fallen hard for a stereotypical autumnal berry shade - original I know! 

The lipstick in question is Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in #30. I adore the colour and when I wear it I instantly feel that bit more sophisticated and sort of like maybe I am an actual adult (still haven't got that memo 7 years in). I bought this shade because it was pretty cheap and I wanted to test out a berry shade to see if I actually liked it, but I definitely don't feel the need to buy another one because this one is amazingly good! It really does last ages - it just stays put throughout the day until I eat or drink something (and then it goes all over my mug/cutlery etc and I lose that sophistication), but I wouldn't expect a lipstick to stay put through food and drink anyway! I definitely want to try more from this range, although at the moment I'm pretty addicted to this one. 

Have you tried a lipstick from this range? Do you like a berry lip for autumn?

Amy x

Blog Birthday | My Favourite Posts

Helloo! So tomorrow will mark a year since I wrote my first blog post (on this blog anyway - would ya believe I wrote a blog about knitting before I started this one!) and to celebrate I wanted to share my favourite posts I've written in that time. Thank you to everyone who reads/comments/shares this blog - you're all amazing (even if the majority of you are family members - ha!). All post titles are clickable links!

What it's Really Like Growing up with a Disabled Sibling | This was my number one favourite blog post to write about my number one favourite person and reading it back makes me feel all happy. I also loved sharing something a bit more personal than usual. 

The Summer Coat | This is my favourite ever outfit post because of the location and the amazing evening sunshine making everything look good! I also adore this coat and turns out it's just as good in autumn as it was in summer!

15 Signs You're Having a Quarter Life Crisis | This is one I loved writing because I feel like so many people can relate to this - plus poking fun at myself growing old means I feel less bad about it!

An Ode to Rimmel Base Products | I am still totally smitted with Rimmel base products and these are some of my absolute faves.  

Walking Hadrian's Wall (or not!) | This is maybe cheating because it's a video but it is my favourite video I've ever shot and edited - not perfect but I'm pretty darn proud of it really!

Let me know which of these is your favourite and thank you again for reading!

Amy x

Best Budget Beauty Buys

There really are some great beauty options that don't cost the earth and prove that you don't always have to spend your whole wage packet to get good quality. Seeing as I'm now on a tight budget I thought I'd do a round up of my favourite budget beauty buys (split into categories because I'm organised like that):

Make-up | Rimmel Stay Matte Powder | This is my number one holy grail product! I've used this powder since I was about 16 and it really does cover a multitude of sins - one sweep of this across my face and I immediately feel so much better. This is the type of powder that you can wear on its own and it'll give you coverage, which I love! £3.99 here

Hair | Alberto Balsam Shampoo and Conditioner | Anyone else remember when this was your default shampoo and conditioner brand because you were a student and it cost £1? Despite not using this all the time anymore it's actually a really good brand - it leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean and the scents are dreamy. They're bringing out a dry shampoo range as well which I can't wait to get hold of! £1 

Body | Boots Extracts Range | I pretty much love every product in this range - there is a great range of scents and they all smell amazing, plus the products themselves do such a great job. The scrubs are a favourite of mine and the moisturisers leave my skin feeling so soft and the scent lingers all day. £3.50 - £6.50 here.

Nails | Barry M Nail Polishes | Is this everyone's favourite nail varnish brand? I rarely look at any other brand for nail polish because I know that Barry M will do the job just fine, plus they have so many different colours and finishes to choose from to keep me going for a lifetime. £2.99 - £4.99 here.

Scent | Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour | I've been wanting Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel for years and I'm that girl who makes regular detours to Boots just for a quick spritz, but I've never been able to justify the price. So when I read on Beauty and the Brunette that she had found a dupe for it from Lidl of all places I practically ran to get it. It smells pretty much exactly the same and the only difference is it doesn't last as long, but for about 1/15th of the price I'm happy to carry it round in my bag and top up throughout the day! £3.99 in store. 

What are you best budget beauty buys? Have you tried any of these?
Amy x

Cosy Knits

It's official, I've found my favourite jumper. It's toasty, soft and long enough to wear with leggings and still feel a little bit stylish. I love being cosy in autumn and I also picked up a new hat which unintentionally matches my jumper. Then whoops I bought some new shoes as well and this outfit was born. I've wanted some pointed shoes for ages, but my feet are so wide and sexy that they don't usually fit me. These ones fit like a dream though so I'm very happy that I've finally got some!

Jumper - Brave Soul via Asos (link)
Leggings - Asos (link)
Hat - Primark (current)
Shoes - Truffle Collection via Asos (link)

Amy x

Wardrobe Staples | 3 Ways to Wear a Sleeveless Jacket

Helloo! I'm back with another installment of my wardrobe staples series, this time I'm showing you three ways that I wear a sleeveless jacket - sleeveless jackets have become a real staple for me this autumn and I especially love this grey one I picked up from New Look

Outfit 1

Dress - New Look via Asos (here)
Jacket - New Look 
Boots - Topshop 

Outfit 2

Top - Next (old)
Leggings - Next (old)
Shoes - Primark (current)
Jacket - New Look 
Necklace - Topshop (old)

Outfit 3

Top - Asos (similar)
Dress - Topshop (old)
Boots - Topshop 
Jacket - New Look 
Necklace - Urban Outfitters (old)

Do you like wearing sleeveless jackets? What do you wear them with?

Amy x