Thursday, 27 November 2014

Useful Things I buy when I am supposed to be picking up a toothbrush in Boots

Too often I find myself making empty promises that I will go into Boots and only pick up what I need, almost every time I leave with 5 or 6 things I didn't know I needed and not what I initially went in for. 
During these splurges I have come across some great products that are not only great products but also budget friendly and I thought I would share these with you.

Essie is definitely up there in my favourite nail polish brand, and when it began stocking in Boots at a discount price myself and thousands of other beauty lovers rejoiced! On the most recent occasion I visited Essie polishes were on 3 for 2 so I picked up three different colours. Mint Candy Apple, Ballet Slippers & A Splash of Grenadine, they are all beautiful shades, which apply smoothly and evenly and the pigmentation is also really good. Individually the polishes are £7.99 each but I got 3 for £15.98 which is such an amazing bargain. Make sure you look out for the 3 for 2 deals because you can really rack up points as well as saving a lot on different beauty products. 

I'm not the sort of girl who often wears fake eye lashes, on my eyes they tend to look really fake and brash so I usually just apply lots of layers of mascara. Recently though I have been reaching for the gorgeous Ardel Demi Wispies lashes for special occasions. They are beautiful and natural looking strip lashes that blend into your natural lashes perfectly and really give you that lift and bit of drama you want for a night out. Ardel do a fantastic line of fake lashes for any occasion and they are my number 1 choice for strip lashes, you can pick up a set in Boots for just £5.49 which is a such a great price.

I also love the Eylure Individual combination set which I use to great a bit definition in my lashes. You can apply as little or as many lashes as you want and they look so beautiful and natural. Application just takes a little bit of practice, but the result is completely worth it. You can also pick these lashes up at Boots for £5.29 and usually you can get 3 or 4 uses from each pack.

I usually paint my nails at least twice a week as my polish constantly chips no matter what top coat I try, so I am also constantly removing polish which can be a complete pain. I have what some might say is irrational but I think is completely ration fear of cotton wool, I hate the feeling of it, so removing polish is a bit of an ordeal for me. Recently while browsing the Bourjois stand I noticed their 1 second nail polish removal pot. I picked it up without hesitation, it only cost £4.99 so I thought I may as well try it out. Let me tell you it is one of the best fivers I have ever spent, and I am sure I'll continue to spend it for some time. It takes your polish off in seconds, it is such a quick and easy solution for me and I couldn't recommend it anymore.

The last thing I picked up was a bit of an impulse purchase as I was waiting in the long lunch time crazy que. It caught my eye as it was reduced from £11.99 to £7.99 and was part of the LOreal Skin Perfection line which I already love. I really love this product, on down days I will use it as a base to even out my skin tone and blur any lines. It's also a great priming moisturiser and has SPF20 within it, its enriched within Vitamins E and B5 which ensures great hydration throughout the day. If you need a little skin pick me up this is definitely a great choice! 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

ATM #7

Date: 20/11/2014
Time: 13:00 PM
Location: University Library doing my best to procrastinate.
Fashion Pick: Black heeled chelsea boots from New Look.
Beauty Pick: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brunette
Music Pick: George Ezra, Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran's new albums on REPEAT!
TV Show: Can't get enough of Scandal and Geordie Shore just now.
Book: I read the Man Repeller by Leandra Medine. Life Changing. Review to follow.
Food: Greek Yoghurt for Breakfast.
Drink: Twinings double mint tea.

I read the amazing and inspiring Leandra Medine's memoir/self help book/comedy journal and fell in love. I was simultaneously inspired, obsessed and amused by Leandra from the first paragraph on the first page. Her story telling skills are top notch and her unapologetic honesty is what makes the entire book. If you are a twenty something, fashion obsessed, blogging enthusiast or just a female its a must-read!

I feel like I might have featured the lovely Lily's blog on my ATM before but this month for me it has been all about her youtube channel. The thing about Lily is you actually trust her recommendations, she always tells the truth and doesn't mind upsetting the masses criticising a raved about product. Her weekly blogs are a must see too, and she is just an inspiring and entertaining girl to tune into.
Subscribe today!
This Month I'm Excited For: My Birthday!!! next month :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hosting a Dinner Party for the First Time

I am actually a little bit late in putting this post up as I hosted my little Dinner Party nearly a month ago now, but I guess it is better late than never. My parents went on a two week holiday and rather than having a crazy house party like back in the day I decided to host a themed dinner party for my lovely girlfriends. It started small with just food, friends and fun but then I got carried away on Pinterest and decided I had to go all out.

I went into Asda and The Range to pick up a few things and again went totally wild! Fairy lights, mason jars, fake flowers, beautiful bunting and white tables clothes later I was ready and armed with props and decorations. I went for a silver and white garden party theme but indoors obviously because come on I live in Edinburgh, we never have the weather for outdoor dining. I had the table set up in my conservatory, with bunting around the window and fairy lights to light the room up. The table was covered in a big white sheet, and I created a flowery centre piece reef with tea lights in mason jars entwined. I then through together a few make shifts menus and napkins. I also used little butterfly gift tags as place cards and slotted them into the forks, which I did think looked so cute. The whole table looked lovely and had a nice, simple, twinkly look to it, kind of boho wedding inspired. 

Of course the decor is important at a dinner party but what is more important is the food. There was no expense spared and my girls had a fully home cooked three course meal. To start we had chicken and veg kebabs with a selection of cured meats, bread, home made guacamole, salsa and hummus. It was nice to be able to help yourself and have a try of different things, and everyone was a massive fan of the salsa recipe, which was courtesy of a friends mum, it is so simple.

5 large tomatoes diced
1 red onion diced
a handful of coriander chopped up finely
2 table spoons of water
salt and pepper
mix it up
leave in the fridge to infuse for a few hours

We had a gorgeous chicken, chorizo and butternut squash risotto for main course which went down a treat. Did not realise how high maintenance risotto rice is, so next time I will be more prepared with boiled water and a wooden spoon. The recipe comes from my best friends dad and I must say I am yet to achieve his level of perfection with this dish, maybe a future post with Alan revealing the secret to the perfect risotto rice. Then for dessert my gorgeous friends took care of this, they really out did themselves with a fudge and white choc kinder bueno baked cheesecake they made themselves and a gorgeous pavlova with a raspberry compote.

Most of my friends were driving that evening which is pretty unheard of in our group but it meant I had to come up with an amazing non-alcoholic replacement. I decided to stick with good old ice water, but I infused the jugs with cucumber, lemon and lime. The water was so refreshing and perfect to accompany a big meal, we al felt quite posh sipping our infused water. 

The pastry chef herself modelling her baking talents

Top Tips for a Successful & Minimal Stress Dining Experience
  • Prep, Prep, Prep. Food, Music, Decor get it all sorted before an hour before your guests arrive. It will mean you have time to get glammed up and you are more relaxed the entire night.
  • Ask your guests to bring something whether its drinks, nibbles or a dessert. Let them take some of the stress from you, they will love to feel like they have contributed to the night too.
  • Choose a theme and get everyone to dress the part. Even if its just a colour or season it will make the night more fun and pictures will look great too. 
  • If you can't cook, order in and pretend you cooked. Who will even know and you can still go to town with the decoration. 
  • Be Creative rather than Spendy. Hit up Pinterest, it is a haven of ideas and inspirations. You will save loads of money and highly impress your guests.
  • Once the guests have arrived relax and have FUN! At the end of the day if everything goes wrong you can laugh at the disaster you have created and phone dominoes, no harm done.

Friday, 14 November 2014

N Spa Skincare Box Review

My best friend and fellow blogger Rachel and I were wandering around Asda's beauty aisles a few weeks ago looking for some goodies for a well deserved pamper session. We looked through some old favourites and a few of the cheap packet face masks but nothing was really catching our eye. I remembered Caroline Hirons doing a video for Asda on budget skincare, and that she had said very god things about the brand nspa. On the top of the shelf there was a beautiful packaged box with four of their skincare products inside. I cheekily had a little peek inside to check out what was on offer, and was very impressed with the size of the products inside.  

Rach and I decided we would half the price and try out the products together. We headed back to her house and began to pamper ourselves. Within the little box you get a cleansing gel, a hot cloth polish, a serum and a day cream. I think for £10 this pretty great, you also get 50ml of product which is a really good amount for the price. 

The two cleanser were lovely, I am not the greatest fan of a gel cleanser because my skin is very dry but it worked well when following it up the with hot cloth polish. Rachel's skin is a little oilier than man and she like the gel based cleanser to remove the majority of her make-up. The hot cloth polish was pretty nice, I have used high end version in the £50 price range and yes they are magnificent and melt your make-up off within seconds. Considering the price range I though nspa's offering was actually very good. I also liked the serum, its sort of hard to test these sorts of products but it sunk in nicely and made my dry skin feel hydrated so that is a plus. As it was the evening the day cream which contains SPF 15 was a bit pointless but I did try it out anyway. It was nice and creamy and sunk into my skin leaving my face clean, soft and nourished which is all I ask for out of a budget skincare product.

Overall I would recommend this little set to anyone that wants a quick, easy and cheap skincare routine with zero fuss. At just £10 you can't really go wrong, and the products are good quality. I think it would make a lovely gift for a younger girl beginning to take care of her skin or somebody who needs a simple cleansing routine. 

Hydraluron Moisture Jelly Review

I religiously use indeedlabs Hydraluron gel as a serum day and night. I have very dry skin and I find it really helps to moisturise and hydrate my skin throughout the day. I haven't found another product like it and it is so effective on my skin I have been reluctant to try out any other serums. 

I was running very low a few weeks ago and decided I would need to make a dash to Boots that afternoon to pick up some more. While I was in Boots I noticed that not only was the Hydraluron on 3 for 2 but there was another product from the Hydraluron range available. I have tried the mask available in the range, which I liked but its not something I could really use every single day. The product that was being featured was the gel in a bigger packaging in what seemed like a thicker gel which would be perfect for the bitter Winter months approaching. I grabbed both and headed to the till before I could be distracted by any more goodies. 

That evening I excitedly tried out the thicker and seemingly more effective gel, and I must admit I was not disappointed. First of all the packaging is amazing, with a push down lid so you get the perfect amount of product in an easy and very clean way. The gel melted into my skin, relieving me of the tightness I constantly experience and my moisturiser melted into it perfectly. The next day my skin felt more hydrated than usual and couldn't wait to smear it on again. I do think this product is particularly suited to a dryer skin and might be too heavy for other skin types, so it is defintately somehting to consider when purchasing.

I have a review of the slightly lighter oringinal Hydrauron gel here, if anybody is interested. I would say if you suffer from constant dry skin this product is a must try.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Monthly Favourites #7 October 2014

This month I just have a few things to talk about because I have found myself going back to trusted old favourites I raved about hundreds of times. My family went to Miami this month too, so a few treats from across the pond are of course also featured.

Bath and Body Works Leaves Three Wick Candle

I have been coveting this candle for years, ever since I first started watching Youtube hauls. My family went to Miami recently and my mum brought me it back kindly. It first of all literally smells like Autumn to me and is the perfect accompaniment to a cosy night in. I have probably burned it around 10 times already and it has barely burned down, which is a massive plus for me. It is only available in the US unfortunately, so make sure you make friends over the pond so you can get your hands on one.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brunette

I am a lover of big, bold brows, but I dont like them to look too boxy and fake so I have been looking for something that could help me create a more natural looking brow. This product has of course been raved about across the beauty blogosphere, and I must admit its for good reason because this product is amazing! It comes with a tiny crayon style pencil on one side, which is perfect for drawing in little hairs to create the illusion of a naturally full brow. Then on the other side there is a little brow brush to help get your brows in place and blend in the product. I have never had as many compliments on my brows since using this product and I think it will be a staple for me from now on.

L'Oreal Color Riche Julianne's Pure Red 

I had a bit of a mad moment on the two for one offers in Boots at the start of the month and ended picking up 3 of the 4 new L'Oreal red celeb inspired lipsticks. I love all the shades I picked up and wear them all a lot, but the one I'm loving the most is Julianne's shade. It is a beautiful, bright and vibrant orangy red colour, which is so complimentary to a paler skin. I have recently changed my hair colour from blonde to copper and I love this shade with my new hair. They are also so cheap at jusy £6.99 which is insanely good considering the amazing quality of the lipsticks.

Avon Glow Bronzing Powder in Medium Riveri

I have recently been ordering a few things from Avon to try, which has been great as Avon is pretty cheap and really great quality make-up. While flicking through I noticed they did a bronzer with a built in mirror, and not only that but they stocked matte shades. I have been trying to find a budget matte bronzer for my handbag for a while now so I was thrilled and ordered straight away. The bronzer turned out to be so good, and has great pigmentation and is a fab for an all over colour or a light contour. Bottom line if you are looking for lower budget but great quality make-up definitely give Avon a try,