Wednesday, 1 April 2015

MARCH MINT FAVOURITES

mint
During March, I spent my days browsing wedding rings with Alex, drinking Teapigs sweet peppermint and liquorice tea and picking up my knitting needles again in an attempt to start making some warm winter things that I can give away for the colder months. I'm still loving to document snippets of my day in my Paperchase Mint 2015 Diary and my (quite unhealthy) snack of choice this month has been Mint Sorbet flavoured jelly beans!

Beauty:

I loved painting my nails with Essie Mint Candy Apple during March, it's such a nice brightening pastel mint nail polish that looks so pretty for Spring.

EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint has been keeping my lips feeling so soft this month. It contains vitamin e, jojoba oil, shea butter and is 95% organic, 100% natural and petrolatum free. It's the perfect size to pop in your make up bag and the minty taste is really refreshing.

For skincare, I've been using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser for removing my make up. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth, helped by the natural ingredients and the gentle exfoliating cloth. I'm nearly at the end of this bottle now and so I'll have to repurchase another one soon!

After running out of my favourite Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream last month I switched it out for Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream. Benefit's it's potent is such a lovely, creamy and brightening eye cream that helps to smooth fine lines, reduce dark circles and contains blend of peptides and hydrating botanical extracts. I've really enjoyed using this as part of my morning skincare routine and I've found that it has really brightened  up my eye area.

What were your favourite products in March?
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Sunday, 29 March 2015

MAYBELLINE COLOR DRAMA LIP PENCILS

After hearing that the Maybelline Color Drama lip pencils were similar to the Nars lip pencils I just had to get my hands on a couple to test them out. Nars lip pencils currently have a permanent place in my make up bag and so a more affordable alternative was really exciting to me.

The Maybelline lip pencil shades that I own are Keep it Classy and Fuchsia Desire. Both are pretty shades and are highly pigmented, Keep is Classy is a red toned plum (that will be perfect for autumn) and if rubbed in as a stain, gives a beautiful berry tone to the lips. Fuchsia Desire is a pretty, wearable warm toned pink which looks great for the warmer months.

Like the Nars lip pencils, these pencils also need to be sharpened. Although Maybellines offerings are a lot more affordable than the Nars pencils, I would still prefer a twist up applicator in a bid to waste less product. Despite this, there's something so aesthetically pleasing about the packaging of the Maybelline lip pencils, they fit so well in my make up bag and are great for easy application on the go. 

The formula of these lip pencils are pigmented and creamy, they're easily to blend on the lips and last me a good 2 hours before having to reapply. The shades that I own tend to be a little drying on the lips but nothing that a layer of lip balm beforehand doesn't fix. My favourite way to apply them is to dab a little of the colour onto moisturised lips and then blend out with your finger to leave a pretty tinted stain. This way I can wear them as a subtle sheen or really build the colour up to a bold, velvety lip. 

Although similar, they don't quite beat the formulation and longevity of the Nars lip pencils for me. However, Maybelline Color Drama lip pencils are a lot more affordable and pretty close to the Nars pencils so they're definitely worth taking a look at, especially as the shades available are just dreamy. There's a beautiful deep red that has caught my eye (and looks similar to Nars Cruella) and a pretty pink that has a slightly glossy formula and looks perfect for spring.

Have you tried Maybelline colour drama lip pencils?
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Friday, 27 March 2015

SPRING GOALS

Every year I like to set myself a few spring goals as I feel like spring is the perfect time for new things, beginnings and growth. Here are a few of my spring goals this year:

Lean something new - I currently have an overwhelming urge to study and learn. There are so many great free courses online, I would love to study nutrition, french or astronomy.

Spend money on experiences, not things.

Take more photos & use my lomography camera more.

Vlog little snippets of my life for memories.

Take up spinning.

Buy fresh flowers, often.

Spring clean my home.

Invest in some new make up brushes. I do own quite a few lovely brushes already and my professional brush kit is good quality but I really wanted to invest in some new brushes for myself. Earlier this week I finally took the plunge and ordered some Zoeva brushes, I am beyond excited for them to arrive and can't wait to see what they're like!

Wear more colour - I only ever really wear colour on my nails or with my make up but I've been really inspired by Carrie's posts recently. Even if I still stick to darker hues I'm going to try to branch out a bit and wear a little less black! I've ordered this pretty rust cami from newlook to start me off, it hangs really nicely and I love the shade!

Make more. I would love to DIY something like this beautiful rose garland. I love this one too, I'm hoping that I might be able to make a longer lasting version by using artificial flowers or knitted rose buds.

Do you have any spring goals?
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

HEALTH AND FITNESS

health and fitness

I mentioned briefly in my wedding planning post that I had started to make little lifestyle changes to be healthier after the indulgent winter months. I've also got into a little exercise routine that I'm really happy with and that has helped to make me feel so much healthier. Here are five small steps that I've been taking for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Drinking more water: I love water and try to drink at least 2 litres of filtered water a day. Drinking herbal tea is also a good way of getting water, Teapigs and Pukka make an amazing peppermint and licorice tea that really helps to satisfy sweet cravings.

2. Having an exercise routine: I get easily bored with exercise and so often switch between cardio, yoga or pilates and doing exercise videos on youtube. I've started a little routine recently that I'm really enjoying and it's something that I look forward to completing every day. It's fairly easy to do at home and not too monotonous, this is what I've been trying to do daily:

AM: 30 day squat challenge.

PM: 1. Cardio and targeted area: I like to do two Blogilates videos, one cardio and one other,
            normally targeting arms or thighs. I absolutely love Cassey's workouts, she really motivates
            you to push harder and the workouts always make me sore the next day so I know they're
            working!
        2. Later in the evening I do Amberfillerup's ab exercises, there are so many great ones to do that
            it keeps me interested and I can increase my reps as I get better.

3. Yoga: I try and do yoga a few times a week, not only does it increase my strength and help tone, it really helps to relax my mind and lets me take around 20 minutes out to de-stress. I love Yoga with Adriene videos, Adriene is so inspiring, motivating and it feels like you're working out with a friend!

4. Snacks: I've made sure that the only snacks I have laying around are healthy and good for my body as I find it too tempting to snack on junk food when it's easily available. I love snacking on nuts, fruit, popcorn and vegetable sticks with houmous. My current favourite snacks are roasted Almonds, freshly picked blackberries and apple slices sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon.

5. Meals: I'm becoming increasingly aware of what I put into my body and so I try to fuel my body with healthy and unprocessed foods. I initially found it quite difficult to change my diet, but it's becoming second nature to me now. I eat wholewheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa and I love using herbs and spices to jazz up vegetables. I use pink Himalayan salt (which is full of minerals) and I love using coconut oil (which is antibacterial, anti fungal and contains essential fatty acids) to cook with.

For a quick breakfast or lunch, I love to make a smoothie in my NutriBullet, it blends nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit so well and lets me make the most delicious smoothies!

I still like to indulge in a few treats, I just try to make sure that they're quite healthy and good for me. Some of my favourite treats include Almond milk hot chocolates using Alpro almond milk and Green & Blacks Cocoa Powder, Booja Booja chocolate ice cream (the most dreamy, dairy free ice cream made with creamy blended cashews), Gemma's healthy salted caramel sauce and squares of Lindt dark chocolate.

A book that I love reading to learn about great foods and the benefits of eating well is Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart. I've also flicked through Deliciously Ella, it contains some great recipes and will definitely be my next cookbook purchase.
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

SPRING BEAUTY

spring beauty

With my berry lipsticks and darker hues tucked safely away in my Alex drawers for another year, I've started to pull out pastels, brights and lighter bases ready for spring. I've had a little spring clean of my dressing table area and make up drawers and so with everything looking neat and fresh, I'm ready to embrace the lighter, brighter shades for spring.

I've switched out my thicker winter moisturiser in favour of Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser. The lightweight, gel like texture means that a little of this fresh citrus scented moisturiser goes a long way and it gives my skin a boost of radiance ready for the warmer months. I'm also putting my Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer aside and instead opting for Seventeen Phwoarr Paint concealer, it still gives high coverage but feels a lot more creamy in texture and a little less drying than its counterpart.

For Blusher, Sleek Pixie Pink (swatched here) has been giving a pretty flush of colour to my cheeks. The vibrant pink blusher gives a fresh look to my make up and works beautifully with theBalm Mary Lou Manizer, a pigmented shimmery champagne highlighter that gives such a dewy glow. I've also started to introduce cream blushers back into my routine, I'm especially loving No7 Pop and Glow Cream Blush Stick in Mango Sorbet (swatch) which is a creamy pastel coral that's just perfect for spring.

On my eyes, I've been flitting between the L'Oreal Color Riche L'Ombre Pure Eyeshadows (these are the shades that I own) and the Maybelline Color Tattoos as an easy all over wash of colour to my eyes. I love the gel infused, buttery texture of the L'oreal shadows and have been enjoying wearing the lighter, shimmery rose and gold shades of the Maybelline cream shadows. I always drift towards cream or gel based shadows during spring and summer as they last so well on the eyes and rarely smudge or crease.
An eyeshadow palette that I've been loving recently is the Sleek Oh So Special Palette*. The shades are super pigmented, long lasting and it contains lighter mattes that work so well with bold spring lips.

I'm stuggling to let go of deep reds and berry nail polishes as they'll always be my favourite shades to wear, I've kept my Essie collection at easy reach for a range of shades to wear all year round. Essie Mint Candy Apple has been brightening my nails during the transition into spring and Essie Cute As a Button is a pretty coral pink that is so great for spring mani's.

The Nars Lip pencils from the Digital Lip Pencil Coffret have been a staple in my make up bag throughout winter and I'm bringing them with me through to spring. I've put Nars Cruella aside and opted for lighter shades like Yu, Iberico and Torres Del Paine. I'm so upset that Torres Del Paine is a limited edition shade as it's turned out to be my favourite of the bunch, it's a brightening creamy peach that looks so pretty for spring. Nars Yu, a bright cool toned pink luckily is part of the permanent range. It instantly freshens up your make up look and can be dabbed on for a pretty pink stain to your lips. See swatches here.

With all of these beauty products out, I feel so ready for spring. I just hope the weather picks up a bit now!

What are your beauty picks for Spring?
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