Three Little Words

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I was cross, tired and weary.  Bed times in our house had become more and more drawn out over the last few months.  The boys (11 and 7) are usually no trouble; they amuse themselves quietly until bed time.

The girls on the other hand? Not so much. Not naughty; just mischievous.  Cheeky; not badly behaved.  Still, that doesn’t make it any easier.  My body seems to shut down after dinner.  It’s been on the go all day; running, cleaning, playing, cooking, washing, dressing, driving, walking.  By 7pm I’ve had it.  My husband is in charge of bath time.  That’s his chance to catch up, play, and read stories.  I pop in and out in between sorting laundry, and organising uniforms for the next day. I pick up any stray toys, collect the multitude of cups that are strewn around the house (why can’t children use the same cup more than once?!)  I look forward to the couple of hours of peace and quiet, before I pass out from exhaustion.

On this particular evening, I was more keen than usual to get back downstairs to unwind; Netflix was calling my name.  It had been a long day. I trudged up the stairs one more time.  Settled my youngest (18 months); and told her sister to please ‘shhh’ (she is 4).  As I was leaving the room, I heard a little voice; ‘Mummy’.  What now?! I thought.  I turned, wearily, ‘what is it?’.

A pause.

 

‘I love you mummy’.

 

My heart melted.

Welcome to parenthood.  Taking the rough with the smooth since time began.

 

 

 

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Sunday Scent #4 – Clean Skin

Clean Skin, it is safe to say, is my absolute favourite perfume. It is easy to wear, subtle, warm, and gorgeous. Although it starts as a floral waft of cleanliness, it dries down to a glorious musky warmth.

 

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TOP NOTES: Sheer Honeydew, Lotus Blossom, Fresh Air Accord

MIDDLE NOTES: Dewy Petals, Aquatic Notes, Blue Rose

BOTTOM NOTES: White Musks, Amber Wood, Creamy Vanilla

I have quite a few of the Clean fragrances – I bought a set of rollerballs to try them out – and Skin is my favourite by miles. If I had to choose one perfume to wear for the rest of my life, then this would be it. I like that it isn’t overwhelming, and it sits quite close to the skin. To me it smells of warm clean laundry; fresh without being sour, and warm without being heavy.

Clean perfumes are not always that easy to get hold of in the UK, but Skin is definitely worth the extra effort to locate.  I found it on Escentual.com for £59 for 60ml.   Or here for £44.50! Maybe I need a backup…. *gets out the battered credit card*

 

Have a great Sunday!

 

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Haul / What’s New on the High Street

On a rare child-free afternoon last week, I ventured in to my nearest shopping centre and had a mooch around Boots and Superdrug. So thank you to my parents for looking after my youngest little monster, allowing me some time for some retail therapy.

 

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There were a few bits and bobs that I wanted to try, and some others that caught my eye on the day. I believe most of the products I bought are new to stores, which makes them all the more exciting in my opinion.

 

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First up the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation in Ivory. Under normal circumstances, I probably would never have been drawn to this foundation, what with my skin being so dry. The word ‘matte’ strikes fear into my dry, dusty soul. However, I have seen many of my favourite dry-skinned YouTubers rave about it, so I thought I would give it a go. I will let you know how I get on.

To go with the Dream Velvet foundation, I picked up the little sponge applicator. Ordinarily I would have ignored this Dream Blender as a gimmick, but there was an offer on in Superdrug, so for the sake of a couple of pounds I thought I would give it a try.

 

Now, I need another mascara like I need a hole in the head, but I wanted to try the Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara. It was the ‘push-up’ bit that got me. I have mentioned a million times before that I generally look for a mascara that lifts and separates my lashes. Lengthening and thickening are a bonus.

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No, your eyes do not deceive you; that is a second foundation. What can I say? I don’t get out much and I need to grab things when I see them, or forever hold my peace. Also, because I am slightly nervous about the Maybelline foundation, I thought this one might be slightly better suited to my skin. The Bourjois City Radiance Skin Protecting Foundation, in Ivory Rose, sounds right up my street.

In addition to this, I purchased the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory. Like mascaras, I have yet to find the perfect concealer, and I NEVER miss an opportunity to try another. I think this is going to be a little more of a brightener than a concealer, but I need to have a play with it. When I swatched it in the shop, it reminded me of YSL Touche Elcat, which is no more of an under eye concealer than I am a tree.

Next, this funny little lip balm. The Maybelline Babylips Balm and Blush is designed to be used as both a lip balm, and a blusher. Yes, really! Did the name give it away? I have tried this, and on the lips it is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. I have the colour Innocent Peach, and it is a wonderful sheer, peachy nude tint. It is best applied while doing an impression of a duck, because it is so MASSIVE that this is the only way to apply it where you want it. It feels a little sticky on the cheeks, but the colour is nice and subtle. I popped it on as a quick test just before washing my face, so I can’t say what happens after any length of time. It may simply slide away, but I will try it properly and see.

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The Sleek Makeup Barekissed Illuminator in Monaco is a liquid highlighter. It can be mixed with foundation; applied alone, or simply used to highlight the high points of the face. I love highlighters. Seriously. Adore them. I don’t recall ever using a liquid one, so I am looking forward to experimenting with the Barekissed Illuminator.

 

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And finally, the Smashbox Double Exposure Eyshadow Palette. I was actually looking at the smashbox stand because I was eyeing up their new Primer Oil.  I decided against that (regretting that now) and started sticking my fingers into the tester of this palette instead. Oh boy, is it pigmented. The colours are all gorgeous, and the shadows can be used wet or dry. As soon as I swatched the silver (top middle/ left in the above pic) I knew I had to have it. I genuinely cannot wait to use this palette.

 

I plan to do full reviews of most of the products here, so come back soon for those!

 

Is there anything here that you have tried? Or anything that has caught your eye?
 

 

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Midweek Motivation

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If anyone can provide good advice it is the late, great Albert Einstein.  I simply cannot sum up his life in a few sentences.  He was a fascinating genius, whose scientific theories shaped how we understand our world today.   He was a lifelong pacifist, and believed that ‘peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding’.  Our lives would be so different if Einstein had not been given the brain that he was.  We have his scientific discoveries to thank for GPS; TVs and the remotes that control them; mobile phones; digital cameras, and computers. I possibly wouldn’t be here blogging without Albert Einstein.  Think about that for a minute.

 

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Running Tips for Beginners – From a Fellow Beginner

So this year – like every other year since time began – I decided that I would attempt to work on my fitness.  I’m not getting any younger, and huffing and puffing up the stairs is not cool.  This blog is where I share my beauty loves – amongst other things – and being skinny and fit makes you beautiful. Amiright?

 

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So here are my tips, from one beginner to another:

 

1. Download a fitness tracker.  These apps tell you how far you’ve travelled, and how quickly.  Paired up with the right equipment, they’ll even record your heart rate.  That’s not the best bit though.   They also display the number of calories burned on your run.  Very useful when counting out biscuits later in the day.

2. Tweet those statistics! These apps often give you the option to tweet your results, or update Facebook with a smug status.  Make sure you do this after every run.  This can be a great way to connect with other runners; and to feel superior over everyone else.  Mini Tip: don’t share how many biscuits you have consumed – this will be between you and the biscuit tin.

3. Don’t run when it’s too hot.  You don’t want to end up all sweaty and nasty now, do you?  Also, don’t run when it’s too cold.  That cold air will make your nose run quicker than Usain Bolt – not cute. The cold air does keep the biscuits fresh though….

4. Eat healthily.  The reason for this is simple.  The less calories you stuff in your face throughout the day, the less you have to run.  Just make sure you factor in those biscuits (FYI, a Custard Cream contains 65 calories).

5. Weigh yourself after every run.  This will keep you motivated as you see the weight start to fall off.  It will also help you work out your daily cake allowance.  (You thought I was going to say biscuit then, didn’t you?)

6.  Just breathe.  Or not.  Are you self-conscious about sounding like an over-excited dog as you run past other people on your run? There is a simple solution to this; hold your breath as you pass them.  When you pass out from lack of oxygen, and roll elegantly along the path, your breathing will be the last thing they notice.  Oh.  And biscuits.

7.  Get the right equipment.  You don’t need to spend a fortune, but decent shoes and comfortable clothing will make each run a little less painful.  I also recommend a running belt.  This will hold your phone (don’t forget the running app!!) and biscuit stash.  You’ll need regular snack breaks, so make sure you are prepared.

And Finally:

8.  Just do it. Nobody is going to just hand you that gorgeous body on a plate, you are going to have to work for it.  Mmmmm, plate of biscuits.  Be right back.

 

What are your exercise tips?! Let me know in the comments below…..

 

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Single Eyeshadows : Worth the Fiddle?

I am the hugest hoarder collector of eyeshadow palettes.  I usually sniff at individual pans; they just seem so restrictive, and fiddly.  However, I decided to change my tune, and embrace the single life!  You may have seen (here) that I recently purchased some single eyeshadows as a little treat to myself.  I have been intrigued by Makeup Geek and Morphe eyeshadows for a while, after having them rammed down my throat (in the nicest possible way) on every YouTube video I have ever watched. They are now sold at Beauty Bay for around £5 – £8 each.

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I tried to buy a good selection; colours that would work together, but that aren’t too similar.  I haven’t used the two blue eyeshadows yet (Morphe Sapphire, and Makeup Geek Nautica), but have played with them.  They swatch really well, and are both soft and almost creamy.  Sapphire is slightly more towards the teal end of the blue spectrum, and is gorgeously sparkly.  Nautica is more of a rich midnight blue, but also has a shimmery finish.

 

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Morphe Sapphire Single Eyeshadow
L-R - Petal Pusher and Daydreamer
L-R – Petal Pusher and Daydreamer

 

 

Petal Pusher is a very pretty matte pinky taupe. It is very subtle, and blends well.  I have been using it along with Daydreamer, which is a gorgeous Foiled shadow. Daydreamer swatches very well, but took me a little bit of time before I could get the full effect on my eyes.  I found using a fixing spray on my brush intensified the colour.  Either that, or going straight in with a finger to apply it, which also gives great colour payoff.

 

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Bottom – Top: Morphe Sapphire; Makeup Geek Petal Pusher; Daydreamer; Concrete Jungle; Phantom and Nautica

 

Concrete Jungle is – as the name would suggest – a matte grey.  It works well as a crease shade, or all over lid colour, when doing a cool toned eye look.   Phantom is a pretty pale pinkish duochrome.  It looks pretty washed out in my photos unfortunately, but in person it really is gorgeous.  It glides on the eyelid, and looks purple, blue and pink all in one go.

 

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I think of all the Makeup Geek eyeshaodow formulations, the prettiest is the duochrome.  I really can’t resist a shimmery, colour-shifting eyeshadow.  The mattes are fabulous, and aren’t chalky or too powdery.

I would have loved to try more of the Morphe shadows, but there was not a huge selection available at the time.  Morphe do ship from their – US based – website, so that might be worth a browse. Next on my list to try will be this palette, or this one that I have been drooling over for the last couple of months.  Of course my love for their brushes has been well documented.

 

Have you tried either Morphe or Makeup Geek eyeshadows? What do you think of them?

 

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Midweek Motivation

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No words today, other than; I hope you have a fantastic week.

 

 

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My Top Five: Eyeshadow Brushes

If you are a makeup enthusiast then you will no doubt have a plentiful brush collection. While it isn’t essential to have hundreds of brushes, it is useful to have a few in different sizes. Unless you enjoy washing them every day. I hate washing my brushes, so I am greedy and I have many. Which is pretty counter-productive if you think about it. I have lots so that I can get away with washing them less often, but consequently have more to wash. D’oh.

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Anyway, I do have my favourites, and here they are.

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Morphe M505 – Tapered Blender. I love this fluffy little guy. He is perfect for blending eyeshadows. My typical eye look – because of my eye shape – is a dark matte colour in the crease (and above, because my eyes are quite hooded) and a complimentary shimmery colour on the lid. This Morphe brush blends out the crease colour like a dream; it is SO soft, and there is no scratching whatsoever. I have a few Morphe brushes, and they are truly amazing. There are very affordable (here) and they also wash perfectly. There is nothing worse than a brush that loses its mojo after being washed.

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Sedona Lace Eye Shading Brush 305 Speaking of not washing well…. I have a few Sedona Lace brushes, and with the exception of this one, and one other (the Small Round Dome – 217), they are awful to wash. I don’t know if I was unlucky – I don’t know much about Sedona Lace’s reputation – or if they are all terrible. However, this lovely Shader Brush is wonderful. It has very short bristles, so it is great for applying colour just where you want it, and it is super soft on the eye. Sedona Lace are not available in the UK, other than on Amazon for ridiculously inflated prices.  However, the US based site (here) frequently offer huge discounts, and free shipping – even to the UK.

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These Lamora brushes are a real treat. They were very inexpensive, I paid £9.95 for this set of seven on Amazon in September.  They are really excellent brushes.  These ones are vegan and synthetic. The Detailed Pencil, and the Blending Brush are my most-used of the set. They are all wonderfully soft, and they are a pleasure to wash (well, not really, but you know what I mean) The pencil brush is best used for the lower lash line, or for small areas (maybe the inner corner, if you choose to highlight there). It might also be good for a fancy cut-crease – I am the opposite of fancy so can’t tell for sure.  The Blending brush is, again, soft and lovely to use for blending (what else?!).

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Finally in my top 5, is the Real Techniques Detailer Brush I use this simply for highlighting my inner corner, which I don’t always do, but when I do I prefer a tiny brush do it with. Real Techniques are very popular, and are reasonably affordable. For the quality that you get, I do think they are worth every penny.  This particular brush was part of the Core Collection (here) I also like to support the Pixiwoo girls, because they are so lovely, and some of the most down-to-earth people on YouTube, and in the beauty industry.

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So, these are my top five brushes for eyeshadow.  Make sure you check back soon for my top five face brushes.

Which brushes would make your top five? Do you have any of my favourites in your collection?

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Sunday Scent #3 – Lancôme Miracle

I have actually been wearing Lancôme Miracle most of this week.  It’s one of my faves.  Starting at £25 for 30ml, it’s another affordable option for those of us that aren’t bathing in money every night.  Musk and Sandalwood base notes are my top choices for perfumes usually.  I like warm feminine scents; colder or more masculine fragrances just don’t do it for me.  Sweet perfumes are also a no-no, and I prefer lighter, rather than heavy, overwhelming scents.

 

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TOP NOTES: Freesia, Lychee

MIDDLE NOTES: Jasmine, pepper, mandarin orange, ginger, magnolia

BASE NOTES:  Amber, jasmine, musk

Lancome Miracle begins as a floral aroma, and warms to a delicious creamy warm scent throughout the day. There are some perfumes that are almost an assault to the nose – this is not one of them. I find that when applied to my neck and wrists, the fragrance floats to my nose in a rather pleasant and soothing waft.

As it dries down, it doesn’t smell anything like the first spray, so if you like ‘green’ floral scents, then you are only going to like Lancome Miracle for the first hour or so. However, if you are drawn to smooth, creamy, warm fragrances, then Miracle could well be for you.  It changes as time goes on, and just gets better and better.  Miracle is one of those perfumes that has me sniffing myself all day (btw this is not the way to make new friends).

 

Have you tried Miracle by Lancôme? What do you think of it?

 

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Glossybox – January 2016

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This month’s Glossybox took me by surprise.  The arrival of it I mean.  If you don’t already know (I mention it in pretty much every blog post) I have four children.  Three of which – and the husband – were autumn/winter babies. So October to January is a bit of a blur of presents; parties; more presents; Christmas; and more presents. Oh, and presents. January is number two’s birthday. (Child number two that is – I don’t celebrate the other number two).  So as much as I would like to lie in a darkened room for all of January, I have to start planning another birthday.  So, the point of this little digression? I was so focused on all the other stuff happening, that my little brain released some bits of information (like how to actually get to the point).  Suffice to say, I was pleased when my Glossybox arrived a couple of days ago.

 

 

 

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So, what is in January’s box?

Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask. This mask is for sensitive skin, and promises to keep skin ‘nourished and hydrated’ and will make a ‘profound improvement in cell renewal and skin regeneration’.  This sounds like music to my ears, what with the colder weather causing my already dry skin to be even dryer.  While I prefer the convenience of a sheet mask, I do just love face masks in general, so this is exciting for me.  I will be trying it out as soon as possible.  This is a full-size tube, so I should get a few uses out of it.

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Teez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick.  Look at the packaging of this lipstick! Look at it. It is so gorgeous, I love it for that reason alone.  When I swatched this pretty coral colour, I found it to be quite dry, which concerns me.  I have really dry sensitive lips and have to be really careful about what I put on them.  I will give it a go though, and hopefully can add it to my small collection of suitable lip products.

 

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Madara Cellular Repair Serum.  This serum is clinically proven to plump up skin, boost radiance and increase hydration.  All thanks to birch juice.  Birch juice (or sap) is harvested from Silver Birch trees and is apparently a wonder ingredient.  It contains all sorts of fantastic vitamins and minerals; fruit acids, and amino acids.  Applying serums is currently my favourite skincare step, so I am really looking forward to trying this luxury-size sample.  Amazing skin here I come!

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Angele Paris Red Nail Lacquer Red nail polish is classic and enduring, and this one is gorgeous.  Hopefully it will be as bright and glossy on the nails as it looks in the bottle. I love red polish, and cannot wait to slap this one on.

Glossybox Eyeshadow in Glossy Mauve This muted grey/brown/mauve looks promising.  Upon first swatching, it would seem that there is great colour payoff.  The texture is soft – almost creamy – and it contains a little bit of sparkle; just enough to make it interesting.   I don’t think you can ever have too many eyeshadows, and this is a welcome addition to my collection.

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This month’s Glossybox has provided me with five brands that I have never tried before, and I am really excited to try everything, but in particular the skincare.  On first glance I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the contents of January’s box, but on closer inspection the products look ace (I haven’t used the word ‘ace’ for about two decades.  Welcome back into my vocabulary little man).  If anything proves to be particularly amazing I will report back with a full review.

 

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