Sunday, 20 April 2014

have you discovered... bare minerals all-over face colour review

Ok so I won't lie to you, this wasn't the bronzer I originally picked out for this post. The one I did choose is no longer available, and bearing in mind I was going to fully rave about it I didn't think it was fair to pop up the post if you lovely lot couldn't go out and buy it (it was a bargain price and an almost dupe for a much loved product from MAC). So I had to quickly raid my drawers to choose the next best thing although it's certainly got a heftier price tag. 

To look at in the pot, this product is ridiculously dark for my pale skin tone but once blended, this incredibly soft powder looks so beautiful. I absolutely know that once I get a bit of extra colour to my skin that I won't be putting this down. You can totally build on it if you do have a darker skin tone, so this could be used by so many. It's completely healthy looking, not muddy or orange and there's no shimmer to it either. You really do only need the smallest amount to add a little bit of colour to the cheeks or as the name suggests, all over the face. Because of the finish, you can even use it to contour, unlike most bronzers. Oh and the staying power is most definitely there too so although a little pricey, it's definitely worth it. Mine's just a sample size, so the full size would definitely last you a long time!

Which bronzer deserves more recognition?
See more posts in this series with the hashtag #haveyoudiscovered on Twitter.

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seven days #17

I've had a really, really rubbish week but at the same time I've realised how supportive you all are not only about my blog but about my personal stuff too, so thank you! The sunshine and an exciting purchase have also cheered me up, but don't worry you'll find out what it was soon! Hope you're all enjoying Easter and divulging in lots of chocolate! 

This week I'm lusting after: One Direction That Moment Eau De Parfum (£21)

Next week on the blog: there's a post on another favourite beauty shopping site of mine, a roundup of a brand I love, some reviews and my Flamingo Candles giveaway winner will be announced! Don't forget to enter that giveaway here and the Lauren's Way hamper giveaway here.

What have you been reading/watching/lusting after this week?

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beauty discount codes #2

I get really frustrated when compiling these posts with the companies that don't put end dates on their deals, and the ones that say "terms and conditions apply" but then they're no where to be found! My first post did go down quite well though so I'll definitely be doing some more to see if they're as popular! 
Feel Unique: 15% off and free worldwide delivery (over £10) with the code EASTER15

Bliss: Free UK delivery on all orders, plus free travel size/samples bag when you spend £50 with the code MINIMAX (ends 30/04)

Cult Beauty: free worldwide shipping with the code FREESHIP1 (ends 22/04)

Benefit Cosmetics: spend over £50 and get a free shower cap, stay flawless and high beam deluxe mini plus free shipping with the code BENESHOWERS (ends 21/04)

Xtras: 15% off everything and free UK delivery with the code EASTEREGG (ends 21/04)

BeautyExpert: Free worldwide delivery, plus save £5 off £45 with the code EASTER45; £7 off £55 with the code EASTER55; £10 off £65 with the code EASTER65

The Body Shop: £10 off £25 with the code 14673 (ends 21/04)

BeautyBay: Free delivery, plus 10% off all orders with the code WANT10; 15% off £50 orders with the code NEED15; 20% off £80 orders with the code LOVE20 (ends 21/04)

Nails Inc: 20% off with the code EASTER20 (ends 21/04)

Glossybox: Get the April Glossybox for £6 when you subscribe with the code GLOSSY06 (ends 29/04)

ELF Cosmetics: 50% off when you spend £30 plus two free products with the code 500414 (ends 22/04)

Superdrug: £5 off when you spend £50 with the code EASTER5

Look Fantastic: 20% off with the code EASTER20 plus there's free worldwide delivery as always.

Hairtrade: 10% off Fab Hair Extensions with the code HTFAB (ends 10/05)

Other deals

Illamasqua: 40% off certain items, you've got to follow the clues and find which products have discounts! There's also 50% off Freak Eau De Parfum - now £15 for 30ml, £25 for 75ml, or £30 for Coffret set. Available online and in the Leeds, Liverpool and London Beak Street stores. Plus as always there's free delivery online too! (ends 30/04)

Topshop: Free delivery to store or home (no code needed).

Boots: 3 for 2 mix and match on cosmetics; plus you can get a free Kate collection worth £20 when you sign up to the Rimmel Kate Mascara waiting list.

Ark Skincare: Up to 50% off sale.

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

50 post ideas for when you've got beauty bloggers block

So there seems to be a theme on my blog lately about how to stay motivated so I thought I'd add a post with some ideas for when you're really stuck on what to blog about. Some have links that will take you to the posts that I've done if you're not quite sure what I mean or just want to read my posts!
1. Blogging tips for beginners.
2. Things you've learnt as a blogger/what you wish you'd known.
3. Post ideas!
4. Staying motivated/where you get your inspiration.
5. Guide to search engine optimisation.
6. Useful websites for bloggers.
7. Working with PRs.
8. Guide to using social media sites for blog promoting (not spamming).
9. Where you blog/how you take your photos.
10. Blogging on a budget.
11. Mini reviews / product reviews.
12. Shop the stash.
13. Season/festival/holiday/designer inspired picks.
14. Make up/hair/nail/get the looks. FOTD
15. How to's.
16. Guide to ingredients.
17. Products for your skin type.
18. What you would/wouldn't repurchase.
19. Top 10 under £10.
20. Make up for beauty newbies.
21. Make up for high end newbies.
22. Comparison posts.
23. Dupes / cheaper alternatives.
24. Beauty apps.
25. Favourite beauty blogs. 
26. Monthly favourites.
27. Empties.
28. Hauls.
29. Beauty/blogging terms - what do they mean?
30. Using products in different ways.
31. Trying out new beauty methods.
32. Advice, tips and tricks.
33. What's in your current make up bag.
34. Your collection of... (insert product type here)
35. Brands you love/brand round up.
36. Favourite beauty shopping / research sites (non-blogs).
37. Favourite beauty instagrams/tumblrs/pinterests.
38. (Insert product type here) for all budgets.
39. Make up collection and/or storage.
40. First impressions.
41. Q&A.
42. Beauty book reviews. 
43. Event round ups.
44. Beauty tips for an interview/important meeting/event.
45. If all your make up disappeared (the first things you'd buy).
46. The beauty tag.
47. The beauty scenario tag.
48. Wishlists.
49. The perfect palette tag.
50. Your beauty history. 
I could definitely have broken down some of these more but hopefully you'll come up with some of your own ideas and interpretations to them!
Have you got any post ideas?
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how i... get rainbow/my little pony inspired hair

For the past few days I've been "rocking" my little pony inspired hair. It's just a fun, quirky temporary way to change things up and perfect for Spring/Summer. It hasn't picked up all that well on camera unfortunately but I thought I'd still pop up a post to tell you how I do it. I do have hair chalks in my collection but they're incredibly messy so thought I'd try it with eyeshadows...
1) I spritz some of the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray* (£21.50) into the hair and scrunch/ruffle it through to create really natural beach waves and enhance how my hair naturally falls. It instantly adds texture without leaving it feeling crispy or like there's lots of product in the hair. I'll then separate my hair into sections to make sure I don't miss any. If the ends of your hair are pretty dry, it's a good idea to pop on a little hair oil about 30 minutes before you want to start adding shadows. 
2) For mine, I've chosen to use the fuchsia, yellow, orange, blue, turquoise, purple, pink and green shadows from the Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Acid Brights* (£4). To pick up a shadow, I press my thumb and forefinger gently into the product before rubbing it through the ends of my hair in downwards motions. You can go as far up as you wish, with mine going 3-4 inches. Be careful not to take it too far up at the back if you've brought the hair round to the front when applying. You may need to go over each strand of hair a few times to build up and evenly spread out the colour. 
3) Once all of the hair is coloured, I secure it with a non-crispy hairspray like the Tigi Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray. Et voila. Rainbow hair that will last until your next hair wash. 
TIP: Have a lot of wipes on hand when doing this, and don't stand on carpet because you won't get hair chalk or shadow off. Luckily this particular palette wasn't overly messy so I'd really recommend going for this! 
What do you think of the rainbow hair look?
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Friday, 18 April 2014

review: makeup revolution the one foundation

Makeup Revolution The One Foundation - £4.00*
Trialling new foundations always makes me really nervous as I do have skin that will breakout at the slightest thing, so out of the lovely goodies I received from Makeup Revolution it wasn't the one I thought would end up being a standout product. Thought to be the next Make Up Academy but better, this brand has been getting lots of well-deserved hype around it from bloggers and I'm very pleased I've got a good selection to share my thoughts on with you all. 

The One Foundation arrived at my door in Shade 8, immediately I thought to myself "that's going to be way too dark", but I was definitely quite wrong. The super runny liquid formula comes out looking very orange but as soon as it's blended into the skin almost matches my really-quite-pale skin well. It reminds me of a CC cream, despite claiming to be a foundation! It's pretty light coverage, but buildable making it so suitable for the warmer weather as there's none of that melting off the skin. There's no need for brushes or even blending sponges as it's really easy to work with... you've just got to blend quickly to avoid it staining the skin! It looks really smooth & even, plus it sits nicely on drier or oilier skin days, leaving an almost-matte-but-just-a-little-bit-satin finish that's incredibly natural and lightweight. I'm really impressed with its' longevity and appearance, and for that minute retail price, I'd definitely recommend picking it up. I would advise popping into Superdrug though just to be sure which shade is for you, but there's a whole 16 to choose from! Oh, and there's no signs of it causing a breakout yet! TIP: the bottle is quite small and because the product is so thin in texture, it is easy to pour too much out, so just let a little drop onto the back of your hand before applying with your fingers.

Will you be picking this up?

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staying motivated

These are mostly things I've learnt over the past two months of being a (temporary) full time blogger. It's a follow on from my post here all about it where I talked about just how un-motivated I became so hopefully these tips will help you to become inspired and stay motivated...

Get out, go for a drive and put down the technology - your laptop and phone don't need to come everywhere with you. Take your mind off blog-things, you won't feel inspired if you're trying too hard. You don't need to write that post there and then.

Don't take on too much - you don't have to accept every product/item/sponsored post, just keep in contact with the person offering you the opportunity so that you can work with them at a later date. It's ok to politely decline. If you have too much to do, you probably won't want to do any of it.

Blogging's probably your hobby not your job - You don't need work hours or deadlines. Make a plan but not one that you've got to stick to so strictly. It's meant to be something you enjoy so don't push yourself to the point where you're not interested in it.

Stop and think - What other post(s) can you use this product/item for? Do I really want to write about this? How can I make this more interesting?

Shop or swap - Ok, so I'm sort of encouraging you to go out and buy something new because that usually works for me, but at the same time, you could swap stuff with another blogger or friend. 

Put your own take on seasons, holidays or festivals - they're easy inspiration.

Get on track and you'll feel more motivated to keep it up - I know this works for me. 

Ask others for post/design advice - run a survey like mine here, pop up a question on your social media sites or just ask friends and family. 

Refresh your blogging space - clear desk, clear mind. Pretty flowers for Spring brighten up my mood too.

Explore new sites or look back at archives of your favourites - no copying mind.

Write about something you're really passionate about - and don't be afraid to switch it up once in a while. It won't drive away all of your readers. 

Start a new or revisit an old series - having regular features do help. 

Go easy on yourself - find your pace and style, you don't need to be like others.

How do you stay motivated?

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

a cheaper alternative to the urban decay electric palette

Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette - £4.00*
Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow - £1.00 each*
I've been lusting after the Electric palette ever since its release, but now I've got my hands on something that's not quite a dupe but very similar. The Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Acid Brights has 12 shades made up of a mix of mattes, shimmers and pearls including some seriously bright shadows! But I've been putting it to the test despite the quite scary first look. The matte shades work best when gently pressed onto the lids as they're not particularly pigmented when swept across and blended. The mattes don't present much fall out at all which does make them trickier to work with, but once in place you can be assured they won't budge. The shimmers however are a completely different story, resembling many Urban Decay shadows that I own with their buttery soft, easily blended texture that too last all day. It just takes a little time to get to grips with using the neon shadows in this palette, but once you do you'll be glad you saved yourself over £26 in not purchasing the real deal because I'm sure this would be pretty close! 
I'm also popping into this post the two individual shadows I've got from this brand because the quality is the same as in the palette. Both are mattes, with one being a warm chocolate-taupe in Mocha Love which I love to use as an all over lid wash and on my brows, and the other being a seriously neon orange Scandalous shadow in Get Ready. I didn't think I'd pull off the neon shadows but I actually really rather love them and can see me wearing them a lot over the summer! Pop back over to my blog on Saturday morning for a different way to use this palette!
Would you ever wear neon eyeshadow?
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review: origins mascara, blush and foundation

Origins GinZing Brightening Mascara - £17.50*
Origins Pinch Your Cheeks Powder Blush - £21.00*
Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Foundation - £29.50*

I'm a big, big fan of Origins skincare so have been desperate to test out some of their make up... 

I've got the foundation in Shade 03 Light-Warm ready for the transition to warmer weather and lightly tanned skin, although it's not too far off my current skin tone anyway (there's 11 shades to choose from). Despite it being medium (to almost full) coverage, it feels like there's nothing on the skin and maintains the flawless finish it creates when first applied throughout the whole day. A soft, satin finish that completely smoothes out imperfections to leave skin looking really clear. It does look better when skin is less dry, but it doesn't cling too badly which is good whilst I'm trying to get it back on track. It's definitely at the higher end of the price scale as I've recently reverted back to low end foundations, but will definitely be one for later on in the year when I want more coverage again.

The powder blush in 03 Pink Petal is the perfect pinky-nude for all year round. There's very little fall out so brushes just pick up a small amount for a subtle wash of colour to brighten the cheeks. Again, it's a satin finish with only a tiny bit of shimmer when in the pan, that is buttery soft and blends so effortlessly with your fingers or a brush. It too is seriously long wearing, making this and the foundation a really great combination when regular touch ups aren't feasible. A little pricey but definitely shows in the quality of the compact.

Lastly, the absolute stand out is the chunky packaged mascara in Black. Used with eyelash curlers, these two will ensure that your lashes hold that curl all day and all evening, whilst lengthening, brightening and volumising all in one. The only downfall is that it's useless if you're going to have a good cry! The wand's completely straight with a really soft brush that gets right into the lashes from the base to lift. It's got a medium texture so I don't find it clumps or flakes, doesn't go crispy and doesn't smudge either. Although last month I thought I'd found my favourite ever mascara, this one is seriously giving it a run for its' money! Worth every penny.

So, three really great products. All a little out of my current budget but the price is definitely reflected in how good they are.

Have you tried Origins make up?

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

something i'd really love for you all to do.

So today I have some very sad news that my 8 year old Collie x Spaniel, Mitch has been put to sleep. I don't share too much personal stuff on my blog as I don't want to bore you all, but I just wanted to pop up a post about what's been going on if you have or haven't seen my tweets.

 Last week he began to be lethargic, didn't want to eat or drink much and could hardly walk so on Friday he went to the vets. There they said that his temperature was 104 when really it should be about 102, which doesn't seem a lot different but this was classed as "sky high" for the breed of dog he is. It was suggested that it was just an infection so he was given injections that included antibiotics, pain relief and anti-sickness. Unfortunately over the weekend he deteriorated, but had an appointment first thing Monday morning. By this point he'd fully lost the use of his legs and didn't have anything to eat or drink. He was taken in, put under anaesthetic and given x-rays and scans. We weren't told what it was at this point, but just that he needed to go the bigger vets surgery where they had 24/7 care. Here he was given more scans which discovered a lump in his stomach. But this wasn't the only problem, he'd also developed a serious condition called Immune Meditated Hemolytic Anaemia which meant his red blood cells were rapidly destroying each other leaving him only days to live. He was immediately put onto steroids in the hope that they would stop this and build up his immune system enough to operate on the lump. But after 48 hours of these, it was deemed that he wasn't responding to them and wouldn't pull through any treatment because his body wasn't strong enough. We don't know for definite that it was cancerous, but it had caused the anaemia and Mitch was put to sleep today at around 1:45pm, immediately at peace.

Mitch was abandoned when he was just a puppy being left to scrounge for food on the streets. He was very fortunate to be picked up by the wonderful charity Dogs Trust at only around 6 months old where we very quickly rehomed him, and despite everything he'd been through he's always been the most loving, gentle, well-behaved dog. He was so accepting when we brought new dogs into the house, despite being bossed around by Pups my pug. He's been so loyal and I feel incredibly lucky to have had him. I've cried a lot over the past few days, but I'm happy now that he's no longer suffering.

Something I'd really, really love for you all to do is to make a donation - as small or as big as you want, whether it be a single or regular donation to Dogs Trust. This isn't a sponsored post at all, but a charity that's incredibly close to my heart. You can do so by following the link here. If you'd rather, there's also a shopping site here for yourself or your dog. You can also fundraise or volunteer, with more details on their website. If you don't have any spare money or time, please just share a little info  about Dogs Trust on your social media sites, they may be a well known charity in the UK but we can always help by getting the word out more. I just want to help them to continue doing the fantastic work that they do, and to thank them for saving the most beautiful dog from the dangers of being on the streets. Thank you in advance, for whatever you do. 

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