Sunday 29 March 2015

Skincare Routine | Nighttime Edition

I don't use a large amount of products in my skincare routine as my skin isn't too bad, but something I have been trying to do is to drink more water. Everyone knows drinking plenty of fluids will improve the condition of your skin, as well as eating healthy foods.

The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is to remove all my makeup with cotton pads and the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. This product dissolves makeup so well, without having to roughly scrub and irritate. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it does it well.

 If I feel my skin needs an extra boost, occasionally I will use a face mask to deeply cleanse but this rarely happens. I really love the £1 ones you can buy from Boots and Superdrug.

After that I would then shower to wash my body, and also remove any Micellar water residue or leftover face mask in the process. Once showered, I pat my face dry with a towel and smooth in my 'Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream' by Simple to rehydrate and soften my skin.

Finally, I finish up with the 'Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm', also by Simple. Together, these products work like a dream, moisturising and treating my face.

This routine works wonderfully on my skin - which is sensitive and normal to dry - and I would recommend any of these products to anyone!


Friday 27 March 2015

Eggs-Quisite Chocolate Nests With A TWIST

I'm sure you all know of this crunchy treat: chocolate coated crispy nests topped with mini eggs, perfect for Easter. Well, here's how to do them better than ever before...

THE USUAL WAY: (as photographed above)
I melted a large bar of Cadbury's chocolate and stirred it in with crunchy cornflakes. After I had spooned the mixture into muffin cases and topped them all with mini eggs, off they went into the fridge to set and eat later.

Of course, everyone knows how to do that, but here are some more ways to jazz up your chocolate nests that you may not have thought of...

It would sort of defeat the object of brown nests, but try mixing it up and use white chocolate for a whole new taste.

Melt down mars bars and stir them in with the basic mixture to create a deliciously chewy nest, and then sprinkle tiny chunks of the bar itself on top of the nest too!

If you are a creme egg lover like me, experiment by melting a creme egg or six into the mix, or you could stick a halved one on top of each nest.

Snip up chocolate Matchmakers and add them to the cereal and melted chocolate for a very real looking nest, or added taste if you use flavoured Matchmakers like mint or orange.

They're all my adaptations of the basic Easter nests, which one do you like the sound of best?


Sunday 22 March 2015

5 Under 5 Minute Hairstyles

I've had a very busy week, so there was unfortunately no post on Wednesday, but I am back with 5 hairstyle tutorials that are super simple but have an awesome end result - you'll look like you've spent so much more time on your hair than you actually have!

So to begin with I thought I'd just tell you a bit about my hair, as all these styles will look different on all different types of hair: mine is naturally light blonde and almost dead straight. It's also very fine, which means it can be quite flat to my head, slippery and not hold a curl or crimp for much more than a few hours and the fact that is very long also weighs it down which doesn't help for making styles last, but I have been trying to find some ways around that.
One of them is I have recently begun to wash my hair every three nights instead of every other, partly because it just takes so long to wash, and partly so that I will have 2 days of hair with more grip, as the day after I wash it, it's always too difficult to style, let alone make it last.

I would really recommend Primark's hair brushes; for about £1-£2 they are excellent quality and make my hair really soft. I also think that the L'Oreal Elvive Detangling spray is really great for reducing knots after washing, or perfect for some extra glossiness during the day.

So today I am styling with third day hair, just for ultimate grip and added volume. To solve any oily problems, I blasted my head with Batiste's dry shampoo in Eden to refresh my hair and give it a cleaner feel, yet still leaving it with texture and body. 
I then spritzed and massaged into my roots the Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray, just to help lift my hair, and all these styles look best with maximum volume at the roots. I love this stuff!

Most days I will leave it at that because I am very lazy. That habit is coming to an end, hence this post, but this will be my hair done in literally 30 seconds - having textured, 'on-purposely-messy' hair never goes out of style, right? 

Or if I have an extra minute, I will scoop up the top section of my hair and backcomb the roots, then pull it into a half up-half down pony tail. Then I like to loosen the hair in the pony tail and just adjust it so it looks casual and not too perfectly done. I frame my face by pulling away strands of wispy hair around my forehead, and then finish by spritzing all over with hairspray, I just have Superdrug's Ultra Firm Hold.
For an extra twist, plaiting a small section of the hair you left down and tying it with a clear elastic looks really pretty, and I think it has quite a boho feel.
I am definitely going to start doing this look more often!

Alternatively, you can take the half-up pony tail and twist it around your finger and then around itself to make a little bun, which you can loosely fasten with grips and hairspray. This style has been very on trend lately; I think it looks really cute.

Instead of only pulling up half your hair, you can pull all of it into a high, messy pony. Tug at the roots to loosen it and give it a messier vibe, and again, pull strands from the pony to frame your face. I have been doing this a lot lately as it only takes a minute!


This last style takes me the longest at about 5 minutes, simply because I have a lot of hair to work with. Plaits are making a huge comeback this season; I think they look amazing! Lately, I have really been liking creating two dutch braids.
To start, you must divide up your parting all the way down your head, and then I would tie up one half just to stop any strands crossing over as I have frequently done that before, not being able to see the back of my head!
Take a small section of hair at the top of one of your halves of hair (hopefully that made sense) and split it into three equal sections. Begin plaiting, picking up a small section of hair and adding it to the original piece each time you cross over each part of the plait. Then continue all the way down, and then just plait regularly once there is no more hair to add in. Then repeat!
I'm sorry; it's very difficult to explain - if you don't understand my explanation, I recommend watching a tutorial on youtube, because then you can see it happening on screen. If you find french braiding difficult at first, don't worry. Just practice on others or yourself and it will become easier :)
Also, this is very important: if you cross the hair UNDER as you plait, it will create a DUTCH braid, or INVERTED-FRENCH which means the plait will sit on top of your head, and if you cross the strands OVER it will make a FRENCH braid, and the plait will sort of be in your hair. It's also really important to keep tension in the braid, even if you want a looser finish, because the plaits will always slip a tiny bit, and you can easily go back and loosen them and pull away strands if you feel they are too tight. Plaits can easily get slightly mussed throughout the day too, so hairspray away!
This style can also be recreated using fishtails or rope braids instead of french or dutch, so have a play around :)

Let me know which style was your favourite or any questions you may have in the comments!
Are there any other hair related blogposts you'd like to see me do in the future?


Sunday 15 March 2015

Spring Has Sprung | Featuring Anglesey Abbey

For the most part, southerly England seems to be finally moving on from sub-zero mornings, icy wind and freezing rain. However, it's quite ironic that of all days to be writing this post, today is seeming to be quite a grey one, looking out the window.
Nevertheless, me and my family enjoyed a short trip to Anglesey Abbey for Mother's Day, where we saw many signs of spring emerging - as well as enjoying a delicious lunch in the cafe!

Not only do I love beautiful flowers popping up in spring, but I love the fact that the weather is warming up and the fresh, longer, sunny days are coming.
And the fashion! Pastel shades and light weight summery clothes are making an appearance along the highstreet, which I love.
It will soon be Easter time and full of baby lambs, daffodils (and a little bit of chocolate).
It won't be long until the summer arrives bringing trips to the beach and tasty icecreams...

What do you love about spring?


Wednesday 11 March 2015

The Perfect Pamper

A little me time to wind down and relax is what everyone needs every once in a while, and if I'm feeling in need of a pamper, these are some of the things I may do...

Once I have any coursework or homework done, I like to get comfy and turn on my laptop to watch a film, YouTube videos, or Netflix. Sometimes I will make myself a hot chocolate to go with it, or maybe squash or just water.
Featured in the photograph is water in my new favourite cup (the jar with the lid and straw) - it's very, very cute and makes me a whole lot more motivated to drink more fluids, as I am very lazy at drinking and don't tend to get thirsty.
To pamper my skin, there are a LOT of things I like to do, and one of them is to take a long, hot and bubbly bath and read a book. If I have any bath bombs or Lush bits and pieces, I like to pop one of them in for the ultimate relaxing soak.
Using 'The Scrub Of Your Life' by Soap & Glory, I will buff that onto my body to soften and remove any dry or dead areas, and then I will use my favourite body wash, 'Foam Call' from Soap & Glory to leave my skin feeling silky, refreshed, and smelling lovely.

It's also important to treat your face well - facial masks work wonders and so does the Garnier 'Micellar Cleansing Water'. I got this product halfway through February and I have used it everyday since. I use it with cotton pads to cleanse and remove my makeup, and it takes it off so easily without a lot of scrubbing and pulling at your face. 
To hydrate my dry skin, I LOVE using Simple's 'Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream' as it smoothes and softens my face so well. In addition, their 'Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm' is a very lovely, calming product that instantly cools down my eyes and makes them feel a whole lot more hydrated.

To moisturise my body, the Palmer's 'Cocoa Butter Formula' is heavenly - read more about it in my February Favourites - and I have recently discovered their lip balm which has become my new favourite as it is a-maz-ing. It's so much better than any Vaseline or chapstick; my lips don't feel tight, greasy, or dried out after moisturising.

I like to give my bedroom a relaxed feel, so I will turn off my main light leaving a lamp, fairy lights and a few little LED lights. Comfy pjs are also a necessity for a pamper evening - I love onesies, slipper socks and my paisley pyjama set from Long Tall Sally. At this point I then like to snuggle down and read more of my book, and try to have an earlier night...



Sunday 8 March 2015

Minimal Makeup

Many school mornings - especially Monday - I have overslept my alarm and got ready frantically so as not to be late, we all have them.
On those days, this is the kind of makeup I will go for - no fancy liquid liner or spending ages experimenting with eyeshadows, just a simple look that doesn't take too much time:

I will always, always apply some spots of my Baby Skin Pore Eraser And Primer by Maybelline - it only takes a couple of seconds to massage in, yet it will make a huge difference to the staying power of my makeup.
I will then squeeze a pea sized amount of Garnier BB cream into my hands and massage it into any red patches on my cheeks like you would a moisturiser - it takes a fraction of the time using your hands! 
A couple of blobs of the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer will then be quickly patted into my under eyes to hide dark circles, finished with a light dusting of transparent powder to set the products in place. Base, done!

Then, grabbing my Soap & Glory Archery pen I will quickly fill in my brows, and because it's in pen form, it takes very little time.

After, I will reach for my Little Mix All About The Eyes palette by Collection, I will pat the fourth colour, Dazzling Brown over my whole lid with my finger, and hastily blend with a fluffy brush to remove harsh lines, and then line my waterline with a brown pencil by No7. A coat of Benefit's Rollerlash mascara later, and I am done. 
 You can easily skip eyeshadow and lining your waterline as I frequently do, but it only takes a minute yet will make your tired eyes so much more colourful and awake.

If I have time, I will quickly apply a tinted lipstick or balm, or just leave my lips as they are, but today I went for Candy by Estee Lauder.



Wednesday 4 March 2015

BWW | What I've Read This February

I decided to reread a favourite of mine - Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale, book on top - as this is an amazing novel and I can't not share it with you all!

To summarise, Rosie Kenning is distraught after the death of her mother, Trudie, to genetic Huntington's disease that she too may have inherited. However, everything changes for Rosie when she learns that she was in fact swapped at birth with Trudie's baby. Consumed with rage, guilt and confusion, she accepts an offer to go travelling with an old friend, with intentions of finding her biological mother.
Rosie soon learns that setting out to find the truth is much harder than she had previously anticipated; she finds herself facing life-changing decisions and situations she would never have imagined she'd end up in.

Rosie's journey to uncover more about her past is an incredible one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. The characters are so easy to relate to and the story telling is so vividly told that you feel you are there and experiencing all that happens in the novel with them.

I would seriously recommend this thought-provoking story of family ties and heart-breaking choices. It's quite an emotional read that teaches you a lot about family and love, and it certainly lingers in the mind long after the final page has been turned...

What have you been reading this month?


Sunday 1 March 2015

February Favourites

This month I have been a loving a hotchpotch of body and beauty rediscoveries as well as new appearances, and first of all I have a new favourite. If you read my last post, you'll know that Benefit's new Rollerlash mascara really made a good impression on me, because of its curling, lengthening and staying power. Click HERE for more...

My skin has been verrry dry lately, so from my growing body lotion collection that I am slowly getting through, I pulled out my Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula body butter. This stuff is amazing. I think I am developing a Palmer's addiction; for such cheap prices, their products are such incredible quality and work like a dream. The product is thick and luxurious and sinks into my skin leaving it silky soft and smelling richly of cocoa butter and chocolate for an entire 24 hours, honestly! I have even had people standing near me, after I had applied the butter the night before, sniffing the air and asking everyone else if it's just them that can smell chocolate and cocoa...

However, I do tend to only apply the above to my legs, as the body scrub I have been using lately is like an in-shower moisturiser. This also happens to be my third favourite, and is the Ted Baker Body Scrub, their butterfly wings one. The smell is very difficult to describe - it's slightly fruity and slightly musky, but I'm not really sure. 
In terms of scrubbing properties, this product is ok. It's nothing compared to Soap & Glory's The Scrub Of Your Life, as I don't feel it's that vigorous on my upper arms (which, like many others', have the red bumps on them) and the scrub kind of dissolves into my arms quite quickly before it has a chance to get going. The reason I do like this product, however, is because of how soft, moisturised and fragrant it leaves my arms for a good 12 hours after use, and to get rid of those bumps, moisturising is just as important as scrubbing!

Favourite number four is a combination of lipsticks - No7's Chic or No7's Plum Beautiful with Bare by MUA. I mentioned in my small January beauty haul and reviews post, Bare can be quite patchy, so I will apply either Chic or Plum Beautiful underneath, and then blot with a tissue to seal the two colours together.
The Chic-Bare combo creates a beautiful pinky nude, whereas Plum Beautiful-Bare results in a just as pretty, more brown toned nude. Both create super wearable lip colours, and I have been wearing one of the two most days this month.
Plum Beautiful-Bare

The songs I have had on repeat this month are 'Love Me Like You Do' by Ellie Goulding from the 50 shades soundtrack, 'Elastic Heart' by Sia and finally 'Centuries' by Fall Out Boy.

Something a little different now: I wanted to change things up a bit in my room, and I decided to find a new bookcase, one that was tall, white, and that would hold all my books, rather than two short ones that take up twice as much room, which I previously had.
I found one on Argos for £30 - Maine Tall Wide Bookcase - and I love it so much! It's great quality and looks and fits perfect in my room, with 6 (7 if you count the top) tall, deep shelves that fit enormous hardbacks in easily.

I didn't realise just how many moisturising products had made their way into my favourites this month - my skin has clearly been in demand - as next up is Soap & Glory's The Righteous Butter. This featured in my Nailed It! AW - 14/15 post, as it's such a thick and creamy moisturiser that immediately hydrates my skin for a good 12 hours. 

Last but not least I have a continuous favourite... Batiste's dry shampoo is a necessity for giving my hair an instant pick me up. I'm currently on my fourth can, but the reason I love it so much this month is because of the scent I chose to buy. It's called Eden - unfortunately it's also limited edition - and is described as sugar melon & honeysuckle. It smells really freshly like melons as described, whereas some of their scents just smell too much of that dry shampoo smell they all have undertones of, like the Floral and Oriental ones, for example. 
This scent gets me in the mood for warmer weather, and really does give my hair the boost it needs some days. 

What are your favourites this month?

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