Friday, 17 January 2014

The Morning Off




In the spirit of my budget month here is my way to waste a few hours and get some good old fashioned relaxing done! I am sure I'm not the only one who spends their days off doing nothing but pottering. Some of my pottering however can end up costing money, trips to shops and what not, so here is my way of taking up four hours doing something enjoyable and only a slightly guilty pleasure without the price tag at least.

For some people bathing is a purely functional task and there are no redeeming qualities to it, but in my mind with a good book, a few scented candles and a face mask its a winning combination. For me its all about getting the specifics right, for example scalding yourself is a bad thing and something I have done a few too many times and come out of it looking like a lobster. Not good. So the bath bubbles of choice at the minute are the M&S Natural Extracts Spiced Cranberry Foam Bath, a welcome xmas present from the mother in law and they do smell lovely but not so intoxicating that you end up with a headache. Then I reach for the blueberry tealights and that gets the mood just right to relax.























So for me a good bath makes me come out feeling squeaky clean, literally in some cases, and relaxed. While in there I reach for my Body Shop body scrub in sweet lemon, which smells like lemon meringue pie and it takes a lot of restraint not to eat the lot! Then its the body wash of choice something I am not usually that bothered with in fairness but if anyone has any suggestions, I am listening. Then comes the skincare routine, just the usual but with a good 10 minute mask, at the minute my skin is breaking out left, right, and centre so I would usually go for the Origins Clear Improvement clay mask. You literally just wait for it to dry and your skin feels tight afterwards but it does wonders for the pores! Then I would introduce a serum before moisturising and for me it is always the Elemis Anti Aging Absolute Eye Serum. Its not fab to use prior to makeup application, found out the embarrassingly hard way I'm afraid.

Hair wise, as I've previously mentioned I am stunted really and have a lot to learn but one thing I always reach for on hair mask days is the L'Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing Intense Mask. It smells wonderful and really does leave your ends feeling nice and soft, something my parched ends really need at the minute!

Then its just time to read the book, any book of choice if I'm honest but nothing that requires too much concentration. You're trying to relax at the end of the day after all! But hey what do I know.























For the afterwards offering though to keep that nice luxurious feeling of being all moisturised and thoroughly pampered I tend to reach for my Jo Malone body lotion in Pomegranate Noir, something which smells so completely indulgent with a hint of musk that is just divine! Then I use a little of the Joico KPak Colour Therapy Hair Oil, its so great at nourishing and prepping you hair for your styling routine! Plus your hair looks super healthy afterwards! My idea of a good way to kill a few hours anyway!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Diet Update

So yesterday was the dreaded weigh in and I suppose I should report my results. Firstly I didnt stick massively to the diet, I am pretty ashamed to admit I have been on the lazy track this past week and couldn't be bothered with all the weighing and measuring. So I altered my plan and ate healthily rather than religiously stick to a diet. I was still ratty since I was hungry which made me realise how poorly I had been eating over xmas! But it paid off and I lost 2lbs which means my bmi is no longer making me obese. Yes I am on the border but that 2lbs makes me feel sooooo much better and has given me that little push I needed to realise how I can reach my goals without flogging myself silly for eating a roses sweet every now and again!

Plus losing that weight meant that in the class I came 3rd for my weekly weight loss and got a meal replacement bar as a prize. Yes I am way to happy about that but its the first time its happened and I like the little boost it gave me! And the bar was yummy so it was defo a win-win!

I need to get sorted exercise wise and know thats a big thing for me what with my favourite zumba class being cancelled and no alternative present at the mo. But I have my exervise dvd (expect a review!) to do and I will try and use it more than once a week like last week!

So overall I'm proud of myself and will makd sure I do the same next week!

The Budget Guide To Life



Its January and that means only one thing, nobody has any money! A fact I have been trying to pretend that it doesn't exist since January 2nd but its undeniable and this is me admitting I have a problem. I suppose what has made me realise this is the fact that my precious Bobbi Brown Corrector has completely run out and I can't afford to replace it just yet. Well I could but the guilt would be unreal and I wouldn't be able to look at my husband for about a week.

So this is the part where I got all proactive and decided that with lemons I WILL make lemonade .... even if it kills me. So in the hopes of saving money and still enjoying my life I have decided to tell you all about my little crusade and hopefully give you some ideas on how to save money yourselves and hopefully inspire a bit of positivity at this time of year.

So my plan of attack for the rest of the month basically involves spending my weekends at home, finding the cheapest possible alternatives to my wish list products and finding ways to spend time with everything that is at home. So far I am imagining a month of frozen pizzas with films and face masks a plenty (thank god Christmas provided me with the latter). I might even get outdoorsy! Very doubtful. Or I could just turn into a blog addict since at the minute this seems to be costing me nothing except time!

Expect to be pestered!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion


So it came time again for me to buy a new mascara and I usually go for a new release and see what the hype is about but at the moment its slim pickings! So I looked to Max Factor to provide my new mascara, I have already used their masterpiece max and loved the definition I got from that but I have been wanting a little more in the way of volume and length from my mascara. I am basically looking for the mac daddy of mascaras without having to take out a small loan in order to do it! I have been looking for a big impact with long fluttery and full lashes. So what happened ...

I have to say I like it, I was after proper false lash effect and it doesn't deliver on that so it won't be making an appearance for a night out when I want the big lash effect. However as a day to day it gives you lashes big enough but not too in your face and the flutter factor lands on pretty rather than hypnotic. So as much as I like it I don't know whether it will be making it into the hall of fame for lashes any time soon!

The formula is nice and easy to apply and clumping is not an issue with this, from the first application you get amazing definition and it gives a good coat to the lashes straight off. If you don't like mascara with tiny fibres then this is your baby since it gives the two things you want but without the annoying flaking and ever so lovely irritation that follows. Well if your me it does! The brush looks like it should be the mac daddy brush what with it being fat and plastic. I thought it was going to make mascara accidents more likely but to be honest that isn't the case since the bristles are actually quite short so it gives you more control. Bonus!

So yea I like it, I may be on the path to loving it but its definitely one of the better drug store mascaras I have tried.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, 13 January 2014

The skincare routine



Now this has been in development for such a long time since my skin seems to have ADHD and decides to change needs faster than I can do anything about it. I used to always have trouble figuring out what products I really need to use and when to use them. Believe it or not it took for me to do my nvq in beauty therapy to learn what the point of it all was. As they say knowledge is power so my explanation of what each product is for should help those who are as lost and confused as I was.

Step 1 - Eye makeup remover

Does what it says on the tin, removes eyemakeup my fave at the mo is the L'OrĂ©al Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Water. It's the cheaper version of the Bioderma Sensibio micellar water which is really talked up but is just more money than I can part with for an eye makeup remover. I really like the micellar waters for removing makeup since they are so gentle compared to lotions which have previously made my eyes swell up really unattractively. Literally just put onto a cotton pad hold over ghe eyes vor a few seconds and wipe away the makeup. Only waterproof makeup can stop this bad boy but its worth it. 

Step Two - Cleanser

It removes the residual makeup and helps get rid of the grime that can build up during the day. This routine is meant to be done twice a day but doing it nightly is the most important to get rid of all that grime. If you choose well it can also be an enjoyable step as I tend to massage my cream in with my hands and try to enjoy the process too. For this I use Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm it works well and gets stubborn eye makeup off if the micellar water has missed anything. I usually do this twice once to get surface dirt off and then again to do a really deep clean. 

Step Three - Toner


I never understood toner but once I got to grips with it I have come to love it, and become a teeny bit obsessed with it. Toner is intended to finish off the cleansing process by closing the pores, they can range from being very gentle to very severe and are known as astringents. My skin is oily to combination so a toner that closes pores firmly and hopefully has some mattifying properties is just up my street. Hence my current choice is Avene Cleanance Toner, it is intended to mattify and is for oily skin which can tend towards the sensitive. I think this must be what makes it so good since you don't feel like your skin has been stripped too much, something which I have experienced with other toners pre my understanding and then love of them.

Step Four - Moisturiser

Does what it says on the tin but depending on your skin type you can get different ones to target any different issues which you may have with your skin. Dehydration is my big problem so I use Avene Hydrance Oprimale legere. Its a light version so you get the moisture you need and targets the dehydration. As much as I like this I feel there is a better moisturiser in my future so watch this space on this one! 

So this is the basics, you can put in exfoliators, masks, serums and eyecreams as and when needed but this is the starting block. Just do as I did and use the one week rule, if you aren't feeling any benefit from whatever it is your using then change up the routine, introduce something new and see if that fixes it. Chances are you will have most of the right combination its just tweaking it to suit!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Year, New Me ....



..... well not really but if there was ever a time to try and improve myself this is it. So as well as the usual weight loss and drink less alcohol resolutions I thought I would try and implement a few beauty regime resolutions so that if my other usual resolutions pan out I will definitely look better for it.

Drink More Water

Boring? Yes. Makes a heck of a difference to your skin? Surprisingly yes. Diet has a massive effect on your skin and everyone suffers from skin dehydration at some point and considering my shocking case of it, it's about time I did something about it. Plus its the cheaper alternative to the more effective creams out there to combat dehydration. 

Find an Eyecream

Your skin starts to mature from the age of 25 and in six months I hit that mile stone so its time I put a bit of effort into defying age and gravity for as long as possible. Your eyes are always the first area to show signs of aging so its only time I look into getting a decent cream and putting it into my routine. I'm pretty sure its going to be the Bobbi Brown Hydrating eye cream but due to the price tag I will have to do some serious thinking before I buy it on impulse! 

Haircare Routine

Basically I should get one, I read so many blogs and watch tutorials which involve so many different products I end up stunned at how your hair can survive that much. Then I look at my poorly cared for limp lack lustre locks and realise I need to get my head around products and hair masks in particular. Retraining myself into being willing to spend the same amount on haircare as I would on makeup is going to be difficult on the bank balance but I'm sure my hair will thank me for it. 

Body Moisturiser

What can I say, I have so many bottles and containers of moisturisers and body butters it is ridiculous. However, it is more ridiculous that I inevitably end up forgetting this step out of my routine regularly with moisturisers only coming out on special occasions and Christmas. I have the spray moisturisers and I know they are better than nothing but I am still too lazy for them too! Not anymore though it is going to be a challenge and a journey no doubt but I will get into the habit of using some form of moisturiser daily even if it kills me!

4 beauty goals, doesn't seem like much but I'd bet my last penny that I still struggle with these simple tasks!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Diet



Week One

Well the time has come, Christmas is over, I've eaten more than my fair share of goodies and its time I started getting back on the bandwagon. I started a diet before Christmas in order to stop adding to the Xmas pounds that need to be lost. So its Tuesday and its weigh in day, I'm going to be following the Herbalife diet which I've been able to do to an extent in the past but after the constant snacking of the last two weeks I'm dreading the thought of a liquid diet that doesn't include amaretto! 

Well enough is enough now and I am determined to do it properly so I am going to post it on here and make myself accountable to somebody. Disappointing myself doesn't seem to have enough consequences to stop me from sneaking snack foods so public disappointment will hopefully be more effective. 

The Herbalife diet requires me to have 2 protein shakes a day with 1 calorie controlled meal. I should only have around 1200 - 1500 kcals a day with protein bars and fruit as snacks through the day. Yes there are benefits and pitfalls to every diet but at the moment it's the one I feel most comfortable with it at the moment.

So here goes .... Again!

Has anyone had any positive experiences with a diet to help motivate me? 

Monday, 6 January 2014

2013 Makeup Favourites


So with it being 2014 and this being a new blog I figured it was only right that I tell you all my favourites from 2013 which inspired me to start this blog in the first place! Since I'm still a bit of a novice these are my go to products which I know work for me and have made me realise what is actually out there and what little miracles can be achieved with a bit of searching! These are only my makeup favourites since I didn't want my first post to be so long you lose interest. Hope you like it.

Makeup

This is the place I have had the biggest learning curve and have kissed the proverbial makeup frogs in order to find these gems. I'm sure they will be replaced in my heart at some point in the future but at the minute they are the miracle workers that make me presentable to the public with the minimal amount of stress. No mean feat I can tell you!

Fave Primer- Benefit - the Porefessional. This balm has a great consistency to it and works well with your foundation to hide those pesky open pores you wish didn't exist. I have tried a fair few primers this year in the hope they could make my skin the pore free satiny silk I wish it was and have returned to this product every time. Nothing works quite as well and goes on quickly and easily with fingers. 'Nuff said. 

Fave Eye Primer - Urban Decay - Eyelid Primer Potion in original. Cements eyeshadows and with UD eyeshadows it does actually brighten the colour so ends up being great value for money. I have very oily eyelids so this is a definite necessity in order to avoid the dreaded panda eye!

Fave Foundation - Estee Lauder - Doublewear foundation in Shell - Yes its a cliche and everyone has fell for this foundation at one point or another but as a newbie to this I couldn't help but love it. It matches my skin tone so well and gives a slight glow without looking oily. Considering how pale I am as well finding foundations that match my skin tone is usually a painful task which I dread the moment I begin to run out of product! This is definately one for the vault for when I am losing the will with testers.

Fave Concealer - Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque and Origins Plantscriptions in Light. Since I have the curse of the dark under eye shadows. The pigments in the corrector neutralise the blue tones and creates a great base for further concealing. The Plantscriptions blends really well without caking and has a good level of coverage. 

Fave Setting Powder - Bare Minerals - Mineral Veil - A translucent powder which mattifies your skin without adding extra coverage. Not a product I always use but definitely helps on those days your makeup needs extra staying power!

Fave Blusher - Benefit - Coralista - Not something I expected to love as it was a bit of an impulse purchase and with my pale skin I expected it to look slightly odd. However it adds just the right amount of warmth to my skin in a natural way. It also works well with a bit of bronzer so I don't have to look so deathly pale in the summer either!

Fave Cream Blusher - Bourjois - Blush Exclusif - This new release from Bourjois this year adjusts itself so you have your own personalised pink. The cream to powder formulation goes on easily and blends well. I didn't quite know how to apply it at first but once I got the Real Techniques Buffing Brush out I was well away with it. 

Fave Bronzer - Loreal - Glam Bronze in 101 blonde. Yes I am not blonde but I am as pale as a ghost and this is the nicest matt formula bronzer which gives me a healthy glow without looking tangoed! The colour is a lovely golden brown and is quite build able so you get the right amount of colour with not too much effort. 

Fave Highlighter - Benefit - High Beam - A beautiful pearly pink great for the palest of skins gives a nice dewy glow. If you find it a bit too much then it is great put onto bear skin before foundation to give a natural luminescence to the skin. This little discovery makes it a great all round highlighter. 

Fave Eyebrow Product - Soap and Glory - Archery in brown. I LOVE THIS! After years of using powders with mixed results and being unhappy about the unnatural end result this is a dream come true. I can fill in my brows naturally with the tint and can up the ante on particularly sparse days using the brow wax. 

Fave Eyeshadow Pallette  - Urban Decay - Naked 1 - All the neutral browns and plums a girl could want with easy to blend formulas. Allows you to create lots of different looks quickly and easily. 

Fave Gel Eyeliner - Maybelline - Eye Studio Lasting Drama in Black - Comes with a great little brush the formula sweeps on easily to create sharp lines. Its long lasting and can be used to create a variety of looks. Great for beginners and can get similar results to liquid liner in half the time. This definitely speaks to the lazy person in me. 

Fave Pencil Eyeliner - Soap and Glory - Smoulder Kohl in Super Black. The waterproof formula makes it long lasting and the creamy consistency makes it easy to apply. Plus doesn't dry out compared to other pencil eyeliners I have tried. 

Fave Mascara - Bourjois - Volume Glamour Max. The main things I look for in a mascara are definition, no clumping and more volume than you can shake a stick at. This delivers on all 3 and manages to remain long lasting to boot. 

Fave Lip Balm - Nuxe - Reve de Miel. Well it turns out the hype is well deserved for this lovely little lip balm. It smells amazing and is really soothing on dry chapped lips, needless to say it has been a staple during the winter months!

Fave Lipstick - Mac - Russian Red/ Rimmel Kate - 107. I had to put both of these down because as red lipsticks go the Mac has great staying power and is a great true red. As for the Rimmel the dark berry is so versatile and can be used as a lip stain when applied with fingertips with great results. 

Fave Lipgloss/laquer - Rimmell - Apocalips in Nova. This was definitely my summer pink and the long lasting but nourishing formula is great for a bold wash of colour with intense shine. Blotting it gives a slightly matt finish and allows it to retain its long lasting finish. Its a much more affordable than the Hourglass version and at less than half the price its much more purse friendly. Also the colour range is expanding this month so its one to watch if you need to inject a bit more colour into your makeup bag.