1
Sep
2014

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer & Perversion Mascara

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My eyelashes are pitiful at the best of times so they need a big helping hand in looking long and luscious. I was recently sent the Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer  and Perversion Mascara combo to try out and after the online buzz and mentions from a few top bloggers, I couldn’t wait to use it.

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“Ready to take your mascara to the next level? Like foreplay for your lashes, this whipped, creamy lash primer from Urban Decay conditions and primes for the perfect mascara application. Once you experience how much more smoothly your mascara glides on, you won’t be able to live without it! How does it work? Subversion adds weight to your lashes and gives your mascara something to grab onto. The brush coats lashes from root to tip—to make them look thicker, longer and feel stronger. Subversion builds dramatically better-looking lashes. Don’t be surprised if people ask if you’re wearing falsies (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This light, creamy formula feels conditioning—like a mask for your lashes! And it’s no wonder. Subversion contains panthenol and vitamin E”

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“Perversion mascara glides on and gets you sexed up in one stroke, yet it won’t quit until you say when. Build, separate and define the look of each lash with our ultra black pigment – for bigger, blacker, badder lashes. It’s insane how black it is…the purest, deepest, most intense black colour imaginable. Perversion has a creamy, full-bodied texture that’s not too dry, not too wet. This allows just the right amount of “pull” so it glides through lashes. The result: incredible control for insane lashes. Go ahead and pile on coat after coat. Want to apply more before you go out at night? No problem. Even if it’s been all day since you applied, more Perversion always means more beautiful lashes. It NEVER gets brittle or clumpy. The twisted trim on the high-tech, volumising brush latches on to each lash to separate and define; finally, a volumising mascara with a clean, clump-free finish. It pulls through lashes smoothly and lays down a generous amount of product. No need to wiggle the wand or maneuver it at all different angles!”

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It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to mascaras and I often find that the ones that receive the most online buzz never really quite work out for me. I have fine lashes, like my hair, so they need a considerable amount of oomph. It’s been ages since I used a lash primer and I guess I started to feel like it was an unnecessary extra step in my daily makeup routine. How wrong I was…because after one use of this Subversion Lash Primer, I realised that I have been missing out.  It thickens and lengthens your lashes and gives the mascara something extra to grab onto.  I like to leave it a good 30 seconds before applying the Perversion mascara and that way it partially dries and is less likely to be combed out by the mascara brush.

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Above: One coat of the primer and one coat of mascara

The mascara is ultra black and dense in colour and works perfectly alongside the lash primer.  The brush is a natural bristle one which I definitely prefer (the plastic ones kind of freak me out).  The actual mascara formulation is the perfect consistency and grabs onto each lash, defining and thickening at the same time.  It lasted all day on me without smudging or flaking which is essential for me.  I don’t have time to keep checking my makeup in a mirror so I only use products I can really rely on to last the distance.

Oh and something else that’s a high priority for me regarding mascaras is how easy they are to remove at the end of the day. I am pleased to say this one was really quick to remove with just soap and water!  Spending ages rubbing and wiping your mascara off?…ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’m really impressed with this latest offering from Urban Decay and I love the fact that they offer the mascara with a sample size of the lash primer – it’s a great way to try it before buying the full size! (which I reckon you will end up doing anyway).

*PR Sample

1
Sep
2014

Baby Boy Wishlist

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If you’re a mother like me then you’ll know that buying baby clothes is just (if not more) enjoyable than buying clothes for yourself! There are so many cute options out there for all budgets. Some people think dressing girls is more fun but I disagree.  Over the last few years it seems like highstreet and online brands have started creating some really lovely clothing options for baby boys too.  My favourite baby clothes haunts are NotOnTheHighStreet, H&M, Zara and John Lewis. I buy a lot of budget basics for Conor but I do like to splash out on some special and unique pieces for him which cost a bit more.  This post is just an overview of a few of the things I’ve had my eye on for him.

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Turquoise Dogstooth babygrow (£25) | Superhero pyjamas (£12.99) | Cat pyjamas (£17.99) | Crosses baby grow (£32)

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Bear pom pom hat (£7.99) | Polkadot shoes (£17.99) | Fox Rattle toy (£15) | Animal Print blanket (£12)

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Birds baby grow (£16) | Lightning Print onesie (£12) | Sun & Cloud bodysuit (£25) | Bat print onesie (£12)

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Whale print onesie | Pigeon hat | Bear Booties | Whale bodysuit

Which are your favourite baby clothes shops? Do you know of any hidden gems on the internet?

31
Aug
2014

Stila ‘In The Moment’ Eyeshadow Palette

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I already have the Stila ‘In The Light’ eyeshadow palette and absolutely love it – it’s definitely in my top 5 palettes of my whole makeup collection.  Stila have a great knack at combining just the right shades in one palette and the Stila In The Moment Palette  is no exception. It’s also at a more affordable price point compared to some of it’s contemporaries at £25 for ten eyeshadow shades and a full sized smudgestick eyeliner.

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“Savor life’s everyday pleasures with this beautiful collection of Stila’s award-winning eye shadows, featuring a mix of pretty purples and ultra-wearable, neutral shades that flatter every skintone. Stila In the Moment Eye Shadow Palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Tetra (a deep shimmery purple), and an 8-page look book with detailed how-to tips and tricks.
A gorgeous palette with 10 shades of Stila’s award-winning eye shadow formula that can be worn wet or dry”

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I really like the combination of everyday wearable neutral hues with slightly more colourful shades on the top.  The lilac shade can be combined with neutrals for daytime or intensified with the varying purple shades.  Sometimes we all need a little encouragement to step away from the neutrals and try something a little bit more interesting. The texture of the eyeshdadows is exactly what you’d expect from Stila – smooth, blendable and long lasting. The shimmer is finely milled and there’s little to no fall-out. There’s a matte nude shade in there too for those who prefer not to have any shimmer or sheen on their brow bone.

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Here’s a breakdown of the individual shades included in this palette:
Instinct – light baby pink with pink & white shimmer
Desire – soft, creamy mid-tone pink
Impulse – pale lavender with lavender shimmer
Wonder – mid-tone flesh pink with shimmer
Glance – intense violet with shimmer
Spontaneous – soft beige-gold with shimmer
Improvise – deep plum with pink sparkle
Whim – soft warm reddish-brown with shimmer
Catalyst – black with pink sparkle
Captivate – mid-tone purple-brown with golden pearl
Also includes:
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Tetra (a deep shimmery purple)

The shimmery shades have this gorgeous iridescence which have a brightening effect on the whole eye area. The Instinct shade is the perfect highlighting shade for the inner corners of the eyes too.

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The Stila smudgesticks are just fantastic because they make it so easy to create a smudgy eyeliner look on the upper and lower lash lines.  They’re creamy and don’t drag on your skin so they’re really quick and easy to apply.  They blend well but are also very long lasting so it’s pretty much the perfect combination. I love this deep shimmering purple shade because it’s something a little bit different and it’s surprisingly easy to wear!

So if you’re looking for a practical palette with some fun thrown in then this could be for you! I have also filmed a tutorial video on the makeup look I wore on Saturday night to a friend’s party so if you need a little inspiration on how to use this palette, just have a watch!

*PR Sample

30
Aug
2014

Korres Wild Rose Peeling Mask

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Who else loves Korres? If you don’t then you obviously haven’t tried anything from the brand! The lip butters have garnered holy grail status in the beauty world, their makeup line is gorgeous and their skincare is free of nasties and pretty wonderful too. When I heard the brand had released a peeling mask with AHA 10% I knew I had to try it! The mere thought of a mask being able to peel away dead, dull skin and reveal radiance, plump youthfulness…well it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

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Since their origins, this organic brand have always produced their product using only skin and environmentally friendly ingredients. Their products are made up of essential fruit oils and herbal infusions, are locally sourced and kept free of any nasty synthetics.

“Wild rose fruit is noted for its high vitamin C level that demonstrates significant repairing action on fine lines and pigmentation disorders. Furthermore, wild Rose oil, rich in linoleic and linolenic acid, offers significant moisturising, healing and softening properties. At the same time, it forms a protective film on the skin that helps the cell regeneration and improves the texture of the epidermis. Intensive peeling mask with 10% AHA and Pomegranate enzymes that smoothes fine lines and discolorations and offers instant radiance.”

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Lets cut to the chase…this mask is amazing. I love it when a product turns out to be just as good as you imagined! 10 mins of this thick creamy mask on your face and your skin feels like new.  It does have a wild rose fragrance which can divide folks but it’s just down to personal preference. After using this product my skin felt baby soft and smooth and after a few times of using it, my skin looks much more uniform in terms of coloration and texture. It also feels quite gentle so there’s no stinging sensation like with other peeling AHA formulas. My skin also looks a lot brighter naturally without the help of any illuminating products.  I’m seriously impressed!

You can buy this mask from ASOS here.

30
Aug
2014

Lessons I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mother

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We’ve all done it…flicked through someone else’s instagram feed and thought “wow, they have the perfect life” or “they are really taking to motherhood thing so well”.  It’s all too easy to assume these things but consider this; do you think those people post pictures of their baby when they’re red-faced and screaming? Do you think they’d take a selfie when they’re in the bathroom crying because they feel like motherhood is a lot harder than they thought it’d be? Would they share their zombie like appearance when their little munchkin is keeping them up all hours of the night? The answer is a unequivocal no.  I know because I have experienced all of those scenarios and I’ve never shared them on my social media accounts.  Why? Because everyone wants to show the best bits of their life. Today’s social media has evolved into a platform to show the highlights of our lives, leaving out those negative bits we’d all rather forget about. No one wants to expose their imperfections, their bad days or even just the days when it becomes blatantly obvious that your life isn’t quite as glamorous as that blogger you follow on instagram. Well guess what?…they have those feelings, those days, those expectations they place on themselves too.  I wanted to share with you the reality of being a new mother together with some of the things I’ve learnt in the short time I’ve been in this job! (there’s quite a few!)

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Lesson 1: You’re gonna need patience (and lots of it!)

You’re going to be tested beyond your limits so you’re going to have to develop an infinite reserve of patience. There will be points at which you feel you’re breaching the realms of your own sanity but hold steadfast. Take a deep breath, have a cuppa and give yourself a pat on the back for having the patience of a saint (even if you do break and have a little cry, you’re still there nurturing them and being their mother and that’s something to be proud of).

Lesson 2: Don’t worry what other people think of you

The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to other mums whether it’s regarding your post-pregnancy weight, your burgeoning parenting skills or even your ability to keep your house clean and tidy whilst juggling all your other tasks as a mother. This is important – don’t compare your inside to everyone else’s outside. Everyone projects what they want other people to see with regards to their homelife and relationships.  No one can know what it’s like to live someone else’s life. Do what you think is right, trust your instincts and live your life in a way that makes you happy. Life is way too short to do it any other way.

Lesson 3: Always accept help

Whether it’s a friend offering to make you a cuppa when they visit or your mum offering to babysit while you have a well deserved rest, learn to accept a helping hand.  Put your pride and fierce independence aside, forget about your burning desire to hold everything together at all times and be super-mum. People want to help you. It doesn’t make you incapable or a failure, it makes you human. You’re a mother and you deserve a break.

Lesson 4: Your greatest support could come from an unexpected place

The wonderful, thoughtful, helpful ladies I’ve met through blogging and Twitter have provided a strong support network of mothers who are always there, day or night, to answer my questions, console me when you’re feeling defeated or down and have shared in my delight when my baby boy hit a milestone.  I have old friends who are there for me but it’s been a really special experience to have this bond with other women that I’ve never met as we embark on our journey of motherhood together.

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Lesson 5: There is no right answer

We’re not talking the common sense stuff like not leaving your baby out in the midday sun, I’m talking about those grey areas which are open to interpretation. It’s completely normal to be terrified and question every decision you make – it’s what any half decent parent does on a daily basis. The hard decisions are the ones that provide the basis for thousands of (often conflicting and contradictory) books written by ‘experts’. There is no “one size fits all” solution to anything baby related, whether it is their feeding or sleeping habits or anything in between. Just like us adults, no two babies are the same and they will undoubtedly have different wants and needs. Everyone wants to advise you on how to raise your baby from the lady at the local shop to those experts whose work is based on years of research.  However, no one can know your baby better than you do. You spend every single day caring for them so trust your instincts, they’re stronger than you know. Mother nature’s got your back.

Lesson 6: Never judge other mums

“You can tell who the strong women are; they’re the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down”.  Never was a truer word spoken. Be kind to other mums because you know better than anyone how hard the journey is and how many times you’ve tripped up yourself.  You may not agree on their sleep strategies or their opinions on homemade baby food but celebrate eachother’s differences instead of condemning them.  God knows we need to support each other as mothers because it’s a hard enough job without the judgement on top.

Lesson 7: Sleep is pretty damn great (and pretty much necessary)

I’ve developed a whole new respect and appreciation of sleep…of any kind…at any time of the day! The heady whirlwind of life with a newborn leaves little space for those long, languid sleep sessions which seem like a distant memory now.  A lie in…what’s that when it’s at home? An early night…I can’t even remember what that feels like.  You soon learn that your body will have to adapt to only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night but you know something? That’s ok. Don’t stress about it.  You can always get your own back when they’re a teenager!

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Lesson 8: Forgive your body and forgive yourself

One of the hardest aspects of new motherhood to deal with is the huge change your body goes through, leaving you with unfamiliar lumps and bumps in all the wrong places. It’s all too easy to compare yourself against other new mums and how swiftly they trimmed up again (or if you’re feeling really cruel, women who haven’t even had a baby!). You have to forgive your body for it’s stretch marks, saggy skin and whatever else birth gifted you with because all of those war wounds helped produce a beautiful human life and that surpasses anything aesthetic.  You also have to forgive yourself for all the negative things that have passed through your mind when you look in the mirror. We’re all our biggest critic but it’s so important to put that inner troll on mute. You’ve done something incredible and it’s time to start giving your body the credit it deserves! Strangely enough, I’m much more confident in myself now than I was when I was younger. Becoming a mother makes you feel powerful…I mean if you can give birth to a child, you pretty much feel like you could get through anything the world throws at you!

Lesson 9: Having a baby will test your relationship like nothing else

We often have romantic notions before our little bambinos are born that having a baby will bring us closer to our partners and bond us for life.  This is true, however, what some people don’t realise is that it will also test your relationship to it’s limits. Sleep deprivation, a lack of communication and a lack of understanding of each other’s roles can cause arguments. God knows me and Chris have fallen out over the last few weeks (generally over ridiculous, insignificant things).  No one likes to admit that the first few weeks with your baby is anything but blissful.  But you know something? It’s ok if it’s not, in fact, it’s completely normal to fall out with your spouse/partner. THE most important thing though is to talk to each other and be kind and sensitive to eachother’s needs. Never let the sun set on an argument. You’re a team and you’re in it for the long haul so you need to support each other no matter what. Make time for date nights away from baby too (don’t let any guilt set in). This gives you time to reconnect and appreciate each other as lovers and not just parents.

Lesson 10: Motherhood is the hardest job but the most rewarding 

Being a mother is a full time job, demanding your full attention 24/7 and causing constant anxiety about whether you’re doing the very best you can. Am I giving him enough attention? Am I playing with him enough to ensure he progresses as he should and am I being present in every precious moment I spend with him? And then I remember to breathe and relax and just enjoy this beautiful child I’ve been blessed with. He’ll smile at me and it’s like all my birthdays and christmasses at once – it’s a feeling of unparalleled joy and happiness in my heart.  It bursts with love for him. And then I realise that he’s giving me the greatest gift of all – the purest love that exists.