Saturday, 12 November 2016

Review: LUSH Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub

I adore LUSH over the festive period. The store smells even more beautiful than usual and there are lots of limited edition products to try. One that I've been using lots recently is the Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub.

I suffer from dry lips all year round but especially in the winter time. I usually use the Bubblegum Lip Scrub which is also by LUSH but I spotted this one which is new for Christmas this year and had to give it a try. LUSH's lip scrubs work wonders, definitely give them a try if you have dry lips like me. Even if your lips are not noticeably dry, they are really good to use before applying matte liquid lipstick or even normal lipstick as the product goes on so smoothly after giving your lips a little scrub and I find that my lipstick lasts longer too!

The scent of the Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub reminds me of the Comforter which is one of my fave bubble bars. The best way that I can describe it is like a kind of sugary blackcurrant scent. It's so lovely and it tastes yummy too.

This product works wonders on my lips - I will definitely stock up on a couple of these before the season ends as the scent is gorgeous and, honestly, the product just makes me smile!

££ £5.75

Friday, 21 October 2016


Hi all!
Sorry for the lack of content. I haven’t disappeared. I have been busy with life stuff recently – lots has been happening. In the past 3 months I have gotten engaged, bought my first home, and acquired a lovely kitten who is now part of our little family. It’s sad, really, that I’ve not had time to write any posts but I’m sure you all know that life comes first sometimes.
I absolutely love this time of year and it makes me so happy. Crunchy leaves, dark evenings and spiced lattes are my faves. Halloween is super fun and I enjoy getting ready for Christmas.
Hopefully I will find time over the next few months to post more frequently as I like to avoid dry spells! However, we are planning to possibly get married within the next year so I may be busy…
Thanks for reading and I hope that you’re all well.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Spectrum Collections Makeup Brushes Review

I am so excited to review some of the Spectrum Collections brushes today! I think we've all seen their pretty mermaid-esque makeup brushes on our Instagram feed - they're absolutely gorgeous. As a company, their style reminds me a lot of Too Faced. I've swooned after them for a while and now finally own some of my very own. 

I ordered the four piece contour kit (£29.99) and when a matte black padded mail bag dropped on my doormat, I instantly knew it was my brushes! The aesthetic of this company is just so pretty, when I opened the bag my brushes were packaged in a transparent pink case which closes with a popper. Perfect for popping bits in when travelling.

Before discussing each individual brush, I would just like to note that these brushes are beautifully soft and the handles feel substantial without being heavy. I have used these brushes to create my base and they work amazingly. So they really are more than just a pretty face! Additionally, they are completely vegan and cruelty free.. Yay!

B01 - Flat Top Buffer - £8.99 single

The first brush is a flat top brush which I normally refer to as a stippling brush. It's perfect for blending liquid foundation or for applying cream contour or blush. I love this shape brush and use it all the time so I'm so glad that this was included in the set. I used this to apply my usual foundation and as well as being a joy to use, I got a lovely finish from it.

B02 - Domed Buffer - £8.99 single

I use this as a general powder brush. It can be used to apply pressed powder, bronzer or blusher and it does this beautifully.

C03 - Tulip Powder - £8.99 single

This brush is the star of the show for me. I've never actually had a brush this shape, it's fluffy and dense and tapers at the end which makes it perfect for applying highlight and contouring around the hairline. It's extremely effective as it allows a high degree of precision which results in a more professional looking face. I love love love this brush and don't know how I ever did my makeup without it!

C04 - Angled Powder - £8.99 single

This brush is perfect for contouring. I enjoy using angled brushes and this one is a dream to use.

I would definitely go for one of the sets if you're going to buy from Spectrum Collections. By purchasing a set you save just under £6 which is almost the price of a whole brush so the sets are amazing value. If you're in the market for some beautiful, soft and dense makeup brushes then I urge you to check out Spectrum. Their website can be accessed here, and here is their Instagram.

Monday, 1 August 2016

DIY: Painted Staircase with Wallpapered Risers

Yes, you read the title of this blog post correctly - I properly attempted some hardcore DIY business. I didn't take a proper 'before' picture but here's a photo of my cat on the staircase as it was when we originally moved in. I am a total novice with regards to decorating and it turned out pretty awesome.

As you can see they are fully carpeted in a sort-of wine red colour. However, there was so many nails in the carpet.. like a crazy amount and they jutted out and cut your toes which was a sad affair. And there was bits torn off and then nailed back in with a rusty nail. I just didn't like them and wanted a quick fix which was cost-effective, quick and looked cute. This is when the pretty Pinterest photos popped into my head that I had seen with lovely floral wallpapered risers. I spent an evening looking online about how easy this was to do and how durable it would be and decided to give it a go.

I didn't use a tutorial for this, I just followed the instructions on the paint, wallpaper paste and wallpaper and used my intuition really.. and it worked!

I decided on Cath Kidston Rainbow Rose for the risers and this motivated me to start getting to work as it's a lovely pattern. On Pinterest I've seen some where they have used a different pattern on each step or alternated two patterns and that looks really cute but I wanted to stick with one this time.

1. Step one is to rip your carpet up. I was dreading this as I didn't want to see what was underneath. I used a claw hammer to remove the nails and then tugged at the carpet to lift it and the insulation underneath. I was left with plain wooden stairs and a lot of bugs (ugh). 

After I did this, I removed lots of remaining nails and knocked the broken ones into the wood.

2. Step two is sort of optional but I scrubbed the staircase with a bit of warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth as it was absolutely disgusting and bug-ridden. If you have any holes (I had lots) then use decorator's caulk to fill them up during this stage.

3. Sand! Use some sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to create a smooth surface. This part takes a while and I got bored and just went with what I had after a while. I live in an old house and the stairs are very nobbly so it would have taken sooo long to get them perfect.

5. Painting time. Use a primer if you like but I'm lazy so just did multiple coats of white floor paint (Ronseal brand) using a regular 2 inch paint brush and an eyeshadow brush (lol) for the fine detail and to get in nooks and crannies. I also painted the upstairs landing. Either paint alternate stairs which will allow you to use the stairs during the day or do it before work/sleeping and allow 8 hours for them to dry. If you're doing it before bed them remember to do it going up the stairs and vice versa for if you need to be downstairs.

6. Measure the width and length of each riser with a tape measure and note it down on a piece of paper, clearly numbering each one. Then cut out the corresponding lengths of wallpaper and label the backs with the correct numbers with a soft pencil. Unless you have narrow stairs, you will need 2 pieces of wallpaper per riser so ensure that the pattern matches up or you can make it look like it does! Overestimate the measurements a little as I found that my stairs weren't exactly the same height all the way along so it gave me a bit of leeway.

7. Once all your pieces are cut then mix your wallpaper paste according to the instructions and get ready to stick. Start from the top riser and check that your pieces fit the space perfectly. You may need to trim them a bit which is fine - it's better that they're too big than too small. Once they fit then paste the back of the wallpaper, paying particular attention to the edges and stick in place, smoothing with your fingers. 

Complete this process on all the risers and you're done! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, a sit down and a nice cup of tea.

Here are my finished stairs - I still need to paint the hand rails on both sides but I love how the stairs look, so pretty and it was such a cheap fix.. just required a bit of hard work!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Pastel pink fireplace

I've been a busy little bee. My living room walls are now white and my fireplace is pastel pink. Look how cute it is!

For the fireplace I just sanded off the varnish on the dark wood (see previous post for what it looked like) and did two coats of white wood paint. I then did one coat of pink emulsion and this is how it turned out! 

The room is so much brighter now and it totally matches the fire screen that I upcycled. 

Hope you guys love it! Also, there's a tutorial soon to come on a Pinterest project that I undertook on my staircase - definitely look out for it next week.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

New Home!

Sorry for the hiatus!

I've finally moved house, here are some pics of my new home. There's still lots to be done - wallpaper to be stripped and carpets to be ripped up but I thought I'd share a couple of shots of what my little cottage is looking like at the moment. You might recognise some home bits from previous posts.

Expect home hauls, DIY/upcycling posts and lots of photos! Hope you've all been well.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Summer Homeware Haul

Ocean Homeowner Loans have kindly teamed up with me to bring you this Summer Homeware Haul. How exciting! I love sprucing up my home over the summer with lovely pastel floral pieces. I am also moving house in a few days so I'm going to be decorating my new place very shortly.

One of my go-to places to shop for cute homeware is Dunelm. They have some really pretty floral patterns so I couldn't resist picking a few bits up from there. The first item is the Candy Rose 12 Piece Dinner Set which retails for £24.99 which I think is more than reasonable for a patterned dinner set. Candy Rose is a pastel pink and blue rose print pattern which is adorable - and the crockery is just as pretty in person as it is on the website!

Because I love the design so much - I also bought the Candy Rose 2 Tier Cake Stand which cost me only £9.99 which I think is ridiculously cheap for a cake stand! Again, the design is really lovely, I especially love the polka dots on this piece.

Alongside this I purchased the Candy Rose Double Oven Glove for £4.49. I don't really have too much to say about this as it's only an oven glove but the design is pretty - I appreciate the gingham on the inside and it feels as if it will definitely insulate my hands when I'm using it.

The final thing that I purchased from Dunelm is the Rose and Ellis Clarendon PVC Tablecloth which was £4.99. In summer, I love to throw cute splashproof tablecloths like this over my garden table when I'm hosting BBQs. As well as looking pretty, they protect the table and are easy to wipe down after use. I love this particular one and I cannot wait to use it in my new home. Also, £4.99 is an excellent price for a tablecloth!

This concludes my little Summer Homeware Haul from Dunelm. Definitely take a look at Ocean Homeowner Loans if you're thinking of sprucing up your living space this summer, the smart search tool on their website doesn't affect your credit score at all and they are a really friendly company to deal with.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

NYX Round Lipsticks Review and Swatches

There are more and more NYX products available in the UK, my two most local Boots stores both have NYX counters where pretty much all the products are available including brushes and palettes.

The NYX Round Lipstick is a pretty iconic drugstore makeup product and it's one I've never gone crazy for to be honest due to the inconsistencies between the different shades. Despite being £4, the product is really hit and miss - with some shades having an amazing creamy formula and colour pay off and others being downright ugly. For example, Baby Pink comes out as a frosty white/pink sheer gloss on the lips.

However, there are two that I really like and I consider these to be holy grail for me as they are shades that I wear everyday and I have repurchased them. I would recommend these particular shades as they are lovely and creamy and the colours are gorgeous.

The shades are Circe and Strawberry Milk which I have swatched above. Circe is a lovely nude shade which works perfectly with my complexion and hair colour. Strawberry Milk comes off as a lovely bubblegum pink, and it doesn't make my teeth look yellow at all which is a definite bonus as a lot of these kind of pink shades tend to.

Strawberry Milk is really creamy and buildable. It is easy to achieve an opaque effect but it can be worn more pared down too. Circe is a nude best suited to lighter skin tones as it's more of a 'concealer lips' sort of shade. 

For darker skin tones, the shade Tea is lovely but it just didn't suit me unfortunately. Snow White is often recommended but for me I needed a tonne of lipliner on underneath to make this look passable so I wouldn't recommend this one.

If you're in the UK then you can grab NYX Round Lipsticks from Boots for £4!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

How to get PERFECT Ombre Hair at Home

I've had ombre hair on and off since late 2011 and I've always done it myself. I've perfected the method by now so I thought I'd share how I do my hair! I'm not a professional by any means, just a regular girl who likes to save money. Bleaching your hair will damage your hair, but we can ameliorate the damage as much as possible by following proper steps and a good aftercare routine for your hair.

In terms of supplies, you will need:

  • Bowl and Tinting Brush (can be bought in a set from stores such as Bodycare - and they're really inexpensive)
  • Tin Foil
  • Powder Bleach (I use Jerome Russell brand)
  • Cream Peroxide (I use 40 Vol Jerome Russell)
  • Platinum Blonde Toner OR Permament Light Ash Blonde Hair Dye
  • Any brand Silver Shampoo

First, you want to trim off your split ends or give your hair a decent trim before you ombre or else you'll be bleaching the hair that you're just about to cut off so it makes sense to cut first. Make sure to brush your hair out fully. It would make sense to wash with a clarifying shampoo prior to this but it's not essential.

Next you should cut your foils. Cut your tin foil into long relatively thin strips. If you have longer or thicker hair then you will need more strips. 

Now it's time to pop a towel over your shoulders, secure it with some separating clips if you have them. Mix your powder bleach and cream peroxide in your bowl - definitely open the windows and make sure that the room you're in is well aired generally as you don't want to be breathing these fumes in in a poorly ventilated area.

Brush your peroxide mixture onto the parts of hair that you'd like to bleach. Start at the ends and work your way up - it doesn't have to be neat at all as ombre hair isn't neat! After you've covered each section then wrap it in foil. 

Once your whole hair is done wait between 30 - 90 mins, lifting the foil every so often to check the colour of your hair. Remove the foil when your hair is your desired lightness, but no longer than 90 minutes.

Wash your hair with silver shampoo or just regular shampoo if you don't have any silver shampoo. Towel dry your hair well and then you can go down two options to counteract the yellow tones in your newly lightened hair:

  1. Use a toner. This is a temporary solution and may not remove all the yellow hues. However, toners do not damage your hair so can be used as much as you like.
  2. Use a Light Ash Blonde permanent hair dye. This will last a long time and the pigments in this particular colour of dye will counteract the yellow tones in your bleached hair perfectly. 
Enjoy your gorgeous ombre hair!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Review: Weleda Skin Food

When I first started this blog, I still worked at Holland and Barrett. Whilst working there, I got into using Weleda products as we sold lots of them in store but have never gotten around to doing an actual review on here about any of them. Weleda's haircare and skincare are absolutely amazing - I love how natural they are too!

The products that I'm going to talk about today is called Skin Food. It's been around for 90 years, having been introduced in 1926! It's totally affordable and is filled with natural botanical extracts. Skin Food is a balm which is designed to soothe the skin and promote radiance. It's perfect for my hands as they tend to get dry and rough from using gym equipment. When I use it on my hands after exercising they really drink it in and feel totally nourished. The product is suitable for vegetarians and comes in a recyclable metal tube.

Skin Food has become really popular over the last few years - with many celebrities famously swearing by it including Rihanna, Adele etc. And it's also used at London Fashion Week behind the scenes. In fact, it's Weleda's #1 selling skincare product in the UK and has won 23 awards in the past decade in the UK alone. 

So let's have a closer look at the ingredients of Skin Food. It's made up of organic plant extracts, oils and waxes which are rich and deeply penetrate the skin as well as being incredibly gentle. The distinctive and uplifting fragrance comes from essential oils - namely orange and lavender. I love the smell of lavender and I love the smell of orange, but I'd never actually smelt them together before using this product and it really is a divine scent.

The base of the product is organic almond oil, sunflower oil and organic beeswax. Other plant extracts include:

Chamomile Flower Extract
Chamomile flowers are thought to possess gentle healing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Calendula Flower Extract
Calendula is often paired with Chamomile, the combination having a soothing effect on the skin. For centuries, Calendula has been used to calm irritated or inflamed skin and it also has anti-bacterial properties.

Rosemary Leaf Extract
Rosemary is revitalising and stimulating and is used to perk up pasty skin.

Wild Pansy Extract
Wild Pansy is often used on rough, cracked skin. It's perfect for restoring skin to its soft and smooth state!

This is a product that I really enjoy and totally believe in. Natural, high quality skincare need not be unaffordable and this product reflects that. Skin Food is a thick balm which rubs in and absorbs quickly whilst leaving a light sheen on the skin. It's not greasy whatsoever and I love to use this to hydrate my thirsty skin at the end of the day.

Check out Weleda here.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Review: theduckeggdinosaur @ Etsy

theduckeggdinosaur is an Etsy store that I was drawn to initially due to the cute quirky name! The store sells lots of hand made home decor items such as lamp shades, memo boards and photo frames. The items are crafted with really quirky, pretty, retro fabrics so they totally speak to my heart. Emma also uses lots of florals which I love, and her creations are often finished with cute crochet lace ribbon and pretty pom poms.

The first item that I have to show you is a botanical print handmade lampshade which is totally beautiful and so dainty. I need to get an actual lamp to fix her to but as I'm still in the process of moving house, I'm yet to acquire anything and all my belongings are everywhere. I'm in love with the botanical print, it's beautiful - and the green pom pom trim is adorable. Inside, it's finished with crochet lace ribbon top and bottom. I'm so in love with this and cannot wait to grab a vintage quirky ceramic lamp to use it with!

The second item is this lovely shabby chic picture frame with a fabric floral decorative piece inside. The frame itself has been weathered and sanded to give a nice effect and then been decoupaged with florals. I love this and it will go on the wall nicely next to a framed floral tapestry that I picked up from Oxfam a while ago.

Have a look at theduckeggdinosaur, as I've said there are lots of unique fabrics on there! It's not a store to be missed - everything on there is so pretty, quirky and beautiful! And of course the items are top quality.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Review: Vector Coast UK @ Etsy

It's been ages since I've bought some pretty hair grips so when I came across the selection on Vector Coast UK on Etsy - I had to order some! There's a large selection on there, my favourite were the roses. The store also sells lots of different handmade jewellery. Look how gorgeous the packaging is! I'm loving copper at the moment. Everything is really co-ordinated which is cool. 

I chose red grips because I usually go for pink. These are so precious, I'm literally in love with them. The actual grips are steel and the roses are resin. I have worn them for a full day, in very thick hair and they have kept my hair up which is awesome. With the bog standard brown hair grips, I constantly have to adjust them but once these were in I didn't have to worry about re-doing my hair at all. ANDD, I got compliments on them which is always a plus.

A pack of 2 grips are just £1.25 which is super super cheap. They are definitely worth more than this as they are so sturdy, well made and pretty. They arrived within a couple of days of ordering. 

It would be criminal not to check out Vector Coast UK. I love my purchase and - considering the price - it's ridiculously cheap and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. 

Review: this geek love @ Etsy

this geek love is an Etsy shop filled with crocheted goodies such as blankets, brooches, decorated pegs etc. There's also cute home decor - like pom pom garlands which are ADORABLE!

I am reviewing a custom crocheted rose brooch. I ordered the medium brooch in dusky pink with some green leaves attached which usually come with the red roses. I love the leaves though they're so cute so I asked for them to be attached to a medium dusky pink brooch. I received it in the mail today and I'm in loooove... 

The box that my brooch came in was covered in cute colourful washi tape samples which made me smile, and inside the brooch was wrapped in tissue paper held together by a little star and a cute bunny post it thanking me for my order. My order came packaged with the standard order confirmation and a little yellow crochet heart which tells me that I'm loved which is sweet. I'll definitely recycle this heart somehow, I'm thinking of popping it on a jar lid to pretty it up or hanging it from a cupboard door knob. It will be looking cute somewhere! 

On to the actual brooch that I ordered, it's lovely! For a medium brooch, it's pretty sizable and the leaves add a lovely touch to it. The yarn feels great and the pin is secured safely on the back as you can see from the photo. I love the colour of the rose, it will look lovely on my Cath Kidston dresses or on my coats over a floral dress on a cold day. It'll even look lovely displayed in my home on my vintage cake stand that I use to display jewellery and accessories. 

Definitely go check out this geek love on Etsy. This brooch is amazing quality and the packaging and delivery speed exceeded my expectations. I will definitely be ordering more bits from this shop, I'm obsessed!!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Review: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - is it worth the hype?!

Too Faced make some amazing products which are pretty famous online. One of their most hyped is their Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette.

The version of the palette that I'm reviewing is the most updated 'model'. Some of the upgrades that it's had since it's inception is the shade names being printed on to the palette as opposed to being printed on a piece of acetate that was protecting the shadows - and the palette is much less bulky.

Upon opening the palette, the scent of chocolate hits you due to the formula including cocoa powder. Although this doesn't necessarily effect the quality of the actual eyeshadows, it's a really pleasant scent. The palette shuts with a magnetic closure so it feels nice and sturdy.

I use this palette for everyday and evening. It quickly becomes a go-to item because of the amount of wearable shades and their amazing formula. They stay on for hours even without priming the lids so this makeup item is a definite staple due to that reason. 

Here is the inside of the palette in its entirety. It's a nice size without being too large - there's plenty of lovely shades in there. The names of the colours are also cute.. which again, doesn't affect the effectiveness of the makeup but I do love me some cute eyeshadow names!

People have described this one to be more of a 'night' palette and the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette to be a 'day' palette but I haven't found this to be the case. Granted, I do not own the other one but I find that the colours in the original palette are wearable for day or night.

I love how they have included large pans of the highlight shades. It makes so much sense as these are worn on the brow bone with pretty much every look. My favourite shade is Marzipan. I also love Milk Chocolate. I thought that I was going to love Strawberry Bon Bon which is a bright baby pink but I haven't found it to be as pigmented as the others which is slightly disappointing.

Nevertheless, I would recommend investing in this beautiful palette. It's an all round great product and I haven't regretted purchasing this at all!

£££ £39 (Debenhams)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Current Drugstore Makeup Essentials

I love using drugstore/high street makeup products and thought that I'd share some of my current favourites. Here are some of my essential products:

Foundation: L'Oréal Paris True Match Foundation - C1 Rose Ivory, £9.99

I've used this foundation for years and it's never failed me. When I try out different products and my skin reacts, I can always go back to this and it never fails me. The coverage is awesome too.

Pressed Powder: Maybelline Matte Maker Mattifying Powder - 10 Classic Ivory, £3.99

This powder mattifies my skin and sets my foundation perfectly without having to apply too much and the finish lasts for ages. It's my all-time favourite powder and I've repurchased it loads. It doesn't make me look or feel chalky at all.

Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - Fair, £4.19

This concealer is really popular online and I actually first used it about 10 years ago (!!). I remember taking my little makeup bag to school and it was full of Collection 2000 products as they were so cheap and they're always pretty good! This concealer is totally worth the hype, it's nice and thick but not too thick and the coverage is immense. But it's so blendable at the same time. I can never find it in stock at Boots or Superdrug near me so I have to order it online! It's worth it though as the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is a total staple.

Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies Mascara/Maybelline Volum Express Colossal Mascara - Black, £7.99/£6.99

Maybelline mascaras have always been a hit for me and I've tried all of them. Whenever they bring a new one out I always order it straight away as I've never actually tried one that I didn't like. My favourite is The Falsies because of the wand, it really curls my lashes and volumises them at the same time. I often finish off by applying lashings of The Colossal which is a classic. The formula is really black and I don't find it to be clumpy at all. I love love love Maybelline mascaras as they help me to achieve the dramatic lash look that I am after.

Liquid Eyeliner: Barry M Liquid Eyeliner - Black, £4.79

There's a few drugstore liquid eyeliners that I really like such as L'Oréal Paris Superliner and Rimmel London Exaggerate Liner. However, I've chosen this one just due to the sheer amount of times that I've repurchased it. The wand is the perfect size and the formula is nice and black. This is my go-to for a drugstore eyeliner and I have been buying this for years - it's never failed me!