Saturday, 26 March 2016

Let's Take a (BARE) Selfie

Calling all selfies obsessives.

bareMinerals is about to launch the competition for you! Fancy winning a spa weekend for two, an exclusive bareMinerals selfie kit and a limited-edition GHD Azores Styler? All you’ve got to do it upload a #bareselfieuk! And I'm not talking bare in the Kardashian sense. Simply grab your friend, pop along to your nearest bareMinerals counter for a little makeup lesson, take a picture of the look and share on social media – simples!

Here’s my effort. This whole look was created using only bareMinerals products. I thought I’d go for a flawless base (they’re all about the base), flutterful lashes and a pretty pop of pink colour to get me in the spring mood.


Complexion Rescue – what else, I simply adore this (full review here). I used a swept on with my most used/most loved Smoothing Face Brush 
Original Foundation – lightly buffed onto the places I need a little extra coverage.
bareSkin Concealer – the new kid on the block. It’s an amazingly light weight concealer but it gives really good coverage. I’ve applied it mainly under my eye area.
bareSkin perfecting veil – lightly dusted all over the face to set the look with the Supreme Finisher Brush


Ready Bronzer in Skinny Dip to add a little natural glow
Pop of Passion Blush in natural dabbed into the apples of the cheeks with the Smoothing Face Brush for a youthful dewy glow.
Lashings of Lash Domination

Competition Details

To enter, visit a bareMinerals counter with a friend, enjoy a make up lesson of your choice, take a picture of the look and upload to social media using #BARESELFIEUK and tag @bareMineralsUK. The competitions runs from 03rd to 30th April 2016. Winners chosen at random and announced on 06th May 2016.

Ready, SELFIE, Go!


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Suped-Up Skincare!


Fact – skin changes during pregnancy. And whilst mine is faring pretty well so far, I have noticed a lack in hydration, which in turn emphasises my “minor” lines and imperfections. I ain’t going down like that! So it’s time to up the skincare ante. Enter Liz Earle Superskin Moisuriser.

Basically, it’s heaven in a jar. To sum up how it leaves my skin - Radiant, replenished and seriously plumptious!  If you’re not familiar with Liz Earle skincare, they do the standard moisturiser Skin Repair (the one in the blue tube) in three variations – light, normal/combo and dry/sensitive. Then there’s the super supped-up Superskin moisturier – “for very dry and mature skin types”.  Far be it for me to tell Liz how to market her products, but I think she’s doing Superskin a disservice – I fall into neither of those categories but I’m seriously loving this moisturiser.

The texture is rich, luxurious and very creamy. It contains all the botanical beauties you’d expect plus collagen-boosting pomegranate flower extract, omega-3, antioxidants and all that jazz. It’s a pleasure to massage into the skin. It spreads easily and absorbs pretty quickly. At first I thought I’d only use this as a night time treat, but I tried it on a morning and guess what, my skin didn’t turn into a total grease bomb and my foundation did not slide off! It leaves my skin looking soft, supple, hydrated, HEALTHY, glowing and seriously plumped like I’ve just had a sneaking collagen boost. In short, it’s superfood for the face! 

It captures the same heavenly neroli scent as Superskin Concentrate (possibly my favourite product EVER) but in a non-overpowering way (there’s a fragrance free if neroli ain’t your bag). Luxury like this comes at a price - £39/50ml jar here, but stand that up next to the likes of Elemis Marine Cream (I believe this one's far better) and the Cult creams of the World, this one's priced fairly reasonably.

I’m so glad I made the switch - no going back now! 


Thursday, 17 March 2016

A Whole Lotta Pout! Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude Lip Cheat

If there's one thing Charlotte Tilbury got absolutely right in her product range, it's Lip Cheats. These clever little sticks really do cheat the perfect pout. You know how much I adore Pillow Talk - review here. Now it's time for some iconic nude.

For me, what sets Lip Cheats apart is the ease of application. The product glides on effortlessly with no tugging or dragging. I recently tried the l'oreal infallible lip liners, they've got the shades (and price) down, but the colour pay off was pitiful and I had to keep pressing and going back over the get the product to transfer. Lip cheats are rich and velvety. The product glides on with complete control and what you see in the pencil is the colour you get on your lips. Let's talk colour - finding the "perfect" nude lip pencil is no easy task. Too light, you get concealer lips, too dark, you look like an 80s throw back. Iconic nude is that somewhere in the middle, just right shade I've been searching for. A Brigitte Bardot style medium warm beige with just enough brown to stop it looking like concealer. It's a fairly universal shade that goes perfectly with so many of my lip sticks - MAC Honeylove, Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink and in the picture I'm wearing it with a little Revlon Lip Butter Creme Brûlée.

It's a simple fact that clever lip lining can make lips look bigger but there's something extra special about Lip Cheats. They really do pump them up and create the illusion of fuller, fatter, va-va room lips - but in a natural way. I don't find them drying in the least and the staying power is fantastic. They're just all round bloody fantastic!

On the subject of Charlotte Tilbury and lips, have you heard about the new Hot Lips range? 12 new iconic shades inspired by empowering women - Penelope Cruz, Sienna Miller, Cindy Crawford et al... I'm not even going to pretend that I'm not excited about the Kim K one! Out late June, more info here.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat £16 direct from Charlotte Tilbury | John Lewis | Selfridges


Friday, 11 March 2016

The Highlight Arsenal Part 2 – The Liquids

Highlighters, we can’t get enough of them. In part one I shared my fave powders, it’s now time to shine a light on the lovely liquids! Liquid highlighters are a great way of achieving more of a natural glow. A great way to fake-it-to make it, they’re less obvious than powders and leave that much coverted dewy glow.  

for all over, lit from within radiance 

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer £29 John Lewis

Highlighter and primer in one! The flesh coloured cream imparts the most stunning lit from within, super-healthy glow. There’s no obvious shimmer or frostiness, just the most exquisite pearl tint that creates a soft focus effect and an all over dewy glow that lasts.

the bargain buy 

17 Skin Wow Primer liquid highlighter £5.99 Boots

Personally I find it a bit too full-on to use as a primer, but perfect for spot highlighting, especially on the cheek bones and temples. Dab a little anywhere you want a pearlised glow - a great alternative to high beam and a snip of the price.

for show-stopping glow!

MAC Strobe Cream £10/30ml MAC

Mix a little with foundation for a fake it to make it glow or for added sheen and polish, lightly dab anywhere you want to highlight – cheek bones, brow bones, forehead etc– under foundation for a subtle look or over for amped up glow. And, as the name suggest, this one photographs beautifully.

for a girly glow 

Benefit High Beam £5/5ml Boots 

Super easy to use with the dab-n-go applicator. High Beam has a slightly pinky tint that gives the most pretty pearlised glow. There’s a barely detectable shimmer and an overall frosty finish and! The

for a sun-kissed glow

Benefit Sun Beam £19.50/13ml Lookfantastic 

Bronzer and highlighter in one! The stunning warm champagne summer hues are perfect for adding a little depth of colour and the shimmery golden particles add a wham-bam glow. My summer holiday go-to!

What are your favourite liquid highlighters?


Wednesday, 9 March 2016


What better way to start the day than with a good old cuppa chai! A post about tea may seem a bit off-piste around these parts, but I’m tea obsessed (it says so in my profile) and since I’m currently off the gin and prosecco, it’s my only liquid pleasure!

Up North, more specifically roond the toon (that’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne for for you out of towners) Ringtons is a local treasure. What I love about Ringtons is its charm. The family ran business started selling tea from a horse & cart in 1907 and still hand delivers to doorsteps today! I often see milk-style floats and vans driving around the streets delivering to doorsteps – there’s something special about seeing that these days. But you don’t have to be up North to get in on the action, Ringtons deliver all over the country… for free! Plus these days, they’re so much more than just tea - coffee, cake, Easter gifts, they've got it covered!

They sent me this gorgeous hamper full of tea, coffee and some of the best biscuits that have ever passed my lips. The extra fresh tea bags are strong and full bodied, just how I like it! The Chocolate Brazil nut biscuits are to die for and the shortbread just may be the death of me.

There’s few things in life that bring me more pleasure than a cuppa tea and some biscuits in the afternoon! Check out Ringtons delights here


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer - No facetune needed

You’ll love this primer if…  you like to fil in your pores without masking your natural glow

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer* "Lightweight, non-greasy primer minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, mattifies against oily shine and imparts a silky, luminous finish to skin.."

Based on the description, I didn’t think I’d like this primer. It sounded like one of those paste-like polyfiller-type primers – Benefit PoreFessional, Maybelline Baby Skin et al. Which many people adore, but don’t really meet my needs.

However, Hydrablur Primer manages to perform like them – fills in the pores, blurs imperfections, provides a smooth canvas etc, without feeling thick and pasty. It’s actually surprisingly creamy. The texture melts into the skin like silk. It smoothes and sinks in immediately so you can pretty much put your base straight on. It provides a very smooth, even demi-matte canvas and doesn’t mask skin’s luminosity, if anything, it enhances it.

What I really like about this product, there’s a strong focus on skincare. Most primers only address the cosmetic benefits but this one has upped the ante with serious skincare benefits too. H2ORelease™ Complex and Abyssinian Oil help provide intense, sustained-release moisturisation that locks in optimum hydration levels. A micro-encapsulated tint releases upon application to provide neutral coverage while Whu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract enhances skin radiance. Naturally-astringent Mushroom Extract reduces pore size and appearance.

The staying power of Hydrablur is what really knocks my socks off. The first day I wore it I was stunned by how intact my face was when I got home from work. I still looked pretty fresh for once.

The only con for me if the price. £38 a tube seems pretty eye watering, however you only need a pea sized amount, so the 22mls will keep you going, and going.

Available from Dermalogica | John Lewis | Amazon


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Pregnancy Update - 22 Weeks

This pregnancy is flying by! I thought I’d do an update whilst I still have chance. I had the 20 week scan a couple of weeks ago and I’m thrilled to say everything is fine. Aside from the baby not do what the sonographer wanted it to – moi, with a disobedient child, who’d a thought! We didn’t find out the sex - although when you’re lying there with the baby on the screen it’s sorely tempting. Dean’s convinced he saw “boys bit”, but it was a leg! He’s just looking for an excuse to buy more sneakers. I started feeling movements around 18-19 weeks and that blew my mind. The most amazing experience so far, and after that anxious 12 week wait, the most reassuring!


Not a whole lot has in my beauty routine changed. I’m finding my skin's less hydrated that usual, guess the baby’s stealing my nutrients. I got a sample of dermalogica’s skin hydrating booster and that’s doing a fab job of injecting some much need hydration – It’s so expensive though, not sure I can justify the price tag #MothersGuilt. For the most part my skin is glowing. By far, my favourite pregnancy side effect – thicker hair! Apparently you don’t shed hair during pregnancy, new ones grow but the old ones don’t fall out. I’ve finally got the thick, luscious tresses I’ve always coveted… sadly my body's hairier too. I’ve been slapping on the bio oil £5.99 and recently got some Palmers Stretch mark lotion 3.29. I think if you’re gonna get them, you’re gonna get them but it doesn’t hurt to keep skin soft and supple.


I'm not gonna lie, I'm finding maternity fashion Difficult. I'm not joking, I burst out my regular jeans at around week 2. I’m carrying very low which makes fastening jeans (fyi I rarely wear anything else) impossible. The bobble trick got me by for a few weeks before turning to maternity jeans and now there’s no going back. Even after I’ve had the baby I’m not sure I’ll be able to give them up… BEST.THING.EVER! I’ve got one pair of under the bumps from asos and two over the bumps from Mothercare. Stretchy jeans aside, I’m finding maternity collections a bit too "mumsy". Just because you get pregnant, it doesn’t mean you want to start dressing like a 1950’s housewife. I still want to look like me! Topshop’s maternity collection is the most non-mumsy I can find, but it’s a small range. Asos have some decent picks, other than that I’ve mainly been wearing oversized h&m tees and open shirts with vests underneath. I’m looking forward to the weather warming up so I can throw on some maxi’s. If you’ve got any recommendations, please share!


So far, I’ve had a really good pregnancy. I’ve avoided sickness and nausea. I haven’t been especially hormonal/mood swingy - My nearest and dearest may tell a different tale, but I don’t think I’ve been affected much by the pregnancy hormones either – I’ve always been a moody cow  My nights are a bit restless, nature’s way of getting me ready, and the back ache’s setting in, but other than that and as corny as it sounds, I’m feeling nothing but happy and blessed.

Diet Fitness 

I’m continuing with a healthy, balanced diet. I’m low on iron so I’ve been adding spinach and kale to my smoothies – not as grim as they sound. Sadly no cravings yet, except that one night I NEEDED tartar sauce.

Wow for someone that wasn’t sure she was going to do pregnancy updates, I’ve sure rambled on. Feel free to share your links and updates below, it's nice to know people who are going through it at the same time.

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