Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My Christmas Wish List: Beauty Under £20



1. Liz Earle Gorgeous Skin Gift - Normal/Combination Skin £16
2. Benefit Porefect Radiance Set £9.50
3.OPI Skyfall Mini Set £12.95
4. Too Faced Glamour to Go - Spun Sugar Edition £19.50
5. Soap and Glory Soaper Heroes Mini Set £13


I have two little boys, so for me, Christmas is all about them. I am really looking forward to seeing their faces on the big day after Santa has been. To make sure they get everything that they want this year (my three year old has a list as long as my arm) Me and the FiancĂ© have agreed to only spend £20 on each other this year.

I have whittled my list down to these five. I cant decide between the Liz Earle set or the Too Faced set. I may treat myself to the other stuff if it comes up in the sales. I know I will be first in line on boxing day morning at Boots, I go every year. They reduce the price to 50% off so I stock up on things for birthday presents for the year.


What is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Gem x










Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Barry M Rose Quartz Glitter Nail Polish





Look at me. A few months ago I swore I couldn't stand glitter nail polish, and now I have featured two on my blog in as many weeks! My mind has well and truly been changed, especially now Christmas is coming, expect even more bling on my nails.

I bought this in Boots along with another Barry M polish, Amethyst Glitter. Rose Quartz is more of a top coat glitter, so I have used a peachy nude colour as a base and used one coat of Rose Quartz on top. I also used a Nails Inc top coat.

I think they look great, and the glitter isn't so full on that it is not daytime appropriate. I wore this for 4 days before I noticed chipping, I have really bad nails though so you may get an even longer wear time out of it.

Gem x


Monday, 26 November 2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012

What Was In My Travel Makeup Bag?


I am such an over packer, I always have been. I was only going away for 5 days but managed to take about a months worth of clothes with me. On the Make up side of things, I thought I did pretty well. Though, I did have to spend about an hour whittling down my selection of make up to take with me, and it was really painful to do it.

Here's what I eventually decided to take with me...




  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - My skin was great before I left so I had planned on using my BB cream. I brought this as a back up in case my skin flared up and unfortunately it did. Must have been the French water...One time when being an over-packer comes in handy.
  • Garnier BB Cream Oil Free - As above, I had planned on using this but had to use a foundation instead as my skin broke out in painful cystic acne. 
  • Rimmel Gel Eyeliner - I used this to create a chic cat eye, I was in France after all.
  • That Gal Primer - Used under my foundation as a primer and over it around my eyes to disguise dark circles.
  • Rimmel Blush - Really old, unsure of shade name and pretty sure its now discontinued. Its just a pretty pink which can be used mixed or separate. I used the darker colour to contour.
  • Revlon Photo Ready Concealer - Used to conceal my spots.
  • Carmex Lip Balm - A life saver as I was spending hours everyday outside in the cold. This is an amazing lip balm that does what it says on the tin. 
  • Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara - My current favourite mascara, could not leave the country without it. 
  • Revlon Lip Butter Strawberry Shortcake - I knew my lips were going to get chapped, so I decided to pack this. Combined with the Carmex my lips were actually ok. I used a small layer of this to give a sheer wash of colour to my lips. 
  • Naked 2 Palette - I used the light brown shade for my eyebrows and the lightest matte colour to even out my lids. 

For a make up addict, I think that's pretty good packing, don't you think?

Gem x

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth...

If you are following me on twitter, you may know I have recently been to Disneyland Paris. I went for 5 days with my partner and two little boys and we all had a fantastic time.

We flew from Bristol and stayed in the Santa Fe. The hotel is currently going through a major makeover and our room had just had its make over, literally the room stunk of paint! To my boys delight it was decorated in the theme of Disneys Cars, it even had Lightning Mcqueen bedsheets.

The park itself was really busy. Unfortunately we had booked unknowingly in the French half term, so queue times were around 40 minutes average. Luckily my boys didn't mind queuing at all and we still had a great time. My favourite ride is The Pirates of the Caribbean and I took my 3.5 year old on it and he loved it, so I was really happy.

To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Disneyland Paris have a new nigh time spectacular show called Disney Dreams. It was amazing, honestly the best Disney show I have ever seen. You can view YouTube videos of it, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. If you are a Disney fanatic like me and can get over to Paris this year, I highly recommend you get to Disneyland Paris to check it out.

I didn't have much time to take loads of pictures, we were too busy enjoying ourselves. I did manage to get a few nice ones though!


My boys wouldn't stand still for a photo, this is the best photo of us together, haha!


Here are a few others I took...






Friday, 23 November 2012

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Kohl Eyeliner in Nude Review & Swatches


I managed to sneak this eye liner into my trolley while doing the weekly shop in Morrisons, along with a glittery nail polish. I had seen it on loads of blogs but was unsure whether to get it as I love my Benefit Eye Bright. But it was on offer for £2.99, plus I get 10% Staff discount (every little helps!), so I thought I would give it a go. Glad to say I am happy I did. 


The eye liner is really creamy and glides onto my waterline easily. As you can see from the swatches the colour is slightly darker than my skin tone. I was slightly worried at first, but as you can see from the photos it subtly brightens up my eyes and makes them look more awake.

I have really watery eyes, and the pencil lasted a good 4 hours on my which I think is great. Compared to Benefit eye bright, I think this one is great for a more subtle, daytime look, where as Eye Bright is great for a more dramatic look. This pencil has made its way into my every day make up routine.

I definitely recommend this pencil if you are looking for a good water proof eye liner to brighten up tired eyes.

Gem x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

NOTD: All About Nails (Tesco) Plum Raisin




Before I started blogging, I used to shy away from darker colours on my nails and usually stayed safe with light pinks. I think my nail polish collection has quadrupled and I have a whole range of colours from nude to black now.

I love this colour, its a really vampy dark plum and I think it would look great on everyone. The formula is great, if you read my blog you may know I have a penchant for these polishes. I have posts on other colours here, here and here. They are available in larger Tesco stores for a mere 99p. They last for around 3 days on my nails, which is amazing as my nails chip really badly. This is two coats, the only problem I had with this polish is as its so dark, it is really messy to apply. This is down to my wobbly hands more than anything though.

You can pick up this polish from Tesco for 99p.

Gem x

Sunday, 18 November 2012

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software Review and Giveaway


I was recently contacted by My Memories, an award winning digital scrapbooking software company. They asked me if I would like to host a give away on my blog where one of my lovely readers could win a free digital download of My Memories Suite, worth $40.

I love being creative with photographs and creating digital scrap book pages and cards. I usually use Photoshop for this, but I know a lot of people find it complicated, and it is very expensive to buy.

 My Memories Suite is really simple to use and you can create all sorts of things from calenders to personalised cards. I even used it to create the collage in my last post, which you can view here.

There are lots of backgrounds, embelishments, fonts and more to create your own pages, and there are also installed templates. You can also buy add ons from their website in the form of kits. These cost from $4.99 and include digital papers and elements.

I recently went to Disneyland Paris, and used the software to create this collage. I love it, and I am definitely going to be using it to design my own scrapbook including all my photos from Disneyland!




Giveaway

My Memories is giving one follower of this blog the chance to win a digital download of the My Memories Suite worth $39.97. The giveaway is international, will run for 3 weeks, and I only have a few simple rules;

1. Must be a follower of my blog.
2. Visit the My Memories website and let me know what your favourite digital scrapbooking kit is.

For additional entries, you can;
a. Like the My Memories Facebook page here
b. Follow My Memories on Twitter here

To enter, simply follow the instructions on the Raffle Copter form below, good luck!.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

#KeratinSleek - Clynol Keratin Sleek Review & Before and After Pictures

I was lucky enough to receive these amazing products to take part in a competition run by Immediate PR. To be in with the chance of winning £250 worth of spa vouchers, all we have to do is post a before and after picture using Clynol Keratin Sleek products.

I have really thick hair which is frizzy and can be hard to manage. In my before picture, my hair has not been blow dried so it is wavy and quite frizzy, with no shine to it at all. After using the Clynol Keratin Sleek products, my hair is so shiny, sleek and just looks amazing!

Here are the products I used...









1. Keratin Sleek Shampoo* £9.35 - I used this shampoo twice as my hair was quite full of product and needed a good deep clean.
2. Keratin Sleek Treatment* £10.65- You can leave this on for 2 minute for a quick fix, or for 5-10 for a more intensive treatment. I left it on for about 3 minutes, due to me being in a rush as usual.
3. Keratin Sleek Blow Drying Balm* £9.15 - Use this on wet hair before blow drying.
4. Keratin Sleek Oil* £10.40 - The finishing touch. I used a small amount and concentrated it on the ends of my hair as they are very dry and it gave my hair extra shine.



And my before and after pics...




I loved using the products and although this is a four step process, my hair didn't feel weighed down at all, just really silky, smooth, and shiny! I would definitely reccomend these products to anyone who is looking for smoother, sleeker and shinier hair. You can get these products from HairTrade.com here, they even have discount off the RRP, bargain. :)

Gem x









Saturday, 10 November 2012

NOTD: Barry M Amythist Glitter





I picked this up in boots when the 3-for-2 offer was on. I wanted to try a multicoloured glitter polish and this one by Barry M caught my eye.

The picture is of two coats and a white base (MUA All Nude), and I think it looks pretty opaque. Its gorgeous and perfect for party season statement nails.

I love how opaque this polish is, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a little bling in their lives.

Do you love a glittery nail?

Gem x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Amie Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Wash Review





I am not a huge lover of skincare, and you wont find many skincare reviews on my blog. This is mainly because I have awful skin which is acne prone and very sensitive, and not many products agree with it. If it doesn't like a certain ingredient in it,  it will break out, or dry out. I had a horrible experience with Avene Gentle Gel Cleanser where my skin was totally dried out and took weeks to get back to normal. You can imagine that I am very reluctant to change a routine that is working for me.

When I was offered to review Amie skincare though, I thought I would give it a chance. The products are designed with sensitve skin in mind and avoid harsh chemicals. I recieved the Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Wash and the Daily Radiance Moisturiser. Today I will be reviewing the face wash.

The Review...

The packaging is very nicely designed, maybe with a younger audience in mind, but I really like it. It is a squeeze and go type. I think a pump dispenser may have worked a little better with this product as I do find it to leave the lid slightly messy, but it does the job. 

The wash is a 2-in-1 cleanser and exfoliator, but being a daily use it isn't at all harsh on my skin. It is a gel with small exfoliating particles in it. I do still like to use another exfoliator twice a week (Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It) to give my skin a boost when it is feeling particularly dry.

The wash leaves my skin looking radiant and feeling really soft. It doesn't bother my sensitive skin at all and my skin doesn't break out. 

It is great for my skin at the moment, which is leaning a little on the dry side.

It is scented though, and I know some people are sensitive to perfume in products, so you should be aware of this. It does smell really nice though! 

Overall a great cleanser for people with normal to dry skin looking for a radiance boost on a budget.

Gem x





Tuesday, 6 November 2012

GUEST POST: Travel Make-up Tips

Today I have a guest post for you by the lovely Cariadity. I highly recommend you head over to her blog and follow, you wont be disappointed! I am currently on holiday at Disneyland paris, and these tips are so relevant and helpful to me.




Hiya, I'm guest posting for the lovely Gem today I'm a fellow Welshie and I usually blog at Cariadity if you'd like to wander over for a look!
Today I'm going to share a few travel make-up tips that I picked up over the last few years, I find myself packing quite a lot these days from weekends away, to weekends home from Uni and for visiting my boyfriend.




Above is the make-up I took on a recent trip, MUA undressed palette, Rimmel eyebrow pencil, Benefit Bad Gal lash sample, Benefit Porefessional sample, Maybelline dream fresh BB, Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer, Revlon lip butter in macaroon. (Click for my reviews)

1. Cheap/easy to replace
My biggest worry when I take my make-up out of the house is that it will get lost, stolen or left behind. So I try to stick to cheaper high street brands because I know that if the worst did happen I could replace everything relatively easily. Like in the picture above the benefit products are free samples, the MUA palette was £4 the BB cream was £7.99, the concealer £4.19, lip butter is £7.99 and the eyebrow pencil £2.99 so the whole set could be replaced for £27.16 which is less than one decent high end foundation!

2. Samples
Samples are perfect for travelling as they are usually a great size for packing light, they are free (with magazines, from make-up counters or from product websites) it's also a good opportunity to try out new products too, but best to give them a test before you leave as you wouldn't want to end up away with only a sample of foundation 3 shades too dark.

3. Options
When your away plans seem to change at the last minute and I always end up somewhere unexpected, so I like to take some options in case I want to change my look. A palette like the MUA one covers simple day time make-up but can also be used to create a more intense look for evenings out.

4. A whole look
I like to take enough make up for a whole look. It might seem like a good idea to skip eyeshadow or an eyebrow pencil to save space but I find these are the little things that make a big difference between looking polished or looking like you have just slapped it all on.

5. Easy to apply
I love to take a tinted moisturiser like the BB cream and a lip butter because they are so easy to apply, I end up putting make-up on while in the car or on trains so anything needing a precise hand is out.
Hope you have found these tips helpful!
Cariadity xxx


Thank you so much to Cariadity for being my first guest poster! 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

October Favourites

You know the drill by now...here are the products I have been loving this October....




1.  MUA £1 Powder I didn't have high hopes for this powder as it was only £1, but it is great! It sets my make-up perfectly and keeps the shine at bay. The only thing I would say is if you are extremely pale, this wouldn't be for you as it is maybe a tad too dark for me. I just make sure to blend down my neck.

2. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation Now the colder weather has set in I find myself with dry skin. I love this foundation for a dewy winter glow, but have to make sure to use a primer (usually that gal) as it loves to cling to my dry patches otherwise.

3. Burberry Lip Cover Mini in Rosewood I acquired this from a past Glossybox, the Harrods edition I believe. Initially I wasn't sold on the colour but now it is Autumn and lots of bloggers have been embracing darker lips, so I decided to join in! I really like this colour and it is suitable for day or evening wear. The formulation is a dream and it feels very moisturising on the lips. I only wish I could afford to buy a full sized version.

4. Elf Mineral Blush in Joy I cant stand the fact that this is a loose powder and extremely messy, but it is a gorgeous colour. It is very similar to Benefit Dandelion and looks really pretty and delicate on pale skin.

What have you been loving this month?

Gem x

Friday, 2 November 2012

St Tropez Gradual Tan Mousse Review





Hairtrade.com is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions hair care and beauty products. Today I am reviewing the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Mousse (120ml) which is available from Hair Trade for £13.99 here.


I tend to go through phases where I am either embracing pale, or loving the sun kissed look. I am a bit of a fake tan hoarder and  I am forever on the look out for my 'holy grail' fake tan.

I find that my arms and upper body take extremely well to the tan and I have no problems, but my legs are a nightmare. I am not sure why but they seem to repel fake tan and very few brands I have tried work well on them. St. Moriz is a no-no for my legs, they look like an orange zebra when I use this budget brand. This is where St. Tropez comes in, sometimes, sadly for my wallet, higher end really does mean higher quality.

Review...

The mousse comes nicely packaged in your standard pump-style bottle. I find it to dispense the perfect amount to allow you to control how much you put on. I use two pumps for each arm and four pumps for my legs (see above).

The mousse is a joy to use, I have owned the lotion in the past and for me, the mousse wins hands down. I have mentioned that I am a fake tan hoarder/expert, and I have used every technique under the sun to apply it, from mitt to bare hands. My favourite method is to use disposable gloves. As I am so pale, I need to use them for a gradual tan too or else my hands may end up a little orange.

The mousse sinks in and dries very quickly so you are free to get dressed and go about your business quickly, without having to wait for your tan to dry. It has a lovely floral smell to it which I love. After about an hour I did detect a very slight smell of biscuits  but nothing too bad and it was gone when I woke up the next day.

After one application I was left with what I would call a 'winter glow'. I was very nicely subtly bronzed. I was pleased with the result and would have left it at that for winter, but as I was testing this product for my blog, I decided to go for the full on bronze.

I used the product again for the second night in a row and woke up a darker shade of tan, and then after the third application I was fully bronzed.

I found the colour to look really natural, no orange here. I also had no streaks whatsoever and to my absolute delight my legs were perfect!

I would thoroughly recommend this gradual tan to anyone, especially those who have a problem like me with applying it without it going streaky. It lasted a full week on me after application and faded nicely with a little help from exfoliation.

Do you love or loathe fake tan?

Gem x




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