Thursday, 28 February 2013

Whats in Your Pocket? Money Supermarket Blogger Challenge

I was super lucky to be one of the bloggers invited to take part in Money Supermarkets What's in Your Pocket? blogger challenge.

They want people to celebrate lifes 'little wins' Like the thrill of finding £20 in your pocket, and hat a thrill that would be! We could spend the money in any way we like as long as it gave us or someone we knew that feel good feeling.

They have made this great video here where you can see the reactions of people who have just found a £20 note in their dry cleaning.

I wanted to spend the money on my children and Fiancé, but £20 doesn't stretch too far and they have so many toys already (Fiancé included, haha). I thought long and hard and decided to throw a party; A party was something that the whole family could enjoy, and my son had so much fun helping me to organize it and then in the actual party itself. My Finance's birthday is the first week of March, so me and my eldest son decided that the party would be a birthday celebration for him.

I wanted to really stretch my £20, I actually only spend £13 on the whole party so I have now added £7 to my savings (for Duty Free shopping when I go away in June). I saved money by making the cake myself and using value and own brand food. I had all the party gear such as table cloth, banners etc. left over from the boys birthdays so used those.

I felt amazing that I had managed to save money, treat my family and also myself. And the left-over cake in the fridge has been giving me that feel good feeling all week :)

A huge thanks to Money Supermarket for selecting my blog to take part, me and my family had so much fun.

Gem x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday Bloggers Interview #6

Technically this should be #7, but last week I missed the post as the week was just so hectic for me Sunday came and went without me even realising.

Todays blogger is Ellie from Ellie's Ramblings . I have been a follower of Ellie's blog for ages now and I love it. The design is beautiful and of course the content is brilliant too.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in February last year after spending most of my time reading beauty blogs and watching Youtube videos. I have also had a passion for beauty and needed something to share my love for all things beauty and fashion related. Once I realised there was a community of like minded people there was no way I was not going to become a part of it, so I set up my blog Ellie’s Ramblings and have loved it ever since.
2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I love the feeling I get after I finish writing a post I have been working on for a while. Once it is published and I know people have read and enjoyed it, it really makes my day. Getting lovely comments from readers is something that encourages me to keep blogging, especially if I feel like I am loosing motivation. The blogging community is full of really lovely people, I have met so many bloggers that have been so supportive to me over the past few months and I feel like I am genuinely friends with.
3. What are your favourite make-up brands?
I love drugstore brands, I think there are some real gems to be found in the likes of Superdrug and Boots. Most brands are owned by companies that have higher end brands so it is easy to find really good products for a much cheaper price, although if I can afford it I like to treat myself to higher end products every now and then.
I love Rimmel and think they have some fantastic products that I use daily. If I could I would own everything from MAC because everything looks beautiful and is great quality, I am building a lipstick collection! Revlon have also brought out some brilliant products in the past year.
4. What are your top 5 all time favourite beauty products? (hair, makeup, skin, etc)
My favourite foundation is the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, it really illuminates my skin and gives enough coverage for a great every day foundation.
I hate to say it because it is fairly pricey but Benefit They’re Real is by far my favourite mascara, it lengthens, separates and adds volume without clumping or smudging.
The Tangle Teezer is a product I actually do not think I could live without, it has improved the condition of my hair a huge amount since I have had it and do not even use another hairbrush anymore!
I love the Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser as it removes any dirt on my skin and leaves my face feeling very soft and clean, plus it is so much cheaper than the Liz Earle cleanser.
My favourite lip product is something I find reallllly difficult to pick! But what I reach for most at the moment is the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. They are very easy to wear and low maintenance, but still give great colour pay off and leave my lips feeling hydrated.
5. Do you have any beauty tips to share?
Everyone is different has different routines or things they do depending on what their skin needs. I think looking after your skin is really important and I know everyone says it but I always take my make up off before I go to bed because you need to give your skin time to breathe. Cleansing and moisturising alone has really improved. I think sometimes using less skincare is better for your skin as you can find out what it really needs.

A big thanks to Ellie for taking part, you can visit Ellie's blog HERE.

And if you would like to take part, visit the page HERE.

Gem x

Saturday, 23 February 2013

MUA Undress Me Too Palette - Review

I picked this up in Superdrug a few days back. I had decided I wasn't going to buy it as I have the Urban Decay Naked 2, but when I saw it in person looking so pretty I just had to buy it. I am glad I did, as it is a great little palette for the price.

The Shimmer shades are brilliant. As you can see from the swatches they are pigmented, and they apply smoothly. They do fade a little when blended out but nothing that adding a bit more product cant fix.

The matte shades are a different story. The colour pay off is poor and they are chalky and don't apply evenly at all. To get decent pay off I had to really pack it on using the sponge applicator. Luckily there are only 3 matte shades in the palette, and the price is amazing, so I can overlook this.

For me, lasting power is great. The shadows last at least 6 hours on me without fading or creasing.

Overall I am loving the MUA Undressed 2 Palette and definitely recommend getting it if you are a neural lover like me.

Gem x

Friday, 22 February 2013

Guest Post: Shop & Save

Shop & Save!
Valentine's Day was just the other day and you drained all the money in your account. You do not want to admit this but, yeah, you did! You and your girlfriends went to buy your men presents. Crazy enough, not only did you buy your man the most expensive gift available, but you also ended up buying yourself new clothes, shoes and perfume! It sounded like a cool idea but when the "Romantic" day was over, you realised that you had no money left! Your girlfriends have their money still intact! What happened? You didn't know the secret to 'shop and save'! This is a way to shop but still save a lot of money by the use of discount vouchers codes or coupons!
The shopping voucher code helps you do a lot of shopping at a discount. As a lady you have to be sophisticated and be up to date with the latest fashion trends. Your wardrobe should be packed with beauty products to keep you elegant. This is why you need to have The Body Shop voucher code. For every beauty product you buy, with this voucher code, there is a discount earned. This means that, you can buy a lot of  beauty products and yet still have some cash left for the next time's shopping spree.
For ladies, it's hard to admit but we are known shopaholics! You wake up in the morning make up your mind to go for window shopping; you convince your mind, its window shopping. Period! As you walk down the street, you spot a new dress that has matching shoes, earrings and bangles! You give it a look and decide to ignore. Your heart pounds abnormally while your mind convinces you to give the dress just one more look and walk away. When you look at the dress once more, it talks to you; "Buy me please". 
At that moment you are like; its calling me! Poor dress. Let me buy you. At the end of your supposed window shopping, you go home with two bags of beauty shopping! If you have the body shop voucher codewith you, there is nothing to worry about. But if you do not have any discount voucher, you will arrive home a poor lady! Since beauty shopping is unavoidable, the Voucher code is not a choice; it's a must have!
The month of February is just about to come to an end; money is just around the corner. If you still want to look good and save, rush to the nearest Body Shop and get yourself a voucher code! Shop and Save!

*this is a sponsored post

Pootles Papercraft

Sam from The Makeup Advice Forum (which is a fantastic site which you should definitely check out) has just started up another website Pootles Papercraft, selling her beautiful hand crafted stationary and paper products.

Taken from the website: "Only the best paper products on the market have been used in the creation of Pootles products.

The aim is to take something basic and ordinary and make it beautiful, yet still retain it's original purpose.
Standard notebooks and notepads have been embellished with stunning brads, buttons, blossoms and papers.
Post it notes have been taken to a whole new stationery level!
Erasers no longer need to just be boring!
Prices have been kept low, we want you to actually use the products, not place them on a shelf for ornamental purposes!"

I was kindly sent some of the products that are on offer after I replied to Sam on Twitter as she was looking for bloggers to review.

I love everything that I was sent, but my favourites have to be the Post it Note Pouch ( I have a thing for post it notes) and the Magnets; they look lovely on my fridge - I am using them to hold my sons paintings.

I would definitely recommend having a peek over on the website With Mothersday coming up there are some lovely things that would make a great gift.

Gem x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Abi O by Beau Bronz Self Tan for English Roses - Review

I was recently lucky enough to receive a sample of Abi O by Beau Bronz Self Tan for English Roses. Now, I wouldn't describe myself as an English Rose, I am Welsh to start with haha. I have neutral fair skin and I do believe that the classic English Rose has light pink toned skin. I tan quite well when I'm in the sun, I go a nice golden colour, but as you can imagine that doesn't happen very often because I live in Wales. At the moment I am positively ghostly pale. So the way I like to get a bit of a glow, or a lot of a glow, is by using self tan.

This tan would fall in to the category of a bit of a glow, it is definitely one for very pale skin tones. I'd say anyone darker than my skin tone (MAC NC 20) should look into getting the darker self tans in the Beau Broz range.

In the winter I don't want to be really tanned, I just want a nice glow and this product is perfect for that. It left my skin looking slightly more tanned and healthy, the sort of effect a gradual tan would have over a few uses but this was in one.

The smell of the product is gorgeous, it made the application process even more enjoyable, it smelt of roses. A very similar scent to that of St. Tropez gradual tanner. It dried really quickly and didn't make my skin at all sticky, which is one side effect of fake tan I hate.

I used this on my face and unfortunately it broke me out, I should really be using a separate one anyway I know. All self tans do this to me though.

Overall this is a really good self tan and one I would definitely recommend to the fairer skin tones, and those looking for a healthy winter glow.

You can pick up a 50ml size of Abi O Soft Sun for £8 which is great for travel and first time trying the product. Link.

Gem x

Friday, 15 February 2013

Seventeen Doll'd Up Mascara Review

I picked up this mascara from Boots the other day, along with a few other bits (which you can see here). It came with a free Doll'd Up eye liner which is an eye liner that creates 3 dots which you are meant to apply to the roots of your eyelashes to make them look fuller. I will review that separately.

The mascara is meant to give you doll like lashes that have amazing volume and curl. I have very straight lashes that never hold a curl, so the curling effect didn't work for me. It did make my lashes look fuller and longer, but not amazingly so. It did look amazing on my bottom lashes though.

I like dramatic lashes, so I always use two coats. One coat of this mascara looked nice and natural, and would be great for people who like the natural lash look. With two coats, my lashes looked more dramatic, but did turn a little spidery. It really elongated my bottom lashes, and I think I will be using this on them when I wear false lashes.

It didn't clump or flake at all, and I do think that for the price of £5.99 you could do a lot worse than this mascara.

Great brush
Doesn't clump
Doesn't flake
Good price

Makes lashes look slightly spidery with two coats
Isn't as good as other drug store mascaras

My favourite mascara is still Soap and Glory Thick and Fast, which you can see reviewed and on my lashes here.

Gem x

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Drugstore Haul

I popped into town the other day with no intention of buying anything. In fact, I was thinking that I should really try and do a 50 day spending ban. Well, all that went out of the window when I decided to have a look in Superdrug and Boots. I didn't spend a load of money though, and the products I got I do really like so its not all bad.

Here's what I got...

As soon as I saw the MUA Undressed Too palette I had to have it, even though I own the Naked 2. Its gorgeous and swatches really well, although I am yet to do any eye looks with it yet.

Then I saw the new MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter. It was £3 and looked really pretty so I had to get that too. It swatches quite metallic and not too much shimmer.

I got the Seventeen Dolld up mascara and free 3 dot eyeliner, I wanted the eyeliner more than the mascara. I have tried this and have a review coming tomorrow. I think its an ok mascara, but its not an amazing mascara.

Gem x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sunday Bloggers Interview #5

This Sunday I am lucky to have Cas from Serenity of Beauty take part in the Bloggers Interview series. I must have been following her blog and twitter since I started blogging, which is over a year now! Her blog features a great mix of beauty, fashion and lifestyle.


Why did you start blogging?
To cut a long story short, I got sick during the latter part of 2010, which seriously hindered my way of living. I spent most of my days either at home in bed in a lot of pain, or back and forth to specialists to try and suss out what the heck was wrong with me. It wasn't until into the new year (April 2011) I got so fed up of being bored that I decided to go onto youtube and start watching videos. I started watching music videos and then I came across ‘’My makeup collection’’ by Laura who ran the youtube channel ‘’Lollipop26’’ (but now has a blog by the name of ‘Buy Now, Blog Later’). I saw this and then I discovered lots of blogs and thought ‘’Oooo this seems pretty cool’’, so I decided to start my own. After I started my blog, I gradually began to feel better which is why my blog means a lot to me as I see it as ‘the turning point’ in my recovery, which has helped me soooo much. (In case you are wondering, I am now a lot better)  J.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I enjoy the interaction with like-minded people. None of my friends understand my ‘’obsession’’ with beauty products, shoes and handbags, so having people on social platforms who share the same passion (and actually know what I am on about), is great. I have also come across some amazing people from blogging, who have been so helpful, so I want to say thank you all.
What are your favourite make-up brands?

If I am honest, I don’t wear a lot of makeup purely because I am still fighting a (losing) battle with my skin, and I don’t like to clog my skin with too much product. But if I had to choose a few, they would be:
Estee Lauder

What are your top 5 all time favourite beauty products (hair, makeup, skin, etc)

Illamasqua Volumising Mascara – OMG I kid you not, this mascara is seriously the ‘beesknees’. I picked this up at the Clotheshow back in 2011 as part of a ‘’Buy 3 products for £10 – BARGAIN, and I just thought ‘’Meh, it’s going to be pants’’, but to my surprise it is actually amazing. 

Body Shop ‘Almond’ Body Butter – I have been using this for god knows how long, and my skin absolutely loves it. I find especially in the winter months this is a very good body butter to use to hydrate the skin. Because it is quite heavy, I alternate with Palmers Cocoa Butter for the summer months; it is light, hydrates really well, and smells so good.
D&G ‘L’Eau The One’ (silver one) – I have only started using this in the last year or so, and I have to say it is one of my signature perfumes. It is fresh, light and is long lasting (which I like my perfumes to be).
Mitchum Advanced Control 48hour ‘Shower Fresh’ – Yes, I know, it’s an odd choice but I haven’t changed underarm product for the past 5-6years, as I just love this roll on. I find with deodrants they make me choke and suffocate and my glands always blow up to the size of golf balls!! This roll on I find offers good protection and smells really lovely.
Etat Pur Oil Free Quenching Fluid - I have only been using this for about 8/9months but I just love it. If you are oil/spot prone, then this is definitely for you. I find it sinks in well to the skin, and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or shiny throughout the day.

Do you have any beauty tips to share?

 Change your pillowcases every few days – we shed a fair bit of skin at night (yuck), and of course that clings onto the pillowcases. So to ensure your face isn’t rolling in it for weeks on end, change your pillowcases every few days – your skin will thank you for it!
Splash your face with cold water – When you wash your face in warm water, you have opened the pores, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to dirt. So to prevent this, splash the face with cold water – this closes the pores and keeps the dirt away.
’Sudocrem is the SHIZ’’ – I make no secret of it, yep, I am a spot sufferer, and have tried everything on the market. I saw someone on TV use sudocrem, and I thought ‘’What the heck’’, but thought I’d give it a try, and I am so glad I did. This actually dries the zits out quite nicely, and from my experience, the next day some of them have virtually disappeared. It is best to use this at night, leave for approx. 20mins, before working into the skin and going to zzzz.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate – We’re now entering the latter part of winter, and of course many of us will be gearing up for holidays and the spring/summer season. So to ensure your skin is silky smooth and buffed, get yourself a good body scrub that leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated, alive and ‘blinging’. 


Thank you to Cas for taking part in the interview. I am so glad she is now feeling a lot better! You can visit her blog here

If you would like to take part in the interview series, visit this page with all the info.

Gem x

Thursday, 7 February 2013

OOTD: Purple Haze

| Dress - Chi Chi Clothing* | Earrings - New Look | Bracelet - New Look | Shoes - New Look |

I was lucky enough to be able to choose a dress to review from Chi Chi Clothing. I chose the Casandra dress in purple. It was a very hard decision as they have so many amazing dresses on the site, but I think my pick was good. I love it, and the quality feels great. The back is elasticated, so perfect for someone like me who has a slightly larger bust. I did find that the dress came up a little on the larger side on me, and I could have gotten away with getting a size down.

Gem x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser & Instant Boost Skin Tonic Review

Cleanse and Polish must be one of the most hyped products in the bloggersphere. I had tried it before as I received a 30ml sample from a beauty box and loved it but never got around to purchasing it. In January the Liz Earle website had a sale on with up to 40% off, and I had a little Christmas money left over so I bought these two products. I have been using them for around a month now, so I thought I would give my thoughts on them.

Cleanse and Polish
I use this product to remove my makeup, and then I use a smaller amount to cleanse my face again. I love how creamy it feels on the skin, and it is not drying at all. It smells gorgeous and leaves my skin looking so much brighter. The only down side to the product is that it is a little pricey at £24 for 200ml, but it is available in the 100ml size for £12.95, and the website does have offers on every now and again.

So did it make a difference to the appearance of my skin? I would say yes. My skin looks so much brighter and before I made the stupid mistake of applying self tan to my face (hello cystic acne) My skin was looking amazing.

Instant Boost Skin Tonic
I think this product deserves as much hype as the Cleanse and Polish, it is amazing. Firstly it feels so refreshing on my skin, and smells lovely. It leaves my skin feeling really hydrated and definitely helps my moisturiser to sink in better. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and it looks brighter. A 200 ml bottle costs £12.50, which isn't too hefty a price tag at all.

Have you tried any Liz Earle products?

Gem x

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday Bloggers Interview #4

This week we have the lovely Hollie from Hollies Blog taking part in the bloggers interview. Hollie has a lovely blog where she blogs about Beauty and Fashion. She has a really cute and casual style which I love. I have found a great new blog to read!


1. Why did you start blogging?

 At the time I started blogging, things weren't too good for me, so after years of watching and reading blogs and vlogs, I thought maybe expressing myself may help. Haha that sounds cheesy I know,  but it has helped me! Oh and I also love fashion and beauty and journalism, so all three mixed together is my blog! I guess it's just somewhere that I can really write what I want to, and not be steered by editors or gcse criterias, and people can relate to posts you write, so it's lovely seeing that you aren't the only one and you can relate to them. Also the blogging community as I like to call it, is soo nice. Everyone is just so nice to each other, and I wanted to be a part of that too.

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I enjoy every aspect of it. I love writing a post, I love the feeling when it's finished and you've put lots of effort in it, I love reading other blogs, I love finding new products, I love communicating with fellow bloggers on twitter. It's the ideal world for me! I have gained a lot from blogging, not just new beauty/fashion tips (which are very helpful) but also confidence in myself, as I would never had the courage to start a blog and circulate with other bloggers like I do now. I LOVE IT!

3. What are your favourite makeup brands?

 Wow this is a toughy. I think my favourite brands would have to be Mua, benefit, bobbi brown, estee lauder, mac and rimmel London. On my blog recently I have been raving about mua, I just love their products and I love their price. Some of my first proper makeup was Estée Lauder so that will always have a special spot with me. I don't actually own any mac makeup (shocker I know!) but I have their brushes and they are just.. Amazing.

5. What are your top 5 favourite beauty products?

 My top beauty products would be:

1) mua undressed palette- I love this because the shades compliment each other and for only £4, it is fantastic quality.
2) rimmel London wake me up foundation- this is my all time foundation, apart from bobbi brown. But that's another story. I purchased the mua foundation after I did the rimmel, and I just couldn't believe how good the rimmel London was compared to the mua. Some people rave about wake me up, others detest it, but for me, I am certainly raving.
3) tangle teezer- wow. This product is just... wow. I did a review on this on my blog which you can check out
It is certainly the best hair product for me. 
4) clean and clear deep action cream wash- about 6 months ago, I had quite bad breakouts. So I used this cream religiously for 3 months and my breakouts have stopped and touch wood, I haven't got any since.
5) benefit they're real mascara- now this is a well expensive item, but I think it is honestly worth every penny. I used to wear the maybelline mascara (can't remember which one exactly) but then my mum got a benefit mascara for her birthday and I stole it, and I love it! It really separates each individual lash, making them perceived as longer and fuller.

5. If you are suffering with greasy hair, only condition from the middle of your hair down, avoiding the roots.
If you have spots, apply a towel, which you should soak in hot water, over the spot to make it pop naturally, which means it will not scar.
To get eye makeup off, use Vaseline and it comes off almost instantly.
Always use a primer on your lids to keep eyeshadow on at maximum colour strength
If you use a foundation brush and buff it onto your skin in circular motions, it will leave a nicer effect.


Thank you so much to Hollie for taking part. You can visit her lovely blog here

If you would like to take part in the series, click here.

Gem x

January Favourites

I cant believe it is February already! January has gone by so fast this year. For me, February is not all about Valentines day, as Valentines day is my eldest sons birthday, and he will be 4 this year. Me and my Fiancé don't really celebrate that day for the reason above. This wont stop me getting involved in some Valentines makeup and nail creations though, so look out for them on the blog soon. 

Anyway, on to the post. I haven't had much of a problem this month in choosing my favourites, as I haven't really had that many...

Revlon Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake - A regular now in my monthly favourites. I adore the colour and the finish and how moisturising they are to my lips. My lips have been so dry the last half of the past month and this and Carmex have been the only lip products I could use. Review and swatches here.

Chloe Eau de Parfum - I have been wearing this perfume every day since I got it and it is fast becoming my signature scent. I love how sophisticated yet fresh it smells. Review here.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation -  A purchase toward the middle of January, this had to be included in my favourites as I have been wearing it nearly everyday since I got it. It provides full matte coverage, with out looking at all cakey. Full review here

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 101 - I got this in a swap I did with Mel from Mels Wall of Mirrors. I havent reviewd this yet, but I have been wearing it a lot. Its a gorgeous matte dusky pink colour, perfect for every day wear.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder - I wear this along with Double Wear on my T-zone, and I stay shine free for the whole day. 

Gem x

Friday, 1 February 2013

Rimmel Apocalips Nova Review and Swatch


I was intrigued by Rimmels latest lip product offering, Apocalips. Described as a lip lacquer that stays put all day, I couldn't resist and had to buy one. After swatching all the colours, I decided on Nova - a blue toned, Barbie pink colour.

To find out my thoughts on Rimmel Apocalips, and for more pictures and swatches, read on. My thoughts are also summarized in bold at the end of the post.


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