Friday, 21 December 2012

MUA Haul...Again

So here we are again, yet another post featuring MUA Cosmetics, these guys should put me on the payroll! At the rate they are releasing new products I very much doubt this will be my last MUA post.

I just couldn't resist the recent online 40% off promotion they were running, I tried believe me and I left it right until the last day of the promotion before I cracked. I just couldn't let this opportunity pass me by, especially as they had added the 5 free Nail Quakes to the offer. So I did it, I went online and splurged a massive, wait for it...£24.90 on all this...


 
 
To be honest I thought I had ordered more, and when I checked my order online I was missing 2 eyeshadow brushes. I am still waiting to hear back from them regarding those as on my account it says they were shipped.
 
I'll keep this brief as I haven't tried any of the products yet, my order only arrived this morning. I was really impressed with the service (apart from the missing items) as I have seen loads of comments where people haven't received their order for weeks, I only ordered a week or so ago so I was sure I wouldn't get my stuff until after Christmas. It's my works Christmas party tonight so they arrived just in time, I can't wait to try out the new brushes as I have heard really good things about them.
 

Order includes...

Brushes - Contouring/Blusher, Stippling, Concealer and Eye Shadow Blender (missing eyeshadow and eyeshadow contouring)
Lipsticks - Bare and Juicy
Boom - OK.com
Eyeshadow pallet - Dusk til Dawn
Mascara - Mega Volume (Black)
Blusher - shade 3
Nail polish - Pistachio and Fairy Dust Glitter Nails in Rose Dust
Eyelashes - Flair
Free Nail Quakes - Jail Break, Shattered Ice, Quiver, Shiver and Broken Arrow
 
Have you tried the MUA brushes? What did you think?


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Don't bin it, give it

In the run up to Christmas we're all getting very excited about all the new beauty products we are going to find in our stockings. We have all put together very lovely (and very long in my case) wish lists hoping that our loved ones conveniently stumble across them whilst reading our blogs and go out and buy everything! 
 
But, even after trying out products before hand, swatching to find the perfect colours and reading review after review, how many of those products are going to end up being cast aside? The brand that I work for recently carried out a survey amongst 3000 women via One Poll and found that the average woman will throw away at least 2 beauty products this Christmas, equating to £676million worth or perfectly good products and some very expensive. 
 
Now I know us bloggers are very resourceful young ladies (and gents) and would never dream of throwing a perfectly good beauty product in the bin just because it wasn't the exact shade we thought it was or it doesn't quite sit as nicely as we hoped it would. I have seen many bloggers holding blog sales to pass on their unwanted items and I know many of us have boxes of products that we let loved ones rummage through and take what they want. But there is something else you could do with it, something very lovely in fact.
 
How many of you have heard about a fantastic charity called Give and Make Up? Some of you might have and some of you might not, for those how haven’t this is what they do...
"Each week two women in the United Kingdom are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. One woman in four experiences domestic violence in their lifetime. 
Refuge and Womens Aid protect the lives of thousands of women and children every day.

Give and Makeup is a non-profit initiative whose sole purpose is to get everyday essentials into the hands of these women and children who need them the most."
Some people might think that make up is just a selfish vanity product, but we all know that's not true and to many people make up can mean the difference between having a good day or a bad one. It can make us feel super confident when really we are feeling pretty rubbish, it's true what they say sometimes, if you look good you feel good too.
 
Women who have had to leave their homes in a hurry stopping only to collect the essentials and in the case of those with children they have probably only been thinking of them when they leave, take very little for themselves.  
 
Now I'm not pretending to know anything about domestic abuse because I don't, I have no experience of it what so ever in fact. But what I do know is that as a mother I can only imagine what is going through those women's minds when they make the brave decision to leave and I bet it isn't make up, skin care or even really themselves.
 
After the shocking and wasteful statistics our recent survey revealed I just thought it would be useful for me to bring this charity to your attention before you cast aside your unwanted cosmetics. Many of us will have a clear out in the New Year and I hope now I have given you another option for disposing of your items.

You can find a full list of the things Give and Make Up need and accept here.



You can read all about our survey results here.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Nail Art

As you may or may not know I have a HUGE love for nail polish, I change my nail colour almost on a daily basis. Painting my nails is like a form of therapy for me, it really chills me out, which is strange as I have zero patience and fiddly things usually get me quite hot under the collar.

I have been wanting to try some festive nail art for a few weeks now as I keep seeing amazing images on Pinterest and Instagram and some of them look really easy to do. I only had one problem, up until yesterday I never had the tools to do it. Then this happened...

 
 
 
Whilst in Boots looking for gifts I idly wandered by the Models Own section, as I always do, and straight away the Wonderland collection caught my eye. I have seen some great posts featuring these polishes and I thought it was about time I added them to my collection. I picked up 'Jack Frost' and 'Southern Lights', I love how sparkly they are, perfect for Christmas. I also picked up the Wah nail art pen in white and because I had bought more than 2 products I got get a nail art kit for FREE!

So anyway back to my point of this post, the festive nail art. I thought I would give the red and white snow flake design a go, but mix it up a little with some dots, a bit of sparkle and a Christmas jumper design. What do you think?


I used Ciate 'Mistress' red for the base coat then used my Models Own white nail art pen to do the designs. For the snow fakes I used the tapered brush end and for the dots and the Christmas jumper (pinky finger in case you wondered) I used the dotting end. I then used my new 'Jack Frost' polish to add the sparkle, which I think just finishes them off nicely.

 
It was my first attempt at any form of nail design and I am pretty impressed, they are not as messy as I thought they would be and I cannot believe how easy it was. Seriously even if you are a bit clumsy when it comes to painting your nails you definitely need to give it a go, the Models Own nail art pens make it so incredibly easy to do.

If you want some more nail art ideas take a look at my Pinterest board...









Monday, 17 December 2012

Sleek True Colour Lipstick Review

As I mentioned in my December Glossy Box review, one of the best products this month was the Sleek True Colour lipstick sample. Although it was only a sample size it is quite a decent size and for someone who rarely wears lipstick (I'm more of a gloss girl) it is more than enough and will last me a good while I should say.

The shade is called 'Candy Cane' and it is a pinky red colour, I am usually a bit scared or wearing bold lip colours and I tend to stick to either a neutral or pink lip gloss. However after trying this colour on whilst at home I absolutely loved it!



 
The lipstick itself has really good pigmentation, you only need one coat to get a lovely bright finish. What also surprised me was the staying power it had, not long after I applied the lipstick I sat down for a rather messy Mexican feast and I expected the lipstick to have come off. But no there it was bold as brass, I then went on to have a few drinks (it was Saturday night after all) and still the colour did not budge from my lips.

In fact I had to use my Bioderma to remove it before I went to bed, and even that didn't get it all off, my lips were still a little pink.

I think this is a really fantastic product and really pleased it was in my box, it brought me out of my comfort zone and I will now be more tempted to try bolder lip colours. I will definitely be wearing this to my Christmas parties and if my test is anything to go by I wont be having to reapply all night which is a bonus! For £4.99 I think this product is a real bargain.

Did you get this product in your Glossy Box? What did you think?

 




 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

December Glossy Box





My lovely December Glossy Box arrived yesterday and to my surprise it was not in the usually pretty dusky pink box, but a nice shiny silver one. Very Christmassy indeed!

I was really impressed with the box this month, even though I have seen a few pics on Instagram of what other people got and think I would have preferred some of those. In my box was...

Rituals Magic Touch body cream
Ayuuri Turmeric & Bergamot face wash
Lemon by Mary Greenwell perfume sample
Seche Nail Lacquer in 'Elegant'
Sleek lipstick in 'Candy Cane'
Glossybox Blusher in 'Glossy Rosewood'

The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the Mary Greenwell perfume sample. The samples are never very big and they always seem like they're a last minute addition just to fill a gap. After seeing some of the things other people got I feel a little short changed by the perfume. The blusher was the Glossy bonus product and has been made by Kryolan especially for Glossy Box which I think is quite cool and it's a really nice shade, one I would probably have picked myself.

The best product in the box has to be the Sleek lipstick, it's definitely not a colour I would of picked but I really do love it, I won't say too much as I'll fully review this product very soon. Some of the other boxes received Sleek eyeshadow pallets and I would of loved to try some of those as I've not really tried any Sleek products before but have heard really good things about them.

Did you receive any of the other products available from Glossy Box this month? I'd love to hear which was your favourite...



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Tag...

Whilst looking over some of my favourite blogs I came across this lovely Christmas tag on Georgina's blog, Live Laugh Lipstick, and thought I'd give it a go.



Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, here's why...


1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Everything! I love the food, the presents, the decorations, the smell even the cold weather (especially if it snows). I love buying presents for other people, it really makes me happy to see other people happy and I enjoy taking the time to find the absolute perfect gifts for my family. Also the girls make it magical, they make it acceptable for me to act like a big kid. The look on their faces on Christmas morning just melts my heart.

2. What is your favourite makeup look for the festive season?
 
Glitz and glam! For me Christmas is all about the glitter, the more the merrier when it comes to sparkles I say. I usually rock a smokey eye on a night out and at Christmas I just add glitter, glitter makes everything better :)

3. Real of fake tree?

Fake! It's all I have ever known and loved. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my tree (just like my Mum) and to be honest real ones just don't cut it. They're all uneven and messy looking and always bare at the top, plus I'm not a fan of picking up the needles.


4. Giving or receiving presents?

No question, I much prefer giving presents than recieving them. Like I mentioned I love hunting out the perfect gift, when it comes to gifts for myself I never really know what the right response is when I open them. I don't like the feeling of people watching and waiting for my reaction, especially if it's something I don't really like. But nevertheless I am always very greatful for whatever I receive, I would just prefer to buy to my own presents.


5. Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

The morning! I just don't understand these people who wait all day to open their presents, how do they not spontaneously conbust?


6. Handmade or bought Christmas cards?

I'd like to say homemade but in reality it's always shop bought cards, the kids usually make cards for the Grandparents but that's about it.


7. What is your favourite Christmas film?

It used to be Santa Clause the Movie, a oldy but a goody, who wouldn't want a lollypop that made you fly? Most people reading this probably don't even remember that one it's so old and doesn't really get shown anymore. Now it has to be Elf, it is the only thing I can stand to watch Will Farell in and it just makes me giggle every time I watch it.


8. What is your favourite Christmas food!

Hmm, this is a tricky one...I think I would have to say the Christmas Day evening buffet tea we have, that's a mixture of left over meat from lunch, a selection of cheeses and crackers, party platters and no Christmas buffet is complete withouth pickled onions!


TAG! You're all it...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

MUA Nail Constellation review

A little while ago I had an MUA haul and one of the things I bought was the Nail Constellation in Scorpio. I had been wanting to try the Ciate Caviar manicure for a while but I knew they were featured in the Mini Mani Month advent calendar, which I had my eye on and there was no chance I wasn't getting, so I didn't want to splash out on the full size just yet. However when I saw that MUA did their own version for just £3 I thought brilliant I could give it a go without over spending.

I bought the Scorpio version as I loved the mix of colours, I decided to partner it up with a navy blue No.7 polish then added a topcoat of clear Nails Inc.



It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, I tried first to use the funnel to pour the balls onto my wet nails but because the tube is rubber they just stuck to the sides and didn't come out fast enough. So I poured some out onto a piece of kitchen roll, then rolled my nail over the balls to get them to stick. I then pushed the balls down onto the nail to make sure they were stuck down properly and my whole nail was covered. After tapping off the excess I repeated the process to fill in the gaps.
 
I find that whenever I do my nails I always have one that doesn't want to play and I have to re-do it over and over again. This time was no different and no matter how many times I tried I just couldn't get the balls to stick, this meant that I had to press them down quite a few times, which resulted in some of the colour transferring from the balls onto my finger, which then meant I had lost some of the colour on that nail. But apart from that one naughty nail I think the result was pretty impressive, but there's always one that has to spoil it!

 
 
What I will say is it didn't last very long, I felt like I had to be really careful when getting dressed and washing my hands so that I didn't knock any of the balls off and after a day at work my desk was covered in little balls that had fallen off. This is a great look for a night out or a one off but not for everyday, but for £3 I think they're great! I can't wait to wear this look to all my Christmas parties.


 
 
 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Lovely bbloggers

After last nights #bbloggers chat I came away feeling rather lucky and inspired to part of this community, I really do see blogging as my little support network. As there were so many people talking last night about how and why they got started with blogging I thought I would write a little post about why I started blogging.
 
I started playing around and dabbling in the world of blogging about a year ago, my first site was hosted on Wordpress because that's what I thought all blogs were hosted on at the time. I started because firstly I love to write, always have ever since being at school, that's partly why I chose a career in PR and marketing and it's a lot more fun than being an English teacher (in my opinion). I also thought it would help me with my job, keep my writing skills fresh and the creative juices flowing. However I wasn't really sure what to write about, I started off writing about family stuff but it just didn't keep me interested so why would it interest anyone else? Although I love my family and my little girls are my world, I am after all a girlie girl first and foremost, and it just proves that there is no point starting a blog just for the sake of it or to jump on the bandwagon. You need to believe in and be passionate about what you write about.
 
I hate the term 'Yummy Mummy' it suggests that all you have going on and the only defining characteristic you have is that you are a Mum, that manages to get up in the morning brush you hair and get dressed. Like that is some sort of achievement, believe me I know it is stressful being a Mum and yes you might not look your best everyday but you also don't need a medal every time you make a bit of effort. After all you should be making the effort for yourself, to make you feel good not to fit into some sort of Mummy stereotype.
 
Phew rant over, and long story short 'Mummy' blogging wasn't for me. It was a while before I got the urge to start again, after I had to do a lot more work with bloggers for my job. When anyone mentioned beauty bloggers to me before I thought it was all about well to do socialites blogging about high end products that they'd been 'gifted' by PR companies. I didn't realise that there was also a huge community of bloggers out there that were just normal girls like me blogging about everyday products that they bought themselves because they genuinely had a love and a passion for cosmetics, fashion and generally making the most of themselves.
 

It took me a little while of reading a LOT of blogs before I had the courage to start my own, I thought who the feck would want to read about what I had to say? This all stems from a sever lack of self confidence and self belief. I was always the girl at school, college and university that during group work would get talked over and when I put ideas forward they were dismissed until someone with more confidence and a much louder 'voice' repeated them pretty much word for word, then of course it was the best idea since the Internet. I think this is why I enjoy writing so much, because it doesn't matter how loud your voice is or how popular you are, if you write with confidence then people will read!

 
When I first started I would check my stats about every half an hour like a maniac, and I could not believe that even one person was reading about what I had to say. I was even more amazed that these were people that I didn't know, they weren't my friends or my Mum being supportive and giving it a quick glance, they were people that had stumbled across my blog and were actually interested. I can not tell you how amazing that feeling was, and unless you are a blogger yourself I don't think you will ever really understand. It might sound a bit daft to other people that something as simple as another human having a quick flick through my blog to see what I think about my new nail polish would have such an effect. Well it does! When I got my first follower I literally nearly fell of my chair and when I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Laurie, from Life Envy I felt like I'd been nominated for an Oscar. Daft I know, but it's lovely when you get the appreciation from your peers that you haven't had much before now.
 
Although my friends are lovely (they wouldn't be my friends if they weren't) it's not really normal to sit around saying how great you all are, unless your those sort of girls who actually don't like each other very much and over compensate on the love to hide this fact. We all know girls like that and we all went to school with more than a few of them. When I started my blog I think some of my friends were genuinely surprised that I had it in me, although I am confident and quite loud in my group of friends, I am always seen as a bit of a joker and perhaps not as 'deep' (if a girl who talks about make up and clothes can be seen as deep) as I am. A few of them have commented that it doesn't sound like me when they read my blog, but I think I am more me. I write what I think when I can't always say what I think and I write they way I speak in my head, which I don't always do out loud.
 
It is all still very new to me and I am still learning and finding new things everyday, I think I still need to find my niche but at the moment I am loving every minute of it. I really feel like I am part of something and what I say matters, if I have influenced even one person to go out and try the products that I write about or I help someone feel a little bit better about themselves then that's enough for me. Just the fact people even read the thing is a bonus and it means that it's not a waste of time after all. I think that my self confidence has grown massively since I started blogging and I am willing to put myself in social situations that would have previously seen a no go, if it helps me with my blog.
 
After reading all of the lovely tweets last night it was comforting to see that I am not alone and it's amazing how many girls feel the same as me. Beauty blogging is not all about girls who 'love' themselves and want to rub it in other girls faces, it's about girls who share a passion for something that just so happens to make them look as nice on the outside as they are on the inside : ) Ahhhhh que the violins....
 
If you are thinking of starting a blog and it's for the right reasons, not just to jump on the bandwagon and get free stuff then go for it. But make sure you blog about something that matters to you, because believe me the free stuff doesn't just land on your doorstep the minute your blog goes live, so if that's why you're doing it then don't bother! Also it can be a very expensive hobby, regardless of what you are blogging about whether it be beauty, music or family etc. My husband has started to notice that my make up collection has grown considerably since starting my blog so I think I best put myself on a little spending ban, well at least until the New Year : )

 
 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Scottish adventure

Phew! (Slumps in the sofa surrounded by shopping)

I've just literally got back from a lovely little trip up to Edinburgh where I managed to get pretty much all of my Christmas shopping done! I have left it so late this year to get started, I hadn't even bought one present for the girls until Friday and although I have now bought enough to start my own toy shop I fear I'm still not finished with those two.

My sister is absolutely done, she has done very well out of me (even though things are a bit frosty between us at the moment). My Mum is also done and the in laws too, I've just got my Dad and hubby to get for. Probably the two most difficult people on the planet to buy for. Hubby insists there isn't anything he wants other than some boring sports coaching book. Argh need help!!

Well enough about that as I'm sure you all have your own gift worries to well worry about. So my trip to Edinburgh...

I've never been to Edinburgh before but I had heard it was a beautiful city and everyone I spoke to said how lovely it was, and they weren't wrong!





The Christmas markets were lovely and I even managed to get a couple of gifts from there, usually it's just all about the crepes and hog roast (obvs made sure I got those in too!). I loved how laid back everything was, even though it was busy and there was lots of traffic it didn't seem as scary as it does when you go to London or even in Manchester sometimes. Everyone was really jolly and polite, which you almost never get when in a city.

I have to say the old town was really lovely but typical for us we only discovered it this morning and we had to leave at lunchtime :( I really wanted to go down and see the volts, I've watched the Most Haunted that went down there and it was really scary. I'm a sucker for ghost stories and the paranormal, which is odd for someone with a real hatred for magic. We were thinking of going on one of the ghost walks in the evening but chickened out. So we ended up at a lovely Thai restaurant and like the sados we are back at the hotel in time for X Factor, hard core we are most definitely NOT!

I just wish had more time there as it was a lot longer drive than I thought and it felt like we spent more time driving than we actually had in Edinburgh.

If anyone has any gift ideas for the 50 something's and the 30 year old fuss pot that isn't toiletries or mega expensive gadgets your thoughts would be most appreciated :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas hair phase one

I've been desperate for a hair cut for the past few weeks but I was holding off as I always like to have a new do for Christmas. I've been dark for a good few years now and the last time I had my hair done I decided to go for the ombré look, because it was so dark I didn't quite get it as light as I would have liked so nobody really noticed.

This time I decided I was going to go for something quite sleek and as I seemed to have developed a natural centre parting I was going to run with it. I really love those hairs styles with the parted fringe that sweeps to the sides, a bit sixties like. I'm really lucky that my friend is my hairdresser so when I come up with these ideas and have no idea how to explain them she is quite good at guessing what I want.

Voila...


What do you think?

This is only phase one as after my attempt at ombré I have decided it is definitely time for a colour change and I'm taking the plunge and going a lot lighter. I love the colour of Taylor Swift's hair right now and also Lauren Conrad's hair. They have it a lovely dark blonde and slightly lighter on the ends. I'll hopefully get time to squeeze in an appointment next week so keep your eye's peeled for phase 2...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas giveaway winners


Thank you to everyone who took part in my recent Christmas blog giveaways, and a special thank you to the lovely brands that donated the prizes, BlanX and Stone Bridge Hair.

The winner of the BlanX giveaway is Julie Kenny (she has been notified via email) and the winner of the Stone Bridge Hair giveaway is Claire Maamoun, who was picked using random.org.

Once I get to 100 GFC followers I will be doing another giveaway so watch this space...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dear Santa...

Eek it's that time of year again, the time where it is absolutely acceptable to consume your body weight in chocolate and wine on a daily basis and pretty much revert back to your five year old self!

Finally I get to put my tree up and start singing those Christmas songs that have been going around my head since June and I get to finally open my Ciate advent calendar! Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year and the fact that it seems to come around quicker and quicker every year pleases me very much. Luckily I have two little girls to enjoy it with, they make it all 10 times as magical and exciting!

I find it very difficult at this time of year as I just want to buy everything in sight! For other people that is, I can never think of anything I want for myself, which drives my family round the bend. This year is a whole different story, since I started blogging and reading more blogs myself, the problem is not thinking of things I want it's that there are too many things that I want! To help my mum out I put together a wish list on Feel Unique, and I can see that she has already got a couple of things off there, but shhh don't tell Santa I peeked.

Here are a few other things that have caught my eye and made it onto the (very long) shortlist...

1. UGG boots - £165 from Office
2. Kindle Fire HD - £159 from Amazon
3. Lauren Conrad Beauty
4. Either the Stella & Dot 'Lucky Charm' - £32 or the Tiffany 'Heart' necklace - £80
5. Ice Watch - £100
6. Heart sweater - £28 from Next
7. Benefit 'Away We Glow' - £29.50 and 'Concealaholic' concealer and brightening kit - £28.50
8. Dr. Sebagh Breakout Cream - £49.95 from Beauty Bay
9. Stilla lip gloss - £18.50, Still 'In the Light' eyeshadow pallet - £28, Burberry Body - £38 all from Feel Unique
10. Dress - £45 from Miss Selfridge

I am guessing that I will receive about 2% of what is on this wish list but a girl can dream can't she, after all I have been very good this year.

My beautiful tree, not a branch out of place!


Friday, 30 November 2012

New love/ hate foundation

After a string of disastrous foundation buys I think I have finally found one that is my friend!

Like most girls foundation is the bane of my life! You're extremely lucky if you find a foundation that works for you on every level and up until a couple of days ago I thought I would never find mine. In the past week I have bought and tried two, yes two different foundations and I can tell you now I wont be buying another for quite some time!

Not so long ago I discovered the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation and Fix & Perfect primer which I thought were pretty good for a reasonably priced (£8.99) make up brand. I liked the illuminating-ness of the Wake Me Up, it really did give my skin a lovely glow and it wasn't too heavy. As I ran out of pretty much everything at the end of October I was once again on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Although I liked the Wake Me Up I didn't feel any great attachment to it and was quite happy to give something else a try.

This is when my best friend said she had bought the Maybelline Fit Me foundation and absolutely loved it! I thought bingo this could be the one, there are so many different shades and the concept of how you chose the right one for you sounded pretty good to me. The idea is that you decide whether you have a fair, medium or dark skin tone, then whether you have pink or yellow undertones. I've always thought I had pink undertones to my skin as I go red very easily and I always have a slightly flushed complexion.

So I ended up with 125, I bought the foundation (£7.99) and the pressed powder (£5.99) as they were on buy one get one 1/2 price in Boots. Right from the first time I used this foundation I knew it wasn't for me, the colour match was all wrong and it just felt really cakey and thick. It never really absorbed into my skin so it felt tacky all day, and I always sweep a little over my lids to stop me looking like I have white rings around my eyes, but this foundation made me feel like I couldn't even blink! I quite liked the powder to start off with but I always use the powder to set my foundation, and even with this over the top the foundation became patchy as I touched my face. Not good!

So there I was again on the hunt for the perfect foundation, I had recently read a review by Hannah from A Little Beauty Spot on the Bobbi Brown stick foundations. She gave them a glowing review and they sounded exactly what I was looking for.

So off I popped to the Trafford Centre (as you do) and straight to the Bobbi Brown counter in Selfridges, I told them I had oily skin and I was looking for something long wearing and light. Initially she said the Longwearing Even Finish liquid foundation was the most suitable for me, but I was a little dubious after my last experience of liquid foundation. I let her do a colour test anyway, which ended up being a mini make over, and I quite liked it. I decided to go for it but alas they did not have my shade in that particular foundation, so I asked about the stick. Straight away the girls eyes lit up like I'd said the magic word, she was very enthusiastic about the product telling me how versatile it was, as you can build the coverage without the colour changing and going that awful orangey colour. I was sold, give me two I said, no not really not at £28 a go.


I'm really glad they didn't have the liquid foundation in my shade now as after a couple of hours wearing it I decided that although it was nice it wasn't really for me, it still felt a bit thick. The stick on the other hand is as light as air and I can build coverage in my problem areas and leave it lighter in other areas. It is a perfect match to my skin tone and I have had lots of compliments, my boss literally could not stop looking at my face, I was beginning to wonder how awful I must have looked before!

If you are looking for a new foundation and are willing to spend a little extra I would definitely get yourself down to the Bobbi Brown counter. They have something for everyone and don't be afraid of trying something new like the stick, you never know you might like it as much as I do.

 
Bobbi Brown bases at Harvey Nichols Manchester



Thursday, 29 November 2012

My 1st Bloggers Meet

On Tuesday night I attended my very first bloggers event, I am now officially a fully fledged blogger! I was really excited about this event as I had spoken to so many nice bloggers over twitter and I couldn't wait to put a face to a name. I was a little nervous as I am extremely shy in situations where I don't know anyone and I'm not the best at making conversation, but I forced myself out of my comfort zone by going to this event and I'm so glad I did!
The event was at the very swanky Harvey Nichols in Manchester, as I walked through the very sparkly front entrance I immediately saw a group of bloggers and decided to introduce myself and see if I could make some friends to tag along with, so I wasn't wandering around aimlessly on my own. These bloggers were Vicki from Lets Talk Beauty, Anastasia from Dainty Desires, Danielle from Miss Danielle and Hannah from Palindrome Poppet again I am so glad I did this as I met some lovely girls who didn't mind having me follow them around and I also discovered so excellent new blogs to follow : )
As we all arrived we were given a glass of bubbly and a lovely little goodie bag that was full of samples (mainly perfumes), there was a representative at each of the product stands and a few of the brands were giving demonstrations and talks about their products. I was especially interested to hear all about the Bobbi Brown range as I had just purchased a few bits earlier that day (review coming soon).


They talked all about how good their bases were, which was good as that's what I had bought, and that for winter it's all about the bold lip shades. She demonstrated on Chelsea from Through Chelsea's Eyes, who looked a little nervous about having such a dark colour on her lips but I think she really suited it.

I decided to have a little try of the Stilla smudge sticks as I have them on my Christmas list but haven't actually tried them out, their make up artist did a 'smoke' eye on me using the black. This is the look I usually try to create myself when I'm going on a night out, I have to say I never usually go as dark as what she had done but I really liked it. What do you think?

There was so many lovely things, but I was extremely good and didn't buy a thing! I did see lots of things I could get as presents though so I will be making a trip back to Harvey Nichols at the weekend.

One product I was particularly interested in was the Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask, this product looked and sounded amazing!
"Rodial Glamoxy™ Snake Mask is an innovative black ‘peel off’ formula that visibly improves skin radiance and texture, whilst helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Containing liquorice to help brighten skin tone and enriched minerals deep cleanse and purify pores to remove excess oil, dirt and impurities."  
The rep sold this as a non invasive alternative to Botox, as there is a poison or a venom in it that penetrates the skin and paralyses the muscles slightly, sounds a bit scary I know but it obviously doesn't have the lasting effects of Botox injections and isn't as strong. There will still be movement of the face it will just be a little slower to react, or that's what I took from the talk anyway. The only downside is that it's £68 for 50ml, definitely not an everyday face mask.
My absolute favourite thing in the store was not actually a product, but the most beautiful snow globe I have ever seen! Over at the Chanel counter they were matching you up with the perfect red lipstick, I'm not a fan of red on myself so I just watched a few others have their's done. However I did spot this little beauty...



All I can say is I want one!

There were so many other gorgeous things I think the best way to tell you about them is to show you...
Goodies


 

 



Apologies for the picture quality, my camera batteries went and had to use my phone : (


Monday, 26 November 2012

November Favourites

I have been planning to do a favourites post, well since the beginning of November, as I have been using some really great products that I couldn't wait to share with you all. Then whilst reading some of my favourite blogs I came across a post by Kayleigh from Couture Girl about a new site called Beautysets, a site that is perfect for such posts as favourites or wish lists.

I'm obviously new to the site but from what I can gather it is a lot like Pinterest but for blogs, you create an account and use it to put mood boards, wish lists, favourites, look books etc. together (like pin boards). The best bit about using this site to put your lists together is that you can transform them so they look like a page taken straight out of a magazine. You can upload your own images or, like with Pinterest, you can 'clip' images from websites as you browse using the 'Beauty Clip' function. Then when you decide you want to use them you just drag them onto your 'set', easy!

So here's my first attempt...

Beautysets - November favourites
MUA Constellation - Scorpio
Another amazing product from MUA, the nail constellation is a dupe of Ciate's Caviar manicure, I would say looks just as effective but a steal at only £3!
L'Oreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Crystal Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm pretty picky about my shampoo and conditioner and don't tend to change products very often, but when I went shopping they didn't have my usual Herbal Essences so I decided to give these a try, as lets face it they are pink and sparkly. When I first smelt it out of the bottle I didn't think much of it (as I was used to the super strong scent of HE), but on the first day after use I kept getting a whiff of this amazing smell. I kept smelling the things around me wondering what the hell it was, then I bent down and my hair fell in my face at which point I realised that was what I could smell. I makes my hair feel super glossy and shiny and has an amazing scent, I will definitely be buying this again!
Bioderma Sebium H2O
I am absolutely in love with this cleanser, I was given this as a gift and I was over the moon after reading such good things about it to finally have it in my hands. I have the Sebium which is for combination/oily skin and it has worked like magic on clearing up my oily t. zone. Make up now stays put all day and I am nowhere near as shiny as I used to be, I am also not getting as many spot as I was, but if I do get a spot I just used the next product on my favourites list...
Skinetica
This product is absolutely amazing at clearing up spot and also stopping them from breaking out, I wont say too much about this product as I have been doing a little tracking exercise so that I can show you the full effects in my review coming soon. But basically it's amazing, I will be buying it again and again.
BlanX Classic Whitening Toothpaste
I love this product, it is hands down one of the best whitening toothpastes on the market (I may be a little bias). It's really gentle on your teeth as it has almost zero abrasiveness and it really does make a difference to the whiteness of your teeth, you wont get that Hollywood smile but what's natural about that?! This is the 75ml tube, it's a little cheaper than the pump variants of the BlanX products found in Boots. I am giving a whole bundle of this stuff away at the moment so check out my giveaway post, competition ends on 30/11/12.
Lily Flame Candle - Fairy Dust
I am not really one for filling the house with candles, I think they look beautiful when I see them in other peoples homes but I can never be bothered lighting them. I picked up this one in Waitrose whilst browsing their home section and I just couldn't put it down again, it smells incredible, if fairy dust existed and had a smell this would definitely be it! It smells like glitter if you know what I mean. Lily Flame do a whole range of amazing smelling candles in a tin, I really like the Christmas scents like Snowflake, yes it smells like snow or how snow should smell.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my first favourites post and are impressed with my handy work on Beautysets, it is well worth the look, I think it can definitely help bring your posts to life.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

New look, new name :)

Sooooo as you can see I've not only changed the look of my blog, again, I have also had a rename.

My first name 'From Beyond the Blog' was a bit of a rush job and I never really felt attached to it or that it represented me and what I blog about very well. I have been thinking about a name change for a while but nothing really stuck, until about a week ago 'Belles and Bows' came into my head. I thought about it for a few days to see if I went off it or thought of something else, but I didn't so I decided to go for it.

I hope you all like the new name and I haven't caused too much confusion or messed up any links. I promise I won't do it again :) although I can't say the same about the layout :) x

Friday, 23 November 2012

It's in the bag!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I love handbags, all kinds of handbags. Big ones, small ones, shoulder ones, clutch ones, sparkly ones, leather ones, designer ones and cheap ones, I just love bags!! Now my babies are bigger and I'm back at work I no longer need to be tied to my Cath Kidston nappy bag, instead I get to use all the lovely lady bags I want!

I've been meaning to write a post about my most recent bag purchase, originally because it was such a bargain! However things have changed a little since I first bought this bag and I no longer feel the same way about this bargain bag as I first did.


The bag itself is tan coloured, over sized, faux leather with black piping around the base and handles, which have a really nice plait detailing and the inside has a lovely faux suede lining. I had been looking for something of this description for a long time so whilst leisurely browsing the clothing department in Sainsbury's, yes that's right Siansbury's, this caught my eye. It was exactly what I had been looking for and at a bargain price of £18! If I thought that was a bargain price then I was even more surprised when I got to the till and found there was 20% off so it was £13.50!!!



As you can see it has plenty of room inside, in fact it has a bit too much room if that's possible, it's impossible to find anything in it!


So here's a look at what's actually in my bag, you can see where all areas of my life cross and are stored in my bag, I have the spare dummy and random Happy Meal toy (Mummy), the personal organiser and note pad (career woman) and the make up bag and Cosmo mag (beauty lover) and lets face it everyone needs an umbrella (and a purse of course)!

It doesn't look like much does it and you must be thinking how hard could it be to find a personal organiser? Well let me tell you in this bag very! I don't know why this is but whenever I delve into this bag, whatever it is I am trying find is the only thing I don't pull out, and I may as well forget it when it comes to answering my phone, so I have taken to just holding it in my hand. I always have a note pad on hand in case I have a thought whilst out and about or I see something in the news that I think will come in handy, I can just jot it down, plus being a busy Mum I only have so much memory and most things go in one ear and out of the other if I don't write it down. I also usually have a magazine on hand so I always have something to read if I find myself with a spare 5 minutes and I get lots of inspiration for blog posts from magazines. I always carry my full make up bag around with me too, as you never know when you will need a touch up and you can guarantee if I don't have it all the one thing I need will be the one thing I don't have.



Here's a quick peek at my make up bag but I'll leave the full autopsy for another time...

What's your favourite kind of bag and what do you always carry with you?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

New Look Blog...

So as you can see my blog has had a bit of a revamp, I have to admit I'm not entirely sure I love it just yet and I would really appreciate any feedback.

This all came about because I was trying to find out how to get the cute little social media icons on my side bar that I have seen on tons of blog recently. I tried to find out during a couple of #bblogger chats but no luck there, I did however have a couple of people say they also wanted to know and if I found out to let them know. So I thought I'd write a post about it to help anyone else out there who's been searching for them too.

After searching the internet high and low I finally came a cross a very helpful blog, Carrie Loves has made an icon for every social network you can think of and they are available in a rainbow of colours, and best of all they are FREE!



I went for the bubblegum pink as they fit in with my 'new look'.

Along with these great icons I also found an excellent explaination as to how to add them to your blog site. Beautiful Dawn Designs gives a really easy to follow step by step guide, I did have to open a Photobucket account but it was free and really easy to use. I tried adding them to Picasa but the images didn't show up when I added the URL's to the HTML code.

I hope I have helped anyone out there who like me is not the best at the techy stuff, lets face it that's why we write about beauty stuff and not HTML coding.

Once again I would really appreciate any feedback on my 'new' look blog, do you like it or did you prefer the 'old' look? You may also notice from my new totally fab icons, I have started a Facebook page for my blog. This is mainly so I don't keep bothering my personal Facebook friends with my insesent blog post updates and those that are really bothered can 'like' my new page instead. I intend to fill this with my blog updates (obvs) plus any helpful tips and discounts that I hear about. Hop over and give me a 'like' if you err like :)



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Sparkly Christmas Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I put out a #prrequest tweet, as we all do on the off chance that someone will come back to us. I was looking for any lovely companies out there that would be willing to donate something to an up and coming blogger for a Christmas giveaway.

Thinking nothing would come of it I went ahead with another giveaway to win a package of BlanX natural tooth whitening toothpaste, which you can enter here, as I love the toothpaste myself and thought it was very fitting for this time of year. Then to my complete surprise I got a reply to my tweet from the fabulous Stone Bridge, I'll be honest up until they contacted me I had never heard of this company before but after visiting their website I was utterly thrilled they wanted to work with me.

Stone Bridge are a company that sell unique, bespoke hair accessories for all hair types, the majority of their hair accessories are manufactured by small, family-owned French or Italian companies for beautiful everyday luxury. Stone Bridge offer a fantastic service where they can match hair accessories to your personal hair type, all you need to do is fill out a form which then generates a selection of fabulous hair bling to suit. There's everything from hair bands to combs and sticks to give you that Hollywood glamour look for Christmas.

The fun bit...
Stone Bridge gave me a couple of products to choose from for this giveaway and I decided to go for the gold Ficcare Fine Double Crystal Headband (worth an amazing £79) as I thought this was perfect for adding a subtle touch of sparkle for Christmas.


"Beautifully hand made from the iconic American design house Ficcare, this skinny metal double headband has been set with 140 brilliant white Swarovski crystals in one of the most comfortable and durable headbands you will ever wear.
Each strand of this design is very slender, at a dainty 2 millimetres wide, ensuring your hair looks elegant and understated." 
This elegant headband will suit all hair types and colours and will fit in with any style, from a cute pixie cut to elegant updo or tumbling curls, perfect for Christmas parties.

How to enter...
So all you need to do to enter is follow my blog publicly via GFC and leave a comment on this post telling me your follower name and what your ultimate Christmas party accessory/beauty product is.

You can also get extra entries, for doing each of the following...
Follow Stone Bridge on Twitter and Facebook
Tweet the following...
'I've just entered @Ashleigh_Fell From Beyond the Blog's #giveway to #win @StoneBridgeHair http://frombeyondtheblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/stonebridgehairgiveaway.html #bbloggers'  
(One extra entry per action)
Competition ends 30/11/12, open to UK followers only

*This prize was donated to me by Stone Bridge

Monday, 19 November 2012

OOTD - Primark special

So I recently had a fantastic girls night out in Manchester and I thought I'd treat myself to something new to wear. I think this had to be the most successful trip to Primark I've had in a long time, for quality, quantity and value for money. I also got another dress that I have put to one side for my works/girls Christmas night out.

I've had to hold on to this post for a few days as I've had so many other posts to write but better late than never hey.


Top - £8.99
Skirt - £9.99
Both Primark
Tights - £4.75 Forever 21
Shoes - Primark (donks ago)

I absolutely love this outfit and I will certainly get my wear out of it. I've really wanted a leather skater skirt for ages but when I tried one on I wasn't sure it suited me, then I found one that had a bit of a shine to it and felt much more comfortable in it. It's a polyester mix but doesn't look cheap at all, I got lots of compliments on it and because I didn't go for the leather I think it will be more suitable for wearing during the day as well as night. It came with a gold belt but I swapped it for my favourite leopard print one, I am a huge fan of leopard print at the moment and if they didn't hurt my feet so much I would of worn my leopard shoes too.

I am also a huge fan of sheer tops and have quite a selection in my wardrobe, Primark have a really good range at the moment too. I found this oxblood one just as I was walking to the till to pay and pondering what I was going to wear with my fab skirt. It was fate, it caught my eye just in time, just as I was about to join the mammoth Saturday afternoon queue and we all know once your in it there's no going back! Oxblood is everywhere at the moment and I have say it's a firm favourite of mine.



Accessories
Bag - £7.99 New Look
Ear rings - £3.75part of a set Forever 21
Bracelet - Christmas gift Primark
Belt - £4.99 New Look



Nails - Nails Inc. in Victoria

I love this shade of nail varnish it's really rich and goes with loads of other colours so you can wear it with just about anything. Luckily it was a perfect match to my top, in fact my friends all had a little giggle at my colour co-ordinated top, nails and lip gloss as that was also a perfect match. What can I say I just love to co-ordinate :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

November Glossy Box

I've been waiting in anticipation for what feels like forever for this months Glossy Box, as I was really impressed with my first box in October. I seemed to be getting daily emails from them telling me they had received payment, the box was being packed etc. but still no box! I was starting to get worried that mine had got lost in the post. Then finally after a very long day I came home to find my box had arrived at last, it was just what I needed after a an exhausting day travelling to London and back.

Once again the peeps at Glossy Box did not disappoint, this box didn't feel as full as the last box or even the She Said Beauty box, but the quality is definitely there, which I am sad to say is what seemed to be lacking from the She Said Beauty November box.



This months box is all about stocking fillers, things to give you inspiration for Christmas gifts.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm
"This BB cream gives a natural bright and glossy application for natural , fresh looking skin which controls sebum production from sweat preventing streaking."
- Apparently this is a 'cult' product in Korea, well I don't know about that but I did try this BB cream today and I was quite impressed. Generally I'm not a fan of BB creams, when they first came out I was very excited as I don't like to wear too much make up during the day and thought a BB cream would be ideal. Unfortunately they just don't seem to do anything for me, they leave my skin really greasy and I get next to no coverage from them at all, in fact I usually end up with orange patches. The Dr. Jart+ has been the best I have tried so far, it's oil free so great if you have oily skin like myself, and I my t.zone stayed under control all day. I had to put two layers on to get the right amount of coverage because I have a couple of break outs at the moment, but 8 hours later it still looks pretty good...



Burberry Body Eau de Parfum
"An effortless sensual, feminine fragrance with an eclectic combination of green absinthe, rose and cashmeran."
- I also tried this out today and I love it! Its a really beautiful subtle scent, it smelt expensive and classy. I will definitely be adding this to my Christmas list.

Alison Claire Natural Beauty Mongo Body Butter
"A delicious blend of organic mango and cocoa butter will leave your skin feeling wonderful."
- This was a Glossy Box 'New Brand Alert', I don't really use body butters that often, mainly because I shower in the morning and barely have time to dry my hair never mind moisturise my body. I may give this to my mum to try out as she loves this sort of stuff and I think she would appreciate it a lot more, plus she has more experience with them to give a better review.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat
- I could of got one of three of this 'Sunday Times Style Beauty Award' winning range and I got the caviar top coat. This worked out pretty well actually as I have just bought the MUA Constellation in Scorpio so it will come in handy.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
"A unique rice-based powder that gently exfoliates skin, leaving it noticeably smoother & brighter."
- I am intrigued by this product, I'm really interested in how a powder exfoliant will work as I'm used to using the usual gritty creams or gels. I will absolutely be setting time aside to give this one a go very soon.

More Glossy Box reviews coming soon...

Just a reminder about my latest giveaway - Get a party perfect smile in time for Christmas

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