Wednesday, May 28

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

One of Bobbi Browns most popular products which is found in various shades in the kit of most make up artists is Bobbi Browns Skin Foundation Stick and they've recently had a make up transforming update. Giving them a unique transparent base with skin tone correcting pigments making the varied shade range even more accessible for all skin tones, this is the perfect foundation product and if you're looking for something perfect for Summer then look no further. 

Foundation sticks aren't something I've used too many of so I don't really have much to compare this to, but all that is worth knowing is that it's incredible and if you're looking for a long lasting creamy foundation that looks fresh on the skin and comes in various shades and tones, then this may well be your match.

Available in 24 shades, Bobbi Browns Skin Foundation Stick has ingredients such as Shea Butter and Olive extracts which help to moisturise the skin as well as oil controlling minerals to help perfect the skin; reducing shine and keeping an even tone, even in the hottest most humid conditions.

I personally like to work this into my hand prior to use, to warm the product up somewhat and from there apply it with a brush and blend blend blend, although there have been occasions where I've topped up my make up through the day and applied it directly to the skin and honestly, it's probably worked just as well.

I was fortunate enough to have attended a lesson at a Bobbi Brown counter, where the make up artist applied this on top of the Bobbi Brown CC Cream (which I love) and so most of the time, I apply this in the same way. This adds a slight touch of radiance and natural coverage, and I find I don't need to apply as much product from the stick that way.

With the ability to be applied as light or as full as you like, I really do love this creamy product and available in 24 shades, there's most likely going to be the perfect shade for your skin tone. I currently wear Beige and find it works perfectly with my skin tone when I have a little bit of a tan.

Costing £29 for 9g of product, Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Sticks are available to buy at Bobbi Brown stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges, Debenhams and John Lewis.


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Tuesday, May 27

Benefit Watt's Up!

This month has been a little bit of a Benefit win for me and more and more of my make up routine has been made up of their products, which personally really surprises me.

Benefit is one of those brands that I know are extremely popular in the beauty industry, but they've never really been a go-to for me. Why? I don't know. To be honest, I often find their products a little gimmicky, but I'm going to force myself to see past the packaging in the future as the products I have tried recently have been absolutely incredible. 

My favourite has probably been Benefit Watt's Up!*, which is an incredible Champagne toned stick highlighter that adds the most divine glow to your skin. Hardly a new product to the Benefit scene, I'm really sad that I hadn't tried this before now as it's so easy to use and really gives the nicest effect which has even tricked many into believing I have that lovely pregnancy glow!

With a sponge blender on the end to blend it out, this can be used on it's own or above your make up, both directly and indirectly. I personally like to use it from my fingers to have more control and dabbed on the cheekbones, down the nose and along the brow bone, you can't beat its cream to powder finish.

Costing £24.50, Watt's Up is available to buy at Benefit stores and counters in the likes of Boots, House of Fraser and Debenhams.


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Sunday, May 25

Pregnancy Update #8: Week 31 and 32 Update

If you've been keeping up with my YouTube updates, then you'll be well aware that week 31 and 32 of my pregnancy have been a little tiresome. 

Aches and pains begun a few weeks back, but the past two weeks have been heightened with the suffering of extremely swollen feet, leg cramps and what feels like the general wear and tear, achieved I guess by carrying around a growing baby. My Whooping Cough injection at week 30 didn't help the situation, as it put my body out of sync and arm out of use for a couple of days which wasn't too much fun at all. My feet constantly feel like I've run a marathon in the most ridiculous of heels and most nights I find myself awakening to the most excruciating cramp through my calves, feet and toes- fun eh?

During week 31, I attended a Mummy-to-be Elemis Massage at Rush Hair and Beauty and if you're expecting, then I genuinely cannot recommend it enough. Laid down on the floor, on what I can only describe as a giant pillow/beanbag duo was an extremely comfortable experience in itself, but every single moment of the treatment was honestly so truly dreamy. I left feeling relieved of all the pressures and even the swelling of my feet was taken down somewhat, which was what I most wanted to be achieved. I was recommended the Elemis Japanese Oil Blend as well as the Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel after my treatment and I can't wait to start using them. Word on the beauty scene is that Victoria Beckham swore by both of them through each of her pregnancies and if they're good enough for her...

My go-to pregnancy product this week has been the Cussons Mum and Me Bump Cool and Relieve Soothing Spray which I picked up on a bit of a whim during a hot moment in Boots. It's not a long term product, but the Peppermint Oil and Calendula work a treat at cooling me down, especially when I'm laying with my feet elevated, which seems like an all day occurrence at the moment. I can't say it really touches the swelling on my feet like it claims to, but it's a nice all over relief, especially on warmer days.

Week 32 begun extremely positively for me and I felt super energised and ready to take on the world, but sadly, my hormones took over a few days into the week and I became an emotional wreck. Over thinking is one of my all time flaws and when you're hormonal as it is, things can get a little bit too much. I began to panic at the slightest of things and felt quite alone, even when surrounded by lots of fabulous people but after shedding a fair few tears and getting a few minor worries off of my chest, I felt as good as could be again with a smile on my face.

Pregnancy so far has been eight and a bit months of ups and downs, but honestly, each and every down is so worth it for what will be the end result- my baby boy in my arms, and I guess overall, it's just preparing me for the rollercoaster of motherhood.

My bump seems to have changed shape over the past couple of weeks and my Linea Nigra is beginning to faintly appear. My belly button doesn't quite know what to do and strangely keeps alternating between being flat and then back to it's normal "innie" state which being a bit of a self confessed belly-button-phobe, I must admit freaks me out a little. 

I've been a little crazy on the stretchmark oil since the very beginning trimester and have been switching between Clarins Body Tonic Oil* which I've since repurchased, Champneys Blissful Stretchmark Oil* and my most recent addition, Shiffas Pregnancy Oil*. Although I'm yet to have any stretchmarks appear on my bump, my growing and leaking(!!) breasts have sadly had a couple appear, which I must admit did cause a tiny little tantrum to take place. It's just another one of those things that I have to remind myself why it's happening and the realisation that it's purely making my body ready to provide for my baby boys arrival makes it all ok again.

Along with my changing body, my body clock has also most definitely changed over the past couple of weeks and I find I'm awake at the very crack of dawn. Fortunately, exhaustion hasn't been too much of a problem at this stage and I can finally go all day without the need for a midday nap, in fact if anything, naps make me feel a little nauseous these days. This makes a huge difference as I finally feel like I can get on with things. I'm still taking it easy because of the situation from my knees down, but I am finding I'm a lot more productive which is something that was concerning me over the exhausting periods of the pregnancy.

Now into my 33rd week of pregnancy, it's insane to say there's only 7 weeks left until my due date. This is when things really start to happen and hopefully everything baby related will be coming together in the next few weeks which I'm super excited to share with you.

Subscribe to me on YouTube and follow me over on Twitter and Instagram for all things baby and beauty.


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Monday, May 19

Illamasqua Summer 2014 Collection

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my excitement when Illamasquas 2014 Summer Collection made its way into my collection. 

Made up of three Matte Lip Liquids in the shades Exotic*, Forbidden* and Surrender* as well as two Velvet Blushes, one of which I have swatched above in the shade Flirtatious*, the collection is extremely pleasing to the eye and in my opinion, is what a Summer collection should look like.

I had extremely high expectations of this collection from the offset, even from only seeing the press images beforehand and so could not wait to get stuck in with trying each and every product.

Flirtatious, the Velvet Blush, speaks for itself in my opinion. A perfectly toned Coral Cream to Powder blush, this was never going to go down anything other than positively for me. Applied with my fingers and dabbed out, it gives the most gorgeous pigmentation in a matte finish, and it's made its way into my top blush stack already- impressive huh?

Liquid lipsticks are my current products of the moment and I can't quite get enough of them. With this in mind, I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was with the look of these three intensely pigmented shades. The shades, the brush applicator and the initial application are to me what liquid lipsticks should be, however, I must admit I'm not the biggest fan once they've been on the lips for more than say, half an hour, which for a lipstick, sadly just doesn't make it worth the application. 
With the matte finish that these provide, I personally find them far too drying on me. They dry to what I can only describe as paint on the lips and look ever so slightly too cakey, turning into a bit of a messy situation that cracks horribly and is pretty hard to remove.

Not one to give up on products that I'm desperate to make work, I've been trying these a few different ways, and I must admit, applied over a heavy lip balm, with a gloss on top (kind of defeats the matte finish) or dabbed into the lips lightly, they do work a lot better and look a lot less dry paint and a lot more of a wearable bright.

Surrender is by far my favourite of the three shades, which is probably no surprise, but in all honesty, in terms of shades they're all equally stunning.

Worth a go if you don't find drying lipsticks a struggle they are, but I personally can't see myself wearing these for occasions when I won't be able to touch up constantly, which is hugely disappointing.

Available to buy now, Illamasquas Velvet Blushers cost £21.50 whilst their Matte Liquid Lips cost £18.50 online and at Illamasqua stores and Selfridges

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Sunday, May 18

Benefit They're Real! Push-up Liner

A beauty launch that Benefit have kept extremely top secret and spoke about in code until just last week is Benefits They're Real!- The Push-up Liner*.

A sister product to best selling mascara They're Real!, The Push-up Liner was created with one thing in mind, to create the "easiest, most goof-proof" gel eyeliner and honestly, I think they've done a pretty good job.

I'm a huge fan of gel liner and have been for the past year, building up quite the collection of gel pots, but one thing that bugs me is the hassle that comes with cleaning the brush after every use and the quick shelf life that most pots have as they dry up pretty quickly.

They're Real! Push-up Liner is an incredibly Black gel formula which has an incredible matte finish as opposed to some that have more of a gloss inky finish. Unlike most gels, They're Real doesn't require a brush as it comes in an easy twist up pen, delivering product through Benefits AccuFlex™wide, pointed tip, which is flexible, perfectly angled and gets right into the lash line perfectly easily. 

When I was first introduced to the product over lunch, I was told that it might take a little bit of getting used to as it really is different to anything else on the market, but honestly, after even after my first use which I have photographed above, I think I did a pretty good job. Two clicks of product supplies enough gel liner to create a dramatic, defined and highly pigmented line to each eye and I'm really impressed and I love how much control the tip gives you.

Long wearing, easy to use and extremely pigmented with a matte finish, if you're into liners, then this is certainly going to be one for you.

Costing £18.50, Benefit They're Real Push-up Liner will be available in June at Benefit stores and counters in the likes of Debenhams, Boots and House of Fraser.

I'd love to know whether you like the look of this product and whether it's a liner that you'll be adding into your collection.

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Thursday, May 15

Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream

It's been a while since I fell for a body exfoliator because if I'm honest, unless I find the scent delightfully enticing, I find they all do the pretty much the same thing and very rarely wow me. 

This Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream* however, has been incredibly lovely to use and I find myself reaching for it more than I ever have a body exfoliator before. 

Used to polish rough and dry areas, this is particularly lovely used on heels, elbows and knees, but I tend to get a little bit wild with it and use it all over. Cooling on the skin, it leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft and lovely and is the perfect preparation step for me, the day before fake tanning.  

The thick cream formula is the easiest I've used in terms of rinsing off as it isn't too sticky or thick nor is it too harsh, which I find body scrubs quite often are. It removes easily in the shower and I can personally see myself getting through this 250ml pot pretty quickly, which has never happened before.

Costing £22.50 for 250ml and available to buy online and at Clinique counters in the likes of Debenhams, Boots and Selfridges, this Sparkle Skin Exfoliating Cream is a dream and if you suffer with dry skin or you just want a scrub to use a couple of times a week, then I highly recommend giving this a go.


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Wednesday, May 14

The Body Shop All In One Cheek Colour- 01 Macaroon

When it comes to lips and cheeks, you can't beat a good Peachy Coral and The Body Shops All In One Cheek Colour in the shade 01 Macaroon* is one of my current favourites.

With a matte finish, there's no surprise this appealed to me from the offset and even after the first light dusting onto my cheeks, I was sold on it. Very fine and nicely pigmented, this isn't overwhelming in the slightest and blends out beautifully for a pretty, easy to wear flush of colour.

With ingredients such as Vitamin E and Marula Oil, this feels really soft and delicate on the skin and being the blusher enthusiast that I am, I'm now very keen to try the other six shades in the range.

At £8 for 4g of product, The Body Shops All In One Cheek Colours are available to buy now online and in store. 

I'd love to know whether you've tried any of the other shades, or whether Macaroon appeals to you as much as it did to me.


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Tuesday, May 13

Harper's Bazaar and Birchbox May Box Collaboration

Lets face it, subscription beauty boxes are normally pretty hit and miss, but I'm pleased to report back that in my opinion, this months Birchbox is an absolute hit.

With a collaboration with the fabulous Harper's Bazaar, Birchbox have put together a pretty amazing box, from the beautifully designed floral box which is absolutely perfect for storage, to the fabulous variation of products.

Featuring 30 Imedeen Derma One Tablets, a full sized Soigné Nail Lacquer, a travel sized Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, a miniature Benefit They're Real!, an Aromatherapy Associates Relax Light Bath & Shower Oil, a 30ml Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish with a Muslin Cloth and a heavily discounted magazine subscription offer, I can honestly say that the majority of the this months contents are very much welcomed.

For only £10 plus £2.95 P&P, the contents of the box is worth so much more than the subscription fee and if there's only one box you buy per month, I would personally recommend that you make it this one.

My stand out products are definitely the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, which in an award winning incredible cleanser and will be added to my hospital bag collection, the Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil and the travel sized One More Day spray, which is a handbag essential. 

Birchbox is available to buy as single boxes as well as six month and yearly subscriptions and can be purchased on their online store.

I'd love to know what you think of this months box.

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Sunday, May 11

Pregnancy Update #7: Week 30 Update and 4D HD Scan

It's been two weeks since I last posted a pregnancy update, purely because I put off posting after our first attempt of the 4D scan I mentioned previously, in hope of a better outcome the second time round.

In all honesty, the past two weeks have kind of merged together anyway and I've experienced the same ongoing symptoms throughout the both of them. 

Week 29/30 was when things became a lot more of a struggle on my body physically and whilst I've complained about backache and general pregnancy aches and pains in the past, this is where things definitely upped their game and really started taking their toll. 
My back and my feet seem to be suffering the most and although my backache isn't constant, there has been a couple of occasions where I have been in tears with the sick feeling that backache often brings, including once on the train, which I mentioned in my 29 Week video
This week, my main concern has been my feet and boy have they suffered. Starting off just feeling a little tight, my feet seem to expanded over the days, so much so that my ankles are no longer visible. They're not too sore neither are they too warm to the touch, but they're incredible uncomfortable and have affected my mood somewhat this past week. Thankfully, my blood pressure is fine, so this is just a normal pregnancy that doesn't carry any major concerns and I've been ordered to keep my feet raised where possible and to avoid standing and sitting for too long at one time.   

Swelling, aching and moaning aside, week 29/30 brought some incredible times too. We attended The London Ultrasound Centre on Harley Street for the first time last week for our 4D HD Scan and I am so overwhelmed at the outcome.

If you've been following my video updates, then you'll be very aware that at our first appointment, baby did not want to co-operate and after a 60 minute session of prodding, jumping, twisting and shaking baby had made his mind up that he only wanted to show us ears and ahem, his boy parts. As frustrating as this was for both Mike and I who desperately wanted to see his little face, it was still delightful and we was pleased to see that our baby was growing at a beautiful rate and was quite the chunky little thing, weighing in at an estimated 3lb 4 with 10 weeks still to go.

The London Ultrasound Centre are extremely professional as well as super welcoming and kind, and with our Titanium package offering high quality HD photos as well as an edited HD video file for us to keep, and that being extremely difficult to get on our first appointment, they invited us back to try again and I'm so pleased that we made the trip for a second time.

Yesterday, May 10th 2014, we saw our baby boys face in such high definition and was able to coo over his little features and smile for a further 30 minutes. The results were incredible, so much so that the sonographer was also extremely impressed, as recommended to have at 26-30 weeks for a single baby, the scan provided us with unexpected extremely clear results. 
Baby was more than willing to pose for us this time and we managed to get some incredible images as well as video files, which I'm sure we will treasure forever. I'm super excited for the edited video to arrive in the post although I just couldn't wait and included some video clips that are extremely special to the both of us in this weeks video.

Although exhaustion is well and truly still lurking about, I think my body has become somewhat used to it and I seem to be dealing with it a lot better now. I'm still behind on things I need to get done but that's purely because I've learnt that I can't push myself too much and need to take things a little easier. That being said, I've managed to squeeze in a few shopping trips and have finally managed to pick up a few more maternity bits, that fit delightfully and in turn have made such a difference day to day, helping me avoid the dreaded emotional states I was getting into daily with the "nothing to wear, nothing fits" stage. Topshop has been amazing recently and I'm going to attempt to find the time to film a maternity look book, so make sure you're subscribed to my channel so you don't miss out.

With only 9 weeks left to go, I'm an extremely excited mummy to be and cannot wait to meet my little boy. Birthing plans will shortly be coming together as will my hospital bag and I'm quite literally counting down the days until our due date.

Once again, thank you so much for following my pregnancy journey, you've all made it that little bit more special than it already is. 

Subscribe to me on YouTube and follow me over on Twitter and Instagram for all things baby and updates and check out the London Ultrasound Centres website for packages, prices and alternative private scans. 


*The London Ultrasound Centre very kindly invited me for a complimentary scan, although I would without a doubt have paid for the experience as it was truly incredible. 
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