Monday, March 31

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Ever searching for the perfect Nude palette and currently loving using both matte and shimmer eyeshadows, the launch of the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette* had me ever so excited.

Made up of fourteen shades; seven shimmering neutrals and seven complimentary matte shades, this is in my opinion, one of the best neutral palettes to hit the market and covers all bases nicely.

The shimmer finishes don't offer as nice a finish in terms of formula as I had hoped they would, but they still offer a buildable shimmering wash of colour, which I personally find works well as I don't go for a full on shimmer look anyway.
 The matte tones on the other hand are all pretty incredible and are all extremely pigmented and wearable, making for the perfectly blended smoky eye look. I tend to go quite subtle on the eyes and I have found using only one or pairing three of the matte shades at one time to be perfect. 

The palette itself is a nice size and comes with a really nice double sided brush and in all makes for a perfect travel palette as for me, it covers all the shades I really wish for both day and night looks.

With a sample size of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara coming with the palette, it is available to buy now in Boots where it costs £36.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this palette and whether you like the look of the fourteen shades.


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Sunday, March 30

Pregnancy Update #4: 24 Week Update

It's been a while since I uploaded a pregnancy update, in fact, apart from my most recent Baby Haul, I haven't talked babies since my Gender Reveal at the beginning of March.

I can't quite believe that I'm more than half way there now, 25 weeks pregnant, it literally seems like just the other day that I was announcing my pregnancy and words can't quite describe how much joy it's brought.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind and started off a little bit rocky, but I'm pleased to say that I'm now extremely content with my pregnancy and fortunately, it's treating me pretty good.

Over the last month or so, I've not really had any pregnancy symptoms and lucky for me, it's been a pretty smooth road. Since feeling our first little flutters at around week 18, our baby boy has been an active little one. Mostly waking up when I settle down in bed or in the bath (typical!) he's a little mover and I absolutely love feeling each and every kick. 

My bump has grown a substantial amount and seems to have popped out somewhat over the past few weeks. This happened pretty much overnight and at first, brought me an unexpected agony in the form of round ligament pain. I was unaware that this was even a thing and spent a couple of days in so much pain, unable to move whilst baby made space for himself, pushing around my organs and stretching everything out the way he wants it. 

Once I had recovered, I experienced a huge energy burst and felt like I could quite possibly do anything and started the beginnings of my nesting. Long gone were the exhausted evenings, until more recently, when I returned to work after having five months off and have never felt more tired in my life. It's like the beginning stages all over again, although thankfully, I have my sleep pattern a little more under control and no extra worries to get me down.

Throughout the whole pregnancy, I've felt a little congested- almost like a constant cold and blocked up nose, but along with feeling the strains of being breathless due to baby growing and squashing my lungs, it's beginning to become somewhat of a struggle. I'm very easily out of breath and have to take things easy and I'm constantly reminding myself not to rush around, but it's all normal and just another one of those fabulous pregnancy joys(!).

The only thing to really take me by surprise, is how much my body is adapting to not only carrying a baby, but becoming a mum. I've filled out all over and put on a fair bit of weight, which I must admit wasn't easy to come to terms with at first. My colostrum has also started coming in, which took me by huge surprise one evening (I was wearing a Grey T Shirt so I'm sure you get the picture!). I wasn't even aware that it could happen as early as it did, but it's reassuring to know that my body is working to prepare for everything my baby will need and so I'm now embracing all of the changes pregnancy brings me.

Hormones are a crazy thing (my boyfriend will vouch for this!) and pop up every now and again, causing me to have little breakdowns and lots of tears over the most irrelevant of things but I'm pleased to report back that my anxiety has stayed away and I'm still crossing my fingers in the hope that it never creeps up on me again.

We have our pram now and our little dude has a heap more clothes waiting for him, so I'll be sure to film another baby haul to share all the adorable little things we've picked up over the past few weeks- it's out of control!

With only 16 weeks to go until our due date, I can't explain to you how excited my family and I are to meet our little boy. I'd love to know all of your pregnancy stories and if you're currently expecting, would love to know what symptoms you're experiencing. 

Subscribe to me on YouTube and follow me over on Twitter and Instagram for all things baby and updates, and Happy Mothers Day to all you mums and mum-to-bes out there.

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Vaseline Multi-use Beauty Tips & Tricks

Vaseline is one of those products that it love or hate it, we've probably all had in our handbag at some point of our lives. For me, Vaseline was one of those products that sat in my school shirt pocket throughout my school days and was applied heavily throughout lessons.

Nowadays, I find there's a few more mixed opinions on Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, but love it or hate it, there's no getting away from the fact that it does a pretty good job at a fair few quick beauty fixes.

Vaseline recently challenged me to streamline my beauty regime and try to use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly as a multi-purpose beauty product and I've been doing just that.

Not one to take risks when it comes to skincare, I decided to use the little pot to compensate for some of my day to day beauty products and I must say, I've found some pretty nifty ways to use it.

Lip Balm
Vaseline is probably most commonly known as a product that's used as a lip balm and this past week, I've been using it for just that. It moisturises my lips nicely prior to my make up application and creates a nice, slightly glossy base for my my lipstick.

Lip Exfoliator
Having just run out of my previous lip exfoliator, I was considering making a DIY one, but decided to use a little bit of Vaseline along with an old toothbrush to buff away any dry and flaky bits and I'm actually really impressed with how well it has worked.

Cuticle Oil
I'm pretty obsessed with cuticle care and in my moments of having nothing to do, will often be found applying a little bit of cuticle oil to my nails in order to keep them soft and avoid having them look dry and unkept. Vaseline has made for a perfect multi-use product in this case and although it doesn't keep them hydrated for as long as I find my regular oils do, it's a perfect quick fix for when I'm out and about, keeping my polish looking shiny too- oh and it's a lot less messy!

I was a little bit apprehensive about applying Vaseline to my face at first and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't cause me to have any breakouts, but keeping in mind that it's aimed towards dry skin and lips, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. Applied lightly on my cheekbones, down my nose and on my brow bone, I have been really pleasantly surprised with the dewy fresh glow that it gave to my skin and have found myself reaching it for it a fair few times both to use on its own and as a slight base for my powder highlighters.

Brow Tamer
I'm all about the brows, but for days when I haven't put much effort into taming them, Vaseline has worked beautifully at keeping them from going astray. I would say that if you have any brow products on prior to using Vaseline, then to go easy as it will smudge the product, but applied to those strays alone, it does a fabulous job. 

Fake Tan/Hair Dye Barrier
I haven't used Vaseline for hair colouring recently, purely because I haven't home coloured my hair in a while, but in the past it was always my point of call to apply around my hair line to avoid dying my skin. This works really well and more recently I started to apply this little trick to my fake tan routine- applying it to my knuckles to avoid that look. We've all been there!

I've heard through the grapevine that Vaseline also works incredibly well dabbed on your skin prior to spraying perfume to hold the scent for longer as well as being a dreamy catwalk product protecting your teeth from Red lip stains, but I've decided to hold out putting those tips the to the test for my next evening out where good results will be more appreciated.
 I'd love to know how you use Vaseline in your beauty regime and what multi-uses you can come up with?

Vaseline has an RRP of £2.09 and is available to buy in Boots and leading stores.

*This is a sponsored post
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Friday, March 28

Rimmel 60 Seconds Rita Ora Polish- Lose Your Lingerie

Show me a super light pastel or a White based Pink nail polish and I'm all over it and so when I saw this Rimmel 60 Seconds Rita Ora Polish in the shade Lose Your Lingerie, it had to be mine.

Very reminiscent of a few Pink Essie shades that have made their way into my collection over the last year or so, Lose Your Lingerie is the prettiest light pastel Pink tone that carries very much a barely there micro shimmer. 

I find application really nice as the brush is the perfect size and as the name suggests, the polish itself dries in super speedy timing and two coats creates a nice opaque, shiny finish.

Easily one of my favourite nail shades of the moment at £3.69 you really can't go wrong.
Available in Boots and Superdrug along with the rest of the Rita Ora range, Lose Your Lingerie is a delight and I personally can't recommend it enough.

Have you tried this shade? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Thursday, March 27

The White Company White Geranium, English Garden and Rose Candles

The White Company is currently one of my favourite stores to shop in, not only for their amazing Little White Company range where many a baby grow has been purchased recently, but they have the most delightful range of home products and scents that I am completely obsessed with.

Currently working my way through my remaining stocks of the Winter Candle and Home Spray (I made the most of Christmas discounts), I'm extremely excited to have their newly launched White Geranium* (£26), English Garden* (£16) and Rose, Jasmine and Lily* (£20) candles ready and waiting for when the sun starts to shine a little. The perfect Summer scents, offering an incredibly realistic and fresh scent, they are equally delightful and just like the other fragrances and candles in the range, fill the whole house with the most delicious of aromas.

Very truly scented, as opposed to too rich and overbearing, The White Company really are my go to candles of choice and I personally feel they make a gorgeous gift, making them one to keep in mind for this coming Mothers Day (30th March!).

Candles have been pretty hit and miss for me this past year, after I had a pretty bad experience with a particular range burning in my White bedroom, but I have nothing but good things to say about The White Company ones. My next purchase that I have lined up is the Cut Grass Votive, which although isn't my usual type of scent, is just gorgeous and brings a smile to my face on every sniff in store.

A few tips to bear in mind to get the most out of your candles:

- Keep the wick trimmed to 0.5cm to make for the cleanest burn.
- Burn the candle for a minimum of one hour for a full wax pool to form to avoid tunnelling and never exceed four hours.
- Candles in glass hold the scent better, so go for them where possible.
- Snuff the candle with a candle snuffer or use the lid to avoid disturbing the candle.

Are you an avid candle burner? Do you have any favourites from The White Company?

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Wednesday, March 26

Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick Trio

A couple of weeks ago I attended a rather exciting launch at Sushi Samba, all in the name of Tartes launch into the UK.

Tarte is a brand that I've never really bothered with, purely because up until now, it was only available in America and although I'd never indulged before, I absolutely wanted to. 

Popular in the beauty blogging world for their Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes, which I've got to say I'm loving, I wanted to turn the focus onto these amazing lipsticks- the Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick Trio* which are all kinds of perfect.

Golden Pink, Soft Coral and Rose come in a trio box and delightfully packaged in cardboard tubes, offer the most amazing pretty shades. Described as a semi-gloss, these buttery lipsticks apply to the lips in a balm like formula providing moisturisation and are beautifully buildable, creating really lovely tones on the lips. I can't actually pick a favourite of the three because they're all my kinda shades but if you're on the market for a comfortable, easy to wear pretty pout lipstick set, look no further.

Priced at just £20, working out at below the £7 mark each, these carry a drug store price and are just beautiful. 

Tarte will be launching this coming Friday 28th March, exclusive to QVC where you can pick up these as well as ten other amazing Tarte products.

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Tuesday, March 25

MAC 15 Eyeshadow Warm Neutral & Cool Neutral Palettes

A recent MAC launch that had me extremely excited since I saw a photo posted on Instagram, is the launch of two pre-made 15 shade eyeshadow palettes. 

Offering 15 Warm Neutrals and 15 Cool Neutrals, the palettes have been beautifully put together and costing a lot less than they would singularly, make for the perfect buy if you're building up your make up kit or if like me, you simply just love a neutral tone.

Designed to complement any skin tone, each palette consists of frost, satin, velvet, matte, lustre and veluxe pearl finishes and although I'm sadly yet to get my hands on one of these, I particularly need the warm one in my collection and can imagine they're a dream.

MACs 15 shade Warm Neutral palette contains some dreamy shades that range from Peaches to Frosted Golds and consists of:

Hey- a metallic coral (veluxe pearl)
Warm Breeze- a pastel coral (satin)
Gingersnap- a deep rosy pink (frost)
Dark Brew- a deep chocolate with pink pearl (velvet) 
Dance In The Dark- a dark brown (matte)

Brulé- a soft creamy beige (satin)
Vanilla Extract- a soft warm yellow beige (frost) 
Honey Lust- a bronze-dipped peach (lustre)
Amber Lights- a peachy-brown with shimmer (frost) 
Saddle- a golden orange brown (matte)
Lemon Tart- a metallic gold (veluxe pearl) 
Butterfudge- a dirty mocha with gold pearl (satin) 
Creative Copper- a frosted gold (lustre)
Unwind- a dirty olive (veluxe pearl)
Divine Decadence- a soft bronze (velvet)

Whilst the 15 shade Cool Neutral palettes ranges from Burgundy to Chocolate Golds and deep Blue Greys:

Flounce- a chalky white pink (matte)

Sweet Allure- a soft light pink (satin)
Sun Tweaked- a soft frosty coral (frost)
Blackberry- a muted burgundy-plum brown (matte) 
After Dusk- a mid-tone rosy pink with pearl (veluxe pearl) 
Pick Me Up- a pale ivory (matte)

Crushed Clove- a dirty gold olive (frost)

Cozy Grey- a cool grey (matte)
Deception- a chocolate gold (frost)
Brun- a muted blackish brown (satin)
Silver Fog- a white with silver pearl (lustre) 
French Clay- a white-grey frost (frost) 
Cumulus- a dirty grey charcoal (frost)

                                          Pearled Earth- a deep blue-grey (veluxe pearl) 
                                              Black Tied- a black with silver sparkle (velvet) 

Available to buy now at MAC stores and counters, retailing at £65 each, buying your palettes this way means you're making a saving of £85 from buying the eyeshadow pans alone, without taking into consideration the cost of the palette or MAC single eyeshadow pots, which leaves a saving of at least£105.50 in total, which is incredible!

Currently in stock here in Debenhams.

I would love to know if the idea of buying a pre-made 15 shade MAC palette interests you or whether you'd prefer the extra expense for the fun of building up your own.

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Monday, March 24

Urban Decay Electric Palette

Urban Decays newest release sees ten highly pigmented pressed pigment shades in the form of the Electric Palette*. 

Far from my normal shade palette, there's no getting away from the fact that this is extremely bright and not particularly my taste of tones, but if you're into more vibrant shades, then the Electric Palette could well be for you.

Revolt- a bright metallic Silver shimmer with Silver glitter, Gonzo- a bright Turquoise matte with floating tonal pearl, Slowburn- a bright Red-Orange matte with floating pearl, Savage- a bright hot Pink matte, Fringe- a bright metallic Teal, Chaos- a bright Blue matte with floating tonal pearl, Jilted- a bright metallic Fuchsia with Blue shift, Urban- a bright metallic Purple, Freak- a bright Green with Gold shift and Thrash- a bright Lime Green matte with floating gold pearl make up the palette and with a although it's made up of an array of finishes, they apply equally pigmented and soft. 

The colour pay off, as you can imagine is pretty extreme and even after swatching for this post, my fingers were very much stained. There's a fair bit of fall out, which you can expect from a pressed pigment anyway, but I'd recommend that if you're thinking of using this palette, you work on the eyes before the rest of your face, to avoid rainbow coloured cheeks- although Slowburn, Savage, Jilted, and Urban are not intended for the immediate eye area.

 Urban Decay Electric Palette will be available to buy as of 1st April 2014 in Debenhams, House of Fraser and Feel Unique, where it will cost £38.

Does the Electric Palette appeal to you? I'd love to know how you would use this palette to its full potential.

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Sunday, March 23

My eBay Collections

eBay recently launched a new concept to improve the experience of shopping their online auctions and stores and I was given the opportunity to trial it for a while pre-launch, whilst also putting together 12 of my very own collections which each hold some of my favourite eBay finds.

Adding much more of an online shopping community amongst the millions of people that use eBay already, eBay Collections give you the opportunity to browse and add products to somewhat of an online mood board where you can then go back to simply shop directly from or share with others who may be looking for something along the same lines in your own themed collections.

Fun and a little more interactive, I've really enjoyed looking through fashion and beauty related collections and loved putting together my own- my favourites probably being Acrylic Make Up Storage, Overseas Pharmacy and Baby and Nursery Essentials, where I found many a bargain!

As eBay is constantly updating with auctions and bidding wars beginning and ending, I'll be continuing to update my collections and would love for you to have a little look at the products and finds that I've found on my many eBay hunts, which are grouped together here.

I would love to see your collections if you decide to put together any and look forward to hearing if anything from my collections stood out to you.

*This is a sponsored post
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Friday, March 21

The Body Shops Shimmer Cubes Palette- Spring Bronze

If you're on the hunt for a highly pigmented, easily accessible eyeshadow quad that's perfect for travel then look no further- The Body Shops Shimmer Cubes Palette 30* is the perfect Bronze smoky quad and used alone or together, create a stunning look.

Available to buy in seven different shade varieties, this Spring Bronze quad is made up of four singular, removable lidded eyeshadows; Burnished Gold, Dusty Fawn, Warm Copper and Rich Espresso. 
Each extremely pigmented, they offer an iridescent shimmery finish and work together perfectly, especially when Burnished Gold or Dusty Fawn is applied to the centre of the lid, where they catch the light perfectly and pull the look together.

I really love the idea of these Shimmer Cubes and really like the fact that even if you just wanted to take a couple of the shades in your make up bag, you could do so as they're individually lidded making for the perfect mix and match system. Personally, I would love it if the shades were sold individually to create a little more diversity but the shades that are put together are all extremely complimentary making the perfect quads. 

I must admit, I was a little bit taken back by the price and at first thought that £16 was slightly overpriced, but when you take into consideration there are four shades that offer fantastic quality from a brand with great values, it makes sense.

Crease resistant and suitable for contact lens wearers, I think this quad is definitely worth trying if you have a few pennies spare available to buy some pretty new eyeshadows.

Available in seven different shade varieties, The Body Shops Shimmer Cubes are available to buy now in The Body Shop.

I'd love to know if you've tried any of The Body Shops Shimmer Cubes? What shades stand out to you the most?


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Thursday, March 20

L'Oreals Colour Riche Les Blancs Polishes- Lemon Meringue & Peach Neglige

I'm a huge fan of White based pastels on the nails and L'Oreals new Colour Riche Les Blancs collection is absolutely dreamy.

Made up of four shades, Pistachio Drage 852- a pretty Mint, Nouvelle Vague 851- a lovely Lilac, Peach Neglige 856*- a Pinky Peach and Lemon Meringue 850- a delightful White Yellow*, the collection really is lovely and I can't get enough of the two I have tried, in particular Peach Neglige.

Really easy to apply with a nice sized brush, these apply to the nails really pigmented and on first application really look me by surprise. Two coats provides a fully opaque coverage with a gorgeous shine on the nail and dying time is pretty impressive too.  

L'Oreal Colour Riche nail polishes are all pretty tiny with just 5ml of product, but they're perfectly dainty and I personally think they're a nice size, especially if you're like me and rarely finish a whole bottle before they go bad anyway.

Absolutely perfect for Spring Summer, these are available to buy now in Boots and Superdrug, costing £4.99 each.

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Wednesday, March 19

Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter- Aurora

Illamasquas Gleam in the shade Aurora* is a product that I've been intrigued about for a while now and after trying it recently, have become obsessed with it, making it go-to product for most days.

Illamasquas Gleam in Aurora is a Champagne toned highlighter with an iridescent finish that comes in the most beautiful, easy to apply cream formula.
Up until now, I've preferred powder highlighters over cream ones, but Aurora has well and truly changed my opinion and I love applying this, particularly teamed up with Illamasquas Justify or Sculpting Powder Duo for contour.

I personally like to use my fingers to apply it as opposed to a brush, as I feel I have most control that way and find it most effective applied on top of my cheekbones, along my brow bones and down my nose, for a super pretty glow that creates so much light.

It blends really easily and can be applied as softly or as dramatically as you like which is fabulous and I hear it works just as brilliantly underneath foundation, which I must admit I'm yet to try.

Holding incredibly beautiful light reflecting pigments, Aurora is quite honestly a highlighting dream and available at Illasmasqua stores and counters in Selfridges, costing £18 for 6.5g of product, if you're into highlighting, it's a must have in my opinion. 

I'd love to know your thoughts on Aurora, do you prefer cream or powder highlighters?

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