Sunday, 27 January 2013

Winter Skincare Routine

I've spent the last few weeks fighting against the elements and trying to protect my skin from the freezing weather and recent snow! I have dry/sensitive skin so this has been quite a challenge!

The products I have been using lately have done a fantastic job at keeping my skin nourished and well hydrated. I have barely seen any dry patches on my skin this winter thanks to the likes of Liz Earle and Avene products.
If you would like to hear me chat about all these winter goodies, click on the video below!
The Video
Thanks for reading & watching!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Hello Sofa!

Just about managed to get to the end of a very hectic week at work! The snow has caused absolute chaos to our normal day-day routine at school and I had some very tired children on my hands today. I couldn't sit down without a little person appearing on my lap for a cuddle. I lost count of how many times I was asked if it was nearly home time! We all made it though (just) and I am so happy to be sat on the sofa with a class of wine and my favourite candle burning! Roll on the weekend!

If I can offer any good advice in this blog it would be...try not to drop your powder because this happens...

I was only half way through it!

This weekend I am on the hunt for a new one and am quite tempted to splurge on the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. This is £31 and I have never spent that much on a powder so if anyone has any good recommendations I would love to hear from you before I get sucked into the world of the Space NK website and end up with things I don't need in my shopping basket!
I am uploading a Winter Skincare Routine video as I type so this should be up on my channel on Sunday!
Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

It's A Keeper!

Lady Million by Paco Rabanne has certainly taken pride of place in my perfume collection. Since having it I have neglected my other perfumes and have worn nothing else! It's the perfect perfume to wear during the day as well as evening because it has such a light fresh scent. It has top notes of bitter orange, neroli and raspberry with floral notes of orange blossom and jasmine. The base notes are patchouli, amber and honey. Now that's quite a list of smells but the most important thing you need to know is that it smells AMAZING! I have had so many compliments when wearing it and just can't get enough of the smell. I am about to run out so will be rushing out to buy it again as soon as I've used up the very last drop.
You can pick this up from Boots and the price ranges from £36.50 - £65 depending on what size and whether you choose eau de toilette or parfum. If you haven't had a smell of this before, go and have a good whiff and like me I'm sure you will be hooked!
Thanks for reading!


Monday, 21 January 2013

Empties #1

I have a feeling I may do a lot of these blog posts as I seem to get through quite a lot of products!
If you'd like to see me chat about all of these products, go and have a look at my first ever YouTube video! After about a million attempts at filming and having a go at the mind boggling world of editing, it's finally ready!
(A list of products and where you can get them will be in the video's information bar.)

The Video

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy my video!


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Winter Weekend

Interesting 'snow baskets' hmmm good job there were no flowers in them!
Pretty much still snowed in at the moment but I am loving it. Everything looks so pretty outside and as I said in my 'Snow Day' post it's the perfect excuse to stay in, be cosy, have a pamper and wear multiple layers of clothes!
I am busy reading my new book Blog INC by Joy Deangdeelert and making notes to get better at this blogging malarkey!
I was making the most of my day off in front of a crackling fire!

Still needed a few hot water bottles to defrost after a snowy walk!

I spent most of the day craving a hot bubble bath so once the heating had kicked in I went for a long soak. I used my Soap & Glory Calm One, Calm All bubbles and my new This Works candle (review on that coming up).

After a good soak and a few YouTube videos later I got out of the bath and went straight back to the fire! Perfect snow day?! I think so!
Today I am busy making chocolate cherry brownies for a lovely friends birthday dinner tonight! I think we may have to ski there?!

Fingers crossed they turn out OK!

Happy Weekend everyone.

Thanks for reading!


Winter hand care

How many of you have been building snowmen? Come on be honest! If you have, you'll be needing some good hand cream on afterwards.
I am really having to look after my skin at the moment to keep my eczema under control. My skin is at its worst during the winter months, so I make sure I am stocked up with  a good hand cream. My hands get a good battering during the winter and I have to apply hand cream every time I wash my hands and regularly throughout the day.

I picked this gem up from Crabtree & Evelyn during my Christmas shopping. I was shopping for my Mums prezzie and had no intention of buying anything else-honest! My boyfriend bought my Mum a lovely set of hand creams and I couldn't help but feel really jealous! The sales assistant saw me eyeing up the basket of hand creams at the till and told me they were on offer (music to  my ears). She let me have a good sniff of each one and my clear favourite was India Hicks Island Living. The scent is absolutely gorgeous! It smells of spider lily and jasmine and contains shea butter and myrrh extracts. Myrrh extracts are believed to help condition the cuticles and nails. The cream is also formulated without and parabens, lauryl sulfates, mineral oil and propylene glycol. So no nasties for the skin.

I only payed £2 for a 25g tube, they are normally £9 for 50g, £15 for 100g or £22 for a 275g pump bottle (ideal for the bathroom or by the kitchen sink). I will definitely be buying this cream again. It's quite a thick cream but it soaks into the skin so quickly and best of all doesn't leave your hands greasy. I love the packaging, it's much more interesting than a boring plastic tube. The small size I have is perfect to pop in your clutch on a night out and the 50g tube is perfect for your work handbag.
I hadn't been into Crabtree & Evelyn for a long time and was really impressed with the store. Everything is beautifully packaged and there are good descriptions of the products. Some of it is quite pricey but having a good look at the ingredients lists it's no great surprise. You do have to pay a bit more if you want to put nice things on your skin.
So if you're on the hunt for a new hand cream go and have a look in Crabtree & Evelyn!
Thanks for reading!


Friday, 18 January 2013

My two favourite words, SNOW DAY!

Now I know teachers get amazing holidays, but we still get completely over excited if someone mentions the word SNOW! Cue checks of the BBC Weather website every hour and scrutinising the school closure procedure. The thought of an impending snow day is better than Christmas for me and I know I am not the only one. It's the ultimate excuse to do nothing apart from snuggle up in the warm with a cuppa and a good film.
We had already had a bit of snow earlier in the week and the children have had a great time building snowmen and sledging everywhere and anywhere there is still a patch of snow remaining. However, trying to teach your class when it's been snowing? FORGET IT! By the time you have taken off wellies, soaking gloves, socks, hats and defrosted tiny hands they are in no mood for 'work'. They have this defiant look in their eye that says 'do not ask me to do anything else OK?!'
I think I had about 3 snow dreams last night anticipating the first look out of the window this morning. Then sat half dressed waiting for a text and the three golden words SCHOOL IS CLOSED. Well this mornings antics were a bit of a palaver if I am honest. My school was a little late with the text and it said 'open' (heart sinks). Luckily for me it had already started snowing pretty heavily so I had two options, stay put or go in and get sent home again. My boyfriend urged me to stay at home and I didn't exactly argue that one! I definitely made the right choice in staying put as my school was open for all of 2 and a half hours! I can now be officially snowed in and commence my snow day!
Luckily this arrived before the snow! Can't wait to get stuck in!
Cosy socks are a must have for snow day attire as well as a cup of tea. I'm going to write a few blogs today I think while I wait for my boyfriend to get home. Then it is definitely time for snowman making!
Wishing you all a very happy snow day/days, keep safe and warm.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

I Heart Liz Earle

I have been using and loving all things Liz Earle for over a year now and I have to say, I can't live without it! I have really noticed a difference in my skin and have not had a spot for AGES (I will probably get one now...) I can see and feel that my skin is very soft and much brighter since using the cleanser.
What I really love about this stuff is the quality. I don't need to take ages on my daily skincare routine for these products to make me feel like I am really giving my skin a luxurious pamper every time I use it. I really notice a difference when I am not using it. Liz Earle products are aimed at all skin types and have great descriptions of each product on their website (link below).

This very famous cleanser is know as the Cleanse & Polish, Hot Cloth Cleanser. I use it morning and evening most days. You take a small amount and massage it all over your face. To remove the cleanser you soak a pure muslin cloth in warm water and then gently wipe your face. This gives your face a very gentle exfoliation and removes makeup and dead skin cells. It is gentle enough to use on your eyes and removes eye makeup well. I like to use my Clarisonic  Mia in the evenings with this cleanser to give my skin a deep cleanse and remove my makeup more thoroughly. It smells absolutely gorgeous and contains rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus essential oil. A 200ml tube costs £24, this may seem pricey but it does last a long time and I think it is worth every penny.
After I have cleansed my skin I spritz all over with the Instant Boost Tonic. I decanted some of mine into a little spray bottle as I find it easier to apply and it makes it last longer too. The tonic is very gentle and doesn't contain any alcohol, this is great for me as alcohol is very drying. It has a lovely floral scent and sinks into the skin quickly. A 200ml bottle is £12.50, you can get it in a spray bottle for £13. I must have missed that when I ordered mine!

Every now and then my skin starts to feel a little dull and dry so I treat it to a mask. As I have dry/sensitive skin I went for the Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask (50ml £14,25). This mask is lovely and creamy and really hydrates my skin. It contains West African shea and borage seed oil and is smells of rose-scented geranium. I leave it on my skin for 10-15 minutes and then remove with a warm muslin cloth or flannel. I am loving this mask and it will definitely be a must have in my skincare for a while.
Liz Earle skincare is available from their website and John Lewis

P.S Delivery from Liz Earle is fantastic! It arrives pretty quickly and is beautifully packaged. They always throw in a  skincare or makeup sample and a copy of one of their magazines. As if I needed any more encouragement to buy more skincare and makeup!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 14 January 2013

Lipstick newbie? Try These!

Spot the most loved (battered by handbag) one!

So in terms of makeup I have tried most things but have never really been that interested with lipsticks, I don't have particularly full lips and have never thought lipstick really suited me. I have tried coloured lip balms and really enjoyed wearing them.

So for any of you lipstick newbies out there like me these Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain chubby crayons are brilliant. They offer a lightweight/ buildable lipstain and contain a moisturising balm. They are really easy to apply and add a nice sheen to the lips.

They are available in 12 colours from Boots at £7.99, they are on offer at the moment for £5!

From left to right I have the shades, Honey, Romantic and Crush. Honey is the perfect shade for daytime makeup and adds a nice subtle pink to the lips. I usually wear Romantic and Crush for more of an evening look. The colours last really well, in fact so well that even after a good cleanse my lips still had a smidgen of colour on them!

I should also mention that the Revlon balm stains are very similar to the Clinique Chubby Sticks. The packaging is exactly the same, not sure how they got away with that really...I haven't tried the Clinique chubby sticks yet so the only thing I can compare is the price, £16! I am not sure I would want to pay that much for a lipstick product just yet. I'm happy experimenting with the Revlon variety.
Happy pouting and thank you so much for reading.


Sunday, 13 January 2013

The classic red nail

This Revlon nail polish is by far my favourite nail polish. That's saying something as I do own a fair few polishes! This one always wins for me as its a great colour and so easy to apply.

The formulation of this beauty is perfect for when you are in a bit of a rush and haven't got time to wait ages between coats. It goes on really smoothly and despite the bold colour you do only need one coat. I usually apply a base coat to avoid staining your nails. A good top coat ensures they last that little bit longer. I would recommend any base and top coat polish from the Sally Hansen range.

I have a few other Revlon nail polishes but none of them match this one. My pet hate with polishes is waiting for each layer to dry, then just when you think they are dry, you go about your daily life and end up smudging your nails! Cue angry stamp of the feet and a few choice words! I know it's only nails and there are much more important things happening in the world but it is so ANNOYING! This has never happened with this one however, and takes as long to dry as drinking a good ol'cuppa!

Not in too bad a state after a night out!

Revlon polishes are available from Boots for £6.49, just had a quick look on their website and they are on offer for £5.00, bargain! I wonder how many of you will go to Boots to stock up and come out with much more than you intended...

Thanks for reading!


I've finally jumped on the Laguna bandwagon!

I lost track of how many times I had read a review or watched a makeup tutorial and NARS Laguna bronzing powder was mentioned so...I finally caved and made my purchase. The bronzing powder comes in 3 shades, Laguna, Casino and Irrestiblement. I was quite surprised when I finally got my hands on it as it looked quite dark. However, most of the skin tones on the tutorials I had seen were quite pale like mine so I thought I would give it a whirl!

The bronzing powder is a diffused powder with a very subtle golden shimmer. It adds a lovely warmth to the skin and is a master at contouring the face.You only need to add a small amount to your brush, a little goes a long way. This is good news as it costs £25...but it will last you a long time (this was my justification to my shocked looking boyfriend anyway).

I use a Real Techniques contouring brush to apply the bronzer just under my cheekbones and a little on my temples and nose. This creates a nice warmth to your face as well as enhancing cheekbones and making your face look slimmer.

This is a fantastic bronzer that has been recommended so many times. I'm so pleased I finally have it. NARS say that this bronzer will suit all skin tones and I have to say I was completely wrong when I thought it may be too dark for me. Its just the right shade and most importantly I am no shade of ORANGE!
The very well groomed sales assistant in Space.NK did say this to me "the world will stop turning the day we don't have Laguna!"
So there you go, Laguna 3 gold stars for you!
Thanks for reading!


Friday, 11 January 2013

Dry Skin Loves...


The cold winter weather has made a comeback and my poor skin is not happy about it! Already I can feel it start to tighten and crave being smothered in body lotion 24/7. As I am prone to eczema  I am really fussy about my skincare. After years of trying different brands I have finally found the products that my skin can't live without! 
My shower/bath essentials

I came across Soap & Glory last winter as I was looking for a new shower gel and bubble bath to try. I was so happy with both products and have re-purchased both from Boots several times since. Boots often do their 3 for 2 on Soap & Glory so you can pick up a good bargain.

Clean On Me- creamy, clarifying shower gel
I absolutely LOVE this shower gel and so does my skin. It lathers up really well and has a really luxurious feel about it. It's very soothing and creamy on the skin and smells gorgeous. It contains natural manderin peel extract and a built in body lotion.
(Boots £5.50)

Calm One Calm All- Deluxe formula with body lotion built in
In the past bubble bath has never agreed with my skin and antagonises my eczema. I was having a particularly stressful time at school and was craving a good soak in the bath. The title caught my eye and after a read of the goodies it contains I grabbed it off the shelf. I'm so glad I did! It has a very similar scent to the shower gel above and is very creamy and soothing for the skin. It contains lemon balm, mallow extracts and moisture-magnetising skin conditioners. This stuff is unbelievably soothing and it did the job of relaxing me every time. If you don't have this in your life go and get it!
(Boots £5.50)

The new love in my life

Whipped Clean- Luxe cream wash shower butter
This is the new love in my life! I popped into Boots this week to buy deodorant and came out with several other items- ooops, this always happens! After using a shower gel you rub this into the skin until it becomes soapy and then wash it off. I'd recommend turning the shower off while you do this as I lost a huge dollop down the plughole! It leaves your skin feeling very soft and if you don't have particularly dry skin you probably wouldn't need to use a body lotion afterwards. It contains cocoa butter, shea butter, grapeseed, sweet almond and macadamia nut oils with a scent of pistachio, almond and sweet vanilla. GO AND GET THIS!

My top 3 body lotions

I have lost count with how many body lotions I have tried over the years. There always seem to be several new lotions on the market that claim to be amazing for dry skin. They are usually very thick creams that leave your skin feeling very greasy and the product never seems to really sink into the skin. Ever tried to put skinny jeans on after this type of lotion?! NIGHTMARE! You need about the same skill needed when putting on a wetsuit! So here are my top 3:

Eau Thermale Avene Trixera cream emollient
This has a very rich texture and is fragrance free to help sooth very dry sensitive skin. Although this is a very thick cream it does sink into the skin and doesn't feel too greasy. I picked up mine from Boots £11.50 for 200ml. This is quite pricey so I use it on elbows, knees and my hands, or all over when my skin is at its worst and feeling very dry.
Lush Dream Cream
Oh Lush how I love thee...the good news is I can still use this on my very dry skin (unlike the bathbombs I mentioned in my 'My Lush Dream Is Over' post). Again this is quite pricey at £10.95 for 240g so I have only purchased this once. This is a lovely lotion for the summer because it leaves the skin looking silky and smelling lovely. I smothered my legs in this before going to a summer party, I was wearing a dress with bare legs and they stayed feeling silky all evening. As it's Lush the lotion contains an abundance of goodies: rose water, organic extra virgin olive oil, cocoa butter, lavender oil, tea tree oil, chamomile blue oil and oat milk! Oats have been used for years to help cool hot damaged skin and to help treat eczema. This lotion ticks all the boxes for me apart from the price, I did get through it quite quickly so will save this one as a 'treating myself' purchase!

Vaseline essential moisture
This is the ultimate winner for me. I have tried so many lotions and I always come back to this one. Like Dream Cream this also contains oat extract. It's the least thick in texture of the 3 so is perfect to slap on after a shower/bath. It soaks in super quick and leaves my skin feeling soothed and very soft. It has a lovely fresh scent and doesn't leave your skin feeling bogged down by product. I pick this up from Tesco for £4.20, its quite often half price too, BARGAIN!
I hope this post has helped any fellow dry skin/eczema prone of you out there.
Thanks for reading, I'm off for a bath...



Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Elizabeth Arden to the rescue!

A winter must have for lips
So whilst slobbing on the sofa the other evening I felt that my lips were feeling really dry and flaking. Being in my daydream state I started picking at them. Something my mum has always told me not to do, oh boy was she right!
The next morning I woke up to really attractive sore blotchy red lips - great! I immediately reached for my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I know a lot of makeup artists use it as it soothes the driest of lips straight away. It also creates a great base for lipstick or over the top to act as a gloss. It's quite a greasy thick dark orange cream (goes clear on skin) and can be used on any dry patches of skin. You only need a very small amount for the lips.
I smothered my lips throughout the day and overnight and by the next day the red patches had faded and the flaking skin had completely gone. This stuff really works when you need it and a definite must have for the winter. I would recommend the fragrance free cream as the normal cream has a very strong scent - and in my opinion a not very nice one!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Back To School Makeup


Day 2 back at school, me and the children are already exhausted-oh dear! I think it's just the shock of being back at school and getting back into the routine. Well that's what I am hoping anyway!

Thought I would show you what my normal day-day makeup routine is for a school day.

I usually wear my hair loose...

...unless someone mentions NITS!!!



No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation- Cool Vanilla, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer- Light 2, applied with a Real Techniques buffing brush


Nars bronzer- Laguna, applied with MAC 120 brush
Nars blusher- Deep Throat, applied with Real Techniques blush brush

Estee Lauder 07 Surreal Skies shade- 'shimmer' (lightest shade) , applied with a MAC 239 brush
Soap & Glory Lid Stuff  'What's Nude' shade- Mudhoney (bottom left). Liz Earl Blend & Contour used to contour eyes. Bed Head 'Fame' angled brush used to fill in brows.
Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen to line lashes, The Body Shop 01 Eye Definer-black in waterline.
Cliniques High Impact Mascara

Korres Lip Butter - Jasmine
Boujois Healthy Balance powder- 53 Beige Clair

Right early night needed, is it really only Tuesday?!
Thanks for reading!