Thursday 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015! *best stuff of the year gone by*

So what was new and exciting for me in 2015? I did start a YouTube channel which I am hoping to expand that side of my blogging next year :) I also celebrated my 1,000th blog post - who knew I would make it there?? I am all about the products so there was of course many new beauty and lifestyle products that I came across, and I will summarise my 'best of' below.

Highlights in Beauty 2015

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue
When this came out, it was one of those things that sounded too good to be true. I did like the Bareskin Serum foundation, but it was still a bit too 'foundation-y' for me. However when I had a trial of the Complexion Rescue, I was hooked. It is light to medium coverage, looks dewy and anti-aging and washes off when you want it to. First I was worried it was too dewy and looked shiny; I dug out my BareMinerals Mineral Veils. First I tried a light dusting of the original, powder version. That does set it to a more matte finish, but takes away too much of the anti-aging effect for me. So I tried my compact version. Win! Another note of interest is that at first I used a brush to apply this, however I've actually discovered that applying it with your fingers gives the best coverage and finish! You can then buff with a brush if you feel you need to. Complexion Rescue definitely gets an A+ for me and I am on my way to getting a second tube of this!

Clinique Pop Lip
I have never been a lipstick lady, I was always a tinted lip balm/lipgloss girl. However, I got some freebies with a magazine this year which has completely changed that! Earlier this year, Clinique launched their new lipstick range called the Pop Lip Color + Primer. They issued two of the colours as a mini luxury freebie in Glamour magazine in the autumn to tie in with the release of some new colours, and I got both colours after much hunting. The Clinique Pop Lip lipsticks has great colour payoff, doesn't dry my raisin-like lips but because it has a 'primer' element to it, still has great staying power. I have 3 colours now, and I think I've become a lipstick lady. How the hell did that happen?? :)

H&M nail polishes
H&M relaunched their makeup range this year and caused a frenzy in the beauty world. I particularly eyed up the nail polishes (of course, as one  does) and they have not disappointed! The shade range is staggering, the coverage and formula is spot on and the price point is decent. However, they have not been sold online for over a month now, and there has been no replies from H&M for my question as to why?...

John Frieda Beach Waves/Sea Waves
John Frieda Beach Waves sea salt styling spray was every girls best friend in the early 2000's. It made your hair enviously tousled as if you've just been to the beach. And it smelled of carefree summer holidays... However it was then discontinued. Why companies do this I do not know; it was a clear best seller for John Frieda and they got rid of it?.. No matter, fast forward a decade or so and 2015 saw the relaunch of this marvel of a hair styling product thanks to a petition by beauty bloggers, I believe :) They did change the name to 'Sea Waves' but it's virtually the same stuff! I love using it especially since I had my hair cut shorter. It still smells how I remember and it does a marvellous tousle!

Best of Other Stuff 2015

Adult Colouring Books
I think these should be called 'colouring books for adults' as using the words the other way around makes me think it's like colour in your own porn, but whatever... I have become obsessed, as so many other people. It is a way to be creative without having the angst of creating from scratch! Very relaxing and with so many books now out there, everyone can find a theme to colour in that they can relate to! :)

What was your favourites of 2015?

Wednesday 30 December 2015

BOXING DAY SALE: What I got...

So after having a couple of large expenses (cat emergency care/blocked drain emergency call out) I've tried to be restrained this year for Xmas. Well... I DID get a new camera! But I had some help from the Husband and Parents there. So when it came to the sales I just bought stuff I wanted for a while, and that was useful!

As the 'in-between' days ticked on, parcels started to be shipped and I got notifications. And I was like, it appears I did a lot more shopping than I thought!! Ain't that always the case...So what did I get?

So in terms of beauty, I went to town when I saw that Space.NK had the Rococo nail polishes at £3!! I always cringe at the thought of paying £12 full price for them so I have never bought one. I am hoping they are good, and of course a full review will come :)
"Love Potion Luxe" - how can one resist??       Photo: Space.NK website
I was rather underwhelmed by the gift set offerings in Boots this year, and I ended up walking out without any sales purchases on Boxing Day... I couldn't find any 'wow' deals on most of the sites I perused, and therefor it seems that 4 Rococo polishes are my only beauty sale finds!

I realised that the bulk of my sales shopping falls under the 'Useful' category. I must be getting old!! I got a new waterproof jacket; if you follow my blog you know I do ecology and lots of outdoorsy stuff so this is a definite tick on my wish list. Related to my new camera, I got a waterproof camera bag, massive memory card, LCD screen protectors, cleaning kit and an HDMI cable. I also got a 2TB external harddrive to hoard all those massive videos and photos! All for very reasonable prices, and of course Xmas present Amazon gift cards always help! Electronics seem to always be more discounted on Boxing Day than anything else, so I guess it was a good time to get a new camera :)

What were your purchases in the sales - beauty or otherwise?

Tuesday 29 December 2015

NOTD: Maybelline Color Show "Latte"

This was the nail polish in my Maybelline gift set. First I was like 'hmm, VERY nude, not sure I like that'. But then I was like, 'yeah I could rock nude, why not'. And I totally can!

I did 2 coats here, still a bit see thru so not for those who loathe the VNL. I did have couple balding patches as I was too impatient when applying it (me? never!). But it's still good. Although I do think that this is my 'mannequin manicure' nail polish... Like I have no nails... Bit freaky... I think this would really rock in the summer when I'm tanned!

It's definitely a break from reds for Xmas and extravagant glitter for New Year, if nothing else :)

Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Xmas to you all! :)

Santa was very good to me this year :) I must have been well-behaved most of the time!?

I decided I wanted to do a glowy red for my Christmas Day lunch manicure so to not out-compete the bling of my Xmas jumper! There is only one glowy red that could have been chosen - Nails Inc "Aspen", of course! I did 2 coats here and topped it with my Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. I still think the old Nails Inc formulas are magnificent, every time I use one of the old ones I remember why love it!

Nikon Coolpix L840
Santa brought me a new bridge camera for my Xmas, among other things. I had decided on the Nikon Coolpix L840 in the purple colour (why have dull black when you can have purple??). The Husband has the L830, and it was very exciting at the start of the year to play with! He's got some killer wildlife shots during the summer so I was rather jealous. My old Samsung compact just wasn't cutting it anymore in terms of the wildlife photos I wanted to take, but it will likely still come with me on ecology trips as it's very compact and still a decent camera unless you want to take more suave telephoto shots or big landscapes. My new camera is actually also good for vlogging, recording full HD, so here's hoping it will make my YouTube channel better :)

My dear friend also bought me makeup - she knows me really well :) I already blogged about the Maybelline nude set, I bought this for myself and wrapped it! How sad is that??? But it was a cracking set, you can look forward to some looks from this I hope. Anyway, I am off to do my face and then off to Xmas lunch!

How awesome is the reindeer tin?? :)

The leopard kabuki brush came from Asda - it's soo soft! The rest is from the Maybelline 'Dare to go nude' gift set.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Banishing 'winter face'!

I am all for seasons and I love a wintry walk. But after you've had a vicious cold, been out badger surveying in the rain/galeforce wind and facing another super-busy week at work, who doesn't look in the mirror on Monday morning and go 'holy sh*t what happened to my face?!' and want to just go back to bed.

So I decided to give you a low-down on the products that currently conceals my 'winter face' horror and makes me feel more alive.

As I have dry skin, I use a hydrating serum and a rich moisturiser in the winter. Currently I am loving the Botanics Radiant Youth Super Serum, and I am currently using the matching day cream with an SPF. I then use my beloved BareMinerals Complexion Rescue. I have actually started putting this on with my fingers - it actually goes on smoother without a brush. Conceal cleverly and sparingly, you don't want to look like you've covered up too much. This would defeat the glowy finish you're hoping for to conquer winter pallor.

If you really. really feel the need, use a bronzer. Personally I find they can be very tricky to get right on pale, reddish winter faces and look fake so I tend to not use them. Getting the right shade of blush for your colouring will make your face glow just the same!

When you're dry or dehydrated, it looks better to use a cream formula. I love cream blushers, summer or winter, that's no secret. Any cream blush that suits your colouring will do, you just need to try a few different ones. I love Barry M's Make Me Blush Cream Blusher because the colour 'Rhubarb Crumble' suits my skin perfectly!

And of course, to beat a lacklustre face, you need a highlight! Again I love a cream highlighter, my favourite to slap on at the moment is Collection Speedy Highlighter! Rub it in over your blush and you're ready to move to the eye area!

 I conceal under the eye using Collection's Lasting Finish Concealer. But if you're not cursed with the dark circles I am, just use an under-eye highlighter only such as Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat.

Curling lashes is a must. I then use a long wear cream eye shadow; my fave is Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo. My go-to colour for an all over shimmer is 'Pink Gold' but if you prefer a matte, use 'Creme de rose'. I then use a bronze (or if going matte, a mink coloured) pencil to add some definition along the lash line. Load up on the mascara, and use black to really make your eyes pop. In the winter, a good eye drops product will make your office atmosphere more bearable as well!

A chapped lip is never a good look. Don't overdose on lip scrub however, you shouldn't need to scrub lips all the time! Drink plenty water and you will notice a difference, I promise. I'm not a fan of petrolatum lip balms, they tend to make my lips worse. A more natural lip product may be a bit more rich and sticky so better suited to wear at night and on the plus side you wake up to hydrated lips ready to be made up!

So to finish off, if you want that really healthy look, go for a stain or tint on the lips then load up on lip balm over the top! Benetint from Benefit is of course the old classic but there are lip stain pens from many high street brands that kick ass if you want an easier to use and more purse friendly alternative. I also love a tinted lip balm and some of the most potent I've found are the Cor Balmy! range from Barry M - very tinted and purse friendly!

This look will take you from the office to the Xmas drinks without too much, touching up! So bonus, more time for mulled wine :)

Wednesday 16 December 2015

XMAS NOTD #3: Maybelline "Baby it's gold outside" Limited Edition Nail Polish Set

OK so the Xmas play list is cranked up high in my gaming headset and the decorations are out, even made gingerbread animals yesterday! Crimbo is comin', ya'll!!! :D

I featured this set in one of my recent videos, see below! It is still available in Superdrug today, it's not only 3 for 2 on Maybelline but you also get one of the nail polish duos. Pretty sweet! :) And as you can see, the results are pretty good!

The red shade (called simply "Red") was butter smooth to apply and opaque in 2 coats. Looks amazing just on it's own, and very similar in finish to Nails Inc "Tate". I then slapped on the gold glitter in some kind of gradient fashion. The gold glitter is named "Gold Stunner" and it really is! Some 'placing' was required to get what I wanted but if you just want to use it as a glitter top coat, you don't need to do anything like that. I finished the whole thing with a slick of my Bourjois £D gel top coat but it's not smooth glitter. Suddenly not looking forward to trying to take this off, but who cares... it looks amazing!!! :)

So Xmas is definitely ON! So tide you over til my next Xmas NOTD, here's a shot of this years Xmas jumper purchase and my gingerbread! :)

Xmas jumper from Asda!

Gingerbread animals!

Tuesday 8 December 2015

XMAS NOTD #2: Barry M "Sparkling Ruby" / OPI "Goldeneye"

I keep dragging "Goldeneye" out - it's probably one of the all time best gold glitters out there :) Despite requiring 3 coats for opacity, the sheerness is what makes it as otherwise it wouldn't have the multi-layer glimmer it does!

One of my new favourite red glitters has got to be this limited edition Gelly from Barry M. I think I might need to campaign for it to become a permanent polish, it's that good! Two butter-smooth coats of perfection here. I hope they are thinking about making some more glitter Gelly polishes...

I have my works Xmas lunch tomorrow so I will be able to match this manicure to my insanely sparkly X,as jumper :) I will post some photos, I promise!

Sunday 6 December 2015

NOTD: H&M "Russet Pearl"

Daylight - day 2
Artificial light
Here is another of the H&M polishes for you! Worryingly, they are not currently selling ANY of their new nail polishes online.... I fear the worst! Are they all out of stock or is there a problem?...

I chose the red to kick off my Xmas nails, I've not been well so I haven't been doing my nails but I thought I would start now. Anyway, like the other new H&M polishes so far this is a dream! The only thing with this polish was I had a bit of a duff brush so I had some application issues, hence the smudgey cuticles. I don't think there is a problem with the formula just the faulty brush on this particular bottle.

This isn't too brush-strokey and it is nicely opaque even with just 1 coat. But I did 2 coats here, cuz that's how I roll, yo. I topped it with my Bourjois 3D gel top coat but it's nice and shiny even without a top coat. I just don't like sitting around with wet nails all night. Even when the Muppets is on! This is a warm, light red shimmer polish, but it does appear rather orange in my photo. I must take another one tomorrow in daylight to show you the real colour.

Loving the new H&M polishes, I do hope they come back into the online shop soon :(

Saturday 5 December 2015

Xmas is comin'!

It's been a while - sorry!!! I had a really nasty cold in the last week and I have been super-busy at work both at work and at home for the last month! I haven't even been wearing nail polish a lot!! Which is almost unheard of.

I have done some shopping though, being almost Xmas and all. Mostly for myself though, haha :) I have done a couple of videos of my shopping exploits, so head over to my YouTube channel for that!

I've been so busy lately I've nearly lost my blogging mojo; I have all these ideas but not enough time to sit down and write it all! I can't wait for the Xmas holidays, not long now. I've got most of my decorations up already so I am really getting into the holiday spirit. I can't wait to work on my 'Best of 2015' post :D

I thought I would talk about Xmas beauty gifts, been watching so many YouTube videos about them lately. I don't tend to buy a lot of beauty gifts for other people because no one else is really that fussed in my friends circle (bunch of hippie ecologists), but I do like to buy them for myself! This year however I've only managed to buy one gift set so far for myself; I thought I would buy it before it sold out because it is a most excellent set! I got mine in Asda for £10 however you can also get it online at

The packaging may be plain....

..but there is gold inside! :)
I maybe don't rave enough about the Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo eye shadows. I should. The "Pink Gold" colour has been my go-to eyeshadow for the last 2 years, and I've just discovered a new favourite in their Creamy Mattes collection, "Creme de rose". It is a slightly pinky concealer type colour, and it's matte. It makes your eyes look flawless on it's own, or it is a kick-ass base for powder shadows! Love it!

Anyway, the Nude Perfection gift set contains another of the Creamy Mattes - "Creamy Beige". It was what drew my eye to the set. It is a darker shade than "Creme de rose" and will likely look awesome blended in the crease and outer corner of the eye! The set also contains a nude nail polish ("Latte"), a Colorsensational Lipstick in the colour "Tantalising Taupe" and a transparent version of the excellent BrowDrama! All products are full size, and even with the £15 pricetag, I think this is a killer set! Not one of these will be sad in the 'unused' part of my makeup stash as I'm on a nude high right now :)

Anyway I have my eye on some other sets which I am hoping will make it into the Boxing Day/January sales (yes, this year I will be going to the sales on Boxing Day!). What gift sets are on your wish list?? :)

*this is NOT a sponsored post - I bought this myself, although if anyone from Maybelline wanna send me another one for my birthday, they're more than welcome!*