Thursday, 15 October 2015

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream | Review



Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream £25 - If you hadn't guessed already, I am a massive Clarins fiend, they are by far my favourite brand not just for skincare but also for makeup too. One of my best friends is a Counter Manager for one of my local counters which means I get some great insider info on what really will sit my skin however the little beauty photographed above needed no introduction to me. I don't know when I first tried this, I probably stole some from my sister at some point well over 6 years ago but I have always coveted it as my holy grail of exfoliators. The beads are so fine yet so jam packed that you know you're really exfoliating your entire face and also means you don't have to scrub as hard to reach everywhere. It's so gentle that it can even be used dry (not something that's ever appealed to myself personally but it's a pretty good testimony to how soft it is). The ba-zillions of teeny tiny beads means that it leaves my face superbly smooth and as though no dry patch has been left untouched and I can be confident that I won't step out of the shower (I always exfoliate in the shower, I don't know why) and suddenly see a little cluster of flakes that it's failed to whisk away. 
The only downside to this is the mixture of the price tag and it's size. I'm currently using a budget version of this although which doesn't have quite the same amount of grains however the size of the product is twice the size for half of the price. For £25 (£26 in boots!) you only get 50ml which really doesn't go too far. I've actually run out of this for the time being however I will definitely purchase some more as soon as their doing a Gift With Purchase (why anyone would buy anything high end without a GWP is beyond me) but I think with my impending arrival on the way I'll have to keep this solely for emergencies and special occasions. 
Much like the product itself, this review will be compact and to the point. If you want a highly effective exfoliator that's going to scrub away any nastiness or dry patches then this could be the one for you if you can bear the price tag. I've always been told that you're only supposed to exfoliate once a week, twice maximum so as to not damaged the elasticity in your skin however even on that basis it won't last you very long. Similarly if any of you can recommend a high street dupe for this that has a large amount of fine grains then please so sling it my way. I can't stand exfoliators that feel as though they only have 5 or 6 beads per dollop and I end up using far too much of the product just to make sure the job is done. Claris, you've still got my heart when it comes to exfoliators, however I'm not sure that my wallet agrees. 

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

NARS Dual Intensity Eye Palette




NARS Dual Intensity Eye Palette £45 - I'm always one to buy these innovative new things and get suck in by sales spiel but then sit and wonder how on earth I'm actually going to get any proper use out of it. I was slightly worried that this might be the same with this Dual Intensity Palette from NARS, although if I'm going to be Intense anywhere then it will be on my eyes but it was still quite the impulse buy. I have a single one of these in "dione" which is a beautiful metallic silver/grey that gives a bit of "oomph" to my black smokey eyes. Now I have the full palette I can find a use for almost every single shade bar maybe the burgundy. With my sister's upcoming wedding however this palette has risen to the challenge on giving her a slightly more dramatic version of her every day makeup look, using the palest of nudey colours I simply add this to an otherwise matte look on her eyes and it gives her the tiniest bit of sparkle and lift that it needs to scream "bridal" yet "sophisticated".
I was super nervous to try mixing this as a base colour and putting darker ones into the crease, usually it's the last thing I add just using my ring finger on the inner corner to middle of my eye however I was worried that as an all over base it might mix with the matte shadows and look clumpy. Obviously I should have had more faith in NARS as it did no such thing, it simply acted as the perfect all over base and allowed me to create a soft smokey look over the top. We as bridesmaids are wearing Navy dresses so I'm keen to find a way to possibly incorporate that shade into our looks although I think that may be a step too far for the bride who wants everything to look natural. I was also a bit dubious that this would be anything but natural, even in the nudest shade, however once mixed with soft browns to the crease it looked really pretty and soft. 
Personally, I think I'll end up using the darker colours either dry or as eyeliner as I can't see me being too adventurous these days with my makeup, however with all of the seasonal and Christmas parties coming up you never know, they may all get a look in at some point!
Do I think this is worth the money? Most definitely, it's a luxury product and it's not meant to be anything less, it's versatility means you get twice the usage out every single colour and the performance of the shadows themselves is, as expected, flawless. It doesn't crease like some wet-and-dry shadows can do and it doesn't look like a paste or clump either and it's staying power is fantastic. Whether or not I'll repurchase it is another question, as someone who is probably going to be keeping things simple for the foreseeable I'm not sure I could justify such a huge amount again on a product that won't get too much of a look in. 

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

#NottsBloggerMeet15

 













 First of all I am so sorry that this post is now over two months late, needless to say I got my big news the Thursday after this event and life changed almost instantly. This is the second meet up that I have ever organised and boy, was it tough. It's all fun and games and seeing what cool and new products you can get for the goody bags until all of those products start arriving in your house and taking over your spare bedroom! I'm just jesting (kind of), and it is always worth it on the day.
I was lucky enough to meet a lot of new faces at this meet up which is always a huge delight when attending events and there was some familiar ones too who it was great to catch up with. I limited this one to only 20 people and think we only had around 16 on the day, it's frustrating when people drop out but it can get very complicated keeping on top of who's and who's out so I made a cut off date and after that no one was to be replaced. In the end I think it turned out well, I don't like large crowds and get really shy with lots of new people so I felt really at ease knowing there was going to be less of us.
We were all treated to a wonderful talk and demonstration from Lush Nottingham to start the day off, as someone who is a bit of a Lush Newbie I found it really informative and eye opening as to all of the wonderful things that they offer. I'm not a big bath person but the bombs looked divine and I actually use my shampoo bar to clean my makeup brushes with now as it's just so easy. Even once our demo was over the staff were so helpful and friendly and one lady took me round the whole store showing me pregnancy friendly bits (I had a sneaky suspicion even then!).
Next up everyone headed off to Kiko whilst I tried to organise one last surprise, luckily it paid off and Clintons very kindly donated me some balloons which after the meal we let off in memory of Carly who the community tragically lost in Tunisia. Everyone was given a chance to write a memory or message down on a card to attach to the balloon to make it personalised and it was a really nice moment.
After Kiko we grabbed our lunch at Jamie's Italian, I love Italian food so much and Jamie's is a wonderful and funky restaurant. The staff were so accommodating and helpful and the room was beautifully set up for us when we walked in. We all had a lovely chat and a natter and it was lovely to sit back and watch friendships form or people who obviously hadn't seen each other in a while catch up on everything that had been going on and obviously, the food was just divine.
Lastly we held a raffle in aid of The Butterfly Hospice which is a local charity where my Mother in Law volunteers, we managed to raise £60 which was so much more than I imagined and was just absolutely fantastic! In return the girls all got some amazing prices from brands such as Weleda, Sunkissed, Batiste and many more!

Overall the day was a lovely success in my own humble opinion and although I'm not sure whether or not I'd host one again, I've made some real friends for like, Kara and Becky I'm looking at you there, and it was great to see Lora, Emma and Charlie again too and I can't wait to see you all soon! It's not as easy as it may look to host a meet up and in future I think I'll let someone else take the reins but it pays off to see some happy blogger faces and glowing reviews of the products you've been able to get for them!

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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Clarins Everlasting+ Foundation | Review



Clarins Everlasting+ Foundation* £27.50 - I remember this foundation first hitting the shelves earlier this year and being lucky enough to get a sample and instantly thinking it was just wonderful. Me being the magpie that I am, I quickly moved on to the next shiny launch that hit the cosmetics department I was working in at the time however when I was given the chance to try it out for real, I jumped at it. I had been toying with purchasing either this or the Chanel Velvet Lumiere as I think they're both quite similar in finish and I prefer something a little more matte and heavy in the Autumn Months. I still remember the first time I ever wore this out and about (which is a rarity for me) and looking in the car's wing mirror to just think "wow my skin looks flawless!". Possibly extremely big headed of me but it really did look wonderful. It's a fairly heavy coverage foundation and I personally don't think there's much wriggle room if you want to build it up as it seemed to move rather than blend in with itself.
Back onto the positives, you don't really need to powder a lot, if at all, with this foundation. In fact I only use powder to set my concealer under my eyes with this foundation as it is a matte finish. It also lasts all day, Everlasting Plus it certainly is. I can trust this foundation to be popped on early in the morning for work and know that it will last me right through until going out for dinner later that night. Being pregnant means that I have zero energy these days so anything that saves me time and faff is a winner for me. This foundation is super easy to apply (although you do have to be careful not to put too much on otherwise it can be a bugger to blend in) and because of the level of coverage I don't have to faff around going over bits that may need a little extra. It also saves me time on concealer too as it covers any blemishes well enough for me to feel confident going out for the day.
With great power, however, comes great responsibility as they always say and you need to have a jolly good skincare routine with this one. I don't know if it's because I've never actually owned a matte foundation before or if this is something unique to this one but it is drying on the skin, after a few weeks of constantly wearing this to cover up my tired early pregnancy skin and being super lazy with my skincare routine, my skin really suffered and went very dry. You need to be prepared to take this off properly and have a nice gentle cleanse of an evening before a good night cream and similarly prep with a refreshing yet effective moisturiser of a morning, and maybe even a primer too if you're prone to dry patches. At first I put it down to my changing hormones however a few others have commented that they had the same issue so I think you just need a good regime and moisturiser if you want to use this on the regular.
Overall, it's my go-to if I'm feeling a bit self conscious or want a really flawless look and for £27.50 it's not the priciest of foundations I've ever owned or lusted after so it's negative points don't put me off repurchasing this should I need to. The colours are ever so slightly different to the old Everlasting Foundation from Clarins so I would recommend going to get matched up again if you're an old faithful to the brand and with the amount of coverage it's not one you want to be slightly out on colour wise. 

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Life has changed..

You may have wondered (or you may have not noticed at all) that I've kind of dropped off of the face of the twitter/blogging/social media planet for the past two months. Whether or not you've missed me, I've missed you a lot, I've had a lot of "blogger guilt" over the past few weeks for leaving my corner of the internet to fend for itself and obviously logging back on to see my plummeting views was slightly eye watering however sometimes life gets in the way of things and I have a funny feeling it's something I may need to get used to...


I am having a baby! Yes that tiny little squidgy jellybean is currently growing away in my tummy, wriggling around and becoming bigger and stronger by the day. If you know me personally then you'll be well aware that to be a Mum is all that I have ever wanted from this life and I feel like the luckiest person alive to have such a miracle inside of me.

I'll be doing fairly sporadic "bump updates" as I don't want to commit to anything weekly at this point (given that this post is the first thing I've written in over 8 weeks, I don't think it's wise to set myself up for a fail) and I don't want the baby to completely take over my blog. I've lost too many favourite beauty bloggers to motherhood and parenting so I'm really hoping to keep this corner of the internet mainly beauty focused however I can already see how easy it is to be totally taken over by your littlest bundle of joy.

I've stolen some questions from Milly at Pearls and Poodles but I'll have to adapt a few I think, but here's a little insight into how my first 13 weeks of expectant motherhood have been...

How far along: 13 Weeks + 2 Days
Days until due date: 186 days
My bump: There's definitely one there but it's only really visible if I'm wearing a vest or am in the nud! I was lucky enough to have a flat stomach before getting pregnant so I can be certain that the little tum that I'm sporting is all baby.
Weight changes: I've actually lost a lb since my 8 week midwife appointment. I didn't weigh myself before pregnancy so we'll use 10st 7lbs as a starting point. So -1lb!
Stretch marks? No and I'm really ramping up the tlc on my tummy to try and prevent that. 
Cravings: Nothing in particular, I've had more food aversions than cravings although cheese and eggs (not together!) have been consistently going down a treat. The nauseousness has subsided over the past week and I can eat medium sized meals, although I feel as though I've eaten a three course dinner even after a measly sandwich. 
Sleep: I cannot sleep! I've noticed that I'm ever so slightly less tired now but the smallest noises keep me awake for hours and I cannot get back to sleep.
Symptoms: Headaches, every day from early afternoon until around 7pm I have a headache and sometimes it turns into a full on migraine. Feeling full, as I said above I can eat just a simple sandwich and will feel as though I've had a full roast dinner. Grumpy, everyone reading this needs to give James a pat on the back because I am touchy at the moment, mostly down to just being so tired and uncomfortable. Light sleeper, I've never been the heaviest of sleepers but James coming in off of a late shift has never bothered me to the point that I'm awake for the rest of the night, for example now I'm currently writing this from the sofa after I gave up at 5.30am last night/morning. 
Best moment this week: Telling everyone! We had what we thought was our 12 week scan last Wednesday which was the day before my 23rd birthday. They dated us as a week over what the midwife had predicted and then I just couldn't wait to tell the world! You've all been so kind and lovely on twitter that it's made me desperate to blog again and get back to interacting with you all. 
Worst moment this week: Not all of my family have been particularly supportive and it's starting to come to a bit of a head. 
Miss anything? Sleep! I suppose it's not a travesty that I'm learning to deal with a lack of sleep already but I really didn't expect it this early on.
Maternity clothes: I possibly don't "need" them just yet but I'm definitely getting uncomfortable in my normal work trousers and jeans after a long day. I think I can get away for quite a bit longer in my faithful dark blue jeans however my tailored work trousers are going to have to be swapped for some maternity ones fairly soon. 
Movement: None yet but it's not expected for a good few more weeks!
Gender: Unknown as of yet but we've received the date for our second scan and we can't wait to find out! 
Belly button in/out: In
Mood: Excited for the next stage of my pregnancy and much more relaxed now that it's public knowledge. I'm just getting used to being a bit more physically uncomfortable but I'm sure the worst is yet to come on that front!
Looking forward to: Looking less like I've gotten a bit podgy and more like I'm actually pregnant and hopefully feeling a bit more human now the first trimester is on it's way out. 

So that's a little update for you all now, I do have a photo that I need to find and upload but really, don't expect too much from me just yet. I'll be doing a "first trimester essentials" post or video (I'm really not sure which direction I'll go in at the moment) rather soon as well as a general overview of how I've got on so far! If you're newly expecting or are a mummy then please come and find me as it'd be lovely to get more involved in that side of the new blogging community!


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