Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A MAC Haul

So this is what happens when I am left unsupervised on the MAC website when my sole intention is to purchase just one new foundation. My love for MAC waivers - some days I can't get enough of their new collections and other times I just find the it all a bit overwhelming and overhyped and I swiftly move on. However MAC will always be my saviour when it comes to great base products and gorgeous lipsticks in every shade imaginable so I decided to treat myself to a few new things for my eyes, lips and face.

Firstly, let's talk lipsticks! From left to right, top to bottom we have Blankety (a soft beige pink) and Pure Zen (a frosted warm nude). I honestly don't know why it has taken me so long to purchase either of these lipsticks as they are both so beautiful and totally my kind of shades. Blankety is one of those lipsticks that sits neatly alongside the likes of Velvet Teddy and Honeylove - a warm, brown-ish nude that warms up the complexion and helps emulate those Kylie Jenner lips! Pure Zen is such a pretty nude with a peachy base and slightly frosted finish. It is a flattering nude option if you are a bit wary of the starker options, such as Myth and Fleshpot, and works perfectly paired with a heavier eye look and coral-powdered cheeks.

Onto the eyes and there were a few things on my mind as I scrolled through MAC's extension selection - some loose pigments and a new paint pot for a quick, easy base. You may be surprised to discover that I didn't own a single MAC pigment before this order hit my post box so I was excited to venture into a world of sparkles and duo-chrome shimmer. Vanilla was an obvious choice and top of my list due to its wonderful versatility to highlight your eyes and complexion with a simple sweep of powder. It is a gorgeous soft ivory white with a warm golden-yellow sheen which looks so pretty applied to the tops of your cheekbones or in the corner of your eyes. Next to be dropped in my shopping basket was Melon pigment which looked beautiful from the numerous swatches I googled beforehand. Melon is a sunny, shimmering peachy-gold shade. It is stunning and the beauty of these loose pigments is that they can be used dry or wet for extra vibrancy. Finally I purchased a new paint pot in Let's Skate - a pale pink with pearl shimmer. It is a beautiful ballet-pink cream base with a soft golden sheen running through it and has a great pigmentation, giving you opaque coverage on your eyelids. It is creamy and blendable and can be easily worn alone for a pretty, toned down look or used as a base for a powder eyeshadow on top.

Last but by no means least we move onto the base products and one of the main reasons I was surfing the MAC website to begin with! MAC's Studio Fix Fluid foundation has been one of those foundations I have fallen in and out of love with ever since I started using it many many years ago. It is a medium to full coverage base product with a satin/matte finish. The coverage is great and I have always found the colour match (NC25 if you're interested) works really well for my skin tone. It isn't an everyday foundation choice for me but when I want a really flawless base that I know will last then this is what I find myself reaching for.

Finally I decided to purchase the much raved about Prep & Prime Highlighter Pens in Bright Forecast (left) and Light Boost (right). I first saw these featured by Tanya Burr in several of her tutorial videos and was blown away by their effectiveness to lighten, brighten and conceal in a few simple twists and swipes. They are creamy and blend into the skin beautifully. Bright Forecast is a mid-toned, peachy coral shade and works well to conceal and even out skin tone under my eyes and on other blemishes. For some people with lighter skin tones this might also work quite well as a contour colour. Light Boost is my favourite out of the two and does wonders at faking a ten hour sleep when really you've been up until 1am watching Netflix! The soft yellow tone of this highlighter perfectly cancel out any darkness or sallowness under your eyes and brightens your eye area quite dramatically. It is amazing and will definitely be one of my must-have products when my baby arrives and sleep is a distant memory!

Have you splurged on anything from MAC recently?
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Week 22 Bump Update

"Your baby is the size of an aubergine and now nearly weighs a whole pound. Eyelashes and eyebrows are forming and the baby can now hear your voice, heartbeat, your circulating blood and even a gurgling hungry stomach!"

How far along: 22 weeks exactly

Days until due date: 126 days

My bump: My bump is still growing and I feel it is starting to really protrude now and form that nice round, pregnant-belly shape. I feel I have reached the stage where people look at me and realise I am pregnant rather than just a bit bloated! I hope anyway...

Weight changes: Pre-pregnancy = 8stone 3lbs. Today = 8stone 12lbs (+9lbs).

Stretch marks? No, thank goodness.

Cravings: Nothing really - still can't manage to eat big meals so am enjoying lots of little snacks. Yoghurt with figs, walnuts and drizzled honey is a personal favourite at the moment.

Sleep: Still sleeping really well with my DreamGenii pillow and am waking up less during the nights.

Symptoms: Nothing new but I can sense my belly button is on its way out. It has gone very flat and freaks me out a little if I'm honest! The sooner it pops the better. Oh and I am also having really vivid, sometimes quite distressing, dreams at the moment which is apparently closely linked with pregnancy.

Best moment this week: Catching up with my friend who is 32 weeks pregnant and spending the whole afternoon talking about babies and birthing plans! It is lovely when you have someone who is going through exactly the same journey you are and you can share all your excitements and concerns with them without fear of boring them with baby talk.

Worst moment this week: Getting bumped in my car by a distracted driver whilst I was driving at the weekend. Baby and I are fine but it really shook me up and upset me for the rest of the day.

Miss anything? Not really.

Maternity clothes: Yes I have well and truly embraced the maternity clothes now and have put a lot of my old 'pre-baby' items into storage to make room for those gorgeous stretchy leggings and jeans. I only really needed to get some trousers as all my tops are still fine to wear so I headed to H&M and lucked out on some super comfy (and quite flattering) black leggings and dark demin jeans.

Movement: Every now and again I might feel a little flutter or an odd pop of air in my stomach but they are still few and far between. It will be nice when the movements are more obvious and more consistent so I can get really excited but I am just being patient for the time being.

Gender: Unknown and we aren't going to find out either. I think there are so few genuine surprises left in life I couldn't think of anything better than letting this baby be one of them. I plan for Rob to be the one who reveals to me what we've had (if he can see through the tears!) - a little girl or a little boy.

Belly button in/out: In (but weird)

Wedding Rings on/off: On

Mood: Happy and relaxed and enjoying this stage in my pregnancy where I am starting to show but still very able to do all my excercising without a cumbersome bump in the way.

Looking forward to: Being a bridesmaid on Thursday at my lovely friend's wedding. It will be such a gorgeous day and I cannot wait to see her get married. :)

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Imperial Leather Sweet Shower Creams

Pick 'n' Mix this mouthwatering collection of sweet shower creams from Boots (£1 each)

I love a good shower gel and the sweeter the better. It is no surprise then that this new range of candy-inspired, sweet shop favourites shower creams from Imperial Leather made their way straight into my shower.

These four new, pastel-coloured shower creams have been inspired by those childhood classics that we all enjoyed filling our paper bags with after school - sweets such as fruit salads, marshmallows, spearmints and my personal favourite, sherbet lemons. Each gel is splendidly fragranced to give you a real burst of flavour in your shower and really takes you on a trip down memory lane as you lather up in a sweet cloud of zesty, sugary lemons or soft, candy floss sweet marshallows. The shower creams leave your skin feeling soft and pampered and smelling divine! For just £1 each there really isn't anything not to love about these new additions so which ones will you be picking up?
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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever Eau de Parfum

Get lost in a dream with the new Marc Jacobs fragrance* (£59) | available from Boots

Whilst packing up my beauty essentials for my recent trip away to the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini I was faced with the onerous task of deciding what would be my holiday fragrance to take away with me. I always like to choose just one (saves room for duty free on the way home!) and something that will then continue to remind me of our happy trip away. The delivery of the new Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream eau de parfum could not have come at a better time as I was zipping up my suitcase and after one sniff and look at that translucent, swimming-pool-blue bottle, I knew it would be the perfect holiday scent. The aqua-hue of the packaging reminded me of the endless blue skies we would soon be sunning ourselves under and those iconic blue domes found along the rocky landscape of Santorini.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever is inspired by eternal blue skies, infinitely reaching and never-ending. It embodies the youthful reverie and ethereal charm of Marc's dream girl and is an elegant addition to the Daisy Dream family. I seem to fall in love with every new release from the Marc Jacobs fragrance range and this latest makeup-table-pleasing bottle is no exception. The scent is a little deeper than a lot of the sweet, soft, girlie perfumes that come from the Marc Jacobs Daisy family with the signature notes of blackberry, blue wisteria and white woods leaving a luxurious floralcy and velvety feel. The top notes of blackberry, grapefruit and pear are perfectly mixed with jasmine, lychee and blue wisteria to give us a really elegant scent. At the base of the perfume you will detect white woods, musks and coconut water which deepens the overall fragrance and adds a woody-sweetness which makes it a lovely scent to carry you from Summer into Autumn Winter.

Have you given this newest release a spritz and a sniff?
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Essie Lovie Dovie Nail Polish

Before I embarked on my little holiday to Santorini earlier this month, I was desperate to find the perfect pink manicure shade to take away with me. I love doing my nails on holiday after a few days in - my nails always feel so much healthier when I'm abroad and I enjoy sitting on the balcony in the evening sun, painting my nails before heading out for dinner and drinks at sunset.

Searching the aisles of Boots I of course was drawn to the Essie stands where I found a selection of pretty pinks that would be the perfect shade against a golden tan. Essie Lovie Dovie is a light to medium, creamy pink. It is fun and girly and flattering on most skin tones. The formula is as lovely as you would expect from any Essie polish - opaque after two coats and lasts a good four-five days so the holiday manicure will still be going strong on the plane on the way home!

Have you tried this shade from Essie?
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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My 20 Week Bump Update

"Your baby is the size of a mango and now measures 10 inches from head to heel. They are growing bigger and stronger every day and key senses are still forming eventually enabling them to smell, see, hear, touch and taste. You are officially at the halfway stage now and you will feel those flutters and kicks any day now."

How far along: 20 weeks exactly today (half way through my pregnancy now!)

Days until due date: 140 days

My bump: Apologies for the bikini bump pictures and dodgy tan lines but I have just returned from a little sunshine break in Santorini but was determined to capture my 20 week update before I left. Bump is still forming nicely and I think baby was loving all the walks, swimming, sunshine and Greek salads last week. I have returned from holiday feeling so healthy and refreshed.

Weight changes: Pre-pregnancy = 8stone 3lbs. Today = 8stone 10lbs (+7lbs).

Stretch marks? Still no stetch marks to be found. Still slathering on the Palmers Skin Therapy Oil which I love and plenty of aftersun every night after our long days outside.

Cravings: Greek salad. After eating so many leafy greens, olives and the sweetest cherry tomatoes ever, I need to recreate some of those delicious salads for my lunches this week.

Sleep: No complaints - sleeping like a baby once I get comfy, curled up on my left side.

Symptoms: Nothing new.

Best moment this week: Our 20 week scan. We attended our anomaly scan today at the hospital and are over the moon that everything is perfect and right on track with our little one. I still find the whole pregnancy process absolutely fascinating and I was just in awe of our baby wiggling about on screen, kicking its legs, sucking its thumb and opening and closing its mouth right on cue! Mind blowing!

Worst moment this week: Coming home from 30 degree heat and sunshine to a cold and rainy England!

Miss anything? Not really.

Maternity clothes: Having managed to get away with my normal Summer clothes over the last few months it is definitely time to invest in some Winter outfits which will include some maternity jeans and leggings.

Movement: I really thought I might have felt something by now but I still haven't recognised any of those tell-tale flutters or kicks but I am not concerned. Having seen our baby wiggling away today on the sonographer's screen I have all the reassurance I need.

Gender: Unknown and we aren't going to find out either. I think there are so few genuine surprises left in life I couldn't think of anything better than letting this baby be one of them. I plan for Rob to be the one who reveals to me what we've had (if he can see through the tears!) - a little girl or a little boy. Our sonographer asked us today whether we wanted to find out the sex and knowing she could just tell us there and then was a wavering moment, but we stuck to our decision and turned away from the screen at the appropriate moment...there was no peeking I promise!

Belly button in/out: In

Wedding Rings on/off: On

Mood: Happy. Relaxed. Fit and healthy. Excited for the second half of my pregnancy and all the highs and lows it may bring.

Looking forward to: A short working week and catching up with family and friends at the weekend.

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne

The new fragrance from Jo Malone. Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne* (from £42) | available online

"A new bohemia awaits. Mists of honeyed, golden mimosa float above the spiciness of freshly crushed cardamom. Warm, ethereal, mesmerising."

The latest scent story from Jo Malone has landed and it is a real treat. Mimosa and Cardamom is inspired by a longing of faraway places - a time during the Victorian era where British travellers explored the globe and brought back exotic treasures to fill their home. The fusion of the powdery, honeyed floral of mimosa with the spicy, fresh cardamom gives us a sensual, unique and adventurous scent that I have completely fallen in love with.

Now I tend to adore most new scents from Jo Malone but there is something particularly special about this newest release. It feels exotic and magical, the subtle spices and woody notes from the creamy tonka and sandalwood transport you to the spice markets of faraway lands whereas the honey-hued mimosa adds a warmth like the afternoon sun in late August. However this fragrance is very much an Autumn/Winter scent and is as comforting as early evening walks through crunchy, fallen leaves or hot, steaming mugs of cocoa in front of a log fire! I love the cologne but can imagine the candle would be particularly lovely also as a treat for your home as the Winter nights draw in.

The new Mimosa & Cardamom fragrance is available as a cologne, body and hand wash, body creme and candle so however you wish to enjoy this mesmerising scent, there is a product out there for you.
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