Saturday 31 May 2014

Weekend City Break Wardrobe: Keeping it Simple

Weekend City Break: Keeping it Simple

You may have guessed by the theme of this post that I have a weekend break coming up very soon, which is exciting as I never usually get to go away, after years of illness I'm trying to get out as much as possible so with a two night break coming up I am super excited and paying as much attention to my shopping as I would if I was going away for two weeks! 

Now as it is just a short break I am forced to be sensible and I wanted to look at the best possible way to pack as little clothes as possible with three different looks. I'm thinking about my own break which will be a little bit of history one day and the zoo the next so lots of walking so I'm looking at things I find fun and cool so above is what I've come up with. 

I love longer length skirts and this jersey one from ASOS is perfect, the whole look is but instead I will be teaming it with a black and white striped t-shirt, so slightly shorter sleeves. Now the weather isn't that easy to judge right now but as there will be lot's of walking I want to keep it lightweight so I've chosen a jersey bomber jacket which is both suitably casual but also slightly smart. Now to keep it extra comfy I'll be slipping into a pair of pretty, comfortable Vans. To top it off a couple of accessories, both practical, a cute backpack and a pair of sunglasses - there is a slim chance of sun. Now as we don't fully know what we'll get up to until we're there I've chosen a versatile dress, pretty pattern, comfortable material but still lovely enough to wear out a night. Plus for travelling back I can wear the dress with the t-shirt over, it will work! 

This is a suitably lightweight wardrobe for a weekend away, it's pretty hard for me to do this but I always tell myself if I pack the are minimum I can always pick up some new clothes whilst I'm away! 

Thursday 29 May 2014

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips in Vega and Alpha

I love the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine nail varnish so when I saw they were doing a lipstick version I knew I had to try them, beauty buying ban or not! In my typical overbuying fashion I picked up two to try, Vega (1) and Alpha (2), the first two in the collection.

Vega is a darker, plum shade and Alpha is an amazingly vivid tomato red. Let me just say they live up to the name, they are hi-shine, bloody hi-shine! I had amazingly glossy lips after one quick, slick application. Both colours are very in your face, they really stand out. As mentioned before this is a glossy lipstick, closer to a gloss so even if you have the driest lips you can wear this with even coverage. 

For a cheap lip colour they both last a reasonable amount of time but they aren't going to last the full day but they do both stain slightly so you won't be left with no coverage at all. For me, at this price, it is worth the compromise. 

Not too fond of red lipstick? well they also have three shades of pink to try. In the future I'd love to see some more pastel colours and a collection of nudes would be pretty darn amazing too.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Soigné Nail Lacquer in Pomegranate

I know I already have too many nail varnishes which is why it was the original theme of this blog but I still get excited when there is something fresh to try. This is where Soigné steps in, new to the UK market, their website won't even go live until June but this doesn't mean I'm going to wait until then to review the beautiful nail varnish I received in my May Birchbox. Plus if you want to keep track of this brand they are on many different social media sites, including Pintrest, Google+, Twitter - to name a few. If you have a look at just one of their pages you will see that they have some gorgeous colours on offer. 

So what is so different about this brand? Well they are offering beautiful, luxury styling just with a natural, botanical formula. I don't usually pay much attention to my nail varnish, I find them to be mainly the same, they apply the same, they dry the same although some can be a little quicker and they mainly last pretty much the same but you can tell something is slightly different here at first application.

On application the formula feels thinner, not too runny but certainly not as gloopy as others. This doesn't have a negative effect on the shade though, I received pomegranate, a super vivid red and I was able to apply just one coat and get a good, strong, even coverage. It dried so much quicker than any other nail varnish I've tried, it was completely dry within five minutes and within thirty minutes my cat, The Beast, had decided to fall asleep on my arm and hand. Usually I would have made sure this didn't happen as most smudge and more importantly I wouldn't want him covered in nail varnish but this was completely dry. There wasn't a single sign of any drag on the nails in the night they were perfectly smooth. 

Now for my first outing I did only wear one coat and no top coat. I had a rather busy day (one of the reasons I didn't get a chance to tidy up my nails before the photo!) with a lot of intricate work, mainly with a screwdriver and fiddly equipment and I have to admit it chipped very easily. That night I applied another coat of the nail varnish, again without a top coat, sadly I had similar problems with it chipping - but I did have another fiddly work day. However the next night I touched it up, applied a clear top coat and the next day it was perfectly fine.

Now although I found on its own it chipped very easily I do find a lot of brands chip fairly easily and so I find the positives here outweigh this one negative. I have never had a nail varnish that dries this quickly, for me painting my nails is a big event that takes time whereas with this brand I could put this on ten minutes before going out the door. This makes it perfect if you just don't usually have the time to do your nails, it really is that quick. 

Now if you can't wait a couple of weeks until June there are a few shades available to buy from Birchbox, just follow my link underneath the photo. I really can't wait to see what is on offer from this brand, fingers crossed their site goes live on the first of June! 

Monday 26 May 2014

Nail Style Time - Bubble Bobble

With it being a bank holiday (in the UK) I felt the need for another nail style, this one I call Bubble Bobble. Taking inspiration from the classic Taito game Bubble Bobble's characters Bub and Bob, two little dragons, one green and blue, of course my main thought was also bubbles, oh, simplicity played a large part in this style also. 
Mini Marvels
I decided to make use of the many mini bottles of nail varnish I have lying around. First I went for a clear background that also had a hint of sparkle, OPI's I Juggle....Men was perfect for this adding just the one coat for the base.

Close up - no flash!
Next up I took one of my dotting tools that I really should use more as they are so handy and much more preciser than using the brush in the nail varnish. Plus they are cheap to buy, I bought mine on eBay, but there is a seller on currently selling a set of 5 for 93p with free shipping! For the nail varnish I finally cracked open Ciaté's Doll's House collection choosing to use the green from it, Sweet Pea, the blue, again from Ciaté, was part of a set called Call Me Purple which I picked up at a bargain price from the Baobella Boutique, this is a very light blue despite the name of the set and is understated perfection. For the nail style I used the largest out of my set of dotting tools just to carefully dot nail varnish on my nails. Once dry I added another coat of OPI's I Juggle....Men and that was it, super simple, not too flashy but pretty.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Sunday Weigh In: Here Comes the Bank Holiday

This might just end up being my shortest weigh in update post yet, which would be a miracle, I'm even going to break down why it will be a short post in two bullet points.

  • I've been pretty busy this week AND I can barely remember what has happened, I will check my log though.
  • The second reason is I feel lousy, like cold and sickness lousy, I just basically feel run down and queasy. It is currently 12:35 Saturday night/Sunday morning, I'm still up watching The Evil Dead (1981) so when I look back on this before posting which I usually do Sunday morning/afternoon things might have changed, I'll update a little bit later if that is the case as it will change the course of the next three days. 
I just about remember things being good, I can't think of a day where I cocked up so things have been progressing slow and steady.

As you can see I had another week of making over 10,000 steps on each week day - I thought I would have a much better week after my impressive start on Monday but it wasn't to be. Please note I haven't finished syncing so Saturday isn't fully there although I did only manage slightly over 5,000 steps BUT if you look at my log below you'll see I burned an impressive amount of calories through exercise on Saturday. 

So I've enjoyed my exercise this week, starting boxing, making use of the gorgeous weighted gloves I received at Christmas is great and as you can see from the log above I do burn a nice number of calories over a short period of time.

I've really enjoyed my exercise, I even did a fitness clothes inspired summer wardrobe update post yesterday, see here. I actually already own a few of the items!

I just couldn't get motivated on Saturday though, we had planned to go for a quick walk but the weather was so awful we stayed in. Plus we were sucked in by a dvd, Neighbours from the beginning volume 1- so the first episodes of Neighbours - they were totally engrossing and 10 a.m. quickly passed and it was after 1 p.m. before we could say Jim Robinson! 
So what does Sunday hold? It depends on how I feel in the morning but the plan is a quick walk out and a yogalates session, but that's it. It would be nice to do enough walking to meet my goal of 31 miles.

Food wise this week has been the same but I do have some new goals for next week.

*Sunday Morning Update: feeling a bit blah but not as queasy as last night so I'm going to take it in the morning and aim to go out for a walk and do some yogalates in the evening* 

Short Term Goals
If I feel as bad as I do now the goal for Sunday will be to get out of bed, if not I want to do more. This week will be funny as I also have the first two days off work so it will be hard to get my steps up, especially if the awful weather continues. Exercise and walking wise I would be happy to continue as I have been this week with a goal to improve even more in June. If I manage to make 31 miles by the end of Sunday then I will aim for 32 miles next week. 
Food wise although I've been under I want to improve the quality a bit more, possibly more of a 85/15 ratio with the "healthy"/"unhealthy" foods. I also want to go back to having some plain protein powder after working out mixed with soya milk. 

Long Term Goals
They haven't really changed, plus I have nothing to add right now to aim for.

Saturday 24 May 2014

2014 Summer Wardrobe Update - Fully Sporty

2014 Summer Wardrobe Update - Fully Sporty

2014 Summer Wardrobe Update - Fully Sporty by sharonlynette

The three tank tops, from left to right: Espirit Sports Top £25.00 // Puma 90's Print Vest Top* £15.00 // LIJA Score Core Studio Tank £30.00
The three sport bras/crops, from left to right: LIJA Ultimate double strap bra top £30.00 // adidas Techfit Moulded-Cup Bra* £23.00 // adidas Performance Supernova Racer Bra £28.00
adidas Originals X The Farm Company collection: Firebird Floralina Track Top* £55.00 // Floralina Tank* £25.00 // Floralina Shorts £30 
And the bottom half: Craft Shorts £42.00 // Nike Performance Epic Run Capri Tights £50.00
Trainers/Sneakers: ASICS GELZARACA 2 Trainers £65.00 // adidas Originals ZX FLUX Trainers £75.00 // adidas Originals ZX 700 Trainers £65.00

Now I have to admit, I have purchased some clothes to update my wardrobe. I really do love to shop. I really didn't need anything, but one area I can always do with updating is my fitness wardrobe. Since my health is recovering I've started to work on my fitness, which itself is also helping my health improve. So I thought why not treat myself to a few new items for when I work out, so I did. 

Now I didn't purchase all the items pictured, I've added an asterisk after the items I have. Sadly I haven't treated myself to new trainers which I really should. I just love brightly coloured trainers and all those pictured are listed as synthetic so give me a couple of months and one of those pairs will be on my feet.

Now even though I don't live somewhere particularly warm I do get incredibly hot exercising so I've focused on very tiny items of clothing - now I still have some weight to lose but when I'm overheating I really don't care. 

You may have noticed an abundance of items from the adidas Originals X The Farm Company collection, I have fallen in love with the Floralina collection, I just think it is gorgeous and wish I had each piece from the collection although I am grateful to at least have two items, the crop top and the track top. 

Now I know fitness isn't about looking good instead it is about feeling good but when you work-out so much there really isn't anything wrong with doing both? 

So, do you work-out in full fashion mode or do you throw on the nearest baggy clothing? 

Thursday 22 May 2014

NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow in Nepal

Now I picked this eyeshadow up on my Manchester trip back in February so I'm not breaking my beauty buying ban, well, at least not with this. It's a rare occurrence for me to pick up a singular eyeshadow these days, there are so many amazing, affordable palettes out there that it makes sense to buy a set rather than one but NARS is a brand I haven't tried before, unbelievably, and when I was confronted by a wealth of gorgeous products I decided to look for something practical, something I could wear everyday but still special. So I went with a shimmer eyeshadow in Nepal.

First I'll talk about the colour, what may to some look like a dull, mushroom brown in the pot has a lovely shimmering slightly golden pink quality to the brown. The shade makes it a gorgeous, understated daytime eyeshadow but the metallic shimmer adds a glamorous night time quality - making it so very easy to dress up. I'd also say this shade if season proof, a true year round make-up bag staple.

It's easy to apply whether you use a brush or even just your finger - when in a rush! You can either add a light shimmer or build layers rather quickly and simply. It's also long-lasting, even in hot, sticky weather. I've found I can apply it at 8am and it will still be in place at 8pm.

Now it isn't exactly the cheapest eyeshadow out there, you could buy a couple of average priced palettes for the price but it is something special, it is versatile and it lasts so even though it is a bit of an investment it's definitely worth it.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

What's in My Glossybox? May 2014 - 50 Years of Superdrug Special

Now we all get beauty boxes for different reasons although I think there are a few key themes that make up the majority of factors, some of us are after luxury brands, others want to be the first to try new products, and others, I'd include myself in this, just haven't grown up and want an adult lucky dip bag!

Now if you're after luxury this month you might be a little disappointed but it ticks the other two boxes as this months box is celebrating 50 years of Superdrug, a key UK high street shop offering good value for money cosmetics, toiletries and a lot of other things in-between.

Now It's fair to say I haven't been overly impressed with my Glossybox this year and I haven't really been paying attention to what I could expect next so this month is a bit of surprise. It's a nice surprise though, I'm more than impressed by the range of products this month - not just because there are two little cheeky extras on top of the 5 full sized items!

So what did I get? See after the cut!

Sunday 18 May 2014

Sunday Weigh In: With More Oomph!

Yet another week avoiding the scales, it has become an easy habit fortunately. Sometimes I do think I should just check next time I jump in the shower however when it comes around to it I forget! I'm glad, I'm putting my energy elsewhere rather than getting upset by a number.

I haven't done this before but I thought it would be a good idea to focus on NSV's (Non-Scale Victories);

  • My knickers are baggy! So much so that I will need to replace them as they are pretty much hanging off me.
  • My Hi-Vis Vest fits properly - I can actually wrap it around a little bit too.
  • I get to go to sleep with that good ache of exhaustion, this is mainly due to exercise now rather than post-surgery. It's only 7.30 p.m. and I'm already in bed. borrowing a laptop and watching Blue Velvet!

Not synced up yet today!

  Step wise I'm back to hitting over 10,000 in the week. I actually managed over 12,000 on Wednesday. I wanted to do more as it was an exercise rest day although Thursday ended up being one too but that was a last minute decision, at least I was over 10,000 steps. Not quite up to 10,000 steps at the weekend but I've been focusing on exercise which I will talk about after. At the moment I'm happy to aim for over 5,000 each day at the weekend.

Next week I'm going to focus on miles rather than steps (although still aiming over 10,000 steps at least), I'm still trying decide how many miles to aim for so I'll add that in at the goals section!

Exercise wise I've really done well, this week I've done 299 minutes and burned 4,633 calories - which is a heck of a lot! Several different routines including the two amazing DVD's I mentioned last week. I've added one more thing to my routine, well something I started a while back, boxing, but didn't have a routine until I picked up 10 Minute Solution - Knockout Body Workout, now today was just a trial run with it but I did 25 minutes and burned 262 calories so not bad!

Food wise it has been another pretty good week. I've not been snacking on terrible things at work, plenty of fruit, I'm still enjoying my salad and I've been taking in a small bag of popcorn and a little portion pot of either Jaffa Cakes or Oreo mini's. It all fits in plus it is nice to have a little something. I've picked up some little pots of pineapple to take in when I haven't got any fresh fruit plus I treated myself to a couple of tins of peaches although I haven't eaten them yet.

In the evening I'm a bit unsure of what to have, it's hard to find something quick, easy and veggie although I've been inspired to pick up some courgette's after Cheryl's Cheesy Courgette and Potato Layered Casserole. I am feeling a bit lost, especially as we have a freezer full of food but nothing is inspiring enough, plus we have limited time in the evening. We do have a cupboard full of pasta which I do plan on using up but sticking with a 50g (dry) portion rather than 75g.

Short Term Goals
Okay, I've decided, next week I am going to aim for 31 miles, if I hit it then the next week I will add a mile. Aiming to finally make it to 40 miles a week - eek!
On top of that I just want to keep up with the good eating and exercising. I also want to be inspired with my evening meals!

Long Term Goals
Oh the same as ever, although we can also see asking it to 40 miles a week as a long term goal!

Saturday 17 May 2014

Natural Manicure with a Colourful Twist

Now I've been rather dull this week opting for a sensible and dependable nude nail varnish but the weekend is here and the sun is shining. Rather than completely redo my nails I've decided to update them instead.

The sensible, dependable nail varnish I mentioned is Essie's Au Natural, a perfect barely there brown-pink - long-lasting as well. Next up I decided to make use of the set of OPI mini Sheer Tints I picked up a while back. I loved the idea of sheer tints but I couldn't choose which shade which is why I took them all, Be Magentale With Me, Don't Violet Me Down, I Can Teal You Like Me, and I'm Never Amberrassed, just in mini form - not full sized, so I showed some restrain! With 5 fingers and 4 nail varnishes I had to choose which shade I wanted to double up on,  I was in the mood for purple so double up on Don't Violet Me Down and applied them to my tips, just covering the white.

So a simple update, even I can do it, instead of French manicure style with white tips I've instead gone with bright colourful tips.

Simple but gorgeous, plus totally suitable for work.

Thursday 15 May 2014

What's in my Birchbox? May 2014

I was excited for this months box, the Harper's Bazaar collaboration was something I couldn't wait to see and it did feel like I was really having to wait. Yesterday I was starting to worry, I'd noticed others had received their boxes but I was still without. Fortunately my time has come - yesterday I'd missed the postman and it was simply waiting for me at the depot - I promptly picked it up before work this morning but managed to resist temptation and waited until I was home to open it. Not that I'm wonderfully innocent, I have given in and looked at what others received PLUS I panicked last night, logged into my account and accidentally looked at what I was getting although I didn't take it all in.

The first thing I have to say is the box design is beyond amazing, it will be going in to immediate use as soon as I've emptied it. So what is actually in the box? It's all after the cut!

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Pastel Polka Splurge Nails

Last week I tried out Topshop's Milk & Honey nail varnish, now I really wasn't sure of it but before I removed it I wanted to try something out hence the nails above.

Now although white nail varnish isn't for everyone it does make a fantastic background for nail designs. I'm terrible at doing fancy designs on my nails but one thing I can do is polka dots, which I do quite a lot, usually fairly precise dots of either white or black nail varnish. This time around I wanted to be a bit messier with it, randomly and frantically applying a few different colours of nail varnish.

Not only is a design like this simple but it is also a good way of using up nail varnishes that are either drying up and aren't suitable for a full even coat or those you have a little left of and although you are unable to paint a full set of nails with them you just can't get rid.

I've gone for pastels which I inexplicitly love all year around even though my preference is for the dark side. The purple nail varnish is from Topshop - Parma Violet, the pink is from Clinique - Sweet Tooth and finally the green is from nails inc - Royal Botanical Gardens, sadly this colour is discontinued.

So a pretty simple way of either doing your nails or updating a colour you're already wearing but are starting to get bored of! 

Sunday 11 May 2014

Sunday Weigh In - First Week Back!

Well it was my first week back in work which had a positive effect on my steps. Okay, not quite 10,000 everyday but a pretty good start.

I'm happy I managed 10,000 on a couple of days and plan to improve although it might take another week as one of the things I can't do at the moment is get off the bus a couple of stops early. This always adds to my steps but as I've been in a rush to get home to my poorly cat I've had to sacrifice a few steps. Hopefully he will continue to improve although it is still hard to spend time away from his little adorable face.

The weather has also been appalling, I was incredibly fortunate the week I was off work and I still need to post photos of my little walks, hopefully this week!

Even though my steps weren't fully there I have made the effort to work out. It sometimes sucks time out of my evening as it can take me a while to get going again when I get home but I've managed to do 175 minutes all week. Not completely brilliant but pretty good.

Now I've been doing two old favourites, cross trainer and standing pilates but I've also been doing two new workouts, one I briefly mentioned last week Solomon Yogalates for Weight Loss.

I love yoga and I love (standing) pilates and was looking for some new dvds to add to the mix, to be honest the fact that it was only £3.75 sealed the deal. I tried this dvd out last week and I love it. It isn't too heavy but it feels like a good workout, it's quite long, I can't be precise as I  paused certain parts and went through a couple of sections again but last week I logged 90 minutes and 404 calories. The only downside is it isn't one to quickly put on after work although I'd be tempted after a stressful day as it is also super relaxing. I do plan to do this every Sunday as it will make a perfect start to the week.

Luckily I just didn't pick up one new workout dvd, I went for three (well 4 actually, I have one on pre-order!) although I've just been checking out two of them for the time being, second one is The Firm - 20 Minute Fat Burning. Now this is a perfect one for after work, amazingly intense there are two 20 minutes sections you can do. I've slowly been working through them, getting used to the moves, trying to be a little more coordinated. Even just getting used to the workout on average I manage to burn around 300 calories for 20 minutes.

Now I still need to take it easy if I get sore, although it is coming up to a year since I had surgery. I've come along way since then but I still should be careful.

I'm rather excited about my new workouts, my eating has been a lot better this week also.

As usual I still do a little of what I fancy/everything in moderation/portion control. I've increased my fruit and veg intake so I'm getting plenty each day. One bonus is that the canteen/deli at my place of work has started selling little snack pots of either melon, cucumber, carrots - I mainly go for the melon as an extra to my lunch which is still durum wheat, carrots, tomato, cucumber and pepper although I've also decided to add white cabbage - something I had forgotten how much I love. I've also had raw cauliflower to snack on and my usual bananas and apples.

I've also started taking pots of mini jaffa cakes and mini bags of popcorn again so I don't feel like I'm missing out. I still feel like a bit of chocolate when I return home but have decided just to have a glass of chocolate soya milk which will be great just before I work out plus it will quench my chocolate craving, to top it of I also absolutely love it.

Short Term Goals
Keep up the good eating and slowly increase the exercise. Keep up the steps. Try and find more balance at the weekend.

Long Term Goals
Pretty much the same, although I could do with a nice holiday asap rather than in the distant future.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Five Product Face Challenge

I was delighted to be tagged by Laura over at Petit Moi - Big World in this Five product face challenge, as Laura herself mentions it we're all busy so finding the time to do a full face of make-up is near impossible, I can honestly say I barely find the time to do anything - after work & exercise I tend to dedicate my time to watching films. One thing that also takes priority over putting on make-up is sleep which is why this challenge is relatively easy for me.

On work days I tend to get up 30 minutes before I need to leave the house which really doesn't leave much time. I actually wear more make-up at work than I used to having recently made more effort but I don't actually leave the house fully made up. Instead I apply foundation, run to the bus stop and do the rest of my make-up whilst travelling, I use 5 products in total which will be the 5 items featured in this challenge.

Interestingly all of the products I've only started using this last year, those I have blogged about before I will link to the post.

So here we go, in order of application;

My foundation of choice is Stila Perfect & Correct foundation in fair (£28.50 for 30ml), I was very fortunate to have run out of my old foundation just as this was available half price. I was also possibly slightly swayed by its resemblance to Twister ice lollies but I was so glad I did even though it means paying full price now (just think of the Boots points I can build up!). I knew I needed a longer lasting foundation but I didn't know where to turn to but having had Stila One Step Correct on my wishlist for a while I decided to be bold and go for both neither of which I regret. The thing I love about this foundation is that it is lightweight on the skin but heavyweight coverage, plus I find it quite long lasting, most of the day, depending on the weather, this is quite good for me as I have rather oily skin.

Next up, face powder. It might seem like a bit of a cop out but I do need some powder and this is another new product for me this year. bareMinerals READY® SPF 15 Touch Up Veil in translucent (£22 for 10g) yet another product I picked up whilst cheaper - I paid around £16 for it when it was on offer at - I actually went back and purchased another one when it was still on offer as I knew I loved it the moment I tried it. The thing I love about this powder is that as it is translucent I don't end up with a weir colour build up, it just sets everything into place naturally. Also as this is a compact rather than loose powder, it takes seconds to slap on.

This item was pretty high up on my Christmas wishlist last year and fortunately I received it, having waited patiently since trying it out in September I resisted the urge to splurge in favourite of hopefully receiving it at Christmas. Having used Benefit's Dandelion for years I wanted a change and although previous ones had appealed it wasn't until I tried Rockateur (£23.50 for 5.0g) out that I knew it would work for me, see previous post. I apply this to my cheeks spreading down the side of my face, forehead and the side of my nose I also apply this to my eyelids as it is much quicker than applying a separate eyeshadow.

A slightly obvious choice but I couldn't live without mascara. I carry around Illamasqua's Masquara in Raven (£16.50 for 10ml), I love this product as well as the brand. I've previously blogged about this product, see here, but to sum it up this is a good slightly more dramatic than usual daytime mascara although it really does build up on intensity each coat. I usually just throw on one coat which is good enough, plus it isn't worth the risk of adding more coats when applying it on a moving vehicle!

Finally a bit of lippy, a very recent purchase, Lipstick Queen Chinatown lip pencil in Pink Bluff (£22.00 for 7g), I reviewed this at the end of March, see here. I already loved it but continuous use has only proved how great this lip pencil is. I simply throw one coat of this on, it is slightly darker than my natural lip colour but isn't too bold. It's also rather moisturising so it doesn't matter if I haven't bothered with the lip balm for a while.

So here is the final look;

That's it from me but I would like to tag a few others to take up the challenge although I'm leaving a space because really anyone can take this up if they wish to;

Gemma at DuggyDimples
Ellie & Brooke at Ginger And The Blonde
Taylor at What Taylor Buys

Thursday 8 May 2014

Topshop Matte Nails in Milk and Honey

In a previous post I've pondered on whether white nails ever look more than just a frenzied tippex attack and had pretty much come to the conclusion that they just aren't my thing. So why did I buy this shade? A possible moment of madness due to the fact that whenever I see others with white nails I just love the look so decided to give it another go.

I have to say I think this Topshop varnish is the perfect white for nails, it doesn't have that tippex-esque finish that some really do have yet it is just a bright white. This should be a matte finish but it really isn't fully matte as there is some shine to it that doesn't fade once dry. I applied two coats in the photo above but I couldn't quite get it as even as I liked, I do tend to layer it on thinly this would have benefited from a full on thick coat.

Speaking of drying this dries remarkably speedily, touch dry within 5 minutes and after 45 minutes I was able to wash my hair without damaging my nails. As it was a supposedly matte finish I didn't apply a top coat I did end up chipping a couple of my nails the next day which as disappointing but a couple of days own the line no further damage had occurred so that was pretty impressive.

If you are after white nails then I would highly recommend this one, but I really think it works better on darker skin - at least anything other than pale. I'm not quite convinced for myself but it will make a pretty nifty base coat/background for clear glitter effect nail varnishes and for the odd time I might make the effort to do a design! 

Sunday 4 May 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: The End of the Holiday

Today is a bad day, I mourn the end of my holiday, my week off. It has been a holiday at home but I do wish I had a second week off as this week has flown by.

It has been harder with the diet/exercise this week. If I was on a proper holiday I would have found it easier - plenty of walking, sight-seeing, swimming and fresh fruit (all prepared by someone else) - a lot easier. This week hasn't been a failure though. I've mainly managed to stick under my calories BUT I've usually been over on either fat or carbohydrates so I'm disappointed there.

Food wise I've stuck to my reverse traffic light system however I have snacked a lot. Even thought I've been under calorie wise so many wasted calories have meant by the end of the week I've started to feel icky and my skin looks awful. It just goes to show that just because it fits in with the calories it isn't always right, I always make sure I'm under or on target everywhere else but going off balance has had a big effect. I don't feel like I've gained weight though, I just feel a bit crap.

I slackened on my steps in favour of exercise but I did make sure we got out a couple of days, one day we went on a nice short uphill walk on Tuesday and the next day we went to that gardens to feed the ducks and then do a bit of shopping, it all adds up.

The big positive is that I feel more focused on it all, I have a healthy plan for the week ahead an a few new exercise dvds to try out which I will plan to mention once I've worked my way through them. We also finally picked up a badminton set for the garden, we already had a couple of cheap rackets and shuttlecocks but without a net it was hard to stay focused. We now have a £20 set that does the job which is really fun when it is warm out.

Short Term Goals
Get back on track, more healthy food, try and stick to 80/20 ration when it comes to "junk" food, Try out some new routines so I have a nice variety to work through rather than doing the same three workouts. I might try some Yogalates today!

Long Term Goals
The clothes! To be able to feel comfortable in jeans again. Plus I wan to be happy having my photo taken at a distance when on holiday in revealing(ish) clothing.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Layla Cosmetics Softouch Effect Nail Polish no. 3

Layla Cosmetics have an absolutely ginormous range of nail polishes, such a variety of colours and effects they really have something for everyone. They aren't readily available in shops in the UK but fortunately you can easily pick them up from The price of them can vary wildly, personally I wouldn't pay more than £6 for them but fortunately through Amazon I've managed to pick some up for slightly over £2 in the past, an absolute bargain. The one I'm typing about today is currently on Amazon for £7.57 however I originally picked it up for a couple of pounds less. I find it best to add any I like to a wishlist and keep an eye on the price.

Now the one I'm talking about today is from the softouch effect range, number 3 - on Amazon it is described as stone but I couldn't see any reference to this on the website so we'll stick with calling it number 3.

Number 3 is a beautiful, metallic, sparkly lilac shade. The effect leaves the nails soft, matte and with a minor textured feel to it. It really does feel nice and oddly, smooth. It really dries quickly which makes a fantastic change, I'm such a fidget so I hate nail polish that takes forever to dry. Its also easy to remove, even with the tiny particles of sparkle.

My one issue with this nail varnish is without a top coat it really won't last, I found within a day it was chipping - fair enough, I should know better but some polishes do last a few days without a problem. I see this as a minor issue as the shade is beautiful and it is something I could easily resolve by slicking on a clear coat after.

I can't help browsing all the Layla nail polishes, trying to find which one to try next, there are so many amazing looking colours and effects it's hard not to buy new ones now but I must resist.

Have you tried Layla cosmetics before?

Thursday 1 May 2014

Hurraw! Tinted Lip Balm in Black Cherry and Cinnamon

It is hard to remember what life was like before Ebay, although the format has evolved only gradually other changes are more obvious, some for the worst - increased fees for the seller have driven prices to the customer up meaning it can be harder to get a second-hand bargain. There are also changes that have been for the better, it is now possible to find interesting things all over the world and products you may have once never heard of are available at a few clicks of the mouse. Which is how I came across Hurraw! lip balms. 

Now as Ebay sellers can constantly change their stock my link above is to a shop that sells them in the UK, I will however mention the two sellers I purchased from, their ebay stores, Lifeart Ltd and Natural Beauty Boutique

Although I have vowed to work through what I already have I couldn't resist these tinted lip balms, I bought two quite similar shades but put anything black cherry or cinnamon in front of me and I have to have it! 

The lip balms are natural, organic, vegan, yummy raw goodness. They are delicious, smooth, ultra moisturising and ever so soft on the lips. Both the black cherry and cinnamon 'taste' gorgeous and left my lips feeling not only soft but warm and tingly (must be the cinnamon).

These are tinted lip balms but the tint is really quite sheer. It's hard to capture so instead you'll have to take my word for it, the cinnamon is a light warm, brown-red and the black cherry, slightly darker and more of a purple-red. They are both perfect for just adding a hint of colour but in a light way so you could easily get away with applying without a mirror. 

Now there are a wealth of lip balms on the market but these gorgeous, organic, vegan goodies really have the edge with a selection that includes a night treatment balm, a none tinted but very intriguing earl grey lip balm just to name a couple. I have to be good at the moment but once I've worked my way through the lip balms I already have I'll choose to stock up on Hurraw! lip balms.