Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas 2013 | The present for someone who has everything - Q&A a Day

I've had my eye on this for a while now (since last Christmas probably!) and I've only just bought it for myself this week. Q&A a Day is exactly what it suggest, a book with a different question which you answer every day for 5 years (the same question on the same day every year, so you can see how you change). I don't keep a diary, but I used to so I thought it would be nice to start something similar again but without the commitment of writing a lengthy entry every day. 



Q&A a Day £8.26 Amazon

It's actually not as big as I expected, it's about the same size as my hand but big enough to be able to write comfortably in it. The design was something that really caught my eye, it's like traditional book style with gold around the edge of the page. You can start filling it in at anytime during the year but obviously the beginning of the book starts with January 1st. 

Although I have bought this for myself, I think it would be a great Christmas present for anyone who you are struggling with... those that tend to have everything. I think it'll be really interesting to fill this in and look back over the next 5 years and remember how I was feeling on that particular day!

Do you think I should start filling it in now or wait till January 1st?
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Friday, 29 November 2013

Home Scenting | Christmas Yankee Candle Mini Haul

It's 1st December on Sunday and I'm left wondering where this year has gone, it doesn't seem like 5 minutes ago that I was pulling out all the Christmas decorations and I'm getting ready to do it all again! I went into a new shop near me today called 'Montague Mills' and it's the only place I've ever known to sell a full range of Yankee Candles within a 25 mile radius of my house so as you can imagine I spent a while smelling all the fragrances I'd never tried before. I decided to go with some Christmassy ones in sampler form so that I knew I wouldn't get bored of just the one fragrance in jar form.

Sugared Apple (£1.35), Red Apple Wreath (£1.35) and Fireside Treats (£1.70)

I have a bag full of wax tarts which seem to last absolutely ages and I end up getting bored before the wax has actually all melted away (and I don't put much into the burner!) so these samplers are much better as I have 2 holders so I can have a choice of 2 without breaking the bank. All three of these smell really festive; I have Sugared Apple burning as I type this and it is really nice! You can buy these three and lots of other samplers from Yankee Doodle (which is where I usually get mine) and they always have different offers on; they also sell holders for samplers that don't break the bank... once you start with the samplers you won't go back!!

What's your favourite Yankee Candle scent?
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hair | Label M Powder Pink Hair Spray Dye

This is only one of a few times that you will have seen me show my full on face on my blog, which seems daft really because it's a beauty/lifestyle blog but I've always been way too shy and pretty much hated the way I look so I've never wanted to post pictures of a full face. After losing a bit of weight, I feel a little more confident and I decided to review a pink hair dye that I've been experimenting with just lately.

Bleach London products have done their rounds and they provided various bloggers with some funky coloured highlights and dip dyes. I was recently sent a bottle of Label M Powder Pink*; specially released for London Fashion Week, this spray in-wash out spray dye is designed to give you a pop of colour whilst giving your a soft matte finish and a light hold. Label M is part of the Toni & Guy brand which is celebrating 50 years in business this year!



 (photos aren't the best, my 'photographer' ie. husband, is not good at these things. When I first asked him to take a picture from the back he took a photo of my bum. Nice.)

Application is so easy, you just spray it in 10-15cm from your hair wherever you fancy (I obviously just went for the ends) and then you can either leave it or brush it out a little bit to make it more natural. The spray actually makes your hair a little bit straw-like because it's also texturising spray, ideal if you have fine flyaway hair. My hair is really thick so the texturising thing wasn't a big plus for me because it meant I had to add a little bit of serum to the ends of my hair to make it feel more natural. However, the longer you wear it the better it gets and if you like the ruffled short of do then this would be perfect without having to do much brushing/styling. 

I have mid blonde hair and the pink was noticeable but not shocking, it's baby pink so quite subtle on my hair but obviously the lighter your hair is (ie. platinum) the more pink your hair will be and the darker your hair I would imagine the spray would come out more of a pinky/purple kind of shade. Although I have shown it applied to straight hair, I think this could really work if you curl your hair with irons as you could add the colour and also use the spray as a hair spray to hold your style in place!

This product is amazing for a bit of fun hair colour but without the commitment of it being permanent, it literally washes out after one wash so if you're not keen on it you can just wash it straight out. I think this is a better option than semi-permanent colours as there's still an element of commitment with those whereas with this you could have it in one night and have your hair back natural in the space of time it takes to wash your hair!

Have you ever been tempted to dye your hair a daring colour?

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Weightloss | Slimming World week 10 & 2 stone award

It's been a little while since I last posted about my Slimming World journey, mainly because I have been so busy but secondly because I couldn't really think of anything to say without repeating myself. But tonight I hit another milestone so I thought I better write a little update and maybe give some inspiration to those who are looking to lose a little bit before Christmas (yes, you could still do it, there's 4 more weigh ins). I lost 2.5lb to give me my next award...


So in 10 weeks I've lost 2 stone, which averages out at just over 2.5lb per week which is pretty good considering I aimed for 2lb per week which would have given me 2 stone in time for Christmas. Anyway that's enough gloating for one night, I still have a long way to go until I hit my target so I'll leave you with a few things that I've changed in my life since I started Slimming World.


I have veg or salad with every single meal; granted not the 1/3 that Slimming World recommend ALL the time but most of the time I will have a sizable portion on my plate which stops me eating more of the higher calorie foods.

I think before I eat, when it's something high syn I think is it really worth it... even if it's just a bite, Jason will often say it doesn't matter. But it does!!!!


I have recently discovered Weight Watchers dessert recipe yoghurts, still a yoghurt but they have little pieces of soft biscuity bits in which are supposed to be part of a 'tart' which makes it feel like much more of a 'naughty' pudding than it is because they are in fact free!!

I plan, I decide what I'm going to eat in advance so I don't have to go hunting in the kitchen and risk picking up stuff that I shouldn't!!

I never eat takeaways, not even as a treat. I don't even crave them if I'm honest and I don't want that feeling of guilt afterwards.

I'm so determined, more determined than I've ever been before. I don't enjoy being fat (and 2 stone later, I still am!) but I know that I'm taking the necessary steps to change that and hopefully by May next year I'll be close to my target if not at it!!

I drink more water, not every day but if I'm feeling fat or bloated I have a couple of pints which flushes me through and I seem to get rid of the water weight. 

The key thought for me is... 'Nothing tastes as good as being slim will feel'





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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Makeup | Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

It's one thing loving makeup but a total other thing actually knowing how to apply it, like many beauty bloggers, I am not a makeup artists and I have never been on any kind of training to show me how to apply makeup. The majority of my skills have come from other blogs and also YouTube tutorials, however last year I treat myself to a few makeup books and one of them was this Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown so I thought I'd give you a sneaky look and an idea of what's in it.

 Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual £13.00 Amazon

Obviously written by the makeup artist wonder, Bobbi Brown, this book contains advice and tutorials which would suit makeup beginners to those who are looking at more advanced makeup application. There are twelve chapters beginning with a little bit of background information about Bobbi Brown right to a list of memorable makeup moments from some of the most famous makeup artists in history. 


For me personally some of the stuff is a little in the realms of the obvious but there's also some really interesting bits of information and tips that I didn't know before. One of the first chapters has pages of information about the equipment you might need as a makeup artist and also how to look after that equipment and it progresses on to basic makeup application such as how to apply foundation properly and so on (which may seem obvious to some but I'm sure you'll agree that there are plenty of people in this world who could do with some tips).


Lots of pictures of pretty, smashed up makeup which seems a crying shame given how expensive Bobbi Brown stuff is!!! But all in the name of makeup artistry I suppose. It's also not all just about makeup, there are some parts about skincare which I found very interesting. 


After the basics and towards the middle of the book is where the tutorials start, there's literally everything from how to apply lipstick to how to define and shape your eyebrows, through to more advanced makeup application with bold eye looks and how to make colour work for you (and your clients, if you're an MUA).

Chapter nine is then about being a makeup artist, how you can break into the industry and advice on how to get along (coming from a tycoon like Bobbi Brown I'd say it was some pretty sound advice). I know this won't be to everyone's taste because you don't all want to be a makeup artist but I thought it was an interesting read nevertheless!

I'm not an avid reader of books in general but I really enjoy looking through this, I definitely don't regret buying it one little bit. If you are into makeup and you find the industry quite interesting then I'd definitely suggest that you either buy this or pop it on your Christmas list. Also if you know anyone who is envious of your makeup application skills, this would be an ideal gift. 

Do you own a makeup book? Would you like to see a similar post on the Jemma Kidd Makeup Masterclass book?
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Hair | Hair Extensions - Something for everyone

From short and straight to long and curly, choosing hair extensions that suit your hair type isn’t always simple. With hundreds of different shades and materials to choose from, the seemingly simple talk of picking hair extensions can take weeks, even months, to master.

Today's post is from someone who knows exactly what they're talking about when it comes to hair extensions so read on to learn from the masters – the creators of Hershesons hair accessories – about how to pick the perfect hair extensions for your hair type and budget.

Synthetic Hair vs. Natural Hair Extensions

 

Hair extensions come in two different materials: synthetic and natural hair. While natural hair is obviously the more realistic looking of the two, synthetic hair is an excellent choice that can often look almost exactly the same as real human hair.

Synthetic hair is made of several different materials and comes in a range of quality levels. Cheap synthetic hair extensions tend to look somewhat artificial and rough – not a good look, unless they’re only used for temporary extensions or events.

Human hair is the more expensive option of the two, and tends to achieve the most realistic result. Speak to your stylist about the best option for you to learn about the different lifespans and looks of human and synthetic hair extensions.

Clip-In Extensions vs. Weaves vs. Pre-Bonded Extensions

 

Hair extensions come in three main types: clip-in extensions, full or partial waves, and pre-bonded extensions. Of the three, clip-in hair extensions are the easiest to install and remove, but tend to look more obvious than other hair extensions.

Weaves are knotted into your hair using tight, strong weaves close to the scalp. As these knots can be quite thick, weft hair extensions are recommended for women with thick, dark hair.

Finally, pre-bonded hair extensions are attached to your natural hair using a form of glue known as keratin. These discrete hair extensions are easy to maintain and tend to last longer than other hair extensions – in some cases, for longer than six months.

Choosing Hair Extensions that Fit in Your Budget

 

Hair extensions can cost a little or a lot, depending on your needs. Thousands of pre-bonded hair strands could cost several hundred pounds – and several hours in your local stylist’s salon – while clip-in hair extensions can be applied in mere minutes.

Choose hair extensions that fit both your budget and your requirements. If you’re in need of extra length and volume for a costume party of special event, you might not need to spend hundreds of pounds on pre-bonded extensions – a clip in fringe from Hershesons is all you’ll need.

On the other hand, if you’d like to add length and volume that lasts for months, it’s a good idea to invest in high quality, reliable hair extensions. Your hair is a vital part of your look – give it the time and investment that it needs!

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Weightloss | Slimming World Week 7

I'm a bit late with my post this week, been at work since 9am this morning and I've literally just got back into the house! I didn't have high hopes for this week and I actually expected a gain so as long as it wasn't too drastic I wouldn't have been too surprised. It's the first week since starting in September that I haven't lost weight, this weeks result was...

Maintain

Which is fine. I was more pleasantly surprised by the fact that I hadn't gained. I know a maintain isn't great but the pace I've lost weight sort of weighs itself out and I'm still on track for 2 stone by Christmas so that's absolutely fine by me. I could think of 10 excuses as to why I haven't lost this week, one of which was that I went to Betty's in York and it's also 'the wrong time of the month' so I'm feeling quite bloated and a fat anyway!

I have eaten some nice things this week though and I'm going into the next week with a new found motivation because I definitely don't want another maintain and especially not a gain next week!! Here's what I loved eating this week (I won't include Betty's because we all know how nice naughty foods are!!!)


Ham, 2 fried eggs (fried with Fry Light), SW chips, peppers and cucumber

Such a simple yet really nice meal, so easy to make aswell!

 Orange Segments

I usually don't buy oranges in the supermarket but I got a few in the bag of fruit I got last week as I was slimmer of the week and I really enjoyed eating them. I've also got back into eating satsumas, I've got 2 to take to work with me tomorrow.

This coming week is going to be a real challenge for me because I'm back at my old office for 2 weeks which means I have to be even more strict with planning so I don't go hungry! I've already made a shepherds pie for tomorrow so I can take some in a box. I'm hoping for a good loss next tuesday and I hope all my planning actually goes to plan!

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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Bath & Body | Imperial Leather Foamburst Bodywash

My mum has bought this ever since I was about 11/12 when it first came out and I've liked it as a shower gel ever since. They've recently brought out some new fragrances out and I got this one in Boots when they were on offer for £2.


straight from the pump

lather with the tiniest bit of water

If you like foam/lather/bubbles then this will definitely be your bag, you literally only need to press the pump very slightly to get enough out to cater for your whole body. It comes out like a gel but quickly starts to foam on contact with you hand and 'bursts' when it comes into contact with water. 

It is a little more expensive than some would be prepared to spend on a high street body wash but it is more luxurious than ordinary shower gels which give you lather but not to this extent. The honey and almond milk smells really nice, really comforting and great for unwinding in a bath. I tend to use this with a shower puff because the lather seems to be even better. 

If it's ever on offer or you're looking for an indulgent bath product without breaking the bank then this is for you. Full price is always around the £3 mark but like I said, I got it for £2 a bit ago. 

Do you have a favourite shower gel or do you buy whatever is on offer?
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Friday, 1 November 2013

Makeup | Yves Saint Laurent Shocking Mascara with before & after photos

The other night I had the urge to treat myself and was debating over which high end mascara to go for as I'd run out of my Benefit They're Real and the little samples I'd got from various gift with purchase bits. After Googling different mascara brands and trawling various different blogs for before and after photos I finally decided on YSL Shocking Mascara.


Yves Saint Laurent Shocking Mascara £23.50 Debenhams


 Before
After

This mascara takes some getting used to, the amount of product that goes on is unbelievable, probably a little too much because it seems to clump very easily. I think the wand is very much to blame for this problem; it's helix-cut which means that you can load lots onto the brush but I think it means that it doesn't brush on as well.

There's no denying that it gives great volume and adds length but it doesn't separate the lashes as well as I would like. I think application of this mascara is going to take time to perfect, I think I'm going to need another clean mascara wand to brush the lashes out once I've applied enough product. I do think it's more of a night time kind of mascara unless you also like bold eye looks during the day. 

Once it's on and applied properly the staying power of YSL Shocking is pretty impressive, it lasted me all night on a very drunken saturday without smudging or flaking around my eyes but it's really easy to get off when cleansing which is always good!

I'm not keen on doing these kind of 'meh' reviews because I'm neither recommending it nor advising against it which I don't like doing but I have told you what I do and don't like about it! As for likelihood of repurchase, I'm pretty sure I won't repurchase. I had a small sample size Lancome Hypnose mascara a few months ago, I much preferred that. How it applied was much better, I just wanted to try something new which is why I went for this YSL one. 
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