How to Find the Perfect Foundation

So you're in a shop and you're faced with tens of different counters offering you everything to satisfy your foundation needs, but where do you even start when it comes to choosing the right one for you? Believe me, I have been through my fair share of different foundations; some I have loved and some I have hated with a passion (hated the fact that I wasted hard earned cash even more!!).
Work out your skin type:- this plays a massive part in the kind of foundation you need to be trying; what works for someone with dry skin probably isn't going to work for someone with oily skin. If your skin is oily all over then you probably want to go for a powder based foundation whereas if you've got combination skin a liquid foundation may be better. If you have dry skin you want to stay away from powders and go for something which moisturises as you wear it.
Do your research:- The obvious place to start for me would be beauty blogs, a quick Google search of something like 'best foundation for oily skin blog' would bring up lots of different blog posts telling you all about different foundations. Obviously everyone is different but looking at the opinions of others should narrow it down a little bit for you so you can walk into store with a 'shortlist'.
If possible see someone on counter:- If you're going for a high end product then you have the luxury of seeing someone on a counter, although they may not be professionally trained in all aspects of makeup, chances are they will be very knowledgeable about their brand and the products they offer. Don't try and do it on your own; the lovely ladies are there for a reason and it doesn't cost anymore to ask for their help. You do not have to buy, don't feel pressured and make sure you don't let anyone make you feel guilty - you are not wasting their time if you don't buy!
Make sure you tell them what you want:- As much as the ladies are all very lovely, if they are trying to push something onto you that you don't think you want you need to politely tell them that you would rather try something else. Far too many times I have been pushed onto a product that I didn't really want and hated it when I got home. Do you want to mattify or do you like a dewy look, do you want a full coverage or just a light base?
Ask for samples:- Don't just go in for the kill immediately, if you are genuinely unsure of which shade to go for then you could always ask for a couple of pots of two or three shades to take home and try. Some places might not offer this but it's worth a try and you can apply the foundation as you usually would and you can get a real feel of what it's like.
Don't buy immediately:- If you think you've found the perfect foundation, don't be hasty. You'll never know whether it's for you until you've worn it for a couple of hours. If you're in a shopping centre, go and have a browse around and see how the foundation wears on your skin. After a couple of hours go into natural light (preferably outside) and have a look in the mirror - does it look orange or too pale? Is it still covering your skin evely? Can you see any excessive oiliness or dry patches? - Bottom line, if it's a new foundation do not buy it as soon as it's applied, you might be disappointed later!

Jean Paul Gaultier Signature Scent

I don't know about anyone else but I feel quite bare if I leave the house without any perfume on; I just feel like I'm not myself if I don't smell of something nice. I have gone through lots of different perfumes in my time but there's one that I have always gone back to and I've generally always got a bottle stored somewhere because I love it so much. 
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique £48.50
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique is a bold, seductive scent which can be identified so easily because it's such a classic women's fragrance. I'm rubbish at describing scents but this is the Jean Paul Gaultier description:

'Top notes of  rose with the freshness of star anise, middle notes include the spicy sweetness of orange blossom and aphrodisiac notes of ginger and finally base notes of sensual vanilla and amber wood'
It's not a cheap fragrance by any means, with an EDT coming in at around £50 but I think it's more than worth it... everyone needs a signature scent and this one is mine!

Doggy Play Date

Jasper hasn't been on my blog for a good year or so, so I thought it was time he made another appearance. My friend Emily brought her dog so Jasp had a doggy play date with his Labrador friend Vinnie. They spent a good hour and half messing around with his ball and then chasing each other giving each other kisses kisses. They're both big softies but Vinnie loves to give kisses, they took it in turns to chase each other and just generally have an ace time!








The last photo is just Vinnie being his usual submissive self, he just laid down and let Jasper kiss him which sums them both up perfectly! I love having such a friendly little dog and meeting other similar dogs and letting them socialise together is really cute to watch. Jasper is completely conked out now and I bet he can't wait for the next play date!!

Best High Street Foundation for Oily Skin - No7 Beautifully Matte

I'm now on my 3rd bottle of this so I thought it was time I featured it on here, considering it's been my go-to high street foundation for many months now! No.7 seems to be quite ignored in the world of beauty, especially among younger consumers but I can tell you that this foundation has definitely been a 'hidden gem' for me. It's so difficult to find a foundation that suits oily skin without it being too heavy and cakey or too light and dewy but this foundation seems to have got it spot on.

No.7 Beautifully Matte Foundation (£13.50)

As always I'm open to being proved wrong but I do not think that I will ever find a foundation which removes the need for me to use a powder on top without it being really cakey. I don't actually like to look like I've got piles of makeup on so I'll always try and get a shade which is as close to my skin tone as possible and I will only use what I need to cover up imperfections and even out my colour. 
My Thoughts: The shade 'Warm Ivory' is perfect for me, it's probably as close to my skin tone as any high street foundation is ever going to get. The formula is thick and creamy and it glides onto my skin, blending effortlessly, offering a full coverage. It evens out my skin tone and covers any imperfections without becoming cakey/patchy and with minimal oxidisation throughout the day. It has pretty good staying power when paired with a powder, although I do find that reapplying through the day can make it feel heavy; I actually prefer to take it all off with a cleansing water and start a fresh.

I've always gone back to MAC Studio Fix if I've run out of everything else but that oxidises so bad and the shade range is quite limited I think; NW15 is too light but NW18 is a tiny bit too dark - I can only wear NW18 when I have a tan. No.7 Beautifully Matte actually comes in 14 different shades which I think is quite a good selection for a high street foundation.

At £13.50 it is a little more expensive than foundation offerings from other high street brands like Rimmel & Maybelline but I do think it blows other mattifying high street foundations out of the water. If you are on a budget and you need a good base to even out your skin and help cover imperfections then I highly recommend trying this. The beauty about No.7 is that in some larger Boots stores they have staff on hand to help you try out the products so that'd be the perfect opportunity to see how this works for you.

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser New Scents

Way back in March (my God that seems so long ago) I wrote about Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser which at that time only came in one fragrance. Well there's some good news for those of you who have tried it and loved it; Nivea have brought out another 2 fragrances! If you weren't keen on the traditional soapy kind of scent then maybe you'll be tempted by Pampering Honey or Nourishing Cocoa? To be honest, mention chocolate, cocoa, or any other indication of chocolate and you've pretty much got me sold so when I saw that one of the fragrances was 'Cocoa Butter' I was quite excited to see what it was like.
Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Honey* (£3.56) & Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Cocoa Butter* (£3.56)

My Thoughts: To be honest, out of the two it's actually the Honey one which is the sweetest smelling, I think it actually borders on fruity but without being sickly sweet. The Cocoa Butter one is a very subtle scent but I still prefer it to the traditional Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser. The formula is exactly the same; activated by water it goes on quite thin but then thickens up when it comes into contact with water. They work just as well at keeping my limbs moisturised and helps to keep a tan from going patchy quickly. If you asked me to choose between the two in terms of fragrance I think I would actually have to go for Honey, especially in summer, which really surprises me but I just can't smell the cocoa butter like I thought I'd be able to. If I compare this to Body Shop cocoa butter products this is a lot more subtle than those which may be perfect for some people because the Body Shop products can leave you with a bit of a chocolate craving...

If you see these in store then you should at least have a sniff, and if you're a bit lazy with moisturising (like me) then this is the ideal way to inject a bit of moisture into your routine without adding on too much time.

Chicago Town Takeaway Style Pizza

You're probably sat here thinking 'why is she posting about pizzas when she's doing Slimming World' and the simple answer to that is because I am allowed to eat what I want within reason and believe it or not I can have a slice of pizza within my syn value. When I was contacted to ask if I wanted to try a Chicago Town pizza I couldn't turn it down, it goes against all my food loving beliefs. 
Chicago Town 'Sloppy Joe' Takeaway Pizza £4 Tesco

The idea behind the Takeaway pizza is that it's as close to a takeaway at home as you'll get without paying £8-9 for one, a 'fakeaway' if you will! The crust rises and the topping is plentiful, unlike some of the pizzas you'll find down the frozen aisle. The Chicago Town Takeaway pizza is also a lot quicker to prepare than one that you order in; in a pre-heated oven it only takes 12 minutes to cook and you can watch the crust rise (which I find fascinating, sad I know). In an independent blind taste test Chicago Town Takeaway beat Dominos; 39% preferred Chicago Town whereas only 24% preferred Dominoes based on description, price and taste.
The main thing I noticed about this was the crust, it was crispy on the outside but really soft and fluffy inside just how proper crust should be. The thin base was so light and the ratio of topping to base was really good, I reckon this is to do with the fact that it's not pre-baked it's actually made and then frozen which is why it rises. With spicy beef, red onions and green peppers, Sloppy Jose is quite a spicy pizza topping and leaves a bit of a tingle on your lips but I quite like that, I don't do boring pizza toppings.
The pizza I had was 'classic crust', they do a tomato stuffed crust but that just doesn't float my boat, I would love it if they did a cheese stuffed crust... pretty please, Chicago Town?!
My slice... this size is 8.5 syns.
For all you Slimming World-ers if you cut this into 8 even slices, one slice will cost you 8.5 syns (whereas an actual pizza from the takeaway will set you back around 14 syns per slice!!!). You could make it into a lovely meal by adding either Slimming World chips or new potatoes with a crisp salad and a dollop of tomato sauce (1 syn) for dipping. Just make sure you have someone in the house to demolish the remaining 7 pieces because it's hard to resist having another slice!

Melvita Nectar Pur Mattifying Balancing Fluid Review

If you have troublesome skin like me, you'll know that finding a suitable moisturiser which provides just the right amount of moisture without leaving your face looking like a greasy shine-fest can be quite a chore. I have gone through so many different moisturisers over the past couple of years, many of which have ended up in a drawer because they just didn't suit my skin. However, French pharmacy brand Melvita launched a new range called 'Nectar Pur' not so long ago and I've been using their mattifying fluid for the past month or so.
Melvita Nectar Pur Mattifying Balancing Fluid* £26 
Specially formulated for young skin, the Nectar Pur mattifying balancing fluid is actually perfect for anyone with combination to oily skin (I know my skin is still 'young' in the grand scheme of things but when I see lots of skincare aimed at 'young skin' I instantly think of teenage years). Containing birch sap, peppermint hydrolat and wasabi extract, this fluid is said to help purify & mattify the complexion to help balance out the skin's 'flora'...
My Thoughts:
It's light, it's easily absorbed and it keeps my skin feeling moisturised but not oily for around 5-6 hours. The peppermint really shines through in the scent of the fluid but not so much to be overpowering, it's actually quite a light scent but very pleasant. I usually team this with No.7 Beautifully Matte foundation and they work really well together as the fluid acts as a great base for makeup. I don't think my skin has become anymore balanced since using this, but the results when actually using it are pleasing. The only downside to this is that it is quite pricey I think, the price point is similar to a luxury brand like Clarins but I think Melvita as a brand is probably closer to high street french pharmacy brands like La Roche Posay who have much more affordable products.

Would I Repurchase?
As much as I think it's a great product, no I don't think I would. I'm actually more inclined to try the rebalancing lotion from the Clarins range which is exactly the same price and you get more in the bottle!

Models Own Bottle Shop, Meadowhall

Great news for all you Northern beauty fanatics: Models Own have brought one of their iconic Bottleshops to Meadowhall Sheffield! I was invited down to meet Emma (head of retail for Models Own) and have a little look around their shop. Situated on the lower High Street right near Victoria's Secret, the Models Own Bottleshop is hard to miss. It was designed by Mark Rodol who is the CEO of Models Own (former CEO of the Ministry of Sound) and has taken the love of nail polish to the extreme with a shop made to look like a bottle of nail polish which has been knocked onto its side with pink 'polish' running out of the top. A really clever, eye catching way to expose Models Own to the maximum, don't you think?

How could you possibly walk past that without having a look inside?
Models Own began online and in high street stores such as Boots & Superdrug but they now have Bottle Shops showcasing their collection of products in 5 different UK locations (with another one opening in Leeds White Rose) and they have also gone international in places like Tokyo and Taiwan (full list of Models Own Stockists here). As if their plethora of shades, glitters, brushes and nail art tools aren't enough, all Models Own products are made in the UK and they are tested on humans not animals which makes me love what they do just that little bit more!
In the Bottleshop you should find 14 of their nail polish collections plus individual shades, as well as their nail art supplies, makeup brushes, lip products, eye products and so much more! I genuinely don't know how they manage to fit it all into one giant bottle of nail polish and make it look so neat and tidy! 




All in perfect shade order, I would say it's easy to choose the ones you want but it's really not; I could easily spend a small fortune on Models Own polishes. There's something for everyone in the Bottleshop, from their core collection of shades to their sparkly Hed Kandi and Mirrorball collections... then of course there's their newest collections; HyperGel and Polish for Tans.

HyperGel is their brand new gel-like formula which doesn't require UV curing and can be removed with regular nail polish remover, but is still high shine and long lasting... the HyperGel top is fast becoming a hero product as it can be used with any brand of polish to create a quick drying, high shine finish. The Polish for Tans collection uses the perfect mix of neon and pastel to create shades which highlight bronzed skin; perfect for summer fingers and toes. Don't forget to have a look at the Models Own girls' nails, they're all perfectly polished with their favourite Models Own polishes!
It took me quite a while to choose what I wanted but I finally came away with 12 polishes; the individual polishes are £5 each but they have an offer on at the moment where you can buy 6 polishes for £20... why would you buy one for £5 when you could just buy 6 for £20? You'd have to be one restrained lady if you can walk out of the bottle shop with just the one polish! Also, if you go into the Models Own Bottleshop and should 'I Love Models Own' there's a free gift in it for you (while stocks last)! Please let me, Meadowhall and Models Own know what you think if you're visiting by tagging us in on Twitter and Facebook and using the #bottleshop hashtag. The Meadowhall Bottleshop has broken Models Own records with how popular it's been so you'd be daft not to come and see what the fuss is all about!
Keep your eyes peeled for my Models Own Bottleshop haul, there's 12 bottles of gorgeous nail polish goodness for me to play with over the next couple of days, and I can't wait to get started!!

Body Shop Vitamin E BB Cream Review

BB creams are a makeup product which seem to crop up around this time each year, a summer alternative to heavier foundations which we all turn to in the winter. Recently my skin has been treating me very kindly, I don't get half the breakouts I used to (she says, touching wood) so I can afford to go a little easier on the foundation. Before, I had no option but to use a full coverage product but now I can get away with medium and build it up in any problem areas I might have. Obviously in warmer weather it's not ideal to cake foundation on so I took the opportunity to try out the new Body Shop BB Cream, They've taken their classic Vitamin E range and incorporated it into a BB cream, quite clever really because I know their Vitamin E range is popular with women of all ages. It claims to illuminate, even out skin tone and moisturise for 12 hours...


My Thoughts

I'll start by saying that it only comes in one shade, the assumption of brands that 'one shade suits all' really isn't going to go down well with some people; If you're very pale or darker skinned than you might struggle with this. I've got quite fair skin (MAC shade NW13) and shade wise this BB cream is ok for me; I would say that it would be fine for anyone upto around MAC NW25. The key would be to try it in a store before you commit to buying. The formula isn't as lightweight as I expected to it be, it's actually quite thick for a BB cream but this does mean that it's a better coverage than other BB creams that I've tried. It did even out my skin tone well and neutralised some of the redness which I have on my cheeks from spots which have been and gone.

As you can see it has made my skin look more even and it has given me a 'glow'. If you go for the dewy look when buying foundations then this will be great for you, I tend to go for more matte finishes because of my oily t-zone and I found that this on its own was a bit too dewy and stayed quite 'sticky' on my skin if I didn't apply any powder to set it. However, it stays nicely with powder and mattifies it just enough for my skin to look like it has a healthy glow rather than being an oil slick. It did even out my skin tone nicely and neutralised any red blotchy bits I had; I did use a little too much the first time I used this and I think the key to using this effectively is to build it up rather than putting loads on in your initial application. 

Overall I do think it's one of the nicest BB creams I've used in terms of coverage but like I said, it does stay quite sticky on my oily t-zone. If you have normal/dry skin I would imagine that this could work even better for you than it does me even though the product is meant for all skin types. I do think I'm enjoying this more because my skin has cleared up significantly over the past few months, if you suffer with blemishes I would imagine that this isn't a good enough coverage for you on its own. 

tl;dr | One of the better coverage BB creams I've tried, great if you like the dewy look.

Cleanser for combination/Oily Skin - Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2 in 1 Cream Cleanser

I'm a bit of a sucker for a British made products, so when I was introduced to 'Bee Good'; a range made with honey and propolis produced by British Bees, naturally I wanted to give it a go. They never test on animals and bees are never harmed in the making of the products, which is great news to those of you who enjoy cruelty free products. Bee Good also put a share of their profits back into beekeeping and the education of young bee farmers.

Anyway, onto the product. You're probably wondering what 'propolis' is, I know I didn't have a clue what it meant, it just sounded a bit posh. Propolis is the resin which is collected by the bees from tree sap and is used by them to fill in any holes and gaps in the hive. As far as skincare is concerned, propolis is a natural skin soother which is thought to have natural healing and protecting properties. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. So the three key ingredients, honey, propolis and crambe oil help to keep your skin clean, moisturised and clear of breakouts.

Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2 in 1 Cream Cleanser* £11.50

My Thoughts

I've been using this for a good 4-5 weeks now, although it came with a pure muslin cloth I much prefer to use a plain face flannel (mainly because I have loads which are being washed all the time). It's applied like most other cleansers; massaged into dry skin and then wiped off with a warm, wet cloth. The fragrance is one of the things that makes it a real pleasure to use, along with the thick creamy consistency. I usually go for  thinner milks/micellar waters rather than thick cleansers but this one is just right for me, it takes every bit of makeup off including heavy eye makeup without being too heavy or stripping the skin leaving it feeling tight. Unlike Lush Ultrabland which is a really heavy cleanser in comparison, I don't feel like I have to tone to get rid of any residue after using Bee Good cream cleanser, wiping with a wet flannel and then splashing with warm water is enough for my face to feel nice and clean.

I'm a little bit unsure of where the '2 in 1' notion comes from, to me it's just a cleanser but maybe it's supposed to tone aswell? Other than that I don't have anything bad to say about it, I really like this cleanser, and I'm surprised at how cheap it is. At £11.50 it's really affordable and a 100ml tube will do me for over a months worth of use which works out at less than 40p per day! It is suitable for all skin types so if you have normal/dry skin this could also work just as well for you. Bee Good have a whole range of products which are for all skin types, if you'd rather not use a cleansing cream then they also do a cleansing water which I wouldn't mind trying out myself, just to compare the two.

My Dream Holiday to Florida

I went on about it for long enough on Twitter so I thought I'd do a short post about my holiday to Florida. I'm currently in a proper downer because I honestly miss the place so much. It was my first time of visiting this year and I definitely do not want it to be my last, I felt so lucky to have been able to go because I know that lots of people probably won't ever get to visit the most magical place on earth.

We spent 2 weeks in a villa in Davenport on a gated community called Westridge, we hired a car to get us around and we had the best 2 week holiday I've ever had in my life (not exaggerating at all, it honestly was) and I really want to share with you all some of what I got up to. I didn't take anywhere near as many photos as I would have liked simply because I think I was in awe of the whole experience 95% of the time.



 Down Main street USA - being there was so totally surreal, I couldn't believe I was finally there.


Our car and villa - I miss this so much!


Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls - I got absolutely soaking wet through!

 Iconic Universal globe on the way in to the park

 Me and a Minion after the Despicable Me ride

 This is the beginnings of the new Harry Potter area at Universal, rumours are that there's gonna be a train from Islands of Adventure to Universal, unbelievably exciting for any HP fan!

 (Not my shoes, they're supposed to be Forrest Gump's)


Hot Air Balloon Ride - This was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. We went with Orlando Balloon Rides but there are lots more, they took us round the perimeter of Disney (laws state that you cannot actually fly over Disney) and various other areas around the 192. We set off at dawn so the views were amazing, quite expensive but well worth it especially if you're looking for something a little different in Florida.

 Happiest person on earth!

 Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom - A taste sensation!! Vanilla Ice cream on top of pineapple juice... so amazing. The queue is always big and I know exactly why!

 Bloomin' Onion from Outback Steakhouse - Just like onion rings only better!!

Trying to pull out the Sword in the Stone at Magic Kingdom... I'll never be the queen of England after all!

Me and the main man himself with obligatory Disney ears!

I would go back next week if I could, it's a shame it's so expensive and it's such a long way away but I'm sure we will be back at some point during the near future. May is a great time to go because the weather is perfect, it's nice and hot and there wasn't much rain at all while I was there. I'm sure I don't need to tell you but everything about Florida is amazing, even if you're not keen on rides it really is so magical. 

We also did some shopping while we were there (Michael Kors purse for £68 anyone?!) and we did an airboat ride in the swamps with Spirit of the Swamp and got up really close to a few alligators! I love to see animals in their natural habitat rather than in captivity and an airboat is the perfect way to do this!
It really was the holiday of a lifetime.