In The Studio

  • Last Minute Holiday Prep

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    So, lets kick off all things holiday with my prep beforehand. I think I have mentioned before that I hadn't been on a proper out of this country holiday for many many years before we went to Florida. Usually in that sort of position i would have been hyper organised, researching everything under the sun. I bought the guide books but didn't have time to read them, I scouted out shopping locations but didn't really figure out what i wanted to buy, and I had a mountain of paperwork for the journey. I really felt like my prep skills were way off! I even did a mad last minute dash around the shops a week or so beforehand and I may have had to buy a new suitcase the night before I went!

     

    One thing I did remember to prepare for was the beauty side of things. I suppose it is the blogger in me, I wanted to make sure my skin was ready. I did a bit of research and picked up a couple of new things on the market to try out, as well as using some old favourites.

     

    St Tropez in shower gradual tan sounded like an absolute life saver to me. I absolutely hate waiting for body moisturiser to sink in, so was not enjoying every day applications. I have to admit though, as much as I loved the concept of this it streaked every single time. Maybe if you have an amazing extractor fan in your bathroom and it doesn't get all foggy in there you would be ok, but I found the moisture in the air just made this stuff run down my legs. I ended up going back to my old faithful, St Tropez Everyday gradual tan instead. If you are very fair skinned, the sort that burns before it tans, this is the most natural colour for a tanning product I have found. It is more expensive than say the Dove version, but I find this to sink in fairly quickly, apply evenly and the colour that develops is never too far towards any colour spectrum. It just looks natural.

     

    One product I knew I would have to break out was the Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream. My feet are not my favourite feature and though i try my best to keep them in tip top condition, a couple of months of wearing my Birkenstocks had left them a bit dry on the heels. This stuff is great though, within a couple of applications I thought my toes were pretty much flip flop worthy! I would definitely recommend this one.

     

    To go along with the treatment my feet were getting, I gave my toes a bit of a polish too. I wanted something soft that complimented my planned outfits so went for this Essie number, Salt Water Happy from the summer collection. I always think you can't go wrong with Essie, they are my favourite brand and their polish stays on my toes for weeks. I picked up their Gel Setter top coat to go with this, and I really like it, it goes on slightly thicker than a normal polish and when capping the ends of your nails really does seem to last longer without chipping.

    I am a fan of gel nail polish, I don't get my nails done regularly because i worry it will ruin them but I did get a gel manicure a few days before my holiday. Unfortunately one pesky nail just would not stay on, I hate when the polish splits and peels, so i had to perform a hasty removal late on the night before our flight! At that point it was Essie to the rescue, a light slick of polish had me looking neat and holiday ready again.

     

    This Veet Spawax stripless wax kit was the thing I was most excited to try before my holiday. I had heard so much about it and as I am no stranger to at home hair removal I loved the idea of this, you melt the wax, smooth it on and pull it off, the wax itself acts as the strip!

    I had been prepping my legs well for a few weeks before hand with my favourite body scrub, the Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub as I was regularly tanning by that point, and I wasn't worried about this hurting as I regularly epilate my legs. My first few goes I used this on my legs and underarms and though it was great for use on my legs, I wouldn't try my underarms again. The main problem I had was applying the wax thickly enough and consistently so that it formed a complete strip. This was easy to do after a couple of tries on a long flat surface like your legs, but  applying it to the underarms meant it was uneven and I kept managing to rip it in half when removing, which became quite painful. If you are thinking of investing in this, by all means do, but be prepared to practice!

     

    Overall I was a little disappointed by some of these, and I do sort of wish I had stuck to my old faithfuls, but then if you can't try new things when you're going on holiday, when can you?!

    Do you have a set holiday prep routine that you have down to an art or are you like me, bumbling along trying to cram too much in?

  • Harvest ::

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    Mangetout you have grown to be absolutely ferocious, you're everywhere despite your new larger poles and wires, but we forgive you, because you are delicious.

     

    Strawberries, few, precious and delectably sweet. Next year do be more generous with your fruit.

     

    Supermarket Basil, I thought you long past it but there are fresh new leaves on your tops.

     

    I don't know if anyone has ever told you, but did you know, gardening can be mighty rewarding.

     

  • Picnics + pedals :: Spring in the Countryside

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    Last weekend we had some quite nice weather in my little part of the world. The sun was shining but not too hot, it was a bit windy but pleasant and I had a fridge full of leftovers and snack food that needed eating.

    We decided to picnic! Only in the garden, but a picnic it was, I loaded up my bicycle basket and spread out the rug James bought me for my birthday. We stored up some good old Vit D while supping lashings of Belvoir (pronounced Beaver, for anyone not from near Grantham) Ginger Beer, my favourite, and tucked into left over roast beef sarnies with  Blackbomber cheese and mustard mayo. Topping off the feast with sneaky cupcake sweet treats.

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    Dress :: Boden  | Shoes :: Clarks

    All made for great fuel for a ride around the countryside. I had been dying to pair these two new purchases together ever since I spotted them online. The bright summer shades are absolutely made to be worn on a summer day. The brogues are definitely summer brogues and I have had so many compliments already, they have little cut outs on the side, great for if you aren't into the whole midriff baring cut out trend. The dress, oh the dress, I have been swooning over this dress for months, It is the Seatown Shirt dress, and is exactly the classic sort of style I am all about at the moment. It's a linen mix, so light for summer, and beautifully fitted with a flare skirt, so looks very classic. I shall be wearing this often!

    We pedalled to James' parents for me to have a look at a new addition to James' car collection, a beautiful new Beetle that I have promised I won't insist we keep, but guys, it is baby blue and cream, its going to be difficult!

    Here's hoping we have many more weekends like this, because I have never enjoyed living in the countryside more.

  • Pottering::

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    Last weekend, Sunday to be exact, in the small window of time where the rain stopped and the sun finally showed itself for the day I ventured outside to plant some little seedlings I had bought weeks previously on a whim from Waitrose. I had picked up some beetroots, red cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, and leeks, a few of our favourites around here.

    They were looking a bit worse for wear as they had been sat on the deck for ages waiting for the planters to be made and filled. I took pity on them and finally introduced them to their new home in my veg boxes alongside my magnetite and courgettes. I am not sure if they will survive having had such a rough start to life, but so far all of the herbs I bought from Waitrose are actually doing far better than the ones from the garden centre!

    Grow little veggies, grow. :)

    P.S. The slate tags are also a Waitrose purchase, I bought a huge pile of them and use a chalk marker to label them up.

  • Going Green #x3E;#x3E; Introducing Houseplants

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    No, this is not a political broadcast, though now my birthday is over that is the next thing on the calendar.

    This is about greenery in the home, something that I have pinned endlessly on Pinterest but which took me a year to get around to introducing. Before I added these to our home I would stand and look around the living room and feel that something was missing, something quite vital. I couldn't put my finger on what it was. It was only when I thought with newly diagnosed breathing issues that adding a bit more oxygen into the house might be a good idea that I put my finger on the missing piece being living, breathing greenery.

    I am not going to lie, I found it really difficult to get hold of houseplants, my local garden centres don't have a huge selection, and the advice on which ones are cat friendly changes with every site you click on. I am popping to Ikea on Monday and you can bet I will be raiding that garden centre section,  I want to introduce a couple more around the living room and my desk area and begin to take a couple upstairs. I desperately want to make a couple of macrame hangers and add some to the landing.

    All of these ones mentioned are relatively easy to keep I have found. i have had them a couple of months and they aren't dead yet which means I must be doing something right!! I just find it so humbling that something so simple can in fact make a huge difference to the atmosphere of a room, try it yourself and see what an impact plants can have.

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    Airplants >>

    I first went for airplants after discovering them in my local garden centre. My Aunt has a few hanging in her kitchen window and I loved the effect, so when I saw them there I set out on a mission. I bought a couple of blown glass hangers which are actually designed for tea lights and came home to discover they were a bit low, Bert would have found a new toy. I eventually bought a load more hangers from Homesense and now have two lots of these, two hangers in the window near the back door and three at mixed heights in the window in front of my desk and I love the effect. They make very tall windows look that little bit more interesting.

    To look after them you are supposed to not need much, give them the occasional spray with water and a spray of the special fertiliser once a week and they are supposed to be all good. I have found that as we have had some particularly warm days lately that one of my air plants in particular is looking a bit dry so an occasional dunk under the tap is advised. Mine are all from the brand Love Tilly's who also sell lots of accessories to go with them.

    My tip is also to take your airplanes out of your hangers if you are going to spray them, my hangers now have lots of lovely watermarks on them and could do with having a wash!

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    Boston Fern >>

    This is the second plant to be in this pot. If you follow me on instagram you will no doubt have seen my spider plant, it got a little trim from Bert and is now safely kept in the greenhouse.

    I bought this massive Boston Fern thinking it was going to be too big, but it was seriously cheap so I went for it anyway. I am glad I did because it is such a crazy mass of leaves that it looks almost comical. Bert can chew to his hearts content and never seems to make a dint on its leaves and he hasn't had an upset tummy so it must be a safe variety.

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    Spider Plant >> Maidenhair Fern >> Ficus

    As I mentioned before, this spider is now kept in my mini greenhouse in the hopes it will regrow where Bert has munched its leaves off. It is doing pretty well considering it had such a drastic trim, and I have given it a couple of companions. The Ficus on the left was bought on a whim, I seem to recall all of the houses of my childhood having at least one ficus, i suppose because they are fairly easy to grow. The maidenhair fern may have to find a new home as it isn't getting enough space in there to spread out, so I will probably move it into the macrame planter I am planning. They are currently a happy little trio though and I love to look at them.

    I must first sing the praises of this greenhouse while I am talking about plants, it is only around £12 from Ikea and although does not initially appear sturdy, for something that you only really faff around with to water what is inside, I really like it. It is suitably sturdy enough to deter a cat anyway. Bargain!

    Have you tried any houseplants to brighten up your space? Any you would recommend?

  • New around here

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    I went shopping this weekend with my Mum and Sister for the first time in what feels like ages. It probably wasn't that long ago that we did go, but it felt nice, an impromptu trip around Lincoln that culminated in being rained on while we dashed back to the car park, oh April showers!

    I picked up a few little things, along with a few from last month, and although I am not into hauling items I thought these made a nice little collection and I wanted to mention them. I also really shouldn't be buying things as it is my birthday on Saturday, but I couldn't resist.

    - The Mindfulness colouring book  £7.99 - I picked this up in Waterstone's a little upset that they didn't have the ones I was really after. I think I have mentioned before but some things I just don't like to order online and I was really after the Secret Garden colouring book for grownups. We ended up finding that one in WHSmiths, so my mum bought me it for my birthday, but I am actually really glad I grabbed this mini colouring book. The patterns are interesting and lend themselves to creativity, I can't wait to spend a relaxing moment shading it in, plus I have always been that adult that filled in the colouring sheets way past an age where it was acceptable.

    - Various bits of BareMinerals makeup - I have gone a bit Bare Minerals mad lately. I got a sample of the two bases pictured a couple of weeks ago and couldn't decide between the two, they are very different beasts, so I have ended up getting both over the past month. The bareSkin is definitely a foundation, and has build able coverage while looking very natural, it is what I have worn for recent date nights and days out. The Complexion Rescue is basically a tinted moisturiser and is what I've been wearing most days for evening out my skin tone, this stuff is crazy hydrating too! I also bought a new blusher, lord knows why as I have a load of them, but I had a makeover and I loved the way that this one just made me look awake and happy, it is in the shade "The One" and I am dead impressed, I'm pretty sure this alone could give you that Bare Minerals glow.

    - The latest Alan Bradley book "As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust" on my Kobo - I was majorly disappointed this weekend that none of the bookshops in Lincoln had this in stock, or were planning on getting it. The Flavia de Luce mysteries are my new favourite and I have been waiting impatiently for this next instalment. I ended up getting it on my reader after having one of those lightbulb "oh hang on this is why I have a device where I don't have to wait for books" moments.

    Flavia de Luce, in case you don't know is an 11 year old with far too much intelligence and far too little parenting. The novels are set in a quaint english village in the 1960's and have me completely hooked. This is one of those times where you really want to devour a novel but then you know you will have to wait ages for the next one.

    - Naked Basics 2 eyeshadow palette - This has been on the cards for a while, I have majorly hit pan on the Soap and Glory palette of basic neutrals that I use everyday, and ever since this palette came out I have been eyeing it as the replacement. I splurged in Debenhams' sale this weekend and so far so good. The shadows are as buttery as I remember from Urban Decay, and I can guarantee I will use up every single one of the shades in this palette, which will be a first so makes it worth every penny if you ask me!

    Have you treated yourself to any little bits and bobs lately?

  • A house into a home

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    I thought today I would give you a little update on a few of my favourite changes we have made to our home. As of this month we have been living here for a whole year, which is frankly just CRAZY, where has that time gone?

     It was Easter weekend last year (which was actually a week or two later in the month last year) when we crazily tried to clean, paint, and move into this house before the end of the bank holiday. If any of you are thinking of doing it, I wouldn't advise it, mainly because everything is shut on the Sunday and has shorter hours on the other days, it doesn't help those "dammit we forgot to get so and so" moments at all!

    We have managed to achieve so much in the past year, though it often doesn't feel like it because we haven't done any structural work. We have really started to show off our style for furnishings and although there are still lots of things we want to do to the house we plan to be here for a while to come yet so there is plenty of time to do it.

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    One of the first things we did was tackle the kitchen. I had been saving bits of kitchenalia since I was 16 and had amassed basically a whole kitchen worth, so thankfully we didn't have to go and buy all new. We did however have to find room for it all.

    Our kitchen has a low ceiling, lovely white gloss cabinets and butchers block worktops, so we didn't want to ruin the space and light with over the counter cupboards and instead went for the Pinterest dream, open shelving! We have these two sets opposite each other and they make me smile every time I look at them.

    I own quite a few vintage knick knacks so they are dotted around, and baking is my true love so I have one set of shelves devoted to my baking station and one for more practical cooking. My baking station is actually much larger than in the picture too as I managed to squeeze in an island at the the end of the worktop (top picture) to give me even more room for kneading dough. Also not pictured is a bright blue chalkboard wall at the other end, just to add some sunshine :)

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    The next area we tackled was the living room. We actually painted our chimney breast the first day we got the keys before we moved in. Everyone told me to live with it how it was and that I would regret the sudden change but I just needed to get rid of the old owners' influence. It was a really dark blue and the chimney breast actually spans two chimneys and the gap in between so it sapped a huge amount of light from the space. Now it is all this light grey which James initially thought was a bit bland, but I like that colours pop against it.

    The room is a large L shape, and it houses our living area, dining area, and my little study area too, so we have been quite creative with space and dividers. This lounge area is our main space, and I have been slowly collecting vintage furniture from eBay and the local antique centre to get it just how I like it. My dream is to replace my old suitcase for an Ercol Pandora coffee table, and replace the sofa with one with mid-century styling.

    I was determined to use the L shape to our advantage and put in a big gallery wall in this space and it has taken literally months to finish. Some of my photos are odd sizes because of the camera I use and eventually I resorted to ordering custom frames online for those gaps. I used the old parcel paper trick to map out all of the pictures, and the Instagram prints up there are actually applied with wash tape so that I can change them easily if I want.

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    This area is my favourite, obviously.

    This is my reading nook, and is a bit small so hard to photograph. My bookcases there form a divider between the dining table and my study area, and I have managed to cram my reading chair, another bookcase that has been turned into a sideboard to hold my ridiculous cookbook collection, and my desk into a relatively small space. I am afraid the shelves are always a tip, you will never get a perfectly styled photo of them! My desk is right in front of the front window too, something I have always wanted to do, and it means I can keep an eye on Bertie as he likes to bask in the sun on the sill.

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    The current work in progress is the hallway.

    If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen this already, but I painted that wall with the power of masking tape and Valspar tester pots alone! One Saturday I had 7 different colours at my disposal, had spent the previous weekend going through 3 rolls of masking tape, grabbed a small brush and just started painting by eye and I am so chuffed with it. We intend to hang vintage racing posters in simple clip frames on that wall, and a mirror collage on the wall opposite near the front door, hopefully the glass will reflect what little light comes in through that window at the top all the way down into the hallway below.

    This is also Bertie's second favourite place to sit.

    Our other work in progress at the moment is our garden.

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    It was basically a patch of funny shaped grass with a huge deck when we moved in, not very inspiring! At the end of last summer we reduced the deck by half, leaving more room for me to plant things, and so far this spring I have been planting all manner of pots with herbs, fruit and vegetables. This past weekend was spent painting the raised beds that James has made me which next weekend should hopefully be filled and sewn with seeds.

    I have big plans for this space, with a nice seat in the corner, beds filled with bulbs and flowers that look after themselves, a couple of small fruit trees and pizza oven up on the deck with the barbecue. I can't wait for summer, can you?

    So there you have it, an update on our home a year in. I am a bit gutted that I didn't take before pictures, but I am proud of all that we have achieved anyway. We have so many plans for things we want to do still, we both desperately want to knock down the weird triple width chimney breast and get the original and still working part behind the plasterboard up and running, and we haven't even started on any of the upstairs!

    Hopefully I will document a few of the other projects as they happen. Have you taken up any home renovation projects lately?

  • A few things...

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    This week has been both boring and eventful but in small ways, we have made some progress with small things around the house, J has officially got a garage he can work in and I finally have shelves in my kitchen.

    My jars of ingredients have a nice home that isn't our worktop, but I now have a dilemma with labelling (for J's benefit rather than mine) as you can't see the ones I stuck on the top. I may have to get creative.

    My tomato plants sprouted mid week and I did a little dance of happiness, no sign of my strawberries yet though.

    I have got into a groove with using my cookbooks to plan meals. I have been collecting cookbooks for more years than I can count and it feels good to be finally using them properly, the pork chops with apples in Rachel Allen's book pictured was delicious for friday night tea.

    Our canine friends haven't visited for a whole week because it has been so wet out, I miss the magic that the lid lifting on this jar can create. Bums on floors pronto!

    This book has been a bit of a god send lately, helping me to suss out my new-ish camera, I highly recommend it and may do a full review at some point.

    How has your week been? I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend :)

  • Skincare Haul

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    I accidentally appear to have had a week off blogging this week. I had the week off work too, I started my new job last week and lets just say that by the end of it I was glad I had this week booked as leave, I just didn't want to do anything, you know those times? I don't think the situation was helped by my coming down with a sudden cold last saturday. I initially thought it was allergies, but it didn't shift once I left the vicinity of the animals so I have come to the conclusion that it is rather more, and it is still hanging around.

    If you follow me on Instagram you will know that there has been no rest for me to recover as I made another car cake this week for my other half's birthday. This year it was a little less to my ideal standards but it passed the test and apparently tastes delicious so there were smiles all round.

    Anyway, update aside, this week I also received a few packages filled with skincare. Do all of your skincare bits run out all at the same time or is it just me? I mean exactly at the same time too, skincare always seems to need ordering all in one go, i needed day cream, toner, eye cream and make-up remover, and I had only dribbles of product left.

    I started scouting around the internet just like I am sure all good beauty bloggers do, trying to see what was getting the positive votes lately, but I eventually decided I would try a few unheard of (to me anyway) products instead.

    For my toner, I went for the Elemis Apricot soothing toner. I have to admit that first impressions of this aren't great as the smell is a bit funky, more like chemically tampered with apricots than the fresh kind. As it is only a toner I can look past that as I only use a couple of spritzes and it doesn't linger, but I don't think i will re-invest.

    For make-up remover I ventured away from Bioderma and decided to give a high street micellar water a go. At £4.99 this Garnier offering is significantly cheaper and only 100ml less product than my french favourite, so if it continues to impress me this may become a new repeat purchase. I don't wear huge amounts of eye makeup, and don't use waterproof products so it may not work as well if you do, but so far I am impressed.

    I suffer from really dry eyes, both my eyeballs and the skin around my eyes, and find that if i forget to apply eye cream even once it dramatically increases the irritation I feel so an intensely hydrating eye cream is what I have been on the hunt for. I tried a few samples of the new Chanel one and loved it but couldn't bring myself to spend £40 so instead I spent literally hours looking all over the internet for an alternative. I found this Mario Badescu one, and was drawn to the hyaluronic claims. On first use it felt amazing, I am not sure this is as good as the Chanel, but we will see if it has any long term impact on keeping that delicate area hydrated.

    Also for the eyes I picked up an old favourite the Garnier caffeine eye roll on, as I used to find it so great for cooling and de-puffing the eye area. Unfortunately it seems I am too sensitive for this product, at least while my eyes are being especially irritable, so this one will have to sit in the cupboard for a little while, but this was an absolute staple for me for a long time, so I highly recommend it.

    I also added the Ole Henrikson Truth is in the Eyes Eye Peel Concentrate that I mentioned in my wish list post to my basket, I thought it was meant to be used as an occasional treatment but the packaging recommends using it twice a day. So far I haven't been brave enough to try this to that extent, but I have tried it on my spa sundays and do see a little improvement so maybe I will use it more often.

    I don't really do body moisturiser, I am really really lazy when it comes to using them, really really lazy! When people started talking about a lotion you could just spray on, get dressed and not worry about your clothes sticking it sounded perfect, so I grabbed the Vaseline Spray and Go the next time I was at the supermarket. I have used it a couple of times, but it hasn't been amazing enough to make me use it every day. I don't know if it is just my can but the spray isn't a mist which was the first surprise, which means it doesn't spray evenly and requires rubbing in. I will give it a few more tries but I am not completely sold.

    Finally, I needed a new face cream. I really was tempted to grab the Antipodes one I have mentioned before, but then during a trip to my local Marks and Spencer's I discovered they have put in a mini beauty hall, and had to check out the creams there. This Skyn Iceland The Antidote lotion is amazing (and M&S currently has it in the wrong section on their website), I am not sure yet what it is that causes the effect, but when you apply it your skin feels cold, it doesn't just say it soothes, it actually soothes by cooling irritated skin! I have yet to see any more benefits yet, but so far I love it and am definitely going to consider purchasing more products from the brand.

    Have you purchased any new skincare lately?

  • Beauty Wishlist

    I am always on the scout for new beauty products that I want to give a try, and in the olden days I probably would have splashed out on these as soon as they became popular without really worrying about unused products in my cupboard. Nowadays I make sure I have finished an item before I replace it with something new, which means I generally have a wish list running somewhere on my iPad with the items I am hoping to purchase next.

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    Ole Henrikson Truth is in the Eyes - £30.81 from Beauty Bay
    This is a sneaky one, because I have actually already bought this and am just waiting for it to arrive. I have lots of little bumps around my eyes and although I am not sure that they are actually millia, since seeing Meg's post about this stuff I have been contemplating picking up a tube. At the moment it is reduced at Beauty Bay so I snapped some up.

    Real Techniques Stippling Brush - 15% off at £9.34 from HQ Hair 
    I really don't need any more makeup brushes, but I do have a few blush products that are very easy to apply too heavily so am very tempted to grab this to give it a try.

    Nars Narsissist Eyeshadow Palette - £50 from John Lewis
    I know I will probably never get round to getting this, the difficulty I had in even finding it online testament to its probable scarcity, but I love the idea of it, I have 3 Nars eyeshadows that I absolutely love, in reality though I will probably just pick up singles that I want to try.

    Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry Spun Spray - £21.50 from Boots
    This is one of those products that I want to try purely because it is the dupe for something else, the Oribe Dry texturising spray which at an eye watering £40 a can I know I will never buy. I have since heard about an even cheaper dupe though from Charles Worthington, so maybe I will try that instead!

    Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation - £31 from Space.NK
    I have been contemplating going back to mineral foundations for a while now, liquid has been making me want to claw my face off within a while of applying because the cold air is drying out my skin more than I can hydrate it. I have heard great things about Laura Mercier and I think once I have finished a few other foundations off I shall treat myself to this one.

    Babyliss Big Hair Styler - £44.99 from Boots
    I really want this one, with me starting a new job soon I am going to be getting up very early so anything that can help make styling my hair easy I am on board with. The only thing stopping me at the moment is that I am debating wether to chop some more of my hair off, so am not sure which barrel size to get, as soon as I decide, I shall be buying this baby with my Boots points!

    Glam Glow Mud Mask - £69.99  from HQ Hair (25% off the gift set linked until 3rd March with the code GLOW99, which makes this about the same price as one small tub!)
    I have heard so much about this, and I really really want to try it, but the price is eye wateringly expensive for the size of pot, so this offer has actually got me realistically considering it. This mask is supposed to be amazing at sucking all the rubbish out of your face but also leaving it glowing and bright afterwards. Part of me is still so loyal to my Origins mask that I probably won't pick this up, but I fancy a splurge I know what is going in my basket.

    Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream - £26.99 from feel Unique
    Pretty soon my Kate Middleton face cream is going to die a death and being a fickle skincare person I want to try something new. I have read so many reviews of Antipodes products and this stuff sounds right up my street. Hydrating, bam thats what I am desperately lacking at the moment! This isn't too pricey for a day cream either so I shall probably pop in an  order when my Karin Herzog runs out.

    Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado - £20 from Space.NK
    If you follow me on twitter you will know about my love of avocados, I eat them just as they are all the time, can't get enough. So an eye cream with avocado in it? I suspect this will be too thick for my eyes, which is why I have held back until now but part of me really wants to just buy it to see.

    So those are the items on my wish list, what do you have on yours?

  • Origins GinZing Mascara

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    A couple of months ago I had one of those disastrous makeup moments. You know the ones, where your whole face turns into a melting mess and theres nothing you can do to stop it. I had a very sudden reaction to the mascara I was wearing and from being perfectly normal suddenly my eyes felt like they needed to be scratched out of my sockets, they ran like a river and spilled my mascara all over my cheeks. Fortunately I was at a friends house and she had makeup wipes on hand to sort out the mess, and she also had a recommendation for me.
    Try Origins.

    Origins? For makeup? I mean, obviously I know they are great for skincare but I had never even considered them for makeup before. She swore that their mascara was wonderful if you had sensitive eyes, so I stored the little nugget of information in my brain until I was next near a counter.

    A few weeks later I popped over to York for a spot of shopping, and in their outlet is a Cosmetics Company outlet store, which stock Origins! Naturally while stocking up on my favourite face masks I had a gander at the mascaras they had. Origins actually make two mascaras that I have found, but in this shop they only had the GinZing mascara. It was nicely discounted being £12.50 as opposed to the £17.50 you pay in Boots, so I decided it was worth a try. I bought a tube and couldn't wait to get it home.

    omascara2Touted as a brightening mascara that lengthens and lifts lashes, I have to agree with its claims. The product is slightly wet to give your lashes a smooth gloss like finish, while also being not so wet that your lashes clump together. This mascara has a pretty hefty brush in its arsenal too, the bristles separate lashes creating a fan effect that is natural and fluttery, while still retaining enough body to create impact.

    The formula of this product is so incredibly gentle I wish I had come across it sooner, this has yet to cause my eyes to run, itch or need some serious massage at the end of a long work day. I can confidently wear this when wearing my contacts and not worry about it sticking to my lenses or irritating my eyes. After a month or so of use I generally have to dispose of mascaras because they begin to cause my eyes to sting, my ultimate signal for a mascara that is getting stale, yet three months in to this tube and it is neither dried out or funky smelling, and although it will be binned because Lisa Eldridge tells me to, I feel like I could keep using it for a little while longer.

    The product stays on all day and holds my lashes in their imposed curl without effort. There has been no flaking, and it doesn't melt onto my lower eye lids until I give it a good rub, yet it removes easy as pie with my balm cleanser in the evening, further cementing its position as being anti-irritant (nothing worse than having to scrub at sore eyes).

    Although I paid less than standard for this product, I am without a doubt going to be buying it again. Even if I have to shell out the full price, it is worth it for a product that lasts all day without leaving me with bloodshot eyes, I highly recommend it!

    Have you ever tried any Origins makeup before?

  • Emma Hardie Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Treatment

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    I've been dying to talk about this product for a while, but I am lazy and I have to admit I don't use body scrubs anywhere near as often as I should, which somewhat limits how much you can write about a product! I've had this for a while now though and given it a thorough testing so I feel like I can harp on about it.

    Let me start by telling you that I am generally a fan of cheap and cheerful body products, I like the Body Shop, and recently I have ventured into Philosophy and Lush products, but generally I don't spend too much on them. Being a fan of the Emma Hardie facial skincare range though I spotted this in TK Maxx a couple of months ago and I just had to give it a try.

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    Emma Hardie has done wonders for my face, and although I don't feel like there is a lot that the skin on my body requires (It is pretty normal, maybe a little dry from shaving) I wanted to see if this product could benefit me even when I didn't think it was necessary. I have to say, this has become a bit of a staple for me now, and I use it at least once a week to reinvigorate my skin after a week of shower gels and razors sap some of the moisture out of it, and it just feels like I am treating my skin.

    This is no normal body scrub, it is a scrub and mask in one. The idea of a mask for the body at first confused me a little, as I couldn't really understand the benefits but Emma Hardie recommend it as a detoxifying treatment if you have body acne, which I have been a sufferer of in the past, and I occasionally get a few blemishes on my upper back. The rose and china clay smooth onto the skin and even a thin layer feels like it pulls out impurities. I also recently used this on an ingrown hair that had gotten a little infected on my leg (why are they always on my calf?!) and this layered fairly thickly for 5 minutes in a steamy shower pulled out all the bad stuff. Pretty impressive.
    The scrub is mild because it is encased in the creamy mask, but still has enough buff to it as it uses Himalayan salt and red corn granules to still take off that dead skin.

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    The real selling point for me with this product is the almond oil. I smooth this onto my legs while I rinse my hair out and by the time I come to buff it off my legs feel really moisturised. I don't have really really dry legs so using a thick body cream or lotion is far too much for me to use regularly, and it is a complete pain waiting for it to sink in. This stuff manages to moisturise me while in the shower but without leaving a horrible residue like the Nivea in shower moisturisers do.

    I have been using this once a week for a couple of months now and the pot is 200ml so there is still loads of product left. If you can find it in TK Maxx I would grab a tub to give a go as it is less than half the price in there, but if you can't find it, then it is available in the new packaging from Emma Hardie stockists including Feel Unique. It isn't cheap but it does multiple jobs for me and ticks several boxes so I think it is worth it.

    Have you ever tried luxury body scrubs before?