Posted in beauty, fashion, favourites

Fave Five – March 2017

March was fantastic – here are some fantastic bits and bobs I enjoyed this month!

1. Fenjal Luxury Crème bath oil

This is not a new product. This has been around forever, but I only just discovered it thanks (strangely) to The Guardian online comments section. I love a bath. I’ve mentioned my bath love a few times on this blog because it is a great place to read and because I am constantly injuring myself, pulling muscles, falling over and generally aching – and a bath helps that.


I’m always on the lookout for new products, and of course I love a Lush bath bomb. However, this has been a revelation. First off, ignore the awful name. It sounds like you got it on prescription but you just have to let that go. Secondly, go big or go home. The recommended use is a capful in the bath – sod that, chuck a load in. You’ll still get your moneys worth. This is, quite simply, the best bath product I’ve ever used. The smell envelops the whole bathroom and you feel like you are in a spa or something, it is relaxing and herbal and delicious – it is definitely a unisex scent (although really isn’t everything? Come on it’s 2017). The smell really lasts and when you are in the bath you can feel the oils nourishing your skin. My favourite thing about it though, is that when you get out of the bath you smell wonderful, and you smell that good for ages. It really lasts and I’d have a bath with it every day if that wasn’t completely over the top indulgent. Mmmmm. MMM.

 

2. Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Isolde

Again, something I am so late to the party with! If you watch Zoella on YouTube, you’ll have seen her mention this eyeshadow a number of times. As a lover of all things gold and copper, and a real fan of Nars I decided to invest based on all the hype and it has barely been off my eyes since.


The shadows are creamy and buttery, they blend like a dream and each colour works as well on its own as well as it does in my tried and true “blend the darker colour into the crease” method! The slightly orangey tone to the golds really brings out the green in my hazel eyes, which is something I am constantly trying to emphasise. I also really love how well packaged it is – as you would expect from Nars. The size is great, you don’t need to worry about de-potting or anything, and the mirror is a good size and great quality. It is super handy to take around with me, a day to night look is so easy when you have a beautiful gold to rely on, and it was well worth the investment (normally I’d balk at spending £25 on a pair of eyeshadows!) A definite one for the holiday makeup kit, I can’t wait to see how this looks with a tan!

3. Jeanne Arthes – L’eau de Rose

This came in my February Glossybox and I can safely say it is the best thing I have ever received in over a year of subscription. Rose is one of my favourite fragrances, and I really appreciate finding it in a lovely fresh perfume – because unfortunately I can’t use any rose moisturisers or oils on my face, I go all red and blotchy! What a pain – at least I can wear fragrance without irritation.


For someone who loves rose, I also hate overly sweet smells. So I struggle to find that balance between fresh and floral without turning into pure Turkish delight. There is one exception to this – Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud which is very, very delight-y (!) but it is also stunning, magical and I wore it on my wedding day so it holds a very special place in my heart. However, it is also £112 a bottle, OUCH. Finding a perfume around the £20 mark that I love and has that gorgeous rose scent is a real success. I have worn this so many times, and have layered it successfully with other fresh scents. I really really love it, and the size is perfect for throwing into a handbag for on the go spritzing. However this success comes with one (huge) issue. I have no idea how to buy more. I can’t find any links that I trust to buy this, I’m already 1/3 through the bottle, and their official Facebook page is in German. ARGH.

4. Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Cordial

Continuing the rose theme, this delicious cordial makes the traditional off-piste tail end of the fave five. Yep, cordial is full of sugar and completely unnecessary for a grown up who should just hydrate with water and be done with it. BOOOO. This is an aromatic, sweet, springtime concoction that comes alive in either my ubiquitous glass of fizzy water (I live on the stuff) or to fancy up a glass of prosecco. It is sheer bliss. I have been harping on to everyone about this since I treated myself to a bottle earlier in the month and now have to ration is to save both my purse strings and my waistline from all those sugary sugary empty calories. Divine. I can’t wait to sit outside in the spring sunshine with an ice cold glass of something fizzy with a drop of this in and a book in my hand. Try it, you won’t be disappointed (and it doesn’t taste offensively sweet, it just has that syrupy sheen you get from really good cordials that let you know it really is a treat).


5. Tocci Animal Print Bangle from Oliver Bonas

Manchester now has a giant and very exciting Oliver Bonas. I could have spent thousands in there already but have actually been very restrained. I did however treat myself to this fantastic bangle which I’ve worn nearly every day this month.

Ignore the “animal print” description. I wouldn’t call this animal print, it more just looks hammered and textured. I’ve been searching for a plain gold bangle all year, and since I don’t have a spare £5k to drop on a Cartier love bracelet, I thought this for £14 was rather reasonable. It has ticked the boxes of everything I was looking for – fits well, without being too big or tight, has a nice heft so you feel like you are wearing a chunky piece, is a lovely bright gold, and doesn’t irritate my skin. I don’t think the print is overwhelming at all – although I really wanted just plain gold, the texture really catches the light and adds a nice dimension without being distracting or loud. A really versatile piece that I have really enjoyed wearing, and a nice addition to any outfit. Brill. Now, if you could just release a rose gold version please OB??


So there we have it, our March mixed bag of good things. I’m so, so excited for April (aka honeymoon month) and hope to bring back a load of treats from Sephora, Bath and Body Works and the rest for next month.

E x

 

 

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Posted in beauty, reviews

Review – Pixi x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

Hoo boy was I excited for this skincare release! I am a big fan of Caroline Hirons  and whilst I still like to test and research skincare products for myself, I generally find that her recommendations are good ones, and her skincare cheat sheet for routines has really helped me change up the way I take care of my skin – here, at 32 my skin looks the best it ever has and I accredit that in part to the wisdom of Ms Hirons.

One of the things that I’ve really taken to heart is the double cleansing technique – i.e. removing makeup then cleansing the skin. I normally use a balm cleanser for my first cleanse, then follow up with a clay or mud. This works really well for me, but you can’t have too much of a good thing and a cleanser developed by the lady herself was something I couldn’t pass up. I ordered it as soon as it was released… and thats where this review nearly fell on it’s arse.

I can safely say, the service from Pixi was some of the worst I’ve experienced in recent times. It took over 2 weeks for my order to arrive, and at one point the order was marked as dispatched more than a week before it was actually sent out! I gave it a full week of hearing nothing before I called the company, and was told that they didn’t know what had happened but that it was probably a popular product and they would call me back that afternoon. Nobody called me. Then, once it arrived, it had a huge air bubble in the cream side of the pot, so it was almost 1/3 empty. Not cool. I emailed customer care but never heard back. After the delivery debacle I just gave up at that point. If I repurchase, I won’t be using Pixi direct, that’s for sure! I understand that it was a huge release, but you think they would be prepared for that, and to not answer emails or return calls… that really is poor. All in all, if I didn’t love glow tonic so much I’d be tempted to stop buying from them altogether!


But bad service does not begat bad products, and I have to say, this is a bit of a winner. It has its problems (which I’ll go into a bit further down) but with such high hopes it is always going to struggle against expectations. The divided pot contains a first cleanse makeup remover in the form of a solid oil, and a soothing cream for a second cleanse. Neither product contains mineral oil or fragrance – it is designed to be functional and usable for the most people possible – so cutting out comedogenic or irritating ingredients. Of course, this makes it a less sensory experience than a more scented concoction, but as someone who has fallen foul of beautiful scented products irritating their skin this is welcome. Let’s look at this on a cleanse by cleanse basis:

First cleanse – the solid oil. This does not mess around. The oil melts into your makeup right away, obliterating all in it’s path. I can wear a full face, including double wear, liquid lipstick and lashings of mascara and it’ll be gone in seconds. No panda eyes, no foundation on my pillowcase, just clean fresh skin. It hasn’t been beaten by a product yet, and I can always rely on it to take the day off without rubbing or scrubbing.


Second cleanse – cream. This feels lovely on the skin. A real delight to use. Although unscented, it still feels like a luxurious treat and I love massaging it into slightly damp skin after I’ve wiped the oil stage off with a muslin cloth or flannel. It doesn’t sting, burn or clog and leaves me with beautifully soft skin, just waiting to have serum massaged into it. I also like it as a morning cleanse, as it doesn’t dry out skin so you end up with a lovely base for makeup, and a reduced amount of oil breakthrough during the day. That point leads me nicely on to my problems with the product…

Firstly – the ratios of each product. Aside from my cream cleanser being limited to begin with (eye roll again), because I tend to use this for morning and second cleanse when I’m travelling (which is the main time I find myself using this), the cream side is running out much quicker than the oil. It isn’t the end of the world, but if the 50:50 ratio was adjusted to account for this – I doubt I’m the only person that has this problem – it would be greatly improved. Because I think it is such a handy product to take on holiday with you, it would defeat the point if you had to take a second pot just to cover when you inevitably run out of the cream with a load of oil left.

My second issue is the design of the pot itself. I can’t deny that it looks and feels great. The swirl is a nice design and the pot itself is heavy and luxe feeling (it is plastic, but it still feels like a quality item that you have spent a bit of money on). However, putting the extra cover on before the lid is kind of a faff, and if you lose this element of the packaging, the cream is going to go everywhere when you carry it around. I keep remarking how much I like this as a product for travel, and on that note the packaging could cope with being a little less bulky. It’s a rather large and heavy pot – great for the bathroom, not great for reducing bulk in your luggage! It is still better than two large pots, but there is a lot of redundant heavy plastic that they could do away with. I’m nitpicking though and I know it.

So overall, would I recommend and will I repurchase? Yes and… probably. It costs £24 for 50ml which isn’t the best value when you look at similar products (for example, Clinique Take the Day Off balm is £22 for 125ml) but there is no denying that both cleansers work really well and leave yourself with lovely skin. It’ll be going on honeymoon with me as my sole source of cleansing and I feel confident that I won’t have any skin issues during that time despite the fact that I’ll be wearing a full face of makeup and SPF everyday. However, for everyday cleansing, I think I’ll be sticking with my tried and true combination of Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (£10 for 90ml) for makeup removing and Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip (£35 for 125ml) as second cleanse – more on these coming soon when I post about my morning and evening routines. Looking at these price comparisons it does seem that you are paying a little more for the convenience of having one pot. Not a deal breaker for me, but I’ll definitely be saving this for when I travel.
 

Posted in beauty, favourites

Fave Five – February 2017

Slightly later than planned, here are my favourite things from February!


1. Ouai volume shampoo and conditioner

When I cut my hair back in November 2016, I went from super long hair to a shoulder length cut. I absolutely love it, but without the versatility of being able to throw it up in a messy bun if it looks a bit lifeless, I needed to make sure I had shiny, manageable hair with bags of volume. I decided to try this brand based on blogger and Cult Beauty user reviews, and the popularity of Jen Atkin (who’s brand it is) amongst celebrities with gorgeous hair! At £20-£22 a pop, it is not a cheap shampoo, and a far cry from what I am used to using. It is sulphate free, and smells delicious. I’ve been using it for a few months, but have decided to add it to my February favourites based on just how much I’ve noticed the difference this month. I’ve had a tonne of bleach put into my hair, and rather than it being dry and dull, it is still soft, shiny and easy to work with. I definitely put this down to my change in shampoo. There is none of the build up that I’ve experienced with other brands, and I really do adore it. You also don’t need much and I’ve found that my hair is lasting longer between washes, so my initial £40 investment lasted me through to the end of February – whereas before with cheaper shampoos I was just rinsing through them – quite literally. Definitely worth the splurge and I feel like I won’t go back to high street brands now.


2. Soap and Glory Supercat liner

In January I decided that I wasn’t going to do winged eyeliner anymore. My lack of skills, shortsightedness and awkward hooded eyes meant that I struggled to get anything looking remotely acceptable. But, of course, I couldn’t stay away and decided to give the look one last shot with a new pen and a more refined technique (read: smaller wings). I bought this on a whim when it was reduced to £4 (usually £6) – and even better, it is easily available in Boots. Particularly helpful when I lost the lid to my first one and it dried out!! This is by far the easiest liquid eyeliner I’ve ever used. The black is really black and doesn’t pull your eyeshadow off. I have such great control, I can get delicate or dramatic wings depending on how I approach the pen, and it doesn’t sink into my crinkly eyelids. Even better, it dries quickly so I don’t get duplicate lines on my upper eyes. It’s affordable, easy to use, and performs well. I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone that isn’t a natural with eyeliner, and it has now become a daily (winged eyeliner daily!) staple in my routine. Fab.


3. Leafy and Lovely Summer Meadow hand cream

I got this as part of a Christmas present from one of my very best friends, and it has lived in my work rucksack ever since. It’s a nice sturdy tube and I don’t feel like it is going to explode which is a relief. First off, the smell is gorgeous. Gorgeous. It is delightful, fresh and floral without being soapy, and it is perfect for the Spring that is now trying to peek out from behind the clouds. It also absorbs really well, quickly and with no greasy residue. It moisturises very well and the only reason I ever apply it more than once a day is because it is such a pleasurable experience! Yummy yummy yummy, I’ll be getting some more as soon as I run out (and maybe a smaller size for travel – fingers crossed they make one!).


4. Twinings cherry bakewell green tea

Time for me to go off piste and pick a couple of items outside of the beauty spectrum to include. First up, something I’ve been ignoring since I first spotted it on the supermarket shelves! The idea of cherry bakewell flavoured tea sounds silly at best, and coupled with green tea (which I generally don’t like) I was having none of it. However, a commenter on the CasualUK subReddit mentioned that it was delicious and was so enthusiastic about it that I ended up buying some that lunchtime and giving it a go. Blimey, he wasn’t wrong. It is great! It does have a subtle almond and cherry flavour, a certain sweetness, and the leafiness that I normally dislike in green tea (putting it mildly, it tastes like dirty dishwater) is toned down and works with the flavours. I’ve drunk litres of the stuff. Give it a go, if you like it great, and if you don’t – send it my way!

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5. Sunless Sea

Last up is a Steam game. Sunless Sea was originally a Kickstarter game that sprang from the free-to-play online game Fallen London which I was pretty obsessed with a few years back. My interest in the mechanics of that game waned, but the world and the stories still held my attention, and I bought this game just after it came out in 2015. Since then, I’ve played around 100 hours, and in mid Feb, laid up with a broken bum and in a grump with a new game beset with crashing errors (eye roll), I spent a few days immersing myself in the world and starting afresh. I’ve still not completed the game, which is notoriously difficult to do, but I’ve gotten further than ever before and had a lot of fun doing it! You take the role of a captain, navigating your ship on the “Sunless Sea” – a subterrenean ocean that contains numerous islands and locales to explore. The story changes each time you play based on the choices you make and random occurrences so the level of replayability is really high. It is available on Steam for PC and Mac and at £13.99 is a good price for how many hours of enjoyment you will get. It’s Steam as well, so keep your eyes peeled for a good sale price!!

This is what I was loving in February – what about you? March is well under way and I’m having a brilliant month, so expect some fun products showing up next time too!

Posted in beauty, reviews

Custom Highlighter Palette – Makeup Obsession

If you’ve popped into a bigger Boots store recently, you may have noticed a slightly different looking makeup stand hovering around the cosmetic and gifts section. Makeup Obsession is a brand I only heard of earlier this year, when I noticed their large display in the Manchester branch and I picked up a couple of their eyeshadows to test both the quality and my skin-tones tolerance for reddish eyeshadow shades. I was pretty impressed with the colour payoff for the price (deeper and frosted shades are much better than the lighter ones) and decided to go back today and build myself a highlighter palette.


Basically the MO of MO (I astound myself, honestly) is that they are an affordable way to create custom palettes and that everything fits with everything else. They offer two sizes of empty palette (12 pan or 6 pan) and a series of lip, eye, cheek, contour and highlight pans. Great thing #1 – all the pans are the same size. This means that you could build an entire face into one handy palette – great for people that travel a lot, or to keep in a handbag or gym bag. Great thing  #2 – the pans pop out of the compact case they come in and pop straight into the palette with a plastic surround; no faffy depotting, no fussing with magnets, and a much cleaner palette at the end as you don’t have the empty space between the pans. Of course, if you would rather de-pot into a z-palette as I did with the eyeshadows I bought, you can but the pans themselves are stuck into plastic and are not magnetic. Not the end of the world, but when I first purchased I thought I didn’t have to do this and was a bit disappointed! Once the pans are in you can take them out and refill at any time – so you can change up your go-to palette regularly. I really like this flexibility and if I am happy with the products, I’m thinking a 12 pan could be a great travel companion for my upcoming honeymoon.

All pans are £3 and the empty palettes range in price from £4-£8 depending on size and finish. Gutted that the rose gold finish is only available on the 12 pan version!
I went with a gold palette because – let’s face it – I’m a magpie, and decided to fill it up with just highlighters. Highlighters are something I am really into at the moment, and I liked the idea that I could try playing with some more unusual colours without paying a high price. With that in mind, I went a-swatching and built this beauty:


The shades I picked are:


Finger swatches

The colour payoff is nice without being garish and they blend pretty well, especially considering the price. I’m not sure when I’ll use the strobe cream (precious) but the colour was too amazing not to pick it up – it looks like ultraviolet light! 

I’m excited to get using these, and I’ll be checking more of the Makeup Obsession collection out in future – you could easily build a palette of looks for a holiday and really slim down the packing! 

E x

Posted in beauty, reviews

Review – La Roche Posay Rosiliac AR Intense

Over the last couple of years I have really upped my skincare game in terms of routines and really looking at what my skin wants and needs. This has led me to try a lot of new products and also to learn a lot more about why my skin acts the way it does. One of the things I really wanted to concentrate on was targeting the redness I have across the tops of my cheeks. In order to do this, I splashed out the hefty £85 for a bottle of Good Genes by Sunday Riley (available in store and online at Space NK and online at Cult Beauty). At first I loved it – my skin was noticeably less red and (once I got over the smell!) it was something I used regularly overnight.

After a while however, it became too strong for my skin and in place of the red flush in my cheeks, my right cheek developed a bright, almost purple red, raised bumpy patch. It was itchy, hard to cover with foundation and seemed to get worse not better with the Good Genes. I stopped using it, but I couldn’t shift that patch of red. It really got me down – I felt like it was very noticeable and was worried that it would spread. Some internet research indicated that it was likely rosacea. Now before I go any further, two things I should point out: 1. I have not been to a dermatologist – I’m terrible for not going to the doctor, especially for something that isn’t worrying me in terms of death or disease! 2. I have pictures of my skin below – and you’ll see the patch I’m talking about but you will also note that in relation to how severe rosacea can get, my case is very mild – I’m lucky and I appreciate that I’m not testing this product on a heavy case, so please do bear that in mind.

So I picked up this product in Boots – it was £17, so much cheaper than the Good Genes, and the bottle is 40ml – for the amount you use I don’t think that this is a bad price at all, it’ll last for a while. I hadn’t heard anything about this before I bought it, but it was described as a “localised redness intensive serum” and I was prepared to stake £17 on clearing up the redness on my skin.

I took a picture of my skin in the harsh bathroom light at the start of the trial. I then used it as directed twice a day before applying moisturiser. I made no other changes to my skincare routine bar cleansing, which I mix up frequently. I then tested this for 3 weeks. Skin before:

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Skin after:

 

It worked! I’m really pleased with how this has reduced the redness on my cheek, which you can hopefully tell from these pictures – it is still there, but so much less noticeable, and now I am much more confident in how my skin looks without makeup. What doesn’t come across as well in pictures is the difference in my skin texture – it’s huge. My skin texture is now smooth and uniform, no more raised bumpy angry patches, it looks and feels great. It’s not a quick fix, my skin isn’t cleared yet but it is improving and I will continue to use this. You can clearly see where the patch was, but every day it is that little bit better – I’ll update again if I ever completely get rid of it.

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So would I recommend? Absolutely – if you need it. This is very targeted skincare. If you don’t have redness or rosacea there is no point in getting this, you’d be much better off using a hydrating serum or similar to perfect your skin – don’t waste money on something you don’t need! Similarly, if you have more than a mild-moderate case of rosacea I’d recommend seeing a dermatologist before starting any non-prescriptive treatments – it probably wouldn’t do any harm, but likely wouldn’t do anything else either.

I’m still using this as I really want to get to an even skintone as possible and there is still some redness there. But the bumps are gone, the angry deep red is gone, and the itching is gone. All for £17 (and I’ve still got most of a bottle). Thumbs up – a product that delivers what it promises.

Posted in beauty, fashion, favourites

Fave Five – January 2017

One month of 2017 down already! In January I was loving:

1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

I was both super-excited and super-hesitant about buying this. Excited, because I’d heard nothing but good things. Hesitant because it costs £40. Ouch.


For £40 you want it to be good, you want it to deliver what it says, and you want a decent amount of product. I have to say – it delivers. Since I bought this at the start of the month I’ve worn it every single time I’ve put on makeup (so 90% of the time basically!). It’s gorgeous. The powder is creamy and soft – unlike some other powders I have used there isn’t a cloud of powder in the air once you start applying it – it goes directly from the brush to your face with no clumping or fallout, like a fine veil of loveliness that sets your makeup and makes you gleam.

I chose the “dim light” version because it promised a flawless, poreless airbrushed look. It certainly blurs my pores, which are the bane of my life – especially on my nose. I feel more confident wearing it and it feels like it works with my makeup rather than against it; I can still blend contour, blush and highlight on top without any caking or chalkiness and it sets my undereye concealer beautifully. It is also good at controlling oil breakthrough.

One thing that isn’t so great about it is the colour. When you apply it to your face it provides a lot more colour than you get from swatching. It’s also quite warm. If you were very fair, I think this could be a problem. I can get away with it, with medium fair skin, but I think it will work best on medium skin tones and darker. A light touch is definitely needed.

Another downside is that now I want to try more shades. At £40 a pop. My poor wallet.

2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sassy Mauve

2016 was the year I set out to find the perfect everyday pink lip colour. When it comes to reds, plums and browns I don’t have a problem, I suit nearly all the shades in that family. Nudes are hit and miss – I need to err on the darker and more neutral side to avoid looking dead. Pinks – tough. I can pull of a bold fuchsia without too much drama, but when it comes to paler tones, dusky roses or a subtle peach I struggle. I naturally have fairly dark lips, and anything too light looks very strange on me. I’d worked through a number of pink-toned nudes and muted shades, but I’d not found that holy grail.

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This had all been inspired, weirdly, by Parks and Recreation where the female cast members keep sporting gorgeous pink lips that look work appropriate – I needed to get involved!

Then, out of nowhere, it arrived. Revlon had an amazing offer in Boots in December, where if you bought a couple of products you got a large kit of full size makeup items. I got this, promptly forgot about it and didn’t revisit till I was having a January makeup reorganise session. The lipstick was there. I tried it on and the rest is history. My perfect pink. It’s soft, non-drying and has surprising staying power for a creamy classic lipstick formula. Thumbs up. Plus, the shade is called “sassy mauve” which ticks all my 90’s boxes. Love.

3. Real Techniques Bold Metals collection brushes

Another thing I technically got in December because these were a Christmas present from my mum, who absolutely nailed it. I opened my presents and immediately wanted to go, take all my makeup off and redo it with these beautiful, beautiful brushes.


I’ve used Real Techniques brushes for a while, from their standard collection. They’re great and a real bargain. The Bold Metals collection takes this to the next level. They’re more than just a prettier, pricier version (they are GORGEOUS), they are amazing quality, and contain some shapes that you can only get from this collection.

I’ve used them all since I received them, and there are a few I reach for every day. Every. Damn. Day.

Tapered Powder Brush.

Couple this with item #1 on this list and you have a lovely face. Uh-huh, yup. It’s soft, not overlarge and picks up product well. A winner.

Tapered Crease Brush.

A game changer, I smoke out my crease with a darker shadow every day with this. It’s soft, precise and blends like a charm.

Blush Brush.

The main collection blush brush is HUGE. I use it for bronzer, it’s far too big (in my opinion) for accurate blush application. However the rose gold blush brush in this set is perfectly shaped, and beautifully soft. I’m never without it.


4. Ankle boots

Moving on from beauty, fashion-wise I have lived in ankle boots this month. I managed to pick up a couple of nice pairs from New Look and have been throwing them on with skinny jeans and skirts all month. Comfy, smart and (importantly) warm – I feel a bit more put together when I wear these, it’s a nice upscale from my usual Converse.

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The tan ones are also real leather which is great for longevity and means they will wear nicely. The grey are faux suede which will look knackered a bit more quickly but would you just look at that gold detailing?! I had to have both.

I’ve also been trying to train myself back into heels, and the ankle support that comes with boots means that I can get away with a bit more of a heel than I normally like to wear. The faux suede black numbers were from Primark and I can spend all day walking about in them with no foot pain at all, and that confident strut only a heel can give.

Finally, the brown ones are a bit busier than I would normally wear, but they’re super cute with some blue skinny jeans or a floral skirt. I’ve  not worn them as much, as the heel is a little higher and they aren’t quite as comfy although the sole is really nice and grippy – a definite bonus. I’m persevering though! These were from Amazon of all places, somewhere I constantly forget sells clothes. Prime delivery too, sweet.

5. Pilot Sign Pens

Bear with me, I know this is a strange inclusion.

Here’s the thing, I love love love stationery. I always have a notebook on me, am constantly writing lists, and have a head full of ideas that I don’t want to forget. After the wedding/Christmas organisation extravaganza that was November and December 2016, I needed to replenish my stock, and merrily tramped off to Paperchase where I picked up a violently neon yellow notebook (fab) and a couple of the Pilot vpen disposable fountain pens – perfect for someone who likes using proper ink pens, but is a bit clumsy!

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I spotted these Sign Pens alongside, and grabbed the blue and black to try out as the nib style looked right up my street. They’re almost like felt tips, with a narrow nib and a lot of ink flow. They do bleed through more fine paper, and you don’t get a small line, so if your handwriting is particularly small or swirly – I’d avoid. For me, I have big handwriting, I tend to print rather than use cursive, and I like a bold look. They’re perfect, and I need them in every colour now!

So there it is, my fave five for January – how quickly the month flew by! February is usually a quiet month in the Cosy household. We have a couple of birthdays and our usual Valentines plans (watch this space) but other than that it’s going to be honeymoon planning, healthy eating (difficult when it’s so cold, all I want is dumplings) and lots of home-based activities. What are you looking forward to in February?

Have a lovely day,

E x

Posted in beauty

Mini(ish) Boots haul

I had a lunchtime to kill and a points offer burning a hole in my advantage card, so this week I took myself off to Boots to pick up some bits I needed (i.e. a shower lily – not pictured) and some bits I didn’t (i.e. everything you see above).

Here’s a quick rundown of what I bought, why, and some first impressions.

First off I went to the Rimmel stand, as I’d heard good things about their foundations and my beloved Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless (I’ll be posting about this in the future) was running low. I went with the Wake Me Up which promises luminous skin and has the added bonus of containing SPF 15 – not great for photographs but excellent for skin care and sun safety. As cold as it is in the UK right now, it’s also really sunny and an SPF is definitely something that I would recommend wearing on a daily basis. I picked the shade “ivory” which usually suits me. I’m looking forward to trying this, as it’s a bit less heavy than the foundations I usually go for, and I’m hoping something a bit more hydrating and light might stop the caking and sinking into my pores that I experience.

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Rimmel makeup was 2-for-£10 so I also got a pan of their full coverage Lasting Finish concealer in the shade “porcelain” – this is for use around my eyebrows, and to neaten up the edges of my eye makeup. Initial finger swatches of this look a bit less “full coverage” than I was expecting, but I’ll reserve judgement until I do a full face and try it out. I’ll let you know!

Next, I hit up L’oreal who have a large stand – almost a counter (without dedicated staff) in the large Boots near me. I had specific things I wanted from here, based on blogger recommendations so I picked up a Glam Bronze bronzer in Gold Bronze and the False Lash Sculpt mascara in black.

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First impressions of the bronzer are good, although I’m worried about how well it will travel, as all the compacts had some fallout already (I picked the best looking one!) and it seems a fairly soft powder. However, the shade is great, I love that it is matte but still glowy and the nice big mirror is a plus. I’m never going to use the brush that came with it though, it was quite scratchy feeling, and not the right shape for how I apply my bronzer.

The mascara has one of the strangest wands I’ve ever seen, it’s a one sided comb. I need to give this a proper try and review, as I’ve heard great things but the applicator is scaring me! The packaging controls the product dispensing well, and the black is very black – just what I want. I’m slowly coming around to using plastic mascara brushes, which I used to hate. Look out for a post coming soon on my favourite mascaras – I feel like I’ve tested hundreds in my quest for the eyelashes of my dreams!

The last makeup item I bought was a NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipstick in the shade “lace details”. It’s a really pretty pink-nude shade, and I bought it solely based on a beautiful makeup look I’d seen earlier in the week on the subReddit r/makeupaddiction. It’s gorgeous. I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I bought it, it’s subtle enough for work and like all NYX Lip Lingerie and Lip Suede liquid lipsticks, it has great staying power. I love it!

I also picked up a couple of makeup brushes, a cheap (£2.99!) Boots Seventeen lip brush to go with a lip palette I picked up at Christmas and promptly lost the brush for, and a Real Techniques blush brush, which I am going to use for bronzer. I love, love, love Real Techniques brushes, they are just about all I use now. The quality and value is unbeatable I think, and I’d really recommend them to everyone. Plus the range is getting bigger all the time – there are few times I need a brush that they don’t make (and that’s when I go to MAC).

Finally (phew) I grabbed a facial serum – La Roche Posay Rosiliac AC Intense (£17). It’s supposed to be good for calming mild to moderate rosacea, which I get a bit of on my right cheek (the left behaves itself). I have some redness and I am hoping this will combat it without causing a rosacea reaction. Fingers crossed. I’m going to use this for a few weeks and report back, so watch this space.

That’s your lot. I’m going to be using the products over the next few days and weeks and will report back on anything that I take a particular liking to. Also, I’m hoping that this will be the last time I need to use my work desk and iphone camera for my photos – they aren’t great are they? Better image quality from here on out!

Until next time,

Have a lovely day,

E x