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 blog, fashion, food

A Cosy Chat – 7/04/17

This time next week I will be in Las Vegas! I can’t believe that our honeymoon is finally here, 5 months after our wedding. I’m really pleased we have had the extra time to enjoy being married and to have time we can dedicate solely to planning and saving for an incredible holiday, rather than trying to juggle that alongside wedding prep. I am so ready for a break, we are going to one of my favourite places in the entire world to begin with and then onto a load of new sights and locations… and we get to sleep on a train! It is going to be an incredible trip, and I feel very lucky that we are in a position to be able to take it – thanks in huge part to our incredibly generous friends and family who contributed to our honeymoon gift registry. I intend to make the very most of our good fortune and not waste a second of the experience (ok, maybe waste an hour being in a food coma after our Caesar’s Palace buffet experience, but afterwards, enjoying every minute).


I decided that I needed a pink hoodie to go with my jeans for holiday (always good to have something to throw on when it gets chilly at night) and I found this after determining that all the usual high street and online suspects were “not the right pink” (or only in a size 4, thanks Primark). I’ve bought one pair of boots on Amazon before and decided to risk this. The reviews helpfully said that it was true to size, too big and too small all at once, so I went with my actual size and hoped for the best. Size is fine. The colour on the other hand… well I love it but when it says neon, it means neon. I took it out of the packaging and it lit up the kitchen. It hurts the eyes! At least there is no risk of Mr Cosy losing me in a crowd. I’m not sending it back, I wanted bright pink and I got it… maybe a few washes will tone it down just a little bit.

Ouch

Last week Mr Cosy and I celebrated 4 years together, which has both flown by and feels much longer in a “can’t imagine life any other way” type way. Soppy. We celebrated with a gorgeous bottle of champagne gifted to us by some good friends all the way over in Bermuda, and I cooked up an Asian “fakeaway” feast. I made pork and chive dumplings, spring onion pancakes, crab summer rolls (yummy but such a faff to make when you aren’t super dextrous!) and the piece de resistance, grilled prawn toast (recipe here). We both love a Chinese takeaway, but it isn’t the healthiest, and deep fried prawn toasts are as bad for you as they are delicious! Finding out how to make these has been awesome, and they taste even better than the fried versions because the prawn flavour comes through much more. The prawn topping (or “glop” as Mr Cosy calls it) looks super gross, but it is definitely worth trying out! I will admit that I take a shortcut and blend the mix rather than finely chopping as suggested in the recipe, it is so much easier! I love a long potter about in the kitchen, and I really enjoyed making all this food. The most difficult thing is the timing when you are working on a few dishes at once, so I probably wouldn’t recommend trying anything like this for more than say 6 people – unless you are a less stress-headed host than I am (not hard)!


BUM WATCH UPDATE (awful). It is just about better! Had a mini pain-relapse this week, but I plan on taking a warm bath tonight and treating myself to some pamper time. I think I’ll get through the flight without too much difficulty, I just need to keep my general fidgetiness in check. I have learned my lesson and now slippers with proper grips are worn on the stairs at all times. Goodness, I hope when we buy a house we get one with a less steep staircase!

Speaking of buying a house, that is hopefully on the agenda for this Summer. One of the key things we want is off-road parking. Where we currently live, the parking situation is all on-street and a permit-less free for all. Most of the time we get parked without much of a problem, but there simply aren’t enough spaces on the street for all the cars that belong to the people that live there. Being the highly strung person that I am, I do sometimes find the struggle for a space a bit aggravating, but not anywhere close to the level that other people seem to have hit this week! One car apparently outstayed it’s welcome and ended up with a rather curtly worded note (laminated!) stuck to the windscreen. I will admit that I am a sucker for a bit of passive-aggressive drama, but only when I get to be an observer. If that was my car I’d be mortified… and I certainly wouldn’t ever dare put a note on someone else’s car! Roll on a house with a driveway – and some chill neighbours I hope!


Finally, my goodness have you seen the Easter eggs in M&S? They are all amazing looking but if you only get one thing may I be so bold as to recommend the salted caramel and chocolate ganache eggs? You get a pack of 4 and when you pick it up you know they are going to be amazing because the pack weighs a ton! They. Are. Delicious. Seriously. Delicious on a scale of I-wish-I’d-never-found-out-that-these-exist. Lucky that we go away soon so I can’t get through any more. Yum.

So that’s me, eating chocolate while I wait for on-street drama to unfold, classy as ever. I hope you have all had a week as yummy as those eggs, and I can’t wait to send my next update from the USA! Roll on Thursday…

Have a lovely weekend,

E x

 

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