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, 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, 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