31 December 2014

Favourite MMU Post of 2014

Before we welcome 2015 I wanted to share with you my favourite blog posts that I wrote this year. I scrawled through 193 posts and managed to narrow it down to my top 6. These aren't the 6 which received the highest number of page views or even the most comments, but these are the 6 I enjoyed writing the most. So grab a cup of tea and get comfy -

What Product Can't You Live Without?
My Makeup Story
What's in My Dads Wash Bag
Best Beauty Advice You've Ever Heard
Favourite Drugstore Foundations
Best Ways To Re-use Sh*t Beauty Products

Which blog post did you love writing this year? Leave a link below! 

30 December 2014

New Year Beauty Resolutions

This year I have decided not to make the usual New Year resolutions. Instead I'm making (and hopefully sticking to) these beauty resolutions. Join me if you wish, they aren't unrealistic and won't make you feel like a bad person when you forget to implement them.

- Give my makeup bag a detox
- Chuck away mascara after 3 months
- Start using eye cream everyday
- Wear fragrance more often
- Don't forget to use heat defence
- Moisturise my body every other day

What is your beauty resolution going to be?

24 December 2014

Soft, Luxurious Waves Hair Tutorial

My aim is to have mermaid-esque hair on Christmas Day and I've been playing with the Babyliss Salon Soft Waves from their Boutique range to achieve the perfect look. The chunky barrel helps to create loose bed-head waves a la Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I found that the barrel is extremely long (34mm) - great for long haired ladies. Whether you're corralled at home with family all day or you're off out for Christmas dinner, this look is my favourite way to get effortless, goddess-like curls. This only takes me around 15 minutes to complete - more time to play with presents and indulge in some festive telly. 

Products used Babyliss Salon Soft Waves *, Bouffe Colourless Spray* and Moroccan Hair Hairspray

1. Separate your hair into two sections. Starting from the back, take an inch section of hair and curl away from your face. Try to keep the curler horizontal and don't overlap hair.
2. Hold in place for 10-15 seconds and as you release the hair hold the curl in your palm for 10 seconds to cool slightly. This will help the waves last longer.
3. Continue this technique all over making sure you curl away from your face.
4. Now you have a head full of curls, spray a texturizing spray onto roots to add volume.I used Bouffe Colourless Spray and massaged the product into my hair.
5. If you wanted tight curls you could leave your hair like this. Spray with hairspray and you're ready to go!
6. I wanted to create soft, luxurious waves for this look so I gently brushed out the curls and sprayed lightly with hairspray. 
7. Add a swipe of lipstick and you're ready to begin the festive celebrations!

Check out the Babyliss Youtube channel to see a how-to video here. Babyliss Salon Soft Waves retails at £40.00 and is available to purchase here.

22 December 2014

Bomb Cosmetics Christmas Candles

bomb cosmetics christmas candles
Throughout Winter I like to surround myself in a shrine-like fashion with my favourite festive candles. As soon as the colder weather arrives I'm hunting down the most scrumptious scented candle I can find. This year I welcome the Bomb Cosmetics hand poured candles to fill my house with an edible festive fragrance.

First up is 'Candy Cane'* which is housed in a cute, baby blue tin. As you can probably guess by the name this is a sweet scent with notes of caramel and vanilla. The fragrance is truly delicious and the hint of cinnamon gives it a Christmas-y feel.

'Secret Santa'* is my favourite of the two. Before even lighting the thing I can smell the spicy ginger and vanilla fragrance. This is one of those good-enough-to-eat scents. I love that this hand poured candle has a light dusting of glitter on top. Both products would make perfect stocking fillers.

I will happily enjoy burning both of these over Christmas whilst indulging in mince pies and Quality Streets. Both candles retail for £7.99 and burn for approximately 35 hours. 

21 December 2014

Glitter Nail Polishes

christmas nail inspiration
It doesn't quite feel like Christmas if your nails are lacquered up with shimmering shards of glitter. I've cobbled together the best of my glitter bunch which are perfect for the festive season. Glitter nail polishes are a pain to remove but these little beauties make it all worth while. Get ready to feel jazzy...

Makeup Gallery Time To Shine 'Pink Diamond'
No7 Nail Effects 'Sun Rays'
No7 Stay Perfect 'Twinkle Glitter'
Barry M Nail Paint 'Liquorice'
No7 Stay Perfect 'Disco Nights'

Christmas mani sorted. Whether you like to go the whole hog and paint each nail with glitter or just stick to an accent nail, I hope there is something for you.

19 December 2014

Discovery Club Classics Collection Box

discovery club classics collection
The Discovery Club Box* celebrates its 2nd anniversary and to mark the occasion they have launched their biggest box yet. The 'Classics Collection Box' contains 10 fragrance samples and £60 worth of savings in vouchers, meaning if you like any of the samples you can treat yourself, friends or family to the full-sized product. The special birthday box includes -
Givenchy Very Irresistible EDT
Thierry Mugler Angel EDT
Paco Rabanne Eau My Gold EDT
Nina Ricci Nina EDT
Jimmy Choo EDP
Lacoste Touch of Pink EDT
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDP
Hugo Boss Bottled EDT
Paco Rabanne Invictus EDT
Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme EDT
The box also contains an adorable mini bottle of Estee Lauder Modern Muse. This jam-packed birthday box would make an ideal gift for someone special or alternatively makes a lovely treat for yourself. A yearly subscription costs £20 and you receive four boxes. Members are free to cancel at any point. Sign up here.

17 December 2014

Red Lip & Glistening Skin: Christmas Makeup

Whether it be with friends, family or colleagues, I'm here to help you pre-select your Christmas party makeup. My beauty regime does change for Christmas parties. I like to add a little more shimmer around the festive season. I'm going to talk you through my go-to holiday party look which includes a classic red lip and glistening skin.

Starting with the base - apply an illuminating primer all over. May I suggest the Temple Spa Look On The Brightside illuminator*. This liquid highlighter contains a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients such as vitamin B3, pomegranate, red clover and ginger & mint extract. It adds instant radiance and creates a perfect base. Follow with a foundation and concealer of your choice.

The focus of this look is the lips so keep eye makeup simple. Wash a champagne colour all over your lids a lightly smudge a brown liner along your top lash line. Frame the eyes furthermore with the Makeup Revolution Brow Tint and Eyeko Eyedo Mascara. To get super-white bright eyes keep Murine Bright and Moist Eye Drops* in your handbag. The liquid gel consistency helps to keep the drops in your eyes.

Moving onto the classic red lip. Start off by lining the lips with a lip liner in a similar shade. I'm a fan of the No7 Lip Pencils. Trace slightly outside of your natural lip line and fill in. Apply your desired red lipstick straight from the bullet for full impact.

That's my Christmas day makeup look all sorted! Will you be wearing a similar look? 

16 December 2014

Degustabox November Review

november degustabox review
It's that time of month again when I review Degustabox. This months offering is a savoury-based selection of delectable treats.

Pip Organic Cloudy Apple Juice
You can't go wrong with organic fruit juice and these little bottles from Pip Organic were lovely. Not too sweet and not too water-y.
Holy Cow Curry Sauce
As a curry lover I couldn't wait to give these a go. The sachet of sauce is super easy to use and cooks within a few minutes. It didn't taste like it came from a packet, I'd really recommend these if you're usually in a rush at tea time.
Cool Dawn Recovery Drinks
Designed to cure a hangover. I'm yet to have a hangover so I'll keep this in the fridge in case I have one to many this Christmas. I've heard the taste isn't great but that they do work!
Branston Caramelised Onion Chutney
I haven't tried this as I'm not a fan of onion but Branston is such a popular brand, this would make a great addition to a Christmas hamper!
Kent's Kitchen Flavour Shots
These little cubes are ideal when you want a quick meal but don't want to scrimp on the taste or quality. I added one shot to some diced chicken breast and made fajitas wraps. It wasn't too spicy either, a definite repurchase!
Drink Me Chai Latte
This was presented as a 'sample present' as everything else was full sized. I haven't tried Chai before but my Mum enjoys it so I passed this onto her - she loved it!
Kettle Chips in Limited Edition Salsa & Mesquite
I adore Kettle Chips so was pleased to see they have launched some new flavours this season. This limited edition bag was very tasty and very moreish. I'll be checking out instore what else they have to offer!
Montano Cider 
As I'm not a big cider drinking I'll be adding this to someone's Christmas hamper as it looks like a nice product. This medium-dry cider is the perfect accompaniment to an Italian cuisine.
Lindor My Melting Moment
Lindt chocolate is a favourite of mine and these Melting Moments are really something special. Almost too good to share!

Another great Degustabox. If you have any foodie friends or love to discover new brands and products yourself, this would make a perfect Christmas present! Get £3 off your first order using the code - EA7L9
Get your own Degustabox online here. 

15 December 2014

Winter Primers

So you've sorted out your winter skincare routine, time to tackle winter makeup must-haves; or more specificity - primers. Primers are designed to make your makeup stay on longer, give your skin a subtle shimmer, blur fine lines or can reduce redness. I've found four to get you through the party season.

Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights in Pink Light £11.99
I have spoken about my love for this many times before. This priming gem works a treat on dull, winter skin. The shimmery pink shade works best on fair skin and creates a dewy complexion. I like to use this mixed with my foundation for a natural but radiant glow.
Temple Spa Look On The Bright Side* £30.00
A champagne coloured liquid illuminator that brightens and warms up your complexion. The added skincare benefits this has is a bonus. I apply this under my base for a subtle shimmer. I'll add a little extra to my cheekbones which sculpts them and catches the light. The sheer formula provides instant party-ready radiance.
L'oreal Lumi Magique Base £9.99
For a no-fuss glow apply this all over. The lightweight liquid has a pearlescent finish and can be mixed in with your daily moisturiser to wake up over-partied skin. A little goes a long way making this product a great budget buy.
Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer £12.99
Well it's clear Revlon know how to make a good primer. At this time of year there is no doubt there will be plenty of photo opportunities. This primer is designed to disguise pores and fine lines whilst smoothing out the skin. I find my skin always looks 10x better when wearing this in photo's.

Which primer do you like the sounds of most?

12 December 2014

Gift Guide: Beauty Edition

beauty gifts 2014
beauty gifts
christmas beauty gifts
The 25th is looming ever closer and I'am yet to buy all my presents. Here is some inspiration in the form of beauty gifts. Hope it helps!

Redken Blonde Idol Duo + Free Maybelline Mascara £27.75
For those Blonde ladies in your life who deserve a little luxe. This Redken set includes the Blonde Idol Sulfate-Free Shampoo, Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Conditioner and also contains a Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara.
Blue Beards Revenge EDT Set £24.99(LINK)
A fragrant gift set perfect for any man in your life. This includes a refreshing EDT and reviving shower gel. Both products smell so good he won't dare touch your shower gel again.
Ted Baker Hang Out With Ted £22.50(LINK)
Four fragrance miniatures to suit every occasion. These little Eau De Toilettes look cute hanging on your tree.
Orla Kiely Mini Reed Diffusers £26.00(LINK)
Who doesn't love a mini? Three 30ml bottles in Fig Tree, Primrose and Bergamot and Earl Grey. These look adorable dotted around the house.
No7 Lip Treats £16.00
A wearable collection of four pretty lip glaces and one glossy pink lip crayon. A must-have for lip lovers.
No7 Bright and Beautiful Skincare Collection £14.00
Skincare can be tricky to buy for other people. Opt for a mini set like this one from No7. A selection of 6 best-selling products.
Ted Baker Stroke of Midnight £20.00
A gorgeous travel case with five mini brushes. Includes everything you'd need to apply makeup on-the-go!
Ted Baker The Claim To Flame £18.00(LINK)
You don't see enough candles targeted towards men which is why I adore this set. The irresistible 100ml cologne and candle duo is sure to go down well.

P.S Did you see my post featuring some must-have stocking fillers

10 December 2014

Winter Skincare Favourites

It's a no-brainer that winter weather plays havoc with our skin. As we welcome mulled wine and mince pies we also say hello to dry, dull skin. If like me, your goal is to avoid the sallow winter complexion that affects so many of us - sit close and listen up.

1. To combat dry skin I like to swap my regular moisturiser for an oil. I'm currently rotating between Bio Oil and Trilogy Rosehip Oil. I apply 2-3 drops in my palm and warm up before applying all over my face and neck. Oils help you achieve a subtle glow and repair dryness.
2. If you're not a fan of oil but still want to encourage moisture opt for a hydrating serum to use in conjunction with your moisturiser. This skincare technique will really offer an extra boost of much-need hydration. The Avene  Optimale Soothing Hydrating Serum is a firm favourite of mine. The serum contains glycerin which improves the skins hydration, suppleness and comfort. I love the way this leaves my skin feeling silky soft and prepped for makeup.
3. Using an alcohol-free toner in the winter is important as it avoids drying out your skin further. Although not a necessary skincare step, it may help if your skin feels tight after cleansing. Using something like the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist will restore and hydrate your winter complexion. This refreshing mist soothes and refreshes skin - exactly what I need on a cold December morning.
4. Exfoliation in the winter is an important step. To remove dry, flaky skin cells you should use an exfoliator 2-3 times a week. I enjoy using the Botanics All Bright Face Scrub which is enriched with brightening hibiscus to leave skin brighter and smoother.

What are your winter skincare tips? 

7 December 2014

Feeling Festive

As the first week of December comes to an end I can't help but feel not very Christmas-y. I've had some mulled wine, I've dug out the decorations and I've de-iced my car but I'm still not in the festive spirit. If you're feeling the same do not fret my friend, I have five remedies up my sleeve that should rustle up some festive flavour in your belly quicker than you can say "bah humbug".

1. My first tip is easy, time to whip out the festive makeup items. I'm talking red lips and glittery peepers. The new Reds Collection from L'oreal is guaranteed to have a shade to suit you. On the eyes, nothing quite says Christmas like a bit of glitter and the Collection Glam Crystal Liners (£2.99) are a fool-proof way to incorporate some sparkle. With these I like to first apply my usual black liquid liner and then layer this on top. A swipe of these two is sure to get you in the Christmas mood.
2. Not one for Christmassy makeup? Opt for a festive lip balm instead - The Body Shop have launched a range of limited edition products in time for Christmas including the Glazed Apple collection. To make your mistletoe kisses extra sweet this year use the Glazed Apple Lip Balm* (£3.99). Although I do not advise eating this, it does taste extremely delicious.
3. A trip to LUSH is sure to make you feel, and smell, all festive. They always bring out amazingly scented products at this time of year such as the much loved Snow Fairy range and Yog Nog - a new favourite of mine. Yog Nog Soap is a wonderfully thick and creamy soap designed to make your mouth water. It has buttery fudge and cocoa butter scent making it sweet but not sickly.
4. Nothing says it's winter time like the unwelcome reappearance of dry, flaky skin. It's time to up your bodycare routine and start using products aimed at combating the effects of colder weather. Dove have recently launched their limited edition Winter Care range which has been created to winter-proof skin. The Dove Winter Care Cream* (£3.29) is a rich moisturiser which offers intense hydration whilst enveloping dry skin with a layer of nourishment.
5. Another tip would be to crack out those candles. They don't have to be the festive-scented variety, just having a lit candle can make a room feel cosy & Christmassy. I'm liking the new Residence Candles from Ted Baker (£28)*. I have the fragrance 'Athens', a fig leave and olive blossom scent. The candle is beautifully housed in a white textured ceramic vessel.
6. If all else fails - it's time to put on Elf.

See my other Christmas themed posts here to get you in the mood! 

5 December 2014

Gift Guide: Beauty Stocking Fillers

It's now less than four weeks to Christmas! If like me you still have some presents to get, here are a selection of stocking fillers; all beauty based of course.

All these products are under £10 and easily accessible. Stocking fillers make lovely little gifts for friends and family or help bulk out a larger gift. First up is the Chapstick Delicious Lips Kit (£1.99 Savers) - this cute little tin contains three best-selling chapsticks to help keep pouts soft and tasting delicious this winter. The compact tin is a must-have and suits all ages. A more seasonal treat comes in the form of the LUSH Hot Toddy Shower Gel (£3.95), this limited edition product is sure to go down well with Lush-lovers. The deep red shimmering gel has a beautiful cinnamon and ginger scent, guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. If you're after a more refreshing shower product opt for something like the I Love...Mini Box of Love (£3.00 Primark) which features a bubble bath & shower gel creme, moisturising body lotion and shower puff. These are available in a range of different scents such as mango & papaya or strawberries & cream. Sticking to the bathing theme, another budget-friendly option comes from beauty brand Argan Body available from Poundland. They have a selection of products infused with Moroccan Argan Oil which are designed to nourish the skin and leave it feeling silky soft. May I suggest the Argan Body Shower Cream or the Creamy Bath, both make affordable stocking fillers.

Another good gift idea is nail varnish. I love picking out shades that I think my friends will love. Brands I would recommend include Barry M, No7, Rimmel, Maybelliene and The Body Shop. If you're quick Boots usually have a 3 for 2 offer on - 1 for you 2 for me seems fair.

Skincare can be quite tricky to buy for other people. Go for travel sized products or fail safe items such as face masks. The sachets you can buy make great little presents. Face and body brand Squeeky Clean from Poundland have lots of budget-friendly items such as the Pore Pow Wow Face Mask. The cute pink packaging stands out in hampers. A more luxe bodycare product I'd recommend gifting is the Dove Purely Pampering Body Oil (£8.99). I have been a fan of this for months and I think it would be a lovely present to receive. I sweep this on after a shower, it sinks in quickly without feeling greasy and smells incredible.

One for those glow getters - Cocoa Brown Bronzed and Beautiful Set (£7.95). This includes the 1 Hour Tan, a personal favourite, Tough Stuff Body Scrub and Gentle Bronze Gradual Tanner. The kit is perfect for getting a natural-looking winter tan and comes packaged in a girly pink box.

P.s Did you see my post on the 6 Beauty Gifts You Shouldn't Buy

4 December 2014

Make Up Gallery - New To Poundland

makeup gallery reviewsmakeup gallery poundland
Would you believe me if I told you each item of makeup pictured above costs £1? Well, it does. Make up Gallery is a new beauty brand available from Poundland. They have a whole array of products from lip liners, nail polishes, bronzers, eye shadow and much more. I've been testing out some products from the new collection to see whether these budget beauty buys are actually any good.

The first item I was intrigued to try out was the Pro Liquid Liner. I'm hooked between Eyeko Skinny Liner and Seventeen Tattoo Me but wanted to see if this bargain-buy could give them a run for their money. The thin brush allowed for precise application and it didn't smudge like I was expecting. I'm really impressed with this, the quality matches that of its most esteemed counterparts. A product I was slightly nervous to try was the Gorgeous Flawless Long Lasting Foundation. Now, I'm no makeup snob but I was a little dubious to try a £1 foundation. This doesn't feel cakey, offers medium coverage and creates a silky veil. Next up was the Smoothly Does It Pressed Powder. Whilst I don't think you have to spend a fortune on powder I found this to be a bit chalky and didn't do much. I also tested the Good To Glow Matte Bronzer. I was pleasantly pleased to find they did a matte version as it can be difficult to come across these on the highstreet. I tested the shade 'Matte Medium 2' which was slightly too orange for my liking but I'd be happy to use the lighter shade if it wasn't as dark. Another pressed powder came in the form of the Feeling Blush Blusher. The super soft formula contains Vitamin E and has good colour pay-off, not a bad product.

A product I wasn't as keen on was the Hide & Chic Concealer. It's a lipstick style concealer that seemed to drag my skin when applying it under my eyes. It wasn't very hydrating either but may be ok for minor blemishes. Alternatively, I loved the All About The Pout Lipstick - the formula is moisturising, it glides on smoothly and comes in a whole host of shades. I also tried the Lengthening Mascara which I found it to be pretty average but for £1 I wasn't expecting too much. I adored the single eye shadows, they have a almost creamy texture and satin finish to them. I'd definitely picked up some more colours. The pencil liners aren't bad too, not hard like other budget brands. I have a feeling they make irritate sensitive eyes however.

The affordable range is perfect for trying out new colours on a budget. Some of the products are a bit hit and miss but my favourites from the range are photographed in the second picture. I'd definitely recommend checking out Make Up Gallery at your local Poundland.

Would you try make up that only costs £1?

*pr samples 

3 December 2014

6 Beauty Gifts You Shouldn't Buy

So, by now you've read a handful of gift guides on what to buy loved ones this year, but what you haven't been told is what not to buy. There are some beauty gifts out there you really should avoid if you still want friends.

1. Any anti-ageing beauty products unless they have been specifically asked for. 
2. Product designed to remove cellulite, dandruff or bad breath. 
3. Makeup palettes with over 50 different eye shadow colours. Unless they're a budding makeup artist, she's unlikely to use them all. 
4. Fragrance is a tricky one if you don't know what they wear already. Go for one of those sample boxes which contain testers so the receiver can choose their own scent. 
5. Skincare is another hard product to buy for other people. If you really want to, go for mini sized products.
6. Bath beads/cubes. No one has used these since the 80's. 

1 December 2014

Everyday Eye Makeup

When it comes to eye makeup, I definitely have a signature look. After watching 100's of makeup tutorials and testing tones of different products I have now found a selection of makeup items that work for me and can get me ready in 5 minutes.

Firstly I start off by applying foundation to my eyelids. I don't use an eye shadow primer as I find this helps product stay on longer and go on better. I tend to stick to eye shadow shades that echo those naturally found on lids. To neutralise my peepers I'll wash a light shade all over using my fingers. I like the Lola Satin Eye Shadow '019' as it has a subtle hint of shimmer. Next I'll take a matte taupe colour and apply it to my crease. I make sure this is blended out with the Liz Earle Eye colour* brush to keep it looking natural. Recently I've been using the Make Up Gallery Colour Story Shadow in 'Cappuccino'* as it has great colour pay-off and only costs a £1! Now the eye shadow is done it's time to whip out the liner. As fellow winged-liner gals will know, this process can take anything from 30 seconds to 10 minutes to perfect - depending if the makeup gods are on your side that day. My holy grail eye liner is the Seventeen Tattoo Me Semi Permanent Liner. Once set, this does not budge for anything or anyone. After the hardest part of the look is done I'll finish off with a layer of mascara. My current go-to mascara is the Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume. I love drugstore mascaras (see my top 3 here) and this is brilliant. I find this great for curling and adding length to my lashes for that 'woah are you wearing false eye lashes?' look. My final step is brows. I don't like to mess with my brows too much but as the hairs are quite long I need something to keep them in place. I've been using the Maybelline Brow Sculpting Mascara which is a tinted gel that helps to set your brows. The weird brush took a little getting used to but now it's grown on me.

That's my everyday eye makeup routine and all the products I reach for. What is your daily eye makeup look? 
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