Going into 2014 | Reflection on 2013's resolutions

At the start of the year I made some new years resolutions and wrote about them here. Now I’d like to take the time to reflect on my year and see if I actually achieved my resolutions from the past year as 2014 is fast approaching.

Firstly I made the resolution to be more focussed and motivated - specifically when it came to college work. I’m happy to say that I have achieved this resolution. At the start of last year I was taking some subjects that I really didn’t enjoy and most likely resulted in my slump when it came to college work. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned this year it would be that you can’t force yourself to do something that you whole heartedly hate. I changed a few of my subjects in September and have turned my grades around. I still have a long way to go though, with seven exams in the summer it could all go pear-shaped again.

My second resolution was to be more spontaneous this year. Throughout the year I’ve struggled with anxiety - something which has never effected me so much before - and so I haven’t been as spontaneous as I’d planned. However, Lucy & I did venture to London on our own for the first time this year - which can be seen here - so I’d like to say I’m getting there. I also passed my driving test this past October so with this new sense of freedom I’m hoping I’ll  have more spontaneous adventures next year.

Instead of making new resolutions for 2014 I’m going to stick with the same ones going into the new year. Both resolutions are still very relevant to me and I wouldn’t say I have completely achieved them yet - although I am getting there.

Did you achieve your resolutions for 2013?

~ Jade xx

Side note: Sorry for the lack of posts on here over the past couple of months but college work piled up and personal issues also prevailed. Also, the lack of decent natural lighting has made it difficult to take blog pictures. Hopefully in the new year things will get back to normal. We hope you all had a very happy holidays!

This Works deep sleep pillow talk | Review

“Insomnia is the chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time.”

I struggle with sleep and I have done for a number of years. Most night’s I only get around three to four hours sleep which as you probably know, isn’t enough. I’ve tried a number of things in the past to help - even taking herbal remedies as to me ‘sleeping tablets’ are just a no-go - but nothing has seemed to work. I’d heard a lot about the This Works Deep Sleep range and so decided to test out their ‘Deep Sleep Pillow Spray’ and ‘Deep Sleep Stress Less Oil’. Both products are a blend of lavender and chamomile which gives a rich blend of relaxing oils which supposedly help to calm your senses so that you can sleep more easily. 

I ordered the ‘Deep Sleep Pillow Talk’ duo which comes in at £22. In the duo you receive a full sized version of the pillow spray (75ml) and a half size version of the oil (5ml). I ordered mine from ASOS so that I could benefit from my student discount but you can order it straight from the This Works website too, as well as other sites such as beauty-bay etc. £22 may seem like a lot for a pillow spray and an oil however This Works believe in using quality ingredients and don’t ‘water down’ the oils in their products which means you don’t need a lot for good pay off.

You can spray the pillow spray either on your pillow or duvet - I spray it on the top of my duvet as my head never stays on my pillow for long - about half an hour before you plan on going to sleep so that it has time to work into the fabric and isn’t too overwhelming. I normally use around 6-8 sprays to do this and then leave it whilst I brush my teeth and carry out my nighttime skin routine.

The oil comes in a small roller-ball which makes for easy application. The point is to either apply it to your wrists or on a tissue to inhale before sleep. I put it on my wrists as I tend to sleep with my hands close to my face and then it works throughout the night. 

I’ve been using the combination of both products for a few weeks now and I’ve noticed an improvement in my sleep. I’m still not at the stage of a ‘normal’ sleeping pattern but my sleeping has definitely improved although I do still wake up throughout the night and sometimes I still feel just as tired when I wake up because my quality of sleep isn’t that great. Though, these products don’t claim they’ll ‘cure’ sleeping problems it just states they’ll help, which I definitely agree with.

There are other products in the deep sleep also including a balm for lips, elbows and heels, a shower gel, a bath soak, a body oil, a cream and a candle which I would be interested in trying in the future also - they even have a pillow spray for babies, so they have all bases covered.

Have you tried any This Works products before?

~ Jade xx

The Lush edit | Christmas present ideas for her

Lush at Christmas time is a bounty full of sweet smells and glitter which can become quite overwhelming if you’ve never ventured in before - I know that’s how I felt when I first started shopping in Lush. When it comes to Christmas, Lush bring out their own loot of Christmas goodies which are nice but some of their permanent stock can also make really luxurious Christmas presents. Today I’ve put together two present ideas from Lush. One for the more mature lady perhaps - mine is for my lovely mum - and the other for a younger female in you life - mine is for a friend.

First up, the gift for mum. My mum is a hard working lady so I wanted to get her something that she can pamper herself with. Bath products weren’t an option as my mum rarely dips her toes into a steaming bath and much prefers showers. I wanted to get her something very moisturising and generally something she can pamper herself with. In the end I chose the ‘Olive Branch’ shower gel and the ‘Therapy’ massage bar. The shower gel is a mix of olive oil, mandarins, bergamot oil and vine leaves which altogether create a very moisturising product. I’ve bought one of these for my mum in the past and it lasted her a good three months because you really don’t need a lot os product, which is good because Lush products are more expensive than the average. The second product is one of Lush’s massage bars. The idea behind them is that they’re a solid body butter which you smooth over your body in the bath or shower to give your skin extra hydration. Therapy is a mix of shea butter, cocoa butter and natural oils which overall give moisturising and also relaxing qualities. The small bottle of the Olive Branch shower gel is £4.50 and the massage bar is £6.50. To go with these two products I also bought my mum a candle from NEOM so she truly can pamper herself.

The gift for teens. I decided to go for more sweet smelling things opposed to the more mature scents that I chose for my mum. ‘Snow Fairy’ is a limited edition scent which comes out every year. It smells - to me anyway - like candy floss in a bottle and I love candy floss. As with the Olive Branch shower gel you don’t need a lot of the Snow Fairy shower gel to get a good lather and they last a good while. The large bottle is £10.95. The second product is ‘Star Light, Star Bright’ which is a bath melt. These work like regular bath bombs in the sense that you put them in the bath and wait for them to dissolve, but a bath melt is different in that instead of creating a fizz and spectacular colour these dissolve to leave a luxurious mix of moisturising ingredients and natural oils. These melt very easily in your hands - which is why part of the glitter is missing in the picture above, it was on my fingers - which just shows how moisturising they are. They are coated in silver glitter however this doesn’t continue to inside, so when you leave the bath you won’t look like a disco ball! These are £3.30 and are also limited edition.

Will you be delving into Lush this Christmas?

~ Jade xx

Sleek face form palette | Review

The other week whilst shopping I finally bought a product that I have been lusting over for such a long time. Sleek is well known for their amazingly pigmented and long lasting blushes and I’ve wanted to try one for a while. They’re also popular for their contour kit - which seems to have disappeared in shops? - which I think they have changed to include a blush too. So when they brought out their Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette (called the Contour Kit online), I was excited to try it! 

I bought it in 'Light' and I am so pleased with the quality of it. It was an amazing bargain at £9.99 - considering a blush on its own is £4.49. 

The kit includes a contour colour which is a lovely matte brown that isn't too orange - which is great for pale skin like mine -, a highlighter which has the perfect amount of shimmer to give your cheekbones a beautiful glow and the new bonus of a blush in 'Rose Gold' - which I already knew I loved because Jade has it. So this palette is just perfect!

The kit gives great colour pay off and they're so easy to blend. It’s a perfect 3 in 1 travel product and I would definitely recommend it.

What has your best buy been recently? 

~ Lucy xx

Current favourites | #2

Barry M textured nail varnish - lady
Revlon lash potion mascara - blackened brown
MAC eyeshadow - satin taupe
Bourjois happy light serum primer - matte

Barry M recently came out with a new textured line of nail varnishes called the ‘royal textured glitter’ collection. I picked up the colour ‘lady’ and have really been enjoying it. Two coats gives an opaque finish and the varnish itself is really pretty. Its part iridescent sparkle, part white glitter and part matte white flecks with an interesting textured finish. Barry M previously came out with a textured line of polishes during the summer and they didn’t catch my eye however this time around they have and I will be looking at picking up some more shades. The best part is they last a lot longer on the nails than a regular varnish because they’re textured. 

I’ve done a full review on the new Bourjois matte primer - which can be seen here - and since I bought it a couple weeks ago and I haven’t stopped wearing it. 

I picked up MAC’s eyeshadow in satin taupe when I was in London a few weeks back and I think I’ve fallen in love. I don’t usually go for cool tone eyeshadows as I don’t think they particularly suit me however satin taupe is great to pair with a warm toned champagne colour and adds just the right amount of smokey-ness for a daytime look. 

I’ve been trying out a new mascara recently and although I picked up the wrong colour - I’m a true black mascara girl all the way - I’ve been really liking this new option from Revlon. It adds just enough length and volume without my lashes looking too spidery or too full. 

Finally I’ve been in love with my contour brush from real techniques. Originally I used this for what the name suggests - contouring - however recently I’ve been using it to buff in my concealer. It’s the perfect size and as it’s duo-fibered and synthetic it doesn’t soak up too much product or make concealer look heavy and caky which I can sometimes find when I use a heavy duty concealer like my MAC pro-longwear

What are your current favourites?

~ Jade

L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil | Review

Recently I was in boots and I wanted to try something new. I have never been too into skin care before as I'd say I have pretty average skin. My skin isn't at all perfect, but I don’t have problematic skin either. So I wanted something that would help to take off make up and just keep my skin clean. I had previously tried the Simple Triple Action Face Wash, but I wasn't too impressed with it as it didn't really do much to my skin and I noticed no difference after using it. So a few weeks ago I picked up the new L'Oreal Skin Perfection15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil to try as it was on at the introductory price of around £5. It is now £7.99, for a 150ml bottle, which I think is a great price.

The description describes it to instantly dissolve make-up, even waterproof, re-balances and purifies for healthy looking skin and is lightweight and non-greasy. I do agree with this. Although it hasn’t cleared up any spots, it also didn’t break me out. I did notice a difference in my skin and it looks healthier overall.

My face feels cleaner at night and very soft. This product can be used to remove make up, however it can take a while to remove mascara as you have to be gentle around the eyes. It didn’t irritate my eyes, but I do tend to use a makeup wipe before cleansing with this as it is easier and just to make sure I get off all of my make-up.

Overall, I think this is a lovely product to just make your face feel that extra bit cleaner and softer and has improved the look of my skin.

Do you have any recommendations for skincare?

~ Lucy xx

Bourjois happy light matte serum primer | Review

I’ve heard a lot about Bourjois’ new ‘happy light’ range around the blogger-sphere recently so I decided to pick up the matte primer. I chose the matte version since I have oily skin so the ‘luminous’ version just wouldn’t work for my skin type.

The matte version is aimed at those who have combination to oily skin - like myself - and as the name suggests it is serum based. I much prefer that it’s a serum to other more cream based primers I’ve tried in the past as it feels like a serum creates more of a barrier between my skin and my make-up which in my mind makes me think that my oil is less likely to show through and my make-up is less likely to sink into my pores and make them look more visible. 

I mainly concentrate the product around my t-zone and smile lines as this is where I get most oily and where my make-up tends to move around the most. I find that patting the product into my skin works best rather than smoothing it on or rubbing it in - and is also rather therapeutic first thing in the morning. The primer has a pink tinge to it when first pumped out of the bottle but dries clear and is a tacky-like texture when first applied. 

For oil control I definitely do still get oily and do have to blot but certainly not as much as I would normally. Usually in an eight hour day I’ll blot around four times - like I said, I have super oily skin - but whilst using this primer I’ve found I only need to blot a couple of times. However, what I really like about this product is that despite the fact I still have to blot, my makeup does not budge. It stays in place across my T-zone and more specifically my smile lines which I always struggle with and have usually lost all the foundation around my nose by mid-day.

Price wise I picked this up from Boots on a special introductory offer for £6.99 but the original price is £10.99 which I personally think isn’t too bad. For a high street brand/product I would expect the price to be slightly lower but when compared to something like the Smashbox photo finish light primer which is £25 it is definitely a good, more affordable price. 

Have you tried the new Bourjois line?

~ Jade xx

My MAC quad

Left to right: Smut, Kid, Woodwinked, Satin taupe

Today I thought I’d share with you all my MAC quad. I recently slipped the fourth pan into my palette after switching from buying eyeshadows in pot form to pan form - it’s a great money and space saver.

Smut - a very dark almost black purple shade - perfect for adding sultry smoky definition to the outer corner or using as a powder eyeliner as it’s less harsh than liquid or gel and blends for a softer look.

Kid - my favourite definition shade for when you don’t want to wear a lot of colour but want a little something to give some dimension. Great for when if you want to have dramatic liner but not too much going on, on the lid. It’s not too cool or too warm toned so gives a very natural look.

Woodwinked - out of my small but growing MAC eyeshadow collection woodwinked is definitely my favourite. A warm toned golden shadow I tend to wear packed across the lid and then blended throughout the crease as where blended woodwinked changes to a more warm toned matte brown - perfect for when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to faff around with shadows - but I also wear this with a lighter, shimmery shadow on the first half of my lid and then woodwinked packed onto the outer half and blended.

Satin taupe - my most recent edition to my collection. A purple, silver, brown-y mix matched shade. Great for adding to the outer corner for a subtle smoky day-time look for for using underneath the eyes in a smoky eye to balance the look out. Also great to use as a lid colour in a smoky eye.

And that’s it! What colours do you have in your MAC palette?

~ Jade xxx

Face of the day #2 | 06.10.13

Products used:

MAC eyeshadow - omega
Sleek blush - rose gold
Rimmel natural bronzer - 021 sun light
Topshop lipstick - Brighton rock
Revlon lash potion mascara - Blackened brown

This eyeshadow look has been my go-to for the past month or so if I’m in a rush or don’t have a specific look in mind. It’s really quick and simple with a base of my favourite cream shadow - which makes any shadow used stay put all day - and a swipe of my favourite shade from the naked palette. It’s quite low-key however I have teamed this with ‘hustle’ eyeshadow from the naked palette on the outer corner and added some winged liner to amp it up for a more night-time look.

What’s your go-to look?

~ Jade xxx

Transitioning Summer clothes into Autumn | Lucy's picks

So summer has gone and we are, rather quickly, moving into autumnal - or 'fall' - months here in England. We actually had quite a lovely summer this year so I could wear my summer clothes. However, if you're like me and can't fork out for a whole new autumn wardrobe, then here are some ideas to transform your summer outfits into cosy, warm outfits for autumn.

This first outfit is a simple dress that was quite simple to change for autumn. It was perfect for summer as it is light weight and easy to wear.

Dress: Primark £5.  (bargin!!)

To make it warmer for autumn all I did to this outfit was add an oversized jumper and scarf. This gives the dress versatility as you can also make it look like a skirt.

Etsy find | Birthday present idea

Today I have a bit of a different post for you guy’s. It was one of Lucy and I’s friends eighteenth birthday this week so we wanted to get her something special for the occasion. We knew we wanted some sort of jewellery rather than chocolate or something as it’s more special and sentimental. 

After deliberating over a few different options we decided on a bracelet as our friend isn’t much of a necklace wearer and decided we wanted something with either her birthstone on or ‘18’ since that’s how *young* she was turning. 

Maybelline fit me concealer | Review

I’ve been testing this concealer out for the past few months now and it’s safe to say I really like it - I’m on my second tube already. The packaging is nothing to be wowed over but it’s the product inside that counts. The concealer itself is quite a liquid-y consistency which makes it easy to blend which is why I love to use this concealer under my eyes and around my nose as it’s light and natural so it doesn’t crease or look to heavy but still has really good coverage - I use the real techniques contour brush to apply it. I have used it as a blemish concealer also and really liked the semi-matte finish it gave but with enough coverage to cover up my spots, however due to my oily skin it didn’t last throughout the day unlike my MAC pro long wear concealer which I also love. If you are going to use this concealer as a blemish concealer I would recommend putting some on the back of your hand before applying it for otherwise the bacteria from the blemishes will sit in the doe-foot applicator and be spread around your face, creating more blemishes. The shade range isn’t the greatest for this concealer - my local Boots only stocks four shades, two for fair skin tones and two for medium skin tones although there are six shades total. I wear shade 20 of the ‘fair’ skin tone range which is incredibly yellow, although this is great for me as I have very yellow undertones in my skin anyway for someone like Lucy who has pink-ier undertones it wouldn’t work although she also has fair skin. That being said it’s very affordable priced at £5.99, blends really nicely and has good coverage for a high street concealer. Maybelline is fast becoming one of my favourite high street brands along with Rimmel as I’ve also been enjoying Maybelline mascaras and the colour tattoos a lot recently also.

Have you tried the fit me concealer? If so what do you think of it?

~ Jade xx

Summer overview | 2013

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Life has been pretty crazy at the moment. I had a very busy summer, going on holiday, days out and seeing family. I have been meaning to do a post for a long time but just haven’t got around to it!

So today I thought I would just share a few pictures of the last few months with you.

Look out for some autumn themed posts over the next few weeks!

Me and Jade on my birthday in June.

Me on the night bus at the Harry Potter studios in London.

Face of the day | 14.09.13

Products used:

MAC paint pot - painterly
MAC eyeshadow - omega
Sleek blush - rose gold
Rimmel natural bronzer - 021 sun light

Since it’s beginning to get colder in England now I feel as though it’s appropriate to bring back one of my favourite makeup products - berry red lipstick. This one from Rimmel is one of my favourites as it’s long lasting since it’s a matte formula, highly pigmented and very affordable. The only thing I don’t like about it is if you have dry lips - which is common throughout the colder months - it amplifies that so sometimes I like to put a lip balm on underneath to prevent my lips looking overly dry.

What’s your favourite product for the colder months?

~ Jade xx

Ten ways to survive college

It’s that time of year again where the people still *unlucky enough* to be in education go back to school, college or university. Lucy and myself went back to college last week - which will explain the lack of blogging recently - and noticed all the first years walking around looking a little lost and a little scared at being in a new place that’s a much bigger campus than they’re used to and more people than they’re used to. Moving from secondary school can be daunting because not only are you moving to a new place with new people but quite often you leave some of your friends behind that act as your comfort blanket because they’ve chosen a different college to you. Lucy and I were quite lucky in that sense and the majority of our friends all chose the same college but for those that don’t have that comfort finding new friends a place you ‘fit in’ can be hard. I have devised and ten step list to help those of you that may be changing schools or transitioning from school to college or even college to university to help you survive. I definitely could’ve benefitted from a list like this so I hope it helps some of you.

1. Talk to new people

Don’t be shy and scared like I was, college is a great place to meet new people who are interested in the same things as you since you get to chose your subjects yourself. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid - they won’t bite.

2. Get a locker.

I love my locker. That may sound a little weird but when you have to carry around three subject books along with reference books and unit booklets a locker becomes your best friend. Not all college’s have them available but if yours does then I highly suggest you get yourself one.

How well do we know each other? | The friendship test

So Jade and I decided to test our friendship by writing out five questions for us each to answer about the other. We’d seen the idea on youtube originally but thought we’d transform it into a fun blog post for you all to learn something about us and see how well we actually know - or don’t know - each other.

Jade on the left & Lucy on the right

Jade’s questions for Lucy:

As a child, what was my favourite Disney movie? 

What is my favourite book? 
Water for elephants

If I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go first? 

What is my most hated food? (bounus mark) What about it don’t I like?
AVACADO’s - they’re mushy

What is my favourite scent?

When I was nine months old I had a near death experience, what was it?
Your home was set on fire

Lucy’s questions for Jade:

What are my favourite animals?
Giraffe - Lion

Side note: who has four favourite animals?!

What is my favourite colour?

Where is my favourite place to go?
Nottingham (family)

What is my Nanna’s name?

If I could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

So we don’t know everything about each other but oh well, we’re still BFFFFFFFL’s - inside joke.

How much do you know about your best friend?

~ Jade & Lucy xx

Mallorca | 2013

I returned home from my holiday to Mallorca late last Friday and went straight to summer in the city early Saturday morning with Lucy. Today I thought I’d share some photos from my holiday. I spent ten days on my granddads yacht with some of my family and I had a great time although my face got a little burned - and is now peeling, nice - and was stung by a jellyfish - which is not desirable. 

My summer style | Jade's picks

In today’s post I thought I’d share some of my summer outfits that I adore. They are very simple but I’m not overly complicated when it comes to accessories and such. Since taking the pictures for this post the weather in England has turned and is now not as sunny nor warm which makes me jealous of Lucy who is currently bathing in the sun on a beach somewhere in Greece. However, I fly to Mallorca next week for ten days so I can’t be too jealous I suppose. 

My summer essentials

I thought I’d share some of my favourites and essentials for the warmer months.

My skin is my biggest insecurity as it’s really not the best so I don’t like to leave the house bare faced but in summer I don’t want to wear a heavy foundation - or any foundation at all. I find that BB creams and tinted moisturisers aren’t enough for me so I prefer to use a good coverage and long lasting concealer. This is a recent purchase from MAC from my trip to London with Lucy a few weeks back. I originally wanted the studio sculpt concealer however they were sold out in my shade - NW 20. That being said I really like this concealer, it’s definitely long lasting and covers my imperfections really well. I also really like the packaging as it has a pump which makes it hygienic. It’s slightly on the pricier side but it’s not so high that I wouldn’t repurchase. MAC’s shade range is also really broad and if you suffer from redness then the NW shades are the way to go. 

A day in London

At the end of last month Lucy and I took a trip to London for the day. Lucy had never been sight-seeing around our country’s capitol before so for her birthday which was a few days before I thought I’d take her to see some of the tourist-y spots.

Our day started super early at 5:45 am and didn’t end until 10 at night but it was such a fun day even if it did rain.

As usual I had my camera with me and thought I’d share some of the pictures I took.

 The view looking up the mall to Buckingham palace 

 The view from Westminster bridge

How to | Splatter nail art

This post is a quick how to on splatter nails. It’s a super easy process and perfect for summer.

What you will need:
~ Base/Top coat ~
~ Four nail varnishes of varying colours ~
~ Cello-tape (optional) ~
~ Nail varnish remover ~
~ Cotton wool buds ~
~ Straws ~

Step one: Apply a base coat to protect the nails from any staining and apply a base colour. We chose to use a bright yellow (Avon nailwear pro+ in ‘Lemon Sugar’) but you can use any colour really, though if you’re going to use darker colours to splatter with we’d suggest you use a lighter base colour.

Step two: Next you want to cover the space around your nails with cello-tape - one strip above the cuticle and then a piece either side should suffice. This just makes the cleaning up process a bit easier however it is optional. 

Step three: Next you want to chose the colours you want to splatter across your nails - we used various colours from the Barry M gelly line. Three colours works best however you can chose as many you want to. To splatter them across the nails you need to dip your straw into the nail varnish - using a different straw for each colour -  and then blow across the nail (be sure not to blow too hard or you’ll cover the whole nail or get large blobs of nail varnish which will take a while to dry..we found this out the hard way..). As you can see from the picture above this process can get quite messy so make sure you cover your work surface.

Step four: Leave your nails to dry completely (this may take some time depending on how many colours you used and how big the ‘splats’ were). 

Step five: Remove the tape from around your nails - if you used any - and clean up around the edges by dipping a cotton wool bud into nail varnish remover.

Country bumpkins

Recently it’s been lovely and sunny in England so to mark the end of our exams Lucy and I laid in the sun enjoying the sunshine and went on a country walk seeing as we live in the back end of nowhere. As usual I had my camera with me so thought I’d share some of the pictures I took with you all. 

What do you do on sunny days?

~ Jade xx

Photography information

Canon 600D with 18-55mm lens, Canon 24mm lens or Sigma 70-300mm lens. Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens or Canon 24mm lens. Any edited photos are edited using Photoshop CS6. Picture source is given for any photo used that is not directly ours.