August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

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Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

February Favourites!

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February is traditionally a short month, and as such I don’t have a huge amount of product favourites this month, but I have been busy watching TV and Films so there’s a few of those.

Let’s get started with beauty!

I’m sure you could see this first favourite coming…

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The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette has been talked about by so many people over the last few months, me included, but it’s turned very quickly into my all time favourite eyeshadow palette. I can’t count the number of looks I’ve created so easily using just these eyeshadows. They blend beautifully, and last! There’s a reason it’s become a cult favourite, and if you like wearing eyeshadows you need to pick this up when you can.

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The Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara, pictured here with some other bits, has become my favourite every day mascara. So it’s a great shame you can’t buy it here! I picked this up on a recent trip to the States, and I’ll be stocking up every single time I go back because I don’t think I’ll tire of it! The wand gives my straight, stubborn lashes, a lovely lift. It separates and volumises without clumping and my lashes stay that way all day.

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That’s it for beauty. Onto the rest. I’d seen Blogosphere magazine mentioned in the blogosphere (ironically!) Once the Zoella issue hit the stands, I REALLY heard about this magazine. On a recent trip to London I picked up a copy, ahead of the next issue being released. I’ve only read a little bit so far, but I have been so impressed with the quality. Not only the content but the actual magazine quality is so impressive. I don’t buy magazines any more because they’re 80% advert 20% dodgy opinion, but this publication is not like that. It’s full of wonderful photos, interviews, opinions and includes the whole blogging community. I’ll definitely be picking up the next copy – though I don’t think I’ll be subscribing as it costs more to subscribe than just buy 4 copies a year….

Now onto the entertainment I’ve been enjoying.

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I mentioned The OA in a past blog, but it hasn’t featured in my favourites yet. I LOVED this show. Like really loved it. It was incredibly self-indulgent which I expected but aside of that the subject, story and execution was so good. They’ve renewed for another season apparently so I’m really interested in seeing what they come up with next.

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The Man in The High Castle is an Amazon original series and one of the reasons we stuck with amazon prime when they hiked the price. The second season of this, very intriguing show, was released not too long ago and we finished watching them this month. If you have access to amazon video and you’re interested in history and alternate realities, then give this a try!

And lastly for this month, I’d like to talk about something I’ll be honest I didn’t want to like. I tend to stray from things lots of people say is great – I don’t like to roll with the masses. I don’t want to be branded a typical female for liking something ‘girly’ that every woman likes. But…. ladies and gents….

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Oh my did I love this movie. Absolutely everything about this movie. I really like the film Crazy Sexy Love so I’m familiar with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s acting relationship. But this was something else. The music, songs, acting, story, cinematography and….. magic. I need to see it again….

Sigh.

January Favourites

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And so we move into the second month of the year, in the hope that we can bypass the cold weather and all of a sudden be honoured with Spring-time. I wish!

It’s been crazy cold, icy, some people have had snow; but we have had plenty of lovely winter sun, so it’s not all bad.

This month, as well as upping the frequency of my blog posts a little, I’ve been able to post up a couple of videos to my YouTube channel, which is really exciting.

As well as that there have been some fab things on the TV, great music and I’ve had the chance to try out some of the beauty things I got for Christmas AND splurge a little on the January sales…

Let’s start with some music.

Ed Sheeran announced his new album and released two tracks from it, which went straight to number 1 and 2.

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My favourite of the two is Shape of You which I’ve had on repeat ever since. I can’t get enough of it, and I’m excited to hear the rest!

I mentioned in a past post I wrote about my 2016 in blogging, a planner that I’d picked up from Dot Creates.

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The Ultimate Blog Planner is a spiral bound notebook with sectioned pages designed to allow you to plan out your blogs as and when inspiration hits.

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I’ve actually started to really fill up the pages! Because it’s not dated you can write in it as and when you want, and it means you’ll never forget that glimmer of an idea you have because you can run and write it down when you have it! They come in 3 designs and are really inexpensive, so if you blog – go get one!

On a recent January sale shopping excursion we headed into The White Company, a shop I didn’t really go into, and saw they had a sale on their towels. We really needed to replace our towels since they were a wedding present 10 years ago – they’re still going strong, but they’d been washed and washed and washed… you get the picture. Anyway, we found these amazingly soft and HUGE bath sheets, hand towel and face cloth all in their sale.

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I swear when I wash my face with the face cloth it’s like rubbing my face with a fluffy puppy…. and when I get out of the bath and use my towel – woah mumma!

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Next, I finally took the plunge and bought a Beauty Blender. I’d never actually used a beauty sponge, but thought I’d see if they had any discounts on the Beauty Blender website. I managed to get a gift set which contained a pink and black sponge, a black micro sponge, a black oil blotter sponge and black sponge cleansing soap for £32 which I think is pretty good! They also included a free mini white sponge cleansing soap and mini cleansing liquid bottle too! So I think I got a great deal.

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Anyhow, I used the micro sponge and the pink Beauty Blender this past weekend and I’m really impressed. I’m mostly impressed with the micro sponge, and how it’s improved the look and longevity of my undereye concealer. Win!

Next, I want to talk about cleansing. I’ll admit it, that before Christmas I ONLY used miscellar water makeup wipes. They did me no harm, and they did the job. But since receiving the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser at Christmas I have seen the error of my ways. It’s amazing.

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Not only does this variation smell amazing, but it’s so soft on my skin. It’s moisturising, gets all of my makeup and mascara off my face without needing to scrub and it leaves my skin feeling amazeballs!

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And last is this incredible body scrub from The Body Shop. I picked this up in their sale for about £6 I think.

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If you were reading my blog last year, you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with any body products that are coconut and pineapple scented. So when I saw this, I HAD to get it.

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Not only does it smell amazing though, the product is incredible. It’s very soft and has just the right about of exfoliating grit in it. You rub it over your skin and afterwards you feel soft and moisturised for DAYS. I mean it – no need to moisturise afterwards but you’re not feeling greasy or anything. I’m obsessed!

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I’m hoping this is a whole range because I’ll definitely be picking up more scents if it is!

And that’s it for another month! Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

2016 Favourites: What’s Made the Cut?

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My one and only 2016 resolution was to learn how to use makeup. And I can honestly say it’s the only resolution I’ve ever kept! I’ve really enjoyed learning about and using makeup and have found an awesome community of people through it.

I subscribed to GlossyBox for one year, and though I’ve now not renewed my sub with them for next year, I can honestly say it did give me the chance to try some things I wouldn’t have otherwise tried.

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So, I’ve compiled a list of all the things I’ve talked about over the year, that have earned a place in my favourites for the whole year. They’ve stood the test of time and I think these are worth the hype.

I’ll start with non-beauty favourites and then get into the makeup!

Music:

Ariana Grande’s album Dangerous Woman has been my album of the year. Since it came out, it’s pretty much been the only album I listen to. Fact.

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TV:

I’ve watched so much amazing tv over the year. Here are the ones I LOVED:

  • Love
  • Gilmore Girls
  • House of Cards
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • The Night Of
  • The Man in The High Castle
  • Making a Murderer
  • The Jinx
  • Billions
  • Stranger Things
  • The Affair

That’s not to mention things I’ve continued to watch, but these are the ones I discovered this year.

I also got heavily into YouTube this year, partly through watching makeup YouTubers (that’s a real word now btw) and partly through watching Disney Vloggers.

So now onto the beauty side of things!

I started the year with the Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk and Honey bath, which was given to me as a Valentine’s gift. I’m still working through this jar, though I can see myself needing a repurchase towards the start of next year. It’s an amazing bubble bath, which smells so relaxing and gives the best bubbles. It’s a real treat every time I use it!

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Gwen Stefani had an amazing year collaborating with Urban Decay. I picked up the shadow palette and a couple of her lipsticks, but the one that really stuck with me all year was this blush palette. I’ve used it so much and can find use from every single shade. The powders are pigmented, buildable and blend-able and last all day. Plus the packaging is awesome!

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TheBalm Balm Shelter is a tinted moisturiser I use practically every day that I wear makeup. It’s pigmented, light, comfortable and gives natural coverage. Enough said. Oh and I bought it a year ago and it’s still going…..

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2016 was the year NYX came to the UK and I’m so glad it did because I’ve found a few staples for my makeup collection. The Tres Jolie gel eyeliner pencils, for tight lining, their Dark Circle under-eye concealer and their Pro Mix foundation lightener. Amazing.

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PIXI Glow Tonic (I no longer need to exfoliate, like, ever!) and the PUR Hydra Gel under eye primer – just buy them. Seriously, you’ll thank me.

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Makeup Revolution’s Radiance Palette transformed my summer look. I adore this palette and for basically no cost. The powders are pigmented and buildable and give the perfect amount of bronzing, shimmer and highlight.

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Better Than Sex by Too Faced and Cover Girl’s Clump Crusher mascaras have changed my eyelashes from straight thin wisps to fabulous girly lashes.

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My go to and absolute favourite lipstick this year has been the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Stoned Rose. It’s a fantastic pinky, nude, brown. It’s long lasting, comfortable and smells amazing too!

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And lastly, I managed to pick up a full size of the Victoria’s Secret body mist in Coconut Passion, which I drench myself in daily.

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So, those are the things I’ve loved over 2016. Have you used any of these this year? I’d love to hear what you’ve been loving – comment with a link to your 2016 favourites! I’d love to have a read.

Keep an eye out for my 2016 overview!

December Favourites

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And here we are, all of a sudden, at the end of the year! So, it’s only fitting that I do my December favourites, right?

This December I was lucky enough to receive a Liberty London advent calendar as a gift from my husband, which meant that every day leading up to, and including, Christmas Day I received a little gift from the Liberty beauty hall. It was an amazing gift and exciting every single day to open the huge drawer and see what was inside. I’m not even joking when I say the cost of the calendar was paid for in product a few times over. So needless to say, some of the items I’m talking about this month were a result of this calendar, however I’m only talking about things I have loved and been using regularly.

It was a fantastic experience because I’ve been able to try brands and products I would never have tried otherwise. A resounding success, I’d say!

Let’s start with these products:

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The Votary Facial Oil came to me pretty early on in the month so I’ve been able to give this quite a few tries. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone so the idea of putting oil on my face seems really backward. But that being said, I’ve been totally converted to oil in my hair despite having a greasy scalp, so I was willing to give this a try. I use this after doing a proper cleanse in the evening. You drip 4 drops onto your hand and then lightly move it over your clean, dry skin and finally tap what’s left on your hands onto the under-eye area. I have found that this isn’t greasy, sinks in fairly fast and doesn’t leave me oily. It also smells gorgeous which is lovely. I feel like I’m giving myself a real treat when I use this, and I look forward to using it more!

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The Aveda Hand Relief cream has found its place in my handbag as my go-to every day hand cream when I’m out and about. The rosemary mint scent was a little odd to start with but I actually really enjoy it now. It offers long lasting moisture and sinks in fast which is what I need when I’m not at home.

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As you know, I’m always looking for something to fix my ever-dry lip issues, especially in the winter. I got this C.O. Bigelow rose salve and I’ve been adoring it. It’s basically fixed all my problems (well maybe) – it smells amazing, is hydrating, and when I use this I can go ages before my lips feel dry again. It’s also perfect for tapping onto my lips if I’m wearing lipstick and I feel like I need a moisture boost. I’ll be re-buying this!

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And lastly from the advent calendar was this Skin Laundry face wash. Rubbing this over my face for 60 seconds and then washing it off leaves my skin feeling so clean but not stripped or dry. I even think it might be helping to clear a little of my redness and texture. We’ll see, but so far I love it, and I’ve used it quite a lot and barely made a dent in this little bottle! Yay!

Next, we’ll move onto a couple of items I purchased at the end of November and have loved using in December.

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I made an E.L.F order and have been really pleased with some of the items I got. I picked up a new blush in Twinkle Pink which has been said to be a dupe for the NARS Orgasm blush. I’ve not seen the NARS blush in person, but I wasn’t expecting the ELF blush to be so glittery. I’ve tried to capture some of the fallout in the photo but it just didn’t translate.

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Needless to say, I kept this for the Christmas season when it’s okay to be glitter drenched, but I’m not sure I’ll be wearing it outside of party season. Either way I really enjoyed how it looked, and it wasn’t too sparkly once I had it on (or at least I don’t think it was!!)

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Next from ELF was this under eye setting powder. A teeny tiny pot, which came with a little brush (though I’m not sure how you would use a teeny brush so I’ve been using a fluffy setting brush as normal) I really like this finely milled powder and as long as you use the tiniest amount, it sets my under-eye area without drying, looking cakey or settling into fine lines. It’s a win!

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Lastly for makeup is a product I’m so glad I found out about. It’s changed my makeup life completely and I can’t believe no one really talks about it. The NYX Pro Foundation Mixer in white is a must have for anyone who is a little pale, or likes to change up their foundations between seasons. You just need a teeny amount, mix it into your foundation and it’ll correct the shade. I have been able to buy foundation not worrying if it’s slightly off colour, or wear foundation I’d usually save for the summer. It doesn’t change the consistency or wear of your foundation and it makes it totally customisable. I think it was about £7.50 which is a steal – go buy it!

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I was lucky enough to receive a brand-new iPhone for Christmas from G Man, to replace my 2.5 year old iPhone 6. He knew I had fallen in love with the iPhone 7 Plus camera, and surprised me with one on Boxing Day, when we went into the Apple store to look for something else. I am over the moon with it, and have very quickly gotten used to the size of the handset. I can never go back!

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Last for December, I need to tell you about this fantastic back pack I treated myself to at the start of the month. Knowing that I had fallen in love with the idea of a backpack for a handbag, since coming back from Disney World, I had been looking for the perfect one. But none of them fit the bill, so I put out a request for help on twitter, and my good friend Bushra told me about Knomo London. I’d never heard of them but had a look, and within a couple of days I’d placed an order.

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Knomo specialise in bags and purses for technology. The one I chose is a small backpack with a padded back pocket perfect for an iPad, as it offers the right size and protection. I don’t have an iPad but the sections, pockets and the size of the pockets is perfect. It even fits my iPhone 7 plus perfectly. The fabric is water resistant and wipeable and even with all my stuff inside, once it’s on my back it doesn’t feel like it has anything in it. It also doesn’t look like it has lots inside, which I appreciate AND it fits my vlogging camera inside. It’s all kinds of awesome. Go check Knomo out!

So, that’s it for another year of favourites. Stay tuned for my 2016 favourites round up!

November Favourites

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It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, which means everything gets sparkly, festive and full of yummy foods.

But before then, we need to round-up November, which has been cold and rainy for the most part and some people have even had snow.

My favourites this month have mostly been of the non-beauty variety. I haven’t really tried anything new other than one or two bits, but I’ve still been enjoying things from last month (including my amazing Charlotte Tilbury lipstick!) But I’ve definitely got some great things to show you nonetheless.

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Firstly let’s talk about some books I’ve been loving this month.

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A Year Between Friends (the sequel to A Year Of Mornings) is a fabulous book full of photographs, craft projects, recipes and letters between the two authors. Mav and Steph are two friends who met via Flickr and live 3191 miles apart in their respective Portlands. The original book, simply photographs, is one of my all time favourite security blanket books. Their photography never fails to inspire me, and this second book didn’t disappoint.

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Second on my book pile this month is Through a Glass Darkly by Jostein Gaarder. I may have mentioned this book in past blogs, because I read it at Christmas-time every year. It’s about a young girl who is critically ill and her conversations with an angel. It’s a wonderfully philosophical book, beautifully written and though it’s not the most joyful of books it’s still fantastically Christmassy. I missed reading it last year as I just didn’t give myself enough time to get through it, but it’s short and sweet and always makes me feel.

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I’ve been finding some real gems in TK Maxx this month, and had to mention this American Starbucks Peppermint Hot Cocoa I picked up. It’s dairy free which works well for me, and tastes lovely mixed with soy milk. I love how the cap of this can is like a paint can/golden syrup can and you have to open it with the flat of a spoon. They have lots of other flavours but some of those contained milk so I went with this one. It’s not too rich, and give you a yummy dry chocolate flavour with side notes of candy cane. Yummy!

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TK Maxx also have a good range of Nip+Fab products depending on when you shop, and I picked up this Viper Venom frown fix. I actually bought it for the deep lines that are forming on my under eyes. I do have very sensitive under eyes, but thought I’d give this a crack. I use it twice a week, or so, after cleansing but before moisturiser. It sometimes stings a little, which is why I don’t use it more than a few times a week, but I do notice the lines have plumped out enough to make a difference. I don’t know if I’ll buy it again but it was under a tenner so I’m glad I gave it a go!

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To banish the winter chills I’ve been enjoying wearing my double-sided blanket scarf that I bought last year from River Island. It’s thin enough that you can wrap it as a scarf and it’s not overly bulky, but thick enough that you can wear it as an actual blanket and it’s so cosy! Plus it’s tartan and dog-tooth and I love both of those prints!

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As a massive Gilmore Girls fan I was ecstatic to find out they were filming 4 feature-length additions to the series, and last week they appeared on Netflix. I’ve seen all 4 episodes now and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Such an emotional roller-coaster. I really hope they make more!!

Lastly, but most definitely not least is this bad-boy:

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G-Man surprised me with a Liberty advent calendar, which he had pre-ordered for click and collect on release day! He’s an amazing husband – I didn’t even know Liberty did click and collect!

I have no idea what’s inside and am avoiding all spoilers because it’s my understanding that the contents has been widely reported – so I’m hoping I don’t accidentally find out.

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Inside the magnetic folding doors are 25 beautiful Liberty printed drawers, that remind me of William Morris print. I cannot wait for December 1st when I can begin opening the drawers and I have a feeling I won’t want to get rid of the calendar when it’s all opened. Maybe I can reuse it next year!

December promises to bring festive fun and cheer. Lots of friends and family and obviously Christmas. I have a few festive YouTube videos up my sleeve too! December is also bringing the arrival of my new MacBook (hopefully!) at which point I will be editing my long promised Disney World footage  – so keep an eye out for that!

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous November! Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog if you’ve liked this post, and want to be notified each time I publish. You can also follow me on twitter @Shutterbug_Blog and on YouTube at Musings of a So-Called Shutterbug’s YouTube channel!

October Favourites

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Happy November! As you know I decided not to complete an August or September favourites, due to time constraints and also being out of the country, so here’s my latest favourites post – all of things I’ve been enjoying in October!

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Some of the things I’m going to be talking about this month are items I picked up in America. I’ve done a whole YouTube video about these, so I’ll link that at the end and if you haven’t seen that video yet, then head over and have a look.

I’ll start with a couple of candles. I’ve been really enjoying burning candles now that the evenings have drawn in and it’s so cold already.

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I was given this WoodWick candle for Christmas a couple of years ago (might have been last year, I forget) and I love it. It has a special wick which crackles as it burns and the scent of this one is leather. It’s a lovely smell and the sound of the wick is really comforting – like an open fire. I’m going to have to buy another one soon as I’m really going through it this year!

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The next candle is a seasonal one, so I’ve been picking it up to burn through it. It’s from Bath and Body Works and is called Vampire Blood. This candle has notes of strawberry, jasmine and plum, so it’s quite a fruity scent but isn’t too sweet.

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Makeup next, and I picked up the Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster whilst I was away. This bronzer isn’t too dark, isn’t glittery and is easily built up without looking muddy. I’ve been really enjoying using this as it works well in the colder months when you want a little warmth to the skin, but don’t want to look tanned.

I also bought CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher mascara. On first use I wasn’t too impressed, but the more I’ve used it the more impressed I am. It’s not at all clumpy, it’s easily built and creates volume, definition and holds curl pretty well. I have stubborn eyelashes and one eye’s lashes are sparse, so it’s nice to have a mascara that doesn’t clump no matter how many layers you add and keeps definition. A great day-to-day mascara.

I’ve been using Benefit’s Boi-ing for a while but I thought I’d mention it this month because I’ve been really enjoying the coverage and non cakey under eye coverage it offers, as well as concealing other areas on my face. I actually bought the 01 shade after speaking to a Benefit consultant, but it’s way too light for me. The 02 (pictured) is slightly too dark, but works on top of the colour correctors I use, and doesn’t go grey after a few hours. It’s long-lasting and not too expensive (but could be cheaper!)

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I purchased Essie Mrs Always-Right when I was in the US but you can get it here. I really love the colour, and it’s a nice transition between Summer pinks and darker Winter colours. It’s a yummy dusky Autumnal pink. This bottle doesn’t have the gorgeous thick Essie brush, so I think I’ll be switching the cap over when I finish one of my other Essie shades.

I hadn’t bought anything from Charlotte Tilbury before, but when I saw this lipstick on someone I had to know what it was. Stoned Rose is one of their K.I.S.S.I.N.G range and it’s a gorgeous pink which pulls towards brown. It’s rich, creamy and the colour payoff is really nice.Here’s me wearing it!

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It’s easy to get either a sheer or deep coverage depending on how you apply it, and I’ve worn it tonnes since I picked it up a few weeks ago. The case of the lipstick is metal, and heavy in the hand, which is lovely. It feels good quality in your hand AND on your lips.

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Lastly I’ll talk about a couple of body care items I’ve been enjoying. This hand cream from Bath and Body Works is Sweet Cinnamon and Pumpkin. It smells exactly how you’d want it to. Pumpkin and sugar – not for you if you’re expecting pumpkin spice, but a lovely fresh, autumnal and comforting smell. The cream itself is light and not too thick, but it’s nourishing.

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I’ve mentioned this body mist before, but I finally was able to pick up the full size and I’ve been using it quite a lot! Coconut Passion from Victoria’s Secret is a light, musky coconut scent which is great to layer over other scents as well as misting it up all on its own. I’ve had lots of compliments when I’ve been wearing this. It’s great for all seasons and I can’t get enough of it!

So that’s this month’s favourites. If you want to see more of the items I picked up when I was in Florida recently, then take a look at my video, below.

 

Have you been enjoying any of these products this month? Or do you have any new candle recommendations for me? I’d love to pick up some great-smelling 3 wicks if you can recommend any? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

July Favourites

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July was a super busy month for me. I attended one wedding, one festival and one open air cinema event (blog on this to follow!). The UK had a heatwave, which is still going (yay!) and politically the world is still falling apart. I also placed my first ColourPop order (yay! – more on this when it arrives!) and continued to plan my epic anniversary holiday to Orlando.

July Faves

I also tried and continued to use some amazing beauty products and watched some awesome TV. So here’s what I’ve been loving this month:

argan

Argan 5+ Nourishing Lip Balm has been saving my lips in this hot weather. I suffer from dry and cracked lips and usually need to apply lip balm all the time. This really prevents me from wearing matte lipsticks or liquid lipsticks because I always feel the need to hydrate my lips throughout the day. I picked this up from Waitrose in the hope that I could use it as a treatment. I’ve been applying it every night, just before I go to sleep and honestly my lips have never felt better. The balm contains argan oil and shea butter and soaks in very slowly but doesn’t feel oily or greasy when it goes on. It’s subtly scented and doesn’t offend my nose. I have noticed I can now go a whole day without reapplying lip balm, and my liquid lipsticks feel a lot comfier.

brush

This month’s GlossyBox was pretty darn good (check out my Instagram @groggits for a full photo of what I got this month) and I was delighted to find this brush included. I’ve been searching for a brush to use with bronzer for a while now, because none of my existing brushes really do it for me bronzer-wise. This brush is awesome. Not only does it apply bronzer really nicely, but the flat top allows me to contour and buff too.

highlight

I saw Makeup Revolution’s Radiance Palette through one of you guys on Twitter (follow me @Shutterbug_Blog) and it was mentioned that it was a dupe for the Hour Glass Ambient Lighting powders. At just £8 I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve not used the HG powders, but I read that these cheaper powders were more natural and less glittery. I’m guessing the powder texture is a lower quality in this palette, but what I don’t know can’t hurt me! The first time I used these I was underwhelmed. There appear to be little-to-no colour payoff and I couldn’t see it on my skin. But then I tried it again and realised it was making a difference but that it was so natural I hadn’t noticed it.

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The darkest shade on the far right is great for a summertime bronze. Subtle but gives my face a gorgeous bronze which doesn’t look fake, chalky or glittery. The far left shade is good for contouring but I think will be better in the cooler months when I don’t want to look so warm. And the middle shade is a lovely subtle highlight. It’s not a crazy highlight but it’s nice and subtle and suitable for day to day. The palette quality is amazing for £8, with a lovely large mirror in the lid, so it’s great for travelling. Go grab one!

pur

If you watch Michelle at ReadySetGlamour’s YouTube channel, you’ll have already heard of the PUR Cosmetics HydraGel Lift eye primer. This little stick is amazing. It’s an under eye primer, which you can actually use on the lid and any area that you suffer with fine lines, and allows you to apply your makeup without it creasing. It won’t banish fine lines, but your makeup just won’t crease when you use it. You can pop it in the fridge before using, or just use it as is, and either way you benefit from cooling effect. The gel sinks into the skin pretty fast and doesn’t ball up when you apply makeup on top. I actually used it one morning when I’d had a heavy night before, all over the lid and under the eyes. I didn’t put any makeup on, because I wasn’t going anywhere, but the gel cooled and hydrated my eye area and made me feel less sleepy. It’s a little magic stick! I bought mine from Beauty Bay for £18 and this was the only place I could find it in the UK.

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My last beauty favourite this month is the NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee. I mentioned this in my NYX First Impressions post, and I wasn’t too sure about it at the time. The colour seemed to go onto my lips unevenly and settle in the lines of my mouth. But I tried it recently as a liquid lipstick topper and then on its own, and I realised I actually really like it. Not only does it smell so yummy, but once I’ve left it on for a few minutes any unevenness melts away and leaves a lovely subtle wash of colour on my lips.

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It’s a winner. I’m looking forward to increasing my NYX collection when our Boots eventually gets their counter (they keep moving the launch date!)

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Now to entertainment – You’ve probably heard the hype over the latest Netflix series Stranger Things. If you like sci-fi, horror or gaming I think you’ll like this. Set in the 80’s this series pulls from John Carpenter, Stephen King and even from Silent Hill, to create an intriguing and totally immersing tv series. The young actors are amazing, and it’s nice for me to watch something with Winona Ryder in and me not hate her! If you don’t like sci-fi, horror or jumps then steer clear, but if you want to watch something that takes influence from so many places but still comes out seeming totally original then check it out!

And lastly this month, I have a drink! Costa have just released some new ‘over ice’ drinks and I recently had the pleasure of trying their new Pineapple Coconut Water. It’s a refreshing virgin Pina Colada in a cup and now it’s the only thing I ever want to drink!

So that’s it for this month. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

June Favourites

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June was a busy month! It was the month that this blog turned 7! Whoo. It was the month that the UK chose to exit the EU (I’m not commenting on this, it’s a massive can of worms). It was the month my friend Sarah got married and I got to be a bridesmaid (yay!) and it was the month that Pretty Little Liars made its season 7 return!

It was also the month where I fell in love with some new beauty products and continued to love some products I already had.

So let’s go for it!

pixi

I bought the Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) from Liberty about two months ago, and have been using it a few times a week (not every day) after I take off my makeup. At first I didn’t think it was making any difference to my skin, but after about a month I realised I haven’t needed to exfoliate my face at all since I started using it. I usually need to exfoliate once or twice a week but now – never! I have also found the redness in my face has reduced quite a bit, and when I don’t use it the redness is more prominent. It smells nice, doesn’t feel harsh on my skin and I’m always shocked at how much comes off on the cotton wool pad even when I think I’ve removed all my make-up. Gross! The Pixi Glow Tonic isn’t cheap at £18 but I think it’s worth it. I have also found my local M&S stocks this, so I don’t need to treck to London every time I want it. And Pixi have just launched ready-soaked pads in the US which are perfect for travel, so I’ll be picking those up from Sephora in Florida when I’m there in September, instead of packing this big bottle!

sorbet

I’m still on my pina colada kick, so when I found out Body Shop had a range in that scent, I was all over it! This body sorbet is light, refreshing and not heavy on the skin. I layer it with the next product I’m going to talk about and smell amazing all day! I’m going to take this on holiday with me, because it also has soothing properties and no doubt I’ll burn in the sun. If I run out I’ll be hitting up a Body Shop in Florida for a new one!

tiare

Also launched at the same time as the Pinita Colada range, was this Polynesian Island Tiare body mist. This is light, and fresh and as I said layers perfectly with the body sorbet. Unfortunately it comes in a glass bottle so I won’t be travelling with this.

scrub

On a similar note, I picked up this nspa body scrub from Asda whilst on holiday in St Ives. I really felt like I needed a body scrub and this one was inexpensive and smelled lovely. It’s making my skin feel lovely!

elf

As part of a recent E.L.F haul (I’ll be doing a first impressions soon!) I picked up this blusher in Tickled Pink. I thought it was a dupe for Nars Orgasm, but have since found out that’s the ELF Twinkled Pink – who named these so similarly?! But I’m still really loving this shade. It comes out as a really natural colour on my cheeks and it’s lovely to be able to layer this so I can get as pigmented a tone as I’d like. Plus I’m enjoying the mirror in the packaging.

balmshelter

And lastly, this bad boy – The Balm BalmShelter tinted moisturiser. I’ve had this for months, and I wear it every day, but it really came into its own for the recent wedding I was bridesmaid at. I intend to post a feature on the makeup I wore for the wedding, but need to rave about this now. When I get sunburn, due to my oily t-zone, I get burn on my forehead and my nose. And I mean Rudolph style burn on my nose. This tinted moisturiser not only controlled my t-zone, with only a light dusting of mineral veil powder when first applied, but since it has spf 18 it prevented any facial burn. My chest, shoulders and back burned, but my face stayed perfect ALL DAY. Seriously I am so impressed with this product. I love it!

June Faves

So that’s my June favourites! Let me know if you’d tried any of these and what you thought!

 

Music You Don’t Know, For the Warmer Months

As the weather picks up, my taste in music changes. I don’t know whether other people experience the same change. I have specific albums I can’t listen to unless it’s sunny… maybe that’s strange? (And apparently, today I’m writing in rhyme)

Strange or not, here are a few albums I have been or will be listening to more as the weather brightens and the temperature soars:

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Static and Silence by The Sundays

This album screams of hot summer nights to me. Totally 90s, light and wonderful. I love this album so much I sometimes can’t bring myself to listen to it. Does that make any sense? It’s my favourite of all The Sundays’ albums and none of their others quite seemed to hit the same mark. It’s perfect from start to end.

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Pocketknife by Mr Little Jeans

I first listened to this album a couple of years ago, on the train from Bletchley to Euston on the way to cheer on at the London Marathon. Ever since it’s had that kind of bright motivation in my mind, and a few of the songs even featured in my running playlist when I was heavily training for my half marathon. The music is electronic pop with song-writer skill and enough twinkly notes to keep you interested. She never tours in the UK but I’m hoping she might one day… though I kind of like the feeling that, at least in this country, she’s my little secret.

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Eveningland by Hem

This New York based, folk-type band, dominated my summers for a few years around 12/13 years ago. Their music isn’t taxing, and could be described as perfect for the balmy/lazy summer’s day we all hope to experience. It evokes thoughts of dry dusty grass and hoping for cool breezes. That being said, this music is nowhere near thoughtless or empty. Full of deep and thought-provoking lyrics, you end this album with a calm, satisfied yet emotion-pregnant sigh.

Lastly, an album that you *will* know

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Days Are Gone by Haim

I don’t need to describe this album to you, because you know all about it, I’m sure. But I really love it – the whole thing. And it reminds me of when I accidentally saw them play at The Bowl in Milton Keynes when I accidentally went to see Kings of Leon there. And they were all kinds of awesome. They’re releasing a new album this summer apparently, and I can’t wait to hear it!

What do you like to fill your ears with as the weather gets warmer? Are you a fan of any of the above? I’d love to know!