Monday, 30 December 2013

New year, new changes

Me and the hubby at Christmas in Ireland

Hello beautiful people!  Wow, it feels good to be writing on here again :)  This must be the longest I've gone without writing a blog post in over a year and a half, certainly the quietest month I've had.  In the 2 months leading up to Christmas, I literally didn't get so much as 1 evening to myself, and as a result I struggled to find the time to blog, and when I did, it wasn't exactly my best work.  The time I've spent away from blogging has been lovely (spent Christmas in Ireland with my family) and much needed and in that time I've made some decisions.

For the last 18 months or so, I've blogged pretty much every day.  That itself takes about 30 hours a week on top of my 40 hr a week job.  So, I've decided to cut back a little and at least try not blogging every day.  Instead, I'm setting myself a schedule of blogging every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and uploading new videos to YouTube every Tuesday and Saturday.  There may be other posts that crop up that I want to share with you on the other days which I will, but the base posts will be on those days.  I'd just like to get a bit more balance in my life, more time to spend with my hubby, more time for fun things like gaming (xbox, PC and board) and more time to devote to my YouTube channel which has also suffered in recent months.

On the back of that, I've made a couple of new years resolutions too.  I don't normally make them, but this year I set myself a couple that I felt were achievable and really wanted to do.  In no particular order:

*  Pass my driving test (I've just started learning)
*  Be more healthy (it's not all about losing weight, but being healthier in general)
*  Maintain my new blogging schedule of at least 3 posts a week (it may well end up being more than this!)
*  Devote more time to my YouTube channel and upload more regularly (upload 2 videos a week)

I hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas, thank you for your support over the past year.  What new years resolutions are you making this year?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Delectable December Biggest Pixi3 Advertiser

As with every month I turn my attention and spotlight on to my Biggest Pixi3 advertiser, and this month it's the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics.  Jess has advertised with me before, but I think this is the first time she's bought the Biggest Pixi3 package :)

Jess is a wonderfully talented individual.  Not only is she a great blogger, but she's also a very talented designer.  Seen Tattooed Tea Lady's blog recently?  Well if you haven't you should, Jess redesigned it a little while ago and it looks fab!

 In this post Jess takes some lovely photo's showing the BarryM matte nail polishes, personally, I'm not a big fan of matte polishes, but these look lovely!!!!
A girl after my own heart!  The Rocket volum is one of my favourite ever mascaras, and the Revlon colourstay is a fantastic foundation :)

If you're in the market for a blog redesign you should definitely check her out, her prices are reasonable (£30 for a full redesign) with some pretty strong work :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics


Monday, 16 December 2013

Balm Jovi palette by theBalm

thebalm Balm Jovi palette

balm jovi palette

amazing palette

beautiful colours

arm swatches of shadows

arm swatches

eye shadows on eyes
 REM over the lid, The Stroke through the crease - apologies, my camera doesn't pick up colour of eye shadows very well :(

balm jovi eye shadows

blusher on cheeks
The blusher 'Don't you want me' on my cheeks :)

Behold, the Balm Jovi palette by theBalm!!!  This little beauty I've been eyeballing for months now, not only because I'm a rocker myself and loved the names of the eyeshadows, but also because the packaging looked amazing, and the colour combinations looked brilliant too.

I'm not really sure where to start with this review, so I'll work backwards and start with the blusher. This is the most beautiful blusher I've ever worn.  I've had the palette for about... 6-8 weeks now and I've literally worn this shade every single day.  It's a beautiful dusky coral peachy pink, highly pigmented.  Just 3 dabs of my blusher brush in the product and that's enough for one cheek.  It stays in place all day and looks super pretty.

The eye shadows.  What a beautiful combination - purples, neutrals, gold, silver, burgundy and mattes. All highly pigmented (I know 'The Stroke' doesn't look it in the swatch, but when I was swatching it the surface went a little shiny, so the swatch didn't come out right), soft and quite buttery, not dissimilar to Urban Decay.  Lead Zepplin and Alice Copper are really beautiful shades and blend really well. Most of the shades all compliment each other fantastically too, whether matte, satin or shimmery.

The highlighter is really great too, it's not overly glittery but adds a beautiful glow to your cheekbones.

Overall I adore this palette, I've pretty much not used anything else since I received it from Beauty Chamber and I'm close to hitting pan (just on the edge) on the blusher because I've used it and adore it so much!

This palette costs £34* and is available from Beauty Chamber, in my opinion it's worth every last penny!

(on a random side note, today it's mine and hubby's anniversary of how long we've been together, 12 years!  Totally crazy!)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics


Sunday, 15 December 2013

X Factor hair with TRESemme

Welcome to my first ever hair tutorial!  I'm sorry I haven't been blogging every day this month, I've been busy knitting! I know that sounds like a bad excuse but I'm heading to Ireland for xmas and trying to make as many scarves for Christmas presents as possible, so I've needed to spend lots of time on that. Anyway, on with the tutorial (this was shot as a video, which I'll embed below).

This tutorial is for the side sweep as worn by Abi Alton in the X Factor.

Step 1
Wash your hair with the TRESemme pro shine wash shampoo* & conditioner* :)

Step 2
Dust your hair with heat protector spray, I'm using the TRESemme with keratin protector.

Step 3
Dry your hair with your hair dryer (randomly, my hair dryer is the TRESemme one too - bought this a couple years ago) :) 

Step 4
Sweep your hair to the side and separate your hair into sections to use your curling wand to create beautiful curls.

Step 5
Spray your hair brush with TRESemme lasting hold fixing spray and brush through your hair to loosen the curls and set in place.

Step 6
Your hair is now done, and just like Abi Alton from the X Factor :)  Depending on how long your hair is, you might need to pin your hair at the back to keep it in place, and if you're heading out, perhaps add some hair jewellery to sparkle things up.  If your hair doesn't hold a curl well, dust over your finished hair the lasing hold spray :)

Here's the video tutorial :D

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics


Thursday, 12 December 2013

A mini break

I had a pretty exciting email land in my mail box today!  First Great Western emailed me about a little competition they're running where you guys could win 2 first class tickets to a UK destination of your choice!  To enter and be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is complete the webform on their competition page.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on here before, but my hubby and I haven't been on a holiday since our honeymoon over 5 years ago.  Yeah we've been to visit family (Ireland) but as lovely as that is, it's not a holiday.  All our spare money goes on Chris' OU degree so we don't really have any spare cash for a weekend getaway.  Well, 2014 is where I want to change that, even if it's just for a long weekend :)  So with that in mind, here's my dream location for a little UK weekend trip.


Other than 2 years ago when we went to Devon for a day trip to the Devon wildlife centre and hedgehog hospital (yep, it was awesome, I got to stroke a hedgehog!!!).  It's been a place I've wanted to go to for a proper holiday for a long time.  Not only is there beautiful scenery and lovely blue flag beaches, but there's also a lot of culture and shops that you can't find anywhere else.  I think getting trains to Devon would be such a lovely way to travel there too :)

I think this is one place we'd stay away from hotels too and favour a B&B, something a bit more personal :)  And of course, we'd have to have a proper Devon cream tea - what trip to Devon would be complete without that :P

It's hard to imagine as I've never been, but I bet Devon is great for one off shops too, little quirky places you can't find anywhere else.  

If you live in Devon where would you recommend I go?  And, if you won the competition, which UK destination would you pick?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Statement necklaces fitting for a Christmas party


First off sorry it's been a few days since I've blogged, I've been super cray cray busy so for once my blog has had to take a bit of a back seat - it might be a bit intermittent  on here until after Christmas, but I promise to blog as much as I can :)

Anyway, the party season is now upon us and whether you're rocking a LBD or something a little more glitzy, your dress will look amazing with a statement necklace :)  I've been browsing the beauties above over at Pearl & Butler and picked out a few of my favs that I think would look beautiful at seasonal parties :)

Of all these necklaces, number 6 has to be the most stunning and would look absolutely beautiful with most dresses.  I love the colour, shape and sparkle!

Number 2 or 5 would look amazing with a black dress too, just adding the perfect splash of colour to a simple elegant outfit.

If you're looking for something a little different than your typical high street jewellery, take a look at pearl jewellery, they have some beautiful bracelets and earrings too :D

Don't forget, tomorrow we pick our first winner of our 12 days of Christmas giveaway!!

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Jess from Coffee & Cosmetics

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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Shopping the stash

Shopping the stash

Happy Thursday!  I'm off to my work's Christmas do tonight and I've spent the last week or so shopping my stash so thought I'd share some of my choices with you :)

Before I get into it I just wanted to let you know that as a Christmas treat I'm giving you all 50% off advertising on my blog, whoop!  Just use the code Happy50 when making your order :)

So, the stash! (is it just me that here's stash and thinks 'moustache'?).

My Dior BB Cream has run out :(  Since I'm on a spending ban I'm hitting the stash, so I'm using the Bourjois healthy mix serum and the Smashbox Halo foundation (both totally decent!).  I also bought the Rimmel fix and perfect a few weeks ago and haven't really used it, so I'm trialing that too.

I've also picked out and started using my Bobbi Brown colour corrector as I'd stopped using this, so thought I'd give it another shot (I am still totally and utterly in love with my Dior BB eye cream though!).  I've picked out some eyeliners too, ones I like and ones I'd like to use more and give a fair trial too - like the Bourjois liquid eyeliner.

For mascara, the Maybelline Mega Plush - seriously if you build this up you get some seriously pretty lashes!  You know how everyone raves about MAC Cranberry?  Well, the Inika mineral eyeshadow in autumn plum - a confirmed dupe!

The NYX blusher in Summer Peach is super pretty too, I've had it quite a while but forget I have it.  To be honest I've been so addicted to the blusher in the Balm Jovi palette I haven't wanted to wear anything else, so I'm trying to re-broadened my horizons again :)

Why don't you shop the stash this week? :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Amy from Srslylou


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas gift guide #5 - Savonnerie of London

Beautiful embossing on the Savonnerie packaging

Fig and wild berries box / packaging

Close up of the candle

Savonnerie fig and wild berry candle

We've all heard of Yankee candles and NEOM and if you're in the states, Bath and Bodyworks. Well move over big wigs, there's a new player in town!

Savonnerie of London make a range of skincare products and candles - they were founded in 1997 and proudly don't have any sulphates, parabens and petrochemicals in their products.  Apart from a beautiful range of bathing products, I was really intrigued by their candles.  If you've ever been to my house, you'll know I'm a teeny bit obsessed with candles, and tea light holders (esp if they're the ones covered with smashed mirrored glass - I love those!).

The fig & wild berries one really appealed to me 1. because of the colour and 2. big fan of fig, and wild berries! If that's not your thing there are 7 other scents to whet your appetite, the 'Christmas pudding' one sounding pretty much the most appealing - NOM!

The scent isn't too overpowering, but gently scents the room.  The burn time is pretty decent too, so far I've been burning mine for about 8-10 hours and I'm about a third of the way through it, so I'll probably get about 25-30 hours out of it which is really good considering it's not a 3 wick candle.

All their ingredients are sustainably sourced and the packaging is just beautiful, very simple and elegant.  These would make such a lovely present for someone who loves beautiful candles, or as a special treat for yourself.

If you're interested in picking one of these up, you can get them on the Savonnerie website for £17.95* each :)  Delivery was quick and efficient and the candle was well packaged, meaning it arrived in perfect condition :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Amy from Srslylou


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas gift guide #4 - Real Techniques Sams picks

real techniques sams picks set

brushes in their set

Close up of real techniques brushes
real techniques brushes
In this set you get: Multi task brush, Blush and bronzer buffing brush, Essential crease brush, Setting brush, Pointed foundation brush and a fine liner brush.

I've been a fan of Real Techniques for a long time but haven't managed to get my paws on many brushes, until now.  

My first venture into the RT world was the stippling brush, after trying it on lots of different products I decided it's best use was on creme blush.  After that success I moved on to the super soft and fluffy blusher brush which I super adore too.

So when the lovely people over at Cocktail Cosmetics offered for me to try the Sam's picks collection I jumped at the chance!  One of the RT brushes I've had my eye on for a while is the multi task brush so when I saw it was in this set, ERMERGHERED I was happy!

This is a gorgeous set and such a perfect present for any beauty geek like me!  Especially if they're a fan of the RT brushes.  My top favourites from this set have to be the multi task brush and the essential crease brush (something I need more of!).  The liner brush is really good too, it's fairly firm which makes it great for precision lining.  Oh and that leads me to the buffing brush, totally awesome too :)

Like any RT brushes you can expect amazing quality and no shedding from this diverse set.  You can pick it up at Cocktail Cosmetics for £29.95*

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Amy from Srslylou


Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas gift guide #3 - Perfumed Jewelry

The perfumed jewellery packaging

the enchanted pendant in it's box

the crystals that come with the perfumed jewellery
A close up of the enchanted pendant

An unclasped pendant from perfumed jewellery

enchanted pendant from perfumed jewellery

Ever heard of Perfumed Jewelry?  Well neither had I until a happy little email landed in my inbox. Perfumed Jewelry is the brainchild of the founder Renee.  She found a scented handkerchief in her mother's jewellery box, it had scented all her necklaces/bracelets etc.  She loved the idea and set to work on finding a way to make this happen - that's when Perfumed Jewellery was born.  

They're silver pendants that hold perfume infused crystals.  They have over 200 different scents that you can pick for the necklace (mine has Chanel No5 in it).  The necklace comes with 3 crystals, each lasting up to 28 days.  If you take the crystal out when you're not wearing the necklace and shut it away in the cute little crystal box the scent will last a lot longer.

They have 6 silver pendants to choose from, and 2 gold.  The quality is fantastic, very well made and very well cut, and absolutely gorgeous.  The little clasp on the side seals the pendant really well without letting the crystal fall out.  I really love that these come on a really long chain too, so often the necklaces that come with pendants are too short, or really low quality and pinch your hair or aggravate your skin, but the snake chain that comes with this one is fantastic, and as someone who's highly allergic to cheap jewellery (aka, anything with nickel) I was super happy to see that this one didn't bring me out in a rash at all. 

I've put this as part of my Christmas gift guide as it would make such a lovely Christmas gift.  It's not super cheap, so it's more of a 'main' present, it'll set you back $140* Australian dollars, which is about £80*, but they do ship free to everywhere in the world and will be launching in the UK in the new year. For me, delivery was fast too considering where it was coming from, it took about a week and was really well packaged.  

If you want to try different scents or need replacements, they cost $50 (about £30) and for that you get 2 pots each containing 3 crystals, and you can select it so that each tub has a different scent :)  Both tubs should then last you for up to 6 months, which isn't too bad :)

Over the last month that I've had this, I've worn it most days and had a lot of compliments on it, it's just so pretty and different from anything else that's out there, and the fact that it's perfumed is such a bonus.

If you'd like to find out more so you can stick it on your Christmas wish list, here's a link to their website :)  Oh and if you're wondering which pendant I have, it's the enchanted one :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Amy from Srslylou


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Blogmas & 12 days of Christmas giveaway

12 days of christmas giveaway banner
Welcome to Blogmas and mine and A Scottish Lass' 12 days of Christmas giveaway!!!!  This seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition now since we did this last year, but like all good traditions, this year the giveaway is bigger and better!

As for Blogmas - we intend on bringing you festive posts every day in December :)  The giveaway will be for the 12 days of Christmas leading up to Christmas eve as lets face it, we're not going to announce a winner on xmas day, and you're probably not going to be reading blogs then either :P 

Giveaway rules
These are a bit different to previous giveaways, this is ONLY open to actual blog readers, what that means, NO COMPERS.  If you have no intention on reading our blogs, don't enter.  We want this to be a reward for the people who take their time to read and comment on our blogs, or to new readers who will become the same.

1.  The first winner will be picked on the 12th December on my blog, and the last on the 24th on Laura's blog.
2.  A winner will be picked each day, taking turns each day on each blog so 12th will be my blog, 13th will be Laura's blog etc etc.
3.  To be in with a chance of winning, complete the Rafflecopter widget below.  You MUST be a subscriber (via Bloglovin') of my blog and Laura's blog.
4.  All entries will be verified before any winner is announced.

n.b. We will check all entries - if you're found to have lied about an entry, you will lose ALL your entries

Anyway enough of the rules!!! Here's what you could win on my blog (Laura will post her prizes over on her blog).
1st prize - collection glam crystals gel liner
 Prize 1 - Collection Glam Crystals gel liner

Prize 2 - BarryM nail polish
 Prize 2 - BarryM nail polish

Prize 3 - Ardell lashes
Prize 3 - Ardell false lashes

Prize 4 - BarryM Smokin hot palette
Prize 4 - BarryM Smokin' Hot palette

Prize 5 - MUA / 1D nail crush and cheek tint
Prize 5 - MUA/1D nail crush and cheek tint (FYI, this can only be one inside the UK due to Royal Mail carriage restrictions)

Prize 6 - an assortment of makeup and nail polish
** The 6th prize was donated by a PR company (thank you!) - please note, this can only be won by someone in the UK due to Royal Mail carriage restrictions (they won't let me post nail varnish outside the UK) :( **  And yes that is a NARS nail polish, Revlon lip products, TopShop nail varnishes and Christmas wraps as well as OG mascara and nail polish, Revlon nail polishes and Sainsburys lipsticks :)

So there's the prizes, how amazing is prize 6!?!?!  If you want to be in with a chance of winning these, just complete the rafflecopter options below, good luck everyone!

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Amy from Srslylou

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