Wednesday, 26 February 2014

February Birchbox 2014

A couple of weeks ago the February Birchbox landed on my door mat, and because I'm being super lazy at the moment, I hadn't gotten around to blogging about it yet :)  So if you're curious, like I normally am, here's what was in my box :)

February birchbox

leighton denny nail polish
** How pretty is this polish!? **

I was pleasantly surprised with this box, I've been a bit... uninspired by recently Birchbox deliveries, this was the first one to get me all *squee* in a few months, I've been on the verge of cancelling for a while, and if I'm honest, I still am, but this box is keeping me going for at least another month :)

Here's a breakdown of what was in my box:

Beauty Protector - £16 for the full size
This is a hair oil, you work 2-3 drops into damn hair to protect your hair.  Birchbox have noted that this is an exclusive launch, so you're hearing about it with Birchbox first!

Eyeko skinny liquid eyeliner - £12 for the full size
A highly pigmented liquid eyeliner perfect for creating a great cat eye flick.  I've only swatched this on the back of my hand, so god knows if it's any good - but it did seem good - not dry at all and very black (which is what I look for in a liquid eyeliner).

Coryse Salome anti-age night cream - £14.95 for the full size
This is a restorative night cream that's supposed to help restore your skin ready for when you wake up in the morning.  Must be applied to cleansed, dry skin before bed time.

Erb Asia eastern hand cream - £19 for the full size
Made with jasmine, rice cream and mint, they combine to nourish, rebalance and soften dry hands.

Leighton Denny nail polish - £11 this is a full size product
An absolutely beautiful colour, it's like a soft grey with a orange/gold soft shimmer.  Something very different from any shade I've seen before.

There was also a lovely Green & Blacks lifestyle extra, a nice little dark chocolate treat :)

All in all I'm really happy with this box, I think Birchbox have done really well.  My favourites are probably the nail polish, the liquid eyeliner (looking forward to using this) and excited to try the hand cream, it sounds lovely!

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Monday, 24 February 2014

Recipe: Vegetarian Pitta Pizzas

Last night I was asking on Twitter what I should cook for dinner, the options were a 5 bean chilli, or pitta pizzas.  Well, pitta pizzas won, and I decided to share my recipe with you :)  When I decided to try and do more lifestyle posts on here, recipes were something I was planning on including, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet, so here goes :)

The ingredients

Grill the pittas

Slice the mozzarella

Add the tomato puree to the pittas
spread the tomato puree
Add chorizo to the pittas

Add mozzarella to the pittas

vegetarian pitta pizzas cooked

Vegetarian pitta pizzas

How yummy do these look?  They were super tasty, I love making these, and they're easy and quick. Here's how you do it:

6 x Pitta breads
390g undrained mozzarella
Chorizo style slices (quorn) - or whatever meat topping you'd like
1 x Tomato puree tube

1.  Grill the pittas (both sides)
2.  Cut the mozzarella into small slices
3.  When they're done, cover each pitta with tomato puree and spread it in with a knife
4.  Then, place the chorizo style slices (about 4 per pitta)
5.  Once thats done, arrange the mozzarella on all the pittas
6.  Place under the grill for about 5-10 mins, it's done when the mozzarella is bubbling and turning golden brown
7.  Serve up - this makes 6 pittas, so can serve 2-3 people depending on how hungry you are and if you decide to serve it with some salad or potato wedges

Serving suggestions
* Top off with some chopped coriander
* Instead of tomato puree, you can use BBQ sauce as a base
* If you're not vegetarian, you could put meat on top instead, maybe some shredded chicken or pulled pork

If you decide to make these, please tweet me a picture @twinklinpixi3, I'd love to see your creations :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Friday, 21 February 2014

L'Oreal Ever Pure

L'Oreal EverPure shampoo and conditioner
A few weeks ago I popped into Superdrug in search of the L'Oreal Ever Pure shampoo & conditioner. I'd been using the TRESemme shine shampoo & conditioner for a while and found it was making my hair really greasy due to the amount of silicone in it :(

What attracted me to these was the fact they have no sulphates, and I'm pretty sure I've heard popular YouTubers talking about these.  They were on offer at the time with a bit of money off, so I picked up the intensive conditioner treatment too.

Overall I've really enjoyed using these, I've found them to leave my hair soft and not weighed down. However, if you use them regularly, like a lot of shampoos & conditioners you'll find that your hair gets used to it and the effect wears off.  I've found this is best used about once a week, alternating it with other products.  

The intensive conditioner treatment is great, for the price it really compares to high end masks like the macadamia one (but the macadamia one is better, but much more expensive).  These are only £5.99 each (currently on offer for £3.99), the intense mask is £6.99, so slightly more expensive but in my opinion it's worth it.

If you're looking for an affordable mask, I'd really recommend the L'Oreal EverPure, it's thick, creamy and rich, and leaves your hair feeling lovely.  The shampoo & conditioner are good too, I just wouldn't use them every day otherwise you won't feel the benefit of them quite so much :)  Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, the conditioner has a minty scent, how bizarre!

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Clogau gold launch their flagship store in Cardiff

Claire jones album

Claire Jones royal harpist

Clogau canapes

Clogau necklaces

Clogau bracelets

Clogau watches

Back on the 23rd January, it was a life changing day for me.  I was invited to a wonderful event at the new Clogau flagship store here in Cardiff, it was a beautiful and elegant evening that I was privileged to be a part of.  The reason it was life changing, whilst the founder was giving a lovely speech about how far Clogau has come, my brother over in France was suffering from a massive heart attack, which he didn't survive.  So, that's why it's taken me a while to write this post, I keep thinking about what I was doing when it happened, and feeling guilty for not knowing.  Anyway, enough of that, lets focus back on Clogau, it's a brand you need to know about.

The shop itself is gorgeous, it's not cluttered, all the jewellery is elegantly displayed and the staff are really friendly.  The decor echo's their brand logo with cutouts in the ceiling, and at the back of the store there is a coffee & champagne bar so they can spoil their customers.

When we arrived we were serenaded by a former royal harpist, Claire Jones, her dress was amazing, she looked like a mermaid!  She gave us a speech later on where she talked about how she's performed for the royal family over 180 times, even performing for the Queen personally, with just her and the Queen in a room together, I felt so honored to have been there to hear her play for us in such an intimate setting.  Clogau have supported her in the launch of her new album with too, which if you're interested, you can find details of it here.

As well as been greeted by a royal harpist, we were also offered bubbly and canapes on arrival, at the time I was doing what would end up being the last day of dry January for me, so I declined the champs and focussed on taking lots of pictures instead.  After mingling with other bloggers for a while, I noticed two very well dressed men had come in, they were no less than two of our Welsh rugby players (Clogau works with the WRU).

The founder of Clogau then gave us a speech about how he started up the company by buying the gold mine, not knowing if he'd even find gold in it.  25 years later and here we are, opening their first flagship store here in the capital of Wales.  Before the girls and I headed off for dinner (sushi) we were given some goody bags (I seriously didn't expect anything!) and I really can't believe what was in them, there was a 50ml bottle of their Am Byth perfume (pictured below), and a charm carrier pendant made up of silver, rose gold and a diamond.  The idea is that you hang a charm off it, but personally, I think it's delicate and beautiful as a necklace in it's own right too.

Clogau am byth perfume

Clogau charm carrier necklace

If like me, you're a bit obsessed with rose gold, you should really check out Clogau, they build a lot of rose gold into their designs and have a fantastic collection of both classic and contemporary jewellery.

A big thanks to Clogau for inviting me to such a wonderful evening.

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Monday, 17 February 2014

Wantable beauty box

Ever get frustrated that beauty boxes don't have much makeup in them?  I do, it's a big point of irritation for me.  Wantable used to only be available in the USA, they actually contacted me and asked me if I'd like to review a box of theirs last year but at the time they didn't ship to the UK, so I passed.  Well, now they ship to the UK, whoop!

Wantable do 3 boxes, an intimates box (lingerie), an accessories box and a makeup box.  Of course I opted for the makeup box!  Can you imagine, getting a box with only makeup in it?  Here's what came in my box.

Wantable packaging

All the products in the Wantable box

There were 5 products inside:

* Billion Dollar Brows eye brow pencil (retails for $18)
Formulated to work with all skin tones and hair colours, it's an automatic pencil and doesn't need to be sharpened.

* Face stokholm nail polish in shade 'Want a blue' (retails for $12)
An exclusive blue/grey shade, if you happen to be in America, they sell these in J Crew :)

* Sorme perfect touch concealer in shade true ivory (retails for $24)
Infused with vitamins C & E, cucumber and arnica.  It conceals, brightens and gives high coverage, the applicator is a push bottom with a brush (like the YSL Touche Eclat)

* Besame lipstick in Exotic pink (retails for $22)
Enriched with vitamins A, E and C, aloe and green tea.  They come in 11 different shades, all exact shades used by stars from Hollywood's golden age.

* Sorme under foundation makeup enhancer sample

bdb brow pencil

sorme perfect touch concealer


face stockholm nail polish

sorme under foundation makeup enhancer sample

The January Wantable makeup box was put together with a back to basics theme, all about getting a healthy complexion.

What I like is that looking on the Wantable website at all the photo's people have submitted of their recent makeup box, it doesn't look like everyone had the same thing - so they actually pay attention to the profile you complete (how refreshing!).  All of the products in my box I'd use, and some of which I have already used (the brow pencil and the concealer).  I adore the packaging of the lipstick, it came wrapped in a little red velvet pouch, the lipstick packaging feels very classic too and high quality.  The quality of the brow pencil really reminded me of my Anastasia brow wiz, very similar products, and the concealer is really good quality, very high coverage.

Now for the price, it is more expensive than the likes of Birchbox and Glossybox, but then you're picking a box that's specific to your needs and with a combined total value of $76, you're definitely getting more than your money's worth (the box is £36 if you subscribe, or $40 for a one-off purchase). In UK money that works out to be about £21/£24 depending on whether you subscribe.  Shipping to the UK is just $7, which is quite reasonable :)

All in all I'm super happy with this box, I loved getting all makeup and great quality full size products at that.  If you're looking for an alternative to the typical beauty boxes that are out there then I'd really recommend this, whether you're looking for a makeup themed box, or jewellery or even intimates.

If you want to have an explore on what they have to offer, have a look here:

If you'd like to receive an invite to try Wantable, just leave your email in a comment below and I'll send you over an invite :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Urban Decay event

Urban Decay cup cakes, so yummy!
These cupcakes were seriously yummy!

Helen having her makeup done
Helen getting her makeup done - she looked fantastic!

Urban decay named note paper
 Taking notes down :)

Amazing glitter shadow by urban decay

urban decay goody bag
How beautiful is that glitter eyeshadow!

** The seriously epic goody bag! Holy moley!  In case you're wondering, the lipstick and lip liner are in the same shade (Native) **

If you're a long time reader of mine you should know that Urban Decay are one of my all time favourite makeup brands, not only that, but they're one of the main accelerators that got me into makeup, and thus blogging.

Go back about 8 years ago, I was on a ferry going to Ireland for Christmas and browsing the duty free. I saw the Ammo 2 palette and it was on sale, so I treated myself.  Before this, I didn't really wear much makeup, I'd never heard of eye shadow primer, and on me eye shadow would only last for about an hour before creasing, so I tended not to wear much makeup.  Buying this palette changed my life.  Not only did I now have a way to make eyeshadow last hours on my face, but the shadows themselves were really high quality and great to work with.  This palette (which I still have, and no I don't use it anymore) started my love affair with makeup.

Fast forward 8 years, I've been blogging and YouTubing for the last two and Urban Decay are still pretty much my favourite makeup brand, of course there's others I love, but Urban Decay will always hold a special place in my heart, as over the last few years they've played a big part of my life.  When I received the invite to attend an event at my local Urban Decay counter in Debenhams, it was hard to contain my excitement!

There was 6 of us there all together from 5 different blogs, we were greeted with pretty epic cupcakes and sparkling drinks that resembled the 3 naked palettes (love that!).  The event was for them to demonstrate the Naked 3 palette and some of their other new products like the B6 vitamin skin prep (the first stabalised form of B6 for the face) you use it before moisturising and applying foundation.

After having a rough few weeks (if you don't know about why, see here, and here) it was lovely having this to look forward to.  The only downside is this was the day I started getting flu, my cough was at it's peak and I was feeling really rough, in fact, I nearly didn't go, but I'm so glad I did, I had a lovely evening and got to see other lovely bloggers, and even meet a new one :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Ted Baker treats for Valentines

Ted Baker orchid skincare

Ted baker souffle

If you're fancying a special post-valentines day pampering, the Ted Baker orchid set makes a lovely affordable treat.

Now, given that I'm getting over the flu, my sense of smell (and taste, and hearing) hasn't come back yet, so I'm going to have to rely on the description to describe the scent to you (blogger fail I know). All in all I was sent three items, the body souffle (£6.50*),  the hand lotion (£2.50*) and the 150ml body spray (£5.50*).

The body souffle is a really light whipped consistency, more like a gel than a proper lotion.  It leaves your skin feeling soft and fragrant.  The hand cream is lovely, I have really dry skin on my hands (and face) at the moment so any hydration is being instantly absorbed.  This left my hands feeling soft and supple - but again, I think they smelt nice, but being post-flu I can't quite tell!

According to my other half, this smells sweet and floral - which is what I'd expect from something in the 'orchid' range (one of my favourite flowers, after lilies).  So if you're looking for a pampering for after valentines it's worth checking these out :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Last months Biggest Pixi3 advertiser - Luchessa

Before I get into this post, a big apology to my advertisers.  It's been a tough few weeks of me being away from my laptop a lot - whether that was down to losing my brother, or being ill with the flu & a chest infection.  I'm trying to catch up now, so I might be blogging a bit more than scheduled for the next couple of weeks just to catch up :)

Anyway, January saw the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression.  We've been twitter friends for a long time now, so when she decided to be my Biggest Pixi3 advertiser, I was really honoured.  Without further ado, here's some of my favourite posts from Luchessa over the last month :)  As usual, her links will be included at the bottom :)

Her favourite jumbo pencils (with swatches) :)

A lovely review of some rose floral water :)

Luchessa has such a lovely blog, and is super lovely to chat to on Twitter, so if you don't follow her already, make sure you head over and give her a follow & say hi :)

Blog | Twitter

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Where I've been #2

Hi guys - just a quick update to let you know I haven't disappeared of the face of the earth, I've been ill :(  I'm actually off work at the moment.

Back at the beginning of last week I started getting a pretty nasty cough, which turned into a chest infection, and then I managed to get full blown flu.  All of that, and the stress of losing my brother had an affect on my asthma and it got really bad.  My peak flow (a measure of your lung capacity) was nearly half of what it should be :(

I'm still wheezing and short of breath, but I really want to go back to work, I haven't been in since I found out my brother died (24th Jan) and just want to get my old routine back, but I'm worried that if I go back to soon, I'll end up having a full blown asthma attack (that's happened before in my previous job).

Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update to let you know where I've been and that I'll be back to blogging very soon and that I miss you all, big hugs!

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Ash from A Beauty Moment


Friday, 7 February 2014

OCC plastic passion lip tars

new occ lip tars

OCC lip tars with brushes

OCC lip tars swatched

OCC lip tars on lips

Me wearing rollergirl
You know Spring is on its way when brands start releasing their Spring makeup lines, well, OCC are no exception to this.  They've just released 6 new additions to their line up (you can find these at Cocktail Cosmetics) under the banner 'plastic passions'.  

Each one will set you back £11.95* (cheaper than a MAC lipstick), and come with their own lip brush in a cute little pouch.  The shades mannequin and rollergirl are both creamy shades, but pleasure model has a pinky irridescent shimmer in it that's very pretty.

I haven't worn these enough to give you a review, this is more to let you know they're there (as of the 1st Feb) - although I haven't worn them much, I already have a favourite, the purple :)  Not only is it a really spectacular and different colour, I think it has the nicest formulation too - it seems to apply most evenly.  From the times I've worn them I've been impressed with the pigmentation, and I've discovered not too apply too much, otherwise they're a bit gloopy, so with these, less is more!

What's more, if you're not 100% sure which colour you want, you could pick up an OCC lip tar mixing palette so you can combine different shades to create an entirely new one that's completely unique, and it's only £3.95 :)

What's your favourite shade?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression

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