Sunday, 31 May 2015

NEVE COSMETICS | Pop Society Mineral Eyeshadows

Neve Cosmetics pop society mineral eyeshadow

Neve Cosmetics pop society mineral eyeshadows

Neve Cosmetics pop society mineral eyeshadow with their lids off
A few weeks ago I was the lucky recipient of a Neve cosmetics package.  You'll have seen me rave about their products before, I rave about them for a reason.  Apart from being cruelty free, vegan and fabulous - their makeup really does live unto the hype.  The quality is fantastic, great pigmentation, easy to use, and it's vibrant.

These days I see too many makeup brands staying safe and not do anything daring, that's one thing I love about Neve, they're not afraid to be bold and out-there.

Today's blog post is showcasing 3 shades from their fairly new 'Pop Society' collection.  It's taken me a while to write and put together as I wanted to include photo's of the products in place on the eyes, and these days with the baby, I don't get to put on makeup every day.

These eye shadows are intensely pigmented, soft, buttery and very blendable.  Yes, not all of these are the 'easiest' to wear, so they might work better as accent colours, or just to be worn in a slightly different way.

Neve Cosmetics pop society mineral eyeshadow swatches

The shade 'Videogame' worn under the waterline for a slight different look
Videogame under the lid for a different look

Videogame under the eye

The shade 'Fuseaux' all over the lid - very easy to wear
Fuseaux all over the lid

The red shade 'Compilation' through the crease - this might have been more wearable in the same place, but with a different colour all over the lid, like my 'Summer Sunset' tutorial :)
Compilation on the lid

Compilation through the crease

All in all these are great eye shadows - I wish more people knew about Neve! I know it can be tricky when buying makeup online (Neve aren't in physical shops, only online ones) but I guess that's where us bloggers come in - showing you pictures of their products swatched, and in place so you can see how they work.  I've yet to try something from Neve that I don't like - their products are on pointe, great quality and well priced (you get what you pay for), and I love that they're cruelty free.
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Saturday, 30 May 2015


Every now and then I share one of my video's on here, but I don't do it often.  I was sitting here thinking that may of you might not know that I have a YouTube channel, or even how it came about.

I actually started my YouTube channel before I started my blog, back in November 2011.  I'd been watching some beauty YouTubers after falling into a bit of a lull in the evenings.  The idea of creating video's myself really scared me, which gave me the perfect reason to give it a go.  Most of my fears I'm happy to face, except for spiders, I have a healthy fear of them and it can stay that way!

Throughout my pregnancy and since becoming a mummy, my channel was quite neglected (before that I uploaded a good 2-3 videos a week), but I've started getting back on top of it again and upload about twice a week now (filming on a Monday).  Most of the video's I create are quick 'looks' with fancy music playing over the top, and then the odd chatty video.  I really enjoy the whole process - filming, editing, uploading and enjoying your comments and hopefully 'likes' ;)

I've embedded a few of my recent videos so you can see what they're like :)  If you have any requests just leave them as a comment below and I will try to film them if I can :)

I hope you enjoy them, if you do I'd love it if you'd give them a thumbs up and subscribe <3

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Maybelline Giveaway

Maybelline giveaway

Today I bring you a giveaway!  The lovely people over at Maybelline sent me a few products, some of which I've already bought, tried and reviewed some time ago (the Brow Drama) and the BB Bronze isn't something I'd use as I'm one of these 'pale and proud' people :)  So they said I could do a little giveaway for these products instead, perfect timing just for the Summer too :)

To enter, it's pretty simple, just follow the steps on the Rafflecopter widget below - there's only 2 mandatory entry requirements, the rest are optional.  The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and the winner will be picked at random. Once notified, the winner has 48 hrs to come back to me and confirm their address, otherwise another winner will be picked.

This giveaway is open within the UK only.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

DEGUSTABOX | April 2015

Gosh, this post is so late I already have the May box, I'll get to that box in the next couple of weeks as it was sent out early - the good thing about reviewing this a bit later than normal, is that I've had more of a chance to try more of the products :) The April box was an international box with all sorts of lovely treats inside - lets have a look and see what was in mine :)

The Drinks

Lots of drinks!

Wonjo hibiscus drink - I must admit, I haven't tried this yet (it's in my fridge) and I can't see it listed on the card that was with the Degustabox so I really can't tell you much about this :/  However, I have had the Kingfisher beer (£2) - this is a firm favourite of mine, such a lovely beer - the hubby and I shared it (just so we could both have some) and it was super lovely! Next up the IdrinQ engery drink (£1.49 each) that doesn't have caffeine in it - I couldn't quite decide what these reminded me of, but in all honesty, neither the hubby or I finished them, they just weren't quite to our taste. Last but not least the Scheckters OrganicEnergy drink (£1.35) - this I have yet to try, but looking at the list of ingredients it does sound yummy (green coffee, guarana, pomegranate, green tea...).


Nando's crisps
Here's a confession for you - I've never been to Nando's! As I'm a vegetarian, it doesn't really appeal to me, however the hubby did help in demolishing these (I had the peri-salted ones).  He loves spice too, but I think I had the short straw as he said that the peri-salted ones I had were the spiciest, lol. Either way, they were lovely - nice thick chunky groove cut crisps with loads of flavour. These retail at 69p each.

Rice and Curry

Veetee rice and Schwartz curry
Veetee rice tubs (£1.49 each) - these were really yummy and a nice sized portion.  I had these for lunch and they were perfect, great flavour and easy to prepare.  However, the lid didn't peel off in one as it should, it peeled off in a million little streaks, super annoying! Then we have the Schwartz curry powder recipe mixes (£1.08 each) so far we've just had the balti one (we made it up with Quorn pieces instead of chicken) and it was really nice, I'm looking forward to having the Korma one although I'm a little confused at needing to add a tin of tomatoes - didn't think there were any tomatoes in Korma?

DeBeukelaer Cookies

DeBeukelaer Cookies

chocolate cookies
These cookies were seriously yummy! They were individually wrapped decent sized cookies, but you did only get 4 in a box, and as the box costs £2, this does make them quite expensive at 50p a cookie. The picture on the front of the box is a little misleading too, they do have a gorgeous soft chocolate filling, but not the amount in the picture.  We did really enjoy these and were eaten first and VERY quickly :)

Kinder Chocolate

Kinder chocolate
In all honesty, who doesn't love Kinder chocolate? These were also demolished in a single evening sitting between the hubby and I! I'm not quite sure which were my favourite, I loved them both :) Each bag costs £1.55 of pure nomminess :)

Cirio Tomatoes

Cirio tomatoes
We've bought Cirio tinned tomatoes in the past but I've never seen the tomato fillets, these were delicious! We used them in the Schwartz balti curry we made and they went perfectly, as well as one of the little tubs of tomato puree. The tinned tomatoes cost £1.69 and the puree is £1.20.  I think that's a fair price for the fillets as they're not from a standard tomato but a special variety - and I often buy tins of cherry tomatoes (in fact, I only buy them these days for cooking) which are around £2 a tin. 

Barry's Tea

Barry's tea
I haven't cracked these open yet, but I did run out of teabags today so I'll be digging into them soon. I've seen them about in Ireland and I think my family might buy them - and I always have a good cup of tea when I'm in Ireland, so I think they'll be decent tea bags (as long as they're strong!).  This box of 40 bags is £1.75 which is a pretty decent price (I'm always surprised how expensive tea is!).

A pretty decent Degustabox, although my favourite was the March Easter box, mainly because it was filled with chocolate, lol :)  Anyway, if you'd like to give Degustabox a go I have a discount code for you that gives you £3 off your first box, just enter XEL7C when you place your order :)
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Monday, 25 May 2015

Mummy Monday #5

Gosh it's been a busy old week!  I've been out with Squidge almost every day, making it one of our busiest weeks since he was born (other than the week we went to Bluestone and London!).  Here's what we got up to :)

Squidge having a happy Monday morning
Monday he spent the day with his grandparents, so I only had him for an hour or so in the morning, and then for the last hour of the day - so this was a morning snap :)  I both love and hate Mondays (like most people eh!) - I love that I get time to film YouTube videos and blog, but I miss him so much. It's all good practise though for when I go back to work :(

Squidge all ready for a day in town :)
Tuesday we had an exciting day in town.  I popped into work to say Hi to everyone, and we did some shopping as well as going on a long walk so this little man slept.  Then I had a meeting with someone from Urban Decay which was great.  Squidge was really well behaved all day, couldn't have sake for a better baby :)  Oh, I did manage to smash my knuckles into the door frame at Costa, it still hurts now :/

Squidge on his secret mission for Fathers Day :)
On Wednesday we went on a secret mission all tied into Fathers Day (going to be putting a gift guide together so watch this space!).  This was how happy he was, at our secret destination :)

Squidge being all moody and model like

Squidge trying to eat his bib!
Back at home in the afternoon I fed him, he decided that his bib was tastier than the food I was feeding him [inserts crying with laughter emoji].  Also, loving the moody model pic above!

Squidge before mummy club
Thursdays is all about mummy club, and my mother-in-law spending some quality time with Squidge.  This was taken before mummy club, Nanny had shared some of her cheese on toast with him and he was LOVING IT! I mean come on, just look at that happy little smile!

Squidge at mummy club
Taken at mummy club - he's always so happy here, he loves seeing and being around other babies, even if he's teething or not feeling great :)

Happy faces
The BEST ice cream I've ever had from Science Cream
Friday was another day we were heading into town, this time to have lunch with a work friend who also has a baby just 3 days younger than Squidge.  After having lunch at Bills we went for a wonder around Mothercare, then Boots, and then we headed over to an ice cream parlour called 'Science Cream' they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen, it's all very cool! (get it!).  Anyhoo, I had a salted caramel ice cream with homemade honeycomb on top and salted caramel sauce - it was honestly, the nicest ice cream I've ever had!!!!!!

Enjoying a Fentimans Ginger Beer
Saturday was a busy day at home.  We did pop to Aldi early in the morning to pick up some washing powder (for baby clothes - love how this smells), some fruit pouches and not much else.  Then at home, the hubby started the mammoth task of mowing the lawn, and I sorted out all the paperwork that had built up on the stairs - that was our day done! At the end of it, I enjoyed a Fentimans (love these!) Ginger Beer from the most recent Degustabox (still have to blog about last months! Hopefully live tomorrow).

Trying out some new products from Neve and Urban Decay
Sunday was a family day - we went for lunch at a local pub called the Ty Mawr - usually a very nice pub for food, a bit more upmarket than your usual pub but we were left severely disappointed this time. Some of our food was cold, sides were brought out ages after the mains, service was slow and the meals came out missing food that should have been served with it, and the cuts of meat others had was awful... needless to say, we won't be going back.  I did enjoy trying out some new products from Urban Decay and Neve though in the morning - you know when you have some new things to try and you get really excited to do your makeup?  Then when you sit down to do it, you really take your time? Yeah, I did that and it was awesome :D

So that's our week - one of the busiest we've had since he was born and I can really feel it.  My left foot is really painful (I think I've sprained a tendon) and I've managed to bash all my knuckles and hands (silly mummy)!

What did you do last week?

Friday, 22 May 2015

MeMeMe Lip Glide

MeMeMe Lip Glide

I must admit, I really do love a new release from a brand! I'm a little late blogging about this as it's been out a few weeks now, but MeMeMe have launched a range of Lip Glide pencils. They're available in 5 different shades including pink, nude, berry, red and peach - a lovely range of shades I'm sure you'll agree.

MeMeMe Lip Glide in deep scarlett

They say "Lip Glide's Chunky Pencil Design offers optimum control & precision upon application. The pencil gives unbelievable impact, wear-ability & long lasting effects – welcome to MeMeMe's new generation of colour. Formulated with a matte-velvet finish Lip Glide offers ultra-high pigment for bold, statement lips! Lip Glide has been designed with the just-perfect thickness to the pencil and tip to allow an effortless & precise application."

MeMeMe lip glide on the lips
MeMeMe Lip Glide in Deep Scarlett
Lip Glide on the lips

As much as I usually apply lip products with a lip brush (for a finer and more precise application) with this I tended to apply it directly from the pencil.  The pigmentation was fabulous, in the picture this was me going over my lips once with it.  As it's a pencil crayon, you're not necessarily going to get that crisp line around your lip - you might want to use it with a lip brush if that's what you're looking for and then fill in your lips directly from the crayon.

As for the texture it's pretty creamy, not so much buttery, but not drying either.  It lasts really well on the lips too, giving me hours of wear before needing to reapply.  

You've gotta love lip crayons, they're so convenient and personally I often find them longer wearing than lipsticks, do you find that?

You can pick up the MeMeMe lip glide's online for £6.95* each.
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Get your bits checked - My mum's story

Taken just after diagnosis, before her radiotherapy started (October 2004)

On the 19th August this year, it'll be 10 years since my mum lost her life to cervical cancer, one of the most preventable cancers out there.  The Drs think she'd had the cancer for quite a while before things got bad.  I remember her having horrendous periods when she was going through the menopause, and even after going through it, she would still randomly get bad bleeds (with bad clotting).  Myself and my step-dad urged her to go to the Drs again and again, but after some bad experiences with Drs when she was younger, she had no trust for them, so refused to go, as a result, she hadn't been for a smear since I was born.  See, she was a stubborn lady.  She was also elegant, sophisticated and pretty much the kindest person you'd ever meet - she'd give you her last pennies if you needed them.  She'd nag you go to the Drs, but not go herself through fear.  That fear is what led to her losing her life.  

Her battle with cancer was a brave and valiant one, her attitude was always 'When I get better' never 'if'.  After being diagnosed, and through loss of blood needing several blood transfusions her battle began.  She needed radiotherapy to shrink the tumour before they'd operate.  She had several doses of this between October and December, and then in January they operated, performing a radical hysterectomy (this is where they remove the uterus, ovaries and all the lymph nodes surrounding the area to remove any cancer cells that might be spreading - they also had to remove a sizeable portion of her bowl as it had started to spread.

After the surgery the consultant told us that he was confident she was no cancer free, and that she might need a little chemo just to kill off any last tiny cells.  After being released from hospital she developed a kidney infection, the local hospital said she couldn't get her chemo until this was resolved - but instead of trying to fix the infection they just kept telling her to call back a week later, a week later and again, a week later.  In all these weeks with her kidney infection being untreated, the cancer cells were regrouping.  By the time she had her first, and only, dose of chemo, it was too late. The tumour was back and it was bigger than before.  It had also spread to her nearby organs and bones.

After this, it was a case of managing her pain - for her though, she was still determined to get better, she just wanted to feel well enough to have more chemo, but in reality, on looking back, the disease was winning the battle.  She weighed next to nothing and could easily see all her bones through her skin.  It was on June 18th 2005 that we had the news of the tumour coming back, 2 months later she passed away.

Whether you've put off having your first smear, or if you're in your 50s and burying your head in the sand, please, please go and get your smear test. It's literally a few seconds of mild discomfort and a little embarrassment and could save your life.  

After seeing the horrific suffering and pain my mother went through at the age of 55/56, literally wasting away before our eyes, and knowing how painless getting a smear test is, I know which I'd opt for every time.

Please please, if you're overdue getting in done, do it now, stop reading this, pick up the phone and book an appointment.  Don't cancel it or reschedule, go and get it done.
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This is NOT a sponsored post

Monday, 18 May 2015

Mummy Monday #4

Welcome to my 4th Mummy Monday, I hope you've all been enjoying the series so far?  Well, I'm going to try and think back through the days and recount our week - it's been a very busy one and I haven't taken anywhere near enough pictures, naughty mummy!

On Monday, it's Mummy time - Squidge spends most of the day with his grandparents in an effort for us all to get used to it ready for my return to work.  I had a to-do list as long as your arm, but I only managed to get a couple of things ticked off it, but they were big things that took time so it's fine. My breakfast was a yummy porridge with a dollop (teaspoon) of seedless raspberry jam, nom! And then I took before and after pics and couldn't quite get over the difference... in fact, it got me thinking about why I wear makeup, which led me to write a post all about it :)

Happy baby
Today we chilled out and had play time at home, if I remember correctly, the weather was rubbish too.  Not much happened, other than lots of play and smiles <3

Sad cat
Weds Squidge spent the day with his grandparents again as I had work-stuff to do.  I had a company-wide meeting to go to, and then I had lunch with my team, whoop.  The only picture I took that day was a screen shot of a George Takei post on FB of this cat's face (I know, what the hell am I taking screen shots of cats faces for... because I'm a crazy cat lady ofc!)

If you can believe it, I didn't take one picture from Thursday! My mother-in-law came over quite early, the weather was horrific (chucking it down with rain all day), so my father-in-law came back and gave us a lift to the mummy/baby club we take Squidge to.  It was really funny actually, he had some proper little tantrums with other babies because he wanted their toys - he cried REAL TEARS... such a delicate flower! After that, we headed to Sainsburys (just next door) and had coffee and cake while we fed the little man and waited for a life home as it was still chucking it down.

Mummy/Squidge day
Friday was Mummy/Squidge day.  We went for a walk around our local park, which he really enjoyed, only on the walk back when I was nearly out of the park did he fall asleep (I went there in the hope he'd fall asleep quickly) so I ended up sitting in the car park while he was sleeping for over 30 mins before walking him home (he'd have woken up if I'd walked him any further thanks to some massive harsh bumps I'd have to push the pram over).  The other pic I took because I turned my back for 2 seconds, he was on the mat, sat up, and when I looked back, he was in the middle of the lounge floor, about 1-2 metres from where I left him! He'd rolled over there and commando crawled :P

Day in Birmingham
I was up and out of the house early as I was going to The Baby Show in Birmingham (read about that here). I got to the station too late to get a proper breakfast (croissant get in my face!) so I ended up with this accidental sugar-filled faux healthy breakfast... then the middle pic is the business for as far as the eye can see - and then finally, coming home 2 hours earlier than planned due to getting around The Baby Show really quickly, whoop.  When hubby picked me up from the station, we drove to a nearby popular lake and fed Squidge while looking at the ducks, it was so lovely as I'd barely seen him that day, or much in the week.

Sleeping Squidge
Another day where I failed to take any/many photo's, except for this one solitary pic.  We visited Dyffryn Gardens (National Trust place) for the... 5th time? It's about 40 mins away, and he only fell asleep 10 mins before getting there, so we sat in the car for a while to let him sleep, this was him sleeping :)

It's been a good week, but very busy.  This week will be quite busy too, I have an exciting meeting with Urban Decay on Tuesday (I'm keeping my fingers crossed he doesn't cry through the meeting!), and then on Friday I'm meeting a work friend who's currently on maternity leave for coffee too (Thursday mummy club as usual).

Oh, and I'll try to take more pictures this week too :)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

JO MALONE | Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Jo Malone perfume, boxed with a bow

Jo Malone perfume in the box

Jo Malone perfume, unboxed

Until this bottle landed on my doorstep, I was a Jo Malone virgin and I can very proudly say, now I'm not :)  There's so much hype in the blogging world with Jo Malone fragrance, I knew they were very special and not for the budget buyer, but never smelling one, I didn't know what the fuss was about.

When I opened the envelope to reveal the box, I loved just how simple and sophisticated the packaging was, I knew it had to be something special inside. When I reached in and took the lid off the cologne, and read the 'Wood Sage & Sea Salt' I couldn't possibly imagine what the scent would be like.  When I opened the lid and spritzed myself, I was really pleasantly surprised.  It's delicately sweet, floral and aromatic, really smelling like the freshness of the sea.

Tasting notes
Top: Ambrette Seeds
Heart: Sea Salt
Base: Sage

You definitely get the dryness and warmth of the sage coming through too - I'm guessing the main note I can smell is the Ambrette Seeds which remind me of a musky, almost patchouli sort of scent (very pleasant).  I love how earthy and wholesome this smells, while still smelling elegant, feminine and both slightly sweet and floral.  As much as I try to describe this scent, I think Jo Malone describe it the best:

"Escape the everyday along the windswept shore.
Waves breaking white, the air fresh with sea salt and spray.
Alive with the mineral scent of the rugged cliffs.
Mingling with the woody earthiness of sage.
Lively, spirited and totally joyful."

I honestly think that describes the scent beautifully.  If you're ever within walking distance of a Jo Malone fragrance, I urge you to have a wiff, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with just how lovely this is (plus, in Fleur de Forces' latest video, she'd mentioned she had been wearing this scent too) ;)

If you're not able to get to a stockist, you can shop the perfume here - the 30ml bottle (pictured) is £40.
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