Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Getting to know YOU

Me with Squidge

Recent events have really got me thinking about you guys, all of you who take the time to read and subscribe to my blog.  It's dawned on me that you all know bits and bobs about me, but I don't really know anything about you.  So I'm going to kick things off with a few random facts about me - and what I'd really like you to do, is share some random facts about yourself too - it could just be what country you're from if you don't want to share much, or you could talk about your favourite bands or hobbies etc?

My random facts
* I'm a published illustrator (not as fancy as it sounds!)
* I love crafting things, I taught myself to knit about 2/3 years ago and more recently learned to crochet
* Since having a baby I cry a lot more, I find things moving/sad
* I did ballet for 10 years (from the age of 2 and a half)
* I permanently have bunting up in my lounge and conservatory (I love it!)
* I'm a complete geek - the hubby and I play games like Minecraft (and have since it was in alpha testing), Halo and Lego (Star Wars, LOTR & Marvel), and board games (like  LOTR, Agricola, Catan, Carcassonne, Alhambra, Pandemic etc)
* My first love musically is heavy metal, but I also love ska, reggae, classical... Frank Sinatra)
* I regret not having kids sooner
* I can't drive
* Becoming a mother has been the most amazing experience of my life

So there's some random facts, I'd love to learn more about you, so please leave your random facts in the comments below <3 And because I don't say it enough, thank you so, so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment, I appreciate every single last one of you <3

Monday, 29 June 2015

Mummy Monday #8

It's been a couple weeks since I've had time for a Mummy Monday update, so I thought I'd make sure I got one done for you today :)  It's been a great couple of weeks, so lets get started!

Tired Squidge
I don't see Squidge for much on Monday's as it's the day he goes to his grandparents (good practise for both of us ready for when I go back to work in 2 weeks - boooooo!).  I took this picture after I gave up trying to get him to nap - can you see how tired his little eyes are!?

Mummy baby
Tuesday he was hard work, it wasn't that he was constantly crying or anything, but he wanted to be held by me all the time, other than when he was being held by me, lol.  I took this at about 8am, we went to sit on the decking and a magpie caught our eye on the roof of the conservatory at the neighbours house :)

Philadelphia all over his face!
Wednesday I gave him a sandwich! It was made with unsalted butter and philadelphia and he loved it! It was chopped into finger slices and he'd basically suck a finger to get all the philly off it.  Oh my gosh was this a messy feed though - his clothes were covered in philadelphia! I also gave him some roasted sweet potato & carrot sticks - barely any of it made it's way into his mouth, most of it was squished in his hands, all over his clothes, the floor and his table :) This baby led weaning business is so messy!

Crawling with his creeper
Thursdays are mummy club, but we didn't make it there.  It was a bit of a strange apathetic day... the little man wasn't napping when he was tired, his feeds were at odd times that clashed and it was a bit of a funny day.

Broccoli all over Squidge's face
Friday was great.  I'd made him some steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrot and potato) which he loved, the broccoli was his favourite :) He loved making a mess too (you should have seen it!).  We had a badly timed visit from Purple Bricks for a valuation - he'd just finished eating and was raring to crawl around the house, but I needed to be with the estate agent, such a nightmare!

Date night

No pics of the little man from Saturday, we had SUCH a busy day! We got up, fed him twice, then headed to Barry to look at a couple houses.  After that, we came straight back home to feed him, and his Auntie was coming over to visit him.  Then his grandparents came to get him while his Auntie was still here, as he was staying with them over night (we all were).  Then a couple hours later, we went over to his grandparents to do his last feed and put him to bed. After that, we went out of our first date night since he was born :) We went to Jamie's Italian here in Cardiff, and then a place called the Bunkhouse (love it!).

Squidge eating

Mummy and Squidge
Sunday we went out for a family lunch to a nearby Beefeater.  Squidge was really tired but wouldn't nap, he was really suffering with his gums, so we gave him some Nelsons which really seemed to help.  Above is a rare picture of me and him that's not a selfie :)

New things
* He's saying dada, dad, daddy :) Not necessarily at Chris, it's just babble but sounds lovely :)
* He can proper crawl as well as commando (but he's quicker commando crawling)
* He's climbing! Well, pulling himself up on things from sitting to standing, like in his cot
* His napping schedule has changed, again! He now naps twice a day, usually for at least an hour. One nap early in the morning, and the next late afternoon.
* We're moving! Well, hopefully! We're about to put our house on the market :)
* As of today he's also climbing! Something new every day right now!

Oh and last week I also wrote a guide to Cardiff for Rugby fans and those that might prefer shopping and eating to the rugby over on the Travelodge blog if you wanted to have a read :)


Sunday, 28 June 2015

MAYBELLINE | Master Sculpt contouring palette

Maybelline Master Sculpt
If you haven't seen it already, Maybelline have launched a contour kit called Master Sculpt. The kit comes with a matte bronzer, and a highlighter that has a subtle, delicate shimmer (not glittery at all). Underneath the powders in a separate tray, sits a brush similar to those in the Benefit box blushers.

The formula is soft, nicely pigmented and without a hint of orange.  It blends beautifully on the skin and isn't easy to overdo (I love that).  The highlighter is very soft in texture, you only need to dab your brush on top to pick up a decent amount of product (I say that but I'm not sure if mine is like that was it was slightly broken in transit).  I love that it isn't too glittery, it really is a very soft sheen, it's more about adding light to counter the darkness in the bronzer.

Maybelline Master Sculpt open

Maybelline Master Sculpt swatches
This really is a lovely product, one of the nicest bronzer/highlighter duo's I've seen.  It's a beautiful texture that blends really well and looks lovely on the skin.

The Maybelline Master Sculpt costs £6.99* and comes in 2 different shades Light Medium (pictured) and Medium Dark and is now available to purchase from either Boots or Superdrug.
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

URBAN DECAY | Naked Skin Concealer

Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer packaging

It's been a long time since I've tried a concealer and thought 'wow' this is something really special. The last one was probably the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer.  So, in walks this Naked Skin Concealer from Urban Decay, the new kid on the block.

It's oh, so creamy (I can imagine this is what the NARS creamy concealer is like), and sets really, really well.  What's more, it works under the eyes.  Since becoming a mummy, I've discovered a whole new world of tired (if you don't have kids yet, you'll discover this new level of tired when you do) and as such, I have pretty dark circles around my weary eyes, giving me a need to cover them.

While I don't believe any concealer is going to look flawless on top of skin that's starting to age, this probably comes as close as possible to looking pretty natural.  It's thick, creamy and very blendable, while offering good coverage for blemishes too.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral

Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer
Doe foot applicator of the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer

This has been a staple under my dark eyes, and as I've been having a few breakouts recently, I've been dotting it on them too and it's concealed them really well, blending in very naturally with my foundation.  I also love the applicator, it's a normal doe-foot, but it's flattened.  When you take it out of the tube it gets squeezed throw a narrow slit, which removes a lot of the excess concealer from the wand, leaving you with plenty for under the eye or to cover blemishes, and it gives you a flat surface for doing that, love it.

This has been a big winner for me, it's something I've been reaching for every time I've done my makeup since I've had it (a few weeks), so it's had a good road test :)  This retails for £17.50 which you can find in places like John Lewis.

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Friday, 26 June 2015

MAKEUP REVOLUTION | Mermaids Forever Palette

Makeup Revolution Mermaids Forever palette and packaging

Makeup Revolution Mermaids Forever palette

Go back a month or two ago, and Makeup Revolution caused a storm of excitement when they released their Mermaids Forever eye shadow palette, packed with 32 different colours, it really does look like there's something for everyone.

The shades start off as cooler tones across the top, finishing off as very deep warm tones that really pack some punch.  There's a fantastic range of colours included, right across the spectrum - highlight shades, corals, pinks/reds, purples, blues, greens, browns and silvery smoky shades.

Granted, not all of these colours are for everyone, some of the more adventurous shades could be used as tiny accents though, under the eye or as a hint of colour in the crease.  The brows, reds and coral's are my most used shades, in fact, I created this Summer Sunset look using this palette recently.

Top row swatches

2nd row swatches

3rd row swatches

Bottom row swatches

You can see that the pigmentation is great, the shades are soft, some are buttery, and all blend well with little to no fallout (this could be partially down to my application technique - patting the colour on) and all are shimmery.  The palette costs a purse-friendly £8, would you wear these colours?
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Thursday, 25 June 2015

JORD Delmar Red Wooden Watch

JORD Wooden Watches

Once in a blue moon, something catches your eye and takes your breath away, not always because it's a thing of beauty or something shocking, but because it's so different from anything you've ever seen, you can't help but stop and look to take it in.  That was me when I first discovered JORD watches. 

JORD watches are made out of wood from St Louis in America.  Each one lovingly crafted with the most beautiful attention to detail.  The watches, as you'd expect, are light-weight and unusual, I mean, who's seen a wooden watch before?

Each design in the series is most definitely different from the last.  The watch I have here, is the JORD Delmar Red, and it's made out of sandalwood, in it's natural colour (stunning!).

JORD Delmar red on the pillow

JORD Delmar Red

Details of JORD Delmar Red

The back of the JORD Delmar Red

I love their attention to detail, the little 'J' on the pin to change the time, the JORD embriodered on the little pillow the watch is hugging, and the exceptional craftsmanship that's gone into creating the watch, and not just the watch, but the beautiful wooden box it comes in.  There are no rough edges, everything is smooth and soft.  They'll also help you size it ahead of the purchase so when it arrives it'll fit perfectly (mine is a perfect fit).

They have a really good range of women's watches too (I'm guessing this falls under mens, although I think it's unisex), some really elegant ones in light wood with little Swarovski crystals around it, the Sydney in Maple and Rose Gold is my absolute favourite :)  I can imagine that's a best seller for them :)

JORD Delmar Red on the wrist

This is most definitely a large watch, probably more suited to a man, but I like a big watch, especially such a statement piece like this.  Plus, the hubby loves it too, so it might make it's way onto his wrist a lot too ;)

If you want to take a look at JORD watches, you can see their range here. They even had a wooden watch similar to my Michael Kors rose gold watch (their version is STUNNING!).  I think that, for the quality, the uniqueness and originality, it's priced really well.  This one is $149 (so £94.60 at the current exchange rate), and delivery is $20 (so just under £10) which is couriered.  

What do you think of these wooden watches? 
Wooden Watches For Sale

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

ILLAMASQUA | Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse

Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse

Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse underneath

Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse in the pot

It's no secret that I'm one of these terribly unfortunate people who have awful brows.  They're pale, sparse and thin, and not through over-plucking, but because I'm just not hairy and blessed with good brows.  As a result, I have to use products to make them look more normal, and frame my face, I have SERIOUS brow envy of those that don't need to do this!

The Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse has a very similar texture to the cult, Anastasia DipBrow Pomade, you might even say, it has a slightly nicer texture.  It's slightly softer and doesn't tend to cling to the roots of your hairs as much (the Anastasia one only does this a little and in certain places). 

As it's water-resistant it really doesn't move all day either (oh and by the way, I'm fully away my brows are in desperate need of some TLC!).  The pigmentation is fantastic, a tiny amount really goes a long way, so it's a product that will last you well.  In fact, the less I used, the better the final look.

Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Glimpse on the brows

My only issue with this is that it's not quite the right shade for me, I think the shades stare or awe would have been better - but as there's still some red in my hair, I can get away with this :)

Overall I really love the Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel, it's a lovely formula, great texture and pigmentation and it's really easy to use... next time, I'll make sure I pick the right colour though ;)
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Claudia Louch Mousse Foundation

Claudia Louch Mousse Foundation

A couple weeks ago, this foundation made it's way into my collection.  It's from Claudia Louch and it's their new mousse foundation which retails for £52.50* (I have the shade N4).

The Mousse Foundation is 94% natural, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores) and free from fragrances and harsh chemicals including parabens, methylisothiazolinone (MIT or MI) and SLS, making it suitable for use on all skin types and many skin conditions.

It comes in a squeezy bottle, very similar to the Illamasqua foundation, I don't miss having a pump, this works well too.

The nozzle of the Claudia Louch Mousse Foundation

I have really mixed feelings about this foundation.  Part of me absolutely adores it, and the first time I used it, I was ready to give it holy grail status, yep, I liked it THAT much.  But the next few times I've used it, it hasn't sat quite right on my skin.  I think the first time I used it I didn't have any dry patches on my skin, but have since.  I've primed my skin with moisturiser each time first, but when you have a look at the pics below, you'll see that it does cling to dry patches.

Foundation on half the face
 Left with the Claudia Louch Moose Foundation, Right no foundation.

Foundation clinging to dry skin
How it clings to dry skin (this was on my cheek)

I also noticed that when I added a setting powder, it make it look more patchy around those dry areas, really highlighting my pores - perhaps that was the powder more than the foundation and perhaps I was using too much powder?

It has light to medium coverage, which I didn't find buildable, but as long as you're not aiming for fuller coverage you shouldn't need to build it.  If you have normal skin, I really think you'll love this, it almost blurred my skin and made me look younger.  When it sat on my skin as it should, it looked stunning.  It lasted all day and never felt like it was coming off, and I pretty much couldn't feel it on my skin, it's so light weight.

It really is a gorgeous foundation, one of the best I've tried, but if you have any dry patches of skin, it won't work for you, so give it a miss, but if you have normal skin, or oily skin, I really think you'll love this.  It is expensive, the most expensive I've tried, I'm not sure it's worth the £52.50, but just remember, after the first use I was ready to give it holy grail status, that must account for something?
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Monday, 22 June 2015

A very exciting video!

Good morning my lovelies! Sorry I've been quiet on here the last few days, I've been away visiting family for a long weekend (and the weekend before!) so I've been a busy bee!  There will be a Mummy Monday post later (fingers crossed) but before that I wanted to share a really exciting video with you.

I know you'll have seen on here some of my collaborations with the brand Cosme-de - well, I have another collaboration for you, but this time there's something in it for you!

There's a look created in the video, but also I have a discount code for %15 off all purchases, and some free Bioderma! How awesome is that?  Just watch the video to find out more <3


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

£15 High Street Challenge | June

£15 high street challenge June
It's that time of the month again, time for the June instalment of my £15 High Street Challenge! If you're not familiar with this blog series, you can read my other posts here to see what I've bought.

I started this series because when I looked back at my 2014 blog posts, nearly all of them were PR samples, and that made me uncomfortable.  My reviews are always 100% honest as I'm sure you know, but I didn't spend any money buying things I wanted to try, so I decided to spend £15 every month on 3 different things, and then review them for you :)

L'Oreal haul

This month Boots.com had an offer on L'Oreal products, it was the traditional 3 for 2 (gotta love that!). I'd been eyeing up the True Match foundation (£9.99) for a while, I know that Em from My Pale Skin blog uses this a lot mixed with the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation for good coverage, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Despite picking the lightest yellow-toned shade, it's still too dark for me, so not exactly a 'true match'.  Hopefully as my skim warms up in colour slightly over the summer (I tend not to let my skin get much sun as I'm so pale I just burn) this will become a better match.

Also, in a recent Fleur de Force video I saw her talking about the new L'Oreal Infallible mega glosses (£6.99), so I thought this would be a great option too - I don't tend to wear much lipgloss anymore as it drives me nuts the way my hair is magnetised to it (same as everyone else!), and to be honest, I don't wear much lipstick either, but I still wanted to give it a try.

Lastly, I needed and wanted a new kohl eyeliner, so I picked the black Infallible one (£5.19) to give it a go - I love that it has a little sharpener in the lid, a smudge stick (not that I use these) and it's retractable.

All together my purchase came to £16.98 (excluding P&P), so £1.98 over budget, but that's not bad going considering what I've bought :)

Close up of L'Oreal true match foundation

I actually have a first impressions video of the True Match foundation coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that (subscribe here so you don't miss it!).

What do you think of this month's picks?

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

SKINNY MINT | 28 Day Teatox | Day 1

Skinny Mint 28 day teatox

Ingredients of the Morning Boost

Skinny Mint detox tea bags

Today I begin a tea detox! I've always been intrigued by these so when I was offered the chance to give it a go, I jumped at the chance.

Lots of different brands offer types of tea detox, this one is from SkinnyMint.  The premise is that you drink two tea's a day from their range, you drink the morning boost with your breakfast, it has natural caffeine in it to help you perk up and give you a boost of energy (god knows I need this with a baby!).  Then, every other night, you drink the night cleanse tea after your dinner (this one is caffeine free).  As with anything of this nature, it will work best when teamed up with a balanced diet and exercise - my diet is pretty balanced at the moment and as much as I don't get much exercise, I am very active with the little one.

They all contain completely natural ingredients, and so far I've only had the morning brew which was pretty tasty, very drinkable.

My hope is that I feel fresher and have more energy in the morning (especially when I go back to work next month), and in an ideal world, sleep better at night.  I have just had 2 good nights sleep, but it often takes me a while to get to sleep, so if the night cleanse can help with that, it'd be amazing :)  And you know, it'd be nice to feel a little healthier too :)

If you're interested in having a look for yourself, you can checkout the SkinnyMint website, it's the 28 day detox I'm doing.
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