Friday, 5 January 2018

7 Ways To Save Money When Fuelling Your Beauty Addiction

With Christmas over and the January sales already looking a tad bare I thought I'd share with you some tricks I use throughout the year to fuel my unstoppable beauty addiction. So take a look to see how I save money whilst expanding my collection of all things beauty.

1. Cards 
I know that every single store seems to have a card available so I am by no means telling you to stuff your wallets to bursting with every single one out there. Focus on the stores you visit most frequently or even shop online with. Every card is different so it all depends on how they work, in my experience I've found Boots to be the best card out there. Turning points collected into money you can spend in store, I know a lady who spends the year collecting her points to then pop into Boots and use her points to get her families Christmas presents. I'm currently saving mine for a Chanel perfume! So take a look at your local stores and ask to get your own card. 

2. Emails 
Having thousands of emails sent to you daily can be frustrating. Before you delete everything in one go, have a quick look at any you have from online beauty sites, they usually send you some fantastic offers from free shipping, discounts, secret sales and free products. The website emails I use are Iconic London, Beauty Bay, Charlotte Tilbury and Cult Beauty to name a few.

3. Samples
There isn't a more expensive mistake than foundation you can't get on with or is the wrong shade. To save yourself from having a full bottle rolling round your drawers go and see a beauty consultant on their counters and ask for a colour match and pot to take home to try. You'll find some counters have pre packaged samples and are happy for you to take one, Nars, Kiehl's and Clinique are usually most helpful with this. 

4. Book An Appointment 
If there is a number on products you want to try then make an appointment with your favourite counter. Explain to the sales advisor what you are after and they should book you in for a bit of a pamper. You can try out the products on your skin and maybe even learn something whilst you're there. This is something I love to do and always end up buying a product I've been introduced to. I believe there's nothing wrong in not buying any products you've tried, but it's always best to grab a least a lipstick. Therefore the beauty consultant gets a sale and you've treated yourself. 

5. Read Reviews
Keep thinking about that one must have product but not completely sure it'll work for you? Have a look at reviews online from people who have bought the product or even take a look at any beauty blogs or Youtube videos featuring it too. If you like the sound of it and reckon it'll work for you than go for it! 

6. Have A Swapping Party
Grab some of your friends together, crack open a bottle of wine and tell them to load up bags of skincare, bath products and make-up they've used once, or don't like and have a swapping party. You all get to try out some new goodies and have a wonderfully girly evening.

7. Know Your Limits 
I guess the final tip is by far the most sensible one out there. If there is something you are desperate for and don't have the funds for it, then hold out for a little while longer. No matter what the product is, there is no need to get yourself into financial difficulty over it. Pop it on a wish list and save it for an upcoming birthday, anniversary or Christmas. 

There you have it, some little tricks to save money whilst fuelling your beauty addiction. Do let me know if any of you use these or have any of your own! I'd love to know. XO 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

My Microbalding Journey

Way back in 2009 a new super model was strutting the cat walk. Stunning looks with killer legs, the usual traits of a clothes horse. It was those heavy set, long and dark brows that rocketed her face and name into stardom. I'm talking about Her Royal Eyebrowness, Cara Delevingne. Since that day, eyebrows have become a bit, well, a lot of a big deal in the beauty world. Us Brits alone spend on average £200 a year on brow products alone. 

I myself remember buying my first brow pencil from Rimmel and spending quite some time on my once ignored eyebrows. I couldn't get over how "finished" my face looked. Over time my skills improved and my collection of products grew. You name it, I had it, pencils, stencils, pomades, gels even at home tinting kits. The more my addiction grew, the more I loathed my naked, natural brows. Once my daughter came along and I no longer had the time I actually wanted for my eyebrows the loathing turned to pure hatred. Yep, busy mum life claimed my eyebrows as a victim and I was left looking like some tired, old hag. After all, brows are amazing at adding youth and frame the face perfectly. My patchy numbers just didn't cut the mustard to be left by themselves... I even have a scar in one that, without make-up, made me look like a very sad looking Boyzone impersonator. 

I started giving Microblading a bit of studying and would spend hours looking at various pictures and researching which local salons provided. When I finished looking and was 100% happy with the salon and professional I chose to give me my dream brows I was ready to go! 
Now, for those of you who don't know what I mean by Microblading, it's a procedure that involves tiny strokes of ink added to your brow that resembles hair.... now, stop right there if the word "tattoo" popped into your head, you'll find Microblading is different. 
Unlike tattoos which reach down to the second layer (or Dermis) of the skin, making them perminanate, Microblading reaches the top layer (or Epidermis) of the skin. Therefore making them last for about a year, which in my opinion is great as this gives you an opportunity to change your shape so that it continues to match your face as you age. 
Which is probably why you see a lot of these older ladies with tattooed eyebrows walking round with a startled look constantly. You may also notice that these ladies brows have a slightly odd pink or green tone which is a perfectly normal result of tattoo ink ageing. That being another benefit of having Mircoblading, the ink is different and so therefore ages better too, without any strange fading. 

So once I made my appointment I was itching it get on that bed and have my face transformed. The price for Microblading varies from place to place but I've noticed that the average amount is around £250 with a free top up. This being a very popular treatment at the moment you will find salons and even free lancers offering the treatment. All very well and good but, like anything beauty related, there a few characters around who are more interested in money than providing you with a fabulous service. It all depends on what you are comfortable with, for me I wanted to visit my local salon that I know well and trust fully. 

That was Essential Beauty in Eastbourne where the lovely Amiee, who is fully trained by Phibrows in London, works her magic. Once the "before" snaps were taken Amiee mapped out my brows, this is done to ensure your new brows match your face exquisitely, for example,  the head of my brow fell a little short and one arch wasn't as high as the other. All those details added up to completing my browformation and would make them appear perfect and very natural looking. Mapping all finished Amiee mixed together two shades of ink to give me a bespoke shade. Kitted with all the correct tools and hygiene she was on her way. 
As regards to pain, does it hurt? I'd be lying if I said it doesn't, but it's a pain that can be ignored after a while. I ended up focusing on the tranquil music playing in the background and found the procedure was over in no time. Looking into the mirror at the finished results is a brilliant yet slightly scary feeling. They obviously look a tad red and very dark, but thae colour lightens up as the days go on. I was given a teeny pot of lotion to apply to my fresh brows hourly for the rest of the day. Sounds a tad excessive I know, but you've got to remember that these are technically open wounds and need to be given a lot of TLC, besides, applying the lotion is remarkably soothing so you won't mind, just keep it up and your brows will heal nicely!
After a week or so you'll notice the colour fading a lot and perhaps even disappearing in some places, not to worry as this is all part of the healing process and the colour will be back and the correct shade.  The only issue I experienced is the ink not taking to my scar due to the scar tissue, which was something I expected. However I like it more now, in a funny sort of way, with the rest of my brows looking their best my scar keeps some character and unique finish to them. There's no wonder Amiee is as busy as she is, she truly is a brow queen. 

Now that I am four months on I honestly say I couldn't live without my new brows. Maybe I sound like one of those martialistic, vain girls with a head full of fluff, but so long as that head had these eyebrows... I couldn't really give a monkeys... 

Yes I am aware my before brow was a monster, but I had given up on it entirely 

So there you have my Microblading journey! I hope it was of some use to you and leave me some questions below. Are any of you planning on getting your eyebrows done soon? I'd love to know! XO

Thursday, 21 December 2017

How To Host A Mum's Night In

It's easy to say that this time of year is busy, unbelievably busy. Your dairies are jam packed with countless events, navities, school parties, work christmas dos, dinner with friends, drinks with the girls, family meals, the list can go on and on. Speaking from experience, I find this whole month is, granted, the most enjoyable of the year, but also the most expensive (obviously) and most stressful. The task of finding a baby sitter alone can all get too much, that sometimes in the end, you've had to miss out entirely. 

Which is why I've had an idea that can result in you spending time with your friends and not need to worry about baby sitters. Here are a couple of ideas and tips on how to host a mum's night in! 

1. All Are Welcome 
Yep, get everyone round, if your friends have babies or children, or even if they don't, get them round. Have the tots bring along a pillow or blanket and gather together all the cushions, pillows, bedding, anything you have to spare and turn the living room into one giant, cosy chill zone. You can even go the whole hog and build a enormous den for everyone. 

2. Bedtime Routine 
Well it is a little obvious bedtime won't be a regimented as usual, but that's half the fun. You can still follow your bedtime routine loosely. Why not mix it up and have the older children read the younger ones stories, the Miffy books featured in the image above are particular favourites of mine and very festive! They will also love looking at the sweet, little sticker book together too. You can find them all here.

3. Bath Time 
If you don't mind the kids sharing baths, then get them in there, crack out the fancy bubbles or even try throwing some pom poms in. I know for a fact we all have a packet laying around, they dry out quickly and are add so much excitement to bath time! 

4. Movie Time
Once everyone is ready for bed, head back to your den or chill zone and decide on a movie to all watch together. I am obsessed with the DisneyLife app, all the Disney you can think of and for only £4.99 a month, you can also try it out for your first week for free. Download it on your phone, laptop, tablets or iPads, you won't regret it, it's saved my sanity a number of times on long flights and car journeys! Find out more about DisneyLife here.

5. Time To ZZZ 
With all the excitement of having this huge sleep over, the younger ones will probably crash out halfway through the film. If there are a couple determined little ones fighting the ZZZ's try popping on some of the Sleepy Lotion by Lush. Packed with a number of ingredients, including lavender to aid sleep, you'll find those tired little eyes will begin to close before you've put the lid back on! It really is fabulous stuff and can be used by the whole family too! Take a look at the Lush Sleepy Lotion here

6. Mum Time 
Even if the children haven't fallen asleep, don't let that stop you from having a pamper! Have your friends bring over their favourite face masks or beauty products and just get stuck in. It's the perfect way to try out something new and just have a good giggle. 

7. No Pressure
The idea behind hosting this night in is to just focus on spending time with your friends. Don't clock watch or freak out about the kids staying up too late. It's the perfect opportunity just to have fun and make memories, instead of feeling as though you've had to miss out on another event, make it your own! And this idea can be used throughout the year too.

So there you have it, just a couple ideas for what can be a bloomin' brilliant night! Let me know if you give this a go and if you have any other ideas too! 

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Perfect Personalised Gift By Wonderbly

Some of you may already be familiar with the books by Wonderbly, the lost name title is possibly their best seller. My daughter has her very own copy that she adores almost as much as I do! Personalised gifts are defiantly my favourite to give and receive for Zara, especially if it's a story for bedtime!

As luck should have it, Wonderbly have a new book out just in time for the festive season called, The Christmas Snowflake. I won't give the plot away, but it's a real heart warmer! Beautifully written with pages full of stunning illustrations. 

Just like the other titles available you are able to customise the stories with children's names and up to nine family members. Just an added bonus of showing your tots their names in print, I know my daughter will grow to appreciate how special that will make this present. 

Oh, and the best part is that you'll find your very own Christmas snowflake in the pages to hang on your tree. This book can easily become a new Yule Tide tradition, I can imagine myself tucking it away with my decorations to then have it down again to read over and over during the run up to the big day. 

So what are you waiting for? You still have time to order it for Christmas and can also ask for gift wrapping too so it arrives 'under the tree' ready. Then you can sit back and watch  the amazement in your little one's eyes when they open up their truly perfect Christmas book.

Visit the Wonderbly website here take some time to explore the variety of stories, you really are spoilt for choice! You can also nab yourself 20% off when you buy two or more books with the code ADVENT20. That's Snow joke! 

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*small print, the products featured in today's post were kindly sent to me. However the wording and options are by yours truly. Thank you Wonderbly for Zara's book! 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

How Mum Life Is Easier With Petit Fernand

Do you ever have one of those days when everything just goes wrong, you'd even leave your head somewhere peculiar if it wasn't attached. Well add in a small person who is fully your responsibility and you got a whole lotta mess right there.... Especially when items go missing too. Coats, shoes, water cups, lunch boxes, you name it. 

It was only the other day I thought to myself enough was enough. Time to get really organised and buy my daughter some name tags. I searched for a little while with a very nostalgic frame of mind, as I remember the name tags that I had growing up, white slim strips of polyester with my full name stitched in red, did any of you have the same? I was inches away from pressing the order button when I thought of my mum, painstakingly sewing them into each item of clothing I had. I also remember how they would scratch the back of my neck as I ran in the playground. 

Sod that, I thought, there's got to be something out there that's better, easier, more, well pretty. 

That's when Petit Fernand came along. I first spotted their advert during a late night Instagram scroll. It features name labels being stuck (yes stuck) and ironed onto clothing and items, without a needle in sight... Sold. They weren't lying either, it really is that easy. Quick and simple which resulted in me looking like one of those "put together" mums. 

You are able to customise the labels yourself too, my toddler spent ages choosing the colours, background, picture and font. A personal touch that makes them even more perfect, oh, and they also very affordable too. I went for the starter label pack, which included a selection of all the labels available which was delivered in a handy booklet keeping them all safe and out of harm's way. Take a look for yourself at the starter label pack here. Included in the starter pack are Petit Fernand stick-on labels, here. Item and object labels, here. Shoe labels, here  

The quality of the labels are fabulous, very visible and really stay put. I can now relax knowing that when Zara throws her coat down and kicks her shoes off at the child minders everything will all make their way home safely again. I've also popped labels on her swimming bag, dance gear and even in her favourite books she insists on taking out with her.  

So if you are on the hunt for some name labels, I whole heartedly recommend Petit Fernand! Grab your little one and have some fun designing their labels. There is also personalised water cups, mugs and lunch boxes available too, perfect stocking fillers! 

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I am currently taking bookings for makeup whether bridal or for the upcoming party season. Please get in touch for more information!


*the small print. The products mentioned in this post were very kindly sent to me, however the opinions and review was written by yours truly 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Are Silicon Sponges The New Beauty Blender?

I'm not going to lie, the moment I saw Nikki Tutorials cut up a bra insert in order to apply her foundation, I cam to the conclusion that was just a little too much effort for me... It wasn't until I spotted these silicon make-up sponges in Primark I figured it was worth a try. 

Let me get you up to speed if you have no idea what I'm going on about. Silicon sponges are the latest craze you will see filling up your Instagram. Umpteen videos and pictures of make-up fans using something that can only be described as a chicken fillet to apply their foundation. The benefits? An absolutely flawless finish without the waste you experience using a beauty blender or brush. Question is, does it actually work? Or is it just a bit of a fad?

Once I settled myself down to give this little experiment a go I thought I'd preform a different application for each side of my face. The first way was applying the foundation directly to my face then using circular motions to rub it all in. This didn't go very well if I'm honest, the foundation slipped all over the place and try as I might, it never absorbed into the skin properly. Perhaps I put too much product on? Or maybe the rubbing application wasn't the best way. The other half of my face was slightly more successful. I popped the foundation onto the sponge then dabbed in the product onto my skin. Now, the sound of the sponge hitting my face wasn't pleasant, and it took quite a while to blend in, but the end result was stunning! Honestly, I was shocked! 

Now that I gave the silicon sponges a go I can understand the internet hype surrounding them. The down side is that the application takes quite some time but you are left with a beautiful base that doesn't look cakey, which is always a personal triumph. So I guess I'm glad I grabbed that little £2 packet on the way to the till, especially as it's now increased my make-up tool collection without breaking the bank! 

Have any of you tried the new silicon sponges? How do you apply yours? I'd love to know. XO 

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Friday, 19 May 2017

How To Really Enjoy Happy Hour

Yeah, I know what you're thinking... How can I enjoy Happy Hour even more than I already do? Well, it's never happy the morning after is it? So instead of laying there feeling ropey and exclaiming how you'll never touch a mojito again, check out this little backup plan I've given a try.

I've been "out out" a bit recently... purely for research purposes you see and making the health supplement, AfterDrink, really work for it's money. I needed to be sure these tablets really did the trick....

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it...


Like I've already mentioned, AfterDrink is a health supplement packed full with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts. All of which boost energy, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help support your liver's function, mental performance and reduces tiredness and fatigue. 

Sounds pretty good huh? Now, let me just address the elephant in the room (anyone else thinking of Dumbo getting tipsy off beer right now?) This product is not, a hangover cure. That sort of thing does not exist, but it will make you feel one million times better! 

It was one particular, hazy Sunday morning I woke up from a night out with my girls. I opened my eyes the slowest I could and braced myself for the glorious sunshine to burn my brain righ out of my skull....But it didn't... Not wanting to remind my body that I had over done it on the cocktails. I laid there for a little while, remembering the giggles from the night before without any agony. Don't get me wrong, I did feel a little fuzzy. But my head wasn't pounding and didn't have mouth as dry as Ghandi's flip flop. Could this be down to the fact I gave AfterDrink a go? How have these tablets worked their magic?

Let's talk about the science behind all this and what alcohol actually does to your body. I'll keep this short to keep your attention and stop you throwing paper planes from the back of the class. I won't sugar coat this, but alcohol actually exerts damage to the body every time you drink it and the more you consume will lead to a build up of reactive oxygen species, aka free radicals. Free radicals are nasty little buggers, highly unstable molecules that damage any cells they come across. Honestly, they would be on pub watch and in and out of the police station with drunk and disorderly charges. Combing this with dehydration, another known factor linked with alcohol consumption you are left feeling symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea, weakness and anxiety... in other words, hungover. 

AfterDrink is here to save the day and supplying your body with 26 ingredients all designed to give you that extra boost towards feeling a little more human again! You can take them as and when required, which I find particularly useful as I have the brain of a sieve. You also don't really need to be drinking the night before to take them either. Try them as a post gym pick me up, after long day at the office or perhaps a restless night dealing with a hyperactive toddler.  

So, there you have it, one way you can really enjoy Happy Hour, knowing this little bottle of magic has your back. Obviously this isn't me saying drink yourself into oblivion... but this is a good way to save yourself the trouble of feeling like death and wasting the rest of the weekend in bed. 

Don't thank me now, thank me later.... 

When you see me at the bar....

Doing more research obviously... 

Mine's a espresso martini. 

For more information about AfterDrink, take a look at their website here. Don't forget to give them a follow too on Facebook and Instagram @AfterDrinkUK. 

And whilst your at it, you can give lil' ol' me a follow too

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