Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Brush Guards...

When it comes to my make up brushes I’m very fussy and I believe in investing in quality so I want to ensure I look after them the best way I can.

I came across these Brush Guards after searching for travel things last time I went on holiday.

They are actually rather brilliant and I use them all the time! Either for drying my brushes after a deep clean to make sure they dry without becoming frizzy and to keep their shape, or whilst travelling so the bristles don’t get messed up.

They come in various sizes and my favourites are the shadow/liner size as they are the smallest but the best, in my opinion. They work with most brushes from tiny to medium sized and they keep the bristles in place the best.

I have 1 Shadow/liner pack which contains 10 guards and 2 variety packs which contains one shadow/liner guard, two small blush brush guards, two medium guards, suitable for foundation brushes and one large guard for a powder or kabouki brush.

I have pictured the guards on some brushes just too give you an idea of how they work.

The MAC 219 & 217 have the shadow/liner brush guards on. The Sigma F35 and The Sephora Pro Contour Brush have the Small Blush Brush guards on. The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and the Louise Young LY34 Brush have the Medium Foundation brush guards on.

I don’t feel the Large guards are suitable for any of brushes as the other ones fit them just fine and keep the bristles compacted so they keep their shape better. 

Overall these have been a brilliant purchase as they have really helped keep my brushes in great condition. Before I had these I used to let my brushes dry and they would be a bit bushy and misshaped but the mesh guards keep the bristles compacted and they dry in their original shape. I love using these with my more pointed brushes i.e, the Sigma F35 or the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt and the MAC 217/224 brushes.

You can get Brush Guards from Amazon (most choice), Cocktail Cosmetics or Love Make up. US residents can get them here.

Have you tried these and what do you think?

Take Care,
Amanda x

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Posts I've Loved This Week!...

I thought I would do something a bit different today as I was reflecting on some posts i’d read this week and realised they were too good not to share!

Surprisingly they’re all more informative posts rather than beauty reviews but sometimes I prefer these kinds of posts as you get to know the person behind the blog a bit more…

Jane who runs British beauty blogger wrote ‘When PRs won’t Talk’ this is a very interesting read and covers the subject of when a PR just drops you for no reason.

Emma who runs My pale skin wrote ‘5 Things I've Learnt About Myself and Blogging Since I Started’ another interesting read and also eye opening for me as we both started our blogs in January and she has come so much further than me, not jealous at all, just interesting to see how daily posting differs so much to my 3 posts per week.

Siobhan from A girl & a beauty blog wrote A Post for the Tall Gals again another good read for me as I’m with her. @ 5’10 I agreed with quite a bit of what Siobhan said and always good to get another tall girls perspective.

Jenny purr wrote Life Lessons I’d tell my younger self. Jenny writes a lot of more personal posts and this is her latest. Lots of things I think we can all relate to in this one.

Gemma from Gemsmaquillage wrote a piece called YouTube i'm Disappointed it's about a video Sam Pepper did which is basically sexual harassment on unsuspecting girls by pinching their bum with a fake hand in public. I haven't watched the video as not something i'm into and fortunately YouTube have since removed it. 

So do you have any posts you've loved reading this week? If so please leave the links below so I can check them out too. 

Take care,
Amanda x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Astrid & Miyu Secret Box September 2014…

So I had a 'Secret Box' from Astrid & Miyu delivered this week containing a beautiful dainty charm bracelet and necklace and randomly a debit/credit card holder.

Astrid & Miyu are a jewellery company and they do a subscription service, like a beauty box, and every 3 months send you items they think you’ll love based on the questionnaire you complete. The ‘Secret Box’ is £39 and includes free delivery. You can subscribe now for the December box.

The 'Secret Box'

Just a side note: When they first started the ‘secret box’ you got at least £150 worth of products in your box. This reduced to £100 and now they state you get ‘merchandise worth multiples of value’.

This month I received a Silver New Tricks Star Bracelet and a Silver New Tricks Moon Necklace. Both of these are priced at £39 each.

I also got a ‘Show me your Money’ Cardholder, in blue, they do 4 colours in total (see 2nd picture) priced at £15 so I got £93 worth of merchandise this month, which for £39 isn’t bad.

If you decide to check out the Astrid & Miyu website you will be offered 10% off your first purchase with them if you sign up to the newsletter. i'm not sure if you can use this on the 'secret box' though. 

Click here for the full download on the Secret Box and to see what I got in my last box.

So what do you think? might you be interested in trying out a jewellery subscription box?

Take Care,
Amanda x

Where have I been?...

Hey guys!

Hope you're all well! Sorry I have been MIA for so long! I've been on my annual holiday...

Oooh lovely you might say, not for me as this year we gave up our holiday to get our garden done!

Now is the time for me to say this is not a beauty post and is as far from it as possible so if you would rather skip this then i'll see you on Sunday when the beauty stuff returns! If however, you fancy something a bit different from me then keep reading ;-)

Now I thought digging up a bit of turf and getting it ready for a new patio would be a doddle! I could not have been more wrong! It has been such hard work and I will never underestimate how hard landscaping is ever again!

Lets go back in time to W/C 2 September!
We started work on the garden on the first Wednesday we were off and our wedding anniversary was on the Saturday (6th September). We were so busy we worked the whole day and for the first time didn't do anything to celebrate, apart from a takeaway in the evening *inserts sad face*. Usually we're lying on a sun lounger chilling out and drinking cocktails to celebrate our anniversary so this year was a massive shock to the system!

Anyway I digress...So back to the garden... Our plans are to put a large patio area down, put a built-in seating area in (just in front of the retaining wall we are putting in) and level off the lawn area as it slopes quite badly to one side and towards the house.

Quite a small to do list I thought but I can honestly say I have never worked harder and we aren't even finished yet!

We have dug out the whole area that will be paved and have put in the foundations for a retaining wall! This has to be done to level out the lawn area as so much earth has to put on the lawn to level it! Sounds like a school essay I'm writing. Anyway as I was so unprepared I thought I'd do a quick (haha she says, looking back on the above rant) list that others might find useful!

1. Do NOT underestimate how much hard work any project in the garden can be if you are planning on doing anything yourself.

2. Make sure you speak to a professional before embarking on a project you have never done before. Landscaping is far from easy and if you're planning on paving very close to the house you have to worry about damp coursing (think that's how to say/spell it) etc as you could cause issues for yourself in the future! Luckily for me my brother is a wizz with all things windows, gardens and building! We could not have done this without him!

3. Check for underground pipes before you start digging!!!!! We uncovered one but thankfully its a disused sewage pipe! I cannot even begin to think of the cost if we had damaged it or if it was in use!

4. Do your research before you begin and work out what materials you need before you start so you don't have to do a run to the hardware store/hire place to get things mid project!
• Can you re-use/recycle anything in the garden before you get rid of it? We can use a whole lot of earth we dug up for the patio area to level out the lawn. We have also taken paving slabs from around the garden to use in the main area. We used to have a path running the whole length of the garden but have turfed that area instead.
• Do you need bricks or paving slabs? The most common garden/diy stores in the UK will not deliver them to your home so you either need to have an appropriate car/van to get them yourself or you need to look at builders merchants and most of them only deliver in bulk so ensure you do your research and ensure you get the right amount to begin with! (We didn't so learnt this to our cost)

5. Budget for extras including skip hire and other tools you may need to hire to make your life easier. The cheapest skip we found was £165 including vat and that was for soil only! Anything else and it would be more expensive!

6. Be prepared for a few disagreements with your other (/better, in my case) half! You will both have different ideas and you will clash especially if neither of you don't really know what you're doing.

7. Seek professional advice! I know I have already said this, but it really is very important and could save you serious issues in the future especially if something goes wrong and affects the sale of your house!

8. Finally, enjoy it! I am the world's laziest person when it comes to gardens and I was dreading it! However on more than a few occasions I was amazed at how much fun I was having! I loved spending time with my husband and working on something that will ultimately make our future time together much more enjoyable!

I know this is a completely unrelated beauty post and I hope you don't mind but I really wanted to share my experience with you, just in case you ever find yourself in my shoes and are completely out of your depth!

I have a few before/where we are now pictures but we are far from finished as we are doing the work ourselves with the help of my, extremely busy, brother it is taking longer than I thought, however I will post another update when its finished if you're interested.

Before... (we are laying paving up to the first step up on the right of this shot)
Another 'before' shot
After we'd finished removing the turf and before the trench was dug out for the retaining wall
This is the pile of earth, clay & sand we dug out
The foundations being laid for the retaining wall
The retaining brick wall started
This is what the garden looks like as of today. The paving slabs are just laid out to stop our dog bringing in so much mud to the house. They are nowhere near level or ready to be cemented down!

I'd love to know if you've ever embarked on your own garden/home projects and how you got on and if you liked this little insight into another part of my world?

I have also put up a beauty post today so you're being spoilt and I will see you on Sunday when all things beauty continue!

Thank you for reading!

Take care,
Amanda x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette Review

So I've been having a bit of a rummage through my makeup stash and realized how many eye shadow palettes I have! I thought I'd start to review them for you, starting with the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette (Sephora)...

This is a great little palette, with cheeky names, perfect for travelling and just general everyday use. It's really versatile as there are 9 shadows in total and they can be mixed and matched or used in the order the palette suggests.

The eye shadows are pigmented and fairly easy to blend. Some of the colours need a bit of building up when covering the whole eyelid, especially Honey Pot (and the more shimmery shades).

The palette comes with a handy little guide showing various looks you can achieve with the palette.

I have followed the guide for each of the above looks and took a snapshot of them for you to see. The 3rd look is easily the most pigmented and unnatural look of the 3. But I think my favourite is the Day look.

Row 1 is your Day look and the shades are Heaven, Cashmere Bunny and Sexspresso. This combination is the most natural look you can achieve from the palette, but you can build the colours up for a more intense look.

L-R Heaven, Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso

Row 2 is your Classic look and the shades are Silk Teddy, Push up and Erotica.

L-R Silk Teddy, Push-Up, Erotica

Row 3 is your Fashion look and the shades are Nudie, Honey Pot and Chocolate Martini. This is a really golden look, honey pot is a lovely pigmented gold shade and suits most eye colours.

L-R Nudie, Honey Pot, Erotica

My go to shades are Silk Teddy all over the lid with Cashmere Bunny through the crease and Sexspresso/Chocolate Martini in the outer V.

So what do you think, what’s your favourite look? & do you own this palette?

Take care,
Amanda x

Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Favourites

Considering my blog is 7 months old I'm surprised I haven't done a Favourites post before. This month I thought I'd post about a few of the things i've been loving in August!

Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel, this is the only cleanser I have been reaching for since I got it. It’s like Turkish delight for your face! Yummy! I use this morning and night and it's my most used cleanser this month!

Maybelline Forever Strong SuperStay nail polish in uptown blue! This has been on my nails the majority of the month. It's long lasting and the colour is just fabulous!

Bitebeauty luminous creme lipstick in Cava. I got this from Sephora in early August and it is the only lipstick I have used since, even on the days I don't leave the house! Definitely worthy of a spot in my favourites!

My Starbucks (cold) cup! Is that weird? I bought this recently and have since been obsessed! Any cold drinks I have, I drink them out of this! Something about it just makes me feel good!

Nestle Lion Bars! I have seriously been addicted to these and eat one at least 3 times a week! Maybe more! Don't judge me! We all need a bit of chocolate to keep us going through our crazy lives!

Pretty Little Liars! I have found a website where I can watch this in the UK and I am currently on season 5 episode 7 so almost up to date with the US! I love this series and hate when it finished in the UK! Please no spoilers if you're from the US!

So what have been your favourites this month?

Take care,
Amanda x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Body Scrubs

Hey Guys!

I don't know about you but although I have a great facial skincare routine, I often neglect my body.

Going into summer this year I had a few events that meant showing the old legs off so that meant self tan and that comes with preparation...

I invested in some exfoliating mitts as they turn your regular shower gel into a scrub and are so easy to use! You just lather up your gloves and wash your body as normal but you're left with soft skin with no dry patches! What could be easier?

I also bought a couple of actual body scrubs, first up is the Mio Double Buff dual action enzyme exfoliator. It has pumice, lava and bamboo which make up the scrubby bits and also has papaya and pineapple fruit enzymes to make it the dual action scrub it is.

This is the one I use before I self tan as the scrubby bits and added enzymes work brilliantly to get rid of rough dry skin and leaves it extremely soft and ready for self tan! I have used this with the mitts but it works just as well without them. Out of the exfoliating methods I use I find this scrub the best one to use prior to self tanning.

I use the Soap & Glory shower gels a lot and I picked up the scrub from the sugar crush range for a more luxury and gentle scrub, it contains smashed brown sugar & sweet lime. Almond oil & macadamia grains and it smells divine! It also works really well! It sticks to the skin whilst you use it and doesn't drop off like some others I have tried in the past. Perfect for use if you're soaking in the tub!

I now use either a scrub or the mitts at least twice a week and they keep my skin extremely soft and in tip top condition! I just need to remember to moisturize now!

What are your favourite body scrubs? Any recommendations?

Take care,
Amanda x

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