My Sick Day Routine

Sunday 26 March 2017

Every year as the long winter begins to fade away and the first blossom of spring appears, I somehow manage to catch a cold. The one benefit of suffering from clockwork cold catching is that I now have my "sick day" routine perfected, so I thought I would share it with you in case you also have a bad case of the sniffles - grab a Lemsip, pull on your warmest PJ's and make yourself cosy!
Keep Hydrated  

I'm sure everyone is aware that you should drink more water when you're sick, but if you're anything like me (a person who frequently manages to make it to the evening without drinking a drop) then you could probably do with a gentle reminder to get sipping. When I have a cold I like to add a little honey and lemon to hot water, with a tiny bit of glucose powder for an extra burst of energy (only if I actually have to get things done), it's sort of like Lucozade, without the weird sticky aftertaste. 

When I have a cold, leaving my warm snuggly bed for the icy cold bathroom doesn't rank very highly on my list of priorities, but as my skin dries out extra quickly, maintaining a moisture packed skincare routine is really important. I like to use my usual cleanser and moisturiser (my Holy Grail combo) Oskia's Renaissance Cleansing Gel and Clinique's Moisture Surge Moisturiser, as these are already great dry skin remedies. In addition, when I'm sick I'll keep a facial spray beside my bed, so that once my skin has guzzled all of my moisturiser I can top it up without having to leave my cozy nest. Right now I've really been enjoying using Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist* which has the added bonus of smelling incredible, but for a serious hit of hydration I'll reach for my Clinique Moisture Surge spray which packs a more of a punch. 

Unsurprisingly, my first relaxation tip for when you're feeling worse for wear is to take a bath. Regular readers to my blog will probably be rolling their eyes and scrolling swiftly past this paragraph, as I do tend to declare bath taking as a cure for pretty much everything; bad day at work - take a bath, argument with mum - take a bath, a bit hungover - take a bath ... for me it's the ultimate miracle cure! However, in the context of this post baths are useful in two ways, they help me to relax and unwind, and they aid in unblocking a stuffy nose/congestion. I've really been enjoying Lush's Twilight bath bomb recently, as it contains lavender which also helps me to drift off into a peaceful slumber, and Laura Mercier's Ambre Vanille Honey Bath which is so moisturising on the skin that I can get away with  skipping body lotion, taking me one step closer to bed. 

Of course it's important to try to relax when you're not feeling the best version of yourself, but I've found that if I am too relaxed then I'm more likely to become restless and be tempted to venture in to work, which leaves me feeling worse and also makes me quite unpopular with the rest of the office. To avoid this I like to give myself simple little activities to do throughout the day to keep my mind occupied. Firstly I'll light a candle, something like Landon Tyler's Chesil Beach* which has a very soothing scent, then I'll either grab a book (right now I'm reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time!) or I'll grab my laptop. 

To stop myself from doing work I like to head over to a puzzle website, which sounds weird, but is actually a great way to keep my mind busy without any stress. Right now I've been loving, which offers pre-made jigsaw puzzles to do online, but you can also upload any photo and make your own, along with which reminds me of my pre-teen years when I had a computer but no internet! 


Lastly, but most importantly, I try to get a good nights sleep. I prop up my pillows, make sure my water, tissues and Strepsils are within arms reach and get snoozing. When I'm feeling stuffy it can take a little while to drift off, in this case I will dig out my trusty This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray to ensure that I fall swiftly into a peaceful slumber (since using this even the smell of lavender makes my head feel heavy!)

So that's my sick day routine. Of course it varies depending on the illness, but since my yearly spring cold is approaching I thought I would share this now! Let me know if you have a routine for when you're feeling under the weather. 

*PR sample, my review expresses my own honest opinions

Confidence Boosting Makeup

Sunday 19 March 2017

The past couple of weeks have been a bit tough for me. I've been having a few too many of those days where it seems like every thing is falling apart, and just as I think things can't get much worse something else comes along and knocks me back further. On days like these I like to fall back on my "comfort makeup", wearing products which I can reply upon to give me an extra boost of confidence when I need it the most. These are some of my favourites.  

Trust Worthy Foundation

I've been a loyal wearer of Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation for a very long time now (we're talking double digit repurchases), and for me it has officially reached "Holy Grail" status. This foundation covers every blemish, no matter how huge, ugly and red it may be, in addition to removing almost all evidence of dark circles, so no one needs to know that I've been suffering from sleepless nights or stress related breakouts. I feel so much more confident when I wear a full coverage foundation, as I don't have to panic about people paying more attention to my giant spot than to my conversation, and this is the most foolproof foundation that I've tried. 

High End/Limited Addition Products

I'm sure we all have one or two products that we reserve for "special occasions", either because they cost the equivalent of a small house deposit, or because they were limited addition/part of a holiday collection. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit certainly falls on the higher end of the price scale at £69, so I'm hoping to make it last for pretty much the rest of my existence by limiting how much I use it. Shallow though it may sound, using this "special" palette on a down day really does help to lift my mood, plus the glow giving shades are amazing for perking up my complexion so I look fresh, healthy and ready to face whatever the day may throw at me.   

 Red Lip

It sounds strange, but wearing a bold lip colour really can help to boost confidence levels. I read an article recently about the power of red lipstick, which explains the reasons why some women feel more in control when rocking a red lip. The article referenced all the way back to the Egyptian times (you can read the article here if you're interested), and though it's just a theory, I believe that it is true to an extent. Every time I wear a red lip to work I get complimented by other women in my team, which definitely helps to cheer me up! I like to keep my bold lip look as low maintenance as possible, so right now I'm in love with Idol Red from the Rimmel Kate Moss collection, as it's non-drying and it stays in place, so I don't have to worry about it straying all over my face.  

Added Glow

I've you've read any of my previous posts then you may have noticed that I am a big fan of dewy skin. In my mind people with glowing skin are well rested, drink more than enough water and eat healthy kale salads for lunch (vs my favourite gloomy day pick-me-up of a huge bowl of pasta with extra cheese). When it comes to getting the glow I like to follow a "fake it till you make it" approach, which is where the Nars Copacabana Illuminator comes in handy, as this product is like healthy skin in a bottle. I like to use this as a primer under my base for natural looking radiance, and also by mixing a tiny bit in with my foundation to help to make it a little more luminous (Estee Lauder's Double Wear can be quite drying, so this step really helps). 


I actually only discovered the powerful effect of wearing false lashes a couple of weeks ago, when the team at sent me over a couple of pairs of their lashes to try. As I mentioned in my full review, as soon as I applied the Ardell 109 Natural's* I felt so much better about myself. My short, stubby lashes have always been something that I've been self-conscious about, but these very subtle, pretty looking falsies transformed my eyes, and somehow seemed to make my face look better proportioned. Though they are a bit too much of a hassle to apply every day, they're perfect for the days when I need a little extra confidence.

So those are the products I reach for when I'm not feeling the best version of myself, let me know if you have any special products that help to cheer you up in the comments! 


*PR sample, my review expresses my own honest opinions 

My Spring Face (With Lots Of Glow)

Sunday 12 March 2017

After a long, cold winter, I'm so excited that spring has finally arrived! Today I saw my first cherry blossom of the year, and soon the clocks will change and those of us who work full-time will finally get to see some daylight again. Even though spring is only just starting to show its pretty face, I've already started to change up my makeup wardrobe in preparation, so I thought I would share some of my new additions.  


My first springtime pick, Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution lipstick in Lost Cherry,  is an old favourite which I tend to neglect in the colder months in favour of darker shades. You will have heard me gush about how much I adore the formula of the Matte Revolution range a few times now (for example, here) and this beautiful bright coral pink is no exception. 

I'm sure by this point everyone knows of my love of nude lips, so it'll come of no surprise that I'm continuing to wear neutral shades as we head into spring. I had been eyeing up Tom Ford's Revolve Around Me for a while, but the hefty price tag held me back. When I managed to stumble upon 30% off voucher code I knew it was time to commit, though even when discounted it did do some serious damage to my poor bank balance. The shade Revolve Around Me is a gorgeous peach with a sheeny finish, perfect for every day wear. What I love the most about this lipstick is that it actually moisturises my lips rather than drying them, almost like a balm but with much more coverage. 

Another nude that I'm adding to my spring wardrobe is from L'oreal's Colour Riche range and is in the shade 630, Beige A Nu. Having worn matte lipsticks throughout the whole of Autumn/Winter, by spring I'm craving a more glossy look, which this lipstick provides with it's satin finish. It's a "my lips but better" shade which I can see myself wearing a lot over the next few months. 


As spring arrives I begin to seek out products that add more radiance to my skin, to reflect the (hopefully) sunnier weather. Recently I was lucky enough to receive some of the beautiful Milani Illuminating Face Powders in the shades Amber Nectar*, Hermosa Rose* and Beauty's Touch*. Though I haven't managed to find the perfect use for Amber Nectar yet (if anyone has suggestions then please let me know), I have been getting so much wear out of the other shades. I often skip bronzer as I find it difficult to find a shade that flatters my skin tone, however I may have finally found my match in Hermosa Rose, which adds just a hint of warmth to my cheekbones without looking over-done. I've also been loving using Beauty's Touch as a blush, as when I swirl my brush around it picks up both the pretty pinky tones and also the shimmery highlights, which when applied adds the perfect amount of colour and glow. 

Another blush which doubles as a glow giver is Too Faced's Papa Don't Peach, which is of course peachy toned, and is one of my favourite makeup products right now (I spoke about it in more detail here, if you're interested), the fresh peachy scent is perfect for springtime!

Lastly, my latest blush discovery comes in the form of Charlotte Tilbury's Beach Stick in the shade Moonbeach. I've found that the best way to apply this is with a brush or my fingers, rather then dabbing it straight on to my face as it can move my foundation around, but for me it's worth the extra application step as I am in love with the beautiful dewy finish that it adds. This product which can be won on the lips and cheeks is described it as "a bottled holiday glow", which I completely agree with! 


For the longest time I have been so happy with Laura Mercier's Translucent Setting Powder that I haven't looked elsewhere at all, but on a recent wander around Boots, Boujois Java Rice Powder caught my eye, mostly because of the cute vintage packaging. The one downside of this product is that I HATE the smell. To me it smells like overly perfumed talc, which often makes me sneeze mid application. That being said, I have been loving using this powder to set my makeup for the past couple of weeks, as it doesn't look at all cakey and it doesn't mattify too much, which is great as I have very dry skin, so I can just about put up with the smell. 

Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist* had been on my wish list ever since Caitlin mentioned that it makes your face smell like Turkish delight, so when the lovely team at Jurlique asked if I wanted to try it, I leapt at the opportunity. Since it arrived I have been using this spray in two ways, as part of my skin care routine to help to lock in some extra much needed moisture, and spritzed over my makeup to add a hit of hydration throughout the day. I love it for both uses, and I can confirm that it does smell like Turkish Delight (or just rosewater really). 

So thats how my face looks as we head into Spring, what new additions have you added?


*PR sample, my review expresses my own honest opinions

Trying False Lashes For The First Time

Thursday 9 March 2017

Technically this isn't the first time I've tried false lashes. The first time was back in my teenage years, I remember that it took me about 20 attempts to get anywhere close to my actual lash line (although admittedly at the time I was bopping around my bedroom to Fall Out Boy), and then about an hour into the party they began their slow and embarrassing descent down my face, never to be seen again.

Needless to say, after lashfacegate I wasn't in a hurry to try falsies again any time soon, but when the team at got in contact to ask if I wanted to test out some of their lashes I decided it was time to leave the past in the past, and give them another go.

To hardcore lash lovers falseeyelashes will be heaven on earth, they have pretty much every brand and variation imaginable, which to me as a novice was a little daunting. I decided to go for a natural looking pair from a brand I had heard a lot about, Ardell, and one more adventurous option from a brand that was new to me, Tatti. I chose a glue from Eyelure (another brand I had heard of) and used it for both sets. Here's how it went.

I opted for the Ardell 109 Natural's* because I wanted to choose a brand name that I was familiar with, and these looked to be the most wearable of the bunch. As a total newbie even the very first step, picking them up with the tweezers, caused me some problems, as they were so thin that I couldn't get a good hold of them. However, once I'd actually managed to get them up to my lash line they were very easy to apply, and only required a teeny bit of tweaking.

Since my actual eyelashes are quite short and straight I wasn't sure that I would like the way that longer lashes looked on my face, so I was really surprised when I first peeked at the mirror. These are very subtle, I don't think they would do much for people with naturally thick or curly lashes, but as mine are almost non-existent, they transformed my face, making my eyes appear bigger and my face seem somehow better proportioned, which gave me a huge confidence boost ... I even found myself fluttering them at the cashier in Sainsbury's! They were really comfortable to wear and at no point did I feel like they might slide off of my face.

Despite the initial wobble (practice makes perfect), I will definitely be wearing these again in the future. Unfortunately I don't have time to apply falsies every morning, but I will certainly dig them out for special occasions, or for when I just really need a boost of confidence.

I mentioned in my intro paragraph that I had wanted to try both a natural pair and a more dramatic pair of falsies for this review, so I decided to go for the Tatti TL21 Brazillian Silk lashes* which certainly fit into the "dramatic" category. These arrived in an adorable little pink slide box, which made them easy to get out of the packing, and which is perfect for storing them for future use. I first tried to apply these with the glue provided, which was a messy disaster as almost nothing came out of the tube unless I squeezed it really hard, so I switched back over to the trusty Eylure adhesive. The one advantage of these lashes vs the Ardell Naturals is that these were easier to grasp with the Tweezers, because they are so incredibly thick and fluffy. However, these were much more difficult to apply to my lash line, which was at least partly my fault, as the lashes were a little too long but I was too afraid to trim them and ruin them.

Now I can imagine these would look incredible on one of those stunning girls you see on Instagram, with perfect brows, flawless contour and so much glow that you can almost see yourself reflected in their cheekbones, but on plain ole' me they looked a bit ridiculous. Instead of making my eyes look bigger I felt like they shrunk them, and I just couldn't get used to the look at all.

Unfortunately, in addition to not liking the way they looked, they were also really heavy and I felt constantly worried that they would fall off,  so I ended up removing them after just an hour.

So that was my first time experience! If you have any recommendations for what I should try next then leave me some suggestions in the comments! I'm definitely going to head back over to falseeyelashes to browse the Ardell category some more, I've been eyeing up the Demi Wispies, which are a bit less subtle than the naturals, but apparently still look really real, I'll let you know how I get on.
*PR sample, my review expresses my own honest opinions 

Bloggers Made Me Buy It

Sunday 5 March 2017

I've never been the kind of person who is easily influenced by current trends or "the in thing", I generally just bob along at my own pace. However, when it comes to makeup I often find myself getting caught up in the hype of new releases, especially if a product is "limited edition" or part of a holiday range. For this reason, it's been really important for me to build up a base of bloggers whose advice I can trust, because there's nothing worse than spending my hard earned cash on a product based on one rave review, only to find that it's just not up to standard. 

These are some of the products I've picked up over the past few months based on recommendations from some of my favourite bloggers. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal light - Kate La Vie 

It was love at first sight when I saw the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, and first sight happened to be in this post by Kate La Vie. Kate is one of my biggest enablers, she photographs products so beautifully and writes with so much passion that I just have to buy whatever she is recommending. Gh0stparties was the first beauty blog I ever read, and through the years I've grown to trust her reviews because so many of the products she has mentioned have gone on to be firm favourites of mine, including the Hourglass Edit. I spoke about it a little bit in my Glow Getters post, it's just the perfect palette for achieving a healthy, glowy look, and I adore it! 

L'oreal Nail Polishes - Iridescent Places 

I must have walked past the L'oreal stand in my local Boots a thousand times and never glanced twice at the nail polish section, and then Caroline wrote this post and just like that I had a new obsession. I knew I would love Cafe Du Nuit as soon as I saw her photo, it's the perfect peachy nude shade, ideal for springtime, but since then I've also picked up the soft pink shade Jardin des Roses, and plan to add another shade soon (I'm thinking Rose Ballet, inspired by Sally!)

Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Palette - Gemma Louise

It was a while ago now that I first saw Stila's Perfect Me palette featured on Gemma's blog, and I knew that I would eventually buy it. I actually put off the purchase for a few months because I had convinced myself that I didn't need another palette (probably true), but I kept re-visiting Gemma's post, obsessed with how beautiful the swatches looked on her skin tone, which is quite similar to mine. I did experience some serious buyers guilt when I first hit "checkout", but as soon as it arrived that quickly evaporated (along with my savings). The palette contains 7 beautiful shades, including 4 of my favourite eyeshadow shades, a base, and 2 blushes. Though I don''t reach for this palette every day, I love to use it on special occasions, so I think it will probably last until the next decade! 

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick - Pint Sized Beauty 

There are so many bloggers I could credit for influencing me to buy Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Lipstick, as it featured on the Instagram feed's of every man and his dog on the week of it's launch, but the "I have to buy this now" moment happened when I saw this post on Lily's blog. Lily is one of the few bloggers that I can trust wholeheartedly, so if she is smitten with a lipstick then it's truly something worthy of attention. I would say that Pillow Talk is my favourite beauty purchase of the year so far, the shade is so beautiful, my perfect everyday nude, and being a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick the formula is also incredible. 

Charlotte Tilbury Quick 'N' Easy Natural Glowing Look Set - Love Catherine 

I couldn't write this post and not mention one of my favourite bloggers, since I add almost every product she photographs to my ever-growing wishlist. When I saw Catherine's post about Charlotte Tilbury's Quick 'N' Easy Makeup Kit, my first thought was "This is absolutely beautiful and I can't go another day without it" followed immediately by "Oh, but it's so expensive". As if by fate within just a couple of days of reading the post I won a £50 voucher for Net-a-Porter in a competition at work, so of course I didn't think twice about dropping this into my basket. I'm planning to dedicate a whole post to a review of this kit so I'll just mention it briefly (you can also read Catherine's review of course!). For £55 you receive 5 of Charlotte Tilbury's best products, and a cute little makeup bag to store them in. The products are:

- Mini Wonderglow Primer 
- Mini Legendary Lashes Mascara 
- Colour Chameleon eyeshadow in Amber Haze 
- Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria 
- Beach Stick Blush in Moon Beach (This blush is truly beautiful, I can't wait to swatch it for you!) 
When you consider the price of each of the individual products this is actually a real bargain, definitely worth saving up the pennies for.

So those are some of my favourite recent purchases inspired by other bloggers, let me know if you've bought anything great based on a recommendation in the comments, but try not to influence me too much as I'm now on a spending ban! 

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