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Monday, 29 April 2013

Girls With Attitude | False Eyelashes

Girls With Attitude Eyelashes* | link | £5.00

One thing I can't live without is false eyelashes. I don't wear them on a daily basis but if I ever have a bit of a 'do' coming up then quite frankly - they're a must have.  They define your eyes, add volume and length to the lashes and also photograph really nicely.  I recently had the chance to try some lashes from 'Girls With Attitude' - a website which stocks all sorts of beauty bits including false eyelashes and nails.  I must say, their website is fantastic and so easy to navigate. I found it really easy to browse through and they're all categorised so you can easily find what you're after.  They kindly said I could pick a couple of pairs to try and to say I was spoilt for choice would be an understatement.  I actually ended up picking out the 'Natural Beauty' and 'Swept Away' lashes and asked them to do me a bit of a lucky dip on the third pair - ever the indecisive blogger!

The lashes, like most falsies, come with glue and are ready to apply.  I decided to try 'Swept Away' on a recent night out and found them really lightweight and easy to place on the eyes - some lashes I've tried can be quite stiff and don't react nicely to being flexed/manipulated to the shape of your peepers, but these were really easy to fit on the lash line and weren't too long either.  I've never really tried eyelashes which flick-out at the ends - I'm very much a 'bog standard' eyelash kind of girl but I must say I'm now converted to a more 'swoopy' shape (yes, 'swoopy' - you get where I'm coming from...) They give the eyes a lovely little 'cat eye' shape without being overly false or heavy looking, and when paired with a smokey eye look really striking.  A couple of the girls who I went out with actually mentioned how nice my eyelashes looked and said they were shaped really nicely.  The lashes stayed put all night, and the glue held them firmly in place. I have sensitive eyes so sometimes have to be careful with what eyelashes I wear but I had no problem with these.

I also tried 'Natural Beauty' - a very lightweight, almost undetectable false lash.  Don't underestimate the power of natural looking falsies. Some of you might question why you'd wear false eyelashes if you aren't going for full on glamour, but I'm very partial to the more natural looking ones - I find they open my eyes and make my lashes appear longer and they're virtually undetectable from my natural lashes. If I ever have a presentation at uni or if I find my eyelashes just don't want to be curled on a certain day - then these come in very handy. They maintain the 'just applied my mascara' look all day long and because they're so natural looking, they don't look heavy or 'false' at all. In fact, if you're new to false eyelashes or want to try something for the daytime without looking overdone, I cannot recommend these types of lashes enough.  They're a must-have in my make-up collection for me and the shape and style is something I always go back to if my eyelashes are ever looking a bit 'sparse' - they give fullness but don't look like you've overdone your eyes.  

I'm so impressed with these eyelashes and I will no doubt be ordering from Girls With Attitude again.  I was so impressed with the selection - they really do have something for everyone and the range is one of the biggest and most varied I've ever seen from a brand. They have a pair of lashes for every occasion from 'natural' to 'dramatic' - or even full-on double lash effect ones and paper cut outs for the more daring amongst you. For any false-lash fan this company is one that you simply must know about and you can have a nosey at their site here.

Have you tried Girls With Attitude lashes?
Which eyelashes are your favourites?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Benefit | Big Beautiful Eyes | Eye Contouring Kit

Benefit | Big Beautiful Eyes Kit | £24.50 (link)

As some of you may or may not know,  I left my job earlier this year (of my own choosing I might add, it certainly was not a Sir Alan Sugar 'you're fired' moment) and although it was very sad and there were a few wobbly moments on my last day, it's all okay because I've now moved on to pastures new and all that jazz.  My wonderful colleagues treated me to some lovely Benefit goodies, which you may have seen in a post a while back if you've been reading my blog for a while (I reviewed the 'Go Tropi-Coral' set they got me here if you're interested!), the second present they got me being this little eye contour set, Benefit's 'Big Beautiful Eyes Eye Contour' kit.  To say they must know me well is an understatement. Anyone who knows me knows I'm partial to an eyeshadow set or two - so they definitely scored some brownie points there..anyone would think they were trying to get me to stay ;)

The Big Beautiful Eyes set contains 3 eye shadows and a concealer.  The 3 shadows compliment each other perfectly and work together to enhance your peepers. I often just wear the middle shade all over the lid when I'm not feeling particularly creative or if I'm in a rush - it's such a flattering warm taupe-y kind of colour - right up my street!  The eye shadows are so creamy and pigmented, and are probably some of the most 'buttery' shadows I own - just one swipe provides such good colour pay off and they blend out like a dream. They last very well throughout the day and I find the warmth of the shades quite flattering on my skin - they definitely make my eyes look more awake.  The palette comes with some dinky little brushes - I haven't used these yet aside from the little liner brush, but I'm sure they will come in very handy when on the go (I travel abroad fairly regularly so sets like this are perfect and such an essential for me as everything is in one place) The Boi-ing concealer (in '02') is also a great little addition, although I actually haven't been able to use this yet as it's just ever so slightly too dark for me at the moment.  As soon as the sun comes out and when my skin darkens a little as it always does in the summer months, I will definitely be giving it a whirl. 

The photographs above show how I've been wearing the palette - I do sometimes wear it without any eyeliner on at all and purely just the liner shadow but I really like the way the palette looks with a thin line of eyeliner pencil close to the upper lash line when I want my eyes to look a little more defined and made up. I place a thin line of my eye pencil on top of the liner shadow, and it creates a lovely soft, graduated effect. I then smudge out the dark brown shadow into the outer corners of my eyes to keep the look soft and subtle looking. I line my lower lash line purely with the brown liner shadow and it gives such a lovely soft effect that defines the eyes but doesn't look too harsh - it's really easy to apply with the little brush they provide. The base shadow looks lovely on the inner corners, and the shimmer in it isn't too 'in your face' but helps to awaken and brighten the eye area.  The contour shadow creates a lovely finish and is a lovely warm taupe shade - it completes the simple daytime look perfectly and blends out amazingly well due to how soft and buttery the shadows are. If you're a bit unsure on contouring your eyes, then this set is a definite must have as it comes with a handy little instruction booklet and the shades provided are subtle enough to experiment with and wear on a daily basis - perfect for an everyday, neutral eye and nothing too scary or overly smokey. This being said, the shades are amazingly pigmented and noticeable, you only need a tiny bit to create a perfectly simple contoured eyelid.  I really like that you can create a whole eye look purely with the shadows provided, or add a little teeny-tiny flick of eye liner and you're pretty much sorted

I'm jolly well chuffed to have this little handy palette in my collection - it's not something I would have necessarily chosen myself but I'm so thankful that the lovely bunch at my shop picked it up for me.  I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this, and it's a set I reach for very regularly.  I've never tried any eyeshadows by Benefit but have been really impressed by the consistency and quality - I will definitely keep my 'Big Beautiful eyes' peeled (see what I did there?) for a few more to add to my collection!

Have you tried any of Benefit's eyeshadows?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Meet My Advertisers | April

So it's that time again when I share with you all the amazing folks that have been sitting in my sidebar since the beginning of the month.  I know I sound like a broken record but there's some cracking blogs and websites for you to stumble upon this month, including a fellow blogger who happens to be of the male variety! Yippee! (cue lots of ladies rushing over to my sidebar).. If you're a bit of a hair-care product hoarder like myself, there's also a Tigi stockist (among other fab brands) which might be of interest to you if you fancy grabbing yourself a bargain. It really is a very fun mixed bag of all sorts of webbysites this month - and of course there's some fellow beauty-blogging ladies too.  So if you're in the mood for adding to your reading list, please do stop on by and say hello! I've also spruced up the way I set out these posts, so hopefully everything will be a little easier to find - the bloggers links placed directly below their headers. I shall kick off with April's Exclusive Advertiser.. The ever so lovely Danielle from The Imperfect Beauty..

Danielle | The Imperfect Beauty | *April Exclusive Advertiser* |
Links | Blog | Twitter | Instagram - @_Danielleom | Pinterest - @danielle232 |

Hello Everyone! My name is Danielle and my blog is The Imperfect Beauty. I started blogging over a year ago because I really wanted to make some more friends with similar interests to mine and I haven't looked back since! I absolutely adore blogging, I mainly tend to blog about beauty products, my opinions, my favourites and sometimes I do lifestyle posts too! I love getting feedback and ideas from the lovely people who read my blog and it always makes my day when someone comments on a post to say they enjoyed it!  If you want to come over for a visit my links are all above, I'd love to see you over on my blog!

Alexandra | Sweet Dreams  | 

Links | Blog | Twitter | Email | SheSaidBeauty | Bloglovin 

Sweet Dreams is a beauty and lifestyle blog.  I'm just a 20 year old welsh girl who loves to bargain hunt and spend money on makeup and skincare! I have been reading beauty blogs for months and have finally found the courage to start my own! If you get the chance to look at my blog, I hope you enjoy!

Elrese | Dressed in the City
Links | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Hi Lovelies, I'm a South-African blogger focusing on all things pretty that are cruelty free, I blog about new beauty finds and sometimes goldie oldies, I love doing outfit posts, reviews and I have a love affair with my hair LoL, so if you love big glamorous hair, pop over to my blog where I share all my tips and tricks.  I also recently jointed my flirty thirty gals, and I soon realized skincare is quite different in your 30's, so come have a look at all the new things I'm discovering.  And thank you for visiting my blog!

Much Love xoxo

Emily | Love-x-Beauty |
Links | Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin |

Love Beauty -x- is a blog written by a student living in the midlands. It will feature regular updates and honest reviews about beauty products, exciting trends and general chat. Follow my journey!!

Rachel | Twenty Something Beauty |
Links | Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin |

Hi I'm Rachel! I'm a soon to be History grad with a slight obsession for all things beauty related. My blog is a mixture of beauty, fashion and lifestyle and you're just as likely to find me in my trainers as my high heels because I'm a bit of a fitness geek. My blog features hauls, FOTD, wishlists, reviews and the occasional splash of fashion, as well as more personal lifestyle posts and my beloved Fitness Friday series. Pop on over, I promise I don't bite, and whilst you won't find the key to world peace on my blog I hope you'll have fun browsing all my beauty successes and failures. I love a natter so feel free to hit me up over my email or twitter, chatting to fellow fanatics makes my day! xx

The Salon Hair | Tigi Stockist (and more..see below) | Salon & Retailer |
Links | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

The Salon is a hairdressing salon based just outside Blackpool in a small village called Carleton.  The Salon specialises in Colour Work and Hair Extensions and is a retailer and stockist for Paul Mitchell, TIGI, Cloud Nince, Alterna and Brocato hairdressing products.

I hope you've managed to find some new blogs to read - pop on over to my sidebar and say hello and do let me know if you've found yourself a new favourite (don't forget there's even more blogs to be found in my sidebar that haven't been featured here so don't miss out!)

If you'd like to be featured here next month then you can view my advertising packages here. All you need to do is send me a little email and I shall reply as soon as possibley

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Contraceptive Pill | Do you know what you're taking?

Ok. So this is something I never ever in a million, trillion years thought I'd write but I just thought I'd offer a little insight into something that may concern some of you. I know this blog could be read by anyone in the world and quite frankly that's fine with me; I've always been pretty comfortable talking about this kind of thing as it's the way I've been bought up and at the end of the day, why should it be a subject that nobody speaks of openly whenever they should need to? Hopefully it might help some of you, and raise awareness of something that is sometimes skimmed over or avoided when discussing your contraceptive methods with your doctor. 

The contraceptive pill is probably one of the most common forms of contraception used today. It's easy, it's fuss free and if you aren't a complete forgetful numpty then it's pretty simple and safe to use. Some of you may know that just before Christmas I was in hospital suffering from a pretty bad allergic reaction to some antibiotics. Since then, I've practically lived in my doctors surgery so much so that I might as well just pitch up a tent in the reception and ring a bell every time I need a new appointment. On a recent visit to see one of the doctors at the start of January, a female doctor went through my medical records (as they do before they prescribe any new treatments) and noticed what pill I was on. She was quite concerned at how long I'd been on it and why nobody had told me previously that I shouldn't still be taking it.  Now - the problem isn't the pill itself, the problem is the brand and type of pill I was taking.  I had been prescribed Dianette roughly 5 or 6 years ago. Dianette (which is re-branded as 'Co-Cyprindiol' in the UK) is one of the older contraceptive pills, and is no longer prescribed in the UK for use as contraception, but still used to treat skin conditions such as acne for short periods of time.  Without getting too technical on you all, it's basically a stronger dose of pill and the risks of taking it are much higher.  As you know, when you take the pill your risk of DVT and other conditions are increased - but Dianette is a much higher risk pill. 

I never knew this.  I never thought anything of it until the doctor mentioned the issue. Coincidentally, when I got home and scanned through the newspaper, an article attracted my attention and almost made my heart jump out of my chest.  It described the tragic situation of a young girl who began to take Dianette and actually died of a serious blood clot weeks later (there's an article online here if you wish to read it).  This terrified me and I felt sick to my stomach.  I'm a massive worrier; ever since my trip to hospital I've been even more scared of things happening to my body and my health so you can imagine this added to my already anxious state of mind.  I immediately stopped taking Dianette and made an appointment with the nurse to talk through the situation. I since found out that it has been banned in Canada, the US and France, and is now no longer prescribed unless there is an extreme circumstance related to hormonal problems or skin issues - and even then, there is a limit as to how long you should take it.  I believe it is advised you take it for 6 months, so to put in perspective that I have been taking it for 6 years is quite worrying to say the least. There's an article here that explains how it has been banned in certain countries, and that it has caused deaths in women with symptoms related to Dianette. A few days after quitting the pill, I realised that I was feeling a bit 'iffy'. I noticed I was getting panic attacks extremely easily. I get them often anyway but the tiniest thing would set them off and I felt incredibly sick.  After this, the headaches began.  And I'm not talking about a little throb, I'm talking about the type of headache where it consumes your whole head and it hurts to move your eyes from side to side.  I felt sick beyond belief and for a good 2 months I had a headache  I woke up with one, I went to bed with one and I had a dull ache behind my eyes for the whole day.  My hair has also been falling out everytime I wash my hair in small clumps.  I have naturally thick hair and experience very little hair loss, so seeing this every time I step out of the shower is sickening and I can only hope it's a temporary issue (I scared myself reading internet forums and some people are stuck with thinning hair for years after stopping taking Dianette).  My skin has been a nightmare to control - I don't have spots as such but I've developed little tiny bumps on my cheeks and my chest - something I've never ever had.

There's more though.  After doing my research, it's been proven that there are links with this pill to miscarriage and infertility problems. Now, I'm only 22 so this type of thing doesn't concern me right now but the thought that I've been taking this pill every single day for 6 years or so makes me very worried indeed that it's done some damage to my body, and the thought that taking it might cause something like this really, really upsets me. A recent article I found states that 'some people experienced fertility problems and miscarriages after taking it and were told Dianette was the cause'. Very worrying.  I'm hoping that in a few months I will be my normal self again and it's simply my body having a bit of a mardy that it isn't getting hormones in a handy little pill! In the past I stopped taking another brand and had no problems whatsoever, so you can imagine how worried I am that I'm experiencing these things and it's been going on for about 2 months now.  If anything, I'm so annoyed that not one doctor or nurse thought to tell me that I was taking a pill like this.  Even when I go to the pharmacy to get my new packs they enquire why I'm taking this pill (if it's contraceptives you don't have to pay) and they never even mentioned that it's no longer prescribed solely for that use.  The hospital didn't mention it. Nobody mentioned it to me for 6 whole years despite many times being asked what brand I was taking, and although I'm thankful that this doctor informed me about the risk, I'm still a little peeved that it wasn't bought up before. Admittedly it might not be as bad as I'm making out but when it's your body and the situation concerns you, it's a big deal. When seeing the nurse to ask for advice, she gave a relieved sigh and said 'it's a good job you've stopped taking that'.  Why was it even prescribed to me in the first place? 6 years ago maybe it wasn't perceived as high-risk, but I deserved to know the risks if it was. And I had no idea.

Please don't think that taking the pill is going to harm you. It won't.  The newer brands contain lower doses of hormones and aren't going to cause you problems apart from a few side-effects now and again, if any. But if you're on an older brand of pill, please, please check with your doctor or nurse that it's okay to be taking it (and if your pill is Co-Cyprindiol or 'Dianette' then it's worth considering switching - in fact I urge you to change it as I don't want any girl to go through the worry I've been going through).  There's no harm in checking.  It's something that never crossed my mind and now that I'm aware of this I will certainly be taking more notice of things like this in future.  If Dianette carries risks like this then I think it should be withdrawn like it is in other countries. It's not fair playing Russian roulette with your body, your fertility and your future.  As females, unfortunately we do have to think about these things and in future I certainly won't be so complacent with simply settling with a brand of pill I'm given.  If I notice anything out of the ordinary I don't care how many times I have to bug the nurse - I'm going back again and again until I get it right and I know the risks for me are the lowest that they can possibly be. If you notice any changes in your body whilst taking the pill, especially if you've just started it, then it's worth checking up or reading the leaflet for advice. Every day, when you wake up and take that little pill, you're essentially taking hormones that create changes in your body and if it doesn't suit you then don't simply 'ride it out' or ignore it. I'm so sorry if this has scared some of you - I certainly didn't mean it to do so. But this post will hopefully reach out to some of you who might be unsure and actually highlight some of the risks associated with older contraceptive pills. If you do your research, you will be one step ahead. I wish so much that I had been.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Recent Shopping Buys | Feat. Zara's Office City Bag

Accessories | Zara Office City Bag £50 | New Look Necklaces - £7.99 each | Miss Selfridge Collar Necklace £14 | River Island bikini £27 | Striped Bikini - £43

Hiddely-ho ladies. So, recently I've been a little under the weather. I won't go into the nitty gritty but nothing cheers me up more than treating myself to a few new 'essentials'.  I thought I'd show you all a few things I've bought - even though I hate photographing clothing (does anyone else find it really awkward making it look 'neat'?!).  My best buy over the past few months of course has to be none other than my Zara Office City bag - it's lusted after by many and I can totally see why. I actually wanted it in black, but as my local Zara had sold out and it wasn't available online, I decided to opt for the tan.  It was a blessing in disguise really that the black was unavailable, as it's coming into spring/summer I will be wearing lighter colours and my trusty tan wedges a great deal more, so it will definitely go better with my summer wardrobe. I love the fact it has short handles or the option for a longer strap (not seen) - I'm off to London in July with my uni course so it will come in so handy as there's sections for a laptop, ipad or ebook reader and a slot for your phone and credit cards. Everything you could ever need or want to carry will fit in here - very Mary Poppins-y. I love it.

The bikini's were impulse purchases if i'm honest - the ASOS one definitely a little pricier than the norm but I love the little nautical stripes! In all honesty I'm just a massive bikini addict - I have a drawer full of them even though I only get to wear them for a short period each year (but since I might be going on holiday in the summertime then i'm sure i'll get my wear out of these little numbers).  And of course, New Look has their 'BOGOF' offer on jewellery so I picked a couple of bits up, along with the chunky beaded collar necklace from Miss Selfridge. I love me a bit of statement jewellery!

Clothing | Topshop Jeans - £38 | New Look Crop Top - £12.99 | Primark open-back Playsuit - £10 |  

I needed some new Leigh jeans for this season. I've worn my black and blue denim pairs to death over the past year or so, and thought it would be nice to grab a lighter wash pair.  I tried on their Joni jeans and although I liked them, nothing beats my trusty Leighs - they fit like a glove and wear really well. The Primark playsuit is a must-have for summer and I really cannot wait for the sun to hop out from behind the clouds so I have an excuse to wear it!

H&M Yellow jumper - £19.99 | H&M dress - £19.99 | ASOS nude cape blouse £30 |Rose Jumper - Ebay £15 |

I bought the floral jumper off an Ebay seller and it has to be one of my favourite buys of the past few weeks.  I've been after one of these jumpers for ages, and didn't fancy paying the price tag that I've seen a lot of them selling for. This was a reet bargain and looks lovely layered over tights or leggings as it falls at just the right length - I was unsure about the rips in the material but I suppose it adds to the dressed-down look and it's quite quirky.  The mint dress just had to be mine - purely for the colour and the style! These little girly chiffon dresses are my go-to outfits for spring/summer as they require little or no planning whatsoever - they're just a 'throw on and go' kind of item and i'll be pairing this one with my white blazer and nude heels or sandals.  I bought the ASOS blouse when they did their 25% discount event for students - I don't wear many of my blouses any more - I've sort of 'grown out' of that trend now and I much prefer my baggy tshirts and simple floaty camis and dresses, but I really liked the colour of this one and and it will look really nice paired with my black blazer for a more work appropriate outfit, and the fact it's slightly see through means it wouldn't go a miss for a few drinks either. I thought it was quite versatile and it's a little more 'me' than some of the other blouses I own.

What have you been buying recently? 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Advice To My Teenage Self & Silly Things We Did At School

Me last year on my nan's boat in Norfolk | Quote - Oscar Wilde | Frizzy-mess hair courtesy of - The Wind.

Every now and again, I like to type up a little (what I like to call) 'slice of lifestyle pie'.  This post wasn't planned - spur of the moment n' all that..  I haven't edited so do forgive me for it being a little rambly and rather lengthy, but I know a few of you enjoy my diary/life related posts and I often sit down with a cuppa to read things like this on other blogs (apologies to those of you who prefer no more than a couple of papargraphs ;)) A while back, I saw posts like these floating around the bloggersphere yet never decided to do one myself.  You know when you have one of those reflective moments in life (getting a bit deep here..get the goggles out!) when you think back to your younger days, think about how you've changed as a person and things you would change if you had the chance?

Me and my best friend sat on my bedroom floor (we never sit on chairs, always the floor..we have done since we were 12) on one of our many girlie nights the other week, and looked through all of our notes and letters we used to sneakily pass to each other at school in our lessons. We kept a big stash of them in an envelope and now and again, like our own little time capsule, we open this top secret envelope and look back on our younger days. It was a right hoot, let me tell you.  It really took me back to being a teenager again and how carefree our lives actually were - even though some of what we said in these letters really made us cringe, it was fabulous to look back and reminisce. All the little notes we have kept are written on torn out pages of our school books and planners (and believe me we used every last inch of those little torn pieces of paper) we folded them up into teeny-tiny little squares within an inch of their life, so they were as discreet as they could possibly be.  I still remember the sheer horrifying, gut-wrenching moment when our english teacher snatched the note we had been writing back and forth for the whole lesson from our hands, and threatened to read it out to the whole class. After a few whimpers from the both of us and the exchange of looks on our faces, we spent the whole lesson on the edge of our plastic chairs. He never did read that note out, and for that I am eternally grateful (thankyou, Mr Brandreth, in the very unlikely case you're reading this), but we never got that letter back.  I can just imagine him going home, finding it in his suit pocket and thinking to himself what a strange pair of students we really were.  We used to make up our own languages and words and create secret 'code names' for boys we both liked. I used to vandalise her pencil case with 'I love ? IDST' (If destroyed still true..who remembers that fabulous little abbreviation creation!?) and 'Sarah smells' - every single young teenager cliche you can think of, we did. Skip foward a few years and at 22/23 we are still the best of friends. I still tell her everything, we still sit and gossip about male species and er..related subjects, and we still giggle at things we used to giggle at when we first met (we still crack out the made-up words now and again).  There's nothing like a friendship where you can still whip out the same jokes you used when you were younger and still cry tears of laughter years later. 

Although my days at school were happy ones, and I wouldn't change them for the world, I wouldn't like to go back to them now.  I know people say your school days are the best days of your life, and although this is true in the sense that you have nothing to worry about except deciding the route which gives you the best possibility of seeing a certain boy between lessons, school-life is like living your life in a little bubble.  You can't get away from the 'popular crowd', the bitchy gossiping and even the class bully no matter how hard you try.  When I was at school I remember thinking that the way things were in that building was reflective of how things would be when I 'grew up' - and I wish I'd have known how things would be in a few years time. Saying this, I loved school - I really did.  Mine was a little rough around the edges at times, the type of school where it was the 'in thing' to do anything and everything besides doing your work and the popular crowd was made up of some pretty colourful characters, but I still turned out just fine (I'm not saying it was gang-land or anything, but you get my drift..) Here's a few little tit-bits I would tell my teenage self if I had the chance to now..

| Stand up for yourself gurrrrl! |
Sometimes, you'll wish you stood up for yourself a little bit more - but in the end you'll be glad that you stayed true to yourself and didn't cause a fuss. That inner confidence you have is never going to go away and in a few years time you'll see it to it's full potential. But I wish sometimes that you'd told some people exactly what you thought and spoke your mind a bit more. Don't be so polite that you come across like a doormat to be walked all over. Don't worry though, in a few years time those people won't matter at all, and you'll even have the chance to prove some of them wrong. Remember that time when your cooking teacher went crazy at you, made you give up your lunch hour to wash up all the pots that someone else 'forgot' to wash up and you got the blame for their laziness..(even when you'd already done your pots and pans)? You didn't want to cause a fuss so you just did it anyway, albeit with a bit of a huff and a puff, a scowl on your face and a few muttered curse words under your breath, but you still did it. I admire your attitude towards certain situations and I'm glad you knew when it was best to keep your mouth shut, but your future self would have told that woman politely where to shove those pots and pans.

 | Continue to work hard |
Keep working hard, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I'm so glad you didn't give in and fall in with the wrong crowd. The 'popular crowd' might be popular in school but when they leave, trust me, you'll have the last laugh.  You also have some serious thankyou's to owe to your art teachers - they are the one's that gave you the confidence to get where you are now and if it wasn't for them, you'd have been stuck struggling to understand that Psychology A-level you attempted to take.. (that career wouldn't really have gone very far would it? Not when you struggle to write the name of the subject correctly..let alone write an essay on it..) And please stop messing around in your Geography lessons.. looking back now I feel so sorry for your teacher...

| You're a good judge of character - for goodness sake - use it |
There's a few friends you will have that aren't good for your well being at all - I'm so glad you let go of them but I wish you had done it sooner.  Don't let the people who don't care about their education and their future pull you back. They might think they look ever-so popular and amazing now, but in a few years time you'll realise that it's really not worth it and that the tables turn very quickly.  There's one friend who you'll still be close to in your 20's and one that will be a friend for life - you already know who she is - I'm so glad you didn't let that one go because you still have the same amount of giggles now than you did when you were 11.  

| Stop caring so much what people think of you |
Who cares if a certain boy that takes your fancy doesn't feel the same back!? In a few years time he will actually send you a message asking you to go out for a drink (#truestory) and you will show him the same courtesy that he showed you. Stop caring so much about what people think of you, there's plenty of time to be grown up about stuff, and try not to let words effect you so much. It's still your greatest downfall now. Nip it in the bud now, please.

| Don't wish away your teenager days |
You have a fabulous opportunity to enjoy yourself every day and not have to worry about work - use it.  Never again will you have the chance to spend time with your best friends every single day of the week and finish the day at 3:00! Make the most of it! 

| Stop worrying |
You'll always be a natural worrier, this will never ever change, but you'll soon realise that things don't matter half as much as you thought they did.  Also, stop worrying so much about your panic attacks - you will go through a very tough time with them but you're going to come out the other end so much better and you'll learn to cope with them. Stick with it. Things will get better. I promise you. I wish so much you'd known this a few years back. And please stop obsessing over boys.. jeeeeez woman! 

| Please stop plucking your eyebrows |
For goodness sake, stop plucking your eyebrows. You'll regret being so tweezer-happy with them in a few years time when you have the worst arches in the world, trust me.

| A little fashion/beauty advice... |
That fake playboy bowling bag you got from the market that you think looks amazing? IN.THE.BIN. Burn it. Attach it to a breeze block or something and throw it in a deep expanse of water. Just get rid of it! Nobody looks good with a bowling bag. Your future self will be so embarrassed (#cringin'ell!). Your mother was right, that metallic white eyeshadow looks awful (as does that eyeliner you apply round the back of the garages when you know she can't see you applying more makeup) And those synthetic hair extensions you thought looked amazing. They don't. What on earth made you think that having black and pink stripes in your lovely blonde hair looked nice in any way shape or form?

So there we have it, I could go on but these are things I'd love to tell myself should I have the chance.  I'd love to tell my teenage self about how things are now, about my journey so far but I've enjoyed being a little bit indecisive at times and letting things work themselves out.  

What would you tell your teenage self if you could go back now? Any of my memories remind you of your own school days? If you decide to do a similar post, do let me know - I love a good reminisce, me! @Beth_BirdsWords.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Rimmel | Match Perfection Foundation

 Rimmel | Match Perfection Foundation | £6.99 (link)

Ever since I found and fell in love with my beloved YSL Touche Eclat foundation (of which I am still madly in love with and probably always will be forever and ever and ever - there's a review I did a while back here, if you're interested) I stopped buying any other foundations and stuck to my trusty new partner in crime. However, when the bottle started to get a little lighter and I realised I was getting down it rather quickly, I decided it would probably be a good idea to opt for a cheaper option to use alongside it. My YSL is all very well and good, but I craved a bit more variety in my routine. So, like a woman on a mission, I took to the shelves of Boots to track down a new purse friendly favourite - my first port of call being Rimmel's Match Perfection foundation. I'd heard a few good things about it, and after swatching a few shades I realised I quite liked the texture of it and promptly put it in my basket.  I've been using this foundation now for a good couple of months or so now, and I really, really like it. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I actually love it. 

The Match perfection foundation is a little heavier than the foundations I usually go for. I'm all for my dewy, light coverage foundations and this one is very much more of a medium coverage - saying this, it does manage to cover more or less every single flaw on my face, and doesn't feel heavy or caked on.  It's also more of a satin finish, not quite matte, but not overly dewy at all; it's what I would call a perfect middle ground.  If you're looking for a general, all round foundation then this would be a fabulous option to go for - I also don't find it drying or oily - it is very much smack-bang in the middle of everything! It makes my skin look virtually flawless and applies really well with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I manage to get a good 5 or 6 hours wear out of this foundation before I need any 'top-ups' - it really does last a great deal longer than any other 'drugstore foundations' I have tried and I've found myself using it over my YSL! I've actually had people comment on my skin when wearing this - I don't know what it is, but something about it just works for me! I've shared a few swatches on the back of my hand above - the consistency isn't runny, but its certainly very blendable and not at all cakey (I'd been swatching products all morning and the back of my hand looked rather mottled to say the least - I can honestly say it's not due to a dodgy spray tan ;)) It feels so light on the skin and almost undetectable in natural light - because it isn't completely matte it gives that fabulous 'second skin' effect.

I really can't tell you how much praise I have for this little bottle.  I always used to think their Wake Me Up foundation was the bee's knees but after trying this one I can fully say I prefer it ten times more - it is miles above any other budget foundation I've tried and lasts one heck of a lot longer!  It just really seems to suit me and my skin. I have combination skin so I find it works very well, as it's moisturising enough for the dry areas but not so moisturising that it slides off my face.  In fact, when this bottle runs out I will be dashing out to grab another quicker than you can say 'product rave'.  The shade selection is fairly good - for reference, I use shade '200 - Soft Beige' which is the darker of the lighter shades, somewhat in between a light and a medium on the shade scale. It's quite yellow based too, which is a massive plus for me as it blends in with my skin tone very well and doesn't make me look orange throughout the day (yippee for umpa-lumpa avoidance!).  All in all, I'm really enjoying using it and it's fast become my go to foundation for daytime use - it even smells nice and fresh. I still love my YSL, but if I'm ever having a cruddy skin day then I tend to opt for this as it provides me with a bit more coverage.  For those of you who prefer a heavier, full coverage it might not tick all of your boxes - although to say it's a medium coverage it manages to smooth out flaws very well and the satin finish means it still gives that 'perfect skin' effect.  It's a smashing little all rounder and if you're after a new foundation to try, I really do recommend you give it a little test in store...It might just become your new budget favourite too.

Have you tried Rimmel's Match Perfection? Did you like it as much as me or did it not float your foundation-boat?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Bev Ridge & Friends | Lip Gloss Trio

Bev Ridge & Friends | Distracted By Shiny Things - Lip Gloss Trio* | £10.00 [link]

A while back, I received an email all about a new website for beauty fans and fellow bloggers called 'Baobella'. After having a mooch around on the site, I began to think of it like a Pinterest/weheartit purely for beauty lovers - with all sorts of social media-typed features packed in. You can upload swatches and makeup looks you've created for others to see and comment on, as well as creating a little online list of brands and products you love.  If you're a beauty fan and haven't yet heard of the site, it might be of interest to you and it's worth having a play around on! The lovely bunch at Baobella very kindly sent me a little treat when they first launched in the form of these little tubes of sparkly goodness, and I thought I'd share them with you all - if you're looking for a pretty gift for a friend or simply looking for a little treat to yourself, then 'Bev Ridge' and friends offer some lovely bits and pieces (some of which I actually picked up for stocking fillers at Christmas time).

The lip glosses come packaged in a lovely decorative box, complete with little floral lids which are coated in a sort of paper-y material, which adds such a unique twist. One thing I really do like is the quirky packaging!  The lip glosses themselves are really nice - if you've read my blog before you'll know I'm very fussy when it comes to lip glosses. They are ever so slightly on the sticky side but not so much that I can't wear them - they're not too thick in consistency which is a big plus point for me, as it makes them more comfortable to wear. My favourite shade has been the mid-pink shade which has teeny-tiny flecks of shimmer running throughout it (seen above in my swatches) - it's just perfect for everyday wear and looks really pretty worn on its own (in the photograph) or over a lipstick. I do like a little gloss to my lips - as you can probably see I have natural lines on my bottom lip and matte formulations ofter don't look too flattering on me due to this - so having a little gloss to slick over the top is rather handy! I really like the baby pink shade - if you know me you'll know I'm partial to a nude pink lipstick or two, and this pairs really well with a tonne of my pink lipsticks - I actually find this shade the least sticky of them all.  If you're after a little gift for a lip gloss fan then it's worth having a look into these - the designs are really quirky and fun, and the little Hawaiian-inspired patterned paper lids on these glosses are just so cute. Not to mention that your purse will surely thank you for it!  Oh - and to top it all off, they smell gorgeous - very sweet and girly. Just my cup of tea.

Have you tried anything from Bev Ridge & friends?
Have you got yourself a Baobella profile? If so, do pop a little link in the comments for me to have a nose!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

She Wears Make-up.. So She MUST be Insecure | A Beauty Blogger's Perspective

Okay. So, as a 'beauty blogger', I'm quite aware of the fact that I'm putting myself out there for people to form an instant opinion of me and as fellow bloggers, I'm sure you're all familiar with the whole 'should I tell friends/family?' situation you had to battle with in the early days of writing your blog. Aside from a few jokey comments now and again, my blog has been positively received by my friends, family and colleagues - even the lady who sits with me on the bus on a Thursday evening knows about my blog - for me, it's something I'm proud of and I'd quite happily shout my blog link from the top of the tallest building in my home town and tell everybody that they simply must go and read it (ahaha..okay maybe not THAT proud, but you get the jist..)  People who stumble across my little slice of the interwebs will probably think I'm one heck of a materialistic, beauty-obsessed young female, and that's perfectly fine to think that - but one thing that gets my goat, however, is how people seem to form this opinion of girls (bloggers or non-bloggers) who wear make-up on a daily basis.

We all wear cosmetics for a number of different reasons but show me a beauty blogger who doesn't enjoy the process of testing and trying, and applying and putting on their makeup? If we didn't enjoy doing all of this faffing around, then would we really sit and write about all of these lotions and potions adorning our bathroom shelves? I think not.  For someone who is interested in beauty, it's natural to want to get creative and experiment with cosmetic products and I for one love the process of applying my makeup in the morning - it isn't a chore for me whatsoever and it's something that perks me up for the day ahead.  I hate the expression people sometimes use of 'putting your face on' - it makes it sound like it's some sort of regime used to hide and camouflage what you 'really look like', but for the majority of girls its actually just about extenuating the features you already have - makeup and cosmetics aren't there to hide natural beauty in any way and I know when I put on my makeup, I like it to look as natural as I possibly can - or at least done in a way that it doesn't look 'overdone' or 'false'. I'm sure most of you would agree with this and think of makeup in a similar way yourselves, and from time to time the majority of you have probably also fallen victim to opinionated little sods who notice you have a few flicks of mascara on and label you instantly.

I wear make-up most days. If I'm being totally honest here I never leave it off unless I know I'm staying in the house all day or if I'm on holiday and it's too bloomin' hot to slap anything aside from a dollop of suncream on my face. In summer, I tend to leave the foundation off and ease-up on the eyeliner a little bit but that's about your lot with me! I've never had anyone say anything bad to me about it, but I have had people question me over whether or not I'd ever go out without a face of makeup. My answer is always the same. Yes. But I just wouldn't feel fabulous about it. But not for the reasons people always expect. I'd be telling porkies if I said I felt completely confident without an ounce of make-up on my face (i doubt there's very many girls who could honestly say that too.. if you're reading this and you're one of them - I salute you!), but I just like to make the best of myself - and putting on make-up is my way of prepping myself for the day ahead. After all, you never know what's going to happen. Who says you might not stumble across Mr.Right in Sainsburys carpark (this being said he should fall in love with you with or without a face of slap ;))? Or be offered some form of job opportunity on a whim when having general mosey around town (in this current climate I deem this is highly unlikely, but you have to expect the unexpected - right?) I guess I've always been brought up to believe that first impressions count, and whilst I don't want people to think I'm a dolled up little clown, I also don't want people to think that I can't be bothered with my appearance - in a professional sense, it's always good to look a little polished.  You aren't going to get a dream job by waltzing into an interview with last night's hangover face and a bed head that even Russel Brand would be terrified of, would you?

It just really niggles me that people suggest that girls who wear make up are insecure. Does it not occur to them that maybe they just enjoy to apply it? Or maybe they've been brought up in a household where that's the norm? I see applying make-up as my little morning routine. I get out of bed, shove on my monster feet slippers and shuffle to the bathroom mirror and actually enjoy the process of just 'getting ready'. I'm definitely not a 'shower and go' girl and I never, ever will be. When I was younger, I was always fascinated by make-up and was a typical girlie girl that would steal my mum's lippie and walk around in high heels far too big for my little feet before any of my friends knew what 'eyeshadow' was.  I used to tell everybody at school my dreams of becoming a make-up artist and I loved nothing more than applying cosmetics to my friends faces whilst they sat there bored out of their mind (i must have been a bossy little madam to be friends with back then..)  A few years later and I'm not a make-up artist, but I've always been a creative person (I now study Graphic Design/Illustration and all that jazz) and I enjoy playing around with pretty things and making things look a certain way. I remember taking my make-up off at work once to show one of my colleagues that I actually didn't give a hoot because she made such a big deal about it (although I did put a little bit back on again for reappearing on the shop floor after my lunch hour...)  I guess the point i'm trying to make is, wearing makeup isn't a bad thing and it baffles me as to why some people tar us all with the same brush. We don't all look like drag queens ready for a night on the tiles and heaven forbid we ever do!

I think the key is to establish what is comfortable for you and how you live your life. I certainly never judge a girl who doesn't share the same love for cosmetics and hair-goodies as me.  I sometimes envy those who can just step out of the house and not give a flying monkeys about it, but it's just how I've grown up - I've always been a bit of a girl's girl - I was never one for roughing and tumbling about in the mud with my friend's little brothers when I was younger.  With the pressure put on girls these days to look a certain way, it's hardly surprising that all of us have insecurities and that dolling ourselves up of a morning becomes part of the daily routine, but wearing make-up is often seen as a bad thing by some people - and I just don't think it's fair whatsoever to judge a girl on whether or not she fancies wearing a bit of red lipstick to the office or not. There's no doubt that make-up certainly gives us confidence (if I ever have a meeting, an important day at work, or a presentation at uni, guaranteed I'll always spend an extra five minutes on my makeup that morning because it gives me that extra bit of #GoOnThen), but to assume that a female must be riddled with insecurity simply because she decides to wear a bit of lipstick or adorn a cat-flick with her eyeliner is just a little bit silly and dare I say it, a little ignorant. In the same way that just because I write about beauty and all things cosmetic-related that I simply MUST be ridiculously materialistic..which is probably true in some ways come to think of it..but there's more to my life and things I care about one hell of a lot more than the latest eyeshadow palette.

What are your thoughts on this as fellow beauty lovers?
Have you experienced a similar sort of thing in the past?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Lord & Berry | Luminizer Stick

Lord & Berry | Luminzer Stick | £12.00

For a while now, I've been on the hunt for a creamy highlighter that I can carry with me when I'm on the go.  I've had a select few of the Nars Multiples on my wish list for quite some time, and have debated with myself whether or not to invest in Benefit's 'Watts Up' - but really, when it comes down to it, I just don't fancy the price tag.  I wanted to hunt for a cheaper option, and immediately took to ASOS to browse their beauty section (a standard Sunday night past-time I shall never tire of). When I first began writing my blog, I mentioned and reviewed one of Lord & Berry's lipstick crayons (a must-have item for those of you who love a lippie or two..) - it still remains one of my firm summer favourites and when I saw their 'Luminzer Stick' - I threw it straight in the virtual basket.

The Luminizer Stick simply twists up from the bullet, and can be applied to the cheekbones, brow bone or any other area you wish to highlight. As you're all probably aware, I'm a bit of a contouring addict so having something like this in my makeup collection is very handy for on the go touch-ups.  I usually favour a powder highlight, but just recently I've been applying this over my foundation to give more of a natural, dewy finish and it works wonders. You don't need much at all, and because of the creamy texture it's very blendable and smooths onto the skin easily.  Wear time is a little less than my trusty Nars 'Albatross' - it does seem to fade a little easier but since I can carry this in my make-up bag in a handy little tube, I can overlook this. The consistency is quite thin, and is a little slippery, but I find it very easy to work with as it means blending and smoothing it in is a doddle.

The shade I have leans more towards a yellow, silvery tone and works very well with my skintone as it isn't overly warm. I couldn't see any other shades available on the ASOS website, and I can't seem to hunt down an alternative option on their website - there seems to be little or no variation in the shade selection - but personally this wouldn't fuss me too much as I prefer shades like this compared with warmer, pink shades anyway. The colour really brightens the complexion and I can't wait to bring this little beauty out in the summer once I start moving towards cream products on a more day-to-day basis. On tanned skin I can imagine this will look stunning.

I can safely say Lord & Berry have the potential to become a firm favourite of mine - their prices are spot on, the quality of the two products I've tried so far has been absolutely tip-top and I love the simplicity of the packaging (everything comes in a little box - yippee!) They most certainly need to be more well-known here on the bloggersphere and I urge you all to have a little nosey at the collection. I'm so glad I popped this little gem into my recent order with ASOS, and I can't wait to try some of their eyeliners next - I might even accidentally-on purpose slip another little lipstick crayon in there as well..

You can find the Lord & Berry website here
Or take advantage of student discount on ASOS here

 Have you tried any Lord & Berry products? What would you recommend from the range? Please do let me know if you decide to try anything from them! I'd love to know your thoughts.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

March Favourites

Where has this month gone? In fact, where is this year going?! Nothing highlights how fast the years begin to go by when you're getting old like a good ol' monthly favourites post. Last week saw the clocks go forward ready for Spring. I must admit, getting an extra hour of daylight each day is a blogger's dream - no longer have I got to get up at the crack of dawn to photograph products like a mad woman! I missed the boat for my monthly favourites last month, so I relished picking out some of my favourites from the past few weeks for March's offering (explains why I have 10 - a little more than usual..apologies!). Here's my mini-reviews and thoughts for you to dip into this month..

Ecotools Bamboo Kabuki Brush | £9.99 | 
I've been wanting a brush for a while that I can apply bronzer to my face with, but one that offers a sheer, even coverage. This one is perfect. I'd never tried Ecotools before but I really like them (I've also picked up an eye brush recently) - the bristles are so soft and smooth and the chunky handle is really good for grip. Also fairly lightweight and small in size, this brush has been my perfect bronzing companion.

Mac 'Plink' Lipstick (lustre) | £14.50
Another Mac lipstick. I swear I adopt a new favourite Mac lipstick every month! A while back I did a collection post on my Mac lippies - but I'm going to have to redo it in Summer as the selection I have seems to have bred slightly... This colour is beautiful for everyday. It's a lovely seashell pink with a little bit of shimmer to it.  It shows up on the lips even though it's a lustre finish, and is a perfect 'your lips but better' colour that brightens the complexion and looks lovely with a natural blush and neutral eyes. I love it.

YSL Rouge Volupte 'Nude Beige (#1)' | £24.50
I bought this a while back whilst on holiday but it's a lipstick I always go back to. I really love the formulation - although it's very soft and can be quite slippery to apply, the colour pay-off is second to none and the colour is really natural and pretty. It's a lovely nude shade with hints of warm, light pink. Very flattering on my paler skin throughout these colder months.

HD Brows Palette in 'Bombshell' | Bought in a blog sale 
I've wanted a HD Brows palette for ages. When I saw this one in a blog sale recently I snapped it up! I had my eyes on the dark version but threw caution to the wind and went for it anyway. I'm so glad I did, as the colours are spot on for me. The powders are wonderful - really silky and smooth and apply really evenly, and the little brush and mirror that come with the palette is really handy. They also last amazingly well and the dark shade, 'Carbon' works very well as an eyeshadow. I might do a more in-depth post for this palette soon which I why I've skipped on the swatches.
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Polish in 'Blueberry' | £3.99 
I did a post on these beauties a while back including swatches (you can find that here). I love them even more than the regular Barry M polishes and dashed out to grab more or less the whole spectrum of colours. They apply really nicely (2 coats and you're done) and dry very glossy.  Blue is my favourite colour to wear on my nails so I've been getting a lot of use out of this one (Greenberry is also a current fave!)

Hugo Boss 'Orange' Perfume | £32 (30ml)
One of my lovely colleagues at work bought me this a couple of years ago for Christmas. It's not a fragrance I'd have chosen for myself but when I got a whiff of it I fell in love. I've since bought 2 more bottles and am currently spritzing my way down this one! I'm not one for describing scents, but it smells really fruity - but not in the way you'd expect - very luxurious and a little spicy. I currently have my eye on the summer version,  'Orange Sunset' - definitely one to whack on the summer wish-list!

St Tropez Everyday Moisturiser for Face in 'Medium Dark' 
I'm very loyal to my St Tropez. I love their tanning mousse and very rarely cheat on it with other fake tans. This one I've recently started using again. It's a summer staple for me and I apply it when I want a bit of colour in my face! It's quite thick, so some of you may be put off by this, and it also smells a little more 'tan-like' than the mousse. But it does the job and I never look orange from using this - my skin always looks really smooth and even.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream (mini)
I got this as a sample ages ago. I've been using this the past few weeks and typically, I've fallen in love with it. I reckon the full-size is about £20 - so it isn't in the bargain bin of all the eye creams available on the market, but it's one that really does what it says on the tin. It's really smooth and has a gel-like consistency that applies like a dream and doesn't leave a sticky residue like a lot of eye creams I've tried. It feels really refreshing and de-puffs your eyeballs in an instant. Result.

Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in Shade 2 - 'Peach' | £6.49
I was so intrigued by the formula of these blushes and when I found out they had a peach shade, I was sold.  It's not exactly mousse-like (definitely not the same as the Dream Matte Mousse formula - if you're wondering!), but it's very smooth and creamy, and really light and silky to the touch. Unlike any other cream blushes I own consistency wise, this one has become a current favourite and It's so easy to apply either with your fingers or with a stippling blush. It looks natural, and feels so light on the skin. It also blends incredibly well. A winner in my books! I wish they'd bring out a couple more shades!

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 'Soft Beige' | £6.99
I won't say too much about this, as I'm planning a full review soon. But my goodness, is this a good drugstore foundation.  As much as I love my YSL Touche Eclat (review here), I wanted an alternative for days when I wasn't going to be out long or just needed a quick fix. I've been wearing this for a good month now and have to say I really, really like it.  It's knocked 'Wake Me Up' out of the water for me and I much prefer the consistency of this one. It's less dewy, and gives a semi-matte/satin finish on the skin.  It can show up dry patches but I haven't really had many problems with this, and I currently have dry skin! A really good all-rounder that is worth a try if you're in the market for a good, medium coverage and lasting foundation that doesn't look overly dewy or overly matte.

What have you been loving this month? Anything here that tickles your fancy?