I haven’t been wearing much in the way of full eye make-up lately, so I haven’t really needed to use a specific eye make-up remover product. Yesterday however, I blogged about my favourite smokey eyes make-up look, so I needed to use a good eye make-up remover.
I forgot how good this was! I have tried so many eye make-up removers over the years and I find a lot of them either sting my eyes, they are too oily or they don’t remove the makeup fully.
I like the fact that it is a water-based solution, as I often find that with the creamy formulations all that happens is that they slide around my face and you need more cotton wool balls just to get the solution off your face. I also like the fact that it doesn’t feel excessively oily, rather my skin just feels nicely moisturised.
Garnier Simply Essentials soothing eye make-up remover, is really gentle and removes all traces of mascara. I hate that when you think you have removed all of your make-up, only to find horrible black marks all over your white towels!
I have quite sensitive skin, so I love the fact there is no perfume or alcohol in the product so it doesn’t sting.
Finally, it’s a nice small 150ml bottle so it lasts a while, but is perfect for popping in your travel bag.
Don’t you just love it when you re-discover a beauty favourite!
I am a huge fan of smokey eyes, in fact even my daytime make-up routine is a more subtle smokey eye. Whereas, for nights out I will apply a darker grey shadow, liquid eye liner and usually some fake lashes for that extra wow factor.
My smokey eye essentials:
A white eye shadow
Silver/grey and black eye shadow
With false lashes and liquid liner for an evening look.
Evening smokey eyes
I’m not a make up artist, so smokey eyes are perfect as they are blended by adding more and more colour as you feel appropriate, which is great for novices like myself.
These are the steps I follow to create the look:
After applying a primer over the eye lids, I will then apply a white base to the entire eye socket.
The one I used here is Rimmel Glam Eyes in 100 Glam Ice.
Next, I apply the middle colour from the trio below all over the socket, followed by the bottom darker colour close to the lash line and under the eye. I then use the top silver to highlight the corner of the eye.
The trio I am using at the moment is Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow No.01 Gris Dandy.
I then follow this with a coat of mascara.
I am using my favourite ever mascara, Maybelline the Falsies. I have tried so many other mascaras, but this is my millionth repurchase of this (maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get me, in that this has been my ‘go to‘ trusted mascara for years and I always end up going back to it).
I have put together a quick video of how I apply my smokey eyes for you. I have chosen a more subtle daytime look here (so without liquid liner and false eyelashes):
This is a little round up of the products that I have used up over the past few months. I haven’t used enough products in April for this to be solely a ‘monthly favourites‘ blog. This is instead, just some products which I have used up and may or may not have repurchased.
Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream
I purchased this because I loved the fact this hand cream contains SPF 15, as I think it is really important to protect skin from harmful rays, especially during the seasons we would not think to apply sun protection.
I purchased the 30ml as it is perfect hand bag sized. I always like to have a little hand cream in my bag, as I hate having horrible dry feeling hands. My usual little hand cream is the Soap & Glory Hand Food, but I thought I would give this Body Shop one a go for a change.
The consistency of the hand cream is lovely and thick, but without too much greasiness. Don’t you hate that when you put hand cream on and your hands feel all greasy!
Unfortunately, as much as I love the consistency and it really does moisturise your hands, I can’t stand the smell! It reminds me of Germolene, the anti-septic cream that my Nana used to apply when I fell over as a child. For that reason, I will stick to my favourite Soap & Glory.
Dove Invisible Dry deodorant stick
I always used to use a spray deodorant, but there is a lot of uncertainty around how good sprays are for you, which made me want to try other options. This was the first stick deodorant that I have tried and that was back in November last year and I have to say, I am hooked on this.
It is definitely the best deodorant I have used in terms of keeping me feeling dry and fresh all day. It got me through an interview in London and I still felt fresh afterwards.
This has been a definite repurchase and I can’t imagine going back to spray deodorant, other than for a quick freshen up after the gym or something.
Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance
If you have read any of my blog posts relating to hair, then you will know that I am constantly on the look out for the miracle hair repair product! I like using leave in conditioning products as my long hair can get very tangled, so I find it much easier to brush through the tangles once I have sprayed my hair.
I thought this was a nice product, with a lovely smell, but I wasn’t wowed by it. It is for that reason, I haven’t repurchased it. Instead I am trying the Pantene Instant Damage Defence Conditioning spray, which I much prefer to the Aussie spray, in terms of hair softness and the fact it can be used on dry as well as wet hair, unlike Aussie which is for towel dried hair only.
Hair Xpertise Argan Oil
Again, in my hair repair quest, I have another hair product! I love products containing Argan Oil, as it really does help dry/damaged hair. I picked this up at Boots and for £12.99 for 100ml, it is reasonably priced for Argan Oil.
The consistency and smell of the product is lovely, and my hair is soft and shiny.
This is definitely a re-purchase and I already have the next bottle lined up ready!
What better way than to spend a bonus Monday Bank Holiday than going over to a friend’s house and being cooked for!
I am a veggie, so we opted for this gorgeous looking spinach and pasta rotolo from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less‘. It definitely got a thumbs up from me!
Firstly, she prepared the butternut squash by cooking it in the oven.
This was cooked for around an hour and a half.
Then the fun part is preparing the fresh pasta sheets. The butternut squash is mashed, spinach and feta cheese is spread onto the sheets, rolled and then sliced. They are then placed in the dish, which was covered in a layer of passata. Then popped in the oven for around 35 minutes.
To serve we added a little extra cheese on top. Totally yummy!
Research has shown that if you plan what you are going to eat for your lunch in advance, rather
than eating on impulse, it can stop you consuming more calories. The reason for this is that you aren’t craving a quick sugar fix or wanting something just because it smells or looks good, so are less likely to choose high sugar or high fat foods.
The thing which usually puts people off making their own
lunch however, is that it can be time consuming and after a long day at work, then coming home and making dinner, the last thing you then want to think about it making lunch for tomorrow. I have put together a few simple ideas for simple lunches which takes minimal effort.
All it takes it a bit of savvy food shopping and some Sunday night preparation and it can be really simple to create delicious lunches. One of my favorite time saving ideas is to make one big salad bowl on a Sunday night. Once it is all chopped up and covered up, this will last a few days and it can easily be used in a variety if different lunches.
In my salad:
Half a cucumber
Half a lettuce
3 celery sticks
4 spring onions,
An orange pepper.
Last nights left overs make great lunches:
No time to make anything different for lunch tomorrow, then all you have to do make a bit extra tonight and then use the left overs to make a tasty lunch for the next – voila!
Diced chicken (or Quorn)
1 red and 1 green pepper
A tin of chopped tomatoes
1 fresh green chilli
1 garlic clove
Or, how about just the tomato sauce and a bit of pasta – simple!
Alternatively, the chicken can be cooked on it’s own and added to the salad – just add a little mayo!
When I was younger, I had very acne prone skin. I can’t remember exactly when my skin finally cleared up, but I remember thinking it would never clear and how upset that made me feel. Thankfully, now all I ever get is the odd few spots if my skin isn’t feeling too good.
I hope in writing this, I can help anyone who is feeling like I did.
Firstly, seek medical help
I would say one of the biggest mistakes I made was not going to the doctor when my skin started to get bad, as I suffered for a long time before going and asking for help. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, which after a while really cleared up the spots.
After medical treatment, my skin was fairly clear, but then I would have periods of bad breakouts. I would go back to the doctors and get antibiotics again, but I didn’t have anything to prevent the breakouts.
I came across Quinoderm and I can’t describe how much this helped me! Quinoderm is available as an over the counter only medicine. It comes in either 5% or 10% benzoyl peroxide and it is amazing for clearing up and then keeping the spots at bay.
However, be warned that it does bleach fabrics, so beware of wearing coloured tops and duvet covers! Still years later I still buy white duvet covers out of habit!
A good skincare routine
Once my spots stabilised, I found regularly exfoliating helped. I liked Clean & Clear because it doesn’t dry your skin, as dryness encourages the skin to produce more oil.
Don’t be afraid to use moisturiser
I dreaded moisturiser, as I thought it equalled spots. Then later, I started to worry as I aged, I would have skin damage if I didn’t start to introduce moisturising into my skin caring regime.
A lovely lady at Boots got me to try the No 7 Beautiful Skin range, as it is targeted towards normal/oily skin. I remember being so frightened I would end up with loads of spots after using it – it never did thankfully!
I find that regularly applying face powder during the day, personally for me, it prevents too much oil and therefore spots.
My favorite is the now discontinued Boots No 7 (sorry Boots, I don’t like the replacement!), this is available from some great sellers on Ebay.
A gorgeous, healthy and filling breakfast that will keep you full of energy until lunch – yum!
The simple ingredients you will need:
Half a tin of baked beans
Wholemeal bread (toasted)
First of all, just get those eggs scrambled:
Crack the 2 eggs, add butter, milk and pepper into a non-stick pan. Don’t stop stiring until they get that lovely scrambling going on, then continue to slowly turn the eggs until they are cooked through, which should take about 1 to 2 minutes.
Scrambled eggs are full of protein, which is great for
keeping you feeling full.
Beans are high in fibre, which is also great for filling you up. They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, so they keep releasing energy slowly over a long period. Unfortunately however, baked beans are high in sugar and salt, so it isn’t great to eat them too often.
Avocados are highly nutritious, containing vitamin E, iron, potassium and niacin, they also contains fats, but mainly the good, mono-saturated type, so a great food to eat.
I studied Spanish to A Level standard (many moons ago!) and
every year I plan to brush up my skills, as it is such a shame to lose
the ability to speak a language. I have decided now is the time to ‘refresh’ myself and I thought I would run through my experience with you.
Firstly, I have tried several ‘teach yourself’ language packs, which I have detailed below:
Linguaphone – Beginner to intermediate course
The course follows Linda who works for a company called SnakTrak as she learns the language. I have to say, I personally found the story a little boring and really struggled to get myself to listen to the course to get the full benefit. However, it is very well written and goes through all of the basics.
Michael Gruneburg: Instant Recall Spanish Vocabulary
The system says you will learn and remember
Spanish faster than you ever imagined possible. I do agree with that statement, in so far as learning basic vocabulary goes. The word association is great for helping you remember, for example, table is mesa and you remember this by imagining a ‘messy table’. The only downside however, is there is only around 200 words.
Uses the theory that music helps you remember the
language. The theory is fully explained on the Earworms website.
There are three audio book volumes to the language programme. I downloaded the first volume this morning from the iTunes store (£7.95) directly onto my phone. I am listening to it now whilst I am writing this blog post and I love it! Alternatively, languages can be purchased from the Earworms website.
Don’t forget to learn the verbs and grammar…
Learning a language by listening to CDs/downloads, is
usually only great for vocabulary and phrases. I am also trying to brush up on
the dreaded, but essential verbs and grammar, as this is usually the most difficult part to learn. Here are a few books that I have found helpful.
Firstly, a verb table and grammar book:
A good basic dictionary:
One good all-in-one basic book I have found is Spanish for Dummies, as it covers verbs, grammar and all of the basics of the language.
Other ways to learn a language at home:
I have found that the BBC have a great range of FREE information and language courses online. You can actually sign up to the 12 week Mi Vida Loca and print off your certificate at the end!
If you aren’t ready, or don’t have the money to sign up for a course yet, then many language schools offer reading groups and social activities to get you engaged with fellow enthusiasts for a smaller fee. For example, Instituto Cervantes have centres in Manchester, Leeds and
London. I have signed up to receive information from Manchester and they regularly email about reading groups, events and course start dates, etc:
Have any of you got any great tips for learning languages? I would love to hear your experiences.
I wrote a blog post a few days ago about the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine lips and that got me inspired to get the old nails painted to feel a little more summery!
One of my favourite summer nail varnishes has got to be the Barry M Gelly Nails in Green Berry. The colour for me is synonymous with summer, maybe because I discovered it last year just before my holiday to Italy with the girls!
I then apply two coats of the varnish. I find that it looks too streaky after just one coat, so I let that dry and then apply another coat – and voila! I love the fact that it dries really fast too, which is great if you are like me and never wait long enough for it to dry before you do something that makes it smudge!
Green berry is an absolutely gorgeous turquoise/aqua green colour with a high shine:
I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to wear with my favorite ZARA summer dress!
I can’t describe how excited I was to get hold of these new lip shines. I
am a huge fan of the Barry M Gelly Shine Nail Paints, as they look great and are
The product is described as:
Soft, moisturising lip crayons in 5 hot shades; with their
ultra-rich, highly pigmented formula, Gelly Hi Shine Lips create an intense
depth of colour with an unbelievable sheen.
As I am starting to feel all summery, I decided to try the pinker shades of:
Number 3 – Electra
Number 4 – Sirius
Overall first impressions:
Both of the colours are highly pigmented, as you can see from my swatch. However, Electra (at the top), is perhaps slightly more pigmented.
The first thing I have to say I noticed is that they smell amazing! They smell like candy, but unfortunately they are tasteless. However, I guess that’s a good thing, as you want the product to stay on your lips (and not be licking it off because it tastes so good!).
I was also very impressed that they are not sticky, unlike a lot of other lip shines I have tried. I find that stickiness tends to put me off and I then only tend to wear the lip product on nights out. These however, I felt I would wear anytime of day.
They are long lasting – I even found that even after the initial layer of colour had worn off, I was still left with the pink tint on my lips. I did however find at this point my lips felt a little drier, so I applied a little lip balm, then later re-applied the lip shines.
These are definitely going to become one of my favourite go-to lip products this summer!
The lip shines are available at: Boots retailing at £4.99.