Thursday, 23 January 2014

Recently Bought: Beauty Haul

You got me! I might have done a little online beauty shopping the other day. Enough to justify a haul, so here's what I recently bought, why and a little bit of what I think of them so far!

I got the Caudalie Beauty Elixir from Cult Beauty. Not going to lie, I got this to push me over the free shipping mark (ridiculous really, but i'd rather get something than pay shipping ha) and this was an affordable highly recommended product. I am really glad I picked it up! Firstly, because it really does refresh and brighten your skin and secondly because Fleur from Fleur De Force likes it too. It's a herbal scent made with no parabens and 100% natural fragrance, lots of skin goodness.

What I actually went to Cult Beauty for was the Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts, a Vivianna Does Makeup induced purchase after seeing her mention it in her videos. I used this the other night and it was absolute bliss. They are suppose to help if you suffer from insomnia, which I don't...but everyone has a bad night's sleep here and there! I have actually seen some wayyyy cheaper Himalayan salts in our local health food shop, so I might get those to do a comparison/dupe style post, as these do set you back £35. 

This is my cat, Perri. I didn't buy her recently, but she decided to keep getting her fur everywhere and nudge my products all over the place, so I'm guessing she wants a shout-out. What a diva.

Then I went a tad crazy online at The Body Shop. All of the above (plus, a pink grapefruit body wash that I forgot about) only cost me £22.40 with shipping though, which is pretty epic. Here's what I got:

Banana Conditioner. I have been using the Banana conditioner for just over a week and it's so good! On the website it has crazy good reviews and is one of their bestsellers. It works well as and every day conditioner or a mask overnight, as it's not too heavy and really nourishing. Obviously, if you don't like the smell of bananas, don't get this!

Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter. This stuff is so good! It's one of the only lip balms that really does anything when my lips really need saving. It's pretty thick, but once blended your lips feel and look lovely. I'm not a fan of super shiny balms, so if you aren't too - try this.

Satsuma Body Polish. Again, this had really good reviews. I love my Soap & Glory scrubs, but I do find them a pain as they come in tubs rather than tubes. Looking forward to giving this a whirl!

Rain forest Balance Shampoo. This clarifying shampoo has no sulphates, silicones, colourants or parabens. I thought I would give this a go as a kind of mid-week shampoo to help get rid of any product build up. It smells very fresh and the 60ml bottle is just £2 in the sale at the mo.

White Musk Sun Glow Eau De Toilette. I like to have a few cheap perfumes in my collection that I can spritz away without picturing £5 notes every time. Zara do some great cheap perfumes, but the nearest one is 40mins away, so I thought I'd see what The Body Shop had. I'd never smelt this before, but the description seemed alright and I liked the bottle. In short, it's a musky, zesty, floral smell and I am pleased with the mystery fragrance. It doesn't last all day, but who cares when it was £7.50 for 60ml!

What have you been buying recently?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Things to do this month.

Trying to think of fun things to at the beginning of the year can be a little tricky after all the Christmas parties. I've been scouring the net for activities that we can all look forward to right here in the UK (sorry international peeps! Come visit us?). 

Go to the cinema! Not just any cinema though, visit the oldest working cinema in the UK. The Electric Cinema in Birmingham has mainstream and independent films, plus sofas and a waiter service. What better way to drool over Leo DiCaprio in his new film?

The V&A Museum always have intriguing exhibitions and if you've ever thought 'I wonder what my mum looked like in the 80's' you can get the answer at their Club to Catwalk Exhibition. You can also get a deal at the moment where you get a two course meal and drink at the Hard Rock Cafe here. Yum...

Experience nature. Sounds a bit meh, but there are lots of stunning places that are totally worth a visit and make the perfect setting for outfit of the day! Why not check out the Snowdrops at Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire.

Tour the hidden streets of Edinburgh and visit The Real Mary King's Close tucked underneath the royal mile. I've visited this street and it's completely fascinating to experience. The exhibition has live actors that take you on a tour of the old close and help you re-live the history. It's also super spooky, so you will want to stay with the group!

Go to the pub! Probably one of the most English things to suggest, but there are some great pubs that you can lounge around in with your friends for hours upon hours. I especially like the look of The Churchill Arms in Kensington - bloomin' lovely. 

I'm hoping to visit all of these places and pop some snaps up on my blog. Is there anywhere cool you're going this January that I should add to my list? 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

What to buy right now!

What to buy right now!

Nike trainers
A plane ticket

Fuji Camera
Butter London Polish

I wanted to start a monthly series that was easy for me to stick to with my work and everything else that goes on in daily life. With that in mind I bring you the 'What to buy right now!' posts that will be themed each month toward trends and also mood (you'll see what I mean), hope you like them! 

Nike Trainers. Too many mince pies, turkey baps, wine, mulled wine, chocolates and well, yeah I could go on. If you're like me and have put on half a stone or more just over Christmas (I ate all day, everyday and invented new meal times) these beautiful trainers are sure to get you off your arse and running right? 

A Plane Ticket. January is sad. All the glitter from Christmas has gone and all you are left with is pine needles and the previously mentioned post-crimbo flab. Book a holiday, a weekend away or just a day out, but book it right now. We all need something to look forward to and this is just the ticket - geddit? 

Fuji Camera. Make 2014 a year to remember and then literally remember it with some snaps from your flashy new camera. This babe of a camera creates instant photos, looks dreamy and its only £50 - boo yeah. 

Butter London Polish. You want to update your look, but the new chopping off your hair (see my post) trend is just too much. Get a new shade of polish that you don't already have! It's cheap, chic and nowhere near as drastic. 

ZARA Coat. I just bought loads from the Zara sale - oops! (let me know if you want a haul post?). If I didn't already have three new coats, I would totally get this awesome statement coat that just totally rocks. 

Picture this: your in Paris (plane ticket), eating a macaroon (your nails painted obvs), whilst your hot new french boyfriend (totally can happen) takes a photo of you (with your new camera) wearing your awesome new Zara coat. 'Sacre bleu! She looks fabulous' the French onlookers will say (cuz you worked out in your new trainers of course). 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Empties: Skincare Reviews

I really need to get some lamps for lighting, my photos are so rubbish at the mo. It's like I am taking them inside a cave #bloggerprobz Anyway, I have managed to accumulate a pretty hefty amount of empties, so I thought it was time to run through them all. First up, I will be tackling all the skincare products I have used up...

La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution. I really enjoyed using this Micellar water. It removed my makeup well and left my skin feeling very refreshed and cleansed. It's £12 for a 200ml bottle, which I don't think is bad at all for the quality of the product. Big thumbs up! 

La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner. Exactly the same size and price as the Micellar Solution and equally, if not better in terms of quality. I like using a toner in my skincare routine as I feel it adds an extra stage of the cleansing process and 'perks' my skin up. This toner isn't drying at all (I have oily skin and even I notice that some are super drying!) and I will be re-purchasing fo'sho. 

L'OrĂ©al Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution. This is what the La Roche Posay Micellar Solution has been replaced with and I think this is my 4th or 5th bottle already. As much as I love the La Roche Posay one and feel it is better quality, this really does the job well. Also, I just get through so much of the stuff and it's way more purse friendly at £4.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. I liked how literally baby soft my skin was after using this product. It's an incredibly gentle exfoliator that is basically a powder that turns into a face wash with water. It would be perfect if you have sensitive skin, especially because there are no artificial fragrances or colours shoved in there. However, it was a bit of a faff for me and it's super pricey, so I won't be repurchasing. 

The Body Shop Seaweed Night Treatment. I heart The Body Shop. I've got a lot of time for ethically legit brands and the best thing is their stuff is actually really decent too. I got a set of the Seaweed skincare range and I absolutely loved it. I had a few things re-purchased for me from this range and one of the highlights is this night treatment. The whole range is for combination/oily skin and I found it to have visible results as well as being super fresh. They also have a huge sale on right now

The Body Shop Seaweed Day Cream.  As I have already mentioned, love this range. This cream is perfect if you have oily skin as it's not too heavy so your primer sits nicely on top!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Night Cream.  Another bestseller from The Body Shop  and rightly so. I really love the scent of the Vitamin E range and it's aimed at all skin types. Take my money, body shop, take it all.

Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Instant Aniti-Wrinkle Moisturizer. Ahh, I really enjoyed using this cream. It's very luxurious, but still affordable (£18ish). It's a deep moisturizer, so the sort of thing I would use before bedtime. It's packed with Hyaluronic Acid and botanical-based ingredients like organic agave sap extract and witch hazel water. All of which are da bomb for helping you stay spot free! It smells lovely unlike some organic products and I would deffo repurchase this. 

Sanctuary Spa 30 Day Thermal Transformation Mask.  I got the sachets of this in a Glossybox and I am so in love. I used these this week and my skin felt ridiculously good during and after the treatment. I managed to get two facials out of the sachet, which shows how little of the product you need. The first step is Peptide Serum and the second is the Thermal Rose Clay Mask. The initial heat you get when you apply the second step is insane! It doesn't stay too hot the whole time, so it's not uncomfortable and afterwards my skin felt glorious. The full sized set is only £27.50 which would definitely get you loads of use. I'm so tempted, but I just bought a load of stuff from The Body Shop halfway through this post...oops!*

Are there any skin care saviours you have been loving lately? 

*Ps, none of these products are PR samples and I'm not being held at gunpoint by a Body Shop representative, I promise! 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Pesto, Pea & Mint Soup

I'm trying to be healthy after putting on the pounds after Christmas and thinking of lunch ideas is the worst one for me. I love breakfast and dinner, but lunch at work makes me feel a bit meh. It's so easy to stick to the sandwiches or a thrown together salad, but both are pretty boring and don't stop me reaching for the office stash of biscuits. I need something tasty, quick and easy to throw together. Hello, Pesto, Pea & Mint Soup!

I followed this YouTube video by OnePotChefShow with a few added little ingredients! Here's what you need:

3 Cups (750ml) of Water
1 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Cups (350g) of Frozen Peas
2 Spring Onions / Shallots (trimmed and chopped roughly)
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
3-4 Tablespoons of Basil Pesto Sauce

Additional: 1 x vegetable stock cube, sprinkle of pepper & a small handful of fresh mint leaves (follow the video, just add the stock cube and pepper to your boiling water and the mint when you blend).

Preparation Time: About 5 minutes 
Cooking Time: About 5 minutes

It took no time at all to make and tasted delicious. I didn't sieve any of the little bits out, so it has a lovely rustic texture. Obviously, if you like it smooth, you can just sieve it all out! I doubled the recipe so I could pop some in the fridge for work this week and already lunchtime is looking more promising.

Do you have any healthy lunch recipes that I should be trying? I need all the inspo I can get! 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Everyone is getting the chop!

Images from Google, bottom three from Lily Melrose, I Covet Thee & Vivianna Does Makeup

The new year means a new look for many people and it seems like one of the biggest trends to kick-start 2014 is the mid-length chop. After seeing some of my favorite blogger/youtubers embrace the trend, I have to say I am a little tempted...

I've been 'growing' my hair forever now and all I ever seem to be left with is a disappointing straw-like barnett. I think it might be time I gave the ends of my hair a little life before I continue the quest for Rapunzel locks. A bit of a chop might be in order - watch this space!

Are you tempted to go for the chop? Or are you a long-converted mid-hair lover already?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Dressing Room: Olivia Burton

Image from The Dressing Room

With some of my Christmas money this year I decided to purchase a beautiful Olivia Burton watch. I'd been drooling over these watches for a while, with one featuring in practically all my blog wishlists. Finally, one was mine!

First of all I really wanted a Daniel Wellington watch, but just not as in came Olivia Burton. All of the watches are so gorgeous and really affordable already, but you have to check out The Dressing Room if you want one. First up, you get 10% off when you sign up to their newsletter and then they send your watch in a gorgeous gift bag in the quickest time I have ever experienced in the online shopping world.

Is it wrong that I want pretty much every single watch? 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Get ready with me: NYE

It's a little weird that we all enjoy watching get ready with me videos in the world of blogging isn't it? Sometimes I wonder if there should be a YouTubers anonymous 'My names Emmy and I'm addicted to get ready videos, skincare routines and seeing what people got for Christmas'. As I am not a YouTuber, I thought I would share some pictures from my pre-new year's eve and tell you what products etc I used...

Obviously it all began with me in my pj's, but not just any pj's obviously. Christmas pyjamas!

After managing to peel myself from my bed, I hopped in the shower. My grandparents visited from Spain over the Christmas period and left their Boots Ingredients Camomile & Lemon Balm Shampoo behind (thanks g-rents! They read my blog..), which is such a brilliant cleansing shampoo if you have been using lots of rich products on your locks. I find it works super well with a rich conditioner like the L'Oreal EverRiche one as they really balance each other out. 

I then used my trusty Soap and Glory Flake Away scrub and woke myself up with the Citrus Burst shower gel from Imperial Leather.

I then gave my skin some care and attention! I started by using my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which is something I got for Christmas. I absolutely love it and keep wondering why I was so late on the bandwagon with this one. My skin is so clean and soft after using it and I would fully recommend.

Next up, I used my favorite clay mask by Una Brennan, spritzed with my Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic and moisturized with this Vitamin E cream from Superdrug. I really like the cream as it's just the right consistency to really hydrate, but not sit on your skin and you only need a small amount. 

I also mustered up the courage to light my Diptyque Roses candle (they cost so much money!) before I continued the beauty regime. I used the Sanctuary Creme Souffle Body Cream all over, accept for my legs where I used this Superdrug Dry Skin Relief Cream. I suffer really badly from irritated skin on my legs after shaving and in the Winter I always get heat rashes from being out in the cold and then heading into a warm house. If anyone else gets this, please suggest solutions below as I would love to hear them! 

For my makeup I used the following products...

Urban Decay B6 Complexion Vitamin Infused Complexion Prep Spray - mentioned this so much. It's still going guys! Full review here.
Revlon Photoready Foundation in Shell - A random purchase that I am super happy with. I love the packaging of this product, it feels pretty high-end and the pump doesn't shoot out loads of foundation. It's quite a illuminating foundation, which for someone with oily skin is scary. However, the finish is gorgeous and it really stays put all day. So impressed!
Revlon Colorstay Concealer in light - I wanted to replace my Rimmel Wake me up concealer because although it was good for under the eyes, I wasn't completely happy with the result. This is a little thicker and so far I am preferring it. I've also been able to use it on blemishes, so no need for two separate products despite it being a light colour. I'll do a full Revlon makeup review soon I think!

Dior Powder Eyebrow Pencil - My go-to eyebrow pencil, highly recommend. 
17 Metallic Eye Pencil in Gold - I don't think they do these anymore, which is a shame. If you like it, have a look at the Barry M ones 
2True Liquid Liner - Always use this one. 
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude - I love these and this is the best for getting rid of redness on the waterline and not being too harsh like a white liner. 
Barry M Dazzle Dust in 24 - These are perfect for the party season!
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Retro Glam Mascara - A great full volume mascara

Everythang else
Soap & Glory Solar Powder - Full review here.
Mac Cream Color Base in Shell - Love this as a highlight under the brow and on the top of the cheekbones.
Sleek Blush in Coral - Fallen back in love with this of late. Full review here.
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter - This has been saving me all winter. Big love. 
Natural Collection Sheer Natural in 'Sand' - probably my fav nude lipstick. 

This was the end result...

It hasn't shown up too amazingly here, but I placed the Barry M glitter just vertically down the centre of my eyelids, so it wasn't too in your face. For my hair, I just straightened and wore to one side. 

I painted my nails using Nails Inc Old Bond Street which is an amazing bronzy gold and then used a Barry M Limited Edition from Superdrug (no 334) on my accent nails.

I wore my Lipsy London Glam fragrance which smells amazing, is great for your handbag and only £25. And then my new baby. This beautiful Olivia Burton watch, that I bought from The Dressing Room. I'm going to give it's own post v.soon because I was so impressed with the site and the watch! If you do buy something, sign up to their newsletter first to get 10% off.

I popped my Y.A.S Dress on, annoyingly on sale now!

I took my last instagram selfie of 2013 (rings from ASOS) and hit the bar with my best friends...

I usually hate new year's eve and all it's hype, but as we ended up on a spontaneous night out I had such a good evening. So much so, I appear in pretty much no photos during the evening as I was dancing so hard to the well executed 90's playlist. You can't stop a 90's kid from dancing when their jam is on!

Hope you all had a glorious NYE and best wishes for 2014!

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