Thursday 31 March 2016

Adding Greenery To Your Home

Flowers, Cacti and any sort of greenery are always welcome in our flat. I find that they add a boost of colour and touch of nature to any room, whilst their purifying qualities help to clean the air. I've been adding to our collection of greenery for many months now and despite having a few hiccups upon the way, we now have a range of plants that I feel work for our surroundings. 

Picking The Right Plant
Despite not naturally being a green thumb, I have had success finding the right plants which need little maintenance yet plenty of light, as I find our flat radiates sunshine easily. Cacti are the easiest green to look after as they require a little amount of water and can be placed pretty much anywhere. If you're looking for something that needs even less commitment, then air plants and succulents are your best friend. Although they still need watering and air circulation, they can be placed pretty much anywhere. If you're looking to invest then Love Tilly's is a great site to check out.

Complimentary Colours
I've always loved the way greenery looks against white or grey walls. They add colour, texture and can brighten up a space that would of otherwise have been a dull room. I pretty much balance my plants anywhere they can fit; on shelves, in shapes and even on radiators. As you may already know, I love to incorporate golden and copper hues into our interior. The Umbra Prisma Wall Decora collection of geometric shapes, are an addition to my bedroom that initially started my air plant obsession. These shapes can be attached to the way or hung from the ceiling to create a statement feature in any room of your choice. 

As for fulfilling my copper craving, the Oliver Bonas Grid Store Unit is perfect for containing a wide variety of ornaments, especially greenery. Ivy is a great addition to this set up as the falling plant looks lovely and luxe, dressing it up and complimenting the copper shade with it's green hue. 

Prints and Props
We have greenery throughout our flat, but I tend to find them a home situated next to prints, grouped in threes or as I've previously mentioned next to a contrasting copper hue. Not On The High Street is one of my favourite places to purchase prints, Eleanor Bowmer, The Motivated Type and Ingrid Petrie Design being some of the brands I tend to opt for. I find that this pairing always look chic and well put together throughout the home. 

H&M home always have some amazing pieces; their wooden contrasting candle holders were exactly what I was looking for as holders for my air plants. They now live next to my Crosley Rose Gold Record Player, but unfortunately H&M no longer sell the exact holders. I have come across several that I think would look divine paired with a succulent or air plant, so I would recommend checking out Etsy's Marble Planters or M&S Glass and Metal Terrarium if you're looking for something to house your greens.  

Maintaining and Care
I get my greenery from several places, but I find supermarkets, Ikea and Homebase are my go-to stores when I need to indulge my obsession. If you can leave Ikea without a plant you have much more will power than myself that's for sure. 

As I previously said I am not a natural when it comes to gardening; well more specifically keeping plants alive. Before committing to real greenery rather than artifical, I did a lot of research on the type of plant that would be suited to me. I considered the amount of water it needs, where it needs to be placed to get the right amount of sunshine and what temperature it excels at. I've wanted a Peace Lily for some time, but I knew they required a little more attention, so I started off with succulents until I felt happy that I could keep bushier, leafy greens alive. 

Aside from their air purifying qualities and brightening appearance, the other reason I like adding greenery to our home is that they can be frequently moved to fit in with new pieces. Although I normally house my plants in simple white Ikea Plant Pots, purchasing pots that come in different colours and shapes can really change up a room. I like this H&M Large Metal Plant Pot as it contrasts well with green hues and can easily compliment a plant space. As I previously mentioned, I often balance and move around my plants to fit in with new colour schemes and compositions. Personally, I like filling up a space with greenery, so many of our windowsills and radiators (turned off) are often engaged.  

We don't have too many rooms in our flat, but the rooms we have are fairly large. Although it may seem excessive at times, I like to have at least two plants in each room to freshen up the area. I have two miniature Sanservieria's, otherwise known as Mother In Law's Tongue, one that sits on my bedside table and the other in my Tiger Wire Copper House. As for my desk, a pint sized Livistona Rotundifolia (Palm tree) takes residence there as I find the large, wide leaves give off a tropical feel and spice up my minimalistic desk. 

I hope that this has helped give you inspiration to incorporate more greenery into your interior. Grab a water spritzer and head down to your local garden centre to fill your home with leafy, fresh greenery. 

Will you be adding any greenery to your home?

Monday 28 March 2016

The Beauty Blender

The Beauty Blender*; a tear drop shaped sponge that has stolen the hearts of many. But for me, it was something I put away many years ago. When the buffing brush and flat kabuki revolution came about, everyone including myself packed away their sponges and foundation brushes to make room for the new trend. Moving on a few years and the Beauty Blender is a hot topic and one that I thought I ought to give another go. 

When I first started using a Beauty Blender I was in my early teens. Back then the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge was the go-to dupe, but now times have changed and there are many on the high street to choose from. To get myself back into using makeup sponges, I started off using the Nanshy Marvel 4 in 1 Sponge and was instantly smitten with the way it blended my base. I knew that the Beauty Blender was next on the list to try, so I went ahead and I'm now a convert. 

This uniquely shaped brush blends product flawlessly, gives an airbrushed finish and rids the skin of any makeup mishaps. Although this offering can be used dry, I find using it slightly damp allows the sponge to double in size. This makes it easier to use, apply product and blend in any visible lines. I use the pointy edge to get into the inner corner of my eyes with concealer, whilst the side and base can both be used to blend in foundation and cream contour to the complexion. 

Overall, the stippling and bopping motion flawlessly gives a streak-free application making for a perfected finish every morning. The damp sponge gives off a subtle glow to the skin, so I'm sure this will be a popular addition to my makeup bag come Summer too. 

Have you tried the Beauty Blender?


Saturday 26 March 2016

A NYX Lip Trio

NYX Lip Lingerie, NYX Slide On Lip Pencil, NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams
Over the past couple of years I have accumulated a wide variety of nude lip products which range from liquid lipsticks to sheer lip tints. Although I've tried many, there are only a few that make it into my daily routine. Today I am talking about a trio of NYX products that work in sync with each other to create the perfect budget nude lip. 

I have been trialling the new NYX Lip Lingerie's for a while now and the shade Push Up has been the hue I've been reaching for every time. This liquid lipstick adds a weightless matte finish to the lips with perfect precision and long lasting wear. These easy to apply liquid lipsticks dry opaque and can be reapplied throughout the day without flaking. Push Up- a brown pink hue- looks perfect paired with the NYX Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes to define, line and boost the lips. The latter delivers rich, matte colour which goes on smoothly, preventing feathering and delivering longevity. 

Although the lip lingeries aren't drying, flaky or difficult to reapply, I find the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London is perfect for throwing in your handbag for when I want a top up of moisture. London delivers a mid-tone beige creamy colour that highlights my lips and fills in any wearing gaps from the lip lingerie offering. 

Now that it is officially Spring, I have already started to pack away some of my darker lips to make room for lighter offerings, so this trio is perfect. If you're looking for a foolproof nude lip that will last all day and provide a matte lip colour to go with any look, then this is the one for you. 

What is your favourite nude lip product?

Thursday 24 March 2016

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil
I'm sure if you're a regular around here, you would have already have heard me talking about my love for Aesop. Their products are currently dominating my skincare routine, but there is one product that continues to blow me away. 

Packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin rich ingredients, the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil* has become a staple over the past couple of months. This mild cleanser removes makeup like no other, hydrating and purifying the skin as it goes. This product lathers up when it comes in contact with water, creating a mild lather which doesn't strip or aggravate the skin. After massaging the product all over my face to melt away my makeup, I remove it using a muslin cloth to lightly exfoliate my complexion.  

Although I've been using cleansing balms and oils for several years, I have always struggled to find an oil that didn't break me out or irritate my sensitive skin. I usually use this offering at night as it calms and clarifies the skin;perfect for those who wear heavy makeup like myself. However, I have started using it in the morning to brighten and add some serious glow to the skin before makeup application. At £39 the price may seem a little steep, but I have found that I've barely made a dent in this bottle despite using it daily. 

Have you tried the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil?


Tuesday 22 March 2016

Lazy Day Makeup

Lazy Day Makeup
Although I usually opt for a heavier makeup look with multiple different products on a regular basis, for those days when I need an extra 10 minutes in bed I have constructed a minimal makeup routine for when I am in need of fast, easy makeup. 

My go-to base has to be the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, a tinted hydrating gel cream that conceals dryness, redness and blemishes. This moisturiser hybrid has the perfect concoction of ingredients which combines skincare with natural, radiant coverage. Although I usually follow with a few swipes of concealer, I find that this does a great job at hydrating and perfecting the complexion so there's no need to conceal if I'm having a good skin day. For a fresh, flatting flush to my cheeks I have been reaching for the H&M Pure Velvet Cream Blusher in Dusty Rose. With a cream to powder finish, it gives a healthy pop of colour to the skin, whilst being easy to blend with your fingers for a fast application.

When it comes to minimalist makeup, I try and make my eyes the focal point to define my face. I adore the Accessorize Eye Loveran intense black eyeliner that creates a strong flick in a matter of seconds. Paired with lashings of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, this duo creates a detailed eye look and fluttery lashes with little to no effort. To follow, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade is my go-to product when I want to create fuller, defined brows in a few strokes. 

To finish, I like to tint my lips using the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral. As Spring is finally here, I have started to get into fresher, brighter shades so this is the perfect transitioning hue. Enriched with brown sugar, essential oils and added SPF, this is my staple lip product for when my lips are in need of hydration and a lip stain. 

What is your go-to lazy day makeup routine?

Sunday 20 March 2016

Easy Easter Treats

 Every year I  use Easter as an excuse to eat my own body weight in chocolate and bake as much as I possibly can. Aside from scones and hot cross buns, two of my new favourite things to bake have been shredded wheat nests and lamb cupcakes. Both of these recipes are simple, easy and extremely tasty. 

Shredded Wheat Nests 

I N G R E D I E N T S (Makes 6)

2 Shredded Wheat Biscuits (45g)
150g Milk Chocolate 
Bag of Galaxy Golden Eggs 
Cupcake Cases

M E T H O D 

1. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir regularly. 

2. Once melted, pour the chocolate over the crushed Shredded Wheat and stir until they're all covered. 

3. Spoon the mixture evenly throughout 6 cases. Press the back of the spoon in the centre to create a nest shape. 

4. Place the 2 or 3  golden eggs on top of each nest and chill in fridge for at least an hour or until set. 

Lamb Cupcakes

I N G R E D I E N T S (Makes 6)

For Cupcakes:
1 Free Range Egg
60g (or how much the egg weighs) Butter or Margarine
60g (or how much the egg weighs) Self Raising Flour
60g (or how much the egg weighs) Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For Buttercream Icing:
140g Icing Sugar
70g Butter 

For The Topping:
Mini Marshmallows
Ready To Roll Black Icing
Black and White Writing Icing 

M E T H O D 

1. Preheat the oven to 200c and line a muffin tray with 6 cupcake cases. 

2. Place the sugar and butter in bowl and beat until the mixture is pale. Then beat in one egg a little a time until thoroughly mixed. 

3. Fold the flour and vanilla extract in to the mixture. Once combined, spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases making sure that each case is half full.

4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack once cooked and wait to cool. 

5. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter with a whisk until soft. Then slowly add the icing sugar in until fully mixed. 

6. Once the cupcake are cool, spread the buttercream over the top evenly. Arrange the mini marshmallows on each cake allowing space for the icing head. 

7. To make the icing head, I take a piece of my ready to roll black icing and shape it in to an oval lozenge. I then place all the heads in the fridge for 10 minutes to set. 

8. I make the eyes using writing icing, but you can use edible candy eyeballs if you would like. I then place the head onto the cupcake and fill in any gaps using marshmallows. 

Are you going to bake anything this Easter?

Thursday 17 March 2016

The Lush Spring Haul.

Lush Spring Haul
Spring is officially less than a week away and this can only mean one thing; the Lush Spring Collections are upon us. Although I've still got a large supply of bath bombs from the Winter, I still can't help but use the Mother's Day and Easter range to stock up. Today, I am sharing with you everything I have picked up recently.

First up is the Fluffy Egg; an Easter must-have, especially if you love hot pink-hued baths and the sweet snow fairy scent. Every year I purchase a handful of these and I try to make them last all of Spring. I was tempted by the Golden Egg; a luxe bath melt as it allows you to soak in toffee scented water, whilst moisturising lacklustre skin with cocoa butter and olive oil. If you're not a fan of excess glitter then I would recommend giving this one a miss, otherwise it's a golden lustre treat that is perfect for Spring. 

With antiseptic buchu oil and uplifting Sicilian lemon oil, the Bunch Of Carrots re-usable bubble bars are the perfect new additions to the Lush Easter collection. This fresh smelling trio creates vibrant bubbles as soon as they hit the running tap water. Rather than crumbling your specified coloured bubble bar in the bath, I hold it underneath the tap to create layers on bubbles without the mess. 

When I was in store, I was deliberating between the Humpty Dumpty or Which Came First? bath bomb, but ended up picking the latter. This offering has a sweet fruity scent that fills the bathroom and although at £6.95 it is slightly steeper than the other bath products, it can be easily split into atleast three baths for multiple uses. 

I didn't pick up much of the Mother's Day collection this year, but I was instantly drawn to the Rose Bombshell bath bomb and after one use I knew I had to start a petition to make it permanent. Personally, I always gravitate towards rose scents as I find them relaxing yet mood uplifting, so the Rose Bombsell was always going to go down well. With a soft rose scent, this bath bomb releases petals into the water, whilst softening and lightly fragrancing the skin. Although Mother's Day has been and gone, I would recommend popping into your local Lush store to see if they have any left in stock. 

Last up is the Flowering Tea Bubble Bar another new addition to Lush's range and one that is perfect for Spring. This reusable tea bag shaped bubble bar releases neroli, rosewood and orange flower scented bubbles and blue cornflowers when it makes contact with water. I'm pretty sure this petal-filled bar is here to stay, but either way I will be enjoying it all Spring. 

Are you planning a Spring Lush haul?

Monday 14 March 2016

Things To Buy At Space NK

Space NK remains one of my most visited stores, stocking the latest beauty items and luxe skincare pieces. If you can step into a Space NK and leave empty handed then you've got more willpower than myself. Saying this, it can be overwhelming with the extensive amount of brands to browse and products to buy, so today I thought I would do the hard work for you and enable you to make a trip to your local shop. 

If you're after luminous skin and a flawless glow, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and Blushers are two cult classics that deserve all the praise they get. They illuminate the cheeks and add a 'glow from within' look to the skin. If you're after something a little stronger then the Becca Champagne Pop Highlighter and Nars Copacabana are two you need to add to your basket. Now onto eye makeup and this is where it gets too difficult to narrow the list down. If you're after a fast and easy smoky eye then the Nars Eyeshadow Duo's and the By Terry Ombre Blackstar offer a quick solution. I personally like to use Kalahari and Misty Rock on a daily basis to add longevity and define my eyes. 

Zelens, Oskia and Kiehls are the mains brands I reach for whenever I am looking to treat myself to some new luxe skincare pieces. The Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil* - a vitamin rich cleanser- is a much re-purchased product of mine and one that gets rid of makeup in a matter of seconds. Moisturiser wise, the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream delivers 24 hour hydration and softened skin. The Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm - an exclusive to Space NK- is currently on my wishlist and I'm sure I will take the plunge soon. 

The most underrated sector of Space NK is their haircare range. If you're after styling products then the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray and the O&M Atonic Thickening Spritz are two that continue to transform my locks; adding volume and texture to my otherwise lifeless hair. Although there's a few products that I have in my basket at the moment, the Living Proof Healthy Hair Range - re-branded version of the infamous Perfect Hair Day collection- is top of my list to buy.

Finally I always lust after all the Diptyque Candles, but Roses and Vanille have to be two of my favourite scents. Whether you pick them up in the full sized 190g or the miniature 70g I'm sure that you will get hooked.

What products are on your Space NK wishlist?


Saturday 12 March 2016

Contouring On A Budget

Despite taking up half of my routine, I contour daily. Although I own my fair share of contouring products, after trawling the aisles of Boots I realised there weren't many high quality, high street products on the market. Contouring on a budget can be difficult, but I have put together three products that deliver a natural, everyday contour in minutes and without breaking the bank. 

First up is concealer and when I'm contouring I always take my concealer one shade lighter than my skin tone to highlight and brighten my complexion. To reduce puffiness and the appearance of dark circles I always reach for the Maybelline Eye Eraser Concealer - Light to add a subtle radiance and disguise any shadows. If I'm after a sharp, strong contour then I tend to apply this under my eyes, along my chin and below my contour, but if I'm after a natural look I dab this along any red or blue areas to conceal. 

Although contouring is now everywhere on the high street, cream contours are still hard to come by. The Topshop Contour Cream in Sweep is an affordable option which sculpts and defines your cheekbones without breaking the bank. It gives a soft, matte finish which looks natural in all lights, whilst remaining buildable. 

For highlighter, the Sleek Solstice Palette ticks all the right boxes. This versatile quad is made up of an array of powder and cream formulas; with matte and shimmer finishes that brighten up the inner corner of the eye, define cheekbones and emphasise on your cupids bow. 

What is your favourite budget contouring product?

Thursday 10 March 2016

Battling Bad Skin.

Battling Bad Skin
Although my skin isn't as bad as it used to be in my early teens, I still am prone to painful spots every now and again. After juggling blemishes and dry patches for many years now I have concocted the perfect routine for healing my problem skin. 

First up is cleanser and this is the step in my blemish busting routine that I tend to miss out if I've only got one or two spots. However, if I'm feeling rather spotty, the Zelens Z-Detox Cleanser* sorts my skin right out. Unlike any other foaming cleanser that I have tried before, this offering removes impurities and reduces excess oil, whilst keeping my skin calm and soothed. 

I follow with several swipes of the Pixi Glow Tonic toner which is enriched with gylcolic acid to exfoliate and brighten the skin instantly. Whether it's little spots under the skin or a full blown break out, this will help to reduce the size and quantity overnight. A budget friendly option would be the Nip and Fab Gylcolic Fix Cleansing Padsa solution-soaked pad which boosts radiance and can be easily used on the go.

Face masks are the perfect way to treat my skin and deliver the result it needs. Although it dries like a traditional clay mask, the Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque* hydrates and rejuvenates the skin like no other. It draws out impurities and perfects neglected complexions so it's no that wonder I always reach for this when my skin needs some extra TLC. Origins is a brand famous for their face masks, so this line up wouldn't be complete without the mention of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. This moisture replacement treatment nourishes the dry patches on my spots, clearing them up and making them less apparent once covered with concealer. 

To finish off I apply a quick dab of the Origins Super Spot Remover to any inflamed areas. It reduces the appearance of redness and minimises the size of my spot. Although I find this severely dehydrates my skin, in small doses this is one miracle worker that I can't be without. 

What products do you rely on when you've got several blemishes?

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Too Faced Hangover Primer.

I have never been a massive fan of primers in general, aside from a few setting sprays and priming waters. As a sufferer of dry skin, silicon primers tend to dehydrate my base, making for patchy makeup application.  A new year discovery of mine was the Too Faced Hangover Primer; a nourishing, coconut water - infused primer that helps to revive lacklustre skin and prolong makeup wear without compromising on hydration. 

At first the coconut fragrance can be overpowering, especially if you're not too keen on the scent like myself, but it soon disappears upon application. This primer acts like a moisturiser; delivering intense hydration and a radiant finish whilst locking down my makeup for extra longevity. Unlike other radiance - enhancing primers I've used, I actually find that this one gives off a significant amount of glow without needing any glitter particles in the formula; perfect for those who like a semi-matte base. It glides along the skin, soothing my dry patches and leaving a dewy finish on the skin which my foundation loves. 

This primer has continued to transform my skin during the cold Winter months and I'm sure it will continue to do so come Spring. 

Have you tried the Too Faced Hangover Primer?

Friday 4 March 2016

Matte Not Flat Face Powders

Matte Not Flat Face Powders
Face powders have many great qualities; they can prolong makeup wear and reduce oiliness, but if you have lacklustre skin like myself they can take away any precious glow. From loose powders to pressed, I have compiled three powders that prolong makeup wear and add a soft focus radiance to your face. 

Loose powders often give off the wrong impression that they're hard to work with, but the Nars Soft Velvet Matte Powder proves otherwise. It blurs imperfections, mattifies and remains undetectable on the skin, whilst providing extra coverage and a lightweight formula. Although at just over £26 it's not the most affordable, you definitely get a bang for your buck as I've had it just under a year and I've barely made a dent. 

If you're after a more budget friendly option then the NYX Studio Finishing Powder is the perfect offering if you want a powder to highlight, mattify and minimise the appearance of pores. This 100% pure silica translucent powder works wonders for setting your under eye makeup and emphasising on your contour. 

The ultimate illuminating powders come in the form of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders; a powder trio that treats all your dull skin woes. Dim Light, a neutral pink-beige shade helps to prolong makeup wear without sacrificing any glow, whilst Radiant Light, a sun-kissed bronzed hue accentuates my cheekbones and adds overall warmth to my complexion. When I last spoke about Iridescent Light I said that I wasn't fond of the shade, but after some extra trialling I have fallen head over heels for it. Lightly dusted over the apples of my cheeks it highlights just the right amount, transforming my lacklustre skin in an instant. 

What face powders do you enjoy using?

Wednesday 2 March 2016

A Relaxing Ritual.

A Relaxing Ritual
It's not very often that I get to pamper myself thoroughly, but when I do I like to have the works. Every couple of weeks, I take a few hours out of my evening to give my body some extra TLC from head to toe. So get your face masks at the ready because today I have compiled a list of products that I like to use to treat myself. 

Starting at the head, my hair is something I like to take care of on a regular basis. I always deep condition my locks, but they still can feel dry due to years of straightening and dying. The Sachajuan Hair Repair mask is an intensive treatment that strengthens, heals split ends and banishes frizz. For a budget alternative, the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment delivers intense hydration and revitalises coloured hair without breaking the bank. 

I own my fair share of bath products and narrowing it down to just one is always hard. The Jo Malone Orange Blossom Bath Oil instantly soothes, relaxes and fills the bathroom full of clementine flower and water lily scent; perfect for an uplifting bath. I often light my Diptyque Roses Candle and dim the lights in order to really relax my mind. 

To pamper and polish my pins I always reach for the Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Scrub to rid my skin of dry patches, stimulate circulation and prepare my skin for moisturising. In the Winter I usually slack at moisturising my whole body, but on a pamper night I like to double up. I use the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner in the shower and then slather on several layers of the Dove Uplifted+ Body Oil* all over my limbs to nourish and soften. 

The two places I tend to forget to treat is my hands and feet, but since owning the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm* I make a concious effort to apply it on a regular basis. The lavender scented cream nourishes the cuticles and keeps dryness at bay.  

What products do you pamper yourself with?
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