April Favourites 2014 | Beauty and Random

Ok so I had another post planned for today then I was like 'Oh wait, favourites!' - like, where has this month gone! I had an amazing April - I spent it chatting to my friends, in Edinburgh (which slightly linked considering my phone texted me to say I'd sent 200 texts over the 5 days I was there... oops!), and the weather has been lovely down South! Onto the beauty favourites though, there aren't too many but best not to over ramble...

I've been loving the L'Oreal #TXT Styling Spray for messing up my hair and leaving me with a bedhead-esque curly 'mop' as my mum says, but I like it - I think big hair is an essential for any androgenous outfit, a style I've been rocking a lot this month with an oversized tee, skinny jeans and these Primark pumps. They were only £5 and come in black and white (i have the white, and my BFF has the black!). They're super comfy and are easy to clean so are completely London/City-appropriate! Another fashion fave is this necklace from H&M - it is super dainty and has three stars on it, I think it looks a lot more expensive than it was, which was about £2!

Then I only have a couple of skincare picks, the Botanics Facial Oil and the Balace Me Radiance Face Oil, but mixed! They have been helping to heal my breakouts really well so they don't go dry and gross (TMI sorry!). My signature scent has been Taylor Swift Wonderstruck - this was a gift last Christmas and I love the fragrance, it's so girly and sweet, very me!

Lastly for beauty is makeup and being fickle with concealer I obviously have two choices - a new one and an old favourite. The new one is the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint which I have been using daily on a RT Expert Face Brush to cover scarring and breakouts, and it works amazingly! The oldie is Maybelline Fit Me, as it's been the perfect shade for when I'm a bit more tanned (ie faux tanned when in shorts!). My mascara of choice was No7 Extreme Length Extend - seriously amazing lashes in a tube it's unreal how long they look, and defined!!! AMAZING ARRGGHH!! Then a new release from MUA had me all a flutter - their Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle. A review of this line is coming soon, so stay tuned! Then lastly is a No7 Eyeshadow in Sheer Brown (from the Good Earth trio) - this shade is amazing blended all over the lid and under the lower lash line for a lighter smoky eye. 

Musical favourites are John Legend 'All of Me', The Proclaimers '500 miles', BriBry 'Your Life Over Mine', Nina Nesbitt 'The Apple Tree' and Emblem3 'Chloe'
Then I've been loving watching ViviannaDoesMakeup as she's been uploading vlogs and they are awesome!
Finally a verb favourite (sounds weird but it works) is talking to a new friend - it's fun learning new things about people and talikng about yourself, answering questions makes you remember things you forgot! Go, make a new friend!

Love, E X

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation {in 51 Light Vanilla} Review

I don't know how many of you loyal readers will remember me buying this foundation on Amazon a couple of months ago after it being out of stock everywhere in my shade... no? Oh ok then. But I promised a review and so here it is!

Starting with how I apply -  the consistency is a new one for me, a serum-gel that reminds me of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] but a bit more liquid. I have tried a few brushes and a sponge or two, but I'd say fingers are best for this as they really blend the foundation in and make it that bit glowier...

.. which leads me onto finish. This one has a dewy, glowy finish after a good ole' buff in that makes your skin look seriously healthy and radiant. Not necessarily the best finish for us acne-fied gals as it does accentuate the bumpy forehead so I do tend to set with a light powder dusting.

On my normal/combination skin this hasn't got the best lasting power - maybe 4 or 5 hours, with primer and powder? Certainly not one to wear for work or school, this would not hold up my 9 hour day at all! However, it is the perfect thing to apply over any makeup as it doesn't go cakey or look uneven, it just adds that extra glow and coverage if you're heading out straight from work or school.

I know it's a lot of people's HG but for me this isn't something I'll be using everyday, and it certainly won't be replacing colourstay! But it's well worth a try for dry skinned girls or pale uns' as the shade range does run slightly lighter (I'm 51 FYI - the palest of the pale!). If you are gonna go get you some, its £10.99 from Boots and Superdrug. Now it's time for a foundation buying ban... but Perfection Lumiere sounds so me!

What is your favourite foundation?

Love, E X

Pyjama-esque Shorts | Spring OOTD April 2014

shorts - primark, cardigan - bhs, tee - amazon, boots - primark, sunglasses - primark, scrunchie - F21

I am officially in love with these shorts from Primark. They're in the sale at the mo and are the comfiest things ever. My parents say they look like pyjamas, but I think they look very Grecian and cool - so perfect for my Athens trip in July, no? Today I paired them with a motif tee (HP fangirl, anyone?) and an oversized chunky cardi, then to add a bit of oomph I wore these awesome fringed boots, also from faithful Primarni, that aren't too high but do give a bit more somethin-somethin to the outfit. I just wore my good ole' mens' wayferer dupe glasses from Primark and had a scrunchie on my wrist just in case things got windy... they're back guys! I used my everyday black handbag to carry all my junk for a day shopping... haul?

What have you been wearing recently?

Love, E X

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Instant Anti-Age Concealer Review

I have wanted to try the Maybelline The Eraser Eye Instant Anti-Age Concealer for ages (wow, long name much?) but when on 3 for 2, eh? So I bought it, and the shade's a bit off for day but during the evening it works well.

The sponge applicator doesn't do much for me, I apply it with my fingers anyway. The coverage is amazing, it brightens like no other and cancels out my bags so well. I love this over other concealers too to just add a bit of light. It isn't cakey at all!

There are loads of reviews out there so I'll keep mine short and sweet, the disappointing this is the awful shade range of 2 medium skin-tone shades, so if I'm ever in the States (I wish...) I would definitely pick up a shade or 2 over there as they have loads more!

Worth a try if you're looking for a good under eye concealer.

Have you tried this? Opinions?

Love, E X

Edinburgh Trip 2014 Photos + New Series? | Sorry It's Late Again :(

It's going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things so sorry if posts are late (or non existent... oops!) but I'm going for quality not quantity and all that jazz, plus school is getting the better of me, so this is a post full of pictures from my recent trip to Edinburgh - notes on the new series at the end :) ps I promise I did wear a different outfit everyday, it's just the same coat and scarf ;)

Hope you enjoyed those, if you did there's more to come... yes, my new series will be a travel/tourism one as I'm trying to make this blog a bit more varied so it's not just beauty but fashion and life etc. So, the new series will be a sort-of what to do, what to eat, travel tips for different places and there should be a post up monthly/every other month depending on how much travelling I do - Edinburgh ones will be first up, but I should have ones for London and Brighton up soon as they're places I know well :) The posts will be labelled with 'The Traveller' if you want to search specifically for these types of posts!

What do you think? Are you excited for the new series?

Love, E X

Apologies + What's In My Travel Makeup + Skincare Bag? Edinburgh 2014

First and foremost, major apologies for not having posts up for the past few days, scheduling for when I was in Scotland went a bit haywire and I was left postless, but I'll have a couple posts today to make up for it :)

So as already mentioned on twitter and in a couple of posts, I was in Edinburgh for Easter, thankfully the weather was beautiful, more on that in a new WP which will be up shortly. However, considering this is a beauty blog, I thought I'd give you the edit of what was in my travel makeup bag and what I brought skincare-wise. We did only bring cabin baggage so I had to keep liquids to a minimum, and therefore this was what made the cut:

I did bring wipes (I know, the sin!) but after a long day they make makeup removal so easy especially if you just want to clear up eye makeup and start afresh - I chose the Primark wipes because they don't sting, and the Kleenex Eye Makeup Removal Wipes which were only about 50p in Superdrug on sale. I like, but I wouldn't go out of my way to repurchase them. Then for a proper makeup remover, I brought some of my Biophasse Micellar Water decanted into a little bottle - I ended up toning with this too. A balmy cleanser was something that I felt essential, and I chose to bring my Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter which made cleansing so easy. For daytime moisturiser, I took a little pot of my Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturiser which just works so well for my skin as a spot treatment too. Then in the evening I used the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil, which smells a bit funky but hydrates well. Then for eyes and lips I took my Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream and my Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm Stick.

Makeup now! For brushes and tools, I brought my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and my Expert Face Brush for concealer blending. For powder, the Blush Brush is my go-to and then for cheek work the Duo-Fiber Face Brush worked a treat. One eye brush, a synthetic dense brush from Tiger which costs £1! And obviously I needed my Eyeko Lash Curlers, you can get your's free with the May issue of InStyle. For primer, I brought a sample of the Garnier Perfect Blur which I own in the full size and love. I skipped the foundation and took two concealers, the 17 Phwoarr Paint, which is a new HG, and Collection Lasting Perfection (boy, she's original!). Then my Revlon Nearly Naked Powder works best for oil control so he came along with the elf blushed/bronzed duo which is so simple to use. Eyes were kept simple, with a bit of Maybelline's Brow Drama for the brows, loads of my No7 Extreme Lenght Extend which is A.MA.ZING! If I wanted to play up the eyes a bit, I blended the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl in Bronze all around the eyes for that Carine effect, but if I wanted to keep the eyes bare I went for a bold lip using 17's Knockout Lip Crayon. However, most days I kept it to Revlon's Demure Laquer Balm.

How great was I, light packing! I used this bag from superdrug for all my liquids and no one a security batted an eyelid so it may be worth an investment if you travel a lot and don't like the flimsy sandwich bags!

Love, E X

blowpro Mane Tame Soft Pomade Review + Hair Shots

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I don't splurge on my hair all that often, and I don't necessarily give it any TLC where needed, plus I rarely have it cut having spent the first 11 years of my life with a seriously awful 'do resting just above my shoulders *insert 10 year old me with bob and braces - urrgghh!*. Although saying this I am having (or had as that happened on Monday - dahm you scheduled posts!) a good couple of inches cut off the ends for Spring. Anyway, back from that tangent and onto the review on a little product I decided to slightly splurge on - the BlowPro Mane Tame Soft Pomade.

As soon as it was released into Superdrug this chic-ly packaged haircare line intrigued me but £10 on a shampoo... no chance. However, I had a bit of time and some spare cash so I picked up the pomade to try and I am really impressed. I rub the thick creamy wax into my palms then spread it through my hair to tame the flyaways and make it appear sleeker. I think it does a really good job as it holds all day and does 'maintain' or, you could say, 'mane tame'. Haha, so funny... not.

Is it worth the £11.49 - I don't think so, and I would be more likely to try something from VO5, but if you want to splurge definitely give this one a go - I'll certainly be trying a few more bits from the BlowPro line, any recommendations? I've heard good things about the hair mask...

Love, E X

Products I've Used Up #5 | April Empties

 Okay, so I haven't done an empties post since NOVEMBER!!! I know, I'm an awful blogger, therefore I have a lot of products to share with you today so shall we crack on? We shall...

I thought I'd give Dove products a whole category of their own considering there are quite a few of them. First up are bodywashes, which I love almost as much as soap and glory but they don't last as long. The Deeply Nourishing Body Wash was a thick cream that left my skin feeling clean but still moisturised, and it smelt gorgeous, like clean sheets! The other bodywash is the Creme Mousse Brightening one - this was like a foamy mousse that was so bubbly and made my legs so smooth after shaving with it. The Original Deodorant spray was something I wanted to use up - I used to religiously use dove deodorant, but now I have Mitchum, so I layer and it keeps me smelling fresh. For hair, I have two of the Nourishing Oil Care Deep Conditioner as it leaves my hair super soft and detangles amazingly - will defo be repurchasing when it goes on offer again. Another thing I want to repurchase is the Nourishing Oil Care Conditioning Spray as it works fabulously at detangling and smells DIVINE!

Couple more haircare bits here - the Fudge Iced Raspberry and Vanilla Hairspray was okay, but I felt like the scent wasn't strong enough to mask the hairspray smell. The Herbal Essences Fresh Balance Shampoo is my clarifying shampoo of choice, but I'm using head and shoulders at the moment and like that too, but this does get the gunk out of my hair and leaves it super clean. The Tresemme Liquid Gold is a product I have already repurchased as it just works with my hair - it smooths the ends and leaves my locks glossy. A Mitchum deodorant... what can I say, I love me some good anti-perspirant.

Some makeup now - the Collection Clear Mascara worked well as a brow gel, but I'm not overly fussy. I love the 2true Concealer as an alternative to Collection's infamous one, but being a concealer junkie I love to try new things. Witch's BB Cream is a must have for everyday blemish control and covers my imperfections naturally. The elf Clarifying Powder provides coverage whilst mattifying, and I already have another in my collection. Lastly, and the most sad empty, is the L'Oreal Telescopic Waterproof Mascara - this was my favourite mascara, and unfortunately it has been discontinued *sob*.

From the Botanics All Bright line, I have the Night Cream and the Cleansing Toner. The toner is a staple that I use daily and will always have one of, but the night cream just wasn't moisturising enough and its gel consistency didn't sink into my skin very well. Primark's wipes are great for wiping off swatches (or for late nights like last saturday after a late party at my friend's house where all we wanted to do was sleep at 3am!). My Harajuku Lovers 'Snow Bunnies G' Fragrance doesn't smell the same anymore so I thought it best not to use, but I will be keeping the doll on top!

Last are a few skincare bits - No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream was great when my skin became really dry but for everyday is a bit heavy on my normal skin. Clean and Clear Dual Action is a serious HG item as it keeps spots at bay most of the time, but do cut into the tubes as there is a lot of product left over when nothing squirts out the cap. Una Brennan's Rose Cleanser was amazing as a morningtime light cream cleanser and I would love to repurchase but it's never in stock at my local Boots! elf Mist and Set Spray is an oldie, and I used to use a setting spray everyday. Now I don't and haven't noticed much of a difference in my skin or makeup wear time. Last is the Balance Hyaluronic Youth Serum was a bit of an alternative to Hydraluron, with a derivitive of Hyaluronic acid in it, but I didn't notice a big difference in my skin, although I would repurchase.

What have you finished recently?

Love, E X

The Weekend Post: The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks | Book Review

So, I thought I'd start a new segment on the blog called 'The Book Review' where I review something I've read every month (I know, my titling skills are amazing.)

This month I'm reading from the Carnegie shortlist, 8 books which have been selected to compete for the Carnegie Medal. I attend a book club where we discuss these books *nerd alert!*  and Kevin Brooks' 'The Bunker Diary' seemed a big hit amongst the other girls in the club, so I picked it up and finished it within a few days.

So the basic plotline is that a boy is kidnapped by a mystery man and wakes up in an underground bunker. There are six bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and communal space. Other people of all ages begin to arrive and the discover that all the rooms are bugged with cameras. Their captor is listening in, and they must either escape or die. From what I've heard about Kevin Brooks' other work, it all seems very similar in the way that the dark themes occur frequently and the story is kept quite easy to understand and flows quickly.

The beginning drew me in and I read very quickly, and was shocked when it finished as it had been so short. I felt like the whole storyline was building up to something that didn't happen, and was disappointed by the ending. Oh, the ending! Such a 'blah' feeling. I did not like it one bit; maybe it was not what I was expecting, but it didn't wow me and there was so much more that could've been done.

If I were Kevin Brooks, I would write a sort-of sequel to this book, from the point of view of a police officer investigating the case. Then we could find out a bit more about the captor and their location etc.

Overall, I would give this book 7 and a half out of 10 as the book was well written and kept me hooked, but the ending really ruined it. Read it if you like mystery and a bit of a thriller, but not if you like a good romance as I do.

Any recommendations?

Love, E X

Would you wear LIDL perfume? | £3.99 Perfume

I have a question - would you wear a perfume from Lidl, Aldi or a non-branded fragrance?

I would - and have been - quite a lot recently in the form of Lidl's 'Suddenly: Madame Glamour'. It costs about £4 and apparently smells a lot like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I haven't tried the Chanel so I don't know if this is true or not, but it smells really sweet and girly, but still sophisticated. This has become one of my everyday perfumes and I love it.

So, I guess what I want to know is... would you pick this up? Dare to wear a fragrance that isn't designer? Let me know in the comments!

Love, E X

SEVENTEEN Phwoarr Paint Heavy Duty Concealer Review

Concealer junkies? *raises hand* - okay, I love me a good concealer due to my horrific spots, dark marks, dark circles and all around bad stuff on my face as it covers and gives me more confidence. Most days all I wear is concealer, powder and mascara as it's all I need to give me that extra boost to get out the door and actually do something. I picked this concealer up on a whim - it was 3 for 2 and I needed another item - for £5.49 and I have to say, I'm impressed.
Now, this is marketed as a 'heavy duty under-eye concealer' to 'wage war on dark circles' - personally, I think this looks like a cakey mess under my eyes. Maybe it's because I have quite sunken-in under-eye circles, or that I use too much powder when setting, but this looks uneven and creases under my eyes like no other. I think it's a bit too creamy for the under eye area myself, but on blemishes and acne scars is where I love to use this. It conceals so well, looking natural and not clinging to dry patches or accentuating raised spots. It covers redness and leaves my face looking clearer and naturally perfected. I love it.
Overall, Seventeen have been impressing me a lot recently - miracle matte powder (review here) , cheek stamp blush (review soon!) and their old mirror shine lipsticks are the bomb!
What are your seventeen faves? Any other concealers I need in my life?
Love, E X

The Weekend Post #14: Spring Wishlist #5

I haven't done a wishlist post since a bit before my birthday in November so I thought I would do another. These are some things I want for spring/summer or am just lusting after...

1 - ASOS Contrast Bow Bikini - how adorable is this? I have to admit, I have already cheekily ordered this for a spring break party I'm attending because I love blue on me, and the bow back is just so cute! Plus, it's in the sale here.

2 - Canon 600d - I really want a DSLR, not just for blogging but for my holiday photos and more focusing options. My grandad, being a retired photographer and wanting me to persue his passion, has agreed to go halves with me; now I have to save about £400 eek!

3 - Quick Fix Facials Charcoal Mask - a new release from the brand, this mask is only a fiver and looks like it'll work amazingly at clearing out my pores, and I haven't seen too many charcoal based masks on the high street so this could be one to watch.

4 - Frozen - do you wanna build a snowman? or let it go? I have watched so many clips of this, and being a Disney lover I must pick this up!

5 - Naked 3 - ok, ok, I probably won't pick this up as I do not need any more eyeshadow, however it looks stunning, and I would love it, but £40 for 12 eyeshadows, meh. But, it is gorgeous and I will swatch and stare every time I'm in Debenhams...

6 - Essie Turqoise and Caicos - love the name, love the turqoise shade. This is a colour I would rock with matching toes and fingers over summer - will have to buy this at some point, maybe with the £35 of boots points I've saved... I do not even want to consider how much money I've spend to accumilate that.

What's on your wishlist?

Love, E X

Spring Primark Haul April 2014 | What's New @ Primark

 I've been to Primark... I didn't buy too much on this trip but I thought I'd share anyway, but I had a voucher so really it was free, kind of.....

 First I picked up a couple of beauty bits - large oval cotton pades which were £1.50 for 100 for my eye makeup removal when I get in a bit later, and a fake tan mitt which was £2 as my St Tropez one is falling apart and I'm planninn on wearing shorts to a party soon and my legs are like snowmen.

Next are men's tees. This may be weird, but both StilaBabe09 and BethanyMota on Youtube have done videos on how to change up tees so I bought these to try that - blog post?

Lastly I bought these adorable PJs - I cannot sleep unless I'm wearing shorts, so these are perfect. I have been complimented a few times on my PJ selfie in these - by my friends, not just some random person in my bedroom! - and I love them, although I do need a bit more warmth than just the vest in this weather! 

What have you bought in Primark recently?

Love, E X

10,000 PAGEVIEWS!!! | Thank-You So Much

So, today I hit a big blogging milestone - 10,000 pageviews! I just wanted to say thank you for all your support over the past year and a half of my blogging, and I hope you stay with me for another! Next stop - 100 Bloglovin' Followers!

Love you all xxxx

Elizabeth X

5 Things To Do This Month: April 2014

This is the second installment in my new series, '5 Things To Do This Month', and I can't wait to share what ideas I have for you!

1. Find... old friends. Yes, yes, I was always very anti-facebook. But with a lot of convincing from my friends, I finally joined (no, I won't be putting my personal facebook on my blog) and have met some old friends who I haven't seen in years, met up with them and we are now closer than ever. I think it's also a great device to chat to people on, for example every night I've been chatting to a friend of mine who I used to see every single saturday but since our classes are over we won't be seeing as much of each other - so we got in touch and have spoken every day since. I'm meeting him over my Easter break. So much can happen from just one 'hey x'.

2. Pamper with... Soap and Glory's Heel Genius. It's like a thick foot cream/balm that I smother my feet in then wrap them in socks, leave on for the length of about 3 inbetweeners episodes, take off the socks and reveal happy, soft, smooth feet. Perfect for the warmer weather we're now getting if you like wearing sandals or, in my case, flip flops.

3. Treat yourself to... summer shorts. Summer may be a few months away but if like me you have an Easter holiday coming up where you have a few parties with that one friend who likes to bring out the Super Soakers and drench everyone, shorts are great. Plus, with this slightly warmer weather you never know, we may be sunbathing in out bikini tops and shorts.


4. Watch... Soul Pancake's 'The Science of Happiness'. There are about 5 videos in this playlist teaching us how to be thankful and happier. They're only about 5-10 minutes long but the meanings behind what they do are emotional, and their subjects always come out happier, a great one to watch if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps.

5. Read...  C'est Lauren. This New Zealander has some amazing ideas and beautiful pictures. Definitely one to follow via Bloglovin', she is lovely and I can't wait for you to discover her, say I sent you!

Tell me which of these you're going to try, and let me know something I should do this month.

Love, E X

PS - 200 posts thanks everyone! X

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