Monday, February 20, 2017

Walking away in fabulous boots...

When this year began, I shunned making any resolutions. In years gone by, I have tortured myself with the task, so convinced was I that when the clock struck midnight on the 31st December I would need to metamorphose into some polished, preened and perfect version of myself.
I look back now and realise how entirely unrealistic it was to place such expectations on myself. Not least because, I really didn’t need to change at all. While I completely subscribe to the new year, new start ‘thing,’ I am completely over the ‘new year, new me’ cliché.
In 2017, my mission is to be healthier but most importantly to be happier. Obviously, that is not something that I can just sit back on the sofa and command but there are certain strategies that I am putting in place to try and radiate good vibes.
Ultimately, that means that there are a few things that I want to be turn my back on and walk away from – which I will be doing in fabulous new Truffle Collection boots no less…

My bargain ASOS boots - £48 down to just £16!

Body insecurity
I am mindful that this is not something I can just blind eye too; let’s face it, if I could I already would have.
Insecurities about my body have plagued me since I was a teenager and suddenly more conscious of my form that I had ever been before. I’d like to tell you that the nagging doubts I used to harbour about whether my thighs were thin enough, legs were long enough, tummy was toned enough evaporated when I entered my twenties, but they didn’t.
That said, I have come to realise that my thought process can be irrational and that there are more important issues in life to get fixated with. Over the next twelve months, I’m leaving behind those evening physique critiques in front of the mirror and focusing on keeping healthy – mind, body and soul.
I will keep working hard in the gym, keeping eat right but I will be making a concerted effort to walk away from relentless self-discipline and be a little kinder to myself.

Like most, I get a thrill from tossing down my debit card at the till and treating myself to something nice. While I am not exceptionally frivolous with my money, I am certainly guilt of buying things I just don’t need.
A closet of clothes I never wear, a stack of magazines I don’t read, more notebooks than I could possibly need, enough nail varnishes . I buy obsessively; I become hooked on something and buy a whole heap of it before I get bored and move on to the next. Although this isn’t bank breaking stuff, it all adds up.
You may know from following my social media channels that my boyfriend and I are in the process of buying our first house together. It’s a huge financial commitment and I am so excited to get moved in and start making it ours. As such, I am waving adios to excessive and unnecessary spending, in favour of and creating the home I have so lovingly been virtually cultivating on my many Pinterest boards.

My phone
In this day and age, the population has grown from being obsessed, to being reliant upon technology. My generation especially and in turn, me.
The majority of us are glued to our phones for inordinate periods of time during the day. Much as I try to deny it, I am one of these people and am finding that I am increasingly irritated at myself for it.
Last weekend, I unfortunately had my purse stolen from my bag on an evening out. As gutted as I was and as violated as I felt, I counted my lucky stars that they hadn’t noticed my phone zipped away in a side pocket. Because, as angry as it makes me to admit it losing that, really would have been a catastrophe.
If mobile phones ceased to exist tomorrow, sure I would adjust, but I am at the point now where I depend on mine for the most basic of tasks. From timing the dinner I’ve got in the oven to remembering that friend’s birthday.
Lately, I have been trying to set my phone down, walk away and just ignore it. See you later waning productivity levels and excessive trawling of social media, I have better things to do!

My Truffle Collection boots are from ASOS and I got them in the sale. Currently out of stock, but they can be found clicking here. The perfect suede ankle boots. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#BrowsLikeCara: Rimmel London Brow Boutique Review*

You know what’s good timing? Receiving a glorious golden parcel in the post from the lovely people at Rimmel London, brimming with brow products, the day after you ran out of the ones you had been using.
The Rimmel eyebrow pencils were some of the first I ever tried and in a few shades too, having dyed my natural brondey hair a shade of chocolate brown in my late teens and realising my uber pale brows no longer matched.

Since those days, Rimmel’s range has expanded to include a whole host of other brilliant bits tailored to get you banging brows. The great news is I’m going to give you the lowdown on it all, including the different looks you can create with each of the products…

The Professional Eye Brow Pencil
As I said above, my eyebrows are incredibly light and this product is by far my favourite in the range when it comes to giving them some much-needed definition.

Using the handy brush built into the lid, I always start by combing my brows through. I then take the pencil along the lower part of my brow and slowly start to fill them in. It’s important to do this in light strokes, so that you don’t run the risk of looking as though you have overenthusiastically filled in the gaps like a kid with their first colouring book.

Available in three versatile colours (Hazel, Medium Brown and Dark Brown), this pencil has a drier formula so isn’t quite as easy to blend as other pencils I have tried. That said, the product stays on all day so you can be sure that your groomed brows will be long lasting.

Brow This Way Gel
You can use the gel in two ways; on its own or after you have already filled in your brows. Personally, I prefer to use this after applying the pencil, as this sculpts and further defines my brows.

Formulated with argan oil, the gel actually conditions and softens your brows while being worn. You can purchase it in Blonde, Mid Brown, Dark Brown or, if none of those work for you, it is also available in Clear. My brows are slightly in between shades, though I think the Mid Brown might be slightly more appropriate. I tend to use only a little of this if I am going out of an evening, but if it’s a daytime look, I layer on some of the Clear gel.

What I really like about this product is the brush. It is tapered at the end, which allows you to catch all of your smallest hairs with the tip of the brush and comb through the rest with the fatter end. I think is a particularly good design feature, as it gives you complete control over your look.

Brow This Way Sculpting Kit
I have wanted to try one of these sets for a while; it’s almost as if Rimmel knew!
Admittedly, I am still a bit of a novice with this one and the first time I used it I wasn’t in a particularly well lit room. When I came back into normal lighting, I realised I had gone slightly overboard with the gel part of the kit. But, practice makes perfect!

This is the product I would be calling on for a night out; if you want a slightly more dramatic look, this is certainly the one to use. The kit comes with two little brush; one to comb through your lashes and the other a double ended angled brush – one end is harder for the wax and the other slightly softer for the powder.

You start off with the wax to define the lash. I start with this lightly underneath my brow, around the arch first and then add some upwards strokes at the starting point of my brow. I smooth this out as I go, being sure to build up rather than getting wax happy! When you have defined your brows in the way that you wish, you can use the powder to set this. This also helps to fill in any spots you have missed and make your eyebrows look that bit more natural.

Brow This Way Highlighting Pencil (not pictured)
One of the simplest but actually most exciting items I received has to be this one. You can get your brows looking groomed to perfection with all of the other products, but with this product you can leave them illuminated too.

This glittery little crayon can be used just under your eyebrow arch in order to give the appearance that brows are lifted. It adds a little shimmer that really helps to frame them – a real winner in my eyes!

So, as great as all this must sound, do you want to know what the best part is? The most expensive item in this round up is just £3.99 - can’t get fairer than that. You can find the range at local Boots and Superdrug stores, or from Rimmel’s website. Head on over and get shopping, before the whole world reads this blog post and fills their baskets!

*This blog post contains PR samples.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Makeup Wipes You Need To Know About*

I binned my makeup wipes some time ago, when I discovered the wonders of micellar water. Since switching, I have come to realise how much of a poor job I must have been doing over the years at taking my makeup off and I certainly haven’t looked back since.

That was, until I received some of Nivea’s Daily Essentials 3 in 1 Cleansing Micellar Wipes.

Drenched in Nivea’s award winning Sensitive Caring Micellar Water, they have been developed to allow for simple yet effective makeup removal, offering a gentle yet thorough cleansing experience. Enriched with Vitamin E, the wipes leave even the most sensitive skin feeling nourished and the clever technology means eyelashes are protected.

Micellar water is made up of ‘micelles’, microscopic water and fat loving molecules that work to remove even the smallest particles of dirt and makeup like a magnet.

I’ve recently started using the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara and if you have tried it, you’ll know it can be mega difficult to remove. These wipes whipped it off with no problem and didn’t cause any harm to my lashes in the process. You can also use them on your lips to remove those super long-lasting lipsticks at the end of the day.

Nivea’s years of research into cleansing is certainly evident with this product. I have never come across a wipes that take off so much makeup and they stay really wet, which just serves to make the process even easier.

If it wasn’t abundantly clear already, I am a big fan of these. The day’s makeup is easily absorbed without damaging the skin’s natural layer. In fact, skin feels soft and smooth after each use and fully prepped for your toner and moisturiser.  

So where can you pick these up yourself? Currently, the 3 in 1 Nivea Cleansing Micellar Wipes can be picked up at Boots stores for just £3.15.
*Includes PR samples.