Showing posts with label manchester beauty blogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manchester beauty blogger. Show all posts

Brand Spotlight #2: Soap&Glory

So I'm obsessed with Soap&Glory and adore a large range of products so thought I would share some of my favourites! Soap&Glory is a brand I've loved since I was thirteen and living in Thailand where I was introduced to the Righteous Butter (something my mum and I still use!).

But as we have a lot to get through, let's get going.

Makeup wise, I haven't tried that many things but it should be no surprise that Brow Archery is one of my favourites. It's the perfect ashy brown for my hair and it just looks wonderful. The nib is really fine and the spooly is wonderful! But recently, I've been trying the Brow Archery 2-in-1 which is similar to the brow archery but instead of a simple pencil, it has a tinted brow wax which has the perfect amount of colour and waxiness. Ideal for those no makeup days where the brows still need to be tamed.

Soap&Glory skincare has been something I've seriously ignored until recently but I'm a woman obsessed. I've never been big on day creams but the Speed Plump All Day Moisture Marvel is brilliant. It smells incredible (the marshmallow Soap&Glory scent) and works really well. It sits really well under makeup but doesn't make it look greasy or anything like that. And then for night, I've been loving moisture masks and with a fourteen hour flight looming, I needed something that worked in flight as well. The Beauty Sleep Accelerator is incredible and I honestly think it might be a slightly thicker dupe for the Origins Drink Me Up Moisture Mask. It smells of mango and is incredibly moisturising but leaves my skin fresh and glowy in the morning. 

And onto bodycare, I couldn't not mention the Righteous Butter because I've been using it for donkey's years and it's the best. The scent isn't too overpowering and it sinks into your skin straight away. The one pictured is from the christmas scent, hence why it's little (which is great for travelling) but normally, the tub is much larger!

Have you tried Soap&Glory? What are some of your favourites? 

This post may contain items that have been sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

The November Book Edit

Some of you may not know but I'm currently in my second year of studying Literature at university and because my course involves so much reading, I found that I was weighed down with so many heavy novels that I wasn't doing what I loved in my free time. So this year, I've been making a conscious effort to read before bed and read a book that I haven't been told to...

Penny books on amazon are my holy grail (you only pay for postage) and so I recently made an order with a couple of vouchers I'd been saving up and ordered a whole load of books that should hopefully keep me going for a couple of months. 

First off isn't a new purchase but is something I actually preordered and is Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman which is the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird which was actually one of the first "adult" novels I read (we're talking year 7 here) and it's a book I always have and is consequently almost worn out! It's a great book but if you're as obsessed with the first one as I am, then you might want to give this a miss as it's definitely not as good as the first one.

Then, another sequel is The Invention of Wings which is the sequel to The Secret Life of Bees which is another incredible book. The Invention of Wings follows the story of Hetty for the next thirty or so years and really develops character far more than in the first. I would definitely recommend reading The Secret Life of Bees first as there is a significant back story that could cause elements of the sequel to be slightly lost.

And then a book which was massively popular a couple of years ago, but I've only recently read is The Goldfinch. It reminds me of The Catcher in the Rye and has a similar storyline in the way that it centres around a 13 year old in New York City but it's far more intricate story as it follows the main protagonist's life after he loses his mother and is taken in by a wealthy family friend. Theo then discovers a painting which reminds him of his mother and is sucked into the world of art. It's not a difficult read but is absolutely fascinating to read.

The Summer Hair Update: The Balayage

I've never been much of a hair care person - I tend to buy the cheapest shampoo (we're talking under £10 here) and the most I do is the occasional hair mask or hair serum (if I remember) so hair is not big on my list. But I do love getting highlights.

So with Spring finally setting in, I decided I wanted my hair to be a bit lighter and went for a balayage which is essentially a more "natural" ombre and because the upper half of my head is still natural, it's a relatively low maintenance colour. For all my manchester readers, I went to RCNQ in the Northern Quarter for a cut and colour (Liam did my colour and Vince my cut) and I'm so happy! What I'm so pleased about is the condition of my hair, it's definitely slightly drier on the newer blonde parts but nothing like when I've had colour put in before. But when I was getting my hair cut, I got chastised on my lack of hair care, I decided it was time for a change.

Cue, Bumble and Bumble. Bumble and Bumble is almost a cult brand for hair care - they're obviously more expensive than your standard L'Oreal Elvive but they're brilliant. I've been using the Bb Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner which are brilliant. Because my hair is naturally quite frizzy, the oils in the shampoo and conditioner leave my hair feeling soft and smooth which means serum is off the cards! When blowdrying it, I'm using the Bb All Style Blow Dry Creme (not pictured because it's only a sample size) but I've been loving it so much that I've ordered a full size! My hair feels so light and smooth and it definitely holds it's blow dry longer than before.

Instead of assorted and random hair masks, I've been using Sacha Juan Hair Repair which is so lovely. I try to whack this on a Sunday so I can leave my hair in a shower cap for as long as possible but it makes my hair so much softer and manageable and I've noticed a steady improvement in the quality of my hair since using it.

So definitely a bit of a Bumble and Bumble rehaul but my hair is in so much better condition that it's definitely worth it. What are your haircare essentials?

The Ultimate Summer Bases Edit

I'm not a foundation person, in fact I only started wearing it properly(ish) about six months ago, so it's not really my thing but I love BB creams, CC creams, DD creams, EE creams - any sort of light base, I love. Because imperfections aren't a big deal for me, the coverage isn't essential and all I'm concerned about is to have a relatively even skin tone. And these four products are my go to bases for evening out any redness and making me look slightly more put together than usual (also, who has time for a full face of foundation before university?) But the reality is, with summer creeping in, light bases are exactly what is wanted when it's warm outside.

One of my favourites from last summer was the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector for Sensitive Skin in Light. And I still love it. It gives a lovely dewy finish and evens out skin tone and gives a lovely finish. Garnier have brought out several new versions and they now have an oil free version, an all in one version and several other options which is great for all you ladies who might prefer a more matte version. However, it is quite pink toned but if I'm right, I believe since it was released, there are now some yellow toned versions! But this is a great option for a reasonably priced drugstore option.

A slightly more pricey option and less of a BB cream or tinted moisturiser is YSL La Teint Touche de Eclat which is a lovely dewy foundation that has really light coverage but leaves your skin lovely and glowy. It's quite a liquidy foundation so you don't need much but it's lovely all the same.

Then onto a brand spanking new product is bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream which I had the opportunity to try and it's so wonderful. It has surprisingly high coverage considering it's described as a tinted gel, but it feels so light on the skin and is my perfect summer base and one I'm going to be wearing a lot! What's nice is that it's really buildable so although it's quite light, it gives enough coverage for concealer to be quite minimal!

And finally, the lightest of the bunch is thisworks Perfect Look Skin Miracle which is definitely minimal coverage but adds a lovely colour to your skin, the kind of bronze where it looks like you've caught the sun, but not so bronze as you would have to worry about fake tanning! It definitely makes your skin look glowy (how many times can I use this word) but definitely adds a flawless finish to the skin and somewhat refines pores. If you do have any blemishes, I would recommend applying concealer after this because it is quite liquidy and because I apply it with fingers, it does tend to reduce the effect of the concealer. This is my current go to for every day university makeup - we're talking mascara, brows and skin. The basics.

What bases do you reach for in summer?

This post may contain items that have been sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Winter Hair Care and Styling

[Batiste Dry Shampoo, John Frieda Serum, Lee Stafford Repair Oil Serum, Toni&Guy Rough Texturiser and Toni&Guy Salt Spray]

I never used to be a big blowdry person but now I could hardly imagine myself not drying my hair with a hairdryer! But as someone with incredibly frizzy hair whilst still being someone who wants texture means that I've had to come up with my own recipe for the perfect blow dry.

First thing I do is apply the John Frieda serum to my hair when it's wet, but focus on the middle and ends to avoid greasy roots. I then brush it through. I then apply a couple of pumps of the Lee Stafford hair oil to just the ends. Then I blow dry it! But when I do this, I have to split up my hair into sections to make sure it dries fully. When my hair is partially dry, I spray the littlest amount of salt spray in the ends of my hair to give it the slightest bit of texture but the heat from the hairdryer means that my hair doesn't go crunchy.

Once my hair is dry, I spray a bit of the Dry Texturising spray (which is an incredible dupe for the Oribe version) into my roots to give a great mussed up look without having to worry about my hair looking frizzy!

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Cheap Gift Ideas: Christmas Chocolate Shortbread

There are (unfortunately) always those moments in life with Christmas approaching and the prospect of having to give people christmas presents looming when your bank balance isn't quite in the best state... And there are also those awkward moments when you're given gifts but aren't necessarily in the financial place to return the gesture.

But I have the solution!

There were so many people that I wanted to give presents to this year that it simply wasn't feasible so I decided to go down a more crafty route - baking and packaging the baked goods. Erring away from your more traditional christmas cookies, (one of my closest friends hates cinnamon), I chose to go with Nigella's chocolate shortbread recipe with a chocolate glaze which came out quite nicely...

Here's how I did it (recipe makes approx 24):

For the biscuits
250 grams soft butter
150 grams caster sugar
40 grams cocoa powder
300 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the festive topping
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
175 grams icing sugar
60 ml boiling water (from a kettle)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
christmas sprinkles (I bought mine from Aldi)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/ gas mark 3/ 325 degrees farenheit.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the cocoa powder. When mixed well, add the flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda.
  3. Bake each batch for 15 minutes. They come out quite soft but cook more as they cool. (Trust me, my first batch were overcooked!)
  4. For the glaze: Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and whisk for ten minutes on a low heat. Let it cool before you ice the biscuits. The glaze seems incredibly liquidy but it dries hard on the biscuits so don't add any more icing sugar!
  5. When icing the biscuits, make sure the cooling rack is on top of some newspaper as the icing does go everywhere! 
  6. Sprinkle some of the festive sprinkles whilst the icing is still wet as it dries quite fast.
  7. Let the icing cool for about 10 minutes and you're good to go!
Then what I did is package up the cookies in little cellophane bags (you can get these everywhere - try ebay or your local craft store), tie a bit of twine round them and attach a cute little gift tag for a lovely festive gift.

If you couldn't get your hands on any christmas themed sprinkles, try getting cellophane bags with festive prints on them (you can get snowmen, snowflakes and loads of other designs), but they're such a cute gift to give and because they're homemade, people don't tend to focus in on the fact that they haven't been bought a gift!

These are perfect for friends - especially if you have over five people you want to give presents too! I had twelve, hence why I opted to make something rather than buy!

The cookies are delicious and they look so pretty!

Would you ever try a homemade gift for christmas?

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Top 5 New Look Gift Picks

Tis the season of gift guides and I've already suggested several different things but if you still can't find the perfect gift, try New Look. New Look is one of my favourite shops (not only because they stock size 9 footwear) but because they're always on trend and generally stock things for people of various shapes and sizes! They've also recently released a new beauty line which is pretty brilliant!

But they also have just launched a brilliant Gift Generator which helps give you suggestions of things to buy for your loved ones! I was asked to have a bit of a play and come up with my top five gift picks! Simply click on the category that applies best and it comes up with ideas - which is how I came up with my top five gifts - saves so much time trawling through websites and if you still haven't come up with your christmas presents, time is of the essence!

The ones included in the guide are all from the Secret Santa collection from the generator which means they're not overly expensive and suit most people - however, they do have age specific options for both male and female so you can really narrow down your search!

Above you'll find a range of gifts to suit each person from the best friend who loves a good pair of novelty pyjamas to the friend who loves a bit of bling on a bag - there is something for everyone from a range of prices.

I hope you've been inspired from this post and may have come up with a couple of ideas! But don't forget to have a play on the gift generator as it really is fun and very helpful!

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For Someone Who Has It All: The Book of Everyone

We always have those people in our life who we love dearly but struggle to find them the perfect christmas present and unfortunately, my brother falls into this category.

As a person, he's quite quirky and has so many interests that given the right shop (Think the gift shop at the Tate Modern), you could buy everything for him but if you can't find anything, you struggle. 

So when I found about the Book of Everyone*, I was ecstatic. The whole concept of the book is brilliant - it's all online and you enter the details of the person the gift is for, like their age, name and interests and it generates a book! It is an incredibly personal gift as you get to choose things such as the book cover, change page content and add in little things that only you could know.

The quality of the book is incredible, it's a hardback book and overall, aesthetically it's so lovely. Despite already seeing the book pages online, it was really nice to look through and see what I had digitally created come together on paper. 

However, you don't just have to have books for individuals, they also do "The Book of Dad", "the Book of Mum" etc.  And the best part is that they come in at less than  £20 which means they're perfect for secret santa gifts as well as the ideal gift for someone who has everything!

Is this something you might consider?

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Wrapping Up For Christmas

It's almost Christmas!

One of the best things about Christmas has to be buying the presents but suddenly this year, I was more excited to wrap them than actually buy them... I blame pintrest. Pintrest is a site that I've recently become obsessed with and I have spent far too much time on it looking at pretty presents. Which gave me the idea to kind of go with a shabby chic feel to the presents with plain brown parcel paper, bakers twine (red and white striped) and plain brown luggage tags. And instead of spending hours traipsing around shops, I headed to ebay which not only has cheap products that are sold at wholesale price but there are lots of little etsy esque shops but for half the price. 

But when I logged on, I came across this adorable snowman printed paper that is just so cute and is christmassy enough without being garrish! Instead of red and white twine, I found this plain red one and because of the white in the snowman, I was worried it would clash so red it was...

And finally, the gift tags! These were so cute I couldn't say no. 

All in all, I've just realised how sad it is to be this excited about wrapping christmas presents but I actually saved so much money through going to ebay - 10m of the wrapping paper was £2, the gift tags £1 and the twine £2 which was once again much cheaper than buying each one from an actual shop!

Do any of you get excited about wrapping presents or is it just me?

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Wrapping Ideas for Christmas

So Christmas is mere weeks away there is nothing quite as exciting as Christmas shopping and buying presents but for me personally, one of the best things has to be wrapping them.

Pintrest is one of my favourite time-wasting sites and you may be able to tell that a lot of inspiration has gone into wrapping these presents... Bored of the standard ribbons and wrapping paper, I turned to ebay (partially to save time traipsing around shops but partially to get the best deal...)

One of my initial ideas was to use a brown paper as the base and bakers twine (which is traditionally red and white striped) with plain brown luggage tags however I got sucked into ebay and ended up with a little bit more than initially planned...

There are loads of different variations on the plain brown wrapping paper but these snowmen were definitely my favourite - wintery without the garrish christmas colours you often find. Because of the white with the snowmen, I deterred from the traditional bakers twine towards a plain red twine which definitely looks better! The little tags were the final touch and these can be bought in shops and there are loads of different designs, one of my other favourites read "No peeking till the 25th".

I'm so pleased with the results - the presents look so cute and I'm really looking forward seeing my family unwrap them on Christmas! It was definitely cheaper to get these from eBay as they are often wholesale prices. I bought 10m of wrapping paper for £2, the tags were £1 and the twine was £2 - much cheaper than Clintons! If you're super organised, buy your wrapping paper in October because the cheapest merchants on eBay are often located in China so things take a month to ship - but you save even more postage through it! Had I been more organised, I'd have definitely done it but I now have enough wrapping paper to last me another year...

Do you put any thought into wrapping presents or is it not as important? I must admit, I didn't think it was a big deal but then Pintrest happened...

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