2014 – Life lesson’s – A better, happier me

So, this post may not be to everyone’s taste. It could even be considered a bit self indulgent. Maybe consider it as me drawing a line under certain parts of my life, and moving on.
You see, for me, 2014 brought with it big challenges. I’m not saying it was a bad year, but one of those years that the powers that be decided to throw several curve balls my way, just to see if I’d cope or not. I can honestly say the words “Well it can’t get any worse” were uttered from my lips several times, and then it did. Fortunately, for me I’m stronger than I thought and I m still here with my head held high and a smile on my face.

With help from those close to me I have been able to reflect on certain challenges and treat them as a series life’s important lessons. I’m bringing these forward with me into 2015 and compared with this time last year I am a far happier and balanced person.

So, if your still with me on this, you might be thinking were is she going with this? Let’s just say I thought it would be nice to share with you the positives lessons I have learnt.

1. I am responsible for my own happiness.

I have been guilty of blaming others in my life for my own discontentment, to the point of pushing them away. It was only when I pushed them to far and was faced with losing those people dear to me, that I realised, what me blaming them everything was doing to them.
Not only that, it doesn’t change my own discontentment. Instead of blaming others for things in my life I’m not happy with I have learnt that it is up to me do something about it. The only person holding me back is myself. It is so easy to go through life making excuses for not doing things, or to sit back and wait for that invitation, job offer etc . I have learnt to be more proactive and in doing this have achieved far more of the things that I have wanted to. Consequently I’m a happier person.

2. Positivity is catching.

I made a decision to try to only portray positive thoughts to those around me. This may be in person or in my Facebook page, twitter feed etc.

What I have notice is that if I put out positive thoughts, I get back a positive reaction. No one wants to be around a cranky little madam. I’d be lying if I said I managed this all the time. My husband bless him puts up with my PMT like a saint, most of the time. Also If I’m feeling negative I have learnt to stay away from social media. It’s so easy to get drawn into someone else’s negativeness if your feeling cranky yourself. It works both ways.

3. There’s always someone out there who has it worse than myself.

It’s very easy to take certain things in our lives for granted. I’m not talking materialistically but having people around us that care. I’m lucky there is always someone there to turn to if I need a hug, a kind word or even to tell me to snap out of wallowing in self pity. (Harsh maybe, but necassery sometimes)
Some people are not as lucky as I am, they do not have a large family like I do, or are yet to meet their life partner. If I’m having a crap day, I can guarantee I have some one to come home to, even if it his to just cuddle up on the sofa and watch a film.

4. I have a unhealthy relationship with shopping.

Now this is something I’m currently working on. I have realised that I’m an emotional shopper. If I’m feeling down then my first response is to turn to some retail therapy. Trouble is that initial buzz doesn’t last long and I haven’t dealt with the situation that is bothering me. So I will look to the next purchase to give me that buzz again.

This has left me with a disturbing amount of stuff. (Mostly make-up and skin care). It’s starting to stress me out a bit as clutter does not make for a clear mind. I also had a bit of a lightbulb moment and realised that it’s not stuff that makes me happy but experiences. Trouble is if your buying all that stuff it doesn’t leave a lot of money left for those experiences that cost money.

This is something I’m working on, I have the opportunity to go on a holiday of a lifetime this year and I’m determined to come away with lots of happy memories. No more spending willy nilly or that holiday will not happen.

I have decided to write myself a bucket list of the things I want to achieve next year. I may share that at a later date, I’m still deciding.

If you have reached the end of my rambles then thank you for sticking with me. I would love to hear if anyone else feels that they have achieved a happier state of being and how they did that.

happy new year guys!!

let’s talk eyebrows!


Today I want to talk to you about eyebrows. It’s probably only in the last couple of years that I have realised the benefits of a well groomed brow. I feel they frame the face and actually lift the eye helping to make you look younger, or at the very least put together. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always tamed those strays, but other than grabbing a pair of tweezers every now and then that’s as far as my own personal brow grooming went. Now though I feel quite naked without properly groomed brows.

I put the rise in prominence of girls such as Cara Delvine and Lily Collins, whom are two girls famous for their brows, as a factor in switching me on to the difference a good full-brow can make. The right look can be very striking, when done the right way. Fortunately in my younger years I didn’t fall fowl of an over zealous need to pluck, so I have a good base to work from. It doesn’t take too much effort for me to achieve the look I’m after. Having said that it has taken a fair bit of trial an error with different products to achieve a look I’m after. I do feel I now manage to avoid looking like I have a couple of caterpillars creeping across my face.

This is why I thought I would share with you what I am currently using to achieve my desired look. Sorry I haven’t got great product pics, these have been shown some real love so are rather battered.

First up is W7’s deluxe eyebrow pencil in medium brown. This is lighter than my hair colour so doesn’t look to dark or artificial. I picked this up for £1.25 from fragrance direct. Unfortunately they only have it left in the black shade but a quick look on eBay showed there plenty of sellers offering it from between £2-£3. The pencil itself is soft, but firm enough that I can fill in any gaps in my brows without any dragging. It also has a handy stiff brow brush which I use to push my brows upwards then smooth them out into my desired arch shape.

Next up I use Maybelline’s brow drama gel in the shade medium, priced £4.99. This is currently on offer for 3 for2 at Very, so I grabbed some as a back up whilst it’s on offer. This has a fat round tipped brush. I wiggle this backwards and forwards a couple of times in the thicker inner part of my brow. I then move the bush out wards towards the outer part of my brow in an upwards motion. This works well to set my brows in place for the day. I have not had any problems with rain and finding my carefully done brows running down my face, which is always a plus. You do need to make sure that you have wipe any excess gel of the brush before you introduce it to your brows or it will make a mess.

Finally I use a little highlighter in the under side of my arch. I am currently using the highlighter end of MUA’s power brow. Priced a very reasonable £3 from Superdrug. This is a great subtle highlighter, the pencil end is pretty darn good as well. I use the shade mid-brown.

Check out my before and after pics, the difference these inexpensive products make is massive. I feel a groomed brow lifts my face completely.

I am very happy with the effectiveness of the current products I am using. I consider them to be good value for money. I’m not gonna lie though there are plenty of other brow products I’m tempted to try in the near future. So watch this space.

I’d love to here from you guys, what brow products you recommend.

Winter Beauty basics – My survival Kit

IMG_1859.JPGSo I don’t know about you, but I find the colder winter months bring with it extra challenges when it comes to maintaining basic beauty rituals. I’m not talking anything fancy here, just everyday maintenance. In the past keeping on top of chapped lips, dull skin and dry hands has felt like an ongoing problem. Thankfully thanks to several winters of trying out different products, I have now created myself a basic survival kit that helps to tackle such problems.

First up is The Body shop’s Hemp hand protector £5 for 30ml or £11 for 100ml. Here

I cannot give this hand cream enough credit for solving my dry hand issues. They used to get so bad during the winter months to the point that my skin would crack and bleed (yuck!!). Apart from the fact it hurt like hell my poor hands did not look pretty.

I had given up hope of finding an over the counter cream for this, nothing worked, and I was on the point of visiting my GP to see if they could help. It was about this time that I happened to go to a Body shop at home party. The sales rep demonstrated this particular cream, and to be honest I thought It stank, but when it sunk into my skin I knew something felt different to the other creams I had tried. This felt a bit oily, which is not something I would usually look for in a hand cream. I have put this down to the creams feature ingredient, Hemp seed oil. My hands clearly loved it though and seemed to absorb it so well, this was clearly what my poor hands were missing. So I thought what the heck, it’s worth a go. I am so glad I purchased some to take home with me, as my hands heeled nicely and I have not had a problem since, if I continue to use the cream regularly. So for this reason I can forgive it for it’s questionable smell, and to be honest you do get used to it.

The next product is Nuxe’s Re’ve de Miel Ultra nourishing Lip balm, priced £9.50. Here


My little sister was the one who pointed me in it’s direction (she got into blogs a lot earlier than I did). So from trying some of hers I was hooked. I’ll be honest here I probably would have looked at this product and laughed at the sales persons face if she tried to flog me a £9.50 lip balm. That’s the beauty off being able to try someone else’s before you commit yourself though.

The easiest place for me to pick this up is from Marks & Spencer’s beauty hall. They often have 20% of deals which lightens the blow to my pocket a bit. £9.50 for a a lip balm is pretty steep, but this works.

Lastly is an old favourite, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, priced £23.50. Both boots and Debenhams have this on offer for £21.15 at the moment though.Here


This is a great matte bronzer, perfect for fairer skinned girls like myself. I find used lightly it gives my skin just enough of a glow to stop my skin looking dull and washed out. The fact that it’s a matte formula works perfectly for this time of year if you are just looking for a natural looking touch of colour rather than a very shimmery look. Not what I’m after for an every day look, but that’s just my preference.

So what about you? Are there any products you consider a must have to get you through the winter months? Suggestions welcome x



Weekend pamper time – OPI’s Coca-Cola Red

So weekdays are busy, but it’s the weekend, which for me equals pamper time.
This weekend I decided to treat myself to a DIY pedicure. This was made super easy as I picked up a Macadamia oil extract foot pack from my local Poundshop. All I had to do was give my feet a quick wash and dry, then pop on these booties for 20 minutes. This particular pack is infused with macadamia and peppermint oil. I found this to be very soothing after a hard days christmas shopping, my feet were complaining big time.

The outer side of the booties are made from plastic with a gauze lining. You do look like a crazy person with a couple of plastic bags on your feet (see pic) but fortunately it doesn’t feel like it. There is enough oils within the pack to avoid this.

I then treated my feet to some cuticle oil which I massaged in. I am currently using Nevo Dead Sea spa cuticle oil. I have had this particular bottle for a while so the packaging has changed. It is available from their website though, priced £8.99. here

An essential item for me whenever I’m giving myself a fresh pedicure or manicure is Rimmel London’s Nail Nurse Perfectionail. Priced £4.49 from boots hereThis helps to refill any ridges and improve the surface of the nail ready for nail polish.

For today’s nail polish, I am using OPI’s CocaCola Red. This is a gorgeous true red from OPI’s June released CocoCola collection. All the shades are inspired by classic Cola drinks. I received my bottle in my latest birchbox subscription. It retails at £11.99 rrp which is quite expensive. However I have found the duo set available from Beautybay priced at a very reasonable £13.97. here

I absolutely love this shade, particularly for toes. I also consider it very seasonal appropriate. The coca-cola ‘holidays are coming’ advert is out and that means the start of the countdown to christmas for me. Quality wise it meets the quality I have come to expect from OPI, I find they apply smoothly and are opaque within two coats. I don’t feel they offer any outstanding qualities though in terms of chipping. This is a problem for me whatever polish I wear so I may not be the best judge for this. Overall though I am glad to have this particular nail polish in my collection, it is one I will be reaching for often.

So what do you like to use when pampering yourself? Or do you have a go to Red nail shade. I’d love to here suggestions in comment section below.

Bye for now


Say a Lindt Hello to their new chocolate bars – review


I could not contain my excitement when the postman dropped of these goodies. It’s not every day the postman arrives with a box of chocolate heaven. Thanks to a Bzzagents campaign I received a selection of Lindt’s new Hello range.

The five available flavours are, Caramel brownie, cookies and cream, salted caramel, strawberry cheesecake and crunchy nougat.
Each flavour comes in either a treat size bar or a larger sharing bar. Personally I could happily consume an entire sharing bar myself. (Yes really, and you know you’d so the same).

I was a good girl for once and shared some of these treats with my family and visiting friends. I wanted a broad range of opinions to feed back to BUZZ h.q.

There was not one flavour that didn’t please. I’m usually a sucker for salted caramel anything so naturally I thought this would be my favourite. How wrong was I? Say hello to my name is strawberry cheesecake. This is like no other chocolate bar I’ve tried before, it really does taste like creamy strawberry cheesecake. Yum! hands down my favourite flavour.

What about you? Have you tried any of Lindt’s Hello bars yet?

Game Changer Product #3 Original Beautyblender

photo 1

So this weeks game changer product is one that I actually was reluctant to try, crazy me I know. Let me explain my reasoning. Firstly for a make-up sponge the price tag is pretty steep. Without the recommended cleanser we are talking around £16. Secondly, I had tried cheaper dupes from ebay, that do not actually perform as well as the original. I didn’t think my make-up looked or lasted any better than with a brush and they did not stand up to a proper clean. I was not going to stump up the price for the real deal on the chance that it performed any better. 

Thanks to receiving an Original Beautyblender with cleanser solid, priced at £26 rrp,  in June’s edition of Birchbox  my mind has been changed.

The genuine product is much smoother and is able to be cleaned without breaking up. Like the big kid that I am it also amuses me how much the sponge grows when used wet. It has taken me a bit of experimentation with application to get the flawless look that Beautyblender have promised but after a months use I’m impressed. I just squeeze my chosen foundation or BB cream onto the back of my hand then use the large end to pick up product and stipple my face with it. I start from the centre of my face and then work outwards finishing by blending down towards my neck. Application is quicker than with a brush and the finish is better than if you where in a hurry and just using your fingers. As a busy mum I’m all for products that are going to speed things up in the morning. 

I still think the price is a bit steep but I am going to repurchase this when my current one gets tired looking. My make-up just looks better and I’m able to easily achieve luminous looking make up with minimal effort. See the picture below.

photo 2This is where subscription beauty boxes are great as you are nudged into trying products that you wouldn’t have done otherwise. 

What products have you discovered through subscription boxes? Have you ever avoided trying out a product, only to wish you had tried it sooner? Comment below I would love to hear your thoughts.



No buy July update – Staying on the Wagon

So today is the 17th July and we are over half way through the month. This no shopping business is tough. Several times I’ve nearly caved in but I keep telling myself, “no don’t do it, you’ve come this far.”

My ever so helpful husband, likes to remind me every time he catches me browsing online, that I’m on a ban. To be honest, if he wasn’t keeping me in line I’d have broken my ban by now. So gold star to him!!

Anyone else on a ban and finding it tough? I know I am, but blogging about it and having someone to remind me has helped keep me on the wagon.

Game changer product #2 Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

What can I say about this product other than I’m sold! It took me a long time to come round to the idea of BB creams. I just didn’t get what the fuss was all about. Particularly as I am someone that suffers from lots of spots and blemishes, I was not going to be swayed from the safety net that foundation was for me. That was until I tried one of those sample sachets found inside glossy magazines.


Now don’t get me wrong I haven’t given up foundation completely but when I’m in a hurry I can rely in this baby to help me out.

I use the shade light for oily to combination skin. The colour match is perfect for my fair complexion and the oil free formula definitely benefits my skin type, (Prone to spots around chin and gets a bit shiny during the summer).


Garnier claim that this is an all-in-one solution that immediately perfects
combination to oily skin. The lightweight formula promises to mattify, reduce the appearance of imperfections, hydrate, even skin tone, give a healthy glow whilst providing SPF20 perfection.*

I would say that for me it does all these things. I feel confident enough to do the school run wearing this and nothing else. I at least look awake and perky, if not completely put together.

The consistency is quite thin so you do have to be careful not to make a mess as it does tend to get everywhere. On the plus side though little bit also goes a long way. You only need a small amount of product, if you use too much it can lose it’s mattifying effect. I’d just like to add also that if I have time I will set my chin area with a little powder just to increase it’s staying power.

The usual price of this is £9.99 for 40ml of product available from the usual places such as Boots and Superdrug. I consider this good value for money as a tube lasts me at least 4 months. It’s also currently on offer in Boots for £6.66. www.boots.com/en/Garnier-BB-Skin-Perfector-Oil-Free-Light_1262025/ .If I weren’t on a spending ban I’d be grabbing me a back up. I’m being very good though and resisting for now. This will be a repurchase in the future though.

What about you? Have you tried this BB cream? Or are you someone like me that was a bit late to the BB cream party?

Resisting the Urge to Splurge…no buy July


This is just a quick post today, talking about my self imposed spending ban, for the duration of July.

There are a couple of reasons for this

1. I am over run with beauty related products I really do not need anymore, even my back ups have back ups. (Oh the shame).

2. I need to prove to myself than I’m not an obsessive compulsive spender, I do actually have a tiny bit of self control, honest!

3. I need to save some money for my big sisters hen weekend, so far the savings pot is still empty..oops!

Today is the 6th and so far so good I haven’t wobbled. I even managed to resist some L’oreal and Revlon make-up bargains in my local pound shop. Usually I’d be all over that. You can’t see this bit I’m patting myself on the back right now. Go me!!

My only concession is I will still be receiving july’s Birchbox as I have a prepaid subscription on the go. Hopefully this will satisfy the usual mid month urge to splurge. You never know.

What about you? Has anyone else put themselves on a spending ban? How are you managing? I know I’m going to need constant reminder I mustn’t be shopping this month.

Game changer products # 1 – Wilkinson Sword Intuition Razor

This is the first of a regular weekly post dedicated to sharing with you one product that has impressed me so much it has dramatically changed an aspect of my regular beauty regime. Hence the tag line game changer product.

So drumroll please ….what is this weeks product?

Can we give a big round of applause to the Wilkinson Sword Intuition razor. This weeks product might be a bit of a boring one but it has made my life so much easier.


Wilkinson Sword Intuition Razor

Now here’s confession time. As a busy mum lets just say defuzzing has not always been high on my list of priorities. Yes I can be a bit of a hairy Mary at times (hangs her head in shame). In my defence, when your trying to get out the door for the school run and yourself ready for work It’s far less effort to sling on a pair of tights or trousers over those fuzzy legs. Why bother with slathering your legs in shaving gel and contourting yourself into awkward positions whist running the risk of shredding your shins on a razor blade in your haste? Come on hands up, whose with me on that one?

It was much to my husbands relief then when I received a Wilkinson Sword Intuition razor in Decembers edition of Glossybox. I can proudly say thanks to this product 2014 has been the year of lovely smooth fuzz free legs.

So what’s so different about this razor you ask?

Let’s just say it’s the convenience of it. I don’t have a shower at present so have to jump in the bath each morning. This little beauty has suction pads on its holder so it lives on the wall next to the bath. So what? That’s not exactly life changing. Well here it’s where it gets interesting. Check out its unique blades.


Wilkinson Sword Intuition RazorThis is what Wilkinson’s sword have to say about it.

*4 blades surrounded by a gentle creamy soap that lathers, shaves and moisturisers in one easy step. Leaving your skin visibly softer and smoother. No need for shave gel, soap or body wash.

Lets just say, for me, the razor performs exactly as it claims. Each morning I’m able to run this little beauty over my legs, underarms etc.
Instantly I’m left with lovely smooth skin without the normal faffing. I would say I can have this done in about two minutes. Even better I don’t get any nasty cuts or stubble rash as the creamy soap is so lubricating and moisturising. The blades I use are the Revitalising care with pomegranate extract ones, mainly as I’m a sucker for anything with pomegranate in. They do actually smell quite nice.

The only bug bear for me is the price. The blades don’t come cheap. £7.19 for a pack of three in Boots to be precise. So it is worth stocking up when you see these on offer. I have also found these on Amazon for £6.29 so worth considering if you are already making a purchase there.

One box of blades tends to last me a month so it is still cheaper and less painful than waxing. On a side note I’m a baby, waxing just hurts too much, and don’t like the regrowth period you have to go through between waxes. So for me the expense is justified.

All in all I’m so glad I received this product in my Glossybox, as it just trumps what I was previously using when I could be bothered to de fuzz. I wouldn’t have even considered trialling it due to the price, it is definitely worth it though. Now it’s not such a chore or time-consuming I can proudly say I’m no longer a hairy Mary. Yay me!!!

There you go, that is my first game changer product. What about you? Do you find the constant battle with the fuzz a chore? Are there any products that you would consider game changer Products? I would love to know what they are x

*press sample