08 April 2018

Ready to feel the heat? | Lippy In The City

I love eye shadow palettes (let me just put that out there), I really do… But, as much as I love eye shadows, there’s only so many taupe-y brown shades a girl can have before you end up with a million duplicates.

The Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette however, is a whole new ball game! When I initially saw it, I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on all the warm, burnt orange hues. A few YouTube tutorials later however and I knew I had to have this palette in my life. As I'm currently on a spending ban, I was fortunate enough to receive this gorgeous palette as a gift from my Mum.

Let me start off by saying the packaging is absolutely stunning, never mind the eye shadows (lol). The palette feels study and well put together, something that would withhold potentially being bashed around whilst travelling. It also contains a large mirror which is always a bonus and a double ended eye shadow brush. I like to use the brushes that come with palettes as the quality of them has increased dramatically over the last few years and this brush is no exception. You could easily use this brush on its own if you were in a squeeze and needed to do your eye make quickly.

The Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette contains 12 eye shadows, 7 matte, and 5 shimmer shades, and they all compliment each other beautifully. I have to admit, there a few shades in the palette that I’m never going to touch, ‘He Devil – a burnt matte red’ for one. It’s just too bright, and too orange to work on my skin tone. I have, however been reaching for ‘Chaser – a light nude matte’, and ‘Sauced – soft terracotta matte’ for my transition shades, with ‘Lumbre – a gorgeous copper shimmer with gold pearl’ on the lid and ‘Ashes – deep reddish brown matte’ in the outer corner. This combination is so beautiful and the warm colours make my eyes look super green, I love it!

I've been most impressed by the eye shadow formulas, the matte shadows in particular. Matte shadows have a tendency to be overly chalky and difficult to blend which often ends up with them looking patchy. These eye shadows on the other hand blend like a dream! I couldn't believe how quickly I blended out an eye look, this will definitely be my eye shadow palette of choice going forward when I'm in a hurry.

Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette yet? xoxo

05 April 2018

Getting to the bottom of it... My IBS Story | Lippy In The City

This is going to be a completely different blog post to my usual beauty and lifestyle related ramblings (pre-warning). Today, I'm going to talk about IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome to give it it's full horrible name. When I look back, I'd say I've been suffering with IBS since I was around 14, that's half my lifetime! It comes and goes with varying degrees of severity but has been significantly worse for me during the last 16 months.

This recent episode started when I came back from Cuba in January 2016 where I'd had the most amazing holiday with my boyfriend, but during the holiday and the weeks that followed I could tell there was something seriously up with my gut. I was ranging from not going to the bathroom for two weeks, to having to go multiple times a day. This was made significantly worse by the crippling pain that I was experiencing in the process. The pains in my stomach and lower abdomen were like nothing I had ever experienced before, I remember being in work in tears as I was in the bathroom praying that the pain would subside as I felt like I physically couldn't move, it was a really scary experience. As the pains in my stomach wears off, I'm left with a dull ache down my thighs and lower back which isn't too pleasant either.

As well as the pains, desperate urge to dash to the loo, and stomach gurgles, I bloat. LIKE. NO. OTHER. I can frequently resemble the look of a women 84 months pregnant. Many of my clothes don't fit when I'm having a bad day and I feel like a sausage that has been filled too much, almost like I'm ready to bust at the seems. Elasticated waistbands have quickly become my bff's.

One day I decided that enough was enough, I couldn't continue to live this way (if you can call it living). I was passing up opportunities and saying no to things quite simply through the fear of needing the loo. I dread to think of all the things I've turned down over the years because of my IBS. After a particularly bad morning in work I got an emergency appointment at my local Drs who did in fact confirm that I was suffering with a bad bout of IBS (no shit Sherlock...) I have both IBS - D (D for the diarrhoea version) and IBS - C (C for the constipation version). People can have either one of the other, or be unfortunate like me and swing between the two. IBS doesn't currently have an 'official' cure, I manage mine as best as I can but it can be made worse by certain foods, stress and your environment, you have to learn over time what your personal triggers are. I was prescribed Alverine Citrate by my GP which has been an absolute god-send. Alverine Citrate is an anti-spasmodic medication that helps stop the spasms in your gut that cause me the crippling pain. I take these twice a day as the pain in my stomach is by far my worst symptom.
(There are many different IBS medications available, your GP will prescribe which is best for you and your symptoms).

Over the last few months I have researched numerous natural remedies to try and ease my symptoms too. I've found that heat works particularly well for me, on bad days I sit with a mini hot water bottle up my jumper (I'm sure my colleagues must think I'm crazy) but if it works, it works. Hot showers and baths are also firm favourites of mine, I find the hot water on my stomach and back so soothing. I've come to realise that caffeine aggravates my stomach too so I tend to stick to peppermint tea whenever possible, but some days you just have to accept though that nothing is going to help and riding it out is your only option. Those days are the worst.

I've also started experimenting with a low FODMAP diet. Two weeks in and I can honestly say I've never felt better, I haven't bloated once! If you'd like more info on what a low FODMAP diet entails please let me know in the comments and I can pop a blog post together outline it's principles and how it works.

DISCLAIMER: My apologies if this post has offended any of my regular readers. I have been so inspired by the wonderful Jo Coates after reading her IBS story, I had to share mine too. As many as 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer with IBS, yet unfortunately it still carries a massive stigma. It would be amazing if we could get people talking so we could start addressing the issues surrounding this debilitating condition and finally bring these barriers down... xoxo


05 March 2018

My Top 5 Study Tips | Lippy In The City

I can’t believe I’m half way through the second year of my degree already, time literally flies when you’re having fun! I study part-time with the Open University (whilst working full-time) and I’m working towards a BA Honours in Law. I’d always wanted to go to uni, but for one reason or another its never been the right time. So one day I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, in my head I thought ‘if I don’t do it now I never will, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As I’m now well and truly into the swing of juggling my studies with work, as well as life in general I’d thought I’d share my top 5 tips on how to keep everything up in the air…

This may seem like an obvious one, but I wanted to mention it as I’ve had many a night where I’ve sat up in my study trying to push through to meet a deadline but the information just isn’t going in. Personally, I work better in the morning, so for me if I’m up against it I’m much better off calling it quits and having an early night and getting up early to finish whatever I’m working on. This might work in reverse for you, you might be a night-owl where you retain information better in the evening, as opposed to the morning. I’ve found it’s best to work out which time of the day works best for you and your brain. That way you’ll be less tired and more productive. Win win!

I love spending a day at the weekend studying, especially when my fiance is at work, that way I know it’s not eating in to our time together. I like to get up early, get all ready and treat it like a proper work day, that way I get myself into a studying mindset. But sometimes having a whole study day ahead of you can seem daunting, so I like to make a plan of action for the day and schedule in regular study breaks. There’s only so much your brain can take in before you become tired and easily distracted. I like to work for an hour and a half then have a fifteen-minute break. I ideally like to step away from laptop for a bit to give my eyes a rest, I’ll make a snack and a cup of tea, or pop some laundry in. Sometimes I like to watch a few YouTube videos just so I’m not actually concentrating on anything for a bit. After fifteen minutes I get back into it again feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another session.

We all have weeks where we know we have assignments that need to be handed in, but we’ve planned to go out with friends that we haven’t seen in for-evvverr, as well as stay on at work to catch up on the new quarter (as well as planning a wedding and maintain a blog…). These weeks can feel non-stop and be really tough. When I have a week like this coming up I like to plan my whole week out, some days down to the hour so that I know I can fit it all in. By drilling down to the hour you’ll be surprised at how much time you actually have in your week and where you can utilise your free time and get the studying in. For me, it’s usually the weekends or early in the morning. If you got up an hour earlier before work every day during the week you’ll have done an extra five hours of studying by the time the weekend rolls around. That time could make all the difference and even be what takes you from a pass to a distinction.

Again, this might seem like an obvious one but leaving your assignments to the last minute is
disastrous. You'll be stressed, you know your work won't be your best and you could lose vital marks towards your degree. Over the past two years I've learnt exactly how long I need to prep and write out my assignments. By settling down to them when I know I have the time to do them properly amounts to a much less stressful experience. I have a little routine in place, and so far it hasn't let me down.
(FYI... I need one weekend, and three evenings after work to get my assignments done currently).

Lastly, make sure that all this hard work is going to be worth it. Only do it because you love it, and because you know it's going to get you one step closer to your dreams. I'm doing it because I've always wanted to be degree educated, to better myself and to prove to myself  (as well as a few others) that I can do it, and I can do it damn well! Whatever your motivation to study is, do it because your going to feel so proud standing up in your gown and mortarboards receiving your degree and all the blood, sweat and tears will have been worth it!

I really hope you've found these study tips helpful, I'd love to know what yours are in the comments below... xoxo

Images courtesy of unsplash.com


25 February 2018

Eyelashes on Fleek with Peaches and Cream | Competition *CLOSED*

I love false lashes, I feel like they pull your whole makeup look together and really add that extra touch of glamour. I am however, a bit of a newbie when it comes to false eyelashes as I'm usually rubbish at applying them, until I discovered the Peaches and Cream lashes. These lashes are game changers, and I'm totally addicted!

I received two pairs of Peaches and Cream lashes to review from the amazing team at falseeyelashes.co.uk. They stock over 1,500 different styles of lashes from over 40 different brands, so if your a lash newbie like me, or a falsie connoisseur, there's a brand for you!

I went for style numbers 09 and 17 from Peaches and Cream. Style number 09 is a gorgeously soft, fluttery lash that would be perfect for adding a touch of glamour to any day or night look. These wispy eyelashes are perfect for adding subtle length and texture to your natural lashes. If you're new to the whole false lash game, these would be a fantastic introduction. Peaches and Cream Style 9 are made from a blend of high quality human hair and synthetic fibres, they have a retail price of £4.50.

Style number 17 is very similar to style number 09 but with an added hit of drama! These fuller falsies are ideal for adding length, texture and volume to your look making these lashes perfect for an evening out. These lashes are made using high quality human hair for a professional finish and have a retail price of £6.50 which is amazing for the quality!

I trimmed both sets of lashes to fit the shape of my eye before applying them. The Peaches and Cream lashes don't come with lash glue, but this can be picked up separately at falselashes.co.uk. These false eyelashes went on like a dream for me, I only needing to tuck both corners in once I'd applied them and I was good to go. The lashes felt comfortable and light to wear, and I even forgot I was wearing them within a few minutes.

These Peaches and Cream lashes are so good, I wanted to give you the opportunity to experience them for yourself! One lucky Lippy In The City reader will win two pairs of Peaches and Cream false eyelashes in style number 09 and 17. All you have to do to enter is click on the widget below and follow the steps, the competition closes at midnight on Sunday 18th March - Good luck! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Terms and Conditions
- Please use the Rafflecopter widget to enter this giveaway.
- To qualify you MUST follow @LippyInTheCity and @welovelashes on Twitter.
- I will select an individual winner at random who will receive 2 pairs of  Peaches and Cream false eyelashes.
- Unfortunately this is a UK giveaway ONLY.
- The giveaway closes at midnight on Sunday 18th March.
- The competition winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the competition ending.

A massive thank you to the team at falseeyelashes.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to experience these amazing Peaches and Cream lashes. The samples I received were complimentary and for review purposes, all opinions as always, are my own.


17 February 2018

#shareasmile with TePe | Lippy In The City (AD)

Have you ever experienced that awkward moment when someone knows what you've had for lunch without even telling them? (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there). Trapped food in your teeth can be embarrassing, but thanks to the new TePe EasyPick, the latest innovation from the oral healthcare experts at TePe, these moments are about to become a thing of the past.

I've teamed up with Tepe to #shareasmile for today's Random Acts of Kindness Day! TePe is a Swedish family-owned company who have been designing, developing and manufacturing oral hygiene products since 1965. TePe celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and is currently the number one brand in the UK for interdental brushes, plus they're recommended by 94% of dental hygienists across the UK!

The TePe EasyPick is an interdental pick that is gentle on the gums and has a non-slip grip, so whether you’ve just finished your lunch al desko, are enjoying a dinner date or are off to a job interview, TePe EasyPick can discreetly and easily remove any trapped food whilst also cleaning between the teeth, they have quickly become one of my handbag essentials. Developed with the dental profession, TePe EasyPick’s tapered head also helps to clean the hidden 40% of the tooth that tooth brushing alone misses. Just finish with a swipe of your favourite lipstick or lip balm and you're good to go!

TePe EasyPick has an RRP of £4 and is available to buy from Boots and Sainsbury’s. Find out more at tepe-easypick.com.

I'd love to know what you've been up to this Random Acts of Kindness Day?? xoxo

A massive thank you to TePe for sponsoring this post. The samples I received were complimentary and for review purposes, all opinions as always, are my own.

28 January 2018

Seven Sunday Habits | Lippy In The City

I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year and welcomed 2018 in with all their nearest and dearest?

2017 was a fab year for me, I got engaged, changed jobs, became healthier and generally had a happier year than I had in a long time. Unfortunately, in stark contrast I've had the worst imaginable start to 2018 with the passing of my beloved Grandad. He was a huge part of my life and raised me like a Father.

I had written lots of posts to welcome in the New Year positively and productively, but with my world so suddenly turned upside down, it didn't seem appropriate to be talking about healthy eating plans and organisational tips when I'd just lost someone so important.

Over the last few weeks I've been slowly piecing myself back together to the best of my ability. I need to constantly remind myself that grief is a process and that I'm not going to wake up one morning and suddenly feel amazing again. My heart is going to take time to heal, so for the moment  I'm taking each day as it comes and appreciating the little things in life. Yep, I still cry when I get the slightest reminder of something that my Grandad would have loved or said, but that's ok, I'll get there.

During the evenings, as a break between studying (when I've managed to pull myself together enough to get some uni work done) I've been loving scrolling through Pinterest again looking for inspirational and motivational quotes to try and regain some of my lost positivity. Recently I came across a fantastic pin that I instantly saved and downloaded as I thought it was the perfect way to ease myself back into normality, and some form or organisation again. It was called Seven Sunday Habits and it's pointers that I'm going to make sure I make part of my weekend routine...

1. Have a slow morning
Don't rush to get out of bed when you don't need too on the weekends, when you do, make yourself your favourite breakfast and a nice cup of coffee (if that's your thing). It can be really beneficial to take it easy after the busy and often hectic week that you've just had, plus its good to give you mind and body the rest and recuperation it deserves.

2. Write a to-do list for the week
If you're feeling overwhelmed, writing a to-do list will give you a clear vision of what's coming up in the week ahead. I find to-do lists so helpful as they really clear my brain and stop me overthinking unnecessarily.

3. Schedule things in your planner
After writing your to-do list, grab your planner and write down any important dates such as upcoming birthdays, events or meetings that you mustn't forget. Things like this are best out of your head and on to paper to save you worrying if you've remembered everything.

4. Meal prep
Meal prepping will save you time, stress and money and you'll thank your past self for that awesome idea. Even if you only start by making your lunch or breakfast the night before, it'll save you at least 10 minutes the next morning. Meal prep doesn't have to be complicated either, there's tons of great and easy options available on Pinterest or Youtube.

5. Plan your outfits
Again, it will save you time and worries in the morning. I like to hang my working week outfits up in the bathroom so that after my shower I can get dressed quickly and without having to think about what am I going to wear that day. Plus, can you say no to those extra minutes in bed?

6. Make time for self-care
Sunday is the perfect day to schedule in some time for yourself and reset for the week. Whether you spend some time journaling, watching Youtube or painting your nails, do what YOU want to do and don't feel guilty about it, you deserve it!

7. Go to bed early
It's vitally important that you get in a good night of sleep on a Sunday so that you can have enough energy to tackle the week ahead. I like to be in bed by 10pm, but do whatever works best for you. Hopefully by getting the ZZZ's in you'll wake up on Monday motivated and ready to smash it!

I hope everyone has had a fab weekend and these tips have given you a bit of inspiration. I'd love to know what you get up too on a Sunday to plan for the week ahead? xoxo

Images courtesy of unsplash.com

24 December 2017

The Best Make-up Products of 2017 | Lippy In The City

It’s got to be said, 2017 was a good makeup year for me. I found products that worked really well for me and my skin type, as well as products that I could apply in record quick time that would last me all day.  Put your last minute present wrapping to one side, grab a cuppa (or mulled wine) and settle in as this is gonna be a long one, here’s my round up of the best makeup products of 2017…

Let’s start with the basics, we all love a good primer and I admit, I do find that my foundation lasts longer when I use one. The primer that I’ve reached for the most this last year has been the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser Primer. I honestly love this stuff and it applies like a dream! It’s reasonably priced too at around £7.99 for a tube and it has become a makeup bag staple for me over the last 12 months.

Foundation is a must for me, I will even forgo concealer and primer if I need to when I’m in a rush, but foundation I can’t skip. Revlon Color Stay Foundation in the Combi/Oily formula has been a firm favourite of mine for years, but I fell back in love with it this winter when I was going through a particularly bad period with my skin. This foundation blends out so beautifully, albeit you have to work with it quickly as it dries down fast, but it easily lasts me my whole working day without breaking down or looking patchy. I wear shade 110 Ivory (because I’m as pale as a milk bottle) but it matches my skin gorgeously. I’m seriously tempted to use this as my foundation for my wedding next year.

Like I said, I can take or leave concealer on days when I’m in a rush. When I do use it though I love the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (not pictured). I’ve just run out of my last tube and I’m using the Revlon Colorstay Concealer in Fair 10 in the meantime which is also great if you're looking for a drugstore alternative. The Naked Skin Concealer is brilliant under the eyes as I find it doesn’t crease and it works really well as an eyeshadow primer too if your looking for dual purpose products.

I have to admit, I’m not a ‘baking’ kind of girl, either in the kitchen, or on my face, it just doesn’t work for me or my skin. I like a quick dusting of powder to just set down my foundation and concealer. The past year I've been loving this Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder. Don't be put off by the bright white shade, I promise it doesn't transfer on to the skin that colour, instead it has a gorgeous matt, translucent finish. My makeup never looks cakey when I'm wearing this, and a little goes a long way.

Blush and Bronzer
I lovvvveee my blush and bronzer, like I really love it! This was such a hard category for me pick out one specific product as I switch my blush and bronzer up all the time, but if I had to choose just one of each I’d go for the Yves Saint Laurent Sahariennes Bronzing Stones in shade 01, and the ELF Baked Blush in Passion Pink. These two products are at opposite ends of the price spectrum but I love them equally. If you haven’t tried either of these two, I highly recommend that you do!

Now 2017 was definitely the year of the highlighter. I’ve never seen so much glow on my Instagram feed! I love highlighter as much as the next girl, but I like to keep mine on the subtler side. My highlighter of choice is by Makeup Revolution and is in the shade Peach Lights. This is super affordable and gorgeously pretty. It’s perfect for the party season.

Mascara and Eyeliner
Now I’m not going to include an eyeshadow category in my rundown as eyeshadows are complete user preference. I love anything from Urban Decay or MAC as you just can’t beat the quality. Mascaras on the other hand, I’m hands down a drugstore girl through and through. I have been obsessed with Bourjous 1 Second Mascara this year and I have repurchased it many times. It just gives my lashes so much volume and length in record quick time. My favourite eyeliner of all time is the L'Oréal Paris Super Liner Eyeliner (not pictured). I have bought countless bottles of this too and it remains a firm favourite of mine. It’s super easy to apply, even if liquid eyeliner isn’t your thing and it won’t smudge or budge all day.

Eyebrows (on fleek)
The eyebrow fixation has lasted through into 2017 and I have to admit, I feel so much more put together when my eyebrows are looking good (sad, I know). Two products that I reach for on a daily basis to keep my brows in check are Lancome Sourcils Gel (Brow Pomade) in shade 03 Taupe and Natural Collection Clear Mascara. I apply the Lancome Sourcils Gel with an angled brush, then finish by running the Natural Collection Clear Mascara through them to set them in place. My brows take me about 5 mins max to do and I feel like it really pulls my makeup look together.

Last but by no means least is my favourite category, lips! I love my lipsticks and lip glosses and I was ashamed to admit I found no less than 12 (yes 12!) different lip products in my handbag when I last sorted it out. I like to apply my lips product of choice at home before I leave in the morning, then pop it in my bag so I can top it up as the day goes on. Needless to say no one needs 12 lip products in their bag but a few of my favourites include the Maybelline Liquid Ink in shade 15 Lover, this is the most gorgeous ‘your lips but better’ shade and believe me when I say this does not budge for hours! I also really love the NYX Butter Glosses as they are so moisturising and luxurious feeling on the lips, I especially love the shade Crème Brulee.

So there you have it, my round up of the best makeup products of 2017. I really hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these and if any of them made their way into your favourites this year?

I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas and Santa brings you everything you wished for, speak soon - A xoxo
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