31 October 2016

26 Things I've Learnt Over 26 Years...

It's true when they say you never really feel your age. I don't feel 26 at all, and when I actually think about it, it frightens the life out of me. I'm only 4 years away from 30 and I have a shit-ton left on my 'Bucket List' that I'd love to accomplish before I hit that milestone.

But in the meantime, here are a few things that I've learnt that have helped me get through the last 26 years...

1 - Age is only a number. I have to constantly remind myself of this one.

2 - You don't have to be married with two babies just because everyone around you is. Trust me, there's no rush.

3 - Life happens really quick. Everything can change in a heartbeat so be present in the moment as much as possible.

4 - You will never get along with everyone you meet, and that's ok. Learn to be polite and except people for who they are.

5 - People will let you down and it's usually from the people you least expected. Shrug it off, and stay positive.

6 - Being a responsible adult is hard. Everyone has bad days, and days when they don't want to clean the bathroom and hang their laundry up. That's normal.

7 - Never feel guilty for having a day devoted to your sofa and Netflix. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time...

8 - ... Just don't make it a habit. Netflix will always be there, but that awesome opportunity might not. Get up, dress up and show up.

9 - Set goals and work towards them. Whether that be a career goal or a handbag goal. Work or save your butt off to get to it. It's vitally important in life to have goals to work towards, it gives us something to focus on.

10 - When in doubt, put on a pair of dark jeans, a smart blouse, and killer heels - Winner!

11 - Learning what looks good on you and what flatters your figure is life changing.

12 - Quality over quantity. I would rather save 8 months for a Louis Vuitton handbag that will last me a lifetime, then buy 8 handbags from the high street that will last me 8 minutes.

13 - If your going to spend big, do it on accessories. Wearing a good watch, pair of shoes, sunglasses and handbag will see you through most situations.

14 - Make time for your friends. It takes nothing to send a quick text or email to see how your friends are doing. Plus it reminds them that your still alive and thinking about them.

15 - Make time for your relationships too. Relationships take real work and effort.

16 - Never underestimate the importance of loving yourself too.

17 - Always take your make up off before you go to sleep. If it means keeping wipes on your bedside table, do it!

18 - The realisation that the hangovers get that little bit worse every year...

19 - Coffee will get you through almost anything.

20 - The older you get, the more a night in with a Chinese and a bottle of wine wins hands-down over a night out 'clubbing'.

21 - You only get one family, cherish them.

22 - Learn to utilise that 'magic' hour between 6 and 7 in the morning to organise your day and get bits done whilst everyone else is still sleeping. You'll feel more organised and on top of your schedule before anyone else has even had breakfast.

23 - Everyone younger than you will always be classed as 'twelve'... #standard

24 - Realise just how much you're worth and never settle for anything less.

25 - It's the little things in life that truly matter.

26 - Go that extra mile, it's never crowded :)


23 October 2016

Brunch With My Love

Going out for brunch is honestly one of my favourite things to do. If I could acceptably eat breakfast foods all day, everyday, I would.

Garrad and I's 'go-to' brunch spot is Bill's Restaurant on Cardiff Bay. The restaurant has a relaxed yet funky atmosphere and the staff are always extremely welcoming and knowledgeable.

Personally I can't function without a coffee in the morning and Bill's Latte's have to be up there with the best of them. This one was my first of many...

'Some like it hawt'

Garrad and I opted for the 'Bill's Breakfast' on this occasion which features Cumberland sausage, fried free range eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, smoked streaky bacon and toast. Neither of us like cooked tomatoes so asked if we swapped them for baked beans, and Bill's happily obliged. This is the ultimate in breakfast indulgence and not to be attempted lightly, its size is definitely deceiving!
Bill's also do a vegetarian equivalent which is equally gorgeous and features poached free range eggs, tomatoes, hummus, mushrooms, guacamole, sweet chilli sauce, basil and toast.

When we finally managed to tear ourselves away from Bill's and embrace the early Autumn weather, and our fast approaching food coma we headed for a stroll around Cardiff Bay barrage. This is without doubt my perfect start to a relaxed, re-charge your batteries weekend.
Where is your favourite brunching spot?? xoxo

19 October 2016

Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation: The Review

I’m a sucker for a new foundation. They are hands-down my makeup weakness. When my Mum started planning her wedding earlier this year I immediately began searching for a new foundation that could live up to the challenge of a million cheek kisses, countless photos and all day partying.

My Mum and I decided to go ahead and do our own makeup for the wedding as we both felt confident enough in our combined beauty knowledge to pull off a good job, so we decided initially that a makeup shopping trip was in order. Our first stop on our mission was Yves Saint Laurent. This is a brand that we both love and we knew we would have no trouble finding a few bits to add to our makeup bag for the big day.

Naturally I gravitated towards the foundations and the lovely Sales Associate helped me find a suitable shade in their Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. She applied shade B10 to the side of my jaw and it was love at first sight. I have talked many times before about how pale I am but this matched perfectly. Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation is a medium coverage foundation that comes in 19 shades, so there’s a colour for almost all skin tones.

I have been a huge fan of the cult classic Touche Eclat for years and loved that the foundation had the same principles. Touche Eclat foundation is light weight and makes the skin look glowy and dewy. It doesn’t dry down to a matte finish either as the day goes on either. The only downside to this is that you can get a little transfer. Mum tried the shade B30 which she also loved. Neither of us wanted to look like we were wearing a mask for the wedding so this foundation was perfect.

The Sales Associate recommended applying a little translucent powder with a fluffy brush to set the foundation in place and enhance its wear time. I used Vichy’s Dermablend Setting Powder for this.
I ended up mixing the Touche Eclat foundation with my EX1 Invisiwear Foundation for Mum’s wedding day as this was purely down to my rookie error of not buying an additional shade for when I’m rocking a bit of fake tan. These two foundations mixed together were heavenly though and provided me with a gorgeous medium to full coverage that lasted all day.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation comes in 30ml bottles for £32.50. I highly recommend popping down to your nearest Yves Saint Laurent counter to try out the foundation for yourself. What foundation did you wear for your last formal occasion? xoxo

16 October 2016

Autumn Essentials 2016

I admit, in true blogger style that I really look forward to the arrival of Fall. I love Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, snuggly jumpers, and the license to wear berry colours all day long without looking over done. There's something about being cwtched up inside with lots of blankets, a good book, and a hot drink that I honestly can't resist. Maybe at 26 I'm old before my time, but that's my idea of heaven.

The first product that I reach for when the colder weather sets in is my Sally Hansen Vitamin E Cuticle Oil. I've been wearing gel nails for the last month (which I love!) but I find that my cuticles can get very dry and scruffy looking during the chillier months. I like to apply a small amount on my cuticles every night before I go to bed and I find that it definitely keeps them in better condition. I also like to apply a generous dollop of hand cream before I go to sleep too. I find that applying cuticle oil and hand cream at night gives the products longer to sink in and really get to work.

My newest obsession comes in the form of Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Facial Oil. I have a full in-depth review here but this has fast become my latest little skin care saviour. If you’re a fan of facial oils like me then you’re going to love this!

I’m all about berry or red nail polishes in the Fall and Winter. These last few weeks I haven't been able to stop wearing Christian Louboutin's Rouge Louboutin nail polish on my toes. It’s the most perfect pillar box red shade that's long-lasting and easy to apply. Somehow the long handled brush makes painting your toes a doddle! Yes it’s pricey, and yes not many people will be seeing my toes this season but I love it regardless. Have you tried any of the Louboutin Nail Polishes?

As well as berry shades on the nails, I’m all about berry tones on the lips too. Blaze Metallic Liquid Lipstick from MUA is the perfect lip colour for Autumn. The MUA's Luxe Liquid Lips formula is long lasting and long wearing without drying out your lips. I love deep, dark, vampy colours and this one is just gorgeous.

If berry colours aren’t your thing, MAC’s Stone is a great Fall alternative. This cool taupe shade is eye-catching and totally unique. It has a crème formula that is fairly long lasting, opaque and easy to apply. I’d recommend trying this on in store before taking the plunge and purchasing as I’m not sure if this is a shade that compliments everybody. If you’re after a lip colour that’s on the different side though, this is definitely one to try.

Which beauty products do you find yourself reach for during the Autumn and Winter?? xoxo

*Mug and Autumn leaves image courtesy of Pinterest

09 October 2016

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil: The Review

I'm a huge fan of facial oils, especially when used as part of my evening skincare routine. I love how supple and nourished my skin feels when I wake up the next morning. So naturally I was very excited when I discovered that Dermalogica had created a facial oil of their own. Let me introduce you to their Phyto Replenish Oil (£56.20).

This light-weight oil has been designed to strengthen and restore your skin’s natural protective barrier as well as smooth fine lines and lock in moisture. Made up of plant-based active ingredients, Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Oil can be used daily (morning or evening) to restore your skin's moisture levels and keep skin looking healthy.

Dermalgoica's Phyto Replenish Oil includes a whole host of active ingredients including...

  • Camellia japonica which is often called the “rose of winter” and derived from a small flowering tree native to Korea and Japan, this antioxidant oil helps strengthen the skin's barrier and provides wrinkle-reducing benefits such as stimulating collagen and inhibiting MMPs.
  • Tamanu oil which is extracted from the Ati tree native to the South Pacific Islands. The phytoactive's in this oil are potent antioxidants which inhibit the breakdown of lipid-rich cell membranes from free radicals.
  • Chia seed oil provides antioxidant protection and a concentrated delivery of fatty acids which helps hydrate while soothing dry, itchy skin.
  • Orchid flower extract repairs, protects and locks in moisture whilst helping to balance skin’s natural moisturising factor.
  • Hyaluronic acid hydrates whilst providing antioxidant and anti-irritant properties.
  • Sunflower seed oil a rich source of tocopherols (Vitamin E) which are yellow carotenoids, providing antioxidant properties which are key to preserving the skin’s protective barrier and defending against free radical damage.
  • Rice bran oil rich in Vitamins B and E, this extract moisturises, helps protect against UV rays and free radicals and aids in cellular circulation.

For the ultimate dewy complexion, I like to cleanse and tone my face as normal then press four to six drops of the Phyto Replenish Oil into my skin. If my skins feeling extra dry I like to mix a few drops of the oil with my moisturiser to give me that extra boost of hydration. Phyto Replenish Oil can also be mixed with an SPF making it the ideal travel companion. I would personally recommend Phyto Replenish Oil for normal-to-dry skin types.

At just over £56 this facial oil is on the pricier side but I strongly believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to facial skin care, plus Dermalogica is 100% cruelty-free! Phyto Replenish Oil has a warm herbal smell that I think would be appealing to both men and women. I also love that this doesn't leave any kind of residue behind on your face so it's ideal for mixing with a primer for the perfect makeup base. I've honestly become obsessed with this facial oil and I can notice a real difference in the texture of my skin since I've been using it.

Do you use a facial oil as part of your skin care routine?? xoxo

Dermalogica products are only available on the recommendation of a qualified skin care therapist. For stockist details, please call 0800 591818 or visit www.dermalogica.co.uk @dermalogicauk.
I received Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Oil complimentary and for review purposes only. Information was provided by Dermalogica. All opinions are my own.

05 October 2016

i Heart Wine

When the weekend rolls around, I’m partial to a glass of wine in the evening. I’m not much of a drinker and you would rarely find me falling out of a club on a Saturday night, if ever to be honest, but I do enjoy a glass socially or with dinner.

I was fortunate enough to receive three miniature bottles from i Heart Wines just in time for my holidays. Seeing a baby bottle of red, white and prosecco all ready to go definitely got me in the holiday mood.

I love to take miniature bottles away with me as my boyfriend Garrad is a cider drinker so opening up anything bigger is lost on me. Garrad calls me ‘2 sips’ because I usually take two sips of a drink, put it down then forget it… #fail.

On the first night I opened the bottle of Shiraz. I typically go for rose, but there was something about being snuggled up by the campfire that got me craving a red. I loved this Shiraz, it was smooth, yet rich and warming to drink. Holding it by the fire warmed it nicely and it went down all too quickly. I would definitely be purchasing more of these to cwtch up with on the sofa in the colder winter evenings.

On our third evening I opted for the Chardonnay. We got back to our camp early afternoon and I just fancied a nice cold, crisp glass of white wine. As usual Garrad opened a bottle of cider and we just chilled out with Oscar enjoying the spectacular views. It was heavenly!

(There will be a blog post coming soon on our fantastic stay at Wind in the Willows)

I had been chilling the Chardonnay in the fridge all day and it was deliciously cold by the time I got it out. It was fresh and fruity with a hint of citrus. It sits comfortably in the medium to dry category if that’s your preference. I can imagine reaching for these by the pool next summer quite happily.

On our last night I cracked open the miniature bottle of Prosecco. This was the one I had been waiting for. I love champagne and Prosecco and I couldn’t wait to try this. The prosecco had the most perfect creamy, golden hue and the smoothest little bubbles. Like the Chardonnay I had chilled it all day in the fridge as I like my Prosecco really cold. This had medium, fruity flavour that had a hint of delicate sweetness that I loved. This would be a perfect Prosecco for any celebratory occasion.

I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to wine, but the i Heart Wines website is fantastic. It’s easy to navigate and all the wines contain great information on them including what meats and meals to pair them with. Perfect for any newbie wine connoisseur.

Have you tried i Heart Wines yet?? xoxo

i Heart Wines are available to purchase from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s as well as many other retails. Click here to view their full list of suppliers.

Thank you so much to the fabulous Katie at Speed for giving me the opportunity to experience i Heart Wines. The sample bottles I received were complimentary and for review purposesall opinions are my own. Please drink responsibly. 

02 October 2016

Splurge or Save?: The Beauty TAG

I have been 'Tagged' by the lovely Joanna from My Pink Rambles to do the Splurge or Save beauty TAG. I love writing TAG posts and have written a few already on Lippy In The City so naturally I jumped at the opportunity when I found out about a new one.

This TAG is all about when I like to splash the cash, or save the pennies when buying makeup or beauty products. I strongly believe that you don't always need to spend a lot to get good quality, some of the best beauty products can be the cheapest. It's important to keep a balance though and know when to fork out that little bit extra that makes all the difference.

As a general rule, I believe that spending a bit more on eyeshadows usually pays off. I find that higher end brands such as MAC, Urban Decay and Dior all offer amazing quality eyeshadows that are highly pigmented and stay all day without smudging or creasing. This is what I look for when buying eyeshadows because I haven't got the time to touch up my eye makeup throughout the day. I need products that once I've applied them, aren't going to budge until bedtime.

Facial Skin Care
Like eyeshadows, I believe that with skin care you get what you pay for. I find that more expensive skin care products contain more active ingredients to really help your skin with whatever it needs. Origins is one of my favourite skin care brands and all their products contain natural active ingredients. I can't live without their Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil (£24.50) or Modern Friction Face Scrub (£23). Another skin care favourite or mine is Estee Lauders Advanced Night Repair Serum (from £52). This is a cult classic that I apply after cleansing and before my night cream, it makes my skin look incredible, This is definitely a splurge item that I'll always repurchase even if my bank account doesn't thank me for it.

Like Joanna I always save when buying mascaras. I go through a mascara every two months and can't justify spending £20 a pop on a cosmetic with such a short shelf life. All of my favourite mascaras tend to be under £5 with Wilkos own makeup brand Essence Cosmetics carrying a few of my favs. I have blogged about their Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (£3.30) many times but I can't get enough of it. If you haven't tried a tube of this yet, you really need to.

Lip Products
Now this was a hard one to put into the save category because I do own a lot of high-end lip products, aswell as cheaper alternatives. I've put lip products into the save category for the same reasons as mascara. Lip products have a relatively short shelf life. If your anything like me you switch up your lip products daily and are constantly transferring them to and from your handbag, with the odd one getting lost along the way. For this reason alone I would be gutted if I lost a £30 lipstick simply because it went walkies. Some of my go to lipsticks are from MUA and NYX. You can't fault their quality, colour range or longevity.

I'd love to know what beauty products you splurge or save on. Please TAG your post in the comments or use the hashtag #SplurgeOrSaveBeauty on Twitter xoxo
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