Saturday 31 May 2014

Cardiff: Sights, Shops and Statues in pictures

It was time to get away for a few days, so we chose Cardiff. I visited briefly as a young girl, having family in Wales, but the shopping and attractions have changed a lot since then.

The train journey was direct and we stayed at the City Centre Premier Inn. I will say now that the staff were the friendliest and kindest we've ever come across, and I've stayed in a lot of Premier Inns! We were made to feel very welcome. We had pizza at the Thyme restaurant (part of the Premier Inn) on the first night. The food and service was very good.

We also were able to leave our bags after check out, so that we could wander round freely before we got our train home. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff who dealt with us.

Walking into town,we were greeted by a massive seagull!
 We had a brief look at Cardiff Castle and I was able to take some pictures.

Friday 30 May 2014

Ted Baker Shoe Collection

I recently purchased my third pair of Ted Baker shoes. I feel like owning three pairs means that I can call it a collection now! I am not that into shoes in the sense that I rarely go shoe shopping, but the attention to detail in Ted Baker's designs make them really quite beautiful in my opinion. 

Thursday 29 May 2014

Travel Skincare

Having recently been away to Cardiff for a two night stay, I wanted to travel light in terms of products, so here's what I whittled it down to:

My Favourite Light Coverage Bases: BB Creams and Tinted Moisturisers

You know you love a product when you (a) have to have it placed within arm's reach on your dressing table/ vanity (b) travel with it and (c) want to tell everyone about it.

Here are my top three base products for light coverage:
Dior Nude BB Creme; Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser; Dr Jart Regenerating BB

Wednesday 28 May 2014

My Mac Blush Palette

Mac blushes come in a huge variety of colours, just like their eyeshadows. Here is my Mac blush palette:
Top row, left to right: Immortal Flower, Well Dressed, Pink Tea
Bottom row, left to right: Tenderling, Blushbaby, Brit Wit
I have collected these blushes over a number of years and although I don't use them as much as I should, they are colours that are great to have in my collection. Here is my run down of the shades:

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Lip Balm Obsession

It has come to my attention that I may be a little addicted to lip balm! Some of you may understand this situation: you go out at the weekend and to your horror you realise that the bag you are carrying doesn't have a single lip product in it! Your lips are dry as the Sahara and you can do nothing about it. So you have to buy a new lip balm to stop yourself from going insane.

On the flip side, there are equally those moments where you reach into your handbag and realise you have more lip products stuffed in there than is considered 'normal'. If people saw how many you had hoarded away, they might use the word 'junkie'. 

So I'm choosing to confront the situation right here and now. Enjoy!

1. Balmi Strawberry lipbalm SPF15 
2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector shade 03 (pretty beige shimmery gloss/balm)
3. Mac Lip Conditioner SPF15 (beautiful vanilla scented; a re-purchase)
4. Maybelline Babylips lip balms (posted about these here)
5. Lanolips Lip Ointment SPF15 (nice and thick for great hydration; colour: Rhubarb)
6. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (great for all sorts of things, one being lip hydration)
7. Blistex Relief cream (a medicated cream for chapped lips- beware it squirts out like a fire hydrant if you're not careful!)
8. Burt's Bees Nourishing Lip Balm (I have the mango one and it's lovely!)
9. Weleda Skin Food (not particularly for the lips, but it kept the dryness at bay when they were being troublesome)
10. Blistex Moisture Max (this has little blue 'pearls' that are meant to burst on your lips and hydrate them. It works quite well and is similar in texture to Vaseline, but tastes nicer!)

Amusingly, as my lips have been so sore and dry recently, I've just ordered Nuxe's Reve de Miel Lip Balm! What can I say, my lips need therapy (and maybe so do I!).

Sunday 25 May 2014

Natural Summer Base Make-up

Summer is showing signs of approaching with us having some brighter days recently in the UK. Today I have a skirt and tank top on, which must mean it's time to post about some fab Summer face products.

Being a pale gal, I make sure I am always using SPF, and Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense is the most marvellous, light-textured, unsticky and fresh-feeling base for make-up. It has SPF50, which is an absolute must if you are looking to protect your skin from harmful rays. It is not cheap, but having tried many cheaper products and being left with a ghostly-white, shiny face, I am happy to pay more for quality.

My base of choice today is Dr Jart's Regenerating Beauty Balm. I've had this tube a long time (over a year), and although I don't use it daily, I have used it a lot and there is still a good deal of product left. This product is perfect for drier skins who want a light coverage that actually covers. This cream is the consistency of a face cream and pigmented enough to even out imperfections very well. It also contains SPF30. The reason I wear two SPF products is that the BB cream alone may wear off a little throughout the day 

An emotional week...

It's been an exhausting and emotional week!

I haven't posted about my job before and I don't think I intend to do so in the future, purely because I like to keep my hobbies separate from my work. But this week was a special one: my tutor group left.

When I gained a tutor group in 2009, I never really envisaged the day when they would leave, nor did I think about whether I would still be at the same school to see them through. 

Watching a group of students through their school lives is such a great experience to have as a teacher. You get to see them grow up and blossom into young adults and it's really only when they hit year 11 (at ages fifteen and sixteen) that you begin to wonder where the time has gone.

We exchanged gifts on Wednesday: they got a goody bag each, complete with a souvenir keyring with a photo of them both in year 7 and 11 inside; they (to my surprise) gave me some lovely, thoughtful gifts. They even bought me a helium balloon that flew off into the sky- how symbolic!

I will have a new group of year 7s next year, but I will never forget my first tutor group. They are a special bunch.

Saturday 17 May 2014

10 Songs To Dance Around Your Bedroom To

Whether you've just downed a few gins, or just feel like letting off some steam, here is my definitive bedroom-dancing playlist:

Smiley Faces by Gnarls Barkley:
Let's get this party started! This uptempo tune is sure to get you ready for good times.

Acapella by Kelis: I've been a Kelis fan since Kaleidoscope. I love her sass and I love her music videos. The album Flesh Tone that this track comes from is a new direction for Kelis in that it is very much an electronic-dance album. This track is catchy and full of energy.

Friday 16 May 2014

Review: Maybelline Baby Lips

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms are an affordable range of lip products which are designed to condition and care for your lips. I own three of them and am reasonably impressed, not blown away, but I nevertheless use them daily. 

Application: The formula is moisturising and light rather than grainy or buttery like some lip care products on the market. You are left with a pleasant layer of balm on the lips which feels like it is sinking in somewhat and conditioning. 

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Review: Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow ("Believe In Me") Foundation

Today's foundation review is Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. I purchased this after hearing good things about the lightweight and hydrating formula. I like a foundation that covers well, but looks like skin. I think this product does just that.

It is a light, buildable coverage that is great for drier skin because it has a liquid formula rather than being too thick and creamy. Today I used my Sigma Flat Top brush to buff and blend the product into my skin, but you could use your fingers.
Shade: "Believe in Me" Ivory;                                   photograph taken in natural light

Monday 12 May 2014

Review: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (Mont Blanc)

Nars Sheer Glow is a foundation that is either a friend or foe. Let me explain: some days I end up with a really nice finish; not matte, not overly dewy. Other days I end up with cakey foundation clinging to every hair, dry patch or blemish on my face; announcing them to the world like they are my pride and joy!

Sunday 11 May 2014

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

 The Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes were a much-hyped release a few months back. I researched them a lot before buying and it took me a long time to decide between shades. I decided on Diffused Heat out of the more pigmented blushes of the collection. This, to me, is a happy medium between Radiant Magenta and Luminous Flush in that it is more pinky-coral rather than fushia or reddish-toned. 

I am looking at the swatch on my arm now and the picture I took does not even do it justice. It has a muted, neon quality to it, unobtrusive sparkle and just looks like the adjective 'happy' personified. I love this shade and it really brightens up the complexion with a 'glow'.

Friday 9 May 2014

Knowing Your Skin: Caring for dry, fair complexions

It took me until my mid twenties to really get to grips with my skin type. As many people do, I saw myself as pretty invincible in my teens and earlier twenties. Getting the occasional sunburn, picking spots and scratching my eyeliner off with cheap face wipes just didn't seem a problem. I always got told that I looked young for my age, and the idea of looking older was more appealing to me than preserving what I had! Not that I was hell bent on torturing my skin, I just didn't believe that my bad habits were going to make any impact.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Review: Charlotte Tilbury's Cheek to Chic Blush in Love Glow

Feast your eyes on this gorgeous packaging. This is my review of Charlotte Tilbury's 'Cheek to Chic' blush in Love Glow which I would describe as being a finely golden-shimmered, warm pink (outer part), with the inner part being a cooler, lighter pink.

Monday 5 May 2014

These are a few of my favourite things #2 (April 2014)

Currently wearing

Joni Jeans by Topshop 

Stretchy, high-waisted and flattering, these are a staple item for your wardrobe. They suck your tummy in to make you look like you don't enjoy cake quite as much as you do! I have them in an acid wash grey and vintage blue. I love them. They're definitely worth £36, รก mon avis.

Friday 2 May 2014

10 Tracks To Soothe The Soul

Soul music is the genre that I found fairly quickly in life. From listening to early Jackson 5 songs like Ben and Music and Me at age nine, I soon went on to discover more modern soul and       R n B artists in the nineties, whilst dipping in and out of pop music at the same time. Here are ten of my favourite soulful tracks, spanning four decades of wonderful music of this genre:

Thursday 1 May 2014

Lipstick: A Love/ Hate Relationship

I have posted a few times now about lipstick. My collection has reached the point where I know I shouldn't buy any more for the foreseeable future, but whether that will happen or not is questionable. What is it about those sleek wonder-tubes that makes some of us so enthusiastic? Well for one, it's the names.