Weekend Reading List.

There's been so many blogs that I've enjoyed reading recently, I thought it would be nice to do a little recap of my favourite blog posts from the past few weeks and share the love (all photography is owned by the respective blogger - click the blog post title to be taken straight to the full blog post!).

The Private Life of a Girl

The private life of a girl has quickly become one of my must reads - I adore the photography *runs off to learn how to use a camera properly* and I really enjoyed this post on mineral oil in beauty products.

The Beauty Milk
four in one: foundation reviews

I love reading the beauty milk, Coco's makeup always looks beautiful and I loved this foundation post. If you're looking to spend on a foundation then definitely give this post a read.

Jenny Purr

When it comes to skincare reviews, Jenny's blog has become my go-to. I really enjoyed this blog post on stressed skin heroes and I've just purchased the lush tea tree water thanks to Jenny's recommendation.

Life, Set Sail

Life, set sail is a new blog discovery of mine and its one of those blogs where you want to read every post. I loved this haul post with some great buys, I wish we had sephora in the UK!

If you've enjoyed any blog posts this week then leave me a link in the comments below, I love discovering new reads!

Best of November 2013: Beauty Edition

Time goes so quickly,I cant believe its almost the end of another year!This November has been a mixed bag beauty wise with mainly a few old favourites coming to the forefront again.

Skincare and hair wise, I've really been impressed with Boots own brand dry shampoo in paradise island. I would actually go as far as saying this is much nicer than batiste as I love the tropical scent and find it sprays more evenly over the hair. Granted, its not colourless so it does need rubbing in but it leaves my roots feeling refreshed and absorbs excess oil. Its currently only £1.50 so definitely purse friendly!
Nuxe melting cleansing gel has become my morning staple. Its a lovely rose scented cleanser that's a cross between a milk and gel. Its so gentle to use and doesn't dry skin out. I only use a pea sized amount and wash off with warm water, it leaves my skin revived and refreshed, which is exactly how you want your skin to feel first thing in a morning. For moisturiser, I've really enjoyed using the blissful daily moisturiser by Organic Surge. I love that its creamy and hydrating without feeling too heavy on the skin. It soaks in straight away without leaving any greasy residue so its perfect for combination or oily skin types.

My daily makeup picks have been the miracle matte loose powder by seventeen - reviewed here. It keeps my base makeup looking fresh and shine free for several hours, the price is also really good too.
For eyes, I've been reaching for the naked basics palette by urban decay. I love a neutral eye as its so wearable. Urban decay shadows are amazing quality - longwearing, pigmented and don't crease. I especially like wearing venus, a shimmery white.

Another shadow that I've been reaching for is burberry pale barley - review and swatched here. Pale barley is a shimmery light gold/taupe and is just stunning. Its easily the most pigmented, softest and smoothest shadow I own and one I've been using a lot recently. Lips wise, I haven't really worn much but I do like to wear a slick of gloss every now and then with the Laura mercier lip glaces being one of my favourite. I love 'platinum' as it adds a little subtle shimmer to the lips, making them look plumper. It isn't really a long wearing shade but it feels hydrating and has a really smooth texture.

For cheeks, I've been wearing chanel creme blush in inspiration - reviewed here. Inspiration is a beautiful blue toned pink with an incredible texture. I become more fond of this blush, the more I wear it. Its such an easy shade for pale skin like mine to wear and has the softest feel to it.
Another blush I've been wearing a lot in the last month is hervana by benefit. This is one of my favourite blushes as it really brightens the whole complexion. The combination of four shades blends together for a satin soft pink flush. Like chanel inspiration, hervana is a really easy shade for pale skin to wear, although I'm not overwhelmed by the packaging.

A Deborah Lippmann Bargain

I don't usually have much luck when it comes to finding bargains in store. I usually prefer to shop online as its much easier but after spying a few other beauty bargains that bloggers had found in tk maxx I decided it was time to search my local store. On my first visit, I found nothing that spiked my interest but I decided to have another browse last week after fee at makeupsavvy blogged about her bargain deborah lippmann find.
Luckily, I managed to find a trio of polishes for just £8 - a massive steal when you consider that they retail for £14-£17.
The three shades are all full size and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them bar the boxes were missing so they came in a clear plastic bag. The shades I received are before he cheats - a soft pink creme. This is the disappointing shade of the three. It applies streaky and patchy and needs at least three coats before its anywhere near opaque. I might see if it will work under a glitter top coat but on its own its a let down.
The second shade is billionaire - a very dark green creme. This is such a great vampy shade as it looks almost black in certain light. The formula is also good, it dries quick and needs between 2-3 coats.
The final shade is happy birthday - a multi-sized, multi-coloured glitter in a clear base. This polish was the reason I purchased this set as I've been after this for a while and it doesn't disappoint. It doesn't feel gritty and is a beautiful topcoat - I'll show a few combinations soon!
I'm really happy with my bargain find even though before he cheats is a dud. I also managed to pick up a face mask and spotted some emma hardie products and fragrance sets.

Have you ever found any TKmaxx bargains?

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige

Another spring beauty release to look forward to is Clinique's 16 shades of beige collection complete with shadow palette and nail polishes.

All about shadows nude palette

Nude nail enamel for sensitive skin
Birthday Suit
Chocolate On My Pillow
Do Not Disturb
Pajama Party
Peek a Boo, I See You
Room Service
Tickle Me

This collection is already available in the US and released internationally in December.

Sleek Celestial Palette

I'm a big fan of eyeshadow palettes. When it comes to affordable eye palettes, Sleek is always my go to brand. Their recent addition - the celestial palette is certainly no exception in terms of good quality and value for money!

As usual, celestial contains 12 eyeshadows with a wide range of shades from purple hues to green and blues.
I do have swatches but blogger is being a pain and not uploading so I'll add them at a further point.

Shades (from left to right - top row)
solar - cranberry with silver glitter
astral blue - cornflower blue with silver glitter
aurora - mid green with silver shimmer
galactic - metallic silver
earth shine - dark blue with silver glitter
dark matter - black with silver glitter

bottom row
stargaze - matte lilac
saturns ring - metallic blue/purple
meteoric - matte crimson
terrestrial - matte light green
lunar - metallic silver/blue
eclipse - metallic brown

All shades have great pigmentation bar terrestrial which I found lacking somewhat.
Standout shades were by far the metallics - especially saturns ring and lunar. All shades are long wearing and soft. I tend to find the matte shades like stargaze border on being powdery.

Overall this is a great palette, I love the variety of shades and I think the shade names are particularly apt. This would make a great palette for the party season or simply as a stocking filler for Christmas. Sleek palettes are £7.99 and well worth buying!

What are your favourite Sleek palettes?

Chanel Notes Du Printemps Collection Spring 2014

Spring is already in the air when it comes to the beauty world. Chanel are on the ball with rosy cheeks, soft pinks and violets through to hot pink lips. The Notes Du Printemps Collection really is divine and will be on counters from January.

Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte
Preface - translucent light peach

Le Blush Creme
Intonation - coral pink
Chamade - rosy red

Illusion d'Ombre
Impulsion - silver shimmer pastel pink
Diapason - violet/plum brown

Lumiere Facettes Eyeshadow Quad
Quadrille - grey lavender/gold ivory/apricot pink/deep brown

Rouge Allure Lipstick
Melodieuse - candy orange red
Fougueuse - 

Rouge Allure Velvet
La Diva - matte electric pink

Le Crayon Lip Liner
Sonic Pink

Rouge Coco Lipstick
Dedicace - blue based pink
Triomphe - peach pink

Glossimer Lip Gloss
Murmure - soft pink

Le Vernis Nail Colour
Charivari - dark mauve
Tapage - bright red cream

Ebay Boots Under £18!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

If you've been reading my blog a while you'll know I'm a big fan of ebay. I've already shared one or two bargains but I thought I'd challenge myself to find some nice affordable boots. I've managed to find a few under £18 - though most here are under a tenner. Obviously they're not real leather but I think theres some nice styles here for the price - trust me I had to wade through some questionable boots before stumbling across these. I already own a pair of moccasin style boots like no.1 but I'm tempted to purchase the chocolate colour. I also really no6 which are the most expensive here at £17.99 though the tan ones have been reduced to £9.99
The bow wellies (no 5) are so cute, I'm thinking of buying them for when it snows - they would be perfect with some really chunky socks!

Do you have any favourites from this list?

HTML Tips & Tricks: Removing Blogger Attribution

If you're using a standard blogger template, or perhaps even a customised template then you may have noticed the 'powered by blogger' attribution at the bottom of your blog.
Now, on the layout section in blogger you can edit this and add your own text alongside but there is no option to remove it. However, with a little change to your html template (its super easy!) you can remove it.

First, you need to go to the template section in blogger and edit html - before you start its a good idea to back up your template in case anything goes wrong!
Once you are in the html section of your blog, you need to find this code;

id='Attribution1' locked='true'

It should be near the bottom of your template.

Now you need to change the following in yellow;

id='Attribution1' locked='true'


id='Attribution1' locked='false'

Now save your template and go to the layout section of blogger

You should now see that the attribution widget has a grey line to the left - this means that the attribution box can be removed. Go into edit in the attribution box and you should see the remove button.
When you've removed the box, click save and you'll now see the 'powered by blogger' has disappeared from the bottom of your blog.
Sometimes, blogger doesn't behave as it should and refuses to save your layout after removing attribution - this as happened to me more than once. In this case, refresh your page or return to blogger later on. 

I hope this was helpful!

*you can view other tutuorials in my html tips & tricks series here*

Seventeen Miracle Matte Loose Powder

Oily skin is the bane of my life. I've tried a few things to try and stop the shine, a few products have helped reduce the oil but I still need a good base for makeup.
Recently I've switched powder and been using Seventeen's miracle matte loose powder - £5.49. Usually I avoid loose powders as they're on the messy side but I had some points to spend on my boots card and this one caught my eye.
Seventeen's miracle matte powder is a soft neutral loose powder that gives the skin a satin matte finish. It dispenses from the pot easily, has a smooth finish and is non cakey.
I use this when I apply my makeup in the morning and generally I need to blot again around midday which is later than the majority of powders I use. The only problem with a loose powder is not being travel friendly so I take a compact powder in my bag and blot with that.
Overall this is a very good budget powder with good oil control. For anyone with oily/combination skin its definitely a powder that's worth a buy!

Stocking Fillers under £10!

When it comes to choosing Xmas gifts, its always the stocking filler type presents that I struggle with. This year I've come up with a few ideas. These would make lovely extras, maybe a small gift for a friend or even a secret Santa event. 

3 for 2 gifts/offers
Quite a few stores now have gifts on 3 for 2 offers. Boots have quite a few nice little gifts like this Betty & Walter handcream* £6 that would suit a range of ages. Tesco also have a few half price gift sets here but generally there are a wide range of things on offer at various retailers from beauty to home to food/drink etc all under £10.

Makeup Brushes
There are now a few ranges that sell quality affordable makeup brushes. I really like ELF's studio range and real techniques single brushes. Another range to check out is superdrug's MUA range.

Sleek Divine Palettes
Sleek palettes are really great quality for a lower end price tag (£7.99). The shadows are pigmented, soft and generally long wearing. The new celestial palette would make a nice gift for any beauty lover. I also highly rate the vintage romance palette - reviewed here.

Candles are always a nice bet at this time of year. A lot of stores sell affordable candles but I like yankee candles as they have a massive range of scents and are good quality. One option would be to buy a lovely candle holder, such as the above one I picked up from Dunelm Mill for £3.99 and a sampler style candle - I got one from the ebay yankee outlet store for £1.80.

Obviously this does depend on how well you know the gift recipient. If its for a family member/someone close then sleepwear, such as pyjamas (primark, asda and tesco do nice sets), socks (it wouldn't be Xmas without a pair of socks right?!) and slippers are a reasonably safe choice. Alternatively, something like a hot water bottle might be a good option - I found the above one in B&M stores for £4 but primark have some decent ones too. 

That's just a few ideas I've come up with - Let me know if you have any good tips for buying stocking fillers!

Cream Shadows

Once upon a time I used to avoid cream eyeshadows. Having oily eyelids, I tended to stick to powder and hope that it would stay put. That was until I discovered primer and realised cream formulations were worth a shot.
With a primer, my favourite cream shadows stay put and I don't have to worry about reapplying my makeup anymore. For those without oily skin, a primer really isn't necessary, these cream shadows wont fade or crease and will last throughout the day. My favourites are MAC's Vintage selection paint pot - reviewed here, which is a beautiful metallic champagne beige. Its suitable for wearing during the day, which is when I tend to wear it as its so quick and easy to apply. Another favourite of mine is Benefits creaseless cream in skinny jeans. Skinny jeans is pewter shade with slight metallic shimmer. I'd say the creaseless cream is a slightly thinner texture than MAC paint pot and has a little more slip. Paint pots tend to dry quicker but both are long wearing. 
For a budget buy, I love maybelline colour tattoos. I like on and on bronze - swatched here and metallic pomegranate, both of which are longwearing like their higher priced rivals. Cream shadows can also alternate as liners though I haven't tried that yet with these. There's still a few other cream shadows I'm after, notably maybelline permanent taupe and benefit creaseless cream in no pressure!

What are your favourite cream eyeshadows?

Ebay Dresses Under £10!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

After buying a tartan dress on Ebay and being really surprised by the quality, I made it a mission to track down some more lovely dresses. I managed to find a quite a few under a tenner and I'm going to buy one or two of these. Dress 1 and 3 are perfect for an evening out whilst the others are great for layering. I especially like the ballet skater dress (6) which I'm thinking of buying ready for Spring!Let me know if you have any favourite sellers - I'm always on the lookout for an ebay bargain!

Pyjama Party: A Wishlist...

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

I have a bit of an obsession with sleepwear at the moment. I usually receive something sleepwear related for Christmas which I actually look forward to. On my wishlist this year are these cute pug pyjamas from Dorothy Perkins - I love anything with an animal print on so these are perfect. Obviously, I also love these rabbit slippers from ASOS too.
For basics, I really like this arran knitted hot water bottle from ebay which is a decent price. These chunky slipper socks (3) from Matalan look really warm and cosy so I had to put them on my wishlist as well as this checked robe from Bhs which looks so snug!

Do you have any favourite places to shop for sleepwear?

Coming Soon: MAC Maleficent Collection!

To coincide with the Disney film release of Maleficient, MAC are launching a collection of eleven products in special packaging. No more information than that at the moment but hopefully we'll be hearing more about this shortly. Also how amazing does Angelina Jolie look in that picture!

I'll be sure to update if I can find any more info!

Party Prep!

Now the Xmas party season is on its way, theres a few things I'm using to improve my skin. I think feet are an area that are often overlooked. I try to keep on top of dry skin by using Soap & Glory's heel genius -  an amazing hydrating cream that always leaves my feet feeling softer. For my legs, I use Nip + Fab Dry Leg Fix* -an extremely moisturising cream that provides instant results. As soon as I slather this on, it sinks in quick making my legs feel smoother and softer. It really is a wonder cream.

On my face, I like to use a mask before a big night out. Recently I've been using the Organic Surge first class mask* which is a deep cleanser to hydrate and nourish. Its really light so doesn't dry like typical face masks. My skin always looks brighter, softer and smoother after usage.
For extra radiance, I like to use Elemis pro-radiance illuminating flash balm. I use this under my makeup to give an extra boost. I find my makeup generally looks fresher as the flash balm really helps to smooth my complexion including my pores.

Another product I use before a party is a tooth whitener. Ideally, I would love to have my teeth professionally bleached but as its out of my price range right now, I stick to a whitening toothpaste, such as pearldrops. I've been using pearl drops restore white toothpaste for the past two weeks and whilst it doesn't give the same effect pro bleaching would, its whitened my teeth a shade or two. I also find my teeth look more polished when I use pearl drops. Another toothpaste I like is blanx but its slightly more expensive, whereas you can often pick up pearldrops on offer!

checks & chunky knits

I dont do many outfit of the day posts on here as my blog is more beauty based but its good to mix it up now and again. I've finally sorted out my wardrobe and sent a few things to the charity shop so I've been buying one or two things to replace them. I'm crushing on tartan at the moment, this dress was such a bargain from ebay and far better quality than expected. I bought a size up from normal and its a good fit but then again I hate tight dresses as I'm pear shaped. I've also been bringing the knitwear out. This cardigan is so warm and cosy!I've been working on a few blog posts this afternoon - it feels good to be organised!My sister had a baby girl on Friday, though I've only had a little peek at her so far as my sister, husband and nephew have all been unwell this week. Hopefully I'll go around for cuddles later in the week. Have a lovely evening!!

Worth The Splurge #1

When it comes to splashing out on beauty, I like to do my research. I look on the net for reviews and swatches (temptalia is usually my go to for swatches) but now and again it only takes one blog post to persuade me to part with my money. There are a few products that I consider to be worth splashing out on. Blush wise, I really rate Illamasqua blushes. (I've swatched some here and here) They are highly pigmented - if you're fair, you need to be careful with application, the texture is really soft and they have great lasting power. Another blush, I really like is the Dior blush pink in love - reviewed here. Its long wearing, has a buildable colour and has subtle shimmer for a faux glow.
For lips, I love Dior Addict lipstick in Singuliere, a sheer barbie pink with blue undertones. Dior addict lipsticks are extremely hydrating and feel really comfortable to wear. The texture feels like a balm and doesn't highlight any dryness which is ideal for winter lips. When it comes to foundation, Estee Lauder's double wear light in one I've repurchased several times. If offers medium coverage but feels comfortable to wear. It lasts all day on my oily skin, minimises my pores and blends well. The lightest shade is slightly too dark for my skin tone, it would be great if there was a lighter shade but I manage to make it work.
To add a glow to my skin, I really like MAC's strobe cream which is essentially a highlighting moisturiser. It hydrates whilst adding radiance to the skin, it isn't greasy and can be used in differing ways. I like to mix it with my foundation or undereye concealer but it can also be used over makeup for a lovely glow.

What are your favourite higher end products?

An Oily Skin Base Duo

Two of my all time favourite base products for my oily skin are Revlon's colorstay foundation and collection lasting perfection concealer. These are a duo I've constantly repurchased due to their incredible staying power. If you've got a long day ahead the last thing you need to start worrying about is reapplying your makeup so lasting power is key for me. Revlon colorstay in ivory is a perfect shade match for my skin tone. Its one of few bases that I find long wearing and not too heavy. I'd say coverage is light to medium - It covers small blemishes but I usually need concealer on any imperfections and redness. The texture isn't runny or too thick, I have to apply with my fingers rather than a brush as it dries really fast so its slightly harder to blend than other foundations. Also the glass bottle has no pump which isn't ideal. Still, I like the finish - matte but still with a little radiance and as I've already mentioned, great staying power.

Concealer wise, Collection lasting perfection is a great budget buy. Its hyped up within the beauty blogging world but I really do rate it and it feels much more expensive than what it is. It blends really well and again the lightest shade is a great colour match for me. I find it too heavy to use under my eyes but its perfect for imperfections. I think I'll continue to repurchase these two as they're really affordable. I managed to get my current duo with my boots points and on 3 for 2!

Have you tried either of these?

HTML Tips: How To Add A Background To The Sidebar

Continuing with my html tips & tricks series, I'm going to talk about the sidebar again. Previously, I've talked about styling the sidebar here but today I wanted to mention the background of the sidebar.

It's super easy to add a background to the sidebar. It's worth keeping in mind that you may want to use a background that compliments your blog template. Once you've found your background, you need to upload it to an image hosting site, such as photobucket. Once, you've uploaded your image, keep the page tab open and log into your blogger account. Go to template - customise - advanced - add css

Now copy and paste the following code in the add css box

.sidebar {
background: url(link to your background) repeat;

In the yellow, add the direct link to your background image (you'll find this on your image sharing site)

Your background will now appear on your blog!

I hope this was helpful!Let me know if you give it a go.