January Favourites

January isn’t my favourite month of the year after the excitement of Christmas now it’s time for things to start to get back to normal. It’s been a quiet few weeks, although I did celebrate my birthday on the 5th which was amazing. This year I’ve set myself a few goals and they’re clearly written in the front of my journal. Some of them are a little out of my comfort zone, I think it will be good for me to push myself and learn some new skills, so watch out for a blog post coming soon. I’m also keeping a weekly log of things that have made me feel good, something that’s gone well that week or something I’ve just generally enjoyed using. Hopefully by doing this it will help me feel much more positive and stop those negative thoughts that creep in every so often.

Moving on to my January Favourites, I have a right mix of beauty and lifestyles, so let’s get started.

january favourites, anatomicals puffy the eye bag slayer

Even with the best will in the world there are some nights I just cannot sleep, no matter how good my bedtime routine is. well, ok, so it’s probably down to staying up til the wee small hours, drinking and chatting with my friends. This doesn’t happen too often but when it does I look piggy and bleary eyed the following day. These Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer are the first eye masks I’ve tried and oh my word, they are amazing. They are shaped to fit under and around the outer corner of each eye, after leaving them on for about 10 minutes any puffiness has disappeared. Of all the under eye gels I’ve tried for tiredness, these beat any of them, hands down. They feel so refreshing and cooling on my skin, they almost have the same effect as putting a few ice cubes under my eyes. I think I’ll cry if Anatomicals ever discontinued these.

January favourites, lee stafford coco loco dry shampoo

January has been a month where I’ve not felt like doing much with my hair, to be honest an extra 10 minutes snuggled in bed in the mornings felt so much better than washing and styling my hair every few days. I discovered Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo CoConut Dry Shampoo by accident while shopping for a few other beauty bits. This is now an essential for one of my “I can’t be bothered” days, it doesn’t leave my hair looking all white and powdery and it soaks up any greasy areas at the roots, without leaving it feeling dry. My hair feels soft and looks like I’ve spent a bit of time styling it as this dry shampoo adds some volume. Did I say, it also smells amazing too.

January Favourites, Ted Baker Body Spray

Even on the days I’ve been at home I still like to spritz a light fragrance to make me smell nice, especially after my morning shower. I’m also one of those people who adds a few squirts when I get into my pyjamas at night. The fragrance I’ve been using through January is the Ted Baker Body Spray in Blush Pink. This has a really pretty feminine smell, with soft florals and notes of jasmine, sandalwood and musk. I felt dressed and ready for the day, even in an old t-shirt and leggings.

January favourites, Where's The Unicorn

Yes, I know I’m an adult but I’ve literally had so much fun with this book, I think it was one of my favourite presents I received for my birthday. Where’s The Unicorn is a brightly coloured book and you need to find a collection of unicorns as they travel around the world. If you loved Where’s Wally (or Unicorns) then you’ll love this book as much as I do, just no peeking at the answers at the back.

January favourites, Barry M Molten Metal nail paint Ice Pink

I love Barry M nail paints and have probably worn the shade Ice Pink from the Molten Metal Collection for most of the past month. It applies beautifully and lasts really well before any chips start to show. I wore this shade all over Christmas and have only just stopped applying it, I think it’s such a gorgeous colour. I’ll definitely be digging this out again during the summer months when I’m applying a bronzed makeup look.

January Favourites, The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner

I’m already obsessed with The Body Shop’s Vitamin E range and recently picked up the Hydrating Toner with my loyalty points. Having dry sensitive skin I always have problems finding a toner that doesn’t leave my skin feeling as though it’s been completely stripped of any moisture. I’ve seen loads of people raving about this one, now I can see why. It’s super gentle and refreshing on my skin, removing any traces of makeup or cleanser. My skin feels extremely soft afterwards and it’s even helped clear up any blemishes I’ve had. This may be one of my January favourites, but I’m definitely repurchasing this and adding it into my skincare routine.

January Favourites, Anatomicals Cruisin' For A Snoozin' Sleep Balm

I ran out of my usual sleep spray and saw the Anatomicals Cruisin’ For A Snoozin’ Sleep Balm whilst on the ASOS website. I’ve been using it every night since as it has a wonderful relaxing fragrance including Lavender. Rosemary, Ginger and Lemon. The balm comes in a tiny tin and you take a small amount and gently rub it into your temples to help get you get in the mood for sleep. I think between the smell and the gentle massage movements it helped me switch off to anything I may have had on my mind before going to bed. I’ve also been taking it with me on journeys to use if I feel a bit anxious and honestly I’ve found it really helped settle my nerves and feel a lot calmer.

Well that’s all my January Favourites for now. I completely missed last months but still had some wonderful makeup favourites over Christmas.

What have you been loving this month?

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Winter Skincare EssentialsMy Skincare routine doesn’t change that much throughout the year, I find there are a few products that work well on my skin and I tend to stick with them. However, I do have a few Winter Skincare essentials to keep my skin looking it’s best during the colder, winter months.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Body Scrub

When it’s cold and windy outside I often find my skin becomes extra dry and I like to exfoliate to get rid of any dead skin cells and still have a lovely glow to my skin. I love to use Anatomicals The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub. It smells incredible, I love that it has a fine grain so it’s not too harsh on my skin. I find it’s super nourishing and I don’t find my skin feels too tight after using it.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Body Cream

It doesn’t matter how good my scrub is I still love to use a thick body cream in the cold months after I’ve exfoliated. During the colder months I like to moisturise twice a day as I find my skin gets very dry after being outside in the cold, then coming indoors to have a hot bath or having the central heating on. To keep my skin feeling really soft my absolute favourite is The Body Shop Rose Body Butter, I’ve spoken about this many time before but it really does help to keep my skin feeling hydrated and nourished for many hours after I’ve applied it.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Hand Cream

One of my top Winter skincare essentials has to be a hand cream, I have them almost everywhere in the house. I absolutely love the range from The Body Shop. My current favourite is the British Rose Hand Cream, it smells amazing, doesn’t leave my hands feeling sticky afterwards, it’s really nourishing and keeps my hands feeling super soft. I also find this is one of my handbag essentials, these hand creams are small enough to pop in my bag and apply whenever I feel my hands feeling a bit dry during the day.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Face Mask

I love to apply a face mask for a real deep clean and a little extra TLC. I’m using  Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. It’s extremely gentle on my skin and doesn’t cause any irritation, it also smells absolutely amazing. My skin feels extremely soft, hydrated and looks positively glowing afterwards.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Cleanser

In the winter months I find I need a more hydrating cleanser to take my makeup off and I absolutely adore Boots No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser. It’s super creamy and doesn’t dry out my skin, yet still removes every scrap of makeup or just to cleanse my skin at the end of the day.

Kathleen Skincare

Winter Skincare Essentials

Face Oil/Serum

I recently discovered Kathleen Amazing White Illuminating Serum which leaves my skin looking well and truely glowing and feeling super soft throughout the day. Head over to my review if you’d like to read more about that.  Another Winter Beauty essential is The Body Shop  Vitamin E Over Night Serum In Oil, this has the benefits of a serum and oil all in one, it’s lightweight, non greasy and is quickly absorbed into my skin. I instantly look as though I have a wonderful healthy glow and my skin feels really soft and hydrated. It’s also great for massaging into my skin at end of the day for a little bit of me time and to help me unwind before bed. Anything that’s left I will rub into my hands and cuticles to keep them looking their best too.

Winter Skincare Essentials

Intense Face Cream

During the colder months my skin needs a richer moisturiser and my favourite is the The Body Shop Intense Moisture Cream which is a really thick cream and absorbs into my skin beautifully without leaving it feeling greasy. Again, it’s super nourishing, helps get rid of any dry patches and leaves my skin feeling really hydrated. My complexion looks wonderful and healthy, and feels comfortable all day long. It’s great for wearing under makeup, I know my skin really appreciates the Vitamin E, it’s just keeps my skin looking and feeling it’s best throughout the day no matter if I’m outside in the cold or indoors snuggled up with the heating on.

Lip Balm

My final Winter skincare essential would have to be a lip balm to keep my lips feeling lovely and soft during the colder months. One I’ve just finished using is the Liz Earle Super Lip Balm, it’s extra nourishing, especially on those cold, windy days. It keeps my lips feeling soft and chap free, plus it also contains Argon Oil and Shea Butter to help prevent any dryness.

What winter skincare essentials do you have?

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Good Things That Happened In 2017

I know it’s a cliche but honestly, 2017 has absolutely flown by. I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve already. This year has been absolutely amazing and I wanted to write some of the highlights down so I could look back on them. They may seem like little things, but to me they mean a lot and it makes me feel so incredibly grateful.

Good Things That Happened In 2017

1. Adrian and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, it only seems like yesterday since we had our special day together

2. Visited Brighton and met lovely Holly from Golly Miss Holly. We both had an amazing day hanging out together and the most delicious ice cream on Brighton Pier.

3. In the Spring I met my half sister for the very first time. She was brought up in Canada and I grew up in the UK.

4. Given the opportunity to feature some amazing brands on my blog such as GOSH and Timeless Beauty by Joan Collins

5. Being invited to the GOSH Autumn/Winter Launch event and a lunch with Pixie Lott and Kiss Cosmetics in London.

6. Was nominated for Most Addictive Blog in the We Are 30 Plus Awards. I was over the moon and still can’t believe it. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, you literally made me so happy.

7. Reached 5k on Twitter and 800 on Instagram, which for me is absolutely incredible

Southwold Beach Huts

8. Adrian and I spent a few days in Southwold. If you haven’t been then it’s a beautiful. quaint English seaside town with rows of pastle coloured beach huts. We had so much fun, even after getting caught in a rain storm.

9. Went to my first Halloween Party in fancy dress as Wednesday Adams. This was a major achievement for me as for years I’d had a fear of masks, I’m still not totally comfortable with seeing them but I’m getting there.

10. Had a major declutter in just about every room of the house, it’s amazing what things I’d forgotten I’d got plus I donated quite a few bags of things I no longer use to charity.

11. Enjoyed getting outdoors more. We have some beautiful parks and woodland areas practically on our doorstep, it did me the world of good to get away away from the PC for a while and escape into my own little world.

12. Remembered I love reading. Taking full advantage of living just around the corner from a library meant I could read as many as I wanted without the cost or taking up space on my newly cleared shelves.

13. Joined a Women’s Health and Support Group. We enjoy a range of activities including exercise, craft, baking and alternative therapies. Plus I met a lot of new friends which also helped with my confidence.

14. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Trying something as simple as a bolder lipstick or experimenting with fashion, I’ve loved every minute.

15. My First Christmas with my Sister. We both had such an amazing few weeks together, spending time with other family members. It was also extremely emotional looking through photos of our Dad, who is sadly no longer with us.

I’m hoping 2018 is going to be just as wonderful and that I’ll be sharing every moment with my friends and family.

What has been your most memorable highlight from 2017?

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Kathleen SkincareLooking after sensitive skin can be a real pain, especially over the winter months when mine can seem extra dry and look incredibly dull. I tend to use a serum and moisturiser, they’re both an extremely important part of my daily skincare routine and work in different ways. Facial serums work deep underneath the skin, while a moisturiser hydrates and softens the surface. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been using the Amazing White Illuminating Serum* from UK skincare brand Kathleen.

Kathleen Skincare

Kathleen’s skincare is cruelty free and made with 100% organic ingredients. There are no hidden nasties, such as Parabens or Sulphates, so I know exactly what I’m putting onto my face. Kathleen have put a lot of research into their skincare and now have six wonderful products which are suitable for all skin types. The Amazing White Illuminating Serum contains over 12 natural ingredients that aim to illuminate and brighten your complexion, providing intense hydration. They include liquorice for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, papaya to even out skin tone and cranberry for it’s antioxidants to help promote your skin’s youthful radiance. It has to be one of the most amazing skincare discoveries I’ve made.

Firstly the packaging looks incredibly luxurious and should definitely be out on display on a bathroom shelf. Secondly, it smells absolutely gorgeous, I just want to breath in the scent every time I use it (quite possibly being taken off to some imaginary spa somewhere).

This serum is a very thick, creamy white consistency and has the feel of a moisturiser. I wasn’t sure how much to use at first and probably went a bit over board. Believe me when I say you only need one pump to cover your whole face. My skin felt soft and smooth on the first occasion I used the serum and I instantly fell in love with it. I thought it would take ages to dry, but it glides effortlessly over my skin and absorbs in quickly. It makes an excellent base for applying my makeup and after nights where I hadn’t slept so well it made my complexion look as though I’d had a full eight hours.

After using the serum for two weeks my skin looks brighter and fresher, it feels much softer and smoother, and it looks and feels firmer. My complexion is more radiant and glowing than ever, the serum has even helped reduce dark circles and puffiness under my eyes.

Kathleen Skincare

Overall, I’ve absolutely loved using the Amazing White Illuminating Serum from Kathleen. It costs £62.40, so it’s on the pricier side, but I only had to apply this instead of using a separate serum, primer and a well known flash balm. I was so impressed with the results I shall be saving up to get my next bottle, but considering you only use the tiniest amount I believe this one will last me quite a while yet. I think it would also make a wonderful gift to recieve or to give a beauty lover for their Birthday or at Christmas too.

Have you tried anything from Kathleen? What did you think to their products? If not, what’s the one beauty item you couldn’t live without?

*This item was kindly sent to me by Kathleen UK, all opinions and photos are my own.

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Makeup I'll Be Using For The Festive Season

All the sparkly things come out for Christmas, I hang baubles on the tree, drape tinsel everywhere and even have sequins on my Santa jumper. My Festive makeup routine is no different. As soon as my diary starts to fill up with festive get togethers, Christmas shopping dates and parties then it’s all about the glitter and glow. I love to wear products I know well and won’t bring me out in a reaction as well as adding in a touch of glamour to my Christmas makeup bag. I want to know the products will be reliable and won’t have me reaching for them every five minutes to reapply.

This will be my makeup routine and the products I’ll be using throughout the festive period. Any excuse to reach for the glitter!

what's in my festive makeup bag

I’ve been using Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Liquid Makeup and this is perfect for a flawless glowing base over the festive season. For those dark circles under my eyes and to cover up any blemishes, I’ve been applying the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer, it has the most amazing coverage in a smooth matte finish. To keep it all in place I’ll apply Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder, which feels incredibility smooth and doesn’t clump up on any dry patches.

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

I’ve totally fallen in love with Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette. For a maximum festive glow I apply the bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks and along my forehead to contour my face, dusting whatever is left on the brush all over my face just to give my face a little warmth. I’ll add a small amount of blusher over the apple of my cheeks and using a fan brush I’ll sweep the highlighter shade over my cheek bones, which gives me just the right amount of shimmer when the light catches it. The powders are incredibly soft, blend in wonderfully and the shades are super pigmented. It’s such a pretty cheek palette that I can see why so many people have it in their makeup collection..

The final step to my base is a light dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, for an extra touch of shimmer.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

For my everyday look I usually go for a matte brown eye look using a selection of shades from the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom palate. It is one of the most beautiful eyeshadow palattes I’ve ever used, with 12 soft creamy powders in a mix of matte and shimmer shades. They blend in beautifully without any fall out. The darker shades are perfect to add a smokey eye to any evening makeup look.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

I apply Tanya Burr’s Selfie Flick Eyeliner to line my upper lash line, it’s absolutely incredible for creating the perfect winged eyeliner. It’s super pigmented in bold black and has excellent staying power. I then coat my lashes with a couple of coats of Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara, the medium fibre brush helps to lengthen and define each lash, yet adding loads of volume. It doesn’t clump up or go all flakey and doesn’t smudge so I know I won’t have streaks running down my cheek half way through the evening. it’s the perfect mascara for thicker, fuller lashes on any occasion.

Occasionally I’ll use Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow in the shade Pink Gold. I’ll dab it over any areas of my eyelid I want to highlight using my finger tips.

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

No party look would be complete without the glitter. I invested in the much talked about Stila Written In The Stars Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set and oh boy, they are pure glitter heaven in gold and pink tones. The shades are absolutely stunning, Kitten Karma (champagne with copper glitter), Diamond Dust (silver with multi coloured glitter) and Smokey Storm (Pewter with silver glitter). They are extremely versatile and easy to use, perfect for all over your eye lid for a full on glitter look. Alternatively you could dab a small amount in the centre of your lid or inner corner to add a little highlight.

 

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

I have a selection a day time lipsticks including Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in the shade Monogamous, which is a gorgeous browny nude and is a creamy moisturising formula. However my  Festive makeup routine wouldn’t be complete without a statement red lip. My three Favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in the shade Bond Girl, Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick in the shade Lady Balls and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in the shade Temper.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

For my my nails I’m obsessed with this set of two polishes from Leighton Denny*, it contains two smaller versions of the shades Passion, a classic red, and Supermodel, a beautiful mink colour, both perfect for the party season. They are good quality nail polish, glides on beautifully and last pretty well before chipping. I think this would also make a wonderful stocking filler at only £10, considering a single full size bottle costs £12 each.

I can’t let the festive season go by without wearing a bit of sparkle on my nails too, so I’ve been wearing Barry M Molten Metal Nail Paint in the shade Pink Ice.

A makeup look full of glitter and shimmer is always a favourite of mine at this time of year. What are your favourite products for the festive season?

*This post contains PR samples that have kindly been sent to me.

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