Beauty and makeup products I've loved using this month

Well my plans to do an Instagram Story every day during July went right out the window, although I did manage a few days, this is something I’d really like to make an effort with next month. I’ve really been enjoying taking more lifestyle photos to share on Instagram. When I looked back over my Instagram from before I was blogging, my feed was full of life, hardly a beauty product insight. Gradually it shifted more towards “Rosie Loves Life” and “Sharon” kind of disappeared, it used to be my online photo album to share with friends but then I suppose that’s what Facebook is for.

Anyway, July has been a busy month for me with some very exciting things going on, I met new people, explored new places and went to the cinema for a girls night out. I’ve also been trying out some fab new products and most of them have made it to this months favourites along side some of the other things I’ve loved in July.

W7 Eyeshadow Palette Delicious

W7 Eyeshadow palette in Delicious

This is an absolutely stunning eyeshadow palette and I’d been trying to get hold of it when it first appeared online. Finally I managed to purchase the palette as soon as it came back into stock and I’ve been absolutely obsessed with it ever since! It’s a dupe for the ABH Modern Renaissance palette, but much more affordable at only £12.95. There are 14 different eyeshadows with a mix of berry and neutral shades, including matte and shimmer, some of which are totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve mainly been using the darker, berry tones, which are highly pigmented, but a few of the lighter shades don’t really show up much on me at all. I’ve been getting much braver with my makeup looks but I’m not quite ready to dye my hair pink just yet!

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream and The Body Shop Skin Defence Essence

The Body Shop has been a place I’ve loved for years but hadn’t been in for a while. I needed to replace a few bits and picked up the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence and I’ve been using it on my skin before I go out in the sun. It’s a lightweight milk that makes my skin feel so soft, it contains SPF 50 so it will protect my skin against sun damage so it’s seen a lot of use this month and came with me on both trips away.

I’ve also been using The Body Shop’s Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream as part of my daily skincare routine, it’s super creamy and leaves my skin feeling extremely soft. It’s has a slightly different fragrance than the plain old rose I usually go for, this body cream has less of a sweet smell due to rose mixed with warm spices and amber, so it’s a really comforting fragrance. I’ve been suffering with a lot of dry areas on my skin, especially my elbows, and this has been the only body cream that’s sorted them out. Plus it’s a wonderful body cream to apply after having a relaxing bath, oh that’ll be the next thing on my list, the bath foam to go with it!

NYX HD Foundation and Barry M Lipstick Mannequin

For a drugstore foundation I’ve been pretty impressed with NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation, I tend not to wear to much base in the summer but occasionally I need more than a tinted moisturiser. After being outside in the sun a lot I had to get a foundation that was a few shades darker than my winter one, so thought I’d try the NYX range. This foundation applies really lovely with my damp beauty sponge and gives a lovely dewy finish. I only apply a light layer but the coverage is incredible. It doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin and didn’t stick to any dry patches. Plus it comes in a handy size tube, so it’s easy to pack for a holiday.

Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Mannequin is a beautiful peachy, nude shade and has been my go-to lipstick on many occasions this month. It contains Shea Butter, so it’s extremely moisturising on my lips, it almost acts like a lip balm and lipstick in one which has been great on busy days. It’s incredibly glossy and last pretty well considering it’s a satin lip product. I’ve also seen a gorgeous wine shade, which will be perfect for Autumn!

Sass & Belle Trinket Dish

The month started of with the most amazing trip to Brighton, I was extremely excited as it was my first time visiting there and I was going to meet my blogging friend Holly. We both had an amazing day together, exploring the sights, eating ice cream on the Pier and generally having loads of fun hanging out together. Holly very kindly gave me this pretty trinket dish as a reminder of our day together and it has sat on my dressing table with my favourite pieces of jewellery on it . Isn’t it so pretty? If you’d like to find out more about what we got up to, I’ll leave a link to my blog post here.

W7 Nail Polish in shade Fluorescent Pink

I adore pink nail polish but this has to be my favourite shade ever! I’ve been wearing W7 Nail Polish In Fluorescent Pink for most of the month and it seemed to go with most outfits I was wearing and looked pretty good when I was holding products for close up shots in my photos too! It applies really nicely, quick drying and stays chip free for days, which is pretty good going for me.

Pink Beach Hut in Southwold

My second trip of the month was a few days in Southwold. I’d never been there before so really didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really beautiful, quaint seaside town. When we fist arrived I had the most amazing vegetarian cooked breakfast in a cafe by the sea, it was so huge that I was full up for most of the day! We took a walk along the promenade and past the pastel coloured beach huts, had a stroll around the shops and walked along the pier where Adrian and I got caught in the heaviest rain shower ever! We were laughing so much and both looked like we been for a swim in the sea, but luckily soon dried off.

A painting from Dorkface Shop on Etsy

By now you’ll all know how much I adore Jemma and everything she sells on her Etsy store and I couldn’t let the month go without mentioning this gorgeous pink, white and blue painting from her. When Jemma started selling one off pieces of artwork I’ve fallen in love with every single one. She even shows little snippets on her Instagram Stories as she’s creating each piece, it’s so therapeutic I could watch them all day. It is first come first served with these larger canvas paintings, but each one I’ve seen so far has looked amazing. This one is now in my bedroom and I absolutely love it, the colours are beautifully put together. When someone commented on this on her social media they mentioned having the feeling of candy floss, clouds, flamingos and 1950’s tea dresses (sorry, I can’t remember who, so I can’t credit them). These canvas paintings are different to her usual drawings, you see what you want to see in them, she had a stunning orange, yellow and green one which had the feel of freedom in the sunshine and exploring in the woods. Jemma even had one with pom poms and glitter on!

What things have you been loving recently?

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For most of my life I’ve never been a morning person, I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who jumped straight out of bed, full of the joys of Spring and could take on any challenges that came my way. However, I love my bed way too much and I’ve lost count how many times my alarm clock has almost gone flying across the room in temper! I’ve found I’m at my most productive once the clock strikes midnight, but there are just somethings you cannot do in the wee small hours. During the day I’d end up snapping at people for no other reason than I was just too flippin tired, so I only had myself to blame! Something had to change.

It didn’t happen over night and it took a lot of will power on my part, but eventually I got used to being an early riser, plus I felt a lot happier and healthier. Yes, there are still days when I fancy a lie in or a lazy morning with breakfast in bed, but it feels more of a treat because I’m not doing it all the time.

So if you’re like I was and are up at 3 AM writing your life story or watching just one more episode of your favourite TV show and want to change from a night owl to a morning person, carry on reading as I have a few tips that may help you.

Move The Alarm Clock

By forcing myself to actually get out of bed to turn off the alarm I was less likely to want to crawl back under the covers where it’s warm and cosy. I’m not suggesting putting your clock in another room, but as far away from the bed as possible. Once you’re awake don’t get back into bed, taking away the snooze option is the first step to becoming a morning person.

Hydrate

Going a whole night’s sleep without fluid can lead to fatigue. All those cute beakers that were gathering dust, well I put one to good use and have a drink of water as soon as I wake up. Water is great for making your skin look healthy and getting your metabolism going. If you really can’t face water then try a herbal tea instead of your usual 3 cups of coffee, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have a mid morning coffee but I found by cutting down on the amount I had I felt a lot less sluggish and much more productive throughout the day.

Start The Night Before

Obviously you don’t need me to tell you to go to bed earlier, I knew it’s what I had to do but never listened to my own advice. I would be at the point of exhaustion where I’d almost fall apart at any stressful situation through the day. I had to be so tough on myself but it paid off in the end. I got myself into a proper bedtime routine with no social media (yes, that’s right, no last minute checking on who’s doing what!)

I now have a bath or shower, do my skincare and then read my book for a while before finally turning out the light. I made my bedroom into a relaxing environment and started using a sleep spray on my pillow which smells of lavender and camomile. All these changes made me want to get into bed, rather than feeling like I had to, because I enjoy my bedtime routine.

Plan Ahead

You know that feeling and you’ve woken up late, you’re in a rush and getting yourself all stressed out because you can’t find your keys or that black top you want to wear? Well I’ve been there too and it wasn’t a pretty sight! I started planning things the night before, what outfit I wanted to wear, preparing my breakfast and sorting out my handbag. I’ll sometimes write my To-Do list so I’m not going to bed worrying about tasks I need to get done the following day. Planning ahead gave me extra time in the morning to enjoy my breakfast, a refreshing shower and leave the house looking half way presentable. I have my most used makeup products organised on my dressing table, so they are easy to grab hold of in the morning, not having to hunt down my favourite mascara or lipstick saved me so much time and a lot less stress.

Don’t Give Up

It’s like any changes in life, becoming a morning person will be so hard for your body to adjust at first, but If it’s something you really want to do keep at it. Do whatever it takes to make you enjoy being up earlier in the day, open the curtains to let in natural day light or blast out your favourite tunes as you’re getting ready. You’ll be so pleased when you walk in work or Uni with a smile on your face instead of looking tired and giving everyone an evil stare until you’ve fuelled yourself with enough caffeine to get you past lunchtime!

Are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you have any tips on feeling your best first thing in the morning?

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I’ve been wanting to visit Brighton for as long as I can remember, but somehow never made it there. A few months ago my blogging friend Holly invited me down for the day and of course I jumped at the chance, so we arranged a date and counted down the days until we met each other for the first time.

I got up ridiculously early, like a child on Christmas morning, as I was both excited and nervous to be going somewhere and meeting someone new. Although Holly and I had been chatting on line for about a year and we had sent insta stories to each other, we hadn’t actually seen each other face to face. We decided to meet at the Railway Station as it was a busy public place, just to be on the safe side, but when Holly arrived we clicked instantly and we got on so well, it felt as though we had been friends for years.

Holly showed me around all the exciting places that until then I had only seen on the internet. One place I had wanted to see was Brighton Pier, so we had a wander round, stopping to look at all the stalls and amusements, not just once but twice, only the second time we decided to have an ice cream as it wouldn’t have been a trip to the seaside without one! I had to guard my ice cream from the huge seagulls, they weren’t going to take this beauty from me!

Holly and I explored round some of the old streets of Brighton, she was my guide for the day and pointed out all the exciting, tourist places. We stopped to look in  a few little gift shops and one of my favourites was Sass & Belle, which you may have already seen on Instagram. I bought myself a mug with a gold letter S on the front and Holly very kindly treated me to a pretty pink and white trinket dish as a special reminder of our day together. There were so many cute bits that I’d fallen in love with, I mean just look at the pink flamingo, but sadly I couldn’t have everything.

We were both in need of caffeine and sugar, so Holly and I stopped at a quaint cafe near the Pavilion gardens where I had the most incredible piece of carrot cake. I was so excited to eat it that I completely forgot to take a photo!

We then took a walk around the beautiful gardens, stopping to look at the Pavilion, the history of this place is absolutely fascinating and it’s such a stunning building that I had to take a few photos. Unfortunately it was a really cloudy day until much later on in the day when it eventually turned into a gorgeous hot summer’s evening.

Brighton is honestly one of the prettiest cities I’ve been to with so many beautiful views, a day really isn’t long enough to see everything and visit all the amazing places, I really would like to go back there. Parking is an absolute nightmare, next time I go I think it will be much easier to take the train as the station is right in the city centre and only a short walk from the sea front.

I hardly wore any makeup but my day trip to Brighton did give me a chance to try out these rose gold sunglasses, which are a slightly different style to ones I normally wear.

It was wonderful to finally meet Holly, she is so lovely and we had the most amazing day together. We talked about everything from blogging to life in general, next time I see her I won’t feel half as anxious before hand.

Where is your favourite seaside town?

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I’ve not long written a post with all the beauty products I’m obsessed with right now, so for my Monthly Favourites I thought I’d chat about some of the other things I’ve enjoyed doing. June has been a great month, not just because we’ve had some amazing weather but it’s meant I’ve been able to get out and explore some lovely places, read new books, watch new TV series and a whole bunch of other stuff.

A Mini Break

As we’ve been having such gorgeous weather, Adrian and I thought we’d take a trip to the seaside, so we decided to visit Norfolk, which is a lovely area of the UK and holds a special place in my heart as my Nan used to take me there on holiday when I was a child.  I have family living in Norfolk and they’d been inviting Adrian and I to stay for ages, so we travelled up early on the Wednesday morning, which was the hottest day of the year and what better place to be than by the coast! Our first stop was Sheringham we went for a stroll on the promenade along the sea front, which is a beautiful. We found a quaint little beach side cafe and I had the most delicious scrambled eggs on toast to keep me going throughout the day. I almost forgot to take a photo!

Sheringham is a beautiful old English seaside town, complete with plenty of tourist shops, pubs and restaurants, a museum and an old steam railway. There’s also a Little Theatre for music events, plays, films and exhibitions, but we didn’t have the chance to go there this time. I love the row of brightly coloured beach huts and my absolute favourite has to be the pink one (naturally!)

Later we travelled along the coast to Blakeney, which is a quaint little seaside village. Here it’s much more peaceful than Sheringham, there’s plenty of wildlife to take photos of and most of the time all you can hear is the sound of the birds and the boats tinkling in the breeze. Blakeney is the sort of place you visit if you just want to switch off and relax, although it has a couple of really old pubs, places to eat, B&Bs and a hotel. There’s one thing I have to do when I’m away and that’s have an ice cream by the sea, somehow it tastes better than back home!

We had the most amazing few days, it was great to get away from our normal daily routine and catch up with family again. I love being by the sea, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the feeling that all my stresses are being carried away by the sound of the waves or just the slower pace of life in this part of the country. Whatever it is, I can’t wait until the next time we go back!

Jordans Mill

Jordans Mill has to be one of my favourite local places to visit, it’s not too far from where I live and we’ve been there quite a few times before. Adrian and I enjoyed going for a long walk by the river next to the mill where it is really peaceful and tranquil, I often get totally lost in my own thoughts, plus there isn’t much of a mobile signal, so I was completely undisturbed! We didn’t go inside the mill itself this time but we did take a stroll round the beautiful flower gardens and ended up taking a load of photos. I also popped into the gift shop so I could pick up a few postcards for my scrapbook, I’m trying to collect things from places I visit so my scrapbook is full of happy memories.

Jordans Mill has a wonderful restaurant/cafe which not only sells a good selection of food and drink but the most amazing porridge and fruit for breakfast. There’s something about fresh air that seems to make me super hungry, so after our walk we stopped in at the cafe and sat on the balcony over looking the gardens and river. I had a huge coffee and the most delicious piece of chocolate cake I’d ever tried!

Penpals

I love sending and receiving handwritten letters and this month I’ve made a few new penpals via social media. I love hearing everyone’s news and what they’ve been up to, I think there’s something more personal about an actual letter compared to an email or text. Some of my penpals have even sent prints, cute bits of stationery or trinkets along with their letter, which I think is a lovely idea and always makes me smile.

My Book Of The Month

I’ve been reading a lot more books this month, it’s a great way to unwind before I go to bed. I’ve been going along to my local library and borrowing books just like I used to as a child, that way I can exchange them for different titles when I’ve finished and I don’t have shelves of books that are gathering dust.

One book I had to treat myself to is Capture Your Style by Aimee Song, it’s the perfect coffee table book and you can dip in and out of chapters when ever you get five minutes to yourself. It’s packed with advice on how to tell a story in your photo for Instagram, even tips on where to hold the camera for the perfect selfie. I have’t read all of it yet but so far it’s absolutely fascinating, I know I don’t have the best Instagram feed out there but when I look back at some of my earlier photos I just want to go through and delete a load of them. Yes there are bits with all the technical info in but I think it’s done in such a way that I can relate to it a bit more, rather than your standard photography book.  It’s not only been helpful for my social media, I have a long way to go yet, but the book has made me think about backgrounds if I’m taking a photo of me and Adrian to go in the photo album.

The Handmaid’s Tale

I don’t often mention TV shows in my favourites post, so I thought I’d tell you about one in particular I have been gripped by this month. The Handmaid’s Tale is a series I wasn’t expecting to enjoy but a friend asked me if I’d seen it and after the first few episodes I was absolutely hooked. It’s set in totalitarian run country of Gilead after a religious cult has taken over America. Environmental pollution  has left most of the ruling class women barren and any fertile women are rounded up and forced to live as Handmaids. Their only purpose is to be surrogate mothers for the wives of rich and powerful men, they are treated like slaves and must have no personal identity or will of their own. Without giving too much away, it is extremely intense and I must have gone through every kind of emotion, one episode left me crying in shock because it felt as though I was really there with the main character, Offred. It was extremely well written and well acted but certainly left me thinking about what life could be like if this were actually real.

What have you enjoyed doing over the past month?

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I’ve tried so many beauty subscription boxes before and I’d eagerly await their arrival, but the majority of the time I’ve been disappointed with what was inside. Sample sizes and tiny foil sachets that hardly contained any product at all, most of which sat in the drawer unused. I wanted more for my money, so I simply fell out of love with beauty boxes.

I first heard about the Curated Combination Box on social media and I knew I was going to love it before it even arrived at my door!

This is totally different to any other subscription box I’ve had before, it’s run by bloggers for bloggers. They only have 30 boxes available each month, so it’s first come, first served, you need to be quick if you want to order one! Each box costs £12.50 with free delivery, unlike many other boxes that have £3.99 added on to the subscription price. I’d already decided I was going to love this beauty box when I found out it contains full size products, not mini samples! I think the creators of the Curated Combination Box saw that people weren’t happy and decided to do something about it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m extremely excited about the wonderful goodies they’ve sent this month.

First of all, the dark chocolate coated cranberries were a very great addition to a subscription box, but they didn’t last very long, I just about managed to get a few photos before opening them and I must say they were absolutely delicious!

I was so excited to see a Make Up Geek Blusher Pan inside, as this is a brand I’ve seen so many times but never got round to trying. I was sent the shade XOXO, which is a stunning peachy pink shade. The blusher is made from tiny milled powder and feels silky soft, it’s highly pigmented so if you’re after a more softer look then apply a light dusting first. It blends really nicely, so you can always build up the colour for something a bit more dramatic.

I’m always on the look out for new hair products to keep my long hair looking good, so I was even more excited to try out the Knight & Wilson Style Freedom Beach Body Spray. Having used it once since it arrived, I have now cast my other styling products aside in favour of this one, it’s that good! It doesn’t leave my hair feeling crisp and sticky, and it has loads more volume and waves after I’d dried my hair with a diffuser. I also like that on the bottle it promises to give me mermaid hair!

The Crazy Angel Gradual Tan is a daily lotion which contains mild tanning agents to achieve a beautiful streak free tan. I’m not a great lover of full on fake tans as I always end up looking patchy, so I love the having a body lotion which is enriched with Shea Butter and Vitamin E and will build up a glowing tan gently over time. I have used it for two days so far and I can already see a slight difference to the colour of my skin, it’ll be interesting to see what shade I eventually go. However, it has left my body feeling super soft and hydrated, so from that side of it this fantastic product to use every day.

There was also a cute pink Solait Prep and Maintain Tanning Mitt to help me achieve that wonderful summer tan when I apply the Crazy Angel Gradual Tan. I thought it was pretty thoughtful of them to include the mitt inside the subscription box as I don’t need to worry about finding my own!

Last but by no means least, there was an adorable Stigu 2017 Planner. Now I love journals, notebooks, scrapbooks, to-do lists but this is all of those rolled into one. Each week has it’s own page, plus each month has a different colour and pretty design. There are 32 blank pages for you to write your own notes or doodles, it also has a blank section for each week for you to be as creative as you want to be. The bits I really love are the motivational quotes and lists to help you get through a busy or stressful week, some give you little tasks to work through to help with your well being. The planner is a decent size (24x19cm) so there’s room for just about everything you want to write down!

Overall verdict, well I’m pretty impressed with the Curated Combination subscription box and it’s incredibly good value for money considering you get full size products! If you’d like to find out when future boxes are available head over to their Twitter page or their website.

Which of these products would you love the most?

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