Monday, 23 December 2013

Life | My Week [Dec15-22]

Hi guys,

I've pretty much failed at blogging again this week. I've been really poorly, so haven't been able to do anything. I'm currently writing this sat tucked in a sleeping bag with a bag of ginger biscuits to help the nausea. (It's not working btw! Bleuugh!) 

It was the last week at work this week. Lots of Christmas fun was had, but its been really hard to enjoy as I've been so ill :(

I even had to bail on my work Christmas do this weekend, which I spent nearly £60 on, as I was just too poorly to go. Hopefully it'll pass in time for Christmas!! I'm entertaining on Christmas Eve AND cooking Christmas Dinner for my mum this year so I'm hoping I feel a bit better!! 

I've managed to finish all my Christmas shopping, wrap the presents and do the big Christmas food shop this week, my biggest accomplishment whilst being ill this week! :)

Some pictures from this week...

My world - my boys snuggled up watching Christmas films | My Christmas Glossybox arrived this week | What I've been living on to try relieve my nausea (nothings working so far!) | Some of the serums I own - did you see this weeks #TheSkinProject post on Serums?

Favourite Beauty Product of the Week...
I've been loving using my Balmi Cube Coconut lip balm this week, it's probably the best lip balm I've ever used, it's so creamy and moisturising and easy to apply.

Favourite Fragrance of the Week...
It's still Lush's Snow Fairy for me at the mo. I never get bored of the scent, it's just yummy!!

Favourite Bit of the Week...
Watching Christmas films with the boys.

Song of the Week...
It has to be a Christmas song this week right? :) Let's go with Mariah Carey - 'All I Want For Christmas' it's a fab song!!

Favourite TV of the Week...
We watched Arthur Christmas over the weekend and I thought it was a great Christmas film!


Catch up on this weeks blogposts...


Have a fab week guys!!





Keep up to date with me & my posts 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Serums

Welcome to my fifth post of #TheSkinProject - founded and set up by myself. 

Catch up, and take a look at the topics each week...
#TheSkinProject - Wanna Get Involved?
#TheSkinProject | My Skin

#TheSkinProject | Cleansing 
#TheSkinProject | Exfoliate

#TheSkinProject | Toning
#TheSkinProject | Eye Cream (coming Dec 29th)
#TheSkinProject | Moisturise (coming Jan 5th)
#TheSkinProject | Face Masks & Treatments (coming Jan 12th)
#TheSkinProject | Anti-Ageing (coming Jan 19th)
#TheSkinProject | Q&A with Skincare Expert (coming Jan 26th)
#TheSkinProject Awards (coming Feb 2nd)

So let's talk Serums...


serum

noun  (BEAUTY PRODUCT)
 a substance in beauty products that is designed to improve your skin.


What is a Serum?
A serum is a thick, liquid like product (usually oil or water based) including active, concentrated ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin. Whereas a skin moisturiser stays on the surface of the skin, a serum penetrates  into the epidermis to restore cell growth, help decrease the size of pores and bring antioxidants to the skin. A serum is to be applied after toning and before moisturiser. The gel-like formulas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and quickly sink into your skin.

Why is using a Serum important?
A serum will improve the overall look of your skin and complexion, and there are many available such as anti-ageing, skin brightening and acne preventative. It's important to shop around and find the right one for you. Serums can improve dark spots and early ageing signs such as lines and wrinkles. They're also great for those with really oily skin as they can be used to add hydration, in place of a moisturiser. 




TheBrunetteSays...

I introduced a serum into my skincare routine a few months ago. I thought they weren't that important before that, but since trying a few, I've noticed a dramatic difference in my skin. My complexion is so much better and I've had so many comments on how flawless my make up looks lately, I believe it's down to the skincare I've been using. 

I've been trying out a few different serums in my morning routine. I receive a lot in my beauty boxes and goody bags and I'm currently using Premae Harmony Smoothie Serum (£22.50) - I've previously used the Creme Balm from their range and fell in love with it, so was eager to try this! 
It's a silky yet mattifying serum, a lot creamier than usual which promises to soothe redness, smooth out uneven skin tone and provide a protective barrier against free radicals, environmental changes and chemicalised make up. 


During my evening routine I've been using Swisscode Bionic Stem Cell Age Control serum (£134.00*) which is packed with strong antioxidant properties which reduce collagen loss and stimulate collagen production. It feels amazing on application, almost like liquid silk! And with the promise to reduce lines and wrinkles, firms skin firmness and elasticity and prevents ageing, I hope I never run out of this stuff!! :)


So, that's my take on Serums. Join me next week to talk Eye Cream
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSkinProject to read more Serum posts from the other bloggers taking part in this project.


Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSkinProject..

*PR Sample or Gifted Product


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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Clothes Show Live 2013

I'm a big fan of The Clothes Show, although not so much a fan of the fact that it's so close to Christmas!! A massive room full of clothes and beauty products, with the odd celebrity wandering round - sounds a bit perfect to me! ;)

If you haven't heard of The Clothes Show, then let me explain...
Set in the Birmingham NEC exhibition centre, The Clothes Show is a fashion festival set over 5 days featuring top fashion and beauty brands, hair and beauty demonstrations, catwalk shows, celebrity performances and appearances, makeovers, experts and next generation talent.

I love wandering around the stalls, especially the new up and coming designers, checking out pieces that are 'one-off' and unavailable anywhere else and grabbing some fab bargains at great discounted prices.

James gave me £150 to treat myself.
And I did ;)



Myself and my friends Syreeta, Donna & Sandra headed for Birmingham NEC last Saturday, December 7th and as always, had a fantastic day.

There were some lovely stalls. Yes, there was also a massive amount of 'market style' stalls, probably a lot more than Ive seen before, but there was soooo much to see, and lots of hidden gems hidden amongst them. There were lots of stalls full of quirky, handmade bits, stalls from new fashion designers and new companies. 
We spent quite a bit of time at the DeMontfortUni stall, showing our support to our local up and coming fashion designers. One of my friends picked up a necklace and another bought a fab top by @abbscull  (random that I managed to find her on Twitter! :))

Luckily on the day we went, it wasn't too busy that we couldn't walk around at our leisure and explore everything. I've heard since that the Sunday was crazy busy!! So I think we were pretty lucky!

Me being me, LOVE LOVE LOVE the Beauty Hall. Even with more beauty products than I can physically store, I can never have enough. And I wandered around all the amazing cosmetics trying not to buy too much! :)

My friend was an actual celebrity magnet! Spotting and managing to speak to celebs such as Kingsland Road, Romeo & Lisa Maffia. I did make it my aim to have my photo taken with a celebrity but I didn't manage it. Booo. To be honest, my friends aren't really celeb fans and whereas I found it fab seeing people I watched on my telly every week, such as the Made In Chelsea & TOWIE lot, they didn't really care for them, or know who many were lol. So without running the risk of losing my friends, I snapped a few photos and kept going. I was a bit gutted I didn't fulfil my aim. I do love my celebs!! Next time ;)

Geordie Shore's Vicky


We had a fab girly day and picked up lots of gorgeous bits between us!! 
Then we finished the day with the Fashion Show, before heading home.
This years Fashion Show, held in the Alcatel One Touch Fashion Theatre, was a celebration of The Clothes Show's 25th Anniversary and based around the the 'A Weekend In The Country'. The dancers and models, and not to mention the outfits were amazing, and the show was fantastic so hats off to all involved. Hooooow much does BB Kaye love the attention?? I swear he gets a bit more cocky every year! ;) haha, he's a good lad though! :)



As always, The Clothes Show was a fab day out!

Let me show you some of the bits I purchased...


The only clothes I purchased were these from an exciting young fashion label, OhMyLove London
I managed to snap up this Leopard Print Jumper (although I can't find it online), Feeling Feline Cream Fluffy Jumper (£35.00), Feeling Feline Taupe Jumper (£35.00) & Black Dress (which I can't find online either) all for £30!! 


And these are the other bits and pieces I picked up... 


There are a few Christmas presents for the other half but I've tried not to get those in the photos just incase he's having a little nose!! ;) But let me fill you in on what I bought...

Police ToBe Woman perfume with a free shower gel. I can't remember how much these were, but it was a great price and he threw in a skull bandana too. :) 

Barry M Goody Bag (£10) - as always, the BarryM goody bag was popular, including a little bag with  5 nail polishes, 2 of which were limited edition and then the usual coloured eye pencils, mascara, a lovely lip gloss and 2 pots of dazzle dust. Although it's pretty much the same every year, it's a fab goody bag and great value for money!

Bomb Cosmetics Soaps - I love this brand. Pretty, handmade, natural products; think 'Lush's sister'! I was pretty gutted when they shut up shop in Leicester. The stall looked beautiful, they'd quite clearly spent a lot of time and effort making their stall look amazing. I think the soaps were 3 for £5?! And I picked up an Orange Soda Soap, Sweet Sundae Soap (which Bradley has bagged!!) & Lemon Meringue Delight Soap Cake. They smell divine!! Yummy!

So...? Goody Bag - I actually think this was one of the best goody bags I spotted, in terms of value for money. In the £10 goody bag was a gift set including their original scent perfume, body spray and body wash, a box of 3 'rock n roll' body sprays, a travel wash bag, a travel toothbrush, a t-shirt, dry shampoo, a So...? Brit body spray and s gift set of their So...? Brit perfume, lip blame & body spray. How fab!! 

Popbands - These are usually £6 each for 5 but we got some on offer using our Clothes Show wristband (which was also a Popband ;) ) I'd heard of this brand before, from their celeb twitter promo. They're soft and stretchy hair bands that don't snag your hair or leave any dents or kinks once you take it down. I'd been meaning to order some for a while, as I have to wear my hair up daily at work while working with young children, and normal elastic hair bands damage, pull out and snag my hair constantly. Whereas these are so nice to use, I can pull them out of my hair and feel reassured that they're not pulling half my hair out with it. Plus they look a bit prettier on my wrist :)

Some cute handmade jewellery. 2 necklaces and a bracelet. 

Boozi Hand Cream - My friends and I were in our element when we stumbled across this stall. Boozi Bodycare is a range of cocktail fragranced body care. Oh yes! We're big cocktail fans so we loved the idea of this! If I hadn't already had my Christmas shopping sorted, these would've been perfect gifts for the females in my family! I think I'll definitely look them up again in the future! I picked up a WooWoo Hand Cream.

W7 Cosmetics - I was so chuffed when I heard they'd be there this year. I discovered W7 when a friend bought me the Africa bronzer as a Secret Santa present and I fell in love with it!! I also own a yummy nude lipstick by them too, and although they're such a cheap brand (which I usually tend to steer clear of), the products that I have used have been fab! They had a 5 items for £10 offer on so my friends & I stood for ages picking things up. I came away with a much needed new Africa bronzer, a Double Act bronzer, which is a dupe of the discontinued 10 Bronzer by Benefit, which I loved, a Bronze Shimmer Compact, a pink blush & a light diffusing concealer for my under eyes. Bargain! ;)



So, we had a really great girly day out. I'm a big fan of The Clothes Show! They've already released next years dates. Same time next year, ladies?? ;)





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Monday, 16 December 2013

Life | My Week [Dec8-15]

Hey ladies,

Let me start of by apologising for my lack of blog posts this week. It's been a funny week. I've been quite poorly, and working late during the week. Plus my weekends, which is when I usually get the majority of my posts written and scheduled, have been pretty damn busy of late! I seriously have no idea how some bloggers manage to post every day as with a full time job, a family and house to look after and a social life to try and squeeze in, I've admittedly struggled to stay on top of everything lately. Christmas is such a crazy time of year, plus feeling unwell - blogging has taken a back seat. But I'm trying to throw the odd post out there when possible! :)

It's been getting really Christmassy at work this week, all the children are super excited and we've been making lots of Christmassy bits with them. I've also been wrapping all my presents and writing some cards. I do love Christmas! :)

On Friday, my friends and I had our little get together and Secret Santa present swap. We went to Tinseltown for some yummy food and I was lucky enough to pull out an amazing Bomb Cosmetics gift set! Really chuffed with that!! I did wonder why she got all giggly at the Bomb Cosmetics stand at The Clothes Show last weekend! ha.

This weekend I went to Coventry to meet up with my friends Lisa, Kelly & Fleur. I love getting together with these girls, we're scattered around all over the place. Kelly & Fleur over Manchester/Liverpool way, and myself & Lisa are Midlands based, so we don't get to see each other that often. We speak all the time, every few days, and when we get together it's like we've never been apart. We don't stop talking! :) We have a lot to reminisce about, we've had some AMAZING experiences together! So it was really lovely to get together, we had a yummy meal in TGI's and then headed back to our hotel with snacks and sat talking till we fell asleep. :)

Some pictures from this week...
Bradley & I chilled out and did some Christmas colouring earlier this week | I've been busy wrapping presents! :) | The amazing Sam Bailey, who is from Leicester, came home for her homecoming gig this week, I'm still in shock that she bought Sharon Osbourne to the crappy little working mens club on my estate!! Seeing Sharon Osborne on the XFactor this weekend pulling a pint in my local social club was too funny! This is actually my Mum's photo as I was working late | Look at the amazing ice cream sundaes we enjoyed at Tinseltown! Yum!!
The fab Bomb Cosmetics gift set I received as my Secret Santa present | I've stocked up on some more Christmas Yankee Candles!! | TGI Friday fun on Saturday night | Me & my friends at Coombe Abbey hotel in Coventry where my friend works [future wedding venue right there! ;)]


Favourite Product of the Week...
I really needed a different alternative to make up wipes to remove my make up before bed. I often get too tired or lazy to go into the bathroom afterwards and do a complete wash, and sometimes it's just a make up wipe then I fall sleep, which I'm aware isn't great for my skin. So I picked up some L'oreal's Skin Perfection 3in1 Micellar Water (£3.33). It really is so much better for my skin, it completely removes all traces of my make up [and there's a lot of it ;)], even my eye make up, effortlessly and I don't need to rinse or anything. I can do it from the comfort of my bed and follow with the rest of my evening routine! New favourite right there!!

Favourite Fragrance of the Week...
I received lots of So...? goodies from my trip to The Clothes Show last weekend [look out for a post on it soon!] and I've been using the So...? Brit body spray (99p) a lot this week, it's a really fun, young, girly smell I really love it!!

Favourite Bit of the Week...
My weekend with the girls was just fab!

Song of the Week...
I haven't been able to get Hand On My Heart by Olly Murs out of my head this weekend!! 

Favourite TV of the Week...
It has to be the XFactor Final right?? Sam Bailey is just amazing and I wish her all the best for her future!!


Catch up on this weeks blogposts...



Have a fab week guys!!











Keep up to date with me & my posts 


Sunday, 15 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Toning

Welcome to my fourth post of #TheSkinProject - founded and set up by myself. 

Catch up, and take a look at the topics each week...
#TheSkinProject - Wanna Get Involved?
#TheSkinProject | My Skin

#TheSkinProject | Cleansing 
#TheSkinProject | Exfoliate
#TheSkinProject | Serum (coming Dec 22nd)
#TheSkinProject | Eye Cream (coming Dec 29th)
#TheSkinProject | Moisturise (coming Jan 5th)
#TheSkinProject | Face Masks & Treatments (coming Jan 12th)
#TheSkinProject | Anti-Ageing (coming Jan 19th)
#TheSkinProject | Q&A with Skincare Expert (coming Jan 26th)
#TheSkinProject Awards (coming Feb 2nd)

So let's talk Toning...




Why is toning important?

If you don't use a toner, chances are you've seen them on the shelves but are not exactly sure what they do or think you don't need one. 

Toning is actually an important 2nd step to complete the cleansing process. A toner will remove any remaining bits of dirt, make up and leftover cleanser. It can freshen up, soothe, nourish and prepare skin ready for your next skincare step. There really is no point in smothering your skin in an expensive moisturiser if your skin isn't completely clean and prepped ready to receive it, in order for it to work properly. Apply a toner both morning and evening on a cotton pad after cleansing. Follow with a serum & moisturiser. 

Types of toner:

Fresheners - mildest form of toner, contain virtually no alcohol, helps to keep moisture in the skin,  tighten the skin, often include ingredients such as green tea and caffeine, suitable for dry, normal & sensitive skin.

Toners - can contain upto 20% alcohol, often contain moisturising, nourishing oils and hydrating properties to soothe and smooth the skin, suitable for normal, combination & oily skin.
Astringents - strongest form of toner, contain 20-60% of alcohol, tighten the skin pores removing excess oils,  suitable for acne prone, oily, combination & normal skin.

TheBrunetteSays...

I admit, I only started using toners a few months ago, after doing a skincare post I realised just how poor my skincare routine was so I introduced toners into both my morning & evening routines. And I will admit, I have noticed a difference since. My skin is most definitely clearer and brighter.

Let me take you through what I use:

In the morning after cleansing, I usually applied Lush's Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water (£3.95) on a cotton pad. I chose Lush as I know I'm getting completely natural ingredients and essential oils, a simple, refreshing toner. It contains a blend of sea water to hydrate and soften my skin and seaweed and aloe gel finish the product off perfectly to delicately coat the skin to lock in moisture and prevent further dehydration. It's a fab little product to have for quick spritzes throughout the day and during long journeys. 


BUT, I recently realised that this product contains something I can't use right now. So I've had to stop using it. So disappointed as I LOVE it! I've passed it onto a friend to get some love out of it instead. And I've started using my Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£13.25) which I have as part of a Liz Earle set I purchased recently. I've only been using it a couple of days so can't comment on it as yet, but it claims to be a non-drying, alcohol free toner that refreshes, soothes and adds a fine layer of moisture. And so far so good! :)



In the evening I use a stronger toner, Skinetica's Anti-Blemish Super Toner* (£7.00). If you've followed my blog for a while you'll know that I'm a big fan!! After receiving a sample size bottle in a beauty box and using them on blemishes and spots I fell in love with it, I received some full size bottles in goody bags and I decided to try it out as a toner. It is an amazing anti-blemish product, ridding of blemishes super quick and since using as a toner, I've hardly had any blemishes at all! It removes all skin impurities and only contains 18% of alcohol. 



So, that's my take on Toners. Join me next week to talk Serum
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSkinProject to read more Toning posts from the other bloggers taking part in this project.


Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSkinProject..

*PR Sample or Gifted Product


Keep up to date with me & my posts 

Friday, 13 December 2013

#EastMidsMeetUp

I knew Emma, from NotYourAverage before she started blogging, through her boyfriend Adam. She was one of the main inspirations that got me back into blogging, as I loved reading her blogposts and missed being part of the blogosphere. So when she told me she was planning a local meet up for bloggers, I put my name down straight away!

The idea behind the meet up was to allow local East Midlands based bloggers the chance to get together, as many blog events are held in the larger cities and places taken up pretty quickly. 
I'm still pretty new to blogging, with my blog only running since before the summer, and this was my first proper bloggers meet up so I was looking forward to it yet feeling a little nervous too.

So, on Saturday, November 30th I headed for the train station where I met up with Sophie from Sophie'sBeautique where we caught the train to Derby, where we met up with Emily from WhatEmLoves, Annie from TalesofAnnieBean, Anna from HouseofBargain & Sally from RainyDayFaces. We all felt a bit nervous as we headed to meet everyone else in Westfields. 

Myself, Sophie, Emily & Sally

Emma got us all to pick a name out of a bag for our Secret Santa gift. I ended up picking Sally, which was quite tricky as I was shopping with her all day, was tricky buying something for her while she wasn't looking! ;) 
We all then went off to do some shopping in small groups, where we were later joined by Sammie from LoveFromSammie and Amie from FashionIsOurReligion

Goodies I picked up whilst shopping


I managed to pick up some bits. Before we then met up to head for Fat Cats where we sat on 2 big tables and had a few cocktails and chatted to others. Hannah & Filiz from Hot House PR, who work for St Moriz and many more brands, popped in which was great to chat, swap business cards and hear about the new brands they're working on. The food was fantastic and they managed to bring it all out super fast and nobody had to wait. Everyone seemed pretty happy with their meals so they did great!


Throughout the whole day Emma rushed around after everyone, making sure everyone was okay and handing out Secret Santa presents and goody bags. She didn't stop - she didn't seem to relax the whole day. She was an amazing host and did a fantastic job! She'd spent so long making little labels, even baking us yummy cakes! I asked the girls I was shopping with if they fancied clubbing together to get her something to say thank you. Everyone agreed and we picked her up a Soap & Glory gift set so she could have a little pamper session once she got home! :)



I received a cute silver necklace from my Secret Santa. I can't remember who it was from, which is really annoying me - but huge thank you to you!!!

My Secret Santa gift - thank you!


The goody bags Emma had put together were fantastic, full of great products!!



All in all, it was a fantastic day! I really enjoyed myself and would like to say a big thanks to the girls I met and shopped with and to Emma for organising the event!












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Monday, 9 December 2013

Life | My Week [Dec1-8]

Hey lovelies,

This week has been a craaaaazy busy week and I've been sooooo tired and drained!! I've done a few late nights at work, that and getting ready for Christmas has meant blogging has taken a back seat this week, I managed to get a couple of posts out but I've just not had time to keep on top of it this week!

We've been getting really Christmassy at work this week, making lots of fab Christmas decorations and doing lots of festive activities! It's such a lovely time of year to work with children! :)

Last Sunday we put the trees up whilst listening to Christmas music then settled down to watch Elf! :) We have a nice black, decorative tree in the lounge that matches the colour scheme, then we have a white tree in the hallway which is Bradley's tree, that he decorates himself and puts all the fab things we make on there. The lounge is full of Christmas gift bags and wrap, everywhere is such a mess - with Christmas stuff. Aghhh!! :)

I've been loving opening my Boots Beauty Advent calendar this week! Some fab little pieces in there! :)

Yesterday me & my friends went to The Clothes Show. It was fab, I love that place! It's like heaven!! :) I picked up soooo much stuff and bumped in to lots of celebs, such as Kingsland Road, Lisa Maffia, Romeo, Gemma Collins, Amy Childs, Vicky Pattison & Mark Wright. I failed my mission to have at least one photo with a celeb! Gutted. But my friends aren't big celeb fans so they didn't really want to wait around while I fangirled over people I watch on TV, ha! Fab day though, can't wait to do a post on the day to show you everything I bought!!

Some pictures from this week...

Bradley putting the star on one of the trees | Loving Benefit's Rockateur this week!! | The Gingerbread house Bradley bought home from his grandparents this week | Some of the bags we had on the way home from The Clothes Show this weekend

Favourite Product of the Week...
I bought Benefit's Rockateur (£23.50) at the #EastMidsMeetUp and have been using it every day since. It's such a gorgeous colour with just the right amount of shimmer and a fab scent to it too.

Favourite Fragrance of the Week...
I received a sample of Nina by Nina Ricci in my advent calendar this week. I love the smell of it, it's very me. Very sweet and girly. I love Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci, it was my staple summer fragrance a few summers ago, and this is another beauty by Nina. It's definitely going on my Wishlist for a full size bottle! :)

Favourite Bit of the Week...
The Clothes Show was a fab day - being surrounded by clothes and beauty products, and a few rather attractive celebs is my kind of day!! ;)

Song of the Week...
We've been having the Christmas songs on at work this week, and it can't get much better than All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey! 

Favourite TV of the Week...
'I'm A Celeb' has been pretty good this year. My vote is for Kian to win tomorrow! :)

Favourite Tweet of the Week...
'The fact that Tom Daley coming out is on the news, shows how f**ked our society is regarding sexuality' - @JasonCarter_ 
I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that Tom Daley being gay was front page and headline news this week!! 

Catch up on this weeks blogposts...



Have a fab week guys!!










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