Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas gift guide




























If, like me you're attempting the whole last-minute Christmas shopping thing (by the way, how is it only a week until Christmas?!), then this gift guide may come in handy. Here are some of the gifts that I like to give at this time of year - one for every budget and recipient.


UNDER £5

If you're on a budget and can't afford to go on a splurge with the gift-giving this year, then there are still plenty of options.

  • For younger friends and relatives, a sweet treat is often warmly received. A well put together pic and mix box, full of packets of their favourite sweets and bars of their favourite chocolate can be both thoughtful and budget friendly. Many card shops sell beautiful boxes that you can use for this.
  • Giving an experience can be even better than giving a physical gift. Promising a friend a spa day, a movie night or planning a fun day at the park with your younger siblings shows that you care but can cost next to nothing, 
UNDER £10

  • For under £10, you can construct your own spa package which would be appropriate for both friends and female relatives. Magazines, Nail polishes, beautifully scented body washes, scrubs and bath bombs can all be bought for low prices - especially in shops like boots and Superdrug where there are often amazing discounts on such items. 
UNDER £15
  • I recently put together a calendar for my friend, with photos of us and places we had been from my phone, This service is available at Boots and costs £14.99. 
  • A magazine subscription is the perfect gift for someone who seems to have everything. Many well-known magazines are available for 6-12 months subscriptions for under £15. If you look around, you can find some really great deals.

I hope that these gift ideas inspired you for your last minute shopping trip - I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I'll speak to you in my next blog post...
Elle xox

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Beauty on trial : H&M Beauty Department





























Another apology is due this week for my absence in the blogging world over these past few days. If you're a regular reader you may have noticed a lack of continuity in my posting and I'm very sorry! Is anyone else finding the dark evenings a killer when it comes to blog photography?!
Anyway, in today's post, I'll be testing out H&M's "Beauty Department" products which I recently discovered (I think it's only available in larger H&M stores?). I was intrigued by the beautiful and innovative packaging and the high-end feel of the products. Here are some of the items which I picked up:





























High Impact Eye Colour  (£4.99)

I was immediately drawn to these gorgeous eye shadows and the vivid colours which H&M offered. The white an
d gold casing screams high-end and yet this product only set me back £4.99 (and came in a lovely little box!). I went for this greyish shimmery shade called "gala gown". It's quite a sheer shimmer which I think would be perfect for a christmas party when you just want to add a touch of glamour! It's definitely build-able but I would recommend priming your eyes before application to ensure longevity. But for the teeny-weeny price of under £5, you can't go far wrong and I feel like these would make an excellent stocking-filler!



Raspberry Leaf Peel-off mask (£1.99)

I had seen another blogger do a review on these unusual looking face masks and it's safe to say that I was intrigued. On my next trip to H&M, I picked up this one for combination skin. The product is contained within a cute little pod which I assume will make for easier application than if it was in one of those annoyingly messy sachets! I haven't actually tried it out yet (I had to wait to take the photos) but the beautiful raspberry scent is enough to make me want to buy another one!


Cashmere Haze Hand Wash  (£3.99)

I must admit, I did only buy this because of the pretty packaging, and wasn't too fussed on the scent. I'm used to simple Radox soaps, so I felt very sophisticated when popping this by my sink! The smell of this is ok, but classically soapy with a slight floral scent to it. I won't be repurchasing simply because the scent isn't for me, but there are plenty of others to try, and for £3.99, I'm not at all dissapointed.


Overall, I'm very impressed with the presentation and affordability of the H&M beauty range and I will definitely be venturing into the beauty isles again to try out the variety of other great products available.

Elle xox

Sunday, 22 November 2015

My top 3 drugstore makeup brands





























I've never been one for high-end makeup. I love to treat myself now and again but I always head to the drugstore brands for the majority of my makeup and so I thought I'd put together my three favourite drugstore makeup brands - one for every budget and taste!





























L'oreal

This brand's beautiful packaging always makes me feel like I'm shopping at the high end counters. I especially love the lipsticks and foundations that L'oreal have to offer. The collection exclusive lipsticks are to die for and the black and gold casing is luxurious! This brand is also amazing if you have paler skin like my as they have a great range of shades.





























Maybelline

My go-to for essentials. If I need something like a simple nail polish or mascara, I'll head to Maybelline. My all time favourite is definitely the Lash Sensational mascara - super affordable but 
better than any high-end mascara I've ever tried! You can definitely find some gems in the Maybelline aisles.



























Bourjois

I've read in so many magazines that french skincare is the best available, and based on my experience, so is the makeup! As with L'oreal, the packaging is really pretty and the formulas behave like high end products. The only downside is that the shade ranges aren't great, so I can't really use my beloved Healthy Mix until the summer! But overall, I always gravitate towards Bourjois when I'm on the hunt for some great makeup..

I hope you enjoyed and I'll speak to you in my next post!
Elle xox



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Why I'm a micellar water convert//how I use it





























When the micellar water craze burst onto the beauty scene a while back, I could understand the hype - a no rinse cleanser that claimed to remove all traces of makeup and cleanse skin in one go? It sounded like a miracle product! But after buying my first bottle I really couldn't see what the fuss was about. Used alone, it removed my makeup but didn't give the "soothed and cleansed" feel that the product had promised to give,....so I gave up.

A few months ago, I started to break out and even my beloved Liz Earle cleanser wan't clearing my skin up, so I decided to give the micellar water a whirl again, just to see what happened.....

I chose to continue using my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but remove my makeup with the micellar water beforehand - the results were amazing!
I think that removing my makeup with a separate product allowed the Liz Earle formula to really work into my skin instead of having to battle through the layers of foundation and powder!

The micellar water was the perfect, cheap alternative to double cleansing with my liz earle - it saved me money and made my Cleanse and Polish last much longer. If you're struggling to afford your usual double cleanse, I would definitely recommend this! You can carry on using your much loved high end cleanser and enjoy the benefits, whilst using half as much and needing to re-purchase far less often.

Although the micellar water craze didn't draw me in to begin with, I soon began my own love affair with the product of the moment and now always have to have a bottle lying around!

I hope you enjoyed this super short post and skincare "story"!

Are you a micellar water fan? 

Elle xox

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Haircare products you have to try





























My mission to find the perfect haircare products has been a long one. Because of my love of heat styling, the condition of my hair isn't great - but luckily I've found a few incredible products which leave my hair feeling soft, silky and manageable. Here are my all time favourite products which I would definitely recommend!

 Tresemme Platinum Strength - This is a recent discovery for me but one that I am so pleased with. The Tresemme Platinum Strength Shampoo makes my hair feel incredibly soft and cared for but never greasy. I often find that nourishing shampoos make my hair feel weighed down and greasy after a day - but I've never had a problem with this incredible product.

L'oreal Hair Expertise Conditioner - I bought the shampoo and conditioner from this range but never really liked the shampoo as it made my hair greasy - but the conditioner was luxurious! It made my hair feel super nourished and as an added bonus, this smells really great (like apricots and caramel!).

Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment - I don't need to say too much about this product, as I actually did a full review on it a while back (you can read that here). But I will say that it works just as great now as it did back then and has been keeping my hair in great condition as it's grown longer over these past few months.





























Ogx Anti-frizz hydrating oil - Yet another recent discovery but also another absolute essential! I'd heard great things about Ogx but didn't really see any need to add more products to my extensive collection but I saw that Ogx was on offer in Boots recently and thought that it was the perfect excuse to try one of their products out. I chose this anti-frizz spray oil and it was the best decision ever! This defines my curls, makes my hair super soft and gets rid of all frizz. I've also had many opportunities to try out the "anti-humidity" claim due to the rainy UK weather - this certainly lives up to it's claims. In rainy conditions, my hair stays super straight (after styling) and remains frizz free. I can't recommend this enough!

Have you tried any of these products? If so, let me know your thoughts!
See you in my next post
Elle xox

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Cosy girls night in + top autumn/winter movies





























Sometimes a cosy girls night in is better than a night out. I love to get all of my friends together every now and again and organise a night in with movies, snacks and pampering.  Here are my tips for a girls night in and my top autumn/winter movie picks!




























Set up a pamper station

You can either do this in the same place where you have decided to watch your chosen movies (if it's big enough) or in a separate room.
On a small table, lay out a selection of magazines, nail polishes, hand creams and face masks.It would also be handy to have a couple of chairs or stools around the table. Throughout the evening, people can come up to the table and grab a magazine,face mask or give themselves a manicure. You can even take in in turns to give each other manicures, complete with a relaxing hand massage! 




























Food and drink

If you've ever hosted a movie night or girls night in before, you'll know that trying to estimate how much people will eat can be tricky - not to mention expensive! Before you all get together, plan to all bring something different - there'll be something for everyone. It also means that the host doesn't have to worry about buying all of the food herself! 

Have a onesie party

A girls night in isn't the place for uncomfortable skinny jeans or shoes that give you blisters - allow your guests to feel at home and agree to all arrive in your funniest onesies/pyjamas! Grab your selfie stick and snap some photos of you and your friends in your onesies - you could even print them out afterwards and give them to your guests as keepsakes.

Create a playlist

Make a playlist of all time favourite songs - the best ones are those which you haven't heard for a while but all know off by heart. You can belt out the tunes and shamelessly dance around the room : one of the reasons why a night in with your closest friends is better than a night out -no one's going to judge you!


























Top Autumn/winter movie picks

Bridget Jones Diary
I come back to this film time and time again. I think that everyone can relate to Bridget in some way or another which makes this film perfect for a girls night in. There's a sequel to this aswell if you enjoy the first one - and three books which are all brilliant!

Bride Wars
If you loved Bridesmaids. then you'll adore this chick-flick/rom-com. It follows two best friends from two separate worlds through their engagements and right up to their wedding days - which, by some horrible mix-up fall on the same day, in the same venue . The ending is heart warming and the ways in which the girls mess with each other are seriously funny. I thoroughly recommend!

Chalet Girl
I saw this movie ages ago and have seen it plenty of times since. Although it's set in a snowy ski chalet. this film is fun to watch all year round. And it stars Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl), so what's not to like?!

Love Actually
This film is unusual, because it doesn't have a central story line, but instead follows the relationships of 10 different people in the lead up to Christmas. Definitely one to save for the winter months, but with an all star cast including Hugh Grant (who stars in Bridget Jones), Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly and Rowan Atkinson, it's a great film to cosy up with on a girls night in.

The Holiday
Another one to save for the weeks leading up to Christmas, The Holiday is my ultimate, feel good movie pick. It sees two women, one from a swanky Hollywood mansion (Cameron Diaz) and another from a cosy cottage in the heart of England (Kate Winslet) swap homes for the holidays. This romantic comedy is perfect for a girls night in - but be sure to have tissues to hand!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you have found this post helpful :)  

What do you usually do on a girls night in?

Elle xox

Sunday, 18 October 2015

L'oreal Infallible 24hour Foundation Review


 Good foundations that suit my pale skin tone are hard to come by. In the summer, the lightest shades of foundation seem to match my skin perfectly, but in the colder months, nothing seems to be pale enough! I've been on the hunt for a good foundation that matches my skin tone for a while now, and when I saw that L'oreal did foundations in very pale shades, I had to give one a try. In the end I went for the Infallible 24h foundation, over the true match, because of Zoella's recommendation, Here is my honest review of the product.

Packaging

I love everything about the packaging of this product, It's sophisticated yet eye-catching with the ruby-red lid. The top comes off easily and the product is dispensed through a pump, which is an essential for me. The amount that is dispensed after one pump is enough to provide light coverage.





























Formula, coverage and application

The foundation itself is quite thick in contrast to my usual Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. I personally found that this made it harder to blend than I was used to and it took longer to make sure that there were no patchy areas or visible brush marks. I'm going to persevere though, as I've only ever tried one other foundation, so I'm not exactly a pro! (I'm used to BB and CC creams).
As I said in above, one pump provides light coverage, but this is definitely a foundation that provides buildable coverage - I use one and a half pumps. 
 I found that once the foundation was actually on my skin, it looked very natural and had a velvet matte finish. At this point, it definitely felt as though it could live up to its "long-wear" claims, so I skipped powder,

Was it long-lasting?

As I'm writing this, it's been about 7 hours since application and my foundation still looks pretty darn good! Although the matte effect has long since worn off (so perhaps not good if you have oily skin?), the actual foundation itself has stayed put.

Did it live up to the other claims?

On the back of the bottle the foundation claims that there will be no tranfer. no visible imperfections, no dry-out and no-mask effect.
In my opinion, it lived up to every claim but one : no dry-out. My skin is what I would describe as normal to combination, so I personally had no trouble with the formula, but I did have to apply a good moisturiser beforehand. I can definitely see how it wouldn't be great for people with dry skin, because of the matte effect and the thick formulation. 

Overall rating

For girls with normal or combination skin, I think that this foundation is perfect, especially if you are on the look out for one that's super pale. It stayed put all day, gave good coverage and was light enough for my skin tone.
However it was a little tricky to blend and I can imagine that it wouldn't be great for girls with really oily or really dry skin, 
I would give this foundation an

8/10 
 
Personally I love this stuff, but I think that girls with dry skin or oily skin may not find it to be quite as good.

Thanks for reading, I hope that this helped!
Eleanor xox

Sunday, 11 October 2015

September favourites

 Favourites posts are always the ones which I look forward to writing the most - they're the sort of posts written with a cup of tea in one hand and an oversized bowl of popcorn in the other. I don't have too many beauty favourites this month, but the ones which I have chosen are my absolute must-haves....

Beauty

Real techniques makeup sponge (not pictured) - My makeup brush recently broke and was too expensive to replace straight away so I decided to try a sponge. At the bargain price of only £5.99, I was amazed by the results. My makeup always looks perfect now and blends in easily. The pointed tip is great for blending in concealer, and I use the rounded sides for the application of foundation. I definitely recommend! 

L'Oreal collection exclusive Lipstick in "Eva's Delicate Rose" - I have to be honest, I actually bought this just because of the packaging! But it turns out that the actual lipstick is pretty great too. This colour is a beautiful deep pink that delivers a velvet matte finish. It doesn't dry my lips out and stays put for a long time. An all round amazing product!

L'occitane "Lavande" hand cream - I was very pleased to get this tube of hand cream for free with the latest issue of Marie Claire, because L'occitane do such luxurious products. This cream is great to apply just before bed, as the lavender scent is soothing and the cream soaks in instantly. I love it so much and will be sad when it runs out - I'm definitely considering repurchasing :)


Bath and shower

Radox bath soak with Lavender and Waterlily - This bath soak creates mountains of comforting bubbles and fills the bathroom with the relaxing aroma of Lavender and Waterlily - it's such a great product, especially if you're planning a pamper evening. 

Head and Shoulders Classic Shampoo - If you're looking for a shampoo that does "what is says on the tin" then I'd definitely recommend this. It gets rid of any flakiness that you may have, but  I use ii to remove any product build up and to give my hair and scalp a proper clean. The shampoo also leaves my hair really soft, which was a pleasant surprise!

Music

Melanie Martinez - My friend introduced me to this and I have to admit that I'm hooked. My favourites include "carousel" and "dollhouse". If you've never listened to Melanie's music then I highly suggest that you search for her on youtube. The lyrics can take some getting used to, but in time I'm sure that you'll grow to love the songs as much as I do!


That's all for my favourites this month, I'll speak to you in my next post
Elle xox







Sunday, 27 September 2015

Favourite Fall Things





























Hey :) I think I mentioned in another post that I love autumn more than any other season - as soon as September arrives I get excited for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cosy nights in! Today's post is "My favourite fall things" - I hope you enjoy :)





























Autumn makeup

In summer I'm all for minimal makeup - especially when I'm on holiday. However, when Autumn hits, I love to experiment with my makeup - mainly with my eyes and lips. I like to use my Naked Palette from Urban Decay to create a gold/brown shimmery eye look and my new "Collection Exclusive" lipstick from L'oreal in the shade "Eva's delicate rose". 




























Fall Fashion

Crisp autumnal mornings call for cosy jumpers and boots! I've already dug out last years jumpers and have been on the hunt for some new ones. I like to have a mix of thick, classic knitted jumpers and thinner ones for layering.
Another fall fashion favourite of mine are brown boots with a small heel. I have two pairs which I love and I alternate between them throughout the colder months.



 Pamper evenings and Lush baths

Cold, dark evenings make for the perfect pamper session - you can hop into a hot, bubbly bath and let a lush bath bomb fizz away whilst you sit back and relax.  My visits to the local lush store become more frequent when it gets to autumn and I love to try new products and treat my skin :)





























Reading

I have a passion for reading and throughout last year I didn't read as much as I would have wanted to - but I'm using this autumn/winter to get back into reading. I've recently been loving Agatha Christie's books - so far I've read "And then there were none" and am in the process of reading "Death in the skies". Christie's books are genius and really do keep you guessing until the very end!


That's it! Let me know what your Autumn/fall essentials are in the comments :)
Love, 
Elle xox

Sunday, 20 September 2015

How to stay fit during the colder months.....





























We've all done it - planned to go for an energising run, but then taken a look out of the window and decided against the idea. It can be really hard to get the motivation to go to the gym or go out for a run when it's freezing cold and pouring with rain. Over the years. I've managed to perfect a routine that works in all weather conditions. Here are my tips for staying fit during the colder months.....

Invest in workout DVD's / find a good exercise channel on youtube

When it's raining outside, going for a jog is never pleasant and getting in the car to go to the gym isn't great either. When it's horrible outside, I'll turn to my favourite exercise channel ever - Blogilates! I started watching Cassey around a year ago and I'm so much more toned and far more physically fit than I was back then.
You can choose from a variety of different workouts - from 5 minute toning sessions to longer full body workouts. I'd highly recommend heading to youtube and checking it out - you can click HERE and be taken straight to her channel.


Find a beautiful location

Going out for a jog on a crisp winter morning can actually be really invigorating - but pounding pavements can be boring. Running in a beautiful park and being close to nature will inspire you to get outdoors and run more often. Research some areas near to where you live and switch up your location and you'll most likely find yourself with more motivation to get moving!


Take up yoga

Sometimes you just want to relax after that wet and cold walk home from school/work. Yoga might be just what you need. Once again, there are many youtube channels which offer free yoga sessions so that you don't even need to leave the house to find your inner peace :) One of my favourites is Yoga with Adrienne. She takes you through all of the steps and encourages you to find what feels most comfortable. There are videos aimed at helping you to get more flexible and ones that will simply relax your body and mind.
In addition to this, there are many books and apps out there for yoga.

Exercise outfits

I've found that the best place to get my workout clothes from is definitely H&M. The clothes are gorgeous yet practical and super affordable. The spots bra/crop top in the above picture was from H&M and is the prettiest and most comfortable one that I've ever owned. I LOVE the straps on the back! You can pretty much get a whole new workout wardrobe in there and it's always my first  port of call for anything workout related. I find that if you have a beautiful workout outfit to hand, you'll be more motivated to exercise.

Thanks for reading!

Elle xox




Sunday, 13 September 2015

Superdrug's hot cloth cleanser vs Liz Earle cleanse and polish

 Liz Earle's hot cloth cleanser is so iconic in the beauty world that it's hard to imagine that anything could ever come close to it. When I spotted that Superdrug had a similar version in store which was a fraction of the price, I just had to give it a go! Today I will be comparing the two...


 Packaging

Li Earle - You can tell by the look of Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish tube that the product is more expensive than your average cleanser. I always buy the kind with a pump because it's easier to dispense. This product wouldn't look out of place in an expensive spa and I love everything about it.

Vitamin E Superdrug cleanser - Although the packaging isn't terrible, it's clear that this product costs far less than the Liz Earle version. I don't  mind the fact that it doesn't come with a pump, because the actual cream isn't as thick as cleanse and polish.

Smell

Liz Earle - My favourite part of using Liz Earle is breathing in the luxurious smell. It's incredibly calming and I always look forward to it.

Vitamin E Superdrug cleanser - This product also has a really nice smell - it's almost a nutty sort of scent. It doesn't smell as natural as Liz Earle however.

Makeup removal

Liz Earle - This is a really great cream for makeup removal - better than all of the makeup wipes, face washes and ordinary cream cleansers I've ever tried. It even removes Benfit's They're Real mascara and the thickest foundation formulas.

Vitamin E Superdrug cleanser - I was pleasantly surprised by this product and it's ability to remove all of my makeup. It was just as good as Liz Earle which I thought would never be possible for something that only cost £4.99!

How my skin felt afterwards

Liz Earle - My skin always feels amazing after Liz Earle - my skin is smooth and is never greasy. Since I started using it, I've had far fewer breakouts.

Vitamin E Superdrug cleanser - I also liked the way that my skin felt after cleansing with this. My skin was incredibly soft and felt hydrated. I can't say anything for spot fighting, because I haven't used it for long enough.


I was very impressed by Superdrug's hot cloth cleanser. My makeup was removed and my skin felt great. For such a low price, I will definitely be repurchasing again to use when my Liz Earle runs out and I'm too poor to buy some more haha :) But i can also say that I will never stop buying Liz Earle's cleanse and polish because it's such a luxurious product and it leaves my skin clear and smooth.

I hope that this has helped you - I know that lots of people use Liz Earle!
Elle xox

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Sunday, 6 September 2015

August Favourites!














Another month over...another favourites! On the one hand, I'm a little sad that summer is over, but on the other, I'm so excited for Autumn - my favourite season :)  Here are all the things that I've been loving over the past month.....

      Beauty 

Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser : I've been on the hunt for the perfect budget moisturiser for so long - and I think I've found "the one" ! I mentioned in my pamper evening routine post that I was liking one of Garnier's moisturisers...but then I realised that it was making my skin greasy after all when used on an everyday basis. So I continued to search until I found this one from Simple - it has UVA/UVB protection, is gentle on my skin and doesn't make it greasy at all! Love, Love, Love  :)

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara - I actually did a whole post on this incredible mascara and compared it to Benefit's They're Real one. After a while, I found that I preferred this one and now use it every single day! It  lengthens, separates like crazy and makes my lashes look amazing :)

Rimmel 60 seconds Super shine in Caramel Cupcake  - This is the perfect nude nail polish for my skin tone. It is only noticeable from up close and gives my nails that "polished" look that goes with every outfit. The nail polish itself is very glossy looking and is such good value for money at only £2.99!

Books and entertainment

"Love Tanya" by Tanya Burr -  I had been wanting a youtuber's book for so long and when I saw that Tanya's book was on offer, I finally decided to go for it. This book is truly beautiful - the pages are  covered with colourful photographs and the tips that Tanya gives are really helpful  :)

American Horror Story Asylum  -  This show is weirdly addictive! It's full of twisted story lines and characters who are pure evil - but I love it! I've never really been into horror films but this is my one exception. Most people prefer coven or murder house, but found Asylum intriguing. There were so many different characters and a few different story lines that interlinked - all that I would say is that this show is an 18 and so is not appropriate for children at all and I would watch with caution if you are a younger teenager. 

Those were all the things that I enjoyed this month - I'll speak to you in my next post :)

Elle xox



 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Top tips for smooth, straight hair

 Girls with frizzy hair will know the struggle. Washing your hair is a three hour event - shampooing, then litres of conditioner, blowdrying and then the tricky task of maintaining the sleek hair that you spent hours perfecting with the straighteners. It's taken me years to find a hair care routine that results in smooth, straight hair that lasts longer than 10 minutes haha :) Here are my tips for maintaining beautiful, frizz free locks.


 Incorporate new products into your routine - There are so many great products on the market targeted at girls who struggle with frizzy hair. My personal favourites are:

Charles Worthington's Straight and Smooth Straightening Creme - This stuff has been my holy grail styling creme for years. I apply it to wet hair and then leave my hair to air dry naturally. When I first used this, I had so many compliments on how soft my hair was and the results of straightening my hair lasted for longer. The only thing that I have to mention is that you get the best results  if you apply heat to your hair.
Garnier Sleek Perfector Oil - I've mentioned this on my blog before. It's a great product for taming unwanted frizz and adding shine.

When applying the product, separate your hair into sections, so that it is evenly distributed.

Avoid bad hair habits -  When washing and drying your hair , there are certain things that you should avoid to ensure that your hair is easier to straighten and isn't just a giant frizz ball.

1. When drying your hair with a towel, squeeze excess water out instead of  "ruffling" it between the towel.
2. Comb your hair out with a wide tooth comb instead of your usual brush. This allows you to detangle your hair without tugging and causing damage.
3. Never go to bed with wet hair. I am guilty of this. When I'm in a rush and have to wash my hair late at night, I really can't be bothered to get out the blowdryer. However, going to bed with wet hair tends to cause me a lot of frizz and makes my hair really knotted.




 Invest in a good pair of straighteners - A good pair of flat irons can make all the difference. GHD's are the best that I have ever tried and although they may be out of some people's price range, they last for ages and give you beautiful, sleek hair.
I own the GHD Eclipse straighteners and I would definitely recommend them. Since I started using these, I have noticed that my hair is softer and smoother, and the results last for longer.


I hope that these tips have helped you in some way :)  I would love it if you had any requests for future posts - I have to admit that I'm running out of ideas haha
Elle xox
 P.s Thanks so much for 200 followers through Bloglovin'. It really means a lot to me :)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Things to keep in your handbag at all times...





























My handbags seem to have lots of things in them - a few crumpled up receipts, a broken umbrella, a pen that doesn't and will never work, and if I'm lucky a few stray bobbles. But my bag never seems to contain what I actually need. So I devised a list of items that I always ensure my handbag contains, so that I'm not just carting around a load of junk!

A brush -  My hair gets super knotty throughout the day, and ends up looking dull and lifeless. If I have my brush with me, I can try and reclaim the glossy locks that I had spent ages perfecting in the morning!

Nivea Soft cream - This stuff is great, as it works well on the hands, face and body and sinks in super fast, My hands get really dry, especially if I'm out all day, so some sort of moisturiser is a must-have.

Pocketbac Raspberry Pink Peony - I always need hand santitiser, wherever I go. The Bath and Body works ones smell incredible and the scent remains on my hands all day which means that it doubles up as a perfume.

Baby Lips Lip Balm in Cherry Me -  Another essential - lip balm will never be wasted. I like to bring one with a hint of colour such as one from the Baby Lips range. They moisturise and make my lips super glossy.

Stay Matte Powder and Rimmel Colour Stay concealer - For makeup touch-ups throughout the day, I find that concealer and powder is all that I need - the concealer gets rid of any redness or spots that may have appeared over the course of the day and the powder sets the concealer in place and eliminates shine.

COLAB dry shampoo - It's always good to have some dry shampoo to hand for those days when you didn't have time to wash your hair. My personal favourite is the COLAB dry shampoo.

Mints/gum - A definite must have, especially if you've been eating out and want to freshen your breath. I prefer mints because you don't have to find somewhere to get rid of them once you're finished, but I know that some people really like to pack gum instead.


Thanks for reading!

What are your handbag essentials?

Elle xox

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Dove Express Treatment Conditioner Review





























I went on a mini shopping spree yesterday, and among the things that I purchased was this hair mask/conditioner from Dove's "Hair Therapy" range. I used it last night night and thought that I'd do a little review for you today.
Before buying this, I had heard good things about Dove's hair care range and had always wanted to give something from the selection of products a try. My hair is pretty damaged and can get quite dry at times, so I always have to have some sort of intensive treatment or hair mask in the house for those moments when my hair needs a moisture boost.
The "Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner" sounded like just what I needed. It promises to "work at a cellular level to help rebind damaged proteins" (which sounds very fancy and scientific!) aswell as being a conditioner that "Visibly repairs and seals cuticles to help protect against split ends and breakage".

This product is supposed to be a mixture of a conditioner and a treatment. To use, you simply apply to your hair and leave for one minute before washing out. For an intensive treatment, this works pretty fast. I've owned hair masks that need 10 minutes to get to work.

The treatment isn't too thick and so is easy to distribute throughout wet hair. I applied the majority of this onto the ends of my hair and then used the excess that remained on my hands for nearer the roots to avoid greasiness.
After one minute, I rinsed off and could instantly feel that my hair had been properly nourished. What's more, the smell of the product on my hair was incredible. I can still smell it today, which I really like.  It's not the sort of smell that you can describe. It's just like the lovely scent that you can smell after coming out of the hairdressers.

After my hair was dry, I could definitely feel a difference. My hair felt soft and nourished and was shiny and healthy looking. For a "drugstore" hair product, I was very impressed by the results. I felt like I had been to an expensive salon and had been treated to an expensive hair mask.

I would give this product a 10/10 and would recommend to anyone who feels like their hair is in need of serious nourishment.
This retails at £3.99 but is on offer at Boots for £2.66 at the moment.

I hope that this review was helpful, if you have any other questions or have tried this product then I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Elle xox

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Pamper evening essentials

There are times when we all feel like heading to a spa, booking a facial and taking some time out from life to give ourselves a really good pamper. I often try and replicate this experience at home with my very own pamper evening/spa night. It's such a lovely way to relax and unwind, and you don't even have to step out of your front door...
Here are the products that I use and the steps that I follow when I feel like I need to de-stress....


 Before I do anything else, I always take my make-up off - and of course I have to use my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser to give myself an at home facial. Using this honestly makes me feel like I'm in an expensive spa. It smells amazing and the super creamy formula is great for massaging into the skin and making my entire face feel super soft and nourished. If you would like a full review of this product, then I have done one here on this blog.



After my makeup is removed and my face has been cleansed I will often use a face mask to really indulge my skin. I actually only purchased the MUDD mask shown in the picture above today, so I  haven't tried it yet. If any of you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts before I use it!
At this point I usually run a bath and get in to relax whilst the face mask gets to work. After I've removed the mask with a flannel, I like to moisturise with the Garnier Essentials hydrating day cream. This has been a recent discovery for me and it leaves my skin feeling super soft but not greasy. Yay!





























Whilst in the bath there are a couple o products that I like to use if I'm having a pamper evening.
The first is the Garnier "Oil beauty" nourishing scrub. I always like to use a scrub on a pamper evening to ensure that my skin is left feeling smooth and soft. This scrub is also great because it contains "beautifying" oils that nourish the skin.
If I don't have a lush bath product to hand, but still want loads of bubbles, I'll use a bath soak like the "Sleep moments" one from Sainsbury's. Despite being from the local supermarket's own brand, this product smells amazing and the lavender that it contains really helps me to relax and unwind.





If you've read some of my earlier posts then you'll know that I absolutely love my vaseline "spray and go" moisturiser , but when I have a pamper evening I like to use something a little more luxurious.  I often find myself reaching for the body shop body butters, as they are so creamy and ultra moisturing. I slather this all over my legs and upper arms once I'm out of the bath..




 After I've pampered my body, I like to relax with a cup of herbal or fruit tea. One of my recent favourites has been the Heath and Heather wild blackcurrant tea. This is caffeine free so is perfect for the night time - it also tastes amazing which is an obvious bonus!


 And of course, no pamper evening would be complete without a good TV show or movie. Recently I've been loving Desperate housewives and the film "27 dresses". I always gravitate towards chick flicks on pamper evenings. It's just nice to watch something light hearted and fun when you're trying to relax!
I like to finish of the evening with a book - I'm currently reading "To Kill a Mockingbird".


I hope that you enjoyed this post - if you have any questions or opinions on any products mentioned then I'd love to know!

Elle xox

How do you like to pamper yourself?


Monday, 17 August 2015

Foundation, BB or CC?


With all of the different kinds of makeup available today, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. Should you try BB cream? Or maybe CC cream? But what about foundation? I hope that this post can help you decide which type is best for you...enjoy!



 CC Cream  -  For most brands, CC cream stands for "colour correcting" cream. The product is supposed to "colour correct" dark under-eye circles, red patches (such as spot scars or actual pimples) and even-out your complexion.
The Bourjois "123 Perfect" CC cream is pictured on the left in the above photo and as you may be able to tell, this particular cream is quite runny compared to the foundation in the middle and the BB cream on the right. I wouldn't even call it a cream - it's almost a mix between a cream and a serum...
 I would say that CC creams give medium coverage. I never need concealer when I use one because I really do feel like it covers up or "corrects" my dark under-eye circles. However, if you have bad acne or any really red spots then you may need some sort of concealer to completely cover it.
Most CC creams give a glowing finish and provide your skin with some moisturisation which I like but which wouldn't be good if you like a matte finish or have oily skin.
Most CC creams come with an SPF which is brilliant, especially in summer!

CC CREAMS ARE PERFECT FOR........

  • People with dark under-eye circles or redness that isn't properly covered by their usual base.
  • Anyone who wants glowing skin and a little moisturisation from their makeup.
  • Those who need to stremline their makeup routine with an all in one product that corrects and conceals.
  • The summer time!








 BB Cream - Short for "Blemish Balm" or "Beauty Balm", BB creams have been popular in the beauty and blogging world for some time now.
Most BB creams are multitasking products - they usually pack a moisture punch, give subtle coverage, have an SPF and leave you with glowing skin after application.
Unlike CC creams, I've found that BB creams don't give as much coverage and won't get rid of under-eye circles or cover up redness. The coverage is very light and simply evens out the complexion.
The BB creams that I have tried have a really creamy consistency and are very similar to a moisturiser - to be honest, I haven't seen much difference between a BB cream and a tinted moisturiser (if anyone knows the real difference between the two then I'd love to know - just leave a comment down below  :))

BB CREAMS ARE GREAT FOR....

  • Younger girls who are just starting out with makeup and want very subtle coverage.
  • Lazy days when you don't want a full face of makeup but would like to even out your complexion just in case you need to pop to the shops!
  • People with dry skin 
  • Sunny days when you want coverage with an SPF (the Dream Fresh BB cream from Maybelline has an amazing SPF of 30!!)



























FOUNDATION - Most girls who are have been experimenting with makeup for a while will have tried some sort of foundation. 
The great thing about foundation is the variety of types that are available. There are matte foundations, high coverage foundations, foundations with subtle coverage and foundations that keep skin moisturised all day. Most foundations are designed to be long lasting (but many don't deliver on this promise!) so are good when you have an event to go to. 
I tend to reach for my foundation when I feel like I need more coverage or when I want a longer lasting makeup look. 
I feel like foundation just "masks" rather than "correcting" and this "masked" look isn't to everyone's taste. When I use foundation, I feel the need to use lots of blusher to make my skin look more alive!
Unlike BB or CC cream, my foundation always has to be an exact match for my skin tone. This can be tricky when a brand doesn't always offer a wide range of shades.

FOUNDATION IS BRILLIANT FOR.....
  • Events when you want long lasting coverage and a flawless complexion
  • People who want to have lots of choice when it comes to picking the right product for them - foundations come in a variety of formulas.
I hope that this post has helped you in some sort of way! 
Ell xox

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Liebster Awards!
















Today, I'm doing a different sort of post, because I was nominated by the lovely Ashleigh from
Mashmato for the Liebster awards! I was so pleased to be nominated, as the awards are a great way to discover new bloggers and make new friends in the blogging world :)
The rules of the Liebster Awards are as follows :

1. Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
2. Include the LEIBSTER AWARD sticker in the post too.
3. Nominate 10 other new bloggers that have 200 or less followers who you think are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can nominate the person who nominated you.
4. Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
5. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.

I would like to nominate :


Moon and Roses
Pastel Mariosa
Georgia Charlotte
Daisy Queen
Wandering Through Life
Simply Michelle
Vintage Fleur
Karrachter
Joli Ombre
Imogen Grace/Pretty Pastels

All of these lovely ladies have beautiful blogs which are very much worth having a look at!

Here are my answers to the questions :


1. If you could dye your hair any colour for one day, what would you choose?
 I would probably dip dye my hair a bright colour like hot pink or electric blue - I've always wanted to see how it would look but have never got round to actually doing it!

2. Are you a sweet or savory person?
To be honest, it really depends on how I feel - sometimes I have an insane craving for Haribos and at other times I'm desperately wanting a bag of salt and vinegar crisps!

3. What was your dream when you were younger?
As a young child, I had many dreams - I went through many different phases (as any little girl does!). First I wanted to be a dancer, then an author, then an actress.....you get the idea!

4. Has your dream changed/been achieved?
Through my blog I suppose I've achieved my dream of wanting to write. I love creating blog posts and blogging is something that I will definitely continue long into the future.

5. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
I love reading and so have read many books, but there are definitely a few that stand out - I think that Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver are wonderful books that I would recommend to anyone.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you use social media?
Good Question! I would put myself at a 6 on that scale - I can live without social media but it would be tricky and I would definitely miss it

7. Where do you see your blog in 10 years?
I just hope that I am continuing to blog and that I can write posts that help and inspire people.

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I can't really say. I don't want to have too much of a plan for the future - I feel like it's better to follow your dreams and see where life takes you.

9. Are you an optimistic or a pessimistic person? Or a mix of both?
I would say that I'm a mixture of both. I tend to expect the worst but hope for the best!

10. Do you take ages to do your makeup? How long?
Generally, I can do my makeup in under 10 minutes but if something goes wrong - like too much foundation or a mascara mishap, then it can take me much longer!




Here are my questions for the people that I nominated!  :


1.  Why did you want to start a blog?
2. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?
3. Do you prefer shopping for makeup or shopping for clothes?
4. In your opinion, what's the best way to spend a lazy day?
5. Do you have a favourite TV show? If so, what is it?
6. Which youtuber would you most like to meet?
7. Do you have any hopes or plans for the future?
8. Do you have any interesting/hidden talents? If not, is there anything that you wish you could do?
9. Do you give up easily if things don't go your way? Or are you the sort of person that would persevere?
10. Out of all of the items in your makeup bag, which one would you be unable to live without?


And that's it! Thank you again to Ashleigh for the nomination and I hope that the rest of you have enjoyed finding out a little more about me through the questions that she set :)

Elle xox






Thursday, 13 August 2015

COLAB dry shampoo review

 The popularity of dry shampoos has increased dramatically over the last few years. I especially love the idea that you can solve the issue of greasy hair in an instant - it's such a convenient way to turn a bad hair day into a somewhat good one.
I have tried a few different brands (including Batiste of course!) but I've never found "The One" - I like Batiste and think that it is a great product to keep in the house but I sometimes find that it leaves this weird residue on my scalp that I really don't like.
When I saw the COLAB dry shampoos in Superdrug and noticed that they promised a "residue-free, lightweight finish" I had to give one a try!

There were a variety of fragrances but I chose the "Tokyo" scent, which is lovely. It's feminine but not too sweet and a quick look at COLAB's website gives a more accurate description of the fragrance! - "Oriental accents of orchid and mandarin with an aromatic base of sandalwood.".
What's more, the scent remains in my hair for quite a long time after use, instead of just disappearing straight after it's been sprayed.

When it comes to volume, this product doesn't actually give that much "oomph". For me, that's not a problem because I'm more interested in the way that a dry shampoo refreshes my hair and gets rid of that horrible greasy look and feel that we all hate so much! However, if you're looking for lots of lift and volume then you might not find it in this product.

However, for me, the COLAB dry shampoos are best at refreshing my hair when it is close to needing a wash. A few spritzes gets rid of excess oil without that sticky residue. Oh, and there's none of that white powder that needs to be rubbed in  extremely carefully to avoid looking like you have danduff on the surface of your hair (which is a massive bonus!).

Overall I would give the COLAB dry shampoos an 8/10 - only taking away two points because of the lack of volume that I think it gives which may be a problem to some people. However, for me this product is perfect and I will definitely be repurchasing when this can (which is actually the small 50ml type) runs out.

COLAB is available from Superdrug for £1.99 for 50ml (currently on offer for £1.79) and £3.49 for 200ml ( currently on offer for £2.32).

Have you used COLAB? What are your thoughts?

Elle xox

Monday, 10 August 2015

Makeup Look - Natural and glowing




When it comes to makeup, it can be tricky to strike the right balance between too little and too much.  Too much and your makeup can end up looking cakey, but too little and you can feel like you don't have enough coverage and are left thinking "Why did I even bother in the first place?"
It took me a lot of experimenting to finally feel completely happy with the way that my makeup looked and the following products are used in my everyday makeup routine. The finished look is healthy looking skin with a flawless complexion. 
Enjoy!




 STEP ONE - For my base, I have switched from using my Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation to using their 123 CC cream every time I do my makeup. It's perfect for creating a natural looking complexion as it isn't at all cakey or heavy on the skin. I find that it covers my under eye cirlces better than my foundation and also blurs imperfections such as spots and redness. I like to apply this product with my Real Techniques Expert face brush which really is the best brush I have ever tried  :) The end result is hydrated skin and a flawless, glowing complexion!





STEP TWO - Seen as the CC cream does a great job at covering up imperfections such as dark under-eye circles and any spots that I may have, I tend to skip concealer and move straight onto blusher. This blusher was in my June Favourites and I am still using and loving it! The Dream Touch Blush by Maybelline is brilliant for adding some colour into the apples of your cheeks and will leave your skin looking radiant! Plus, you only need a little product to make a big difference....

 STEP THREE - To set my makeup, I like to use the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. It' amazing because it ensures that my makeup stays on all day but as I mentioned before, doesn't make my face look completely lifeless or reverse the effects of the CC cream or blusher. I apply the powder with the big fluffy brush shown in the picture. It's actually from Primark and was inexpensive but works very well.




STEP FOUR - Mascara time! Personally, mascara is the part of my makeup routine that really makes a difference as it makes me look more awake (which is especially helpful on those mornings where I just didn't get enough sleep the night before!)This mascara is brilliant because it's a multitasker. It volumises, lengthens and separates in one application. If you feel like you don't need mascara to complete your look then you can skip this step or even apply some clear mascara to separate your lashes without being as obvious as wearing black mascara.


STEP FIVE - If I have time, then I'll just finish off by brushing through my brows with some clear mascara to "set" them in place.


And that's it! Occasionally I'll add on things like coloured lip balm or lipgloss and sometimes I will use my original Naked Palette to do a pretty eyeshadow look but most of the time, this is the routine that I stick to.
Once again, thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoyed!
What products do you use in your everyday makeup routine?
Elle xox