What's Made Me Happy This Month? | July 2015

Friday, 31 July 2015

I have a new favourite happy place, and that place is Porthcawl

1. Wandering around my hometown with my best ones in tow. We got fish and chips by the seafront (well, they got fish and chips, I got a burger and some doughnuts), sat by the beach to eat them and then went for a walk as the sun was starting to set. It was a perfect evening, and just writing about it now is making me smile like a loon. It's days like those that make you realise what's really important in life and spending time with your loved ones is top of the list for me, always.

First Impressions | Makeup Revolution Lipstick in Crime

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I picked this lipstick up on a whim.

I was in Superdrug, I needed a third item for my 3-for-2, and I was feeling adventurous. Crime caught my eye, and that was that.

Makeup Revolution Lipstick in Crime

The Base Edit

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Base Edit
Can we just take a second to appreciate how difficult it is to find base products when your skintone is akin to that of Casper the Friendly Ghost? GENERIC BEIGE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Luckily, I seem to have cracked it for now. The five products featured in this post are all wonderful, and most importantly, come in pale shades that actually match my skin.

GOSH Primer Plus Hydration

The only non-tinted base product, Primer Plus Hydration doesn't get as much use in the summer because I prefer to use SPF under my foundation, but I do still use this in the evening when I know I'm going to be inside the whole time. It creates such a smooth base, and it doesn't have that silicone-y, almost grainy kind of texture that a lot of primers do, which makes it feel really light on skin. It actually reminds me of moisturiser (although obviously don't replace your actual moisturiser! But this is definitely one to check out if you get dry patches).

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Aah, my Holy Grail foundation, why are you so expensive? And why doesn't your bottle come with a pump?! Complaints aside, this stuff is amazing. It's very difficult to describe the finish because it's not quite glowy and not quite matte, it's just sort of skin, and it looks lovely and natural when applied with a stipple brush. It still covers imperfections, and the amount of concealer I have to use on my blemishes has reduced dramatically since I started using Sheer Glow. And yet it never looks caked on, just polished, and pale enough.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
This concealer adds a beautiful, wide-awake look to the undereye area, while still being full coverage enough to disguise dark circles. I also use it as a subtle highlight down the centre of my nose, and under my eyebrows for a bit of a lift. Hands down the best concealer I've ever used, and fully deserving of its hype.

Seventeen Phwoar Paint in Fair
So, if we're being honest, this is a tad too dark for me, it's certainly too dark for me to use under my eyes (which is what it's designed for). In fact, Phwoar Paint only comes in two shades, Fair and Medium, so it loses points for that. But its full coverage, thick-but-easy-to-blend formula is perfect for pinpoint concealing any blemishes, and the little-at-a-time nature of this application method means one compact should last a lifetime, even with everyday use.

Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot
When I asked for powder recommendations on Twitter, this was THE number one suggestion. A translucent powder, One Heck of a Blot sets make up and stays put all day  the first powder I've ever tried to have done so. It comes with a puff, which is handy if you need any on-the-go touch ups, but I like to apply it with the powder brush by Eco Tools. Plus, it's S&G, so you know the packaging is gonna be pretty.

What are your go-to base products? Have you tried any of these? let me know in the comments!

I'm Taking A Break

Friday, 10 July 2015

Hello, everyone! As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from blogging. I don't know how long it'll be, although I don't plan to be away for too long, but blogging has been a major source of stress for me lately. And it shouldn't be that way! Blogging is fun; blogging used to be my refuge, but lately I've just been beating myself up about it, and that's not okay. I think I need to take a step back and figure out how I can blog and be happy with it all again. It's not something I want to give up  I really do love it  but I just need a breather.

I'm not going to apologise for taking a break, because, as many a wise blogger has stated, you need to live a life to write a blog. But I will say that I'll be back, hopefully soon, with a much healthier outlook and a bit of a refresh. I hope you'll join me.

(And I'll still be on Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest, and reading other blogs, so I won't vanish completely!)

List | A Not-So-Serious Summer Bucket List

Friday, 3 July 2015

Before I start, I will hold my hands up and say that this has been inspired by Jasmin's post about her plans for the summer (I'd definitely recommend a read, she's got some lovely adventures planned!) However, for this bucket list I'm going to be focusing on smaller things, because why not turn my down time into some kind of achievement? Let it never be said that I lack ambition.

1. Binge-watch Orange Is The New Black

2. Re-read the A Song of Ice and Fire series before The Winds of Winter is released so that everything is fresh in my mind.

3. Learn how to take decent selfies (for blogging purposes, and, y'know, for days when my make up is on point).

4. Buy a selection of backgrounds for product photos and mess around with composition so that I can mix up the look of my pictures (which are waaaay better than they used to be but could still do with some tweaking).

5. Cook the perfect risotto.

(I found this amazing rainbow ice cream on Pinterest, originally posted here)

6. Eat lots of scones with jam and cream.

7. Buy and devour the new Princess Diaries book in one day #mia4eva

8. Try all the sauces and toppings from the Pork & Co menu. Current favourite is BBQ sauce and chillislaw — I don't even like 'slaw normally, but theirs is to die for.

9. Spend an afternoon trying out crazy hair/make up tutorials on Pinterest (and maybe blog about it... if I can actually do any of it!)

10. Leave a comment on every blog post I read.

What are your plans for summer? What would your not-so-serious summer bucket list include? Let me know in the comments!

Review | SmartSun UV Indicator Wristbands

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Smartsun UV Indicator Wristbands
How the band looks before you venture outside; my wristband changing colour after I'd been up in the Brecon Mountains. My forearms caught more sun than the underneath, which is why the top of the wristband changed colour quicker.

Hands up if you've ever applied sun cream in the morning, felt smug because you remembered to use it, and then got burnt anyway? This has happened to me a few times now (most memorably in Spain — do not neglect the crease beneath your butt cheeks) so when the people at Smartsun got in touch to ask if I'd be interested in testing out their UV Indicator Wristbands*, I said yes immediately. I may be proud to be pale, but with that pale skin comes a tendency to burn almost instantly, and it huuuurrrts.

So, how do they work? You put on a wristband, apply your sun cream, and then go about your day as normal. The band starts off yellow, turns beige when you need to reapply, and then when you need to stay out of the sun it turns pink (how appropriate!) 

Personally, I think the wristbands are a great idea. I'm not great at remembering to reapply sun cream throughout the day, so having something there to remind me has been a skin/life saver. Yesterday I was up in the Brecon Mountains, outside in the sun pretty much constantly for a good few hours, and the wristband turned beige well before I might have considered using more SPF. I wasn't out long enough for it to turn pink (too much sun and I start to wilt) but the colour-changing is definitely noticeable, and I didn't burn at all.

Brecon Mountain Railway
The view from the Brecon Mountain Railway
Each wristband is adjustable, so children can wear them as well, and I reckon the bands would be a good way to teach little 'uns about the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of topping up your SPF  I know the colour changes would have been a huge novelty for me when I was little.

Smartsun UV Indicator Wristbands cost £4.99 for a pack of three (each band can be used once). This is a bit much for everyday (and it's not like we get that much sun year-round in the UK anyway, boo hiss) but they're perfect for holidays, or for days when you know you're going to be out and about in the sun. I would definitely consider picking up a pack or two next time I go abroad.

Have you ever been burnt before? Do you think you'd find something like this useful? Let me know in the comments!
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