Wednesday, 11 March 2015

5 Product Mummy/Maternity Face - AKA 'Lazy Make up'

Hi everyone, hope everyone is well.

Having been stuck at home for a few weeks now, I was beginnging to get fed up of looking in the mirror and seeing my non-make up, tired face everyday! So this week I decided to put on a bit of make up so that I don't cower behind my dressing gown when someone knocks on the door, or frantically throw on foundation when a visitor arrives. But I only wanted to use a few products that I would be able to whack on in about 5/10 minutes. I also feel like this will be a great, quick routine for when Baby J is here and I need to cover my bags under my eyes and perk up my tired skin. Here's what I used...

Pixi Beauty Illuminating Tint and Conceal (shade no 2 - bare glow): £21.50 from here
I absolutely LOVE this product!!! It is a tinted moisturiser with perfectly matching concealer in the cap. The base gives light coverage and has tiny speckles of shimmer in it to really lift your complexion. I start by rubbing this in with my fingers, then use the concealer anywhere I need to conceal as well as under my eyes and over my eye lids (as an eye shadow) to correct the colour. The concealer is so creamy, it's very easy to blend.

Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush (shade no1): £7.99 from here
A great little product, and I love the packaging - it even has a little mirror inside. I use my fingers to blend a small amount of this onto my cheeks and up my cheekbones. It gives a gorgeous rosy glow to my cheeks.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil (shade Perversion): £15.50 from here
This is a really good long lasting eyeliner that doesn't smudge, in a typical pencil style. I simply swipe this under my eye along my waterline just to make my eyes pop a bit.

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara (shade Black): £19.50 from here
There is a reason this is the UK's best selling mascara. I absolutely LOVE this - and I'm a mascara junkie but am converted to this completely and have been for a year or so now. The formula is really black and the wand really grabs your lashes to lengthen and separate. It also lasts FOREVER even though it isn't waterproof (I have to really scrub to get it off). A little swipe of this on my lower and upper lashes - I simply can't go without mascara. This would be a desert island product for me.

L'Oreal Paris Brow Artist Eyebrow Pencil (shade blonde): £5.49 from here
This is a great travel product as it incorporates an eyebrow brush, pencil and wax in one pencil! I brush my eyebrows to shape them, then use the pencil to shade in any gaps, and finish with the wax to set. I feel it just really finishes off my face to have tidy eyebrows!

So that's my 5 product face - perfect for Mummies and Mummies-to-be or for when you just don't have time to put a full face on. Hope you enjoyed!

What would your 5 products be?
D x

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask

So I thought it was about time for my first product review. This is a product I've been raving about for a few weeks now and have got all my friends on it. I really like TBS at the moment - they seem to be getting A LOT right! As you may have guessed from this, I really like it...

Product: Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask, by The Body Shop

Price: £22 for 90ml @ The Body Shop

What it claims to do: The Body Shop website states this is a "youth-enhancing sleeping mask is enriched with Edelweiss stem cells. It is designed to be left on overnight to sink in while you sleep, leaving skin feeling bouncier and replenished.
Packaging: The mask comes in a large, green glass pot with white lid and a little plastic scoop to get the product out (you'll need it!) It's a beautiful, bright green colour pot that looks quite high end.

First impressions: I first tried this when I was given a sample of it in Body Shop's Aldershot store (really handy as my skin is quite sensitive). I was looking for something to brighten and hydrate my skin which had become dehydrated due to my pregnancy. I had a little play with it in store first though. The texture of it really is something you have to feel to believe it! The only way I can describe it is like a memory foam mattress - if you press it, it will leave a fingerprint and then bounce back. So strange! This does make it quite tricky to get out of the tub, hence why you will need the scoop. I noticed upon opening it that it smells amazing too - very fresh and clean!

How to use: It is designed as a mask to leave on overnight, but don't panic - it soaks in rather than needing to be rinsed away. Just scoop out a small amount (use the scoop to help you judge the correct amount), rub between your hands for a few seconds (when it will almost 'melt' and become a more spreadable consistency) and rub on your face! You should use it instead of or over your normal serums and night cream. Body Shop recommend a special massaging technique whilst applying it - a video of which can be found here. This technique is designed to help the product be absorbed to its full potential and assist in lymph drainage etc. I use it every other night over my hydraluron serum and moisture jelly.

Overall opinion: I used my sample of this for a week and had incredible results. My skin feels supple, hydrated and soft and the fine lines around my eyes are more plumped up. I went straight out and bought myself a nice big pot of it without hesitation! It can feel a little bit tacky when you first apply it, but this does go away after a few minutes. I love the bouncy texture (hence the name), the smell and of course, the results! I would recommend this to anyone who has dry/dehydrated/combo/aging skin or anyone who wants an intense moisture treatment for their skin. Thanks TBS for creating such a wonderful product.

That's all for now!
D x

NB: All products bought by myself unless they have * next to them. This indicates PR sample/gift.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

32 week Pregnancy Update

So I thought my first proper blog post since returning to blogging should be about my pregnancy, seeing as I don't have long left to share it but also it's new since I began blogging. So here we go...

I have borrowed some questions/prompts to discuss my pregnancy updates from Lucie and The Bump (I hope you don't mind!) - I've been following her blog for a while and love it! You can catch her Here

How far along? 32wks + 1 day

Bump: Pretty big now! I am wearing a Multi way cardigan by Jojo Maman Bebe, white vest top and maternity jeans from H&M, and boots by Carvella. 

Total weight gain: Around 2 stone

Maternity clothes: I have bought myself some "lounge wear"  from Primark (posh for pyjamas and track suit bottoms!!!) on the advice of my midwife to slum around the house in and some long basic vest tops from H&M. 

Stretch marks: None (yet!), I am keeping moisturised with Body Shop Body Butters and Bio Oil. 

Sleep: Horrendous! Some nights I'm fine, some nights I wake up to pee about a million times. Other nights I wake up and am wide awake in the middle of the night and go downstairs to watch TV. I suppose my body is prepping me for sleepless nights!

Best moment this week: Celebrating my anniversary of when we met with hubby. 

Worst moment this week: Experiencing SPD for the first time! Ouch! 

Miss anything? I've been missing red wine for a few weeks now. 

Movement: Loads! She does not keep still ever! Apparently she is head down, in good position for labour and curved round so her legs can kick my in my right side. 

Food cravings: Nutella!! Yum. 

Anything making me queasy or sick: The constant kicking makes me feel a bit gurgly. 

Gender: Girl. 

Labour signs: Braxton Hicks (they're fun!)

Symptoms: Severe pelvic and back pain, dizziness, exhaustion. 

Belly button in or out?  Still in but very small now and pops out when I move in certain ways. 

Mood: I've been a bit grumpy this week because of the pain I've been in, but keep reminding myself it's worth it!  

Looking forward to: Our first antenatal class this Saturday. 

What else have we been up to? Hubby and I ordered our car seat base (we have the Maxi Cosi Pebble so have bought the family fix base) and mothercare were having a sale so thought it was rude not to purchase a gorgeous sailor-esque dress and some long sleeved T shirts (a bargain - 4 for £6) in gorgeous bright colours. I've also been spending some time (whilst stuck at home in pain) learning to crochet and have finished my first project, a baby hat with flower! I'm very proud of myself and will continue to make things whilst on maternity leave. I've been following crochetguru and woolywonderscrochet on YouTube - check them out for ideas 

That's all for now! 

If you're currently pregnant, how is your pregnancy going? And any ideas on my next crochet project? 

D x

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Friday, 6 March 2015

I'm back to the blogosphere!

Hi everyone! It's been nearly a year since I last wrote a blog, and what a busy year it's been! I got married for one thing (pictures below!) went on the most incredible honeymoon to Jamaica, and returned home to find out I'm pregnant! We are due to have our little girl on 2nd May 2015, so not long left now. Having been stuck at home for a while now, I figured I would start blogging again. I kind of lost my mojo when it came to beauty and skincare, particularly during my first trimester when nothing was going to take away the greyness on my face from throwing up and being constantly nauseous. However, my best friend whipped me back into shape and I am now back to skincare/beauty obsessive status. So stay tuned for weekly blogs which will now not only concentrate on skincare and beauty, but also pregnancy and new mum life!

Hope you enjoy!
D x

PS: As promised, here are a few pics from my wonderful wedding day! And a cheeky bump pic!

Matt and Dani's Wedding
Date: 14th August 2014
Photographs: Senior Mac

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Skincare Essentials

L-R: Pixi Glow Tonic, Hydraluron serum, Avene Hydrance Optimale Light moisturiser,  Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, Vichy Aqualia Thermale Eye Roll on, REN Vita-Mineral Day cream, Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing oil.

So with the wedding fast approaching, I decided to start taking better care of my skin. I 100% blame Caroline Hiron's blog for this (you can have a little read here), and for forcing me (I honestly resisted!! I promise I did!) to spend a small fortune on making my face pretty. I have pretty normal skin but do suffer with milia around my eye area, and a bit of congestion on my T Zone. After a few months of trial and error (OH the errors!), I have found my go-to products. And the best news is, most of them are mid price range!

This was one of my first purchases after following Caroline's blog but it's a good 'un. It is alcohol free but full of glycol acid to gently exfoliate your skin to remove impurities and dead skin cells. When I use it, it honestly makes my skin glow! However, I'm not a fan of the smell, but have decided to grin and bare it as it 100% works! I use it during my toner step in the evenings.

Hydraluron Moisutre Booster Serum: (£24.99 from
Another of Caroline Hirons' faves. It really is brilliant. It contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid, an incredibly hydrating ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. The result is plumper, hydrated, glowing skin. I use this every night before my moisturiser, and my skin feels amazing when I wake up!.

Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream: (£13.50 from
This is basic, fragrance free and light but it gives my skin exactly what it needs day to day and leaves a great 'slip' on the skin for my make up. It is paraben free and mineral oil free, so it's great for my milia and sensitive skin.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish: (Available in a variety of sizes from £3.25 at Liz
This is THE most awarded cleanser in the UK and I can understand why. It is very natural, again free from mineral oil but it's very rich and creamy. It dissolves make up and cleans impeccably. I, however, don't use the muslin cloth. I find them scratchy. I use a bog standard white flannel and use the hot flannel method (hand hot water on your flannel, squeeze out the water and then wipe off your cleanser - gives you a little exfoliate at the same time. As per Caroline Hirons, new flannel each day!). I love it, and I love the smell. I feel like I've had a facial afterwards and I love how many different sizes it comes in.

Vichy Aqualia Thermale Eye Roll On: (£14 from
I love this! It's paraben free and really light so doesn't aggravate my milia. I use it day and night before moisturiser. It completely gets rid of my dark circles and gives me a 'wake me up' sort of look. It's especially nice kept in the fridge for a more cooling effect.

REN Vita-Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream: (£19 from REN
This is a fairly new find, I actually received a sample size of it and I'm in love! I randomly (I'm fairly random anyways) use it at night as I'm struggling to find a night cream I like, and it's thicker than my avenue day cream. It smells great, it's rich enough to soothe my skin but light enough not to break me out, it's paraben and mineral oil free so doesn't clog me up or affect my milia. I need MORE of this soon!

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil: (£10 from
If you haven't heard about this, where the heck have you been! This stuff is A-MA-ZING!!! It literally melts away your make-up, even waterproof mascara like a hot knife through butter. I use it as a pre-cleanse every night to get rid of my make up and dirt etc. It's sooooooo silky and moisturising too. Again, paraben and mineral oil free and perfect for sensitive skins as well as contact lens wearers. Seriously - TRY THIS NOW! 

That's all for now, but I've recently come across the most incredible hair oil - my hair feels like silk! More on that next week...

Thanks for reading,
D x

Saturday, 10 May 2014

My Make-Up Must Haves!

Hello... My name is Dani... and I am a Make-Up-aholic!!! I've always loved make-up but as I've grown *cough* older (sad face), I have found a select few items that will FOREVER grace my make-up bag. So I thought I'd write a blog about the make up that I will buy again and again.

Lancome Teint Miracle - For the last few months, I have been on the search for a new foundation. I dabbled with the mineral powders, the mousses and the compacts but just couldn't get on with them. I have fairly normal skin (please don't hurt me!) but sometimes have breakouts or dry patches, and was looking for something buildable and light. I fell head over heels in love with this foundation! It is A-MA-ZING! It gives medium to full coverage and leaves a dewy, fresh faced finish. The first time I wore it I got so many comments! Definitely my go-to foundation from now on. It has recently won a Beauty Bible award in the anti-aging category so it is also good for more mature skin. Priced at £28.50 (and available from here) it is mid ranged, but it's a beautiful, big, glass bottle and will last you a while.

Estee Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Cream - On my hunt for the perfect foundation, I also wanted  new tinted moisturiser but didn't really get on with any I tried. I tried this because it is oil-free and because I suffer with milia, I didn't want any oils that would clog my pores and make matters worse. Like its Double Wear Foundation counterpart, it lasts all day and provides pretty good coverage (more than a tinted moisturiser) and lights my face up. It's a nice consistency too, quite creamy but not too thick. It's also loaded with SPF 30 so perfect for Summer Day wear. It is priced at £29 and available from here)

Benefit They're Real Mascara in Black - This is the UK's best selling mascara for a reason. It is friggin' AWESOME. I've been using this mascara ever since it came out, converted from Benefit's Bad Gal mascara. It separates, it lifts, it sticks around all day even though it isn't waterproof (Benefit - if you're reading - bring a waterproof formula out soon!!), it's just everything you want in a mascara. Priced at £19.50 and available from here.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Pink Quartz - I hadn't used my a shimmer brick for a while, but whilst having my make up trial for my wedding (Natasha Wiggins is an incredible make-up artist BTW - visit her here) she used one on my skin and I loved the finished look. I went straight out and bagged myself one. I chose Pink Quartz which I layer over a nude/pink blush, and it gives a lovely soft, warm glow. It's a little pricey for a blush/highlighter powder at £32 but its worth every penny and will last you FOREVER. Can be purchased here and is available in 5 shades.

Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky in 091 Smoky Black - This is a great little trio combining a base, a matte and  iridescent eyeshadows. I swipe the base all over my lids, use the matte black/dark grey in the socket line and corners and then BLEND BLEND BLEND (I don't particularly pull off the 'I've just been punched in the face' look), and then I sweep on some of the sparkly grey in the corners. As with all Dior shadows, they are a beautiful texture, uber-blendable, and come in a pretty swanky compact. Priced at £36 (but will last ages!) and available in 4 different shades from here.

L'oreal La Touche Magique Concealer in Ivory Beige - This is desperately trying to be YSL Touche Eclat and doesn't quite manage it, but it works pretty damn well as a spot covering/under eye concealer. It has quite a matte finish (despite claiming to be highlighting) and therefore covers blemishes well. It's a pretty nifty £8.19 and available (on a 3 for 2 offer ATM) from here.

No. 7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencil in Black - FINALLY! A pencil eyeliner that doesn't smudge during the course of the day! I have tried every pencil that claims to be 24hr or waterproof and this one knocks them out of the park in my opinion. It's got a lovely little smudger at the end too so you can achieve that smokey eye look. A bargain at £6.50 and available from here.

Bourjois Little Round Pot of Cream Blush in 01 Nude Velvet - This is quite a new addition to my make up collection, but I don't know how I did without it! It was recently a finalist in the Beauty Insider's Choice Awards. It goes on and blends in well, a nice matte but also sheer colour (not too heavy but buildable) and gives a great finish. I apply with my fingers to the apples of my cheeks and blend backwards. A great drug-store find and a bargainous £7.99 available from here in four shades.

So those are my make-up bag must haves, these are the items I will always select if I'm going away, for example and throw them into my kit. Absolutely love them!

Thanks for reading.
Dani x

Monday, 5 May 2014

"Rapunzel, let your hair down!" - Hair Extensions

Ahhh, my first proper beauty post - I decided to stick with something I know like the back of my hand! Hair extensions. Once upon a time, I had hair down to my bum! Unfortunately I was very ill during my early 20s and lost a lot of my hair (length and thickness) due to treatment. I was devastated to say the least. But help was at hand... in the form of hair extensions. 

Clip Ins
My Tantrum Hair 18inch Clip-ins

I started out fairly cheaply and began with Clip In hair extensions. Lots of you will have tried them, they look amazing when applied correctly, and you can whip them in and out in minutes. They usually come in packs with pre-cut widths of hair extension wefts (strips of hair) with clips already attached (although you can buy one long weft and apply the clips yourself). You can buy them in a range of lengths from 14inches to 24inches and longer! I personally stick to 18 - 22 inches. In my opinion, if you are only going to wear them every now and then for occasions, you don't need to buy the top of the range stuff. Brands like Style Icon, Dream Girl and Sleek are all good for occasional use (and the hair is very thick). If, however, like me you wear them everyday (I literally won't leave the house without them - they are like knickers and a bra to my head!), I would spend a little bit more. My personal favourite are Tantrum Hair Clip Ins (link can be found here) as they use fantastic quality hair and the clips have a silicone lining so they don't slip, and they are much smaller clips than the cheaper brands. Tantrum prices from £50, although I buy 2 packs and sew them together for fuller hair. 

Me on holiday with my weave extensions from Pretty B*tch, Portsmouth - the night I got engaged actually!

I have, in the past, dabbled with weaves. They are perfect if you want a longer-lasting effect than clip-ins, but want a more budget friendly method than having permanent micro/nano bonds etc. Prices range from about £90 - £180 depending on the quality of hair you have installed. Your stylist will match up your hair colour, make 3 or 4 braided tracks (corn rows) in your hair and sew the weft of hair in. This method lasts up to 3 months before it needs re-doing, however I find it only really lasts for about 6 weeks in good condition as the hair around the braid can begin to matte. I've had them put in for a holiday and kept them in for about a month before getting new hair installed. As much as people say they damage your hair, I have never had a problem besides the matting sometimes. My favourite places for weave extensions are Elegance, Portsmouth and Pretty B*tch, Portsmouth.

Micro-beads/Micro-rings (my current method)
Micro-ring extensions from Tantrum Hair, Guildford
Which brings me to my personal favourite method: Micro rings (sometimes called micro beads).  Quite a pricey method (around £400+) but by far the best for long term long hair. This is when strands of hair (around 1g each) are applied individually to your hair strands and connected with a tiny copper tube. There is no glue and no heat and therefore they are completely safe. Unlike weaves, they don't cause too much weight to be held on your hair shaft and so don't pull. I absolutely love my micro-rings which I have applied and maintained at Tantrum Hair, Guildford. I am currently wearing 150g of 20 inch Russian hair (by FAR the best quality hair I have tried, even a month on there is not drying/breakage/matting and they are so easy to look after). If you are local, please go and give them a try - they sometimes do £350 deals which is a bargain in the extension world!

I hope that has given you some insight into the crazy world of hair extensions - give them a go!
Dani x