Sunday, December 6, 2015

Recent Beauty Buys

An annual sale at our local department store means I get to go and buy a few new bits and pieces for my make-up collection.  This time I bought an eyeshadow trio, a blending sponge, and a new mascara.  The eyeshadow I bought was by Isadora, a brand I don't own much make-up from but I passed up the chance to buy a palette from them last time there was a sale and regretted it.  I spotted a few different selection of eye shadow shades and picked the cool toned browns one because I knew I'd get the most use out of it.
The shades aren't quite as pigmented as I thought they would be but they do have a lovely shimmer to them.  I prefer to use the middle one as an all over shadow by itself for some natural looking day time definition.  The darkest shade is probably the prettiest and I've used it as an eyeliner so far but would consider wearing it on a night out all over the lid.  The lightest shade is a nice, cool toned, silvery highlight which I would wear on the inner corners of my eyes.  The formula of these shadows isn't my favourite but the shades are wearable so I will get some use out of it.
The blending sponge I bought to try out because of the hype.  I didn't want to fork out for the beauty blender and this one looked so similar but was so cheap I thought I'd test it out.  I haven't tried the beauty blender so I can't compare but I've used this a few times and I'm pretty pleased.  It works well when you dab it on the skin blending in concealer to your foundation.  I wouldn't drag it across the skin as it's quite a hard sponge.  I will be using this when I apply my stage make-up as I don't tend to wear full base make-up everyday.

The best thing I bought in the sale was the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara.  I had been using the Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara and really liking it but it was going to dry out soon so I thought I would buy this to test out next.  Of course I couldn't wait until I had finished my old one to open it and give it a go and once I had tried I wouldn't use any of my others.  The Max Factor one was really good but I think it must have already been starting to dry out already because the Maybelline one blew it out of the water in comparison.  The formula is quite wet which I like because I can get a lot of product on to my lashes.   The brush is also really good because of the different length bristles on it.  It's a plastic bristled wand which I normally am not a fan of but I find I can achieve different results with this one depending on which part of the wand I use.  The longer bristles are good for lengthening and separating and the shorter ones are good for achieving a thick coat of black.  I tend to use a combination of both ends to achieve thick lashes with length towards to outside edges.  It's a really good mascara which might take a bit of practise because you get so much product on the brush it can clump some lashes together so I find brushing strokes one way and then the other helps to keep them separated.  Even without using eyelash curlers I can get a really good curl out of this mascara which is useful seeing as I lost my eyelash curlers this summer!  Over all I would really recommend this mascara.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Recent empties

Hi there!  It's been a few days hasn't it.  Winter time is the busiest time for the theatre so it's been go go go at work.  I've been pretty exhausted by it.  Yesterday our show of the Nutcracker was cancelled which meant I had nothing but ballet class in the morning but I spent most of the rest of the day asleep in bed or curled up on the sofa.  I've been so tired and I rarely nap so I must have needed the sleep!  I'm feeling much better today which is lucky as we have another show this evening.  I think it's because I had a good rest yesterday that I've finally found the energy to come and write on my blog!  I thought I would do a little post on the products I have finished most recently.  My husband will be glad I can finally throw away the empty pots!
Lumene Vitamin C Night Cream - I bought this a while back in the sale and I really really liked it.  I have dry skin, particularly during the harsh winter and this was really thick but still absorbed  very well in to the skin.  I like the idea of the vitamin C as well as any extra radiance is welcome in the winter.  When I bought this it was just before they reformulated the packaging.  It has a pleasant fruity scent.  I didn't buy another pot for ages even though I liked it because it was quite expensive (for me).  I found it this weekend in another sale so I grabbed another pot.  I've only used it once but the cream seemed lighter than before so maybe they reformulated to product too, although it still seemed really good.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Nivea Pure and Natural Night Cream - I bought this because it was a good price and because of the natural ingredients.  It seemed like a good moisturiser, though it doesn't do anything special.  It was quite thick and even a little too heavy for me in the summer.  It didn't make my sensitive skin sting which is good but other than that it just does what it says on the tin-moisturises.  However once I had purchased and tried the Lumene night cream this cream was relegated to the back of the shelf.  When I tried to use it again after a while it had basically turned into wax, which didn't surprise me because the cream really was quite waxy.

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter- Love this, great light fruity smell, sinks in to the skin really well and is cooling and soothing.  I use this to calm the eczema on my arms.  I just wish it was a bit cheaper, I buy this when it's on offer!

Body Shop Chocomania Beautifying Oil - Super yummy sweet scent.  More praline-y than chocolate-y scent but yummy all the same.  I really like this smooth oil.  The lemon one was my favourite but since they discontinued it this seemed a good alternative.  I would buy this again and use it in winter as it's too sweet for summer!

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Cream with Kukui Nut - Very strongly scented.  Sweet smell, reminiscent of caramel.  This was too strongly scented to use on sensitive areas of my skin but worked fine everywhere else such as on my legs for example.  The scent would really linger and the cream was very rich and moisturising.

Monday, November 9, 2015

8 Things To Do When The Days Get Shorter

I'm one of those people that really struggles when the days get shorter, and it feels like you're living in an eternal night (mare).  I know there's lots of us out there who struggle so I decided to write up a list of the things I do to keep my spirits up and try to appreciate the cosier time year.

1, Candles - OK so this is an obvious one but my ballet coach once said to me that lighting candles in the evening helps her mood because the light they give off is natural light as opposed to the artificial light of a light bulb.  I have no idea if there is any science behind this but I do like the idea, and candle light is much more soothing than the glow of a bulb.  Bonus points if they're scented too.  I know candles aren't convenient though if you've got babies or pets so maybe try number 2...

2.  A salt lamp - I was on holiday in a seaside town and spotted some well priced himalayan salt lamps in the shops there.  It was something I had read about as being good for eczema sufferers (something to do with it giving off salt in to the air when warmed by the light of the bulb inside).  Well I will try anything once if there's a change it could help with my eczema but asides from that it gives off a really nice warm glow.  The light is very similar to the glow of a candle or a fire so if candles aren't your thing but you like the idea of the warm glow they give off I would really recommend you try a salt lamp.  I would have one in every room if I could during the dark wintery evenings.

3. A warm bath - There's no windows in our bathroom but this seems to matter less when it's dark outside anyway.  I love to run a bath with some salts or oils in it, light a candle and read a book.  It becomes a nightly ritual in the winter time and it really does help to relax you in the evening.

4.  Embrace winter fashion - It sucks that the weather is so dreary outside but autumn/winter fashion is appealing for so many reasons.  Treat yourself by buying the softest, warmest jumper/cardigan you can find so that you wont feel the cold when you leave the house.  Not to mention the gorgeous boots/coats/hats that you finally get to wear.  Getting experimental with your style could give you something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning.

5. Autumnal make-up - You can get away with darker shades of lipstick, eyeshadow or blush (not all at once though!) when the days are darker.  Whatever you like to experiment with, now is the time to do it.  I like picking out a darker shade of lipstick to wear out on an autumnal weekend.  Darker shades work so much better with autumn fashion than with summer clothes.

6.  Hot drinks - Whatever your favourite hot drink is now you get to drink it all. day. long.  I love drinking different kinds of teas and mix it up through out the day drinking tea after tea.  I pop out to the supermarket and grab myself a nice selection I can look forward to working my way through during the colder months.

7.  Baking - I haven't got my baking on yet but if there's a good time to get the oven on warming the house and filling it with yummy smells then this is it.  Eating hot food is much more appealing and enjoyable when it's cold outside and there really is nothing better than filling the house with the scent of a roast dinner or apple crumble baking in the oven on a chilly day.

8.  Go for a walk - A big part of enjoying the cold weather is staying indoors and getting cosy, but to keep up your mood I would definitely recommend getting out for a bit every day.  Particularly when the sun is still up.  Getting fresh air always makes me feel better so on a day off work I will still make sure I go somewhere for a little walk.  What better way to get out and about than to wrap us warm and walk to a cosy coffee shop for that nice warm drink?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Ultimate Autumn Dress

It already feels like we are heading in to Winter but a couple of weeks ago I spotted my dream Autumn dress!  I had already been seduced by a black faux leather dress in Mango which I had tried on but not bought because of the price tag.  About a week later I spotted another faux leather dress in a shop called Reserved.  This one was cheaper but just as cute as the Mango one.  Instead of boring black it was a lovely wine/burgundy colour that seemed perfect for Autumn.
I also loved the shape of it, a nipped in waist and flared skirt is my favourite shape so it was a no-brainer really, I had to buy it!  I really like the little detail of the extra panel around the bottom of the skirt.  I've been wearing it with a long sleeved cream or short sleeved white jumper underneath, black or white wool tights, and my knee high black boots.  It's a really cosy look and the dress keeps me very warm in the cold temperatures we are having at the moment.
My wardrobe is getting a little full, but with all the new autumn styles coming in to the shops it's hard to resist sometimes!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My new favourite perfume: La Vie Est Belle

Hello!  It's been a while since a new fragrance snuck it's way in to my home.  I'm super picky about perfumes, I either love a scent or can't stand it and it's very rare that I find a scent I love.  I always test out perfumes on my skin and wear it out for a few hours before I decide if I like it or not.  Last year I became obsessed with Prada Candy; sweet, warm, caramel and perfect for the winter time.  I thought I would never find another perfume I liked as much as that one, I had to make myself switch up perfumes for spring/ summer otherwise I would have used it up too quickly!

Well I was really surprised to find a scent I loved not only just as much, but even more.  I know this perfume has been out for a while so I'm late to the party but the Lancome La Vie Est Belle is now my new winter scent.  I happened to test it as our local department store had a sale on a selection of perfumes and this was one of them.  I was trying to pick one out of three I liked, La Vie Est Belle, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever, and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium.  The reason I went with La Vie Est Belle was because of it's amazing lasting power and how good it smelt on my skin even after the top notes have worn off.  The Daisy Forever smelt lovely and a bit chocolatey which I liked but after the first 20 minutes or so I couldn't really smell the unique initial scent it starts as.  Black Opium also smelled amazing for the first 20 minutes or so and then after that it smelt the exact same as my YSL Cinema perfume does on me.  La Vie Est Belle however has an amazing sweet complex scent when you first spray it on but then dies down to a still less complex but deliciously sweet scent which lasts for hours on me.  The initial scent dies down to something like sweet pralines with hints of florals, truly good enough to eat.  Since I bought this I've had people ask what I'm wearing and comment on how good it smells.  I thought I would be alternating this with the Prada Candy but at the moment I just can't bring myself to switch it up because I'm so in love with the scent of La Vie Est Belle.  I can't believe I've found something I'd rather spritz on than my beloved Candy!
This scent is going to appeal to people who like sweet scents so if you're a more cool citrus-y type you'll probably want to give this a miss.  If you like smelling sweet all day long and you haven't tested this on yourself yet you might want to give it a try!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Lipstick Purchases

Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick 107 Wine Review


I have recently aquired not one but three new lipsticks!  One of these was given to me by my Mum and too were purchases, although I did buy them in the sale which always makes me feel better haha.  Both lipsticks were less than 5 euros so I think I got a pretty good deal there.  The two lipsticks I bought were the Manhattan All In One lipstick in Tender Tulip, shade number 420, and the Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in Wine, shade number 107.
Estee Lauder Pure Colour Review

I had been looking at the Manhattan lipsticks for a while, thinking that they seemed good quality for the price having swatched them on my hand.  I hadn't made a purchase however because I couldn't justify buying a new lipstick or pick a favourite shade so when I saw them on sale it seemed a good time to get one.  I went for Tender Tulip because it seemed like a nice everyday shade.  I wouldn't call it neutral, it's maybe a shade or two brighter than a natural lip colour but I wouldn't call it bold so I feel like I could wear it with any make-up look, dressed up or down.  It's like a neutral soft corally pink.  I think the formula is lovely, it's creamy which makes it really comfortable to wear on the lips.  The pigmentation is also high and I think this is a really great product for the price, even the non-sale price.

The lipstick that my Mum gave me was the Pure Colour lipstick by Estee Lauder in the shade Cream Tea.  This lipstick was a free gift with purchase and the shade is something I would never usually go for.    It's a nude that's quite brown with a hint of pink in it.  It's quite a dark nude for me but I thought I would give it a go and see if I can make the look work for me.  I find that duller or more brown toned nudes can make me look a bit drained so maybe it will work well with lots of blush!  The formula is nice and creamy though and the pigment is very good.

The Kate Matte Lipstick I had seen on a number of blogs and it really did look like the perfect autumn berry shade.  It was also on sale and I had been looking out for this with the view to maybe purchase so I snapped it up.  I only have one other really dark lipstick in my collection so felt that I could use another addition.  I haven't worn this as much as the Manhattan one as it isn't a colour I would wear every day but on the couple of occasions I have worn this I have been in love with the shade.  As I'm quite pale I feel like I have to up the anti on the rest of my make-up to get away with it so it's definitely something I would be more likely to wear on a night out than during the day.  I love having a more grown up glamorous shade of lipstick in my collection as I mostly own pinks. The formula is more matte than the Manhattan or Estee Lauder ones so not as comfortable to wear but still not terribly drying in that it would put me off wearing it.  Pigmentation is good, and the smell is a bit strange but I actually really like it!

I have a couple more new lipsticks to show you too in another post, my collection is getting a bit out of control!

Till next time :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Preparing my skin for my wedding day

Wedding Day Skin Care

Hello!  Sorry, I know it's been ages since I blogged.  As usual the main reason is work has been so busy.  We are staging a new production which première's next weekend so that's been taking up all my physical and mental energy.  I also came down with a kind of flu which knocked me out for about a week.  So yeah, that's what's been happening in my life for the past couple of months!
I'm sure I promised at some point I would write about what I did to get my skin in good condition for my wedding day.  Obviously everyone's skin is different so these things might not work for you, but I thought you might be interested to read what I got up to.
I'm usually pretty lucky with my skin which I think is partly down to having an active job where I dance around all day.  My main problem is dryness which I tackle with moisturising regularly, apart from my forehead which tends to be oily, so I guess that means I have combination skin.  Being a ballet dancer also means I have to eat a pretty healthy diet and I do notice a difference when I'm eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and drinking lots of water.  I get spots from time to time though so I wanted to up my game before my wedding day to give my skin the best chance of being spot free.
Things I did lifestyle wise were try to snack on fruit instead of chocolate as much as possible.  I actually snack on chocolate fairly frequently so I made an effort 3 weeks or so before to by fresh fruit to snack on instead.  I also made sure I was drinking enough of course (water, that is!).
Other than that I headed in to Boots to seek out some skin care essentials that would help keep my skin clear.  I do find salicylic acid works well for me when I have a breakout so I looked for products that contained that but which were also not too expensive as I probably wouldn't use such harsh products on my skin all year round.
The three things I bought were: the Boots Skin Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion, Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Charcoal Facial Mask, and the Skin Clear One Touch Spot Stick.
Every morning and evening I would wash my face with my usual face wash, Garnier's Pure Active Blackhead Clearing Scrub and then I would usually follow that with a sweep of the Deep Clearing Cleansing Lotion on a cotton wool tab.  I would moisturise afterwards with my usual morning or evening moisturiser.  In the evenings I would follow up any potential blemishes with a dab of the Spot Stick gel.
Once or twice a week I would use the Tea Tree and Witch Hazel mask which was probably my favourite of the three items I bought and one I have been wanting to use regularly ever since.  It smells delicious and my skin felt soothed and less oily after using it.
It's hard to say whether it was down to using these products or pure luck but I was fortunate enough to have clear skin on the day!  Now I only use the Deep Clearing Cleansing lotion when my skin is getting particularly bad as it feels quite strong to use on my skin every day.  Of course I still use the spot stick to target any spots that might pop up.  I find it helps to stop me messing about with them and making them worse.  If you're wondering why I ended up buying everything from Boots own range it was purely for economical reasons, I think there may have also been a special offer on at the time!
Obviously as I had good skin on the day I was pleased with all the products even though I wouldn't use such a harsh regime on my skin normally,
Hope this was helpful to you!  I'm off for a bacon sandwich, so pleased I finally blogged :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

On feeling like I should be 24

I'm in my last year of being in my 20's.  I feel like I've grown so much in the last decade I've been working as a ballet dancer but, I tell you, it's just now I feel ready, right now, to take on the job and the world.  I feel fully formed and experienced enough to go out there and find my place in it..... and yet, I can't help feeling like it's all too late.
How I feel now is how I thought I would feel at 24.  Self-assured, experienced, confident.  Let me say first of all that the world of ballet is very different to a conventional career.  Twenty-four probably sounds premature to the majority but a dancer's career is very short.  There's no university and you dive straight in to working professionally (if you're lucky) at the age of 18 or 19.  From then on you really don't have very long to make an impression and move up the ladder if that is what your ambitions are.  Many dancer's give up before they reach the age of 30 for various reasons; lack of financial security, injuries, the gruelling nature of the work etc. Very few make it to 40.
I didn't want to make this post about ballet but it's hard to explain my thoughts without giving it some kind of context.  Something that seems very much at the forefront of my thoughts right now is a lack of time.  I feel like I've enjoyed my twenties, done some good work and had a really good time, but now, I want to cement something, to do something definitive and memorable whilst I still have the chance and to make the most of the short time I have left of my youth.  When I was younger I don't think I ever looked farther ahead than 28.  I think in the back of my mind I thought my best work in this career would be done by then, and I would move on to the next phase of my life, hopefully moving in to an exciting new career.  Then I hit 28 and I still felt like I was 22, and had no where near achieved what I wanted to achieve yet.  The scariest thing is the realisation that I can't fit everything in.  The travelling and the second career and all the dancing I want to do, not mention starting a family.  In case you couldn't tell I've always been a bit over ambitious and a high achiever.   I can imagine a lot of women feel this way, that they haven't achieved enough yet in their careers and they face the burgeoning approach of soon being at the age they might want to start a family.  Probably I set myself too many big goals to reach and am now realising that there's no way I'll be able to get to them all.  Yet when I sit back and think about it, I suppose I'm glad for the ambition because it's dragged me to do all the interesting things I've done on the way there.  So maybe achieving the goals isn't what truly matters after all.  Perhaps you set them purely to give you a road to follow in the hope that it will lead you somewhere eventually, but the most important thing is that the journey will be interesting.

Till next time!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Weekend in Bath: The Forum Coffee House

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I popped down to Bath to get out of London for a bit.  We had a lovely time wondering around the town and enjoying the vast array of shops there.  We spotted a new cafe called The Forum Coffee House and decided to pop in there for some lunch.  It is a really cool place with of the moment décor and fancy coffee making equipment.  When we were sat there I think I said to my husband 'I feel like I'm sat in an instagram picture', which, I'm not gonna lie, I did kind of love.

I think we had just missed the lunch rush as there weren't many sandwiches left out on the counter.  I could tell from the signs though that they had a nice range of snacks as well as drinks and the sandwiches we had were fresh and delicious.  Sadly I can't have caffeinated beverages so I went for a decaf iced coffee, which tasted great.  I did sneak a sip of my husbands americano though and it tasted rich and flavoursome.  He commented on how much he liked the flavour of it and that it wasn't too strong.

Some of the things I noticed on the boards were that they sold soup with bread which seemed like a reasonable price and also they had gluten free bread options.  All in all I would recommend a little trip to this coffee house if you come across it.  Perhaps try to go when it isn't lunch time as it was nice and peaceful when we were there but I can imagine this place must be popular come lunch!
Asides from that we came across a parade which was fun....noisy but fun!  I particularly enjoyed all the people dressed up as Disney characters.
It was a lovely day in Bath and I can't wait to pop down for another visit sometime soon!

Till next time :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bourjois Nude Sensation Foundation Review

Hello there!

I've got a long weekend to finally relax and naturally I've decided to write a blog post!  It surprises me that I feel motivated to blog as soon as I have the time and space to do it.  I obviously enjoy blogging and wish I could figure out how to do it more permanently.  For the meantime though I will have to make do with squeezing in little posts when my schedule allows me the time.
I wrote recently about how new make-up purchases had been happening in the past few weeks including this spur of the moment foundation purchase.  In the last couple of days before the wedding I literally ran around the shops purchasing anything and everything I thought I might need.  Talk about leaving things to the last minute!  Something I hadn't quite decided on at the time was whether or not I was going to wear foundation on the day.  I don't really enjoy the feeling of wearing foundation so normally I go with out it.  We have to wear really thick foundation for performances and I think that puts me off wearing it on an every day basis even more.  I had been having the odd spot appear though so I thought I should buy something in case and just decide on the day.  
I considered buying the foundation I normally use but had left at home, however it seemed daft to buy a foundation I already owned so I opted for the new Bourjois Nude Sensation Foundation.  I tested it on the back of my hand in the shop and the colour match of shade 42 'Nude Rose' seemed really good.  What appealed to me even more was the texture.  It felt really light and soft on the back of my hand so I decided to take and risk and just go for it.

On the day my skin luckily was really good, I took up an intensive skin care regime (which I'll write about at some point) a week or two before and it paid off.  As there would be so many photos taken I decided to go for it and wear the foundation anyway.  I couldn't go wrong really as it was so light it was barely visible on the skin.  I still felt a bit more confident though that my skin tone was evened out and more matt.
I don't think this foundation would be good if you want a lot of coverage as it is quite light and sheer.  I have layered it on a bit thicker though for example under the eyes by patting it in with my finger which seems to work well on areas you need more covered.  The texture does remind me of a silicone based primer, just with a bit more colour, so if that's your kind of thing you'll probably love this.
I really enjoyed using this on the day mostly because it felt so much nicer on my skin than I was expecting to feel from a foundation.  It felt smoothing and light and I really didn't notice I was wearing it at all on the day.  I pretty much loved it and would definitely pick this to wear for a big event again in the future.
I'm just glad that this wasn't a wasted purchase!

Till next time

Twirlybirdie :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pretty Silver Necklace from TK Maxx

Ok so maybe I'm late to the party here but a couple of weeks ago I popped in to TK Maxx for the first time in a while and came across it's jewellery counter.  I've never seen a jewellery counter in TK Maxx before so I was very intrigued and had a good nosy around the whole counter and all the stands on it.  I've been having a bit of a jewellery fetish this summer so browsing through all the pretty necklaces on display was very likely to result in a purchase.  It took a while but eventually I settled on this beautiful 'Love' necklace.  I have no idea what the brand of it is as there was nothing on the label but it is real silver and I thought it was a bargain for £15 reduced from £24.

You did have to have a good rummage through the stuff on sale, some of the bits and pieces had the odd stone missing etc. but I would definitely go there again if I was on the hunt for some new jewellery at a reduced price.
I'm pretty obsessed with delicate jewellery right now with tiny details on it.  Everything in Oliver Bonas's jewellery range for example!  I have a couple more new pieces to show you in future posts, including the necklace my husband bought me as a wedding present!
Till next time

Twirlybirdie :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

New Make-up Buys: Bourjois Aqua Blush and Liner Pinceau Reviews

Hello there!

How are you?  I am now married!  I got married at the weekend and am now a Mrs.  I had a wonderful day and will hopefully get up some wedding day related posts when things calm down a bit and I have more time.  We came almost straight back to work after the wedding day and are now almost in the throws of performances!  So I'm sure you can imagine how busy things have been.  Since I've been in London though I have done a little bit (or not so little, oops!) of shopping.  Some of my favourite things I've purchased have been new make-up additions.
One day at work they suddenly announced to us that they were going to take our head shots for the programme!  Normally I wear a bit of make-up to work but this particular day I'd been so tired I had gotten out of bed late and was completely make-up free!  I also didn't have any make-up with me that day so I had no choice but to pop out in my break and buy a few things.
After perusing the aisles of Boots for quite a while trying to work out what was the best offer I settled on the Bourjois deal where if you spent £15 or more you got a free gift consisting of a Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach and a Maxi delight bronzer with a kabuki brush.
The items I bought were the Liner Pinceau Eyeliner in Ultra Black and the Aqua Blush in Shade 03.

Bourjois Liner Pinceau
I was worried that these products might end up being a waste of money seeing as they had been purchased in a hurry just because of bad planning regarding the photo shoot, however they have both proved to be really useful additions to my collection.
I actually ended up using both these products on my wedding day.  I was disappointed at first when I opened up the liner and found it to be a small brush which I have found more difficult to use than a sponge wand tip, yet somehow it was easy to get the hang of, perhaps because the brush itself is so fine making it easy to control.  The colour really is 'ultra black' which I appreciate, I can't stand a wishy-washy shade of black liner.  It also does seem to be long lasting.
The Aqua Blush I've been really loving as well.  The shade is really perfect for me, a slightly warmed up true pink and I only need a tiny bit to provide a subtle flush on both cheeks.  The formula is super smooth and feels lovely gliding on the skin.  I would recommend this.  I haven't really been checking on how long it's stayed on yet but I did pick it to wear on my wedding day as well!
  Of the free gifts the bronzer was in shade 02 for more olive toned complexions, unfortunately too dark for me.  I tend not to wear bronzer but thought I would give it a go, however the tone of it just doesn't work on my super pale skin.  The free brush was a nice touch but I felt that the bristles were a bit too rough.  The Models One brushes I own are so much softer and compared with them I really didn't like this one.
The one part of the free gift I did love was the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon.  The shade looked like it might be a bit too Barbie coral pink but once I tried it on I really loved it.  The formula is really creamy and the shade is bright and wearable.  I loved that it wasn't opaque but it definitely wasn't too sheer either.  It is a perfect shade for summer and I've kept it in my bag and taken it to wear at work with me everyday.  The SPF 15 in the formula is an added bonus and a great incentive to keep applying it throughout the day.  It's not that long lasting but I enjoy re-applying it and it does leave a subtle tint of colour on the lips anyway.
If you're interested in the free gifts the offer still seems to be on at Boots.

Till next time :)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Life Lately: London and Wedding Preparations!


 I am back in my home town of London for work which is so exciting.  Being in London is like meeting up with an old friend.  One you haven't seen for so long you almost can't remember what it's like to hang out but once you meet up again it's like it's been no time at all.  It's so wonderful to have so many places to go and explore, particularly all the lovely coffee shops we can visit.
Starting a new job is always a slightly stressful experience.  I couldn't sleep the first few nights properly as we were also staying somewhere I hadn't stayed before.  It takes me a little while to settle in anywhere new.  I'm a week in now though and things are starting to feel more familiar.
I feel like I'm at a cross roads in my life and hope I'll use this time in England to try to figure out what I want next.  There's a part of me that would love to live in London one day and I know that if I don't try to do this soon I wont be in a situation where it's easy to do it for much longer.
Last minute wedding preparations are being made as the wedding is this month.  I can't believe it will be here soon!  I just bought my last bridesmaids dress at the weekend.  It was a lucky find as we only had one day to get it before the bridesmaid jetted off to America for another friends wedding.  I had quite specific criteria for the dress (vintage, short, gold. 40's/50's era) and was lucky to find the perfect thing in a size that fitted.  Things are coming together quickly luckily as I also had to find shoes for myself and finally managed to find the perfect gold sparkly pair in Dune (in case you hadn't noticed gold is in the colour scheme!).  So now as things become hectic and tiring with work I'm glad that I've only got a couple of things to do.  One of them being the last flower crown for the bridesmaids to make.  I'm enjoying the preparations now that the actual day is in sight.  I don't like to drag things out over a really long period of time!

When we went bridesmaid dress shopping we stopped at a nice cafe on Brick Lane and the cakes there looked amazing!  My fiancé ordered the Banana and Butterscotch cake which I had a taste of, it really was delicious.  The cafe was called Kahaila and I would recommend checking it out if you're around the area.
Sorry if the photos aren't as good quality as usually but I don't have my DSLR camera with me so I'm making do with my iphone for the moment!
I hope you enjoyed this little catch up.  I don't really have a lot of time to blog at the moment but I'd like to try to keep this little blog as up to date as I can manage anyway!
Till next time
Twirlybirdie :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Juliet Cap Veil DIY Update #3

Hey there!  It's been a while since I've posted.  Life has gotten a little crazy what with my wedding coming up in the next month and three work related overseas tours coming up over the next three months.  I'm afraid I don't think I will have as much time or energy as I'd like for blogging but I definitely hope to have a little catch up from time to time.  When things calm down I would definitely like to start posting more regularly again so I hope you don't give up on me!

Something I thought I would give a little update about it how my veil has been coming along.  Since I posted my last update I have sewn the appliqués on over the gathers.  I just applied them by lightly pinning them where I wanted them to sit carefully avoiding the embroidery and beads.  Once I was happy with their positioning I stitched them carefully on to the netting using a matching thread and making tiny stitches from the underside where I felt they would go unnoticed.

DIY wedding veil

 Once this was done I attached some cream ribbon to the underside of where the appliqués were sat.  I folded over the edges of the ribbon first and stitched them down to make it neater.  Then I stitched this across where I had gathered the netting.  I intend to use this ribbon to attach the veil to my hair with grips.

  Sorry for my messy hair in the photos but I wanted to show how the veil sat.  As you can see I sewed the ribbon down in a few places to make the grips more secure but I actually did it a bit tight and found it hard to slide the grips through without catching the netting underneath.  So I would recommend either sewing the ribbon looser or attaching the grips to the ribbon before you try to attach them to your hair.
So I think that's going to be the last update on the top part of my veil at least.  I hope you enjoyed these posts.  I can't wait to wear it at my wedding!
You can catch my other DIY veil posts here (update #2), here (update #1) and here.
Till next time

Twirlybirdie :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

One of the best top coats I've tried


I thought I would let you know about this top coat I purchased recently.  I have real issues with ruining my nail varnish before it dries.  Maybe it's the cheap polish I've been using; maybe it's the fact that I can't sit still for long; or maybe it's the way I apply it; but I almost always always smudge at least one of the nails because I think they're dry when they're not.  I had been testing out some quick dry top coats to see if that would help, but I'd only had pretty average success with them.
My Mum bought me a selection of mini nail varnishes for my birthday last year from nails inc. and the caviar top coat impressed me with it's drying speed and longevity.  Now it is almost running out and I can't buy nails inc. products from any shops here so when I spotted Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry Top Coat on offer I decided to give it a try.
I was really surprised by how good it was.  This top coat dries sooooo quickly.  I dared myself to touch a nail to see if it had set when I was sure it wouldn't have yet and couldn't believe it was completely dry!  My nail polish did last longer too without chipping.  I'd say it lasted pretty well for around 3 days which is pretty spectacular for my nails.  I would definitely recommend this top coat and I'm glad I didn't waste my money.  I'll probably just throw away all the cheap average top coats in my nail varnish drawer (OK it's actually a nail varnish cupboard but lets keep that between us!).
I'm so glad I bought this as the fact my nail polish would either smudge or chip so quickly put me off painting my nails very often.  Now I'm eager to put on all those many colours of nail varnish I've got hiding in my collection!

Till next time :)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Why Blogging?


How is your day going?  I thought I'd write a bit about why I blog and what I think attracted me to blogging in the first place.  I guess like most people I started reading other people's blogs before deciding to try to write my own.  I was really surprised by the number of beauty and lifestyle blogs there were out there when I first started looking and by how professional and enjoyable to read they were.  My full time job is being a ballet dancer and as much as I love my job and that world, sometimes things can get rather intense.  When I come home from work I can really really do with any method I can to switch off from my job and relax.  Reading and writing blogs has become the perfect distraction.
What type of blog appeals to me most changes from day to day.  I started off pretty obsessed with reading about everything beauty: every new release, every beauty favourites, every person's look of the day.... Then I would go through a phase of loving everything home related; followed by an obsession with every featured wedding post etc. etc.  Now I just pick and choose a selection of different posts to look at and I feel like I'm curating my own personal magazine to read.  That's also one of the great benefits of reading blogs, it's like reading a magazine except for free.  I love that the internet has given people the chance to express themselves and reach an audience if they feel they have the desire without necessarily having the right qualifications or job experience for the role.  I can understand why professional writers might find this distressing but if you're doing it for the love of it and for free than why should anyone stop you.  If you're making a living or a small extra bit of money on the side doing it then good for you, I don't see how that makes you any different from a smart business man or woman.
Being a dancer can be a lonely life because of the strange hours we work and the fatigue which makes it hard to get out in your free time.  Part of the appeal of blogging is being able to connect with others from the comfort of your own home who probably also have similar interests to you.  This is something that is often seen as a negative, connecting with people on-line as opposed to in real life.  I see plenty of people during the day at my job, and when time allows will happily pop out for a coffee with a friend.  Connecting with people in the virtual world of the internet is merely an addition to this.  The type of relationship you might have with an online community might be a completely new kind of relationship dynamic that didn't exist before the internet, but that doesn't necessarily make these relationships all bad.  The world is always changing and the internet is a big part of that, the pro's and con's of which this generation is having to navigate.
I really love taking pictures and enjoy a bit of writing and having a creative outlet to express myself by writing blog posts now and again when I feel like it helps me to fulfil those need.
What are you're reasons for blogging?  Do you also do it to cut off from the rest of your life and relax or do you do it for any other reasons?

Till next time :)


Friday, April 24, 2015

Books and french plaits

I think it's time for a little life update mostly illustrated by photos!
I bought this book to read on a whim when I saw it was on sale in the shop.  I pretty much bought it because I liked the look of the cover, haha!  I doubt that's the best way to pick a book to read and I haven't got far with it yet but so far it's pretty unoffensive.  A bit whimsical and definitely based in a fantasy world, I sense it will be an easy and quick read.
The sun was shining and as I'm pretty obsessed with it I had to snap a picture.  I find my mood is hugely improved when the sun is shining and it really hasn't been much lately which is a big problem for me.  I take vitamin D and hope that helps me to stay positive alongside the exercise I do almost every day for my job.
I have an obsession with mini eggs.  They're my favourite chocolate treat.  As soon as they come out for Easter I'm all over them!  These were brought over by my family.
I've never been able to do french plaits until recently.  I have tried to on and off for years but found my attempts completely useless!  Suddenly I figured out how to do it by holding one of the strands in my mouth whilst I work with the other two and then swapping over when I'm ready to use that strand.  I usually do a side parting and then plat both sides all the way to the ends.  Then I fold them over each other across the bottom of my head and pin them securely with the end of each plait tucked under itself so the bobbles aren't visible.  It's one of my favourite styles to wear at the moment for ballet class.  It just means I have to start getting ready about 15 minutes earlier than usual because it can take me a little while!
  Sometimes for a night out I'll french plait down one side and then leave the rest of my hair loose or curled.  I'm not very good at doing fancy hairstyles so this is a huge improvement for me!

Till next time :)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick Review: Shade 53 Wildly Pink


So my last post was about one of my birthday enabled beauty purchase.  Well here is another.  Actually this was more of a sales enabled purchase because I can't bring myself to pay full price for a designer brand lipstick.  However I do like carrying around a posh lipstick in my handbag and have had a fetish for them since I bought my Chanel lipstick in the sales back in January.
So this time the brand in question was Estee Lauder.  I've never bought anything from the range before, essentially because of the price.
When I spotted these lipsticks in the sale I was excited at the prospect of adding another expensive lipstick to my collection.  I went for a shade I knew I'd get a lot of wear out of.  Shade number 53, Wildly a bold true pink, bright enough without being too bright but still striking.

The design of the lipstcks is really pretty.  I love the gold and clear casing and that the gold square  with the Estee Lauder logo on it sticks out a little in front of the lid which slides in behind it.   Unfortunately when I took off the lid after purchasing and inspected the lip stick inside I noticed that it had in fact been used!  The top of the nib was definitely not the perfect, smooth matte untouched nib of a new lipstick.  It was barely detectable but I could definitely tell someone had swiped it at least once.  I was extremely annoyed and upset because, sale or not, this was an expensive purchase for me and should have come damn well brand new!  I did consider going back to the shop and kicking up a fuss but in the end decided to try and disinfect it myself at home.  This is not like me, normally I go and complain if I feel something is out of order but that day, my birthday, I just wasn't in the mood.  So I came home, scraped off the top with a knife and sprayed it with disinfectant.  I left it to air dry and decided to leave it at that.

This really did put me off the lipstick, it seemed tainted in my mind but I will try to review it anyway as unbiased as I can.  The quality of the formula is really good.  The colour is bright and bold which you would expect from the name of the range (Pure Colour).  The formula is very creamy making it very comfortable to wear on the lips.  More comfortable than the Chanel lipstick I bought but because it is drier the Chanel is probably slightly longer lasting.  The Estee Lauder lipstick is probably the creamiest lipstick I own but the colour still stays on the lips quite well.  If you are eating/drinking and you want the colour to stay bright all night you will want to retouch it a bit.  The best thing about this lipstick is the vibrant colour and the comfortable wear of the formula.  It goes on the lips really smoothly and evenly.  I do think you can tell it's a higher quality lipstick from the formula.  The Pure Colour lipsticks come in two different finishes and Wildly Pink is from the Lasting Shimmer finish range but I really can't tell there's any shimmer when it's on my lips, which is what I prefer.  It does have a nice sheen to it though which I like.  If you like bright colour and a formula that's comfortable to wear then I would recommend these lipsticks.  I looked online and found them for sale at John Lewis for £18.90.

Till next time :)


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GOSH Forever Eyeshadow Stick Review: Shade 03 Light Bronze

I hope you're having a good week.  It was my birthday recently and I've developed a little tradition of buying myself a couple of things to celebrate.  I usually end up purchasing cosmetics and this year was no exception.
I had been eyeing up the Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks for a while after testing them on the back of my hand and finding they had really good staying power as well as being very pretty shades.  I particularly loved the neutral shades.  My favourites were 01 Silver Rose, 02 Beige and 03 Light Copper.  I went for the light copper because it's the kind of shade I knew I would wear every day but the other two were really beautiful too.
The eyeshadow sticks have a metallic sheen which is pretty and shimmery without a hint of glitter and the colour payoff is rich and opaque.
As with most crayon stick type make-up products it is really easy to use.  The crayon is just the right size, not too chunky so that you get more control over where you apply the shadow.  It glides on a creamy consistency and I don't tend to blend it out but I imagine it would blend really well.  Having worn it many times now I noticed that it does eventually start to disappear in to the crease of my eye lid yet it does remain on the lower part of the lid near the lashes.  This hasn't stopped me wearing it regularly as it's what I expect now as the same happens to me when I wear the Maybelline 24hr Tattoo cream eyeshadows.  I have sensitive eyelids that become dry easily if I don't moisturise them every day so I put it down to the moisturiser I put on underneath the shadows causing the cream eyeshadows to slide about.
It claims to be waterproof but I haven't worn it swimming or anything like that so I can't attest to that.  My favourite thing about this product is the colour.  It really is a beautiful bronzey-coppery-gold which is subtle enough to wear everyday but is also visible enough to make an impact.  This cost me about 10 euros which is a fairly reasonable price, but sadly too expensive for me to feel like I could buy the other shades I like too!  Maybe I will purchase at least one of the others in the future but for now this eyeshadow stick is being used enough to make the purchase worthwhile.

Till next time :)


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Birthday things


I haven't written for a few days now, it's been a busy time.  I had my birthday/ hen party celebrations which also involved family coming over.  I also had an important work event to prepare for.  These things left me pretty drained of time and energy for other activities such as blogging.  Now luckily things are calming down again.  I thought I would share some photos from my birthday celebrations!

 Pom poms and heart garlands were hand made by my family.  They did them in lots of pretty colours which made for really pretty and simple decoration.  The top hat and wedding dress cut outs were for hen party games!

Some of the presents I got were this super awesome polaroid camera!  Also this really pretty patterned kimono and these Scandinavian vintage cup and saucers.  It was really nice to spend time with family and celebrate with friends.  I was lucky enough to have a couple of days off over Easter as well which meant I could relax a bit and really enjoy spending time with my family.

till next time :)