The Repurchase List #1

As beauty bloggers we are always striving for perfection in our beauty products, which can often mean a steady flow of new products appearing on our blogs. I wouldn't say I have a ridiculous amount of products as I've been very good at curbing the 'I'll buy it for the blog' excuse, however with new products constantly cropping up on the radar it can be quite easy to forget the golden oldies, and lets face it they are often the best! The real test for any beauty blogger is 'would you repurchase?' So I thought I'd incorporate a new series on the blog (put my money where my mouth is) to show you the products I repurchase. Hopefully this series will be a round up of products I simply can't be without, or are totally worth the hype.

The NARS Creamy Concealer received so much love from the beauty community, I was a little late discovering the product towards the beginning of this year (as I usually wait a little before purchasing hyped products as you'll see here.) This concealer was definitely one of my greatest discoveries of 2014 *spoiler alert 2014 favourites post* purely for its versatility. Under the eyes this applies matte, but still manages to feel incredibly hydrating. This brightens dark circles, doesn't crease, look flaky or obvious on the skin and for me it's incredibly long wearing. As well as the more conventional use for concealer I use this on scarring, dark marks and spots, it never causes congestion like other concealers I have tried, it provides a skin like finish and again never looks obvious on the skin. When I apply this to my face I get the 'your skin looks amazing' rather than the 'your foundation looks amazing' on me this is virtually undetectable. Unlike other concealers this doesn't oxidise throughout the day, it doesn't look orange the shade 'caramel' surprisingly matches my skin tone perfectly.

The creamy concealer is easy to apply and requires minimal blending, this never looks streaky I find my Real Techniques Contour brush does a fantastic job where application is concerned. Throughout the year I haven't found anything that works as good at this at concealing scarring but still looking incredibly natural on the skin, for me this concealer is an all round winner and I can't see me NOT repurchasing this any time soon. I did leave a gap when I ran out of this, in this gap I did discover a concealer I liked almost equally but unfortunately it didn't cover scarring or spots in quite the same way that the NARS one does.

The only annoying thing with this is the packaging (as with all concealers) the tube makes it pretty much impossible to reach any last dribs and drabs of product. I've tried ear buds, I've tried everything trust me (I was desperate haha!) It's annoying to see so much product being thrown away but what can you do!

What are your favourite concealers? What are your most repurchased products?

P.S I'll be taking part in the 'Bigblogmasproject2014' it commences tomorrow! The project involves posting every day throughout December (scary) you can read more about the project here. I'm excited to be taking part and hoping that you enjoy my posts throughout the project.


10 Thoughts On Turning 21

On Monday I celebrated my 21st Birthday, which still feels absolutely crazy to write or say I still feel very much stuck in my teens. But despite the denial I waved goodbye to another year and embraced 21 with open arms…well kind of. In the running up to my birthday and for a few days after I felt incredibly meh, I certainly hoped to have achieved slightly more by my 21st. Anyway, I was lucky enough to spend my birthday sitting on a beach in sunny Tenerife the holiday gave me a great opportunity to reflect on the year, the positives, negatives and even aspects I'd like to improve on. I feel incredibly refreshed and positive on my return from my holiday, so today I thought I'd share ten random thoughts on 21. Some of you out there may have had similar thoughts at 21 or may even have tips for the aspects I'd like to work on -

1. Feeling loved - Let's get the cheesiest out of the way first. On my birthday I was actually reduced to tears, which is a little unlike me as I'm not an overly emotional person. I felt incredibly overwhelmed with the text messages I received, old friends, new friends and family. I'm not a materialistic person but the fact that so many people had gone out of their way to even wish me a happy birthday made me feel like the luckiest person in the world. I feel lucky to have such a wonderful family, friends and partner who all went out of their ways to make sure I had a wonderful birthday.

2. Achievements - I feel like at times I dwell on the negatives, in general blowing your own trumpet can be seen as big headed or self centred but I think it's so important that we recognise and celebrate achievements that we have made, it spreads positivity and can really lift your spirits when you are feeling a bit meh about everything. Over the years I've managed way more than I ever thought possible of myself. My biggest achievement of 2014 was two promotions at work, that now see me in a more senior level job (something I had to literally fight for!) And my second achievement was passing my driving test and purchasing a car.

3. Coming out of my shell - If I said to anyone in my life (who knows me well) that I was shy they'd probably laugh in my face at the sheer prospect. Although I often come across as the bubbly person, the loud one or the most outgoing I'm actually incredibly shy when meeting new people. Networking/meeting new people in general is something that I used to dread. As my role broadened at work, and as my confidence levels grew (a little) I'm better than I used to be around new people. I'm now able to say yes to situations that are a little out of my comfort zone.

4. Finance - From speaking to other 20 something year olds it seems like I'm not the only one who isn't at the stage they thought they would be, financially by 21. Things aren't entirely grim, however in terms of savings I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be by 21. Surprisingly I was  far better at saving when I was younger, but this is something I am going to work hard on through 2015. Looks like I'll have to have a reread of the post I wrote here.

5. Career- Despite being fortunate enough to have a job that I don't mind so much, I did feel by the age of 21 I'd be able to sit down and say I want to do [insert job title.] Unfortunately I'm still as clueless as 16 year old me. I have endless qualifications from Photography, to Music Technology, even Business Admin yet I'm still not entirely sure what career path to go down. Over the years and at 21 I've finally learnt that it's okay to not know, the more pressure I put on myself the more miserable I feel. So I've learnt to not worry so much, as no matter what age it's never too late to change your career plans.

6. Learn to love myself- I'm the type of person who constantly pulls myself down, I've never been one to take compliments well. Learning to love myself has been one hell of a journey and one that still continues. During school I did often feel like an ugly duckling, I'm not the most thick skinned of people and lets be honest kids can be cruel. I used to pick up on the smallest of things, my teeth stick out a little, my skins terrible, I have a massive forehead, but looking in the mirror everyday and repeating the same negative phrases completely destroys what little self esteem you have left. The saying you need to learn to love yourself before anyone can truly love you is something I'm a big believer in. In order to have a healthy mind, and a positive body image I've stopped being so harsh on myself!

7. Living arrangements - When I reached my twenties the pressure to move out and have my own place was immense.   I did originally think I'd have a burning urge to own my own place by the time I reached 21 but in all honesty I'm still pretty happy living at home. I'm entirely independent, I cook my own food, clean my own clothes and have my own space. At this moment in time I don't feel the need to move on which did surprise me as I thought I would feel differently.

8. Stop comparing - Since hitting my twenties I feel like I've spent far more time comparing than I ever did in my teens! Many of my friends of a similar age are settled down, engaged, pregnant or have their dream careers and it does make me wonder how I'm doing…just bobbing along over here haha. While learning from others is important, if we use it to reinforce an unrealistic or negative self-image it can be an unhealthy habit to get into. Comparing is something that I'm trying to stop, but it does prove difficult at times after all I guess it's human nature. 

9. Lifestyle and fitness - It pains me to write this, but I am no where near where I wanted to be in terms of fitness or even lifestyle at 21. I thought I'd have a better exercise routine and diet, but I'm actually just as bad (if not worse) than my teenage self. Definitely something I want to work on through 2015.

10. Don't care what others think - Yup, I'm one of those people the kind that says 'I really don't care what others think' when in all honesty I still do, it's one of the main reasons I won't ever consider YouTube as I feel you have to be incredibly thick skinned I admire anyone that puts their lives out there. This is something I want to get better at, there's no denying I'm far better than I used to be, but I'm still not 100% there.

So there's my goals and thoughts on 21. I'm not sure if this post will be of interest to anyone but it certainly felt rather satisfying to write. What's important to remember is, you don't need a birthday, new year or milestone (or in my case holiday) to reevaluate, look at what you have achieved, what you would like to achieve or any goals you want to work on. It surprisingly feels rather refreshing and has certainly left me with a clearer mind.


Lush Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb

Two consecutive Lush posts… you can certainly tell it's Christmas time although in saying that I'm incredibly proud of myself as I managed to resist glitter galore, melted snowmen and even a bear. That's right I entered Lush and bought two items one of which I reviewed over here, if that's not self control I don't know what is!

Anyway, today I thought I'd share a review on the mystery bath bomb that is Lord of Misrule. Why the mystery you ask? Well, this bath bomb appears to no longer be available on the Lush UK website, out of the two Lush stores in my local city it's only available at one. I'm unsure if this is a limited edition bath bomb, part of the Christmas collection or permanent line, so there's the mystery.

Cons, this does turn your water bright blood red (which scarily made me feel like I was in an episode of Dexter!) Lets face it no one wants to soak in water that's red…or yellow for that matter (take note Lush.) However blood bath aside I really enjoyed this bath bomb. The scent was almost herbal/spicy which is a nice change to the sweet smells I tend to opt for. The scent makes this bath bomb feel incredibly warming, my muscles felt relaxed and this really helped me feel a little happier when I had my annual cold. I love using spicier scents during winter.

For something a little bit different from Lush I'd recommend this bath bomb, if you are a fan of spicier warmer scents, or are suffering from sore achy muscles this bath bomb will do the world of good. Weirdly my skin felt incredibly soft after a long soak, an effect I usually only have from Lush Butterball.

Have you tried Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb? What are your favourite Christmas bath bombs?

*Update this was apparently limited edition for Halloween, which is rather confusing as it looks like Christmas tree!*



Lush Buche de Noël

If you're a blog reader or general passer by it's pretty hard to resist the Christmas hype surrounding Lush stores nationwide. In all honesty I absolutely love Lush during the festive season, some of their limited edition bath products are my faves. Today though I come at you with something a little different, a product that seems to have blurred into the background as bath bombs take over. As I've mentioned before on my blog Lush skincare seems to get overlooked, which is a shame really as they have some great products (especially for sensitive skin types) so today I thought I'd share my thoughts on the festive cleanser that's currently gracing stores, Buche de Noël.

Okay so perhaps the most un photogenic product I have ever photographed but stay with me folks. If you read this post 'Lush Skincare Project' you'll know that I'm not entirely new to Lush skincare. I have tried a range of Lush skincare products, but I was never particularly blown away by their cleansers, mostly due to the texture. The majority of Lush cleansers are displayed in what can only be described as dough, they cut a piece of said dough and place in a tub. You break off a small amount of dough (haha dough) add water mix in your hand and apply to your face, this creates a milky texture but leaves skin feeling clean, hydrated and never stripped. The break off and add water approach isn't the most convenient of textures and I do find them very messy but that still hasn't affected my growing love for Buche de Noël.

Buche de Noël is both a face and body cleanser (although I generally stick to face) that smells like Christmas in a tub. The cleanser contains festive ingredients, satsumas, cranberries and a drop of brandy, it also contains ground almonds which gently buff away dead skin cells promoting radiance. I generally stay away from ground anything in cleansers but I've found this one incredibly gentle on my skin. Although I currently use this as a once/twice a week exfoliater I would feel confident using this daily on my skin, as once you add water the texture softens and this doesn't feel harsh on the skin. My skin looks radiant, soft and smooth after using this. Unlike other exfoliaters that I generally find spread spots I haven't had this problem with Buche de Noël, which I guess makes sense as this doesn't feel super abrasive on the skin. Since using this cleanser I've also noticed that my skin is more hydrated, I suffer with dry patches on my forehead and cheeks at this time of year but so far this hasn't been a problem, everything is soft and smooth, makeup applies better after I use this too.

I don't retract my original statement about the Lush cleansers being incredibly messy as I do still find clumps of cranberry around my sink (yak) nor has this changed my mind about them being a faff to use as far as cleansers go this one does require a little more effort. I do find though that the longer you use them the better you get at the whole process, as I'm finding this a little less messy now I've gotten used to the texture.

Not the prettiest of product, but I have found this to be incredibly effective on my skin over the past few weeks, at the risk of sounding big headed my skin has looked incredibly healthy a lately. I'm falling back in love with manual exfoliaters (perhaps a round up most of gentle exfoliates for the skin?) However I have had several comments on on how bright/clear my skin looks, it feels incredibly smooth and I do feel like this has played a huge part in improving my skin over the past four weeks.

Side Note: Lush does offer a sample service on all products and I highly recommend this for any skincare product. I can imaging a lot of people buy their cleansers and don't get on with the texture, as they do take some getting used to when you're used to more conventional cleansers.

Have you tried any Lush skincare products? Are you a fan of Buche de Noël?


5 Random Thoughts - My Blog Break

Howdy internet world, long time no see. If you read my 'Gone Fishing' post you'll have noticed I was feeling a little meh about my blog. Having time away has given me lots of time to think, mainly about the direction of my blog, what blogging means to me and in all honesty I've really missed posting content. Blogging can be an extremely opinionated place to be at times, I feel like everyone has a different opinion on what a blog 'should' be but it's important to remember that your blog is yours, and do with it what you may. With that in mind I've decided to stop doing the following -

1. Stop obsessing over my follower count
Embarrassingly before my 'blog break' I was becoming a tad obsessed with checking my follower count on all forms of social media. It does sometimes feel like blogging has become all about numbers and despite promising myself I wouldn't become 'that' person I did feel disheartened when my page views and follower count began to drop. However over my break I've learnt that it really is just a number, I'd always pick the one loyal follower who reads my blog over 900 who only followed in the hope of a follow back.

2. Blogging is a hobby
A recent twitter chat which saw fellow bloggers outlining their 'blog strategy' left me feeling slightly confused about my blog. With so many bloggers now referring to their blogs as a 'brand' I felt like I was little behind with the times. However my break has given me a chance to evaluate and blogging truly is and always will be just a hobby for me. It's not something I'd like to turn into a career. Of course I will have my own personal goals and certain aspects I'd like to grow or improve on, but having a 'strategy' and/or marketing plan just isn't for me, nor should I feel bad about this after all blogging as a career isn't for everyone.

3. Stop comparing
Everyone is a little guilty of this one, not just in blogging but in all aspects of my life I constantly compare. By constantly comparing sometimes you lose your way a little and forget to enjoy things along the way.

4. Ditch the schedule
For a year I stuck with a three week posting schedule, even during times where I truly didn't feel like posting I continued to post and in return everything seemed a little forced, which isn't what I want for my blog at all. Having a strict schedule almost made blogging feel like a chore, now don't get me wrong I know scheduling works well for a lot of bloggers but it just wasn't for me I'd much prefer to post here and there when I genuinely feel I have something to share rather than churning out content. (The lovely Stephanie Eva inspired me after leaving a lovely comment on my 'Gone Fishing' post it really got me thinking and was the main reason behind ditching my schedule.)

5. Don't feel guilty
If there ever is a time I genuinely don't feel like posting, or I'm slightly snowed under with work I need to lose the guilt.

In all honesty a combination of the above as well as the pressures of full time work and study were the main reasons I began to lose my passion for blogging. However I feel refocused, and with my hours reduced and everything settling down I feel ready to return to my corner of the web.

Do you think it's healthy to have a break away from blogging every once in awhile?
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