Thursday 28 April 2016

Kylie Jenner Lip Kit - Dolce K Review

I cannot explain how excited I am to finally have my hands on one of the Kylie Lip Kits! After missing the chance to get one on the last restock, this time around I finally bagged one in the shade Dolce K. I definitely recommend following Kylie Cosmetics on Twitter, I turned on the tweet notifications so I could see when they were restocking and stayed up until midnight in order to get one. I wish I would have tried to get more than one but I am chuffed with what I received.

The lip kits retail at $29 and to ship to the UK costs $14.95. With the exchange rate that worked out at £31.12 so quite reasonable for a lipstick and matching lip liner. I have spent the same in MAC buying those products. Delivery took just over a week which I was very impressed by. I luckily escaped any customs fees but I have heard that some people are getting fees of up to £30! When it arrived I literally squealed, just look at the packaging! It’s stunning. The design is simple yet effective with the infamous dripping Kylie pout and her name across the bottom. The lip kits are also cruelty free which is great news.

The kit contains the Dolce K matte lip product and matching liner. I wish all lipsticks came with their respective liners, such a genius idea. The lipstick has an artificial sweet scent to it but soon disappears once it’s on the lips. The texture of the product is so creamy but can cling to dry patches on the lips. I ensure I moisturise my lips well before applying with either Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. The lip pencil has great pigmentation and glides on the lips. This also sets matte and to me feels similar to my MAC lip pencils and does the job. After wearing this all day I did need to re-moisturise my lips but I find this is usually the case with a lot of matte lipsticks.

I would describe the colour as a neutral mid-town brown. The perfect deep nude and the colour I have been after for a long time. When I first wore this lipstick I got so many compliments but friends did seem shocked by the price. I think the lip kits are totally worth every penny and I will definitely add to my collection with more colours! The wear time is great, I don’t have to reapply this more than once during the day and that was just to touch it up after lunch. It set well and didn’t smear or transfer onto other surfaces. Overall I am really happy with this product and really hope to get more shades when they next restock.

Will you be picking up a Kylie Lip Kit or sticking to a dupe? Let me know in the comments what you think.


Monday 25 April 2016

April 2016 Glossybox

After receiving a slightly disappointing Glossybox last month I was over the moon with this month’s box! I received 4 full sized items and one mini and all of them are things I will definitely use. Onto the review.

Next – Make Me Beautiful Lip Chubby – Full Size £8
I love this chubby crayon stick and having never tried any cosmetics from Next I was really excited to see how this turned out. I received a lovely pinky red colour which is easily buildable. This lip crayon goes onto the lips so smoothly and doesn’t smudge. I am really impressed with the colour pay off and would love to see what the other colours are like.

The Body Shop –Oils Of Life Facial Oil – Full Size £28
I love when I open the box to a familiar brand and as a massive fan of The Body Shop, this excited me! This intensely revitalising facial oil has been a great addition to my beauty routine. I have been massaging a couple of drops of this product into my face and neck and it really does revive my complexion and make my skin feel amazing. A little really does go a long way too so despite only having a small sample size, I know this is really going to last. This is something I would definitely repurchase and I now want to check out other products in this range.

Leighton Denny Expert Nails – Miracle Mist – Full Size £12
I already own a quick-dry nail varnish spray so this probably isn’t something I would have went out and bought but I am really impressed with the results. After applying nail varnish, simply spray this product over the nails for a few seconds. They become touch-dry in less than a minute. I am absolutely loving this mist especially as I am usually too busy to paint my nails and wait for them to dry. This has cut minutes off my drying time meaning I am more likely to paint my nails. Great product.

Studio 10 – Brow Lift Perfecting Liner – Full Size £22
Wow, I can’t believe the price of this product! As a true Anastasia Dip Pomade Fan I was a bit sceptical about trying this out as I have had bad experiences with pencils in the past. This double ended pencil comes with a brow pencil and also a highlighting pencil to really enhance the arch of your brow. I am not a huge fan of the brow pencil end as it’s not an exact shade for me but I have been loving the highlighter end teamed with my dip pomade, this makes a great on-fleek brow. 

Swiss Smile – Whitening Toothpaste – Full Size £28.95
I am really pleased I got this product as it’s worth nearly £30 and I saw a few other people get stick-on tattoos which I wouldn’t have probably used. This whitening toothpaste is from a brand I have never heard of before but I absolutely love this. I noticed results after just one use and my teeth looked brighter and cleaner. I went to the hygienist at the dental surgery after using this for a week and she barely needed to clean my teeth – bonus because it’s pretty painful! I probably wouldn’t repurchase due to the price but I am very happy with this and recommend it if you’re after a more luxurious toothpaste that really works.

What did you get in your Glossybox this month? If you’d like to sign up for Glossybox, click here.


Sunday 24 April 2016

Race for Life Training With Active Norfolk

I go to the gym a few times a week but my fitness levels are not great. I tend to warm up on the treadmill with a walk, head over to the weights or go on the spinning bikes. When I was contacted by Cancer Research UK to take part in the Race For Life, I knew it would be a challenge but I couldn’t turn down such a great cause. I decided that I would run the 5k race which takes place in Norwich on Sunday 15th May. Before accepting this, I had never even ran 1k let alone 5 and I had no idea where to even begin with my training.

Race for life Norwich have teamed up with Active Norfolk who carry out work on encouraging women to get into sport and fitness and tailor sessions for complete beginners. I was invited along to a beginners running programme which was free of charge and the sessions are run by Paul Evans, former Olympian alongside Steve who is great at motivating the group. So with less than a month to go until the race I thought I would share with you how the sessions have been going and how I have progressed.

I have been using my Apple Watch and Strava to track my own personal training sessions and I have been running on the treadmill in the gym and trying to recreate what we do in the sessions. The first week I decided to use the treadmill and try and hit 5k, mostly walking. I did this in 42 minutes and 50 seconds which was my starting point, and something to improve on.

The difference between doing this alone and doing the training alongside Paul and the rest of the group was very noticeable. I felt more motivated in the Active Norfolk training sessions and more determined to succeed. I turned up alone and met some lovely friendly ladies all in the same position as me. The first week we did 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of walking, 10 times. We then did some fun relay games to get our heart rate going. We were then given homework to jog for 5 minutes without stopping, walk for 2, then jog for 5 again. I liked getting these little tasks and tried to do them a couple of times between sessions.

Week 2 was slightly harder but I was so excited for my session. Our overall running time increased to 12 minutes and it was great fun. I really pushed myself this week and could tell. There were less people at this session and I would say I was in the top 5 this week! I was really impressed with my progression even so early on. That week in the gym I then tried doing a 5k walk/run again and noticed already I had shaved nearly 3 minutes off my time hitting that 5k at 39 minutes and 1 second. My homework was to jog for 7.5 minutes, walk for 2 then jog for another 7.5 which I did on the treadmill.

The following weeks intensity increased and I have only a couple of sessions left before the race. I can't wait to try the 5k again a few times before I go to see if I have improved further.

I originally was only going to go to a couple of the sessions but I enjoyed them so much I am continuing to go! I have 3 more sessions until the race and my confidence is already increasing which is fantastic. I have created a JustGiving page and I would really appreciate if anyone wants to sponsor  me for such a worthy cause, just click here. All money raised goes to Cancer Research UK. We will beat cancer sooner.

I look forward to updating you all with the results from the race day and if you have any running tips feel free to share them with me in the comments.


Friday 22 April 2016

Love Chin Chin*

Have you ever heard of Chin Chin? Before I started to write this post I hadn’t heard of Chin Chin, now I wish I had heard about them sooner. Love Chin Chin is a West African sweet snack that has taken the UK by storm. Why the name ‘Chin Chin’ you ask? I’ve heard it’s because it's so delicious it makes your chin move up and down with excitement.

Love Chin Chin kindly sent me a pack of each flavour and I absolutely love them. The Love Chin Chin crunches like a biscuit, yet tastes like a cake. I am a great lover of anything sweet and these were really different to anything I have ever tried before. I absolutely love the fun and colourful packaging. Each flavour has its own unique design and it is clear from the packet which flavour you are picking up. The see-through window on the packet also gives you a sneak preview of the snack. I would definitely be drawn to this in the supermarket if I saw it on the shelf. The packets are the perfect size for eating yourself or sharing (if you absolutely have to share!). 

Chin Chin comes in four flavours, cinnamon, chilli, lemon and vanilla. My favourite of the four is definitely the cinnamon but they are all absolutely delicious. The cinnamon had a cinnamon bun scent when I opened the packet and they were divine. The lemon was like a crunchy lemon drizzle biscuit and probably my second favourite. The classic vanilla flavour also went down a treat with friends and family. This was the first one I tried and I loved the texture and flavours and how everything combined together to make such a yummy snack. The chilli was the most interesting one for me. I just wondered how it would taste, a chilli biscuit cake? I had nothing to worry about – it was absolutely delicious and had the perfect amount of spice just to give it that kick. These are the perfect little nibbles to have on the go in your handbag as well.

Love Chin Chin can be eaten as a snack on its own but it can also be used as a dessert topping or even crushed down for a delicious cheesecake base. I popped mine in the microwave for 5 seconds and served warm these feel like a really indulgent homemade treat. The innovative recipe means that these snacks are made from natural ingredients and are dairy free and even suitable for vegetarians.

Love Chin Chin is available in some Asda and Tesco stores, you can find the full supplier list over on their website. I vlogged my experience of trying Chin Chin for the first time and I was not disappointed, you can watch this video here.

Is this the sort of snack you would love to try?

*I received these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.


Tuesday 19 April 2016

National Pet Month - Spoling my Cat*

Many of us have pets and if you’re like me then you like to spoil them every now and again. It can often be hard to put aside some money to treat your pets with all the other financial commitments you may have. I am currently house hunting so all of my extra pennies are going towards saving to move at the moment. I was challenged to take part in a campaign by Ocean Loans to celebrate National Pet Month and to treat my pet without worrying about my finances. I think it is fantastic to know if I ever need money in the future then I can turn to Ocean Loans to borrow some much needed cash.

National Pet Month runs from 1st April until 2nd May 2016 and I couldn’t wait to treat Biscuit my cat to some well-deserved goodies! One thing I have always wanted to get Biscuit is a cat bed. He either sleeps on a chair or on my bed but I would love him to have his own dedicated sleeping space, especially when we move out. I ordered a bed from Amazon for £11.50 + p+p in the colour grey which will go with our d├ęcor when we move. Biscuit has never had a bed before so I was unsure on how he would take to it but he seems to love it! It’s so soft and the sides fold down easily which allows chubby Biscuit to sit in it however he likes. I did have to encourage him to use it with a bit of Catnip Spray which cost £4.11 + p+p.

I also picked up some treats. Biscuit isn’t fussy and doesn’t mind if he eats supermarket branded treats or well-known brands. I got a selection from Wilko and so far Biscuit has enjoyed everything he has tried!

The final item I got Biscuit was a subscription box from the company Purrfect Box. It’s essentially a Glossybox for cats! Each month you receive a box packed with treats and toys for your cat. It was a complete surprise what was in the box and it was almost like Christmas opening it! It costs £19.90 per month but you can get a cheaper subscription if you commit to a few months upfront. The box contained over £35 worth of items so was definitely worth it. We received some cat treats, sticks, a toy snake, some toy mice, a catnip cushion and a food/water dispenser.. phew! We will definitely get full use out of all this! If you’d like to sign up to Purrfect Box – use code spnkfv6g for £5 off!

Biscuit has well and truly been spoiled all in aid of National Pet Month! So thank you Ocean Loans for allowing me to treat him without worrying about the costs!

*Written in collaboration with Ocean Loans All opinions are my own.

Saturday 16 April 2016

Fancy a day at the Races? - Competition*

When I think about going to a day at the races I think of lovely clothes, champagne and a great day out. I personally have never been to the races so when I was kindly invited to attend the Al Shaqab Lockinge Day on Saturday14th May 2016 at Newbury Racecourse, I couldn’t wait to get glammed up and try something new.

Al Shaqab Lockinge Day is the biggest day in Newbury Racecourse’s year and one of the social highlights of the summer and I can’t wait to be a part of it. There will be a whole range of off the track activity, including live music after racing and the chance to win a holiday to Qatar. Having never been racing before I am thoroughly excited to see some of Europe’s finest thoroughbreds going head-to-head on this unmissable day. I will be watching the racing from the iconic Berkshire Stand with fellow blogger and best friend Kim from Romanovs Views.

Newbury Racecourse is indeed a day out that cannot be topped. Spending time with friends over great food and drink and having fun watching some fantastic equine action. Centred around the £350,000 Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes will be an outstanding seven-race card worth a total of £750,000. I will be posting all about my experience of the day after I have been so stay tuned for a future blog post on that. 

If you think this sounds as fun as I do then I urge you to check out my giveaway below for a chance to come along or head over to the Newbury Racecourse website and book your tickets now. I have an exclusive offer for you, to receive £5 off each ticket – enter the promotional code FUN16. This code is valid until 9th May so if you aren’t lucky to win a pair of tickets, there is still time to book them at a discounted price.
Newbury Racecourse  have very kindly given me an extra pair of tickets for one lucky reader to attend the Al Shaqab Lockinge Day on Saturday 14th May! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18+ and your email address will be used for promotional purposes by the Company in question but will never be used by external third parties. Giveaway ends on 1st May 2016. What have you got to lose?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Competition Prize will be provided in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. All photos have kindly been provided.


Wednesday 13 April 2016

Beer & Burger Night - Feat. Brewbarrel*

When I think of Summer I picture BBQ’s in the garden, fun times with friends, burgers and a nice cold beer. With my Birthday and Father’s Day around this season it’s a great time to celebrate. I was recently contacted by a company called Brewbarrel who offered me the chance of brewing my own customised beer within just one week. What a fantastic idea I thought this was and a great concept.

Brewbarrel was founded in Germany with the aim of providing the German Beer Market with a bit more variety in what is generally available. Home brewing wasn’t popular and kits available were difficult to use and produced different results. Now Brewbarrel have spread their wings and joined us in the UK meaning you too can get involved with brewing your own beers.

The website is simple to use and you can customise your barrel to suit your taste. I picked lager with standard hops and the addition of cherry flavouring. The perfect combination of sweet and bitterness and a firm favourite in my household even with people who don’t normally like beer. When the barrell arrived I was really impressed with the size. Prices start at £25 and for that you get 5 litres of beer which is around 10 pints – a lot cheaper than pub prices! You can choose from a number of flavour options, beer styles and hops. I chose to customise my beer with cherry from the fruit section but there were so many other categories including spices, wood, aromas and other special additions. All of the ingredients you need are weighed out and delivered to your home. If you’re stuck for choice, there is a handy gift section with all sorts of pre-made ideas.

It takes just 10 minutes to prepare the beer for fermentation and as someone who has never done anything like this before, I found it so simple to do. Once the barrell has been prepared the beer needs to ferment at room temperature for 5 days, then matured in the fridge for a further 2 days. After the week is up, you are free to serve your beer straight from the barrell. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I prepared this a week in advanced of my planned burger night and it went down a storm with my guests.

I made homemade burgers and topped them with cheese. They were delicious alongside the cherry lager I had created. I still can’t believe how quick and easy it was to create and how well it went down with the people who enjoyed it.

These Brewbarrels make a great gift and I think they would be the perfect Father’s Day present for June 19th!

Crack out the BBQ, cook some burgers and bring out your Brewbarrel! Head over to their website and start customising your best brew.

*I received this Brewbarrell free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Friday 8 April 2016

Super Small Boots Haul

I love popping into Boots and swatching their makeup but I have to restrain myself from spending too much money. I recently got paid so thought I would treat myself to a few bits and bobs so whilst this haul is only a small one, I still managed to spend over £40.. Oops.

The first item I stocked up on is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in the lightest shade 1C0 Shell. This is a foundation that I used to swear by and when my Kat Von D one ran out the other day I decided to go back to my roots. The formula hasn’t changed since I last used it, however this colour is so light I definitely need to contour or I look a bit flat! Thank goodness I don’t tan in the summer hah! This is a medium to heavy coverage foundation which I love as I have very red cheeks that need the extra coverage. This foundation costs £30 but you only need a small amount at a time and it lasts all day. I am loving having this back in my routine and to me it is worth every penny!

The next item I picked up was the Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shaving Balm. I have seen beauty bloggers galore raving over this product after using it as a primer. Everyone and their mum has been snapping this product up and at just £5.35 it’s a lot cheaper than my usual primer and you get a lot more product!  The day after I bought it I even saw Kylie Jenner raving about it on Snapchat. Honestly girls, grab a bottle – steal your boyfriend’s if you have to, you need to try this product! It makes my foundation go on so much smoother and this is down to the ingredient glycerine. I think this is my new holy grail product. I literally love it! The only downside is the typical male aftershave scent but that soon wears away once your foundation is on top. It is also worth noting I found this in Wilko for half the price! Not sure if it was on offer or it’s the normal price but worth looking if you have one near you.

The final product I bought was the Sleek Matte Me Lipstick in Birthday Suit. I first discovered this shade when I saw it on Megan from Mostly Megan on YouTube (her amazing channel is here) and I knew I had to have it! I put some on my hand when I was working the other day and it literally stayed put. I washed my hands multiple times and even slept with it on my hand and the staying power was incredible! It applies like a gloss and sets matte. It’s not drying in the slightest and lasted for hours, even throughout lunch! I have heard this is a good dupe for the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits too, I am waiting for mine to be shipped to me so I will be sure to compare them when it arrives!

That’s it for my small boots haul! Have you picked up anything exciting from there lately?


Monday 4 April 2016

Top 6 MAC Grey/Smoky Eyeshadows

After recently posting my Top 6 MAC Neutral Eyeshadows  I thought I would share with you my top grey  shades which are perfect for achieving that subtle smokey eye but can also look very natural if you don't want to go overboard. Keep reading to see what I've put in my top 6!

I’ve been collecting MAC eyeshadows for a while now and I love pan refills. Not only are they cheaper but they’re a lot easier to transport around in a palette. Grey colours are so easy to use in a smoky eye and also go well with so many different colours. There are so many different makeup looks to create with grey and darker shades.

Annoyingly I have no idea what shade the first grey colour I own is. The name has rubbed off the bottom! If anyone has any ideas what this could be, please let me know! This mystery grey is the lightest grey in my palette and perfect to use as a base colour all over the lid. I will then blend this up into the crease and add one of the darker shades as a transitioning colour. The next colour is copperplate which is a slightly deeper shade than the mystery one. This is the perfect crease shade and blends like a dream. I’d describe the colour as a light-medium grey with a hint of brown, similar to a mushroom.  This matte colour also looks lovely under the eyes. The third colour in the below photo is Print and this has more of a satin finish. This colour is much darker and also works well in the crease and is perfect for a night out where you want to have a more dramatic smoky eye look. Print smudges out so easily and is so blendable. It has a hint of sparkle but essentially is mainly a matte shade.

Onto the three deeper smoky shades if you’re looking for a grey that is subtle but buildable then you need Smut in your palette. Smut is a cool-toned shade which does appear to be a browny-grey and I love the name of it! The next shade I have is Typographic which is a dark grey and applies so smooth. I use this on my outer corner and it blends so well. I tend to use this alongside Carbon when I want a super dramatic smoky eye look. Carbon is the final eyeshadow in this series and it’s the perfect matte black shade. It’s such a handy addition to my palette and it can be used to deepen other shades and it’s so easy to control. It’s easily blended if you apply too much and not heavily pigmented so you look like a panda. I think everyone needs a basic matte black eyeshadow in their makeup collection.

Do you have any other eyeshadow suggestions for me to add to my palette? Would you like to see more makeup collection posts? Let me know in the comments.

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