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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Fruity Face Masks| A Montagne Jeunesse Review

 

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A face mask always brightens up my day. I don’t know about you but as soon as I put a face mask on I am instantly relaxed, it may be because you can’t really move around too much while you are wearing one. Whether it is or it isn’t, those ten minute when my skin is being cleaned and nourished are special to me. So whenever Montagne Jeunesee contact me to ask whether I would like to trial their new face masks I always say yes. Plus a nice soothing or refreshing facemask is perfect for rejuvenating your skin after those late nights and too many glasses of champagne you’ve probably consumed over the past week!

Montagne Jeunesse kindly sent me three masks to try from their new Exotic Fruits Range, one mud mask and two peel off masks. I am sure you have heard of Montagne Jeunesse before, many of you, like me will have grown up using their face masks with your mum or with your friends during sleep overs. If you haven’t I will give you a little information. They are an animal friendly company based in the UK which makes a range of natural skin care products. Their products are all suitable for vegetables and  use natural ingredients. I think they are very reasonably priced at around £1, this range above are sold for £1.29 from Boots, Asda and their website- www.motagnejeunesse.com. I was really surprised to learn that they sell 30,000 face mask every day in the UK! Now that’s impressive!

Anyways onto the products and review. Their Exotic Fruit collection is is made from a range of unusual natural skin care ingredients, which makes them all very fruity! 

Paw Paw Peel Off Mask

They say- “Picked from the tropics of South America the PawPaw aka Papaya (known as “ Fruit of Angels”) and Noni Fruit naturally help protect. This duo work harmoniously, revealing clean sensational skin, sent from the Heavens.”

I say- “This mask was very very sticky when applying, so it went on quite thick. Despite how thick it went on it dried in a good amount of time (around 10 minutes) and when drying there was no discomfort like there is sometimes. The mask came off very easily, almost in one piece, and I was left with amazingly soft skin!! I tried to take a picture of how glowing it was, but the picture did no justice to how great my skin looked. It definitely took away my dead pores and left with with pretty good pores!”

Dragon Fruit Sauna Mask

They say-“For a flaming good clean, ablaze with freshly crushed Dragon Fruit from the depths of central America and pulped Kiwi Fruit, this warming wonder reaches into pores removing trapped oil and dirt… a fiery feast for smooth, clean skin.”

I say-Again this mask was very very sticky, and very fruity smelling, but the smell was amazing! This mask definitely warmed up! It heated to a noticeable yet comfortable temperature and dried in good time. Again I was left with soft, clean and glowing skin. However I don’t think this is my favourite sauna mask, there are others in the Montagne Jeunesse range I prefer, such as the Red Hot Earth Sauna Masque.”

 Prickly Pear Peel Off Mask

They say-“Native to the Western Hemisphere, Prickly Pear helps protect skin from the Earth’s daily assaults whilst Mangosteen has powerful free scavengers (antioxidants)- How’s that for a boost?”

I say-“Again this mask is super sticky! But the results are amazing, very similar to the Paw Paw Peel Off mask, my skin was left very smooth, soft and clean. I used it after my night out in Manchester, and it definitely brightened up my dull, hungover skin, and I went to work on Monday looking fresh (just a little tired!)”

Overall, as always, I was very impressed with the results. My skin looked amazing after each mask and the product did as it said it would! The only downside and negative comment I can make is that the Exotic Fruits range as fruity as it is, isn’t very festive. It would of been great to see a new range released that reflexed my favourite season. Something rich, chocolaty and warming!

What do you think of Montagne Jeunesse products? Are you a fan? Have you seen or tried any great Christmassy face masks that are fitting for the season?

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone

 

Merry Christmas Blog Post

Just a quick post from me to say Merry Christmas everyone! I won’t be posting over the next couple of days as I will be busy filling my time seeing family and friends.

This year is a little different for me as it’s the first year I am having my Christmas dinner away from home and with the boyfriend's family. We spend every Christmas together, but for the past 4 years we have spent it with my family, so this year I decided it was time to spend it with his. So Christmas morning I am getting up early; I always do, as I am too excited to sleep, and going for a run. Now yes you may think that’s madness, but I do enjoy it (I swear) and plus I will feel less guilty about munching on endless streams of chocolates all day. We will then open our presents with his family and have Christmas dinner early afternoon. Later in the day Matt is driving us across the country to my Mum’s house where we will spend the night. Boxing day will be a second Christmas for us, with more presents to open, more family to see and more Christmas dinner to eat! Then on the 27th I am back to work so there won’t be much relaxing for me this year… but there never is!

I hope you all have a lovely day and get to spend the holidays’ with the people you love. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all got for Christmas in your haul posts! Have a great day!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Fitness Friday| Personal Weight-loss| Progress Picture

 

Firstly this post is a little bit late, my apologies, but like many of you, I have been especially busy the past week getting everything organised for Christmas. Now that I am at my Boyfriends’ parents house (where I’m spending Christmas) I can finally put my feet up and relax. I am currently writing this post while sitting in my PJ’s waiting for my tan to dry and nibbling on Cadbury’s Chocolate fingers… yum!

Anyways on to the purpose of this post… my personal weight-loss or even fitness/health journey. As you should all know by now, as I keep going on about it, I have been taking part in my own Festive Flat Tum Challenge over the past few months and although I haven’t quite achieved a flat tum tum yet I have seen some results which I wanted to share with you.

I have on this journey gained more than I have lost.. I have gain a new perspective on my health, body and fitness. I write this post as a completely different girl than what I was 4 months ago. For example, yesterday I was out in torrential rain running… I have officially turned into a mad runner… but more than that I enjoy it! It isn’t a chore, I enjoy going out and working out, I enjoy pushing my body and working hard and no matter how many pounds or inches I lose will change that.

Firstly I need to explain that I don’t use weighing scales, so I measure my progress through this progress  picture I am sharing with you, along with the inches I have lost and how my clothes fit. I used to have an unhealthy relationship with the weighting scale and would concentrate more on the pounds I lost than how I felt and looked. For example if I have a really good week where I had worked out 6 times a week and eaten healthily everyday but then I only saw a small amount of pounds lost I would feel awful, upset and demotivated. Now I concentrate on my performance in my workouts; how far or fast I run, how may squats I can do, how long I can hold a plank for. This means I end up pushing myself a little bit harder with each workout and I know the harder I work the sooner results will come.

To achieve the results I have I have simply changed my attitude; I focus on health not weight-loss. I eat healthy 80% of the time and workout 5/6 times a week for about an hour. I have not deprived myself of anything at all; If I want to go out for dinner and have a big burger I will. I just know to not have a huge big burger the next day. I eat 3 meals a day and have 2 small healthy snacks, so I am eating little but often. Because of  this constant grazing I am rarely hungry so I don’t end up binging on something I shouldn’t because I feel starving. With my exercise I aim for 30 to 40 minutes of cardio a day and 30-20 minutes of strength exercises a day. For my cardio I mainly run, but do use a mixture of workout DVD’s and games also such as Zumba. With my strength exercises I either makeup a routine of simple but effective moves such as Squats and The Plank or I use a DVD such as The 30 Day Shred.

So my results are as follows. In 4 months I have;

  • Gone down about 2/3 dress sizes on my top (dependant upon the shop)
  • Gone down 2 dress sizes on my bottom (again dependant upon the shop)
  • Lost a total of 13 inches, including 2 inches off my boobs, hips and bum and nearly 2.5 inches off my waist!

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I still have a long way to go till I will be completely happy with my body, but I am very happy with my results so far.

Have to been on a fitness or health mission this year also? Have you seen any results from exercise or changing your diet recently? I always love to hear about success stories!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Motivation Monday| Zumba Fitness Core Review| Personal Results


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As you probably know, seems I keep banging on about it, I have been on a big fitness kick over the past 2 months. I’ve been working hard so I can fit perfectly into my party dresses this Christmas and New Year. I have been taking part in my self devised Fitness Challenge, however the other week I was kindly gifted the new Zumba Fitness Core Game to trial and to incorporate into my Festive Flat Tum Challenge.

As a huge fan of the Zumba workouts I obviously jumped at the chance to try this new game. Having exhausted all the routines and moves in the old one this was a nice change. The reasons why I love the Zumba games is that they don’t feel like a workout, you don’t have someone shouting at you demanding you to do push ups and jumping jacks, instead you get to dance along to some great moves and have a laugh. There have been many a times when my mum and I have been in stiches try to master some of the moves, one time my mum almost knocked me clean out while getting too overenthusiastic with the Zumba hand weights and hitting me in the head!

Anyways on to the new game! You can buy the Zumba Core Game for the Nintendo Wii and Kinect for the Xbox 360 and it is priced at £19.99, an absolute steal and only the cost of  a few exercises classes (or cocktails!) You can buy the game from the usual places, including Game. The game was designed and developed as research shows that the core is the one area that women are most unhappy about their own bodies and the area they most want to work on. It comes with a dance belt so you don’t have to mess around trying to carry a remote control, you can just dance you little bum off!

The review

What they say-
“Dance your way to flat, sexy abs! Skip the crunches and strengthen your core with the only game to sculpt you abs through an exhilarating total-body workout. Zumba Fitness Core focuses specifically on strengthening and sculpting your core, within an effective body workout to deliver the tight and toned abs for a sexy six pack. This energising dance-fitness experience features 40 tracks from Enrique Iglesias, LMFAO, Shakira, Bob Marley and more, and over 33 dance styles so you can party your abs off- without ever getting down on the floor!”

What I say-
“I have one other Zumba game, which I love and thankfully I can say the same about this one! I enjoyed the music a lot more than previous one, as there was more recent/recognisable songs. I think the dances are more diverse, you can find all sort from ballet to jive to African dance alongside the more traditionally Zumba dance; salsa and samba. If you are a newbie to Zumba, there is no need to fear as the tutorials are very clear and helpful so learning the steps is easy to do.

As with the older game, the workout options vary so you can match them to your mood. You can choose to dance one or two dances, picking from any of the routines, or you can do a full dance class, which are either 20, 40 or 60 minutes long.  I normally do the 40 minute routine, which is definitely long enough to feel the burn!

The feature I love the most is the ability to monitor your progress, just like my beloved NikeRun Ap, I love to see how I am performing and if I am improving! With the ability to monitor your progress and set goals it keeps me hooked in… I’m a bit of a nut for stats! So finding out how many calories I’ve burnt, achievements earned and technique scores is a great addition!”

Results
I have incorporated this game into my Festive Flat Tum Challenge and have been using it for about 3 weeks. So with my running, additional abs exercises and this game I have to say I am seeing results! I actually managed to fit into my target dress this past weekend, which didn’t fit 6 weeks ago… it barely went over my bum 6 weeks ago! You can also see how many inches I have lost on my waist! I put this belt on and was shocked to find it doesn’t fit anymore.. it literally hangs off me!

Overall I am more than impressed with this game! It has given me results and most importantly it is fun! I can’t wait to crack it out after Christmas and challenge my friends and family to it.. burn off that Christmas turkey!

Have you tried this game, or any of the other Zumba workouts? Do you enjoy dance workouts?

Days Gone By| It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

 

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With only a week to go, it’s definitely starting to look a lot like Christmas. I don’t know about you but I enjoy the build up to Christmas just as much as, if not more, than the day itself! That’s probably why I start my personal build up from as early as possible. I started buying presents in October, I made homemade gift tags in November and I always put up my tree on the 1st of December.

I thought I would share with you my life in pictures from the past few weeks, in particular the Christmassy ones!

  • The other weekend my boy and I went Christmas shopping in the lakes. I didn’t have much left to buy but wanted to get a few smaller gifts/stocking fillers, and it’s always great to support local shops. While at Bowness-on-Windermere I got his lovely picture of the snow topped fells.
  • As I mentioned above, I started Christmas shopping in October so I managed to finish buying it all quite early. I enjoy wrapping presents just as much as I enjoy buying them, and this year I made my own gift tags featuring my cute and troublesome dogs. You can see how I did it here.
  • As the newbie at work I was drawn the short straw and had to write a load of Christmas cards for our clients. It took me a good hour or so as I had to use my fancy writing, but on the plus side it did put me in a festive mood!
  • My gorgeous Christmas Tree! I take pride in my Christmas Tree decorating skills and love nothing more than putting the Christmas music on and trying to and cram as many baubles on the tree as possible.
  • As  you may have seen from my Twitter or Instagram, I bought this adorable faux fur Russian style hat from Primark last weekend. It only cost £6 so was an absolute bargain! I love how glamourous it makes me feel!
  • A little shot of my Christmas Graze box… yes I am still buying these! I find that their little boxes are perfect for snacking at work.
  • Christmas George! Don’t you just love decorating your dog in Christmas decorations! He doesn’t look impressed does he?
  • This is the Christmas Fairy that I have had since I was a tiny little baby and it still sits proudly on top of my mum’s Christmas Tree.
  • My mum also bought new Christmas decorations this year. The one I am most in love with is the Christmas glittery Hedgehog… how cute!
  • My dogs got treated to new Christmas jumpers aswell. They were going to debut them on Christmas Day but we were too excited so took some pictures of them now.
  • The last picture is from June this year when my friends and I travelled around Finland and Lapland. While we were there we visited the real Santa at his workshop in Lapland. I mean you can’t go to to Lapland without seeing Santa Claus!

Have you been getting in the festive spirit? When do you put your Christmas tree up? Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Feeling Festive| Christmas Party FOTD and OOTD

 

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So what does a girl wear to her Christmas party? Never mind that! What does a girl wear to her first Christmas party at a company where she is still trying to impress and make a good opinion? This was my dilemma last week. Usually I would be the first to whack on a tight dress, get my tanned legs out and put on my stiletto heels, but when I work in an office in a very rural location, where my nearest cocktail or champagne bar is at least 70 miles away, I had to second think my attire. I still wanted a look that was glam, but maybe not as sexy as I normally aim for.

I decided to based my outfit around my sparkly shoes from Moda In Pelle which I love with all my heart! Look how amazing they are! They were the pair I wore for my mum’s wedding, and I think they are perfect for the festive season. I paired it with a matching glittery clutch bag from TKMaxx.  After I chose my shoes and bag I was stuck; I have a million dresses in my wardrobe, even more so now I have lost a dress size, but couldn’t decided which one was appropriate. So like you probably all have done, I ended up sat amongst all my clothes after having a hissy fit about how “I don’t have anything to wear!” I know a little black dress would of looked great but I wear black dresses to work everyday, so wanted something with a bit more colour. So after trying on all of my dresses I finally settle on the above lilac one from H&M. at first I thought of it as a more summery dress; more fitting for a wedding. But after trying it with the shoes and bag I thought it was perfect; sophisticated, girly and festive!

My works Christmas Party was a great success. We all went to a local hotel to have an all expenses paid for dinner and drinks, plus a little disco. It was a nice change to see my work colleague outside of the office, and we all had a great night; Sunday was evidence of that! Lets just say I had a few too many glasses of wine!

What did you, or are you wearing to your Christmas Party this year? Anything sparkly like my shoes?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Fitness Friday| How to get a flat stomach

 

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As many of you will know I have been taking part in my Festive Flat Tum Challenge for the past month with an aim to tone up and get a flat tum for Christmas. You may be asking… why work out in the run up to Christmas, with all the parties and food… am I mad?! Well yes, it is proving to be difficult especially with the boxes of chocolates being brought into the office weekly, but I want to look fab for Christmas so the challenge is worth it!

So with an aim to get that flat tum I have been doing my favourite, most effective ab workouts daily, and I wanted to share with you my tips on how to gain a flat tum. I am in no ways a nutritionist or qualified personal trainer, these are purely tips I have learnt through my passion for fitness and health. So here goes!

Firstly to gain a perfect flat tum you firstly need to get rid of the fat hanging around your midriff. You can do as many crunches as you want but if you have fat around your middle this will always hide the muscles you are building underneath. So you need to combine both cardio and strength exercises. Ab exercise alone won’t get rid of belly fat!  Think of it this way; you use strength exercise to tone from the inside, and you use cardio to loose the inches on the outside that will allow you to show your sexy toned stomach! So make sure you are working up a sweat for 30 minutes 5 times a week, at least!

Next step is strength, I want to share with you the go to strength exercises that I recommend to tone that tum as quick as possible. Basically you should be doing exercises that use as many muscles as possible in one go and for this I recommend The Plank and Bicycle Crunches!

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The Plank is the best move I can recommend as it works a tonne of muscles all at the same time! You don’t need any equipment, you can do it anywhere and it works you hard in relatively little time! The Plank works your muscles more effectively than traditional crunches! It has been scientifically proven to build endurance in your abs, back and arms, as well as stabilise the muscles. It is also the perfect move building up strength for those dreaded pushups! Here is some tips on how to perform The Plank;

  1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
  5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.

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Bicycle Crunches are my next tip! These little painful beauties have been proven to be the most effective abs exercise! This move, like The Plank works a series of muscles all at the same time. They work the  rectus abdominals (the six pack area) and the obliques (the waist). The Bicycle Crunch works those side abdominal muscles like no other core exercise, so if you want that sexy waist get going girls! Here is some tips on how to perform Bicycle Crunches;

  1. Lie face up on your mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers.
  2. Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
  3. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg.
  4. Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
  5. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedalling' motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

So there we go! To gain your flat tum you need to burn off the fat with cardio and perform effective core exercises such as these often. I do them daily, but try to at least do them 3 times a week.

What are your favourite ab moves? Do you have any other exercise your recommend to tone up that stomach in time for Christmas and New Year?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Clean Brushes Create A Clean Face| How to clean your makeup brushes

 

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I often get messages and comments on how clear my skin looks; I mainly put this down to good diet and plenty of exercise, but there are other little things that I do that make all the difference. One of these things is making sure I have clean makeup brushes. I admit I don’t wash them every day… I know I should, however I give them a good deep clean once a week. Everyone is guilty of piling the makeup on daily, and we all take the time to wash it off at the end of the day to ensure no nasty bacteria is lying around. However, how many of us wash the same dirt and bacteria off our brushes? I bet there isn’t many! It is essential that you deep clean your brushes once a week, as they can end up clogged full of old makeup, dirt and debris, bacteria, oils and dead skin cells… pretty gross!

So how do you wash your makeup brushes? There are many different ways and many different brush cleaning products you can use. The tools I use are hot water, Johnsons Baby Shampoo and a scrappy towel. I use the Baby Shampoo as it is a gentle shampoo with little chemicals so there is minimal, if any, damage to your brushes. The method I use is as follows;

1- Prepare yourself by choosing the brushes you need to clean, the towel you are going to use and your Baby Shampoo.

2- Wet the hairs and pour a small amount of the Baby Shampoo onto your brush and rub in into your brush. Use some force but not too much, just enough to create a lather. I create a lather by wiping the brush in small circles in the palm of my hand.

3- Next rinse out the shampoo, still wiping your brush in small circles so you are sure to rinse out all the shampoo. Be careful not to get any water on the handle or the ferrule of the brush (the part that holds the brush bristles together), as this can damage the brush fibres and make you brush moult.. not what you need! If the brush is still not clean repeat steps 2 and 3 until your brush rinses clean.

4- Once you brush rinses clean you can now dry it. To do this gently wipe it across your towel. Then leave your brush to air dry for a couple of hours.

Depending upon how many brushes you need to clean, the process only takes around 10 minutes. So 10 minutes of your time to ensure you have a bacteria free, and clean face is definitely worth it! Ideally you should also use an instant brush cleaner for a quick cleanse after every use. Another bonus to having clean brushes is keeping them soft! How lovely and soft are your new makeup brushes? If you clean you brushes regularly they will be kept soft and supple for longer!

How do you clean your brushes? And how often do you do it? Do you recommend any instant brush cleaners that aren’t too pricy?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Motivation Monday| Festive Flat Tum Challenge Week 3

 

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I am writing this post to give both you and myself some motivation as this past week my motivation has been zero!! I am actually appalled at the lack of exercise and control I have had over my diet, I have been a inspiration to no one this week, so I apologise to you, but mostly to myself! I need a good kick up the bum, and need to get my bum into shape!

I have picked my favourite pictures from Tumblr this past week, to motivate myself and you. Who doesn’t love picture of girls looking fit and fab, while working out hard! And  a good motivational poster always makes me want to go outside and run! I think my favourite picture this week is the Princess Tshirt.. I definitely need that to go running in… very cute!

So this next week is a fresh start, I am sticking to my Festive Flat Tum Challenge calendar, and I’m going to incorporate my new Zumba game* into my workout regime to see if it really will give my abs a good workout as it promises. I will also be trying out the below Holiday Squat-athon regime.  As I said before, I need a kick up the bum and need to get it into shape. I have a couple of dresses that are too small at the moment, with the hips and bum area being the worst fitting area, so I really need to loose a good couple of inches off them, and hope this regime as well as my Festive Flat Tum Challenge will help tone my bum up so I can fit into the dresses by Christmas. It’s a big ask, but I’ve got to try!

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Squats are a great exercise move, and so simple! I’m going to try and get into the habit of doing my squats while brushing my teeth or while waiting for the kettle to boil… might as well make use of the time rather than stand still! I have also shared the poster next to the Holiday Squat-athon picture, as this shows you that you only need to do three simple moves often to workout out your whole bum and get a lovely toned one for Christmas! So aim to do the squats mentioned in the Holiday Squat-athon picture, but also incorporate lunges and jumping jacks into your fitness regime to get that perfect peachy bum!

How has your week been… inspiring or disappointing? Are you going to join me in the Holiday Squat-athon? Or are you still working on my Festive Flat Tum Challenge? Where do you get your fitspiration from?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Crafty Christmas

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Firstly thank you to everyone for your Birthday wishes on my previous post! It means so much to have such lovely, supportive readers and followers, and I’m over the moon that my little blog is one year old!

Anyways onto the reason for this post! After seeing many of my fellow bloggers sharing their Christmas craft ideas, I thought I would take the plunge myself. Someone had mentioned on their blog that creating gift tags out of pictures of your pets is a great personal touch to gift giving, plus a very cheap alternative! (If you are the blogger who suggested this, please let me know, as I have completely forgot who it was… a to hazard reading so many blogs!) I had also played with the idea of making my own gift wrap, but decided one craft afternoon was enough for me this year… maybe next year I’ll do more! I will talk you through how to make the gift tags above;

1- Firstly you need a willing volunteer, who will become your muse! I used both my dogs, one is photogenic (George the black and white one) the other could not be less impressed with a camera (Archie the ginger one). George even got into the Christmas spirit and allowed me to decorate him with ribbons…he’s such a daft pretty dog!

2- So after you have your picture of your pet you need to make the picture Christmassy. I did this by super imposing a Christmas hat onto each of the dogs, and writing a greeting on them. I then printed the pictures out on card.

3- I decided to add some glitter to my tags to make them a bit more special. I added glitter to certain areas by using a wooden skewer, however anything with a pointed edge will work fine.  I dipped my skewer into a PVA glue and dabbed in onto the areas I wanted to.

4- Next you need to sprinkle glitter onto the card, which will then stick to the areas that are glued. Try to shuffle the card around so you can cover all the tags evenly. Then stand the card vertically and tap it onto some newspaper so the excess glitter falls off the page.

5- Once you have added glitter detailing to all your tags you can them cut them up and use a hole-punch to make a clean hole for your ribbon.

6- You can now thread ribbon or string through the hole, so that the tag can be attached to your parcel.

7- You now have your pretty personalised Christmas tags, ready to be attached to your Christmas gifts. I think these tags add a little something extra to your gifts and make them stand out from the others underneath the tree.

So what do you think? Do you like the idea of homemade gift wrap and tags? Have you been getting crafty for Christmas? Do you regularly give homemade gifts on special occasions?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Blog| One Year Old

 

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2888 friends and supporters, 1829 Comments, 365 days, 177 blog posts and 1 Blog Award final later my blog and I have arrived at our first ever birthday!

A year has passed since I started Outside Beauty Inside Health and I could not have foreseen how much it would change my life. This time last year I yearned for somewhere to express myself, so I sat and started typing on my first ever blog post, not knowing that it would soon become my full time hobby and passion. I was at first unsure about putting myself out there; there is something quite vulnerable about sharing your life on the internet, but deep down I knew I wanted to share my thoughts with the world. So thank god I had the courage to take the plunge, and a year ago I sat alone on a rainy November afternoon and wrote my first blog post.

I could not have imagined the incredible amount of support, love, community and readership it has gained! This year I have seen some of the kindest and most generous behaviour from a group of people who I have never met before, many who I now count as friends. I love to see how far my blog has grown and developed in the past year; I have been able to connect and collaborate with other talented bloggers and brands, been a finalist in the Cosmo blog Awards, and gained a job all because of the time, dedication and effort I put into my little corner of the internet.

However many opportunities I have gained, it will not replace the genuine love I now have for blogging. I enjoy every aspect of it; thinking of ideas and features, buying and trying new products, taking pictures and editing photos, tapping away at my keyboard and seeing my thoughts come together in a blog post, interacting with others on social media and reading others blogs.

Overall I love being able to inspire, entertain and encourage others with my ramblings. I can’t imagine my blogging life without all of you! You are all so wonderful and inspiring and I love interacting with you all. So thank you everyone for listening (well mostly reading) to my ramblings, thank you for your overwhelming support! I can’t wait for many more blogging years to come!

So to celebrate my one year blog birthday I wanted to share with you the favourite posts of both myself and my some of my loved ones.

You- Fitness Friday- A New Fitness Favourite- Many of you have commented how much you enjoy my Fitness Friday posts, and this post is the all time most popular on my blog. I love that these posts inspire you to try something new and hopefully to become more healthy!

Mum- Fitness Friday- Row Row Row Your Boat- Mum and I both had such a laugh trying this new fitness regime out. The pictures are pretty funny too! I’m looking forward to trying it again next spring.

Steve- Think Pink- Breast Cancer Awareness- This one is a favourite of many of my family members because of how important and personal it is to us all. I hope you took the time to read it!

Matt- Five Years- This is my boyfriend’s favourite post, probably because it is dedicated to him!

Mine- What A Week- Cosmo Blog Awards- This is my favourite post, short and sweet, but one of the highlights of my year. Every time I see it I remember how shocked and immensely happy I was to be a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. It’s when I finally accepted that my blog was more than a silly little hobby but something to be proud of and something to finally share with my family and friends, rather than keep a secret.

I would love to know what your favourite post of mine over the past year was? What is your favourite thing about blogging? How long have you been blogging for?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fitness Friday| Festive Flat Tum Week 1| Highs & Lows

 

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*Images from Tumblr*

As many of you will know this past week I have been following my Festive Flat Tum Challenge, and as a result will be posting regular Fitness Friday posts on my highs and lows of the week gone by, plus some motivation for both you and I. This weeks are as follows;

Lows

This week I did not get off to as strong of a start as I wanted. I have been really struggling to wake up in the mornings... why is it so dark?! So have missed my morning workouts which is not good! I must do better next week! I have been trying to get to bed earlier so I will get into a routine of falling asleep earlier so I will find waking up less of a struggle!

Highs

Diet! This week my eating has been great, I’ve been eating clean and feel great because of it! I have not eaten crisps or chocolate, my only treat has been a cupcake on Cake Day at work, so I am giving myself a pat on the back for this!

I am also really pleased that I have ran 2 5k’s this week, although they are not the quickest, I am still pleased as this is the longest I have ran on the treadmill so far. I can run 5k outside easily as it is more interesting, but the treadmill bores me so much! So to stay on it for longer than 15 minutes is torture!

This next week I aim to get up earlier in the mornings and get my morning workout in, as well as keep up my daily cardio with the aim to run another 3 5ks! This next week I am going to take my body measurements, and some pictures, so I have something to mark my progress with. I am not weighing myself as believe this only demotivates myself. Anyways measuring inches lost is a much healthier way to analyse your health and fitness than being obsessed with the weighting scale. Scales do not take in to account muscle gained, and a toned body is much healthier and sexier than a skinny body with no definition! 

Are you stepping up your health and fitness in time to look great for Christmas? What have you done this week to make yourself proud? What fitspiration do you use to keep yourself motivated?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Natural Science For Your Skin| Monu Skincare Review

 

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Monu Skincare is a new brand to me, having not heard of them before they contacted me asking if I would like to review their products. As a girl who does struggle with my skin I obviously jumped at the chance to try a new skincare regime. I was asked about my skin type and any issues I have with my skin, and then sent the products that would best suit my skin type and help offer the results I needed. I received a lovely package in the post; the products in a handy wash bag and an informative brochure.

I received the Line Smoothing Beauty Bag, retailing at £29.95, which is designed for normal or combination skin, or those with fine lines, first lines and expression line. I agree I have combination skin, however I’m not sure on the fine lines! I seem to have been given quite a lot of products for fine and first lines recently and I’m starting to get a little paranoid! I must be looking older than my 23 years! Anyways enough about me and onto the review.

The Company

In case you are new to the brand, like me, I will give them a little introduction. Monu believe in quality, purity and authenticity; their products being designed to bring out the best in the user, using only the best of nature. They use only pure, natural ingredients such as plants, herbs, minerals and essential oils. No damaging chemicals, artificial perfumes or synthetic colours, and definitely no testing on animals!

The Products

  • Active Cleanser and Toner

Monu- “This milky cleanser and refreshing toner, leave skin thoroughly cleansed, balanced, toned and comfortable.”

I completely agree, the cleanser was gorgeous, very creamy and it applied like a dream. When rubbing into your skin it was both soft and refreshing, and my makeup was completely removed after using the cleanser twice and the toner once. The Witch Hazel in the toner really helped reduce the size of my pore over the period of use.

  • Skin Perfector

Monu- “An award winning weightless cream that instantly soothes imperfections and enhances natural radiance. Its soft focus technology has an instant smoothing effect, giving your skin a flawless, fresh and incredibly smooth complexion”

This has to be one of my favourite products in a long time! I used it as a day cream; it sunk into my skin well and gave a great based for my makeup. It is described as being a BB cream but it doesn’t have any colour in it, so I would say it is more of a primer. My skin was left as smooth as a baby's bum and looking fresh, glowing and healthy.

  • Night Renewal Complex

Monu- “A rich complex of actives to help smooth and frim the skin whilst you sleep, leaving you with rejuvenated and renewed skin”

I love this night cream! It was very rich and creamy, but not heavy and “too rich” like I find many to be. It did not leave a residue on my skin and was absorbed quite quickly, but not too quickly, so I knew it was still working miracles.

  • Warming Aromatic Mask

Monu- “ The velvety smooth mask slightly warms on application to renew and invigorate the complexion”

Unfortunately I was not overly impressed with this product, it did warm slightly, not enough for my liking and left my skin clean. However I prefer other mud mask products on the market. (I am quite fussy with my facemasks)

  • Eye Cool Gel

Monu- “The refreshing gel instantly revives and tones tired eyes, reduces puffiness and dark circles”

Again I have to agree with Monu, this product did deliver results. My puffy morning eyes soon disappeared after applying this gel. However I prefer eye creams that are applied with a metal ball, as this helps to wake me up!

  • Extra Freebie! Monu Micro Exfoliant

Monu- “ Dual-action microdermabrasion. This powerful treatment delivers instantly radiant skin, refines skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine line and pores.”

Oh my word! Did some one replace my skin with someone else's! I have never tried microdermabrasion products before but I would definitely purchase this product! This exfoliant had the tiniest little beads that really got into every corner of your nose; great for those blackheads! Even better these tiny beads did not break up they were persistent little things, meaning you could give your skin a good scrub. Once the product was washed off I was left with the smoothest skin that was glowing… it was like I had new skin, no word of a lie! I was (as you can tell) made up with this product. Thank you Monu!

 

Overall I greatly enjoyed these products and definitely saw amazing results. I have used them for around 2 months now, so they have definitely lasted well, so they were great value for money! Plus I believe I have used them for an adequate amount of time to give an honest and realistic review. Overall my skin has been left incredibly soft, smooth and glowing. If I did have fine lines before there is little evidence of it now! The whole skin care regime that I developed when using these products has been an absolute treat, normally I use face wipes! However I have definitely been converted! My face actually feels clean and refreshed after going through the regime twice daily. The only negative to these products is that when first using them they have quite a strong smell, it is a floral smell so not pungent, its just a little over powering at first. Secondly as much as I love the sleek minimalistic packaging, the writing on the back of the bottles was very small and in a pale colour so it made reading it quite difficult.

Have you heard of Monu Skincare before? Have you tried any of their products? Which would you recommend?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Days Gone By| An Instagram Catchup

 

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I hadn’t actually realised how long it had been since I’ve done an Instagram post, so I thought I would give you a little catch up on the happenings in my life.

1- During the middle of October my gorgeous man took me for a romantic trip to Edinburgh for our 5 year anniversary. The highlight was definitely the trip to the zoo to visit the Pandas! I have always wanted to see them, and was completely overwhelmed when I did. You can see more about my trip here.

2- This was my look for Halloween this year. I don’t often take part in Halloween but I enjoyed dressing up for a change. I did a post on the evening here.

3- I have recently started a Festive Flat Tum Fitness Challenge for myself, and for any others who want to take part; you can find all the details here. There is myself and a few others taking part, so feel free to take charge of your body and feel and look amazing for Christmas by giving it a go.

4- I have already ruined one of my Christmas surprises by begging for Michael Buble tickets, so my boyfriend had to let on that he had already bought some for me. I am beyond excited for this and can’t believe I have to wait another 8 months for it.

5-We have recently started Cake Day at my work place, and this week was my turn. We had a Brownie off between myself and another member of staff. It was very close as to who was the winner but I think I just nipped it in the bud.

6- This past weekend I finally visited Quayside market. I have lived in Newcastle for 5 years and never had the chance as I always worked at the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised and found an amazing store; No Bones, which makes amazing dog treats at super cheap prices! Perfect Christmas presents for your four legged friend.

7- I have been running most days for around 3 months now and even though I’m not the fastest I am really enjoying it and am still lapping everyone who is sitting on the couch! I have definitely noticed a difference in my waist line, skin and confidence since I started back, and am aiming to run for 30mins each day as well as doing an additional toning/strength exercise each day.

8- For bonfire night I visited my family in Carlisle and we went to Carlisle Firework display which is really impressive, I think around 35000 people watch it so there is always a great atmosphere.

9- A healthy dinner made my Master Chef of a boyfriend. It’s one of my favourite salads and is very easy to make, it's a mixture of tomato, spring onion, shallots, and chorizo, with a vinegar dressing.

10- An outfit of the day from when I went for lunch with my girls this past Saturday. I miss them a lot, so it’s great to spend some quality time with them catching up and eating good food.

11- I also visited Fenwicks Christmas Window this past weekend; always a highlight of the year for me! It was very busy with people queuing half way down the high-street to see it, quite understandable as there is something magical about it and it’s always impressive.

12- Wearing my poppy with pride on Remembrance Sunday. I very nearly ran into a remembrance parade today, but managed to stop just in time of ruining it for everyone.. now that would of been beyond embarrassing!

If you don’t want to miss anything on my Instagram you can follow me at Cat_Storey.

What have you been busying yourself with these past few weeks? What have been your highlights? Are you getting ready and excited for Christmas?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Fitness Fridays| Festive Flat Tum Challenge


This week’s Fitness Friday is a little more personal. I am setting myself a challenge of getting a festive flat tum! We have 6 weeks and 4 days until Christmas, or 46 days, really not long! However it is long enough to do something about your body if you want to! I know this time of year is busy and stressful, with parties to organise and attend, deadlines at work and university and Christmas shopping to be done, but if you can spare half an hour to an hour a day and make small changes to your diet you will notice a difference in your waistline, and will look amazing in your Christmas party dress... just imagine the dress!

By starting now, and by pushing yourself you will look and feel amazing, but more importantly will be the most confident you! I personally can’t wait to look drop dead gorgeous in my Christmas party dress, and turn some heads this year. Over the next 46 days I am challenging myself and you to become toned, motivated and confident.

I am aiming to tone up my hips, bum and tum (hence the title) and am going to share with you how I plan on achieving this as well  as keep you updated with on-going posts about all my highs and lows, meal ideas and workout reviews.

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Diet- “Eat Clean, Eat Often”
With the endless Mince Pies, Christmas Chocolates, buffet tables and cocktails surrounding you over the next 46 days, it is vital that you are full of healthy food all the time to help you avoid temptation. I aim to;
  • Eat 5 times a day- 3 meal and 2 snacks
  • Eat clean(er)- Swap my snacks of crisps and cereal bars for fruit and nuts. If it comes from a packet it’s not going near my mouth.
  • Reduce the carbs and up the protein- My dinner is always low carb, however I eat carbs for breakfast and aim to swap this for a more protein full breakfast, by replacing my cereal bars for egg; boiled or scrambled.
  • Keep the alcohol to a minimum! I am doing pretty well at this since I have moved home, but still need to keep control of it at the weekends... no bottle of wines in front of the television on a Friday night.
An example of a typical days meal plan;
Breakfast- Yoghurt and fruit with scrambled egg, bacon & tomato/ boiled egg.
Snack- Green smoothie/ fruit/ nuts
Lunch- Soap (homemade ideally) or vegetable crudités with houmous.
Snack- Fruit/ nuts
Dinner-Chicken or fish with vegetables
Exercise- “Go hard or Go Home”
This is where I am going to excel! Go hard or go home as they say!
I already try to run at least 2 miles a day, 5 times a week, which has significantly helped my waist line over the past couple of months. I aim to continue this and also add another workout, so I will be working out twice a day, one workout will be cardio based, the other will be strength and toning.
The running will make up my 30 minutes of cardio but you can choose a different cardio exercise if running is not your thing. You could try swimming, skipping, aerobics, Zumba, cycling or even a brisk walk.
For my second exercise I plan on concentrating on toning by using a variety of workout videos. I am going to use the 30 Day shred workout, varying between levels 2 and 3 as they both use different muscles, as well as using the workout videos form the lovely Tone It Up girls, who have a Holiday Hotties workout challenge going for themselves at the moment. These workouts tend to last around 30 minutes, so I won’t be over doing it as I will only be working out for around 1 hour a day.
You can find the workouts below: (Note: the videos do not below to me, and I am not responsible for the content of 3rd party sites.)  
I have included two workout calendars, one the “Go hard or Go Home” option which I will be using, and another less strenuous plan for those just starting to workout or who don’t workout often. Yes they are both a challenge, but that is the fun of it! With your health and fitness you get back what you put in! If you workout hard and often then your body will soon see results, and you will look fab for Christmas.
I have designed the calendars to match my schedule and Christmas plans, but feel free to change them. Also one last tip; please make sure to stretch well after all your workouts!  

I will be posting regularly throughout this challenge, with updates on my Twitter and two blog posts a week. One will be Motivation Mondays, which will include a load of motivational pictures and sayings to keep you on track, the second will be a Fitness Friday, which will share my highs and lows, along with healthy meal ideas and workout video reviews.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you can keep up to date with the latest posts and I can spur you on with your own fitness kick.

Let me know if you do want to join me, I need all the support I can get! Do you have your own personal plans to get fit this Christmas? Are you aiming to fit into the perfect party dress like I am?





















Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Wednesday wants| Christmas Wishes


Christmas list

It’s that time of year again lovelies! The Christmas decorations are going up, Christmas planning is beginning, the party dresses are in the shops, and your friends and family are forever asking “What do you want for Christmas?”

My answer always is a Channel bag, however I know that as much as I wish for it Santa will not be bringing me one this year. My dream list would be filled with designer bags, purses and shoes; Hermes, Channel, Mulberry, Christian Louboutin, and Jimmy Choos, but having already received some Loubuotins this year I think I’ve had my share of designer items, so for the interest of my lovely readers, friends and family I thought I would share with you what I’m wishing for this Christmas.

iPad- I would love the have a 3rd generation iPad, my laptop is fairly battered and I think reading blogs and watching my TV programmes would be so much better on an iPad. Plus it will be easier to transport than my laptop, and as I seem to spend a lot of my “free Time” travelling to see my boyfriend, friends and member of my family it’s kind of necessary.
Camera- My number one want and need! I currently use my compact camera or iPhone for the pictures on my blog, and I have noticed recently since the dark days and nights have been rolling in, that taking pictures is very difficult and the quality is not good! I would love a good quality camera, that is still compact, something like the Nikon One as I’m a novice and really think I won’t be very good with using different lenses etc.
Cute iPad case- Obviously if I get my iPad I need a cute leather case to keep it in!
Benefit cosmetics- There are so many beautiful benefit products that I would love to try that I just can’t justify buying for myself. My top picks are; They’re Real Mascara, POREfessional primer, Sun Beam Highlighter, Brown Zing, and How to Look The Best At Everything Kit.
Nail varnishes and nail art pens- My obsession with nail art continues! I am always happy to receive nail varnishes- OPI, Nails Inc, Essie, Topshop are my favourite and the first three are always bargains when found in TKMaxx.
Perfume- A need and a want! I have ran out of my favourite signature scent- Dolce and Gabbana The One, plus I would love some Pacco Rabbane Lady Million.
MAC Cosmetics- I have to be honest with you girls, I have never owned any Mac cosmetics... shock, horror! Yes I have used friends, however I never saw the appeal myself and have never indulged. But after only hearing great things about their products, I would love a MAC lipstick as their colour range is amazing!
Shoes- I have been a lucky girl for receiving amazing shoes this year; however my heel selection is out numbering my flats, and I desperately need some cute flats for everyday wear and work. (I’m a size 6)
Muju drawers- After buying a rubbish makeup case at the beginning of this year I am yet to replace it. My ideal solution would be the muju drawers as they are gorgeous and a bargain!
Rings- I love costume jewellery, and love beautiful and interesting rings, as I can wear them day and night.
Makeup bag and wash bag- I would love a new makeup and wash bag. The Marc Jacobs one is very cute! I love the glittery bow on it!
Filofax- As I am now a working girl I need a cute Filofax to write down all my appointments, meetings and top marketing ideas! I would love a leather Filofax in purple, red or hot pink.
Soap and Glory & Lush- Anything form Soap and Glory or Lush would make me happy. I love their products and there are many that I am yet to try.
Urban Decay Naked Palette Two- I have the first one and would love to try the second one, as feel I have exhausted all the colour combinations with the first one.
Real Techniques brushes- after receiving the Core Collection for my birthday I am a convert, and I would love to complete my collection with the Starter Kit, Blush Brush, Setting Brush and Powder Brush.
Ear muffs and Fur collar- I don’t often ask for clothes for Christmas as I quite fussy and sizing is always difficult. However ear muffs and a fur collar are easy to buy, and both are incredibly cute… perfect for keeping me warm when the snow comes!

So there is my (quite extensive) Wish List of what I would love to see in my stocking and under the tree this Christmas.
What are you wishing for this Christmas? Is there anything that is on my list that you also have your eye on? Also do you have any recommendations for a Camera?


















Monday, 5 November 2012

Pink Pops| How to make Popcakes


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You may or may not have seen the posts about my Mum’s wedding in September. In that post you'll have seen pictures of the above Pop Cakes. My mum and I are both huge lovers of cake; any sort will do! So when I found the above book in TKMaxx I had to buy it. When flicking through the pages we came up with the idea of making pink Popcakes for her wedding as a gift for her guests.
At the time it seemed like a great idea; who wouldn’t love cute little pink cakes! However come 10.30pm the night before the wedding when we were still decorating the Popcakes, we were soon regretting it! Despite how stressful this idea became, the end result was amazing. The wedding guests were fascinated, and in awe when they discovered that my Mum had made them herself. So I thought I would show you how we did it.
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Step 1- Firstly, a cake needs to be made. We used the recipe given in the book for a simple chocolate sponge cake. For the 100 popcakes that we made we had to bake 6 chocolate cakes and leave them to cool.
Step 2- To make the cake balls, the cakes were blitzed into crumbs then mixed with cream cheese, and icing sugar. This makes the cakes into a moist mouldable texture, that is quite similar to a ganache. We also added bashed up Crunchie to our mixture to add something special to half of the popcakes. We then moulded the mixture into 100 little balls, mounted them on sticks and popped them into the freezer for 15 minutes to allow them to solidify.
Step 3- The fun part; decorating! We ended up with 3 different looks for our popcakes. One was just pink icing with a pink icing rose on the top. The second was pink icing dipped into pink sugar.The third look was meant to resemble a flower, and involved pink and white swirls (as you can see above). The joy with popcakes is that you can be so creative with them, any colour, shape or design. I have seen little teacups and tea pots, dinosaurs, people, and food items such as hotdogs and slices of cake.
So that’s a short and sweet explanation on how we made our popcakes. It took a lot of time to make 100 of them, and it was a lot of hard work, but the final product was delicious and a big success with all the wedding guests. I think they are an excellent idea for wedding favours or even for Christmas presents!

So what do you think? Have you seen or tried popcakes before? Would you make any for Christmas presents or for your wedding or party?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Scary Cat| My Halloween Look| FOTD & OOTD


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I don’t know about you, but I have never been a huge fan of fancy dress. I do love Halloween, but find that it is a little bit too Americanised now, and preferred it when the point of a Halloween costume was firstly for it to be Halloween related and secondly it was to scare someone. I’m all about the pumpkins, trick or treating, scary masks, claws, cobwebs and cloaks! This year I was invited to a Halloween party last Saturday night by my manger at work. I was a little unsure to begin with, but when she said that you had to dress up, and your costume had to be scary I was all for it. Now, I am a little unoriginal with my Halloween outfits, as I normally go as I cat as I can’t help but love the irony. I love when drunk people find it hilarious that I’m called Cat and I am a cat!

I decided to stick with what I know but wanted to scare my outfit up and make it a bit more dramatic. I had originally bought face paint and face crayons to decorate my face, but after practicing with them I found them very waxy and not very pigmented; consequently not creating the dramatic look I was after. I changed tactics and decided to buy the above makeup items to create my look. The Lipstick I have talked about here, and the eyeliner I already had. The lip liner was used to draw on cuts and scratches all over my body, and it was the perfect blood red. The eye-shadow is Boujois and was part of their Halloween collection and it’s amazing! I don’t know if I will wear it again soon, as it is a very pigmented and a very matte black. But it creates the perfect dramatic cat eye, and stayed  in place all night! The Boujois nail varnish was again very dramatic; it needed a few layers to build up colour, but once you did it looked great.

For my outfit I wore a black cocktail dress and tights which I ripped up. My hair I backcombed to the max and used a whole can of dry shampoo to turn it grey. Unfortunately you can’t see it too much in the pictures but believe me my hair was very tatty and grey! I actually woke up on Sunday morning and was rather confused by all the white dust all over the surfaces in my bedroom, it took me a while to realise the white dust was in fact the residue of my dry shampoo.

I admit my look isn’t the scariest ever, but I think I did a pretty good job. At the party and in town there was some great scary costumes, lots of very convincing zombies and vampires, along with Goth brides, Bettlejuice and Jimmy Saville (a little bit of bad taste, but we all knew someone would dress up as him).

What do you think of my look? What did/ are you dressing up as for Halloween?
*Apologies for the poor quality iPhone pictures, still in need of a camera*

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Why do you wear makeup? | Tag


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*Combination of my own images and those from We Heart It*

I have seen this tag floating around on peoples blogs over the past few weeks and it seems to be spreading like wild fire. Now I’m not normally one for tags; I don’t know why, I just never found one that inspired me and if they did, they were quite lengthy. However this tag is short and sweet and gives a little insight into the blogger. So here goes my answers.

When did you begin to love makeup?
Like many others I have forever been a girly girl. When I was a little girl I was obsessed with princesses, pink, glitter, Barbie's and spent my time dressing up, putting on fashion shows and baking mud pies. With this girliness came the love of makeup. I remember I used to have a big pink makeup case at my Nanas house and would stand in front of her mirror applying glitter, stick-on tattoos, peel off nail varnish and sickly sweet perfumes. I have always been gifted numerous makeup palettes for birthdays and Christmas, and as I grew so did my make up case. Obviously as I got older the quality of the product improved.
I first started wearing “proper” makeup aged 12… yes it is a little early, however when I was a younger I wore glasses, which unfortunately made my eyes appear smaller than what they were. I was obviously very self conscious of this and used to (still do) layer on the mascara to make my eyes look bigger. I probably started wearing a full face of makeup when I was 14, again to mask my insecurities, which at the time was my bad skin. When I started wearing a full face my confidence with my makeup improved and so did my experimentation, cue lots of black eyeliner and bright eye shadow… baby pink was one of my favourites for a while. Thankfully my taste has changed and matured, but I still like to have fun with it.

How do you feel without makeup?
A bug! I have a bit of a complex whereby I think my eyes look very small when I’m not wearing mascara, I call them my little bug eyes! As a result I almost never leave the house without mascara, the only time I do is when I’m out running. I know they probably don’t but I just don’t feel very confident when not wearing mascara. I will quite gladly leave the house without other makeup; I choose not to though. When my skin is looking good I will happily just wear mascara and a bit of bronzer and blush, especially during the weekends.

What do you like about makeup?
Quite a difficult question I think as sometimes I love makeup (like 70% of the time) and other times I feel like its an evil necessity and more like war paint than makeup. The days when I love it are obviously days when I’m feeling on top of the world. I love that makeup allows me to look and feel more human. I like that it can help enhance anyone’s natural beauty, and draw out a persons individual and beautiful features that they may not have been aware of before. I also love how colourful and pretty makeup is, the colour combinations and collections are never ending… it’s always great finding a new favourite lippy.
The days when I don’t love makeup are obviously days when I’m not feeling quite my normally self, perhaps a little blue. On days such as this I tire of applying my makeup but I would never leave the house without it. Like I mentioned, I feel like it’s a necessary evil; war paint; a mask that myself and many others apply to hide behind. I wish there was a national day where us girl don’t wear our makeup and show and (try to) embrace our natural beauty, as no matter how much we fight it, we all have something unique and beautiful about out face.

Three “Holy Grail” Items:
Mascara- I’m not fussed on which brand, however I do love L'Oreal Telescopic False Lash Mascara and Maybelline Colossal Mascara
Urban Decay NAKED Palette- A god send for eyeshadow lovers! I use mine all the time, perfect for both day to day looks and for dramatic night out looks. The pigmentation is great and the colours all compliment each other perfectly.
Rimmel Blush Pink Rose- A bargain high street product, but one that is very pigmented, lasts forever and is a great match for my skin tone. Great at giving me some colour on these dull days and a daily wear for me.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers and learnt a little more about me. I look forward to reading some of your answers, if you do write your own be sure to Tweet me or comment below so I can give them a read.