Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: Lush, Angels On Bare Skin


Since starting my blog, I've become extremely experimental in the skincare department. I have developed a fixed regime that works well for my type of skin but now and again I like to try out products I've had my eye on. This is what happened when I found myself browsing the Lush website a couple of weeks back; I treated myself to a few popular bath bombs (of which I now have an undeniable love for) and couldn't resist giving this cleanser a try. The cleanser claims to be 'an incredibly gentle cleanser with chamomile blue and lavender oils to calm and soothe even the most sensitive skin.' It also states that it will 'absorb grease and dirt, leaving skin clean and nourished'. Persuasive comments by the makers themselves are instantly going to push my dexterous fingers onto the purchase button, plus I've heard it works wonders for oily/spot prone skin and as a sufferer of pesky, excess oils that make their appearance whenever I want to look nice, I knew I had to sample it.

Upon first impression, the strong scent hit me. It is a natural smell but is extremely heavy and not for everybody. I'm not the greatest fan of the lavender scent and I wasn't keen on the vigorous hint of it at first but after a few uses, the aroma warmed to me and it does rinse off, leaving no linger on your skin. As you can probably see, Angels On Bare Skin is nothing to look at; in fact it's quite the ugly duckling. However, the benefits of the product completely outweighs the cons that may often be dwelled upon too negatively by harsh critics. Thankfully, Lush gave clear instructions on how to use the cleanser. Twisting the lid panicked me a little as I discovered the brown/green coloured, grained mush as I wasn't used to this sort of thick texture when using a cleanser. I followed along with what it told me to do; pinching a small amount, adding a few drips of water into that small amount and onto the palm of my dominant hand, then rubbing along the entire face; ensuring the particles are spread equally. When mixing the dried cleanser with water it transforms into a more attractive grey slush like substance, with a more runny consistency. It can be a messy, awkward process as it's not your everyday simple cleanser but I do believe it's worth the time and the minor inconvenience in those few minutes of applying.

I'd like to think Angels On Bare Skin is more of an exfoliating product compared to a cleanser. If you are using it at nighttime, like I do, you definitely need to remove all your makeup first as I don't think this used alone would erase your daily grime (and it's gonna sting if it gets in your eyes!). The occupation it is mastered in however, is the follow up from abolishing your makeup. I find it so refreshing to the skin when applied; the fragments of the clay like cleanser are not too abrasive but tough enough to censor those dead skin cells that tend to clog your pores and cause acne. It is super gentle on the skin and after rinsing off, it leaves my skin feeling healthy and reinvigorated. The ingredients involved all have their individual achievements. The ground almond acts as a pleasant exfoliant, leaving my skin feeling energized and free of any flakiness, the lavender and rose work together as a sort of therapy, whisking away any unnecessary sebum and residue and the kaolin clay does the job of deep cleansing the pores. All in all, as a whole the ingredients ensure a balanced skin tone and manage the oil that is produced in the skin.

In the few times I have used Angels On Bare Skin, the softness of my skin has doubled, leaving it feeling matte. The main alternation I have noticed is the rapid zapping of the blackheads and whiteheads that appear on my skin. This does the job of keeping them at bay and I can honestly say the morning after I have used this, my face feels alive and my makeup seems to go on much more smoothly. The cleanser is not greasy or drying therefore it's perfect for all skin types; whether that be oily or partial to dryness. I haven't suffered with any irritation which ticks off the 'suitable for sensitive skin' pro off the checklist. I can't say I've noticed a change in the redness of my skin with this but that's probably because I haven't used it enough to feel all the benefits.
  
Angels With Bare Skin is different to anything I've used before but since buying, I've been praising the gods above (excuse the 'angels' pun there) for my discovery of it. It's rare I find a product that works for me, not just at keeping the spots away but for leaving my skin feel silky and thoroughly clean. Paired with my first holy grail spot and blemish product that is La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (stay tuned for an insight in the new duo+ coming up on my blog soon *sneaky plug*), I have a large amount of faith that my skin will grow on to be as flawless as the A-listers (well maybe that's too much hoping!) but I do think it's a fabulous skin product and one which I will continue to use.   

Have you tried Angels On Bare Skin, or anything similar? I love the freshness of Lush products and the Ultra Bland Cleanser is next on my agenda!





- Enter my giveaway to win a beauty bundle here
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Hello Cold World

Top: Forever 21 | Skirt: Zara via eBay | Coat: Zara | Scarf & Bag: Primark | Watch: eBay | Boots: New Look

Well I think my outfit photos have (only slightly) improved in comparison from my last attempt at using my tripod. I still haven't got the hang of it, mind you. It just seems to be a lot brighter than it should be and the focus isn't really on point. I think if I extend my investment and purchase a remote, that may help but in reality it'd be so much easier if I had a personal photo taker who was available when I was! Having to stay outside in the cold with imagined icicles hanging off my nose doesn't really appeal to me that much but somehow staying outside trying to get some usable photos seems completely worth it. Anyway, enough of the babble...

I should have photographed the ever so famous pink Zara coat as soon as I got it last year but obviously that went out of the window as we're now in February 2014 and I've only just managed to greet it to the blogging world. It's pretty much been the only thing I've worn through the entire duration of Autumn/Winter and that showed when it started to get grubby. A week or so ago I had the coat dry cleaned and haven't dared to wear it again since then because it looked so lovely and fresh but I had to give in sometime, and that time has come. I've had this tiled top god knows how long but it's always been one of my favourites and it's a proven point that keeping hold of old clothes seems to pull off when they return to the trends again. I'm also in love with this bag I picked up from Primark, it's exactly what I've been wanting. Primark seem to be doing extremely well on producing bags that look a lot less tacky than labelled and a lot more high quality. The outfit seemed to match my makeup for the day. As usual, it was the natural look with rosy cheeks and soft pink lips; the only difference being this time I decided to add in some eyeliner and matte brown eyeshadow. I quite enjoyed making a change to my normal makeup routine and it's something I'll most likely interpret more often!

Hope you're all having a lovely week and don't forget you can enter my giveaway here.



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Monday, 17 February 2014

100 Bloglovin' followers giveaway


Hello you lovely lot! Hope you all had a brilliant weekend and a memorable Valentine's Day. I certainly did, not only did I stick to my plan of pampering like I said I would in this post (thank you so much for all your uplifting comments by the way), I reached 100 followers on Bloglovin'! I was so happy when I received my email congratulating me. It may not seem a lot to some, but it is for a newbie like me who started off their blog thinking nobody would be interested in the thoughts and ideas that spill from my ever so over driven mind. It's somewhat highly rewarding and pleasing knowing there are people out there who take their time to follow, comment and compliment my blog and make me smile in the process. Essentially, my blog is just a hobby, gathered with the everyday things that interest me and to think people do gain help and influences from it is really quite amazing.

I wanted to run a little giveaway to thank you for helping me reach my first milestone and just generally being super nice all the time. It's nothing much, just a few beauty products I've gathered together that I thought you may like to try out and pamper yourself with. However, as time progresses I'm sure the prizes will become more exciting as I'm able to get a taste of what you readers prefer and I'm actually able to go out, buy these things and allow you to experience them in honour of gratitude! 

Now speaking of the prizes, here's the items you can win:
- L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream in Medium
- Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in the shade True Ivory
- Kate Moss Rimmel Matte Lipstick in Wine 107
- L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Glitter Top Coat Mascara
- Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Scrub 50ml
- The Body Shop Coconut Soap
- The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter Sample
- Montagne Jeunesse Mint Choc Chip Face Mask
- Montagne Jeunesse Strawberry Souffle Face Mask

All you need to do is just enter with the mandatory options with Rafflecopter, which is following my bloglovin' and my twitter and then the rest is up to you. The giveaway begins today (17th February 2014) and ends in a months time (17th March 2014) as soon as it hits midnight. The giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be picked at random and will be contacted straight away. If the winner doesn't respond within 3 days, another person will be picked. Good luck and once again, thank you for being so kind!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine's Day, the singleton way


It's that time of year again, Valentine's Day. For lovers, that means being swept off their feet, surprised with enchanting, thoughtful gifts, huge bunches of roses and a three course meal, smothered with kisses and feeling more blessed than ever. For singletons, like me, it usually means we're left in the lurch, feeling left out, daunted by the lovey dovey adventures and wishing you had that meaningful romance that appears everywhere you turn. However; just because you're single, doesn't mean you're alone and in no way does it mean you should tell yourself you are worthless. In fact, you are far from that; you are independent and most importantly, free to do whatever you like. Changing your mindset into a positive one rather than a negative is the centre of all spoken and with this in mind, you can spend the day treating yourself instead. Here I complied a list of what pampering options us single girls have on Valentine's Day and what I intend on conducting to make myself feel wonderful instead of feeling dull and dreary. 


1) Gather all your favourite bath bombs, bath creme's, oils, scrubs and candles together and run yourself a bath, full of bubbles and welcoming relaxation. It's the perfect way to unwind, de-stress and take your mind away from what day it really is. Stay in there for as long as you like, soaking up the gorgeous scents and the heavenly feeling of fresh, nourished skin. 


2) Once you and your wrinkly fingers decide to finally leave the bath, give your skin that extra glow by moisturising from head to toe. You can even go a step further and make your skin sparkle with products like the Soap and Glory Glow Lotion. Who needs a man to show off your shine, right? Nothing says confidence more than smoothed, buttered skin with a long lasting glorified smell.


3) Moving up from the torso, brings the face indulging. Just as you thought you couldn't feel any more juvenile, you pick out your chosen face masks. Whether they are clay masks to greatly benefit the skin or just your everyday luxuriating ones, there's nothing better than smothering your face and giving it a deep cleanse. You can even give your hair some treatment by deep conditioning it and restoring its healthiness. By then, you can just about say everywhere on your body feels and looks brand new. 


4) Spoil those hands and feet, and fingers and tootsies with a manicure, a pedicure and plenty of shaping and filing. Finishing off your cosseting routine, you can apply some foot cream and hand cream to add that last boost. It could even be a time for practicing your nail techniques and designs, just like I did with the floral pattern. If you are wanting to glamourize further instead of lazing around, you could conclude by sprucing up your freshly stripped face and engage in your best makeup.


5) Snuggle up nice and warm in your bedroom. Make yourself a little corner den plumped up with cushions, thick duvets and blankets. Surround the area with whatever takes your fancy. Obviously I'm a pretty lights and rose garland kind of girl so that's what I'd choose. You're never too old for a teddy to keep you company either (well what I really mean is to lay on because they're ridiculously comfy... poor ted!). Being cosied up in your own space doing what you want with nobody to bother you is uplifting; far better than walking around town in the freezing, winter winds and rain trying to find a restaurant to eat in or a bar to drink in.


6) Following on from spending the night in, this is not complete without a movie marathon, a session of book reading, drowning out the world with your music playlists, having a play around on your phone and enjoying apps like the wonderfully addictive Simpson's Tapped Out (which actually has a Valentine's Day themed event, sending valentine's cards and receiving hearts the cyber way without any effort; what could be more fun?) and then of course, there's blogging your socks off (but hopefully not the fluffy socks that make a cosy night in even more appealing). This book in particular is fantastic for boosting the mood and making you realise it's the little things in life that matter and they're what you appreciate the most. Pairing your most desired rom com with your DVD player is another moment you can't beat. Evidently, 'Valentine's Day' the film fits the bill perfectly. Drooling over Taylor Lautner, Ashton Kutcher and Bradley Cooper whilst getting plenty of laughs; I don't think anyone in their right mind would say no to that.


7) A night full of technology is not fulfilled without stuffing your face. Valentine's Day gives you the sublime opportunity to raid the shops and take advantage of the items that are supposed to be exchanged from man to woman and vice versa. In this case, boxes of chocolates, cupcakes, and a hot chocolate in a heart mug topped with marshmallows. The mega supermarket that goes by the name of Asda, equalized the single people to the taken and sold a 'single and fabulous' cupcake; I had to buy one. Thank you, Asda! Another must have are the moreish Mini Egg collections that are supposed to be for Easter, but as usual, the milestone dates start way too early. Allow yourself to eat like a pig for the day, don't be harsh on yourself and do exactly as you dream. You could even go all out and order a takeaway or bake your own treats!


8) SHOPPING. A girls best friend and on Valentine's Day, more like your soul mate. This can be done alone or in partnership with your other best friends (actual human friends this time). It can also be accomplished physically or via the online retailers. Some stores even kindly splash out discount codes on the 14th Feb. The perfect way to feel happy on Valentine's Day is to spend your spare cash on them new shoes you've had your eye on or that raved lipstick you've been lusting after. 

There's not only the action packed activities you can assign to your schedule, the way you think will help take those blues away and the small moments will become the big ones.

9) Spend time with your closest friends and family. There's no finer way to feel loved than to surround yourself with people who genuinely love and care for you. You could plan a day out together, or simply invite them over/go to their house and enjoy each others company. You could even transform idea number 6 into a sleepover and take a step in the movie life of Jessica Biel and host a 'I Hate Valentine's Day' party. Now that would be brilliant!

10) Don't spend too much time on the internet... excluding shopping that is. Logging into the social network sites and seeing your mutual and their romance is quite clearly going to be off putting. Feeling like you're the only one without a date is going to put a downer on your mood so simply, just lay off the internet for the day unless it's necessary, and for blogging! it's a great idea to distract yourself with a hobby such as blogging and although some bits and bobs may appear regarding followers and their Valentine's dates, I think as you don't personally know them, it becomes much less depressing and more cute to read about. Another tip is to avoid having a good look at couples in the outdoors whilst you're walking alone and dwelling on being single. Relating back to number 9, usher the people who bring out the best in you!

11) Question how much worse off you could be and how compared to some disasters and heartbreak around the world, being on your own for one significant day is nothing compared. This is what I do to become cheery when I'm feeling down. Make a mental (or even written) list of how privileged you are; you have warmth, comfort, food, films, laughter, friends, family and actually, that's pretty damn amazing.

12) Think of it as just another day, because that's exactly what it is. It's just hyped up due to the celebration of love but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the love you can identify for yourself. I know it's hard to ignore with it constantly being dangled in front of you and rubbed in for the 24 hour duration but so much joy can override the sadness. Even further, you could turn your nose up at the whole thing. If you tell yourself it's just a marketing scheme for shops to double their profit and over charge by silly amounts, it becomes much less important. After all, you shouldn't need a specific day to show someone how much you love them.

So that's my thoughts on the whole situation. In no way am I belittling the people who are taken and extremely happy in their relationships. That's superb, spending the day and night together and having special couple time is precious but for those who don't have that this year or for those who have never had it and often feel like they never will, this is for you! Don't allow anything to stop you from feeling idyllic and remember, to quote The Pussycat Dolls, you don't need a man to feel good!

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

All eyes on me


When it comes to makeup, I'm not one to overcrowd my eyes. To be quite honest, I rarely wear anything but mascara on a day to day basis. However, as I've mentioned in previous posts; I've wanted to expand the amount I wear and experiment with a different range of products; mostly the ones I've been persuaded to test out from blog reviews and recommendations. I'm always inspired and influenced when browsing both blogs and the world wide web when it comes to creating colour and enhancement around the eyes, either for casual wear or the more glitz and glamour; and the perfect opportunity arose for me to do this when I was kindly asked by Roch and Tash if I'd like to take part in their eye makeup competition. It can be as simplistic or as drastically creative as you'd like to but as I'm not the most experienced, I stuck with the simply smoky eye and I thought I'd share with you all how I've created and achieved this look.

Firstly, I prepared and primed around my eye area. Before I started, I applied my usual moisturiser (La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo) around my entire face, then took extra care of my intended eye base. I am yet to invest in a Eyeshadow primer, so I used my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush as a replacement to cover the whole of my eyelid and to make it smoother and easier to apply. I also added a smidgen of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light using the ELF Flawless Concealer Brush around my brow bone and under my eyes where the distinctive dark circles are visible. I then powdered my brow bone and lid with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder and the ELF Small Stipple Brush to ensure my makeup lasted longer and did not crease as quickly. 

Next up, I concentrated on highlighting the top and the bottom of my eye for that extra widened glow to the finish. I used my creamy white section of the ELF Shimmer Palette and dabbed a small amount around my tear duct and at the side of my eye and emphasized my brow bone from left to right with my fingers. After this, it was time to start on the eyeshadow base. Using the MUA Undressed Palette and the ELF Eyeshadow Brush I swept the shimmer golden brown colour across the whole of my eye, blending into shape and adding depth as I leveled it out. Then, within the crease of my eye I contoured with the shimmer, pink toned shade, using the Eyeshadow Brush again. By doing this, I carefully mixed the two shades together to create a natural look with a hint of lightened colour. 

To finish the shadow, I used the ELF Defining Eye Brush and the matte brown shade of the palette to apply the colour on top of the base, where the brow bone begins. Following the line of my brow, I blended it within until the colour intensity matched that of my base. I also used the same brush to reach the awkward parts of my eye, but I did not merge the eyeshadow within the end of the eye where the winged eyeliner will conclude and in the corner, until I had painted the liner on. This is the next step, using my Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner I started drawing a thin line, then moved on to thickening the liner until it reached the eye and I finished off by winging the flick. After this was complete, I could finish off and spruce up my eyeshadow. I added the shimmery brown to the corner of my eye to make sure the eye was fully covered and once again took the matte brown shade to inline with the flick of my eyeliner, blending entirely right up to the point. Beneath my lower lashes, I then applied the eyeshadow in the order of exertion with the Defining Eye Brush; beginning with the shimmer brown and sealing with the matte brown. This then doubled the colour and gave the bottom of my eye that extra sparkle.

Last but not least, I added a couple of coats of the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara to lengthen the bottom and top lashes and complete the look. Obviously the remainder of your face needs to be built up but regarding the eye makeup, it is an effortless, uncomplicated way of magnifying the eyes. Another bonus is adding definition and structure to the brow. Typically, my eyebrow pencil ran out the day I was planning this so that's why my brows weren't included but a soft, natural look using any eyebrow wax, HD kit, powder or pencil would work (just a heads up, I've just purchased the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil and love it!)

I hope this was helpful in even the slightest way and I hope you're able to follow my guide to recreate this or even something similar. You can vote for my eye makeup look by commenting my full name 'Bridie Kirsopp' on the Competition Blog Post. I would be SO grateful if you were kind enough to do that for me, as taking a step I don't usually take and it becoming a success would be a major boost. Thank you in advance if you decide to be an absolute darling (not like you aren't already though!)

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Checking It Out

Jumper: Primark | Treggings: Topshop | Bag: Primark | Boots: Matalan (old)

So my first attempt at using my new tripod was a bit of a fail. I do apologise for the low quality photos; the air was dusk, and it seems my camera wasn't in focus or was too bright. I'm so useless at all this photography malarkey; as much as I enjoy it and am eager to learn more, I just can't grasp it when it comes to adjusting the right settings. However, I intend on extending my knowledge and I hope I can improve the way I shoot outfit photos as time goes on.

These tartan/check treggings seem to be my stick on pants lately, they're SO comfortable, the perfect fit and can be styled with any type of plain top. I often wear my cropped cable knit jumper on the upper half as the trousers are slightly high waisted and it works well. I also love these brown, lace up brogue boots; I've had them for a number of years and they're a size too big from what I am originally but I just can't help favoring them. Making its grand appearance beside my boots is a bad, outdated, half eaten soggy apple which seems to have fallen from the tree and I haven't even realised it was beside me, thus having its very own feature in my blog. Larvelyyyy! I suppose it adds to the messiness of nature during the winter months, right?


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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Haul: buying out Primark


Collecting everything together that I've bought from Primark over the past few months has sent a huge warning sign of 'shopping obsessed' out to myself, alerting me of a possible addiction to Primark and their stock. I don't think I can ever walk into Primark and come out with nothing, whether I just buy the odd accessory or go all out and chuck everything I see into the basket. I love it, purely because the items you can find in there are not only beyond lovely, but are a great dupe for those similar items you can find in shops like Topshop for triple the price (although I have noticed the prices gradually getting steeper in Primark). Even though the quality isn't as supreme, the majority can look more valuable than they were and are wearable for a long period of time. Bearing in mind, everything that I've photographed here is spread out from months back. Some things I've bought recently, some things were purchased a good while back, a great amount of stuff was bought with gift cards and/or Christmas money and a few items were in the sale so really, I haven't committed that much of a crime and I don't feel that guilty (here I am trying to find an excuse for my excess shopping). 

black bag: £8 | berry bag: £10 | monochrome flats: £6 | nude t-bar shoes: £12
tea towels: £3 | face cloths: £1.50 | candle: £1
purple socks: £1 | floral socks: £1.50 | tartan hairband: £1.50 | daisy sunglasses: £2 | 
polka dot sunglasses: £2 | purse: £4 | daisy glasses case: £2
top knot band: £1.50 | bow bobble: £1 | necklace: £3 | rings: £1.50 | bangles: £2 | bracelet: £3?
tartan scarf: £4 | tartan dress: £12 | coin purse: £2.50
checked top: £6 | floral crop top: £10
daisy boxy top: £6 | white quilted boxy top: £6
black cami: £4 | white cami: £4
floral top: £5 in the sale | monochrome printed top: £4
floral print shirt: £8 | floral cami: £4
pink jumper: £8 | white cable knit crop jumper: £10
striped jumper: £12 | burgundy sweater: £5
blue jumper: £5 in the sale | daisy cardigan: £14
monochrome skirt: £8 | quilted black skater skirt: £5 in the sale
dress: £5 | daisy shorts: £5 in the sale

I don't think I can pick out an instant favourite from this troupe of treats. The shoes are incredibly comfortable and my day to day shoes at the moment, the tea towels were an extra gift from me to my mum, purely because I had to get them when I spotted the pretty cupcakes, the face cloths were also adorable and you can never have too many, and the candle hasn't even been used yet but it's vanilla and that scent has me hooked swiftly. I completely yearn over the accessories and jewellery as soon as I take them back out of my storage to use and/or wear again; especially the sunglasses and the glasses case as I'm completely obsessed with daisy print at the moment. We booked a holiday a few weeks back and as you can most probably see I got too excited and headed straight to Primark for the essentials, 5 months too early. But the sunglasses, the hair accessories, the cami tops and the shorts will come in handy for when I pack my suitcase and get ready to head to Spain (eek!). 

I love the tartan gear they've displayed in Primark lately and it's another one of my favourite trends. I'd been looking for a tartan scarf for so long and was so pleased when I found one in Primark a couple of months ago for such a reasonable price. Same goes with the dress and the overly cute cat coin purse with a tartan bow, they're two of my most loved treasures. The rest of the clothing is just simply clothing that has caught my eye and I've tried to resist, but profoundly failed and ended up going back to buy it. I was so happy with my sale purchases too; the blue jumper in particular, as with a collared top underneath, it's totally me. I've also been lusting over a pink blouse in Primark's latest stock but every time I've gone back to check they had my size, they blooming well haven't; typical! I've also been trying so hard to turn a blind eye as I walk past the dainty, printed skater dresses but no doubt I'll be heading back nearer spring to pick up a few of the lovely dresses. 

Has anyone else had a Primark haul recently? Hope you all have a brilliant weekend and happy February!

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