Friday, 19 May 2017

Dramatic Halo Eye Make up | NYX Glitter Pigment Review

Halo eye pigments

Glitter is having a little moment in the make up industry right now. From OTT glitter cut creases dominating instagram, to covering dark under eye bags with glitter and products like unicorn snot and space jam popping up all over the place it's difficult not to be drawn in. Unfortunately for me glitter, more specifically glitter pigment, has been something I haven't had a great deal of experience with as a make up artist - which is a shame because I'm a fan. So in the last month or so I have been taking steps and working to change that and decided to pick myself up a couple of purse friendly pigments by my new high street fave, NYX cosmetics.

Unfortunately I still had to purchase these online, as my local Boots stores were either consistently out of stock or simply don't take them in very often. None the less I persevered and sucked up the 3 day delivery and I was granted my glittery wishes.

I decided to pick up 3 pretty subdued, more metallic shades, Vegas BABY! (which is a subtle sandy gold colour with hints of silver) Old Hollywood (a true gold) and Magnetic (a true metallic silver shade) All of them come in pretty small, dinky tubs (0.04oz), I'll be honest I was expecting more for £5.50 per pot but no matter I'm hoping these will last a good while.

I decided to give these a bash with a smokey, halo eye one day when I was having a practice with some new products and I decided to reach specifically for Vegas BABY! to help give me that brightness in the middle of my lid as is expected of a halo eye.

Glittery halo eye

The pot looks a little like a salt shaker so I shook some of the product into the lid, which admittedly was not easy and it took a good few shakes to get out a decent amount of product, I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong but I couldn't get the lid off entirely at all! I then went in with a rounded, synthetic fibre brush with a little of NYX's Glitter Primer on it, picked up and packed the product on to the middle of my lid. It didn't take very much to achieve the effect I was after - the pigments are relatively fine so there wasn't a great deal of fall out and I was very impressed with the colour pay off!

The next time I use these I will instead be reaching for some of my setting spray or MAC Fix+ as I feel it may be a bit easier to pick up the product and pack it on using a slightly fluffier brush - though this is more of a criticism of the glitter primer than anything else. As I mentioned I am still disappointed in the size of the tubs, they will go nicely in my collection and not take up very much space however I still expected a bit more, and of course I don't very much like the salt shaker type lid - I would far rather have the option to take the entire lid off and spoon the product out for something quicker and easier.

If you are looking for a more purse friendly pigment than the likes of MAC, LA Splash or Illamasqua then head over to your local NYX counter and give these a bash - once you get the product out they are great to work with and the colours they offer are amazing!

Be sure to leave any comments or suggestions in the box below, otherwise you can catch me on the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook for more make up artistry by me and more of everything else on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

No Fuss Brush Cleaning Routine | Freedom Studio Solid Brush Bath Review

I may be the most easily influenced person on the planet. There I was quite content with my tried and tested brush cleaning routine (baby shampoo with a spritz of alcohol to disinfect and a blender cleanser for reusable foam sponges) when all of a sudden up pops THIS video by Andrew of Beauty and the Boy on Instagram showing, perhaps the easiest brush cleaning routine I have ever seen featuring this brush bath by Freedom Pro Studio.

No sooner had I clicked the like button than I had bought the solution to try for myself, and I must say if you're a no fuss, no muss no coconuts kind of person this may be the brush bath you've been searching for.

This sanitising brush cleanser works by swishing around your 'dirty' make up brush in some water, swirling it around in this little brush bath and rinsing the soapy solution (and make up residue) off under a running tap. And that is literally it! So in short, swish, swirl, rinse (trust me it's not a magic spell as much as it sounds like it!) 

Cleaning my brushes with this isn't a thought like it normally is -it is so quick and easy, it gets the job done and it helps in making your brushes smell lovely and clean. 

I of course always finish off my brush cleaning routine by leaving the brushes over night hanging over the edge of a counter on a dishtowel - this helps them maintain their shape and dry all around and top them off with a spritz of alcohol solution to ensure they are thoroughly disinfected.

The Freedom brush bath  retails at £7.00 for a 100ml tub - a little of this product really goes a long way and I can see myself using this for a long, long time to come. If you're looking for a cost effective, no fuss, no muss cleanser for your brushes I really do recommend checking out the Freedom range at your local Superdrug you really don't have to pay the world for an effective cleanser as some would have you belieive!

Hopefully you have enjoyed checking out this new product with me, be sure to let me know in the comments below if you do decide to give this a bash - at £7.00 for me it was a no brainer considering how often I wash my brushes! Otherwise you can catch me lurking on all of the usual channels, Twitter for rants and musings, Facebook for make up artistry, Instagram for snaps and more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Pregnancy Update | The Second Trimester

Second trimester pregnancy

The second trimester. I can't belieive we have arrived here already - it really does feel like only yesterday I was sitting down bleary eyed and in the throws of morning sickness to write my first trimester update - but here we are a whole 16 weeks later and already into the third trimester! For those of you unfamiliar the second trimester of pregnancy runs from the 13th week of pregnancy until the 28th week of pregnancy.

What can I really say about the second trimester? We've hit a tonne of new milestones, from finding out our baby's gender to seeing her in many and varying scans both NHS and private, kitting out her bedroom and wardrobe with some new furniture and amazing clothes (courtesy of the Next sale which has Changed. My. Life!), attending new pregnancy fitness classes (which I may write a separate post on entirely) and finally feeling her kick, move and roll for the first time, it has been a whirlwind, exciting few months I'll say that!

Symptom wise my morning sickness has totally subsided though a few food aversions have snuck up on me such as my favourite curry from our local takeaway, ASDA's own oven pizzas and toast (which I put down to the morning sickness from the first trimester!) Stretch marks have also began to make their unfortunate and unwelcome appearance but so too has the appearance of my long awaited bump, which is now filling out all of my lovely new maternity clothes quite nicely. I need to pee pretty much all of the time, and when I'm not peeing I'm eating, and when I'm not eating I'm downing a family sized carton of orange juice which I think may actually be a pregnancy craving and of course the cycle begins all over again. Top tip for fellow pregnant ladies out there, when you need to sneeze, learn to clench and sneeze - bladder control during pregnancy is no joke! So far I haven't had any aches, pains or hospital related emergencies (touch wood) and I can safely say the second trimester has been plain sailing thus far.

There have been a few positives these last few months which I'm secretly hoping aren't entirely down to pregnancy hormones but I suppose only time will tell. My hair, nails and skin have never been better - in fact I treated myself to a gel manicure a few weeks back and the extensions grew off within a week (that's how fast they grow!) and I've thankfully got my energy back so I have been able to walk around a lot more during my lunch breaks at work and do more around the house which has been a blessing. 

A few fun facts about baby this trimester, she now has a regular heartbeat as well as the ability to yawn and hiccup in there, she also has her own set of fingerprints, is growing her hair, lashes and eyebrows and can even now taste foods that I eat via her amniotic fluid (how cool is that - plenty of fine foods and ice cream for me I think!)

So far so good - now we've got another 12 or so weeks until my due date and hopefully not too long after (or soon before!) to meet this little person and get acquainted with the individual assaulting me from the inside out! This has and I think will continue to be my favourite trimester particularly as during these last 12 or so weeks the bump is due to get quite heavy, I'm expecting cankles, swelling and general exhaustion as well as boredom in anticipation of her arrival (it's gonna be a long 12 weeks!)

Thank you for taking the time to read my pregnancy update - I'm glad I decided to document my pregnancy in this way as I think it will be fun to look back on in the future, so really I'm being kind of selfish in that sense! As usual though I do love to hear from you so be sure to leave your (helpful) thoughts and comments below, come share them with me on Twitter, Instagram and if you'd like to see more of me, bump (and eventually baby) be sure to follow me on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 5 May 2017

Pregnancy | Things that I have not enjoyed about being pregnant

Negatives of pregnancy

While yes - this post may seem a little contradictory from my 'things I have enjoyed about pregnancy' where I preached about how pregnancy doesn't have to be 'that bad' it's not all doom and gloom and f course don't get me wrong I do still feel this way. That being said it ain't all sunshine and rainbows either - pregnancy can have it's tough moments - not necessarily in terms of symptoms and ailments but even psychologically, mentally an shockingly socially (you mean people DON'T love hanging out with the preggo who can't drink?! Shocking!)

Rude comments from everybody!
These unfortunately are not few and far between. In fact as soon as you mention the P word to pretty much anyone, suddenly EVERYONE has an opinion. Ranging from 'you should breastfeed' to 'are you sure there's a baby in there?' and my personal favourite 'you shouldn't be going back to work!' the world knows no bounds when it comes to weighing in on a pregnant persons choices. Feel free to have a read of my previous post 'S**t people say to pregnant women,' to continue the hilarity.

Feeling isolated from your friend group
It's difficult enough when your friends live in many and varying places in the UK but add pregnancy into the mix and it's a recipe for isolation. Being one of the first of my friend group to have a baby is very exciting and when we do get together for our chats it's lovely and supportive but it can feel like being stuck in limbo much of the time when you're the first and only pregnant friend - a bit like all of your friends going to the same school and you living outside of the catchment area and having to start a fresh.

The stretch marks
With my weight fluctuating throughout the years I'm no stranger to some stretch marks here and there, mainly confined to my thighs - but for me pregnancy has meant these unsightly purple looking tears are everywhere! I'm not one of the ladies who will be calling their stretch marks 'tiger stripes' because if it were a choice to have them there I certainly wouldn't. Of course I'm kitted out with all of the lotions, oils and bump butters you could imagine - do they work? I'm skeptical but only time I suppose will tell.

The wardrobe clear out
This certainly was a dark day in my house indeed, only worsened by the fact I found a pair of my favourite Topshop jeans, never before worn with the tags still on in a size 12. Regardless of pregnancy I was due a wardrobe clear out and tidy - but when you're packing away pairs of your favourite jeans, skirts that you'll miss and dresses you hadn't even had an opportunity to wear - I'm not going to lie it stings a bit. 

Feeling super unfit
Don't get me wrong before this pregnancy I was by no means at the peak of my physical fitness - but I'm not saying I miss high intensity spin classes by any means - what I really miss though is being able to go for a lunchtime walk and not have a stitch in my side, or being able to walk along the beach on a hot day and not have cankles weighing me down. I'm looking forward to getting back into doing a bit more exercise once the baby is born and get my body back to feeling more 'myself' again.

Sorry if this post seemed like a rant, but I'm generally quite a ranty person so what else did you really expect from me with a post of this title? Hopefully you have enjoyed having a bit more of an insight into my pregnancy in general - as I said previously I am aware many people have gone through far worse during their pregnancy and being pregnant in itself is a blessing this is just my experience because really who elses experience would I be writing about?!

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Pregnancy | Things I have enjoyed about being pregnant

Positives of pregnancy

Pregnancy is not all doom and gloom - to be quite honest I feel as though I may have got off pretty lightly when it comes to symptoms. There have so far been no major aches, pains, trips to the hospital and no odd cravings at 2am which has really been a blessing, though my affinity for ice cream recently could be put down to pregnancy, or the nicer weather, who knows?

Today in light of my relatively good fortune I wanted to share some of the little things I have  really enjoyed about being pregnant because some of these things I don't feel are spoken about enough. When we were trying for a baby I read a tonne of pregnancy blogs and watched hundreds of You Tube videos revolving around the pregnancy experience, signs and symptoms and essentially what I could be in for and I'll be honest, most of those posts were damn scary! But it doesn't have to be, at least it doesn't have to be all of the time, so here are my top 5 things I have so far enjoyed about being pregnant.

That glow though 
I never in a million years expected that the 'pregnancy glow' would be real. I had images of nine months of having, dull, dry skin and feeling quite miserable with my appearance simply because of morning sickness (which I had convinced myself I'd have forever - I didn't by the way!) After my first trimester I had a surge in hormones that helped clear up my skin and give me a nice, healthy glow which I have never had before. My skin has quite literally never been better, it feels more plump, hydrated and glowy - long may it continue!

Hair envy
Not only has my skin taken a turn for the better but my hair has too. Gone are the days of rubbing oils, lotions and potions on to my scalp to encourage hair growth, I can't seem to get it to stop! While Nick now says living with me is much akin to living with a werewolf I'm just so happy that it's growing that I don't mind a bit of shedding...or, more accurately plunging the shower drain on a weekly basis - grim, but worth it.

Comfy clothes all day everydayMaternity clothes really aren't that bad. With stores like Topshop, New Look, ASOS and Boohoo killing it with their range of flattering maternity clothes I haven't found getting clothes I like to be a struggle and seriously though - where have maternity jeans been all of my life?! I don't think I'll ever give up my comfy stretchy paneled clothes now - pregnancy or no pregnancy it's comfy clothes all the way.

Kicks and fluttersThough I didn't start feeling my baby until much later than others due to my anterior placenta cushioning her every move, when I did it was pretty special. It's an odd and surreal feeling of course considering the only movement I'd been used to in there previously would be a dodgy burger, but it's nice to know she's in there communicating thorough her movements to let me know she's doing just fine.

Closer as a couple
Most women say they feel quite isolated from their partners during pregnancy, I understand why, it is of course the woman who goes through the carrying of the baby, the lifestyle changes and of course the physical changes and it can be tough. But I feel as though since being pregnant Nick and I are closer than ever, from spending time talking about important future decisions to the more fun aspects like baby clothes and nursery shopping I feel as though we're more in sync than ever as a result.

So you see ladies and gents? It's not all doom and gloom. Of course I'm not by any means saying pregnancy is a breeze and it can definitely be difficult at times (when you have to say goodbye to your fave outfit for example!) but it doesn't have to be scary.

Thank you so much for having a read of yet another pregnancy post I'll be back with my second trimester update pretty soon and I may share some of the things I haven't enjoyed quite so much about pregnancy if you're interested in reading that too. Until then though you can catch me on the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 28 April 2017

Thirsty Skin | Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment Review

Glam Glow Hydrating Treatment

Who doesn't love a good face mask? Having been a big fan of Lush fresh face masks for a good few years now suffice to say face masks have become part of my weekly skincare routine, however recently with life being a bit of a crazy, speeding rollercoaster I haven't had very much time to dedicate to a weekly pamper routine like I used to, and I find my face masks go out of date before I get a chance to get the full use out of them. As sad as it feels to admit, the Lush fresh face masks just aren't practical for my lifestyle anymore and so I have been on the hunt for something a bit more durable, long lasting and something I can dip into without having to worry about use by dates and mould. Enter GlamGlow.

Skincare centric brand GlamGlow are by no means new to the scene - as usual I'm late to the big beauty blogger party but hey, better late than never. GlamGlow offer a range of treatments depending on your individual requirements catering for dry, oily, combination, dull and aging skin. As I have self diagnosed my skin as being combination / dry I decided to pick up their Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment which essentially acts as a face mask and promises 'heart pounding hydrated glowing skin,' and I want me some of that!

I decided to use the treatment as an 'overnight' mask to ensure I got the full use of the product. I bought what is essentially the 'sample pot' which offers around 2 uses of the product (for the price of £14.00 from Boots) To make sure none of the treatment went to waste I applied it sparingly over my face and down my neck using a foundation brush which seemed to work quite well and I didn't get much of a build up in any unnecessary areas. I left the treatment on for 20 minutes before massaging any excess into my skin which felt like a treat - particularly when you pair it with some Netflix and teaser bunnies!

My skin afterwards felt as the pot had described, healthier, plumper, hydrated and most importantly it was glowing. The effects I would say lasted well into the next few days before dissipating and I felt I'd need another treatment as a 'top up' which so far I have resisted as I'm saving what's left over for a particular stressful week (whenever that will be!) 

As much as I did love the effect this mask had on my skin and how clean it was massaging it into my skin rather than peeling, picking and scrubbing it off, I don't think it's going to be one I'll repurchase regularly in the future. I see this as more of a treat or luxury purchase given the eye wateringly high price point of £14.00 just for a sample pot. Their larger pots come in at around £39.00 - which I could easily pay a professional spa therapist or skincare expert for a pampering facial and I'd far rather do.

Have you ever tried the GlamGlow treatments? I'm intrigued by their silver 'tin man' esque mask I've seen on Instagram lately however as it doesn't suit my skin type I'm afraid for me it would just mean wasting money for an aesthetic but I'd love to hear your thoughts on GlamGlow as a whole! Fad or worth the money? Let me know in the comments below, come share your own review with me on Twitter or if you'd just like keep up with me and see what I'm up to you can find me on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Healthier Hair | Lush 'The Plumps' Conditioning Bar

Lush Conditioning hair bar

Pregnancy comes with a whole host of benefits (for some) and I have been very lucky to benefit from thicker, fast growing hair during these last few months which has been a lovely side effect of all of the hormones and almost makes up for the odd twitches and unfortunately stretch marks I have been subject to. However with the good, of course comes the bad. While my hair may be growing in faster and thicker than ever before I have found that the general health hasn't improved very much, it's quite dry, frizzy and just damaged! So in light of this I have been taking some steps over these last few weeks to improve the overall look and condition such as going for a chop to remove dead weight, using some new heat defense tools, cutting out straightening entirely and finally purchasing this conditioning bar by Lush.

Whenever I feel as though something is lacking in my routine, whether that's dry skin, dull skin or in this case, dry and damaged hair I'll turn to Lush. I'm always pulled in by the more natural ingredients they typically use in their products and this time was certainly no different. I was on the hunt for either a hair mask or oil treatment to inject a bit more life and shine into my hair but instead I found it in the form of a conditioning bar, something I didn't realise Lush did alongside their shampoo bars. 

The Plumps solid conditioner contains a range of ingredients specifically formulated to help your hair retain moisture, such as honey, while also giving you glorious volume through the fine grains of sea salt in the bar itself. The bar works in much the same way as their shampoo bars - after shampooing as you regularly would work the bar between your hands and run it down the lengths of your hair then rinse. 

Many have complained that the bar doesn't lather or foam when going on to your hair - it is very subtle and can be quite difficult to tell if you're doing it correctly the first time, this is something I find quite appealing as I don't feel as if the product is drying out my hair and is instead oiling it up. While it is on the more 'natural side' it leaves your hair smelling of sandalwood, it is quite a strong smell so if you don't like smelling it through the day this might be one to skip out on. As I write this post I have been using the conditioning bar every 2 or 3 days now for the past 3 - 4 weeks, I have found my hair doesn't feel as heavy or bogged down with product, it's easier to brush out when it's wet which means less breakages overall and generally my hair does feel that bit healthier in comparison to when I was using a liquid conditioner. 

I'm thinking of making the move back to shampoo bars to pair with my solid conditioner simply to see if the combination of the two makes any more of a difference - stay tuned for the verdict! Though I would be super interested to know if you've ever tried a conditioning bar - by Lush or otherwise . Leave your hair health suggestions in the comments below - because while I love make up and could study cosmetics for hours on end I just don't have the same affinity for hair so I really do need help! Otherwise you can find me and my mop on the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

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