Friday, 21 April 2017

Cuckoo for KIKO | KIKO Milano High Pigment Shadows

KIKO High Pigment shadow

This will be one of my first non pregnancy and parenting related post in what feels like a long, long time and it's no coincidence. It has taken me quite a while to get back into anything of a beauty routine after my first trimester knocked me for six and therefore a while to discover any new or exciting products that I felt I could rave about, scream from the rooftops and of course offer pride of place among some of my firm favourites. 

KIKO Milano are a brand that are relatively new to Aberdeen. They arrived in my favourite shopping complex, Union Square, a little bit before Christmas and I have found myself only able to go in quite recently so I could swatch and shop to my hearts desire. Given their relatively low price point I wasn't expecting too much from KIKO, at only around £4.80 for a 'high pigment' wet and dry eyeshadow I wasn't expecting fireworks, so after a couple of swatches and a rake in their bargain section I came away with 3 of their high pigment shadows one in a matte purple shade one in a subtle metallic pink /purple hue and finally a shimmery beige colour - perfect for an inner corner highlight. What I got however wasn't simply fireworks but an entire bonfire display in terms of quality, pigment and longevity!



I haven't yet been brave enough to use these 'wet' however I have dowsed my brush in some fix plus to apply them at times and I have been thoroughly impressed. They aren't kidding when they say 'high pigment' and I do get quite a bit of kickback - particularly on the matte shade I went for. A little really does go a long way and you've got to be careful to only dip your brush in else you'll be pink, purple and beige all over, and of course ruin your base if you're prone to doing your base first.

If you haven't already I would highly recommend popping int your local KIKO store to have a swatch of these shadows, I would definitely go as far as today they're better than any MAC shadows I have tried previously - even better than my much loved neutrals palette.. swatches don't lie! Since falling in love with these about a month or so ago I've bought a few more in some similar 'Spring' pink shades and I'll undoubtedly go back for even more shortly. All I wish is that they did some large palettes so I could decant the shadows into and they fit nicely instead of me fiddling about with about 10 different pots, maybe they do and I'm just being blind but KIKO if you're listening I need an empty palette for your pigments!

Have you ever tried anything by KIKO Milano? As you all know I also fell in love with their SPF Primer too which you can read my thoughts on here, otherwise I'd love to know what other gems you have found in KIKO. Be sure to leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to see more reviews, life musings and me in general you can find me on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wand Wars | Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara VS. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Though I am a false lash fanatic and have been now for many, many years I am still partial to 'false lash' effect mascaras and love trying new brushes, formulas and brands. So it was no surprise that when I found myself with two highly coveted samples from two of the beauty worlds heavy weight brands one thing sprang to mind instantly. Wand wars! (what else?)

Perversion mascara

After quite an extensive haul from Sephora in Barcelona last year I found myself being gifted with a plethora of products including the Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara original (RRP £19.00). Admittedly this was something on my list to try out 'one day' anyway however being a Benefit Roller Lash girl through and through I decided not to purchase the full size Better than Sex Mascara - but was of course chuffed to have a sample to give a whirl before committing fully. 

The big pull for this mascara seems to not only be the formula itself, but their unique brush applicator, which has an 'hourglass' shape inspired by Hollywood Bombshells of the golden era. The carbon black mascara with its collagen rich formula promises full, defined lashes that take your lashes to all new lengths. Too Faced say that you can achieve three different looks depending on how many coats you decide to give your lashes - I decided to try all three and I felt for me 2 light coatings was quite enough - lest you risk getting into spider lash territory. I love the way the formula and brush feels on my lashes and the feel of the brush - unlike the Roller Lash which, if you catch your skin or eye is VERY sore, my only peeve would be how flaky it can be if you accidentally use too much and it'll go all over your face, otherwise, I give this mascara two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Again I then found myself at Christmas buying a special edition box from Urban Decay which included a whole host of new and old product samples, lip gloss, eyeshadow, blushers and of course a sample of their Perversion Mascara (RRP £19.00). This product wasn't something I'd heard terribly much about, however when I opened it up for the first time quite recently, I kind of fell in love with the brush. Full of soft bristles and with a great tube that handily removed much of the product before application, for that alone I was pretty impressed.

With this mascara Urban Decay promise, bigger, blacker, badder lashes through their ultra creamy formula and to deliver great length and volume, and the big, big pull? It 'glides' on in one stroke! I found that the formula was quite 'wet' in comparison to the Too Faced one and took a while to dry - so if you're prone to blinking right after applying mascara then maybe this one isn't for you - unless of course you enjoy the clean up...and panda eyes! I wouldn't say you need as much of this mascara to achieve a similar look to what you get using the Better than Sex formula and due to the creamy, wet feeling formula it doesn't go clumpy in the same way. 

Would I purchase a full size of either? Yes I would, however which one I would recommend definitely depends on the type of person you are - if you like a quite make up routine then Better than Sex is for you - if like me, you don't mind spending a little more time on your routine, and can afford to be a bit more careful then I'd definitely go for Perversion. (Though I may buy Better than Sex JUST for the tube because come on it's beautiful!

Sorry if with a title like wand wars you were expecting a wizarding story of epic proportions but you guys know that's not how I roll! Have you ever tried the mascaras above? If so I'd love to hear what you thought of them - or maybe theres something out there even better than them, let me know in the comments below, come sneak the links to me on Twitter, or if you'd like to see me play with make up a bit more you can find me on Instagram and more of my words on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 14 April 2017

Blogging | Tips for beating a slump

Writers block
We've all, as bloggers, been there. Some more than others, i.e. me once every few weeks. Sometimes it feels as though there is just no beating it - you want to throw the towel in, declare everything in the world that is worth writing has already been written and close down your little corner of the web for good. Believe me I've had this thought more than you may think and it gets especially difficult when other areas of your life begin to take over! Today, however, is not one of those days. Today I'm feeling motivated, but I wanted to take a moment and give a shout out to those of you out there damning the blinking of that cursor, screaming, crying and throwing fits at your device, and those of you who are on the precipice of throwing the digital towel in.

Here are some of my top tips on 'beating' a blogging slump;

Take a break and don't be ashamed;
It can be tempting to apologise to readers when you take a break, but remember your reasons for starting this blog, as a hobby, as an enjoyable way to express your love or dislike for something, or even just to pass the time! As long as you don't have a specific obligation to advertisers or promoters that particular day / week / month then you're quite entitled to a break.

Schedule as far as you can when you're feeling it;
On a good day I can get myself sorted for a solid month in advance, which of course allows me some leeway to have a 'break' if I so choose. So what if one week I'm just not feeling it? I know there's still a post going up every Wednesday and Friday for at least four weeks - and trust me kids there's no better feeling than being organised (yes I realise this makes me sound 'boring' but I'm sipping on my coffee chilling while you're losing your minds over lighting!)

Think about you - not digital you;What do you fancy doing today? Relaxing at home with some Netflix? Chilling with your cat? Or hell going on  an adventure. Think about yourself minus the blog, minus the social media and run with it - and if you've got the time to blog, great, and if not who cares?!

Needless to say this is all much easier said than done - but if you're anything like me then simply seeing things written down can give me a nudge in the right direction. Whether that's the direction of the sofa or the direction of my blog it doesn't matter.

Hopefully from this post you have found what you're looking for, words of encouragement, the realization that a break is just what the doctor ordered or maybe even a kick up the backside, be sure to leave all your tips and hints for beating a blogging slump in the comments below, else you can find me lurking on all of the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Blogging Pet Peeves | Beauty Edition

Annoying things beauty bloggers do

You may remember back in the times of yore when I wrote a post ranting about my biggest blogging pet peeves. From overly obvious tweet and social media scheduling to auto DMs and of course straight up stealing images and fellow bloggers work to further your own blogging platform, there is a great deal to be peeved about when it comes to blogging in general. However, recently I have found myself becoming increasingly annoyed by the beauty blogging community so today in order to therapeutically cleanse myself of these thoughts, feelings and annoyances and maybe pass some of them along to you!

No swatches
More often than not I'm quite drawn to blogs with beautiful imagery. I am a sucker for a good, well lit product shot despite having never quite mastered the art myself, but there is one thing a beauty blogger can do when taking photographs that will make me instantly click off, unlike, unfollow and never return again. No. Swatches. It's all well and good telling me how amazing the pigment on your new eyeshadow is or how a lipstick's colour has changed your life, but if you don't show me then... it's all lies!!! Admittedly this is something that new beauty bloggers are perhaps not used to doing, however for seasoned pros surely this is just good practice?

'I was kindly sent this by Too Faced...' 
Psst...you forgot to add - 'in exchange for the money I paid for it,'
When this comes from a brand new beauty blogger with a small following you've got to know they're pulling your leg. I have seen countless young girls trying to draw folks in by saying, Anastasia Beverley Hills got in touch with me to review this product... yeah via an advert on Beauty Bay!

Review your damn hauls
I love a good haul post. I like a good nosy in my peers baskets, particularly when it comes to beauty and fashion. However some follow up would be great - or at least a little test of the product before posting your haul, else it's really just, 'hey guys I bought this,' and cue the crickets! 

Ever found yourself guilty of the above? Probably - I know as a beginner in both beauty and blogging I have been guilty of more than I would really care to admit - it's a learning process that is never ending.

What are some of your blogging pet peeves, beauty, lifestyle or otherwise? Be sure to share your peeves and comments in the box below, come share them with me on Twitter, or if you'd just like to see who I'll write another peevey post about next then make sure you're following me on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 7 April 2017

Giving birth | My biggest fears

Birth fears

Since having a sit down and thinking a bit more in depth about my hopes and expectations when it comes to labour and giving birth naturally a couple of concerns and fears have popped up that I think (I'm hoping) may be therapeutic to write about in a bit more depth and get it out of my head, off of my chest...and maybe even ask some of you lovely mummy's out there to ease my mind?

Not getting to the hospital on time
Given I don't live out in the sticks this might be an unrealistic, reasonably far fetched fear of mine - however as a first timer and newbie to pregnancy, labour, birth and everything in between I'm a little worried I won't exactly know when to leave my house to get to the hospital to give birth and recognise the signs on time. Plus I've now seen that video of that very brave lady giving birth in her car and quite Wonder Womanly pulling a baby from her person and I don't want to be that person!

Tearing, having an episiotomy and...extensive damage
Shamefully the above are my main reasons for wanting as little intervention, drugs and as a natural a labour and birth as possible. I am aware having an episiotomy is quite common and tearing happens more so than we at first realise and the pain at the time isn't something I'm too worried about, it's the after pain and living with the damage left behind from this sort of intervention.

Breech baby
The thought of someone going in and having to physically turn her around turns my stomach, plus I would hate to think this could lead to....

An emergency c section
I've heard many women felt they were a 'failure' because of having a c section - this is definitely not something I would feel, however I would hate to first of all have my partner worry about me consistently and of course face giving up my independence (though temporarily) during the healing process. Of course if anything were to go wrong in my labour I certainly would not protest having a surgery but it's of course not something you want if it's not 'in the plan'

Distressed baby
There aren't many things that would scare a parent more than hearing their baby is in distress. Currently whenever I go for a routine check up with my midwife or have a scan booked I get this horrible, horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and a niggling thought in the back of my mind saying, 'what if something is wrong?' I will happily go through ALL of the above to avoid having a baby in distress!

Hopefully in a few months time all of these fears will be nothing but distant memories...fingers crossed not distant experiences! Be sure to leave your thoughts, comments and birth experiences in the comments below, I always find reading other peoples experiences and perspectives to be really, genuinely helpful in situations like this so be sure to leave links to your posts below too. Otherwise you can catch me on the usual channels....freaking out... you know like Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Giving birth | My hopes & expectations

Giving birth expectations

Now that I'm over halfway through my pregnancy I've been turning my attention to giving birth. Don't get me wrong, obviously I knew what I was getting myself in for when we decided to have a baby, I knew of course I would have to squeeze a human out of my person and I of course expect it to hurt.... a lot. However before the day arrives I thought it might be some torturous form of fun to write down what my hopes and expectations for the birth currently are and see how it actually compares to the birth when it does come.

To get through the experience with minimal pain relief
Many of these area actually linked, for example as I hope to stay on my feet for most of my labour that means I'm hoping not to have things like an epidural or drugs that'll keep me confined to a bed and a catheter. In an ideal world I'm hoping to get through the 'labour' stage using just gas and air.

For it to be over quickly
I've read all of the stories, labours that have gone on for days and labours that have gone on for just a couple of hours. Though I of course hope not to be giving birth on my living room floor, in my car or on the street outside the hospital I'm hoping the labour is quite quick (as I'm sure EVERYONE does) and to be in and out of hospital as quickly as I can be.

To have as little intervention as possible
Nobody wants to have intervention methods used in birth, forceps, emergency c sections, episiotomy (this is, has and remains to be one of my biggest fears about giving birth) and I'm hoping to do all that I physically can to avoid doctors having to intervene during my delivery.

To give birth in water
I feel given my maternity hospital has only one birthing pool that I may be reaching for the stars however I'd love to give birth using the birth pool alongside my gas and air (that's the plan at least!) I feel most relaxed in water and I've read and heard that the warmth of the water can help relax the muscles and assist in your delivery; ANYTHING for an easy time guys, anything. All I really know at this stage is that I do not intend on giving birth lying down in a bed.

To be as active as possible during labour
Being active, walking around, bouncing on my birth ball and making sure I'm as active as I possibly can be during labour is one of my goals - apparently this is something else that can help speed the labour process along (prior to the pushing stage just in case anyone was wondering)

Some day we undoubtedly will look back on this and laugh - a very big, very hearty laugh I'll bet but for now these are my hopes and dreams for pushing a 'tiny' person from my tiny person in a few months time. 

If you have pushed a person from your person I'd love to hear from you - my new obsession has been reading everyone else labour and birth blogs and experiences and if you've given birth in Aberdeen...even better. Be sure to leave me your experiences, comments, your hilarity at my hopes and dreams in the comments below, alongside any links to your own birth experiences. You can as always catch me on the basic channels, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin etc, and as always thank you for the read!

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 31 March 2017

Three Wishes | Luxury Beauty Wishlist

Beauty wishlist

Have you ever thought about what you'd wish for if you found a genie....I of course mean if genies existed (cough) I've often had musings about this myself, from being gifted unlimited riches, to ensuring my loved ones never fall ill to any sort of ailment, to you know having a long lost relative come find me and tell me I am the rightful ruler of Genovia. Sometimes granted, my wishes can be quite extravagant but sometimes we could all use a little luxury. So with that in mind, and given my obsession for all things beauty and make up I thought it would be fun to share my current three wishes when it comes to luxury beauty items available right now.

Pillow talk is of course the lip liner that put Charlotte Tilbury on the map when it comes to cult beauty products. With the shade being hailed as a beauty gurus 'must have' and given that it suits ever skin type in the whole entire world, it isn't any wonder Charlotte has chosen to branch out with the shade into a matte lipstick colour, which naturally I need like yesterday!

Sold. Out. Everywhere. A couple of months ago I remember swithering on buying this highly coveted palette but soon decided against it. Could this be considered my biggest beauty non buy regret? Probably yes. Since it's release this palette has dawned the collections of some of my favourite beauty gurus and they have created some looks that are to die for and I want to too!

In what way does this NOT sound amazing? I think I would buy this for the scent alone. It is on my wishlist, however I haven't even had an opportunity to swatch or give it a go in any way. This one therefore is a bit of a silly one to include but how could I not?

If a genie appeared to you right now...or a beauty guru more realistically, and offered to grant you three beauty wishes what would they be? Be sure to leave your three wishes in the comments below, I'd love to hear about more products I want but can't afford! As always though you can catch me with my regular old drug store make up on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x
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