Category Archives: Lifestyle

When My Exams Are Over….

This time next week, I’ll have finished my dreaded, life stealing CII Personal Finance exams, trying to forget about the impending results as I attempt to become a Chartered Financial Planner (funnily enough the results are due on the day of the firm’s Christmas party). I’ve been working on these exams for 5 years now, alongside my full-time job, though I’ve been qualified as a Financial Adviser for 3 of those. Now it’s time to try to secure the holy grail “Chartered” title by completing the Advanced Diploma, even though I’m going to stay well and truly behind my desk in the back office, there’s more and more pressure on us technical kids to be as qualified as we possibly can. And if you want to get anywhere, you have to work at it, right?

  
It’s boring. It’s unexciting. And it’s not easy. The course materials are dry. The text is quite literally grey. And they make it as difficult as they can for you to pass because the materials and exam sittings go for over £100 a pop for each module. Because it’s so dry and so difficult, the process has been stealing a lot of my free time. And, finally, after two 3-hour exams next week, I should be free. Unless I fail.

When I struggle to concentrate, I find my mind drifting to all the things I could be doing with my time, so I thought I’d share some of my autumn/winter plans with you, even if it’s just to stop them swimming around my mind! It’s quite therapeutic to think about all the things you’re looking forward to!

  
1. Cook more! At the beginning of the year, I started this blog to give me the motivation to keep trying new recipes. And it was going really really well, until my evenings became too squashed up to really let me think about my grocery list and take the time to approach things in a chilled and creative way. So back to the kitchen! 

2. Have a clear out. I’ve been trying to systematically tidy my flat every few months or so, this drawer one evening, that cupboard on a Sunday afternoon, and so on, but I just haven’t had the time over the last few months, so I’ve really just been keeping the place clean and tidy in plain sight. If I pass these exams, my study materials are hitting the recycling, my clothes are going to be thinned out and my junk is going in the bin. It’s going to take some work, but I’m really looking forward to the calmness of the results.

  
3. Take up Yoga. I used to take yoga classes when I was but a girl, but it fizzled out fairly quickly when my auntie got bored of taking me and I’ve had a mild inclination to start again ever since. I’ve never really been one for exercise, so yoga suited me down to the ground, but now I’m a bit fitter and into regularly pushing myself, I think it might be time to start again, especially as my Blogilates routines and leaving me a little stiff in the late evenings and mornings. I’ve been doing Blogilates for about 2 months now and I really think it’s doing wonders for my strength…we’ll see if it survives the long-term! Anyway, I’ve discovered Yoga with Adriene, a YouTuber who offers free Yoga “practice” (as she calls it). There are beginners tutorials, foundations to the trickier moves and also a 30 day series which I think I might try. She also has a couple of early morning routines as well as a bedtime routine, which is where I might start. I think there are other classes you can pay for, but you can’t really go wrong with this taster, which looks to require about 30 minutes a day. 

   
4. Read. I love reading. Adore it. Especially in the autumn and winter when it’s so cold outside, but so snug and cosy inside. Sadly, there just isn’t the time when you have two tricky exams to cram for. I actually got so excited about the prospect of the pile of books waiting for me that I came vey close to a Busted style jump looking in the window of WH Smith the other day when I remembered I’d get my hobby back. Bliss, bliss, bliss.

  
5. Plan my wedding. Yeah, I should probably get on to that.

  
6. Crafting and Sewing. My sewing machine is feeling neglected. And who doesn’t love a Christmas craft?!

7. Give more time to friends and family. While the positive result of frantic studying is that I really don’t have time to watch Strictly with my Nan, I really need to be less miserable about giving up my time… It’s just so precious when you work full-time and have lots of other things going on. 

8. Go on holiday! Hopefully with a blog to follow. Don’t worry; I plan to schedule a few to fill the gap!

Why Thursday is the new Friday

It’s Thursday at last and I’m feeling rather thoughtful about it. I think Thursdays are somewhat the unsung hero of the working week: Monday is a crushing disappointment, Tuesday is pretty much Monday, albeit with a hint of promise, and Wedbesday never feels as far along in the week as it should, but Thursday, blessed Thursday, floods me with near-weekend promise. 

  
As a night owl, I’m always pleased when I don’t have a heavy day coming up, letting me watch a couple of extra YouTube videos or read another chapter of my book without feeling too busy because Fridays are a ice-cream-and-jelly kind of a day, especially as my office has a round of bacon rolls every Friday morning as well as a 4.30 finish for drinks in the boardroom (although that has rather gone out of the window but that’s a story for another day). That said, there’s also a new saying in our office that of anything’s going to go wrong, it’s going to do so on a Friday. 

  
Personally, Thursdays are incidentally quite a big day for me. I was born on a Wednesday, so a Thursday was my very first day in life, and I’ll be waking up for my first day as a wife on a Thursday morning next year. And news series American TV premieres happen on a Thursday. Like Friends! The first ever Friends was shown on a Thursday. And Thursday always seems to be the busiest night for going “out out” in your 20s. It’s like we’ve already given up on the week. 

Fridays, however, always seem like s good idea, but inevitably turn out to be anti-climatic. The New Year’s Eve of the working week.

Happy October, everyone. Let me know all about your favourite day of the week!

Superdrug Autumn Bargain Haul

I actually shopped in Superdrug the day before I filled up my Boots Haul basket, but I wanted to try a few of the products out a bit more before I shared these with you, and they were all bought with autumn in mind! 

  
I actually came out with what I went in for (sort of) which has to be a bit of a win! 

1. Makeup Revolution Beyond Flawless Palette – £8.00 

This guy is my biggest autumn success story so far. 

  
So many pretty, blendable shades (32 in all). There is quite a bit of fall-out, but I’d say if that’s the worst problem with it you can totally deal in exchange for this ridiculous range of pretty shades, in shimmers and mattes. I particularly love Zorba, Spice and Brunette, but the range of looks you can achieve with this is mad. I’m wearing a combination of Cocoa, Teddy and Immaculate today and think it might be my new favourite subtle plum neutral. Buy it! 

2. MUA Glitterball Palette – £4.00

  
I’m not really reaching for this pallette as much, although I really love the two green shades and the plum. At £4 it’s worth having, even if you just want to pick out the odd colour to blend with other products. Use your own brushes though!

3. Collection Sheer Loose Powder in Translucent – £2.99

   
This is a hardly pigmented sheer loose powder. It’s light and fairly finely-milled, so it’s great for setting your foundation without adding colour. I’m still working on the best way to get it onto my brush though – the packaging doesn’t work very well. It comes with a flat puff applicator but powder needs a brush!

Oh and apparently it contains vitamin E!

4. Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr in Pink Gold and Metallic Pomegranate – £4.99 (but on buy one get one half price)

 
Whilst these are beautiful, they’re a little glitzy to use every day. That said, they are great in a hurry. The key is not to overthink them. I chose these two colours because they effectively give you a crease colour and base colour which compliment each other really well, and they work perfectly in that way. I’ve seen a lot of Youtubers using these as a base for an overall smoky eye (using On and On Bronze, which I just can’t get my hands on!) but they are gel-cremes so blending in dry powder shadows is beyond difficult. Still, they get a thumbs up!

5. MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter – £3.00

  

This is another lovely low-cost find. It’s very well-pressed so the powder is lovely and creamy and doesn’t give you fall-out. Whilst it appears very pale in the pan, it gives a beautiful goldy shimmer on the skin. I’m still working out the best way to apply it, but a finger and a brush seems to be working for me. The only question is longevity – you may need to reapply through the day or night.

6. Collection Precision Colour Lip Liner in Clover Pink – £1.99

This wasn’t expensive, but don’t waste your money. It is so hard and dry that it’s almost impossible to apply. 

  

7. Gosh Velvet Touch Eye Liner in Rebellious Brown – £4.99

I was slightly disappointed in the quality of this but I am still using it fairly regularly. It’s only subtly brown which is nice for the autumn but it’s slightly dryer and harder than I’d like whilst still being prone to smudging despite being waterproof. That said, as a water line liner, it has great staying power and is a gentler contrast to a neutral eye than a cold black kohl. It’s not really worth the money though. 

Let me know your favourites this autumn!

H&M Autumn Staples

I went a little bit crazy in H&M, but you know what, every now and then the season changes and you remember how relieved you were when summer came around last time because you were so sick of your warm clothes, and then you have to go and buy some new stuff. At least with H&M, you know their prices won’t make you feel too guilty!

  
I was primarily looking for some basics – jumpers, jeans, tshirts – and was pleasantly surprised because although I’ve had some real gems from H&M in the past, I have also been massively disappointed in their ranges. Luckily, this was a good shopping day, though I did spend £108. But when you consider how many garments I ended up with…meh. 

I apologise for the photos coming up – I took them all when I was trying everything on after a long day at work. My hair is a total mess, but the makeup you see was applied about 10 hours before and held up relatively well. 

To provide some context, everything here was in a UK size 12, or medium where they decided not to use dress sizing.

  
First up, a pair of £14.99 skinny jeans and this £29.99 jumper. It’s really cosy, and contains a very small alpaca content which should mean it stays soft and holds its shape. The jeans were a keeper at that price. The fit isn’t startling but they’re skinny so it isn’t so crucial especially as they aren’t mid rise.

GAP jeans are my favourite jeans of all time. However I’ve been disappointed in them recently as they seem to be favouring jeans of the mid rise persuasion, which do nothing for my short frame, and they replaced their line of jeggings with a 4-way stretch jean which loses its elasticity after a couple of months. Jeans with stretch marks…not good! I’ve tried one pair of H&M light coloured skinnies and have been pleasantly surprised. Although they were a little tight over the upper thigh when I first got them, they’re grand now. 

  
I did opt to return the jumper though as it was doing this funky swing thing at the front and was generally quite boxy. 

Next…….

  
This is a cheap as chips £3.99 tshirts which has a slightly marled texture. I wanted the grey/black one but it was ridiculously thin and see-through so I picked this lovely maroon/burgundy colour, thinking it would be nice for the autumn. This is a medium and it does actually fit when I’m standing up straight! It is pretty cheaply made, but lovely and soft.

These beige trousers describe themselves as slim rather than skinny, so they have a bit more substance and a little less stretch. Being a beigey colour, they’re a little bit smarter too she would look awesome teamed with a shirt and jumper combo.

  
 Next, a denim shirt dress which may be the softest thing in the entire world (please excuse the nobbly knees). I thought it would be too long for me but it actually gathers really effortlessly at the waist when you tie the belt.  It’s not bad at £29.99. This is part of the “H&M Comscious” range and is made of Tencel Lyocell, which is s fabric made from recycled wood pulp. Which is sort of unbelievable. 

 

Lastly, black skinnies for £14.99 which are almost a dupe for my old style GAP black skinnies but they are a bit stretchier. The hoodie was pretty thin but a good bargain. (I actually ended up returning this one as I found a cracking deal on a navy GAP zip-up at the outlet store).

So that’s us! Let me know if you have any current H&M or other autumn clothing favourites!

End of Summer Boots Haul

I’m so excited to finally own a couple of Real Techniques brushes. I actually went in for a Seventeen blush brush (which I think was £2.99) for setting my undereyes and found these guys on ‘buy one get one half price’ so I had to (HAD to) invest in the Expert Face Brush and the Blush Brush. Though I am slightly convinced I’ll go back for both of the Core Collections. I won’t tell you how much they cost in case my fiancé is reading this and it loses me some wife points but 25% justifies it!

  
I also picked up this cheap little angled brush from Seventeen, which is soft but firm and has a lovely angled point for precision work. 

  
To be honest, although these look gorgeous, I found them slightly disappointing on their first trip out. They are rusticity soft, but I wonder if they’re too soft. The face brush isn’t quite buffing as hard as I’d like. Saying that, they’re still pretty dry and unused so I’m hopeful that I’ll slowly fall in love. Either way, I wouldn’t have been happy until I bought them.

Thankfully, I still have a use for my trusty old Benefit Foundation Brush (paintbrush style) as it’s perfect for getting between my shadow abs eyebrow (I’m weird, I know, but I feel like adding some base in that gap really defines the edge of my shadow, so it’s blurred out but also contained).

  
I also picked up some moisturising nail remover pads because I go through them almost as quickly as I go through Haribo Roulettes (in the ducking braved aisle in Tesco – trust me). They’re just so much more convenient than a bottle and cotton pads, although they’re not very good at handling glitter polish. 

 
Finally, I found these guys on 3-for-2 at £2.50 each, and at that price you can’t really say no. I won’t claim to be an expert on hair care, but I’ve been using John Freda’s Frizz Ease for as long as I can remember and found it to be a tiny godsend for my ridiculous mess of hair. However, I’m increasingly finding my hair to be drier than an old tortilla wrap, so I’m going to try something new. 
I’ve never used a Garnier shampoo before but I used to be a big fan of their moisturiser just because it smelled so good, and I think they make Fructus, now that I think about it, which Mr Brooker swears by. Anyway, they offer various different formulas which are made up of differing ‘natural’ extracts. For obvious reasons, I opted for the “nourishing repairer” for “very dry, damaged hair” with avocado and shea butter. I can’t pretend I’m not excited about trying this. It smells lovely in the bottle. And my conditioner just ran dry so I can start on one of these bad boys tomorrow. Hurrah!

Happy weekend everyone!

Pendant le Weekend….

With the back to school fever hanging in the air, it’s time to get a bit nostalgic about returning to school when I was a kid. I love stationery. I always have. And the end of the summer holidays brought shopping for new stationery, including that elusive brand new pencil case. (Mmm…fresh box of pencils). A treat, however, which did nothing to shake off the uniform and shoe shop. 

One of the first pieces of homework we would be given, was to write a diary of our summer holidays for French and Spanish. This invariably started off “pendant les vacances, je suis allé…..avec ma famille…”. However, given I was at a public school (private school, America), everyone else has much more exciting stories than me!  J’ai fait du ski, je suis allé a Phuket avec ma soeur….all much more thrilling than “I spent most of the time at my family’s nursery school. We went to the zoo one day”. 

This weekend, my Saturday involved a trip to Broughty Ferry to see a Ron Lawson exhibition. He is my very favourite artist and I have 3 of his prints already. I won’t bore you with the details, in case it’s not your thing, but it was a nice way to spend an hour, breathing in some culture, although I suspect he thought I was some sort of raving teen fan girl the way he was speaking to me. Next, to the most low rent wedding dress shop I’ve ever encountered. And finally off to lunch at the Ship Inn, where I enjoyed a huge bowl of Cullen Skink, loaded with smoked haddock and new potatoes. Delightful. Only to arrive at my parents’ to be dragged into fixing their broadband. 

Last night, we all watched Gone Girl, which I have to admit I enjoyed, despite the ending being entirely unsatisfying, and having to go through that awkward situation of graphic sex scenes flashing up while you’re sitting with your parents. 

Sunday mornings are for glorious lie ins. Waking from a dream naturally, no alarm clock and a text from my lovely fiancé to begin our exchange of things we’ve seen on Facebook whilst trying to wake up.

  
From him. 

  
From me.

Then on to start the day, getting a workout done and onto preparing healthy lunches for the rest of the week. Finally some time to rest, reading in a sunbeam, before supper, ironing and off to bed ready (or not so ready) for another week, hoping to wake up to sun.

Nevertheless, weekends at the end of summer still have that melancholy feeling once you’re an adult, even though you’re at work all the days in between. No more sneaky drinks outside a bar on the way home; no more barbecues promised when it’s likely to rain, every second person in the supermarket lugging about boxes of beer and basket full of rolls; fewer and fewer colleagues talking about how difficult it will be for them to be at the airport to fly off the Spain at 2am the very next day. 

Personally, I’m celebrating the last few weekends of buying piles of salads to make light summery lunches, which take hours to prepare and eat, at looking gleefully across at the mountains of paperbacks which have been abandoned in favour of “doing things” at the weekend. Bugger that! Bring on the cold, the wind and the rain. Bring on afternoons in front of a good film while the sky storms around the house. Bring on British winter misery!

The best part of autumn, for me, is the change in farm produce, from cucumbers, strawberries and lettuces, to squash and leeks and potatoes. I think the autumn is my very favourite time for cooking: giant pots of soup, hearty casseroles and pies, with the smell of the first frost in the air, but while the golden glow of autumn remains.  Sundays in the kitchen in front of a bubbling pot is so much like home, and so far from chopping fresh and zesty foreign ingredients. 

  
The only challenge will be keeping up the healthy eating with all that pastry around! 

Technical Issues (and a whirlwind fortnight)

I have been so technologically frustrated over the past two weeks it is unreal. I was so delighted in February when I took delivery of my shiny new iPhone 6 after my 5’s battery life be and too unreliable. However, for about 6 weeks or so, my 6 has been ruining my day on a, well, daily basis. Firstly, it started to tell me it had 100% battery life all day before dying suddenly bad without notice. Then it recovered a little, and then, all of a sudden, the battery decided to die every 2 hours. Not helpful when you have a lot on! 

  
So, I have returned to my iPhone 5 and all is forgiven until I can get my 6 repaired (that is another story – currently trying to charge it enough to back up and restore as a last ditch attempt at self-help, but it looks like the battery is fried).

I’ve been trying to blog with my 5 in the mean time but the Word Press app has not been happening for me, despite being desperate to share some stuff with you (never mind the photos currently lost to my 6). After troubleshooting, I settled on deleting and re-installing and …you know the rest. 

Because I work full-time and have a lot on just now, I’ve been relying on the app most of the time so I can get my blogs up on the move or basically as soon as I crash down at home in the evening. 

So…other than that, I have had so much on in terms of family and friends this month. My lovely fiancé came up to visit for a few days and we went out for a lovely meal, visited our wedding venue, went to a good friend’s wedding and also a family meal. Then I headed back home with him for a couple of nights and we just had a lovely time all round. 

  
This week has been crazy too, back to work, seeing Kevin Bridges and getting prepared for my Nana’s family barbecue and anniversary party this weekend. 

  
Anyway, I’ll leave it there today, bit I haven’t gone anywhere – more to come soon, including a couple of recipes and my July hits and misses!

Harissa Roast Chicken

OK, ok I make a lot of roast chicken! There are a few reasons for this though! 1. It’s more economical than buying breasts and thighs separately 2. It’s the best way to get a lot of flavour in with a minimum of effort 3. Well, it’s roast chicken and I’m British and 4. I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately, particularly for work lunches and cold roast chicken is a great way to get some relatively lean protein in without filling your life with dull flavours.

  
This one is really simple, especially if your supermarket prints recommended cooking times on its packaging!

You will need:

1 medium to large whole chicken 

1 pot Greek yoghurt – I think this one was about 150ml but I used the surplus to make a dressing. Probably about 100 ml would be enough

4 tsp rose Harissa. I had a jar of this in the fridge, but you can buy it in the speciality foods section in Tesco, or fresher from your local deli 

4 cloves garlic

1 knob ginger

Salt and pepper

1 onion

1 lemon 

  
1. Mix about 100 ml of the yoghurt with the Harissa. Grate in 2 cloves of garlic and all the ginger. Season, mix and spread all over the chicken. Allow this to stand outside the fridge for around 30 mins.

  
2. Preheat the oven to 200C fan, and make sure your shelves are nice and low so there is plenty of room.

3. Cut the onion into sixths and the lemon into quarters. 

5. Line a large baking tray and add on the onion segments, remaining garlic and half of the lemon. Stuff the other half of the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity. 

  
6. Put the chicken in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to about 180C. Roast for about 20-30 minutes then cover with foil, and turn the tray.

7. Turn the tray again about half an hour from the end. This one cooked in 1 hour 55. Remove from the oven and rest. You can check it’s cooked with a temperature probe or check the juices are running clear when you stab the thickest part of the thigh with a scewer if you’re nervous that you might not have cooked it through.

  
8. Allow to cool then carve. I actually removed one of the breasts about half an hour after removing from the oven, as I had it warm with vegetables for supper. Once picked, it still gave me a good dinner plateful of meat. 

June Lifestyle Favourites! 

I thought I’d take some time to let you all know about some of the other things I’ve enjoyed over the last month or so because sadly there are only so many times in a day you can put your make up on or cook a meal!

There are probably lots of things I’ve forgotten, but these are the ones that stick out most prominently in my mind!
I’ve already covered the make-up and skincare products in my June 2015 Favourites post, but I thought they added to the photo so I’ve left them in!

   
So, número uno: fruit and yoghurts. As you may know, I’ve been making a real effort this year to eat healthily. I used to be one of those naughty people who never ate breakfast. Partly because I’m not a morning person, and partly because I’d rather save the calories for a mid-morning chocolate biscuit. Nevertheless, I started off with homemade granola bars and moved on to yoghurts. Only these yoghurts by Yeo Valley though. They are nice and thick and come with lots of organic bio live bacteria so they’re good and healthy to help get your metabolism going to set you up for the day. The strawberry ones and lemon curd ones are the best though in my opinion! (The strawberry ones taste like petit filous). They are over 100 calories each, but much better for you than the chocolate biscuit you really want and they constitute pretty much the only dairy I have in the week. 

  
If I’m starting to get peckish at around 10.30 or so, it’s time for a nectarine or a peach. I’m still trying to discover whether they form separate pieces of your 5 a day, given they are the same species but not quite exactly the same, but whatever they are, they taste like summer.  Be careful though as apparently they are both diuretic and laxative!

  
Shoes! Lovely, lovely shoes! One of my best friends is getting married at the end of the month and it promises to be quite the society hoopla. I bought a pale green (described as “aqua”) dress a couple of months ago for the event, but didn’t think through how difficult it would be to find coordinating shoes, especially as the white underslip made anything nude or metallic look a bit odd when worn together. I’ve orders white (which turned out to be snake skin and were sent back) and also beautiful glittering towering peep toes with bejewelled heels, but they turned out to be a goldy bronze colour when champagne was promised, so back they went too. Finally, I found these bad boys, and for the princely sum of £15! They are Dorothy Perkins via Debenhams, and, although they are described as being pale blue got some reason, they are a lovely minty green colour that is just about right when worn a calf’s distance from the dress. Now I just need to find a bag…..

  
Despite buying a really nice TV and sound system and subscribing to Virgin Media, I spend a lot of time watching box sets on Netflix or LoveFilm (I know, I know, it’s called “Amazon Instant Video” these days but I just can’t handle that), mostly because I can watch on my iPad which will happily follow me around my flat and is great for when I’m cooking. Naturally, I gravitated to Orange is the New Black earlier this year, so was delighted to hear the third series was out. As billed, the first few episodes weren’t quite as compelling as the first two seasons, but by the end, in that typically Jenji Cohen way, I was hooked again. Now to wait another year…..

If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think!

  
Finally, paper roses! I learned how to make these by watching several YouTube tutorials and played around with different ways to do things. I’m now hooked and desperate to try to make them from other types of paper. These glossy ones were made using pages from an old Edinburgh Fringe festival brochure, but I have since made a couple of smaller ones from book pages which are completely adorable (if I do say so myself). 

Let me know if you’d like to see a tutorial on my method.

  
I have quite a few things going on in July so will try to do some more of these lifestyle blogs but would love to hear whether you find them interesting or if you’d rather have more food! 

June 2015 Favourites

This is a bit of a new departure for this blog but given I’ve only been blogging for 6 months I’m not really sure I can positively say that I have a particular direction to follow (except that you guys seem to prefer cake recipes to anything else!).  

 So, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ve bought or enjoyed this month which have been a big hit with me. To be honest, the only real fail has been the L’Oreal La Pallette Nude eyeshadow pallette, although I’m persevering with it. I just find it really hard to blend the shades together and they are also quite unpigmented, so the glittery shades I apply last overpower the mattes, instead of marrying into one beautiful whole. On the plus side, the shimmery shades are pretty, it comes with a nice brush, it’s a good base for other shadows and it was only £14.

In the last few months specifically I’ve really been stepping up my game in terms of trying to get into some healthier routines before the ageing process really gets its claws into me, so water, love yoghurt, continuing with fruit, vegetables and exercise and being stricter with my skin care routine have all been really important to me. 

  
Starting with beauty products then! This purple Lottie London Kabuki Brush is the softest loveliest thing for applying an all over setting powder or bronzer and for blending in your blusher once you’ve applied it. It was also relatively inexpensive, though it was a birthday gift. 

I’ve always suffered from dark circles under my eyes so have been watching alot of beauty vlogs to pick up some tips in this area. It was suggested by Carli Bybel that an eye cream can really help to restore plumpness to undereye skin as well as giving your concealer something to cling to so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been a big fan of the cheap and cheerful Vitamin E range in Superdrug so decided to try this Nourishing Eye Cream out. So far so good, though I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge transformation so might just stick with all over moisturiser and try to catch some more Zs. It’s in a really handy little tube and only costs £2.99!

This Benefit Blush in Dandelion was the first Benefit product I bought, although I’ve been using the Hervana shade recently. As it has almost run out, and as it’s supposed to be summer, I rummaged around and pulled out this old faithful again and I have been pleasantly surprised. 

I went through a phase last year of being totally obsessed with nail polish, buying any new colour I could get my hands on. However, I have since realised that skin tone is key in picking your colours so I’ve dialled my manic buying back a little. I bought this 60 Seconds Super Shine Rimmel nail polish in two colours, but this is my favourite. It’s called 430 Coralicious, and is a lovely bright orangey red that is perfect for summer. It does have white an old fashioned finish, being shiny, but slightly glossy nails are actually ok as long as they don’t look like gels. 

Finally, the Rimmel Glam’Eyes HD shadow pallette. I’m afraid I don’t have a colour description, but the range itself is great. I also have a silvery, grey version which has a shimmery ochre shade in the centre. These are brilliant for creating a good blended eye look without needing to pack too many different products if you’re out and about, though I did use a different brush to apply these. The pinks give a more subtle look, but that’s what you want for day time really. 

 Right, I think that’s quite enough to deal with in one go so I’ll bid you goodnight and return with the other things tomorrow! 

Update: I’ve just realised this is my 50th post! Thanks everyone who has liked, followed and commented so far. I’d love to hear some of your summer favourites!