Sunday, 23 February 2014

Favourites of 2013!

I guess I'm rather late to the party when it comes to a favourites of the year posts, but I'm gonna do it anyway! 

A lot of the things will come as no surprise to those of you who have read previous favourites posts of mine, but there are some lovely new things in my collection now too! 

In 2013 I also had the experience every beauty-addict dreads- I LOST my make up bag!!! I really have no idea how it happened, it put the bags in my car, popped to tesco then drove to my boyfriends house for the weekend- when I was unpacking the car one of my bags was just completely gone! I also lost my heart shaped 'tangle teaser' type brush and one of my favourite dresses :( The only good thing about it was that I had to go shopping... And It made me realise that there are some products I really don't want to live without....

Makeup-wise there are rather a lot of familiar 'faces' :) I bought the new MUA Undress Me 2 palette, which I love just as  much as the first (the MUA Heaven and Earth palette was in my lost make up bag, and was of course immediately replaced) and I also picked up 2 of their cream eyeliners in Dress Down Cool and Under the Radar. I don't really like the brush they come with (I find them too stiff to use well so I use my e.l.f. cream eyeliner brushes) but the product itself is lovely, and they're very nice colours (brown withe shimmery red flecks, and a metallic brown)

After losing my make up bag I also made an e.l.f. order which included 4 cream eyeliners in the coffee shade (I waited a few weeks until a 50% off sale came along, it was rude not to!) so I think it's safe to say that is still a very firm favourite. Having said that while I was left without cream eyeliners I did enjoy using darker eyeshadows to line my eyes- the result is usually softer than a sharp line of the cream and I can have so much choice in colour!

I've also been paying more attention to my eyebrows recently- when I went to California they got quite sun bleached (I love the weather there so much- when we were in Vegas and it was at least 40 degrees all the time I was SO happy!) so I felt I really did need to start filling them in and shaping them properly more often- I've had the e.l.f. Eyebrow kit (in light) for a while but I've recently started to love it :)

There are more typical favourites here too - I've repurchased several e.l.f. Brushes in the past year (for spares, gifts and replacements) and I really like the Golden eyeshadow primer- I'm favouring more golden eyeshadow shades at the moment so it provides the best colour base for me. The e.l.f. Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick (in Little Miss Thing) is a new find which I'm really enjoying. It does crease if you put on too thick a layer, and it doesn't last as long as a regular powder eyeshadow but it's so quick and easy to apply, meaning it's great for lazy weekends or when I'm running really late for work! 

Lip-wise I've not been using all that may products that aren't boring lip balm or moisturising cream (I've had eczema and extremely dry cracked lips for months at a time this year...) but the Revlon Lip Butters have been brilliant for when I do crave some colour- as they are nicely moisturising as well (and therefore don't highlight the dry patches as much as a lipstick would!) I bought two new shades- Berry Smoothie and Candy Apple :) 


Again there are a couple of old favourites here- the Neutrogena daily scrub and Superdrug hot cloth cleansers will probably never stop being favourites- I can't see anything topping either of these gently exfoliating cleansers that don't contain SLS and still clean thoroughly for a reasonable price! Thanks to MissBudgetBeauty I have discovered Soap and Glory's Peaches and Clean, which (like MissBudgetBeauty) I tend to use once a week or so as a quick 3-5 minute mask. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling lovely. 

Nivea creme is something I cannot believe I didn't discover sooner- in fact I'm annoyed that I didn't! It's one of those things that your grandma probably used and swears by, but it really deserves SO much more attention! It's a thick, richly moisturising cream that doesn't irritate even horribly itchy recovering-from-eczema-patches skin, or cause oily/spotty skin- it doesn't feel heavy in the skin and still sinks in quickly so you can use it under make up. I found this 200ml pot for about £2.50 on sale at Morrison's and I love it so much. I've used it on: my whole face as a 'moisture mask' (applied a thicker layer, let it soak in for an hour and washed the excess off with a muslin cloth) patches of eczema all over my body, dry cuticles, dry elbows/knees etc, on my eyes (I forgot my eye cream, in place of my regular moisturiser, to remove eye make up and probably more things I've forgotten about!

I've also been a real fan of oils recently- I bought this almond oil for £2 at tesco and I've used it mainly for eye make up removal (which I still love using EVOO for) but it's also lovely for using in place of a body butter all over my body- it sinks in and feels less 'oily' than many other oils- so I can apply it and not feel like I can't touch anything for the next hour like I do with EVOO on my body. I'm considering trying out the Oil Cleansing Method soon actually- I'm so fed up of dry skin! Has anyone tried it? Got any tips for me?

I'm also on my second bottle of rescue oil now- I also use it on my body, but I've really liked it to use on particularly dry patches of skin (and eczema). 

I think I might do another post on my non-beauty favourites of the year, ad I'm sure there are lots of those too! 

And I am definitely going to be starting a '30 day' photography challenge series (I don't think I'll be posting a picture everyday, but I'll might aim for a couple a week) but are there any other posts you'd like to see from me? Let me know! 


Sunday, 16 February 2014

2013: what a year!

I've been away from my blog for rather a long time now, I'm not going to make excuses because, for the most part, I don't really have one. I think I needed the break though- I've had a very busy year and I think had I continued blogging through the year I would've been doing it out of obligation, not enjoyment. 

Having said that I'm very excited to be back, I recently got myself an iPhone (after years of living with the least-smart phone possible) and discovered the twitter and blogger apps! I'm not going to make any promises about how much I'll post, I don't want to place expectations on myself (because I get so frustrated with myself if I'm too busy to keep up with my schedule) 

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the things that have kept me rather busy in 2013:

• I (voluntarily, because I'm crazy!) organised and ran a Brownie holiday for 2 nights (I've never slept so badly in my life- I was constantly paranoid one of the Brownies would need something!) I took 10 girls and there were 2 other leaders to help, but it was stressful! I'm very glad I did it though, as I now have my pack holiday license so I can take brownies away whenever we want to go:)

• I went to California for 2 weeks with 3 friends (one of my friends from uni moved out there in 2012, so we went to visit her!) we had such an amazing time; we saw the Grand Canyon, went clubbing and gambling in Vegas, saw San Diego zoo, saw all the sights of San Francisco and even did some pedal boating near Laguna beach (home of The Hills) :)

• I found myself a lovely new boyfriend :) We met through a mutual friend who I work with/ he went to uni with and we've been together 10 months now. He's moving in with me in May and I'm so excited! (My current housemate is moving  to Texas so we're going to be redecorating the whole apartment!)

• Neglected to paint my nails for over 6 months straight (I have no idea why....) and completely lost track of the 52 week challenge- I'm very disappointed in myself that I gave up.

• Played 70+ hours of Sims 3 (the bf has a computer that is actually capable of running it- my PC is neary dead, poor thing) and I love it so much! I have the seasons, university and pets expansions (so far!)

• A close family friend (and my mentor as a Brownie leader) passed away very suddenly- which means that I'm now the leader on charge of my Brownie unit. It's been a very steep learning curve for me, the other leaders and the girls, but I think we've all settled in now and things are going well.

• I saw Matilda in London- a birthday preset from the bf, it was AMAZING!!! (I'm so glad I'm with someone that doesn't hate musical theatre)

• Started taking salsa classes again, I missed dancing so much (I danced at least 3 hours almost every day when I was at uni) and I'm glad of the exercise too.  

• Was asked to be a bridesmaid for the first time (my aforementioned current housemate is moving to Texas to get married, so I'm going to her wedding in Austin, Tx this July!!!)

• Managed to spend far too much money on make up and skincare (I think I'll be posting a favourites of 2013 soon!)

• Reached level 127 of Candy Crush..... Perhaps I shouldn't be proud of that one. (It wasn't even on my phone, I constantly pinched my boyfriends.... And now I have my own iPhone I've lost all my progress anyway.)

• Struggled with some nasty eczema :( I have a big patch on my right wrist/hand, I keep thinking it's going away but it just comes back! And I've had it on my fingers, eyelids, lips and inside my elbows too. I'm not sure why it's been so bad this year, and I've tried so many things! (Recommendations welcome)

• Become the proud owner of an iPhone 4S (though technically that happened this year, about 3 days ago!) my boyfriends contract was up, so instead of trading it in I bought it off him (I've got a giffgaff sim whih I highly recommend so far, I get 250 mins and unlimited texts and data for £12 a month) so any new app recommendations would be highly appreciated, I can share which ones I currently have if you're interested?

• Learned to make sushi! It's delicious, and not actually all that hard :)  

Well obviously I've done a whole lot more in a year (I hope) but I think they're some of the highlights and important events of my year. 

As I've said I hope to be starting to post regularly (perhaps just 1 post a week) so is there anything you'd particularly like to see? 

Ive also been pretty shocking at keeping up with blog posts, so tell me what you've been up to in the comments, I've missed you all so much! :)