Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation
Stay Perfect Liquid Foundation in Cool Vanilla - £14.50




I find foundation a really hard thing to get right. Not only am I deceptively pale, but my combination skin also makes finding a good formula extremely difficult. I've been tempted to try out a No. 7 foundation ever since their magical foundation shade finder was advertised. Never one to be able to resist a new beauty gadget, I popped down to my local Boots and gave the system a go.

Before I was matched by the machine and assistant, I actually matched myself. I know, I know, it defeat's the entire point of being shade matched by the professional's and this technology but I've had some very bad experiences which had left me looking like a tangerine. I'm looking at you MAC. I needn't have worried thought as I was matched to exactly the same shade that I matched myself to, Cool Vanilla. Massive thumbs up for their foundation shade matchers accuracy. 

After talking to an assistant about what I want from a foundation, flawless finish, long-lasting, and talking about my skin type, I decided to stick with  what I know, and opted for the Stay Perfect Liquid Foundation. The way this was sold to me was the foundation that ticks all my boxes. It is supposed to provide a flawless complexion that looks naturally opposed to plastic, and has an incurable 24 hour wear time. It's also weather-proof, transfer-proof, won't cake or flake on dry skin, nor slide or shine on oily skin. If that wasn't enough, it's also SPF 15 and hypo-allergenic. I'm not sure what else you could want from a foundation.

I've got a before and after shot below for you, but I do need to give you a massive warning for the before shot. There's one very annoying little hair in front of my face. Of course I didn't see this at the time of taking the photos, and my camera battery is currently on charge. So focus on my skin, not the hair. You'll now all be glued to that hair won't you?!

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation


I did warn you.

As you can see, the foundation photographs quite well. The shade is perfect for my skin tone and looks like injected some life into my complexion. It's smoothed out a lot of imperfections, minimised my pores and covered up redness too, which is never a bad thing. I like that it has enough coverage to cover blemishes without the need for concealer whilst still letting my freckles show through. The formula is quite easily to apply but does need a bit of buffing to get a nice finish. I have also found that it does cling to dry patches and transfers quite badly. You know when your talking on your phone? Yeah don't expect your screen to be clean after. But, on the plus side, it does last all day. I can't vouch if it lasts the full 24 hours but it's definitely lasted a good 15 hours without needing a touch up. 

So I'm a bit under whelmed with this foundation. It looks nice and photographs well, but the fact the formula takes a lot of work to blend and there is a problem with clinging and transferring. I think I'll have to keep looking for my perfect foundation.

What's your favourite foundation?
xoxo
J
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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Charlotte Olympia Unboxing

Charlotte Olympia Cheyenne Flat Sandals
Cheyenne Sandals - £411.08



I couldn't resist showing you these super beautiful creations from the creative genius that is Charlotte Olympia. Wrapped in a Jo Malone-esqe box complete with a bow, I was a very very happy girl when the Post Man delivered these beauties to my door.

 I will be the first to admit that I'm much more of a bag person than a shoe lover, and in fact these are my first pair of high end shoes. I injured my right ankle pretty badly play hockey in my first year of University, and whilst I'm now recovered, it's never going to be 100%. It was so painful for a long time and I'm now, understandably, cautious when it comes to things that could potentially cause me to go over on it. Whilst I wasn't the most confident heel-wearer before, I'm definitely not now.

So I'm investing in beautiful flats, wedges and low heels to make up for it. And these Charlotte Olympia sandals will begin my collection. The flat's are gold-tone and black nappa leather with a single buckle, but double ankle strap. The ankle strap is actually one of my favourite bits. It's one buckle, but the leather wraps round your ankle twice. Maybe it's because I've been to Crete recently but there's something about these that remind me of Ancient Greece. Super famine and so versatile, I can't wait to wear these and be comfortable and stylish.

Are you heels or flats?
xoxo
J
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

This Girl Can. This Girl Did. This Girl Is.

women's hockey


Whenever the Skip button pops up on Youtube, I press it straight away. I very rarely watch advert's on the television thanks to Sky+. Their time consuming, and unless it's Christmas, boring and repetitive. But a strange thing happened ago. I carried on watching an advert even though I had the opportunity to press skip. 

The advert in question is the "This Girl Can" campaign. A campaign dedicated to encouraging women to incorporate exercise in their lifestyle, and have fun doing it. But this isn't your usual go to the gym, do 100 sit ups, be fit campaign. The main goal is to let women know you can still go swimming if you have bingo wings, or play netball if you're over a certain age. It's empowering, inclusive and promoting self-confidence.

After watching the advert for a second time, I was so motivated I decided to do something to. These weren't women in a fitness fashion photo shoot with "sweat" placed on them ever so perfectly. These were women who were sweaty, shaking and smiling. Oh and kicking ass. I knew which group I wanted to be part of. 

So after deciding not to play hockey for the last two years because of low self-confidence, I went dusted off my stick bag, rinsed out my mouth guard and slipped on some shin pads. It's "off season" right now in hockey, but I didn't let that stop me. I joined my local Back To Hockey sessions, bringing beginners and returning players back to hockey in a fun environment with no pressure. After the first session I thought I was going to die. I was out of breathe, sweaty, and hot. I also had a smile from ear to ear and a positive mood which lasted all week. I made friends and even got asked to play in a friendly club match. 

Sunday was our last session and I'm more gutted that even I would have guessed. Over a month on though and that same advert hasn't become any less motivating. Instead of putting my feet up and saying I've done my bit, I'm going to work on my fitness and join the main hockey club in September. I say, I want to work on my fitness, that's for me. I want to play the best I can. September can't come quick enough.

Moral of the story? Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you smile. Don't put barriers up.

Any tips to help me boost my fitness?
xoxo
J
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Lancome La Nuit Tresor Fragrance

Lancome La Nuit Tresor L'Eau De Parfum

Lancome La Nuit Tresor L'Eau De Parfum


I always love giving you guys an exclusive, so I'm pretty darn happy to get in my review of Lancome's new fragrance for Women before it's launch in the UK! Thank's to Duty Free exclusive's I managed to grab a bottle at Manchester Airport, so of course it was only right I shared my thought's with you.

The Treasury Night, or La Nuit Tresor has the most sophisticated packaging. Pink and black glitter box reminiscent of a clear night sky, encasing the most unusual perfume bottle I've seen on the high street. It remind's me of a cross between a diamond, and well, a star. If that wasn't enough, it's pink and black ombre, topped with Lancome's signature black rose. If this isn't a bottle worth of your dressing table, I don't know what is!

But, like most beauty products, it's what's inside that counts. Of course something that looks this good though could only smell heavenly. Combining top notes of Raspberry and Lychee with Absolute Vanilla Orchid Tahitensis, Praline and Patchouli, it's the ideal fragrance for night. Usually I don't like evening fragrances. In fact, the only one I've ever liked is Vera Wang's Princess Night. This is the rare exception. Rather than being heavy and musky this is light, feminine and fruity. It's fun and flirty but still grown up and sophisticated. It's summer nights in a bottle.  

Look out for the campaign staring the beautiful Penelope Cruz later this year. If you are so desperate to get your hands on it, I've found one store which will ship the fragrance to the UK (click here).

What's your go to evening fragrance?
xoxo
J


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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Smart Shopping in Duty Free




I love Duty Free Shopping. Not as much as actually going away somewhere, but it's definitely up there on my most loved things. If you even need any proof of my dedication to the cause, have a gander at my epic Crete Duty Free Haul. It was the stuff of dreams. Why do I love Duty Free so much, I hear you ask. Well, readers, it's the same reason I love any sale; I love a bargain. If you can save money on something that you've lusted after, why wouldn't you snap it up?!

However, not everything post-security is paved in gold and some things are just not worth the hassle. Luckily I'm here to help you grab a bargain this summer:

  1. Know your limits and stick to it. This is the biggest rule of saving money in duty free. Find out what you allowance is, and stay in it. The allowance is per person, so if your in a group, and someone isn't shopping, wahey, use their allowance too. But, if you're solo, stick to this rule or you could face a hefty duty charge once you arrive back home. One way to do this is withdraw your limit in cash and only pay in cash. It's easy to get carried away and you have less control if you pay by card.
  2. Decide on what you want And here's the crucial bit; decide what you want to pick up before you get to the airport. I'm by no means saying carve you wish list in stone, but having an idea of the items you want to grab before you're faced with a wall of shinny new things at reduced prices will help keep you focused. And in your allowance. If you like to stock up on fragrance like me, take a trip down to your local counter, or if you want to snap up a couple new lipsticks, go and swatch.
  3. Check the price is right and I hate to say it, the total is in budget. Make sure you check which Duty Free store is in your terminal, then have a look at their website, along with the Duty Free catalogue on board with your Airline. I'd also recommend checking what the prices are like in your destination. Although not Duty Free, depending on the exchange rate, you could get a better deal. One thing I would recommend is wherever you are, shop in that currency. So if your in Duty Free in Spain on your way home, shop in Euros, otherwise you will be charged more for the conversation.
  4. Budget for impulse buys because it's most likely going to happen. In Crete I ended up buying a Dior Fragrance set that was not planned for. If I was travelling solo, I would have gone over my allowance. Damn you travel exclusives.
  5. Use the pick-up service to save you carrying your products around on holiday if you plan on picking up a lot. Some airports even offer a delivery service, letting you come home to your haul after you've arrived safe and sound at home
What's on your list to pick up on your next trip?
xoxo
J
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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Feeding My Favourite Animal







A couple weeks ago I had one of the best days of 2015. We drove from Manchester to just outside Sheffield, to a small village in the Peak District. The journey was absolutely beautiful, but I am so glad I wasn't driving on the Snake Pass. The corners on the narrow roads made me nervous and on the journey back we saw an air ambulance called for an accident. Thankfully we arrived safely and it was safe to say I was more than a little bit excited. A little know fact about me, my favourite animal is an Alpaca, and we had just arrived at Mayfield Alpaca Farm. Yes I was the child who said Alpaca when all the other children said Lion.






I have never seen so many Alpacas altogether. All shades and sizes were there; I was definitely in the right place. Most of them had had their wool sheered, but there were the odd one or two that had their full fleece. For 50p you got a big bag of food which you could place in your had and feed them. Whilst I was initially a little nervous, (I once had a bad incident with a sheep) they were the most gentle animals, with the only feeling being the whiskers on their chin ticking your palm. If that wasn't enough for me to get my Alpaca fix, they had lively young Alpaca's running around, chasing each other in the filed. I think the mother was the one with the full fleece as it followed the up and down and was quite protective whenever someone wandered close to the fence. Further down though their was an even younger Alpaca which is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen,







It isn't all about Alpaca's at Mayfield, you have your usually farm yard animals. The goats were very jealous of everyone feeding the Alpaca's, and I did feel sorry for them. But look at their eyes! Their like snakes. We said hello to Matilda the pig, although she was fast asleep in her hut but a little Shetland Pony stole my heart. I have no idea what he's called but I named him Fredrick. He didn't dance though, so #DancePonyDance was clearly all one big lie.

Being so close to so many of my favourite animals made me so happy. What's your favourite animal?
xoxo
J
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

OOTD || New Look Folk Print Maxi Dress

new look maxi dress summer outfit
New Look Maxi Dress - Now in the sale £17
Nude Wedges - Primark



Writing holiday blog posts when the weather at home is overcast and showery isn't the best thing to put you in a good mood. Ahh well, it was an amazing holiday that I still smile about now. Whilst in Crete, we of course had to go to the obligatory Greek Themed night at the hotel. Deciding to channel my inner Greek Princess, I opted for this New Look maxi dress.

As you can see from my arms, I did get a little sunburnt on holiday so the loose style was a welcome relief. The Folk Print pattern is pretty full-on so I didn't wear any jewellery at all, although it would have looked nice with some wooden bangles or gold hooped earrings. With the clinched waist adding shape to the dress and the two side splits making it extremely easy to walk in and wear, it was perfect for our evening, keeping cool and comfortable whilst dressing up a little.

xoxo
J
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Monday, 6 July 2015

Bad Birthday




If you follow me on twitter you may have seen my many tweets last week, complaining about being ill. I don't take time off work, I battle through things and get over them in my own time. Life goes on, and I try not to let things stop it, because quite frankly, I pick up bugs a lot, and if I did, I'd never get out of bed. Back to the point of this post, last week I ended up taking an entire week off work, visited the Dr's three times and ended up in hospital. I was in a lot of pain and pretty darn ill. Did I mention it was also my birthday on Saturday too? Needless to say I've had better weeks, and better birthdays. Luckily I had an amazing Dr at hospital who got to the bottom of my pain, and I'm now undergoing treatment so I'm on the mend. 

Whilst I was on strict orders to stay in bed, I had a lot of time to think, which is never good. I'm one of the world's over-thinkers and a born worrier, and when your staring at the same 4 walls for a long period of time and see everyone living their lives on social media, well it's enough to make anyone feel like a Debby Downer. Anxiety rears it's head at the worst possible times. It's only now that I've come over the hill (touch wood) and starting to recover that I've realised how exhausting and draining being ill was. This week I'm returning to work and trying to resume my life whilst continuing treatment. So I can ease myself back into my normal routine and not feel too overwhelmed, I've decided to not write any other blog posts for this week. Becoming ill happened so quickly so hopefully having a little breather will give me a chance to catch my breathe and come back with more energy than ever on 13th. In the meantime, there's plenty of posts in the archives to keep you busy until next week.

Just one other quick note, congratulations to Cassie Fairy who won my 3 year Blog Birthday Giveaway. An e-mail was sent yesterday.

xoxo
J
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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Tea on a Train


east lancashire railway

east lancashire railway

east lancashire railway



east lancashire railway cream tea

east lancashire railway cream tea



After a while presents for your family can become near impossible. My Dad has everything, and my Mum wants for nothing, so as an only child, I have to stay on my toes.  After 22 years, I'm slowly starting to run out of ideas.To make matters worse, Mother's Day and my Dad's birthday are within a couple of weeks of each other. This year I decided to do a combined present and something we could enjoy as a family.

The East Lancashire Railway is located in Bury and is a fond memory of my childhood. Each Christmas we used to make an annual trip; Christmas shopping in the morning, followed by a ride on the Santa Express, an old-fashion steam engine train complete with a brass band playing Christmas songs, and a visit from the main man himself. It all sounds very Polar Express, but it is honestly magical. My Dad is actually gutted I've grown up

Anyway, after a little bit of digging, I discovered that the Railway actually do cream teas, afternoon teas, lunches and 3 course meals on selected dates. Whilst both my parents & I were very busy in the first quarter of this year, things have eased off ever so slightly, making now the perfect time to board. We opted for a cream tea on a late spring Sunday. After arriving and being shown our both, all the scones and cakes pre-laded out, we set off on our treat with a difference. When none of us could resist the temptation anymore, we tasted the beautiful offerings, all from Slattery's, the most delicious, traditional local Patissier and Chocolatier.

We travelled to the end of the line at Rottenstall, before turning round and returning back to Bury. I couldn't help feeling like a extra from a murder mystery film, and to my delight the East Lancs actually do do Murder Mystery evenings on the train! Full from all the delicacies placed in front of us, we sat back and watched the countryside roll past. After 2 hours of relaxing and revelling in this experience, it was now dusk and were greeted by dozens of wild rabbits and hares in the fields next to the tracks. The perfect ending to the perfect afternoon.

Where's your favourite place to get an afternoon treat?
xoxo
J
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