About Me

I'm Dani. Foodie. Lover of Beauty and Fashion. Bride to Be. Gym and Green Tea Addict. Instagram Obsessed. Legal Eagle. (Sometimes I blog)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

If you are on a budget like me - don't forget to pick up InStyle for the Ren Hot Cloth Cleanser (with cloth).  Facials galore…

And of course Glamour for the Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner Pen (an old favourite of mine from the older blogging days!)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Lacura BB Cream in Medium
I'd say if you buy one thing this week/month, this should be it.  That said, we all know that Aldi has stock in for the blink of an eye and then it's gone.  Go to Aldi now and buy this.  I've had it for a week and I am converted.

The picture of me above is having applied the BB Cream and concealer under my eyes, with a little bronzer just below my cheek bones.  I have no foundation over the top or powder and look how smooth my skin looks!

Now, I am usually a Estee Lauder Double Wear Girl, or MAC Studio Fix.  However, at this time of year, every year I go on a bit of a quest to find a lighter textured foundation so that I stop feeling as if I am wearing a mask. I literally cannot stand heavy makeup in the heat.

Hence why on my little trip to Aldi last week to buy toilet roll (yes, I am that glamourous), I saw this and thought for £4.99 why the heck not.  I was so surprised at how perfectly it blended in with my sigma flat top kabuki brush and it lasts throughout the day too.  I mean don't get me wrong, you will probably want a touch up around lunch time, but that is the case for most foundations so I am pretty impressed by it's staying power and I go to the gym at lunch anyway so my makeup always gets a touch up!

I would highly recommend this for summer.  I've tried a couple of other BB creams and HATED them so I've been really shocked by how this has already replaced my foundation in a week!

Friday, 13 June 2014

PhD Woman Support and Recovery Toning Vanilla Creme - £21.59 (here)
PhD Woman Support and Recovery Toning Bar Chocolate Orange - £17.88 (here)
PhD Woman Shaker Cup - £4.99 (here)
Seeing as I am now back on a health kick I thought it was a perfect time to tell you about some of my favourite not so bad treats!  When I start a new fitness regime or diet plan I end up really going for it and then I either get to where I want to be or my social and work life gets in the way and I fall off the wagon.

Yes, I know - it should be a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix etc.  One day I will get to that stage but I am human and I struggle with self discipline.  I'm guessing I am not the only one out their and I have SERIOUS respect for all those of you that eat clean and healthy all the time - you are my inpso.

Anyway! PhD Woman specialise in providing protein products especially for females knowing that obviously our goals are not always the same as mens!

So when I was stocking up on protein (not quite but re-venturing into the world of protein shakes etc) earlier this year when trying a new intensive strength training plan, I really researched what would work for me and what I wanted, which was quite a lot of protein without a shed load of carbs because no matter what I eat it always seems I have a carb heavy diet despite my best efforts!

I found PhD Woman and had a read up of them here.  I found they had loads of tips and meal plans etc (here) and decided I was going to try these products. (They also have some fabulous offers on and I managed to catch one at the time!)  I chose the Toning range which aims to help with recovery.  There is also a weight control and energy range.

I like to have these on days when I might not be getting enough protein and I know some people say why can't you just eat it, but if you are training a lot you'd never stop eating chicken to get the recommended amount and sorry but chicken gets boring!

The vanilla creme is absolutely delightful.  Tastes like custard!  I like to have it alone with water and ICE, or for breakfast blended with strawberries or bananas!  Absolute heaven in a cup!

The bars are also lovely.  They do have that protein bar texture which I can't quite describe but I'd say dense… You will understand if you try.  I have to say I don't mind that texture though so it's not a negative.  I usually break it up into little pieces and savour!

Finally, the cup is just super handy and I better size than those huge ones you usually get. Somehow it just feels more feminine also.  I've not had to explain to people whether or not I am drinking protein like it's some crazy thing since having this cup which is also a bonus!

I would definitely recommend all these products and I will be repurchasing when I run out.  Even if you don't want to buy anything though I would definitely recommend the website as it's super informative!

Happy fitness ladies!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm - £2.99 (here)

I love a tinted lip balm.  They hold so much promise.  
Most of the time they are pretty rubbish in either pigment or tone and look rubbish against my skin tone.  I've had a fair few frosted ones in the past which has not been a good look for me!

That said, they are getting better.  Last year I had a bit of a Revlon Lip Butter obsession (still loving these) and this year I think I am heading toward obsession territory with Maybelline's Baby Lips.  I think a lot of it is the packaging!  It is also the fact though that the pink and red ones are such stunning subtle colours that they are perfect alone or on top of lipstick to give it a more creamy finish.  They are very moisturising and pretty on.

Here they are on!

*Pink Punch*

*Cherry Me*

See, nice and subtle. 

And did I mention the smell?? They are soooo yummy.  I think the pink one is peach but I can't be sure, the red is definitely cherry smelling though.  Delicious!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pro Formula Cleansing Oil - £4.99 (here)
Pro Formula Micellar Water -  £3.99 (here)
Treacle Moon - Bath and Shower Gel - £2.99 (here)

Whether you are saving for a holiday, at uni, saving for a house, saving for a wedding, or just generally trying to keep spends down, there is always a reason to pick up a bargain when it comes to health and beauty products.

Top on my list for finding products like this are supermarkets.  Always.  I used to spend hours buying clothes, makeup and skin care from Tesco and some of the other supermarkets out there.  These days, living in the city centre I don't really have that luxury and miss the opportunity for a good supermarket haul!

As a result, I also find I often end up spending quite a lot on day to day products.  Definitely going to be making a conscious effort to venture back to Tesco to mix up my beauty product collection seeing as these have been such a success!

Treacle Moon Mango Thoughts

This shower gel is super fruity and smells so sweet without being sickly. I absolutely love it.  Usually I use Imperial Leather Foam Burst Shower Gel but it's not had a look in since getting this!  It froths up nicely and leaves you feeling clean and moisturised!  Perfect!  It is also alcohol free.

are so many more scrumptious sounding Treacle Moon products here, including "coconut island", "lemonade days" and "strawberry dream".

Pro Formula Cleansing Oil

So initially I got a bit carried away with this and used it as a moisturiser.  I have no idea why.  I just assumed that's what it was!  As a moisturiser it is totally amazing - lasts for ages and leaves skin so much more nourished, which is something I am struggling to get from most of my moisturisers at the moment.

Using this correctly though, as a cleanser I also found it worked a treat.  My makeup slides off and my skin feels supple.  That said, you then have to rinse.  This doesn't take away the moisture effect but is a definite must for me or I would end up with swollen irritated eyes in the morning!

I'd definitely recommend this as either a moisturiser or cleanser!

Pro Formula Micellar Water 

This is a non-harsh cleansing water.  I use this to remove the oil from the cleansing oil or any traces of makeup.  I also use it before applying my moisturiser in the morning once I have washed my face.  It just helps my face from feeling tight.

I like this product too. It's very understated in that I don't think it will create any miracle changes to my skin but it feels as nice as my Lancome toner.  It smells refreshing and light and reminds me of cucumbers.  I'd recommend this if you don't need anything too specialist and have sensitive skin as it's perfect on mine.

Some of you may have seen on Instagram (here) that I purchased a little Barcelona Guide following booking a little trip there!

I am super excited.  I've never been before and know nothing about the place so I am presently researching and noting down all the things I want to do and see.  

Needless to say, I've found lots of tapas bars to head to - I will probably come back like a whale!

I am praying it will be sunny so I might even catch a bit of sun.  I don't think there will be much bikini action though as there are too many other things to do!

On another note, how cute is the notebook!?  It's from The Works and was only a few pounds - absolute bargain.  It's the perfect size for bringing everywhere. 

Any recommendations are welcome - places to eat, things to see, tips etc!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Miss Sporty Pump Up Mascara - £3.99 (here)

So without going over old ground most mascaras are a nightmare for my eyelashes.  In short, they point downwards and I have to spend 5 minutes curling them every day to get my eyes to look awake!  What I don't need therefore is a super wet mascara that will immediately cause the curl to drop, which most do.


I had a real combination going on for years.  Miss Sport Fab Lash and later on Miss Sporty Studio Lash - both waterproof.  Followed by Revlon Fabulash Waterproof Mascara.  Both were pretty good at keeping my lashes curled and volumised.  Until late last year when I came to replace my Miss Sport Waterproof and it was gone.  It still annoys me now!  Why do brands do that without any warning!?  If I had known I could have at least bought 20 or something given they were so cheap.

Anyway, after going into town the other day on the off chance there may be some similar version I decided to pick this mascara up.  I didn't hold out much hope for it working as I need it to but you never know.

Unfortunately, for me this is too wet and drops the curl.  When I recurl again (which you aren't supposed to do on top of mascara but I have no choice at this stage), the results are less than impressive.  My lashes look longer but not volumised.  

In short, I would not recommend this product.  Unfortunately, I don't thin it performs very well and despite my specialised needs I don't think it would cause amazing results for anyone!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo and Conditioner £2.29
Every now and then I feel the need for change when it comes to health and beauty in my life!  It's a sudden urge that leaves me immediately seeking out an alternative.

Last week it was my hair care.  I've been using the same products for a while and I don't feel that I am getting the same results.  I am also bored with my mid-length hair and desperate for it to grow.

So cue quick supermarket (cheap) splurge on hair care in the shape of Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo and Conditioner, which allegedly makes your hair stronger in just one wash.

Now I won't lie, my hair did not feel stronger after one wash, but I wasn't expecting miracles, that isn't going to happen at £2.29 each!  What I did get though was a lovely scented, very lathered, silky experience!  Which is what I was looking for.  Some shampoos don't like to lather (usually because they actually have less abrasive ingredients in them) and I just wanted to feel like my hair was really clean.

So I lathered, rinsed and then applied the conditioner.  I rinsed again and my hair was silky and smooth.  It did dry easier and the straightness lasted well (until I worked out that is).  Also the smell of honey followed me around all day which was also very nice.

I've used Herbal Essences before but only the blue Hello Hydration one.  They both smell delicious so I would recommend either.  I think they are the perfect shampoo and conditioners to get in travel size for trips away or after the gym etc!

Do any of you use Herbal Essences?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Purchase here

Hey lovelies! 

It's that time of year when it becomes necessary to start buying a load of summer/holiday clothes because, well if you are anything like me, you have nothing to wear. 

Literally had to empty out all my drawers this weekend for inspiration when the sun came out!  What on earth to wear in the heat that a. is nice and cool and b. doesn't show too much leg.  (I hate my legs). 

So needless to say it wasn't long before I started searching for summer clothes online!  I also started searching for holidays, but that is another story!

Anyway, had to share this brand with you.  Their dresses are literally amazing.  Every single one of them!  They make me think of dancing on the beach at sunset.  I have no idea why! 

Definitely going to buy one soon.  Outfit post will follow once I've selected and it has been delivered! 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Purchase at Boots here

So disaster struck when I went to purchase my favourite fake tan last week.  They had sold out in Boots, I knew of no where else that stocks it and I had pretty much already over-run on my lunch break.  Oh and I needed to fake tan that night before Southport Weekender (which was amazing by the way.  Link to website here for those of you that like soul, RnB, or house music).

For the most part, none of the competitors were available either.  I must say - TIME TO STOCK UP BOOTS MANCHESTER! 

Anyway, I picked up a No7 once and then thought actually I will get Ambre Solaire - I used to use a tan by them back in the day, surely it will have improved by now anyway.  I purchased the dark version and hoped for the best. It wouldn't be the first time I had wasted money on a fake tan and in reality you tend to get what you pay for I have found in my experience. 

So off I trotted to the till and purchased. 

Mistake.  Unfortunately, it was what I can only describe as a massive let down.  I really don't like saying that either.  I hate product bashing - but I have to be honest. 

I exfoliated, moisturised my knees, elbows and ankles and applied as instructed.  I allowed it to develop over night and woke up… PALE and gutted. 

The moral of the story is don't leave your tanning to the last minute!  It will result in pale skin and wasted money. 

Needless to say I do not recommend this product at all.  Unfortunately, it didn't work at all on me. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

No Flash - indoors

Sorry for the super long heading - I couldn't think of anything imaginative.  My brain is fried from all the nail art I have been pinning on Pinterest!

Decided to put some of it into practice - very basic I know, but I found some nail art tools I purchased from ebay around 5 years ago and finally opened the package!  I used the dotting tool only and found there was even a knack to that!

Looking forward to perfecting some other skills.

With Flash - indoors
I really struggled to find colours that I could use to copy so many of the pretty looks I'd found.  Moral of the story - I need to purchase fewer dark colours and increase my collection of gold, silver and pastel gel polishes!  Such a difficult task for a girl!

Can't wait!

Anyway, The colours used are Mint Shellac - St Petersburg as the base (I've got to be honest, this chips really easily so I am not holding out much hope of it lasting), Gelish - You're So Sweet You Give Me Toothache as the light pink dots on my thumb nail, Red Carpet Manicure - Parisian Chic and Mint Shellac - San Diego.

Love a good manicure.  Here's hoping that it will last!

Monday, 5 May 2014

I love looking at nail colours/art/styles and always mean to share whatever gel polish I am wearing, but somehow always forget to picture my nails other than on my phone.  Therefore the quality is usually a bit poor and unblog-worthy.

I will make more of an effort I promise.

However, here is one that I did manage to photograph, although it must have been a while ago!  I always go back to this shade though - it's so pretty and I love the name of it!
Yankee Candle - Large Jar £19.99
link here

Ahhh Yankee Candle.  I do not know of anyone who does not appreciate this brand of candle.  That likes candles that is.

My obsession with this brand started not long after we had moved into our city centre flat and wanted to relax in our home and get rid of any open plan cooking smells.

Luckily for us also, we live relatively close to the Lowry Outlet Mall which means they can be purchased at a slightly cheaper price.

So, firstly Garden Sweet Pea is an absolute must for any of you that love the smell of Hollister.  It literally smells the same as their stores!  Obsessed and always have around 3 of these in at once!

The other two scents were new ones to try.  The Midnight Oasis is a favourite for a lot of people I think but it's not as nice as Garden Sweet Pea for me and I don't intend on re-purchasing.  In all honesty, to me it smells like male shower gel and is confusing to my brain - I feel like I should be in a bathroom whenever it's lit!

The Chapmaca Blossom is lovely to smell in the glass jar, but again not as nice as Garden Sweet Pea.  It's a light and subtle scent so it is probably good if you don't want something too powerful, but for me the beauty of Yankee Candles is that you can usually smell them the whole time they are on, unlike some candles, which you seem to get used to as they burn.

All in all though, I would say you cannot go wrong with Yankee Candles.  There are so many lovely scents and they burn for hours and hours and hours and are totally worth the cost in my view!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Attended an absolutely amazing wedding recently.  Good food, company and beautiful venue (West Tower in Aughton if you're interested).

I made the error of bringing an un-charged camera!  Was gutted but it's always such a busy lead up to weekend events isn't it!

So all the photos I got were using my trusty iPhone.  I was aiming for a natural(ish) look.  And one that I did not have to refresh too much.

- Foundation - Estee Lauder Double Wear in Fresco and Shell Beige mixed
- Blush - Nars Orgasm
- Eyeshadow - Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette in Various
- Eyeliner - Lancome
- Lipstain - Maybelline New York Super Stay 24 Hour Lip Colour in Plum Seduction (which is amazing)
- Highlighter - MAC Cream Colour Base in Shell
- Brows - Benefit Brow Zings
- Mascara - Revlon Fabulash

It was a bit of an action shot - hence the seatbelt!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

I literally live in my disco pants.  I don't even know if people think that they are still ok to wear or whether that fashion has died a death.  I also don't care because I love mine.  They are just so versatile and make me feel like I am from another era! An era when everyone did crazy disco dancing to Donna Summers music.

Anyway, I digress.

So it was a friend's 30th this weekend and they are always the kind of events that you don't want to be the most over dressed in the room so I opted for the disco pants again.  With a cami and blazer.  Perfecto!

Disco Pants - River Island
Cami - New Look (massive bargain)
Blazer - Jane Norman
Clutch Bag - House of Fraser
Shoes - Red Herring at Debenhams
Large Pearl Ring - Gift
Bracelets - Pandora and Ernest Jones - Gifts
Earrings - Mosaic-Creativity
Necklace - Claires Accessories (old)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I was guilt tripped by the BBC's Orangutan Diaries recently. I couldn't cope with seeing baby Orangutans losing their habitat because of unsustainable palm oil plantations, then Michaela Strachan proceeding to lecture about how we buy far too many products containing palm oil produced from these plantations. I was already aware of the problem before watching Orangutan Diaries but my busy life saw me consuming whatever was convenient. This time, I decided to do something about it. 

One of my new year resolutions was to be more conscious in my decision making. That's not only things I buy, but in life in general. Even if it's something small. I don't profess to be able to change the world and be the perfect human being. But if I can make a slight change for the better with my actions, it's good enough for me. I thought beauty products would be a good place to start so I took some time to look into brands which are palm oil conscious. Lush came up high on the list (http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/Hair_Products). Most people usually talk about how nice the bath bombs are from Lush and that's about it. So I was pleasantly surprised to find they offer a whole range of beauty products.

Changing my hair routine is a big deal. My natural curls, which I definitely don't have time to straighten day in, day out, require moisture and lots of it. As long as there's a good cut going on, products are my focus. So, that's: shampoo, conditioner, an intensive condition once in a while, serum to de frizz, styling cream to boost and styling spray to set. Complicated, potentially expensive and long-winded, yes. But pretty much essential when it comes to keeping my curls, well, curly. Looking for something which was going to be able to do this was an important factor when considering using more ethically-sound products. Here is my verdict. 

Soak and Float shampoo

My requirements: Hair needs to be squeaky clean and keeps those pesky flakes away. My dark hair makes them much more noticeable, you see.
Name: It sounds a bit wrong. Or is that just me?
Appearance: Round soap bar with a beige vibe. Even more natural than natural.
Smell: Wow. And this isn't a good wow. It's the cade oil, which has a "strong smoky, woodsy aroma", apparently.Hmm. Cade oil is also known as juniper tar, which according to Lush has antiseptic, antimicrobial and fungicidal properties. 
Feel on hands: A good amount of lather but not over the top.
Feel on head: The lather continues to stay normal and is straight to the point. .
Rinse: Rinses out quickly and easy.
Result: After over 3 weeks of using it, so far, so good. For me, I have to use it twice. It may smell strong but an affordable product that's natural and can meet my requirements wins hands down over the chemical alternative. Plus the smell doesn't linger in your hair after you rinse it out. 

Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Water, Cade Oil, Lavender Oil, Marigold Petals, Rose Petals, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume
*occurs naturally in essential oils

Veganese conditioner

My requirements: MOISTURE.

Name: You don't have to be vegan to use it but it's a good indicator for those who are dedicated to that lifestyle. For this, I will give it at least a point for function.
Appearance: Creamy with very faint pistachio tint.
Smell: Sweet, sweet lemon.
Feel on hands: Slightly runny, which didn't fill me with too much joy. However, my quest for moisture meant that in the past I was going for thick conditioners that weighed my fine hair down. The feel is something I'll have to get used to. 
Feel on head: Soaks in very quickly.
Rinse: Again, rinses out quickly and easily.
Result: Love it. My hair is manageable, smooth, shiny plus it had a really pleasant, long-lasting lemony smell. It's quite pricey (but value for money when considering how long a big bottle will last), so I went for the smallest size, just to test. I'll be purchasing the largest bottle possible of the Veganese once pay day comes around because it really does the trick. My favourite purchase out of the 3.

Ingredients: Lavender Flower Infusion, Fresh Rosemary Infusion, Agar Agar Gel, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cetrimonium Bromide, Lemon Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume, Methylparaben

*occurs naturally in essential oils

Sweetie Pie shower jelly

My requirements: Clean me.

Name: This is cute and it encouraged me to pick it up on a whim. 
Appearance: Purple, wobbly jelly. It's supposed be sparkly but I couldn't see the sparkles. Upsetting. 
Smell: Cherry.
Feel on hands: Wobbly, stretchy and very difficult to get out of the pot.
Feel on body: It just stays the same. Where's the lather?
Rinse: After some hard work, the lather appears. It rinses off quickly.
Result: A fun idea but it doesn't translate into an effective shower gel in my eyes. I should have known what I was getting, seen as the packaging clearly describes it as shower jelly. Unfortunately the novelty wore off after the fact it wasn't easy to use. 

Ingredients: Glycerine, Cherry Infusion, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coconut Infusion, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan Extract, Perfume, Bergamot Oil, Cassis Absolute, Cypress Oil, *Limonene, *Linalool, Snowflake Lustre, Colour 17200, Colour 42090, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
*occurs naturally in essential oils

Overall verdict

When it comes to shopping at Lush, I'd honestly suggest browsing the engaging website and buying on line after a trip to the Arndale shop. Staff were a bit pushy plus you only have to walk by the entrance to be overawed by the combination of flowery, powdery aromas coming from inside.

Their products are what makes the experience in my opinion. On top of their palm oil policy, they don't test on animals plus it's an easily accessible brand. The shampoo and conditioner gets a big thumbs up from me. Guilt free, effective and similarly priced to to higher-end chemical-based products; I've been converted.   

About me: My name is Karolyn, I'm a writer and I've been friends with Dani for 5 or 6 years. I also blog like Dani but my Wordpress site Gone Out is focussed on events, culture and occasional rants.Check it out at www.goneout.wordpress.com or follow me on Twitter: @karolynsgoneout.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

In keeping with the healthier me theme, I was struggling slightly today when trying to locate a snack that wouldn't take me off plan.  Unfortunately, despite prepping my lunches for the week, my portions are somehow ridiculously small and the avocado I had brought to fatten it up wasn't ripe and got binned.  I was hungry before I had even finished!

With that I nipped over to Tesco and located this bad boy, in a 4 pack which was only £2.50 (which I consider to be a bargain really when you consider what you pay these days for anything).  In the pack is Cocoa Delight, Rhubarb and Custard and Berry Delight.  Nom nom.

There wasn't much left before I decided you'd want to see what the bar looked like!! haha
Nakd website

I was surprised at how delicious this was.  It has a great texture and tastes like chocolate orange (obviously).  It's not dry or anything though so it makes it very enjoyable and the perfect pre-gym snack!

This particular bar contains only Dates (40%), Cashews (40%), Raisins (14%), Cocoa (5%) and natural flavour. 

I've copied the nutritional info from their website.  I was slightly shocked at all the sugar but apparently it's all natural so I am not as concerned.  That said, I am definitely over my sugar quota for the day.  I would definitely recommend these though as they are yummy and aren't going to add lbs unless you eat sh*t loads of them!

Typical valuesper 35gper 100g
Energy607 kj1736 kj
Energy145 kcal415 kcal
Protein4 g11 g
Carbohydrate16 g45 g
(of which sugars)14 g39 g
Fat7 g20 g
(of which saturates)1 g4 g
Fibre2 g6 g
*equivalent as salt0.1g0.1g

* Contains only the naturally occurring, unrefined sugars found within fruit. Nothing is added or refined. **Allergy information: may contain traces of nuts, peanuts and sesame seeds.

I love In Love With Fashion for clothes.  They have so many choices and show real people in the outfits so you get a real sense of what something will look like.  I love this dress very much.  When I first bought it, it was for a night out.  Now I wear it more casual as above.  Either way, it's super versatile and works a treat.  Can't wait to wear it with gold sandals in summer!

Dress - InLoveWithFashion here
Leather Jacket - F21
Bag - Primark
Scarf - Market Stall on holiday years ago
Ankle Boots - Dorothy Perkins

Monday, 10 February 2014

If you are anything like me you might just burn the candle at both ends and find yourself in need of some under eye concealer to cover the obvious signs!  Unfortunately for me though, even when I have early nights, drink lots of water and eat well I still suffer from really bad darker pigmentation around my eyes.  It's more a reddy brown than anything.  And then purple practically right in the corner near the nose.  Fit. 

This is nothing new for me and as a result I have spent a fortune on concealers over the years.  In an attempt to save money, I didn't repurchase the standard Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer I use when it ran out.  I then used illamasqua for a while, which was great for staying power but definitely too light a shade (despite being colour matched I might add).  

So, in an attempt to find something slightly more appropriate, I headed to Superdrug and purchased a corrector and concealer palette from Sleek and MUA.  

Unfortunately, neither worked too well on me and I am back to Bobbi Brown!

Sleek Corrector and Concealer Palette (£7.99)

Purchased from Superdrug

I found that the coverage was firstly too light with this product.  Light in texture and coverage.  The Lighter shade (left) corrector was actually a good colour.  The problem is that as soon as you put the darker shade on, it undoes all the work the corrector has done and draws attention to your dark circles!  This is probably down to shading, but you are obviously limited in terms of what you can choose within the palette.  This combined with the fact that the texture is too light makes this a no for me and sadly a waste of money as I will never use it.

MUA Conceal and Brighten Kit (£3.50)

Purchased from Superdrug
Similarly, the texture is too light with this concealer also.  However, by this I mean way to light, as in pointless.  Now I feel bad hating on an MUA product as generally I like their makeup, but this is a prime example of when drugstore just doesn't work.  The texture and colours are totally off.  Texture wise I can only describe this as greasy.  And the colour just highlights any flaws and lines etc.   It's a definitely no from me I am afraid.

The only time I could say these products may work are if you barely have dark circles - but if that is the case I would say stick to foundation and some touché éclat!

Has anyone else tried these successfully?
I've been making the conscious effort to eat clean for a couple of weeks now.  I have started a 3 month plan which involves weight lifting, some cardio and clean eating.  Mainly because as always, Christmas took its toll and my waist line wasn't looking its best.  If I am totally honest too, I'd been celebrating pretty much since November too with the engagement, client christmas dos and family and friend catch ups.  I basically ate and drank non-stop badness for 2 and a half months.  Never good. 

I also hardly went to the gym at all during that period, which as a 6 times a week girl before that obviously left me feeling pretty sh*t.

So I am back on it now and enjoying every minute of it. Realistically though, I love food so I have to mix it up a bit to keep it interesting - hence today's recipe.

Pulled Pork and Home Made No Mayo Slaw

This is a good dish if you want to keep your man happy also, as it's healthy but doesn't compromise on flavour.  Takes me right back to all the barbecue restaurants in NYC!


Pulled Pork (makes 4 servings):

Pork Loin (approx 400g)
Garlic Powder (1 tbsp)
Apple Sauce (3/4 cup - unsweetened - if you struggle to find use baby apple food - that's what I do!)
Agave Nectar (3 tbsp)
Chopped Tomatoes (1 tin)
Corn Flour (3tbsp)
Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
Chilli Powder (1/2 tsp)
Smoked Paprika (1 tbsp)
Chilli Flakes (1/4 tsp)
Salt (1/2 tsp)

No Mayo Slaw (makes 2 large servings):

Two Carrots
1/3 of a White Cabbage
Juice of one Lemon
Agave Nectar (1tbsp)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Onion (optional - I've made with and without - both are nice however this was without)


Pulled Pork:

1.  Save for the pork and flour mix ingredients in a bowl and then once mixed, put in slow cooker.

2.  Trim any fat off the pork and cut in half.  Add to slow cooker and using a large spoon cover with the sauce as best as you can.

3.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Once done, take the pork out and shred with two forks on a large baking tray.

4.  Add the flour to thicken up the sauce and stir in.  Add the shredded pork into the pot and then cook on low for a further 30 minutes.

5. Serve.

No Mayo Slaw

Whilst the pork is cooking you can prepare the slaw.  It's super easy.

1.  Peel and chop the carrots.  I like them quite chunky but if I have loads of time and don't mind the additional work, sometimes I grate the carrot.  (If you are adding onions definitely grate these).

2.  Chop the cabbage in similar sized strips to the carrots.

3. Squeeze in lemon juice.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the Agave Nectar.

6. Stir all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for minimum half an hour.

7. Serve with the pulled pork.

P.S. Another good addition to this would be sweet potato mash!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

As some of you will know, I got engaged towards the end of last year and since then I have basically been pinning non-stop on Pinterest (follow me here).  I have a secret wedding board - I don't actually know why it's secret, well I think it's because I want to leave some surprises for my guests etc, but I also have other boards related to everything I love in life including wedding things!

Anyway, last Saturday was a bit like real life pinterest, in that I was able to view all things pretty and wedding related under one roof at the Tatton Park Wedding Show. 

It was my first wedding show and I went with my sister, who is also my chief bridesmaid.  We got there pretty early and the great thing first of all was that it was not ridiculously crowded like any other exhibition I have been to.  Yes, you were able to walk around and see what you wanted to see without it becoming stressful.  

The people on the stands were also really nice.  I met just one slightly pushy person and immediately walked off.  I don't do pushiness at the best of times, but I certainly won't stand for it when it comes to my wedding!  

So firstly, Tatton Park is beautiful.  It's in Knutsford.  My god, I have no idea why I have not been here before when it's only half an hour down the road or so.  Actually went back the next day to show the boyf.  It makes you sick with envy driving past all the AMAZING houses on the way but it's also super inspiring.  Maybe one day I will make enough money to buy a house like that.  Yeaaaaaah riiiiiiiiight!! haha.  

The show was outside of the venue in some pretty impressive Marquees.  I must say, you didn't even realise you were in a Marquee most of the time.  A wedding in the field back at my Parent's home is still an option after all!!

There were quite a few stands but including a catwalk show we were done by 1pm and had arrived at 10am.  I think that's a nice amount of time though.  I may feel differently when I actually have a venue booked etc but for now it was perfect. 

Here are some of my favourite things I saw…

Invites and Table Plans by The Paper Doll

The Paper Doll Designed by Sarah - Jayne

Also on Pinterest

I just loved these invites - they were exactly the kind of thing I would like to have.  Pretty, yet understated.  Perfect.  I like the idea of a nude wedding so I think that invites like the top left or bottom right (style wise) would be perfect with those colours.

Personally, as much as I love Disney, I would not be having it at my wedding - but I still liked the idea of the place cards - I reckon that would be perfect for some girls weddings!

Then the bottom left picture is what looked to be a Bride Survival hamper for the wedding day - I love the idea of this.  Perfect!

Wedding Tiered Cakes and Cupcakes

The top two pictures are Buttercup Cakes and you can find out about them here.  We got to sample some of their cakes and they were DELISH.  Tried a cupcake and it was literally the best cupcake of my life.  All down to the fact that the frosting wasn't too sickly.  I don't know what they had done but they had done it right!  Definitely want to look into them more.  Their tiered cakes were also beautiful.  If you are looking for wedding cakes have a look on their website here.  I will certainly be keeping their details for future reference!

The bottom two pictures were cakes by The Hazelnut Bakery.  We didn't get to sample these but they looked divine in any event!! Loved the pretty layouts of their cakes, especially the macaroon drawers!  You can find out more about them here

The Catwalk

Pretty dresses everywhere.  None of them however made me think oooo that's the one I'd like to try on.  I think the dress trying on stage is going to be lengthy!!  Thank goodness I have like a year or so before I actually have to make a decision on that front!  Think of the day, my favourite was the gatsby looking one on the bottom right.  Couldn't get the front photographed but it moved so well!

Table Decor

In keeping with my potentially nude themed wedding (just an idea at the moment), I really loved this table decor but unfortunately I didn't seem to pick up a leaflet for the designer!  Gutted.   Soooo pretty and the flowers were just to die for!  I really love the idea of centre pieces like this. They are just so beautiful.  And all the intricate detailing of the place settings is so gorgeous.  If I don't use this as inspiration for my wedding then it will have to be inspiration for my table at home generally!  It's just too nice. 

My tips so far for wedding planning

  1. Firstly, do everything in your own time.  Don't get caught up in the - oh you have to book everything now or there will nothing left.  There will be nothing left!?  Really? Ok, well then I will have to wait.  But I won't be rushed just to bag a venue.  At the end of the day, you want it to be perfect and so you have to do what is right of you whether that is booking it all years in advance or booking it all 6 months before.  
  2. Enjoy it.  Most girls have thought about getting married, even if just fleetingly.  For me, I didn't really think about it until I was proposed to.  Which is why I have no idea what kind of wedding I want, what colour scheme, where, when etc.  Obviously I (we) have to make a decision on these things at some point, but I am going to have fun doing it.  Which means I am going to wedding fayres, picking up as much info as possible and loving every minute of it.  
  3. Bring someone who knows you well along with you.  At the wedding fayre my sister was asking me what colours I wanted and I had no idea.  She said, I can see you have a nude wedding. Secretly, that's what I had been thinking and that's what I have been re-pinning (geek haha) which suggests she's pretty much on point there! Also, it helps if that person knows you well enough to tell you when you are having a BAD idea (such as my "oh happy day" gospel choir moment.  Gospel choir yes.  Hymn - not if you aren't getting married in a church.  Oh yes, good point sissy!
  4. If you do have things in mind that you know you definitely want and the exhibitors are going to be there make sure you ensure you have enough time to spend with them.  Wait if necessary and get the information you need.  This will also give you the opportunity to consider whether you really want to work with this person.  Most services you need require you to build an ongoing relationship with the person providing it to ensure you get what you want and they know what it is.  That's why you have to make sure you are able to communicate effectively with these people and you don't feel pressured or like they don't understand what you want.  If you feel like you are getting the info you need from them and they understand you - you are probably onto a winner.
  5. Make lots of notes and take lots of photos.  That way you have a wedding scrap book to refer to when you've slept since you've seen something and can't remember the name of the company, or style of something you liked!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Nike ID
Nike and Liberty of London Print
I am obsessed with Nike.  I constantly lust after nike trainers and it's a running joke now at work that I will probably wear trainers to my wedding.  I won't.  However you can see that people think I love them a lot!

I used to be out throwing money away on Nike trainers whenever I felt like it but now that I am saving for  house deposit me and the boyf have had to put our love of trainers to one side.  For now.

So I have to admit it has been a while since I purchased these.  Last summer in fact.  But I have been meaning to write about my experience for a while and also, I just love these trainers.  They are so pretty and they are ridiculously comfy.

I always want to wear them to the gym but they cost waaaay too much for that so I don't haha.

Anyway, they were easy enough to design.  You just click through the options and chose the colours of the trainer, sole, tongue, ticks, laces and loop at the back and hey presto your trainer is designed!

Then it takes weeks for them to turn up.  And when they do - there is a creature inside the box! Ok, so not a live one or anything, but like some foreign moth type creature.  Not ideal but after waiting so long what can you do!  I'm pretty sure that is not part of the service however and that most people don't experience the added extras!

Anyone else used Nike ID.  Show me your Nikes!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

It's been a heck of a while since I have done one of these posts!  Yesterday I went to the Tatton Park Wedding Show (review coming up soon).  I don't know why but I just wanted to try and look like I was semi groomed, rather than my slightly unkempt usual self haha!  I suppose I wanted to look a bit more grown up as getting married feels like it's a grown up thing to do!

Although my makeup looks pretty natural (I hope), don't be fooled!  I've got loads on!


Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Shell Beige mixed with Fresco (£28.50 each)  My perfect shade.
MAC Mineralise Skin Finish (£22.00) Powder in Medium Dark
W7 Honolulu Bronzing Powder (£2.25)
Topshop Bronzer and Blush mixed (discontinued)
MAC Lipstick (£15.00) in Hue
Benefit Brow Kit (£23.50) on eyebrows
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (£37.00) in Bootycall and Tease
No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencil (£6.50) in blackest purple

Also used Bobbi Brown moisturiser on face and eye cream and Bare Minerals Primer.
Nivea Skincare

Nivea really seem to have stepped up their game.  My first introduction to Nivea (along with lots of other girls) was that little blue circular tub of their super thick moisturiser.  I still use this when necessary now!

Recently though, I found that I appear to have a new found appreciation for Nivea.  It's one of those things that has crept up on me.  It started firstly with the Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover (£3.49).  I like this because it is a cheaper version of Lancome Bi-Facil Oil Free Cleanser and Makeup Remover (£21.00).  I have to say - it pretty much does as good a job.  So I've stopped buying Lancome now.  I'd recommend this because I have super sensitive eyes but wear really strong waterproof mascara so need something heavy duty to get the stuff off.  This is perfect for that and one of the few out there that work.  A definite must have.

Then, during a supermarket visit I picked up some Pure and Natural Cleansing Lotion (£3.65), again weirdly to replace another Lancome cleansing product.  I like this because it smells nice and leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturised.  What I will say is that I still feel like I need to use a toner or face wash after it on the basis that if I don't there will be some foundation left behind.  I imagine that this is because I wear Estee Lauder double wear and find that this is the case will every cleansing lotion I have ever used.

I received the Light Moisturising Day Cream (£4.25) for Christmas, which I loved because it went with  my other products and found that this is the perfect moisturiser to use if you are having a light makeup day, no makeup day or (and this is how I mostly use it) if you have been to the gym and you are removing and refreshing your makeup during the day as a result.  It's light and fresh and does not leave skin feeling greasy.  It does however leave your skin feeling moisturised and supple.  I find however that I still realistically need an eye cream with this and therefore for me, if I was using this under my normal makeup, I'd ensure I used it with an eye cream - otherwise I look a bit liney under the eyes I'm afraid!  Again though a definitely recommendation.

I also use the Refreshing Cleansing Wipes (£3.09) post gym and to wipe off any cleanser residue but I have run out!!

Looking on their website I can see they really do have loads of products and plan on trying a primer or serum next - let me know if you have any recommendations yourselves!