Saturday, 21 January 2017

Project Use It Up 2017

I started Project Use It Up towards the end of 2015 (you can read my final post about it here).  Basically, I picked 10 products that I was determined to finish in 2016.  I try and choose products that take an age to finish, or I have had for ages, so that I make more of an effort to use them daily.  Here are the products that I have chosen for 2017:

  1. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Gold - I love this colour, but because I have hooded eyelids, I don't usually wear eye liner (although I own loads of them - go figure!)
  2. Soap & Glory Hocus Focus Instant Visual Flaw-Softening Lotion - 30ml - I bought this in a box set during the Christmas sales a couple of years ago and have never used it.  I will mix this in with my moisturiser or foundation for a dewy glow.
  3. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly - 30ml - Another product that I bought when it was on offer and never opened.
  4. Essie Mirror Metallics Polish in Nothing Else Matters - I love metallic polishes as they are so easy to apply and dry really quickly.  I really love this metallic lavender colour so I will make an effort to use this polish more often.
  5. Laugh a Lot MAC Lipstick - I managed to break this lipstick on one of the first times that I used it, so I would love to finish it off.
  6. Another nail polish, this time a Glitter one OPI Excuse Moi! -  I'm quite lazy and don't often put glitter nail polish on my finger nails as it's such a pain to remove, but I do like wearing glitter on my toe nails, so this is the one I will make more of an effort to use.
  7. Marc Jacobs Lip Gloss - Not sure what this one is called, but it is a lovely glittery deep pink colour.  I have had this one for a while and it's a gorgeous colour, so I want to use it more often.
  8. Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum Pen - I picked this up in TK Maxx for a bargain price, and it's sitting in my bathroom unloved, so this one has to go on the list.
  9. Honest Beauty Magic Balm - I really like this product, so it shouldn't be hard to finish off.
  10. EOS Lip Balm - I have quite a few lip balms on the go right now, but this is the one I am aiming to use up first.
Well that's my list of 10 and hopefully it won't take me the full year to use them all up like it did last year.  Let me know if you have a list of products that you are trying to use up this year.


I bought these products with my own money

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna Fragrance

I love to buy at least one Beauty Advent Calendar at Christmas time and one of my favourites is the Marks & Spencer Advent Calendar as it's great value (£35) and it includes products from some of my favourite brands.  I also like that it gives me an opportunity to try out new brands and one of my favourite products from the 2016 calendar was the Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna Natural Spray Fragrance.  As well as being a generous deluxe size sample (10ml), it also smells amazing.
Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna Fragrance
Atropa Belladonna is Italian for beautiful lady and the fragrance itself contains Cassis Berries (top note), Jasmine, White Narcissus (heart note) and Patchouli on a base of rich bourbon vanilla (base note).  This is a deep, rich and sexy scent, but it is not overpowering.

Shay & Blue fragrances are hand crafted in England using real flowers, fruits and spices.

The Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna Eau de Parfum costs £30 for 30ml  (£55 for 100ml) on the Shay & Blue website or in-store at Marks & Spencer and comes beautifully gift wrapped in an elegant blue box.

I can't wait to try out some more of the Shay & Blue fragrances.  Let me know if you have any recommendations of which to try out.


I bought this product with my own money

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Challenges for 2017

As some of you may be aware I have picked a number of challenges at the start of each year, to try and complete for the last couple of years.  I've decided to do it slightly differently this year, as I must admit to losing track of them throughout the year until I write an update  on the blog and then I realise that I have forgotten about most of them.  This year I thought I would try something new and just have one or 2 challenges that I need to complete before I move onto the next one.  Hopefully this will help me to stay on track and complete them rather than forgetting about them.  Some of them will be small ones that can be done quickly, while others might take awhile, but I want to try and complete them all.

So the first challenge, should I wish to accept it, is to give up chocolate and cans of pop (mainly Pepsi) for 30 days.  I must admit, like a lot of people chocolate is my vice, I don't smoke and rarely drink but chocolate is the one thing that I overindulge in alongside cans of Pepsi or Coke, I can drink an 8 pack of Pepsi in an embarrassingly short amount of time.  So for 30 days I am going to try and give them up, if I break I will start again until I reach my goal.  To help me out my sister is also going to give up chocolate and cans of pop for 30 days, so at least she's not going to be tempting me by eating chocolate in front of me.  I will post again once I complete this challenge. 

Let the challenge commence

What challenges have you given yourself this year?


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

M&S Mascara Correction Buds

M&S Mascara Correction Buds are one of those products that you don't realise you need until you actually try them and then realise that they are a great addition to your makeup kit.  They look like normal cotton buds, but one end of the cotton bud is filled with a makeup remover that effectively removes mascara and eye makeup.  If I make a mistake when applying my eye makeup, or some mascara ends up on my eyelid rather than my eyelash, then I use one of the mascara correction buds to remove the mistake, rather than use a makeup wipe to remove all my eye makeup and having to start again.
Simply hold the cotton bud upright with the coloured ring on top, then bend the end of the coloured ring to one side until it snaps, which allows the liquid to pass down the tube and saturate the cotton tip at the other end.  Once the tip is saturated, you can gently remove any mistakes that you have made with precision.  It makes applying eye makeup and mascara so much easier.  This is also something you can pop in your handbag, to help with any touch-ups when you are out and about. 

The best thing is that it only costs £3 for 24 cotton buds in-store or online.  Obviously, when you are at home you can just dip an ordinary cotton bud into your normal makeup remover to achieve the same effect, but I prefer the M&S Mascara Correction Buds because it's quicker and easier.  This product is also cruelty free.

I bought this product with my own money

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Updated Challenges 2016

Wow it's 2017 already, so I thought I would update you on how I did on the challenges I set myself for 2016.
  1. Spending ban from 4th January to 31st March 2016.  I have spent so much on makeup and toiletries in December 2015, in order to take advantage of all the great offers that are around at this time of year.  I am going to have a complete spending ban from the start of the year for 3 months.  January spending ban was completed.  Then I failed miserably due to British Beauty Bloggers Aveda Box Sets which I couldn't resist.   I did manage to do another 2 month spending ban later in the year though. COMPLETED
  2. Nano Keratin Treatment - I have finally found a hairdresser that I like, so I will definitely be booking this for early 2016 - I did this just before I  went on holiday and I have to say that I was disappointed with the results. My hair feels smoother when I wash it and it is quicker to blow dry straight, but I was hoping for looser curls and less frizz in general and that has just not happened.  I have had better results with cheaper straightening treatments.  For nearly £200 I expected way more.  COMPLETED
  3. Pay off credit card - I want to get my credit card balance to 0 this year -  I have now paid off my credit cards so this challenge is complete.  COMPLETED
  4. Books - I want to finish 10 books that I already own this year. Update -  I read 11 books this year. COMPLETED
  5. DVDs - I want to watch 25 DVDs that I already own and decide whether to keep them or give them away -   I lost count after 25, so not sure exactly how many I watched in the end.  COMPLETED
  6. Weight - I would like to lose 1 stone this year.  Once I achieve this I will set myself another target - I will admit that I have more then likely put on weight this year so this has not gone well.  FAILED
  7. Wear a dress to work - I always wear trousers to work, so I want to wear at least one dress this year - I did not wear a dress to work.  This was such an easy one so not sure why I didn't complete this one. FAILED
  8. I am not much of a cook, but I want to try out 10 new recipes this year. I have found 1 recipe that I really like which is Thai Green Chicken which is really easy and quick to cook.   Other recipes I have tried haven't worked out quite so well. So this one is another failure.  FAILED
  9. I want to declutter 100 items from my home this year and either sell them, give them away or throw them out -  I managed to complete this challenge as I have sold quite a lot of items on eBay this year and gave a good amount of things to charity shops.  COMPLETED
  10. I eat a lot of junk food so I want to give up fizzy drinks & chocolate for at least 30 days each this year. I managed to stop drinking cans of Pepsi (which is my weakness) and I didn't buy any chocolate bars in January so this one is complete. COMPLETED
So that's 7 completed and 3 failed not bad but could do better (similar to my report cards at school to be honest).   I am going to change the way I do my challenges next year as I tend to lose track of them throughout the year.  I will post about my new approach in January.

What are your challenges for 2017?


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

VITABOX Nutrition Pack

I was recently sent a VITABOX Nutrition Pack*.    The box includes strips of supplements that you take on a daily basis, which provide you with nutrients to help you feel vitalised.   
VITABOX Nutrition Pack
Each daily strip contains 4 supplements:

Omega 3, 6 & 9 - The most essential fatty acids for a healthy heart and muscles.

Green Tea - A powerful natural antioxidant which helps to maintain a healthy metabolism.

Multivitamins - Provides overall benefits for supporting cardiac, circulatory, digestive, immune, mental and vision health.

Co-Enzyme Q10 - Helps your body produce energy.

I'm not an expert by any means but I took these for 14 days each lunchtime and just after I started them I did feel like I had a cold coming on, but it never materialised.  I'm not sure if these supplements had anything to do with that but they may have helped. 

I do think this is a good way to start the new year after all the over indulgence of the last few weeks. Each strip has the day labelled on them which makes it easy to remember to take them which I thought was a good idea.

You can buy the boxes here on a monthly subscription for £25.99 or a one off box for £28.99.

*I was sent this product to review but the opinions are my own

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Blog Sale

I'm having a New Year clear out, so check out my blog sale here.  I will be adding more to it as I go through my stash.