Tuesday, 24 June 2014

My Nail Polish Collection #Bloggers DoItBetter Challenge

I have long been a self confessed nail polish addict and my habit doesn't seem to be getting any better.


The above photo shows what I refer to as my 'core collection' as there are numerous boxes in my closet that contain doubles as well as colours that I rarely use so don't have sitting out.  I even have a box of nail varnishes that I don't even like!

My favourite nail polish brand is evidently Essie and I am slowly building up to owning the entire collection one day so whenever there's a 3 for 2 offer in Boots you can see me at the rack a couple of times a week picking up some new additions.

Being a nail polish addict is very difficult for me though. Being a student midwife there are stretches that can last up to 8 weeks where I'm on placement and can't wear nail polish.  So whenever I'm in on placement within the hospital and I have more than 2 days off in a row I'm painting my nails at the first opportunity.

Other than Essie, my favourite polishes at the moment are the Barry M Gelly polishes.  I have found these to be the most durable polish for my battered hands (my part time job isn't kind to my claws) and I love the massive colour range that's available.  

Something I've been trying to get more into is wearing blues and greens on my nails as I'm big on pinks and reds.

My holy grail of nude polishes may have been discovered in the Essie Spring Collection.


Spin the bottle is a perfect match for my skin tone and it's not got too much brown that it looks muddy.


My favourite polishes from my collection are (left to right) Essie's Spin the Bottle, Lacquered Up, and Truth or Flare; Topshop's Milkshake; Rimmel's Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Barry M Gelly in Pink Punch, and Blueberry; Illamasqua's Rare; and Models Own Magenta Divine.

Hope you like this post and if there's any shades you think I'd like let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 23 May 2014

I'm Fundraising!

So I mentioned this in a post about a month back but I decided I'd do a full post on who I'm fundraising for, why, and how.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

May Birchbox Review

This has got to have been my most favourite Birchbox ever!  It was a collaboration with Harpers Bazaar and I love the design of the box - The box was actually printed this month which is much better than the sleeve than came with the Lulu Guinness box of a few months past.


I don't even know where to start with this beauty!

Soigne Nail Lacquer in Creme au Beurre
The packaging for this polish is the most beautiful thing I have seen.  The cap is a gorgeous purpley-brown that kind of reminds me of the Charlotte Tilbury range  It applies really smoothly and two coats gave a really opaque finish even in such a nude shade.  At £11 per bottle this covered the whole cost of the box - wowzers! Nice one Birchbox *kisses*

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath and Shower Oil
I already have one of these oils that I bought from Space NK but I still haven't used it yet...again I still haven't used this one ha!  I do love the scent though and it will get used in the future but I just can't bear to not have any to sniff...weirdo!

Beauty Protector Protect and Shampoo/Protect and Condition
I've already had a sample of this brands hair oil so I was really excited to try out this shampoo and conditioner duo.  Unfortunately due to the ridiculous amount of hair on my noggin I was only able to get one use out of these samples.  It did leave my hair feeling super soft and silky though and it had a really nice scent too.  One thing I didn't really like though was that the conditioner was prettyy runny which I found a bit difficult to get onto my hair properly.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
This is a product I have been wanting to try for aaaaaaages.  Unfortunately, taking part in a skincare trial does tend to play havoc with getting skincare samples, so alas I haven't tried it out yet.  It will be first on my list in six weeks time though!

Benefit They're Real Mascara
What a gem this is!  My sister in law already swears by this and was pretty surprised that I didn't already own it when I told her this was in my box.  I must admit I was a bit apprehensive as I've read some reviews where some people felt it didn't make any difference to their lashes.  Not the case for me though!  It did actually look like I had falsies on!  My lashes are naturally pretty long anyways so I was amazed at how long this made them.  I didn't get any clumping with this mascara and I'll definitely by buying a full size once this one runs out.

Overall an epic box and I can't wait until my next one comes in.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Bloggers Do Trends Better | #BloggersDoItBetter Challenge

Part three of the Bloggers Do It Better challenge ran by Gemma of Touch of Belle is on the topic of trends and I decided to cover the makeup trends for Spring/Summer 2014.

The main trends that emerged from the catwalk shows way back in September were Rebel Liner, Golden Girls, Hot Lips, Raw Beauty and Sheer Shadow.  I'm showing my favourite looks from each trend below along with how I'll be wearing my favourites - Rebel Liner, Golden Girls and Hot Lip.

Rebel Liner

This is probably one of the easiest and most universal trends that pretty much everyone will be able to do.  It centres around eyeliner - if you couldn't tell - but this season it's being worn with a bit of an edge to it, hence the rebel part.

 Just Cavalli

 Blugirl

Rodarte

I used the Lord and Berry Kohl Eyeliner Pencil and smudged it out using a small shader brush.  To go with this look I kept my makeup very simple and my hair messy to give it that lived in look.

Golden Girls

Golden Girls is another trend that anyone will be able to do no matter their age or skin tone.  The look is all about that just back from holiday glow with sun kissed skin and flushed cheeks.

Emilio Pucci 

Michael Kors

To achieve this look I layered my Garnier BB cream with a George at Asda foudnation that is darker than my natural skin tone.  I then patted on the Honey Bronzer from The Body Shop all over my face, and applied Sleeks blush in Pixie Pink on my cheekbones along with the Pure Luxe Highlighter in Golden Rose by Autograph.  I kept my eyes really simple and just applied a light coat of lengthening mascara to open up my eyes, and boosted my brows using Benefit's Gimme Brow.

Hot Lips

Out of all the trends I'll be wearing I think this has to be my favourite...I just can't get enough of a bright matte lip! 

 House of Holland

 Prabal Gurung

I'm wearing the Bourjois Velvet Rouge in Pink Pong.

Raw Beauty

The ubiqutous no-makeup-makeup look that always seems to roll around in Spring and Summer.  It's all about keeping it uber minimal with only concealer being used on the majority of catwalks that featured it.

 Balmain

 Vera Wang

Giambattista Valli

Sheer Shadow

The pastel trend for clothing this season is crossing over into makeup with a soft wash of pastel shadow - particularly in blue - being the order of the day.

 Badgley Mishka

 Miu Miu

Burberry Prorsum

Hope you have enjoyed this post and remember to check back in a few weeks for the next installment of the Bloggers Do It Better challenge.

Friday, 16 May 2014

New Beauty Hall at Boots Fort Kinnaird

So on Wednesday might I was lucky enough to be able to attend a beauty evening to celebrate the new beauty hall within boots at Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh.

Boots have been going through a major rebrand within all of their major stores as you have probably noticed with more upmarket brand counters being brought in to make high end cosmetics more accessible in the high street.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

PhD Woman Meal Replacement Shake - The Review

I've been drinking protein shakes for about a year now since I started getting properly into using free weights and discovering that they help massively in reducing DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness. A neccessity particularly after leg day - ouch!

This is probably the second or third different type of protein powder that I've used and I thought that since I've started getting into writing more about health and fitness that I would give you all a little lowdown on it as well as my thoughts.


I actually bought this brand of protein as PhD Woman were running a special offer where if you spent over a certain amount you got a free hoodie and shaker bottle - winner!

I opted to get the Vanilla Creme flavour as it came highly recommended from Lydia Elise Millen as she said it tastes like custard...pretty close actually.  It is recommended that when making up this shake you add 2 scoops (about 55g) of powder to 250ml of cold water and shake well.  Because of the amount of carbohydrates in this shake I decided to only use one scoop and found that I actually needed to use closer to 300ml of water as only using 250ml left a slight powdery feeling in my mouth which wasn't very pleasant.

Other than that I really like this protein supplement.  It contains "added vitamins and minerals to help maintain a healthy immune system, healthy bones, healthy skin and hair, and healthy hormonal activity" with each 55g recommended serving containing 204 calories, 25.4g of protein, 19.5g of carbohydrate, and 2.3g of fat.

Something I found it worked really well in is my protein pancakes (I'll be doing a breakfast recipe post soon so keep a weathered eye) as it gave the pancakes a really rich vanilla flavour and mixed well with the other ingredients.  I also really enjoy mixing it into my oats - it's like dessert for breakfast.

Overall it is a very balanced supplement but I never used it purely as a meal replacement because I feel that protein shakes should be supplements and not the main way to increase your protein intake.  Due to me now being on a lower carb intake by following a flexible dieting macronutrient plan I have just started using a protein supplement with a lower carb content which I'll review once I've had a proper test of it.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting to start taking protein supplements as the taste and texture are really nice, especially if you don't have a carb limit to try and stick to i.e. you are doing lots of endurance or HIIT cardio.

What's your favourite way to workout?
Do you have a protein supplement that you like or good high protein recipes you would recommend?