Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I really like reading empties posts but I haven't had an opportunity to do one myself, as I actually needed to finish some products (I'm not so good at that) and remember not to throw them away! 

So here it goes...

1. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

By far the best 'drug store' foundation I have used in a long time. For a while I was loyal to the No.7 instant radiance foundation, but this is almost £5 cheaper and it is so much better. A great level of coverage, for the dewy glow that we all so crave. I have to say that putting this on with my real techniques stippling brush has if possible, made it even better. Re-purchase? Already done.

2. Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover

I am planning to review this soon - damn just given away that I have re-purchased! It has 2 layers, and you have to shake it up before soaking a cotton pad and sweeping over the eyelids. This is great at removing all make up including waterproof mascara, and gel eye liner. It does leave an oily residue which is fine for me at night, as I have quite dry skin and I do find it quite nourishing. However, it does mean that you need a full face wash if you are hoping to re-apply make up. Currently my top remover, but of course Bioderma is totally on my wish list. 

3. Aussie Dual Personality Heat Protector

This is starting to sound like a total love in, but I really liked this product. I'm not actually a massive lover of hair care products (perhaps I just haven't found the one's) but using this before blow drying and straightening made my hair much smoother and much more manageable. After this ran out, I picked up what I thought was the same product from my local Boots, but it most definitely is not the same, and I've been on the look out and cant seem to find exactly the same thing, which is massively rubbish. Yes, I would re-purchase if I could find it!

4. Liz Earle Gentle Face Exoliator

The only face exfoliator I've used for years. Wouldn't go back. Creamy and gentle (no hint of scratch here) and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dry after using. My skin is definitely too sensitive to use this everyday although that would probably be OK for people with more 'normal' skin, and I can sometimes find my skin almost craving this at times.

5. Simple Nourishing Eye-Make up Remover Cream

I progressed onto this after finding the standard eye make up remover a little drying and sometimes a bit 'stingy' (is that even a word?). I had this at the same time as the Botanics and it made it difficult to try and finish, as the Botanics is so much easier to use, and smoother to use, if that even makes sense.

6. Liz Earle Hot Cleanse and Polish

I recently reviewed this, although the special edition in aid of The Princes Trust. Seriously love love love this and there is not too much more to say about it!

7. Boots Clean Off Nail Polish Remover

It is hard to get excited about a nail polish remover, and don't worry I'm not about to either. Cheap and totally functional, this also makes relatively light work of glitter nail varnishes which are oh so pretty but usually a complete pain to remove.

Have any of you tried these products, what are your thoughts on them?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

Unless you've been hiding in a brown paper bag, you will have failed to notice the 'Real Technique' brushes all over blogs. Now I have quite a well established collection of brushes from Bobbi, Front Cover and Benefit, and I'm not too keen on having lots of repeats. However, I have always struggled with  foundation brushes. I have a traditional flat brush from Body Shop but wouldn't say it was going to set the world alight, and so tended to use my fingers for putting on my foundation. 

I saw a lot of reviews about the stippling brush, and I have to say it was not something I had heard of or would have even paid attention to before starting to read blogs, and I was keen to give it a try, as it seemed that the 'airbrushed' look I so crave is almost achievable with this brush.

I like the look of this brush. The brushed aluminum pink casing, with rubberised tip. The soft bristles that are 'bleached' at the end to provide a flecked appearance. It certainly brightens up the dressing table.

The effect this brush creates with some foundations does not disappoint. I really am very impressed. It does not give the same effect with every foundation in my limited collection, which shows that each product has it's own likes and dislikes when being applied.

It has most definitely made a difference with my everyday foundation (Rimmel Wake Me Up), and after an application with this it makes my skin look almost flawless. 

This has been a most welcome addition to my make up bag and I'm so glad that my arm didn't have to be twisted too much to make this purchase! I may even be tempted to add a couple more brushes to the collection.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Instagram Memories #4

Beautiful Mary Jane shoes that brightened up a bad week /// Starting to meal plan

A very messy dressing table which I posted about here /// Costume jewellery

An early wake up call /// New ring that I love 

Train make up and some engineering to see in the mirror /// Home made meat balls

Windowsill greenery /// Fresh, colourful and healthy

A little more organisation planning my work week /// Twinkly lights

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Learning something new

So last weekend, on a rather chilly and damp Sunday I made a quick trip down the M5 to Weston-Super-Mare. Let me tell you, it is as glamourous as it sounds. I was heading to Loves Cafe, to meet with Hayley from Lovely Craft Works who had promised me that she would be able to teach me crochet in 5 hours, and not only that I would leave with something I had made. 

I learnt to knit a long time a go but can't remember how to do it at all, and I have never crocheted (not even sure if that is a word). 

We started the day learning the basic single chain, and then how to add to this with double chains to make rows. This would make a basic square. I choose pink wool and have kept my first 5 rows of crochet.

Pink wool and my first hook
My first 5 rows!!!

Once we got this far, we swapped and started again. Choosing colours to make our first product, a draw string bag that would house our valentines themed key chains. Hayley was keen to show us how to make something simple, but also learn how to change colours. 

I'm not going to say that it was really easy, as I had to think all the time about what I was doing to ensure I got straight and flat chains. Hayley was so patient with me, at first I was all fingers and thumbs but eventually you do get into a rhythm. It becomes all engrossing and is a great place for some escapism. It doesn't play well to my perfectionist tendencies as I became more and more obsessed with how it looked, which was basically wonky!

Row on row of crochet

Managed to actually do 2 colours
My finished article
One day I might be able to make all these lovely things
My practising hasn't gone so well I'm afraid, so I am looking forward to my next meet up with Hayleys' loopy group on the 1st March and finding out what other little delights I can try and make. I am really enjoying learning something new and my friends and family can rest assured that they may well end up with crochet birthday and Christmas presents for years to come.

Katie x x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Giving something up...

So have we all gorged ourselves on enough pancakes so that we most definitely do not have to eat one again until next year? Whilst helping ourselves to the third or fourth little golden wonder (in my case sprinkled with sugar and lemon) do you remember that pancake day bears its tradition from using up all of the eggs, milk, flour and sugar before a period of fasting and abstinence for 40 days and 40 nights, to replicate the time spent by JC in the desert.

 I have never been one for Lent, while other friends of mine will agonise for hours, days and weeks over what they will give up for 40 long days and nights, it has never really interested me. Now I'm not actually one of those religious types, and so I hope I can be excused from swinging on their coat tails, but I have done a little research and the modern equivalent (because I am not fasting for 40 days!) is also to give up a luxury or abstain from something.

So the reason I have been thinking about this is because over the last 6 weeks or so I have been slowly but surely falling out of love with a certain social media site. Yes, I'm talking about you Facebook. It wasn't until I read a post by Nickie about her journey to de-activating that account that I finally confirmed to myself that I would do it.  Many of the reasons I want to do this are similar to her. I luckily have never been the victim of a 'facebook attack' with horrible people posting horrible things on my wall, and when I look through my timeline I see only happy memories. But that is half the problem isn't it. No one posts about the s**t times that are having, and if  they do, lets be honest it's because they want to provoke an outpouring of sympathy from their 'friends'. I log on now, and see advert after advert, sponsored posts, invitations to join app after app, sprinkled with the odd post of someone doing the most amazing thing in their amazing life. 

I am just as guilty of this approach to my online presence and as a result want to cut back. Not a day goes by without checking this site, I check it almost as soon as I wake up, on the train to work, in my breaks, on my journey home and at various points in the evening before my last check when I go to bed. What am I looking for...I'm just not sure anymore?

Am I nervous? Yes. I'm in the midst of organising a big trip to the States and Canada to visit family all of which is being organised via Facebook, but I will be sending them my email address and hopefully we can pick up where we left off using another medium. Am I going to miss announcements of births, engagements, parties? Honestly, probably not, if these people want to tell me personally then they will. Will I be liberated? I hope so.

I'll maybe update you 20 days in, but if you'll excuse me for now I'm off to de-activate my account.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentines Day /// Gift List

Beautysets - Valentines Day Gift List

Another beautyset from me, this time looking at some of the wonderful things that Mr Nicholls still has time to pop to the shop and purchase for me if he's feeling particularly generous...hint hint!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Special Edition


This is not me jumping on the bandwagon, this has been a 7 year love affair! I was first introduced  to this in 2005 by my best friend at university. She had been using the product for a while, as she suffered with acne, but had heard that it was also suitable for people with sensitive and dry skin. So I made my first on line order and that was it, I was hooked!

It's difficult to remember what I used before this cleanser, but I don't think it was anything special, possibly something from Simple or what I could steal from my mums dressing table!

To be fair, there isn't much I can say about this product that isn't already all over the blogosphere. If you want gentle, yet effective cleansing then this is the product that you need to try. There are literally no alternatives. In a bid to be thrifty, I have tried the Superdrug version, the sanctuary version and the No.7 attempt at a hot cloth cleanser. They were all left unfinished, because they were too harsh for my skin, or didn't give quite the same results!

I love; the smell, the texture, it's ability to remove all my make up in pretty much one sweep and the way your skin gets a fresh glow after using it. 

I actually follow with the Liz Earle toner and then a moisturiser of my choice, which is currently the Botanics Facial Oil (review to follow) because I had an allergic reaction to the Liz Earle moisturiser the first time I used it. 

The last time I went online to re-purchase some of my key products, I saw that they had this limited edition cleanse and polish available. I love the smell of lavender and I know that rose is brightening and calming for sensitive skin. We also do a lot of fundraising and volunteering for The Prince's Trust at work so I figured it was a win:win situation.

Personally, I do prefer the smell of the original over this limited edition, but the formula is still perfect. The bottle is also double the size of the normal pump bottle, so I certainly got a lot of product for my money. 

Tempted to give it a go...I cannot recommend this enough.

Katie x 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bobbi Brown Powder & Bronzer

I actually originally purchased these 2 products as part of my wedding make up package back in 2011 and have continued to repurchase them as once again Bobbi has come up trumps and I haven't found any others, cheaper or otherwise that do quite the same job.

The packaging is typical of Bobbi Brown, high black gloss with the white logo across the front. As always very sophisticated, and appropriate for a high end brand. There is a mirror in each of the compacts, which fill the whole lid making touch ups on the go much easier.

Pressed Powder

The make up artist recommended to me shade number 1 which is called 'Pale Yellow'. Ummm not actually a shade I would actually have picked up myself, but I was reassured that this is a mattifying powder, not a powder to add colour. It does exactly what it says on the tin. A small amount of this swept in small circular motions around my face sets my foundation and gets rid of any unwanted shine on my nose and forehead. It doesn't taint the colour of my foundation at all, it is like it is colourless and it is certainly does not leave you with that cakey look you can often get, particularly around spots or on dry patches when using pressed powders. I wouldn't say that it is overly matte, and if used sparingly I am still able to maintain a level of dewyness if that is the look I am going for (which I am usually).

Bronzing Powder

Bobbi Brown has 2 Bronzers within the range, one has a gold glitter sparkle running through it, and the other is a matte. As I originally purchased this for my wedding, I went with the matte and this actually means I am also able to use it more regularly in my everyday make up. Shimmery, glitter face is not really appropriate for a corporate law firm. This is very pigmented so I literally need a small amount on my Bobbi Brown Bronzer brush to give gentle colour on my forehead, t zone and then cheeks. It is also great for building up slightly to contour on the cheeks. I have also been known in the colder months to not use all over my face but as a blusher to add a bit of warmth to my face, and then dab a little bit of golden highlighter over the top for something a little more subtle.

I am thinking that a Bronzer with a slight shimmer may well have a little place in my make up drawer though...

Both of these products last a really long time.. I originally brought them a month before my wedding, so April 2011 and only replaced these in October 2012. You really have to use so little, depending on the look your going for as the powder is so fine and used for controlling shine rather than adding colour and the Bronzer is highly pigmented so to avoid looking TOWIE-esque you just need a fine sweep.

The only thing that could make these products better, is if you only had to buy the compact the first time around (a bit like the personal compacts you can buy and make at Bobbi), and then you could simply buy re-fills as sometimes it does feel rather wasteful throwing away the compacts when the make up is finished.

Another Bobbi Brown winner for me.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Liebster Award

I am so excited to say that I've been nominated by Shona from Shushkat for a Liebster Award! This is an award for new bloggers with less than 200 followers (I'll be so excited when I get to 20) to help raise interest in their blogs and help them connect with other bloggers too. 

First, my apologies to Shona for me being very naughty and being very delayed in getting this post written up and posted. I really wanted to give it the time and energy I felt it deserved and is by no means a reflection on how I feel about having to write it.

How it works:
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  • Answer the questions that the nominator set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people that you've nominated to answer
  • Nominate other people and link them to your post
  • Go to their page and tell them
  • No tag backs!
11 Random Facts About Me...
  1. Despite knowing it is good for me, I never ever drink enough water (and my skin suffers for it)
  2. I have broken 2 bones in my life
  3. I 100% prefer summer over winter
  4.  I hate rain
  5.  My favourite food is sausages
  6.  I love love love playing netball
  7.  I am addicted to diet coke and am trying to cut it out!
  8.  I no longer have an appendix
  9.  My blood type is A+
  10.  Green is my favourite colour
  11.  My taste in TV leaves little to be desired...TOWIE anyone?
The questions that Shona has asked me to answer... 
  • What is your biggest goal for 2013? 
 I have written a post about my goals for 2013. They are also written in my journal and I read them regularly to remind myself of what I am working towards this year. It's difficult to know which would be my biggest goal for 2013, but I would be extremely proud of myself if I could continue with this blog, and maintain it for the whole year.
  • What are you proudest of in your life?
This might seem a little bit 'soft' but I am definitely most proud of the relationship that my husband and I have been able to maintain over the last 10 years. We met at school, and have made it through separate schools, universities, travel and climbing the career ladders. We are closing in on our 2 year anniversary and I continue to be increasingly proud of being his wife.
  • Do you have a nickname? And how did you get it??
 At university I had the nickname 'D-Dog'. Mainly because my maiden name was Dinsdale, and I was often sick as a dog after a night out with the netball girls. 
  • What is the most played song on your ipod?
Oh god! I now have to admit that despite having an iPod, iPad and iPhone I don't have any music on them!!! I tend to listen to the radio, and consider the play list in our house to be my husbands domain. Sorry.
  • What 3 words best describe you?
Not quite there...
  • What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
Whilst I am adventurous when it comes to food, I don't think I've eaten anything unusual, yet.
  • What is your favourite quote?
"Take a method. Try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, But above all, try something."
  • If you could choose an age to stay forever, what age would that be?
19. At university and loving every minute of it. Totally optimistic about life and excited about what it would bring. Full of hope and ambition! 7 years on, it can sometimes be difficult to hold on to this feeling. 
  • Tell me something that you've learned in the last week
I have learned to crochet (post coming soon), badly, but I have learnt none the less. Another step on my way to realising those goals I have set myself.
  • If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To fly. It would make travelling between Bristol and family so much easier, and I would get to travel so much more. 
  •  Do you believe in ghosts?
No I don't.

The questions I'd like my nominees to answer?... 
  • Marmite. Love or hate?
  • Sweet or savoury?
  • What would you buy first if you won the lottery?
  • Are you the big spoon or little spoon?
  • What are the 3 beauty items you couldn't live without?
  • What is your dream job?
  • Why did you start blogging?
  •  What is your favourite childhood television program?
  • What is your worst habit?
  • Beach, country or city?
  • Pyjamas and slippers, or dress and high heels?
 And last but not least, these are the bloggers that I'm going to tag.... (in no particular order of course!)

Hannah Marie from Hannah Marie Beauty Blog
Carly from Life from the Tub 
Kerry from Running In Heels
Katrina from just a norwich girl
Zoe from The Little World of Zo
Sadia from Stylinspire
Rachel from Lost In Lipstick
Latasha from Le Powder Room
Katie from Oh To Feel Pretty
Hazzie from A Quiet Journal
Louise from Laddered Tights
Please link your Liebster post back to my comments so that I make sure to have a look!
I hope you can take a minute to check out these guys' blogs (and don't forget Shona's too) and follow them if they're your kind of thing. 

Thanks again Shona for nominating me!