Sunday, 25 April 2021

Maybelline Sky High Mascara

It takes a fair amount of restraint for me to resit a new mascara. There are a few high street brands that I expect great things from and I'm always up for trying out new releases when they hit the shelves. 

Maybelline is a brand I trust. Their recent Falsies lash lift mascara  was a big hit so when I heard whispers of a new mascara coming our way, I knew I had to try it. 


In my February favourites I mentioned that I did a mini make-up haul where I picked up a few bits; that was my perfect excuse to try out their latest 
Sky High Mascara It's been widely talked about all over Instagram and Tik Tok so I had (sky) high hopes! 


I feel like I've really given this a good try. I've been using it a few weeks now. I admit, at first I was pleased with the results but it didn't exactly 'wow' me. I always expect good things from Maybelline mascaras so I knew it wasn't going to be bad. Maybe I was expecting more after all the hype.  
However, after going back to other mascaras and then returning to Sky High, that's when I fell in love. Maybe the formula just needed to dry out ever-so-slightly, maybe I needed to get used to applying it, or maybe I just take a little while to really open up to something new (speak to my therapist about that one!).

But.... yea, it's a good!

haven't held back. I've shown this baby applied on my Insta stories and there's even a couple of Reels where I feature it too. Instagram is where it's at if you're after   videos of products being applied. They give a good idea of how it looks day-to-day but I thought I'd share my thoughts properly on here too. I like to keep things relatively old school and I think this allows me to be a little more thorough. Plus taking product photos calms me so I needed an excuse to use them!


The name Sky High tells you this mascara is going to be all about lengthening. I really notice  this on the lower lashes, even applied quickly the formula clings on to even the finest lashes and makes them look super long. They claim this is down the the flex tower brush which bends and gets right in and coats the lashes from root to tip. 


Infused with bamboo extract and fibres it feels nice and light while still giving your lashes the volume and length that really opens the eyes. I've put together a little 'before and after' to give you an idea of how well it performs. Although my lashes are long, (fun fact, when I was younger so many people would comment on my lashes I got self conscious and trimmed them!) the tips of my lashes are really fair so when they are covered they look so much thicker and longer. 


The best part is this is that it stays all day without smudging or flaking, even through a very sick day with a few tears it hadn't really budged much at all. You need a decent make-up remover to take it off but I think that should be the case for all eye makeup so you avoid too much rubbing on the delicate skin. All-in-all, another hit for Maybelline here! 


Monday, 19 April 2021

Spring Nail Designs

I love Spring... I adore Spring! It just feels like a fresh start, like everything is getting brighter and it makes me feel so much more positive. This year in particular, I have felt such a huge wave of positivity. Maybe it's because I've been through so much over the last 18 months and now we're coming out of the other side of everything. The blue skies, brighter days and flowers popping up to give a bit of colour feel really symbolic. 

I love to add a pop of colour and I'm usually sporting a bright shade or two on my nails. Spring gives me that little boost to really get creative and mix things up a bit. 

So here's a few looks I've been trying out lately-


Pastels in Spring? Revolutionary, right? 
I love pastel shades all year round and the combination of a few thrown together just looks so cute. This pastel rainbow look is my favourite and it's so simple too. It even made me feel ok about my nail having a chip in it!

The colours I used from left to right-

Revlon 100 buttercup, Barry M Sugar Apple, the total bargain that is Wild-er-ness by RimmelModels Own Pink Veneer and Royal Botanical by Nails Inc on my thumb.


I love this colour combination, there's almost a mermaid feel to it. These are all Barry M. 
From Left to right -
Barry M's Gelly High Shine in Greenberry, Then Blueberry from their regular nail paints, followed by and Blueberry and Prickley Pear (both Gelly High Shine polishes). You can really notice the difference in the shine with those Gelly High Shine polishes here. 




I admit, I got a little creative and have been told to rest as much as possible so this gave me a good excuse to sit still for a while.
I turned to the turquoise Gelly Hi Shine polishes again (Greenberry and 'The Way you make me Teal' which is the darker shade).  but added Orly Scenic Route for a pop of pink and combined it all with a touch of glitter. I kind-of like it! 


Lilac is one of my favourite colours, I really should try and get to lavender field this year! This is a fairly simple one, starting with the classic ballet slippers from Essie on my index finger, Essie's lilacism on the middle and little fingers. I jazzed up the the ring finger with some silver glitter on top of Illamasqua's Speckled which is lilac with navy blue specks throughout it, a favourite of mine over Easter as it looks like mini eggs!


Lastly I had to add one that reflected that weird old weather we've been having. Snow, rain, cloud... a heatwave? Who even knows what's around the corner? So this look is a mixture of pastels and neutrals and I think it works. 

On my thumb is the pretty pastel pink Romper Room by Essie, A gorgeous shade from Nails Inc called Lilac Love which was actually a freebie with a razor if I remember rightly. Next to that is Queen Street Nail's Inc, followed by Misty Grey by Models Own. The flash of peachy orange on my little finger is Palm Peach by Bourjois. 

Funny story, I was finding the link for the peach shade and the picture being used for it looked familiar, turns out it is my hand! They took the photo from my blog when I first reviewed it back in 2015. It's been removed now but it was pretty amusing to see! 

I'll definitely be playing around with some more nail looks and brightening things up a lot more as we head into summer.


Friday, 9 April 2021

March Favourites

I've realised that I keep looking at each month as my 'new normal'. There seem to be constant  big changes and I guess it's been nice to separate it all and take everything in small pieces. It could all be very overwhelming. M went back to school after having a year off, he's settled back in like a dream. It was a bit weird for me to adjust, homeschooling has been a big thing in my routine for the last year and although I don't do school runs myself, I go in the car with him and sort everything for both of the kids in the morning. Little M is not-so-happy about not having her brother around and there are tears each morning but that was to be expected. She'll get there. 


As I mentioned in the February favourites  post, my health hasn't been great. This month has been full of tests, pretty scary meetings with doctors and planning for the future but it's all working towards things getting easier in the long run. I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the love from friends and family and also everyone online too. My insta-fam have been absolute angels and have kept me going. People knock social media but I've had such a great support and advice from people I now consider friends. That has been a huge thing for me this month, I've really felt the love and it's helped me through a very tough time. I'm sure I'll go into this all in more detail at some point soon, in the meantime let's focus on something more upbeat and look at my March favourites.

What I wore-
It's Springtime and I'm thrilled! I am always keen to get out the Spring wardrobe, in fact I didn't even pack it away last year as we were inside most of the time anyway so I wore shorts and vest tops a lot. Typically, although it's Spring, there have been some chilly days (hello... snow flurries the other day? what was that about?) so layering has been key. For me this is a combination of crop tops and shirts. 


What I ate- 
As I mentioned, I've been feeling the love massively. My wonderful friends know my love for Millies Cookies and sent me a giant one. Honestly, I was dancing around the flat (nothing new there to be fair, I dance a lot!) I was so happy. It went very quickly, I can tell you that much. 


What I read-
Anything and everything to do with all this health stuff. Lots of research. I still haven't finished the book I was reading last month, but I have a feeling I'll have plenty of time to read it in April.

What I bought-
Things needed brightening up and I love a striking nail shade so I picked up this lovely little neon nail polish from Revolution. IT was only £4 so I'm definitely going to check out more of their shades. 


What I watched-
It's another 'social experiment', my favourite type of show to watch. The Circle. I've been a big fan since series one and after the celebrity version was over in a flash, I was ready for the original format. It's all about using your online personality to become popular and win the show. Some go in as themselves, some are playing a character and they're all trying to suss each other out. Personally, I would like Andy to win but there are a few of them playing a very good game. 

What I used-
My hair has really suffered lately, it really wasn't taking in the nutrients it needed so I've been using hair masks and have swapped my conditioner to the SOS Kiss of Life conditioner by Aussie. It's recommended for damaged hair and repairs and restores without having to leave it on for ages. My hair certainly feels a lot softer after using it and it smells good too. 


The next month is going to be BIG for me. We are talking life changing.  It's going to be a big challenge and a lot for me to get through but I'm trying to keep positive and power through the way I usually do. I'm resilient, I have incredible people around me and I know I can get through this. See you on the other (helpfully less cryptic) side!


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Revolution Neon Nail Polish

My two year old likes to play with my nail polish. I guess a box full of little colourful bottles looks exciting to her. She actually helps me pick a shade from time to time, other times she just rummages around, naming colours (red, pink etc, not like 'bewitching coral' or ballet slippers'.. not yet anyway.)
  But one day the inevitable happened; one of those brightly coloured glass bottles fell to it's death. I was less bothered about the pink stain on the floor than the fact that this was a polish I couldn't replace. Models Own polishes haven't been in circulation for a couple of years now and they were my go-to when it came to Summer brights.

This casualty in particular was 'Bubblegum' from the Neon Ice collection of 2013. A shade that gets a lot of wear in the warmer months. It's been buried under various dusky pinks, nudes, greys and navy's that have taken preference while it's been a bit grey outside. 

We're heading into Spring now and I'm already thinking of brightening things up a bit so I made it my mission to find a replacement. 

Luckily, on a trip to Superdrug to pick up a few essentials (Imperial Leather peach-scented shower gel and some cotton buds, if you must know) my eyes were drawn to the neon bottles of nail polish on the Revolution stand. 

I admit, I haven't tried a great deal from Revolution, and their nail polishes had never crossed my mind so I'm glad I noticed them.

 "One of these could be the answer to my prayers..." 
I thought to myself, dramatically.

 For £4 it was worth a shot anyway!


There were six shades to choose from. I immediately disregarded the yellow, green and purple (though the purple is very nice and I may have to go back for it!) and took a closer look at the three shades, 'Boom Boom', 'Sizzle' and 'Bang On'.
'Boom Boom' was a neon orange, where Model's Own's 'Bubblegum'  was more pink toned, so that ruled that one out. 

Under the bright lights of  the store it was hard to see a big difference between 'Sizzle' and 'Bang on' so I just bit the bullet and sent with 'Sizzle', from memory it looked like it was pretty similar to what I was looking for. 

It turns out I didn't get the shade just right, this is definitely learning more towards coral than pink. I think I'll be going back to pick up to 'Bang On' to see the difference, I suspect it will be more on the pink side and more along the lines of what I was after. I'm interested to compare them, either way because they looked almost identical in the bottles on the shelf. 

I do really love this colour and will definitely be wearing it over the Summer. It's the perfect shade for tanned toes. I'm really impressed with the pigment, it only needed one coat and lasted really well too. A tip for making neon shades really pop is to apply them over a white base. In this case it makes a slight difference but it really is bright when worn alone. These nail polishes are also enriched with avocado oil, which helps to nourish nails while you’re wearing them. It’s worth mentioning they are also 100% vgan and cruelty-free too.


So although this wasn't exactly what I was after, I'm really pleased with my purchase and will definitely be trying out a few more nail shades from Revolution. It was a nice mini adventure anyway, we have to see things this way during a pandemic!


Saturday, 20 March 2021

February Favourites

Yes, we are well into March and I'm only just posting about my February favourites! It has been very hectic with a lot of changes, but better late than never, hey? 
I've still got the Valentine's decorations in the window, after some very good news we had good reason to string out the celebration a bit! ...and yes, we had Valentine's decorations, I am going all out with every type of holiday this year, it's what we need after 2020; I've always been the type that will use any excuse to have a party. 


I'm so excited to be seeing signs of Spring already, I noticed pretty pink blossom starting to bloom outside our flat on a day where we realised that things were about to get 100 times easier for us; it felt like a sign of brighter days to come. I'm feeling positive.

So, I was off to a good start with my January Favourites  (and I will try my best to get the March one up on time!) Although it was a pretty short month, there were a few things I was particularly loving in February. 

What I wore- 
Without going into it too much, I spent a lot of February either in an ambulance, in a hospital or resting so interesting outfits were few and far between. However, one of the ways I pick myself up is to keep my mind off the mundane and keep busy. 
So I did some sorting out, and one thing that takes a while to sort through is my shoe collection! I love my shoes, anyone who knows me will know they are my 'thing'. Photography is another passion so on a day I was due to go into hospital I combined the two and had a little at-home photoshoot. I'm looking forward to getting out the pastel heels more in Spring time. Spring is when my shoe collection gets a time to shine! These court shoes are from Office and naturally, I bought them in every colour. I feel there will be a lot more shoe photos this year.


What I ate- 
I made Sam a big chocolate heart slab for Valentine's day. It isn't perfect, the foil hearts sank a bit and I only had blue icing, it would have looked better in white but going out for icing during a pandemic didn't feel 'essential. But there's Rolos, Maltesers, and chocolate buttons and of course I got to try some. It was pretty fantastic, I have to admit. 


What I read- 
I fully intended to have more time to read but time just got away from me. I'm 2 chapters into a new thriller that I added to my kindle called 'Precious You'. It follows magazine editor Katherine who feels threatened by the new intern which develops into a dark fascination. -A little close to home for me, but I'm persevering! I'm interested to see how the author focuses on the age divide between millennials and the older generation and how manipulative women can be. It's already pretty gripping, I just need to make more time to finish it. 

What I bought-
My daily make-up needed a complete overhaul. I ran out of everything at the same time so I picked up a few Maybelline bits. I just had to try out the much-hyped  Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara. I think there needs to be a proper review of this soon, so keep an eye out for that one. 

With another month before the salons open I'm still sorting out my brows myself so I thought I'd try out a different brow pencil. I have to admit, the Tattoo Brow Semi Permanent 36HR Eyebrow Pencil is... ok. It's nothing to write home about. It does stay put all day, I'll give it that. It's really soft which makes it hard to get a precise point to the tip and I have sharped it loads already so I'm just hoping it holds out til I can get a professional shape and tint sorted. 

A couple of people had recommended Maybelline's Superstay 24hour foundation but that wasn't available, so assuming it had just changed slightly I grabbed the Superstay 30 hour Foundation. It really has amazing staying power, I don't know about 30 hours, I haven't needed my make-up to last that long since my London days. I did find it pretty drying in places and it needed a bit of work with a damp beauty blender to look alright on my skin. I actually picked up a shade that was slightly too dark (no testers- Covid problems!) I'm going to give it another go in the summer when my skin should  be a little more hydrated and is slightly less pale! Maybe adding a drop of liquid highlighter might help too. I won't give up on it just yet. 

On a more positive note I repurchased the Eraser for the 500th time as it is so so good for a high street concealer and really great value. It's really helped me look brighter and more alive while I've not been feeling (or looking!) 100%. They now have a lot more shades available and I went into more detail on the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser a little while back. 

Lash-Sensational-Sky-High-Mascara-Maybelline-Tattoo-Brow-Semi Permanent-36HR-Eyebrow-Pencil Superstay-30-hour-Foundation-eraser

What  I watched-
Rather smugly, I felt very ahead of the curve with Married at First Sight Australia. It's been my not-so-guilty pleasure for the last 3 series and I was so pleased that the rest of the UK got into it, I had more people to talk about it with. I love anything that dubs itself as a social experiment. People fascinate me and analysing behaviour is my jam. For anyone not aware, singles apply to the show and 'trust the process' to get matched up by specialists after going through tests to find their perfect match. Then they meet on their wedding day and see how they get on as a married couple. This series was full of drama and so good to watch. Pre-loved up with children Jenn would totally have applied! I'm actually convinced Sam and I would get matched up if we applied separately. Get it back on All 4 if you like this kind of thing.

What I used-
Winding down and properly taking the time to do my skincare routine routine is the one thing that is the same each day for me. I mix up my products a bit but it's the one time (two if you count the evening too, I guess!) I take 15 mins to just zone out. I've been using Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel each morning to gently cleanse my face before I start the day. Developed specifically for sensitive skin types, it’s ultra-hydrating properties soothes and hydrates to leave skin feeling soft, fresh and comfortable after use.
 It's as gentle as splashing my face with water but I know it's removing any traces of oil that may have appeared overnight. The pump on the bottle disperses the gel which quickly turns to a light foam when smoothed over damp skin. It feels so refreshing and light so it makes for the perfect start to my skincare routine.


March is off to such a good start! I can't even describe how much better things are already! It really feels like life is starting to go back to normal. I'm seeing March as a kind-of interim to my new normal. My new normal is going to be a big change but all for the better.