Weekend Photo Journal: All That Glitters

 

glitter, sparkles, twinkle. all that

I genuinely love this time of year. The only thing I miss out on in London is snow! I mean real blizzard snow, not the 12 drops that fall  and causes all transport to stop because no one knows how to deal with it.

To get me in the festive mood a ton of sparkly yumminess really does the trick. Especially on New Years, don’t you think? Therefore, since it’s that time of year, it’s only fitting that I do a weekend photo journal about everything that glitters, sparkles and shines. I normally send this out on a Saturday but seeing as this weekend is Christmas I’m posting it now. Either way, who knows you may get some inspiration for New Years Eve, if you haven’t sorted everything out to the tiniest detail already!

So without further ado… May I present everything that’s deliciously sparkly and twinkly.

*Warning: I might have gone slightly overboard with all that glitters….

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All the images were found through Pinterest. You can see my board  for all the details.

Weekend Photo Journal: Everything Copper

Copper

My oh my! Copper is fabulous isn’t it?! I’m obsessed with it! If I had all the money in the world (ok enough to make me comfortable) then I would buy lots of copper! Copper for my home, copper for nail polish, copper for make-up, copper for food…. too much? Well, you get the idea. Accented copper decor in the home can really make any room pop.

I won’t keep you waiting. Here’s everything you could dream of for copper inspiration…

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By the way if you want all the info on each photo then scroll down to the bottom and click on the link that will connect you to my Pinterest board on Copper.

Pinterest Board: Copper Inspiration

Makeup Review: Lily Lolo

Lily Lolo

Ok my pandas, firstly I should start by saying that I have been unhappy with my makeup for the last two years. I have searched high and low for a foundation that not only covers my poor excuse of a face but doesn’t make it look like I just conked out on top of a cake; a bit like Mrs. Doubtfire. It’s been a hard mission trying different foundations and getting frustrated that something was not quite right with any of them. One was too thin, another was too cake-y, another would make the fine lines on your face seem deeper and so on. So, I decided to try a really nice mineral foundation again.

Back in the day I used to use Bare Escentuals, but that was when their foundation cost £14 (roughly $21). I tried it again when it reached £23 and something in their product changed. So now that it’s risen in price yet again to £26 I have decided to journey far and wide (my internet) to see if I could find a miracle foundation. And that’s when I stumbled upon Lily Lolo!

After reading lots of different reviews I decided to try their foundation out. The one thing I was worried about was which shade I should go for. But you know what I then realised? You could get sample products for just £1.49! That way you can get two or three different shades to see which one suits you best. I stupidly should have gotten 3 different ones, but I ended up with one. I finally decided on a sample foundation in Butterscotch, a sample finishing powder in Flawless silk, a sample mineral bronzer in Bondi Bronze, a mineral concealer in Nude and a Makeup Mist. I wanted to try out the foundation with it’s other counterparts and not just on it’s own. You know, to see how well they work together.

Here’s what I got…

 

So, my overall verdict? Well, this brand really did surprise me. First off, it is such a lifesaver to get sample sizes! Because this brand is only available online, it is essential to get testers to see which shades will suit you. And let’s be honest the photos, no matter how great they are, won’t depict the true colour or how it will look like on your skin. Therefore, I really didn’t mind paying the £1.49 for each sample. For the foundation I was able to use it three times. The bronzer and the finishing powder are still almost full. So it was a good buy.

Once I moisturised my face and put a primer, I applied the foundation using a brush. I started off a little at a time just in case. After, I put the bronzer on by doing a contouring technique. Then I put the finishing powder all over my face. And finally to finish it off I sprayed the makeup mist as instructed. The final outcome was great. My face looked fresh, matte, and no flaws were visibly apparent. I do think it’s super important to put a good amount of moisturiser to your face before hand because otherwise I fear that this particular foundation will look dry and flaky against your skin. Don’t forget to let your lotion and primer settle for a good few minutes. Let your skin soak it up. Then you can start applying your makeup.

The first time I tested the makeup was while I was getting ready for work. The reason being, I wanted to see how long it would last for. And surprise surprise it lasted all day without smudging. Somehow as the hours past, it seemed as though the mineral powders mixed with my skin’s oils and looked almost creamy. But it still kept the shin under control. I actually felt like I could run a 10K and it would still be kept all in place without a single trace of perspiration visible.

All in all, I was so pleased with this brand that I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the big sizes.

Lily Lolo

Lily Lolo

I do think, however, that I will try another shade of their foundation because the one that I got had quite a strong undertone of yellow. Even though I think my skin has natural yellow undertones, this seemed a bit too yellow for my liking. But of course it wasn’t the foundation’s fault, it was my own. So I will get a couple more sample sizes just to test which is best. Because as we all know, makeup is a very much trial and error process.

Also, just wanted to add that the site was very easy to use and I received the package in a couple of days without having to pay extra. Plus their product prices are absolutely wonderful! For those of you who are like me, counting their pennies, then this brand is not only worth it but a definite necessity to have.

So my little fluffy pandas, I think I will be sticking with this brand for a very long while.

❤ ❤ ❤

Skincare Review: Arbonne

Arbonne Website

Arbonne Website

Today, my cute little fluffy pandas I’m going to chat about Arbonne skincare company. The story begins through Facebook interestingly enough. One of my friends shared a blog post that I wrote on her wall and one of her former work colleagues saw it and got in touch with me. The lovely lady in question is called Sunita. We exchanged some messages and she said that she would like to send a sample primer over. My week was a bit all over the place so she sent the sample through the post. But when it arrived I was surprised because the wonderful Sunita, packed a whole sample care package for me.

Arbonne -Skin Care

She was even nice enough to send a note, along with her card, not to mention a booklet with all the products as well as prices. Take a look…

How sweet is that.

There were three main samples that were provided.

Arbonne -Skin Care

Top: Anti-Ageing RE9 advanced – for face, Middle: Calm skincare range – for face, Bottom: Sea source detox spa – for body

RE9 Advanced:

The sample box came with almost the full range which was great because I was able to really see how all the products worked together. There was:

Facial cleanser
Toner
Eye Serum
Intensive Serum
Day Cream
Extra Moisture Day Cream
Night Repair Cream

With this line I found that all the products were wonderful. The facial cleanser really made me feel like it was working down to the bottom of my bullet hole pores. (That’s how big I feel they are!) After, I spread the toner all over with a cotton pad. It cooled my face, making me feel really fresh and clean, which was nice. Next was the eye serum which I put around my heavy bags and crows feet. Secretly I was praying that I would wake up the next day and magically they’d be gone, however no luck there. I did feel a tingle though, like it was getting into the deepest crevices of my wrinkles. The intensive serum as well as all the creams were also very nice to use. The serum was light and I was able to put on the night cream on top without it feeling like it was too much. The extra moisture day cream was a little too much for me however, a bit too heavy for my face. Now that it’s getting really cold outside I’m sure this would come in handy because as we all know the ice cold weather makes your skin drier than normal. So I would only use this cream then and definitely not in the summer.

Calm Line:

Calm Line

This Facial line is a lot milder which would suit the younger ladies who don’t have to worry about wrinkles yet. Listen to me, I’m only 32 and I’m acting like I have the wrinkles of an 85 year old. It’s ridiculous, I know! I’m going to blame the beauty industry for that insecurity though! Anyway, as I was saying. This line felt very soothing on my skin. I liked the facial cleanser very much as well as all the other creams. However if I were to choose, I would choose the previous skincare line, the RE9 Advanced.

Sea Source Detox Spa

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 16.20.40

Can I just say that I loved these two products, especially the sea salt scrub. When I get paid at the end of the month, this is the one I want to buy first funnily enough.

And lastly, Sunita gave me the sample makeup primer. Which I forgot to take a picture of (forgive me!) so here is the actual product.

Arbonne Makeup Primer

After washing my face and putting all the other essential creams on, I waited a short while for everything to seep into my skin, before I applied the primer. And my, oh my, what a primer. I loved the texture and how smooth it glided over my skin. It did indeed provide a smooth surface so I could then start piling on my makeup. However, I did feel a little shinny after a few hours. It wasn’t a bad shinny, more like a dewy type of shine. I do know that some of you beauties out there like that glowy look, so this would suit you. For me, I think I would use this again in the winter only, in fear that I would look like I was melting in warmer weather.

Overall:

I have to say that these products were extremely great to use. I actually found myself wanting to rush home just to do the whole facial cleansing regime. No joke. Every morning I would wake up and look in the mirror and notice minor improvements. Again, no joke! But the one downside, is the price. Buying a full set will set you back a couple hundred pounds. So for me I will have to buy things here and there so it won’t tug at my purse strings too much. I do know that investing in your skin is a sound decision. If I had the money I think I would buy the cleanser, toner and night cream all in one go. But I can’t justify that amount right now, no matter how much I loved it. But… I will be going over to Sunita’s  web domain to buy the sea salt scrub right away.

If you do have the cash to splash I would definitely check out this brand. If not, then start getting little things here and there, like me.

Oh and before I forget, Sunita sent me all these products not looking for anything in return such as  a review to be posted. I posted this because I really loved the products and would definitely back them. Because at the end of the day that’s what I believe bloggers should strive to do. If you like it, then post it!

If you would like to shop for these awesome products please do so under the independent consultant: Sunita Chambore. She not only took time out of her busy schedule (a working momma, top props to her!) but she was nothing but sincere, genuine and extremely kind. Dealing with her, will be a wonderful experience that will make you keep returning for more. So check her out in the link that I provided just above. You’ll see her name at the top of the website, that’s how you’ll know you’re buying the products from her. Just think of it as her online shop under the Arbonne brand. The cool thing is, her “shop” isn’t just for UK customers. It caters to other countries such as the US, Canada, Poland and Australia. So what on earth are you waiting for!!

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9 Beauty Must-Haves… All £9 and Under!

Beauty Must-haves

Pandas if it’s one thing I completely get, is shopping on a micro-budget. It’s not only hard weeding through all the bad ones out there but it’s time consuming. I literally grab a new product every month just to try it. My method is the trial and error one. So if it’s awful, I move on. But throughout the many attempts at finding gold I managed to find a few keepers along the way.

Behold… My 9 beauty must-haves. Oh, by the way, the cost of each product is in British pounds because I now live in London. But I’m pretty sure you could get most of these in other countries. If not, then definitely online.

  1. Sally Hansen – ‘Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat’ (£5.99): This bad boy is the best top coat I have ever bought in my whole entire life. It definitely does what it says on the tin. Believe me when I say I have tested all top coats and this is by far my go-to one. I won’t even cheat on Ms. Hansen with another brand. That’s how much I love it. I always do a base coat, then two coats of paint and finish off with this. Sometimes I do designs on my nails so it ends up being more than two coats of paint. And this beauty is right there to hold me down for days and days. Sally Hansen is everywhere so if you aren’t living in England, don’t worry. It is definitely in your country.
  2. C.O. Bigelow – ‘My favorite Lip Balm’ (£8.50): This is another product that is music to my ears. It comes from the States but luckily Liberty’s (an expensive department store) stocks the brand well. It really makes your lips feel like you’ve been soaking them in the softest of materials.
  3. Sleek Divine Eye Shadow in ‘Oh So Special’ (£7.99): There are many eye palette’s to choose from; I have 3 so far. It’s great value for money. The application sets well on your eyelids and the colours really do pop once you put them on. Sleek has a really good CC foundation cream as well and this brand truly rules for all skin types. In fact it’s tailored more towards the darker skin tones. So this brand would be great for all you darker-skined beauties out there.
  4. Eylure Nourish & Growth Brow ‘Nourishing Oil’ (£8.45): Can I just say, my eyebrows have seen better days. Like before I knew what tweezers were. Throughout the last four years, yes FOUR! I have been trying to grow my eyebrows. They have not been cooperating. Maybe it’s payback for all the over-plucking I used to do. And if that’s the case, then I deserve my punishment. I have looked far and wide for something that could help me out and luckily as I was doing one of my Google search marathons I stumbled across the Eylure brand. It’s got essential oils like rosemary that help make hair grow. It has been a slow process, but I have seen quite a significant difference. So if you’re like me who used to abuse your tweezer privileges then this is definitely for you. Trust me!
  5. Seventeen’s Miracle Matte Primer (£4.99): I can’t even begin to tell you how good this product works for me. Getting a good primer has been one of my missions for a while now. Fortunately, I like roaming the makeup aisles at stores. At the time I was on a mission to find something else when this miracle caught my eye. This product keeps your face matte for hours and really helps your application of concealer and foundation go on smoothly.
  6. Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Cream (£9.00): I don’t care who you are, everyone needs to keep their hands moisturised. Apart from our feet, they are the only body parts that are exposed to a great deal of wear and tear. So carrying a hand cream on you is a definite must.
  7. Real Techniques Makeup Sponge (£5.99): Foundation is your base for your masterpiece, is it not? So unless you are 5 years old, you should not be finger painting on anything any more and that includes your face! I know friends who still use their hands! Oh I can’t. Anyway, this sponge really gets the job done right. Invest in sponges!
  8. Zara Woman Rose Gold Eau De Parfum (£5.99): There was a time where I would carry around my big clunky perfumes in my bag. They were my emergency stash. But I was getting super tired of carry so much crap around with me. I don’t know if you know this about me but, I hate bags/purses/clutches etc. If it were up to me, I would stuff everything in my jacket pockets. So while I was in Zara I saw this cute little scented beauty calling out to me. The fragrance is not pungent or over-the-top. And it’s perfect for those last minute fixes after work as you’re about to meet up with a dinner mate.
  9. Vaseline Original Pure Petroleum Jelly (£2.99): Okay, this right here has been in the family since I was born probably. My Grandma had it and I’m sure her Mom’s Mom had it too. This baby does everything. I buy the tinier version as well and take it with me. It has so many uses! Lip balm, lip exfoliator (use child toothbrush to get your lips kissable smooth) tame your eyebrows, helps your eyelashes grow silkier and longer, body moisturiser (I use it on my elbows), use on your fingernails to keep cuticles soft, a face moisturiser and the list could go on and on and on! This is by far the best product that you could have and it’s the cheapest! Double score!

There you have it. My 9 must-haves. Hope you enjoyed it! Okay my pandas, I’m off to get some beauty sleep.

Peace, Love and Cheap Beauty Products

❤ ❤ ❤

Beauty in Today’s Society Has Got Me All Messed Up…

Mad, Frustrated at Beauty Industry

Last week someone snapchated me after about a year of not talking to each other. It wasn’t due to any one significant reason but a few little mediocre ones. All I’m saying is, he did some annoying/questionable things. But before I changed numbers I remembered him whatsapping me trying to meet up before he moved back to his country of origin. I, like all people who can’t be bothered to confront someone, ignored him. Anyway, long story short, he got back in touch and sent me a snap on a Saturday night about a week ago.

The reason as to why I’m yapping about this is because I was trying to set up some context my pandas. You see, I hadn’t seen this person in over a year. People change in a year and I certainly got fatter in a year. Everything is a chain reaction. Once I got fatter, I had to start changing things slightly when capturing myself for others to see. A bit like an optical illusion, that of which even Criss Angel would be most proud of. There was no smiling. If there was, it would be captured from afar. Otherwise I had to strategically smirk, only just slightly, making sure it came across as warm, without showing teeth. The reason being so as my cheeks wouldn’t puff up like a blow fish and my eyes wouldn’t be squinty like Tom Hanks’. I give you my about.me profile photo as exhibit A, to the right of this page. Did I portray warmth… No, in fact I look snooty as fuck.  I was my very own walking caricature when I gained weight. And thus I had to resort to illusions and trickery when taking snapchats, Facebook uploads and Instagram selfies. Why you might ask? Well, because our society of beauty clad Aphrodites are making me lose my marbles.

I’m going to reveal something to you guys. When my long lost friend snapchatted me I was looking like a dog. Glasses were on, no make-up on my face, bags under my eyes, shit was crammed in between my teeth, hair was so disgusting even the rats wouldn’t look to it as a home. I was beyond dishevelled. Obviously I had to send a snap back to not be impolite. And do you know what this loser (ME!) did? I physically got my make-up out and proceeded to apply contouring techniques to get the desired effect. I’m talking black winged eyes, bronzed cheeks and Snow Whites lips. I kid you not, I went full out. Hair and all. Next was taking the perfect snap. I situated myself near my balcony window for the best lighting conditions known to man. I lowered my chin, I tilted my head slightly to the right because my nose looks best at that angle. Jesus as I write this I want to hit myself over the head. But it’s all true. And this wouldn’t be a real confession if I wasn’t being completely honest. Next I push my left shoulder out a little to coax my collar bone out of hiding. Finally, I raise my eyebrows slightly to give off an “Oh I’m just slightly surprised, holding  the meaning of life ” look and finally I push my upper lip in a slight pout which not only makes my upper lip bigger (not in an ‘I pump my lips sort of way’) but it also makes the tip of my nose a little smaller. And voilà… the “quick” snapchat photo is born. Obviously I take a shot and then delete it until I get one that I’m somewhat satisfied with. How in the gods of feta cheese did I turn out this way? Sometimes I step out of myself and I realise how ridiculous all this is. Hence why I’m talking about it now. But most of the time I truly want to scream because I’m fairly certain that Beauty in the social media world has taken a toll on women like me.

When I go on Instagram the women on there make me really doubt myself. But it’s not fair for me to blame them, they’re just following society. And it says that beauty is in. It is always in. It is the cool girl at school. It is an A on your homework assignment. It is the promotion you get at work. It is that high when someone calls you pretty and you chase that feeling for the rest of your life. Because, we all want to be liked. And in this day and age, your personality comes second and your looks is what others judge first. It takes roughly 6 seconds to look at someone and get an impression of them. If they are put together you assume that they have their life sorted. If they look like me on my every days, which is a dishevelled werewolf, then you would assume that my life is pretty boring. Even though I might be a fun person once you get to know me, all that becomes moot if I don’t get my foot in the door with my looks. It’s sad isn’t it? How smart, beautiful on the inside and out women have to arrange their photos in a way to make themselves more confident. Magazines have tortured us for years and social media has exacerbated it to epic proportions. You might be sitting there thinking I’ve gone bonkers. And maybe I have. But the persona I put of myself on my social media channels has been meticulously curated, photo-wise.

When I finally took a moment after I sent that snap, I realised this need to always look perfect is ridiculous. I will never be perfect. And not everyone will like me. So I need to somehow take a selfie that has no filters on it and gasp, dare I even say, no make-up. Even when my friends take a photo of me (which is rare) I end up begging them not to post it. I’m starting to think this is some sort of disease. Surely, I’m not the only one.

Either way, this need of creating the perfect illusion is turning out to be my own personal monster. It goes everywhere with me. I started to think that it has gotten worse now that I gained more weight. And maybe it has. But I have always had this need to fix and prettify my photos since I got my very first Sony digital compact camera. Yet, somehow now, with how society is and how women portray themselves, it’s gotten worse. I see it and this, my dear fluffy pandas, is a hard game to play. It is a lonely game where the battles are lost more than they are won. And still, I pursue the path that society has placed upon me. That Beauty has placed upon me. The pursuit of everlasting beauty and the riches that come with it.

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By the way, I have yet to see any rewards in doing what I do. Yes, the photos that I take, boost up my confidence. But when I truly take time out and think about all of this, it has done more damage than good. The only solution? Is to start looking at myself in the mirror, face on, no make-up and learn to love me for who I am. Because as you know, real beauty is more than skin deep.

Panda out… x

Weekend Photo Journal: Lusting on Everything Neon

neon

This week’s lust is everything neon. It’s such a pick-me-up isn’t it? One little pop of colour and suddenly an outfit, room, makeup, furniture, and/or shoes, comes to life. It’s refreshing, it’s bold, it’s flavoursome, it’s unique. Neon gives you a sense of fun and character. Not to mention it sure does brighten up one’s day.

So here are my neon inspirations that I drool over…

Peace, love and Neon vibes


PS- all photos taken from Pinterest! Which I’m totally obsessed with. It’s such a great place of inspiration!