Review: Benefit Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms...

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I received these Hydrating Lip Balms* from Benefit back in July when I won a competition they were running through Pinterest and I can't believe its taken me this long to feature them on my blog. 
As someone who isn't into wearing bold colours on my lips (I tend to stick to nudes/pinky-peach tones) these are perfect for me as they leave a light, hint of colour. However, if do want more of an impact, you can wear them over their matching lip/cheek tints.

Each balm is infused with mango butter and Sodium Hyaluronate making them super smoothing and hyrdrating on your lips ideal for the cold, winter months and also making the application effortless.
Posiebalm is a 'poppy-pink tinted kiss of sheer, buildable colour' which can be worn alone or on top of Posietint. 
Lollibalm is a 'candy-orchid tinted kiss of sheer, buildable colour' which can be worn alone or on top of Lollitint. 
Other colours available in the collection are Benebalm which is 'rose-tinted' and Chachabalm which is 'mango-tinted'.

And finally, we have to mention the packaging! Each lip balm is packaged in a beautiful mirrored tube which is the perfect size for popping in your handbag. 

Each balm costs £14.50 and can be found at all Benefit stockists.

Verdict

Statistics
Shades: 4  
Application: Smooth & Hydrating
Coverage: Light but tinted
Finish: Slight sheen 
Cost: £14.50

Positives
-Smooth coverage
-Stunning sheen
-Buildable 
-Hyrdating 
-Lightweight formula

Negatives
-May not be pigmented enough for some peoples preference.

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Best Dressed: SAG Awards...

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I absolutely love awards season; not for the actual awards being given but to see what all the celebs are stepping out in and who's going to be crowned most stylish on the red carpet.

Sunday night was the 21st SAG Awards, and these are my picks for Best Dressed of the night!
Emma Stone // Dior
Sarah Hyland // Vera Wang
Joanne Froggatt // Honor
 Reese Witherspoon // Giorgio Armarni
Lupita Nyong'o // Elie Saab
  Sofia Vergara // Donna Karran

Who do you think was best dressed at the 2015 SAG Awards?
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2015 Reading List...

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One of my New Years resolutions this year is to read more. I love reading but rarely do it because I feel like I never have time yet despite this, my list of things to read just keeps getting longer and longer.
The Beginning of Everything // Robyn Schneider
'The Beginning of Everything' is a book about a boy named Ezra who believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. According to one reader, Robyn Schneider 'takes a cliche plot and turns it into a rollercoaster of emotions and events.'

The Perks of Being a Wallflower // Stephen Chbosky
I love the film but have never read the book so thought it was about time I did as a lot of people have recommended this to me. This books tells the story of Charlie a freshman; whilst he's not the biggest geek in school, he's by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. He is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first date and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Billy and Me // Giovanna Fletcher
Billy and Me is the debut novel from Giovanna Fletcher and tells the story of Sophie May who has a secret, a secret she's kept for many years. This secret has meant she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop. Then one day she meets Billy - an actor with ambitions. And when they fall in love, Sophine is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.

The Virgin Suicides // Jeffrey Eugenides
This is the story of five Lisbon sisters - beautiful, eccentric and obsessively watched by the entire neighbourhood. The boys that once loved them from afar are now grown men who are determined to understand a tragedy that has always defied explanation. Why did all five of the Lisbon girls take their own lives?
Lolita // Vladimir Nabokov
One of the most controversial of the 20th century, Lolita is a strange troubling love story told by one of the most unreliable narrators in literature. Humbert Humbert becomes obsessed by 12 year old Lolita and seeks to possess her, first carnally and then artistically. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? a tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?

Me Before You // Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend. What she doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

How to Build a Girl // Caitlin Moran
"What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop song and bad heroes - and build yourself." This story is set in the 1990's and focuses on Johanna Morrigan, a 14 year old who shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde.

When Summer Ends // Isabelle Rae
Chloe Henderson has never been one to break the rules or push the boundaries but during her summer break, she and her friends use fake IDs to sneak into a club. It's there that she meets handsome and alluring bartender, Will Morris. They hit it off immediately, growing closer with every passing day. But like every summer, it has to end sometime. Chloe's senior year approaches and there's a shock in store when she returns to do her final year at school. Will is there too, but he's not a student...

What books do you plan on reading this year? Or can you recommend any you have read over the last year?
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Review: Australian Bodycare Skin Wash...

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Up until late last year, I'd never heard of Australian Bodycare but I was watching a QVC beauty show one day and this product was recommended for those with sensitive skin - it sounded amazing so I had to try it.

Australian Bodycare are a company who create high quality skin and hair care products using natural active ingredients and state this product "helps to soothe and condition skin hygienically whilst restoring natural pH balance."

I absolutely love this product, it leaves my skin feeling deep cleansed and refreshed. Despite being scented with tea tree (that's what gives it, its antiseptic properties), it smells amazing - not to overpowering but refreshing and clean. I've also found the scent doesn't stick around after showering meaning it doesn't interfere with your body lotions.

As someone who suffers from sensitive skin, this product has helped immensely at clearing up my skin and I would highly recommend it.

I've also read that its great for cleaning make-up brushes with but this is something I'm yet to try.

There are three different sizes available: 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml all retailing at different prices but this product is well worth the money.

Have you tried anything from Australian Bodycare?
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TV Binging...

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There's nothing I love more than snuggling up in my onesie and binge watching a TV show especially throughout the winter months. Here are some of the shows I plan on binge-watching this year. 

Pretty Little Liars
This is the show I'm currently binge-watching and I'm absolutely hooked! I'm onto season 3 already and I only started watching it about a fortnight ago. Without giving too much away, PLL is about a group of best friends who's "ringleader" gets murdered and after her death, they begin to receive anonymous messages from someone threatening to reveal their darkest secrets whilst they are attempting to unravel the mystery of her murder.

Gossip Girl
I finished watching this last year and I loved it so much so that I'll probably end up watching it all again. This show tells the story of a group of privileged teens living on the Upper Eastside of New York with an anonymous blogger writing about their scandalous behaviour. If you don't fall in love with Chuch Bass after watching this then I'll be very surprised!

90210
This has been saved in my Netflix list of things to watch for sometime now but I can't wait to get around to watching it. This show is about a Kansas family who relocate to Beverly Hills where their two children must adapt to the infamous social drama of West Beverly Hills High.

The Vampire Diaries
Another on my Netflix list is 'The Vampire Diaries'; a lot of my friends rave about this supernatural show and I can't wait to get around to watching it. 

The Originals
Like 'The Vampire Diaries', 'The Originals' is also a supernatural show so if you're into that sort of thing then this is for you. The show is about a family of vampires who live in the city of New Orleans where they have lived happily but this all changes and it's up to them to get back what they built.

Modern Family
This comedy-drama is definitely one to watch if you like to laugh; its about three different, but related families who face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

A couple of other shows I have on my list are 'Suits' and 'Sex and the City' and I can't wait for season 3 of 'Orange is the New Black'!

What shows do you like to binge-watch?
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My Perfume Collection...

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I am quite the fragrance fanatic so thought it was about time I shared my collection with you.
This fragrance is a fresh, sophisticated scent with notes of citrus scents such as orange, rose, jasmine and vanilla.  
This limited edition fragrance from Victoria Secret is a fruity floral fragrance including notes of gardenia, quince, coconut and orchid. 
Marc Jacobs Daisy has been a favourite of mine for along time now; it is a fresh floral feminine scent with notes of gardenia, violet, jasmine, white woods, vanilla and musk. 
This is the latest fragrance in my collection and is becoming a firm favourite. It is a rich floral-woody fragrance with notes of jasmine sambac, cashmeran wood and white amber.
Although I am huge fan of Marc Jacobs fragrances, this is probably my least favourite in my collection (saying that, the bottles almost empty!) It is a fruity fragrance with notes of orange blossom, honeysuckle, peach, vanilla and smooth woods. 
This fragrance is a soft feminine scent infused with notes of delicate florals, almonds, vanilla and cedar wood. 
Surprise suprise another Marc Jacobs fragrance! This one is a light and airy scent being both floral and fruity at the same time. It has notes of blackberry, grapefruit, pear, jasmine, lychee, blue wisteria, white woods, musks and coconut water. 
This is a floral-fruity fragrance with a playful, vibrant scent. It has notes of dragonfruit, mandarin, waterlily, lily of the valley, magnolia, honeysuckle, sandalwood, vanilla extract, marshmallow and musk. 
I won this fragrance in a Benefit competition and I'm surprised at how much I like it. It is a bold floral fragrance wiht notes of orange flower, apricot, pink freesia, ylang yland, white peony, jasmine sambac, crystal amber, liquid musk and vanilla. 

What's your favourite fragrance?
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Real Techniques: Nic's Picks...

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To me, Real Techniques brushes are currently one of the best brushes on the market; they're incredible quality and extremely affordable. When I saw that Nic was going to be releasing her own set of brushes entitled 'Nic's Picks', I had to get my hands on them and fell even more in love when I saw they were made of this stunning chrome.

The collection includes 5 brushes, 3 of which are exclusives to the collection and retails for £29.99 meaning you're essentially paying £5.99 per brush! I love the limited edition silver chrome design instead of the typical orange, purple and pink colours as this gives them a more luxe effect. However, I do like the added touch of the writing being in the colour of the collection they belong too meaning the base brush has orange writing, the eye brushes have purple writing and the finish brush has pink writing. 
Duo Fiber Face Brush 
Despite being a huge fan of Real Techniques, I never purchased the Duo Fiber collection so was very pleased to see a Duo Fiber brush included in this collection. This brush is extremely soft and is perfect for powder application as it leaves a lightweight finish rather than a caked on mask. I also feel this brush would be perfect for blush application if you wanted a light, natural colouring. 
Cheek Brush - Set Exclusive
As a huge fan of blushers, I like to have quite a few blush brushes in my collection so I can change my blusher practically everyday so was very happy to receive one in this collection. This brush is very soft with rounded bristles making it great at applying blusher straight onto the cheek. Although I don't wear bronzer  for the fear of looking like a clown, I think this would also work at applying precise bronzer.
Angled Shadow Brush - Set Exclusive 
This brush is another amazing exclusive to the collection; it reminds me of a fluffy blender brush but instead has the angle making it great for applying eye shadow to the crease more precisely. 

Base Shadow Brush
Who doesn't need another base shadow brush in their collection? This base shadow brush is super soft but great at packing eye shadow onto the lid. I've also seen quite  a few people use this for flawless concealer application so will definitely be giving that a try!

Eyeliner Brush - Set Exclusive
The final brush in this collection and although it has been designed to use with eyeliner, I have actually been using it to apply shadow to my lower lash line as the eye liner I use is in the form of a pen. The bristles are quite thin making it very easy to apply the shadow and doesn't over do it. 

I have really been enjoying using these brushes and if you're after some new ones, but don't fancy spending too much money then I would definitely recommend them because as I have previously mentioned, the quality is amazing.   
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Shoe Heaven...

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I love shoes, so much so that every time I purchase a new pair, my mam says "You've got more shoes than Imelda Marcos!" A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about this website, Shoebou, which was very dangerous considering how affordable and amazing their shoes are! 

For today's post I thought I'd share some of my favourites from their website. 

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MAC Keepsakes Brown Eye Bag...

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Like the Benefit 'Cheeky Sweet Spot' blush palette another Christmas gift set I was very happy to open on Christmas morning was this beauty from MAC, their Keepsakes Brown Eye bag. 

This stunning gift set includes a gorgeous glittery make up bag, two of their extra dimension eyeshadows, a powerpoint eye pencil and a extra dimension lash mascara.
Just Gleaming is a described as a "peachy nude"; it is a beautiful golden frost with an iridescent highlight. Although a very light shade, the eyeshadow is very opaque and if you didn't want to wear it as a base eyeshadow, it would make a great highlight.

Stolen Moment is describe as a "mauvey nude"; it's a gorgeous deep purple shade with a slight taupe edge to it. It too has a frost finish therefore adding a slight sheen. 
The powerpoint eye pencil in Stubborn Brown is described as a "deep rich brown"; this eye pencil has a creamy texture and is highly pigmented making application effortless. 
The extra dimension lash mascara came in black however, I haven't yet tried this so will review it further at a later date! 

Unfortunately, the MAC gift sets are no longer available as they are extremely popular each year but keep an eye out in bloggers blog sales in the future incase there's a particular item you're after.
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Organising Your Wardrobe...

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At the start of the new year, one of my favourite things to do is have a huge de-clutter especially of my wardrobes to make room for the new clothes I will undoubtedly be buying throughout the year. 

Here's what I like to do:

Step One // Organise any other clothing storage you have excluding your wardrobe (e.g. chest of drawers, ottoman) to make room for anything you want to store away from your wardrobe.

Step Two // Sort through these clothes and ask yourself "Has it been worn in the last year?" "Will it be in here for another year?" If the answers are "No" and "Yes" GET RID either donate it to charity, sell it on eBay if its in a reasonable condition or bin it if its genuinely unwearable. 

Step Three // Now empty your wardrobe and ask yourself for each item "If I was shopping right now would I buy this?" If the answer is "No" chances are you'll never wear it so get rid.

Step Four // As you're emptying your wardrobe place your clothes into piles for "Keep - frequent use", "Keep - evening wear, special occasions", "Keep - out of season", "Charity", "Sell" and "Bin".

Step Five // Thoroughly clean your wardrobe to get rid of any dust that may be present ready for when you put your clothes back. 

Step Six// Now you've decided what you're keeping and what you don't want anymore, bag up the clothes you don't want and remove them from your room to make more space so you can see some progress.

Step Seven // Now its time to put your clothes back - I like to put my out of season clothes into my drawers and ottoman and my everyday clothes and evening clothes into my wardrobe - I put everyday clothes at one side and evening clothes at the other. 

I hope these tips are useful especially if you don't know where to start when organising your wardrobe.
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Recipe: Strawberry & Fresh Cream Muffins...

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I came across these in my recipe book and just couldn't wait to have a go at making them!

Ingredients:
For the muffin
6tbsp sunflower oil or 85g butter
280g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
strawberries finely chopped
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
250ml single cream
1tsp vanilla extract

For the topping
300ml double cream 
strawberries

Instructions:




Step One // Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200c/400f.
Step Two // Chop the strawberries into small pieces.
Step Three // Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
Step Four // Stir in the sugar and chopped strawberries.
Step Five // Place the eggs in a large jug and lightly beat.
Step Six // Now beat in the single cream, oil and vanilla extract.
Step Seven // Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients; stir this gently until just combined - do not over mix.
Step Eight // Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins.
Step Nine // Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to touch.
Step Ten // Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack for further cooling.
Step Eleven // Place the double cream into a bowl and whip until stiff.
Step Twelve // When the muffins are completely cooled, pipe or spread the cream on top of each muffin and then top with a strawberry. 

I think these muffins may be the best thing I've ever baked and I bet they'll be amazing in the summer!
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Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot...

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Every year I look forward to the Christmas gift sets that will be released by countless brands and this year, as a blusher lover, the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot was top of my list so when I unwrapped this on Christmas morning I was a very happy girl.
This incredible blush palette from Benefit includes all of their famous Box O'Powders in very generous sizes (Dandelion 4g, Bella Bamba 5g, Sugarbomb 6g, Hoola 5g, Coralista 5g and Rockateur 5g) which is amazing considering the powders on their own are typically between 5g-8g. As well as 6 blushers, you also get a 1.5g 'Watts Up' highlighter! 
Considering blusher is my favourite product, I'd never actually tried any from Benefit before getting this palette and I can't believe I waited so long to try them! Every shade is stunning and wearable. My current favourite from the palette is Bella Bamba. 

I believe this palette costs around £30 which is amazing seen as though a Benefit blusher usually costs £23.50. 

Unfortunately as this was a Christmas gift set I can't find it available anywhere but you can pick them up individually here, here and here
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2014 Favourites...

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Throughout 2014, I found lots of new products which quickly became a part of my everyday routine so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.
Starting with hair care, I have been loving Charles Worthington's Texturising Spray; if you have flat hair this is perfect for adding instant volume and what's even better is it can be easily brushed out of your hair at night time preventing any product build up. Another hair care favourite of mine has been the Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo which has truly transformed my hair. A final hair care product which I have been loving is the Umberto Giannini Dazzling Shine Glossing Spray which adds a weightless shine to the hair. 
My first skincare favourite of 2014, has been the Australian Bodycare Skin Wash; with its antiseptic properties, this body wash leaves you feel exceptionally clean. Another skincare product I have been loving is the Body Shop's Tea Tree Facial Toner; it has seriously helped reduce the amount of breakouts I have and leaves my skin feeling soothed and refreshed. 
After reading countless positive reviews about the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, I finally decided to pick a bottle up and I have been so impressed, it leaves a smooth base perfect for foundation application. Another face product I have enjoyed using this year is the L'Oreal True Match Foundation; this foundation has a super silky texture with a medium, buildable coverage and you can read my full review here. I've also been loving the L'Oreal Super Liner; it makes eyeliner application so much easier - especially winged eyeliner. My final make-up favourite is the Urban Decay eyeshadow 'Chopper'; I just had to pick it up when I hit pan in my Naked 2 palette.
My final favourite of 2014 has been this limited edition body mist from Victoria Secret named 'Very Sexy Now'; this fragrance has coconut, tropical, floral notes and is a beautiful everyday scent.

What have been your 2014 favourites?
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