Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My NYC Sephora Wishlist

Sephora Wishlist 2017 Beauty Blogger

In less than two months, something I still can't quite believe, I will be heading to NYC for the first time. And whilst I'm mainly excited about doing all the touristy things and exploring the outer boroughs. I have to admit, I've also got my eye on a couple of beauty bits that I'd love to bring back with me. I do, however, have to bear in mind the fact that I'm doing hand luggage only this trip, so I'll need to make sure that all of my liquids are under 100ml etc. I might just need to buy a cheap suitcase when I'm over there solely to bring back more if the space in my carry on fills up quickly, which, let's be honest, is probably going to happen. My Mum's also told me to keep an eye out for a couple of things for her too, along with a new perfume for her birthday and that's despite treating herself to one of these perfume gift sets recently.

So here's what I've got on my current Sephora wishlist. Is it just me who feels like holiday money isn't really real money? That is until I have to pay my credit card off when I get back. But let's not think about that right now.

My aim, as always when shopping in the US, is to get things that I can't get here in the UK or that are considerably cheaper across the pond. So let's see what's made it onto my wishlist this time;

it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream - If you saw my QVC Tili beauty box review, you will have seen that I received the it Cosmetics CC Cream in this very box, which is why it's well worth the £20 Tili purchase price for this product alone. Sadly the shade provided, medium, was too dark for me and my pale skin so I've got my eye on the fair shade which hopefully will actually be fair enough. As far as I'm aware, the fair shade isn't available here in the UK yet, which definitely makes this a pretty necessary purchase.

Milk Makeup Flex Concealer - I'm also in the market for a new concealer and this one from Milk Makeup looks right up my street. I was planning on giving Tarte's Shape Tape a go but it looks like it might be a bit too full coverage for me. This one has pretty incredible reviews on Sephora's site and is from Milk Makeup, a brand that I've wanted to try for a while now, making it the perfect combination.

Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 - I'd love to have a dedicated concealer brush, so this one from Sephora's own brand was always going to be high on my wishlist. I had it in my basket on my last trip to the US but foolishly put it back to save a couple of dollars for a bigger purchase but this time I think I'll need to make sure that it makes it's way home with me.

Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Nude Lip - The Sephora Favorites sets have to be one of my favourite things about the store, which is why I'm guessing they gave them that name. This one looks too good to resist and I love the fact that you get to try out several different brands all for one bargain price. Why don't our beauty halls like Debenhams, John Lewis or House Of Fraser do sets like these?

Laura Mercier Travel Size Translucent Loose Setting Powder - The travel sized section, just before you head to the tills, is one of the most dangerous areas in Sephora! I'm always tempted to chuck a couple of adorable teeny tiny products into my basket last minute. Well played Sephora! This time I'm going in with a plan and that plan is to finally try this Laura Mericer holy grail product. Let's see if this will help with my problem of my concealer creasing. That and the new Milk Makeup concealer, fingers crossed.

Bite Agave Lip Mask Champagne - My lips can often get quite cracked and flaky, even in the warmer months, so I've been looking to invest in something a bit more luxurious than my normal pot of Vaseline and this is just that. I originally saw it on Sephora's Instagram story, which is what piqued my interest in the first place and to read all of the 5 star reviews on their site, makes me feel like I'm making a pretty good decision with this one.

Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask - Deep Moisture (Cucumber) - Along with dry lips, my skin type is definitely dehydrated so I'm looking forward to trying out this mask in particular. I might need to treat myself to the trio as I'm not sure that one mask will be enough to test it out.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon - I'm also someone who quite likes to wear a new scent each time I go somewhere special, that way whenever I spray it or use it, even in years to come, it instantly transports me back to that happy place. This year I'll definitely be picking up one of the brilliant perfume rollerballs that Sephora have to offer. I have a feeling that this might be the one, that's obviously dependent on me liking it when I give it a sniff of course.

What do you think of my NYC Sephora wishlist? Have you tried any of the items mentioned? If so, what do you think of them? And what would you buy at Sephora if money was no object?


Sunday, 28 May 2017

What's New In My Dental Routine

Dental Routine Beauty Blog

After a trip to the dentist recently, where it was suggested that I invest in an electric toothbrush, this month I finally did so and I can't believe that it took me this long to do so. Now, every time that I brush my teeth, it feels like I've had a scale and polish, my teeth are that smooth and squeaky clean. And changing up my dental routine is what inspired today's post. That and the fact that I'm going to be investing quite a bit of money and time into my smile but more on that at a later date. Any guesses as to what it might be?

But until then, here's what I've introduced into my new and improved dental care and hygiene routine, in a similar vein to my What's New In My Haircare Routine blog post;

Oral B Pro 600 - Corsodyl Toothpaste

After doing a bit of research into what electric toothrbrush I should go for, I saw that Superdrug were doing a great deal on their Oral B appliances. I got this one, the Pro 600 model, for better than half price at £24.98 and in pink, which is apparently limited edition to Superdrug. As I alluded to earlier, this has genuinely revolutionised the way that I brush my teeth. It feels like something silly to say but it honestly has. It stops me over-brushing certain areas, is gentle on my gums and leaves my teeth feeling super clean and shiny.

I've long used Corsodyl mouth wash, ever since first having braces at the age of 15 (I still can't quite believe that that was 10 years ago!), so I was really happy to hear that Corsodyl had released a toothpaste. I have receding gums on two of my bottom teeth, as a result of my teeth being moved out of their protective gum barrier because of overcrowding. To prevent further damage and to help remedy any bleeding gums, I feel a lot better knowing that I'm now using something as protective as Corsodyl toothpaste*.

Best Teeth Whitening

And as I'm looking to address the issues that I have with overcrowding, I've also been looking into safe and affordable at home teeth whitening. When I spotted Blanx's White Shock Intensive Whitening Treatment and the fact that it came with an LED light, I was intrigued and decided to order this for during and after my treatment. In the mean time, I will certainly be using the Janina Teeth Whitening Foam*, When I heard the word foam I instantly thought of gentle and non-abrasive whitening, which is exactly what I'm looking for. And because it reacts once it comes into contact with water/saliva, it can get into those hard to reach areas that sometimes regular toothpaste doesn't manage to. Janina also very kindly sent me out their pre-filled trays* which honestly make the whole process of whitening your teeth at home so easy. There's no mess or messing around with these. Another whitening product well worth mentioning, one that I've been using on and off for years, is Pearl Drops. It's relatively inexpensive, particularly if you find it in a deal and cleans your teeth well. I also find that it works well on particularly sensitive spots too.

So there you have it, that's what I currently have on my rather crowded bathroom shelf.

Would you like to see before and afters when it comes to my orthodontic treatment and teeth whitening? What is your dental care and hygiene routine currently made up of? Have you tried any of the products in today's post? If so, what do you think of them?


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

'When Was The Last Time You Backed Up Your Work?'

Seagate Backup Plus Hub Review

If you're anything like myself, the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie's computer crashes, that she hasn't backed up, will be scorched onto your memory forever. However, despite this, I hadn't actually backed up my computer since about 2013 and that's when I was at University. The one thing that I would hate to lose, more than anything else, would be the thousands of images on my computer, both of the blogging nature and from previous trips to the US. So when Maplin got in touch to ask if I'd like to review one of their backup storage systems, I jumped at the opportunity.

I was very kindly sent the Seagate Backup Plus Hub* which is a desktop backup system. I'd thought about getting a portable one but the idea of it being one that could be moved around easily and as a result, not all that visible most of the time, would definitely lead me to forget about it. With 4TB of storage, that's enough to save over a million (yup you heard me right, a million!) photos or 4000 hours of video, this is an investment that will only need to be made once, as it could honestly store everything you save onto your computer in the next 10 years or more. And as you might be able to imagine, I've become rather popular in my house, with all of us backing up our separate devices onto this system. You can also charge your phone from it, which is a pretty nifty idea, especially when you have your phone almost surgically attached to you or your desk, like I do.

Seagate Backup Plus Hub

The 'one click' automatic backup is an absolute lifesaver as it saves me having to manually go into specific folders and choose what I want to back up and what I don't. And since I received it, I've backed it up several times without even thinking about it, which is exactly what I wanted from a backup system.

Sex and the City Computer Crash Back Up

As you might remember, if you read my 30 before 30 post, backing up on the regular is a pretty big goal of mine, particularly as someone who works from home and spends the majority of her time on the computer.

Do you back up your computer? If not, has this blog post inspired you to do so? What do you think of a desktop backup system? And do you remember the Sex and the City episode I'm talking about (I'd still take Aidan over Big any day!)?


Sunday, 21 May 2017

How To Seriously Declutter (& Make Money In The Process)

How to seriously declutter and make money

After years of having cupboards, wardrobes and drawers bursting at the seams, something in my brain shifted recently and I finally felt the need to start going through it all. From clothes I'd bought in the sales that still had their tags on them, to beauty products that I'd bought in a 3 for 2 and never even opened to accessories gathering dust, I began a massive purge.

The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying - Curated Closet Decluttering Books

A lot of it has to do with two books that I'm currently making my way through; Marie Kondo's Spark Joy and Anushka Rees' Curated Closet, which I will be sure to share my thoughts on when I'm finished them but until then, here is how to seriously declutter and make money in the process;

Work in categories, not rooms

One of the biggest lessons that I've learnt from Kondo's Konmari method, so far, is to work in categories instead of rooms. So instead of saying, today I'll tackle the kitchen or I'll tackle my wardrobe first, tackle one category of clutter at a time. Kondo recommends starting with clothing first and this means all the clothing in your house, in every room, then books, etc. but I'd tailor this to you and your home/room. If you have a beauty stash that could rival Boots or Sephora maybe start there. If books are your thing but they're slowly taking over every room in your house, go through every single one you own and work out if you really need it or if it 'sparks joy'.

Be Ruthless

Stop holding onto certain pieces or items 'just in case'. If you haven't worn it in the past year or the last season (Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer), will you really wear it again? 'Do you really need six black vest tops?' was a question I found myself asking. I now have two. Progress, right?

A way to make it feel a little bit more fun and to help you make a decision on those items that you're unsure about, is to get friends and family involved. I may or may not, have done a little fashion show through my house, parading about in bits that have now made their way to the charity shop or to other's wardrobes.

Wardrobe Declutter Sex and the City

Get rid of anything that doesn't fit or make you feel fabulous

Now this seems like something totally obvious, doesn't it? Why would you hold onto things that are two sizes too small or too big or something that doesn't make you go 'damn, I look good' when you catch your reflection in a mirror? But the amount of these kinds of items in your wardrobe or drawers will stagger you. If it's still in good shape pass it on to friends or family or take it along to your local charity shop or donate it to a fabric recycling service, such as the one that H&M are currently running in-store.

Get rid of anything you can't repair

On a similar note, get rid of any clothes that have stains on them, noticeable pulled threads or holes in them. Why I was holding onto so many pairs of jeggings with pulled threads right across the legs or socks with holes in them, I will never know.

How to make money from your unwanted clothes

Download an app or get online to sell certain items

I've found that every app/site has its pros and cons. It's totally normal, seemingly, for people to offer £5 for a brand new Michael Kors handbag or to ask to swap something worth about 50p for something you're trying to get rid of. I have to stop myself replying 'I DON'T NEED MORE STUFF I DON'T WANT!' at least once a day but I have thus managed to restrain myself from doing so. I have made a good couple of hundred pounds on both Depop (you'll find me as @ellistuesday on there) and eBay, much to the dismay of my local Post Office.

If you'd like to see a full blog post dedicated to my top tips for selling on the likes of Depop and eBay, from what to make your description, to hashtag tips or if you'd like to help me re-home my unwanted pieces, such as those on Depop, let me know. 

What could you do with decluttering? Do you have any tips on how to seriously declutter your life/home? Have you read either Marie Kondo's Spark Joy or Anushka Rees' Curated Closet? And can you tell that I've been rewatching Sex and the City again, for the millionth time, in the run up to my New York trip?

(Image Credit - Pinterest - courtesy of Sex and the City)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Buy Your Father's Day Present From My Dad

Father's Day Gift Ideas for Car lovers motorbike and automative

Instead of doing a traditional gift guide, like I normally do, this year I'm involving my Dad, a bit like I did when he shared some of his favourite grooming and aftershave picks, except this year he's in the driving seat with his own designs and products.

Most of you will probably agree that men and in particular, Dad's, are notoriously difficult to buy for, especially when they say that they don't need or want anything or don't expect anything on the day itself. If you're looking for something other than socks or a tie, particularly if he doesn't need any more of either, I, or should I say my Dad, has the perfect solution.

If your Dad is a fan of cars or motorbikes, or had one he'd never forget growing up or wished he could own, then my Dad has got you covered.

All the designs are hand-drawn by my Dad and between his own site and Redbubble, you'll find t-shirts, mugs, phone and iPad cases, notebooks, bags, clocks, cushions and much more, all with his designs on them. You can pick the colour and quality of each item and there's something for every budget this Father's Day.

Fathers Day Ideas

Why get your Dad something he won't use, or something you've bought without putting much thought into, when you could get him something bespoke and hand-drawn? He also does custom work and would be more than happy to discuss this.

And of course, his designs aren't just specific to Father's Day. His products would be perfect for brothers, boyfriends, husbands, granddads and of course car and motorbike loving ladies too.

You can see more of his work on his Twitter, as well as what he's working on at the moment, normally when me and my Mum are watching Emmerdale. Hehe.

If you were to buy your Father's Day present from my Dad this year it would honestly make his day, as much like how blogging is a passion and hobby for me, drawing is the exact same thing for him.

What do you think of my Dad's designs? Would they be something your Dad or one of your loved ones would love to receive? And have you bought your Dad something for Father's Day yet?


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The QVC Tili Beauty Box

QVC Tili Box Review

Over the years I've reviewed a variety of different beauty boxes. From Look Fantastic to Birchbox, Look Incredible and most recently Love Me Beauty and Latest In Beauty but one that impressed me immensely was the QVC Tili (Try It Love It) beauty box. I reviewed the second edition of the box back in October of last year and now we're onto the fourth edition, which I was very kindly sent to review today.

So let's see what's in this installment of the QVC Tili beauty box*;

QVC Tili Box 2017

I couldn't believe it when I opened the box and the first item that I saw was the it Cosmetics CC Cream! I almost shrieked with excitement, that's how happy I was. I've heard many a beauty/YouTube guru rave about this base product and it's high on my list of products to buy when I head to Sephora in July. Even if this shade isn't light enough for me, it will be great to see how the product performs and what the consistency is like. I was also over the moon to see a mini version of my absolute favourite mascara of all time; Benefit's Roller Lash. It will be the perfect size for bringing with me to New York, especially as I'm doing hand luggage only. I also adore the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish so to have a mini version and a cloth will be great for travel too. And the OPI shade is absolutely beautiful and ideal for the warmer months.

QVC Tili Box Fourth Edition

Talking of the warmer months; I'm always happy to try out more from the Ultrasun brand. A facial SPF of some sort is pretty much a necessity for someone as pale/fair and freckly as me so this is going straight into my everyday handbag. And I'm really intrigued by the sounds of Vita Liberata's Ten Minute Tan, particularly because I've been impressed with their tanning products in the past and the fact that they don't make me look like an Oompa Loompa.

I hadn't heard of Julian Farel before so I look forward to trying out his anti-aging shampoo and conditioner, even though I'm not sure if it'll make much difference to my 25 year old head of hair but we will see. I have, on the other hand, heard a lot of great things about Alpha H and their Liquid Gold so to have a limited rose gold version of it try is very exciting. And Erno Laszlo just screams luxury to me, especially if you've seen the prices of their products so it will be nice to try out some of their products pretty much guilt free thanks to this edition of the Tili box.

QVC Tili Box

This exact beauty box launches TODAY on QVC and I would definitely recommend buying it as soon as you can, if it's impressed you as much as it has me, as the boxes sell out incredibly quickly. The box is £20, which when you take into consideration the value of the products enclosed within it, is such an incredible deal. There's also no subscription to worry about with Tili either, so what you see is what you get.

What do you think of this edition of the QVC Tili beauty box? Have you tried any of the products featured within it? If so, what do you think of them? And which product would you be the most excited to try from this box?


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Shopping, Dining & Blogging At St. Enoch

St Enoch Centre Glasgow

As you will have seen if you saw my big Boots haul, I recently indulged in a spot of retail therapy to deal with a couple of crappy weeks health-wise and to pick up a Spring/Summer piece to add to my wardrobe and I did all that at St. Enoch Centre in Glasgow City Centre.

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Millennial Pink Beauty & Fashion Edit

Millennial Pink Clothes

I don't know about you but I'm more than a little bit obsessed with all things millennial/blush pink these days. As someone who only owned one piece of pink clothing (a baby pink t-shirt style nightdress) up until about a year ago, this is quite the turnaround.

I went shopping this week, namely to pick up my beloved Almond Oil for skin from L'Occitane, which had sadly run out and to do some online shopping returns but I ended up picking up a few of the pieces from today's edit, all of which I already adore and can't wait to wear. So here are the beauty and fashion bits, of a millennial pink nature, that I've been lusting after recently, along with a few that I've already bought;

Millennial Pink Fashion
Left to right: New Look Wrap Front Pleated Culotte JumpsuitASOS Velvet Pleated Midi Skirt - Topshop Skater Bardot Dress - Topshop Faye Marabou Cross Body Bag - Coast Kadie Sequin Maxi Prom Dress - River Island Frill Hem Trousers

The New Look Wrap Front Pleated Culotte Jumpsuit has already made it into my wardrobe, in both pink and in black and I managed to bag the ASOS Velvet Pleated Midi Skirt for less than half price at the Benefit Raise A Brow pop up charity shop that arrived in Glasgow a few weeks ago.

I have a feeling I'm going to treat myself to the Topshop Faye Marabou Cross Body Bag at the end of the month as a bit of a payday treat and how can you not dream about wearing this sequin maxi dress from Coast?

Millennial Pink Makeup

Left to right: Top row: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Liner & LipstickGlossier Balm Dot Com - NARS BLK 413 Blush Duo - Morphe Eyeshadow in Wink For Pink - L'Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm Rose Nude SPF25 
Bottom row: Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo in Dreamer - Bareminerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Smooch - Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter in Forget Me Not - Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette - Nails Inc Makeup Correct, Conceal & Heal 

Having already tried a few of the Bareminerals GEN NUDE matte liquid lipcolours (see review here), I'm keen to add a pink shade to my collection and Smooch looks so pretty. As does the Morphe eyeshadow in Wink For Pink and the Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter. Might it be time for me to place my first Colourpop order?

And you know I'll be picking up Glossier's Balm Dot Com on my trip to New York this Summer! I also might need to finally pick up the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick. What do we think?

Are you a fan of the millennial pink trend when it comes to fashion and/or beauty? What do you think of the items and products that I've featured in today's post? Would you like to see the pieces that I've already picked up, such as the New Look pleated jumpsuit or the ASOS velvet pleated skirt, in an outfit post soon? And would you like to see edits like these on different patterns or colours in the future?


Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Big Boots Haul

Boots Haul 2017

With £30 of Boots points burning a hole in my pocket, this week I decided to finally dedicate a good hour or so (I wish I was joking) to shopping in Boots, instead of sauntering or rushing about like I usually do. To say I got a little bit carried away would be a bit of an understatement, especially as I can't remember the last time I did a big shop like this in Boots and I probably earned enough points in this one transaction to warrant another trip to spend them (thank god for double points coupons) but until then, here is what I picked up at Boots this week;

Makeup Haul 2017

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in 625 Sparkle Nude (£5.50) - NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Girl Talk (£5.50) - NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Tres Leches (£6) - NYX Eye and Eyebrow Pencil in Black (£2.50)

The first place that I headed, as soon as I walked through the doors, was the NYX counter. And after covering my hands and wrists in swatches, I came away with the following and I couldn't be happier with my choices. Girl Talk is the most incredible champagne shade and it goes beautifully with the Sparkle Nude Jumbo Eye Pencil, which is honestly the creamiest eye pencil that I've ever tried. I was quite tempted to pick up several shades and sure as hell swatched about thirty of them on my wrists/hands.

I picked up another one of the Intense Butter Glosses after becoming obsessed with the Angel Food Cake shade, as seen in my July favourites last year. And I was also in the market for a new black kohl liner, so I thought that I would try one from NYX out.

Maybelline New York Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick in 01 Light (£6.99) - Rimmel London Kate Moss Sculpting & Highlighting Kit in 002 Coral Glow (£6.99) - Maybelline New York Master Drama The Nudes in 22 Brownie Glitz (£4.99)

With a couple of champagne-y eye shades already in my basket, I couldn't resist this gorgeous gold eyeliner from Maybelline. I then finally gave in and picked up two products that I'd had my eye for a good number of months. I might finally master the whole contoured look as a result of owning this contouring stick and the Rimmel London kit looked like a handy little palette to have as well, which is why I picked it up.

Boots Haul Blog

Garnier Ultimate Blends Face & Body Multi-Purpose Soothing Balm (£5.99)

I've recently been experiencing quite sore and dehydrated skin around my hips again. As this is something that seems to happen every so often, I was tempted to treat myself to the Kiehl's Creme de Corps but after seeing this body balm from Garnier for a fraction of the price, I decided to give it a try first. If you have tried Creme de Corps, is it something that I should consider picking up at some point?

Wet Brush Limited Edition Droplets Hair Brush (£12.99) 

I then had to upgrade myself to this edition of my very favourite hair brush; the Wet Brush. I mean, how couldn't I when it looks like that? Am I the only one who's still completely drawn in and sold when it comes to anything rose gold or coppery?

Umberto Giannini 60 Second Smooth Pre-Shampoo Treatment (£8.50)

After being as impressed as I was with the Umberto Giannini Weather Proof Curls, which featured in my current haircare routine post, I thought that I would try something else from the brand out and this pre-shampoo treatment caught my eye straight away. I can't wait to spend a relaxing Sunday doing a little bit of pampering with this and some of the products that follow below.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution Make-Up Removing Wipes (£7)

I then picked up a pack of my favourite make-up removing wipes. If you haven't tried these before, I certainly recommend giving them a try, even though they are a little pricier than traditional baby wipes but they're so much better for your skin than the alternative.

Nails Inc Face Mask Boots

FACEINC by Nails Inc Flower Power Hydrating Sheet Mask (£5) - Nails Inc Shine Bright Moisturising & Anti-Ageing Glove Masks (£8) - FACEINC by Nails Inc Oh Deer! Help The Hangover Sheet Mask (£5)

I simply couldn't resist picking up some of Nails Inc's new sheet masks as they just looked incredible. I was also intrigued by the glove masks and even though I don't really need them for their anti-ageing properties, I do sometimes get dry hands, especially as the seasons change for some reason, so I decided to give them a try.

I really wanted to try a peeling foot mask but I didn't see anything along those lines in Boots on this occasion. I might just need to place a cheeky Beauty Bay order to try out this one from Holika Holika. Has anyone else tried them? And if so, which one did you go for? I might even need to take a little trip to TK Maxx to see if they have anything like what I'm looking for.

So there you have it. my rather large Boots haul.

What do you think of what I managed to pick up? Have you tried any of the products or ranges featured in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? And would you like to see in depth reviews of the products that I loved/my first impressions?

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