Sunday, 25 February 2018

What I've Been Watching Recently

Over the past month or so I've found myself becoming completely obsessed with a TV show, so much so that I watched all four series of it within a few weeks. I've also taken a trip back in time to August's What I've Been Watching post this month as The Bold Type finally premiered here in the UK on Amazon Prime Video (if you're not watching it already, you're missing out!), I watched Get Out for the fourth time after seeing the star of it, Daniel Kaluuya, on Graham Norton's show and bought Annabelle: Creation on DVD. So here's what I've been watching recently, in addition to those already mentioned;

Line Of Duty

The TV show in question, when it comes to the one that I've become completely obsessed with, is this incredible police procedural programme. I'd actually just finished watching Hard Sun, which I'll talk about in more detail below, when I finally started Line Of Duty. It was one of those shows that I'd had on my 'to watch'/Netflix list for quite some time now and I'm so glad that I started it this month.

The show follows AC-12, the anti-corruption branch of the police, who are essentially policing the police and all I can say is you simply have to watch this now! If you're looking for a new TV show to start or have been meaning to start it for a while now, like I had, press play as soon as you can and I can guarantee that you won't regret it. Just when you think it can't get any better each series seems to top the one before it and the storylines just get better and better. Be sure to pay attention though as there is a common thread between the four series that have already aired.

The acting from the main team of Steve Arnott, Kate Fleming and Ted Hastings is brilliant, as is the acting from it's many guest stars. What I love is the fact that each series brings a new story and new guest stars such as Thandie Newton, Keeley Hawes and Daniel Mays. It's just SO good! There are so many twists and turns and you genuinely feel like no one is safe, in terms of making it to the next series. The first three series are currently on Netflix and I was that into it that I couldn't wait for the fourth series to come onto Netflix that I just had to buy it on DVD.

It Follows

This was another thing on my Netlfix to-watch list (basically I'm trying my best to actually watch some new things instead of just putting on Sex and the City or Friends for what must be the thousandth time) and as a fan of horror movies, I'd noticed how well received this movie had been both by critics and audiences. I mean, it's currently sitting at a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, something that certainly can't be said for the majority of horror movies that I find myself watching. To contrast, I also watched Valentine this month, you know, the horror movie starring Angel (aka. David Boreanaz) in his heyday. Yeah, I have a feeling that that might have passed you by, probably with good reason even though I quite like it's cheesiness. Valentine is sitting at 8%.

To give you a quick synopsis of the film, It Follows isn't your typical teenage horror film. Whilst in the likes of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and other teen horrors, sex and whether or not certain characters have had it, marks whether or not they'll ultimately survive. Our main character has sex at the start of the movie, soon finding out that something will be following her as a result. And this 'thing' that's following her can take any guise and will eventually catch up to her. And what makes it all the more creepy is the fact that this isn't your traditional baddie wielding a knife or maniac, it's another person walking towards you at the same pace, changing form each and every time. And some of it's forms are truly scary.

I spent most of the movie with that horrible feeling of dread in my stomach and for me, that's the marker of a great horror movie. You actually put yourself in the character's shoes, asking yourself what would you do? Would you pass it on, never stop driving or try to fight it off?

America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model or ANTM for short, has always been one of my favourite reality TV shows but when Rita Ora took over as head judge for her first and last season, I had a feeling that ANTM would soon be cancelled indefinitely. I'm not the biggest fan of Rita Ora at the best of times but her hosting was pretty dire. I was so happy when Tyra returned to host the finale and was even happier when she confirmed that Ora was out and she was back in her rightful place as head judge. And to me, this current season of ANTM, which is currently airing here in the UK on Sky Living, is one of it's best yet.

Sure there's the same amount of drama as always but I really appreciate the diversity of this year's bunch of girls. There are plus size and curvier girls, a variety of different skin tones and even a model with alopecia. I'm actually rooting for many of them, which isn't always the case and look forward to a Friday night of chilling out and sticking on ANTM. If you'd given up on it before, I'd definitely recommend trying it out again.

Ru Paul's Drag Race Allstars 3

As soon as I heard that Allstars 3 was being aired on UK TV and only a few days after it airs in the US I was so over the moon. I was even happier when I saw some of the queens that would be participating. It really bugs me that none of the Allstars seasons are on Netflix or similar streaming platforms as I still haven't properly seen all of season 2 and had to resort to watching the first season on really crappy YouTube video uploads of it. Why can't they just show Allstars as well?!

Season 3 has been everything that I wanted it to be and more. And whilst I look forward to ANTM on a Friday night, I literally count down the hours until Saturday night when Ru airs, which probably shows how exciting my weekends are! Haha. All joking aside, it really is a struggle as I try to avoid spoilers on Friday and Saturday of that week's show but I honestly have no idea how to stream stuff from the US without worrying about a Limewire style virus running rampant on my laptop. Even mentioning the word Limewire still fills me with the fear. But back to Ru, if you're also watching it, who are you backing to win? I'm really loving Shangela and well, Ben really is nailing pretty much every single challenge given to him too.

Hard Sun

From the team and creator behind Luther, Hard Sun started last month on BBC with the whole series currently on iPlayer for you to bingewatch at your own conveience. It stars Agyness Deyn, who you might remember as a model/BFF of Henry Holland etc. from the early noughties (basically if you watched T4 at the weekend as a teenager you will have seen her pop up pretty frequently) and Jim Sturgess who I mainly know from One Day and The Other Boleyn Girl. Hard Sun is a post-apocalyptic kind of show, with the world ending in five years time or so they think and most of the series focuses on higher powers attempting to silence Deyn and Sturgess' characters after they stumble across this news.

It is so similar to Luther, from the way it's shot to the neighbourhoods and crime scenes that feature to the people they're trying to catch in their day job. I mean, Sturgess' character even walks about like John Luther would. Having said that, it is a really enjoyable and watchable show but not quite as good as Luther, sadly. But if, like me, you're impatiently awaiting Idris and Luther's return, this is a pretty good show to watch in the meantime.

So there's what I've been watching recently.

What have you been watching recently? Have you seen any of the shows or movies mentioned in today's post? And what kind of things do you have in your 'to-watch' list at the moment?


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Benefit BADGAL Bang Mascara: Hit Or Miss

benefit badgal bang mascara

Unless you've been living under a rock recently or don't follow any beauty bloggers on social media, you'll know that Benefit have come out with their biggest new release of recent years. Whether you'd been attempting to guess what the #outofthisworld product would be or were

So what do I think of the Benefit's new mascara release?

benefit badgal bang review

I have mixed history with Benefit mascaras. I first tried They're Real! when it came free with a copy of Glamour magazine many moons ago. I must have been in my late teens with very little disposable income so it's no surprise that I didn't go on to purchase the full size, particularly when my go-to mascara at the time, Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express, was around the £5 mark. I'd never felt the need to look other than at the drugstore for mascara. That was until I tried Roller Lash.

If you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for some time now you might remember that my very first blog event was the Glasgow launch of Roller Lash. As soon as I tried it I knew that I'd found something special. It gave me volume without clumping, curled the lashes without the need for eyelash curlers and lasted a whole day or night without flaking. It was and still is my favourite mascara of all time so I was keen to see how BADGAL Bang compared.

I'd actually never tried the original BADGAL mascara, despite having the opportunity to on a couple of occasions when it came free with other magazines. BADGAL Bang promises bigger and badder lashes and I was certainly excited to put this to the test.

benefit badgal bang

BADGAL Bang is almost the exact opposite of my beloved Roller Lash but not necessarily in a bad way. If you're looking for drama and the kind of mascara that you'd favour for a night out, then BADGAL Bang is the mascara for you. What I really like is the applicator. It tapers nicely, making it ideal for getting precise with your lower lash line and is flexible enough to let you get each and every lash.

What I would say is don't go too heavy handed on the first coat. If you build it up it stops it from getting too clumpy or spidery but the same can be said for most mascaras. If you apply too much when it's still wet it will end up looking less than desirable so it's worth bearing this in mind for any mascara you own. I was surprised that after several coats it still feels lightweight on the lashes and doesn't weigh them down or leave you with lids that keep dropping due to the weight. I think this is what Benefit mean when they talk about space age technology and particles.

I love that it's a true black shade. It doesn't end up greyish upon drying nor does it look like natural lashes ever would. Even though it feels lightweight on the lashes, I was surprised by how much mascara comes off when removing. It took me double the time and double to cleanser to take it off. In that respect, it's quite like They're Real! My main bugbear with that mascara has always been how messy and difficult it can be to remove and whilst this new release is nowhere near as bad in comparison, it's still something to bear in mind.

badgal bang mascara benefit review

My Mum, a bit of a mascara connoisseur (mascara is her makeup product of choice and she regularly tries and tests out the latest ones to hit the shops - really she should have her own blog!) wanted to try this out and she concurs on the not applying too much/a lot coming off when removing it points. She liked that it opened up her eye and how fine the brush was but found it a little bit clumpy.

Basically, as I mentioned a little bit above, if you're looking for big, bold, black lashes that really do look out of this world, then BADGAL Bang is for you! I would definitely use it more as a special night out or party mascara rather than an everyday one. I haven't tested it's 36 hour wear claim because I don't think I'd like to wear any kind of makeup for longer than 24 hour hours but it lasted a full day and night of testing for me.

Do you like the look of BADGAL Bang? Have you tried any of Benefit's mascaras before? If so, what did you think of them? And what's your favourite mascara of all time?


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Why I Feel A Bit Meh About My Blog At The Moment & How I'm Hoping To Change This

how to take your blog to the next level

December of last year marked four years since I started blogging and in that time I've done so many things that I could never even have dreamed of when I first started. I've worked with some of my favourite brands, met so many like minded people and even made my blog part of my full time job but over the past couple of months or so I've just found myself feeling really meh about my blog and blogging. I'm sure everyone has experienced something similar either with their blog or with work but I just can't seem to shake the feeling these days.

I find it more and more difficult to get inspired to actually open up Blogger and start typing and when I do I just sit staring at a blank screen. I feel guilty when I'm not blogging but also feel rubbish about the content that I'm putting out there, making it a bit of a lose lose situation for me these days. I've tried taking some time away to hopefully get inspired, reading books written by bloggers and girl bosses but then I end up feeling even more pressure to get it together.

I want to focus more on what's really going on in my life rather than just reviewing beauty products, which I still do want to do but then I don't quite know how to craft those posts so that they don't just go down like a lead balloon. Any tips or ideas would be much appreciated.

I just wanted to put this blog post out there to let you know how I've been feeling and what I'm hoping to do to change this and as always, I would love to hear what you think about my blog and social media posts. I can never be fully objective so it would mean the world if you could let me know what you think either below or via some kind of message (email, Twitter, Insta).

So here are my thoughts;

Comparison is the thief of joy

No matter how happy I am with my blog and everything that comes along with it, all it takes is a quick scroll through Instagram or Twitter to have me feeling like I'm not good enough and what I'm producing just isn't good enough either. Whether it's exciting events or trips that I haven't been invited to, blog photos that wouldn't look out of place in a magazine or real interaction and buzz about a blog post, I feel rubbish more often than not these days. Now don't get me wrong, I in no way expect to be invited to things or to receive a press sendout but something inside me still feels a bit crappy. I often feel like such an amateur, which I guess we all are to some extent but when I compare my photos or blog design to someone else's it just becomes so apparent that I don't feel on the same level.

I'm thinking about sharing the blog posts or photos on Instagram that leave me looking like the heart eye emoji, as the main reason that I even contemplate comparing myself to them is because they're hitting it out of the park and have got me reading or liking in the first place. That way I'm celebrating what makes us different instead of focusing on why I'm not as good or as successful at what they're doing as I am.

Upping my game

For some time now I've wanted to up my game. Sadly I don't have an Instagram husband or helper to take those flawless outfit photos that I see pop up on Insta. I also still live at home making it pretty difficult to set up those gorgeous shots with throws and trinkets and props that I always admire. My bedroom gets zero to no natural light and my living room, where I take most of my photos, doesn't have a free spot to craft those shots.

Maybe it's about time that I looked into working with a photographer on outfit posts so that I could make them more of a regular feature on here as I would love to share what I've been wearing and loving recently.

Getting more personal

I often feel like sharing what's going on in my real life aka. the bits that don't quite make Instagram or social media such as my health, what it's like to hustle and freelance full time, why I'd like to start dating but dating apps put me off and just more personal posts. I will, of course, still be blogging about beauty (I have a review of Benefit's latest mascara planned for next week) and the like but I'm keen to change things up a little so as to hopefully inspire me to be more inclined to sit down and write, like I did today with this post.

What would you like to see more of on Ellis Tuesday? What would you change? Do you ever feel the same? And what do you think of my ideas for hopefully changing up my blog?


Sunday, 11 February 2018

An Entire 'New In' Face Of Makeup

2018 Beauty Releases

It's been a little while since I last shared what I've been trying out when it comes to all things beauty and there have been quite a few new and exciting launches in recent weeks and months, which is what inspired today's blog post.

So let's see what I've had the pleasure of trying out and adding into my daily makeup routine in some instances, recently;

Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer Review

bareMinerals GEN NUDE Pressed Powder Blush in On The Mauve* - bareMinerals are a brand that have long impressed me, as you will have seen if you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for a while. One of their latest releases adds to the already existing and fantastic GEN NUDE range with a new pressed powder blush. 

Released in four different colour categories (beiges, pinks, peaches and mauves) with different levels of brightness and concentration depending on your skin tone, there really is a blush for every complexion and colouring. I have to admit, I'm normally drawn more to pert pinks and the odd coral but I'm so glad that I got the chance to try out this mauve shade. It's also really buildable and blends out to leave you looking flushed not clownish, always a must when it comes to powdered blush in particular.

Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer - As a fan of the original POREfessional primer, I was keen to try out this new Benefit release as soon as I heard it had been released. If you're looking to brighten the skin without looking like a walking discoball, then this is the product for you. It works particularly well on duller areas and has the same POREfessional formula and feel that many know and love. The pearly pink hue also looks so pretty on the skin and now makes me favour this product over the original, which I wasn't initially banking on.

If you're not sure about taking the plunge with this product, you can get the travel size for around £10 at the likes of Debenhams or if you do fancy the full size, Cult Beauty are giving you a free makeup bag and mini POREfessional when you spend £30 on Benefit at the moment.

bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer in Fair Cool 01* - I'd been looking to try a new concealer when I was kindly sent over this product and the other bareMinerals product above, by World Duty Free. You might remember how much of a fan of the BAREPRO foundation I was and still am so I was over the moon to find out that they were adding a corresponding concealer.

This is really good for covering up blemishes, dark circles and red patches and as someone who pretty much exclusively uses liquid concealers, I have to admit, I liked the stick format especially for applying on the go. It's a great colour match for my incredibly fair skin and doesn't crease under the eyes either. Definitely one to check out when it's released soon.

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara Review

Know Cosmetics No Bare Brows Universal 4 in 1 Brow Fix* - A brand that have just launched in Sephora across the pond that you'll actually find in a handful of places here in the UK, Know Cosmetics have some real gems in their line. Now this is such a handy product to have, combining a taming wax and universal shade along with a brush and sharpener. As a result, it's ideal for keeping in your handbag or travel makeup bag and is a really nice quality too, especially when I didn't know what to expect from the brand.

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara - Every so often Maybelline release a mascara that makes me take attention and that's exactly what happened with this one. The first mascara that I ever bought along with the infamous Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, which I continued to repurchase was from Maybelline and this is why I've always got at least one Maybelline mascara in my makeup bag as I can always rely on them, especially when I'm not in the position to repurchase one of my slightly pricier favourites.

I'm a big fan of the brush and I know that Maybelline's formula is one which doesn't irritate my often sensitive eyes. This particular mascara gives me a lot of volume and a true black shade; both winners for what me. As a result, I'd definitely recommend checking this out and the rest of the new Total Temptation range the next time that you're at the drugstore.

BUXOM Plumpline Lip Liner Review

Know Cosmetics No Thin Lips Secret Lip Plumper* - If you saw my Two Dry Skin Game Changers blog post, you will know that I've thankfully been able to get rid of my chapped and cracked lips this Winter. Because of this, I've felt so much more confident to try out bolder and brighter shades and to make my lips more of a prominent feature in my makeup routine.

This isn't too tingly or sore, like so many similar lip plumping products are and leaves my lips looking plump and incredibly soft. You'll also find this genius little product in Lloyd's Pharmacy here in the UK and Sephora in the US. It's also perfect for applying in advance of the next two products.

BUXOM Plumpline Lip Liner in Anonymous Allure - Now that Buxom is readily available at Debenhams, I often find myself frequenting the counter, mainly to try out their lip products and when I saw this new release I just had to try it out. I decided to step out of my comfort zone, after trying this purple hue and I'm so glad that I did. Essentially it's a lip liner which allows you to blend it out all over the lips either to wear alone or under a gloss for example. I've seen quite a few tutorials on Instagram of how to achieve ombre or gradient lips with these liners and as a result, now have my eye on even more of the shades. In addition to being available at Debenhams, you'll also find BUXOM on Cult Beauty, here in the UK and Sephora/Ulta in the US.

Shiseido Rouge Rouge in RS419 Primrose Sun* - The BUXOM shade is also a great match for this lipstick from Shiseido. I'd actually never tried anything from Shiseido before this point so I must again thank World Duty Free for sending this my way to try out. It's such a bold and beautiful shade without being too in your face and it just cheers you up on a cold Winter's morning when you apply it. I also really like the formula and how smoothly it sits on the lips. I'll certainly need to see if I can check out a few more shades from Shiseido after trying this one.

So there you have it, some of the biggest and best new releases that I've been lucky enough to try this year. Even though I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked to so far in 2018, I've got lots of beauty content planned for the upcoming weeks and months after a rare clear bright day here in Scotland and an epic day of photo taking. 

If you're a fellow blogger, do you also find it much easier to write the blog posts once you've got the accompanying photographs? Or am I the only one who works that way?

Have you tried any of the products mentioned in today's blog post? If so, what do you think of them? Are there any new releases that you've had your eye on? And what's your favourite beauty buy of the past six months been and why?


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Valentine's Ideas For The Forever Alone And Those With That Special Someone

valentines day gift ideas for her

As someone who's never been in a relationship over Valentine's Day (seriously forever alone), I genuinely see it and treat it as just another day instead of one where I spend the evening alone in bed with a giant tub of ice cream and a succession of rom coms or feel the need to make up for the fact that I'm single by buying myself something silly or extravagant. It's all about the little things for me, even when it comes to my birthday or Christmas and I have a feeling that it still would be even if I was in a relationship.

And if you are in a couple, Valentine's Day doesn't just need to be celebrated with your other half. I'm all about Galentine's Day and just generally letting your friends and loved ones know how much you appreciate them, not only at this time of year but the whole way through. So here are some Valentine's ideas both for those who are single and those who have that someone special to celebrate it with;

Plan a spot of pampering

Whether you're getting ready for date night or are having a night away from social media (I mean, there's only so many V-day updates you can see before singing All By Myself out loud a la Bridget Jones), really make a point of pampering yourself. Run a bath, light a candle or ten and just chill out. Lush are always my go-to at this time of year, especially when they bring out their brilliant Valentine's Day exclusives each and every year. It's nice to go in and pick up a few bits from the collection to use the week of Valentine's (my birthday is a few days before so I like to really treat myself that week in particular). My favourite will always be the Unicorn Horn bubble bar, which if you've not tried it before, get yourself down to Lush before it's gone again until next year. The Cherryish Body Scrub and Tender is the Night naked shower cream were brilliant new discoveries this year.

Treat yourself or someone else

As I mentioned earlier, don't feel like you need to go and get yourself into debt or live on beans on toast for the rest of the month just because you wanted to treat yourself or your other half. Treating yourself or someone else could mean picking up a fancy dessert from M&S or having a lie in and breakfast in bed.

The one thing I do think of immediately when I think of Valentine's Day is fragrance. If you're single, I always find that you can take advantage of some great savings and gift sets around Valentine's Day, which is why I always hold out to buy my favourites until this time of year. If you're in a relationship, you can't really go wrong with a perfume or aftershave.

adexe watches review

World Duty Free very kindly acted as my Valentine this year by sending me quite easily the fanciest perfume that I now own. One little treat that I always make sure to make when jetting off is to pick up a new perfume, one that I wear on that specific holiday so that whenever I smell it it instantly transports me back to that special place or trip. So even if you're not flying off somewhere exciting soon, you can always treat yourself or your other half on your next trip.

Adexe London also sent me out one of their brand new watches, the Meek Petite Rose Gold*. If you're like me and have petite or small wrists, then you need to check out their petite range ASAP! They also have the larger size of this watch and what is so great about them is the fact that you can easily adjust the sizing without having to worry about adding more holes to the strap, for example. You just slide along the closure to your desired size and that's it. If you like the look of their watches, be sure to use the code ELLISTUESDAY15 to take 15% off your order.

And you can't go wrong with some lip products at Valentine's Day. I absolutely love the Huda Beauty Contour and Strobe Lip Set and isn't the lip shaped tin just perfect for Valentine's gifting? I also picked up a little key chain mini of the Wet Brush (which is the best hair brush I have EVER tried, as seen in my previous reviews) from Cult Beauty too while I was at it. Joan Collins Timeless Beauty also have some great options, plus you can even pick these lip products up whilst doing your food shop at M&S, if you are treating yourself to that special dessert. Can you tell that I have my eye on one this year? This Divine Lipstick* is such a gorgeous shade as is this sparkly Glorious Lip Gloss*.

lush valentines day

Send some cards

Last but not least, let your loved ones know just how loved they are, whether that's a quick phonecall, a catch-up or a traditional card. Don't let Valentine's Day just be about boyfriends/girlfriends or other halves. I mean, these ones from Scribbler are that good that you just need to go back to the good ol' days when you'd actually send one anonymously to that boy or girl that you fancied at school. They're also great for Galentine's Day too or even to give to your work wife or husband.

And if all else fails, stick your feet up, get a takeaway and put on a film or several and enjoy it alone or with friends/loved ones. I've got a blog post dedicated to some of my favourite rom coms and Valentine's Day appropriate watches, so be sure to check that out for some ideas.

Are you a fan of Valentine's Day? How will you be spending it this year? And do you need a reason to treat yourself or is Valentine's Day just a nice excuse to do so?

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