Friday, 31 January 2014

Pixi Alchemy Palette Review

Today's post is a review of the Pixi Alchemy palette. I picked this up here (on sale, whoop!) a few weeks ago and have been suitably impressed. 

I must apologise for the terrible lighting in these photos, I took them in the dark - my bad!

The palette features 36 gorgeous metallic shades which are all totally wearable. They aren't named, but I did my eyes using the shades from the 4th line from the right in these photographs. 

The set comes with a brush (not pictured, oops!) which I instantly discarded as it was pretty crappy. I stuck to my faithful Real Techniques shadow brush and Mac 217 to apply and blend these. 

Now I may be reviewing these too closely to the Urban decay palette, and I must say they aren't quite as blendable and require a little bit more TLC to get a smooth edge but due to how beautiful the shades are I can forgive this. 

I really think this is a lovely addition to your collection, so many of these shades you would never see anywhere else!

Have any of you tried this palette? What do you think?


Thursday, 30 January 2014

100 Followers, Updates and Questions

Hello all!

I am very pleased to say that after just a couple of weeks of proper blogging I have reached 100 followers on Bloglovin', WOOP!

I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who is following me and I hope you enjoy what you're reading!

I'd like to say I'd devised a schedule / knew what I would be posting in advance etc. but, unfortunately, that just doesn't seem possible for me!

I'm still working part time, studying full time, learning to drive, learning Welsh and being busy just being pregnant so as much as I would like to give myself a decent blogging structure, I just can't! I'm aiming to get at least 2 or 3 posts up a week though at this point.

Which brings me to my next point... things you may be seeing from me in the next few weeks;

  • Second trimester post (I hit 6 months in the next few weeks, so want to share my experience of the last few month's as a mummy-to-be with you all!)
  • Pregnancy lookbook / haul? A little insight to the things I've been wearing since I've expanded a bit at the waistline...
  • January beauty faves
  • Home updates - we've been doing a bit of home improvement recently so would like to show some snippets on here
  • Weekly updates? I'm playing with the idea of doing a sort of weekly 'summary' on a Sunday... but not quite sure if my life is currently interesting enough. 
  • And, of course, reviews, FOTD's etc. 
If there's anything you guys would like to see on my blog, please let me know and I will try and make sure I post it! 

Once again thank you all so much!


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette

As you can guess, todays post is about the wonder that is the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette. First things first, 10/10 for packaging Urban Decay, it's absolutely gorgeous! The palette is a bit bulky but feels totally high end and as it's a palette you probably won't be taking it anywhere with you - so size isn't really an issue!

The palette features 20 shades which are (mostly...) very wearable! They have got the balance of neutrals and brights just right here which is good news for me as I'm definitely a play-it-safe kinda girl...

I forgot to do swatches (oops.. google them!) but decided to have a little go with a few of the less garish colours. I used the shade Dope all over my lid followed by Ambush and a little bit of Radar in my crease with Smokeout along the lash line.

I must apologise as I was very naughty and just popped make up over the top of existing (and a good few hours old..) make up. Don't hate.

I can assure you the above photograph looked a lot less soft focus before I put it into blogger, my apologies (any advice on how to stop this gratefully received).

I must say, and this is no exaggeration, these are THE most blendable shadows I have ever used. They are just dreamy. I used the palette's brush to put on shadow, then blended with my Mac 217 and this little duo worked really well.

As you can see, I didn't go too wild with the smokeyness but can imagine this palette being perfect for night-out make up (being pregnant I can't comment too much on it's ability to stay put whilst you sweat it out on the dancefloor).

My only criticism about the palette is that it totally lacks highlight shades! I had to steal another shade from my Pixi Alchemy palette (review to come soon!) for my inner corners and brow bone, but I guess the Vice 2 palette is just a little too 'badass' for that.

Do any of you guys have the Vice 2 palette? What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe

This is the this is the third colour tattoo I've picked up so far and I must say it's easily become my favourite. The other shades I have are On and On Bronze and Eternal Gold, which are both very shimmery and I only tend to use them as bases underneath a heavier eye - Eternal Gold in particular is far too yellow for me to wear on it's own!

I actually picked this up with my grocery shopping at Asda for £4 - but have since discovered its only £1.50 on fragrance direct here - bargain!

As you can see, the finish is a beautiful neutral matte taupe. Unlike the others I've been wearing this both on it's own and underneath shadows this week and must say I am really enjoying the results! It does require a bit of work to blend in, but once it's set it's set all day which is generally a pretty big ask for under a fiver.

I do find the colour range a bit disappointing, other than this shade there aren't really any others I would like in my collection - for example a bright turquoise or black eye isn't something I often find myself sporting...

All in all though, this is definitely worth picking up and at only £1.50 at Fragrance Direct it's definitely worth the hype!

What are your guys thoughts on the colour tattoo's?


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Currently Lusting After: January 2014

It's a real shame really that January is such a skint month because there are SO many things I desperately want...

1. Hydraluron - £16.66 
I've heard a few people raving about this... I can't quite remember who but can definitely remember Alix from I Covet Thee giving it a big thumbs out. Intrigued to try but waiting to come across a tester to try it out before I buy. 

2. Naked 3 Palette - £37.00
Need I explain myself? Beautiful. Want. 

3. Dior Creme de Rose - £20.00
I've had awfully dry lips recently so feel like splashing out a bit more on lip care to keep them in tiptop condition. My favourite bblogger Essiebutton has raved about this so, obviously, I want it. 

4. Nars Sheer Glow - £30.50
I have a few foundations currently on the go which I would like to use up, but definitely have my heart set on this for my next foundation purchase. I don't generally like the 'glowy' look but have heard this is super subtle and beautiful but retains good coverage still. 

5. Ikea Malm Dressing Table - £90.00
Stereotypical beauty blogger staple. I was initially planning to put all my make up storage etc in the spare room when we moved into my current place, but that went out the window when we found out it would need to be a nursery! This table is small enough to fit in the bay window in my bedroom which I love - and it's ikea so it's cheap too!

I think it was Tanya Burr who initially raved about how brilliant this is - I have since seen loads of other people singing it's praises but I am yet to try it out. As someone who suffers from that horrible mascara fall out / smudgy look it would definitely be a good investment!

Loved the Kissable Balm Stains, love matte lipsticks, bound to love these. Haven't actually been to a drugstore since they've been released.. will be picking up a couple I'm sure. 

You can never have enough brushes. I always struggle with finding brushes for cream products - these look ideal! Saw Kate from Ghostparties mention them in her favourite brushes vid and have wanted them since. 

Got a sample of this at some point in a Glossybox or similar and surprisingly REALLY liked it. It's a bit more 'grown up' than I would usually go for but I think I quite like that after a Winter of the super sweet Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. On the look out for a new Spring scent and it may just have to be this one. 

What are you guys after this month?


Monday, 20 January 2014

The Budget Brush Buy: Real Techniques Dupes

So I recently purchased these brushes from eBay for the bargain price of £2.89. They're essentially Real Techiniques dupes and come in the same shades as the Real Techniques ones too making them pretty identical. I, however, decided to get them in blue as I wasn't too keen on them just looking 'fake'. 

There are 7 pieces in the set, each of which is quite small and easily make-up bag sized which I like. The spoolie and brow brush are really handy to have in my set as well. The brushes aren't named, but the miniature foundation brush (1st left) has already had some used as a handbag sized powder / blush applicator which suit it just fine! The set also includes an eyeshadow brush, angled brush, eyeshadow sponge applicator and detail brush. All of the brushes are very soft and synthetic which gets a thumbs up from me, the only downside is application is a bit tricky because getting things to stick to them is a bit of a struggle. 

They aren't amazing, but for £2.89 I don't see a problem in adding these to my collection! They have loads of other bargain brushes for sale so definitely worth checking our their eBay store!


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Growing a Human: The First Trimester

So my first trimester spanned around mid August to the end of November last year. The first trimester is an awkward time as generally this is when you feel your worst but you can't really tell anyone why. My boyfriend and I had told a few close friends and family but other than that we kept it on the down-low. I didn't begin to show for the whole trimester and found it actually quite difficult to get my head around what was happening. Doctor's don't confirm your pregnancy in Wales anymore and just seem to take your word for it!

 Symptom-wise I didn't suffer too badly. I was lucky enough to avoid vomiting, but unfortunately the consistent feeling like you're going to vomit can be just as bad. I would actually be woken up every morning with bad nausea - not fun! The second side effect to hit be the worst was fatigue. I really struggled to stay awake at this point - I would go to sleep at 9pm - wake up around 7 or 8 and still have to have a 2 hour nap every afternoon to feel vaguely alive. Although this fatigue is something I still haven't really shaken off, I'm glad it's subsided a little! The third symptom, and the first one I noticed, was the most incredibly painful boob's I have ever experienced! They have been growing pretty much continuously, but that first few month's was horrific - I couldn't even brush my arm past them without wincing! Other than that my first trimester was pretty normal - there are no scans or appointments at this stage in Wales.

Emotionally, pregnancy is an absolute minefield and I think the first trimester was the worst. You don't have a bump, nor have you seen the baby so it's hard to feel much of a connection between you both. There are a lot of adjustments to make in your life as well, and keeping it a secret really doesn't help. I remember sitting at home and crying when my boyfriend would go out. I really resented him drinking / smoking. Going through a really rough time and watching others enjoying themselves in general just pissed me off, it didn't seem fair. I really couldn't comprehend at this point how people could enjoy being pregnant. When you work most of the time, don't live near any of your friends and only have the evenings free going out and drinking is the main form of social interaction you get with your mates. Suddenly I couldn't do this anymore and generally found myself just staying in and not seeing people.

The thought of getting bigger, although far off, terrified me. I'd just started a degree and the thought of being on campus with a bump as well as in work really made me quite anxious. I didn't tell my parents for quite a while so was really lacking in emotional support. I'm not from Cardiff but my other half is, so his family and friends are all close... I even resented him a little for this because I felt like I've left my life behind despite the fact I'd lived here for a year or so before we'd met.

Generally, I think I'm quite independent and don't like to be reliant on anyone. With this comes a feeling of being 'in control', especially of myself. Suddenly I had lost any control I had over my own life. I wouldn't be working, I'd be living off someone else, I'd lost control of my body.

This is not to say there are not some great feelings too - the great thing about mood swings is that they go both ways - feeling super in love and making a baby with someone is an amazing feeling. Unfortunately for me I was in no way mentally prepared for pregnancy and struggled a bit to come to terms with the fact I was going to be a mother.

It's safe to say I'm glad these months are over and I'm generally feeling a lot better about everything in my second trimester (so far!)


Monday, 13 January 2014

Growing a Human: Discovering I was Pregnant

As this is my first baby, who came as a pretty big shock to me and my other half I was not very well prepared for my body thrusting itself into baby-growing mode. I'm a lot further along now and way into my second trimester but I thought I would relay / recap the first trimester and my experience of it on here in a series of posts. First up... finding out!

I discovered I was pregnant in late September 2013. I don't think I'd even missed a period at this point, maybe by a few days but nothing worth worrying over and as I had recently come off the contraceptive pill I was expecting hormonal changes to deal with this anyway. I picked up a cheapy pregnancy test mainly because my boobs had been a bit achey so I wanted to double check before I started a new pill - I was in NO WAY expecting a positive result. For those of you who have done a pregnancy test before, you will know it's a pretty disgusting process involving awkwardly holding a tiny stick into your pee 'stream'... Not too hard really? I somehow managed to mess this process up and held the stick the wrong way round. A VERY faint line came up which indicated I was, in fact, pregnant... Not sure what to believe here, I had to wait until I could go again before carrying out the second test. So I sat around anxiously really believing I couldn't possibly be pregnant for a while. ALAS, that little red line indicated otherwise. My initial reaction was tears, not elation as I would have liked it to be. I automatically assumed I would terminate the baby and was distraught I would have to do such a thing. Having also just moved into a smaller flat and started my degree as well the whole prospect of having a baby seemed very daunting for me and although I feel mature for my age, I definitely did not feel ready to be responsible for another human.

So the boyfriend and I didn't make any decisions straight away. Maybe if we had it would be a different story, but every day we seemed to grow a stronger attachment to the baby. My body instantly felt pregnant, with my achey boobs suddenly feeling more achey, my stomach less settled and myself more exhausted.

My boyfriend told his parents about the baby. I think this was a big influencing factor as they were so supportive. Although they live very close-by, my family are all back in England so knowing I had them to support me when I needed a hand really aided our decision to keep the baby. The thought of parting with him became too awful and I couldn't shake the feeling I'd spend the rest of my life thinking 'What if I didn't?'. So a few afternoons down the line we were talking about our options and both concluded that we would keep it. It was actually really sweet (my boyfriend cried!!) and overwhelmingly lovely, although a scary venture at the same time!

Obviously I am a lot further along now and very happy to be having a little baby boy but a small part of me feels almost a bit guilty for having reacted so badly to the news - it felt like nothing I could have imagined. I am, however, a big believer recently that things ARE happening for a reason (lame, I know) but having had so much shit the few years prior and the weird chain of events that led to me meeting my boyfriend, I do think this must be the right time for us. I'm also really glad we didn't terminate and feel so much more strongly that unless there is significant reasoning why you shouldn't, it shouldn't be done!

Any of you guys been in the same boat?


The past few months...

Okay.... So I didn't get my blog off to the best start!

I've had a pretty hectic few months to say the least. Having gone back to school I had a bunch of exams, assignments, presentations etc. all due in just before Christmas. Combine this with a super hectic time at work and there was very little room for any free time... 

But the MOST exciting news is that my partner and I are having a little baby boy! I am now 21 weeks pregnant which brings me up to almost 5 months - over halfway there! All the baby-growing has left me somewhat exhausted though (but that's another post entirely...) 

As you can probably guess, my Christmas was pretty quiet! Nothing major to report (although I was given an awesome new camera by my other half - expect some pictures!)

I will probably do some posts following my pregnancy soon... alongside some beauty / home bits and pieces - keep eyes peeled. 

Ciao for now. 

Lyd xxx