Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome

I was rather intrigued when I saw The Body Shop release their highlighting domes (£8) recently. What mostly appealed to me is the fact you can apply the dome directly to the face without the need for brushes which makes it the perfect handbag or travel staple! 

The domes come in three shades - golden, pink and bronze. Today I'm sharing the pink shade with you - the perfect blush / highlight hybrid to give you a gorgeous summer glow! 

As usual with highlighters, it's almost impossible to capture in a photo as they will be captured differently in all lights. Alas, you can tell the dome is a beautiful coral toned pink with good pigmentation - definitely steering towards a blush rather than a highlight. 

The domes are obviously not super creamy as they need to be pretty firm to retain their dome-y shape, but once you apply them to your skin you can easily blend them out with your finger. Applying a little at a time is key! 

I think these highlighting domes are perfect for summer evenings, or maybe for faking the sunkissed look once the Autumn rolls around again! 

Have you tried these?




Monday, 24 August 2015

Vintage Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor Resort!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend a baby-free afternoon trying the 'Vintage Afternoon Tea' at The Celtic Manor resort! If you're an M4 frequenter or a Welshie then you're bound to have seen the Celtic Manor before in all it's magnificence standing proudly in the Usk valley near Newport. 

The whole experience was very impressive. The grounds and the hotel are rather elegant and the Afternoon Tea experience was definitely one of fine dining! If you're looking to impress someone, then this is the place to go!

The staff are very courteous and will cater to any dietary needs you may have. Now, on to the important bit - THE FOOD! 

We were first given a glass of Rose Hip Lemonade and some dainty little Welsh Cakes. The Rose Hip Lemonade is possibly the nicest drink I have ever had. Seriously incredible stuff...

We were then presented with this huge stand of goodies to enjoy! Naturally, we started with the savoury selection - a selection of sandwiches, brioche and a tart. I love a cucumber sandwich, so I especially enjoyed the cucumber sandwich with lemon and mint mayonnaise.

We were then each presented with a FEAST of sweet treats. Seriously, 5 cakes each. Wow. I managed to eat half of each. Glenn miraculously managed to eat everything. Everything was incredible - but the Mocha éclair was the highlight for me!

And if that wasn't enough food, we were then treated to scones with clotted cream and jam - something I've found myself being particularly drawn to after a few weeks in Dorset! 

And of course there was tea! I went for the blackcurrant tea, whilst Glenn went for the Earl grey option. They're all loose leaf, delicate and delicious!

A trip to The Celtic Manor would be a lovely way to treat someone.. or maybe even treat yourself! It's only available on Sundays until the 6th September at £28pp, so be quick if you fancy it!  


***Disclaimer: I was offered the chance to try the Afternoon Tea at no charge, however all opinions are my own***

All About A Mini Norris


Friday, 21 August 2015


Today I thought I would share the beauty bits which live in my handbag! I like to carry a big pouch within my handbag where I'll keep my on-the-go make up and a few other bits and bobs I might need. This makes my life a little bit easier trying to find things through my often overflowing handbag!

I get dry hands all year round, I think probably because I over-wash them (an unfortunate side effect of having a toddler), so a hand cream is essential for me. I don't have a favourite, my house is generally overflowing with them so I tend to just use up what I have. At the moment I'm using the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hr Hand Cream (£12.50) which I'm really enjoying - it's not thick in texture like the normal 8 hour cream so it sinks in really quickly but is really hydrating. 

I like to carry an SPF with me, in case Archer or I need topping up on the sun protection front as we are both VERY fair skinned and burn very easily. I love the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Fluid (£16.50) (a) because the packaging is dinky and perfect for your handbag and (b) you can barely feel this on your skin, there is no greasy residue at all!

Would the handbag beauty post be complete without a do-it-all face spritz? I think not. I'm currently using the bloggers favourite Caudalie Beauty Elixir (£9.78) to refresh tired skin and give my make up a bit of a lift. I think for the price there are better alternatives on the market, but it's a nice little splurge! 

I often forget to apply my daytime fragrance, so the Travalo (£6.99) is a life saver for me! I lost this for a while (by which I mean I put it in a handbag and forgot which one...) and I am so happy to have it back in my life! They are durable and so light-weight, you simply pop the cap of your perfume and pump some spritz into the bottom of the travalo, super easy!

I've raved about it before, but the Blistex Orange Mango Blast  (£1.49) has to be the best lip balm. It tastes like Starburst, it has SPF 15, it's super hydrating. Enough said really. 

I like to carry hand sanitisers with me because I have a little person who often makes me grubby. The Body Shop Hand Sanitisers (£2.50) are my favourite ones I have found - at the moment I'm using the Coconut one which smells a little like I've dropped my hands in some Malibu.. but hey, I can live with that. 

So there you have it, a peek in what travels around in my handbag!

I would love to know what your handbag favourites are?



Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Blogger Interview Tag

I was tagged by Leanne from A Slice Of My Life Wales to do 'The Blogger Interview Tag' - check out her answers here

How did you get into blogging?

I read a lot of beauty bloggers, watched a lot of YouTubers and felt I wanted to have my input there too! I had my blog for a while before I set up twitters, Instagram etc. and really joined the 'community' of the blogging world. My blog also sat there unused for a while when I was pregnant...Oops! 

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

If you want to get really serious about blogging, consider buying your domain early on. They're relatively cheap and your blogs rankings will increase more quickly this way. Also, get yourself out there on social media as you will find this will probably be your biggest source of traffic!

How has your blog changed since you started writing it?

It used to be a beauty blog. Then a mummy / beauty blog. Now I would class myself as a beauty and lifestyle blog (and I would include 'being a Mum' as a pretty big part of my lifestyle!). I've had three names and never really felt happy until now. I've gone through numerous themes too.

What would be your dream campaign?

Umm... Maybe an all expenses paid trip around Scandinavia blogging about my travels. Anyone want to offer me one of those?

What advice would you give to PR’s wanting to approach you for a campaign?

Scroll through a few pages of my blog and see what I write about... I will only accept campaigns which are a good fit to my blog!

Do you have a plan for you blog?

Absolutely not. I probably should. At the moment I post as and when I can. That's probably a New Years Resolution in the making... 

What do you think about rankings?

I try not to worry about them too much. In the blogging world everyone starts at 0. Rankings grow with time and should grow organically. There's nothing wrong with having low rankings, if any at all! I don't blog just to work with PR's, so it doesn't really matter. 

Thanks for tagging me Leanne! I tag Dina, Taylor, Melissa, Jess, Suprina, Freya and Shumaila 



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The £4 Travel Beauty Bargain!

PRIMARK Travel Make Up Bag

PRIMARK Travel Make Up Bag

PRIMARK Travel Make Up Bag

PRIMARK Travel Make Up Bag

I wouldn't normally designate an entire post to a purchase like this, but I have been loving this so much that I simply had to share it with you! 

If you don't already know, Archer and I are currently staying at my Mother's house in West Dorset whilst we wait for our new house to be ready for us to move into. 

A few days prior to leaving, I realised I didn't really have anything suitable for transporting a few weeks worth of make up in. I decided Primark was my best bet for picking up something cheap and cheerful and I found this floral number at an absolute steal of £4!

I'm not usually a floral kinda girl, but something about this bag I just love. The print it quite diffuse and arty - I love the blues in it! 

But what I really love about this bag is the shape. It's essentially an oversized make up bag - and anything oversized is a good thing in my books. You can fit LOADS in this, including bulky palettes, foundations, tools etc... There's also a zip pouch inside as well which is so handy for little bits like bobby pins and hairbands! Because the bag itself is quite flat, it fits snugly into my suitcase without taking up much space (which is very much necessary when travelling with a toddler who requires a ridiculous amount of everything).

The quality of this bag seems really good as well, it's thick and sturdy and doesn't scream Primark

All in all, if you're looking for something to store a large amount of make up / beauty bits in, then this will be up your street!

What do you guys think of this bag?




Tuesday, 11 August 2015

I'm So Bored Of Marble.

I've been thinking a lot about my blog photography recently, and how I should be styling it. Whether I should have a consistent theme, whether I need to focus so much on editing, whether I need to look like other beauty blogs...

If you are a beauty blogger, or read a lot of beauty blogs (probably true if you've found your way here) then you will be familiar with the standard benchmarks of photography which makes photos "fit" for a beauty blog.

I for one are subject to attempting to 'conform' to the beauty blogger standards of photography, and feel somewhat disheartened when, ultimately, my photos don't look as good.

These photos commonly include;

  • Flatlay photography on white (and I mean WHITE) backgrounds which are almost unachievable for the non photography-savvy. 
  • An abundance of fresh flowers lingering in backgrounds... or a few Diptyque candles... or something from Chanel - for that extra touch of classiness. 
  • Crisp white bed linen, copper accents and hardback copies of various coffee table reads... 

And more recently
  • White marble surfaces. Or more likely 'marble effect' surfaces. We aren't all millionaires... 

Don't get me wrong, all of these provide beautiful backdrops for product photography. I'm a little envious that I can't find backdrops so beautiful for my own photos. I just feel in an internet-sphere which is becoming increasingly filled with bloggers, Instagrammers and amateur photographers these beautiful photos are losing their originality. 

I, too, am partial to a marble background for my Instagrams...

 I like marble. I think marble is pretty. I would like to have marble things in my house. Yes, marble makes a nice photo background. I think I'm focusing on marble too much. Now marble sounds weird in my head. Ramble, ramble, ramble...

The point I'm trying to make in the most incoherent blog post ever written, is

Do we all need to look the same?

And by 'we' I mean the beauty blogging community, and by 'all' I mean our blog photography. How can we have our own style, and be recognisable if we all look the same? 

Photography is a minefield to me. I'll never be happy with the photos I take and find it an eternal struggle to set up shots - if anyone wants to buy me a big white loft in NYC or something for photography purposes that would be cool. I'm trying to strive, from now on, for originality and purposefulness in my photos though. At the end of the day, if I'm writing about a lipstick you probably just want high quality shots of the lipstick and it doesn't matter whether that photo was taken in a 5* hotel or in my bedroom. 

I'd love to know what you think is getting over-used in the beauty blogging world... Let me know below! 



Friday, 7 August 2015

Doubling Up On The Eyes...

I have recently found that my under eye area has becoming increasingly dry and dehydrated. By midday, any concealer I have applied looks flaky - and quite frankly worse than the bags did before...

I had these two eye creams on the go - The Body Shop's Elderflower Unperfumed Eye Gel (£7.50) which I reviewed here and the Yes To Carrots Moisturising Eye Cream (£9.99). I was opting for the eye gel in the day, as it was light and quick drying, and the cream at night as this was a little thicker.

One day my eyes looked particularly tired (a common side effect of a teething baby) and after applying my usual dose of Elderflower eye gel I didn't feel like my eyes had the hydration boost they really needed. I decided to layer the Yes To Carrots eye cream over the top of this for a second dose of hydration and discovered a new daily duo which I just can't fault!

People will quite happily layer moisturising products on their faces, so why not do the same for the eyes? It takes a little longer in terms of drying time so it's hardly going to be a '5 minute face', but if I have the time to spare then why not?

I think the combination of the two mostly works because of the varied texture between the two - the gel is tightening and quick drying and seems to help the cream to sink in more quickly too.

If you are suffering from tired and dry eyes at the moment then I would definitely recommend layering your products!

What do you think?




Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Nanshy 4 Piece Face Brush Set

Nanshy is a brand I actually hadn't heard of until I visited their counter at IMATs. I'm always after synthetic brushes, both because they are cruelty free and because my skin is sensitive to real hair, so when I saw their brushes were 100% vegan and they had a great range of face brushes I was pretty excited! I finally decided to pick up the four piece Gobsmack Gorgoues set (you can buy these on Amazon here)

I think we should just start by taking a moment to appreciate how cool these brushes look - I love their branding!

I can tell a lot of thought went in to creating 4 brushes which, together, are perfect for getting a flawless and blended complexion. They can all be used for foundation application, although they also serve other purposes too. The 'Flawless Foundation' brush is similar to the Real Techniques buffing brush (and better in my opinion) and is great for foundation application - especially if you prefer a little more coverage. The 'Buffed Base' is a multi-purpose brush which can be used for foundations or powder products - I like to use this to set my under eye area with powder. The 'Angled Airbrush' is, again, a foundation brush but it can be used to apply cream contour or blush products. Finally, the 'Conceal Perfector' is obviously a great tool for seamless concealer application.

These brushes are all quite dense and certainly good quality. I have washed them a few times and have seen no shredding either. 

This is a fantastic foursome, and a great addition for anyone looking to expand their range of face brushes. 

Have you tried anything from Nanshy? 




Monday, 3 August 2015

Where Have I Been?


After a bit of a blogging / social media hiatus... I thought I had better explain where I have been for the past few days (weeks...).

We have finally left our home in Pontcanna (Cardiff) where we spent the past few years. It was a two bedroom flat we moved into before I was pregnant with Archer, and after nearly a year of looking for somewhere to live we have finally decided to move out to a big 3 bedroom house in the suburbs which a family friend will rent out to us. Hopefully it will be the last house we rent before we can afford to buy... fingers crossed!

Emptying out the old place!

Having said that, we aren't there yet... the house won't be ready for us to move in to until the end of August. But having given notice to leave our current flat by the 31st we were left with a homeless couple of weeks. The solution to this has been for Archer and I to spend a few weeks in Dorset at my Mothers, whilst Glenn stays up in a serviced apartment in Cardiff for work in the week. The longest we have spent apart is 5 days during Xmas 2013, so this is a learning curve to say the least - especially now we have a little monkey crawling about the place (I'm pretty sure it's okay for me to refuse to change nappies for a while once he's back on Dad duty, yeah?)

I'm glad that the packing / stress is over and can't wait to get back to our new place. I will document the journey on here, it will be nice to look back on!

For now, expect photo's of our adventures down in England and the occasional beauty ramble!


The grumpy boy and I down in Dorset!