Sunday, 25 January 2015

Some January Beauty Buys

Afternoon Dolls,

Now I know I said I was gonna curb the splurging on beauty products, but having said that, I can justify these recent buys ( Insert 'cheeky bear covering eyes' emoji).

I've been feeling pale and spotty recently. No, retract that, I am pale and spotty. I have been working hard and it does take its toll on my skin, and also my mental health! When I hit 25, I suffered with acne on my cheeks, and I am almost 29 and it still comes back , and has never really left. Nothing I have every tried has ever really cleared it up. I have been on numerous medication, on and off the pill,pregnant,not pregnant, had healthy eating splurges, smoking bans, coffee bans, I don't drink a lot of alcohol anyway, a phase of drinking lots and lots of water, and they still come back to haunt me. Aggressively. I am  honestly guessing it must be hormones.

On Pinterest, I have a wishlist board. This is great when I see things I want, because I can pin them and go back to them the next week, or the next year. This helps me minimize impulse buys.

So I was looking for an exfoliator for my face, to try and really shed the dead skin cells and oil which is the main cause for acne. I also wanted a little pick me up glow, as I don't use sunbeds anymore, and I don't have a spray tan, or sit there at 11 pm applying fake tan. I like the dove body lotion with the tan in, but it just doesn't go that brown. I have also been in the market for a long lasting foundation, that has good coverage and doesn't start going patchy half way through the day ( 12 pm in my case). I picked up these beauties:

1. Cocoa Brown Gradual Tan £5.99

Use exactly like a body moisturizer, providing you exfoliate first. It comes out a lovely , even golden colour. Still a little bit patchy around the feet, but hey, its winter!

2.MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator £23

When I think skincare, I never think of MAC, but I had this on my wishlist for a while, so decided to give it a go. It makes my skin feel smooth instantly.It hasn't really reduced the acne though.

3. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in shade 'Dawn' £29

This foundation is highly rated by all beauty bloggers. This is the first day I have worn it, and it gives a nice good coverage, and still looks the same 8 hours later. However, as it is quite thick it doesn't glide on like other foundations, but that is ok I can live with that. The colour is a really good match and I like the flawless finish.

Have you been splurging recently?!

Love Ellie x

Easy & Balanced Lunch Inspiration for Little Ones

Afternoon All,

I am a firm believer in 3 meals a day, and no snacks. This doesn't mean to say I never snack because that would be a damn right lie. I love a ryvita with cheese, bread sticks and horseradish ( not pregnant honest), chocolate and yogurts.

I have been brought up to always eat breakfast.  Now, I can't function and I feel physically sick if I skip breakfast. I even look forward to it every night I go to bed. Even when I was working up town ( I now work at home which makes breakfast a lot more flexible), I would get up even earlier to fit breakfast in. It has left me in good stead as I don't  get hungry until lunchtime, then after lunch I don't eat until dinner time. Too many times, I would see colleagues snack on chocolate and crisps about 10am, and they were the ones that didn't eat breakfast. Something about that just didn't appeal to me. The point I am trying to get at here is not to blow my own trumpet, but really explain to you all why I believe in 3 meals a day and am not a fan of regular snacking.

I give Jack 3 meals a day, and he rarely snacks. This is how I want him to grow up.Only if I am out with a friend for lunch, and he starts getting irritable watching me eat, then I will give him a little something. Lets face it, all us mums do anything we can to keep them content and quiet!When I started weaning Jack, there were lots of recipes available, and it was hard to know where to start. The beginning  ' first tastes' was easy because it was literally pureed fruit and veg .When he moved to 3 meals a day, it was quite hard to be creative.

Now he has been eating solids for months, I am a lot more confident in what to give him, and how much. I stopped reading the books after a while and just did my own thing. I find that too much reading material can actually confuse me more! His weight is fine and he is doing well. The way I go about a meal for him, is to ensure it is balanced, that he receives enough carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals, and that it doesn't have a high fat , salt or sugar content.

I am not going to post recipes here, but if you are stuck for inspiration, here is a few meals I give him which may give you some ideas.

Spag Bol Chops!

Lunch Ideas

Jacket Potatoe ( normal or sweet potatoe) with half a can of baked beans
Macaroni with Tuna and a tomatoe sauce
Chicken, Veg and Potatoes
Chicken Casserole - Usually a big batch we slow cook and save portions for him
Spaghetti Bolognese - As above
Fish Pie - As above
Shepherds Pie - As above
Ham and Vegetable Risotto
Cauliflower Cheese
Broccoli Cheese
Salmon, Peas and Potatoe

A lot of the time we try to be purse savvy and cook up big batches for us, and save loads of portions for Jack  and freeze them, but me and my husband love really spicy, and fattening food!Obviously the portion size depends entirely on your little one, as every baby is different. Jack is a big boy, in the 91st Centile, and always has been, so I give him a fair size of a portion, but you mums know your little one best. Also, If you are stuck for inspiration, then another good idea is to look at the ready made baby Jars and see what meals they sell, and try and create your own.

If you want the recipes for any of the above, then contact me no problem!

Love Ellie x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

What's in my Make-Up Bag

Morning Dolls,

I love these type of posts as I am so nosy, and I know others are too ha ha. My makeup products don't change that often, as I am a creature of habit. Here is what is currently in the bag:

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara - Black
Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in 'Lightscapade' - Use as a highlighter
Yve Saint Laurent 'Touche Eclat' in shade 1.5
Hema Correction Stick in Green - To conceal redness ( blemishes in my case)
Perricone MD Concealer - No shade
Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown
Mac Heirloom Collection Eyeshadow Pallette
Sleek Face Form Contour and Blush Kit in 373 Light
Rimmel Match Perfection Powder in shade 200
Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner in Glamourous Black - Used this for 10 years the brush is amazing and it stays on all day. Lets put it this way, it lasted through labour!
Bare Minerals Foundation in 07 Bare Natural
Natural Collection Foundation in shade Natural Beige

Send me links of your makeup bag posts.

Love Ellie x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A little playlist for my Jack

Afternoon Loves!

Am I the only one who wells up when hearing particularly emotionally songs that are personal for whatever reason? Since I have become a mother, I get upset a lot easier, and sometimes a sad song that has meaning to me can really set me off. I was never like this pre-baby! My son is my world, and I feel blessed to have him everyday. I AM so lucky I could conceive easily,give birth, and have a beautiful little prince I watch grow up everyday. He fascinates me daily, he teaches me so much. Today, I was looking at him in his cot and he was standing up. I pretended to look around and go 'where is jack' and he started laughing so hard as if to say 'ha ha ha I am not there, I am here', and when I pointed at him he laughed harder. My heart melted on the spot. Here are a few songs which hold special meaning to me:

Roberta Flack - The First Time I ever Saw your Face

Such beautiful lyrics. Seeing Jack's face for his first time was one of the most magical experiences of my life. I did not have a clue what he would look like and he has exceeded any little expectations I may have had.

Jame Blunt - Bonfire Heart

Before Jack, I was pretty selfish at times, and perhaps not always a nice person. Jack lights the spark in my heart everyday.

Barry White - My first, My Last, My Everything

Cheesy song, I know!Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but this is a different love I have for my child. He really is my first love, will be my last and is my everything.

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven

I heard this song a few weeks ago, and haven't heard it for years prior to that. I completely burst into tears. Eric Clapton lost his son when he was 4 years old. His son was born in the same year as me (1986) and would be my age now. How tragic it must have been; I can't even begin to comprehend what he went through. This song shows me that I should never take my boy for granted and to appreciate him everyday. Our children are so precious.

Do you have any songs for your little ones?

Love Ellie x

Sleek Makeup Face Form Contouring & Blush Pallette

Morning Ladies & Gents,

What I LOVE about the beauty blogging world is the discovery of new products which I wouldn't normally stumble across. After watching various of beauty vlogs, I came across the brand 'Sleek Makeup'. Beauty bloggers rave about the pigments of their blushes, so as I was passing the Sleek Counter in Boots one day ( a while back), the contour and blush palette caught my eye with a bargain price tag of £10 ( roughly). The pallette shade number is 373 Light.

Now, thanks to Kimmy K, the art of learning to contour has become oh so popular, can you understand why?  It gives the image of a well chiselled, 'textured' face. Lets face it, we all want cheekbones, slimmer noses, smaller foreheads etc. Now, I like to think I apply makeup reasonably well, but I have yet to master contouring. It is actually REALLY hard, but I will get there.

This Pallette offers the dark for shading, which I have found works really well on the cheeks, not so good on the nose ( practice practice practice). The highlighter is really pigmented, so you only need a smidge. It actually looks lovely on the brow bone. It gives a nice sheen. Now, the blush is a pink-rose gold colour, and IDENTICAL to the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick I have been using in shade 'Nectar'. Sadly, that got binned this morning as the last dregs had crumbled. The colour is easily buildable, and gives a lovely hint of gold. It would be perfect for summer, but great in winter. I say this because I'm not really a believer in summer and winter makeup. If it looks good, why not wear it all year round?!

I think if your looking to up your face game on a budget, this is worth a try. I don't contour daily, but I use blush daily, so this comes with me everywhere.

Any other good products in the Sleek range? If so let me know.

Love Ellie x

Friday, 16 January 2015

MAC Nudes - My Top Picks

Morning Angels,

I don't know why, but at the moment I am completely obsessed with lipsticks. And I mean obsessed on another level. I find myself at all hours googling and researching the ones I want next. I got home from work at 12am last night ( don't ask), I knew my son would have me up early, yet I still couldn't resist scrolling through pinterest adding to my 'wishlist' board ( Insert 'shocked' emoji). I am now considering dunking my head in a sink full of coffee today, but I still won't learn.

 What I love about a nude is that can it can really flatter your features ( think Michelle Keegan in Velvet Teddy,  Kylie Jenner in Faux, Soar, Whirl, Honeylove?! ha ha I don't think anyone knows what she actually uses), especially if you like strong eye makeup like myself. What I love about MAC lipsticks is that they offer such a wide range of shades to suit everyone's coloring, they are reasonably priced and have reasonable staying power. Here are my top nudes by MAC.

L- R

Honey Love, Japanese Maple, Cherish,Kinda Sexy, Hue

Swatch in same order as above

What other nudes do you like by MAC?

Love Ellie x

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Perricone MD 'No Concealer Concealer'

Morning my lovely readers,

Concealer is one of those staple items every lady should possess in her make-up bag! It can completely transform your face, and give an instant 'fresh' look. I have tried various ones over the years, and I much prefer a liquid one to a stick. Perricone MD is a brand that not everyone has heard of, unless you are a beauty junkie like myself and you live and breathe cosmetics ( did that just sound really pathetic?!). A good friend of mine used to work inBbeauty PR and the amount of freebies she would hand me was insane. Perricone MD was a brand that I used to received regularly. Recently, she gave me this concealer to play with.

'Featuring broad spectrum UVA and UVB, non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 35 protection, this concealer treats skin while concealing discoloration, dark circles, imperfections. Ideal for reviving tired looking eyes, as well as an eye lid primer for smooth, long-wearing makeup. This crease-proof, long wearing, and easily blendable concealer comes in one shade suitable for most skin types. This non-drying formula is fully loaded with anti-aging ingredients that deliver results both instantly and overtime.'

This statement does ring true. I love the creamy formula, and the 'wide eyed' result it permits. It comes in one shade only, which seems a bit bizarre, but this would work on every skin tone provided it is blended correctly. It says blend with fingers which is better, as with a brush I have found it does give streaky lines.

However, it does come with a hefty price tag of £38. But, you do need a tiny amount only, so it does last a long time. I have been using daily for 2 months now, and there is still almost a full bottle left.

Thanks Dr Perricone for waking me up!

Love Ellie x