The Autumn Tag

Happy Friday, loves!

I’m so incredibly excited it’s almost the weekend! Matt is back from his work trip this afternoon and I just can’t wait to head home to kiss his cute little face!! We’re going to have a snuggly smushy night and I’m pretty much giddy about it, I’ve missed him so much. We also get to have a lazy Saturday morning together, then I’m heading for lunch with my lovely friend, Meg. Matt and I are driving down to Liverpool first thing on Sunday for a spa mini-break, as if the weekend wasn’t dreamy enough. Any recommendations for Liverpool would be great as we’ve never been before! I’ve been reading lots of Savannah‘s blog (I love her!) and figured I’d fill you in on my plans similarly to the way she does in her #WhatUpWednesday posts. What are your plans for this weekend?!   

I’m posting out of my normal schedule again, because I just couldn’t resist getting this post up ASAP! I have so much content planned/scheduled right now, and at the rate I’m going with ideas coming out of my ears, I’d not be getting this post up until December. The lovely Abbie tagged me in her Autumn Tag, I’d suggest you head on over to check it out ASAP! My favourite recent posts of hers are this one and this one, she’s such a great writer and I laugh out loud reading her posts all the time! Now, without further ado…

IMG_0628

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?
Okay, so any regular readers will know I’ve been anticipating the start of Autumn for a very long time, it’s my favourite season! I wrote a post all about the things I was excited for in August for goodness’ sake. I know Autumn didn’t really start until 23rd September, however for me I think from mid-September it really started to feel like Autumn. The leaves were beginning to change colour, the weather was cool and crisp, and Homesense was stocking all of the pumpkin candles!

What is your favourite Autumn scent?
I have a lot of favourite Autumn scents, I can’t pick just one! My favourite bath/body scent is absolutely anything from The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin range; their body butter is my favourite moisturiser. Any and all of the Autumn scented candles from DW Home are right up my street, my current favourites being Sea Salt Pumpkin, Pumpkin Bourbon and Frosted Leaves.

What is your favourite Autumn colour?
Assuming leopard print isn’t a colour as such, I love to wear lots of dark emerald greens, navy, deep burgundy’s and anything camel coloured. Of course I embrace my inner witch, and wear lots of black, too!

Are you a fan of a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) ?
I unfortunately don’t like any coffee, I just can’t get into it. I do love a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate though, which isn’t technically on the menu but it’s delicious. As I said in this post, I always ask for it extra hot, and I get it without whipped cream!

What is your favourite Autumn drink? 
Other than a PSHC (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?) I love the Bonfire Spice hot chocolate’s from Costa this year, they’re one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! Matt and I have a cup of tea together every morning – in bed if we have the time – and I love that more than anything, although that’s more the quality time with him than the drink, I think. I’m a sap.

What’s your favourite coffee shop and their drink of choice?
Lots of drink related questions! I’ve been a loyal Starbucks lover since I can remember, but Costa have sneaked in there at the moment with their Bonfire Spice hot choc. They also do the best ham and cheese toasties!

IMG_0631

Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?
I love both, but I’m going to have to say apple pie with lots of cinnamon and custard. Matt and I had the most amazing rhubarb crumble the other night, which I’d actually choose over apple or pumpkin!

What TV show, new or old, are you looking forward to in the next few months?
We are so behind the trend, but Matt and I are going to finally start Power in the next few weeks! We’re also really excited for the new Narcos: Mexico series as we loved the first two seasons so much. We’re still obsessed with Hell’s Kitchen, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been re-watching Gilmore Girls, it’s giving me all of the Autumnal vibes!

What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?
Leopard print everything. It’s a favourite all year round, but it’s so popular right now and I’m in my element! I also love all of the chunky knits, scarves, chunky heeled boots… the list is endless.

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?
Ooh I have so many! Any kind of sweet sugary crumble with custard is a winner. I love soup with tiger bread for lunch; my favourite is M&S Tarka Dahl, it’s so warming on the cold, dreary days. For a good hearty dinner, Matt and I often go for patatas bravas with garlic bread, and we’ve really been into cooking various pasta and chilli dishes.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?
Autumn is the best season for cosy nights in with my favourite person (Matthew, obviously) before the Christmas party season begins. I’m so not ready for the madness of being out almost every night! We also love morning walks and going for breakfast, it’s so fun when it’s a little chillier and we can cosy up with a hot chocolate after. Another favourite is going to watch Newcastle United, we love to go to the matches together!

Are you a fan of horror movies?
My kind of Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus… Matt hates it but I love it, and he loves me (so that means we get to watch it)!

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween? 
My mam’s birthday is on Halloween (my younger cousins really think she’s an actual witch, it’s the cutest/funniest thing) so we typically go out for a family meal around the date. Up until I turned 20/21, I’ve spent almost every Halloween in Florida, exploring Disney World. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a personal favourite, but it’s very different here, and since I got older. Last year Matt and I just had a cosy night in which was perfect, this year will be the same unless our friends talk us into other plans.

What was your favourite part about Halloween as a child?
Obviously the sweets, what a silly question! Also, spending most of them at Disney World was pretty damn good.

IMG_0635

Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween?
Probably Bonfire Night. Matt and I went to an amazing local display last year and we’re planning to do the same again, although this year I’m making a mental note to wear thermals because it was so cold. We also spent a lovely night with our friends setting off fireworks and eating food, so fingers crossed we’ll get to do that again!

Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn?
Much like Abbie, I’d love to go to Banff! It’s on Matt and I’s travel wishlist and I know we’ll go one year, the sooner the better. I’d also like to go to Amsterdam, another place on our wishlist, although I think we’ll probably head there in the Spring.

Do you always forget about the clocks going back?
Yes! All I know is it’s the ‘good one’ meaning we gain an hour of sleep. And that means we gain an hour of cuddles. Winning!

When do you usually start preparing for Christmas?
I typically start buying any time from now, as in the build up to Black Friday lots of websites and shops start having good sales/discounts. I already know pretty much everything I’m buying for people this year and I’ve (naturally) made lists, so I feel quite organised.

What is your favourite clothing item you’ve purchased for the Autumn months?
Without a doubt, my grey jumper from & Other Stories, one I’ve been banging on about for the past ~however many~ blog posts. I’m going to buy the blush one soon as it’s beautiful, and I know I’ll get so much wear out of them both!

What are three of your must-have beauty products for the season?
I am currently really loving my Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede perfume, NARS Madly blush and Pixi Glow Tonic. I also really flipping love Eliabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, but I just raved about it in this post, so I’m not going to say anything else on the matter! I’m desperate to get my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk eyeshadow palette which is just absolutely beautiful, but it’s currently sold out.

What does your perfect Autumnal, rainy day look like?
Okay I’m thinking this would be a weekend day; Matt and I would have a lazy morning (more than likely watching Soccer AM – I’m too soft!) and go out for a late breakfast with very good hot chocolates, followed by a cute woodland walk. Our afternoon would be spent shopping and wandering around town before going to watch an NUFC match, maybe (definitely) grabbing a donut! We’d head back to Matt’s for a cosy night in watching a film, splitting a bottle of wine (or two) with his parents and I’d also like a Chinese takeaway because, well, we love Chinese food!

I loved doing this tag, I found it so much fun and very reminiscent of the old YouTube trend of tag videos. They were some of my favourite videos and it was so fun to participate in my own way! I added three questions of my own on the end, just for fun. I’ve tagged a few girls whose content I truly admire, I’d love to see you guys do it!

Jade from Bella Inizio

Sophie from Soph Hearts

Emily from Emiline Loves

Rebecca from Rebecca Rose

Hayley from Life of Hayley

Savannah from Savannah Said It

Suzanne from Suzanne Suzanne Suzanne

Claire from Harwood & Rose

Abby from Abby Uppington

Malyn from Keaton & Ko

Katie from Katie Emma Beauty

-G x

 

 

Autumn Favourites & Essentials

Hi loves!

fullsizeoutput_23ef

How is it already Wednesday?! I’ve loved the beginning of this week, however at the time this post goes live I will be taking Matthew and his colleague to the airport as they’re heading off on a work trip. I’m so excited for him to have a great time with his colleagues but I know I’ll already be counting down to being reunited on Friday evening! Being apart, even for two nights, sucks! Hopefully your week is more fun?! Anyhow, on with the post… if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll already know I love Autumn, and everything that comes with it. I talked about all of the things I’m most excited for in this post.

I love reading monthly favourites posts, and of course watching monthly favourite videos on YouTube, but I just don’t think I use or try enough new items month-to-month to be able to share with you, and keep it somewhat interesting. If it’s something you’d like to see, I’d love to do these kind of posts on a seasonal basis? Today I’m talking all about my current favourite products, activities and items during the past few weeks, it’s all about the cosy Autumnal vibes!

fullsizeoutput_23e7fullsizeoutput_23e8fullsizeoutput_23e9

Autumn scented candles.
I’m a sucker for a scented candle, and my favourite time of year to buy them (and burn them) is always during the Autumn/Winter months. As you may have seen from this post, I went a little crazy buying candles in the last few weeks, but no regrets… right? Matthew and I have candles burning from the minute we get home and they’re definitely an essential for our cosy nights in. When it’s cold and dreary outside, having a candle lit seems to make everything a whole lot better! My favourites are from DW Home at Homesense as they smell incredible, last for so long and, let’s be honest, they’re very aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been loving Frosted Leaves, Sea Salt Pumpkin and Apple Cider, especially. 

My evening skincare routine. 
This combination of products has been my ultimate favourite to help my skin cope with the colder weather we’re experiencing. Since buying the serum back in June, and the eye cream just a few weeks ago, I can’t recommend these products highly enough. Moisture Surge is absolutely my favourite moisturiser for the colder weather and one I use religiously during my day-to-day evening skincare routine. I’ve already raved about these products in previous posts, so I’m not going to repeat myself too much, but I can’t recommend them highly enough!

Chunky scarves.
Scarves and bobble hats are my favourite accessories to pair with my Autumn/Winter outfits, but sadly it’s not quite cold enough for a bobble hat just yet. It’s still that awkward kind of weather where it’s freezing cold early morning and late at night, but during the day the temperature sits somewhere between 12 and 16 degrees, so dressing appropriately for the weather is hard! Plaid and leopard print scarves are my favourite (naturally), and I feel like they go with any outfit. Leopard print is a neutral, right?

fullsizeoutput_23e3fullsizeoutput_23e2

Berry toned lips.
I love nude lipsticks/lip glosses as much as the next girl, but boy do I like a berry toned lip at this time of year. Mademoiselle from Chanel, Kristen from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Dolly from Buxom are my top three lip products for the season. Dolly lip gloss also smells like cinnamon, which just makes it perfect. I think berry-toned lips paired with gold or copper toned eyeshadow looks so pretty, it’s such a good season for sparkly makeup! Spoiler: a post with all of my Autumn make up favourites will be up in the next few weeks.

Chunky jumpers.
Okay, so my love of chunky jumpers is absolutely not limited to Autumn, but it is finally getting cold enough to wear thicker knits and my obsession is bigger than ever. This one from & Other Stories is perfect; it’s made mostly of sustainable materials and it’s so warm and cosy. I love wearing grey, especially with blue jeans! This jumper is just perfect, and I’m definitely going to buy the blush coloured one at some point. I’ve already raved about the jumper in this post and you’re definitely going to see it all over my Instagram and blog for the next few months! Sorry, not sorry. I’ve also had several compliments whilst wearing this, which makes me very happy.

fullsizeoutput_23e6fullsizeoutput_23e4fullsizeoutput_23eb

Options Belgian Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
I love hot chocolate and the colder weather means I’ve been enjoying them much more often. I have been a huge fan of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice hot chocolate for the past few years and I highly recommend, tip: ask for it extra hot. This year I’ve discovered the bonfire spiced hot chocolates from Costa and oh my goodness they are literally Autumn in a cup! Unfortunately I can’t camp out in Costa, so when I’m at home I opt for an Options salted caramel hot chocolate. Matt loves the Options White hot chocolate, which is also so good! They taste best when made with milk, and of course adding marshmallows is a necessity. We’re also mildly obsessed with Lotus Biscoff biscuits recently, they are just the best! *How amazing is this mug – a reminder we all need in our lives!*

Cosy nights in with Matthew.
Again, definitely not a favourite just during Autumn, but I’m welcoming the cooler weather and in turn, all of the cosy nights in! There’s a weird pressure to be outside more during the Summer months, but when Autumn rolls around it disappears. Matt and I always love a cosy night in no matter the weather, but it does feel even better when it’s cold, dreary and rainy outside. Spending our evenings cooking, cuddling and watching Netflix are the norm again, and we are loving it! We’re together every night (yay for Matthew’s new work schedule!) and we tend to stay at his house one night, mine the next, and so on. As we’re getting up in the mornings for work I’m usually already counting down the hours until we can snuggle back up… I’m a such a creature of comfort (and I really like cuddles *shrugs shoulders*).

Autumnal bath products.
Okay, so we all know Lush and The Body Shop are the places to go for anything bath-related, and their seasonal ranges are always my favourite. The Vanilla Pumpkin range from The Body Shop is incredible; it’s a light, vanilla based scent, and the products are such good quality. I especially love the body butter; it smells amazing, is so moisturising and the hydration lasts all day. My picks from Lush’s Halloween range have to be the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar and the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, they’ve been favourites for the past few years and I always repurchase lots before they disappear until the next year. Also, not bath-related, but I love The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream, and Bath & Body Works’ hand sanitizers, too. My favourite is Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, it literally smells like Autumn in a pot!

Enjoying treats.
Much like the pressure to go outside being lifted during the Autumn/Winter months, so is the pressure to eat super healthy. Matt and I are partial to a few snacks during the evening, we get peckish after dinner! Percy Pigs are Matt and I’s favourite treat, but let’s be honest, they taste even better in Halloween form! We absolutely love them, and go through packets a lot quicker than we’d like to admit, they are just so addictive. We recently have eaten lots of Godiva chocolate and Malteser truffles, definitely our current favourite chocolates. (I didn’t even have any truffles to photograph as we’d eaten them all, oops!) We were also very happy to find out last week Smarties McFlurry’s are back at McDonald’s, they’re our favourite and we’ll be making the most of them before they’re gone again!

Another favourite is absolutely a potato side-dish Matt and I have been making pretty much every other day, that I’m going to talk through in an upcoming post. It’s definitely a comfort food, goes with anything and it’s delicious. I can’t stress enough how much I’ve been enjoying Gilmore Girls (for possibly the third? fourth? time…) I’ve been watching it whilst getting ready in the morning when Matt has left for work and I just love it. Lorelai is one of my favourite TV characters ever, Stars Hollow is just a dream place! Hell’s Kitchen has been Matt and I’s TV show of choice for the past few weeks, and after missing out on the hype for the past few years, we’re definitely on the Gordon Ramsay train.

As you can hopefully tell, I tried to step it up a notch with my photos for this post and I’d love to know what you think? What are some of your current favourite products? Do you have any Autumn essentials I should check out? Thank you so much for reading!

-G x

Lip Balm Loving

Hi, loves!

Today’s post is a round up of my top five lip balms, which are definitely my favourite beauty item. I am a lip balm hoarder and up until this year I was always trying out something new, and trying to find one better than my current favourite. As a result, I’ve tried and tested a lot of products, and I’ve got a good stash I absolutely love and can’t be without. 

IMG_0203

IMG_0225

As the weather is now getting a lot cooler, lip balm is becoming more important than ever in our beauty routines, and with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s hope this post may give you a few ideas (and they’d all make great stocking fillers for Christmas… oops I said the C word!)

IMG_0220

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
This is my favourite moisturising, thick lip balm, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I take this everywhere with me like I do with my phone, it’s a necessity! During August my lips were very chapped and this worked miracles to heal them so quickly; I use this morning, night and throughout the day, and I love how soft it makes my lips. It is a very thick, almost goo-ey texture, but that makes it work so well. This is also a skin salve, and is a great multi-purpose product. Matt’s secretly a fan of this product too, shh!

IMG_0210

Nuxe Reve de Miel – Ultra Nourishing
This is the newest addition to my lip balm collection, but already I feel like it could give the Eight Hour Cream a run for it’s money. It’s made by the number one brand in French pharmacies, and as the French ladies know their beauty/fashion stuff it’s not surprisingly become a cult favourite. The only con with this product is the packaging; it’s a glass pot, and you have to stick your finger in to get the product, which doesn’t make it very friendly for being on the go. That being said, I’ve used this every night since I got it and I feel like it does a very similar job to my beloved Eight Hour Cream, yet it’s less than half the price. I have however been carrying it round in my handbag as I’ve stayed at Matt’s the past few nights (usually we alternate between my house and his every other day) and I’ve been reaching for this over anything in my bag.

IMG_0222

Dior Addict Lip Glow
I’m not generally a huge fan of tinted lip balms, but this is an exception, and blows any other product I’ve tried out of the water. I own a few shades, but my favourites have to be 001 Pink and 007 Raspberry. I picked up the Raspberry shade on a whim in the airport when Matt and I went to Dublin, and it’s become one of my favourite ever lip products. Like everything from Dior, the packaging is just beautiful, and it looks so chic and classic. It’s a product that I tend to throw in my handbag (which, let’s be honest is 90% lip products, and the other 10% is more than likely Matt’s things that he’s asked me to squeeze in!) I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up, and I’m sure I’ll add more shades to my collection in time. I have the new NARS Orgasm lip balm on my beauty wishlist as I think it may be similar, too.

IMG_0218

Glossier Balm Dot Com
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, this will be no surprise to you as the balm dot com features in most of my beauty related posts, (like this one and this one *push, push*). We all know this is a cult favourite lip balm among the millennial generation, and for good reason. This is the perfect texture to wear under lipstick; it appears matte on the lips (except the Birthday and Cherry flavours) and I just love the formula. I own all six flavours, and I have one on my bedside table, Matt’s bedside table, my desk at work and in my handbag, whilst the other two float about in my beauty stash! This is also a skin salve, so it’s great for your cuticles and any pesky dry skin patches. It’s a go-to lip balm for me, it’s easy to travel with, and I can’t wait until Glossier inevitably come out with more flavours in their lip balm collection. You can bet I’ll buy them!

IMG_0211

Carmex Wild
A fantastic option, that is definitely budget-friendly. I love the design of the pot; the leopard print design is adorable! I have purchased Carmex products since I was in middle school and first realised that lip balms were a beauty love of mine, and I feel like I’ll never stop purchasing them. Although, because this is in a pot application is a little more fiddly, but I do think the formula is better than the stick format it also is sold in. In my opinion, the hydration doesn’t last too long on the lips, and you do need to re-apply a little more often than the others mentioned in this post, however at £2.79 a pop, you can’t really complain! 

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know your favourite lip balm? Apologies in advance if you now feel the need for a shopping spree, thankfully it’s just been pay day! Please tell me I’m not alone and you have a lip balm you need in your bag at all times too? 

-G x

Get Ready With Me: Date Night

Happy Sunday, loves!

Today I’m sharing with you my pre-date night routine for when I have a little extra time to enjoy getting ready. This was before one of my favourite dates with Matthew, for our one year anniversary! I posted an open letter to Matthew on our anniversary in this post, in case you missed it! Warning: cheesier than a five cheese pizza *insert wink emoji here*

We always take the time to plan dates and spend time together, but as we’re saving for our house (and the Christmas build up is upon us!) we spend lots of our quality time in the house, cooking and relaxing. Date days/nights can be anywhere, any time, just most nights they don’t involve any of the dressing up or making as much of an effort! That being said, we love to go out for dinner and cocktails, so as an anniversary treat we booked Tomahawk Steakhouse at Newcastle Quayside.

So, picture the scene; it’s Saturday afternoon, Matthew is still at work and I’ve got a few hours to myself, so I’m about to have a good two(ish) hour bath because… well, because I bloody well can! I’ve got my new book, This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, a beautiful candle burning, a face mask on and a Diet Coke to hand, I’d say I feel pretty damn swish right now. 

I love to have a long, hot bubble bath before going out for the evening when I have the time to properly relax. I’m not kidding when I say a quick bath for me is around 45 minutes to an hour, it’s just the perfect space for a bit of ‘me time’ and somewhere to chill out in peace. I first prep the bath; putting all of the products I’m going to need along the back, and removing whatever isn’t mine. Sorry, mam. Lining everything up means there’s no need to get out the bath mid way through to fetch something I’ve forgotten (living between two houses can be difficult if you’re as forgetful as me!) and, well, it makes for a good blog photo, right?!

IMG_9635img_9227.jpg

I lit my candle of choice; Coconut Milk and Almond from DW Home, this is such a beautiful cosy scent, the whole bathroom smelt amazing! I also love the jar, it’s so cute and will definitely be repurposed when the candle is finished. As my bath is running I added a few products in; I used my Acai Berry bubble bath from Radox – it creates the best bubbles! It makes me physically cringe to think I used to buy Laura Mercier bubble bath when this is just as good for £1, oh how times have changed. I added one of my favourite bath bombs, Twilight, and began prepping my face. 

IMG_9243IMG_9225

Matt left for work at around 6.30am so I had the whole day to myself; I spent it decluttering, blogging, wrapping Matt’s anniversary presents and having a little browse* around Homesense. *By browse, I mean buying more pumpkin candles, oops. As my day was mainly running errands, I wasn’t wearing much makeup, but I took off what I was wearing with the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm (and double cleansed for good measure). With my face feeling clean and fresh, I slathered my favourite intensive lip balm from Elizabeth Arden onto my lips. The weather really isn’t too cold yet and I’m already suffering from dry lips and dry skin! I applied a new-to-me face mask; the Diamond Dust Refining Scrub Mask by Sanctuary Spa, risky before a date night but I was so impressed by this product! I left it on for around 15 to 20 minutes as I was in the bath (who really times these things?!) then washed off with a flannel; my skin felt and looked so clean and bright. It was a very gentle exfoliator as it didn’t leave my skin red or irritated, I’m excited to add this into my weekly product rotation. 

With my face mask off, I relaxed in the bath reading my book for quite a while – it’s made me cry and laugh and I’m only a quarter of the way through, I’d definitely recommend – and just feel so peaceful. I never take my phone or laptop in the bathroom when I take a bath, I used to make some kind of stand for my laptop and go to town catching up on vlogs or watching Netflix, but now I actually enjoy disconnecting from technology for a small part of my day. Spoiler: nothing bad will happen if you’re not glued to your phone!

IMG_9221IMG_9229IMG_9224

I finally put my book down, and busied myself with all of the preening possible. I generally use a Dove shower gel (or a Molton Brown mini, strictly reserved for nights away!) as most other shower gels seem to irritate my sensitive skin. This one leaves my skin so smooth and soft, and when used with a shower pouf is perfect to prep before shaving. Speaking of which, I shaved using my usual Gillette Venus Rollerball razor/Gillette Satin Care shaving foam combo.

IMG_9232IMG_9231

Whenever I have a bath and need to wash my hair, I take a quick shower afterwards. I realise this isn’t too great for water usage, but needs must… *grits teeth* I washed my hair with this sulphate free shampoo by L’Oreal; my hair has been needing a lot of TLC recently, and using this has helped lots. It’s a fuss-free, basic formula but it cleans my hair like no other, and ensures it’s shiny and soft after washing. I condition only the lengths of my hair, so from about mid-ear to the ends, with my L’Oreal Dream Lengths conditioner, another product that’s really impressed me. I adore the smell of this and can always smell it on my hair once it’s dried/straightened, which is a nice benefit! 

After a very long, relaxing bath (and shower) I finally get out and start on the fun part of getting ready. I first sit at my vanity table and go through my skincare routine. I take Garnier micellar water on a cotton pad across my face just to make sure my skin is totally clean. I apply my my eye cream from The Body Shop and my current favourite wear-under-makeup moisturiser, also from The Body Shop. I apply more Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream to my lips (it’s a god-send!) and begin prepping my hair. I always use my favourite leave-in conditioner from Bed He’d when I’ve washed my hair and I also use their heat protectant cream – they work so well and smell like sweets!

IMG_9255

I love to get ready in my dressing gown – I’m so excited to get a new one for this Autumn/Winter but I haven’t found the perfect one yet! I moisturised using my favourite Sanctuary Spa body butter, and set out my outfit for the evening whilst that sunk in. I dried and straightened my hair, and began on my makeup. On a usual day-to-day basis, doing my makeup takes a maximum of 20 minutes, however when I have the time I like to spend ages – including applying false eyelashes and perfecting my base; this makes my makeup look ten times better, and in turn makes me feel better. I love using the MAC Vanilla and Copper pigments to add an extra sparkle to an evening makeup look, they’re beautiful shimmering colours and catch the light so well!

As I’m getting ready, Matt arrived home from work and is able to unwind from the day and get ready himself, I love catching up on his day when he comes home from work! I kissed him goodbye only about eight hours ago, but I feel like I haven’t seen him in forever (this is a daily feeling, hah)! Tomahawk Steakhouse was incredible; the food and atmosphere was amazing, and it was (in our opinion) very well priced! We had the best night and enjoyed our anniversary on the Sunday with a little road trip to York followed by a cosy night in with a Chinese takeaway.

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know how your own pre date night routine compares? What are some of your must have products to get ready with?

-G x

Five Goals To Achieve Before 2019

Happy Thursday, loves!

Given that it’s mid-September it probably seems a little silly to be setting goals to achieve by the end of the year, but bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about things I want to improve on and things I want to do, but I have just been putting these off in the hope it’ll get done ‘at some point’. I decided to set myself a few goals and I’ve already put some of these into practice. 2018 has been such a good year, and I’m hoping 2019 will be even better, so I’m giving it the best chance possible with a little head start. I also encourage you to look at areas of your life you’d like to make better, in some form, and set yourself goals to achieve in the next few months!

IMG_9464

Focus on Hobbies

As lame as it probably sounds, I didn’t really have any actual hobbies until this year. Well, I didn’t set aside any time to enjoy them anyway. I started my blog in June because I wanted a creative space to talk about the things I love and enjoy, and to branch out into a world I’ve admired for so long. I watched from afar as people posted exciting content and I’m so excited to be finally part of that – assuming my content is somewhat exciting, that is! I love that the whole process is so enjoyable; having the idea for each post, writing and taking photos; and then I really appreciate that I get a good response in relation to each post. I’m so thankful that people are showing interest in my blog, it really means the world to me. I’ve said this before, but it has become an outlet I didn’t know I needed, and I want to nurture this space just as much, if not more over the coming months.

Since I was a child, I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, but over the past two years I’ve really upped my reading game. Whenever I get the chance for a long relaxing bath I love to read my book, or on an early Saturday morning when I’ve seen Matt off to work I’ll spend half an hour cosied up with a cup of tea and my latest paperback. I’m now actively setting time aside each day to read, even if it’s just for ten minutes on my lunch break. Another hobby I’ve recently started taking more seriously is yoga; I have practiced on and off for around three years now (self taught, Yoga with Adriene is incredible) and I really want to commit to doing it at least three times per week. I make excuses so that I don’t have to, then I regret not taking 20 or 30 minutes out of my day to relax and enjoy it.

IMG_8782

Cooking More

Over the past few months, Matthew and I have started to branch into the world of cooking (yes, it took us 24 years)! We are trying lots of new foods, learning together and having so much fun in the process. Don’t get me wrong, we will always love an M&S Dine in for 2 deal, but making meals together is fun and exciting, and we get to pretend we’re on Hell’s Kitchen for an hour or so – what’s not to love?! Being serious, I really love cooking with him as we get to spend quality time together, whilst being productive and learning at the same time. We were both under the impression cooking anything other than pasta (which everyone can make, right?) was extremely difficult, however we were so wrong! We’re always on the hunt for new quick and easy recipes;,any recommendations would be much appreciated. Also, I’m planning to share a few of our go-to recipes with you – our potato and chorizo side-dish that I often post on my Instagram story has been requested several times and will be up soon!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Limit Social Media Time

This is a hard one for me; generally speaking I love social media and really enjoy posting/seeing others’ posts. I especially love Instagram stories and I often browse through location tags of places on mine and Matt’s ‘to visit’ list! (We’re going to Liverpool next month and I’ve already got a few places I can’t wait to see IRL). However, I am so guilty of spending more time than necessary mindlessly flicking through my social apps, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop doing this in the evenings. I’m hoping this will filter through into the rest of the day in time. Each night, Matt and I spend our evenings winding down from the day; cooking, watching a show or a movie, running errands, catching up on our day etc, then we sit on our phones for at least 10 minutes before we get into bed. We read tweets out loud to each other, browse through Instagram posts and laugh at Facebook memes, but by the time we get into bed our minds are buzzing with the world of social media again and all of our unwinding is undone! I appreciate our quality time so much, and I want this to be to focus of our evenings, rather than Kylie Jenner’s latest makeup launch. I’m also hoping as mentioned in this post, this will have a positive effect on my mental health.

IMG_9457

Start to Live More Sustainably

I’ve already began to put this into practice, and I’m excited to see how well this comes along. I’m currently in the middle of a clear out of epic proportions; I have gone through all of my clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and am currently mid-way through skincare, makeup and haircare. It’s a very big task and one I’ve been doing over several weeks to limit the mess and improve my success rate. Doing everything in one go would definitely leave me feeling exhausted and I know I’d have given up by now. Little wins seem better, right?! My goal for this is mainly to have what I love, and love what I have.

I had so much crap lying around, and most of it does not get the love or attention it deserves. Also, this will be a huge help for when Matt and I buy our house; I don’t know where I’d start with the moving process with all of the junk I used to own! I am selling and donating the items that no longer serve a purpose for me as there is no need to hold onto things that don’t benefit me. Going forward, I’m going to apply this mind-set to any clothing purchases I make; I want to buy things for a purpose, of good quality fabrics, and stop the hoarding nonsense I somehow became accustomed to. I also am going to stop buying items with a high polyester or acrylic count. I don’t have the budget to completely cut these fabrics out of my purchasing but minimal quantities are the best option right now. I’ll definitely be going into this in more detail in the coming weeks! I’m hoping this will filter through to all my spending in every category.

IMG_9459

Become a More Mindful Shopper

This follows on from my above point, and it makes me equal parts nervous and excited, and I’m not sure I can explain why! I’ve touched on my love of the idea of a capsule wardrobe previously, and as much as I’d love to give it a go, it’s just not for me. I am however going to become more mindful with all of my future purchases, not just clothing related, and I’m excited to see if I can meet the challenge. As I mentioned previously, I just had too. much. stuff. I have known this and joked about it for a very long time, but I feel like now enough is enough. I was buying new clothing, accessories, beauty products etc very regularly and during my clear outs I’ve been gobsmacked to find clothes I hadn’t worn with tags still attached, and items I’d forgot I’d even bought. I really love shopping and I know I’m going to struggle at first, but I think I’ll feel happier putting this into practice (my bank account will definitely benefit, too). My new mantra for all items – clothing, beauty and everything in between is quality, not quantity. *Spoiler: a post all about my wardrobe declutter will be up in the next week!* I’m currently writing a post about this in way more detail, and it’ll be up in the next few weeks.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know your thoughts; are you inspired to set a goal or two for the next few months? I’m going to write another post at the end of the year and revisit these goals; I hope this will help to hold me accountable and help me achieve these!

-G x

 

 

Look Fantastic: Beauty Box Review

Surprise! A new blog post on a Tuesday… say what?!

This box of goodies got delivered last Wednesday and I don’t have a gap in my scheduled/planned posts for three weeks – A+ for planning, but I couldn’t wait that long to share my thoughts with you! I also don’t want anyone to miss out on purchasing because *spoiler alert: this box is so good* I’m sorry the photos aren’t of fantastic quality as I took them in the evening with artificial light, I just wanted to get this post up ASAP!

img_9097.jpg

My post about the Estee Lauder beauty box went down so well, I figured I’d see what this monthly subscription world was all about these days. I’d purchased several in the past (I got my last one at least two years ago) and to be quite honest never thought they were worth the money. After an hour of Google searching and blog reading, I decided to go ahead and order September’s Look Fantastic beauty box, and boy am I glad I did…

IMG_9100IMG_9107IMG_9132IMG_9118

This month’s box is a birthday edition, celebrating four years of Look Fantastic. There’s very few websites I buy beauty bits from online, but Look Fantastic is always one of go-to’s! I’ve used them for years – I actually feel like it’s been forever, I can’t believe it’s only been four years – and they’re a doddle to shop with. There’s always discount codes floating around, they now stock MAC Cosmetics, and their delivery timings are spot on. I love the concept of their beauty boxes; there’s several to choose from and they often do collaborations with other brands. After reading great review after great review, I knew this was the box to go for. Let’s just remember, I’m a sucker for mini travel-sized products – they’re just so dang cute and handy!

IMG_9110

Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer
I feel like this is a cult product among the beauty community and blogging world, yet I’ve never tried it. I was very excited to see it in here as I vaguely remember the likes of Fleur De Force and Amelia Liana talking about their love for this years ago. I used this for the first time last week, it’s a ‘super conditioning pre-shampoo treatment’ and I whacked it on my hair for around half an hour whilst I relaxed in the bath. So eloquently put, I know. I washed it off, shampoo-ed and conditioned my hair as normal, and then used my usual products before styling. My hair felt and looked ten times better than it usually does; it was much more shiny and felt so soft, and I also found it easier to style. My flyaways and baby hairs were not at all an issue during styling, and they usually drive me crazy, so I’d say it definitely works! I’m going to add this into my (newly organised) haircare drawer and use once per week, then if I still love it as much I’ll definitely purchase the full size!
You can pick up a full size here for £18.50 (RRP).

IMG_9111

Omorovicza Gold Shimmer Oil
This is one of the most luxurious products I’ve ever used, and I have to say I had Beyonce levels of confidence applying this (until I looked in the mirror, of course!) This is the most amazing product if you like a bit of glitz and glow before a night out – I tried this for the first time before a cosy night in with my boyfriend, and it definitely wasn’t the right vibe. He did however love the smell which is a bonus; I used this post-shower all over my body instead of my usual moistursier. This sank into the skin so fast, and didn’t leave me feeling like I’d just had a dip in a McDonald’s deep fat fryer like I was worried it might! It smells beautiful, and is very sparkly and glittery in the bottle, but it leaves a subtle glow across your skin once it’s sank in; even on my fair skin. It’s definitely a must-have for the party season, which is almost upon us!
You can pick up a full size here for £52.00 (RRP).

IMG_9115

Lord & Berry Strobing Pencil
I’ve never tried anything from Lord & Berry before, but I feel like they’re a brand often featured in my favourite Instagrammer’s flat-lays. After a quick Internet search, I found out this pencil is actually to use on your face as a highlighter, not to stick in or around your eye area (duh). I haven’t tried this yet, but a little swatch shows it’s a beautiful champagne colour – and something I’ll be reserving strictly for evenings out on the town. It felt very creamy on my hand, and blended in easily leaving a subtle sheen. It is a pretty small sample size but I’m excited to give it a whirl, and if it’s something that gets added into my makeup rotation I’m sure you’ll see it featured on the blog!
The pencil is currently sold out on Look Fantastic, however when in stock it retails for £14.00 (RRP).

IMG_9109

Mane ‘n’ Tail Hand & Nail Therapy
To be honest, this brand has always intrigued me – it was originally created as products to use on horses, hence the name. After someone decided one day to use their hair care products on themselves, the word spread, and the rest is history. Despite moving into the beauty world, the branding is very off piste, which I guess is what makes it intriguing in the first place. I threw this in my work bag last week as I’m forever applying hand cream – it’s not even properly cold yet and my skin is so dry – and I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s a very basic scent, nothing to write home about, but it does a bloody good job at it’s true purpose – moisturising! It sinks in so quickly and there’s absolutely no sticky residue left behind, my work colleagues were equally as impressed. I’ve now put this firmly in it’s new home on my desk at work (I have a seasonally apt Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream in my bag) and after a few confused comments about why I had “something for horses” next to my computer, I’m very glad it’s there to hand! Ha, to hand.
You can pick this up here for £3.49 (RRP).

IMG_9113

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath & Shower Oil
This is just the dreamiest of products – I have to say I felt extra spoiled and pampered using this! I have tried various samples from Aromatherapy Associates over the years but I can’t really remember which ranges. A shower oil is a funny concept; the tiniest amount goes very far, and it is intensely moisturising for your skin. I am definitely getting into oils and oil based products more – I’m going to share my thoughts on this in a blog post in  the coming weeks. This is definitely a treat product; the kind of thing I’d use to really pamper myself before a special date night. I added a smidge of this into my bath one evening (despite this being marketed for a morning shower/bath) and it was just dreamy – I love to fully relax and chill out in the bath, reading my book –  I’ve just finished Wilde About The Girl by Louise Pentland which made me laugh and cry – I highly recommend. The scent made me feel like I was in a spa, and my skin felt so soft; it’s a very hydrating formula. Although, I would advise keeping away from your hair at all costs as getting oil out of your hair is as difficult as getting me out of Homesense!
The Revive Morning oil is currently sold out, however you can pick up a full size of the Revive Evening oil here for £49.00 (RRP).

IMG_9112

Eve Lom Cleanser
I’ve inadvertently saved the best for last, in my opinion. This has been on my wishlist for such a long time but I’ve just never been able to justify the price of the full size. I’ve used this cleanser the past three nights and I freaking love it – my beloved Clinique Take The Day Off hasn’t had a look in! It smells so beautiful; it’s a luxurious spa-like scent, and it feels incredible on the skin. This cleanser breaks down my makeup quickly and efficiently – including waterproof mascara – and doesn’t feel harsh or stripping. There was also a muslin cloth included, which I thought was a nice touch. If you’re a regular blog reader you’ll know my skin is super sensitive and new products are not always a great idea, however this didn’t aggravate my skin or cause breakouts – in fact my skin felt amazing! As much as it pains me I think I’m going to banish this to my travel minis drawer, as I know I can use it on trips (and it saves me decanting my Clinique cleanser, which is what I usually do). I definitely will be adding the full size of this to my Christmas list, if anyone’s feeling generous this year I’d love to open a full size of this on Christmas morning!
You can pick up the full size here for £55.00 (RRP).

As you can see from the photos, the box included Elle magazine – which retails for around £4 alone! There was also pack of Palma Violets inside the box which was a nice touch. Matt loves these so I put them into his work bag for a treat throughout his day *girlfriend points*. There was also a 20% voucher off the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar (RRP £75.00) which I was already considering buying – it’s one of the best value-for-money advent calendars I’ve seen from this years releases, and with 20% off it almost seems rude not to! If you’ve fell in love with the products in this box like I did, you can pick your box up here.

I’d love to know what you think of the products featured, have you tried and loved any of them? I hope you can get your hands on this before it sells out! Please let me know if you enjoy these monthly reviews, as I’m definitely going to keep this subscription, and I’d love to share each box with you! It’s so nice to get a little treat through the door, and for £15.00 per month you really can’t complain.

-G x

Skincare Must Haves: The Body Shop

Hi, loves!

img_8590.jpeg

At the end of July I placed an order on The Body Shop’s website for a few new skincare items, and I was so pleased with everything I bought! I picked up eight items in total, and the below four have become staples in my routine. Several of my friends rave about skincare from The Body Shop so I was very excited to try a few new products. I’ve used several products from The Body Shop over the past few years – I really love the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter – but I didn’t realise how extensive their skincare range is. The price points are fantastic, and The Body Shop always have online and in store discount; 20% off here, 30% off here, what’s not to love?!

I’m so excited to share these new favourite products with you, and I’m definitely going to try out more from their skincare ranges in the near future. I posted my daily skincare routine back in June, but I have slightly changed things up since then – partly to include these products! To clarify, I have combination, acne-prone skin, and dealing with breakouts is seriously the bane of my life. My skin was always more oily than dry, but over the past few months it’s changed a lot. I think my skin’s probably about 50/50 right now, it’s very confusing! Luckily, the products below and a few of my old favourites have been helping a lot. I know changing up my routine has made a difference as Matt has even commented on how much better my skin looks – what a sweetheart! 

IMG_8578

Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil

IMG_8568IMG_8585

The world of serums is fairly new to me, and honestly I still don’t know very much! I use this almost every night – I still alternate between some of my favourites from The Ordinary – but it has absolutely become a staple in my routine. I always thought that as my skin tends to lean to being more oily than dry, I should stay away from oils and oil based products under any circumstances – however that is so not true!! Oils are good for all skin types, and actually necessary to balance your skin.

I love the consistency of this; I use three to four drops for my whole face before I apply my eye cream and moisturiser, and it sinks into the skin perfectly. It doesn’t look shiny or greasy on my face like some serums do, and it smells so lovely! It feels very luxurious on the skin, and it’s my favourite serum I’ve ever tried; I especially like this when my skin is feeling dry and in need of a little TLC. I also really like the packaging – it’s sturdy and I love the millennial pink colour. I live between my house and my boyfriend’s and we also travel as often as we can, so easy-to-travel-with packaging is always a bonus!

RRP £16.00 – you can pick this up here.

Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner

IMG_8567

This product has been a God-send for my acne-prone skin. I use this every evening after cleansing; I just wipe a small amount over my face with a cotton pad, and I think adding this step has helped my skin clear up a lot. Before using this, I really didn’t care for toners – every one I’ve tried (and I’ve tried lots!) made my skin feel irritated and red after use; and I also had never really seen a benefit from them. However, this toner makes my skin feel so soft and clean after using it, without feeling harsh or like it’s stripping the good out of my skin. As I mentioned above, I’m not sure my skin is as oily as it used to be, but this definitely seems to help keep oil at bay throughout the day. I always re-powder my face during the day as my T Zone does get oily, however I’ve noticed since using this (and possibly as the weather has got slightly cooler – thank God!) I’ve not had as much of an issue with looking or feeling shiny. 

RRP £6.50 – you can pick this up here.

Vitamin E Eye Serum

img_8572.jpeg

As you will know if you read my skincare routine, I didn’t have an eye cream that I loved. I was using samples from Clinique and Kate Somerville, but when it came to purchasing a full sized one I didn’t think either were good enough to justify paying the price. This eye cream is amazing – it sinks into the skin easily but keeps my under eye area feeling smooth and soft all day – and also is a perfect base to apply concealer on top of. I actually think this eye cream helps my concealer to look better; I found before using this product that concealer settled into fine lines and looked a little cakey throughout the day, but I thought it was just my face! I use a tiny amount of this product morning and night; I apply with my ring fingers and pat around my eye socket – nothing ground-breaking here! I have used this every day since I got it and I already know when this runs out I will be repurchasing to use through the day. I have extremely dry skin under my right eye at the moment, and I think I’m going to pick this one up to use at night!

RRP £13.00 – you can pick this up here.  

Tea Tree Night Lotion

IMG_8569

I was pleasantly surprised by this product, I actually included it in my shop by accident but I’m so glad I did! I love the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense moisturiser for the evenings, but I’ve recently been alternating between both of these moisturisers and I think it’s benefited my skin a lot to switch things up. It’s lightweight and sinks straight into the skin, and leaves my skin feeling moisturised right through to the next morning. It does have a very strong tea tree scent when first applied, but this disappears really quickly and the product isn’t at all heavy on the skin like some lotions. This item also falls into the easy-to-travel-with category; it’s small and lightweight. It’s a great option for anyone on a budget (me with all this house saving!) and I would highly recommend.

RRP £10.00 – you can pick this up here.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed having a little peek into my new skincare routine. I’ll definitely be writing an updated routine in the Autumn/Winter as things change up slightly for the colder weather! What are your favourite products from The Body Shop? I’d love to know what else you think I should try!

-G x

Gin with Gills: #2

Happy Sunday, loves!

img_8561

As you may have seen from this post, I’ve had a bit of a tough few weeks so this months’ Gin with Gills post is going to be very light hearted and just for fun. Apologies it’s a little late, I just had so much content planned last month.

We’re finally into September and well into the final weeks of Summer! I’m sure you’re either one of two people at this point… either a) you are holding on to every last bit of the season and hoping for another heatwave to get that last wear out of your Birks, or b) you cannot wait for all things Autumnal and are already picking out your Halloween costume.

As if it needed saying, I fall into the latter category! I was talking with Matt the other evening about how damn excited I am for Autumn coming up, and he really just doesn’t get it. Men, eh!? I know there are a lot of people who would class Autumn as their favourite season, and it absolutely is mine! I thought I’d write a little list (my inner Monica is very excited) of all the things I’m looking forward to for the upcoming season…

AUTUMN

  • The leaves start to turn shades of yellow, orange and amber
  • Pumpkin spice flavour everything 
  • ALL of the cosy nights in
  • Buying a new coat (or two). I already have my eye on a few coats this year, and I cannot wait to treat myself
  • Lush brings out their Halloween and Christmas ranges – the best ones!
  • Wearing chunky knit jumpers with skinny jeans 
  • Drinking hot chocolate
  • Wearing berry toned lipsticks
  • More baths in the evenings 
  • It’s acceptable to be cold again. I am cold all of the time and people (my boyfriend) always make fun of me for it!
  • Leopard print is all over the A/W high street – yay!
  • Walking outside and feeling the crisp, cool air hit my face
  • The dark nights are just so cosy
  • Halloween – the perfect excuse to dress up and be silly
  • More excuses to snuggle up with Matthew (as if I need an excuse, ha)
  • Wearing a bobble hat and scarf
  • Having cups of tea from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep is not only normal again, but necessary 
  • Matt will finally wear his dressing gown again for longer than five minutes. Did I mention I love a cosy night in?
  • Wearing oversized jumpers/cardigans 
  • More cosy nights in means Matt and I can start a new series on Netflix – I think we’re going to go for Power!
  • The build up to Christmas begins
  • Bonfire night, one of the best nights of the whole year. Last year Matt and I watched the display at our local beach and it was so cute, even if we couldn’t feel our fingers/toes afterwards
  • I regress to being a toddler and suddenly I’m dragging a blanket around everywhere I move (well, inside the house)
  • Autumn is the best season for fashion! I have already started buying Autumn pieces – a few jumpers and the cosiest, fluffiest pj bottoms – oops
  • Wearing boots and fluffy socks 
  • Autumn weather – cool enough you need a coat but sunny with lots of blue sky
  • Pumpkin/cinnamon/vanilla scented candles are my fave
  • It is the season of sparklers and fireworks 
  • Watching Hocus Pocus at least once per week is acceptable. Matt literally hates this film, but he loves me so…
  • Most of the food packaging has ghosts, ghouls and monsters all over it in the build up to Halloween
  • Pumpkin carving is fun whether you’re 4 or 24
  • Soup and a bread roll is an acceptable lunch/dinner for the foreseeable future
  • Burning scented candles all day/all night is just part of the ~cosy vibes~
  • The urge to spend chilly Saturday mornings baking delicious cakes/cookies/banana bread etc
  • It’s the best time of the year to go to football matches with my boy
  • Planning weekends away – everything is better in the Autumn
  • Rainy days are a regular occurrence 
  • Conkers. The 10 year old in me will always love seeing conkers lying on the ground and you can bet I’m going to pick them up and peel them
  • The smell of fires burning in our favourite Sunday afternoon pubs
  • I can finally start getting dark colours for my gel manicures
  • Halloween themed sweets are just better than regular sweets

Thank you so much for reading! I’m sure there are loads more fun things to look forward to; I’d love to know how you feel about the upcoming season? Are you wishing the end of Summer away as much as I am? (I realise this is probably unhealthy and is definitely not living in the moment, but I have no shame, it’s the best time of the year)!

-G x

Review: Estee Lauder Game Face Beauty Box

Happy Thursday, loves!

Thank goodness it’s nearly the weekend, I don’t know what it is about a bank holiday week that somehow makes a four day week feel so long?! Just me? Anyway, let’s get on with it…

img_8186.jpg

Estee Lauder own so many of the big beauty brands we all know and love – and they create amazing beauty boxes on a regular basis showcasing a few of the best selling products from these brands. I think this is done once per season (?) however I have missed out on the last few as they sell out so bloody quickly! One of my favourite bloggers/vloggers, Fleur (Fleur de Force) has mentioned these several times in her monthly New In: Beauty videos, which was how I found out about the release of this one.

The beauty box retails for £25, however the value is estimated at £69 (via Estee Lauder’s website) and is filled with generous sized samples; these sizes are perfect for weekends away – something you may know Matt and I bloody love to do! We are planning to go away next month, maybe for a staycation, to celebrate our anniversary (eek!) so I know some of these products will come in so handy. Spoiler alert: I was very impressed by this box!

IMG_8188IMG_8200

Products included:
Estee Lauder DayWear Moisturiser
Clinique 2-in-1 Cleansing Micellar Gel & Light Makeup Cleanser
Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask
MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream
Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Ruby
Bumble & Bumble Dryspun Finish Hairspray
Smashbox Super Fan Mascara
Glamglow Gravity Mud

Estee Lauder DayWear Moisturiser

IMG_8210

My skin and new skincare products are usually not a match made in heaven, however this product seems to work very well with my skin. I’ve only used it three times at the time of writing, but so far I’ve had no extra breakouts – always a bonus! I am currently in the process of changing up my skincare routine a little (spoiler: new post coming soon talking more about this) and this has been a very welcome addition to my routine over the past week. The full size is pretty pricey for a moisturiser, however I can totally see how beauty fanatics can be tempted to purchase, I think I already am! It’s creamy and luxurious, but sinks into the skin so easily and is a perfect base for makeup. For now I am going to keep this aside for travel purposes – it’s so hard to find smaller sizes of products you love and enjoy, so this will have a nice home in my drawer of travel sized minis.

Clinique 2-in-1 Cleansing Micellar Gel & Light Makeup Cleanser

IMG_8204

As you may know if you read this post, Clinique is one of my favourite skincare brands and has been since I got into the world of makeup and skincare. I think generally speaking their price points are reasonable, their products always work well with my skin and the quality is consistently really good. I had not tried this product before, but I have used it for the past few nights and enjoyed it a lot. I used it alongside my beloved Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm; so after taking my makeup off, pre shower/bath, I washed my face with this. It left my skin feeling clean, but not tight, and didn’t aggravate an exceptionally annoying dry patch I’ve currently got under my eye. It has a very typical Clinique scent, and I have to admit the millennial pink packaging is right up my street – another one for the travel minis drawer!

Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask

IMG_8206

I was very excited to see this included! This is a product I’ve used over the past few years, more-so during the Autumn and Winter months. I finished up my previous tube earlier this year, and was planning to repurchase as the weather got colder. I’ll definitely still be picking up a full size tube, and putting this aside for trips, or just to keep in my skincare pouch I take back and forth to Matt’s house. This product is great for when your skin starts to feel a little dry and uncomfortable as the cold weather sets in, then over the past few years I used at least once per week throughout the colder months. I use this as an evening moisturiser rather than a mask you take off (I think that’s how it’s intended). After carrying out my skincare routine I’ll apply this all over my face; let it sink in, then leave it on until the next morning. It smells divine and it feels so luxurious on the skin; my skin always looks/feels better the next morning. 

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream

IMG_8205

I’m pretty sure any makeup fan will have tried and loved this product – it’s definitely gained cult status among beauty bloggers/vloggers, and for good reason! I haven’t actually got a full size of this in my collection right now either, as I recently started a very big clear out and mine was way past it’s use by date *posts on this coming next month!* I have added this into my makeup bag and I know I’ll reach for it for Matt and I’s next date night – I don’t know why but this was/is never a product I reach(ed) for, for a day time makeup look. Possibly because my skin used to be super oily and anything glowy made me look like I’d rubbed oil all over my face! I use this as a primer, it provides such a nice base for your makeup. I may use this more in the Autumn/Winter as I think everyone’s skin tends to look a lot more dull in comparison to the Spring/Summer months. I’d highly recommend getting a sample next time you’re passing MAC if you haven’t tried it!

Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Ruby

IMG_8211

Dark lipsticks are really not my thing, but I do think this colour is so beautiful! It is a rich berry red, so dark it’s almost brown, and just looking at it makes me think of Christmas time – this would be a perfect lipstick for Christmas evenings with a nice little black sweater! I can’t believe I’m already thinking about Christmas (but I have been listening to Christmas songs since July, much to Matt’s annoyance…) I do really like the colour when swatched so I’ve added this into my makeup bag too; I hope I can pluck up the courage to wear it soon! I really want to branch out of my usual makeup boundaries this Autumn, so this may be a good place to start. 

Bumble & Bumble Dryspun Finish Hairspray

IMG_8202

I have never tried anything from Bumble & Bumble before this product, but it’s a brand I’ve always been very intrigued by! My hair was, quite honestly, a huge mess up until this past week. I had a crazy build up of product that I just couldn’t seem to wash out; turns out after a lengthy chat with my hairdresser it was my shampoo and conditioner causing the problem. Duh! (I was using OGX Extra Strength Coconut Miracle Oil products and I stopped immediately – Matt acquired them! I’m not sure why they were so bad for my hair, but the difference is insane). I picked up a sulphate free shampoo and a new conditioner, and so far so good. Anyway the point of that story, was that I’m trying to be very kind to my hair at the moment! I’ve used this a couple of times and I’m very impressed. It didn’t make my hair crunchy or hard, and it did keep flyaways in place perfectly. I also love the smell of this, it smells way less chemical-ly than the cheaper hairsprays I tend to pick up – I definitely will be adding this to my travel size beauty drawer!

Smashbox Super Fan Mascara

IMG_8209

Other than lip products, I think mascaras are my favourite beauty product. I don’t really know why, they are just something I tend to gravitate to – I am always excited about new releases from my favourite brands and I am always ‘just picking up’ another one for the make up drawer. I haven’t tried this yet, but the Smashbox Full Exposure mascara is one of my favourites, so my hopes are high! This brush is the best kind of mascara brush in my opinion; it’s long and spikey, and the mascara itself is jet black. I recently opened a new tube of my current favourite (Lancôme Monsieur Big) so I don’t want to use this just yet, however I am very excited to try it out – and I’m sure if it’s any good it’ll make an appearance on the blog some time soon. 

Glamglow Gravity Mud

IMG_8208

I don’t know who was more excited about this one… my boyfriend or me! Full disclosure: we love a face mask. We usually go for sheet masks as they’re way less messy, but we could definitely make an exception for this. I think this mask looks amazing – it’s silver and slightly holographic; we had so much fun trying it out last Saturday night. Yep, wild lives we lead. I’ve seen photos of this mask all over Instagram for months now, and I’ve been tempted to buy for a while – marketing at it’s finest, eh! I have used and loved Glamglow masks for years (the white one is my favourite); they all have different purposes and the range is growing so fast now. This mask is a firming treatment, and I have to say my skin did feel very good after using it. Matt enjoyed it too, he especially loved peeling it off my face! Here’s a picture of us: #SaturdayNightGoals

IMG_8230

PS – Gin with Gills #2 is back on Sunday, I changed the upload date because I was so excited to share this box with you! Thank you so much for reading, I would love to know your thoughts. Are you planning on picking up this box?! Does it include some of your favourites? 

-G x

What’s In My Makeup Bag

*disclaimer: I know the quality in some of these photos isn’t great – I took them on a cloudy Saturday afternoon and natural light was not my friend on this day!*

Welcome back, loves!

64CCEC7F-A550-4E0D-A6A0-3E2E296AB625

Today I thought I’d take you through my daily makeup routine! Last month, I wrote all about my high end beauty favourites and in that post, I said I’d be doing a drugstore beauty favorites soon. However to be honest, I really don’t have enough products that I love from the drugstore right now. I’m trying out some new things and I will still definitely make the post in time – if you have any recommendations for products you love, please let me know!

I actually keep my daily makeup products in a makeup bag as living between my house and my boyfriends means I’m constantly on the go and don’t want to waste time packing and unpacking my makeup every other day. I sit my bags on the edge of my vanity table when we’re staying at home, it doesn’t look too pretty but it does the job! The makeup bag I’m currently using is from Elizabeth Scarlett and it’s perfect – it’s so roomy and looks beautiful. The Ted Baker bag is where I keep all my daily skincare products, and the Zoeva bag is the home of my most used daily makeup brushes. 

0596C1C4-EA1F-4F4B-882C-17CF3EDB6CFB

I thought I’d share a little of my vanity table with you too – I am currently in the process of clearing out and organising all my beauty products; skincare, hair care, makeup and everything else! When I’m done I’m going to share the decluttering process with you – don’t worry I’m documenting everything as I go!

723817E7-B486-4928-8A02-10193392A8D7A72BD374-FA9A-4349-B6FA-EEB07B86E86A75EEC31E-11F1-44A4-9BEB-F9BB2AB2573C

Let’s take a peek inside…

D00A4AE7-724E-4CD8-B64E-0F28265B7661

L’Oreal Infallible Pore Perfecting Primer – one of the newest additions to my makeup bag and already a firm favourite. I tend to change up my primer every time I finish the previous one as none seem to make much difference in my opinion. I already know I’m going to repurchase this one when it runs out! One pump is enough for my whole face, and the consistency is not at all runny; meaning no product is wasted. It makes my skin look smooth and is a great base to apply makeup on top of.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light – my favourite foundation. I’ve already raved about this product in this post (along with lots of other products featured in this post!) but I just love this stuff. I never thought I’d find a foundation that worked as well for me as the regular Double Wear, but this is ten times better. It applies beautifully, lasts all day, and doesn’t break me out. Over the past year I finally began to use foundation to even out my skin tone, not to cover any imperfections. That is what concealer is for! I use the tiniest amount of this so a tube lasts me forever.

Nars Soft Matte Concealer – I am obsessed with this stuff. I have used and loved the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer for years now, and after seeing so many people rave about this I finally ordered it during a late night Feel Unique shopping spree. I am so glad I did; I love this even more! It is, as the name suggests, matte and very full coverage – it covers blemishes/redness/pigmentation with no issue and doesn’t look at all cakey. Although the product is very soft in the tub (the only part I don’t love about this product is scooping it out with my finger) it lasts all day on the skin.

Kat Von D Loose Setting Powder – another product I’ve previously mentioned on the blog. This powder is great; it is the perfect setting powder and the best I’ve personally used. I used to use the Laura Mercier and honestly, this does the same thing for around half the price (I’d recommend if you’re going to buy to wait until Debenhams have 10% off  – they seem to ever other week!) I tap a little of this powder into the lid and swirl my brush in it; then pat into my skin rather than brush up/down – this doesn’t move any of the cream products underneath and helps my makeup to stay put all day.

Real Techniques Sponge – I always use a sponge to apply my foundation and concealer – either this one or a regular beauty blender. I did think a beauty blender did a better job but honestly I can’t tell the difference any more, so I just opt for the cheaper one! I always use mine damp, and try to clean it as often as I can. It does really annoy me though that once you use a sponge once they look permanently grubby!

19F510F0-BD78-4C50-AAB7-56E6EED037CF

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser – I think this is the best under eye concealer I’ve tried; it doesn’t crease, covers any darkness (all those late nights watching Netflix with Matthew are catching up!) and a tube also seems to last forever. The top of this product is so gross I almost didn’t take a photo, I probably could have cleaned the cap, oops. I use the ‘brightener’ shade and it really does brighten up my under eyes; mine are terribly dark!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer – an oldie but a goodie! This is the perfect contour shade for me (I know this is a bronzer, but makeup has no rules, right?!) It’s not too orange toned or too grey toned, and it never looks smudgey or harsh on the skin. I am very fair skinned and often contour shades are hard to blend and generally look uneven. I think this is probably going to be one of those products I always repurchase. 

MAC Blush in Peachykeen – a blush I always go back to in Spring/Summer. I always gravitate towards MAC and Nars blushes in general; they have extensive colour ranges and the products are such high quality. This has a very slight glittery shimmer running through it that leaves your cheeks looking slightly glowing and very healthy. I think this leans more towards pink than peach, and a quick sweep of the pan is enough for both cheeks. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a blush – they literally last forever.

Bare Minerals Invisible Glow in Fair to Light – this is my perfect day time highlight. I love this for adding a glow to my face without the added glitter; I definitely do not want to look like a disco ball (if that is your style then that’s totally fine)! This just gives a very subtle, light sheen across the skin and isn’t at all glittery – it blends like a dream. I use this on my cheekbones, brow bone, down my nose and on my cupids bow.

72443108-95B1-4DCA-8A28-BD1171B2E81D

MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre – the only eyeshadow base I use! I wear eyeshadow every day (usually just matte browns during the day unless I’m feeling ~fancy~ and add a little shimmer) and I always use a paint pot for the base. I never have issues with eyeshadow creasing or coming off throughout the day, no matter the brand, and I know it’s because this product is so good. It’s also great if you use loose glitter shadows (MAC Copper is a personal favourite) as it really keeps the glitter in place.

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Palette – I picked this up on a whim, because Matt and I go on so many trips and I was sick of carting big palettes around with me. (I also had a Naked 2 palette break!) As I said earlier, I live between my house and my boyfriends, so minimising products makes it easier to transport them between houses! I love the colours in this for an every day look. I use Strike, the darkest shade, as an ‘eyeliner’ along my top lash line most days. I do wish the lightest shade was a shimmer as it’s the only thing I think this palette is missing but it’s still pretty much my perfect mini palette.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette – my new little baby. I purchased this palette a few weeks ago, and got to wear it the night I purchased for a double date with my babe, my bestie and her boyfriend. I was so excited to try out a new palette I used most of the colours (yes, it is possible) however I’ve experimented with this the past few weeks and I especially love Rustic, Sienna and Sultry. The eyeshadows are super pigmented and there is very little fallout – the brush that comes in this palette is also very good!

352A6F78-2CC2-4D72-AE70-1597C02636EF

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara – okay, after reading so many blog posts raving about this mascara, I purchased this and was incredibly disappointed to begin with. I persevered and as the mascara started to dry out (within about a week) it became a much better product. It really bugs me so many mascaras have this issue! The formula is super black, and it doesn’t flake off throughout the day. The brush is so big I thought I would definitely get this all over when applying, but it’s very easy to use and doesn’t transfer onto the top lid – something that happens often because I have naturally long eyelashes. This gives lots of length and definition to my lashes, but I definitely think it becomes clumpy with more than two coats; I don’t like that look personally and usually one coat is enough for me.

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara – I use this as my bottom lash mascara. I was so excited when Glossier finally released a mascara, then I was gutted to find out I didn’t like it very much. It gives lots of length but very little volume; as I said, I do have pretty long eyelashes naturally, but I just felt it didn’t do much for my top lashes. I do however love it for my bottom lashes – it doesn’t smudge, but separates and lengthens perfectly. I also love this packaging – Glossier know how to make a pretty product! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Brunette – this is probably my number one desert island beauty product, I love it! I’ve used the brow wiz for years and have repurchased so many times. My eyebrows are so sparse and this makes drawing hair-like strokes easy as pie. It lasts all day, the spoolie on the end if perfect for brushing the product through, and it’s so easy to use. I’m really thinking about getting HD brows but for some reason I’m scared to; anyone’s personal experience would be helpful?!

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown – another long time favourite of mine. To be honest, I really like brow gels I’ve tried from ABH and MAC just as much, but for some reason this is the one I tend to repurchase over and over. It adds dimension and gives the appearance of texture on my brows; making them look fuller and bolder. For minimal makeup days I can just brush this through my eyebrows without using my brow wiz and it does a great job.

L’Oreal Tattoo Signature Eyeliner in Black – if you know me, you’ll know I’m not really a liquid eyeliner kind of girl. I tend to keep my day-to-day makeup fresh and simple, and generally can’t be bothered with the faff or stress of doing anything tedious. That being said, recently I’ve been using liquid eyeliner for evening looks, or if I have a little more time to get ready at the weekend, and I’ve really enjoyed this one. The tip is flexible, the formula is very black and it doesn’t seem to dry out quickly. I’ve found this lasts all day/night on my lids, and never transfers above. I also find it much easier to do a wing with this eyeliner as the tip is very fine and sharp.

DEA84C60-27F1-46FF-ACD4-D22FE7D451F5

Aquaphor Lip Repair – this lip balm is the best! I love my Glossier balm dot com too, but this is great for when my lips need a little extra hydration. It’s a thick texture, but not goopy or uncomfortable. I really think this lip balm is as good as the Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream, and comes in much smaller packaging – perfect for my handbag.

Chanel Lipstick in Mademoiselle – my favourite lipstick of all time, and one I’ve also talked about on the blog before. I’m not going to go into too much detail but this is my favourite ‘your lips but better’ colour; it’s slightly darker but the rosiness of the shade makes it so wearable. I often wear this for date night as it’s a little darker, yet doesn’t come off on straws (or on Matt’s lips, ha!) It’s my go-to lipstick all year round, but I know I especially love this in the Autumn months.

Glossier Balm Dot Com in Coconut – I prefer to wear this balm under my lip product of choice that day. It’s fairly matte once it’s on the lips, so doesn’t alter whatever product that you put on top of it. It smells divine; it’s such a holiday scent and will always remind me of Kos because I used this every evening whilst doing my makeup.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen – my favourite lip gloss of the moment, and another favourite for date nights. This isn’t too sticky and is a similar ‘your lips but better’ shade. The applicator is perfect, you don’t get too much product and it’s so easy to apply.

Rimmel Lip Liner in East End Snob – another oldie but a goodie! This lip liner is such good quality for the price (it’s less than £4!) and it is the perfect shade of pink for my skin tone. I have worn this on and off for years – Amelia Liana used to rave about this product and that was what first got me into it. It’s currently replacing my Charlotte Tilbury lip cheat in Pillow Talk and I’m enjoying using it again.

Buxom Lip Gloss in Dolly – I love this lip gloss! The consistency is perfect; it’s not sticky and lasts very well for a lip gloss. It smells like Autumn (just kind of warm and spicy? I think it’s a cinnamon scent) and the slight shimmer/glitter throughout makes your lips look full and pouty. It’s one of those amazing lip products you can apply without a mirror and you’ll still look great!

244B1983-B2EE-482D-AFC4-4A5C3420A28C

Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite products in your makeup bag right now?

-G x