31 December 2013

Review: 2013

I honestly cannot believe it's New Years Eve and 2014 is just hours away! I know I say it every year but each year feels as though it goes quicker than the last! I'll be posting my New Years Resolutions tomorrow but in the mean time I thought I'd take a look back at 2013, and what a year it was, if not for all the right reasons!


In no particular order.. 

Top Row (L-to-R): my first cover shoot (as assistant) was published; I had a great result at Cheltenham;  I went to see One Direction; I met a childhood hero; I attempted to learn to selfie!

Second Row: Another trip to Wembley with Chelsea; there to support Kala when she ran the marathon; two of my close friends got married; another wedding pic; Frank Lampard made Chelsea history.

Third Row: I played polo with work; I actually rode the horse; Paolo Ferreira and I bowed out of Chelsea on the same day; Ladies Day at Ascot; reunited with old friends.

Fourth Row: I visited Hull for Luke Campbell's pro debut; Milan stole my heart; I made a friend for life; I turned 23; I wouldn't stop celebrating my birthday.

Fifth Row: Booked an amazing holiday; said 'yes' to more events; finally returned to my second home; my first ever trip to Twickenham; ending the year with good friends and better memories.

I honestly couldn't have imagined where 2013 would take me when it began, I closed a lot of doors this year: on people, on opportunities and on myself but I opened just as many; I've met some incredible people and made some wonderful memories and that is the main thing I will take into the New Year with me.

Happy New Year!

Vicky x
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30 December 2013

2013 in Outfits

This is quite a self-indulgent post but I wanted to compile my favourite outfits of the year to look back on. I really feel as though I've found my feet in terms of my own style this year and I've worn some outfits that I have really loved and want to share with you (again!).


Dress - Savida at Dunnes Stores 
Shoes - Zara

When I think about things I've worn this year, this dress jumps straight out at me. I picked it up in Dublin nearly two years ago and I'd been waiting for the right moment to wear it. I love how detailed and intricate the beading is on this dress and I'm still amazed that I managed to get through a three-course meal without getting anything down me! 


Dress - Coast

The Coast dress I wore to Ascot really stole my heart this year, it was the perfect Princess dress. From the colour to the cut to the full skirt and absolutely perfect dealing and subtle pleats, this dress was the star of the show for me. If I could wear it all day every day I would. It was longer than I would usually go for but it suited the occasion perfectly and I wouldn't hesitate about wearing this style again, in fact I can't wait for the opportunity to do so!


Dress - 3 Floor

I picked up this dress for my birthday and I absolutely loved it. It was a real head turner and so many people commented on it and asked where it was from which was lovely. The only downside is I had a very bitter dispute with the company over another item later in the year and I will never buy from them again. If you're looking for this dress, I suggest House of Catherine - they stock the same dress at a much lower price.


Dress - Gorgeous Couture

Another birthday dress. I rented this one from Girl Meets Dress and I cannot recommend the experience enough. The dress was absolutely sensational, I felt incredible wearing it. The process of hiring was so simple and the customer service was impeccable. I will definitely be ordering from them again.


Top - Topshop
Jeans - Topshop
Shoes - Zara

I wore this on a summers night in Hull for the boxing and the reason it stands out for me is because it's so simple yet chic. I very rarely wear jeans but when you're going to an outdoor boxing show, you can't exactly turn up in a ball gown or a sequin mini dress (despite what some people think!) so this was a safe bet and actually reignited my love for dressing down a bit more!


Dress - Warehouse

An oldie but a goody! I bought this dress two years ago for my 21st birthday and it's had a few outings this year. The cut and the colour are both very me, it has a great shape to it and it's incredibly flattering. It's a go-to dress for when I want to look put together but not overdone.

Without even realising I moved away from my typical uniform of all black and added some colour, along with some classic cuts and beautiful detailing and I plan on doing the same in 2014.

What were your favourite outfits of 2013? 

Vicky x







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29 December 2013

Erin Condren Life Planner 2014!

As you may know I am obsessed with organisation and planning and a new year inevitably means a new diary. For 2014 I decided to step away from my trusty Filofax planner and order an Erin Condren Life Planner. I spent a while researching the Life Planners on blogs and YouTube before eventually biting the bullet and ordering my own and I am so excited to be sharing it with you.

This will be quite a long post but it's such a bespoke service and it is quite an expensive purchase so I thought it would be best to include as much detail as possible.



Once I actually start writing in it in January (my family believe it's bad luck to write in a new diary or on a new calendar before the new year begins - do you have any odd family superstitions?) I'll do an updated post to show you how I'm organising it.

I ordered my Life Planner on Monday 21st October with an expected shipping date of Wednesday 30th October and my planner arrived on Tuesday 5th November at midday which I was SO impressed with. I loved tracking it and seeing all of the different places it went through - sad but true!


The planner comes beautifully packaged, even the box it's shipped in is decorated with teal and pink paisley print and the planner itself comes wrapped in two different types of bubble wrap and then tissue paper, secured with the trademark Erin Condren 'Enjoy!" sticker.



There are numerous different styles to choose from, all of which you can personalise and truly make your own. I opted for the 'collage' planner and personalised mine with some of my favourite pictures from 2013. You can personalise the front and back, I completely personalised the front but I only included three pictures on the back as I'll be spending less time looking at it. 

The beauty of the collage planner is that you can upload your pictures directly from Instagram, Facebook or your computer which saves a lot of time. I uploaded all of mine from Instagram and the quality is fantastic. I was concerned that they wouldn't print very well as they were Instagram photos but I needn't have worried as you'd never know they were Instagram pictures.

You can also add text, I opted to have my name (I've removed my surname from the photos) and "live, laugh, love" which is beyond cliche but there's nothing wrong with reinforcing the idea.

The planner comes with a snap-in ruler/page marker which I think I'm likely to keep in the plastic wallet (more later!) and is bound by a thick aluminium coil which s very sturdy and won't bend if you put it in your bag.


The first page is beautifully patterned and is emblazoned with the quote above. Inspiring quotes are present throughout the planner, they cover each month and they're a really nice touch. I like the concept of the 'Thought a Day" diaries so for me this is the best of both worlds. 


Each section has laminated tabs as dividers and the first opens up to reveal pages dedicated to Birthdays  and Anniversaries, there is a column for each month to allow you to write all birthdays and anniversaries at the front so you have them all in one place. This is really helpful for me, I'm usually pretty good with birthdays but being able to look them all up here is a bonus.

The next pages are dedicated to year at a glance calendars. I use these quite a lot at work and I'll be referring back to this one quite a bit for certain dates and events.


Each month starts with a month at a glance. I'll be putting birthdays and key dates and events here as well as on the day of the event/birthday. This is a great way to see what plans you have and when and helps to avoid double booking - when you just use day pages it's hard to see the bigger picture so this is a really helpful way of keeping track of everything. 

The notes section down the side is a nice touch, I'm not certain what I'll be putting there yet (maybe shopping lists?) but I'm sure I'll find a use for it. If you have any suggestions, leave them below.


You have a week across two pages with each day divided in to three: morning, day and night. I quite like having everything structured and chronological so this was a big plus for me as it's easier for me personally to organise myself. 

The weekly pages have a "goals and to-do" section running along the side much like the notes section on the month at a glade and underneath each day there's space to make additional daily to-do lists, exercise routines, meal plans etc., I'm not sure what I'll be putting here either as I don't plan my meals but again, I'm sure I'll think of something!


At the end of the planner there are 20 page blank and lined note pads. You can also buy additional pads to stick in to your planner but I think this will be more than sufficient for me as I tend to carry a note book around with me anyway although I'm interested to see how I will get on having two in one.


The 'contacts' section has a place to put all of your details and contacts. I'm probably not going to fill this in just in case anything happens to my planner, it would be a disaster! I keep all of that information elsewhere anyway so it's not something I'll be using. 


Now for something that really set this planner apart for me: stickers. I know, I know, I'm easily pleased! The planner comes with pre-printed stickers for birthdays and other events and appointments (mani/pedi, doctors, game and so on) as well as blank stickers for colour coding (I LOVE colour coding!). You can also order your own personalised stickers which I opted to do so that I could have things like Bank Holiday, phone bill, oyster card and so forth easily marked out.


My personalised stickers came tucked in to this two-sided document pouch which is right near the back of the planner and is a great idea. I'll be keeping my stickers in there to keep everything together.




The plastic wallet is one of my favourite parts of the planner. It closes like a sandwich bag and contains some name labels and some little appointment cards which is a really nice touch, especially if you have forgetful friends.


The planner finishes with year at a glance calendars for the next two years - a scary thought!!


Clockwise from top left: sample pack of labels, labels, product catalogue, $10 gift card

In addition to my Life Planner and personalised stickers, a sample label pack was also included, perfect for sticking on a bottle of wine (last minute gifts are always winners and with my friends, you'll never go wrong with rose!) and a catalogue of products which included a $10 gift card, all of which was a lovely gesture.

I'm so pleased with my planner and I can't wait to start using it, if you're buying from overseas it can look pricey but once you allow for the currency conversion I think mine came to around £60 including shipping which I think is really reasonable, especially given how quickly the planner arrived.

Erin Condren Life Planner 2014 (12 months) - $50
Extra stickers - $5 each
Express shipping $49.50

For me, being organised is one of the easiest ways to have peace of mind. A colleague once said to me that it's important to write things down as it takes away the anxiety of having to remember them and I couldn't agree more. On top of that, I don't like uncertain plans, I need to know what I'm doing and when so anything that makes me even more organised is a huge benefit for me personally.

Have you picked up a diary or planner for 2014? How easy do you find it to stay organised?

Vicky x
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11 December 2013

Restaurant Review | Breakfast at The Wolseley

Previously a car showroom and a bank, The Wolseley was transformed into one of the best restaurants in London in 2003 and has won numerous awards and plaudits during the ten years its been open, including twice being honoured with the title of Best Breakfast by The Observer.

Situated on Piccadilly and next door to The Ritz, The Wolseley combines stunning architecture with beautiful decoration, incorporating many of the features from its days as a bank. Everything about The Wolseley says grandeur, from the high painted ceilings to the monogrammed plates, the excellent and attentive waiting service and the sublime food any visit feels like a real treat.

I popped in for breakfast a few weeks ago with my friends David and Steve en-route to the rugby at Twickenham. We had initially planned a trip to The Breakfast Club in Soho but the queues were unreal so we took a trip to The Wolseley on the off chance we would get a table. Not only is it a hugely popular restaurant but it's right in the heart of London so spaces are incredibly limited unless you've booked in advance. We were fortunate enough to secure a table for two hours as soon as we arrived, shortly after that every table was full and people were being ushered in to the bar to wait for an available space.

Despite the Eggs Benedict being one of the best known and loved dishes on the menu, we all opted for The English breakfast. £16.50 of pure food joy.


With a choice of eggs with sausage, bacon, beans, tomato, mushroom and black pudding I opted for a side of toast and a pot of English Breakfast Tea and it was delightful. It is pricey for a full English, even by Central London standards but the food is wonderful. Fresh and cooked to perfection, it's almost impossible to find fault with it. 

There's a strict no flash or intrusive photography policy at The Wolseley so unfortunately I was unable to capture what a truly wonderful place it is.

Breakfast at The Wolseley really is something to experience if you're in London and looking for excellent quality food at a wonderful venue then look no further. I can fully recommend the pastry basket as well as the french toast, pancakes and boiled eggs with soldiers. 

The service is faultless, the waiting staff are incredibly attentive without being intrusive, you literally wait and want for nothing. There's a 12.5% service charge on each bill and it's completely warranted in my opinion.

Have you ever been to The Wolseley? Where are your favourite places for breakfast? 

Vicky x

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8 December 2013

Lifestyle | Christmas Tag

I absolutely adore Christmas, only this week my colleagues commented it was like sharing an office with Buddy the Elf, and despite not feeling particularly festive for the past few years I am fully embracing the Christmas spirit this year and what better way to share it than with this tag that I saw on the lovely Sian's blog. I fully recommend checking hers out, the answers and pictures she picked are gorgeous!


1. What's your favourite Christmas movie?
Home Alone would definitely be up there for me, I watch it every year without fail and I just love it. I love Elf and Love Actually too (my favourite Hugh Grant film) and I also find that the Christmas 24 channel have some lovely Christmas movies - they really know how to make a Christmas film in the US.

2. Do you stay in your PJs or get dressed on Christmas Day?
I stay in my PJs until around midday and then get changed, even at 23 we still do the "new clothes on Christmas day" tradition so I change into something new and festive for the rest of the day and then put new PJs on in the evening after dinner.

3. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
When I was little I used to be allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve but now everything is on Christmas Day. The older I get the later I'm starting to wake up so there's no mad rush in the morning any more but everything gets opened on Christmas Day unless it's a box of chocolates from our neighbour which I always demolish on Christmas Eve.

4. Favourite Christmas smell?
For me it's probably Christmas dinner or mulled wine which also happen to be two of my favourite Christmas things! I also love the smell of roasting chestnuts, particularly on a really cold night.

5. What is your favourite Christmas song?
Like Sian, mine is Fairytale of New York - it's guaranteed to get everyone singing along and I actually really love the words. Other than that you can't beat classics from the likes of Bing Crosby, they're Christmas perfection.

6. What's your favourite Christmas drink?
I like a good old fashioned mulled wine at a Christmas market or light switch on (I LOVE a light switch on!). When I was younger it used to be all about a Snowball and they always remind me of Christmas but nowadays I opt for a glass of white wine or a Bailey's hot chocolate. 

7. Favourite Christmas meal?
I love Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings more than anything but the dinner we have on Boxing Day is hands down my favourite dinner of the entire year. We've always have boiled bacon (a tradition of my great-great-granny Murphy's!) and other meat with potatoes (mashed and new) and salads and it honestly is the best meal I eat all year - there's no day or meal I look forward to more all year!

8. Wrapping presents - love or loathe?
Loathe. There are few things I hate more than wrapping presents! For someone who loves all things creative I am completely incapable of turning out a nicely wrapped present. I always get the tape stuck to my fingers or the wrong part of the paper which then rips or I can't cut the right amount of paper so the present is either drowning in wrapping or barely concealed and do not even get me started on ribbon or bows! I resolve to buy boxes for everything one year and make a real effort to make everything look like it belongs in a Christmas film without uttering various words and phrases that are far from festive.

9. What's your favourite thing about Christmas?
The coming together of people whether they're family, friends, colleagues or the wider community. There's something about Christmas that really brings people together and it's such a blessing to be able to spend that time with people you truly care for as well as meeting new people. I love the family side of it, we're a close family and spend a lot of time together anyway but it always feels more precious at Christmas; I love socialising more with my friends and colleagues and also attending community events.



10. Christmas tree - real or fake?
We've always had a fake tree because of the dog as the needles drop and we would't want them to get stuck in his paws. We have a real tree at work though and it is my first experience of a real tree, I find a fake tree is a lot easier to maintain (it doesn't need watering for a start!) and seems more environmentally friendly.

11. Homemade cards or shop bought ones?
I would love to say homemade but I don't feel like I have the time these days so shop bought but I would love to send handmade cards.

12. What do you do on Christmas Eve?
For the last few years I've spent Christmas Eve wrapping my presents as I simply don't have the patience to do them before as they drive me insane as you'll already know!

13. Favourite Christmas memory?
I am fortunate enough to only have wonderful Christmas memories, particularly from when I was a child so it would be impossible to pick just one. Christmas as a child was just the best fun ever, I think my favourite ever present was my dolls house. It's still in our loft and I can't bring myself to get rid of it as it has so many wonderful memories attached.

14. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I honestly don't remember the answer to this one so it can't have had much of an impact on me. I can still remember trying to listen out for the reindeer and sleigh bells when I was little so I must have believer at some point! I went to see Santa every Christmas which was always one of my favourite memories; I even bumped in to the old boy earlier this week and had a sit on his knee - I asked for Ryan Gosling and a puppy as I've been good ALL year.

15. Snow - love it or hate it?
I don't think I've ever known a white Christmas so I would love snow on Christmas Day! I love snow if I can just sit and watch it and don't have to go out in it but I hate it when it becomes all mushy and grey and then icy and bloody lethal, not to mention the fact it takes me nearly twice as long to get to work (if I'm lucky) and I have to take my life in my hands to do so because I live on a hill!


I'd love to know your answers to the above so leave me a link below if you do this tag so I can check it out! 

Vicky x

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22 November 2013

Shopping | Gift Guide for the Beauty Loving Girl

I absolutely love Christmas and despite the long queues, the arctic trek between shops and hearing Shakin' Stevens for the 20th time that hour I really enjoy the shopping as well. I firmly believe that present buying is a very personal experience and there is no "one size fits all" approach or gift but I've put together some of my favourite beauty related gifts for Christmas.

I want to get the disclaimer in early - I have not been asked, sponsored or paid (in product or money!) to mention any of the brands or items below. 


Sensuous Nude from Estee Lauder is one of my all time favourite fragrances and one I am never without. When it launched last year it was voted the Sexiest Fragrance of 2012 by Cosmopolitan magazine and it's easy to see, or smell(!), why: it's sultry, feminine and warm. This is a real head turner of a fragrance.

Estee Lauder run a fantastic promotion at Christmas where you can purchase a whopping makeup case of Estee Lauder products worth over £250 for just £50 if you buy any of their selected fragrances. 


Since purchasing my first Jo Malone fragrance earlier this year I've fallen head over heels for their scents and this collection of 5 9ml perfumes provide the perfect chance to try the brand and also experience their unique layering system which shows how Jo Malone fragrances are designed to work as well together as they are alone.

It may be pricey but you get what you pay for and Jo Malone really is a mark of quality. I've ordered one for my Nan after converting her to Jo Malone with a birthday present earlier this year. 




With the hustle and bustle of Christmas; the parties, the dinners, the shopping and everything in between, we all need some time to relax and de-stress after the big day. Aromatherapy Associates make my favourite selection of relaxing essential oils and this festive collection provides the chance to try 10 of their best loved and most relaxing bath and shower oils to help you unwind and relax.



Miniatures are the perfect way to introduce someone to a brand! I often find that I will know a product or a brand that is perfect for a friend or family member but they're cautious to commit to a full size, especially at the price of Moroccan Oil however a miniature provides the chance to try and be bowled over! They make a great gift on their own, especially for people who like to travel, but they're also a lovely stocking filler.



The Laura Mercier body and bath products are a real luxury treat in my eyes. The above set includes a full sized body scrub, honey bath swirl, body creme soufflĂ© and luxury scented candle to ensure you're pampered from head to toe in beautiful candlelight. 

The honey bath is a cult product and it feels like pure indulgence as you dip the honey wand into the product before adding to a bath. The scrub and body soufflé finish off the pampering experience to ensure that your skin is in tip-top condition.


Crownbrush have a great selection of palettes and brushes suitable for everyone from your makeup loving teenager to your professional makeup artists. Great quality products at affordable prices.

This 36 colour palette features a variety of shades and finishes from your every day neutrals to your bold bright colours, perfect for creating striking fashion looks or adding a modern twist to an old classic (a pink and purple smokey eye for example). 

For November only I am fortunate enough to be able to share with you all a discount code that will give you 10% off any purchase on Crownbrush! Simply enter FINNO2013 at the checkout to receive your discount after clicking the link above.

I can't get a clear picture but Crownbrush also have some fantastic brush sets which make the perfect present. I'm a firm believer that good tools are key to a flawless finish and my own brush kit is made up of around 60% Crownbrush brushes! I recomment the 510 Basic Set (29.99) as a great starter!



Peaches & Cream are a salon based in Liverpool famed for their glamorous hair and makeup looks that enable all of us to enjoy a bit of Scouse glamour! They have recently launched these fabulous Lit Kits which create a super glam, glittery eye look (it's rumoured to have been used on Tamera from X Factor for the live shows!). 

Containing a liquid glitter base, a gorgeous glitter and a synthetic applicator brush, this little kit is everything you need to create the perfect glittery eye for all of those festive parties or nights on the Liverpool tiles!

With lots of gift ideas and really unique hair and makeup bundles and baubles, I recommend checking Peaches out - not only are they great value for money, the girls are really helpful and we all need a little glamour over the festive period!


Not only do these special edition brushes look super chic, they also provide every tool you need to create the perfect smokey eye. I'm not usually one for MAC Christmas sets but this brush set would be an ideal gift for a makeup lover. 

MAC also do a wonderful selection of miniature pigments, palettes and lip and eye sets for Christmas which make great stocking fillers. 



EMJ are a company targeted at professional makeup artists who make fantastic quality items from brush wraps and belts to set bags and aprons but in the coolest, cutest designs. Gone are the days of simple black brush belts and wraps (though I do still love mine!) and here are the days of prints and matching sets! The best thing is you can by a belt, wrap and set bag to match which really appeals to me as I love having everything look the same.

EMJ are a bit of an industry secret and I feel as though I'm welcoming you into the circle of trust here but I cannot recommend them enough for any makeup artists or budding makeup artists or even people who just want beautiful accessories! 


Give the gift of the perfect bouncy blow dry this Christmas with this fabulous brush set from Sleep Rollers and free set of Ultimate Bounce Rollers to maintain maximum bounce and movement! Being able to blow dry your hair at home and obtain a salon finish depends as much on tools as it does on technique and this kit has everything you need to master a salon blow dry at home.


The original and still the best Sleep-in Rollers are the easiest way to achieve big, bouncy hair without heat and whilst you sleep! This kit includes 20 original rollers, kirkby grips with drawstring bag, a DVD to show you how to apply and a handy bag to store everything in.

I often use my Sleep Rollers when I want to give my hair a rest from heat and achieve effortless volume with minimal effort and also to give my hair an added volume boost before a night out. The rollers look super girly and make the perfect present.




As the saying goes "the bigger the hair, the higher to heaven" and these wonderful heated rollers will definitely help you achieve that little extra lift! I have a full review on these coming soon but they are my go-to heated styling tool for creating big, glamorous hair.


So there we have it, some of my gift ideas for the beauty lovers in your life!

Vicky x
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10 November 2013

Beauty | Guest Post: Makeup Artist Hayley Campbell's Autumn Essentials

Recently I decided I would like a few guest posts to appear on my blog and I was over the moon when my good friend Hayley said she would like to guest post for me. I met Hayley around two years ago when she was training to become a makeup artist and we became firm friends. In that time Hayley has had a successful career as a MAC makeup artist and is now braving it as a freelance artist. All details of where to find Hayley are included at the bottom of this post and I really recommend checking her out; she is a wonderful artist and a genuinely lovely person.

If you would like to guest post, please email me to discuss.

Oh and you can still enter my 1st blog birthday giveaway *here*

Vicky x

So it looks like Summer is over but its not all doom and gloom. I love changing up my makeup each season and Autumn is always my favourite for revamping my style. Colder weather means that I start to put more layers of clothing and coats on and with that comes the ability to wear a more statement makeup look. I find that accessories that are worn near the face such as hats and scarves can serve as a compliment to makeup and there is no doubt that this season brings more depth and warmth of colour.

I have a selection of makeup essentials which I will be using this season to create a natural but buildable look. This group of products ranges from skin to eyes to lips so all I would add is mascara and maybe false lashes for a more dramatic effect.


L- R Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp eye palette
MAC Rosy Outlook pro longwear blusher
LUSH Honey trap lip balm
MAC Rebel lipstick
Tom Ford illuminating primer
Burberry sheer foundation in Trench 07
This Works in transit camera close up

Skin 

 I love to use the This Works product to prep my skin. It is a mask, moisturiser and primer in one and I believe it works in a similar way to Clarins Beauty flash balm. It smoothes out the appearance of the skin and hydrates it prior to foundation application. 

I then tend to go in a with a bit of Tom Ford illuminating primer because although the This Works does prime the skin I like a dewy radiant finish in the winter months so I use the Tom Ford primer mainly down the centre of my face to control oil but still leave a dewy finish after foundation is applied. 

Burberry sheer foundation is a gorgeous product for a natural makeup look. I like to have a light to medium buildable coverage at this time of year because it allows the natural rosy cheeks to show through but still covers enough to hide any blemishes or redness. This foundation feels so luxurious and I tend to keep it for the winter months as it is more hydrating than my full coverage, matte bases. I like to use my MAC 188 brush to apply this foundation for slightly more coverage.


Eyes

This palette is one of my favourites not only because it was created by makeup extraordinaire Charlotte Tilbury but because the colours truly are beautifully Autumnal. The palette includes 4 colours ranging from a light pearl tone to a deep plum and allows you to use any combination to create your desired look. I love to use all the colours together to create a plum smokey eye and even use the darkest plum as an eyeliner on the Illamasqua angled brush.


Beautiful texture and pigment means that these colours glide onto the eyelid like a dream and stay put!


Cheeks

Rosy cheeks are on trend this season and Rosy Outlook by MAC is the perfect shade to give a subtle but buildable colour. I like to use the colour on the apples of the cheeks and bring the colour slightly upwards towards the temples. I find that this curved shape is most flattering. The blusher is a soft pink with no sheen so it is perfect for daytime providing a natural flush on the cheeks. It is also a pro longwear formula which means I don't have to worry about touching up after walking about in the colder weather!


Lips

Berry tones are my all time favourite for Autumn because they perfectly reflect the tones of this season. I like to wear red and purple undertones, also playing with different lip liners to adjust the depth of colour. My all time favourite berry tone has to be MAC Rebel because it has enough depth to wear as a statement lip on a night out but doesn't look out of place with a smokey eye. I like to wear it both day and evening and especially if I am wearing a big black winter coat I love to look of a pop of colours on the lips to bring the outfit to life! 





I hope you have enjoyed reading about my makeup essentials for this season and please comment below with your favourites so I can add to my ever growing collection! 


x


Here's where you can find Hayley

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5 November 2013

Giveaway: 1st Blog Birthday

So my little blog turns 1 today and I'm actually very proud of that fact I've stuck with it for a year and enjoyed writing it as much as I have! I'm also pleased to say I have met some incredible people through blogging and long may it continue.

In light of my blog birthday I thought I would do a giveaway - it's always nice to give something back when you reach a milestone and a year of blogging is one I didn't foresee myself reaching this time last year when I uploaded my Lush Haul!

The Prizes
1st Prize - A specially selected and carefully edited collection of my favourite items and products
2nd Prize - A MAC Lipstick and Gloss of your choice
3rd Prize - A set of Sleep Rollers

It couldn't be easier to enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment with your contact details and which MAC lipstick and gloss you would like to win.

The giveaway is open internationally and I'll make sure everything is posted in time to avoid the Christmas rush!


Thank you all so much for being part of my first year of blogging, it's been an absolute ball!


Vicky x
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4 November 2013

Beauty | Montagne Jeunesse* Monday: Red Earth Clay Spa

A while ago I was contacted about a super cool idea Montagne Jeunesse had - they have created the Monday's App on their Facebook page, broken down into three sections: 10 minutes, 15 minutes and 20 minutes, you choose a section that corresponds to the time you need to leave your face mask on for and there are blog posts covering fashion, beauty, arts and crafts and food and drink, some of which include handy tutorials and ideas.

I thought this was a fantastic idea and a great way to discover new blogs and new ideas so I was more than happy for my post on Slutty Brownies to be linked to the app. As if sharing my content with a huge audience wasn't kind enough, I was also sent some face masks to try along with the app.

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately and decided that the Red Earth Clay Spa* mask would be the perfect pick-me-up!


The Clay Spa range is a new addition to the Montagne Jeunesse family. Natural bamboo fabric is infused with specially sourced clays to create a deep-cleansing fabric face mask. 

The fabric mask is infused with red earth clay, pomegranate and cinnamon so it smells delicious which is good because once you apply it you'll look like an extra from a horror movie. The mask is almost skin coloured and with the cut outs for the eyes, nose and mouth it does look a little sinister once applied!

After cleansing your skin, unfold the fabric mask and apply it over your face, pressing to keep it in place. This step is super quick, fool proof and completely eliminates the mess normally associated with face masks, not to mention the worry of spreading the product evenly and spacing correctly!

The mask is designed to be left on for 15 minutes, after which time it should be removed, the excess massaged into the skin before rinsing your face. Whilst the mask definitely started to set during the 15 minutes at no point did it feel uncomfortable nor did it set solid although there is something I quite like about face masks that do, I think it's the challenge cracking them represents (I can't be the only one to pull every face imaginable to try and break them can I?!).

Once I'd removed the mask and washed my face my skin felt smoother and looked noticeably clearer and brighter. Clay is typically drying but the fact the mask is saturated in it rather than it being applied directly to the skin helps skin maintain it's natural moisture and it cleanses without being stripping which is more important than ever in this weather!

I've always been a fan of Montagne Jeunesse face masks, they're great value for money and they're so easily accessible and I think this range will definitely be one I repurchase over and over again.

Which Montagne Jeunesse mask is your favourite and have you tried their app?!

Vicky x

* Gifted by brand
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30 October 2013

Beauty | House of Holland for Elegant Touch: Zig Zag Stardust

I was browsing Boots a few weeks ago when I spotted the House of Holland nail range on the 'Latest in Beauty' stand. As you know, I love my glue-on/press-on nails and I was instantly drawn to the quirky yet trend led designs and the super cute packaging. 



There are 8 different styles to choose from in the House of Holland range with shapes ranging from (what I would call) the classic round as seen above to the stiletto (long and very pointed) and a whole host of designs. I also picked up the Heartbreaker nails at the same time and they are by far my favourite design of the 8 but unfortunately they were just too long, pointy and sharp for me and I removed them almost instantly.

Zig Zag Stardust were a lot easier to wear than Heartbreaker, the shape isn't as severe which makes them more practical, not that I'm saying I would wear them to work because I wouldn't but in comparison, they're the tamer of the two!



The set comes with 24 nails in 10 different sizes and 5 (I think!) different designs. The whole idea is to mix and match the patterns to create a super cool clashing mani. As I said, Heartbreaker was without doubt my favourite design so when I couldn't wear them I was disappointed as Zig Zag Stardust is probably about as far away from my usual style of anything as can be so I was more than a little apprehensive about the final look.


As you can see they're definitely not for the faint-hearted! Despite my initial concerns I actually loved them in the end because they were so different for me and looked really fun. I wore them out to dinner with my friend and received endless compliments on them which sounds crazy but people stopped to comment on the train, at the bar, at our table! Even the waiter had something to say so they're certainly attention grabbing! 



Elegant Touch are my favourite false nail brand and the quality of the House of Holland nails didn't disappoint, they were typically flexible and easy to apply and once applied they didn't budge! I'm really impressed by the quality and style of these nails and I would definitely try others from the range, I also have my eye on the Little Mix for Elegant Touch range, particularly the Jessy ones! 


What do you think - would you be brave enough to try one of the House of Holland kits?

Vicky x


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23 October 2013

Beauty | Halloween Tutorial Skeleton/Screen Siren

Apologies in advance for the lack of step by step pictures of this look, it actually started life as a standard 1950s glamour makeup and somewhere along the way I got a little bored and decided to turn it in to a Halloween look.


The contrast of the two looks make this a great choice for Halloween as it combines scary with pretty (let's be honest, Mean Girls taught us everything we know with regards to dressing up for Halloween...) and chances are, you already have all of the products you'll need so you don't need to go out and spend more money on a face painting kit you'll use once.




Sometimes I'm just so two-faced...


You will need - for the skeleton 
  • Thin black pencil eyeliner 
  • Thick black pencil eyeliner. You can use a thin pencil but you'll need a lot of patience
  • Black liquid eyeliner 
  • Foundation 2/3 shades too light
  • White cream eyeshadow or thick eyeliner stick like NYX 
  • White liquid or cream eyeliner 
  • Matte black eye shadow
  • Matte white eye shadow
  • Matte grey eye shadow, dark and light
  • Full coverage concealer 
  • Translucent powder
You will need - for the 1950s look
  • Your usual foundation (I used Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk)
  • Contour powder
  • Blusher
  • Pressed powder
  • A bone coloured eye shadow 
  • A shimmering white eye shadow
  • Matte brown eye shadow
  • Liquid or gel eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Red lip liner
  • Red lipstick
  • Eyebrow pencil
You will also need
  • Primer
  • Pritt stick
  • Eyebrow grooming wand
  • Makeup brushes
  • False lashes

Instructions 

1. Start by prepping your skin, moisturise and apply primer to the whole face.

2. Taking your eyebrow groomer, brush one brow upwards and apply a coating of pritt stick. Smooth the layer of glue over the hairs until they are all covered but be careful not to get any on the skin, this won't hurt your skin but the makeup won't adhere as well. Apply your full coverage concealer over the area you've covered until the brow is no longer noticeable. Set with powder.

3. Taking your lighter foundation, apply to the half of your face with the blocked brow.

4. Taking your eye liner pencil, begin to draw in the skeleton following the natural hollows of your face. I started with my eye, drawing it the socket and taking it above my blocked brow. I then drew in the hollow of my temple and my nose. I also drew a separating line down the centre of my face at this stage.

5. Apply concealer to one half of your mouth ready to draw your teeth in. Taking your eye liner pencil, draw teeth along the top and bottom, following your jaw line. 

6. Once you have your teeth drawn in, add your jaw and cheek bones.

7. Taking your thicker eye liner, fill in the areas you have hollowed out. When it comes to your eye, make sure you line the top and bottom inner rims to avoid seeing any skin. Whilst we can blend this later, try and keep it as neat as possible.

7. Take your white cream eye shadow or thick pencil and begin to apply to the areas around the hollows, blending to the edges and making sure the whole half of the face is covered.

8. Using your white liquid liner, fill in your teeth.

9. Once you are happy with your line work, set the black areas using a matte black eye shadow and set the white areas using a matte white eye shadow for extra intensity. 

10. Add some shading with the light and dark grey eye shadows, picking out higher points of the face and sculpting your bone structure.

11. Set the whole side of your face with translucent powder.

12. Moving on to the 1950s side of your face, apply your normal foundation as you typically would.

13. Set the foundation with powder and contour your cheekbones, making sure to keep your contouring as symmetrical with your skeleton as possible.

14. Take your bone coloured eye shadow and apply from the lid to the brow bone to even out your skin tone. Take the medium brown shade on a blending brush and apply through the socket line for definition. Apply a wash of the shimmery white over the eye lid up to the crease and finish with a flick of eyeliner.

15. Apply mascara and fake lashes to create the classic winged out look the 1950s stars were famed for.

16. Add a flush of colour to the face with a peachy toned blush.

17. Take your lip liner and trace the outline of your lips, fill this in and then work on your symmetry to ensure a full pout. Apply your lipstick over the top, taking care not to smudge into your teeth on the other side.

18. With your brow pencil, lightly draw in an arch but keep the brows simple. Use the pencil to draw on a beauty spot.

19. Dig out a platinum blonde wig and take a few selfies and add some Instagram filters to make yourself look extra scary.



I hope you enjoyed this and as I said, apologies for the fact there aren't any step-by-step pictures. If you give this a go I'd love to see your results!

Vicky x
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