Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Life Through A Lens #1

After much consideration, i.e, sitting on my settee daydreaming at 3:30am, unable to sleep, I decided that I would create a blog series of sorts. Every now and again, I've shared some snapshots from my Instagram account, right here on the pages of my blog. I was planning on throwing out another post, packed with pictures when I thought it would be fun to create something a bit more organised, which if you know me at all, goes very much against the grain of my existence, but one can try I guess. 

So what's the score? Basically, once a month I'll be throwing together a bunch of my favourite photographs, from Instagram, Twitter or ones I've been hiding away in my phone's camera roll; and publishing them on my little space of the interweb for strangers to ponder over. As we're pretty much into the back end of December and 2014 is drawing to a close, I thought I would kick off 'Life Through A Lens' with a look back at some of my favourite photographs of the year. 

Without further ado...

Here's to 2015 and many more photo memories... Look out for my next, Life Through A Lens post in January! 

Monday, 29 December 2014

What I got for Christmas - 2014

Oh my... It feels like a millennium since I last sat down at my laptop and bashed out a blog post. How are we all? I can't believe that Christmas has been and gone for another year. In case you're wondering why I've been radio silent these last few days, it's been down to the fact that Scott and I have had our families over to Finland for Christmas and we've been holed up in holiday villas, drinking ridiculous amounts of alcohol and trying to survive a flu-like cold that has taken us all by storm. I suppose it wouldn't be Christmas if someone wasn't sick. 

Anyway... on to why we're here. I thought I'd give you a little peek at some of the lovely things that I was given for Christmas. I know that there's a touch of controversy over these types of posts, but personally, I'm dying to see what everyone got. Yes, because I'm nosy. So here goes...

Has there been a more beautifully packaged gift set ever made? Viktor & Rolf nailed this one for me.

White Company - Seychelles is my all-time favourite home scent and I was so chuffed to receive these. 

One of my gifts was this hanger for my wedding dress, (when I finally pick one) 

I also received a personalised pink diary which will hopefully help me to be more organised during the new year, some adorable, fleecy penguin pjs which are currently gracing my body as we speak, a lovely little Ted Baker jewellery case, some Avon mascara that I'm intrigued to try out, a clip on iPhone lens and other little bits and pieces too. Unfortunately, one of my gifts from Scott, (a NARS blusher set) didn't turn up in the post. Damn you postal service! Regardless, I am over the moon with the gorgeous gifts that I received this year and even happier that I got to spend it with our families together for the first time. 

What did Father Christmas bring you this year? 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I googled festive the other day and this was one of the first few images that came up in the results. The only explanation is that Google has remembered the 136573 times that I have searched for piggy pictures and thought they'd save me the hassle this time. I'd say how thoughtful of them but I feel ever so slightly like they're trying to tell me something... something probably along the lines of, 'get a life you sad, guinea pig, crazed lady.' Bastards. 

Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone! Another one bites the dust. I'm still reeling at how swiftly they come around each year. I hope the big chap in red has hooked you up with some serious presents, (even those of you on the naughty list! Shhh, we don't judge here!) As you're reading this, I'll probably be slumped in a corner somewhere, exhausted from excess merriment and in a sugar-induced coma that will have me shaking involuntarily for about a week. This will also be the first year that Scott and I have cooked Christmas dinner together so you're either in luck for some seriously drool-worthy pictures on Instagram or several streaming tear emojis on Twitter... My bet's on Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled there. 

I hope that you're having a fantastic day, wherever in the world you may be and if you don't celebrate Christmas, then normal service will resume shortly. But first, someone hand me another Bucks Fizz and a bucket of tinsel! See you on the other side everyone! 
P.S. If someone can show me how to get Hamish and Ralph to pose like that picture above, my year will be made!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

15 Festive Favourites Tag

I was recently tagged by the lovely Alina over at Beauty With Charm to participate in the 15 Festive Favourites Tag. If you're unfamiliar with Alina's blog, I seriously urge you to go and check it out, you won't be disappointed. You can also read her festive favourites post here
So let's get cracking shall we? 

Favourite festive food... Oh my goodness, mince pies, chocolate, trifle, turkey with all the trimmings... I want it all! There's no way I could pick a favourite. I love to cram the cupboards and fridge full to the brim at Christmas. 

Favourite reindeer... It has to be Rudolph. I don't even think I know the names of all the other reindeer. Dasher, Blitzen, Cupid... Errrmmm. 

Favourite day of Christmas... It has to be the big 2. 5. for me. Christmas day is what it's all about; although I do love Christmas Eve. The excitement being a child and lying awake trying to hear Santa's sleigh. Even now, I struggle to sleep on Christmas Eve; however the traditional 'night before' drinks with my family help somewhat. 

Favourite Christmas song... I mentioned in a previous post that I was seriously obsessed with Feliz Navidad this year and it's pretty much at the top of my Christmas playlist; however Fairytale of New York is my all-time fave. 

Favourite present... The ones that I give to my loved ones, cheesy I know it, but I really do love giving gifts and seeing the smile it puts on people's faces. 

Favourite festive film... I'm a huge kid and I love the likes of Arthur Christmas, Elf and Grinch as well as The Holiday and Nativity too. There's no chance I could pick just one!

Favourite cracker toy... The jokes, absolutely! I know, I know, it's not technically a toy but it's by far the best thing about Christmas crackers. 

Favourite cracker joke... I wrote a whole post on my favourite Christmas cracker jokes. You can read it here

Favourite Christmas decorations... Hmmm, this is a tricky one. Probably fairy lights but closely followed by the tree. I love twinkly lights, it makes everything feel infinitely more festive. I'd absolutely keep them up all year but I think Scott would move out!

Favourite Christmas candle scent... Okay, this will probably get a few gasps but I really don't love the usual 'Christmas' scents. I hate the smell of cinnamon with a passion so I'd probably go for the quirkier Christmas scents such as gingerbread or butter cookies. Mmm... cookies.

Favourite Christmas advert... I think John Lewis nail their Christmas adverts every year and no doubt I'm always in floods of tears watching them. Monty the Penguin stole my heart this year; although I do remember a particular Irn Bru advert a few years ago that I thought was hilarious. It has the Snowman in it, have a peek on Youtube, it won't disappoint. 

Favourite festive tradition... Getting merry with my family on Christmas Eve. Baileys here I come. 

Favourite place to spend Christmas... With my family, wherever that might be. I'm so excited that it will be Scott and I's first Christmas where we actually get to see each other on Christmas day as our families will be together with us in Finland this year.

Favourite Christmas fact... All I've got is don't eat yellow snow which isn't even a fact, more a piece of advice. Sorry guys. 

Favourite snowman accessory... Carrot nose all the way. 

I won't bother tagging anyone in particular; however I urge anyone who hasn't done the Festive Favourites tag, to get cracking. Christmas Day blog post - sorted! 

Monday, 22 December 2014

New Products - MAC

No trip to Helsinki would be complete without a visit to Stockmann to pick up one or two beauty items. If you caught my recent post on visiting Helsinki's Christmas markets, you will have read that I'd picked up some MAC goodies along with a couple of other things. 

I did a bit of research online before heading there and I'd compiled a list of lipstick shades that I was dying to sample. One shade that I absolutely fell for was Mehr and I was gutted to find that it was out of stock. Despite that, I still picked up a Lustre lipstick in the shade Lipblossum which is a sugary pink, totally not appropriate for Winter shade.

The formula is creamy and comfortable to wear. It has a subtle shimmer which gives it an almost frosted finish and the coverage is somewhere in the middle - it doesn't give a full coverage, but it isn't super sheer either. I'd describe this as one of those, 'nice' shades, it's not going to make anyone go wow, but it's pretty and great to wear when you're wanting to tone your makeup down or if you're focusing on a more dramatic eye look. I'm still pining after Mehr though. That will definitely be my next MAC lip purchase. 

Next up we have the Eye Kohl in Teddy and my most definite favourite purchase of the two. I had recently bought a shimmery, brown eye pencil from Makeup Revolution (All Day All Night in Chaneling My Inner) and I was seriously rating it until the packaging snapped and rendered it useless. Instantly I needed a replacement and this eye pencil from MAC is so similar, I had to take it away with me. Here's the swatch:

It's a smooth, chocolatey shade with a bronze shimmer to it and it is seriously gorgeous! I have all but ditched my black eye kohl and replaced it with this. It's extremely flattering. The pigmentation is excellent and I've been applying it to my lids, close to my lash line; and blending it outwards with a small brush. This one has definitely become a staple purchase for me and I will absolutely be buying it again when this one runs out. 

Have you picked up any products from MAC lately and if so, what did you take away with you? Are there any products that you would recommend?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Best Christmas Cracker Jokes, Ever!

Guess what... It's Christmas next week and I'm more excited than a mouse in a cheese factory. Or in fact, myself in a cheese factory, because, well cheese is pretty exciting. I love cheese. 

Wow, that was awkward.

Anyway, I thought I would put together a post, jam-packed with Christmas cracker jokes to get us all into the holiday spirit. No doubt you will have heard some of these before, so no eye-rolling guys! Are you ready?

 What wobbles and flies? A jelly-copter.

 What do you call a man that plays with leaves? Russle. 

 Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy.

 What do reindeer hang on their Christmas trees? Horn-aments.

 What's green, covered in tinsel and goes ribbit, ribbit? Mistle-toad.

 What cereal do cats like? Mice Krispies.

 Where does Santa go when he is sick? To the elf centre.

 What vegetable needs a plumber? A leek.

 What bird is always out of breath? A puffin.

★ What's round and bad tempered? A vicious circle.

 Why are Christmas trees bad at sewing? They're always dropping their needles. 

 What kind of paper likes music? W-rapping paper.

 What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it? Nothing. It just let out a little wine. 

 How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten tickles. 

 What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A Christmas quacker. 

★ What's E.T. short for? Because he's only got little legs.

 What did Adam say the day before Christmas? It's Christmas Eve. 

 What's the most common owl in Britain? A teet owl. 

Okay, some of these are pretty lame; however I couldn't help chuckling all the way through this post. Sorry, not sorry. Do you have any favourite Christmas cracker jokes? Make sure you share them in a comment below.  

Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Current Skincare Favourite - Kiehl's Over Night Biological Peel

Skincare isn't something I often touch upon on my blog; although I'm not entirely sure why that is? I guess I feel somewhat a novice in that I don't have a plethora of pots and potions that I slather on my face each night. Mostly because I'm lazy when it comes to my night-time routine, and removing my make up/cleansing my skin is a chore in itself anyway. However... and it's a big however, I am currently obsessed with this product from Kiehl's. 

Titled, Over Night Biological Peel, it does sound a touch scary. A couple of months ago, I was researching over-the-counter chemical style peels and was interested to see how effective they were. In my digging, I came across a whole bunch of positive reviews for this particular product and knew immediately that I needed to get my hands on it. 

So what does it do?

It's an oil-free peel that gently exfoliates dead surface skin cells and other impurities, reducing the appearance of pores and leaving you with softer and more even looking skin; and honestly... It really does do what it says on the tin! You apply a small amount of the serum-like formula onto cleansed skin before bed, let it dry into the skin and wash your face with warm water in the morning. A little tip, I usually apply it about 30 minutes before I hit the hay as it does take a little while to soak into the skin and you don't want it rubbing off all over your sheets. It can be used three times per week or more if needed and I'm using it pretty much every other night.

The formula is a little bit sticky when it's drying into the skin but that doesn't bother me at all. After a week or two of usage, I did notice a couple of spots come to the surface of my skin. I don't know if this was the peel working its magic or the change in the weather, but now that they have cleared, my skin looks and feels amazing. In the morning it looks revitalised and my skin is noticeably smoother and soft to the touch. I'm a huge fan.

The price tag is a bit hefty, around £40 for a 50ml bottle but you really do only need the tiniest of amounts so there isn't the need to constantly re-purchase. I've been using mine for around six weeks and I've barely even scratched the surface. 

Have you tried the Over Night Biological Peel from Kiehl's or do you have another night-time skin care product that you swear by? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Hard Day?

I'm back with more eye shadow greatness from Makeup Revolution. This time it's one of the new Salvation Palettes - Hard Day. First up let's take a moment to appreciate the bronzey/orange packaging. It's a beauty and I can't help but feel a slight twinge of sadness that the palette itself isn't the same colour. Putting that to one side, it's business as usual from Makeup Revolution. Excellent choice of shades that are beautifully pigmented and silky smooth. 

The Hard Day palette consists of 12 shimmer shadows and 6 matte shades. My maths skills and I make that 18 shades for a bargain £6. Yep, really. 

I don't really understand the concept of Hard Day. The website says it's a palette to take you forward into battle, turning your day into a beautiful one... or something like that. Who knows, and if I'm perfectly honest, I don't really care too much that I don't get it. What I do get is that it's yet another fantastically-priced, usable selection of shadows that I love getting stuck into. So let's have a look at what we've got: (Excuse the bazillion freckles that seem to have reared their heads after my jolly hols)

Top row - Shimmers
Middle row - Shimmers
Bottom row - Mattes
The shimmery purple shades are unlike anything else I have in my collection of shadows and there really is something special about that third from the left, matte shade. 

What are your thoughts on the new, Hard Day palette from Makeup Revolution? Do you like a palette that contains a mixture of shimmer and matte shades? 
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