Saturday, 28 February 2015

Life Through A Lens #3

It's the last day of February, (how?) which means I'm cutting it fine with this month's Life Through A Lens post. If you missed my previous blog series posts, you can catch all of them right here

February is a short month, but boy has it been busy for Scott and I. We've made some serious headway with the wedding plans as well as fit in a visit back to the UK to catch up with friends and family and stock up on home comforts. Oh, and we even managed to squeeze in baking a cake for Hamish and Ralph!

Without further ado, here's a round up of snaps for you to feast your eyes upon:

To keep up to date with all of my goings on, you can find me at:

Twitter - @ EffortlesslyExc 

Instagram - effortlessly_excessive

Here's to a fun-filled March!


Friday, 27 February 2015

GOSH Eye Palettes

If you spied my latest catch up post, you will know that I've recently been back in the UK, and as a result, stocked up on some fashion and beauty pieces, (as well as a box of Creme Eggs and a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle, but we won't go there.) 

In the mix are these two stunning eye shadow palettes from GOSH. I'm a sucker for a bargain and when I saw that Superdrug were offering 2 for £10 on any GOSH eye products, I knew I had to snap something up. So what did I opt for?

First up we have the 9 Shades Shadow Collection in 001 To Enjoy In New York. A totally justifiable purchase as there are several shades within this palette that I don't own anything similar too. I have a tendency to stick to very, 'samey' neutral, brown/bronze shadows and so this was a bit of a step in a different direction for me. Putting the offer to one side, this palette sells for £9.99 which isn't bad considering that's a little over a pound per shadow. Let's take a peek at the swatches:

Top row, left to right

Middle row, left to right

Bottom row, left to right
I love the shade selection of this palette. The lighter, top row shades border on glittery but I don't mind that so much, with the other six shades having a soft, satiny finish. 

Next up is the Smokey Eyes Palette in 02 Brown. This is such a predictable choice for me and I'm in no doubt that I have several similar shades lying around in my stash already but it needed to come home with me. At £7.99, it's not going to break the bank; however with the 2 for £10 offer, I paid a penny, yes one, whole pence for the privilege. That's a deal not to be sniffed at ladies and gents. 

There's four complimentary shades and a little, 'how-to, insert to help you create the perfect smokey eye. The swatches go a little something like this:

The dud in this palette is the palest shade as this barely shows on my lids, which is a bit disappointing; however the other three shadows are right up my street. 

With both palettes, the quality of the shadows shines through. They're maybe not the most pigmented on the market, but they're buildable and blend with ease. There's no talc-like texture to find here. These shadows are beautifully formulated, soft and smooth to apply. Without a primer, the Smokey Eyes shadows lasted the day on my lids without creasing or the need for touch ups. Definitely a worthwhile purchase. 

The sleek, black packaging and the fact that both palettes are handy travel sizes, seal the deal for me. The 9 Shades Palette contains a generous-sized mirror for when you're on the go and is perfect for popping in your handbag. 

The Superdrug offer runs until the 10th of March so if you're interested, you can find out more here. Not a sponsored post - I just know we all love a beauty related bargain! 

What are your thoughts on the GOSH palettes? Have you tried anything else from the GOSH range and is there anything you're currently rating?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My Current Makeup Storage

First up, I must apologise for the terrible images. It's either retina-burning levels of sunny at the moment or the sun doesn't surface in Finland, so trying to get usable images of anything is a small feat in itself. 

I've been lusting after clear, acrylic storage for my make up bits and pieces for what feels like a lifetime. Living in Finland, it's been difficult to find anything worth parting cash for but I finally struck gold a couple of weeks ago in the local stationary shop. (Suomalainen if there's any Finland dwellers amongst us.) 

I invested in two, clear acrylic drawer sets and an acrylic pencil pot. Here's my set up:

1. Lip crayons, chubby lip pencils and glosses

2. Single eye shadows and mascara

3. Primers, concealers and cream/liquid highlighters

4. Lipstick

5. Lesser used lipsticks and cream blush sticks

6. Blusher, powders and bronzers 

7. Eye liner pencils, lip pencils and brow pencils 

Foundations resting on the top with my Lush lip scrub and a Makeup Revolution Blushing Heart blusher. This houses the make up I use on a regular basis. 

The desk and mirror are both IKEA wonders. The large drawer contains clear boxes with all my lesser used make up stored in them as well as other beauty bits such as false eyelashes, scissors, brush cleaner and spare cotton pads/makeup wipes etc. 

The smaller drawer holds a pot for hair accessories and is also home to all of my makeup palettes. Underneath the small drawer is a larger cupboard area which contains all of my nail varnish in a recycled gift box, plus my hairdryer and straighteners. 

Sitting on top of my desk, I have a clear storage box from IKEA which is where I keep my LUSH soaps and bath bombs and on top of that, also from IKEA, I have one of the plant pots that pretty much every blogger owns. In it, I keep my make up brushes and sponges. 

Along my jam-packed window sill, sits all of my perfumes, skin care products and hair products, such as my dry shampoo and hairspray. (Plus some fake flowers that will be able to withstand my terrible not-so green fingers!)

There's so many gorgeous storage bits and pieces on the market lately. I know if I lived in the UK, I would definitely have a much more extravagant arrangement! 

How do you store all of your make up and beauty items? Are you a fan of the clear, acrylic storage trend?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Week's Worth of Waffle!

Well hello there... It's been a while! Apologies for being M.I.A since last week but I've been gallivanting around the UK, stuffing my face with every Gregg's Cheese & Onion pasty that I can lay my hands on. My official reasons for visiting were to join in with Scott's sister's 21st birthday celebrations and to tick some more wedding-shaped items off the to-do list, but we all know that indulging in a few home comforts is par for the course. 

The most exciting thing about landing in the UK, (besides catching up with friends and family of course) is the fact that Scott and I got to go shopping! It's well known that hitting the 'high-street' in Finland has often reduced me to tears, (and not in a good way!) So being able to breathe River Island air and getting lost amid Superdrug's shelving made my heart very happy indeed. I doubt the same could be said for Scott's wallet, but we shan't go there. 

From her vodka cranberry fuelled, happy face; it was clear to see that Scott's sister had a blast at her 21st party. Oh to be 21 years young again. *Absolutely no level of bitterness whatsoever...ahem* It was lovely to be able to celebrate with her as we always miss out on family birthdays and events living away, plus I'm never one to sniff at an egg sandwich-laden buffet. As you can imagine, Scott and I spent the entire evening answering the following three questions:

1. How's the wedding planning coming along?

2. How's Finland?

3. What have you been up to whilst you've been home?

If I had my wits about me, I would have remembered to pack a voice recorder and saved my poor Layrnx (Yes, I Googled voice box for the official terminology) a thrashing. My voice currently resembles that of a middle-aged man with a 40-a-day fag habit, which no matter how hard I try to work it, really isn't attractive at all. In my head I was channeling a sultry, husky vibe but Scott said I sounded like a walrus and so that was that. 

Back to the shopping side of things because I know there's a few of you that will be itching for a peek, here's a look at some of the goodies I managed to get my mitts on:

First up is this beaut from Lush

Mother Superior Bubble Bar - Lush
All I'm going to say on this is, if you're thinking of buying it, do it! It smells divine. Perfect for relaxing after a stressful day. 

We hit the HUGE Forever 21 store in Glasgow on Friday and I came away with these gorgeous pieces... It's evident I'm refusing to accept it's still snowing in Finland!

Doesn't appear to be online just yet - sorry!
I'd been looking for an over-sized white shirt that was soft, instead of the usual stiff, shirt material (oo-er) and found this bargain from George at Asda...

New Look Bags - here & here
Topshop Skirt
Topshop Jeans
Miss Selfridge Shoes
Plus a whole host of beauty goodies...

The GOSH eye shadow palettes were on offer in Superdrug - 2 for £10 on all eye products until the 10th of March. I ended up getting the smaller palette free as a result. Well worth checking out beauty lovers! 
Phew... Now that's out of the way I was going to fill you in on our less than conventional journey back to Finland; however I realised that this post is reaching epic proportions and so I'll save that particular tale for a rainy day. Forgive me for the heavy dose of waffle today - it's like catching up with an old friend I guess. 

How has your weekend been? Have you been up to anything exciting or splashing the cash on anything new? I can't wait to catch up on the mountain of blog posts I've missed over the last week. Wish me luck! 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Confession - I never intended to buy this concealer! I'd been eyeing up the Rimmel Wake Me Up for a while and headed down to my local make up shop to scout it out. Typically, it doesn't appear to be available in Finland, (correct me if I'm wrong) so after sampling what was on offer, I opted for the Fit Me concealer from Maybelline instead.   

I wanted a shade that was a touch lighter than my skin tone so that I could use it as a highlighting type concealer that would also give me fairly reasonable coverage. Luckily, I rarely suffer from breakouts but I do tend to suffer from darker, under-eye circles and so brightening up that area is a must for me. 

I think I made a good choice regarding the shade. I went for number 15 which is described as Fair. The formula is lightweight yet creamy and blends seamlessly into the skin to give a natural finish. If you're looking for a full-coverage concealer to hide severe acne, then this probably isn't going to cut it for you; however as a overall face-brightener and eraser of dark circles, this works a treat. 

You don't need a huge amount of this product and I find that a smaller amount works best around the eyes as layering up the product leads to creasing. The small applicator is perfect for pinpointing where you need to apply and I usually blend it in using my fingers or a blending brush. One thing I would recommend is setting this with powder after you have finished applying as this reduces slippage and I find it lasts much longer this way. 

The fact that this concealer retails for around £6 is a massive winner and if you're looking for medium coverage that won't break the bank, then this is a strong contender. Let me know if you've tried the Fit Me concealer from Maybelline. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

I Killed A Carrot

If you've occasionally dabbled in this blog then you may be no stranger to the fact that I'm somewhat horticulturally challenged. My best plants are plastic and I would be lying if I said that there isn't a pot of roses sitting on my balcony that have entered the early stages of fossilisation. I often wonder if my incompetence reflects on my future ability to parent, but I swiftly stuff that thought back into a dark corner of my mind and continue in comfortable denial. 

Today's story centers around the above carrot. I suppose you could label it as a failed experiment because that's pretty much what you see here. I fancy myself as a bit of a science nerd and when the opportunity arose for me to cultivate a sprouting root-vegetable, I rose to the occasion. Like the stellar housewife that I am, I hadn't cleared out the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator in just about long enough for the majority of the contents to become unrecognisable, leading Scott and I to play a twisted game of, 'guess what I used to be!' The object that stood out the most to me was this carrot, which actually looked more along the lines of this: (Excuse the poor quality, but this was the most accurate image I could find.) 

Hanging on to it, I decided I would give it a prime spot on my kitchen window sill in order to see what would become of this flourishing fiend, only to find the next day that its health had taken a nose dive. The proud, white sprouts had shriveled up into non-existence and went to show that I'd essentially killed my pet carrot. Even a return to the fridge couldn't revive the poor soul and I therefore had to admit defeat. On a positive note, I'm 90% sure that I can add, 'Destroyer of Living Things' as a bona fide skill on my CV. 

And with that, I shall leave you with the results of my earlier Google image search that have no relation to this series of events but are definitely worth a mention...

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