Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Travel Diary - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Way back in early November, Scott and I embarked on a trip across continents to the tropical paradise that is Vietnam. We started out in Paris, before making the achingly long journey across sunny skies to the largest of the Vietnamese cities, Ho Chi Minh City.


Monday, 30 March 2015

Life Through A Lens #4

Today is a special Life Through A Lens post because not only does it mark the end of yet another great month, it also marks the end of my very first year of blogging. I featured a special, Blogging Highlights post last week to mark the occasion, so if you missed it, head on over and take a wander down memory lane with me. I would like to thank everyone again for being so thoroughly wonderful and supportive, without you guys reading, I'd just be another crazy lady talking to herself... (Not that there's any problem with that mind.) I appreciate each and every one of you and here's to another fabulous year on Effortlessly Excessive! Anyway, let's hop to it shall we?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Fear Is A Choice

I'm featuring some inspiration from an unlikely source today. Over a year ago, Scott and I watched a film called After Earth, starring Will Smith. It has received mixed reviews, (I actually didn't think it was too bad) however the piece of it that stuck in my mind is the above quote. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Adding To My Inglot Collection - Again!

I added to my Inglot collection again, filling up the second of my small Freedom System palettes. I have been toying with the idea of re-housing my shadows in the larger 10 or 20 pan palettes and saving these small 3 pans for travelling. (Plus having all of that space is an excuse to buy more eye shadow, right?) Anyhow, shall we have a look at what I went for?


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Quick & Easy Easter Bark Recipe

Grab your mixing bowls ladies and gents because today I'm featuring a quick, easy (and delicious) Easter bark recipe that even the most culinary challenged can achieve. Feast your eyes on this...

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Blogging Highlights

Guys, can you believe that Effortlessly Excessive is nearing her very first birthday? No, neither can I. If someone had sat me down twelve months ago and explained to me that I'd be putting in blood, sweat and tears, (many tears.. possibly tantrums) into writing nonsense for strangers online, I'd have thought they were barking - But here we are! It's been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Anyone that says blogging is an easy hobby has obviously never dedicated themselves to writing a blog. It's a helluva amount work and I'm insanely proud of my journey, not to mention the community that I have become a part of and some of the wonderful people I have gotten to know along the way. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Finnish Beauty Finds

Several weeks back, I nipped into my local Sokos department store and got stuck into browsing the make up section as per usual. Sandwiched between the more well-known brands, lie a selection of Finnish beauty goodies. More often than not, I tend to skip over these sections and stick to what I know... (although I did pick up these gorgeous Lumene eye shadows a while back). Anyhow, a couple of items caught my eye and I thought I would give them a whirl to see if they were worth parting with cash for. 


Monday, 23 March 2015

A Peek Inside Helsinki's Hotel Haven

Happy Monday everyone. Over the weekend, Scott and I headed over to Helsinki for a short but sweet mini-break, a chance to catch up on a spot of overdue shopping and to stuff our faces with delicious food and cocktails. We usually book our stays with the Radisson Plaza hotel in Helsinki; however we thought we would mix things up a bit this weekend and opted to stay in the small, luxury Hotel Haven.

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cheating On My Wedding?

wedding, wedding planning, brides, cheating wedding, wedding cheat, wedding guilt

Weddings are big business, and I'm not just talking about the multi-million pound industry that surrounds them. Like many young girls, I often day dreamed about my big day - bed sheet veil and all. I blame Disney and their unrelenting ideal that there's a prince charming out there; waiting for each and every last one of us. Lucky for me, I found my prince; (although I'll be damned if I call him that to his face) but what of our, 'fairytale' wedding?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Old School MAC

Is it just me or does anyone else love rediscovering forgotten products? This Mineralize powder was one of my very first MAC purchases, and we go way, way back...

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Crazy for COLAB?

The day that dry shampoo was invented, lazy girls around the world united in celebration. I know because I'm one of them. Hair washing is such an arduous task. It doesn't help that my tresses are currently in butt-skimming territory; which means that not only does washing my hair take an ungodly amount of time, it also requires bi-weekly bicep workouts just to get the job done.

Fear not though kids, there's a new dry shampoo on the block. It's the COLAB Sheer Invisible Formula Dry Shampoo, developed in part by the gorgeous Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends blog. 


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Glow Getter

When it comes to my base look, I'm all about the dewy complexion. My skin naturally swings between being normal to dry, depending on how well I keep up my moisturising routine and how much, how little water I've drank that week, (but that's another story.) Due to this fact, I find that I'm always on the look out for the Glow Getters. Products designed to give you a bit of oompf in the fresh-faced glow department. More often than not, my stash tends to consist of creamy highlighters infused with all kinds of spangle; however when I spied this staring up at me from the L'Oreal counter, I knew I had to try it out.


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

White Shirt - 3 Ways

When it comes to wardrobe staples, the one thing that every girl needs to own is a smart, white shirt. I had been on the hunt for a specific kind of shirt for a few weeks. I wanted something in a softer material as some shirts can often be crisp and not entirely comfortable to wear. This George shirt from ASDA is perfect! You can see it in a recent haul post here. It's a perfect fit, length-wise it's spot on and whilst the front of the shirt is made of typical 'shirt' material. The back and sleeves are much softer, meaning it feels super comfortable to wear. 

As an ode to my new favourite shirt, I thought I would throw out three different styled looks for some white shirt shaped inspiration. 

White Shirt - George @ Asda
Necklace - Whistles
Bag - Topshop
Trousers - AX Paris
Coat - Warehouse
Shoes - ASOS Premiere

White Shirt - George @ Asda
Dreamcatcher Ring - Windsor
Dune Shoes - John Lewis
PU Pleated Midi Skirt - Topshop
Bag - Last Call
Hat - River Island

White Shirt - George @ Asda
Bucket Bag - H&M
Boyfriend Jeans - H&M
Scarf - MintVelvet
Olivia Burton Watch - Topshop
Vans Pumps - Office

Let me know what you think of these looks. Do you have a wardrobe staple that you can't live without?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Weekend Update

Really, how is it Monday already? These pesky week days come around far too quickly for my liking. On a much, much more positive note, the sun has finally returned to Finland! 

Scott and I have started to clear out our balcony, (which had become a bit neglected over the winter months) and because it's sort of an indoor balcony, (which makes no sense really) I've been toying with the idea of moving our spare sofa, dubbed the 'arguement couch' because unless we've fallen out, neither of us ever sit on it, out onto the balcony. We have huge glass panels that slide open to create an open balcony, but closed, the room is like a greenhouse which is fine by me as I like to sit back and imagine I'm somewhere exotic whilst sipping my cup of tea.

We woke up surprisingly early on Saturday morning and decided to take a walk around the island that we live on. We have a usual route that we take down to the marina, through the woods and across the beach; however we thought we'd mix it up a bit and cut through the water gardens. The sun was so bright, Scott and I had to whip the sunglasses out. It's a shame it was still a cool 3 degrees though. 

We headed over to a friend's house on Saturday evening to watch the Scotland v England rugby game, despite knowing very little about rugby. There was food and alcohol and so naturally, we were the last ones to leave. 

Sunday was a lazy day. We pottered around the apartment, nipped out to the shops and caught up on our emails. Scott cooked us honey and soy glazed duck for dinner and we curled up on the sofa watching Netflix. I also continued my reading streak by downloading How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern. I thought I'd go with an easy read after finishing Gone Girl and Elizabeth is Missing. If you have any reading suggestions, make sure you send them my way. 

How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun?


Thursday, 12 March 2015

What's In My Bag? - The Morning After A Night Out Edition

The morning after a night out bag is often a treasure trove of goodies, just waiting to be rifled through by a bewildered, (and slightly hungover) owner. It can often bring about joy and amusement as the contents are used to piece together your evening, like an alcohol-reeking, Spongebob pyjama-wearing, CSI agent.   

Here's a peek at what's in my, morning after a night out bag:

1. Cutlery items stolen from the pre night out meal at the local Indian restaurant. It seemed like a fun idea at the time but your sober mind tells you that it's likely you committed an offence. Shudder slightly at the memory of trying to sell them to a taxi driver because, and I quote, 'They'd make a lovely gift for your wife.'

2. A lighter. You don't smoke and neither do any of your friends. You pray to God that you didn't set fire to anything on your night out - come crime spree.

3. A receipt for 12 Jager Bombs paid for in full on your credit card. You don't even like Jager Bombs and just assume you're the victim of identity theft. Put a reminder in your phone to call the bank later. 

4. A flyer for something. Often a club night. "Did I go there?" Oh wait, it looks like there's a sale on at the local department store. Who was out canvassing for this on a Saturday night? 

5. Your ID - Thank the lord. Finding this amongst the endless amounts of other crap is a holy grail moment. In your semi, still slightly drunk/hungover state, you start to feel a touch emotional. Pffft, to those who say you're irresponsible.

6. Someones business card. Possibly for Finnish lessons again. Momentarily freak out and hope you didn't give your number out to a random. Check your phone call history. "What the actual hell! Who called my effing Grandma at 4am?" Crawl under the duvet and cringe.

7. A hair grip. Those fuckers get everywhere.

8. What appears to be an entire roll of toilet paper. Well, it's a nightmare when the club toilets run out of loo roll mid evening.. Must have stocked up earlier in the night. Congratulate yourself on using your initiative. 

9. Loose change, a variety of currencies... Don't even ask.

10. Make up. More than likely without the lid/cap/etc. Realise that the inside of your bag looks like a five year old's doodling. Curse whichever make up brand said product is from and tell yourself you must remember to write an angry tweet later. 

11. A queue token from the local kebab/pizza shop. Hate life when you remember that you ordered and subsequently ate enough food to nourish a small army. Wonder if you should return the token that you stole by accident but quickly discard that thought due to the fact that major beer fear has kicked in. "I'm never leaving the house or drinking again... ever!"

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A new path?

Sometimes my mind like to amuse the hell out of itself by throwing a whole bunch of doubts into the melting pot that is my psyche. More often than not, it is about my identity as a blogger, and occasionally a clusterfuck of emotions about the fact that I'm frighteningly close to 30 and own more shoes than saucepans, but we'll save that one for another day.

When I started this blog, I didn't really know who I was in the blogging world, where I fit in or what I wanted to be... I guess I just wanted to be myself and write about what excited me and got my creative juices a-flowing. Everyone kept talking about this elusive, 'niche' and that I needed to have one, only I was too busy eating cheese in my pjs to nail one down. 

I've always been a lover of stuff. Call me shallow, materialistic or something else fancy if you will, I don't believe it makes me a bad person. I'm charitable and I always have time for others. I cry over the animals in my local pet shop being alone over Christmas, which is both 'endearing' (cough) and slightly concerning at the same time. I have a heart, I promise. I also have a love of 6 inch heels, eye shadow in every conceivable colour and bags in which I can lose my house keys, ID (yep, I still need it) and favourite lipstick, all at the same time. These are the things that make me bubble with excitement and as a result, these are the things that I find the words flow so easily for. 

But is this the blogger that I wanted to be?

I often feel like the sheep in the herd of alpacas. I fit... almost, but I also feel like I have so much else I want to give. The world of the beauty blogger is brimming with perfection and there's a perfectly polished post for every product known to man, and my goodness that is a damn good thing. Beauty blogs are my holy grail and fashion blogs have inspired me to rake through my 'drobes with a more refined eye that would give Trinny and Susannah a run for their money, but is there a place for little, old me in that world that I love? If truth be told, my favourite posts to write aren't about shoes or lipstick, but more those where I can be silly, drop the occasional f-bomb and make people smile, even if just for the briefest of moments. More often than not these posts don't reel in the views though. Well, not for me anyway. Forget the stats, people cry; however I often feel twinges of guilt and a fear of disappointing those that loyally read my little corner of the interwebz. Surely, the posts that generate the most interest are the posts that people want to read, or so the little mass upstairs tells me so? 

I think that in recent weeks, I have become stuck in a bit of a blogging rut. I've been taking the easy writing highway. I need to find my way back to the path that is full of twists and turns and bumpy bits that I will inevitably trip myself over. I need to write more for me. There will still be many more make up, beauty and fashion inspired posts, c'mon guys, you can't paint a zebra black and call it a horse; however you will also see an increased level of waffle around these parts whilst I figure out whatever this niggle is that has me bashing at my computer keys at 1am in my penguin fleece, feeling all philosophical. 

I may not know where the hell I'm going, but we'll sure as hell have fun along the way!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Gold, Frankincense and... Mehr?

Putting the odd Christmas reference to one side, I thought it was high time I introduced you to the most amazing MAC lipstick of all time - and that's quite some claim! Granted, I flit between old and new favourites more often than Katie P. has married that hubby of hers, but this particular gem has stolen my heart. I've fallen hook, line and sinker... 

As far as MAC lippies go, this one is given far less credit than its more popular buddies... Ruby Woo, Velvet Teddy, Rebel to name but a few. It's a matte formula and the colour is described as a 'dirty blue pink' although it definitely looks more of a dusky pink/nude to me. You can see for yourself in the swatch:

I first clapped eyes on this at the MAC counter in Helsinki and, after slathering it all over my hand, I knew I needed to own it. As seems to be the theme with any lipstick I fall for, it was out of stock... everywhere! I tried the Helsinki counters a few more times, the airport and a counter in Edinburgh - where the girl told me two interesting tales. The first being that this lipstick was being discontinued, (I'm pretty sure it's not) and that also Rihanna had been spotted wearing it, (No idea with this one.) Anyhow, it took me rifling through the drawers at a MAC counter in Glasgow before I finally had it in my hands, clutching it like a crazed make up fiend. (We've all been there... Also, does anyone else help themselves when the counters are really busy? The girl was not impressed with me!) 

So, here comes the usual spiel now. Quality wise, this lipstick is everything you would expect from MAC. Gloriously rich and creamy, applies evenly with ease and gives a beautiful opaque, matte finish. It's not as long wearing as some MAC lipsticks, but I find that with more subtle, nude shades. It gives about 4/5ish hours of coverage which is still good going. I used to be such an avid avoider of matte lipsticks; however I can't rate MAC's offerings enough. They're so comfortable to wear and run less of a risk of smudging compared to other, slippery formulas. I absolutely love 'em!

MAC Mehr Lipstick

What are your thoughts on this MAC shade? Have you tried Mehr before? 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Are They Worth They Hype?

In the beauty blogging world, good reviews spread like wild fire. Certain products generate such a buzz within the community that they often become hard to ignore. I'm not one for hype; usually and I often find that if something has been raved about too much, I actually feel more turned off than turned on. That being said, there are a number of 'hyped up' products that have made their way into my stash and today I'm going to be looking at whether or not they're deserving of their cult status.  

First up we have the MAC lipstick on everyone's lips, Velvet Teddy. Nigh on impossible to get hold of at times, this matte formulated must-have is at the forefront of the nude lip trend. 

A brand synonymous with quality, MAC truly hit the ball out of the park with this shade. Granted, it's not my favourite, (Mehr has my heart) but it really is a beautifully warm, nude shade. It's flattering and surprisingly easy to wear. I had my reservations when I picked this up as I wasn't sure if it would suit me but I reach for this lippie far more than any other nude shade that I own. 

Worth The Hype? - YES

Next up is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I have heard hundreds of beauty bloggers raving about this bargain buy due to the fact that it's creamy, long-lasting and provides superb coverage. 

I picked this up a couple of weeks ago in the shade Fair and I've been trying it out here and there. If truth be told, I'm still kind of on the fence with this one. Yes, it's cheap - a tiny £4 ish price tag, it does provide great coverage and works well with the rest of my make up, but there's just something about it that I can't really put my finger on. As an everyday concealer, I prefer the Maybelline FitMe concealer. The formula is better; albeit not as concealing as the Lasting Perfection and it just seems fresher and less cakey on the skin. I think the Lasting Perfection would work great on darker blemishes and problem areas, but it doesn't really win me over I'm afraid. 

Worth The Hype? -  MAYBE 
I can see why people love it, but I think it's much more suited to those who like/need a really full coverage concealer.

The next product is an absolute favourite of mine. It's the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. I started using this in early January and my skin has loved me ever since.

I love that you apply it to dry skin as I don't love the foaming cleanser type washes. It's so simple and easy to use, especially when I'm half-asleep in the mornings. It's great at removing make up and my skin feels spotlessly clean afterwards. 

Worth The Hype - ABSOLUTELY!

Next up, all the way from the US of A, we have the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment. The award winning mud mask that is designed to banish blackheads and leave your skin looking fabulously fresh.

I ummed and ahhed over this one because it's pricey -£40 a pot. It's a lot to pay for a face mask. Despite my hesitation, I'm really glad that I picked this one up. The results are immediately noticeable when you rinse the mask off your skin. My face felt brighter, tighter and much clearer than before using. Bonus - It doesn't leave skin feeling dry either. 

Worth The Hype - YES

On to a well known nugget from Benefit. The Porefessional Pore Minimizing Primer. I've never actually bought this product, but I always seem to end up with a steady stream of samples from the counters. 

I tried this many moons ago and ditched it in favour of Prep & Prime from MAC almost immediately. I came back to a new sample several months ago and quickly realised it was causing my skin to break out, resulting in me ditching it again. Due to the fact that it's such a well-received product, I gave it one last chance with yet another new sample in January, hoping that my skin may have been breaking out for other reasons. Quickly, the dreaded pimples returned and I decided that it was time for Porefessional and I to part ways for good. 

Worth The Hype - NO

Finally, we have the True Match Foundation from L'Oreal. L'Oreal is definitely one of the better high-street beauty brands and when it came to me looking for a relatively inexpensive every day foundation to use in place of my much loved Lancome foundation, I thought I would give this one a whirl. 

I picked out the shade C2 Rose Vanilla which is a really good match for my sun-starved skin. It applies well; however I don't like the finish it gives my slightly drier skin. I actually liked this one at first but the more I use it, the more flaws I find in it. It creases terribly under the eyes and on my forehead if I so much as raise an eyebrow. My skin is rarely flakey, yet even with a moisturiser and primer, Scott pointed out that my face looked crap. Such a charmer. For oily skin types, this probably works a treat, but for me, it's a thanks but no thanks. 
Worth The Hype - NO
There you have it. Please bear in mind that these are my opinions and what doesn't work for me, may very well work for you, and vice versa. Have you tried any of these hyped up beauty products? Do you rate/hate any of them? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Friday, 6 March 2015


Today's post is going to be a waffly one so I apologise in advance. I'm currently lying on my sofa, resembling a sort of fajita, wrapped up in a grey, faux fur blanket. My hair is what some may describe as, 'unkempt' and I'm pretty sure my lipstick has migrated North, subsequently residing somewhere between my Cupid's bow and left nostril. It's hard to imagine that I was out in public a mere three hours ago looking relatively accpetable. I'm also writing this post on my phone in ulitmate lazy girl fashion. The reason behind this wonderous picture I've painted for you? The worst bout of insomnia I've had in a long arse time which has reduced me to a glorified extra of The Walking Dead. It peaked when I hit a sleepless, solid 26 hours straight and went on an internet rampage that resulted in this. Living the dream boys and girls. 

I've started reading two books this week. First up was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness... P. Ness. Can we just take a minute here...? I actually started and finished this book in one restless evening which led to Scott stating that I was some sort of literary wizard. I'm currently in the early stages of reading Gone Girl which is a little more sophisticated than A Monster Calls and I'm actually really enjoying it so far... No spoilers guys! I know it's a movie but I generally do like to read the books first. Also, I spied that the award winning A Monster Calls book is being made into a movie and will be released next year so if you're like me, I'd get in there and read that one before it's released. 

On to beauty thangs. You may have spotted my most recent make up haul here; from my last visit home. You'll have noticed a few reviews popping up here and there but the product I'm going to mention today is the Rimmel Scandaleyes liner. In a moment of madness, I picked up the silver shade several weeks ago and fell in love with the formula, staying power, smudgeproofness of it... literally errrrything. So much so in fact, that I needed to get my hands on the black as a matter of urgency and I'm so glad that I did. The swatch on the left is a one-swipe job. Serious pigment! As far as liners go, this one is definitely a winner and could easily be mistaken for a pricier product. You can read a full review of the silver Scandaleyes liner here.  In a nutshell, go buy it. 

The weekend sees Scott and I facing yet another slog, passing the time in the sleepy Finnish town in which we live. Last weekend was spent smoking a ham, oo-er and this weekend we'll be partaking in the thrill seekers game of choice - bowling. As I said earlier. Living. the. dream. The weather is at that horrible in-between phase where it's cold but there's barely any snow left for winter sports and way too cold to consider any Summer activities. Everyone has become a hermit over the winter months and I can already feel the travel bug rising up inside me, calling me to sunnier climes. Maybe a big move is on the cards? 

Finally... because I've been listening to way more Disney songs lately than any 27 year old should:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Shit You Can Buy On The Internet...

I'm gonna start this post with somewhat of a disclaimer. Basically, I'm not an idiot. Okay, well not completely anyway. You're going to have to bear with me on this one today as I feel that what you're about to witness needs some level of explanation. I'm a first class insomniac, (and if that isn't a word then it damn well should be) although, 'first class' makes it sound like something you'd want and I can speak from experience that it most certainly isn't. On a recent bout of nocturnal interwebz trawling, I came across Poopdeck Tranny Angel. You can call her Ange for short:

Now, I don't know much about art but something tells me this isn't a Monet. Is that a nipple or a teeny, metal toggle switch? I kind of want to tweak it and I'm not sure if I should feel ashamed about it. The longer I stare at Ange, the weirder she gets. I'm getting some serious tentacle vibes around her face and the poor bitch appears to have a ring pull stuck on her nose. Her boobs singular boob is definitely perkier than mine though so I'll give her that. 

Then because I'd lit a fire of curiosity inside myself, I began to delve a little deeper into the murky depths of Amazon and came up with this:

Which is quite frankly the most fabulous bed set I have ever seen. Who needs leopard print when you can have ALL THE PRINTS! I'm loving that the seller has also styled it out with a faux grass rug and pink and purple stuffed bears... and then, because Amazon had weighed up my taste in interior style, they suggested I check out this item:

Because I guess your life really isn't complete unless you have a 3D gold shark, faux taxidermy wall mount. I've already earmarked a place for this on my bathroom wall. I love it when Amazon is super helpful and suggests that this would make a great, 'unique' gift idea as I'm often lacking inspiration and typically flowers just don't convey how, 'chic & trendy' I am. Well, I guess Mother's Day is coming up. 

Upon reaching the point where I started to actively search for matching gold animal wall mounts, I decided I'd probably need to purchase a subscription to this:

Because I'm thinking that wall mounts and many cats go hand in hand. I'm particularly interested in the article titled, '12 Things Your Cat Wouldn't Say' If the cat on the cover is anything to go by, I'm assuming one of them would be - 'I'm real friendly y'all!' Also, the Toddy's Night Out feature looks like it will be a hoot. With all this fantastic material, it's hardly surprising they're publishing 4 issues per year. Those crazy kids. 

With my finger hovering over the 'Subscribe Now' button, I decided to call it a night and clear my Amazon search history for fear of Scott thinking I'd developed a recreational drug habit. Insomnia takes you to some dark places folks. 

P.S. Don't do drugs. 
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