Real Techniques Mega Set

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Real Techniques Mega Set 

Today's post is a little feature on the best brush set you'll ever buy and you can get it from your local Boots store! This is the 12 piece mega set from Real Techniques and it is quite possibly the best set you'll ever need, for those of you who want to add to your collection or if your buying for someone who's recently got into make up this set will cover all basis. 

Base Shadow Brush: Finely tapered bristles for buildable, all-over lid application for a soft shadow.

Season Exclusive Angled Shadow Brush: Perfectly cut for layering eye shadow in the crease to make your eyes pop.

Deluxe Crease Brush: Soft, oversized design for effortless blending in crease and around eyes for contouring your socket.

Season Exclusive Eyeliner Brush: Firm, angled head for optimal control along lash line for the perfect winged liner look.

Fine Liner Brush: The ultimate tool for precision application of liquid or cream eyeliner.

Stippling Brush: Light application using a dabbing motion for a buildable, airbrushed finish. 

Setting Brush: Finely tapered bristles for a perfectly controlled dusting of highlighter or setting powder in smaller areas of the face.

Season Exclusive Cheek Brush: Evenly applies cream or gel blush across cheekbone for a more dramatic finish.

Duo-fiber Face Brush: lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments to create a soft focus look.

Contour Brush: Delicately applies contour product to the hollows of your cheekbones for a soft-focus contour.

Miracle Complexion Sponge: Shaped to create the perfect base and build coverage where needed. Use damp for a dewy glow or dry for a full coverage. 

Miracle Sculpting Sponge: Expertly cut for controlled application and designed to help create shadows or highlight your favourite facial features. Use damp for a dewy glow or dry for a full coverage finish.

Have you tried a Real Techniques brush before? 

Emma x

NYX Professional Make-Up - Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

Monday, 26 December 2016

NYX Professional Make-Up - Highlight & Contour Pro Palette 

So I'm kind of getting into this whole contouring game properly now and actually take doing a full face of make up seriously, and when I saw seriously I mean I have figured out how to contour my nose! Praise the lord. As i'm wandering around Boots I've seen this NYX palette featured a lot around the place, so I've picked it up and have fallen in love. Why did no one tell me about this brand sooner?

This is the NYX Professional Make-Up - Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, it's named after the Greek goddess who ruled the night! NYX's make up is all about combining beauty and power, with long lasting formulas, incredibly rich pigmented products, and a super long lasting formula so that even without a setting spray you be slaying all night long!

This palette has eight shades and is incredible value for money too. The shades are a combination of highlighter shades, setting shades and contour shades so there's everything you need in a full palette! The eight shades are left to right;

 Ice Queen - Soft Light - Cream - Nectar 
Tan - Toffee - Sculpt - Hollow 

The powders are extremely smooth and pigmented, they glide onto the skin and blend out beautifully. There's no powdery cake looking finish to the skin, you can apply a light coverage or build for a fuller coverage and the lighter powders can also be used to set concealer! The longevity of this palette is unreal it lasts all day long and I've worn this to a few events/Christmas markets and it's just lasted and lasted!! 

Have you tried a NYX product before? 

Emma x

The Pre-Christmas Pamper

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Pre-Christmas Pamper  

Okay, so it's basically Christmas and you've obviously not finished rushing around like a headless chicken just yet so today we're going to talk about how to get yourself all chilled and relaxed ready to enjoy the 5am wake up call on Christmas morning, and I don't care how old you are everyone wakes up early on Christmas. 

- Have a bath; Having a bath and taking 5 minutes to yourself is sometimes all you need! So get your favourite book, or pop a video up on your tablet or even just have a glass of bubbly and relax. This is your you time and you should be bathing appreciating everything you've done for that Christmas prep. 

- Take your time; Get your skincare out, lay it all out in front of you and just take some time to do your skincare routine. Really massage that moisturiser in, gently dab that eye cream in and really give your skin a good massage to help it absorb all the products and lotions. 

- Get your favourite film on; Sounds silly and simple but grabbing a good old cuppa with your favourite film in bed, having an early night will do wonders for your body clock and really help to recharge your batteries. 

- Do some exercise: Yoga or Pilates is preferable and you can find tones of videos on YouTube instructing you on how to do it correctly and safely, and honestly it will completely chill you out and reset your mind and body. 

 - Last minute wrapping; Get your bestie round, girls and guys, and get the bubbles out! Or get a takeaway round and just take your time wrapping presents. Chill out and don't stress over it, it's much more fun to do with a friend!

What are your top pre-Christmas tips?

Emma x

Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam | Thin Hair Solutions

Monday, 19 December 2016

Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam | Thin Hair Solutions  

I have found the solution for fine hair that doesn't want to curl, and it's the Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam!! This stuff is the bees knees and it's cheap as chips, it will hold style prevent frizz and won't make your hair crunchy, bonus.

The Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam enhances texture with long-lasting memory that controls frizz, adds shine and balances moisture. Styling and bodifying agents, combined with panthenol, provide touchable hold, which is also what makes it non crunchy or sticky once styled. Emollient conditioners smooth the surface of the hair which prevents frizz, in even the hottest or coldest of temperature. 

The foam comes out very liquid like and you don't think it will foam up at first, but given a few seconds exposed to the air it creates a massive amount of foam to distribute throughout the hair shaft. I've found the best way to use this is on damp hair that's been squeezed dry with a towel, not rubbed dry because you'll damage your hair! Then once you've parted your hair and combed through it apply the mouse evenly using your fingers to work it into the shaft, and smoothing the hair down. Then using a round brush to style into what ever style you so desire! 

 The mouse creates the most gorgeous, crunch-free, defined curls that will honestly last me 4 days!! Bearing in mind that you pop your hair in a bun during the night, to keep them beautifully curly. So if you've got fine limp hair that never stays curled then this is your saving grace! Or if you've got curly unruly hair then this will be your smoothing defining grace. 

What's the worst styling foam you've tried? 

Emma x

How Do You Balance Blogging

Thursday, 15 December 2016

How Do You Balance Blogging

The question a lot of bloggers get asked is how do you balance blogging with everyday life, or being a parent, or working a full time job. It can be hard and it can be stressful, especially if you have deadlines with brands to meet or loose your blogging idea mojo so today we're going to talk about my top tips on how to help you blog and balance. So, let's begin ... 

- Take your time, don't try and cram writing two blog posts into half an hour because it won't flow and you won't love it. Just breath. 
- Plan ahead, write lists, write memos, plan your week and know what you want to do on the days you want to do it. 
- Do a little often, it may only be a paragraph during that 30 minute lunch break but it's something!
- Use time to your advantage, get a little bit of work done in between tasks. Yes that does mean in between your vlogmas marathons. 

- Use weekend mornings to your advantage!! Use those Saturday/Sunday mornings to take ALL your product shots. You'll be surprised how much this can help you.
- Only do what you love, if your writing a post and are not completely in love with what your writing, stop. Stop right now, because chances are it will take 1 million years to finish writing. 
- Keep a couple of back up posts in your drafts, for those times that you won't have enough time you can always fall back on your draft.
- Scheduling your posts will allow you to go about your day and not worry about when the post will be published, especially if you can't get on the internet. 

- Dedicate one day a week, just an hour or so, to purely editing your photos. This allow you to write your blog posts around the images and the words will flow. Trust me. 
- Stick to a routine, don't try and post every single day if you know you can't. Explain to your readers that you will be posting on certain days and your consistency will be so much easier. 
- Carry a notebook or create a notes section in your phone for your blogging ideas, the best ideas come to us when we least expect it. 
- Finally, enjoy your blog. There's no point doing anything if you don't enjoy it!!

What are your tips for balancing your blogging? 

Emma x

*Christmas with Four Gables Events | Scarlett PR

Sunday, 11 December 2016

*Christmas with Four Gables Events | Scarlett PR  

You know it's Christmas when your parents tell you that you can't have certain things to eat because there for Christmas ... well, you all know it's true! So today as we're getting into the festive spirit I want to share some Christmas recipes with you thanks too Four Gables Catering!

Christmas Stuffing 

Serves 4 / Takes 40 minutes / Easy

340g dried cranberries
6 tbsp sugar
200ml water
30g butter, lard or dropping or 2 tbsp olive oil S
6 shallots, finely chopped
4 clove garlic, chopped
1 small bunch of sage, finely chopped
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g quality pork sausage meat
400g rashers of streaky bacon, pulsed to a mince in a processor or finely chopped
200g fresh white breadcrumbs (made from crustless white bread whizzed in a processor)
4 tbsp walnuts, lightly crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
16 large slices prosciutto or Parma ham
Vegetable oil for dabbing

Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add in shallots and garlic and fry gently until the shallots have softened but not coloured. Remove from heat.
Mix in the sage and thyme then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Mix in the sausage meat, minced bacon, breadcrumbs, walnuts, cranberries and lemon zest. Use your fingers and make sure everything is well mixed together.
Drain away the syrup from the cranberries, then stir the berries into the stuffing mix.
Shape the stuffing into 8 balls, each the size of a large golf ball.
Wrap each one in two slices of prosciutto. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to firm up, ideally overnight.
Place the stuffing balls and place them across a shallow roasting tin, leaving lots of space between them (200 degrees).
Dab them all over with a little oil and roast for 30 minutes or so until crisped and cooked through.

Honey Mustard Glazed Smoked Gammon Joint

Serves 6-8 / Takes 2 hours / Intermediate

2-3kg Gammon Joint
20-30 Cloves
Glaze ingredients
1 tbsps runny honey
1 tbls brown sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp vinegar (balsamic if preferred)

Soak the joint, ideally overnight, in cold water to remove any excess salt from the curing process.
Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a pan and cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat and covered for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, mix together the glaze ingredients.
Drain and remove the joint from the pan. Cut off the skin and discard leaving a nice covering of fat on the meat. Stud the fat with the cloves then cover the meat with the glaze.
Carefully place in a pre-heated over at 200C (180C if a fan oven).
Roast for a further 45-60 mins until cooked through.

Cherry Walnut Christmas Pudding

Serves 8 / Takes 6-8 hours / Intermediate

300g mixed dried fruit
200g pot glace cherries
50g mixed peel
1 medium carrot, finely grated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 orange zested
100g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
100ml brandy
50ml Disaronno
100g butter, frozen
(plus extra for greasing)
2 large eggs, beaten
50g blanched almonds
50g walnuts
100g self-raising flour
175 fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp golden syrup
Sprig of holly to decorate

Put the mixed fruit, halved cherries, mixed peel, carrot and lemon and orange zest in a bowl with the sugar and spice. Pour in the lemon juice and alcohol and stir really well. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and put a full kettle of water to boil. Grease a 1.5 litre pudding basin. Stir the eggs into the fruit mixture, then the chopped nuts, flour and breadcrumbs. Finally, grate in the frozen butter, stirring the mixture frequently so that it evenly disperses.
For the topping, mix the soft butter and golden syrup together and spread over the bottom of the basin. Pile in the whole cherries, orange and whole nuts. Try to ease some on the side too, not just the base.
Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the top. Then cover with baking parchment and foil. Tie the top then place in a roasting tin and pour in the hot water from the kettle.
Cover with a tent of foil to seal in the steam then place in the oven for 6 hours.
To re-heat steam for 2 hours. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Four Gables Farm, Ashley Court, Ashtead Woods Road, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 2ET

Tel: 01372 275 276 / / @FourGablesFood

What are your favourite Christmas recipes? 

Emma x

*This post is sponsored by Scarlett PR but all opinions are my own. 

Using Minimal Pieces to create Maximum Statements

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Using Minimal Pieces to create Maximum Statements 

Winter is all about the finer details the little touch of ribbon on the Christmas presents, the addition of an extra candle on the fireplace, the extra sprinkle of spice on your Christmas pudding. So, today's post is dedicated to the finer touches that we add to our outfits that give the maximum statement with minimal effect.

I've always found rings as a super easy way to dress up an outfit because you do everything with your hands and there always on show, so lets look at my absolute favourites. Now Pandora is a must for simple but beautiful layering pieces and is they always have a really nice price range for everyone's budgets. QVC Diamonique gives you the luxury look of real diamonds without the hefty price tag, and the pieces always look stunning with any outfit - trust me. And last but not least, the high street New Look's sterling silver range! These dainty little pieces are so easy to layer but also create the illusion of a super expensive look. 

Layering's of these different types and styles of rings creates interest within an outfit and draws the eyes to the hands, so all the detail and attention is consistently on show. Little touches like these will also allow you to wrap up warm and wear super cute things like hand warmers without compromising on style, so if your a high flying fashionista then these are the minimal details for your maximum statement. 

What are your favourite minimal pieces for the maximum statement? 

Emma x

What a Week without Make-up Taught Me

Sunday, 4 December 2016

What a Week without Make-up Taught Me 

So after having a day of rubbish news, the next morning I did my eyebrows and mascara and then looked at my make up bag and chucked it to one side. I decided screw it, lets do a no make up day (Something I don't tend to do in public) and it ended up being a whole week and the rest! So today I wanted to show you what a week of no make up taught me about myself.... 

1. I am self-confident and that's totally cool to say. 
2. Those monthly facials really do work!!
3. Make up isn't everything. 
4. It's nice to give your skin a break from art. 
5. When you do wear make up, it feels weird

6. But it's like painting art on your face and you end up taking more time doing it. 
7. No one will judge you, or your skin. 
8. You'll notice how many other people have no make up days around you. 
9. You'll save a bit of money from not using it every single day. 
10. Your natural skin will improve and you'll see the difference, yes in a week. 

So a week of no make up taught me how to be completely self-confident and showed me how incredible my skin is, and how unbelievably amazing it is as repairing it's self. Sooo go on try it, do a week of no make up and show me how you feel!

Emma x 

*KISSBOBO | Finding the Perfect Bra

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

*KISSBOBO | Finding the Perfect Bra

Finding the perfect stick on bra that WORKS is a mission, and I hear you ladies you don't want to buying tones of different ones and trying them out because it takes too long and costs too much! Well, today I am introducing you to your new favourite. 

This is the strapless stick on bra from KISSBOBO and it will be the only bra you ever need for that perky boobed look. This bra comes as two separates and sticks onto your boobs thanks to the stick on backing on the bra, the ends of both cups has a small clear clasp to be joined together once on the boobs and this is what creates the desired amount of cleavage in the chest. After each use it's super important to wear and wash your bra following the care instructions. 

KISSBOBO was created in 2005, with the most professional R&D and production technology, they designed a new generation of silicone push up invisible bras to cover the multiple demands of women around the world. This bra constantly improve confidence of the modern feminine with sexy cleavage line. And the bras are the ideal for low plunge necklines, sheer clothes, off shoulder dress, halter, strapless tops, tank tops, evening gowns, low-cut outfits and wedding dresses without back-buckle. 

So, the bra on show; The first image (the below image) is a plain satin top from New Look with a normal nude push up bra underneath. As you can see you can see my bra straps straight off, not cool, you can see the cups' rim shadowing though the top and there isn't really much boob lifting going on. 
The second image (the last image) is the plain satin top from New Look with the KISSBOBO stick on bra, and instantly you can see the boobage going on. The top just skims the bra showing no visible lines and no edges are sticking out, the bra creates a nice cleavage which can be tailored to each and every person. So depending on how much boobage you want on the day you can create a natural full look or you can do a more enhanced plumper look, depending on your requirements and your needs. This bra does stay on for a good amount of time too! The longest I've worn this bra for is 4-5 hours and I didn't need to readjust the bra or restick/apply the bra, it was comfterable and no one noticed it! 

Have you ever tried a stick on bra? What's your most embarrassing stick on bra moment?

Emma x

*Adore Yourself this Fall | Adore Me

Monday, 28 November 2016

*Adore Yourself this Fall | Adore Me  

This fall Adore Me challenged me to show you how the seasons inspire my make up to change with it, and how I update my colourings and products in tune with the season. So today all we're going to talk about is a deep berry lip with a stark contrast ... and not the contrast you'd expect. 

A deep purple berry lip is my ultimate fall staple, and year on year it never stops coming back, thank goodness. This winter I've gone for a deep purple from L'Oreal with gold shimmers running through it but I love a good contrast, so I've inspired my deep berry lip around the Rainey Unlined from Adore Me

This set is the ultimate fall collection, its' sexy but comfy and yet can be worn with a t-shirt for that lingerie on show look. A deep purple contrasting against the crisp white lingerie gives you an edgy but controlled look and allows you to show your rocker side, and lets be honest we've got one they just come out during your mid song vocal appreciation time. 

The barley there straps and feather light material makes for the ultimate comfy set and with the hottest back you'll want to show off. With an open backed oversized jumper and this set underneath with some skinny jeans and edgy boots, this would be the perfect dressy/casual christmas look. 

Emma x

*This post is in collaboration with Adore Me but all opinions are my own. 

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Gold Obsession Lipstick - Plum Gold

Thursday, 24 November 2016

L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Gold Obsession Lipstick - Plum Gold 

Finding that perfect Autumn/Winter shade to suit every skin tone is the most tiring job in the world, aren't you glad that us bloggers do all the hard work for you! Today we're talking about the new, the most perfect, the most beautiful shade to suit every single one of you. 

This is the new L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Gold Obsession Lipstick in Plum Gold, this is the perfect deep plum colour for anyone and everyone the richness of the purple settles against the skin and creates the illusion of plumper and fuller lips. The lipstick has tiny little gold shimmery flecks running through it so it bounces the light off the lips and really emphasises the shape of the lips. The liner is the perfect combination to overdraw the lips with, it's not too dark to be obvious but not too light to not be noticeable. 

The longevity of this lipstick is mediocre when worn with the liner it can last all day but when your eating or drinking from a cup or glass, it does have a tendency to wear off around the middle and it has does have a tendency to smudge when caught. The lipstick it's self is very opaque and has the most amazing colour pay off when swatched, and when applied to the lips it goes on like velvet and just glides across the lips getting into all the tiny areas. 

Have you tried the new Gold Obsession range?

Emma x

What My First Yoga Lesson Taught Me

Monday, 21 November 2016

What My First Yoga Lesson Taught Me 

Definition; "Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing."

Well, it's definitely not Pilates I can tell you that much. It's more physically challenging and vocally confusing than Pilates but in a cool way, the words used in Yoga for the poses make you feel so much more sophisticated and like a proper yogi. 

My first Yoga class was at my local gym and was with a whole bunch of people I'd never seen or met before, fab idea for someone with anxiety to do but I did it and I overcame it. The class begun with 5 minutes of deep breathing and centring, which for someone who's lying there having an anxiety attack was very needed, it then flowed into the moves and poses we did this for a good 50 minutes or so, and went back into a lying down position to recenter to end. The ending for me was the best bit, not because i could then go and continue to die in the sauna for 20 minutes but because as we all lay there exhausted from our session, the instructor asked us all to think about what we're thankful for and it was incredibly refreshing. 

Lying there at the beginning and end of the class focusing on yourself and controlling your body made me feel oddly empowered, I felt like I could do anything in the class and it even made me feel confident enough to try and do the really hard poses - failing miserably of course. It's also definitely one of those classes you need the 'right' teacher for, you need a teacher who's empowering, confident and passionate about it, you need a teacher who's energy is going to flow with your own and really inspire you to push yourself during the class.

Yoga will definitely not be for everyone, it's not everyones cup of tea but neither is green tea and yet here I am but if you go to a class and go open minded, I think you'll be surprised at what you'll find out about yourself, your mindset and your bodies capabilities. I go to a class at my local gym and it's not as scary as I first thought, so go on give it a go. 

Have you tried yoga before? What did it teach you? 

Emma x

Pilates - Why I Started and Haven't Stopped

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pilates - Why I Started and Haven't Stopped

Definition; "Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing". 
I started doing Pilates around October/November 2015, after first being diagnosed with PTSD/Anxiety/Depression and I haven't stopped since! I have private lessons with my instructor every week in the evening for an hour and they've done bounds of amazing things for my body and my metal health. 

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected and so his discovery and his beliefs are what help me strive forward today. Pilates is an incredible workout for your body and mind, during Pilates you have no room in your mind to focus on anything else but the movements or exercises your doing. There's no worrying about what your making for tea that night, or if you've got time to run to the shops after class, it's completely about you and getting your body to perform the moves correctly. 
While the methods are different, pilates and yoga both develop strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing technique. Both systems emphasise the connection between physical and mental health, although yoga places more emphasis on relaxation and uses meditation. Pilates is performed both on apparatus and mats, whereas classic yoga doesn't require any equipment. Pilates exercises are performed in a flow of movement without the static poses associated with yoga.

Pilates is amazing for the older you too! It's a very core strength based exercise which in turn aids balance, this is why older people who don't have a strong core are more likely to fall or loose their balance more easily than others. Pilates is all about strengthening and engaging your core which will not only activate and engage muscle memory for those super sleek looking abs but will also help to engage your transverse abdominis which is the main HUGE muscle that wraps around from your back to your front, that helps to keep your body stable. 

Pilates has enabled me to not only build on my own body's natural strength and refine it but it has also helped me take on control of my mental illness, knowing that once a week I have full control over the class and if I want to push myself I can push myself, makes me feel amazing. It gives your mind the control it so desperatley craves in the most healthy way. 

My local Pilates instructor is Sarah Pillage and you can find her here! If you want to find your local Pilates instructor Google or recommendations will be your best friend. 

Emma x