Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Silver & Sparkle Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is in one week and I have been mentally compiling my wish list for a little while...well 364 days to be exact. Here are just some of the things I am wishing for this year.

Beautysets - Silver & Sparkle Wishlist

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Laura Mercier Smokey Violets

Laura Mercier is a brand that I haven't really looked at before but recently I have been gravitating towards that stand every time I visit my local Space NK or John Lewis. The products are high end so good quality with high levels of pigmentation coupled with chic packaging which will give the classic look I long for. 

The Christmas collection really caught my eye this year and has also managed to indulge my love of make up palettes...

Lust at first sight with the Laura Mercier Colour-To-Go in Smoky Violets. Anything with a different way of presenting the products and I just can't contain the excitement and this palette features a double decker design.

Open the first layer and you are confronted with a full mirror and the piece de resistance as far as I am concerned the eye colours that give the palette this name.

From left to right you have the trio of eye shadows, soft with great pigmentation and easily buildable and blendable for a basic day look or something a little smokier for the evening. In the far left we have the luster finish in 'Violet Steel' and in the middle a matte 'Plum Smoke', to the right there is another luster finish to be used as a highlighter which is a 'pink champagne' shade. The darkest shade in the palette is a tight liner in exclusive shade Violet Asphalt. Use a damp liner brush to get the right depth of colour otherwise it is all just a bit 'meh'.

Open up the second level and there is a beautifully presented bronzing powder in 'Golden Bronze' a second skin cheek colour in 'Barely Pink' and one of the famous lip glacé products in a nude 'After Hours'. I really really do like the finish that the blusher gives you and is different to other things that I have as it is matte rather than a little shimmery. A little does go a long long way so I will definitely be checking out some of the other colours.

The lip product has a milky finish and a lovely pink nude colour which again is different to anything that I have but I'm afraid that is where the things I like about this end.  It does have a tendency to look a little 'gloopy' and sticks to any dry spots that you have on your lips. It also has the most horrific smell, I think it is supposed to be chocolate / coco butter but there is an underlying chemical plastic scent that makes me want to gag. For now it can just stay in the palette and continue to look pretty which it definitely does.

This is definitely going to be in my make up bag through out Christmas especially when we travel home as it is practically a whole face in one beautiful packaged palette. 

It can be found at Space NK for £31.00 here.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hillmotts Boot Camp

At the end of October I packed my bags and headed into deepest rural Cotswolds to Hillmotts Residential Bootcamp for lots and lots of exercise and some bonding time with my mum and sister.

So what does 3 days at a residential bootcamp entail?


The Hillmotts cabin is about 10 minutes from the Cotswolds town of Chipping Norton. It is off a track even further down a track...seriously remote with no 3G and even worse no phone signal whatsoever. 

An initial check in included a brief chat with one of the trainers about your goals for the 3 days. Your food likes and more importantly dislikes and a quick check through you medical history before stepping on the scales for a weigh in if weight loss was something you were interested in.

As I was travelling with my mum and sister we had checked into a triple room with en-suite. The room was very warm and comfortable with country chic decor.


Straight up there is not a lot of it. You are told in the initial orientation that you will be given around 1,400 calories a day. Everyday before your early morning session (more on this later) you are given half a banana (and only half) with some green tea to get that metabolism kick started. After the first session you are treated to breakfast; porridge with fruit compote  / honey or weetabix. A mid-morning snack is 2 rice cakes with humus or peanut butter and then lunch which consisted of white fish and salad on the first day and butter nut squash soup on the second. 

By the end of the day dinner was much anticipated. On day one we were treated to lemon chicken and peppers, wholemeal spaghetti pesto, sweetcorn and roasted pine nuts. Day 2 was lamb moussaka, steamed broccoli and quinoa. I have to say that the food was restorative and filling as well as being damn delicious. 

This is not a military boot camp or jail and you can take food and snacks in with you, you are just reminded at orientation to think about and focus on your goals. I did take some snacks with me that consisted of satsumas, unsalted peanuts and some ginger nature valley bars. I ate them all!


I'm afraid that I didn't manage to take any photos of us doing exercise, I was too busy preparing myself for the inevitable pain and hard work that the exercise would entail but it was a jam packed schedule.

There was a total mix of exercises but the idea was that you started the day with the most intense (aka fat busting) exercise and then got in to some more specific exercises. There was also a couple of choices; whilst I chose Speed, Agility and Quickness others were offered Kettle Bells and I chose Interval Training while others went for another round of boxing. 

No matter what the session there were different levels so you could work as hard as you wanted to. There was no shouting at you but you were encouraged to work at your maximum for your own benefit. 

It was hard work and oh I ached but I loved the mix of exercise that was offered and being given new challenges. There were some things that were really tough especially the hill run which made up the interval training on day 3 but completing that was also a personal highlight.


There was also a little time for some R&R so we made the most of spending some time together away from the distractions of children, TV and Internet. 

At the end of the three days I left 4lbs lighter, feeling mightily refreshed and dare I say it happy. I returned to work full of energy and raring to take on the world again, motivated to keep going with this weight loss journey. 

I went home and did a little bit more of this...and cannot wait to go back at the beginning of next year.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Autumn Beauty Favourites

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was singing the praises of Bourjois summer hits and now I am looking out of our study window on a rather chilly, rainy November afternoon with Autumn in full swing.

It did not take long to delve head first into the Autumnal tones when it comes to make up and these are a few of the things that I have been turning to day after day.

From left to right: Nars Laguna Bronzer, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Beige, Revlon Nail Colour in Vixen, Benefit Sexiest Nudes Ever...Eye Shadow Kit and MAC Eye Shadow in Divine Decadence.

The Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation was a replacement for my Rimmel Wake Me Up. The every day foundation that gives a good coverage and the dewy complexion that I prefer. I personally don't think that there is much between them and I would probably just pick up which ever one was on offer in Boots...that said the next purchase will be the Happy Light foundation...why? Just because.

My first foray into Revlon nail polishes. I can't say I am surprised by the quality of this product, all of the items I have picked up from them in the last year have been great. Great packaging, great formula and great colour. 2 coats give you that deep berry red perfect for these Autumn months.

Long time favourite of many a beauty blogger the NARS Laguna Bronzer has been on my shopping list for quite some time.  I am a huge fan of the Bobbi Bronzer but this gives a little more of an understated glow which adds a little colour as the weather turns cold. This does have a feint shimmer running through it unlike the matte colour in the Bobbi version but you are not going to turn into a glitter ball it just adds a little dimension.

MAC Divine Decadence is a limited edition eye shadow colour from the Indulge Collection. MAC describe it as a soft warm bronze. The colour itself is glittery Autumn in a tub. I use this in the crease for a day time neutral eye but have also used this all over to create a great shimmery smokey eye. 

The last is this great palette from Benefit. There are 3 of these in the collection but I just couldn't resist this cool purple offering. The palette contains 4 powder eye shadows; the white 'milk it!', the deep violet 'raincheck?', the lilac wash 'pause for applause' and the shimmery silver 'blingo!'. All 4 of these have great colour pay off and I've managed to create both day and night time looks. I was always a little wary of purple tones but I am absolutely loving these and the colours certainly do work for the green eyed girls.

Also included are the 2 mini creaseless cream eyeshadows in holy smokes, a dark shimmer laden grey, and bikini-tini, a nude gloss. Bikini-tini is a little 'meh' I don't think it adds much at all but I love love love holy smoke. It is a great shade and I have been using it as an eye liner for when I don't want something quite as harsh.

I think this little lot will keep me busy until the Christmas offerings start attracting my glittery magpie eye.