Sunday, 22 November 2015

Concealers for Dry Under-Eyes and Dark Circles

Concealer is one of the products I have to use every day in my makeup routine. I don't even wear foundation that often but I have to wear concealer. One of the main reasons I need concealer is because I have dark under-eye circles. I've spent years trying to find the best concealers for this area and I now want to share my favourites with you. I thought it would be helpful to let you know that I have dry skin generally and even drier under-eye skin. If you're the same, you'll know that this often makes concealer application a bit uneven and even a bit flaky. The products I'm about to show you are perfect for this condition!

L-R: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer and Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector

The Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector (£28 at Debenhams) and Intensive Skin Serum Concealer (£28 at Debenhams) are recent launches and I was super excited to try them as soon as I heard about them. The original Bobbi Brown Corrector (£19 at Debenhams) and Concealer (£19 at Debenhams) are well-loved by the beauty industry for being really effective at covering dark circles and whilst I do think they are great, it can be hard to get the creams to sit right on dry under-eyes. This is where the new serum versions out-perform them. 

Due to the added skincare element and the doe foot applicator, it makes them super easy to apply and blend into the skin. They sit very well on dry skin and they cover my dark circles extremely well. For reference, I have the shades Porcelain Bisque in the Corrector and Porcelain in the Concealer. One looks extremely light and pink and the other looks dark and yellow, however once they are both on together, they are a great match for my skin tone.

Also, not a concealer, but I wanted to give a shout out to the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream (£32 at Debenhams) as this is the best eye cream I've ever tried (and repurchased!). It has a fairly light texture but it delivers a lot of moisture to the eye area and it's the perfect base for concealer. 

Another new launch is the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand (£29 at and I've really been enjoying this one. I would say the coverage isn't as good as the other products in this post but it's still a good product. 

This is a double ended wand that has an eye cream and a concealer, both dispensed through a twist-up brush. The eye cream is surprisingly good. It feels quite light in texture but it makes the skin feel silky smooth. It's really nourishing and the perfect pre-step to the concealer. The concealer is quite a peach toned colour (well, shade 1 is anyway) which is great for covering blue toned dark circles. I find that it gives a nice amount of coverage and has light reflecting qualities. Someone with a lot of darkness, like me, isn't going to see total coverage but it certainly improves the overall look. 

L-R: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Estee Lauder Glow BB followed by a mix of the two

My final option, is actually a combination of two concealers, and I need to credit Claire (Claire Elizabeth Ellis) for the idea! I absolutely love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22 at Space.NK) and find it to be the best coverage concealer I own (and have ever tried!). It's amazing at covering everything from dark circles to redness to blemishes. The shade Chantilly is perfect for my pale skin too. Another great option for pale skin is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-on Glow BB Highlighter in Shade 1N (£23.50 at Boots), but there are shades to suit a lot of skin tones. This is a lower coverage concealer that is to be used for its light reflecting properties.

Sometimes, if my under-eyes are extra dry, like during the colder months, a mix of these two, buffed in with a beauty blender is absolutely amazing. The NARS concealer boosts the coverage but the Estee Lauder concealer lightens the texture and adds a little bit of glow. If you own these two, you really need to give this a go!

What are your favourite concealers for the under-eye area?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Oils and Serums for Glowy Skin

I've changed up my skincare quite a lot for Autumn/Winter and that has included adding a few oils and serums into my routine. The ones that I have are ideal for adding a glow to the skin.

The oil I predominantly use for daytime is the Pixi Rose Oil Blend (£26 at Cult Beauty). My main reason for choosing this was the fact that it has rose in it. Rose lovers will not be disappointed as this smells beautiful. It's more of a turkish delight rose than a granny rose, if that makes sense! 

This is a really smooth oil that blends out easily on the skin. It's very nourishing and hydrates the skin all day long. It absorbs into the skin fairly quickly and leaves a glow, rather than greasiness. This is fine for wearing under makeup. I actually find that my makeup goes on a lot better and doesn't show up dryness when I'm using this. 

The oil I use for either morning or night, when I'm not using the other products is Sunday Riley Artemis (£60 at Space.NK). I originally used it at night as I wasn't sure how I would feel about it but then I found it's great for daytime too.

After reading many reviews before splashing out on this, I was worried about the scent of it as people said it was disgusting. I honestly don't find it horrible at all, in fact, I like the lemon scent. It's more of a natural lemon than an artificial, sweet lemon scent. 

This oil is slightly thicker than the rose oil and it's a little harder to work into the skin but I don't find that to be a bad thing. This sinks into the skin fast as it's more of a drier oil. It leaves a cleansed feeling on the skin even though it's quite a heavy oil. It's meant for oilier skin types but it doesn't dry out my dry/dehydrated skin at all. It leaves it super hydrated and again, I can apply makeup wonderfully on top of this. I enjoy using this one when I'm a little more spotty as I feel like it's helping to heal the blemishes whilst adding radiance.

I love the Pixi Overnight Glow Serum (£26 at Cult Beauty) for getting rid of all of the dull skin while I'm sleeping to reveal fresher skin in the morning. I don't find this dries my skin out but I do tend to pair it with a night moisturiser just in case. It doesn't have a tingling sensation either so it's comfortable to use on the skin.

This one has a lighter texture in comparison to the rose oil and sinks in the fastest out of the three products. I find this is a good one for helping to lighten my blemish scars and it leaves my whole face feeling really smooth.

Do you use face oils/serums?
Let me know your recommendations.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Man Vs Food - Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne

My husband and I had a long weekend off from work (best feeling ever!) and decided on the Monday afternoon to have one last blowout before I really have to lose as much of the stone I've put on since September as I can before my work Christmas party!

We fancied something a little different to our usual Italian or Nandos options and possibly a little closer to home which is when the idea of Man Vs Food popped into our heads. It's only been open since August but I saw a couple of blog posts about it and it's stayed in my mind since then as somewhere to try. 

As the name might suggest, it's kind of a meat based, American style restaurant offering burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and big plates of meat! You can also take part in their challenges where you eat a massive amount of food in a short amount of time to win a t-shirt. Their full menu is here if you want to drool over it!

We decided to just have 'normal' sized meals and both chose the Pulled Chicken Sandwich. I was quite excited about this as normally menus are all about the pulled pork and I don't like pork so finally I got to have a chicken version! Most of the meals come with two sides so I went for Peri Peri Onion Rings with Garlic Bread whilst my husband chose Skinny Fries and Onion Rings. 

When I saw the size of our meals, I wasn't sure how we were going to manage eating them but we actually managed to nearly finish them. We were stuffed but the food was so tasty that we couldn't not eat it all! We chose to have the Devils BBQ sauce on our chicken and it was so rich and deliciously spicy. Our mouths were on fire but it was a good level of spice! There are non-spicy sauces you can choose too, if that's not your kind of thing. 

My Peri Peri Onion Rings were also amazing! They were onion rings topped with an amazing, almost sweet but spicy sauce that complemented the onion rings perfectly without making them soggy. I think they are actually the best onion rings I've ever had!

Now that I've got the food part out of the way, which let's face it, is the main thing you need to know about but I just thought I'd let you know that the staff are really nice too. They were very helpful and the lovely waitress was excited when we said we hadn't been before as she was able to tell us all about the menu. I like how they are passionate about what they are serving. The decor of the restaurant is nice too and there are lots of tables to suit couples or larger groups. 

Along with our meals, we had two glasses of Pepsi each (although I was quite tempted by the banana and peanut butter milkshake!) and it cost us just under £30. I think that's reasonable for the amount of good quality food we got.

If you fancy going to this restaurant, it's located on one of the busiest streets in Heaton, on Chillingham Road, so it's easy to find! They actually have a restaurant in South Shields too if that's closer to home. 

I would definitely recommend a trip to this restaurant and we'll definitely be going back! I think I fancy a hot dog next time. Although, for now, I need to get back on my diet!


Monday, 16 November 2015

My Wedding Day

As you probably know, I got married back in September and we received our wedding photos this weekend so I thought I'd share a few photos and let you know a bit more about the day.

As someone who likes to spend a lot of money on high end makeup and Michael Kors, you would expect that I'd want an expensive wedding. That was not the case at all! My husband (still feels weird saying that!) and I have been together for 11 years this year, engaged for 5 of those years and what was putting us off actually setting a date and planning a wedding was the fact that we didn't want a massive ceremony.

I can be quite a shy person and don't like being the centre of attention so I wanted very little fuss. I also, not being a cheapskate, didn't want the day to cost an absolute fortune. I totally get that people spend so much on their day and it looks beautiful and amazing but that just wasn't for me. In the year that we were about to become homeowners and turn 30, I made the decision to get the wedding booked (back in April I think it was) and we decided a civic centre ceremony was what we wanted. All we needed was to get married and have our close family with us.

This isn't a hugely exciting post but I wanted to show that you don't have to spend a fortune if you don't want to. We spent a few hundred pounds on the actual ceremony so that bit really doesn't have to cost much. We chose not to have a proper wedding reception. I didn't see the point with so few guests and not wanting the speeches/first dance etc so we settled on having a few drinks in a nearby pub to celebrate.

I didn't want a super fancy wedding dress. I wanted to buy a high street wedding dress from somewhere like BHS or Monsoon as I had seen some on their websites before however I didn't realise that this stock is seasonal (ie. Spring/Summer) so when I waited until late Summer (wanted to lose as much weight as possible!), I struggled to find anything. It was quite scary for a while but then I found this dress on Boohoo, of all places, for £30! I knew I wasn't going to spend a fortune but I really didn't think I'd spend that little. I guess if you widen your search and keep an open mind, you can probably find something you like on a budget.

My shoes (noooo they are half price now here) and bag (reduced as well now here), neither of which were really on show cost more than the dress but I can actually reuse those items for other occasions anyway so I didn't mind spending more on those. I found a necklace and matching earrings in Debenhams that went with the jewels on my dress so I didn't spend much on those. I didn't feel that I needed diamond studded jewellery for that one day.

I wasn't too bothered about having a bouquet but with my auntie being a florist, my mother and her arranged making a silk rose bouquet with pearls and matching buttonholes for the groom and guests. It's quite handy having someone like that in the family as I'm glad I had those flowers in the end, they were beautiful. Being artificial flowers, it also means I can keep my bouquet.

The rings are something we are going to wear forever so I wanted to spend quite a bit on these to get something high quality and that would go with my engagement ring. Goldsmiths was where my engagement ring was from so I guess I knew I wanted our wedding rings to be from there too. They staff are really helpful and give you prosecco and everything so it's a great choice if you're deciding where to buy rings.

We paid just over £300 to have our ceremony photographed and some group/couple shots afterwards as I didn't want to rely on photos taken by our family. I wanted to have some special photos to look back on to remember our day.

We also spent rather a lot of money on our honeymoon, despite it only being a 4 day holiday but we stayed in a 5 star hotel in Nice, France that was very luxurious and worth the money. I've got lots of photos from the honeymoon so I'll share those in a post too.

Hope you didn't mind seeing/hearing a bit about my wedding even though it wasn't the prettiest pinterest-worthy day! I thought it might be helpful to show where you might be able to save money on certain parts of your wedding without sacrificing the things you really want. Obviously choosing each aspect of your day is very personal to you though so as long as you are doing what you (and your partner) want, that's all that matters :)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

High-End Autumn/Winter Makeup Edit

Earlier in the week, I brought you my Affordable Autumn/Winter Makeup Edit and I promised a high-end version so that's what you're getting today! Here are my picks of high-end makeup that will look amazing for the autumn and winter seasons.

You can't go wrong with a deep red or berry lipstick in Autumn/Winter and I'm loving these particular shades. If you want a matte option, the best one to go for the is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red, a stunning dark red that I got in my Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar (more on that here). The NARS Audacious formula is more of a satin finish but I find it to be extremely long lasting so don't rule that one out! The others are all great for more of a glossy or satin finish that isn't quite as long lasting but are equally beautiful. My nude option is the Clarins Joli Rouge in Lilac Pink, a gorgeous slightly darker nude than I normally prefer to wear and I think the slight lilac tint makes it perfect for the colder months.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red - £23 at
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Velvet Underground - £23 at Charlotte
MAC Lipstick in Rebel - £15.50 at MAC
MAC Lipstick in Girl About Town - £15.50 at MAC
NARS Audacious in Janet - £24 at Space.NK
Clarins Joli Rouge in Lilac Pink - £19.50 at Debenhams

A couple of makeup palettes in my collection that immediately make me think of autumn are the MAC Burgundy Times Nine Palette (£30 at MAC) and the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Vintage Vamp (£38 at because of their burgundy, purple and gold tones. The MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Rubenesque (£16 at MAC), although showing up slightly more gold in my photos, is a duo-toned orange and gold that makes me think of pretty autumn leaves.

Coloured mascara seems to have made a bit of a comeback recently and the one that tempted me was the Clinique Chubby Lash mascara in Portly Plum (£17.50 at Boots). I wasn't sure quite how to wear this during the summer but it's definitely one to bring out now. It adds a slight tint to the lashes that looks mainly black with just a hint of purple.

Eyeliners are a great way to add a lovely pop of colour to the eyes or if you fancy something a bit more dramatic, an eyeshadow pencil in a darker colour is also amazing blended out on the eyelids for a slightly smokier look. The By Terry option is also great if you want something a little less smoky but with a purple hue. I would describe it as a cool-toned silvery lilac, which actually sounds quite disgusting but hopefully you can see from my swatch that it's beautiful and would look great for a night out if you like a bit of glitz, in a grown-up way.

Clinique Skinny Stick Eyeliner in Olive-tini - £15 at Boots
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner in Sunset - $25 at Sephora
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner in Brown(out) - $25 at Sephora
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock - £29 at Space.NK
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet - £19 at
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Amethyst Aphrodisiac - £19 at

My cheek picks for this season are glowy options as I think that's the type of look most people want in the colder months when your skin can get a bit dry. The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Opal (£30 at Space.NK) is a creamy highlighter that will melt into the skin to give a golden glow without being over the top. The Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swirl & Pop Blusher in Love Glow (£30 at will give you rosy winter cheeks with an added subtle glow. If you like the look of this blush, you can win it in my giveaway here!

Hope these Autumn/Winter makeup edits have been useful. Let me know if you'd like to see some makeup looks using the products from my two posts :)

What do you think of my high-end Autumn/Winter makeup picks?
Did you prefer the affordable or the high-end post?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Affordable Autumn/Winter Makeup Edit (Drugstore/High Street)

The other week, I was asked (by the lovely Chloe from New Girl in Toon) for some affordable Autumn lip recommendations and I realised I was lacking in this department. I advised a Rimmel lipstick that I had from last year and some Kiko lipsticks that look fab but it inspired me to have a look around the drugstore (Boots) as well as Topshop and H&M Beauty for some other bits and pieces. I found some really good stuff so I thought I'd share these with you in case you're on the lookout for makeup in more Autumnal/Winter tones.

Berry or red lips are probably the easiest way to change up your makeup for this season. I've picked out some fab products to cover all bases as I know people have a preference on the type of finish they wear but none of these are drying (even the lip liners!). 

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Cassis Passion 376 - £6.99 at Boots
L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Lipstick in Mon Jules - £6.99 at Superdrug
Maybelline ColorSensational Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine - £6.99 at Boots
Topshop Lipstick in Damned - £8 at Topshop 
Topshop Lip Liner in Deception - £5 at Topshop
Kiko Intensely Lavish Lip Pencil in 05 Heavy Cherry - £4.90 at Kiko
H&M Lush Lip Vinyl in Plum Fairy - £6.99 at H&M

Actually, I said lips were the easiest way to inject some Autumn/Winter into your look, but really nail polish is! I've gone for (in order) a mauve berry, a darker purple berry, a blue toned black, a blue toned grey and a special copper duo-chrome shade which I think is a bit of a dupe for the Chanel Troublante Nail Polish. My photo makes it look like it has a blue tinge but really it's a copper with a pink-ish duo-chrome effect that isn't that noticeable on the nails.

Topshop Nail Polish in Rage - (mini version) £5 at Topshop
Essie Nail Polish in Luxedo - £7.99 at Boots
Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Black Grape - £3.99 at Boots 
Essie Nail Polish in Cocktail Bling - £7.99 at Boots
Topshop Nail Polish in Aurora - £6 at Topshop

I found a few different eye options starting with a more neutral toned palette by Sleek called the i-Lush Eyeshadow Palette - The Gold Standard from their 24K Gold Collection (£7.49 at Boots). It contains a mix of cream and powder eyeshadows and I think gold will be perfect for the party season. There's even a deep, shimmery berry to smoke things out with if you want to go for a darker look.

On to the non-neutral picks and I thought if you can't go darker on the eye during this season, when can you?! Gorgeous greens, blackened golds and deep berries, all with a golden shimmer running through are perfect for this time of year. The pigmentation is amazing on all of these and the eye crayon is so creamy and blendable. 

My blusher loves tend to be more summery, peachy pink colours or I think nude would be perfect with a bolder eye/lip but I did find a gorgeous berry toned blush at the Max Factor counter. It's their Creme Puff Blush in Gorgeous Berries (£8.99 at Boots) and it is such a beautiful berry shade with shimmer that makes the skin glow. My swatch is applied heavily but I obviously would blend it out more on the cheeks!

I hope you've enjoyed this post and it's given you some ideas for products you might want to try over the colder months.

Let me know what makeup products you've been loving for Autumn and watch out for a high end version of this post coming soon!
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