Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Homemade Jam Brioche (Slow-Cooker Recipe)

So, of late, I've been very much in a "making things" kind of mood. Luckily for me, this works well as I'm quite a creative person, and equally I'm not half-bad at cooking. I don't think I've mentioned on here yet, but my cooker broke a couple of months ago, but instead of trying to replace it I'm trying to find ways around not needing one, which I suppose, means finding recipes that work with the appliances that I have. One of the appliances that I do have, however, is a slow cooker, and yesterday I made a jam brioche for breakfast in it, which my son loved! 


So, the recipe is as follows:

Mix together 3 cups self raising flour, 100g butter, 1 tsp salt, and 1 cup of milk to form the dough. Roll it out onto a floured surface, spread a filling on the inside of it before rolling it up again like a Swiss roll, and cut into pieces. Line the slow cooker with baking paper and grease it before placing the rolls in. It'll need to go on for two hours on high with a teatowel under the lid.
Once cooled, I then made an icing to drizzle over using icing sugar, milk, and a cap full of vanilla essence.

So easy, right?! Although, alternative fillings you could use are...
- Cinnamon mixed with sugar for Cinnamon Swirls
- Chocolate Spread
- Lavender Sugar
- Lemon Curd
- You could also add garlic salt and dried herbs to the dough, and drizzle olive oil and sea salt on top 
- Or you could use tomato purée in the rolls, and then sprinkle cheese on top to make Pizza Swirls (Equally, another child friendly recipe!)

This is such an easy, no fuss recipe, perfect for a birthday or treat breakfast for your little ones - though I'll also be making this for our Christmas Day breakfast! It's equally good for grown ups if you want to show off your cooking skills! It's also very similar to a cake which is also good as an after-school treat! If you've a couple of hours spare, and some basic cupboard ingredients then I highly recommend you try this! 

Happy baking,

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

DIY Jam Jar Snowglobe

Seasons greetings, everyone! So, I personally love the idea of homemade gifts and decorations and such, around Christmas. (I'm also hoping to make up some fudge for Boxing Day, and onion chutney for the cheeseboard on Christmas Day). 

Today I decided to make a jam jar snowglobe with my son, Rhys, as I personally think it's a fun thing to do to get us into the Christmas spirit, and it's also a good, easy kind of messy play for little ones! So here's our DIY Snowglobe!

To make one yourself, you will need:
- A clean, empty jam jar
- A christmas-themed figurine, e.g. A snowman, Santa, a Christmas tree
- Superglue
- Enough water to fill the jam jar
- Glitter
- A small piece of red gingham ribbon

Method: Superglue your figurine onto the inside of the jam jar lid, and leave to dry overnight. In the morning, fill the jam jar with water (a lot of people will use tap water, I boiled the kettle and let some water cool overnight and left it aside, to make it sterile). Sprinkle in some glitter (I used blue and silver), and screw up the lid as tight as you can. Then tie the gingham ribbon, making sure it faces the same way as your figurine. Et voila, you have made a jam jar snowglobe! (They're so cute, right?!)

Hope you've enjoyed this post, 

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

This is my favourite food ever. It's a Nigella Lawson recipe, (that I tweaked a little to my personal tastes), it's absolutely delicious, tastes really light but is soooo good and filling! I made it on Friday evening as it's my personal favourite comfort food, and to be honest I needed a bit of cheering up! Safe to say it's worked! :) unfortunately my picture doesn't do it justice as it was taken in pretty bad lighting with a mediocre camera, but I promise you, it's amazing!

So, the ingredients are as follows:
1l chicken stock
150g rice noodles (I use fresh Singapore noodles from the chilled section in Tesco)
200ml coconut milk
1 tsp ginger powder (the original recipe states fresh, but I prefer to have the flavour without the chunks)
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice (I use lemon juice)
I tsp brown sugar (optional, I tend not to use it)
250g stir fry vegetables (I use Tescos fresh veg pack of broccoli, mange tout, and baby corn)
150g shredded chicken
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and cut into strips
A few coriander leaves as a garnish

The method
Prepare the litre of chicken stock in a large saucepan on the hob, on a medium temperature. When the chicken stock is ready, add the noodles and prepared vegetables. Then add the spices and the fish sauce, the lime juice and the coconut milk. Stir often, and leave it to simmer on the hob on a medium temperature for about five minutes to let the flavours infuse. Serve in a bowl when piping hot, I like to have prawn crackers on the side when I make this soup. A nice chilled glass of white wine is the perfect drink to have with this meal. 

If you like oriental food this dish is the best thing to try! It is honestly so delicious and so easy to make, I really recommend you try it and I promise you, you won't be disappointed! 

Sammii-Jane x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A Day as a Single Parent

The thing is, is that no one really sees the amount of work we do. Everyone is quick to call you a bad parent at the first sign of your baby being grumpy. Or worse, they give you the really condescending phrase, "oh, the poor little boy!" (Yeah, poor kid. Having such a bad parent like me - tough life, huh?) and it is driving me crazy. So, to clarify the amount that I do actually do, I thought I would compose a list of my day to day activities of trying to keep my eight month old son happy.

7am - I am up at the crack of dawn, as this is when my child wakes. I say 'dawn', but it's actually still dark outside. The first thing I do is change a charmingly poop-filled nappy before popping on the kettle for my morning tea.
7.30 - After Rhys has gotten bored of crawling around, and of me picking him out of the cat litter tray numerous times (I can't turn my back for a second with him!), I then plonk him in his high chair and feed him his yoghurt. Which he gets everywhere.
7.45 - Rhys will have finished his yoghurt by now and I'll be cleaning him up. He gets ratty very easily but I try and keep him entertained by putting on Milkshake for him in the mornings. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But when Peppa Pig comes on at 8.15, he's a lot more interested.
8.15 - I finally get to start getting myself ready. I get ready in all of fifteen minutes, by washing and moisturising my face, brushing my teeth, putting on a scrap of mascara, brushing my hair and sticking it up in a pony tail, and chucking back on yesterday's jeggings, converse, and a fresh jumper. I then wash up Rhys's bottles and pack his changing back ready for the day: a pack of wipes, a changing mat, five nappies, 3 bottles, a small pot of milk powder, biscuits for him, water for me, his nappy cream, my purse, keys, phone, and a toy for him. 
8.30 - by this point Peppa Pig has finished, my getting ready time is over, and Rhys is screaming blue murder. I give him a fresh nappy change as well as a fresh change of clothes, put him in his pushchair and chuck my coat on, and we're out the door by 8.45.
8.45 - I'm taking Rhys for a walk in his stroller. This will usually help Rhys get back to sleep as he finds the movement comforting. I can take him for a fifteen minute walk around the block, or if I have things to do he'll stay in the pram for longer, and will nap until 10.00am. 
10am - Grumpy wakes up, usually grumpy. I give him teething gel, a fresh nappy change, more milk, his toys, a cuddle, whatever it is he needs to make him stop fussing.
10.30 - I discover that trying to please him isn't working, and by 10.45 we've walked over to the park. He'll play on the swings and the see-saw until 11.00.
11.00 - we'll head back home, and try again with playing with Rhys's toys. I give him one of those large bouncy plastic footballs to chase around the living room, his walker that has an interactive front side to it, his favourite toy lamb, and building blocks. I try to wait it out until 12 so I can give him lunch to fill up his tummy and get him to sleep again. 
12 - Rhys's nap time. I tend to take my lunch and do the housework at this time, sweeping up, cleaning his morning bottles, doing the washing up, putting the laundry on, and tidying the living room.
1 - Rhys will wake up again. I give him another fresh nappy change, and then decide by his mood what we'll do for the afternoon. If he's okay, we'll try and play indoors for the afternoon. Once again I'll put all of his toys on the living room floor for him to play with, and this sometimes lasts for an hour if I'm lucky. If he's already grumpy, I'll put him in his stroller and take him to the local soft play centre. He likes to watch the older kids play and likes to imitate what they do. I don't like to go here everyday as it can get quite expensive, but I do take him here at least a couple of times a week for a break for us both. I like to stay there with him for at least three hours, by letting him play for a bit, giving him a biscuit and some milk to snack on while I have a coffee, and then playing for a bit again before we go home. 
4pm - we'll leave the soft play area and be home by 4.30.
4.30 - Rhys will take his afternoon nap and sleep through until 6pm. In this time I'll do what housework needs to be done before taking a nap for myself. I hang out the washing and take the bins out in this time.
6.00 - Rhys will wake up from his nap and want to play again. I also feed him his dinner, and give him a long bath time before putting him in his cot to sleep at 8.30pm.
8.30pm - I'll have my microwave meal dinner while watching Eastenders. I'll then do the washing up from my dinner, and Rhys's bottles from the afternoon. 
9.00pm - I'll take a quick evening shower, dry my hair, and if I'm lucky, be in bed by 10.00pm, before waking up again at 7am the next morning. It's so important to get enough sleep when you've got a baby, so when I knacker myself out during the day, I sleep well at night. 

This is what I do on a daily basis. It's repetitive, it's not as straightforward as what I've made it out to be as a lot of the time when I put Rhys to sleep, he fights it and sometimes I have to let him cry himself to sleep from where he's been so grumpy and stressful throughout the day that I am too physically exhausted to tolerate his whinging, when I know he is fine. Sometimes it does get very hard to cope as I'm doing a job that was intended for two people, by myself. Rhys is at a very clingy stage at the moment as well, and I'm trying to wean him away from that, as I physically don't have enough hands to carry him at the same time as doing all the stuff that needs getting done. What I'm trying to say, is that it's damn hard, and I'm sick of being judged as a bad person when all I ever do is try to make my son happy, without ever expecting anything in return. I know this is coming off as a rant, I don't mean it to but I feel very passionately about this subject! 

At the end of the day though, I have to remind myself that I was one of the lucky ones - I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy, who at times is very hard work, but I wouldn't change one thing about him. He is the reason I smile every day and seeing his smile, is worth every second of hard work I put into him. 

Love as always,

Sammi-Jane x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Social Stigma of a Single Parent

So, the way that pretty much anyone sees it, is that all single parents stupidly didn't use contraception with their boyfriends they had only known a few months, they fell pregnant, and then the boyfriend didn't feel ready to have a child, and left the relationship. Then, the said single parent worms her way into a council flat, living off every benefit she can claim for the next sixteen years, so to avoid working. We're social scroungers, that fund our children on taxpayers money while smoking through a 20 pack of cigarettes each day. AND we watch Jeremy Kyle. On repeat. And guffaw at the telly, loudly.

THIS IS SO NOT TRUE. It's a misconception that we're given a very comfortable amount of money to provide on, and that we really have nothing better to do than watch Jeremy Kyle all day. I have a six month old called Rhys, and yes, I am a single parent. I was engaged to his father, but when he turned violent, I left. I found out I was pregnant three months later. He got in contact again when he found out I had had a child, which scared me shitless. I packed up everything and moved over 400 miles away, to keep myself and my son safe. I'm told that every child needs a father, but personally, I don't agree. Not if you had to risk your child's safety to provide them with one. 

As for the financial side of it, yes. If you're a single parent, of course you're on benefits. How else are you supposed to provide a home, and food on the table? I can only send Rhys to nursery at the age of two, as, on benefits, I can't afford the sky-high private nursery fees, to send him sooner. But as soon as he is able to go to nursery, I will be going back to work. And yes, I do have a council flat. But I didn't have a child to get myself a council flat. I applied for a council flat to provide a home for my child. Where I was living in London, was the top floor of a rough council estate block. I shared the box room of my parents flat with my son, as there was no where else for us to go. London is a dangerous place to live. There was a boy of fifteen, stabbed to death within a minutes walk of where I lived. Some of my neighbours had drugs. Some of them had a violent history. I just couldn't raise my son there. No chance. No way in hell would I keep my child in such a place. I needed to take him out of that situation, so we moved. It's safer here. We live in a residential area, with a park and a community centre just opposite our home. Tesco, and the doctors, are both a five minute walk away. The school, and nursery, are a ten minute walk away. The town centre is a fifteen minute walk away. My sons godparents live on the road next to ours. I can provide my son with a much better quality of life here, and I don't regret my decisions for a minute. So far, the move has positively benefited both of us. It's a small rural town, and options of work are very limited. But, with this move, I'm a firm believer in being brought somewhere for a reason. For the first time this past month, I've felt a lot more like this is where we're supposed to be. I have a beautiful son, a family home, and all of our family situated close by. I have freedom, where I felt very restricted back in London. 

Equally, to provide food on the table, pay my bills, and keep the flat heated, I budget my benefits to the penny. I've become very sensible with money by living independently. You pay your bills, the gas and electricity, you pay for the baby milk, wipes, nappies, and food and medicine your child needs, and then you feed yourself with whatever money is left over. My food shop for me and my son never comes to more than £40 a week. The thing is, with benefits, is that you really don't get enough to doss around with. You have to be responsible with it, because obviously you don't get any extra if you mess it up. (By the way, in no way do I mean to sound like I'm complaining. I'm not, I just think it's really important to clarify the facts). 

So, this social stigma that single parents are all bad people, is damn right disgusting. It wasn't you who was put in that situation, and it's awful to tell a girl to have an abortion instead of a baby. It isn't you that would have to live with the mental side effects of that for the rest of your life, of not knowing what could have been, if you had had an abortion. I have a beautiful little boy who means the world to me. He would still be worth everything even if I have to struggle for the rest of my life to provide for him. And in no way am I bad parent, when all I have ever tried to do, from the minute I found out was pregnant, was do the best thing for my child. My son will now be brought up in a family home in a safe area, with a safe place to play, and all of our family around us. He will know the importance of family, and go to a good school. He will be able to do whatever he wants with his life, with me supporting him all the way. I'm already saving for his future, whatever that may be. And when I can go to work, I want to show him the importance of a good work ethic. I want my son to be raised well, safe, and with a lot of love. This is where he'll be able to have that. 

Love as always,

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

My Makeup for Glasses Wearers

Recently, I have been trying to wear my glasses all the time, instead of my usual contact lenses. I've been getting very conscious about the amount of damage that I've been doing to my eyes over the years (I've worn contact lenses for the past eight years, every day), and have been making a conscious effort to switch. I've always hated my glasses and have never felt comfortable in them, but these are my new pair and I have to say - I really love them! I think that sometimes a pair of glasses can really accessorise an outfit and complete the look. I went out to my friends baby shower and wore a black shift dress with red heels, red lips and my glasses and I really loved it all put together like that.

For my skin, I cleansed and moisturised with Simple Face Wash and Simple Moisturiser. I used a Real Texhniques Expert Face Brush to apply Garnier Matte BB Cream. I then used the same brush to dust Collection's Little Mix Blush (In the shade Perrie). 
I used Clinique Quickliner to line my upper lashline, and traced it with Collection's Extreme Felt Tip Liner. I curled my lashes, before applying two coats of Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara. I used a Barry M Angled Eye Brush to apply Stila Eyeshadow (the shade Sandstone from the In the Light palette) to create a strong defined brow look. I think it's really important to define your brows, especially when wearing glasses, as a nice clean brow is the perfect frame to enhance your look. 
I used Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Colour (in the shade Rumour Has It) to give my lips a bit of colour, to add interest but also still keep the look quite modern, and also a little bit Autumn-y! 

So this is my look for glasses wearers, and if I were to give you any tips it would be to make sure you definitely conceal your under eye area to keep it looking fresh and immaculate. 

Hope you enjoyed this post,

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Fault In Our Stars - book Synopsis and Review

Hi guys! So, absolutely yonks ago (around four months ago, if I'm honest), I was on holiday to Scotland and I bought a couple of books to read during my stay. They were The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska, both by John Green. I'm going to review The Fault in our Stars here, and Looking For Alaska in a seperate blog post, so that this post doesn't get too long winded! 

The Fault in our Stars - Synopsis
The protagonist of the story is a sixteen year old girl, named Hazel, who is a stage six cancer patient. She meets a boy named Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, at her cancer support group. Augustus has a friend called Isaac, who in the early stages of the story has a rare eye cancer, and soon becomes blind. As Hazel and Augustus learn more about eachother, their friendship grows stronger, and feelings for eachother deepen. Hazel is reluctant to have a relationship with Augustus as she is aware her cancer is likely to kill her, and she doesn't want to put him through that. Hazel and Augustus are characters with a disdain for things conventional. They both enjoy reading, and are intelligent with a dry, verging on narcissistic, sense of humour, and are so compatible and endearing. Hazel shares her favourite book with Augustus, 'An Imperial Affliction', and they plan to fly out to Amsterdam to meet the author, Peter Van Houten, to find out more about the cliffhanger ending of his book. Just before they fly out, Augustus has a PET scan to see how his recovery process is going. Unexpectedly the scan gives him very bad news, as his cancer appears to be everywhere in his system. He flies out to Amsterdam with Hazel anyway, without telling her, so not to ruin the trip. Whilst in Amsterdam, Augustus and Hazel go out for a meal paid by Peter Van Houten one evening, before meeting him the next morning. Unfortunately for the two, Peter Van Houten refuses to answer any of their questions regarding the characters in his story, is insulting and condescending towards Hazel and her cancer, and appears very much a cruel, nasty alcoholic. Augustus and Hazel fly home from their trip, disappointed. When they get back to the USA, Augustus tells Hazel his bad news about his cancer. Over the course of the book, Hazel watches Augustus's condition deteriorates, as he goes from the strong, able man she loves, to a frail, weak man who needs a wheelchair for mobility. Augustus passes away, and Hazel writes him an emotional eulogy for his funeral. Peter Van Houten also attends, which angers Hazel, but he expresses his condolences and vows to Hazel that he will lay off the alcohol. The story ends with a letter written from Augustus to Peter Van Houten, asking him to write a eulogy for Hazel, and tells him all about her, how she never wanted to leave a mark, and that it was triumphant and heroic that she was so selfless. Peter Van Houten forwards the letter to Hazel. The last few lines of the letter read, "I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers." 

My Review on The Fault in our Stars
I absolutely loved this book, and fully recommend reading it to anyone who is thinking of doing so! I know I've basically just told you what happens, but my words are not half as strong, or powerful, as the authors. I know this story is one that will linger in my mind for a long time yet as it is a very special book. It shows you how lucky you are to be alive, and to not take what you have for granted, and how thankful you should be to not have to be suffering the pain and discomforts that cancer patients do suffer. It gives you such insight and it makes me personally so grateful that none of my friends or family, or my son, have to go through that. I found this book actually meaning a significant amount more than I ever intended it to. It's definitely one I would read again and I will be keeping on to it for a long time yet. The story captures all the hurt, emotions, pain, everything Hazel felt. I just found it such an emotional story and it has honestly (no word of a lie), become my favourite book as I just found it so incredibly sentimental. 

Hope you're all having a good week,

Sammii-Jane x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Garnier BB Cream

Hey guys! I hope you've enjoyed all my recent home-related posts. I've really enjoyed all the decorating even though it's been such hard work! However, it's now time to knuckle back down with these beauty posts. I have really been loving Garnier's Miracle Skin Perfector Beauty Balm - so much so that it is my staple beauty product on my dressing table, and is used every day. 

My skin is in fairly good condition now, but I still feel like my skin looks very tired and sallow without makeup. I hate full coverage foundations as I do have freckles on my nose that I like to enhance. Garnier BB cream has very subtle coverage and still just looks like my skin on a really good day, which is nice. 

I've been using the original Garnier BB cream for around the past six months, and have only recently switched to the Garnier Matte BB cream (the slightly skinnier tube), as I suppose I had just never noticed it before. I do get a really oily T-zone, and the original BB cream is very dewy. It has a beautiful finish but the Matte version is much more flattering for me personally. 

One of the reasons I initially liked the Garnier BB cream is because the light shade comes very light. I'm paler than pale, and a lot of products can either look too thick, or too heavy, but this BB cream makes my skin look really healthy. I have used the Estée Lauder Invisible Fluid foundation which also has really sheer coverage, which I found to be a really weird product as it's so runny and messy to get out of the tube, but then looks quite thick and was quite orangey on me. But this BB cream is a fraction of the price, yet works so much better! I apply it with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush as I find that this brush makes it look most natural when blended in really well into the skin.

Hope you guys have all been well,

Sammii-Jane x

Monday, 15 September 2014

A little more of the flat...

Hey guys! Again, thought I'd update you on my current living arrangements! So I showed you this picture of my living room in my latest blog post, and I'm just going to repost the picture just to freshen your memories! 

Over this past week, I've also finished my son Rhys's room, and also my room! For Rhys's room I really wanted to provide a happy, clean place for him to play, so I've set up his cot, and also most of his developmental toys on the floor for him to play with. He's rolling now and is very nearly at the crawling stage so soon enough he will be able to crawl to the things he wants, which I think is just so cute!

For my bedroom, I really love the vintage look, and have always wanted a pretty, vintage bedroom! Luckily, as vintage isn't very fashionable, a lot of people just give their old furniture away very cheaply as it's quite hard to sell, and as I already had the dresser, vintage throw, and picture frames, it was very easy to add a few more things to create this vintage style bedroom. I got the bedside table for £5, and the lamp was £2 from my friend's dad's charity shop. I also bought the rug (barely seen) for £3, and the curtains for £2 from him as well. The only thing I bought new for my room was the sage green cushion on my bed, for £4 from Dunelm. 

Next to the dresser in the far corner, I have my clothes and shoes. This was an old pine shelving unit that I had in my previous house, and I bought some Walnut wood stain to repaint it so it would match the dresser. Although this isn't particularly vintage, I was on a tight budget for furniture so had to make the most of what I had! I really like how this turned out though and I'm definitely keeping it! I also thought that placing the tan brogues on a vintage style shoe box also just really added to the whole vintage feel! 

In the corner where I was taking the pictures, is also a vintage armchair which I use as a reading chair! It's quite un decorated at the moment, but I'm hoping to eventually buy a small walnut bookshelf to store all my books, with maybe a little candle, or flowers, or just something cute and vintage-y to put on top to make it look more homely! I bought this armchair for £5 in one of the local charity shops, who also delivered it free of charge! 

I've felt very Kirstie Allsopp with all of this decorating, especially with the vintage parts! Scouring for cheap furniture, painting my own shelves and walls, decorating all these rooms! It's so exciting to finally have the home I wanted for my child. The only thing I really need to save up for now is carpet, as council flats are never furnished with carpet. I'm hoping to have the living room carpeted by Christmas so that our living room is all snug and cosy for Rhys's first Christmas! I have a lot of saving to do though as I was quoted £550 for carpeting the whole flat! So I will probably just have to do it room by room at the moment, and eventually it will all be carpeted! Also on another exciting note... *whispers* I'm getting Rhys a kitten soon! I've seen this adorable little black and ginger female kitten on my local area's sale website. She's a little scruff really but I just find that even more endearing! I'm not sure what to call her yet as there are so many names I like for her! A couple I'm liking at the moment are Sansa, and Paisley. I'm leaning more towards Sansa as it will be easier for Rhys to pronounce. 

Write soon, 

Sammii-Jane x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sneak Peek at my new Flat!

Hey guys! So, as you may or may not know, I have recently moved from London to Scotland. I wanted to provide a real family home for my son, Rhys, and wasn't able to do that while living in London. As I'm sure you can imagine, I have been extremely busy decorating the flat, and I thought I would show you guys our home so far! 

It started off a real state when I was first given the keys. There was no carpet, no decor, no appliances in the kitchen, and I was lucky that my flat came wallpapered, to be honest. So for the first couple of days I set about painting the entire flat, sanding floors, and acquiring furniture. It's only been a week as I got the keys last Wednesday, and already my living room is fully furnished and decorated exactly how I want it! I was very set that I wanted my living room to be properly decorated and nice to live n as it would be the main room that my son would be playing in and I would be watching him, so I really wanted it to be a safe and happy place for him to grow and develop. 

Aqua blue is my favourite colour, and with the grey sofa I think the colours pair together really well. I didn't want my living room to be too girly or anything as I would have a little boy playing in it, so I decided to stick to quite neutral colours of blue, grey, and cream. I'm now just waiting on a rug from Amazon to arrive to put in front of the book case, and my living room will be finished!

So far, I'm really loving the new flat. It is a fresh start for us both, and we also now live two minutes away from Rhys's godparents, who are here all the time! 

I will hopefully get back to beauty related posts soon (although you may have a few home-related posts to contend with first!) 

Hope you've enjoyed this post,

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New Place, New Face

Hey guys! Sorry I've been so rubbish with posts of late. I've recently had a very big house move, from London to Scotland, so have been very busy packing, travelling, and arranging viewings. Finally today though I have been given the keys to my flat! It is so amazing to finally be able to provide a real home for my child. We have been living in the box room to my parents house for the past six months which has been a real struggle space-wise. I'm hoping to get back to beauty related blog posts soon, but there will probably be quite a few home related posts for you to contend with first!

As I have moved so far away, I have taken it as one big lifestyle change. While living in London, I was very miserable. I wasn't providing the life that I wanted for my son and it was making me very depressed and anxious. I had no confidence at all, I never bothered with makeup and I just didn't make any kind of effort with myself whatsoever. As a new mum, I lived in the same daily uniform of a baggy tee shirt and leggings. I could totally justify ice cream for breakfast and didn't care about getting fat. But with this move, it has changed everything. I am incredibly proud of my child, I love to show him off and he is my absolute world. With coming here, I wanted to make him proud of me too. I wanted to become more of a Yummy Mummy, shift my excess weight, make more of an effort with my personal styling, hair, and makeup. I wanted more confidence to speak to new people, and to be comfortable with the way I present myself. (SELFIE MOMENT! I couldn't help it - anyone who knows me would be so shocked! I'm just so desperate to feel good about myself again, and I think I'm finally starting to.)

I've been making the effort every day to do a full face of makeup, do my hair properly and dress myself nicely. I know that for most people without children this is the norm, but for a single parent it can be incredibly difficult to find the time to do all this. Luckily, where I'm living in Scotland now has a much slower pace than the great city of London. In London, you have appointments, schedules, and times where you need to be at certain places. In Scotland, you leave the house whenever you're ready. 

It's a small town where I live, but I love it. It still has all your main shops, River Island, Starbucks, Gregg's, Boots, a massive Superdrug, and it's also got a lot of furniture charity stores which has helped out a lot with furnishing my house. There's also a Debenhams that has all your typical beauty counters, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Clarins, Clinique, Benefit, and (my favourite!) bareMinerals. It also has an extensive perfume counter, and I've totally got my eye on the Paul Smith Rose fragrance. There's also a bus that goes from the town centre into Glasgow, which will be perfect for the Christmas shopping. In Glasgow there's all the stores you would expect to find in London - Pret a Manger, Primark, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Lush... The list is endless! It's so exciting to have had such a positive move for myself and my son. I know we're going to be so much happier here. 

I've still got so much to do on the flat it's insane. I've still got to give it a good deep clean, and get carpet laid throughout the whole house, before the moving van brings all my things up on Saturday. Then I can actually start to decorate! I never realised how expensive a home really was until now. I am on quite a tight budget though so I am having to do it incredibly cheaply, but I really like that. I'm basically buying a lot of cheap furniture, coffee tables, chests of drawers, and sanding them down to paint them the colours I like. I feel very Kirstie Allsopp! It's very exciting to decorate your new home the way you want it, and it's going to be so worth it once it's all done!

Blog soon,

Sammii-Jane x

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Clinique Quickliner

Hey guys! So, I don't know if you'll have heard of Clinique's Quickliner. It's a relatively old product, however I have only just discovered it, and am loving it so much I wanted to create a post on it! 

bought the Quickliner (RRP £15) from one of my local Clinique beauty counters quite a while ago, but then let it slip into the depths of my eye makeup storage, and sort of just forgot about it I guess?! It is something I am deeply regretting now though as this product is just so, so good!
I bought the shade black/brown as I find that to be the most flattering for people with light hair and skin colouring. It is actually really well pigmented and honestly appears to be just as bold as a liquid or gel eyeliner. I applied the Quickliner today not really expecting too much. I was just using it to create an initial outline to trace over with a liquid liner, but the line that this made was so strong I didn't need to. If I had wanted quite a defined eyeliner look I would have just left it at that, but I then used the smudge stick to make it appear softer, which just looked super flattering against the saddle-brown and chocolate-brown eyeshadow combo I had applied previously. The pigmentation and the smudge stick of the Quickliner make this so easy to apply, and I would definitely buy this again. Honestly, it is so, so easy and quick, you could do this on a bus. Not that I recommend that if you have the option not to! In all seriousness, this is a really lovely product.

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Makeup for round eyes

Today I really wanted to create a different makeup look, rather than just opting for my usual look. I wanted to try something fun and interesting, and also that was flattering for round eyes, and for my skin tone. I chose a neutral brown shadow combo for my eyes, and then lined the top and bottom lashline using a smudging applicator to apply black gel eyeliner. I also wanted to add a little pop of colour by using quite a bright pink blush, and a maroon-coloured lipgloss.

So, I prepped my skin by cleansing and moisturising with Simple Face Wash, and Simple Moisturiser. I then applied Yes to Grapefruit Correcting Serum over my face. I let that set, and once dry applied MUA Bronzer (shade 3) to my temples and cheekbones. This is actually quite a highly pigmented bronzer which I am really enjoying using. I then dusted Collection Little Mix Blush (in the shade Perrie) over the apples of my cheeks, and used my bareMinerals Flawless Face Brush to apply both my bronzer and blush. I then dusted Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder over my T-zone to cover any oiliness. 
For my eyes, I used Collection's Work the Colour Eyeshadow Trio (in the shade Choc Chip). I dusted the lighter brown shade across my eyelid, and the darker brown shade into my crease by using my Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. I then applied the darker brown shade to my upper and lower lashline by using my Real Techniques Accent Brush. I then traced along my upper and lower lash line again by using Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. I curled my lashes before applying two coats Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara. For my brows, I applied the colour Sandstone from my Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette by using an Ecotools Angled Eye Brush
I prepped my lips using Burt's Bees Lip Wax, before applying Max Factor Max Effect Lip Gloss in the shade Rubylicious. 

For my hair, I blow dried it roughly after my shower last night, and left it until this morning. I then brushed it, primed it using Percy and Reed Hair Primer, and styled it into a messy bun, pulling a few strands from the front forward. I then spritzed it with Loreal Elnett Satin Hair Spray

I know this isn't really a super-exciting makeup look, but it is a really nice look for daywear as it just has a touch of colour to add a bit of interest. I really enjoyed framing my eyes in this way as I only ever apply eyeliner to my upper lashline, and it was just a really different look to what I would typically go for. I hope you've enjoyed this post!

Sammii-Jane x

Monday, 18 August 2014

Charity Bake Sale 2014!

Now, where would the typical beauty blogger be without showing off her love of baking, or the assortment of homemade goodies for you to feast your eyes upon? Over the course of the last week, I have been very, very busy baking cakes. A lot of cakes! However, these cakes were not for personal consumption - they were made for a charity bake sale to raise money for the Royal British Legion. 

Chocolate Crispy Cakes
I started off by making two trays of chocolate crispy cakes. I used melted dark chocolate with a teaspoon of vegetable oil, with cornflakes, and they were divine. I love that crispy cakes are just such an easy recipe and so yummy. They're definitely something I can see myself making with my son Rhys when he's older! 

Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes
I then went on to making some vanilla cupcakes, that I placed in pretty leopard and zebra print cases, and topped with squirty cream and strawberries! I wanted them to be really simple, but still look really appealing. They turned out really nicely actually! 

Butter Flapjacks
My mum made a tray of flapjacks too. This was a super easy recipe as well, just oats, melted butter, and syrup, mixed together and baked on a low heat. This is another child friendly recipe, and they taste so good! I just love a still-warm from the oven, soft, buttery flapjack. I may just have to make more tomorrow, now that I'm thinking about them! 

Loaf Cakes
I finished off by making two loaf cakes. The top one was vanilla sponge, with cranberries and white chocolate, and the bottom one was a chocolate sponge filled with chocolate chips. 

It's such a shame I didn't manage to get any pictures of the cake sale, but we actually did three cake sales that week (making fresh cakes each time of course!), and managed to raise around £100 for our chosen charity. It was so nice to just have that week to just do something to benefit someone else. Although we didn't really raise that much, we did put an awful lot of work into it which I think counts for something! 

The Royal British Legion are a charity that help serving members of the Royal Navy, Army, and Air Force. They help ex-servicemen, their carers, and their families. They aim to help the 500,000 most in need, and half the people they help are below retirement age. I think it's so important to support our forces, and the people who risk their lives for us every day. 

Hope you're all having a great week, 


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Mac Brow Set - Full Review!

Depending on how long you've been keeping up with my blog for, you may or may not know, that absolutely aaaaaaaages ago on a haul I purchased the Mac Brow Set. I was so excited to buy this as I had been really wanting a product for subtle eyebrow definition that also came in a shade for blondes, so when I found this it was exactly what I had been looking for. When I got home, however, I tried it a couple of times, didn't initially like it that much, and then I went and dyed my hair dark anyway so my light brows just didn't look right. It has stayed in one of my makeup drawers untouched for the past few months, but as I've dyed my hair light again I've dug it out and given it another go.

May I just say, it is AMAZING! I really love this and it is now my go-to brow product. I really like mine to look natural anyway as I pretty much always sport a no-makeup look (my daily makeup consists of my Mac brow set, a couple of coats of Benefit Bad Gal mascara for my lashes, and Garnier tinted under-eye roll on under my eyes). My brows are a bit too light and sparse, but the Mac brow set literally looks like it's your natural brows, and equally gives you just enough definition. The shade Beguile is just perfect for the lighter-haired among us, where there is another shade perfect for brunettes. 
I can't believe I haven't used it for so long, this really is just the easiest and nicest brow product I've used in a really long time. I really hate the pencilled-in look so always steer clear of eyebrow pencils, and would never use a liquid brow product either as in my opinion it would just look too heavy. For me, I personally like the very traditional natural brow look. Makeup artists have been saying for decades never to over-pluck your brows, and to just brush them into their natural shape. Only recently have people been going for the HD brow look, which does look beautiful, but if you rarely wear makeup (like me) then to have your brows perfectly made up but no makeup anywhere else, it can look a bit out of place, and to be honest, it just isn't my style. Makeup fanatics and pin-up lovers have also been loving the HD brow look for recreating vintage 50's makeup looks, but that does seem inaccurate to me too... You never saw Sandy from Grease with heavily defined brows. 
Anyway (a bit off-topic there!), the Mac Brow set really is just lovely. I will just reiterate that it looks really natural, it's super-easy to apply as the applicator is basically a mascara wand so you just brush it directly on to your brows. It comes in two shades, one for blondes and one for brunettes. I believe it to be a gel product (I haven't actually checked this, but this is just what the texture feels like) which also means that it doesn't budge. Also, with the applicator being a mascara wand, it also means you don't need to brush your brows separately with an eye brow tool as that's already been done for you! It's really easy, it's really quick, and where I have a young son so am always short on time, I am always on the lookout for really quick and easy makeup, and this really is absolutely perfect. I can't fault it in any way. 
I will mention though that where it is really ideal for me, it may not be quite to your taste. As I said previously, you will never be able to create the HD brow look with this, it's also a bristle brush applicator (I'm aware that some of you aren't a fan), and the price does seem a bit expensive at £13. But you do get an awful lot in the tube and I can see this lasting a really long time, so in my opinion it's well worth it. I will definitely be purchasing this again! I'm really sorry that this is so long but I really wanted it to be quite in-depth as there is just so much to say about it! 

Hope you've been having a lovely week,

Sammii-Jane x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Simple Skin Care

Okay, okay. I know that just about everyone from Father Christmas, to the cats mother, swear by the Simple range. I've never been able to use it before as it's just never been suitable for my skin type, but ever since my skins returned back it's normal, relatively clear state (I had really bad hormonal acne while I was pregnant earlier this year) I've been able to use Simple. I've always wanted to use it, as I don't really like to wear much makeup, but I need to have relatively good skin in order to feel comfortable without makeup. So for these past couple of months I've been using it religiously. 

I wash my face with the Simple Face Wash, I cleanse with the Simple Cleansing Lotion, and I moisturise with the Simple Hydrating Moisturiser. It's been really gentle on my skin and I've been really loving it! I can finally get to leave the house, feeling comfortable in my own skin. I hate wearing foundation as I just really dislike the feeling that I'm clogging up my skin with it, and I much prefer to go natural when I can! This is what my skin has been looking like since using the product (completely unedited), and so far it really is the best thing I've ever used. I know I say that each time I try something new but this is just so gentle, yet super effective!  

Something that I really love the product is that as it's cleared up my skin so much, I have a really quick wash-and-go getting ready routine in the mornings now, which gives me more time to spend with my son as I don't feel like I have to over-compensate with makeup. It makes him happier, it makes me happier, it's a win-win! It's definitely made my mornings so much easier and made me so much less stressed, and self-conscious about my previous bad skin. (As a little disclaimer, I always like to do makeup-free selfies to show you how well the products work. I really love skin care so I tend to buy an awful lot of it if I'm honest, to test when I get home, and then I do like to show you the results too I suppose!)

I am really happy with Simple skin care. This is something I've already made a repurchase of and can see myself buying for probably quite a while yet! Hope you've all had a lovely Monday, 

Sammii-Jane x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

August 2014 Wish List

Hey guys! I thought I would share with you my current up to date wish list. These are mainly beauty items, but also a tiny little bit of fashion too! 

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer

So, the Guerlain Bronzer is probably one of the most hyped-up bronzers in the beauty blogger world. Of course I'd love to give it a try! These retail at around £35 which is really rather expensive for a bronzer, but from what I hear, they are worth every penny! I like that it has subtle pink specks for a little more colour too. I just think it looks beautiful, I bet it works beautifully, and they're also the go-to bronzers for pro MUA's to have in their kits. The Guerlain Bronzers look divine and I cannot wait until the day I own one! I always have this problem that the bronzers I buy are never pigmented enough and they never seem to make much of a difference, so I would love to try this. 

Chanel Lip Gloss
I know, I know, yet another high-end product! The Chanel lip glosses look so beautiful, sparkly, subtle yet pigmented, that I know I just have to have one! I don't really wear makeup during the day, so I think that this would just be really nice as a little touch of luxury to carry around in my handbag for when I'm out. These are just gorgeous. 

Zoeva Brushes
I've been wanting Zoeva brushes for a really long time now, and where €65 isn't exactly cheap, it's really good value for relatively high-end, amazing quality brushes. The Rose Gold set is just so beautiful to look at, but I'm just not sure whether I'd want these more for my own personal use, or for my kit. I love that it comes in it's own little brush clutch bag as well. I think that these would definitely be more of an ideal Christmas present than something I could justify treating myself to! 

Converse Dance Lace in Bright Blue
I have been really wanting a pair of sturdy new Converse trainers for a while now. I basically only ever wear Primark pumps, and as soon as it rains (which happens a lot here in the UK), they fall apart! I am so fed up of never having any practical but nice shoes to wear. These really caught my eye as I'm generally not a trainer-type person but because the style is actually quite feminine, as well as the shoe being a really pretty blue colour, I just really like them a lot. They're like the perfect in-between shoe for someone who wants pretty, feminine, and practical. 

Robin Hood Disney DVD
As some of you may know, I'm a mother to my young son, Rhys. Something that I would like to do for him is to collect up a huge bunch of Disney DVDs for him to watch for when he's a little older. I shop around a lot to find the best price for everything, and recently I've come across Robin Hood, The Sword in the Stone, and The Fox and the Hound, all being sold for £5 each with free delivery on Amazon. These would be great films to start off my collection with and they're being sold for such an amazing price! I'd love to buy them but as I'm currently saving for a little flat for us I'm struggling to justify spending money on things I don't really need right now. However, as soon as I've got the flat sorted, I think these films may just have to be bought in order to celebrate! 

So these are the current items on my wish list! I hope you've enjoyed this post, and I hope you look out for my next one! (Hint: it might just be a huuuuge homeware haul!) 

Hope you've all had a fantastic weekend,

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 8 August 2014

L'Occitane Verbena

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I've recently been starting to save for a deposit on a flat, so have been avoiding any tempting and expensive beauty purchases! Today, however, I cracked, because I just fell in love with the L'Occitane Verbena scent and knew I had to have it! I bought it in a sale at my local Tudor Williams store, who were having a 10% off all cosmetics and toiletries day. This set was priced at £20, but as I bought it at sale price I paid £18.

It is packaged in a super-cute bright yellow canvas bag, embossed with a modern silver-glitter 'L'Amour De La Provence' L'Occitane logo. I absolutely adore the colour yellow for the summer season, it is so bright, happy and cheerful that you can't help but smile and feel happy! 

Now, for the contents of the bag: this set contains a 75ml shower gel, a 75ml body lotion, a 10ml tube of hand cream, a 100g bar of hand soap, and a 10ml sample fragrance of the Verbena Eau de Toilette. 

The scent! Let me tell you the fragrance is divine! The L'Occitane Verbena smells exactly of freshly crushed sweet limes. I absolutely adore citrus scents as I find them really refreshing and so different to the usual musky/floral scent. This smells so, so, good it just has me dreaming of an icy mojito on a tropical beach! This scent is by far my favourite, even more so than my Estée Lauder Modern Muse, which has been my strong favourite since receiving it as a Christmas present last year! It's just so fresh and different to anything I own. I initially bought the set purely for the fragrance, which is a perfect size for me as (I hate to say it), but I always get bored of perfumes after the first month and never, ever manage to finish a whole bottle. So the fact that this is only 10ml makes me feel a lot less guilty about never finishing a perfume, as you never know, I might manage it with a smaller size! A 100ml bottle of the Verbena Eau de Toilette will cost you £42. This is the 10ml sample Verbena fragrance I got with the set. It's such a cute handbag size too, and would be perfect for a weekend trip away! 

I just love the sleek glass bottle, and the leaf design is beautiful! I really love L'Occitane's 'natural' cardboard packaging too, I love that there are no fussy distracting colours and I just think that with packaging, less is more! It is so simple and I love that the brand sell organic products, I feel I'm definitely getting my money's worth with top quality products. I just want to say that if you are thinking of purchasing the Verbena, definitely go in store and smell it and I promise you, you will love it! The Verbena definitely won me over, and I really hope you will love it as much as I do! 

Hope you're having a great weekend, 

Sammii-Jane x

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Collections - my Bobbi Brown collection!

Hey guys! Apologies for being a bit rubbish with any recent posts. I've had an awful lot going on in my personal life to have been able to write anything of late. However, I'm really trying to pick it back up again if you will be tolerant enough to bear with me! 
So in any case that you've seen any recent beauty blogs, you might have noticed the collections tags going around. For instance, these beauty collections could be Mac lipsticks, any high street product collections, or really whatever you like, as long as it falls into the same category. So for my collections post, I'm going to show you guys my current Bobbi Brown collection! I would love to be a Makeup Artist on the Bobbi Brown counters, so I am buying into their products a lot to get to know all of their products and brushes really well, so that after I've qualified from college I can hopefully manage to bag an interview with the company and not do too terribly! Who knows, I may even get a job! We can all dream!

So this is all the makeup and brushes from Bobbi Brown that I have. I'm going to include a few close ups just to give you a little more in-depth insight and not to confuse you by trying to explain from this one picture! 

(Top L-R)
- Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil
- Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover
- Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Hydrating Face Cream
- Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream
(Bottom L-R)
- Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Porcelain
- Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Cool Beige
- Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Honey
- Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in Warm Sand

- Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Nude Rose
- Bobbi Brown Lipgloss in Rose Sugar
- Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara
- Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
- Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner
- Bobbi Brown Makeup Brushes, 
- Eyebrow Brush
- Face Blender
- Mini Foundation Brush
- Mini Eyeliner Brush
- Concealer and Eyeshadow Brush

For blush, I have the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Wild Rose.

A final item to my Bobbi Brown collection, I have the Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful book! 

As for other products that I have my eye on, in any case that you might be interested, is the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder. I love bronzer in the warm summer season but at the moment £30 on a bronzer is a little pricey for me, as I'm currently saving to buy my son Rhys a baby support seat. I just can't justify spending money on myself when my son needs things for his development! 

I hope you've liked having a good nose at my Bobbi Brown collection! Please let me know of any must-have Bobbi Brown products that you adore! 

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Rhys at Four Months Old

Hey guys! So, to be honest, I haven't done an awful lot makeup-wise this week. I've been a little bit lazy with it, because as much as I love makeup I also really love spending time with my son, which is of course my first priority. I don't want to miss any part of him growing up, and I thought I would share with you how he's been getting on of late! 

He's now able to lift his head up completely unaided, and is getting to grips with holding up his bottle. The picture on the bottom left is where he fell asleep by himself for the first time, which was just so adorable! He's developing so quickly which is amazing. I'm trying to encourage him to start crawling and such (which I now he won't do for a few more months) by giving him lots of tummy time, which is just time where you put your baby on it's tummy to help him get used to not just being on his back, and helps them learn to move around. 
He's also been really loving his baths, and is loving splashing around in them! He giggles while he does it too! He smiles a lot as he's generally quite a happy baby which is lovely! I've just started him on baby food as well, so far he isn't liking anything fruit based as it's far too tangy for him, but he does really enjoy rice pudding, chocolate pudding, and banana custard (only liking the sweet things - definitely my son!) and I've also started giving him very diluted baby fruit squash.
We've had a baby massage class earlier this week which he is loving at the moment in this warm weather, and I'm also taking him swimming next week which I think he is going to love, since he loves his baths so much! If he really enjoys it I will have to make it a weekly thing! 

I also found my old baby picture while ransacking the cupboards! I was looking for his swimming trunks that I'd bought for him ages ago, when I came across my old baby photo album! Same eyes and nose, so much like his mumma! 

Rhys has been coming along leaps and bounds, I'm so proud of him! He is absolutely the most amazing thing to have ever happened to me, he is just such a special boy to me. I'll probably update every few months to let you all know how he's coming along! 

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My Holy Grail Makeup Brush

My Holy Grail makeup brush is an absolute no-brainer. I have brushes from Bobbi Brown, bareMinerals, Sheer Cover, but my absolute favourite is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I use this brush for blending all my face products, I use it to buff my liquid foundation on to my skin, I use it to apply bronzer to my cheekbones, blush to my cheeks, I even use it to dab on face powder. I just find that the brush blends my makeup really seamlessly, but is equally precise enough to use for my blush and bronzer too, and I just really love it! 
I had originally bought it to use for my pro kit, but after seeing many good reviews I decided to bring it out of it's box and give it a go! I've been using the brush every day for the past month now, and I hadn't realised until now how heavily I rely on it - it really is my go-to brush. It makes blending and buffing a dream and my makeup looks so flawless because of it, I have seen such a massive improvement in how my makeup looks after using it. I do clean it every few days with Mac Brush Cleanser, as cleaning my brushes that are for my own personal use becomes quite the task when you really don't have time for that every day! The bristles are still in fantastic condition, and I'm fairly sure the brush hasn't shed at all. I have been meaning to buy another of the same brush to keep in my MUA kit, as it has become such hassle to have to clean the brush after I do my makeup in the morning but also so that it dries in time for when I have a model booked that day. I bought this brush for £8.99  from Boots, and I also picked up the Real Techniques Retractable Bronzing Brush for £13.99 as well that day. 

Because I've had such a good experience working with these two particular brushes, but I really had needed more brushes in my kit, I decided to branch out with more brushes from the brand and also bought the Real Techniques Core Collection, and the Starter Kit, so now I have (nearly!) all the makeup brushes I need. 
I know that a lot of people, makeup artists and clients, would tell you that you should have the best makeup brushes in the business if you want to work pro - but I disagree. Now, I absolutely love Bobbi Brown and it kills me to say anything negative against the brand as it really is my absolute favourite, but I just really can't get on with the brushes I purchased from them. I think it depends heavily on what brushes that you work best with. There is no point in using more expensive brushes if you are more comfortable and get a better result with brushes from a slightly cheaper brand. That said, Real Techniques are cheaper, but they do not skimp on quality at all. All the brushes I've ever bought from them have been amazing and they are definitely so far, my favourite makeup brushes. It really does depend on what suits you as an artist, and it is equally important to know how to achieve the look you require with your brushes. 

Hope you're all having a lovely day,

Sammii-Jane x

Monday, 14 July 2014

My Daily Makeup Summer '14

Hey Guys! So, I thought I would share with you my current daily makeup look for the warm summer season. I am loving this look as it's very simple, easy, effortless, but is still fairly made up. The foundation gives a warmer tone to my face and the lipstick is such a pretty, natural colour. 

I cleanse with Simple Face Wash and moisturise with Simple Moisturiser. As I get really dry skin, I apply Boots Cold Cream on top, and Superdrug Naturally Radiant 2-in-1 Moisturiser and Serum. I use my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to buff Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation (in the shade Warm Sand) onto my skin. I use the same brush to apply Borjois Delice de Soleil bronzer from my temples to my cheekbones, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (in the shade Wild Rose) over my cheeks, and finish with bareMinerals Mineral Veil to set my face makeup. 
I then use my Barry M Angled Eye Brush to apply the shade Sandstone from my Stila In The Light Eye Palette. I use Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner to line my lashline, and curl my lashes before applying two coats of Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara.
I use my Collection Mardi Gras Lip Balm (the orange scented one) to moisturise my lips before applying Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Colour in the shade Not an Illusion. I finish off with a coat of Collection Pure Gloss

I love this makeup look as it's just really summery, slightly tan, a pretty natural lip colour with subtle pink, glowing cheeks. I think it's just a really natural summer look and doesn't look too heavy, and it's definitely becoming one of my favourite makeup looks. I also seem to be putting my hair up into a Brunette Bun Ring everyday as well now, as it's just so easy to do, can be done in a minute, and it doesn't matter if I haven't dried my hair properly the night before (which is often the case!). It also keeps my hair off my face so I don't get all hot and bothered by it during this warm season.

Hope you're all having a lovely week,

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 11 July 2014

Boots and Primark Haul July 2014

Hey guys! So, today, I might have done a little shopping. Correction: I have done a lot of shopping. As you may know, I'm going to my friend's wedding tomorrow, and I was in serious need of a new outfit to wear for it. I had already bought a dress for the occasion, but that dress was sleeveless and my eczema on my upper arms is showing up really bad at the moment so I felt pretty self-conscious about wearing it. So, I decided to buy another dress with sleeves today, and a few other bits to wear with it. I also picked up a few skin care products in Boots, as mine is running out but equally hasn't been particularly kind to my dry skin. Here are the bits I bought! 

White Sandals - £10
Gold Chain Statement Necklace - £4
Floral False Nails - £1
Floral Dress - £10

I just love this dress! It's so summery, pretty, and flattering, yet covers my flaws, but still shows my tan. I like that it has a high neck as well as a bold print so that it's still occasion-appropriate. The white sandals and thin gold chain necklace went really well to accessorise the dress with, and the floral print nails went really well with the dress also. 

Travel Size Simple Moisturiser - £1.32
Travel Size Simple Toner - £1.32
Travel Size Simple Face Wash - £1.32
Travel Size Simple Face Wipes - £1.32 
Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum - £14.99
Garnier Moisture Match Ultra-Hydrating Rich Cream - £2.99
Mini Dove Go Fresh Pink Grapefruit Deodorant - £1.29

I really needed new skin care pieces, as my Olay Beauty Fluid isn't as moisturising as I initially thought it was. I've been wanting to try products from the Simple range for a while, but as I'm unsure whether or not it will work for my dry skin, I decided to only go for travel size products so I won't have lots of half-empty bottles lying around the bathroom if I don't like them! I also picked up Garnier Moisture Match for dry skin, as I was looking for a really rich moisturiser and this felt the nicest from the swatches. I also picked up the Yes to Grapefruit Serum, as it felt really nice, hydrating and smoothing, but also it's tinted - in my mind, I see it as a bit of a cross between a serum and a BB cream, so on my good skin days where I don't want to wear much makeup, but still have a light coverage and hydration, this will be perfect! Even on full coverage days, this will still be a really lovely serum to wear underneath my makeup - I'm so excited to use this! I will definitely be doing a review on it soon for you guys to see!

I hope you guys are looking forward to the weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x