Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Haircare Review: Mellor and Russell Hair Repair Mask

So, over the past couple of months, I decided that I wanted to grow my hair long. I've never had my hair long - even through school I usually kept it short, cut into a bob. Over my recent pregnancy it was shoulder-length, and now (4 month later), my hair is a lot longer and rests on my chest. Ideally I would like to grow my hair really long, and have it healthy, thick, and brown. Although this is probably incredibly unlikely to happen, I've already made recent changes to my hair, by dying it from blonde to a light chocolatey brown colour, and have been trying to get it into a much healthier condition. The ends of my hair were so dry during my pregnancy as I was just constantly too exhausted to really do anything with it, and (I'm going to be completely honest!), half the time I didn't even brush it. So I've been really trying to get it much healthier. I've also planned to just leave it to grow until the end of the year, and get it cut and styled professionally around Christmas this year. 

This was my hair probably about a month ago, and I'm finally beginning to like the length it's at, and of course it's continued to grow even longer! I'll be honest, I still don't really do a lot with my hair as it's naturally wavy and I like it that way - but my main 'hair aim' at the moment is just to improve it's condition, and make it glossy and healthy. So, the product that I've been using to achieve this is the Mellor and Russell Hair Repair Mask. 

First things first, this isn't an expensive hair product - it's sold in Poundland! I didn't even realise this at first, I ran out of conditioner while I was in the shower and pulled this old conditioner off the shelf that my mum bought ages ago, and it was this one! It just felt so silky and when I combed my hair through after I stepped out the shower, it was so much easier to style. I haven't stopped using it since, and it really has improved my hair's general health and has made it so much glossier. I actually use it in the shower as a conditioner, and then apply a little more to the ends as a leave-in conditioner before I dry it. It's repaired my ends so well, I used to have loads of split ends and I can't even notice them now, whereas before they were so damaged and obvious. My hair doesn't feel dry as it did, it now is glossy and smooth. 

I'm also going to admit that I still don't really bother to style my hair, I don't really know how to use anything hair-wise except for straighteners, but I don't like my hair poker-straight anyway - so a lot of the time, I apply this as a leave-in, comb it through, twist it around my fingers to enhance the natural curl, and then leave it to dry naturally. This is literally the only hair product that I find myself really wanting to use, time and time again! It's also the only product that I even need to use these days, as I can just use the one bottle of this, rather than a bunch of products, hair straightening cream, heat defence spray, serum, glossing oil, shine spray, etc. I can literally run this through my hair after combing when it's wet, and that is all I need to do. 

So for the price of £1, I would definitely recommend anyone to try this! I would never, ever even consider writing up a review of a product that is so cheap because personally I do prefer known-branded products, but equally I wouldn't write a review if the product wasn't as good as it is - and honestly, I wish I'd tried this sooner! 

I hope you've all had a lovely bank holiday weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Parenting with newborns

I've wanted to do a small parenting blog post for a while, but I've been very apprehensive to on the grounds that I am no expert - I am only a parent, and I've only been a parent for the past two months. But as it's all still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my experiences with you, and tell you more about my routine with my 8-week old son, Rhys.

This is my little boy! He was born on the 2nd April, and ever since then, life has definitely changed! He was very small, weighing at 5 pounds 8, but I had to be induced at 38 weeks as I hadn't been feeling any movements during my pregnancy, which the midwives were concerned about. 
I had a difficult pregnancy as I was at the hospital a lot due to not feeling movement, which did cause a lot of stress and anxiety over whether or not I would give birth to a healthy baby. I equally had a difficult labour (I was in labour for three days with only cocodamol as pain relief), and an even more difficult delivery (after finally being given an epidural, I then had to go through an episiotomy, and forceps, due to the umbilical cord being around his neck. The stitches for the episiotomy absolutely killed. I really didn't want to stay on the postnatal ward after giving birth, as there was a newborn who just would not stop crying so I wasn't actually getting any rest, and I didn't want that baby to wake up mine with his screams. I remember coming home the day after giving birth, and I live in a flat with six flights of stairs and no lift. Let me tell you, trying to climb up even one flight of stairs with a crotch full of stitches is absolute agony, I have never been in so much pain in my life. I was literally on the floor, crying in pain by the second flight. I don't know about you, but I felt quite cheated - not one person ever said to me that I would be in pain after giving birth, and naively, I expected you'd be able to hop off the bed and walk around just fine! 
Nevertheless, I persevered and finally managed to get to my house. I was then still in so much pain that I didn't leave for the next six days, and when I did, I was literally shuffling like a penguin as I still couldn't really walk properly. I felt absolutely horrible, but what upset more than the murdering pain in my sensitive lady parts, was the fact that I was literally too sore, too tired, and in too much pain, to even look after my own child. For the first two weeks after he was born, my mum was doing the night feeds, doing the nappy changes, and bathing him, as I couldn't get to the floor. 

After the initial two weeks, I was then able to do a little more with him. The stitches felt fine and I was able to walk without being in great discomfort. I was able to bend down to bathe him and change his nappies, which may sound ridiculous, but I couldn't wait to be able to do them, as all I wanted was to look after my child. 

From here, I'm just going to give you some how-to's on looking after your baby.

Bathing your baby
As for his first bath, my mum showed me how to do those. It's got to be at a lukewarm temperature as babies are very sensitive to heat and you must be careful not to burn them, so it has to be below human body temperature (37 degrees), but is best at lukewarm. We also use lavender scented baby bath for him, and if he has a bath like this and a big feed just before bed, he sleeps for around four to five hours, which is lovely! While your baby is in the bath (we also use a baby bath support seat for him, they were £6 from Tesco), use a baby bath sponge to soak up the warm water, and squeeze it over his body to keep him warm. Also, don't make the bath too high for them, it only needs to be a shallow bath when they're so shallow and you don't want them to be in danger of drowning. As another pointer, you won't be in need of baby shampoo until they grow a full head of hair.
Make sure you get the warm sponge all over his body, and then when you think he is clean, pick him up out of the water and transfer him into a baby towel, and wrap it around him to keep him warm still, as he won't appreciate being cold! Then, lay him onto a changing mat, and rub in some baby lotion to his body. Rub it between your hands to make it warm first before applying it to him. Then apply some sudocrem to his sensitive areas to prevent nappy rash, and put him in a fresh nappy and baby gro.

Feeding your baby
Hopefully, you'll already have bought bottles, and a steriliser while you were pregnant. If no one has told you how to use them, now is the time to read the instruction manual! I just have a standard Avent steriliser. All you need to do is wash out the bottles in hot soapy water (using washing up liquid) by using a bottle brush to scrub out the insides. Formula milk can be quite greasy so it's important to clean the bottles thoroughly. I just use my fingers to clean the grease from the bottle teats. Then you just need to put the bottles upside down with the lids off, into the bottle carousel that came with the steriliser. Then you put the carousel into the steriliser, add 90mls of water, put on the top of the steriliser, put on the lid, and turn the steriliser on. Mine takes 10 minutes.
To make up feeds, you take your bottles out of the steriliser, and add sterile boiling water. You need to wait for it to cool right down before giving it to your baby. You also need to wait until you feed him to add the milk formula, as you can't make up the feeds beforehand anymore as bacteria can breed in it. As for measurements, it's generally 1 level scoop per ounce of sterile water (1 level scoop for every 30mls), but check the back of the milk formula before you listen to me. This is how we make his feeds using SMA. 
It's a good idea to wind your baby after every 30mls. Some parents will tap their baby's back until a burp comes out. I rub his back as a more gentle alternative - as equally I don't want to hit him too hard unintentionally.
As for general advice, I do all his bottles before we go to bed (he has six bottles), and fill them up to 7 ounces each. Then I know he will have enough feeds to last him overnight and throughout the next day. Obviously if your baby is younger he won't need feeds that big yet. This is just what works best for me, as I then don't have to try to clean his bottles while he's particularly awake and grumpy in the mornings. You need to find a routine that works best for you.

Getting your baby to sleep
This part, is the hardest part while your baby is a newborn! My son understood night time pretty quickly. I did start a routine with him pretty early. As soon as I take him up to bed, I will cuddle with him and lay with him for a few minutes to settle him. This makes him feel safe. Then I can transfer him to his cot, and I give him a gentle kiss on his forehead so he is still calm. He understands that this means it's time to sleep, and when it's dark he has no problem with it. However, as he sleeps so well at night, he can then be a little difficult in the mornings. I tend to try to keep him calm, by giving him his dummy, rocking him, singing to him, playing with him, as he likes to be quite active around this time. I can then lay him back down in his cot with the blankets off so he can kick around. I also have a tummy cushion for him for when he wants to lie on his front. These are supposed to help them to hold their heads up and encourage them to start crawling. I bought his tummy time roller cushion for £9.99 from Sainsbury's. I try to get him to occupy himself at this time, so then I can quickly get ready, and sometimes, even have a cup of tea! Also, you can use a Moses Basket for up to three months. Rhys hated it after his first, so we changed it for a cot, and he's much happier in that now.
If he really isn't happy to sleep, you could try to give him a lavender scented baby bath. This always calms Rhys down enough to sleep. Another way of trying to get them to sleep, is rocking them in their pushchair. The movement calms them down as they feel safe when they can hear people are around.
As a word of advice, your baby may well and truly be difficult to get to sleep - but if you are calm, he will be calm.

How to encourage development
As stated above, the tummy time roller cushions you can get encourages holding their heads up and crawling. A cot mobile helps them to focus, and follow moving objects. I also like to get my son to splash around in the water when he has a bath - I'm not really sure what I mean for this to encourage, but he likes doing it! Also, babies see strong patterns the most clearly. My midwife told me that a strong black and white pattern is the best to encourage them to focus. Rhys was focusing well by seven weeks old.

Babies with colic, reflux, or constipation
Rhys was quite a colic-y baby, and still can be now. Colic is restless crying, for no apparent reason, and is stressful for both baby and mother. There's not a lot you can do for colic - but equally, it isn't dangerous for them. Although it's a stressful experience, you need to remember that it isn't hurting them, so equally, isn't that much to stress over. All you can do, is make sure they've got a clean nappy, feed them, wind them, try to distract them, whatever it is that keeps them calm. When nothing is working for Rhys, I give him a bath, as splashing around in the warm water always calms him down. Also, in regards to if you think your child has colic - make sure he is actually taking his feeds. Sometimes the bottle teat can be too big, or he doesn't like the milk, but it's important to rule out that he isn't just hungry.
Reflux is when they bring up their feeds. Luckily for me, Rhys has only done that a handful of times. However, my friends son had reflux, and from what she says, the milk doesn't agree with them. She tried him on anti-reflux and stay-down milk (which unfortunately didn't work for him), and eventually after various hospital trips for him they found that he had an intolerance to the milk, and is now on prescription formula - so if the problem persists with you, definitely consult your GP as they are always there to help.
As for relieving babies with constipation, I have tried nearly every trick in the book! There are a lot of things you can try. You can move your babies legs in a bicycling motion to help relieve trapped wind (sounds crazy, but works for Rhys). You can also try and see if Infacol works. What I'm doing with Rhys, is giving him 30mls of sterile water before every feed so that the formula isn't as heavy. Also regarding feeds, the formula you use can be a cause as to why your baby is constipated. SMA is meant to be the creamiest of the formulas (which also makes babies prefer it), but Aptamil, and Cow and Gate, are supposedly more watery. So if you've tried everything else yet the problem still persists, you could possibly think about switching around his formula. 

How to cope as a new parent
I just want to start this by saying that being a new parent, and having a newborn, can be incredibly stressful, and when it is really stressful, it's okay to cry! When Rhys cries persistently for hours on end, I find it incredibly stressful when I've tried everything and don't know what else to do! So I end up crying too, but that's okay - as it's a form of emotional release. You do need to stay as calm for as long as you can though, because generally, if you are calm, he will be calm. It shows him there is nothing really to worry about. Just make sure that he's in a clean nappy, has had a feed, is warm enough (or equally, isn't too hot), has been winded, and just make him as comfortable as you can. Also remember that you are suffering from lack of sleep so that can make you even more stressed. When your baby is comfortable and you feel like you really aren't coping, it's okay to step out of the room and leave him to cry by himself. Go and make yourself a cup of tea, calm down, and try again when you feel ready to! Just make sure you check on him every five minutes for peace of mind that he is actually okay. With Rhys, if he really isn't settling, I leave him for 20 minutes to cry (also to make sure he's really hungry). This gives me time to calm down with a cup of tea, and make him another feed. Then, after the 20 minutes of crying, I pick him up, give him a cuddle, a feed, and then his dummy, and he falls asleep fairly quickly after that.
Also, if you're a single parent, as I am, it can be really stressful without someone to share the night feeds, someone to help with the laundry, or even someone to just hold him while he's screaming just so you can take a pee break! In all honesty, it does get easier. After a while, you stop wishing there was someone else to help you, and you accept it instead of resenting it. As for simple things like taking a bath for myself, I can't really do that anymore - I don't like to leave him in his cot if I can't get to him quickly. Generally, I take him in the bath with me. I put him in the bath and keep him occupied by constantly squeezing a sponge of warm water over his belly so he doesn't get cold and unhappy, while I wash my hair in the sink quickly (yes, I do have to do this - we all have different things that work for us!), and then I get into the end of the bath and squeeze the sponge over myself quickly. Then if he's still happy in the water, I can moisturise and get dressed again quickly before picking him up out of the water, before drying, moisturising, and dressing him, too.

Essentials for your baby
Its good to shop for as much as you can from this list at car boot sales, and second hand stores. You really don't need to spend a lot on unnecessary items so this is just a basic list of what you will actually need. Of course, you can equally spend more if you want to. Just make sure you get the bottles, teats, and steriliser either new, or unused. I picked up my steriliser and bottles (still wrapped in the cellophane) for £4 from my local car boot sale. There are always parents trying to get rid of the stuff they didn't use for thier children, and are always willing to sell it cheap. I also want to mention that your midwife centre is generally a SureStart children's centre, and people drop off their children's old clothing items, blankets, and cot sheets here as donations for expecting parents. These donations were really helpful for me as I managed to pick up a lot of things for Rhys, without having to spend money I didn't have. Also, you can collect Bounty packs from your hospital (you can get three packs), and also Emma's Diary packs (Google Emma's Diary, and you can sign up for three free pack samples by signing up to the website, which you literally fill in your name and email. You can then print screen the vouchers that will appear on screen, and take them into Argos or Boots to claim the packs. These are filled with useful free samples, of nappies, wipes, nappy creams, mini Johnson's baby products, stretch mark creams, Ovaltine sachets (good for the sleepless nights!), Bran flakes (these help with digestion), and also Persil washing tablets and a Persil branded baby towel, which I'm still using for Rhys. I've used everything I was given from the packs. The picture above are all the free samples I claimed from the packs, so it's well worth doing! Anyway, here is your essentials list!
A Moses basket or cot
A pushchair
A rain cover and a sunshade
A car seat for when you leave the hospital
Bottles and teats
A steriliser
Baby towels
A baby bath support
A lot of muslin cloths
Sleep suits for moderate temperature
Baby vests and jogging bottoms for hot days
A coat or some kind of jacket for when it's really cold outside (also use blankets and a rain cover over the pushchair if it's particularly cold)
A pot of formula milk (even if you are planning on breast feeding, it's good to have this just in case)
Stock up on baby bath, nappies, baby lotion, sudocrem
A suitable changing bag for you to carry his things in when you're out

What to carry in changing bags 
First off, practical, reputable, fashionable changing bags can be bought from a huge range of brands. I like to use Babymel, in my opinion they are the absolute best. They're really well made, have a lot of different compartments to carry yours and your child's things, have a bottle pocket on the side, and come with a changing mat. Pink Lining bags also come with a bottle holder, and changing mat - these are the 'Yummy Mummy' bags. Cath Kidston also have really practical and large changing bags, which also come with a bottle holder, and changing mat. 
Things that you should carry in them are as follows:
Nappies, wipes, and a small pot of nappy cream
An appropriate size plastic container to contain however much powder milk you need
An appropriate amount of his bottles of sterile water for however many feeds you will need
A spare baby gro
A muslin cloth
Don't forget to pack your own personal things, 
Your purse
A spare top
A small hair brush and makeup bag if you like
Hand sanitiser 
Breath mints

So, this is just my way of parenting - I don't really feel it's appropriate to call it a guide as it's just how I do things, which may or may not work for you. But if you think something I've suggested here might work for you, definitely try it - I wouldn't encourage you to if they didn't work. Anyway, my son is now waking up for a feed, so I'm going to wrap this up here. I hope this has helped you, if there is anything you want to ask me about please feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

My First Ever MAC Lipstick

Before today, I've never in my life, purchased a MAC lipstick. I've only ever purchased one MAC product in my life - the Brow Set in the shade Beguile. Personally, although it had really great reviews, I didn't really get on with the product, it was too natural and undefining for me, as I personally like quite defined brows. That aside, recently I've been wanting to branch out a little more makeup-wise, and try brands I haven't tried before, and products I've never used before (I'm on the lookout for a nice highlighter, I'm thinking maybe a Dior one? Let me know if you know of any decent highlighters, any brands!)

So today, after looking around the makeup counters, I decided I really wanted to make another MAC purchase. I've never used a MAC lipstick and I suppose, to me a lipstick is a makeup bag staple. I love nude lipsticks, I think it's just such a beautiful, classic look, and personally, I don't think you need a lot of makeup to work the look; as a nude lipstick, a bit of eyeliner and mascara, and some bronzer on your cheeks can really be all you need. So I thought I would play on this idea a little, and start by purchasing a nude lipstick. I tried at least a good ten shades that the consultant suggested for me, but as I'm so pale I just didn't feel like many suited me - I needed a slightly strong nude shade. I ended up choosing the shade Brave, which looks like this. I love the little bullet-shape of the lipsticks. How beautiful do they look?

Here is what it looks like on - I really love this shade as I think it's such a good neutral for me. I also recently decided to get a fringe cut, I'm unsure if it really suits me but I quite like it anyway!

So, this was my first MAC lipstick purchase! As it was so difficult to find a good shade, I doubt I would get any more for myself, however to build up my MUA kit I will eventually need to purchase a fair amount of products from the brand. 

I hope you're all looking forward to a great weekend!

Sammii-Jane x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Loreal Lumi Magique Primer Review

Last week, I was looking online at new primers to try. I'd been using Maybelline's Baby Skin pore eraser, but wanted to try something different. I'd recently bought Loreal's Infallible foundation in the shade Porcelain, which is a perfect colour match for me as it's the palest foundation I've ever come across, with really great coverage. But where it's so pale, I didn't want it to make me look really washed out as some light foundations can do, so I thought I would try a primer from the same brand - Loreal's Lumi Magique primer. It was either going to be this one, or the Loreal Resurfacing primer, but the Lumi Magique claimed to be "Light reflecting and gives a healthy glow under your makeup".

I'm going to be completely honest in my review, as I always am - it did make my skin look healthier and glowier, but in no way would I describe it as a primer. It did nothing to help my makeup sit better and actually felt quite dry, where a primer generally softens and smooths your skin base. 

The first picture is how my foundation sat over Maybelline's Baby Skin pore eraser, which may look very matte but was far more comfortable. The second picture is with Loreal's Lumi Magique, and it was definitely much more glowy in my opinion, which I liked - but for the price of £10 and really isn't even a primer, it seemed a bit of a swizz as you'd have to buy the Resurfacing Primer from the brand too for the best effect - which retails at around £15 in most Boots and Superdrug stores.

So, I'm now out of a good working primer as this one really doesn't do anything to prime - which I am disappointed about if I'm honest! If you're looking for something to wake up your skin and make it look fresh, this product is really great for that - but in no way is it a skin primer. Equally it's really good as a skin highlighter. However, for my primer, I'll definitely be choosing the Loreal Resurfacing primer next time! 

What were your thoughts on the Lumi Magique, if you've tried it? 

Sammii-Jane x

How to get a really easy smokey eye - Tutorial

Hey guys, so today's blog post is on how to get a really easy smokey eye makeup effect. Basically, a lot of people do find it difficult to get this effect, so I've made it really, really simple and really quick. I did mine literally in ten minutes, and that was with taking the photos too for this blog. So, let's get started! To prep, you're going to want to start with doing your base makeup - so cleanse, prime, apply your foundation, bronzer, face powder, and whatever else you usually use. I also did my eyebrows, because otherwise I look like I have none!

Then, you need to apply your eyeshadow. I am using a 2True shadow Duo - I'm not sure what shade it is but here's what it looks like! It's like a kind of shimmery white, paired with a darker brown.

Step 1: So, just using an eyeshadow brush, apply the lighter colour all over your lid, and it should look like this...

2: Then apply the darker shadow into the crease, and try to wing it out a little. Blend it in, and don't worry if you didn't get the "wing" perfect, you can just neaten it up by using a cotton bud. Curl your own natural lashes now.

3: Then, apply your false lashes - wait until the glue is tacky before trying to apply. If the glue is too wet, it won't work. I just used cheap strip lashes I bought from Primark, and Eyelure Lash Glue - using a good glue is so important if you want them to stay on all day.

4: When your lashes are dry, then go over the lash line with a liquid eyeliner, and flick it out a little at the outer corner. I just used a Rimmel Extreme 24Hour Felt tip Liner, as I find pens the easiest to work with for this. Then, build up your eyeliner until you are happy with it. This is all about personal preference as to how thick you like your liner.

5: This is how it will look with your eyes open - and at this point, apply your mascara to both your natural lashes (start at the root to build up volume), and the strip lashes. This will bind them together. I used Maybelline's The Falsies mascara.

So this is how the easy smokey eye should turn out! I've also included a picture of me to show you the full effect of the eye makeup. 

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful, and I just want to add as a little disclaimer that I don't intend for this to be a really in-depth smokey eye - I mean this to really just be a simple one that anyone is able to do. And if you want a darker smokey eye, then just build up the colour in your crease - but make sure you blend!

Hope you're looking forward to a lovely weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 16 May 2014

Big Boots and Superdrug haul

As you can see, I had a little bit of shopping this week. I don't really have any way of justifying it, except for saying that I had needed some of it?! I went in with a small shopping list, which consisted of Contact lens solution, a new primer, a foundation, and a face wash... But I ended up coming out with a few bits more!

From Superdrug, I purchased the Loreal Infallible foundation in the shade Porcelain - I actually purchased it earlier this week, though I bought everything else today. I'm in love with this foundation - it's such a light shade which is perfect for my pale skin but equally has really amazing coverage.

Since trying the amazing Infallible foundation, I then decided I wanted to try other products from Loreal's range. I'd looked online earlier this week to find a new primer, and I initially wasn't sure between this one, the Lumi Magique pure light primer, or the resurfacing primer. I ended up choosing this one - as my skin is so pale, it sometimes could do with a bit of a highlight, and this claims to be light reflecting so hopefully it will make my skin look really fresh and pretty! I'm so excited to try it!

I had seen these 2true eyeshadows earlier this week, but resisted buying one until today. I've swatched it roughly on my hand for you just to show the colours. I was a bit lazy and didn't really blend it terribly well, sorry! But they are really nice colours, and only £1.99 per duo!

I've had my eye on the Barry M eyebrow pen for a while. This was £5.99, and although I only ever use a natural light brown eyebrow pencil, I've been wanting to branch out with other eyebrow products to see what works best for me. I imagine this would create a really defined eyebrow shape, which will be interesting to try!

Bit of a boring one - I'd ran out of face wash and needed another! I've been using Freederm spot treatment gel lately and it does seem to work - I had wanted to buy a moisturiser from the set too but there was no stock left in store!

I also picked up a Dove Summer Glow tanning lotion - it was on offer for little over £2, but I thought this would be nice to use over the Summer months!

From Boots, I picked up a Real Techniques makeup sponge. I've never used a makeup sponge before so I really wanted to try this - I've got other brushes from the Real Techniques range which I love so I really want to like this makeup sponge too!

I've been dipping into this book a lot of late - 'The 21st Century Beauty Bible' - because I've been reading up a lot on skincare, as mine is so problematic. In the book, it reads "Our mothers had it so easy. A tad of Pond's Cold Cream, a dab of Vaseline." It also says further along in the book that Rosewater and Glycerine are really good for your skin. So I decided on a whim that I would try the more traditional skincare method of Cold Cream, and Rosewater - if it worked for our grandmothers (who have fabulous skin!), hopefully it will work for me too!

I also decided to buy a couple of clothing items from Tesco, for myself, and my son Rhys. I got a pretty spring green jumper for myself which will be lovely for the Spring/Summer seasons, and a little shirt for Rhys - I really can't wait to team his shirt with some baby skinny jeans, Converse, and a beanie hat!

So, these are the recent items from my haul - hope you've enjoyed reading, and seeing what I picked up! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Sammii-Jane x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


I never do nail related posts. Like,  never. I honestly think I'm just too lazy, as I always leave mine to grow and forget about them! I've been really wanting to try a pale minty green colour though for Spring - I know it's possibly a little late in the year for this but it's still May! 

I ended up using a light spearmint blue colour, which I think is just such a gorgeous shade. It was from a pack of four polishes for £2 from Primark. When I first applied it, it was scented - you know those scented gel pens you used to have in school? Remember the grape one? It smelled like that - sweet, artificial grapes. I actually really liked this about these nail varnishes as I wasn't expecting it, so it was an added bonus - until I washed my hands and the scent disappeared! In all honesty I can't recommend the nail polish, as I didn't find it to be particularly good quality. But if you don't mind applying three coats of it for such a lovely shade, it would be fine! However I would probably recommend instead one of Topshop's own polishes, as they have such a vast range and I know they have a shade similar to this, but of much better quality!

So, I hope you liked my nails of the day! I'd be interested to see yours! Hope you're having a lovely day!

Sammii-Jane x

Review: Loreal's 24H Infallible Foundation

Yesterday, I was out looking for a new foundation. I'd been using Rimmel's Wake me Up foundation (£8.99), but it had run out, so I was hoping to find something cheaper, but also a better colour match, as I am super pale and find most foundations have a quite an orange tone.

Do you see the foundation I swatched here? No? Exactly! There is a blob of foundation over the veins of my wrist that looks more like a bruise (it was very orangey toned, I think it was a Miss Sporty foundation, at £3.49), but I've also got another foundation that I swatched just underneath. It was the Loreal Infallible foundation, in the shade Porcelain - and is honestly the palest foundation I've ever used, and is an amazing colour match for me, and equally has really great coverage. It's more than what I wanted to spend, but I was so impressed with the colour match I had to have it! This is what the bottle of foundation looks like...

And this is what it looks like on - no concealer, no BB cream, just a translucent primer (Maybelline's Baby Skin) as a base underneath. I have applied Bourjios Delice de Soleil bronzer on to my cheeks, but skin-wise, that's the only other makeup I've used. Look at the coverage! 

It's covered up pretty much all of my blemishes, and I do have problem skin. I found it to be such a natural looking shade and I really love the texture - for me, this beats any other foundation now. This is my go-to foundation, I just love it so, so much. I've never found a better colour match. This is the perfect foundation! I no longer have to look for products that are either pale, or has great coverage - the Loreal Infallible has both! 

Sammii-Jane x

My Kristen Stewart makeup look

I have never really considered myself to be much of a fan of Kristen Stewart. However, of late, I have been totally girl-crushing on her - I love her style, I love her makeup looks, I love that she's not afraid to be herself, and it love that she isn't scared of wearing Converse on the red carpet! I just adore how unique bad quirky she is, which is why I decided to recreate her makeup style. This isn't really a tutorial, it's more just a guide on how I created my look.

So, with Kristen, she always has a flawless, pale complexion, generally with lightly bronzed cheeks. For me, this is perfect - it's how I start off my makeup too. There are millions of pictures of Kristen all over the internet, many from award ceremonies, and for big events like this, she always has trademark red lips, and a kind of dark brown smokey eye, and lashes. For her hair, it is 90% of the time long, brunette, shiny and immaculately blow-dried. 

I, however, didn't quite have the time for an immaculate blow dry, so instead, I scrunched my naturally wavy hair with Aussie hair mousse while it was still wet, and then rough-dried it last night. 

For my makeup, I primed with Maybelline's Baby Skin pore eraser, and applied a base of Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation in the shade Ivory - this is one of the palest foundations I've found, but at £22, is a little pricey. Luckily, if you would like something cheaper, I've recently come across Loreal's Infallible foundation, and the shade Porcelain is even more pale - and a perfect colour match for my skin tone. The Loreal Infallible foundations are retailed at £9.99 from Superdrug. I then lightly dusted my cheeks with Bourjois Delice de Soleil bronzer. Kristen doesn't wear a heavy amount of bronzer, so neither did I for this look. I actually found it to be much more natural looking, I think I might have to keep that tip! I then penciled lightly into my eyebrows with the Rimmel eyebrow pencil in the shade light brown.

For her eyes, Kristen wears a light-to-dark brown smokey eye, so I applied Collection's Work The Colour eyeshadow trio in Choc Chip. I then applied a pair of false eyelashes (I just used Primark's Very Fluttering eyelashes), and applied Maybelline's the Falsies over the top, on to my own natural lashes. Once the adhesive had dried, I then applied Collection's Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner over the top of the lashes - it's such an easy, flawless way of getting the perfect eyeliner. 

For the trademark strong red lips, I prepped using my Burt's Bees lip wax, and then finished with Rimmel's Apocalips in the shade Across The Universe - it's a really strong dark red shade, and I really love it! It looks darker in real life than it does in the picture though! I can't find mine though so instead here is the lip lacquer and the shade that I found on Rimmel's website! 

I then decided to wear Ray-Bans in the second picture, because Kristen wears those sometimes, during the day. As I was going out I thought I'd wear mine too! 

So, this was my attempt at Kristen Stewart's makeup. I hope you liked it! 

Sammii-Jane x

Review: Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation

Ok. I'll admit. This is by no means a recent product, and it's actually one I pulled out of the draw because I've used up all my most recent foundation (Rimmel's Wake me Up), and can't afford to buy a new one until Friday. I bought this ages ago on a whim, after chatting to one of the makeup artists on the counter. I asked if she had any really pale foundations to suit my skin tone, but would also not drain my skin, as most pale colours do, but also had really good coverage. I knew I was asking for a lot, but she then decided to test this on my face.

I don't really remember what I thought of it at first, but I must have liked it enough to buy it! But I do remember that I stopped using it because I felt like it made me look washed out, leaving me with this - a half empty bottle of slightly pricey foundation (£26.50 for 30ml).

I've just used it now today, and I honestly don't know why I stopped using it. This is what it looks like on my skin.

I haven't applied concealer, and I've got no other face product on. I only applied Maybelline's Baby Skin pore eraser primer (which is invisible anyway), but then I did dust Bourjois Delice de Soleil bronzer on to my cheeks. But I haven't needed any other product to cover up the flaws of my skin, neither have I had to edit this picture. I do have problem skin as well so I am so, so impressed that this does cover up all my spots. My forehead and chin are very spotty at the moment but this completely covers it, and actually makes it look quite smooth - even though it really isn't! 

This literally feels like the perfect foundation for pale skin with flawless coverage, and really does brighten your skin, too. I do really love it, and if I had the money to repurchase it, I would - I would definitely consider it an investment! When you only need the one product, instead of assorted tubes of concealer, bb cream, foundations, it is just so much quicker and easier and just seems like a godsend! 

Have you tried Benefit's Hello Flawless? What did you think of it?

Sammii-Jane x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Beauty wish list - May 2014/ Favourite products of the month

Hey guys! So, I have my eye on a few gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous products at the moment, and, as I haven't written a blog in a little while, I thought I would share them with you! As you know, I have a slight obsession with Clinique - I know I bang on about it a lot but the products are just so lovely, they just feel so fresh on your skin and I love how clinically clean it is - the products will never clog up your skin. 

I'm just going to do all the Clinique products in one go as there's so many of them! I really want a nice bronzer and neutral eyeshadow duo for Summer. I'd love to have a bronzed, healthy glow, and I do a neutral smokey eye on a pretty much daily basis, so I cannot wait to get these products. They will look so nice and natural on clear, healthy skin (which I'm really hoping for!). I'm also really interested in the Lash building primer, it has really good reviews (I think 4.5 stars on the website?), and for £12, it's much cheaper than any of the other high end brands (which range at around £25) - so really, it's practically a steal! The nail enamel in Birthday Suit is just such a classy, neutral colour, it's just a shade that would match the kind of makeup I would typically wear. 

The next thing I would really love to have, is the bareMinerals Complexion Perfection Palette. I always take out my bareMinerals Ready Foundation, and, as handy as it is for topping up your foundation, this palette would be so much better, as it has concealer, foundation, a highlighter, the warmth bronzer, a blush, a brush, and a mirror, all in a handy little compact. The only thing that would make it better for me, is if it had a little mascara and lipgloss in the compact as well - then it could be a complete kit for daywear, which for me, would be perfect. 

Equally, what's looking super interesting, is the bareMinerals new primer, which is a BB cream and primer all in one, so you could literally just put this on top of your moisturiser, and be ready to go. Or, just chuck on a few other makeup products, bronzer, mascara, lip gloss, for a really nice, pretty, natural fresh-faced look. I'd love for my skin to let me do that!

While we've mentioned a bronzed, healthy glow, it's important to not forget your body. I love the smell of the Palmers range, and I'm really looking forward to using the natural bronzer from the brand. This is the first summer I will ever have planned to have a tan (I've always been fairly happy with being pale, but I really feel the need for change). I'm so desperate to look pretty and polished, as at the moment with being a new mum my skin is so tired, sallow and dull, and being pale is doing absolutely nothing for me.

So... Yeah, I have a bit of saving to do! As for new products that I'm trying, I have a little list here too. The reason that no skin care was mentioned in the above Clinique wish list, is because I've tried the Anti-blemish set, and am currently trying the rinse off foaming face wash, and dramatically different moisturiser. 

I got these free with a Clinique purchase last time I went to the counter, and they've been sitting in a box for the past month completely forgotten about! But I ran out of the Anti-blemish set, and then found these two little beauties! So far, I'm really loving the foaming face wash, it feels so fresh on your skin, and it can also see that the dramatically different moisturiser is also making a visible difference to my skin. I do have sallow, dull skin, and this is really freshening it up and keeping it soft. I really wanted to try this as my skin has also gotten a bit dry of late, and it's honestly working wonders - I'm in love! 

This is a bit of a boring one, but I'm also currently trying Freederm as a spot treatment. It claims to be a cooling topical different spot treatment gel to other formulas, as it contains nicotinamide, which is a proven anti-inflammatory for inflamed acne, pimples, and spots. Let's see if it works for me!

What I've also been loving, and probably wearing far too much, are false lashes. I just get the cheap ones, there are a lot of types of false lashes from China you can buy from eBay, and you usually get about ten pairs. Speaking of which, I'm just going to buy another box quickly! The lash glue is the important part, and I just use Eyelure lash glue for that which has never let me down! 

So, these are all my products I've been loving! I really hope you guys are looking forward to a fantastic weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x

Thursday, 1 May 2014

DIY: How to correctly style your eyebrows - Tutorial

Hey guys! So, as you might know, my eyebrows are the bane of my life. When I was younger I had an accident with glass and managed to cut my eyebrow open, and although they are fully healed up, they never match, and irritate me to the point of no return. This is a huge deal to me as I feel like my face never looks even, and as someone who wants to work with makeup, I feel like it's such a rookie error, and makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing. 

I've tried many things, I've had them professionally threaded, waxed, I've plucked them so that they're really thin, I've let them grow thick and natural, I've dyed them, and I've left them alone and only plucked stray hairs. Without having a hair transplant (expensive, and just, in my opinion, kinda gross), what is your next, and less drastic, option? Eyebrow stencils. I bought these from Amazon for 77p (with free P&P). You get a set of four different stencils sent to you, and you can then flip it over and use it on the other. As it's the same shape, you will never have the problem of them not matching, and as you just hold the stencil in place and colour over it, it's virtually foolproof. You can also colour over them using a strong shade, and then pluck all the uncoloured hairs to shape them correctly. I'm going to show you guys how they've turned out, using only eyebrow pencil.

My face isn't quite straight on, so it doesn't look as even as it actually is. But, that aside, I think my eyebrows turned out really well! All I did was use the stencils to pencil in the shape, and then plucked away the stray hairs. Equally, I'm really sorry my hair is a mess, my newborn was starting to wake up so I had to finish up quickly! 

So, if you have unruly brows, as I did, I would definitely recommend getting these! These eyebrow stencils are now probably my favourite way of shaping my brows. It's such a good idea, and so cheap, and with four stencils you can't really go wrong! I hope you have had a great weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x