Wednesday, 20 December 2017

2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8


MMXVII


It would be fair to say 2017 has been an all-round good year for me. The last 5 years have been, well, completely fine in the grand scheme of things, but this year I’ve felt a definite shift in my thinking, and I think I’ve achieved some great things because of it.

We bought our first home at the beginning of the year, but in the second half of this year things were particularly great; I won my first national blogging award, I turned the big 3-0, I got my first two gorgeous nephews within the space of a month, I finally broke into an industry I love (leaving shitty admin behind for good!) & met some amazing people along the way! There are also a lot more minor events that probably wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but me, but that have just as equally contributed to a great 2017!

I think the most significantly positive part of 2017, though, is the change that I see in myself – more and more every day… I don’t know if it has something to do with turning thirty, or whether it’s something that has been a long time coming, but it’s growing – whatever it is!

It’s almost that I’ve become drawn to change, and that I’m actively seeking out chances to turn my life on its head. Not in a self-destructive way (like I definitely used to), but in ways that would enrich my life in one way or another. I feel like I’m permanently excited lately – it’s the best feeling ever, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!



MMXVIII


Ordinarily, I look forward to a new year, but I have to admit that deep down I always feel quite daunted by it, because it feels like a new year always has a lot to live up to. People always say, “This is going to be my year!”, or even “This years’ going to be the best one yet!” – Usually I cringe and cannot relate to these comments in any way, but I’m really starting to think that 2018 is going to be the year I allow myself to reach out and work for everything I want, and that it could quite possibly be the best yet for me too!

I recently made a new friend who has completely inspired me. Even though I’ve only known them for a short time, they’ve made me realise so much about my life, just by hearing about theirs. This new friend is a generally great human; they’re free-spirited and completely open minded, and the more I learn about them, the more I learn about myself and the changes I need to make to be sure I’m living a life that makes me truly happy.

In saying this, I don’t want it to seem that I’m unhappy with my current life - I’m definitely not. I’ve spent a lot of time this year ridding myself of things that make me feel bad, or that don't totally make me satisfied. I now encourage more of what I love and I’m in a great place. I suppose 2018 is going to be a year for more of the same!

I need to keep up the traction, and let my new way of thinking seep into more (and hopefully all) aspects of my life. I want to be sure all future choices I make (or don’t make) are always with my happiness in mind. I need to revise decisions I’ve made in the past, and really get my head around living the most satisfying life possible. It’s so important to me that this is never at the cost of others’ happiness wherever possible, but ultimately my own journey has to be my first priority.

I guess this means that's I have no real resolutions or specific goals for the new year - only in that I want to continue to be true to myself, and stay in touch with how I'm feeling. It may mean radical changes, or it may not - all I know is I'm so excited to find out!


I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and that 2018 brings great things for you!
Lx


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Monday, 11 December 2017

unboxing & first impressions - the cohorted subscription beauty box

Having seen a lot of people talking about it for a while now, I was delighted to be asked by Cohorted to receive and review their subscription luxury beauty box! 

The box contains a mix of full-sizes and sample sized higher-end makeup and skincare products, and arrives in a beautifully chic, net-a-porter-style matte black box. I have to admit, I was very impressed with the presentation when I received the package in the post.

cohorted beauty box review

The boxes cost £35 each, and this months value is £109! They are delivered monthly via royal mail. The subscription works like most others, in that you pay a month in advance for your box, and the boxes are posted close to the beginning of the month.

If every months' box is at the same standard as the one I received, I think the quality and quantity of it's contents is definitely worth £35. I love that there were brands I know and love, mixed with new discoveries that were definitely great quality!

cohorted beauty box review

cohorted beauty box review

In this months' box, I received:


Too Face Melted Liquified Lipstick - RRP £19
A beautiful, wearable coral shade. It says it's long wearing, so I'm really excited to try it out!
Rich commented on it's scent straight away - he said it was amazing! I tried it right away as my hands are crying out for some hydration, and it feels divine!
I was a little shocked to see a coloured liquid appear when I squeezed a little out, but I tried it on the back of my hand and it blended out beautifully, and left the most gorgeous glow!

Lancome Visionnaire (sample size, x2) - Full Size RRP £20
This is something I'll definitely be purchasing as full sized! It felt amazing on my skin and I've already worn it for a day under foundation, and it made the blending process completely effortless!
I'd not heard of this brand before, but so glad to have this mascara in my collection! I love a dense, fluffy bristle brush for my mascara, and this one looks so perfect!

As a quick round-up and conclusion, I'd say I'm definitely happy with this box! I have unfortunately heard some people say that they aren't great every month, but from what I can see, this box is totally worth the price. I love that I'm able to try out high end products without having to shell out for each product separately! My favourite product is the Lancome corrector, which is something I might never have discovered if I hadn't received the box!

cohorted beauty box review

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Sunday, 10 December 2017

christmas 2017 - gifts for couples


It’s nearly Christmas and I honestly couldn’t be happier! The seasonal adverts are in full swing, we’ve had a few days of snow, and the Christmas d├ęcor is up, and tacky as ever (my fave)! 



I’m about 80% done with my Christmas gift shopping but there are still a few bits I need to pick up for friends and family, and I need a little extra brain power to decide what to get for them! I’m not sure what it is about getting older, but I feel more and more pressure on myself to give great, meaningful gifts to my loved ones every year -  especially for those closer to my age!

I’ve been wracking my brain for a while now, so I was so happy when Groupon reached out to work with me on some great gift ideas for couples! It’s perfect, when you think about it, to get more combined and/or practical gifts for my loved ones in a couple! I always feel great when I can give gifts that have a real, useful purpose, but that are still fun and exciting to receive! So, with this in mind, I’m going to share some of the great couple-friendly gifts I found on Groupon:


for the home-bird couple

Frankly, that's a couple after my own heart, so this is something Rich and I would LOVE to receive - the Samsung Sound-bar System is perfect for the couple who love their home comforts, and particularly love cuddling up to watch a film or listen to great music! There are also other great homeware and electronics available on Groupon!

for the travel-loving couple

This is also something Rich and I would love to receive! Weekend trips away are such a god-send for the couple who work a lot, and find it hard to find time in their schedules for week-long holidays. I found so many great trips for two on Groupon, and particularly love this 1-3 nights stay in the Scottish Highlands - absolutely perfect!


for the food-loving couple

Who doesn't love the chance to have a great meal with their better half? I'm a lover of Italian food, so this voucher for a 2-course meal at Jamie's Italian spoke to me on a deep level! I know this would be a winner with any of my family and friends - and is a great alternative to the random kitchen utensils I might have bought as an alternative! (lets face it, they go in a drawer on boxing day, and stay there!)


for the adventurous couple

Rich & I have a few friends who are true adrenaline junkies, so this last gift has their name written all over it! I couldn't think of a better gift for them than this Sightseeing Helicopter Tour for the couple who loves to get out, see the world, and have amazing experiences along the way! I can just imagine their faces when they see this!

So that's it for my Christmas gift ideas for couples, guys - let me know if it's given you any good ideas!

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

the ultimate 2017 christmas gift guide!



Trying hard to contain my excitement while writing this, as I am definitely one of those people who fully embrace Christmas, and love all things festive! I have to try hard to retrain putting up decorations too early and always end up buying more gifts then I really should! And it's all because this time of year is my absolute favourite!

Gifts are definitely not the be all and end all of Christmas, but it does feel so good to give to others, especially when you see their face fill with joy as they open their pressies! I'm definitely someone who likes to put a lot thought into gifting, and I really do enjoying giving them rather over receiving them!

christmas gift guide

When it comes to gift guides, they've become commonplace in the blogosphere to say the least! There are so many of them, covering all sorts of gifting categories, and so there really is something for everyone! This year, my guide is an all-in-one, ultimate round up of all the gift categories I'd love to receive myself! I hope it can be useful for giving you guys some ideas!


Skincare & Nail Care


skincare gifts gift guide christmas 2017
lucia magnani skincare
nailed london gelwear nail polish set the beauty store
REN skincare girft body wash and body lotion Moroccan rose

Skincare and nail care gifts are sure hit for ladies (and gents!) of all ages. For me, I love anything that I can use in my self-care routines, so you could pretty much buy anything from this catagory and I'd be pretty chuffed with it! 

Earlier this year I tried the Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask and it is such a gentle but effective mask for my Winter-sensitive skin! Pai is a brand that prides themselves on high quality, natural ingredients and technologies, so all skin types are safe with this one! Another mask I love for the same reasons is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clay Mask!

If you're looking for something a bit more high-end and luxe, the Lucia Magnani Skincare range is absolutely stunning! I was just as impressed with the beautiful packaging as I was with the amazing quality of the products!

For a body treat, why not try the REN Morroccan Rose Gift Set! They have a couple of other great gift sets and they're all really interesting scents! Ren skin and body care is some of my absolute faves. I have literally never used anything from Ren that I haven't loved! 

Everyone loves some nail prettying, right? I think the Nailed London Gel Wear Sets & Singles make absolutely gorgeous gifts! They've worn so well for me as they are gel based, I love theyre colour range too! And guess what? You can get 5 for £5 (maddnessss!) by using the code LINDSAYBLOG - trust me, you'll love them so much you won't want to give them away!




Lifestyle


christmas gifts books
CaseApp Phone Cases

Okay - this is possibly my fave category of gift, but is unfortunately one that people tend to shy away from because everyone's tastes are so different! When it comes to choosing a lifestyle gift, you can still go safe, while still choosing something stylish. I am totally in love with the cute, minimal prints from Old English. They also sell lots of other homeware, pins and personalised gifts that would be sooo great for Christmas!

Another sure winner of a gift is books! I am an absolute sucker for books, especially the pretty, blogger-library essential books! My latest faves are the Dress Scandinavian book & the Lagom book! Dreamy looking books that are such good reads!

Another kind of lifestyle gift that I love to receive are chic but functional pressies. How completely gorgeous are these matching brushstroke CaseApp case & MacBook skin?! So cute! They have so many cute pre-made designs, but you can also design your own my uploading images and deciding how they sit on the products!

I'll be running a giveaway on Twitter next week, so keep your peepers open for that! Follow me here to keep up to date with that! www.twitter.com/lindsaydblog




Makeup


christmas git guide the ordinary foundation ysl blush subculture palette inglot palette
Stila warm and fuzzy gift set

NOW we're into the good stuff! I think giving and receiving makeup for Christmas might be one of my fave things! Admittedly, unless we specifically ask for something particular, we'll never end up buying or receiving something we'd usually purchase or already have in our stash. But how good does it feel to try something you'd not normally try, and then absolutely love it?!

There are a few things I've tried lately that I think would make fool-proof gifts, like The Ordinary, Coverage & Serum Foundations - they're cheap enough to get both, and even to get a few shades. The mix perfect and can be worn individually or mixed together. They're just great! Another perfect gift for any makeup lovers out there are palettes - the ABH Subculture Palette and Inglot Palettes are absolute stunners! Pretty packaging, like this YSL blush beauty, is also gonna win you some serious gift-giver points! For a makeup stocking filler, you cannot go wrong with some miniatures - I love this Stila lip trio minis set - the shades are so gorgeous! 



Hair


hair care and tools christmas gift guide coco loco wand
tigi gift set catwalk gift set
leonor greyl hairecare

Another perfect category of gift that I love to shop for is haircare & hair tools! There are so many products and tools out there, and it's fairly easy to shop for haircare gifts with not a lot of info about someone. 

I can highly recommend these amazing, if not slightly sex-toy-looking, CoCo Loco Bubble Wand from Lee Stafford. He has sooo many tools in his collections so you can find the perfect gift for any hair type, length and look! With these, it'd be great to give some extra special hair products, like the Leonor Greyl Hair & Body Oil and Serum - i have literallyused these after every hair wash for the last 2 months! Addicted is not the word! And lastly, you'd never go wrong with a hair treatment. The TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Miracle Treatment Mask is perfect and is SUCH a treat for your locks!

Another sure hair hit would be a haircare kit! I feel like my friends and family never seem to buy good haircare for themselves, so I love picking up cute gift sets for them. Two faves this year are the S-Factor True Lasting Colour gift set & Tigi Haut Catwalk Volume gift set!




Fragrance


fragrance gift guide miniatures marc jacobs

And last but certainly not least, the trusty catch-all Christmas gift is always gonna be fragrance! A couple that I can highly recommend are the Daisy & Decadence miniatures & Calvin Klein miniatures - for those friends and family you're not as close to, and might feel better getting a few different scents to be sure! Another winner is the uber feminine Chloe Signature fragrance. I think this would suit all ages, and is definitely a classic, chic and girly scent.


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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

how to get a better nights sleep - achievable tips for better kip!


"The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream." - Marilyn Monroe


Sleep is hands down my favourite hobby. I literally daydream when I’m at work about how good it’s going to feel when I next get to snuggle up in bed and get snoozy! However, despite the fact that the Autumn & Winter months are my favourite time of year for so many reasons, the colder weather rolling in always messes with my sleep for some weird reason! I think it must be something to do with adjusting to shorter days and longer nights, or even maybe because I suffer a little with my mood in the first month or two of Autumn – but whatever it is, it drives me bloody mad!

So, I’d searched the internet high and low for recommendations on how to get into a better sleep routine, and ways to helps me have better quality sleep. I found some great suggestions, but also some really obvious stuff, or even stuff that was massively extravagant or OTT, like measuring the exact temperature in your room, or checking the fung shui… erm, no thanks.


Since then though, I’ve been trying out some of the advice I found & for the last few weeks I’ve been working on making better sleepy time habits. They’re actually working really well, so I thought I’d share a few non-pompous, simple and realistic ways I’ve bettered my sleeping routine!

As a side note, I should probably add as disclosure that you don't have to follow these tips religiously forever, but they are good to try for a few weeks to make sure you’re getting your body clock realigned, and preparing you for a good sleep every night! (okay, most nights - but maybe not on those Saturdays when you come in at 3am with a half-eaten kebab, wearing one less eyelash than you went out with…)

Try to go to bed at the same time most nights

I think this is one that a lot of us could do quite easily if we actually tried, as it works well if you’re getting up for the same time each morning to go to get ready for work. It sounds like such an obvious change couldn’t make that much difference, but trust me, it works wonders for breaking those periods of insomnia you might have.

Don’t take gadgets & devices to bed (not ones with a screen anyway – oioi!)

Wireless gadgets & devices are so convenient and useful to us most of the time, but can be a nightmare for our sleep pattern (pardon the pun…). Be strict with yourself, and try to restrict electronic device usage to any other room in the house but your bedroom. And if you HAVE to use them in the bedroom, make sure it’s not when you’re actually in bed. I know most people say this is because of the blue light the devices omit, but for me it’s just because it’s too easy to check Twitter once more, or watch one more YouTube video. When they’re nowhere near me while I’m in bed, I’m not using them. I’m too lazy to get up!

No caffeine after 4pm

I have no idea if it’s a proven fact or not, but I know for me if I have a cup of caffeinated tea at 8pm, I’m going to be wide awake for hours… sometimes this is great when I have work to do and I need to pull a late one, but usually it just means a restless night. So lately I’ve switched to camomile tea, and it calms and relaxes me much better than a cup of regular tea or coffee ever would!

Do whatever relaxes you most

This one is a bit open ended, but is probably the most useful tip for me. Take more notice of how you feel when you’re doing what you love, and if it relaxes you, consider moving doing it to just before you want to go to sleep. For some this might be exercising, or tidying, or chatting to your mum on the phone. For me, I love a good bath before a good night’s sleep -  they work wonders for me when I’m anxious. I love to wind down with my bedroom dark or dimly lit by a candle.

Try a pillow spray

I was recently sent the REN sleep spray, and its been great to help me wind down either further before I head off to sleep. I love this spray because it isn’t just a blast of overbearing lavender, but instead is a calming blend of essential oils like frankincense & hops with a balanced amount gentle lavender. Ive been using it for two weeks now, and I think its been working so well because its helping to calm my anxiety before nodding off.
Its a very earthy, and is perfect after a particularly busy or stressful day. Its a recipe for disaster whenever I go to bed, still reeling from the day! So a dark, cool room, empty of bright screens and sounds, along with a quick misting of pillow spray is an ideal way for my to get in the right head space for good sleep. Perfect!

Be as comfortable as possible

A no-brainer really, but make sure you’re at your most comfortable before you try and sleep. This includes what you wear (or don’t wear, in my case!) to sleep in, getting the room cool enough, making the room dark enough – whatever it is that gets you ready for catching those Zzzzzzs!

What tips do you follow to make sure you get a good night’s sleep? What works best, and what is just rubbish when it comes to sleep tips? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s talk all things snoozy!





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Monday, 20 November 2017

xmas 2017 - new additions to my party-season makeup routine!



To me, beauty and makeup and colour is like the finishing touch on everything. 

- Marc Jacobs



When it comes to day-to-day makeup, less is definitely more for me. I really appreciate quick, easy looks that are almost effortless - I’ve recently been channelling my inner Parisian women this way, as I love to feel more low maintenance when it comes to workday makeup!

When it comes to make-up for special occasions I do ramp it up a little, and like to throw a little colour, glitter and shimmer in there for good measure during the Christmas party season! Recently I was kindly invited by Simply Be to select a few pieces from their amazing makeup range  that I would use for my perfect party look, and wanted to share the product I chose!

Party makeup
NARS eyeshadow single The first thing that caught my eye was this beautiful single Nars eyeshadow in the shade KARI; a perfect grey/mauve! I love adding a little drama to my eyes without going OTT, so this shade is perfect! I use it to add some depth and drama to my usual eye look! Shadows from Nars are so buttery and easily blend-able, I can't get enough of them!
NARS cream bronzer stick

The next thing I found was the Nars bronzer stick. My skin is painfully pale in the colder months, so this will be perfect for warming up my complexion and creating a little Christmas contour along the way! The shade is cool enough to use as contour, but is definitely great as an all over bronzer too! I love the formula of this stick bronzer in the winter, as powder bronzers tend to dry my face out really quickly in the cold!
YSL Blusher

To compliment the warming efforts of the bronzer, I also picked out this goooorgeous peachy YSL blush! When I go all out with my makeup I tend to amp up the coverage with my foundation. Using a peachy blush brings out the blue/grey-ness in my eyes and bring back a little colour to my face that heavier coverage foundation drowns out a little!
YSL Full Metal Shadow Cream Eyeshadow
So, now I've injected some colour into my look, it's time for a little shimmer! This YSL Full Metal eyeshadow leaves a beautiful shimmer on the lids without looking cheap and tacky. The glitz of this cream shadow is SUPER finely milled, and creates a gentle shimmer rather than a super glittery effect. It looks so chic, compliments my blue eyes perfectly, and lasts FOREVER! (okay not forever, but a looong time!)
Now to find something to wear! I'll be taking a browse through Simply Be's dresses - I found the most amazing Christmas-red cape dress there last year, and think I might go for something with a little sparkle this year!
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