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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Friday, 10 November 2017

five minute face - my current workday routine


"Remember, you need much less makeup than you think." 

- Jessalyn Gilsig

Everywhere you turn in the beauty blogosphere, as well as Instagram & Youtube, super-glam make up looks are ‘all the rage’, as my mum would say! There’s no denying that perfect cut creases & full-coverage perfected foundation make for great images that are beautiful to look at and are great inspiration for our own looks, but it has to be said that we can’t all look like that every day, and a lot us would never chose to!

There was a time when I just didn’t bother with make up on a day-to-day basis (for work etc.) because it wasn’t even close to measuring up to Insta-perfect make up looks I’d see online. But nowadays, after slowly I shook myself out of this silly way of thinking, I totally embrace the true intention of makeup – to enhance the natural beauty and individuality of our faces!

Because like most people, I work a full-time job, my day-to-day look has to be quick as well as simple. I’ve got myself in a pretty good routine lately, and feel like I’m only wearing the products I really like/need to wear on an average work day. I force myself to switch up the products I use from time to time, but always stick loosely to same type of products. So, with that in mind, I thought it’d be interesting to share with you my most recent work-day routine, and the products I’ve been using in it!

All the products listed in this post can be found at The Beauty Store. They kindly agreed to send me some items recently, so I made sure to choose to restock on some of my work-day faves (that I’ve actually used for a long time now!) to be able to share this post with you!

Laura Geller Candleglow Luminous Soft Foundation

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Step One: Foundation

My first step after my skincare is always foundation. Sometimes in the Summer I definitely miss this step, but now that the weather is colder (and I’m not going to be sweating it off as soon as I step out of the door!) I like to add it into my daily routine. I always feel more put together when I know I’ve evened out my skin tone a little, and added a little bit of healthy radiance. I look for a medium coverage, that can be powdered to stay in place whenever I feel like doing so!

My foundation of choice at the moment is the Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation - I use the shade Creme. It’s a foundation that I find really easy to build up, or blend out depending on how I feel on the day. It gives my skins a beautiful luminosity and never feels heavy!

Laura Geller Camouflage concealer

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Step Two: Concealer

It’s safe to say that I DO NOT mess around when it comes to concealer! I love a full-coverage concealer that can help me get rid of dark circles, and also address any hard-to-hide blemishes or spots that the foundation can’t cover. I find that using concealer to cover my problem areas means there’s less need to use powder, than if I used foundation only. They saying powder means I can lay off using much else!

The Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage covers all bases for me (pardon the pun!) when it comes to my work day face. It’s so easy to apply and blend, and can be buildable as needed. It’s a duo concealer, with the more orange based side doing wonders for my dark under eyes, and the lighter flesh colour going on top to perfect under eyes, as well as any rouge spots!

Daniel Sandler Watercolour liquid Blush Glamourous

Step Three: Blush

After all that coverage I can sometimes find myself looking a little washed out, so blush is always my next go-to! Again, in the colder weather I feel more comfortable throughout the day wearing a cream or liquid blush, rather than a powder. I feel like I don’t really mind what shade of blush I go for, as long as it brings me to life a little - which seems to be most shades I’ve ever tried.
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I loooove love love the Daniel Sandler Watercolour LiquidBlush and have tried and loved them in a few shades now! The current shade I’m using is Glamour, which is the perfect coral-peach! It blends so, so beautifully and does wonders for my overall work-day face. It lasts all day, and I always getting compliments whenever I wear it!

Laura Gellar Brow Pencil

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Step Four: Brows

I don’t tend to wear anything on my lids for work, as I always end up going over-board, then end up spending so much time getting both eyes to match, etc. etc. - so I just don’t bother!
So when it comes to my brows, I try not to go to over the top. I like to use a pencil in a shade that is slightly lighter than my natural brows, and just fill in the gaps & smarten the shape along the way.

The Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil is absolutely perfect for me. It’s not too soft, so lasts well throughout the day, and is one of the only eyebrow pencils that I’ve found that has a light enough shade (this one is Fair Blonde) that isn’t overly red and ginger-looking for blonde brows. I actually use this one exclusively at the moment, and just amp up the brows with brow gel at the weekend.

Daniel Sandler Mascara

Step Five: Mascara

The last tep is one I couldn’t do without. There’s something about wearing mascara that makes me feel super feminine and put together. I normally try and go for a volumising, super black mascara. I tend to stay away from anything heavy, as its all too easy to go too far and end up lumping up my lashes, which add unnecessary time to my usually quick routine.

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The mascara I’m using at the moment is the Daniel Sandler Intense Volume Pro Mascara and is the PERFECT work-day mascara. The wand is a medium bristle brush (I just can’t get into plastic applicator!) and I find it’s so quick and easy to get uber-black fluttery lashes in seconds. I’m really loving Daniel Sandler and can’t wait to get my hands on more of his range!




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