Monday, 16 May 2016

Colourpop Haul | First Impressions & Swatches

A picture of Colourpop haul, first impressions and swatches
Unless you have been living under a rock recently then you will have seen the buzz amongst Beauty Bloggers and makeup enthusiasts about Colourpop on Twitter and Instagram. Due to all the excitement, I couldn't resist any longer and had to see what all the fuss was about purely for blog purposes of course! 

Colourpop have an amazing selection of makeup on their website with extensive colour ranges under each category. All products are extremely affordable but the low prices does not mean the products are cheaply made but instead they appear to be of good quality and could be in line with some higher end products. The only downside of Colourpop is that they do not ship to the UK, correct at the time of posting, however if you check out this post by Jasmine you will see exactly how to get your Colourpop order shipped to the UK. 

I received my Colourpop order quite a few weeks ago now and since then I have made sure to try all the products I purchased and thought the time was right to share my first impressions with you all. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Five Things Slimmers Do Before Weigh In

A picture of Slimming World certificate
Weigh day, you either love it or loathe it! I definately loathe it, even if I have been a Slimming World angel all week, I still dread weigh day. No matter what plan you are following (Slimming World, Weight Watchers or some other weight loss/healthy eating plan) there are some things that us slimmers need to do to prepare us for weigh day, if we don’t do them then any weight that is gained is blamed on us not following the ritual down to a tee. 

Here are five of the most common rituals which slimmers follow, some or all of these may apply to you. Hopefully this post will give you a laugh or at be something that you can relate to. Happy Slimming!

1. PEE. A lot! Right before you weigh in at class or at home, you need to make sure and get every single trickle of wee out of your body... sometimes, you hope for a poo as well. Sorry, but it’s true! You don't for one second think that one single pee is going to make a difference of even 1/2lb but you can't take the risk just in case!

2. Wear the lightest clothing possible and make sure that you wear the same outfit each time you weigh in as it is now your uniform. It usually consists of a thong, those Bridget Jones knickers weigh a lot more than you think, lightweight leggings, lightweight top and a non padded bra which is usually the ugliest thing you own and you are not sure if it started off life as white or if it has always been a funky shade of grey! If going to a class to weigh in then you hope that none of your family/friends see you because you are not in your Sunday best right now and would be absolutely mortified if they seen you, to be honest though this is usually when you bump into the most people!

3. Drink a lot of water the day before, probably too much. There are two main reasons for this, it will help with all the peeing you plan on doing (see point 1) and also you hope it will fill you up and save you from having to eat large meals and/or any snacks.

4. It is usually preferable to get weighed early in the morning but unfortunately that is not always possible. If you have to get weighed in the afternoon/evening then your ritual includes eating the lightest food possible, the lower the calories your food for the day contains the better, think salad, but you still won't eat a lot of it and you make sure not to eat or drink within three or four hours of weigh in.

5. You plan your treat/cheat meal down to a tee including the drink, alcoholic or otherwise, and dream about it all week until you can actually get to eat it.  You will either be celebrating or feeling sorry for yourself after weigh in so that treat/cheat meal is going to be eaten with zeros f***s given and you can get straight back on the plan again tomorrow, well you plan to anyway

Do you have a weigh day routine, what does it include? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Monday, 2 May 2016

Benefit Cheekathon | Review

A picture of Benefit Cheekathon Palette A picture of the Benefit Cheekton blush and bronzer palette
I seem to be in complete cheek product mode at the moment, I seriously can't get enough of blushers, bronzers and highlighters but I felt like I didn't have enough 'higher end' products in my collection and so I decided that I needed Benefit Hoola bronzer. Everyone and their granny raves about Hoola and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never purchased a full size version of it and have only ever used it as a mini in part of a previous Benefit set, I also decided that I needed a Benefit blush but didn't know which one to go for. While browsing Benefit's site looking for the perfect blusher for me, I spotted the Cheekathon palette at only £44.50 and just couldn't pass up on it.  

The blushers and bronzers in the palette are all full size and given that individually they would cost £23.50 each, this palette works out as a complete bargain as I would have spent more money buying Hoola and a blusher separately. There is also a mini powder brush included which is the same size as the one you get in the powder boxes but I am not too fussed with that as I use my own makeup brushes for application but it would come in handy if you were away somewhere and didn't want to carry all your makeup brushes with you. The powders are housed in a sturdy cardboard palette with a mirror in the lid, it is not a palette I would necessarily carry around with me day to day but if I was going away for the weekend or on holiday then I would be packing this instead of individual blushers and bronzers. 

I know sometimes when brands bring palettes like this out, they can tend to scrimp on the actual quality of the product but each and every powder in Cheekathon seems to have the same pigmentation and blendability as the individual powder boxes. Personally, I love the powder combinations chosen for this palette and think Benefit have made the right choices, these are all powders I would be interested in purchasing separately and all do well on their own or as stand alone products. I am glad I found this on their site and didn't have to choose a separate blusher, although at the moment I am slightly obsessed with Dandelion but wouldn't have known that if I didn't buy this palette. 
A picture of the Benefit Cheekathon blush and bronzer palette
Dandelion - Sheer ballerina-pink face powder with a hint of shimmer.
Hoola - Soft bronze matte bronzer.
Rockateur - Rose gold blush with a hint of shimmer.
Dallas - Dusty rose blusher or bronzer.
Coralista - Warm coral pink blusher with a hint of pearl.
A picture of Benefit Cheekathon blush and bronzer palette swatches
For day to day wear, I am loving wearing Hoola as a mini contour and Dandelion swept over my cheeks but I have tried, and love, the other powders and am having fun wearing them in different combinations. I used to own Dallas a few years ago and loved it, I forgot how much though until I got this palette which has re-ignited my love for it. I have used a blush and/or bronzer from the Cheekathon palette every single day since I bought it so this has been money well spent for me.

The Benefit Cheekathon palette is the perfect combination of matte and shimmer powders for all your bronzing and blush needs and is suitable for most, probably all, skin tones, it really is one that I would highly recommend checking out if you haven't already. 

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

My Current Everyday Eyebrow Combination

A picture of my current everyday eyebrow combination
If there is one thing that I am thankful for discovering since starting this blog, it is the beauty of filling in my eyebrows. Seriously, why did I never do this before? It is now such an important part of my routine, it's as much a necessity as my mascara these days. I can go out without any base products on and not even feel uncomfortable in the slightest but I like to have something on my brows and lashes, even something light so they feel a bit more presentable.

I have tried a lot of different brow products in the last few years, some I have loved and some not so much. For the past few months I have been using this particular combination of products on a daily basis to fake the perfect natural eyebrow look that I am loving. I hate my brows to appear too dark or drawn on. I actually have some new eyebrow products to try out but keep putting it off as I love this combination so much.
A picture of my current everyday eyebrow combination
Benefit Brow Zings - Light | £24.50 | post
Whenever I pick up new eyebrow products, I always sway more towards medium brown shades but when I attended at the Benefit Browbar last year to get my brows tamed and to pick up Browzings, they suggested I give the light shade a try. My hair was a lot darker at the time but they explained that because I don't like the red undertones (which totally don't suit my colouring!) that usually come with the darker shades, that their Light Brow Zings would probably be better for me. They were so right, thanks Benebabes. I love this and find that I use both the wax and the powder to tame and add some definition to my brows, not too much though as I like them to look as natural as possible, like I haven't even made an effort. I find that some eyebrow products are a bit hard to control and leave me with big, dark brows which is definately not a look I go for but with Brow Zings, I feel like I am in control and can enhance my brows the way I want to.

Maybelline Brow Drama - Medium Brown | £4.99 | post
I use Brow Drama to 'set' Brow Zings as I find that they really compliment each other, I know it can be used alone but I much prefer it as a setting gel. This adds a hint of colour but not too much so it still leaves me with the natural brows I like.  For days when I can't be bothered with filling in my brows, I run a little of this over them, as I said above it doesn't add much colour but it does keeps my unruly brows under control. This lasts a good 12 hours on me, I apply it first thing in the morning and it is still there at night along with Brow Zings when I come to remove my makeup. It's no dupe for Benefit Gimme Brow which some people have claimed, but it does do a pretty good job for only £4.99 so it is one I am happy to repurchase.

What are your go to eyebrow products? 

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Monday, 18 April 2016

The Healthy Files | April 2016

A picture of the healthy files slimming world update
First things first, let me apologise for having no Healthy Files update in March.  Things have changed somewhat and it felt too soon to do an update at that point. I was finding myself struggling and feeling overwhelmed with trying to eat healthy and knowing what to eat and when, I was starting to panic and getting myself into a bit of a state about it all so I decided that if I was going to be successful in my weight loss journey then I was going to need some help. After a lot of thought and consideration, I took the decision to join my local Slimming World class which I did on 27th February. If you have been around these parts for a while then you will know that I attended Slimming World a few years ago and didn't get on to well with it, now I have realised it wasn't the plan that wasn't working for me it was that I wasn't working for me and didn't follow the plan correctly. I am definately in a much better frame of mind this time and have been writing down every single thing I eat, even the naughty stuff and even when I go over my allocated syns for the day. Everything I eat/drink now, I write down in a notebook. 

I know a lot of people who are following Slimming World (or SW for short) and they are having amazing results. I want these sort of results for myself. I want to lose weight but most of all I want to be healthy and teach myself how to do live a healthier lifestyle. It may be that SW will not feature in my future but for now I feel that it is definately a plan I want to follow. It is allowing me to eat a lot of food that I didn't previously but it is all home cooked, healthy foods which is something I didn't do before. I can still have crisps, chocolate and ice cream if I want to but now I have it within my allowance and don't have full days of eating complete junk food and having no actual meals which is something I done a lot of previously.  I am eating so much fruit and veggies these days and I am actually amazed at how well I have adapted to the SW plan or should I say that I have adapted in allowing the plan to fit in with me and my lifestyle. I have to tell you that I have even managed to kick my fizzy juice addiction which is a big deal for me, my dentist will be chuffed with this news!

I thought that now I have been following the plan for over a month that it was not only time for me to tell you all that I was doing Slimming World but also to give you an update for The Healthy Files, it means I can hopefully get back to doing these monthly to keep you all updated on how I am getting on. If you think I should rename the series to something else then let me know but I am sticking with The Healthy Files for now!  

Loss/Gain in March: I am going to forget the fact that I lost 3lbs in my February update post and am using my starting weight with SW as my new 'official' starting weight. It is a whole lot easier for me to keep track of this way but it also means I can keep you all updated on where I am on my journey as I can refer to my SW booklet to see my losses/gains.

Since joining SW, I have managed to lose 1st 1.5lbs which I am chuffed about, it also means that I have achieved two awards at Slimming World as they reward you with a certificate and shiny sticker for each 1/2 stone and stone you achieve. I am all about visual rewards! I appreciate that to some people, my loss so far may seem quite a lot but please bear in mind that I am overweight at the moment and so my losses will be greater especially just now at the start of my journey. My loss is quite steady compared to some people of similar starting weights but I am happy about that, I don't want it all to come off too quickly. I actually had a small gain last week of 1/2lb as I had been ill for two weeks and wasn't following the plan. Luckily when I weighed in at class on Saturday, I managed to get this 1/2lb back off as well as a further 1.5lbs. 

Any Favourite Meals?: I have rediscovered a love for omelettes. Only now, I can actually eat them without them being laden down in mountain of cheese. I use a lot of veggies and a small amount of cheese, usually my allocation for the day (Slimming Worlders will refer to this as their Healthy Extra A)

Learnt Anything New?: How to cook healthy, satisfying meals and have a pudding after which is all within my new plan. This is something I just can't get my head around at the moment, completely mind blown. By pudding, I mean a Muller Light yoghurt served with a good amount of fruit but it feels like a pudding. I feel full and satisfied each day and have no desire to reach for family size bars of chocolate anymore. Result. 

Complete February Goals?: As I didn't do an update in March, I had no goals to complete so will refer back to February's goals which was exercise. I have to admit that I have been so focused on getting my eating habits under control that exercise has taken a back burner but now I am in a better place with eating, I think it is time to start easing back into exercise as I was enjoying it. 

Goals for this month?: Following on from the last point, my goal has to be exercise again. I like working out at home as I don't feel comfortable attending a gym at the moment. I really want to find some good online toning exercises focusing on stomachs (especially larger ones!), legs and arms so if you know of any please point me in the right direction. 

Aiming to Lose?: As I am now into the swing of things with SW I expect my weight losses to slow down and become a lot more steady. I am going to aim for a loss of 5lbs to take me to the end of April, which isn't that far away so I am not putting too much pressure on myself to meet this target but it would be nice to get there. 

Are you on a weightloss/healthy journey at the moment? Let me know in the comments below and give me any hints & tips you think could be useful for me. 

Why not check out my other posts in The Healthy Files series here.

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