Magazine Freebies Alert! Ft. Benefit and Eyeko

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It’s that time of year again when the glossy monthly magazines give away great beauty freebies and this year Elle and In Style did not disappoint!

This month, InStyle magazine have teamed up with Eyeko and are giving away 5x different products; Eyeko’s Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, Fat Liquid Eyeliner, Black Magic Mascara, Brow Gel and their Lengthening Skinny Brush Mascara. I ended up picking the Lengthening Skinny Skinny Brush Mascara as I’ve heard really great things about Eyeko’s mascara.

Elle magazine however are giving away the new Benefit Goof Proof Brow pencil. If you saw my beauty wish list earlier this week, you’ll know I was eager to give this a go, so I just had to pick up Elle magazine this month! Unfortunately you’re unable to flick through all the copies of Elle on the magazine stand to find your shade as I believe they are only giving away shade 2, however this is still a pretty neutral shade which will still suit a lot of people or at least give everyone a chance to see how it feels/look. Plus Benefit are also giving away a free eyebrow wax for every reader!

I’m looking forward to giving these two products a go and will let you know my thoughts. At roughly £4 for each magazine, it’s worth picking them up to give the products a go rather than paying full price and finding you don’t like them. So run to your nearest magazine stand now and grab these while you can!

Have you seen any other good magazines freebies lately?

EU Vote – Here’s how I’m deciding…

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I’m not usually one for talking politics, in my personal life or on my blog but I do feel it’s really important to vote tomorrow. The reason I wanted to write this post today was to let people know you’re not alone if you’re still unsure on how to vote.

If you’re anything like me, you probably still haven’t 100% made your mind up yet – and that’s ok!! The whole is really confusing and no one really seems to be sure what will happen if we stay IN the EU or OUT. One thing is for sure though – if you don’t make your vote tomorrow,  you have no right to complain about the outcome because you didn’t have your say in the first place.

Here’s how I’m planning on how to vote –

Do some research – everyone is talking about, every newspaper is having their say and there are tons of articles online to help you decide. BBC will always be a great resource because they aren’t biased. Get all the facts before making your decision.

Think about the values that really matter to you – Whether it be; Climate Change, Immigration, Crime, Equality,  Job Welfare, etc. focus on how the vote will impact these and it might help you make your decision.

Talk it out – Some people want to share their vote, other don’t and both are perfectly acceptable but I’ve had a lot of discussion with friends, colleagues and family members about their thoughts. It often ends in some health debate and is a really useful way to look at things a different way.

You may be thinking –  “how is my one little vote really make a difference? I might as well not bother voting” but you’re totally wrong! Every vote counts, and as I said before, if you don’t vote tomorrow you have no right to complain about the outcome. So think about it and do whatever feels right to you. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just important to vote.

Hopefully this will help in making your mind up for tomorrow’s vote! Will you be voting?

 

The Beauty Wish List

  
With pay-day round the corner, I’ve  already been scouting around all the beauty websites, I now have a beauty wish list as long as my arm! Here are biggest culperts cutrently sitting on top of my wish list – 

Dior BB Cream – Since it launched, I’ve brought a tube of this every summer! It lasts me for the entire season and makes for the perfect base during the warmer months.

Sleek Cream Contour Palette – Sleek always bring it with their palettes! They are on of my favourite high-street brands because they create great quality palettes that sometimes give even my MAC palettes a run for their money. There are only a handful of high-street brands who have attempted the cream contour colour, so excited to see the quality of this Sleek palette.

Beauty Boxes – I’ve wanted to start up another beauty box subscription for ages, but just don’t know which one to go for. I’ve had Glossybox before, but never tried the Birchboxes…any recommendations with which I should pick?

Origins GinZing Peel-Off Mask – I’m a massive fan of Origins skincare and a big fan of a peel mask, so it’s a win win with this pick. Definitely want to give this a go! 

Benefits Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil – Benefit are about the launch an even more extended range to their eyebrow collection. Brows are something I’ve been getting more and more into recently but if I’m honest, I’m still struggling to find the perfect products for my brows. Being a ‘good proof’ pencil means I can’t go far wrong…right?! 

Now let’s wish for a big unexpected bonus in this month’s pay packet so I can try them all…!

What’s currently on your beauty wish list? Have you tried any of these products – what were your thoughts?

Palmers Cocoa Butter Filp Balm

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Whilst having a browse around Superdrug (like ya do!), I came across a new lip balm from Palmers. It caught my eye has it’s a very similar shape to the EOS lip balms which are a US brand that has recently become more available in the UK. The EOS lip balms are really great and come in various amazing scents however as it’s a US brand, they are quite pricey in comparison to other lip balms on the market – usually £6.50 each! I was therefore quite pleased that Palmers have brought out their own version of the sphere lip balm!

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In comparison to the EOS lip balm, the packaging is slightly different as rather than a twist cap, the Palmers version has a flip lip.  It’s only packaging but it’s nice that it’s not a completely carbon copy on the EOS brand. I actually really like the sphere shape packaging which is why I wanted to the test Palmers version. The shape of the balm makes it really quick and easy to apply the balm to your lips and I also really like how the balm packaging sits nicely on my desk – it’s the little thing! The lipstick/tube style lip balms always tended to roll off my desk so I end up losing then, and even when I stand it on its end, the slightest knock will always knock it over and send it rolling straight on the floor.  The strange shape is also a great conversation piece too! When people have noticed it my desk, they have mistaken it for a cherry tomato, a bouncy ball and even a clown’s nose – haha!

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Formulation wise, the balm is good and ticks all the boxes you want for a lip balm. In comparison the EOS balm, I think the Palmer’s version is a little bit more wet  which is think is down to the Cocoa Butter in the balm whereas when you apply to EOS version is more waxy – so it really depends what your preference is. At the end of the day though it moisturises your lips, and the Palmers Cocoa Butter Flip Balm does it a fraction the price. The scent of the Palmers Flip balms are also really nice. I tried the Juicy Watermelon one but there is also coconut and mango available too.

If you’re thinking testing the EOS lip balms but not keen on spending £6.50 on just a lip balm then definitely try the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Flip Balm.

Have you tried the Palmer Cocoa Butter Flip Balms?

Shower Love: Soap & Glory

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It dawned on me in the shower last week that over the last four years there has always been at least one Soap & Glory product in my shower routine. Whether it be a shower gel, an exfoliator, an in-shower cream, Soap & Glory have always been on top of my list for in-shower pampering. Their products not only feel amazing but smell divine! So, I thought I would share with you what I’m currently loving from Soap & Glory –

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel – I think everyone has heard on this shower gel as it’s a classic from the Soap & Glory range. I don’t always buy this as my normal shower gel because it’s a little bit more money that I am willing to spend on a shower gel (usually £6.50 for 500ml) but I tend to always find this little beauty under the Christmas tree in a gift set which always pleases me! You do however get a large bottle for your money so I do think it’s worth it for a treat. Plus again, it smells amazing!

Soap & Glory Smoothie Oat, Sugar & Shea Breakfast Scrub – This is my 2nd or 3rd pot now. First of all, the scrub is one of the best I’ve used because it contains Shea butter, so whilst you are exfoliating, the scrub leaves your skin moisturised still. Best of all however is the smell!! Oh my goodness, you could eat the damn stuff it smells so good (please don’t though!). It’s a maple scent with bananas, almonds and honey added to the mix too, so if you aren’t a fan of the sweet scents maybe give the Sugar Crush scrub a go as its more citrus smelling.

Soap & Glory Exfoliating Gloves – This is most recent purchase from Soap & Glory. Although I love the Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub, I use it more of a treat during my Sunday pamper routines. With the Sun slowly making more of appearance nowadays however, I want my skin permanently silky and shining, so tend to use these gloves with the Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel during the week. These are just the right amount of scrubbiness (it’s a word, ok!), if you know what I mean. They aren’t to hash on the skin but it’s enough to give your skin a buff to leave your limps glowing. They also last a long time too. Other exfoliating gloves I’ve tried in the past (generally cheap ones) has fallen apart have a couple of uses, but after a month they are still holding their shape.

What are your favourite Soap & Glory products? What would you recommend trying out next?

Slimming World Sundays #3

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This week I thought I would share you with you some of my favourite meals I’ve had over the past couple of weeks. Seven weeks on plan and I’ve currently lost 11lbs. I’ll be honest, my progress is a little slower than I had hoped however I have had a couple of disaster weeks with festivals or weekends away which meant I’ve either stayed the same on the scales or put on 1/2 lb one week.Nevertheless, I am still enjoying the plans and fingers crossed in a couple of weeks I can make it to my stone award!

My top favourite meals of this week have been –

Steak salad from Singer Tavern, London (top left hand corner) – We all went to the local pub at work for a colleagues leaving do and they had some really nice salad choices on the menu, which meant it was easy to stick to plan. My biggest tip when you know you are eating out is to check the menu online before you go, that way you know exactly what to order when you get there without panicking. I also said no to having croutons on my salad – how good was I?!

Subway Salad (centre photo) – Sticking on the salad train, this is always a firm favourite of mine and will feature in my weekly food diary at least once a week. Subway is great when you need something for lunch. All the salad is free and its all about the double chicken portion, which is also free! Its then topped out with the Sweet Onion sauce which is 1.5 syns per serving – simple!

Overnight Oats (bottom left hand corner) – I love overnight oats for breakfast! I make mine with 30g oats (healthy extra B), a Mullerlight vanilla yogurt (free) topped off with strawberries and blueberries (free).This week however I made my pots up with frozen berries the night before and it worked just as well. Using frozen berries means I don’t have to worry about buying fresh fruit every 2-3days, plus it does work out cheaper too.

Nando’s (top right hand corner) – If you’re a big fan of Nando’s you will be glad you know it’s a great place when your eating on the SW plan. I had butterfly chicken without the skin which I count as 2 syns for any oil/marinate they use, spicy rice (1.5 syns) with corn on the cob (free as long as you don’t use that butter!). I love this meal as it means you can still go out for dinner and socialise with friend whilst not damaging your weight lost.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with what I eat on Slimming World or want to know more about some of the other meals I’ve had this week, I have a separate Slimming World Instagram account you can follow – search ‘stephi_sw

What are you favourite healthy meals?

 

Beauty Books – Bobbi Brown & Lisa Eldridge

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You may have noticed in a couple of my photo backgrounds, two beauty books on my shelf – Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge and The Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual. They appear in a lot of my beauty photos which appear on my blog, so I thought it was only right to bring them into the spot light and share my thoughts on both of these.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual 

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I got this about three or four years ago and it was the first book which started my beauty book collection. This book is great and will tell you everything you possibly need to know about makeup if you a beginner right through to pro! Every aspect of makeup is broken down into chapters – Equipment, Skin, Face, Lips and Eyes and then goes into more details in other chapters if you are a makeup artist. Bobbi Brown impressively covers makeup for all sorts of different occasions and ages too such as; makeup for teens, ageless beauty and even makeup during pregnancy – which personally I’ve never seen being covered anywhere else!

For me, this isn’t a book which I picked up and read cover to cover. It’s more of a book that I’ve picked up to dip into different sections when I’m struggling which my makeup, my skin or looking for some inspiration. More recently I have also used this a teaching tool as I’ve been asked to do friends’ makeup for photos or for a special occasion so I’ve been reading up on tips to give the best finish in front of the camera. There is also a chapter on Bridal makeup too, which is coming in handy when I’ve been planning what to do with my makeup for my big day next year 🙂

Definitely a book I would recommend if you are into makeup and interested in improving your skills. It’s great to keep on your book shelf ready to use when you might need it.

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge 

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This is my favourite of the two books and since receiving this as a gift last Christmas, I still pick this book up on a regular occasion and dive into a new section/part of makeup history. Rather than being like a manual giving you makeup tips, like the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, this is a history lesson about my all time favourite subject – makeup! This book is broken down into two sections – The Ancient Palette which talks more about the history of makeup dating back thousands of years ago, and the second section is The Business of Beauty where Lisa talks about beauty and the media, beauty pioneers and future of makeup.

First of all, I need to just bow at Lisa Eldridge’s feet because this book must of taken so much hard work. The history details she goes into is amazing and it makes for a really fascinating read. Even just to flicked through the pages, the photography is exquisite and makes for a beautiful coffee table book. One of my favourite section of the book which is the makeup muses where Lisa takes a makeup icon and talks about their makeup and how that person influenced the world of beauty. My favourite makeup muses is of Audrey Hepburn as she has always been an icon of mine, so it was really nice to learn a little bit more behind her look.

If you love makeup, you need to have this book in your life. Likewise, if you have a friend or family member who is into their makeup, this book is perfect for a gift for a birthday or for Christmas.

What are your favourite beauty books?

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

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I am a huge fan of a high-street foundation and Rimmel tends to be one of my favourite. I’ve tried a few from Rimmel in the past, one being the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation which is lovely if you are look for a very dewy glow but recently I’ve been giving the Rimmel’s Match Perfection Foundation a go.

I decided to give this one a go as I was suffering with very dry skin, especially on my forehead. As the UK’s weather can’t make up its bloody mind half the time, I think my skin was feeling a bit confused plus it doesn’t help sitting in an office all day that constantly blasts artificial air, be it the heating or air condition. The foundation I was using before, just didn’t sit nicely on my skin and throughout the day I was looking more and scalier with my cracking dry skin – not a good look. On my search for a more moisturising foundation, I came across Rimmel’s Match Perfection Foundation. This aims to have 24hr moisture hydration and have a pore blurring effect – two things which I really needed from my foundation.

For moisture, it was really great! The formulation made it really nice to apply over my skin, even when my skin was being problematic and dry. Coverage wise, it’s defiantly more of a medium coverage however it is also quite easy to build it up to more of a fuller coverage if you wanted to. Once applied, this foundation looks great however I wasn’t very impressed with the longevity.

When using the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, I would generally apply over moisturised skin using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (which is a tool I’m not happy about, but more on that in another post!) and then I bounce a beauty blender over my face for a flawless finish and make sure my foundation is even. I would then follow with concealer and finish with a powder to keep everything in place throughout the day. As some of you many know, I work really long hours by the time to include the commute from Brighton to London every day, so I want a foundation that will stay in place and I don’t have to worry about touching up every hour. Although this foundation does look beautiful on the skin, by the time I check my make-up before heading home, it’s practically all worn away…not great for any late afternoon meetings I’ve been sat in, looking like a mess!

Overall though, I do however like this foundation, especially in the winter month when my skin is on the dryer side but for those days when I need my foundation to last, I will be reaching for something else. Admittedly, I’ve worn this foundation with a primer and it has last a little longer but I did find it did take away some of the mostiurzing  benefits – ya win some, you lose some! Would definitely recommend giving this a go if you have dry skin.

Have you tried the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation before? What is your favourite high-street foundation?

 

 

The Kylie Jenner Lip Kit

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If you hadn’t heard of the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits, where have you been?! Kylie Jenner – famous for her amazing lips has released her own Lip Kits which includes a lip pencil and a liquid lipstick. She has released a whole range of amazing colours and finishes – mattes, glosses and more recently her metals ranges. There has been so much hype around these lip kits that every time she announces they are on sale on her website, they are out of stock within minutes!

There has however been so much press surrounding these kits, good and bad! If you live in the UK (or anywhere other than the states) it’s very difficult to get your hands on these. One, because you have to be up in the middle of night (due to the time difference) to even have a chance of ordering these before they go out of stock. Two, because not only do you have to pay lots for shipping, there is also import taxes which tends to added on once they arrive in the UK so you end up paying where over the odd for this lipstick. And three, there has also been instances where lip kits are being stolen from Kylie’s recognisable packaging so once they arrive you have basically paid nearly £40 for an empty box…and the company or delivery service don’t do anything to help! To me, personally it wasn’t worth the risk trying buy these Lip Kits, but luckily I was fortunate enough to have a friend selling hers because she didn’t like the shade she had ordered. I jumped at the chance at buying this from her as it meant I knew exactly what I was getting without any hidden charges or any risk of it not arriving.

Now what do I actually think of the Kylie Lip Kit itself? The longevity of this liquid lipstick gets the big thumbs up from me! I wore this to a festival last weekend where there was a lot of drinking and eating involved but it stayed in place, and I only needed to reapply once throughout the whole day. As liquid lipsticks go though, this is still quite drying. I did find however that a good thick lip balm on your lips an hour before application really helped though. I applied a generous layer of Blistex Intensive Moisturizer whilst getting ready and applying the rest of my makeup, and left applying the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, both liner and gloss, just before heading out the door.

The packaging of the liquid lipstick is a little bit disappointing though. Most lip glosses and liquid lipsticks tend to have almost a kind of suction on the top of the tube which removes excess product from the applicator, but with the Kylie Jenner liquid lipstick there isn’t one. You are then left with remove the excess product around the lip of the tube which can become quite messy if you’re applying in a rush. I do however really love the smell of this gloss though. As soon as you open it, you get a whiff of strong vanilla which I think is really nice, however if you’re not a fan of the sweet scents, you might want to avoid. The lip liner however is really nice. It really buttery so it makes it easy to apply, but I have already needed to bust out the sharper one or twice because it’s so soft and blunts so easily, so unsure how long this liner will actually last.

Colour wise, I really love it! I love a nude and especially a matte nude, and Candy K is a more of a brown, pinky shade which is perfect for every day wear. Since trying out this Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, I have been eyeing up all the other shades – Dolce K and Koko K are currently sitting on my wish list! But would I purchase Lip Kit myself? For the formulation, yes! For all the hassle of not knowing exactly when it will arrive and the risk of paying over the odds of postage, probably not! My recommendation is, if you have a friend selling one or find a genuine seller – go for it! If not, do your research – there seems to be a lot dupes on the market so you can find probably find an alternative.

Have you tried any of the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits? What were your thoughts?

Monthly Favourites – May 2016

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Seeing as we are 1st June – how is it June already?! I thought I would share with you my favourites from the month of May –

Women’s Health Magazine – I am a huge lover of magazines but recently have been really enjoying Women’ Health magazine. I’m not a gym bunny or a fitness freak but I am in the mode of being healthier, as some of you may know from my Slimming World Sunday posts. Women’s Health isn’t all about exercise, it’s full of healthy eating tips, beauty, health tips, etc – it actually makes for a really enjoyable and interesting read. Unlike a lot of the fashion magazines – which don’t get me wrong, I love flicking through these magazine but I do struggle to find good content to read, but with Women’s Health I’m reading it cover to cover! I love it that much that I’m actually thinking about getting a subscription as it’s been the only magazine in a long while which I buy every single month.

John Frieda Detangling Comb – Bit of an odd favourite but I couldn’t live without this comb. It’s from John Frieda and from the photo it looks like a normal comb – what is so special about that, I hear you ask? Well, what makes this special is there are rubber strip at the top of the comb which I find really help in taming your hair when you’re out and about. We have all been there, when we have been caught is really bad windy weather or worn something which makes your hair static…well the rubber strip really helps smooth any fly away hairs – genius! It’s also really small and flat to keep in any handbag, rather than carrying around a massive hair brush.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc – I have had terrible skin lately, and with the weather getting warmer I tend to also get a little oily throughout the day. I use La Roche-Posay’s Serzonic as a toner once I’ve finished cleansing my skin in the mornings. It comes in a spray can sprits over you face but I tend to spray directly on a cotton pad and wipe over my skin to ensure my whole face is covered, but spraying it directly on your face is lovely and hydrating too! This toner is made for blemish prone/oily skin, so using this in the morning really helps keep the oil at bay throughout the day.

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Topshop nail polish in Leigh – I’ve spoken about this nail polish lot on the blog recently so won’t go into too much detail here, but it’s part of Topshop’s Denim Polish range. I really love this colour and have been wearing for the majority of the month, so had to include it in my May favourites.  The formulation is fantastic too! I would actually go as far as saying it’s one of the best polishes on the high-street for longevity, as I can wear it up to 5 days without any chips!

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Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour in Seduction – I had heard a lot of good things about the new Revlon Matter Lipcolours that I just had to try them out for myself. I ended up picking up the shade, Seduction as I love a nude lip! The colour first of all, is gorgeous and perfect for every day wear. When you first apply it, it does appear like a gloss on the lips but once it wears a little it’s appears more like a matte lip colour. Although it’s branded as a matte lip product, I kinda like that it applies a little glossy to begin with as I find it keeps some moisture in my lips rather than matte lip products being quite drying. I really like the texture of these and will definitely looking at picking up some more shades!

What are your monthly favourites?