Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Week 9 of my Slimming World Journey Week 9 of my Slimming World Journey

So my eagle eyed readers will have noticed that there was no week 8 posted. This wasn't because of some catastrophic slipping off the weight loss wagon. It was much less sinister than that. It was simply that I was away for Easter week, so no weigh in for me.
That's not to say I stuck to plan rigidly over Easter week. I was on holiday and have to confess that some chocolate, wine and even pizzas (yes plural) were consumed so it was no great disappointment that I couldn't jump on the scales. 
But as soon as I got back to work on wednesday I was back on plan, determined to undo any damage that I had done to my weighloss. 
So I planned my week's meals and did my shopping because for me that is key. My motto in life is all about the five Ps....
Poor Preparation leads to Piss Poor Performance
And my diet and weightloss are no different.
So I made sure my cupboards were full of what I needed and that I knew what I was eating at every meal, but still I wasn't confident. I was anxious that I may have gained during Easter week so knew I would need to go that extra mile to earn a loss. 
It was time to dust my running shoes off. 
And they really were dusty.
I hadn't been running for months now but when I use to run regularly, it was a huge help in my efforts to lose weight. 
Not only did the running itself burn calories but somehow on the days I ran, it always seemed easier to eat well too.
It has never come easy to me though. I am not and doubt I ever will be, someone who enjoys running. For me it is a real chore. But when I make the effort, I feel better about myself. So I made the effort. 
Four times this week I got out there and ran (very slowly) for 30 minutes.
And I stuck to plan.
And it worked.
I lost two and a half pounds.
Thats a grand total of 17 pounds in 9 weeks.
Not a spectacular loss but I am very happy that those 17 pounds are now gone from my backside.
Very happy to have lost 17 of those ghastly lumps of fat pictured at the top of this post.
Less happy by how many there are still to go but they do say the slower it comes off the better your chances of keeping it off.

So what am I hoping for next week. Well this weekend is going to be challenging. I have two big nights out planned and both involve eating and drinking but hopefully if I plan my meals carefully for the rest of the week and push myself back out running at least four times, I will still achieve some kind of loss. Even if it's just one of those ghastly lumps of fat pictured above. 
So that's my aim. 
To have a great weekend and still lose a pound. 
Can I do it? 
Yes I can!

So how did you all do with your diet and fitness goals this week? x

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Step by step guide to Beautiful Eyes with the Naked 3 Palette Step by step guide to Beautiful Eyes with the Naked 3 Palette

This month Lippylikes has been featuring the beautiful and super talented Gwenayfer from Peacock Beauty and today I am honoured to be publishing this incredible guest post from her - a step by step guide to this beautiful look using the Naked 3 palette. So over to Gwenayfer x

I am so delighted to be doing a guest post for LippyLikes! I love eyeshadow and I love sharing my love with everyone! This is a tutorial showing a work appropriate eyeshadow look – many of my looks can look a bit…STRONG, so this is a nice peaceful look. 
You may be asking yourself: “Then why are there so many steps?!” 
Even simple looks can benefit from good use of colour and blending – it will give your eyeshadow dimension and often enhance the natural beauty of your eye.

Here is the look


What you need

1. Eyeshadow

    Urban Decay Naked 3
I am using the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, primarily because it’s a good neutral palette for work but also because many people have it so it’s easier to relate to. I’ve labeled the shadows on the palette that I’ll be using in this tutorial.

2. Primer

Urban Decay Primer Potion
You will want to use a primer of some sorts. It can be a formal eye primer or even just your foundation on your lid. You can also use cream eyeshadows (note: any color in the cream will change the look of the shadow on top of it). I used the original Urban Decay Primer Potion (which is just a nude color) but SIN is a lovely choice for this palette and will enhance the colors in the palette.

3. Liquid Liner

Tom Ford Liner
I think more muted eye looks look fabulous with a winged eyeliner look. I like to do mine using a pen

like the one above. There are many out there – Rimmel does a great ScandalEyes pen – I prefer a felt tip to a brush. This is totally your call and you may want to do something different with your liner as well.

4. Brushes

Just like any artist you need your tools! While you could create a similar look using the Urban Decay brush that comes with your palette, I still recommend this combination. These are my Sigma brushes from the Mr. Bunny collection and they are my holy grail brushes.

    E30 Pencil Brush
    E55 Eye Shading Brush
    E70 Medium Angled Shading Brush

Steps to Creating the Look

Step 1

Begin by preping your eyelid. I used my finger to spread primer all over the lid and up to the eyebrow. I usually try to use a little extra when I know ahead of time I’ll be using a sparkly eyeshadow. This helps lessen fallout.

Step 2

Next, use your Flat Shading brush to add Strange to the inner third of your eyelid. Don’t be afraid if you need to pack on the color to get it to show up on the lid. You can always buff some away as you go along.

Step 3


Still using your Flat Shading brush add Buzz to the middle third of your eye lid. I load up my brush with color and use a patting motion rather than a sweeping motion to keep the color where I want it, it the center!

Step 4

And finally, using your Flat Shading brush, add Factory to the outer third of your eyelid. You will probably find that some of the color goes into your crease – this is just fine. Tip: I usually use one side of my brush at a time and just spin it around for the next color – that way the darkest color always ends up on top of the lightest color of the brush (this is if you don’t wanna try to clean your brush off between steps)

Step 5

Load your Angled Shading brush with Limit (this is a nice matte color – mattes are always good for creases – you could also use Nooner in this look if you want a little more definition in the crease). I usually place the short end of the brush in my the outermost part of the crease and then gently sweep the color across to the inner part of the eye, keeping the short end in the crease. You may find that you need to add a little color above that area if your eyebrows are quite arched. Remember to leave room for a browbone highlight color.

Step 6

Using your Angled Shading brush pat Strange onto the browbone and smooth with the crease color so there isn’t an obvious line between colors. You can also take this opportunity to just dust your brush over the lid to make sure the colors blend into eachother nicely (just one or two light swipes or you’ll brush off all your work! :D)

Step 7

Next, define the outer part of the eye. Use your Pencil brush and load it with Darkside. Brush color into the outer part of your crease and create a V with your lower lashline. Fill in the color a little to blend it in.

Note: At this point you can jump to putting on your eyeliner in Step:

Step 8

Time to define the lower lid. Using your Pencil brush dust Strange over 2/3rds of the lower lid. This gives your eye some light!

Step 9

Now, use your Pencil brush to apply Darkside to the lower lid and blend it into the color in the outer part of your upper lid.
Note: You could stop here, add mascara and be done if you like!

ud_tut_12 ud_tut_11

Step 10

I’m using a liquid liner pen with a felt tip. This particular pen has both a shorter tip and a longer tip. I use the short tip almost exclusively because it gives me, personally, the most control. To start your wing, create a line from your lower lashline pointed towards the end of your eyebrow.

Step 11

Next, create your liner line along the upper lashline. I usually start from the outside where my line is and drag my pen to the middle of my lid and then switch to the inner part of my eyelid and drag back towards the middle. I then go back and smooth the line as best I can.

Step 12

To create your little wing draw a line connecting the end of your first line and the liner on your lashline creating a triangle.

Step 13

Then fill in the gap and smooth the entire line. You may extend the wing a little as well if you like and thicken the line on your lid as much as you want (I generally like mine thick – to each their own).

Step 14

Add a little liner to the outer lower lashline – I usually go for about a third. Try to taper the liner off better than I did!

And that’s how you create the following look!


I love sharing my love of eyeshadow so I really hope this was helpful! I wanted to thank Jules from LippyLikes for advertising my blog this past month. She has been immensely helpful and I feel as though we have a blog connection for life.

Gwenayfer xo

Wow, I don't know about you guys but I am blown away by this look and can't wait to try it out. Gwenayfer is so talented and shares that with all her followers at Peacock Beauty so do yourself a favour and check it out now x 

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    Monday, 28 April 2014

    BalanceMe Cleanse and Smooth Balm BalanceMe Cleanse and Smooth Balm

    Photograph of the balanceMe Cleanse and Smooth Balm box

    Tube of balance me cleanse and smooth balm with Muslin cloth

    Today I would like to introduce you to one of the best cleansers I have ever used. I know that sounds a bit over the top but I mean it, the Cleanse and Smooth Balm by balanceMe is gorgeous and if you are in the market for a new cleanser then I would urge you to try this one.
    So what makes it so special?

    First up I love the company that makes this balm. BalanceMe literally did begin as a kitchen table top company started by two sisters. The company philosophy is 
    "beauty that works naturally" and what they promise is high performance, paraben and sulphate free, aromatherapy skincare made in the U.K.

    What they say;

    Anti-oxidant rich Arctic cloudberry, gentle Roman chamomile and skin-brightening red mandarin smooth away daily grime and make-up leaving skin soft, radiant and calmly clean. Gently polishing oatmeal sloughs away dead skin cells and encourages cell renewal. Shea and cocoa butter, softening rosehip, camellia, kukui nut and virgin coconut oils, rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and lipids provide a layer of skin-boosting goodness which benefits both young and more mature skins.

    The packaging was nothing special just a squeezy tube but I actually quite liked that. There is nothing less hygienic than dipping a fingertip into a glass jar night after night for months. The cleanser came with a muslin cloth if you like to use them, I prefer a facecloth myself but that's just me.

    My first impression of this product was the unbelievably beautiful smell. Nothing synthetic about this fragrance, it is all shea butter and essential oils, super sweet and floral. The smell of this product made it feel so luxurious. I actually found myself breathing deeply as I used it. 

    The texture of the product was a surprise to me. I have used a few different balms but none like this. As it comes out of the tube it has the consistency of a balm but as it mixes with moisture of my dampened hands it emulsifies just enough to make it easy to work with. As it does, you notice that the little pieces of finely milled oatmeal. I generally don't like manual exfoliators but these are not at all scratchy. I use this cleanser in the evening after removing my make up. I do that because I like to use a variety of different cleansers and it would be a waste not to take advantage of the beautiful texture to spend a few moments massaging it into my skin. As I massage the tiny grains of oatmeal dissolve without a trace. I then take my hot cloth and simply wipe the cleanser away.

    I have used this cleanser to remove makeup and it does it really well so if you prefer to use a single product, this is for you.

    What I love about it though it how my skin feels after I've used it. I have combination skin, with dry patches but still suffer occasional areas of congestion. This face balm effortlessly smoothes any roughness leaving my skin feeling really soft and comfortable and looking bright and soft.

    I was sent this product to try by balanceMe beauty but I will absolutely be repurchasing when it runs out. Given the tiny amount I use to clean my face though, I think the 125ml tube will last for months. I have used more expensive balms than this one which I think is a bargain at just £20 for a tube but I can honestly say I have never used one which felt more luxurious to use nor have I ever used one which left my skin looking better.

    Available from a number of beauty counters including John Lewis, Top Shop, Waitrose and Debenhams but I would recommend you check out the website here so you can read all about this and all the other gorgeous balanceMe products available.

    Seriously one of the best cleansers I have ever used. You don't need to take my word for it, it comes recommended by Beauty Gurus such as the editor of Vogue, Claudia Schiffer, and Caroline Hirons and has won awards such as the Beauty Bible's Anti Ageing Award.


         Just try it!!

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    Sunday, 27 April 2014

    Week 1 #100happydays Week 1 #100happydays

    So regular readers of this blog will recall last weeks post where I accepted the #100happydays challenge. What that means is that for 100 days I am committed to making time to be happy. And each Sunday I have promised to share with you the happy moments from my week. Looking back I am a bit disturbed by how much of my happiness comes from food and alcohol but the rules say its important not to let your journey be influenced by what other people might think so here it is; week 1 of my #100happydays challenge.


    What is it about the sunshine that puts a smile on everyone's face? Only thing better than sitting in the sun, is sitting in the sun drinking bubbles!


    I think only another blogger can understand the joy that comes from hitting a milestone. But take it from me, it made my day!


    So not being your typical blogger (more like one of your Mums), I have been paralysed with fear at the idea of going to an event. I was sure I would feel horribly out of place and slightly ridiculous amongst all of you lovely young things. So I was very proud of myself on Wednesday when I got a grip of myself, put my lippy on and headed out to my first event. Go me!!!


    So living in a city, I am more used to concrete than blossom so this stopped me in my tracks and made me smile.


    So I know this one seems a bit odd. But this shower cap truly makes me smile every time I clean my face, have a shower, or put on a hair or face pack. 
    So it makes me happy a lot. 
    It deserves it's place.


    We had a quiet weekend this weekend. Its a busy month so we thought we would stay at home, cuddle up on the sofa and catch up with some netflicks. I wouldn't normally choose Chicken Tikka but by having it with boiled rice and using sauce to dip rather than pouring it on,  I managed to keep the syns quite low. And it was delicious.


    So I shared at least some of this....
    Although I did have some whisky after it.
    But I had the syns.
    It was delicious.
    And I really enjoyed it.

    So that was week 1 of  my #100happydays !

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    Saturday, 26 April 2014

    Taking Great Blog Photographs - Composition and The Rule of Thirds Taking Great Blog Photographs - Composition and The Rule of Thirds

    Over the last few weeks my photography series has concentrated on lighting and set up. If you missed those posts, catch up here, here and here. 

    Today it's time to move on to the first rule of photography, the Rule of Thirds.

    Square divided into thirds horizontally and vertically

    So what does that mean?

    When you are setting up your images, split the shot into thirds, just like in the picture above. 
    That gives you four main lines and four points where those lines cross. It has been proved that when we look at images, our eye naturally goes to those points so it makes sense to put the product we are writing about there. Similarly in fashion shots, placing yourself along one of the two vertical lines will keep your readers interested.
    Lets look at some great images;
    Photograph of kaye moss lying on beach where her torso and head are in outer third of photgraph
    Look at this beautiful image of Kate Moss taken for the St Tropez campaign. The impact of this image would be hugely lessened if she was lying in the centre of the photograph. Instead her beautiful tanned torso is positioned along the bottom third of the image with her head and shoulders rising up through the outer third, giving this striking and memorable photograph.
    Beautiful image of Rhianna where she stands side on to the camera
    Another example of the effectiveness of this technique is this iconic image of Rhianna where she is standing in the left third of the photograph.
    A bearded Brad Pitt and a bottle of Chanel no 5 - two icons
    And finally two iconic images in one beautiful advert which cleverly places one image in the left third and the other in the right to produce a perfectly balanced and striking photograph.
    So to summarise before you take your photograph, ask yourself;
    a) what do I want my reader to look at and
    b) where am I going to place it?

    Finally remember the Rule of Thirds when you are editing 
    your photographs. Why not go back to your old images and 
    see how you can improve them by using cropping and 
    re-framing techniques? If you are interested in learning more 
    about editing, watch out for my dedicated post on that 
    subject coming soon.

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    Friday, 25 April 2014

    The Mac Cosmetics Collaboration with Proenza Schouler May 2014 The Mac Cosmetics Collaboration with Proenza Schouler May 2014

    Proenza Schouler model wearing the new Mac Proenza Schouler Make up collection

    Full range of Proenza Schuler Mac Makeup

    Prouenza Schuler Mac Collaberation Collection

    The twoProuenza Schuler Mac Collaberation Ombre blushers one pink and one orange

    Prouenza Schuler Mac Collaberation Collection Lip an eyeliners and osder brush

    Finally this match made in heaven is here. The Proenza Schouler collaboration with Mac cosmetics has been released in the US and will hit our shores shortly. The limited edition make up collection will consist of four lipsticks in lustre, satin and matte finishes, two lip pencils and two long wear eyeliners, four nail colours and two truly lustworthy ombre blushers all in super wearable nude, coral and pinks.  Simultaneously with the cosmetic release by Mac, the Proenza Schouler fashion house will release a complimentary limited edition accessory range including tote bags and teeshirts in the same colour palette.  The entire collaboration will evoke a summery quality, an achingly cool yet relaxed beachy feel  and is sure to sell out as soon as it hits the counters. 
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    Wednesday, 23 April 2014








    I am really excited about this new Mac Collection. The shades look so pretty and so wearable and the product design is gorgeous - just look at the embossed patterns on those shadows.
    And look at the lipstick packaging. I need some Mac Lipsticks in those cases in my collection.
    Think this collection is going to be a winner......

    MAC Alluring Aqua Lipsticks

    Siren Song - Sheer pale beige 
    Pet Me, Please - Light shimmering mauve 
    Enchanted One - Mid-tone neutral pink 
    Mystical - Mid-tone creamy rose 
    Goddess Of The Sea - Dark vibrant violet 

    MAC Alluring Aqua Lipglass

     Clear Water - Sheer nude with multidimensional pearl
    Peachstock - Creamy true nude 
    Water Deities - Light bronzy pink
    Seducing Sound - Mid-tone plum bronze
    Modern Lure - Deep violet with pink pearl 

    MAC Alluring Aqua Lip Pencil

    What Comes Naturally - Light nude
    Half-Red - Soft burgundy 

    MAC Alluring Aqua Extra Dimension Eye Shadow

    Lorelei - Golden beige
    Sea Worship - Tarnished olive
    Silver Sun - Mid-tone sea foam green
    Legendary Lure - Deep cerulean
    Fathoms Deep - Deep blue
    Soul Serenade -  Deep plum brown
    MAC Pearlgide Intense Eye Liner
    Black Line - Black with gold pearl 
    Black Swan - Black with pearl 

    MAC Alluring Aqua Bronzing Powder

    Refined Golden - Finely spun golden with soft pearl 
    Golden - Muted golden tan-beige with shimmer 

    MAC Alluring Aqua Extra Dimension Bronzer

    Aphrodite’s Shell - Golden bronze with a touch of fine shimmer
    Delphic - Soft tan with a touch of fine shimmer

    MAC Alluring Aqua Extra Dimension Blush

    Sea Me, Hear Me - Beige pink
    Seduced at Sea - Neutral plum

    MAC Alluring Aqua Nail Lacquer

    Submerged - Dark teal chrome
    Neptune - Tarnished gold
    Shimmerfish - Sparkling aluminium

    MAC Alluring Aqua Brushes

    127 Split Fibre Face Brush
    233 Split Fibre Eye Shadow Brush

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