Saturday, 30 May 2015

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Hey all,

It's been a busy few weeks for me and I am currently on a hen weekend - at this point it is likely I am in a haze of bronzer and hairspray to make sure I'm looking as glamorous as everyone else there!

I've had this palette for a few weeks now and I've been dabbling around with it for work and weekends, I am of course talking about the Smashbox Full Exposure palette:



This palette contains 14 neutral shades, 7 shimmer and 7 matte, from nudes to blacks. It also includes a double ended eyeshadow brush and a mini mascara, and a booklet to tell you how to apply eyeshadow for different eye shapes.




The packaging is alright, I always have a bit of a dislike for cardboard/paper packaging like this. The Naked palette is the same but at least UD learned their lesson and brought out metal casings for the rest. I think most other brands would do well to do the same as however pretty the packaging is it's rubbish if it only lasts a few weeks after purchase! Mine of this has already got a good few dents and the corners are rounding off.


It also disappoints me that the shades aren't named, some people may think it's a petty thing to pick up on but why on earth are Urban Decay so good at what they do? Naming these eyeshadows S or M for shimmer or matte and then assigning them a number seems like a really half assed attempt, why bother at all naming them something so uninspiring!

That said, the colours themselves do make up for it:



I love the layout of the palette, it's lovely and symmetrical for an OCD person like myself. I LOVE that there are seven shades and a matte and shimmer version of both of them, it makes creating eyeshadow looks extremely easy.

There are both warm and cool toned neutrals to balance out the shade range giving you way more options than other palettes.


You can see the warmer toned eyeshadows above, the shimmers are unbelievably shimmery and I mostly can't stop looking at them. The golds will be perfect for the summer nights with a golden tan to match, I can imagine getting a lot of wear from these for some subtle shimmer for nights out.


The cool toned eyeshadows are something that I've been wearing a lot more, both matte and shimmer. The cool mattes are the ones that I've been leaning towards for work and the cool shimmers are great for Saturday nights out. The darkest shimmer that matches the matte black is the sparkliest shadow I think I own, it's beautiful!


As for the brush I can't make up my mind about it. I do like it, it does blend well and the double ends allow you to apply different finishes from either end of the cool/warm spectrum and not worry too much about the colours mixing together. However I do feel sometimes that the eyeshadow doesn't pick up very well from the pan and it just falls off the brush, which normally means that it ends up all over my cheeks instead of my eyelids - not a good look!


I'm afraid my photos of swatches seem to have gone walkabout - courtesy of my laptop getting the blue screen of death and I am currently unable to get hold of anything that's on there eek!

So instead I will direct you to this link, where Fleur de Force of course has some fabulous swatches to show the shades, finishes and colour pay off very easily.


I do have some photos of the look that I normally create from this palette - this is using the cool toned matte shadows:




I then also just apply some of the shimmer shades on top so that I can go straight from day to night with minimal effort. Just add some lighter shimmer to the inner corner of your eye, a medium shimmer to the centre and the darker shimmer to the outer corners and you're good to go!

The Smashbox Full Exposure palette is a worthy contender to the Urban Decay Naked family. It costs similar at £37, comes with a double ended brush, mirror and a freebie (mini mascara compared to UD's mini Primer Potion).
I love the balance of the cool and warm tones, and the shimmer and matte finishes. For me, the cool toned mattes are the best of the bunch and I've been wearing them a lot. All of the shimmers are beautiful, so the only shades that may not get used as much are the warmer toned mattes - I just never seem to reach for them.

I'd say this palette is a great starter kit for those that don't have any other palettes as it gives you the best variety of tones and finishes in one place with mirror and brush for ease.
I do feel that they could have done a bit more with their packaging and shade names though.....

What do you think of the Smashbox Full Exposure palette? Do you have it in your collection?

Will you be snapping it up for summer holidays? What's your thoughts on naming the eyeshadows or leaving them numbered?

L xxx


Friday, 29 May 2015

Fitness Friday: South Beach Official

Good morning!

There's nothing like some new gym wear, and I've come across a new brand of funky fitness wear that I just had to share with you!

South Beach Official have some super bright pieces that you just have to see.

Neon Aztec Print Panel Capri Leggings £20

These leggings are my favourites - super bright with an amazing funky aztec pattern, and who doesn't love an aztec pattern?!
Looking at the picture it seems they fit on the waist which is ideal for me. I just love the bright colours and the summery Ibiza type feel that they have.

Black Printed Side Panel Capri Leggings £20

They also have a black version, with the neon aztec print just on the sides so if you're after a more subtle version they also have that too. If I'm honest I'd buy both!

Black Neon Aztec Print Contrast Lime Back Panel Fitness Vest £18
There is also a matching fitness vest too - I'm not normally one for matching but the black fitness leggings and this fitness vest would go really well together. Too much neon aztec print would look weird on anyone but I think with the black leggings it would look really good, but I do love the neon!

Kacey Black South Beach Canvas Bag £20

Their bag section is also really cute. This canvas bag would be perfect for storing your kit in on the way to work.
The Kate Holdall bag below would be beautiful for summer, at the beach and shopping trips.

Kate Navy Stripe Canvas Holdall Bag £25

I loved browsing through the website and was really impressed with the prices of everything, £20 for leggings is a great bargain when some can cost upwards of £70.

You can check out their website here, let me know what you pick up as I'll be putting in an order soon!

What's your favourite in this post? Do you like neon prints?

L xxx


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Polish in Grapefruit

Hey there!

I've written a fair few posts about the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints recently having picked up multiple 3 for 2 deals - they are just that good!

Grapefruit is the latest colour that I've bought, I'm sure there will be more but I haven't picked up any yet.



Grapefruit is a super girly pink polish that should be in every girls collection - its perfect and will give the effect on your skin of having a tan which I would imagine that most people would want.
As I've mentioned before I'm super pale and barely see the sun however much I would love a real tan - this helps make me feel that my skin isn't too reflective and dazzling!


So application wise, the colour applies opaque in two coats and although I still wish the brush would be a bit wider to help a smoother application it hasn't stopped me from indulging in many more bottles!

You can see the super shiny finish that I love below:



For £3.99 you really can't go wrong with these polishes anyway but the colour range is what makes it. There's pretty much every colour you could hope for - I'm trying not to add to my collection but if I'm honest and I was starting out buying a few colours now I would steer clear of the more expensive ranges as Barry M have got you covered from all angles.

What's your favourite colour from the Gelly Hi Shine range?

Do you have a favourite finish from Barry M?

L xxx


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer

Hey All

Laura Mercier is a brand we've both loved trying products are. L swears by Silk Creme (review here) and it's one of her top foundations and M loves the Mineral Powder foundation which is one of her favourites (review here).

We've also both tried  and loved the undercover pot! (review here) After loving so many face products from them we couldn't wait to try the hydrating primer. We'd heard lots of many positive reviews about the original one.



Both of us have combination skin which has a tendency to be dehydrated so a few years ago we wouldn't have considered trying a hydrating primer. Even though it's hydrating it's more of a gel formula so it doesn't feel heavy on the skin or leave the skin feeling greasy, it actually feels cool and refreshing. It also sinks into the skin quickly. It also contains vitamin A,C and E which help protect the skin from aging due to the environment.

It's made applying make up so much better and feels like another product we can't live without. It's not like other primers we've tried and it just gives the skin a smooth base and makes foundation sit better and apply easier.

It would be interesting to try the difference between the normal and hydrating one.

M xxx


This primer is so lightweight - it feels just like a gel or serum and sinks into the skin super fast and creates a base without feeling like there is a layer on the skin at all. This was super impressive.
When applying it, it feels like another step to your skincare routine rather than make up.


M would like to try the normal primer but I was lucky enough to get it in a beauty box a few months ago. I like them both and the main factor that I've noticed about the two is that the hydrating primer is just that, slightly lighter and more hydrating.
I'd probably lean towards the hydrating just to add in an extra hydration step for my skin as it really needs it, I actually can't apply any more hydration to my skin sometimes!

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Primers? Which do you prefer?
Do you have a favourite Laura Mercier product?

L xxx


Saturday, 23 May 2015

New House

Happy Saturday!

I've mentioned a few times on the blog how I am in the process of buying a house (eek!). It's really exciting but also kind of dragging now as it's been 2 months without much happening and I just can't wait to get my date and move in!

Moans aside, I've been picking up some bits and pieces to put into my new house and I wanted to share them with you. My first shop to get to? Obviously Home Sense!


I have always loved reading and have a massive collection of books. Some I've never even read because they are super old and leather bound and I just love the look of them.
But when I do get the chance I'd love to have an armchair to read them in.......and there it was in the middle of the store.
Some of you might hate it, but I absolutely love green and with the living area currently a black and cream colour palette I'm really looking forward to having some colour in it, so a brightly coloured armchair like this is perfect. It's also REALLY comfy so I can't wait to snuggle up in it.



My mum is also making me a quilt/throw for the living area that matches the colours of the chair. I didn't realise how much I like green but it just makes me feel really calm.
I've no idea what it's going to look like yet but I love the thought of having personal things in my house that nobody else will have.


I've also got a load of old wooden furniture that I can't wait to do up. Above is a super old writing desk that I'm planning on turning into a dressing table. I can't afford to buy lots of new furniture and with pieces like this that are solid and have lasted such a long time it would be pointless to throw them out for no reason.

I will be getting well acquainted with some sandpaper and chalk paints over the next few months I'm sure!

I also have a huge chest of drawers - the bottom one is so big that my dad used to climb in it and sleep in it when he was younger!




Then I have an ottoman and a table with a compartment inside. All of it has been stored away for a few years so it needs a good clean.

To bring in some bright colours to the kitchen I'm also planning on buying a lot of aqua coloured accessories like the kettle below, and hopefully a matching toaster. I think it's a great colour and as the kitchen has a lot of cream and beige tones in it, it will hopefully brighten it up!


I am also hoping that I might be getting hold of the chair below from some family friends, according to a Facebook post that I've seen (copied below) you can use chalk paints and paint straight onto the fabric to change the colour! How amazing!!



Spooky coincidence that the chairs are almost the same colour!

I really cannot wait to get the keys and start making some changes to the place, fingers crossed everything keeps going through and I get a date soon!

Have you bought your own place recently? Or have you moved?
If you have any DIY tips or favourite blogs for this kind of topic then please send them to me!
I'd love to see more ideas that I can incorporate into my house, especially storage...

L xxx


Friday, 22 May 2015

Fitness Friday: Spitfire Athlete App


I've been trying to branch out and vary my routine as much as possible recently - it's hard enough getting to the gym and working it in around your life let alone now that wedding season seems to be in full swing along with trips for work and basically it's endless!

The other day I found this amazing app on the iTunes app store. Now I will straight away tell you that I've seen a number of complaints because the app is only available on iPhones and therefore not Android - so if you like the look of it feel free to make complaints as I'm sure they will have to create an Android one soon with demand!

The Spitfire Athlete app is an app that teaches you how to train to reach your goals. They follow these basic principles:

  • The training plans are created by certified coaches
  • Guides on training, nutrition and recovery
  • Detailed exercise instruction

The most important factor? They built up Spitfire Athlete for women to show them how strong and powerful they can be.

They'd like to promote the 'athlete's mentality' to help you set and achieve your goals whether they are strength, power, flexibility or physique.

You can check out their website here, and see a quick bio of each of the two female founders Erin and Nidhi showen below, respectively.

The plans are separated into Gym workouts and Bodyweight workouts. They all have epic names that motivate you and make you strive for more: The Fighter, The Warrior, The Heroine. 
Some look totally out of my fitness range if I'm honest but working towards them is something I can definitely do. 

I would love to complete The Dauntless, a 12 week training plan to build serious muscle with each and every day with set exercise routines and rest days. Each day is dedicated to a different muscle group and contains a warm up and cool down. More impressively they include a timer for those exercises that require you to complete it in a set time - this is something that always makes me so annoyed with running apps that suggest you run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute, they don't make it easier!

Personally I will be trying The Heroine, a HIIT based plan whereby you will build muscle, lose fat and increase metabolism, most ideal for me. It's only a 4 week plan so will give me a good feel for the exercises and hopefully some new challenges!

More importantly than anything else the app is totally free and they also have a facebook group to join (Spitfire Athlete) for you to join others and socialise.

What do you think of the Spitfire Athlete app? Do you think it sounds like something you would like to try?

I think it's a great idea and I love that the whole idea is created by 2 women, I will certainly be promoting this app and I hope more people try it out and come up with ideas like this!
It's so motivating and inspiring to know that there are other women doing the same exercises.

L xxx


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

MAC Cinderella Fluidline Eyeliner Gel: Little Black Bow


A few weeks ago my amazing friends got me some lovely gifts for my birthday - MAC is always a lush present to receive right??
They got me both of the items below, the limited edition Cinderella Fluidline Eyeliner and the Toledo Ombre Blush. I will come to the blush in a separate post so this one is for the Cinderella liner.




If I'm honest I can't say the packaging excited me that much. I loved the look of the eyeshadow palette but that's maybe because it has Cinderella plastered across the front!
I just didn't feel like it was as magical as it could have been - though it is a pretty blue and matches the dress that she wears in the film. It needed a little more sparkle in my opinion!



The MAC Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel is called 'Little Black Bow', and is classed as a grey liner with silver pearl.

It's quite a dark grey liner gel with silver glitter particles, though it isn't gritty. It's one of those shades that can be used as intended as an eyeliner, but also as a cream eyeshadow. The texture is very smooth and has a sheen finish, it's a thin gel so applies really easily regardless of your application.



So for application as a eyeliner gel, how does it look?



I applied this using the Real Techniques liner brush, it was super easy to get a perfect flick considering I haven't worn eyeliner for a good few months recently. It may need a few layers to get a decent uniform effect but I didn't find it was too much of an problem.
I normally love liner but it's too fiddly for work and I haven't had any occasions for anything different.

I liked this in the pot but I wasn't sure I'd get much wear out of it. Having used it a few times now I can say that I surprisingly love it and it's a beautiful alternative to a black. I could in theory wear this grey to work as its a great subtle alternative to black (though maybe the glitter wouldn't be ideal....)


I was also impressed with how well the liner lasted too, it didn't smudge or budge all day and I think that wearing it alone as I have above or with a subtle or full blown smokey eye would be a really nice alternative to a black, especially for summer nights out when minimal make up is the best option.

What do you think of Little Black Bow?

I love receiving limited edition products but they can be hard to write about especially as they sell out so fast! Allegedly this has been brought out before under a different collection but a dark grey liner is generally a good addition to any make up collection.

Do you wear dark grey instead of black liquid liner? Do you buy from MAC limited edition collections?

I normally lust after them as they sell out!

L xxx

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