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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Want List #Home edition

My current shopping obsession has moved on from make up and clothes to home wares. I have a list of things I'd like to buy to personalise my little flat, make it more homely and give the place a bit of character.

I've stuck to a pretty neutral theme so far as I'm wary that we will eventually leave this place and everything we have here will need to suit a new flat too, I'm also pretty fickle so anything I invest in needs to see me through any changes of mind and style - I'm already bored of the reddish cushions we have and I've been fancying some bright floral ones instead oops.

I love the Camberwell Butterfly Lamp - £65 from John Lewis, its pretty and girly without being too much it would be the perfect height on top of my new(old) cupboard, can you tell I've been pinning lots of arrangement tutorials on pinterest.

The Zig Zag Multi Aperture Frame -£20 from Matalan would be perfect for showing off my favourite photos (mostly of me and the dogs). I love the look of lots of frames and pictures arranged on a wall but as we are renting I need an alternative that uses less nails in the wall and I think this would give me a similar look on a budget too.

Lucky Hearts - £6 from Next I know these have a dash of blue and my living room is red buuut I love them, I think they are so cute and happy! I've seen them in-store too and I cant stop thinking that they would make me very happy indeed, although I don't know about you but we don't actually have lots of places to hang little ornaments like this, where are they meant to go?

Finally something I'm saving up for, this Roberts Revival DAB Digital Radio - £159.99 John Lewis, Phil and I argue constantly about whose CD to play as I pretty much hate his music and he hates mine, we do however love the radio (its the only thing we can agree to listen to together) but we don't have a radio in the house so this is just for car journeys and the CD arguments start again as soon as we get in! Getting ourselves a DAB radio would make things a little more harmonious on the music front and wouldn't it be nice to turn the TV off on a Sunday afternoon and chill out (or more likely get some cleaning done) with a radio on instead.

The Roberts one is truly beautiful and would be a real talking point in the house, but I might just save up for one of the less pricey versions available -

What do you think of my Want List? Where do you get your lovely housewares from?

Cariad xx

*this is a sponsored post, but all content and opinions are, as always, my own.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Dainty Doll Goodies

L My Girl & Couture R You are my sunshine & Storm in a Teacup
This week I jumped on the dainty doll bandwagon and ordered myself some lovely blushers, lipsticks and a concealer all for under £10! I've never really looked into the range before, even though I'm as pale as a ghost, but when the discounted deals started popping up online it piqued my interest enough to have a browse.
I ordered Dainty Doll Concealer in Abracadabra 002, £1.99, two Dainty Doll Powder Blushers in My Girl & You Are My Sunshine both £1.99 and two Dainty Doll Lipsticks in Couture & Storm in a Teacup also £1.99 each.
The concealer was really difficult to use at first but with a bit of work on the top layer (which was a bit dried out) it started to feel a lot more like the rich and creamy concealer I had hoped for. Colour wise its a perfect match for my pale self and it provides a lot of coverage. I don't usually use anything as thick under my eyes but this has been a god send for the redness around my nose while I've had a stinking cold, also the handy mirror in the top is really usefull and makes it perfect to keep in your bag for touch ups.
Both blushers are nicely pigmented, soft and easy to apply and come with a mirror in the lid too. You are my sunshine is a lovely peachy pink shade with gold shimmer running through, this reminds me a lot of my Nars Orgasm blush (I've just compared side by side and they are incredibly similar) if anything it's a little more golden and much more pigmented - though my nars is well used and has become a bit hard and shiny on the top now so that might be why.
My girl is a really nice soft pink blush its pretty much the colour of my cheeks naturally so I find this really easy to wear. It is very pigmented and very pink so it can be easy to go a little overboard with this one.
The packaging of the lipsticks is a lot like topshop lipsticks, that sort of tinny metal, just in black with gold which I find a bit old fashioned and I have to say I think the lipsticks are a bit old fashioned too. Storm in a teacup is a very neutral shade with a little too much brown for me (the problem with ordering online) I have been layering it with colours that are too pink so its not a complete waste but I wouldn't buy this shade again, it is however nice and creamy and easy to apply and lasts a decent amount of time on.
Couture though is a much nicer burgandy shade, still a little old fashioned -I'm sure my mam would love both of these lippys. I don't usually go for dark lipsticks in the day but this one is less creamy and more sheer so one quick swipe is enough to give me that bitten lip look and I can feel it lasting in my lips for ages even though I'm only using a tiny amount.
The blushers alone have made this purchase worthwhile so I wholeheartily recommend checking those out, but I probably won't be ordering lipsticks or concealer again from the dainty doll sale.
Have any of you jumped on the bandwagon? What did you get?
Cariad xxx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cath Kidston Tea-set

I'm a little bit in love with my gorgeous new Tea-set!
Since moving in to my own little flat I've come over all domestic, I'm now obsessed with home-ware, cook-ware and cleaning implements!
Purchases this month include cushion pads and bed sheets from John Lewis, an ironing board and laundry basket from argos and finally my little tea set from Cath Kidston (Ok I also bought some boots from Dorothy Perkins and made a sneaky fragrance direct order last night too, but we all have our relapses) I'm very much the happy homemaker.
I've been after a full tea set for ages, I already have six beautiful Royal Albert tea cups with saucers and side plates that my great Grandmother left me but I've been looking for months and I just can't find a matching Teapot. I also think I'd be too afraid to use them since they are so lovely and special (unless I get a visit from royalty of course) so I reserved a place for them in my future display cabinet and the search went on for a pretty but useable tea set which was a surprisingly difficult task I guess I'm behind on the trend perhaps.
I found this one in Cath Kidston but at £51 for everything pictured I ummed and ahhhed and decided it was a luxury I didn't really need to fork out for (woo go me and my self restraint!) a few weeks later I received £20 in an Easter card and went straight into Cath K deciding to buy just the teapot but to my delight the whole range was reduced and so I got the lot for £30!
So I'm a happy bunny indeed and I invite you all to a tea party at my house.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Where is the sun?

A short lived sunny day
Its so cold, I'm really ill and I've had an issue with my bus home 3 times in the last fortnight so I'm not having the best of times at the moment.
So I figure this is the perfect time for a few positives
1. Easter holidays in just over 2 weeks, I've got 2 weeks off and phil has 9 days off too so we have lots of lovely plans to do things and some even better plans to do nothing, I'm counting down the days!
2. Home this weekend, looking forward to seeing my doggie mainly!
3. New girl is coming soon, even Phil loves this show.
4. Phil and I will have been together 4 years soon, we are planning to go to London for the day as we haven't been there together yet.
5. I cooked our favourite chicken and chorizo with rice for tea and we have left overs for tomorrow too.
6. I bought a beautiful tea set! It's being delivered this week (Easter tea party at my house!)
7. I also bought some lovely black boots from Dorothy Perkins, I'm currently wearing the same pair of tan boots all the time so this was a long overdue purchase.
8. I'm so close to paying off my credit card, one payment left then I start on the overdraft ...
9. I've just had a really positive review at work, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself.
10. I washed all the bedding today & clean sheets always make me feel better.
It's so easy to forget the little things that make you happy and only concentrate on the things that bring you down, I could do with writing a list like this every week!
What's making you happy right now?
Cariad xxx

Sunday, 3 March 2013

What I've been up to ...

| Made friends with a horse on my walk home from work | My beautiful Valentines flowers were still going strong at the start of the week! Amazing | now replaced with some lovely Daffodils that bloomed just in time for St David's Day (1st of March) | Yummy toffee cooler from Costa, I don't even care that its cold! |
I've had a pretty low key week really, I've been feeling a bit rubbish so just taking it easy and relaxing to make sure Ive been well enough for work (luckily I did manage everyday) when I got in from school I mostly got straight back into bed to watch charmed on Netflix, on my tv as I discovered I can get it through my wii, amazing!

I did also fit in some crochet, I gave up on the first rather wiggly bit with lots of dropping stitches and picking on extras from somewhere, and started a new piece with a double stitch (I think) It's about a third of the size I'm aiming for then I'm going to try and make 3 more the same size to form a nice size blanket that I can save until someone has a baby!

Then yesterday Phil and I headed out to pick up this shoe cabinet I bought off eBay, since we are renting a furnished flat we have only needed a few bits and bobs furniture wise, so we didn't want to go out spending a fortune on these odd bits that may not fit or be needed or look right in our next house. eBay to the rescue so far we have a wardrobe for £20 an enormous and solid wood tv unit for £11 and this nice and modern looking shoe cabinet for £6! It makes our little hall look so much better and stops me tripping over Phils slippers every morning (he will kill me for mentioning those, but boy does he love his slippers). As much as I love ikea and low cost flat pack furniture I am definitely enjoying the thrill of an eBay bargain a little bit more!
When I have a nice big house to furnish top to bottom I would really like to buy everything from there, second hand, vintage, solid wood and cheap. Then I'd paint it all to match in either a chalky white or dove grey and replace handles and knobs to bring it up to date. Sort of shabby chic but more of the chic and less of the shabby as I'm not fond of the distressed look which seems to be all over eBay right now.
Have you had a nice week? What did you get up to?
Cariad xx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

February Half-term

As much as I love my new job, I sure do love a week off from it too!
I spent my first weekend meeting up with the girls I lived with in Uni, the three of us are scattered over the country these days so we don't get to meet up as often as we'd like. We explored the shops in Cheltenham, scoffed ourselves silly in TGI Fridays (traditional for us) and did a lot of laughing about the old days.
With everything new in my life at the moment it was really nice to step back into the past and it always amazes me how we can all slot straight back in like we had never been apart.
Then I spent a few days at home, relaxing (or watching charmed from the start) and finishing off the jobs we never got around too after moving in. The state of my home has an enormous effect on the state of my mind so clearing out and organising makes me feel a million times better!
A second reason for the cleaning spree was some of my family visiting Thursday, this was the first time anyone visited us in our little flat so I wanted it to look its best, my gran, grandad and sister came over for the day and after the grand tour we took then into town and introduced them to las iguanas, which I'm really into at the moment, the lunch menu is excellent and 2 for 1 cocktails (including the alcohol free ones, which is pretty rare) we also bought some cakes from Patisserie Valerie (Ive never seen one of these in Wales) to bring back home for afters which was a real treat!
Then Friday Phil and I took a trip to Oxford, we really want to make the most of the trains through reading and visit places that are now only a short train away. Although the day was absolutely freezing (it snowed at one point!) we had a really lovely time just roaming around with no set plans, stopping for lunch in a lovely olde worlde pub, thoroughly exploring the covered market and finding a gorgeous antique jewellers on Turl Street. We also started a new tradition of buying a postcard when we take a trip and writing about our day on the back, hopefully we will keep this up as it will be a really good way of storing some memories and something to look back over in years to come.
The last thing I got up to this week was learning to crochet, I've been planning to learn for a while as I have never got the hang of knitting but love the idea of making something real and practical from a ball of wool so I trotted off to John Lewis and bought some really snugly wool and a crochet hook for less than £5 (which felt like a very grown up thing to do) the picture above was taken earlier today, when it was light, and its considerably bigger now although still not very neat and I'm dropping/picking up stitches all over the place.
So that's my half term!
How would you spend a week off?
Cariad xxx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

My pride and joy - make up storage

The absolute first thing I bought when we moved was this lovely desk (£10 from ikea! ) I haven't had a home for my makeup for a while and the idea of a dedicated place to sit and put it on literally made me squeal with excitement!
The mirror was a Christmas present from my mam (also a bargain £20 from Asda) and is the perfect size, so no more straining to fit my whole face into a small compact mirror yay. I already had the little Perspex drawer unit, it was a jewellery box from marks and spencer about 6 years ago, I'm always ahead of the curve me! It now holds all my flat items like blushers and eye shadow palettes and my gorgeous daisy by marc Jacobs and secret wish by Anna Sui on top, these are two of my favourite perfumes ever but I do have a few more that haven't been unpacked yet so ill have to remember to rotate the best ones.
I love my little cotton wool jar I bought it from Matalan for £2 it had lots of mint humbugs inside which Phil is now enjoying and the label peeled off really easily, practical and pretty what more do you want eh!
Finally my actual pride and joy, the amazing cupcake stand from dotcomgiftshop (£8 in the sale from £26!) On the top I have a glass saved from an old Yankee candle now storing all my lip products, the middle is all my skincare products and the bottom has the rest of my make up and brushes some of the smaller bits are in cheap glasses to avoid falling through the gaps in the metal. I haven't got a huge collection although I do have a huge wishlist so as it grows I will probably end up moving the skincare elsewhere and taking over that shelf too!
Hope you like my lovely dressing table (I'm not sure that anyone cares as much as I do about things like this but maybe you do!)
Cariad xx

Monday, 4 February 2013

Living Room Tour

I've mentioned quite a few times that I've moved house recently, my boyfriend and I are living together finally, after 4 years together and some of that long distance, which is incredibly exciting and really couldn't have come sooner.

What's even more exciting however is finally having our own space to decorate and make ours, well more exciting for me not so much him, until now I've lived with family and in student houses (grotty, miserable, cheap student houses) so I'm in bargain home wares heaven!

I love my brick wall! The canvas was a real bargain only £10 from BM bargains, if you have one of these near you definitely check it out for homey things I have found some real gems! As we are renting the sofas and most of the furniture was already here, luckily they are quite neutral so a few throws (Poundstretcher!) and cushions (cream with hearts from BM bargains, red ones were dug out from Grans stash & the love cushion is from bhs in the sale) make them fit in with my reddish theme really well.

My giant tv is ancient, it belonged to my Great Gran but is still perfectly good and works brilliantly so until we are a bit more flush it will certainly do! The cupboard it's on was also a real bargain as we got this for £10 from an eBay seller 10 minutes drive away so we just picked it up in the car, its solid wood and in really good condition and the drawers are really useful for all the random cables and batteries I seem to acquire! One day I might paint it cream but for now I'm really liking the cosy wood.

This is my big blank wall, we aren't allowed to drill lots of holes in the walls so I'm a little bit stuck deciding how to inject a bit of colour/interest into this side. 
Let me know if you have any suggestions!

This one is the garden view from the window, as we have the ground floor flat the whole of this is ours! We weren't really looking for any garden space on our house hunt (because our budget was pretty low) so this was rather an unexpected benefit of this place. You can't see a great deal of it but its huge and grassy with a beautiful tree in the middle and I'm really looking forward to getting out there in the summer (after clearing the mossy path) for barbecues and relaxing.
I've definitely missed an outside space when I've lived in houses without some so it's great!
Hope you like having a little glimpse into my living room; any suggestions for decorating walls in a rented house?
Hopefully I'll get some nice pictures of our bedroom (once I've cleaned up) and can show you my amazing dressing table next!
Cariad xx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A busy weekend!

So somehow this weekend I've managed to go to 2 blog meet ups but very cleverly I managed to take no photos what so ever!

Make up on Saturday

We met for brunch in Bills which was lovely, I had scrambled eggs and bacon on toast if your wondering, then had a nosey around the shops after. Quite the blogger cliché shopping trip boots, space.nk &, muji (we don't have these in Wales so that was exciting!) but I was soo well behaved and didn't buy anything!

There was quite a few of us too which was lovely, although we did struggle to keep together around the shops, here are some of the lovely ladies links Rosie, Tabitha, Samantha, Emma, Catherine, Gem, Ellie, Ceri & Sharmeen

Second meet up of the weekend wasn't an organised one as such but Sarah and I have been planning to meet up for a while as she lives nearby and we first met at the Bristol blog meet a few weeks ago. We were chatting about it on twitter when Leanne jumped on board too, we have met up a few times in Cardiff but it was soo nice of her to travel all the way here from Wales for today and good old Spencer for doing the driving, what a nice hubby!

We had a good look around the shops in Reading, all of us have left with pink sparkly hands from all the swatching! My spending wasn't as good today as yesterday though I bought a mac eyeshadow in wood winked for my palette and a dress and tights in primark (both suitable for school though) and we had lunch in las Iguanas, including starters and buy one get one free cocktails! (okay i had a mocktail but these were bogof too so worked out cheaper than a coke!) the food was sooo good I've really eaten well this weekend!

Mocktail | enchiladas | Leanne meeting one direction! | MAC palette

Oh and Leanne had a photo with one direction! Primark in Reading are selling cardboard cut outs for £20! Honestly the best thing we saw all day I'm devastated I didn't buy one hehe.

Hope you like reading about my busy weekend. Clearly meet ups are my new thing (along with brunching!) so invite me if you know of any!
Cariad xx

Sunday, 27 January 2013

My first TAG - 11 Questions

Not a relevant picture, but you have to break up all these words!
The lovely Georgina tagged me in my first ever blog tag, so once I'd figured out what it meant I got myself a cup of tea and got answering!

Here's my answers + my new 11 questions + the lovely ladies I have tagged!

1. If you could change 1 thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would love to have more energy, hopefully this will come with getting better but at the moment a lot of my time is wasted feeling tired.

2. If you could be anyone else for the day, who would it be?
I honestly can't think of a person I'd like to be! I guess I'll say my boyfriend as I'd quite like to know how his mind works when he does things his strange way, and I'd like to see myself through his eyes too.

3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing is definitely the people I've met/spoken too, especially now I have moved and am planning to meet up with some lovely new bloggers and a few from home are traveling this way too.

4. What's your favourite hobby to do besides blogging?
I really love craft, I'm going to try and make more time for cross stitching this year as its so relaxing and I love the feeling of holding something I've made with my own fair hands!

5. Do you have any pets? If not, what would you have if you could?
In my family home I have a miniature schnauzer called Harry who I literally miss more than anything else at home (sorry family, they understand) I'm a total crazy dog lady and if I wasnt renting at the moment I would definitely have a puppy (if my family wouldn't give me Harry).

6. What's been your favourite age to be and why?
I would say 18 was brilliant, first year of uni & met my boyfriend, also last time I was totally healthy. I'm hoping that 23 will be a good one too (birthday is not till July but I've been ill for most of age 22).

7. What mobile phone do you have and do you like it?
I have an iPhone 4, its totally a hand me down from my sister but I love it and have finally been converted to apple, rather reluctantly as I hate that whatever you buy is out of date so quickly, but I thought I lost it yesterday and I was practically in tears!

8. What's your favourite brand of beauty product?
I can't choose one so Rimmel for high street goodies, origins for skincare & YSL purely for the touché éclat foundation and concealer that I couldn't live without!

9. What's your favourite makeup brush make?
I actually only have real techniques brushes, I started blogging just as they launched and they were the first things I bought because of blog hype but I'm glad I did because I love them and have quite a collection now.

10. What's your idea of the perfect day?
Having a lazy morning with pancakes for breakfast then going for a midday stroll (preferably around the shops!) and finishing the day with good friends and good food.

11. Sum yourself up in 3 words.
I am loyal, quirky and determined (read stubborn)

Now my questions -

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Rimmel Kate moss lipsticks 19 & 107

I have been looking for the perfect burgundy lipstick for ages after seeing the colour everywhere this winter, so as soon as I saw this gorgeous Kate moss 107 lipstick it just had to be mine! I also really liked 19 and they were on offer (3for2) so naturally I bought it too along with a Rimmel 1000 kisses lip tint which I will be reviewing soon.
The lipsticks are pretty much my perfect day and night combo, the rosy nude of 19 (ah I wish it had a name) is a lovely my lips but better glossy colour that is really easy to throw on and wear all day. It's an essential colour for that done but not over the top look.
The lipstick smells gorgeous, like watermelon, and applies really smoothly feeling light and creamy on your lips. I'm pleased with the lasting power too as I don't take makeup in my bag usually so coming home with a bit of lippy on still was a surprise (I work around 6 hours including bus journeys).
107 is the perfect night time lipstick for me, I did attempt wearing it during the day but it was too much for me and my mum actually said she couldn't concentrate as she was too distracted by my lips! I am very very pale though so the contrast is quite extreme. In the evening however when I can amp up the rest of my makeup to match it looks amazing.
Again this lipstick smells lovely, applies really well and lasts for a long time (more so as it has a slight stain after) the texture is a little different to 19 as the ones in the red casing are meant to be matte, although I wouldn't say its totally matte as there is a slight sheen which I prefer to be honest. It's also really popular after picking it up I noticed a flurry of other bloggers reviewing it too.
I think I look like two different people in these photos, they are taken about a month apart and in totally different lights so maybe that's why.
Overall I really like these lovely lipsticks and will be keeping an eye out for any new releases in the range!
Have you tried these lipsticks? What colour is your favourite from the Kate moss range?
Cariad xxx

Monday, 21 January 2013

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

When I bought my gran some lovely Clarins skincare for Christmas the fab assistant gave me loads of samples to try, I gave most of them to my gran but kept one little one for myself - pure melt cleansing gel and I am so glad I did keep this one!
Previously I had been using the Clinique 3 step system which I have been unhappy with for ages but I was trying to use them up before I was allowed to buy any new skincare, I did let myself try a few samples as I went along but none compelled me to buy (and ditch the Clinique) as much as this gorgeous gel cleanser.
My face is always dry and tight feeling so anything that adds moisture and doesn't strip my skin, like the Clinique toner bit, is a bit of a revelation. The pure melt cleanser is a bit weird really as it starts as a gel in your hands which you then rub into your face and allow it to melt into a really nice slippery oil.
I really enjoy this part and have had some funny looks off Phil for spending an absolute age massaging my shiny face, I use this part to really make sure my eye makeup is removed, all my day to day eye makeup is removed really easily but I do use a separate eye makeup remover first when I've had evening make up on (otherwise you'd be smearing it all over your face!) it's really gentle on my eyes too.
Then I wash it off with warm water and it become a bit milky and all dissolves with ease leaving my face feeling really clean but still soft and moisturised - I follow up with my new origins moisturiser *post coming soon* and I'm done.
I've really noticed a difference in my skin with this and I look forward to using it as it feels like such a luxury that cleansing is not a chore anymore, I even get back out of bed to do this if I forget and I do not get out of bed for much!
Clarins is not a brand I was very familiar with before this, I guess I associated it with products for older skin, but I'm really keen to try more now, any suggestions?
Cariad xxx

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow day!

My Snowy Garden
So I've been sent home from school because of the snow, I feel like I'm 13 again! I plan on snuggling on the sofa, watching the inbetweeners and eating biscuits/Pringles - lush. I might try to catch up with some blogging too as I've been so exhausted after work I've been a bit neglectful. In fact these plans might just stretch out all weekend!
Enjoy the snow guys, Keep safe!
Cariad xxx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Foundation mission - YSL Le teint touché éclat

After my rigorous testing mission (see post foundation testing mission!) it was clear that I had found the perfect foundation for my needs with this gorgeous YSL one.
I'm shade BR20 which is the second lightest shade in beige rose (pinkish) , there's also beige dore (yellowish) and beige (somewhere in between) in total an amazing 22 colours so there's bound to be a perfect match for everyone.

I love the gorgeous packaging, the glass bottle feels expensive and the pump dispenses the perfect amount for my whole face while keeping the bottle nice and clean.
I have pretty dry skin so finding a foundation that doesn't cake or sit in the dry patches has always been a real problem, my skin can also look quite dull and flat so I have a pretty complicated list of needs!
This foundation is the only one that ticks all my boxes, its moisturising and looks great even when my skin is dry and spotty, I feel like my skin has actually benefitted from using this too.
This is also one of the only foundations that actually lasts on me, I've literally never seen a difference after taking my make up off like I do when I take this off (obviously eye makeup and lipstick comes off but my foundation is usually gone a few hours before cleansing!)
It's a really light formula but I wouldn't say light coverage as the impressive science behind this seems to blur and counteract all my blemishes without masking my skin. I honestly wish I understood it better to explain as its really different to any other foundation.

My redness is covered and I rarely use concealer with this too, as I'm writing this I'm actually raving about the foundation to a friend too!

Two more good points - it photographs really well, it has SPF of 18 which is apparently enough to keep your skin safe but not too much to get that ghostly look in pictures (yes it does get paler than these photos)!

And a little goes a long way, one pump is perfect for my whole face (I apply with my real techniques foundation brush, then buff in with the buffing brush - airbrushed look!) so even though the foundation is pricey it's gonna last me an absolute age.
Ok I'm done raving now but honestly this is the best product that blogging has lead me too.

Have you tried this? What's your "holy grail" foundation?

Cariad xx

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Foundation testing mission!

I've mentioned before that I'm a little bit of a makeup snob, I can't help but be drawn to expensive packaging and love a bit of luxury! So that I don't spend an absolute fortune on make up I tend to only splurge on something I really need/want so I do lots of research (ie stalking blog reviews) I keep things on a mental want list for a while to stop myself impulse buying and if possible I try and get a sample or at least have a test at a make up stand.

One of the most expensive and probably most essential items I splurge on is foundation, I'm not one to collect them and have usually only got one or two on the go (I have 3 right now but one was a Christmas pressie and one *rimmel wake up* was only £4.99 so barely counts!) my most recent one went through a very rigorous testing process, which I thought it might be good to share.

I try to get samples of foundations especially high end ones, I would hate to spend £20-£30 on something that doesn't suit me and foundation is a really personal thing too, it sits totally differently on each persons skin so testing is essential. This is my recent samples collection, the MUAs at mac were really generous with the samples which is brilliant, I hate the ones that give you a little sample in a foil packet. I got the YSL one before the foundation was released as I'm sure lots of you did too, but I did send my sister in once it had launched to try it herself and she came away with a sample aswell so I think they are still available. Also the girl on the Nars counter was lovely (might have been because I bought orgasm blusher and Laguna bronzer at the time) but she happily gave me a sample. My tip is to be cheeky enough to ask and you usually get! I also tell the MUA that I need to see how it applies with my own brushes/techniques, as its usually veeery different to when they do it. Please don't take this as advice to get as many as you can, narrow it down to 3 or 4 that sound good from reviews or descriptions, I'm basically saying not to take the mickey as we don't want them to stop giving them out!

I've got Nars sheer glow in Deauville, MAC Pro long wear in NW20 and Face and Body in C1, and YSL Le teint touché éclat in BR20. The sizes are between 5-7 mls and I managed to get at least 7 days use out of each of them, that was easily enough to make a choice and I've still got a bit left over so I've been taking the good ones on trips with me too.

Swatches in the same order as the picture above.

Like I said I've only used most of these for a week or so but here are my thoughts on each, also I have very pale pinkish skin that is usually dry but luckily not really prone to spots or sensitivities. I prefer a Lightweight medium coverage foundation with a dewy finish.

Nars sheer glow - weirdly this was not very sheer or glowy on me so I was very disappointed, it also oxidised really badly on me by the end of the day. I had heard so much about this one and had been really excited to try it, it was also strangely lovely when the MUA applied it for me. Very glad I tested it though as I would have been devastated had I bought this and felt the same.

MAC face and body - I loved this foundation it was really lightweight and sheer, I found it difficult to apply though as my face felt sticky and wet for a while after so not great with a fringe! The reason I haven't bought this is my mam thought it made me look really pale, she practically did a double take when she saw me (I couldn't really see what she meant but it was enough to put me off).

MAC pro long wear - this foundation was nice, the colour was perfect and it lasted really well all day. The coverage was a little heavier than I was looking for and it was also a little sticky I would definitely use this but I wasn't really wowed by it. I didn't notice much oxidation but I'm told that's a bit of an issue with most mac foundations so something to bear in mind.

YSL Le teint touché éclat - I loved this! This has become my holy grail foundation, I'm preparing to do a full review post on this but basically it ticked all my boxes and literally cannot use any others since I bought this one as I now think I look a bit grey and dead without it. Perfect perfect!

Have I sampled any of your favourite foundations? Do you usually test foundations or buy them on a whim?

Also do you usually go for budget or high end foundations?

Cariad xx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The new flat!


I finally moved to reading with my boyfriend on Saturday, so we've had a pretty hectic and stressful weekend with goodbyes and unpacking! The flat is beautiful so I'm really enjoying making it all cosy and homey especially my gorgeous fireplace (I do love a bit of brick!) and excitingly we even have our own little garden so bring on the summer BBQs!

Then I started my new job today too, it really is all go around here, it feels soo good to have something to do with my days, the school staff are absolutely lovely and part time hours are lush (but perfect for building me back up, I'm shattered already)

Posting might be a little sporadic for a while as I'm literally exhausted when I get in!

I'm going to try a little flat tour once everything's all pretty.

Cariad xxx

Ps I'm writing this as Phil does the dishes *what a perfect housemate*


Monday, 31 December 2012

A nice shiny new year ...

I'm sure everyone is sick of resolution posts already, but this is my first new year blogging so decided it was ok.

I've mentioned a few times on the blog that my last two years haven't been great health wise which has meant that life hasn't really been going the way I planned and I'm not where I hoped I would be by now. I'm hoping 2013 is the year this all changes! After finally being diagnosed and treated a few weeks ago, getting myself an exciting (and relevant) job and moving in with my boyfriend this weekend things are falling into place.

I'm giving myself 2 important resolutions this year.

1. Keep going forward! - forward with my health; pestering the Drs to ensure my treatment is right (believe me it's necessary), forward in building myself up; I'm working on my fitness levels and getting over the post illness slump, forward in my career; the job as a teaching assistant is the perfect way to build up for my PGCE, I need to get my application sent off as soon as I can too.
Also forward in my relationship as poor old Phil has been brilliant through the bad days and I cannot thank him enough for his patience, understanding and the love and care he has shown me. It has meant our relationship hasn't been able to progress as our next step would have been moving in a few months ago so finally we can head forward with this and I can thank him for being so lovely by cooking him some nice food when he gets home from work!
Finally going forward with this little blog, I've had some brilliant opportunities and met some lovely people through blogging. It has really kept me sane over the year! I want to keep going forward with this and move back to the lifestyle blog this was meant to be, now that I have a bit more of a life to write about.

2. Stop being so hard on myself - as much as I have lovely ideas about what I'd like to achieve this year I have to remember that I'm still recovering from a pretty serious and rare (for my age) illness. So just getting back to normal would be good enough for the year. I won't be signing up to run a marathon and I won't be suzy homemaker straight away and that has to be good enough (plus there's always next year!) I've got to give myself plenty of breaks and push on past my set backs as I have beaten myself up far too much these last few years.

Have you set any resolutions? What do you think of mine, will you be following similar?

Cariad xxx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Money supermarket Secret Santa!

I tried to be a good girl and save my Money Supermarket Secret Santa (explained in - Secret Santa post) from Betsy Boat until Christmas Day but the parcel was just too intriguing! I finally caved a few days before hand and I'm so impressed with the effort put in to it by Nicolle!

Look its enormous! Plus the box will definitely have a home in my new flat as you can't have enough storage.

Everything was beautifully wrapped and the box was all stuffed with tissue to keep everything safe, there was even a load of Christmassy angel hair that ended up on my tree!

 All my goodies together. I'm so impressed at how much Nicolle managed to get for her money can you believe she got all this for only £25!


Non beauty items - card embellishments which have gone straight into my craft box and I can't wait to use them for upcoming birthdays. Vanilla candle smells lovely and is one of my favourite scents, luckily it's not too sickly or overpowering so ill be stocking up on these for the flat. Yum malteasers!
The huge china mug will be heading to school with me when I start my new job next week and the lid makes it perfect for carrying about all day. Sadly the ring is much to big for my teeny hands so has been gratefully received by my sister!

The lovely nail varnishes are perfect spring colours so I can't wait to get these out as soon as the weather brightens up. I love hair oils so this is a welcome addition to my little collection. The mud mask looks lovely so I will save this for a cosy pamper night when the stress of moving is over with. I love my MUA palette in undressed so as much as these aren't really my colours I'm sure the quality will be brilliant. Oh and this mascara is really cool because the brush can be adjusted for 2 different looks, although I can't find it any shops to do a proper post on it.

Overall I'm really pleased with the effort in my present and definitely want some thriftyness tips from Nicolle!

What do you think of my secret Santa gift?

Cariad xxx

Monday, 24 December 2012

What I've been up to ...

I have lots to tell you guys! So I'm gonna get straight in with the photos!

| advent calendar | secret Santa! | cozy fireplace at my nans | stitching wreaths for my cards |
The Christmas period has really snook up on me this year! I bet everyone is saying that though, I felt really ahead getting my presents early so I got a bit complacent and managed to leave the cards and wrapping to the last minute! I do have a few good excuses though.

| Christmas lips for my interview | cookies | finished cards | Xmas is an exhausting time for Harry |
First off I had an interview! As a teaching assistant in a small school in reading (which is a lot nearer Phil) it went really well and they offered me the job starting in January! So then we had to find a flat together as soon as possible which was a huge stress as everything was winding down towards Xmas.

| train to reading | River and shopping | new house! | ikea tables |

Luckily we found the perfect one on our first day looking, it's in the perfect place for us both to travel to work, it was really nice and spacious inside and I managed to knock them down on the rent as well, So we are moving on the 5th of jan! Reading is lovely too it's a place I've traveled through a lot but never stepped out of the train station, so I was really pleased having a look around the town. I'm a bit worried about not knowing anyone except Phil but I'm sure ill meet people easily. Either way I'm very excited to have our own space as we have never lived together before.

The excitement of moving has sort of over shadowed Christmas this year but I am feeling quite Christmassy today after wrapping and cooking all day with mam and I'm definitely looking forward to the parents tomorrow. Ill pretend its the giving part but really I'm just excited to be spoilt!

Have a lovely Christmas guys! Can't wait to see what you all get up too, I bet instagram will be brimming with merriment!

Cariad xx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Topshop nail varnish gift in High Voltage, Lunar and solar

Topshop nails gift set £14*
Topshop don't seem to do Christmas like anyone else so while the rest are doing seasonal red, burgundy, green and glitters topshop bring out this exciting neon pink, irredecent gold and shimmery blue/silver set not a typical Christmas set but equally as festive and probably better suited to the party outfits we will be wearing anyway!

High Voltage is a little out of my comfort zone, a slightly more red version of Barbie pink and pretty much opaque in one coat. The formula is perfect and I was really happy with how easily it went on even though I'm a bit rubbish at painting my nails! It also lasted ages with my essie undercoat and seiche veite on top. I will be wearing this with a matching lipstick to brighten up a little black dress.

This is solar and its my favourite of the three. A little less opaque than the pink so took a few coats but again a really nice formula, weirdly I felt that as well as needing to dry the polish needed a little time to harden as well, it was like they were still smudgey even when they felt dry to the touch but this went away and again is was really impressed by how long they coped chip free. I love the colour of this and a few strangers comment on how lovely it looked (I was taking leaflets off them when they all noticed, made my day!)

In some lights the shimmer has a green fleck and in others a pinky purple tone so a lot more in this little bottle than you'd expect!

Finally lunar which I have to say is the perfect name for this polish, I'm not quite sure if its a blue or silver or grey really but it certainly reminds me of the moon and the sky at night. Again this needs a few coats and a little time to harden after drying but I imagine this would look great with black and silvery outfits or navy (I'm really into navy for this time of year).

These little sets are perfect for stockings and I've already asked for the gold and burgandy version from Santa too!

What do you think of unconventional Christmas colours? Would these polishes suit your Xmas party look?

Cariad xxx

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Wish list!

I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come along this year! I'm nearly all sorted with presents for the ladies in my family but really struggling for the boys. Has anyone else got the same problem?

I'm the worst person ever to buy for, I'm so fussy and always like or dislike things for daft reasons that nobody could ever try and buy me surprises (sorry family & friends!) ideally I would just go out and buy all my own presents and hand them back out! This is what I'd buy myself.

Are you easy to buy for or fussy like me? What's on your Christmas list? 

Cariad xxx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Jergens Oatmeal Body Butter

Jergens Oatmeal Body Butter £4.99*
I am so in love with this moisturiser! Usually I hate the packaging for body moisturisers, I find them all really cheap looking with garish colours or a bit medicinal but this is so plain and simple and it is exactly what I want it to look like.

It's most similar to a body shop body butter but I personally find them a bit overpowering in scent (I love the mango but it makes my perfume smell differently when I wear them both so it's usually an either/or kind of thing) and I also notice that they don't really sink in as quickly as I'd like, I hate the greasy feeling and hopping around in a towel not to get my clothes all yucky. This is where these differ slightly first the smell is amazing but much more subtle and second the packaging says its melts at a lower temperature to sink in quickly and I really notice this difference, I can dress straight away and still feel all soft and smooth so the body shop ones have been well and truly ditched.

My favourite thing is definitely the smell, it's a sweet oaty kind of smell that I find really comforting. It's a little like porridge or honey and I can definitely smell some vanilla in there too. I've been sitting on the sofa with a pot of this next to me and obsessively applying it to my hands just for the smell!

This feels like the moisturiser I've been waiting for, so cheesy but I'm really pleased I got an opportunity to try this as I'd never seen it before (I think they are an American company that are now launching in Britain, I'm told they have an almond and cherry lotion that smells just like cherry bakewells too so another one to look out for) I've already been into superdrug to buy a back up and my mum and sister are both getting these in their Christmas stockings while they are on 2 for £5.99!

Have you tried Jergens yet? What is your favourite comforting smell?

Cariad xxx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Secret Santa!

Artistic representation of the present!
When money supermarket contacted me to take part in a Secret Santa I was over the moon. They gave us each £25 that we had to stick to and assigned us a fellow blogger to buy for, then we were free to spend on whatever we thought. I love surprises so I'm definitely looking forward to receiving my gift (I'm actually off to pick it up now from the post office, because I missed the delivery) and I've really enjoyed picking out a gift too.
I was partnered with Nicolle from Betsy Boat whose blog I wasn't familiar with so it was nice to find a new read! I've had a good look through her posts to try and suss out what I think she'd like and I'm so happy with what I bought (if Nicolle doesn't like it I'll happily have it back hehe).

I wanted to get the best value for my £25 so instead of lots of cheapy things I've gone for little luxuries and managed to get 2 sets of mini products from my own favourite brands but I won't tell you which as I don't want to spoil it!

I ordered online and it should be delivered any day now direct to Nicolle so I haven't had a chance to wrap it all nicely, which is a pity, but I wanted to make sure she got it on time and before she left her uni address for Christmas. Fingers crossed she likes it all as much as I do.

Can't wait to let you all know what I get!

Are you taking part in a Secret Santa? Do you go for lots of little things for your budget or 1 or 2 bigger things?

Cariad xxx


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Rituals Sacred Fire Candle

My candle collection is rapidly growing now its getting dark in the evenings. There is nothing cosier in the winter than snuggling under a blanket and watching a film with a few flickering candles to warm you up!
This gorgeous candle is one of my favourites, it's absolutely perfect for Christmas with its warm spicy scent & the glass is beautiful too. Unlit and you can still smell it from across the room, but in a subtle way and lit it really does fill the room without giving me headaches or getting up my nose (my mother has a bluebell scented one that hits you in the face as you walk in, which I hate).

Rituals sacred fire £16.50*

My favourite thing about the candle is the gorgeous burgandy glass with a really heartwarming message etched on, I can't wait until I've burned it down enough to see how this glows.

I've been burning this most nights since I got it and there's barely any missing so I'm pretty sure this would last me until next Christmas!

Last thing to say is how perfect would this be as a Christmas gift for mums/grandmothers, I'm definitely buying one for my boyfriends mother I think she will love it.

What is your favourite Christmas candle? Have you sniffed any from Rituals?

Cariad xxx