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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

Wednesday 28 November 2012

What I've been up to ...

I've been pretty busy these last few weeks which is such a nice change! For anyone new to my blog I've been ill for quite a while (I started fainting and had to leave my PGCE, move back home and be somewhat housebound for months) its been a pretty rubbish! I've recently discovered that a tablet I've been taking was actually doing more harm than good so stopping that has made things a lot better and now I've actually been diagnosed (I have neurocardiogenic vasovagal syncope ... What a mouthful) I have new medication which has fewer side effects, so I should be back to normal soon and hopefully back on my course in September! These posts should become more regular as I'm getting about so much more now.

| Clarins event at Central Pharmacy Cardiff, I met up with the lovely Charlie from Charli... & the ladies from CSI blog | I won 2nd place in the raffle! I never win anything so maybe my luck is changing | Reading this cute book from my boyfriend, he's so soppy | A little picture of Poppy she loves the camera |

| Ducky necklace from miss selfridge £2 | burgandy and tartan outfit for a day in Swansea with the girls | Harry looking very handsome | What's in my handbag order, more to come |

Last weekend I went to London with my friend Sarah to visit the Harry potter studio tour, it was amazing I recommend it to anyone! It did focus a lot on the production side and sarah felt a little bit of the magic was lost for her, but for me it was a it like a Harry potter museum and now I'm home I'm desperate to watch all the films again and take a second look at everything I saw. We went to the tour on Sunday so we spent Saturday in London, Bond street and Oxford street first which was totally manic so we didn't buy much, then Harrods after which we absolutely loved but wished we had a little longer in there so I will be heading back!

| Make up packed to go to London | Maps tickets and train times for the trip | Christmas lights on Oxford street | Harrods looking beautiful|

| Harry's cupborad under the stairs | Post for Harry Potter| Olivanders wand shop on Diagon Alley | Hogwarts! |

So this little blog has been a bit neglected with all these activities, but I'm back on track today with a few posts under my belt.

Cariad xxx


Wednesday 14 November 2012

Topshop Lipstick Innocent

Topshop lipstick Innocent £8

I have been desperate to try some Topshop makeup for so long, especially the lipsticks which I've seen so many rave reviews about. I'm really getting into lipstick, it's probably the thing I buy most often recently as its such a simple way of changing your look and there are so many choices around.

Innocent is a really pretty rosy pink with lilac tones, it has a velvet finish which to me is a slightly silky matte. The colour payoff is brilliant as you would expect with matte but the velvet finish stops it looking chalky, which I hate! I'm really impressed with the lasting power as well, I've been eating and drinking copious amounts of tea today and I can still feel it and see it on me.

I love the distinctive packaging of Topshop lipsticks, although I do worry I could crush it as it feels a bit tinny. Even though it's white it hasn't stained or discoloured in my makeup bag which is amazing as the mucky state of everything else drives me mad I'm always at it with a baby wipe.

I think it's a really pretty subtle look for me, it's a little paler than I usually go for which makes a nice change to be honest. I will be adding a few more to my Christmas list, Rumour Has It is top of that and maybe trying out a cream blush too!

What do you think of Topshop makeup? Where do you get your favourite Lipsticks from?

Cariad xxx

Saturday 10 November 2012

Anti-ageing at 22?!?

Indeed eysilix £24.99* Rituals Skin Energy Serum £27.50* Rituals Rich & Firming Eye Cream £23.50*

I was recently given some anti-ageing products to try out, which caused me a bit of a dilemma as I'm only 22 so the effects of ageing haven't had their chance on me yet thankfully. I didn't feel able to review them properly and was all set on sending them back, until I started mentioning this to older women in my family. They all said that if they had their time again they would have started looking after their skin and using creams to prevent wrinkles a lot younger than they did. My mam was very keen for me to keep them, she was also very keen to have a try! *ulterior motive*

I have the Rituals Skin Energy Serum, Rituals Rich Firming Eye Cream & Indeed eysilix, I will do a full review of all three once I've tested them for a decent length of time (although perhaps the real test will be in 30-40 years time!) for now though some first impressions.

The serum has a lovely texture it's really light and absorbs beautifully, one pump is enough for my whole face and it really leaves me feeling nourished. The smell is a gorgeous floral, it reminds me of a perfume smell rather than skincare and isn't too overpowering either. Rituals describe this as 'Ultra concentrated. Promotes radiant skin and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines. For flawless, radiant looking skin.' My skin is naturally quite sallow so I always look for products to help it look more radiant, I will let you know how well it does.

The rituals eye cream is a lovely thick consistency which easily pats on without pulling. They say 'Contains firming botanical extracts and an anti-wrinkle complex. For a visibly smoother eye contour.' Im definitely enjoying it so far and I have to say this has already found its way onto my mams Christmas list as she had a little go and was really impressed with it. She noticed all the puffiness and darkness under her eyes was noticeably improved straight after applying. One thing to mention though is that I really don't like the smell, it doesn't matter much as I can't smell it when I apply it but it's really not my cup of tea.

Finally the eysilix, indeed is a brand that I've heard a lot about (hydraluron is at the top of my wish list). They say ' Helps lift the eye area instantly. Helps reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fatigue and crow's feet. Can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.' Hopefully I will get results from the puffiness, dark circles and fatigue aspects. Dark circles are one of my biggest nightmares so I'm willing to part with good money if it can deal with those. I think that someone with a few more wrinkles will find the results more impressive as I can definitely feel a tightening as soon as I apply it. I'm sure my mam will be willing to test for you!

Have you started worrying about wrinkles yet? When do you think it's the right time to start anti-ageing?

Cariad xxx

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Revlon Colourstay Creme Gel Eyeliner

revlon colourstay eyeliner
Revlon Colourstay Creme Gel Eyeliner - (£8.99)*
This is the first Creme Gel eyeliner I've tried and I was really excited to give it a go. The packaging of this is great I love that the brush comes attached and you just pull it off like a pen top then either click it back on upside down for a full length brush or use it short (which I prefer as it gives me more control). The gel liner itself is thick creamy and very black it dries quickly and then it doesn't budge. I found that it was important not to overload the brush as that was the easiest way of making a mess and to me it found the brush too thick for a subtle look but perfect for a sixties flick style.

I'm so impressed with the flick I've never managed one like this before! It lasted me all night with no flaking or crumbling and the colour didn't fade at all or end up smudged all over the place. A downside to this is the fact that it was so difficult to remove, my usual cleansers really struggled but a proper eye make up remover did the trick after a few goes.

The little tub seems to go a long long way, so even though I think the cost is quite high it is bound to last ages. I'm also going to try the liner with a smaller brush for a more subtle look as I wouldn't wear this thick style during the day.

Have any of you tried a Gel eyeliner? What type of eyeliner do you usually use?

Cariad xx

Wednesday 31 October 2012

NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lip Gloss Candy Says

Nars lip gloss candy says £19*
This beautiful shimmery gloss is part of the Nars Andy Warhol range which is a really lovely limited edition range out in time for Christmas! This is Candy Says named after a Velvet Underground song, who were produced by Andy Warhol, I've been getting a music history lesson from my boyfriend *he even has a book about it*. It's described by Nars as a shimmery strawberry pink, I think it's really wearable shade either on its own or on top of darker colours to add a hint of shimmer.

The consistency is lush, it smooths on really easily and is the perfect level of opacity to be worn by itself (this with the revlon eyeliner reviewed here makes a perfect 60s/ Adele make up look) but it's still sheer enough to go on top of my darker lipsticks to add luminosity. It's not too sticky so your hair is safe, normally my biggest lipgloss bug bear. The gloss lasts pretty well too but I'm more than happy to pull this out of my bag for reapplication as the packaging looks beautiful and I've had a fair few people ask about it.
The brush is teeny tiny which worried me at first but it's actually really good and makes application precise and smooth. Another plus to the small brush is to use it just in the centre of my lips and blend out a little which makes them look all 3D and huge.
This is it on by itself but I'm definitely going to include it in another post on top of lipstick as that's how I mostly wear it. The more I look at this photo the more I like it like this too. It's just so easy to wear and I'm usually a lipstick girl so I'm surprised how much I like it. I have a few more Nars/Andy Warhol bits on my Christmas list (Penny Arcade & the Edie set namely!)

Have you checked out this range yet? Are you a lipstick or lipgloss fan usually?

Cariad xxx


Sunday 28 October 2012

What I've been up to ...

Another busy week, I can tell the good weeks just from these posts!

I have been loving my Schnauzer pyjamas! | Beautiful Mollie Makes (so many ideas) | Trying out the bridesmaids dresses (with a newly engaged friend) | Poppy cat came up for cuddles

I had a brilliant night Saturday with so many lovely bloggers all enjoying food, drinks and fashion in Cardiff. We met at Jamie's Italian and there were absolutely loads of us, I was really surprised at how many bloggers there are around me and there were some faces that I recognised from their blogs but I didn't expect to be a Welshie!

The fashion show outside was excellent! I've never really seen one before (this was Cardiff's first fashion week) and the models were dancing and strutting around like nobody's business, clearly not caring that it was absolutely freezing. The outfits on show were lovely too, especially river island! Oh and I really liked the compare as well he was very cool trying to get us all involved.

A few of us went to Nandos after as well but I was too busy munching and chatting to take any photos which is a pity, but it was a lot easier to talk in the smaller group, most of us hadn't met before so it was amazing how easily the conversation flowed. I feel really privileged to be part of such a lovely blogging community, to attend amazing events like this and to have met such lovely girls! (Aw I've gone all soppy on you)

Lots of the girls have also written posts about the event so I thought I'd link them all here for you to have a look and maybe find a few new to follow!

Make up pixi




Cosmetics, Shopping and Intoxication

What Laura Did

Cardifforina Girl

Bitch With Bite

Gem - Fat Frocks

Charli dot dot dot

Have you guys been to your local fashion week? I'm definitely going again next year, I might even try to make it to bristols as well! Ps I've got so many good things to post over the next few weeks so keep a lookout, I'm aiming to get a few up this week.


Cariad xx


Saturday 20 October 2012

Real Techniques Blush Brush

My last review was my beautiful new Nars Laguna bronzer & Orgasm blusher (click to have a look!) I was really nervous using the bronzer as I'm so shockingly pale, so I bought this huge real techniques blush brush and it is working a treat!

I love that when you buy a real techniques brush you get all this extra info and advice from the packaging and website, Sam is one of my favourite youtubers and I'm going to perfect her contouring one day soon!

First the brush is pink which pleases me no end, second the quality is amazing but I'm sure you all know that already plus it's super soft and feels lush on your face. I went for this brush particularly as its big and fluffy so I hoped it would stop me applying too much bronzer and looking a bit tangoed which it does perfectly.

When I feel like a need a bit more colour than a normal sweep gives I find myself patting the flatish sides of the brush in the pan and then patting it onto my cheek, I then use the fluffy end to buff this out and that works really well for me.

I'm planning on getting a nice eyeshadow brush and the powder brush soon too as I'm asking Santa very sweetly for some mac eyeshadows and mac soft and gentle!

Does anyone have any eyeshadow colour suggestions? Also which brushes are on your wish lists?

Cariad xxx

Saturday 13 October 2012

Nars Orgasm & Laguna

I bought these little beauties with my birthday money over 2 months ago (you can tell by the sunshine in the photos) I have been giving them a thorough testing and I'm in love!

The packaging looks so nice and pristine here but it doesn't last for long, the matte finish is beautiful but totally impractical!
The names really make me chuckle, you do have to be careful just casually taking about them though as I got a few raised eyebrows from my friends who aren't really into beauty things and just thought I was crude!

Soo pretty!
I was worried about using bronzer as I'm so very pale but I've heard so many bloggers say that this one is suitable for pale skin so I asked the lovely MUA at nars about it and she offered to show me how it applies which was really lovely of her and clearly a good sales technique!
This was the only nars blusher I had heard of so I asked the MUA to put a little of this on too. When I am buying high end makeup I always try it on my face first as so many things have looked beautiful in the pan and then awful on me, I also leave the counter and try to see how the product lasts on me and how it looks in different lights too. After a day of trying to catch a glimpse of my cheeks in every shiny surface I went back and happily bought both (from the same MUA as she had put the work in).

It took me ages to have my first try as I really didn't want to mess up these pans (that's pretty sad I know) but I have to say I have used these everyday and they barely look touched so I'm sure they will last me an age.
This is Laguna on the top and orgasm on the bottom, both are swatched with 2 swipes as I don't find them very strongly pigmented which I'm glad of as I'm a little heavy handed and especially with the bronzer I didn't want thick heavy stripes of it.
Before / After Laguna
Before / After Laguna
I apply this with a real techniques blush brush which I will be reviewing on here soon too. I mainly apply this to my cheeks and very lightly dust it all over (to try and look alive) I have recently been practising contouring but I'm useless at it!

Before / After Orgasm applied, I put quite a generous amount on for the photo but it still looks really subtle and the shimmer is the perfect amount as I was a little wary of it for everyday use. They both last all day on me and look totally natural yet polished.

I wear both of these everyday and am pretty smitten with them so will be putting a peachy nars blush on my Christmas list!

Has anyone else started a Christmas list yet? I've even bought my first present (and then decided I might keep it myself!)

Cariad xx