Welcome to a new blog series – Hidden Gems of Norwich! Here I will be telling you all about some of my favourite independent establishments in Norwich, Norfolk and where to find them. I’m starting… More
Itsy Nails London were kind enough to send me four of their DuraPRO Gel Effect polishes to try last week. Itsy Nails are a cruelty free, vegan friendly brand with an amazing collection of beautifully coloured and high quality nail polishes.
The polishes themselves are very inexpensive at only £5.99 and for this you get a long-wearing, gel effect varnish which packs a colour punch! All of the colours in the gel effect range are unique and stunning for any occasion. You can view them all and buy online here.
Below are the four polishes I received and how they look after two coats on my thumbnail. I’m currently rocking the pink shade on all my nails and so far, I’m chip-free!
To buy some of the polishes for yourself, click here.
To date, I have only applied makeup to my own face (and my Mum’s at Christmas – see that here). In my year off work for maternity leave, makeup has become more of an obsession to me than it previously was. I have always loved makeup and the world of beauty, but my love for it has grown, along with my need to know more about application techniques and tricks. Writing this blog has helped me learn and share what I have learnt with all of you and I have loved every minute of it.
When I was contacted by photographer Oliver Lall about joining him on a photoshoot as an MUA – I immediately said yes! I had already been thinking that I’d like to do makeup on a friend and then have some photos taken, so for me this was an opportunity not to be missed! Oliver put me in touch with Grace Appleby, our beautiful model and I instantly knew that we were all going to work together so well.
Here’s a little post about how the day went.
As I was feeling pretty nervous in the build up to the shoot, I planned out every aspect of Grace’s makeup look beforehand. I have a Makeup Artist Face Chart book which meant I could list every product I planned to use and also draw out how I would use them.
The location of the shoot was the Norwich Cathedral and the weather was perfect! When I arrived, I was greeted by Grace, who put me at ease instantly. We found a lovely spot under a tree and I got to work!
Products used –
- Eyeshadow – Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette
- Lashes – Beauty Atelier Shop #ROMANTIC Silk Lashes (use code KER 10 for free delivery)
- Foundation – Grace’s Own
- Concealer – Collection Lasting Perfection in Light
- Blush – Makeup Revolution Dream Blush Palette
- Bronzer – Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders
- Contour and Brightening – Freedom Pro Strobe Palette
- Highlight – Makeup Revolution Rose Lights Highlighter Palette
- Lip Colour – Shaaanxo and BH Cosmetics Palette – the two nude and light pink shades
When the makeup was complete, I was able to join the team for a little bit of the shoot.
I had an absolutely amazing time and gained some new friends out of it too! I will be working with Oliver again, so will keep you posted on that.
For now, here are some photos from the day!
If you would like your makeup done by me and have some photos done with Oliver, then please get in touch via the online form below.
Delicious, healthy recipes to help you and your children kick the sugar habit
I was sent this fabulous, little cookbook by the publisher – Robinson – and have been enjoying many of the sugar-free recipes inside over the last couple of weeks. Anyone who has tried going sugar-free will know how difficult it can be in a world filled with brightly coloured confectionery and fast food restaurants. This book provides delicious recipes that will make you realise sugar in your home cooking really isn’t needed and really won’t be missed.
The book is split into fifteen chapters, which aim to guide you through your sugar free journey with ease. Chapters include –
- Sugar and its effect on our health
- Keeping our children healthy
- The Breakfast Table
- Main Meals
- Healthy BBQ
- Fast Food
- Jut Desserts
- The Ice-cream Parlour
- The Bakery and so many more!
The recipes mostly don’t require hard to acquire ingredients, just things you will find in your local supermarket and maybe even already lurking in your cupboards at home! The recipes are very easy to follow and don’t require crazy equipment. There are hundreds of recipes inside, suitable for all occasions and for everyday ‘sugar hurdles’ such as after-school snacking and birthday parties.
To buy your own copy of Sarah Flower’s The Sugar Free Family Cookbook, click here. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. I highly recommend it – it will change your life and your eating habits forever! Keep an eye on my Instagram for food pics!
I have been in contact with Ingrid Hume from Pravera for a while now and she has kindly sent out some high-quality and beautiful natural products to me. You may have previously read my post on Benecos Cosmetics (if not, click here) where I gave them a glowing review. Now it’s the turn of the brand Lavera – a natural, organic and vegan beauty brand.
I created the look pictured below, using the products I was sent. Here’s a run down of everything I used and how I used it.
This eyeshadow quad is just STUNNING. My mind went into overdrive when thinking of all the looks I could create using just these four colours. I love the mix or peachy pinks and golds with khaki greens. They just match beautifully. I’m really into khaki eye makeup at the moment, so was very excited to try this out.
Here I created a very simple look using the mini palette. I used my Benecos single eyeshadow in Mauve in the crease, as I like to use matte shades there. I then used the pink colour over three quarters of my lid, starting from the inner corner. On the outer corner I used the peachy/gold tone. Along the lower last line I used a tiny amount of both of the green/gold colours.
This bronzer has a beautiful texture and consistency and blends like a dream. The colour is very buildable and I would say it looks much darker in the pan than it actually is. You can use the colours singly, or swirl them together with a brush. I mix them together as I find this to be the perfect match for my skin tone. I applied the bronzer just below the cheek bones, around the forehead and perimeter of my face. I love how glowy it made me look!
Wow, this little highlighter really packs a big punch! It is a cream product, so is best used before a powder. I have particularly enjoyed this on no-foundation days as it gives me maximum glow without all the other products. It’s been brilliant on these hot days we’ve been having. I applied the highlighter to the usual places where a glow is very welcome – cheekbones, bridge and end of nose, Cupid’s bow and brow bone.
Sorry guys, but here’s another product I just LOVE! I really don’t have anything negative to say about any of the Lavera products I’ve tried. This blush is pigmented, creamy, buildable and easy to blend out. It looks just stunning on the cheeks for that ‘glowing from within’ look. It is a plum toned powder, with a shimmer. I applied this to the apples of my cheeks.
I’m so pleased with how these products transferred onto my face. They have brilliant staying power too – I’ve even been for a run this evening and the eyeshadows haven’t creased! These are lovingly made, high-quality beauty items. I’m excited to try more from the range. Lavera also have skin, bath, baby, men’s, dental and other products to name just a few. Definitely check them out on Pravera here.
What do you think of my finished look?
Hollywood Browzer were kind enough to send me their nifty and innovative little hair removal tool. This tool eliminates the need for painful threading, waxing and tweezing of unwanted hair.
The Hollywood Browzer removes hair from unwanted areas in a quick, easy and virtually pain-free fashion. You can use it on many areas of the face and body including –
- Upper lip
- Uneven hairline
- Peach fuzz
- Fingers and toes
- Back of neck
- Bikini line
The Hollywood Browzer is very simple to use – just place it at a 45 degree angle onto clean skin and gently stroke away the unwanted hair. Another benefit of this tool is that as well as removing hair, it also exfoliates your skin! Contrary to belief, the Hollywood Browzer will not make your hair grow back coarser or denser and this has been verified by Natalie Fisher a Dermatology Nurse.
To watch more videos for specific areas of the body, click here.
So what other features and benefits are there to the Hollywood Browzer? –
- Removes hair in seconds
- Virtually painless
- Leaves no redness or irritaton
- More affordable that waxing and threading
- No time consuming visits to a salo or clinic
- Smoothes and exfoliates the skin
- Get professional results at home or on the go
I’m very excited to be talking to you this evening about Pampered and Gorgeous. I came across this lovely company on their Instagram and was intrigued by their ethos of bringing their consumer pampering products which are kind to the environment, kind to animals and kind to nature. All of the products on the website are organic, cruelty free, vegan and natural.
Now for the product review! I was kindly sent the Katie Craig Lavender & Orange Hand & Body Wash to try out and then review.
All of the Katie Craig products sold on the website are paraben free and sulphate free. They are scented using essential oils – meaning they pack a real punch when it comes to their perfume. I was absolutely blown away by this body wash when I used it in my shower. I find that the scent really clings to the skin too, meaning its beautiful smell doesn’t leave once your bath or shower is over. It is also a brilliant little cleanser! I especially love using it after a run as it really refreshes my skin and leaves me feeling very clean and my skin feeling soft.
The Katie Craig body wash came presented in a gorgeous pink, purple and black box. The box itself is made from recycle card. In fact, all of the packaging is recycled. The packaging can also be recycled after use.
The Katie Craig Orange & Lavender Hand & Body Wash can be purchased through the Pampered & Gorgeous website here. Take a look at the other pampering products available whilst you’re there. Treat yourself to your very own at-home spa day!
When I watched Shaaanxo’s new makeup line announcement video last week, I was so excited by the beautiful colours and quality of both her liquid and regular lipsticks. I was especially excited by the matte lipstick in the shade ‘Philocaly‘ and settled on just this one. It arrived today – just a week after it was posted from New Zealand!
Shaaanxo is by far my favourite YouTube Beauty Guru. I first discovered her when scouring the web for a wedding makeup tutorial. I actually used her one for my own wedding makeup (yes I was brave enough and mad enough to do my own makeup!). She always manages to achieve pure magic with any eyeshadow and her makeup tips are useful and achievable. I was extremely excited to see that she’d actually signed the card that came with the lipstick too – I had a extreme fan-girl moment when I saw it!
The lipstick came packaged in a cute white box with grey polka dots on it. Inside, the tube of the lipstick has a chrome/mirror effect which is just so classy and pretty. The lid clicks into place over the lipstick, so there’s no need to worry about it coming off in your handbag.
I did a swatch of the lipstick on my arm first and it swatched beautifully. It has a very creamy texture which glides onto the skin. The colour looks even more beautiful in real life and I think I picked well for my skin tone. It is a stunning pinky nude – my fave!
When I put it onto my lips, I was first impressed by the gorgeous smell of crème brûlée – don’t worry if you don’t like strong smells in your makeup, this is a beautifully subtle scent. The lipstick went smoothly onto my lips and didn’t cling to patches as matte lipsticks have a habit of doing. It feels very nourishing on the lips too. I’ve had it on all day and my skin doesn’t feel dried out at all. It also really stayed put! There was very little transfer when kissing Baby J and the hubby and it stayed on very well during meals.
Overall, I’m very happy with this lipstick. I’m so pleased that it has been lovingly designed and created by a brilliant YouTuber, who has worked hard to get to this stage. You could tell from her announcement video how much this collection really meant to her. Philocaly also really reminds me of MAC’s Brave in colour – but I actually prefer this formula! It has better staying power and is much easier to apply.
The past two weeks have been brilliant in terms of my progress and excitement for the 10k. Firstly, I completed the Couch to 5k program! I’m so happy and can’t actually believe I managed it.
Now that the training is complete, I have been doing free runs. I was worried these would be hard to do because I don’t have a ‘coach’ shouting encouragement in my ear and telling me what to do next. However, free runs have actually been amazing. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever have before and have been running non-stop for longer distances. I ran my first two 5k distances in the last couple of days, without stopping to walk once and I couldn’t be prouder! I have never managed to go this far without needing a quick break – even before having Baby J. This really is a big deal to me!
I have still been making the right choices in terms of my diet and I’m seeing the results in my physique. I’m fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes – with room to spare!
I have decided that the start of June will be the start of my 5k to 10k training program. This will mean I’m more than race ready by August.
Today was an exciting day in terms of the Run Norwich 10k. I was invited by the charity I’m running for – Norwich City Community Sports Foundation – to attend a pre-run meet up at the Norwich City FC ground. I took my husband and Baby J along too (my hubby is a BIG NCFC fan booooo hissss). We were given a goody bag at the door – win!
Inside were other runners taking part for the charity, it was lovely to see everyone who are running or such a great cause. We had a little talk from one of the charity spokespeople and were also introduced to the special guest – Jessica Jane Applegate, the paralympic swimmer who won medals at Rio 2016 – so exciting!
Overall, I’m feeling good! With just over a month until the Colour Run with my Mum, I’m feeling confident about running the 5k with a half-decent time. Mum and I actually went for a run together on Thursday evening and it went very well. Having her with me made me run further and faster – she’s a brilliant pacer!
Remember, if you’d like to sponsor my for the Run Norwich 10k, click here. I am over half way to reaching my target. I need to raise £100 by 19th June, so not long to go!
See you again in 2 weeks for another update!
Dollibox is a beauty subscription box, delivered monthly. I received the May box and here’s what I got inside –
The box costs £10 a month, for five full-sized or deluxe sized products. The box gives you the opportunity to try well-known brands, up and coming niche brands and also cult classics. To subscribe for yourself, click here.
Here’s the low-down on May’s box.
Seacret Makeup Remover Wipes
I don’t tend to use makeup remover wipes because of their negative environmental impact, but like to have a pack in my drawer in case I need to have a quick clean up (great for late nights!). These wipes are absolutely brilliant at removing ALL of my makeup. They are oil-based so even take off my very stubborn waterproof mascaras with ease. They also leave my skin feeling beautifully soft. I’d never heard of this brand before this box, but I will be taking a look at their other products for sure!
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
Palmer’s are one of those brands that you can trust. I have owned quite a lot of their produts over the years and have always found them a failsafe in repairing damaged skin and hair. I haven’t used this hair conditoning pack yet as I’m saving it for an evening of pampering, but I’m sure it will do wonders for my currently very dry hair!
Cougar Rich Honey Moisturiser
I love this moisturiser! I started using it straight away, as the moisturiser I was using wasn’t doing anything special for my skin. This one contains pure natural honey and banana extract. I can’t stand the smell of bananas and thankfully, this cream doesn’t smell like them! It contains many vitamins and minerals and the honey is a natural antiseptic – great for helping to heal minor skin irritations and blemishes without drying you out. I highly recommend this product.
Leopard Cat Eyebrow Palette
The packaging for this is just perfect – gold and a leopard with leopard print details! It is a cute size too, perfect for on-the-go. Inside are two eyebrow powders and a mini angled brush for application.
Focallure Face Blush
I can’t stop wearing this blush! It is so pigmented and easy to blend out on the cheeks. The colour is gorgeous too and very buildable. There are 11 shades available in this range of blushes and I received the pinky coral one. It gives my face a lovely, Spring-time glow which I’m just addicted to.
Deborella Mermaid Necklace
Last, but not least, is this AMAZING ‘Mermaid Life’ necklace from Deborella Accessories. This was an exclusive product in Dollibox this month. Deborella are a new company who produce mainly lasercut jewellery and stationery. Make sure to have a look at their website – there are just so many beautiful products to choose from, I want it all!
I am very impressed with Dollibox and have enjoyed trying out the products and reviewing them for you. To subscribe for yourself, click here.
When I was asked to review a Pusheen plushie, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only do I find Pusheen adorable, I just knew Baby J would too! To be more precise, I was asked to write about Pusheenicorn – a Pusheen cat in a unicorn costume! It sounds crazy, but it works! This Pusheenicorn takes cuteness to another level and when teamed up with my Baby J, it’s too adorable to handle!
Pusheen is an extremely popular illustrated cat with over 9 million followers on Facebook. Over 10 million Pusheen stickers are sent over social media EVERY DAY as this cat is perfect at summing up whatever mood you’re in with her cute expressions and costume changes.
Pusheenicorn was sent to me by a company called GUND UK, who specialise in high-quality and unique plushies to suit everyone. Pusheenicorn has a rainbow mane of very soft synthetic fur, a stuffed rainbow tail and a holo unicorn horn (that Baby J loves to pull and chew!). She is also made of a beautifully soft fabric, which Baby J rubs on her face for comfort. She has definitely stolen this from me! The cat’s facial features are embroidered on, meaning there aren’t any small, plastic parts which could fall off and be swallowed.
To purchase your own Pusheenicorn, visit GUND UK here, or to take a look at the other Pusheens they have on offer, click here. Also, take a look at the GUND UK homepage here, they have a selection of gorgeous toys including, Peter Rabbit, Boo, Grumpy Cat, Sesame Street and other baby toys.