They See Me Haulin’… Part Two!

Next on my journey was TK Maxx… Dangerous at the best of times for a cosmetaholic like me! But saying that, I managed to pick up some gorgeous gifts for family and friends (and a couple of treats for myself, oops!). Please excuse the horrible white price labels on some of the items, I intend to steam them off before giving them as gifts!

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First thing that caught my eye was this Korres Body Milk – I am already a huge fan of Korres for their lipbalms and natural ingredients, and I had never used a body milk before so naturally I was intrigued. On the tube it says “Vanilla and Plum” however, unlike the lipbalms, the scent smelled a lot less like the ingredients – although there was a hint of vanilla, the plum didn’t come through at all. It wasn’t an unpleasant smell, it’s actually quite addictive and since I have used it I’ve had people stop me to ask what perfume I’m wearing – when I explain to them it’s a body lotion they’re quite surprised! It’s very moisturising and sinks in quickly, two big ticks for me in terms of what I want from a body moisturiser, and at £5.99 it was a pretty good buy. I don’t think I would repurchase at its RRP of £10 as the scent is not the most compelling I have come across, however, it’s still a nice moisturiser.

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I was completely dumbfounded and awestruck to see Ciaté sets on the stand in TK Maxx, OPI and Nails Inc are relatively commonplace on the shelves, but as I had only been eyeing this set up in John Lewis the week before, I was pretty shocked to see it standing proud on a display case! I snapped it up really quickly of course, I LOVE the interesting textures and innovative ideas Ciaté come up with, and I had been lusting after the foil mani set for quite some time – perfect for party season! Plus, it was £9.99, down from the RRP of £18, so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

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I tend to do a few laps around the beauty section of TK Maxx, just to make sure I don’t miss anything (that’s actuality quite sad, isn’t it), but I’m glad I did! Tucked behind a display of makeup bags was this little gem, again, Ciaté, again, £9.99 down from RRP £18! This will make a lovely gift for a friend of mine who is an avid Instagram nail-art follower!

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We all have that friend, don’t we? The one that’s so girly and adorable that Disney Princesses could take lessons from her? I saw this in TK Maxx and instantly thought of her. She loves all things pink, and all things glitter, but as much as I champion OPI, her current financial situation is difficult, and it’s one of those things she lusts after but confines to the wish list. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she opens it – she adores Minnie Mouse as well, it couldn’t have been more perfect for her. This was the same price as the Ciaté sets!

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These little beauties are from the liquid sand collection which are so packed with glitter Louie Spence would probably keel over faced with the full force of their sparkle. These are going to my sister – she used to bite her nails as an anxious habit, and has finally quit – her nails look gorgeous now so she may as well adorn them with something pretty! In addition to that, she lives in a house with 4 boys – my nephews Luke Jordan and Liam, and my brother in law Matt. She’s outnumbered by dirty socks, XBox games and other boy type stuff, so I like to give her things to help her feel glamorous when the festive season rolls around.

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TK had quite a lot of Bayliss and Harding gift sets, all of which were lovely, however, I chose this one for my grandma. Despite having had two operations on her feet in the past two years, she still insists on walking her standard poodle, Louie, for miles every day – I would do it for her, except I live over two hours away. Anyway, I think that after all they go through, her poor feet need a bit of pampering, plus I love the idea of my nan being able to curl up by her fire with her Mills and Boon book, a cup of tea, and a comfy pair of fluffy socks. This should have been £8, but came in at £4.99. I think it’s a lovely little gift!

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This is the most expensive thing from that day, which is quite depressing, but anyone who knows me will know how paranoid I am about skin aging. I religiously wear a tinted moisturiser with SPF under my foundation, and my normal skincare regime includes scrub, cleanse, tone, moisturise, eye cream, lip cream, serum in winter and a neck cream too. Plus a face mask twice a week. Yes, I’m obsessed. I live by using oil on my hair, but I’d never considered using it on my skin! I had a sample of this once, and being a big fan of ThisWorks anyway, loved it. I really struggle to justify spending the RRP of over £30 on it, but I can roll with £14. I’ll review it soon, promise!

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When I saw the iconic, opulent packaging, my breath caught in my throat. I thought, no, surely not it has to be a different brand with lawsuit-inducingly similar wrapping. But no, no, as I approached I felt an overwhelming sense of joy as I saw the gold embossed lettering – MOR. This is my ultimate luxury brand. This is the brand I pore over and sniff in Space NK till the shop assistants start asking if I need any help, as I’m liable to grab them and scream ILL TAKE ALL OF THEM. The fact is, I can’t afford this gorgeous, gorgeous brand. That is, until now. I’m not going to lie, I went slightly mad, as you’ll see. This hand cream is scented “Snow Gardenia” and is the most delicate, feminine floral fragrance I have ever smelled. I’m loathe to be parted from it, however, come Christmas it will be winging its way to my boyfriends Grandma Elisabeth, who is the most glamorous 70 year old I know. This should have been £25 RRP, instead, I snapped it up at the astounding price of £6.99.

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This baby is DEFINITELY staying with me. Three words. Candied. Vanilla. Almond. It was officially love at first sniff. This one was RRP £20, down to £5.99. And oh my god, the consistency of this hand cream is astounding. It comes out of the tube almost like buttercream icing from a piping bag and melts into your skin so quickly. I understand the hype. I even (sort of) understand the extortionate price tag. Oh TK Maxx, how I love thee.

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I’m sorry but HOW PRETTY IS THIS BOX? Complete with a little ribbon and a wax seal, it’s so beautiful it’d be a shame to open it! This is a body butter from the MOR range, and, if you can see it printed on the ribbon, the scent is “Lychee Flower”. This one is going off as a gift for the fella’s mum, so sadly I can’t open it for a sniff, but it sounds gorgeous. They aren’t very big, but a little goes a VERY long way, so they last for ages and the scent lingers. I bought my own mum one once for Mother’s Day, and I kept catching hints of rose all day. This should have been £30, but I got it for £6.99.

ALMOST DONE, I SWEAR

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I couldn’t believe my luck when I found another body butter nestled behind some Aloe Vera products, and it was the same scent as my hand cream (see above). I’m finally going to fulfil my life’s ambition of permanently smelling like baking! This, like the other body butter, came in at £6.99 down from £30 RRP.

If you’ve stuck with me this long, well done! Get yourself a brew and a biscuit and maybe have a nap! But, before you go, I want to use this opportunity to show you all just how much TK Maxx can actually save you if you know what you’re looking for.

If I had bought all of these items at their RRP, the cost of this shopping would have been £225. I know, right?! That’s one hell of a lot of money.

BUT

With the reduced TK prices, it cost me £91.90, and then I got an extra 20% off with a voucher code! leaving my overall total at £73.70. Sounds a bit better than the first total, doesn’t it!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend (I’m currently recovering from a pretty nasty car accident, so doing anything fun for me right now is out of the question!)

What do you think to my little spending spree? Have you started Christmas shopping yet or is the word still banned in your household?

Love always,

Pebblebee xoxo

They See Me Haulin’… Part One!

SO. I know I said I was going to cut back a bit but… Yep, that didn’t work!
It’s ok though, not all of it is for me! I hate to break out the “C” word so early, but due to
living with my disabled mum and the abject nightmare that is Christmas shopping in the crowds with a wheelchair in tow, I’ve become accustomed to getting it started anytime from August (yep, that’s right. August).

So I’ve been doing a little cheeky hauling, although to be fair, my boots purchases for myself were paid for with giftcards Mum gives me, so it wasn’t TOO naughty! So, I hope you’re sitting comfortably, because here we go…

Online Shopping Shenanigans with FeelUnique!
I was actually quite reserved with my online shopping this time (although as payday has just arrived, I may have made a cheeky Illamasqua and Chinaglaze order…), and only ordered stuff I needed!

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This little lovely is the Beautysoclean Chocolate is a Girls Best Friend brush cleanser – I’ve been using hand soap to clean my brushes previous to this, which, although the germ-killing aspect is great, I can’t imagine it does the brush fibres any good! I have a mixture of gorgeous brushes, ranging from MAC, to Urban Decay, to Real Techniques and Sigma, and I really want to take care of them. This stuff claims to condition the bristles as well as thoroughly clean, and although I haven’t had chance to use it yet, I can confirm that it smells GORGEOUS. I’ll definitely be reviewing once it has been put to use. You can get it here, as it’s a bit of a pain to find on the site itself! It retails at £6.50 and the delivery is free, which is awesome!

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This stuff. This stuff is a repurchase and I can’t even begin to exalt it enough. This comes from the same range as the serum in my last post, and is basically a texturising spray to give flat hair a bit of oomph. I have really thick hair, and lots of it, and due to the fact I keep it short/mid length and the weight of it, I sometimes get serious pancake-head. You apply this like dry shampoo through layers of your hair, and it gives you tonnes of textured body with no crispy residue. I love it for a sort of Alexa Chung-esque, just rolled out of bed wavy style, really can’t recommend it enough. It’s the first product of its kind I’ve used that’s not made my hair feel greasy, or weighed down with product, and you can get it by following this link! It is £10.95, and you can get it cheaper on Amazon, but as they charge for delivery it works out about the same. So worth it though.

Then Came Boots…
I’m lucky enough to have a very generous mum who gives me any giftcards she has lying around, and the total soon mounts up, although I do look a bit awkward standing at a till pulling out 8 or 9 giftcards with varying amounts on them! This also helps me get extra points on my advantage card which I like to use for gifts near Christmas (there we go, there’s the C word again!). So basically, I spend a lot of time in Boots! Here’s what I got on my last jaunt..

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I whooped at a rather alarming pitch when these caught my eye! My last fibreglass extension set had begun to ping off and look somewhat ratty, so in a bid to save money, I decided that when my nails got to a decent length, I’d just buy a couple funky bits and bobs to stick on and do my own! But then, then I saw these babies. They’re just stick ons, but the shape of them is so natural you’d never guess, looking at them. These are the “Geek Chic” set, but due to the fact I have no self control, I bought another set. Unfortunately I got them home and couldn’t wait to put them on, so I soaked off my fibreglass ones, and here is a photo of how they look on my actual fingers…

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These are called “Polka Dot It”, and I am in love. 3D nails are my biggest obsession at the moment and I can’t stop staring at my fingers. I also have freakishly narrow nails, so the fact that the nails come in sizes to fit even my skinny fingers was a pleasant surprise. There’s a whole range of them available, these are just the two that caught my eye first, but I will definitely be trying the rest! They’re part of a collaboration between Elegant Touch and House of Holland, and you can take a peek at the whole range riiiight here. I really hope they’re not limited edition because I LOVELOVELOVE all of them and might cry if they’re discontinued.

Also from Boots, because my nails are more than likely going to be in terrible condition after all these falsies, I decided to take a pre-emptive strike and purchase this…

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Not the most exciting thing to purchase, but hey, my natural nails (if they’ve grown to a nice length) are going to need all the help they can get, and if this does what it says on the tin, then I’ll be a happy girl. This stuff varies in price, and you can get it from most good drugstores/cosmetics stores/supermarket beauty sections. I just picked it up in Boots as I was there at the time!

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You will have noticed my previous post about my never ending adoration for mint green, and I have spent SO long looking for a perfect pastel green with a creamy formula that doesn’t break the bank quite as much as Illamasqua’s cult shade “Milf”. Ladies, and gentlemen (makeup should be universal and there’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing a guy wearing perfectly blended foundation, with groomed brows and a good manicure), I have found it. Minty perfection comes in the form of Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple”. As if the name wasn’t cute enough, Essie’s squat, little glass bottles always make me happy, and I know I love the formula, having bought a few other shades of theirs before (including two of my all time favourites – Chinchilly and Leading Lady). Really looking forward to using this, and even though I know it’s not an autumnal colour, I can layer glitter or feather effect varnish over it, or even some black “nail suede” in a dip dye effect.. I feel some creativity coming on! You can buy Essie at most larger Boots stores or online

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Speaking of getting creative, I came across this as well. Yes, I know, it’s mint green again, but JUST LOOK AT THE CUTE. LOOK AT IT. Little pearls, diamantés and bows. How could I resist that? On the days I just want to feel girly and put a pretty dress and heels on this sort of thing just makes me so happy it’s untrue.

This is turning out to be a REALLY long post, so I’m going to spare your poor eyes and split it into two! Next comes TK Maxx.. I should really have a restraining order to stop me going in that place…

See you in Part 2, blogosphere!

All my love,
Pebblebee xoxo

Lush Emotional Brilliance – Review

Yes, I finally caved in! After walking past the Nottingham branch of Lush regularly and every time drooling through the window at the various beautiful bits and bobs and basking in the scent that wafts all the way down Clumber Street, I gave up all self control and went in.

I’ve been intrigued about the Emotional Brilliance products for some time, especially after Asha from the Oxford Owl – I didn’t really know what it was about, but as I was hovering around the display looking confused, the lovely Kyle came to my rescue – it turns out that the theory behind the range is that you go to the colour wheel, close your eyes, open them, and the first three colours that leap out at you are your emotional colours. You flip over the coloured discs, and it gives you the name of each colour.

Here’s what I wound up with…

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(Left to right : motivation, passionate, strong)

First things first, how cute are those bottles! I love the fact that they come with a little tag with the name of the shade, it kind of reminds me of the “Eat Me, Drink Me” labels in Alice in Wonderland! Let’s go down the rabbit hole…

Firstly we have Motivation, which looks like a shimmery green/blue in the bottle, but swatches to a shimmery teal shade which is incredibly flattering on blue, green or grey eyes. This bottle comes with a thin brush, like an eyeliner brush, however, all of these products are multi-use and can be used however you want – if you ask at the counter, the lovely staff at Lush will give you extra applicators to make their versatility even more easy to take advantage of.

Second, comes Passionate. This is a blue-based pink in the bottle, with veins of a blue/purple shimmer right the way through. It really is a stunning, bright shade, and I couldn’t wait to wear it! This swatches to a hot pink, which retains its blue tones, but the shimmer manifests itself as a glossy effect on the lips. This comes with a standard doe-foot applicator, but, again, you can ask for extra applicators! This is essentially a liquid lipstick, and I love the formula, which is thick and creamy.

Finally, I couldn’t resist Strong, which appears like an orange-toned red in the bottle, but swatched is a bright tangerine shade. This, like Passionate, is intended to be a liquid lipstick, but I have used it as a blush too – blending quickly is the key, as they stain very quickly, and a little goes a long way. I’m looking forward to using Strong and Passionate for a two-tone lip look! This is a brave colour, and it makes me feel like I could take on the world when I wear it (which is what I believe makeup should do) and has the same lovely creamy formula as Passionate.

Here are the shades swatched…

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How pigmented are they?! I wasn’t expecting them to be half as bright as in the bottle but I adore them – my only qualm is they ARE a little pricey but hey, they’re a great payday treat!

Do you have any of this range? What’s your emotional brilliance?

Stay beautiful, blogosphere!

Pebblebee xoxo

August Favourites!

This month has been quite reserved for me, really! Between working almost every hour I get and achieving a placement as a volunteer Gateway Assessor at my local Citizens Advice Bureau, I -shock horror- actually haven’t had all that much time to shop! Great for my bank balance, not so great for my mood.

I have however managed to pop into town a couple of times in order to do my girlfriendly duty and pick up my boyfriends mum a birthday gift, and one for his grandpa too (he has WAY more family than I do, so September is an expensive month!). Of course, as I have literally no self control, I came back with a couple of cheeky purchases which I will review here, as well as some old favourites that have found their way into my rotation…

1. La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution for Sensitive Skin

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I know, I know, I jumped on the bandwagon, but there is something about Micellar water that intrigues me. Is it the name that makes it sound like something out of Harry Potter or the claims that it literally does wonders for your skin? God knows. But I thought I’d give it a go, and I do like it. It melts makeup away in seconds, and as I knew I would be using it around my eyes, I picked up the sensitive version which I’m very glad I did. Being a contact lens wearer a lot of makeup remover type formulas sting horrifically once they get anywhere near my eyes, but this was fine. This retails for £11.50 here, and although I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried Micellar solutions before, there really isn’t a great difference between this and my Clarins eye makeup remover for how well it melts away the incredible amount of makeup I pack onto my eyes on a day-to-day basis. As a facial makeup remover though, it isn’t as oily as some, which was nice. At the moment I’m plumping for this over my Clarins for the remainder of the hot days, when my skin feels the need for refreshing rather than the lovely, moisturising TLC that Clarins does so well. It’s literally a matter of preference!

2. Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo

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Woah, that name is actually a bit of a mouthful. What is it with beauty products and unnecessarily long names? ANYWAY that aside, I fupping love this stuff. Seriously. This love affair started when I ran out of my old faithful, Batiste Cherry, and asked my mum if she’d pick me some more dry shampoo up when she popped to the local retail park. My hair has a sort of love-hate thing going on in the summer, it doesn’t frizz, but my fringe gets greasy literally the day after I wash it, and aside from the whole worry about stripping all the natural good oils out of my hair, I’m lazy as hell and would rather have an extra 10 minutes in bed than getting up and washing my fringe (under the sink tap, which is the most awkward thing ever). She came home with this little marvel, and although I was skeptical at first having never tried any other dry shampoo but Batiste, oh my god, she chose well. Firstly, the smell of this is fantastic, it’s floral and fruity all at the same time and smells quite sophisticated for a dry shampoo! Secondly, NO WHITE/GREY RESIDUE! HALLELUJAH! Thirdly, this actually made my hair look as if I’d just washed it, as well as giving it some serious volume and oomph, and it stayed swishy all day rather than going claggy and sweaty after half a hour at work! Seriously, get some. It retails here at £5.61, which is a fair bit more expensive than Batiste, but I will DEFINITELY be repurchasing! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

3. TIGI Glaze Haze Serum

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This stuff is great – and having gotten caught up in the hair oil hype this little beauty fell by the wayside somewhat until recently. I apologise for the lack of lid in most of these photos – I have a really horrific habit of losing caps! This is basically a serum that smells exactly like icing, which you apply sparingly to wet hair, comb through, then blow dry in. Frizz doesn’t exist after using this (not that I get bad frizz anyway, but my mum does and uses this too!), and my hair is incredibly shiny and smells lush. I got this off Amazon ages ago, but I can’t remember the seller! You should be able to get it for around a fiver a pop, which isn’t bad considering a little goes a long way, and the RRP is around £13!

4. Garnier Ultimate Body Oil

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As I mentioned before, I bought into the oil hype massively! My skin is literally desert dry the vast majority of the time which sucks, and I get stress-eczema behind my knees and in the crook of my arm, which can get really uncomfortable. My prayers have been answered with this beauty, it moisturises deeply without leaving you greasy, and soaks in so quick you can get dressed within minutes of applying, although I prefer to apply mine at night. It doesn’t aggravate my eczema and smells gorgeous, I can’t exactly place the scent but it reminds me of being on holiday, which is always nice. I’ve been using this on my hip tattoo as well, as I’m a firm believer of “the more you moisturise your tattoo after its healed, the longer it will stay nice”. I took this on holiday and it even soothed sunburn. The label says it contains 4 different oils – Argan, Macadamia, Almond and Rse, and there are hints of almond and rose in the scent, which I can imagine a lot of people will find appealing. You can pick it up here where it’s currently on offer, reduced from £7.99 to £5.35 – I’ve already stocked up!

Steam Cream Original (Buttons)

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I actually bought this on a whim, having ummed and ahhed over it for a good couple of months. I don’t regret a thing, and it is well worth the hype. Although it is marketed as a moisturiser, I have been using it for EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. Visiting my grandma in Skegness, I took both our dogs for a walk on the beach, and managed to get my leg wrapped in Hurleys extendable lead. Most of it is made out of wire, which left me with a nasty-ass wire burn across my calf. Luckily I’d brought my Steam Cream with me (it never leaves my bag now), popped some on when I got back to the house, and it soothed the burn instantly. Combined with this, I’ve used it as a day cream, a lotion to combat my stress eczema, and a cuticle cream to keep my nailbeds and cuticles in nice condition following a couple of fibreglass nail extension appointments! It is wonder balm and can be used for ANYTHING, even a foot mask! And how cute is that tin? It costs £12.95, and I got mine from John Lewis, however, I’ve seen them stocked in Topshop, Urban Outfitters, and online too!

So that’s it for another post – have you tried any of my August favourites and what are you loving and loathing right now? Let me know!

I’ve been catapulted into the 21st century!

I did it!

I’m now on Bloglovin’!

Come and be my friend you beautiful people!
(The Internet scares me sometimes but I get such a sense of satisfaction when I manage something like this!)

More interesting stuff for you is coming up but I REALLY need a shower so it will have to be later!

Love and stuff,

Pebblebee! XOXO

I’m Baaaack! (With a Would-You-Rather)

So guys, I’m back!

After quite a rough time (see my last post if you’re curious), I took a spur of the moment vacation to Berlin with my best friend for a bit of girl time! Between that, my graduation (blog post to follow!) and various other things, this blog fell by the wayside a little! But never fear – after much soul searching (plus much nagging from certain blog-loving friends!), I’m back.

The utterly gorgeous Asha from The Oxford Owl tagged me in this a while back, and I think it’s about time I got my finger out and did it! So here you go – hope I did it justice!

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1. Would you rather lose all your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks and lip glosses or lose all of your palettes and eyeshadows?

This is a tricky one, as I love my Urban Decay palettes more than words can say, plus my MAC Fabulousness palettes are very much adored, I literally refuse to leave the house without eyeliner and lipstick, it would honestly break my heart if I lost my treasured Illamasqua and Chanel lipsticks, and I feel like lipstick is essential to create a really strong look.

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?

I’d definitely chop it all off! I love having shorter hair, plus long hair gives me a really horsey face (I don’t know why but its really upsetting to see). Could always put extensions in if I had to anyway -could you imagine the split ends if I couldn’t cut it ever again?

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek?

Pink cheeks all the way – a pink cheek instantly makes you look all flushed and youthful, whereas I feel like coral is infinitely more suited to tanned beauties, more than my corpse-like complexion!

4. If you had 1,000$ to spend, would you rather buy clothes or makeup?

Does accessories and jewellery come under clothes? I’d be STRAIGHT in Vivienne Westwood!

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner or eyeliner as lipstick?

The hilarious thing about this question is that I’ve actually done both! I think I’d rather use lipstick as eyeliner purely based on its smudgeability (that’s a word – honest!)

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6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?

We don’t have Sephora in the UK *crycry* so I’m afraid I’d have to say MAC – that is, if it was a Pro store! Way more choice than your average MAC!

7. Would you rather only use one eyeshadow color or one lip color for the rest of your life?

One eyeshadow colour for sure – I could live without a cut-crease as long as I had bright lips!

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in the summer or summer clothes in winter?

TECHNICALLY clothes shops do stock fine knit jumpers in summer, so I think I’d plump for summer clothes in winter and just layer up!

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?

I like both, however, bright nails make me so happy I’m not sure I could do without them!

10. Would you rather give up your favorite lip product or your favorite eye product?

I don’t really have a favourite lip product, however, my holy grail eye product is my Chanel eyeliner so although I’d be a sad bean either way, I couldn’t live without my eyeliner!

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11. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or a messy bun?

A messy bun, if I had the hair for it! My distinct lack of length would make things difficult!

12. Would you rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lip gloss?

I hate lipgloss with a PASSION – so 100% never use lipgloss!

13. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have non at all or Sharpie then in everyday?

Oh I’d Sharpie them all the way! I like to think I’d be able to do it in a way that was less scouse brow and a little more “cara delevigne on speed” – think I could carry that off?

14. Would you rather live without makeup or nailpolish?

I rely on makeup to make me look human, whereas I’ve lived with hideous fingernails for most of my life so I’d find it easier to get along like that!

PHEW.
That was actually really fun!

I tag anyone who fancies doing it, plus the gorgeous Alice!

You Got Mail!

TODAY IS THE DAY!

I woke up to a lovely delivery from Debenhams this morning, which I ordered two days ago (quick delivery, 10/10 in my book!). I noticed they had a sale on, so, me being me, I checked out the beauty section.

I was really really happy to see that Illamasqua was included in the sale because I think its even overtaking MAC as my favourite makeup brand – I love the ethos they have of accentuating what makes you individual rather than covering it up, and that beauty is ageless. I was even more over the moon to see that the Alter Ego Mystery Box was on sale, down from just under £40 to £19! You get what is essentially a grown up lucky bag – you get told what two of the items are on the box – with the Alter Ego box you get a liquid metal pot in Electrum which is a really sexy creamy gold pigment, and a nail varnish in Collide with is a thick, creamy neon pink (which I already own but would repurchase in a second). You also get 4 mystery products – and it’s worth mentioning that ALL products are full size, making this box worth £91.50 altogether (and I got it for £19, WHAAAAT).

Here’s what I got and first impressions, including a couple of swatches (on my face ha, couldn’t wait to try it out!).

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Here’s the full selection – are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin!

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This little beauty is called Fierce, and fierce it is! It’s a ultra-sheeny dark purple and one for a night out, I don’t think even I, with my tendency towards mega brights and bold dark shades, would be brave enough to wear this in the day! It’s one of the Intense lipglosses that Illamasqua offers, and already owning Belladonna, I know I’ll love the formula! It’s kind of like Rimmel’s Apocalips, but way more enduring!

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This lipstick is called “Drench” and is a muted, raspberry red with pinkish undertones. As I suit more blue-based reds, I wasn’t sure whether I would suit this shade, but after having put it on, I was pleasantly surprised! Like most Illamasqua lipsticks, this shade is matte and is a very “hard” lipstick to apply, I know a lot of people find them quite drying but as long as you keep your lips in good condition you shouldn’t have any issues! I swear by using Lush lip scrub in Mint Julips or Popcorn, followed by my trusty Burts Bees lip balm before application, it ensures a nice smooth finish with no collecting on dry bits!

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When I first set eyes on this blusher, I thought “oh no”, I’m not gonna lie. My skin is notoriously bad for brown shades as I tan differently to most people, so I tend to look orange/muddy when I apply fake tan/bronzer/contouring blush – the most brown I can get away with is on my eyes! But I though “hey, that’s fine, lets give it a go”, and having never used an Illamasqua blush before, I can tell you USE A LIGHT HAND! I looked like a clown first time round and had to take it off! Once I’d applied it properly however, I was impressed. The finely milled powder blends really well, meaning you can build it up or tone it down depending on your skin tone and preference. It works really well for contouring, and brings out my post-holiday freckles! It’s also what I’m wearing in the face picture, along with a pop of Nars Orgasm on the apples of my cheeks and Benefit’s Watts Up on my cheekbones. It’s called Create, and being creative with your application is what this product is made for.

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Here’s the liquid metal! It’s called Electrum and is SO PRETTY! It swatches to a kind of antiquated gold, and the texture is nice and creamy. I have heard reports that these crease badly, so when I use it I think I’ll give it a try over my Naked palette to open up my eyes and with a lot of primer! I think this would also work as a highlighter to give a really pretty ethereal glow!

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Bad blogger alert – I can’t actually recall what this is called and can’t be bothered to get up from my sofa to check! What I can tell you is this is a finely milled, mega blendable eyeshadow that is the perfect match for the Illamasqua nail shade “Milf” (take it from me, matching your pinkies to your peepers is set to be the new matchy-matchy trend). I love pastels (it is a lot more pastel than it looks in the pan) and green is one of my favourite colours! Can’t wait to try it out, especially paired with the liquid metal!

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And here, dear, sweet blogosphere, is a gratuitous selfie of me wearing the blush in Create, along with Drench. I thought I’d try these two out first, as they were the two I wasn’t convinced would suit me, however, for £3.16 apiece for products that would normally be in double figures, who’s complaining? I think you can still get hold of these on the Debenhams website, along with another box which is devoted to eyes and nails!

What do you think to my mystery box gifts? Would you try any of these for yourselves? And have any of you got any different items in your box? Love ’em or hate ’em, let me know!

This has proved to be a big-ass blog post, so I’m going to be kind to my poor fingers and your poor eyes and do a separate “First Impressions” and “MOTD” post for my new Naked Palette! Stay tuned, and Happy Friday!

Lots of love,
Pebblebee XOXO

Urban Decay Naked Skin

Firstly, I know I’ve been AWOL! I apologise greatly – but I’ve been on holiday in the Dominican Republic for the past two weeks – got back yesterday and between jetlag, unpacking and catching up with the world I haven’t really had the energy to blog!

I had an amazing holiday, we stayed at the Riu Merengue Hotel in Bahia Maimon, I’d recommend it highly (even if a waiter did refuse to serve me tequila on account of “the baby”. I’m not pregnant – just clearly need to start Zumba again!).

I couldn’t wait too long to let you all know about the miracle product that I couldn’t have done without on my travels – Urban Decay Naked Skin.

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They do a foundation in this range already, however, I hate wearing foundation on holiday with a passion – even with primer on it crawls off my face, and my skin just gets awful. This little beauty is more of a BB cream/tinted moisturiser, with a broad SPF 20 (broad SPF just means that it tackles both UVA and UVB rays, pesky little buggers that they are). This completely eliminates the need to use sunscreen on your face (which I was so happy about as sunscreen breaks me out too – it’s a necessary evil though!) provided you reapply during the day, after you’ve been in the sea and pool and whatnot.

It’s tinted a shade of tan, however, it blended into my mega-pale skin tone really easily and suited me even before I’d got any sun! When I did get some colour, it was even better. It’s also ideal to blend with a little foundation for extra coverage in the evening. It has this really really nice spearmint scent too which is so perfect for a hot day it’s unreal. A trick for you all is to keep it in your minibar fridge – applying it chilled in 30 degree heat is such a nice sensation!

In short, this is now a definite holy grail product.. And I’ve taken the plunge and ordered the Naked 1 eye palette! Too excited for it to arrive.

That’s royally knackered me now anyway so I’m gonna go for a nap!
Laters, ‘taters!
Love,
Pebblebee xoxo

Slightly Belated OOTD

I apologise for how this a bit of a belated OOTD, but Ive been a combination of unwell and working for the past day and a bit! On Monday night I went for pizza with my best one, Katie, as I won’t be seeing her for a month! I’ll be on holiday for two weeks, and when I get back she’s heading off to do an internship with Hallmark! So proud of her.

We went to pizza express somewhere called Giltbrook which is quite close to where I live, and this is what I wore (sorry for the terrible quality photos, I don’t have a mac, a fancy camera or a willing photographer!)

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It was scorching hot all day, so the best thing I could think of to wear was this Monsoon Fusion playsuit. I bought it last year – fell in love with it on sight, then realised that not only is it really really pretty, it does good too as a proportion of all sales went to a charity promoting the wellbeing and conservation of honeybees in the UK. I even got a free burts bees lip balm at the till :). It’s a simple design, with blue and yellow honeycombs and the occasional little yellow bee, and it has a halter neck style tie and buttons up the lower back. It’s probably the comfiest thing I’ve ever owned.

As for makeup, here’s what I went for…
(feat. Hurley)

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I used Illamasqua Skin Base foundation, coupled with Touche Éclat as a concealer, Nars Orgasm blush and a little bit of MAC Strobe Cream highlighter. My lipstick is Le Sensuelle from the Rouge Velvet range by Chanel – a classic colour that I just keep coming back to. I kept my eyes relatively pared down to how I usually have them with a slick of my beloved Chanel liquid/gel eyeliner, and a single coat of “They’re Real” mascara, from Benefit (no eyeshadow today). I didn’t do much to my hair apart from straighten it and apply some Got2Be Powderful for a bit of oomph at the roots.

Hurley of course, is his naturally gorgeous self!

Hope you’re all enjoying the sun, and please remember which bottle is your sun cream and which is your aftersun (unlike me) so you don’t end up looking like a lobster! Trust me, it isn’t a good look…

Lots of love,
Pebblebee XOXO

Graze Box Day!

I’ve been having graze boxes quite regularly for a while now, I love them to bits and upon receiving my box this morning, I decided to start a regular post about what I got in my graze box, and rating each nibble and the box itself! I don’t subscribe to beauty boxes, so I figured this would be the next best thing. (plus I love food as much as I love makeup)

With graze boxes you get the option of twice-weekly, weekly, or fortnightly deliveries (I went for the fortnightly option) and you can delay deliveries if you’re going on holiday – which is handy! Also, the boxes are letterbox sized, which means that you don’t get woken up early to sign for it by a postie, it’s just there as a lovely surprise when you go to collect the mail :).

Without further ado, here’s what I got today!

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I got…
– Toffee Apple
– Shangri-La
– Tropical Daiquiri
– British BBQ

Let’s get started!

1. Toffee Apple is basically slices of dried apple with a separate pot of toffee sauce – the beauty of graze treats is that they look really simple BUT are incredibly tasty and really good for you! This for example is only 68 calories but tastes like a really lovely toffee pudding! LOVE this, it’s one of my “starred choices” on the website so they send it regularly. The apple slices are really juicy, and the toffee sauce is really thick and creamy, not watery in the slightest. Anyone who hasn’t tried this probably should!
5/5

2. Shangri-La
This is essentially a fruit cocktail that includes lingonberries (which id never tried before), pineapple, almond slices (which contain magnesium) and pumpkin seeds (which contain vitamin E), it’s tropical and lovely, and the sharp fruit is a nice contrast to the creamy almonds! It’s mega healthy, and I love this too!
5/5

3. Tropical Daiquiri
This is part of the graze light range, and is only 105 calories (and that’s mainly down to the fruit sugars!). All the snacks in my box this month were under 150 calories which makes me feel significantly less guilty about snacking! It contains green mango, lime raisins and pineapple – I love tropical fruit so this is a definite winner!
5/5

4. British BBQ
This is basically a selection of little crostini (basil and rosemary) along with some smoked almonds and seeds. Thanks to the almonds and seeds, it gives your body a vitamin E and magnesium hit, like Shangri-La does. This is part of the graze light range too! I’m not really sure about this one, the crostini are really nice and so are the mini baguettes, but the smoked almonds taste a little TOO smoky in my opinion! Still not bad though, even if it doesn’t have such a variance of taste 🙂
3/5

All in all, id rate this box 4/5! It’s included 3 of my favourites, but I was a little bit disappointed with the British BBQ 🙂

Do you have graze boxes? What are your favourite snacks? 🙂

Loads of love,
Pebblebee xoxo