Sunday, 26 April 2015

♥ Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lavish Mauve

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that blush is something I've never been too fond of - I only own two - but a plain face was kind of annoying me and I thought a little touch of colour was much needed. I'd contemplated so many different brands and types of blush that I just didn't even know where to start. Then the new Max Factor Creme Puff Blush came out and I loved the baked, marbled effect they had to them and everybody said they were incredible so I popped into Superdrug (have a look at what else I purchased here) to look at them. There are only a few to choose from and I didn't want anything that was too bright so the shade Lavish Mauve was perfect for me. It's a dark, dusty rose colour and the shimmer isn't too obvious - something I really, really love about it. The colour pay off isn't the best (that could be a con for many of you) but it makes it super easy to apply and you don't end up with too much colour on your cheeks. I use the Real Techniques Cheek Brush that you can find in the Nic's Picks set. This brush is the perfect shape for placing colour in the hollows of your cheeks and it's the perfect size, too. They're comparable to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes, but at a rather respectable £8.99 the Max Factor offering is much more affordable!

I don't think it'll be long before I head back to a Max Factor stand and purchase another one of these, so which shade do you think I should pick up?

Em x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

♥ Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm: Truro's hidden gem

The county of Cornwall might be best known for it’s tin and copper mining history, long sandy beaches, surfing conditions and of course the world famous Cornish pasty, but believe it or not, Truro offers a hidden gem a stone’s throw from the busy A30 that is desperate for you to visit: The Healey family's Cornish Cyder Farm, in Penhallow!

With only a few signs leading tourists and locals to it, it’s no surprise on a bitter Saturday morning, out of season, there were only a handful of cars parked up. Everybody at Healeys, however, knows that come the summer months the place will be full of visitors from home and abroad.

Earlier this year, Healeys opened their brand new visitors centre. It holds an overflow of the ever popular farm shop (it’s not your average farm shop, but I’ll get to that bit later on) and a select few of Donald Healey's cars. This adds a new element to the Healeys I remember from years ago, but it's clear that this has been in the works for quite some time now and seeing the new centre in all its glory is wonderful for both staff and visitors.

With the name Healeys Cyder Farm, it makes you wonder what exactly it is. Is it a working farm, a brewery or just another tourist attraction? I believe it to be the perfect mixture of all of the above. The staff within the family run business are beaming with joy and always happy to help wherever they can, be it the women in the jam kitchen, explaining how it's made, or young staff you'll spot feeding the miniature goats and those that offer to help in the shop. The site is home to Cornwall's first distillery in 300 years and they have some rather fancy and fine spirits on offer now - just another reason they had to extend out that pesky old farm shop. They've been making cider at the site since 1986 and now boast over twenty acres of orchards that are home to a variety of different apples that help make their ciders - take the famous tractor ride tour to see them for yourself!

For children and animal lovers, though, the farm animals will be the stars of the show. Healeys is home to a few rabbits, ferrets, billy goats, pigs, chickens, horses and the occasional peacock, which all make the place really enchanting. The old cobbled pavements that they walk on along side you, are just another hint to how long Healeys have been here.

The farm shop does offer you classic jams and sauces. From Strawberry to Gooseberry there is a condiment for everybody available from Healeys and when you've had a look at jam kitchen prior to buying, it really does give everything a homemade, locally sourced and natural feel.They obviously have a lot of cider on offer too. They have scrumpy, still and berry ciders, There is something to cater for every taste and the tankards you can buy to go with your cider are just beautiful. I never leave without a bottle of their berry flavoured Rattler cider and a jar of their strawberry jam and I always end up going back for more. If cider or jam doesn't take your fancy, there are many different types of wines, juices and spirits on offer, too. 

Healeys really is a brilliant day out, especially if you've never been before or are visiting the county for a short while. They have a variety of different tours on offer to visitors, starting at just £5 for children and £8 for adults to go on the classic tour, they have a package to suit every family and every visit. If you're not too fussed, though, you can have a stroll around unaccompanied free of charge. You're sure to see me there, having a glass or two over the summer months!

*This blog post was written as part of my Creative Writing degree and in association with Gorilla Guides. Visit their website here, to find some brilliant maps of Truro, Falmouth and the rest of Cornwall. They focus on independently run businesses and if you have any plans to visit Cornwall you're likely to find their beautiful maps in the businesses that they feature. Alternatively, you can download them from the website. Visit Healeys website here, to find out more about them and what they have an offer.

Em x

Monday, 20 April 2015

♥ Superdrug Haul

After a hard week at work there's nothing I enjoy more than wandering over to Superdrug or Boots to have a little look at what new products are on offer. I'd been eyeing up a few drugstore items that everyone has been raving about and I just had to purchase, so when Superdrug had a three for two offer running across all their cosmetics brands I just had to. Plus, they were also offering a free make up bag when you bought any three products, so obviously I got stuck in and abused the fact they also do student discount if you have an NUS card (definitely worth remembering!) which I love!

The one item that I really wanted to get my hands on was the new Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade Lavish Mauve, it's not too much of a pale pink but it's not really dark - it's a good middle ground for my skin tone and I think it'll just get better as my skin tone changes throughout the spring and summer months. Everybody has purchased these blushes and I have such high hopes for this one! Another product I needed to pick up was the Lash Sensational mascara from Maybelline. Normally, I opt for Rimmel mascaras and I didn't really need this, I was just intrigued. I've seen so much of this online that I really wanted to give it a good go. So many bloggers and youtubers have been writing paid for posts and videos in which they use this and while I think the marketing did go a little over the top, it's done it's job of getting everyone to buy it. This isn't something that bothers me at all, I just hope it's as good as everyone says it is! To make up my first three products I then picked out my favourite Glam Eyes liner from Rimmel. The brush on this is my all time favourite but I must use up my other two open bottles of this before starting on this, it's one of those products I have loads of, because it's very rare I go a make up day without using it. Another product I repurchased is the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory. I have a darker shade that I will continue to use on blemishes and around the face when needed, especially over the summer but I wanted to get the shade Ivory as this is the under eye concealer I always use. I've been in the market for a clear top coat for what seems like forever, and while I know it won't be long before I try a Sally Hansen offering, this bottle from Collection will do for now. Hopefully it makes polish last a bit longer, and the extra wide brush is incredible - it gets most nails covered in just one swipe. Finally, I picked up another Make Up Revolution eyeshadow palette. I use my Iconic 3 all the time but it lacks in matte shades (like every eyeshadow palette out there) so their Essential Mattes palette is exactly what I need. If I use this enough, I will start considering the Tartlette matte palette, but until then, this is a super cheap alternative.

You can also see in the background one of the free makeup bags that came with my purchases, its a felt feel black make up bag with '#makeup' across it in bright pink. I love this, and will be much better for travelling as it's much smaller than my usual make up bag. I also picked up a few packets of Huggies baby wipes as I use them on a day to day basis for makeup mistakes, wiping down surfaces in my bedroom and freshening up my face when I get home from a long day at work or university. All in all, this was a very successful trip and I can't wait to try out the new products I bought!

Em x

Friday, 17 April 2015

♥ I Bought a Blender!

Well, my Dad bought it for me after I refused to pay him back, but still... I've been in the market for a blender for what seems like forever and this Breville Blend-Active was everywhere I looked. Then, while food shopping last week with my father I noticed it with a £19 price tag in Morissons and could not say no. I picked it up and told him I'd pay him back. He went on to tell me later in the evening that he'd spotted it a few weeks ago and was going to buy it for me, so he didn't want the money back and that worked out brilliantly for me!

I've been getting into the habit of eating as healthy as I can and I think this is the perfect device to make smoothies, soups and protein shakes with! I'll most likely be sharing my recipes as I go along with this one, but if you're after any inspiration you can go and watch Vivianna Does Makeup's video on the smoothies and juices she makes, over here! There are hundreds of  really simple recipes online and I've got a load of fresh and frozen fruit waiting to be used so I can't wait to start using this and hopefully consuming more fruit and veg than usual.

I've already started changing up some recipes by putting soaked oats into the equation of a morning to make a satisfying and filling breakfast smoothie. They add texture and get loads of protein and fibre into your diet. I'll add honey, too, for a bit of natural sweetness or peanut butter to banana based concoctions. I'm really loving playing around with this at the minute, so if you have any tips or tricks to share please do!

Em x

Thursday, 9 April 2015

♥ Disappointing Products #2

I can't believe I haven't done one of these posts since August. I feel like I constantly have products that just don't work for me and i always end up giving things away to my friends because I just don't like them. I'm not saying that these products are damn awful and you shouldn't go near them, they just haven't worked for me, for one reason or another!

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation
I don't know what I dislike more... the formulation of the foundation or the bottle and it's really weird applicator. I remember being obsessed with dream matte mousse when I first started wearing makeup, and this is from the same 'dream' line Maybelline do so I really wanted to try it out! I will use this up but it's one I'll reach for on really good skin days. It's the runniest texture I've ever found in a foundation and the drop applicator is useless. I use Becca Rose's technique and just use the applicator to apply straight to the face.

Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye
Everybody uses and raves about this concealer being incredible, but I hate how it looks on my skin. It brings a lot of attention to my under eye area and that's the one thing I don't want it to do. I might try this in a different shade, but I'm very hesitant and I think I'll be sticking to Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer!

Mac Fluidline Brow Gelcreme
I think I would love this product if there were a wider choice of shades. Mac only have three on offer and Deep Dark Brunette was the one I went for. I have pretty bold brows and not much need for adding product into them, so this is going. It's a brilliant product, I just feel that I don't need something that gives such a bold finish when my brows are already quite strong! I'll be sticking the the Maybelline Brow Drama for now!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
This is my go to powder, but I do not like the packaging. Not one single bit. My first tin of this got thrown at the back of a draw in my dressing table because the lid cracked and was deemed useless and I've been leaving this in the bottom of my handbag on work days so I can touch up my t-zone and I always find the lid apart from the rest of the product. It's really not ideal for travel and for that reason, I'll be picking up another that won't have this problem. All Rimmel need to do is change it to a screw on lid, but I doubt they will. So, this has to stay at home on the dresser.

I'm looking to sell both the Maybelline Eye Eraser (£5) and the Mac Fluidline Browgel (£10) with an additional charge for postage so if you'd like either, let me know! Also, I'd love to know if you've had different experiences with the same product.. let me know what I'm doing wrong!

Em x

Friday, 3 April 2015

♥ March Favourites

I don't know how April has crept up on us so quickly. The year is really flying by and I keep on getting stuck into so many different things I can barely keep up with them all, but here are a few of the things I've been enjoying throughout March!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation
L'Oreal's True Match has been my go-to ever since I purchased it, but I'm coming to the end of my bottle of that and after buying this with a gift card just after Christmas, I've been reaching for it more and more this past month. The packaging is beautiful, gives a lovely dewy finish and I really like the consistency, it's a bit thicker than True Match but blends just as well.

Neutrogena Nourishing Body Lotion
I've been slathering this all over my body every day after showering and I've been using it on my face, too, just to give it an extra boost of hydration. It's really creamy, smells divine and leaves my skin feeling super soft and doesn't feel sticky at all. The packaging states that it keeps your skins hydration levels up even seven hours after application, which hints that it keeps your skin healthy looking and hydrated all day long.

Halzephron Garden Mint Lip Salve
I wasn't getting along with my Carmex lip balm so when I picked this up in a local produce shop in the tiny Cornish town I live in, I was really intrigued. It's completely natural, cruelty free and obviously contains no nasty chemicals. It's just coconut oil, olive oil, spearmint oil beeswax and almond oil. It was costly, at £3.30 for a 15ml tub but I love that its a local product and from a smaller business that can thrive off every sale. They have a bunch of 'lifestyle' stuff on their website and has a few other bits in store so I'm definitely going to try more!

Monu Hydrating Moisturiser
I love how thick it is and it really helps to hydrate and keep my skin feeling soft and smooth. I hate that this is such a small sample and I think I'll purchase the full size the second it runs out. It feels that good on my skin! Also, its SPF of 15 will be perfect as we're going into spring.

Garnier Micellar Water
This is a bloggers favourite. I kind of neglected my L'Oreal alternative for a really long time as I've just been trying to stick with a strict cleansing routine of an evening to remove all my makeup, but now I'm back at work it's perfect for when I get home and want to remove all the makeup, food and grease that's built up in my pores over a day at McDonalds! It's so refreshing and soothing and really soft on the skin and eyes - which I love!

Real Techniques Bold Metals 201
I mentioned this in my Everyday Makeup in March post. I love how easy the dense, pointed end of this brush builds up colour in the crease of your lids and it's made it so much easier for me to wing out my eyeshadow to a really nice smokey finish. I'm not very good with eyeshadow application at all but this has really helped me improve and find a good technique. Plus, it looks so so beautiful on my dresser.

Other Stuff:
I've got right back into Pretty Little Liars again. I lost interest throughout series three and four but damn, has series five played with my head. I do think the plot is a bit naff, but Caleb is so gorgeous and I really don't know how it's going to all end now so I have to keep watching. I've also been loving Jamie Oliver's Food Tube to get quick little snippets of food inspiration. I'm a massive fan of his and it's a brilliant platform to share really simple easy to follow recipes. He's definitely worth subscribing too. In terms of books, I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is blowing my mind. It's a book a good friend bought for me after being totally caught up in it himself and boy, am I pleased he shared this with me. It's a really long book and I rarely find time in my days to actually pick it up and start reading, but when I do I can't put it down. So it's a good thing its 900 pages long, really!

What are the items you've been going crazy about in March? Let me know in your comments and link me to your favourites post or video, because I'd love to hear about them!

Em x

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