Monthly Archives: November 2014

Review: Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara

24 November 2014

kiko mascara reviewkiko mascara reviewkiko volumeyes mascara review

There are two things about the Regent Street Kiko store that really rattle my cage. The relentless crowds of European teenagers who insist on swatching every single product in the building, and the nightclub lighting. However, a few weeks ago I was feeling particularly steely of mind and squeezed myself into the store as I was passing, ‘just for a look’. As ever, I left with enough makeup to warrant hiding the evidence from Mr TBL.

I tried the Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara for the first time yesterday and I was impressed enough to knuckle down and bash out the review today. Take a look at the photos, it is mesmerising. No, that isn’t a tiny black Christmas tree on a stick, it is the mascara’s cone shaped applicator. I was glad to see it had a proper brush wand and not a plastic one, as I’m convinced they grab the lashes with a bit more wellie. It’s a pretty big wand but the shape is actually genius. The tiny, tiny tip is a boss at getting to tiny, tiny lashes and I was able to do that without making the usual amount of mess. The other end is massive and really helps fan out the outer lashes. And LOOK at those bottom lashes. I’ve got two or three coats on and it didn’t clump too badly at all.

Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara isn’t waterproof but as I type this (10 hours after application), it has managed to hold the curl much better than my other mascaras. My lashes don’t feel as hard and crispy either which is a bonus, and so far, there’s no fall out.

This mascara contains some magic ingredients that are supposed to thicken your lashes after a month (obviously I can’t verify this) but I suspect that’s bumf. Not that is matters, it’s a great mascara and has zoomed into my top three favourites.

Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara is available at Kiko online and instore at £7.90 but I picked mine up for a brain-tickling £3.90 so do check the bargain bin by the till next time you’re in a Kiko store.

P.S. Sincere apologies for the my messy brows – I’m having one of those days.

Motivational Monday #5

17 November 2014

fitspoJudging by the lack of Motivational Monday posts over the past couple of months, you’d be right in thinking I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. However, with the weather finally getting colder and days getting shorter, I’m back into sorting out my rolls. A lot of people seem to be more active in the summer but I HATE getting hot and sweaty and feel like summer is a bit of a jolly so any serious exercise tends to take a back seat. I love running when it’s cold out (less sweat) and dark (people can’t see me) so I have been ON FIRE the past two weeks (realising you only have a few months before your wedding day and you still have to get through Christmas tends to jolt you into action). It hasn’t been easy but I’ve learnt a few things to keep me on track when I’m on the verge of giving up.

(Quick disclaimer – what I do might not work for everybody. This has just been my experience!)

Meal preparation

This is key. Ironically having a fridge packed full of food makes me super careful about what I shovel down my gullet. Every evening, I’ll assess the contents of the fridge and use My Fitness Pal to plan out the next day’s meals and snacks, and box up everything I need to take to work. Knowing exactly what my food ‘bank’ contains for the day is essential for keeping me on track. That means I can dip into my supplies as and when hunger strikes, safe in the knowledge I’m not going to overeat. If I fail to do this then the chances of me grabbing something carby and calorific on the go skyrockets, and screws up my mindset for the entire day.

Having a goal

Focusing purely on weight loss is only going to end in tears and disaster. Some weeks you’ll feel like your exercise regime has been enough to rival Usain Bolt’s and find you haven’t lost a single gram – I’ve been there and it’s quite frankly, soul destroying. However, I’ve found by shifting my goals from ‘I need to lose 20 pounds” to working on a fitness goal to be much kinder on the brain. I’m currently training for a sub-50 minute 10K by February, and tracking speed and distance progress is a lot more exciting than watching the scales. Don’t get me wrong, I still weigh myself but I’ve prioritised getting more exercise into my life over losing two pounds a week. It’s a much healthier way to live and by genuinely challenging myself, I make sure I don’t miss any runs on my schedule – which makes me feel great. The weight will come off but I try not to obsess over it.

You never regret a workout

This is what I tell myself at 5:45am when I’m snug as a bug in a rug and the last thing I want to do is get out of my pit. The level of regret I feel when I miss a workout is astronomical and I feel guilty about it all day. As much as I feel like I don’t want to get out there, it’s 100% true that you never EVER regret a workout. Just getting out of the damn bed and getting on with it ensures I’m at peace with myself and puts me in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.

The early bird catches the worm

This ties in with my previous point. If, like me, your power animal is the sloth, waking up at an unspeakable hour to workout seems like a tall order. But it’s because I love nothing better than getting into my jammies at 6pm and cutting myself off from civilisation that my early morning workouts are vital. I’ve learned the hard way that as much as I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work, it NEVER happens. A tiring day at the office and a stressful commute home put me in a foul mood and in no state to leave the flat until the next day. By getting my exercise in at 6am, I’m still half asleep when I leave and am much less likely to talk myself out of it. Plus, like I said, a healthy start to the day makes for a continued effort the rest of the day.

So, those are my little nuggets of advice. If anyone else is on a health and fitness journey please leave a comment – I’d love to know what you’re doing to keep yourself on track.

October 2014 Favourites

6 November 2014

october beauty favourites
Thanks to the recent clock change, SAD is well and truly setting in and the constant darkness is wreaking havoc with my blog photo-taking. I apologise in advance for any hideous images but there isn’t much that I can do that doesn’t involve actually being organised with my life.

L’Oreal True Match Foundation, W8 Golden Cappuccino £9.99

I first bought this a few years ago when I knew nothing about foundation. The colour was wrong, the tone was wrong and my face looked unspeakably wrong. However, all this talk about it being the cheap little sister of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (which I’ve never tried so can’t confirm) got me a bit hot under the collar so I repurchased it recently in my actual colour. I’m going to be honest – it’s the only drugstore foundation I’ve been reaching for this month. It’s quite a runny little bugger so it blends in quickly and evenly and it gives me nice coverage. I’ve had two whole compliments wearing this – it’s glowy, smooth and doesn’t emphasise my dryness. And bravo, L’Oreal for the wide shade AND tone selection and pump!

Tangle Teezer Compact Styler, £12.49

Not a new favourite as such but I’ve been appreciating teezing my tangles with this little one since getting my weave put in. Weave is notoriously prone to forming rats’ tails but this brush sorts it out in no time. It’s also the only brush that doesn’t cause me severe amounts of pain. I have no idea how they do it and I don’t care – I refuse to be without it. This compact version comes with a handy cover so withstands the manhandling it receives in my handbag.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade Dark Brown, £15.00

A heads-up for anyone in London: THERE IS AN ACTUAL SHOP THAT SELLS ANASTASIA PRODUCTS. Blow Ltd in Slingsby Place has a decent selection (as well as other elusive brands). I’d been umm-ing and ahh-ing about this for approximately 137 years as I didn’t know which colour would suit me best. I went for Dark Brown (along with the Anastasia Mini Duo Brush) and have literally worn it every single day. It’s surprisingly easy to use (my naughty brow has now become my good brow thanks to this) and doesn’t budge. The formula is smooth without being slippery so you get a decent amount of control – ESSENTIAL if you want Pinterest perfect brows.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Cologne, £82

I got this last Christmas and definitely feel like it’s a colder-weather fragrance so I’ve been cracking it out over the past week or two. It’s fruity but quite crisp and a bit woody too. I’d say it’s feminine and elegant without being too girly or sweet. I love this but the scent wears off quicker than it takes Katie ‘Pricey’ Price to find a new husband. Being my only Jo Malone perfume, I can’t compare the staying power with other fragrances in the range but I’ve heard on the grapevine that Blackberry & Bay is the main offender.

Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99

This is another old purchase that I’ve developed a new love for. I usually use this as the first step in a double cleanse to get rid of all my makeup, especially if I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup. You can really massage this into your lashes and it doesn’t cause the colossal pain that makes you want to scoop out your eyeballs with a teaspoon like most cleansers do. I use this with a flannel to give my skin a good scrub and it leaves my skin bright and smooth without the greasiness you might expect from oil.

Mini Maybelline Haul

5 November 2014

maybelline-haul
Here ye, friends.

I was supposed to get my October favourites up for you today but I stupidly forgot to take the damn photographs. I did however make 2kg of chilli last night which will see me through the next five years’ dinners, leaving me more time for blogging and photo-taking. Three cheers for bulk beef!

Anyway, today I bring you a recent Maybelline haul from when Boots had a 3 for 2 on (which seems suspiciously permanent). Two items were blogger-enabled (can you guess which ones?!) and the other I managed to choose using my own free will which is becoming incredibly rare these days.

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Black Drama, £7.99

Whatever you think of Tanya Burr, you have to admit her lashes look fabulous. The Falsies from Maybelline is her weapon of choice so I had to try. On first impressions, I’m pleased to see this is a fibre wand rather than plastic which is becoming a rarity in these plastic-y times. The formula seems very wet too which makes me think it won’t be too clumpy – particularly good for the lower lashes.

Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer Nude, £7.99

My on-going battle with dark circles is driving me mad. After hearing the whole world and his horse rave about this, I had to try it. On first impressions, I like it. It’s not as heavy duty as I expected but it’s pleasant enough to use. People have complained about the applicator being a bit unsavoury but my gross-threshold is fairly high and it doesn’t bother me. I’m finding that the spongy tip is quite comforting and does a good job of blending.

Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick Tantalizing Taupe, £6.99

‘The Buffs’ lipstick collection as our US friends know it, caught my eye when I was looking for a brown-nude lipstick. I thought this would be a good match but as usual, the colour I was interested in had no tester in Superdrug. I took the risk anyway. Having quickly tried this out, ‘Tantalizing Taupe’ is more ‘Tantalizing NOPE’. I’m going to play around with it some more, but worn alone, it’s way too light for me. Great colour though if you’re paler than me.

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