Sunday, 15 July 2018

THE POREFESSIONAL PEARL PRIMER



I remember when the original Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional primer was released all those years ago. I was the tender age of 14 and had no clue what a primer was, or how I was supposed to use it. You kids will never know the struggles of not being able to look up a makeup tutorial on YouTube at the click of a button; believe me, we were all complete tangerine messes... I think back to my high school days and this primer was a daily staple in my makeup routine. I say "routine" but what I really mean is orange complexions and a Barry M kohl eyeliner heated up to oblivion with the help of a Bunsen burner during science class. Was anyone else's science teacher completely cool with that?! Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that my makeup skills have come a long way since then. I'm not sure that I've touched a kohl liner since my high school days (my eyes would appear tiny if I filled in my waterline) and I've steered clear of the POREfessional primer for a similar amount of time as back then I just didn't think it worked for me. Naive little me, completely unaware as to how to even use the product, had truly scarred grown-up me from repurchasing in my twenties.

Until now...

The POREfessional Pearl Primer released in the UK at the end of last year and, having not been as involved in the beauty blogging world for a good eight months or so, I had absolutely no idea! Bad blogger, eh?

The product is marketed as a "soft-radiance face primer to minimise the look of pores" and provides the brightening qualities that its original counterpart does not. It claims to not only minimise the look of pores, but also lock on makeup and boost skin to look bright and awake. Much needed if you ask me; my dull tired skin was ready to be remedied. The consistency is much less opaque and silkier than I thought, and boasts an oil-free matte finish. It also smells really good, slightly floral, and the scent stays put for a while once applied to the face.

I apply primer with my fingertips, much like a moisturiser, and more often than not in place of moisturiser. That's probably a cardinal beauty sin but sometimes I completely forget this step in my makeup routine, which is weird because I always remember to moisturise at night! I definitely need the help of a mattifying primer, as my skin in this hot weather veers more on the oily side, and then of course my makeup just doesn't last. There's an importance to primer that is overlooked by a lot of people, including myself. As soon as I apply this pearly beauty I can feel my face just drinking it up as it masks my pores and creates a smoother base to work on. You can use it under makeup or on its own for those, admittedly pretty rare, no foundation days due to its brightening qualities. The box also says that you can pat on top of makeup to touch up but I have to yet to try that, not completely sure that option is for me if I'm honest!

Benefit conducted a little bit of market research and discovered that, after one week's use:
90% of 100 women said their complexion looked brighter
91% of 100 women said it minimised the look of pores
96% of 100 women said it created soft-matte radiance

Overall, I really like this version of the coveted primer. Gone are my fears of applying wrong and looking like an orange moonface. The consistency and application of the pearl version has restored my faith in primers. My pores do look less prominent, and makeup does apply much better over the top. I'm fully convinced that primer should be a necessary step in anyone's beauty routine, even if you're going for a rest day on the foundation front. And let's not forget Benefit's cute packaging either; they never let us down on that one.

Have you tried this primer? What are your thoughts?

Benefit the POREfessional Pearl Primer retails at £27.50 (full size) or £10.50 (travel mini) and is available here
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Friday, 29 June 2018

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING • THREE



QUEER EYE
I am absolutely obsessed with this show. Like, full-on, binge-watch in 8 hours, o b s e s s e d. Honestly, I just adore it. If you haven't seen the original, or this Netflix remake, let me tell you the premise. Five gay guys have access to all areas of a nominee's life, and they basically life-coach them to become more confident whilst simultaneously making over their appearance, style, diet and home. In the original, the Fab 5 would makeover a straight man, but in the new remake the first season focussed on all types of men, and season two included women and a transgender woman. I love each of the Fab 5 in their own little ways. Their enthusiasm to make people become the best versions of themselves just makes for wonderful, heartwarming viewing. Their ability to transform someone's mindset in a week actually blows my mind. And the people they help out are so sweet, open and willing to change for the better for their loved ones. It's so emotional, and I dare you not to shed a tear when watching. If you watch one thing from this list, let it be this one!

LOVE ISLAND
I promised myself I wouldn't get into Love Island as much as I did last year but I've found myself waiting for 9pm to roll around every single night. And while it's not nearly as dramatic as its Aussie counterpart (there are some seriously insane clips circulating Twitter and YouTube) it has definitely had its moments. Jack and Dani are clear frontrunners, and I really like them as a couple so I hope it stays that way! Plus I've been keeping myself entertained with all the amazing memes when the show isn't on as well. Too easy.

THE STAIRCASE
Talked about like it's the new Making a Murderer, I'm only a few episodes into this true crime investigation. So far, so good; but I'm also wondering how they're going to string it out for 13 one-hour-long episodes. Still, I'm finding it very interesting. 

UNSOLVED: TUPAC AND BIGGIE
It's funny. You look at me and you probably don't think "hey, that girl's clearly into 90s hip hop/rap" but guess what? I love it. I was such a big fan of both Tupac and Biggie Smalls growing up so this show was right up my alley. It's kind of along the lines of the American Crime Story series; in that, it's a dramatisation based on true events. The actors who play Tupac and Biggie bare a striking real-life resemblance. It's actually pretty freaky how similar they look and sound - great casting! To this date, no one has ever been convicted of either man's murder so this series follows a fictional police investigation, led by Josh Duhamel in which they uncover the fatal events and try to come to a conclusion.

THE WORLD CUP
Because who can really avoid it? I'm not particularly into football - at all, actually - but there's something about the World Cup that suddenly brings a home supporter out of me. Obviously I'm here for England... until they embarrass themselves then I'm back to not caring in the slightest. I've done the classic girl thing (which probably isn't painting our gender in a good light) and based how good teams are by how attractive the players are! I also got Japan in my work sweepstakes so I kind of have to support them too. I have to say it's so nice how an international football tournament can bring everyone together though. The pubs have been mad! So far, it all looks good for England. Maybe this time football really is coming home...
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

FIVE HAPPY THINGS IN JUNE


GETTING A PAYDAY BONUS
This one speaks for itself, but a little extra money for doing a good job is always appreciated. The added tax and automatic student loan repayments was not, however! It came just in time though. I feel like I'm always skint at the moment so it was nice to be able to put some away into my savings as well as indulge my spendy side without feeling too guilty.

IMPROVING IN YOGA
When I first started going to Sunday yoga classes last November I found it so bloody hard and was always an absolute sweaty mess afterwards. I'm still a bit of mess but I can see myself improving and, better yet, my yoga teacher has praised me for how much I've improved. She even commented on how flexible I was a few weeks ago, and I actually answered with "really?!" - it just goes to show how hard we can be on ourselves when learning a new skill. Usually other people see improvements before we do ourselves, but it's nice that I can finally find certain poses a lot easier. I know my strengths and am more than willing to work on my weaknesses. My yoga teacher is going away pretty much all next month so it looks like it'll be yoga practise in the garden until she's back. I don't want to backtrack on my progress!

SLEEPING WELL
I'm not sure whether it's the warmer weather, working hard, being busy, or perhaps a combination - and I don't want to jinx things - but I've been falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow recently. My sleep schedule is likened to a granny because of work (I go to bed at 10pm and I'm up at 5.30am) so I think my brain finally knows when it's time to shut off. Only took it four years... Whatever the reason, I've just generally been getting a really good night's sleep and I feel so much happier because of it.

EXPLORING MY CITY
It's amazing when you live in a place all your life and yet you still find little nooks and crannies that you haven't properly explored yet. Since the weather has been gorgeous I've been really enjoying getting outside and taking the dog on new walk routes. Not only this, but I've been wandering around my city and it's made me fall in love with it all over again. I've also discovered a couple of new places to eat which I'm excited to share with you all soon!

MAKING PLANS
As a bit of an introvert I can go through spells of not wanting to do anything or see anybody, but this month I've been craving a bit of social interaction. I've been seeing different friends a lot more; going for brunches, dinner and drinks, BBQs, the beach... All in all it's been lovely to get out with old high school friends, my uni girls, my yoga buddy and just generally let my hair down. I'm also off to visit my best friend in Yorkshire next month, which I am so excited about. I can't wait to see my northern family! 
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Thursday, 24 May 2018

A TOUCH OF PINK


Okay slightly unrelated but the title of this post reminded me of the Touch of Pink fragrance by Lacoste, and now I can't stop thinking about it. I don't think you were a teenage girl in the naughties if you didn't spritz that stuff all over you after a P.E. lesson; that, and the Charlie body sprays but we're getting off-topic here...

Pink! I bought a pink chair. A pink, brushed velvet chair. And I'm in love. 

This past weekend, I spent my Sunday completely spring cleaning my bedroom. Not the quick tidy-up you would expect. It turned into washing and repainting the walls, cleaning the skirting boards, washing my curtains and bedding, sorting out clothes to take to charity, flipping my mattress and pretty much just having a massive clear out. It was almost shameful how many empty boxes I found under my bed. I'm turning into a bit of a minimalist as I get older so this blitz was desperately needed. I was going to do a complete bedroom tour but I'm still waiting on a few decor items to come, and I couldn't help but show off my beautiful baby pink "occasional" chair as soon as I possibly could.

I spent a long time searching for the perfect chair to match in with my bedroom theme. All of my furniture is white (family, friends and Instagram followers alike know I love the whole white aesthetic!), the walls are white but I have a grey feature wall so baby pink seemed to be a good transition shade to tie everything together and make the room feel a bit more homey. I umm'd and ahh'd about whether or not to get a grey fabric chair, but worried it would be too much and the room would be too cold. The chair I settled on is from Wayfair and is classed on the website as a cocktail chair with blossom pink upholstery. It comes in various colours and had 30% off so I was thrilled to discover it on my internet travels. The chair is so comfortable to sit on, and much wider than I thought (I did measure the space to see if it would fit where I wanted it to go before I bought it) - a definite upgrade from the little hard white stool I used for my dressing table before this! A couple of other details; it was dispatched within 24 hours and they call you an hour before it's due to be delivered which was really handy, especially as it needed a signature upon arrival. It came in a huge box and assembly was required for the wooden legs, which took no more than 10 minutes to do. 

Now, for the rest of the decor. The sheepskin rug sometimes lives on the back of the chair, and that was £35 from Dunelm, as was the cushion which was half price at only £5 (they have a great selection on their website). I might have bought two of these originally for my bed but I think it looks rather nice on the chair now I've taken photos! I really like Dunelm for home decor at the moment. A new branch opened in my hometown just before Christmas and it's huge and affordable, so I find myself in there a lot. The fake peonies and vase were both from Homesense - another great store for all your homeware needs. I think the peonies were £2.99 each, but the brighter pink ones were actually from John Lewis ages ago so it wasn't that expensive to buy a couple of stems. And who can put a price on forever flowers?!

If you guys would like a full bedroom tour please let me know. I'd love to show you around and give you some ideas on how to style smaller spaces. Oh, and opinions on the chair of dreams are also welcome. I'm going to be sitting pretty every morning when I do my makeup from now on!
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Friday, 18 May 2018

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING • TWO

THE RAIN
I absolutely love anything to do with Scandinavia. I've seen quite a few foreign shows and they all seem to be shot with this sort of cinematic blue tinge, adding to the cold creepiness that is often symbolic of these types of European dramas. I was proper sucked into The Rain. So much so that I binged-watched it in two evenings... The synopsis is as follows: 'Six years after a terrible virus carried by the rain wiped out almost all humans in Scandinavia, two Danish siblings, Simone and Rasmus, emerge from the safety of their bunker to find all remnants of civilisation gone. Soon they join a group of young survivors and together set out on a danger-filled quest through abandoned Scandinavia, searching for any sign of life. Set free from their collective past and societal rules the group has the freedom to be who they want to be. In their struggle for survival, they discover that even in a post-apocalyptic world there’s still love, jealousy, coming of age, and many of the problems they thought they’d left behind with the disappearance of the world they once knew.' The show is Danish, but dubbed over with English, which surprisingly wasn't distracting at all. It has some wonderful acting, including the Danish equivalent of Richard Armitage (seriously, look up Mikkel Følsgaard, I'm a little bit in love). The story was left quite open-ended so I'm hoping there will be a second season to follow. If you start watching one series this weekend, let it be this one, you'll be hooked!

TASKMASTER
The newest series of Taskmaster is back on our screens and I couldn't be happier. If you've never heard of it - which you need to get with it because it's hilarious - it's basically a comedy panel game where Greg Davies (the Taskmaster) sets simple yet comedic tasks to five regular contestants, all of which are British comedians or personalities. Alex Horne is Greg's assistant, and his comedy is so bizarre but funny (he's actually the one who created/wrote the show but is the butt of most jokes). So far there have been 6 series and a Champion of Champions spin-off. Each episode starts with a prize task, where the contestants each donate a prize to offer up following a given theme e.g. their most prize possession, and the winner of the episode receives all of these prizes at the end of the show. Three or four pre-filmed tasks follow, usually taking place in and around the Taskmaster house. Tasks are delivered to the players in an envelope with a wax seal, which the player reads aloud: e.g. "Completely empty this bathtub – fastest wins". After the tasks are shown to the audience, the players justify their creative methods and argue to Greg – and among themselves – as to why they did best. After all the attempts at the task have been seen, judgement is passed by Davies and points are awarded (or players disqualified) accordingly. The final challenge is performed live in the studio. In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by a special tie-breaker task, which may either be pre-filmed or performed live. In addition to the prizes for each episode, at the end of each series a trophy is presented to the contestant who has scored the most points over the course of the entire series. From the second series onwards, the trophy took the form of a golden bust of Greg, which is kind of terrifying! It's just an all-round easy thing to sit down and have a giggle at. You can see all seasons on UKTV Play (highly recommend) and the newest series is shown on Dave, Wednesdays at 9pm.

SAFE
The latest victim to my Netflix binge, this 8-part drama would be fitting on BBC One primetime. Very Broadchurch-esque, Safe uncovers a mystery revolving around the disappearance of a doctor's young daughter and the death of her older boyfriend. It's created by crime author Harlan Corben, and is full of twists and turns, dead ends, flashbacks from different characters' points of view, and will leave you wanting to keep watching. It stars a great cast, including Michael C Hall, Amanda Abbingdon, Marc Warren and Laila Rouass. Honestly it had me hooked, and I don't want to give too much away, but it's definitely worth the watch if you like suspense, mystery, thriller type shows. 

EUROVISION
Of course I watched Eurovision; I absolutely love it! Even though the United Kingdom never has a chance at winning - let's face it, Europe hates us since Brexit and it's all political voting anyway (neighbours voting for neighbours and all that!) - we all still have a party and dress up. This year I was pooled to dress up as Azerbaijan... I know, I couldn't think of anything else but to paint a flag on my face and a drape a flag around me. What made it worse is that Azerbaijan didn't even make it through to the final on the Saturday night so I looked a right pillock! It was still such a fun night though, and I always love Graham Norton's sarcastic commentary.

REAL HOUSEWIVES
As you can probably gather I watch a whole mixture of things, but trash television is a guilty pleasure of mine. I was obsessed with Real Housewives of Orange County back when I was at uni; I used to come home and it would be on ITV2 so I could sit for an hour and just wind down while rich blonde tanned women fought like banshees across the pond. I only recently got back into it (thanks ITVBe...) but I'm hooked on all the American versions once again although I definitely have an order of preference. Orange County and Beverly Hills will always be the front-runners for me. New York follows as the drama is intense but hilarious (and Bethenny Frankel is one of my all-time favourite housewives). New Jersey is just too staged and crazy for me. Atlanta was a lot better when Kim and Nene were both on it. And I don't think I've seen much of Miami or Washington D.C. One thing is for sure though, the British version (Real Housewives of Cheshire) is truly awful and I have to switch it off! Reality television is something America does so well. With the exception of our beloved Love Island, of course.
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