Wednesday, 30 October 2013

100 Posts! And a 5x5 face!

Hey there readers!

This is my 100th post! Wahoo! It's only taken me... 2 years to get here? I'm proud of my blog, despite my repeated and prolonged absences and I do love the interactions with fellow bloggers so I'm striving to improve!

With that in mind, I thought I would share my 5x5 face - a 5 items in 5 minutes face - that I use at times when I'm running late and don't have time to go all-out on make-up... which is pretty much every day of my life! Here are my 5 items and a little mini-review of each:

1. Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Primer (RRP £12.99) - I only put on primer rather than a full base because that would take ages to apply (since I'm so pernickety when it comes to blending etc.) This works for reducing the size of my pores, however it isn't great in terms of lasting power; I get shiny very quickly with this so thank goodness for blotting tissues! I will be using this up before trying another primer sadly...

2. No.7 Instant Radiance Concealer (£12.95) - After priming I conceal any spots and brighten my eyes with this concealer from No.7. This works really well on both fronts; my eyes always look bright and dark circles are reduced, as well as keeping my spots (if any) obscured from view. I would happily buy this for myself, although thisone was gifted to my by Kris' mum!

3. B. Set Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Light/Medium (£7.99) - To set everything in place, I use this setting powder. I bought out of intrigue to see if B. was any good but the jury is still out on that front. This powder is OK if used lightly, but I sometimes find if used on top of foundations it makes my skin look a little cakey. It's OK for everyday useage but I am on the lookout for something a little better methinks...

4. Seventeen Doll'd Up Mascara in Black (£6.29) - Once the face is done, now the eyes! This is one of the 3 mascaras I swear by. The comb brush fans and separates my lashes before letting the mascara do its work, volumising and extending my lashes. It really creates a true doll effect. Definitely stocking up on this soon!

5. REN Vita Mineral Lip Balm (£9) - On the lips I keep it simple with a slick of lip balm, specifically REN's Vita Mineral offering. Although a new addition to my collection after winning a competition, this has quickly found its way into my make-up bag as my most-reached-for lip balm at the moment. This is thick and moisturising enough to protect my lips from the harsh Scottish weather, as well as keeping them soothed, soft and preventing them from becoming chapped.

And here's me wearing my 5 minute face!

Simple and easy, it literally took 5 minutes (and please excuse the mess in the background haha!) I know it's not the most exciting FOTD but I know we all have those days where we end up rushing or we can't be bothered so I thought I'd share my go-to routine for those occasions.

Do you have a 5-minute face or go-to products for when you're in a rush? I would love to hear you recommendations!

Christina xo

Saturday, 26 October 2013

REN Skincare - Unboxing My Prize

Hello readers!

As some of you lovely ladies may already know, Instyle (UK) Magazine gave away a free set of REN skincare products free with their November issue this month. Coinciding with this, Instyle also ran a Twitter giveaway offering one lucky winner (i.e. ME!) the chance to win £100 of skincare that would be tailored to their skin! I described my skin as being oily across the T-Zone, normal elsewhere and my main problem is dealing with large pores. Would you like to see what REN sent me?

From left to right we have:

Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18) - This mask claims to: "...designed to reduce the appearance of pore size and leave the skin purified, smooth and toned." - This sounds perfect for my troublesome pores! I've already used this once and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. After one use I can't testify to any reduction in pore size but I will keep you posted!

Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water (£13) - This is REN's micellar water offering. I'm looking forward to using this as a make-up remover, I'm trying to use up another make-up remover at the moment but once that's finished I'll be all over this baby! REN describe this as: "A detergent free ‘beauty water’ that will remove everyday make-up. The flower water acts as a cleansing agent and is perfect for those with sensitive skin or prefer to use this around the delicate eye contour."

Vita Mineral Lip Balm (£9) - My new best friend! My lips always flake and dry up badly in the colder months so having this lovely, thick and soothing lip balm has been an absolute godsend!

Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream (£19) - Described as: "A multi-active day cream that replenishes the skin with moisture and vital nutrients. Powerful antioxidants, trace elements and vitamins further protect and energize the skin to keep it looking fit, radiant and youthful." - I haven't tried this yet, as once again I have a moisturiser that I want to try and use up first, but this sounds very promising. My main issue with moisturisers is finding one that doesn't make my face feel like a greaseball and that helps keep the balance of oil in my skin. I have high hopes so again I will keep you posted!

Active 7 Eye Gel (£20) - This was one of the samples that Instyle gave away in the magazine so I have tried this before and was very excited to receive a full-size tube. This is: "A light and cooling gel to treat, revive and brighten the delicate eye area, under or over makeup." This is like Ronseal: does exactly what it says on the tin! My dark circles have been significantly reduced since using this and it's lovely as a pick-me-up when I feel a bit tired.

Rosa Centifolia Foaming Cleanser (£13) - This is described as: "A gentle, detergent free foaming cleanser infused with Rose Extracts that removes grime and make up in one stroke delivering purified, toned skin that feels fresh and revived, without stripping skin of essentials oils." - Again, I have yet to try this as I still have other face washes to use up but I should be able to try this soon. I know a lot of people say a foaming cleanser isn't great for skin but I've never had any problems with them and I find them great for balancing my skin and reducing the oiliness. Looking forward to testing this also!

I am very excited by this box of goodies! Hopefully once I have all the products on the go at once my skin will be amazing! Thank you so much to REN and Instyle and I will post reviews once I've tried everything properly. Please let me know in the comments if you have tried any REN products before and what you recommend!

Toodle-pip for now! :)

Christina xo

Friday, 25 October 2013


Hey hey readers!

I'm aware it's been a long time since I have posted, for which I profusely apologise. As I mentioned in my previous post, the last 2 months have been quite challenging for me personally, with a new job (and now I'm starting another one - back with Scottish Autism, huzzah!) and with my mum taking seriously ill (thankfully she is now out of hospital and gradually getting herself back to full fitness). However, I'm hoping that now I'll have a bit more time to enjoy myself blogging once again.

Life hasn't been completely doom and gloom for me though. I've just arrived back from two holidays. TWO! I didn't actually leave the country, rather I explored my own, so I thought I would show you some of the places I visited and the things I witnessed...

Holiday 1 - Aberfoyle/Kinlochard

A little while ago, my friends Claire and Ed invited Kris and I to spend a long weekend at their timeshare at the MacDonald Forest Hills resort outside Aberfoyle (on Loch Ard and nr Loch Lomond). We delightfully accepted...

We met Ed in Balloch, but since we arrived early, Kris and I stopped off at the beautiful Tullie Inn for a drink first :)

This was the view from the timeshare; stunning like the timeshare itself (sorry I don't have pictures of the timeshare itself but I felt a bit weird taking pictures of it!!)

On Sunday, Claire and I took advantage of the beautiful Elemis spa based in the resort at Forest Hills, each experiencing a tailored massage, facial and foot treatment. Bliss!

 One day, since all four of us enjoy a lovely dram (and since I haven't been on a distillery tour since I became old enough to drink), Claire and Ed took us to the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery at Dumgoyne. I've become more of a whisky drinker as I've aged, but Glengoyne is a beautiful whisky and the distillery tour taught me so much more about the process of distilling whisky. I'd highly recommend a visit! You can see below that I also came away with a cheeky bottle (of Glengoyne 15 year old single malt for those interested parties.)

Kris and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with Claire and Ed and we were sad to leave. But on to our next adventure...

Holiday 2 - Ullapool

Within 4 days of returning home from Aberfoyle, Kris and I were away again, this time we were spending a week away with a group of Kris' friends, sharing a holiday house just outside of Ullapool named Ardmair Bay House. Click through and have a look at this beautiful house, it was gorgeous and served as the perfect base for our collective holiday!

 This was our view of Loch Broom from our patio area. Watching the sun rise and set from here was truly breathtaking.

This is Kris and some of his friends heading off for a walk up the hill next to our house!

This is the dining area, just to give you a taste of the luxury and glamour Ardmair Bay House offers!

One of the local sights to see is Corrieshalloch Gorge. If you don't like heights then this might not be your cup of tea but I thought it was stunning!

Near the end of the week I suggested another local walk/tourist attraction, The Bone Caves.  The caves are a beautiful and popular walk in a limestone valley and these cave openings part way up a steep side of the valley are where the remains have been found of species such as lynx, reindeer and polar bear which once roamed here. However my boots fell to bits and then I fell to bits before I could make it to the actual caves but the walk itself was gorgeous also, which is where this waterfall was pictured.

On our last night, Kris and I enjoyed a little date night, so we decided to avail ourselves of some local cuisine and nightlife! Pictured above and below is the Seaforth Inn, one of the main hotels in Ullapool itself. What I adored about this particular venue was its popularity with both locals and tourists. Particularly I also noted its popularity with the local fishermen. The top picture shows how close the Seaforth is to the port and below you can see what I decided to have from the catch of the day. It was such a lovely novelty to see where my food came from, to see the fishermen themselves in the bar enjoying the fact they've fed many a hungry patron and also to enjoy the delicious fresh mussels. (nom nom nom!)

On our way home, we stopped off at the Beatrix Potter exhibtion and gardens in Birnam (The Potter family used to holiday in the town and it's thought that it inspired Beatrix Potter to create some of her best loved characters). It was a lovely end to the holiday and a nice nod to my favourite childhood stories!

How am I feeling after all this relaxation? I feel like I need to get back into blogging. From now on, there will hopefully be more frequent posts from me and I hope you enjoy reading them :)

Thank you for your patience and love,

Christina xo