All things beauty, inside and out. Written by Mrs Byrom

Rimmel Pro Nails - Heart on Fire

I don't often wear red nail varnish because it almost always chips and I've got a real bug bear about chipped fingernails, they really bother me, first sign of chipping and out comes the nail varnish remover!  So I was very pleasantly surprised when I found this one from Rimmel, part of their Professional Finish range.  It is a great colour (not too red, not too bright) and with just two coats (which dried fairly quickly I am pleased to say) and no clear top coat it lasted about five days. The bottle says it can last up to 10 days but I'm heavy with my hands so five is fine for me.  I love red nails, they are glamorous and classy even though they're not always practical!

327 Heart on Fire

I also noticed that there seemed to be some really good colours in the Rimmel Pro range, one was a lovely coral colour which I'm going to be trying soon for a wedding.


Radley Bags Spring/Summer 2014

Ah Radley, I do so love you ... for years now I've had a bit of a thing about Radley handbags.  I own three or four but its not something that I go out and buy regularly because they are just a wee bit expensive!  I've been browsing the shops (and online) and made a short list of my favourite Radley bags which I thought I'd share with you.  And you never know, someone might want to buy me one for Valentines day (note to self - show this post to husband).

This bag is called "Grosvenor", its a Medium Shoulder Bag and costs £229.  It also comes in Black, Brown and Tan.  I particularly like the detail on the strap on this one but it wouldn't be for everyday use for me as those buckles would be a bit fiddly every time I needed to get a tissue for one of the kids or get my purse out in the supermarket.  I think its a nice work bag and when I go back to work this is the sort I'm going to get!

Next up is this Large Tote Baby Bag, it's beautifully named "Doodle Dog".  I'm past the baby bag stage thankfully (mine was a Yummy Mummy one from John Lewis) but I really liked this, so many baby bags are pale pastel colours with flowers or teddy bears on them and as you tend to have to carry your own stuff around in the same bag as the nappies, wet wipes, dummies etc, sometimes flowers and teddies isn't exactly what you want for your iphone and grown up stuff!  This is a good compromise, its got the cute little dogs on it, its green which means that its a colour for boys, girls and grown ups and at first glance people won't know its a baby bag, they'll just see it as a large tote bag, which it is.  My sister is having twins in the summer, I might get this for her.  The cost of this bag is £109 which actually is quite reasonable as baby bags really cost a lot, John Lewis prices start at about £80.00 so £109 for a Radley is good.

This one's a Medium Tote Bag called "Malton" and its £189.  I liked the colour (its Tan, but also comes in Black) and has a very simple zip fastening in the middle, its quite big so you can carry lots around with you and its big enough to fit an A5 diary in comfortably so it would be good for work.  In my opinion its not as pretty as the Grosvenor bag as it looks more functional and less decorative, but probably better for work and meetings.

Last up (this is my favourite) is this Large Cross Body Bag, and its £109.  I'm a big fan of the cross body bag, it means you have two hands free and it doesn't slip off your shoulder, I really hate that when I'm out shopping.  This is a lovely summery colour, they also do Cream and Green. I'm not sure its very roomy but that's not a bad thing, it might discourage me from carrying around a load of stuff I don't need!  I find that if I overload cross body bags they hurt my neck, it can't cope with the strain!

Hope you enjoyed reading this, I love handbags so no doubt there'll be another post on them soon.


The Liebster Award

Morning beauty bloggers, I'm so chuffed to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Meli R who writes a blog called  Polish and Lemonade you really need to check out her blog, its absolutely gorgeous.  I hope I've done the link right, please let me know if it doesn't work.

I think this award is a really lovely idea, aimed at new blogs who have less than 200 followers, its a great way to get new blogs out there and noticed.  Personally, I'm over the moon when anyone reads my blog anyway, so to be nominated for this made my week!

These are the answers to the questions that Meli asked me:

1.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to visit Australia, I've never been there and my best school friend who I've known since I was six now lives there and I would love to see her.

2.  Favourite Movie
My favourite ever movie is Apollo 13, because I love Tom Hanks (and we share a birthday) and I am fascinated with anything to do with space (I don't understand it, just fascinated by it).

3.  Who would you like to meet in person (alive or dead) and why?
I would like to meet Stephen Fry, he's funny, flawed and you could have a great conversation with him.

4.  Which is your favourite season?
My favourite season is Spring, its so lovely to come out of the cold winter, see the sun and all the flowers.

5.  What are your three celebrity crushes?
Well, there's Tom (Hanks) of course, Alan Alda (from the 70's tv programme M*A*S*H)  he is probably about 70 now but he was uber cute in that programme. And finally, Hugh Boneville who plays Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey.  Don't ask me why, I can't tell you because I don't know, I just like  him.  I am noticing a theme here though, they are all older men aren't they?  Hilarious, since my husband is 9 years younger than me!

6.  Give two random facts about yourself
OK so random fact number 1 is that I went to University as a mature student when I was 28 and passed my degree with a 2:1 three years later.  And fact number 2 is that I married the bloke who lived next door to me in halls! 

7.  Favourite Accessory
My favourite accessory is a pair of diamond earrings my mum and dad bought for me to wear on my wedding day.  They are really pretty and unobtrusive and the only expensive diamonds I own apart from my engagement ring.  I wear them all the time.

8.  Current Obsession
Currently I am obsessed with bloglovin' I'm on the site all the time!

9.  Favourite colour to paint nails
My favourite colour to paint my nails is "Kyoto Pearl", which is an OPI nail varnish and I love it because it doesn't chip easily and even when it does it doesn't show!

10.  Favourite singer
My favourite singer at the moment is Ellie Goulding.  She's got such a pretty voice and all her songs are so catchy.

11.  Name two Youtubers/Bloggers you like
Ooh, this is a tough one, its taken me ages to answer this question but here goes:  
Lily Pebbles and Fashionable Heart.  These were two of the first blogs I ever read and were such an inspiration.

And these are the questions I'm asking the lovely bloggers I'm nominating:

  1. What's the name and brand of your favourite lipstick?
  2. What book would you take with you to read on a desert island?
  3. Whose celebrity style do you admire?
  4. What's your favourite song?
  5. What are your top three perfumes?
  6. Which radio station do you listen to most?
  7. What's the one beauty item you can't live without?
  8. How often do you go out without make up?
  9. What's the best piece of beauty advice you've ever been given?
  10. Favourite brand of mascara?
  11. Do you read any beauty magazines, if so, which ones?

So, now here are the blogs that I am nominating:

  1. Kathleen Pavey
  2. Heart Ocean Secrets
  3. Lovehellogorgeous
  4. Pink Rainbow Drop
  5. xbeautypie
  6. Birch Beauty
  7. Lace, Lipstick & Me
  8. Little Thoughts From Little People
  9. Frankie Alex (Fresh Britain)
  10. Steph Ellis
  11. Girlsgotaface


You have to link back to the person who nominated you
You have to answer 11 questions
You have to nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers to answer your questions
You are not allowed to nominate the person who nominated you
Finally, you must let the people know that they have been nominated

OPI in Kyoto Pearl

So there we are, thanks again to Melle R from Polish and Lemonade for nominating me, I really enjoyed doing this post.


New Year Resolutions - one month on

Well, its nearly February so I thought I'd do a bit of a review of my resolutions, see if I've stuck to them and even more importantly if I can continue to stick to them!

The first one was Get Fit.  I think I've managed OK with this one so far, I've been going to the gym and have changed my eating habits too.  I didn't manage more than one week of the detox but I'm not too worried about that.  I do feel better and my fitness is returning, the first week in the gym I nearly collapsed with the exertion when I came off the rowing machine, now I am puffing a bit but recover more quickly which is a definite improvement.

My second resolution was Get Organised.  If I'm honest I started off really well with this, I managed great for about the first three weeks and then in the last week its all fallen apart and I've reverted to bad habits (procrastination). However,  Rome wasn't built in a day as they say, and this has been a tough week for various reasons so I'm not beating myself up about it.  I'll persevere.

My last resolution was Get Patient.  Again, I made a good start, I tried really hard even when the kids were driving me nuts.  Not been very patient this week though, except for with the dog because his brown eyes get me every time, he doesn't answer back, and he's always good for a cuddle when its all going wrong!

So, all in all, not too bad.  Could do better, lets try again in February!


Both me and the dog need a haircut!

Phil Smith Curly Locks Curl Control Cream

Over the years I must have tried almost every product on the market on my curly hair, I'm a sucker for a headline, especially ones that say "tames frizz" and "smoothes unruly curls".   I've got my favourites but I tend to chop and change, thus resulting in quite a lot of partly used hair products in the bathroom cabinet much to my husbands amusement, I say amusement, its probably annoyance but I choose to view it as amusement ...

Anyway, the one I've been using for a while now is Phil Smith's Curl Cream.  Phil Smith has a variety of products, but I've only used this one and a smoothing serum.  This product has recently been updated (new/improved?) and I have to say I preferred the smell of the old one as it smelled like coconut sun cream and made me think of holidays, but the end result is the same.  The cream itself quite sticky and you don't need much of it, if you overload it really weighs your hair down, not at first but you do notice it once you've blow dried it.  I think I'm supposed to use a diffuser but I don't although I do get better results with a diffuser but its very time consuming as my hair dries so slowly and I don't have that sort of time in the mornings unless I get up at 5am which I'm not going to do just for my hair!

It really is curl controlling!

The end result though, is great.  It does actually define the curls but doesn't look "sticky" and also it does help with frizz too, OK so not in a thunderstorm but general getting wet to and from the car or whilst walking the dog.  Its quite a good price as well around the £5.00 mark, I get mine in the supermarket (Sainsburys) but I've also seen it in Boots.  Sainsburys usually have some kind of a deal on, either half price or three for two so I tend to stock up.

If there are any curly hair products that you've tried and would recommend I'd love to hear about them.

Read my post on Phil Smith Cocolicious Shampoo for a review on that, it's gorgeous!

Tidied up and found three old favourites!

Much as I love new make up I do find myself going back to old favourites, does anyone else do this?  I was tidying my dressing table the other day (wonders will never cease) and needed to rearrange my make up bags a bit, put stuff in my make up drawers etc, and as I was doing this I rediscovered these three items and I thought I'd share them with you.

Dior eyeshadow palette

The first one is this Dior eyeshadow palette which I got from Duty Free one year on my way back from Mexico in 2011.  You can see which colours I've used the most, the pale ones but the dark blue is lovely and so is the deep brown.  All of these have a lovely shimmer to them but you don't need much, it's more of an evening/special occasion palette than a daytime one I think.  It did have a brush with it but as usual I've mislaid it, I prefer my Laura Mercier eyeshadow brush anyway.  This is probably about the only Dior I own now, I think.  I'm quite glad I rediscovered it!

Prescriptives Blusher

Next up is my beloved Prescriptives blusher.  I really love this one because its the one I wore on my wedding day, I got married in 2007 so its a few years old now, the compact is all scratched because I carried it with me in a handbag for ages and it went to the bottom of the bag, I can't even tell you what the colour is because the writing has rubbed off the back of the compact!  I don't wear it often but I will always keep it.  The Prescriptives brand was discontinued a couple of years ago, they were part of the Estee Lauder group, I guess they weren't financially viable or something but such a pity because their cosmetics were beautiful.  I was particularly gutted as they did the perfect mineral foundation for me and I thought I'd never have to go anywhere else, how wrong was I!  The lady on the Prescriptives counter at John Lewis recommended that I go to Estee Lauder as the products are basically the same but I couldn't find what I liked at the time.  Prescriptives are still available in the USA but I've never been able to find exactly what I want when I'm there.

Guerlain Powder Pearls

This is my little pot of Guerlain pearls.  Another Duty Free purchase (you really don't want to let me loose in there with a credit card, I'm there until the flight is called), its part of a set of three small pots, one was pink pearls, one white pearls and another multi-coloured with pale blue and yellow, it sounds weird but looks nice.  These pearls give a really nice shimmer to your face but probably more of a spring/summer product than a winter one for me as I find anything shimmery shows up my many facial imperfections and there are many more in the winter than in the summer!

I'd really love to know what your old favourites are!


NTA's 2014 - my six favourite celeb outfits

I do love award season, we've already had the Golden Globes and next month is the Oscars in LA, it really brightens up the dull old Winter with a bit of glamour.  Here in the UK last Wednesday was the National Television Awards, this is where all the TV soaps and dramas of the past year are awarded.   I raced home from Pilates not to see who got the awards particularly, but so I could have a look at all the celebrities swishing up the red carpet wearing their best party clothes as I love a good nosey at what people are wearing, I've no idea of the designers mind you.  So, in no particular order, I'm sharing with you all my six favourite outfits of the night (and two I wasn't so keen on).

First up, Holly Willoughby.  This is a great dress, its so shapely and suits her so well.  I imagine there's some kind of gravity defying corset going on under there and I bet her back was aching by the end of the night but she looked fab.

Next is Holly's best friend, Fearne Cotton.  Fearne always gets a big tick from all the magazines for her style, she can pretty much wear whatever she likes and she looks great, she's got an eclectic style and seems to carry off clothes that the rest of us can't! Anyway, onto her NTA dress.  I thought this was a great look on her, its so sophisticated and pretty and she really stands out on that red carpet in the dark.

This is Rochelle Humes from The Saturdays.  I love the unusual colour of this dress and the long lacy sleeves, it was lashing down with wind and rain on Wednesday evening so I bet she was glad her arms were covered up!  I like her bag as well.

This is olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington and model Amy Willerton, and both just recently released from the Australian jungle (I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here).  Both of these dresses suit these ladies perfectly, Rebecca's shows off her great arms and Amy's gone for something princessy, you can't see it in the photo but the back of the dress is cut away, its very pretty.

Lastly, bravo to Tess Daly for wearing something different, ie trousers.  I really liked this on her plus she was also clearly dressing for the British weather!  Tess has been going up and down red carpets for years now and she's done the posh dress thing, plus she wears them all on a Saturday night whilst doing Strictly Come Dancing.  Apart from the fact that she looks great, its so different from everybody else that her outfit really stood out.

And now a couple that I wasn't so keen on, I'm a nice person so I'm not going to be really horrible about them but I've seen both of these ladies wearing much nicer outfits than the ones they chose last week.

Kelly Brook usually looks lovely but I really don't think this is the best choice for her, it swamps her and she's forgotten her bra although I doubt you could wear one with this dress.  Also, it was COLD that night, so what with the plunging neckline and the great big split up the side she must have been a bit chilly!

Caprice.  Ditto freezing cold like Kelly above.  Not sure on the whole "you can see my knickers" thing either, there's see through lace and there's see through lace, right?

I can't wait to see what the rest of the award outfits are like for the other ceremonies, roll on the Oscars!


Beauty Bargain of the Week - Radox Shower Smoothie

I've got to show you this, its my Beauty Bargain of the Week.  I'm always on the look out for a beauty bargain when I'm out and about so when I get them I've decided to write a short blog and share my findings with you.

This week it's Shower Smoothies, Spirit Booster Shower Creme by Radox.  I was in the queue in the chemist waiting for my son's prescription and I spied this, it was £1.00.   As I've always loved anything Radox I got one, usually I prefer flowery scents as opposed to berries but this looked so yummy and at £1.00 it was definitely worth a try.

There is a little sign on the packaging that says "Don't eat me" which is not as odd as it sounds because it does smell and  feel a bit like a berry smoothie and it does feel a bit weird sort of washing yourself in something resembling a yoghurt particularly as its got little bits in it like a blueberry yoghurt would!  Once I got past that I thought how gorgeous it was, its very creamy (obviously) and the little berries are a sort of soft exfoliator which you don't notice at the time but afterwards realise how nice your skin feels.  I'm not sure if this was a limited edition that they've now discontinued or something new that didn't quite take off but nevertheless its a really nice addition to my bodywash selection, if I see another flavour I'm going to try that one as well!


Radox Shower Smoothie Spirit Booster

Clinique Eye Shadow Quad | Review

Happy Wednesday everybody!  Have a look at my latest eyeshadow quad.  It's from Clinique.

If you asked me what my favourite brand is when it comes to eyeshadow I would have to say Clinique.   I've just never had a bad Clinique eyeshadow, the colours are always true and it is so long lasting you know you can wear for 18 hours and it'll still be pretty good by the time you need to take it off to go to bed.   I was browsing the eBid site the other day and came across this little quad, its just four colours, no mirror and no small brush as it was part of a Clinique beauty set, but I really, really love it.  Firstly, I like the packaging, its pretty and summery and typically Clinique, secondly all four colours are perfect either alone or in combinations with each other, another thing I liked is that the all colours have a little shimmer to them which I think is pretty.

So, the colours on my eyelids are:   Strawberry Fudge (top right in quad) and the colour on the outer lid is Beach Plum (top left in quad).  The colours at the bottom of the palette are from the Like Mink duo, I've had this duo before but lost it on holiday one year so I was pleased to get another one!

What's your favourite brand for eyeshadow?

Love, Maria

Blue Monday with Green Tea

Green Tea with Mint is less really quite nice!

Today is Monday 20th January and reportedly the most depressing day of the year so far, apparently we have all run out of money, all the big bills are plopping on the doormat, we're unfit and unhealthy due to the excesses of Christmas, the weather is cold and its dark.  This description of a day is enough to depress anybody, and I can say that because I've had depression myself, albeit mild and not as bad as some people have it!  So with all the news reports forcing me to be depressed I sat down with a Green Tea and decided to ignore the bills, the dark and my cellulite and write down five things that make today quite alright actually.  

  1. Today is my eldest son's 9th birthday
  2. The sun is shining
  3. My littlest son declared he wanted to be the tooth fairy when he grew up (a boy one, apparently)
  4. My Naked Urban Decay Basics palette arrived from Beauty Bay
  5. Its only 9 more weeks until the clocks change for the summer

I know we're not always in the right place to even try to be positive but sometimes when you remind yourself of the little things it helps, I think.

Quick word about Green Tea, I'm drinking it as part of my January detox (which I am struggling with, I can't see myself lasting another week) and although I have always hated the bitter taste of Green Tea I do quite like this one with Mint, its growing on me plus its got loads of antioxidants in it which hopefully will be good for my skin and according to my trainer will assist with weight loss (we'll see about that!).

Happy Blue Monday everyone!


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