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

Beauty Habits & Products I Recommend

So we've managed to get to the middle of the month so not long to go until February and Valentine's Day and Pancakes (yum).  Recently, I've been thinking about my beauty habits, my regime, what products I use and why I use them and I've realise there's some things I always do and don't really veer from, does this happen to you as well?  I thought you might like to see my little list so here it is!

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1.  When I find a lipstick I really like and know I'll want to replace I always go out and buy another one immediately, I got so tired of running out of my favourite lipstick and then finding it had been discontinued, this happened to me a lot a few years ago and it was so disappointing!  So now, when I find one I really like and know it's going to be around for a while I replace it straight away.  Saves the disappointment later on!

2.  As my hair is quite curly I don't brush it and I use a wide tooth comb on it when it's wet to comb it through.  A hairdresser recommended this to me years ago and I've stuck with it ever since.  It stops frizz and helps with the whole split end thing.  They are really inexpensive from Superdrug and Boots.

3.  I absolutely love Sudocreme, not only is it good for nappy rash and other child related ailments, its brilliant for spots, eczema, dry skin, cracked heels (yuck) and I also use it for blisters in the summer when my shoes have rubbed and I'm in full limp mode!  It doesn't cost very much and a large tub lasts for ages and ages, I always get the large tub as I have three accident prone little boys who are always falling off their scooters and bikes so it gets used a lot!

4.  This is a weird one, I've realised I always wear a hairband on my wrist for my ponytail emergencies.  I've got a lot of hair and when gets in the way, I like to know I can tie it back immediately when I need to.  The only problem is that I have to be careful as its not good to have a band too tight round your wrist, it does bad things for circulation.

5.  I've only started doing this in the past year and I think I blogged about it at the time, but I always use an in shower moisturiser now, they're really good and save time in the mornings.  In the summer I use a spray on one as well.  The best in shower one I've tried and loved is Nivea and I particularly like the Vaseline spray ones, they do three different ones, the cocoa butter one is gorgeous. 

6.  I always use a rosewater based toner as the astringent ones are too harsh for my skin.  Not only does it smell nice it makes my skin feel really soft and smooth and is fabulous for getting off the last of the make up, including that stubborn bit of eyeliner that gets stuck in the corners of your eyes.   

7.  Another hair based one, Argan Oil.  A while back my hairdresser used some on my hair and its never been so smooth.  I'm a bit of a self confessed Argan Oil addict actually not just for hair but body washes and hand creams too.  But the Argan Oil for hair is magnificent, it also lasts for ages because its not one of those products that gets used every day and as its mainly for the ends of your hair not the roots you don't have to use much.  The one I use is Morrocan Argan Oil which I think I got from Waitrose but I know you can get it in Boots too.  It's about £6.00 but like I say, it does last quite a while so it's worth it.  I have been using it quite a lot recently as this weather is no fun for hair.

Photos below of some of the products I've mentioned.  

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser, the cocoa smells lovely

Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser, sinks in really quickly

Sudocreme - My Hero!

Max Factor Flipstick - loved this so much I went out and got another one the next day

Hello 2015! Its New Year Resolution time again!




Yikes, it's that time of year again, New Years Resolutions.  I should probably start with a review of last years just to see if I kept them.  Oh well ok, I didn't keep them for long, but never mind, let's just  start again ... New year and all that.

This year I'm keeping it simple so I'm going to:



Drink more water

I say this most years but this year I am definitely going to do it because I am sure that I don't drink in enough and it's partly the cause of my headaches which are becoming more frequent and I know that I am dehydrated.  Plus, water is so good for your skin, especially in the Winter because the cold weather and the central heating really dries it out.  

Clean my make up brushes

I'm rubbish at this usually, but I've bought some special cleaning stuff to clean my make up brushes, one is a spray which you can use if you want to just give it a quick spray and another is a special shampoo for a deeper clean when you have more time.  I haven't done it yet but when I do I'll let you know how it goes!  

Hang my clothes up

Now, I feel a bit of a hypocrite about this because I am always nagging my kids to hang things up (well, the older one anyway the little ones can't reach) and I have to say that I do hang their stuff up really nicely.  Perhaps that is the reason then, that when it comes to my own clothes, when I take them off I pile them somewhere before I fall into bed rather than hang them up.  A consequence of this rather annoying habit is that I eventually end up with a (really neat) pile of clothes that I have to spend ages putting away because a) I can't find anything and b) the pile is falling over and making a mess.  Its totally ridiculous.  So this year I'm going to just do it, it only takes seconds and will save a lot of time in the long run.


I'm not making any resolutions about fitness or exercise (though I need to lose half a stone as I've put a bit of weight on and half my wardrobe doesn't fit now which is really annoying) because who needs that pressure?  I'm the sort of person who doesn't respond well to "diet" pressure its better if I just eat sensibly and don't think too much about it.  But I have invested in a new Davina McCall DVD which I am very excited about and can't wait to get started once the kids are back at school next week.  I can't leap around in the front room with them around as I get interrupted and that's just annoying!

So a very happy 2015 to you all, I'd love to hear what your resolutions are too.

Maria
xx







A Year of Blogging ...

So, 2014 was my first full year of blogging, I started in October 2013, got sidetracked by kids and Christmas and didn't really pick it up again until January.

Initially, I started blogging to keep my creative juices flowing, in early 2012 my husband and I adopted three little boys and I went from working full time in a busy office to being a full time mum.  I love being a mum and I love being at home with them but there is a part of me that needs to think about stuff other than washing, school runs, Lego and Peppa Pig!  I'm also completely outnumbered, everyone in the house is male including the dog and there's little old me with no-one to discuss girly stuff with, hence once I'd stumbled upon the beauty blogging community I was keen to be a part of it.







What I've loved ...

What I've loved about blogging apart from all the new products I've discovered is that the beauty blogging community surely must be amongst the friendliest, everybody is so nice and supportive which is lovely.  I've also loved really thinking about what products I'm buying and why I'm buying them, was it on a whim, because I saw an advert, because it was recommended in a magazine or by other beauty bloggers or because I got sidetracked in Sainsburys and picked up the wrong thing!  The fact that every time I put my face cream on I am thinking about it, what I like/don't like, if I'd recommend it or not and if I agree with what others are saying about it.  I've been wearing make up for a number of years now and this last year is actually probably the first year I've ever really thought about why I'm applying it the way I do and if I could do it differently.  


What I've discovered ...

I've discovered a few things, firstly that its the first time since I left University that I've been able to be properly creative, its been quite scary as nobody really knows how their blog will be received and you are sort of putting yourself on the line but its been great.  I also found a writing style I didn't know I had so that was quite cool!  Probably the most important thing I discovered is that just being yourself is so important, not only for your writing but for the whole blog, what you include (by that I mean certain links, or maybe advertisements), it is a photo of yourself to the world so you've got to be happy with the layout and presentation.  I do feel like my blog reflects me and I'm happy with that, so that's good.


What I might change ...

There's always room for improvement though!  I've been thinking about what I might change next year, I'm still trying to post more often, (some months are easier than others) and I need to find a better photo editor than the one I've got presently as next year I'm going to try much harder with my photos. 

So here's to 2015, another year of beauty blogging looms, how exciting!  I hope you all have a Merry and Peaceful Christmas and thanks for reading all my posts this year.

Maria
xx



What's in my make up bag and chat about Physicians Formula

I've been meaning to do this post for ages, its a What's In My Make Up Bag post.  I'm really nosey and I love having a looksee at what products people are wearing on a daily basis, we all have our favourites and ones we go to and can't do without don't we?

So here's mine.  I've done it as a video because it was easier to talk about them than write (I found I was rambling unnecessarily when I tried to write it).

Would be really interested to hear if any of you have heard of/used any Physician's Formula products, I picked up some lovely kohl liners in the USA when I was there in August and I seriously haven't looked back!







Hope you enjoy.

Maria
xx



My September Bodywash Collection (there's only three)

I haven't done a bodywash collection post for a while so I thought I'd let you in on what I've been using in the past month, usually I have quite a collection but this time there's only three.  I'm trying to cut down on the number of bottles in the shower actually they are tending to take over a bit but a girl's got to have a choice -right?




Right Guard
Shower & Lotion Pomegranate
This is a new shower gel that I picked up in the supermarket.  It's by Right Guard, who are generally associated with anti-perspirant/deodorant (in my case, my husbands deodorant!) so I was interested to try this one, not least because it purports to have a moisturising lotion included (not unlike many others) and as you'll know from my previous posts, I'm all for shower moisturisers as its hugely time saving in the morning when you're in a rush.  I have to say I wasn't disappointed, this shower cream does actually feel like an in shower moisturiser, perhaps less thick but you can definitely feel the moisturising properties nevertheless.  It also smells lovely, I prefer flower smells usually but Pomegranate wasn't offensive at all.  



Original Source
Vanilla and Raspberry
Earlier on this year I reviewed the mint Original Source, I liked it but its like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it as its quite strong.  The Vanilla and Raspberry bodywash smells like ice cream to me!  As with all Original Source bodywashes its lovely and moisturising and fairly well priced, they can sometimes be on special offer which is when I tend to pick them up.  The only thing I don't like about Original Source bodywashes is the bottle, I find them a really awkward shape and sometimes not that easy to open with wet fingers!  All in all this was a nice bodywash but I don't think I would necessarily go out of my way to buy it again as I do prefer the mint or lemon ones - they really do wake you up in the mornings.



Radox
Brazillian Fusion
Now this is really yummy.  I loved this and would definitely buy it again.  Its got a really refreshing, exotic smell, like flowers but not too sickly.  I do love my Radox though so perhaps I am a bit biased.  I love that they are always coming out with special editions and would buy this again.

I think though, out of the three my favourite is the Right Guard though, it is so much more moisturising than the other two, clearly the added moisturisers really do work!


Maria
xx


I've re-discovered ... Oriflame Neo Chic Lipstick

Hey there beautiful people, I thought I'd share with you a lipstick I've re-discovered from a while ago, its from Oriflame a Swedish online cosmetic company who have been around for more than 30 years (and are similar to Avon).  The colour of this lipstick is one of two Limited Editions from the Neo Chic range, its called Bright Pink, you can also get it in Fuschia.



To start with I really love the packaging, I love the fact that it comes in a little box and the pattern on the tube is so cute, it really looks like it should be much more expensive than it actually is, it cost £5.95.



My first thought when I saw this lipstick was "uh oh, its not going to suit me, look how bright it is" (which was a bit different from the colour online by the way, which is why I wasn't expecting it).  But I was pleasantly surprised, yes, it is bright but its not matte, its sheer and therefore the colour is muted somewhat and gives a lovely sheen on your lips, it also smells really nice, like that old fashioned lipstick smell.  Its also a very moisturising lipstick, it does fade fairly quickly but doesn't disappear entirely so you're not left with completely bare lips and with a quick swoosh you can reapply and it will look as good as new.




I'm definitely going to be buying more from Oriflame, either through a consultant or by signing up up as a consultant myself.  Has anyone else tried Oriflame, what do you think of their products?

Maria
xx

Chatting about ... Victoria Beckham, Beauty Boxes, Naked Basics 2 and my new Chanel lipstick

Happy Friday beautiful people, hope this week has been OK for you.

Today I'm chatting about all the beauty things that have popped up this week, the first being my backlog of beauty boxes.  I've got Glossybox from July and August, Latest in Beauty from August and a Glamour special.  The one pictured below is one I'm testing at the moment its the Latest in Beauty August edition, the contents of which were chosen by Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, the lovely Beauty Bible ladies.  I've also done a video on the contents of this box and by the time you read this it should be uploaded to YouTube.  I'm doing another video once I've tested all the products, there's some really nice stuff in this box so its quite exciting.


The Beauty Bible Loves ... Latest in Beauty August box

Now you've probably already heard this but this week I became aware that Urban Decay had another Naked Basics palette out, aptly named Naked Basics 2.  It was released in the USA on 19 August and retails at $29.00.  I'm still totally in love with their earlier Basics so I'm thrilled there is another one to try, its definitely going on my Christmas list if I haven't caved and bought it myself by then!  This one consists of six shades, five of which are brand new and true to UD form they are all taupe based matte neturals which will suit everybody.


You can find out more about this palette by checking out the Urban Decay website 


Urban Decay Naked Basics 2



Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in "Boheme"

This is my new Chanel Coco Shine lipstick, (my only Chanel lipstick I might add!) which was a present from my mother in law and I love it!  At first I wasn't sure if the colour would suit me as its pink and with my colouring I have to be careful with pink as it can wash me out but this is lovely.  The colour is "Boheme" its sheer and very moisturising, its not long lasting but its not supposed to be so that's fine I just keep reapplying.  It reminds me of the look you get with a lip gloss but without the stickiness, major plus for me as I hate sticky glosses.






Finally, I've been keeping an eye on New York Fashion Week just because its all over the TV and the magazines.  I'm not into designer stuff (I'm not a celebrity or mega rich and it doesn't sit well on the school run) but I did like a lot of what Victoria Beckham was showing for her AW 14/15 collection, in particular the dress pictured above.  Now, taking away the fact that its over £1,000 I really like this dress, its very classic, I liked the length as well, flattering just below the knee.  It goes from size 6 to 14 though, (come on Vic, extend your sizings a bit) and the rest of the collection can be seen on her website www.victoriabeckham.com.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Maria
xx




My Five Favourite Products For Curly Hair

Today I'm sharing five of my favourite products for curly hair, some I've recently discovered others I've used for a long time and keep going back to.

For anyone with curls that need to be kept in line, these five are definitely worth a try.




Charles Worthington Hair Healer Leave-in Conditioner
I've been using this for years, it's really one of the nicest leave in conditioners I've ever used.  It's sort of a balm rather than a cream and you don't need much.  I just use it on the middle part of my hair and comb through to the ends.  Its got a glorious smell and leaves your hair very soft but not heavy.  I've noticed in the shops recently that this isn't the most up to date packaging, its different now but I did a bulk buy a while back which is why I'm still working my way through this one!  I buy mine in Sainsburys and Boots and of course, its on the shelf with all the other Charles Worthington products.  




Leo Bancroft Glamorously Curly Control & Shine Cream
When I first bought this I didn't actually know who Leo Bancroft was, I had to look him up!  I haven't seen this in any other shop than Tescos but I am sure its available in other places and online.  Fantastic for frizz, it doesn't have a particularly strong hold (i.e. curl hold) but definitely tames waves and curls and lasts all day with the bonus of a nice smell too.




Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo
I reviewed this a while back which you can read here it was actually my January favourite, but 6 months on it is still my most favourite shampoo and one of the few that does seem to control my hair.  The one pictured is for dry and damaged hair, quite often I'll get another one in the Pantene range which I think is for frizz control but either one of them is great.  I do find the conditioners quite heavy so I don't use those, I just stick to the shampoo and a leave in conditioner.





Phil Smith Curly Locks Curl Control Cream
I've already done a review on this product this year which you can read here but suffice to say this is still one of my favourites and always has a place on my dressing table.  Its also great to take on holiday as it does have a frizz control element which I really need for heat, damp and humidity!





Label M Curl Cream
I totally love this product, I've been using Label M Curl Cream for a long time now, ever since I started having my hair cut at Toni & Guy as they stock Label M products and recommended it.  The cream is quite sticky (but mainly one your hands not on your hair), once its dry you get a brilliant well defined curl hold which lasts all day.  I buy this from the Look Fantastic website now, its about £11 which is quite pricey but it does last for a long time because you really don't need very much.  I've also recently discovered the Label M Protein Spray which I will review separately once I've finished testing it, but so far so good!

I'm always on the look out for new products to try, if you've got any favourites please pop a comment below


Maria
xx

Soap Corner | Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream

We use a lot of hand soap in our house, it has to be said.  I'm always on the look out for nice hand soaps and my most recent find is this one from Mandara Spa, I have to give my sister credit for this find, I've spent a lot of time at her house lately with her new baby twins and washed my hands a lot!  I absolutely love this soap.  Its beautiful fragrance consists of acacia honey and almond and lingers on your hands long after you've dried them.    Its elegant packaging does not look out of place in an ensuite bathroom or downstairs cloakroom.  Alas, my own cloakroom is continually filled with small grubby handed boys who need to get mud/felt tip pen/chocolate/general boy germs off their hands, so this lovely soap is completely wasted on them which is why I've put it in my own bathroom just for me to use and they can continue to use the no-nonsense, anti-bacterial stuff!



Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream can be purchased from Sainsbury's for £4.00.  There are two other fragrances to choose from but this is my favourite.

Maria
xx


What's in the June Glossybox?




Hi beauty bloggers, my first post for a while as life's been a bit mad but I've been meaning to share the contents of my June Glossybox for a couple of weeks.

There are five products in the box, have a look below and see what you think.  For one reason or another I haven't tried them yet but they will be reviewed once I have.  I'm particularly excited about the make up brush, its such a gorgeous brush.






This is L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Black.  This looks really nice, there have been so many good reviews of this mascara, its full size and RRPs at £10.99.  I was really pleased that it was in the box, as you will know I'm normally a Max Factor mascara girl but I am excited to try this one.




I'm a girl with very few make up brushes so I was delighted that this Beautiful Eyes Flat Stiff Brush by Teeez Trend Cosmetics, this is a full size brush, isn't it pretty?  I can't wait to use it.





This is a Qi Gong anti-perspirant spray by Rituals (www.rituals.com), it smells yummy, more like a perfume than a deodorant.  Its infused with white lotus and yi yi ren and lasts 24 hours.  



This is a concealer quad by So Susan Cosmetics (www.sosusan.com), as you can see its a cute quad palette with soft blendable colours, its for minor blemishes and imperfections.  I stick with my Witch Hazel concealer normally so this will be great to try.




Finally, this is a base, top and nail strengthener from nailgirls (www.nailgirls.co.uk), I'm awful at remembering base and top coats and my nails are quite weak so another perfect product for me to try.  In fact, I'm off to do my nails now, so I'll let you know how it goes!


I'm thrilled with the June Glossybox and can't wait for the July box which should arrive next week according to the email they sent me yesterday.  I'll review all of these products once I've tried them to let you know what I think.

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Maria
xx

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