Saturday, 30 May 2015

How I Whiten my Teeth

I am on a constant mission to whiten my teeth. I have never had braces so my teeth aren't perfectly straight and I therefore like them to be as white as possible to counteract their slightly wonky nature. Also who doesn't like a sparkly white smile ;-).


I am really impressed with my current routine and it has made such a big difference to the colour of my teeth so I thought I would share it with you all. 

Crest Whitening Strips




I love these strips! I use them in the run up to every big occasion where I know there will be lots of photographs being taken. The only frustrating thing is that they aren't readily available on the high street in the UK so you have to buy them online. I tend to get mine from Amazon as they aren't too overpriced and they do different options depending on how many strips you want.

Each little foil pouch has two clear strips, one for your top teeth and one for the bottom. I put them on and leave them for 30 minutes every day for about a week or until I notice a difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I probably do this a few times a year. 

I find the strips so easy to apply, they don't cause me to have any sensitivity like other whitening products I have tried previously and I really notice them working. They are my favourite!


Pearl Drops Lasting Flawless White


I had never tried any Pearl Drops products before so was slightly skeptical when BzzAgent provided me with the new toothpaste to try. 

I have been using this for around two months now, twice a day instead of my usual toothpaste and I really do think it makes a difference. There is a little bit of a strange taste initially which is difficult to describe but similar to other whitening toothpastes I have tried. However I got used to it quite quickly and it really doesn't bother me anymore. In terms of whitening this toothpaste is better than any other I have tried, and believe me when I say I have tried a few! Using this every day prevents my teeth from staining and helps to keep them white in between the Crest strips. 

Here is a little before and after of my teeth.


Both photos were taking on my iPhone without flash (the difference in skin colour is foundation!) and I can definitely see a difference in the shades. I had some yellowness to my teeth before which has completely disappeared now. 

I highly recommend both of these products and would love to know any other teeth whitening products that you recommend.



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Benefit Mascara Review - Roller Lash vs They're Real


My favourite item in my makeup bag is usually the mascara or concealer. I try out a new mascara every few months but the one that I have continued repurchasing over the last few years is Benefit's They're Real mascara. I, along with the rest of the beauty world, therefore got seriously excited when Benefit announced they were bringing out a new mascara, the Roller Lash. 

I somehow managed to forget about its release until a few days ago when I saw it in store and had to buy it! I wanted to try it next to the They're Real mascara to see how it compared. 

Both mascaras retail at £19.50. Not a cheap option by any means but I have paid a lot more money for mascaras that weren't as good in the past! I don't pay much attention to the packaging of make-up items to be honest but it has to be said that the Roller Lash is much more visually appealing to me than the They're Real mascara. 





The brush of the Roller Lash is clearly curved whereas the They're Real mascara has a straighter brush head with fuller bristles and a domed tip.


So does it live up to the claims?

Natural lashes

Left Eye - Roller Lash                                        Right Eye: Natural
Natural EyeLashes

With Roller Lash (sorry for the blurred shot!)

Left Eye - Roller Lash                                    Right Eye - They're Real

Left Eye - Roller Lash                                    Right Eye - They're Real

Left Eye - Roller Lash                                    Right Eye - They're Real
It was clear to me almost immediately that the Roller Lash didn't manage to separate my lashes as effectively as the They're Real mascara. It left them a little clumpier than I would have liked. It was however very effective at curling the lashes. You can see in the photos above that the lashes on my left eye are curled up at the edges when compared to the right eye. This does mean that you lose a little length however.

Both mascaras have a ridiculous staying power which I love. No smearing or smudging and the lashes manage to stay lifted throughout the whole day. The downside of this is that both mascaras are a little tricky to remove, similar to a waterproof mascara, but I find an oil based remover does the trick nicely.


Full face - 8 hours later. Yes I did wear two different mascaras for the whole day :-)
So which do I prefer? Probably the They're Real mascara. I feel that this separates the lashes better and I personally would prefer the appearance of fuller lashes over curled lashes but the Roller Lash will be perfect for anyone who already has thick eyelashes and is just looking for more lift and curl.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

What I Take in my Hand Luggage Liquids Bag

A little bit of a travel related post today as it is nearly the time of year where we all flock off on holiday to get some well earned rest and relaxation and of course some sun!

Every time I go away I have the dilemma of what liquids I really need to take with me on the plane. It is quite a hassle now with the extra security measures in place which mean any liquids in your hand luggage need to be under 100ml and carried in a transparent, plastic bag (20cm x20cm). 

Previously I have made trips with nothing for ease and then realised halfway through a flight I was in dire need of Vaseline for my chapped lips and there was none in sight. Or the alternative where I have stuffed my little plastic bag so full the entire contents spilled out over the security tray. Thankfully I have now manged to find a happy medium so without further ado here is what I took with me on my recent holiday.


Firstly I always used the standard size bags they recommend. I'll admit they don't look as fancy as the clear make up bags you can get but this will save you so much effort if you get to a particularly fussy airport security where they make you decant all of your things into the standard bag just to prove it fits, yes this has happened to me before! 


I usually fly without make up on but if I'm arriving at my destination during the day I like to put a little something on my face before landing. I'll always have a concealer and foundation so I can cover up any under eye bags or redness and I'll also take a bright coloured lipstick/lipgloss and a mascara which work wonders to make you look more awake. 

I find flying really dries out my skin and eyes so I always take a little moisturiser, eye drops and Vaseline. Some other essentials are face wipes, deodorant, antibacterial hand gel and a miniature perfume to freshen up. Finally I take a nail file as there is nothing worse than a broken nail on a long flight and not being able to fix it! This of course doesn't need to be in the liquids bag but I keep it all together for convenience.


Out of the liquids bag I'll take some powder, bronzer and a powder brush and that is usually everything that I need. 

Hopefully this has been helpful! I would love to know what everyone else takes when travelling :-).

Monday, 20 April 2015

A Weekend in Cyprus



You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on the blog recently and that was due to the fact I was away on holiday in Cyprus. My wonderful sister invited the Mr and I to stay with her for a long weekend, taking advantage of the fact we had a few days holiday from work.

We flew Turkish Airlines and as it isn't a long flight, only about 4/5 hours, I was very excited that they provided complimentary food and drinks. I usually hate plane food but this was surprisingly edible!








I spent the majority of the time relaxing with the family, spending hours chatting about everything we had missed since we were last together. I also got to spend time with my gorgeous little niece and nephew who are just adorable and make my heart melt!

We ventured out to Korineum Country Club for brunch on one of the days and while the boys played golf, my sister and I spent the time chatting, drinking coffee and of course doing a lot of eating. North Cyprus has the most beautiful mixture of mountain and sea views and Korineum takes advantage of both.


But to get back to the food, I unfortunately didn't get photographs of the buffet, which was ridiculously huge, but I did manage to take some photos of the food I chose before I ate it..... which took a lot of restraint!

The salad bar included a huge variety of spiced rices, herb coated chicken, beef and onion stir fry, fried aubergine and vegetable parcels, a variety of cheese (including my favourite halloumi!) and lots of different types of lettuce and salad vegetables.


 Dessert was equally as impressive with a huge selection of different mouses, cakes, chocolates and other sweet treats. I opted for a macaroon filled with chocolate ganache, mosaic cake and baklava. They were amazing!


 Once we had stuffed ourselves so full we couldn't manage another bite we headed out onto the terrace and sat in the sun until the men had finished their round.



Later that day we headed up the mountain on the ATV. There are lots of little dirt tracks that criss-cross around the mountain - choose the right one and it brings you right to the top. There is absolutely nothing around apart from you and the wildlife, an utter silence apart from the occasional tweeting of birds. It is an incredibly peaceful place and I could have stayed up there forever!






On our final day we took a trip through to Ayia Napa. This was somewhere I hadn't been before and as it has a bit of a reputation as a "party destination" I wasn't sure what to expect. However when we arrived all of my negative preconceptions were completely dismissed. The harbour area is beautiful and the beach and surrounding areas were all really clean and tidy. As it isn't yet tourist season we had the beach almost to ourselves to frolick and sunbathe to our hearts content. 



The rest of our time we spent relaxing at my sisters house, enjoying the sun and beautiful surroundings before we left.




Unfortunately on the way home we had a pretty unsociable 4am flight to Istanbul which resulted in a 2am trip to Gloria Jeans for a warm caramel muffin and peppermint tea........ I have no regrets.





Istanbul is one of the busiest airports I have ever been to and we had a 3 hour layover before our final flight home. Luckily we had lounge access so we managed to hide out away from the crowds, have a rest and of course more food and coffee for me!


 I also managed a sneaky little visit to the airport Victoria Secret which was handily located near to our gate..... that's what I call fate ;-).


I made a mini lookbook for my YouTube channel if anyone is interested in seeing the outfits I wore while I was away.


I had the most wonderful time, a massive thank you to my sister for making it happen. I'm counting the days to our next trip!


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

A DIY Easter Birthday Party

The Mr's birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year and he wasn't too impressed with having to share his special day with the rest of the world. So I decided there would be nothing he would love more than having an Easter themed birthday party...... :-).

DIY Easter Birthday Party

Now when I say party I really mean a small gathering with family and some yummy sweet treats. I know I am always scouring the internet for ideas for food and decor when party planning so I thought I would share some photos of the day in the hopes it might inspire someone else out there. I made a little Pinterest board when planning ideas for the day so feel free to check it out by clicking here.

In the morning I organised an Easter themed treasure hunt where I hid the Mr's birthday presents around the house along with an Easter egg themed clue which when solved would lead him to his next present.

DIY Easter Birthday Party



DIY Easter Birthday Party

This took me a few hours the previous week to think of the clues and puzzles but it was totally worth it.You're never too old for a treasure hunt right? Even my labrador Lucy got in on the action with her bunny ears :-).

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

I made a selection of treats for the table - carrot cake, chocolate nests, Easter themed sugar cookies with almond flavoured icing and a birthday cake. I also had some lemonade which I added a little colouring to to match the cake. I put some skittles in a bowl along with chocolate eggs and marshmallows and tied some Easter ribbon around the glass containers I already had to tie it in with the theme.

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

I made the cake by whipping up a simple victoria sponge batter and adding gel food colouring. This works much better than the usual liquid colouring and I was really impressed by how strong the colours are, even after baking. I made some jam and buttercream to put between each layer, gave the whole thing a crumb coat and then covered with more buttercream. I topped the whole thing with coloured Smarties to finish off the "rainbow" theme.

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

DIY Easter Birthday Party

Decoration for the table was fairly simple. I managed to find the Easter banner and little chicks and bunnies from the local pound store, yay for bargains! I covered my table in some plain white tablecloths and arranged the food on various cupcake stands and plates I had in the house already. Finally I added some fresh flowers to the table and I was done.

DIY Easter Birthday Party

I love how it turned out, especially as it was really quick and inexpensive to put together.

I'm always looking for new ideas so feel free to leave your blog/Pinterest pages below for inspiration :-).


 

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