Saturday, 7 January 2017

Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review

Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner Review
Just before Christmas, I was very kindly contacted with the opportunity to try out Beauty Essentials' 'Shadow Switch' dry brush cleaner*. I must admit, it wasn't something I had heard of before this point, or something I had considered trying either. I decided to take up the offer to try one out for myself and wasn't too sure what to expect if I'm honest. I am an avid eyeshadow-wearer and I was hopeful that this would speed up my morning routine somewhat, making it easier and less messy when it came to applying my eyeshadow.

The parcel arrived and inside it was a small box and I was already keen to try the product based on the packaging alone. The box contained a small tin (weird to liken it to, but it reminded me of a shoe polish tin) with a sponge-like/soft scourer-like pad inside it. I know I'm not really selling this to you guys yet, but just hang in there...

As I had a few makeup brushes that I'd been using to apply my eye makeup with earlier that day, I thought it was the perfect time to test out the Shadow Switch. The instructions advised to gently glide the eyeshadow brush around the sponge and then to continue applying your eyeshadow. I used a few makeup brushes on the sponge, which admittedly, were pretty darn covered in my much-loved Nars 'Isolde' eyeshadow (no surprise there!). After just a few swirls, I did notice that a lot of the powder had vanished from my brushes, which you can see from the photos, and I was quite surprised by the results. It was so quick and easy, meaning if you're in a hurry or even travelling, you can use multiple eyeshadow shades with minimal brushes as the product can easily be removed using the Shadow Switch sponge, with just a few quick swirls.

Like with its easy of use, the Shadow Switch is as equally easy to maintain. Keeping hygiene in mind, it's advised to use warm water and fragrance-free soap to wash the sponge as and when needed, or alternatively to replace the sponge altogether with a new refill every 2 months or so, of course subject to how much you have been using the sponge.

I'm actually sold on this product and I didn't set my expectations high initially just because I know that cleaning my makeup brushes can usually be quite a faff. The Shadow Switch helps to give them a gentle clean, making getting ready far easier and allowing you the opportunity to use multiple eyeshadow colours in one sitting. The Beauty Essentials Shadow Switch is currently available on Amazon, retailing at £5.99 plus free delivery. The Shadow Switch, along with many other products from the Beauty Essentials collection will soon be available in both Sephora and on the Beauty Essentials website once it launches in the UK very soon. Their packaging has also recently changed to incorporate more products into their line so be sure to keep an eye out for this too once their website launches.

Have you tried the Shadow Switch? If you haven't, would it be something you'd like to try?
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Monday, 2 January 2017

Resolutions & Goals for 2017

New Years Resolutions for 2017
I don't usually tend to set myself goals or New Years resolutions as I'm not keen on putting pressure on myself throughout the year in case anything changes and I can't stick to them. Saying this, last year I did put together a list of 'goals' and I surprised myself by sticking to almost all of them. I'm not sure it was a conscious effort and I think it was a little down to coincidence, but it happened. This year I've decided to do the same and whittle together some ideas of things I'd like to aim for throughout 2017.

SWIM MORE REGULARLY
Last year saw me get back to swimming after around 6 years away from the pool. From the age of around 3, I had always been a swimmer, right up until when I decided to hang my goggles up at the age of 18 to have more of a 'social life'. As I was growing up, sometimes it felt like swimming could get in the way of life, but lately since returning to the pool, it's felt more like life is getting in the way of swimming. Or more so, work is getting in the way of swimming. It's harder to muster up the energy to train after working an 8 & a half hour day at times, but this year I'm determined to get back on track with things. I used to swim 7-10 times a week growing up and yet I still managed to go to school, socialise before/after swimming and get the rest I needed, so why not try to do the same now? I always emphasise to people how brilliant swimming is not only for boosting your mood, but for keeping you in excellent shape and it massively helps with my anxiety. Watching the Olympics in 2016 really gave me the fighting urge to get back into my training and with a fresh slate, I'm hoping 2017 can give me the opportunity to *properly* get back into the pool. It's been one of my main passions throughout my life and I'm excited to get back to it.

ENJOY FASHION
Although I don't tend to talk about fashion very much on my blog, it's something I really enjoy. I spend hours of my day browsing new trends online and I love, love, love updating my wardrobe with each coming season. A few years ago, I got massively into collecting fashion books and I really want to build up my collection again. One thing I've also noticed is that I'm not afraid to wear whatever I like, and I'd really like to build up my wardrobe this year with more statement pieces and 'dressy' garments. This year I'm hoping to pay more attention to fashion, invest in new fashion reads and revamp my everyday wardrobe. It can get very dull dressing for work each day in the same old things so I want to invest in new pieces to inject some life back into my wardrobe.

SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS
This goes without saying really, but I just want to spend far more time with family & friends; I'm always grateful for any time I get to spend with them and I want to see them far more this year. It's crazy to think how quickly time passes sometimes without seeing those that you care about and I want to go out of my way to make even more of an effort this year, even when I'm feeling tired, cause let's face it, I feel tired most days from my anxiety & work stresses.

BLOG MORE & INCREASE DOMAIN AUTHORITY
Working on Blogmas in 2016 really proved to me that I can get more posts out if I really try and likewise if I set aside my time to do so. In December I managed to get 20 posts up on the blog, some of which were pre-scheduled from November like the baking posts (which did take a lot of time), but lots of them I wrote on a nightly basis. Last year I blogged the most out of any of the years that I have been blogging, and I want to up this number this year. With that, I also want to boost my domain authority which goes hand-in-hand. Blogging is something that I'm so passionate about and if I'm honest, I don't stick with many things for as long as I have now been posting on this little corner of the internet (5 years to be exact). I've always wanted more from my blog yet sometimes I forget just how long has passed since I last uploaded and I want to keep it more consistent. At the same time, I don't want to blog 'just for the sake of it' and I'm going to really work to come up with fresh content ideas as I never want to publish a post I'm not happy with.

I don't want to be too harsh on myself with my goals for this year. Like most of us, I find that if I put too much pressure on myself, things are no longer enjoyable and it will have the reverse effect on me. I feel that the goals I've set down are so achievable, so 2017, let's do this.
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Sunday, 1 January 2017

What I got for Christmas 2016

Hello everyone and a big, fat, Happy New Year to you all! It's a little surreal to think we're in 2017 already and the last month feels like it has absolutely flown by. It feels like no time at all since I was starting to round up content for my Blogmas series but I'm ready for whatever the New Year may bring. As a roundup to my festive content, I couldn't not share a 'What I got for Christmas' blog post; I personally love reading these kind of posts as I love being nosey and also getting gift ideas for future occasions too. So, let's get started...
The White Company Winter
The White Company Winter
The White Company Winter
For pretty much the whole month of December, our flat has oozed with smells of cinnamon and orange, partly thanks to The White Company's 'Winter' candle which I was burning solidly throughout the month. For Christmas I was very grateful to receive their 'Mini Home Scenting Set' and a set of star-shaped tealights in their Winter scent from my parents. The set itself comes with a diffuser, votive candle and a room spray which I literally couldn't wait to use. I've been spritzing the room spray around the flat and it has smelt SO good in here each day. If you're a lover of their Winter scent, this set is an absolute dream, and the tealights are so cute on display too. Oh, and the gift wrapping is just GORGEOUS - I was a bit obsessed with the tissue paper it came beautifully wrapped in.
Laura Ashley Tartan Scarf
Laura Ashley Tartan Scarf
Before we set off to my parents on Christmas Day, Alex gifted me one of my presents a little early. He got me a beautiful scarf from Laura Ashley which I wore travelling to and from my parents' as it was pretty darn chilly on Christmas Day. I love scarves and my collection is ever-growing, particularly since Christmas which you will start to see in this post. The scarf he gifted me is so soft and snuggly. It is a mix of pale white and cream tones and tartan-printed too. I can't wait to dress up my outfits with this throughout the colder months and it will definitely brighten up my mostly black outfits.
Chanel Chance Perfume
One fragrance that I continually go back to is Chanel's 'Chance'; it's the most lovely fragrance and it's super sweet & feminine. I really don't think you can go wrong with a Chanel perfume and I was so grateful to receive this for Christmas. How dreamy is their packaging too?
Burberry Pink Tartan Scarf
Gosh, I will start by saying I was a little overwhelmed when I received this present. My brother gifted me the most beautiful Burberry scarf and it was an absolute shock to me when I carefully pulled back the wrapping paper to see the Burberry logo printed on the tube inside. Before I opened the tube, I genuinely thought it was going to be filled with some sort of swanky shortbreads and I was definitely mistaken, aha! This is the first real designer piece of clothing I've owned. The scarf itself is a gorgeous tartan mix of pink, white and black colouring and it is the softest thing I have ever felt. It's safe to say that I will treasure this rest of my life and I am beyond grateful to have received such a lovely gift. Thank you millions, Bro!
Christmas Gift Ideas
I was treated to lots of pampering goodies under the Christmas tree this year. I was gifted lots of lovely bath bombs, hand creams, a super soft towel from Next (I love the print on this!) and some trusty chocs from Hotel Chocolat - it's safe to say the chocolates are already gone after I majorly stuffed my face on Boxing Day...
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Collection
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Collection
My Mum gifted me the most amazing beauty products by Tarte; for starters, the gold makeup bag alone is amazing but the products themselves.. I've fallen a little in love with them. I received a makeup brush, Tarte's 'Lights, Camera, Lashes' mascara (with lash primer), 'Rainforest of the Sea' foundation, lipstick in 'Rosy Mauve' and the 'Rainforest of the Sea' eyeshadow palette. I have tried every product now when getting ready for work the past week and there isn't a single item that I don't love. No doubt there will be a review on the products coming soon on the blog so I won't go into too much detail, but it's safe to say that my trusty EsteƩ Lauder Doublewear may now have been replaced with this dreamy Tarte foundation...
Lush Christmas Collection 2016
Lush Christmas Collection 2016
Lush Christmas Collection 2016
Is it even Christmas without Lush products? I was so excited to see a Lush bag under the Christmas tree as I hadn't actually bought any items from their festive range this year. I very kindly received their Rose Jam shower gel (which I have now been using EVERY day) and their 'Golden Wonder' & 'Peeping Santa' bath bombs, along with the 'Magic of Christmas' bubble wand and the 'Salt and Peppermint Bark' body scrub. These goodies will make Christmas last just a little bit longer for me and I'm looking forward to coming home to some lovely baths after long days at work for the next few weeks.
Croft Collection Dressing Gown John Lewis
John Lewis Scented Votive Candles
John Lewis Scented Votive Candles
To help with my pampering sessions, my boyfriend gave me a super snuggly cotton bath robe and a set of delicately-scented mini candles. So far I've tested out the 'Sandalwood' candle and I love its delicate fragrance - it's the perfect scent for some chill time in the evening and I can't wait to give the others a whirl too. Along with these, I received some super cute Primark festive leggings from my parents which I love to lounge in each Christmas.
Sali Hughes Pretty Iconic
The Little Book of Hygge
I really love giving and receiving books as presents and I was so pleased to have received 'Pretty Iconic' by Sali Hughes and 'The Little Book of Hygge' by Meik Wiking. Both books make for gorgeous coffee table books and I'm looking forward to cosying down on the sofa under a blanket and getting started on reading this pair. I actually even gave my Mum her own copy of 'Pretty Iconic' and I was excited to receive one back for Christmas too! Along with this, my family also gave me a Mulled Wine scented candle from Next which has been constantly burning in my living room to keep the 'festive feels' going in my flat and I received some gummy sweets too which I'm looking forward to having.
Cath Kinston Christmas Collection 2016
Every Christmas, I fall in love with Cath Kidston's Christmas print, and this year was no exception. I received some gorgeous bits from their collection last year, which I posted in my 'What I Got for Christmas 2015' blog post, and I was excited to add these cute homewares to my collection this year. How cute are the robins on this year's kitchenware?
Next Let's Stay Home Cushion
Holdsworth Peanut Butter Caramel Truffles
Christmas Gift Ideas for Her
Lastly I received some more home comfort kinda gifts from my family including chocolates (which needless to say are almost gone already...), a Buster the Boxer mug (Alex got a matching one too!), another lovely candle which I have burning as we speak and a gorgeous cushion from Next. I actually spotted this cushion whilst I was out Christmas shopping a few weeks back and I fell in love with it. I'm so happy to have been able to add this to my sofa as it's such a cute addition... and it's ridiculously soft too.

I received a few other items under the tree too including an incredible Zelda mug and Fenella Smith pug-themed mixing bowl from Alex and the most beautiful marbled vase from my Brother. I am sure you will spot these items in my blog posts throughout the year as they're additions to the flat which I was very grateful to receive. I did receive another scarf too which eagle-eyed readers (...such as my Mum) may have spotted in my 'Stocking Fillers for Her' post. I was actually going to go out and buy the leopard print scarf myself after putting together the gift guide so I was super happy to have received this under the tree. It's so snuggly and really adds a pop of colour/texture to a plain outfit - and I'm happy to have finally hopped aboard the leopard print trend before that ship has sailed. This has made the inner 90s girl in me very happy.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, I know it was pretty darn photo and text-heavy so thank you if you've stuck with me until this point. I'm so excited to start posting more content on my blog for 2017, although I will miss my blog home page being filled with Christmas lights and baubles in my photos. Alas, here's to 2017 and let's make it an incredible year!
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