April Favourites – Beauty, TV & Food Favourites

My first question is where on earth did April go and my second question is, if it is now May, why is the weather still pants?

April flew by and I feel like I barely had time to think about what products I was using and what I was loving but there is a few bits I’ve been using lots and enjoying, so I thought I’d share those with you.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

I mentioned a Clarins lip gloss I was loving in my March favourites and although I still love that and have still been using that every day, I have also been loving the Clarins lip oil this month.

Perfect for no makeup days or light makeup looks, the Clarins lip comfort oil is so soft and comfortable on the lips and has a slight sheen and tint to it.

I mentioned this product in my ‘current makeup favourites‘ a while back, so you can read more about it there!

Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser

I’ve been using this product for so long and really enjoying it but haven’t really mentioned it, so I thought it was about time.

I use the Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser every single morning before makeup and just love it. I have quite oily skin to start with, so never want a moisturiser that is too heavy before applying makeup and this is the perfect option.

It sinks into the skin instantly, stops my makeup going cakey and never irritates my skin or acne and on top of all that, it’s super affordable too!

Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil

You may have seen in my review post of the Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil that the brand kindly gifted me a bottle of the product to try and I have now finished doing my work with them but am still loving this product.

I wash and blow dry my hair every two days pretty much and use 2-3 drops of the hair oil everytime I blow dry my hair unless I’m in a huge rush and I really like it.

It makes my hair feel soft and look healthy and creates a really sleek, smooth and straight blow dry which is just what I want.

Meridian Peanut Bars

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting any of my food-related blog posts on here and that’s because they’re all over on my foodie blog, Gluten Free With Ellie now but although I’ve talked about lots of gluten free favourites over there recently, I thought I’d add a couple in here.

One of my first foodie favourites is the Meridian peanut bars. These aren’t a ‘free from’ product as such but they are gluten free, dairy free, soya free, vegan and contain no palm oil. They taste just like peanut butter and contain over 50% peanuts and no dried fruit which makes them perfect for me.

You can buy them individually in Sainsbury’s for £1.

Promise Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls

Something else I have been going crazy for this month is the chocolate chip brioche rolls from Promise Gluten Free.

I talked about these in more details on my food blog but in a nutshell, they’re gluten and wheat free with no milk-containing ingredients. They’re soft, full of chocolate but not too sweet and simply delicious.

The Job Lot – Netflix 

Me and J love to have a Netflix series on the go at all times and our current favourite is the Job Lot.

There’s 3 series on Netflix but we think there’s a 4th we’ll have to watch elsewhere but after finishing Gavin and Stacey and ‘Him and Her’, we moved onto this and we love it.

It’s such easy watching and so so funny, perfect for just having on when you don’t want to concentrate too much on anything.

Hospital – BBC Series

From one extreme to the other, from easy watching to a little more intense, I love medical documentaries about hospitals and ambulances because I find them so interesting, so I’ve been loving the series ‘Hospital’ on BBC.

It’s really factual and quite heavy watching at times but so interesting and I just love watching it because it really grips me.

 

I’d love to know what you’ve been loving this month, so let me know down in the comments!

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Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil Review

I was kindly gifted this product by Forest & Shore but all opinions are my own.

If you follow me on Instagram or have followed the blog for a while, you’ll know that I have quite long hair and as you can see in my summer hair transformation post, my hair is colour treated.

My natural hair texture is a bit wavy and bit frizzy but generally it just looks a bit strange left natural, so I also use a lot of heat on it.

All these things have meant that my hair can look and feel quite dry and lifeless, which is why hair oil is an essential product.

I was so exited when Forest and Shore got in touch to introduce me to their ‘Hallelujah Hair Oil’ which is a 100% organic Hair Oil made using a range of essential oils and is designed for dry and damaged hair.

I put the oil to the test, so thought I’d share with you how I found it!

On the packaging, it describes two ways you can use the product, so I decided to wash my hair and then apply a few drops to my hair once it was towel dried and then blow dry and straighten as normal!

I towel dried my hair and then put 5 drops of the product in my hands and rubbed through the mid-lengths and ends.

My first comment is how far this product goes, a little goes a long way! 5 drops is a tiny amount of the product and was plenty for my hair, so this product will last a really long time, making it great value for money!

It was really easy to work through the hair and didn’t weigh it down or leave it looking or feeling greasy when I was styling my hair!

My hair blow dried so easily and looked so smooth and silk where usually it can go a bit frizzy!

Once my hair was dried and straight, I could tell how soft it felt and I think it looked sleeker and less noticeably damaged!

My first impressions of this product are very good and I’d highly recommend to anyone who has damaged or dry hair!

The 100ml bottle of the Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil is available to buy on Amazon for £15.00 which I think is great value!

If you’ve tried this product, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Things I Loved in March

I’m not usually a fan of ‘monthly favourites’ blog posts and videos because I tend to stick to my favourite products all the time but this month I’ve tried some new products and rediscovered some old favourites, so I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been loving this month.

White Puma Basket Trainers

I bought these trainers in the sale at Christmas for two reasons. The first being because I loved the ribbon laces and thought they were so different to anything else I had but also because I knew J wouldn’t like them and because we live to wind each other up, that made me happy!

These patent white trainers come with two types of laces, the super cute ribbons you can see in the picture and a really chunky pair of normal laces. I only wear them with the ribbon laces as they’re the reason I bought these shoes but if you wanted to make them a little less girly, you could change the laces.

Not only are these so pretty, they’re a little bit more dressy than Converse or Vans, so perfect for casual occasions when I need slightly smarter/dressier shoes.

I bought mine from JD but they’re pretty much all out of stock now but other colours are available!

MAC Blankety Lipstick

This certainly isn’t a new favourite but one I feel the need to share as I’ve nearly used it all up and will definitely be repurchasing!

I own a few different MAC lipsticks as they’re some of my favourite colours and formulas but my all-time go-to is the shade ‘Blankety’.

I think everyone has the ultimate lipstick shade that just suits them perfectly and this lipstick is mine. It’s a nude pink and it’s the perfect mixture of a browny colour and pinky tone, meaning it suits my skin tone perfectly.

It’s an ‘amplified’ finish which means the colour is really pigmented but the texture is really creamy and a little bit glossy.

If you’re in need of a really wearable nude lipstick, I’d choose MAC Blankety!

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

Another lip product but the two really have gone hand in hand in my makeup collection for a while now.

I love to layer the MAC lipstick with the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in the shade ’03’ to add more depth to the colour and make it even glossier.

Although I love the lipstick, my lips can look a little thin and flat with just that alone but this gloss really has a plumping effect and makes them look fuller and better shaped, as well as enhancing that nude/pink colour.

If you want a nourishing and pigmented lipgloss, the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors are for you!

Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask

I’ve seen so many people raving about sheet masks for giving them intense hydration and glowy skin once they’ve done their makeup, so I decided to pick up this Garnier one and give it a go.

There’s a few in the range but I went for the green tea one which is ‘super hydrating and rebalancing’. It actually fitted my face really well and felt quite relaxing to wear, you can really feel how intensely moisturising they are.

The instant results are pretty good, my skin felt and looked hydrated but the reason I loved this so much was how soft my skin felt for the few days afterwards. I completely forgot I’d used the mask and kept realising how soft my skin felt and couldn’t think why and then realised it was the mask!

I have quite bad skin as well as wouldn’t say this caused any unusual reactions or break outs.

They’re usually £2.99 but I purchased mine for £1.99 in Boots as they were on promotion.

Creme Eggs

This is probably a real strange thing to include but I’m just keeping it real and seen as the shops were full of Easter chocolate in March, I have to admit I became a little obsessed with Creme Eggs.

I’m feeling very lucky they’re gluten free because I’d be gutted if they weren’t but seen as they are, I have been eating one most days…

They’re actually not crazy high in calories but they are full of sugar and once I’ve had a couple more, I promise I’m going to cut back on chocolate and get back to healthier food.

If you’re not following my Gluten Free Instagram page or following my new gluten free blog, be sure to check those out to keep up to date with what else I’ve been eating!

Lydia Elise Millen Youtube & Instagram

I watch a lot of Youtube and follow a lot of Instagram account but one of my favourites this month has been Lydia Elise Millen.

She really is someone I aspire to be like. She is so glamorous, I love her style, her home is beautiful, she’s so intelligent and kind-hearted and just seems like she really has it together. I love all of her content but particularly her vlogs, she shows off her new home loads in them and I just love seeing it.

There you have it, a few of the best things I’ve been loving in March. I’d love to know what you’re loving at the moment, so share those in the comments.

If you enjoyed this monthly favourites post, let me know and I can look to do them more regularly!

Highlighter Drops… The Answer to Glowing Skin?

We’ve all seen the girls on Instagram with their highlighting drops and flawlessly glowing skin, so that got me thinking, could this be the product that can create that photo-ready glowing skin?

I’ve tried a couple of drugstore highlight drops to see if they really do give my skin that picturesque shine and I thought I’d report back!

Obsession Makeup London – Erotic

One of the two products I’ve tried is the Obsession Makeup London highlighting drops in the shade ‘erotic’ which is like a golden/champagne colour.

This brand is new to Boots and these really caught my attention as they had a really eye-catching shimmer to them and they were only around £8.

I added these to my foundation and mixed them into give my foundation more of a glowy look and although my skin may appear glowing (more than normal anyway) on pictures, in person you can actually see flecks of glitter on my face which isn’t great.

These ones may be better used on top of the cheek bone as a highlight opposed to a skin illuminator.

Revolution Liquid Highlighter – Rose Gold

The highlighting drops I bought from Revolution are in the shade ‘rose gold’, so are a little darker and pinker than the others but again, I mixed them into my foundation to give it some more glow.

I preferred the appearance of these as they didn’t have chunks of glitter in, so they worked better mixed with foundation but I can’t say my skin appeared noticeably more glowing.

Again, maybe you’d really get the wow factor using this product just on the cheek bones?

Neither of these products gave my whole face that insta-glow, so although they may do that to your cheekbones when used as highlighter, I wouldn’t say its highlighting drops like these alone that are giving all the celebs that flow!

Have you found a staple product for adding a insta-worthy glow to your skin? I’d love to know, so share in the comments!

W7 Delicious Palette: First Impressions and Review

I think you’ll all have realised by now that I’m OBSESSED with eyeshadow palettes. I definitely collect eyeshadow palettes but I’ll be honest, I usually opt for higher end palettes rather than drugstore ones and that isn’t because I don’t like cheaper eyeshadows, I just think the quality is usually better with higher end palettes.

I don’t usually show much interest in makeup dupes either but when I saw that W7 had released the ‘Delicious’ palette as a dupe for the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette, I knew I needed to try it!

So, how do the two compare?

Packaging

The packaging is designed so you can see the resemblance but it isn’t a direct copy, which I like.

As much as I love the suede packaging of the Anastasia palette, it’s highly impractical and mine is already ruined whereas the W7 palette has a smooth plastic packaging which wipes clean much easier.

Colours

It’s when you open the palette and see the colours that you realise that the W7 Delicious palette is definitely designed to imitate the Modern Renaissance Palette.

When I first opened the W7 palette, I didn’t think they were exactly the same in terms of colour selection but when I put the two next to each other, I soon realised they’re practically identical.

For some reason, I felt I had a better colour selection in the Anastasia palette and could do a whole eye look with that palette while I felt I couldn’t do that with the W7 palette. Maybe it’s the colour payoff that made me feel like that?

Pigmentation

I think it’s fair to say that the quality and pigmentation was always going to be a bit different between these two palettes because of the price difference.

The Anastasia palette is one of the best quality I’ve tried but in all fairness, for what I paid which was about £5, the W7 palette quality and pigmentation was not bad.

The colours definitely aren’t as intense but you do get a decent amount of colour pay off and they blend very easily.

This palette would be great for people just getting into doing eye makeup because the colours don’t apply too bright and boldly and blend out quite sheer which makes them very easy to work with.

Overall, I’d say the W7 palette is a great affordable purchase if you want beauty on a budget but if you’re after the quality and pigmentation of the Anastasia palette, I’d buy the original!

I hope you’ve found this useful, I’d love to know if you’ve tried both and how you think they compare!

The Perfect Foundation? No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation Review

Being an acne sufferer, I spend my life looking for the perfect foundation. I have tried so many different foundations from different brands and of different finishes and consistencies and although i’m a real fan of the MAC Studio Fix Fluid, I think the No7 Beautifully Matte may have become my new favourite.

I first tried the No7 Beautifully Matte foundation around a year ago and to be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed when I first used it and didn’t pick it up again for a while. I started mixing it with the L’Oreal True Match foundation a while back and when that ran out, I just started using the No7 foundation alone and really fell in love with it.

This foundation is available from Boots only as No7 is a Boots own brand and it retails for £15.

I use the lightest shade ‘Calico’, which is a perfect shade for me, which isn’t surprising as they use one of those machines that colour match you to the right shade. It was the first time I had ever been matched using one of these machines and i’m really impressed with the accuracy of it because the shade is a perfect match.

Formula / Coverage

This foundation is a liquid consistency and is relatively thick as the coverage is quite high. No7 describe the foundation as a ‘medium/full’ coverage and I would definitely agree with this. The foundation is designed for normal to oily skin and seen as I have combination/oily skin, this foundation really works well for me.

The Finish

The foundation is described as a ‘all day velvet matte perfection’ finish and I think this is a good description for the finish. Considering I do have acne, this foundation makes my skin look so smooth and even and in turn I feel really confident wearing it.

Apart from the MAC foundation I use, no other foundations give me the same great coverage and finish as this foundation, so for the price I would highly recommend it if your skin is similar to mine.

I’d love to know which foundations you feel really great wearing, so let me know in the comments!

Tanya Burr Cosmetics – Selfie Lash Mascara: First Impressions and Review

I’ve noticed that these first impression and review posts are always really well received, so I’m trying to share my thoughts with you guys every time I try a new product.

I’ve tried quite a lot of bits from the Tanya Burr Cosmetics range and have always been really impressed, they don’t feel like a ‘celebrity makeup range’, but really good quality products.

Usually I buy the products as soon as they come out but when Tanya released the ‘selfie’ eye makeup collection, I didn’t buy straight away as I wasn’t convinced I actually needed the products as I had plenty of mascaras, I don’t wear eyeliner and I don’t use an eyebrow pencil.

I’d heard and seen amazing things about the ‘Selfie Lash’ Mascara and my current mascara was coming to an end, so I decided to pick it up and give it a go!

The Mascara is £7.99 and available in Superdrug, I think that price is really reasonable for a mascara, so I was happy to pay that!

Tanya had promoted the mascara as being lengthening, separating and voluminous and generally capable of giving you a false lash look!

I have pretty underwhelming lashes, they’re quite average, not the longest or thickest but not the worst either, but I’ve used this mascara twice now and so far, I’m really impressed!

Lengthening and separating is a definite yes, my lashes looked really long and you could see each individual lash was separated, which create a nice false lash effect and is the kind of mascara I like!

I wouldn’t say it is overly voluminous, my lashes didn’t look much thicker, but that’s fine for me as that isn’t the look I go for!

This mascara is only available in black but it is very black, which for me is essential as my lashes go blonde on the ends!

This didn’t transfer or flake off at all and lasted perfectly for hours, yet was really easy to remove when I needed to!

Overall, I’m so pleased I picked this up and would highly recommend if you want a lengthening mascara that won’t break the bank!

Has anyone else tried this? What did you think?

New In at Superdrug: Makeup

I was going to upload a post on my top tips for saving money but then I had a little spending accident on some new makeup products in Superdrug, so I thought I’d keep the saving post for another day and share my new purchases with you!

As a whole, I find buying makeup in Superdrug better than buying it at Boots, I think there’s a better range of brands and some more affordable ones, and I found so many products that were either new in or new to me at least so I had to give them a try!

B by Superdrug Brow Contour Kit

I’ve seen the B by Superdrug range before but never purchased anything but seeing as they’d had some new products in, I decided to try some!

The first thing I got was this brow contour kit as my current one is running a little low and this was on sale for £5.33, which I think is great value considering you get a wax, 2 brow powders and a cream highlight!

I’ve tried this once and it seems very pigmented and easy to blend but the colours are quite strong so I’d go in cautiously if you want a natural look!

B by Superdrug Eye Pigments (Carrie Lomas Collection)

I noticed they had a collaborative collection out with a makeup artist called Carrie Lomas and the products were all in really nice packaging and it looked like there was some really nice stuff!

I love loose eye pigments and I noticed there was 4 in this collection, so I picked up two shades at £3.33 each, I got ‘glamoflauge’ and ‘#itsthem’

I haven’t tried these yet but the colours look really nice!

Revolution Bake & Finish Loose Powder

I’ve tried Revolution products before and generally always been really impressed, I think their range is really modern and on-trend and they bring out some great products.

I’d been wanting a white/translucent baking powder for a while as I have the Ben Nye Banana Powder for baking but it’s too yellow for my skin tone, so I picked up this one for £5.

I haven’t tried this yet but I’ve heard some great reviews!

Revolution Liquid Highlighter Drops

Liquid highlighting drops are so popular at the moment and I didn’t have anything like this, so when I saw Revolution had a range of colours out for £6 each, I decided to pick one up.

I got the shade ‘rose gold’ and although I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve also heard these are great for both highlighting the face and mixing into foundation!

MUA Prism Strobe Cream

You may be starting to gather I went a little crazy on highlighting and illuminating products but I really don’t have any and wanted to try a few.

This strobe cream from MUA in the shade ‘sun beam’ was just £3, so I’ve decided to try it as a base for foundation and mixed into my foundation!

B by Superdrug Sheer Liquid Illuminator (Carrie Lomas Collection)

I believe this was about £6 and this one is designed as a base more than to be mixed with foundation and promises to add a natural glow to the skin.

I haven’t used a lot of the products yet but want to do a post on the best highlighting products soon, so hopefully some of these will be featured!

If you like the look of any of these, they’ll all be online at Superdrug!

Be sure to follow my Instagram (@lifewith_ellie) for reviews of the products as I use them!

Luxury Beauty Products Worth The Money

I like to think I have a good balance of budget and high-end makeup in my collection but as much as I love a beauty bargain, I really do think some high-end makeup products are worth the price tag.

I’m going to be sharing with you my most highly rated premium makeup products that I think justify their price.

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks

Lipsticks are often something that people choose to treat themselves too because they feel like a more affordable luxury product, so if you’re looking to spend a little more on a lipstick, my recommendation would be one from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G collection by Charlotte Tilbury.

I have both ‘B*tch Perfect’ and ‘Penelope Pink’ from this collection and the formula is really soft and creamy, making it easy to apply and comfortable to wear, great for everyday use.

I also have ‘Kim KW’, which is from the Hot Lips collection and although I like that one too, the formula is dryer than those from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G range, meaning I wear it less.

Illamasqua Beyond Powder Highlighters 

There’s some amazing highlighters on the high street, like the Tanya Burr ones that I always recommend, but i would say that if you have the budget to spend on a premium highlighter then the Illamasqua Beyond Powder highlighter in the shade ‘OMG’ would be my recommendation.

Not only do I love this highlighter myself but the makeup artist I use for special occasions also loves and uses this one! The colour is really versatile and the formula has great pigmentation.

Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

There’s so many high end eyeshadow palettes I could have included in this post that I think are worth the money, such as the Naked Heat or Violet Voss Holy Grail, but I’ve been so amazed by the Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverley Hills recently that I had to choose that one.

Although there’s some bold shades in the palette, the neutral shades will work for everyone and the brighter shades are ideal for special occasions or just experimenting.

The pigmentation and the way these shadows blend is the best I’ve seen in a palette and that’s why I think it’s worth the price tag.

Check out my full review on this palette here!

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 

If there’s any product that I think is worth investing in when it comes to makeup, that’s fixing products because they’re going to ensure that all your products stay in place.

The best one I’ve tried and think is worth every penny is the Urban Decay ‘All Nighter’ setting spray. This fixing spray is a light and comfortable consistency but doesn’t allow makeup to move all day until you come to remove it.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation 

Although there’s some amazing high street foundations including L’Oreal True Match and No7 Beautifully Matte, I think having a premium foundation in your collection is a good investment for nights out and other special occasions.

My favourite is the MAC Studio Fix Fluid and has been for years now. I have about 4 different shades in this formula for different times of the year and have used about 5 bottles of my daily shade because I just love it!

The coverage and finish is perfect for my skin, blends so easily and lasts all day!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Cream Contour Kit

If you’re keen to spend money on a contour palette then you can’t go wrong with the Anastasia Beverley Hills contour palettes.

They do both a cream and powder palette but I’ve only tried the cream palette but would recommend it to anyone who likes a strong yet well blended contour.

This product is good value for money because you get 3 contour and 3 highlight shades and they’re all so easy to work with that they’re perfect for amateurs and professionals.

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re on the lookout for your next high end beauty buy or even if you’re trying to be a little more savvy when it comes to spending money on makeup and want to make the most of every penny.

I’d love to know what premium beauty products you think are worth the price tag, so share them in the comments!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette – First Impressions and Review

I’ve addressed my addiction to buying and collecting eyeshadow palettes before and I’m pleased to say there is now a new addition to my collection – the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette!

You may be thinking how late to the party I am with this one as this palette is old news to some now, but I wanted to let the hype die down before I made the purchase as I wanted to know if it was worth the money!

I was lucky enough to get this palette for Christmas and I was so excited to finally get my hands on it after dwelling on it for so long!

The packaging is stunning, the velvet/suede feel packaging isn’t something I’ve seen too many other brands do, so this palette looks really nice on display!

The Colours

The shade range was one of the reasons I held back buying this as I was unsure I would get any use out of some of the colours, such as the bold pinks, but the neutral and warm shades were enough to convince me I needed this!

I’ve fallen in love with the shade ‘Tempera’ for brow bone and inner corner highlighting but so far I’d say my hero shade of the palette is ‘Burnt Orange’; this is amazing as both a crease shade and blended all across the lid, depending on what look you want to create.

‘Raw Sienna’ is a great transition colour for the crease and base colour all across the lid.

The Quality

I have tried a lot of eyeshadows and thought I’d found some of the best quality there was to try, but it’s fair to say the pigmentation and quality of the shadows from Anastasia top them all.

The colour pay off on these shades is amazing, the colours come out on the lid so intensely yet thanks to the softness of the quality, they’re so blendable, making them easy to work with and wear.

I’d say I prefer the matte shades slightly more than the shimmers as I think the pigmentation and intensity of colour in the mattes is slightly better and I find those colours easier to work with.

I know you probably don’t need any more encouragement to purchase another eyeshadow palette, but I truly think every makeup lover, both amateur and professional need to purchase this palette!

You can purchase the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette from Beauty Bay for £43.00!