Saturday, 29 December 2012

A 'Beauty-full' Christmas Haul

Hello. So I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas! :)

*CAUTION* This is a if you don't like then I suggest you click the x now!

I was a very lucky girl this year and Santa brought me lots of lovely presents. I thought I'd show you the beauty related gifts I received! 

Full Christmas Haul
I did a full Christmas haul over at my YouTube channel so click the caption if you want to watch that instead! 

Onto my beauty gifts...

I'll start with the electricals!

These were a total surprise! My parents gave me them to unwrap about half an hour after I'd opened all of my presents. Very excited to finally have a pair of GHD's. They straighten like a dream! :)

This again was a lovely surprise. I'm suffering with quite bad skin at the's like return of 
the acne from my teenage years! So my mum bought this in the hope it might help. I also suffer with sinus issues so it may just kill two birds with one stone, so to speak ;)

Again my parents were very thoughtful in buying me this present. Since becoming a fitness freak earlier this year (you can read about my journey in my other blog belliebegone) my feet have suffered a little and my heels have become hard, dry and itchy! Nice. This electric pedicure machine should sort them out in no time!

And now for the make-up. It's my haul after all so there was always going to be make-up involved! :p 

SO excited about this present! I love all things MAC (apart from maybe their cleanse off oil!) and when I saw this online I instantly wanted it. However it was £45 and so I hummed and ahh'ed until the next time I looked it had SOLD OUT! :( ...But, I was amazed to find that my local Mac store still had these in stock with just days to go until Christmas. My mum asked me if I'd like it?...Well...erm...too right! Thank you thank you thank you! 
The beautiful kit comes with a 129se blush/powder brush, a blusher in Born to Love, a lipglass in Pure Flattery, a Creme Sheen lipstick in In A Heartbeat and finally a technakohl liner in Photogravure, a nice brown shade! Additionally the case it comes in is just to die's top quality!

Staying with the Mac theme...It's the 217 eyeshadow blending brush! I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these for so long! :D

My mum usually does a little makeup bag like this every year and I always enjoy finding some nice goodies inside. She got me a MUA The Artiste Collection eyeshadow palette, 4 peel-off face masks, Vasaline healthy hands and stronger nails hand cream, Vasaline Rosy Lips balm (perhaps the Vasaline products came with the bag?) and a MUA Lip Boom in shade LMK. There was also a mascara but I traded it with her so I can get the new Max Factor Clump Defy one ;)


I've never been much of a perfume fan as many fragrances used to give me migraines. But recently I've been getting better with smells and have two perfumes: The Fame by Lady Gaga and the DKNY Apple. This is my third perfume. My mum decided to hope for the best when she bought me the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy perfume and hoped I could wear it without any ill effects. Fingers crossed!

And last but not least, skin and body care.

Something else that was on my hit list for quite some time...I thought I'd join the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish crew! I picked this present but was still excited to receive it and try it out! The starter kit comes with the Cleanser, a Tonic and a muslin cloth.

And finally, a Soap & Glory Soaper Heroes gift set! This includes Clean On Me, Flake Away, Righteous Butter, Girligo and the famous Hand Food. Can't wait to try all of this lovely stuff out :)

And there we have it...there are the amazing beauty themed things I received for Christmas this year. I know I am very lucky and I really appreciate everything I get. I literally cannot wait until I'm no longer a student and can start buying brill pressies for my parents!...I feel like I have a lot of repaying to do!

I'd love to see other Christmas be sure to link me yours on here or Tweet me: @ellie1989 

Christmas belly

 Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!...

Actually Christmas is over...but I hope you had a good one!

Is it just me or does Christmas somehow convince you that it's fine to go ahead and stuff yourself with far too much food and drink?! That it's ok to be the ultimate 'couch potato' and barely lift a finger never mind exercise? was good while it lasted, but the aftermath wasn't so great! I've been feeling really bloated, fat and generally disgusting! It's weird how eating rubbish food can actually make you feel rubbish! Of course, besides a couple of pounds maybe, I doubt I have actually become 'fatter' but is not a nice feeling!

And with the lack of exercise I've been feeling really lethargic and I've become quite lazy...with duvet days becoming a bit too much of a ritual!

So enough was enough! ...After a full week off from any exercise (which believe me is a lot when your body is used to daily activity) I forced myself to head off to the gym. It was a true battle with my motivation at rock bottom, but I just kept telling myself I would feel better afterwards. I mean when have you ever regretted a workout? Perhaps, the only ones that didn't happen?! Once it's done, it's done!

Now I'm not going to lie, it was tough to get back into it. I could tell my fitness had declined a little,  and the first 20 minutes was hard. Wasn't helped by the fact my chest hurts at the moment (buggy bug bugs) but I soldiered on and actually ended up having a pretty productive session. Considering my earphones decided to pack in before I did made it harder still, as music is my secret weapon in the gym! At the moment Gangnam Style is thee song...I always have one song that spurs me on more than the rest...this one, because it makes me laugh and has a great feel-good tune about it!

Anyway...I was meaning to do a quick weigh-in to find out Christmas' damage, but I forgot. Alhough I might be 'gymming it' later so I shall do an update if I do! At the end of the day...scales aren't all that important. We as body conscious beings know when we've gained a few pounds. I mean were those jeans always so tight?...We don't really need a machine to put it in black and white.

When I started my 'lifestyle change' and joined Weight Watchers and signed up to a gruelling exercise regime, the scales were important to me. I had this goal weight in mind, which quite honestly felt unachievable at the time. When the scale readings started going down it felt amazing...all my hard work was paying off! And then finally after nearly 6 months, *BANG* there was my goal weight 8st 7lbs in bold writing! And although it made me happy, by this point the scales weren't as significant. I had already been on holiday and felt 'less conscious' in my bikini, I had got into all my old favourite jeans and most importantly I had started to feel happy in my own skin! Yes, it sounds rather cheesy but it is true!

At first maintaining my weight worried me. I found it a little difficult to bite the bullet, so to speak, and cancel my Weight Watcher's subscription. It had kept me regimented and, along with exercise, had been my key to success. However, slowly I started to adapt to not recording my food and just ensured I was sensible- eating a little more than I perhaps would have done on the plan but not over-doing it.

At the end of the day, you have to find something that works for you and stick to it.

Christmas might have got in the way...but it's time to get back on the wagon! :)

Are you cradling a Santa belly from too much festive fun? I'd love to hear from you! Come say hi on Twitter: @ellie1989

Need tips on what you can do? A bit of motivation? Or just someone to talk to?...Drop me a Tweet...I don't bite (I've already had my breakfast!)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Realness of Concealness

Hello :)

As a member of the troubled skin gang, I'm all about concealing! So when I saw Benefit's realness of concealness mini "fake-it" kit last year I was immediately interested. However the price tag, currently £23.50 from the likes of Boots, did make me question whether I'd get enough use out of it.

Ironically though, I found that the Benefit store, at the Clothes Show Live 2011 (@Birmingham NEC arena), were doing a deal whereby if you spent over a certain amount you got one of these kits free! I can't remember how much you had to spend but it certainly wasn't an obscene amount as I spent it.

I was really chuffed to get my hands on one these, containing Ooh la lift, high beam, lip plump, lemon aid and boi-ing concealer. It even has a little mirror :)

Now, last Christmas I asked for a lot of makeup and I guess this got a little bit neglected. However, recently it's made it into my daily makeup bag and I've been really enjoying using it!

I am a massive fan of Benefit's boi-ing concealer with a very creamy and blendable consistency, that provides great coverage. This kit contains shade 02 (medium) which may be too dark for some skin tones. Up until summer (when I got slightly tanned) I couldn't use it without mixing it with a lighter concealer, so you might need to bare this in mind if you are a fellow pale dale! :)

I think lemon aid, which aims to correct any discolouration around the eyes, is a lovely little product! I'm not one to suffer with major redness but popping a little of this under my eyes and on the lids instantly brightens them up. I also feel it works a treat as an eye shadow base, helping to avoid creasing. It's especially effective when applying those loose pigment eye shadows as it seems to grab the shadow and hold it in place...great for reducing any fallout! I would highly recommend this product to anyone, but in particular to those of you wanting to correct eye discolouration...I imagine it works amazingly well!

Onto the mini tube products... First up, and perhaps my least favourite item of the bunch, the Lip Plump. My first issue with this is in the name. Why would you include the word plump when in fact no plumping of the lips takes place? When I first heard about this product I thought it would be another 'bee sting' lip gloss along the lines of Soap & Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker range or something... Wrong. In actual fact what it is, is a lip primer ready for lipstick. Lip prime? Lip ready?  Surely it could have been called something less deceiving...but anyway once you realise what it actually is for, it's a pretty decent product. It is nude in colour, as you can see on the picture, and this makes it especially effective for prepping the lips for nude lipstick. However, be prepared to have to use a lip scrub and moisturiser e.g. Vaseline etc before using this, as it does tend to take a shining to the dry areas on your lips and cling to them!

High beam. Quite stupidly I actually purchased this product in full size whilst at the Clothes Show, forgetting that this came in the free kit I would be receiving! Nevermind. In actual fact I really like this product. It's a highlighter that does as its intended to. It has a fine shimmer that gives a nice glow to your applied areas. With a combination/oily skin type I can still wear this without feeling like my skin is too shiny and a little bit goes a long way. The mini tube is lasting me ages so I've not even dipped into my full sized pot yet!

And lastly, Ooh La Lift. This claims to de-puff and firm up your under eye area. The texture is very light and it blends in extremely well. Again, unless I have a heavy night, I don't suffer with baggy eyes (YET!) but I love how this helps to open up my eyes. You can definitely see a difference with a dab of this applied. Again, a little goes a long way.

Overall, and as you can probably tell, I am really impressed with the Realness of Concealness kit. I would have no reservations about paying the price tag on this thing, now knowing how much use I get out of it.

I like how instead of buying the product's full versions, you can try them out first in this kit and decide which ones you would re-buy. I think it would made a lovely Christmas gift if you still have any shopping left to do or alternatively a nice treat for yourself.

Well done Benefit!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Aching hell!!!

Hello. How are you all?

Right so, as you may know if you've been reading my blog posts, I've recently moved back home for the university Christmas holidays. Yes, we had like 4.5 weeks off this year... woohoo! And to be honest this is the first year that I wasn't actually overjoyed about coming back. Usually I couldn't wait to leave the grotty student house and return to home comforts, but this year I have a nice student house with even nicer housemates. So, i guess I've been having a better time.

However one thing I was looking forward to getting back into, was my much loved and missed exercise classes! I actually think I have a problem haha. I really love them :) As I said in my previous post, I'd been a bit slack on the exercise front of late so once home I quickly went about buying a two-week gym membership (it was easier this way as I'm not home long enough to sign up to a full contract again).

Monday: Core blimey (30 mins), Body pump (1 hr)
Tuesday: Spinning (45 mins), Zumba (1 hr)
Wednesday: Gym (1 hr 15 mins)
Thursday: Boot camp (1 hr), Step 'n Core (1 hr)

As you can see I went all out with my workout schedule and booked on for as many classes as possible, which was probably a bit too ambitious considering how little strenuous exercise I'd done of late. Basically I was asking for it! However, I did give myself Friday off. I felt this appropriate considering it was my birthday :) I turned 23! 

I started off my regime well, finding Core blimey (basically sit-ups for half an hour) quite manageable. I'd say that I'm fairly strong in terms of abdominal or stomach exercises and as I often do my own floor workouts in the gym, it wasn't a shock to the system or anything.

As for Body pump, I knew this one would be tough. For anyone not familiar with this class it generally consists of using weights in different ways. There is a lot of arm action and sadly for me this always hurts as I have rather puny arms. However, I have got better since getting into exercise and I always try to use the weights in the gym, if only for a short period.

Tuesday morning I was a little sore and be expected really, but I was still able to pick up and swing my little 2 year old cousin around whilst babysitting him for the day, (he loves it!) so I definitely hadn't lost the ability to move my arms or anything!

Spin class was brill but my bum once again found the seat a shock to the system...why on earth they make the bike seats so damn hard I don't know?! And after nearly an hour of that I was pretty wiped when it came around to Zumba. I regularly used to do both classes during the summer with ease so the fact I found it a bigger challenge than usual told me my fitness had slipped somewhat. GRR! 

By gosh...boy did it hurt to bend and sit down on Wednesday. Actually no, scrap hurt EVERYWHERE! Being a sucker for pain though I guess, I was somewhat cohered into going to the gym by my sister that evening. It seems I've passed on the fitness freak bug. I decided I would take it easy and have a more gentle gym session, afterall a light gym sess is better than nothing at all!

As it goes, I was very limited in what I could actually do when I got into the gym. After a short time on the cross trainer my legs really really started to ache and burn. The rowing machine made me realise how much my arms still hurt (probably from Body pump). Floor exercises created a lovely 'bruised' sensation to my abdominals. The treadmill turned out to be the best of a bad bunch where I was actually able to run for a considerable amount of time before flagging.

By Thursday I wasn't actually feeling too bad and the ill affects of the torture I'd performed on my body were starting to ease off. Boot camp was perhaps more intense than usual caused by the fact that only 3 people, myself included, turned up. This meant that you seriously couldn't get away with any slacking whatsoever, so it was a very grueling session. I enjoyed it though. Step 'n Core was as hard but as good as ever. Nothing out of the ordinary to note...Oh, other than the fact that the instructor made me and a few others do part of the class on a higher step. OUCH!

Friday. Happy Birthday to meee! So I awoke a year older, which was quite ironic as instead it felt like I had aged 60 years overnight. Yep...ACHING HELL! I was as stiff as board and got out of bed with the grace of a baby elephant!

I went out for a lovely birthday meal. I indulged myself with a burger and chips, followed by a treacle sponge and custard pudding (it arrived with a candle in the middle and to my surprise I blew it out about 3 times before my dad had to dispose of it in his glass, one of those re-lighting jobbies. Very funny!) I may add that I shared my dessert with my stomach can't quite hold what it used to despite my best efforts!

As for my birthday night...well this is when the aches really started to set in. I was literally hobbling around like a 90 year old (no disrespect to the elderly) moaning and groaning on every move. Sitting down was a real task. In the end I took some painkillers and had a nice long soak in the tub. Definitely recommend these steps in times of aching hell! 

Just smiiiile :)

Dry, damaged hair!

Hi guys.

Being a girl that used to regularly have my hair bleached (for around 6 years) I know only too well how damaging, dying your hair can be.

By summer 2011 I hated the dry frazzled texture of my hair and I also felt that my hair wasn't quite reaching the 'white' blonde colour I desired. It would often have a yellowy tinge, especially towards the ends of my hair, despite always having it done at a good salon.

Bored of battling the roots (I only ever had highlights but my hair grew so quickly that I would need them doing every 6 weeks and I couldn't afford it) and unhappy with the damaged feel to my hair, I opted for a fairly drastic change.

I went from blonde to brunette in just under 2 hours! I don't think the blonde picture shows how long my hair was because I had layers at the sides but I also had around 4 inches chopped off to combat the badly damaged hair!

I was a happy brunette for just over a year. The first couple of dyes didn't hold its colour too well as the bleach kept creeping through, but after the first 3 the colouring stayed fairly dark.

All was well until I went on holiday to Gran Canaria. Prior to going I had my usual brown colour done at the hairdressers. Perhaps this was a mistake?

As you can see in the picture (taken whilst on holiday) I guess the sun and perhaps the salt water from the pool took its toll on my hair and my ends became blonder and dry. In hindsight I guess I should have invested in some product to protect my hair from sun damage or whatever, but it's never been an issue before so I never thought about it. I mean, I was only there for a week!

Upon returning home and moving back to uni I attempted to fight the damage with ambitious helpings of conditioner (whatever I was using at the time) but it didn't seem to be working. Worried that I'd have to have my hair cut shorter (it had only just grown long-ish again and the longer the better imo!) I looked for products that might help fix the problem.

Being a student and money being quite tight and all, I decided to rumage through my cupboards to see if I had anything relevant, before going out to buy something.

I found this Herbal essences intensive mask hidden away. Given to me as a christmas present I hadn't thought to use it, up until now, as my hair was always in good condition and often a regular conditioner would do the trick. Now, this particular one probably wasn't the most ideal as it did specify normal/dull hair and not dry/damaged hair but I had it, so I thought I'd give it a go. Nothing to lose.

I applied the product through the middle/ends of my hair after my regular shampoo had been rinsed out and aimed to leave it on for 5 minutes. However, I guess the patient me might have left it on for around 2 minutes before washing it off.

The results were almost instant and the ends of my hair were utterly soft! I noticed a difference when blow-drying my hair too and the finished result was definitely more shiny and healthy looking.

However, after a day or so my hair became dry again. I was aware that if I used the product regularly then my hair would likely get used to it and the results would be less effective.

My uni housemate (who naturally has quite dry, frizzy hair) suggested that I should try hair oil. The thought of using oil in my hair was never something I thought about trying, as I have naturally oily hair and it gets greasy very qucikly. But, desperate to return my hair to its once healthy state, I went shopping.

I picked up L'Oreal Paris Elvive ExtraOrdinary hair oil for coloured hair as I remembered my housemate telling me she used one of these and really liked it. At £6.66 from Boots I was hoping to also like it!

For me, this product has been a lifesaver! Or, rather a hairsaver! I did make the mistake of applying this to the ends of my hair, dry, which left a lovely greasy effect! I have quite thin hair so obviously dry hair didn't agree with it, but when applied onto wet 'just washed' hair and blowdryed out it works a treat. It leaves my hair looking and feeling soft and nourished!

Don't get me wrong, I still get dry hair every so often but when I do I just add a little oil. I usually squirt two pumps into the palm of my hand, rubs my hands together then run the products through my hair, focusing directly on the ends.

I've been using this product for a couple of months now, on and off, and I still have loads left so I should imgaine it'll last me a long time.

Do you suffer from dry, damaged hair? I'd definitely recommend you go and try this for yourself!

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Hey guys. *It's nearly Christmas!* :)

Anyway... being one of those lucky individuals to have the absolute pleasure of troubled skin *joke*, I'm always in the market for a new 'kick-ass' remedy! To be honest I never imagined to have "teenage skin" at 23 but as it goes I do.

So, around this time last year I was doing a bit of shopping and couldn't help but check out the Benefit counter. Along with purchasing a crease-less creme eye shadow, I picked up one of their mini magazines showing off their products and inside I saw BOO BOO ZAP with a 'coming soon' beside it.

After reading on and discovering it was a spot fighting treatment I was immediately interested, especially as I've always been impressed with my Benefit purchases. Once released (early 2012 I believe) I went to check it out, but was a little disappointed with the size of the tube!

Containing just 7.4ml and with a £13.50 price tag I was a little unsure that it would be worth the money. However, as anyone suffering with acne or spots might know, desperate times call for desperate measures and I decided to purchase the tiny little tube anyway.

...And boy am I glad I did!

Not only did the treatment help tackle my delightful spots but it actually lasted me almost a full year. In fact it just ran out yesterday, which is what reminded me to review this little beauty.

I saw that on the Boots site it's called Benefit BOO BOO Zap Blemish Gel, Gel being the arguable word. I wouldn't say that the product's consistency is gel-like in any way, in fact it is more akin to water. This is one of the reasons that I find the treatment so easy to work with. It doesn't leave any noticeable finish on your skin, which means you can easily apply it under make-up without any ill effects. 

There is definitely a fairly strong smell to the formula which I feel resembles alcohol. Personally I like it but I guess it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea! It actually reminds me of an alcoholic based solution that the doctor prescribed me for my skin issues many years ago...but with a slightly sweeter scent. 

As for the 'spot-fighting', I definitely notice a difference when I've used the product over the course of a couple of days. It is very fast acting in drying spots up and reducing their size quickly. It also claims to prevent new ones from forming and I would probably agree with this. I mostly suffer with blemishes around my chin area and whilst using this over the past few days, (applying religiously at night), I haven't had any new outbreaks and the spots I have are clearing up nicely.

In terms of usage over the past year I would say I've used the product at least every week, often applying generous amounts of it at a time. I've had phases of trying other stuff but generally I've always come back to using this, as it is so easy to use. The substance is clear and quick drying which means that if I apply it at night before bed, nothing is transferred to my pillow.

I am shocked at how long the tiny little tube has lasted me and also at the quick results BOO BOO ZAP achieves. I'm definitely going to repurchase this product within the next few days!

Friday, 14 December 2012

It's my birthday...

...and I'll haul if I want to :)

Hi. So today I turned the grand old age of 23 and I thought I'd show you some of the lovely gifts I received. Alternatively you can check out my YouTube birthday haul:  

As always I've been truly surprised by the brill presents from some great friends and family!

I'm definitely one of those people that open their cards first and save their presents til last. However, one card held an extra special surprise this year...

A ticket to see DIRTY DANCING THE MUSICAL!!! Yes, my bestest friend of all time A.K.A Gina was lovely enough to buy me one of these. She really does know me well as Dirty Dancing is my favourite film. It's a classic! A big thank you to the kindest person I know!

The second lovely gift I got was from my university housemates. I didn't technically receive this present today as I had to get it early before we left for the Christmas holidays, but when I did I was pleasantly surprised  :) I've had my eye on one of these Thomas Sabo pearl bracelets for a long time but I didn't think they knew about it! Going to pick out a charm for it soon :P The TS bag also contained a beautiful TS 2013 diary!

My first Dior product and I am excited! I couldn't help splurging some of my birthday money on this little beauty. I've heard a lot about this Lash Plumping Serum and I'm looking forward to trying it out. Stayed tuned for a review some time soon!

Topshop leather look leggings/ trousers. Apoplogies for the small picture but you get the gist! I love these! They are fitted and super soft, plus leather is a big thing this season.

New Look studded ankle boots. Realising that I had no 'dressy' footwear to wear with the leather trousers I went on a little shopping trip and spent some more of my birthday money on these. I liked that the heel was sturdy and not too high so they are practical but they are jazzed up with a bit of 'studdage'. And I'm all about the studs this season!

Last but not least...what girl doesn't want chocs and booze! :) And yep, Strongbow is my favourite...I'm so classy!

So there we have it. I think I've been very lucky girl this year. Shame about the miserable wet weather today though!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Max Factor Flipsticks...

Now I'm pretty sure most of you will have seen the popular Max Factor advert on television at some point, showing off the Colour Effect certainly got some airtime! The shade 'Gypsy Red' caught my attention in particular. I loved the idea of adding a touch of gold on top of a vibrant red colour! And quite frankly, the model made it look beautiful. Max Factor brought out 6 shades in total and I have 3 of them to show you in more detail.

Top: 15 Boreal Mauve
Middle: 30 Gypsy Red
Bottom: 10 Folky Pink
The first thing I noticed about these lipsticks or 'flipsticks' rather, is their delicious smell. They don't have any particular scent I wouldn't say but they are just generally nice smelling lipsticks! Which if you ask me, is a bonus :) 

They have a very creamy texture which makes applying them easy and gives your lips a nourishing feel. However, I did find the 'Gypsy Red' shade to be a little different to the others in that you can indeed feel the glitter within its formula. This unfortunately gives this one a rather grainy feeling and it doesn't feel as moisturizing as perhaps the other two.

The lipsticks all have two shades, with the idea being that the darker colour is worn underneath the lighter shade. Alternatively you could simply wear the two shades individually, however I feel it's the combination of the two that gives it that extra 'appeal' factor. 

Gypsy Red, Boreal Mauve, Folky Pink
If you're a fan of sparkly orangey-red lipstick and don't mind the feel of glitter on your lips then I'd say pick up the flipstick in 'Gypsy Red'. The effect of overlapping the colours gives a really nice look and the colour is fairly long-lasting. 

The shades in 'Boreal Mauve' worn individually are really pretty, yet I wouldn't say wearing the two together give any standout results. I think the colours are a little too similar to make any stark contrasts but I guess applying them both will make the lipstick last for longer. If pretty in pink is your thing then give this one a go!

As for 'Folky Pink', this is my favourite. The berry shade is all in this season and the pigmentation of this colour is brill! It gives a long lasting stain to your lips and applying a little of the goldy-silver shade on top gives it that extra shine!

All in all, I think Max Factor did a good job with these! They retail from the likes of Boots for £8.49 each.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The weigh-in & motivation!

Hello. Hope you are all having a productive week so far! :)

As I mentioned in previous posts, over the past few weeks I've somewhat fallen off the wagon so to speak (no I'm not an alcoholic, but rather the healthy lifestyle wagon!) So when I took to the scales for the first time since reaching my Weight Watcher's goal weight, way back on the 28th October, I was bracing myself for the results!

However, the nail-biting experience was only further prolonged when it showed my weight in KG. No clue haha. Call me old fashioned but I much prefer the trusty stones and lbs!

So, after eagerly fiddling around with my iPhone and doing a good old Google search, I found my results...

Shocked face, for effect ;)
Amazingly, I'd not only managed not to gain any weight but had also lost a further 3lbs! RESULT. I couldn't believe it as I was convinced I'd put on...literally gobsmacked haha.

Knowing how much crap I've eaten of late as well as the decline in exercise I've come to one possible explanation. Which is, if during the 6 weeks of teaching practice the pure 'hectic-ness' and stresses took a bigger toll on me than I had realised and I in fact lost more weight in that time. Meaning that over the past few weeks I have gained weight but obviously my starting point was considerably lower than I thought?! Who knows? Your guess is as good as mine...

But anyhow, the main thing is happy times as I haven't ruined any of my hard work. Hooray! :P Also maybe a good message can come from this. Maybe it is OK to let your hair down and go all out every once in a while...have a couple of 'big nights' or stay in with takeaways, if you're dead on your feet cut your gym session and go the next night or swap to a less strenuous activity...Don't deprive yourself of treats ALL of the time because that isn't healthy either. 

The key is to find something that works for you and stick to it the best you can. We all have slip-ups and days where we want to give in but think about how far you've come. Remember the time when you couldn't walk up the stairs without the breathless feeling or when you'd stuff yourself to the point of feeling physically sick and wondering was it even worth it?! 

If you're just starting out then well done, you're taking the first step to becoming the person you imagine yourself to be. You'll never feel any better about yourself if you don't do something about it. Only you can make it happen. So, congratulations in mustering up the determination to start something...and when you've finished it and reached many of your goals you'll have all the more reason to celebrate! :)

Stay strong!

Monday, 10 December 2012


Hello :)

Right so today's the day where I find out the in potential weight gain from my overindulgence's over the last couple of weeks! If you read my last post you'll know what I mean. Apprehensive is an understatement!

But, what's done is done...and I am starting back my much loved fitness classes today. Yay!

Now, you may be wondering what the reason is behind the title...Well, as well as continuing with Youtube (ellie1989), and writing fitness related posts, I've started up a beauty blog!

If you ever saw this blog before I re-vamped it into a fitness one, you'll know that it was once meant for beauty. However, I never really got into it and my passion for exercise overtook it. But since then I've had a constant itch to start up a beauty blog I bit the bullet the other day and started afresh.

So, if you fancy a gander...   ;)

Anyway, I shall be back to report my findings later. Hoping the scales will be kind! EEK! Wish me luck & stay strong.

Remember a healthy lifestyle is a work in progress. Everyone can have weak moments and eat too much or skip that workout, but so long as you don't do this everyday then you're halfway there! 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A 'beauty-full' christmas gift guide :)

So it's not long to go until Santa comes down our chimneys, eats our mince pies and drinks up our milk! :) But if you're anything like me then you'll have left all of your Christmas shopping to the last minute! Well...don't worry cause I'm here to help you out!

As you can guess from the title, this gift guide is going to have beauty written all over it! I've picked out 9 things that I believe would put a smile on any beauty lover's face, if they came across any of them under their tree on Christmas day. 

I've tried to ensure that there's a range of different things along with covering different price tags so everyone can either afford something on the list or keep to their agreed present budgets.
I'll list the items in ascending price order :)

1. Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic - Lush- £3.25
I think one of these would make a lovely little gift. Not only is it gift-shaped, but it smells delicious and makes bath times much more exciting. As the picture suggests it has a fruity clementine scent and the outside is covered in finely milled glitter. However, the inside of the bath bomb is where the magic happens...I won't spoil the surprise but let's just say lots of colours, crackling and stars! :)

2. Bubblebeard Bubble Bar- Lush- £4.95
Can I just say how cute are these?! Yes, another Lush product but this time to make BUBBLES! These have a nice neutral scent with cedarwood, sandalwood and tonka and the fact they are in mustache form is novel indeed! Who wouldn't enjoy swishing them around their bath tub?! 

3. Balmi SPF 15 Coconut Lip Balm- Boots- £4.99
This cute little ball of balm is a lovely little stocking filler! Not a fan of coconut? Don't worry, they also come  in raspberry, strawberry and mint flavours too...yum!

4. Soap & Glory's Hand Food 125ml- Boots- £5  
Love this stuff! Not only does it ooze the classic Soap & Glory scent but it literally gives your hands the royal treatment. Never will you need have sore, dry hands again with this as a moisturizer. And the name is brilliant imo! There is also a mini version of this (50ml) for £2.50

5. L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick- Boots- £8.19
My current favourite lipstick! Love these, especially the shade Dating Coral! The formulation of this lipstick is literally glides on your lips and leaves them feeling ultra soft and nourished. I'm hoping Santa leaves me one of these under my tree!

6. OPI The Bondettes Skyfall Mini Nail Lacquer Collection- John Lewis- £12.95
I like the Skyfall theme along with the fact that they are minis. Not many girls get through full bottles of nail polish before they get icky, so these are the perfect size! OPI always make quality varnishes and I think the 4 shades are perfect for the winter months. 

7. Paper Plane Wash Bag by Disaster Designs- Amazon- £19.95
I received this wash bag last Christmas and thought it was adorable. The cute parcel design is a great idea! Not only does it look good but it is very durable and the material is very good quality. Mine still looks new even though I use it all the time.

8. Lady Gaga: Fame- The Perfume Shop- £24.50-£54.50 (varying ml)
Being a huge Gaga fan I was excited when I heard she had released a perfume. I'm quite fussy with scents and have only recently been able to start wearing fragrances (migraine issues) so I wasn't really expecting to like it. Surprisingly though, I love it! I'd say it is a fairly sweet smelling scent with a light hint of floral and possibly even a fruity essence in there? It's quite hard to describe so I'd say check it out in store. Strangely the fluid is black in colour but becomes clear when sprayed...

9. Urban Decay: Naked Eyeshadow Palette- Debenhams- £36 (£30.60)
I certainly couldn't do a beauty gift guide without including this little gem. I know a lot rave about it but it's because it really is a great eyeshadow collection! I use mine almost every time I do eyeshadow (the naked palette 2 also gets used) and I think it would make a great gift if you're willing to overlook the price tag! However, currently Debenhams are having a 15% off beauty sale (9/12/12) so it's a little more affordable...go grab it quick!

So, there we have it...all 9 equally desirable gifts!...Hope this has helped.

Happy shopping! :)

Thick & Fast Vs. a BADgal?


So for my first proper beauty related post I figured I'd start with my number one favourite make-up item...MASCARA. As I said previously, I love how this clever little stick allows all of us to appear luscious lashed!

Today I shall be putting Benefit's BADgal lash mascara into the ring with Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast mascara. Fight!...

I received these two mascaras in a £1 bag for students at a recent fresher's fair, (this event is basically a chance for new students and old students alike to bag a few bargains) and although the BADgal lash mascara is only a miniature I reckon it was a pretty good deal!

The Soap & Glory Thick & Fast retails for £10 (from the likes of Boots), whilst a full size Benefit BADgal lash totals £17.

The first thing I noticed about the two mascaras is how similar their brush heads are, in fact they're almost identical. The brushes are very large and to be honest I found them quite intimidating at first. They are also hair/bristle based and generally I usually lean more towards the plastic brush heads on mascaras. Nevertheless I thought I'd give each of them a good go, afterall...I did get them for £1 so I couldn't really complain!

I've alternated using both of them over the last few weeks but for me one definitely came out on top...

Left: BADgal lash            &           Right: Thick & Fast
So I curled my eyelashes and applied two coats of each mascara. In my opinion the results are quite obvious with Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast mascara not only doing a finer job of separating my lashes but also in giving them more length. The Benefit BADgal mascara's formula was also slightly harder to work with and I had to fight quite hard against clumping.

Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast
I really liked how this mascara applied and I could feel the brush combing through my lashes. As you can see, it did a great job of separating whilst also adding length and volume. I felt like this mascara helped open up my eye, making it appear bigger and giving my lashes better definition.

Benefit's BADgal lash
As for this mascara, given its fairly hefty price tag (£17) and its hard to work with formulation I wouldn't consider purchasing the full sized wand. Whilst I found it a generally OK mascara, I think there are plenty of better alternatives out there, like the Soap & Glory one for instance. I imagine I would have been pretty disappointed if I had bought the mascara.

All in all I would give the Benefit BADgal lash mascara a disappointing 2/5 stars, with the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast mascara appointed 4/5 stars.

However, something that you would have to consider with the Soap & Glory mascara (and the reason for only 4 stars) is that I did notice some lower lash fallout after wearing it all morning, resulting in a low level panda eye situation. But, if you are someone who only likes to apply mascara to your top lashes then this would be a great mascara for you! Alternatively Clinique's Bottom Lash mascara could be a great solution to prevent this!

Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara- Boots: £11
I have my eye on this product! :)