Thursday, 20 September 2012

First Impressions: Origins Out of Trouble Face Mask

Wow this week really has flown by! I was half expecting it to drag seeing as I haven't had work so far this week, but it's gone surprisingly quickly. That said, I have been out and about every day doing bits and pieces so I guess I didn't get as bored as I thought I was going to be. :)

I bought this Origins Face Mask at the end of August when I got paid as a little treat to myself before I embarked on my 100 Day Challenge. My skin has been up and down for the past few months and I'm kind of enjoying trying out different products to see what works well with my skin and what doesn't. As awesome-a job as my Avon Cleanser has done in getting my skin to a near respectable standard, there are still a few niggly spots and blemishes left which I've given the Origins Out of Trouble Mask (and the hoard of samples that came with it) the task of finishing off the last few resilient ones.

First off, the smell. I'm not going to lie and say it smells awesome because it doesn't. It smells a little bit like Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector, and reminds me a little of moss (?!). It's not a strong smell though, and once applied you can't really smell it anyway. Application is nice and simple, just smooth it onto your face and throat in a nice even layer. Unlike cheaper brands I've tried, a little seems to go a long way with this face mask - I feel as though I've barely used any!

Once applied I left it for 10 minutes (clue's in the name there I guess!) and then washed it off with a face cloth and warm water. I have to admit it didn't look as though it had made much of a difference straight off, but then again I'm not sure if it's meant to. In the morning however my skin did feel quite a bit softer, and quite a lot of the redness had gone down.

As the title suggests, this blog post is only a first impression of it, I'm going to continue using it (they suggest once a week) and then come back to you in a month or so with a more solid review for you to have a gander at. :)

Have you tried this face mask or any other Origins products? What's your favourite? :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Makeup Inspired By: Jade Thirlwall

I'm not going to lie and say I'm a huge Little Mix fan, but I do enjoy listening to their music - I think that they're lovely girls and I'm glad they won the X Factor last year out of all of the finalists. Whilst I'm not an avid follower of theirs I couldn't help but want to try and replicate their makeup from their latest photo shoot with Fiasco magazine when it cropped up on one of my lengthy browsing sessions!
All of their makeup is gorgeous, but my favourite has to be Jade Thirlwall's. Even though it looks super simple, I can't help but be drawn to her eyes. I love the way the lashes have been separated - no doubt achieved by false lashes  - and I'm a sucker for simple makeup so I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
Face: Chanel Perfection Lumiere in Beige 30 ~ Eyeko 3in1 Cream with Extra Glow ~ Soap & Glory Concealer in Medium ~ Boots 17 Eye-Brightening Concealer in Light ~ No7 Blush in Soft Damson
Eyes: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Black ~ L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Mascara in Black ~ Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Virgin, Naked & Dark Horse ~ Collection 2000 Eyebrow Definer in Blonde
Lips: Collection 200 Lip Liner in Pink Heaven ~ Barry M Lipstick in 154

Jade's skin looks super flawless in this, so I used my Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation as well as my Soap & Glory concealer to try and recreate the perfect base for my look. This concealer can be quite heavy on the skin, so I used a little at a time and made sure it was blended in properly before building in up. Even though it's in black and white, you can tell that a lighter shade has been used underneath the eyes to draw your attention to them more, so I used my Boot 17 eye-brightening concealer on top of the S&G concealer to make my eyes seem brighter and create a more 'healthy' look.

Moving onto the contouring, I've used a darker blush colour than what I would normally go for and have swept it just below my cheekbones to sculpt my face a little more, before adding my Eyeko Extra Glow highlighter on my cheekbones and my cupids bow so that it catches nicely in the light. I also added some highlighter to the inner corners of my eye to make my eyes look a little brighter!

For the rest of the eyes, I used Naked from my Urban Decay Naked Palette, and then blended Dark Horse over the top of the eyelid crease.  I opted to only use my gel liner over where my lashes are to make them seem fuller instead of all along the waterline, as I didn't have any false lashes to had, before coating my upper and lower lashes in a couple of coats of mascara.
The lips look pretty natural in the photo so I went for Barry M's lipstick in 154 which is my favourite nude lipstick at the minute, and popped it over the top of a Collection 2000 lip liner.

Have you seen Little Mixes photo shoot? Don't they all look gorgeous! Let me know what you think of this type of feature, and I may do it again some time! :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fending For Myself

Okay so I know that most people probably cook their own food every day and for them this post may seem a little silly and irrelevant to them, but when the parents and my sister went away for a few days last week, it was the first time I truly had to organise my own meals completely. (This is opposed to picking and choosing which of my mum's meals I would eat, and when I would make my own!).
I really wanted to use this time to test out potential meals ready for when I move out next week (double eek!) and wanted to try and not spend any money on eating food out - especially Boots Meal Deals which always result in extra money being spent on things I don't need!
So here's a sample of some of the things I made myself during the week. :)
Cod in Parsley Sauce with Broccoli and Peas (cost: approx £1.50)
I bought a 4-pack of boil-in-the-bag Cod Steaks that are in a Parsley Sauce for £3.99 and this is the simplest meal to get ready! Literally just leave the bag in boiling water for 20 mins and whack some frozen veg in the microwave - BOOM.

Graze Box (£3.89 per box)
I probably mentioned this before, but Graze boxes really are a saviour to me when I'm trying to eat healthily. The four punnets you get per box are always really varied so you never get bored, and I love that the take away the hassle of getting a wide selection of fruit and nut mixtures without getting bored. Some may think they're a little expensive, but personally I love them! This week's favourite was the Chocolate Orange Granola - yummy! :)

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt with Strawberries & Toasted Muesli (cost: approx £1.20)
Sometimes I don't really fancy a massive breakfast in the morning, and this is perfect for those occasions. It's so nice and summery, and Sainsbury's had a punnet of strawberries for £1 so I could resist buying some! Greek yogurt has heaps of protein and hardly any fat, so it's great for keeping you feeling fuller for longer without the calories. For an added crunch I toasted some Jordan's Muesli in a dry frying pan which made it even better!

Thornton's Summer Collection Limited Edition Chocolates (not sure about cost as they were a prize!)
This was definitely my little guilty pleasure for the week. Our Area Manager came to our store today for a little surprise visit to check how we're getting on during Back To School, and he awarded me with a little bag of choccys because he was impressed with my customer service skills, the sales targets I was achieving, and because I got a customer compliment whilst he was there! I always try so hard to give the best service possible, and it's so lovely to have been recognised by the Area Manager for it! :)

Strawberries with YooMoo Frozen Yogurt (cost: approx £1.50)
I feel that I should mention that this wasn't eaten on the same day as the Thorntons! ;) i'm not even going to get started on my love for YooMoo's Fro-Yo - lets just say that it's awesome. Who wouldn't love strawberries and ice-cream without the guilt of the ice-cream?!

Turkey Stir Fry (cost: approx £2.50)
So quick and simple to make! I decided to use the really thin egg noodles over the thicker ones in it, simply because they're healthier. I also had a scan of the nutritional content of the sauces and opted for a Ginger Teriyaki Sauce as it seemed the best for me. :)

Sweet Chili & Lime Tuna Steak Salad (approx £2.30)
I was super intrigued when I saw a pack of John West Tuna Steak in Sweet Chilli and Lime Sauce on the shelf in Sainsbury's - because it was microwavable! Even though it was more expensive than just a bog standard tin of tuna, I couldn't resist trying it out, and it was another awesomely quick dish that I could whack in the microwave for 30 seconds and throw on top of a salad. It also tasted absolutely delicious which makes it even better! Tuna is an expensive food to buy, so I will have to be looking out for deals on multipacks to make it cheaper in the long run.

Obviously I did eat other things as well - like I had porridge for breakfast some of the days - but I doubt a photo of porridge would make an interesting photo. ;)
The main purpose of testing out a few recipe ideas and working out the costs was a success though, I spent just over £15 on food for the 4 days they were away, and there's still plenty of food left over meaning that it would probably do me for a whole week. Things like frozen veg would probably last me a couple of weeks as well so I guess even if I spend more than I've budgeted one week, it'll probably balance out by not needing to spend as much the next week. :)

Hope you all found it interesting, if you have any healthy recipes that are relatively cheap to make let me know! :) I'm also looking for people to share their healthy eating/diet and exercise stories with me for a monthly feature I want to run so if you're interested in taking part, don't hesitate to get in touch at :)

There's only a few days left to vote in my sidebar poll with what you want to see more of on The Barbelle, so check it out if you haven't voted yet to have your say! :)
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