Niva Express Hydration Primer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

 I first purchased the Nivia Express Hydration Primer back in 2013 when I saw its advert airing on TV and since them, I have used nothing else! I love it so much that I have recommended it to a lot of family and friends since I've been using it!

I use the normal/combination primer, with a blue lid. However there's also a dry/sensitive option with a pink lid, so there's something for everyone. The primer is in a 50ml glass pot, so it definitely has the sense of luxury. The primer retails at £4.99 which I think it a bargain!

As the name 'Hydration Primer' suggests the cream is a double action product, a moisturiser/primer duo. It effectively moisturises your face whilst also providing a primer - a great base for makeup!

The primer has a light creamy gel like consistency, which is cooling to the skin.  It provides the moisture you would expect from a thicker/richer moisturiser but absorbs into the skin in seconds, leaving your skin feeling moisturised all day! Enriched with vitamins and lotus extract the primer really does give the skin a refreshed feel and appearance. The primer also keeps your makeup looking pretty much flawless all day!

The primer is best applied to a freshly cleansed face, before applying makeup. You should apply the primer by gently massaging in small circles, and then you can pretty much apply your make up straight away! Be warned a little of the cream goes along way! Don't be tempted to put a lot on otherwise you will run into problems when applying your make up and you will find the primer will peel as your applying your foundation!

This duo product really is amazing! No longer is there a need to moisturise your face, wait for it to soak in, then apply your makeup, you just apply this little gem and you're good to go straight away!

Have you tried Nivia's Express Hydration Primer? What do you think?

Must Have Brushes From Real Techniques

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I am pretty sure Real Techniques Brushes are by far one of the most popular and affordable makeup brushes. After using them for months and months, I absolutely love them! Aside from being affordable they're soft, dry really quickly after washing and are just all around great quality brushes. I’d recommend them to anyone! Most importantly all the Real Techniques brushes are made out of Taklon bristles which are synthetic, so the brushes are 100% cruelty-free

Buffing Brush (sold in the Core Collection Set for £20.99)

 This was the brush that made me fall absolutely in love with Real Techniques because it changed the way I applied all my bases. The annoying thing is that it comes in the Core Collection set so if anything happened to it and you just wanted to repurchase the one, you would have to get the whole set. It is a dome shaped brush which is slightly flared out. It  flawlessly buffs and blends in my foundation!

Expert Face Brush (£8.99)
I purchased the Expert Face Brush because of my love for my Buffing Brush. (I figured it was worth trying out as if I liked it  would save me re purchasing the core collection just for the buffing brush.) I also fell in love with it as expected because it is a damn good brush. Unlike the Buffing Brush, it is slightly smaller and denser which helps apply my foundation really well. It can also be used to blend out other makeup products like blushes and contours because it really fits into the natural contour/curves of the face. Thankfully, it is sold separately so if you don’t want to splash out on the Core Collection, this is a good one to try!

Powder Brush (£10.99)

The Real Techniques Powder Brush is again one of my favourite brushes because it really does its job well. It is very dense but still fluffy which helps in flawlessly applying my powder. Its wide surface area means my whole face is covered with a few sweeps and I always reach for this over all my other powder brushes. The only downside is it’s quite a big brush so it’s not one that you can chuck into your makeup bag but that doesn't really matter to me!

Deluxe Crease Shadow Brush  ( sold in eyes starter kit £20.99)

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush is very soft and fluffy, it has a rounded shape and is a bit large to actually use on the crease of my eye. However it is fantastic for blending out because of how fluffy it is. One thing I love about Real Techniques brushes is that they are all colour-coordinated based on what part of your face they are for, so all your eye brushes will be purple, cheeks and lips are pink, face is yellow.
 Base Shadow Brush  ( sold in eyes starter kit £20.99)
Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush is easily my favourite from the set. It’s great for picking up shadow without being too heavy, and I could basically do all my eye makeup with just this brush if I had to. The brush is flat which is great for applying colour to the lid and the rounded top can be used for applying highlighter to the inner corner or brow bone as well.
 Deluxe Crease Shadow Brush  ( sold in eyes starter kit £20.99)

The Accent Brush is definitely unique in my collection, but I’m so glad I have it! This little flat brush is great for putting shadow along the lash line, adding a dab of shadow wherever you need it, and putting eye shadow on the inner corner of your eye. The small size means this is a very precise brush, and I feel like I will find many more surprises uses for it the longer I use it.

 I am thinking of purchasing at least one brush from the Bold Metals Collection,
but they are a little pricey. I might treat myself, who knows?
I don't need any more makeup brushes though - said No Woman Ever!!!

Have you tried any of these brushes? What are your favourites?

skin care

A Guide To Skin Care

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If your relatively new to the  concept of a skincare routine or aren't sure what products you need or should have, then this guide will help you understand the basics of what different types of products do, which may help you towards finding your perfect skincare routine.
It's never a good idea to sleep in makeup and the first part of any evening skincare routine should be to remove your eye makeup. The best way of doing this is by purchasing an eye makeup remover which typically come in a liquid or cream form and it's really down to preference which you decide to go for as both with do the same job. Apply the eye makeup remover to a cotton pad and hold it over your eye for a few seconds, this allows the product to penetrate into the make up to dissolve and loosen it off, then wipe across your eye - do not rub!
Repeat the process of holding the cotton pad on your eye for a few seconds and wiping away a couple of times until you are satisfied that all your eye makeup has been removed and the repeat on your other eye.
Never go to bed without cleansing your face, sleeping with make up on can clog your pores, cause premature aging and cause breakouts. ( make sure you have remove eye make up with eye makeup remover) then apply cleaners to a dry face, avoiding the eyes and  massage into the skin and wipe off with warm water using a face cloth/flannel. Make sure you use a fresh face cloth/flannel ever time, otherwise you are just putting bacteria back onto your face! The best types of cleansers to use are cleansing balms, cleansing creams, cleansing gels and cleansing milk. As I stated in my previous blog, foam cleansers aren't the best as they contain surfactants which can cause breakouts. 

Toners are meant to be used after cleansers and are used to bring the PH levels of the skin back to a normal level after cleansing as no matter what product you use it will change the PH balance of your skin. Which is often why when you have cleansed your face you get that tight feeling because the PH balance of your skin has changed. Toners also help to re-hydrate your skin, which in turn will help other products to penetrate into your skin. Toners can come in two different forms a liquid in which you apply to a cotton pad then wipe across your face or a sprits in which you can just spray onto your face.

Exfoliating toners/acid toners are becoming something of a must have in the beauty world, so it would seem. Acid Toners/Exfoliating toners are fast replacing traditional exfoliators which usually have micro beads in them. Exfoliating/Acid toners do the same job as a traditional exfoliators but they are much kinder to the skin without the scratchy beads. These are liquid exfoliants which look like toners, as they are in liquid form, but they bring a great deal more than toners. They are applied in the same way - with a cotton pad, swept across the face  but they contain exfoliating ingredients and acids such as AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids; for most skins except very sensitive) and BHAs (such as salicylic acid; better on spotty, oily and sensitive skin types). The point of liquid exfoliants is to remove dead skin cells and get rid of blocked pores, leaving the skin brighter and smoother. However it's important that you do not over do it! Use the exfoliating/acid toner twice a week max and do not leave home without SPF on your face as using acid toners can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.


serums are highly concentrated fluids the penetrate deep into the skin, delivering nutrients as well as hydration. Serums are best purchased to your specific needs such as; anti-aging, brightening or acne. If you have more than one concern you can layer serums and the apply your moisturiser afterwards on top.

Eye creams are formulated for specific eye area concerns they add moisture, address fine lines and wrinkles and help with the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles. When applying eye cream make sure you gently pat on the cream applying along the ocular bone around the outer edge of your eye.

Apply moisturisers after your evening cleansing routine to help refresh and hydrate your face whilst you sleep.


Face masks are designed to remove the impurities from the skin by drawing them out to the surface and leave your face feeling silky smooth. Face masks are ideally used once a week, although you can do them more regular if you wish

what types of products do you use in your skincare routine? If you haven't got a skincare routine what types of products are you interested in trying out? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments section below.

Finding A Good Skin Care Routine

Thursday, June 18, 2015

If by now, you are a regular reader of my blog (hello *waves*) then you will know that I have recently ditched the evil face wipes and I'm now starting on a road to find the perfect skincare routine!
After ditching the face wipes, I needed to find a quick replacement to remove my makeup and whilst doing my weekly food shop in Asda I came across the Simple skin care range on offer 3 products for £5. So I decided to go with the eye makeup remover, foaming cleaner, and a light moisturiser.
The eye makeup remover does what it says on the tin really, effectively removes all your eye makeup, even waterproof mascaras. I put some onto a cotton pad, hold it on my eye for a few seconds and then gently wipe away, I repeat this couple of times on both eyes to make sure all traces of makeup are removed.
I apply two pumps of the foaming cleaner to a dry face and massage it in, in circular motions avoiding my eyes and then wipe away using a hot flannel. I then repeat the process - this is known as a double cleans, to ensure that all make up and bacteria have been removed from my face. This cleaner really light on the skin, probably due to its airy foamy consistency and is very effective in removing your make up

I let my face dry and I then apply the light moisturiser all over my face. I really like the smell and healthy feeling that this moisturiser gives your skin after application.
The only real downside to this skincare routine is that skin expert Caroline Hirons doesn't recommend using foaming cleaners.
Caroline says "As a rule - stay clear of 'foaming' on the bottle (there is the odd exception, but they are few and far between) - to get foam you need to use a surfactant - and a surfactant turns your skin alkaline. Alkaline skin is like a petri dish for bacteria. The irony being that so many cleansers pushed on to acne/combination skins are foaming. Naughty companies should know better."
However I didn't realise this until after purchasing and using the product. Sadly, it turns out that simple's foaming cleanser does contains two different types of surfacents Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate (Surfactant) and Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (Surfactant) which is stated on their website under the ingredients section.
So it looks like I have broken another one of Caroline's rules, that said I never intended this to be a long term skin care routine, it's more of a cheap gap filler until I find one that's perfect for my skin.

what's your favourite cleanser?


The Real Truth About Face Wipes And Why They Are So Bad For Our Skin!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Until very recently I had never thought of using anything other than face wipes to remove my makeup, due to lack of skin care knowledge and they've always seemed to do the job of removing my make up right? So why bother using anything else?!

It wasn't until recently stumbling across Caroline Hirons blog, (and seriously WOW she has an amazing breadth of skincare knowledge!) that I realised that for all my makeup wearing years, I have been incorrectly removing my make up! YIKES! Yes, that's right if you are using make up removal wipes/face wipes to remove your makeup - STOP IT!

Whilst face wipes do a decent job of removing your entire make up if you're anything like me, then you too probably end up with red panda eyes after using wipes to remove your make up. This can be for a couple of reasons. Firstly, face wipes are packed full of alcohol which can cause sensitive and red skin. (My red panda eyes) Secondly, although they seem good at removing your make up, do you ever find yourself continually rubbing your eyes to get rid of your eye makeup? I know I do! The skin under your eyes is very delicate and thinner than the rest of your skin on your face, so continual rubbing of your eyes to get your make up off can create dark circles and wrinkles from the constant tugging of the skin. I have noticed that I have slightly aged wrinkled skin under my eyes and I'm only 24! So I guess it's time to invest in a good eye cream!

Face wipes are also a breeding ground for bacteria, as they sit on shop shelves for months on end with varying temperatures, which is why face wipes are packed full of alcohol and other chemicals to try and prevent the bacteria from growing, even though the alcohol and chemicals aren't good for your skin. 
Face wipes also only 'remove' the impurities from your skins surface (your make up) and they do not give your skin a deep clean. So if like me you are prone to breakouts, then any grime and bacteria on your face from the day, you end up spreading all around your face instead of removing. So it's no wonder I have always suffered from breakouts.
Caroline Hirons is always saying that you 'only get one face so you should take care of it!' Well I have fully taken this advice on board and I have officially ditched the face wipes!
So it's time I got myself a proper skincare routine!
What are your favourite skincare products? What products do you recommend I use?

Home Decor

Bedroom Haul

Thursday, June 11, 2015

If you're the type of person who loves watching girly room tours on YouTube or spends an eternity pinning home decors on Pintrest, then we are going to get along very well :). If you've read my previous post you will know I've spent the past month redecorating my bedroom and today I'm going to show you all the lovely thing I've bought for my re-designed bedroom. Since my preferred style is modern vintage/shabby chic style, I wanted to get soft detailed girly things, (but not too girly) so here's what I've bought.

Firstly, my first Major and most expensive item was a new bed.
Image courtesy of
 I'm totally in love with my new bed! I absolutely adore the oversized high of the headboard and loved the elaborate buttoned detail of the headboard and the silver studs that run right down both sides of the headboard. This bed definitely has the boutique hotel feel to it!

The next couple of things are more essentials than anything else, a new mattress topper and a new duvet, so I guess you can say these are the two most boring items I purchased, but still there a must for me!

I opted to get a slumber down duvet that I purchased way before I decided to redecorate my bedroom (I know it's an autumns/winter tog duvet but I like to be warm in bed so I will be using this all year around) I purchased this in a sale back in March as I knew I would be re-decorating my bedroom soon and my current duvet is only a cheap one so I wanted something nicer. This duvet is really nice feeling as it has a high thread count and it isn't heavy!

My mattress topper I purchased from Dunelm, in their summer sale and it's currently 20% off, I opted to purchase this as it's the best one I've seen for the price again it also has a high thread count so it feel luxurious and most importantly it's super comfy to sleep on!

I purchased two of touch table lamps

I love the contrast of the silver metal on the base of the lamp with the grey shade as it matches the silver studs down the side of the headboard and obviously the grey lampshade to fit in with the grey bed. I think these were a real bargain to £15 for the pair from Argos's colour match range!

My next purchase was this heart chunky knit cushion

I purchased this cushion from Asda's George Home range for £8. I'm pretty much a sucker for anything chunky knit, so obviously I just had to have this for my bedroom!

Finally, the new bedding set, I bought this set for Dunelm in a 20% off sale.
I love the subtle grey of the set (I don't want to go grey crazy after all... although I currently seem to have an obsession, not sure why)

My room isn't completely finished as the last finishing touches are missing, such as new matching bedside tables, and a few ornaments, but I'm really pleased with the overall look of my room, and I have achieved the style I wanted!

May Favoruites

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

This is my first ever favourites blog post, I'm not sure if I will do them regularly or not, but I like reading other blogger's favourite's so I thought I would give it ago, so here's my May Favourites!

Firstly a snippet of fashion for you
Last month I purchased this beautiful lace peplum three quarter sleeved  top from a next clearance store for the bargain price of £4 marked down from £20 I am really happy with this purchase, its super comfortable and it can be dressed up or down!

I have two skincare favourites this month, firstly the Garnier Pure Self-Heating Sauna Mask - wow that's a mouth full! (excuse the torn packaging, I forgot to photograph it before using - doh!)


 This mask leaves your skin feeling so amazingly soft! The mask itself didn't heat up as much as I thought it would, when rubbing it on to your skin, you feel a slight warming of the mask but once you've finished applying it the "self-heating" part is over and done with, (probably a good thing anyway, you don't want to end up looking like a tomato after using the mask)but that said I really do love this mask, it gives your skin a really deep clean and makes your skin feel so lovely afterwards! Definitely a new favourite of mine!

My next skincare favourite also happens to be a Garnier Product.

 Garnier pure active intensive spot fighting 24hr moisturiser - yet again another mouth full! - I have recently been suffering with a lot of breakouts, so when I saw this product sitting on the shelf, I thought why not give it a go!

On the box they say "It's a new and effective moisturiser that helps protect against the appearance of spots before they appear. Moreover, it improves the skin's appearance by hydrating it and visibly reducing shine. The product is enriched with Salicylic Acid and helps to deeply purify and mattify skin to protect against spots even before they appear."

sounds good right?  well for me it is! I'm not entirely convinced 100% that it stops spots before they appear as I've still been having breakouts, however I can say that it helps take away the redness of my spots and they tend to go away quicker, maybe it's because it contains salicylic acid it helps to fight the spot making it go away quicker - I'm not sure of the science behind it but either way if you suffer from breakouts it might be worth a go! However, I wouldn't necessarily call it a moisturiser, it's more of a spot treatment/prevention cream as it doesn't really moisturise your skin. 

Lastly, a make-up favourite

Rimmel London Lasting Finish (25hr) Power - This month I decided to try a new powder and at £6.99 this is the best value drugstore powder I have found! I like my make up to look as natural as possible and this powder is perfect, it gives you an excellent coverage but the powder itself is very light-weight.  I can put this on in a morning, and not worry about having to re-apply it as the day goes on so it defiantly withstands a day's wear. The Powder also comes with a mirror and sponge, located beneath the powder, so if you're looking for something compact for your handbag then this might be perfect for you!

Home Decor

How To Style Kiko Frames

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Recently I stumbled upon a bargain whilst having a look around The Range, I found kiko style glass frames for £3.99. (there not available on the website, so just check your local store) I've been itching to get my hands on the Nkuku Kiko photo frames for a long time form the  nkuku website however they are a little on the pricey side and I never plucked up the courage to take the plunge into buying them. So you can only imagine how happy I was when I found them in The Range. Kiko frames are extremely versatile and you can put whatever you like in them such as pressed dried flowers, old concert tickets, photographs, old ticket stubs... the possibilities are truly endless!
In mine I plan to put Polaroid pictures, however up until recently I have been unable to decide how to style them in my home and where to put them however I was recently browsing the internet I came across this beautiful glass plaque from eBay that perfectly matched my kiko style frames, so I just had to get it and at £6.50 it was a bargain!

So how do I plan to style them?

I plan to string all three together, so they all hang one under the other with a glass frame at the top, my plaque in the middle and the other frame underneath and I plan to hang them on my lounge wall, however there are lots of diffrent ways you could style them. I have included some images from diffrent sources below to give you some ideas on how you could style them in your home.
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