A Scottish Fashion, Beauty & Luxury Lifestyle Blog

BEAUTY BLOGGER TAG

I was tagged by shannondarko.co.uk to do this tag, so here goes…

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?

I’ve been a freelance journalist for years, and own a digital magazine too. I started the blog as a more personal space where I could write without it feeling like work; but quickly PRs etc got involved and it became a professional blog.

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?

It wasn’t actually a beauty blog; but a fashion one (Fashion Fois Gras), which then got me into reading other blogs.

What was the first blogosphere hyped-about product that you bought? Was it worth the hype?

It was Rimmel Apocalips. They were quite good; but I haven’t used them since, so they can’t have been that good. They were on every blog for ages when they launched!

What are your five favourite things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?

1. The friends i’ve made. Fellow bloggers are much nicer than fellow journalists. Bloggers rock!

2. To get to try lots of new products that I wouldn’t have thought of buying on my own.

3. The blogger community- it’s like having hundreds of colleagues, which makes working at home as a full-time writer much less isolating.

4. Getting to take lots of pretty photographs and actually use them for something.

5. The make-up application and skin care tips I learn all the time are invaluable.

What have you learnt from being a beauty blogger?

So many make-up and skin care tips. Especially how to do good smokey eye make-up.

Have you changed anything since becoming a beauty blogger?

Definitely my skincare routine. It wasn’t that good at all; but reading blogs motivated me into starting a consistent routine and I haven’t looked back.

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?

Don’t worry about having money to buy the newest releases to review. There will always be bloggers who have reviewed it pre-launch etc. You won’t be the first anyway. So, just start out with what products you’ve got already and know well.

What are your top 5 make-up brands?

Sleek, Bare Minerals, Benefit, Urban Decay & MAC.

Recommend your top 5 beauty products…

In no particular order- Clinique CC Cream, MAC Vanilla Pigment, all Urban Decay Eyeshadows, Benefit Highbeam and all Sleek True Colour Lipsticks.

I tag…

Andrew at beautyandtheboy.com

Genna at lipstickcrush.co.uk

Ruth at beautyh2t.com

By Laura Pearson-Smith

MY CURRENT SPACE NK WISHLIST

Space NK is a beauty haven, and I always have a list on the go of what I want to buy. These are all perfect Summer products…

By Terry Cheek To Cheek Syrup Blusher (£29) | Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray Travel Size (£19) | Diptyque Infused Facial Water (£35) | Nars Foreplay Palette (£39.50) | Essie 3-Way Glaze (£11.50)

The By Terry blusher seems to be similar to Benefit’s Benetint, which I love. I’ve heard so much about this Oribe product that I just need to try it because of the hype. In-case it doesn’t sit well with me, I will only have bought a travel-size so no harm done. I’d love perfect tousled beach hair for the Summer months. I love facial sprays and waters- they are so refreshing and packed with benefits. This rose-scented one from Diptyque sounds amazing. The Nars Foreplay palette is exclusive to Space NK. It contains the all-important Orgasm blush, plus a matte pink, a peach shade and a golden highlighter. I desperately need an amazing top-coat. None seem to blow me away. I really want to try this one from Essie, and also the Nails Inc Caviar topcoat too. If you’ve tried these products, send me a tweet and let me know how you’ve got on.

By Laura Pearson-Smith

LOOKING FORWARD TO: THE EASTER WEEKEND

I love the Easter weekend, and with less than a week to go, I can’t wait. Easter, to me, means the start of the sunshine and warm weather. I am not religious, so Easter is a chocolate and relaxation celebration in my household.

Working at home means I have days off all the time; but there’s something special about days when everyone is off and you don’t need to worry about what emails are waiting for you. My phone goes off, I eat until I burst and hopefully enjoy some good sunny weather.

Kinder is my favourite chocolate brand at Easter. I’ve loved Schoko-Bons since I discovered them as a child in Austria. Now they have them here in the UK. A couple of bags of these, plus a Kinder Easter bunny, does me just fine.

As I am also such a fan of sending and receiving handwritten cards and notes, I always like Easter cards. Dom & Geri do a great range of personalised cards for Easter (plus other occasions such as Father’s Day), so these will be landing on some family members’ doorsteps this year.

I always associate Easter with daffodils, so i’ll be picking some to go in a vase on Easter Sunday too. I think they are such a cheerful flower.

Whatever Easter means to you, make sure you use the free time to relax and pamper yourself. I think I may cook a Beef Wellington this year to enjoy with family on Easter Sunday.

By Laura Pearson-Smith

This is a sponsored post; but all opinions are my own.

EASTER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY: SOAP & GLORY AND MORE…

I’ve put together a nice little beauty bundle for you for an Easter giveaway; which contains some of my favourite brands. It contains a Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipgloss in Yummy Plum, an Aveda Smoothing Body Polish, a Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud Body Mask and some cute little Bioderma skincare samples. One UK-based winner will be drawn at random via Rafflecopter on Easter Monday (21st April 2014), and entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WHAT MADE ME SMILE LAST WEEK #12

I made another cheeky ringsandtings.com order as I loved the other items I got so much. My absolute favourite is the long-line hare necklace. It is really heavy and carefully detailed and was only £4.50. I also picked up a coral-coloured ring trio (£4.90) and a bright lime bracelet (£3.90) to go with the new H! By Henry Holland bag that I got at Debenhams.

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I also headed to the Corinthian in Glasgow city centre for their Afternoon Tea (£15pp). It was just the right amount to satisfy my appetite but not make me so full I feel sick. I loved the meringue swans the best, as the meringue was lemon-flavoured which went really well with the raspberry cream.

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TV-wise, I am so pleased Made In Chelsea is back. I was going to say it’s my guilty pleasure; but I don’t actually feel guilty at all. If you don’t watch Made In Chelsea (now on its 7th series) you should be very ashamed.

If you love a good drama, you also need to check out ITV’s Undeniable. Part One was on last week, and Part Two is on tonight at 9pm; but you’ll be able to see it on the ITV Player for about the next month. It’s about a woman in her late 30s who thinks she’s seen the man who killed her Mum when she was only 7. This man, however, is a family man and a respected Oncologist. It’s a gripping watch, and a definite must-see.

By Laura Pearson-Smith

IN LOVE WITH: WATCHBOT PROTECTING MY HANDBAG COLLECTION

In all seriousness, I absolutely love my Watchbot CCTV device for home security. I love that it’s such a small attractive design, and I can watch what it’s seeing through my mobile phone on-the-go.

It doesn’t record unless I tell it to through the Watchbot mobile app, and I can also turn on 2-way sound when i’m out and about too. If I did happen to catch a burglary in progress, they’re going to get a fright, as the device is small enough to fit into inconspicuous places.

I can instruct it to pan and tilt too, so I can be all seeing and all knowing wherever I am. The Watchbot is easy to set-up and operates over your home’s Wifi. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t have an invaluable use for this device- you could point it out the window to watch your car, or use it to keep an eye on elderly relatives (with their permission of course).

A Watchbot 3.0 costs £149.95 and is available at www.watchbotcamera.com

By Laura Pearson-Smith

I was sent my Watchbot to review honestly, and all my opinions are my own.

WHAT I’M EATING: HOMEMADE PIZZA

I could eat pizza 7 days a week. I don’t; but I love it. It can be really hard to calculate calories in takeaway and restaurant pizzas; and, let’s face it, we sometimes want something a bit tastier than supermarket fare can offer.

Last week I made my own pizza from scratch; meaning I knew exactly what was in it and could make it exactly as I wanted. It’s not as difficult as it may appear, and is a great rainy day activity too.

First of all, you need to make the dough for the pizza base and leave it to proof (rest and do its ‘chemically stuff’- can you tell i’m clever?). Below are the ingredients I used. Mix them and kneed away until you have a plyable ball of dough.

175g Strong White Flour, Teaspoon Dried Yeast Powder, 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Half Teaspoon Caster Sugar.

After you’ve left it to proof, you’ll see it has swelled- this was the yeast working. Roll it out into your desired size, thickness and shape with white flour for dusting. Remember, it will rise a bit in the oven too.

Next, you have to make your tomato pizza sauce. I just added the below to a pan and let it gently simmer for about an hour.

100g Passata, Tablespoon of Garlic Tomato Puree, Pinch of Mixed Italian Herbs.

When the sauce is ready, cover your raw pizza base with it, add your cheese and favourite toppings (I used sweet chilli chicken) and pop in the oven to cook at around 200 degrees celcius.

Times vary according to individual ovens and pizza size, so keep a constant and close eye on it. Mine took just over 15 minutes.

By Laura Pearson-Smith

BEAUTY REVIEW: LUSH EASTER RANGE

Special occasions like Halloween and Christmas are best when accompanied with limited edition goodies from Lush. Easter is no exception, and this year’s products are visually stunning and smell amazing. I wanted to share my favourites with you…

Golden Egg Bath Melt Ballistic (£3.50)

Like the silver star at Christmas, this is glitter mayhem. It’s bath melt on the outside with a bath bomb inside. The cocoa butter and olive oil on the outer bath melt layer really softens your skin. It has the same fragrance as the popular Honey I Washed The Kids.

                       

Bunch of Carrots Re-Useable Bubble Bars (£5.95 for 3)

These look far too cute to use; but use them you must as they smell so good and make lots of pretty bubbles when you hold one under a running tap. These smell of Lush’s sweet and fruity-scented Carrot soap and contain carrot oil which soothes skin and is rich in vitamins. They’re Vegan too, for those with that preference.

Brightside Bubble Bar (£4.50)

Another Vegan product, this Orange-scented bubble bar contains Sicilian mandarin, tangerine and bergamot oils- all mood uplifters. A great energising morning bath addition, and fun too, as it smells and looks like orange soda when it has dissolved.

Carrot Soap (£3.95)

There’s a white cocoa butter bunny in every slice of this soap (even although mine doesn’t look rabbit-shaped at all). I love the sweet and citrusy smell, and the carrot oil in the orange part of the soap is so moisturising.

By Laura Pearson-Smith

DEBENHAMS SS14 PRESS SHOW & NEW HANDBAG

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Last week I attended the Debenhams SS14 Scottish Press Show in Glasgow, and fell in love with so many of the fashion and beauty items on display. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you, plus the H! By Henry Holland handbag that I just couldn’t resist.

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I love this multi-coloured jewel statement necklace. The coral goes so well with the royal blue, pastel blue and white stones. It would look great with denim shorts and a vest top in the Summer.

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This print is so pretty, and is perfectly suited to statement shorts or a skirt rather than a dress. I would team these shorts with a black blouse and sandals, along with a bright over-sized handbag to store all my Summer essentials.

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This H! by Henry Holland bag is the ‘sister’ bag to the one which I picked up this week. It is a metallic silver saddle bag, and is about half the size of the lime green version I got. Surprisingly, despite the size difference, both are the same price of £39. I still may have to get this one also.

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I only got a photograph of this from the back; but I absolutely adore this monochrome jumpsuit. It is definitely something I am going to treat myself to in a couple of months, since I have lost so much weight and haven’t really been able to wear jumpsuits before. It goes perfectly with those cute simplistic black flats also.

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The packaging on these Sweetheart Blush powders from Too Faced are so pretty. The contents are pretty good too. My favourite shade is Peach Beach (£24)- so soft (but with minimal fallout) and gives skin a gorgeous candlelit glow.

After the show, I could not resist this lime green H! by Henry Holland saddlebag from Designers at Debenhams. It is large and spacious, and looks and feels much more expensive than it actually is- if you’ve watched my vlog from the event you’ll see my surprise at the low price (£39). I absolutely adore it.

By Laura Pearson-Smith