what i got for christmas

 

I’m at that age now where most of my Christmas presents come in the form of money which goes on to be spent on very boring things like bills and rent. I’m also at that age where Christmas isn’t about presents, it’s about family and food and seeing the look on my family’s face when they unwrap their presents. Mostly, my Christmas presents are little tokens, things I need or something to add to my ever growing makeup collection – and for these, I am so, so grateful.

Bonus puppy picture; he didn't like me ignoring him to take pictures!

Bonus puppy picture; he didn’t like me ignoring him to take pictures!

From my mum and dad, I got the biggest, fluffiest dressing gown in the world (not pictured), it’s something I’ve wanted all year and just ever got round to it. With me working full time and A working weird patterns of 12 hour shifts, my parents knew that we’d been struggling managing our meals properly, so they got me a recipe book with hundreds of recipes only including 4 ingredients. I love expanding my cooking repertoire, so recipe books are always my fave! They also got me the Benefit Real Cheeky Party set, which contains 4 blushers, Hoola bronzer, the They’re Real eyeliner and mascara mini’s, and a sample of Watts Up highlighter. Again, not pictured, but my lovely sister got me a gift card for Boots, again, to add to my expanding makeup collection!

Christmas haul boxing day haul

I was a lucky bug from A this year as well, he’s bought me a Glossybox subscription! I’ve wanted a beauty box subscription for ages but never wanted to part with the cash, so this was very welcomed. He also got me (not pictured) the cutest little Dancing Groot from The Guardians of The Galaxy. We agreed not to do much for Christmas this year because we’re saving for a mortgage, and we’ve planned about 5000 holidays for next year already (slight exaggeration).

lush close up

From A’s Mum and Stepdad, I got some awesome little cupcake moulds with silicone lid, so I can make pastry bowls and cake bowls (a bonus because A actually ruined my cupcake tray!). They also got me a little light that goes in the bath and turns it into a disco ball! I’m really excited to use this in with one of the Lush bath bombs I bought myself, I’m such a sucker for pretty colours. From A’s sister and her fiance, I was given the Yankee Candle set pictured, anyone who knows me knows I love candles, so the more the merrier! They also gave me one of those foundation compacts with all the colours in it, which I’ve not given a good go yet, but once I’ve finished my Bourjois Healthy Mix, I’m really looking forward to trying it! A’s Dad was super generous, and got us gift cards for Pizza Hut (he knows us too well) and Odeon (again, too well.) That’s date night sorted for the foreseeable future!

christmas boxing day haul

Moving on to the boxing day sales, I definitely treated myself! Me and my sister headed over to the nearby Warrington Golden Square, where the first stop was Primark. I picked up a bunch of essentials, a gorgeous new handbag and some other bits and pieces, and moved on to Lush. Their Christmas stock was 50% off, so I picked up Lush Christmas Pud, Butterbear and the star one (I’m rubbish with names!). I also bought myself the Bareminerals Well Rested powder (which is amazeballs) a Soap and Glory Giftset, and this years cream of the crop, Smashbox palettes! I got one of their online exclusives, a trio of Art.Love.Colour palettes. Each palette has 2 eye looks and a blusher, a mixture of matte and shimmers, and they are amazing. And then there’s the travel sized Full Exposure palette, which is teeny tiny, but definitely worth the price tag.

 

So there we have it! I spent way too much money, and I was gifted some lovely presents from my lovely family and friends. What did you get for Christmas?

 

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glossybox december 2015 starter kit review

Sorry as part of my Christmas present, my lovely better half treated me to a Glossybox subscription. I’ve wanted a beauty box subscription for agessssss but I was always nervous that they wouldn’t be good value for money, so when I opened this up on Christmas day, I squealed.

It’s kinda hard to tell, but I’m 90% sure that this is a starter kit – there’s a little bit of everything in this box to ease newbies in to the idea. Anyway, on the the fun bit!

emite make up diamond heart base primer

The first things I saw, and  the one that most cost my eye, is this Emite Diamond Heart Primer sample (full size £25.90). It’s a pearly peach cream that Glossybox claims to “balance skin tone, boost radiance and create a smooth finish”. I’ve not been able to give this a full road test yet, but it really does create a perfect base for your makeup – it applies so smoothly and my foundation sits on it flawlessly.

royal Apothic cream creme

Next up is this Royal Apothic Body Lotion sample (full size 14.50). Unfortunately my skin is ridiculously sensitive at the moment, so I haven’t tried this, but Glossybox describes it as having “lactic acid to gentle smooth the skin, while keeping it hydrated so it stays super-soft”. I’m hoping that my skin comes out of this awful phase soon, because I’m really looking forward to trying this!

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When I saw this full-size Bellápierre Mineral Lipstick in Ruby (£20), I was really excited – who doesn’t love a red lip! However, when it comes to red lips, I pretty much exclusively wear mattes, and this had a hint of creaminess to it. Again, I’ve not tested this out, but I’m interested to try it, because it claims to have Vitamin C and Vitamin E, apparently helping it to last longer?

blending sponge nails inc london glossybox

The last two products in the box were both full size, meaning this box is really good value for money. The first is Nails Inc Nail Polish in Uptown (£11). It’s a gorgeous pinky-nude shade that is very “in” at the moment – I’ve been preferring nudes on my nails for the past few months, so another product is always welcome!

Lastly, and something I’m probably the most excited to try, is the Nicka K Airbrush Blending Sponge (£6.50). I’ve never owned a sponge of this shape before, it’s got a flat bottom and a pointed top for all those nooks and crannies, and the indentation around the middle looks to be really good for noses and cheek bones! Again, I’ve not used this yet, but you can better believe there will be a review of this up soon!

All in all, I’m really impressed with my first Glossybox. Like I said, it seems to be a Starter Kit, and so I’m curious to see if the following boxes will be as good – would you guys be interested in a monthly series on this? Let me now below!

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blogging and personal goals of 2016A few days ago, I sat down at my laptop and thought really hard about what I wanted from life and from my blog. I started Hannah, Dolled Up in 2014, and I fell in love with blogging. I loved the technical skill, the community and most of all, I loved that I had something that was mine. I severely neglected my little corner of the internet over 2015.Working full time, running a household and blogging at the same time is very difficult to juggle!

When I was doing my “life plan” (so dramatic!), I evaluated what was important, what I wanted to do and what needed to be done. Read on to find out more!

Blogging – Organisation

I am a stickler for organisation. If you give me a list of stuff to do, I won’t do it until I’ve organised it by priority and ease, and then set timescales. And then I’ll think about doing it. I figured that it’s about damn time I created a proper posting schedule – one that I’m happy with, but that’s still realistic. So, the basic, weekly schedule is as follows;

Posting Schedule

On top of this, there will be bonus posts!

Last Friday of the month – Favourites
Every other Tuesday – Nails Of The Week

Blogging – Goals

Hit 2000 Followers

I know this is ambitious, given my current follower count, but I’m hoping that with my updated schedule and increased blog activity, the followers will, um…follow? The long (long, long) game is to eventually blog full time, so increased followers and traffic is very important!

Hit 2000 Twitter Followers

I seem to gain and lose Twitter followers like no one’s business. One of my goals this year is to look in to ways of captivating my audience, which hopefully I’ll be able to apply to twitter!

Step Up My Instagram Game

Ok, this one is kinda out of my control since my phone is broken, but I want to completely revamp my Instagram – I want to redo my theme, post daily and expand my audience on there!

Be More Personal

I’m always afraid of voicing my opinions on a remotely public forum because people get so offended over the smallest things, and 9 times out of 10 I just can’t be bothered with the aggro. That is going to change in 2016 though – I want to talk more about my life and my opinions, and not be concerned by people causing havoc over it.

 

Personal Goals

Lose half my bodyweight and be healthy

For the past 2 and a half years, I have not looked after my body. I used to be a skinny size 8, and now I’m just unhappy with how I look. I want to get to the point where healthy eating and exercise isn’t even something I think about, it’s just second nature. My plan of action is to cut out the crap – no more buying lunch at work, no more trips to the vending machine, no more free hot chocolate. I’m not planning to deprive myself of my favourite Chinese takeaway food – I’ll just make more of an effort to make it myself. As for exercise, I’m very lucky in that A is very serious about being active, so he’ll be able to drag my sorry ass to the gym! I’m under no delusions that it’ll be difficult, and I definitely don’t think I’ll reach this goal buy Jan 1st 2017, but I’m aiming to be well on my way to my ideal body.

Go “away” 4 times

I was going to say go on holiday for this one, but that implies abroad – so I want to go away at least 4 times this year. Me and A have plans for Marrakech, Croatia and The Lake District, but at the moment they’re all just ideas – I need to commit to them! We are young, childless people on 2 incomes, there’s no reason we can’t travel the world!

Start looking after my body

This ties in with the losing weight goal. I want to start looking after certain aspects of my body – more specifically my hair, nails and teeth. I’ve dyed my hair on and off for years and it definitely takes it’s toll. Now I’m settled (for now) on a dark purple-red, I want to start looking at ways to keep it healthy and shiny. My nails is also something that’s I’ve continuously neglected. I want to have picture perfect polish year round, so my goal is to paint my nails every weekend to help promote growth (I only ever bite my nails when they’re bare!), and see if there are any products out there that might help. Lastly, my teeth. Years of smoking has made them discoloured, so my goal is to either find a home remedy to whiten them or eventually save up to have it done professionally.

 

So there we have it! This time next year I’ll revisit these and see how I did! Do you have any goals for 2016?

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simple kind to eyes pen remover

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Anyone who tells you that they can do perfect eyeliner first time is either a liar or a sorcerer. If you’re anything like me, you struggle along for a good 5 minutes before taking it all off with a wipe and trying again. I’m always looking for something that will make my mornings that little bit easier, so when I came across this in Boots, (months ago, I might add), I saw the future of this being the answer to all my eyeliner related prayers.

The good thing about Simple is that it gets on great with my skin. Anything too fragranced and I, a blotchy, itchy mess. This pen is definitely no different. It doesn’t leave a greasy feeling to the skin and it doesn’t take away from the natural oil and goodness.

But it just doesn’t work. Well, the first time it did. When you were little, did you ever use a yellow felt tip on top of a black one? That grey murky ink is exactly what this pen nib turns in to. Don’t get me wrong, it worked really well the first time around, but ever since then, it just smears the eyeliner around, making it look like a 4 year old did my makeup.

Now, if I’m missing something and there is some way to cleanse the pen nib, this would be a great little addition to your makeup bag. Until I figure that out, I will not be repurchasing this.

I’m pretty sure that this has been discontinued now, but if you want to give it a go and see if you get any better luck that me, you can find it here.

Do you know of any similar products that work? Let me know!

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Iconic Pro Makeup revolution lipstick blinfold looking ahead duel matte

iconic pro makeup revolution blindfold duel matte looking ahead swatches

So, I jumped on the Makeup Revolution bandwagon late. The Superdrug where I live is tiny and has only just started stocking MUR and so without placing an order online (I like swatching before I buy!), I had to rely on going in to Chester or Manchester to pick anything up. At first I wasn’t massively overwhelmed with the range, but after a couple of months they expanded so much and I couldn’t help myself.

I picked these up in my latest “shopping trip” ie. I was off work sick and tripped on to the Superdrug website (whoops.) I saw the packaging on these and the size of the rang and had to pick some up. The packaging is very stylish, similar to Mac, but lighter and with gold hardware.

The colours I picked up were Blindfolded, a dark blackened plum, “Rebel”-esque shade, Looking Ahead, a dark pinky nude and Duel Matte, a matte (obviously) true Hollywood Red. I was a little disappointed with Blindfolded because the picture made it look like a deep blackened red, almost like a burgundy shade. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, but I have a million lipsticks that look exactly like it.

The forumla doesn’t seem to be consistent across the range either. Looking Ahead doesn’t seem to last more than 2 hours on me, but Duel is very long lasting, and made it through a full day at work with minimal re-applications, through food and drink and endless coughing. I didn’t find that Duel needed a lipliner either, as it doesn’t bleed at all, and stays exactly where you want it too.

I find with lipstick that you pay for what you get, and that is definitely true with the Iconic Pro range – or what I’ve tried of it really. For the price tag of £2.49, these lipsticks are wonderful, but I can’t help but feel that the matte versions in the range are slightly more superior in quality. Don’t get me wrong, I love that a drugstore brand has finally come out with a durable matter lipstick, and at such a goo dprice point, but the matte side of the range isn’t massive.

All in all, this gets a 3.5/5 from me. I love the colours and the matte formula is dreamy, just every so slightly let down by the lasting power of the regular formula.

Has anyone else tried these lipsticks? Let me know what you think!

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