Saturday, 28 February 2015

Benefit Puff Off First Impressions

Benefit is a huge beauty brand that is well-known and well-loved for their cute packaging, quirky names and fantastic beauty products, but when it comes to their skin care, I had no idea what to expect having only used a few samples here and there. I was pretty impressed when I saw the new release of Puff Off! - an eye gel which claims to smooth away under-eye puffiness. I was sold straight away - who likes puffy under eye circles, really?! Anything to improve my under-eyes is always a good thing, so I was interested to see the results after giving Puff Off a whirl.

I really like the packaging; as always, Benefit delivers with their eye catching and fun designs. The idea of this eye gel is that the applicator appears a little like an iron - a funny pun, but is actually a really cleverly worked out concept - the shape of the iron is really easy to apply the product under the eyes. I have been using a sample of the product for the past few Weeks to trial it out, and thought I would share my thoughts here on my blog for anyone who is interested in trying it out for themselves. 

The product itself is very cooling. It feels a little like a primer to touch, and blends under the eyes with ease. I feel that my dark under eye circles are less noticeable, and my under eye area feels and looks a lot smoother. As I have only been using it for a short period of time I have not yet seen remarkable results; but I do think with eye creams it takes a longer length of time to notice the difference, so I will continue using this and will keep you updated.

Benefit Puff off is available in-stores and online for £22.50 full size.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Favourite Blogs To Read #5

She Might Be Loved - link
Georgina's blog quickly became a firm favourite of mine and I have been reading consistently for Months now. I absolutely adore her fashion posts, she always looks gorgeous - and I love her red hair! She recently became the face of brand Scarlett & Jo; which is super amazing and so great to see other bloggers doing so well, she definitely deserves it!

Confessions Of A Small Town Girl - link
I love to have a read of Charlottes blog - it is full of beauty, fashion and lifestyle posts . I love the way Charlotte writes very down-to-earth, and her posts are really relate-able. Check her blog out of you haven't already!

Sweet Electric - link 
=Zoe writes a fantastic blog, I particularly like to read her tips and tricks and helpful blogging posts, as well as her beauty reviews. I definitely get a lot of inspiration from Zoe's blog. I just love her photography and hope one Day I could take photo's half as good as hers.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Top Three: Fashion Stores

It has been a while since I sat down and wrote about fashion on this here blog. I have missed it to be honest, so I thought I would come back with a post dedicated to my top three fashion stores. What are yours?

New Look
I always seem to find something I like in New Look. I am a big fan of their jeans; they actually fit my little 5'1 frame which is a pretty big achievement for me. - jean shopping is usually a difficult task. In-fact, a lot of my wardrobe is from New Look. I love their handbags, and I am a big fan of their socks - random I know, but they are so affordable and often on offer. New Look are great as they are affordable, meaning we are able to keep up-to-date with the fashion trends and styles. 
There is always a lot of variety in New Look too, and I love that they have a petite range.
 I think the prices are very reasonable in New Look, and I am usually always impressed with the quality of their products. Their delivery is pretty standard, but I have never had any problems with them which is good. I always receive really good customer service in their stores too; I have found staff to be really helpful and friendly in my experience. 

Anyone that knows me very well knows that Accessorize is my first stop for jewellery. I absolutely adore their range of jewellery and other accessories. I have so many bits and pieces from the store I could open up my own shop! I love that they sell an array of different styles of jewellery as I think there is a big variety for different tastes. I have always found the wuality of their products really good - I have never had any jewellery break and the scarfs are so soft. My local store is really small but that doesn't stop me having a good browse. Staff in my local store are always really chatty which something I like when I am shopping - its really nice to acknowledged as a customer and it is something that does make me return.

Dorothy Perkins
I have shopped at Dotty P's for Years now, it is 'that' store I head to if I need to get something in particular - a party to go to? Outfit sorted at Dorothy Perkins. They have quite a big section of their store dedicated to the petite range which I love as it fits me perfectly. I am big fan of their dresses as they wash really well and are usually quite reasonable for the money. I absolutely love the jewellery from Dorothy Perkins, particularly the statement necklaces as they look so much more expensive than what they are. I have surprisingly never ordered online with Dorothy Perkins as my local store always has such a huge variety or clothes, and always seem to have size options available in store.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Downsizing Your Makeup Collection: My Tips and Advice

Being a blogger that often writes about my love of beauty, cosmetics and body care, I now have quite the collection of makeup. I love makeup, and as much as I do use most of the products in my collection, there were quite a few things sitting in my drawers which were unused and hadn't seen the light of day for some while. As I don't wear a full face of make-up on a day to day basis, (and was also getting stressed from all of the clutter) i decided to go through everything I owned and down-size my collection. I have compiled a little list of things to think about when organizing and down-sizing your make-up collection.

How old is the item? There is a lot of talk about use-by-date and shelf life with makeup, there are lots of websites online which can help you when it comes to chucking old make-up away. I got rid of a lot of eyeliners and mascaras which I hadn't used in a while - you have to be careful what you're putting near your eyes! 

When was the last time you used it? I love, love, love lipsticks, but to be honest with you, I held onto a lot of mine just because I like a choice of every colour. Glittery lip balms and orange lipsticks soon found there way into the rubbish pile - I have never worn them out of the house and probably never will, so why I am I holding onto them?

What does it look like? With some products, such as nail polish, for example, you can kind-of tell by sight if it is usable or not. Products that don't really look right or the way they should; the formula has changed, the product is gloopy - will you ever use them? I thought not. 

Does it suit you? Do you like how it looks when you wear it? If not, why not donate it to a friend that would use it. I had a few concealers and foundations which didn't match my skin tone at all - so I never used them. 

Do you like a lot of make-up or do you prefer a smaller collection?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Get Kids Writing! #NSW

Hi everyone, just a quick post for today. I thought it would be interesting to share a post with you all about National Stationary Week which commences on the 27th April. 
National Stationary Week celebrates all things hand-writing and stationary, and encourages the importance of writing by hand. 

As it half term week in the UK, I thought I would share some ideas from the NSW website to get kids writing this half term! 

I hope you found some of the ideas helpful!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

All Snuggled Up: A Wishlist for the Duvet Days

I have become quite the fan of snugly dressing-gowns, thick jumpers, cosy socks and the sort in the past few Months. There is nothing more I enjoy than to relax and get in my comfies at the end of the day or to chill in on my Day off. A big cup of tea and a trashy TV show has become so appealing to me now, too. I have been buying some new pyjamas recently, 'cause we all love that new pyjama feeling don't we?! Here are some other cosy bits I have my eye on... 

I love cushions, the more the better for me to relax, and this cute little guy is the sweetest little cushion I ever did see! He definitely wont go with the decor in my bedroom but he looks adorable. 
I had to include something cow related, because I love them! Cows have been my favourite animal for as long as I remember, so of-course these slippers just screamed out at me!
The spotty PJ bottoms look really comfortable but also very sweet. I love anything spotty and these are just adorable. I love loose lounge pyjama bottoms like these. This sparkly jumper from Warehouse is gorgeous, its actually really inexpensive for Warehouse costing just £15. I am loving this cute short set from Inspire at New Look. I love the floral pattern, it looks so comfy and I am in need of some pj shorts I can change into to sleep in when it gets a little warmer.

What is your favourite cosy clothing item?

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Valentines Ideas ❤ Gifts and Dates!

Love it or hate it, Valentines Day is just around the corner. I know it is one of those things that some people celebrate and some people don't. I personally don't mind Valentines Day, but I also think its important to show those you love and care for how much they mean to you every single day, not just on Valentines! You don't have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentines Day either, why not treat your parents to a take away, exchange gifts with your Sister, or have a girly night in with your best friend? 

I have put together this blog post initially to share some gift inspiration and also some general ideas of reasonably priced, yet lovely things to do to spend the day. 

Ideas for great and simple Valentines gifts

If you are thinking of treating your loved one to some little pampering treats this Valentines, why not try a little gift set from I Love. This set is the I Love... Coconut and Cream Mini Box, which includes a body lotion, shower cream and body puff. A hand cream is always a good gift for any lady in your life, so this Yes! Nurse Hand Cream and Super Sleeve would make a perfect pamper product because we all love a good cream, right? This hand cream comes with a super cute sleeve, as Yes! Nurse are in partnership with Breast Cancer Care, whcih helps spread the message. If you are thinking of treating him this Valentines Day, The Bluebeards Revenge is always a great brand as they sell a variety of mens body, skin and shave care products; such as the shaving cream, post - shave balm, and the doubloon brush. Bluebeards Revenge products smell amazing and work really well; I know my boyfriend has tried a few of their products before and loves them. I think a bundle of products like these shaving themed ones would make great gifts in a bundle or you could even pick up a gift set.

Underwear is always a winner for any occasion in my eyes - who doesn't love receiving new underwear for Valentines? This set of men's boxers are from Da Da Underwear; a brand which creates comfortable underwear for men from sustainable and soft materials which are all ethically produced in Sri Lanka. The fabrics Da Da Underwear use are made using bamboo rayon and organic cotton. As you can see, they look pretty cool, and they are insanely soft! This set is called the retro white - white - red, a really simple, yet classic design. DaDa also have a subscription service available, where you can sign up to get a pair of underwear through your letterbox every 3 Months - I think this is a great gift idea, as the gifts keep on coming!

Fragrance is a perfect gift for any girl in your life. Why not treat her to her favourite perfume? One of my favourites is Britney Spears Circus Fantasy, which smells very sweet and is really reasonably priced.

A card is usually the first thing on my list to pick up for Valentines Day. I think its important to sit down and write a sweet message in a card; we must not forget to importance of writing - I think it is a great sentiment and something you can look back on in Years to come. These beautiful Valentines Cards are from handmade retailers Made With Love Designs. I love the cute and unique designs of these cards, they are nothing like I have seen before. You can use the discount code zoelianne at the checkout for a generous 30% off your order; valid until the 13th February.

Making a meal together at home is something I think is a classic for a low-key Valentines date, and I thought this Valentines sandwich recipe was too cute not to share! It is super easy to create, and a very unique taste which I am sure will be a hit! And look - they are heart shaped, whats not to love?! You can check out the full recipe for the Robert's Bakery Strawberries and Cream Valentines Sandwich in my previous post here. Chocolate is always a winner for a small token gift on Valentines, these Lindt Lindor Strawberries and Cream chocolates are delicious and are a limited edition flavour so if you fancy a treat, grab them while you can!

Here are a few more gift ideas I have put together in this collage which I think would make fab gifts; whether you are spending the day with a partner, friends or family. 

Floral Love Letters  Living Nature Lipstick in Bloom Wooden Spice Box    Clare O 'Neill Artwork Lily O Brien's Honeycomb Hearts Cut Throat Shavette Kit LED Colour Changing Mosaic Candle Light Personalised Train Ticket
Astridelle Watch Oysters and Absinthe Date Colourful Valentines Roses Bryt Gift Set 

Candle, artwork and decor to set the mood, a shaving kit to prepare for the date, a pretty lipstick set to impress, a spice box to get you cooking together, a personalised gift to keep forever, a date with a difference - Oysters and Absinthe at the ,a pretty bunch of bright roses, a gift box full of pamper treats, a beautiful watch to remind you to enjoy every minute, and of-course some tasty chocolates to indulge in. Sounds like a great Valentines Day to me.

Ideas for a great, yet simple date

❤ Order takeaway and watch a load of your favourite films
❤ Go for a walk to your local park and feed the ducks
❤ Ditch going out for a meal, make a dish together at home and experiment with new cooking ideas
❤ Write down all the things you love about that person and tell them!
❤ Do something small but effective - the little things count too
❤ Get the train and visit a town you have never been to before
❤ Buy a disposable camera and take lots of photographs
❤ Go swimming/go to the library/go rollerblading/play mini-golf/do something you haven't done in Years
❤ Bake cakes for each other
❤ Host an indoor picnic with all your favourite treats
❤ Visit your local nature reserve and take a moment to appreciate the beautiful environment
❤ Take a walk in the country with a blanket and a flask of hot chocolate
❤ Watch a movie at the cinema that you haven't heard of
❤ Go for a hike in the country
❤  Meet for a coffee in an independent cafe

Thanks to Frankie Ree Ree , ChloeErin , Kate and Lauren for all of your ideas!

What are your plans for Valentines Day?

*This post includes PR samples*

Strawberries and Cream Valentines Sandwich Recipe

Strawberries and Cream Valentines Sandwich Recipe!

Hi everyone. With Valentines being just a few days away, I thought I would share a really cute and unique little recipe from Roberts Bakery with you all. Roberts Bakery has teamed up with nutritionist Dr Carina Norris to create this special romantic themed sandwich recipe. Personally, I would choose a few light snacks on Valentines Day over a heavy meal any day, so the strawberries and cream sandwich is something I thought would be a great idea if you are planning on doing something a little bit different on Valentines Day - and it is really inexpensive to make, too!

I have included the recipe below - it is super simple.

4 slices of Roberts Bakery Soft & Fluffy White Loaf
Approx. 8-10 strawberries, sliced
1-2 tubs of cottage cheese
Rocket leaves
Freshly ground black pepper


Lay some of the rocket leaves on the bottom slice. Drain the cottage cheese to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Add a generous layer of cottage cheese, and top with strawberry slices. Season with a grind a black pepper, then top with another slice of Roberts Soft & Fluffy White bread.

Add a Twist:

Use low - fat cheese for a healthier Valentines. Use a heart shaped cutter to add a little bit of love this Valentines.

I was pleasantly surprised as I found the some-what bizzare pairing of the strawberries and cheese quite a good mix. I think the flavours work really well together and I really enjoyed this sandwich. I would definitely recommend trying it out! It is so, so easy to create and takes just five-ten minutes to prepare.
As well as the sandwiches tasting great, I just love how they cut cut into cute heart shapes. I have decided all of my food will be heart-shaped from now on!
I think this recipe would be perfect for a special valentines indoor picnic or even to pop in your loved-ones lunchbox for a nice surprise at lunch time - I bet the heart shaped sandwiches will make their Day!
Be sure to check out the Roberts Bakery website to have a browse of their other products!

*Post includes gifted items*

Monday, 9 February 2015

Benefit Roller Lash First Impressions

benefit roller lash review and demo picture, benefit roller lash mascara review results
^ Left: natural lashes; Right: 2 coats of Benefit Roller Lash ^

Hi lovelies. If you are a big beauty fan like me, you have probably heard of Benefit's latest release, 'Roller Lash'. I am a big fan of Benefit mascaras; They're Real is one of my favourite mascaras ever so I had high expectations for this.

I have been using Roller Lash for over a Week now and thought I would share my first impressions and thoughts so far. I love it! That is a pretty bold statement after using it for just one Week I know, but I do really like it just as much as They're Real.

The mascara wand was created based on velcro hair rollers, with a flexible wand that has small rubber hooks that catch and curl your lashes as you applyI really like the packaging, I think Benefit are going with a retro/glam theme with the velcro hair rollers being a main focus. 
I think that the mascara is really lengthening, which is the result I like to achieve the most when it comes to lashes. It also curls the lashes which I am so impressed by, not many mascaras are able achieve a good curl without the use of eyelash curlers beforehand. Roller Lash also separates the lashes and doesn't become clumpy after a few coats. I really like that it doesn't create extremely thick lashes, because that look doesn't really suit me. It doesn't smudge or leave pesky marks on the top of your eyelids (a problem I seem to have with a lot of mascaras I've tried in the past!) and is generally a good all - rounder product. It separates, lengthens, curls and gives a slight thickness to the lashes, what more can you ask for? 

Currently you can pick up a copy of Elle Magazine (March 2015), which costs just £4, and try out a sample of Roller Lash four weeks before it is available in store!

*I was not asked to write this post*

Cute Cards for Valentines Day

These beautiful cards are available from Made With Love Designs

I love the gift of giving, and really enjoy writing and sending cards to my loved ones. Valentines Day is on its way now, so I couldn't resist to get writing some special messages inside these beautiful Made With Love Designs Valentines Day cards. I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of the cards - both of them being handmade. I would recommend having a look at Made With Love's website as they stock not only beautiful stationary, but a variety of other products such as gifts and interiors, too.

The Eye Chart Card is my absolute favourite. I love the modern touch, but it is also very sweet and sentimental, too. I like cards that are that little bit different to something you might find on the high-street, and this is definitely a card I would like to receive and keep forever. The quality of the card is fantastic, it feels like it has been crafted with a lot of thought and care. You are able to personalize both the front and the inside of the card which I think is a really great idea if you wanted to add a personalise touch.This handmade card costs just £3.50, which I feel is good value for money.

The Scrabble Geometric Blush and Gold Card is another personal favourite; particularly because it is so simple and sweet. The quality of the card is again, fantastic, and the print is really cute. I think the design is very shabby - chic and would great displayed pretty much anywhere in the home - even displayed in a frame. For this card, you are able to personalize the letters of the scrabble letters, for example; you could use yours and your partners initials, a special date or whatever you fancy. You can even use this as a greetings cards if you like, as it has no reference to Valentines Day printed on the card. This card is also left blank inside, but you are able to personalize it and add a message if you so wish.
I have an amazing 30% discount for you all which you can use on the Made With love Designs Website up until the 13th Feb, so get ordering! The code is zoelianne 

Are you sending out any Valentines Day cards this Year?

*This post contains PR Samples. All views are my own.*

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A Natural Fragrance for Spring

Since I started writing my blog back in 2011, I have tried a fair amount of beauty products made with just natural ingredients. I will be completely honest - without beauty blogging, I probably wouldn't have heard of half of the natural beauty brands I use so frequently now, and I would have been seriously missing out. Its great to use products made from natural ingredients, as I have noticed over the Years that my skin has become very sensitive to certain ingredients often found in your average skin and body care products. I have sensitive skin, so sometimes certain shampoo, body wash and perfume can cause a lot of irritation. Since using products which are made with natural ingredients, I have found that these products work much better for my skin. 
A brand I have tried a handful of products from is Acorelle; a French organic beauty brand which specialise in skin and body care. 

Finding a nice fragrance without testing it first is often a difficult task, but I picked well with choosing Acorelle's Citrus Infusion EDP. It is refreshing and light, perfect for a day time fragrance and a great match for the Spring and Summer Months.

The notes in this fragrance are; petitgrain, litsea, cedar, neroli, mandarin, bergamot, armoise, cut grass accord and clary sage, which together are aimed to create a calming and relaxing experience. The scent is very fresh and uplifting, and also quite a mature day scent is how I would describe it. Of-course, fragrances are very difficult to describe with just words as unfortunately there is no such thing as smell-o-vision (yet!) but I definitely think that its a very citrus-meets-a-dash-of-floral type of scent. If you like sweet and fruity fragrances, this isn't for you. 
The scent lasts quite well, I would say it lasts around 3 hours on the skin. I am impressed that the fragrance hasn't caused me any irritation, and I haven't had any problems with blemishes on my neck or chest which is always a good sign. 
The packaging is very appealing and sweet, I like the simplicity of the bottle, it is appealing to the eye and sits pretty at my dressing table. It has made a great addition to my perfume collection; it isn't a scent I would normally go for as I usually opt for sickly sweet perfumes, so it makes a nice change to switch it up a little and wear a perfume that uplifts my mood throughout the day. 
Acorelle Citrus Infusion EDP * is available to buy from My Pure online for £30

*This post contains a PR Sample. All views are my own*

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Degustabox 2015

Degustabox has quickly become one of my favourite subscription services. If you are new to Degustabox, it is basically a surprise subscription box which lands on your doorstep once a Month (you can stop your subscription at any time) with 9-14 food and drink products that are often new to the market or products you might not normally try. It costs just £12.99 a box and I have a £3 off order code which is W0AQI. The products work out to cost a lot less when buying a Degustabox compared to if you bought the items separately, which is good value for money.

I was eagerly awaiting this Month's box, so shall we delve in and find out what was inside?

This Month's box is a healthy themed selection of goodies which are great as I am changing my diet around at the moment.

Alfa One Rice Oil
The Alfa One Rice Bran Oil is one of the most healthiest cooking oils. I haven't tried this yet, but I think it is great to include something like this in the box as cooking oil isn't something I worry about when I am cooking, so knowing it is healthy is a great plus.

Koyo Dairy Free
Koko Dairy Free Original is an alternative to cows milk made by pressed coconut milk. It contains less calories than skimmed milk, and is 100% allergen free. I can't wait to start trying this with cereal as I have heard it tastes really good.

Kabuto Noodles
Kabuto Noodles are a tasty and quick snack which are made with authentic and quality ingredients. They taste really good and I would love to try other flavours.

Sukrin Cake Mix
The Sukrin Cake Mix is something I have never heard of before. It is a sugar free, free from cake mix which is made with natural sugar alternative. I am keen to try this as it has 80% less carbohydrates. so I can still indulge in some baking and cake eating.

Finn Crisp Crispbread
I absolutely love crispbread as I eat it as an alternative to bread. I have tried a variety of brands but never from Finn, so I am eager to give these ago and munch on them with some chive spread and salad.

Magners Light
I really enjoyed this drink, I love fruity ciders so it is great that is lower calories. I definitely will be looking more into Magners Light drink in their other flavours.

Little Miracles
I have tried other flavours of Little Miracles drinks, and always really liked them. My Sister is a big fan of the brand and has already drank the White Tea and said it tasted really sweet.

Mornflake Top Porridge Oats
I love Mornflake products, so was excited to see their porridge oats included in the box. I have already had one of these for breakfast a few days ago and it tasted delicious - it really set me up for the day. They are available to buy from Waitrose.

Haywards Piccalilli
This is the only item in the box I don't think I will use myself as I don't really eat Piccalilli, but I am sure someone else in the family will enjoy it on a burger.

Simplee Aloe
Simplee Aloe is an all natural drink which is really tasty and healthy. The carton is a great size to pop into a lunch bag so is great for on the go.

Clipper Green Tea
My Sister has already claimed these as her own, as I have said previously she is obsessed with green tea and Clipper are a brand we had never come across before. Green tea is full of antioxidants and nutrients which have great effects on the body.

Once again I was thoroughly impressed with Degustabox. I have been receiving the box for a couple of Months now and I haven't been disappointed once. I think this is probably because me and my family have quite different tastes in food, so there is always something for everyone in the box. I think Degustabox is ideal if you want to try new foods, or would be perfect to give as a home-warming gift. 

*This post contains PR samples, however this does not alter my opinion, all views are 100% honest*