Posted on: Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Celebrating 2015!

Every year I write about my plans for 'new years resolutions' and how my year was overall. And, I came across a post on Olivia's blog and was inspired to write something very similar.

The idea of this blog is that instead of writing unrealistic 'things' we should be doing, why don't we write a list of things WE DID? Make ourselves feel GOOD about the big and small stuff that we achieved throughout the year?

It's always nice to sit down and take a moment to reflect on the year you've had. Whether you've had some ups and downs, things happen and you overcome them.

So, here is my anti-bucket list of 2015! These aren't huge momentous moments, but here are some of the things I've achieved and particular events I've thoroughly enjoyed this year.

So here we go... My year in a list!

  • I got a new job in my desired field back in late April... I am now a Digital Graphic Designer and I'm loving every minute of it. I have a lot of freedom with my job, designing social media content for six beauty brands and designing weekly email campaigns. I also have an amazing team and that counts a lot!

  • I travelled to San Francisco, Nuremberg, Berlin and Turkey! All amazing memorable holidays that I will forever cherish. And, I hope 2016 gives me more opportunities to travel.

  • I got engaged to my best friend, Joe! He proposed to me on my birthday in Turkey on the 31st October 2015.

  • My best friend, Nicol got married and I was a bridesmaid for the first time. I am so incredibly happy for her and everything she has achieved. She is a little star and I couldn't be more lucky to have such a special human being in my life.

  • I had an operation earlier on in the year for my Endometriosis, and I fought through it! It was a tough start to the year, but I feel good about pushing myself to get better and having the operation. A little note to myself - No matter how busy you are, health is important and you need to look after yourself from time to time.

  • My sister had a baby! We have the first boy in our family, little Connor.

  • Kept in touch and continued to hang out with some of my oldest and best school friends. I was re-united with Tanya who I've known since I was little and it literally felt like yesterday when we saw each other.

  • My YouTube channel is continually growing! I love creating content and being able to share my interests, what I bought recently and look books with you all.

  • Me and Joe celebrated five years of being together at the end of September. We went to Sketch and some really cool cocktail bars. This was one of my favourite days of the year. Absolutely perfect.

  • I saw the Foo Fighters and they were incredible! I enjoyed their two-hour set with some of my closest friends from my home-town. It was a lovely evening and definitely a highlight of this year!

  • I spent Christmas in Corby with Joe's family for the first time, and saw my family on Boxing day. Honestly, one of the funniest and best Christmas' I've had in a long time ( I'm usually working!)

I think it's so important to look back and reflect on the awesome times you've had, instead of writing a list of 'things to tick off' and setting unrealistic goals for yourself (sometimes). It felt so much better to say, 'this is what I've ticked off in 2015!'

Moving forward, 2016 will be a super exciting year for me... Me and Joe are potentially going to get married at the end of next year. And, I will continue doing the 'things' that make me happy. Here's to 2016!

Posted on: Thursday, 24 December 2015

L’Oreal Paris Perfect Pink Lipsticks & Lipgloss for Fair Skin | Review & Swatches

Last year I wrote a review on L'oreal's Pure Reds exclusive collection and I was really impressed with the quality and colour choices, you can read about those lipsticks here

Similarly this October, L'oreal launched their 'Color Riche Collection in Exclusive Pinks'. In the UK, they have custom made four pink lipsticks for Namoi, Helen, Eva and Blake, who are all brand ambassadors for L'oreal.

The idea of these lipsticks is to suit certain skin-tones and hair colours. For this collection, they have used pure pink pearls mixed with velvet pigments to create perfectly sheer powdery velvet matte finishes.

I decided to only get one from the exclusive pink's collection. I chose Naomi's pink in the shade delicate rose.
I also picked up one from the Nude's Collection, and one of the Extraordinaire Colour Riche Lipgloss's. These are the perfect drugstore lippy's for fair skin tones and the red headed ladies out there.

(Swatches From bottom to top: Julianne's Nude Lipstick, Naomi's Pink Velvet Matte and Extraordinaire Colour Riche Lipgloss's in the shade Rose Melody)

(Lip Swatch: Naomi's Pink Velvet Matte Lipstick)

I've only really got into nudes and pink shades in the past year or so, and I've struggled finding the perfect nudey-pink for my skin-tone. So, I was really keen on trying to find the perfect drugstore version for me. And, I think I may have found three: one matte, one creamy and one lipgloss!

I'll start with Namoi's pink lippy. This is a velvet matte lipstick, a mauve 'tea' pink shade designed especially for fair skin tones. I really do love this, it is a super flattening tone for us pale ladies.

It glides on smoothly and isn't drying like some matte lipsticks. However, I would suggest using a lip scrub and lip balm before applying as it isn't a moisturising creamy formula.

The packaging is exactly the same as the 'Exclusive Reds', a chic matte black casing with gold detailing which is classic and rather pretty.

And, this retails at £6.99 in drugstores such as Boots and Superdrug.

(Lip Swatch: L'oreal's Julianne Nude Lipstick - Barely Peach)

They also have an exclusive 'Nudes collection' which is also tailor made for a variety of skin tones.

I thought I'd give Julianne's nude a go. This lipstick is titled 'Barely Peach' and has been custom made for Julianne Moore who has fair skin and ginger locks.
Julianne's barely peach is a delicate peachy-pink which claims to enhance the radiance of pale complexions and endows them with elegance and sophistication.

I love this! It's super moisturising on the lips and it's the perfect shade for my skin type and hair colour. The pigmentation is quite sheer, however is build-able. This retails at £6.99 in Boots.

(Lip Swatch: L'oreal's Extraordinaire Colour Riche Liquid Lipstick in the shade 101, Rose Melody)

And, last but not least... The perfect drugstore pink lipgloss for fair skin!

I picked up a Extraordinaire Colour Riche Liquid Lipstick in the shade 101, Rose Melody. Which retails at £8.99 at Boots.
It claims to be a liquid lipstick, however, I do still think it's more of a lipgloss as the liquid lipsticks I've tried tend to go matte.

Also, with drugstore lipgloss' they tend to be quite tacky and sticky, however this one is not at all! The longevity is amazing too, it lasts for around 4-5 hours every time I wear it!

This lipgloss is super pigmented, has a beautiful shine and is super moisturising on the lips. I also really enjoy using the brush, it's the perfect size for application.

I think this is one of the best lipgloss' I've ever tried, it's up there with my favourite NARS lipgloss in the shade Dolce Vita. And, I 100% think it is worth the money for a drugstore lipgloss!

Are these must haves? If you love nude-pink lipsticks and lipgloss's then hells yes! Or if you have fair skin then definitely! If you have a darker skin tone, then I would highly recommend you checking out the darker shades from these collections.

Let me know if you end up picking up one of these beautiful lippys in the comments below or tweet me @zoeyhardwick

Posted on: Sunday, 13 December 2015

Glossybox December 2015 Edition | Review

First off, let me start by saying the packaging is absolutely beautiful. I'm a real sucker for anything rose gold and Glossybox have made the Christmas box edition so special.

This December, they have collaborated with blogger Really Ree. And, usually you get five products in your monthly boxes, but this time you get six which is a nice little bonus!

Ok, so here's what you get:

Starskin Calming Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Facial Mask in 'Behind the Scenes'
Hylamide Pore Delete Instant Surface Perfector
So Susan Highlighting Crayon in the shade 'Star Light'
Etre Belle Golden Skin Roll On - Eye Gel
Essence Liquid Lipstick in the shade 'Show off'
Collection Long Lasting Nail Effects Nail Polish in the shade 'Cosmetic Stars'

The item that I'm most excited about is the Starskin Calming Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Facial Mask in 'Behind the Scenes (worth £8.50) - super long name I know! You will usually find these in Sephora, which you can't get in the UK!

This is a sheet mask which claims to be intensely soothing, deeply purifying, pore refining, sebum balancing and prevents breakouts. Some of the main ingredients include coconut juice, sugar maple, vitamin B, C and chamomile.

I absolutely loved this, last night I evenly spread the serum from the packet onto my face and laid the sheet mask on top for twenty five minutes, whilst I relaxed in the bath catching up on YouTube videos.

It's super moisturising, calming and isn't one of those masks that will turn rock solid. It's the perfect face mask for winter that will calm any redness and hydrate your skin.
The only thing I will say, is that, having a sheet mask on your face isn't the most prettiest of things, you will look pretty scary! And, yes you will look like Mrs Doubtfire.

My skin felt really really great afterwards! I would 100% highly recommend this to anyone.
If I visit a country that has Sephora store soon, I will definitely pick up another one or two of these!

Up next is the Hylamide Pore Delete Instant Surface Perfector (worth £18). I've never heard of this brand before, and I am quite intrigued by this little bottle, which claims to visibly mattify, minimise pores and blur imperfections. This little bottle is to be used as the last skincare step, or alternatively you can use this after you've put on your foundation. Interesting - I'm excited to give this a go.

I then got four other items, which sadly I'm not that keen on. I got a full-size So Susan Highlighting Crayon in the shade 'Star Light' (worth £15). I'm not really a fan of pencilled highlighters, I much prefer a powdered highlighter, so I was a little bit disappointed to receive this.

I also got a Etre Belle Golden Skin Roll On - Eye Gel (worth £30.66) which claims to be a highly effective skin-firming rollerball which smoothes, relaxes and refreshes tired skin around the eyes. Again, I was a little disappointed to receive this in my box, but I will trial this one out as it may be quite good for the aftermath of Christmas and New Year's eve. And, wowzer the price of a full-size bottle of one of these!

Up next is a Essence Liquid Lipstick in the shade 'Show Off' (worth £2.50). I'm just not into bright pinks. I think if I received a red or a nude then I would of been super happy. And, well, I feel like 'pink' isn't really a festive colour, but, that's just my personal preference.

And last but not least is a Collection, Long Lasting Nail Effects nail polish in the shade '33 - Cosmetic Stars' (worth £2.99). I like the idea that they've included a sparkly nail polish for the party season, however, I'm sadly not keen on the colour. Perhaps if it was a sliver, gold or even rose gold sparkly polish then I would of been super happy!

Overall, I think it's a good box, however, I'm only really wowed by two of the items. I was most impressed with the StarSkin face-mask sheet - that's the real highlight for me. And, again I love the packaging design, it's beautiful.
Maybe the January edition will be full packed of great products. I'm feeling hopeful!

Also, if you're interested, I will be giving a few of these items away in a give-away sometime soon, so be sure to follow me on all my social media channels, and keep your eyes peeled!

Holiday Lookbook | Turkey Edition

I've finally got round to editing my Turkey photos and Lookbook! I'm really happy with the outcome, I think this may possibly be the best lookbook I've done? It's short but sweet and I can't get that song out of my head.

Anyway, Turkey was a super special holiday holiday for both me and Joe, as it was where he proposed to me on my birthday, the 31st October :). Which was a complete shock by the way!

I did vlog parts of the trip too. If you're interested in watching it, click here or scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and hit the play button!

Posted on: Monday, 7 December 2015

Lush Xmas Collection | Rosy Cheeks & Christmas Bath Bombs

A little while back, I featured a few little treats from Lush’s Christmas collection in my ‘Primark and Lush’ haul.  And, now that I’ve tested and tried them all I wanted to write mini reviews on them.

Let’s start with ‘Rosy Cheeks’! Rosy Cheeks is a fresh facemask, which is exclusive during Christmas time. This little tub claims to calm and soothe rosiness, with the main ingredients being calamine powder and rose oil.

I love Lush’s facemasks, and I’m super impressed with this one. It’s perfect for winter, as your skin tends to get a little bit red and dry with the weather changing. My fiancĂ© Joe is also a big fan of this as it has calmed his skin down massively as he has been suffering with a few breakouts on his forehead.  

Next up we have the ‘Intergalactic bath bomb’, the appearance of this is gorgeous, with the blues, pinks, whites and glitter. And the smell is really interesting – it’s quite minty and not your typical lush scent. 
When I popped this into my bath it fizzled away and looked like something from space (hence the name ‘Intergalactic’), it was beautiful! And I would happily purchase this again.

Moving on to the ‘Yoga bomb’, a simple yet most relaxing and refreshing bath bomb. Once I dropped it in, it looked like a sun was forming which was really lovely. This scent is quite woody with the likes of sandalwood oil and ho wood oil inside.

Now on to the bubble bars… Up first we have ‘Peeping Santa’.  How cute is this little guy, he almost looks like a macaroon but with whipped cream filled inside.
This bubble bar has shea butter, cocoa butter, strawberry sweet bergamot and geranium oils, all super moisturising ingredients that will leave your skin silky soft.

And last but not least, ‘Big Bang’ bubble bar. This is so lovely to use, it turns your bath completely bubbly and blue, and it also smells divine. It has avocado butter, grapefruit oil and refreshing lemon myrtle oil.

So far, I love them all. However, my favourite of the bunch has to be the Intergalactic bath bomb!

I’m really excited to head back to Lush to treat myself to some more Christmasy bath bombs. Gotta love sparkly indulgent bath’s during winter time!

Posted on: Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Beauty Blogger Awards at Olympia | NYX Goody Bag

A little while back I got the pleasure to work at the Beauty Blogger Awards held at Olympia Beauty. Being someone who works in the beauty industry as well as blogging in my spare time I really enjoyed experiencing my first big beauty event from both a working point of view and as a blogger. 

On my lunch break, I popped around a few of the stalls in the V.I.P 'Beauty Blogger Awards' area, which was exclusively for bloggers and PR. There was a NYX stand with a cool photo-booth - obviously I had to take a few snaps in there (see my Instagram page for photos). As well as this, the NYX girls kindly gave me a goody bag full of beautiful little treats. 

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in the shade Tanned

My favourite item from the bunch is the 'Mega Shine Lip Gloss' in the shade Tanned (LG 152A). It's the most beautiful neutral beige with a teeny hint of pink. It doesn't feel sticky or tacky on the lips, it feels really comfortable.
I'm actually really impressed with the quality of this lipgloss, considering it only retails at £4.

I'm not overly keen on the other items in my good bag, apart from the eyeliners. I love a good ol' winged eye. So, I will be giving a few lipsticks and blushes away.

Have you tried any NYX products? What are your thoughts?

Posted on: Monday, 23 November 2015

My first ever GlossyBox | November Edition

Glossybox, 'Lipstick to Lashes' November 2015

I've always been intrigued by these 'beauty boxes' but haven't bothered ordering one until recently. I was debating between GlossyBox and BirchBox and in the end I decided to trial a three month subscription with GlossyBox.

In my November package, which was themed 'Lipstick to Lashes', I received five items, a hand cream, eye-shadow palette, lipstick, eyelashes and a primer, three of which were full-size. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
Also, I really love the cute pink box it came in... oh, the little things.

I received a 'Royal Apothic Body Cream' in Holland Park (worth £2.79), I've actually never heard of this brand before, and, I have to say the packaging is beautiful, it looks quite vintage and classy. I also really like the tube packaging, it's somewhat really satisfying squeezing the product out of this quirking looking metal tube. The fragrance is also lovely and fresh.

I then received a 'MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette' (worth £4). I really do love all the shades in this palette, you get twelve eyeshadows - some neutral mattes to some smouldering shimmers, all wearable for day or night.

MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette swatches above

Up next we have a 15ml 'Emite Make-up Diamond Heart Illuminating Base Primer' (worth £16). I've also never heard of this brand before, but after reading the back of the tube, I've noticed that they are from Stockholm in Sweden, and Swedish make-up brands are known to be pretty good. This primer claims to be lightweight and make your skin look radiant, smooth and uniformed. And, I have to agree, it does what it says on the tin.

Moving on to the 'Eyelure, Naturalites' (worth £5.29).  I've tried Eyelure in the past and I think they are a great affordable brand for those who like wearing lashes, however, I'm not a huge false eye-lash wearer (controversially I love semi-permanent individual lashes though) so I may give these to a friend.

Revlon Super Lustous Lipstick in the shade 'Pink in the Afternoon' swatch above

And last but not least, my favourite item in the box is the 'Revlon Super Lustous Lipstick' in the shade Pink in the Afternoon (worth £7.99). This lipstick is the most gorgeous day-time pink. It's also super creamy and pigmented. But, the reason why I'm most excited about this lippy is not because I'm a huge lipstick addict, but because I got to personally chose this colour out of five shades, which made it more personal and special. So, yes very impressed with that little touch Glossybox.

Overall, I'm super happy with everything I got and I'm excited to see what's in store in the December edition.

Posted on: Thursday, 19 November 2015

My Top 5 MAC Autumn Lipsticks

I have been on the biggest MAC binge lately, and I thought I would share my top five MAC Autumn/Berry lippys with you.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this style of video and let me know in the comments below if you would like me to do similar videos in the near future!

Posted on: Sunday, 8 November 2015

MAC Lipsticks | Men Love Mystery and Cosmo Review

I seriously have a problem... I can't stop buying MAC lipsticks! I've already got over twenty in my collection but I urge for more.

Whilst I was in London, I popped into the Covent Garden MAC store and tried and tested a bunch of lipsticks, but two really caught my eye - Men L
ove Mystery and Cosmo. They are completely different from one another, but both beautiful in their own individual ways. 

 (Men Love Mystery lipstick swatch)

Men love mystery. Now this is your daring bold lipstick!
On MAC's website it is described as a 'Lavender Violet' and is a matte finish. And, this beauty is part of MAC's new matte collection. 

At first I was a little scared by this colour, in person it looks a little daunting, however, once I swatched it on the lips, it actually looked really flattening! And, I think it works well with my faux ginger locks and brown eyes.

With matte formula's, you expect them to be a little drying, however this one is not at all. It's really creamy and glides on beautifully. After about thirty minutes, the formulation dries completely matte on the lips, which looses the creamyness but is still comfortable on the lips. Also the longevity is great too, it lasts around 5-6 hours without any touch ups! 

(Cosmo Lipstick Swatch)

Cosmo. I think this has to be my new favourite every-day MAC lipstick! It's a beautiful soft pinky-nude-brown colour with blue undertones, which I personally think would look really flattening on all skin-tones.
I've worn this when I've been on holiday when I'm looking a little bronzed and it still looks lovely.

MAC describe Cosmo as a 'Pink Coco', and it's a Amplified Creme finish which means it's super creamy and moisturising on the lips. Likewise to Men Love Mystery, it glides on easily with no tugging.
The longevity is also fab for a creamy texture, it lasts for around 3-4 hours on my lips before I need to re-apply.

Love love love this! It's that shade you can wear every-day all year round!

If there are any MAC lipsticks you would like me to review next let me know in the comments below :). 

Posted on: Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Afternoon tea at Sketch London for our 5th anniversary!

Sketch is one of those places I've always dreamed of going to... Anyway, it was mine and Joe's fifth anniversary, and we wanted to go somewhere extra special, so I hinted afternoon tea at Sketch, Mayfair. I'd been hinting to go there for about a year... not even joking!

From the skip hop and jump entrance to the space-egged toilets, everything about this place is cool. Really cool.

Me and Joe indulged in our afternoon tea in the Gallery. And, I have to say the food was outstanding! Every little treat was delicious, especially the warm scones and the pistachio puff ball things. Also, you could chose a variety of tea's or champagne with an additional cost. I went for the whole Rose Buds tea which was lovely.

The interior is also beautiful with pink velvet cushioned seats, copper details and David Shrigley's art across all four walls, you feel a bit like you're in a fancy sweet store.
The gallery also leads on to these crazy toilets, which looked like a cross between something from space and a boiled egg. Me and Joe had too much fun in here!

We both really enjoyed every bit of it, it is definitely one of the best afternoon tea's I've ever had. It's honestly such a bizarre, quirky little place and I highly recommend eating there if you're in the London area. 

| Shirt - H&M | Jeans - TOPSHOP | Heels - TOPSHOP | Bag - Warehouse |

After Sketch, we did a little bit of shopping whilst we were super close to Oxford Circus, and then we headed to some quirky cocktail bars.

The first one we went to was 'The Cocktail Trading Club' which is a little bar hidden away in a basement. They had really amazing interesting cocktails - one of them came in a snow globe and had coconut sprinkles that had the illusion of being snow!

The other bar we went to was called 'The Blind Pig', this has to be my new favourite bar in London. The bar snacks are incredible and the drinks are so unusual! The first cocktail I had was a percy pig infused vodka with a little David Cameron reference. I took a photo of it on my Instagram so head over to there if you're interested.
Joe's cocktail was called the 'Slap and Pickle' which had baby pickles on the side, cute. And, the other cocktail I had was a whiskey mix with popcorn on the side. Absolutely loved it here and would love to go back again sometime soon.

Overall, we had an amazing day out celebrating five years together, Sketch was all I could of dreamt of and more (cheese) and the cocktail bars are new favourites of mine!

 If you're interested in coming along with us on our anniversary, watch my little vlog below. Enjoy :)!