Friday, 31 January 2014

Soap & Glory The Scrub Of Your Life™

Like many of you out there, I received the Soap & Glory Yule Monty gift set for Christmas. If you aren't aware of what that is exactly, it's the massive hamper Soap & Glory bring out every Christmas of a selection of their best products. In this hamper was The Scrub Of Your Life, a product that's never really interested me much before. I'm not the biggest fan of scrubs, due to the fact I'm lazy and exfoliating is usually the last thing I can be bothered to do when I'm in a rush. However, I do already own their Sugar Crush scrub which I like, but don't love.

I decided to give The Scrub Of Your Life a whirl before shaving last week, and it really surprised me. It consists of tiny fine pink beads and some fine colourless grains suspended in a clear liquid. The scrub is unlike the others from Soap & Glory, first of all it come in a squeezy tube packaging as opposed to a tub. The formula smells amazing, much like the classic perfume scent of Soap & Glory products; with notes of mandarin, peach, jasmine and rose.

It also has a much different consistency, it comes in a gel like consistency rather than a thick paste. It could also double up as a body wash as unlike other scrubs, it foams up too. I found a small amount goes a long way, with other scrubs I have to use lots and lots of products and it runs out quickly. It buffs the skin really well and get rid of any rough patches I may have, especially on the knees and elbows. It's really easy too use, I tend to just use my hands and buff in into my skin in circular motions, it also rinses off really nicely too. It prices at £7 which I think is very reasonable. It has quickly became one of my favourite scrubs and I'll more than likely repurchase it when it runs out.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter

I received so many Clinique goodies this Christmas and I've been more than impressed by all of them. Their Deep Comfort Body Butter is no exception. The product came in Clinique's 'Softer, Smoother Skin' gift set. 
 It's a full sized product which is a lovely surprise for a gift set as most only include sample sizes.

The packaging is typical of Clinique, a round plastic tub with a silver lid and the logo along with the name of the product. I'm glad they chose to package it in a plastic tub as opposed to glass as the tub is large and therefore it makes it lighter and more durable. Personally, I'm a fan of Clinique's packaging as it's simple yet sophisticated and sits lovely on your dressing table. The product itself looks very thick and creamy, as expected from a body butter. It appears a off white magnolia colour and is unscented; as with the rest of Clinique's products it is 100% fragrance free and allergy tested so it is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. I would say this is the only downfall, I personally like body butters to have some scent to them.

So, the most important part. The body butter is fabulous. Super thick yet a little goes a longer way, it melts lovely into the skin and doesn't leave behind a sticky residue. Surprisingly, it doesn't take too long to absorb either which means you don't have to sit around for ages in your undies. It intensely moisturises the skin leaving it soft, supple and hydrated. Unlike other moisturisers I've used, my skin is still super soft hours after I've applied the product. It does wonders for my sensitive skin, unlike scented products, it doesn't give me any irritation or redness and soothes the skin after shaving.

Overall I love the product, a lot. However it's £24 price tag leaves it on the 'I really love it but can't afford to use it all the time' list. I do however think it's the best body butter I've ever and I'd highly recommend it.


Monday, 27 January 2014

My Autumn/Winter Barry M Nail Picks

Barry M Nail Paints £2.99

As most of you will know, I'm a massive fan of Barry M Nail Paints. They do the job well, don't chip too bad, the formulas are great and they have an amazing colour selection, did I mention they're cheap as chips too? I went to Superdrug to see what they had new to offer as my nails had been stuck with the same bright coloured polishes for too long. I found myself drawn towards the Berry shades and in the end, all 3 of my choices are more red toned. I was looking for some more brown and navy polishes but nothing caught my eye in particular, unfortunately Nottingham didn't serve me as well as my Birmingham counterpart stores. Anyway I thought I'd share with you my 3 favourites which I thought suited my light toned complexion.

Barry M Nail Paint in Berry Cosmo

Such a beautiful purple shade which is perfect for colder seasons. However don't be fooled by it's presence in the bottle, it appears a very bright medium purple, but on the nails it's a very deep purple which is slightly disappointing. Don't let that put you off though as it's still a glorious colour nevertheless!

Barry M Nail Paint in Cappucino

My favourite of all my picks. Such a perfect neutral for Autumn/Winter. I absolutely love wearing nude tone polishes as they go with everything and look sophisticated. Cappuccino is no exception. A brown polish with a purple/grey hue. People tend to stick for pink tone nudes in Spring/Summer so this is a lovely twist for colder seasons.

Barry M Nail Paint in Red Wine

Although appearing quite a brighter red when photographed, Red Wine is just as it's name describes. It's a very deep red pretty much identical to a glass of Merlot itself. I'm a massive fan of red nails and deepening the tone of red for colder seasons is perfect, as well as fitting around festive celebrations.

I think they all look pretty fab if I may say so myself. I've been having a massive dilemma with shaping my nails. Decided they'd look better square for darker season colours. What do you think?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

MAC Modesty Lipstick

My last MAC lipstick post was one of the two new beauties I'd invested in. I thought it was time to discuss my opinion on my other. I'm a massive fan of big bold lips on brunettes, however in the daytime it sometimes just doesn't suit a very casual laid back look. But I didn't want that to tarnish my love for lipstick and wanted to find something I could wear everyday. I've always been a fan of nude lipsticks on other people. They've never been something that suited me though, I'm not sure whether it's because I always pick something that washes out my complexion which is not a good look, especially in the colder months.

Behold, MAC Modesty is for me, the perfect nude. With a pink hue and that 'your lips but better' shade it makes perfect for everyday wear as well as muting down your evening look with bold smoky eyes. The lipstick is in one of my favourite finishes, Cremesheen, which makes it super creamy and moisturising on the lips so doesn't require much prep. Cremesheen is a lot more pigmented than Lustre and Glaze which does means it does require as much product to get the impact you want.  Because of the colour and finish, it's quite a low maintenance choice and doesn't require too much precision in application or topping up which makes it a great everyday pick.

It is a colour you'll need to learn to work with. At first I hated it and found it to be too glossy and muted. However if you blot it, it will eliminate most of the excess sheen and also help it to last longer on the lips. I'd definitely recommend this shade to those of you with fair-olive skin tones and would probably say it's slightly on the light side for darker tones but each to their own! MAC lipsticks are still standing at £15, pricey but always an investment. This has quickly become one of my favourite lipsticks and I wear it pretty much everyday.


Monday, 13 January 2014

What 2014 Holds For Abbroseee

So this year has gotten off to a flying start. I got engaged, started my second semester of university and if you haven't noticed already, I've been blogging quite a lot! However, I did plan to do a lot more OOTDs and videos this year but some numpty forgot to pack her tripod so I'll have to pick that up when I go back to Birmingham. My blog will be 2 years old this year and it's not quite where I want it to be, mainly on my own behalf. To be fair to you guys I thought I'd throw you a few notices so you're more aware of what's going on as opposed to me going missing for weeks/months.

I plan to post at least twice a week, every Monday and Thursday at 12pm. If I'm not going to post that day or if I am going to do extra posts that week I will let you know via my facebook page or twitter.

I am going to upload once a week on my channel. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of my YouTube yet so once a week is more than enough for me. I haven't decided a date or time yet. Again, I will notify you using my social media.

I plan to do a lot more OOTDs. I've invested hugely in my style the past few months and feel like I've 'found myself' as such.

I'm not far off 100 subscribers on my channel, if I hit this I will be doing a giveaway. I haven't decided what yet but it'll be pretty special so keep your eyes opened for that.

I always need help when it comes to thinking of new ideas for posts and videos. Please please please interact with me more! I answer all my comments and am more than happy to accept requests from you so don't be afraid to ask!

Anyway I won't babble too much as uni work is calling! Hope this has filled you in a bit more. This will all start from Febraury as I'm just settling back into life after my break at home and the hectic start to the new year. Thankyou for all your support, I know things can't be a little slow with me sometimes but I assure you things will be much better this year.


Our Trip To Paris & Some Big News!

So for my Christmas present Lee paid for us to go to Paris in the New Year. We flew out on New Years day and arrived to a very rainy Paris. We hadn't sorted out any transfers so we (badly) navigated the trains halfway and then got a taxi to our hotel. We stayed at the Mercure Paris Arc de Triomphe Etoile which was a lovely little hotel situated round the corner from the Arc de Triomphe itself. The room was gorgeous, totally up my street with super modern fittings and a very comfy bed.

As we arrived quite late we went for dinner at a American style restaurant called Indiana Cafe. The atmopshere in here was great, super chilled out with great food and friendly staff. After this we headed back to our hotel for a well deserved sleep.

The next morning we headed out to see the sights. The first stop being not far from us, the Arc de Triomphe. Having been to Paris several times before, I'd already been up and remember the pain in my poor legs so we decided to admire it from the bottom. My favourite thing about Paris is the amazing architecture and history.

After a (ridiculous) walk, we next visited the Eiffel Tower. Everyones favourite part of Paris. Unfortunately we couldn't go up to the 3rd floor as it was closed. The queue were stupidly long as always and the journey up over 600 steps is not for the faint hearted, but once you're up there the views are like no other. Seeing out  for miles across Paris whilst the sun is setting is one of the most spectacular views ever.

After this we headed back across the River Seine to the hotel and stayed in for dinner as I was super poorly and wasn't capable of leaving the room that night.

The next day we decided walking was just too much so we hoped on the Metro to the Louvre. Our first stop was the Pont Des Arts which is the famous bridge known for it's love locks. The love locks on this bridge are to symbolise committed love. We made our own little mark by attaching our own. The bridge is spectacular and the amount of locks is overwhelming. I would definitely recommend doing this if you visit Paris with your other half.

We then walked a short distance to the Notre Dame. I can't remember getting to visit this in previous trips so it was a first time for me. It's one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen, inside and out. Absolutely massive too, lots of interesting things to see inside.

We then got back on the Metro and headed for the Louvre, having been inside already we decided to just walk around outside as there are plenty of things out there anyway.

For our last night we headed to a nice little restaurant for steak (my favourite) and back to our hotel for an attempted early night before out 4am wake up to catch out flight back, boo :(

I bet you're thinking where's the big news then? Well if you scroll back up to the picture of the sunset on the Eiffel Tower, moments after that picture was taken at that very spot, Lee asked me to marry him! It was an amazing start to the year, although I'm still very young, the last 3 years have been life changing and there's no one else I could ever see myself wanting to spend the rest of my life with. He has all the qualities for a perfect partner and I love him so much.

I was super overwhelmed in the moment and he'd only been on his knee for about 3 seconds before I grabbed him back up and squeezed him to death whilst blubbing like a baby (not my finest moment I know).

The ring is absolutely stunning. A beautiful 18ct white gold number with a solitare diamond and extra diamonds under the setting. It's literally the most perfect ring I could ever wish for and I'm completely in love with it.

Before you ask when the wedding is, not for a good few years is the answer! I want to finish university first and get myself into a career. In the mean time we have a wedding fit for a princess to save for so those years are going to be useful! I'm very excited about the future, our own little house, becoming Mrs Thomas and a few babies are definitely on the agenda.


Face Of The Day #01

Every now and then I like to spend a little more time on my make-up and try something different. I'm one of those people who stick to the same routine with my look as I'm usually in a rush and know what things work for me. The other day I played my eyes up a lot more than I usually do and really loved the way it turned out; it also gave me a chance to use a few of my Christmas presents too. Anyway I thought I'd show you what products I used and what I did with them to create it.

Products That I Used: MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC20*, MAC Select Cover Up in NC20*, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light*, Soap & Glory Thick & Fast, MAC Lipstick in Modesty, MAC Eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown*, Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner, Benefit Whole Lotta Lovin'! Make-Up Kit.

*Colour used will vary due to skin tones and hair colour

Firstly, I applied one pump of MAC Studio Fix Fluid on my face, blending it in with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I then used MAC Select Cover Up to conceal under my eyes and to cover any blemishes and redness, I blended this in with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I then lightly dusted MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural all over my face with a Real Techniques Powder Brush to set my make-up. Then for my brows I used a MAC 208 Brush and MAC Eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown to define the shape of my brows and fill them in. 

For my eyes I used my Benefit Whole Lotta Lovin'! kit, I used a MAC 217 Brush to blend Creasless Cream Shadow in No Pressure all over my lids, I also lined under my lower lash line with this using the same MAC 208. I then used a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush to blend Longwear Powder Shadow in Nude Swings up to my brow bone. I then blended It's Complicated into my crease using Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. I then lined above my lash line using Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner and gave my lashes a few coats of Soap & Glory Thick & Fast. To slightly contour I used Hoola bronzer. To finish the look I used MAC Lipstick in Modesty.


Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

I'm always open to different ways of taking my make-up off. I find it the most important part of my skincare routine as going to bed with make-up left of your face is the worst skincare sin going. Generally I'm very much a face wash kinda gal, having oily skin I don't like to smother it in rich products that will block my pores. To get the majority of my make-up off I'd use face wipes and then wash with a gel wash. This method seems to make my skin even more oily as it strips the skin quite badly.

I did some research and found creamy cleansers to be the best option for skin. However I'm not a fan of cream cleansers as they leave my face feeling still dirty and sticky. Recently I've read a lot about cleansing balms. Very similar but different consistency altogether. Thought I'd pick one up and give it a go.

 Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is a hard consistency in it's tub, it's difficult to describe but it's similar to wax. You only need to scrap off a small amount with your finger and then rub it together in your fingers, a little goes a long way. It then turns into an thick oil. You the use your fingers to massage the product all over your face. I like to do this once in the morning with a bare face and double cleanse in the evening with a face full of make-up to make sure my skin is thoroughly cleansed. You then rinse the product off with your hands or use a damp muslin cloth, and then pat dry with a towel.

I was worried it would be too rich for my skin as I have oily/combination skin so I didn't want to add excess oil to my skin. However, it does say it's suitable for all skin types which is true, when rinsed off your skin is completely clean and no oily residue is left behind.  I didn't expect much from this product but it is one of the best cleansers I have ever used. Regardless of what product I use, I usually always still have make-up left on my face when drying my face on a towel, with this stuff I haven't had that problem once. It leaves my skin super soft and not irritated, absolute pleasure for removing make-up of an evening. The formula is super gentle and fragrance free.

I only use mine on evenings although it can be used  in the mornings too. This is one of Clinique's hidden gems, and regardless of it's £21 price tag, I will repurchase over and over again. I've been using mine almost a month now and I'm only about a quarter of my way through so I'd say it's well worth the investment for your skin.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Benefit Whole Lotta Lovin' Make-Up Kit

Every year make-up brands bring out amazing gift sets and each year I'm left disappointed that I never get given one. Over the past few years where I've became somewhat a make-up obsessive, these sort of gifts appeal to me so much more because I know I'll'll  get use out of them and it allows me to try products from brands before having to go out and commit to spending money on something I may not like.

My brother asked me what I wanted for Christmas a few weeks ago, and with a bigger budget than he's had in previous years. I thought this was a great opportunity to try one of my favourite brands gift sets, Benefit. Benefit bring out some really great little kits, especially at Christmas time. I love the majority of Benefits make-up selection but never have the funds to try new things out.

The kit I wanted was sold out so I went with the Whole Lotta Lovin' kit. What I liked about the kit is that it includes a variety of products from eyes to cheeks to face.

The Whole Lotta Lovin' kit includes:
They're Real Mascara 4g
Longwear Powder Shadow in Nude Swings, It's Complicated and Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy 3x 0.8g
Creaseless Cream Shadow in No Pressure 3.2g
Boi-ing in 02 1.2g
Hoola 2g
Talent Brush/Fruff Shadow Brush
Concealer Brush

I'm already a massive fan of Hoola bronzer and They're Real Mascara, both cult beauty products and massive favourites of mine, despite not being able to purchase them often because of their price tag. Some products really suprised me. I wasn't expecting much from the eye shadows and I've never used cream shadow before and saw them more as products they'd thrown in the use up the space. However, I really love all of them and found the colours were super complimentary to my dark eyes and paler skin tone. They were all stayed put on my lids and blended really well.

I've heard great stuff about Boi-ing before yet I've never tried it, which is strange considering I'm always on the look out for high coverage concealer. The only part of this set I was disappointed with was the brushes. I never expect much from brushes in these set as they are clearly cheaply made. It's hard to appreciate these kind of brushes when you're used to the delights of Real Techniques and MAC. However, if you don't own any brushes or don't spend much on these, they will certainly do the job for you and are a nice little addtion. I personally would of prefered another mini product instead as I will use my own brushes.

It also has a little guide in it which shows you how to create a look using everything in the palette, I had a little go on Christmas day with the eye make-up tutorial and really loved the look. It's definitely a bonus for people who may not be confident enough to just get stuck in.

Overall, this little kit is definitely good value for money retailing at £25. These sort of sets will be more frequent on my wishlist in future Christmases as I've loved being able to try new products without paying anything! They also make great presents, I picked up The Bronze of Champions as my Secret Santa for one of my flatmates and she loved it! Although some sets are limited edition to Christmas, Benefit have loads of regular kits all year round.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Cath Kidston Little Birds iPhone 5 Case

Cath Kidston Little Birds iPhone 5 Case £24.99

I absolutely love pretty phone cases. However, I like to change mine often as there's nothing I hate more than a grubby phone case. Since my previous Ted Baker goody is looking a little worse for wear, I've been on the hunt for a new one.

When in Selfridges recently, I stumbled across their Cath Kidston section. I've wanted a case from them for ages but was never willing to spend that much on one. However,  with some spare money I decided to treat myself (or my phone should I say). With a selection to choose from, I decided to go with something a little less classic than their well known floral designs. I fell in love with the Little Birds design, I felt it was most fitting with my white iPhone.

The case fits perfectly and seems very sturdy and practical. What I like most about it is how easy it is to clean, it's made from a smooth rubber type material which makes it easy to wipe over should it get dirty. It may look dainty but it's very strong and will protect your phone well should you ever drop it (admit it, it's happened to all of us!)

 Overall I love this super cute case and it was totally worth the money, if you're thinking of treating yourself, do it!

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