Sunday, 30 November 2014

5 Things To Do This Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of year. The atmosphere just makes me so happy, the lights, the music, the movies, the food - everything just make you feel like a kid again doesn't it? 
We all have our Christmas traditions but each year it's also fun to do something new or make a new tradition - so here's 5 things you could do this December!
1. Go to Winter Wonderland
That magically festive place in Hyde Park is a fantastic way to get into the Christmas Spirit. I myself have been once - I wish it was more but sometimes it's hard doing a day trip to London and trying to fit everything in! Nevertheless me and my friends loved it and took in all there was to see and do! There's everything you'd want in a Christmas market plus lots of entertainment aswell! One of my favourite things was going on the Ferris wheel - such a gorgeous view!
2. Make Your Own Mince Pies
This is something that me and my brother used to do with my Mum every single Christmas Eve. I love mince pies and don't understand how some people don't.... they are amazing! I used to love making different shaped pastry to put on the tops, stars, hearts, scalloped edges! Then sitting down in the evening to watch a Christmas movie with warm mince pies from the oven and ice cream - perfect! 

3. Do A Christmas Lights Tour
Wherever you live there must be houses near you that are known for their elaborate lights and Christmas displays outside their homes! What I love doing is getting in the car (or even going for a walk) and checking out all the great Christmas lights! Get a Xmas CD on in the car and go oooo and ahhhh with your friends, family or both! (Photo credit : google images)
4. Invest In Some Festive Knitwear
Christmas jumpers have made a big impact on the fashion scene over the last 3 years or so! It is a must really isn't it? There's so many out there nowadays, so no matter what you fancy - funny, cute, fluffy or subtle... they'll be some Christmas knitwear out there for you somewhere!

5. Throw Your Own Christmas Party
December is the busiest time of year for restaurants and venues so sometimes getting all your friends together for a little Christmas celebration can be hard work.
 So.... why not take the party into your own hands? Get all your gal pals together, choose someones home, put in £10 each and head on down to your nearest supermarket! Weather you decide to cook a full on dinner or just have a fun buffet you're going to be alot more relaxed than sitting in an place with other people you don't know! 
You can drink and eat as much as you want..... and even wear your pjs if you want! This is probably 5 times cheaper than going out together and you can watch a Christmas movie ... or maybe watch the X Factor final whilst being as loud as you want and staying as late as you want!
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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Why hello there new online outlet of beauty goodies!

Yes, there is once again another place for us beauty addicts to head to on the internet to discover new and unique brands and products and it's called Beauty Crowd!
 This marketplace is a cave of wonders when it comes to interesting and 'hard to find anyway else' kind of products and after having a long look through the site myself I can see there is definitely something for everyone.

Beauty Crowd recently surprised me with a fabulous box of beauty treats for me to check out and see what their new site is all about! 
I was overwhelmed by the great choices they had sent me and wanted to share with you guys the sorts of things you can expect from them and what I got sent! I am slowly trying them all one by one so no doubt you will be seeing them in future posts and reviews!
Lay/N/Go Cosmo- £20
A product from a Mum who needed an easier way to clear up clutter in one easy move has proven to be the ultimate beauty accessory!
 This cosmetic version of the lay/n/go is the easiest and tidiest way to keep your make-up and products on a daily basis! A quilted and washable drawstring clutch which opens up into an easy mat to keep your products all in one place  while you use them before simply pulling the drawstring and returning the bag to normal with all your bits and bobs inside! 
For me this is perfect for travelling or if I'm going somewhere in a rush. It's so easy just to chuck a hand full of items onto the sheet and be on your way - I can't wait to take this away with me!

I love a tanning mousse and am always trying more ... even though I do have my favs! This one is said to be fragrance free so I'm really looking forward to giving it a go and hopefully not smelling of "biscuits".

This time of year my skin goes to a bit of a combination and my T-zone gets a nasty unattractive shine about it and even though I'm not a 'teen' anymore (sad times) this product is still right up my street! IT has a lovely floral and fresh scent about it and this week I have started to use this balm as a primer under my make-up - so far, so good!

As I've got older the thought of oils has become more and more intriguing to me and this year I have tried out a few. This body oil contains essential rose oil which is great to reduce redness and inflammation of the skin. For me, I have found using a small bit of this in the evening on my skin has been very soothing and calming especially when I'm feeling super tired. The rollerball is so handy and I can take it everywhere! The full size of this product is 100ml and is priced at £32.

This product I am still yet to try as I am currently just finishing off another daily wash! I am really looking forward to giving it a go though, for the price being for just a 100ml bottle I'm hoping it works wonders!

So there's a little look at a few things you will find on the BeautyCrowd site! I have been having a good look through of the different sections of the site and there has been so much that has caught my eye! Plus they have some great video features on there too - always great for a bit more information on everything!

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Elf Cosmetics Studio Blush Palette Review

Fan of pretty pink blushes and bargain prices? Well this is a product for you!
I've been a fan of elf cosmetics for years now, I remember stumbling across them after seeing some youtubers using them back in maybe 2009 or 2010 - I instantly fell in love with their wide range of products and totally affordable prices and raved about them to everyone I knew!

Today I'm going to be talking a bit about a product from elf's studio range (probably my favourite stuff that they do). It is the gorgeus blush palette in the shade 'light'.
Blushes are a bit of a lessen know territory for me, it's only recently that I have started wearing them on a more regular basis. (Thanks to Nars' Orgasm I've come out of my comfort zone a bit!)
I've always been a bit nervous that they look a bit silly and clown like on me, but with a bit of perfecting I think I've got it looking okay on my skin.

This quad comes with 4 different shades ranging from a bright barbie pink to a more peach-tan shade and it's these top two that I have been using together the most.
The upper right hand shade is great for contouring and I've just been using the lighter pink very lightly on the apples of my cheeks with a slight sweep up towards my temples.
Swatches from bottom to top : Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right.

This, like I said before, is the 'light' palette but it also comes in a 'dark' version and they are priced at only £7.95 each. 
The quality is great for the price and your getting 4 shades for what you would probably pay for one with drugstore brands! They also pop out of the compact too which is super handy if you wanted to just take one with you somewhere!

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Sk:n : My Top Picks

I was recently introduced to a new company - Sk:n. 
At first when I checked out their website I was a bit overwhelmed - I saw alot of "treatments" and "procedures" they offered... which kind of scared me a bit - I am a slight wimp like that! 
Once I had had a read through though my mind was put at ease by the professionalism and articles and actually intrigued to maybe try things out one day!
One of my best friends has recently had lazer hair removal and raved about how amazing it is, so that really stood out to me along with mole removal as I have cheeky one on my leg which I have never been a fan of and as a child did everything to try and hide it - although it would kind of be like loosing a part of me if it went!

Not only do Sk:n have a fabulous range of helpful and self-esteem boosting treatments but they also sell beauty products .... hallelujah - that is where my heart lies and that is what I am going to be talking about today!
I thought I would share with you guys Sk:n's beauty based store and the products I am dying to try out plus some which could make fab presents for others!
(not sure why this picture has gone a bit blurry I'm sorry guys - click the links below to see some clearer images!)

I'm always changing  up my cleasners and trying out different things My holy grail is cleanse and polish but I love using other products alongside it to make my face feeling even more free from dirt and make-up build up. This is around the usual price I would pay for other higher end brands for a cleasner so I think it is totally reasonable. 

Avene are a huge brand in the UK now and known for their amazing skincare products. Lip balms are a must have in cold weather - I can't live without one and for only £5 this is a total bargain!
I'm quite lucky when it comes to my skin and throughout my teenage years and right upto now I tend to only get a few whoppers now and again.... although they are never pleasant! I love the sound of this lotion which rapidly reduces the size and redness of a spot - the perfect spot lotion if you ask me!

Dark circles are becoming the bain of my life and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Yellow is known to counteract redness and help to cover dark patches and fatigued areas! This would make a lovely present aswell for a hard-working beauty-o-holic.

Sk:n Hand Cream - £15.75
Hand cream is a must in my handbag, especially this time of year. I use so much anti-bacterial hand gel working with the public as I am terrified of picking up all those winter cough, colds and bugs that my hands become so so dry. This hand cream is highly moisturising and not onlycontains some of my fav ingredients like jojoba oil and viamin E but also is a fablous anti-ageing product. It increases the skins elasticity and helps to fade brown spots - a perfect stocking filler for a parent or grandparent for Christmas I'd say!

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

AMAs Best Dressed 2014

It was that time again Sunday night - The American Music Awards... this is one of my favourite award shows to watch and some of my favs performed their butts off (aka Taylor and Ariana, you go girls)!

Award shows are my favourite events to outfit-watch those perfect celebs and get totally well jel of the girls of music industry and more!
So I've picked out my top 4 outfits of the night........ these ladies slayed the red carpet!
1. Lucy Hale wearing Vera Wang
This cute LBD is from the Spring 2015 line and has gorgeous embellished front and a fab fringed hemline. Super cute for the festive season I how love Lucy has teamed with the strappy heels and vampy make-up to give it a pretty but edgy look! Dark lips really suit her!

2. Kylie Jenner wearing Alexandre Vauthier
Seriously though.... Kylie is just 17! At 17 I had a dodgey haircut and wore belts so high it looked like they were holding my boobs up.... what was my life? 
In all seriousness though - how incredible does she look? The dress, the heels, the LIPS - are all on point. She looks flawless in my opinion. 

3. Taylor Swift wearing Michael Kors
I haven't seen Taylor in a floor legnth dress in a while and I think she nailed it Sunday night! The gorgeous emerald green shade made her stand out from the blacks and autumnal colours surrounding the event! Her short, styled hair looks fab with the sheer top half of the dress (which really remind me of a Three Floor style) and the cut out looks perfect! Some cut-outs ruin a garmet but this is fab!

4. Fergie wearing Halston Heritage
She's back and looking fabulous! A classic gown from the Spring 2015 collection which emphasized her stunning figure perfectly. 
I love the subtle elegance about her with her blonde wavy hair and nude lip - a total bombshell on the carpet. (p.s. Check out those legs! wow!)

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Monday, 24 November 2014

The Magical Orlando Tag

Well.... this tag was made for me really wasn't it! 
Everyone knows how much I LOVE Disney, Universal and Orlando in general so when I heard of this tag competition I let out a little excited squeal, checked out the questions and headed to my laptop straight away!
FloridaTix are a well known ticketing agency which provide customers with great deals on tickets from everything from Disneyworld to Legoland!
 I have used them myself for my times in Florida and most recently I got our Universal tickets through them - total bargains compared to prices at the parks and amazing quick service!
They have recently had a gorgeous make-over on their site (go on.... have a look!) and to celebrate they are hosting this tag competition plus another one over on their facebook! (so if you don't have a blog head over their now for your chance to enter!)

So.... it's taken me a while as I am a slight perfectionist but here are my answers... if you want to enter yourself all you've got to do is do the tag yourself in a snazzy blog post - check out all the info and prizes HERE! Make sure you check out who I've tagged below....

1. Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
Firstly, I would be so excited to put the sorting hat on! I'm going to have to say Gryffindor (total cliche I'm afraid) .... mainly because I seriously want to be pals with Potter and his crew and I feel like the hat would know this! I'd like to think I'm brave and have a bit of they get all the action and adventure most of the time - I want that.... minus the death threats!
2. Name a Disney character you’d like to have dinner with.
I've been stuck between two! A. Pumba (The Lion King) - someone who would eat as much as me and wouldn't judge me on anything BUT I'm definitely not up for bugs (I'd have to lay off the bacon and sausages too...obvs!)  
B. Vanellope Von Schweetz (Wreck It Ralph) because, well.... think how much candy she would have, I have a major sweet tooth so I'd happily have a sweet filled dinner with her!

3. Which Marvel superhero power would you choose?
I'd go for Mystique from Xmen.... I know she's a baddy but I'd love to be a shapeshifter.... mainly so I could change my outfits super quick, plus hair and make-up would take like seconds! (Is that a bit of a vain choice?) 

4. If you could bring back one dinosaur breed from Jurassic Park, which would it be?
Umm.... I'm going to say a small cute one that doesn't eat people! I've done my research and have decided on Orithopods.... hahaha I totally sound like Ross from Friends! I mean... there's no point picking a T-Rex... it's not like they'd be a good pet!

5. You can ride a dragon at the Triwizard Tournament and visit the Owlery at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but where else would you go on a school trip to Hogsmeade?
Like I said before I have a major sweet tooth so Honeydukes would be a must for me, I love that place! Every flavour beans anyone? 
6. A scene in any Disney, Harry Potter or Marvel movie you wish you could experience?
Oh this one is hard... just one scene? I could pick 100!  I think I'm going to go with the magic carpet ride from Aladdin! It would be like a really cool flying rollercoaster - think of the views.... and you could get to places so quickly! AND Aladdin is a cute little thief isn't he haha!
7. Name one item from any Harry Potter, Disney or Marvel movie would you want for Christmas.
Has to be Hermione's Time Turner - then I would be able to get done everything I need too and a cute piece of jewellery too!
8. Name one unforgettable experience/moment you’ve had at the Orlando Parks.
Back in September when me and my boyfriend were in Orlando we managed to be the first and only people in Hogsmeade at the very beginning of the day! To see it completely empty and having it all to ourselves was amazing, so peaceful - the total opposite of what it's like the other 99% of the time! I'll never forget it! 
This is one of the photos my boyfriend took!
I tag these 4 beauties :
Estelle - Let Me Go xo
Ellis - Ellis Tuesday
Becky - Becky Bedbug

(Pictures for questions 1-7 from google images.)
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Men's Christmas Gift Guide 2014

So I thought it was about time I did some form of gift guide for men seeing as everything I've done so far regarding Christmas has been very girly - but hey! I'm a girl and I like sharing things that I like! 
I do tend to struggle when it comes to the men in my life and I normally am one to just ask them to write a list of things they want haha, but I've done some homework this year and found a few nice bits that I'm sure your boyfriend/husband/brother/dad/uncle would enjoy so here's 9 gifts ideas for those tricky males in your life!
Star Wars : The Complete Sage Blu Ray Collection
Find me a man that doesn't like Star Wars! They are classics and this boxset is a must have for any fan! The blu-ray quality is awesome and with only a year to go until the new movie this is a great way to prepare!

Vivabox For Him
Now you may have already seen my review on this (HERE) but I just had to include it because it is a genius idea! A box of 7 samples to choose from - the recipient has the chance to try out the different fragrances before choosing their favourite. They can then use the voucher included to go and get a free full sized bottle!

Jack Wills Mens Travel Wash Bag Kit
Jack Wills do great stuff and their range this year at Boots has been flying off the shelves! It can be quite hard to find nice washbags for men but this is a great size and comes with 3 products aswell! Great for jetsetters and men who work away from home alot!

Boom Box Touch Speaker
I bought my boyfriend one of these for his birthday and it is brilliant! All you have to do is get your phone, pop your music on and place it in the top of the boom box. The music then magically comes out of the speaker.... don't ask me how it works - but it does and it is brilliant! The perfect present for a little brother or someone who doesn't have a 

Captain America Dressing Gown
Everyone loves a dressing gown and TruffleShuffle do the coolest range of superhero ones! I love this Captain America one, much cooler than your plain boring plain ones right? 

Michelle Keegan Calender
I mean we love a good hunk calender so why not treat your boyf to a pretty lady calender - they are happy with it and you hang it in the kitchen to help you avoid fridge temptation! Diet motivation and a present for someone else in one! 

This Guy Loves Christmas Jumper
We all love Christmas knitwear....

Not Xmas Socks Again Socks
.... and footwear!!

Mr Grumpy Mug Set
A gift to make you giggle, grumpy Dad? This lovely set comes with a huge mug and yummy tea bags - a great stocking filler!

What are you getting the men in your life for Christmas?
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Friday, 21 November 2014

18 Months Of Blogging : 5 Things I've Learnt

I can't believe I'm saying this but today I had been running this blog for 18 months straight! A year and a half of chatting beauty, boots (on my feet and the store...obvs!) and even boobs! 
This time has flown by but at the same time I don't remember my life without blogging. I will hold my hands up and say it has completely and utterly taken over my life and it feels like my baby, a job and a hobby all in one!

Thinking back over the last 18months and looking at how much my blog has changed and grown I thought I would share the 5 main things I've learnt so far! My attitude towards blogging is slightly different now to when I started!
Spot the awesome pyjamas.....
1. Numbers aren't everything
If you are anything like me you may agree with this! 
When I started blogging I thought alot about how many people were clicking on my links, how many followers I was gaining every week and, I'll be honest, watching my blog grow came a bit obsessive. 
As time has gone on though I've realised that that really doesn't matter! I would much rather have 1 person click on my blog and LOVE the post I've written, write a comment/ share it than 100 people clicking on my blog, scan reading what I've put and clicking straight off again not really caring!
Obviously I'm always striving to increase my audience though, I think every blogger is, but I would honestly be happy writing posts even if I only had 10 followers who enjoyed them!
I am so so grateful for every single follower I have and watching the numbers grow over time has been totally mind boggling to me - how on earth have I managed to convince nearly 2800 of you to hit "follow" is totes crazy, I love you!

2. Blogger pals are the best
Yes we have a little community and yes 90% of the time us blogger friends have never even met each other but still - we are internet friends for now and that is fine!

Imagine talking to people who have the exact same interests as you, know the ins and outs of your hobby as well as you do and are pretty darn cool? 
The blogging community is probably online 24 hours a day so there is always someone to talk too, they are so supportive - especially when your having a "whats the point? My blog is pants" kind of day and can always help when you have any kind of trouble or need advice!
PLUS they all have blogs you can read and enjoy - duh!
Not only that but they don't have those pesky questions that non-bloggers like to ask... alot! "What's a blog?" "Why do you do that?" "You get free stuff?" "I don't get it." "What's the point?" "Do you get paid?"  haha I've lost count of how many times people have asked me these things!

I've been so lucky to make some lovely friends during the last year and a half - Kate, Liza, Megan, Estelle, Ellie, Becky, Shree to name just a few! Thank you girls for making me feel so welcome <3

3. Living on an island can suck
I live on an island and work full-time so being able to go to fabulous events is more or less always a no-no. I literally haven't been to one event or one meet-up yet and I am so disappointed with myself!
With most opportunities being in London the travel cost alone for just a 2 hour event is too much for me to justify plus most of the time I cant't get home in time for a boat which isn't 3am - which isn't ideal when I'll 9 times out of 10 have work the next day!
In 2015 I really want to try and take advantage more of all the opportunities that come my way, I feel like I miss out on so much - especially meeting other bloggers!

4. You can always say no
When I received my first e-mail from a company asking me if I would like to collaborate with them for a blog post I was over the moon and I still am every single time I receive one. 
But over time I have had some blooming random things offered to me and because of this I have learnt that saying 'no' is actually really okay, it's not rude and it's not ungrateful.
My blog is my blog so I'm not going to include anything that I don't belive in or aren't myself interesed in - for me, it's not right. 
For example a company approached me about an acne treatment - I've ever had acne in my life so I felt like it just wasn't something that was relevant to me and my life and therefore my blog, I explained this and the company was totally understanding. I don't think it's rude to decline offers, it's just honest.
There are thousands of bloggers out there so if something you know isn't for you, there will always be someone it suits!
I try my hardest to e-mail back to every e-mail I get though, even if the answer is no. (Although sometimes I am so so slow I want to punch myself!)

5. Aesthetics are key
To be honest I probably knew this when I started out just from reading other people's blogs and reading things online in general.
 A clean, neat and tidy blog/website is always going to have a more engaging audience then something that is wild, wacky and hard to navigate!
I am always looking at people's blogs and dribbling at their amazing layouts, logos, buttons, photos, collages and headers - you girls and guys have done some amazing work
I am pleased with the progress I have made when it comes to the look of A Yellow Brick Blog and it's posts. I've definitely grown from the dodgey photo editing and self-made header I started off with and am I so pleased with what it's turned into so far.
I know I have a long way to go when it comes to perfecting photography and things, in my head that's what I am seriously lacking but hopefully in the not too distant future I'll be able to invest in a new camera, some lighting and really up my blogging game!

I'm still learning with blogging and everyday I'm so glad I deciding to give it a go and pursue something I admired so many other people for! Here;s to the next 18 months!

What have you learnt so far with blogging?
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Thursday, 20 November 2014

eBay Wishlist #27 :Christmas & New Year Special

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer

There's a new bronzer in my life and I'm in love.

I've talked about a few things from this brand lately and I am yet to find a product from them that I am disappointed with.

theBalm has indeed lived up to it's incredible reputation for me and their products really are as good in quality as they are in their packaging and names.
Today I am talking about Bahama Mama - a gorgeous bronzer fantastic for contouring and giving your skin a healthy glow!
After using my Sleek contour palette day in-day out for over a year and being totally in love with it, trying something new wasn't really on my to-do list!
So when the lovely people at theBalm sent me over this I wasn't sure whether it would live up to my high expectations of that drugstore bargain!

But after trying it out alongside the Mary Lou Manizer (review and photos here) as a contour and highlight, my sleek kit was quickly chucked to the back of my make-up bag and happily replaced by this duo from thebalm.
I sweep this in the number 3 shape from my chin up towards my forehead and after highlighting blend together with a large powder brush.
I love the subtle contour it gives and the fact it is a matte finish is even better, it seems like more and more matte bronzers are becoming available thank goodness.

The bronzer comes in a gorgeous little compact, complete with mirror - which is very handy if you're on the go!

Bahama Mama is £13.50 and is available at ASOS and Superdrug. 
BIG, big love for this bronzer - it has made it's way into my everyday make-up routine and I can't see it leaving anytime soon!
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