Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Monthly Roundup | January

I've had a few mixed feelings with my blog this month, I absolutely adore blogging but have been umming & arring about making the jump over to Youtube to provide an extra extension for my creativity. In fact I actually posted a video this month, then a week later had second thoughts and deleted it... I'm still a bit iffy about displaying my face so nakedly on the internet, there's just something about Youtubing that makes me feel really exposed & completely on show. I have no problem blogging, having my images & content displayed so predominantly but with Youtube it just felt weird & not quite me...

With that in mind I'm going to be doing everything I would have posted in a video & transferring it to a blog post at the end of the month... Hence the title 'Monthly Roundup' - Kind of does what it says on the tin right?

This month I found the most perfect nail polish! Wohoo, the years off to a good start! I was lucky enough to receive a Seventeen set for Christmas and this metallic teal colour was just what I was looking for. I love the shade teal so the addition of a glitter sheen was always going to be a winner in my books!
I also had my first weekend off in I don't know how long! Hallelujah! Even though we live together, Dan and I don't really get that much quality time together, he works 9-5 & I work anywhere from 7am-9pm Monday-Sunday so getting to spend some proper time together can be a bit difficult. It was a pretty chilly weekend so we got wrapped up warm & decided to get out and explore. We ventured up to Roundhay on the Saturday, had a lovely day out & came home to a Dominoes winter warmer deal - It was a bit naughty, but sometimes it's just got to be done hasn't it?! Then on the Sunday we traveled up to Green Acre Park for a crisp woodland walk. It was a fabulous weekend & absolutely perfect to be able to spend a bit of much needed time together. 

I've also started a Jewellery Design course at JWL in Leeds city centre, I'm 4 weeks in at the moment, with another 2 to go, but so far so good - The tutors are brilliant & I've really loved being inspired by different bits & bobs and translating them into some fantastic jewellery pieces. In my last lesson I made this ring out of copper, it's a practice run as I'm wanting to complete the same thing in sterling silver as my final exam piece. I really love geometric jewellery & am planning on completing a stone setting course in the next month or so, then I can really get my teeth stuck into jewellery making & creating a business. So watch this space!!

There are a few products I've really been enjoying this month. I've only selected four as I've been struggling quite badly this month, with what I thought was an allergic reaction, but after barely wearing makeup for what feels like forever & it not budging I'm really not sure what it is. I haven't really been that adventurous with cosmetics this month but my favourite pieces have been:

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean: The newest addition to my showering routine & by gosh it's made such a difference. This is the most luxurious & moisturising product I think I've ever used in the shower, so much so that I can't imagine not using it now.
Dior Addict Lipstick: I wore this in a recent blog post & had such lovely comments about it, I haven't worn it much beforehand but since posting I've not had it off my lips. It's beyond gorgeous.
Rimmel True Match Perfection Foundation: Admittedly I've been stuck in a bit of a foundation rut, I think I've used the same product for around eight years or so now but just recently I've been trying new things & this has been one of them. It's much more dewy than I'm used to but I think it's fab & will be perfect for Spring Summer as it gives the most perfect light to medium coverage. 
Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser: With my skin being so bad this month this has been my go to product. It's quite a light refreshing moisturiser however applies as if it's so much richer and thicker. It drenches my skin with so much hydration & makes me feel all amazing and silky smooth for the full day.

I thought it'd be a really cool idea to give recognition to a couple of blog posts I've loved reading this month. I'm very much a 'it's nice to be nice' person & this is just my little way of giving back to the ever supportive blogging community. 

Bridie from Upon My Sleeve.
I first met Bridie at a blogger event last year & admittedly I've been a fan ever since! She's super talented & writes like nothing I've read before. Everything flows, has a purpose & reads so beautifully, it's amazing - You can always rely on Bridie for good content. My fave post this month has been her What I Wore - Burgandy And Black featuring a fab oxblood dress (from Primark of all places) and a stuning half leather blazer, basically an outfit I really wish I could pull off!

Emma from Just Emma.
Firstly let me say Emma has got to be one of the nicest people I think I've ever had the pleasure of speaking too. She's so lovely! Her blog plays host to a whole host of posts, all of which are a refreshing read - One of my faves this month however has been her introduction to home decor in Updating Your Home On A Budget - The Bedroom. Being an Interior Design nerd this type of post is right up my street & what Emma has produced is a brilliant piece of inspiration! 

What do you think of this type of post? I'm really loving recording other bloggers posts I love and giving them a little bit of recognition.

Lots of love | Claireabella.x


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bath | The Body Shops' Strawberry Selection*

There's two types of people in this world... Bath people & shower people. It's probably no secret that I am 100% a bath person - Without sounding weird, I can't remember the last time I had a shower, I understand that it's a lot quicker than taking a bath, but there's just something that's so luxurious about taking a dip, getting in amongst the bubbles & having a good soak. For me this is the ultimate 'me time' - I love taking a step back & unwinding in a tub full of the most amazing bath products.

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a selection of Strawberry scented Body Shop goodies. I'm really glad I received these strawberry treats, as it's a scent I Wouldn't have normally picked - I gravitate more towards coconut & more buttery scents so this made a refreshing & welcoming change.

Strawberry Shower Gel*
I think I'm quite picky when it comes to shower gels, I'm always dubious of whether they're actually going to clean my skin rather than just making me smell nice. I'm a bit finicky about being clean and quite often find myself using more than one product to do the job! This product however is brilliant, it lathers almost instantly and because it's free of all nasty soapy chemicals I can use this on my face too. I found this product to be really hydrating and left my skin feeling so supple & soft. And the scent is ahhmaazing! Love love love it!

Strawberry Body Butter*
If I had to pick one product from the Body Shop, without a shadow of a doubt it'd be a body butter. The Body Shops' body butters have a really rich & thick consistency, which works brilliantly for me, they massage into the skin perfectly & is one of the most hydrating products I've used! The sweet strawberry scent is fantastic too, it lingers around for the rest of the day and leaves me feeling completely refreshed. It's a fantastic product & I couldn't recommend it enough!

Strawberry Hand Cream*
Tell me off for being a bad blogger, but this is only the second hand cream I've used - The first being hand food. A hand cream isn't something I'd normally jump for & to be honest it's something I would have probably bought and then forgotten about a week later. However... I love this! Surprisingly it's probably my favourite product of the lot. It's such a light formula which melts into the skin & leaves hands feeling hydrated for such a long time. I really feel like I've turned a corner with this product! I've been massaging it into my nails too as I've been suffering quite badly with them recently & this products' been fab! At first I thought it was only a small tube, but from using it I know it'll last a lot longer than I first thought. It's perfect for carrying around in your handbag!

Ultra Fine Bath Lily*
Firstly (and most importantly) I have never heard of one of these being called a lily? I've always just called them scrunchies, I still don't know if that's correct but I feel like I've learnt something new this morning. I've only really just got into using these, strangely I've never really understood them up untill a few months ago - I feel so daft neglecting them, but now I've got into using a scrunchie, I don't think I'll bathe without one now. Not only does it exfoliate the skin as you use it round your body but it also disperses the smallest amount of product, meaning your gels last for so much longer. If I was using the shower gel with my hands I'd have used so much more product than I have done with the scrunchie, so for that alone I think it's fab!

Have you tried the strawberry selection from the Body Shop? I'm really wanting to try some more hand creams, are there any scents you could reccomend?

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Beauty | Golden Rose

I don't know about you guys, but this Arctic weather we've had recently has really payed havoc with my skin - My face doesn't agree with the cold at all. I've upped my skincare routine (which I should have probably posted about before doing this - oh well) but I've also altered my daytime makeup routine too, in order to give myself a more rosie style glowing complexion. Here are the products I've been using...

Rimmel true match perfection foundation: It's no secret I've been using the same foundation now for a good eight years or so now, yes I know how boring this is, yes I know what a bad beauty blogger I am, but after almost a decade I've stepped out of my comfort zone!! Shock horror!! I opted for the true match perfection foundation today as it gives a much more dewy appearance, is light reflecting & pretty much perfect for rejuvenating my skin. The coverage is light to medium, applies like a dream and strangely smells absolutely delicious. I'm excited to keep using this over Spring/Summer.

Rimmel wake me up concealer: This pretty much does what it says on the tin, I wrote a blog post a little while ago about this go to concealer. It's fab & gives an amazing amount of coverage as well as giving me that much needed brightness. I've been using this for a little while now and it doesn't seem to be making a dent in the tube... Maybe it's everlasting? Wishful thinking Claire!

Benefit brow zings: Could I have used any other brow product? At the moment for me, this is the ultimate in brow grooming - I need to try the Anastasia brow wiz, that seems to be doing to rounds at the moment doesn't it, but for now I'm sticking with my original.

Urban Decay naked 3: The most amazing palette I think I've ever owned, I couldn't not make use of the rose gold hues this palette has to offer! I used the shades burnout & buzz underneath my eyes to add to the rosie glow. I've really been enjoying colour underneath my eyes recently, rather than on the lid as I think it gives a much more interesting look.

Makeup Revolution blush: I've hit it off with most Makeup Rev products, but their blushers are out of this world! I own eight (oops!) and love them all but I think the shade 'now' works best with this look because it's the pinkiest & the rosiest one I own. These blushers are all incredibly pigmented, so a little goes a long way - I can't imagine using anything else!

Dior addict lipstick: An oldie but a goodie of mine. I used shade 681 Icone, which I'm pretty sure is out of stock at the moment. I'm not normally a barbie pink type of gal, but I think it works perfectly with this look.

How have you guys been combating the bitter cold weather we've been having? I could really do with a really rejuvenating face mask to add to my skincare routine if you have any recommendations?

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

PS. I am wearing a spaghetti strap vest in that main image - I'm not a nudie rudie! :-)

Monday, 19 January 2015

Outfit | Sports Luxe Vibes From Zara

I started this blog last year with full intentions of it being a fashion only blog, but just recently I've been incorporating a lot of beauty posts. I've not published an outfit post for what seems like forever... In fact it's only been two weeks, which isn't ages, but still... Today I'm back with a Sports Luxe inspired Outfit.

I've been feeling pretty inspired by the new Boohoo fitness range but unfortunately for me it's come out at just the wrong time... January is always an expensive month for me, but it's all the boring expensive stuff - Car tax being the most boring! Zzzz! Perks of being a grown up right?!
Anywho, today I've taken inspo from Boohoo, especially with my trousers - I've been absolutely loving these recently - They're only relatively new to my wardrobe, but I've had so much wear out of them! I've found them really easy to style too - Because they're black with an elasticated waist band and cuffed ankles you can go either smart or casual with these which is amazing! I've fallen completely head over heels with these trousers!
I picked up my turtle neck in Primark for the bargain price of £4.00 - It's a lot thinner than my M&S one but still really comfy and it'll do the job right through to March/May time.
I've chucked my black leather jacket over the top of my outfit, just out of easiness really, but I love how this looks all together.
I'm not normally a trainers type of gal (however I'm lusting after these Nikes) but I thought these pastel pink Topshop pumps would work brilliantly with todays look. I'm really enjoying a much more casual look recently, it's probably because it's so freezing outside, I've been over indulging with fatty foods and cosy clothes. Woop!
My fave sports luxe styled handbag is making another appearance, if you're a regular reader of my blog you'll have seen this on countless occasions, but for me it's the perfect bag to compliment a more casual outfit.
Jewellery wise I always find less is more when you're going for a more sports luxe look - The only piece of jewellery I'm wearing is my absolutely gorgeous, stunningly metalic blue (can you tell I love it) Guess chronograph watch. I work in HSamuels and as soon as this little beauty came into store I knew I had to have it. I'm absolutely over the moon with it. Mum & Dad actually bought me it for Christmas, after a few hints, but I'm so so happy with it, I haven't seen anything like this before - I think it's absolutely divine!

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Top - Primark (£4.00)
Trousers - Zara (£19.99)
Jacket - Dorothy Perkins (£45.00)
Pumps - Topshop (£20.00)
Bag - Primark (£6.00)
Watch - HSamuels (£169.00)*

Friday, 16 January 2015

Beauty | How I Keep My Makeup Organised

Something I pride myself on is my organisation skills... Call me a bit OCD, but there's nothing more satisfying than a pristine clean kitchen, an empty washing basket or equally a tidy dressing table. Granted, I realise life totally gets in the way and this isn't always possible (or you live with an untidy male) but yesterday I had one of those days where I got all the jobs done I'd been putting off since last year. 
One of those jobs was binning all my old makeup, I've recently suffered with quite a bad allergic reaction to my eyes & I'm pretty sure it's down to the tubes of 2 year old mascara I've been using - I know that's sooo bad! Feel free to shout at me in the comments. 
As you can see I had a right good rummage & came up with this set up - I'm so so pleased!

I first noticed the Muji acrylic storage boxes last year & knew instantly it was exactly what I was after, however being the bargain hunter that I am, I scouted Ebay & found some similar bits & bobs for a fraction of the price! I paid around £10.00 for both of these organisers & I'd happily spend it again as my cosmetics collection grows - They're a complete bargain in my eyes! 
I'm really big on these acrylic makeup organisers - I think they looks super duper expensive and I love how they keep everything upright & accessible! There's nothing worse than having to rummage through a makeup bag to find your desired eyeliner. 
Because they're really neutral too, they're going to go with so many interior schemes, so even if we move house or decide to decorate I'll have zero worries. 

How do you keep your makeup organised?

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Beauty | Makeup Revolutions Mermaids vs Unicorns Palette

Hey guys, hope everybody's keeping okay. I've been feeling a bit rubbish recently, I'm suffering quite bad with an allergic reaction & looking totally like Violet Beauregarde so I'm spending the majority of the day in my jim-jams catching up on blog posts. That is before I go out to night class later on - If you didn't know I've started doing a Jewellery Making course, which I've been absolutely loving and will probably be doing a blog post about when it's all finished. It's a super duper exciting time for me at the moment. What's also super duper exciting is this stunningly vibrant Mermaids vs Unicorns palette that just fell into my shopping basket. Ooops!

For me Makeup Revolution are a brand that seem to have come from nowhere, one minute they were none existent, the next minute they were all that everyone was talking about. I own a small selection of Makeup Revolution goodies and have been really impressed (especially considering the prices) so when I saw they’d launched this Mermaid Vs Unicorns palette I knew I had to have it!
The older I’m getting (because 24 is sooo old) the more I find myself experimenting with makeup, I was never really into cosmetics as a teen but I’ve really been enjoying trialing out new makeup looks recently and this palette would work perfectly for that.
The palette hosts 12 different colour shades ranging from aqua greens to deep purples – hence the name Mermaids Vs Unicorns. I’m much more of a Unicorns girl as I have green eyes so a contrasting violet shade really sits well with me but I’ll definitely be making the most from the whole range. As per usual with MakeupRevolution each shade is super-duper pigmented and they apply like a dream. Each shade has a stunning shimmer element to it, the Unicorns section considerably more than the Mermaids – So if you’re into a bit of sparkle then this is going to be perfect. The only downside that comes to mind is that the applicator brush Makeup Revolution supply isn’t the best quality but with the whole palette coming in at a highly reasonable £4.00, who am I to grumble! Let’s be honest ladies, we all own our own make up brushes anyway don’t we. Like the whole Makeup Revolution range, this palette is exceptionally good value, the way I look at it each shade is going to set you back 33p! How amazing is that. I can’t think of anything else even similar in price to this, so for that alone I am truly impressed!

Are you a mermaid or a unicorn type of gal?

Lots of love | Claireabella.x


Monday, 12 January 2015

Beauty | Soap & Glory Whipped Clean

Last year if I asked myself 'Do you think you'll be writing about a shower butter on your blog' my answer would have been no.... If I asked myself 'Do you even know what a shower butter is?' My answer would have been exactly the same!... And now I ask myself 'How have I only just discovered this product?' Sooo many questions!

Before Christmas I purchased 'that' Soap & Glory gift set & in it was this little gift of wonder! Whipped Clean is a luxe cream wash shower butter that I can whole heartedly see myself repurchasing tube after tube - I'm 100% impressed with it!

Whipped Clean contains all the moisturising ingredients your shower gel doesn't, it's packed full of luxurious shea & cocoa butters which not only leave your skin feeling silky smooth, but they smell pretty darn delicious too! And it's one of those scents that lingers too - That keep you feeling super fresh all day!
This product is pretty slow at lathering up, but once it gets there it's amazing - I don't feel like I can grumble too much because it does such a fantastic job. It's just a little strange I think if you're used to using a shower gel like myself. It's easy to get used to though, especially with it being such a good product. It's amazing for when you're shaving your legs too, in fact it's the perfect product for defuzzing!
After stepping out from the shower you can feel the moisturising powers from Whipped Clean working straight away! I love how instantly smooth my skin felt, it really is amazing - I can't imagine showering using any other product, I'm that taken with it.

Am I the only one who hadn't heard of a shower butter? Please tell me I'm not!

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Whipped Clean - Soap & Glory (£7.00)


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Beauty | Urban Decay Naked 3*

I've always been aware of Urban Decay as a brand, but being the bad beauty blogger that I am, I've never taken the plunge and handed my money over to buy anything... That was until I saw the Naked 3 palette .... And I still didn't hand any money over as my amazing Boyfriend bought me this for Christmas - Top BF points for Dan! (Even though he doesn't understand why I was lusting after this little beauty.)

Rose gold tones seem to have taken the world by storm recently, with stacks of it appearing in jewellery ranges and hardware so why not incorporate it into our makeup looks? 

Like with Naked 1 & 2, their new palette consists of 12 absolutely delicious shades, the vast majority of them having a slight shimmer. I believe this is slightly different concept to the Naked 1 & 2 palettes, but this works completely in my favour, The more shimmer the better as far as I'm concerned! 
The Naked 3 palette also comes complete with a dual purpose synthetic brush, one side for applying, the other for blending - I own a few eye make up brushes & this one really surpasses them, I think it's brilliant & the quality of the bristles are just amazing - Super duper soft! 
What's also amazing (& I know it's only a small thing) is the mahoosive mirror that comes with it - Honestly I didn't realise how useful this would be, but it's so so good & will be excellent to use when travelling... I just need to book a holiday now, that's a reasonable excuse right? 

The left hand side of the Naked 3 palette consists of more neutral bases, I love the names of the shades too - It's the little things that really get me!
Strange: A super light beige highlighting tone perfect for under the brow or in the pop of your eye.
Dust: The first shimmery product, that introduces rose undertones for your base.
Burnout: A more voluptuous pale peach/pink & one of my faves!
Limit: An almost nude matte pink colour - This will be perfect for evening skin tones on your lid. 
BuzzA super glittery rose colour, I find this works perfectly with Dust for a cute shimmery daytime look.
Trick: Pretty similar to Buzz in it's glitteryness but this has more of a copper tone.

If I want to add a bit more drama, I use the right hand side of the palette to fill in the crease of my eye.
Nooner: Possibly my favourite named colour, but perfect for adding depth.
Liar: Another highly glittered shade bordering on the gold side, ideal for more dressed up looks.
Factory: A chocolatey brown shadow full of glittery goodness. Another one of my favourites!
Mugshot: Probably the most golden of all shades, this adds such a nice warming shade to the lid.
Darkside: The most gorgeous purple shimmer, I love how much depth this colour adds to your eyes - Yummilicous!
Blackheart: A dark chocolate mysterious glitter shade - This works so well as a liner!

All colours in the Naked 3 palette are really highly pigmented and so super duper easy to apply. Before receiving this palette I had really high expectations of it and but  by golly it didn't disappoint! I'm absolutely over the moon with how gorgeous all the colours are! Would you recommend getting the other two Naked palettes? This one seems pretty hard to beat at the moment.

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Naked 3 - Urban Decay (£37.00)*

Monday, 5 January 2015

Outfit | Hand Me Up Dress

I've been debating the title for a little while with this post - Is a hand me down when you get given an item of clothing from an older relative? Because if it is, then today's dress is a 'hand me up'... After Christmas my younger sister decided to have a massive clear out of her clothes, and never one to miss an opportunity, I went full on scavenger mode & dug out the best bits! One of my faves being this beautiful forest green skater dress* from Primark.

The dress* initially jumped out to me because of the colour - I love that it's green (and different to black) but also because of the shape it gives. I'm a huge fan of a skater skirt because it gives my boyish frame a bit more shape, and who doesn't love that princess like floaty skirt effect when you twirl! Like me, my sister is a huge fan of Primark, I don't think she'd have paid too much for this dress but the quality of it's really good. I'm looking forward to wearing this throughout summer as well! Now Christmas is out the way with, bring on the sunshine!

I've really been enjoying the over the knee boot trend that's going around at the moment because it brings so many more opportunities to wear dresses & skirts and still be super cosy warm. I don't feel like these boots have left my feet for a good month or two, they're just so versatile & so damn comfy! Another really versatile item is my trench coat, along with the boots I think this has to be one of my fave purchases of 2014. I love chucking it over clothes as a cover up or layering it with chunky knits for colder times. Love, love, love it!

On a side note I'm starting a Jewellery Design course tomorrow. Eeep! Wish me luck! I'll let you all know how it goes!

How have you guys been adjusting to getting back to work? I hope it's not been too tough. 

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Dress - Primark*
Trench - H&M (£24.99)
Boots - Next (£60.00)
Bag - Radley*
Necklace - DYO*


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Outfit | Primark Knitted Hearts

So then, Welcome to 2015!! How weird does that sound, I'll definitely still be writing 2014 till mid march - It's inevitable. I hope you've all had a fantastic New Years, unfortunately I was working (the joys of retail) but I still managed to fit in a few Strawberry & Lime ciders (which is now my favourite drink) here and there with friends, which was fun. 

In Primarks' boxing day sales I found this knitted heart print sweater and fell in love with it's snuggliness (because that's a word) straight away. It's a lot thicker than it looks and fits slightly oversized, which is an abolute godsend for this time of year. It's absolutely freezing down in Leeds at the moment and even though it hasn't snowed for a few days now it's still carpeting the ground outside. I don't normally wear printed sweaters like this but for some reason it really struck a chord with me... Maybe it was the half price sale ticket? You know what I'm like!

The rest of my outfit is pretty basic today, I'm wearing my bargain H&M black skinnies (I really need to get myself another pair of these) along with my Timberland military style boots and black duster coat. I feel like I've neglected these boots recently, they've been hanging around down the side of the sofa for weeks now, and I've only just rediscovered them. Poor Timbs! 

Sooo this may not be the most 'out there' outfit to start the year with, but when it's -3 outside I think something like this is necessary

How have you guys celebrated the new year? I certainly hope it was a bit more interesting than what I got up to.

Lots of love | Claireabella.x

Sweater - Primark (£7.00)

Jeans - H&M (£7.99)
Boots - Timberland (£44.99)
Duster - Boohoo (£25.00)
Bag - ASOS (£20.00)
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