Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 11.11.24I’ve needed a proper brush cleanser for ages, too often just scrubbing them with baby shampoo once in a while (which does the trick, but it’s nice to get the real deal, you know?)

I’d gone to buy Real Techniques Brush Cleanser but it was unfortunately not in stock. I went for the next best thing: Superdrug’s B. Makeup Brush Cleanser, which was almost half the price than the Real Techniques product I had originally wanted due to a deal on.

All you have to do is spray the product directly onto the bristles of the brushes and then work into a cloth or tissue – it’s really satisfying, actually. An added bonus is that the spray doesn’t just remove the make up, it also contains a sanitiser so that you know your brushes are really clean.

I was pleasantly surprised with the product when cleansing my brushes. The picture below is of my Sigma SS217 (now E25) brush after about 30 seconds of cleaning and it came up even cleaner after spraying a little more product on it. It doesn’t have a particularly pleasant smell, but this soon disappears and the brushes dry really quickly.

FullSizeRender

Crucially, the spray is suitable for both natural and synthetic brushes, which is a bonus. The only downside is that you definitely have to spray more than the three to five squirts the bottle recommends, but I suppose that depends on how dirty your brushes are (and mine well totally unclean).

Overall, it’s a useful bargain that works – you can’t argue with that. Now I’ve got no excuse for dirty brushes!

unnamedDecember is the one time of year when the gym generally looks like a ghost town. When all caution is thrown to the wind as you try to get into a more comfortable position before eating your 40th Ferrero Rocher. I’ve been there.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Start exercising now – and take your habit with you into the New Year. This way, you can avoid a potentially defeating uphill struggle in January when you look despairingly at the scales.

You don’t have to be hitting the gym everyday and attending Body Pump classes if you don’t want to, either. Start off walking! Walking may not be as energetic as running, but studies suggest it can still benefit our health, weight and fitness – and boost our moods too. Research from the University of East Anglia found group walking cut people’s risk of life-threatening conditions – lowering average blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight, and cholesterol.

And what’s better than a lovely bracing walk after Christmas lunch to work off that turkey!?

Here are six steps to help you walk your way to Christmas, and take you closer to your New Year resolution fitness goals:

  1. Use it as stepping-stone
    Aim for the NHS-recommended 10,000 steps a day, walking for at least ten minutes a time. That’s about five miles in total, which when you add up a day’s walking isn’t as much as it sounds, especially if you’re commuting or trawling the shops for gifts. You could even ask Santa for a pedometer for Christmas to track this!
  2. When you’re too busy…
    If work, festive season shopping and socialising are getting in the way of your usual workout, then perhaps you could build some walking into your day. Walk instead of taking the bus, take a walk after lunch and run up the stairs rather than using the escalators at the Tube station.
  3. Make a tradition of it
    As mentioned above, one of the joys of the holiday period is that it’s a chance to slow down, eat indulgent food and get together at home with loved ones. But that needn’t mean giving up on exercise altogether! Try and get out for a walk every day – and make walking with friends and family one of your festive traditions.
  4. Use it as a mood booster
    Christmas can be a time of heightened emotions – and not all them good. Coping with loss, family differences, separation or loneliness can be tough when everyone around you seems in celebratory mood. But as well as keeping you healthy and fit, a walk in the fresh air can really boost your mood. So step outdoors and walk yourself to a better place.
  5. Like a challenge?
    If you want to try something more structured, try Vavista Life’s 10K Anyway. It’s suitable for almost anyone from total couch potato to honed athlete – and by signing up in December you’ll be well on your way to your fitness goals in 2016.

And if you fancy exercising in style, how about these absolutely BEAUTIFUL bicycles from Mango Bikes?

kh1PSgb6qhL-bmdU7VQ3R9fjJ3aAziwRJjDYZs8fvQvk7H4VK0AvKHNB7m-v_4WQjcO_pr-FvXGO_kibRF2nuRHA9hTZtRjk6ryIpz42tlZAtTZkV1FaPTopQ-r8f_SGQ0vaXKY=s0-d-e1-ft

These ladies bikes come in five different, gorgeous colours: cream, green, blue, raspberry and black, along with a wicker basket on the front and a matching tan saddle. The perfect investment for a girl about town! Unfortunately, I’ve nowhere to keep a bike at the moment, but as I’m moving house in the New Year – and at only £299 (there is a Winter Sale on – now £250!), I’m hoping to be able to invest in one of these beauties. Exercise has never looked so good!

What are you waiting for?

Ladies-Classic-Bike-Pastel-Green RRP £299.99

Following my Christmas gift guide for the special lady in your life, here’s one for the lad in your life too. I must keep my other half away from this blog post until after Christmas – I’ve bought him most of the things on this list! Suitable for husbands, boyfriends, dads and brothers, there’s something for everyone here.

Christmas

From left to right: Fallout 4 / Game of Thrones Monopoly / Shit I Gotta Fucking Get Done NotebookPersonalised Wooden Beard And Moustache Comb1001 Movies Book / Nandos Table Trio / Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette / Mono Twist Cable Knit Jumper / I Heart Biscuits Mug

It’s coming around quick! There’s only a couple of weeks to go before Christmas, so I’ve put together a quick gift guide of things I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree – I’m sure you or the lady in your life would love them too!

Christmas

From left to right: Bold Metals Collection by Real Techniques Triangle Foundation BrushScunci InstaTwist Braiding Styler / NARS Killer Heels Mini Lipstick Set / Essie Winter Baby Its Cold Outside Quad Box / NARS One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette52 Small Changes For The Mind Book / Michael Kors Selma Black Tote BagThe Happiness Planner / Jimmy Choo ILLICIT Eau de Parfum

 

 

 

 

I’ve admired the matte nail varnish look from afar for a while, but hadn’t got round to buying any to try it out for myself. I like the look, stylish and clean with a bit of grunge. My friend was wearing some grey marl matte in the pub the other day and I kept stealing glances (yeah, I’m a polish pervert…). So, this weekend I decided to invest in a couple of bottles from Barry M.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 21.57.57

I am currently wearing Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Espresso.

I hate to say it, but I’m not keen. The nail varnish itself is absolutely great. I put it on on top of a Sally Hansen Maximum Strength base coat. Barry M goes on smoothly and dries in minutes. It didn’t chip for ages which is a god send, chipping is the bane of my life when typing for hours at work, so some major positives here. Mattes have a bad rap for chipping more quickly than regular polish but Barry M held well.

However, I just don’t think it works for me. I kept having the feeling that they weren’t quite done and having the urge to throw a shiny top coat on – which I have now done, by the way. I could also see a lot more clearly for some reason, any little mistakes I had made whilst painting. This absolutely drives me mad in general so to have the mistakes amplified was even worse. Not sure why, maybe something something shiny top coat reflects light to make mistakes harder to spot something something, who knows.

FullSizeRender.jpg

IMG_3994.JPG

Not a fan, I’m afraid! They’ll not go to waste though, I’ll find another home for them.

I think I’m just going to carry on admiring matte from afar – just like bright clothes and big dangly earrings. They look wonderful on other people but they’re not quite me. And why not? Be yourself always, I say.

By the way, if you spend over £6.00 on Barry M cosmetics at Superdrug at the moment, you get a free Sparkling Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint! I chose the red one – absolutely perfect for Christmas. There’s a purple one too which is very pretty. I’m going to be taking off the matte tomorrow to try out the red and am looking forward to it.

Sorry matte!

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 21.35.20.pngIMG_3973.JPG