Monday, 31 March 2014

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer

There was a time a little while back where I thought the use of a primer was nonsense and just another layer of makeup that I could add on my skin along side everything else I use. However this year I can tell you that I've been converted and I now put a big hands up in the air to using a primer as it really does make such a difference to my skin and the way my makeup applies. A little while ago I spoke about my love for a Pixi Redness Reducing Primer (review) and loads of you came back to me saying that the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer was a winner and a must try. So I picked one up based on your recommendations and I've have fallen for this pink fluffy primer from L'Oreal which seams to be such a hit among us beauty bloggers.

This primer from L'Oreal comes in a little jar and contained inside is this fluffy whipped pink mouse like primer. The actual primer itself has a very soft velvety texture to it and you only need to use the smallest amount for each application. As soon as this primer has been applied my face feels so smooth and the primer gives the illusion that my skin looks pretty perfect which is so far from the truth. Not only does it make my face smooth, but it also does an incredible job at hiding away any of those skin imperfections, as well as hiding any larger pores that you may have. 

I have oily to combination skin, and with any product that I use on my face there is always the fear that its going to work against my skin type, break me out and cause my makeup to slide off my face thought out the day. I'm pleased to report back that this primer works so well with my skin type and does not feel greasy on whatsoever once its applied - its pretty much undetectable. 

Not only is it amazing having a primer that does a great job at making my skin look perfect, but it makes applying my foundation and the rest of my makeup a dream. This works amazing with my current foundation the L'Oreal True Match foundation (review) and I find that having a such a great base makes my makeup last so much longer, including all the extras such as bronzer, blush and highlight. 

I can't recommend this primer enough, its amazing and I can't see me not ever using a primer again, I've been officially converted. Initially I thought that this little jar was a tad on the expensive side as you only get 15ml of product for £14.29 but as I mentioned you only need to use a fraction of the primer at one time, so this little jar is going to last me ages - Well worth the investment!

I would love to know your thoughts on this primer from L'Oreal? Are you a fan of primers in general or is there a particular one that you like to use? Let me know.

Lots of Love

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick 23 Grenade-In || Review

The clocks going forward this evening means that spring is officially here and what better way to welcome spring with open arms other than a gorgeous hot pink lipstick - My weakness as you all know. A little while back I was lucky enough to win Laura's (Beauty To Couture) giveaway, where I was kindly gifted one of the Bourjois Shine Edition Lipsticks in the shade 23 Grenade-In. For me Spring definitely came early as this has been my go too lip product and I love it so much that it just had to be shown off in its full glory here on my blog.

I've been wanting to get my hands on one the Bourjois Shine Edition Lipsticks for quite sometime, and here's why.... The Shine Edition Lipstick is another one of those formulas that has the colour payout of a lipstick, feels like a balm and has an ultra glossy finish to it - Think a similar formula to our beloved Revlon Lip Butters. I personally love this kind of formula when it comes to choosing what lipstick to wear as you get the best of everything. My lips are still prone to feeling and getting dry around this time of the year and the Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick does a wonderful job at keeping my lips feeling nourished due to its buttery and soft balm texture. The high shine formula also makes your lips look really healthy and although your lips look glossy they are in no way sticky at all.

What I really love about this lipstick is the colour payout, when it comes to lipstick its a case of the brighter the better for me and I love how the colour that you see in the bullet transfers perfectly onto your lips. The shade 23 Grenade-In is a little darker than your usual bright fuchsia shade as it leans slightly towards a deeper berry shade, which makes it the perfect colour for this time of year. I just love how bright and beautiful this looks once its on. The perfect thing about the formula of the Shine Edition Lipstick, is that if you use a light hand or dap on the product slightly on your lips, then the colour payout is not too bold or vibrant; Making it perfect for those of you who like your lips shades a bit more low key. As for lasting time, the Shine Edition Lipsticks do not take you though the whole day, which is to be expected due to the nature of its formula. However as the gloss and the colour start to fade your lips are left with more of a stained finish, so your lips are still looking pretty. 

One more thing to add - I adore the packaging off the Bourjois Shine Edition Lipsticks, the silvery mirrored casing really makes it stand out among my other lipsticks, which definitely makes me reach for it more. I also love how I can see the product at the bottom of the bullet, its a lovely added touch and again makes this lipstick stand out among all the others that I own.

I'm definitely going to be treating myself to some more shades in the Shine Edition range, I've had a little look and I've got my eye on 'Rouge' a vibrant red and 'Oh My Doll which is a baby pink'. 

I would love to know what your thoughts are on these lipsticks and what shades you've been loving? Do you love this colour as much as I do?

Lots of Love

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Panther Legwear || I Love Black Tights

It goes without saying that black tights are no longer an accessory that is used to simply warm us on cold winter days. Over the years the black tight has become much more than a practical fashion accessory and are now used to raise any outfit to the next level. With the weather being awful the majority of the time in the UK and not really being a denim sort of girl, black tights are a huge staple in my wardrobe and I'll pair them with anything from shorts, dresses and of course all my work wear; Black tights are the ultimate fashion accessory and I love them. 

The only thing that puts a downer on my love for black tights has to be that their life span can somewhat be short lived, especially if your like me who is a little bit on the clumsy side; We've all had that moment where we've seen holes, ladders and snags in our favourite pairs which is not only annoying but damn right devastating too.

Luckily I'm not the only one who has a huge love for black tights, and I was thrilled when Panther Legwear contacted me asking if I would like some more black tights that could go with just about every single outfit that I own. For those of you who don't know, Panther Legwear is a subscription service for black tights so for lovers like myself, you'll never have to go without or never have to worry about forgetting to buy new black tights again. 

How Does It Work?

Just like any subscription service, Panther Legwear  deliver black tights to your door, offering a range of packages to suit your every black tight need. Panther Legwear off your standard black tights, but for those of you who are after something a little more stylish can opt for the 'Designer' or 'Luxury' package - If you fancy a little bit of everything then you can mix and match your packages, tailoring them to your needs.

The great thing about the Panther Legwear service (apart from stating the obvious and having a constant supply of black tights) it's a great way to discover new styles of tights and finding ways to work them into your wardrobe. As you can see from the pictures I received some decorative and ornate Pretty Polly tights and the most amazing ombre DKNY tights, which so many of you are loving. 

If your in need of black tights, (you can thank me later if your running low already) then be sure to head over to the Panther Legwear website (here) where you can find more information on their subscription service. Panther Legwear also have a 'risk free' trail running, so now is the perfect time to get yourself get yourself Legwear ready for spring. Panther Legwear are also generously giving all of my readers 20% off with any order, all you have to do is use the code : sunshineandsparkle before 4th April 

I would love to know what your thoughts are on black tights, if you love them as much as I do, and if your a fan of Panther Legwear?

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sugarhill Boutique Bunnykins Sweatshirt || OOTD

Bunnykins Sweatshirt* - Sugarhill Boutique || Shorts - River Island || Boots - River Island || Ombre Tights* - DKNY  

Spring is definitely saying an early hello which gives me the perfect excuse to ditch my heavy winter coat and opt for some luxurious and warm sportswear style sweaters. Not only is the classic sweatshirt soft to the touch and makes perfect Sunday attire, they also come in all sorts of cute and girly designs. The sun shining today made it the perfect opportunity to bring out my Sugarhill Boutique Bunnykins Sweatshirt. 

This sweatshirt brought to you by Sugarhill Boutique is quite simply stylish and the cute reoccurring bunny print makes it adorable; As we all know spring and bunny rabbits go hand in hand. I love how sweatshirts can be either dressed up or down and I decided the Bunnykins needed dressing up today, paired with my fashionable ombre tights, black denim shorts and platform boots  which turns this causal item into something a little bit more glamorous. 

Are you a fan of sweatshirts? Whats your favourite piece of Spring clothing? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

February Favourites

Forgive me for being a little late for getting my February monthly favourites up. March seams to by flying by and it wasn't until I sat down and thought about what posts I wanted to get up this week, that I realised I hadn't done the beauty blogger tradition of a monthly faves. For me last month was all about pampering myself, I seamed to work my butt off in every single way imaginable... at work, down at the gym, blogging etc, the list goes on. So hopefully you'll see a few new things that I've not mentioned here on my blog before.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation - N4 Beige 

This is was the only foundation I was using throughout February and although it was a bit of a love hate relationship at first (read my full review here) I slowly came around to liking the way that it looked and felt on my skin. This foundation is the perfect foundation if your after really natural looking skin; Not only does it make you skin look radiant, its the perfect balance between a matte and dewy foundation, which makes it so perfect for us girls who want something in-between.

L'Oreal Studio Secrets professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer 

Last year using a primer in my makeup routine was completely non existent, however this year so far I've been loving primers. I got a post up a few weeks ago reviewing an amazing Pixi Primer (here) and so many of you rerecorded that I try the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer (a mouthful or what) and I have to say I am loving this primer, it's amazing. You guys where spot on with your recommendations, this primer not only creates a great base for my makeup to sit on, it also makes my skin look and feel so even once its been applied. I can't believe how much love I have for one little jar!

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

It will come as no surprise to you that I'm loving this hot cloth cleanser from No7 as I posted up my full review of this the other week (here). Although it can sometimes be a mission to cleanse my face at the end of the day, it's such a satisfying feeling and makes me feel so ready for bed. This hot cloth cleanser always leaves my skin look glowing and using it feels luxurious. The fact that it's suitable for all skin tones is a huge plus, and its a much cheaper alternative for the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and is just as good. 

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Ultra-Replenishing Lotion - Shea Butter

Most of you will know by now that when it comes to moisturisers and body butters I have a bit of a weakness, I just love using them on my skin and actually enjoy the process of coating my body it beautifully smelling lotions. However as I stated at the beginning of this post, I've been ridiculously busy as of late and I've needed a fast absorbing and hydrating moisturiser for first thing in the morning. This Garnier Intensive 7 Days one has been amazing to use, the lotion is quite thin in terms of consistency so its application time is speedy. Not only that, it settles into your skin really quickly and smells really pleasant all at the same time. I wasn't expecting great things from this moisturiser when I first bought it as I'm much more of a body butter kinda girl, but I've noticed a huge difference in my skin, its so soft and leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day - It's definitely working

Clarins Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate

When it comes to bath time the Clarins Relax Bath and Shower aromatic gel is the ultimate pamper product and I have been loving using this. I wont go into too much detail as I'm planning on doing a full review soon, but a few drops of this blue gel into your bath will whisk you away and help you unwind from all the stresses of the day. This concentrate has aromatic oils in that just calm and relax you and it's perfect to use just before bed time, the whole bathroom fills up with it's aromas (its like a spa at home) - all you have to do then is unwind, its heavenly and beats any Lush product I've tried and that's a huge statement to make!

So that's everything for my favourites, I would love to know what you've been loving this month and if any of your favourites match mine? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Working Out || My Current Abs Routine

It's that time of year where summer is just on the horizon and our thoughts start turning to how we look and feel about our bodies - Lets face it we all want to look good in a bikini and have flat stomachs to show off our midriff. As a lot of you will know, especially if you follow me on Instagram that I have become quite the gym bunny and what started off as a year ago as exercising as quick fix to tone up for my holidays, has now become a way of life. Not only do I love working out and going to the gym, but I love seeing changes in my body that have come though hard work and dedication. This year I really wanted to focus on seeing more change in my body and be in a position where I can push myself, see more progress and help others along the way too. Over the last few weeks I've had so many of you come to me asking what work outs I'm currently doing and to share how I'm keeping in shape here on my blog. However if truth be told, I couldn't possibly tell you in every detail what I'm doing to tone up and keep in shape as my workout routine is forever changing and its impossible to tell you in every detail in one post just what I'm doing. However I thought I would try and share with you all today my current abs routine and just what I'm doing to keep my stomach toned and flat.

Before I go into details though, it's really important to bare in mind that I am no expert, have not been trained or am no dietitian - I'm still very much learning as I go along and there is so much to learn if your wanting to change your body shape, maintain it and if your like me push yourself to make further progress. I'm lucky enough to have quite a few people around me who do know what their doing and talking about and have helped me along my way, so I want to try and share what I've learnt to help you all out too. 

When it comes to working out, I try and workout at least four to five times a week, which I know may seam a lot to a lot of you especially if your just looking to introduce fitness into your life - I would say dedicating three sessions a week is a good amount to start with and then to start working your way up depending on what results you want to achieve. When it comes to abs and getting a flat stomach, I try and work on my abs at least four times a week and most of the time I will do the same routine, maybe mixing things up a little from time to time to keep things fresh; Doing the same thing all the time can become boring and repetitive. It was a good friend of mine who is a personal trainer that introduced me to this abs routine, I've been trying to complete it as much as possible since January and have seen amazing results since starting it, so its something that is definitely working for me.

Firstly I start off by warming up my body - it's so important to get your heart rate going and get your body prepared before doing any serious working out. I usually put on a really good song that's lively, makes me feel energetic and do some simple cardio to get me warmed up. This can be anything from star jumps, running on the spot and some squats quickly. Once the song is up I'm usually ready to start working on my routine. If I'm at the gym I'll always warm up on the treadmill and go for a 10 minute jog/run to get me ready for any toning sessions.

My abs routine is as follows - In one set I will complete ...

Crunches x 30 
Reverse Crunches x 30 (this is where you lower your legs up and down with every regular crunch)
Sit Ups x 30
Russian Twists x 30
Bicycle Crunches x 30
Plank - Hold for one minute 
Side Plank - Hold for a minute on each side

I will then rest for a minute and repeat this process three times - and its as simple as that. Like I say I am no fitness expert and when I first started working out a lot of the fitness terminology was all alien to me. I would love to be able to explain to you how to do each exercise properly, but I don't want to teach how to do something incorrectly. If your unsure about any of the exercises that I've mentioned be sure to have a look on line as there are so many videos and websites that will be able to explain a lot better than what I can. 

Depending on what other exercises I'm incorporating into my routine each day, I always find that this routine leaves my abs burning which can be unpleasant at first but its a pain that you grow to love. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I do a lot of other workouts at the gym and a lot of the classes that I take and other exercises I do incorporate a lot of abs work into them which is important to bear in mind when your trying to reach your own personal goals. 

If your wanting to loose weight, then this abs routine might not be enough for you to start seeing changes you want, but balancing the right amount of cardio with toning will help you see those results much quicker. It's also really important to point out that when you start exercising it can take some time before you start noticing and seeing any real change in your body -  But if you persevere and don't quit change is something you will start to see and you will feel great for it. A top tip is to take pictures weekly, as it's only when you start looking back will you see that your hard work is making a difference.

I'm sure most of you will have heard this before but keeping fit and eating healthy really do go hand in hand and the food part of living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is still something that I'm getting to grips with. However if you can start making small changes with the foods that you eat then you will be well on your way to having that dream body of yours.

I really hope that this has helped answered any of your questions and I would love to know if your going to start this routine yourself. If there are any questions you have please let me know in the comments below or drop me an email or Tweet. I would also love to see your progress pictures, so be sure to send me them over on Instagram @sunshinesprkle as I am forever posting mine.

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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Smile, Sparkle & Shine || Reasons To be Happy

The other day, well last few days I've not been feeling my usual chirpy happy self and for those of you who know me really well will know that I'm such a happy go lucky kind of girl and that it takes a lot to bring me down. Now I don't want to bore you with details about the little dramas in my life and what caused me to not feel like myself, but I'm really in the mood to sit down in front of my computer and just type away to you all, so forgive me if this post is a little all over the place, it has no structure to it whatsoever and I'm just going with the flow here. 

So like I was saying, the last few days I've not been that happy and it wasn't until I sat down with a few close ones talked about my feelings to realise that the cause of my unhappiness was down to other peoples actions, which I think is the problem for a lot of us. There is always so much drama going on in our lives in someway or another, big or small and you get close to people, get emotionally connected and involved in other peoples lives. It occurred to me that sometimes we rely way too much on other people to make us happy, when I think the truth is we should always rely on ourselves and be happy within anyway - Another persons actions shouldn't be the cause of our unhappiness and cause us to dwell on things too much. It was a really good friend that told me this sometime ago, when she was giving herself her own advice and for some reason her wise words stayed in my mind. 

I took myself out of my sad little mood and decided to put myself back in my happy bubble. I realised that there is so much good in my life and so many reasons to be happy than unhappy. I think we really can be the cause of our own unhappiness sometimes, and all we have to do is have the right onset and outlook in life to see that we actually do have so much to be happy about. 

Some people may think it's ignorance that I can sometimes live in my own happy bubble and I'm not saying that I don't care about others and those around me who I adore - But I think it's really important that whatever you do in life you happy and that ultimatley you make the choices that are going to pop a smile on your face. 

Sometimes when you get sad (myself included) can find it easy to think and re think about the things that made us feel that way, so I really just want to share with you all the many reasons that there are to be happy and hopefully you'll finish reading this post and be smiling. 

The world is beautiful and there are so many beautiful places and things that surround us can often be taken for granted. When you see beautiful things, it makes you smile and a smile can go along way to making you happy.

One thing that makes me really happy is having dreams and most importantly following them. I've come across far too many people in my life who don't have dreams and ambitions and as a result I always heard them moaning about their life and how unhappy they are. I think having goals, dreams and something to work towards does make you happy and achieving them with do more than double your happiness. 

Some might say looks and beauty isn't everything and whilst I agree with this statement, I do think that true beauty and beauty from within means everything. A smile is a beautiful thing, not only does it make you happy, it's infectious and makes others smile too. 

I think this is a really hard one as sometimes it can be hard to let go of the things that are causing you to be unhappy or sad, but I think if you can't change the situation that is making you unhappy then you need to let it go and try and change your attitude towards the situation

Eating delishous foods always makes me happy, fresh fruit is a favourite of mine, especially strawberries and whenever I eat the foods I love I can't help but feel happy!

Don't over think things, what will be will be. I'm a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason and there are just some things in life that we have no control over whatsoever. Sometimes in order to be happy we just have to go with the flow and forget all of those grey areas that we will never really know the answers too.  

Everyone is different and happiness comes to us though different means. Sometimes I think about all the things that make me happy and act on the things that I can do that will bring me happiness, no matter how simple it may be - However I would love to be this little turtle right now and float around in blue crystal waters in much sunnier climates, even that thought puts a smile on my face. 

I always think that no matter what is going on around us, we all have a special someone, close family member or best friend who will always be there no matter what, even when then going gets really tough. I feel so lucky and blessed to have amazing people in my life who are always there without a fail to cheer me up. If something bad happens or someone makes you feel unhappy just remember this (a really good friend told me this and I think its very true). 

'sometimes when bad things happen, it allows us to warm up to others - others go though similar things and by letting go of all the bad allows new people and feelings to be welcomed in to your life'

Like I say, we all have someone close to in our lives who we can confide in and people who are there to be beside you and help you be the happiest you possibly can be. I love my friends to bits and these special relationships in my life bring me so much happiness. The great thing about friends is that you can always find them in all sorts of places and its so easy to make new friends these days - there is always someone to talk to if you reach out and look.

I think I've pretty much covered everything that I wanted to speak about in this post, and once again I apologise for the randomness of it. I just think although its such a simple thing its so important to be happy and I really hope all of you who read this are smiling away this weekend. 

Lots of Love 
and remember
Smile Sparkle & Shine ....Always

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Beauty2Couture Goodies

Hi ladies, I hope your all excited for the weekend and have some fun filled plans ahead. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow so it means I'm not out partying away this evening, so I thought I would take some time, sit down and type up a blog post. This evening I really wanted to showcase some lovely beauty goodies that I received from Laura over from Beauty2Couture Blog from her one year blogging giveaway. I love entering giveaways and I was so excited when I found out that I had been chosen as the winner of Laura's. I really wanted to take the opportunity to thank Laura in this post and showcase some of the amazing things that I received as everything was so well thought out and put together - I absolutely love the pink theme running though all the beauty products.

As you can see from the pictures there is a good mixture of beauty and makeup products, and I don't need to express how handy the Soap & Glory products are - I'm a huge Soap & Glory fan and their products never seam to last me that long as I'm constantly reaching for them. I love Hand Food, it is by far one of the best hand moisturisers that I've tried and tested and I always try and carry one around with me in my handbag, so this miniature one is just perfect! 

What I was most excited about in this giveaway, has to be the two lipsticks from Bourjois, not only are Bourjois lipsticks great, but the colour choices that Laura chose are amazing. Everyone here knows how much I love and adore bright pink lipstick and these two shades are definitely what I would call 'Danni' colours. I think it's fair to say that Laura and I have a very similar taste when it comes to shade of lipstick. Surprisingly though I don't have anything quite like these two shades in my lipstick collection (well okay maybe) but they are definitely different if you know what I mean. I have been meaning to try out one of the Bourjois Shine Edition lipsticks for some time as I keep hearing and reading so many good things about them. Laura picked out the shade 23 'Grenade In' which is the most gorgeous raspberry berry toned pink and I just know I am going to love wearing this bold, high shine glossy lipstick, especially when the weather starts to warm up.

I also received one of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipsticks in the shade Fuchsia Graffiti, which again is a vibrant pink fuchsia colour which has a deep berry look to it. Last year I picked up one of the Rouge Edition lipsticks from Bourjous in the shade Rose Neon (review here) and I love the formula of these lipsticks, so I know that this lipstick too will get a lot of love too.

Carrying on with the pink theme for this giveaway, Laura also included two pink Barry M Nail Paints in the shade 'Fuchsia' and 'Raspberry' - Both of these shades I don't own so that's a huge plus as they are such gorgeous colours. A Barry M Eyeliner was also included along with some Eylure Lashes which are perfect as I go though flasies way too quickly.

I absolutely love everything that I received and can't thank Laura enough, everything was beautifully packaged and it was so fun to open - I was like a kid at Christmas! I would love if you have the time to go over and say hello to Laura as her blog is lovely and I always enjoy reading it. If you would like to see any full reviews of the products featured in this post then be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourites?

Lots of Love

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