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Friday, 28 February 2014

Getting Ready For Spring | Makeup Haul

Recently, I've managed to get my hands on some pretty good deals whilst signing up to things online including a £20 gift voucher for Superdrug - This only cost me a £1 to sign up too. I had some Love2shop vouchers left, though, I only used one - £10. I only ended up using about £6.00 of my own cash which isn't bad doing. So with these benefits I embarked on a spree to get me makeup ready for Spring. Here's what I got:



A great selection for lips, nail, face and my first haul or makeup spree for 2014.


Left to right; Elusive and vivacious

These are two of the new shades added to the Revlon colorburst collection
Elusive is one popular shade, I went into Superdrug three times this week and it was never in stock, elusive is from the matte range and comes in matte packaging. It look's barbie pink but it couldn't be far from that, it's a nude/pink but looks great on the lips almost like it's got a hint of coral to it. Like a coral, nude pink if that's possible it's really had to explain but it's so feminine and will compliment many skin tones. I had to go Boots to get this, which was £7.99, but in the 3 for 2 fortunately. 

The other vivacious on the other hand was only £4.99 from Superdrug, they all have £2.00 knocked off - if you want to grab a few now. Vivacious is a gorgeous lacquer and so bold and beautiful, definitely a statement shade, it's got a hint of shimmer to it and very complimentary on the lips.


I got some top ups of my everyday products; Foundation and stay matte powder both from Rimmel. Superdrug have an offer on where the foundation is just £4.99 but only until Monday (a generous £4 off). 

I also treated myself to two nail polishes. I've had this beautiful holographic polish screenshot for a while. It's from Gosh, of course, and is the famous holographic hero - Though I've heard the formula has changed since it's hey day, I still found swatches online to be beyond beautiful and added it to my basket and for £3.99, it was worth every penny and more just for the final finish. 

Then for free in the 3 for 2, I picked up this pretty matte finish pastel from the new silk collection from Barry M. Meadow is a beautiful mint green pastel and will look great this spring. I really want blossom too.


I've wanted one of the Barry M palette's for a while and whilst it was 3 for 2 at Boots, I thought it was time to pick one up. I've many dark, smokey eyed shades, but not a lot of neutral in my palette drawer and decided out of the three, the Natural Glow palette was the one for me. Inside are two applicators, 6 subtle natural shades (some matte and some with, the gorgeous shimmer, that I love), and a pastel pink blush with shimmer. I'm still hoping for the naked 3 palette though (who isn't).

Expect lots of reviews coming soon.




Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Birthday Wishlist

My Birthday is at the end of next month so I thought it was time, to put together a wishlist of things I'd like. I already know that I'm going to the Harry Potter studio's, we booked it a few days ago, the place books up so quickly so even though I won't be going on my birthday, I'll be paying a visit a little less then two weeks after the big day and staying in a hotel over night. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and super excited about my trip down there. I live near Manchester so the over night stay at a hotel is a definite must.

My Wishlist


Quite the list, I know! Out of everything, there's only, about six things I really would like. I'll put my top six first. And not to mention the Harry Potter studio gift shop - I'm sure I'll spend a small, big fortune in the gift shop too and it wouldn't be a Harry Potter experience without a Butterbeer. I will be buying the cup to take home.

Glee Season 4 - I'm most unfortunate that I don't have the channel that Glee air on since they made the move from E4, therefore I rely on the boxset for my Glee obsession, (yes I'm a Gleek, at heart).

The Vampire Diaries season 1-4 - I love TVD, I'm ahead of the UK episodes and since I only started watching all seasons last month I'd say I've got a slight case of TVD addiction. It's a good thing though. Right?! It's extremely good, if you've not watched it, DO!!

Ted Baker Makeup Bag (small - £22.00) - The small is plenty big enough. I decided I'd like the pinky/nude, the colour goes the most with both bag and purse seen above. I've seen these knocking around loads of blogs. Yes, I'm jumping on the bandwagon but seriously they are beautiful. Hopefully I get some birthday penny's.

Paul Boutique Alexa studded star dusty pink bag - This is an expensive buy, for a birthday present, but I'm absolutely head over heels in love with this piece of gorgeousness. I tend to go for basic black but this is completely different to anything I've ever owned.

Paul Boutique Lizzie neon gradient leopard purse - This purse is like the most beautiful purse I've EVER seen. Oh, I'm in love.

UD Naked 3 palette - I've seen the swatches, I've admired it from afar since the release and I'm craving this piece of beauty. The shades are right up my street and it's a firm favourite amongst my wishlist. I've not owned any of the Naked palettes yet!

Perfume - This makes me look greedy, I swear I don't want them all or any, (I have 4 on the go) but these are definitely one's I'm interested in getting my hands on. Givenchy, very irresistible, is one of my favourite perfumes, I've ran out now. Dot by Marc Jacobs is screaming at me to buy it, no I've never smelt it but seriously how pretty is the bottle? It would look great on my drawers and I value the opinion of other bloggers who seem to love this perfume. I've owned Juicy Couture viva la juicy and it's fruitilicious and now I want the Noir, it's better then viva la juicy.

Charms - I haven't added to my charm bracelet since getting it for my 21st and I'm definitely interested in purchasing these two charms. I'm a huge Eeyore fan, I own cups, teddies, pj's, hot water bottle, the lot and when I found this gem online, well the wishlist says it all. I've never been to New York but I'm totally obsessed with the place and WILL visit one day. Therefore I want to add a statue of liberty to my bracelet. I imagine these will be forwarded to my Christmas 2014 list though.

Liz Earle cleanse & polish hot cloth cleanser - I'm a bit behind when it comes to this gem, it's been everywhere, EVERYWHERE! And is an award winner. I really want to get this sometime, hopefully for my birthday, hint hint!








Monday, 24 February 2014

Lindt Lindor & Cadbury's Creme Egg Chocolate Brownies

With Easter on it's way and the shops starting to stock their shelves with yummy chocolate goodies, now is the perfect time to indulge in some sticky sweetness and have a treat or two, or three. With this in mind and me seeing these gooey goodness around lately I decided to get stuck in and make my first batch of brownies with a twist - Creme eggs.

What you will need -

Remove the creme eggs and instead add 6 Lindt Lindor eggs or 16 of the smaller sweets (cut in half)

Serves: 16
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


How to do it

1. Preheat the oven to 180oc or gas mark 4. Whist the oven is heating up, grab a bowl and add the 185g of dark chocolate to 185g of unsalted butter and place over a pan of boiling hot water until melted. 

2. In a separate bowl, crack three eggs and add 275g of caster sugar and whisk until it becomes almost mousse like. It can take a good few minutes, but you'll start to notice the mixture become thicker. Add the melted butter/chocolate and stir together until mixture becomes completely brown.

3. Sift in the 85g of plain flour and 40g of cocoa powder and gently mix, folding it in, then pour mixture into a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

4. A few minutes before taking the mix out the oven, cut your creme eggs in half. Once out the oven add the creme eggs evenly to the mix and put in the oven for a further 10 minutes to melt the creme eggs. I spread the creme eggs around once gooey using a knife. 



And serve with ice cream. You could cut a slice into pieces and create your own homemade sundae or eat them alone. I ate mine with Creme egg ice cream.

To be honest they taste much better then they look. On top it's like a sticky biscuit crunch, but once bit into it's a moist, soft and melts in your mouth. They are divine, can't recommend the recipe enough.

Bet half of you thought I had Lindt Lindor and Creme egg in the one brownie, wow wouldn't that be a calorific sugar intake overindulgence. Using the same recipe, adding Lindt Lindor instead of creme egg and create the lindt lindor brownies.


I sprinkled these with white Terry chocolate orange. These turned out so much better then my first batch and due the creaminess of the a Lindt Lindor they are very melt in your mouth and gooey, like a proper brownie rather then a crunchy one. My first batch was still good if I do say so myself but I do have a fan oven and had it set to high, I didn't make that mistake the second time.

Will you be trying these for yourself?


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Here's Looking At You by Mhairi Mcfarlane

Image taken from Goodreads.

Paid for.

I'm a huge fan of Mhairi Mcfarlane and this is her second book. Her first book was You had me at hello, which I prefer to Here's looking at you, despite her second novel being good. Mhairi is a great writer, making her books a really enjoyable to read, with witty humour and lots of laugh out loud moments.

Here's looking at you is a very ugly duckling tale, about a girl who fades into the background with no friends yet is known to everyone for all the wrong reasons, her weight. There's always a few or that one person who get's bullied at school based on how they look, and it's cruel. Aureliana is that girl, over weight, insecure, has a crush on the most popular, good looking boy, James, who just happens to befriend her - for all the wrong reasons. It's fifteen years later, Aureliana is in her thirties and isn't that girl anymore, she's slimmed down, now stands out for all them reasons and isn't afraid anymore. Aureliana is now going by anna and unbeknown by anyone at school, at the reunion, she tries to run and pretends to be at the wrong venue, but soon gets found out after being seen getting in a taxi that it was obvious she was giving James best friend the brush off. Fate keep's getting in the way and she finds herself bumping into James on a number of occasions, they soon find themselves hanging out more. It isn't long until James finds out who she really is, a love/hate relationship starts until they both get to know who they really are deep, down, inside.

My thoughts 

Even though I preferred Mhairi' first book, this was still full of plenty of laughs and witty humour. It was great seeing the story from two perspectives and following their journeys, that there's more to somebodies looks and that people can be ugly inside. That behind the popular guys good looks, is someone deeply insecure. It see's the main characters face their demons and learning to be happy with who they are. Score 5/5 - Recommend both here's looking at you and you had me at hello.




Friday, 21 February 2014

Fashion Friday: Brit Awards 2014 - Best Dressed

Awards season is very much upon us and in that comes great fashion. The Brit Awards 2014 (on Wednesday) was a fun filled event full of amazing fashion, a great line up with fab performances and very deserving winners. Today in the name of Fashion Friday is another awards best dressed, chosen by me.

Image source: Glamour Magazine
Lily Allen showing a certain somebody she's one yummy mummy, in this gorgeous dress by Norell from William Vintage. And accessorizing with a statement yellow clutch that matches her dip dyed hair - I love the hair!

Image source: Glamour Magazine
Rita Ora brings Summer to the UK and the red carpet in this yellow Prada dress.

Image source: Glamour Magazine
Pixie Lott look's like a princess in this simple white DKNY gown.

Image source: Glamour Magazine
Kimberley Walsh look's stunning in this maxi dress, the lace shows off her fabulous legs. The attention to detail with flower print is lovely.

Image source: Glamour Magazine

Emma Willis dressed simple yet stylish in a jump suit and bold blazer.

Image source: Glamour Magazine
Hot to trot - Queen B looked amazing and stole the show with her electric performance of XO.

Do you have any faves?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Magnitone Pulsar Introduction

Last week an email popped into my inbox from the lovely Natalie who recommended my blog to Magnitone about a collaboration involving a 7 day review. Over the last year, my skin was up and down, I feel like it's only just starting to come back to it's normal self but it could do with that little TLC and push to allow it to be back on top form. I can't tell you how many time's I've seen the Magnitone Pulsar around and the great reviews had me wanting one for myself, but with an RRP of  £129.99 it wasn't something I could just pop out and treat myself too, with a family to feed and bills to pay I often go without but that's the life of a parent. So when they offered me a to good to miss deal with a huge discount off, I jumped at the chance and here it is. I decided since this is one of those products that will involve a large review after my seven days use is over so thought I'd do an introduction post first. 


Available to buy are three brushes.

Active clean brush - For daily facial cleansing, deep cleansing and gentle exfoliating.
Sensitive brush - Softer bristles for gentle cleaning for delicate or allergenic skin types.
Body cleansing brush - Strong bristles for exfoliation. Dry skin removal on legs and arms.

The kit is provided with two brushes, the active clean brush and body cleansing brush.

Apart from the two brushes, in the kit is also;


Inside is also the magnitone pulsar, charger and stand which is a wireless magnetic charging stand.

Magnitone pulsar comes with an impressive four settings to choose from and can also be used on the body as well as the face. Plus if that's not a bonus it's waterproof making it able to take in the shower with you. 


Recommendations

The Magnitone Pulsar comes semi-charged but they recommend you charge it for the first 24 hours to maximise it's battery life. 

They recommend you use sensitive if your unsure about your skin condition, repeat this for at least three days to allow your skin time to adjust to the product. They also advise you to use the product for no longer then one minute for the first three days on face and any other part of your body. Afterwards this can be increased to the recommended two minutes, twice a day.

The massage mode does not add to cleansing time.

Brushes should be replaced every 8-12 weeks which cost just over £15.00 a time for two.


After each use, the brush must be removed from handle and rinsed clean with water to remove any residue or debris. It can be soaked in warm water to clean fully. 

Leave it to dry completely before applying head protection cap.

And most importantly never used any chemicals to clean it.

Thoughts so far

My Magnitone Pulsar is fully charged and raring to go. I've not used it yet but so far so good. It doesn't feel flimsy or cheap with the Magnitone Pulsar it self feeling solid and kind of a rubbery feel for good grip. I can't wait to put some use to it and see if it lives up to it's expectations, considering the reviews I'm not feeling too worried at the moment. Look out for my full review coming soon and more information.

This does retail for £129.99 but most places have it just short of £90.00 at the moment. Stockists can be found here.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Summer of my Secret Angel by Anna Katmore

Images from Goodreads
At time of purchase, this book was free from Amazon for Kindle.

Jona is a out of control teenager, she's been living in care for twelve years and stealing whenever she get's the chance. Being caught by the police one day changers her life forever. Not only does she have to go live with her estranged mother, it just happens her Mum is settled in France, Jona finds herself at a vine yard living with a aunt she's never met, along with her mum's gorgeous caretaker Julian. He's everything she wants in a man, sexy, strong, playful, understanding and soon her best friend. Three days in and she's drawn to him, but what puzzle's her more then anything is his ability to save her dying mothers life with a touch of his hand.

My thoughts 

 It's insane how rude Jona is to her dying mother, but she's a likeable character and someone you can easily relate too. She's been through a lot and is looking for someone to blame, but at the same time doesn't have pity for herself and really just wants to get on with her life. She's completely sassy with a attitude to match, but deep down she's quite the opposite, afraid and affected by the past and just wants to be loved. Come Julian he's completely caring with a charm and knows very well how to get under Jona' skin, but he has secrets too. I don't want to give to much away, but this was such a great book, a completely lovely read with so much emotion. At time's it was so intense, I felt like I was apart of the story and it was really nice to see Jona with this bad girl exterior be so affected by Julian and become someone so completely different to who she portrays. Score 5/5. Recommend.


Friday, 14 February 2014

A Win | Sparkling Jewellery

In January I won a few competitions. Along with this one, I also managed to get my hands on a t-shirt designed by me - You can find out more about that here.


New Magazine, my weekly celeb (and the best) mag teamed up with Sparkling Jewellery to give three winners the chance to get their hands on one of the famous coin necklaces. You'll have seen these on a few celebs, Holly Willoughby, Cheryl Cole and Sam Faiers - can be seen below.

Image Source: New Magazine.


I was fortunate enough to win the premium 22ct gold double coin Holly necklace, the exact one worn by Holly Willoughby on ITV's This Morning and Celebrity Juice. This version costs RRP  £45.00 / €47.25. The collection starts from £19.00 for earrings and gold plated necklace is £29.00 and so on. The premium range starts from £45.00. Shades available are rose gold, silver and gold.



I don't tend to go for gold jewellery, I like my silver, mainly being white gold. But I'm so in love with this necklace, which is quite surprising. I think it's a real stand out piece and will look great with casual wear. It's really unique to anything I've owned and I'm really happy and fortunate to have won this beauty. The packaging from Sparkling Jewellery is absolutely gorgeous and so luxurious.

♡ Happy Valentine's Day ♡



Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Guide ♥


I've done a mini Valentines Day series this year with a trio of posts including Fashion Friday can be seen here and a Manicure Monday post here feel free to take a look if you want some Valentine related inspiration. I decided to create a mini gift guide. Included are the usual Valentine gifts, but one's us girls will fully appreciate chocolate, teddy bears, flowers are a big must. lingerie and champagne. Then there's a few little gifts for us lovers of beauty, we appreciate gorgeous bath sets from both Lush and Bomb Cosmetics and candles are great too. Or makeup essentials, must have pink lipsticks from YSL or gorgeous blush/bronzers perfect for Valentines from Stila.

Bath Sets/Candles - Lush/Bomb Cosmetics
Champagne/Roses - Marks and Spencers
Chocolate - Hotel Chocolat/ Thorntons
Bronzer/Blusher - Stila
Teddy - Me too you
Lippy - YSL
Lingerie - Bluebella

Any links wanted add me on @ABritishSparkle and I'll get back to you. Or feel free to comment below and I will provide the link.


Images taken from stores mentioned.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Manicure Monday #16 - Think Pink | Valentine's Edition ♥

Hi everyone, hope you all had a lovely weekend? I had a party of ten people over for a roast dinner yesterday, as well as baby sitting my gorgeous soon-to-be nine month old twin nieces - double trouble. So I pretty much had my hands full, it was lovely to look after them and have the family over, again. I'm keeping to my promise and catching up on some blogging stuff right now, starting with this post. Bit late, but I'm on the last few episodes of The Vampire Diaries season 4 - my addiction is coming to a end. Good job Season 5 is well under way ;) Anyways today I'm back with a Manicure Monday #16.

Valentine's day is coming up (Friday) it's quite a big occasion to some, to others not to much. I believe you should show love to your partner everyday, but valentines is the day you over indulge - I'd be lying if I didn't say I don't like presents. I'm definitely a hearts and flowers kinda gal and blame movies for my high expectations - I'm still wondering if there are any guys out there that are like those in movies!


I used Barry M on all nails. Pink Flamingo on the three nails painted pink, this is £2.99. Pink princess on the one from the textured range this is £3.99 and matte white on the thumb - £2.99. I then used red glitter, also £2.99 to fill the heart in. To create the heart, I used the Barry M nail art pen in black. It's a really easy, simple mani perfect for valentines day.

Valentines Day, gift guide will be posted tomorrow.


Friday, 7 February 2014

Fashion Friday | Valentine's Outfit's ♥


This weeks Fashion Friday is all about valentine's day. Flirty, girly and cute, with pinks and lace, cream and floral print. I wanted outfits that oozed sophistication yet were fun, girly whilst being sexy at the same time. My go to stores for these flirtacious looks were Miss Selfridge and Quiz. From Quiz, both skater dresses, both very similar in style but different shades of colour, nude heels and a nude/pink clutch for the cream skater dress and black lace inspired heels that have a touch of silver glitter with gorgeous black clutch. From Miss Selfridge these gorgeous pink shorts, with a simple white shirt - the attention to detail is simple with a bow - floral print blazer jacket and pinky-nude shoes/clutch.

If you want links for any items please feel free to comment with which and your Twitter and I'll tweet you the link. Happy Valentine's Day for next week. I hope you have a lovely day and get spoilt off your loved ones or have a girly night in/out with friends if your single. What are your plans? 


Images taken from stores mentioned.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

It's All About Me With FeelUnique Competition

Hi people, I'm so sorry for totally abandoning my blog this week. I've got several posts in my drafts titled and ready to write up but I have a slight case of Vampire Diaries addiction which is causing me to spend all my free time watching all the seasons - if you follow me on Twitter you'll know I only recently started watching TVD. I can't believe I just have tbh. It's so good!

On to the point of the post, FeelUnique are having a fantastic competition where you can design a tee with the 'It's all about me' logo. It's all about me is the slogan and message that's advertised thoroughly across the feelunique TV ad, you may of seen it, you may of not but if you haven't then you can below.


Basically all you have to do it like their facebook page and you'll see the app on there to design your own it's all about me t-shirt. I did and I was fortunately picked has one of the first 100 winners, today another 100 were picked and there is another 300 to be chosen, with 500 t-shirt winners being overall. I was also chose by feelunique has one of their favourites which was really nice of them.


Once you've received your winning design and posted yourself wearing it on facebook, you can be in with a chance of being 1/10 winners of a £200 feelunique gift voucher.

I hope you be in with a chance to win by entering too. If not for the £200 voucher but for the t-shirt, something that's completely unique to you. I love my design and the quality of the top is great.



Monday, 3 February 2014

Manicure Monday #15


What can I say. Don't say I didn't warn you about my addiction to the Barry M nail art pens.
This week I used Barry M magnetic polish in Moon Dust minus the magnet and did some animal inspired nail art again using the nail art pens in black, white and pink. I did leopard print (it's not my best leopard print ever) and a tiger come zebra sort of print. I love Moon dust it's a stunning silver polish with flicks of glitter throughout.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Honeymoon For One by Chris Keniston

Image taken from Goodreads.
At time of purchase Honeymoon For One was free from Amazon for Kindle.

After being jilted by the man she's about to marry in a few day's time Michelle embarks on her honeymoon alone to escape the gossip. Whilst on her honeymoon her eye is caught by one hunky fella that makes her go weak at the knee's and knowing she'll never see him again, she shakes away her good girl persona and challenges her inner angel to someone a little more devil like and daring.

Back home she gets back to normal life, playing parent to her younger sister and getting back to her 9 til' 5 job. Both Michelle and Kirk aka Lloyd, can't stop thinking about one another though and unbeknown to both of them their going to  come back into one anothers life once more and he's not just anyone, he's her new boss.

My thoughts

It's a tale about a woman who is jilted days before they reached the alter in favour of her life long best friend. To escape the gossip Michelle embarks on a honeymoon for one, where she meets a hunky guy who leaves her angel behind and uncovers her inner devil. Drinking lots with dancing shoes on, she finds herself waking up most morning in Kirks bed and having adventures she never dreamed of. The weeks past quickly and she tries to forget about Kirk by going back to her normal life, bringing her sister up (their parents have died) etc etc. Unbeknown to her, Kirk is about to become her new boss, but he's not Kirk he is infact Lloyd and she's disappointed that he lied about his name and surprised to see him just has he is her. They try to keep their ship antics a secret but find themselves struggling to resist one another, despite Michelle being someone entirely different to her inner devil that was on board that ship. Lloyd and Michelle aren't what they think to be a match made in heaven, she's all about marriage and family life and him the complete opposite. But with Lloyd unable to shake off his thoughts of Michelle and her job laying his hands, he may just change his ways to be with her after all. I thought it was a good enough novel, that kept me gripped and I loved the romance of it all and seeing someone change the way they are for the woman he loved. Score 4/5.
 


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