BLOGMAS 2018 / Day 14 – this year’s beauty heroes

I wish I was one of these people that could do a regular ‘new in beauty’ or ‘monthly empties’ or something like that, lord knows that some months I do buy a helluva lot of the damn stuff! But I’m not and I do t, so I reserve it to those times where I go nuts and splurge on one particular brand or at the end of the year when I’ve managed to work my way through all the stuff and figure out which of the mountains of stuff I actually like. So here it is, enjoy!

1. Urban Decay Backtalk

I’ve been a fan of pink eye makeup as a daily go to for quite a long time now, and since getting this for my birthday 6 months ago it’s definitely the palettes I’ve reached for the most often day to day (the other has been Naked Petite Heat, if you’re interested). I tend to shy away from the strongest pink and purple shade on the regular but the others all get chucked on my face in some form or other, however the only colour I’m not a massive fan of is 3 Sheets (the lightest pink on the far left) as it feels really chalky compared to others and just doesn’t have any colour payoff on me.

2. The Body Shop chamomile sumptuous cleansing balm

I think I may have even learnt about this balm during Vlogmas one year, how weird! I keep experimenting with other things to take my makeup off but I always go back to this one as it literally melts every little bit off my skin for me to remove it easily. I always struggle with removing my mascara but this shifts it without any bother at all. I tend to use it after a miscellar water face wash and before toner.

3. Fenty Beauty cheek hugging highlighter brush

I had no idea how awesome I would find this when I bought it, I literally just thought it was pretty and didn’t have a highlighter brush. It’s soooo helpful! The shape of it ensures my highlight goes exactly where is needs to on my face, and the more angular parts of the brush can do the smaller areas like Cupids Bow and under brows. Brilliant.

4. Urban Decay primer potion (original)

I used to just think that I was someone who had to keep refreshing makeup through the day cos it literally slid down my face. Thanks to this (and a few other things that I may name check in a 2019 post) that is no more! I really notice e difference when I don’t apply this first, I get about 2/3 trough a day and notice my eyeshadow is creased right down the middle.

5. Bilou shower foam in Tasty Donut

I do wonder if something this cute seem a little bit too young for me, but honestly I don’t care as it’s in my shower so nobody will every really see this! It smells very like Marshmallow, which is a scent I’ve always found very comforting, and the foam means that you get a much better coating on your skin so that it smells delicious all over for longer. Not bad for a spur of them,omens purchase at all!

If there are any products you’ve been loving this year that I should consider picking up to try out, shout them out in the comments section so that I can have a good ol’ nosey!

See you tomorrow,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 23: Social media made me buy it

Earlier this year I did a YouTube made me buy it post so I thought I’d do an updated version of other things I’ve been influenced into buying, but this time broaden the scope to include all social media. Here’s what I thought of the last six purchases I made this way:

Instagram ads made me buy… Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette

I’d never tried anything by Morphe before but I have tried a Jaclyn Hill collab which is why this palette made my heart soar with joy when it was released. Sadly, it dipped pretty quickly after that. I was drawn in by the range of colours and awesome reviews of other Morphe palettes, but when I started using this one it felt a bit ‘meh’ – the colours weren’t quite as show stopping on as they look in the pan for me.
YouTube made me buy… Ouai dry shampoo foam

I’ve tried other Ouai products before and wasn’t that impressed, so I’m not sure why I decided to give this one a go, judging by other online reviews a lot of people aren’t too impressed with this one. However I’m not able to judge either way as didn’t even get to try it – on the first use the nozzle broke and every single bit of product splattered all over my bathroom, I mean EVERYWHERE. What a waste of 20-something quid!

Fleur de Force made me buy… Lauren Mercier translucent setting powder

My makeup often slides during the day so I thought this seemed worth a go (a slightly expensive go, but a go nonetheless) and I’m pleased to say this product was a winner! It sets my base in place really well, I’ve even napped before and my face has remained in-tact, though that’s probably the combo of this and Urban Decay setting spray. I heard about a hack on YouTube where you apply the powder before and after your base to get a more flawless and long lasting finish, so I do tend to apply it this way when I know I need my make up to have extra staying power.

Lily Melrose made me buy… Urban Decay Naked ultimate basics

I nabbed this in Sephora over the summer and based on my other Naked experiences it seemed like a no-brainier. A lot of people seem to really love this, but the pigmentation just doesn’t seem to be as good as the others when I’ve used it. Maybe I got one from a dud batch? Bit annoying for $54! That said I do get on pretty well with the bitter/milk-chocolatey brown colour at the front, it’s kind of unusual but works as an easy daytime shade.

Lydia and Lucy made me buy… Urban Decay Eye primer potion

Another Sephora purchase made over the summer, and this has been great for keeping my shadow in place and crease-free. I mentioned this in my blogmas day 11 post so I won’t say anymore than that.

Fleur de Force (also) made me buy… Too Faced Hangover primer

You guessed it – another summer purchase from Sephora, I spent about $300 in 2 days whilst in NYC, which bought me quite a bit! I pick this up in a smaller size to try out first and it’s definitely a product I plan to re-purchase in the New Year. It’s has a lovely smell and feels very hydrating, more like a moisturiser really.

If you’ve tried any of these or any from the previous post I linked to let me know what you thought of them!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 22: Thanks for the memories 2017

As the year is coming to close in a couple of weeks time, I thought it would be a nice addition to my #blogmas posts to reflect on some great times had this year. I’ve not been the happiest of people, but I have had some fun adventures which I’m choosing to focus on instead.


The only reason I have ever left the house as an adult on New Year’s Day is in search of food, however this year I made an exception and headed out to the opening night of the Hull City of Culture celebrations with the Mr and my grandparents. I wasn’t disappointed; it was bloody brilliant! This year has brought Hull so many interesting opportunities and, most importantly, a much needed reputation boost on a global stage. I couldn’t be prouder of us.


The Mr and I headed to Leeds for a couple of nights to hit the shops and drink some cocktails. We enjoyed it so much we’re heading back again before Christmas.


March saw me and my mum bond in a slightly more unusual way – scaling brightly coloured climbing walls. We usually go for coffee or shopping! We’re both kinda scaredy cats so my invit to a preview session at Rock Up Hull allowed us to conquer some of our fears as well as work up a sweat.


Easter saw us spend the weekend in one of my fave cities, Liverpool (I did a post about it here). I always feel so happy and inspired there. I’m heading back in March 2018 for a girls weekend I can’t wait!


The second Bank Holiday weekend in May was definitely one of the best weekends of the year, when I headed off to Radio 1 Big Weekend!

Day 1 I was spent with my girl Tori – we giggled, sang and got rained on just a little bit.

Day 2 I was joined by Chelsea (aka my hair saviour, you all know her) where we got our glitter on and danced our socks off. Fun times.


As well as it being my birthday month, June also saw us head to Scarborough (hence the epic fish and chip setup) to redeem one of last year’s Christmas gifts- tickets to see Al Murray live. He’s always been one of my faves and last time I had tickets I had to give them up as I had flu, but this time I was well and had an absolute scream. He’s one of four others we’ve seen this year (not including local acts) and there are more in the pipeline for 2018.


August was a busy month indeed! Starting with a trip to the Great British Food Festival where I literally ate all the things and brought home a fairly sizeable haul of goodies to enjoy. This is definitely somewhere I’d be keen to visit again next year.

Then came a real high point of the year – summer vacay!

Yup, I went to The Big Apple (side note: I was pleased with myself for getting such a cheesy pic). It was my second visit so I felt a lot more comfortable and confident about everything – I even wrote a couple of posts about things to do and places to eat.

October/ November

September was a little frantic as we moved house (which we will have to do again in the new year when we find somewhere permanent) so come October we felt we deserved a little break. We only had a few days spare, so we hopped on a plane and headed for Benidorm, which was very warm and relaxing.

I’m going to spend some time over the holidays setting some goals and making some plans for the year ahead, my aim is to make 2018 even better!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 21: The cosiest hand-made scarf of dreams 

I’ve been so warm this winter that I often walk about with my coat undone! However my neck has been cold, and at the risk of catching the Christmas lurgy I decided that getting a cosy scarf could be the best thing.
This beauty has been hand made by Flying Fox, aka by clever friend Suzy (you’ve seen her before in my Rock Up Hull blog post). She made a similar one for a charity raffle recently and I loved it so much I instantly commandeered one of myself!

You can’t see too well in this pic (damn you indoor winter light!) but without the gradients of rich red berry coloured wool are some subtle sparkles. This is the perfect accessory for me to chuck on with my padded black coat and still feel cute!

Suzy also makes snoods and hats (she recently made a collection in a beautiful mustard yellow shade that was instantly snapped up) so definitely worth a look if you’d like to treat yourself in the New Year or you know anybody with a winter birthday coming up.

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 19: What to do when you’re sick during the festive season

So I missed the last two days of #blogmas gutted as I was on a roll with this thing! But I had a good reason, illness, which has become inspiration for today’s post.

It’s the time of year when you’re in and out of crazy temperatures all the time, you’re mixing with way more people and you’re possibly a bit stressed too boot. In short – the perfect breeding ground for germs to get in and stop you in your tracks! But, if you observe these 3 R’s then you’ll be back on feet in no time.


Accept your lurgy and retreat to bed – your body is telling you it’s run down, listen to it! It’s hard to turn down parties and nights out, but if you don’t your illness will linger and you won’t be able the main event. You can always plan some fun things to do post-Christmas to look forward to.


And oldy but goody – keep your fluids up whilst eating little and often. People say tea solves everything right? Don’t eat anything too rich or fancy – keeping your food choices plain will hopefully stop your body feeling more angry so that you’ll be fighting fit and ready to indulge in your Christmas dinner.


This can be really hard, particularly when being out of action could make you stress even more about not getting things done. However, the power of modern technology means you can chill whilst remaining *mildly* productive. Whack on a festive film (see my suggestions from blogmas day 5 here) make yourself a warm drink (if you’re feeling up to it, treat yourself to home made hot chocolate using my blogmas day 9 recipe – perhaps leave out the booze and get someone to make it for you, you are sick after all!) grab your laptop/tablet and settle down to do some online shopping from the comfort of your PJs. Nail the last of your Christmas shopping, pick up a little something to wear out when you’re well (or your ‘I hope this is reduced in the January sales’ list) maybe even have a little browse for next year’s holiday… (places I’d like to travel to in 2018 featured in my blogmas day 14 post here).

If you are sick at the moment, I wish you a speedy recovery so you can enjoy the rest of the festive season and hope you’re practising the 3 R’s!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 16: Top festive tipples (2017)

I did a festive tipples post last year (read it here) which was pretty well received and I very much enjoyed creating (hic) so I thought I’d do an updated version. Cheers!

Mulled wine

I seek this out every single year, although I don’t have it too often as I don’t know many other people who like it. Enjoying it in Thor’s Tipi round a fire pit made me feel extra festive this year!

Marks & Spencer Chocolate Yule log cream

If you like Baileys (or other cream liqueur equivalents) you’ll like this. It’s beaut on its own served over ice or added to hot chocolate for an extra naughty drink (see my spiked hot chocolate recipe, it can easily be subbed in)

Bluebird Snowball tea

If you don’t drink alcohol or don’t think you chug hot chocolate like it’s going out of fashion over the festive period, this tea blend is the perfect compromise. It smells great, looks pretty and is great to drink at any time of day without guilt. I’m doing daily mini reviews of the Bluebird range from my tea advent calendar on my Twitter if you’re like me and enjoy trying new trends.

Marks & Spencer Bucks Fizz

This was in last year’s post, I’m even using the same picture, but it’s my all-time fave and I’m not sorry! It’s the best Bucks Fizz I’ve ever tried and is amazing value, around £3.50 a bottle (currently also on offer at £16.50 for 6 bottles, an absolute BARGAIN).

Hopefully there’s some inspiration for festive drinks for you to have at home this year, and once again I feel the need to state that this post was not sponsored/gifted by M&S…I just really like their festive drinks range!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 14: My travel wish list 2018

I’ve potentially got a pretty expensive year ahead already – I’ll be moving house soon (I hope) and will probably need to buy a car to commute to work, but I’d still like a break away. Hell, I’ll probably deserve it! Here are three places I’ve got my beady eye on visiting

I’ve wanted to visit Reykjavik for as long as I can remember, and my desire to go has been stirred recently by the number of people I’ve seen on social media visiting recently. It’s gorgeous! The Blue Lagoon, chocolate box buildings and Northern lights – you wouldn’t need to do it for the ‘gram, it’s already done. Plus, I’m fairly sure this is the twin City of my hometown Hull so I that practically makes it family, right?

Me and the Mr have wanted to holiday here for a few years after seeing that it has a pretty similar vibe to Barbados, where we went on honeymoon. Unlike most Caribbean islands the best time to visit is the summer as it’s out of the hurricane path, which is the part of the year that we usually have more free time. A beautiful beach (especially with Flamingos, eek!) delicious cocktails and some good ol’ island charm, yes pur-lease.

Las Vegas

As you can see, I’ve been to Vegas before! (At the time I wrote a post about it, Things people don’t tell you about Las Vegas‘) this is somewhere that me and my gal Ashton have talked about going on and off for most of this year, and I’m still down for this as a girls vacay! Let’s hope we both find the time and the money to make it happen.

Fingers crossed I’ll make at least one of these happen in the New Year (FYI- you’ll get the best holiday discounts when booking between Christmas – February) so if you have any recommendations or blog posts you can link to for these places feel free to shout out in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 13: My top choons of 2017

This year has been a year of banging songs! On no particular order, today’s #blogmas post shares 10 of my faves.

This lady has KILLED IT this year – I’ve adored every single song she’s released so far, but this one is just a little bit cheesier which I like. She was great when I saw her live at Radio 1 Big Weekend so I hope I get to catch her again in 2018.

Firstly I like this song because of the catchy chorus, however some of the lyrics are just so damn true! “I mean we can throw shapes together, but it doesn’t mean you’re in my circle” are the classy gal’s words to live by.

I find this song really sweet, beautiful and honest. A lot of the lyrics feel like they could be about me sometimes.

Every time I hear this, I think about Chelsea and I dancing and singing our heads off to Shawn’s set at Radio 1 Big Weekend and it reminds me of fun times. I still totally sing my head off to it in the car whenever it comes on.

This song always makes me feel a bit better about things in life – people don’t know everything about you, it’s ok not to be ok sometimes and you can be empowered to be as good as anybody else.

Mui Bueno! When this track comes on the radio it instantly boosts my mood and I just wanna dance. My Spanish isn’t great so I can’t sing this one well but it’s catchy AF and I dig it.

This has definitely been the year of catchy hooks in the charts! I like me a bit of Ed.

If you could ever describe a tune sung by a man as sassy, this would be it. Tellin’ it like it is Charlie!

This song is quite different to my other faves – it’s much more melodic and chilled and makes me think of lazy summer days with cocktails.

I feel like this song is a bit marmite – you either love it or loathe it. I’m someone who has tendency to hold onto things and become a bit bitter, so it definitely hits that mark for me. This has been a huge ear worm for me ever since it was released.

I had absolutely nothing against 1D but I definitely think they’re all sounding so much better individually than their group sound did! I like this song because it’s a bit cheeky, slick and super catchy.

And now I’m going to load up Spotify and dance around the living room…

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 11: Mini pre-Christmas beauty haul

There was a sale on and I decided I deserved a treat as I’ve just landed a brand new job for 2018 (yay!) so I decided to pick up a three makeup ‘hero’ products to help create some festive glam looks.

Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette

This is my fourth Naked purchase – I have Naked (use often, hitting pan in some shades), Naked Heat (obvs, it’s my fave!) and Naked Ultimate Basics (not particularly impressed, the colour payoff isn’t as good as the main collection).

The colours in this version don’t feel like a cohesive collection like the others do, but I’m very impressed what’s in there so far as they have the same great pigmentation that the main ‘Nakeds’ all have. I think my fave shade so far is Chopper, which is shimmery light copper.

Urban Decay Eden eyeshadow primer potion

I bought this on the back of using the Original version since the summer and being really impressed; the consistency is a lot smoother and almost a bit tacky which seems to hold my shadow in place well without creasing (something that was a major problem for me). This one is a little more luminous so I’m hoping it’ll add to my makeup looks during the party season.

MAC Ruby Woo

I bought Velvet Teddy (cliche much) at the beginning of year and quite like it so thought I’d invest in another cult fave. I used to do a red lip ALL the time but haven’t for ages and I miss it! It applies pretty nicely and creates the POW factor I was hoping for.

MAC Pigment in Blue Brown

One of work colleagues wears this and always looks lovely so I was keen to try it out myself. The brown tones are the perfect neutral shade with a flash of a lighter ‘mermaid-ey’ blue which is unexpected but looks awesome.

Think I’m set for my festive makeup looks now!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

BLOGMAS day 10: Thor’s Tipi

Note- my photography skills are improving, but apparently I haven’t mastered how to capture bright lights in the dark!

If you’re not quite in the festive spirit yet, a visit to Thor’s Tipi will get you there.

If you haven’t heard of it, this is a chain of pop up Viking-inspired bars that have really simple concept – pretty lights and festive tipples served around wooden benches and a cosy fire pit.

I’ve made two visits so far this month – I’m an absolute sucker for Mulled wine at this time of year and this is the perfect place to drink it (they also serve regular alcoholic drinks, soft and hot drinks). The hot chocolate also looks pretty darn good so further visits are definitely required…hehe.

This is great place to come for anyone at any time of day – pre/mid/post Christmas shopping pit stop, pre-drinks before a Christmas party or a nice alternative to popping out to the pub for a couple (I’m really lucky that the Hull Thor’s is only a 15 minute walk away from where I’m living at the moment so it’s practically my local).

I just wish their cups were a bit more festive inspired too!

Thor’s Hull is open until 31 December 2017 from 10am – 11pm (closed Christmas Day) so I may see some of you down there for a seasonal tipple. I’m looking forward to visiting the Leeds tipi very soon too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx