Author: Joanna Bowden

Multimedia Journalist

The Winter Boot

New Look Casual Heeled BootsNew Look Heeled Casual Winter Boots

New Look Heeled Casual Winter Boots

It’s that time of year again where you are on the hunt for a nice pair of winter boots but sadly for me, I can’t quite afford of a pair of Kurt Geieger’s so I had to look elsewhere. New Look have recently been offering 20% for students so I decided to utilise this offer and had a rummage through the shoe department. Lo and behold I came across these lace up boots with a small heel and I’m so glad I did. With the discount they only cost me around £23 (bargain!) and are really comfy to wear, the rubber heel means you can wear them in the daytime and they give you some extra height which is always a plus!

Where have you been shopping for your winter boots this year?

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Botanicals Cleansing Melt

Botanicals Cleansing Melt Review

Taking off your make up after a long day is a trauma in itself, add in some horrible makeup wipes that dry up your skin and it’s a pretty bad experience. I’ve tried pretty much every makeup remover out there, from cleansing milks to face scrubs but the majority of them have left my skin in a rash or have really dried it out – especially in the winter.

When I was offered the chance to try out Botanicals Cleansing Melt, I was intrigued. Renowned for its natural and organic products, I thought this would be a step in right direction. Botanicals natural deep-cleansing melts are designed to penetrate the skin’s lower layers; remove impurities and restore natural balance.

Unlike anything I have tried before, the balm blends into your face and dissolves your makeup. I’ve been using it for a little over two weeks now and I love it! You only need to apply a pea sized amount of the balm to your face and then simply wipe it away with a damp cleansing cloth (these can be bought for £3 in most drugstores). I was completely blown away with how well it removed all my makeup, even the usually stubborn waterproof mascara.

Flavoured with Rose and Camellia, it also smells amazing and has a really calming scent which is perfect right before you go to sleep. Following its use my skin feels silky smooth and really hydrated which is something most makeup removers don’t give you.

At only £19.95 a pot, I really recommend purchasing this if you’re looking for a new makeup remover – I will definitely be purchasing more from the Botanicals range.

Can you recommend any other Botanicals products?

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Zoeva Makeup Brushes Review

Zoeva Makeup Brushes Review

Zoeva Makeup Brushes Review

Zoeva Makeup Brushes Review

First of all, hello again!

I know this is really late to jump on the Zoeva brush bandwagon but after reading plenty of reviews about them I decided to add them to my Christmas list and I absolutely love them!

I ordered this set from Love Makeup and this is the Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Brush Set which includes:

– 106 Powder Brush
– 102 Silk Finish Brush
– 110 Face Shape Brush
– 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek Brush
– 142 Concealer Buffer
– 227 Soft Definer
– 231 Petite Crease Brush
– 317 Wing Liner Brush

Not only are these brushes really affordable at £56.95, averaging at around £8 per brush, they are really good for blending and you aren’t left with excess hairs on your face. The kit also comes with both, natural hair and synthetic taklon bristles, so it can be used with cream and powder based products. My favourite brush from the set is the Silk Finish Brush, I use it for blending both my foundation and concealer and it gives a really nice, even finish. I also love the Face Shape Brush which is perfect for contouring and the angled Sheer Cheek Brush works really well with applying blusher and bronzer.

Plus- they look so pretty on your dressing table, how can you say no!?

Have you tried the Zoeva brushes yet?

Reality Check

First there was Blind Date, followed by The X Factor then Keeping up With the Kardashians and The Only Way is Essex to name just a few.  Reality television programmes constantly fill our screens with ‘real life’ drama and the truth is, we can’t get enough of it. Whether we are watching the latest cat fight in The Sugar Hut or following Kim Kardashian around as she lives out her lavish lifestyle in Hollywood, we get to spend hours with our favourite reality stars from the comfort of our own homes. But since when have those over the top sob stories and staged situations kept us glued to our TV screens?

If you ask a lot of people whether they like to watch reality TV they will probably tell you that it is all ‘a load of rubbish’ but for many, like me, it’s a guilty pleasure. When you’ve had a long hard day, you can sit back and relax with a cup of tea and immerse yourself in the lives of others, who more often than not, lead a much more exciting and glamorous lifestyle. Cast your mind back to the time Kim Kardashian ended her 72 day marriage or the time that Gemma Collins told Arg he wouldn’t be getting any of her ‘candy’; these situations don’t happen in the daily lives of your average person, which is why they keep us gripped. However, we are all aware that these programmes can be slightly scripted, as we are kindly reminded at the beginning of TOWIE that some scenes have been set up purely for our ‘entertainment’.  Whilst this may blur the lines between fact and fiction it doesn’t stop us becoming glued to the drama of the reality stars lives.

Now not only do we pay an extra £10 to go to clubs where we get the chance to ‘meet’, or have a quick picture with the reality “stars”, we have even introduced their catchphrases into our everyday language; ‘mortal’, ’tashing on’ and ‘worldies’ are just some of the phrases Geordie Shore have made popular.

One of the biggest reality TV programmes is of course, The X Factor. Each Christmas, we watch everyday people like ourselves fight to win and become the Christmas number one and get that all important record deal with Simon Cowell.  As the trademark theme tune is pumped through our TV speakers, we all sit there with our takeaways and act as the fifth judge alongside Cheryl Fernandez- Versini and Simon Cowell. The X Factor final reached a phenomenal 9.1 million viewers this year to see Ben Haenow take the crown.

Despite our love for these shows, there are definitely some worrying statistics around their popularity. Figures show that more than double the amount of people watch reality TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice than vote in the general election. These figures are alarming as they show the amount of interest that people have in these shows, over something so genuinely real and important like the running of our country.

But it seems that these figures are not going to be changing anytime soon, with ITV even creating a new channel purely to air reality programmes. The answer to the all-important question is difficult to answer, why is reality television so popular? Is it because we are all bored of our own lives that we want to immerse ourselves in someone else’s?  Or is it because we love to act as a fly on the wall and watch everyone else make mistakes? Whatever the answer may be, reality television isn’t going anywhere any time soon and one thing is for sure, whether I like to admit it or not, I’ll be tuning in to the next episode of TOWIE to see who has been hooking up with whom this week.

What are your thoughts on reality television?

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

First of all I’d like to apologise for my lack of blog posts recently, this has been due to the sheer amount of uni assignments I’ve had in recent weeks which has (sadly) left me little time to work on my blog. But to make up for this, I have a number of new fashion and beauty purchases that I will be sharing and reviewing in the next few weeks so keep an eye out. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

When I realised I’d saved up enough Boots points to buy something nice, I decided to try out Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Concealer. Having always used Boi-ing and more recently, Rimmel’s Wake Me Up concealer, I wanted to try out the much raved about Double Wear range to see what all the fuss was about. Since the weather has become colder, my skin doesn’t get as much Vitamin D as it did in the summer and this has definitely had an effect on my skin so a longer lasting concealer was in need anyway.

Before trying this concealer I was worried that it might be slightly drying on my skin or make it feel quite cloggy, but I haven’t found either of these to be a problem. I apply Double Wear over my foundation and blend it in using a concealer brush and for me this really works. I find that it does last all day and is fairly lightweight on my skin so I don’t feel like I have a face full of makeup. That said, I don’t think you could wear this concealer on it’s own without any foundation underneath because it is quite a thick consistency and may not blend into the skin very well on its own. For those of you who are looking for a concealer to wear without a foundation, I would recommend the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer which I have reviewed here.

I bought Estee Lauder’s concealer in a shade 02 (light/medium) but it is also available in eight other shades, so there is a match for all types of skin tones. It also has an SPF of 10 and is oil-free as well as being water, perspiration and humidity-resistant. If you are interested in buying this concealer then pop to your closest Estee Lauder counter for someone to match the perfect colour to your skin tone.

Have you tried any of the Double Wear range?

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Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation

I’ve always been sceptical to try out the cheaper makeup brands for foundation, mainly because I worry that they won’t give as good coverage or last as long but Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation has completely changed my mind. A few weeks ago I wrote about Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer which I am still loving and using, since then I decided to buy some Rimmel foundation to wear in the day time rather than wasting my (rather expensive) Diorskin Forever foundation. Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation (more…)

September Favourites

Can you believe that it’s nearly October – where did the summer go? I must admit that I’m pretty excited because I love this time of year. I love Autumn clothes, hot chocolates and of course, Halloween, but more on that later on in the month.

For now, I’m going to write about my September Favourites. I always love reading monthly favourite posts but have never written one myself so I’ve decided to make this a monthly feature on my blog that will include lots of things I am loving from makeup and fashion to food.

1)H&M

I can’t believe how impressed I was when I went into H&M the other week, I literally wanted to buy the whole store. I did buy quite a few things so be sure to look out for my H&M Haul on Wednesday. I love the fact everything is affordable (all students will agree with me here) but you don’t compromise on the quality. I will definitely be returning when my student loan hits my bank account.

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The Green Juice

After a summer of drinking too many cocktails and eating far too many BBQ’s, I decided to a bit of research into juicing. Juicing is popular trend (especially amongst celebrities) where you live off different types of fruit/vegetable juices for a week or so in a bid to loose weight quickly and cleanse your body. But after reading up on juice diets, I realised this was unsustainable and probably not good for your body anyway. I then came across Gwyneth Paltrow’s juice recipes and became intrigued by the good reviews. I didn’t want to live off juices for a week but I wanted to try one of her recipes as I replacement for my toast or Shreddies in the morning. This juice is called ‘The Green Juice’ and although it may not be the nicest drink you will ever taste, it also isn’t the worst and is full of good nutrients that your body needs. I try to have this juice atleast once a week for my breakfast and it definitely gives you a wake up boost so you can ditch that morning coffee you so desperately need.

To make the juice you will need:

Ingrediants for Juicing

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The Lecture Makeup Look

Quite a few of you have probably started back at university so I’ve decided to talk you through a makeup look perfect for a lecture. If you’re anything like me a 9 o’clock start is such a killer, especially if you’ve been out late the night before, so the longer you can stay in bed, the better. I tend to wear minimal makeup in the day, mainly because I don’t have the time to spend in the morning, but I do try to make it look like I have made some effort with this quick and simple makeup routine.

Joanna Bowden

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Barry M Nail Polishes

Barry M Nail PolishWith Autumn on it’s way I’ve decided to ditch the pastel nail colours and move onto slightly darker shades. I invested in two Barry M nail polishes as they were on offer in Boots and having always used Nails Inc I wanted to try out a different brand.

I love having gels on my nails and as I have my own kit at home I like to do them on myself but this takes up quite a bit of time . When I saw Barry M do their own Gelly High Shine range I got really excited and picked one up in the shade Blue Grape. I was pleasantly surprised, it definitely has the ‘gelly’ effect as promised and the colour is just as bright as it looks in the bottle and only takes a few coats to build up. I did find that it chipped quite quickly compared to Nails Inc but it only took me a few minutes to tidy my nails up so they looked freshly painted.

I’ve heard lots of people talk about Barry M’s Matte range and to be honest, I never really saw the attraction to having matte nails. But after giving this a go, I really like it. It gives off an edgy vibe and looks great with lots of rings and bracelets. Again, it only takes a few coats to build up and this has lasted slightly longer than the Gelly High Shine nail paint.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Barry M. Have you tried out these nail polishes?

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