Are you a Secret Blogger?

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For today's post I thought I would write something a little different from my latest posts. I have been thinking over the past few days that I wonder how many bloggers share their blog with family, friends or colleagues. I see other bloggers and I really do admire their success.
 
Blogging is of course nothing to be ashamed of by all means. We should be proud of our little space on the internet and we work hard on our posts. But for me, that's exactly what my blog is. It's my little space on the internet, which ironically considering that anyone can read it, I find it quite personal to me. I do share my blog with just my sister and mother as they were the ones who gave me the push to start blogging in the first place. I was wondering who on earth would want to read what I've got to say? I'm grateful to them for giving me the push as blogging has become a new hobby to me and I really enjoy spending time working on it. However, as much as I enjoy writing my blog I know that I wouldn't want to give out details of my blog to others that I know. I feel some people wouldn't understand it and may take the mickey out of it. This is where I would usually butt in and say 'Why should I care what others think of my blog?'. I can't quite explain why as I'm not too sure myself but the thought of people I know reading my blog makes me feel awkward. I just think that I need more time to reach that stage of my blog and there's nothing wrong with me keeping my blog to myself and my readers.
 
For me, I simply wouldn't have the confidence to put myself out there so openly, such as making YouTube videos and showing how their brand new dress looks on them - I know I don't feel comfortable to do that. Maybe I will one day, who knows?  I really admire and look up to other bloggers who put themselves out there a bit more as it shows they have got confidence and they believe in their blog. Then I also think that you can still enjoy and build up a following on your blog without doing this too. In a nutshell, what I'm trying to say is that there is no right or wrong. It's all down to you!
 
I'm interested to know whether you shout from the rooftops about your blog or do you keep it tucked away safely to yourself, safe in the knowledge that colleagues and friends are blissfully unaware. I know that I am the latter and I'm happy to keep it that way. How do you feel about sharing your blog?
 
I'd love to know your thoughts!
 
 
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E.L.F have arrived at Cardiff!

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Well, well, well! International online beauty brand E.L.F (I'm sure you'll have heard of them!) have opened their first ever store in Europe. As a welsh girl myself, I'm super excited that E.L.F have chosen Cardiff to set up their new home! Just look at how amazing the store looks! I know for sure that I wouldn't be able to resist walking past and not having a little peek inside! It has a boutique area built purposely for us beauty lovers who will be able to experiment with a range of 600 makeup products and beauty tools!
 
E.L.F (thats Eyes, Lips & Face to you and me) sell a whole range of gorgeous beauty products. Fortunately for us, their products are super affordable so there's no need to worry about your bank balance! Some of their bestsellers include a 100 piece eye shadow set for just £15.00 and lipsticks and mascaras for under £5.00!

 

If this news is exciting to you, I have a lovely competition to share with you! You can win a spot at E.L.F's exclusive VIP opening night! "In preparation for the exclusive, invitation only evening, you'll be whisked to Cardiff and have the opportunity to spend the afternoon with a nationally celebrated fashion advisor, a leading hair stylist and an e.l.f. make up artist PLUS you'll be styled to the nines in a gorgeous Celeb Boutqiue dress to ensure you're VIP ready!" For more details on how to enter, follow the instructions here.


The store is officially now open and is located at 14-16 Royal Arcade, Cardiff. The store will be open from 9.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.
 
Will you be shopping at E.L.F's brand new store? x
 
 
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Nails Inc. Lucky Dip!

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Today's post is all about a Nails Inc. bargain that I managed to get my paws on. For one day only, Nails Inc were offering an absolute 'Lucky Dip' bargain on their website - seven full sized nail polishes for just £18.00. Here's the catch; your polishes are chosen completely at random so you have no idea what colours or styles you're going to receive. I found the concept of a lucky dip quite exciting, it reminds me of fairgrounds and childhood memories! I was really hoping I was going to get some gorgeous shades and realistically what was the worst that could happen? If there was a shade I really didn't like I could just pass it on to somebody else! So, I took the plunge and ordered my lucky dip. The total for the seven full size polishes came to £18.00 and the delivery charge then bumped the total up to £21.95. Each polish retails alone for £11.00 so I'm really happy with the Lucky Dip promotion!
 

Here are the gorgeous shades I received! From L-R: Concrete Effect in Barbican. Battersea. Special Effects 3D Glitter in Hammersmith. Nail Jewellery Sapphire in Royal Acarde. Countess Road. Bristol and Lanesborough Place.
 

Here are the glitter shades and special effects polishes I received. On the left is Battersea which is a sparkling emerald green glitter polish which you can use on your nails as a full polish. This one is a web exclusive so I'm pleased to have got the chance to try it out. In the middle is Nail Jewellery in shade 'Royal Arcade'. The polish is a sapphire blue colour which is made out of hand cut particles to create the diamond look effect! This polish is versatile, you could wear it alone or use it as a top coat with another colour. On the right is Special Effects in shade Hammersmith which is a teal glitter which gives lots of coverage.


How gorgeous do these colours look? Forgive me if my application is not perfect, this is the first time I have used a nail wheel before! I can't believe how much easier it is to paint these rather than my own nails, I wish mine looked as neat as this! First on the left is Lanesborough Place. This shade is a stunning gold which gives a glossy finish. I think this is going to be a perfect colour to wear over the festive season this year! Second from the left is the Concrete Effect special in Barbican. This is a green shade taken from the 'Stone Tone' collection and gives a bold and rugged finish. I love how this looks in the image above but when I tried it on my nails I didn't quite feel the same way. I felt it looked too chunky and messy. Next up is Bristol, a sophisticated nude colour to match any outfit. On the far right is my personal favourite; Countess Road. I have to admit that when I first saw this bottle I wonder for a second if the mixture had gone gloopy and 'off' but luckily after a shake it settled down. As you can see this is a dark purple shade with glitter effects mixed in. The polish itself applies quite glossy and glittery but then dries to a suede effect. I'm currently wearing this shade at the moment and it's really eye catching!
 
Have you tried any Nails Inc. polishes? x
 
 

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Boots Beauty Haul

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Oops, I've done it again. Boots lured me in with their premium bonus points event - this is my excuse ok? I bought two Benefit products and received 750 points. I then added four more products which took my total to just over £55.00 and then that gave me 1000 bonus points too. So, in total I received £17.50 back in points over products I would have bought anyway.
 
First up, I treated myself to two Benefit products. Before I started blogging, I had heard of Benefit as a brand but had never tried any of their products. Now I am converted but from now on I'm trying to just stick to the products that I have tried and loved recently as I don't want to splash out on an expensive product to find out I don't even like it! I have used They're Real mascara before and I absolutely love it. I have to be honest and admit that when I first started using it, I was wondering what all the fuss was about as it is pretty pricey! The more I used the mascara though, the volume and thickness built up over time and I soon realised just why it is such a bestselling product. It retails at £19.50 which quite frankly isn't cheap, but I am willing to pay more for a product that actually does the job. The next Benefit product I bought is the Hoola bronzer. I'm looking forward to trying this product out and writing up a full review! I must make a confession that I didn't try this before I bought it, but I do have high hopes for Hoola, as I loved Coralista blush.
 
I was running low on my L'Oreal Micellar Solution, so I added a new one to my basket ready for when my current one runs out (any day now!). This is one my current favourite skincare products as it does exactly what it promises and its not going to set you back too much cash either! The Micellar Solution is a Bioderma dupe (which I haven't tried) and it costs £4.99 for 200ml. Keep an eye out in Asda though as it is sometimes on offer for just £3.00! I use this product everyday to remove all of my makeup and it leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. It's so much better for my skin that using a makeup wipe as it picks up all those little bits of foundation that you thought had disappeared by now! It's perfect for swiping away your everyday makeup including eye makeup too!
 
Models Own had an offer on their nail polishes. I bought two nail polishes for £10.00 and received a free Velvet Goth polish. The Velvet Goth polish shade I received is 'Goth Absinthe' which is a deep emerald green colour. This may not have been a shade I would have chosen but I'm looking forward to trying out and seeing what I think! Models Own never let me down so I'm sure I'm going to love it. I first picked out the shade 'Apple Pie' which is a gorgeous pastel coloured shade and is also a scented nail polish which I haven't used before. Lastly, I rebelled against the autumn/winter trend colours and went for a neon bright. I chose the shade 'Beach Party' which is a neon orange from the Hed Kandi range.
Have you treated yourself lately? x
 
 
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Why I Love Makeup & Beauty.

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Have you noticed my new blog design? I absolutely love it, I think it looks so pretty! A big thanks to Becca for all her help - I'd definitely recommend her if you're looking for a complete new blog design!
 
Today's post is all about makeup and beauty products and why I love using them. I have been wearing makeup for a good few years now and have learnt so much along the way! The first makeup I ever used to wear was in the first or second year of comprehensive school where I would go all out and have a tiny bit of eyeshadow and nothing else. As the years went by, I soon discovered black liquid eyeliner which was my obsession. Without fail, each day I would have a thick line of black line on my bottom lids (Looking back now, I could have done with a lot less!) I was never that fussed on mascara and would only ever apply a coat or two. As for foundation or blusher, that was non existent until I was around 16.
 
The main thing I love about makeup is how you can experiment. It's entirely up to you what you want to wear - you call the shots and you wear whatever you feel comfortable in. So what if your friend doesn't like wearing mascara on their bottom lashes, it doesn't mean you have to be the same.  Different products and different brands work differently for everyone so I never feel like I have to follow a particular hype or trend, I just stick to what I am comfortable. I will of course branch out and try popular products, but if I don't feel they were worth the price tag, I'm not going to pretend I like it. I don't believe that makeup is a mask, I feel that it enhances what we've got. It improves my confidence and makes me feel more like 'me' but I am happy enough to have a day without makeup when I'm doing a night shift or just popping to the shop quickly. Some makeup wearers who I know have described applying their makeup as a chore and this is where I disagree - I absolutely love it. I love that time when I'm getting ready and I can set aside 15-20 minutes working on my makeup to make myself feel better and enjoy the me time.
 
Before I started blogging, I was always into my makeup and beauty products. I have learnt so much more beauty tips that I didn't even knew existed since I have started blogging and reading my favourite blogs. For example, I'd never heard a primer let alone know what I needed it for! Reading beauty blog posts inspires me to try out new looks and products and I love to see what works best for others and what doesn't. Currently I tend to stick to just a few makeup products when I'm getting ready as I don't always have much time in the morning! I start off with Benefit's PoreFessional primer with foundation, blusher, brow pencil, a little bit of eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara. Phew, that looks like quite a lot when you type it out! I love applying my makeup and I'm looking forward to any more beauty tips and products I'm going to pick up!
 
What do you love about makeup? x
 
 
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Freebie Friday!

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I've had a super busy week this week and I haven't even had a chance to paint my nails let alone work on my little blog! I've loved reading through all the new blog posts on bloglovin in bed each evening and it always inspires me to get working on my new posts! I've got a list of posts that I want to write; all I need to do is find the spare time and get on with it! I have managed to sneak in a bit of shopping though, I treated myself yesterday to a Nails Inc lucky dip bag which I'm looking forward to seeing what colours I receive - cross your fingers for me! You can expect a Boots Beauty Haul post coming your way very soon (oops!). Have you got anything nice planned over the weekend? Anyway, I'm back with a load of beauty freebies just for you! Good luck.


John Frieda Goodies.
Head over to John Frieda's Facebook page here where you can win lots of goodies such as shampoo and conditioner, curling tongs, spa treatments and manicure vouchers! Who doesn't love free beauty products?!
 
Nivea Vouchers.
Nivea are currently running an instant win competition here. You need to spot the differences in the time given and you will instantly win a voucher. There are cash prizes and codes too!
 
Vichy Idealia Life Serum Sample.
Grab yourself a free sample of Vichy's Idealia Life Serum here.
 
MaxFactor Whipped Crème Sample.
All you need to do is sign up to SuperSavvyMe and you can register here for your free sample of MaxFactor's new foundation; Whipped Crème.
 
Barry M Lip gloss.
If you fancy getting yourself a free Barry M lip gloss, all you need to do is fill in their quick survey here.
 
Mollie King Maybelline Lipstick.
To celebrate Mollie's brand new lipstick, you could win her very own favourite shade; Fuchsia Flash! Enter your details here. There are 1000 to give away so lets hope you get one!
 
Dairy Milk Chocolates.
We all love chocolate, yes? We all love free chocolate too - even better. All you need to do is fill in your details here and you could receive a completely free box of Dairy Milk's 'Dairy Box'. I'm craving chocolate now.
 
Enjoy your freebies! x



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Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash Review

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Oh Soap and Glory, how I love spending ages in Boots deciding which product of yours I should be trying next. I know Sugar Crush is no new release but I've wanted to write a little review on it anyway! I had enjoyed using Sugar Crush Body Scrub for a while and when I finally reached the bottom of the tub, I was straight to Boots with the body wash in mind. I've always been a huge fan of Soap and Glory and I've still got a 500ml tub of Clean On Me from last years Christmas set (!!) to get through too, so there's no excuse for me to not be smelling gorgeous!
 
The packaging has Soap and Glory's usual eye catching colours and the bottle comes with an easy to use pump, meaning I'm not going to end up pouring out too much and wasting lots (I may have a bad habit of doing this!). Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Body Wash retails for £6.50 in Boots. My initial thought was that its slightly pricey for a body wash, but I have been using it for a while now and a little bit goes a long way. The tub is pretty large at 500ml and you only have to use a small amount to cover yourself as the creamy formula lathers up really well. It feels my skin feeling squeaky clean and soft as it includes omega rich veggie oils. The main positive of the product is the scent - its absolutely beautiful! Sugar Crush is a citrus based scent with kiwi water juice which makes it a super refreshing and energising wash. It's perfect for a quick shower in the morning (Then I have trouble getting back out because I just want to stand and smell the citrus!) or you can double it up as a bubble bath for a long pampering session in the bath!
 
 Now that I've tried the Sugar Crush body wash and the scrub, my next stop is the buttercream! Also, Soap and Glory if for some strange reason you're reading this, I would definitely buy a Sugar Crush body spray/fragrance - yum!

Have you tried Sugar Crush? x

 

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Morroccan Oil Treatment Review

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Oh, Moroccan Oil. I've read such great reviews about you, you lured me in and
now, I wont be changing my hair oil choice anytime soon! I have used L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil and Macadamia Healing Oil before using Moroccan Oil. I spent years having my hair highlighted blonde every six to eight weeks and since returning to the dark side, my hair condition has improved a lot and I'm now determined to keep this up. I'm also on a mission of growing my hair and this is where my love for Moroccan Oil comes in. Moroccan Oil Treatment comes in two varieties; for all hair types or for fine and light coloured hair. Seeing as my hair is not lightly coloured, I've been using the 'For All Hair Types' treatment.
 
Before I started using Moroccan Oil, I was sceptical as to whether a hair oil was worth quite a lot of money and just what was it going to do for me? The Moroccan Oil Treatment is a finishing and conditioning treatment which is perfect for damaged hair, helps to restore shine and softness with its pure Argan oil formula. I also worry with using a hair oil as to whether its going to leave my hair looking super greasy but there's no need to worry about that with Morroccan Oil. I use this as a pre blow dry treatment whenever I wash my hair. I only need to apply a small amount by pouring or pumping (depending on which bottle you have!) a small amount onto the palms of my hands before rubbing into the ends of my hair. I think that it has actually taken me at least a few weeks application before I began to notice a difference. I wasn't instantly impressed at all and was unfortunately left wondering why it was such a hyped product. Luckily, after a while it slowly changed my mind as I have noticed such a great improvement in the condition of my hair. I am hoping to grow my hair as I'm dreaming of healthy long hair like a Disney Princess. Moroccan Oil claims to speed up drying time but here I will have to disagree with this, I haven't noticed a difference in drying time at all. The oil itself leaves my hair actually feeling soft and smooth - after years of colouring, this is something I never thought I'd be saying about my hair! It does give a little shine to my hair (I use a shine shampoo too, so who knows?) but the main benefit to me is the conditioning it gives to the ends of my hair. It leaves my hair softer, stronger and a lot more healthier. I also feel that it has definitely helped speed up the process of my hair growth and I'm really impressed with it.
 
Now, its not all perfect as I will say that it doesn't come cheap and that makes me a little sad as more often than not we can't afford to be splashing out on yet another beauty product that may or may not work for you. The only advice I can give here is if you want to try out Moroccan Oil Treatment, start off buying the smaller bottle of 25ml which retails here for £13.45. Don't forget to have a quick online search for a voucher code and hopefully you'll get at least 10% off too! I started by using the 25ml bottle and then moved on to the larger bottle which is £31.85 for 100ml (eek!). I bought mine at My Salon Looks as you can get 25% extra free for £30.45 with free delivery and you'll also get an introductory discount code too. The only other negative I can say about the product is the packaging. With the 25ml bottle, there is no pump which means you have to pour it out into your hands which if you're clumsy like me could result in you pouring out too much. However, when I bought the 125ml bottle it came with a free pump which makes it so much easier to use.
 
 Do you use Morrocan Oil? x
 
 
 
 
 
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Battle Of The Beauty Advent Calanders.

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Up until a few weeks ago, an advent calendar to me was a traditional Christmas ritual in which we got to treat ourselves to chocolate each day in the run up to the big day. However, since reading many beauty blogs I have learnt about a whole new world of advent calendars - beauty! Yes, that's right an advent calendar filled with beauty treats all for you! There's some really good brands you can choose from including Benefit, Boots and Selfridges! I must also apologise if you roll your eyes when you see Christmas gifts everywhere a few days into October, but I get so excited deciding which gifts to treat others to (and maybe myself too!)
Lancome advent calendar


Selfridges Christmas Advent Calendar - £84.00
Whoa, this one is pretty pricey isn't it?! It certainly looks luxurious though, imagine how pretty all these mini products would look on your dressing table?! The advent calendar itself includes goodies from Lancôme, Victor & Rolf, Giorgio Armani, YSL, Kiehl's and more so it looks like you'll definitely be getting your moneys worth! This calendar is not out to purchase yet, but if you sign up your details here and you'll be the first to know more details.
 
 
I'm pleased to say this is a much more reasonable price compared to the previous calendar! Anyway, here we have Boots very own beauty advent calendar, including 24 beauty treats all for you. For £30.00 you will receive both mini and full sized treats from brands such as Rimmel, Seventeen, Nails Inc, Soap and Glory and more! If you are interested in exactly what you're getting for your moneys worth, you can find the full spoiler contents on the web - I didn't want to spoil it. The calendar is available to buy now.
 
 
This is the perfect advent calendar for any nail polish lovers! The calendar includes "seventeen of Ciate's bestselling mini paint pots, four mini Caviar blends, and three extremely special exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades you'll not find anywhere else, ever." The Ciate calendar is available exclusively to Selfridges and they are recommending you snap it up quickly if you fancy it as they sold out pretty quick last year apparently!



 
 Benefit's Countdown To Love Advent Calendar - £50.00
This is the one that excites me the most! I'm really getting into using Benefit products at the minute (which is bad news for my bank balance) so I'm definitely considering buying this one! The calendar will include 24 days of gorgeous treats. If you fancy this, mark the 2nd November in your diary as it will be available for this day ONLY. Exclusive, eh? You'll be able to buy it at Debenhams, Benefit Boutiques and Benefit's own website.

What do you think of beauty advent calendars? x

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - Win St Moriz tanning goodies and a £10 Boots Voucher!

 
 
 
 
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New Look Day Dresses Wishlist*

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Today's post is a collab post with New Look and I'm focusing on their gorgeous day dresses section. I always feel more comfortable wearing a pretty day dress as opposed to a glitzy glamorous dress which can sometimes leave me feeling a bit overdressed or out of place! New Look has always been my favourite clothes store as there is always a variety of clothing, including brands such as Pussycat London, Ax Paris, 18 and East and Cameo Rose. My favourite thing about wearing a day dress is that its super simple to dress it up as you wish. I know we are coming into winter soon and the weather is getting colder, so I did wonder if the dresses I have picked are too summery! However after thinking about it, I would still wear all of these dresses at this time of year and just team it up with a chunky cardigan, tights/leggings and ankle boots! I also think that New Look's prices are good value as opposed to some other high street stores, but I must admit that I'm that person who always waits for something to appear in the sale rather than paying full price for it! I hope you enjoy the gorgeous picks I've put together - one's a sale item too!  

Beautysets - New Look Day Dresses
 
1) Influence Blue and Nude Cut Out Zip Black Dress - £10.00
2) Pussycat Blue Rose Print Bodice Skater Dress - £24.00
3) Jumpo Brown Bird Print Pleated Midi Dress - £30.00
4) White & Black Daisy Lace Skirt Dress - £27.99
5) Atelier 61 Grey Long Sleeve Tunic Dress - £28.00

Do you prefer day dresses or evening dresses? x

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - Win St Moriz tanning goodies and a £10 Boots Voucher!

 
 
 
 
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'Beauty Things I Suck At' Tag

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It's October already! I'm so happy its now Autumn and we'll be coming in to Winter before we know it! There's lots of little things to look forward to; chunky knit jumpers, Halloween, cosy nights in and bonfire night! Of course there's lots more too, but this is definitely my favourite time of year - when the nights get darker sooner and it's the perfect excuse to snuggle up safely in front of the fire! I know it's super early but I'm already planning what presents to get for who and I cannot wait to go Christmas shopping! I'm loving looking through all of the gorgeous gift sets at Boots and I'm definitely considering treating myself to a Beauty Advent Calendar! Today's post is a tag you have probably seen before - Beauty Things I Suck At. I have really enjoyed reading other bloggers posts as we all vary; what one person is brilliant at, the next just cant get it right no matter what! It's a nice little reminder that nobody's perfect and its all about learning what works best for us!

 
Contouring.
Now, I know this is a popular aspect of beauty and makeup - we've all seen Kim Kardashian's contouring photo! If you're a little bit like me and clueless as to what contouring actually is; it includes using different shades of makeup such as blusher and bronzer on your face to highlight your features. I have never actually tried this but I can't help but feel I'd rather just stick to my usual foundation and a bit of blush!

Lipstick/Lip gloss.
I often see other bloggers posting about their brand new lipstick/lip gloss but I just can't 'get it' myself. Don't get me wrong, I think it looks great on others but I just don't think it suits me! Maybe its because I've never worn it often, I tend to focus on my eye makeup more; but when I wear lipstick I don't feel myself! On the rare occasion that I do wear a lipstick, it annoys me when you have to keep reapplying it after eating and drinking sometimes! As for lip gloss, I can't stand that sticky feeling it gives you on your lips, it makes me want to wipe it off straight away!
 
Eye shadow.
Now and again I will remember to apply a little bit of eye shadow! The only one I 'trust' is Rimmel's Smokey Quartz and I wear that when I actually remember! I always worry with eye shadow that I'm going to end up looking like I've got myself a black eye thanks to too much shadow!

Nails.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love nail polish and I'd happily buy every different colour there is if possible! However, when it comes to actually painting my nails I'm so clumsy! I always end up with the polish spreading all over the tips of my fingers rather than just the nail! I love seeing other bloggers nail art too and I wish I had a steady hand to do this! I have tried before and lets just say it didn't go down too well! If you're like me and slightly rubbish with your nails, have a peek at my nail stickers post here - its so much easier, trust me!
 
Brushes
I did branch out and treated myself to Real Technique's Starter brush kit - but have I got to grips with it? No I haven't. I have heard so many good things about using brushes to apply makeup and how it can benefit your makeup look, but I just can't be bothered with it! I find it so much easier to put my foundation on with my fingers after using a good primer.
 
I tag you all to do this post!
 
PS: Don't forget to enter my giveaway - Win St Moriz tanning goodies and a £10 Boots Voucher!
 
What beauty things do you suck at? x
 
 
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