January Favourites

Lush's The Comforter Bubble Bar
The Comforter has definitely been my favourite bath time product this month.  It smells fantastic, turns your bath pink and creates lots of bubbles.  I reviewed it earlier in the month, which you can read here. 

Champneys Citrus Blush Body Scrub
I got this body scrub for Christmas and at the first sniff I fell head over heels!  Infused with cardomom, coconut and brown sugar, the Citrus Blush range isn't something I would have picked out myself.  I really like how gifts can open your eyes and make you try new things.  The scrub feels really luxurious and I feel like a proper grown-up when I use it!  It's great at exfoliating and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.

Real Techniques Detailer Brush
This is my favourite brush in my collection.  I use it most for filling in my eyebrows and for lining my eyes with shadow.  It's also great to use as a lip brush.  The only downside is that it's only available in the Core Collection.  I wish it was sold separately too as I really would like another one! 

Real Techniques Stippling Brush
I know the Stippling brush is featured in many a bloggers monthly favourites, but I had to add this one in.  I use it for applying foundation and it creates a perfect base.  It's super soft and easy to clean too.

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107
I love this lipstick!  That really is all there is to say!  (Although, I have reviewed it in full here).

What have you been loving this month?

Barefoot Wines at Cloud 9's Dessert Club

Cloud 9, a cake and ice cream shop based in Brighton's Lanes, joined forces with Barefoot wines to launch their new Dessert Club.  This monthly event showcases the shop's best sweet treats, accompanied by complimentary glasses of wine.  Sounds like the perfect girly evening to me!

Cloud 9's goodies are made on site daily with the best natural ingredients.  Their menu is full of exciting and unusual specimens.  Peanut and caramel cake anyone?  Or how about cake batter ice cream?

Barefoot Wines also share the same passion and vibrancy.  Their belief is that anyone should be able to enjoy their wines, from first-timers to wine enthusiasts.  Cloud 9 created a limited edition sorbet on the night, made with Barefoot Merlot*.  It's a very grown-up and naughty sorbet, as the Merlot combines flavours of cherry, boysenberry, plum and chocolate!  If you fancy at having a go at making it yourself, scroll down for the recipe.  It's super easy to make and would be an excellent Valentine's day dessert!

Images via Barefoot Wines and Cloud 9
Barefoot Wines Merlot Sorbet
400ml Barefoot Merlot*
500ml water
150g sugar
300g raspberries (fresh or frozen)

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, bring the Barefoot Wine Merlot, water and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the raspberries, and let cool to room temperature. Pass the mixture through a food mill fitted with a fine disk, or purée in a blender or food processor and then press the purée through a strainer to remove the seeds. 

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then either freeze it in an ice cream maker or move the mixture into a metal bowl and freeze for three hours. Before serving this sorbet should be stirred. Serve in chilled glasses.

Barefoot Wines retail at £6.69 and are available at most supermakets and a growing number of bars, pubs and clubs.  Find out more at www.barefootwines.co.uk (there's more brilliant recipes there too).
Visit Cloud 9 at 15 Brighton Lanes, Brighton, BN1 1HJ. 

Will you be trying the sorbet?  What do you think of Cloud 9's Dessert Club?

On Trend | Top 3 Western Shirts

The abundance of Western style shirts on the high street at the moment gives you the perfect opportunity to indulge your inner cowgirl!  Shirts are the perfect transitional piece to take you from the chill of winter through into the fresh days of spring.  For those chillier days, the detailed collars look great teamed with a simple knit worn over the top too. 

The first of my picks is a denim and lace shirtIt's not quite as fitted in real life as in the image above.  I'd pick a size up to achieve a more relaxed look and pair it with skinny jeans and ankle boots.

The next shirt is adorned with studs and collar tips.  I think this would be perfect for a night out when paired with disco pants, heels and a messy bun. It's a great piece for a more androgynous look, but the silky material adds a bit of femininity.

The last shirt is my favourite.  I love the contrast of the denim collar and the checked material.  I'd wear this one with a jersey skater skirt and Converse and pretend I was Jessie from Toy Story for the day!

Which shirt is your favourite?  How would you work the western trend? 

Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar Review

I love nothing better than a hot bath on a cold day.  Add in a few candles and a good book and that's me sorted for the best part of an hour!  I've used bath bombs from Lush before but The Comforter is my first foray into their bubble bars.

Firstly, the smell is incredible.  In the bag, The Comforter smells of parma violets but once crumbled into hot running water it gives off a gorgeous blackcurrant aroma.  I use a small amount of the product for a single bath; no more than the size of a 50p.  This is enough to turn my bath water bright pink and create lots of lovely bubbles.  My skin also feels soft and moisturised afterwards, and the blackcurrant scent lingers for a while too.  In the photo above, I've probably used about a third of the whole bar and got four or five baths out it already.  At £4.25, The Comforter is definitely good value for money.

Overall, my first experience with bubble bars from Lush has been an entirely pleasurable one!  I'll certainly be trying more of them in the future.  At the moment, I've got my eyes on A French Kiss; a purple and white lavender infused bubble bar.

Are you a fan of Lush's bubble bars?

A Walk in the Snow

I woke up this morning to find a snowy wonderland waiting to be explored.  I pulled on a pair of thick socks and my Hunter wellies ready to brave the elements.  It's amazing how much the weather can change the mood of a landscape.  These photos were taken in a park that's a couple of minutes away from my home.  I usually walk through it on the way to train station and so don't pay much attention to my surroundings.  But today it was completely transformed by the thick covering of snow.

I kept expecting to see Mr Tumnus and Lucy Pevensie pop out from behind the trees, but I think I've just seen too much of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe recently!  I'd love to venture out again tomorrow to take some more photos but I'm not sure my paws can survive without gloves again!

What did you get up to in the snow?

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 & Giveaway Winner!

I'd been lusting after shade 107 of the new matte Kate Moss for Rimmel lipsticks for a while, after seeing how amazing it looked on a whole range of bloggers.  Father Christmas had kindly popped it in my stocking and come Christmas morning, I was a very happy bunny indeed!  Deep wine and plum colours for the lip have been a big A/W beauty trend.  This shade is perfect for achieving this look on a budget and is simple and easy to do.
I always pop on some nourishing Carmex before I start the rest of my makeup.  This ensures that my lips are smooth and moisturised by the time I apply my lipstick, which is always the very last thing I do.

The next step is to line the lips, to make sure your lippie stays on for longer.  I use Barry M's lip liner in shade 9 - Mulberry.  This pencil is amazing and looks great even just worn all over the lip on its own.  A big thank you to my sister for finding this, it's a perfect match too!

The final step is obviously applying the lipstick itself!  What I really like about matte formulations is that they're incredibly versatile as the shades are so buildable.  For a strong look, apply directly onto the lip from the bullet.  Or if you'd like a more subtle hint of colour dab a little of the product onto your lips and blend in with your finger.  I actually prefer a finish that is in between these two and apply with a brush.  The Real Techniques Detailer brush is fantastic for this (it's available in the Core Collection).

This has been my most worn lipstick of late, I love the drama it can add to an everyday look.  It's time to announce the winner of Brighton Girl's first birthday giveaway, in which the Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 is the prize!  Congratulations to Kirsty!

What do you think of this shade?  Have you been loving the plum lip trend as much as I have?

Black Forest Hot Chocolate

Of all the seasonal hot beverages, Costa's Black Forest Hot Chocolate is my all time favourite.  I was SO excited when I found out they would be available again at the end of last year.  Imagine my delight when, upon opening my presents from my sister, I discover that the bottle-shaped present that had been hiding under the tree was actually Monin's Blackberry syrup.  This is the secret ingredient that Costa add to their hot chocolates to turn it into my favourite festive drink.  I add about 25ml of the blackberry syrup, along with Cadbury's hot chocolate powder to hot milk to create this at home.

What was your favourite festive offering from Costa or Starbucks?

The 'Most Worn Winter Things' Tag

When Hannah, from Beaus of Beauty, tagged me in her Most Worn Winter Things post I set about collecting together the makeup items and accessories that I've been reaching for the most over the past couple of months.  

Most Worn Winter Beauty Items
I expected my makeup to include deeper tones but actually it's full of light shades and pastels.  For my nails I've been preferring princess pastels in the form of Essie's Muchi, Muchi and Topshop's Parma Violet.  Father Christmas left me a my first Model's Own nail polish, in Jack Frost.  I've been loving using this for an added bit of sparkle!  MAC's Studio Fix Fluid is staple winter foundation for me.  It gives enough coverage and evens out my skin tone nicely.  For eyes, I'll use MAC's Shroom all over the lid, before working a darker colour into the crease and lining my lashes with liquid eyeliner.  I've been reaching for my Thick & Fast mascara to really volumise my lashes.  Natural Collection's Pink Cloud blusher is fantastic for giving a natural flush to your cheeks and is really buildable.  For hair and lips, I've been choosing products that provide moisture and have been using Aussie's Miracle Moist shampoo and slathering my lips with Carmex!

Most Worn Winter Clothing and Accessories
I've been living in my black skinny jeans over the winter.  They're just so comfortable and easy to wear.  I haven't included a picture of them because I'm currently wearing them!  I've also been wearing my green and blue checked scarf whenever I leave the house.  I bought this a few years ago from the men's section and it's served me well for the recent tartan trend.  Father Christmas also gave me some fab leopard ballerinas from Primark.  I've been wearing them all the time since I opened them!  Lastly, my bag is also from Primark!  It's quite possibly the most difficult bag to photograph of all time!  I picked it up in the summer and I really like it as it's quite slouchy and very roomy inside!

I just want to say thank you to Hannah for tagging me and I'm going to tag... anyone who fancies it!

P.S. I'm hosting a giveaway for Brighton Girl's first birthday here!

Brighton Girl's First Birthday...& giveaway!

Today is Brighton Girl's first birthday!  Time has flown and I can't believe that a year ago today, I sat down and started rambling to you all.  The past year blogging has been such an amazing journey and I've enjoyed every second.

As a thank you to those who have read my posts, commented and followed, I'm hosting a little giveaway.  I choose the Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in shade 107 as it's one of my favourite makeup items that I got for Christmas.  I've been using mine on a daily basis since I got it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open to UK entrants only.  The prize will be sent via Royal Mail second class post.

Good luck!   

A Brand New Year!

Judging from the people around me and popular opinion on Twitter, I seem to be one of the few people who actually look forward to January.  I really enjoy the promise of a fresh start.  Now is the time to learn from what you've experienced over the past twelve months and to set goals for the year ahead.  I'm taking inspiration from last year's resolutions as they seem to have worked well.  Hopefully this year, I can achieve them to a higher level. 

In 2013, I plan to...

Eat healthily and drink more water.
This is something I work on all the time because it's something that I feel is really important and it's now a continuation of previous year's efforts.  I hardly drink anything else other than water and cook most meals from scratch now.  I want to increase how much water I'm drinking; it helps enormously with making my hair and skin feel healthier and does wonders for making me feel more awake!  I also aim to be more creative with the food I cook.  Hopefully, I'll get some recipes up on here!

Write more.
Last year I decided to tackle this one by starting Brighton Girl.  It was probably one of the best decisions I've made.  This year I hope to continue to blog regularly and to start to experiment with some creative writing projects.   

Keep a record of things that inspire me. 
Using Tumblr is one way that I used to collect images that I found interesting and, in 2013 I want to start using it more in the hope that those images will stir up some creativity!  Leading to my final point...

Draw more.
I took art at A Level and it was my favourite subject throughout secondary school.  When it came to choosing a degree, I really couldn't decide between English Literature or Fine Art.  Three years and three UCAS applications later saw me accept a place at Sussex to read English.  My paints and pencils were packed up and put under my bed.  When people ask me now if I still paint or draw, I tell them I don't really have the time.  The truth is that I don't have the confidence.  I'm scared that I won't like what I've created.  So the paper, paints and pencils have stayed under my bed and are now adorned with a thick layer of dust.  This year, I WILL get them out!  

Writing up this last point has made me realise that there's a phrase I need to apply to every opportunity or thing that I want to do, but am maybe too scared to because of my own lack of self confidence.  I've put off doing something, that made me happiest, for four years, purely because I didn't think I'd be good enough.  Like most people, I need to stop worrying about not being 100% perfect at everything and "Just do it!".  

These are my goals for a happy and creative 2013.  What are yours?