Tuesday 22 July 2014

A Blogging Break...

Over the last few weeks, my blog has had to take a back seat due to events happening which have distracted my attention. I'm not going to go into detail about what has happened but things seem to be much calmer in my life now (*touches wood*) and so I can finally get back into one of the big passions in my life-blogging.

My blogging break has made me think about the direction I want to take my blog in, I have felt a little lost with it over the last couple of months. I realised that I love writing about beauty so I am going to try and include more product reviews and beauty posts aswell as trying to incorporate lifestyle posts into my blog.

In terms of blog series, I am going to kick-start my Healthy Living Diaries series again aswell as a few others I have up my sleeve.

Taking a break from blogging was great for me because it has made me appreciate how much I love my blog and how much I want it to do well. It has also given me time to think of lots of new ideas for the blog which is something I really needed.

I hope you continue to enjoy reading A Little Gem....


Tuesday 1 July 2014

June Favourites

 Yay its monthly favourites time again! I'm not completely sure why this makes me so happy, possibly because I've been using makeup a bit differently recently (i.e. minimalist) and have rediscovered my love for some great products. Anyway, lets crack on....
Nina Perfume
This perfume is my ultimate summer scent. I am the worst person at describing scents so I won't embarrass myself or bore you by trying to, but its a lovely fresh scent that I use year after year. I have almost ran out of this bottle so I may have to make a little trip to Boots.
Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Grapefruit and Greenberry
I love the Barry M Gelly nail paints as they are super shiny and are long lasting compared to other gel-like formulas. I have a few in my collection but this month I have been loving these two shades. I have been wearing Greenberry (a bright, mint shade) on my toe nails as it looks lovely with a bit of a tan and some sandals; and then I have been wearing Grapefruit (a bright, candy pink shade) on my finger nails. Both shades look great with a tan and are just perfect for the summer. P.S. keep an eye out for my Top 5 Summer Bright Nails coming soon.
Benefit Coralista Blush
I think I may have mentioned this in a previous favourites, but I have been loving it this month. Its only a sample size (yes I'm too stingy to buy the full size) but it has been lasting me ages. Its a beautiful peachy rose gold shade which looks perfect in the summer as it also doubles up as a highlighter so catches the sun on your cheek bones.
Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Lotion
I burnt a few weeks ago so my skin has been craving some moisture and this has definitely ticked that box. It smells of chocolate (funnily enough) and is just ultra creamy and smooth, and doesn't leave the skin feeling sticky or greasy. It has been a dream to use and has been very kind to my sun-exposed skin (naughty, I know).
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
This is a bit of an old favourite but I have rediscovered it this month. During the warmer months in the daytime I don't like to wear a foundation as I find it too hot on the skin, so I have been using this beauty just to conceal any areas that need it. I have also been using it on my cheekbones and down the centre of my nose as, due to the light reflecting particles, it can work as a subtle highlight well.
L'Oreal Ever Riche Perfect Elixir
This is something I have had for ages but I've only just started using it. It did the blog and YouTube rounds quite a few months ago. It is effectively a spray on hair mask that you spray onto wet hair after conditioning, leave for 5 minutes or so, and then wash off. It leaves your hair feeling so soft, much more than any other hair mask I have used. Also, because it is a spray form, it doesn't weigh the hair down at all. I'll be popping a review up soon.
Topshop Magic Liner
This is my first Topshop makeup product and I'm in love. It is just a felt-tip style eye liner but its just brilliant. The nib is the perfect size, it doesn't dry up whilst your using it like some liners, and it lasts for ages without any smudging. What more can you ask for? And its super cheap! I am definitely going to try more of Topshop makeup so leave any recommendations below.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
A Micellar water is a staple in my cleansing routine and I have tried a few recently but this is definitely the best. The bottle (I have had troubles with the packaging of some Micellar waters) is great because it allows you to not put too much of the product onto the cotton wool, it removes all makeup easily and leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean. A winner for me!
So there we have it, a few gems that I have found and rediscovered this month!
What have been your monthly favourites?


Monday 30 June 2014

Makeup for the 'Over-Packers'

Now that Summer has arrived, for most, this means that holidays are drawing closer. Unfortunately I'm not going abroad this year but I am planning on a couple of short breaks so I thought I would show you what I plan on taking and why...

My skin gets very oily at this time of year and doesn't cope well with heavy-coverage foundation so I will be opting to take the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream. I love this stuff because its lightweight and super easy to work with, plus it actually does some good for your skin. Also I wear this both day and night so is a great, versatile foundation.
For concealer I want something that is compact yet can cover both spots, blemishes and under the eyes. The Seventeen Phwoarr Paint is a favourite of mine as it is quite heavy duty so, if you want a day without foundation, then you can just use this on the areas that need a little touch up. Its very compact and easy to blend.
I'm not overly fussy on powder, it was between the Rimmel Stay Matte or the Rimmel Clear Complexion. The only reason I chose the Clear Complexion is because it is translucent whereas my Stay Matte is the shade Peach Glow. For me, powder is a necessity in the summer to hide the unwanted shine that my oily skin gives.  
So for this I think I have 3 options. The first is a large palette that has a number of different shades so I can create many different looks. My favourite from my collection has to be the MUA Undressed palette. It has a great selection of neutral shades, both warm and cool toned to create a number of different looks.
My second option would be a smaller palette consisting of 3 or four shades such as this L'Oreal Smoky Eye palette. These smaller palettes are good because, obviously, they are much more compact and if you pick the right one then you can still create a few different looks. I try to opt for more neutral based palettes as they will go with most looks.
Finally, individual eye shadows that are long lasting in this heat, such as the Maybelline Colour Tattoo's. These are great because they literally don't budge once they are on the eye. They are a bit clumpy but I could just take a couple that I could either wear together or individually.
For blush I like to have a couple of options. The Coralista blush by Benefit is great because it can double as a highlighter which is perfect for a summery make up look. Its also very well pigmented and I have it in a sample size making it super compact!
I also picked this NYX blush as it is small and compact compared to other blush's in my collection, but also the colour pay off is great and the shade is different to coralista so I can create a totally different look.
Lips is quite hard as a lot of lip products are pretty compact anyway. I haven't included a lipstick as I find in the heat lipsticks are hard to work with as they can melt and misshapen. Also, my lips can get quite dry in the heat so hence why I have opted for a tinted lip balm to keep my lips hydrated.
To jazz up my makeup look a little I have also included a gloss. This is a teeny tiny gloss I got as part of a set from primark and it is perfect for travelling due to its size.
Samples are a great thing to have to take away as they can be great, versatile products but are super compact so perfect to slip into your makeup bag. I have 3 samples from Benefit which I love. The first is the Coralista blush which I have mentioned above. I got this in a set along with my second Benefit sample-Sun Beam. Sun Beam is the perfect summer product as it creates a gorgeous sun-kissed effect on the skin. Plus, it can be easily blended using fingers so no need to take an extra brush.
The final Benefit sample size I have is the They're Real mascara. I bought this from Boots as its, obviously, much cheaper than the full size and as you should only use mascara for 3 months it really isn't worth me spending lots of money on a full size. This is a great mascara as it lengthens and gives amazing volume.
So there we have it, my travelling makeup kit! I'm surprised I managed to narrow it down as I am one of those 'over-packers'.
Do you have any of these products? What do you plan on taking on your hols with you?

Sunday 29 June 2014

Lacking Motivation...

Recently, I have found that I have seriously lacked motivation for almost everything. A month or so ago, I had big plans for me career wise, I had financial ambitions and I had tons and tons of ideas for my blog. But over the last couple of weeks or so, I've found myself slipping back into my old ways of being lazy and I seem to have lost my 'get up and go'. This annoys me so much because I still want everything that I did before, I just cant seem to find the motivation to get all these things done.

I don't really want to talk about my work life on here as I need to remain professional, but I thought I would just discuss how this is affecting my blog at the present. I had recently been trying to post daily as I saw a huge improvement to my blog traffic, however although I have lots and lots of ideas for blog posts, and most of the photos have been taken and edited, I am really struggling to sit down and actually write up a post. Whether it be my monthly favourites, a new series I want to post or just a simple product review, I am seriously struggling to do so.

I know that everyone has times where we struggle to get things done but for me this is starting to have an emotional impact on me as its getting me down because I love my blog and I want it to be the best I can make it. But at the moment I feel I'm being my own worst enemy as the only person holding me back right now is me.

I'm not too sure where this post is going but I just needed to sit and write exactly how I'm feeling at the moment. I cant quite explain why because I don't know, but I'm hoping to pick myself up again soon and start to get back into blogging and get my motivation for my other goals in life back again.

Sorry if this has been a bit random and a bit all over the shop but hopefully some of you reading (if anyone actually does) will understand how I'm feeling right now.

Thanks for anyone that reads my little corner of the web, it honestly means the world to me xx

Saturday 28 June 2014

The Blogger Made Me Buy It- DIZZYBRUNETTE3

 DizzyBrunette3, or Corrie, was actually the first YouTube channel I discovered as I was already a follower of her blog. With such a bubbly personality and a huge love for makeup its hard not to be influenced with what she has to say. Also, she says she has oily skin which I also have so I have always been keen to see what she has to say about skincare.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
Corrie has included this in her Get Ready With Me videos ever since I started watching her. She uses it as a primer before makeup, and as someone who suffers from visible pores and just a general fan of The Body Shop, I was super keen to try this out. I really like this product in general, not just as a primer. Tea Tree Oil is great for greasy skin anyway so I knew it would help with that aspect of my skin and, whenever I use this, I notice a difference in the visibility of my pores as they seem much smaller and almost hidden which is great. Who wants huge pores hey?!

Seventeen Skin Wow! 3 Way Highlighter

Corrie is probably known for her quest for glowy, dewy skin and a love for highlighting products. When she started featuring this in her videos both as a highlighter and a primer I wanted to give it a go. Plus its super cheap which is an added bonus. I started using it as a highlighter which I love as its really easy to blend and doesn't look too shiny or bright on the skin. I have used it a few times as a primer but I don't think it works aswell for that, I prefer my Lush Skin tint for that, but as a highlighter this is a great little product!
Are you a DizzyBrunette3 fan? Leave any links to YouTube channels below, I love discovering new YouTubers.

Friday 27 June 2014

Disappointing Products

I don't normally like negative posts but sometimes I think they are necessary. As a makeup and general beauty product lover, there are gonna be products out there that I don't get on with or aren't suited for me or I just simply don't like. So I thought I would show you some of the products I have found disappointing in recent months.

Barry M Pallettes
In hindsight I think I should have known that these wouldn't live up to their hype. However I was so disappointed when they were nowhere near as great as everyone thought. They contain 6 eye shadows of different shades and finishes, and then a blush. The eye shadows had very little pigmentation and the blush was too light for my liking, however I did use it for a highlighter.
Rimmel BB Cream
This wasn't neccesarily an overall disappointing product, it just wasn't suited to me. I have oily skin and when I tried to apply this I found it slipped around the skin. I bought this with the thought of wearing it during the hot weather, but that is when my skin is at its oiliest  and this just ran around my face and was really difficult to blend. However I think this would work great on someone with drier skin. I might give their matte BB cream ago.
Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream
When I swatched this in store, at first it looked great: very pigmented and a lovely matte finish. However, half an hour after purchasing and after leaving the store, the swatch became very dry and almost like paint on my hand. I decided to give it a go on a night out, although I was very apprehensive. The colour looked lovely however I noticed, after about half an hour the colour really dried my lips out and it was like having a layer of paint over my lips. Then, after a few drinks it created the dreaded 'liner' effect where the colour just stuck to the edge of my lips. It looked pretty awful to say the least. I won't be trying anything else from this range, even though I am a huge fan of other Sleek product, this one just didn't work for me.
Revlon Shadowlinks
I love the idea of these, literally creating a palette than you can continue to add to. In the range there is a lovely selection of shades and finishes, something to suit everyone I think. However the shades that I picked have no pigmentation whatsoever. I tried different eye shadow brushes and my fingers to try and get some colour onto my lids, but this product has no colour pay off at all. Its so disappointing because this could work so well.
L'Oreal Absolute Makeup Remover Eye&Lip
I had high hopes for this product as it had been dubbed a duplicate of the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover. Firstly, the packaging is pretty bad, its so hard to control how much of the product you put onto a cotton wool pad due to the shape of the bottle. The product itself is very greasy and leaves an oily film over the eye, despite claiming to do the opposite. Such a let down. I have done a full review which you can see here.
Rimmel Apocalips in Nude Eclipse
Now, I love the Apocalips range and so I was pretty excited to try the nude shade in their range however it just didn't live up to its reputation. The shade completely washed out my lips but coated them so heavily it was hard to apply anything under or over the laquer. I have tried making the look work but it literally looks like I have applied foundation or concealer all over my lips. Not a great look.
Have you tried any of these? Or had any better experiences with them?

Thursday 26 June 2014

A Month In Instagram #6

These months are going waaaay too fast for my liking, we'll be getting ready for crimbo soon! Any way this is just a selection of my snaps from Instagram, which is my fave social network by the way. If you fancy checking out my account head over to gemmaford.

I'm always looking for new accounts to follow so leave any links to your Instagram below.