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Review: MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Collection: Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

24 Nov 2015

A little while ago, Debenhams sent me the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation to try out. This easy to apply compact promises to conceal and correct all in one, making makeup easier to apply on the go. 

The Packaging: 

The foundation comes in a standard MAC black case, but it has a clip which makes it easier to open, and means it stays shut better in my bag! The pan containing the foundation flips up to reveal a sponge which can be used for top-ups. The lid has a good sized mirror in making application on the train easy!

The Foundation: 
So this is my face with the right half covered in the foundation, applied with the sponge. As you can see, it gives a good level of coverage and but reflects light so my skin doesn't look flat and dull as with some other powder foundations.

It applies easily - this is colour NC15 which matches my cooler, light skin. I would recommend going into the shop to get colour matched as there is a huge range of colours and skin tones which can be matched - for example, neutral, warm, cool or combination skin colour tones (represented by N, NC, or C letters) and then how light or dark your skin tone is (represented by the numbers).

As with all powder foundations, when you apply it thickly all over you do get a matte base, but this has quite a velvety texture rather than a powdery one. I know from my oily skinned teenage years that some powder foundations gather around creases around my nose and mouth and look really powdery, where as this looked very fresh for most of the day, with a top up on the train home. I also felt it kept me from getting too oily during the day and held well, fading off naturally rather than too patchily. I also felt it was very light and my skin could breathe all day - I haven't had any spots from using it.

It did conceal my spots well (check out my chin spot which you can't see), but I chose to put a lighter covering on my nose so my freckles still showed through, giving a more natural look.

Overall, I really like this powder. I've found it really versatile and have been applying it with a big fluffy brush over my liquid foundation for the day, and then popping it in my bag so I can top up before I go out after work. Also, I've found it reacts well to having concealer and bronzer layered up on top of it, including gel and liquid blushers which don't cause the powder to roll up or go cakey.

The foundation costs £19.50 and is available from all MAC retailers including Debenhams. Remember if you want to win this product for free, enter my MAC giveaway which closes at the end of the month!

Cooking my way to a healthy smile! A fancy sausage and mash recipe

14 Nov 2015

A few weeks ago, some bloggers were set the challenge of creating a recipe which was great to keep your smile healthy! 

In my mind this meant just no sweets, however we were sent some guidance on what foods were good for our teeth from Simply Health. I didn't realise the teeth-cleaning properties of some foods! 

and we were sent some Abel & Cole boxes with these foods in, which Teddy immediately tried to claim for his own. I think he could smell the sausages and chicken! 

On Sunday evening, I decided to whip up a meal, using some of the key ingredients. Looking through the list, we realised that the apple and celery ideally had to be raw for the tooth-protecting qualities to work so we decided to focus on the other ingredients and make a yummy sausage and cheesy-leek mash with carrots and spinach dinner. Here's the recipe:

Sausages and Cheesy-Leek Mash with Carrots and Spinach

You will need

  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 4 potatoes
  • cheese
  • butter
  • milk
  • sausages (these are Abel and Cole gluten free ones)
  • Cute carrots
  • Fresh Spinach 
  • Gravy granules

How to:

1.  Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees. Chop the leek up and fry it in a little butter and salt until going golden. Put to one side

2.  Peel the potatoes and chop into chunks. Put them on to boil (I used a pressure cooker) until mashable

3.  Meanwhile, simmer the carrots for 10 minutes and put the sausages in the leeky frying pan on a medium high-heat

4.  When the sausages look cooked all over, stick them on the bottom shelf of the oven. Drain the carrots and put into a roasting tin, drizzle on a little honey if you like and put them in the top shelf of the oven. 

5.  Chop the onion and put in the sausagey frying pan, fry over a medium heat until soft. Add in some water and simmer for about 5 minutes before adding in the gravy granules to taste.

6.  Heat a small frying pan, add a tiny bit of butter and wilt the spinach for a few minutes until it looks really green and glossy

7.  Drain and mash the potatoes with a little butter and milk. Grate a big handful of cheese and chuck it in along with the leeks for a tasty mash. 

Serve and enjoy, remembering the cheese and spinach are good for your smile! And having yummy comfort food makes you smile too! We had lots left over for lunch the next day. Plus the mash alone would be great fried the next morning with ketchup! 

Review: Waterproof sn"Ugg"ly boots - sheepskin boot wellies! + Discount Codde

12 Nov 2015

It's wintery, wet and rainy out there and I'm having to come to terms with dog walking in the winter (e.g. buy a waterproof coat and suck it up). A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by who told me they had waterproof, UGG style sheepskin boots.

These fluffy beasts are the Blackfox Waterproof Sheepskin Style Wellies from and cost £34.95. When I got them last week, I immediately thought "well they're not going to be actually waterproof". They look and feel almost exactly like UGG boots (except heavier). They are made of a PVC material which is textured like sheepskin, and have a really furry, super warm lining. 

To test them, I did what any good scientist would do - found the biggest, most flooded local river and went for a paddle with the dog. As I said, I don't own a coat so I am wearing my boyfriend's! I've got one on the Christmas list already! 

Teddy is learning about water - he's still quite nervous but if he sees another dog in the water he's straight in! 

If you'd like a pair to get you through the winter, I have a 10% discount code for you all! Just enter LAURENLOVES10  at checkout for your discount

 Happy Splashing!

MAC Cosmetics Giveaway!

9 Nov 2015

I've been blogging for about 5 years now, sometimes fairly infrequently due to my doctorate, and you guys have stuck around. I've really treasured all your comments and the chats on Social Media, you've made me smile and kept me going in the depths of thesis hell. To say thank you, I thought I'd run a classic blogging giveaway - MAC makeup!

I was recently given a John Lewis voucher and thought I would love to use it to give back to my readers! So, would you like to win £30 of MAC Cosmetics for your Christmas present? Have you had your eye on a lovely lippie? Desperate for a new eyeliner? Want to grab yourself a new foundation to see you through the Christmas parties? Here's your chance!

What would you choose? Velvet Teddy lipstick and Spice Lipliner to create the perfect Kylie Jenner lips? A new lippie and eyeliner? Maybe a duo palette with two eyeshadows or a new foundation?

Enter the giveaway below and win a prize. Each way you enter will increase your chances of winning. Once you've entered, head on over to the John Lewis website to pick what combo of things you would like! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note: The contest will close at midnight on 30th November 2015. Entries will be checked and the winner will be contacted before it is announced. This giveaway is open to UK entrants ONLY. Any entrants from other countries will be discounted. I can either post the voucher, or order the items chosen on the John Lewis website (if in stock) and have them delivered to you. This giveaway is not supported by John Lewis - it is a voucher I was given. 

DIY Beauty Products with #MiraMessMakers

8 Nov 2015

On a lazy Sunday, I love nothing more than a pamper. The clever guys at Midas Touch Crafts recently teamed up with Mira  to create some "recipes" for beauty products using things you might have around the house. We were sent a range of recipes, but I tried out the lip scrub and scrubby face mask ones - combining my loves of baking and skincare! 

How to: Make a lip scrub

This is an easy one - combine some brown sugar (the scrubby thing), with a little coconut oil (for moisture), some honey (to bind it all) and some cinnamon for flavour

Mix it all together and label your little jar!

How to: make a face mask and scrub
This scrubby face mask uses wholesome and yummy ingredients! Get a handful of oats, add some cinnamon, honey to bind it all and a squeeze of lemon. Doing some research, it seems that honey and cinnamon are really great acne fighters as they have antibacterial properties. Lemon is contested - some saying it's good for acne, some saying it makes your skin too sensitive. Maybe give it a go and see how it works for you. Mix them all together and try not to mistake them for overnight oats (although it looks yummy)

You can also burst some vitamin E capsules and pour them in for more skin-soothing benefits if you want to sit with this as a mask for 10 minutes before you scrub

If you're after some DIY pampering this weekend, give these recipes a go and let me know how they work for you! Happy scrubbing! 

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