Homebase Wishlist

Friday, 27 March 2015
1. Heart Memo Board - £9.99
3. Teapot Tray - £1.43
4. Home Town Cushion - £2.93
5. Floral Drawer Chest - £19.99
7. Patchwork Box - £6.49 
8. Green Tray - £7.99
9. Giant Floor Lamp - £89.99

I haven't done a wishlist for a while and since moving out on my own, homeware has been far more appealing than fashion or beauty. So, I thought a Homebase wishlist would be appropriate, after heading to Homebase the other day and falling in love with everything I saw. 

I get really excited about making my home as pretty as possible, and being an avid collector of all things kitsch and shabby chic, I tend to accumulate a LOT of knick knacks and bits and pieces - which, in my opinion, make a home all the more homely. Homebase has a lot of the knick knacks I speak of available, as well as more practical things too - and practical can be pretty too, right?!

The first thing that caught my eye was this gorgeous heart memo board - I already have a pink heart-shaped one of these, but I loved the addition of the little hearts at the top of this one, and it's perfect for popping in photos and shopping lists - I think it'd look really cute in a country-style kitchen. Next up, this little heart-shaped dish has 'Favourite Things' emblazoned on it and is a total bargain at £2.49 (I'm such a sucker for buying stuff like this - over and over again!) This baby blue teapot-patterned tray would go in my pastel kitchen perfectly, and the home town cushion is a total steal at £2.93. 

I've been after a floral chest of drawers like this for popping bits and bobs in for ages now, and this one is seriously cute. I noticed Homebase have a lot of Habitat things for sale too, including this super cute little bird mug. For keeping things stored and stylish, the patchwork/floral box is really cute and half price - perfect for keeping all my stuff hidden away in! I've become a bit obsessed with trays lately and this green one would, again, look lovely in my kitchen - Homebase seriously have loads of fantastic kitchenware at the minute. Finally, I've wanted a big floor lamp like this for ages now and this one is perfect - and I don't think a bad price at £89.99. 

I'm really impressed with what Homebase have for sale at the minute and am very tempted to get buying a few bits! Are you lusting after homeware too at the minute? Let me know!

*This post is in collaboration with Homebase*

Eight Products That Never Let Me Down

Thursday, 26 March 2015

We all have a selection of beauty products that never fail to let us down. Whether it's our favourite body lotion, the shampoo that always guarantees us super shiny hair, or even a toothpaste that makes our teeth whiter than ever - there are just some products that we swear by, and keep going back to. 

I thought it was about time I went through the eight products that never let me down - and that I've been loyal to for years (and will no doubt be loyal to for many years more). These products are staples in my beauty routine, and have become the products I basically can't live without...

A staple in my beauty collection for over a decade now, Barry M nail paints are everything you could ask for from a nail polish brand - they have a huge selection of shades, are fantastically priced, release new collections all the time and are long-lasting and easy to apply. I can't count the amount of Barry M polishes I have in my collection - they were the first nail polish brand I fell in love with and haven't let me down since. If you've yet to try a Barry M Nail Paint - what are you doing? For around £3.99 each you really can't go wrong. 

I fell in love with the Tangle Teezer and thought that would be my lifelong staple hair brush - until The Wet Brush came along. This brush looks like any old brush, but works amazing well at detangling my hair without pulling, and comes in a big range of different designs and colours too. I have two of these and always reach for them over my Tangle Teezer - they're around the same price but so much better. 

Whilst I am a fan of beautifully scented, glamorous hand creams, when it comes to a fail-safe cream which guarantees my hands are soft and nourished, it's always going to be The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector that I reach for. Perfect for really dry skin, the Hemp Hand Protector contains hemp seed oil to moisturise and hydrate skin. It's not the prettiest of products and doesn't really have a very fragrant smell, but for a fuss-free, no-nonsense hand cream for very dry skin, it's the best. 

Being a false lash addict, this glue was always going to feature in my 'must have' products. Whilst Eylure's glue (sort of) does the job, Duo is just the best if you want the security of knowing your eyelashes won't fall off, even after sweating it out at the gym (not that I wear lashes to the gym, but you never know) or getting caught in the wind and rain. In my opinion, it's an industrial-strength lash glue that is worth every penny, and one I will always choose over anything else on the market. 

A cult product in the world of beauty, GLAMGLOW's Supermud mask is by far my all-time favourite face mask. It's not cheap, but for the instant results it achieves, it's worth every single penny. The Supermud Blemish Mask works deep down to draw out impurities, and leaves your skin feeling so smooth and looking visibly clearer afterwards. It's the one product I always reach for when my skin needs a pick-me-up, and I completely recommend it if you suffer with breakouts, acne-prone skin, or oily skin with blackheads. I can't rave about it enough. 

For their range of colours and overall quality, I couldn't resist not featuring MAC lipsticks as one of my go-to, never-lets-me-down products. With a big varied range of different finishes, new collections coming out all the time and the phenomenal quality of these lipsticks, they just had to make the list. They're not the cheapest of lipsticks, but I think for the price you really can't go wrong. They're also some of the few lipsticks that I actually get to the bottom of, mostly because I love them so much that I wear them all the time. 

You've heard me gush about this foundation countless times, and in terms of products that never let me down, it is right at the top of the list. It gives incredible coverage, is the most long-lasting foundation I've ever tried and leaves my not-at-all flawless skin looking flawless. It's pricey, yes, but the reason I go back to it every time I run out is because it's basically the best there is. I don't think I'll ever find another foundation that compares! 

Another product I've gushed about before, Benefit's Porefessional is the perfect partner for Double Wear and is the best primer I've ever used. It blurs out pores, mattifies skin and keeps my foundation in place all day long. Again, it's not cheap, but it works and for that reason, is totally worth it. 

Which products never let you down? Let me know! 

Babyliss Diamond 235 Straightener Review

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Babyliss Diamond 235 Straightener* - £79.99 (currently £39.99 at Boots!)

Okay, so if I'm honest, I've never really been that big of a straightener user. Why? Probably because I've never really found a pair of straighteners that I really gel with. Whilst the few I've tried work well, they never transformed my hair enough for me to regularly use. As my hair is quite straight naturally anyway, the only hair straightener that I'm interested in is one that can add shine, reduce frizz and leave my hair looking sleek and straight. I was yet to find that straightener - until now. 

Enter the new Babyliss Diamond 235 Straightener. A firm favourite hair brand of mine, Babyliss always seem to deliver in terms of hair tools, so it was probably about time I gave one of their straighteners a go. I'll be honest, I was dubious at first (as I've never found a straightener with the 'wow' factor, I didn't think this would be any different), but upon opening up the packaging and seeing the sleek and shiny straighteners inside, I started to pick up hope.

Very much like GHDs in appearance, the Diamond 235 Straighteners come in black with a diamond-esque sparkly finish (perfect for us magpies), and include a heat protection wrap and swivel cord. They are super speedy to heat up and can heat up to 235 degrees (hence the name), as well as having three different heat settings depending on your hair type.

So, how do they do in terms of straightener, smoothing and de-frizzing my hair? In a word, these are amazing.They straighten my hair easily and are one of the very few hair straighteners that actually manage to keep my hair looking smooth, straight and frizz-free. I couldn't believe how shiny and smooth these made my hair feel, and the effect lasted all day. I'm very used to having messy, frizzy hair so it was a big shock to have straight, smooth hair for once, but it means I will definitely be using these again!

I absolutely love these straighteners and would completely recommend them. I think they make a fantastic alternative to GHDs, and whilst they are still very pricey at £79.99, they're currently on offer for half that price - which is a total bargain in my eyes.

Have you tried the new Diamond 235 Straighteners from Babyliss? Let me know your thoughts!

An Unintentional Break

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Okay so... I'm very aware I've been absent on this little space on the internet lately. One of my aims for 2015 was to keep on top of my blog and make sure I uploaded content almost every day. Whilst that started off well it seems to have dipped dramatically of late and I can only apologise for that. I especially think after five years of sharing content with you guys on here I should have got the hang of being consistent, but alas, sometimes I just find it incredibly hard to blog.

Lately I've been going through a bit of a rough patch... I don't really want to go into it too much because I feel like this blog post will turn into a pity party and I don't want that. I've just been struggling to feel motivated, not just to blog but to do anything, and I know depression has a lot to do with it. I hate to admit weakness but I guess I have to put my hands up and say right now, I'm struggling a bit.

I have every intention of making my blog better, of writing my socks off and trying as many products as possible, thinking up as many posts as possible to make my blog the best it can be... but sometimes, I find it SO hard to do. I don't want to put out half-hearted blog posts all the time because I know it'll only make me feel worse, but the radio silence on here doesn't make me feel much better either.

I just wanted to put out a blog post to let you all know I'm still here, and I have every intention of getting back into the swing of things where my blog is concerned. It probably won't happen over night, but I want to get back to being happy... not just with my blog, but with everything else too.

Falling in love with Venice

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I was recently invited to take part in a little competition with MSC Cruises to win a holiday worth £500, and I jumped at the chance. MSC Cruises are a cruise company that travel all around the world, and after a quick look at their website I want to book myself a cruise – right now!

To take part in the competition I was asked to create a post about what I feel is the most romantic city in the world, explaining why, using a little bundle of things to represent the city.

Of course, my immediate thought process was Paris – but having thought a little harder, I decided in my mind, the most romantic city in the world for couples has got to be Venice. I’ve never been, but it’s a place that has always inspired me, and after reading reviews and viewing countless photographs of this beautiful city, I just know it’s a place perfect for falling in love.

To represent the city and the romance it captures, I thought I would quite literally recreate the city, on my dressing table. Being a beauty blogger who loves to travel I thought it would be perfect to bring both of those things together to create my own miniature Venice on my dressing table. I think dressing tables in themselves are quite romantic, so this of course added to the effect!

To create my mini Venice, I bought dozens of tea lights, to represent the city's lights, used some colourful fancy shower gels to represent the colourful buildings, created the canal with foil and added rose petals for a touch more romance, and even went as far as creating cute origami gondolas! I added some ‘LOVE’ letters to represent bigger buildings in the city, and snuck in some ice cream decorations to also represent buildings, as well as being one of Italy’s most delicious desserts.

I lit the tea lights and started snapping away, and I think the end result is just as I imagined. It captures the warm terracotta hues of Venice as well as the colourful buildings, and I imagine this is what Venice would look like at night, if you were to sit with your loved one floating down the canal together – utterly engulfed in the romance of it all.

I think Venice is undoubtedly the most romantic city in the world because it is a city of beauty, of fantastic food, stunning sights and breathtaking backdrops. Whether you are being serenaded down the fairy tale-esque canals, eating pizza by candlelight in a romantic restaurant or visiting the opera house, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this city.

Happy 5th Birthday to my Blog!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Happy 5th Birthday to Away with the Fairies! I literally cannot believe I've been writing this blog for five whole years now. Today marks the day I sat down at my tatty old laptop, opened up Blogger and started to build my own little space on the internet, piece by piece, word by word. I never dreamed in a million years my blog would do as well as it has, and to even think about the amount of opportunities and experiences my blog has given me is a little bit overwhelming. 

What started out as a space to share my writing in the hopes of pursuing a career in journalism has turned into so much more. My blog is my passion, and to say I'm ridiculously proud of it would still be an understatement. Back in 2010 I thought my blog was merely a tool to get me into the career I wanted, but it has developed into something else all together. It's not just a hobby or a side-project, it's become a part of who I am and is almost like my own little online magazine, with a lot more personality and honesty thrown in. It not only has seen me travel down to London regularly for events, and receive some amazing products, but it's allowed me to work with some of my all-time favourite brands, see my face in magazines and make some lifelong friends. 

I got my dream of becoming a journalist, and I know my blog has played a big part in getting me there. My blog makes me so happy and I only have you guys to thank for that. Without you sticking with me over the years, I'd still probably be sitting here, talking to myself, but to know that people actually read and like the things I write makes me proud beyond belief. 

So, what's next for Away with the Fairies? My blog has grown so much since the beginning, and I want to see it grow even more. I'd like to embark on a layout change some point this year, and I also want to get on top of posting daily, which is still something I struggle with! I hope I'll have the opportunity to work with more brands, meet more fellow bloggers (and readers!) and make my blog the best it can be. 

So, Happy 5th Birthday Away with the Fairies! Here's to many, many more exciting years ahead!