Sunday, 26 February 2017

Entering the World of Eye Creams

Eye creams, eye creams, eye creams... they are something I've always had in my skincare drawer, mainly through beauty blogging, but not actually something I've ever made an effort to regularly use. As I've always suffered with really bad acne, wrinkles and crow's feet have never really been that high on my list of priorities.

However, since turning 26 (OMG) I realise that it's probably about time I started thinking about anti-ageing in general, and particularly the delicate eye area. So, with that in mind, I rifled through my skincare drawer and pulled out a few to test.

First up, the Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Eye Gel*. Specifically targeting the first signs of ageing (therefore ideal for us twenty-somethings just venturing into the world of anti-ageing), it contains Ceramides to help fight wrinkles. It also helps to brighten the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, and soaks into the skin well, drying quickly. It's quite pricey at £35 for just 15ml but it is a lovely product and I've definitely noticed a difference since using.

Next up - the Vichy Idealia Yeux Eyes*. One of my favourites of the bunch, this little beauty is perfect for fighting wrinkles whilst also awakening tired eyes. What's great about Vichy's offering is that it actually helps to illuminate the eye area with little glowy particles - making it ideal (pardon the pun!) if you're opting for minimal makeup but still want to look awake. It definitely makes a big difference to dark circles and isn't a bad price either, at £23.

Moving on to one of my fave skincare brands at the moment - Nip + Fab. I reviewed their Glycolic Fix range agggges ago and that still remains one of my most popular posts, so I had to include the Nip + Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye* in this round-up. As I love the brand, I did have high hopes for this product, and whilst I did see some improvement, it perhaps wasn't in the realms as the previous two products I've mentioned. It definitely helped to hydrate and nourish my eye area, and I did notice a very slight improvement in puffiness, but I'd probably choose the previous creams over it. I think it has been repackaged and now comes in a teensy 10ml tube which is also a big shame - but it is the cheapest of the bunch at £15.

Finally, I couldn't resist popping Benefit's It's Potent! Eye Cream in here, if for nothing else than the awesome packaging. I remember Benefit coming out with a skincare range years back and being so excited by it - mainly because of how adorable the packaging is (like everything Benefit brings out) if I'm honest, but I wanted to include it in this round-up as it's one of the first eye creams I ever tried. It smells insanely fresh, with cooling cucumber, and it does cool and soothe the eye area, but other than that I wasn't blown away. It is quite thick and definitely helps to moisturise and hydrate, but like the Nip + Fab product, there aren't huge results when it comes to getting rid of dark circles/helping against ageing. Not great when it's one of the more costly products, at £25.50.

Overall I'm a big fan of the first two eye creams, but the last two - not so much. I definitely think it proves that spending a bit more money on your skincare is worth it - as long as you opt for products with the right ingredients, as opposed to those that just look good (naming no names... *cough* Benefit *cough*). What is your favourite eye cream? Let me know!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Happy 7th Blog Birthday to Me!

Today marks my blog's seventh birthday. I can't quite believe I've been writing this blog for SEVEN years today. Aside from making me feel very old, it also makes me feel incredibly proud to say that I've been running this space on the internet for seven entire years now, and what a whirlwind it has been.

From trips away and amazing events to collaborating with awesome brands, being featured in magazines and on some incredible websites, Away with the Fairies has been my rock over the past seven years and I honestly don't know where I'd be without this little corner of the internet. It's been the place to share my passions, my hopes and dreams, and my successes, and you guys have been the best cheerleaders I could ever ask for. I never thought when I dusted off my ancient HP laptop to create my Blogger account all those years ago that I'd still be doing it today - and that it would have brought me everything it has.

So, because I feel like seven years is a Pretty Big Deal, I decided to throw my blog a little birthday party at the weekend. Yes - I actually threw a party for a website - welcome to 2017. Party Delights kindly supplied me with everything I needed to create the most perfect unicorn-themed party (because you all know how much I love unicorns) and I had so much fun decorating the house and munching on miniature cupcakes. My favourite things have got to be the iridescent plates, unicorn napkins, iridescent table confetti and 'We Heart Unicorns' bunting - I mean, how cute are they!? So big shout out to Party Delights for helping me celebrate seven years of awesomeness here at Away with the Fairies.

So... what does the next seven years hold? Well, as I always say, I want things to only get bigger and better from here on out. I have lots of ambition when it comes to my blog, I just don't always have the self-belief to see things through, and that's where I struggle. It's time to kick those thoughts to the curb though and concentrate on making my blog the best it can be - for both my readers and myself. I have decided a rebrand is most definitely on the cards, as whilst Away with the Fairies has been kind to me for all these years, I think it's time to ditch the name that I half-heartedly came up with way back when and opt for something else. With that means there will be a new blog layout coming, and hopefully lots more content on three things I'm keen to tap into more on here - travel, fitness, and mental health.

So, all that leads me to say is thank you, thank you, thank you, for standing by me these past seven years and making my blog what it is today. I couldn't have done it without you guys!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

10 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Scrolling

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to stop scrolling through social media aimlessly on my phone so much. Then I discovered Instagram Stories, and that went completely out of the window. I've probably spent a good chunk of 2017 so far scrolling through my phone, not achieving anything other than wasting time, and so from here on out I'm making a conscious effort to stop it. So, I thought it made sense to put together a list of 10 of the things I (and you) could be doing instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media...

1. Reading a book - I seem to have a never-ending pile of books that I want to read, but I always claim I don't have the time to read them. Instead of scrolling through pictures of other peoples' dinners and Snapchats of girls pouting to rap music before I go to bed, I could be escaping into a book - reading feeds the soul, after all.

2. Playing with your pet(s) - I adore my dog and whilst I give him a huge amount of love and attention, there are moments when I can see he's getting agitated by how interested I am in my phone. I'm sure he thinks it's this evil thing that takes all the attention away from him, and at times, I guess it is. Instead of spending 20 minutes refreshing Twitter, I could be playing fetch with him, or teaching him a new trick.

3. Doing some exercise - Instead of just exercising your thumb, the time spent on social media could be used to go to the gym, do a quick at-home workout or even just go for a walk. There have been countless times I've debated going to the gym, been scrolling on my phone only to look at the time and see an hour has passed. I could have worked out during that time!

4. Writing - Whether it's a new blog post, a chapter of that book you've always wanted to write or simply a diary entry, writing is so therapeutic and definitely something that is worth doing every day. You could easily crack out 500 words in the time you spend day-to-day scrolling.

5. Picking up a new hobby - Whether it's creating a bullet journal, learning to play the piano, taking up crochet or even just starting up an adult colouring book, in the age of social media I think hobbies are a dying art that we need to be paying more attention to. In the time we spend scrolling, we could be learning new talents or getting some well-deserved time out. I definitely know which I'd rather be doing!

6. Calling a friend - Despite constantly seeing what our friends and family are up to on social media, it's rare these days that we spend the time to call up an old friend and have a good hour-long chat. I said this year would be the year I'd make sure I keep in touch with my friends more regularly, and so far so good. Instead of scrolling through your bezzie's pictures, give her a call or a text and have a natter.

7. Learning a recipe - I'm notoriously terrible at cooking, and I tend to get stuck in a rut with what I eat very quickly. Just a quick search on the internet, however, and there are thousands of recipes at your finger tips - so why not spend the time you would scrolling by jotting down the ingredients and whipping up a culinary delight?

8. Watching a film - I have a great long list of 'cult classic' films that I want to watch before I die, but I never seem to find the time to sit down and watch them. That's because I'm spending so much time procrastinating on my phone! I'm definitely going to make more time to watch good films this year, and make it more of an 'event', as I definitely think Netflix hasn't helped when it comes to just casually half-watching things.

9. Doing some self-care - I can't actually remember the last time I did a face mask. True story. In the 15 minutes you spend aimlessly scrolling, you could do a face mask, paint your nails or even do a mini at-home facial! Some very important self-care right there.

10. Reading your favourite blogs - Whilst you might be following your favourite bloggers on social media, keeping up-to-date with them on Snapchat or Insta Stories, when was the last time you actually read their blog? I know I'm definitely guilty of just watching people I love on social media but never actually making the time to read their blogs. With the blogging climate right now, I think it's so important we take the time out to read, comment and share blog posts we love - it doesn't take long and can make all the difference.

Will you be doing any of these instead of scrolling? Let me know!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Liquid Lipstick Loving

Liquid lipsticks were big news in 2016, and I don't think the hype looks set to stop any time soon. Over the past few months I've built up quite a selection from lots of different brands, so I thought I'd run through my favourites with you all...

OCC RTW Lip Tars*: Oh my gosh, these are AMAZING. They were the first product I'd ever tried from OCC and ever since I've been a big fan of the brand. Available in selection of gorgeous shades, these are SO pigmented and long-lasting. They're quite glossy when on which I like, although it does mean they can get a bit messy. I just love the finish of them and the two shades that I've got (I have a nudey colour as well as the bright pink pictured) are seriously so gorgeous, and unlike any other lip products I own. They even smell minty too!

NYX Lip Lingerie: Fast becoming a cult favourite, I couldn't not feature the NYX Lip Lingerie in this post. I bought a fair few shades a while back and since have been reaching for them on a regular basis. These nude liquid lipsticks dry very matte and as such can be a bit drying on the lips, but the colour pay-off is great and they're definitely a must for nude lovers. I would probably recommend trying to head to a NYX counter if you're thinking of getting some though, as I ordered mine online and lots of the shades I chose are so similar I don't really need to have all of them.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet*: Probably one of the first liquid lipsticks I tried, I love the Rouge Edition Velvets from Bourjois and completely recommend them. These are just that - ultra velvety on the lips, with a velvet finish that is oh-so easy to wear. They are ideal for everyday wear and a really great price too - and come in some gorgeous shades. I love them!

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Lip Paint*: Maybelline's Color Drama Intense Lip Paints are just that - very intense with incredible colour pay-off. Similar to the OCC offering, they are super glossy when on and come in some seriously gorgeous shades. If you're looking for ultra bright, bold and opaque colours, these are for you.

Bagsy Lip Velvet Soft Matte Lip Colour*: Possibly my least favourite of the bunch, Bagsy's Velvet Soft Matte liquid lipsticks are super soft and velvety, but for me the colour pay-off just doesn't compare to the other brands. I'd say these would be much more suited to someone wanting to venture into the world of liquid lipsticks but who prefers a more toned-down, subtle finish, as this is what these achieve.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks: You can't do a round-up on liquid lipsticks and not include Too Faced's amazing Melted Liquid Lipsticks. I've had a couple of full-sized shades for a while now and have been obsessed with them, so when I got a little kit with three mini versions in for Christmas I was delighted. These are super glossy, super opaque and the applicator makes them really easy to apply. They come in a variety of gorgeous shades, and even have a matte range and a chocolate range (that actually smell like chocolate) out too. Love!

What are your favourite liquid lipsticks? Let me know!
All images and content © Hannah Vickers for Away with the Fairies 2010- unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.