Tuesday 31 March 2015

March Favourites!

March has been an insanely busy month, but also filled with some fantastic and fun moments. It feels as if my February favourites were only a few days ago, but the time has come around again to share with you some of the things I've been loving this month!
I couldn't resist buying one of the L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Exclusive Reds in 'Blake' at the beginning of the month after reading a few reviews on various blogs, as I have a tiny bit of a thing for red lipsticks. It's a very true red colour, and a lot brighter than many of my reds. It's perfect for transitioning my make-up into spring as it still gives you a bold red lip without being too dark.
I may or may not have accidentally bought a couple of things in elf, but how can I not when their only store is in my home city? I absolutely adore their baked eyeshadows, and I picked up the colour Enchanted. It is a gorgeous champagne/pink, perfect as a base or on it's own if you prefer a natural look.
I have had the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Rich Russet for a while, but during March I have really been loving it. Unfortunately it has been discontinued but you can still get it on Amazon for an amazing price! I love how easy it is to apply, it's perfect if I'm in a rush as I can just swipe it on, blend it in a little and I'm good to go. The shade is lovely to bring out blue eyes, too!
Also on my elf shopping trip, I picked up their Zit Zapping Concealer purely out of curiosity. I'm very particular about face make up but the shade was light enough for my skin and it doesn't break me out which is a plus! I'm not so keen on the applicator but overall I do like it and have been reaching for it a lot.
I was a little sneaky and put a Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream into my family shop on Ocado. I'm a bit of a lip balm addict and usually swear by Vaseline but have been loving this due to the amazing smell! It always leaves my lips feeling hydrated, but leaves a little bit of residue so I tend to use it overnight.
I have been trying to get back into reading for pleasure this month, after refraining for a while due to studying English Literature! I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and was completely engrossed right from the start, so much so that it only took me a few days to finish! I felt as if the ending was a little rushed and it tailed off a bit, but I loved the plot nonetheless and thought it was very different from anything I had read before. If you like books such as 1984, A Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, then I would really recommend this as it is also dystopian, and very well written.
I picked up my black & white checkered cape when I was cutting through Primark as a short-cut to St David's 2 in Cardiff. I've had my eye open for something like this for a while, so at £9 I couldn't really go wrong! I'm thinking of doing a "how to style" post for capes so if you'd be interested in that please leave a comment below!
On Mother's Day, I went to a garden centre with my mum, dad & brother. While they looked at plants for our garden I smelt every candle in the shop and also got a cute cactus for my room!
Last but not least, I thought I'd mention a competition I took part in with a team from my college as it probably was one of my favourite things to happen in March! It was called the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge (GEC) and the task was to come up with a product/service to increase Welsh tourism for the domestic market. Despite only having 24 hours to do this and therefore very little sleep, I had a fantastic time - it was such a good experience to be working under so much pressure and to a deadline, as well as having a laugh with my team (You may have seen some of our Team #Banterprise selfies on my Instagram!) We also made some good friends and met some really inspirational entrepreneurs. 
My college's team for the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge

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Friday 27 March 2015

Wanderlust Jewellery

Recently at an entrepreneurship workshop I got talking to one of the supervisors about my blog, who told me to check out Wanderlust Jewellery as she knows the people who run it. After reading their about page, I fell in love with the background of the company and everything they stand for. Wanderlust means "a strong desire or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world" and they were established after a year long adventure across the globe where they were inspired by many other cultures. I love how their gemstones are sourced from all over the world, and how each piece of jewellery has a story and meaning behind it. 

I got in touch with Wanderlust and they were generous enough to send me their Sanah Moonstone Necklace* to feature on my blog. When I opened the box I was absolutely blown away - it is honestly the most breathtaking necklace I have ever seen! The moonstone has a blue iridescent hue when it catches the light, meaning it almost looks as if it is constantly changing and alive. They feature a little description on each item's page telling you the meaning behind it which I think is a lovely touch as it really makes you feel as if it is special. 
"Moonstone is a stone for “new beginnings”, it is a stone of inner growth and strength and believed to sooth emotions it is also believed to encourage love into your life."
I think it will be nice for me to wear this during stressful times, such as during my exams, and remember this message of "inner growth and strength" as well as reminding me to stay calm.

If you're a "wanderlusting soul", love jewellery with meaning behind it, or just like beautiful things, I would really recommend checking out Wanderlust Jewellery. They have also been kind enough to give you guys 10% off when you enter the code JODIEVOSS at the checkout!

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Tuesday 24 March 2015

Strawberries & Cream Pavlova

A few weeks ago, I made a pavlova for my mum's birthday. I wasn't planning doing a blog post on it, but after posting some photos on my Instagram and Twitter, loads of you asked for one! So, I apologise in advance for the quality of the photos as I only had the ones from Instagram, but here it is as requested!

For the meringue
  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Using a pencil, mark out the circumference of a dinner plate on baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
  2. Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hr, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven.
The main thing to remember when making meringue is to keep it on a low heat for a long time, to keep it as white as possible. I actually ended up turning my oven down and leaving it in for slightly longer, but do whatever you feel is right for your oven (keep checking it!)

I used the meringue recipe from BBC Good Food but I decided to make up my own topping. I went for a classic combination; strawberries and cream. I was worried it might be a bit boring but it turned out amazingly and the simplicity was what made it so fantastic.

For the topping
  • 300/350ml whipping cream/double cream (I used whipping cream)
  • A BIG punnet of strawberries
  1. Whisk the cream with a hand whisk until it forms peaks, then spread over the centre of the meringue evenly.
  2. Chop the strawberries into halves/quarters and arrange them on top of the cream. (Some strawberries were harmed in the making of this pavlova, i.e. I ate them)
And it really is that simple! I think some people have the misconception that Pavlova is really difficult but it's actually one of the easiest things you can make. My family were really impressed with it and I didn't have the heart to tell them how simple it was!

If you decide to have a go at making this pavlova, I'd love to see your pictures! Tweet them to me (@joiedejodie) or tag me on Instagram (@jodievoss)!

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Friday 20 March 2015

Make-Up Revolution "I ♡ Definition" Contour Palette

I had never really experimented with contouring my face until very recently, as I was scared it would look unnatural and as if I was wearing far too much make-up. However, I was browsing the counters in Superdrug when I spotted the Make-up Revolution "I Heart Definition" Contour Palette in Fair. It was so cheap that I just decided to pick it up and have a go at trying to use it, as I am always up for testing out new products. 

I swatched the colours in-store and they seemed pale enough for my skintone, and when I got home I wasn't disappointed. The colours are all extremely beautiful and absolutely perfect if you have paler skin like me! The highlight is subtle with just the right amount of shimmer to brighten the face without looking overly sparkly. The blush is a lovely pale dusty pink which brings a slight touch of colour to your cheeks while still looking natural. The bronzer isn't too dark - a problem I commonly find with my skin tone as they can sometimes make me look fake tanned or even just dirty! One problem I do have is that it is very warm toned and for contouring my face this isn't ideal as I want to create shadows for definition, not just warm up my complexion. If you have any suggestions for a product I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

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Tuesday 17 March 2015

The 'Me Time' Tag

I was nominated by the lovely Sofie from It's Just Sofie to do this fantastic tag all about what I do during lazy days and 'me time'!

1. What do you watch or read during me-time?

I watch a lot of beauty videos on Youtube but my favourite TV series' are Gossip Girl, New Girl, Pretty Little Liars and The OC. I have already watched every episode of Gossip Girl but I love it so much that I can easily rewatch any episode without getting bored!
Film-wise, if I'm having 'me time' I prefer to watch 'easy' films such as chick flicks or Disney films, my favourites are Tangled, Mean Girls & Moulin Rouge. As I study French I also have a growing collection of French films which I love to watch too, especially Amélie!
If I decide to read, I have two options. I either read something which requires little or no concentration such as a fashion magazine or an easy-reading novel, or I pick up a classic novel and read a few chapters (or the whole book in the case of The Great Gatsby!) My favourite books are To Kill a Mockingbird, Nineteen-Eighty Four and The Catcher in the Rye.

2. What do you wear during me-time?

I usually wear leggings and a big baggy jumper, or my giraffe onesie. No makeup is also a must!

3. What are your me-time beauty products?

I love to pamper myself in 'me time', so I usually have a relaxing bath and apply a face mask. I'm currently loving the Quick Fix Facials Anti-Blemish Mud Mask to calm breakouts and the KIKO Purifying Mask to eliminate shine (plus it smells like sweets!)

4. Current favorite nail polish?

I always love nude shades and occasionally go for a classic red. I don't really have a favourite product but Barry M is always fantastic for nail polishes!

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?

Chocolate, cake, biscuits, anything inherently bad for you will do! Also, you can't forget the tea.

6. Current favorite candle?

I'm actually not too keen on candle scents, I feel like they smell 'fake' and are often over-sweet/floral!

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?

Definitely. I love taking a walk in the park by myself while listening to music, walking down to the charity shops or even going shopping in town. I find shopping more efficient and bearable when I'm alone!

8. Would you ever go see a movie alone?

I probably would, but have never found something nobody else wants to watch with me as of yet!

9. Favorite online shop?

Asos, Topshop, H&M, Zara, Boots. I can't pick just one as I spend a lot of time online shopping!

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?

I have 'me-time' as a way to relax and recharge as day-to-day life can be very busy and stressful with A levels, my blog, friends, family and a boyfriend! I like to completely switch off from the world, which means putting all my work away, putting my phone on airplane mode, and escaping to the world of Blair Waldorf or any other film/TV/book.

I tag these lovelies to do this tag next!

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Friday 13 March 2015

How to style: Cut-out ankle boots

Recently, I was sent some gorgeous Cut-out Chunky Ankle Boots* from Shoezone. I was so excited for them to arrive (I snapped this photo as soon as they were delivered!) as I couldn't wait to style them - I fell in love with their edgy vibe as soon as I saw them on the site!

They are quite chunky and the buckles are large which initially I was worried would make my feet look wide and clunky but I was pleasantly surprised. The buckles are adjustable which is useful as I have quite narrow ankles. I decided to style them with a pair of frilly ankle socks from Topshop, black opaque tights and a floral patterned dress from Forever 21. I love the way this looked, giving a girly and feminine outfit an edgier twist! 
Many people complain about having to wear certain socks with cut-out boots, but personally I'm not going to restrict myself to only wearing black with them. I think it would look great to add a pop of colour to an outfit by wearing bright socks, and Topshop sells some adorable socks with a variety of prints which will also be making an appearance through the little cut-out!
I'm looking forward to wearing these boots in the Spring/Summer with dresses, skirts and shorts to add something a little different to my usually quite classic and simple style. I plan to wear them with my Oasis leather biker jacket too as I think they'll compliment each other well! 

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Tuesday 10 March 2015

February in Photos

February has absolutely flown by, but when I think back over it I realise I have done so much! At the beginning of the month, my lovely French exchange student came to visit, bringing smiles, gifts (post here) and lots of difficult vocabulary! We ended up being really close friends and I'm so excited to visit her in France at the end of March. Obviously, February also means Valentine's Day! Although my boyfriend and I both believe you should show someone you care every day, we still had a lovely time at a patisserie and an Indian restaurant, enjoying each others' company and lots of lovely food! I made a post on my outfit, makeup and what we did, which you can see here. I have been getting my butt in gear when it comes to revision for my A levels, as I had a bit of an awful realisation about how close my exams actually are! February has been a very exciting month in terms of this blog too, I reached 500 Bloglovin' followers, attended my first ever blogger event (Smashbox and Bumble & Bumble), hit 10,000 page views, as well as interacting with some lovely bloggers over Twitter! If you'd like to have regular updates on my day-to-day life (mostly food I'll be honest) please follow my Instagram (@jodievoss)!

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Friday 6 March 2015

Easter & Mothers Day with #LUSHCardiff

I was recently invited to the #LUSHCardiff Blogger Event to find out about their Easter & Mothers Day ranges. I was so excited as LUSH is actually one of my most used brands; I have tried everything from their cleansers to shampoos to shower gels to face masks to perfumes to bath bombs (you get the picture) and have loved every product. The thing I love the most about LUSH is their policy against all forms of animal testing and also the fact that they use natural ingredients, so it really feels like you're treating your face/body/hair well. I'm just going to feature my absolute favourites from each of the ranges as LUSH have really outdone themselves this year with loads of products to choose from!
I was most excited about the Easter range as I love all things to do with Spring and the event itself; bunnies, carrots, flowers, eggs, you name it! LUSH always brings out such an amazing collection of products to mark the festivity and they're without doubt the most adorable designs ever!

The first thing which caught my eye was Golden Egg as it was possibly the sparkliest thing I have ever seen. It is a mixture between a bath bomb and a bath melt and contains Fair Trade Columbian cocoa butter to make your skin super-soft.  The scent is honey/toffee - two of my favourite things in the world, so this is definitely up there in my favourite products, especially because it leaves you covered in golden glitter.

I thought the Bunch of Carrots was so cute that I just had to mention it! You use them by running them under the tap or swirling them in your bath, so each one lasts for a while (the lady we were with suggested 10-15 which is impressive!) AND you get 3 per pack when you buy. They create "tropical bubbles" and the scent includes lemon and grapefruit, so I can imagine they would leave you feeling very refreshed. I think I'll definitely be heading back to purchase these closer to Easter as they seem like amazing value for money!

LUSH is always a go-to for me at Mothers Day as I know I can rely on them to create fantastic products which my mum will always love. This year is no different, they have a wide range of bath bombs, shower gels and also ready-wrapped gift sets (very convenient!) which any mother would love.

I loved the look of the Yummy Mummy shower gel, partly because it was a lovely lilac colour I'll admit, but also because we were told it makes your skin really soft, and we had a demonstration to prove it! I always use LUSH shower gels because they are reliable and always smell insanely amazing and often have more interesting themes than your standard Boots shower gels.

We were also shown the Secret Garden bath bomb which creates this gorgeous intense green and pink colour in water. I can recall my mum having to lure me into the bath when I was younger using LUSH bath bombs and nothing has really changed!

We had a quick look at the perfume range as they have brought out some new ones recently. I have 3 favourites which I am dying to get my hands on! Sun is a gorgeous refreshing orange scent, Karma (which I have had before and loved) is a beautiful musky scent which always makes me feel mysterious and classy, and Kerbside Violet (a new addition) reminded me of Parma Violet sweets, a childhood favourite which brings back a lot of happy memories!

The event itself was so fun to attend - they treated us with lemonade and some yummy Easter themed treats! The staff were so helpful and informative, and I'd like to give a big shout-out to Hope who took us round and explained all of the products to us in a very enthusiastic manner which made me even more excited about it all!

Generously, LUSH gave me some exciting goodies to take home with me and try. I was SO happy I got a Golden Egg bath bomb, possibly my favourite product out of both of the two ranges! I was also given a Secret Garden bath bomb and a Yummy Mummy shower gel, both of which were also up there in my top picks! I can't wait to relax in a warm bath with one of these bath bombs, a face mask and a good book.
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