Pregnancy Update and Current Beauty & Lifestyle Favourites

Long time, no see!

Quick life update: I’m now in the third trimester of pregnancy and things have been going well so far… (touch wood).

We’ve found out we’re having a girl and she is a very active little madam indeed. The shopping list is big but we have made a dent with getting the pram, car seat and Isofix base in a helpful bundle deal from Mamas & Papas. We’ve also been investing in some second-hand sleep suits and the like from Depop. I’d thoroughly recommend checking these out if you too are expecting!

vivify baby @ 20 weeks

Once again I’m sorry for the lack of updates. Working full time and growing a new life has left me very tired indeed. I hope to have more time to blog now I am using up my holiday at work to go almost part time during the last couple of months before maternity leave.

Whilst I’m here I thought I’d share my current beauty and lifestyle favourites with you:

  • Dove Summer Revived: As we come out of the colder months it’s nice to have a bit of a glow. If you’re pale skinned like me and burn to a crisp within five seconds of basking in the sun or are just sensible about skincare, it’s better to fake it. This is a gorgeous gradual tanning lotion which leaves a subtle glow without streaks or making me look like an Oompa Loompa. I go with the fairer variety but there is also a darker offering.

 

  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara: Yes, the bloggers’ fave, but for a reason. I’m all about the quick and effective products (even more so these days!) and this ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to mascaras. I would happily pay more for it, but don’t tell Maybelline. This mascara beats or at least competes with every high-end version…

 

  • Emma’s Rectangle: I’ve only just discovered Emma’s channel but I love everything I’ve seen so far. She’s a lovely down to earth girl and I thoroughly enjoy watching her tutorials and hauls. Check her out here.

 

  • Bloglovin’: I am addicted to swiping through my favourite blogs on my tablet during my lunch break at work. It’s just so convenient to have everything in one feed rather than hopping through different links! You can follow this blog here!

 

  • ASOS maternity jeans: I have tried them all and nothing fits me like ASOS. Personally, I was highly disappointed in the New Look maternity range as they come up too large. H&M are amazing for tops but the jeans are too expensive. So the responsibility fell to ASOS! I am lucky enough to be able to wear jeans to my office job so I NEED a reliable few pairs to see me through pregnancy. Look out for special offers!

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I’ll be back very soon hopefully with more single product reviews amongst some other stuff!

laura

PS Don’t forget to follow vivifyblog on Instagram where I am trying out instastories! The above picture is lifted directly from my “story” from a few days ago.

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High-End Heroes

Recently I have been dipping my toes in the very shallow end of the high-end beauty pool and it feels so naughty. Subscription boxes and places like Depop have opened doors to the sampling of luxury products without the high price tag.

I am yet to pay full price for a high-end product but I may repurchase first-hand replacements for the following products (my High-End Heroes)…

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Starting with the face, I have two wonders here (both purchased from trusted sellers on Depop:

Diorskin Nude Air Serum

This feels like a dream on the skin. It comes in the form of a liquid with a dropper and all it takes is two drops for skin perfection. A lightweight, medium coverage foundation that lasts all day. Though be sure to shake before use otherwise you will get foundation dripping between your fingers…

Estee Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup

This is a slighter thicker consistency than the Dior serum (think traditional foundations and BB creams) but provides a similar lightweight result. This contains SPF 30 and vitamin E as an added bonus.

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Now onto the eyes:

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner

I’ve mentioned before that seeing me without my signature cat eye is a privilege, and it’s mainly thanks to this product. It really does stay all day and is by far the most pigmented black eyeliner I’ve ever used. And at £13 it doesn’t break the bank!

Mac Mascara

Scrolling through my Depop feed I saw this mascara from Mac. I’ve only ever tried their lipsticks up until now, so thought I’d give this a go at a knock off price. It both lengthens and volumises my lashes, but I believe it’s been discontinued as I can’t find it on their UK site! If anyone knows if this is still in circulation please comment below.

Lancome Grandiose Eyeliner

This seems to be a Marmite product (you either love it or hate it) but I sit firmly on the love it camp. I reach for this over the Stila liquid pen when seeking a matte finish. Just don’t bother with setting the applicator at an angle. For me, this is a gimmick.

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Chanel Eyeshadow

I received this last year in the Cohorted beauty box and it was the first higher end beauty product I ever owned. This is a beautiful midnight blue shade that I use as an eyeliner but could be used to create a sexy smoky eye. I can’t find this exact shade on their website, but it looks like it falls in their Illusion D’Ombre line.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow

If you’re not yet ready to step up into the world of Naked palettes, then why not start with single shades for a fraction of the price? Half baked is my most used shade from Naked 2 and this is a handy pan to take for touch ups on the go. I smear all over my lids paired with my cat eye for an easy desk to dancefloor look.

Clinique Colourpop (Nudepop)

Yet another Depop buy, this time from YouTuber Tamara Kalinic aka The Glam and Glitter. I love this lipstick as contains primer so you can get long lasting colour in one step. This is a near perfect match for my natural lips which I find easy to wear. Plus Tamara donates all profits from her Depop sales to charity, so definitely worth checking out!

What are your high-end heroes?

laura

PS please ensure that any sellers you are considering buying from are trusted and always pay in app! You can find my shop here

2016 | Year in Music

I have a soundtrack for everything. My Spotify has a selection of playlists curated by me for each and every occasion, memory, holiday, year, genre, artist – you name it!

Throughout the year I add current favourite songs into one playlist which becomes a sort of time capsule. I see many blog posts using Instagram to sum up the blogger’s year -which certainly is a good indication of what each of us got up to in 2016 – however, for me it’s all about the tunes:

Okay, not every single song brings back a poignant memory, but scrolling through I am reminded of the highs and lows of 2016: the deaths of David Bowie and George Michael, a very difficult time at work facing redundancy, the relief of keeping my job, our honeymoon (particularly blasting out Austra when driving over the Golden Gate bridge and hearing JT on the radio whilst cruising around Hawaii), falling in love with Gilmore Girls (Carole King and Sam Philips of course), and finding out we are expecting our first child.

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These are memories that will be infinitely linked with these songs. In years to come, I will always associate certain songs with a particular bar in Vancouver – as if I was sipping an ice cold beer right there and then (currently dreaming of having another once our new addition is here).

It’s said a picture says a thousand words, and that may be true, but for me a song says even more.

Happy new year all!

laura

PS I will be back very soon with my favourites (beauty and lifestyle) of 2016!

Ride or Die Make-Up | The Travel Edit

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It was only a matter of time before the beauty bloggers’ tag of the moment reached Vivify. Back in July, we spent three weeks on the other side of the globe for our honeymoon with limited baggage. Having to choose one product per category was a real life decision of my holy grail products.

I’m sure anyone who has gone long haul will be familiar with the woes of liquids and air travel. You can’t just chuck your usual makeup bag in your suitcase. The limitations of what you can and can’t take in your hand luggage mean you have to be picky with products. So here’s what made the grade:

Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum
A lightweight, natural looking, medium coverage foundation. My skin, but better.

Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner
Waterproof, pigmented and easy to apply; this pen ensures my signature cat eye can face anything.

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational (original)
Yet to try this drugstore favourite of just about every beauty blogger? You should. The curved brush gets every lash and gives a natural lengthening and volumising effect.

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Lipstick: Mac Syrup
Nudes are so in right now it hurts, but nothing beats this near perfect match for my natural lips.  I’m not a big lipstick fan, and I’m wary of anything bold, so this was my first move into the world of lip wear!

Eyeshadow Palette: theBalm NUDE ‘tude
This is a compact palette and yet has an array of colours to create a range of looks. It’s not budget but I think palettes are worth the splurge as drugstore equivalents can be chalky.

Brows: Soap and Glory Archery
On a regular day, I tend to leave my brows alone. But when they need a little help, nothing gets the job done like this pencil. There is no need to lug a sharpener around either as the product twists up. Anything that reduces what I need to take on holiday gets the thumbs up from me!

What are you travel essentials? xoxo

Life Update and Current Obsessions!

Hello after another longer than expected blogging hiatus!

I can’t even attempt to sugarcoat the situation: life is tough right now. My job is at risk of redundancy and suddenly talking about shower gel seems so superficial. But then again, isn’t life about its little treats? Indulging in a long bath has certainly helped with stress recently, amongst these other things:

Make Up

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Colour (£7.99) – Whilst this polish is a little on the pricier side, the longevity and ease of application more than make up for it. I’ve been rocking the bright red, almost coral, shade All Fired Up.

MAC Syrup (£15.50) – This pink-toned nude is the very definition of your-lips-but-better and I just adore the semi-creamy finish which sits so comfortably on the lips and lasts all day. I think this may be The One.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99) – I mentioned in a previous blog post that I hardly ever wear foundation because of its cakey feel, instead using tinted moisturisers and BB creams to even out my complexion. Well, then this came into my life and the rest was history. I use the shade Light Vanilla but it comes in 8 shades to suit everyone.

Skincare

Sanctuary Spa Beauty Sleep Face Mask (£12.00) – I would classify myself as a lazy girl, so a face mask that works its magic whilst you sleep and requires no rinsing very much appeals the me. I’ve tried similar concepts in the past but was put off by sticky residues and lingering scents, however this soaks into my skin before you can start counting sheep leaving healthier, brighter skin by morning.

NIP+FAB Deep Cleansing Fix (£8.00) – This multi-use cream is an absolute delight. Not only does it remove makeup and cleanses the face, it can also be used as a face mask. Tea tree and sweet almond oil not only smell fantastic but help clear blemishes. I’d stock up.

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser and Serum Duo (£14.99) – We all know the importance of wearing daily SPF but I can’t be the only one who finds the clogginess and overwhelming scent of traditional suncream a turn off. This clever moisturiser and serum duo contains broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF 20) and is oil free – so all the protection without the grease.

Hopefully life will turn around for me in the near future, but in the meantime I will stay strong and keep treating myself until I get my feeling of vivify back!

xoxo

January 2016: My Month in Music

I love music. So many memories are intertwined with certain songs that they themselves become the memories. I am constantly creating and updating Spotify playlists for different moods, occasions, music genres and pretty much everything!

January was a sad month for the world of music with the passing of David Bowie. He was a true icon who innovated music both past and present. You will find a few of my favourites from him in this playlist.

I particularly enjoyed the introduction of the Beatles back-catalogue on Spotify in late December. It was an early Xmas present and I have been reacquainting myself with their work.

My favourite song of of the year so far is definitely “Charlemagne” by Blossoms. It is so catchy and sure to be a big hit.

Please note that these are the songs I have been personally loving so far this year but I don’t think any of them are actually new releases! I have such eclectic taste in music which spans decades and genres, and this is just what has been repeat for the past month!

Enjoy the playlist and subscribe to hear future editions! What songs have you been loving so far this year?

xoxoxo

Favourites: January 2016!

January has been a long month filled with dark, cold nights (and payday seemingly forever at bay). For most of us we are back at work, harshly thrown into reality after the season of indulgence, with those resolutions to get fit and save money already failing.

But it’s also a chance to reset and reassess your life. This is the first year where I am eagerly awaiting new beauty launches and keeping up with trends. While these are not new launches, these are the products which softened the January blow for me!

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L’Oreal Mega Volume Collagene 24h Black Mascara
I was a little skeptical at first about this mascara because I usually go for thinner brushes – I find the thicker type here tends to clump up my lashes – but L’Oreal have really delivered on their promise of a product that provides volume and length for lashes. Thoroughly recommended.

Caudelie Lip Conditioner
I suffer greatly with chapped lips. It seems that no matter what I do I can’t escape the dryness and peeling but this lip treatment from Caudelie has helped repair some of the damage. It’s intensely nourishing and long-lasting, and is always in my bag.

Lush Sunkissed Lip Tint
This shimmering lip tint works wonders in these cold months to both project my lips from the elements whilst providing a subtle dash of colour. With yummy and natural ingredients such as banana, oatmeal and almond oil what is there not to love?

Stila Smudge Pot Eyshadow & Gel Eyeliner (Kitten)
This product is magic. Gel-like in the jar but quickly turning to a powdery dust upon application, this will innovate your eyeshadow routine. And you can also use as a liner! I personally wouldn’t with this neutral shade but can totally see the appeal for the darker tones in the range. I may invest further.

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L’Oreal Color Riche Eyeshadow Quad – Green/gold tone
This came in a free Xmas gift I received when I purchased the L’Oreal blush nudes palette from Boots and whilst it may be small, it packs the punches with four highly-pigmented shades that can deliver both neutral and bold looks. I keep this in my handbag as it contains the shades that can take me from the office to the afterparty.

La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Cream
Foundation just doesn’t work for my skin tone. I often end up looking like an orange with even the lightest of shades, so I tend to even out my skin tone using BB creams instead. I love this one from La Roche-Posay which is lightweight and moisturising.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
I have never used such a fast-absorbing face product before. This is exceptional and although the price tag reflects that, it is worth every penny. Admittedly, I received this through a subscription box but this may be the first skincare product I will splash out on as I cannot find any alternatives. This serum is like a daily vitamin supplement for your skin and you will be shocked by how quickly it comes into action. I apply this to my face and neck after cleansing and before moisturising.

Blogosphere Magazine
A magazine written by bloggers, for bloggers, about blogging you say? I’m in. It’s so great to see many familiar faces from the world of beauty, health, photography, fitness and food blogging amongst these pages. I especially loved the article on how brains and beauty are not mutually exclusive. Whilst this issue may be a few months old, you can still pick one up on the Blogosphere website (including a tablet edition) or from the computing shelves at WHSmiths.

Sound Intone Bluetooth Headphones
I love watching YouTubers but not everyone shares this taste, so a good pair of headphones are a necessity for me. These connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to a number of devices and so are perfect for the workday commute, as well as around the house when doing chores (yawn). Just remember to charge them up (although they come with a connecting cable just in case – phew) Added bonus: the fold up neatly so can be comfortably carried around in your handbag. I got mine from Amazon, £26.

What have you loved in the first month of 2016, and are you tempted by any of the products discussed today? Please let me know in the comments and subscribe if you would like to read more posts from me.

xoxoxo