Monthly Archives: August 2015

Baby Diaries: Do Stretch Mark Oils/Creams Really Work?

C: stretch marks… not pretty but probably one of those pregnancy things that everyone worries about at least a little bit? Pregnancy is a beautiful thing (in theory/for outsiders who don’t have to deal with the nasty little side effects our beautiful babies cause our poor bodies) but no one wants a body of stretch marks that last forever – even if they do fade eventually. The difficult thing is the number of products on the market, some of which are quite frankly extortionate in price. So the real question is… do they work? In my experience, I am afraid the answer is nope! And after a little research this seems to be the case for most people.

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I have tried several creams/oils that are widely available, and have been using them twice daily since the start of the second trimester, so since like week 12. And I am afraid to say, despite the major “lubing up” as the boyfriend delightfully calls this lengthy twice daily process I still have stretch marks. Now admittedly, I have watched one born every minute and spoken to my midwife about it, and my stretch marks are no where near as bad as other peoples. They are all very thin lines, and are mostly just on my hips rather than all the way across my new beer belly which I am super pleased about. But they are still there.

Would they have been worse if I havent used these creams? Who knows. I am afraid I can’t comment on that, I was far too scared of the dreaded stretch marks to risk not using them! After a little research I found that apparently stretch marks are hereditary…. which also seems to be a lie as my mother informed me she didn’t get any (and my father butted in, informing me his actual beer belly is still beautifully clear of stretch marks – inserted lolling emojis here). In fact, my midwife has told me that 90% of ladies get stretch marks. NINETY PERCENT. That is basically everyone.

So my recommendation? Both of these creams made my skin more supple and moisturised, meaning I haven’t had an itchy tummy whilst it has stretched, and if nothing more it is a way of pre-bonding with your beautiful baby via a little massage. As far as the bio-oil goes, I shall report back on how quickly my marks fade after they have finished stretching, but so far they haven’t gone bright red and look like old ones already, so I am feeling positive! But to cut a long story short? If you are gonna get them…. It’s going to happen no matter what! So my advice is to be prepared and not worry about it, your life isn’t over and they will fade eventually! 

Any preggo bloggers out there found the same thing? #twolittleowls

Jessys Mum’s Chilli Jam Recipe!

C: if you saw our Summer plans post, you would know that making jams/chutneys is one of my aims for this Summer whilst on maternity leave. I don’t know why, but I find it very therapeutic and this is my all time favourite recipe! Jessy’s mum used to make this, and every time I went round we ate like a whole jar! With cheese, crackers, in sandwhiches… you name it, we couldn’t get enough! Eventually she gave me the recipe so I could have a go at making my own/so I didn’t keep eating all of hers probably! This isn’t a proper jam… as in you wouldn’t have it on toast (although I have tried it, and tbh I would totally eat it again!), but its amazing in sandwiches as a sweet chutney or with cheese and biscuits! It has a kick to it, but isn’t super duper spicy so don’t panic at the number of chilis in there!

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Ingredients:

8 red peppers (deseeded and cut into chunks), 10 red chillies (roughly chopped), finger sized piece of fresh ginger, 8 peeled garlic cloves, 400g can of chopped tomatoes, 1lb 10z of golden caster sugar, 250ml red wine vinegar.

Method:

1. Tip peppers, chilis (including seeds), ginger and garlic into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped – scrape into a heavy bottomed pan.

2. Add chopped tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and then bring to the boil. Skim off any scum and then simmer for 50 minutes or until jam starts to go sticky – stirring throughout occasionally.

3. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes whilst stirring frequently and then allow to cool slightly.

4. Transfer to sterilised jars and then jam mixture will last 3 months.

Hope you guys have a go at this, as it is truly amazing! Let us know if you do (Annie loves it too, I obvs have to take her a jar whenever I make this badboy!) #twolittleowls

FOTD: Ladies who Brunch Feat. Kiko Cosmetics and Project Pan!

C: a quick FOTD for you all today! I went out for a late breakfast with Annie (and the boys, but we try to ignore them as best as we can) the other day and quite liked my make up so decided to share it with you! I was also wearing my S&G lipgloss from our Project Pan (you can see the post all about it here) so thought it would be a good way to update you on how said project is going!

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Please do excuse my eyebrows… I am prepping them for a nice wax ha! Other than the monstrous brows (which I used ELFS brow kit to tame as much as possible), I decided to keep my make up quite low key, especially with my base. I have delightfully hormonal skin at the moment so kept my base quite light with my GOSH BB Cream and my ELF translucent powder. Although I have several blemishes on my chin, I decided against a heavy duty concealer as Annie isn’t bothered by my horrid face and I would rather not clog up my skin any more than necessary! Special occasions for posh make up only! To warm up my skin a little I used Benefits Hoola bronzer and a little Mary Lou Manizer to highlight – being preggo means I no longer actually have cheekbones so this just contoured my face slightly so I looked like the normal me!

For my eyes I used Benefits Stay Don’t Stray primer, as it was hot weather and I knew I was going to be out all day and then lined under my eyes with a Rimmel black liner which I smudged out slightly with a brush. I then used my Kiko Eyeshadow stick in 04 Golden Chocolate all over my lid which I blended out with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. I then reapplied some more in the crease to darken it slightly and add some definition. I love these beauties for easy make up that looks like you have spent ages creating a smokey eye – I reviewed this separately here if you are interested.

I then used a black eyeshadow from W7 along my upper lashes to add some definition and finished with a couple of coats of Benefits They’re Real Eyeliner! All in all I spent about 10 minutes at the most doing my make up, but was really pleased with how it came out! Lastly I applied my S&G Sexy Motherpucker lipgloss that I am trying so hard to use up for our Project Pan, but it is lasting forever! I have used it so much and it still looks brand new… may have picked the wrong product here but congrats on such a value for money product S&G!

So anyway what do you think of my low maintenance, low-key look? It lasted all day and is simple enough for any make up beginner! #twolittleowls

Review: Kiko Nail Lacquer in Grass Green

C: whilst deciding what colour to paint my nails, I decided to have a look through my stash and see which nail varnishes I haven’t used recently. I have so many that lots get abandoned and forgotten about even if I love them! I realised that I haven’t actually used this nail varnish properly yet – I have only used it for nail art or on my toes rather than for a full mani! My mother in law (ish) bought me this a while ago when on holiday in Italy (you can see what else she treated me too here if you fancy) so it was about time I gave it a proper go and shared my thoughts with you readers!

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Now the colour… when I first put this on I really wasn’t sure! I panicked a bit and then realised I was far too lazy to repaint my nails anyway so went out to meet Annie (we went for breakfast and then shopping as per our usual Saturday plans). By lunch time I had decided I actually love it! It is super bright and definitely a Summer colour but I really do like it! Plus its good to get out your comfort zone every now and again, and a nail polish is a super easy way to do that!

The formula itself is quite thin, but in a good way as it means its quite easy to work with. This is with two coats which is pretty much opaque, and has a beautiful glossy finish. I really liked the brush too, as it made it easy to get a professional looking manicure. However, due to the thin formula, I found it did sink into any imperfections on my nails, as my nails currently split quite easily due to being pregnant, so make sure you fully prep your nails and apply a base coat and then this polish will still look perfecto!

As for longevity, I would say these have a pretty normal lasting power. My mani lasted 3 days before any significant chips arrived which is pretty normal for me as I am quite hard on my nails (an hours bath and then washing up anyone?!).

This nail polish is still available here for currently just £2.50, although their polishes are normally £3.90 so get a bargain whilst you still can!

Let us know if you have tried any Kiko nail polishes! This is the only one I have, but next time I make an order I am definitely going to invest in a couple more – they have such a good colour range! #twolittleowls

Review: MAC Fluid Line Eye Pencil in Atomic Ore 

A: I picked this little beauty up whilst on holiday a few weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting to find a MAC shop so decided to treat myself and have a little splurge! I refused to buy another lipstick (even I have to admit that I have too many now!) so the next best thing was surely a gold eyeliner?!


I’ve been loving using gold eyeshadow under my lower lashes with a winged liner on my lid – but eyeshadow doesn’t always last well so I swatched this, left it to dry for 30 seconds whilst I had a browse at the other MAC goodies, and then struggled to wipe it off once it had dried! so I knew it would be perfect for what I wanted.


It’s a beautiful pale gold, which is exactly what I was after because it’s yellow tones really make my blue eyes pop. It had a beautiful creamy texture too so it’s smooth and easy to apply, but also easy to smudge out with a brush. It was £16 though, which is pricey for an eyeliner but it’s not something I use every day so I’m pretty sure it will last me quite a while – and it’s just nice to treat yourself sometimes. They do lots of other colours in the range too, which all look beautiful (click here if you’re tempted)! I can’t wait to do a make up look with this to show you what it’s like/see what you think!

Have you tried any of the Fluid Line Pencils from MAC? #twolittleowls

Review: Mavala in Black Night

A: I’ve had this Mavala varnish a couple of months now and I thought it was about time I shared the wealth with all of you lovely readers.

  

I’ve included a couple of photos to try and show you how the colour changes in the light – it really is beautiful. Dark nail varnishes are always my favourite and  I do love a good black varnish but this is a gorgeous twist from the standard black with the lovely green undertone and shimmer. It is almost two tone – but not quite, and it’s perfect for an evening out where you don’t just want to go with black nails. Plus green is my favourite colour!

It’s beautiful to apply, the brush is the perfect size and shape for my nails (they’re pretty small so not always easy to paint!) and it’s really pigmented, the photos above are just one coat! It’s long lasting too, I always use a top coat but Mavala polishes always seem to give me a few extra chip free days. They are available in Boots, and start at £4.75 a varnish – click here to see the full collection!

Have you tired any Mavala polishes? #twolittleowls

Chloes August Empties 2015

C: another empties post for you this month! I have done an excellent job of using up products again for you this month and I am finally getting in control of my stash! So here is what I have been using up, and my mini reviews for you.

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Soap & Glory Clean on Me Creamy Moisture Shower Gel – this was in one of my Christmas box sets which I receive basically every year now as everyone knows I love S&G stuff – I am not complaining by the way! I love this stuff, it smells nice, it makes you nice and clean, I’m not allergic and it helps keep your skin moisturised. What more could you want?

Repurchase? I have some more hiding away in my stash, but if I didn’t then yes, definitely!

The Body Shop Satsuma Shower Gel – another Christmas prezzie! I love stuff from the Body Shopm and although the formula was as excellent as ever this scent just wasn’t for me. I am not keen on citrus-y scents anyway, but this was just way too strong for me! Possibly due to my pregnancy nose, who knows (ha that rhymes) but I just wasn’t keen.

Repurchase? Not in this flavour, no!

Urban Veda Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish – this is a Birchbox sample (which I will finally start getting through even though I cancelled my subscription ages ago!), and I actually really like this! It smells really fruity, and although it is an exfoliator it is really gentle on your skin. My skin felt very soft and clean after using this, and my make up applied beautifully.

Repurchase? Yes!

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask – I got this sample free in a magazine, which is a great way to try out new products as on paper this sounds like exactly the product for me! Rose scented and hydrating? Perfect! This was not the case however, and this isn’t actually an empty I am just having to throw it away! As lovely as it smelt, this made my skin super itchy and I had to wash it off straight away! I tried it again and the same thing happened the second time too, so clearly this didn’t suit my sensitive skin!

Repurchase? No.

Whish Body Butter – oh hello Birchbox samples! Annie reviewed this here if you fancy reading her review, but on this particular product our opinions are quite different! We both absolutely loved the scent, but Annie found it too heavy (she prefers a body lotion to a butter) whereas I found it perfect for my super dry skin. I am actually super sad this has ran out, the scent is so beautiful I would wear it as perfume!

Repurchase? Yes! I will be repurchasing once I have used up some more of my stashed body butters!

Acqua Di Parma Tris Noble Sublime Perfume – never heard of this brand/perfume before which is the only reason I have bothered to include this! As this just isn’t the right scent for me! If you like floral perfumes though this would be perfect for you, it was just a little too mature for my sweetie/vanilla scented preference!

Repurchase? Nope!

Phew, a long empties post for you this month, but mostly a positive one! Have any of you guys tried these products? If so what did you think to them? #twolittleowls

Project Pan: Rimmel Lasting Finish in Birthday Suit

A: Chloe and I have decided to give Project Pan a go this Summer (click here to see our full post), and I’ve been loving using one of my lipsticks featured so I thought I’d share this look with you.



This is the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Birthday Suit, a beautiful nude with a gold shimmer.

I did my usual base with Model Co BB cream, Rimmel Clear Complexion Powder and I then added a gold shimmer eyeshadow from my Bellapierre Get The Look kit (review coming soon!), and my go to winged liner and mascara.


I really think this lipstick works well with a subtle eye for an everyday look, but I’m also super excited to team it with a smokey eye for an evening look too! The texture is lovely and creamy, and keeps my lips hydrated all day. It’s not really long lasting, but a nude is easy to apply throughout the day so I don’t mind too much!

What do you think to this look? #twolittleowls

Review: Montagne Jeunesse/My 7th Heaven Blemish Mud Face Mask

C: my apologies for the rubbish photo here, but I wasn’t actually planning on writing up a proper review on just this one face mask! Meaning you lucky readers now have to look at a photo of a dirty/undone mud mask. Nice. However, after the first go with this bad boy I knew I had to tell you all about it. Recently I have had some quite bad hormonal break outs, particularly around my chin. Normally I don’t really get any proper spots/blemishes so this must be another lovely pregnancy problem! So in order to help with the situation I had a dig around in my stash and found some individual Montagne Jeunesse (which have now renamed themselves My 7th Heaven for some unbeknown reason) face masks.

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I applied a good thick layer of this all over my skin, and although it is for one use there was actually enough left over for another application (I just wrapped it in clingfilm to stop it from drying out). I then nicely laid in the bath for a good 15 minutes before removing it with a hot flannel to gently exfoliate my skin at the same time. Straight away I noticed that the redness from my spots had slightly gone down and they had dried up a little. I didn’t think much of it, as most clay/mud based masks do similar things initially.

The next day my spots had visibly reduced and were not as painful/obvious. I decided to not wear make up this day to help with the healing, and then the day after (its best not to apply face masks every day as they can be too harsh for every day use) I applied this beauty again. I woke up this morning… to no spots! wahoo! Normally when I do get spots they last weeks rather than a couple of days, so I am deffo putting this miracle down to this mask! I have a few others from this brand that I am now itching to try, but I will definitely be repurchasing this one in particular again!

This face mask is available here for just £1! Have any of you guys tried these bargain masks? I have seen them in loads of shops before but figured such cheapies wouldn’t be any good! #twolittleowls

The Make-Up Clear Out!

C: now I have moved house and have started my maternity leave I decided it was time for the dreaded make up clear out. I am an epic hoarder and absolutely hate throwing away things that aren’t completely used up, I also used to take all my older make up in my work bag so I didn’t risk breaking or loosing something precious (broken UD palettes sound like a tragedy to anyone else?!). Now I have finished work I have absolutely no reason to keep some of these products that generally went un-used anyway, so here we have my make up clear out!

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Aww look at all the sad, battered and bruised make up! As you can see most of these products are super old but previously very loved! So what exactly have I decided to throw out?

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Natural Collection Eye Case – I got this for Christmas when I was about 15 from my Auntie and I was in love with it! Unfortunately, I also dropped it and broke the black colour and used up the dark brown and almost all of the pale neutral shade. I basically kept this for sentimental purposes as it was my first eye shadow palette, as I have never really used the purple and pink shades!

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Avon True Colour Eyeshadows in Deep Forest – another well loved eye shadow product, that I would still be using today if it hadn’t died of old age. The shadows used to be super pigmented and blendable but have gone hard and horrid. I am not moaning, as I bought these at uni so they lasted a good couple of years! I would happily re-purchase these if Avon stocked the colour again (which they don’t, alas).

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17 Colour Compact – pretty sure my Auntie also got me this one Christmas too! Both of the neutral shades are basically finished and I would never use the blue eye shadow even if I do pretend I am adventurous with my make up – thats just too adventurous/13 years old for me to handle! I also never use lip products that come in palettes due to the obvious eyeshadow powdery/stickiness that you can witness here!

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Virgin Vie Lipstick in Sheer Candy – yes you read that right, I am such a hoarder I have still kept a Virgin Vie lipstick that is basically empty and definitely gone off. I haven’t used this in forever but once again another product I was struggling to say goodbye to as I hadn’t quite finished it (I am starting to think I take after my stingy father a little bit too much!).

Ted Baker Purple Eyeliner – there is no shade name on this, and I don’t think I have ever used it to be quite honest. It came in a gift set and I completely forgot about it! It is not very pigmented now, possibly due to old age so its time for the bin I’m afraid.

So there we have my make up clear out! Is anyone else as bad at hoarding products as me?! I don’t know what it is about beauty items, but unless they have ran out I just can’t seem to say goodbye! On the plus side, I am now all ready to set up my dressing table in my new house, so keep an eye out for my beauty storage posts that are coming your way! #twolittleowls