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  • 04/19/14--23:00: ROSE HIP NAILS

  • I literally can't remember the last time I painted my nails in a soft, baby pink. As an ex-tomboy I usually opt for the blues or neutrals, occasionally dabbling in bright pinks but soft pinks? I ain't no ballerina. 

    This 'Rose Hip' polish from Barry M is such a dream pastel that I had to give it a go and I'm happy I did, I love it. I think soft pinks, if they're not bubblegum pink, can look really chic and put together. It's perfect for Spring!

    What do you think?

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  • 04/20/14--05:00: MY SHOE COLLECTION

  • I'm not really a shoe girl. You'll see from my collection that although I have a lot (around 19 pairs) they're all pretty old, nothing special and I definitely don't have many heels. 

    Saying that, this is my favourite video I've ever filmed and edited so I really hope you enjoy it too! 

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    When Chanel launch a new foundation, it's impossible to turn a blind eye. I spotted it on counter a day after launch day, gave it a little test and then had to pick one up to give it a proper go. It's been over a week now so I'm ready to report back... 

    The idea of this foundation is a bit like Vitalumière Aqua for those who want something less dewy, a bit more matte but without sacrificing the glow. First things first, let's talk shades. I sat somewhere between shade 10 and 20 but this foundation will oxidise (get darker throughout the day) so I went for 10. I think there definitely could be a lighter and darker shade but as usual Chanel is quite limited with shade choice. The packaging is the same as VA but black and I love it. I love monochrome, we know this already. 

    So let's discuss the formula and I think in this case the word 'velvet' is the perfect description. I applied this with my fingers, just like I do with VA. It's a water-based foundation so I always think it works better with fingers otherwise the brush just soaks it all up. I found within seconds of applying it onto the skin, it dries and turns into a very silky feeling product very similar to the Hourglass primer. It's smooth to apply, really quite enjoyable and I like the way it makes my skin feel soft. The coverage is very similar to VA as you can see above (right side with foundation, left side without)  it covers, but it's by no means a full coverage. It is buildable though and I felt that two coats worked best for me as one coat was too sheer. 

    So we know that this foundation would work well for oilier skin, it's slightly matte but isn't a traditional matte, cakey foundation that looks too heavy. But is it ok for those of us with dry skin? Well I didn't find it to look drying and there were no flakey patches but I did feel like it looked a bit dull compared to my more glowy foundations. I'm not one to shy away from a bit of shine or glow, I quite like the look so for me this is probably a bit too matte. I really enjoyed how it feels on my skin and was impressed with it's longevity throughout the day. I'll be wearing this on long days and in the heat which is when I think it'll work best for me. 

    So are you intrigued by the new Chanel foundation?


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  • 04/21/14--23:00: FRIZZ FIGHTING

  • As you guys know, I've battled with frizzy hair my whole life. Since the age of about 13 I've been testing out a lot hair products to find the ones that work for me. A brand that I know I can always rely on is John Frieda, specifically the Frizz Ease range. It's a line that was actually introduced to me by my dad, the source of the curliness. The John Frieda Frizz Ease range really understands my kind of hair and the products are made to simplify my routine, cut down time and most importantly, cut down the frizz. 

    These are the products I've been using to get smooth, sleek, straight hair. I start with the Flawlessly Straight Shampoo and Conditioner. These are great because they include Keratin which helps strengthen and smooth my hair and I can always feel an instant difference after using them. I then apply a couple of pumps of the Miraculous Recovery Serum onto my wet hair. This will help protect my hair from splitting when I straighten it as well as repairing any existing damage and eliminating any frizz. 

    I let my hair dry naturally and then when it is completely dry I straighten it layer by layer. It takes about 30 mins (depending on how distracted I get) but once it's done I like to finish with another serum. Sometimes my hair can look a bit puffy when it's just been straightened so I use the Polishing Serum to lock in the style, keep any fly away hairs at bay and add a bit of shine to the finished look. 

    This four step routine has been working wonders for me and has helped me achieve straighter, smoother hair. 

    *This post is sponsored by John Frieda

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    Since spontaneously deciding to film a first impressions video of the NARS Matte Multiples I haven't actually revisited them and given them a proper review, so here it goes... 

    In the new collection of matte multiples are 3 contour shades and 4 blush shades. It's essentially a matte, cream formula that can be used alone or mixed with water to create a more sheer finish. I went for Altai as it was the lightest contour shade and Laos as it seemed like the most wearable rosy blush shade. 

    First things first, the lightest contour shade is not light. I've used it to contour a couple of times but for my skin tone it's actually better as a cream bronzer. It's a shame because if it was lighter and less orange, the idea is good and it would have made a great contour. As a cream bronzer, I do like it though. You can apply it straight from the bullet and then either blend with a dry brush or one that is slightly wet. It takes a bit of time to blend but feels moisturising on the skin and doesn't cover your face in shimmer like some cream bronzers can. 

    I love the shade of the blush but I haven't quite got the hang of it yet. The formula is nice because it stays as a cream but I found myself blending like crazy and ending up with entirely pink cheeks. I think with the blusher it may be better to apply with your finger rather than straight from the bullet... there's still more practising to be done with that. It's a lovely blush, but personally not worth the price tag. 

    For me, Altai is a winner as a bronzer (although still a bit too dark) and if NARS were to bring out a lighter contour shade I would be first in line! 

    Have you got your hands on any of these yet?

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    I thought it was about time for another raid of the MAC counter, but this time before I went I asked four of my favourite beauty bloggers/vloggers the ultimate question, "what is your one all-time favourite MAC product?"

    Mineralise Skin Finish Natural // Vivianna Does Makeup
    This is a product I hear everyone talk about but I've never tried. To me the idea of using any powder that isn't translucent is a weird idea. Why would you need extra coverage if you're using a foundation that already sorts your skin out? Isn't the powder just to set it? Anna assured me that this isn't any old powder, it's magic. I chose the shade Light Plus as it was less yellow than light and the neutral tone suits my skin. She was right. A small dusting of this on top of my foundation really blurred everything, made my skin look great and set everything in place at the same time. Anna says this is her wonder product when filming and she keeps it close by for touch ups. I can see why! 

    Peaches Blush // Essie Button
    Estée is the queen of peachy blushers, so I knew this would be good if it was a favourite of hers. When I saw it in the pan I thought it just looked like a standard peach tone blush but I think it's actually really versatile. The tone of orange that it is makes it kind of work as a bronzer for those with pale skin. Instead of giving an orange pop like some peach blushers do, this one adds a really natural warmth to the skin and makes you look like you've been on holiday. I'm really glad I picked this one up! 

    Phloof! Eyeshadow // Amelia Liana
    Now this was the only one I was unsure about, but Amelia swears by this eyeshadow and has been loving it for years! It's a frosty, off-white shade which is a shade I never usually use on my eyes. I did think that it brightened up my eyes and it's great for tired days but I'm not sure about it, I think white eyeshadow is a bit too 90s for me. Phloof will work really nicely as a highlight for me though, especially in the inner corners of the eye. 

    Patisserie Lipstick // Tanya Burr
    Tanya's recommendation was the only one I already owned, great minds think alike eh? Patisserie is the most wearable, beautiful, pink/nude shade that is so easy to wear. It gives such a polished look to your makeup and the Lustre formula is creamy and easy to work with. It's one of those lipstick shades that everyone should have in their collection. 

    So those are their favourites and maybe I'll do a post soon on my top 5, but for now I want to know what is your one all-time favourite MAC product? 

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    I'm a little bit embarrassed to say it, but yes I am a bit of a nervous flyer. I consider myself to be a pretty tough girl in general but when it comes to planes I turn into a 10 year old again. I've always been so unsure about flying, it never stopped me going anywhere but over the years I've been perfecting my in-flight, nerve-busting routine. When it comes to short flights I'm usually ok because I know it'll be over soon so my flight to Milan today will be fine, it's the long haul flights that get me. 

    For me it's mind over matter. Motion sickness is one part of it but mainly it's just fear so keeping myself distracted is top priority. Here are some tips I've picked up along the way that may help some of you who are also a little nervous...

    I take a travel sickness pill 20 minutes before flying, whether it's a psychological thing or not, it helps. Then my in-flight routine starts from the minute I take my seat on the plane. I tie my hair up and I change into a comfy pair of socks. I always make sure to have a big bottle of water with me, yes it helps with dehydration but mainly it's in case I start to feel sick. I get comfy and put on my noise cancelling headphones. These are a life-saver for me because they block out any 'plane noise' that might freak me out and even if I can't have them plugged in during take off, they still block out a lot of noise and make me feel calm in my own little headphone world. Having a magazine for take off is an essential too. I hardly ever actually read it but it's a distraction from looking out the window or at other passengers (which always makes me feel worse). 

    Beauty products are also a huge saviour for me when I fly. Again, it's a massive distraction and something to do before/during take off. I also really enjoy having nice smelling things around me because I despise the smell of plane food. I usually start by using a hand sanitiser and following with a really nourishing hand cream. I then use a hydrating lip balm and give my face a spritz of beauty elixir or any face mist. I can do this a few times throughout the flight if I get a bored or anxious. I also keep a 'smelly thing' with me like the This Works Stress Less rollerball which I would roll behind my ears and on my wrists or the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax balm. I love the smell of spa products, they completely relax me so you'll often find me sniffing my little heart out, especially on take off. 

    So that's what I do to keep calm and it usually works. If I do freak out, I freak out internally... people acting nervous about someone who's nervous is a disaster situation so I try not to attract any attention. Do you get nervous flying? Do you have any tricks or tips to share? 

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  • 04/24/14--05:00: CITY BREAK PACKING TIPS

  • Today is the day that I am off to Milan for Itatube and I can't wait. I used to hate packing but have learnt to love it and these tips have made it a lot easier. It's all about being organised, strict and getting into a routine. 

    I hope this video gives you some tips for when you next need to pack for a city break!

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  • 04/24/14--23:00: LIGHTER FOR SUMMER

  • I'd mentioned going lighter in this post, so it's no shock that I've actually done it. As you can see from the 'before' photos I already had a few lighter bits still showing from an old ombré job a year ago. I can't do much with the style of my hair, so being able to add in a little colour is majorly exciting for me and somehow makes me feel like I have 'cool hair'. I wanted something subtle, but noticeable and hopefully nothing that will majorly damage my already damaged hair. 

    I popped along to the Hershesons salon in Harvey Nichols (aka heaven on the 5th floor). Roi gave me a quick chop, nothing drastic, just a tidy up where bits had grown out too long. I'm loving the collarbone length and it works well when straight and curled. I then had my colour done by Jason and after talking through what I wanted and showing him a photo, he pretty much got it straight away. He worked through my hair section by section, backcoming first and then putting in the colour. This is how he got the balayage effect which is basically the new ombré. He didn't want a blunt line where the lighter shade starts so he didn't use foils and instead left the hair to hang and dry (see this scary photo for proof).  After about 30 mins he washed it out, used a toner and I was done. 

    I really like the colour and it's something I can add to if I wanted to later in the Summer. It's not an obvious ombré, it's more of a lift of colour just to lighten things up especially around my face. 

    So what do you think? I love it! 

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  • 04/25/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    Ah... the controversial Birkenstocks. You either love 'em or you hate 'em and I definitely love them. They're super comfy and I love how they look. They really remind me of India Rose's style and I'm obsessed with her blog. Rich hates them, my sister hates them and most of my friends hate them, but do I care? Nope. 

    LIFE //
    Yes, yes Lily we know you're in Milan. Sorry for going on about it but whilst I'm here I thought I'd ask you guys for some recommendations. Where should we go? Where should we shop? Where should we eat? Leave me some comments so Anna and I can have a fun filled day on Monday. Thanks! 

    EATS //
    I recently popped into Roots & Bulbs which is a new juice bar on 5 Thayer Street in London (just at the end of Marylebone High Street, Selfridges end). They do cold-pressed juices and smoothies using only fresh ingredients with no extra chemical bits added. It's real, honest juice and it's delicious too! Check out the menu and funky offering system here. It's definitely one to visit next time you're central and fancy a healthy juice. 

    Have a lovely weekend! 

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  • 04/26/14--23:00: PINK OMBRÉ NAILS

  • If you've been here for a while you might remember my Coral Ombré nail post from this time last year. I wanted to try it again but this time using pink, a shade that doesn't get enough love on my nails. 

    Going from dark to light I used Essie Twin Sweater Set, Essie Style Hunter, Essie Watermelon, Barry M Grapefruit and Ciaté Kiss Chase. 

    The key to this look is being subtle with the colour change. Don't go from really dark to really light, make it gradual. 

    Tweet me @lilypebbles a photo of your nails if you decide to do this look, I'd love to see! 

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  • 04/27/14--05:00: APRIL FAVOURITES 2014

  • It's that time of the month again... time for my monthly favourites! This month I've got makeup, nails, skincare and a couple of random favourites too! 


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  • 04/27/14--23:00: MY TRAVEL MAKEUP BAG

  • So I'm still in Milan but I thought I'd show you the makeup bits I brought with me. It's always really hard trying to decide what to bring, especially if it's on a  trip you haven't really been on before. Here's how my brain worked when packing...

    The Soap & Glory SPF50 for daily wear, the new Chanel foundation because I'm still enjoying wearing it. The Clarins Radiance Boosting Complexion base because the foundation is quite matte and the Estée Lauder BB Glow Highlighter to brighten up my skin. My usual concealer duo, Bobbi Brown Corrector and Make Up For Ever Full Cover and then an addition of MAC's MSF in Light Plus so my skin looks good in photos. My usual brow duo, the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and the Blink Clear Brow Gel. For a bit of colour, the Soap & Glory Solar Powder and the Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop because it's really long lasting. I threw in the Kevyn Aucoin highlighter in case the BB Glow didn't cut it for the evenings, but I probably won't end up using it. 

    For my eyes I brought the Urban Decay primer potion and the Laura Mercier Spring Artist palette (out May 6th in John Lewis) because it has every shade I'll need in one. For liner, MAC Teddy and Maybelline The Rocket for mascara. Finally for lips, a couple of pink and nude lip glosses, one from Tanya Burr and one from Bobbi Brown and then a red Revlon lip butter in case I want a bit of colour (but my lips are still sore so nothing too drying). 

    So that's what I packed in end! I definitely could have packed less but as I'm filming and taking photos whilst here, there were a few extra products I needed to pack in. 

    I hope you liked taking a peak inside! 

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    I love that Boots is becoming more and more of a beauty haven and less of a pharmacy. I find myself browsing for hours throughout the week and coming across some great beauty finds. These two products are at the top of my must-have list and I've really been enjoying using them recently. 

    The PawPaw balm is a product that has been really well-known in Australia for years. I picked up a Lucas Paw Paw last time I was there and although I liked the product itself, I couldn't help but cringe at the slightly fermented smell. I spied a replica product the other day in Boots and although it says it's Australia made and owned, I can't confirm whether it is the exact same product as the Lucas Paw Paw (it thankfully has no fermented smell to it!). It does work the same way though, soothing, relieving and moisturising chapped lips and irritated skin, this one says it includes Bio Active Manuka Honey 20+. I also noticed that Petrolatum is the first ingredients and this is usually something I stay away from as it's a cheap ingredients with little long-term benefits. However, saying that, I've found this oily lip balm has been really great and has helped with my severely dry lips. It's worth checking out next time you're in Boots!

    Lanolips is a brand that I keep coming back to and their most well-known for their balms. This May they are releasing an Antibacterial Hand Cream and I know it's not particularly glamorous but if you're fed up of harsh, drying chemical hand sanitisers, this is a great alternative. It applies like a cream and feels super moisturising on your hands but also kills germs at the same time. It's a handbag staple! 

    So have you spotted anything new at Boots that you think I need to try?? 

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  • 04/29/14--23:00: NUTELLA MINI MILKSHAKES

  • I'm still having fun with my Breville Blend Active and recently I've enjoyed making these super easy, quick, sweet shots. 

    All you need is bananas, Nutella and milk and you can really add as much or as little as you want. To make these two small bottles I used two bananas, two tablespoons of Nutella and half a glass of milk. To give it a milkshake texture and to make it cold I froze the bananas first (pre-peeled and put in a sandwich bag). 

    They're so quick to make, they look cute and man do they taste good. What else can I blend? If you have any good recipes, let me know! 

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  • 04/30/14--05:00: THE APRIL CATCH-UP

  • It's the last day of the month so it's time for a monthly catchup of some of my favourite posts. Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' for daily updates, or Facebook if you prefer! 

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    I've always been intrigued by stick foundations. Not so much to use as a foundation but as an on-the-go concealer stick. Two brands I love have recently brought out foundation sticks so I thought I'd give them both a go and compare my thoughts... 

    The first one I tried was from Maybelline and is part of their Fit Me range. It was hard to find a shade that matched out of the 6 available so I ended up getting two, but the one that was closest to my skin tone was 115 Ivory. The packaging feels quite cheap on this one, it gets dirty easily and you can see the product has scratched on the way out. My instant reaction when trying the product itself was that it was far too greasy and had quite a lot of slip. It didn't really give me the coverage I was looking for and felt really uncomfortable on the skin. I was really disappointed with this one, especially after hearing such good things from other bloggers. 

    Next up is the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. We don't really need to mention the packaging on this one, as with all Bobbi products it's amazing. This one comes in 24 shades, from very pale to very dark. They've recently reformulated the product to make the shades less yellow and more true to skin colour. My shade is 3.25 Cool Beige and it's a perfect match. I found this one to be really great and it did what I felt the Maybelline one tried to do but failed at. It feels silky and velvety on the skin without having any slip and without feeling greasy. It somehow helps combat oil and shine but moisturises the skin at the same time making it work for all different skin types. I personally prefer using this as a touch-up concealer rather than a foundation but it does work nicely as a cream foundation too. 

    The price difference is big, with Maybelline at £8.99 and Bobbi Brown at £29 but one works for me and one doesn't, it's as simple as that. 

    Sometimes the original can't be beaten, but if you have any alternative affordable recommendations, send them my way please! 

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  • 05/01/14--05:00: ITATUBE VLOG

  • I'm now back from Milan after our fun weekend adventure. I met some lovely people, spent time with old friends and met some new ones too. It's hard to put into words how it all went so I hope you enjoy watching this vlog... 

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  • 05/01/14--23:00: I HEART UGLY CLOTHES

  • I'm going through a phase (and it's one I go through at least once a year) where I'm a little bit obsessed with 'ugly' clothes. You know those trends that most people hate? Well I kinda love them. The more people hate Birkenstocks, the more I love them and now I've added this far too over sized denim jacket to my wardrobe just to make things worse better. 

    I got the jacket from ASOS, but it's by Monki. I love the grey toned denim as I think it goes nicely with black jeans and isn't as 90s as a blue denim jacket. It's really oversized, especially around the arms but after being a bit unsure of the fit I decided just to keep it and I'm glad I did. I layered underneath a Topshop sweater and wore my Topshop black Leigh jeans and black Birkenstock sandals

    To go with the whole slouchy look I also wore my Zadig & Voltaire black leather bag that I got in the sale a few years ago. 

    It's an ugly outfit but you know what? I love it. 


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    WEAR //
    I knew there would be a bit of rain during our Milan trip so before I left I ordered a raincoat from ASOS. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it when it came as it's not something I usually go for but I LOVE IT. It's shiny, it's plastic-y and it's a beautiful blue. I'm aware that I look about 12 years old when I wear it but it protected me from the rain and didn't feel like a Winter rain coat. 

    LIFE //
    I met so many lovely readers and subscribers this weekend at both our meetups so thank you so much if you came! It was really nice to be able to chat to each of you for so long and it made our weekend very special. 

    EATS //
    We ate at so many great places this weekend so thanks for all of your recommendations! One place that came up in our comments time and time again was Luini. It's a takeaway shop where you can buy savoury and sweet pastries for lunch. The savoury pastries taste like donuts filled with pizza toppings... it was amazing. I'm so glad we went and I'd recommend trying it when/if you're in Milan. 

    Have a nice weekend! 

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