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  • 05/22/14--05:00: Sunny Brighton Vlog

  • As promised, here it is! We had the best weekend and were so lucky with the weather. See what we got up to and I hope you enjoy it!

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  • 05/22/14--23:00: FLOWERS: FROM PAPER TO VASE

  • For some of you this may seem like an incredibly straight forward, simple thing to write about.. it's just putting flowers in a vase right? But I remember spending years saying "I don't really like receiving flowers" mainly because I didn't really know what to do with them when I did and I found it all a bit overwhelming. As I've grown up I've started to really appreciate how a pretty vase of flowers can really light up a room, so for me, learning the basics of how to look after flowers has been really beneficial. 

    For those of you who also wouldn't really know what to do with a bunch of fresh flowers, here are some tips... 

    No rush
    I always panic that they're going to die before I've even figured out where the vases are kept. Don't panic. If you want to take your time, just place the flowers in the sink with a little bit of water, they'll be fine. 

    Feed them
    Fill your vase with a decent amount of water and add some flower food. Most shop bought flowers come with a sachet of flower food but if they don't I've heard that 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a quarter tablespoon of bleach works too! 

    The easiest way to set the flowers free from the rolls of cellophane and elastic bands is to carefully cut up the side with some sharp scissors.

    Measure & Cut
    The height of your flowers will depend on your vase, so use one to measure it's height and decide on how tall you want them. Using sharp scissors or a knife, cut off the ends of the stem one at a time. This will not only give you the height you require but it will allow the flowers to drink up the water easier. 

    Cutting off the leaves that fall below the water line will make the overall look a lot tidier. There tends to be a lot more leaves on the flowers than you think so cut away the lower ones to really let the pretty flowers show through.

    If you're putting a few different types of flowers in your vase, start with your base, so for me that was the white roses. I had more of them and their colour is simple so I chose them as my base. I put the Peonies in after as they are more of an accent colour so I arranged them in a small circle. When putting the flowers into the vase, try and cross over the stems as they'll sit better and look nicer. 

    So that's it! You can top up the water if it needs it and if you want to try something a bit different you can add a small drop of natural food colouring to make coloured water. Don't keep the flowers too close to the radiator and try and give them some natural light if you can! 

    Let me know if this has been helpful and I hope you enjoy some pretty Spring flowers! 

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  • 05/23/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    I have been obsessed with wearing my new Urban Outfitters hat. It's perfect for sunny days and instantly makes an outfit look complete if you're wearing something quite plain. It's really comfortable too, I almost forgot I was wearing it most days! 

    LIFE //
    There have been some great videos pop up in my subscription box recently so I thought I would share a couple of my favourites. Lovely Steve uploaded a great video about his favourite men's barber in London. Amazingly shot, presented and edited - this video makes me want to grow a beard so I can get it trimmed there! Shameless Maya uploaded a good video about how to make thumbnails for your YouTube videos. For her example she uses a MAC computer and photoshop, but even if you don't use these tools it's interesting to see how she does it and she gives some great tips along the way! 

    EATS //
    This week I attempted to make Amelia's egg and banana pancakes. I'm happy to eat gluten etc but what attracted me about these is how quick and easy they looked to make. You simply mix some eggs and banana, flip them about in a frying pan and you're done! They tasted really sweet, not at all heavy but surprisingly they really filled me up. Check out Amelia's post for proper instructions and enjoy! 

    Have a great bank holiday weekend and keep an eye out for a very special video tomorrow! 

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  • 05/24/14--23:00: REVLON GINGER MELON

  • I wrote about the Revlon Parfumerie nail polish back in February in this post. I didn't really get the gimmick of scented polish and there were a few too many metallics for my liking... 

    I recently tried 'Ginger Melon' from the range and I really like it. The scent is a lot stronger than some of the other shades I've tried and it's surprisingly nice. Even with a layer of top coat the fruity scent is noticeable for up to 3 or 4 days later... 

    The shade is a pretty bright coral pink and it's been getting me lots of compliments. Anna asked me what it was twice because she liked it so much! 

    So although there are some duds in the collection, there are definitely some stand out shades too. Ginger Melon and Apricot Nectar have been my favourites this week! 

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  • 05/25/14--05:00: THEN & NOW

  • Here's something a bit different...

    I've been wanting to do a video like this for ages and it's taken me months to film and edit it all together. I'm not going to say much about it, just watch it and hopefully you'll like it. I really hope you do.

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    As tempting as it is to just put pretty things on shelves, they can be used for great storage space too. I don't have much storage in my office so using this to keep things hidden away and to make it look pretty was a real task. I found my IKEA shelves got cluttered really easily and started to look messy so here's what I did to give it an organisational makeover... 

    I decided to keep the top clear, the only stuff allowed up there is my printer, some flowers and a candle. I'm really bad at keeping surfaces clear so let's hope this lasts. 

    The top row of shelves is where I wanted to keep my beauty books, spare candles and magazines. I love the look of lots of books stacked up next to each other so I made that the focus point in the centre. I also wanted to have something a little bit 'arty' so I printed off this beautiful photo of Kate Moss and put it in a standing frame to hold up some of the books. There's nothing more aesthetically pleasing than a stack of magazines, so I piled up some of my Elle and Allure mags underneath this wire basket I picked up at H&M Home. In there I keep all the special candles that I like to save for nice occasions. 

    The second row is where most of the storage happens. I keep my scrapbook (don't laugh) and two storage bags from H&M Home on there. In the bags I keep my camera equipment and electrical leads so they're out of sight. On the right I keep another 'arty' thing to keep it looking nice, this time it's my YouTube 100k silver play button. 

    Underneath the unit is more space so I keep a crate full of bits, my camera bag and my filing system for admin stuff. 

    It took ages to sort out but I'm really happy with how it looks. I think a nice balance of storage and prettiness makes for the perfect shelving unit! 

    I hope this helps if you're thinking of giving your shelves a rejig. 

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  • 05/26/14--23:00: FOR THE PESKY GREYS

  • No, it's not a glamorous topic but something some of us lucky ones just have to deal with. There is a difference between going grey and just getting a few grey hairs. Having just a few means it's not really worth dying your entire head of hair and getting rid of all your natural hair colour, but then you don't want to just leave them either because they can be pretty visible on brunettes! 

    These two products are great for little touch ups here and there, so if you have a few pesky greys... do not fear!

    The Josh Wood Blending Wand is available from M&S and for only £12.50 it is a genius product. An easy to hold tube on one end and a soft little paintbrush head on the other. All you need to do is squeeze the product, brush it onto your roots and the non-permenant colour will hide those grey hairs either in between hair appointments or for when you just want to keep them hidden! 

    The Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark & Deep Brown is also a good option. Just like their usual dry shampoos this gives volume and texture but you can also spray it onto your greys to give them a slight brown tint. 

    Glamorous? No. Necessary? Unfortunately. 

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  • 05/27/14--05:00: LIP PRODUCT ADDICT TAG

  • When I saw this tag pop up on Amelia's channel I just knew I had to do it, so thanks Amelia and Estée for tagging me! 

    Want to know all about my favourite lip products? Click play. 

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    If, like me, you are a candle lover and a packaging junkie it's likely you'll also have multiple empty candle jars lying around the house. I love Diptyque candles and when I come to the end and they are all burnt out I can't bear to throw the pretty jars away so I'm always looking for ways to re-use them. 

    I find the best way to clean out your candles is to let them burn all the way to the end until the flame goes out by itself. It's then really easy to take the wick out (using tweezers) and you're left with a wax free glass. If there are black marks around the cup (you've probably been lazy like me and not cut the wick when burning) I usually use makeup remover and cotton wool to wipe it away. 

    So once they are clean you are ready to re-use them and here are 6 ideas on how you can recycle your empty candles... 

    Brushes & Pens
    The larger candles are perfect to use either on your desk for pens or on your dressing table for makeup brushes. 

    The larger size candles can also be used as a home for your healthy desk snack or to use when you have guests round and want to have some nuts or chocolate raisins on the coffee table (sorry, have I made you crave chocolate raisins?)

    I used the medium sized candle for a little plant I was given as a gift. It looks much prettier than the plain black pot and is the perfect size for a single, delicate plant. 

    Cotton Pads or Buds
    The teeny tiny candles are incredibly cute and great for keeping cotton pads or cotton buds in your bathroom. 

    Hairbands and Grips
    I like to keep hairbands and grips on my bedside table and they fit perfectly in the little candle jar. 

    If you have a few delicate rings, it's a good place to keep them safe next to the rest of your jewellery. 

    So there a few ideas if you have some empty candles lying around. If you've got any other suggestions please let me know as I'm always looking for new ideas! 

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  • 05/28/14--23:00: NEW IN FOR MATTE LIPS

  • As scary as they may seem, matte lips are the safest bet when it comes to pigmentation, longevity and the 'wow' factor. There have been a few new matte lip products launch into the beauty world recently and here are a couple that really got my attention...

    Yes, I know the name says velvet but these are pretty much matte. The packaging is small and handbag friendly and the lid twists out to reveal a decent sized doe foot applicator. The best shades are the bright ones, Frambourjoise, Hot Pepper and Pink Pong are my favourites. These are really nice to apply because they are easy to layer, easy to wipe off if you make a mistake but once they set they last really well. I could remove it quite easily with makeup remover but when drinking and eating they didn't budge at all.

    The formula of these are insane. They apply with a brush applicator which isn't usually my preferred type but for this formula it works well. It comes out as a thick liquid on the lips and can look a little streaky at first. I applied a couple of layers and then blotted with tissue to set in place. Now when I say these last, I really mean it. I couldn't physically remove the colour from my lips even after hours of wear, even with my best makeup remover. In the end I had to use an oil to break it down, so if it's lasting power you're after, these are for you. There are two limited edition shades for Spring which unfortunately don't suit me that well but I love the formula so fingers crossed for more shades in future collections! 

    Are there any matte lip products you've been loving recently?

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    Ready for another weekly vlog? This week I had a fun interview with Anna, Rich bought some new trainers and we are a lot


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  • 05/29/14--23:00: WHEN I WORE A PINK LIP

  • Wearing a pink lip is hard. Anna wrote a great post with her tips on how to wear a pink lip, so bearing those in mind I've been figuring out the best way for me to wear one. I think it's all about the rest of your face and balancing things out so that the pink doesn't look strange. 

    After a few days playing around, here are some tips I have for those of you who wanna go pink...

    Tan It Up
    I found that having a bit of a tan makes the pink less of a shock so I used the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning lotion. It's quite subtle but just takes the edge off and gives a nice even tan to the face. Once I'd upped my skin shade I used the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in my b20 "when I have a tan" shade and Benefit's Hula bronzer which is great because it's matte. 

    Simple Eyes
    I found that if you have too much going on around the eyes it can start to look a bit drag, so my tip would be to keep the eyes simple. I used MAC Patina and Charcoal Brown, no eyeliner and then the Maybelline Big Eyes mascara on the top and bottom lashes. Putting a bit of mascara on the bottom lashes helped to balance things out. 

    Natural Glow
    I like to pair a pink lip with natural, glowing skin. To get a bit of cheekbone sheen I used the No.7 Instant Radiance Highlighter and I used hardly anything on the cheeks. The Giorgio Armani Maestro Blush in 'Ecstasy' is soft and peachy, I'd definitely recommend keeping things 'barely there' with the blush. 

    So that's what I found works best for me. How do you like to wear a pink lip?

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  • 05/30/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    During a sneaky Sephora order (haul video coming on Tuesday!), I picked up the Sephora Cream Lip Stain which has been raved about by anyone and everyone who's ever tried it. What can be so great about a lip cream eh? Well they were all right... it's amazing. I have a full blog post review coming soon, but for now let's just say I've fallen in love. 

    LIFE //
    If you watch my vlogs you might know that I recently bought a new vlogging camera. The Canon s120 if a favourite of Casey Neistat so I knew it would be great. I've really enjoyed vlogging on it for so many reasons. The lens is slightly wider than most so you can fit a lot in shot, when you press record it starts recording and focuses straight away without any pause for "wait, I wanna vlog this" situations. The sound is great, even when it's loud or windy and the touch screen means you can get some nice depth of field when you focus on certain subjects. I'd highly recommend it as a small, compact camera for taking photos or filming. 

    EATS //
    Last weekend I went to Meat People in Islington and it was really great. There was something so simple about it all, nothing fancy or too 'trendy'. The atmosphere reminded me of just sitting in someone's kitchen and although the main menu was a little pricey, the lunch menu is great with the perfect steak and chips on offer. Blues music playing in the background and really, really great chips... what more could you ask for?!

    Have a great weekend! 

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  • 05/31/14--23:00: SPRING PEDICURE SHADES

  • Seeing as it's National Barefoot Day today - yes, that's a thing - I thought I'd pick out some of my favourite pedicure shades for Spring!

    The Model's Own Polish for Tans shades are perfect if you've been in the sun and have a little colour to your skin. The colours really pop and compliment sun kissed skin. My two favourite shades are 'Beach Bag' and 'Shades'. 

    How could I not include some Essie shades?! 'Lilacism' is a really pretty, soft lilac and I love pastel shades for toes.  'In The Cab-Ana' is a gorgeous bright turquoise and is an old time favourite of mine. 

    The Barry M Gelly polishes are also great for toes and they're really long lasting. The shade Blueberry from the new collection is a lovely mix of blue and purple, making something quite unique. 

    So those are my picks for pedicures this Spring. What's your favourite pedicure shade? 

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  • 06/01/14--05:00: MAY BEAUTY FAVOURITES

  • Apparently this month has been the month of makeup loves... 

    Here's the roundup of all my monthly favourites plus an extra bonus favourite! Click the video and check the description bar to see a list of all the products mentioned. Enjoy! 

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  • 06/01/14--23:00: SUMMER GAZPACHO RECIPE

  • Gazpacho is one of my favourite Summer dishes because it's so fresh and works as the perfect starter! For those of you who have never tried it, Gazpacho is pretty much a cold tomato soup, but there's really so much more to it than that.

    I recently tried the Marcus Wareing recipe and loved it, so I thought I would share it with you. Gazpacho is perfect for a Summer BBQ or for a light lunch. You can serve it in little bowls, but you can also get more creative with tumblers or shot glasses! 

    This recipe is super easy and with the correct prep work done the day before eating, the making of the soup actually only takes 15 minutes. 

    So here are the ingredients you'll need:

    1 small red pepper, cored and sliced
    1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
    1kg overripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
     400ml tomato juice
    25g basil leaves, torn
    25g flat leaf parsley leaves, torn
    50ml balsamic vinegar
    25ml worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp table salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    100ml olive oil
    10 drops tabasco

    The day before you want to eat/serve the soup you will need to prep.

    1. Put all the ingredient in a large container or bowl that fits in the fridge. Cover and marinate for at least 24 hours. 

    2. The next day, blend all the ingredients together and then pass through a sieve to remove any seeds. 

    3. Check the seasoning, adding more salt or balsamic vinegar if necessary. If the soup it too thick add a litre more tomato juice. 

    4. Serve ice cold. 

    I used the Breville Pick & Mix Hand Blender to mix it all together and it was really powerful so I was super impressed! 

    Let me know if you decide to make it and send me your photos on Twitter or Instagram @lilypebbles 


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  • 06/02/14--23:00: SEPHORA UNBOXING HAUL

  • You know me... I like to let the hype pass before I jump on the bandwagon. Now that the excitement of Sephora shipping to the UK has passed, I thought I'd give it a go and make a sneaky order. 

    The process was pretty easy. There were some items that didn't ship internationally but if you pretend to checkout near the beginning and then continue shopping you can see which items ship and which don't. The usual perfumes and nail polish are a no-no but bizarrely they also wouldn't ship a nail buffer. 

    Delivery was £10 when you spend over £75 so it's worth saving until you can do a big shop and delivery took only a few working days which is great. 

    Watch the video above to find out what I bought and let me know what else you'd recommend as I can imagine I'll be making another order in a couple of months! 

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    If you watched my Sephora haul video yesterday and my May Favourites on Sunday, you'd already know that I got my hands on the Sephora Cream Lip Stain. It came highly recommended from Amelia so I couldn't wait to try it out... 

    It's described on the website as a stain but it applies as quite a thick, velvet cream. The long, doe-foot applicator makes precession application really easy and you have time for corrections before it sets. Once it dries down, it sets really matte but doesn't feel drying on the lips. The avocado oil in the formula makes it feel really nourishing and you almost forget you're wearing it. 

    With this kind of bold lip it's always a bit scary and you never know if it'll still be there after your first bite of food or sip of your drink. I found this one stayed put really well and I could remove with a few pads of cotton wool soaked in Bioderma. 

    Personally I think this one is better than the Hourglass Opaque Rouge and the Rimmel Apocalips so it's worth trying out if you can get your hands on one

    Have you tried any of the other shades? I thinking I might go pink next time...  

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  • 06/04/14--23:00: VLOG: The Foodies Festival

  • It's time for another weekly vlog. This week consisted of filming with Anna, working from home a lot and checking out The Foodies Festival. 

    Have a little watch and don't forget to subscribe here for more videos! 

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  • 06/05/14--23:00: THE MAKEUP TIMER TEST TAG

  • I thought it was about time I created a blogger tag... it's not all about YouTube eh? Ever wondered how long your everyday makeup routine actually takes? Well last week I got my stopwatch out to find out. Apparently I take about 6 minutes and 48 seconds which is much faster than I would have guessed! Here's what I used... 

    Eyebrows:Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil / Blink Clear Brow Gel

    Bronzer/Blusher: Soap & Glory Solar Powder / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush 'Diffused Heat'

    Lips: I don't actually use anything on my lips most days...

    So if you want to take part in this tag, here's all you have to do.

    1. Set your stopwatch to record each step, stopping and resetting in between each one. Don't forget to write down the timings! 

    2. Do your everyday makeup routine at your usual speed, don't feel rushed. 

    3. Write a post with your timings and a list of what makeup you used. 

    4. Have fun! 

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