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    This year I'll be spending New Year's Eve at a friend's house playing silly games, drinking too much and probably laughing a lot. In this scenario a red lip is a bit OTT and to be honest, I can't be bothered with it so I've decided to make it all about the eyes… 

    In this video I talk through the entire makeup look, showing you step by step using my Naked 3 palette and also showing how I'll be styling my hair. Click here to view the description box where all the products and links are listed. 

    How are you planning to do your makeup this New Year's Eve? 

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    So you have your makeup plans sorted, but the one thing that goes great with New Year's Eve makeup is perfect glowing skin. Here's some help in that department… 

    Drinking lots of water is one of the most effective things you can do for your skin. For the few days before a big night out, drink loads of the stuff and you'll see great results. 

    If you're planning on having bold, red lips for New Year's Eve make sure your lips are prepped first. Using a sugar lip scrub really helps to remove any dead skin so that your lipstick doesn't go patchy or flake off. The Fresh Sugar Lip Polish is my favourite, but this is also quite easy to make yourself with brown sugar and olive oil.  

    If there's one thing that shows how many Christmas parties you've been to, it's the eyes. Keep your eyes hydrated and de-puffed so they look fresh and concealer will apply nicely on the night. The Origins No-Puffery is cooling and hydrating at the same time! 

    If you have a few pesky spots, using a clay mask the day before should help to clear things up. The Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean mask is really affordable and makes my skin feel great. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before removing gently with a muslin cloth. 

    REN have a really exciting product launching in 2014, the Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial. They've managed to find a way to stabilise 10% vitamin C so it is only activated when it's touched by water. Using the clever squeezy bit on the end, you pump out the perfect amount of product to use. It feels slightly exfoliating at first, but once mixed with water it suddenly feels zingy and completely refreshing. It really helps to brighten your skin and it's the perfect quick fix. As this isn't out yet, anything with Vitamin C will do and will help give your skin a boost. 

    Enjoy your pamper sessions tonight and check back tomorrow for some more NYE makeup tips! 

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  • 12/30/13--23:00: SMOKEY EYE COMPANIONS

  • Ready for tonight? If you're planning on sporting a red lip, check out my red lip post here and here. But if a smokey eye is more your thing, keep reading because I've gathered together all the companions you'll need to create the ultimate smokey eye. 

    BRUSHES //
    I'd say three brushes would be ideal. A MAC 217 shape to apply and blend the shadow, a giant fluffy brush like the Bobbi Brown blending brush to blend out the edges and something small for under the eye like this Kevyn Aucoin one. 

    Whether your lashes are naturally curly or as straight as a giraffe's, eyelash curlers are a must for a smokey eye! Using lash curlers will open up your eyes and will help the curl last longer throughout the night. My all-time favourite ones are from Shu Uemura

    I've never really come across an eyeshadow primer that doesn't work, so use whichever one you have to hand. Using any type of eye primer or cream eyeshadow will help give your shadow something to grip to and will prevent any fall-down or disappearing throughout the evening. 

    I find cotton wool pads really helpful when you want to prevent any dark eyeshadows falling down onto your cheeks when applying. I fold them in half and then hold them underneath my eye area whilst I blend. Cotton buds are also handy for clearing up any mistakes, especially when it comes to liquid eyeliner! 

    So gather your smokey eye kit together and you're ready for the night! Have fun however you're spending New Year's Eve and I wish you all the best for 2014! 


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    So it's the morning after the night before and things are looking a little hazy. How you deal with it is completely up to you, but here are three plans I've laid out for you to pick from… 

    Pick up the phone right now and order yourself the biggest pizza that Domino's do. Extra dips, sides and a huge bottle of coke. Spend the entire day on the sofa watching your favourite romcoms and maybe have a little cry if it'll make you feel better. Slippers, a dressing gown and chocolate are essentials in this scenario. 

    PLAN B: FIX IT //
    After a big night out your skin can feel horrendous, so if your skin is your priority then give yourself a pamper day. Throw on the eye masks, the face masks, the foot masks… any product that'll make you feel better. A bath is an essential in this scenario… use the best bath products in your cupboard. 

    After waking up and then going back to bed, it's time to get up. Get dressed, do your makeup, make yourself feel human and get out the house. A big bottle of water, maybe some paracetomol and a nice refreshing walk will do you the world of good. Fresh air is the ultimate hangover cure… 

    So which one will it be? Plan A, plan B or plan C? Good luck! 

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    I'm not usually one for making new year's resolutions and I find it sets me up for feeling like I've failed. But this year I've decided to make a small list of personal resolutions and 5 beauty related resolutions to guide me through the year and something to look back on as a reminder when I start to slack. So here are the beauty ones… 

    This is always on a new year's resolution list but since I've started working from home I've been drinking even less water. This year I'm going to try and take regular breaks throughout the day to fill up my giant glass and actually drink it! 

    Although I try a lot of new makeup products, the style of my makeup always stays the same. 2013 was the year of discovering what suits me and I have loved my routine, but I don't want to get stuck in a rut. This year I'm going to try using makeup to create different styles, so although I love brown pencil eyeliner I want to mix it up a bit. 

    Trying new things is great, but sometimes the old favourites get forgotten about. To try and give products a fair trial and to prevent any wastage I am going to try and finish as many products as I can this year. 

    I paint my nails a lot and I hardly ever give them a break. This year I'm going to try and give my nails a week off with no polish and use a good nail strengthener every other month. 

    Despite having quite a few favourite body care products, it's the one thing I always seem to neglect. When I get out the shower or bath I just want to wrap up warm and get into my pjs so the moisturising step is always missed out. I'm going to try and get into some kind of scrub, oil, moisturising routine that's easy to do, easy to remember and something that just becomes routine. My limbs will thanks me for it… 

    So those are my beauty new year's resolutions… Do you have any?

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    So finally it's that time of year where we all get our notepads out, watch everyone's yearly favourites video and write lists and lists of products we need to check out. 

    It's the cream of the crop and the best of the best of 2013. This first video covers body and fragrance, nails and skincare. Coming on Sunday is makeup, hair and extras so make sure you subscribe so you don't miss it. 

    To see all the products listed with links, click here and look underneath the video. 

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  • 01/02/14--23:00: NO MONEY MONTH

  • So it's January and probably my least favourite month of the year. Birthday, Christmas and new year's eve has passed and suddenly everything is back to normal with not much to look forward to….. sorry to depress you. Everything seems a bit dull and everyone's bank accounts seem a bit empty so to help get us through January I'm going to be talking only affordable products this month. I'm putting my high-end products to the side and instead I've filled my Muji storage with affordable beauty bits. 

    I'll still be posting daily and I'll still be enabling you (sorry!), but this month you can save your pennies and spend them on the drugstore and affordable products. I've spent months scoping out the best affordable products around, so keep an eye out for some mega beauty steals! 

    Leave any requests in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel where 'no money month' will also be taking place. 

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    My week in photos for the 100th time. Yep, one hundred! I've been rounding up my Instagram photos every week for two years since starting on 8th January 2012! To be honest, I've never been a huge fan of the post since it's nothing that exciting but the comments are always so nice and positive so I've continued doing them every week. It's been two years now so I feel like I should switch it up a bit, but I've been thinking for months about this and have zero ideas. The thing is, Saturday's are very quiet online so I don't want to be putting up posts that have taken days of prep and work, because no matter how good the post is, not many people will see it. So here's where you come in.... help, please! If you have any ideas of what you'd like to see every Saturday on my site, I'd love to hear your ideas. After all, you're the ones reading so your ideas and thoughts mean a lot to me. Please leave your comments on this post or tweet me @lilypebbles Thanks so much for your contribution and hopefully something new will be popping up on your Bloglovin' feed every Saturday! 

    Sale purchases | Hat & Soldier | Drugstore haul

    Passport photo taking | 2013 travelling | NYE dress

    NYE moments | Testing, testing | Getting back into blogging

    For daily photos follow me on Instagram @lilypebbles

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  • 01/04/14--23:00: KIKO ELECTRIC BLUE

  • When I went to the opening of the new Kiko store on Regent Street London, I was browsing around trying decide what to take home with me. One of the first things that grabbed my attention was this electric blue nail polish. It's pretty much the same as Nails Inc 'Baker Street' but it's £3.90! I love bright royal blue on my nails as it's different but nothing too crazy. 

    The formula is really nice too and very comparable to other more expensive polishes like Essie and O.P.I. I needed two coats to get an opaque finish, but even the first coat wasn't too sheer. The brush is medium length, medium width and easy to use. I also love the shape of the bottles and how they fit perfectly in this cute Kiko nail case

    I'd definitely recommend picking up some Kiko nail polishes and they've shot straight up to the top of my favourites list!

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    I'm back with part two of my 2013 beauty favourites… the best of the best from this year. If you haven't seen part one, click here. This video covers makeup, haircare and extras. 

    To see all the products listed with links, click here and check underneath the video. 

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  • 01/05/14--23:00: RIMMEL APOCALIPS NEW SHADES

  • The Rimmel Apocalips lip lacquers were one of my favourite launches in 2013 (as you would have heard me mention here) so I was excited to hear that some new shades have been added to the range. 

    If you haven't tried the Apocalips yet, they're great especially if you like long lasting lipsticks. My original review is here so go have a read if you want to know more about the formula. 

    I have three of the new shades to show you and they are Aurora, Across the Universe and Eclipse. Aurora is a pretty rosy coral that would work well for everyday wear. Across the Universe is a deep rich vintage red and Eclipse is a deep Winter berry. 

    All three shades are perfect for this time of year especially Across the Universe and Eclipse which make wearing a dark bold lip easy. When it comes to lip lacquers, these are the best so hopefully the shade range will just keep growing and growing. 

    Which on is your favourite from these three shades? 

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    The launch of Maybelline Baby Lips was bigger than anyone could have imagined, with the whole world going mad for tinted lip balms. I was interested to see Maybelline add to their 'baby' line with their new 'Baby Skin' primer. Good primers are quite hard to find on the highstreet so I was desperate to give it a go. 

    The packaging is great because it's small, it looks cute and is hygienic in a tube. The formula is like a silicone gel, so is very different from the high end primers I usually recommend like the Laura Mercier or Dr Lewinn's one. With these sort of primers they don't feel like a standard moisturiser, they feel more slippery and smooth. The idea of this product is to smooth out the skin, disguise any large pores and apparently it can be used either under or over makeup. It's also fragrance-free which makes it instantly appealing for so many more people. 

    It definitely smoothes out the texture of the skin and it feels nice to apply foundation on top of it. It can also be used by itself if you don't wear foundation and just want smoother looking skin. Although I feel like it does what it says on the tin, it's not a product I personally love. I'm not a fan of these type of silicone based primers because although the are supposed to be great for oily skin, I feel like my skin feels greasier with it on. I don't love how it feels on my skin, like an extra layer that my foundation can slide around on. If you do prefer these type of primers though, I think it's one a lot of people will like. 

    It's going to be released into Boots this month and will cost £7.99 so if you're interested you can join the waiting list now. I'm looking forward to seeing what other Maybelline baby products are headed our way! 

    Is the Baby Skin something you want to try? 

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  • 01/07/14--05:00: QUICK DRY NAILS

  • Last week I found myself in my local Sally's, a trade beauty store where dreams are made. Seriously though, if you're looking for some beauty bargains Sally's is where it's at! Whilst browsing the nail section, after getting over the excitement of seeing China Glaze in a UK store, I came across the Elegant Touch Rapid Dry for nails. I've always been intrigued by these sprays and this one was only £2.90 so I threw it in my basket. 

    I love using the Seche Vite topcoat and it already dries quite quickly but sometimes I literally have minutes to do my nails and don't want to smudge them. The idea with this is to spray the aerosol 10cm away from your nails and they dry within 60 seconds.  I found it to be extremely effective and I could reach into my bag straight away without my nails smudging. 

    I always thought these were gimmicky, but for just £2.90 it's a step I won't be skipping in the future! If you paint your nails as often as I do then this will make the whole process a lot quicker and easier to do on the go. 

    Have you tried this rapid dry spray?

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  • 01/07/14--23:00: THE LIQUID LINER

  • Liquid liner isn't part of my everyday makeup routine simply because I think brown pencil  suits me better, but every now and again I like to rekindle my love with the simple black line... there's just something so chic and Alexa about it! 

    I've never had problems applying liquid liner because I tackle it the same way I do with a soft pencil. If a long, flowing flick is what you're after you won't find it here as I like to simply line the upper lash line. It frames my eyes the best, doesn't look too overdone and isn't heavy on my slightly hooded lids. 

    Holding the liner like a pencil, I just draw a thin line as close to the lash line as possible in little sections. Trying to do one long line will just set you up for disaster, so take your time and push the liner into the lashes for a fuller lash effect. When I get to the end of the lash line I try not to let the liner end pointing downwards as this will give me sad droopy eyes so I add a tiny flick upwards, but nothing too dramatic. 

    The Soap & Glory Supercat liner is really easy to hold as it's long, thin and really lightweight.  The nib is long so it gives you application space but it doesn't move around as it's quite firm. I also like that it dries quickly so if you blink or sneeze you won't get eyeliner all over your face. the L'Oreal Super Liner Blockbuster is a new discovery for me and I really like it. It's a shorter, fatter marker-type pen a bit like a sharpie! If you like to get quite stuck in with your liner and are not afraid of the thicker nib, this one is great and it also allows for a thinner more precise line too. This formula is slightly more wet so a few minutes without sneezing is ideal. I've found a lot of liquid eyeliners are not quite black enough, don't stay put or are difficult to apply, so these two are the ones I'd recommend. 

    Pair your simple black line with a sheer red lip and you have yourself a beautiful elegant makeup look...  

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  • 01/08/14--23:00: QUICK FIX MUD MASK

  • Shopping for skincare on a budget is hard because some of the best ingredients are pricey, especially when it comes to cleansers. I'm still on the hunt for an affordable and effective cleansing balm! However, I think there a lot of good affordable masks, especially now brands such as La Roche Posay are so easy to get hold of. My theory for shopping for skincare in the drugstore is the less ingredients the better. It's impossible to understand all the ingredients and it's not like they list them as alcohol, parabens, mineral oil etc so you have to kind of suss it out yourself. Look out for words you understand like 'Cucumber' or 'Aloe Vera' over words that sound like something from a chemistry lesson. How it feels on your skin is the real test though and you'll get to know the ingredients your skin doesn't like.

    When browsing the isles of Superdrug I was expecting to to come across some bargains, but I wasn't expecting to find such an amazing mask for only £2.59! It's a classic mud mask with added aloe vera to help 'de-stress' the skin. It applies thick and lime green and instantly cools the skin. You can leave it on for 10-15 minutes but as soon as it starts to feel hard on the skin I'd recommend removing it. I find that some mud masks are so hard to remove that you end up tugging at your skin, but when using a wet muslin cloth this one removes quite easily.

    After just one use my skin felt calm, soft, balanced and fresh. It's a great mud mask and a good alternative to the Fango Active Mud Mask I've mentioned before. The de-stress mud mask is not yet online as it's part of a new range at Superdrug but it's definitely in store so I'd highly recommend giving it a try. 

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  • 01/09/14--05:00: HOW TO START A BEAUTY BLOG

  • For this week's video I'm excited to launch a new series that Anna and I have been working on for a while. This week we'll be releasing 6 videos, 3 on each of our channels. The topic? Blogging and Vlogging.

    Whether your new year's resolution was to start a blog or YouTube channel or if you already have one, hopefully this series will be helpful and interesting to you. In this first video we're covering how to start a beauty blog and over on Anna's channel we're discussing how to start a YouTube channel

    Subscribe to my channel here and Anna's channel here so you don't miss Sunday's video where we will be discussing our blogging equipment and filming setups. 

    I really hope you enjoy this mini series, please let us know what you think. You can also tweet me @lilypebbles and Anna @viviannamakeup using the hashtag #guidetoblogging

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  • When packing my makeup bag for a night or weekend away from home, I usually just grab exactly what I need plus a few extra lip products just in case. Since restricting myself to only drugstore products this month I've got into a bit of routine and these were the products I naturally reached for when packing my makeup bag. 

    I've been enjoying using the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer (available at the end of January) as it has an interesting creamy texture that smoothes out and slightly mattifies the skin. I have been testing so many foundations and on my current rotation is the Rimmel Match Perfection. It's described as a 'light perfecting radiance foundation' and includes an SPF of 18. The colour range is quite large compared to most, although I still managed to pick out a shade that's too light for me (when will shopping for foundation in the drugstore become easier?!). It feels light on the skin, blends out nicely but just be careful not to overdo it as it can become a bit cakey if layered too much. I find good drugstore concealers hard to find but the Maybelline 'Fit Me' came very highly recommended. It's probably the closest dupe you'll find to the NARS Creamy Radiant concealer it's just slightly less coverage, more dewy and only comes in a few shades. I have enjoyed using this though and it works well both under the eyes and to conceal blemishes. 

    To add some glow and bronze back into my skin I absolutely love the Soap & Glory Solar Powder and for blush I have been using the GOSH 'Flower Power' almost everyday. The Maxfactor Wild Shadow pencil in 05 is really easy for a quick eye look and reminds me of the Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow pencils. It's easy to sweep on and blend out with your finger and the shimmery taupe colour is pretty universal. This month I switched my Make Up For Ever eyeliner in 2L for the L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Le Kohl in Pure Espresso. It's just as creamy and easy to blend, so I've really enjoyed wearing it on a daily basis. I also like to pack my Rimmel Scandal Eyes liner in nude to use in my waterline.

    I've been spreading my wings in the drugstore mascara department but so far have been very disappointed with so many that I've tried. Maxfactor's False Lash Effect is one of the better ones, but still requires a lot of work to get full, long lashes. 

    So finally, lips. I packed three lip products, a Revlon lip butter in 'Berry Smoothie', a Kiko Super Gloss in 110 and a Rimmel Apocalips in 'Across the Universe'. .. One for every occasion.

    Are any of your favourites included in this makeup bag?

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  • 01/10/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • Thank you for all your comments and suggestions on my last 'My Week' post. After taking in your suggestions and many requests for a glimpse into my personal life, I've decided to start a new weekly feature called 'Wear Life Eats'. Each week I'll be sharing either a beauty product or fashion item I've enjoyed wearing that week, something I've done/somewhere I've been/something I've enjoyed and something I've cooked/eaten/or a restaurant I've visited. I hope you like the mix and will enjoy seeing a peak into my personal life every week!

    WEAR //
    It's been a couple of months now since I received the beautiful gift of an Acurist watch and it hasn't come off my wrist since. I really thought nothing would ever replace my Michael Kors, but for now this one really has. Acurist has recently had a complete brand makeover and are definitely the ones to watch for amazing quality at a reasonable price. My lovely leather strapped, rose gold 'vintage' watch is only £70, which I think is a steal! The men's watches are great too, especially the fancy ones where you can see it all workings inside the watch.

    LIFE //
    This week I went to the opening night of Cirque Du Soleil Quidam with MAC Cosmetics at the Royal Albert Hall. I've seen one of the other Cirque shows once before but this was a different production (with less clowns, thankfully!). It was petrifying at times, but completely mesmerising and the strength and talent of the gymnasts is ridiculous! I'd definitely recommend seeing it if you can get tickets! 

    EATS //
    After stocking up on the green stuff, this week has been all about the crispy kale. When you're craving a chinese takeaway, make some of this stuff and I swear it'll stop your crispy seaweed craving. I posted the recipe here if you want to make some yourself! 

    So let me know what you think of this new feature and hope you all have a great weekend! 

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    Formula X for Sephora is a relatively new line that I've been lucky enough to try thanks to my very generous friend Amelia who brought one back from New York for me. She of course knew exactly which colour I would like, a beautiful mint green. These retail for $10.50, so it's not technically breaking the 'no money month' rule as in pounds this polish would only cost around £6.50. 

    The colour itself is quite unique as it's not a straight up mint blue, it also has a shimmery, pearly green to it that makes it look quite mermaid-like. I think pearl finishes can look quite ageing on the nails so I would have preferred it without, but I think for younger girls it would look pretty. 

    Although the brush was a decent size, not too wide and not too thin, I wasn't a huge fan of the formula. When applying the first coat I noticed it being quite watery, therefore seeping into the side of my nails quite easily. After two coats I did get an opaque colour but it didn't look very even and was quite messy. I'm rarely disappointed by a nail polish so it was a shame that these didn't live up to my expectations, but if I manage to visit a Sephora this year I'll definitely try another shade in case it's different. 

    Have you tried any of the Formula X for Sephora polishes? What did you think?

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    As promised, here is the second instalment from our #guidetoblogging series on YouTube. If you didn't see the first videos on 'how to start a beauty blog' and 'how to start a youtube channel', go and check those out. 

    In today's videos we will be covering our filming setups and editing tips on my channel and our blogging equipment and tips on Anna's

    I'd love to hear what you think of the series so far and don't forget to check back on Tuesday for the third and last instalment where we will be discussing some extra tips for vlogging, blogging and keeping organised. 

    Tweet us @lilypebbles and @viviannamakeup with your feedback and questions using the hashtag #guidetoblogging 

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