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  • 03/08/14--23:00: INVISIBLE NAILS

  • I really dislike my nails when they're bare and free from nail polish. Without completely grossing you out, I hate how you can see every bit of dirt that gets under them throughout the day and I just think it looks unpolished and a bit grubby. Some days though I don't want to wear a colour on my nails, whether it's just personal preference or I have an event/situation where noticeable nail polish isn't appropriate. This is where the invisible nails come in... 

    The Deborah Lippmann 'Naked' polish is the perfect nude for mannequin nails. It's an exact match for my skin tone so it looks like I am wearing nothing on my nails but also looks polished, clean and tidy. Because of the shade it is a little more sheer than other DL polishes so I found 3 coats gave me a complete opaque look, but for something even more natural two coats would also work. 

    This has been promoted in my nail polish collection and has been used on "I don't know what I'm wearing today" days... It's a staple polish I think everyone should own. Do you have a skin tone nail polish you like to wear? 

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  • 03/09/14--06:00: WHAT'S ON MY FACE #42

  • This has been my current everyday makeup for the past couple of weeks, so of course keeping things natural and easy to wear. I've been enjoying using the No.7 Instant Radiance highlighting stick for an easy highlight and I've also been obsessed with the By Terry Baume de Rose (yes my lips are still sore). The Topshop False Lash mascara has been incredible for volume and length and 'Nooner' from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette has been my favourite shade for my eyes. Are any of these products your favourites too?

    BASE: 

    COLOUR:

    EYES:

    LIPS:


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  • 03/10/14--00:00: EASY PEASY TANNING

  • Me? Tanning? Those two words have never really worked out well together. At university when everyone else bronzed up for a night out I embraced my pale skin and in the summer when everyone's neon bikinis looked amazing on their tanned skin I was in hiding for the first few days before my natural tan appeared. I had a stint with the Palmer's gradual tanner last year but after my initial positive reaction I found it got quite patchy after a few days on the skin. 

    This year I thought I'd give tanning one more go so I went to Anna, the tanning queen herself, to find out what to use and how. She may be embracing her English Rose skin now but I've seen photos of her uni days.... that girl knows how to tan. 

    The one product she always goes on about is the Xen-Tan Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe in Ultra Dark and I swear she's been through so many tubes. I had more than a handful of doubts about this tanner including that fact that it's expensive and says it's 'ultra dark' which is not what I wanted to be. After a panic phone call to Anna at the till I was assured that the shade is natural, it's easy to apply and doesn't require much maintenance. 

    Something that's always put me off tanning is the prep and post-application maintenance, but I've managed to figure out a simple routine that doesn't take hours out of my day. I started by lightly exfoliating in the shower mainly using a scrub on my elbows, neck and knees where it's usually dry. Whilst waiting for my hair to dry in a towel I started the tanning process using a tanning mitt for ease. I squeezed a small amount of product onto the mitt and just started buffing it into the skin. There was no real technique apart from applying most the product on the main parts of my body and using the left overs for tricky bits like elbow, hands, wrist etc. The texture is really nice, like a thick moisturiser and the smell is sweet like the Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub. It does smell of tan, but it's not quite as intense as others I've tried. After applying it all over I waited around 10 minutes for it to dry before putting on loose fitted pyjamas. Some of the product does transfer that night so I wouldn't recommend wearing your favourite pair. 

    I found it took a couple of days for the colour to develop properly, although I could also see  subtle instant results. The shade has an olive undertone which is how I naturally tan, making it perfect for me. I used my Vaseline Spray'n'Go moisturiser for a couple of days after to prevent any dry patches but I didn't find it to go streaky or patchy at all. I was also able to re-apply a few days later without exfoliating and it was fine. 

    I was really impressed with the tan and it wasn't 'Ultra Dark', but a perfect golden tan. For me, doing this twice a week would be ideal and I'll hopefully get into a routine leading up to Summer. I do think it was worth the money, especially as the 236ml tube will last a long time! 

    Have you ever tried this tan? What's your favourite tanning product?


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  • 03/11/14--00:00: A BROW'S BEST FRIEND

  • Despite using it every single day, I realised that I've never actually put my Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in the spotlight and done a full review. If you've followed me for a while you'll know that doing my eyebrows was a step I used to completely skip and instead I'd just opt for some clear brow gel. Things haven't drastically changed since then, but I noticed that the front part of my brows were making my overall makeup look a bit messy as they weren't completely even. I have very dark brows so I don't require a lot of filling in, I focus mainly on the front and slightly on the arch. 

    The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is the perfect product for me, as I found fiddling about with a brush and powder was too time consuming and I always found myself over-applying. This pencil is double ended with a wind up powder/wax hybrid on one end a brow brush on the other. I start by brushing through the brows, I then use the pencil to apply where is needed and then I brush through again to soften. The powder/wax formula means you can apply gently or heavily depending on the look you're going for and the triangular shape of the tip makes it really easy to apply. I use Dark Brunette which is a perfect fit for me but it also comes in two lighter shades. 

    I find the formula to be very long lasting and it doesn't slip around at all during the day, although I often use a clear brow gel to set everything in place. It's quick to use and something I'd definitely recommend trying if you want to start filling in your brows but are intimidated by a brush and powder. Have you tried the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil? 

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  • 03/11/14--06:00: PRETTY POWERFUL MASCARA

  • As you probably already know, on the 8th March it was International Women's Day and it seems this year even more companies are getting involved. If you want to show your support there are many ways and this one includes simply buying a mascara... 

    Bobbi Brown have launched a second product to add to their Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women and Girls, this time it's their best-selling Everything Mascara housed in a limited edition pink tube. Just to give you a quick review, I found it gave length in a very natural way. It didn't give me over the top lashes, but something more suitable for everyday. This mascara is nice for girls who already have a curl. 

    The Pretty Powerful campaign focuses on giving confidence and empowering women and girls through education. 

    The Pretty Powerful Everything Mascara is available now at all Bobbi Brown studios and online here. It costs £19 and the full RRP less VAT will be donated to Smart Works. If buying a mascara can be charitable, I'm all for it so if you're in the market for a new one, maybe try it out?  


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  • 03/12/14--00:00: THE SKINCARE GUIDE

  • In the past month or so I have found myself getting extremely lazy when it comes to my skincare routine. I oversleep in the mornings and don't have time and in the evenings I'm exhausted and can't be bothered. I always make time to cleanse and moisturise but my skin is noticeably missing all my other usual steps and I knew it was time I did something about it. 

    I have a lot of products in my drawers and cupboard so I sometimes find myself a bit overwhelmed and end up simply walking out the bathroom in protest. I wanted to create a fool-proof guide to have on display that would not only remind me what I need to use when but to also to give me the encouragement and guilt trip I need to do it. 

    This is the guide I came up with that suits my routine and what is realistic for me, so I stuck it up inside my cupboard door so that when it's opened I am smacked in the face with a reminder to do it! 

    So far it's been working a treat. I use it as a reminder for the order of each step and something about seeing it there makes me feel too guilty to skip a step. I'd definitely recommend printing off your own guide and sticking it up somewhere in your bathroom... It got me out of my lazy skincare rut.

    If you want to download my version, you can do so here. I have a few steps missing though as I know, for example, I won't use eye cream in the evening and my encouraging jabs are quite personal . So adjust yours accordingly and let me know how you get on! 



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  • 03/13/14--00:00: ONE WASH WONDERS

  • There's nothing I enjoy more than taking ages to do my makeup and blending 3 or 4 eyeshadows together to create the perfect combination... I know, I'm a makeup addict. But sometimes, well most of the time, I need something quick and easy before I rush out the door. This is where the one wash wonders come in, the eyeshadows I know require one layer, minimal blending and can achieve the look I want without being accompanied by other shadows. 

    I know they all look the same in the photo (cheers camera) but actually these three shadows are quite different, but equally beautiful. On the far left is Burberry 'Mulberry'which is a chocolate burgundy shimmer. It's rich, deep colour applies incredibly well on the lid, blends out effortlessly and always looks beautiful on. In the middle is L'Oreal Infalliable Eye Shadow in 'Amber Rush' which is a pressed pigment that seriously packs a punch. The shade is slightly pinker than MAC 'All That Glitters' but gives a pretty rose gold finish and stays put for the entire day. On the right is NARS 'Fez', a warm-toned coppery bronze that looks particularly amazing on green eyed gals but works a treat on us brown eyed girls too. This shade is more of a traditional brown smokey eye, but the bronze in it makes it just that little bit special. 

    Which shadows do you reach for when you only have time for one sweep on the lid? 


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  • 03/13/14--06:00: WHAT'S IN MY BAG BIG & SMALL


  • It's been a while since my last What's In My Bag video so for this one I've spread it over two days, showing you what I carry in my small and big bag. Watch above, subscribe below and open the video in YouTube to read the full description box. 

    Enjoy!






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  • 03/14/14--00:00: BLACK & WHITE LIFE

  • I should really stop promising you guys colour... maybe come Spring I'll ditch the monochrome and try something new but for now I'm seeking comfort in my favourite getup. A morning in town filled with meetings and beauty launches called for something comfortable but stylish. 

    I still love my faux leather fronted leigh jeans from Topshop and they're the perfect stylish cheat. They look tight and uncomfortable but because of the real jean back they feel just like any other pair and look great! Rushing out the house I decided last minute to throw on my Aldo boots as they tick all the boxes, clumpy, stylish and comfy - tick. Because everything down below was so tight I wanted my upper body to be draped with loose fitted clothes, so I chose my white Zara top and this oversized River Island cardigan/jacket. The weather was nice so I could get away with wearing just a blanket-like jacket.

    To go with the slouchy jacket I grabbed my very well loved Topshop bag, packed it full of useless bits and threw my sunnies on to avoid squinty Lily. My favourite thing about this outfit? The nails. L'Oreal Ever Riche in 'Lemon Meringue'.... it's white nails for people who are a bit scared of white polish. 


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    River Island Jacket  |  Zara Top  |  Ray Ban Wayfarers  |  Topshop Bag  |  Topshop Faux Leather Fronted Leigh Jeans  |  Aldo Boots  |  L'Oreal Ever Riche Yellow Meringue Nail Polish  |  Acurist Watch 

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  • 03/15/14--00:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    The sun has finally made an appearance in London this week so I've been wearing my sunnies every opportunity I get. I tried quite a few different Ray Bans before finally giving in and getting the wayfarers last year. They're such a classic shape, they're easy to wear, don't get caught in your hair when you put them on your head and because they're plastic they're really durable. On paper they seem pricey but for the quality you're getting and how long they'll last, I think it's a pretty good deal. ASOS sell the pair I own here

    LIFE //
    I have been so obsessed with Lennon and Maisy Stella recently it's becoming a bit ridiculous. If you don't who these girls are, they are real-life sisters who also play sisters in the hit US show Nashville. They are also the most talented kids I've ever seen and have the most incredible country singing voices. Lennon the older one is going to be an absolute star and Maisy the younger one has been singing and playing the ukelele since she was born, literally - this video proves it! They have a YouTube channel you can subscribe to and I could watch their videos all day, especially this one, this one and this clip taken from Nashville. I just love them. Obsessed. 

    EATS //
    Last week (as you'll see in tomorrow's vlog) Rich and I attempted to make this recipe from A Beautiful Mess. The idea is a pizza, but instead of a usual pizza base they used spaghetti squash. It looks unreal (in a good way) but unfortunately we couldn't find spaghetti squash anywhere. In the end we decided to use courgettes using this recipe. Although it didn't look that great and was all a bit mushy, it tasted amazing and I'd definitely make it again. I like the idea of experimenting with different pizza bases, the good stuff is all on top really so you get the same satisfaction as you do eating a pizza but it's just healthier! 

    I hope you've all had a great week. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @lilypebbles and I HAVE A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE so please head over and 'like' it, I would really appreciate it! 


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    The So Laque polishes from Bourjois are some of the best on the highstreet and in the past I've found them to have the perfect sized brush, a great formula and a pretty high-shine finish. 

    With Spring approaching they will be launching a 7 shade collection that includes 5 brand new shades. There are 2 beige nudes, 1 pinkish white, 3 warmer nudes and 1 lilac nude. On my nails are Indispen-Sable, Tombée à pink and Peace and Mauve. I found the formula of Peace and Mauve to be a little streaky but the other two gave an opaque finish with two coats. 

    As I'm sure you can tell from recent posts, I am loving the nude nail thing so it's nice to see a highstreet collection launching in May at only £5.99 each. 

    Will you be wearing more nude shades in Spring?

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    I vlogged from Thursday through to Sunday last week, so I hope you enjoy this mid-week video! Let me know if you'd like to see more vlogs like this in the future and I hope you all had a great week. 





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    For today's post I thought I'd share some more blogging photography tips that I've picked up along the way. I've mentioned before in this post about struggling to find pretty, workable backgrounds for photos but I've learnt to work with what I've got. These are the categories I usually work around and until I win the lottery and buy a beautiful house for myself, I will always be trying to find new ways to work with them and hopefully this will inspire you to find your own backgrounds in your own location. 

    White Spaces //
    The reason people like to photograph on white is because it adds a lot of light to the photo. I have a corner in my office that has a set of IKEA drawers in front of a window. On the window I have some cheap IKEA white curtains and when closed these act as a sort of soft box light, letting in soft light from outside and acting as a nice backdrop for my photos. If you don't have a white surface, use white paper instead! 

    Clear Acrylic //
    I often use my Muji drawers as props because the clear acrylic adds something a bit different to the photo whilst maintaining the light and airy feel. Products can be placed on top or placed inside, just make sure to keep it fingerprint free! 

    Shelves //
    I have a shelving unit in my bathroom that I often use as a prop. Whether there are products blurred out behind or it's completely bare, it's a good location to take product photos. 

    Wrapping Paper //

    I like to collect brown paper and printed wrapping paper to lay onto a table to use for a background. Rich also bought me this book for Valentine's Day that has a load of different prints inside so there will always be a new background to use. If you don't have fancy wallpaper to use as a background, fake it with wrapping paper. 

    Magazines & Notepads //

    I personally love the look of magazines and notepads piled up, but make it personal to you and use whatever you like. Creating layers with books adds something interesting and full to the photo. 

    Textures //

    Sometimes I like the clean, white look of a photo but then sometimes I like something more full and textured. For this I like to use fabrics from my bedroom and lounge, my IKEA throws have come in very handy! 

    Table Tops //

    If you like a blurry depth of field, try sitting your product on the edge of a table, bending down to the same height and taking a photo from there. The table gives you a lot of space to work with whether you leave it bare or place items in the distant background. 

    Props //

    If I feel a photo is looking a bit bland and plain I sometimes like to place items behind so I have a small collection of props I use. Most of these jars and vases were found at IKEA but I tend to just walk around the house and pick up anything interesting I see. Candles work great as props! 


    I'm far from satisfied with my set up and find it challenging to achieve photos I'm happy with, but these tips have helped me be more creative with my backgrounds instead of giving in, admitting defeat and sulking that I don't have a Pinterest-worthy bedroom. I hope these tips help guide you in a more creative direction, please let me know if they were helpful! 


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  • 03/18/14--00:00: PURPLE HAZE FOR BROWN EYES

  • A tool that is often used my makeup artists is the colour wheel and they use this to identify what shades will best suit their client. It's something they learn in training so although they don't actually have to look at the colour wheel to know, it's really handy for us amateurs to refer to. It works on the theory that opposites compliment so by picking an eyeshadow shade opposite to your eye colour it'll make it pop and compliment your eyes. 

    For us girls with brown eyes we can wear a lot of shades from the colour wheel but purple in particular is a beautiful shade to wear. I often reach for purples, plums and burgundies when I want a warm, sultry makeup look. Blues and greens also work really nicely on brown eyes and can be done in a classy way by using a midnight, navy blue or khaki green eyeliner. For those with green eyes, try the copper orange toned browns and for those with blue eyes let your eyes steal the show and opt for slate grey tones. 

    For this look I used the Burberry 'Plum Pink' palette and love the finished look. The colour wheel is really handy to refer to when you're not sure what eyeshadow to go for, so save it on your phone for easy access next time you're doing your makeup. Do you wear opposite  shades to suit your eye colour?

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  • 03/18/14--06:00: BENEFIT WATT'S UP DUPE

  • Watt's Up is probably one of Benefit's better known products and despite not being a huge fan of the entire packaging, I've always loved the product. It's a wind up, roll on highlighter that instantly adds light and glow to the skin. The slightly golden, moonshine highlight is really flattering on the skin and blends in well over foundation. It's a winner in terms of performance, but at £24.50 it's very pricey. 

    On a recent browse in Boots I came across the No.7 stand, one I don't visit often enough. Alongside their new Pop & Glow Cheek Pops sat the Instant Radiance Highlighter for £9.95. No, it's not cheap but compared to £24.50 it's a lot more affordable. After a couple of weeks testing I'm here to report back and it's good news. 

    Similar to Watt's Up (minus the strange foam buffer) it's a wind up product that can be applied directly onto the skin. Instead of being flat headed, the product is actually rounded which I found made application much easier. The product shows up very visibly, but is also easy to blend into the skin which is just how I like it. Compared to Watt's Up it's slightly more champagne and less gold, but both give that gorgeous moonshine highlight. I've loved wearing this recently and the packaging is so handy for when you're in a rush or on the go. 

    If' Watt's Up has always been on your wish list I'd stop saving and skip straight to the No.7 Instant Radiance... it does the job just as well! 

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  • 03/19/14--00:00: BOBBI BROWN NECTAR & NUDE

  • With new launches happening every week in the beauty world it's not often I get that excited, but every now and again I'll spot a collection that makes my heart flutter. So let me introduce to you Bobbi Brown's Nectar & Nude collection... 

    "A soft cheek, nude eye and flattering nectar lip - the ultimate beach to cocktail look." - Bobbi Brown

    The collection launched this month and it includes a six pan eyeshadow palette, an apricot shimmer brick, a pot rouge for lips & cheeks, three lip glosses and two nail polishes. I was lucky enough to try out the products above and I was unsurprisingly impressed with the results. 

    Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge is a product adored by so many and this limited edition Hibiscus shade is the perfect coral pop for both the cheeks and lips. It's easy to blend with your finger because of the creamy consistency which also makes it great for carrying in your handbag. The Nectar nail polish looks really pretty on and I used the Bare Peach Glitter on the accent nail for a subtle summer shimmer. I've always loved Bobbi's lip glosses and in particular I loved Nude Pink for everyday and Nectar for a brighter coral. 

    The stand out product for me, of course, is the eyeshadow palette. I fell in love with the Rich Chocolate palette and now the Nectar & Nude palette has stolen my heart too. When I first had a look I thought, one highlight, two easy nudes, one liner shade and then two glitters I won't wear. For the purpose of this post I did a neutral eye like I usually would, used the dark shade as a soft liner and then layered the glitter on top just to see. I was so wrong, what I thought was a difficult glitter eyeshadow is actually the easiest way to turn a matte shadow into a subtle shimmer shadow making this palette a great mix of both mattes and shimmers. The glitter doesn't get all over your face like others do, it blends really well into the matte shadows and just adds a pretty glisten to the lids. 

    This is the sort of collection that can really get me excited about summer and it's reminded me of my love for coral. So what do you think of the Nectar & Nude collection?


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  • 03/20/14--00:00: INSTAGRAM DOUBLE-CLICKERS

  • Some of my favourite posts to read on other blogs are the ones where favourite Instagrammers are recommended and it's where I've found some of my favourite people to follow in the past. I have quite a specific 'taste' when it comes to the people I love to follow so all of my favourites are quite similar. Today I've narrowed it down to six lovely ladies I'm currently enjoying following and have found myself double clicking every single photo... 

    You can expect effortless outfit photos that'll make you want to live somewhere sunny. If you're not already following her blog, do it! 

    Every photo from Shini is perfectly thought out, planned and executed beautifully. Expect lots of bird's eye view table shots... love them. 

    Jenn is completely cool in every sense of the word, just go watch her videos if you don't believe me! You can expect outfit photos galore from her Instagram.

    A new discovery for me and one that makes me want to rush back to Australia and take a whole new wardrobe of summer clothes with me! 

    I've met Kit and I know how much effort she puts into her Instagram photos. Multiple photos are taken, picked apart, edited and uploaded all in aid of producing the perfect finishing photo and it's worth it, they're all beautiful! 

    Chelsea uploads a lovely combination of outfit photos and lifestyle snaps. Expect soft edges and white spaces - swoon.  

    Let me know if you discovered anyone new in this post and who you love to follow so I can find some new ones too! 

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    I've spent some time searching around for some great dupes and cheaper alternatives to high end products I love. I hope you find some good dupes watching this and please let me know if you have any other recommendations! 




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  • 03/21/14--00:00: THE KIEHLS SPF DUPE

  • If you read my site daily then I'm sure you've already heard of the Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50. I've raved about for a long time now and I'm onto my second bottle of the stuff, so it's fair to say I'm a fan. It's great to use as a daily moisturiser or primer and although it feels light it has a really high SPF that'll protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. I try not to wear SPF every single day, but when I know I'm going to be outside for a long time then I want to protect my skin. Everything about the Kiehl's SPF is great, but at £31 it might not be for everyone. If you're only now getting into wearing an SPF and don't want to invest, I think I've found you a dupe! 

    The Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+ is only £15, making it half the price. It's a new product for Soap & Glory and one that is very much in demand in the drugstores. This SPF promises to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, inject Vitamin C & E into your skin and slightly mattify absorbing any unwanted excess oils. It also has a fancy patent-pending 'sun-damage-blocking' Liposhield HEV Melanin that helps fight premature ageing and hyper pigmentation. 

    With these things I can't really comment on the long-term effects but I can tell you that it feels great on the skin. It's lighter than the Kiehl's, feeling less like a moisturiser and more like a water based primer. The smell is pleasant, the packaging is great and I think it's a really good alternative. It's definitely one to pick up and add into your skincare routine if you're looking for that extra layer of protection. 

    It's currently on sale for £10 on the Boots website - link here


    *UPDATE. Yes, the Soap & Glory one is half the size so it works out the same, but £15 (or £10 in sale) is a lot less to invest in if you want to give a daily SPF a try for the first time. Hope that makes sense and sorry for any confusion! 

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  • 03/22/14--00:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    I just can't get enough of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushers. I have three shades; Diffused Heat, Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure. They blend so effortlessly into the skin and don't sit on top like some blushers can do. They have the perfect amount of glow and colour, I just love everything about them. Last Christmas we got an Ambient Lighting Powder palette so let's cross our fingers for an Ambient Lighting Blush palette this year! 

    LIFE //
    The best thing I did this week was film with Anna. We had the most hilarious time and filmed one of my favourite videos yet. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel to see the video pop up sometime tomorrow and then you can find out what Anna is so shocked to see (I swear it's not as dodgy as it sounds!). 

    EATS //
    This week's food obsession hands down goes to the Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup popcorn from Portlebay. I picked this up in Whole Foods because, well, it sounded amazing and guess what? It is. If you, like me, love pancakes with a side of crispy bacon covered in maple syrup then you'll love this. There's not really much else to say, it tastes exactly like it says, sweet but salty and completely delicious! 

    Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for daily photos @lilypebbles and I hope you all have a great weekend! 

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