Getting Spendy In Leeds | Premium Beauty Haul

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  • Saturday, 30 April 2016

Last weekend I hopped into the car and headed out to Leeds City Centre. As much as I love shopping in York, it is sometimes nice to have a change of scenery and explore a different city. I have been to Leeds many a time and know it fairly well, but I am forever stumbling across new shops and eateries, that I love going back to visit. I had a bit of a list that I had made before hand of some premium beauty bits that I had been lusting over for quite a long time. So, after a huge burrito at Burrito Bar to fuel my mission, I got a little spending in Leeds.


Illuminating vitamin facial cleanser, vitamin A C & E, pure nutritional skincare, 100ml - £29.50
"a new generation non-foaming facial cleanser that quickly and gently removes impurities and make up while actively illuminating to reveal clean, radiant skin that feels nourished and smooth"

After following Lilly Pebbles for quite some time now I am forever hearing about this brilliant little cleanser. The idea is that you rub the product onto dry skin until it turns into and oil, then using a damp muslin cloth remove all of the product as well as your make up. I  have high hope for this cleansing gel, and the few times that I have used it since buying it, it really has left my skin makeup free and feeling very soft and nourished. 


"The perfect replica of  all of the pleasures of the sun to enhance the skin and lift the mood."
£27.50 - 120ml

This was another product which I have been lusting after due to another YouTube favourite that is InTheFrow. She has raved about this Gradual Tan from Dior in many a video and I decided that I really wanted to give it a try. I had been saving up my Boots points on my advantage card (see my How To Save Money post) so I guess that you could say I got this product for free! I have been using it, after I have cleansed and moisturised, for the past few nights and my skin is beginning to have a soft and natural glow to it.


Sweet Stiletto, £16.50  - 3.5ml

I have finally been lusting over the Charlotte Tilbury make up range and was desperate to try something from her collection. I picked up this cute little lip gloss which is a perfect everyday shade that I can take to work, wear at the weekend and get a great use out of it. I am so in love with the packaging as well with the deep brown and rose gold detailing.


"Cheat and balance your lip shape and size by drawing along the outer edge of your natural lip line. Start from the corner of your top lip."
Pillow Talk, £16.00 - 1.2g

I also picked up this lip liner that I know will go with the majority of my lipsticks as I often opt for a nude-y pink. Think my-lips-but-better type of range and this lipliner in Pillow Talk falls right in the middle of that spectrum. I have high hopes for these products and I can't wait to try more from her range.

What's on your premium beauty wish list?


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What I've Been Wearing | April 2016

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  • Friday, 29 April 2016

As we draw near to the end of our fourth month of 2016, I decided to show in pictures what I have been wearing and loving, both in terms of fashion and beauty, over the past four weeks. As usual, links are below each picture.

Ivy Park Drop Armhole Tank, USA Pro Leggings, M&S High Impact Sports Bra, Little Mix Album

Topshop Jamie Jeans, Topshop Camel Coat, Radley Umbrella

Topshop Joggers, Primark Slogan JumperTopshop Tank, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Mac Eyeshadow, Jimmy Choo Flash, Essie Cocktail Bling

What have you been wearing during the month of April?


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Adding Colour To Your Face

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  • Thursday, 28 April 2016

With the warmer weather well on it's way, at least it was last week, I don't really know what has happened to the British climate the last few days - we've had sleet, hail and even snow up here in the north! Anyway, aside from the freakish weather, we are on the cusp of May which is usually when Spring is drawing to a close and we can truly embrace the summer.

It is the time of year when more parts of your body are on show and, for pale girls like me, you begin to realise just how pasty your skin looks. No longer can I apply bronzer alone to help provide a healthy glow, it is time to bring out the fake tan. I always find it hardest to fake tan my face as I am quite particular with what products I apply to my skin. I seem to have a sensitive complexion in the sense that I can easily break out if my skin is not used to a product. I have a few key products therefore that I like to use in order to create a natural looking tan on my face that easily blends into the rest of my fake-tanned body.

Firstly, I always focus on the skincare side of things. Much like when you are fake tanning your body, it is important to exfoliate and moisturise the skin to help maintain the tan for a longer, more even finish. Usually I cleanse my face and then use the Nars Skin Purifying Foam Cleanser. It not only washes your face but it also gently exfoliates the skin taking away any dead skin cells and leaving an even finish. When it comes to moisturising I have been using the Three Organics Control Me Facial Oil everyday. It is great at providing moisture with out leaving the skin feeling oily or clogged. Once I have let this soak in for a few minutes I then apply a small amount of the St Tropez Gradual Tan in Medium/Dark. This is a really subtle fake tan that helps so add a healthy, sun-kissed glow to the skin without giving the umpa-lumpa effect.

I usually apply fake tan to my face on an evening before bed so that when I wake up, I have a more healthy and glowing complexion in the morning. It is then that I can apply my make up accordingly and add any final touches. The Seventeen Instant Glow Cream Bronzer is great for days when I want a slightly more tanned look than the St Tropez gradual tan has provided. But without a doubt, my favourite bronzer to apply is the Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer that adds such a natural colour to the face.

How do you like to add colour to your face? What are your essential products?


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20 Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

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  • Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Previously I have published 20 Beauty Blog Post Ideas and 20 Fashion Blog Post Ideas. Today I am carry on with 20 Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas.

  1.  A day in the life of...
  2.  Favourite smoothie mix
  3.  Top Netflix shows
  4.  Pamper night ritual
  5.  A 'How To' post
  6.  Recent Reads
  7.  Share a new playlist
  8.  A home-wear update
  9.  A day trip photo diary
  10.  Travel essentials
  11.  Meal prep/planning
  12.  Pans for the day/week/month ahead
  13.  Morning routine
  14.  Evening routine
  15.  A Q&A
  16.  Reasons why you love blogging
  17.  Share a skill/hobby
  18.  How you like to exercise
  19.  Favourite bloggers/posts
  20.  A list of blog post ideas!

Can you recommend some lifestyle blog post ideas to add to the list?


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The Highlight Edit | Part Two - The Golds

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  • Monday, 25 April 2016

My love for highlighters continues - join me in reading, The Highlight Edit, Part Two.

In my previous post, The Highlight Edit, Part One, I spoke of my love for pink toned highlighters. Highlighters that have a pink hue to them are great for contouring, providing definition and creating a dewy and glowing effect. I find that those types of highlighters are great for nights out and the winter to spring time of year.

However, I also have a deep love for golden highlighters. I do have a smaller collection compared to my pink toned highlighters, but love these shades nonetheless. When the weather gets a little warmer and the sun decides to show it's face a little more, I will be reaching for the golden highlighters for the day time. I find that during the summer time, or on a summer holiday the golden highlighters offer a lovely warming glow that looks really healthy and summery. 

Benefit's Sun Beam is my absolute go-to during the hight of summer to add a little extra colour and glow to my complexion. It looks great applied underneath foundations and tinted moisturisers, or on top of make up along the cheekbones and on the temples. Seventeen's Instant Glow Bronze Brick is another glowing highlighter that provides colour as well as acting like a highlighter. Due to the colour layering, it is easy to sweep the powder brush along the brick in a sideways motion and apply the product straight onto the cheeks. This provides a light contour effect with the darker shades in the hollows of your cheekbones, and the lighter shades resting at the top. Finally, the Revolution Cheek Pallet, that consists of a matte bronzer, highlighter and blusher, is another summer-time highlighter favourite. The bronzer and highlighter mixed together and applied on the cheeks provides such a lovely warm glow to the complexion, again, with the benefit of also adding colour.

What are your favourite golden highlighters?


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The Highlight Edit | Part One - The Pinks

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  • Friday, 22 April 2016

Highlighters will forever be a staple in my make up bag, regardless of the whether, what time of year, no matter what the occasion. I am a huge highlighter fan, and I seem to have developed quite a few different types from various brands. Here is a collection of my favourite pink highlighters that offer a huge amount of glow, provide the right amount of shimmer, and are great at brightening up my complexion. 

Depending on what I am doing and where I am going, I will try to apply my make up accordingly. For example, for nights out, evenings out, parties and special occasions, I will usually take longer to do my make. I will usually apply it a little heavier and contour and highlight with more effort and exaggeration. That is when these pink-toned liquid highlighters come in handy. I have been a huge lover of Benefit's High Beam for many years, it was actually my first ever Benefit purchase. It is so beautiful on the skin, easily blended and really buildable. Seventeen's Wow 3 Way Highlighter is slightly lighter in consistency but is a beautiful highlighter that really captures and reflects the light.

At times when I am just wanting a little extra glow to my make up or to create a dewy fresh look to my skin, these two liquid highlighters also work really well as a base to wear under foundation or tinted moisturiser. It gently shines through the make up making and creating a subtle glow to the skin which is so lovely during this time of year.

For a quicker more natural highlight I find myself opting for a champagne stick-like highlighter such as the Benefit Whats Up and No.7's Instant Radiance highlighter. These are dead easy to apply as it is as simple as deciding where you want the product to go and dabbing the stick onto that area. Due to the slightly golden tones, these are both more of a day time highlight as they aren't as glowing as High Beam.

What are your favourite pink-y toned highlighters?


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Book Review | Away By Amy Bloom

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  • Thursday, 21 April 2016

Away | Amy Bloom | Link

This book transported me back to the 1920s in America, to follow a journey taken by a young woman that had lost everything she had ever known. In an effort to reinvent herself Lillian must learn how to survive in a world where Jewish immigrants were not accepted to easily. Once discovering that there is a possibility that her daughter may still be alive in Russia, Lillian makes her way across the United States facing many trials and tribulations in her wake. 

It was a truly heart wrenching story that I couldn't put down. Bloom wrote in such a way that you felt so connected to each character. At each stage in the novel Lillian made constant connections to various characters which were all as unique and troubled as herself. It was an unpredictable read yet still had an easy feel to it as it wasn't overly challenging. It was the first time I have read anything my Amy Bloom but I enjoyed her easy and relaxed writing style that told a complex and busy story line. I would recommend it to those who love a bit of a period drama.

Have you read anything my Amy Bloom before?


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Lighter Bases For Light Days

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  • Monday, 18 April 2016

With the lighter mornings, afternoons and evenings, I have found myself reaching for my lighter bases to provide a more Spring-like look that is natural and fresh.

I love to apply a slightly lighter base during the day at this time of year. Working in an office, I don't necessarily need to apply a full face of make up each day but there are so many different types of bases out on the beauty market now, that it is not so much the case of foundation or no foundation. However, here are a couple of my go-to choices for when I want to apply a lighter base that isn't foundation.


I love a tinted moisturiser, and this one from Laura Mercier ticks plenty of boxes. I picked this up in September when I went over to the states, so apart from the odd occasion I haven't really felt the need to apply this product until now. It has quite a runny texture so only a small amount is needed to be blended and worked into the skin. It is slightly too dark for my current wintery paleness, however as the sun continues to shine and the weather gets better, it should match my skin tone once again. 


I have already raved so much about this product on Madolyn Thinks, but it really is one of my go-to bases at the moment. It is a skin tint which provides a nice even finish to the skin, creating a natural yet covered look. It has a matte finish which is great for me during this time of year as it aids to prevent that mid-afternoon shine that I develop, thanks to my oily T-Zone and combination skin.


I haven't really dabbled too much with BB creams but I really like this one from Benefit Cosmetics. It is another matte finish, much like the Nars Velvet Skin Tint. I do feel as though I really need to make sure that my skin is nicely moisturised and hydrated before applying this product however, it is a great match for my skin that provides the right amount of lightness for this time of year.

What are your favourite bases to wear during the day at this time of year?


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Things That Have Made Me Happy This Week | April 2016

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  • Sunday, 17 April 2016

Although not the most exciting of weeks, I feel as though I have had a happy, refreshing and personal past few days. Here are a few things that have made me happy this past week...
  • The Shoulder, Back and Neck Massage at the Hotel and Spa in Nottingham - Last weekend was spent attending a beautiful and relaxing Hen Party. This hotel-spa was so lovely and I had such a lovely few days getting to know the girls a bit better, chatting and getting excited about the wedding in just a few weeks time. My hour long massage and all over body scrub was pure heaven. I felt so relaxed and calm afterwards, I really want to make this a more regular thing in my life.
  • Watching Wonders Of The Universe on Netflix - I am forever on the hunt for an interesting documentary. I seem to have a rather wide range of  interests when it comes to documentaries, be it based around nature, history, crime or murder, I absolutely love it. This week I stumbled upon this very interesting one all about the universe and time, which has amazing scenery shots and is narrated by the brilliant Brian Cox.
  • Being Pretty Plan Free - Usually it feels as though I have plans made pretty much every weekend and most week nights. After the weekend in Nottingham I was so happy that this week I had made no plans on an evening or for this current weekend. It may sound boring to some, but for me this was pure bliss. I loved coming home, chilling out and sticking to my own schedule rather than rushing here, there and everywhere. 
  • My New Coconut Lane Marble Phone Case - Although I actually bought this a while ago when I had a mini Coconut Lane Haul, I have only just put it on my phone this past week. I think it is so pretty and very 'blogger friendly' with it's on-tread marble effect. 
  • Getting My Teeth Into A New Book - This month's book for my Historical, Cake & Ladies Book Club is Away by Amy Bloom. It is set in the 1920's and begins at Ellis Island in America and is about a young woman trying to escape the tragedies of her old life and start afresh in the USA. Having recently visited Ellis Island as a tourist, this book is reinforcing all of the information that I learnt whilst I was there.
What has made you happy this week?


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Brand Focus | Outdoor Hands Skin Therapy Cream

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  • Thursday, 14 April 2016

I really love using hand cream on a regular basis, especially on the backs of my hands as they can become quite de-hydrated throughout the day. Lately, I have been using the Outdoor Hands Skin Therapy hand cream that is impossibly rich and amazingly hydrating.
This brand has a lovely story behind it. A gentleman decided to create a hand cream for his wife as she suffered from dry skin during the winter months. After developing the formula the clinical pharmacist's hand cream was thought of highly among friends and he decided to create the brand and expand the product line.
The Intense Skin Therapy Cream relieves cracked, dry and tired hands. It is dermatologically tested, paraben free and made in Britain.
"Outdoor Hands is a skin therapy cream formulated by experts. Made from a unique blend of nourishing natural butters, botanical oils, vitamin E and aloe vera. Easily absorbed with a non-greasy finish, it will relieve cracked or chapped hands, feet, elbows and other dry skin."

Do you think you'd like to try any Outdoor Hands products?


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20 Fashion Blog Post Ideas

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  • Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Last month I published 20 Beauty & Make Up Blog Post Ideas and so I thought I would do another Blog Post Ideas post based around the theme of fashion. I hope some of these ideas give you a helping hand or inspire you to create some fashion post ideas of your own.
  1. An Outfit Of The Day
  2. An Outfit Of The Night
  3. A New Seasonal Staple
  4. Accessory Picks
  5. My Shoe Collection
  6. My Handbag Collection
  7. What I've Worn This Month
  8. Monthly Fashion Wish List
  9. Seasonal Outfit Picks
  10. Workwear Staples
  11. Shopping Haul - Clothes
  12. Underwear Picks
  13. Favourite Loungewear Pieces
  14. Three Ways To Wear...
  15. Favourite High-Street Fashion Brands
  16. Fashion Inspiration Post
  17. Favourite Fashion Bloggers
  18. Festival/Holiday/Travel Fashion Must-Haves
  19. A Day To Night Look
  20. My Style Lately
Let me know if you have any Fashion inspired posts to add to the list!

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March Favourites | Make Up, Skincare & Other Beauty Bits

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  • Friday, 8 April 2016

March marked the start of Spring for me and as a result, my beauty and make up products seemed to reflect the beginning of the new season. Many of the products featured in this post were either in my Spring Make Up Picks or Spring Time Beauty Picks posts, however, each have been a genuine favourite of mine during the month of March, and I am sure I will be using most of them well into April as well.


I have been loving the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint as a Spring-time base. I have already raved about this product so much here on Madolyn Thinks but I really do love this product. I have already published a full review but basically it is a brilliant base that offers an even appearance to my complexion yet is quite light in terms of coverage. It literally feels as though I'm not wearing any make up. This paired with the Mineralise Skin Finish Facial Powder from Mac is such a dream team. As this offers more coverage than the average powder, the two together work wonderfully.

A final make up product that I have been loving of late is the Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour by Mac Cosmetics. Again, I have already written a full review of this product but it is a true Spring-like shade that lasts all day and stays in place.


I have been using the Control Me Facial Oil by Three Organics everyday for the last few weeks and I have completely fallen in love. It is so lovely and hydrating on my skin and I feel as though it has improved my complexion whilst I have been using it. I have also been applying the Endless Glove Hand Cream from Soap & Glory as and when I remember, to give my hands a little extra hydration. It is so nourishing and when I apply it before going to sleep, I wake up with ultra soft hands.


A few other bits that I have been loving over the past few weeks are the Cheeks Brush from Seventeen and this beautiful Essie polish in Cocktail Bling. I have been using the brush to apply the Mac Powder to my face as it is a lot more precise and I can ensure that I have evenly applied the product all over my face. This nail varnish is another winner and it hasn't left my finger tips for quite a while now. It is the perfect Spring-Time shade.

What beauty products were you loving during March?


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Fashion Beneath The Clothes | New Underwear Sets

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  • Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I do love a pretty new underwear set every now and then. I think that sometimes it is really nice to treat yourself to something, even if no one else will appreciate it, or even see it! I also believe in investing in underwear as it is important that it is supportive, lets your clothes lie nicely and makes you feel good. I picked up these two beautiful sets from Marks & Spencers a few weeks ago. They were an absolute bargain a just under ten pounds for each set - incredible!

I love the shades of these sets as I think that they are both very complimentary on the skin and are fantastic spring-time colours. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of these over the next few months.

Do you enjoying buying new underwear sets?


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Tenderstem Recipe Collaboration | Cheesy Pasta Bake

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  • Tuesday, 5 April 2016

I am a huge pasta lover and would probably eat it everyday if I could. Pasta bake is one of my go-to dishes when I'm not in the mood to cook and want something quick and easy to make. I often make this dish if the boy and I won't be having dinner together as I can cook this and eat it for my tea, and James can warm his up and eat it when he gets in.

Cheesy pasta can sometimes be a little heavy and is mainly made up of carbohydrates and so I often like to add a couple of difference kinds of vegetables to the dish. I've teamed up with Tenderstem, an online collaboration of recipes with a focus of using tenderstem broccoli and so this became my vegetable of choice when cooking this dish. 


375g Dried Pasta 
500g Pasta Bake sauce
One Courgette
One Red Onion
A Few Button Mushrooms
Grated Cheese
Tenderstem Broccoli


Boil the pasta in water until cooked. Whilst this is cooking, chop the courgette, mushrooms and onion into small chunks and lightly stir-fry in a pan. Once the pasta is cooked, place in an oven-proof dish and add the fried vegetables and sauce. Ensure it is evenly mixed and place in the oven at 180 degrees for about twenty minutes. Put a small about of butter in the frying pan and add a few stems of Tenderstem Broccoli. Lightly fry until cooked. Dish up the pasta bake and lightly sprinkle with the grated cheese. Serve with a side of the Tenderstem Broccoli.

How would you incorporate Tenderstem Broccoli into a recipe?


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