Saturday, February 06, 2016

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette Review

I can't remember ever being as excited for a product to be released as I was for this. Possibly for years, I've wanted the Sigma brush cleaning mat, but at £32.00, I couldn't justify buying it when I could just use my hands at little extra cost. When I found out that Real Techniques would be releasing their own take on it for just £12.99, I pretty much had to get it.

For me, cleaning my brushes is a real chore. I tend to put it off, and by the time I finally come to do it, my foundation brush is completely packed full of product and it takes a good 15 minutes just to clean one brush. I don't spot clean either, I just give them a good thorough wash about every two weeks (I know that's bad, but I'm lazy and it's the truth). This cute little palette aims to make that easier with a design to comfortably fit on your hand and a multi-textured surface to cleanse the brushes deeply.

The palette claims to help sweep away makeup, oil and impurities from bristles to give you truer, more consistent colour application. All you need to do is pop a bit of your brush cleanser of choice onto the palette, add some warm water, and swirl your brush through it until the brush is clean. You can also rest your brushes on the tool to air dry your brushes.

As you can see, it fits well on the hand, and it's very comfortable and doesn't slip off or anything. It also has three different textured surfaces - one for big brushes, one for medium, and one for small. I tested the product out on the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which I use for foundation, and found the texture in the middle to be the most useful for that, but I did make use of all three surfaces.

I found that, because it's made of silicone, it sort of helps the makeup come off more easily than if you were to do it on your palm. It's more 'sticky' than your hand, if that makes sense. but in a good way. It also really stops the pain / discomfort of constantly rubbing wet makeup brushes into your palm for an hour. So it was already a good product in my books just from the first instance I put my brush onto it.

I used a little baby shampoo and some warm water, and swirled my brush across it until clean. It took about a minute, or a little more, to get the brush completely clean. And it's completely clean, it doesn't just look it on the outside but have a little left on the inside, deep in the bristles. I'm so impressed. I don't know if it's my imagination, but the brush actually seems a little softer and shinier than it does normally. Maybe that's just because it got such a thorough cleaning.

I only tested it out on the one brush since I'd only recently washed them, so I didn't test out the cleansing gel, which you get as a sample. I can't wait to use it on the rest of my brushes though. I've never been excited to wash my brushes before now!

Would I recommend this product? Definitely! I would say that anybody with a lot of makeup brushes actually needs this in their life. It will save a lot of time, and a lot of water since it won't take as much to clean them as it would using just your palm. It's quicker, more comfortable, and more effective. 100% recommend. If you've got the money, go buy it now. Right. Now.

Have you tried the palette yet? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to tweet me your thoughts too, and check out my Instagram for more pictures!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bristol Aquarium Visit

A couple of weeks ago I headed to the aquarium with a friend I hadn't spoken to in years but wanted to reconnect with. I'd always wanted to go to the aquarium in Bristol and it was such a nice day out & a great opportunity to whack out some gold sparkly shoes (which I defo need to blog about soon).

The fish were so cute & I love them all. There was a little octopus but I didn't manage to get a picture of him since he was hiding, which sucked. I've been to an aquarium before in Plymouth, but I can't remember it all too well. Anyway, the one in Bristol was really nice & they had stingray, and sharks, and seahorse and a creepy eel and a load of other things too.

I managed to get a nice blurry picture of me swimming with the fishes. Well... I poked my head up inside a little hole in the tank anyway. Shame I'm pulling a weird face. Shame you can't even see my face anyway.

I'd defo recommend Bristol aquarium for a day out! It's so close to the centre of Bristol so you can go shopping afterwards, or go to @ Bristol, or whatever you want really, since it's a great location. It'd also be good for kids because there's lots of facts on the walls and stuff, and a lot of the children I saw seemed very excited about identifying the different fish.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My 2016 Chill Music Playlist

I am a huge lover of music and always have been. The first casette I ever bought (yes I'm genuinely THAT old that casettes were a thing. Or tapes. What were they even called?) was a Fast Food Rockers single. The first CD I bought was S Club 8's album, which I listened to on repeat every single day for a good year. But I think my music obsession started when I began listening to Linkin Park, Billy Talent, and The Used. Still love them all, but my taste in music has certainly changed since then.

Keeping up with new music is hard. So I listen to music which I can chill out to, and just enjoy it rather than keeping track of all the new releases like I used to. Honestly, I have a handful of artists I'll just listen to on repeat, because I find it hard to find new music that I actually love.

In case you have a similar music taste to me, I thought I'd do a little post which might introduce some people to some artists they like, and maybe you can tell me some of your favourites in the comments too. I'm going to list the artist with a song I'd recommend listening to, but the chances are, I listen to their whole album all the time.

troye sivan

1. Troye Sivan - The Quiet. I've been watching Troye on YouTube for a while. Not religiously, but sometimes. His music, however, I absolutely adore. When he released Happy Little Pill, I swear my whole body set on fire. Since then, he has not disappointed me with a single track. I've been listening to his album a lot lately and loving it, but The Quiet probably sticks out to me the most. I'd image you've heard his stuff before if you're reading this, but if you haven't you should. It's got a very chill, electronic, sort of sad feel to it... but in the best way possible. The emotIONS.

2. Chvrches - Afterglow. Obsessed with this song. Lauren Mayberry has the most gorgeous voice in the world. It's cute, and she's got a great accent too. Chvrches are my perfect artist, to be honest, and since I first heard their music a few years ago, I've been hooked. I think I've now seen them live four times. I also love the songs where Martin Doherty sings just as much. I'm sure you'll know the songs Recover, and The Mother We Share, since I think both were played on the radio a lot two Summers ago. Their new album is even better.

lights bokan

3. Lights - Child. I've loved Lights for YEARS. I used to be active on the forum, I've made some great friends through the fandom, and I go to concerts and see people I know purely through seeing them at concerts before. The Lights UK fandom is insane. She's a hell of a lot bigger in the US and Canada, so I'm sure it's a lot different there. She's features in songs by Owl City, Bring Me The Horizon, Kaskade, Shad, Seven Lions, and more. She does great covers too, and I feel like her music is endless. I'm always discovering old gems from the past. Honestly I could write a dissertation on Lights, and I don't want to spill my feelings for her out too much because it's A LOT. But she's incredible, and you need to listen to one song from each of her albums. Like now. Lights is her name, by the way. Not a band. Yep, her real official name. And her baby girl is called Rocket. So is my car.

ellie goulding

4. Ellie Goulding - I Do What I Love. You've definitely listened to Ellie before. I feel like I Do What I Love is a song which maybe a lot of people wouldn't think of as their favourite song, but I adore it and it's my favourite from the album. I love Ellie, and I've loved her since Bright Lights.

purity ring

5. Purity Ring - Sea Castle. Purity ring are sort of similar in vibes to Troye and Chvrches, and I love them. Very chillable. I'm all about the electronic vibe.

So that's a top five for the moment, and all time, really. I'm also listening to Ariana Grande, Bring Me The Horizon, The Darkness, The Struts, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Die Antwoord, 5SOS, All Time Low, and a lot more. So... my music taste is pretty varied.

Tell me your favourites in the comments, and if you like any of these artists too!

P.S. I've probably used the picture at the top before but I've left my camera lead at uni so can't upload any at the moment!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

How To Dye Your Hair Pink From Dark Brown

Ever since I was a young sprout / scene kid, I've always wanted to do fun things with my hair. Recently I decided I'd just do it, because soon I'll have a job and pink hair will probably become inappropriate (I really hope it doesn't though). In this video, I show you how I got this pink colour and review the Bleach London The Big Pink hair colour.

If you want details on how I went from dark brown to silver, check my post here. If you want to know what I'll be using to maintain my pink hair, check my post here!

If you liked my video (and what I hope is detectable sarcasm though people tend not to understand my sarcasm a lot), please subscribe to my YouTube channel! Remember you can also follow me on Twitter if you fancy a chat, and Instagram to get updates before anywhere else (and also what I think are pretty pics).

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Pink Hair Essentials

I've recently been changing my hair up quite a bit. It was dark brown, then I went silver, then I bleached it a few times, and now it's pink! I'm going to be putting a video up on my YouTube channel of dying my hair pink. This post is all of the things I'll be using to maintain my hair while it's pink! It's also sort of a Boots haul because they were doing 3 for 2 on professional haircare (which I'm pretty sure is still on) and I just couldn't say no.

The dye I used is the Bleach London The Big Pink. It's a really, really bright pink if you start out with bleached hair. If your hair was a light blonde (but not white bleached) colour, I think it would turn out as a peach colour. I used it just as it is, but for a lighter colour you could mix it with conditioner. I also used the Total Bleach Kit and it took me all three packs to cover my whole head, so if you're looking to use them, I would definitely recommend having a spare on hand in case it runs out, especially if your hair is long. In all of their bleach kits, you get the Reincarnation Mask which is absolutely incredible and the best hair mask I've ever used! Would  completely recommend buying it if your hair is damaged or dry.

To keep my hair healthy between washes, I've been using the John Frieda Frizz Ease Leave-In Conditioner. A leave in conditioner is essential in my opinion. Lou Teasdale (One Direction's hair stylist and author of The Craft) said that she would even recommend putting a bit of conditioner on the ends of your hair after you've washed it and not rinse it out. The roots are all good for me as my hair gets pretty oily, but the ends don't get any of that at all so it's good to give them a little helping hand. 

A dry shampoo is also essential, and I've been using this Lee Stafford one. Just remember not to use it too much because dry shampoo is not good for frequent use.

Rest assured, I'm going to be using hair masks every time I wash my hair and that leave-in conditioner is going to be my new best friend! I can't say my hair is in great shape currently. Admittedly, it isn't terrible, but it could definitely be better. It isn't crispy yet, which is good??

Life is too short not to dye your hair!

Sunday, January 03, 2016


Just editing my blog theme, so if you happen upon my blog and it looks a bit off, you know why.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 In Review & 2016 Goals

2015 was a pretty crappy year for me. I hate to be negative, but honestly it was. From the start of the year until May, my Dad was unwell and I spent a lot of time worrying about him, 'taking care' of him (this didn't involve a lot, but I did stay home), and visiting him in hospital. On May 9th, he passed away and I lost the person who had been there for me for as long as I can remember. You don't completely realise it until it happens, but moving on from somebody close to you dying is a really hard thing to do. I also didn't have the best time at uni and felt that I'd made no friends and achieved nothing but mediocre work and disappointing grades. 

Needless to say, my blog suffered. When I first began this blog, I was posting every day and just enjoying it. I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun. With everything happening in my life outside of my blog, I just didn't care about my blog anymore. Or, I did care, but I just didn't want to post or read other posts or anything. It could've been the end of beckyisobel *ominous music plays*...

BUT! Hip hip, hooray! I met my housemate, Kate, who brought life back into me. What a gal. It's nice to have somebody who shows that they care about you, which I didn't feel I had until Kate. I also made some other friends at university who I plan to live with in the future.

So I've been going out more, enjoying myself more, actually attending lectures, and actually doing work and studying to become a Graphic Designer, which is my ultimate life goal *dances*. Not only that, but I've been working on getting my blog back to its former glory.

I attended some blogger meetups (here and here) and made friends with some bloggers in person for the first time, which was great. I really hope to see all of the bloggers I met there again in the near future! Hopefully 2016 will bring me more occasions to meet bloggers. 

I also dyed my hair blonde because life's too short not to dye your hair. Almost every single person I know told me not to do it and has since told me they hate it, but I love it. It's still unfinished, so hopefully there will be more hair posts in 2016! Dying my hair blonde was actually a big thing for me & it was something I've always wanted to do so I'm very glad I did it, even if all of my hair falls out at some point in life.

So, yes, 2015 has been pretty awful and disappointing for me, but things are improving for the most part, and I don't think 2016 could get any worse, so I guess that's a positive! I hope to make lots of new friends in 2016, and start an internship somewhere in the world!

Aside from personal goals, I have blog goals which I am determined to try my best to fulfill. I won't be too disappointed if I don't, but I'll be disappointed if I don't at least try!

So here they are:

1. Reach 5,000 Instagram followers
2. Reach 1,000 Youtube subscribers
3. Actually post videos on Youtube and don't delete them
4. Reach 8,000 Twitter followers
5. Post more about food, feminism, and lifestyle
6. Host at least 3 giveaways
7. Say yes to more blogger events
8. Offer advertising on my blog
9. Improve my photography
10. Post about my artwork

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Icycl Vodka Fruit Icepops

I'm a big fan of vodka. It's pretty my go to when I'm planning on drinking. Admittedly, I hate the taste and if I drink it straight I'm probably going to throw up, but it does its job. If there's a way to make it taste good, then I am absolutely all for it. Usually I'll just whack in a bit of lemonade (still tastes crap, but better) but I've tried it in jelly form, and with various other mixers. Jelly is sort of exciting but then you realise you're spending half of your time trying to lick the remains from the bottom of a shot glass, or trying to get it out in the first place, and it's more effort than it's worth. I'm pretty sure it's also considered tacky but I'm not one to be held down by the chains of society.

I think that frozen alcohol has become a bit of a thing lately. It was in the Summer anyway. Maybe that was just me, but I've seen little vodka icepops like these emerging in supermarkets. They're like little slush puppies that get you drunk. What more could you want out of life? These particular ones are from Icycl*. 

The ones I've had before have tasted crap, honestly, so I had little hope for these little icepops. But, lo and behold, they were FANTABULOUS. One flavour was anyway. Apple was NOT my thing and went down the sink (sorry), and the lemon and lime one was good, but as somebody who avoids yellow and green skittles, it wasn't my favourite. The blackcurrant, however, was everything to me. It tasted like an ice lolly with a bit of a tang. I couldn't taste any vodka at all, which is what you want when it comes to vodka, right? YES, ICYCL!

The great thing about these is that you can freeze and refreeze them and they'll still be just as good. I had mine around the recent Christmasy days and they were certainly enjoyable, especially when followed by lots of Prosecco and whatever else came after that... Admittedly, they weren't exactly what I fancied when I'd just come inside from the cold outside (it's actually not even that cold lately... would like to thank humans for Global Warming) but in the Summer (assuming it ever gets hot in this country again) they would be IDEAL for barbecues, parties, or any occasion which would involve alcohol. To be honest though, all year round for me because I rarely step foot outside and it's reasonably warm inside if I whack the fire on. Again, the chains of society will not hold me down *shakes fist*.

Also a plus is that these things are made from natural fruit juices! None of that creepy stuff which is highly questionable and concerning. They're also easy to slide out of the packet. You know when you're a kid and you spend ages warming an ice lolly because it's too frozen to come out? That doesn't happen with these. Your hands do get cold if you hold them for too long though... obviously. Get a pair of gloves on that!

Kind of can't believe I've devoted an entire blog post to alcohol. *bows down to alcohol* My Mum did suggest I become an alcohol blogger so that we could get sent wine for her to drink. Not sure I'm gonna do that... If you do want to get your hands on some slushy ice lolly vodkay thingys, go to Icycl's website, and have a little gander at all of the stuff they've got on there. I hear new flavours are coming soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S ALMOST 2016. I don't want 2016. I want 2001. I want to be 6.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

La Redoute Blogger Christmas Party

Well, Blogmas failed! My Grandma got sick so I had to visit her. I'm sure that this year keeps on bringing bad things to me? Still, I'm going to try to at least post more frequently than usual because CHRISTMAS.

Oh the day of the Leeds Xmas Blogger Meet, La Redoute also held a blogger party in the evening, which I was lucky enough to go to! I'm so glad that I did because I met so many great people. 

It was an evening of cocktails, clothes, and food, as well as a lot of chatting to people I'd only ever seen through a screen. There were a lot of clothes around for us to try on and be photographed in. Here's a few of the shots of me.

Top: Urban Outfitters. Skirt: La Redoute. Shoes: Topshop.

Bodysuit: La Redoute. Skirt: H&M. Shoes: Topshop.

You should check out Jordan and Danielle's blogs - Jordan is in the photoshoot picture with me and Danielle's the one I'm chatting to. Both lovely girls with beautiful blogs! Also be sure to look at La Redoute who hosted a great party & showed us their beautiful clothes! They were also kind enough to give us all a goodie bag and send us an item of clothing - I went for the bodysuit I'm pictured in.