Monday, 21 January 2013

Operation Disco Pants: An Internet Lovers Guide to Exercise

I hope you're all enjoying reading these posts as much as I've loved hearing all about your journey's to health and weightloss.  For me, the thought of exercising is almost always worse than actually doing it, and I don't think you can beat the adrenaline rush you get after finishing an intensive workout.  There are lots of wonderful websites and You Tube channels that I use to help plan out my exercise routine, but my absolute favourite is run by an amazing fitness and Pilates instructor Cassey Ho, called Blogilates.

Cassey's energy is completely infectious - she really knows how to motivate her viewers and has numerous different workout plans, all of which are set to amazing music - you can even request Cassey to design a workout to your favourite song! Her videos are a combination of 'Pop Pilates' and 'Pop Cardio' and has videos that specifically target problem areas such as 'Pop Pilates: Muffin Top Meltdown' or the 'What makes you bootyful butt challenge'.  Love a bit of One Direction while I whip my booty into shape. 

One of my favourite workouts on Blogilates is the 'Pop Cardio: Fat Melting Routine.

The first time I ever did this routine, I remember thinking 'paaaaaah this will be easy'. OH MY GOD I was wrong - those bloody push up burpees killed me (if you don't watch the full thing skip to the end to see what I'm talking about), especially as you have to repeat the routine four times.  It definitely gets your heart rate up!!  

An app that has really helped me stay on track with my exercise routine is the Weight Training app (it's free!) It has all of the Blogilates routines programmed in which you can enrol yourself in, creating a workout plan for your entire week.  I currently do the Fat Melting routine three times a week, and the Blogilates Bikini Blaster Workout Plan 2 days a week.  The Weight Training app calculates how many calories you burn which helps when using My Fitness Pal!

Cassey also has a wonderful blog and Tumblr which has loads of inspirational posts and meal ideas.  If you like having fun while exercising, I definitely recommend blogilates!!!!

Love Nicola

Sunday, 20 January 2013

What's on my bedside table

What's on my bedside table posts have became a total guilty pleasure for me to read - anything that combines home decor with beauty products in one post is right up my street! I like to keep my bedside table quite neat and clutter free as I'm quite a fussy sleeper. On top of being extremely sensitive to noise, if I see anything out of place I'll obsess about it until I have to get up and fix it - it's unbelievably annoying so it's just easier to keep my bedside table quite minimal.

I always keep a book, my iPad Mini, my phone (to use as my alarm clock in the morning) and my glasses on my bedside table.  At the moment I'm re-reading all of John Green's books before I go and see his tour in the Glasgow's Concert Hall which I'm unbelievably excited about.  If you haven't read any of his books, you definitely should.  My favourite is The Fault in Our Stars, which is now out on paperback - it made me laugh and cry the whole way through.  I also especially loved Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.  When I got my iPad Mini for my Christmas, I was a little worried I wouldn't use it a lot, however it's pretty much not left my hands since Christmas morning.  I love using it for magazine subscriptions and watching You Tube videos (particularly on a lazy Sunday morning!).  It's the perfect size, and fits perfectly into my handbag if I'm taking it out with me.

I always keep this silver bowl I bought from Marks and Spencer on my bedside table and use it to keep the jewellery I wear daily in.  At the moment I have in it my Michael Kors watch, my 'N' necklace, small black studs from Topshop and a bobble and some kirby grips.  I almost always have a candle burning and at the moment I'm burning one from Next which is quite perfumed although the scent doesn't carry particularly far however I love it as it burns really evenly.

Beauty wise I keep it quite minimal.  I've been trying out some samples from This Works sleep range, and currently have been using deep sleep pillow spray and deep sleep stress less.  I love pillow sprays and this one from This Works is lovely - it's quite heavily scented with lavender which creates a lovely soothing and relaxing atmosphere.  Deep Sleep Stress Less is a roller ball that you apply to your pressure points, or you can apply some to a tissue and inhale the vapour.  While neither of these are miracle workers that send me instantly into a deep sleep, they both help clear my mind and create a relaxing environment to fall asleep in.  I noticed today that this set is down to £6 in Boots just now if you want to try them out!  I've also been using a Burt's Bees lip balm which is a lovely product but isn't the most moisturising lip balm I've ever tried (I need to find a good lip treatment that I can use overnight).  Lastly I have L'Occitane's Pivoine Flora hand cream which is absolutely beautiful.  It's very light and sinks in very quickly but leaves my hands extremely smooth and smelling beautifully of peony.

I would love to read any posts you've written about what you keep on your bedside table!

Love Nicola

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What I Wore...On a Night Out

I am definitely the kind of girl who finds getting ready for a night out as fun as the night out itself.  I haven't shared the make up I've worn for  a night out in such a long time on Magic's in the Make Up, so made sure I took some pictures this week!  I've been wearing the same make up look every time I go out recently - dark smokey eyes and quite natural, glossy lips.

M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

Urban Decay Creep, Naked and Sin
Clinique Gel Liner
Benefit They're Real 
Benefit Brow Zings

Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in 602 Beige Rose
NARS Oasis Lipgloss

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Swap With Me?

Hey Dolls,

I'm looking to do another make up swap and would love to hear from any of you if you are interested in being my swap partner! I have taken part in about six or seven swaps in the past and they are one of my absolute favourite aspects of blogging.  It's an amazing way to get to know other bloggers better and try new products from different parts of the world!

If you are interested in swapping with me, you can either email me at or talk to me on twitter - @carrsky.  Also, I have recently just made a Tumblr and I'm looking for some new people to follow, so feel free to send over your links.  If you want to follow me on tumblr you can do so here.

Hope you're all well!

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Lush Shower

One of my favourite ways to relax is to run a Lush bath, I've shared it before but I keep a large vase in my bathroom that is filled with bath bombs and bubble bars.  However after getting a few new Lush products for Christmas, I have recently been turning to a Lush shower to de-stress.

Twilight Shower Gel

Twilight is the perfect shower gel to use if I need to relax after a stressful day.  It contains both lavender and malt notes that create an amazingly soothing and calming aroma in the shower.  It foams up nicely and the scent lingers on my skin that helps when trying to sleep.  Sadly Twilight was limited addition, but I managed to grab an extra big bottle which is currently stored away in my bathroom cabinet to be pulled out on those days where I feel a little frazzled.  If you didn't manage to try Twilight over the festive period, you could always go and buy the bath bomb version (I'm dying to try it, it turns your bath water from pink to blue to purple with gold glitter!)

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner

Ro's Argan has quickly become one of my favourite Lush products I have ever tried, despite being a little dubious to begin with.  I have never used a product quite like it; you apply the lotion on to wet skin before rinsing it back off.  At first, this seemed a little odd to me, however I followed the instructions and my skin felt amazing afterwards! Ro's Argan contains a multitude of moisturising and conditioning ingredients: argan oil, cocoa butter, brazil nut oil, almond oil and shea butter.  After I have rinsed the lotion off, there is a little residue left on my skin which I don't mind too much as I use it at night. By morning, it has been fully absorbed leaving my skin feeling so unbelievably soft.

The smell of Ro's Argan is amazing.  The combination of rose, argan oil and shea butter create a beautifully sweet scent that lasts for such a long time, it's almost like wearing perfume.  Ro's Argan may seem like a bit of a gimmick product, but I cannot explain how amazing it makes my skin feel (and smell).  If you're prone to drier skin in the winter months, you need this!!!

Tiny Hands Solid Hand Serum

I had never used any of Lush's solid serums before so was quite excited (and, as with Ro's Argan, slightly apprehensive) to try it out.  You simply hold the serum in your hands and your body heat melts the bar to create a serum.  It's scented quite heavily of vanilla, and contains many of the same oils and butters as Ro's Argan (Argan oil, Shea and Cocoa Butter, but also Aloe Vera). The serum is wonderfully moisturising, however you do only need to hold the bar for a couple of seconds or your hands become a little too oily.  

What are your favourite Lush products? 

Lots of Love

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 020 Lovesick

Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains have quickly become one of my favourite formulations of lip products.  I have previously posted about the shade Honey, however I have bought 020 Lovesick  which has quickly become one of my most worn lip products.  

I can never seem to resist fuchsia lip products and I was initially drawn in by the beautiful promotional photographs of Emma Stone wearing Lovesick.  At first, the stain is quite sheer but once applied is extremely buildable to a strong, blue toned hot pink.  I love lip products that are versatile on account of their formulation and I can wear Lovesick during the day or at night.  Similar to Honey, the stain isn't drying like a lot of other lip stains I have tried. In combining a lip balm with a lip stain, they aren't as long lasting as traditional lip stains. However, I would much rather sacrifice longevity for a product that feels comfortable to wear! The stain has a faint minty taste and scent but I feel this disappears quite quickly after being applied.  

Which of the Kissable Balm Stains have you tried?

Lots of Love

Friday, 4 January 2013

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer

I recently finished a third tube of Laura Mercier's oil free foundation primer and quickly began to get itchy feet to try something new.  My lovely friend Cheryl recently started working for Smashbox and knowing how oily my skin gets, recommended the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation primer.

I had always heard amazing things about the original Photo Finish primer, but was always hesitant to try it as silicone based products often irritate my skin.  I had no idea that Smashbox carry nine different foundation primers until Cheryl talked me through them all- whatever your skin worry is, you should be able to find a primer to suit you!  As I have oily skin, Cheryl thought that the Light foundation primer would be perfect for me.  After reading that it won Allure's Best of Beauty Award for Best Primer I thought I would try it.

The primer is water based as opposed to the silicone base of the original and is oil free, making it perfect for sensitive or oily skin types.  It feels extremely light and cool on the skin and sinks in very quickly, meaning I don't have to wait for 10-15 minutes for it to be absorbed when I'm in a rush in the morning. 

Similar to the Laura Mercier primer, I don't really see a noticeable difference to my skin after applying the primer though it does create a smooth surface for foundation application. I also feel that the finish of my base make up looks smoother and more radiant, a result of the 'light diffusers' contained in the formula.   Most importantly for me, my skin is much less oily and my make up lasts a lot longer as the day progresses.  I also really love the packaging of Photo Finish Light - a tube is much more hygienic and I can get the most amount of product from the packaging. 

Do you use primers? Which primer is your favourite? I would also love to hear any recommendations of other Smashbox products for me to try!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hogmany in Edinburgh

I always remember watching The O.C and hearing that how you spend New Year's Eve is how you will spend the rest of the year.  If that's true, 2013 is set to be full of friends, family, road trips and laughter.  Nick and I spent Hogmany in Edinburgh with our friends Ashley and Jordan and it was one of the best new years I've ever had. We got wrapped up, took Champagne to the top of Calton Hill and saw in the bells with the best views of the city and the most amazing fireworks display I have ever seen.  

The next day we spent the day wandering around Edinburgh, ate too much food and then felt a little queasy after being thrown upside down on Carnival rides.  It really was an amazing way to spend new year.

It's only the 3rd of January and 2013 is looking to be a pretty amazing year! Planning our trip to America, going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, getting tickets to John Greens 'The Fault in our Stars' tour, Operation Disco Pants being in full swing and getting my blogging dedication back - I'm excited for whats to come!

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Finding my Beauty Style in 2012

When I originally started typing this post, I had planned to take a look back at 2012 on Magic's in the Make Up.  However, looking back through my old blog posts I realised that 2012 was the year I really found my 'beauty style'.  In previous years, I had experimented with bright eyeshadows (I envy people who can make pink and yellow eyeshadow work together) or different hairstyles.  While this was always fun, it never really felt like 'me'.  However, looking at the photographs below I feel that 2012 was the year I discovered what I've always wanted my style to be.  

I found some really amazing skin care products that have dramatically improved my skin (Read about them here and here).  I changed my make up style to vary between a bright or dark lip with neutral eye make up or a darker eye with a nude lip. I realised that nude lipsticks with a slight brown tone are my absolute favourite and shared my favourite here.   I found some amazing new foundations that included Laura Mercier's Silk Creme and Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua.  I also tried some new haircare products - my favourite being Ojon's Volume Advance range and Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy.

I can't wait to blog my way through 2013, and I'm just as excited to keep reading all of your blogs in the coming year! I wouldn't of made half of these beauty discoveries if it weren't for all of you so thank you!!

Happy New Year Dolls!

P.S I just wanted to say a quick thank you and hello to a wonderful new blogger friend of mine Tia who writes Sew Cal Mama.  We were paired in a blogger ornament swap this Christmas and it has been really lovely getting to know Tia and her beautiful family.  Her blog is lovely - it's full of beautiful photographs, amazing craft and DIY ideas and snippets of her life!!