January: A Month In Photos [No.1]

I mentioned at the beginning of the Year (here) that I would put together this very post: A Month In Photos and, I have - actually - stuck to my idea. So, here are (some) of the photos I took during the month of January. Oh, and the photo above was before the 31st of December - whoops.

(These next few I actually took on my Birthday - just saying.)

5 Products To Add To Your Wishlist

1. CAMOFLAUGING: The high-coverage No7 Match Made Concealer (£7) did not leave my face once last Year - well, I lie, I didn't wear it 24/7, don't worry. But you get the idea.. I wrote a full post on this back in June (read it - here) and have used it under my eyes forever since. Available in very neutral shades, Calico doesn't look to dark on me despite my pale skin. I'd recomenend you check this out during the Year; especially considering the small pricetag.

2. FOR THE BRONZE: The Body Shop Honey Bronzer (£13) was definitely my most used contour/bronzer product of 2014 and despite the fact it isn't a high-end product I love it none-the-less. Also, I bought this bronzer (which is in shade 01) early in the Year (around April) and have only hit pan in December.. I really doubt i'd like to go a day without having the option to use this. Full review - here.

3. THE EYES: If you haven't heard about the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in ''On and On Bronze'' (£4.99) - where have you been? 2014 was the Year for creams:  cream eyeshadow, cream blush and so on.. The Colour Tattoo does not fail to stay put throughout the day and is such an easy product to apply very early in the morning.

4. TO APPLY: Last Year, Real Techniques were big, in particular, the Core Collection which features 4 necessary brushes all designed to aid in applying makeup for the perfect finish. In my opinion, it's a great deal at £22 for four (meaning each brush is around £5) and one to add to your wishlist in 2015.

5. BEST WAY TO FINISH: During the end of 2014, I began to complete my makeup routine with a quick spritz of the Avène Eau Thermale Spring Water (£3.50) to ''lock'' in the look i'd created and essessentially blend everything together. I recommend you try this technique soon too.

Have you got any recommendations to add to my wishlist? Have you tried any of the products i've mentioned? I'd love to know!


A Quote To Live By [No.3]

This ''quote to live by'' comes from the fact that we are all, as humans, in competition. Competition with the person sitting next to us; competition with ourselves or in competition with something that might not even happen. In my opinion, sometimes, we just need to take a step back - and look at the situation as a whole. Are you trying your hardest? Are you achieving something (no matter how small)? If yes, then that is better than good enough.

For the next week, don't worry about anyone else, don't be in constant competition with anyone else: focus on yourself (unless your job is looking after others..). The important thing to remember is that: we shouldn't think about competing with the flower beside us, we should simply blossom.


Bronze shades can be the final touch to a makeup look or the last accessory to an A-star outfit; but, it can be too easily overused in wrong areas. Bronze needs to be used delicatly - here are some do's and don'ts when accepting to the Bronze trend..

// DO
Wear on the eyelids: A touch of bronze can look lovely complimenting every eye colour and can aid you in creating polished makeup. Try: smokey eye makeup using the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in ''On and On Bronze'' as the base; or The Body Shop Eye Liner in ''Burnished Amber'' in your waterline (just below your eye).

Bronze jewellery. Yes, yes, yes. One of the 2015 trends to come, in accessories, are minimlistic, dainty rings/necklaces/braceletts. Anything that looks like a Magpie might swoop it up, probably means you should too. Try: H&M Jewellery (they've had some lovely pieces recently).

For interiors: bronze lampshades, vases and pictures frames can look really classy and pull together an entire space. Try: H&M Home (again H&M are nailing it with decor).

Wear bronze (or gold, copper, silver) leggings. Unless your opting to look like a robot/disco ball, or you can totally pull them off (which most of us can't - but if you can then I admire you), stay away from metallic bottoms. Try: matte/leather style leggings instead - Topshop do some nice ones here.

Use a bronze-y fake tan. In my opinion, there's a difference between healthy glowing skin and the colour bronze. (I wouldn't honestly want to look like a metallic glitter ball all over no matter if this is how people expect to come back from abroad). Try gradual tan like the Dove Summer Glow instead or go au naturale and go without faking it whilst Winter is still here.

Do you like the Bronze takeover? Let me know in the comments!
(I'm no style/trend expert what-so-ever - of course - these are just some ideas I thought of.)


Gooey Chocolate Brownie Recipe

I found this gooey chocolate brownie recipe via Tanya Burr a few months back and I have loved making them since. There is something rewarding about baking; a sense of accomplishment, especially when everyone else is asking for the secret ingredient. Brownies are certainly a treat but, by using this recipe you'll feel less guilty knowing you're eating a healthier, less fatty version.. (That doesn't mean you can eat the entire batch all at once..well..maybe..)

// You Will Need 
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
200g Dark Chocolate 
100g Milk Chocolate
3 Eggs
1 Mashed Ripe Avocado 
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cap Full Of Vanilla Extract
Pinch Of Salt
1/2 Cup Ground Almonds (Optional)
1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes (Optional)

// The Instructions
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees c. Start off by melting the 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate together in a large pan over a low/medium heat. 

2. Once everything has turned to liquid, take the saucepan off the heat and add the 1 cup mashed avocado (then mix well), 2 cups of brown sugar (Tanya uses coconut sugar but I can't find this anywhere), 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1/2 coconut flakes, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 cap of vanilla extract, pinch of salt and the eggs.

3. The mixture should have a fairly thick consistency (it shouldn't be like water anyway). Then pop it into the oven for around 25 minutes (check back after 15 minutes first). The brownie should be crisp on the top and gooey (but not runny) inside, so don't worry if you've been going for 30 minutes and it isn't like a brick. The brownie is delicious both warm and cold served with cream and fresh berries.

Avocado, used as one of the few main ingredients, is known for it's healthy fats and the coconut oil contains a special saturated fat making it a great substitute to normal oils. If those facts won't sway you into making this recipe then I don't know what will! Read more about coconut oil and its benefits here.

I'd love to hear what you think about the brownie if you decide to make it please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!


REVIEW // Smashbox Cream Eyeshadow

Can I just start by mentioning the packaging? How beautifully simple is that glass jar? Very. Smashbox is a brand, in my opinion, that bases its aesthetics to be very monochrome and stylish (both appealing to their target market). 

When I was in Glasgow with my Mum last month I was browsing around the high-end brands (knowing I had my Advantage Card Points stocked up), Smashbox was a stand that caught my eyes many times and so, I was intrigued to swatch more and more of their products. The Smashbox Cream Eyeshadow in ''Stone'', which is fairly similar to the budget Maybelline Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in ''Permenant Taupe'', was particularly memorable and temped me to part with my points. After having, and using, Stone for around a month now I thought it was time I split the beans. Is the Smashbox Cream any better than the Maybelline offering (1/3 the price) or do I recommend you keep your cash for something else? Keep reading to find out..

Stone - A silvery grey sheen

Honestly, the Smashbox version isn't overly more buttery or easier to blend than the budget option, but, I do think it has a better wear time. Smashbox also have available a large range of shades compared to others (except in the US.. of course..) and so this could be a reason to splash out. By choosing Stone, the tone isn't incredibly different, and so, I wouldn't repurchase it. Nevertheless, it does feel special and expensive to use - and it looks good on anyones dressing table. Overall, for £16 I don't think I could justify putting it in my basket.

Bought with my Boots Advantage Card Points (lucky me, I know).



Occasionally, - and I know this happens to every ''blogger'' - the ideas just stop flowing and the juices halt in their tracks. Yes, I'm talking about a ''blogger's block'' - the period in which you think (or yell) ''I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE''. Do not give up. I am here with a handful of suggestions for your latest post..

1. {A COLOUR-THEMED POST} 'All Things Purple'
3. {CURRENT BEAUTY FAVES} You have to admit they are the best.
4. {ORGANISATION} Makeup collection, Desk tidying..
6. {OOTD} Having a snoop at someones wardrobe and dress sense? Yes.
10. {SALE PICKS} Everyone loves the sales..
11. {GIFT GUIDES} Mother's Day, Birthdays..
14. {NAIL ART / TUTORIAL} Wether it's a simple design, or not.

Hope you've found this post useful in any way.
 I'd love to know what you think about my blog in the comments. Thanks.


Budget Buttery Eye Shadow

Eyeshadow is a part of the routine that's hard (for some) to perfect.You need the right tools and, of course, the actual magic worker: the product. Often, drugstore eye products are cheap and chalky, but, I really feel like the 17 Eyeshadow (very creatively named: ''brown'' - couldn't they think of anything else?) is far from what is considered a typical budget option. ''Brown'' is a classic smokey sheeny light brown.

Basically, this 17 offering is buttery smooth and much more of a quality eyeshadow than you'd expect. Personally, I like using this over the Naked Basics palette to add a neutral sheen (there ain't no clumps of glitter in this) and complete the look. (The photo, in the packaging, is from when I first bought this weeks before Christmas..) No on line link - but, have a look at the other 17 eye products here.

Do you have any recommendations for budget eye shadows to try? I love to know in the comments!


''Out with the Old, in with the New''

A camera upgrade. As you may know, I recieved the Nikon D3200 24.2 megapixel DSLR - and I love it. After having my DSLR for almost a month and having used it very often, I'm going to give my impressions and thoughts.. By the way, I use my DSLR for both blog product photography and i'm also a photography enthusiast (I enjoy street photography (despite the fact I've never done it..); landscape; fashion/styling and macro).

The D3200 is a newer version of its predessesor: the D3100 (which, honestly, didn't sound too amazing); nevertheless, all former thoughts about the D3200's brother have been amended, because the D3200 really is a great beginners camera (and a brilliant buy considering the budget price tag!). The Nikon DSLR comes with a standard 18-55mm lense, which, in my opinion, is sturdy and feels like it's built to last. Therefore, I think the quality of the NIKKOR lenses really are quite high, I feel like I can also trust Nikon with spending my money on their products (because camera accessories and lense are not cheap).

The features on this DSLR are all chosen well and all have a purpose. Positioned well, the buttons (record, play, etc) enable settings are quickly selected and changed with ease. This ensures, even for beginners, that the setup for your photos is easy as pie. Previously, I had thought ''DSLRs will be to hard to control'' and ''I'll have no idea how to get used to it'' but, my doubts have been reversed as I couldn't be happier with my new camera!

Find the Nikon D3200 DSLR here.


A Quote To Live By [No.2]

Positivity, in my opinion, is the way to be happy. If we doubt ourselves or think negatively about the situation, 9 times out of 10, we won't go out with a real smile on our faces. To turn that frown upside-down, consciously think about the things that could go right - there's always a positive in everything (even if it doesn't seem obvious). This post is both for my benefit and yours; I need to remind myself this quote more often.

Act upon this quote today: think about one positive thing you are going to do and don't let the negative thoughts interfere.

To read other inspirational quotes on Rachel Jayne click here.


A Perfect Gift

A gift for any occasion, but particularly: Birthdays. (Which, by the way, it's my Birthday today!) Ironically, I did received my Pandora Ring for Christmas, not today.. Nonetheless, I thought the idea was a fabulous one. Pandora rings, expensive yes they are, will be truly appreciated. I know for one how special and (perhaps) personal a ring is. I wear my ring all-the-time, and it won't ever oxidise (turn all funky and green..), or at least for a long, long time it won't.

The ring I chose, yes, I chose mine - but it had to be right (right?) - has a beautiful delicate leaf crown design. My ring, worn on my thumb, sits perfectly and feels so nice to wear. It genuinely feels special - even though I know someone else could have the same.

So, if you are stuck for Birthday (Anniversary, Mother's Day, etc) ideas why not consider a ring? Pop into the store (with the lucky receiver) and try on a few: you can always say no.


REVIEW // Benefit Delecta-Belles Perfume

Benefit Delecta-Belles Gift Set (£29) was another beauty related present I received for Christmas and one which I think is a very clever idea. Literally, 4 (mini - cute) perfumes at 10ml each for the price of one! Why have one scent when you can experiment with four? Just don't mix them together.. My personal favourite is ''Laugh with me Lee Lee'', which, I think, smells both fresh and intriguing.

Many online places have this out of stock, so if you look in-store 
at House Of Fraser/Boots you might be lucky to find this bargain!


HAUL // Boots, Superdrug & Topshop

So, I went shopping (whoops) - I hit the shops and I spent my precious money. Get yourself prepared for a long post; here's what I bought (including a couple of bargains)..

Soap&Glory Glow All Out (£11)
I read one single review on this over the course of Christmas and knew I had to have it in the New Year. 'Glow All Out' is basically a very light, wearable highlighter that provides a radiant face all over - what more could you want? I'll have to report back on this because I could, potentially, end up looking like a disco ball..

Soap&Glory Supercat Eye Liner (£6)
I couldn't resist in falling for Boot's 'Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price' offer and so I have to admit that I ended up adding the Supercat Liner to my basket as well.. I suppose Supercat is just a standard eye liner; nevertheless, I'm intrigued to see if this proves champion against any other slim eye liner I have trialed before (will it fair any better?).

Topshop Grey Knit Hat (£10 £5) - No Online Link.
I was looking for a cosy hat throughout all of December and have only just found one now. After Christmas. Nevertheless, I think this hat is perfect for bad hair days, relaxing walks and wrapping up warm (especially considering it snowed yesterday)!

Topshop Nail Varnish 'Silhouette' (£5 £3) - No Online Link.
Bargain, I think. This nail varnish, although it looks black, in reality is actually a very, very dark grey. Topshop nail varnishes have a really nice consistency - not too thin, not too thick (I sound like Goldilocks..) - therefore, they apply ever so easily in one or two swishes. I've just painted my nails with Silhouette (they better not smude while writing this..) and think the shade looks fabulous despite the fact it needed at least two coats for the full opaque effect.

Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer (£4.99)
Hmm.. I'm not too sure about this Primer after reading some reviews... I'll have to give it another couple of tries; but, after using this once I actually agreed with one of the reviews saying: this primer is the reverse of what it's meant to do. Personally, I think this primer made the wear time of my eye shadow worse..

Rimmel Moisture Renew Clear Lip Liner (£3.99)
Recently, I have been wearing lipstick more often in a vast variety of shades. For that reason, I thought buying a translucent lip liner would be more worthwhile (at the moment), instead of buying several coloured ones - I'll have to see if this liner is any good! I'll report back in a few weeks?..

MUA Trio Eyeshadow 'Emotions' (£2.50)
Firstly, the price tag means each single eyeshadow costs just over a mere 83 pence.. That's crazy! Secondly, I think there's something so pretty and interesting about marble effect makeup products. Whether it's eyeshadow or not, I think anything with a pattern intrigues me. These eye shadows, in particularly, are bronzy and compliment each other perfectly.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Bronzer 'Ready To Go' (£4)
This product is, I think, a highlight-bronzer hybrid. Swatch it in store and see for yourself; but, I believe this bronzer will add an adored glowing effect to the high points of your cheekbones.

That is everything, I hope you've had a lovely day! 
Check back for my post on Friday (which could be is a post all about my new DSLR)...


REVIEW // Max Factor Miracle Touch Cream Blush

I bought the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush (what a mouthful..) months ago and used it sparingly, but, recently I have been opting for it more and more often. Applied to the apples of my cheeks (after bronzer/contour - I always bronze up my pale face..), this cream blush looks stunning and creates a dewy, fresh result. I prefer to use the limited edition Real Techniques Cheek Brush (from the Nic's Picks Set) to apply; because just the right amount of pigmentation is dispensed.

Drugstores and highstreet shops, in my opinion, totally lack natural cream blushes; but, Max Factor's version is clever in the way it initiates a very genuine glow.

Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear them.


Eyeshadow Sorted In Seconds

Literally, one quick swipe over the lid with Rimmel's ScandalEyes Shadow Stick gives more pigmentation than needed and creates, in my opinion, perfected eye makeup in under a minute! Rimmel really have produced a winning product here: due to the pure strength of the shimmery taupe-brown shade.

EXTRA (If you have a minute spare): With ease, you can quickly blend the eye crayon with another eyeshadow to form further dimensions and then sweep neutral colour in the crease of your eyelid to complete the smokey eye look.

Rimmel's ScandalEyes is stocked at both Boots and Superdrug with change from a fiver - meaning you can save time in the morning and still have money in your purse!! What's not to love?

Are you interested in eye crayons? Let me know any of your recommendations by leaving me comment below!


A Moisturising Match Made in Heaven

Firstly: you had to like my alliteration in the title, right? Winter is always the time of the Year that our skin suffers the most (dry, cold weather certainly isn't the most desirable), and so, our skincare routines need to be a combination of soothing, moisturising products. And that is where the Clarins Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum* steps in. I guess that to have happy skin you need a team of products that amp up each other and work together - I use any moisturiser - but, the Clarins serum is what does all the talking.

Clarins say ''[The serum] stimulates skin’s natural exfoliation process, helping to speed cellular renewal for a supple, toned, glowing complexion'', which I totally I agree with. After using this (before my moisturiser) my skin looks and feels a lot healthier and really does glow. 

This post includes a sample received in-store.


A Quote To Live By [No.1]

I thought I'd create a small (bonus - not in my ''schedule'') kinda post focusing on motivation, particularly, quotes to live by. So, the first: one by Abraham Lincoln, which I personally believe is very, very true and relateable. We all enhance our ''failures'' (or something else we would describe them as..) but would about our successes? Today, I'd like you to concentrate on just one thing you succeeded at this week.

To read other inspirational quotes on Rachel Jayne click here.


REVIEW // Naked Basics 2 Palette

 One of the beauty products I received for Christmas was the impressive Ubran Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette (adored by everyone). Featuring 6 neutral toned, full-sized eyeshadows, the Naked palette has been loved by me and used on my eyes (almost) every day since the 25th.

SKIMP: A champagne highlight
STARK: A light red-toned matte brown (and the surname for Iron Man..)
FRISK:  A matte taupe
COVER: A medium red-toned matte brown
PRIMAL:  A medium brown
UNDONE: A smokey (so-dark-it's-almost-black) brown

The quality and pigmentation of these eyeshadows, in my opinion, definitely sets the product apart from cheaper alternatives and justifies the price-tag. My favourite combination at the moment is: using Frisk all over the lid and then Primal in the crease (blended outward seamlessly).

Overall, I would hands-down recommend the Naked Basics 2 Palette.

2015 Small Changes

I wanted to write a quick post updating my Blog for 2015.. I am, from now onwards, posting 4 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (I have decided I want a strict schedule to keep up with my blog - so I need set days). I hope this small change is okay - my schedule may be updated if I fancy posting more frequently (particularly during the Summer) or less often (near exams).

Furthermore, in my New Year Resolutions post (read it here), I mentioned uploading a post on the last day of each month summarising the photographs I have recently taken. At Christmas, I was very lucky and received a Nikon D3200 DSLR (I might write a short 'Out with the Old, In with the New' post?), and so I'd really like it (benefiting both myself and my readers) to share my photos with you all. Expect this type of post to begin at the end of January.

Lastly, this year I'd like to add more ''fashion'', styling posts - featuring OOTDs, etc..

I hope you look forward to 2015, here, on Rachel Jayne!
Follow my BlogLovin' to be updated when I upload a post.


My 2015 New Year Resolutions

Firstly, I know this post is late, but.. I wanted to do it anyway! Usually, I'm one of those people who does make resolutions. Despite the fact I don't always keep to them for the entire year; I'd like to think that making goals is the motivation to do so. Therefore, here are my aims for 2015..

1. I want to, ultimately, say yes to more things - predominately, opportunities - to make the most of the year and really feel positive about what I have done that day.

2. For a while now I have been really interested in photography (I therefore love taking the shots for my posts), and so at Christmas I asked for a Nikon DSLR (which I received, have used tonnes since and love), so I would also really appreciate improving my skills and learning new techniques! (I was also thinking of making a series for the last day of every month - summarising some of the photos I have taken?)

3. A common resolution would be: toning your body up and/or losing weight in order to feel better about yourself. I am aiming for something similar this year, although, as I'm naturally thin (which is just as decreasing for self-confidence as being ''overweight'') I'd like to put on more weight and think about what I'm eating to generally feel healthier. I think this effects my thoughts and feelings a whole lot and so I'm aiming to feel more comfortable with my figure.

4. Finally, I want to remind myself that ''I look nice today'' (if I do..) or smile when someone says ''I like this about you..'' rather than disagreeing with them or trying to persuade them they are wrong. Why do I do this? In 2015 I need to try to doubt myself less. Excuse the cliché, but, I need to believe in myself.

What are your resolutions? I would really like to hear them!