2013 - My year, My random favourites, My resolutions, My life

So we come to the end of 2013, and without sounding like a massive cheesy, cliche of a girl - which I no doubt will - where the fuck on earth has this year gone? It's been a bit of a mixed bag for me, getting all 'Ronan Keeting' on your arses, a bit of a rollercoaster. As 'trying not to bore the life out of you in my blog posts' is one of my new years resolutions - along with cutting down on swearing not gonna happen, eating more healthily and doing at least one form of exercise every so often definitely not gonna happen #Beast and finding the time to blog more often Miracles do happen right? - I won't go too in detail of my year, so I thought I'd post a few highlights, a few highs. So, putting on my best Dermot O'Leary voice - the Elle next door, here are your best bits...

The Work Recap - Anyone that follows my blog will know that I work in TV, and I absolutely love it...despite moaning about how many hours I work - which to be fair is quite a lot, I mean 18hour days...Ohhh bore off Elle! - and stress that you receive along the way. In January I got a job on 'the only way is essex'. I was never a fan of the show per say (love a bit of diplomacy in case the ole bosses are watching ;) ) however it is a huge production, takes a ridiculous amount of hard work and actually is a great show to have on your CV. Also a lot of fun at times! I, in all honesty, expected to be there for a series. 1 year, 3 series and a couple of steps up the ladder later and here I am, still 'reppin Essex' (please, please, feel free to punch me in the face for using that phrase!) I did expect stress and hell-ish hours when I accepted the job. I didn't expect to find some of my closest friends and colleagues along the way. Oh, and also my other half :) so I am very grateful to 'the only way is Essex' which is a sentence that at the beginning of 2013, I never ever thought I'd say!

The Beauty Recap - Now that I've bored you all over 2013's work history, I thought I'd better get onto what makes us all happy. Beauty. I am still - and probably will forever be - a neutral, smokey eye and nude/pink lips lover. It's what suits me - well, I think it suits me, feel free to point out if I look like a bit of a clown!) - and I'm a massive creature of habit. After all, it's totally acceptable to have 30 pink lipsticks, which are obviously all unique and not at all the same as the one you bought 2 days ago! Here's a quick list of favourites that you can skip through if you're dying of boredom from my random waffling! 

Makeup Favourites:-
Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow Fiji

Concealer: Collection Lasting finish Number 3

Bronzer: Nars Laguna/Chanel Soleil de tan (100% sure I've spelt that wrong. 100% too lazy to go and check)

Eyeshadow: Now this is a bloody toughy. I'm totally going to cheat and say Mac Woodwinked, All that glitters, Patina and Satin Taupe. And the whole naked 1 and 3 Palette. (I wasn't joking when I said I was a neutrals girl was I?)

Eyeliner: Loreal Superliner/Loreal Superliner Slim for a winged liner. Rimmel Scandaleyes kohl for waterline

Blusher: Another toughy - #FirstWorldProblems - I'd say Accesorize Sensation (don't know it til you've tried it) Mac Well Dressed or Melba.

Lipstick: Mac Angel. My one true love! Followed very closely by Rimmel Kate Moss Matte 101

Hair Favourites:-

Tool: Without a doubt, the Enrapture totem styler. Review here

Shampoo/Conditioner: High end - Morrocan Oil Volume, Low end - Aussie's Shine range

Treatment: Macadamia oil Deep repair masque

Oil: Macadamia or Moroccan Oil.

Now, Fashion favourites would be a hard one as I tend to change up what I wear all the time (sorry purse) so I thought I'd post a couple of random OOTD's from this year. Which also leads to my resolutions...

Resolution Number 1 - Try and make at least one outfit post without pulling a "I'm trying to look natural, look down to the left pose" Jesus christ I like to pull that pose a lot don't I? There is obviously always a lot going on on the floor to my left!

2 - Try to eat at least a little bit healthily and exercise at least once a week. Yes I did say once a week, yes that is pathetic and no it wasn't a typo. It's time to be realistic with my resolutions and once a week, quite frankly - and rather embarrassingly - will be a miracle as it is.

3 - More of a personal one for my last resolution - yep, I'm considering your poor souls and ending it here so you don't die of boredom Haaaalelujah - For 2014, I really want to stress less. I am the world's biggest over thinker, every decision in life is a life or death situation (Tiramisu or Apple crumble, Tiramisu or Apple crumble...) but no, all jokes aside, after a really stressful passed 2 years, I want to be laid back and relaxed in 2014. Worry about things if I need to. Make a decision and don't ponder over it for weeks. You get the jist...

4 - To be happy! (...and yes I sneaked a final resolution in)

And that's it for 2013. For anyone that has got to the end of this post, you are the true definition of 'patience is a virtue' (and a massive congratulations, I'd have given up a long time ago :) ) Thank you to every single one of you that reads my blog, or has ever even read one of my blog posts. I am so grateful and appreciate every single one of you! 

Happy New Year, I hope it's your best yet!

Cheers to 2014. I look forward to sharing it with you :)
Lots of love, Elle xx

Christmas favourites...and a Merry Christmas from the Elle next door!

As I'm sitting here slobbing out on the sofa, with hot chocolate and mince pies (gluten free obviously, I highly recommend Udi's if anyone's interested) with gale force winds and torrential rain outside which kindly put paid to my outfit picture plans, fuckers... I knew I'd have to rethink my post for today.
(FYI: I actually started writing this post on Monday - and didn't get round to finishing it, standard Elle -  in case anyone wonders if I've gone loony and invented some storms in London)

Anyone even slightly interested in the beauty world - unless they've been living under a rock - will know that we are about to be inundated with 2013 favourites blog posts and Youtube video's. So I thought I'd go against the grain/not even try to compete with people that will have 1000x better pictures, products etc. and do a Christmas time favourites. We all have certain products that get pulled out of the bag around the festive period, so I thought I'd share some of mine which I'm loving right now.
Christmas nails - Barry M Lychee and Maybelline brocades Knitted Gold, love! - Hourglass Ambient lighting powder in Dim Light - Jo Malone Pine and Eucalyptus candle. 
Origins Intense Overnight mask - No 7 Luxurious foaming shower oil - Melvita Ultra nourishing body balm - Tom Ford Black Orchid perfume and body lotion. The ultimate sexy, musky fragrance!

Indulgent, bordering on sickly sweet Hot chocolate - My gorgeous little godson - Beautiful Christmas tree - Gluten free Mince Pies

...and lastly I'd just like to say, I hope you're all having the loveliest of Christmas' with the people most important to you. Thank you to anyone and everyone who checks out my blog, I love and appreciate you all!

And finally, a message to my boyfriend that I think every beauty blogger will appreciate...

Merry Christmas!


REVIEW: Melvita Ultra Nourishing Body Balm. My new skincare saviour!

Talk to me about facial skincare and, well, basically you'll regret even starting the conversation. Serums, cleansers, moisturisers (might as well just list all skincare items in the world love) I could bore the life out of you for hours on all my favourites. Get me talking about all the items I want to try? Well, that will be your week taken up then. Body care, however - body care? doesn't quite sound right does it? skincare for your body, you know what I mean... - not so much.

Don't get me wrong, Laura Mercier's body souffle, Kiehls Creme de Korps, Origins ginger soufflé - and many many more) etc.- are part of my never ending list of products I long to try, but when you've got the body shop body butters in every single fragrance - no exaggeration - and then some... the thriftiness/tight arse-ness/'laziness to apply moisturiser at the best of times' in me just doesn't allow me to open my purse and purchase. (Wish it would bloody do that when it comes to make up...) That habit however will probably change after this little gem entered my life. Ladies, gents, skin care lovers... Enter your new favourite body balm. 

Well, my favourite body balm that I'm gonna rave the arse off of and if you've got will power resembling my own, you'll will cave and buy it :) 
Melvita Apicosma Body Ultra Nourishing body balm*. Not only does it win the award for the longest name for a product in the history of all products...but also wins the crown for my favourite Body balm this month. And next no doubt. Unless a certain someone reads this post and buys me Laura Mercier's multiple Souffle body crème gift set. Just saying.... #HintOfTheYear

Packed full of butters and oils and based around a blend of 3 organic honeys (Thyme, Acacia and Orange blossom.) this body balm targets dry to extra dry skin and it completely delivers on this front. I don't have the driest of skin but I have noticed the common winter/pain in the arse dry patches rearing their head so this was sent to me at the perfect time. I've used this myself on said dry patches as well as all over and also on a particularly scaly, dragon like dry skinned friend of mine and it has worked absolute wonders for both of us!

What I loved most about this though was that although it was extremely moisturising, it's also really light and sinks into the skin well (providing you don't pour it on by the bucket load. We've all been there!). I am a self-confessed lazy body moisturiser. The thought of slathering on something thick and greasy after a nice refreshing bath is my idea of hell (I know, #firstworldproblems) but I genuinely look forward to putting this lovely little - well, it's actually not little at all, you get a whopping 150ml for your bucks - body balm on every night. (Does that make me ridiculously sad? I think it does doesn't it. Sad Beauty blogger times! ;)

So, to conclude - conclusions always bring me right back to my English lessons days, just me? ...just me then! - the Melvita Nourishing Body Balm in short snappy points, which is something that I find utterly impossible to stick to in any post....
  • Extremely nourishing and amazing for even the driest of skin
  • Although thick and creamy, the balm sinks in like a dream and isn't the slightest bit greasy
  • The Smell - which I never really touched upon - is actually pretty subtle considering the amount of honey and natural ingredients that make up the balm. A subtle honey, sweet scent that won't have people running in the opposite direction to you. But may have you running to kitchen for a sweet treat fix. Never a bad thing in my books ;)
You can find the Melvita brand in many shops in the UK - John Lewis, Whole Foods and The Garden Pharmacy etc. as well as online. It does retail at the pricier end of what I would pay for a moisturiser, at £23 but as I mentioned above - it is ridiculously luxurious, you do get a generous amount and it also takes the tiniest of product to spread and cover your body. Good value for money in my opinion. And that is coming from Primark's and Poundland's biggest fan, so that's saying something :)

 What are your favourite body products at the moment? Any must-have's, Christmas edition's that I need to try? Let me know and I will have a good body care indulgence. All in the name of research, obviously!
Hope you enjoyed this post and are having a lovely Christmas time guys. As always, thank you so much for reading!

Life Lately - #1

There's a couple of reasons why I struggled to start off this post. The first being that I am currently writing it after consistently working a minimum of 16 hours days at work - oh ffs, here she goes, moaning again! - and therefore am so tired it's a miracle I can string two words together. The second being that I am also in a food/wine coma after a lazy day off Chinese buffet (classy) and a lambrini wine fest. (even classier)

But 'moany bitch' and massive 'slob-ness' aside, the point of this post - to which obviously takes paragraphs, many unfunny jokes and an eternity to get to (this is me - beat around the bush Betty - after all!) - is to give you a little update considering I have been M.I.A (channelling my inner Kardashian like the massive saddo I am with that phrase) pretty much for the last 3months. Not that I am under the illusion that anybody cares what I've been up to, or noticed that I've been gone at all. (Apart from you mum, obviously #Number1Fan #MumsHaveToLoveWhatYouDo #PleaseBloggerBanMeFromUsingAnymoreHashtags!!) Don't worry kids, a scatty, silly blonde I may be but delusional, I am definitely not.

So, after 3months of a lot of hours, stress and far too much Essex for anyone's liking, I have come to the end of my third series of TOWIE. I barely had a second to breathe let alone chill and write a blog post, hence operation "Unwind and try to look a little more alive than a corpse" This very important operation would usually involve a good bath oil, candles, DIY manicure...this time however, as it also happened to be my birthday coming up, I was taken to Marrakech by my very lovely boyfriend. Yes, I am very lucky girl and no I will not be posting smug, "wish you were here pictures" to rub it in everyone's faces. Well, maybe just one then ;)...
... or three?

But before I attempted to eradicate pale as a ghost, bigger bags than Tescos Ellie, I had a wrap party to get to. Apologies for the shocking 'outfit picture', that would be the result of running late (standard) and being in a rush to eat a 3course Indian meal before the party. Yep, an Indian feast, whilst wearing a bodycon dress. Sometimes I genuinely believe I could make Helen Flanagan look intelligent. (Sorry Hels!)
Christmas is approaching, and I am already getting into the spirit - sitting by the fire with roasted chestnuts (Heaven!) chocolate celebrations (everyone loves a celebration right?) and Eggnog (So wrong but so right. Sorry not sorry) Basically, I have gone from being South East London's answer to Scrooge to a Christmas jumper wearing, Yankee Candle/any chest-nutty, cinnamon, vanillery scent candle burning, "It's cold, time to wack on Now Christmas Classics" girl. And I bloody love it!
Catch up wise, for the sake of your sanity I'll stop now. But to round this bad boy up, I am very excited about the thought of having more time to blog, stalk read other blogs, see family and friends, shop (let's face it, I always managed to squeeze that in anyway. 15minute lunch break? Selfridges is a 5 minute walk from TOWIE Towers, it would've been rude not too right?)...and basically just unwind. Oh, and try out the infinite amount of beauty products and fashion items that I purchased on my post-birthday shopping spree. See, wasn't joking about squeezing in shopping anyway was I? :) Well, it's my birthday and I can cry rape Space NK, Zara and Topshop (Primark, you tight arse) if I want to. ;)

Hope you enjoyed this post. As always thank you so much for reading. Oh, and congratulations if you got to this point of the post...My god do I love to waffle on so in my eyes, your all heroes! :)

© the Elle next door

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