Natural Cosmetics (Harlequin Cosmetics) Guest Post!

Reasons to love Natural Cosmetics (ft. Harlequin Cosmetics)

I’m Becky from geekgetsglam and I was over the moon when Jess asked me to guest post on her blog! Today I’m going to chat about why I am obsessed with natural cosmetics. When I was 14 years old I started making lip balms. To be honest with you, they were pretty rubbish. In fact they were awful but it began a journey that would eventually change my life as I’m now starting my own natural cosmetics business (with a changed lip balm recipe).

I personally believe that natural cosmetics are the best way to ensure that your skincare is having a beneficial effect.  The most obvious benefit of going natural is that you know you aren’t using any harmful chemicals that your body isn’t used to. Natural ingredients have been used for thousands of years, dating as far back as 4th millennium BC in Egypt, and we can still use the treatments for various skin types today! With the help of a few of my products from Harlequin Cosmetics, I’ve put together a small guide of some of the more popular natural ingredients you probably see on many cosmetics products in shops at the moment. 

Coconut Oil
I think you may be living under a rock if you haven’t already heard about the amazing moisturising properties of coconut oil. Coconut oil, contrary to its name, is actually a solid butter type product and it comes from the white, fleshy bits of a coconut. Coconut oil is a brilliant moisturiser and can be used to balance and moisturise skin and hair. We use it in the Harlequin Cosmetics Supernova Body Butter – it provides great moisturisation without causing any skin irritation.

Aloe Vera
Fun fact: At one point I had almost 20 aloe vera plants growing in my house. I started running out of room and plant pots so we had to reduce the number however aloe vera still remains one of my favourite natural products. Aloe Vera grows in desert areas (like a cactus) and the clear gel we use in skincare is found inside the leaves. It is best known for soothing properties which makes it great for after sun care but also for intensive moisturisers, like the Harlequin Cosmetics Hand Haven Hand Cream. We also use it in our shower gels to make sure your skin is soothed whilst enjoying a hot shower!

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is found in the best of things, such as chocolate, which means it must be a heavenly creation. Apart from being in some of our favourite sweets it’s often found in cosmetics meant for intensive moisturising. It has a low melting point so glides into the skin and provides moisture exactly where we need it! It is one of the main ingredients in the lip balms we make at Harlequin Cosmetics to make sure your lips are super soft and supple!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this rather brief introduction to the brilliance of natural cosmetics! You can check out Harlequin Cosmetics at their website.

Leave a comment if you have any amazing natural beauty tips you can share with us all ;)
Olivia Thristan

Ciate Pillow Fight- Guest Post Away With The Fairies!

NOTD: Ciaté ‘Pillow Fight’

There are some brands that get so much hype, that you’re not sure if they’ll live up to the pedestal they’ve been put on. This was the case with me and Ciaté. I’d heard so many good things about the brand, but it wasn’t until I received my first bottle in a goody bag that I really got what everyone was going on about.

I mean, who can’t resist a bow? On anything?! You can spot a Ciaté bottle a mile off and I just love the slightly curved bottle. The long tapered top means you can hold the brush securely when applying, and more control = prettier nails!

The colour is so flattering; I don’t any colour like it in my collection and I have a pretty big collection! This dull lilac goes with more things than I thought it would, and is a great colour to wear all year round- not too bright for winter and not too dark for summer. Two coats are needed to make the most out of the colour, but I was surprised and impressed at how quickly it dried! It doesn’t brag that it dries quickly but they should! Let’s just say it dried quicker than some of the 30 and 60 second polishes I own! Once on your nails it stays put; it lasted a week on my fingernails and 3 weeks on my toenails before it started chipping!

I can definitely say that I’m really impressed with my first Ciaté paint pot! Have any of you tried Ciaté, and if so, what’s your fave colour?


Olivia Thristan

Cats and Vodka OOTD Guest Posts!

Hello there Jess's lovely readers, I hope you're doing wonderfully well. I'm Alex, I plan to make every cat my best friend whilst endeavoring to try every cocktail there is, plus I like to blog on a little place on the internet is called Cats and Vodka. I've got a little OOTD number comin'atcha today with a little help from the ever-stylish Asos.  

I am in love with white this summer; white shoes, white dresses, white accessories. You name it and I have it in white. As a crazy messy person this trend did scare me a little bit, no-one likes the girl with pasta sauce all over her white outfit but I somehow manged in this dress all day. 

This dress is a really soft, light cotton smock style dress with an elephant tile pattern all over the dress. First, I'm in love with the print. It's not something I'd usually go for but I love how the print speaks for itself with it's simple yet beautiful design, plus elephants are super cute. The smock style was another one out of my comfort zone. Oversized can sometimes make me look 10x bigger than I actually am but I love how loose this is as it doesn't lose all shape after the slight nipped in part. 

It's simple enough to rock on it's own or can be dressed with some extra accessories is jazz it up a bit. It was around £28 from Asos which isn't too bad for a beautifully made dress! 
The shoes are my statement white sandals from New Look. I love these shoes, wait that's not enough: I LOVE THESE SHOES. That's better. They're white, chunky, slightly plaformed, extremely comfy and perfect for summer, did someone say perfect? I love wearing these shoes on their own or with some cute frilly socks for a girly edge. 

Well, that's all from me! Hope you enjoyed my little takeover on Jess's blog :) 

Love, Alex

Olivia Thristan

India Benjamin 'Beauty Crimes' Guest Post

Hey everyone! I'm India and I blog over at Touchscreens & Beautyqueens. I'd like to thank Jessie for letting my guest post, I love Dungarees and Donuts and the fact there is a huge variety of posts, including lifestyle posts which lets me have a sneak peak into her life! I'm a 90s baby, which naturally means that during my teens in the late 2000s, I committed tons of beauty crimes. It kind of comes with the territory, and I know we've all made some serious beauty faux pas but here are the major ones that have graced my life.

Over plucking my eyebrows. This was pretty much compulsory when I was fifteen. Within weeks of first picking up the tweezers, the ends of my eyebrows were one hair thick and were basically one hair thick. Awkward.

 Wearing way too much pencil eyeliner. Possibly something to do with the fact that being an emo was in when I was fourteen, and the fact that I just didn't get liquid eyeliner, but the entire bottom lid of my eye was crayoned around in thick black kohl eyeliner, with nothing on the top lids. Eventually, this lessened to thick eyeliner from half way around my bottom lid but still. It wasn't pretty. Picking my mascara off. There is something really satisfying about picking mascara off, although it leaves me looking like a panda afterwards. Satisfying as it is, this seriously wrecked my eyelashes.

Each night, I'd lose a few lashes and the lengths started to really suffer. I ended up switching to makeup remover and coconut oilling my lashes back to full health, so thankfully there is no damage anymore! DIY bleach job. I started dying my hair brown when I was 16 and it got out of hand until my hair was super dark. I figured I'd fix it myself with an at home bleach kit, and ended up with orange hair and white roots. Clearly, this didn't teach me my lesson as I bleached it again two days later, turning it banana yellow. I eventually conceded and went to the hair dressers, who turned it white after openly laughing at my stupidity.

 Wearing foundation way to pale for me. At school, I was so conscious of all those orange skinned girls that I went the polar opposite and managed to convince myself that ivory was a perfect match for me. Cue ridiculously pale skin that made me look a bit ill. I'll admit, these aren't the only mistakes I've made in the past, and I've had a few dubious choices even recently, including growing my eyebrows into thick bushes, way too dark fake tans and frying my fringe on some dodgy straighteners. I'm only just getting really good at makeup, although I'm still learning how to accentuate my eyes in the best way possible. Onwards and upwards though, right? What are you biggest beauty mistakes? I'm sure some of these will be familiar to a few of you! 
Olivia Thristan

NYX Xtreme Lip Cream

NYX is a brand that keeps popping up on my blog from time to time and I am sure after my trip to the states it will more than definitely be popping up again! Today I am going to review the Xtreme lip cream! When I first heard about this product I didn't think there would a lot of difference between that and the butter gloss, but I was wrong! The butter gloss is just a divine lip gloss whereas the lip cream applies like lip gloss but is a liquid lipstick and it keeps your lips feeling soft and not sticky like some lip products can. I have the product in Natural which isn't often a colour I will wear as I am usually a bright lip kinda girl, but I actually quite liked this, it's simple but still gives your lips the right amount of colour and they look pretty, it would be great for somewhere like work as it is toned down. I love how the packaging of this product says it's not a lipstick nor is it a gloss, which makes you curious as to what this product is! You can purchase NYX from your local Next store if you are looking to purchase some of their products, I will be treating myself to some of the Xtreme lip creams in more colours!

*I was sent this to review, all opinions 100% honest. 

Olivia Thristan

Simply Be Dress Challenge!

I was recently contacted in regards to taking part in a competition being run by Simply Be to style their dress for an occasion of your choice, I went with the special occasion as it can mean many things like an anniversary, party or date. I decided I would wear this dress for a party like for a 21st birthday as it is quite formal but still great for that party vibe! I found the dress to be flattering for my figure and make me look a lot slimmer in those areas I normally struggle with. The length was perfect for me, being short longer dresses normally make me look tiny but it looked great, and the style of the dress just fit my body perfectly, and has the floaty style dress that I love when dancing and enjoying a party! I styled up the dress with my highest heels, although they would probably kill at a party they are wedges so easy to walk in and are a statement in themselves, and being a shortie it gives me those extra inches that I need! I chose just to go simple with a heart necklace as the dress itself has some sequins on the sleeve of the dress which is a statement in itself. I went for a smoky eye look as it is quite exaggerated and looks great when going to a party, I used my Naked 3 pallet to create the look and used the darker colours like darkside and blackheart. For the lip colour I used Le Keur Cosmetics Whistle Ball Red Lip Paint, as I find them to be long lasting than lipstick and it is a very bright red and eye catching. For a bag I would use a black clutch just to keep it simple! 

Olivia Thristan

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow*

I was beyond excited when opening a PR package recently and receiving some amazing high end products I was not expecting, one of them being one of the new NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows, I have wanted to try something from NARS ever since hearing about them whilst being a blogger as everyone raves about their products, so when I opened the package to find the eyeshadow I was over the moon, as the eyeshadows are way out of my budget I couldn't of dreamed of treating myself to an eyeshadow considering they retail at £21.00 and for one eyeshadow that is an awful lot even if they eyeshadow this one of the best ones going!

 The eyeshadow I received was in the shade Europa which is a pretty light pink shade, you can apply the eyeshadow wet or dry, when applying it dry it gives a gorgeous long lasting shimmer to the lids and when using it wet it gives it more of a dramatic look which looks perfect with some black eyeliner. The shade Europa is a girly shade and great when going for a minimalistic look. I am definitely not disappointed when it comes to NARS their eyeshadow is high quality and I feel it would last a long time as I have used it multiple times and you can hardly see anywhere as a little bit of the eyeshadow goes a long way. When applied the eyeshadow leaves a sheer finish and looks gorgeous and also leaves your eyelids feeling soft, I found that eyeshadow was long lasting all day and didn't seem to fade at all which left me impressed!

*I was sent this for review purposes all opinions 100% honest.
Olivia Thristan

Las Iguanas Review*

Recently I was offered the chance to review the well known restaurant Las Iguanas which some of you may be aware of, if not they a chain of Latin American restaurants and they are beyond amazing!  Their menus are huge and they offer a huge range of Vegetarian and Gluten free food also, which is great. I visited the Birmingham restaurant with one of my close friends who is also a blogger Sophie and we couldn't wait to tuck into their food! Firstly when we arrived we were greeted by the assistant manager Jess who asked which of us were Dungarees and who was Donuts which we found hilarious and she told it was happy hour on some of their drinks an offer we couldn't refuse getting a Strawberry cocktail which was super yummy! As Sophie is a vegetarian and I don't often eat meat we both had Vegetarian meals. 

For a starter I had Nachos and the portion was HUGE and served in a pan which was a great touch and Sophie had an artichoke salad (not my thing but she seemed to enjoy it) my starter was so filling and I couldn't finish it so Sophie helped me, my main was a Home Style mushroom Burrito which I enjoyed but was far too full to finish it all but it was lovely and not like anything I have ever tried before so it was a thumbs up from me and Sophie had Gringas which looked super yummy! We also had a side of their gorgeous Sweet Potato Fries- which were out of this world, I have tried them in wedges form but these were on another level of yummy these came with a chilli dip which I wasn't brave enough to try but Soph loved it! The staff were all super friendly and always smiling, we were given prompt service which often doesn't happen in restaurants, and everyone seemed to be having a great time! The restaurant has a great vibe about it and has a great layout, I enjoy my visit to Las Iguanas and I would recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere different to eat! 

*I was invited to review and given £50 towards my bill

Olivia Thristan

I'm going to London to buy a Heat magazine!

Well that's a bit of a lie but a catchy tittle! I recently made a little trip to London to do some touristy things and visit M&M world (not even gonna lie!) with two of my friends and I thought it would make a great blog post as I took a lot of pictures although it really wasn't great weather, there's not really many words to go with this post but as they say a picture says a 1000 words hey? 

 Yummy Lunch In Tottenham Court Road!

 All things M&Ms

 A spot of sight seeing!

 Some amazing graffiti in Camden

 My lovely but expensive M&MS!
 The coolest outside of a shop ever.

Finally the iconic red telephone box!
Olivia Thristan

Nivea Cleansing Water

When I saw this beauty on offer in Wilko for £2.00 I went straight to the til to buy it, although I have never tried it I have used similar in the past and thought it was worth definitely the money even if I disagreed with the product. On my first use I fell in love with it, for removing make-up I would give this product a 10 it removes even the toughest of mascaras which other cleansing waters struggle with, I love how clean it left my face feeling and it also left it feeling very smooth which is always a bonus right? The claims of this product are that cleanses deeply, removes make-up and moisturizes  and I can that it does all three of those things and this will be a product that I plan to repurchase even when it returns to it's full price of £4.00 as I feel it is worth every penny. Considering I have been using it for a week and it has only used the slightest bit suggests to me that this product will be long lasting and has 200ml in the bottle so it should last me at least a month if not longer. Another thing which I enjoy about this product is that it is aimed at people with sensitive skin which is something I have always had so it's great to have a product that goes hand in hand with that! Quick get your hands on it whilst it's only £2!

Olivia Thristan

LIFESTYLE// Making the most of social media!

Being a blogger isn't just as easy as writing a few words on a webpage and taking a few pictures of the latest lipstick release or of your new outfit, there is so much more to blogging than meets the eye. Social media is something that is a part of most peoples everyday lives whether you use facebook, twitter, instagram or pinterest they all have their positives and negatives.When it comes to your blog what can you do promote yourself and your blog through these websites?
 Twitter: is the main one I use for blogging, I use it to promote my new posts and to talk to other bloggers who are just like me, it's a great way to get in touch with companies and set up relationships with them. When promoting your latest posts make sure you hashtag the relevant tags to your post e.g. #bbloggers for all things beauty, #lbloggers for lifestyle things & #fbloggers for those cheeky OOTDs. They create links to your post and help you get views! 

Facebook: this isn't something I really use for my blog but I can see why people do use it, it is great for making a page of your blog and sharing all your new posts with your likers and they can keep up to date with ease, facebook is great for sharing your blog pictures also.

Instagram: is a great one for taking pretty pics and I am one of those bloggers who do think of Instagram in my mind when I get a new lipstick or a lovely drink but it is also great for using a picture from your new blog post to promote it to a different audience, similar to twitter it is important to hashtag what you are looking to aim at, for example #beauty, #summer #life etc and it'll reach a wider audience if you comment under the photo your blog link although you can't click the link it still promotes it back to your blog and if your photos are good it is going to make people want more. 

Pinterest: although I don't personally use this on my blog I think it makes a great place for inspiration whether it's nails to cakes they are all super inspiring when it comes to writing a blog post of your own it gives you ideas of new things to write about or different backgrounds you could use for your photos, I am addicted to staring at all of the pretty nails I can find, so many different pretty ones!
Olivia Thristan

GOSH Velvet Touch Lipsticks*

Firstly I thought I would apologize for how picture heavy this post is so I thought I would put a break in the middle so if you don't want to see all of the pictures I took of these beauties you don't have to! So these are the new gorgeous lipsticks from GOSH, these are the new velvet touch lipsticks which have been around for sometime but recently they have released some lovely new shades. So the velvet touch lipsticks are so easy to apply, although when applied do feel a bit full on and thick which isn't something I am used to, and I guess this is all part of the velvet touch. The lipsticks leave an amazing shine on your lips and give an amazing coverage and a long lasting one at that just after applying once. Although "twilight" (the dark purple) isn't something I would usually wear it is quite cute. My favourite is definitely the bright pink one "temptation" and can join my collection of bright pink summery lipsticks which I never get bored of. I love Scarlet and the colour reminds me of the Kate Moss 01 lipstick as does the packaging of these, a classy black lipstick. One thing I need to say about the lipsticks the colour on the bottom of the packaging actually matches the colour of the lipstick which doesn't often happen after looking at swatches online previously and to get them in the post and they look nothing alike is disappointing but I am happy to say these match their swatches! I am a little disappointed with the fact they don't have a nice smell as some lipsticks smell so vanilla like and sweet when you open them, but these just have a lipstick smell which is neither good or bad.

Olivia Thristan

Festival Fever!*

Throughout summer there are so many festivals in the UK to attend and although there are so many I want to attend there a few factors stopping me, the first being work and the second being money although every year I do normally attend Leeds Festival but for the first time in a few years this year I won't be attending Leeds but this is for good reasons as I will be sunning it up in Florida! Although I am not going to a festival I love the fashion that goes with it and recently decided to challenge myself to find a full outfit for a festival for under £30 on House Of Fraser which was actually easier than I thought! So what did I get I hear you ask, well I bought a pair of shoes which were £12.00, a pair of shorts which were £12.80 and a vest top which was £4.00 and they were all gorgeous I couldn't believe they were in the sale considering how much they were originally. I love the shorts and although they aren't something I would usually go for I think they are perfect for a festival. Although I would normally just go for the wellies look at festivals I do feel those shoes are gorgeous and would keep your feet nice and cool and the vest top is exactly what I would wear to a festival!  

Olivia Thristan

Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner

Some of you may know with Glamour magazine in June you it came with a free Eyeko eyeliner and loving it as much as I did after sampling the mini version in Birchbox I decided to buy myself 5 copies of the magazine, oh what a mistake that was. I am unsure as to why this eyeliner seems completely different to the mini one. This one dried up after one use although I made sure the top stayed on and was on firmly, the colour faded after a couple of uses and it was like applying grey eyeliner rather than the black I love. After trying them all out and getting the same problem it has put me off this product, it is such a shame as the eyeliner itself has a great end to apply with and on first use gives a full eyeliner look without half of the effort.

 I am unsure as to whether they put a different version in to the one they normally sell if this is the case it is a pretty pointless freebie because noone is going to go out and repurchase something that is this low quality for such a high price tag. The Eyeko skinny eyeliner costs £12.00 and I would like to purchase it just to see if it was just the ones that came free with the magazine as the mini version I have is amazing and I have never experienced any dryness or fading of colour but as is quite pricey for something that may only last one or two uses. Another problem with I encoutered when using this eyeliner was the amount of time it took to remove, I was expected it come off easy considering how light it was but no it took some serious scrubbing. The packaging is lovely and I like that it looks like a real premium product and I like the font used on the packaging as it is quirky and easy to read. For now I don't think I will be purchasing this product I think I will be sticking to my budget friendly always on the mark Collection pen eyeliner.

Olivia Thristan