Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Years Eve Nails

I had a whole New Years Eve Look planned to post today but I've been really poorly these last few days which means my plans have been cancelled tonight and I'll be spending the evening on the sofa instead. Not exactly what I had in mind but then again my new years eve's never go to plan so I should have expected it really.

Anyway I decided to do some new years eve nails instead and this is what I came up with. French tip inspired navy blue and silver nails with extra glitter. I LOVE these nails, it's just a shame no one will get to see them! 

For this look I used:
  • Ciate 'Underwear' Base Coat
  • Nails Inc 'Motcomb Street'
  • Ciate 'Fit For A Queen'
  • Ciate 'Confetti'
  • Ciate 'Speed Coat'

What are your plans for New Years Eve? Let me know below!


New Year's Resolutions

For me 2013 has been a year of extreme highs and lows. There were certain points of the year which were incredibly challenging and starting this blog as well as the love of my family was what got me through it. The summer marked a turning point for me, after an incredible road trip around the East Coast of the USA I got home and decided the only thing holding me back was me! I've already started to face some of my fears and start doing the things I want to do but never had the confidence to see through and that's the main theme for one of my new year's resolutions;

1. To do more of what I want to do 
This could include a whole number of things be they large or small just as long as I'm where I want to be and I'm not stopping myself from going forward. 

My second resolution is this;
2. To not be so hard on myself
If I learnt anything this year it was that I just don't give myself a break! The whole time I was setting myself up for a fall because I was already expecting the fall to happen at any moment. The trouble with that is I wasn't giving myself any option, it was one way or no way, there was no alternative options like you would give a friend in the same position. I think we can all be guilty of that sometimes. I'm beginning to realise already just how much easier life by being kinder to yourself

My hopes for 2014 are that I start to see some more of the barriers I've set myself lifting and moving forward with new and exciting challenges. To be quite honest I'll be glad to see the back of 2013 but I suppose you have to face tough times in order to learn to deal with them and by heck I've learnt a lot this year! See ya 2013! 


Saturday, 28 December 2013

My Giveaway Has Ended!

MY GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED! I was completely overwhelmed by the response so thank you to all of you who entered.

The lucky winner is LAURYN ANDERSON! Congratulations Lauryn, your Bobbi Brown Palette should be with you in a few days!

I have more giveaways planned for 2014 so even if you didn't win this time there will be more chances in the new year!


What I Got For Christmas 2013

I was in two minds to do a post about what I got for Christmas this year mainly because I didn't want it to seem like I was showing off but that isn't what this is supposed to be at all. I love reading all about what other people got for Christmas on their blogs so I thought you might enjoy hearing about a few things I got too. I admit I've been thoroughly spoilt by my family but they work hard all year to treat us at Christmas so I'm eternally grateful for everything I've been given and I really love them to bits!

So anyway I just thought I'd share with you a few of my Christmas gifts starting with the beautiful new black handbag my sister got me from Accessorize. I chose it myself whilst out shopping with her so it wasn't a surprise but I was very determined about the style of bag I wanted and this one was perfect!

I also got these beautiful black leather ankle boots from Kurt Geiger because you can never go wrong with a pair of ankle boots for winter. I managed to get my Mum a really good discount for these with a 25% off Kurt Geiger voucher included in November's Elle magazine!

The 1920's style print pencil case is from Ted Baker and I thought I could use it as a make up bag to keep in my handbag. It's a bit different to Ted Baker's usual prints but I've really fallen for the 1920's style this year mainly due to the release of The Great Gatsby so I loved it as soon as I saw it!

I've been after a fur lapel for ages so when I spotted this cream faux fur number on Asos I immediately sent a link to my Mum and it just happened to turn up under the tree! It's so luxurious and looks great with my black leather jacket and green parka.

I'm going to have seriously great hair this year as I was also treated to the ghd V Sapphire Styler and the Babyliss Curl Secret! I was so excited when I opened them and I really didn't expect to get both for Christmas so it was such an amazing surprise! I've used both already and I am very impressed! I even used the Babyliss Curl Secret on Christmas morning, it only took 15 minutes to curl all of my hair when it usually takes 45 minutes and I really loved the result! 

I'd love to hear what you got this Christmas so let me know in the comments below!


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas N.O.T.D - Ciate 'Ivory Queen' and 'Party Shoes'

Happy Boxing Day everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and indulged in way too much food just like I did to make me feel less guilty about stuffing myself with turkey and chocolate!

I really wanted to share my Christmas Day nails because they're too pretty not too. I've picked up some amazing nail polishes in my Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar and these two polishes have to be my favourite. Ivory Queen, a perfect nude shade, I used as a base then added a light coat of Party shoes which is a gorgeous gold glitter with specks of turquoise. You don't really get the full effect in these pictures but believe me they look amazing, it's such a gorgeous combination.

You can take a look at what nail polishes I got in days 1-9 of the Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar here, the rest of the days will be posted shortly so keep an eye out!


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

My Home At Christmas

It's the 24th of December (can you believe it!) which means most of us are either braving the shops for last minute gifts or relaxing at home thinking about what Christmas will bring. To all those of you who are working on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, I hope you have an extra special Christmas whenever it may be!
Now I have a confession to make, we put our Christmas tree up on the 30th of November which means our tree has been up for nearly a whole month already! I really hope that isn't some kind of bad luck but it seems like a lot of people I know put theirs up towards the end of November as well so I think we're safe! It's starting to look a little worse for wear so I'm really hoping it holds out until the new year. As always we bought a real tree this year although we decided to go for something a little smaller than doesn't block out all the light coming in through the bay window. Gold, white and silver was chosen as the colour scheme which I think looks really elegant and very christmas-sy

I decided to give my room a little Christmas makeover too so out came the lights, the tinsel and the mini tree with matching mini ornaments. The pictures aren't great quality but you get the idea!
This Christmas as with every year I will be spending it at home with my family. It's quite a quiet affair in our house, my family lives all over the world so it's not really plausible to get them all together at Christmas but what we do is just as special and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I always wake up way too early on Christmas morning although these days I can just about manage to stay in bed until everyone else is ready to get up. Chocolate is a traditional breakfast for me followed by opening of presents! I really don't know how people manage to wait to open their presents, I'm just too impatient! The rest of the day will be filled with food, fun, winter walks and Christmas TV not necessarily in that order. Any one else extra excited for Doctor Who!?

What are your plans for Christmas day? I'd love to hear how everyone else celebrates!



Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Party Look - Hair and Makeup

For my Christmas party look this year I've gone for quite a classic look, red lips and a swipe of eyeliner and that's it! For some reason my lipstick looks pink in the above picture (I blame dodgy lighting!) but I'm actually wearing Ruby Woo by Mac. I also decided not to bother with an eyeliner flick like I usually do and instead I think it looks more like I'm wearing false eyelashes which I'm not.
You can see my makeup in a more natural light in the pictures below. You can also see how pale I am, PALE AND PROUD I AM!

What I used:


For my hair I used the Babyliss Curling Wand to create quite tight curls. Once my hair was cool I brushed it through with fingers for more of a tousled look. For more volume I sprayed Batiste dry shampoo at the roots then gave it a good backcomb with my fingers, easy peasy! I use the Umberto Giannini Hot Styler Spray which it acts as a heat defence spray, smooths as a serumm as well as a hairspray so you can use it before and after you curl your hair.

I really love this look, it's quite Marilyn Monroe inspired and it's a real classic that anyone can wear. More than likely this will be my Christmas day makeup too!


Friday, 20 December 2013

N.O.T.D Ciate 'Kiss Chase' and 'Jingle Belle' Glitter

A quick nail of the day post today using more of the mini nail polishes I've received in my Ciate Mini Mani Month Calendar. This time I've used 'Kiss Chase', a creamy hot pink colour as a base and then sprinkled 'Jingle Belle' glitter, a mix of hot pink and holographic glitter, all over every nail. I'll probably regret all the glitter when it come to taking it off because it's so difficult to remove but hey, it's Christmas and we all need some glitter at Christmas!

You can check out what mini polishes I got in days 1-9 of the Ciate Mini Mani Month Calendar here.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Party Essentials

You're gonna have to bear with me whilst I go a little Christmas crazy on my blog but before you know it it'll be all over so I'm damn well making the most of it! I love this time of year because there's just so many opportunities to get glammed up and have fun with your make up. You can get away with being a bit more daring with glitter and colour because if you can't at Christmas when can you!
I thought I'd do a post about my beauty essentials for the perfect Christmas party look, I haven't included every single product I would use, just the products I would really recommend.
(As an added note I'm really sorry the quality of the picture below is not great, I'm finding it really hard to take decent pictures now that the days are so dark! Stupid winter!)

This foundation is pure magic I'm telling you! My use of concealer has considerably cut down since I've started using it and in my books that makes it a winner. Apply this with a foundation brush and you'll be good to go for the whole night.
Fancy dancing the night away without worrying about your make up slipping half way down your face? Then you definitely need to be using this primer throughout the party season. It's the only way to keep you looking perfect all night long which makes it a must have in my books. You can take a look at my review here.

Liquid eyeliner will pick up any eye look, you can even get away with no shadow, as long as you've got a flick of eye liner you're good to go! This eyeliner is my favourite to use as it applies easily and lasts the longest out of any I've tried. You can read my review of it here or check out my guide to the perfect eyeliner.
I've already raved about this mascara on my blog so I had to give it a mention as an essential for any Christmas party look. It's a real bargain which gives you huge fluttery false lash look lashes, just what you need to add glamour to any eye look. You can take a look at my review here.
For a little extra help in the lash department I really recommend to try any of Eylure's false Eyelashes. They have a huge range of styles to choose from and the quality of them really isn't bad! I tend to go for more natural looking ones and amp it up with a bit of mascara. 

For a simple look try swiping this across the eyelid for a glittery wash of colour. The colour can be built up or blended it out making it easy to work with if  you haven't got much time to get ready for a party. You can check out my review here.

This ruby red lipstick is a favourite amongst beauty bloggers and it's not hard to see why. For a classic retro look swipe this on your lips and you'll be good to go. If you go for any look this Christmas season, red lipstick is timeless and effortless whilst looking like you've made an effort!

This nail polish came in my Ciate Advent Calendar this year and I had to include it purely because it's one of those classic reds that instantly gives you a Christmassy look. It looks super elegant and I'll definitely be wearing it come Christmas day! Why not have a look at my Christmassy nail look here.

What are your beauty essentials this Christmas season?


Saturday, 14 December 2013

100th Post - Bobbi Brown Giveaway!

I can't quite believe I'm already writing this but according to blogger this is my 100th blog post! I knew I had to do something really exciting to celebrate and what better way than to do something for all my lovely readers!

If you haven't guessed already I'm giving away the Limited Edition Bobbi Brown Smokey Cool Eye Palette worth £37.50 to one lucky reader! I managed to get my hands on one before it sold out completely online and I'm not sure when it will next be available so this may be your only chance to get your hands on one!

It's such a beautiful palette which includes a mix of six beautiful shades to create the perfect smokey eye look and well as a dual ended shadow/liner brush in a gorgeous mirrored compact. It's part of Bobbi Brown's Christmas Collection which means this is a limited edition palette and won't be available for long!
Bobbi Brown is renowned for it's high quality products and this gorgeous palette is no exception, in fact I'm not sure why I'm not keeping it for myself! (Don't worry I won't change my mind!)

For your chance to win this Limited Edition Bobbi Brown Smokey Cool Eye Palette just enter your details in to the Rafflecopter widget below, it's as easy as that!

Entry Rules:
  • This give away is open internationally
  • If you are under 16 please make sure you have permission to enter from a parent or guardian
  • You must be following A Girl Called Eleanor on Bloglovin
  • All entries should be made via the Rafflecopter widget below
  • Once the prize has left my hands I cannot be held liable for any problems with the post. 
  • Once the winner is notified you will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will choose another winner
a Rafflecopter giveaway The giveaway opens at 12.00am GMT on the 14th December 2013 and closes at 12.00am GMT on 28th December 2013. 

The winner will be chosen at random and notified via twitter and/or by email on the 29th December 2013.

*The prize was bought by me and is in no way sponsored.*

Good luck everyone!


Friday, 13 December 2013

A Christmassy Weekend at Center Parcs

I spent a really lovely long weekend at Center Parcs recently with my family as an early Christmas treat. If you're not familiar with Center Parcs, it's basically a holiday village set in park land where you leave your car in the car park on the first day and everyone walk or cycles. There's five villages across the UK and we visited Longleat Forest as it's closest to us. You have everything you need on site including a swimming paradise, (my favourite!) lots of restaurants, multiple starbucks and tons of really fun activities like tennis, badminton etc.  
Center Parcs is a real favourite with my family, I was only about five or sixth months old when I first visited so it's such a familiar place to me. I just love the atmosphere there, it feels happy and stress free, there's no rushing around and you don't need to travel far. What could be better for a short break! 
A this time of year they have a Winter Wonderland theme throughout the park and we all agreed afterwards that we felt very Christmassy! They'd really gone all out with fake snow, lots of twinkly lights, some singing reindeer and a brass band playing Christmas carols. They also had some real reindeer in the village square which were so cute and somehow bigger than I imagined.

On our last night they had an amazing fireworks display over the lake after which they held a Christmas Quiz in the sports bar. My family loves a quiz and we regularly join in our local pub quiz. Suprisingly to all of us we ended up winning the quiz and the winnings were spent the next morning in The Pancake House before we left, the perfect way to end a weekend!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmassy Nails - Ciate 'Boudoir' and 'Snow Globe'

I was really in the mood to do some Christmassy nails with some of the mini polishes I received in my Ciate Mini Mani Month advent calendar and what could be more Christmassy than red and white! You can check out my post on the Caite Mini Mani Month Calendar here.
I used 'Boudoir' which is a pillar box red and 'Snow Globe' which is holographic flakes suspended in a clear polish. I used Urban Decay 'Love Train', which is a pearlised white, underneath the glitter to make it look like falling snowflakes. I definitely think I'll be wearing this on my nails on Christmas day!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Ciate Mini Mani Month Calendar - Days 1-9

I was lucky enough this year that my Mum treated me to the Ciate Advent Calendar as an early Christmas present. I was so desperate for the one they brought out last year so I was over the moon to get this years calendar (and rumour has it it's better than last years!). 
I've included a few pictures for those of you who haven't seen it yet, it includes a mix of mini paint pots, glitter sprinkles, sequin blends, caviar pearls and two nail treatments as well as a mini funnel. It tells you on the back of the box which polishes are included but I don't want to spoil the surprise (for you or me!).

I get so bloomin excited every morning to open it up and get a new nail polish and I really wanted to share it with those of you who didn't get your hands on one as I know last year I loved seeing what was in the calendar on other blogs. At the end of each week I'll put together a post of what's behind each door and this first post includes days one through nine. I was planning on getting the post out on Sunday but I have been away for the weekend so I thought I would just put it out today instead hence why it's days one to nine. Look out for a post next Sunday for Tuesday to Sunday's polishes in the calendar.  

 - Day 1: Snow Globe - Day 2: Boudoir - Day 3: Hopskotch - Day 4: Sequin Mistletoe (Calendar Exclusive) - Day 5: Encore! - Day 6: Sugar Plum - Day 7: Fit For A Queen - Day 8: Kiss Chase - Day 9: Pillow Fight -

It's quite hard to pick a favourite from the week, it either has to be Kiss Chase, a hot pink colour which appeals to my girly side or Pillow Fight, a lilac grey which I think's quite a sophisticated colour for your nails.  
The Ciate Mini Mani Month is still available online and at Selfridges for £42. It may already be the 9th of December but it's such a great saving for the amount of top quality nail polishes you get. If you're a nail polish addict like me then I'd recommend you get yourself one now!


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Blog Lovin - Thank you!

This is just a really quick post to say a huge thank you to all those of you who are following me on blog lovin. I got a very exciting email yesterday congratulating me on getting 20 followers and then today eight more of you turned up! It makes me so happy to know that people are enjoying reading my blog because above all, I love writing it for you (and me obviously)! The count currently stands at 28 which is amazing so to all 28 of you again, a huge thank you!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

How To Decoupage - Stag Head

I got very excited when I spotted this Papier Mache stag head in my local hobbycraft that I couldn't not bring it home with me. I've been wanting to do some decoupage for ages because I just love the effect it gives but I didn't have anything to do it on. I knew I wanted to do something with all the old copies of Company Magazine I'd saved up so this was the perfect opportunity to use them.

For the decoupage I used:

So here's where it gets fun and just a little bit sticky:
  • First I ripped up the paper into small (but not too small) squares and strips and mixed them all up.
  • Then all you do is paint the glue straight on to the head in the patch you want to cover. Stick down the paper then paint with another coat of the glue as a varnish. The glue goes on white but dries clear and gives a shiny finish.
  • Make sure you brush down the edges of the paper to get a smooth finish, you don't want any bits of paper sticking up.
  • Don't forget to cover the sides of the base that are visible.
  • Once you get to the antlers it gets slightly more difficult, I wrapped strips all the way around which seemed easier than trying to do it in square patches.  
  • Leave to dry over night.

Once both the antlers and the head are completely dry you need to stick the antlers in the head:
  • Paint glue all around the bottom of the antler.
  • Push it firmly in to the whole and paint more glue around the base to seal it in.
  • Again, leave to dry overnight.

I think overall it took me about four hours to complete so not very long and I'm really happy with how it turned out. In fact, I think it looks like something really expensive you'd buy in a cool, independent shop in London for lots of money! Seeing as it's Christmas you could easily decorate it with leftover wrapping paper which would make a great Christmas decoration. You could also paint it or cover it in glitter, there's so many ideas you could do with this which are really easy to do so I definitely recommend you pick one up from your local Hobbycraft!

Ellie x

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

N.O.T.D Kate Spade For Nails Inc - Uptown Glamour

I picked up the December issue of Glamour Magazine yesterday, mainly because free with it was this Kate Spade by Nails Inc polish in the shade 'Uptown Glamour' that was just too pretty to resist! It's a beautiful pale gold which I think gives the same finish as nail foils but without the hassle. I paired it with my favourite glitter polish 'Prospect' from Topshop as an accent nail which go together really beautifully.

They're currently giving away four different polishes, this gold colour, a red, a dark blue and a silver. Normally Nails Inc polishes retail at £11 so to pick them up for £2 is a really bargain, I suggest you get down the shops quick before they replace them with the January Issues!


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Jumpers - His and Hers

I'm really getting in to the Christmas spirit this year (it's allowed, it's only 22 days until Christmas!) which means that a Christmas jumper is a must buy to snuggle up in on a cold evening or even to wear loud and proud whilst doing your Christmas shopping. I've put together my pick of the best Christmas jumpers from across the web and I have a feeling a lot of these are gonna be very popular so you better get in there quick! 
I 1. River Island £35 I 2. Boohoo £15 I 3. New Look £29.99 I 4. Boohoo £15 I 5. River Island £35 I

I haven't forgotten the menfolk don't worry, there's plenty of cheery (and not so cheery!) Christmas jumpers out there for the man in your life so you won't be alone in sharing your Christmas joy! If he doesn't wanna wear it just tell him he has to, or else.
I 1. River Island £35 I 2. Asos £26 I 3. River Island £35 I 4. Matalan £10 I 5. Boohoo £18 I


Friday, 29 November 2013

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer

I Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer £6.99 AVAILABLE HERE I

I picked up the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer a couple of weeks ago as part of a three for two deal because, well I know it's probably a beauty sin but I've never actually used a primer before! I've been using it for a few weeks now to give it a proper testing and thought I'd share what I've found.

Firstly I have to say that it really lives up to it's name, I've immediately noticed that it's made my foundation and concealer last a good couple of hours longer than it normally would. I was pretty amazed by this because I honestly thought it would make no difference but I've been doing fewer touch ups and I don't end up with that really annoying oily foundation build up around my nose like I used to. 

It feels very smooth when applied to the skin, there's no greasy residue, it just leaves your skin feeling velvet soft. Once I've applied my foundation it still feels incredibly smooth and has a sort of mattifying effect so if you prefer more of a glowing look then this primer is not for you.

I think what I most like about this product is that it acts as a barrier between your makeup and your skin so you have protection from wearing makeup as well as grime and dirt from everyday life. You don't need a lot of product, a little really goes a long way so I'm hoping that means it'll last me a good while too. It's unscented which is great for me as my skin gets really irritated by perfumed products.  

For the price I think the Rimmel primer gives great results and it's definitely something I will be repurchasing. It's become a firm favourite in my everyday makeup routine.


Monday, 25 November 2013

Easy Cupcake Recipe

I baked these cute cupcakes for a belated baby shower my Mum threw for a work colleague last week. Apparently they went down really well and obviously I sneaked a few for myself which were heavenly, I'm the sort of girl that can't resist cake! They're really simple to make as well as being easy to adapt with other flavours so I couldn't resist sharing with you my tried and tested recipe to make the perfect cupcakes.

You will need:
110g Plain Flour
110g Caster Sugar
110g Softened Butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 eggs

For the Butter Cream Frosting:
125g Softened Butter
125g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Makes 12
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F / Gas Mark 4.
  • Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
  • In a bowl beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla extract and add to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix for around two minutes until well combined so the mixture is light and airy.
  • Evenly distribute the mixture between the paper cases (I like to use an ice cream scoop!) 
  • Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes until lightly golden. Test by lightly pressing the top with your finger, it should spring back.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool fully
To make the butter cream frosting:
  • In a large bowl lightly beat the butter and the vanilla extract.
  • Add in the icing sugar a little at a time and mix until light in colour and fluffy in texture.
I used a round nozzle to pipe on the icing then decorated with mini marshmallows and hundreds and thousands.

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