Friday, 30 May 2014

Its okay when travelling to...

Since returning from Thailand I've faced quite a few people saying 'anything you regret not seeing?' 'Oooh you missed out by not going to.....'. This has been something I've come across a lot when I've been travelling, and I've learnt to not be bothered because when traveling its ok to do your own thing. You shouldn’t feel guilty! Here are my top 5 things that it’s ok to do when travelling… feel free to add your own in the comments box, I would love to hear them!

• To have a day off! From visiting wherever/whatever the local attraction is. If you want a lazy day that is Ok! Go chill on the beach or laze around your hostel, it’s great to see as much as you can but you need some you time and if that means doing sweet FA then that’s cool!

• To have a Macy d's or Starbucks! I love trying other cultures local cuisine but sometimes you just need a home comfort, something where you aren’t risking the runs! My guilty pleasure is a Starbucks when I’m travelling, you can’t beat a good coffee!

• To miss things out! If something that’s supposed to be ‘oh so amazing’ doesn’t take your fancy or you just don’t have enough time then if you skip an attraction or whatever it may be that is okay! It’s your trip and you should do what you want to do not what everyone else recommends!

• To follow the road not so travelled... Everyone's got an opinion on where's best to travel and where you should visit but if you don't go there its ok!! Some of my best travelling experiences have come from venturing off the usual path.

• To sleep till mid-day! I’ve fallen into the trap where I’ve tried to fit way too much into a trip and didn’t take any time out. If you want to sleep till mid-day you do it! It’s your trip and you shouldn’t feel bad for any choices you make! Also I love my sleep so throw in a long lie in here and there (especially after a heavy night out!) and I’m one happy lady!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Make Up Revolution Iconic 3 Palette

Apologies if like me you have already seen quite a few Makeup Revolution Iconic Revolution Iconic 3 Palette reviews but I just had to check out if it lives up to the hype for myself and share my findings with you all!
What sparked off my interest in this product were the comparisons to Urban Decay’s Naked 3 Palette. I have wanted that Urban Decay Palette since it first came out but have never quite been able to justify the expensive price tag (Get me having will power for once!). Iconic 3 has very similar shades and for a bargain price £4 I was pretty excited when it arrived!
This colour palette is filled with my favourite shades... pinks, browns and gold’s, all of which really suit my skin tone. I found the shadows well pigmented and stayed put most of the day, no creasing either! Wahooo!
My only criticism is that the powder is very loose and gets everywhere, so you do need to be careful when using. However for only £4 I couldn’t recommend it enough, it’s a great product for such a brilliant price.
Have you tried any Makeup Revolution products yet? Any recommendations?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Nails // SEVENTEEN Supreme Shine Nail Polish in 'Miami'

I love a pop of colour on my nails, especially in the recent sunshine. When browsing in boots recently this SEVENTEEN Supreme Shine Nail Polish in Miami really stood out to me. It’s a bright fuchsia shade that really puts me in a happy mood! I love how certain colours can do that!
The bottle states it had ‘up to 10 days wear’ and I’m on day 6 without a chip insight! I am super impressed as I constantly use my hands.
What is your favourite colour to paint your nails?

Monday, 26 May 2014

Motivation Monday #15

Over the past week I have been making a huge effort to be less grumpy, stop moaning and trying to take a big step back, relax and be more positive. It’s not been easy as I am a worrier, perfectionist and at times a bit of a control freak! (I am selling myself well here aren’t I!).
However I have been really trying and I have already noticed things start to change! I have so much more energy, I’m having more fun and good things are happening! I am so much more focused and I appreciate everything so much!
So this week I would like to challenge you all to join with me in thinking more positively and let’s see what happens!
Happy Monday lovelies!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

#TheBloggersSnailMail My Spring Pairing!

As many of you who stop by this blog regularly or follow me on twitter will know that I run #TheBloggersSnailMail. Signups are currently open for the Summer round and if you want to find out more info check out this post here, come and get involved it is so much fun! So many lovely bloggers from across the globe have already signed and there is still time to go, I think this is going to be a bumper round!

So way back in March I paired up with the gorgeous Jude from Cocojude for the first ever #TheBloggersSnailMail, for over a month we swapped emails and found we both work in the voluntary sector. Jude is an amazing crafter and her blog is filled with bits and pieces she makes. I also found out she is a keen runner (My current position on running is one should only run if being chased!), and is also such a lovely, positive, fun person. How does she fit it all in?! I think Jude is secretly Wonder Woman! It has been a real pleasure getting to know Jude and I enjoyed checking my inbox for her emails!

I was so excited when my Snail Mail arrived from Jude, enclosed was a fabulous set of Revlon Nail Varnishes (I can’t wait to sport the orange and yellow shades in the summer. A really cute owl key ring that Jude made herself, you all must check out her shop here! Jude also sent me the pattern for fabric Russian dolls, which I can’t wait to play with as I recently given some really lovely fabric that I was at a loss as what to do with.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Jude for being a fab Snail Mail Partner!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Thailand || Extras

I can’t believe this is my final Thailand related post. I also can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I’ve been back! Time is going horrendously fast at the moment! So this is an ‘extras’ post, a few bits I really to share that didn’t really fit into any of my previous posts.


The Thais like everything sweet. I’m pretty sure sugar or syrup goes into most of their dishes. Also if you're a tea or coffee drinker like myself be warned, they used condensed milk. It’s weird, again super sweet and doesn’t taste right at all but you do get used to it.

Street food is the only way to go. I did not have one bad meal from a street vendor. The food was just to die for and just so much better than the restaurants we visited and also so much cheaper!
Also if you like a bit of spice be warned, medium spicy is HOT! It definitely isn’t what the UK would deem as a medium!
You have to see this one to believe it, the roads and traffic system in Thailand is pure chaos! Some of the sights I saw included... the majority of drivers were on their phones, whole families of 5 on one moped, children’s buggies with said child inside tied onto the side of the moped with string and being towed along, no one wears helmets. On top of all that what are lanes?! It’s a free for all, if you can drive on the pavement, go for it! Don’t expect any vehicle to stop for a pedestrian, and as for traffic lights, they are just there for decoration. The only rule of the road seems to be keep moving!
Thailand is so unbelievable cheap! You can easily keep costs right down whilst travelling out there.
On average this is what we paid...
Street food and a beer – 60-250 baht // £1.10 - £4.58 GBP
Chang 20-60 baht // £0.37 - £1.10 GBP
A bottle of 500 ml coke – 17 baht // £0.31 GBP
A T-shirt - 150 baht // £2.75 GBP
The Thai people are so genuinely nice. I felt so safe in Thailand even in the larger cities of Bangkok and Phuket. The people were all so friendly, funny and helpful.
I hope that this info comes in handy to anyone planning a trip to Thailand. It really is an incredible country and I hope I get to explore more of it one day.
You can check out my previous blogs on Thailand here:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Nails // H&M Nail Polish in 'Serenity Now'

Huge apologies for the feet! I am not a fan of feet but I wanted to share with you this gorgeous polish. Whilst in H&M recently I stopped and had a mooch at their beauty bits. It was the first time I have had a proper look at the range and this gorgeous polish caught my eye!
It’s called ‘Serenity Now’ and is a fantastic cobalt blue which is one of my favourite colours. It surprised me as it is really good quality, it has a great brush, is easy to apply and didn’t chip!
Have you tried any of H&M’s beauty range?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

April's Degustabox

After spending a ton on various different beauty boxes and not using half the products id receive, I made a pact with myself that I would no longer subscribe to any. I’m supposed to be sorting my finances out after all, so I’m being behaved! Or at least I was until I kept seeing fab reviews for Degustabox. It’s filled with food and refreshments, not beauty so that’s ok right?!
Any I was so glad I did cave in as I received so many lovely goodies! This is what came in April’s box:

Crabbies Raspberry Alcoholic Ginger Beer – in the box was also some cocktail recipes using the ginger beer, which I can’t wait to try!
Cawston Press Sparkling Apple and Rhubarb Juice Soft Drink – Rhubarb reminds me of summers and Rhubarb crumbles…
Keoghs Atlantic Sea Salt and Irish Cider Vinegar Potato Crisps.
Mornflake Superfast Fruit and Nut Muesli – I am terrible at eating breakfast so being in a little tub this is so handy. I can take it to work and eat it when I get there!
Jaffa Cakes Mini Rolls in Berry Burst and Tropical.
Go Splash Low Calorie Energy Lightening Red Sugar Free Water Flavouring.
3x Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Bars – this just happens to be my favourite chocolate of all time, yey!
2x Organic Instant Miso Soup on the go – perfect for lunch at work when you’re having a crazy day.
Fine Cooks Chocolate in Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate – I feel a baking session coming on!
I think I will definitely be getting another Degustabox for £12.99, it’s such a bargain when you look at the amount of products you receive! I am really impressed and it’s a great way for me to try new things.
Do you have a subscription box you would recommend?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Motivational Monday #14

I love this quote so much! I am a huge believer in what comes around goes around and what you give out is what you get back. I know that when I’m positive in mind and attitude, positive things tend to happen.
I am really trying hard to embrace life at the moment and make the most out of each day. So this week I plan to keep today’s quote at the forefront of my mind.
Happy Monday lovelies!


Sunday, 18 May 2014

MAC Girl About Town Lipstick

Is it possible to actually love a lipstick, I mean really LOVE?! I wanted to invest in a new MAC lippy for a while but have been hesitant as just couldn’t decide on a shade! After months of ‘umming’ and ‘aaaahing’ I decided on ‘Girl about Town’ and I can’t explain how happy I am that I did! I am so in love with this shade, it’s a complete beaut!

‘Girl about Town’ is a blue based bright pink fuchsia and It's an Amplified Crème formula, so it's completely opaque, semi-creamy, and really pigmented. It can be built up on your lips and it doesn't budge. My skin tone is pretty fair but I think it would look fab on most skin tones. Being so well pigmented it really stays put and when it does start to fade it leaves a gorgeous stain.

It applies very smoothly with no patchiness or drying sensation and doesn’t seem to smudge or bleed. To top it all off it has a gorgeous Vanilla scent which just adds to its perfection for me. What more could you want in a lip product!

I have been wearing this lipstick every day and it’s so versatile you can easily wear it day and night.
If you were keen to find a negative to this product, the only thing I can think of is the £15.00 price tag. However it is so well pigmented that you really don’t need much to get good coverage so I think it will last a while. It’s also just such a good quality product I feel I can justify the price tag.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Bloggers Snail Mail - Signups now open!

So in the beginning of March I launched the first ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ and we had over 40 lovely bloggers sign up! It was really good fun, and the feedback from those who took part was so lovely I just had to run another!
So here is how it works:
A quarterly gift exchange where you can meet other bloggers from around the world and spread a bit of positivity! People get paired up in March, June, September and December. During the sign up period, every participant will be paired with one other new participant and you’ll spend a few weeks becoming BFFs (i.e. reading each other’s blogs, sending happy e-mails, you name it!). After that, you’ll send your partner a gift from your country that you think they may like from the info you now know about them. There’s a £5 limit on the gifts to make this project as affordable as possible. Be as creative as you can and make it meaningful! Motivate them, tell them all the beautiful things you learned about them, and make them feel special! We could all use a little encouragement, especially from our new friends. Also, each package should include a postcard (or a letter if you can’t find one!) with some motivating love or positive words of wisdom written all over it.
So to sign up for the ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ you just need to send an email to, title it ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ and include in it your name, where you are from, and you blog! Sign ups will be open until the Friday 30th May. I will then randomly match you all up aiming to make sure you are with someone from another country or at least in another area from you! I will then let you know by Monday 2nd June who your partner is and you then have 4 weeks to get to know them! So the week of the 30th June, you can then send your new buddy their Snail Mail!
Once you receive your gifts, write a blog post about your experience, sharing what you gave, received, and learnt through this being part of this and meeting your new pal.
If you want to tweet about this project, use the hashtag #TheBloggersSnailMail, You can also tag me @GemmaMarieJames and ill retweet your post, so everyone can share your experience!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Nails // Seventeen Gel Colour in ‘Mocha-tini’

Ooooh a neutral colour! Very different for me as I do tend to like my bright and bold nails. However last Saturday one of my lovely friends got married, so for the wedding I wore a simple Navy dress and in an attempt to be a little classy for once I thought neutral nails were the way to go!
I went for Seventeen Gel Colour in ‘Mocha-tini’ which as it says on the tin is a gorgeous light mocha colour. I really like the colour, which is very different for me. I am also a huge fan of the Seventeen Gel Colour range which I have nothing but good things to day about. It claims to last up to 8 days, which it seems to do. So it is long wearing, has a gorgeous glossy finish and is really easy to apply.
Are you a fan of neutrals or are do you like a pop of colour like me?

Monday, 12 May 2014

Motivational Monday #13

Firstly I would like to say a massive THANK YOU! to all the lovely, sweet and kind folks who commented, emailed or tweeted me after my last post. I was in a bit of a rut, however after taking a week off from blog land and reflecting over all the lovely things people said I am feeling a lot better and read to get my blogging but back into action! HURRAH!
One of the best comments and the one that hit me the most came from Maura who blogs over at ‘Led by Moonlight, A Beauty Blog for Beautiful Dreamers’. Her makeup is incredible, so go check it out!  Maura quoted the below to me...

I think it says it all and sums it up perfectly for me. I love this quote, we are all creative individuals and we need to embrace our differences and individuality.
This week I am going to focus on what I enjoy, I am going to make sure I relax and have fun and look after myself.
Happy Monday Lovelies!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Blogging Blues


If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I try hard to promote positivity, so this post is a bit different for me. Lately I have been feeling a bit disillusioned with life and this feeling has spread to my blog as well. I am going to draft this post to get a few things off my chest, whether I post it or not will be another story.
Life has been ridiculously stressful lately and super busy but it’s never effected my blogging before. It’s all things I have no control over, so no idea how to step away and turn my mind off to it. Work and home haven’t been going well and you know when you can normally balance it when ones going bad the others pretty great? Well I’ve had no such luck lately. I feel like I’m about to snap, I want to switch off and relax but not sure how you go about it. I keep getting poorly at the moment as well and I know that’s due to being stressed and run down. Everything just seems a little grey.  
In terms of my blogging block, I suppose I don’t have any blogging buddies either so don’t have anyone to talk it through with or anyone who understands this hobby. I want to say I have fallen out of love with it, but that’s not true I love blogging fiercely. ‘Lipsticks and Lashes’ is my little sanctuary and I really enjoy it, cherish it, it’s my baby. However right now and over the past week or so I keep sitting at my laptop and it’s just blank. I have ideas for posts, lists and lists of ideas, but I can’t seem to focus to put anything together, no words are coming out.
I also hate to compare my blog to others, that’s not why I started this. I started it as I love writing. I want to be a writer one day and thought blogging was a great way to practice my writing. I just find it’s become such a competitive community. I have always been flattered that people even check out my blog let alone follow it. But I am sometimes not sure I fit in.
I feel like I have lost my blogging mojo and I don’t know how to fix it.
Apologies for a bit of a ‘bleurgh’ post but I feel better for venting. Have you ever had the blogger blues or blogger block?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Thailand || Phuket and Phi Phi

From Koh Lanta we headed up to Phuket by boat. If anyone is thinking of doing this trip I need to warn you, the boats are a bit like a cattle market, they are packed like a sardine can full of people.
Phuket was our last stop before heading back to Bangkok and home. When we arrived we headed to our accommodation for the next three nights, Nillys Inn in Patong. It was right along Patong beach and was a five minute walk to the main hub of the area.
Phuket was a bit of a shock to the system after Koh Lanta, we went from a very tranquil, chilled out island to a completely clichéd touristy resort with thousands of holiday makers.
We had two full days here so we spent the first day on the beach and the second on a boat trip. We went on a tour of Phi Phi, the setting of the film ‘The Beach’, and then monkey island. We did a lot of snorkelling which was amazing, the fish were so colourful. Our tour guide for the day was a ladyboy called Miss Jennifer, who was one of the funniest people I have ever met.
Phuket is also a lot more expensive than most places we visited. In one bar they were charging £8 for a pint of certain drinks, we ended up buying Chang beer from a local corner shop. Although I did manage to buy an incredible faux Mulberry bag for £4, which I am pretty happy with!
Our final day in Thailand was spent flying back up to Bangkok to catch our flight home early the next day. Thailand was such an incredible experience and I hope I get to return there one day. I am now plotting my next adventure, I’m thinking Christmas in Cambodia volunteering. Anyone been there? Or have any ideas around this?
                                             You can check out my previous blogs on Thailand here:                        

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