Sunday, 31 January 2016

Zoeva Brushes

A while ago, I did my first review of Zoeva brushes and after 18 months of using them, I can still say that I absolutely love them, they are still incredibly soft, and hardly shed at all when I wash them.

Zoeva Brush Review

Therefore I have decided to replace some more of my brushes with Zoeva ones! The ones I bought this time around are all individual, as opposed to a set, because I was working on filling in some gaps within my collection!

Zoeva Brush Review

The brushes are:
  1. Luxe Highlight
  2. Luxe Face Paint
  3. Luxe All Over Shader
  4. Luxe Smokey Shader
  5. Luxe Eye Blender
  6. Smudger
  7. Brow Line
  8. Luxe Precise Shader
Yet again I find myself really impressed with how soft and densely packed these brushes are - I think they are incredible value when you consider the most expensive one I bought myself was £11, which is a fraction of the price of MAC brushes.

Zoeva Brush Review
L-R: Luxe Face Paint, Luxe Highlight, Luxe All Over Shader
I didn't have any brush which was similar to Luxe Face Paint, it is designed to be used as a contour brush, with dense soft bristles which pick up a decent amount of product and blend it seamlessly into the skin.

The Luxe Highlight brush is designed to be used as described - to highlight cheekbones, nose, cupid's bow or cleavage.

The other brushes I got are varying degrees of eyeshadow brushes, combinations of shaders, blenders and smudgers as well as an eyebrow brush. So far I think that the 226 smudged is my favourite - it is incredible for blending a smoky eye!

Zoeva Brush Review
L-R: Luxe Eye Blender, Smudger, Luxe Smoky Shader, Luxe Precise Shader
So to surmise, if you are after some reasonably priced brushes I definitely recommend the Zoeva ones, and I hope that these last as long as my original Rose gold collection!

Let me know if you have tried any Zoeva brushes, and if there are any essential ones you think I need to get in the comments below.

Lots of Love
Briony Crew Post Signature

Sunday, 24 January 2016

My Parisian Inspiration

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I absolutely love Paris. I think I was 12 the first time I went, and I must have been 4/5 times since, but it never gets old for me. Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn't like going back to the same place several times, so it is unlikely that I'm going to be visiting again any time soon, but I through books, I can pretend I am there!

Bright Lights Paris Review

The newest book I have found about Paris is Bright Lights Paris by Angie Niles. This is a beautiful book, which I will probably leave on a side table in my living room when I have finished it (just because it's so pretty!) This book is a fantastic reference book, it contains bits of information on a variety of topics such as the best skincare, perfume, coffee shops, where to go away for a weekend and information about different districts. It is brilliant! I'm enjoying flicking through it, just picking it up for 10 minutes or so here and there.

I know that I said I'm not going to Paris anytime soon, but even so - I love the lonely planet guides, so I decided to get the Paris one - I'm sure I'll go back there one day and be able to use it! If you are going to Paris, I can definitely recommend getting this book, it is organised by area, so for example if you are going to the Eiffel Tower, it recommends nearby restaurants and top tips for when you are there. It also has maps of individual areas, so you won't miss seeing anything, although if you want a larger map, there is a pull out on in the back. Considering this is a pocket sized book, I think this contains some brilliant information, with the bonus that it doesn't weigh you down.

Parisian Chic Review

Anybody who has an interest in French style or fashion has probably heard of this book - Parisian Chic was written by Ines de la Fressange, is a French model, aristocrat, designer and perfumer. This is a very tongue in cheek book, which discusses all things beauty and fashion, including lots of tips and where to go in Paris for different things.

The Goddess Guide Review

Ok, so I only photographed The Goddess Guide, but I also want to include the Goddess Experience also in this - technically neither of these books are just about Paris, but they do include bit about Paris, and it was from these books that I first discovered the wonder that is Ladurée - which in my opinion, makes the best Macarons in the world.

My Paris Dream Review

 This book is very different from all the others - in that it does not in any way provide tips or advice, but it does provide a beautiful background for a story of growing up. Kate Betts was the youngest ever editor of Harper's Bazaar, but to be honest for me the main story was watching her grow up and learn how to find her way as an adult, which I definitely relate too! I definitely recommend picking up this book if you have an interest in Fashion, Journalism or Paris!
I hope you have enjoyed my flavour of Paris, if there are any other books you think I need to read please let me know in the comment section below!

Lots of love
Briony Crew Post Signature

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Lovely Lush Moment

One of my favourite seasonal collections is always Lush, and their Christmas one this year was particularly fabulous! I did get some in November, but I got over excited and used them before I had time to photograph them! However, in the Boxing Day sales I decided to treat myself to a couple of boxes, and this time I did actually get around to taking some pictures!

The boxes that I got were Snow Fairy's Castle and Home for Christmas, which contain a big variety of things!

Contents of the Snow Fairy's Castle box
Snow Fairy's Castle was full of pink sparkly items, which I know that some people aren't a big fan of, but I love a pink sparkly bath! I'm normally a shower person, but on a Sunday night (right after the #bbloggers chat usually) I always have a nice long soak!

The bath looks amazing when the bubble wand is in it! Everything goes pink and sparkly, and the bubbles get huge! It's fantastic, literally the best thing ever to get me ready for the next week ahead!

I have been using the snow fairy shower gel since the christmas collection launched - it is bubblegum sweet, which can sometimes get a bit much, but I really like it. The only downside to snow fairy is that I find the glitter sinks to the bottom after a while, which is infuriating! However standing it on it's head for a while seems to solve that issue.

Fairy dust is fun, but I'm not entirely sure what its purpose is! Basically it is pink, sweet smelling glittery powder.... I put it on for the weekend, when I felt like being sparkly, but I'm not sure I would ever put it on before work!

The Home for Christmas box is the complete opposite of the Snow Fairy - not glittery or sickly in the slightest! Rose Jam is beautiful, although I am biased as Rose is one of my favourite scents. You also get Yog Nog Soap, which I haven't yet used and Dream Cream hand and body lotion, which is fantastic - and doesn't hurt my eczema at all!

Did you get anything in the lush sale? Which seasonal products do you like? I can't wait for the valentines stuff, keep your eye out for them on here!

Lots of love
Briony Crew Post Signature

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Should you get the Olympus Pen E-PL7?

Unless you have been going around with your eyes closed, you have more than likely seen lots of bloggers using an Olympus Pen camera. The most recent of these is the E-PL7. My primary camera is my DSLR Pentax K5, which I have had for several years as I worked as a nightclub photographer, however I also had a point and shoot, which was the Fujifilm XF1, which was ok - but I wanted something a bit better!

Olympus Pen E-PL7

I knew I wanted a Compact System Camera as I wanted the option of multiple lenses, which you don't get with a point and shoot, but in a more portable format than my full size DSLR. So the search started! I'm always slightly sceptical when I hear a lot of hype about an item, however after speaking to a lot of people, it seemed that the Olympus Pen E-PL was in fact as good as the hype said.

So, when Black Friday came around, and I saw it on offer for £299 in Jessops with the 14-42mm kit lens, I decided to take the plunge and bought it!

Olympus Pen E-PL7

So what do I think?

I LOVE IT!!!!!

Seriously, this is probably one of the best investments I have made. I use it on pretty much a daily basis, most of the photographs that have been on my blog over the last month have been taken on it - and seeing as nobody has mentioned a reduction in quality I am assuming you are happy with them!

I wanted to wait for a month or so of using this camera before posting a review, to make sure I had used every feature and I think I have just about done that now. So I'll give you a list of what I consider the strengths and weaknesses!

Olympus Pen E-PL7

Olympus Pen E-PL7


  1. Portability - this is a fantastic quality camera for the body size, the only thing I wish is that I bought a pancake lens instead of getting the kit one, but I can do that in the future!
  2. Lens quality - despite wishing for the portability of the pancake lens, I can't knock the 14-42mm kit lens, the aperture is F3.5-5.6 which is about what you get as a standard kit lens on an DSLR
  3. Wifi - I definitely didn't appreciate how much I would use this feature, but I think it's fab. I have been trying to improve the quality of my Instagram images, and this is a game changer
  4. Remote viewer - also a Wifi feature, if you are taking a group shot it is brilliant
  5. Flip out screen - I'm gunna say it. Selfies. We can try and pretend this isn't important, but if you love makeup and have spent an hour perfecting a smokey eye, you want some decent photographs of it!
  6. Battery life - considering this uses Live View all the time, the battery life is fantastic! I lose my charger between charges it lasts that long!
  7. Build Quality - it feel like a sturdy camera when you hold it, even though it is small

Olympus Pen E-PL7Weaknesses

  1. Low light conditions - I took a few evening photographs, and I have to say the sensor was nowhere near as good as my DSLR
  2. Flashgun - It is good that you get a mini flash gun with the camera, and it is better than a built in flash, but it annoys me that if you want to get a proper flashgun the choice is incredibly limited.
  3. Menu system - not going to lie, it's not the easiest to work your way around, but after using it for a while I think I know where to go for most features
  4. Video - it isn't the best, but to be honest I haven't used it that much, so it may be that I'm just not getting the best out of it yet

Olympus Pen E-PL7

So what do you think? If you're thinking about upgrading your point and shoot, I definitely recommend this camera! If you have one already please leave me some tips in the comments section, or if there are any accessories or amazing lenses that you think I need let me know!

Lots of love
Briony Crew Post Signature

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016 New Year's Resolutions (and 2015 Resolution Review!)

You may recall that last year I decided that instead of doing full blown resolutions, I just decided to tweak my life... well I thought it would be interesting to return a year on to see how they went, and then decide what I want to focus on this year! 

If you want to read the original post, you can find it here, however without further ado...
1) Lose some more weight

Well this went pear shaped (get it?! I know...) but in my defence I was really ill for a large part of this year! However as long as I stay quite healthy this year, I will try again!
2) Be more organised with my blog posts

I think I have done quite well with this (a few illness breaks aside) - however I tried to post too frequently for the amount of time I had at the beginning. I now try to post twice a week (usually tuesday and saturday, but it sometimes goes awry!)
3) Sober January

I succeeded at this last year, and I am doing it all over again this year!
4) Save more money
So I mentioned last January about buying a house in 2016, well my boyfriend and I were very lucky as with some help from family we were able to buy one last year! However money management is still a weak point of mine, and I still need to save more!
*      *      *      *      *
So, what about this year then? Well....

1) Lose weight

As previously mentioned this didn't go particularly well last year, although I did take the plunge and joined Slimming World again, which is honestly one of the best decisions I could have made, as it truly helps having people supporting you in your weightless journey.

2) Improve my blog readership and engagement

This is a big one for me, as I have been trying to work out my niche a lot this year, and I think it is gradually getting there. However I love getting feedback of you guys, and I am looking forward to improving my blog more this year!

3) Start a Masters

I am probably most motivated about this one, as I have recently been feeling in a bit of a rut, as my brain needs something new to do. I don't always seem it, but I am actually quite intelligent, and after finishing my BSc Computer Science a few years ago I have done some short courses, but they weren't challenging me enough, and I think I am now ready to step up and do a Masters! Also, if anyone has done a Masters in Management, please drop me a message as that is what I am currently considering!

4) Be more professional

See above, I'm in a rut. My job as a desktop technician is quite relaxed, but I think I have got a bit too comfortable. Due to the nature of my job (spending a lot of time with a dusty PC under a desk) I don't wear the smartest clothes to work, but I think I need to make a bit more of an effort than skinny jeans and an oversized jumper. Also it might help with my confidence, which needs a bit of a boost sometimes. Lastly for this one, I want to get up earlier, and get to work earlier. I'm going to regret saying that I think.....

5) Read more books

I am slightly ashamed of how many classic books I have never read! Considering I read quite a lot (magazines and chick lit/ travel books mainly) I have never read a lot of the books on The Telegraph's list of 100 Novels Everyone Should Read. Also, mid way through the year, please remind me to look at that list again!!!

So what do you think? Do you think mine are doable, and have you reviewed yours from last year?What are your resolutions for 2016? I have lots of questions, and you love to hear your answers in the comments below!
Lots of love 
Briony Crew Post Signature

Friday, 1 January 2016

What I Got For Christmas

It's New Years Eve! I hope you have all had a wonderful festive season! I thought I would share a couple of items that I got for Christmas (and some I bought with Christmas money!) with you! Usual disclaimer... I'm not showing off, I just think you will be interested in these items!

Naked Palette from Urban Decay
Naked Palette by Urban Deay
Naked Palette by Urban Deay
Diptyque Baies Candle

Diptyque Baies and Roses Candles (FYI I reviewed the Roses Candle here)

Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Perfune

Hourglass Ambient Highlighter Palette

Hourglass Ambient Highlighter Palette

Neon Christmas Wish Gold Candle

Neon Christmas Wish Gold Candle
I definitely got spoilt this year, Adam got me the Naked Palette, which I was so excited about as I've wanted it for ages! He also got me the perfume and Diptyque Roses Candle :) he's the best boyfriend!
I still have a little bit of money left over from Christmas, is there anything you think I need to pick up in the sales? If so let me know below! Also I have watched a few youtube tutorials about different looks to create with the Naked Palette and Hourglass Ambient Palette, but if there are any you know of which are really good, please leave me some links in the comments!!

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the New Year!

Lots of love
Briony Crew Post Signature
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