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The Matte Lip Obsession...

Let's not lie, I buzz off finding a good bargain. My life is dedicated to stalking the internet [and Poundland] to find the very best and cheapest products - be this fashion, beauty, lifestyle or home-wise. Why pay more, when you can be a tight-arse like me? Plus, the Lottery is sly and won't let me win [which I'm actually fuming about] so it looks like my cheapskate behaviour is here to stay.


You may remember reading about my first ever encounter with Born Pretty here. And if you didn't / don't remember being exposed to my mad bargain euphoria post, I do highly recommend having a read, like [although I am massively bias.] To sum it up, I was amazed by their free shipping [which was also pretty fast, given the distance my parcel had to travel], their prices being in dollars [helloooooo amazing conversion rates] and the fact that they gave me a dizzy code so that you guys can get stuff at dirt cheap prices, shipped to your door AND at an even further reduced cost [enter AINH10 at the checkout for 10% off your order.] 


Since working with Born Pretty, I have ordered a fair few bits off their site. Including these matte lipglosses, which I have raved and ranted about on Instagram for weeks. And here's why.





I blogged here about how I got on with #8 the other week. If you haven't read that post, I highly recommend it, like [cough*BIAS AS HELL*cough.] But this post is a bit of a spoiler anyway I guess; it's pretty obv that I loved it, or I wouldn't have gone ahead and ordered pretty much the majority of the rest of the range.

Each lipgloss within the range is fairly quick to dry, isn't sticky as hell [like cheaper lipglosses can be] and not super drying - though I do advise you scrub your lips and apply some form of lip balm before you crack on with your application.

I like to apply a first coat, leave it to dry and then build it up with another coat or two, for a bold, matte lip. I'd also recommend using a lip liner with this product, to get a sharp shape and a look which is more Kylie Jenner than .. well, I don't know really. Someone who has bad lips. Pete Burns, maybe? [Soz Pete, lad.] Once applied, the colour is also extremely long lasting.



Shades #7, #6, #4, #8, #3, #5 and #2

Dem shades, though.

The only beef I have with this product is that it's waterproof. Don't get me wrong, this feature is also bloody brilliant - but it's waterproof to an extent where you have to really scrub at it with a babywipe to remove it. You have no idea how long it took me to remove these numbers from my arm. They're still there faintly tbh; I'm like a human barcode.

Once you've put this product on, you're committed. You can't change your mind halfway through and decide to apply a different product - there's no easy going back, you end up removing the lip colour and half your facial makeup, if you're not careful. This having been said, the fact that it's waterproof is also insanely brilliant - you can rub at it and rub water on it and although there is a tiny bit of movement, the colour and intensity does not fade one bit. Wow. A lipgloss that can power through no matter how many Jagerbombs I throw at it. Life = complete.





Three of my favourite shades; L-R #4, #7 and #6

These bad boys are currently on sale for just $1.99 each, which works out at about £1.39 in sterling - with free shipping. Even I, the cheapest of the cheap skates and the trampiest of the tramps, can not argue with this. They don't smell like sh*t [like this very questionable Wet n Wild lipstick I reviewed a while ago did], aren't super mega sticky and they last for ages. They might not be as high quality as say, your Mac Matte lipsticks; but for the price, I don't give one solitary sh*t. I love them and can't wait to incorporate them into my daily makeup routine.


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What do you think of this look? Do you have any matte lip product recommendations / top application tips? Have you ordered from Born Pretty before? 

If you fancy getting your hands on some ultimate Born Pretty bargains, enter AINH10 at the checkout for an extra 10% off, on me :}

Valentines, Shmalentines

You may have seen on Twitter earlier that I got a bit bitter about a touching Valentine's Day gesture that kept floating past my window. Chris, whoever he is, had hired a plane to keep flying over with a huge banner trailing out behind it that said 'Happy Valentine's Day Courtney! Love Chris.'


It flew back and forth about ten times and each time I was a bit closer to being sick in my mouth. 


I will hold my hands up right now and proudly admit that I am a bitter, miserable old bag [on Valentine's Day and the other 364 days of the year] when it comes to romance and love; purely because I've been lacking in those kind of feelings for so long. I know deep down that what our Chris did for Court was a proper nice gesture, and I'm probably just jealous, as no boy I've ever known could ever be arsed to do something like that for me. Like, they can't even be arsed to stay awake. 

And I do still secretly  quite publicly hope that in reality, Chris is a massive Post Office weirdo trying to woo Courtney and that they're not sickeningly in love and about to get engaged. Cos that would be a great story. And would fit in nicely with the line my Grandma dropped yesterday, about how Valentine's Day used to just be one big joke, rather than all this soppy stuff we have these days. Grandma - you are my hero.


Anyway, I guess as Valentine's Day is about love - and all kinds of love, not just romantic love, I thought I'd bash out a quick post to spread a tiny bit of festive cheer and prove that I'm not actually evil / have some nice feelings in me, as well as sarcasm and hatred. 



Things I love / am well grateful for:
[in no particular order, just as I thought of them, like]


- Being alive
Though life can be difficult at times, I'm bloody well alive! And even though it's hard going sometimes, I'm grateful for every day I'm lucky enough to wake up. [This was probably a bit deep to kick off on, soz.]

- My health
I mean, my health isn't great. However, I know that people have it much, much worse than I do; and I try to feel grateful and appreciative for what I have, even if it's tough sometimes. I'll get there one day!

- My phone
Dead materialistic, but I'm not even arsed. I love my phone. Like I don't know where I'd be without him [yeah, my phone's a bloke. A bloke in a glittery pink hearts cover.] Mostly so I can Instagram stalk and play this Solitaire game that I'm pure addicted to, but still. That makes me happy, so it's worth a mention.

- Food
Nuff said.

- Family
I don't have the greatest relationship with my family like, but I love them all and am extremely grateful for all they do for me. The convos I have with Grandma about eggs and Poundland are incredible.

- Friends
I don't have many friends left these days either... when you can't walk for a bit after an accident and can't go out and get hammered, people sadly seem to drop off your social radar. But I'm grateful for the handful I have remaining and all the memories I have of friends past.

- Sleep
BAE

- Baths
I'd hazard a guess that I spend 60% of my free time in the tub. I'm like; part human, part fish. And I'm not even arsed.

- Music
Even the sh*ttest of times can be turned round by popping in your headphones and having a twerk around the kitchen. 

- Animals
I frigging love animals like. I can barely cope with how cute they are. I want them all as pets. One of my top Google searches is 'cute fluffy baby animals' and I'll stand by that forevs.

- Travelling / taking vacays
I have SUCH bad wanderlust. I love travelling - for me, there is no better feeling than relaxing on a hot beach somewhere around the Med. Or a boat trip with music, tanning, BBQ and beers. Minus that one I had my accident on which rendered me unable to walk for like a year lol. I love seeing the world, staying in different places. Embracing different cultures. 

Shame I can't even afford to get the bus at the moment.

- Summer / the sun
EVERYTHING is better when the sun is shining. Summer makes me insanely happy. The smells, the heat, the long nights, the bright mornings, the cute animals. I hate this Winter situation.

- Shopping
Nothing cheers me up quite like a bit of retail therapy. Beauty, fashion, cleaning or food - I just loooooooove to spend money I don't have.

- Blogging / reading other people's blogs / meeting other, amazing bloggers #InternetFriendDay
So glad I started blogging. It's given me something to focus on when I've been feeling lost and allowed me to start talking to some amazing girlies all over the country. I know that no matter what time it is, there'll always be someone online to chat to; and that feeling of community and friendship is so nice to have. Especially when my best friend in real life is probably cheese.

- TV
Watching some of my fave shows can cheer me up, no matter what. I'm guilty of loving cartoons - Spongebob, Family Guy, American Dad and South Park being big contenders in my life. I love comedies; I don't really watch anything else. BBC3 kinda shows are my life. 

- Cleaning
I F*CKING LOVE CLEANING. Pass me the bleach, lads.

- Memories 
I might not have much of a life anymore, but I have plenty of amazing memories to last me a lifetime. Namely my time at uni. Always bring a smile to my face, even if I look back at my outfits / hair / makeup and cringe.

- Brews
If in doubt, pass me a latte.

- Humour
I am a sarcastic, bitter little bugger with a fondness for puns and a very dry sense of humour. You can normally find me lolling in a corner at the sick joke that is my life - and my sense of humour / ability to see the funny side in even the worst situations is something I'm extremely grateful for and which has got me through some truly dire times. I spend about 80% of my time flying high on the roflcopter and I wouldn't change that. Ever. 

/

These are just a few of the things I love about / in my life rounded up. There's probably more than that - and there's definitely LOADS that I hate, but on a day that's all about love, I just thought I'd spread a bit [of love, lol.] And now I've done that, I can go back to raging / swearing / muttering abuse under my breath at all the soppy updates plastered across my social media. Get in.

Happy Valentine's Day, lads!


#Lifestyle Post ... [slightly misleading title soz, as I don't actually have a life]

20 things I've done way too much of this week:


1. Swearing
I have let out some almighty swears this week - and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't enjoyed them. Each and every curse word I've dropped. The number of times I've said 'Oh just f*** off' out loud / in my mind has been tremendous. Computers of the world, I blame you for this. Just effing work

2. Dodging hairbrushes [though the ditzy ponytail is now a thing, have you seen? Not being funny like - I've been repping this look for about 2 years now #BeArsedWithMyHair]

3. Spilling stuff
The amount of drinks I spill in a week is just something else. It's got to the point where my boss now refers to it as my 'morning spill' - I've literally spilt THAT MUCH COFFEE this week. What a waste of precious caffeine

4. Gambling
I'd embellish on this, but I'm actually a little emb at how much thoughts of winning the Lottery dominate my life

4. Oversleeping and switching off my three million alarms. And then rushing to get ready and ending up looking like a mad smackhead, with crazy last minute eyebrows




5. Eating all of the biscuits and chocolate available in the North West
I'm a beast

6. Spending time wishing I could get up on time and look like a decent human
Very much wishful thinking

7. Having multiple run-ins with eggs
I've blown up eggs in the microwave on numerous occasions this week. I'm bitter about it. The other day, I stirred them and an air bubble popped and splattered egg all over my face. FML

8. Using way too much conditioner
Anyone else get through 900ml of conditioner in about 3 days?

9. Despising Valentine's Day and all the sh*t radio adverts that accompany it
I heard an advert on the radio yesterday which said something like 'This Valentines Day, show them how much you care by giving them a digital radio. Think of all the stations you can listen to.' Whut. I'd rather have last minute Milk Tray with a 'Whoops' sticker on the box

10. Standing in Post Office queues 
I'm trying to get the #OverheardInThePostOffice trending tbh - some of the convos I've heard in there recently have been world class. 

Today's was: 

Middle aged woman: 'How've you been girl?' 
Elderly woman: 'Ey, not bad like - had a massive heart attack in the park the other week though yeno.'

And a personal fave from the other day: 

Drunk woman who was high on life: 'Ey girl, have you noticed how many of those little flies there is around at the moment?'

11. Making lists
It's all I do tbh

12. Not replying to most of my messages
Soz

13. Putting off fake tanning
I'm that bloody pale, I'm see through. Just call me Translucent Tracey and let's be done with it

14. Playing on Snapchat
A good filter solves everything. I've been having a right good stalk of everyone's stories this week - add me if you're not a sex pest or pure randomer, my username's xnla88x [and I don't want to unexpectedly see your abs or penis, thank you]

15. Instagram stalking
I can very rarely be arsed to comment, but I'm there, creeping behind the scenes


16. Drinking way too much coffee
Whilst spilling it in equal measures

17. Singing / attempting to rap like Nicki Minaj dead loud in the bath [the beauty of living alone and having no mates]

18. Saying things wrong
I've been incapable of putting together a single sentence this week. All my words have come out in the wrong order as I've said them and I've just had to laugh at myself to mask it, making me sound even more like a mentalist

19. Lolling at inneundos that I probably shouldn't do
One day, I'll scrape my mind out of the gutter

20. Violently swearing at people in my mind
I've been more intolerant of other members of the public this week than ever. And I've really relished the colourful sentences of hatred I've been imagining in my mind. Soz not soz

/

Do any of these things sound familiar / do any of you do any of this stuff on the daily? Or am I just one clumsy, anti social old bag? LOL - I think I already know the answer to that one!!

Till next time...

Dressing up my ears... with Body Jewellery Shop*

My hair has got somewhat out of control recently. A cross between a mad bird's nest and a scarecrow's scatty mop, it is four years worth of hair which I can't be remotely bothered to deal with. Or cut. This usually means that when I get up in a morning, I don't even bother with it. 


What is this thing called a hairbrush, that you speak of? [I'm only half joking here.]


More often than not, I just scrape my dishevelled locks back off my face and plonk them, a la pineapple, on the top of my head. And boy, does it feel good. 


One thing I've been missing up until now however, was a bit of jewellery to make my exposed ears look a bit prettier. When you have your hair up literally every day, it doesn't half expose your ears - and having some mad kind of half-arsed updo with no redeeming accessories isn't a great look to represent on the daily. Especially when you're having a very turbulent time in the love department and may, one day, want to try and convince other members of the male species that you're suitable girlfriend material and a functioning adult human [even if I do wear hamster onesies and watch South Park way too much.] 




Body Jewellery Shop very kindly sent me some gorgeous pieces to sort my ear accessorising game right out


I've worked with these guys before [here] and was wowed by their impressive range of jewellery for not just ear piercings - but also, by their extensive collection of body bars, earrings, rings, studs and plugs for just about every piercing you could ever have!! Since then, their collection has got even bigger - with the site now dabbling in gifts, fashion, jewellery and fancy dress. Did I mention, they also offer free shipping?!


Another thing I find amazingly useful about Body Jewellery Shop's website is the little guides they have next to each different kind of ear piercing / body piercing, which shows you where the jewellery goes and what the name of the piercing is. I have friends with lots of weird and wonderful piercings in and around their ears - and I was totally clueless about what jewellery fitted what, before I stalked this site!! I was the precious age of 15 before I dared to get my ears pierced - and I'm too much of a chicken to get anything else done, even though I love the look of the piercings some of my friends have [particularly tragus ear piercings.] But I know that should I decide to go ahead with a shiny new piercing, these guys have a massive range waiting for me.






This gorgeous cuff is just so pretty. All swirly and delicate. It's quite dramatic due to its size and will definitely catch an eye or two. It has a small clip on the inside which shuts really gently, so it isn't painful to wear and doesn't pure squish your ear cartilage. You don't need to have pierced ears to rep this look either, which means everyone can enjoy this piece of ear bling. It's ever so slightly too big on my ears; however, I still love wearing it. I have a massive head and very tiny ears, so on someone with normal proportions, this would fit even nicer.



I love this super minimal ear cuff; I think it's my favourite of the three pieces. It's super easy to pop on, fits securely on the cartilage of your ear, is super lightweight and adds an edgy, modern touch to any look. Plus, you don't need to have pierced ears to enjoy it! I'll definitely get tons of wear out of this this summer.

These photos don't really do these super glitzy little studs justice; they're so glittery and really sparkle when they catch the light. I desperately needed some little studs to wear on a day-to-day basis, as most days I forget to wear earrings at all and worry that the holes will heal over again. These are perfect. Glittery and pretty without being too heavy or overpowering. You can literally wear these for any occasion.

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Which piece is your favourite? How would you style them? Have you checked out Body Jewellery Shop yet? Do you have any unusual body piercings you can educate me on?



*I was sent these products to review, but all opinions are my own - how could I not love such cute little earrings? :}

#ManicureMonday

I always feel a bit hesitant going in with the title #ManicureMonday - does it count as a manicure if you do it yourself and your skills in the nail polish game aren't that strong? If you smudge it about 25 times, swear really loudly and kind of, colour outside the lines a bit?  Either way - here's a sneaky little insight as to what's on my talons this week.




This week's nail polish of choice is Revlon's Matte Finish Nail Enamel in Shade 038: Ruby Ribbon. I've bought other colours from this range from Boots before; but being the cheapskate that I am, this one's off eBay. If you like the look of it, you can probably find it in most drugstores like - or alternatively, head on eBay like I did and have a good stalk.


This is definitely one of my more underused nail polishes [soz lad.] I adore oxblood / maroon shades and I'm pureeee obsessed with all things matte this season [check out my post on Born Pretty's Matte Lipgloss for more matte lovin'] but yet, I never seem to pull this bad boy out from the mad pile of hell that is my nail polish collection. Don't know why really. Laziness maybe?


It gives a fab matte finish, with subtle little flecks of shimmer in it. It also dries pretty quick, minus that incident with the duvet I had pretty shortly after application. But I always seem to wear more nail polish on my person, face, clothing and bedding than I ever manage to get on my nails anyway; so there's no change there [Smudge City, population me.] I actually picked up one of those white, stay-inside-the-lines nail glue things the other day from Born Pretty; the ones you always see on those sick nail tutorials on Insta. So I'll see how I get on with that. Maybe there's hope for me yet!



What's on your nails this week? What do you think of this colour? Do you have any Revlon recommendations?



Cream Contouring with Born Pretty*

I have a massive, square head - with a chin so massive, it looks like Stan Smith's from American Dad [and if you don't know what I'm taking about, Google him or watch BBC3 more, in a last minute attempt to try and persuade them to not move it online next week *massive sad face* - I even signed the petition!!! ] I've also always been quite self conscious of my nose - namely, my side profile. So when contouring became public knowledge, I was all over it and now incorporate it into my daily makeup routine. Even if in reality it doesn't soften the angles of my face, it certainly makes me feel better about them. And it's definitely a cheaper alternative to plazzy surgery. 


I wrote in this post a little while ago alllll about my feelings on cream contour palettes. These feelings basically being that I heart them. So I wanted to show you guys another cream contour / colour correcting palette* that I'm rating at the moment, which I was sent from Born Pretty. I'm working with these guys again atm - and they've sent me some proper fab stuff to try out this time around. You can learn more about the matte lipgloss and false lashes they sent me recently by clicking here and / or  here. Keep your eyes peeled to my blog and social media over the next few weeks to see more of the matte lipgloss life, as since writing these posts, I headed straight back online and ordered the whole of Born Pretty's matte lipgloss range to try out. I'm feeling like Kylie Jenner on a major budget - and loving it.





I love these palettes. They're insanely beautiful [and perfectly Instagrammable], cheap and easy to apply / blend. I quite often use the pinks and yellows from the colour correcting side of the palette to hide my under eye baggage, too - I don't purely buy these palettes on their contouring powers alone. Cream contouring is considerably easier to blend than contouring with a powder; so for quick and easy chin-chiselling on the go, I always reach for this palette. 



Every shade in the palette applies really well and blends nicely into the skin. I first started buying these palettes purely for the darker shades, which I'd use to contour - but as I mentioned above, I've recently got really into using the colour correcting shades too. My face needs a hell of a lot of correcting - so having everything in one pan is super useful.






What made this palette stand out for me, when compared against other cheap ones I've ordered off eBay or Depop, was that it also comes with a beauty blender and a makeup brush. All this for under a fiver, with free shipping [*drools.*] 

When it comes to the bamboo-esque handled makeup brush, it's not a stand out brush like - if you're used to using your Real Techniques / Zoeva brushes, you might turn your nose up at it a bit; but for me, it does exactly what I want it to. I use this to contour the sh*t out of my cheekbones - it's lovely and soft and allows me to build up colour. 




I was made up with this little beauty blender too - I know to all you seasoned beauty pros out there, these are old news; but I'm very behind the times when it comes to brushes and applicators etc. I've always been a 'dab it on with my finger and hope for the best' kinda girl. I did actually buy a blender from Forever 21 before Christmas - a little pink one that you might have seen on my Instagram, but in comparison to this blender, it was a crock of sh*t and very much like dabbing at my face with a pebble. This is lovely and soft and blends my makeup, rather than bruises my face.

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What do you think? Have you tried a contour palette like this one before? Do you prefer cream or powder contour kits? Do you have any top contouring tips for me? 



Don't forget... Born Pretty offers free shipping on all orders - and as well as their crazy cheap prices, you can get a further 10% off anything you buy at Born Pretty [there's so much to try] by entering my code AINH10 at the checkout ... making the incredibly cheap even cheaper :}


*this post contains items that Born Pretty sent me for review. In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to make you guys aware of that. As ever, all opinions are my own - I wouldn't lie to you guys, as it's not big and it's not clever!

Born Pretty Volumising Lashes*

I feel like a naked old man without a decent pair of eyelashes on. Well, maybe that's a bit too strong / overdramatic / graphic of an image to lead in with, like, hahaha... I should probably split that sentence to read 'I feel naked without a pair of lashes on my lids and also, that I look a bit like an old man' but I've probably got your attention now anyway [even if it is for all the wrong reasons!] so I'll stick by it.


I wear a pair of falsies everyday. They make me feel like I've got my life in order and draw attention away from other debatable areas of my face. The eyes are the windows to the soul; so I like to frame mine with big, dramatic curtains [aka massive eyelashes.] 
My obsession with falsies has resulted in me having gone through a lot of lashes over the past few years [the eyelash graveyards lurking around my room are testament to that!!] and has also meant that I've tried and tested a fair few brands, from all different parts of the world. A large percentile of my tweetsinsta photos and blog posts are indeed already dedicated to eyelash lovin'. 





You may have read this post recently; all about my latest collab with Born Pretty - the fab team at BP HQ have let me pick a few products to review and share with you guys again. One thing I love about this website is how bloody cheap it is, another being how quick their stuff arrives [given how far it travels!] and another; how they offer free shipping. As a massive, David Dickonson-esque bargain hunter; these points tick all the boxes for me. Anyway, before I get all teary eyed about low prices, back to it. One of the items I chose this time was this 5 Pairs/Box Handmade Seamless False Eyelash Cross Volume Fake Eye Lash #HW-8 set*, which retails at just $2.99 for 5 pairs of lashes [about £2.10.] 


If you didn't already know, I've been getting right into lighter, more wispy lashes recently. Up until now, I'd always been an Eylure 107s kinda girl; but the last multipack I bought of these bad boys really let me down. They'd changed somehow; the shape of them irritated the corners of my eyes and they seemed more curved. I thought maybe I'd picked up the petite eye version by mistake, but no. So anyway, in light of this - these lashes looked like they'd be right up my street. Read on to find out more - and to get your hands on a 10% off discount code you can use on anything on Born Pretty's treasure trove of a website.





Here they are; up close and personal. They come in some pink, kawaii-esque packaging, which isn't quite my cup of tea - but this aside, they look pretty darn beautiful don't they? They remind me a bit of the Ardell Demi Wispies or some of the lashes that LashUnlimited stock, too. They don't come with glue, but this isn't a problem to me at all - most lashes don't these days, and you can pick up tubes of glue for next to nothing over on Amazon. And as an eyelash obsesso, I literally have tubes of eyelash glue coming out of my ears anyway - there's about 14 tubes in my handbag alone. I can't be alone on this, right? 

Despite them working out at about 42p per pair, they don't look really cheap at first glance either. Bonus! You know what I mean; sometimes, when you pick up cheaper lashes, they have that pure shine to them. Primark's £1 lashes for example, are a prime candidate when it comes to this. It all depends on what the lashes are made of. But these are nicely textured and natural looking, whatever they're made of!



Here they are on...


... and again, teamed with a little liquid eyeliner


I love them.

However, I won't lie right - as amazing are they are on, these are hard as hell to apply the first time you crack out a new pair. You definitely need some patience and a decent glue to get them on your eye the first time wearing them. I'd like to think of myself as pretty alright at applying lashes [what with the amount of times I must have partaken in this activity over the past ten years] but I did nearly give up at first. 

Until, that is, I had one eye on and I was that impressed with how the lashes looked on, that I was prepared to fight whatever hurdles the application process threw at me in order to get the other one on, too. They're just very straight once you take them off the plastic, which means it takes a bit of bending and a sprinkling of patience to apply them initially. But it's totally worth it.

I was really happy with both how these lashes looked in the packet and on my eyes - they're perfect for day or night time wear. The price of them is amazing, they're lightweight and they don't irritate your eye once you have them on - PLUS they're not at all cheap looking or shiny, like some of the other cheaper lashes you can buy are. 

I would definitely order these again - I had people comment on how nice they looked, which must have meant I did something right, as I wear lashes everyday and no-one usually even bats an eyelid [tried to make an eye related pun there didn't I, but I think I might have failed.]

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What do you think of these lashes? Do you have any bargain eyelash recommendations I should check out? Have you ordered from Born Pretty before? Keep your eyes peeled over on my blog and Instagram over the next couple of weeks to see more of my eyelash appreciation and also, to find out more about the other goodies Born Pretty sent me!

If you fancy getting your hands on some ultimate Born Pretty bargains, enter AINH10 at the checkout for an extra 10% off, on me :}


*This product was gifted to me by Born Pretty Store; but all opinions are a] honest as sin and b] my own.