Saturday, 31 December 2016

LouLouLand - 2016 - A Year In Review - Part 2 - July To December

Welcome to Part 2 of my blogging year in review x In this post I'm going to be looking back at some my favourite and most poignant blog posts from July to December 2016.

July 2016

July was a busy month post wise, I went shopping a lot and I shared a few reviews and a few nails of the day posts with you. I also tried out one of the newest beauty boxes on the market - QVC UK's Tili Beauty Box. Unboxing's are normally exclusive to my You Tube channel but I couldn't resist sharing this one with you one the blog as well. I've had both of the QVC Tili boxes to date now and I've loved both of them, I love trying new things and already I've found some things that I love, and some things that I will definitely consider repurchasing. I for one have my fingers tightly crossed that we'll see some more TILI (Try It Love) Boxes in 2017.

Speaking of new things, In 2016 one of the beauty ranges that I couldn't wait to try, was the Rosie For Autograph range for Marks & Spencer. M&S teamed up with supermodel Rosie Huntington Whitely to produce a make up range to rival any designer beauty brand on the market. The prices aren't the cheapest but I couldn't resist adding just one little thing to my make up collection, a Lip Glossy in Sweet Nothing Kisses x

I absolutely love this colour and it's something that I've worn an awful lot since I got it - you can find out more about it here x I'm definitely going to try and pick up a few more things from the Rosie For Autograph collection is 2017 but in the meantime I have another Lip Glossy in Supermodel Smile to try courtesy of the 2016 M&S Beauty Advent Calendar.

July also featured one of my last Foodie Friday posts of the year. I'm planning on doing some more Foodie Friday posts in 2017 and maybe some videos to, but in this last one,  I shared with you my interpretation of one of my favourite Hello Fresh recipes which I renamed my Lentil, Roasted Vegetable And Halloumi Salad

Don't forget to click on the Recipes tab above to check out all of the recipes that I've posted in my nearly 9 years of blogging.

August 2016

August was a pretty barren month in LouLouLand thanks to a bit of laptop breakage. The lid and screen on my Acer laptop completely snapped off, and instead of doing the sensible things and upgrading then and there, I sent it away to get fixed which took a few weeks. So for most of the month I was laptop less. Thankfully I did manage to get a few posts up including my final two posts for My Pure* and a couple of nails of the day posts, including this all be it edited to death, beauty from Nails Inc,

and I also posted a nails of the day from one of the newest nail brands on the market, Roxanne Campbell, and her beautiful shade Stormy Weather.

September 2016

From a barren month in August, to one of the hardest months of my life in September. On September the 11th 2016, I lost my beloved Godfather after a long period of ill health but thankfully peacefully after a short illness. As I said at the time, when you lose a parent like I did, if you're lucky enough, some people step up to the plate and try to take on that parental role, as well as my mum taking on the dad role too, I'm lucky enough to have uncles that care and I was lucky enough to have my Godmother. It's been a tough few months, but he will never be forgotten.

That news affected my whole month but I blogged a lot and tried to keep focused and again I shared a lot of posts with you including a haul or two,  another nails of the day from Roxanne Campbell* and a bargaintastic nails of the day from Primark.

The month of September will also go down in history, as the month when I lost my Benefit brows* virginity. I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Benefit counter in Debenhams in Intu Eldon Square, for a complimentary brow mapping, and brow wax and from that moment onwards I was a total convert. 2016 was the year when I actually started giving a damn about my brows and that was all thanks to Benefit. Find out what I got up to and what I bought here

September was also the month when my laptop gave up the ghost for good and I took the plunge and joined the Mac book generation. I've regretted it at times but I've gradually fallen in love with my silver, illuminated beauty even if I did end up losing a whole load of photos in the conversion process hmmm.

October 2016

October was another busy month on LouLouland as I temporarily got my blogging mojo back and enjoyed playing with my new mac book. October was a very home focused month on LouLouLand as I shared two home hauls with you - in the first one I lost my Tiger virginity, and bought some cute bits from ebay 

and in the second one I went crazy buying candles, home fragrances, pineapples and mood lighting.

It was also a busy month press sample wise, and I reviewed a beautiful facial oil from Beuti* and some fabulous cruelty free brushes from L.A.B. 2*

I also had a lot of fun at the Autumn / Winter Intu Metrocentre Style Garden event* where I fell in love with lots and lots of clothes, home wear and handbags, and I was thoroughly spoilt by the entire  Intu Metrocentre team and in particular by Aspinal London and Thomas Sabo x

In October I also shared with you yet another Primark haul, and I also shared a high end beauty haul with you, where I showed you some of the beauty bits that I'd bought over the last few months including some Style Garden influenced Kiehls and Giorgio Armani purchases as well as some OPI, Tarte and Nails Inc pieces.

My final post pick of October 2016 is a NYX haul and review post featuring a blusher, some eyeshadows, and some lip things. I'm so pleased that we can now buy NYX on the UK high street now and I'll definitely be picking up some more bits in 2017.

November 2016

November was a quiet month on LouLouLand as life got in the way again, but I'm pretty proud of the three posts that I've picked out to summarise the month. It's all about the make up and in November I was lucky enough to review a couple of pieces from the amazing Joan Collins' Timeless Beauty range.

The first product that I reviewed was one of her beautifully packaged nail lacquers in the shade Helene*, a beautiful blue based red. Red nails just scream glamour, and even on my short nails, this colour looked incredible. 

Although I'm not usually the type to match my lipstick with my nail polish, I also reviewed one of the beautiful Joan Collins Divine Lips Lipsticks in the shade Amanda*. I'm not usually a red lip fan but as I say this was the year when I tried to branch out a bit and try some new things. This shade is simply stunning, it's a warm red that I think would suit a lot of skin tones x Click here to read all about it

Next up more make up and this time some bits that I bought myself from the fabulous KIKO Milano store in Intu Eldon Square. KIKO are definitely one of my brands of the moment and in this haul I shared some of my newest pieces with you including some eye shadows, cheek colours, nail polishes, and a lipstick x 

If you're a KIKO fan they I would try and check out their sale if you can x I only picked up a couple of things but they had some lovely things and some fab offers x I might stick up a post or a video next week if I can xx

December 2016

December is supposed to be one of the happiest and jolliest months of the year but for me it started off in the worst way. On 3rd December my beautiful Persian Jasper left us and crossed rainbow bridge. It's so hard to believe that it's been nearly a month since we lost him. I miss and think about him everyday and the house feels just a little bit quieter without him. So in December I shared with you both my love and sadness, and my feeling and experiences of losing a much loved pet x

I didn't post as much as I would have liked in December for a few reasons but I did manage to share a couple of hauls with you including a Royal Quays Outlet Beauty Haul, which features some Wet N Wild, some Clarins and a few bits from The Body Shop, 

and I also shared a tiny Primark haul with you and a home and home fragrance haul with you featuring NEXT, Yankee Candles and Boohoo.

So that was 2016 in review, a lot of down downs, and a few ups, and lots of beauty, fashion and lifestyle content thrown in. I hope that whether you're a new or a longtime reader that you've enjoyed this little look back at 2016 and I hope it's left you wanting more.

I'm hoping to be less of a flake in 2017 and I'm really going to try and push my blog on and try and get it to where I feel it should be and where I want it to be. My blog definitely didn't grow as much as I would have liked in 2016 and although life does get in the way at times, I only have myself to blame. Still I was given a huge boost this month when I hit a crazy 1,000,000 all time page views. Not only is that an amazing figure for little old me, but it was a major confidence boost, when I was feeling a little bit down about my blog, and it future. So for 2017 the aim is onwards and upwards, I have lots of plans and aims this year and I'm going to do my damnedest to achieve them all x Thanks again to all of you for following and reading I really do appreciate it more than you will ever know x Thanks for reading both of these posts, and I will see you next year (eek) with some new posts that you won't want to miss x

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Friday, 30 December 2016

LouLouLand - 2016 - A Year In Review - Part 1 - January To June

Hi Guys x I hope you all had a lovely Christmas x It was a quiet one here in LouLouLand but it was a one filled with lots of love and precious family time. This year has been a sad and reflective one for me for so many reasons, and as a result I think my blog has suffered. I haven't been able to devote as much time and energy to it as I would have liked, and as much as I know I shouldn't have to apologise for that, I still feel as though I should.

Despite the fact that my posting has been a touch on the erratic side this year, I still managed to post quite a few pieces that I'm pretty pleased with, so in this post I'm going to take a little look back at 2016,  both on a personal level and on a blogging level, and I'm going to share with you some of my favourite and most poignant blog posts of 2016. I've had to split this into two parts so here is Part 1 - January to June x

January 2016

The last few months of 2015 were a bit rough thanks to a very inflamed wisdom tooth, but thankfully in January the tooth said goodbye. Without going into two much graphic detail I shared my wisdom tooth removal experience with you, and I also talked about how even the smallest thing can knock you for 6 when you suffer from chronic illness.

There have been a few fabulous tooth fairy stories floating around on the internet this year, but seeing as I'm an adult the tooth fairy doesn't visit me anymore but thankfully my lovely Mummy took on the tooth fairy role and bought me a couple of things to cheer me up after my surgery. 

She got me two of the exclusive QVC UK, Hello Kitty For OPI kits, and on the 24th January I shared pictures and swatches of those two kits with you. The first kit was a beautifully packaged 3D collectors box which contained 6 full sized lacquers and the second was a beautiful full size duo pack. I've posted a few nails of the days over the course of the year but there are still plenty more to come in 2016.

Recipes and Foodie Friday posts were a bit thin on the ground in 2016, but I started the year on a high by sharing one of my favourite quick meals, my version of Nigella Lawson's Eggs In Purgatory. Soft, quick, and warming and perfect for when you're short on energy and time x 

February 2016

Although February is the shortest month, in 2016 it was my busiest blogging month and I posted more in February than I did in any other month of the year.

There was a nice assortment of posts including some hauls including some more Hello Kitty For OPI kits , some nails of the days, the start of yet another weight loss journey and my usual Trimming My Stash posts, and it was my birthday, No not my real birthday but in February I celebrated my blogging birthday and 9 years of LouLouLand - eek! I still can't believe that it been 9 years and I'm already looking forward to celebrating 10 years in February 2017.

To celebrate my 9th blogging birthday I held a little giveaway and I gave away what would become one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes of 2016, The Balm Nude Dude. Alas the giveaway ended a long while ago now, but this palette is still widely available, so don't forget to have a read of this post, and view some of the swatches for yourself x 

February also saw the first post in what would become Benefit Cosmetics love in. In 2016 I fell in love with Benefit Cosmetics all over again, and in February I reviewed the Benefit Cosmetics Do The Hoola Beyond Bronze Kit For Complexion, Lips And Eyes

I love Benefit's mini kits, either for travel or for trying out new products and this kit was no exception. It contains 6 pieces including a mini Hoola Bronzing Powder, a mini Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer and it's perfect for adding a bit of colour to your complexion all year round.

March 2016

March saw the appearance of another Foodie Friday post and this time I shared one of my favourite Hello Fresh recipes with you, Mexican Bean & Buckwheat Bake With Creme Fraiche, and I talked about using Buckwheat as a grain and how I use it instead of pasta, rice and cous cous.

I also dug out one of my Hello Kitty plushes out and shared a Hello Kitty For OPI Nails Of The Day with you, in the blackest of black shades, Never Have Too Mani Friends.

There were a few nail posts in March and in celebration of what was a very early Easter, I shared a Mini Egg themed manicure with you, using Models Own Speckled Egg in NP202 Swan, a lovely lilac shade, which is crammed full of matte black glitter x 

In March I also talked about one of my best discoveries of 2015 and 2016 the RESEED* hair care system. This was quite an emotional post for me because I talked about my relationship with and experience of hair loss. Like so many treatments for hair loss, the RESEED system isn't the cheapest but it made a real difference to my hair. You can read my thoughts here

April 2016

April was a busy month review wise, and in April I reviewed a few natural make up products from both Benecos and Lavera, for My Pure*. I also shared you a few hauls with you, including some beauty bits, and a Primark haul. Primark hauls were a real feature on both my blog and my you Tube channel in 2016 and they've proved really popular in both formats so that's definitely something that will be continuing in 2017.

Something else that I hope will be continuing in 2017, are the Intu Metrocentre Style Garden events*. I've been to quite a few of these now and I've loved every minute of them. April's even beautifully combined some of the centres best fashion and beauty offerings.  I had a Giorgio Armani makeover, I tried some Liz Earle fragrances and thanks to the event I also ended up having a beautiful Kiehls facial and hand and arm massage, and I ended going on a little bit of a shopping spree which I ended up talking about much later in the year, see I told you I'd been a bad blogger ;)

In April I also shared a pretty large Beauty Haul with you, but unusually for me I just did it in video form and I didn't write an accompanying post to go with it. I utilised You Tube this was a lot in 2016, and I produced a lot of exclusive content that was just for my You Tube channel including favourites, lots of unboxings and some exclusive hauls like the one that you can see below. I've really enjoyed making videos in 2016, and I'm definitely going to be working harder to grow my You Tube channel in 2016 so make sure that you're subscribed x 

April was also the month where I got messy, and slathered my hair in Lush Henna. Despite the fact that it's more than a little bit messy I'm a big fan of traditional henna hair dye. It leaves my hair in fabulous condition and I love the subtle wash of colour that it gives. So if you want a full demonstration and you want to see some pictures of me with a carrier bag on my head, don't forget to look back and read the post here

May 2016

May is probably my favourite month of the year, probably because it's my birthday month! On the 15th I celebrated my 30 something th birthday and I shared an exclusive What I Got For My Birthday video with you x 

I also shared a very rare outfit of the day post with you. I love my clothes but lately I've been really lacking in body confidence so outfit posts have been a little thin on the ground. I am hoping to get back on track and build up my confidence though so here's hoping that I can manage a few more in 2017. In the meantime though check out this post, to see a gorgeous bright floral Simply Be dress on mah body!

2016 was definitely the year when I tried to be a little bit more experimental with lip colour, and in May I was lucky enough to be able to try out a berry toned lip colour from Smashbox.  This is the Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Currant and I love it! Find out why in this post

June 2016

Ah June half way through the year, and the official start of summer! At the start of the month, I celebrated one of my best friends birthday with ice cream sundaes at Lickety Split in Seaham, and a home fragrance inspired shopping trip. This haul post was a sign of things to come, and 2016 was officially the year when I went candle daft, check out this post for some beautiful smellies from Yankee Candles, Village Candles, M&S, and Poundland.

I also shared a few beauty reviews with you from the likes of Kiehls*, and Lavera* and I also shared with you my love / hate relationship with Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Beyond Mascara. I love the effect but sometime it just turns into a clagg fest. I'll definitely continue to buy but in my opinion always have a lash comb at the ready you can read my thoughts here x

So that was LouLouLand 2016 from January to June in review, don't forget to let me know your thoughts below and don't forget to read Part 2 which should be up soon x

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