Beauty, Life, Style

New Years Eve Make Up

It's New Years Eve! I can't believe how quickly it's come around again. I thought I'd share a little make up look in case you're in need of a little inspiration.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland


I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas surrounded by wonderful people. We did a bit of a tour of England leaving Warwick to spend some time with my family in Yorkshire, then dashing back down to the Midlands to see Dave's family. It meant that we were lucky enough to have a whole week of opening presents, which was really rather fabulous.

On Boxing day evening the snow began to fall. Like little kids we ran outside all excited, but quickly realised it was, unsurprisingly, very cold. Unprepared and shivering we sensibly headed indoors, cuddled a radiator and vowed to head out the next day for a morning walk.

#OOTD: The Christmas Jumper Dress

George at Asda jumper dress
This year I have found the Holy Grail of Christmas Day outfits. Say hello to the rather fabulous Christmas jumper dress*. This lovely, cosy grey knit manages to ramp up up the glam factor with oodles pale gold shimmering detail in a variety of patterns.

Review: Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

 I do love a good magazine freebie. Elle magazine do some great ones. And when I saw that they were giving away the Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner with the December issue I couldn't resist.

The Benefit They're Real Push-Up liner launched in July and I think it's fair to say there have been some seriously conflicting reviews.

So here's mine.... It's alright.

How to be a Thrifty Christmas Shopper



For many of us this week is payday! Yay! However, it's the last real payday before Christmas *sad face*. And if you're anything like me, you've left all of your Christmas shopping until November. To help your pay check go a little further than presents and bills I've put together some of my top bargain hunting tips so  maybe, just maybe you can buy yourself a little something special to go under the tree.

The Drugstore Essentials

The Drugstore EssencialsWe all have products that we can't live without. The products that are as necessary as milk and bread.

We beauty bloggers tend to tell you all about the new products, the luxury products, the hyped products. But what about the everyday essentials? Well here are mine. These are the products I reach for everyday and replace time and again.

These are a Few of my Favourite Things...

Lush Christmas Bath Stuff

Tis the season to be jolly! Jolly that the Lush Christmas collection is out! When I saw these little chap's I couldn't resist. Also, just to give you a giggle, here's the thought process that enabled me to rationalise the purchase of The Melting Snowman...

Autumn Nail Favourites

There are two nails shades that I have worn consistently throughout November - Binky London in Marrakesh and Maybelline Forever Strong Superstay Gel Nail Colour in Extreme Blackcurrant.

All The Best Stuff is From Japan

If you're one of those super organised people that has already started shopping for Christmas presents make sure you check out Cakes with Faces. The company is owned by graphic designer and YouTuber Amy who creates Japanese inspired T-shirts, artwork, cushions, watches and jewellery.

Her work is fantastic and you'll probably recognise her work if you attended Comic Con London or Hyper Japan. Lets also take a moment to appreciate Amy's hair because it's wonderfully spectacular...

LighterLife Fast - The 155 Calorie Curry

LighterLife Fast Curry
If you read my blog regularly you'll know that a little while ago I tried LighterLife Fast in a bid to budge a bit of the bulge, pre- holiday. The plan encourages you to eat a normal healthy diet 5 days a week and eat the LighterLife Fast Packs for two days. Any two days you like.

My First Foray into Lush

Believe it or not this is the first item I have ever purchased from Lush. 

I never really got the Lush bug. As a teenager there wasn't a store in my town. When we moved to Birmingham Dave would refuse to go in. And not really knowing what I was missing I wasn't all that fussed.

Top 10 Autumn Nail Shades: Butter London

While perusing the Butter London website I saw so many amazing shades that would be perfect for fall. They're so ruddy good I though I'd share them with you all - well it would be selfish to keep these beauties all to myself now, wouldn't it.

The Nuxe Effect

lip balm and eye cream bottle
You've probably heard all about the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm by now. A firm favourite among bloggers it delivers an unparalleled dose of moisture to lips in a luxurious matt formula. Perfect for use as a night time lip treatment, this leaves lips looking and feeling plump and supple. You can also use this before lipstick, but be careful, you only need a small amount! 

Phil Smith Big It Up!

Bottle of shampoo and conditioner
On a recent emergency oh my god how could I have let myself run out of shampoo trip to Sainsburys I picked the Phil Smith Big It Up! Volume Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner. 

The Body Shop Body Butter's

I think it's fair to say I have a bit of a body butter obsession. Which is just as well because I'll be going on holiday soon and I'm depending on these beauties to transform my scaly, pasty legs into soft and sumptuous Giselle like pins. Well, a girl can dream. 

I have five flavours: Satsuma, Strawberry, Magnolia, Shea and Coconut.

Review: Garnier Body Ultimate Beauty Oil

Bottle of body oil
I'm a big fan of the Caudelie Divine Oil. It is divine and smells like heaven in a bottle but at £25 per 100ml it certainly isn't cheap. Ever the bargain hunter I wondered if the Garnier Body Ultimate Beauty Oil could be the budget friendly option that I had been searching for.

The Garnier Body Ultimate Beauty Oil promises perfect looking skin. Five times more concentrated in nutrients than their regular body lotion it is enriched with 4 precious oils - Argan, Macademia, Almond and Rose to visibly beautify the skin. 

Healthy Cooking on a Budget #1: Easy Peasy Zucchini Linguini

When it comes to cooking I'm pretty lazy. I like quick, healthy food that fills me up and doesn't cost a fortune. Frankly I have too much to do to be standing over the oven for hours on end. And if a recipe book asks me to spend £20 on ingredients you can bet your ass I'm chucking that book out of the window and taking myself to a restaurant so someone else can cook me food  and wash up for the same price.

When you're short of time and on a budget it can be tempting to head to the freezer isle, grab some oven chips and chicken kiev's and say to hell with it.

Over the next few weeks I'll show you some healthy meals that take less than 30 minutes to prep AND cook (yes Jamie Oliver and your 30 minute meals, I'm looking at you) using ingredients that you can buy in every supermarket that cost less than a bottle Gallo, leaving you with more money to spend on the important things. You know, like, shoes.
For this recipe you will need:
3 courgettes (zucchini) - 25p each
1 medium red onion - 33p
250g mushrooms - 80p
2 chicken breasts - £2.40
1/2 jar of green pesto - 50p

Total cost per person - £2.39
Calories per person: approx. 510

This serves 2 substantial potions.

Warwick Castle

In case you don't already know, I live in Warwick. It's a lovely sleepy little town. There are a few shops, pubs and restaurants and a really, really big castle.
Warwick Castle from above
On Sunday we decided to go for a little wonder round. With my (metaphorical) tourist hat on I climbed the 500 steps to the to top of the tallest tower and wondered along the battlements.
Tammie is climbing up the tower steps
With our feet firmly back on the ground we pottered over to the Birds of Prey show. Huge Eagles swooped and soared majestically above our heads.

What's in my Travel Makeup Bag


I've been travelling around a lot lately so I thought I'd do a little "What's in my Travel Makeup Bag" post.

The Bag

Let's start with the make up bag shall we? Isn't it gorgeous? This was a Christmas present from Lora and I believe it's from Oliver Bonas. I don't think they stock these anymore but they do have some similar (ish) ones.

Face

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation - £10.99

I've recently rediscovered the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation. It provides such a beautiful finish and the colour is a perfect match for me. I love this during the day but it's also gorgeous for summer evenings with a soft smoky eye or a bright lip.

Review: Sanctuary Face Masks

I picked up these Sanctuary Spa face masks in Boots the other day on a 3 for 2 offer so I thought the only sensible thing to do would be to get one of each and share my thoughts.

Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask £2.50

This is my favourite of the three. After spending a couple of days working in London my skin was looking a dull and clogged. This is a charcoal thermal mask so it self heats on application. I expected the texture to be more like a clay mask. This has a gel like texture that doesn't have the same drying, cracking effect. The warming sensation is a bit odd to begin with. Not unpleasant at all, just a little strange. I left this on for a little longer than the recommended 5 minutes (I like to fill my face mask time with YouTube Beauty videos so I lost track). I rinsed my face and then used a face wash to remove any excess. Having quite sensitive skin my main concerns were that this would cause some irritation or break me out. 

Well ladies and gentlemen it did not. I was left with smooth, fresh, clean, glowing skin. This didn't dry my skin at all and frankly I can't remember the last time my skin looked this good. Such an amazing mask, I will definitely be purchasing the full size version come pay day. 

New Nails! Essie Fiji and Urban Jungle

I accidentally bought more Essie nail polishes. I think I need to enforce a ban because it's becoming a bit of a problem. The reason I bought them, and somehow managed to justify the purchase (knowing full well that I absolutely do not need any more nail polish) was that they seemed different. And they are.

Superdrug Haul With Freebies!

I popped in to Superdrug and saw that Bourjous were giving away these rather fabulous sunglasses. Obviously that was all the persuading I needed to haul...


Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

This is a lovely foundation. It provides medium coverage which feels lightweight. I find that this provides a slightly dewy finish, although not as dewy as the Healthy Mix Serum foundation which I think I still prefer. This foundation might be better if you have oilier skin as I find it can cling to dry patches a little.

Bourjois Ultra Curl Mascara 

This is a nice everyday mascara. It holds the curl well but I find that the brush can leave mascara marks on my eyelids which means I can't get quite as close to the root as I'd like. I'm a huge fan of the Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Black which provides way more volume and much blacker lashes. Unfortunately the Bourjois Ultra Curl Mascara doesn't quite live up to it's older sister for me.

Bourjois Liner Stylo

I love, love, love this eyeliner! This eyeliner smudges well on application but doesn't go anywhere you don't want it to. It also has amazing lasting power. Definitely the stand out product here.

Tea and Tarts in Stratford upon Avon

Sometimes you need a proper girls weekend. When the boys informed us of their plans to have boozy lads weekend up North, Lora and I decided to stay in Warwickshire for an all together more civilised weekend of shopping and afternoon tea.
We headed into Stratford upon Avon. If you haven't been before, I urge you to go. It's very cute. And very British. And there's bunting everywhere. 

Organic Surge Spiced Lily Foaming Bath

Sometimes you just need a bit of me time. My favourite way to relax and unwind is with a hot bath full of bubbles and a good book. Can't beat it.

I decided to go to Boots and check out what they had to offer. Unfortunately traffic was a nightmare and because I'm impatient I changed direction and went to the new Waitrose instead. I was pretty impressed with their beauty isle. For a supermarket they have some pretty good stuff; a huge range of Yes To... plus Neals' Yard, Burt's Bees, Balance Me, Korres and Crabtree & Evelyn.

LighterLife Fast Review

Hi Guys,
I'm finally back with my review of LighterLife Fast. Sorry it took a while. I wanted to make sure that the diet provided real results (losing fat as opposed to water). And I'm happy to say it does!

June Beauty Favourites

I thought I'd attempt to be a little bit organised this month and write my June Beauty Favourites in June, wild I know.

So here's a little run down of the products I've been loving and using religiously this month.

The Perfect Turquoise Nail Polish

I picked up the Bourjois One Seconde Gel Polish Blue No Blues in Boots the other day. I've been on the hunt for a true turquoise colour for a good while, and this is it!

Book Review: Being Binky - My Life in Chelsea

We all have our little guilty pleasures. Mine happens to be Made in Chelsea. Yes, I love it. The drama, the rumours, the clothes! So when I spotted this whilst doing my supermarket shop I couldn't resist.

Thick and Creamy Vegan Pineapple and Coconut Smoothie Recipe

When the sun is shining you can't beat breakfast in the garden sat in the sun. Recently I've become completely obsessed with pineapple and coconut smoothies. It all started when I tried the Pineapple and Coconut Punch at Turtle Bay (you can read more about that here) and was reignited when we popped into Cafe Fleur in Wandsworth for brunch last weekend.

Cutest Hand Cream Ever


Yes, this little cutie is a hand cream! Can you believe it? He's just sooo cute!

My New Beauty Bible - Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart

Ladies, I would like to introduce you to my new beauty bible.

The New Way To Do The 5:2


The 5:2 diet has gained a huge following over the last few years and after seeing the impressive results achieved by friends, I have finally decided to give it a go myself. The idea is simple - eat normally for 5 days a week and fast for 2. The word 'fast' makes it sound more extreme than it really is. You're actually allowed 600 calories a day. Champions of the 5:2 diet believe that apart from weight loss there are a number of other health benefits associated with intermittent fasting: increased lifespan, protection against conditions such as dementia and protection from disease.

Grey Weather = Grey Nails

The weather in Blighty has turned an interesting shade of grey. And so have my nails. I love this BarryM nail polish in Grey 293. It's a true grey, almost concrete in colour. It's a great neutral colour that works with everything. Also, it makes a me a feel a little bit edgy. As always, the formula of this BarryM polish is fantastic and offers great wear time for the price.

What do you think of grey nails?

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Sprinting into Summer

Summer has officially arrived. Which means it's time to start the inevitable internal mini-meltdown. This year especially, the thought of getting my kit off and wearing a bikini in front other actual human beings fills me with sheer, unadulterated terror.  

Turtle Bay: Leamington Spa

Everyone's talking about Turtle Bay. I was asked if I'd been five or six times last week. I thought if one little restaurant can cause that much buzz it's worth checking out. So, that we did. 
We went for lunch and I was surprised to see that the sign outside advertised lunch for £6.95. So, basically the price of a Pret.

Blog Makeover!

Hello! I'm back! I've been super busy behind the scenes working on a whole new look for www.tamlovestea.com. There's a whole new design, plus a snazzy new layout for mobile - hurrah! I'd love to know what you think, so please leave a comment below!

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Cocktail Hour: Nails Inc Piccadilly Circus

Hey guys! It's Friday and the last instalment of Nail Week. 
Piccadilly Circus is my go to cocktail hour nail polish shade. In bright daylight it's a deep cerise pink. But at dusk, well that's when the magic really happens. This polish transforms into a sophisticated, vampy, deep berry colour. It's beautiful, it really is.

The Perfect Nude: Revlon Gray Suede


This is my perfect nude nail polish. Not too pink, not to beige. This beauty has got me through job interviews, a romantic break in Paris and a holiday with friends in Rome. Always sophisticated and polished, there really isn't an occasion where this doesn't work.

Essie Mint Candy Apple Dupe! Maybelline Mint for Life

I've been lusting after Essie Mint Candy Apple for what seems a lifetime. 

So when I saw this on a 3 for 2 in Superdrug the other day I squealed, did a little dance and ran to the till. The name is super catchy *takes deep breath* - Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Colour in Mint for Life.

Office Appropriate Nails

I'm going to apologise now for the state of some of the bottles this week. These clearly aren't new polishes. These are tried and tested favourites.

They're what I class as my 'work' nail polish colours. Some say boring. I say chic and understated. If you work in an office where you can get away with blue nails, I envy you. For the rest of us, here are my favourite 'office appropriate' shades.

Essie Summer 2013 Collection

These Essie polishes are in all my favourite colours! 

I'd describe these colours as bright pastels. There's some very fine glitter in there that creates a lovely subtle shimmer. Perfect for holidays, festivals and picnics in the park.

Brindisa Tapas Kitchen Soho, London

To celebrate Tom's birthday we went for a little wonder round Soho to find something delicious to eat. After spending 10 minutes debating the options we finally settled on Tapas. We meandered down the road and stumbled upon Brindisa Tapas Kitchen. Walking in it felt authentically Spanish and cosy. We were escorted to the back where there was more of a cafeteria feel with long wooden tables and high stools. 

We were seated next to the open kitchen. I rather like an open kitchen. It adds a bit of theatre to the evenings proceedings. And you know they're not secretly microwaving last nights leftovers.

The Perfect Spring T- shirt

Hi guys,
Really quick, totally impromptu post today. 

I think I might have found my perfect spring T-shirt. I love it. I love so much I've just ordered it in more colours. I literally want to wear it all the time. Let me tell you why...
Warehouse Blue Marl Oversize Top £25

The fabric is thicker than a jersey but thinner than a knit. You don't freeze outside, you don't overheat inside. It's oversized but not giant. I have boobs. I have hips. Put me in a huge oversize top and I look like a shapeless bag lady. This is so flattering. The only problem is they don't have it in enough colours! Please, please Warehouse, bring out more colours. Pastels or prints - I will buy them all.

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Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum - Product Rave!

Hi guys! I’m back with another beauty post, and let me tell you, it’s a gooden!

As part of their French Pharmacy Month, the lovely folks over at Escentual sent me the new Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum to try. I haven't tried a serum before. To be honest, I was sceptical. I thought a serum would make my combination skin even oilier. I also wondered how much moisture it could really add compared to using my usual moisturiser alone.

MUA Haul

These are my first MUA products, and you know what? I'm impressed!

The Undress Me Too eyeshadow pallet is a perfect dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 2 Pallet. It contains 12 beautiful nude shades in a mixture of matt and shimmer. The eyeshadows are velvety smooth with absolutely no fallout. Oh, and did I mention this entire pallet cost £4?

What's on my nightstand

I saw this tag on Essie Button ages ago and thought I'd do my own little version. Of course I had a major tidy up first.

I love my Söndrum photo frame, Skurar tea light holder and Hemnes beside table (all from Ikea, obviously). All of my bedroom furniture is Hemnes. I wanted white. Dave wanted black. We compromised and went for the the grey brown. I'm really pleased we did though because it looks beautiful and very sophisticated.

Sass & Belle: Tea Makes Everything Better

I went for a little wonder round Covent Garden the other day and stumbled across the cutest little shop called Sass & Belle. It was full of the loveliest home ware and gifts. I instantly fell in love with this mug! It was actually made in a London as well which made me love it all the more. As you can see it has already become a firm favourite.

Sass & Bell is located downstairs in Covent Garden Market. If you can't get down to London you can buy lots of beautiful things from the Sass & Bell website by clicking here. 

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London Fashion Weekend

The Glitterati go to London Fashion Week, we mere mortal's go to London Fashion Weekend. So on Sunday, Lora and I headed to Somerset House for a girly day of fashion and fun.

We got blown down the street by gale force winds, hair sticking to our lipgloss whilst frantically grasping our inappropriately selected summer scarves in fear that they'd end up in the Thames. 

Totally worth it. 

Designer discounts, tutorials and industry presentations surrounded us.

Valentines Day

After a hectic week we decided to celebrate Valentines Day a day late this year. We bobbed into Catalan Tapas on a whim and they were so accommodating. The restaurant was so busy but they managed to squeeze us in. And I'm so glad they did because.....Damn it was good!

Bill's: Leamington Spa

When we walked past the newly opened Bills in Leamington Spa we got rather excited. The Londoners had been giving it rave reviews, so one lazy Sunday we decided go along and give it try. We settled on burgers. Dave got the real beef kind...

While I chose the veggie option - grilled halloumi cheese in sesame seed bun with hummus, baby gem, roasted peppers, sweet chilli and yoghurt, served with skinny fries.
© Tam Loves Tea

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