Time for a haul! : NYX Cosmetics

So my latest shopping trip took me to Boots and our new NYX Cosmetics stand. It was like stepping into makeup heaven. I spent a long while swatching everything possible on my hand, even things I didn’t really need. By the end of it I looked like a bit of an abstract art piece.

However, I did manage to reign myself in and came home with four new pieces to add to my collection, all of which fill me with so much excitement.

Firstly, NYC Colour Mascara in CM07 Forget Me Not. It’s a gorgeous, bright purple colour which I’m hoping to ease myself into using. I love a pop of colour on the eyes and I’ve been looking for new ways to experiment with it. I’m hoping a swipe of this on my bottom lashes will be a nice introduction. Eventually I hope to figure out a look where I can wear it on both my top and bottom lashes.

Next I have two new liquid eyeliners: Glam Liner Aqua Luxe in GLA06 Glam Pink and Liquid Crystal Liner in LCL104 Crystal Silk. The thing I love about both of these is the sparkle! In the pink, it’s very subtle but there’s still enough to catch your eye without distracting from the lovely soft pink colour. The gold is dramatic and bold. It’s sure to make a statement on any look that it’s paired with.

My final, and perhaps my favourite product is their Glitter Primer. As you know, I’m a huge fan of glitter, but I’m not a huge fan of the mess or the creasing if you cover your eye with it. On the box, it claims to solve both of these problems which makes me very excited indeed. The thought of also trying Glitter Lips is also now more than a thought and something that will finally happen thanks to this little tube of magic.

All in all, this little trip only set me back £26.50 which is pretty darn good. I have zero complaints so far. In fact the most expensive item that I bought was the Glitter Primer and even that only cost £8.

If anyone would like me to review any of my new products in greater depth, or you just want to see my looks, let me know in the comments.

On a bit of a side note, I also have a new instagram completely dedicated to this blog so you can know in advance what I may be posting about and catch a glimpse of some of my daily looks. You can follow me in the sidebar or by searching a_little_sparkle_xo.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Try It Out Tuesday : Lottie Tomlinson

So for this week’s Try It Out Tuesday, I’ve gone for a look that I found on my instagram feed and absolutely fell in love with. It comes from Lou Teasdale’s instagram post featuring makeup and hair done by her on Lottie Tomlinson.


I love how classy it looks and the simplicity of it. It’s completely wearable on an everyday basis and really not that hard to do. It adds a pop of colour and warmth to any monochrome based outfit.

This is also great for beginners in terms of experimenting with eyeshadow. Since it’s just one basic colour, you can practice your build up and blending technique and really figure out what suits your eye shape without worrying about how to perfect shading in a crease and creating a smoky eye. There also aren’t any fancy tricks when it comes to eyeliner. Not a wing in sight and false lashes really aren’t needed, but that isn’t to say you couldn’t add some if you desired. If you did, I’d recommend sticking to natural looking lashes so as not to make it too dramatic.

So there we have it, quick and easy! I hope you love it as much as I do. A list of the makeup products I used is below.


Sparkle On! -Ellie .xx

New Nails : Rimmel’s Rita Ora Collection

My nails have been calling out for a fresh manicure for a couple of days because it’s been about two or three weeks since my last gel manicure. The only problem is, now that I’ve moved away from uni, I’ve also moved away from my salon, so whilst saving for my own gel manicure kit, I’m going to have to do them myself. So, I therefore decided to treat myself to some new nail polish.

Whilst doing my usual shop in Asda, I came across Rita Ora’s collection for Rimmel. The colours are all beautiful and bright, perfect for the summer and festival season. The price is pretty brilliant too with each one just costing £2.98. I therefore chose two; a lovely soft peach colour called Peachella, and a lilac toned blue called Bestival Blue (pictured below).


Design wise, I decided to paint all except my ring fingers in Peachella, and my ring fingers in Bestival Blue. Then I used some fine silver glitter to do a light dusting on the tips of the peach. Using a dotting tool and the peach polish, I created little flowers all over my ring finger and dotted the centres using some silver nail art polish. I sealed the whole thing with Rimmel’s Ultra Shine Top Coat.

I’m super pleased with the results. The formula was fast drying and the look is cute and fresh, perfect for summer! Below you can find my before and after and a list of the products I used.



Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Review : Garnier Micellar Water

It’s all fun and games putting makeup on and making yourself pretty, but when it comes to taking it off, it can be a real hassle. More than once I’ve ended up with streaks of black across my face from eyeliner and clumps of eyelash glue clinging on for dear life. For ages I used baby wipes or t-zone wipes to remove my makeup, but afterwards my skin felt dry and abused from all the rubbing to get the more stubborn of my makeup off. Especially around my eyes.

But then Garnier released their bottle of magic : Micellar Cleansing Water.

I’m aware there are other brands out there, but this was the first one I came across, the one I tried and the one that I now swear by.

A couple of squirts on a cotton pad is all it takes and miracles actually happen. I no longer have to harshly rub at my eyes to remove eyelash glue and mascara, it just takes a few gentle swipes. Eyeliner doesn’t really get dragged around too much either, again, just a few concentrated swipes and it’s all gone without leaving me looking like I’ve done a few rounds in a boxing ring or that I’ve gone a few days without a wash.

The thing I love most about it is how my skin feels afterwards. My skin feels soft and nourished and I don’t feel so bad about subjecting it to the hours it’s just spent covered in makeup. Of course, I still put my favourite moisturiser on afterwards, but I no longer feel like I have to use buckets of it to try and rescue my skin.

If you shop in the right places, you can get bottles of this exact potion for as little as £1. If that doesn’t sway you to try it, I don’t know what will.

I hope this helps!

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Detox Day 5 : Refueling

Now that I’m at Day 5, I’ve done one cycle of all three levels of my workout and I’m onto Level Two of the second cycle. It has been intense and tiring, but what makes it worth it is that I can feel my muscles getting stronger and my stamina increasing.

Before I got into all of this however, I looked into what it’s best to eat/drink post-workout in order to get the best out of it and to get back to your normal state after exerting all of that energy. Of course, it depends on your aim. A lot of gym goers will turn to a protein shake because it helps to build muscle. But what if you just want to replenish your system?

A glass of water will rehydrate you, but that’s it. That’s all it does. It simply replaces the water you’ve lost by sweating. Of course you could turn to sports drinks like Powerade or Lucozade, but they simply provide the sugar. I, personally, don’t like the taste of these drinks because they’re so high in sugar content. They’re far too sweet for me.

After a bit of researching, apparently, the best refuel drink post-workout is…CHOCOLATE MILK. I know, it sounds crazy but according to fitnessmagazine.com, compared to other sports drinks, or plain milk, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content which will replenish tired muscles much more efficiently. It also has nutrients that help to retain energy and water to prevent dehydration.

I have tried this myself, and I have to say, it really does work. Usually I get jelly legs for a while after my workout and all I can do is sit around and just wait until my breathing returns to normal and the shaky feeling dissipates. Since trying this, my recovery time has shortened significantly and I don’t feel like I need to go to bed straight after.

If you’re still a bit skeptical, you can read the article here, or better yet, just give it a go and see if you notice the difference!

I’ll be back with another update soon.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Try It Out Tuesday : I’m A Unicorn!

So on Saturday, I added a new tattoo to my collection. I’ve now got a proud, beautiful and majestic unicorn on my arm and I couldn’t be happier with it. So, inspired by that, I went trawling through YouTube to find a tutorial that matched my tattoo, and low and behold, there was one!

I switched a couple of things up because I wasn’t too keen on mismatched coloured eyebrows, so, I’ve done both of mine purple instead of having one of them blue. Also, for the pigment on the eyes, I interchanged that for a whole lot of blue glitter. Take a look at my finished look below!


I absolutely love this look. It’s fun, colourful, whimsical, magical, and most of all, it’s jam packed full of sparkle. Obviously it’s not a look you’d wear everyday (though I would if I could) but it was super easy to recreate and would be great for a costume party or for your next Halloween costume.

I’ve left the original tutorial at the bottom of this post and below this will be a list of all the products I used to recreate the look. I would encourage all of you aspiring unicorns to try it out just for fun!


Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Day 3 : All About Abs

Now one of the main focuses for me during this detox is toning up. While I need to tone areas all over my body, the main focus is my abs, as it is for a lot of people who want a great bikini body.

There are loads of things you can do to tone up your abs and there are loads of workouts available. It just takes consistency and motivation and you’ll be able to get those washboard abs in no time! There’s no need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on all those technological things that claim to give you abs without the hard work. It can be as easy as trying one of the 30 Day Challenges just to get you started. They’re great because you can print off a calendar and stick it up which will help you to keep track and stay motivated. I actually tried one from Blogilates before I went on holiday earlier in the year and it was great. They provide a great starting point before you go into the more intense exercises. I’ll link it here for you to check out if you fancy it.

YouTube is also another great resource. There are loads of videos available for all levels and for different amounts of time. The variety in exercises is also vast, you’re bound to find something that suits you. I’ll link you to some of my favourites at the bottom of this post!

So after trying loads of different exercises, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 exercises to work on the abs which you can find below. Explanations on each can either be found in the videos I’ve linked you to or they’re easy enough to Google.


Hopefully this is of some help to you, and remember, you can do it! Push through that wall and work for that six pack!

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx

Fitness Blender 10 Minute Ab Workout
Fitness Blender 8 Minute Ab Workout

Detox Day 2 : Clean Snacking

I’ve completed my first day of the detox which included my 30 Day Shred workout and my Night Cleanse tea. My workout was brutal and I’m paying for it today – getting up the stairs is a real task! But I also felt really good afterwards. It was the good type of tired when you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Even for Level 1, it was a really vigorous workout but like Jillian says, when you’re only working out for 20 minutes, it has to be intense to see results! The Night Cleanse tea is going to take some getting used to. I’m not a huge fan of peppermint flavoured goods so for the first couple of sips it was hard to stomach, but once I took a couple of gulps it was rather nice. It was quite calming and relaxing and I certainly slept well.

Today, I want to talk about snacking. I’d like to believe we’re all guilty of it, especially when we’re moody or bored. I can hold my hands up and say boredom is the worst cause for my snacking. However, to get the most out of this teatox, the leaflet recommends cutting out artificial sugar and sweeteners and obviously anything that would be considered unhealthy. So, I’ve had to wave goodbye to my Birthday Cake Oreos and hello to cleaner snacks.

Most people will probably roll their eyes and think of boring snack that don’t contain much flavour and therefore don’t satisfy your tiny cravings, but healthy snacks don’t have to be boring at all! You can still get your chocolate fix in good moderation if you eat chocolate covered almonds. To make it even better, switch to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is the best of all the chocolates to eat when you’re on a health kick. (It also happens to be my favourite which is good for me!) Almonds are also a good source of protein and a handful can end up being quite filling.

Here are the suggestions from my SkinnyMint leaflet:


I am quite a fussy eater when it comes to fruit, which are a great clean eating snack and count towards your five a day, but I’ve gone for apple slices and grapes with the occasional melon thrown in, and I’ve gone for almonds and cashews. Whilst I was in Holland & Barrett, I also picked up some sweet chilli thai crackers that I’m pretty sure I’ve had in a graze box before and taste great, and also some peanut butter protein balls. Hopefully these will satisfy my cravings for the duration of my detox and I’ll no longer want crisps and biscuits!

I’ll put links below to the snack bags I bought from Holland & Barrett in case you want to try any of them. If you’re a graze box subscriber, you can find a lot of what they put in their snacks in bigger bags for really good prices.

I’ll be back with another update tomorrow.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Oh My Thai Crackers – Holland & Barrett
The Protein Ball Co. Peanut Butter – Holland & Barret


Detox Day 1 – The Before Shot

Here we are at Day 1 of my detox and I’ve kicked off the day with my Morning Boost tea from SkinnyMint. For those who don’t know how the teatox works, you are supplied with 28 Morning Boost tea bags – one for every day of the detox – and 14 Night Cleanse tea bags – one for each alternate day to be drunk before bedtime. With at least 30 minutes exercise everyday and cleaner eating, the teatox helps to get rid of bloating, curbs your appetite, cleanses and tones your body.

The Morning Boost tea is actually really yummy. I’m a green tea lover and this is a really fruity blend that is quite refreshing for the morning. I’m looking forward to trying an iced version a little further on in my journey.

Which is another thing I should mention: When you purchase the 28 Day Teatox, you also receive a booklet of tips as well as a journey calendar which gives little ideas of what to do each day. Really handy and helpful!

As advised on the calendar, I have taken a picture of my pre-teatox bikini body ready for a comparison picture at the end. It’s taken a bit of courage, but I’m also posting it here so that you can see real results as they happen!



As I mentioned yesterday, I’m also undertaking the 30 Day Shred, which is a workout DVD consisting of three levels of 20 minute workouts that are set out in a way that burn fat and build muscle in the most effective way possible. After reading up on different ways people have done it, instead of doing 10 days straight of each level, I’m going to go cyclicly, so each day I’ll be doing a different level, which will hopefully mean it won’t be too monotonous and I’ll be working different muscles in different ways each day. Today is Level One and I’m most definitely ready to sweat!

I’ll be back with another update very soon.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Clean Body, Clean Mind : Time for a Detox

So after a crazy hectic month finishing up in university, I’m finally free and can focus all of my attention on my blog. Yippee!

I have lots of things planned for this blog now that I have the time to execute it and the first thing is something a little bit different, but something I want to share with the blogging community. I have just received my 28 Day Teatox from SkinnyMint in the post which I’m going to start tomorrow along with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. My goal is not to lose weight as such, but to tone up. I’ve heard brilliant things about the 28 Day Teatox so I’m excited to try it and I know the 30 Day Shred works. I’ve tried it before and the results are pretty incredible.

Now that summer is here and I’m free of obligations, I want to concentrate on myself and get back into shape because with the stress of exams and coursework, I let myself go a little bit, oops!

So in between all of my other blog posts, I’ll be updating you on my progress and expressing my opinion and hopefully offering some encouragement for anyone else who may be on an exercise regime or detox diet!

See you for the first update tomorrow.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx