Get me outta here!

So, were having….a baby!

Apologies. I’ve neglected my blog for far too long! But to be truthful I’ve felt like absolute rubbish!

If you follow me on Instgram you will already know, if not …..I’m pregnant!

We are expecting to welcome our second baby mid June, and we are all super excited, especially the youngest McCarthy!

As for my absence , I’ll be honest I felt like shit for the first 14 weeks, combine that with working shifts and looking after an active toddler I had very little energy at the end of the day!

I am happy to say everything is going well and I have stayed on plan throughout my pregnancy so far! I’ve had a few glitches, don’t get me wrong but the majority of the time I’ve stuck to it and I feel great!

Prior to having my first baby I lost three and a half stone on Slimming World, I managed to put it all back on , and a little more throughout my pregnancy. I wont lie, it effected my confidence after having my baby . It took me so long to loose this weight!

I’ve decided this pregnancy is going to be different! I’m on plan and feeling good, most of the time! I wanted to update you with why I’ve been AWOL! I finish work the end of this month and plan to get back to it with this blog!

If this blog helps or makes one person smile I will be chuffed! Thank you for all your support! Come and say Hello on Instagram @sw_on_a_budget, or keep up to date with my slimming world pregnancy journey at :

Gemma x

Beauty Bargains under £15

Hello Gorgeous,

This post came about when I was having a make up clear out, I noticed how many products I had , that I reach for daily that are on the lower end of the price scale.  I thought  it would be rude not to share these bargain finds with all you lovelies  here on my blog !

Everything featured cost under £15 , and I really enjoy using each and every product!

The first thing I need to mention and shout about is the Make Up Revolution eye shadow palettes . They produce a huge collection of shadows and the palettes are under £10 .

make_up_revolution_eyeshadows _under _£10

The choice of colours in crazy and they are such great quality , they have really deep pigmentation and are super long-lasting!

For the price of the palettes they really are great value for money, with such a great selection of colours you really need to go check them out next time you looking for new eye colour!

Make up Revolution palettes range between £4 and £10 each .

Beauty_bargains under £10

Next it’s on to those make up gems that I’m loving, again, all products cost under £15.

Phees Make up Tips- Glow Highlight powder-

Phee is a fellow beauty blogger and Sheffield girl who has created the most beautiful collection of high light powders and eye shadows , I love to use the highlight powders as a highlighter , but I also mix it in with my foundation to give my skin a beautiful, radiant glow .I have reviewed the original powder in full , which you can see HERE.You can purchase Phee’s products from her website, and they cost £8.

Maybelline Eye studio lasting drama gel eye liner-

I really do love these gel eye-liners, there easy to apply and are long-lasting and highly pigmented . I tend to use a little on the back of my hand then blend it into the lash line. It really does last all day without looking dry, cracking or loosing its colour.

These eye liners come in a variety of colours and are priced at £7.99. More often than not , they feature in offer in Boots and Superdrug so you can really cash in and bag a bargain!

Essence Lipliner-

You really can not go wrong with these lip liners, first of all there is such a vast choice of colours , and some of the range are great dupes for their high-end sisters!

I like how easy the liner applies , it has just the right consistency, not to creamy but no to dry! I love that they only cost £1 each, so they don’t break the bank, and are super cheap and easy to replace.

Maybelline lash sensational mascara –

I have raved about this mascara before on my blog, I really do love the effect it creates and how luscious and curly my lashes look when I use this.

I did a full comparison to the Benefit roller lash which you can see HERE. I personally think this is my favourite mascara I have ever used! You can buy this from Boots or superdrug and it retails for £7.99.

Make Up revolution lipsticks

Again, another home run from make up revolution! I love the amount of colours that are on offer and that the lipsticks cost between £1 and £4 each! Bargain!!!

Essence Liquid ink Waterproof eyeliner

Again, this is another bargain that packs some serious punch by essence. I love how fine the brush is and how black the liner is on the eye. It really is waterproof and I find the easiest way to remove it is with olive oil! Yes I do use olive oil to remove my make up! See full details of this HERE.

Essence also make a non water proof version of this liner that is really long-lasting too, As I have really watery eyes I prefer the waterproof version, it’s a steal at £2.49, you can thank me later!


Boots Skin Clear Oil free mattifying lotion

I love this moisturizer, it has done wonders for my skin! It mattifys the oily areas and works great as a long-lasting primer! My skin look so clear and smooth since I have been using this lotion.

I apply it before make up and it really does help with keeping oil at bay! My skin definitely looks and feels clearer, such a great product and only costs £2.99.

Soap & Glory make yourself youthful sun shield SPF 50 

I love this product, it is a sun shield that is SPF 50, it’s a light lotion that glides in to the skin perfectly . I wear this every day , I apply after moisturizer , before make up . I feel like it really prolongs the wear time of my foundation too. This product is £15 and lasts such a long time.

Avon Make up Setting Spray

I’ve been using this product for the last 18 month , daily. It’s so good! I love how it holds the make up in place, but it also helps to keep my oily patches matte. The bottle lasts such a long time , and its only £6. Compared to some of the higher end setting sprays it really holds it own! I have reviewed this in full, you can see the review HERE.

Essence all about matt fixing powder

I love this powder, for me its the best setting powder I’ve tried! It really does keep you make up in place while mattifying the skin. The texture of it is slightly more chalky in texture than other powders I’ve tried , which I think is why its super long-lasting! Again another Essence bargain at only £3.

I hope these bargains give you some inspiration, if you have any bargains you like I might like it’d love to hear from you !

Thanks for reading gorgeous xxx

Zoeva Chocolate

Hello gorgeous!

Welcome back , today I’m excited to talk about a the beautiful chocolate blend eye shadow palette. After falling in love with the Zoeva brushes, I wanted to try more from their range of products .


I instantly fell in love with this beautiful palette. All of the colours are inspired by chocolate,they are deep , warm and breath-taking!

Super soft and buttery in texture, they really do blend out beautifully , the colours also compliment each other gorgeously.

The shadows apply easily and are long-lasting, I did get a tiny bit of drop down , but that is no major issue for me!

The shadows build up lovely and make easy work of dramatic look as they just melt into one another when blended together. One thing I love about the shadows is a little goes a long , long way. I think these are the most pigmented eye-shadows I’ve ever used !

The smallest amount creates the most vibrant colour! I’ve swatched all of the colours below so you can get a better idea of what I’m going on about !


The Matte shades are so pigmented , and look so gorgeous on the skin, they don’t look chalky and blend in beautifully with the metallic shades.

The metallic shades are sooooo amazing! They have hardly any fall out and stay metallic , even at the end of the night!


My favourite matte shade in the pallete is “substitute for love”, it a great transition colour, but looks beautiful worn on its own in the crease and along the lash line.

The metallic shades really are spectacular, my favourite being “warm notes” . The purple tone is just beautiful , I feel like it really brings out my eye colour.

The palette is made up of 4 matte shades and 6 metallic shades ,all of which are such highly pigmented , high quality eye shadows .

The colours are the perfect Autumnal tones, so its going to get some serious use over the next few weeks and months, especially as Christmas draws in!

For the price of £15.50 , it is an absolute bargain of a palette , which I highly recommend, I would love to try other palettes from the range.

I really can’t believe what great quality you get for the price, I’m quickly starting a love affair with the Zoeva brand!

Have you tried the Cocoa Blend Palette?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any recommendations for any other the other Zoeva palettes.

Thanks for reading gorgeous xxx


Sk:n skin care

I was approached my sk:n and asked if I would like to try some products from their range to talk about on my blog.
At the time I was in somewhat of a skincare rut. I was struggling with my oily t zone and my skin just felt dirty no matter what I used ! So I decided to do some research and give it a go!


Sk:n was a brand I had heard of , mainly because of their clinics based all around the UK. They are the UK’s leading skin clinic offering clients the most regulated treatment approach in a  clinical environment – nationwide. No one offers more specialised skin treatments, from mole excisions to anti-ageing injectables, tattoo removals to facial resurfacing, or uses more advanced technology to do so.

Sk:n’s was founded in 1990 in Harrogate in a private clinic. sk:n’s initial specialism was in port wine stain birthmark removal and the company invested in the highest grade lasers on the market, operated in partnership with the NHS.

Sk:n now have a network of nationwide clinics from Aberdeen to Portsmouth, and are proud to be home to more leading consultant dermatologists, doctors, plastic surgeons, nurses or therapists than any other dermatology service provider.

With this in mind I was excited to try their products . I opted to try two products that appealed to me for the simple fact I couldn’t control my oil and was having some break outs, many more than I was used to.

Vitamin-Rich Cleanser for Normal or Combination Skin


First of all, I love the creamy texture of this cleaner! It has quite a thick, creamy texture that is perfect for a deep cleanse. I find it breaks down my make up easily , and leaves my skin feeling clean, smooth and supple.

I find if I’ve had lots of make up on a double cleanse really leaves my skin feeling clean, and looking really smooth and clear.

I’ve noticed my pores look much tighter and my skin appears much smoother in appearance, I’ve also noticed that my problem, oily T zone has been much better behaved since using this cleanser.

My T zone usually lasts a few hours before I need to retouch  my make up and powder the area back to matte-ness!

I’ve noticed I’ve managed to get to lunch without having to re touch, which is just great, especially on those really busy days at work!

I really have enjoyed this cleanser, and I would buy it , as I was really pleased with the results and how my skin felt while I was using it . I found it strong enough to deal with the areas that needed extra help, but it didn’t dry me out or even worse make me an oil slick!

Blemish control Lotion

This product is an absolute “Gem” of a find! I find at my time of the month I get a few stray, random spots popping on in the most peculiar places on my face! They area always huge and flashing red like a  beacon!


I have been using this lotion for such occasions! I apply a small amount of the lotion directly on the spot at night-time , and leave it on over night.

I love how it draws the red-ness out of the spot along with that ache you sometimes get! I instantly feel like the spot is soothed and this tames the angry red blazing exterior!

I also find it dries the spot out and makes it appear not as raised!Making it much easier to cover up with make up, after 2 or 3 applications the spot is practically gone!

The liquid texture absorbs quickly and seals the spot without making your skin feel tight and uncomfortable. I really do love this product!

Dare I say its making its way up to holy Grail , status? Watch this space, I’m sure it will be appearing in some future favourites posts!

I’m really impressed by this product , and would love to try more products from the range in the future , I’d love to hear any recommendation’s  you might have!

Thanks for reading gorgeous xxx
*PR Sample ,all thoughts and opinions are my own, this post is not sponsored*

Free Food Thursday- Speedy Chilli Soup

Hello Gorgeous,

It’s free food Thursday again! So here is another gorgeous syn free meal that is tasty, quick and bursting with lots of weight loss boosting “Speed Foods”!

I love to make this soup on those days I’m really busy but fancy something really comforting and tasty. It’s made in minutes and makes loads, so plenty for your freezer !


I have also used this as a base for a pasta tomato sauce, and it works beautifully with that as-well!

I will link in my Extra Easy SP experience and food diary below , as a few people have mentioned how helpful they have found this post, you can see it HERE.


As usual this is a classic Gemma, one pot meal, so basically “just chuck it all in!”

You will need:

  • 1 Carton of Pasatta
  • 1 tin of carrots, drained
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 pint of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano


First of all I put all of the dry ingredients in my pan and just blast for a few seconds with a bit of heat to really get those spices ready to go .


I then add the rest of the ingredients, be sure to give this a really good stir , to make sure there isn’t any lumps of the dry ingredients lurking in the liquid.

I then leave it to simmer on a low heat for about half an hour-ish, then leave to cool.


Once the soup is cooled I give it a good blitz until smooth, it really is delicious and so comforting!

Let me know if you make this time saving , weight loss boosting beauty! It’s speedy in every sense of the word!

Thanks for reading gorgeous xxx

my pick of the pack – Red Cherry Lashes

Hello Gorgeous,

Today I’m talking false eyelashes, I love how lashes just finish off your look, especially on a night out or on a special occasion. I did struggle initially with the application of lashes, the fact I can’t see too great with out my glasses probably doesn’t help my cause!


It’s taken a while but,  I finally feel comfortable applying them thanks so a few discoveries!The main one being Red Cherry lashes.

I love that the lash band is very thin which allows you to manoeuvre the lashes in place really easily. They have such a variety of lash styles to choose from  and cater for every possible occasion!

I also like that they are really good value for money, I tend to buy them in bulk from EBay to make it very cost effective. I thought it maybe useful to share my favourite lashes from the range , as there is so many to choose from it can be a mine field!

If you look after them, you really do get your wear out of them! I did a post on looking after your false lashes last year, if you would like any tips you can find this post HERE.

First Up is the Beautiful 747 S


As You can see this lash is quite fluttery , but in a very natural looking way. I prefer the short version of this as it blends gorgeously with my own lashes.

They are full enough to make you lashes look thinker and long enough to give you that natural flutter!

These 747 S really do get an awful lot of use , and are my go to lash for natural everyday kind of looks. I find people always say how lovely my lashes are when I wear these beauties!

The Next lash is the WSP Lashes


Oh Lord! I REALLY love this lash! Admittedly I don’t reach for them everyday , but when I’m off on a night out or somewhere nice this is my girl!

I love how they flare out at the corner to elongate the eye, while making the lashes look fluttery and flirty!

They do make your lashes look fuller , but you can definitely tell that your wearing a lash , its the perfect partner for a black cat flick eye liner and a bold red lip.

These are definitely my signature lashes for my signature look!

On to the DW Lashes


The DW Lash really is beautiful. What I really like about this lash is it can be worn as every day lash for natural looks, but also can be worn with more dramatic looks and not look out of place.

This lash also flares out at the corner of the eye, but I find its a little more fuller, leaving you own lashes feeling lengthened and thick.

The shorter and longer lashes really do create the fluttery look with ease and I really love that beautiful , natural doe eye lash you get wearing these lashes.

I always recommend this lash to my friends that want a natural-ish looking lash, your lashes but better so to speak!

And Finally the Gorgeous 43


This was my first Red Cherry discovery and the lash that converted me !

The 43 is beautifully full and fluttery , adding instant volume,length and curl to the lashes.

The thin band makes them easy to apply without making your eye’s feel heavy or look weighted.

They are definitely more dramatic, but I just love how thick they make your own lashes look! I love to team these lashes with a smoky eye and a nude lip.

Eye drama guaranteed with these babies!

I highly recommend Red Cherry lashes, not only are they high quality and excellent value for money, they are easy peesy to put on!

I’ve included an image of me wearing each pair, sorry the lighting is a little dodgy I was running out of time for the light and this post! But you get the drift of what each pair looks like on !


Have you tried Red Cherry lashes? what are your favourite styles?

What is your favourite brand of false eyelashes? I’d love to hear from you all!

Thanks for reading gorgeous xxx

August Favourites

Hello Gorgeous!

It appears to be that time of the month again where I tell you all about what I’ve been enjoying this month! I seem to be adapting to my new job and the shift work , and in all honesty reached for the same products all month!

Without further a do , let get into it!


Clarins Beauty Flash Balm:

This is a rediscovery , I used to use this daily and I don’t know why I stopped using it! I love how it brightens the skin and makes it appear fresh and well rested! It really is a god send , It also helps my make up stay in place! I have done a blog post on its magic qualities which you can find HERE.

Estee Lauder BB Day Wear

I feel like I’m repeating myself again ! This has been a favourite for a while and I’m still in love with it this month! You can read why I love it so much in my review and thoughts of the product HERE.


Maybelline 24 hour gel eyeliner in brown

I absolutely love the colour of this gel liner , it is a brown colour with little bits of gold running through it! It is dark enough to use for cat flicks , but a little more subtle than black bold cat flicks for work. It also blends beautifully into the lash line. It is also really long lasting, even on my oily peepers!

Essence – all about matt fixing powder

A new find, but I love it ! It has a chalky texture , which is why I think it holds the oil at bay . I find I haven’t had to touch up through out the day , even on my oily t zone! It also hold concealer in place all day, and doesn’t make it crease or stick in those little lines!

Mua blusher in Candy Floss

I dug this out of the back of my drawer , and I just love it! It gives the skin a beautiful natural flush! You do need to build the colour up , to get the desired look, but for £1 you can’t moan! I just love the finished effect!

Zoeva – concealer brush 142

Oh my lord! I love how this makes light work of blending out my concealer under my eyes, especially on those days I have a 5 am start! It’s super soft but firm enough to blend product out quickly and easily! I bought it as part of the Zoeva Classic brush collection ,  you can find my full review of the set HERE.


To Kill a mocking bird

I’ve spend a lot of time re reading this book this month, I adore it! It’s beautifully written and I really read it in a different way as an adult opposed to a 15 year old been forced to read it for my exams!


I’m addicted to this Australian prison drama. I love how the Bea Smith character has no fear after the death of her daughter. Think OITNB on speed and full of blood and guts!

For all my slimming world readers out there I’ve been loving the new chocolate orange hi fi bar ! It’s better than terrys chocolate orange in my opinion! It’s also to bars for a healthy extra B choice. Ding Dong!

What have you been loving this m the? I’d love to hear your thoughts , thanks for reading gorgeous xxx