Sunday, 29 December 2013

Disappointing year for the Christmas sales?

Is it me or have Christmas sales this year been a bit, meh? First off, it annoys me that some sales started prior to christmas. I mean, can us girls have one day off a year without thinking of shopping? Then there's the items that are in the sale, I haven't been blown away yet. I went to Oxford yesterday with my mum, and whilst we both picked up a charm in Pandora, that's all that caught our eye. I picked up some jeans in Zara, but that's because I don't have one in Portsmouth and Zara is one of the very few company's  which sells jeans that actually fit me, but they're not exactly exciting. I was praying this year to find a bargin New Year's Eve dress, but whilst traipsing round a local shopping centre today with the girls, absolutely nothing caught our eyes. One of my friends described river island as a jumble sale, which while it may be true, it's the only place I brought anything in! I worked there for 6 months a few years back and the amount of nylon and rhinestones puts me off slightly. Having said that, we embraced the huge rales of clothes that can date back at least 5 years, and I eventually picked up a midi skirt. Id attatch a photo but the lighting in my room is awful! It's basically a sort of geometric black, royal blue and white skirt with a slight slit up the back. For £12 I couldn't leave it there, but it isn't exactly what I had in mind. I think for new year I'm just going to team it with some black wedges and black top, let the skirt do the talking!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Clairol nice and easy, perfect 10

Now I stupidly didn't take photos, so a quick apology to start with. As hair dyes go, it was pretty bog standard. They have 27 shades (according to their website) And in the box you get:
- step 1, colour creme 
- step 2, activating creme 
- step 3, 6 week conditioner
- gloves 
- instructions
- normal, filter shaped nozel
- a comb nozel

I bought the colour light brown 06, knowing the colour would turn out darker than stated. And boy was I right! Now I was dying over purple tinted/ browny orange crap, so in terms of coverage, it was amazing and my hair is all one colour! However that colour is a quite dark, red hued brown. I do like it so it isn't too much of a problem. As for ease of application, I found the comb end dripped a lot of product causing wastage. It stated to use this for the lengths and shows the cartoon doing just that, literally combing the product through. But I did this over the sink and a lot dropped in! So I stuck with the normal nozel to which I kind of draw lines and then massage into the inch wide sections of hair. I have quite long hair, not quite wait length but getting there and it is fairly thick, so if you reckon if your hair is similar to buy 2 lots. I had about 6 inches left after using one box. Sure I may have used more product than necessary but I like to be cautious after one too many missed patches. Once my head was covered, you just wait 10 minutes (I made tea) and it's ready to wash off. I probably left it on for about 12 as the shower took a weirdly long time to heat up, but once rinsing, it washes off very quickly and efficiently! The conditioner is lovely, sweet smelling, and has left my hair lovely and soft on day 2! I don't reckon this would last 6 weeks either (using once a week) maybe 4 tops if you have hair similar to mine.

But yeah, that's my review. I hope I made sense! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

L'oreal Skin Perfection

I bought the 3 in 1 purifying micellar solution about two months ago and have pretty much run out now, when it occurred to me that I haven't actually reviewed it yet! I wanted to allow some time to be able to voice a proper opinion but it's become part of my everyday routine and I'd completely forgotten about it. It claims to dissolve make-up, unclog pored and to tone and while I haven't noticed it toning my skin particularly, I do love it! I use it every time I'm taking make-up, concentrating at first on removing foundation/ powders and then on my eyes. For stubborn mascara you just hold your cotton pad over the eye for a few seconds (I normally go for around 5) and wipe away. It is the smile. Eyeshadow that has a bit more sparkle will take a bit of a scrub and you have to be careful not to drag the pad down your face after as you end up a bit glittery, but I've made that rookie error with all make-up removers! It hasn't broken me out in spots, it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and I will (have) re-bought. For those on a budget it is perfect. It's currently on sale for £2 in Asda, and I highly recommend.

It was while I was in Asda that I picked up the 15 second miracle cleansing oil, again reduced from £7.99 to £4. I read an amazing review from Rosalie just a few days ago and I noted it down as something I needed to purchase. I haven't used it yet, but give it a few weeks/ months,(I may forget if I like it) and we'll see how I get on.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Pay Day Haul

So I did the inevitable. It was pay day and I couldn't resist the beckonings of the Cosmetics Company, Boots and Asda. So I decided to go a little crazy. I can't say that it wasn't needed, I really don't have a huge make-up collection and there are (were) definitely gaps to fill. 

 MAC satin powder blush in "Immortal Flower" and Smashbox blush in "Pop of Pink"

 Smashbox be legendary lipstick in "Posy Pink" 

 MAC cremesheen lipstick in "Speed Dial"

 MAC paint pot in "Mooncake"

 MAC electric cool eyeshadow in "Dynamo"

 Smashbox reflection high shine lip gloss in "Pop of Pink" (Sorry for the dodgy picture)

 Smashbox full exposure mascara

 Essie "So haute!" nail stickers
Essie 2013 winter collection "Shearling Darling", "Parka Perfect" and "Toggle to the Top". Essie "No Chips Ahead" top coat. 

 Clairol Nice'n easy, perfect 10 hair dye in "6 light brown".

This was a near perfect day of beauty shopping. I easily stood talking in the Cosmetics Company for an hour. As I mentioned in my Smashbox foundation review, Portsmouth is new to embrace Smashbox, and I think quite rightly so! It is quickly establishing itself between the likes of MAC and Bobbi Brown, minus the hype! It's niche is obviously in the primer market, so I thought buying a box set of items, I would have bought separately for double the price (The whole box set cost 24.50!). On first impressions, I love the lipstick, which is very similar in texture to the MAC cremesheens, the blush is soo pigmented and soft on the skin and whereas the mascara may not be the best for giving volume, the huge brush separates and curls beautifully. The lip gloss is however fairly sticky and really difficult to handle, seeing as if you squeeze from the end, you're then a log way away from your lips and control is lost. 

On to MAC. "Dynamo" is a beautiful burnt orange, which on me is really warming and great for my paler complexion at this time of year. I fear in the Summer, it may look a bit more terracotta and I'll start blending into Spanish villa's, but we'll see. Next is the blush. This really subtle colour is great for a "I'm not wearing make-up" kinda day. Giving your cheeks a hint of colour but not taking focus from a simple eye and lip feature. My highlights have to be my first ever paint pot and the lipstick. I adore the colour and the cremesheen isn't as drying as their matte finishes, but I'll have to wait and see how long it lasts on my lips. And the paint pot. Wow. No primer necessary and it lasted a whole 8 hour shift of me being in dish-wash and getting a steam facial every five minutes. I am so impressed, and when layered (like the swatch) looks more golden, but with a fine layer, your eyelids are just left sparkling and festive!

Finally, as you may glimpse from the pictures, I am currently wearing all of these Essie polishes and will upload a following post of my chosen accent nail. And also, the hair dye. I dyed my hair wash in wash out purple for halloween and it is STILL there. I've had enough, I hate it, it doesn't suit me and it is going! These hair dyes were on offer in ASDA for £4 so I bought two to make sure I cover my whole head. I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas Tag

Sadly I haven't come home for Christmas yet. However, I attempted to make our sitting room a little more festive, much to the dismay of the boys. Thought I'd get a little more festive with this tag. And I apologise before hand, this is probably the most undeceive blog post I could have written!

1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Everything. I love the fashion, shopping for presents, the decorations, giving/ receiving presents and obviously, the food! I do  love Summer more, don’t get me wrong I’m a fair weather person, but there is something satisfying about wearing a big knit jumper and coat and snuggling up under a blanket with a hot chocolate that you just don’t get in the summer.

2. What is your favourite makeup look for the festive season?

Red lips along with a matching red nail is my all time favourite make-up look. I don’t normally wear a red dress on Christmas dress, just as I don’t suit it, so a little black dress accentuated with red accessories is my favourite look!

3. Real or fake tree?

Real. No questions asked. As a little girl, my Dad and I would go and pick a tree, usually on the second Saturday of December and would spend a long time determining one, what would fit in the car and two the best shape. As I’ve got older, Dad isn’t soo fussed about Christmas so Mum and I do the searching and for the last two years we’ve managed to squeeze over 6ft trees in my little KA! I love the smell, and the fact they drop pines and you have to crawl under them to water them. It’s all part of Christmas!

4. Giving or receiving presents?

Giving, absolutely! Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving presents and am very grateful of what I get, but getting presents for others is the best excuse to go shopping. You can’t beat the look on someone’s face when they open a present that they like, and weren’t expecting. Definitely priceless and gives you that warm feeling inside (sorry for being soppy). I do tend to go a little over the top, spending more on Christmas presents for my family then I would their Birthday presents. Woops! I do also love wrapping them and can spend weeks finding the right paper with matching tags and ribbon. I have my eyes on some of the paper in Next this year.

5. Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

I’m an only child so I wake up to Santa’s gifts and take them through to my poor parent’s room and curl up at the end of their bed. Dad normally stays asleep at this point and the cats just moan that they’re hungry. I’m also not allowed in until 9, which is possibly the worst wait ever! The room ends up a fire hazard and whereas my cat used to love playing in the paper, she’s a little too old now. We then have breakfast and I take the time to attempt to try out/ on everything I’ve been given and attempt a small tidy up. Afterwards, we get dressed up for the rest of the day. As a family we take it in turns to hold Christmas and Boxing day so that depends on what work needs to be done for lunch. After we’ve consumed as much food as possible, myself and cousins divide presents out between everyone and then have a mass opening. It’s our little tradition.

6. Handmade or bought Christmas cards?

I’m not at all creative so I buy them. I try to find amusing Christmas box sets for friends and general family, buying special ones for my parents, boyfriend and best friend. It’s fair to say we have an odd sense of humour so our Christmas cards are normally not funny to anyone else. Is slightly awkward...

7. What is your favourite Christmas film?
I don’t think I could single out one. Love Actually and The Holiday are definitely up there. I’m all game for soppy Christmas love stories so they fit in perfectly. As for a film aimed at a slightly younger audience I’d have to say the Grinch and as a child I loved Annabelle’s Wish. But I really can’t just choose the one!

8. What is your favourite Christmas food?

Hmm... Well traditionally we ignore the starter and go straight to the roast turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs and blankets plus all the other trimmings, followed by a Christmas cake (which my Dad and I always ice) and a chocolate log which my Aunt always cooks. Then there’s all the chocolate you get given, white chocolate oranges in particular... Yum! Safe to say, I couldn’t pick a favourite out of food either. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Week in outfits #1

Top row:
Blouse - Primark, Jeans - New Look, Boots - Kurt Geiger
Jumper - Stradavarius, Trousers, TKmaxx, Shoes - Kurt Geiger
Jumper - TKmaxx, - Jeans - Zara, Chelsea boots - Riding shop (no idea!)

Bottom row:
T-shirt - Primark, Skirt - H&M, - Tights - TKmaxx, Shoes - Kurt Geiger, Earrings - New Look
Dress - H&M, Necklace - Stradavarius, Boots - Kurt Geiger

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas gift guide

Thought I'd share with you my inspiration this year. This isn't so much what I've bought, but perhaps looking in places you wouldn't have thought. I am a huge fan of discounted places. I'm a strong believer that if you buy a timeless piece, such as silver jewellery and accessories, it doesn't really matter if you paid full price, or discounted. Timeless pieces will stay in fashion for many seasons! For this reason I love TKmaxx and places like Bicester/ Gunwharf  - which you've heard me prattle on about for ages now and this year it has proved invaluable.

Firstly my Mum's Birthday is just before Christmas so I have added pressure! She'd mentioned around March time that her favourite pair of brown leather gloves had started to go cracked and although they were still fine to wear, not really something she wanted to be seen with. This is where TKmaxx comes in. Browsing through my local branch and their range of leather gloves is huge! You can buy unknown brands, still 100% leather for under £15. Bargain! Anyway, the pair I seeked out are Ralph Lauren ones that I got for £24.99. I cut the label off so I can't remember how much they would have been, but definitely more that that! As for her Birthday, I was in Links of London in Gunwharf browsing for me (woops) and came across some simple, everyday earrings. Now they're not really my taste, but I know my Mum will love them. They were £30 which I think was an amazing price. So don't be put off from formerly expensive brands while at outlet shopping centres. There are bargains to be had provided you shop early (these earrings have already gone up in price) and are prepared to rummage and barge!

Next, is a present for a secret santa at work. Now (I think) she's between 30 and 35 and I was stumped. Our price limit was £5 and I couldn't think of anything. But, again TKmaxx didn't let me down. In amongst the childish make-up sets and make-up that has been trashed and or stolen from it's packaging, I picked up a set of 4 lavender candles, decorated with little paper flowers. I haven't heard of the brand but it's Heyland Whittle, and the packaging was cute so I went ahead and bought them. For £4.99, a little homely decoration is never hated - and if it is, then some lucky charity shop could have them!

Inspiration for tea lovers next comes from The Teashed. This company has evolved the boring tea packaging and is selling a range of 20 tea bags for £3.50, all named (some more appropriate to the receiver) in take-away tea cups. I bought mine in John Lewis in October when they were down to being £1.50 each, so I collected a few for friends.. They include, "4 am" and "Mr Greys". I think they're lovely and I just hope they'll taste good too!

Hope I've given you a little inspiration to shop around a bit to get a little more for your money!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Smashbox studio skin 15 hour foundation

Last week, while on my quest for a final Christmas present for my Gran, I stumbled across the new Smashbox beauty desk in Boots on Portsmouth's high street. The whole "premium" make-up area has had a shift around, with Benefit replaces Dior *cry* and Smashbox taking over a previous display wall. I love Smashbox eyeshadow's and I prefer them to the MAC one's. I find them a little softer, but that's probably just me. Anyway, I got chatting to the lovely Lee about Marketing (I'm networking for Summer placements literally anywhere) and got persuaded to try some of their foundation. I received a sample of their Photo finish primer (the clear one) in Vogue some time in the last year and loved it! But with the lack of presence of Smashbox in Portsmouth, I bought pore professional instead. 

Back to the foundation, it has amazing coverage and over their hydrating primer, lasted all day with no budging what so ever. it was also a lot lighter than the Estee Lauder Double wear. I am very impressed! I got given a sample, which I plan to test on my next night out to see what it's like in slightly warmer situations, but so far so good.

One thing I will say is do not go by any colour samples on their website. I am the shade "Light Beige 2.1" which is perfect, but online looks like a washed out grey. Another example is their lipstick shades. I'll include an example of this below. The larger image of their red lipstick is exactly that, red, but their swatches on the side for their true red shade "legendary" is a berry colour... Think this needs sorting out!

Me wearing Smashbox studio skin 15 hour foundation 

30/11/13 - nails #4

So it would appear my previous Rimmel polish lasted about 4 days without chipping, so not too bad but definitely not the best!

Anyway, it's almost the count down to Christmas so I thought I'd go for another Christmas themed nail - a girl can never do to many of those, right? I used Nails Inc. Whithall and Barry M's 297 blue glitter to attempt a French  tip look. Now I normally have a steady hand, but trying to persuade pieces of blue glitter to go where you want them to, proved to be my downfall. never the less I finished them, and from a distance, they don't look too bad!

I am still waiting for them to dry a bit more before I tidy up the edges and add a top coat, so excuse the excess that is covering my fingers!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Season of the little black dress

Christmas often poses as the time of year known for the party dresses, a bold red lip and minimal eye make-up, and this year is no different. In my family, it's a tradition that we dress up for Christmas day and not ones to lay about in trackies. But then it comes to the same old question of "what am I going to wear on Christmas day?" When I was little, that was simple as Santa often bought me a pretty dress which I would be dying to wear, but now my Mum has reached the stage of not knowing what I want in terms of clothes, so that decision is left to me. I've put together a collection of dresses that are my this years competitors (I think). They are all LBD, as I can then take the opportunity to wear them again.

From top to bottom reads:

Monday, 25 November 2013

25/11/13 - nails #3

Got to the time of the day were my nails have finally dried and it's time to blog. I decided to go with a Rimmel Pro polish, 391 celebrity bash. It's got a really wide brush, which I'm not actually a huge fan of, I find I have to take more time to paint my nails, although this one prides itself in its maxi brush, so I'm not too sure why I bought it! Anyway I love the deep red colour and from memory (have taken a break from this over the summer due to the colour) it lasts well too!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sample Review #1

I've had a small bag of samples that I've collected over the last few months and I thought it was about time to do a public review! It's so easy to collect sample's round the different make-up counters and whereas the sachets are a little irritating, only allowing you to test the product at most twice, and then on consecutive days where the chances are, your skin hasn't changed or you haven't done activities to really try out your product. I have oily combination complexion. 


First off is Estee Lauder's Double Wear, stay in place foundation in 3C2 Pebble. I've used their Futurist foundation for a while now but seeing as it's being discontinued at the end of the year, I figure I need to get my act together and see about replacing it. I love this. It does exactly what it says, staying in place all day (it claims 15 hours), without leaving me dry/ greasy and in breakouts the following day. I have used this on nights out, work and on an average day with no change in results. I think this could be my replacement!

I then have Benefit's Hello Flawless oxygen wow in Honey. This claims to be oil free but I found I constantly needed to reapply powder. I was impressed by the consistency and coverage but I would not buy this foundation.

I have reviewed sample BB/ CC creams before (here) so I won't go into too much detail. I am yet to have the funds to buy one yet, but my firm favourite is still the Diorskin Bb creme in 002.

The Dior Capture Totale One Essential is a serum that claims to give "instantly radiant and deeply revitalised skin" which it does do well. It isn't greasy and you don't have to use much for full face coverage, but at £80, I think I can find an alternative!

The Glamglow tingling and exfoliating mask is really "hot" with the Hollywood stars at the moment, with it's mud like consistency it boasts volcanic rock and large chunks of green tea, alongside the French sea clay. It takes between 8-10 minutes to dry and washing off is easier in the shower (personally) which is when you really feel the green tea ex-foliating. I do like this product, my skin feels amazing afterwards, but again I think it's too expensive. Buy a good exfoliator and mask for half the price, and will probably last longer too!


Clinique high impact mascara in black is next on my list. Apart from their chubby sticks, I don't think Clinique is quite there with their make-up. This mascara defines my lashes, but doesn't give volume or thicken. This is probably just me wanted a more statement eye, as for subtlety this would be fine. It lasts well and is reasonably priced.

Bobbi Brown's smokey eye mascara is their newest mascara which has really grabbed the market. This mascara ticks off the big three with the first application. It effortlessly lengthens, gives volume and does not leave any clumps. I've been set in my ways for many years now with the Max Factor mascara (here), but I will be very sad when this little sample runs out. It really is a must have for anyone who likes thick lashes, without going fake. I won't be turning my back on this one!


Firstly for lips is the Benetint. I doubt this needs much explaining, it's a rose tinted lip and cheek stain. Although I haven't used this on my cheeks too much, I find this a saviour on my lips when wearing red lipstick as you avoid that awkward, half rubbed off on a glass look. This product is well worth the money as it lasts forever and I think is a staple piece, especially for Christmas lips!

Finally, a freebie from November's Vogue (I think). The Coralista Ultra Plush lip gloss from benefit is a rich coral shade which glides on easily without being too sticky. I love the shade and would like to own the full size, this is perfect for chucking in your clutch bag on a night out for an instant pout!

Well there you go. My collection of samples from around the beginning of September to today. I hope you found this useful and are tempted by some of the products you see here. I'd love your feedback!

Monday, 18 November 2013

18/11/13 - post!

It's so nice receiving post that isn't bill (sorry for sounding old)! The first package isn't at all exciting, it was my new phone case. I recently got an iPhone 5C, but I refuse to pay Apple 30 quid for a cheap plastic case which has holes in seeing as my phone could still get damaged. In fact I don't want to pay over 20 quid for a phone case, but having a phone that doesn't fit in any other case (iPhone 4 or 5) I was stuck. I scrolled eBay and Amazon with no luck until my friends boyfriend sent me the link to one he'd found. For 99p I had a range of 5 colours and postage was free. Bit more like it! I chose red for Christmas and sure enough after ordering on Friday, it arrived! It is only cheap plastic and very flimsy but it's fine for the moment. Hopefully someone will start making the 5C cases cheaply soon, and make them a bit more interesting!

Anyhow, the package I was most looking forward to came from On the 17th October I ordered the Benefit cream shadow in "slippin n dippin" and a Dolce and Gabbana ultra shine lipgloss in "delicious". The Benefit shade is very similar to their "sparkling champagne" from their latest range. It's a great nude tone with a hint of shimmer which will be the perfect base for eyeshadow. While shopping in the summer I had a makeover at a Dolce and Gabanna stand and really liked their lipgloss as it wasn't too sticky while it also stayed put. However I was put of by the £23 price tag. This shade is an orangey salmon and I love it! Just a shame it took nearly 5 weeks to deliver!! In total, I think I paid £20 for the two products.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

17/11/13 - nails #2

Seeing as it's such a horrible day I thought I'd do a quick manicure whilst having an essay writing break. I decided on a pre-Christmas theme, with a bright red and subtle gold. The Mary Quant nail vanish was once my Mum's and is old, really old. From the rubbed off writing I can say it's the shade "red scorcher" and is slightly a bluer shade of red rather than orange/ pink based. It hasn't gone gloopy and lasts fairly well! The gold is Ciate in "Sand dune 085". I believe I got this free with maybe a Vogue/ Elle magazine... But don't hold me to that! I love it because the metallic is still highly pigmented, so does not require more than two coats! I apologise for my hands, I was in dish wash yesterday at work, and ran out of phenomen oil, to which I don't have the funds to buy any more at the moment. 

What do you think? Have you done a Christmas themed manicure yet?

Mini beauty hall 15/11/13

I guess this is a mini haul combined with a belated Birthday present from my boyfriends Gran.

I wandered round gunwharf yesterday with a friend and did a quick sweep of the small Boots, Cosmetic Company and The Body Shop - in which I had a £3 off voucher courtesy of Elle. 

Boots stocked my all time favourite body moisturiser, Nivea Soft. It is so thick and creamy, perfect for this time of year and drying skin, yet soaks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue! I also picked up some clear mascar by Collection 2000 to keep my eyebrows in place. It was cheap and isn't anything special, but it does the job!

In the Body Shop I purchased "scruff", a moisturising lip balm that also exfoliates. I've had issues (like a lot of others) with the wind drying out my lips causing them to chap - which is never attractive, and even worse when my boyfriend decided to comment on them. After using this product for the day (applying about 6 times) my chapped lips have vanished! It's been amazing. It cost £8 originally which I think is a bit much for a lip balm, but with the money off I am very impressed. However, apply too much and your lips do a have a green tint around the edge.

My Cath Kidston purchase (probably discontinued now) was the "Star" hand cream, with hints of lime and mint. I find their ranges of hand creams last forever and do the job without costing too much. I will re-buy until they decide to stop selling hand creams. The packaging is also nice enough to give as a present without it being just another dodgy beauty product you get given at Christmas! (Picture taken earlier in the day with better lighting! I must find my camera charger...) 

From the Cosmetics Company I collected another addition to my MAC lipsticks. This is probably discontinued too (I haven't checked) but this amazing Barbie pink is called "Silly". Where as I wouldn't wear this Matt colour at Christmas particularly I couldn't leave it there as it was the only one and just stood out to me. I know this is a colour I'll wear through next summer! 

Lastly, my belated present. My boyfriends Grandma very kindly knitted me scarf and bought me a Boots No. 7 lipstick and lipgloss set, even though I am yet to meet her. The lipstick shade is "Stay Perfect" and the lipgloss "Smile". I don't think I've ever come across a lipstick so pigmented! I'm actually a little apprehensive to use it. Saying that, it's matt finish is creamy and I'm intrigued as to it's staying power, I'm yet to find out. The lipgloss is high shine, and it definitely is! It does however have an almost sickly sweet taste at first, but the shine does last. 

(Swatches run from "Smile", "Stay Perfect" and "Silly")