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!