A cheeky skincare and body haul...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the photo I posted yesterday of my bags of goodies from the Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar. I made a list at the start of the month of beauty products I desperately wanted to get my mitts on and since Friday was pay day, I could finally justify taking a little trip to town (braving the horrendous snow, I might add) to go and spend some moneys.

Now as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm something of a Youtube beauty channel addict and I'd say that the majority of things purchased yesterday were down to one blogger in particular. Step forward Anna. I pretty much want to buy every product she's ever spoken about ever, and since she frequently sings the praises of Origins Drink Up Intensive overnight mask, that was top of my list of things to buy once pay day came around. I think my skin has been suffering from the weather recently and going from the freezing cold outside to the central heated inside hasn't been doing it any favours, so I figured a really intensive hydrating mask could be a big help. When I got to the Origins counter however, the very helpful lady told me that they were giving away a free gift if you purchased two products. Perfect - just the excuse I needed to convince myself that I should probably definitely have a nosey through the exciting Origins shelves and buy more stuff.

I stumbled across the lovely Brightening Musts set which contains a full size tube of VitaZing, a 30ml tube of Modern Friction and a little pot of GinZing all for just £26 and just knew that I had to have it! Since the VitaZing on it's own normally costs £27, I thought that it was pretty flippin' bargainous! I'm not sure about other Origins counters, but if you're in Liverpool, get down to the Beauty Bazaar pronto and snap up one of these sets!

Of course, because I'd purchased two items (well, technically four), I got my free gift, which consisted of the Plantscription serum (15ml) a super pretty headband with Swarovski crystals on it (so unnecessary but so cute) AND a full size Starting Over moisturizer which normally costs £38! All for free! Origins, I think we're going to be good friends...

I think I might actually give the moisturizer to my Mum, because I'm THAT nice and also because I'd already purchased the This Works Perfect Skin Super Moisturizer (another Anna recommendation...) before I went to Origins. I feel like I'm constantly on a search for the perfect moisturizer - so I'm hoping that this, which seems like a good all rounder (it's actually a moisturiser and a serum in one) could be the one for me.

Finally, I left the Beauty Bazaar and headed over to Boots to grab a couple of slightly more budget beauty buys. Firstly the Botanics Rejuvenating Bath Elixir (which, yes Anna has also spoken about before... this is starting to get a bit embarassing...) plus a pair of oh so glamourous exfoliating gloves. Even though I use a body scrub regularly (currently it's Soap & Glory's Breakfast Scrub, which I have to stop myself from trying to eat every time I use it because it smells that AMAZING), I think a good rub with a pair of these gloves can be a big help when trying to slough away all of that nasty dead skin, as well getting the blood flowing (not really sure why that's important, but it definitely is). I think they cost about £3 so they're very purse-friendly.

So that's everything. I'm ridiculously excited about trying everything out, and maybe even doing a couple of reviews once I've had a bit of time to use it all properly! Ooooh don't you just love new things!!!

Have you tried any of the products above? What did you think? Got any other Origins recommendations for me? I fear this may become a bit of an addiction...

Oh bloody hell, she's back...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

So I'm not really sure how to start this post... I could just gloss over the fact that I've not blogged since last Summer and carry on as if nothing's happened, but that'd be silly. At the same time, I'm not keen on going into a long ramble about how I lost my blogging mojo and how sorry I am and blah blah blah, because realistically, nobody cares and also, excuses are boring. Basically, I stopped blogging for a bit, I'm back now, hopefully for the long haul, but who even knows what the future holds? Certainly not me. Now quit yo' bellyaching and let's get on with it shall we? Or something... 

Anyway, I thought I'd make this first post a bit of an update, since a few things have changed since I last posted many, many moons ago. I've moved in with Joe - you may remember that we got a new house and Joe was doing TONS of work on it, so we couldn't move in straight away. Moving day just kept getting pushed further and further back, until eventually we had to move in, even though there was still lots to do. We moved in September (I can't believe how long it's been already!) and there is still a fair amount of work to do (I know, it's ridiculous, but there really was SO MUCH to sort out in this house!), but we're getting there. Some rooms are fabulous (our bathroom is pretty much the nicest room in the house - it has a TV, which is the world's most unnecessary thing ever but is still quite cool) and some still have a long way to go, but it's nice to have our own space nevertheless.

Keeping up with the Kardashians in the bath... because I can...

I also changed jobs. I actually really liked my job in Chester but the commute was a killer and I'm really not an early morning kind of girl. So when my boss at the beauty spa and clinic I interned at in 2011 asked me to come back and be her Marketing Manager, I couldn't really say no. It's been a hectic few months, as we've just recently launched another clinic, but I'm loving it and while I do still have to get two buses (damn you inability to drive!), it's nowhere near as long a journey as I had when I was going to Chester every day. 

To most normal people, this isn't really a big deal, but to me it is. Finally, about 12 years after everybody else, I got an iPhone. I randomly lost my old reliable LG one day and decided that it was about time I finally bit the bullet and joined the Apple brigade. I think the main selling point for me was Instagram and apps in general. (I know you don't have to have an iPhone for Instagram but shhh!) I've become a bit addicted to it, although I don't think I actually make use of all the clever things it can do. I mainly just use it for phone-related stuff, checking Facebook and watching YouTube videos on the way to and from work. In the words of Marge from Monsters Inc "I'm always watching".

It's bad really, because I used to always read on the bus, which I felt was good for my brain and stuff, but now I just obsessively watch beauty videos, which just end up fueling my craving for expensive beauty products. In terms of blogging though, this iPhone is going to turn out to be pretty darn useful, since a lot of my stuff is packed away in the loft including my camera charger and my Flip video camera that I use for vlogging. So, while I won't be able to film videos for a while (I can't face attempting to find it among all the boxes in the loft), I can at least take photos, since the iPhone camera's a good'un.

Before this post spirals out of control and I start telling you about every single thing I've been doing over the past seven months, I'm going to end it here. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with slightly more exciting subject matter - I went shopping today and bought a fair few exciting beauty products (probably all of which have at some point or other been mentioned by a Youtube beauty blogger and added to my mental list of "things I MUST own". Until then kids, keep out of trouble.

POTM - June 2012

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I'm looking a bit...weird in the screen shot for this video, but, as with the majority of pictures of me, it was the best of a bad bunch! Youtube only gives you the option of three screen grabs from the video and all three of them were awful. I know if you're a clever video editing type, you can insert a specific image into the vid, but after my brief brush with video editing last year, I've decided to stay away, I hate it!

Anyway, here's my latest POTM offering - I've been feeling summery this month, which I think is reflected in the products I've chosen to talk about...

Products featured:

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti
Primark neon nail varnish set (not available online)
Essie Nail Colour in Sand Tropez
St Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Spray
St Tropez Gradual Everyday Face in Medium/Dark
Jergens Natural Cocoa Butter
What do you think? Are you in a fake tan frenzy at the moment? Are you a fan of St Tropez or are you more of a cheap and cheerful St Moritz girl?

A cheeky update

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Hi folks! I'm writing this from my desk at work - don't worry, I'm on my lunch break, not skiving - as this seems to be the only free time I have at the moment. As I've already mentioned, my commute to work is nearly two hours each way, which doesn't leave me with much time to myself in the evenings. Joe and I still haven't moved into our new house as there's lots of work being done on it, however, quite a bit of my spare time (and a lot of his, as he's doing most of the work!) is being spent on sorting things out for it; I spent most of Sunday painting the newly plastered ceilings in our bedroom and bathroom. My arms were killing me by the time I'd finished, as I was using a roller on a big pole so that I could reach and it was seriously hard work! Still got a lot more painting to do, but maybe I'll end up with super-toned arms? Here's hoping...

Anyway, I thought I'd do an update post for June as I've not done one in a while and I like talking about things that I like... because, well, I like them! (Don't I have a way with words?)

I'm currently loving;

Once Upon A Time. If you've not heard of this, it's kind of understandable as it's on Channel 5, which is the one terestrial channel I (and most other people) never seem to watch. The basic premise is that the evil queen from Snow White banished a load of fairytale characters to a town in modern day America, however none of them have any memory of their previous lives. So Snow White is a schoolteacher and Jiminy Cricket is a therapist. Anyway, it's down to Emma, a bounty hunter, (and also Snow White's daughter, just to confuse things...) to beat the evil queen, aka the mayor of Storybrooke (yep, that's the name of the town). It sounds silly and it is to be honest, but I'm a big fan of fairytales and I like how it flashes back and forward from the fairytale world to the present day. Plus, I love love love Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Snow White. She's such a cutie!

Obnoxiously neon nails. Seems like everyone's rocking the neon at the moment. I bought a box of four cute little neon nail polishes from Primark a few weeks ago but I only tried the green polish recently. I've had so many compliments... or maybe just comments from people remarking on how bright the colour is. I think it was about £3 for the four polishes, which is rather bargainous, considering, as Selena pointed out recently, no other high street makeup brands seem to be doing neon nail polish and the American Apparel one, while lovely, is also a bit on the expensive side.

No7 Vouchers. Boots have done it again and brought back those pesky £5 No7 vouchers. I can't resist them, it's so silly! I'm currently absolutely fine when it comes to beauty and skincare products, I have everything I need and am not running low on anything, yet every time I get a voucher I just *have* to buy something. They were initially due to expire on 17th June so I spent my last voucher and breathed a sigh of relief that there'd be no more coming, only to be informed by the sales assistant that they've now brought a new voucher out that doesn't expire until July. Aaaargh! I've now managed to accumulate two more (I practically live in Boots...) so I'm sure my ever-growing collection of No7 products will soon be growing a bit more...

Buyapowa. I mentioned this in my most recent vlog, but Buyapowa is a seriously addictive site. Basically, it's a co-buy site, so the price of something drops the more people sign up to buy it. They get loads of high-end beauty products on the site, so it's a great way to get your mitts on things that you can't justify buying at full price. I recently bought OPI Nail Envy from there (check out the massive box it came in! They clearly got a bit packaging-happy on that one) and I'm constantly eyeing up the 'coming up' section of the site as they list everything they'll be selling over the next few weeks. Guttingly, I've missed the Caudalie Beauty Elixir co-buy twice; I assume it must sell really quickly because of how much hype it's received. Next time, you're mine you elusive little bugger!

This video. Oh my days. I am the biggest musical fangirl ever so this to me is way too exciting. I love Hugh Jackman and I'm sure he'll be amazing as he's done actual Broadway shows anyway. I'm intrigued to hear Russell Crowe singing though as I just can't imagine it and his character has an amazing song near the end. Also, I love the fact that Samantha Barks, who was one of the contestants of I'd Do Anything (the Andrew Lloyd Webber TV show where they were looking for someone to play Nancy in Oliver!) has got the part of Eponine, which is, most would argue, the best female part in the show. She's only 21, comes from the Isle of Mann and made her name on a TV talent show. Now she's in a massive Hollywood movie alongside some of the world's biggest stars! Amazing. It was rumoured that Taylor Swift was going to play the part, but she's rubbish and has an annoying face so I think they made the right decision.

Anyway, that's enough musical rambling - apologies if you're not a fan of musicals at all, but I really, really am! We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

I'm currently hating;

Whoever makes the buying decisions at Boots in Liverpool. As much as I love Boots (and I mean LOVE it), the Liverpool one is frequently disappointing me. I think I mentioned a while back that I found it bizarre that they stocked every type of Denman brush possible, apart from the backcombing brush (or 'Dressing Out Brush' as it's officially called), despite the fact that Liverpool is quite obviously the backcombing capital of the world. After weeks of frequently checking the brush section of the store just in case it was out of stock, I gave up and bought it from Amazon instead. No big deal, but I just found it weird. Well I've been disappointed again this month by promises of Essie polishes that simply haven't been fulfilled. As you probably know, the Essie diffusion line is now available in some branches of Boots and Superdrug, which is wonderful news for a nail varnish obsessive such as I. Unfortunately though, once again, Boots have let me down; no Essies at all! Why would they do this? Why? WHY?! Luckily, there's a Boots not far from where I work, so I've taken a couple of lunchtime trips with my partner in nail varnish related crime and got my mitts on a couple of bottles. But still, I'm not happy. Liverpool Boots, sort it out!

Lazy writing (Fifty Shades of Grey). So there's been a lot of hype recently surrounding a rather (and by rather I mean really really really) racy book by the name of Fifty Shades of Grey. Being the massive FOMO-sufferer that I am (FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out) I quickly headed to Waterstones and bought a copy of this supposedly brilliant book. Oh how foolish I was. To be fair, I don't know what I was expecting because I had already heard that it was a rudey so I should have know it was never going to be some kind of life-changing reading experience. Even so, it is crap. I'm a few chapters in and it's not so much that the story is crap (which it is) but the writing is so damn lazy! Maybe it's because I did English Literature at uni so I'm a bit overly critical when it comes to novels, but MY GOD, it's so badly written. For example, the protagonist (Ana Steele, who is a massive dweeb) frequently refers to her best friend Kate as being 'tenacious'. By frequently, I mean, IT IS THE ONLY THING SHE SAYS ABOUT HER. This is Kate. She is tenacious and nothing more. That's only one example but it's one that's really stuck with me and pissed me the hell off. I'm very tempted to send a strongly worded letter to E L James advising her to invest in a good thesaurus. E L James, learn some new words! Apparently, the novel started life as a piece of Twilight fanfiction and you can definitely see similarities between the main characters of the two books, which also annoys me, because surely, SURELY nobody would want to base their characters on Edward and Bella would they? They're rubbish! Anyway, apologies if you've read the book and liked it, because I know a lot of people have. I doubt I'll bother to finish it as I don't want to waste valuable reading time on what is basically a weird, X-rated Edward and Bella fantasy when I could be reading something, you know, good.

Yeesh, that turned into a bit of a rant there! Apologies folks, but sometimes I have a lot of anger.

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? What are your thoughts on neon nail polish? How do you feel about your nearest branch of Boots? Tell me things and make me happy!

Products of the Month - May 2012

Sunday, 3 June 2012

This is probably the most organised I've been with a monthly favourites video in AGES!

Products featured;
Moroccan Oil Intense Curl Cream,
Sleek i-Divine Palette in Au Naturel,
Maybelline Illegal Length Mascara
Topshop Nails in Waterlily, (not currently available on the Topshop site)
Angelica Nail Colour in Heartbreaker, (can't find this online so it must only be available from Primark)
Tokyo Milk candle in Let The Eat Cake,
Dove Summer Glow Moisturiser for Fair to Normal Skin,

NOTD - Pretty Pastels

Monday, 21 May 2012

I'm aware that this is another Topshop-centric post, but I couldn't not share these beauties with you. Milkshake and Waterlily are two of my absolute faves at the moment - perfectly pretty pastels that make me think of sugary sweet treats like sorbet, cupcakes and macaroons (macarons? I'm never sure...). I tend to go through colour phases with nail varnish; sometimes I'm all about the crazy brights, other times I'm into moody darks or neutrals. At the moment though, I'm love love loving pastels. Waterlily in particular, the palest lilac, is one of the rare colours in my collection that I'm quite happy to wear on my nails day in, day out. This never happens! I almost always get sick of a colour after a couple of days and venture back to my box of goodies to see what I can replace it with. Not so with this one though; I've worn it practically non-stop since I bought it two weeks ago.

Topshop Nails in Milkshake and Waterlily

In other nail news, my nail-obsessed friend Jenni and I ventured into Boots today to check out the Essie collection (we enable each other). It's a pretty impressive range; they really do have a lot of colours, although I felt that lots of them were quite samey - there were three dark reds that I couldn't actually tell the difference between, although they all had different names. Anyway, I restrained myself and just bought one colour, Peach Daquiri, which is a lovely bright corally pink. I realised however, when I got home that it is pretty much exactly the same colour as the Models Own Pro shade, Hot Salmon, doh! It has gotten to the point now that my nail varnish collection is so vast, I'm actually managing to forget what colours I already own. Ridiculous.

One more thing; if you're a blogger, I really recommend that you have a little look at this post from IFB. I read it last night and I'm feeling very inspired at the moment. I set up a Pinterest account a while ago but haven't really used it, but after reading that post, I've decided to make more use of it and pin some of my blog pics on there (hence the shiny new watermarks). If you're on Pinterest, follow me!

A small but passionate love affair with Topshop makeup

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I think it's safe to say that I've raved about Topshop's makeup range on my blog a fair bit. While I don't own loads of the products, I've got a few items from each product type (nail varnish, lipstick etc) and I pretty much love them all.

I don't often do these kinds of posts, because, as you know, I'm embarrassingly crap when it comes to taking product photos and it ends up taking me forever just to get a few useable snaps. However, the products are all so pretty and I really wanted to share my collection so I bit the bullet and, armed with my camera, plenty of natural light and a floral duvet cover (these seem to be the requirements for successful product photos), I got snap happy...

From left to right: Stolen Sapphires, Milkshake, Mannequin, Grunge

Every time I go into Topshop and drool over the makeup stand, I get a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of nail colours. They're so beautious! As you can see, I've only got a handful (I've actually got five, but Waterlily isn't pictured here as I'd left it at Joe's) but I fully intend to change that. The consistency of these polishes is fab, they're lovely and creamy and I love the colour pay off you get from them. Milkshake and Mannequin are two of my faves, as I'm really enjoying pastels and pale colours at the moment. I bought Stolen Sapphires ages ago and I do like the colour - it reminds me of blue biro - but I just don't wear it very often (along with about 90% of the other colours in my nail varnish box...). Grunge is probably the only one I'm not a big fan of; it looks gorgeous in the bottle, a sort of shimmery khaki-gold, but one coat of it is too thin and two coats of it make it too dark and the shimmer doesn't show up very well, so I don't really bother with it. It was a part of the Heavy Duty collection, which I've just realised came out in 2010 (that was ages ago!) so you wouldn't be able to get your hands on it now anyway, but to be honest, you're not missing much.

Blush in Pop (powder) and Neon Rose (cream)

The blushes have been one of the standout products since the collection launched in 2010, and with good reason. The cream blushes in particular have been a big hit, with bloggers raving about Neon Rose and Flush, which I also had, but used it all up and decided to give Neon Rose a go instead. I think I actually prefer Flush as it's a little paler and a little pinker, but Neon Rose is also lovely. Pop is  a very similar shade, but in powder form, so occasionally I layer the two to make my blush last even longer. Both are incredibly pigmented and blend really well, so you only need to use a little bit, which means they'll last for ages.

Left to right: Lips in Whimsical, Brighton Rock, Vamp and Confession, Lipstick in Flame

I've only recently really gotten into the lip products as I wasn't much of a lipstick wearer until this year. Whimsical is the newest addition to my collection; it photographed a bit more nude than it actually is; it's more of a pale pinky coral in real life, with a matte finish. All of the lipsticks are really pigmented and apply beautifully. Unlike other lipsticks I've tried, these are a lot less drying on the lips and while others tend to go a bit patchy as the day wears on, these just fade really nicely, making touching up your lipstick a lot easier. Confession, the lovely bright coral is one that I reach for a lot (you know I love my coral shades!) but Brighton Rock is also a great one for Summer.

Eyes in Mercury

The eyeshadow is probably the only makeup product I've been seriously unimpressed with. I bought this as I thought it'd be a good one to use for evening makeup but the colour pay off isn't great and it doesn't blend as easily as other shadows I've used so I've probably only used it once or twice. Disappointing! Maybe it's just this colour though? Has anybody else tried the eyeshadows and had a better experience than me?

Crayon in Sun Shower

While the eyeshadow isn't very good, the eye Crayon is absolutely brilliant! This was actually the first product I bought when Topshop Makeup first launched and I've still got a bit left even though this is something I've used time and time again. The pigmentation is amazing, it's super sparkly and you can either draw it straight onto the eye to get a really intense gold colour, or blend it out for a more subtle look. This was part of the 2010 Trend collection, so it's no longer available, but last time I was in the store I saw that they're doing Crayons in the normal black and white packaging and I'm sure there's one similar to this. Wahey!

So that's my collection - not small but not quite as massive as I'd like - believe me, I'd buy a lot more if I could justify it to myself. (which I most definitely can't!)

Do you use Topshop Makeup? What are your favourite products?

Just a quickie

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

While I have been pretty absent on the old blogging front lately, I've still been reading loads of blogs and watching a ton of Youtube videos. I thought I'd share some of the sites and channels I've really been enjoying lately (some are new, some have been going for ages, but I've only recently discovered their brilliantness)

One of the small number of bloggers I actually know in real life, Zoe is a lovely lady with fab style and something of an obsession with Ryan Gosling. If you're a music buff, you'll love her blog as she seriously knows her stuff when it comes to cool bands (basically, if I've never heard of them, they're probably cool...)

This is my sister Olivia's blog - you probably shouldn't read it if you're easily offended as she does have a tendency to get a bit sweary (note the name of the blog). It's not really fashion or beauty related, more just random thoughts, musings and rants, but it is a hilarious read (and I'm not just saying that because we're sisters!)

This is my other sister, Isabel's blog (yes, we seem to be something of a blogging family!) She's a bit more like me; into pretty dresses and beauty products galore, but being 16, she is infinitely cooler than I am.


I've been a long-time subscriber to the amazing Zoella, in fact, she may be one of the first bloggers I really started following. Her pal Louise frequently appears in her videos and is very, very funny, so I recently decided to start following her channel as well; cue even more laughter!

Estee is a lovely Canadian girlie who lives in London and is very entertaining. I also think that she and her boyfriend, who is called ASLAN are serious contenders for the couple with the most awesome names in the world! (Kind of makes me want to force Joe to change his name to Gandalf and start calling myself Coco or something...) 

The roommate of Estee (loving all these interconnected bloggers!) and another lovely lady. One of her recent videos led me to to the discovery that is actually possible to thread your own eyebrows, who knew?!

So those are some of the blogs and vlogs I've been loving lately. I'm always on the lookout for more, so if you've got any recommendations, please let me know in the comments!
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