Illamasqua Transformation

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Can't believe how late this post is! If you watched my Products of the Month video for October, you will have seen me talking about my Illamasqua 'transformation' that I had done at the new Liverpool store. I thought I'd share some photos as you can't really see the makeup very well in the video. It probably would have made sense for me to post this straight after I posted the video, but I never do things sensibly... ah well, better late than never, right?

In the same way you do at MAC, you can book in for a makeover at Illamasqua that costs £30 but is redeemable on products (ie you pay £30, they do your makeup and then you get £30 worth of products), however, in the week or so after the new Liverpool store had opened, they were doing makeovers, or 'transformations' for free. Since I never, ever get my makeup done professionally, I decided to book in for a half hour session one Saturday afternoon. I had my makeup done by the very lovely Patrick (who also did my eyelashes at the launch event) who had a quick chat with me first about what I wanted. I told him I was going out that evening, so the makeup could be quite dramatic, but I hadn't actually decided what I was wearing so it needed to be in colours that would go with most things. We decided brown would be the best option and Patrick got to work...

To be honest, I wear browns and golds quite a lot anyway, so was a little bit worried that Patrick might end up doing something similar to what I'd do myself, which would have been a bit pointless; I wanted a completely new look. Fortunately, I got just that. I never ever wing out my eyeshadow as much as this, and I never wear that much shadow under the eye either. I also tend to stick to very light/neutral colours on my eyelid and usually only use darker colours on the outer corners, however Patrick went quite dark all over, then used some lovely shimmery pigments over the top of the shadow, which I loved.
He also used the new Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, which is amazing and left my skin looking flawless. I don't normally feel the need to wear foundation - I currently don't own a single bottle of the stuff - however, now that the weather's so horrible, I feel like my skin needs a bit of extra help and I'm very tempted to buy some Skin Base when I've got some spare pennies.

As my appointment had been quite early in the afternoon, I was a bit worried that it wouldn't last right through to the evening, but I was pleasantly surprised. Patrick had used a primer on both my eyes and skin which helped everything to last for ages. The lipstick and lipgloss that Patrick put on me lasted a couple of hours then I had to apply some of my own before I went out in the evening, but I think that's to be expected really; lip products never last very long on me anyway.

Even though I was under no obligation to purchase anything as it was a free makeover, I couldn't help but leave with a little something.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore

This is one of the products that Lucy and I went bananas over at the launch event - it's a very gorgeous browny/goldy/khaki-ish colour (don't I describe things brilliantly?!) that would be very flattering on any eye colour and is exactly the sort of shade I love. Also, I don't think I can emphasise how sparkly this product is; I own shimmery and glittery shadows and pigments but honestly, this is just something else altogether! As soon as the light hits it, it just glistens! So beautiful, I LOVE IT!
The top one was blended, the bottom was patted on with an eyeshadow brush

I've probably said it before, but I HATE doing swatch pictures, so apologies that this isn't great, but I did take loads and this was the best of a bad bunch. I honestly don't know how some beauty bloggers have the patience to swatch every item they review - it takes such a long time to actually get a good photo! Anyway, the sparkliness isn't actually showing up enough in this picture - imagine that level of sparkle multiplied by about a thousand. It's amazing. The Pure Pigments cost £15.50 each, which may seem a bit much (especially when my beloved Sleek palettes cost about £6 and you get twelve colours in them), but it is such a lovely product so I think you can justify that kind of price for an occasional treat. Plus you do get a lot of product and a little bit goes a long way, so I've got a feeling this will be in my makeup bag for ages.

All in all, I'm so glad I went and had a transformation - it was so fun having someone else do my makeup and give me a look I'd never do myself and I received some lovely compliments that evening! I think there's a good chance that any money I get at Christmas may just go on another trip to Illamasqua!

Have you ever had a makeover? Would you do it again? Are you keen to experiment with makeup or do you tend to stick to the same looks?

Je voudrais s'il vous plaît - Christmas

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Now that December is here I figured I could justifiably post my Christmas wish list. Obviously not expecting to actually get all of this stuff, but I wouldn't mind finding a couple of these goodies under my tree on Christmas morning ;)

Florence & The Machine Ceremonials - Love a bit of Florence; I used to listen to the last album, Lungs, obsessively and I'm sure I'll be the same with this one.

Illamasqua Freak Eau De Parfum - I made a mental note to put this on my Christmas list as soon as I smelled it at the Illamasqua event I went to. Such a gorgeous fragrance and the bottle is so unusual. Fabulous.

Lush Christmas Tweets - Lush is one of my favourite brands for lovely bathtime goodies and their Christmas gift sets are adorable. I really like the look of the Tiny Hands hand serum that comes in this one.

Topshop Faux Fur Collar Swing Coat - Desperately need a new coat and for once I fancy something quite classic. Normally I go for 'statement' coats (the one I'm currently wearing has a mix of leopard, zebra and dalmatian print on it) but I think I might try and get something a bit more toned down this year. The white fluffy collar on this looks super snuggly!

Chip & Dale Jumper H&M - There seems to be loads of Disney stuff in the shops at the moment, which is great for a crazed Disney fan like me. I once danced with Chip & Dale in Disneyland Paris (true story) so I need to get my hands on this jumper.

Ted Baker Roverz purse - I love my Shin & Company purse but I think it's time to admit defeat and get a new one as it really is falling to pieces. This Ted Baker purse is a proper grown up one (it's so shiny) but the silver clasp thing at the top is two doggies! Grown up AND fun - perfect!

Office Norman chelsea boots - Really wish I'd managed to get my hands on the Topshop Allegras but they're gone gone gone (although I am watching a few pairs on eBay). However, these Norman boots from Office are incredibly similar, I think the only real difference is that the heel is a bit higher, so I would happily get these instead.

Caitlin Moran: How To Be A Woman - I've been meaning to buy this for ages - Caitlin Moran is brilliant (follow her on Twitter).

Real Techniques Core Collection - When Samantha Chapman announced that she was releasing her own range of makeup brushes, I got very excited because let's face it, she is a genius. The Core Collection contains four fabulous face brushes (the buffing brush in particular is supposed to be amazing). I need this in my life.

Soap and Glory Big Splendour - Soap and Glory always bring out loads of gorgeous gift sets around Christmas and this is the biggest one available, containing ten of their most iconic products. To be honest, I'd be happy enough with just a tub of the Righteous Butter, but I wouldn't say no to all the rest!

H&M Snoopy Pyjamas - You have to get a snuggly pair of jammies for Christmas, it's practically the law. Love Snoopy, love the patterned bottoms, so cute!

So that's everything - I don't want much really, do I?!

Eeek Christmas is just a few weeks away! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? And what's on your wish list? Tell me things!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I think we've well established by now that I am a BIG FAN of nail art and nail painting in general. On the rare occasions when my nails are naked, I think they just look so boring and I'm desperate to re-paint them again. I've realised that even though it can be frustrating and time-consuming, I actually really like the process of painting nails; selecting a colour, wiping off the brush, placing it against your cuticle and making that first stroke... oooh that's my idea of fun!
Anyway, I think I've mentioned it before but I'm getting a bit sick of the same old nail art designs - leopard print, polka dot - and have chosen to go for a plain nail a lot more frequently. I thought I'd share some images of my recent nail escapades...

If you read this post, you'll know that I had the Shellac treatment at the Spa where I'm currently interning. The manicure is supposed to last for two weeks without chipping. I didn't make it to two weeks, mainly because a) I didn't like the amount of re-growth that was showing - the picture above was after nine days and although I loved the colour, I hated having that big chunk of bare nail at the bottom. b) I'd just bought the new issue of Glamour magazine that came with a free Nails Inc polish and I couldn't wait to try it out. You're supposed to have Shellac removed in a salon with proper CND nail wraps, but I did it myself using this guide and it was fine, albeit a bit messy. (the polish flakes off into lots of little pieces, which go EVERYWHERE)

Nails Inc polish in Victoria (free with Glamour Magazine). This is the polish I couldn't wait to wear. I'm LOVING dark reds at the moment, I think they're perfect for Autumn and very flattering. It's difficult to get a nice even finish with this polish; as you can probably see, some nails look darker than others. Still a lovely colour though.

Barry M Nail Effects in 314 Pink, Models Own x WAH Nails Smash Up Silver
and Models Own Black Magic

Had a bit of a play with my two crackle polishes, but didn't like this effect at all and took it off pretty much straight away. I tried layering the pink over the silver, expecting them to crackle in different ways, but actually it just cracked in all the same places. I change my mind about the crackle effect all the time; sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it; I think it depends what colours you use The black base I used here made it look a bit too grungey for me, which I'm not a fan of.

Nail Polish by H&M in U Must Have This, 17 Lasting Fix Nail Polish in Tropical Island, Collection 2000 Hot Looks in Spangles, GOSH Special Edition Nail Lacquer in Lavender Love and Barry M Nail Paint in 317 Blue Moon

I had a bit a of 'shopping the stash' moment (if you're not familiar with this term, it's a blogger way of saying going back through your makeup collection and re-discovering some old faves) and found loads of polishes that I'd not worn for a while. Only problem was I couldn't decide on a colour to wear!

Chanel Nail Colour in 505 Particuliere, Models Own Purple Grey, Models Own Red Red Wine, Nail Polish by H&M in Blue My Mind and ASOS Paint by Ciate in Lily.

Right hand. I eventually settled on a combination of the blue (H&M Blue My Mind) and red (Models Own Red Red Wine), which I think go really well together.

I then saw this image on the WAH Nails blog and had to give it a go; which resulted in this...

Nowhere near as good. I just can't master tribal print designs! Even though they're quite simple - dots, stripes, zig zags etc - they have to be very precise for them to look good. I'm good at doing stuff like leopard print because you can get away with being a bit messy with it. Anyone have any tips for getting these designs nice and neat?!

So that's how my nails have been looking over the past couple of weeks. I'm currently sporting the red from the image above with glittery tips (Models Own Juicy Jules), which I'm sure I'll photograph at some point.

What nail looks are you currently loving? Got any ideas for easy but striking nail art designs? Am I the only one whose hands get tired posing for nail photos?

War paint against Mediocrity

Monday, 21 November 2011

If you watched my most recent video, you will have seen me talking about the new Illamasqua store that's just opened in Liverpool. I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch event for the store and had a lovely evening that mainly consisted of playing with some of the most beautiful products I've ever seen.

I have been aware of Illamasqua for a while, mostly from reading about it on blogs. It's only been around for the past three years so it's still a relatively new brand, but it has become well known in the beauty community as a brand that takes risks, both with the products it releases (green lipgloss anyone?) and the incredibly beautiful, theatrical images it uses when publicising new collections. In the words of M&S, this is no ordinary makeup brand! It's a brand that embraces being different, standing out in a crowd, putting as much colour and sparkly stuff on your face as is physically possible and being bloody fabulous. This is a brand that has been missing from Liverpool for far too long.

The event took place in the new Illamasqua store (which, if you're from Liverpool, is in the Met Quarter) and was a super-glamourous evening featuring flamboyant performers, yummy cocktails and fabulous free lash and lip treatments. I was excited to meet fellow Scouse blogger, Lucy, of Lalalucy, as I've been reading her blog for a while now and it meant I wasn't just wandering around on my lonesome all evening!

Oh so many pretty colours...

The store is absolutely packed full of gorgeous things to look at; I was like a child in a sweetshop! Lucy and I spent a lot of our time just moving from product to product, sticking our fingers into pots of sparkly things and going "oooh!" The lovely Illamasqua team were constantly on hand to demonstrate all of the different products and explain more about the brand. After practically drooling over the amazing display of lashes, we were treated to a lash application of our choice and Lucy and I, being serious magpies, went for the gorgeous Decadence lashes, which are decorated in tiny little crystals.

Lucy and I with our amazing lashes!

Also, did I mention that ALEX BOX was there?! Argh! For some reason I didn't expect her to be there, so when I saw her in the store, all green and fabulous, I got a bit star-struck. Also there was the MD, Joseph Corré, (Vivienne Westwood's son - seriously, how awesome is this brand?!). Both Joseph and Alex just looked far too cool for me to actually go up and speak to, but I did shoot a few awe-filled glances their way, which I'm sure they appreciated and weren't freaked out by at all...

After a quick speech from Alex, thanking everyone for attending, (any time Alex, any time) there was a performance by La Fleur Mecanique, which was basically a very beautifully made up lady dancing inside a big mechanical flower; very intriguing! This was to celebrate the launch of Illamasqua's new perfume, Freak, which has definitely made my Christmas list (the bottle has a SNAIL on it!).

Myself, Lucy and Hayley, who looked after us all night.

What a fab evening! As we were about to leave, we were given ridiculously good gift bags - I would have been happy with just my sparkly lashes! Here's what was inside...

Bronzing Duo in Glint & Writhe, Illumine Oil in Pulse and Intense Lipgloss in Femme

Lashes in 017 and Decadence (these are the ones I had on at the event - they're reusable so I was given the box to keep them in once I'd taken them off. LOOK HOW SPARKLY!)

I can now officially say I am in love with this brand. I was so impressed, I went back to the store the following Saturday for a 'transformation' (makeover). Will probably do a separate post on that soon (I bought something amazing). I now have a list as long as my arm, of products that I desperately need in my life!

What do you think of Illamasqua? Got any products to recommend? Are you jealous of my lashes? You should be ;)

All photos courtesy of the Illamasqua Facebook page, apart from the one of me and Lucy and the ones of my goodie bag, which are my handiwork.

"The prettier the flower, the farther from the path"

Monday, 14 November 2011

Bonjour my little chickens! How are you all? Good weekend? I certainly hope so! This weekend I mainly did a lot of eating (surprise surprise), some singing and dancing (at Into The Woods rehearsals) and plenty of snuggling up with Joe watching stuff on 4OD/BBC iPlayer. Now that the nights are getting darker so much earlier and it's SO DAMN COLD there is literally nothing better than a good snuggle I say!

So this is my November Love/Hate post, I've completely given up trying to come up with monthly pun titles, my brain just isn't as good as it used to be...

I'm currently loving;

Hollyoaks. I'm not even embarassed to admit this. Yes, it's mainly just a lot of stupidly pretty people whose acting skills leave A LOT to be desired but OHMYGOD how good was the Halloween episode?! The whole Silas-is-a-serial-killer storyline went on for way too long, but by golly they did end it very well. If you don't watch it, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about, but in a nutshell; there was an old man called Silas, who was secretly a serial killer and on Halloween he accidentally killed HIS OWN DAUGHTER because he thought she was Lyndsey because they were both wearing the same Halloween costume!!! Dun dun dun!

ANTM. Season 17 of America's Next Top Model (yes, that's right, there have been SEVENTEEN seasons of this show and it only started in 2003) is absolutely brilliant. Basically, Tyra "I'm literally completely mad" Banks has brought back contestants from all the previous seasons and is forcing them to take part in just the most ridiculously bizarre tasks ever. The best one was when all of the models had to write a song about themselves and then Tyra told them they also had to incorporate the lyrics "Pot Ledom, that's Top Model backwards" into their songs. Just... so very mad and so very wonderful.

Glamour magazine freebies. Even though it meant having to buy a magazine with Old Misery Face on the cover (I don't know why she irritates me so much, but she really does), I managed to get hold of a free Nails Inc polish. There are four to collect; Picadilly Circus - a dark plum, Basil Street - a nude beige, Tate - a dark red and Victoria - a red/black (oxblood?) which is the one I got. I LOVE FREEBIES!

A blast from the past. I spotted these in Poundland last week and couldn't resist. Please don't think I'm some kind of baking heathen (I know how bloggers are supposed to be excellent bakers, but quite frankly, I'm just not) but these reminded me of when I was little and used to go to my Nan's house every Saturday. She'd buy My Little Pony cupcake kits and I remember how amazed I was the first time she explained that the little stickers you decorated the cakes with were made of rice paper. Paper you can eat. PAPER YOU CAN EAT!

Beyonce's new video. How flippin' gorgeous is this woman?! I think the styling for this video, and the makeup in particular, is just stunning. Apparently everything she's wearing in the video is from American Apparel, so if you wanted to recreate the video, look for look, you literally could do that. Not that that wouldn't be a weird thing to do, but if you wanted to, you could do it.

I'm currently hating;

My hair. I feel like I desperately need a new 'do, but I'm so darn indecisive. It's a tricky one because it's naturally curly, which limits what styles would really work (for example, I can't have a fringe because I'd either have to straighten it every day, or clip it back, which kind of defeats the point). Also, I don't really want to lose much of the length, because I like that when it's straight, it reaches really quite far down my back. I'm also a bit scared of hair dye, because once you start dying, you can't really stop. Basically, I need a style that works for long, naturally curly hair, that can be worn straight or curly and doesn't require much maintaining at all. Does anyone have the answer? No? Right, I'm off to buy a selection of wigs instead...

POTM - October

Monday, 7 November 2011

Believe it or not, it's actually a whole year since I did my first ever Products of the Month video! Doesn't time fly when you're having a laugh?! This month's video is a bit of a short one as I really haven't bought much new stuff of late. Also, I don't understand why the quality doesn't look as good in this video as it has done in previous ones. I swear, technology is trying to slowly kill my soul...

Products featured;

Right, off to catch up on last night's TOWIE. Apparently it's a dramatic one. Has anyone heard about the Liverpool version, Desperate Scousewives? I'm preparing myself for a whole world of cringe...


Friday, 4 November 2011

So this is a post I've been meaning to do since about 1986...

Way back in August, the very gorgeous Dani, of polkadani, had a giveaway on her blog. And you know what? I flippin' won it! I never ever win blog giveaways so it was a really lovely surprise when an email landed in my inbox informing me that I was the lucky winner! The prize was a really gorgeous pocket watch pendant from Urban Outfitters and a MeMeMe lip and cheek tint.

Winning. Now I know what it feels like to be Charlie Sheen...

If you're not familiar with MeMeMe, it's a brand that's quite Benefit-esque (but much cheaper) and is available in Superdrug. I've used one of their blushers before (which I reviewed ages ago here) but had never tried the tints so was excited to give one a go. Dani was actually kind enough to let me choose which tint I'd like as MeMeMe do two different ones; Pussy Cat, which is a dupe for BeneTint and Poppy Tint, which, you've guessed it, is a dupe for Posie Tint. As I've been LOVING the mini Posie Tint I got with Glamour magazine a while back, I went for Poppy Tint and have been really impressed with it. I'll be honest, I tried to photograph some swatches of it alongside Posie Tint, just to show how similar the two are, but my camera was having none of it and I just gave up out of sheer frustration. I do however, now have two lovely pink smudges on my hand which will not budge. Excellent.

Here's a close up of my pendant, it's so pretty and ornate! I've worn it loads since I got it; I'm really enjoying clicking the little button at the top to make the door open to check the time! It makes me feel like a Victorian gentleman. I just need a monacle now...

So a very belated THANK YOU to Dani for my prizes - I love them both!

Have you tried any MeMeMe products? What did you think? Also, should I get a monacle???


Thursday, 3 November 2011

So, I have had yet another ridiculously long blogging absence, even though I'd promised after the shambolic effort I'd put in in September, that October would be much better. In actual fact it was worse. I. AM. CRAP.

Ah well, I think we all go through these good blogger/bad blogger phases - sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you just don't manage to get down with the blogosphere like you should. Anyway, I'm back now, with absolutely bloody loads of posts planned, so let's forget about the past and move on.

I'm currently doing an internship at a beauty spa in Liverpool, which I'm loving; it's exactly the sort of thing I want to be doing as a career - online marketing, PR, social media etc but specifically in the beauty industry. Anyway, I've had a few complimentary treatments since I've been there (hot stone massage is A.MAZ.ING) and this week I decided to try out a Shellac manicure. If you've not heard of it before, Shellac is a nail system that lasts for up to two weeks without chipping. It's produced by CND who do lots of lovely nail products and are used by salons worldwide. Shellac is applied like a normal nail varnish; there's a base coat, then the colour, then a top coat, however, the difference is that each time a layer of the product is applied to your nails, you put your hand into a special UV lamp which sets the product, making it completely chip-resistant.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I change my nails quite frequently - I must have a very short attention span as I tend to get bored with the same colour after a few days, so while I thought that Shellac was a good idea, I didn't really think I could hack having the same colour on my nails for two weeks. Recently though, I've been getting so sick of my nails chipping really quickly - I think it's down to the Sally Hansen topcoat I'm using (it's rubbish), so I thought I might as well bite the bullet and try Shellac. Also, I went to an Illamasqua event last night (I'll do a separate post on that at some point over the next week), so I wanted to make sure my nails were looking lovely for that.

I had my nails done on Tuesday evening and it probably took around 35/40 minutes. The other great thing about a Shellac manicure is that there's no drying time; normally once your nails have been freshly painted you have that really annoying period afterwards where you can't touch anything or they'll smudge. With Shellac there's no waiting around at all - the product is applied, treated with the UV lamp and you're ready to go. AMAZING!

As it's still a relatively new product , there's only about thirty colours in the range at the moment and most of those are reds and pinks, however, six new, edgier colours have been released recently, including a turquoise and a slate grey. I decided to go for one of the new colours, Purple Purple, as I loved the shimmer running through it and thought it was the perfect unusual shade for the Illamasqua event.

Purple Purple - sooo pretty!

It's been two days since it was applied and so far there's absolutely no sign of chipping and my nails still look as glossy and perfect as they did on Tuesday. So far so good! I'll keep you posted on how long this lasts (and whether I manage to stick with it for the next two weeks without getting bored...)

Products of the Month - September

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Gosh I'm such a video-er lately! I'm really enjoying making vlogs at the moment (hope you enjoy watching them!). If you've noticed that this video is a much better quality than the last couple I've uploaded, it's because I have an HD video camera, and when I upload to Youtube it takes HOURS. So I've been experimenting with reducing the size to make the uploads faster, but obviously that means the quality is reduced too, boo. So I didn't bother with this one (it took about five hours to upload though - does anyone else have this issue?!)
Also, after all the trouble I went to attempting to keep my videos under fifteen minutes long, or editing them if they went over, Youtube have now informed me that I'm allowed to upload vids that are longer than fifteen minutes! Oh Youtube, you are a wiley devil. I'll probably still try and keep them below fifteen, because any longer than that and it gets a bit boring, but at least now I won't have to worry about my horrendous editing skills!

Products featured;

I am 24 going on 30

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

So, last month (31st August, to be precise) it was my 24th birthday. Yep, I'm properly in my mid-twenties now - I can't pretend to be on the cusp anymore, let's face it, it's all downhill from here. Anyway, I finally got around to making a haul video of all the lovely goodies I got. (Not that I'm materialistic or anything...)

I realised, after I'd finished filming, that I didn't mention the present my boyfriend got me. This is not because his present was rubbish or weird or anything, it's because I am foolish and forgetful at times. You see, everything I talked about in the video was a physical thing I had in front of me, whereas his present wasn't. He took me to see The Sound of Music in Manchester and because I am foolish I didn't think to keep the tickets or buy a program as proof. Anyway, it was marvellous, I'd really recommend it to any musical fans out there. Verity Rushworth (who used to play Donna Windsor in Emmerdale) was absolutely brilliant as Maria and Jason Donovan was supposed to be playing Captain Von Trapp, but we saw the undertsudy because he was ill. Fab show though... "the hills are ALIIIIIIIIIIVE with the sound of music!" Thanks Joe!

Remember September

Monday, 26 September 2011

So, as seems to be the case with all of my blogging lately, this is another very late post. I always aim to do a monthly 'update' post at the start of the month, but here we are, 26th September, and I've only just managed to find the time to do one. I think we're just going to have to accept that September has been a month of lateness. Hopefully October will be better...

So how've you all been? Good weekend? Good!

I'm currently loving;

Rehearsals. As I've previously mentioned, I'm a musical theatre obsessive and a member of an am-dram group in Liverpool that frequently puts on shows. We've just started rehearsing for a show called Into The Woods which we're doing in December and I'm having so much fun! I'm playing Little Red Riding Hood, so have to do a lot of skipping about and acting childish, which, for me, isn't much of a stretch. We had a dance rehearsal yesterday that wasn't even particularly vigorous, but it's been a long time since I did any dancing and today my legs are aching like mad! Ow ow ow.

Autumn sortin'. I had a big tidy out last week, put a load of stuff I never wear into charity bags, stuck all of my Summer clothes back into storage and brought all my Winter out from the depths of my wardrobe. I know it's not officially Winter yet, in fact today the weather's actually been quite nice, but I thought I'd try and be organised for once. I'm looking forward to stocking up on some nice chunky knits and a new Winter coat!

This nail varnish. Of all the polishes I got in the Models Own sale, Pink Punch has to be my favourite! It's just so beautiful! It's turned out to be the most difficult nail colour to photograph - it's actually a lot more pink than the pic suggests, it's quite similar to Coral Reef, which is another of my faves, but it's more neon and vibrant. I'm sure this'll make it into my September faves video (which I'm going to film this week and get it out on time, I PROMISE!), but I just wanted to post a pic too, because it's hard to see things in videos sometimes and this is just too lovely not to show off.

A Fine Frenzy. Not a new artist at all, I think she's been around for a good couple of years, but she's not very well known in the UK. You know how I'm a fan of quirky girl singers and this lady is no exception. Her music is lovely and cheerful and she's so damn pretty! I want her face/hair/style.

Delete This At Your Peril. You know those really annoying emails you get in your spam box claiming to be from African princes or Eastern European girls looking for love? This is a book about someone who decided to respond to those emails and the ridiculous conversations that followed. An absolutely hilarious book, I can't recommend it enough!

I'm currently hating;

Glee on Sky One. What fresh hell is this?! I'm really not happy about Glee being moved to Sky One as it means I can't watch it on my TV anymore (I only have Freeview and Sky One isn't a Freeview channel). It's not the end of the world because I'm sure I can watch it online or Sky Plus it downstairs or something, but still, not happy. E4 what are you playing at? You get rid of Friends, then you lose Glee?! How crap are you?!

Have you had a good September? How's school/uni/work treating you? What are you loving and hating at the moment?

Products of the Month - August (and July)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ok, so originally my Products of the Month for July was meant to have two parts because it was too long for one video. I published the first part here but never got around to doing the second part, so this is Products of the Month for July Part 2 (Franki Returns) and Products of the Month for August all rolled up into one horribly edited little package. Hurray!

Products featured;

Collection 2000 Cream Puff Lip Cream in Powder Puff
Barry M Nail Paint in 318 Peach Melba
Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream
Benefit Posietint
Schwarzkopf got2b 2 Sexy Collagen Hairspray

I'll be uploading a 'birthday haul' video in the next day or so, so keep an eye out for that. Yes , that's right, two videos BACKTOBACK! I'm a video-making-machine!

Fiddy (per)Cent

Sunday, 4 September 2011

As you probably know, last week Models Own held another 50% off everything sale on their site and I, along with the rest of the blogging population got very excited. I was actually a bit worried that the sale would go live while I was away on holiday in Herefordshire and I'd miss out completely, but fortunately, due to technical problems, it actually got delayed for a couple of days, which meant that I could still snap up plenty of half price goodies when I got home. Happy days. My package arrived on Thursday and I'm so pleased with what I bought.

Don't you just LOVE getting packages???

Top; Powder Duo Bronzer in Sun Goddess, Eyelash Curlers and Lipstick in Pinky Red. Bottom; Smash Up Silver, Pink Punch, Blooboo, Snow White, Top Turquoise and Cream Eyeshadow in White Pearl.

I know that Models Own is most well known for its nail polishes, but I decided to get a few other makeup products too. I've not tried everything out properly yet, but I'm LOVING the bronzing powder, the darker shade is perfect for contouring and the lighter one makes a lovely blusher. Of the nail colours I bought, so far I've only tried Pink Punch and Blooboo but I'm looking forward to giving Top Turquoise a go too, as I know it's a very popular one. Pink Punch is probably my favourite product so far, it is the most ridiculously bright pinky/coral colour I've ever owned. I've been dying to find an obnoxiously bright fluorescent pink for a while now and this is definitely it!

What did you buy in the sale? Have you tried any of the above products? What did you think?

Pretty pretty very pretty

Friday, 2 September 2011

You may remember, many moons ago, that I mentioned I was going to the Jacques Townhouse and that I would blog about it in the following days. Well, the days which followed turned out to be impossible blogging days for these reasons; firstly, my laptop got a killer virus that was so clever and so evil that whenever it realised I was running a virus scan it actually made the laptop automatically shut down. I shit you not. I eventually managed to beat the bastard, but it did prevent me from blogging for a few days. Then I went on holiday to Herefordshire, where they don't have t'Internet apparently and that prolonged the non-bloggingness even more. So here is my much belated post on the Jacques Townhouse, which was lovely and fun and glamourous.

If you've not heard of it, Jacques is a brand of fruit cider that is specifically marketed towards women. The Jacques Townhouse is basically a big townhouse where you can go (for free) and drink Jacques and eat cakes and look at lots of pretty things and get made over and play dress up. Fun fun fun. It was initially set up last Summer in London but this year they very sensibly added a second Townhouse in glorious Liverpool. I went along with my friend Nicole, neither of us really knowing what to expect as the description on the Jacques Facebook page was quite vague; it mentioned make overs and photoshoots but apart from that it all seemed a bit mysterious. I was intrigued...

Now, if I was a good blogger, I'd have taken my camera along with me, because that's what bloggers do isn't it? They go to events and they snap away and then post lots of pretty pictures for all to see. Sadly, I got to the bus stop and realised I'd left my camera at home and really couldn't be bothered to go back, so that was the end of that really. Fortunately, the Jacques Facebook page is absolutely full of photos, so I thought I'd nick borrow a few to give you an idea of what it was like inside. (if you had gotten to this point in the post and assumed that I'd taken these photos, God bless you, but I am RUBBISH at photography...)

It's hard to fully describe what the Townhouse was like inside; Nicole and I went in and were lead to the reception area, where we were greeted by lots of very attractive maids and butlers and a very excitable man named Mr Flowers who just kept telling us how beautiful we were and how much he liked our shoes/outfits/jewellery. It was pretty good for the confidence! We were then each given a 'key to the bar' (which entitled us to two free drinks, sadly not the whole bar) and were told what we could do in the Tonwhouse, which included, cupcake decorating, games in the 'Enchanted Garden', makeovers in the Beauty Parlour and a mini photo shoot in the Photo Studio.

Myself and Nicole chilling in the Enchanted Garden

We managed to get around most of the rooms - we decorated (then ate) cupcakes, chilled in the garden, had mini makeovers and then went and had a photo shoot (which included wigs and props).

In the Beauty Parlour, you had the option of getting your hair, makeup, lashes or nails done, or you could have a massage. They had absolutely TONS of Models Own products so I was a bit overexcited, however I evenutally opted to get my hair done, as I very rarely wear my hair in an updo and wanted to get some tips on how to do it. This did mean, however, that I couldn't try on any of the wigs or hats in the Photo Studio. Gutted! Nicole looked lovely with a red bob though!

It was such a fun way to spend an afternoon and my only real criticism was that it was slightly overcrowded and too short. When we first went into the Townhouse we spent a good few minutes going from room to room, attempting to get in but with no luck as they were all too full. We eventually settled on sitting out in the garden for a bit, then went back into the house a little while later, which was fine, but a bit frustrating! Also, there was loads to do but limited time; you were only allowed in for an hour-and-a-half-long session and then you had to leave, to allow the organisers to set up for the next batch of people. This meant that people didn't get time to do all of the activities that were on offer - we weren't able to go into the Wardrobe of Wonders, which was a shame because it was full of gorgeous vintage dresses and I'd have loved to try one on. Hopefully the organisers will have picked up on this so that if they run the event again next year, they'll maybe make the sessions longer and have less people attending each one.

Even so, it was definitely worth a visit and I really like that this is an event that's aimed at the public as so many brands tend to run events solely for celebrities or press. While I understand why that's the case, I do think that Jacques are onto a winner here. If you want to get people interested in your brand, what better way to do it than treat them to some pampering and glamour? It obviously worked as Nicole and I had never tried the drink itself before, but after having two bottles of Jacques at the event (and a third in our goodie bags) we both agreed that it's something we'd drink again on a night out.

Did you get a chance to visit the Jacques Townhouse? What did you think? Would you go again next year?

All photos (apart from the Instagram one of Nicole and I) courtesy of Jacques.

Out of this world

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I've been seeing a lot of pictures of 'galaxy' nails recently and when Lily posted hers, along with a link to this tutorial, I had to give them a go.

From left to right - Models Own Black Magic, Natural Collection Nail Tip Whitener, George Quick Dry Nail Varnish in Buttercup Shine, Barry M Nail Pain int Peach Melba, Topshop Nails in Stolen Sapphires, Models Own Juicy Jules and Rimmel Pro Super Wear Ultra Shine Topcoat

As nail designs go, while this one looks a bit complicated, it's actually pretty easy to do, as it's a completely abstract design so you don't have to worry about being really precise with your application.

I'm aware that this is a very short post and therefore not really like me at all, but I wanted to get something posted today as I've not blogged for about two weeks and this is all I've got time for (SERIOUSLY, if anyone has a Time Turner, I could really, REALLY use it right now). I've got a few longer posts, plus the second part of my July favourites video (at the end of August... yeah...) to follow over the next few days, so keep an eye out for those!

Products of the Month - July

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Finally, finally uploaded this video to Youtube. I really enjoy vlogging but it is SUCH a faff at times! I actually filmed this right at the beginning of August but when I uploaded it to Youtube it was removed straight away for being too long (by a minute and a half grrr!) - why can't I upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes but other people can??? Anyway, I decided to have a go at editing it down, rather than filming it again so I downloaded some video editing stuff and then spent about five hours editing (would have been so much quicker to just film the video again...) Anyway, here it is, in all its glory... well actually, it's just the first part, I've still to film a second part because I've got loads of lovely products to talk about.

I've never edited a video before so if it's a bit jumpy in places, that'll be why - hopefully it's something I'll get better at...actually hopefully it's something I just won't have to do again because it took far too long.

Products featured;

Topshop Skin Glow in Light
Veet Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser
VO5 Miracle Concentrate
Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser
Barry M Nail Effects in Pink Fizz

I hope everyone's had a lovely weekend, I've been mainly chilling today, had some time to catch up on returning blog comments and read some blogs, which is nice. As I mentioned in my last post, I went to the Jacques Townhouse yesterday and had such a good laugh, I wish I could have stayed there all evening. I'll do a full blog post about it soon, but if anyone is in/around Liverpool over the next few days, I'd really, really recommend going - you can register for tickets here.

August-us Gloop

Friday, 12 August 2011

I can't believe it's Friday already - this week has flown over like a flaming bat out of hell shot from a catapult (that's fast!). Hope you've all got nice things planned for the weekend! I'm off to the Jacques Townhouse event in Liverpool tomorrow - I can't wait! Has anyone else been/is anyone else going? I know they've done one in London too, it looks so fun! I'll probably write a post about it next week. This here is my monthly update post for August (it's very difficult thinking up punny titles each month - this one is rubbish, I know, because it's not really a pun, but seriously, the word August is a tricky one! If you can think of something better, please tell me!) I'm aware it's a bit late, and my Products of the Month for July is VERY late :( I've actually filmed the vlog, just haven't uploaded it to Youtube yet, I promise I shall do so very, very soon! (Maybe even now...)

Anyway, with all the nonsense that's been happening in the UK over the past week, I'm not going to do a "currently hating" section this month, as it seems trivial and silly. It's just going to be about love this time. "All you need is love, la la la la la...."

I'm currently loving;

This video.
I was tempted to write a separate blog post about the riots but to be honest, I don't even know where to start and so much has been said already. My lovely friend Jay is a singer/songwriter/genius and has written this cover of the song Made In America (from the new Kanye West/Jay-Z album Watch The Throne) as a response to the riots. I think it sums up how most of us are feeling pretty well.

Milka Chocolate. As a chocolate fiend, it's hard for me to say which brand I like the best - Cadbury? Galaxy? Lindt? At the moment though, my bar of choice isMilka Happy Cows. Look at it! It's patchy, like a cow! Cow print chocolate, bloody brilliant. I physically can't stop buying it. If you haven't tried it, seriously get some, it's yummy!

Twinings Revive & Revitalise Lemon and Ginger Tea. Another food-based one. I randomly found one bag of this in our kitchen cupboard (Lord only knows where it came from) and I liked it so much I went out and bought a box. I've had a cold this week (damn rainy weather) and this has been the perfect remedy to help soothe my throat and clear my head. Lemony gingery goodness.

The Killing. My boyfriend and I have really gotten into this series on Channel 4. It's an American remake of a Danish series and follows the aftermath of the murder of a teenage girl. I don't normally care much for crime dramas but this is seriously addictive TV; it's full of unexpected twists and turns. I thought it was just going to be a three part drama type thing, but I checked on IMDb and there's actually thirteen episodes, which is a bit frustrating as I really want to get to the conclusion!

Sudoku. This is an incredibly geeky admission to make, but I've actually become obsessed with Sudoku! My Dad buys The Times most days so is providing me with a constant supply of puzzles to feed my habit. I like to think it's making me smarter...

I've been making a bit more of an effort at finding new blogs to read lately, as quite often I tend to just stick to my favourites. If you have any blog recommendations let me know! I always check them out. Here's some I've been enjoying recently;

A big picture of my face

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I don't normally do these 'Face of the Day' posts as I feel a bit weird posting pictures of myself on here, but I went out for a meal with my boyfriend on Saturday night and saw it as an excuse to make a bit more effort than usual with my makeup...

Topshop Skin Glow in Light
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 20
17 Hide and Chic Eye Brightening Concealer in Light Beige
Sleek Makeup ONE Finishing Powder
Benefit High Beam
Sleek Peach Gold eyeshadow from the Paraguaya palette worn as blusher

Colours from the Sleek Paraguaya and Storm palettes
Topshop Liner pen
Rimmel Lash Accelorator Mascara in Black
Sleek Eye Drama Mascara in Blackout Waterproof
Tweezerman Brow Mousse

Barry M Lip Paint in 53 Coral

Think that's everything - seeing everything listed like this just made me realise how much makeup was on my face that night! WHOA!

The best things in life are free

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

As someone currently on the tightest of budgets, I find myself constantly justifying even the most basic purchases and convincing myself to only buy products that are reduced, on offer or just very cheap. I've gotten used to this, but every now and then, I still get the urge to leg it into the John Lewis beauty department, grab as many beautiful things as I can get my hands on, and stick them all on my credit card, all the while shrieking and laughing like a madwoman. Fortunately, I normally manage to fight this urge and have been pretty darn sensible lately. (NB It is my birthday at the end of the month and it's likely that a significant portion of birthday money will be spent during a burst of the aforementioned madwoman behaviour...).

Recently though, I've managed to get my hands on quite a few lovely things, without actually having to spend any money at all. No, no, I've not taken up shoplifting, don't worry, I've just been taking advantage of freebies. You're probably already aware of this, but Lush will give you a fresh face mask for absolutely nothing if you bring back five of their black pots! Last week, after finishing off my big tub of Dream Cream, I realised that I'd finally managed to acquire five pots, and headed to Lush, ready to grab a freebie.

Since I'm STILL being plagued by the little blocked pores around my chin, I decided to go for something really deep cleansing, in the hope that it'd shift the buggers once and for all. The guy in Lush recommended Cosmetic Warrior, so I snapped it up, handed over my pots and off I went, happy in the knowledge that not only had I just gotten a face mask that normally costs about £5.50 for nil points, but also, that I'm being a good recycler and that is very important.

Contains garlic, tea tree oil, honey and eggs to name but a few. Does not smell pleasant. I'll do a review at some point soon.

Later that same day, I randomly ended up going back into town to meet some friends, but as I got to town a bit early, I went into Superdrug for a nosey. Thank goodness I did because I then picked up my second excellent freebie of the day! I noticed near the entrance of Superdrug, there were lots of lttle makeup stations set up, each with what looked like a goodie bag next to them. I was obviously intrigued by this (gotta love a goodie bag) and as I went for a closer look, one of the girls who worked there asked me if I'd like to go to the Superdrug Beauty School? "DO I?!" I thought, "HELL YEAH IF I GET A GOODIE BAG... what is it?" The girl explained that basically I just had to sit at one of the booths and let her instruct me on how to apply makeup to recreate a specific 'look'. Easy. So I did. The look I had to to recreate was called 'Pop Lips', which consisted of bronzed skin, defined lashes and a bright coral lipstick - right up my street! I had to use Miss Sporty products, which I've not used for years, but I was pleasantly surprised, especially by the lipstick, which I think was called Bubblegum and was a lovely sheer pinky coral. The class took about ten minutes and I think was probably aimed at younger girls who aren't used to wearing makeup - the other two girls doing the class at the same time as me were both 15... I felt a bit silly when I told them I was 23... but ah well, any opportunity to mess about with makeup is fine with me!

I was really impressed with the goodie bag I got at the end of the class; while it is mainly just Superdrug's own brand stuff along with some samples and vouchers, they're all items I'd actually use, plus I literally had to do nothing to get it, just play with makeup for ten minutes!

Products in the goodie bag included a Nail Shaper, Delicious Body Spray (which smells lovely!), Dry Shampoo, Miss Sporty Disco Tech UV Topcoat, The Little Pink Tin lipbalm, Self Heating Smoothie Mask and a Self Tan Applicator Mitt, as well as samples of the new VO5 shampoo and conditioner and Vera Wang Lovestruck perfume, plus loads of money off vouchers. Not bad eh?

The Superdrug Beauty School is happening in larger branches of Superdrug all over the country - you can see the full list of participating stores here. It looks like the next class will be using 2True products, which I've never tried before, so I'm tempted to go back!

Had any good freebies lately? Has anyone else been to a Superdrug Beauty Class? What did you think?


Monday, 1 August 2011

Back in June, the very gorgeous Lucy of lalalucy1000 tagged me in a blog award and I've been meaning to pass it on ever since, but due to a mixture of being forgetful, busy and generally a bit shit, it's taken this long to do it...
The Liebster Award is designed to be awarded to blogs with less than 300 subscribers to spread the blog love and get them out to a wider audience
The rules:
1) Post displaying the award, linking back to the person who awarded you.
2) Pick 3 blogs and let the know they are awarded

Whoop whoop! How exciting! Thank you Lucy! I was really pleased to discover Lucy's blog as she's a fellow Scouse blogger and I was under the impression that there wasn't very many of us out there in the big wide blogosphere. That was until the genius that is Hayley who writes Ceriselle came up with the idea for the UK Blogger Map. If you've not come across it yet, it's basically a way for you to find other bloggers in your area - how clever! Anyway, since signing up to the map, I've found LOADS of other bloggers from my neck of the woods. I've picked three of my favourite new discoveries to pass on the award to. They are;

Be sure to check them all out because they're marvellous! And if you've not checked out the UK Blogger Map, do it now!
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