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!

Products of the Month - April

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Check it out! Two blog posts in two days! I am quite literally a blogging machine!

Products featured;

Collection 2000 Metallic Cream Eyeshadow (in Gold Rush)
Percy & Reed London Totally TLC Hydrating Mask
Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (in True Ivory)
Real Techniques Core Collection

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? And what else have you been loving lately? Tell me things!

Fade in on a girl with a hunger for fame...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Yes, I know it's been a while and you've probably forgotten that I even exist but guess what, I do! And I'm taking advantage of the (much needed) Bank Holiday to attempt to do some serious blogging. 

Firstly, what the fudge has happened to Blogger?! I disappear for a couple of months and when I come back, everything's weird and new - why does everything have to change, why oh why?!

Secondly, (and I've mentioned this in my latest Youtube video, which will be on here soon) I really want to completely redesign my blog as I think it looks quite boring, however I have absolutely no idea where to begin, nor do I have the design skillz required for such a task, so if you know of anyone who's good at that sort of thing, please do let me know and I'll love you forever.

I thought I'd do a monthly update post to get back into the swing of things, here goes...

I'm currently loving;

Smash. I feel like this show was written for me; it's American, has a bloody good cast, including Jack Davenport (yum) and Debra Messing (love her) and it's about a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Think Glee for grown-ups. I've only watched two episodes and I'm already addicted.

The Hunger Games. I actually finished reading the trilogy a couple of weeks ago now, so I'm not sure if it can be counted as a 'currently loving', but I just wanted to mention it because it was so good. I really didn't know what to expect from the books, but the trailer for the film looked so exciting that I had to give them a go. Once I got started, I literally couldn't put them down; I think I finished the first book in a day. Yes, they're young adult and yes, they're a bit silly in parts and to be honest I really didn't like how the whole thing ended, but I would really recommend them to anyone with the ability to read. I want to be Katniss Everdeen.

Primark. Is it just me, or is Primark really flippin' good at the moment? I swear, I'll go in there just to stock up on tights and end up buying a whole new outfit. I feel like it used to be cheap and cheerful but not actually particularly fashion forward, but lately, I've found some real gems in there! Definitely going to be stocking up on lots of their cute dresses for the summer.

Home Sweet Home...

New house funsies. So as you may or may not know, Joe and I are in the process of moving into our new house. Well, actually the place is a bit of a building site at the moment as Joe's doing a lot of work on it and doesn't think we'll actually be able to live there until July. Even though it's frustrating having to wait, it'll be worth it and I absolutely can't wait to start decorating it and making it pretty. Exciting times!

I'm currently hating;

John Lewis. It was my Dad's 50th birthday yesterday so my sisters and I decided to club together to get him some extra nice cufflinks. I ended up ordering some Mulberry ones from the John Lewis website and then picked them up from the Liverpool One store on Saturday. When I got home and had a look at them however, I realised that one was perfect but the other one was really badly tarnished. It's so annoying as I didn't have time to take them back to John Lewis, so had to give them to my Dad as planned, but then explain that he couldn't actually have them right now as they need to be exchanged for a non-tarnished pair. I know that shit happens and I'm sure I'll just be able to replace them, but you really don't expect a pair of expensive designer cufflinks to be damaged like that. Not happy John Lewis, not happy!

So that's what's been going on with me of late. Hope you're all fine and dandy and hello to the new readers! I promise things are going to start getting a bit more interesting around here!

Peace out kids, be safe, be seen. x

POTM - January & February

Sunday, 25 March 2012

It's video time! (My hair looks really weird in this, I think I'd blow dried it but not straightened it yet, which is why it's so fluffy...)

Products featured;
Colourworks Palette and Nail varnish (no Colourworks stuff currently available on the Superdrug site, but this is a brand definitely worth checking out if you ever see any of the products in store.)
Topshop Nails in Milkshake
Topshop Nails in Mannequin
Topshop Lips in Confession (not currently on the site)
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light

I just love buying stuff.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Oh... hello!
Yes, I know it's been a while, over a month to be exact, which is never an acceptable amount of time to be away from blogging for, but I'm back now so you can stop panicking.

I've been in my new job for about six weeks now; it's crazy how quickly the time goes - I feel like one minute I'm waking up, sleepy and bleary eyed on a Monday morning thinking "and another week begins..." and the next minute it's 5pm on a Friday afternoon and everyone's going "bye, have a nice weekend!" Madness. It's knackering though, which is one of the reasons why I've not posted anything in a while; by the time I get all the way back home from Chester, I can just about manage to string sentences together, never mind start writing a blog post. Fortunately, I'm starting to get used to it now, so hopefully blogging will start to be a bit more frequent again. I've already get a Youtube video filmed, I just need to upload it, which I'll try and do this weekend too.

Anyway, last Saturday was the first time in about three weeks where I had absolutely nothing to do and nowhere to be, so I took a little trip into town to buy my Mum her Mother's Day present and while I was there I got a bit overexcited and bought myself a few treats...

Topshop Blush in Neon Rose, Topshop Lips in Brighton Rock, Benefit Tan About Town, Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream*, Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Core Collection
Proof that I'm still a bit amateur when it comes to this beauty blogging/photographing products malarkey; by the time I'd realised that I should take some photos for a haul post, I'd already taken everythig out of the boxes and tried them all out. Proper beauty bloggers wouldn't dream of doing something so gauche - your products have to be pristine and untouched when you photograph them! Sadly, I don't have that kind of self-restraint - I didn't even wait until I got home from town, I'd already started playing with them on the bus!

I think by now it's safe to say that I have something of an obsession for Topshop makeup. I may even like it more than the clothes, which are obviously lovely but just so frikkin' overpriced I could cry. The makeup, on the other hand, is beautious and very reasonably priced. I was so pleased to see that the Liverpool Topshop was stocking the cream blushes again; for a while I thought they'd been discontinued, and I'd never be able to get my hands on my beloved Flush ever again. They're back now though and since I've still got a tiny bit of Flush left (saved for special occasions only), I thought I'd give Neon Rose a try. I've been wearing it all week and I do like it, but still think I prefer Flush, which has a little less red in it. I also bought a lipstick in Brighton Rock, which is a lovely bright, slightly blue-toned pink. I'm slowly developing a bit of an obsession for the Topshop lipsticks - the colour range is always really on-trend, they're super pigmented, and not at all drying on the lips. I. Love. Them.

This was something of an impulse buy as it was cheekily placed right next to the queue for the tills in Boots. I never, ever buy Benefit makeup because, although I think the products are really gorgeous, I can never justify the price tag. This set, however, was just £9. NINE POUNDS! Obviously they're all minis, but still, three really good products for £9 is pretty bargainous I'd say. I knew I'd use the Hoola bronzer and the Bad Gal Lash mascara (which is one of the best mascaras I've used in ages, it has to be said) but I wasn't too bothered about Some Kind-a Gorgeous, which is a foundation, because I only use foundation quite rarely anyway and I didn't think the colour would match my skin tone. I've actually been really impressed by it though and have worn it every day this week. It gives my skin a nice dewy look and blends really well, especially when applied with...

My new Real Techniques brushes!!! (Again, you can see by the slightly stained bristles that I'd already had a play with them before taking the photo) As soon as I found out that these were being stocked in Boots I was ridiculously excited. I've been wanting the Core Collection ever since it was first released, but with the brushes only being available online, I just never got around to buying them. Now though, I've got no excuse as the entire range is available in Boots and I've got a feeling it won't be long before I've added the eye brushes to my collection. I only really wanted the Buffing Brush (the biggest one), but it's not available to buy on its own, so I obviously had to get the whole set instead. The other brushes are lovely too and really do make such a difference to the way I apply my makeup. I'm sure these will be making an appearance in my next Products of the Month video so I'll talk about them more in depth then.

So that's my little haul done and dusted. I doubt I'll be doing another one for a while because, along with a few other bits and pieces I picked up that day, I ended up spending a stupid amount of money. Joe and I will be moving into a new house in the next few months and, obviously, have quite a lot to buy, so no more frivolous spending on makeup for me, no no no!

Have you used any of the products above? What did you think? Go on, tell me!

*I didn't bother mentioning the Oilatum as I've talked about it tonnes of times before and it's not as interested as pretty makeup and brushes!

Seasons of love

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

If you've read this blog for a while, you'll probably know that I'm not a particularly sentimental person. Sure, I have my moments (watching people win life-changing amounts of money on TV game shows always gets me a bit teary for some reason), but generally I'm not one for huge displays of emotion. Which is why the following post may be a bit unexpected; don't panic, I've not turned into one of those 'feelings' people - the weird, cynical me will be right back, I promise. I just thought that, well, if you can't say things like this on Valentine's Day, when can you say them?

A lot of people condemn Valentine's Day for being a pointless, fake, commercial holiday. Yes, it clearly is a bit of a money spinner for florists, greetings card manufacturers, Thornton's and lingerie shops, and yes you shouldn't need to have one day of the year set aside to tell someone you love them, because you should probably tell them every day (or at least once a week). Not only that, but having a day which solely celebrates love and relationships is a bit rubbish for all the people out there who are single. Believe me, trying to fight your way through 700 heart shaped bastard balloons in Clinton's when you're single and just want to get to the birthday section is really bloody irritating.

However, in these fast-paced times of iPads, BBM and skinny-mocha-choca-chai-green-tea lattes, I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with having a day to celebrate good old-fashioned romance. I'm not saying you have to go completely mental, fill your boyfriend/girlfriend's room with rose petals and giant teddies and then carve "I LUV U 4EVA" into your own forehead or anything, but taking the time to do something heartfelt is actually, you know, quite nice. Also, I find that being single on Valentine's Day is only actually depressing if you make it depressing; spending it with friends, eating a load of crap and laughing at how terrible the film "Valentine's Day" was, is an excellent way to pass the time.

Maybe I'm pro-February 14th because this year, for the very first time in my whole 24 years of living, I've actually got a boyfriend on Valentine's Day and I'm very, very happy. It was around this time last year that Joe asked me out for the first time and a year down the line, things are lovely :)

Love's young dream

Anyway, this post isn't meant to be all gloaty and gushy and gross (go alliteration!); I just wanted to defend Valentine's Day a bit, because when you forget all the teddy bears and heart shaped boxes of chocolates, at the heart of it (ha!) there's a perfectly acceptable message - let's celebrate love. And why bloody not?

Whatever you do today to celebrate (or not), I hope you have a lovely day!

Also, Happy Silver Wedding Anniversary Mum and Dad (aaaw!)

Dzien dobry

Monday, 6 February 2012

Yo homiez. Just returned from Krakow don'tcha know? It was cold there, so very cold. I don't think I've ever worn so many clothes in my life. Anyway, blogging may be a bit scarce for the next week or so as I'm starting a new job tomorrow and a good portion of my days will be taken up with travelling to and from Chester (note: Liverpool to Chester, when you don't drive, is a HELL OF A TREK). Anyway, while I'm off being busy and important, why don't you check out these blogging marvels; I've been really enjoying them lately.

Also, just so this post isn't all just a load of text, here's a picture of Ryan Gosling. You're welcome.

I couldn't stay away

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Super glittery nails - this is Nails Inc The City. It's actually a crackle effect polish, but I layered it up because I've gone off crackle polishes a bit. There is so much glitter in this though, it's so sparkly!

Despite the fact it's now the end of January, I still occasionally burn my Christmas Cookie Yankee Candle. I just couldn't wait a whole year to use it again, it smells yummy!

Decided to jump on the BB Cream bandwagon so bought this with a £5 No7 voucher. So far so good - it does make my skin look a lot better, but it's very, very subtle - you can't tell that you're wearing anything on your face.

Bought myself a Denman Dressing Out (backcombing) brush after months of wondering why, when Liverpool is the backcombing capital of the world, the big Boots here doesn't sell them. They have every other kind of Denman brush ever made, but not this one, so I got it from Amzon for about £3.50

New FAVOURITE top from Primark. Minnie Mouse, Peter Pan Collar, Bows. Perfection.

Another Primark purchase. I could live in these, I really could. Fleece lined, super snuggly tights are just so much more enjoyable than regular tights.

Felt like a bit of a hair change so I bought a much darker-than-usual hair dye. I figured I'd get a semi-permanent one first, just in case I didn't like it. Fortunately, the Botanics range do both semi and permanent dyes so I can go back and get a permanent one if the mood takes me.

New hair! Really pleased with how this has turned out. Obviously, my hair has always been brown, so you might not be able to see much of a difference, but it's a lot darker than it was and I think it suits me more than the previous kind of browney-red colour that I had.

Hope you're all having a lovely week! Yay it's Friday tomorrow! What are your plans?

Dressed up to the Nines

Sunday, 22 January 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I. BLOODY. LOVE. DRESSES. Which is why, when awards season comes around each year, I get quite excited. As I've STILL NOT managed to accomplish my goal of being an actual Disney princess; wearing gowns, attending balls, befriending adorable talking animals and leaving shoes all over the bloody place, the closest I'm likely to ever get to those gorgeous princess dresses is by obsessively browsing through the red carpet images on IMDb and madly pawing at the screen crying "WHY CAN'T IT BE ME?!" Anyway, now that I've branded that disturbing image into your minds for the rest of the day, let's get on with it, shall we?

So it was the Golden Globes last week and aside from the fact that the dresses were excellent as usual, the celebrities have disappointed me. Not because of their lack of effort, oh no, if anything they've made too much effort. Because this year, practically everyone was wearing custom-made gowns! They're not satisfied with just picking a dress from a recent Couture collection, oh no, they've got to have them specially made for them. As if Vera Wang doesn't have enough to do.
"Why is this such a big deal, Franki?" you may ask.
Well my little daisies, I'll tell you. Every year, when awards season swings around, I sit in my pyjamas, go through all the red carpet photos, pick out my favourite dresses, find out who designed them and then track down a photo of the dresses when they were originally shown on the catwalks. It's just something I like doing, ok? I think it's interesting.
If a dress has been custom-made, however, I can't do this, because it was never shown on the catwalk. Some people are so selfish. Of my seven favourite dresses, only one was actually first shown on the catwalk. Not happy. If the celebs decide to pull the same crap at the Oscars, I'll be writing a very strongly-worded letter to the Academy...

Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci (Pre-Fall 2012). Still kind of channeling the stark palette of her Lisbeth Salander character, I love how this is both quite revealing but still understated. She's kept it edgy with very minimal hair and makeup and no jewels at all - this look is all about the dress. Glad she steered away from the elbow-length gloves as I think they look like overkill in the original photo.

Zooey Deschanel in custom-bloody-Prada. I think this is a very unusual choice for the red carpet and for Zooey herself, but she looks gorgeous nonetheless. It's miles away from her usual quirky-girl style, though she has kept her signature hairstyle the same. Love the unexpected pop of acid green (acid green on the red carpet - who'da thunk?) and the high neckline. Lovely lovely lovely.

Reese Witherspoon in Zac Posen. I can't help but love Reese; she always looks so cute and smiley. I've read some reviews slating this look, saying that it looks like she's not made much effort with her hair and the fit of the dress looks weird, but personally I like that she's kept her hair quite laid back and I think the shape of the dress is cool, although it does look like the fishtail could do with having a bit more structure to it... it's gone kind of floppy. Either way, she's gone for a kind of modern all-American girl/blonde bombshell type thing and I think it's fabulous.

Michelle Williams in Jason Wu. It's interesting that, having recently played the ultimate screen-siren, Marilyn Monroe, Michelle wasn't tempted to emulate her look on the red carpet. A lot of celebs go all in for that old-Hollywood glamour when it comes to awards season, but Michelle has jumped straight back into her signature style - pixie crop and unusual gown. While it would have been nice to see her really upping the glamour - we know she can pull it off as she looked stunning as Marilyn - I guess she's found a style that she likes and is sticking to it. I think this Jason Wu gown could look absolutely horrendous on the wrong person, but Michelle makes it look chic and elegant.

Heidi Klum in Calvin Klein. I'll be completely honest here, I'm going to take all the credit for this one. If you've red my previous red carpet posts, you'll know that for the past couple of years, I've been trying to show Heidi that her recent efforts have been way off. Obviously, she's been paying attention to my words of wisdom because she's really looking gorgeous here. Understated hair and makeup, simple but elegant dress and beautiful jewels. Well done, Heidi, well done.

Emma Stone in Lanvin. Some redheads don't like to wear certain colours for fear they'll clash with their hair, but Emma is clearly willing to take risks and they've really paid off here. This Grecian-style Lanvin number (with an EAGLE belt) is super sexy and fashion-forward. It's a very different look to the one she went for last year - she's really upped the sex appeal this time around - smouldering eyes, plunging neckline, thigh split - you go Glen Coco Emma!

Charlize Theron in Dior Couture. Oh beautiful, beautiful Charlize. You're just so... beautiful! Despite the fact that this has an uber-low neckline and massive thigh split, it's still feminine, pretty and elegant. I don't think you can ever go wrong with Dior; it's just the perfect red carpet label. Love the hair, love the rosey complexion, LOVE THIS!

So who do you think looked the best? And I have missed anyone out? Can't wait for the Oscars!

Je voudrais s'il vous plaît - clever beauty tools

Saturday, 21 January 2012

There seems to be more and more clever and exciting beauty tools and gadgets being released all the time and, quite frankly, I want them all. Now. Please. Here's a few that are currently at the top of my wish list (note, some of these aren't actually newly released products; they've been out for a while, it's just that I've only recently released how much I need them in my life.)

Curlformers I think some people would see these as completely pointless, but I reckon they look like fun. I suppose they'd fall into the same category as bendy rollers, but instead of wrapping your hair around them, as you would with a roller, each curlformer is actually a curly tube that you thread your hair through... it's hard to explain. Tanya Burr used them in a video so it's probably best you go and watch that if you can't picture what I mean. They'd probably be quite time consuming, especially if you have a lot of hair, but I like how you can get different sizes in a pack, to create different types of curl and they'd be a lot more hair-friendly than using heated rollers or tongs to get the same effect.

Clarisonic Mia If you've never come across one of these before, it's basically an electric toothbrush...for your face. The Clarisonic is a clever little device that you can use morning and night as part of your cleansing routine. The idea of brushing your face may seem mad, but I've read some very positive reviews on this, with people saying that their skin has never looked better and the Clarisonic really does remove every single molecule of dirt. It has a timer in it so that you only actually use it on your face for sixty seconds, and every ten seconds it makes a beeping sound to tell you to move onto another area of your face. See? Clever!

Tangle Teezer Not a new product at all, but something I've just never gotten around to buying. A Tangle Teezer is a special kind of plastic hair brush that is designed to gently de-tangle and smooth hair without damaging it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem, but pretty much every time I comb my hair after washing it, loads of it seems to fall out. It is natural to lose a certain number of hairs every day, but personally I'd like to keep that number to a minimum! Because the Tangle Teezer is so gentle, you're less likely to pull out a lot of your hair when you use it. This is another one that has fantastic reviews - it's right at the top of my list.

Real Techniques Core Collection I mentioned this in my Christmas wish list post too, but I really want some lovely new makeup brushes and these ones are designed by the genius that is Samantha Chapman, so they're bound to be good. To be perfectly honest, I'm not even that fussed about the other brushes in the collection, I just really want to get my hands on the buffing brush (the big flat-headed one in the pic) and you can't buy it separately. When I had my Illamasqua makeover, the lovely makeup artist told me that he always buffs foundation onto the skin with that kind of brush, rather than use a flat foundation brush, as you end up with a much better finish. I have to say, my foundation looked flawless and lasted really well after he'd applied it that way, so I'm dying to give this a go.

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler Ok, so it may seem silly to include curlformers and a curling iron in the same wish list, but I just think that this is an absolutely genius gadget. Unlike other curling tongs, the barrel of Encode Totem Styler is split into three different sections, each with their own heat control, meaning you can create lots of different curls and waves. For example, you could set the top part of the barrel on a low heat, then the other parts on a higher heat to create a loose curl at the top of your hair with a tighter curl at the bottom. The possibilities are endless!

Travalo Again, not really a new concept, as perfume atomizers have been around for years, but the Travalo is so dinky and cute! Last year I had a really handy solid perfume from Lush that I could just toss into my bag without worrying about it breaking but there's no way I'd take the same risk with my current perfume of choice - Illamasqua Freak. Joe bought me it for Christmas and I've been wearing it all the time, but the bottle is so gorgeous (and it was expensive!) so I never take it out with me for fear of it smashing. This means I can't top up my perfume throughout the day and I'm one of those people whose skin just seems to absorb scent - I can never smell it on me! A Travalo is the perfect solution - tiny enough to chuck in my bag, plus it re-fills really easily, so I could just keep decanting some Freak into it and keep my lovely big bottle safe at home. Excellent.

So that's my beauty gadgets/tools wish list done and dusted - I think the Travalo and the Tangle Teezer are the two things I'm most likely to purchase first, as they're the most affordable; some of the other items on the list are quite pricey and will have to be saved up for a special occasion...

Is there anything on the list you like the look of? Or have you got some other clever beauty devices in mind? Share the love and tell me!

Between those gaps and the holes

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Wahey! Two blog posts in two days? I'm back baby! Having a very chilled out Saturday today, which is nice - tidying, catching up on TV and doing a bit of blogging. Might even film a video later, depending on how the light in my room is. Hope you're all having lovely weekends whatever you're up to!

I'm currently loving;

Downton Abbey. I've been majorly slow to jump on the bandwagon with this one, as it's been out for ages but it was just one of those things I never got around to watching it. Anyway, my Mum got the first series on DVD for Christmas and I am ADDICTED. It's so good! Even Joe's enjoying it and he really didn't think he would as he's not a big fan of period dramas. Give it a go if you've not done so already!

2012. I've decided that this year is going to be the year I finally sort my life out and become a proper, real grown up. I've already got a new job lined up (starting in a few weeks!) and Joe and I have been house-hunting like crazy. It's all very exciting but quite daunting at the same time, part of me thinks I'm Peter Pan and will never really grow up but I think it's time to accept that. actually, I'm 24 now and need to take on some responsibilities instead of procrastinating all the time. Aimée, who writes The Lost Girl, posted four new year's resolutions and one of them really stood out to me - Be Pro-active. This is something I really need to work on, so I've decided to steal borrow it and make it my resolution too! Thanks Aimée!

My babies. I know I said in my last post that I'm not feeling particularly inspired when it comes to nail art at the moment, but I'm still loving painting my nails as much as ever. I realised recently that I've always loved collecting things - throughout my childhood I went through phases where I was obsessed with, in no particular order, Pogs, Polly Pockets, Puppy In My Pockets, My Beautiful Horses, Beanie Babies and, for a while, I had absolutely loads of those weird alien toys that came in Frufoo yoghurts - anyone remember them? Anyway, now the collecting obsession seems to have moved on to nail varnishes and I can only see this getting worse before it gets better...

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I was a bit hesitant to go and see this, because, having read the book, I was scared that it was going to be very hard to watch. To be fair, it was quite horrible in parts but I knew what to expect so was prepared when those bits came up. I did enjoy it though - Rooney Mara is absolutely brilliant. They did change a few details, but for the most part, the film stays very true to the book, which is always a major concern of mine when a book is made into a film. I know a lot of people think it's mad that the Swedish films were only released in the past couple of years, so it's silly to do a remake already, but I guess it means that all of those people who don't like to watch films with subtitles can still see it? Obviously, it's really just another example of Hollywood cashing in on a successful foreign film (Vanilla Sky, The Ring, Let The Right One In, etc etc) but I did actually think it was very well done, so I can't criticise the Hollywood bigshots too much!

This video. Joe's band, Man Get Out, are launching their new single at the end of the month and they've just done a music video to go with it. I think it's rather bloody good, if I do say so myself! If you're based in or near Liverpool and fancy seeing some very lovely live music, the launch is taking place on January 28th at Mojo and is being presented by BBC Radio 2 DJ, Janice Long, who's a big fan of the boys. (shameless plug over...)

I'm currently hating;

Erm... nothing really! Happy days!

Just some pictures of nail art really...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Hello hello!
Thought I'd share some images of nail art I did before and during Christmas but didn't get around to uploading until now. Over the past couple of weeks I've not really been in a very arty frame of mind - I still paint my nails religiously (at the moment I'm sporting Nails Inc Victoria, AGAIN) but I've been mainly wearing one colour and SHOCK HORROR absolutely no design, not even an accent nail or a bit of glitter. Nothing. Nada. Eeek! Despite the fact I bought the new Topshop nail art pen before Christmas, I've been all about the plain nails lately. Hopefully some of these designs will inspire me again.

Also, if you're a fan of the WAH Nails blog, you should check out the absolutely AMAZING Boom Nails - this girl has some ridiculous talent when it comes to nail art.


I've spotted (hahaha) a lot of people wearing this lately and thought it was super cute so had to give it a go. Unlike a regular polka dot pattern, dalmatian spots have to vary in size and are a lot more haphazard - you'd think that'd be easier to do but I found it quite tricky! Colours used are Models Own Snow White and Barry M Peach Melba, then I used the Models Own x WAH Nails nail art pen for the black details.

Spots and stripes - pretty standard really. I used a striping brush for the stripes (duh) and the end of a hair grip for the dots. Colours used are Models Own Bloo Boo and Snow White.

I fancied going a bit OTT for our Christmas night out so used my absolute favourite Models Own Pink Punch, covered it with Models Own Juicy Jules for a bit of sparkle then decided to add some leopard spots as well using Models Own Snow White and the nail art pen for leopard spots. My Models Own pen is currently not working, (I think the nib is blocked) so I can't do any leopard designs for the time being... sniff...

Basically copied this design from WAH nails but used two shades of blue instead (H&M's Blue My Mind and U Must Have This). This looks a lot more complicated than it actually is - I started off painting my nails with GOSH Holographic for the silver stripe (I figured this wouldn't layer very well over the other polishes so thought It'd made sense to make it the base) then used a striping brush to create the zig zag shapes - easy!

Products of the Month - November & December

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Wahey! Happy New Year! 2012 is upon us and all we can really hope is that that rubbish John Cusack film was nothing more than nonsense...

Anyway, thought I'd get my POTM video up first and foremost and then do a catch-up post in the next few days; I've got so much to tell you all!!!

Products featured;

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