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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