Sunday, September 25, 2011

A little apology...

Just wanted to post a quick apology for the lack of posts... I'm having trouble with loading photos and until that's sorted out, I can't really post properly. For me, a blog post needs to have decent photos.

I see that I lost 2 followers recently, which is disappointing, but as I haven't posted recently, I can't really complain.

Another thing is that I'm finding the task of coming up with interesting posts difficult.

Huge thank you to everyone who continues to visit my blog and leave comments... I will try and get back to blogging regularly soon! x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Highlights & Haulin'

I have been wanting to change my hair for a while now. However, as I had so much black/dark brown dye on it, getting it lighter would have taken ages. My hairdresser was not kidding when she said it would take at least a year! Last July I started by having the black base colour removed from my dye mix and I just had a light brown applied every few weeks. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled when she said I could have highlights!

I spent 3 hours in the chair yesterday and here's the end result...


I had 1/2 head of bleach highlights and it lifted really well :) It will take a few more weeks until I can go a bit lighter all over, but I'm aiming to go for a Jennifer Aniston mix of caramel, honey, chocolate and blonde. It has to be done gradually so I don't reck my hair, but it will be worth it.

I also bought a couple of things yesterday. First up...

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre




This powder is fantastic. Feather-light, it sets foundation beautifully. The MUA matched me with '20 Clair - Translucent 1', which is the perfect match for my NW15-NW20 skin tone.

The pot is a huge 30g so it should last a long time. The puff it comes with is cute, but I apply it with a powder brush.

I was also amazed to find this when I went to Waitrose yesterday...




Korres lip butter has been on my "to get" list for some time. I've heard good and bad reviews, so I wanted to test one for myself. So when I saw almost all of the Korres range on the shelf of Waitrose yesterday, I was pretty excited :) They had a few, but I chose Pomegranate.

This one is lightly scented, has an amazing texture and is very pigmented. As you can see, it gives lips an almost juicy look, which I love. I'm planning on getting the Guava one, as this looks like a nice pale shade that will down my very-naturally-red lips. I also want to get their Watermelon Scrub, which smelt incredible.

My MAC goodies arrived on Friday too...


I've been applying the Future Length Lash Serum since Friday night (you need to apply it twice a day) and I wore Vegas Volt out yesterday.

Please Me is lovely, but very matte, so Im planning on wearing it with a pale nude gloss to give it depth. Vegas Volt is just fine on its own ;)

Hope you're having a lovely weekend... Did you pick up any goodies? x

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Buying things makes me happy ;)

Please excuse the shallow title... I just really like beauty products ;)

I managed to get a few things recently that I have been wanting for ages. First up?

NARS Acapulco


I don't tend to buy candles (I really can't stand joss sticks, insense and other things like that) but just reading the description of this immediately made me want it. The scent is difficult to describe, but if you love a mix of rich coffee, chocolate, cream and vanilla, then you need this :) The candle is bigger than I thought it would be and you get 270g for your money. The wax is black and when first lit it gives off little wisps of black smoke. A sign of a quality candle is when the wax melts evenly (rather than leaving a hole in the middle) and the above photo shows that NARS makes good candles.

MAC goodies


I bought a Studio Fix compact in NW20, Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and some Prep+Prime Lash.

The compact is great, but it's not as full-coverage as I thought it would be. I tend to wear it to work and am currently switching between this and Face & Body in C1.

Pink Rebel is amazing... I would liken Lustre Drops to Strobe Cream as it gives such a great highlight. The bottle might be tiny, but just a tiny drop is enough. I've never tried this product before, but the sales girl in Jolly's (Bath) was no nice I found myself persuaded! :)

She also "persuaded" me into getting Prep+Prime Lash. This is essentially a base coat for your mascara. It goes on white and dries clear. I wore it under MAC Plushlash and it applied so well. I find that it makes my mascara last much longer. I've just ordered their new Future Lash Serum, which will arrive tomorrow and I can't wait to try it. It claims to dramatically improve the condition of eyelashes in 8 weeks and I'm willing to put this claim to the test!

An amazing find from Topshop



This is Head Over Heels cream blush and I love it. I have been looking for a wearable coral-toned blush for ages and this fits the bill. Although it's a cream formulation, it dries to a lightly powdered finish. I tend to apply it to the apples of amy cheeks, wait a couple of minutes and then dust a bit of MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle over the top. This changes it from a matte coral to a bronzed coral shimmer. Wow! It's really unique and I can't recommend this combination enough. At just £6, it's also a bargain.

Finally...


I love this mascara! But, I didn't at first. This is because the girl on the Benefit counter applied it over the mascara I was wearing and it made my eyelashes look ridiculous. Basically, I looked like a 5 year old who was let lose with her mum's mascara ;) However, I couldn't stop thinking about it and I was desperate to get one and try it on naked lashes. I ordered it online and I'm so glad I did. It's jet black, glossy and unlike any other mascara I've tried.

Along with my Prep+Prime Future Lash Serum, I've ordered 2 lipsticks: Vegas Volt and Please Me. It's also Friday and pay day! Saturday is being spent at the hairdressers, so I shall post pictures over the weekend.

Have you tried any of these things or are they on your wish list? x

Sunday, September 04, 2011

My favourite thing to do on a Sunday...

Aside from the usual mundane things (washing, tidying up, etc) I love nothing better than grabbing the iPad2 and looking at items on my favourite websites. Today was no exception! I ordered this from hm.com


This fabulous poncho is part of their new collection. I tried it on when I went to Bristol on my birthday back in July and loved it. For some reason, I didn't buy it then, but I kept thinking about it.

I'm so glad I waited until today, because when you sign up to receive their newsletter you get 25% off (one item only). Sold :)

You just tick the box to say you want to receive their newsletter and then you get an email with your code. Simple!

This poncho is a bargain already at £24.99, but it came to just £22.64 including delivery with my discount :)

It comes in 2 other colours and I think it's the perfect thing to wear with jeans for a day out shopping. If you want to snap one up and get a great discount, just go to ww.hm.com x

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday... I got my NARS Acapulco candle delivered to work on Friday and I love it. Blog post on it will follow next week :) I also ordered a Benefit They're Real mascara (which was waiting for me when I got home on friday) and I love that too :) As I didnt go anywhere special this weekend, it was nice to relax and do some online shopping.

How did you spend your Sunday? x

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My new TOMS shoes!

Whilst in Bath on Bank Holiday Monday - and having just eaten an amazing meal at Jamie's Italian! - my husband and I had a look round the shops. Having been round the main shops on Saturday, I wasn't planning on getting anything else. Until I went to Office and saw these in the window...


I have heard about these shoes in various magazines and have wanted a pair for a while. There was lots of different colours, but these ones in "Ash" appealed to me the most :)

TOMS shoes have a great initiative... For every pair sold, they donate a pair of TOMS shoes to a child in need. They go to Africa twice a year and take dozens of pairs of shoes. The images printed on the box are heartwarming... It shows the TOMS shoes volunteers putting the shoes on the children and their faces are lit up.


The back of each shoe has TOMS stitched on the back. I love the contrast between the grey and blue.

Leather insoles make them really comfy


They cost £32.99 from Office and there are striped versions for £36.99

I already want another pair in navy blue :)

Have you purchased a pair of TOMS and contributed to their "One for One" cause?

If you want to read more about the initiative, you can do so at www.TOMS.com

You can buy them from Office at www.office.co.uk

I'm not a size 8 by the way ;) they're American sizes! I got a USA 8, which is a UK 6.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Favourites!

It was hard to choose my August favourites! I have been trying a lot of new things over the past few weeks, some great, some awful (Clarins mascara, I'm talking to you!)

Here's a few of my August favourites...

Haircare


I love these two products!

This is my second bottle of Chroma Sensitive and I cannot fault it. I'm not a fan of every Kerastase product, but I love this!

The label m Honey & Oat conditioner is basically the TIGI/Bedhead one! This smells amazing and when I've used it, I can smell it on my hair for hours afterwards. The bottle is 300ml, so you get more than you would if you got the TIGI version.


I came across this product by accident. Whilst on Boots' website, I clicked on a link to their '10 Most Viewed Beauty Products'. As it had 138 5-star reviews, I was intrigued!

Then, the best bit of all, I saw that they had an offer: any 3 Lee Staffford products for £12 (not including minis or the Aragan range). As this product is normally £7.99 a pot, getting each one for half price was a bargain! I bought the last 3 today.

My hair has no problem growing, but I do tend to lose quite a few hairs each time I wash/brush. I'm hoping that this will bring some life back to my hair. Watch this space! ;)

Jo Malone


Let's admire the gorgeous packaging before moving on to the goodies inside ;)


In addition to the Necatrine Blossom & Honey cologne that I aleady have, I bought these just over a week ago: Orange Blossom cologne (30ml) and Nectarine Blossom & Honey hand & body wash. I love thins combination! I start by showering with the hand & body wash and then a spritz of Orange Blossom. Fnally, a light layer of Nectarine Blossom & Honey is sprayed over the top. It smells amazing - like nothing else I've smelt before. I can't resist sniffing my wrist whenever I wear it :)

Skincare


I have really cut back on the amount of skincare products I use. This is after discovering that some of the products I was using was irritating my skin :( So, my skincare routine consists of:

Morning
* Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (removed with wet cotton wool pads)
* Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizer (above)
* Creme de la Mer Moisturising Creme

Evening
* No7 Quick Thinking Wipe
* Clarisonic (to remove any last traces of makeup)
* Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (above)

I am finding my skin to be a lot more even in terms of tone and the size of my pores has decreased dramatically :)

I'm so happy with this routine (I no longer use a muslin cloth - they harbour too many germs apparently)

Nail Polish


I finally managed to get Peach Melba from Barry M and I love it :) It's really similar to OPI's Malaysian Mist, which is great as that's now discontinued.

This is just a few of the products I love right now. Also on the list is:

* No7 Lash Adapt mascara (black)
* Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola! perfume
* Sleek Paint Pot in Bare Minimum
* Kerastase Oleo-Relax shampoo
* MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm
* Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint
* Creative Nail Solar Oil

Think I'll end there... The list will go on & on otherwise!

What are your current favourites?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint - Bare 01 - Review

If you're a fan of Liz Earle, I'm sure you'll have heard about the new product that's launching in September...

Sheer Skin Tint


This was delivered to me on Saturday and I immediately had to try it!

It will come in 3 shades (Bare 01, Beige 02 and Beach 03).

I chose Bare 01


I applied this to my hand so you can see how a thick layer looks. I do not wear it this thick! ;)

The texture is very creamy - much thicker than my MAC BB. However, the formulation is a lot more sheer. I would show a picture of it on my face, but it really doesn't show up!

I wore it out shopping on Saturday and dusted a light layer of BareMinerals over the top. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it lasted all day :) The added bonus of SPF15 is also a big plus for me.

Here's the science...

"Our new Sheer Skin Tint is the natural bridge from skincare through to colour. It is rich and creamy like a foundation, yet so lightweight it glides effortlessly onto the skin, blending easily to enhance natural skin tones. We believe in exceeding our customers' expectations, so just like our award-winning Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Sheer Skin Tint delivers dependable, visible results for all skin types. Designed for use all year round, our unique, high performance formulation leaves skin looking dewy, even and radiant, with the perfect level of coverage for every woman to achieve naturally beautiful skin.

With mineral UV protection SPF15 , Sheer Skin Tint is also enriched with our own carefully selected blend of botanicals: natural source vitamin E, avocado and borage, to work in harmony with our Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare range."


Another bonus, if you are planning on buying this in September, is that they are offering something unique...

"To support our 'Progress not Perfection' environmental values and our 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle' campaign, when customers order Sheer Skin Tint by mail, we are providing samples of all three shades with each first purchase. This is to help customers ensure they select the right shade, first time - before they open their full-size product, which will help us avoid unnecessary landfill of good unused product."

This is such a good idea!

Available from 15th September 2011, it will cost £21 for 40ml.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Review

I was excited to try this product when I read about it. Part of MAC's Prep + Prime range, which I'm a big fan of, I knew I had to get it.

I had to order this online as all of the MAC counters I visited were sold out.


The box has a slight green sparkle to it, which doesn't show up on camera at all! The tube itself is a simple tube and screw-on lid.

It only comes in one shade


Luckily, this shade suits me! As it provides almost zero coverage, I would say that you could make it work for any skin tone.

The finish is quite dewy, so avoid this if you like a matt finish. Sadly, my skin is not perfect, so I tend to wear this under foundation on days when I feel like my skin needs a boost.

It blends really well too


For £21 you get 30ml. I would liken this to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. It works great und foundation and gives it more staying power. I was going to get some BFB, but I chose this instead. I'm glad I did!

Have you tried this yet? Does it work for you?

I'm trying to space my posts out, rather than cram in about ten things at once, so swatches of my other MAC purchases (a mineralize eyeshadow, naked liner lip pencil & shy girl lipstick) will follow :)

My 'Jo Malone' goodies also arrived today, so that's something else I will share soon x

Sunday, August 07, 2011

MAC Haul!

I have been lusting after a few things from MAC for ages, so when I went shopping yesterday, I caved in and got some goodies :)

As I needed a new MSF in 'Soft and Gentle', plus a new lippy in 'Myth', I got those and other things...




The other essential was some Brush Cleanser (large box). This is a 233ml bottle, which costs £8.50 and I swear by it for keeping my brushes clean. It also counts towards the 'Back to MAC' scheme :)

I also got a Mineralize eyeshadow from their new range. Most of them were sold out, but 'Smoked Ruby', which is a mix of black and red. This sounds scary, but it comes out as an amazing rich coppery brown.

Lastly, I chose a lip pencil in 'Naked Liner', another lipstick 'Shy Girl', a foundation pump for my SFF foundation and a NARS foundation pump for my Sheer Glow (not pictured).

My tube of BB Cream was ordered online and it was delivered last friday. This is an amazing product. I was planning on buying more Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, but this is like a fantastic tinted version. It currently only comes in one shade, but as it's very sheer (and provides no coverage) it should suit most skin tones.

Apologies for the lack of images in this post... I'm posting this from my iPad2 and I wanted to test it :) I shall be posting swatches/reviews on the items mentioned over the next few days.

Have you treated yourself to any new MAC items lately?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

My 2 New Kerastase Shampoo's!

Whilst out & about on Saturday, I passed by a hairdressers and had this sudden urge for Kerastase shampoo!

Not being one to ignore urges (*ahem*) I was drawn in ;)

As I couldn't decide which one to get, I chose to get these 2 lovelies:


On the left is Oleo-Relax and on the right is Nutri-Thermique


This is my third bottle of Oleo-Relax and I would go so far as to say that it's my all-time-favourite shampoo. On days when I'm in a rush, this amazing shampoo can be used on its own (no conditioner required). It leaves my hair feeling super-smooth, frizz-free and very shiny.

I haven't tried the Nutri-Thermique before, so I was intrigued to see if it lives up to its claims of being able to give heat protection whilst blow-drying/using straighteners.

Unlike the Oleo-Relax, which is a almost-clear shampoo, Nutri-Thermique is a rich cream.

It lathers well, smells nice and makes drying my hair a cinch. It's not as smoothing as the Oleo-Relax, but it still does a good job.

I deliberately didn't use any conditioner afterwards so that I could see the results of the shampoo alone.

One product that I regret not getting is the matching Nutri-Thermique masque. I use the Nectar Thermique, which is a great styling product. I'm planning on testing these two together next, so hopefully that will be a great combination for when I'm short on time for both washing and styling.

Each bottle is 250ml.

Do you use Kerastase? Which product range is your favourite?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Make-Up Haul... BareMinerals, Chanel & YSL!

Hi! Long time no see! ;) I haven't blogged as much as I'd like lately... work has been very busy and I just haven't had much spare time. Fear not, I'm here now ;)

I went shopping on Saturday and bought a few things. Here are the 3 best ones...


As I have never bought a YSL lip product before (shock, horror, gasp!) I plumped for this beauty...


This lipstick is from their 'Rouge Volupte' range. Each one is highly pigmented, super-glossy and in a range of gorgeous shades. It was tough to pick one, but I chose this one:

30 - Peche Faubourg (Faubourg Peach)


The colour is a bit difficult to photograph in the tube, so I thought I would show how it looks on...


This is without any nude/concealer base (my lips are naturally very red!) This is how it looks in natural light - no flash.

The colour is quite a bright coral/peach/nude and I love it. My husband hates it, but what do men know about lipstick?! ;)

But what to wear with such a fabulous shade? Why, Chanel of course!


I chose '307 Peach Fizz'. This is the perfect shade to wear with my new 'Rouge Volupte' :)

The colour is a bright peach and I love it. I'm planning on sporting this new combo next weekend with my new black maxi-dress (River Island, £12 in the sale, bargain!!) This will really stand out (in a good way - I hope!)

My final make-up/cosmetic purchase was some powder...


I love this powder. It's by bareMinerals and I wear shade 'medium beige'.

This is the only setting powder I've found that not only sets foundation perfectly, but it also never looks cakey, blends flawlessly, gives a high level of coverage AND imparts a fabulous glow!! Don't believe me?! Get a sample from your nearest counter and see for yourself :)

For £23 you get 8g, which is not bad considering that this little pot will last me for months (with daily use).

The pot comes with a lockable sifter too...


You just break off the section (with the small tab on it) and then you can twist it to seal afterwards.

I tend to tip a little into the lid, load a kabuki brush and then buff it into my skin after I've applied foundation. If they ever discontinue this product/shade I shall cry! (So mature, I know ;)

Have you bought any of these products? Are you a 'Rouge Volupte' addict or virgin? ;) x

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday Haul - New Perfumes!

As I may have mentioned (about 20 times...) it was my birthday on 25th July. To celebrate, I spent the day shopping in Bristol. I planned on going to Bath on my way home, but I just could not be bothered!! I was all shopped out (this rarely happens to me, I can assure you!) so I just decided to come home.

I ended up buying quite a bit thanks to being given money for my birthday, so here's the first part...

Perfume!


With a bit of my birthday money, I bought these 2 amazing perfumes.

I have wanted 'Oh, Lola!' for a couple of weeks now and as luck would have it, House of Fraser launched it on my birthday. It was obviously meant to be mine ;)

I chose the 50ml bottle


This is the first day that the bottle has come out of the box! That's because I was also given a sample spray, which I have been using. It's almost too nice to use!

The box is on the left and the cardboard sleeve is on the right.

I also got this amazing gift bag


This photo does not do it justice! To give you an idea of its size, I was able to fit the perfume box, plus other bags inside. They only had a few and as I was their first customer to buy this perfume I was given one free.

It came with a small piece of rock, which I don't want to eat!


I think this carrier bag will hang on my mirror with the sweet untouched inside ;)

My second perfume was from Jo Malone


I bought 30ml of Nectarine Blossom & Honey and it is amazing. Light, fresh, almost juicy, this is THE perfect summer fragrance. I originally planned to get Orange Blossom (which is also a favourite) but this won.

As I just couldn't decide which one to get, I sprayed one wrist with this and the other with Orange Blossom. Individually they are gorgeous, together they smell even better. Therefore, I shall be going online this weekend and buying the Orange Blossom. I need both!!! ;)

It came in a gorgeous box, complete with black tissue paper and gift bag


I'm planning on keeping both of my perfumes boxed - something I always do. I got the Jo Malone perfume in Harvey Nichols. Although the section is small, they have lots of lovely products on display and the staff are very helpful & welcoming. If I could, I would buy lots of their candles and have them all over my flat. Bliss!

In addition to the perfumes, I bought goodies from NARS, Creme de la Mer, TopShop, Boots, Origins, TK Maxx and Dermalogica. Everything I wanted from the new MAC collections was sold out, so for once I didn't buy anything there. I also swatched the NARS blush powders I was after and they were a bit disappointing. So, I decided to spend my birthday cash elsewhere :)

Have you bought either of these perfumes or are they on your wish list? x

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NARS at TK Maxx & Latest Hair Colour...

Yes, you read right... NARS at TK MAXX! Well, not much of it - and I don't think it's at every store - but needless to say I was amazed to see NARS on the shelf when I visited my local store yesterday.

Being NARS, I thought it would have been snapped up (although there may have been more during the week, I don't know). As I couldn't believe my eyes, I snapped up everything they had. The first item being the best...

Sheer Glow Foundation!


The shade is 'Light 6 - Ceylon' and even better? The price...


£7 flippin' 99! ;) Bargain! The icing on the cake is that the bottle looked barely touched (which is rare for TK Maxx I can assure you!) I tested a tiny bit on my hand, but I would still have bought it and made it work!

Here's a little swatch...


As I normally wear 'Light 4 - Deauville' I wasn't sure how this would compare. Thankfully, the two shades are quite similar and this works really well on my 'NW20' skin.

Ceylon & Deauville



In both pictures, 'Ceylon' is on the left and 'Deauville' is on the right. I'm wearing 'Ceylon' now and it blends into my skin really well. There are no obvious yellow or pink tones to it, so I'm so glad I snapped it up! I also got:

Eyeshadow Duo & Eyeshadow Single




These both came boxed and were also £7.99 each. Not sure why the single eyeshadow was the same price, but oh well! ;)

The duo is in the shade 'Violetta' (3061). The shade on the right is a pale pink, which has a velvet feel to it. The lilac shade on the right is a shimmery smoky lavender (it was part of the 'Douceurs de Paris Palette').

The single eyeshadow is 'Abyssinia'. This is a great base colour, which gives a light shimmer wash of beige. I would liken this to a sheerer version of MAC's 'Naked' pigment. Described by NARS as a 'delicate pearl sheen' this colour could be worn under or over pretty much anything. It's available on NARS website, which makes this even more of a bargain!

Both of the eyeshadows are shown without the flash - with it, they look totally different! This is as close as they look in the flesh :)

Moving on from make-up...

I had my hair done after work last Thursday (I love going to the salon in the evening!) I had to wait weeks for an appointment so my hair was in desperate need of attention!

As I needed to even the tone out - but had a lot of black base colour left in it - I was amazed that my hairdresser managed to transform my hair into this...





These were all taken with the flash. I love the different red/chocolate tones! She basically mixed a chocolate brown base colour with a paler red/brown shade, applied it to my roots all over and then combed it lightly through the ends.

I never thought my hair would end up with such a uniform shade all over, considering that I had black, brown, red/brown and natural roots! She is really a miracle worker and I love it. Happy hair = happy me! ;)

I'm still undecided about having blonde highlights - I might just stick to having this from now on!

Lastly, I bought some Creative Nail Solar Oil yesterday too...


I was walking to catch the train to go home and walked past a salon. This is the smallest 7.3ml bottle and it cost £6. It's been a long time since I bought a new bottle of this. It's one of those purchases that I knew I needed but I kept putting it off. Tut tut! I also need some cuticle remover, but you have to be so careful with a product like that. I might just go to a salon and indulge in a manicure :)

Finally, I went to Topshop and only got one thing...



I don't know why I love this so much, but I do!

It's super-white and cute :) It's also tiny. It measures under 1" in fact! I'm planning on wearing this with a white tee so that it just stands out.

As it cost £8.50 full price, I was happy to see this for just £3.50. The rest of the things in the sale didn't interest me, but I did see some lovely ballet flats, which were cream with a bright orange trim. They didn't have my size so I shall be looking for them in Bristol & Bath.

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend :) x
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