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Monday 28 February 2011

Healthy living plan - week 3

I don’t know whether it’s been the horrible weather or the fact that I just haven’t been feeling too great but as this has been the hardest week ever and all I’ve wanted to do is dig into a big tub of Haagen-Dazs followed by a giant bag of crisps (don’t even care which flavour and I’m normally rather fussy!) I’ve been sticking to my gym routine and have been walking a lot too but that just makes me want the ice cream even more. Stupid catch-22!!

I’ve been using my body brushes religiously – currently have a few different ones cos I like one with quite stiff bristles for my thighs, knees and elbows (from Liz Earle) and a softer one (from Boots) for everywhere else. Not too sure if they’re making a big different to how my body looks but it certainly feels better :)

Sticking to my nightly routine of applying my anti-cellulite gel has actually been fairly easy except on nights like this where I didn’t get home till 12.40am and really couldn’t be bothered… But I figure it only takes a few minutes and hopefullythe end result will be worth it! I'll do a full review once I've decided whether or not it works
Liz Earle and Boots body brushes

Lovely little surprise

After a totally horrible day nothing cheers me up more than coming home to a nice little parcel. And after just such a day I was delighted to see I’d got a lovely little surprise in the post… well I guess it wasn’t exactly a surprise as Emma (the lovely lady who organised the giveaway) emailed to say I’d won and obviously asked for my address. Otherwise I’d have been all like “ARRGGHHH some weird stalker must’ve gotten my address and is now sending me nice stuff!! OMG!!” closely followed by “Best. Stalker. Ever” etc
Rimmel Colour Show Off lipstick in Pink Excess (010)

So yeah, just wanted to say a ginormously massive thank you to Emma for the gorgeous goodies. The jewellery is exactly the kinda stuff I’d buy if I was picking up something new and looks rather lovely on (even if I do say so myself!) :)

Hmmm, my skin looks so white it's almost blue... Can't wait till it gets to see a little sunshine!

Friday 25 February 2011

L'Oreal Colour Appeal eyeshadows

Over the last few weeks I seem to keep going back to these little L’Oreal Colour Appeal eyeshadows. I actually just picked up the Smoky Steel one cos Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on L’Oreal stuff and there wasn’t really anything else I fancied…

After using it loads I figured I may as well get another one for everyday wear and I’m a big fan of metallics, browns and neutrals so the Silver Brown really appealed to me!
The Smoky Steel duo comes with a dark silver grey and a matte black shade. The Silver Brown is a pretty brown with a hint of gold shimmer

I’m seriously impressed by the quality of these; they’re incredibly pigmented and you only need to touch your brush to the product to get enough to sweep over the whole lid (I hate the way you really have to dig into some shadows to get any colour at all!) The staying power is great too – I generally don’t bother with a primer if I’m just heading to work but these still seem to last all day without fading or creasing
At around £6 each they aren’t exactly the cheapest drugstore shadows available but you get quite a lot of product for the money and they certainly hold their own against some of my ridiculously expensive high-end eyeshadows :)

Thursday 24 February 2011

Too Faced silver shadow dupe

If I’m shopping for new eyeshadow I usually wouldn’t even think of stopping at the Rimmel counter but I’m not entirely sure why… I mean I love their foundations, mascaras and liners but for some reason the eyeshadows just don’t grab me
Well that was till I spotted one of the individual Colour Rush Mono shadows in Glitzed. I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I got really excited when I saw this! It looks just like one of my favourite ever shadows – a silver Too Faced one from a duo called Ooh and Aah
You can tell how old my duo is as it’s the old chunky square container, whereas the new version comes in a cute little round one. Aaaanyway, I’m just about to hit pan on my gorgeous little Too Faced duo and wasn’t looking forward to splashing out £14.50 for a new one, so I was delighted when I came across the Rimmel shadow for the bargain price of £3.99
They dont look identical on my hand but when I've actually applied them to my eyes they look exactly the same. Pretty good value cos I'm essentially getting twice the amount of silver shadow for a 3rd of the price! Maybe not exactly a 3rd (maths isn't my strong point) but it's definitely way cheaper :)

My top 5 Clinique skin care products

I know loads of people who swear by the Clinique stuff but to be honest I’ve had more misses than hits with the products I’ve bought over the years so I generally avoid the counter when I’m out shopping for beauty treats

That being said I’d never totally dismiss the awesome goodies from a brand just cos I’ve come across a load of duds! So these are my all time favourite Clinique skin care products…

Anti-blemish solutions cleansing mask

Leaves my skin feeling unbelievably clean and fresh. This is one of those traditional clay masks that you apply and leave to dry… When this has hardened I always find it really satisfying to smile and generally move my face around like a loon so that it cracks around my mouth and eyes before I wash it off :)

Moisture Surge Thirsty Skin Relief

One of the only moisturisers I’ve actually got close to finishing! (I’m terrible for just chucking stuff and moving onto new products) I will most definitely be picking up another jar of this.

I love how it seems to soak into the skin like a fine gel yet manages to hydrate as well as the rich, heavy night creams I use

Turnaround 15-minute facial

Great for brightening the skin and making pores less noticeable. The pot isn’t particularly big but I only use a small smear of this over my face so each jar lasts ages

All about eyes and all About eyes rich

These are the only eye creams I’ve used consistently for more than a year… I like the regular one for during the day cos it’s more of a gel than a cream and the rich version is great to use before sleepy sleeps

Anti-blemish solutions clear blemish gel

Works brilliantly when applied directly to spots and dries them out in no time. Though if this spreads out at all and touches the actual skin it can be disastrous as it leaves the whole area really dry so apply with caution!! :)

Sunday 20 February 2011

My top 5 Estee Lauder skin care products

As much as I adore the Estee Lauder range (and I really do) it’s one of those brands that seems more suited to my mum… maybe it’s the advertising or the packaging or something but I always think of it as a middle-aged womans brand. However, there are literally dozens of products from the collection that I swear by so I wanted to mention a few all time favourites
Idealist Pore Minimising Skin Refiner

When I was about 20 I had serious issues with the pores on my cheeks and nose; they were more like gigantic craters than pores and I hated the way my foundation used to sink into them, making them even more noticeable. I mentioned this to the Sales Assistant when I was buying an Estee Lauder foundation and she recommended Idealist. This has been an essential part of my beauty routine since then and one of the things I like best is that it gets to work on the first application and the results get better and better the longer you use it… Personally I often use this instead of a primer (I find that there’s no need for both) at £37 for 30mls it’s not exactly cheap but I’m more than happy to splash out on something if it actually works!

DayWear Plus

One of the first Estee Lauder products I bought and I actually picked it up just cos I fell in love with the smell. It’s so fresh and clean, reminds me of cucumber. And of course the fact that’s it’s packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins makes me feel like I’m really looking after my skin. I find this extremely hydrating and it leaves my skin looking bright and feeling smooth


A fantastic cream that I like to slather on when my skin is looking a bit dull. I don’t like the smell and I find the residue it leaves behind makes me look a tad shiny so this is fab to wear at night but I wouldn’t consider using it during the day (although it’s s’posed to be used AM and PM)

Resilience Lift Extreme

A really rich day cream that I often opt for when my skin is particularly dry. The slightly old-fashioned, traditional floral scent is actually rather nice and I like how this is absorbed extremely quickly

Perfectionist [CP+] correcting serum for lines/wrinkles/age spots

This is fantastic for giving a really bright, luminous complexion. I often find that my concealer and/or foundation sinks into the teensy lines around my eyes and lips (I should mention that they aren’t actually wrinkles – just areas of delicate skin where the texture of the skin is more noticeable) and this stops that from happening. It’s also extremely smoothing so its great as an everyday makeup base

Do you use anything by Estee Lauder? Or do you have specific skin care goodies that you always stick to? ♥

L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara

It’s been ages since I picked up a mascara that I actually like! Honestly I was starting to think that I’d just have to keep repurchasing the same ones that I’ve been using for years cos every new one I’ve tried has been a bit rubbish

Thankfully the Volume Million Lashes mascara was able to come along and save the day! Admittedly I hate the packaging cos it just looks tacky and unpleasant but that’s really no biggy. The wand looks like a thicker version of the one from Maybellines Define-a-lash, which I also really like. The rubber bristles are quite long and slim so they’re great for separating and coating each lash and ensuring they don’t all clump together
The formula itself is awesome… Not too thick and not too wet (which is my usual complaint) so I haven’t had to leave this for weeks to dry out before using it

And guess what? It even manages to look good all day long without flaking! So overall I’ve been well impressed by this and can definitely see myself buying it again

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Some favourite food based beauty treatments

My sister has been complaining about how dry and damaged her hair has become over the last few months (all thanks to alternating between freezing cold Belfast weather and ridiculously warm central heating) So when I called in today I wasn’t too surprised to see her slapping mayo all over her hair and then wrapping it in cling film – a trick we’ve both used for years when our hair is looking or feeling particularly bad

It got me thinking about all the different foods that I incorporate into my beauty routine… Some are things my mum used when I was a kid and some I’ve picked up recently so I figured I’d share a few and if you have any favourites that you recommend feel free to mention them below – I’m always up for trying new things!

For tired eyes: a couple of slices of cucumber that have been left in the fridge (a couple of tea bags work equally well of course) work wonders when my eyes are looking tired and puffy; I’m not really a sound sleeper so things like this are so handy :)

For sore, tired feet: Fill a basin with warm water and add the juice of two grapefruits. Soak your feet for about 30 mins, this works fantastically well for softening the skin and smells scrummy

For dull skin: Whisk a couple of egg whites and apply directly to the face (avoiding the eyes and mouth) then leave for 10-15 mins allowing the egg whites to dry, then rinse with warm water

For dry damaged hair: Coconut oil is totally fantastic! It melts at 76 degrees so you generally have to scoop out a couple of spoonfuls of the solidified product, add it to a bowl and then set this in a sink full of hot water. Once the oil has melted apply it to your hair and leave it on for an hour or two. Rinse, then wash hair once or twice with a gentle shampoo

For spots: Mix honey and lemon juice together, apply to the face and leave for 10 mins, then rinse with warm water. Alternatively I’ve found that baking soda and lemon juice applied to the skin for 10 minutes works well too; doesn’t prevent acne but dries up spots and makes them look less red n angry

Tuesday 15 February 2011

My first ever Sephora lipgloss

One of the only downsides to blogging and following loads of other blogs is that I constantly come across brands that I’d really like to try but can’t get my hands on here in Belfast. Well, unless I resort to the interwebs but of course that opens a whole other can of worms!

I’d give my right arm to be able to browse in a shop selling Hard Candy, NYX, Cover Girl, Wet n Wild and Sephora goodies :)

So you can imagine my excitement when I won Nats giveaway, which included Sephora lipglosses! As soon as the package arrived I ripped into it and applied the gloss pretty much straight away… and of course there was that tense delay where I waited with baited breath wondering if it would live up to my expectations. And it did. YAY!!
The little wand applicator is sooo odd, I’ve never come across one in this shape but it’s actually pretty good for application and the colour is fantabulous

Shade 16 - much more subtle than it looks in the tube!

I was almost hoping I’d hate this because it would put an end to my Sephora obsession but alas, it’s not to be ♥

Monday 14 February 2011

Healthy living plan - week 1

That’s week one of my healthy living plan done and I have to admit it was more difficult than I was expecting!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed some of the new additions to my routine (such as body brushing, using a nice body lotion before I go to bed, walking loads, eating lots of scrummy fruit etc) but some things have been seriously hard; I went to see Peter Kay on Wednesday with my housemate and we went out for dinner beforehand…. to a Mexican restaurant.

The entire menu was against me and I felt like a bit of a nutcase when I started saying things like “dressing on the side please” and “is the cheese added to the dish already or can you do it without it?” because I’m a big foodie and usually my only concern is how good the food is going to taste and whether or not my breath will stink of garlic afterwards!

One of the things I really miss is tea. Though to be fair that’s probably more to do with the fact that my thrice daily cups of tea are usually accompanied by half a packet of chocolate digestives or a bar of chocolate (I’d give my right arm for a Dairy Milk right now) so I’ve replaced my regular tea with herbal teas and a particular favourite is Slim Plus by Dr Stuart. I picked this up whilst I was in Tesco cos it says on the box “A delicious herbal infusion with fennel, linden leaves and galangal root believed to help suppress the appetite” Well, every little helps, eh? :)

Oh and I’ve lost 1lb! I’m sure that sounds like nothing but it’s a big deal for me as the numbers on my scales have only increased over the last 6 months! I best be off cos I have a 3 mile walk to meet Adryen, I’m not fit enough to run far (yet!) so I’ve been increasing the amount I walk as much as possible ♥

Sunday 13 February 2011


Figured it was about time I did another little giveaway… I chose all the goodies myself because they’re bits n pieces that I absolutely love. Chances are I'll pick up a few more items to add to the final prize ♥

To enter you must be a follower of this blog

For one entry simply type enter me in the comments section below. Oh and include your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Doing any of the following will give you one additional entry, and obviously more chance of winning :) so do any many as you please

Recommend a beauty tip or trick that you swear by

Post a link in your sidebar about this giveaway (including the pic at the top)

Post a blog entry about this giveaway (including the pic at the top and a link to this post)

If you post the links on your blog please mention this below!

This giveaway is open to everyone, including international readers and I have decided to choose the winner using on 20.03.2011

Good luck all :)

Love it / Loathe it

Love it

Know what rules? The Accessorize makeup range from Superdrug! I’ve been wearing their lipgloss pretty much non-stop for the last week or so (well not during sleepy time. Even I don’t love makeup that much!) and I really like how it looks and feels; it’s pretty, shimmery and although it’s sticky enough to last a fair while on my lips it’s not sticky enough to feel yucky

The packaging is really cute and the slight shimmer it gives is beautiful. I’m a sucker for a nice smelling product and this one reminds me of vanilla and toffee so it really is good enough to eat. Also, the colour is quite intense so unlike a lot of my glosses this is one I often use when I’ve gone for a more subtle eye makeup look
Loathe it

I just can’t stand the Glazewear lipglosses by AVON. There isn’t any one thing that bothers me about these, it’s more a combination of little things, such as the texture; I’ve found it to be incredibly drying on my lips and when I apply these glosses they end up looking “cracked” in no time at all (where the gloss dries out and you can see the colour more intensely in the little lines of your lips)

The smell isn’t very pleasant either, the glazewear intense smells like felt tip pens and it was enough to put me off from the start! As if that wasn’t enough the actual colour isn’t great either, it’s just average and looks extremely plain so I’d actually prefer to stick with some Vaseline or Burts Bees lip blam cos they give a little sheen to the lips and feel lovely too :)

Saturday 12 February 2011

Amazing skin care that’s cheap as chips

I wanted to mention these little beauties cos I’ve used them on n off for ages! I know some people have managed to find their perfect skin care products and routine and never change; I can’t help but be a little jealous. Unfortunately mine is all over the place because my skin is acne prone, dry in places, oily on occasion and just like a spoilt 2 year old throwing his toys out of his pram it never does what its told!

Firstly there’s the Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Wash Gel. This stuff feels smooth and creamy as opposed to gel-like and my face always feels extremely refreshed and clean after I’ve washed using this but never squeaky or stripped. I like how it’s incredibly gentle so I can get away with using this even on dry skin days

Then we have the Nivea Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream. This is just a great all-rounder. I love it because it is actually light (I’ve found a lot of the “light” creams from the drugstore are far too rich for use during the day) so my skin doesn’t feel weighed down and I don’t have to worry about it mixing with my foundation and causing a greasy t-zone throughout the day. It has that gorgeous fresh Nivea smell that I reckon everyone has come across at least a couple of times so I find it a pleasure to use. The SPF 15 is a bonus too :)

Lastly I have to mention the Daily Essentials Rich Regenerating Night Cream. I adore everything about this cream. It’s seriously rich and I love how it feels like it really is improving and regenerating my skin overnight. Whether I’ve been dry or oily during the day I apply a fine layer of this all over my face and neck and feel smooth and plump the next day (I know plump probably isn’t the right word at all but my skin just feels kinda… you know, nourished, hydrated and soft… and I always think of it as “plump”)

I spotted these on offer in Superdrug recently so figured I’d tell you about them while they’re going cheap! The face wash is £1.59 and the creams are £1.95 each. Pretty good value in my opinion! ♥

Wednesday 9 February 2011

ELF High Definition Powder (finally!)

I think I’m about a million years or so behind everyone else but I’ve finally got ELFs High Definition Powder!! Wooooo!!! I actually received this as a present, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have it for another million years :)

Anywho, I’ve used it every day since I got it a couple of weeks back and it works a treat; even more light n silky that I’d been expecting which was a real surprise. I find that this just helps my whole makeup look blend together and look slightly more natural and smooth.
Oh and I’ve also found it really handy when I’m wearing foundations with a more dewy finish because this ensures I don’t get any unwanted shiny areas (particularly around my nose and forhead)

I don’t use the little powder puff applicator because I just find a big face brush so much handier for getting in all the little nooks and crannies. Not too bad for the bargain price of £6 ♥

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Rimmel The Max Bold Curves Mascara

Nothing like some lime green packaging to grab my attention… when that’s combined with phrases like “extreme volume and lift,” “our biggest curve ever!” and “big, bold lashes in a flash,” I’m well and truly sucked in and already heading to the checkout clutching my new purchase

This is one of those mascaras I’d heard loads about so I was really eager to give it a try but it didn’t quite meet my expectations. It’s not a particularly bad mascara or anything but I’ve just found that I’ve had to work quite hard to make it work. And I don’t wanna work hard. I want the product to do what it’s s’posed to with minimal effort from me :)

As is my usual complaint with a lot of drugstore mascaras I’ve found the formula way too wet. So I bought this, used it, left it a few weeks, then started using it again and that seems to have helped dry it out a little

Unfortunately there’s little I can do to resolve the clumping problem! I tried to get a decent pic of the brush so you can see all the teensy clumps of product, which always end up gathered on my lashes. This means I have to resort to using an old, cleaned mascara wand to brush out the clumps and separate the lashes
As for the curves, I’m afraid this is just waay too heavy to give my lashes any curve at all; when I apply it it does nothing to actually shape the lashes, then when I apply a second coat (which I reckon is needed with this mascara) it kinda weighs them down so they end up less curvy than when I started. Most annoying!

The colour is good – a really intense black and I haven’t experienced much in the way of flaking so overall I don’t think this is a dreadful mascara but it’s definitely not one I’ll be repurchasing ♥

Saturday 5 February 2011

Elemental Beauty

Sample foundation vials in English Rose, Beige, Nude and Oatmeal
I received this little selection of Elemental Beauty products a couple of weeks back… I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect mineral foundation for a while now and absolutely love this stuff. It’s all so light and natural I feel like I should be running through a meadow in a white cotton dress with my hair flowing out behind me instead of heading to my local Pizza Express :)

My biggest problem when it comes to foundations is that I’m pale. Really pale. So a lot of shades just look bright orange on me and ordering stuff online is a total nightmare cos it’s sooo hard to judge the shade of the, well, of the shades available

The site gives you the choice of buying full size foundations for £10.99 or little sample vials for 85p each – the perfect way to find the right shade I reckon! The lightest colours available are extremely pale and there are lots of choices so whether you have pink or yellow undertones you should still be able to find the right colour. The English Rose wouldn’t be a shade I’d normally consider as it looks really pink but having used the little sample size it matches my skin perfectly

Eyeshadows in Confession and Envy

The texture of all the products is phenomenal, so light and silky it hardly feels like I’m wearing anything at all. And the best thing is that they actually offer good coverage! I was reading through tips on the site and they suggest using a damp brush for fuller coverage – totally awesome idea that I cant believe I never thought of sooner!!

Illuminator in Rosy Apple

The pigmentation of the eyeshadows is fab and they don’t crease at all. My only complaint would be about the Illuminator – the colour I have isn’t dark enough to show on my skin properly so I’ve just been using my Sleek blushes and Collection 2000 highlighter when I wear the mineral foundation

Friday 4 February 2011

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation

Hi everyone. My name’s Joy and I’m a foundation addict *cue embarrassed half-wave and much head bowing*

I think I’ve discovered my HG foundation about, hmmm, 100 times now? But even though I have lots of favourites I keep buying and trying new ones.

The latest is Rimmels Last Finish 25 Hour Foundation which is totally superb. Being a massive fan of the regular 16 hour version I just had to try this and it didn’t disappoint!

The bottle is a typical glass pump action one which suits me perfectly. I wear 200 Soft Beige as it’s basically like my skin but slightly warmer. This is thicker than the 16 hour version so takes a little bit longer to apply… I know people have mentioned this going patchy throughout the day but I generally find that if I spend enough time blending this then it stays even right up till I’m washing my makeup off before sleepy sleeps

I’d describe the coverage as medium-full cos it does a wonderful job covering up the icky blemishes around my chin and even though I only slept for about 2 and a half hours last night it did a bloody good job hiding my dark circles. Always a plus :)

The finish is natural and pretty – not mask like – and I’ve found it lasts well whether my skin is oily, dry or even slick with sweat (decided on a spur of the moment run on Sunday afternoon and this held up brilliantly)

For anyone who wants good long lasting coverage I’d say this is definitely worth a try. And at £6.99 for 30mls the price is pretty appealing too! ♥

Tuesday 1 February 2011


Thanks to my slightly OCD attitude to neatness I've decided to move my blog sale to a tab of it's own (top of the page)

That way I can add new stuff when I fancy it without doing a brand new post each time :)