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Friday 29 April 2011

Cheap, chunky and very cheerful

My favourite Spring/Summer necklace - £14.99 from New Look

I’ve been loving brightly-coloured, chunky pieces of statement jewellery recently. I find they just make an outfit look so much more put together (even if I happen to have thrown on a pair of plain black trousers and a plain shirt) I love purple so this was right up my street - £2.99 Superdrug

And although I don’t usually go for matchy matchy looks I do rather enjoy wearing an eyeshadow and nail polish that match my jewellery I loved the purple one so much I had to buy the green too - £2.99 from Superdrug

Over the last few weeks I’ve picked up some cute necklaces from Superdrug and New Look… Unfortunately my collection is still Tiffany free but, hey, I’ve bought a lottery ticket and I’m feeling pretty lucky :)

Max Factor Nailfinity

I reckon Max Factor nail polishes are totally underrated; they’re so easy to apply thanks to the fab brush and lovely formula. In fact my only complaint would be that the range of colours available is seriously limited
My sister bought me this one ages ago and it’s one of those colours I’d never have chosen myself but am now rather fond of. Feels a bit like a "grown up" colour, which is completely different from my bright greens and barbie pinks :)

Wednesday 27 April 2011

DIY Clay Mask

Knowing I'm a big fan of face masks my housemate bought me a DIY clay face mask powder and little mixing set. All you have to do is mix 2 tsps of the powder with 2 tsps of water and voila; a simple, homemade face mask. As sad as it sounds I was really excited at the thought of trying this out and figured I'd let you know how it worked :)

Apparently you can actually combine the clay with other ingredients to help with different skin concerns… I can see myself in a white lab coat intently creating all manner of magical skin perfecting concoctions (not that I get carried away or anything) but to start with I just went for the standard clay and water mix…
The results were surprisingly good! My skin felt soft, smooth and completely clean but without being tight or uncomfortable. I only kept the mask on for about 10 minutes, by which point it had dried in and started to crack - which has gotta be one of my favourite things about clay masks - then I rinsed it off

Thanks to the dry, clingy texture I had to gently rub this for about a minute before I'd got rid of every last drop but because the texture is ever so slightly grainy it worked like an exfoliator, which just helped smooth my skin even more
After using the mask I applied my usual serum and night cream which was absorbed pretty much straight away. I woke this morning and my skin looked vibrant, felt pretty damn smooth and my makeup went on more easily than usual. I found the whole process strangely satisfying and am already looking forward to using this again! ♥

Burts Bees Lip Shimmer - Watermelon

My lips are incredibly easily annoyed - if the weather is too dry, too cold, too hot, too anything really, then my lips become dry n chapped in no time. It means I rarely go to bed without slathering them in Vaseline and always have a lip balm or 2 in my bag just in case

Although I've tried lots of different brands I generally come back to the same ones that I've found particularly reliable; Carmex, Vaseline and Burts Bees to name a few... So when I was doing a little online shopping last month I ordered one of the Burts Bees Lip Shimmers in Watermelon

The shape of this was a bit of a surprise cos it's so much thinner than the regular BBs lip balms that I own (i's almost pencil thin) Also, I panicked a little when I saw the colour - it's so much darker and more purple-y than I'd expected but thankfully it just gives a really lovely translucent glow with a hint of colour when it's on the lips
The only thing that left me slightly disappointed was the smell - I'd expected it to be a deliciously fruity watermelon scent (what with it being called watermelon n all) but it actually smells of peppermint. Not exactly a bad thing but kinda disappointing if it isn't what you're expecting, you know?

As for the balm itself it's smooth, not too greasy and definitely not sticky so I thoroughly enjoy using it! Oh and I love the skinny tube as it's so easy to apply without worrying about colouring outside the lines :)

Monday 25 April 2011

Haul - makeup and skincare

Happy Easter all :) hope you’ve got today off work and have a little sunshine in your area… It’s been rather lovely here so I spent a while reading my book in the park while Zoe and Bernard chased each other around fighting over a tennis ball. Can’t think of a better way to spend the day!

Thanks to the good weather I slapped on plenty of sun cream (is it just me or is sun cream one of the most scrummy smelling products of all time? Always reminds me of playing at the beach when I was a kid) And I got to thinking about some of the new goodies I’ve picked up over the last couple of weeks… Which meant a haul post was pretty inevitable :)

I can't tell you how excited I am to try this foundation! I adore the Revlon Colorstay and Photoready foundations so when I saw this active version of Colorstay I definitely had to have it! Urban Decay Matte eyeshadow in ElectricFamous palette in Jealousy by Sue Moxley
ORLY nail polishes in It's up to blue, Rage and Hype
No7 Stay Perfect foundation
No7 Protect & Perfect hand cream
Bourjois 1 second nail polish in shade 18
Liz Earle Energising Body Lotion
Sally Hansen 18 hour cracked heel cream
Hawaiian Tropis Pink Bits sun cream (SPF50 - cos you can never be too careful!)
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. I adore this and wanted it in a warmer shade

NOTD - ORLY It's up to blue

I bought this about a week ago as Boots have a 3 for 2 offer at the min so I was able to get 3 little bottles of ORLY polish for a tenner (normally £5 each)

At only 5.3mls the bottles are teensy but if you like to have a massive variety of different shades that don’t cost an arm and a leg these are perfect
The brushes are good quality and make the application easy but I found that after 2 coats the product wasn’t as opaque as I’d have liked. The staying power is pretty good; in the pics I’ve been wearing this for 5 days and have been picking mussels at the beach and assembling flat pack furniture in that time (neither of which are great for keeping my polish chip free!)

Tuesday 19 April 2011

The perfect finish

Last week I was on the bus into town and couldn't help noticing that the girl in front of me had the most perfect hands and nails imaginable… honestly she'd have been at home on QVC modelling the jewellery and nail polishes

I glanced at my own hands which are way less than perfect and figured I should start looking after them a bit better! It wasn't just the scraggly cuticles and dry skin but also my nails; they were particularly short and higgledy piggledy cos I hadn’t bothered filing them in about…ooooh, a century? And there was also a shocking amount of soil under them as I'd been re-potting my pepper plants and was on my way to get more seeds (yep, it would seem I've turned into a pensioner overnight)
Since then I've been using Nail Envy by OPI, applying hand cream regularly and even wearing gloves when I'm doing stuff around the house. It's made a massive difference already and I've decided that I might even treat myself to a manicure this weekend. I'm still on the lookout for a decent cuticle cream or oil cos I haven't come across many good ones so feel free to recommend any you really like!

One of my favourite new discoveries is this top coat by Maybelline. I generally find that my nail polish chips after a day or 2 but the pics are of my nails 6 days after I painted them… I’m well impressed by how long it's lasted ♥

Sunday 17 April 2011

Skincare - How much is too much?

I’ve been a dreadful blogger recently thinks to having zero free time! Adryen is moving (closer to me, yay!) so I’ve been viewing houses with him and working lots of extra hours at work – I’ve found that only having one day off in a week kinda sucks :(

Because I’ve been so busy over the last few weeks I’ve had some serious trouble dragging myself out of bed… I'd hit my snooze button so many times I basically had to choose between brushing my hair and brushing my teeth. Never an easy choice but I decided on minty fresh breath and a slightly messy natural up-do :)

Having so little time in the mornings has got me thinking about which products I’d consider “essential”… I've been told to use numerous different lotions and potions for all my skin concerns (by various sales assistants, magazine articles and online gurus) and the sheer amount of them is becoming ridiculous

In theory, after washing my face I need to use; a toner, my anti-spot gel (prescribed by my doctor) a serum for my face/eyes - it would seem no skin care routine is complete without some sort of serum these days - a pore minimiser, an eye cream, a moisturiser, eye/face primers. That’s 9 products before I even get started on my makeup!

Because I've added each of these gradually over the last few years I haven’t really noticed just how many goodies I've started "needing" to use every day, which has got me curious about what everyone else uses on a daily basis. Are you a cleanse, tone and moisturiser girl? Or have you been sucked into the world of serums, primers and concentrates too?

Cheap n easy - Collection 2000 blush

Good morning all! Well as good as a Monday morning can be anyways. I’m off work tomorrow (WOOOOOO!!) so I can’t help being a wee bit cheerier than normal :)

I must have 50 pale pink blushes that are almost identical in colour so last time I was in Boots I figured I'd opt for a pretty peach shade instead. And the important thing was that I'd actually wear it instead of just chucking it in a drawer when I got home and forgetting all about it until my next makeup clearout, at which point I'd probably just give it to Sarah (my kid sister)

I'm always a little smug when I come across a seriously inexpensive product that works superbly well so I adore this blush. The pigmentation is absolutely fantastic and I barely need to touch my brush to the powder to get a beautiful rich layer of colour. Collection 2000 in Bashful (02) Ignore the big indents! I'm literally just our of bed and have the marks to prove it :)

Oh and the best thing has got to be how natural it looks! I always want to look like I've just gone for a nice long walk and have ended up slightly flushed and fresh looking so I was very impressed by the subtle glow it gives.

And thanks to the shade I've found it perfect for contouring… unfortunately I don't really have cheek bones - no matter how much I weigh and how skinny the rest of my body is I have a round face so I have to rely on decent blushes to make my face look a wee bit more defined. Though I try I think of this as excuse to buy more yummy makeup products

One thing I'd say about this blush it that it's really easy to be a bit heavy handed and end up with that attractive finish that seems to be a cross between a clown and a kids doll. Definitely better to go for a very light layer and build up slowly just in case ♥

Friday 8 April 2011

Nice, natural nudes

Happy Friday all!! Hope you’ve got that Friday feeling. Unfortunately I’m working from 8-30 till 4 tomorrow which kinda sucks but I intend to follow that with a few scary movies, a scrummy curry and some beers so it’s not all bad :) But on a more important note... Recently I’ve enjoyed wearing some seriously bright eye shadows so have toned down my lipstick cos I like to keep either my lips or eyes fairly subtle. Thanks to that I’ve come across a few nude lip shades that I adore They’re natural, pretty, non-drying (sooo important when I’m wearing lipstick as I’m used to lip gloss these days) and last quite a while too! From left to right in the pics:

Color Trend by Avon in Pink Sunrise

Moisture Renew by Rimmel in Rise Blush

Color Burst by Revlon in Blush (35)

Color Riche Serum by L'Oreal in Freshly Rosy

Thursday 7 April 2011

Hydra Intense mask by Lancome

Know what kinda gets on my nerves? Well loads of things actually, but one thing in particular is when you follow the instructions on a packet to the letter but it doesn't do what it's s'posed to!

I really like this mask but every time I use it I worry that it's not able to work its magic cos it doesn't work as it's described on the tube. According to the instructions a thick layer of this should be applied to the face and then wiped off after 5 minutes. The problem I have is that I can't actually wipe it off as the tissues (which it advises to use!) get stuck all over my face and just dont manage to get rid of the residue I've also tried using cotton balls and cotton pads but they all leave little bits of cotton behind and a lot of the mask is left on my skin. I figured a muslin cloth might work well but even though it takes most of the product off I'm left looking unbelievably greasy - greasy enough where curious small children would be likely to point, stare and ask their mum "whys that woman so shiny?" - so I always end up resorting to washing my face with warm water

The end result is still great - my skin feels hydrated and really smooth which is exactly what I'm after but when I pay £32 for a face mask I just like to know that it's living up to its full potential :)

Monday 4 April 2011

Lancome Hypose mascara

If I had to describe this mascara in one sentence? Not bad but not worth the money

As you've probably noticed from previous posts I'm a massive fan of Lancome goodies; it's one of my favourite high-end brands and I enjoy using everything from their skin care to their foundation and lip glosses (I reckon Juicy Tubes are easily one of the best glosses ever invented!) And there are very few products from the line that have left me disappointed
Unfortunately the Hypnose mascara is one of the few…

There isn't any one particular thing that I really disliked about this, rather there are lots of little things that are just a bit meh. Firstly the brush; I generally like this sort of traditional spiral style wand and figured it would be fantastic for grabbing and coating each individual lash but it was just ok – nothing to write home about

The formula itself is extremely dark which is always a good thing but it's too wet so my lashes tend to clump together and look spidery when I'm using it. My biggest complaint about most mascaras is a formula that’s too wet so I'm used to buying a new mascara, using it, then leaving it for up to a month to dry out slightly. Or sometimes I'll open the tube, leave the wand sitting out on my dresser for a few minutes whilst I do the rest of my makeup then apply the mascara once it's dried slightly...Even after that I still wasn't keen on the actual formula
The longevity is one of the great things about this product. I can apply it first thing in the morning without worrying a about flaking or smudging by the end of the day

Although this is far from the worst mascara I've ever used I just can't see me spending £20.50 on it when there are so many better, cheaper alternatives available at the drugstore :)

Saturday 2 April 2011

My Top 5 Drugstore Concealers

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about makeup it’s that starting with a bad base just leads to a bad end result… I reckon there’s nothing worse than applying a brand new foundation, realising it’s actually not particularly nice but then spending 15 minutes doing the rest of your makeup in the hopes that it’ll improve the look of the crappy foundation

I’ve been there plenty of times and I’m not a big fan of starting over cos I’m just way to lazy On the basis of that I try to ensure I always start with a good primer (if I can be bothered applying one at all) foundation and concealer. That way all the little feature highlighting makeup products like lipstick and eyeshadow really have the chance to enhance the face and look superb :)

Over the last couple of months I’ve tried loads of different concealers and these are my current drugstore favourites – I’ll probably do a list of high end favourites too but to be honest I like the drugstore ones best

These are all inexpensive, give good coverage, don’t crease much throughout the day, don’t sink into the teensy lines around the eyes too much (although they do sink into the little creases a bit, I’ve never come across a single concealer that doesn’t) and come in extremely natural looking shades

Although I’ve mostly concentrated on the dark circles under my eyes these have also been used to hide blemishes too… they all hide the redness of blemishes and aren’t thick or cakey so don’t just draw more attention to the area. Unfortunately I’ve tried quite a few concealers that just seem to highlight the areas I’m trying to hide. Money well spent, eh? :)

5th) Bourjois - Bio Detox Organic

4th) Natural Collection - CoverUp Cream

3rd) Rimmel - Stay Matte Dual Action Concealer

2nd) Max Factor - Mastertouch Under-eye Concealer

1st) Maybelline - Super Stay 24h Concealer

Friday 1 April 2011

My favourite March goodies

These are a few things that I’ve used a lot over the last 31 days! Some are fairly new purchases and some had been sitting around unused till I dug them out a few weeks ago but they’re all things I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using and can definitely see myself repurchasing (or in the case of Hand Food repurchasing again and again!)
Soap & Glorys Hand Food

Liz Earles Energising Body Lotion

Burts Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon

Mymix foundation by Myface Cosmetics

Lancome Teint Miracle foundation

I know this isn't exactly beauty related but I read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult recently and absolutely loved it! ♥