27 Feb 2015

Life Lately #1

Life Lately

Well folks, as I sit here right now, right at this very moment, I find myself sitting in my 'old' bedroom with an empty shell of a bed. My wardrobe has no clothes in it, the bookcase is gone; it is quite literally me, my computer and my cat. Today I moved house and my oh my it is an odd thing. I, or shall I say we haven't moved for a very long time, in fact the last time I did I was around fourteen so it's a memory I don't really recall too well.

It is strange seeing all your belongings being unceremoniously dumped into big brown cardboard boxes, mingling with everyone else's things so that it becomes a sea of cardboard that you have to stand on tip toes to see behind. I'm the last to be picked up as I'm wanting to be with my cat when we travel, he's a miserable old chap at the best of times but deep down he gets quite scared so I hope he appreciates me being there with him. I'm already prepared for the constant wailing that will be coming from the back of the car seat whilst he is in his basket, he associates it with the vets and he hates that place let me tell you!

What else has been going on lately? Well, I'm rolling up to reading week on my course which is something I'm looking forward to. I have so much work to catch up on that whilst most students will relish reading week for a week long lie in I will be that student with her books out trying to comprehend as to why I chose to study the GDL full time; I must be mad.

At the moment I'm reading The Book of You by Claire Kendal, which is just OK yet it isn't something that I have really enjoyed, having said that it has been quite different to anything I have read before. I have also had a new phone in the last few months which was a rather long time coming. I crossed over to the dark side and put aside my beloved Samsung Galaxy for an iPhone 5S, of which I have to say that so far I absolutely love it! Only a few weeks ago I was kindly contacted by Iconemesis who asked me if I'd like to try one of their cases. The email popped into my inbox within hours of me purchasing another case so now I have two! After a little bit of deliberation I chose (with my mum in mind as she loves coffee) the Lily X Coffee design which I think looks absolutely gorgeous. The illustrations are incredibly pretty and feature various beverages in soft water colour designs. 

I've also being loving the RBS 6 Nations! I apologise now if you follow me on twitter as I do tend to tweet about that, Tennis and Formula One a lot. I sometimes feel like one of the only bloggers who shows an interest (I'm obsessed really) in these sports so if you're out there then let me know!

Oh and last but not least I have had some amazing news! Some of you may have seen my entry last week to the #MySmileMatters competition which was to win invisalign treatment courtesy of Oasis Dental Care. I'm so delighted to say, let alone type that I was chosen as the winner and will hopefully be starting the process relatively soon. Thank you so much to those that left me such lovely and supportive comments, it was so lovely to read them.

So I think that's about everything really. What have you been up to lately?


25 Feb 2015

Shoot for the Stars

Pandora Necklace Pandora Star Pendant

When it comes down to jewellery I'm a traditionalist through and through. I love feminine jewellery that is pretty and delicate as well as unique of which for me Pandora ticks all of the boxes and more. I've admired the brand for a long time now and always find myself looking at the latest collections in order to see what they have come up with next. 

Whilst Pandora is undoubtedly famous for the wide array of charms and bracelets they design and bring into jewellery boxes worldwide I do think that some of their other items can be slightly overlooked for those that are more popular. There are a variety of different rings and earrings available from Pandora (I have my eye on one ring in particular) as well as necklaces. 

Today I'm sharing with you the Pandora Silver Collier Necklace* which was kindly sent to me on behalf of House of Fraser. I have never had a Pandora necklace before so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect other than a simple silver chain however I have to say even though it is straight forward I think it is incredibly pretty. Made from sterling silver the chain is fully adjustable allowing the length to be switched between 45cm, 43cm and 38cm giving you flexibility for your desired look. As you can see there are designated circular links which resemble the individual lengths making it extremely easy to lock the clasp onto. Whilst this may seem like quite a simple thing to some I have to say it is the first time I have come across this personally; I was actually rather impressed by the added detail and consideration taken here. One final mention about the necklace would be the Pandora logo that is attached to the clasp on a small silver disc. Again it's a little detail but for me it's the little details that count; it all adds up to creating a beautiful piece of jewellery to cherish for years to come.

Of course I simply couldn't keep this necklace bare so I popped out to buy a little pendant for it. After much deliberation I chose the Pandora Aspiration Star which has tiny little Cubic Zirconia stones in. They're not diamonds (I wish) but they still look very pretty and help to add a little bit of sparkle to the necklace without it being too much. It's quite a small pendant actually, smaller than I had imagined when I first looked at it online however having now worn it I'm so happy that I chose it. For a long time I had being looking for a necklace that I could wear frequently that wasn't too big and was one that I hopefully wouldn't catch on various items of clothing; we've all been there I'm sure. 

It's rare for me to buy jewellery and it's even rarer for me to be given the opportunity to try something such as this. It's a truly beautiful piece and is one that I hope to buy a few more pendants for in the coming years. That's the beauty with a brand such as Pandora; you really can tailor it to suit you.

Pandora jewellery can be found at House of Fraser.


20 Feb 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Eye Shadow Palette

There's no denying that when it comes to Charlotte Tilbury I fall head line and sinker straight into the counter. I find myself eyeing up the latest releases as soon as they launch which is a tad concerning however bear with me here, it's not just the beautiful packaging that keeps me captivated as these eye shadows are very, very good. 

Last summer I got a glimpse of the Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Palette which I knew was due for release in the autumn. Having at the time the Dolce Vita Palette I knew that this would be one that I'd like to add to my collection, the shade range appealed to me like no other and I knew that it would be of good quality, plus let's not ignore the fact that the presentation of this palette is incredibly beautiful. The case is dotted with tiny little rose gold stars which is different to all of the other palettes in the range. As far as I'm still aware this palette is a limited edition although it is still for sale on the website and has been now for a few months.

Inside the palette there are four shades like normal all of which have a wet to dry formula so that they can be used differently to create various levels of intensity. Like all Charlotte Tilbury quads there is a prep, enhance, smoke and pop shade which helps to give you a little guide as to how to use them, although I just tend to go with what I like and hope for the best. For the prep option there is a beautiful champagne shade that catches the light wonderfully. Whilst this can be used all over the lid I also like to use it in the inner corner of my eye and on the brow bone to act somewhat of a highlight. 

To enhance the eye there is a taupe shade which has silver running through it. It is described as antiqued silver which I think is nice however it is not a full on silver shade such as those found in the rock chic palette. Moving onto the smoke option there is a velvet black which is very pigmented and needs a light hand, this is lovely to use for helping to create that beautiful sultry look by using it within the crease; I also sometimes use it to act as a smoky liner too. Lastly the pop colour in this palette is quite different to the others that I have tried as they have all been quite glittery whereas this is not. The metallic bronze in the palette is probably my favourite shade alongside the taupe option where it can be used to add that little bit of drama to the eye, something to quite literally make the eye pop.  

In terms of pigmentation these eye shadows are incredible, they really do work wonders and blend so very easily. Where fall out is concerned I have experienced very little with this palette, in fact I have experienced very little fall out with all of them so far. For me these have been one of the best eye shadows I have used to date in terms of not creasing, that's both with and without a primer although a primer is always best and will help prevent creasing for as long as possible.

Overall I personally could not recommend the Charlotte Tilbury quads enough; they really are beautiful and add a little bit of luxury to your make up bag. Whilst initially they are expensive at £38 (bear in mind this limited edition palette is £45) they do work out cheaper than putting together your own MAC quad.


18 Feb 2015

Recently Recycled #3

Recently Recycled

In my bid to use up my beauty products I come at you with yet another round up of a few products that I have used up over the last month or so. A lot of these are from before the New Year yet I never got around to featuring them, the end of the year always seems so busy! It has only been since I have started packing up everything for the move that I decided to photograph them so I could finally pop them into the recycling bin.

There's once again a frequent visitor from my favourite dry shampoo Batiste so I will refrain from talking about that yet again, I feel like I feature a can of that in almost every single post like this. Onto more interesting products I had the opportunity to try out the Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Skincare Pads* which are packed full of AHA's and BHA's multi fruit extracts which help to exfoliate the skin chemically as opposed to physically. You get 60 pads inside of which I tended to use one once every two or three days so they did last me quite a while. Whilst I did notice that my skin felt a lot smoother I can't say that I noticed any other remarkable difference, my complexion saw no change despite using these frequently. Alongside the pads I was also offered the chance to try the Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Serum* which considering the price I was expecting really great results however I have to say I was left feeling rather underwhelmed by this product. Whilst it was really nice to apply, the packaging too was pretty nifty (I loved how the product was dispensed) I honestly cannot say that I saw any visible difference in the texture/tone of my skin in the long term. It certainly made my skin feel lovely upon application but that was it, which for the price certainly isn't enough.

Onto body my beloved Raspberry Body Butter from The Body Shop was finally defeated. I had being trying to use this up actually as I'd had it for a little while and wanted to move onto something else. Like all the body butters from The Body Shop it was lovely yet I have definitely come to the conclusion that I prefer the more neutral/nut based scents instead of the fruity scents. Moving onto LUSH I also sadly finished off my little bottle of the much loved Snow Fairy Shower Gel. This has to be the only product that I have saved for special occasions as it smells so good and is only available at Christmas time; next year I would like to pick up a bigger size.

Last year I tried out the Faith In Nature Shampoo and Conditioner* in which I have found myself running out of the shampoo first out of the two. I tried the Grapefruit and Orange scent and absolutely loved it! It's not very often I really like a hair product but these really did tick the boxes for me. Once I've moved house I'll be ordering the coconut scent I think as after my experience with this duo I think that they will be really lovely.

The Nourish Balance Refining Toning Mist* was a product that I liked for its refreshing properties however it's not something that I found physically helped my skin. However in contrast to this the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment* sample I have used up has been a product that if I hadn't have already thrown out would be featured within my February favourites, although I think I featured it in January too. This mask is utterly incredible and I'll be honest with you I would not have believed it until I tried it for myself. I have never seen my skin look as clear as it did once I had used it and that is no word of a lie.

Do we still like these kind of posts? I find I go through phases, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.


16 Feb 2015

My Smile Matters

My Smile Matters My Smile MattersMy Smile Matters

Every single time I visit the dentist there is one particular element which always makes me feel insecure. You see I always find myself face to face with a poster which highlights the beauty of straight white teeth of which every time I see it I find myself crumbling up a little inside. If there is one thing that I'm extremely self-conscious of then it is my teeth, they're not straight and they cross over and I cannot stand it. I regret not having braces as a child although they were never offered to me however in all honesty it has only been since I was around 20 that my teeth have gotten worse.

Over the three years that I have being blogging there has never been a picture of my teeth on show; that is until today. I've thought about this post and have attempted to put it up for the last few weeks but could not bring myself to do it because quite frankly the thought of my teeth on show for quite literally anybody to see makes me feel really embarrassed. The angle above is probably the kindest I could choose because my teeth really do cross over; in fact I couldn't bring myself to pop up any of the other photos because of how I feel about them. Yes they're that bad. In the past I've deleted countless photos if my teeth have been present; it's sad but it is true.

Some of you may remember that roughly around this time last year I posted all about Orthodontics (find that here) in which I explained to you that I was thinking of having Invisalign. At the time of that post I'd paid for and had a consultation (since then I've had two at two separate dentists) and was left feeling SO hopeful after both dentists had told me that I would be a suitable candidate; I don't even have to have any teeth out which was my main concern. The reason I have yet to start this treatment off my own back is purely financial, it's expensive to undergo where at the time I was having to decide whether to fund the next part of my education or to have Invsialign; sadly I couldn't and still can't do both.

Invisalign is an incredible new treatment which is different to the traditional brace method in which this treatment allows it to be almost invisible, hence the name. As well as this you can also take it out when eating at meal times which I should imagine is so useful and saves a lot of awkwardness. I've actually seen Invisalign for myself first hand which only confirmed to me more that this would be the treatment I'd one day like. During my consultation one of the dental nurses who helped me actually had it herself and to this day I honestly could not believe how clear and literally invisible it was; I would not have knew if she hadn't told me. Due to the fact that this year I will be 26 I'm incredibly reluctant to go for braces which are more visible, if I was younger I wouldn't mind at all but because of my age I would like something more discrete. 

Having a perfect smile or at least straight teeth would literally mean the world to me, I know that's somewhat of a cliché but I know that my confidence suffers because of this and it has done for a long while now. On my graduation day I was so happy but I couldn't fully smile because of my teeth, in fact it was all I could think about whilst posing for pictures with my family. One day I'd love to be married (if someone will have me) and I sure do hope that come that day I will have nice straight teeth that I can be proud of. Just after Christmas I alluded to the fact that I'd like to start YouTube however I'm not going to lie, my teeth are putting me off doing so. To laugh and have fun with others without feeling self-conscious would be an amazing feeling; it would be as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

The process of Invisalign wouldn't be a miracle over night because as with anything that requires a positive result there is hard work and perseverance involved. I'd be up for that challenge and would love to share that journey with you right here on my blog. I've written this post today as it is my entry into a competition to win Invisalign treatment from Oasis Dental Care as part of their #MySmileMatters campaign. As you all know this is something that I have wanted for a very long time so I really wanted to enter.