30 October 2012

A splash of colour.

I'd like to share my latest painting with you all; it's been a while since I last posted a picture. I started with just a rough outline of the London skyline along with a hint of pink watercolour. Once I was happy with how things were looking I then added more colour to the image. Finally I filled in the main detail and added more colour. I created this piece by using the London skyline as my main feature with a water colour background made up of various colours.

I drew the skyline myself, however I did use a picture from online as a reference considering I don't know the London skyline myself, find that here.

What do you think?

October Favourites

It's that time again folks, my favourite items from October!

I don't have that many to be honest, this month seems to have just vanished before my eyes as I've been working so much it has been crazy! Anyhow, I did manage to put a few things together which I really have being enjoying, with one in particular being my favourite....bet you can guess!

Ok, so my favourite thing has to be my new phone! I finally upgraded from my Blackberry which had past it's sell by date as far as I was concerned, it was broken and the reception was so poor. I'm so glad to be rid of it! I love my new phone guys!

I have decided to feature two lip balms, even though one is technically classed as lip butter.  I have being using both throughout this month and I've loved them equally but for different reasons. The Burt's Bees lip balm was something I had been lusting after for ages as I really wanted to try Burt's Bees as they are a popular cruelty free brand, however, I do find their products a little on the pricey side so I picked up probably the cheapest thing that they do. I picked up the original lip balm which has a minty taste to it which I feel isn't too overpowering. I find it moisturises my lips quite well when they are behaving, however they have gone very sore recently so I'm looking for something more to help sort this out. These cost £3.69 which at first I thought is quite pricey for a lip balm, however after using it I would re-purchase again.

The second lip balm is by Nivea, which is quite a new product as far as I'm aware. I first saw this over at Hello Terri Lowe, where I was immediately intrigued as I have some kind of lip balm addiction. This lip balm costs £2.25 which is pretty good because oh my god it smells amazing...I would buy it for the smell alone. The actual product is a lovely consistency, I can see why they describe it as "butter", it isn't very thick however therefore I don't find it as moisturising as I do the Burt's Bees lip balm.

Lastly is my new mascara by Soap and Glory, it is the new 'Thick and Fast' mascara in black. I was after a new one as my L'Oreal Million Lashes has started to go a tad clumpy now so I wanted a new cruelty free option to replace it. I've really enjoyed using it so far, I have quite long lashes already so I don't need much from mascara really other than to just make them stand out a little more; I find this does the trick beautifully!

What have you being enjoying this October?

Also, seeing as I have a new phone now I have got myself set up on Instagram....finally!! My username is ‘alittleboatsailing’; I'd love to find some of you guys on there!


29 October 2012

October Empties

It's been a while since I did one of these posts and technically they're not all from October. I used some of these up in September, however I've had to wait until now to have five items to photograph.

First off I have yet another can of the Batiste Dry Shampoo, I seem to get through a can of this about once a month...is that too much?! It was in the shade Cherry as you can see which I have decided I will not buy again as I didn't like the smell that much. I've already re-purchased a can of the 'lace' version for £2.50 as I prefer this much more.

I have also finally finished a bottle of the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser, which I seem to have had for such a long time. To be honest I didn't get on with this that well, I found it made my skin quite greasy, which is such a shame as I quite like the Simple brand. This product retails at £3.79 for the 100ml which is pretty superb value.

Next up is a No7 Stay Perfect Primer which was a lovely peach colour. I found it to be very nice to use, with it working pretty well to keep my make-up in place during the day. I was sad to have this run out on me, luckily I had a GOSH primer to fall back on. I probably would buy the No7 one again in the future as I found it worked well for me. It retails at £12.50 which isn't too bad in my opinion as it lasted me such a long time.

I was very glad to see the back of the Garnier Youthful Radiance EyeCream as it is not a cruelty free brand, plus, I have no idea why I ever got this in the first place as I think it was probably aimed at older skin. I can't say that this did anything for me, it didn't particularly make my skin feel refreshed or anything, in fact I think I celebrated on twitter once this was empty! The one positive thing I can say is that it was nice to use before I put my concealer on in the morning. This retails at £10 which in my opinion is quite expensive for what it did, or in this case didn't do.

Lastly is a product that I love and hate at the same time, it is the Soap and Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel. I quite like the Soap and Glory brand, I loved their unique packaging when I first discovered it, however the novelty has worn off a little yet I still find myself having a nose at it all in Boots now and again. Now, this product is lovely to use, I can't say that it is fantastic but it does the job well. My only gripe with it is the packaging style, I really do not like 'pump' dispenser bottles for the shower. I find them so difficult to use, I would much prefer a squeeze bottle to be honest. It does however last a long time folks and for £5.50 it is a bargain....just change the packaging Soap and Glory!

Have any of you ever used any of these products? 

Maybe I'm being a little picky with the Clean on Me Shower Gel...

26 October 2012

Halloween Nail Art

Here is my attempt at a random nail art design for Halloween! I've wanted to do so many designs this week but I feel so limited with such short nails. I say this all the time, but I'm trying so hard to grow them they just don't seem to be getting any longer!

Anyhow, enough of self pity, here are my nails and how I created them!
To create this look I used the following:
Barry M - Vivid Purple
Barry M - Foil
Models Own - Black Nail Art Pen
Models Own - White Nail Art Pen

Both Barry M and Models Own are great polishes, with Barry M being the slightly cheaper of the two; although in my opinion I think I prefer Models Own for the few extra pennies.

To create the look I created a step by step guide; here is how I did it.

I chose purple for my nails instead of black as even though I love black nail polish I find it is very harsh and can make my skin look a little ill, plus, purple I think is very suited to the Halloween occasion. I painted all my nails in purple and chose to just do one simple web on one of my smaller fingers leaving the main design to my thumb nail.

I didn't really know what I wanted when designing this last night, all I knew is that I wanted a web! I decided to add some random background detail to my nail with this being the white and black lines. I then proceeded to place the web design over the top once the second layer was dry. I chose silver as I had already used white and it wouldn't have been as visible, I think the silver adds a nice touch and indeed finish to the design.

I'm going to just add that to draw the silver web I used an old paint brush that I thinned out with scissors, I found that this was such a good tool to use to create my lines!
I forgot to add a clear top coat to the top image but I'm sure you all know to add that to seal in the colour and prevent chipping anyway.

What do you all think?

Happy Halloween!

23 October 2012

The work Christmas party!

I was recently invited by House of Fraser to publish a post about their current dress collection. I was very keen to do this as I do like doing posts like this every now and then, plus after having a quick browse of the dresses on offer I was even more persuaded as there are some beautiful ones to choose from this year.

I had a quick look with a theme in mind, with that being the 'Work Christmas Party'. Christmas is a great occasion to put together a lovely outfit, particularly something that you wouldn't normally wear to any old bash. I think through having a browse through the House of Fraser Dress Collection that I have found some lovely dresses that would suit this occasion wonderfully.
I know that it is still quite early to be posting 'Christmas' blog posts, however, you tell that to the retail sector!

The first one by Oasis has to be my favourite from the whole bunch! It for me is stunning, it is so elegant and feminine and the detail is amazing, overall I have to say I would love to own this dress. I'm not normally a huge fan of red clothing, but this piece I could happily make an exception for.

The second dress by Jane Norman is again beautiful; I love the little belt that comes with it as it makes your waist appear that teeny tiny bit smaller, which is always a nice added bonus.

The third dress is by Mango, it is quite similar to the Jane Norman design although it has no lace on the lower half of the dress; out of the two I prefer the dress by Mango. I adore the top detail, it is really intricate which allows the lower half of the dress to be nice and simple.

The fourth dress I have chosen is by Jolie Moi, which is a brand I had never heard of until I came to do this post. This type of dress that I have chosen is the type I wouldn't normally choose however I was quite taken with this, I would like to see how it would look on.

The last dress is again by Jane Norman, which is my favourite of her two designs I have chosen. It must be quite popular as it is no longer available, womp womp, however I still chose to include it as it is gorgeous! The white and black contrasting colours are lovely; I think that this dress is incredibly elegant.

22 October 2012

No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream

So, I know I've been missing in action the last week, life outside of blogging has seriously taken over at the moment. I expect it will be like this for the weeks running up until Christmas, so yeah, my posts when they come will be extra special as I've managed to work them into my rather hectic schedule!

Before I start on today's post I would just like to say congratulations to Catherine for becoming the winner of my Body Shop Fragrance Giveaway! Thank you all for entering, I appreciated it very much.

Today I'm going to do a review of the No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for normal/oily skinI have been using this moisturiser since July, so I feel I can give an honest review on the product.

Please excuse the slightly battered packaging for this, it has been used every day so yeah, general wear and tear. This moisturiser is aimed at those with normal/oily skin which is where my skin type falls; it aims to hydrate the skin and control oily breakouts throughout the day.

A big factor which initially pulled me to purchasing this back in July was the added factor of SPF 15, along with a 5 star UVA rating. I always forget to use sun cream etc and I know we should all protect our skin as much as possible so having this already in my moisturiser was a huge plus for me.  

I have to say I really do like the packaging for the No7 range, I'm aware that it had a revamp over the summer which I think was a pretty good move by No7. My only gripe with this particular type of packaging is that it is in a tub rather than a 'pump' bottle which I don't like as in its current format it is much less hygienic.

Onto the product itself and I can honestly say I cannot fault it in terms of what it has done for my skin. I've read bad and negative views on this product which makes me sometimes doubt my own experience but then again, I have to remember that everybody's skin is different; what works for some may not work for others.

I feel that once applied this moisturiser gives me plenty of hydration for throughout the day whilst controlling oily breakouts. It is a nice creamy consistency which isn't too thick, it applies lovely and it mattifies well leaving my skin ready for makeup. I believe that this product has worked very well for me as I don't appear to be suffering so much in terms of an oily t-zone on a whole anymore, which is great news!

This product costs £12.50 from Boots, which I feel is rather good as it has lasted me a while, I still have a bit left now nearly five months on. 

Would I re-buy? 

At the moment no however that is not because it isn't a good product as I have enjoyed using this very much. I know  that I would re-buy this again  yet my reason for holding off for now is that being the beauty blogger that I am I wish to find and try other brands; I really enjoy trying new products.  

Just as an afterthought, I also have the Night Cream in the same range and I think it is just as good, my skin is super, super soft in the morning when I wake up!
Has anybody else tried this moisturiser? If so, let me know what you thought.

14 October 2012

Kids books I've read that I loved!

Tonight I'm posting something quite different to my normal run of the mill stuff. I've decided to share with you all a few books that I read during my early teens to late that have always stuck with me. Besides my interest in fashion and beauty bits and bobs another passion of mine is reading, I adore books. These books are some of my favourites that I have EVER read which is a bold statement for me to make as I've read so many books throughout my life. I feel that no matter how old you get once you find a great book you will always remember the story and remember why you loved it so much, no matter what age it is targeted at.

I must add that I've read many other 'younger' targeted books over the years that I have enjoyed but when I originally thought about this post the four titles I've featured were the ones I wanted to share the most.

*images sourced from alternative sources, find links below.

I have all of these books back at home folks, however as I'm at university away from home none of them are here for me to have taken pictures of I'm afraid.

How could I not do a post on children’s books without featuring Harry Potter by J K Rowling, I literally grew up with that boy! I first remember reading The Philosophers Stone back when I was in year 7 at school in my English lesson, I was captivated! Ever since that English class all of those years ago I have never looked back where the Harry Potter series was concerned, I adore them and if I EVER have children I will pass them down. I think the Harry Potter series changed the view of many youngsters regarding reading, for the better...maybe magic was involved.

The second set of books I have listed is His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. I can't quite remember how old I was when I read these, maybe 14 or 15 but I remember whilst reading them that I wanted my own dæmon...I always wondered what mine would be. For those that have not read this series I urge you to give it a go, no matter how old you are. They are fantastic in so many ways, quite emotional in parts too.

The next series is The Saga of Darren Shan by ...Darren Shan. This series is about a young boy who is turned into a vampire, but PLEASE do not let vampire put you off, these came out long before the Twilight series and everything else that followed. The Darren Shan Vampire series is one of the best I have ever read, I cannot recommend it enough. This was made into a movie which for me totally wrecked the intense story that Darren Shan created, I think that for the movie it could have easily have been a very dark tale indeed....shame it was made for kids!

Lastly is a series that I have never really heard or seen mentioned much before. The Bartimaues Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud for me is perhaps a little too 'complicated' for younger readers, but that is just my opinion. Setting that aside it is just a fabulous series that completely got me hooked! It is full of wit and humour and memorable characters, particularly Bartimaeus! I remember reading the last book in the series all those years ago and once I realised what had just happened I was amazed, the feelings I felt having read what I had really struck something inside of me. This rarely happens with me with books; it takes something special of which the Bartimaeus Trilogy completely offered to me.

13 October 2012

Topshop Knitwear

I'm so unbelievable cold in my flat once again, time to drag out the electric blanket that my Nan got me in June....I love my Nan.

Anyway, as I've been sitting here dithering in my three layers and scarf I've found myself looking at knitwear on the Topshop website. Now, I don't know about you but Topshop is a place I tend to not go in as I think it can be a little on the expensive side for a poor student, however, this does not stop me looking online!

I've been browsing the Knitwear because I'm cold and because I just cannot resist big jumpers and stuff...I'm a real hoodie gal at heart.

The first jumper is probably my favourite from all four that I will show you, I think it is just really cute and feminine and it looks very warm to me! This costs £45 so it is quite expensive.

Next is a jumper that for some reason screams 'boyfriend' at me, yet my boyfriend would probably hate the look of this jumper! I love it and hate it at the same time, I'm not sure what attracts it to me but I find myself wanting to wear it to chill around the house in, along with my jeans and at the moment my scarf! This jumper is a little cheaper at £36.

The third jumper I’ve chosen in my opinion is lovely, mainly because it is grey which one of my favourite colours for clothing! I like the added detail with the hearts and arrows, although I normally tend to choose plain jumpers but this I thought was quite different I thought. At £40 like the others it isn't budget friendly, but my oh my it is nice.

Lastly, and I'm not entirely sure if this can be described as a jumper because it doesn't look all too warm to me but wow is it gorgeous! I think it is a great item to wear on a night out if it's a tad chilly but you still want to look nice...I actually really want to buy this, but at £38 do I do it?

What do you think of my choices?

12 October 2012

Urban Decay Dangerous Palette

I've finally handed my essay in today so I can freely right a blog post without feeling guilty that I should be doing university work instead, woohoo!

On Wednesday whilst on the way to the post office I had a sudden urge to pop into TKMaxx. I haven't been in there for a while as it isn't somewhere I normally think to go, anyway to cut a long story short I popped in and look what I found shoved at the back of the shelf....the Urban Decay Dangerous Palette priced at £12.99! I could not believe it, needless to say ladies I grabbed it and held on to it rather tight!

I've looked at this palette before and I've always privately lusted after it as I love the range of shades, to me it is a great palette for autumn and indeed winter. The shades all have individual names as you can see from the above picture which I admit is something I look for when I buy products...I quite like extra added detail like that.

The palette as you can see has six different shades available, all of which are really pigmented! The palette also comes with a Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in the shade 'Rockstar' as well as little tube of the Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion which is something else that I have wanted to try for a very long time now.

I've swatched the shades below for you all so that you can see what they look like.

I think my favourite three from the palette has to be 'Mildrew, Virgin and Rockstar', having said that I love all six shades very much; I'm looking forward to using them now I have taken my photographs for this post.

Have you picked up any little gems from TKMaxx recently?

9 October 2012

A girl can never have too many shoes right?

*As I published this I noticed that this was my 100th post, this little blog has gone much further than I imagined, thank you everyone*

I'm going to put it out there; I'm not a typical girl when it comes to shoes. By this I mean I don't have pair after pair after pair after pair after pair....you get my drift. I pretty much live in converse all the time, apart from winter when I pull out my trusty Sketchers Boots!

Anyhow, after seeing a fellow blogger publish her most recent giveaway it has lured me into looking at lots of different types of footwear. Terri Lowe is running a great give away where the winner, of which there will be two, stands the chance to win some cash to spend on the Barratts website.

I've put together a little montage of the shoes I liked on the site!

If any of you have seen Terri's post then you will recognise the first pair right away. I really liked these boots by Earth Spirit, I love the grips on them, I mean, nobody is falling in the snow and ice with those babies on! Plus, they look gorgeous! (However I have to say I'd choose grips over style any day as I have an insane fear of falling over). I really like the brand name too, makes me feel all 'earthy'... whatever that is.

The second pair are wedges by Lotus Caterina, which I really do like yet I haven't worn a pair since I was about ten years old. I remember feeling rather grown up in those denim wedges all of those years back...thinking back now they were pretty gross! I love these though!

The third pair I have chosen are by Kickers, who make really good quality shoes. I chose these for the type of shoe I would buy for work, as they would be comfy.

Lastly, these are by Barratts themselves. I've wanted some military type boots for ages, these fit the bill quite nicely!


6 October 2012

Firmoo Sunglasses!

The sun is actually out today, I cannot quite believe it! This is good fact however as I've been meaning to do a review of some sunglasses for the company Firmoo. I was contacted by Firmoo back in August to see if I was interested in taking part in a product review, of course I said yes! I know it is now October and it's really not sunglasses weather so please forgive me!

Firmoo are an online eyewear company which allows customers to buy prescription glasses/sunglasses as well as just normal sunglasses on their website. Currently they are offering first time customers the chance at a free pair of glasses be these prescription or normal whereby customers only pay shipping costs. I think that after experiencing their service first hand that this is an extremely good offer so please do take a look at their site. If you're thinking of doing this then you can upload a picture of yourself to try on the glasses virtually which is really quite handy!

Now, I'm not normally a huge sunglasses fan I have to say, mainly because I always think that they never suit me. You guys can be the judge of this once you have seen the pictures!

I chose a pair of sunglasses* as I didn't have any at the time and I thought why not, I could give them a go and give my honest opinion to all of you. So I filled out the form that Firmoo provided me with the sunglasses model I wanted and waited for them to arrive. I have to say that throughout contact with the folk over at Firmoo they were really polite and helpful, I felt quite at ease being in contact with them. 

On the arrival of my sunglasses I have to say that honestly I was shocked at how nice they were. They feel really well made and look lovely, which is something I do not say lightly when it comes to sunglasses. They arrived in a pink plastic case, with a green cleaning cloth inside. Along with this there was a black carrying case and a little took kit to tighten the little screws etc. This was a nice added touch I think to the service as if you buy sunglasses from a high street store you normally have to buy a case separate and I've never seen any come with a little tool kit.

They are dark purple frames which have showed up a little black in the pictures I'm afraid, but they still look lovely! Check out the cute little bow detail on the sides; I think this is a nice little touch which I have not really seen before on glasses. I love them so much and I cannot wait to wear them in the summer...that's if we get one next year!

Here is me wearing them, I tried to be a little glamorous...I didn't pull it off haha but anyhow, here they are!

*PR Samples. These sunglasses were kindly sent to me to review.

4 October 2012

Models Own Haul!

If you haven't being hiding under a rock the last week Models Own have had a whopping 50% off sale on their site which has now sadly ended....it was fun whilst it lasted though!

I couldn't decide which polishes I wanted so I spent a good hour or more on their site looking at the numerous shades. They had so many colours that I could have easily added to my basket, but alas, I'm not made of money so I set myself a reasonable budget and went on to order five items.

I ordered the White and Black Nail Art Pens as I have wanted to try and improve on nail art so I thought these would be helpful in creating neater patterns/designs etc.

I also decided to purchase two shades of blue which are colours that in general I'm lacking in my nail polish collection. I chose 'Betty Blue' which is the darker shade along with 'Beth's Blue' which is the pastel shade.

Lastly I just had to add 'Ibiza Mix' to my order as I have been looking forward to trying this for a while; I love a bit of glitter!

I have to say I'm looking forward to using these as I have never tried Models Own polishes before!
Did you take up the wonderful offer at Models Own? 

1 October 2012

September Favourites

Today I'm going to be showing you my favourite products from September. I'm a day late in posting this, I'm so particular about things like that! Anyhow, throughout September I was so good in terms of not buying random stuff that I didn't really need, I think I literally spent £10 on make-up and body care items which is pretty good for me!
I finally got my hands on the MUA Undressed palette from my local Superdrug and I have to say, oh my days....it is amazing; like I had no idea it was going to be this good. If you so far have withheld from buying this gem then I suggest you go and grab one as soon as possible as it is just superb! This palette cost me just £4, it was even less with student discount so for that price it just exceeded all expectations. The shades are so pigmented and last very well throughout the day in my opinion. I cannot compare it to the Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 as I do not own that and to be honest; I probably will not rush to buy it now I have this.

The second item is The Body Shop Satsuma Body Mist which smells so good; I often find myself using this just to smell the fragrance! I use this after the shower, I find a little goes a long way and it doesn't leave my skin feeling 'damp' afterwards. A truly lovely product of which there are a number of other scents available. This retails at £7.50 which I can say I would pay again, I love it!

My third item is something which I wasn't sure whether to include but then when I saw something very similar in Rachael's September Favourites I was reassured to pop it in, so thanks Rachael! Therefore, my third item from the month is from The Body Shop which is the 'Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow and Body Mist' which I purchased earlier on this year. I remember buying this when I was literally at crisis point when I could not sleep whilst at University. I had ear plugs and everything just to block any amount of noise out, I get so easily irritated when trying to drift off. I really like this product, don't get me wrong it doesn't send me to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow but I can say it makes me feel more relaxed. I only use this on my bedding as to be honest, I didn't even realise I could use it on my body! The smell at first I found to be quite sure and I feared I had wasted my money but I've got used to it and I really quite like it now, it smells of Lavender and Camomile. This costs £10 and I think if I were to struggle sleeping again I would buy it again however, I will be finishing University this April so hopefully no more struggles!

Lastly is my current favourite nail polish by Barry M 'Raspberry' which I did a review on here. I love this shade; it is perfect for autumn....perfect! These cost £2.99 from Boots or Superdrug or indeed Barry M themselves.

I hope you all enjoyed my monthly favourites, have any of you used these products? If so let me know what you think! 
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