31 December 2013

My Top 10 Products 2013


It's hard to believe that we're now at the end of another year; I can't quite get my head around just how quickly it has gone. 2013 has been a year of discovery for me whereby I have had the chance to try some amazing new products; it was a hard decision narrowing down the contenders however eventually I finally came to my conclusion.

So without further suspense fellow beauty enthusiasts I give to you my top ten products of 2013, sit back, enjoy and let me know what your favourite products were this year in the comments below.
Having craved the delights of the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette since I first started blogging I finally got my hands on it in the form of a birthday present off my Mom in July. I have actually had a post dedicated to this gorgeous palette saved in my drafts for months however for some reason I have never got around to finishing it off; I will be posting that review later on in January. This is the perfect palette for me and I haven't put it down since I started using it, it's a true winner in my eyes and has been my star product of the year.

I have two lip products that made it into this post, with both NARS and MAC stealing the show for favourite lip products. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are recent additions to my make up collection which have left me questioning why I hadn't tried them sooner. MAC Lipsticks are probably the most popular lip products I've ever known with the shade Plumful only confirming to me as to why.

Next up is my favourite foundation that I've ever tried with this being the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. Initially this wasn't a hit with me however I have grown to truly love this product; it is a gorgeous foundation that provides me with high coverage without feeling too heavy or looking unnatural. Another base type product is my NARS Radiance Enhancing Primer which was a bit of a random purchase as I had only intended on buying the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. This primer is hands down the best I have tried so far, it leaves a perfect canvas for my foundation to sit upon and more importantly it hasn't caused me to break out which is something I have suffered from in the past when using primers...I'm looking at you GOSH.

The Body Shop Body Butters are my favourite body butters to use, they smell incredible and work really nice leaving my skin feeling super soft and hydrated. Here I have the Raspberry one which smells delicious and is pretty perfect for using in the summer time as I find it to be quite light, I'm also quite partial to the Brazil Nut version.

One of my favourite cleansers from this year has been the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which I reviewed here. I will refrain from harping on about it as so many people already know about this cult classic, all I will say is that I have already repurchased this product and find myself thoroughly looking forward to opening it soon. Another cleanser that quickly became one of my favourites to use was from one of my favourite skincare brands REN. The REN ClearCalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser* was sent to me to review earlier on in the year, I wasn't too sure what to expect at first, I knew it would be good as all REN products seem to be but I wasn't aware just how much I would fall in love with it, if you would like to know more then please read my review on it here.

My favourite moisturiser from 2013 arrived from one of the brands I wanted to try the most at the start of the year; Origins. The Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser is a light weight gel type moisturiser which provides sufficient hydration without leaving my skin feeling greasy. Due to my combination to oily skin type I'm generally quite wary of the type of moisturisers I use however this worked a treat leaving my skin feeling super soft and smelling rather nice too.

I couldn't end this post without featuring a fragrance as fragrances have to be one of my all-time favourite products to use. Stella by Stella McCartney is my favourite fragrance slightly pipping to the post Georgio Armani Black Code which I wore for years and years. Read my review on that here if you would like to know more.

I'd be thrilled to hear your favourite products from 2013, they don't just have to be about beauty. What books have you been reading? What films have you being watching? Let me know!

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26 December 2013

Joules Colourful Kindle Cover

















































I had pretty much made up my mind long before Christmas Day that I would not be shopping in the Boxing Day sales this year in order to save up and purchase my own DSLR Camera in the New Year. I have in my humble opinion been very good so far having only purchased one thing, namely my new cover for my Kobo Glo. 

I had seen the Joules Colourful Kindle Cover in Boots on a number of occasions in the run up to Christmas yet priced at £34.95 it was something that I just couldn't buy for myself, after all I had other people that I still had to buy for and they were far more important. Today however after receiving an email from Kobo about various offers on books I was reminded about the fact that I still had no case for my Kobo and that maybe, just maybe the Joules one would be reduced in Boots.

Luckily for me the cover was reduced down to £18 which was a bit easier to swallow, therefore I now have something pretty to protect my beloved eReader in. This case is suitable for the Kindle 4, Kindle Touch and the Kindle Paperwhite of which I own neither one of these. I found that my Kobo Glo fitted quite well after an initial struggle in which I thought I would have to take it back as it appeared to be ever so slightly too small for the pink straps holding it in place. After a little perseverance however I luckily managed to get it in place, phew! It has since stayed put so I'm quite happy to keep it.

Joules for me is a gorgeous brand that I really admire, I hope one day to be able to buy a few more things from the fantastic ranges that they have to offer; the bedding in particular springs to mind.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas yesterday, I've enjoyed reading a number of posts on what you all had and I look forward to reading a few more over the coming days.


P.S I would really appreciate you guys checking out my entry into a competition by Fragrance Direct, all you have to do if you would like to support me is 'like' my photo. You also get a chance of winning Paco Robanne fragrance for taking part :)
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23 December 2013

The Birmingham Christmas German Market






















































































































I found myself exploring the German Christmas Market in Birmingham yesterday which is an event I have wanted to go to for the last few years. I took a few snaps on my phone so I apologise for the quality of the pictures but they will have to do, I wasn't too keen on taking the big camera to town with it being so busy.

Up and down the main high street there were so many stalls selling a variety of different things. From a variety of hand crafted jewellery, fabrics, candles, sweets, heaps of food and of course chocolate there was most definitely something for everyone. Yesterday was the last day of the market so there were some bargains to be had as the sellers tried to clear the majority of their stock, it felt like the last few hours on the apprentice where people keep reducing prices. 

I fully recommend you go if you haven't been before; I will definitely be going next year too! If you were wondering about the chocolate, strawberry and grape cup then yes, it sure was incredible.

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P.S I was featured over on the Fragrance Direct website today, I would be thrilled if you could give the picture of my make up entry a thumbs up :) there's a chance for you to win something too! Find it here.

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20 December 2013

Christmas Nail Designs






















I posted a picture on Instagram on Thursday evening of my Christmas Nail Designs that I had sat and created that evening. I promised I would feature them on my blog this weekend so here they are in all their glory.

My favourite one is Danny the Snowman; he is named after Danielle from Miss Sunshine and Sparkle as she took a shine to him on twitter! Rudolph's nose could have been so much neater but a big dollop of red nail polish literally dropped where his nose should be whilst I had hesitated, hence the slightly large and wonky nose.

Looking back I wish I had taken a little more time with the holly ones as they could have been really nice if I had used another shade of green to highlight certain areas on the holly leaves. Oh well, next Christmas I will make more of an effort, who knows I may actually have nails I can do designs on again by then.

Hope you all like them, have a lovely Christmas everyone.


P.S Thank you all sooooo much for the kind comments on my previous post :)
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19 December 2013

New Year's Eve Make Up Challenge

I've always been one of those girls that really enjoys the getting ready for a night out process, it's so much fun to sit down and do your make up a little bit more dramatic than the usual day to day look that you wear for work. I was recently given the opportunity to participate in a make up challenge whereby I had to create a New Year's Eve make up look using a few products from Fragrance Direct. I must admit at first I was a little worried about taking part as I will not lie I'm not that great with make up and can only really do the basics however I do like a little challenge here and there so here is my attempt.
























Within a budget of £15 I chose a few items that I would use to create my New Year's Eve look. The items that I chose were the Eylure Girls Aloud Party Lashes Kimberley*, the L'Oreal Colour Infallible Eyeshadow in the shade Tender Caramel*, the most beautiful Orly Nail Polish in the shade Rage*, a Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in the shade Pink Afterglow* and lastly the Rimmel Glam Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara* in standard black.

Orly Rage is a simply beautiful rose gold toned nail polish which I adore. I have actually wanted to try this particular shade for a while so was so amazed to see this and a wide range of other Orly polishes cropping up on Fragrance Direct for just £3.99 instead of £10.95; I seriously recommend checking out the range at the moment as there are some really gorgeous colours available for such a fantastic price.

The L'oreal Infalliable Eye Shadows are another product that I have wanted to try for a long time yet have never found myself getting around to it; priced at just £1.50 compared to £6.99 these are a huge bargain. I found Tender Caramel to be quite a cool toned bronze which was on somewhat of a taupe spectrum. This was a perfect little eye shadow to add a nice little bit of depth to the eye without being too dramatic as I had those pesky fake eye lashes to contend with quite soon after therefore I didn't want my eye look to be too heavy.

It may come as a shock to you but before I took part in this make up challenge I did not own a lip gloss. My main reason for this is due to the fact that I never really get on very well with them, the closest product I have to one is the No7 BB lips which I really like. I decided to go for a gloss from Revlon as I really like the brand and tend to enjoy their products. Pink Afterglow is quite a sheer pink gloss with flecks of fine glitter in, I have to say the glitter didn't bother me at all as I didn't find it all that noticeable once applied. The texture felt nice and smooth and wasn't sticky for me which is the main thing I look for in a gloss. Once again there is a saving to be made here as this product is priced up at just £1.99, bargain!

The Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara was quite nice to use too however my main issue with this is the fact that it is a plastic wand which I tend not to get on with very well. This is something I should of checked beforehand however having said that it did work quite well leaving me rather impressed, my lashes were left defined with a bit of volume; priced at just £3.50 this is a fabulous price for any mascara.

Last but certainly not least were the Girls Aloud Eylure Party Lashes which retail at £7 on the high street yet are currently available for £3.99 off Fragrance Direct. I had never tried fake eyelashes before so I was quite nervous when it came to applying them; I even had to watch a YouTube video beforehand just to get an idea of how to do it. If I'm honest I have to say I found them a bit difficult to use but that is probably to be expected having never used them before. Once on though I finally understood why they are so popular, they really add a bit of glamour to the eye and indeed a whole look. I'm fully converted and definitely want to try some more in the future.


My finished look! What do you think? I probably could have gone a bit more dramatic but I generally do like quite a natural look and I think it would look quite nice paired up with a little black dress and heels. I should imagine the Orly nail polish will look gorgeous against a black dress along with a glass of champers in my hand to welcome in the New Year.



You can see my entry and the other bloggers who took part over on the Fragrance Direct Facebook page, here is my photograph.

*PR Samples. These products were sent to me in order to take part in the New Year's Eve Fragrance Direct Make Up Challenge.
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16 December 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Sequin Explosion















































I first saw the L'Oreal Color Riche polish in Sequin Explosion (number 842) a few weeks back and at the time really wanted to pick it up. I put it off as we all do but knew deep down that I would soon be back to buy it.

The Color Riche range has always looked quite nice to me but at a price of £5 for a rather small bottle I have always found myself looking elsewhere. Sequin Explosion however is pretty special which is why I made the cheeky purchase, I most likely won't be going back to that counter any time soon as I do feel you get better value for money from the likes of Models Own and Barry M.

I used two coats for the first nail swatch above which did impress me as I find many glitter polishes can be quite sheer requiring a number of coats to achieve a relatively opaque finish. I layered this over Topshop Thread Bare which is one of my all-time favourite nude nail polishes to see what it would look like over a nude nail and I must admit I do quite like the result. I wish I had been a bit neater with it but at least that was just an example, hopefully my nails will look a lot neater when I do this.

Using this over a royal purple shade such as Barry M Rich Purple would be divine, I also think it would look really pretty over a white nail polish; what do you think?

I picked up my polish from Boots.


L'Oreal are sadly not cruelty free....sort it out!

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13 December 2013

Soap and Glory | The Yule Monty



For the past few years Soap and Glory have been one of my favourite brands to turn to. I first experienced the brand a few years ago when my mom bought me the Pink Big Tote Bag for Christmas which was full of Soap and Glory goodies; ever since then I have been hooked. Last year I missed out on the Soap and Glory deal of the week at Boots so this year upon release of The Yule Monty I knew I would be off to purchase it as soon as possible as it is full to the brim of some old favourites and new products to try.

I'm personally not a fan of the hand and foot cream so these will be making up part of a Christmas gift for my secret Santa at work. I always feel in the minority about those two products as so many people love them so I'm quite confident the receiver will like them too. I'm personally most excited to try the Sugar Crush Body Wash, Peaches and Clean Face Cleanser and the Butter Yourself Body Lotion.

The full retail price of The Yule Monty is £60 however Boots are selling it for just £27, better than half price up until the 19th of December. This is such good value for money and will make an amazing gift for Soap and Glory fans new and old, it really is not one to miss out on folks so get down to Boots pronto or order online as these do sell out rather quickly.

Within the limited edition Jonathan Saunders bag you will receive some amazing Soap and Glory products:   

The Righteous Butter Body Cream
Sugar Crush Body Wash
Heel Genius Foot Mask
Hand Food Hand Cream
Peaches and Clean Face Cleanser
Thick and Fast Super Volume Mascara
The Scrub Of Your Life Body Buffer
Butter Yourself Body Lotion
Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Pumping Gloss
Jonathan Saunders Toiletry bag (Limited Edition).
Three samples of Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum


Order online from Boots here whilst stocks last.
This is now unfortunately sold out online as of this afternoon with no reports that it will be coming back. Check your local stores if you want to get hold of this.


 

Soap and Glory are cruelty free.

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12 December 2013

Christmas Jumpers

Next Fun Reindeer SweaterBoohoo Simone Snowflake and Reindeer JumperDorothy Perkins Navy Polar Bear JumperPeacocks Metallic Christmas JumperNew Look Grey Penguin Christmas JumperPeacocks Christmas SweaterDorothy Perkins Skiing Robin Jumper Fat Face Navy Reindeer Jumper .





















It sure is that time of year again; people are going crazy for Christmas and of course the obligatory festive Christmas jumper. I've picked out some from a few sites to give you a glimpse into what is currently on offer if you are like me and still have yet to pick one up. The Reindeer Sweater from Next is my favourite here but I can't help but be tempted by that cute little robin and the fluffy polar bear.


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11 December 2013

Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Serum Oil
















































Upon inspection of my current skincare routine I suddenly became aware that I was lacking in facial oils. My skin type is combination to oily with this being the reason for having in the past always steered well clear of oils however I now know that they can be really beneficial to my skin type too, not just for those with dry skin. Therefore when kindly given the opportunity to try something from the REN Vita Mineral range I immediately opted for the Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil*. Retailing at £23 I think this is fairly reasonable as I really do rate REN products having had positive experiences with the brand in the past, plus I can assure you that this product will last you ages as you only need a small amount.

The Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil aims to boost overall skin health and vitality by improving moisture levels. reducing sensitivity, premature ageing and any signs of wrinkles. As I have said before I quite like to include a product that has anti ageing properties as I'm certainly not getting any younger. The real reason I decided to review this product however is because of the hydration properties as I do suffer with dehydrated skin at times, particularly in the colder weather.

I currently use this once a day in my evening skincare routine where I pop this on after cleansing and toning. Using just two pumps of this I find is enough to cover my face as I don't like to go too crazy with it because my moisturiser is soon to follow. The texture of this is silky smooth and quite runny, it isn't as thick as I had expected which for me is a good thing as I like products to sink into my skin rather than to feel them sitting on my face. Oils do worry me as I worry that my skin will become quite greasy however I had no issues at all in using this oil from REN.

One of my favourite aspects of this particular product has to be the smell, trust me when I tell you that it is amazing. To me it has quite a sugary sweet smell which I have to say I really do like. This does surprise me as if someone was to suggest to me this type of scent for a facial product I would probably shake my head in disapproval however with this product it just seems to work so well; it is definitely one to try out if you see it in stores.

Since I have being incorporating this into my routine of an evening I really have noticed a difference in the appearance of my skin. I used to wake up with a bit of redness on my cheeks in the morning however since trying this out that redness has all but disappeared; I'm not sure if this product is supposed to solve that particular issue but I think it has. Aside from that I have also noticed that my skin looks more plump and much more radiant which is most likely due to more moisture being retained in my skin.

Overall I think this is a fantastic product which I will happily buy for myself in the future. This time of year would be a perfect time to maybe ask for this for Christmas, it would also make a lovely gift for someone who enjoys looking after their skin and has an interest in skincare.

As always REN products are cruelty free and free from a huge amount of various ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, silicones, mineral oil and much more.


*PR Sample. This product was sent to me for my consideration.

Ingredients

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Camelina Sativa Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phaeodactylum Tricornotum Extract, Bisabolol, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Limonene, Tocopherol.
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8 December 2013

The Christmas Tag!

Source: Catsparella

I was kindly tagged by Grace to take part in this tag, thank you so much Grace! It has certainly helped me get in the mood for the festive holidays as I found myself listening to Christmas tunes on YouTube after writing this.
What is your favourite Christmas film?

My favourite Christmas film has to be The Snowman; it's on every year without fail thank goodness! I used to really like this when I was younger and I've grown up watching it each year since so it's a bit of a tradition for me. I also like Jack Frost even though it's actually pretty darn sad.

What is your favourite festive colour?

I did a post just yesterday all about silver which I simply adore however I'm not 100% sure how 'festive' it is therefore I'm going to pick gold just to be on the safe side. I like the white gold hue that you get off fairy lights, a bit like the picture above with the cute kitty cat.

Do you open your gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Morning! We have never been allowed to open presents the night before, despite how much we may have wanted to with them sitting under the tree.

What is your favourite winter fragrance?

I think my favourite would have to be Stella McCartney Stella as this is the deepest scent I own and definitely the most appropriate for this winter weather. 

What is your favourite Christmas scent?

My favourite scent would have to be the pine scent from choosing and picking up the Christmas tree from our local Forestry Commission, it is amazing! I also like coming downstairs in the morning as the room smells of fresh pine, it's really rather nice.

What is your favourite holiday drink?

I find myself coming across as rather unadventurous here, I don't drink alcohol really so I guess just a plain old hot chocolate.

Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?

I don't really eat either to be honest I find Candy Canes pretty as decoration but rather quite boring to eat therefore if I had to pick it would be Gingerbread Men with a nice cup of tea.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

My favourite Christmas song is Stop the Cavalry. I've always liked this song, take a listen below if you haven't heard it before.




Have you ever made a snowman?

Of course, many of times I found myself in the back garden with my brother and sister making snowmen. If we have some snow this year I might make another, I might even let him borrow my scarf.

What is the most important thing to you about Christmas?

For me the most important thing about Christmas is being at home and seeing your family. Being away at University for the last three years meant I missed most of the build up to Christmas at home, this year it will be nice to fetch the tree with everyone and decorate it.


I tag everyone that reads this to take part, let me know if you do it as I would like to read all of your answers.


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7 December 2013

Silver Christmas


I love this time of year when we can adorn our homes with nice festive trinkets and decoration. I must admit though I'm rather particular about what colours I like to use and dream of one day having my own home which I can decorate to my taste. At this time of year the traditional colours of gold, red and green are very appropriate and whilst I do like these colours I can't help but be persuaded by silver.

Thinking about this just last night I decided to do a Christmas themed wish list post with a slight difference as this one would be based around colour. Therefore decoration aside I picked out some silver themed beauty and jewellery items as it has to be one of my all-time favourite colours alongside blue.

The Essie Set in Stones silver glitter nail polish is a new release this season which captured my heart as soon as I saw it, yes I hold my hands up and say I have caved and purchased this in the Christmas Duo; see that review here.

I had to include a Pandora Bracelet within this list; the brand is one of the first points of call in my mind when it comes to jewellery therefore along with the bracelet I also chose two rings which I really like. I made the bracelet online myself adding a Christmas tree charm as it was rather appropriate, I'd like to add that if you haven't tried making your own bracelet online then you simply must...I spent ages on there!

Sticking with a beauty theme I also chose to include the Smashbox Wondervision Eye Set in Flash. There is a pretty silver shade I spotted in there which is my perfect reason for including this.

Considering I'm in dire need of some earrings at the moment I couldn't help but notice the Silver Martini Earrings from Astrid and Miyu. They're very pretty and extremely elegant, twinkling like little starts I think these would make a lovely gift this Christmas.
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6 December 2013

November Empties










Not much to report on this month to be honest as I don't seem to have used up many things, this is a shame considering I'm trying to de-clutter. 

I've mentioned SPAtopia on here before when I referred to the Argan Oil Body Butter a few months ago; this however is the SPAtopia Dead Sea Bath Relaxer which is essentially a bubble bath. I really enjoyed using this because of the smell, it's so good! I struggle to really explain what this smells like as according to the ingredients there are quite a few scents; all I know is that I can definitely smell lime which is one of my favourite scents. This range can be picked up in Sainsbury's so have a look out for it.

The Dove Hair Therapy Spray has to be one of my favourite products I've used in my hair, I'm rather sad to see this go actually. I found that this really conditioned my hair well and made it smell super nice; it also lasted me quite a long time so I would happily repurchase this. My only issue is that this can't be found everywhere; I tried five different Boots stores before I found this.

The Good Things Deep Pore Anti Blemish Lotion was a bit of a spontaneous buy in the summer when the brand was on offer. I have very little to say on this product as I saw no benefits from using it at all and found myself rather happy when I finished the bottle.

I had another bottle of the Simple Eye Make Up Remover to finish off so made a good effort to use that up this month. I'm not hugely impressed with this as I mentioned in my October Empties post therefore I doubt that this will be a repurchase.


Dove are not cruelty free.

P.S I'm currently thinking of putting a halt to these posts come the new year, thoughts? 
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