30 April 2014

April Overview

April followed on from a busy blogging month for me so it was nice to settle back down into a more laid back approach when it came to publishing content. Originally I had intended to take a break from blogging however in the end I just found that I couldn't stay away. I enjoy blogging so much and really look forward to sitting down and writing about the latest skincare I'm using or my most recent purchases or fashion finds.

This April I posted about a few different things so thought I would share with you four of my favourite posts from this month. There are of course quite a few more so do check some of the others out if you're popping along for a catch up.

My most popular post this month most certainly goes to my feature of the NARSissist Palette which I had intended to post about sooner however things just got a little hectic my end. Better late than never though as you all seemed to really like the look of it. Just the other day I posted about a much more affordable product with that being the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Laquer, this product left me extremely impressed with a resounding conclusion that for once the hype was completely justified.

During April you also had a little peek into my small jewellery collection where I posted about a few of my favourite trinkets. Whilst jewellery is one of my favourite things I also like to take extra care of my skin at night using Origins Night A Mins which I did a whole review on simply dedicated to that product.

How was your April?


28 April 2014

Rimmel Apocalips Across The Universe

For a rather long time I found myself holding off trying the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers due to a few reasons. The first was most definitely due to how much hype that they had received in such a short space of time which left me a little bit suspicious. Secondly I've also over the last year or so tried very hard not to fall for hyped up products so held off for a good while. My last reason was because I had heard quite a few mixed reviews from a number of bloggers I trust therefore I found myself with a 50/50 opinion about them before I had tried them for myself.

Recently I was given the opportunity to try out the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer* in the shade 'Across the Universe'. This shade is quite a bit darker in comparison to Big Bang which is the other red in the apocalips line up where I would certainly argue that it is slightly more appropriate for winter time as it has a much deeper tone to it, I personally however would wear it at any time of the year.

For somebody who can be extremely messy with lipstick I was slightly concerned when it originally came to applying the product as even with a doe foot I found that I struggled. I found that the best way to apply this that worked for me was to put a bit on with the applicator and then use a lip brush to be a bit more precise. Seeing as there are a few lighter shades within the apocalips range I should imagine that some of those may be a little more forgiving if you go over your lip line however with this shade being so pigmented and indeed so bright there really is no room for error. My application above was a little off but I'm no make up artist so this was the best that I could do; I think it is just about passable.

In terms of wear time Across the Universe left me incredibly impressed as after four hours the colour was just as bright and vivid on my lips. Be warned though as this shade will leave quite a few marks on cups and will wear a little bit if you're eating however this is nothing that a little touch up cannot solve. One thing that I did notice with this is that it can somehow easily make its way onto your teeth which is never a good look so I definitely recommend blotting a little bit too just to remove any excess product. 

When it comes to lipsticks and lip crayons I've normally one primary concern which is in regards to how moisturising or drying the product is. I can happily report that I didn't experience any particular drying effects on my lips after or during use of the apocalips lip lacquers although I did put a little bit of lip balm on beforehand in order to combat that. Applying lip balm before any lipstick or lip crayon is something I tend to do ninety percent of the time and is something I highly recommend if you suffer with dry lips but want to maintain a nice smooth surface for your lipstick.

After waiting a rather long time to try these out I can most certainly say I understand the hype around these. Across the Universe was quite the leap into the Rimmel Apocalips line of which I'm now extremely keen to try out a few more. Retailing at £5.99 I think that these are reasonably priced and are definitely worth trying out if you haven't already. 

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers can be purchased from The Hut. There are a number of shades available therefore if you have any recommendations for me then please do let me know in the comments below.

Rimmel is not a cruelty free brand.


25 April 2014

The NARSissist Palette

NARSissist Palette NARSissist Palette Eye Shadows NARSissist Palette Eyeshadow

Top Row Left to Right: All About Eve #1, Madrague #2, Fez, Bali, Coconut Grove.
Second Row Left to Right : Madrague #1, Nepal, Ashes to Ashes, Brousse #2, Mekong.
Bottom Row Left to Right : Bellissima #1, Lhasa, Bad Behaviour, Dogon #2, Pandora #2.

Quite often there pops up a product which you know deep down that despite how gorgeous and perfect it is that there is no chance that you will ever own it. That was exactly how I felt about the NARSissit Palette which was released by NARS at the end of January this year. Retailing at £50 this was a product which I felt was far too expensive to buy, yes I know you get your money's worth but it's hard getting over the fact of how much it costs. To me it is such a luxurious treat that I would have felt too guilty to buy, I mean it's only make up after all.

Therefore after wishing for this for a few weeks I decided to put it back in my mind, I had arrived at the conclusion that it was too expensive therefore end of. Then one fateful night I spotted a tweet informing those of twitter that the palette was available to buy on ASOS. At the time I just so happened to have an ASOS voucher that I had won back in December therefore within a few minutes I was on there and placing an order. I believe that it was meant to be I'm sure of it because I had returned about three items back to ASOS in the last month or so using that same voucher after not being happy with my orders.

Within the palette there are fifteen eye shadows that together make up a palette that overall fulfils a neutral lover's dream with a bit of room for experimentation with colour. As with all NARS eye shadows that I have tried so far the quality is second to none with the eye shadows being highly pigmented, soft and easy to work with. I was going to include some swatches for this post but in the end I decided against this as there are already so many online, plus I often find it hard to get nice swatch images that I like enough to post pictures of on here. Of course with any NARS product the packaging is the same which is the black rubber type texture with a smooth touch; I do like the packaging however it picks up finger prints quite badly. In regards to the particular packaging of this palette it's pretty similar to all the others apart from the added 'issist' text which in my opinion ruins the whole thing; I really do think that the design could have looked so much nicer.

As far as I'm aware the palette is available to buy for six months so you just need to keep an eye out online for when it comes back in stock.  Personally I'm super impressed with this but I do feel the need to point out that all of the eye shadows within this are available to buy in duos or as individuals. I do suggest that if not all of the shades in the NARSissist palette appeal to you and only certain ones do it may be worthwhile looking at those instead. This is a pricey product and there is no denying it, it is most certainly something that is not necessary however I have to say I'm so pleased that I now own it and would definitely recommend it if you're looking to treat yourself to something a bit special this year.

NARS is a cruelty free brand.


23 April 2014

Zara Wish List

Zara Wish List
Have you taken a browse of the Zara website lately? There are some absolute gems on there as per usual therefore I thought I would share with you some of my favourite items that I've being looking at recently.

A blazer should be in every woman's wardrobe as far as I'm concerned, they are a staple item and can finish off an outfit perfectly therefore I picked out a grey one for the spring as it is a bit more relaxed compared to a plain black one. The white faux leather skirt is probably my favourite item off the wish list as well as the black bag, you simply cannot go wrong with classic colours.

The first three items I've picked out don't exactly scream out spring and summer clothing no matter how much I like them; however I did manage to find a few colourful items that jumped out at me. The mint green wedges are super nice and would work really well with some white denim jeans; I personally really do like wedges and find them much more comfortable and more importantly easier to walk in compared to other types of high heels.

One of the more unusual items I've chosen is a scarf which in itself isn't an out of the ordinary purchase for me as I own far too many however the design on this is what makes it so quirky. Upon seeing this design I immediately thought of Picasso and was whipped right back to GCSE art class; those were great days that's for sure.


21 April 2014

REN Rose Centifolia / V-Cense 1 Minute Facial

REN Rose Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser Review
REN has fast become one of the skincare brands that I turn to in order to solve my skin troubles. I have in the past been super impressed by the products I have tried therefore it may come as no surprise to you that I have today two more products to share with you. The REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser* has been a new recent addition to my evening skincare routine along with implementation of a new skincare treatment; the REN V-Cense Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial*.

The Rose Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser was something that I was extremely looking forward to trying as cleansing it one of my favourite parts of my skincare routine. Upon first use I could tell instantly that this was something I was going to enjoy using as it left my skin feeling so soft, nourished and clean. The product itself is a white cream which isn't as thick as say the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. If you have tried the No7 version I would say it leans more towards that thinner type of texture which I really like. It smells really light and gentle with subtle hints of rose coming through, in my opinion it isn't overpowering in the slightest as I would be the first person to say so considering that rose scents are often something that I struggle with.

Along with the cleanser there is a little cloth that comes with it so you're ready to start your new cleansing routine right from the start. I do find this cleanser to be really soothing and look forward to using it when I get home from work as there is nothing quite like taking your make up off when it has been on since 7am. In regards to removing make up I think that this cleanser achieves this pretty well however please note that I do tend to use a micellar water before hand on my eyes in order to lift up pesky eye liner and mascara; I'm not a fan of using a cream product over my eyes no matter what it is. For a total of £16 I do think you're getting a decent product here for your money, particularly since it works so well and will last you quite a while too; I know that I will definitely consider purchasing this for myself once I have used this up.

For a little treat to my skin I have also road tested a few samples of the REN V-Cense Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial which is a yet to be released product from the brand. It is essentially a gel that aims to revitalise and rejuvenate the skin of which I would argue that it does this pretty well. I've only been able to test it twice and deep down I must admit that I would have liked to try it for a longer period of time however my first impressions have been pretty positive. To use it you simply rub the gel onto your skin and then by using a bit of water on top this supposedly activates vitamin C which helps to remove that 'urban grey' look as well as black heads and dead skin cells. The texture is quite light and has a very slight grainy feeling to it, it's also a mint green colour which is a little bit different. 

Upon using this my skin at the time felt no different as there was no tingling or anything to suggest that it was working however once I removed it with warm water I could clearly see that my skin looked clearer and brighter. I'm extremely curious about this product and I cannot lie that I would like to try this again when it is released later this year.

19 April 2014

Easter Nails

Any occasion such as Easter, Christmas and Halloween calls for obligatory nail art posts therefore Easter 2014 is of no exception. This afternoon after taking a few outfit snaps for some upcoming blog posts I decided to sit down and put together a few nail art designs that were Easter inspired. A few little chocolate eggs later and a accidental nail polish spillage I finally ended up with some designs that were somewhat passable.

So I hope you're all having a great Easter weekend so far and that you're making the most of the sunshine; it never seems to last for every long here in the UK. Enjoy the chocolate tomorrow and if you fancy winning a pair of Vans trainers be to enter my vans give away that ends this weekend.


15 April 2014

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

A little while ago I was extremely lucky and won give away held by the lovely Julie over at Raining Cake, thank you so much Julie! One of the items I received was a MAC Lipstick in the shade 'All Fired Up' which at the time was one that I hadn't really heard much about. Being still quite a novice to MAC I was extremely excited and couldn't wait to try it out, particularly because it was a matte finish which was one of the finishes by MAC that I was really quite keen on trying having only ever really delved into lustre finishes.

All Fired Up is a retro matte finish and is described as a bright fuchsia which I think fits it perfectly. In the image above the exact brightness of this shade has failed to come across a bit which is a shame however there is nothing to stop you swatching this in store to see just how bright and indeed beautiful it is. I would say that All Fired Up leans towards a more red tone fuchsia rather than a blue tone which adds some overall warmth to my complexion. For me because this is a matte lipstick I had to exfoliate my lips and prep them with a bit of lip balm beforehand because my lips are always a bit on the dry side. In terms of longevity I found that this lipstick remained in place for a good number of hours, I'd say roughly four or so and even then there was a stain left behind which seemed to wear relatively evenly.

This lipstick is slightly drying but it's something that I can more than cope with and like I said before with a bit of lip balm beforehand you're pretty much covered. I'll be honest and say that deep down this would not have been a shade I would have picked for myself (because I'm a complete wuss and pick safe shades) however I'm super glad that I was able to try it as I'm so incredibly fond of it and now find myself wanting to try a few more matte shades from MAC; any recommendations?

Once again thank you so much to Julie for this lipstick! If you haven't checked out her blog before then do so, it is lovely!

MAC is not a cruelty free brand.


12 April 2014

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins

For the best part of two years one moisturiser in particular had been on my list to try, that being Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins. For a rather long time I had read numerous good things about this particular night cream therefore just after Christmas I decided to purchase it within the Origins 24 Hour Glow Set with some money that I had received as a gift. Ever since the beginning of January I have being using this of an evening therefore felt it was the perfect time to share with you my thoughts.

First of all the packaging as I have previously mentioned when sharing my thoughts on Origins GinZing isn't one that I'm particularly fond of. Visually I really do like it however my main gripe purely boils down to hygiene; it isn't the most hygienic packaging for a moisturiser that you're using every evening on freshly cleansed skin therefore try to ensure that you're hands are clean before using it.

The texture of this moisturiser is really nice, I find it thicker than my daytime one which is to be expected however it isn't too heavy or greasy at all, in fact it is a pure delight to use and smells wonderful. For £34 I'm the first to admit that it is quite expensive, this is the main reason why it took me so long to buy it and when I think back I only purchased it because of how good the offer was with the set at the time in which it was included. Having now used this product I can say that I wouldn't want to be without it, it's lasting me such a long time as nearly three and a half months in I've not made much a dent into it; a little goes quite a long way in my opinion.

I generally use this on top of Hydraluron or most recently Effaclar Duo + which has being working sheer magic on my skin as of late. In the mornings I can tell when I have used this because my skin really does look more refreshed and brighter; it also feels incredibly soft and supple. I have to admit that the claims from Origins do ring true with this particular product because I really can see a visible difference when I don't use it of an evening.

Personally I cannot recommend this enough, for reference my skin is oily/combination where this is recommended for those with combination to dry however this has not been a hindrance to me at all; in fact it has worked so incredibly well that I know I will be repurchasing this in the future. I'm aware that when it comes to Origins there is a bit of concern over the ingredients and indeed the brand name which I do feel can be a bit misleading. Having said that so far everything that I have tried from the brand has worked really well for me and has left me feeling quite positive about the products and indeed the results; for me they have worked so why fix something if it isn't broke? I'd really like to hear your views on Origins below if you have something to share or if indeed you've maybe found something even better.

Have you tried High-Potency Night-A-Mins?

8 April 2014

April Wish List

April Wish List
Quite a few things have being creeping up into my virtual wish list over the last month or so with four of the items having been on there for quite a long time; self restraint can be hard but I'm doing pretty well. I'll start off with this gorgeous Whistles Geometric Necklace which at the moment is reduced down from its original price. I've had my eye on this for such a long time however because it isn't real gold/silver etc I worry that it will tarnish after a short while which is why I have so far refrained from purchasing it.

The Bourjois little pots of blushers/eye shadows are not new to the beauty community however I'm quite the sucker for a limited edition product, especially when it makes me think of blossom trees. This Bourjois Little Round Pot is quite simply a white eye shadow that is nothing particularly special, I just think it looks really pretty and quite unique.

The This Works Deep Pillow Spray is something that I'm edging ever close to buying these days due to my incredibly poor sleeping routine. Over the last year I have seen this crop up a fair few times whereby overall it has generally received positive feedback. If you're a fan of this already you may be interested to know that there is a limited edition of this floating around on ASOS.

Not one but two pairs of shoes tip toed onto my wish list this month, of which one pair I've already tried on in store and cannot wait to own them. The Hamble Oak Brogues are divine in every single way where of course being from Clarks they are also super comfortable and come in a few other colours too, notably tan and patent black. On the opposite side of the spectrum hopping from something quite classic to more modern I have being eyeing up the ASOS Hat Trick Leather Heeled Sandals. These types of sandals seem to be very popular already and have had me rather intrigued; I can't lie that I don't want to miss out on this trend this year.

Since I have being using a chemical exfoliating toner I have being meaning to pick up a nice light SPF for under my make up. I'm fully aware that I should have being using one of these anyway *slap on the wrist* however I'm trying to change and have being considering buying the Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily Moisturiser. I'm aware that it is quite expensive so I'm still a bit hesitant however it really does have some glowing reviews online.

Lastly I have discovered a new brand on ASOS whilst browsing watches...again. The Zadig & Voltaire Light Butterfly Watch is really rather unique and unusual just like the brand name. This watch immediately caught my eye as it is just a little bit different to so many out there at the moment; check out the butterfly/skull in the middle.

6 April 2014

Morning Skincare Routine

Morning Skincare Routine
Most mornings I find that I'm looking for something that is relatively fuss free, quick and simple when it comes down to my morning skincare routine as nine times out of ten I'm blurry eyed, groggy and just want to hop back into bed.

At the moment I've managed to get myself into a nice routine that is working well for my combination to oily skin type. First of all in the mornings I start with simply washing my face where I use the Korres White Tea Gel Cleanser which I reviewed not so long back here. This has been a real pleasure to use because it has left my skin feeling refreshed and awake in the mornings without it feeling stripped of moisture. Once I have dried my face I move onto my eye cream which is actually one that I'm trying to use up at the moment. The Good Things Bright Eyes Eye Cream was a purchase in autumn last year whereby I have being using it on and off ever since. I have to say that overall I've found that it has done nothing to help with dark circles however it has helped to reduce slight puffy eyes in the morning; it also has a slight cooling effect which I appreciate. Once this has been used up though I'm afraid I will be moving onto something else and will not be repurchasing it.

My real staple of a product within my skincare routine over the last month and a half has been the newly reformulated La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +. Over time I do decide to use a different cleanser in the morning or to maybe try a different moisturiser before my make up just to mix things up a little bit yet the only product I haven't strayed away from at all has been Effaclar Duo +. For me I have noticed a huge difference in my skin where breakouts have been pretty much none existent. My skin has looked so much clearer since using this and has continued to do so leaving me feeling quite reliant upon this little product already; I have a feeling it will be a long affair.

Last but certainly not least is my Origins GinZing Moisturiser which I did a full review upon here. This tends to be my moisturiser of choice in the mornings as I find that it absorbs into my skin quite quickly leaving my skin feeling prepared for make up. Out of all of the daily moisturisers I own this is the lightest so it is ideal for days when I'm getting ready for work in the morning. I'd love for you all to believe that I'm up two hours before work getting ready however in all honesty I'm lucky if I'm up an hour before so sometimes I have to be ready quite quickly. The thought of putting make up onto moisturiser that hasn't fully absorbed into my skin makes me feel uncomfortable. On  days when I don't have to be out as early or if I'm planning a day at home I tend to opt for the REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream* reviewd here as this leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturised. My only minor issue with this is that it takes a little longer to full absorb into my skin which is why I tend to pick something else on days when I'm in work.

So, there we have it, my morning skincare routine. What do you use in the mornings?
*PR Sample.


4 April 2014

Win Vans with Explora Morocco

Have you ever been on an active holiday? I don't just mean jumping around in the swimming pool, I'm referring to activities such as windsurfing, quad biking and horse riding to name just a few. Explora Morocco offers just this type of holiday at their two centres in Morocco; Dahkla and Essaouira. I'd love to try a holiday like this, something that would push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to be a bit more adventurous. If that sounds like something you would like to do then it's certainly worth exploring this type of holiday.

Tuition is offered by the company for all of the activities on offer as well as there being the opportunity to hire the necessary equipment; you can also purchase it if you discover that your holiday has inspired you to take up a new found hobby. Bespoke holidays specific for you are available so that you can tailor your time away to things that you are most interested in whilst staying in a hotel, triad, private apartment or even a tent; the choice really is down to you.

Explora Morocco work with and stock many brands, particularly those that are tailored to the outdoors; one of those brands is Vans. To me Vans is such a fun and exciting brand, particularly when it comes down to their shoes as I personally love what they do with the designs. Speaking of shoes I'm really excited to share with you that one of you will be able to win a pair of your choice from the Vans website courtesy of Explora Morrocco.

This competition is open for UK entries only and will run for two weeks in total ending on Sunday 20th April. All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter form below and leave a comment stating which pair of shoes you would like to win along with a form of contact. Entries will be checked before the winner is announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

The shoes need to be chosen from the UK Vans website and are subject to their sizes and stock levels; a limit of £70 is imposed.

This is not a sponsored post

3 April 2014

Eyeko Lash Curlers with Instyle

This is just a quick post for today as I thought I'd give you all a little heads up of quite a good freebie hitting your local newsstand this month. At the moment with the May issue of Instyle there is a free pair of the Eyeko Eye Lash Curlers that are worth £12. I picked mine up from WHSmiths this afternoon where it cost £3.90 which is quite expensive for a magazine full of quite a few adverts but the free gift is pretty good. I'm trying not to fall into the trap of buying magazines just for the free gift this year but I think this is quite a good one, particularly since I've being meaning to buy a new pair of eye lash curlers for such a long time.

Also included in the magazine is a voucher to pick up a free 50ml L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate as well as 20% off orders on the Eyeko website.

**The winner of the Pandora competition that was up on blog a few days ago is Rachel from Beauty Queen UK, congratulations!!


2 April 2014

Jewellery Collection

Jewellery Collection
This year I decided amongst many other things that I was going to stop buying fashion jewellery. The reason for this is due to the fact that I was fed up of it turning a nasty shade of green or yellow after a certain amount of time. I'm not sure if I will stick to this completely as there are some amazing pieces of fashion jewellery out there and of course it's so much cheaper compared to real metals. There is also such a variety of styles too so certain things do last longer than others.

Recently I added a new necklace to my collection which is a Purple Druzy Necklace from Delilah Dust. Placed upon a silver plated chain I think it is gorgeous and is so different to anything else within my rather small collection. I've never had a silver plated item before so I'm seeing how this wears; fingers crossed it will last me quite a bit.

My little amethyst pendant and silver chain is from Dixi a little over a year ago whilst the silver ring is from Accessorize. Speaking of Accessorzie they have some really beautiful sterling silver rings in quite a lot of the time that I think are rather reasonably priced; it's always a place I check these days for nice little rings. Being a huge fan of jewellery, silver in particular I'm always on the lookout for more unusual pieces therefore if you have any recommendations then please do leave a comment below letting me know.
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