Thursday, 31 May 2012

Essie: Cute As A Button

I am utterly obsessed with corals and pinky peachy tones at the minute; I think they just capture summer on your nails! This has lead me to own quite an excessive number of aforementioned polishes so I'm slowly trying to work my way through them and do a bit of a comparison. 

This is my first try of Essie nail varnish, and I was so excited to try it after reading so much on beauty blogs and hearing my idols such as Tanya Burr and Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter rave about them! Tanya inspired me to go for Cute As A Button as it just looks so gorgeous on her! 

As you can see from the pictures I went a little bit overboard on the coral yesterday, but Cute As A Button matched my skirt PERFECTLY so it had to be done! 

I used Sally Hansen Double Duty as my base coat and top coat (available at boots) because  I think a base coat is essential when you paint your nails regularly and with bright or dark colours...nobody wants to look like they've been smoking 40 a day! I applied two coats to my toe nails and didn't bother with a top coat (I rarely do on my toes) and the result is a gorgeous milky peach tone which I adore.  The addition of a third coat and a top coat added extra vibrancy and depth and the result is lovely.  I did wake up with sheet marks on my nails this morning though which is very irritating as I painted my nails hours before bed, but maybe I rushed into putting the top coat on?! 

I think the photos make it seem more orangey/red than it does in real life, but the photos were taken on my iPhone I'm afraid so not a lot I can do.

The consistency of this nail varnish is lovely, and I am really looking forward to trying out some other shades from Essie. 

Essie is now available from Boots and Superdrug and I would highly recommend Essie as a brand if the other shades are as luxurious as Cute As A Button.

I think that this polish is pretty comparable to Pink Flamingo (blog post about it here) from Barry M, and at £2.99 a pop it is a cheaper alternative (Essie is retailing at £7.99). 

Have you tried out any Essie polishes? Which is your favourite shade? And what is your all time favourite coral?

I hope you're all having a great day


the maxi skirt is from Fat Face, and I love it! 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Mostly I've been...

Reading: The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley - I really enjoyed this, the interlinking of stories is beautiful
My Life on a Plate by India Knight - this book made me laugh and laugh, it's nice to read something expressing life from someone who isn't a size 8, who swears and isn't perfect!
The Pink Hotel by Anna Strothard - I really enjoyed this book too, it was quite strange at times but really interesting.

Loving: The sunshine! It makes everything better.  I really do believe it should be bottled and prescribed as medicine.

Appreciating: My wonderful family.  My brother turned 21 this weekend and we had a fantastic party and it just made me feel really lucky to have them all, I loved it that we all pulled together to create a great party! 

Eating: My love affair for pitta breads and ice is still going strong but I've recently rediscovered Golden Grahams in Tesco...I feel like my life is complete.

Doing: Filling in applications for college to do beauty therapy...I've got one interview so far...scary stuff!

Watching: Britain Unzipped.  I love hearing the strange and slightly wrong things that get aired! 

Wanting: A bikini body! 

What about you, what have you been reading, loving, appreciating, eating, doing, watching or wanting?

I hope you're all well 


Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday Questionnaire

I saw this on Amarixe's blog and I thought it would make for the perfect post seeing as I'm not feeling all that creative right now (see question one for the reason why!)

1.) Mood:
Tired, it was my brother's birthday this weekend and so I went home to help prepare for that, and then the party was a very late night and I've just got back from college, so I'm super tired and ready to sleep!

2.) Did you do anything fun this weekend?
I did indeed, I had a fantastic weekend.  I went home and saw my family, helped prepare for the party by doing lots of baking and helping my mum and dad out in any way I could.  I also painted a picture for my brother which was so lovely after such a long time away from my brushes! And then of course there was the party itself! 

3.) What is the closest object to you that is pink?

My top under my beauty that an object?

4.) Current nail polish:

Nothing, we're not allowed to wear nail polish to college so it's naked nails for me, but I'm planning on painting them tomorrow.

5.) If you could snap your fingers and be anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

On a hot hot beach, with the sea lapping at the sand! Perfect!

6.) Current outfit:

I'm wearing my beautician uniform as I've just got back from college...I really need to change! 

7.) What is the last movie you saw in theaters?

The Lucky One, it was was Zac Efron! 

8.) If you could only be one age for the rest of your life, which would you choose, and why?

I really don't know, I think every age has its pros and cons so I think it's really hard, and I'd hate to stay the age I am now if something amazing is just around the corner! 

9.) When is the last time you played on a swing set?

Ages ago...I think i'll have to do that when I'm next home! 

10.) Weekly goals:

To get my college work all up to scratch, and to enjoy the time I have left with my housemates before we all go our separate ways.

I'd love to see your answers to these questions so leave a comment below
Here are the questions 

1.) Mood:
2.) Did you do anything fun this weekend?
3.) What is the closest object to you that is pink?
4.) Current nail polish:
5.) If you could snap your fingers and be anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
6.) Current outfit:
7.) What is the last movie you saw in theaters?
8.) If you could only be one age for the rest of your life, which would you choose, and why?
9.) When is the last time you played on a swing set?
10.) Weekly goals:


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Oops I went to MAC.

After watching Amarixe do a tutorial with MAC Stars & Rockets, which you can see here, I knew I needed to get my hands on this gorgeous shade. It is just such a gorgeous shimmery pinky mauve with a slightly bluey silver sheen, and it is just so pretty.  I've included photos in natural sunlight and also with the flash on so you can see how the colour translates.

It most certainly lives up to its name! 

This particular trip to MAC also saw my first dip into the Pro Palette ocean, and boy oh boy was that probably a mistake because now all I want to do is fill it! 

Amerixe uses Cornflower pigment to add depth to Stars & Rockets, but I didn't fancy getting a pigment so I went for Freshwater instead, which I think will compliment it fantastically, and is just a beautiful stand alone colour anyway! 

The pigmentation of these eyeshadows really is incredible, this is the colour pay-off with just one sweep of my finger so you can only imagine how amazing it could look if you really packed it on to the lid. 

I wanted this in the pan so I could add it to my palette, but they didn't have it in stock so I had to go for it like this.  I should have waited but I just couldn't help myself! 

In natural daylight it looks so fresh! 

The next purchase was from the Reel Sexy collection, and it is the The Dynamic Duo 3.  On the left we have Pearled Earth which is a gorgeous shimmery grey which MAC describe as a 'dirty-toned purple', which has a hint of warmth which I really like.  I have also found it really morphs into different colours in certain lights which I think helps to make it a really wearable colour.  On the right is a limited edition colour, Teal, this is a matte colour which means it is the perfect partner to the frosty Pearled Earth. When I bought this duo the lovely makeup artist at MAC used Pearled Earth all over my lid and then ran a shot of Teal along my lower lash line, and it looked gorgeous and was so simple to do.  I can't wait to try them out properly! 

Swatcharoos in natural sunlight

I then picked up something that is essential for me, I have very unruly brows and thought it was about time I brought them in to line (literally) once and for all! I got the Clear Brow Set because I use a pencil or powder to add definition to my brows anyway so I don't need a coloured gel. 

And finally I picked up a short handled 129 Blush Brush, which I've been wanting for ages.  I went for the short handle mainly because it came in a re-sealable pouch that would make it ideal for traveling but in all honesty I wish I'd gone for the regular length handle because I never take brushes out and about with me and if I am going somewhere I take my brush roll with me anyway...I'm a moron I know! 

I'm sorry this is just a photo heavy post but I hope you can enjoy the visuals as much as I'll enjoy using the products. 

I'll do full reviews and show you how I'm wearing the colours and how I'm getting on with the products once I've given them a fair try! 

Have you got anything from the Reel Sexy collection? What is your favourite eyeshadow duo? 


Sunday, 20 May 2012

NARS Cheery Popping Time : NARS Laguna

Firstly, please let me apologise for the quality of these photos, they were taken on my iPhone at night so they aren't the best (maybe I'll update them when I have a proper camera to hand but I just wanted to write this post!). 

A couple of months ago I popped my Nars cherry which seems a pretty momentous thing in the blogging world...and boy did it feel good! I thought I'd better go for Laguna as it has got to be one of the most talked about products out there.  I first heard about it when Millie Mackintosh from Made In Chelsea said this was her favourite bronzer and I thought I've got to have it (because who doesn't want to have her golden glow?!) but I put it off and put it off because I was happy with my Benefit Hoola and didn't NEED it.  Blogging has blown the entire concept of needing something out of the water however.  Whereas before I was so good and stuck to one product until it ran out, I now find myself conducting snatch and grab cosmetic shopping sprees here there and everywhere all in the name of blogging, and so seeing as every person in the beauty blogging world seems to own this bronzer I thought it was about time I joined the gang.

I love the packaging, but it does already look like I've had it about a year (which is typical of Nars). I am weary of the dreaded smash happening though because Tanya Burr (pixi2woo on YouTube) said hers smashed really easily so I am loath to use this as my 'on the go' bronzer incase it can't hack the travel! 

This product is so finely milled that it applies like an absolute dream and gives a really beautiful finish.  Having said that, I do find that when you sweep your brush over it you get a lot of powder flying everywhere which seems like such a waste of product! Is this because it is so finely milled? Whatever the reason I'm not a fan of it, it's like you can literally see your money going up in a golden smoke! 

I've decided to be a good girl and finish Hoola before I go on to using this as my everyday bronzer but I'm looking forward to enhancing my summer glow with this product! I usually like a matte bronzer but I am ready to embrace a bit of shimmer I think, and this is a nice introduction because it's not really shimmery it just gives an extra dimension! 

This isn't a cheap product, at £25 for 8g (cue choking fit) but this 8g really should last a long long time so hopefully it will be worth the investment, and 8g is the new weight of Benefit Hoola (the naughty people at Benefit made their boxed powders smaller) so really if you fancy a bit of golden shimmer in your bronzer it might be worth the extra couple of pounds.  I got mine at John Lewis so you can head to a NARS counter or pop online

Have you tried this bronzer? What are your thoughts on it? Which is your weapon of choice for sun kissed skin?


A serious moment.

This week has been pretty monumental, bizarre and emotional.  On Tuesday two of my housemates (and dear dear friends) handed in their last ever pieces of academic work: their degrees are finito, gone, done, complete.  On the very same day one of these dear friends also found out that she had got her ideal job (I didn't doubt for a second that she wouldn't), so really this week has been full of celebration.  Many tears have been shed (mostly tears of joy and pride, but some because we're coming to the end of an era).  I really am so so proud of them for achieving what they set out to do what seems like a life time ago three years ago, but I'm also sad, because that's what I set out to do as well.  I came to university to get a degree and instead I will be leaving in a huge amount of debt, without a degree, with a gaping hole in my CV and depression.  It's not really what I set out for (obviously) but life really does take you on one hell of a journey.  And I think I am being honest when I say that I genuinely wouldn't have wanted to forsake this experience for anything, had I not embarked on the journey of life at university I would not have realised I am smart enough to get a first in the things I completed, I wouldn't have made such incredible friends, I wouldn't have known I was capable of not going to bed before 3 ever for an entire year yet still be able to be up at 7, I wouldn't feel comfortable going for a poo when other people are in the house, and I wouldn't have realised just how much I am capable of.  Yes, I feel sad, and like I've failed and regressed to being 16 instead of 22 but I wouldn't sacrifice the friends I've made for the sake of my mental health, I feel like I've gained new members of my family and that feels pretty remarkable.

Please don't think that I have written this for sympathy or because I feel sorry for myself, I don't, I just really felt like I wanted to express some of what I've been feeling.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Garnier Intensive 7 Days

Garnier Body : Intensive 7 Days Hydrating Lotion with L-Bifidus 

I'm not going to lie and say that I bought this because I've heard great things or that I was drawn to it because of it's amazing claims - quite simply, I bought it because it was on offer in Boots, and I can't refuse a bargain.  I was after a nice everyday moitsuriser and this fitted the bill.

It makes some pretty impressive claims, I don't think I've come across a product that tries to sell you seven days worth of soft skin (although if you read the small print this is after four weeks of application morning and night) and although I've not been using it for long enough to truly put it to the test I really like it so far.  It has a really luxurious thick gel-like formula and it smoothes into the skin like a dream, and is quickly absorbed.  It smells delicious as well, I can't tell you what it smells of exactly but the scent lingers and I've been complimented on my scent and it's all been down to this (which I always think it the telling sign of a good moisturiser).  And now to the really important part - does it do the job? Yes, yes it does! My skin feels like silk all day long, so much so that I caught myself stroking my arms randomly throughout the day (thankfully I was alone as doing this in public might lead to social expulsion!).  Like I said, I haven't given this a proper trial in terms of morning and evening use for four weeks to see if it really does live up to its claim, but really I don't need something that will moisturise me for that long, I'm happy to use it once daily (or whenever I can be bothered more like) and let it work its magic for me then.  I'm also not going to pretend I was wowed by the fact it's got L-Bifidus in it, if I'm honest I haven't got a clue what it is even though I read the back of the bottle...if it's what makes this moisturiser lovely then thank you little L-Bifidus but to be honest I don't care what it is that's done the trick, as long as it can do it! 

So all in all, a lovely product that also had a lovely price tag thanks to the offer here, but even without a pound off it's only £2.99 which I thinks a very reasonable price.  Garnier always seems to have some kind of offer on so I would really recommend checking this product out if you fancy something that feels and smells luxurious and makes you silky smooth but doesn't carry a hefty price tag!  

What do you think's important in a moisturiser? Is it the packaging? The smell? How quickly it absorbs? Or how long the effects seem to last? What's your favourite lotion to slather yourself in?

As always the background that this product was photographed on is a beautiful blanket by the amazing Gabrielle Vary, check her stuff out here, she is so talented and creates some amazing pieces...I want it all! 


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Easily Pleased

I really am so easily pleased...I've seen this sign (down in Padstow) every time I have fish and chips (Rick Stein's, and undoubtedly the best fish and chips EVER) and sit on the harbour edge and it never fails to tickle me. I wonder if the people responsible for this sign mind that it's not entirely in its original form?  But I guess the meaning remains the same; I'm not a fisherman but I'm guessing scrap net makes for a pretty crap net too!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Sat in a bean can

Today has been spent traveling via a multitude of very unexciting modes of transport - namely my feet (for a very long sweaty walk), two trains, a sick inducing bus and then a car - how can it be that an entire day has been taken up getting from Cardiff to Cornwall!? It also happened to be that this is the only sunny day we have had in weeks and I spent the whole of it in some form of moving baked bean can!  On the final leg of the journey though we drove past the pub and as chance would have it some of my friends were having a drink outside, so I had a pint of lime and soda sat in the glorious sunshine (in the freezing wind) looking out over the most beautiful vista.  I didn't take any photos because my phone was in the car but I just had to write about it because it was lovely, and it has restored my faith in the fact that it might be possible for us to have a summer! 

Beauty posts to come very soon! 


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Make Do and Mend - Revamped Nail of the Day!

My Nails Inc. New York hot pink manicure (blog post on it here) was looking a bit tired the other day, but I really couldn't be bothered to take it all off, then repaint them so I decided to just do a bit of a make do and mend jobby instead! I simply slapped another coat of New York over the top to cover any chips (my nails are seriously weak so my nail varnish chips after a day or two regardless of the quality!) and I then got a pin and my trusty Revlon White on White and simply blobbed four or five white dots diagonally over my nail...simples!! When I do things with my right hand (my wrong hand if you get me) I'm a bit like an infant troll might be with regard to my command over objects - such as pins with white paint -  but I was surprisingly impressed with my attempt! I then popped a slick of top coat to seal the deal and hey presto they looked good as new (but better!) and provided me with a couple of days of fun nail art!!   Simple but very effective! I think I might start doing this more often as it is so much easier than starting all over again, and I am so up for the simple life! 

What do you do to get the most out of your manicure? Or are you just not as lazy as me?


Monday, 7 May 2012

Every Cloud

After finding out that Student Beans are no longer running the Cineworld 2 for 1 offer I was pretty distraught (I had a massive paddy about it), but my I got over it like the grown up I am because I had to and my friends and I decided to go for the good old fashioned Orange Wednesdays and see the Avengers. The cinema was rammed but we managed to get into a relatively short queue (probably short because everyone else had given up - it was manned by the slowest person EVER), and proceeded to wait for 40 minutes (yes thats right, four zero).  Whilst queuing we heard the announcement that American Pie: The Reunion was sold out and we felt sorry for those people who would be left out, but smug that our film was free and although we were pushing it time wise we would soon be sat scoffing our Pick n Mix and watching superheroes do their thing.... Lets just say we well and truly learnt that pride comes before a fall; we eventually got to the slowest Cineworld employee, asked if we could have three tickets and he was just like, "No" (haha we thought, we've got a joker here) it appeared it had also sold out so we left the queue and I had to abandon my sweets and leave looking like losers!! Now what really annoyed me about this was that in Cineworld there are massive tv screens which tell you which screens things are in, and whether it is time to take your seats etc...why, oh why could they not have put some kind of bloody notice with something short and sweet like perhaps 'Sold Out' when a film does, well, sell out.  Literally, it wouldn't be that hard!!  First they take themselves off Student Beans, and now they reject me...Cineworld you better watch your step because I'm one step away from taking my custom elsewhere!! You've been warned! 

So, having already paid our parking we felt it would be stupid to go home but we weren't really dressed to go for a drink (I thought I'd be sat in the dark scoffing my face - I dressed appropriately in a hoodie) so we went for ice cream.  Cadwaladers I salute you!! 

By far the greatest flavours - Mint Choc Chip & Double Chocolate! 
Needless to say I felt pretty sick on the drive home!  

What are your favourite ice cream flavours?


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Naked Palette. Big Love.

In my manic rampage of beauty counters this week I purchased the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  I can't have spent longer than 30 seconds at the counter, I probably spend longer choosing a bunch of bananas (in fact I definitely spend longer choosing bananas because it's tricky to get the perfect bunch, but that's another story!). 

Other than on nights out (which are pretty rare these days) I'm quite unadventurous as far as my eye make up goes, usually I slick on some eyeliner (L'Oreal Super Liner in Carbon Gloss) and some mascara and I'm good to go but I really want to change this and I thought the Naked palette would be the perfect way to do this.  It provides a good range of neutrals (mostly shimmery ones but there are a couple of matte colours) and they are all there for you to choose from which I like as I hate rooting around in my make up bag because I always forget I have certain colours. 

Virgin is a really delicate slightly peachy vanilla.  These shadows are so finely milled that it feels like applying silk. This shade gives a subtle sheen as I think it makes for a beautiful highlight, base colour or works amazingly in the tear duct to really brighten the eyes.

Sin is a rich shimmery rose gold.  It's just a beautiful colour!! Worn alone I think this is the perfect subtle summer shimmer!  

Naked (sorry my fat finger is covering the name), is a simple matte base colour, it can be used to create a lovely base for other colours or to soften the insensity of other more vibrant colours (Stars N Rockets for example).

Sidecar is a warm toned pinky gold, and it's just beautiful.  End of. I've used this over the inner half of my eyes in the images at the bottom of this post. 

Buck is a warm tan colour, a soft brown if you will, and can be used to add definition in the crease for a sophisticated simply day look or to add definition and depth to basically any other shadow! 

Half Baked.  What a colour! This is just a beautiful gold with a slightly bronze tone running through it! Applied to the tear duct, this colour will just make your eyes look incredible! 

Smog is, as the name suggests, a bit of a dirty goldy with a bit of a rusty edge to it. Like the other true shimmers in this palette it is just so finely milled and highly pigmented, and the colour pay off is so full and luxurious.

Darkhorse has a really subdued shimmer to it that is only picked up in certain lights and it creates a pretty good seductive smouldering look (get my trying to be sexy!)

Toasted is a shimmery pinky brown.  I love it.  This is used in the middle of my eye in the look at the bottom of this post. 

Hustle is a purply brown, and is the third colour I used on my eyes in the photos featured at the end of this post! 

Creep is a deep grey shot through with silver glitter.  The colour can be used boldly to create the intense colour shown in the swatch above, or it can be blended right out to give quite a sheer coverage, and therefore it's really versatile. 

And last but not least, Gunmetal is a gorgeous pewter shimmer.

The photos below are of my first ever time using my Naked palette, and I'm pleased as punch! I used Tanya Burr's tutorial  which you can view here as my instruction, and obviously mine is nowhere near Tanya's (mainly because I screwed up my eyeliner big time) but I'm hoping with practice it'll improve! 

Products - Eyes
Urban Decay Primer Potion (comes with the palette) all over the lid
Using a 217 apply Sidecar to the inner half, right into the inner corner
On a 239 pack Toasted onto the centre section of the lid
On the other side of the 239 combine Toasted and Hustle and draw that out from the lash line to create the wing, then pack more Hustle in the outer corner to create depth
Then using the leftover product on the 239 draw the shadow under the eye.
Use a 217 or another fluffy brush to blend all the colours and soften the edges
I used Sin as a brow highlight
I then used L'Oreal Gel Intenza to line the water line, my upper lash line and to create a wing
Finally lashings of L'Oreal Telescopic mascara adds great definition
On my brows - No. 7 Perfect Brows pencil in Black

Products - Face
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium
Mac Pro Longwear in NW20 and NC25
Mac Studio Sculpt in NW25
Mac Magically Cool Liquid Powder in Truth & Light
Nars bronzer in Laguna
Mac blush in Plum Foolery
Benefit Highbeam to highlight

Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant Perfect Shine lipstick in 06 Fig

If you have made it to the end of this blog post then thank you so much, and congratulations, it's a bit of a mammoth post!! 

The Urban Decay Naked palette is available here or at a zillion other places either on-line or at Urban Decay counters in Debenhams etc

What are your feelings on the Naked palette? What are your favourite looks to create using it? 
If you'd like me to provide links to the other products just ask in the comments and I will willingly do so :) 

As always the beautiful back drop to my product shots is by Gabrielle Vary, she makes incredible luxury knit-ware items which are available here


The mother of all hauls!

I have been itching to go to town and go mad on make-up for days now, and until the other day I had managed to restrain myself, but the desire got too much and I positively ran to town (lets be realistic, it was a power walk) and what ensued was some kind of snatch and grab activity at every make up counter I came across.  I literally went mad.  I now feel a bit sick with guilt but at the time I was just desperate, which does make me sound a bit like a crack addict, but what can I say surely cosmetics is a safer habit to have?! I probably wont need to ever buy make-up again after this ridiculous escapade but I wonder how long it will take for the need to take over once again?! 

I want to post a photo of the make up but I'm actually embarrassed by my actions, so instead feast your eyes on a visual representation of my insanity!! 

P.S - I promise this was for fancy dress. 


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Can a tweezer really be too good?

I ask this question because I thought the answer was 'surely not', and having left my trusty Boots Precision Grip Slanted Tweezers in Cardiff when I came home for Easter, I went out and purchased these Tweezerman LTD Slanted Tweezers which carry a much heftier price tag thinking that I was making an investment and I'd have them for yonks.  This is probably the case, I expect they will last well as I find Tweezerman to be a reliable brand who make good quality stuff to help you look pruned and pretty.  However, and this is potentially a very individual however, I think these tweezers are just too sharp, and they seem to cut the hair rather than pluck it, which is not the desired result otherwise i'd just whip the razor out wouldn't I?!  I remember once I was having a wax (with a new beautician) and I said I plucked in between waxing and she asked me how did I know I was plucking the hairs rather than snapping them off, and I just thought what a silly question, of course I know I'm plucking them because my tweezers grab the entire hair and the little root is plain as day.  I now understand her query because these tweezerman tweezers do seem to just sheer off the hair instead of yanking the little blighter out!! 

For a lot of people this might not be a problem other than the fact that you'd just have to pluck more often.  But personally I find it very bothersome. I've been having my eyebrows, bikini line and thighs waxed for about eight years and as a result my hairs have finally begun to grow back a lot finer, and more sparse and this is because I don't shave them off, I just get the suckers by the root!  Anyway this has given me somewhat of a phobia about cutting these hairs off at skin level (shaving or otherwise) as I fear that I will once again have monstrous dark hairs  (this particularly applies to my thighs as obviously my eyebrows are black and that's totally fine!)

Am I the only one who has found this with tweezerman tweezers? Or indeed any other brand? Or am I just using them wrong? And on the other hand, which tweezers do you think do the trick for you?