Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The £1 Polish MUA - Leapfrog

While I was browsing the shelves of Superdrug a few days ago I spotted this polish by MUA for only £1. I have a few other bits by MUA and have always been impressed so I thought I would give it a go.

The polish is called Leapfrog, which I think is such a cute name, I love it when brands take the extra time to think up names for their products. Leapfrog is a green/turquoise colour and it fitting in perfectly with the transitional period from summer to autumn which is happening at the moment. I think it's actually from their S/S collection but I think I'll be wearing this quite a bit during autumn.

I had to put two coats of this on, however I think it gives a really nice finish and no chips so far!

I am definitely going to check out some of the other polishes in the range, because let's face it for £1 you really can't go wrong.

Have you tried any colours from this range?

Lots of Love

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Guide to Freshers

So it’s that time of year again that there are a lot of people about to move to university. Four years ago this was me and since then I like to think that I have become slightly wiser, so here is some advice for all the people starting university right now. Freshers week was one of the best weeks of my life, however I am aware that I am probably looking back on it with rose tinted glasses on because in reality it is a very intense and sometimes overwhelming week.  I’m going to write a list of some tips that I have picked up during my four years at university.

The first night of freshers - Back to school

1.  If you have any fancy dress lying around definitely take it with you, you’ll never know when you might need it.

2. If you’re not a big drinker of alcohol don’t worry, you will still have a great time! I know that it can look like freshers is all about getting as drunk as you can and doing stupid things but in reality it’s about making new friends and having fun whether that involves alcohol or not. If you don’t want to drink then don’t, people will respect that, and if they don’t then find some new people to be friends with. One thing I would say though is that not drinking doesn’t mean you can’t be social, you can always join in with pre-drinks with a soft drink, make friends and then not follow people to the club if that isn’t your thing.

3. Try to throw yourself into something outside your comfort zone. Now this I know sounds terrifying and in all honesty I was very scared about going to uni, however I forced myself to join in and make new friends and now I have an amazing group.

4. If you have decided to go out drinking be safe, you will probably be in a city you have never been to before. Program a taxi number into your phone to make sure you know how to get home or at least figure out who the reps are that can get you home.

5. Drink plenty of water, it will help the hangover the next day.

6. Freshers flu is not a myth, whether you decide to drink or not you will get ill. Make sure you pack plenty of cold and flu remedies.

7. If you feel like you want a night in have a night in, you don’t have to go to all the events. I know one night my flat decided that instead of going to a club we would just have a few drinks in and it was nice to be able to sit, chat and get to know each other properly.

8. Sign up to lots of societies at freshers fair, you don’t have to do them all but chances are you’ll find something you like.

9. When at freshers fair grab as many vouchers, free pens and posters that you can carry. This should set you up for the year.

10. People will respect you if you make an effort. Every bone in your body might be telling you to lock your door and hide, don’t, get out there and people will respect you are making an effort and accept you for who you are.

11. Homesickness is completely normal, and it’s ok. It may seem like you’re the only one suffering but trust me you aren’t. Give your parents a ring, have a little cry and hopefully it will pass
12. Buy a doorstop, this will help to meet people. Everyone is in the same boat as you, and all people want to do is to make friends.

13. Work hard, play hard. It can get easy to get sucked into the cheap drinks and partying however remember you are there for a reason and at least do a bit of work! That said first year is all about helping you to settle into your subject, so don’t work too hard that you miss out on opportunities, try to find a balance.

14. Some people talk a lot of rubbish, don’t believe everything you hear in freshers week. Take a step back and wait for people’s real characters to come out, they will eventually.

15. If you don’t think you are going to get on with the people you are living with don’t despair, there is every kind of person at uni and guaranteed you will find someone you get on with. It just might not be in the first week. I was very lucky that the people I lived with in freshers are still my best friends, however this was pure luck and lots of people become friends with people from all over the place

There is so much more I could talk about on this subject, I think that for some freshers week is the best time of their lives and for others it can be the worst. However freshers week is not going to dictate your whole university experience, it’s one week and even if it’s terrible hang in there. Enjoy your first year at university, take it from me it is the only year that you will have little responsibility with lots of freedom.

If anyone has any specific questions about any aspect of university please email, tweet or ask me in the comments below.

I wish you all the best of luck with your university experience and I hope this guide has helped.

Lots of Love

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Monday, 15 September 2014

The Battle of the Dry Shampoos - Review

Dry shampoo is one of those things that I never really want to buy, however it’s something that I would never be without. I really hate washing my hair every day, so I usually wash it every other day, however the second day my hair always needs a little freshen up. I have quite fine hair and it gets oily very quickly so dry shampoo is an essential in my drawer.  I really loathe spending my money on dry shampoo as they’re not cheap and I’m never really very impressed with the results. For a long time the only dry shampoo that was really available was Batiste, however recently lots of other brands have been getting in on the action. In this post I compare three that I have tried; Batiste, Dove and Tresemme.

1. Batiste – Dry Shampoo
This is the original dry shampoo and I have been buying this for years, it has also been steadily increasing in price. Nonetheless I still think that this is one of the cheapest out there and you can often find it on offer and stock up. You can get Batiste in a variety of scents, which is nice as you can very quickly start to dislike the smell. I usually go for a fresh or floral one, which helps to imitate that just washed smell. Batiste does a very good job of freshening up your hair and will absorb any oil, however it’s quite heavy duty and requires a bit of brushing through to make sure you don’t end up with white streaks in your hair. This is available from boots for £2.99.

 2. Dove – Refresh + Care Dry shampoo
This is probably my favourite of the three, it is slightly more expensive than Batiste but I think is a better all-round product. It has a much lighter feel than Batiste, however still does a fairly good job of getting rid of the oil. It has a nice scent and gives your hair a bit of life, especially if you’re just trying to give a fringe a bit of bounce. It isn’t as heavy duty as the Batiste so if your hair gets very oily this might not be the one for you but it does leave your hair feeling more soft and silky than Batiste. This is available at Boots for £4.59

3. Tresemme – Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo
This is my least favourite, it is a bit too light for my liking and I don’t think it actually does much to absorb any oil. I also hate the smell, it’s very chemically and it reminds me of hairspray. Maybe this would be better for someone whose hair doesn’t get as oily as mine does.  Considering this is the most expensive of the bunch I was very disappointed with this product. It is available from Boots for £5.25.

Overall nothing really gives you the great just washed feeling you only get after washing your hair, however dry shampoo does a good job of turning a bad hair day into a good one.

I’ve noticed that there are a few new dry shampoos hitting the shelves in Boots, I imagine I’ll be buying one soon to test out.

What dry shampoo is your favourite?

Lots of Love

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

New Additions

I’ve had a few weeks off recently and I’ve been finding myself popping into town to have a browse for the afternoon, it’s been really lovely and I’ve picked up a few new bits for when I go back to work.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint – Chilli
I’ve seen some of the new autumn shades around the blogs and I just couldn’t resist picking one up since the collection includes some gorgeous colours. I bought the shade chili which is a deep burnt red, I love the Gelly Hi-Shine polishes they never fail to deliver and I’m sure I’ll be buying a few more form this collection over the coming months.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to buy one of these lipsticks. I’ve borrowed a few from friends before and I was always impressed with the finish and the staying power. I’ve tried this one once so far and I was pretty happy with it, it’s a bold berry colour and will hopefully serve me well throughout the winter months.

I bought this off the back of a recommendation from Lily, I was really unhappy with the concealer I was currently using so I thought I’d give this one a try as Lily had given it a very positive review. I got the lightest shade I could find, and it’s good for me at the moment but we will have to see what happenes when my tan fades. It’s a really creamy formula and blends really easily, I’ve only used this a few times but I’m really liking it so far.

Witch - Anti Blemish Skin Clearing Primer
I bought this as it was on offer in my local Superdrug for £1.25, it was so cheap I couldn’t really not buy it. I’ve always liked the Witch brand and I thought this would be perfect for my oily skin. Now I’ve only used this a few times but so far I think it’s actually making my skin oilier than usual! I need to keep going with this for a while but I’m not impressed with it.

Have any of you tried any of these?

Lots of Love

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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Witch Blemish Stick - Review

Today’s review features something that I have been using since I was a teenager, the Witch blemish stick. Nowadays I don’t have anywhere near as many spots as I used to, however having oily skin means that every now and again I get a little break out (don’t we all?).

 On the box it claims to help break down excess oils and fight the bacteria that cause spots, and it does this by using witch hazel which is a well-known natural astringent and benefits from soothing and toning properties. The Witch stick also contains alcohol which helps to fight bacteria, now I don’t like the idea of covering my face with alcohol as it can be very drying, however with the stick you can just dab it onto the blemish meaning that the alcohol is confined to a localised area. The smell of the stick is very strong, it mainly smells of alcohol however, the smell dissipates in a few seconds. It comes in a little plastic tube with a very secure screw on lid, you simply push up the stick and apply straight to the face.

For me this is a little wonder stick, it says it will work instantly and to be honest it really does, if I have a bad spot I dab the witch stick on over my moisturiser before I go to bed and the next morning I can really see a difference. The redness and size will have gone down and it just generally helps to quickly clear the spot up. You can buy this in places like Boots and Superdrug and it is often on offer (not that it’s too expensive anyway), whenever it is I always stock up!

This little stick is £2.09 in Boots right now which is just such a bargain. I would thoroughly recommend this product, it really works and the price is so good!

Have you tried this before?

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tips for Applying Cream Highlighters

Today I’m going to talk about a really great technique I use to apply cream highlighter. Up until this winter I was a bit of a highlighter noob, I lusted after the subtle glow it offered but I found it quite hard to apply it properly. One morning I was watching a video by makeup artist Lisa Eldridge she was giving a tutorial on applying cream highlighter and her tips have really made all the difference.

The two cream highlighters I own are Watts up by Benefit and the number seven highlighter, both of which I have blogged about here and both are great products. Both of these highlighters come in a stick form which I usually apply straight to the face. In Lisa’s video she emphasised how the highlighter should blend seamlessly with your foundation, and to achieve this she uses her foundation brush and applies it straight after the foundation has gone on. I usually apply my foundation with my real techniques buffing brush and once it’s in place highlighter is next on my list. I put a small amount on my cheeks and then blend using my foundation brush which will still have a small amount of foundation on it. It seems so obvious now but applying my cream highlighter this way has made me so much more confident to wear it and it gives you such a nice finish on your cheeks.

Here’s the link to the video to see it in action.

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wishlist - Home Sweet Home

At the beginning of this year my boyfriend and I decided to buy a house. It was a hard decision to make, however I was fed up of renting a house which I felt I had no control over. We were both very lucky that we have some money saved up and the area that we live in the house prices aren't too high. We found a house we loved in April and from then on it was all go, the contract for our rented house finished in June so since then we’ve been living here and there like nomads. 

This summer I will have lived in four different places, and my skincare and makeup routine has seriously suffered. It’s a reason why the  blogging has been a bit sparse, I haven't felt like I’ve had the space or time to take photos and write in these temporary houses. We’ve been living out of suitcases since June, however fingers crossed we will get to move into our new house in September (So excited!)

Despite the process being a bit hectic I’ve been keeping myself happy by planning the pretty things I’m going to be buying when we move in. For the past four years I’ve been at university and moving around a lot so I am so looking forward to being able to decorate my own house! Plus we don't have anything going into this new house so we get to start from scratch, here’s a wishlist of a few bits I love the look of.

1. Glass Candle Holders - Wilkinson
2. Perfume Bottle - Homebase 
3. Peony Chain - Wilkinson
4. Sewing Box - Homebase
5. Neom Candle - John Lewis
6. De'Longhi Kettle - John Lewis

I definitely know I'm getting old because my favourite item on the list is the kettle, it is a very beautiful kettle! I know I'm a loser but I just can't wait to get a new toaster and kettle.

Any suggestions for things I should buy? I've never really bought anythin for a house before so any reccomendations are welcome!

Lots of Love

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Summer Update

Graduation Ball / Making Sandcastles / Cornwall / Pet Cows in Ireland / Sandhurst Commissioning /  Graduation 

This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind so far, I started July thinking that my last long summer holiday was going to be spent lazing around, blogging and reading books, how wrong I was!
As soon as exams were over my uni friends and I spent a week in Cornwall to celebrate finishing, we rented a gorgeous little cottage and had a lovely week. As I am originally from the Kent coast it never made sense for me to travel to the other side of the country to go to a beach, and therefore I had never been to Cornwall before. I am so glad I finally got round to visiting as that part of the country is just stunning.  Whilst there we went to some gorgeous beaches, a zoo and just spent some quality time together before we all go our separate ways.

This summer has been full of ups and downs for me, Cornwall was an up but I arrived home to some very upsetting news. Sadly my Nan had suddenly passed away while I was travelling back, I was devastated and still am. I live very far away from my family for the majority of the year and it really hit home how isolated I was by being so far away. The silver lining of this was that I got to go home for a long weekend and spend some lovely time with my family. The weather was gorgeous for the funeral and I was able to see my cousins who I hadn’t seen for such a long time. Due to the nice weather Rob and I went to the beach near my house, we made sandcastles, swam in the sea and had a nice break from the busy city.

The week we got home was my graduation ball, my chemistry friends and I got all dressed up and celebrated the end of our degrees. I was a great night, it was held at a beautiful hotel with a massive marquee in the grounds. We spent the night dancing in the marquee but my favourite part was the silent disco, my first ever one, needless to say the next day was a bit painful.

Shortly after I started my month long summer placement at a chemical company in Nottingham, I decided that I didn’t want to spend my summer in the lab so I opted for a marketing placement, I even got to write some blog posts for them! (Living the dream).

Part way through my placement was my graduation ceremony, four long years had paid off and I was finally able to hold in my hands my official certificate. I was so nervous walking across the stage in my heels but thankfully I was able to make it across smoothly. It was such a happy day with a really positive atmosphere and by the end I didn’t want to give my robes back!

Once my placement had finished I went on holiday to Ireland with my boyfriend and his family, they have a house on a little island off the coast of Ireland. I’ve blogged about it before here, but it’s just such a tranquil place to be and very welcome after the busy summer that we’ve had so far. There’s a little beach at the bottom of his garden and we took his little cousin to look for crabs.

Last week one of my best friends commissioned from Sandhurst as an officer in the army and all of my university friends met up to celebrate his achievement. It was an amazing night and it was so nice to all be together again, we’ve all lived together for the past four years and it’s going to be pretty weird to be living apart. There was copious amounts of celebratory champagne and we all had a perfect night dancing. The next day we cured our hangovers with a well-deserved Nandos and the Inbetweeners 2, a film I would definitely recommend.

I was so sure that I was going to spend this summer blogging and I cannot believe this is the first time I have managed to sit down and write a post. I hope this post gives you a little update about what I’ve been doing and why I’ve been absent for a while.

I Hope you’ve all had a great summer and lots to look forward to as it’s not over yet!!

Lots of Love

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Book Haul

Hey Guys

First things first Hayley from Water Painted Dreams and Beth from Beth Tinkerbell have come up with such an amazing idea to do a book swap! I love this idea and I signed up as soon as I read the post, I’m always looking for new books to read and this is a great way to read more books and meet new people. If you're a bookworm like me you should definitely go check it out.

Today I was mooching about town, when I saw that a book shop had 50% off all of their stock, I usually don’t bother going into this book shop as it never really has much in it and I know I can always get books off Amazon really cheap anyway. Since getting a kindle I’ve been missing real books, don’t get me wrong I love my kindle and it’s perfect for when I’m travelling somewhere, but I just love the look and feel of a proper book. I went in the shop to have a nosey around and I found some really great books for hardly any money. It was a bit of a jumble sale in there but I came out with five new books for £2.50!

I remember when this came out at the cinema I really wanted to see it, however it was during my exams. Over the summer I read a book which focused on a survivor of a Japanese war camp which I really appreciated. The book made me want to read more about the Japanese during the Second World War as it was something I never really covered at school. The Railway Man is a true story about Eric Lomax who was forced to work on the infamous Burma – Siam railway during the war. I’m really glad I didn’t see the film now as I always prefer to read the book. I’m so happy I found this book with its original cover, I don’t know why but I really hate the covers that are released with the film adaptations.

This is a book I’ve never heard of but I read the blurb and thought it sounded really interesting. Its set in Louisiana at an orphanage on a lake, the orphanage is home to children with mental and physical disabilities. I’m not really sure what else to say about this book except I’m really intrigued to read it.

“This is the story of a journey into an uncharted land inhabited by murderous tribal warriors and ruled over by a bloodthirsty sultan – and the man who lived to tell the tale.”
This blurb captivated me instantly, the book is part biography and I think that is what made me buy it. In Praise of Savagery sounds so interesting I can’t wait to read it.

Again this book is based on a true story, the story of Zachary Swan who was a mover in the cocaine trade. I read a book like this a few years ago and really enjoyed it, I find insights into a world so different from my own truly fascinating.

This is probably the book I am most looking forward to read, it is described as the classic tale of Shangri-La and is something I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. I’ve always wondered where Shangri-La originated and when I realised it was this book I decided I had to read it.
“With its luxurious amenities, a vast library, and many antique treasures, what is the dark secret at the heart of Shangri-La” - I can’t wait to find out.

I’ll hopefully be writing some review of these soon. If you live near Nottingham definitely check out The Works in town, the sale is on until the end of June I think.

Have you read any of these books?

Lots of Love 

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Empties #1

Hey guys,

It feels like forever since I’ve written on here (because it is), I’ve been so busy with my final year of uni recently I have had no time to do anything! Now I have completely finished my degree and it is such an amazing feeling to finally have some free time on my hands (well until September when I start my PhD!).
Would you believe that this is my first ever empties post in two years of blogging! There is a reason for this, I am a self-confessed hoarder and I get bored with products very quickly. For these reasons I never seem to use anything up before I buy something new, however I have recently amassed a little collection of empty products.

 Dove – Summer Glow
Gradual self-tanners are the only tan related products that I am brave enough to go near without the fear of looking orange plaguing me. Dove Summer Glow is one of many on the market, but seems to be one of the most popular. Before I bought this I tried the Johnson Holiday Skin but really disliked it, I then read a really good summary of some of the gradual tanners out there by The Sunday Girl and decided on Dove Summer Glow. I used the shade medium to dark as I like the colour that it gives me, nothing too obvious however I don’t have to put it on for weeks on end to notice a difference. The result is a lovely summer glow after a few days of application, if you wanted it to last I would recommend applying it a few times a week. The bottle has lasted me quite a few applications, if for example you wanted to do your whole body everyday it would probably last 3–4 weeks. This is the perfect product for giving you a bit of colour at the beginning of summer to help you bare some skin for the first time in months! It is usually on offer this time of year too!

Repurchase? : I already have as it is on offer in Boots at the moment!

Origins - Zero Oil Face Wash
This was one of my first purchases from origins, after Christmas I had a breakout due to all the rubbish but delicious food I ate. The cleanser claims to clear pores, eliminate excess oil and reduce shine using ingredients such as salicylic acid and cooling mint. The cleanser smells so fresh and feels lovely on my skin, it leaves my face feeling clean and smooth and really helped clear up my breakout. A lot goes a long way with this cleanser, like I said I bought this at Christmas and with very regular usage I have only just ran out. The zero oil face wash works very well with my skin type and I would recommend it for anyone that has oily skin. The only complaint I have is that it doesn’t do a very good job with removing my make-up, however I tend to use it in the morning as it’s so refreshing so that isn’t too much of a problem. This is available in most major department stores or online here for £18

Repurchase? : Not at the moment but only because I love trying out new products.

Benefit – The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine
I have been debating whether I should give this a review of its own, however I have read so many of them I thought it might be best just to write a little summary of what I thought. In all honesty I was pretty disappointed with this and I was shocked with how fast it ran out! I was still trying to decide whether I liked it or not and then one day there was nothing left in the tube! Maybe I was being a bit liberal with it but it really didn’t last very long at all. I have no idea why they have given this the porefessional branding as in my opinion it does nothing to hide my pores. It is a nice finely milled powder and does a nice job of reducing shine, but I do not think it is worth the money. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but I feel like there are a lot of cheaper powders out there that do just as good of a job. I’m sorry this has been so negative I really hate writing negative reviews but I think that sometimes they can be just as useful as the positive ones. This is available from most major department stores for £23.50

Repurchase? : No

Clinique – Take the Day off Make-Up Remover
This is one of my favourite make up removers, and the only thing I can find that will properly shift Double wear off my foundation brush! I hate the feeling of pulling cotton wool across my skin, which is why I love using this so much. A tiny amount of take the day off on my pad and with one gentle sweep across my eyelid all makeup is removed! Due to the fact this is biphasic (half is an oil based formula and half is water based) when you mix them together with a little shake a leaves a mixture that doesn’t feel too oily on your skin. I tend to use this before cleansing if I have a lot of eye make-up on that day. This is available from most major department stores or online here

Repurchase? : No, I already have another bottle to use.

Balance Me – Congested Skin Serum*
Balance Me is a brand that I love, and this for me is a stand out product. It’s a serum which can be used directly onto a distressed area or as a preventative method on skin which is prone to breakouts. I personally used it on my T-Zone before bed and it really helped to stop me breaking out, the only problem for me was that the bottle was so small. Due to the fact that I used it on a large area of my face each evening I went through the tube very quickly. It’s such a lovely product to use and genuinely worked, however the small quantity you get is putting me off repurchasing it. That being said if I ever feel like having a little splurge this is the top of my list. You can get this online here for £16.00

Repurchase? : I definitely will be in the future

Wow this post has turned out a bit longer than I intended, if anyone would like a full review of any of these products let me know?

Have you tried any of these?

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

New Marks and Spencer Beauty Hall

This Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to visit Marks and Spencer in Nottingham to check out their new Beauty Hall. The store itself has had a massive overhaul and involved the addition of an extensive beauty department which I think is going to be rolled out to M&S stores nationwide soon!

When I got to the store I was met by Jade who does the PR, and I was also lucky enough to meet Gemma a fellow beauty blogger. We went to the café to have a bit of a chat and a much needed coffee, the café itself has had an expansion and you can now look out onto a picturesque church garden. It was a lovely place to be, the perfect place to have a sit down and a drink after a long day shopping,and the view is so pretty you can forget you’re in a busy city. The café stocks food that is available to buy in the store, we were given some bits to sample and it was all delicious! Whilst in the café we had a chat with Mark who is the store manager, he talked us through the ideas behind the redesign of the shop and it was obvious how excited and proud he was to bring a better experience to the customer. In fact we met with various staff throughout the day and all of them gave the impression that they were so passionate and enthusiastic about the store. Helen gave us a tour of womenswear and I have to admit I was impressed, there were so many items that I would love to wear, especially from the limited collection. The next stop was lingerie, I have always bought underwear from M&S and it was all so beautiful I will definitely be going there soon to replace some old bits and pieces. The whole shop is focused on making shopping easier and convenient for the customer by providing them with more inspiration and when walking around the store it was apparent that a lot of work had gone into making the layout perfect for stress-free shopping.

So now onto the beauty department which was unquestionably the highlight of my day, we were shown around by Michelle and you could tell from her knowledge she was so passionate about beauty. The department was spacious and light making it a pleasure to shop in, most of the products offered testers and the staff were more than willing to provide small pots for taking away some to try. Michelle had been trained by the individual brands so she really knew their stuff, and being beauty enthusiast herself Michelle had first-hand experience of a lot of the products, perfect for giving us some great tips! The products were all beautifully laid out which added to the shopping experience and really made you feel like you were browsing somewhere luxurious. 

I was really impressed with the range of brands that they had to offer, from their traditional Autograph range to a really intriguing brand I’d never heard of called Skyn Iceland which is apparently used by Heidi Klum! I loved the fact there was a mix of well-known brands such as Ren and Nuxe but also a lot of other brands that I hadn’t heard of, I love discovering new brands and I left with a list of products I’d like to try in the future. I think that the M&S beauty hall is making a lot of the brands more accessible to buy on the high street, Apivita for example which is a natural greek brand I have been wanting to try for a while. I could spend hours browsing the brands and I will definitely be returning to quiz Michelle on some more of her favourite products. 

My favourite thing about the beauty department is that the trained staff like Michelle have no loyalty to a particular brand their advice is unbiased and their only concern is making sure you walk away with something that is right for you. Combine this with the fact they offer amazing brands which are less mainstream gives Marks and Spencers the edge over some other department stores. Marks and Spencer Nottingham now stocks a multitude of brands including Ren, Nuxe, Skyn Iceland, Apivita, Murad, Bliss, Glam Glow, H20+, Filorga, Diego Dalla Palma, Phillip Kingsley and Leighton Denny, together with a variety of M&S own brands such as Pure and Autograph.

The morning was lovely and all of the staff we met on the day (Mark, Michelle, Helen and Sarah) were so friendly they really made the day. It was clear that Marks and Spencer is a company which is committed to providing quality to all their customers. Thanks for the amazing day!

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Recent Additions - Makeup

Hey guys,

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend! I have to give a presentation on Monday so I’m going to be trying to get over my nerves before tomorrow!

Recently Boots have been offering 3 for 2 across their makeup, so I’ve acquired a few fresh pieces in my collection that I thought I’d give a few quick opinions on.

I’m currently having a bit of a love affair with highlighters, I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to discover their magic! I wasn’t sure if they were going to become a permanent fixture in my routine so the first one I purchased was the MUA Undress your Skin Shimmer Highlighter as it is only £3.00! It’s a gorgeous champagne pink highlighter which isn’t overly shimmery, it’s perfect for giving your skin a natural glow. You can see that the product is contoured and it makes you feel like you’re using a more expensive product which is a plus. The highlighter itself isn’t overly pigmented so you can easily build it up to the level you want.

 During the colder months my skin becomes less oily and more combination, this meant my Double Wear foundation started to become a bit too drying for me. I decided to take advantage of Boots 3 for 2 and pick up some of the Boujours Healthy Mix Serum, as I thought it would be a bit more nourishing for my winter skin. I really like this foundation, the gel texture feels so light on your skin, it just glides on and it also has a lovely smell! Since the weather has gotten a bit warmer I feel like this is now not really suitable for my skin which is really upsetting. I’m still working with it because I really like the healthy glow it gives you. It doesn’t absorb into my skin like it used to, now it feels like I’m just moving it around my face with my brush.  

I also bought the Bourjois Happy Light Concealer, I got 21 – Ivoire and regrettably I think it might be a bit too dark for my skin at the moment. In my opinion it’s an awfully heavy concealer and it creases terribly under my eyes, however it does give very good coverage of blemishes. I don’t really wear this very much to be honest, my skin just does not like the thick texture!

 The last recent addition to my collection is the Autograph High Definition Mascara-Marks and Spencer*, this mascara works wonders at lengthening your eyelashes.I have never used any of the beauty products from Marks and Spencer but I have to say I'm seriously impressed with this product! I have only been using this for a week but I can already see we’re going to get on well! The mascara applies easily with no clumping, the only thing I don’t like about this product is the plastic wand, I much prefer natural bristles but this mascara still works well so it’s not a big complaint.

I’ll hopefully be doing some more in depth reviews of a few of these items soon.

Have you tried any of these products?

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Books Wishlist

I feel like there are so many books that I've missed out on recently, I know at one point everyone seemed to be reading Gone Girl except me and I really want to catch up on some reading. These are some of the books that I will read first when I finally get to sit down with a book. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors and in fact my favourite book of all time was written by him so I cannot wait to get my hands on his newest book. I also love Jojo Moyes, another book by here (me before you) is one of the best books I've read in a long time and hopefully I'll read some more of her writing.

What books are you wanting to read at the moment?

Lots of Love

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mini Reviews

Sometimes I think that samples can hang around forever and I never seem to be able to find a good place to keep them, so when I use a few up it always feels really good, plus you get to test out some new products.

Modern Friction - Origins
I've been wanting to try this for a long time, so when I got a few samples free with an order I made I was really glad Modern Friction was included. Origins claims that Modern Friction is a gentle exfoliator which contains a multitude of beneficial ingredients to exfoliate, smooth and illuminate the skin. I have to say I absolutely loved using this, unfortunately the sachet only contained one use so I cannot give an in depth review, however first impressions were positive. The product was extremely creamy and felt lovely on the skin, as opposed to some exfoliators which can feel rough. Afterwards my skin felt baby smooth and really fresh. At £33.00 it isn't cheap, however it's definitely going on my wishlist.

Origins - GinZing Eye Cream
I've always heard great things about the GinZing range, and the eye cream proposes to reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness. The actual cream has thick texture and a slight shimmery look in order to promote a radiant look. It says on the packet to use in the morning, however unfortunately I found it a little too thick to wear in the day time, and if you have oil prone skin you may find the same. I really wanted to like this but at £23.00 it won't be something I will be purchasing soon, however I am curious to try out some more of the range.

Avene - Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream
Avene are one of my favourite brands, I have never been disappointed with any of the products I have tried of theirs and the brand is so readily available in Boots. Another one of the reasons I love Avene is that if you go on their website and get a skin consultation, they will send you a sample of some of the products they recommend in the post! This is how I discovered the Cleanance K moisturiser which I did a review of here, and it is where I got this sample from too. As you can see it's a reasonable sized sample and has actually lasted me quite a while! The moisturiser itself is designed for normal to combination skin, and has a mattifying effect. I like to wear this in the day as it doesn't feel too heavy on your skin and is absorbed instantly. It hydrates your skin and the added SPF gives it some extra protection. Escentual have 30% off some french brands and so this is only £10.87 for the full size, bargain!

 Bioderma Sebium Hydra - Moisturising Replenishing Care
When I went to Croatia over the summer I was thrilled to discover they're Pharmacies stock a lot of the french brands at low prices. So when I went in to pick up some of the micelle water the lady could see how excited I was, and couldn't believe that we couldn't get half the stuff in England. Anyway I think she liked my enthusiasm and gave me a load of free samples with my purchase. This moisturiser is part of their range designed for oily skin and claims to regulate oil production and unclog pores. I can't really say anything about those properties as the few times I used it it left my skin feeling really greasy. I used this a couple of times, but it just wasn't nice to use, my skin looked and felt more shiny throughout the day, which is not what you want. Obviously this may work for someone else, maybe with more combination skin, however I wouldn't buy this although it is only £10.00 for those who might wish to give it a try.

Have you tried any of these products?

Lots of Love

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Repurchase #2

Clinique High Impact Mascara is something that I will repurchase again and again, it is by far my favourite mascara and I think I am probably on my fifth tube now! I first came across this mascara because of my Nan, she always shops at Clinique and whenever she gets a free gift with her purchases she gives it to me, a little tube of High Impact mascara is usually included in the gift and from the first use it was love.

I think the mascara gives a really fresh wide eye look with minimal effort, leaving you with natural looking long thick eyelashes. The brush is a traditional mascara brush which is nice and simple with small bristles. The mascara applies easily and I have never had any trouble with clumping like a lot of other products I've tried before. It comes in sleek no gimmick packaging, just a black tube with silver writing on it which I really appreciate, as I feel some of the drugstore mascaras are nothing but gimmicks. I buy the mascara in black however it does come in brown too, it is also worth noting that it is not waterproof, however I'm not a big fan of waterproof mascara.

Clinique High Impact Mascara costs £16.50 so is a little on the pricey side, however for me mascara is the one thing I wear everyday, and knowing that I have found one which I trust and am happy with is worth the price tag. I usually ask for this for my birthday or Christmas as it's so simple but I always appreciate receiving it. 

If you're looking for a mascara which easily give long looking eyelashes then this is for you. 

Have you tried this mascara before?

Lots of Love

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Amazon Wishlist #2

Hey guys,

one of my favourtie sites to browse is Amazon, one of the main reasons is because I love to buy books, however after a few novels have found their way into my shopping basket I always end up browsing the home section. I think the majority of the packages that arrive at my house are from amazon, I seem to use it for buying everything but toilet paper. I thought I'd put together a little wishlist of the things I've been looking at recently.

I think the phone case is perfect, I love the quote, it's from one of my favourtie books Lord of the Rings and this is something I will definitely be buying when I have the money. I received a teapot for christmas this year so I now have a lot of loose tea and I think this cute caddy would be perfect for storing it to keep it nice and fresh. I love the idea of the magnetic chalk board and this is something that would be extremely useful in my house, I will have to suggest this to my housemates.

Have you seen anything you like?

Lots of Love

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Maybelline Baby Skin Primer

In my opinion primers are one of the most confusing beauty products out there, there are so many varieties it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Should you use something hydrating, mattifying, complexion enhancing… the list goes on.

For me it all depends on your skin type, for me I have combination skin so I was to use something mattifying which will also help stop my makeup from sliding down my face. The main primer I use is Benefit’s Porefessional which is great at mattifying my skin and also covering up my pores.

I recently saw that Maybelline had brought out Baby Skin and I had heard that it was comparable to The Porefessional so I decided to give it a go. Like the Porefessional it is silicon based and this means it is good at providing a smooth canvas on which to apply your base. Unlike the Porefessional it is clear and this means that it does not offer coverage of pores like the Porefessional does.

Overall I really like this primer and at the moment I am using it every day, it delivers a matte base to enable you to easily apply your foundation. Like I said it is clear so it looks invisible on your skin, the formula is actually quite thick but it easily blends onto the skin and feels incredibly lightweight. A small amount goes a long way and a pea size amount is enough to leave your skin feeling smooth and even. One of my biggest problems with The Porefessional is that is dries out your skin, however I have not found this problem with Baby Skin which for me gives it the edge.

The only thing I dislike about this product is the name and packaging, it looks and sounds childish, like something I would buy when I was thirteen which was way before I even knew what a primer was! Also it says instant pore eraser on the packaging which as I mentioned before I don’t think is the case due to the actual primer being transparent.

I think it is hard to compare this directly to The Porefessional as I think they are very different, however if you like the Porefessional but may be looking for something a bit cheaper I would definitely recommend giving Baby Skin a go.

Baby Skin (£7.99) is available at Boots, and right now they are doing 3 for 2 across all makeup!

Have you tried this primer?

Lots of Love

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Benefit Watt's Up Vs No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter

Highlighters are something that I didn’t incorporate into my everyday routine until recently, partly because I had no idea how to use it and partly because I didn’t know which one to buy. I would always look at people’s faces and wonder how they achieved such a healthy looking glow. One day whilst browsing through some blogs I realised that highlighters were the way forward, especially in these winter months when my skin tends to look a bit dull.

I now have a few highlighters which I use most days, One is Watt’s Up by Benefit (£24.00) and the other is a new product by No 7 called Instant Radiance Highlighter (£9.95) These two highlighters are very similar in everything but price.

You can already see that the price difference is a pretty sizeable £14.05, and I wouldn’t exactly call the No7 highlighter a budget buy, however if you include the £5 off No7 vouchers floating around at the moment it quickly becomes a great price.

Both of these highlighters come in the form of a wind up stick which you can apply directly onto your face, however the Benefit highlighter also comes with a little foamy thing on the other end. The little sponge is supposed to be for blending purposes however I don’t find it very useful. Watt’s up has a flat head whereas the Instant Radiance Highlighter has a rounded head which is something I really like, it makes the application a lot easier and I’ve found it enables you to be more precise.

Another similarity of these highlighters is that they both apply as a cream, however when blended behave and look like a powder. The No7 highlighter applies like a dream and blends perfectly to give a soft glow. I have oily skin so sometimes I find creamy products to be too much for my face, however the No7 highlighter feels so light on my skin I wouldn’t even know it was there. Watt’s up is very similar but not quite up to the standards of the No7 highlighter in my opinion. I think Watt’s up harder to blend than the No7 highlighter as it is a bit thicker and I find I have to make much more of an effort to achieve a good finish, it also feels so much heavier on my skin than the No7 product.

Something which is different about these two highlighters is the shades, Watt’s up is very gold toned whereas the No7 product is slightly paler and more nude than gold. I really like the appearance of both of them however I think the No7 product is easier to wear during the day, I have found myself reaching for this each morning to give myself a bit of a glow. In contrast I will use Watt’s up if I’m going out in the evening as it gives a more obvious bolder finish.

I do really like both of these products however for me the clear winner is No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter, it does exactly what it says on the tin - a radiant look in seconds. Don’t get me wrong Watt’s up is a fabulous product too, however the price difference is a huge influence on my choice.

If you’re looking for a highlighter I would recommend popping into your nearest Boots and picking one of these up. They’ve got an amazing 3 for 2 deal across all their makeup at the moment and they have £5 off No7 vouchers which makes this a really good deal.

Have any of you tried either of these?

Lots of Love

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Benefit Hervana Review

Hey guys,

Today I want to share with you my everyday go to blush. As I've said before I have very pale skin, especially in the winter, so if I'm not careful with my blusher I can end up looking ridiculous. I once went to a beauty counter looking to buy a blusher and the woman at the counter sampled some very dark blush on me, she very quickly got a makeup wipe and exclaimed that I looked like a clown. After that little incident I decided to search for some colours that would suit my skin tone, one that kept popping up over and over again was Hervana by Benefit.

 Hervana is one of Benefit's range of boxed blushes and is a mix of beautiful pale colours. The blush itself is a mix of pastel pinks, corals, plums and a lovely silver highlighter, these all mix together to give a gorgeous pinky, peachy colour on the cheeks with just a hint of shimmer in there. I usually swirl my brush around the box and apply to the cheek, it blends flawlessly to give a bit of a glow.

The blush isn't super pigmented which is why it's perfect for us pale girls. I personally think that this colour would suit any skin tone; however it may take some building up on darker skin.

The box is quite bulky but very aesthetically pleasing, I love the design and the bulkiness doesn't put me off at all. It does also come with a brush however I have my own blush brush so I don't use it. Although if you were going away for the weekend, and didn't want to take a separate brush with you it would be perfect as it also has a mirror in the lid and the hinge prevents the lid flying off in your bag.

This blush ideal for everyday wear, I'm starting to see a dent in it now which is a bit scary but no doubt I will be biting the bullet and repurchasing it when it runs out as it's just so pretty.

Hervana is available online and at Benefit counters for £23.50

Have any of you guys tried this?

Lots of Love

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Double Decker Red

This year I asked my mum to get me a few nail polishes for Christmas which I'd be able to wear throughout the winter. Mum picked me out some lovely winter colours, one of which was Rimmel Lasting Finish in Double Decker Red.

There's something about red nails which I just love, they never fail to look classy and you can wear them with anything.  The formula glides on giving a very opaque finish which only requires one coat. The one coat lasted a week even though I work in a lab everyday which is very practical and hands on. After a week I started to see some chipping but considering the picture was taken five days after application I'm pretty impressed. 

I usually don't like knowing how much presents cost but in the interest of this blog post I had a nosey on the Boots website and at the moment it's only £1.99 which is amazing value (however I think my mum got this free with the other nail polishes she bought).  This a gorgeous bold red which on top of that is long lasting, in my opinion this is a staple for any nail polish collection and I know I will be reaching for this often.

Have you tried any polishes from this range?

Lots of Love

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