Monday, 31 December 2012

13 for 2013

Bit of a lazy post, my new year's resolutions, but I have always been a big reflector. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with making new year's resolutions as long as you actually attempt to stick to them. A bit of reflection to see what you can improve on to make the next year better is healthy in my opinion, as long as you make it realistic. I always make a fair number of resolutions, ranging from fun to serious, so for me, 13 is normal. 13 is also my lucky number, so hey, this could be my year ;)!

Last year's resolutions were just to stay in university and to get through 2012. In case you don't know, I spent last year in agonising, debilitating pain due to a brain tumour, making the entire year a massive struggle. However, I am so proud of myself that I still passed my 2nd year of my law degree, and got through that tough year. Now I am (touch wood, cross fingers, blah blah blah) basically healthy (apart from a dodgy ankle) I am ready to rock 2013!

Blogging
I feel like as soon as I found my blogging feet, life got in the way so I am definitely going to work on my law/blog/life balance. I've decided I'm going to (1) blog twice a week, and really improve the quality of my posts. (2) I also want to get back into reader engagement and just grow my blog more generally. I think in the past I've rushed getting some out, so that's something I'm going to look at improving. Also, I'm going to (3) work on my picture quality more, I want to learn how to edit (I have no skills at all), and (4) in summer I am even going to try out You Tube! I'm not going to make resolutions about stats, because, to an extent, that's out of my hands, and for me, my blog is fun, so I don't want to get stressed about that yet. However, I would like to just thank everyone who is following me and supporting me. You guys are amazing.

University/Career
(5) I want to make sure I stay on top of my university work, and graduate with a high 2:1 at the least. I really want (6) to get some more legal work experience too, so securing a vaccation scheme or training contract would be amazing (they are like gold dust).

Health(7) Don't go to A&E! Yes that is an actual resolution, I spend far to much time there, obviously getting my money's worth from the NHS. (8) I want to get fit this year, get back into hockey and run a 10K. This coming from the girl that is allergic to running, but I am going to do it, maybe even a bloggers charity run team in summer(?) ooo the possibilities ;)! (9) Getting to a weight and size I'm happy with is also high up, but if I'm fit and healthy, thats hopefully just going to fall into place, especially now I have been officially taken off the steroids.

Myself I am going to make a promise to myself. (10) I am going to keep the negative inside voice shhed. I'm not going to tell myself I'm not good enough, or compare myself to my friends. I am good enough, and I am me. Deal with it Jessica. (11) I am going to make time once a week for a pamper session, and treat myself. (12) I want to photograph things more, because when I'm old and grey, these are the memories I'm going to want to remember, and lastly (13) I'm going to have fun and live in the moment. I spend so much time forcing myself to have a good time, I'm going to relax and just let things happen. 2013 is going to be my year, its official!.
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Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Jumpers

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the cheesy, novelty Christmas knitwear! I know a lot of people have a love hate relationship with these, but nothing puts me in the festive mood than pulling on a thick jumper. I admit they are not the most fashion forward of pieces my wardrobe contains, but Christmas is only once a year, so you might as well just give in to it! I've shared my favorite the high street has to offer, ranging from subtle to Santa's little helper (literally!). Are you a knit wearer, or a novelty no?
Christmas Jumpers


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Friday, 14 December 2012

NYX Soho Glam Collection

Some of you may remember my disappointment at NYX's Glitter Cream Pallete, but this has definately restored my faith. Still looking for a Christmas presents? I would definately recommend this.
Nyx Soho Glam Collection
NYX Soho Glam Collection (*)



I thought I was a good multi-tasker but this pallet really takes the biscuit. 52 eye shadows , 8 lip colours, 4 face colours, 4 blushers, 2 lip glosses, applicators, a lip liner pencil and a mirror, all compact! I actually came home yesterday from University for Christmas, so had the nightmare of packing make-up and beauty products for three weeks, especially because theres quite a few Christmas events I'm attending. This would be ideal for those situations when you want to be able to create a range of looks, but need it to take minimal space. Perfect for if you want to go out after work/uni, going on holiday, travel a lot, or just absolutely hate clutter.

The packaging and presentation is lovely. I'm a massive fan of black packaging, I just think it looks a lot sleekier, and stands the test of time because it doesn't go all messy after a few uses, I think I've only really seen Topshop pull of white. Theres a decent sized mirror, and I love how the different layers slide out, making it really compact for this amount of product. This feels really study too, it could definately stand being in a suitcase, so like I said, ideal if travelling is on the cards.


Eye shadows
The jewel toned shades perfect for the festive season, and pretty much any look could be created with with matte, shimmer and glitter products being present. Pigmintation does vary a little, with the glitters and shimmers coming out more vivid than the mattes, but I must stressed I am actually in love with some of the colours!They is little, if any, fallout and they are extrmely blendable.

Lips
The pigmentation isn't perfect. The swatches show that they are pretty sheer. Bit disappointed after the eye products, BUT they are extremely buildable, so its nothing a few applications can't solve. They are all unscented and unflavoured too, which is a massive plus.

Blush's
Again, slightly on the sheer side, however perfect for giving the cheeks a healthy glow. The shade range is amazing too.

Conclusion
Overall this is a good little all-rounder. The eye products are my stand out, but I think if your off travelling round the family over Christmas and want light packing, this is the ticket. Everything is buidlable, blenable and just plain lovely. The shades are so wearable. For £30, you are getting great value and a lot of product for your money!

RRP £30, and available from Very
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Monday, 10 December 2012

MAC Shy Girl


MAC Shy Girl

This was my first MAC lipstick, so I apologise that it has already been used. Also, I've not included a shot of it on my lips because I'm currently suffering from bronchitis and flu, and my lips and skin are less than up to scratch. I have really pigmented lips, so a shot wouldn't be that helpful to you anyway.


 As a first MAC lipstick goes, this was a sensible choice. It must be one of my favourite natural shades. This is the perfect neutral lipstick. This is a coral beige, and is ideal for adding a little lip definition to you day-to-day look. Ironically, I tend to use it the most at night combined with my usual smokey eye. It's a cream sheen finish, and feels lovely on your lips. Because of the finish, its not the most long-lasting of products, but this will always have a place in my heart as my first MAC lipstick.

I am desperate to try more MAC lipsticks, anyone got any suggestions?

xoxo
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Rose Gold Cheeks

All my favourite blush's seem to be NARS Orgasm dupes too, maybe a sign that I need to invest in the real deal.



elf in Candid Coral



I waited ages to get my hands on this because its constantly sold out on the elf website. As the name suggests its a coral colour, with a minute amount of gold shimmer to highlight. I like this, but as the swatch suggests its not very pigmented, and you need a good rub of the Kabuki brush to get a decent colour payoff. It's also fairly chalky, so you do have to be careful, which is hard because of the lack of pigmentation. As a subtle highlight, its really good though.

Nyx in Pinched


 This is my go to daytime blush. I love it because its basically a more pigmented version of elf. Its a little bit more peach toned than elf, but this seems to work better on my skin tone. You really don't need much for the colour to show and its not chalky or powdery at all.

Sleek in Rose Gold(*)


 This is my favourite blush. Its amazing. Its so pigmented that one sweep is enough. The glitter highlight is just the perfect balance for night. The UK high street has definitely delivered with this baby.

Comparision

L-R: elf, Nyx, Sleek

As you can see from the comparison, elf is the more coral one, with nyx being the peach tone and sleek being more shimmery. Elf is definitely a lot more chalky than the other two, and the least pigmented, but that works well in the day. Sleek is more of a night look for me because of the increased shimmer, but its not overpowering and is so pretty, if you haven't tried it I'd recommend it now.


What are your favourite blush's?

xoxo
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Monday, 26 November 2012

The Best Setting Powder Ever

I have my make-up done quite a few times by top MUA's. The last time I had it done was at New C-ID, and I have to recommend them, because I absolutely loved the look, and the tips I got were amazing.

When the MUA was talking about powder, she gave me a sneaky tip that the Natural Collection Loose Powder from Boots is amazing and just as good as the high-end version but for a steal at £1.99! Now being a student I had to have a try.

Natural Collection Loose Powder

Firstly, the packaging is really nice. The clear bottom lets you see how much product you have left, and the inside top stop you wasting product and it going everywhere.

The product itself, although slightly pink in colour, is translucent. I've used this with no make-up on, to my heaviest foundation and its great. It blends in perfectly and looks really natural. I apply it very liberally, and even then it doesn't cake! As for keeping shine away, it definitely does it job. When I wear this over my foundation, I have a matte face all day!

This works just as well as my MAC powder, but at a fraction of the price, I know which one I'll re-buy!

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer

Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer
Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer(*)

This summer I was looking for a new primer to help make my make-up look fab and pro-long the wear. Luckily, I was sent this Revlon version in shade 001 to try, and I have to say I love it!

The pump on this bottle makes it so easy to get the right amount and the clear bottle lets you see how much you have left, so no guess work or falling short!

I'm not sure if it shows in the bottom picture but the product itself is slightly pink iridescent and blends in perfectly leaving a smooth canvas. Again, not 100% certain you can tell from the top image (I've used the primer on the area towards the right, near my thumb), it smooths out skin tone, and airbrushes any irregularities.

 With this as a base, its really light weight and you wouldn't know you were wearing it. My make-up lasts all day (about 12 hours, although probably longer, that's just how long I wear make-up for).I apply this with my Real Techniques Foundation brush, and use my Stippling Brush and fingers for my foundation, and it really helps my make-up to look more natural and flawless

A lot of high street brands don't do primers, with them only being a recent addition on the scene. Retailing at £10.99 at Boots, this is definitely worth the money. I've been using mine every-day since September and still have half left! So if you haven't guessed I adore this product, it does exactly what you want it too, its pretty cheap and would really recommend this.
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Monday, 19 November 2012

Nyx Glitter Cream Pallet

I was really hoping this would be a rave review. For Christmas, this pallet would be a glittery smokey eye dream. But its not. The only consolation is that i got it discounted at TK Maxx to £4. The colours are perfect, the packaging is lovely, put the actual product itself is a complete and utter let down.

Nyx Glitter Cream Pallet in Ice Queen

So packaging first. Its pretty flimsy, but does the job. I wasn't expect much because this is a cheap product, and the black plastic makes it look a lot better.

The colour selection is perfect. Ideal for create glittery smokey eyes on a budget.

That's the end of the positives though.

Nyx Glitter Cream Pallet in Ice Queen


The swatches above tell the story. Each colour needs to be swatched 3 or 4 times just to get that pigmentation. Even when I've swatched it that many times, the pigmentation is rubbish, you'd probably have to use half the product just for one night! The glitter looks extremely clumpy, and pretty loose, so your  guaranteed it going all over your face by the end of the night. No one wants to look like that much of a glitter ball.


When you compare this to Barry M Dazzle Dust, its just a complete fail of a product. I was hoping this to be a dupe for MAC Glitter Pot's, but the quality of this pallet is like something you used to get free to a magazine as a little kid. I usually love Nyx products, but this is a complete let down.


If your looking for a glitter fix this Christmas, save your money, don't go for this.

xoxo
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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Scared of being boring?

Hi guys,

So today I'm doing a bit of a lifestyle post, which is pretty fitting for this time of year.

Being at Uni, probably like quite a lot you, I could go out every night if I wanted to, and my loan allowed me. In a generation where everyones daily antics are uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., I feel like I have to be seen to be having an amazing time, even if all I want to do on a Saturday night is curl up with the boy and watch Take Me Out and Strictly. But why, when I just can't be bothered to get myself looking presentable? Because I don't want to look boring that's why. 

For the next two months I have at least one big event each week, minus two weeks in exam period. Now some of these I'm really looking forward to, the AU Ball being the highlight of my Semester 1. But others, I'm pretty ready to pass over, some Refreshers Week events after Christmas, because I've been there done that, and would now just like to get on with my degree thank you very much.

I want to clear up that I love going out. Getting dressed up and having a giggle with my friends is amazing, especially when you go to such a small university like Keele and will bump into a large proportion of everyone you know at the Union. But, when its the same thing every week, your stressed with attempting to graduate, and your just not feeling your best, a night out isn't the first thing that you want. Ok, yes in some cases this will probably make you feel better, but not when your sleep deprived like me; doesn't help I work 9pm-3am and when I'm stressed I can't sleep.

So why do I feel pressure to go out? Because other wise the people I went to high school with (who I haven't really spoke to in the last 5/6 years...) might think I was boring. If I haven't had a status or some pictures tagged in a week, I feel the need to have an update, just to show I'm having just as much fun, if not more, as everyone else on my friends list. Consequently, you don't have as much fun, because of the pressure to have fun. Its a catch-22.

So this festive season I'm taking a stand, I'm only going out when I actually want to. I've not been to hockey socials in a while because my work load is ridciuously. I'm doing two extra modules to catch up with missed work last year, I'm working, I'm suffering from an injury, and I'm trying to graduate. It's exhausting. I love nights out, but when I want to go, not when I should go. I will quite happily admit I have a laugh watching Saturday night telly and I look forward to seeing if Helen Flanagan will actually do something useful in I'm a Celeb. Maybe its because I'm a 3rd year, and have done it all before, and now prefer to be more selective(?), but I've got a hunch its something else. I think its that I've matured, and now don't care as much what others think, as long as I'm happy, that all that matters. My priorities have changed and I can have fun without getting paralytic.

Who's with me?

xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Best Budget Liquid Eye Liner?

I am a huge lover of eye make-up, and the first bit of eye make-up I played around with way back when was eyeliner. I used to use Rimmel Glam Eyes, but when my liquid eyeliner ran out, I had a look around some blogs and people seemed to really be rating the L'Oreal Super Liner, so this is what I ended up with.

Because I like thin liquid liner lines (mouthful or what) because it makes your eyes look bigger, I went for the Perfect Slim version, but I know there are different versions to suit your needs.

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim


What I love about the packaging is, firstly its nice and slim, in a pen form. Also, it has a rubbery grip near the tip making it easier to handle and get a more precise line.

The shade I have is Intense Black, and as you can see from the swatches below, its opaque and deep from one stroke.

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim


The actual tip is pretty flexible, but slightly stiff, making it easy to apply neatly, and allowing your to create a multitude of looks, especially flicks. The width of the line create is perfect for what I want. Think enough to stand out, and yet small enough to be effective in making your eyes look bigger.

The product dries really fast and once its on, its on, with no smudging.

Overall I'm really impressed, and would repurchase and recommend this eyeliner.

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner: Perfect Slim RRP at £6.99 and is available in most stores which have a L'Oreal Paris cosmetics stand.

xoxo
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Monday, 5 November 2012

Topshop Highlighters

Hi everyone, I'm back now. I'm on reading week this week so fingers crossed between starting a new job, and going for a training contract interview to be a trainee solicitor, I'm going to be back up-to-date with all my University work. Thanks for being patient, 3rd Year Law is definitely a lot harder than previous years, I can tell graduation will be emotional already!

Now on to today's post.

You may remember a while ago I bought my first two products from the Topshop beauty range, after being on the search for the perfect, cheapish, highlighter. I bought two of the ones available because I had no idea which one would be best for me, so I thought it would be nice to do a little comparison!

I'm very big on contouring. I am a self-declared chipmunk, I have a rounded face, and will do anything to give my cheek bones more definition (I even have an angular bob!). I've got a whole stash of highlighters, blush's and bronzers, all ranging from high street to high end. I know a lot of people skip highlighters, but for me, highlighters really do make a massive difference, and really help define your face.

Topshop do two different types of highlighter, a cream and powder version. The powder compact comes in two shades (Crescent Moon and Sunbeam), which the cream is just available in Polish. They also do a brightening pen in Moonlight.  I have the cream and powder in Crescent Moon. I'll talk a little about each, then do a quick comparison at the end.

Topshop Highlighters


Glow Highlighter in Polish
Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polish

This was on recommendation from my lovely blogger friend Sophie. I'm definitely a cream highligher girl, I think its a better look overall on me.
I love the packaging. The frosted glass bottom (with product going into this base, not a clever illusion), looks so good along side the white top, and feels like it will definitely survive travelling and my packing.
Product wise, less is definitely more, but it is easily buildable to your preference. This is like a cream version of my MAC Strobe Liquid so its patent this is a rave product for me! It's great for travelling in that respect because its smaller and less messy than my MAC wonder product. This highlighter is more of a pearlesant white than the powder compact, so is a safe bet in suiting everyone, and not looking like you have war paint on. It blends in seamlessly and I cannot fault it enough!
Highlighter in Crescent Moon
Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon
Like with the Topshop Blush's this is a cute compact, in the signature Topshop white plastic with a black doodle design on the casing. Somehow they have managed to avoid making white packaging look cheap and tacky, and it actually feels really sturdy, so one box is ticked.
Product wise, this is a subtle shimmer with slight golden undertones. One of the reasons I went for this shade rather than Sunbeam is because Sunbeam seemed a little yellow(?) and I wasn't 100% sure how that would look (Please let me know what the shade is like if you've tried it!). Crescent Moon has just the right amount of shimmer you'd want from a highlighter, and the toning compliments my natural skin tone really well. The product blends in really nice (I use my fingers with highligher), doesn't look chalky and the colour pay off is amazing, far exceeding my expectations. Added bonus is that there's very little, if any, fall out too!


Highlighter in Crescant Moon - RRP £10 (also available in Sunbeam)
Comparison
Topshop Highlighters
Swatches.
left: Top = Cream Bottom: Powder
right: Left = Cream Right = Powder
Product wise, I prefer the cream to the powder, but that is down to my personal preference of cream highlighters. I think Crescent Moon (or even Sunbeam) would be better in spring/summer when I don't look like a ghost because of the added golden shimmer, but in Crescent Moon this is very slight. I think when I wear a medium to full coverage foundation, the powder versions may actually be better, but when its a BB cream day, Glow is a winner. The packaging on each is really pretty and sturdy. I think the compact may last longer than the cream, so if your looking for longevity, that would be something to consider, but each product is definitely value for money.
xoxo


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Friday, 12 October 2012

MAC Stobe Liquid Lotion

I've reviewed a couple of my must have beauty products before, my cleanser and face mask from Lush, my peel-off mask from Boots, but I've not talked about one of my ultimate make-up must haves.

I don't have that many high end make-up items, the ones I do have have been presents, or treats. I'm a student, I'm on a budget, and there's plenty of time for me to get every eyeshadow Bobby Brown or whoever make when I've qualified as a solicitor. This product though will always be in my make-up bag.

MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion


 Sorry about the slightly messy bottom photo, but as you can tell I've had this for some time, and I'm clumsy. Before I get into this review, I want to highlight that this is the Strobe Liquid, and not the Strobe Cream, which I have never tried.

MAC says "Blending soft focus diffusers with iridescent pigments, this ultra-fluid strobe formula produces a soft radiant light on the skin, reducing the appearance of skin imperfections by providing a natural looking glow. Spreads on smoothly and absorbs quickly leaving the skin looking healthier and more radiant. A lighter weight addition to the popular strobe cream."

Packaging first, its classic MAC. The pump makes it really easy to get the right amount, and I like that I can see how much is left, so I know when I should run out and get some more.

For me, this is like photoshop in a bottle. I've used this for three different things, so I'll go through each of it in turn. I first used this as a type of moisturising base under my make-up after a MAC MUA introduced it to me. It works really well, smooths out any imperfections, reduces the need for concealer and just makes make-up look its best. As a primer, I'd say it was decent, my make-up lasted a lot longer with it, but its not a specific primer. I then used it on my "make-up free days" all over my face (ok, so I still technically wore some make-up) and it made a huge difference. From looking like I was ill, to normal in a half a minute is pretty impressive under anyones standards. Lastly, I use this, very sparingly, as a highlighter. One pump is enough for your entire face, and once blended in it gives the perfect amount of shimmer.

This one bottle has lasted my every day for a year so far. If you look on the above picture, I've still got so much left, so money-wise its definitely accessible on a budget, especially when you take into account how much this product can actually do! I know the cream is cheaper, but you do get more of the liquid so that's expected.

Below I've swatched the product. If anyone's wondering I've been matched to NW20 in MAC foundation.


MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion

That's one pumps worth, which is excessive for the area I blended it in to hence why it looks a bit "white?", but you get the point. It adds a subtle shimmer and really wakens up your skin, making your glowing, but naturally.

I can't recommend this product enough, and really suggest if your near a MAC counter, go and have a test because I can't imagine not using this product.

MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion RRP at £22.50 for 50ml.


While your here, why not entire my giveaway and have a chance of winning 1 of 3 beauty bundles!
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Monday, 8 October 2012

How To Make Your Makeup Last All Night feat. Urban Decay

Urban Decay
I have no time to top up my make-up on nights out, I'll loose products, look like a clown, and its just going to end up in me hiding under the duvet the next day from the world.

Urban Decay are my go to for nights out. Using the Primer Potion and setting spray, I am guaranteed not to have my eye makeup near my chin, and in the sauna that is Keele SU, this is definitely a bonus.

Urban Decay De Slick XL (177ml)
Urban Decay

I got this off Buyapowa a while ago and I love it. Its an "oil control makeup setting-spray" which I use  on every night out and it definitely stops shine, and keeps my make up in place. You spray your face when you've done your foundation and base layer, then again when you've completely finished a couple of times. At first I thought it was going to completely ruin my makeup, with it all running down my face when I sprayed it because it honestly felt like someone just shot water at me. Fear not, it dried with no smudges. I love this product and can't rave about it enough. I don't do any touch ups at all, not even powder, so definitely well worth the money. This would also be ace when you go on your holidays to hot countries!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Professional Size (25ml)


Urban Decay
Everyone and their mum has got this, but if I'm wearing eyeshadow, I have to use a primer, otherwise I will look like a panda in a matter of hours. If you haven't tried this one, its like a nude mousse, apposed to a cream, gel or spray like the others I've tried. Not only does it really make the Shadow pop, it lasts all night! I know a lot of people say it makes blending hard, but I haven't noticed much of a change, but I am quite fast when I do my eyes (about 5 minutes). This tops my old Clarins one by miles, and the tube packaging makes its so easy and clean. If you haven't tried this, you really need to!

If you fancy winning some beauty products (3 prizes up for grabs!) head over to my giveaway

xoxo
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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beauty Haul

Beauty Haul

If you follow me on twitter, you will know that this was intended to be as a video. However, the rain had other plans, and once I'd got to grips with making my first video, the rain was so loud you couldn't hear a word I was saying. So to keep up with my blogging schedule, its got to be done in the usual format. Sorry everyone, I will tackle YouTube soon I promise. I also want to apoligise for the awful pictures. I've tried every day since Saturday to get the lighting right, but it was having none of it.

Anyway, moving onto my haul. I wanted to share with you my initial thoughts on what I've bought before I actually use them, and they get mutated by my make up brushes. More detailed reviews will pop up sooner or later I'm sure, either in empties, specific reviews or in a feature. As you probably know, I've been on a challenge over summer, a summer without shopping to be more exact, so these are actually the first bits and bobs beauty related I've bought in ages, hence why theres so many. All of these products have been researched and recommended to me, and been on my wishlist for quite a while, so once my loan came in I decided to treat myself.

E.L.F
elf haul

I'm pretty new to E.L.F. I prefer to see what the product is like before I buy it, and in the UK E.L.F is only available online (as far as I'm aware). However, I was told E.L.F's Blush in Candid Coral is a really good dupe for the cult blush Nars Orgasam, and luckily got it for my birthday. This blush is one of my favourites, and although there is some fall out, for the price difference, I am honestly not fussed. After this success, I placed an order for a few more bits I've had my eye on.
Firstly, the e.l.f  fan brush. I had my make-up done recently at New C-ID in Manchester (highly recommend btw), and the MUA really praised a fan brush. I looked at the brush, and said bluntly, "I've never used that kind of brush before, what does it actually do?". In short, it makes removing fallen eye make up, and erasing mistakes so simple! It's also really good for loose powder. Because I'm pretty clumsy, and always have some eye mistakes which make me reach for the make up wipes, this is definitely something I had to buy. Until I use it, theres not really much more I can say. For a cheap brush, its really soft, and I like the MAC-esque look to it. But will it live up to the job? I'll let you know.
e.lf. Blush in Gotta Glow. I got this because I thought it would be a good dupe for Nars Albatross, but this has such mixed reviews. On first look, this looks to be a bit more yellowish, but I can't compare properly because I don't own the Nars version. I really like the black packaging, and if this is anything like my candid coral blush, we will get along swimmingly.
e.l.f Golden Bronzer. This looks really similar to my Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades, but you actually get more product I think with e.l.f. After comparing the two, I think the Collection 2000 one is slightly lighter, which is why I'm a little meh with it because I really have to concentrate to get my contouring right. I'm actually really excited to use this, because it could be exactly what I'm after.
e.l.f Daily Brush Cleaner. I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo on my brushes, and have done since I had a make-up lesson with an amazing MUA at MAC, who has done Lady Gaga's make- up no less, told me it was one of the best ways, and cheapest to clean you brushes. However, I sometimes want to use a brush more than once, particularly my eye brushes, and its a little bit of a hassle. With this, I can just spritz some on, clean it quickly, and still use my favourite brushes!
When I did my e.l.f haul, you got a free goody bag, with four products in it. Firstly, the plumping lip glaze in Mocha Ice. I'm never too keen on "plumping" lip glosses, because 9 times out of 10, they don't work. The packaging really puts my off, the white plastic looks kind of cheap, and I just don't think I'm going to love this. I'll let you know how I get on, but I just wish they stuck with the black packaging, because it looks far better. This is a similar story with the Brightening Eye Color in Hazy Hazel. Despite these being the perfect colours for my light blue eyes, the packaging looks so cheap, like something you got free from a pre-teen magazine. I will try it, but I'm not expecting much. Lastly I got two nail polish's in Twinkle and Smoky Brown. YEY! Back to the black packaging and I'm a happy bunny. Twinkle is exactly what I'm looking for, a very fine, almost holographic, glitter nail varnish, and Mocha is definitely a colour I would wear so these will be tested ASAP!
Nyx
nyx haul
Again a company relatively new to me because of the whole online thing. I've got a couple of products from River Island and TK Maxx, but its still not very accessible in the UK.
As you've probably guessed, I love Nars, but just can't afford it, so I'm always on the look for a dupe. Someone told me (if it was you let me know!) that the powdered bronzer in Medium #2 was a really good dupe for Nars Laguna. I am so impressed with this product, and I've not even tried it yet. The amount of product you receive is so much, definitely value for money. Although I wish they had left the boat detail off, it looks a little cheap, theres really nice colours in the product so I can definitely see this being a favourite.
Nyx blush in Pinched is supposed to be another dupe for Nars Orgasam. Its a really pretty colour, but you get less product than the e.l.f. version. However, many people think Nyx is better quality than e.lf. so we will see.
Topshop
topshop makeup haul
Like a bus, I hadn't got a single topshop product, then BAM! I got two at once ;).
Firstly, I was recommended Glow as a cheap highligher. Looking at it, its basically a more tinted version of strobe cream so I'm very excited. Thanks Sophie for you recommendation. Plus, with the frosted glass bottom I thought you wouldn't get that much product (kinda like Maybelline Color Tattoo's), but in fact the pan goes right down in the glass, so this looks a complete bargain!
I got another highlighter, this time a compact in Creascent Moon. I was looking at Moonbeam, but for me, it looks too yellow. I'm not sure it would suit my skin tone (let me know if you've tried it), and thankfully, by the time I came to order a new shade had been brought out. This looks a really natural highlighter, perfect for my everyday wear.
So that's my big spend as a treat for my shopping ban being complete. Please let me know if you've tried any of these products, I'd be really int rested to hear what you have to say!

Don't forge to enter my giveaway to win 1 of 3 beauty bundles including Benefit, Jelly Pong Pong, Sleek and more!
xoxo



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Monday, 1 October 2012

How To Shop

I've been asked to do another How To... for quite a while now, and I thought one about shopping was pretty appropriate as I've just completed my Summer Without Shopping challenge. Through not shopping, I learnt how to shop. That sounds daft at first, shopping isn't rocket science, but to shop SUCCESSFULLY, a few things need to be known. I hope you try some of these tips, and they work for you.

  • Only pay in cash. If your on a budget, lets be honest most of us are nowadays, this is essential. When I use my card (credit or debit) it just doesn't feel like real money, but sadly it is. Not only will paying in cash make you consider the value of the item, it will also potentially limit the amount you spend. Take your car with you in case you see a one time thing you HAVE to have, but go to the cash machine to get money. The time it takes you to get the cash out will make you think if you really need the item, or if its just a spure of the moment thing.
  • Buying high end make-up? Always ask if they give out for free, or sell samples of the product. Most counters you have to ask at, so don't be intimidated. There running a service for you, they are not doing you any favours by giving you a sample. You need to test-drive the product in your normal routine, and see if it works for you with no pressure on you. A guaranteed way to reduce the risk of a mounting pile of products that cost a small fortune.
  • Shopping Uniform. When I go out I always without fail take a hairbrush, cooling spray like Mac Fix+ and a little touch up bag. This rule applies for shopping too. Once you try on an item, before you look at yourself, quickly brush your hair, and if your hot and flustered spray a little Mac Fix+ on your face. You need to see the item on you as it would be like everyday, not as it is after you've walked through a monsoon.  Try to wear a nude bra that fits well, preferably strapless, that way you know what an item will look like without neon pink bra straps. Go in the type of shoes you would wear, with roughly the same size heel, even if it means carrying them around in a small bag, at least you know how it will look!
  • Lists. I know this one takes a bit of organisation, but it pays off. Look in your wardrobe, and work out what you want to buy, that goes with your existing wardrobe, and pop it down, even if its on your phone. You won't forget when your in a mad rush for the bus, and you will be less likely to buy things that are completely unlike you if you know what your looking for.
  • Discounts Student and staff discounts (current staff, NHS etc) are your best friend. Check where you can get discounts from, and look there first for any of your purchases. The high street, especially the UK, is amazing. Most shops cater for all of the catwalk trends, with a lot of pieces extremely similar. So you set your heart on that dress from one place, but lets face it, saving money on another dress that's really similar, and being able to buy a new pair of shoes with those savings is definitely a plus. You might only save a little, but stretch that over a year, and you could pay for your car insurance.
  • Avoid doubling up (sometimes) Got an obsession with mascara and eyeliner like me? Tell yourself you wont buy a new one until your other one is nearly out. This can work for all products. Not only will they not go off, but you wont have loads on the go, so you'll get your value for money! However, if there is an offer on shower gel for example, and you haven't changed shower gel for 2 years, stock up! It's a given you definitely will use it, so save money now! Warning: Boots and Superdrug offers on make-up are there to get you to spend more money. If you only went in for foundation, you don't need two extra products, just so you get one free. Your wasting your hard earned cash.
  • Ask. If they haven't got your size, ask them to check the back. I used to work at Topshop, and we only put out a couple of each size, with more in the stock room, so if your in love with something, just mention it. If you need a product to do a certain job, but don't know what you should try, just ask. They are there to help you, so don't feel like your putting them out by asking them to do their job.
  • Hate crowded shops? Go on a Sunday. My mum has walking difficulties, so Saturday shopping sometimes becomes more of an effort than it should. Sunday's are so much more chilled. You can really take you time, and not rush, so you are less likely to make those daft buys. Counters are generally less busy, so the assistants can really take there time with you. A lot of places offer cheaper parking on Sunday's too!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win 1 of 3 beauty bundles including Benefit, Jelly Pong Pong, Sleek and more!
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Friday, 28 September 2012

Vera Wang Princess (Day & Night)

Vera Wang Princess


I have an obsession with Vera Wang, her wedding dresses in particular. I've made a vow to myself that I WILL have a Vera Wang wedding dress no matter how big a loan I will need! I know there a quite a few versions of the Princess fragrances (Preppy etc.) but this is my ultimate  and has been "my" scent for the last 3 years.

Vera Wang Princess

Vera Wang Princess
Vera Wang Princess eau de toilette
I think the thing that attracts people the most is the packaging. Its such a cute, girly look, and looks so pretty on my dressing room table. It does help that the crown fits in with my necklace and my blog name, (Just add some wings to the next one Vera and I'll be your most faithful fan ;) ) The perfume itself has a slightly pink tinge to it, and for a complete girly girl like me, its ideal. BTW, this is the 50ml bottle, hence why it looks pretty big. Its not cheap as chips (not sure how much this was because I got two bottles in duty free in Palma about a year ago, and this is the last one *sob*) but last quite a long time, even though I have quite a lot of sprays on every day. So vaule for money wise, its amazing, especially as its a long-wearing perfume too.
Scent wise its light fragrance and it appeals to so many tastes. Its quite fruity, with top notes including apple and apricot, but then has base notes of vanilla so itsn't to over powering. Its quite  deliciate(?). A lot of my guy friends love this, so when guys pick up on it, lets face it, however observent they are, you know your on to a winner.
Re-purchase? Obviously, my love for Vera will be everlasting. This has replaced Lacoste Touch of Pink (remember that? haha) as my signiture fragrance, and I would like to point out that they are slightly similar. I've just realised that all my perfumes are kinda pink ... hmmm. Patently I have a perfume type ;)
Vera Wang Princess Night

Vera Wang Princess NIght
Vera Wang Princess Night eau de toilette spray(*)
This was a present from my mum and dad for my birthday because I was on a shopping ban, and they were fed up of my oooooing every time I saw the advert. The bottle is a black glitter cut heart instead of the glass, so a bit edgier for night time. The black glitter does shed ever so slightly, but thats basic wear and tear, and its not messy glitter (if that makes any sense to anyone I will be impressed). Mine is the 30ml, so smaler than the main one, because I only use this on nights out not every single day (although atm with it being freshers, it shows its face every day). Again, I'm sorry to be rubbish with prices, I have no idea because it was a gift, but like the day version, its readily available, not much hunting will be needed to have a sniff yourself.

Like the day version, this too is fruity. Top notes include watermellon and raspberry with base notes of crushed sugar and vanilla. Its more intense than the day time version, hence the night version, but still not overpowering at all. This just a stronger version of the orginal, which is ideal for me, but may be a dissapointment for others if there looking for a bigger distinction.

Re-purchase? Of course ;) Even though its not pink ;) I love this, and like that its just a stronger version of my day perfume, meaning I can still wear my signiture perfume at night without it being completely lost.

Have you dabbled with Vera Wang perfume?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to be in a chance of winning 1 of 3 beauty bundles!
xoxo


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Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Harry Potter Studio Tour

WARNING: This post does contain some spoilers of the tour!

The Harry Potter Studio Tour
So as a birthday present I went round the Harry Potter Studios in Watford. I took over 200 photos on the tour, so these are only a little snippet! I don't want to say too much about the layout (you can find out if you really want to) or what I did there, because it might spoil it for you if your planning on going sometime, but WOW, its absolutely amazing, and if you love Harry Potter it is definitely a must see; well worth the money! The level of detail is absolutely incredible, and it is such a good day out I cannot say enough praise! I would advise starting to queue slightly earlier than the time of your tour, as we were stood in line for a good 30 minutes. Oh, and save up your pennies because for 1 chocolate frog its in excess of £7!

Are you a fan? Planning on going? Been?

xoxo
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Thursday, 30 August 2012

A/W 2012-13: Beauty

Hey everyone. So this is the last post in the series, if you've missed any click here, and you'll see all the trends shown in London Fashion Week for A/W.


So firstly, hair wise. Dyed hair is still big, so if your tempted by ombre hair, go for it! Top Knots are also really fashionable, seen a lot on the catwalk, so now you have an excuse for your quick hairstyle. Side partings were also seen along with braided hair. Theres some really easy tutorials on YouTube if you type in braided hair, so check those out! You can even combine two, to make a really effective hair style, like the top knot braid in the picture below!

A/W trends 04 - 01


Now, focusing on make-up, the face was often left very bare, with dramatic eyes or lips.

Eye-wise, bold looks are really big. Strong filled in eyebrows were all that were seen on the catwalk, so invest in a brow kit now! Coloured mascara is also huge, particularly blue, but if you have blue eyes like me, purple really makes them pop!
a/w trends 04 - 02


Lips. Berry lips are really key this season, but if your looking for a statement look, glitter lips were also seen! Check out Limecrime for glitter lip gloss, or try applying eyeshadow over a base!
a/w trends 04 - 03

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

A/W 2012-13: ETC

This is the 3rd of four posts discussing A/W trends shown in London Fashion Week. The other two can be found by clicking here. Follow me to see the beauty trends for this season next week!

Like I explained in the first one, I've tried to group the trends together as best as I can, but envitably, some just don't fit anywhere. This post deals with those that don't fit anywhere.

Trends 03 - 01


Trends 03 - 02


a/w 03 - 04

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