Friday, 27 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas 2013

Generic introduction. Before I begin I'd just like to add a disclaimer that I am in no way bragging about anything I received for Christmas. I was exceptionally fortunate and am super grateful for everything I was given. My friends and family have been so generous and I am really thankful. I'm doing this post, like most other bloggers, because its very popular and highly requested. If your not into these posts, this is your chance to click on a different one. 

Right. Let's begin then.


On top of this I got some money & Prada Candy perfume for doing so well in my mocks! I have been completely spoilt rotten! 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

xoxo
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Monday, 16 December 2013

How to ... be less of a Grinch


I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. Some days I really love it, other times I really struggle to get festive and feel like its just another month. I seem to always be stressed at Christmas through exams and as it comes round so fast now it like it creeps up on you and everyone suddenly expects you to be full of cheer. If like me you can't just switch it on like Christmas lights, try a few of my tips to banish your inner Grinch.

Watch Christmas Films. If you can't beat them, join them. From the Grinch to Home Alone nothing spells out Christmas like an exceptionally cheesy, family film. Even if your still not really for full on glee, Love Actually and The Holiday are perfect to break yourself in slowly. All together now "Where are you Christmassss ...."

Go to a Christmas Market I'm so lucky when it comes to Christmas Markets as I happen to have Europe's largest a 5 minute walk away from my University in Manchester. There's something about them which really works all your senses into Christmas over-load and you can't help but get that festive feeling.

Make a Gingerbread House You can get ready-made sets for under £5 from most supermarkets if you don't fancy making the gingerbread from scratch, but there's nothing like doing traditional Christmas activities, especially if said activities involving sweets and icing, to make you merry.

Sing loud and proud Shove on a Christmas CD or go to a carol concert but whatever you do make sure you throw yourself fully into it. Dance round the living room even if you have two left feet and grab the hairbrush because it will put a smile on your face.

Walk around One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is go for a nigh time walk with Oliver and look at all the pretty fairy lights. My area really make an effort and the lights have got me excited from being little so just to take a step back and relax taking in the atmosphere.

Decorate Lastly, but by no means least, decorate. Decorate the house, decorate cards, decorate cakes, decorate yourself. Immerse yourself in your own winter wonderland complete with hideously festive knitwear, flashing earrings, and a pair of Christmas erm sunglasses?! Whatever's going, take it because it will eventually make you full of festive cheer. 

And if all that fails, well just fake it till you make it, or until Christmas is over, after all there's only half a month left.

Have you got any top tips to help spread Christmas Cheer?
xoxo
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Friday, 13 December 2013

St Tropez Gradual Tan Mousse


A very exciting e-mail popped into my inbox a while ago. I've been handpicked for the St Tropez Blogger Beauty Panel. As someone with a very fair skin tone, this is only a good thing, the market needs to widen it's shade range and the best way to do this is by testing products. Saying that, I actually think St Tropez may have got fake tan for fair skin down to a tea with this product.

The product I was given to try was the gradual tan mousse(*) which on daily application for a couple of days is supposed to give a sun-kissed glow, something that I think the vast majority of us aspire to have all year round. The packaging is classic St Tropez, sleek and simple with a practical pump, massive thumbs up from me. It really does help application to be quick and mess-free. One pump produces enough ultra-light-weight foam for half a leg, which is really good going. The foam is white so can maybe be tricky, but as long as you concentrate your fine. Although its white, I'd still wear a mitt or glove as its still fake tan. The foam is exceptionally light and you can't feel it at all on the skin. It dries in around half a minute too so there really is no awkward standing around trying not to bang and rub tan on your bathroom wall. What really struck me was the smell. Even the best fake tans have a slight smell, but rather than the old-biscuit smell this is similar to a lovely lightly scented body lotion.  

The above is all well and good, but it all means nothing if the product doesn't do anything. Well, I'm happy to report that it works like a dream. After 2 applications (+ a long hot bath in between) my legs had a lovely sun-kissed tint. It gradually fades if you don't reapply after a couple of days, but even then it fades naturally, without leaving random tell-tale patches. Gradual Tans have never worked on me until now. My legs have been given some colour, and as an added bonus a lovely sheen too. For a natural-looking look, especially if you have a fair skin-tone like myself, this is definitely a product to try.  

I genuinely think is going to become a year-round staple for me and I'd really recommend anyone to try it if your looking for a subtle sun-kissed glow to get rid of the winter blues. It retails at around £20.43. For more information and to try it yourself click here.
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Monday, 9 December 2013

MAC Nail Lacquer in Mean & Green


As I was browsing the MAC website one day, this nail varnish shade instantly caught my eye. I'm a massive fan of duo-chrome. Its such an easy way to get showstopping nails, and is usually ten times easier to get rid of than glitter polishes.

Mean & Green is green (believe it or not) with yellow and pink tints depending on the angle and how the light catches it. What I love is that no two nails will be the same, yet it will always look impressive, and just different to the vast majority of shades. Its extremely versatile, this is a shade that will suit both the colder and warmer months, really making it a must have for your collection. As I said previously in my review of MAC's Girl Trouble, the soft-touch cap (the same as their foundation bottles) is really helpful when applying the polish, and the actual formula is easy to use, being opaque in 2 coats. Lasting time is around the 4-5 day mark.

All in all, this is a lovely addition to my collection, and one that will be a fail-back for whenever I need a quick fix. If you want to have a closer look, its £11 from MAC

What's you fall-back nail shade?

xoxo
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Friday, 6 December 2013

Specspost Sunglasses



Animalistic Sunglasses Pink Giraffe (*) - £14.99
Yes I am aware that this is December and we are more likely to get snow than scorching sun, but if your off on a winter break, or just need saving from the blinding sun you often get on clear mornings, this may be of some help! Before I pop into a review, I'd like to apologise for my makeup-free face and less than styled hair, I'm quite ill at the moment but I don't want to get behind on my schedule. As they say, the show must go on.

Recently I won a pair of these beauties from Megan at Student-stylexo and I honestly could not be more in love with them. They are the perfect frame as the size would suit virtually everyone. I really like the print too, its not as intimidating as you might first think, and actually channels this seasons pastel trend! What I love is that you can tailor your sunglasses to you needs, if you have a prescription, if you want a tint or transitional lenses. Not only that, but they post them out super speedy! What is not to love!

The value for your pennies is unbelievable, so if your looking for something new, know someone off on holiday soon or already looking for next summer I'd really recommend having a look at Specspost, particularly if you a prescription!  

xoxo
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Monday, 2 December 2013

ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum


ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum(*) - £48 for 30ml
I've really got into skincare over the last 6 months, especially serums. Although usually quite pricey their worth their weight in gold. I have honestly fallen in love with ESPA's serums. I've tried two now and they are both high up in my all-time favorites.

Optimal Skin ProSerum is EPSA's latest offering, combing the strength and efficiency of a super serum and a face treatment to strengthen the skin on a cellular level. Using 99.9% natural ingredients, it helps work with and activate the skins natural agents Collagen, Ceramide and Hyaluronic Acid to get instant gratification and long-term benefits. ESPA claim this helps to brighten and even skin tone, enhance elasticity and protect against environmental aggressors that can lead to premature ageing and I have to agree.

Sometimes serums can be a bit heavy on your skin as they are so concentrated with skin goodness (okay so I'm no dermatologist), but this is extremely lightweight. You could use this morning or night after you cleanse you skin but before you moisturise, but I tend to use it at night as that's when your skin repairs most efficiently. Using it for a month now I've seen a radical difference in my skin tone. On top of that, my skin has barely been effected by this sudden cold snap and the icy winds. Central heating is a massive player in drying out your skin too but my skins no where near dehydrated! Good old Sunflower Seed Extract. I can't comment on the anti-ageing aspects because that's for more of a long-term benefit but to name just a few of its magic ingredients, Rose Hip and Echium Oil, White Lupin Extract, and Patchouli Essential Oil, it cant do anything but keep any signs of aging at bay for a couple extra years at least!

Now I know £48 will make some people wince but you literally use 3 drops. A small vial has lasted me around 2 months so the full size will last you ages. Definitely value for money.

If you fancy getting your hands it its available on ESPA's website, at ESPA spas and salons worldwide, Liberty and selected Harvey Nichols stores.

What do you look for in your skincare? Any super ingredients or serums I should be looking for?

xoxo
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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nail Art November: Inspiration

I'm so surprised its the last Nail Art November. If you've missed any of the previous three, click here and you can have a catch up. The last in the series is how to get inspiration for nail art designs. You can buy lots of books, all you need to do is type in Nail Art to amazon, but why pay when you can get it for free on the internet? So here are some of my favorite blogs dedicated to nails.



Chelsea King is a US Nail Artist and has some amazing designs that I can only dream of creating myself on my own talons. From Marc Jacobs inspired looks to psychedelic swirls, its great to actually see intricate designs, and simplify it to your level.

Nailasaurus is a UK-based nail blog which is something of a rarity. This blog specialises in Nail Stamping, and I must admit the looks you can create through it are incredible. I particularly LOVE her waterfall manis. Definitely something I'll be trying out with my nail brushes.



If you want a mixture of nail art and shade swatches thrown in with more reviews on tools and kits, Brit Nails is your one-stop-blog. Ranging from simple (but amazingly pretty) to darn right works of art, Brit Nails has something for every level and is especially great if your from the UK and want to know about new releases.


Lastly One Nail To Rule Them All. Perfect if you want regular tutorials (Tuesdays) explained so simply that even I can follow them. Whether you prefer to go of pictures and step by step instructions or watch a YouTube demo, this is the place to  go if you want to learn on-trend nail art looks, ideal if your still getting your confidence with nail tools.

So there you go, nail art has never been so easy now you can follow step by step guides for the latest looks and tools. Have you got any favorite nail blogs or Youtubers?

xoxo

You still have a couple of days to enter my ASOS giveaway voucher. Click here to enter.
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Monday, 25 November 2013

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep

 photo 1903711b-746c-48a4-ae64-40849558bc45.jpg
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - £22
This is my fail-safe always-going-to-buy contour powder. It's not a specific contour powder, its a general face power, but if your pretty Casper-esque fair skinned like myself (NW13) then it is an amazing natural looking contour powder. 

Believe it or not, I actually stumbled upon this gem accidentally. As I've got older my skin has somehow become lighter(?!) and when I was clearing out old make up that I no longer used, I rediscovered this beauty. I do sometimes use this as a powder when I've put fake tan on, but its crazy to think that this was my go-to setting powder in winter, tanless! With my current skin tone, I really struggle to find a decent contour that looks natural. Sometimes bronzing powders are a bit too dirty and often have shimmer so are no good at all. This on the other hand is completely matte, and blends so beautifully to create a natural contour. No face stripes here ladies! Being primarily a face powder, there is a bit of fall out, and the packaging does get a bit grubby after a while, but its not chalky so the finish is silky smooth and create subtle definition. Also, because it is meant to be used as a face powder you get quite a lot of product meaning if you use it for contouring its going to last you ages!  With that in mind, even if your not as pale as me, it may be worth checking out the powder in a darker shade to use as a contouring powder as it really does work out cost effective when you compare it to other similar high end products.

What do you use for a natural contour?

xoxo
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Friday, 22 November 2013

Vintage V. Primark


Top necklace: Primark £5 |||  Bottom necklace: Vintage
Bit of a short Last week I had a little shopping spree and stumbled upon this beauty in Primark. It instantly reminded me of a vintage find I picked up a few years ago. It's beautiful, icing pink enamel leaves with little pink diamantes Sadly the chain on that vintage necklace is ridiculously short and I just feel like I'm choking. 

While I'm looking at trying to get it extended, this Primark £5 option looked like a perfect temporary replacement. So it doesn't have as much detailing and it clearly, however, teamed with a crisp white shirt and an over-sized grey coat it looks beautiful. I went off Primark a couple of years ago, but now I think they are going for strength to strength, especially their accessories department. If your near, I'd go an have a mooch, I could have honestly bought everything.

xoxo

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Nail Art November: Tools & Accessories


I honestly can't believe how fast this month is going! We'll be opening advent calendars in two weeks, how crazy! Today's Nail November is all about Tools and Accessories to help you create some beautiful nail art looks. After talking about easy ways to cheat nail art and nail art pens, its time to get a little more adventurous. 


Double ended dotting tools can be found on ebay for as little as £1.99 per set. They are perfect for getting perfect dots, playing around with different sizes. Their also ideal for starting the fancier nail art designs such as flowers. Once you've finished with them simply clean with nail varnish remover and your good to go again. However, the creme de la creme of my nail tools is this Topshop nail art set. For £10 you get a good range of brushes to create delicate designs as well as one double ended dotting tool! May I add that it is also bright pink, what more do you need!


Another ebay wonder, nail wheels are amazingly useful. Perfect for playing around with designs. I even have a couple of wheels full of all my polishes swatched and numbered so I can see all my shades making choosing easy (or hard). Rather than buy expensive kits for ombre nails I tend to rip off a section from a cheap kitchen sponge. There really cheap and you can just chuck them when you've finished. One sponge can do a lot of nails, so its the perfect budget option.



Now if your feeling really fancy you can play around with add-ons. I love using striping tape (another ebay find). Its quick and easy to do and looks so effective. I'm actually quite excited to do some candy cane nails this Christmas to help get into the festive spirit. Lastly are there nail art gems. You apply them to your nails once you've done your last coat and its still wet. Now I must admit, I'm finding these are bit tricky to use, but I'm sure like everything, practice makes perfect. Hopefully I'll be able to match my nails to statement necklaces soon!

What tools do you use on your nails when your feeling adventurous?

xoxo

For a chance of winning £20 to spend at ASOS in time for Christmas, click here.
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Monday, 18 November 2013

H. Gillerman Organics Pure Breathing Sinus Remedy

Sinus Remedy - £36
I was prepared this year. In September I bought this Sinus Remedy way back in September from Liberty's (click her to see the haul). It's pricey, but its worth it.

H. Gillerman Organics is a specialist in essential oil blends to help with a handful of issues. I picked up the Sinus Remedy as that's what I really suffer with year-round. There isn't a month that goes by when I don't suffer with some form of sniffle, and lets be honest its not the most attractive thing. It just slows your life down dramatically, and I personally haven't got time for that.

Although it sounds similar to Olbas Oil, its similarities end at it being an oil. Its recommend that you place a single drop of the Sinus Remedy in each nostril and the side of your neck 4/5 times a day. When it says a drop, it really does mean a tiny amount, and that's one thing you do have to be careful with. It smells a little bit like Olbas Oil, but nowhere near intense. I actually love that its not as intense as its not going to overpower you all day, you can wear it in public without everyone being overwhelmed. The speed in which this works is incredible. After 5 minutes of applying this you can breathe easily. It also really relaxes me, helping my breathing too. And that lasts for a good 2 and a half hours. 

This has honestly been my savior and although its expensive, it will last me forever. It works so fast the price tag is justified.

How do you survive colds and flu?

xoxo

For a chance of winning a £20 ASOS voucher, click here to enter my giveaway.
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Friday, 15 November 2013

Brand: Derma V10


I'm holding my hands up. Skin care wise, I am a french pharmacy, high end kind of girl. I'm a strong believer that if you invest in skincare, you will save in make-up. So when I got the opportunity to try some products from Derma V10 I was intrigued. I mean here is a brand that it right at the bottom of the price scale, that potentially could threaten my high end staples. To give it a fair shot I gave it a couple of months and the results are a bit of a surprise.

I'm sure I read that nose strips are bad for your skin but, if I'm honest the joy of seeing those black heads disappear will guarantee I buy them. Deep Cleansing Nose Strips(*) retail for £1 for a pack of 6 so make the perfect addition to your skincare regime but won't break the bank. They look nearly identical to the more expensive ones stocked in Boots and Superdrug but theirs a snag. They don't fit, they don't stick very well and they definitely don't do anything. I'm not sure if I have a really small nose(?!) but these seemed to be far too long, but nothing that simply trimming them wont solve. However, after this was solved I struggled to make them stick into the sides of my nose like the other ones. The material seemed far too rigid. Maybe this stopped it from working, but surely it should have worked where it stuck, yet it didn't. I didn't get any of the satisfaction I usually get and most importantly, did see any results. 

Next on my list was the Chocolate Body Butter(*) which retails for £1 again. Now this product is a different story! It rivals all my high end body butters and smells sooo much better. It honestly smells so chocolatey that my dog follows me round the house when I've just used it. Its really moisturizing and is absorbed super fast. We all know what a chore moisturizing is. This makes me want to use it. After I finished my high end body butters, I'll be bulk buying this. For £1 its a fraction of the price but does exactly the same job. I suggest you go and pick a few up now, especially for stocking fillers because they are amazing!

A pack of 25 Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes(*) for £0.45? Needless to say my expectations were low, however I was pleasantly surprised. For me these are what face wipes should be, not too moist, not to abrasive. Thanks to the Tea Tree they didn't break me out, and they do remove your make-up at skin level. I even think their better than Soap & Glory's, so these are definitely worth a try if you go through face wipes as fast as me. 

 I was really curious about the BB Cream (*) £1. For £1 I was a bit nervous. I'm usual quite hard to shade match as I'm deceivingly fair. At first I panicked. Its like a terracotta orange colour, but using a tiny amount and with careful blending its ok. I don't think it has the same coverage and imperfection-hiding properties as my favorite Gamier one, but for £1, it does an amazing job.

Lastly I've been testing out the Q10 Day Cream(*) and Night Cream(*) £1 each. Like I said at the start, I'm a skincare snob. My usual face cream costs around £20ish, so for £19 less, I was nervously excited. The texture is almost like a mousse, and of course a little goes a long way. Although I've not seen the benefits of my old face creams such as brightening, I haven't broke out and the Derma V10 creams have kept me hydrated through this drying winter weather.

I'd really recommend trying some products from Derma V10, especially if your on a budget.  Derma V10 is available from a range of places including Bodycare and Poundland. You can also get some products on Amazon but these are a little more expense.

Have you got any budget finds you've been impressed with?

xoxo

For a chance of winning £20 to spend at ASOS click here
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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Nail Art November: Pens


 Last week it was easy ways to get Nail Art, and today's is all about nail art pens. Now in some respects I find pens harder than tools (next weeks topic), but they are a lot more mess free, and less hassle when all you want to do is simple designs. 

There's two main types, the felt-tip like nibs like the Barry M versions (£4.99 each), and the more traditional nibs (mine are from a giant multi-pack from ebay).

I find that the Barry M are more user friendly. You have to pump the tip around 5 times to let the polish flow and then your free to use them exactly like a felt tip. Just make sure your nails are completely dry before hand otherwise it will drag your polish. They have a thicker nib than the traditional version so tend to work best with simple designs such as stripes, dots, crescent moons etc. The only issue I've had with these is the limited shade range, but I hope they will expand the range soon because they really are great to play around with. 

The traditional nibs on the other hand require more work. You have to squeeze the bottle to get product flowing which is always tricky when your trying to do a design at the same time. Because of this it is easy to squeeze too much and release too much polish. Rather than a dragging felt tip procedure these are more gliding. I never let the nib fully touch my nail, which is harder if you haven't got a steady hand. They also supply a tiny needle as you'll need to clean the nib as polish does dry and block it quite often. However, these kits do come in every shade imaginable and have the added bonus that the majority come with a normal nail brush in the lid so can be used as nail polish as well. I've found these to be best for more artistic designs such as blossom trees due to the more delicate nib size. 

Topped with your usual top coat, both of these will stay put for your base coats average wear-time, so it really is down to personal preference. Like I said, I tend to create neater looks from the Barry M versions, as I find the traditional pens a bit too fiddly. Unless you have a steady hand, things can get messy fast.

Which ones do you prefer? 

xoxo

My ASOS gift voucher giveaway is still running! Click here to enter.
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Monday, 11 November 2013

Blanx White Shock Toothpaste

Blanx White Shock Toothpaste - £4.99  (*)
I've never had the whitest teeth. I dont have problem teeth, I've never had a filling, but naturally my teeth will always be a little off-white. That's actually what puts me off about teeth whitening. I don't want them to look artificially white, I want them to look the whitest possible, but still be natural. 

When I heard about Blanx I was instantly intrigued. Its a toothpaste that helps to whiten your teeth to your own personal level of whiteness. As was explained to me, everyone has their own level of whiteness, and my shade wont be the same as someone else's. What's different about Blanx is that it has a little LED screw cap you place onto the top of the toothpaste which activates the ingredients. The active ingredients are then deposited on your teeth and remain active all-day, working towards whiter teeth. Not only that, but every time you smile and allow your teeth to be exposed to the light, the ingredients are re-activated. I know a lot of these toothpastes contain nasty things but this is safe for your gums as it doesn't even contain peroxide.

I have really sensitive teeth so changing toothpaste is bit scary for me. I don't to make them worse after all. However, this seems to be working just as good as a toothpaste specially for sensitive teeth, with the added bonus of whitening them. Oh and they are whitening them. Not dramatically, so don't expect a ping, but all the same its noticeable improving. Its also pain-free and quick. Its activated as you squeeze it out so no messing around in the morning either. Its just generally a fuss free, pain free way of getting whiter teeth, whats not to love! 

Once you've finished with the 50ml tube the comes with the LED light, dont throw the light away. Save it and just buy a 75ml without the light! 

I've already re-purchased mine and this will be my staple for the foreseeable future. If you fancy trying this before Christmas, you can get it from Feel Unique.

xoxo

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Friday, 8 November 2013

Lush Abombinaball




I know its a walking #bblogger cliche, but I love Lush. I've never actually met anyone who doesn't like Lush. Whenever I'm feeling below par, a bath time treat will always, without fail, cheer me up. When I saw this Christmas products which was exclusive online and in their Poole shop, I knew I had to snap it up.

Abombinaball is a large bath ballistic based on the Yeti or whatever you know "Big Foot" as. It has a fresh peppermint scent, with added vanilla to de-stress you and a hint orange to add depth. As you can see, once placed in water, you get an almost tie-dye effect with blue water with yellow swirls. These swirls eventually disappear, leaving behind bright blue water. It also produces the perfect amount of bubbles. Not too many, not a pathetic amount either, as Goldylocks would say, just right. Its also worth noting that whilst the solid product contains glitter, this is not transferred onto you or your bath, so there will be no re-enacting the snowy scenes from Twilight. Oh and while were talking about this bath bomb, will someone people tell me they see a face in the soap suds towards the right corner of the 2nd picture? I'm not going crazy right?

xoxo

P.S. Enter my giveaway to win £20 to spend at ASOS. Click here
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nail Art November: Easy Ways


Each week in November I'm going to do a post focused on Nail Art. I'm a complete Nail Art novice, and I've only recently got into it, but hopefully their will be some products and ideas that will interest everyone. Today's post is all about easy ways to dabble in nail art, maybe your rushed for time, or a complete beginner like me. 


We've all been there, you plan to do you nails but then something comes up and then you don't have enough time to let them fully dress, so they smudge. Its devastating, but their are alternatives when your short on time. I like to think of Kiss Nail Wraps(*) as ready-made nail art for busy/impatient people like myself. Coming in a range of designs, and simply stick onto clean nails. I advise cleaning your nails with nail varnish remover even if you haven't got any polish on them, just to remove any residue, and then drying them thoroughly beforehand. Applying nail wraps does take a bit of practice, but once you manage to apply them without creases your onto a winner. Don't worry about the wraps being too long, apply them, and then use a nail fail to gentle buff away the overhang. Obviously it depends what you do, but generally they last around 3 days. Another ready made alternative is Impress Manicures(*). Like nail wraps these come in a variety of designs, but rather than being a sticker, they are press-on acrylics. What I love about these is that they come in a range of lengths making them practical. However, if you have quite wide nails, these might not be for you as I know some people have had difficulty getting the nail to fit their nails. Each pack comes with some super strong stickers that you place on the acrylic nail, and on then on yours, however I would recommend pressing as hard as you can just to ensure they stay put. I was a bit worried about this making them a bit flimsy. I would say their week claim is a bit of a stretch. I'd say they last around 3 days max, and if your playing sport, a couple of hours (don't say I don't test things to the full). Saying that, if you need a quick fix before an event or night out, the lack of mess and speedy application (10 minutes for both hands!) will obviously appeal.


If you want to give nail art bit more of a go yourself, the next place to look is effects. If you new to nail art, I'd recommend trying MUA rather than buying a pricey Ciate. Now I'm going to have to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of nail effects that involve you adding things to your nails. The fur-effect is gives a soft velvet look and in theory would make a great accent nail, but will be ruined when you wash your hands or get them wet. The Nail Constellations are exactly the same as the high end version, but like the high end version are completely impractical. If you plan on moving your hand, your have no chance of keeping any of these little beads on your nail. I'm not sure why the vast majority of nail art effects are messy, or impractical, but they are easy to do and good fun if you need a certain look for an event.


Lastly some products that venture further into nail art. Both Nail Nail Tattoos(*) and Kiss Nail Accents(*) work in a similar way doing all the hard work for you. Once you've painted your nails, simply place your sticker(s) onto your nails and wahla instant nail art. One tip though is to try and get your layer of polish as smooth as possible and wait until it dries completely before applying the sticks. If you new to nail art, I'd start with these. They are ideal as they are mess free and last around 4-5 days.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know how you got on!

xoxo

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Monday, 4 November 2013

Jon Richard Poppy Ring

Poppy Ring - £8.40
Remembrance Day has always been a big thing for me, with my maternal Grandad being in WW2. He never talked about what he did which is a bit of shame as those memories are now lost, but I think there is probably a reason why he didn't talk about it; I proud no matter what. When I was little I was a Brownie, and then a Guide and actually carried the main Union Jack Flag in a Remembrance Day Service. Let me tell you, it is ridiculously huge and heavy, and like most things, looks a lot easier than it actually is.  

Despite this, I'm not a huge fan of the poppies that are commonly sold to raise money for the British Legion. Their flimsy, the get destroyed in the wind and rain (which is basically every day), the pin ruins my blouse/dress/coat and I always loose them. So when I saw that Jon Richard had designed a beautiful poppy ring in aid of the British Legion, I knew this was a way I could support the cause, remember my Grandad, and have something more permanent to show for it. The ring itself its beautiful. I was worried it may be a little gimmicky, but it is honestly so tasteful and makes a lovely statement ring against the darker colours this autumn. I really love how other brands are helping support Charities in general, like Breast Cancer Awareness (another charity very close to my heart). Giving people options on how to donate through products means that it fits into everyone's lifestyle and ultimately creates more long-term awareness. £3.60 from every ring goes to the British Legion so if you are keen to support Remembrance Day, I really recommend you pick one up. 

xoxo

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Friday, 1 November 2013

OOTD #1 - Oxblood Pinafore


Pussybow Shirt - ASOS; Oxblood Pinafore - ASOS; Handbag - Vintage.

My first OOTD and I decide to choose one of the windiest days to take pictures on and a pinafore that creases if you move so much as muscle. Good job Jess. However, the picture isn't dreadful (although my hair is very windswept) and I wanted to keep up with my blogging schedule so the show must go on. I also didn't intend to end up with an entire ASOS outfit, but saying that I do own a lot from ASOS so if it was going to happen in an OOTD, this would be the one it happened in.

A large proportion of my A/W wardrobe contains oxblood. If you asked me to say one colour that reminds me of autumn, it would spurt from my mouth seconds later. I really love putting mustard with it, giving such a lovely vintage feel. I feel like I'm back at primary school again wearing a pinafore, but it so versatile! The print on the blouse keeps it fun and I love how the bow breaks up the block colour of my pinafore. I was a little worried about the bag and the shirt looking too matchy matchy, but once I put them together they are clearly different shades of mustard so that is completely avoided.

OOTD's were very highly requested, so I really hope you enjoy them. I'm going to try and do them more often.

xoxo

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Wicked: The Musical



On Saturday, my parents and I went along to see Wicked at Manchester Palace Theatre for my mum's birthday. I read the novels around 5 years ago now and adored them so much I've been going on and on about seeing the musical. So much so my family gave in. We were originally planning on seeing it in London for my birthday, but with my 21st and graduation being so close together, and then finding out it was coming up to Manchester, it seemed pretty pointless.

Anyway back to the musical. Go and see it. Review done. I kid, but it pretty much is that simple. My Dad's not a massive musical fan but he was obsessed with it. For those of you who have no idea what Wicked about, its basically the life story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, and you get to see everything from her point of view. Its so cleverly done, and linked in perfectly with the Wizard of Oz! The settings are simply amazing, like something out of a film, and the singing is unbelievable. Defying Gravity made me cry, which is turning into a bit of a habit for me at musicals. I'm an emotional wreck. The script was perfect. It was the perfect balance of funny, and serious and 2 hours whizzed by. When I say funny too, I don't mean that corny funniness you often get, this wasn't force, it was dry and witty, making you pay the musical full attention. If you have young children that get spooked quite easily, some parts may freak them out. The flying monkeys look like extras from Lord of the Rings, no fluffy little lemurs here. But its not overly scary, more PG level. 

The entire story line made me really think how you just accept what the majority believe to be right, because after all that many people can't be wrong. It really re-enforced my belief that there's 3 version of the truth; theirs, yours and somewhere in the middle, what actually happened. 

Apologies for the ramblings of the review but if your looking for something to do for a group with different interests, this may be the perfect middle ground. I'm now on the search for people who haven't seen it/want to see it again. I've downloaded the soundtrack already and am happily singing along. I can safely say I've caught the Wicked bug and have a feeling this musical will become a Modern Classic, 

xoxo

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Friday, 25 October 2013

& Other Stories Nail Colour in Damask Rose


Damask Rose - £5
When I popped down to London in early June, I made a beeline for & Other Stories to see if its beauty products lived up to the blogger hype surrounding the store. You can order the full beauty range from the website but shipping is quite pricey and if I'm not familiar with a brand, I like to buy in person so I can judge the quality and reliability of the shade representation on the internet. In addition to other items, I picked up one of their bottles of nail varnish in Damask Rose.

I really like the packaging. The chunky glass bottle white a white top fits in really well with the stores branding and is quite distinctive when its placed in my varnish collection. I absolutely adore the brush. It's possibly the best brush I have ever used, and is perfect if like me your a bit clumsy,  find painting your nails neatly a bit of a chore and don't want to faf around. Its a lovely flat, finish brush and helps you get the perfect finish every time. The shade is beautiful, a warm shimmering copper. I think the image on the internet is a bit pinker than it is actually, but its definitely akin to rose gold. The quality of the polish is amazing. After one coat it was pretty much opaque, and I only applied another just to satisfy my perfectionist ways. Wear wise its around the 5 day mark which I think everyone would be pretty satisfied with for a £5 price tag. Although the shade selection is a bit limited, they are all such lovely wearable choices, and it did take me a while to decide on one.

I am so so impressed with & Other Stories beauty products so far. They have definitely earned the blogger hype. I just hope they open another store, hopefully up north so I can indulge a bit more!

Have you tried anything from the brand?

xoxo
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