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?


You still have a couple of days to enter my ASOS giveaway voucher. Click here to enter.

Monday, 25 November 2013

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep

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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?


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.


You still have a chance to win £20 for ASOS. Click here to enter.

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?


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

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?


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

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?


For a chance of winning £20 to spend at ASOS click here

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? 


My ASOS gift voucher giveaway is still running! Click here to enter.

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.


Have you entered my giveaway for a chance to win £20 for ASOS? Click here to enter!

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?


P.S. Enter my giveaway to win £20 to spend at ASOS. Click here

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!


I'm holding a ASOS Gift Voucher giveaway! Enter here.

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. 


If you haven't entered my international ASOS gift voucher giveaway (bit of a mouthful) then click here and enter now!

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.


£20 Gift Voucher for ASOS? Yes Please! Click here to enter my giveaway
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