Monday, 29 April 2013

Monthly Mash Up #4



This month has been one stress-infused blur. I've handed in my Dissertation (woohoo), my Health Care Law essay (double woohoo), and sat two out of four of my exams (quadruple woohoo). I've still got a lot of revision to do for the last two, but there is light. Ohh and fingers crossed, touch wood and all the malarky I graduate on the 11th July, which is perfect because it means my graduation isn't mushed in with my 21st like I was dreading, and gives me a nice week gap. I'm excited to be able to spend days doing posts and really improving things so watch out. For those of you asking about my life-savers from This Works, I have blogged about them way back so hopefully this will give you an idea about them (review). They have expanded their range so other products may suit you better, but they all work/smell roughly the same from my experience.

I don't know about you lot, but when I'm stressed I shop. As in a ridiculous amount. As in the world is going to end so I need to buy everything I've ever wanted. Now before people gasp at the instagram evidence and think I didn't realise law students were so well off, we're not. Right at the start of the month I went to the #northmeetup (click here for the unbagging), and came home with so many amazing products to have a play with. Then E.L.F had a very well timed 50% off sale so I went a little mad (but shockingly that only came to £20!). Over Easter weekend, my mum bought me two MAC lipsticks in the Debenhams sale (thanks mummy.) and I picked up two amazing bargains on ebay for my camera.  Lime Crime is a brand I have been lusting after forever, and have never been able to find Velvetines online. When I happened to come across it, I wasn't going to think twice. I even got a free nail varnish! Somehow I then won a Rimmel Nearly Naked Foundation, and a limited-edition print which will be going proudly on my wall when I decorate my room this summer. I then got incredibly spoiled again. We are renovating the house and I've had to get rid of a load of books. I am a massive book worm, always have been, but also a hoarder. As a compromise my parents surprised me with a Kindel Paper White! My mum then treated me to a MAC make up lesson for handing in my dissertation, and I picked up the new MAC Mineralize lipstick which was such an amazing pick me up. I swear I'm being bribed through the whole assessment period because I don't usually get treated to so much! Phew. So all in all, although I got a lot, I didn't spend THAT much.

Comfort food is a big player for anyone when its exam season. I had my first crisp sandwich btw. Ahh-MAHH-ZING! What have I been missing for the last 20 years! I also went out for a lovely meal with the parents to celebrate being half way through what I have started to affectionately call, the month from hell (basically PMS for a month, not a week. I'm lovely ;)). The pub round the corner from me, Applewood Farm, has this unbelievably dessert selection with cake-away and shake-away to go which you can just pop in and order! Needless to say my sugar cravings were satisfied.

Oh and the random picture of my dog? It was his 11th Birthday on April 7th. Yes I am one of those pet owners.

P.S. If you havn't entered my giveaway to get your paws on the heavily hyped OCC Lip tar then WHY? Its amazing! click here to enter.
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Friday, 26 April 2013

Lola by Marc Jacobs


Lola eau de parfum 50ml - £42.30
I'm a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to perfume. All through my teens I loyally bought Lacoste Touch of Pink. Currently I'm a bit of a Vera Wang Princess faithful but I am pushing myself to try new ones because I read some amazing reviews and feel like I'm missing out.

Now, I'm not going to lie, the packaging won me over on Lola before I'd even smelt it. I really want to start collecting perfume bottles, I just think there is something so elegant and glamours about them. I know the top is supposed to be like bouquet  but this bottle really reminds me of those big floppy hates from the 70's, anyone else? I am really rubbish at describing fragrances, but I do know I love the smell of vanilla and like fruity floral scents. As this has fruity top notes, floral middle notes and base notes including vanilla, it was always going to be a bit of a winner. Its quite sweet but not overpowering and girly. I actually think this suits in between seasons, like February-March and September-October, because its fruity but still warm. Over all I really like this, I'd recommend it, but its not a favorite and I don't know if I'd opt for it rather than trying a new one.

Have you got any perfume suggestions you think I'd like?

Lola is available from most places that sell perfume, at the time of writing this post the 50ml is £42.30 at Debenhams and a smaller 30ml at £33.30, but I don't know how this compares to other retailers.

P.S. You can still enter my giveaway to win an OCC Lip Tar! Click here to enter.
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Monday, 22 April 2013

4head

4head - £3.96
If you read some of my earlier posts from last year, you will know I suffer from quite a few neurological issues. I had a pituatory gland tumour, and as a result suffer from raised hormone levels which still cause me some intense migraine's. I literally could not move with pain in my head. I suffered from nausea, I was dizzy, lying down didn't help, the slightest sound caused me to be in agony, and that's before we get onto the emotional effects of not being able to see friends and falling behind at uni. I can honestly say it ruined my life for that period of time. Luckily I'm nowhere near as debilitated as I was last year, and am now on medication for life to make sure I never have to be in that much pain. Before I had my treatment plan sorted I had to rely on over the counter stuff, and still do now when I have a bad attack. On my twitter timeline I've noticed a lot of people taking about having migraines,  particularly stress related ones, so I thought I'd share my views on this life saver.

This had no effect on me last year, but now my migraines are a 'normal' level of pain thanks to tablets, this is my miracle and I will not be without it. 4head is a tiny stick, quite similar to a blush stick. Its clear and completely transparent on application, and slightly moist like a balm. It comes with a little cap, which helps stopping it dry out, and prolong its life (about a year in my experience). Application wise, when you have a migraine or headache, simply swipe it across your forehead once, and a lovely cooling effect takes place. It usually takes about 20 minutes for me to get the benefit of it soothing my headache. This is like those cool strips, but an invisible balm version, perfect for chucking in your bag and using in public. Once applied, it last a couple of hours until you need another swipe, but unlike tablets you can swipe as much as you want. Today is my deadline for my dissertation, an essay, and the beginning of 5 weeks of exams. Without this, my stress-induced migraines would ruin revision. I really recommend this to anyone who suffers from headaches, especially at this critical time for students. 

4head is £3.96 from Boots, and is also available at most pharmacies and supermarkets.

P.S. I'm holding a giveaway to win 2 OCC Lip Tars! Click here to enter!
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Friday, 19 April 2013

Nars The Happening Palette





The Happening Palette - £45
As first Nars purchase goes, this was quite a smart one. For £45 you get the heavily hyped Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer in addition to four complementary eye shadows in one sleek palette, perfect for travelling.

I have basically ignored Orgasm and Laguna because, being honest, everyone has reviewed these shades and I certainly could not do them anymore justice. However, for those of you who are completely new to Nars, Orgasm is a subtle peachy pink shimmer and Laguna a soft bronzer, both perfect for nearly every skin tone. I've never been too taken with Orgasm, and still not WOW'ed to the extent of the blogger hype it has. If  I pay that much for a product, I like it to be really pigmented, but on me I need a lot of product for it to show. However, I've always used bad brushes, and not yet tried it with my Illamasqua Blush Up brush so maybe I'll understand the love. Also, when it comes to products that I know I will have to repurchase sooner or later, I try and stick within my limits (which is sensible). I've always been scared of falling in love with Nars, knowing full well that if I make  Orgasm or Laguna my everyday go-to's, I'll be bankrupt. Needless to say I will be sticking to my Sleek Rose Gold and only using these one special occasions, for now.

Eye Shadow wise, the shade selection is perfect for my light blue eyes. Night Star (top left) is the perfect highlight for me, 'a sheer peach with gold pearl'. The swatch is very similar to my skin tone but leave a nice shimmer (NW25 in MAC). For a night smokey eye I use Gstaad (top right) as my base color, a 'shimmering  taupe' with Kuala Lumpar (bottom left) in my crease, an extremely deep cranberry with gold hints. To add more intensity I use Coconut Grove, a deep brown with 'golden shimmer' as an accent color blended in to the corner of my eye and just below my bottom lash line. These shades are so versatile  and really do help to make this an essential travelling palette. Quality wise, they are high, yet not as high as I was expecting. I've heard NARS eye shadows can be a bit hit and miss with their formula, and while these blend easily and are pigmented, I'm still a MAC loyalist (Inglot get a shop up North!).

Overall I'm really pleased with my first Nars purchase. I  got it with a 25% ASOS discount, so it was definitely worth it. This will be one of my travel essential and a must if I have to rush out after a lecture.

The Happening Palette is £45 from Nars

Have you tried this palette? Any recommendations for me to try next?

You still have time to enter my giveaway to win an OCC Lip Tar! Click here
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Monday, 15 April 2013

Fitness 13: Outfits

In any situation I always feel better when I look my best. I will feel more energetic and put far more effort in if I put some extra thought into my appearance, so it makes sense to transfer this logic to the gym. Admittedly you are getting dressed to sweat, but you might as well look your best while you do it!
Sweaty Betty



I wish I could afford an entire gym wardrobe from Sweaty Betty. From running to relaxing, the brand covers all the essentials with the best fabrics to ensure you can be comfortable and confident while your pushing yourself to the limit.
JD Sports



In my quest to look stylish on a student budget  I've had a mooch around the high street to try and spruce up my gym wardrobe, giving me some extra motivation. So these are my top picks. I'm so impressed with the Nike offerings at JD Sports. Not only are they very affordable, sometimes over 50% less than the price of Sweaty Betty, they remain stylish. I know where I'll be spending my pennies ...

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway and have a chance of winning the hyped OCC Lip Tar! Click here
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Friday, 12 April 2013

Soap & Glory: Sugar Crush Body Scrub

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub - £8

I've tried a lot of body scrubs, and Soap & Glory's Breakfast Scrub was my favorite; was being the key word. This has taken over from that. Not only is it £1.50 less for the same amount, it smells amazing.

The way I'd describe this is Breakfast Scrub with an added citrus scent, but that doesn't help you if your not familiar with my old favorite. The actual product is very granular,  thick in consistency.  Although I know this is a rubbish explanation, its quite gritty if that makes any sense? It doesn't hurt obviously but you can really feel it exfoliating without being too severe. The scent is absolutely amazing. Like I said, its very citrusy, with lime oil being one of the ingredients. Its a great one to use in the morning actually because it really wakes you up. You only need a small amount too to get the full benefit of the exfoliating properties so a tub should last a good few weeks if you use it every day. Overall I've really been enjoying using this, and will definitely repurchase when I need a new body scrub, the scent alone is worth the price.

Available from Boots for £8.

What's your favorite scrub?

P.S. Win one of two OCC Lip Tars. Click here to enter!
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Monday, 8 April 2013

#northmeetup

Yesterday I have the complete pleasure of attending Em Sheldon's Northern Meet Up in Manchester Deansgate Locks Revolution. I'm very lucky, I get invited to so many events, but they all do seem to be in London. Being northern based and a student, I can't afford to travel down every time. The success of yesterday hopefully will make brands stop and think again about holding events up here. There is demand!

 Ever so prepared, I charged up my camera batteries, and thought I'd spend some time in the morning scheduling posts for the next month when I have my finals. I only went and forgot my memory card after transferring photos from my reader. So then I thought about my iPhone, I mean, it will do in the worst case scenario. But oh no, it was really dark. So my only photos are of goody bags. The obvious disclaimer is coming. I am in no way bragging about what I was very fortunate to receive from the event, and as ever I am very grateful. The only reason I'm showing pictures is because these are purely the only images of the brands representation I have through my mis-hap, and I feel they deserve something after the effort they put in.



Despite this lack of photographic evidence, it was absolutely amazing. It felt so professional, and luxurious. It was the perfect girly day with cocktails on 2 for 1( I had two Strawberry Woo Woo's (a new favorite)). We had talks from Glam Glow, which I have been desperate to try, and Xen-Tan, which I've heard rave reviews of. The lovely Natalie even helped me get over my tan fear and I have now invested in a full size Xen-Tan for nights out. There was also talks from Arbonne, which I am so excited to try after being told Vogue called it "beauty's best kept secret"! Anna Semonin, Blanx, Neal & Wolf and So In Fashion were also there, keeping up to date with new products on the market. One of the stand outs for me was Ilah Brows. I've recently had a major brow disaster, as in someone waxed half my brows off. I wish I was joking. Worst thing is I paid for this to happen! This kit is a miracle in a box, and the ladies worked magic on my brows. I'm sure a full review will be coming soon, but you need to check them out.





All through the day there were competitions, where we could choose our own prize from a bar full of products, ranging from Murad to Make Believe! I was so luckily to win, and chose the Murad Pore Perfection set, never trying the brand before. Very excited to test this out, especially as I have a daily battle with my pores.



Lastly, before I went I was handed a handful of goodie bags put together by Em! WOW sums it up pretty well. I started making a list of all the products but I soon got overwhelmed. Brands included in the bag include Elemis, Dr Hauschka, Skinetica, Bert's Bees, Batiste, Champneys, Impress, Xen-Tan, Glam Glow and so much more! I feel completely spoilt rotten and it just finished of the most perfect Sunday ever.



I'd like to just say a massive thank you to Em Sheldon for organising and hosting the event. She is the most lovely girl and such an amazing hostess, running around making sure no one was on their own and everyone was having fun. If you don't know her, please go and look at Em's blog. Its award winning and I'm not going to lie, I'm very jealous. She's my new blogger girl crush.

P.S. If you fancy getting a freebie of your own, enter my giveaway to win one of two OCC Lip Tar's. Click here to enter!
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Thursday, 4 April 2013

OCC Lip Tar Giveaway - CLOSED

Hey everyone,

So as the title suggests I'm doing a giveaway. There's a lot of things happening over the next couple of months and I thought as a celebration and thank you I'd do a giveaway.

Firstly I hope everyone sticks with me while I go down to two posts a week. I'm currently trying to get ready for my university finals, so I'm having to cut back a bit. I've scheduled posts but only for two a week. So if you do stick with me, thank you.  Secondly its The Crown Wings 1st Birthday soon. Thank You so much to everyone who has read/followed this blog. It does mean the world to me. This time last year I was thinking if I'd still be blogging a year on, and now I couldn't imagine not. The actual giveaway finishes on its birthday! Thirdly, I turn 21! I'm already very excited about this birthday, and its in July! Lastly, of course I hopefully graduate from university with my law degree. I'm doing this giveaway early because as you can see the next couple of months are hectic, and this seems the best time.




So now you know my reasoning behind the giveaway, I'll tell you what you can win. There's two prizes up for grabs, for two separate people. Each person will win a Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in NSFW, with a mini lip brush. This is described as a true balanced red, and I chose it because I think its the most universally appealing, will suit everyone and you can never go wrong with a red lip. At the moment OCC is very hyped up in the blog world, so I hope you all like my choice and two of you will enjoy the prize.

Now for a few T&C; - UK residents only. I will check your entries and discount any false ones. Winners have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail, if I don't get any response I will choose another. I will keep proof of postage and am not responsible for loss/damage during postage.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, 1 April 2013

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush


Blush Up Brush - £28.50

I've really become obsessed with make-up brushes lately. Gone are the days when I'd just use my fingers (or those rubbish free applicators) and hope for the best. I'd like to think I've built up rather a nice collection, a few MAC, a few Real Techniques, a few ELF. The newest addition to my  collection is the Illamasqua Blush Up Brush.

Illamasqua have sort of revolutionized how blush is applied with this new brush and I must admit, I'm kind of smitten with it. The brush is designed to fit just under your cheek bone, perfect for contouring. Simply sweep the brush in your favorite powder blush and stroke the brush in an angled upwards motion towards your hairline. Now I've finally got the hang of it I'm starting to play around with it. I really like the look it creates when you place more pressure on the apples of your cheek, and slowly release the pressure as you brush towards the hairline. Its such a natural and subtle look. I've found it quite easy to master, but I know some people have struggled. I'd suggest maybe popping to a counter and asking for a demonstration if your not sure, that way you can learn from the professionals.

Now onto the price. Yes its pricey at just under £30, but it is worth it in my opinion (and far from the most expensive brush I've seen). Of course its nice and soft, and has no shedding, you expect that from a high end brush. The main thing is how simple and quick it makes applying powder blush. Every time its perfect, no matter how little time I have, and for that I really hope this becomes part of the main collection.

You can get this from the Illamasqua website for £28.50 or at a counter.
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