30 June 2012

Weekend Post: The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art

One of my very good friends, who obviously knows me very well, got me this amazing nail art book for my birthday. It's called The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art, by Sharmadean Reid. Sharmadean is the founder of Wah Nails and opened her first nail salon in Dalston in 2009 which has gone from strength to strength ever since. I've never really been that much into really technical and difficult-looking nail art because I've never had the right tools to get it right. However, after receiving this I think I might have to go out and get me some nail art pens! I do, however, own a white with a fine brush that seemed perfect for recreating one of the looks, which I shall show you in Monday's Make-up post. For now though I wanted to just show you the book and a few of the looks in it because it has really inspired me to try and recreate some of them. It can be easy to get stuck in a nail rut and just paint you nails one flat colour (don't get me wrong, I do love a clean and simple nail) but sometimes it is nice to jazz things up a bit, and with a book such as this it breaks nail art down into simple steps so that you can give them a go at home! It definitely takes a bit of practice before you get it right, but that's all part of the fun! This book is perfect for flicking through and you're bound to come away inspired and ready to make your nails look fabulous. The pictures and illustrations in the book are really cool - it even comes with a 'Design Your Own' page and a page of stickers at the back; what more could a girl want!

Hope you're all having a great weekend and go out there and get inspired to do something different with your nails! Be sure to let me know if you've got some wonderful and wacky nail art designs going on, I'd love to see them! Bye for now and speak soon! 

29 June 2012

Friday Fashion: Summer Wedges

Good Morning :) I am on the hunt for the perfect pair of wedges for those long summer days (ha). I want something that's not too high, with a strap around the ankle so they stay on, and in a colour that goes with a lot of different outfits. I'm also looking for something under the £50 mark because my bank balance will scream at me if I even look at anything more. I don't think that's too much to ask and I have seen a few around but the pair I did have my eye on from Next appear to have sold out, which saddens me greatly (but I have included them in this anyway, I don't know why I do this to myself). However, if I can't have those then I'm going to have to pick one out of the bunch I've put together here, or wait until I come across something else that tickles my pickle. I would to get them before I go away next Wednesday though, so time is of the essence! Let me know which ones you like and you might sway my decision!

Tan Plaited Wedges £19.99 New Look
Dune 'Gunner' Colour Block Wedges £49 (Sale) ASOS
Dune 'Gabbi D' Raffia Wedge £65 (over budget, I know) House Of Fraser
White Peep Toe Wedges £40 River Island
Dune 'Nevana' Elastic Espadrille Wedge £33 (Sale) Dune
Geisha Black Wedge Sandals £26 Next

I hope you're all having a great Friday and you weren't blown away by the ridiculous weather we had in the UK yesterday! There were trees struck down by lightening and flooding in the staff room where I was! Oh and we had the Olympic torch through our town yesterday which I'm sure was a great thing to see and be a part of, I however, did not as I was hard at work (of course)! Anyway, hope you're well and I shall speak to you soon!

28 June 2012

Wednesday Review: Bahoma Candle 'Vineyard'

A bit of a different review for you today, featuring a candle I have been absolutely loving recently. It is from a company called Bahoma and is the Vineyard Round Candle. It's probably not the best time of year for me to be burning a candle such as this because the fragrance is definitely quite spicy and rich, but I do like to go against the norm now and again ;) I'm not as massively into candles as I know a lot of other beauty bloggers are, to be honest I always just forget to light them, but a few times a week I will remember and at the moment this is the candle I have been reaching for.

First things first, this candle has a strong smell even when it's not burning. As soon as I unwrapped it from its plastic packaging my room was filled with the scent, so this is not for those that like a subtle fragrance in their homes. Secondly, I am very impressed at the quality of this candle. I would say that I have burnt it for a total of about 8 hours now and it has burnt evenly and smoothly (if that makes sense). The actual wax feels (is it a bit strange to feel the wax?) kind of soft and creamy (this isn't making sense but I'm just trying to convey that I think that's what makes a nice candle!) and the deep purple colour looks beautiful on my desk. I have countless half burned candles around my room, but only this and one other one have made it onto my desk, which is the only place where they are guaranteed to get a look in. This candle has a burn time of 75 hours and is handmade in England.

This vineyard candle is £25.95 on the website, but I very kindly recieved mine as a birthday present from of my best friends! This is the first candle I've tried from their range but so far I would say that I really recommend them. Obviously I don't know what their other scents are going to be like and whether or not they will be as strong as this one, but the overall impression I get is that they make a bloomin' good candle. So there! I hope you're all doing fantastically well and apologies for this slightly late Wednesday Review (on a Thursday. Doh.) 

25 June 2012

Make-Up Monday: Weekly Beauty Essentials

Something a bit different for my Make-up Monday post today. Just thought I'd show you a few items that are my absolute must haves every week.

First up, the Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask which I did a full review of here. I love using face masks and use one at least once a week and at the moment this is by far my favourite. Next up the Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish. I absolutely love a good microdermabrasion scrub, I think there is nothing better to make your skin glow and feel deliciously smooth ad as if you've just walked out of a fabulous beauty spa. Now I know not everyone is a big fan of scrubs for the face, and I don't advocate using them too much, but I think on a weekly basis a good scrub can do wonders. I do have a Clarisonic which I use most nights, but on the day I use this scrub I obviously pass on the Clarisonic step. I first discovered microdermasion scrubs when I got a sample of a Dermalogica one in a GlossyBox a while ago and had been meaning to try out some others for ages. I picked this one up in Boots about a month and a half ago and would highly recommend it. 

My third weekly essential is a good fake tan. What I tend to do is use fake tan once a week and then the rest of the time I will use a gradual tan to keep it topped up. A fake tan that I would recommend is the one pictured, the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Gel. This sinks in like an absolute dream and doesn't leave you feeling sticky. It does have a bit of a fake tan smell, but I personally don't mind that. I find that the colour lasts reasonably well, especially if you moisturise regularly and exfoliate before applying it. This one is also suitable for the face and it has never caused me any problems in terms of breakouts or clogged pores.

Number four on the weekely essentials list is a hair mask. At the moment I am using (or trying to use up, more to the point) the Tresemme Split Remedy mask, which I purchased when I was going through my hair experiment to try and rescue it. This mask is alright, I haven't noticed great things from it, it makes my hair a bit smoother and less tangly when I use it but I wouldn't recommend it above any other hair mask on the high street. I am definitely looking in to trying out some more high end masks in the future because I've not yet found one that I really love. 

The fifth product is a brush cleanser. Now, I do know that you're supposed to wash your brushes every time you use them, but to be honest I just don't have the time or energy. I know there are people out there that are fastidious when it comes to brush cleaning and I do admire them, but personally I feel that once a week is enough! I'm only using them on my own face, it's not as if I'm doing other people's make up with them, and I very rarely have any active breakouts so for me, once a week is fine. I use the MAC Brush Cleanser which I would highly recommend, I feel like it does a really thorough job and claims to condition brushes as it cleans. 

The last two products are a cuticle remover and a pair of tweezers. It's recommended on the back of the cuticle remover to use it once a week, so that's exactly what I do. I use the one from the Boots Salon range, as recommended by Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and find that it works very well indeed. The tweezers I use are the Tweezerman 'Petite Tweeze' ones which I've had for years. I find that a once a week eyebrow up-keep routine works fine for me, just to get out any stray hairs and keep them looking how I want them to. 

So there we have it, a little insight to my weekly essentials and beauty routine, I hope you found it interesting! I'm sure I've probably missed something really important out but these are the main things I could think of. If you have any additions I would love to hear them so leave me a comment below :)! I hope you're all having a great day and I shall talk to you again soon! 

24 June 2012

Weekend Post: A day out to Chatsworth!

In keeping with my newly devised posting schedule, this weekend's post is going to be about something a little bit different. Myself and three friends went for a day out on Wednesday to the beautiful Chatsworth house and I thought I'd share a few pics that I took from there. I have to say that if you're looking for any days out these summer then I would highly recommend going here. It's in Derbyshire and even the drive there, through the lovely little villages and winding roads, was pleasant. It did help that we went on a particularly warm and sunny day, but I'm sure even if the weather wasn't quite so nice, then the grandeur and beauty of the house and gardens would make up for it. It costs £18 for a full ticket (that includes house, gardens, farmyard, adventure play area thing) and was well worth it. You did have to pay £3 for parking as well which I thought was a bit cheeky, but hey-ho, we weren't exactly going to turn around and go back home after driving there! There is quite a lot of walking to be done around the gardens, so be sure to wear good shoes haha, I decided to wear new shoes and came away with rather sore feet, so you have been warned! 
Have any of you been to Chatsworth? Let me know! Also, I'm wearing my new Zara floral printed trousers in the picture below, I am in love with them (you can't really see them in their full glory in the picture but they are perfect for these summery spells we're having!). It says on the website 'Satin Trousers' which is strange because they're made of cotton and elastane, but hey ho. I'm not a massive fan of the way Zara trousers fit on me, but I couldn't resist picking these up anyway because I'd been wanting some printed trousers for a while and I was willing to put up with it! Anyway, that's it for today, I hope you're all doing very well and having a good weekend!

Speak again soon! 

22 June 2012

Friday Fashion - Topshop Treats!

As with most other fashion and beauty bloggers (and the rest of the public in general) I am a huge fan of the fashion that Topshop has to offer, and something that I find myself doing far too often is trawling through their website looking at things that I love but just Should.Not.Buy. Everyone loves a bit of (theoretical) window shopping though, yes? Thought so! With that in mind, here are a few pieces I've found that are sure to get your fashionable hearts racing, enjoy!

Deer PrintDip-dyeEarth Printed

Poppy PrintPink SpeckledPeplum Frill

SunglassesRingCollar Necklace

Thanks for reading, I hope some of the pieces were to your liking :) Hope you have a great Friday and are looking forward to a wonderful weekend. Au revoir for now and speak again soon!

20 June 2012

Wednesday Review - Origins 'Brightening Musts'

Aloha! I hope you're all well and have been enjoying the sunshine we've been having in the UK today. I went on a lovely day trip with some friends today, something I'll talk about a little more in my weekend post! Anyway, as mentioned in a previous post, it was my birthday not too long ago and one of the presents I was given by my wonderful parents was this little trio of beauty delights. I'd been wanting to give the Origins VitaZing a go for a long time, as well as the GinZing eye cream, so was delighted to see that they were available (limited edition for the summer I believe) in a package deal. You get a full size VitaZing, a travel size (but very generous) GinZing and a travel size Modern Friction exfoliator. For those of you who don't know VitaZing is an 'energy-boosting' moisturises with a tint of colour in, great for slightly even-ing out the skin-tone and providing a glow to your complexion, worn either alone or underneath your foundation. Ginzing eye cream is a brightening eye cream which reduces puffiness and brightens up the eye area and Modern Friction is a gentle dermabrasion scrub.

I'd heard on the grapevine that VitaZing was actually better than the Estee Lauder Daywear and as I now own both I thought I'd give you my opinion on the matter. They both mention this whole 'Sheer tint release' thing, which basically means it comes out a kind of greyish white colour and then blends in to your natural skin colour. Now, I do love the Estee Lauder Daywear and I definitely prefer the scent of that to the Origins, however, on the whole (and I didn't think I'd say this) I do actually prefer the VitaZing. A common problem with the Daywear is that it can easily look a bit too orangey and leaves you very glowy. Now I'm all for a nice dewy complexion, but this (on me especially who has quite oily skin) was just a bit too much. I find the VitaZing to be a lot easier to blend in, not orangey at all, and much less shiny in comparison. I still use both but do definitely find VitaZing a lot easier to wear. 

GinZing eye cream claims to refresh and brighten and was something that I'd heard a lot about before actually getting it, and so far I am really pleased that I've had the opportunity to try it. I've never had an eye cream that I go back to or use on a regular basis because I haven't found one that's particularly effective, but this really does what it says on the tin. It has a kind of sheeny, pink look to it which you can actually see brightening your eyes as you apply it. I only use this in the mornings as an eye refresher but have found that not only does it do that, but it also makes my under-eye concealer go on smoother and has reduced any potential concealer-sitting-in-fine-line cases (I do have to watch out for these things now that I'm 22 and OLD).

Finally, I have found the Modern Friction dermabrasion scrub to be very nice to use and effective at making your skin feel soft and smooth, however at £30 for a full size I don't think I'd repurchase it simply because there are many dermabrasion scrubs out there which cost a lot less and, in my opnion, work just as well as this. In fact I bought one from the Boots Botanics range about a month ago which I have been testing out and I really do like. I'll probably do a full review of that sometime soon, but at the moment it is doing a perfectly good job.

There we have it, a little round up of three much talked about beauty products, all of which I do really like but probably only two I would think about re-purchasing. If you do see the 'Brightening Musts' collection available near you I would recommend picking it up, it cost £26 which is the same price as the VitaZing on its own, so well worth investing in. I hope you enjoyed this post, do let me know what you thought if you've tried any of these products, and I hope you like my new post schedule! I'll be sure to get some more nail posts in there as well because I love doing them and I hope you like seeing and reading about them. Speak soon and have a good evening!

18 June 2012

Make-up Monday No.7 Blush Candy Pink

Hello again! I hope you're all well and have had good weekends. I wanted to let you know about a little plan that I have made for my blog. I am well aware that my posts have been a bit sporadic and random over the last few weeks and I want to try and rectify this, so have developed a little post schedule so that it all seems a bit more coherent and so that you can have an idea of what sort of posts to expect and when. It seems to make sense and I know I enjoy reading other people's blogs when they have a sort of continuous feel to them and I know what to expect from each type of post. So, at the moment the plan is to do some sort of make-up related post on a Monday, be it showing you new bits and pieces I've bought or just discussing a new make-up trend. Wednesdays will be for reviews of products because there are always things that I want to share with you or things that I've bought and tried. Fridays will be for fashion posts, so maybe a little collection of pieces I've seen and loved, or maybe a few outfit ideas using one key piece. Then finally, the weekends will be saved for miscellaneous posts, be it a Weekend Wish List, a general talk about what's going on, a book review or something food related (which, I know, I haven't actually done yet despite it being in my header!). So I hope that made sense and maybe my blog will become a bit more organised! I know for sure that it will help me to post more regularly because I seem to have just been doing a lot of reviews recently. Now, let's get this show on the road and talk about the topic of today's Make-up Monday!

I know in this one and the one below the colour seems quite different (the lighting!) but it is more like the one above, very bright!

And that is...a recent purchase I made from No.7, of course using the £5 off voucher! I did originally go in with the intention of picking up a new nail varnish, but to be honest I have so many now that there just wasn't anything that really stood out. On my browsing, however, I did have a little swatch session in the blusher area and remembered (or convinced myself) that I was in fact missing a bright candy pink in my collection. I seem to have gone off blusher a bit at the moment but I think it's just because I don't have any that are really floating my boat. So I picked this one up, which is No. 22 Candy Pink - perfect! I am actually really impressed with the formula so far, it feels almost creamy and it really nicely pigmented. I can tell that this is going to last a long time because you don't need to apply much to get a good colour pay-off. Also, I'm pretty sure it's completely matte, absolutely no shimmer or glitter in there at all, which pleases me greatly. With the voucher it was £4.50, which I don't think is half bad at all. 

I know a lot of you must have been taking advantage of the vouchers being given out again (who can resist a good bargain!), so do let me know what you picked up! Hope you're all fantastically well and I look forward to being more organised in my blogging! Love to you all! 

15 June 2012

The best face mask...ever?

So, as I mentioned in Wednesday's post I have found the absolute best face mask ever! It's not that often that I find products that I can actually see are making a difference to my skin and I've used a fair few face masks in my time. Whilst I do feel like I'm doing something good for my skin when I use them, on the whole I haven't noticed a massive difference. However, as soon as I applied this I could tell that this was different! The product in question is the Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask. I didn't actually know much about the Good Things brand before picking this up (and another product from the range, more on that later), but on further inspection found that it is a line that has been created by beauty writer Alice Hart-Davis. It's a range aimed at younger skin and focuses on using the power of superfruits to give your skincare a boost. This mask has extracts of avocado and goji berry, as well as green clay to draw out impurities and willow bark, which apparently helps to boost radiance. I have used clay masks before, from the self-heating type that don't harden, to the ones that feel as though you've got an iron mask on your face, but none as good as this. As a bonus, the whole range is free from parabens, mineral oils and animal ingredients. If you want to find out more about the range visit the website where you can read up on all the ingredients and products.

A little example of the product, it's not a really thick consistency and you only need a thin layer. Apologies for the black marks on my hand, I was trying out eyebrow pens earlier in the day!

To use this face mask you apply it to cleansed skin and leave on for five minutes. I find that it has a slight tingling sensation, but I quite like this because it makes me think something is happening! The mask hardens as it dries, which is also something I like, and after the five minutes are up you can literally see all the impurities that have been drawn out of your pores - it is a miracle worker. It advises to use the mask weekly or whenever your skin needs a brightening boost, however, if you have sensitive skin I would definitely stick to only once a week because I personally find it quite intense, but also very effective. I use a muslin cloth to remove it and am left with glowing, smooth and bright skin. I really would recommend giving this a go if you're in the market for an effective face mask. It does have a really strong scent so if you're not really into that I would avoid this, however, if you don't mind a fruity scent for a few minutes give it a go! It costs £5.99 (from Boots, I believe it is widely available) for 100ml and I can honestly say I have never used a better face mask. 

Have you ever tried this? Or any other products from this range? I also picked up the Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser because I needed a make-up remover to use before I used my Clarisonic in the evening. It's a two-in-one cleanser and toner (it does contain alcohol) and contains fig and wild strawberry extracts for radiant and soft skin. Again, I have to say that I am really liking this product. It removes eye make-up really effectively and doesn't sting or irritate. I tend to also use this in the morning, swept over my face with a cotton pad to get rid of any oiliness and it leaves you feeling refreshed and awake. Definitely another one to look out for if you don't mind a strong smell and are looking for a new cleanser and/or toner. 

Let me know if you've got an amazing face mask that I should try. As with most other beauty bloggers I do like to find a new miracle worker! I hope you're all having a fantastic day and I look forward to speaking again soon! A bientot! (See you soon/See you later!)

13 June 2012

Jubilee Nail Look

Oh My Gosh! I cannot apologise enough to one and all for not having posted for 12 DAYS! I am a complete blogging failure! I haven't posted since before the Jubilee (which seems like forever ago) even though I had some posts lined up! I just don't seem to have had the time to sit down and construct anything, plus it has been my birthday (9th, just in case you were wondering ;)) so I've been a bit busy! I hope you don't mind that this nail look is a little late coming, it isn't actually in-your-face patriotic and the colours could easily be swapped around so I thought I'd share it with you for some inspiration anyway! I actually got inspired to do this by a picture I saw on Twitter (can't for the life of me remember who it was, but I don't want to take all the credit for coming up with it!). 

I didn't think I would get so in to the whole Jubilee theme thing that was going on but I actually quite enjoyed it! So I thought I may as well go the whole hog and paint my nails in the most patriotic manner I could! I would have preferred to have used a white crackle top coat but I only had this soft gold one, so there we go. I think the overall effect is still ok and not quite as in-your-face as, say, a whole union jack flag on each nail (not that I think that's a bad idea - I just don't have the patience!

I used Barry M's Cobalt Blue, Natural Collection's Red Robin and Next's (yes, they do nail varnish!) Gold Reactive Topcoat. Hope you like it! And I really hope you all had joyful celebrations around the Jubilee. I have a very exciting new (for me, anyway) discovery to share with you all tomorrow, it is THE best face mask that I have ever used! And it's cheap! Honestly I cannot rave about this product enough, I wanted to do a post as soon as I used it but got wrapped up in doing something else (namely, reorganising the bathroom cabinet!) and now that I've been able to use it a few times I can give you a thorough and honest review. So, I bet you can't wait for tomorrow now to find out what it is! I'll keep you in suspense and wish you all a great evening! Au revoir for now (I have actually been cracking on with my learning French resolution as well!). So Bonne Soiree! ('Have a good evening'!)

1 June 2012

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Yes, here I am, with a review about this which I'm sure you've all read a hundred times! I succumbed to the hype and bought the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask. There has been a bit of a buzz surrounding this product recently, I know a lot of YouTubers and bloggers have been raving about its' benefits, so whilst on a little shopping spree with my Mum the other day I couldn't resist the urge to pick it up and give it a try. Especially after I gave it a sniff and discovered it smelt of mango and fruity goodness! Seriously it does smell good. 

I was very tempted to just slather this on my face as soon as we got in (does anyone else have the overwhelming urge to try things as soon as you've bought them?) but I did resist and wait until I was actually going to bed (as instructed). Obviously there is method to this madness as it's when you sleep that your skin goes into recovery mode, so this would be the best time for a mask such as this to work. So, after cleansing I applied a generous amount of this to my face, gently massaging it in as it says to do on the bottle. It does also say you can tissue off excess product, but before doing that I left it for about 15 minutes so the majority would sink in. After this I did dab my face with a clean tissue as it does leave a tacky finish to the skin which I didn't really want going all over my pillows. 

And the results, I hear you cry? Well, don't expect miracles overnight! I, as always and as mentioned in my previous post, was hoping to wake up positively glowing and with skin as clear and soft as a baby's behind, but I didn't notice a great deal of difference. My skin was most definitely well moisturised there is no doubt about that, and again (and I'm sorry if I keep repeating myself) I don't have bad skin to start with so maybe other people would have better results from the off, but it wasn't as spectacular as I would have wanted. 

However! I have continued to use it over the past couple of weeks (so, maybe five times now?) and I have to say I would recommend it. Seem to have done a bit of a u-turn there don't I, hope you're keeping up! Having continued to use it I have really started to love it and actually look forward to the nights when I use it. I know I will wake up with my skin looking plump, fresh and pretty glowy as well as ensuring it stays hydrated all throughout the day. I honestly feel like I don't need to use a moisturiser on the mornings after I've used this because it feels so hydrated. So overall, I would definitely say that it is worth the hype and I think that if you have dry or very dry skin this would be an absolute miracle worker. At £20 it's not the cheapest face mask out there, but with this and so much other skincare, I think you get what you pay for. 

I hope you didn't mind reading another review of this product, I just really wanted to let you know what I thought of it and I hope it has been helpful. I'm starting to look more into Origins products because there is a lot of love around for this brand and there's not usually smoke without fire, so I'm expecting to love a lot more of their products. Do you have any products to recommend trying from Origins? Or have you tried this mask? I'd love to know what your thoughts were :) Thanks for reading and speak soon, I hope you're all doing swell!