Posts tagged beauty blog
For today’s Valentine’s Gift Ideas post I have put together a gift guide of ten Valentine’s gifts, all of which cost under £10 each. Around this time of year, the prices of romantic gifts, such as chocolate and lingerie, are often hiked up. However, as this guide shows, if you shop savvy you don’t have to spend a fortune to treat that special someone (or yourself!) to something nice. The guide features some traditional gifts, but also fashion and beauty themed items.
Hotel Chocolat Lovely Hearts Classic £6.50 / Thorntons Because I Love You Premium Collection £6.00 / ASOS Heart Friendship Bracelet £2.00 / Yankee Red Raspberry Candle £7.99 / George Entice Lingerie Set £7.00 / Floozie Red Heart Fairisle Scarf £6.60 / Tesco Rose Petals in a Jar £5.00 / LUSH Heart Throb Bubble Bar £3.65 / Models Own Colour Chrome £4.99 / LUSH The Kiss Lip Gloss £5.95
What will you be gifting to your loved one this Valentine’s Day?
Over the last few months I’ve been trialling a hair treatment from a small hair care company called Old Wives Tail. Old Wives Tail specialise in luxury organic hair treatments, all of which are handmade, vegetarian and vegan, and free of gluten, parabens and sulfates. They’re also animal friendly and aim to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, so 10% of their profits go to charities which save animals from being tested on.
The treatment I’ve been using is the Jojoba and Clove Organic Oil Treatment, which retails for £13.99 for a 100ml jar. The treatment is described as a ‘hydrating, natural and balancing hair treatment for dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair’. My hair is quite unusual in that, though it can get quite oily at the roots, the ends get very dry and split easily, especially during colder months, and the overall look is very limp, lifeless and damaged. I opted for this particular treatment as, according to the Old Wives Tail website, ‘jojoba oil gets to work at penetrating every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair’, which is just what I want.
The treatment has a very strong aroma of cloves, which hits you as soon as you open the jar, but it isn’t too overpowering as it is offset with a slight sweetness. It’s also quite a dense treatment, with a slightly waxy texture, but as it warms in your fingers it melts into a smooth oil that glides through damp hair incredibly easily.
The directions for use say to massage the product into your scalp, and to leave it on for one hour before washing out with shampoo and water, and conditioning the ends of your hair. As a ‘wash and go’ kinda girl, an hour is quite a long time to wait, so this isn’t a treatment I would use on a daily or weekly basis, but it’s great for a fortnightly or monthly pamper session at the weekend. Especially as it gives quite an intense treatment.
I’ve used the treatment a few times now and the results are brilliant. A little goes quite a long way, so though the jar is small, it will last a good while. The product massages in nicely and feels lovely and soothing on the scalp. When I first used it I was slightly worried that, being an oil, it would leave my hair feeling greasy, but it washes out well with shampoo, although I find it takes a little while to wash out completely. After blow drying and straightening my hair, the difference is really noticeable. It leaves my hair looking silkier and fuller, and the result is also long-lasting.
Unfortunately, as I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of months, I haven’t yet managed to get any before and after photos of my hair, but I will be updating this post within the next week or two, so check back soon.
All Old Wives Tail products are available online here, and they cater for all hair types. They offer free worldwide delivery on any order too!
*This Jojoba & Clove Organic Oil Hair Treatment was sent to me by Old Wives Tail for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
When it comes to nail products, Barry M are one of my favourite brands, so when they announced a flurry of new shades for Autumn/Winter 2014, I was incredibly excited! As well as adding new colours to their Gelly, Silk, Classic and Aquarium ranges, and releasing some gorgeous Christmas glitters, Barry M have also launched the new Glitterati collection. Glitterati features six ‘blinging’ glitter paints, and they really caught my eye when I first saw them on Instagram.
So far I’ve only picked up three shades from the new selection – Rockstar and Fashion Icon from Glitterati, and the new Aquarium Glitter, Atlantis. I’ll be posting about each shade individually over the coming weeks, plus any more that I end up buying, but today’s NOTD is Fashion Icon.
Blue and purple are two of my favourite and most worn colours, so I was immediately drawn to this beautiful shade. Fashion Icon has a purple base with a blue duochrome effect, and is packed full of micro glitter, some of which is holographic. I find this shade so mesmerizing as it looks different every time I look at it. It goes from electric blue to grape purple to bright violet in one movement, whilst all the time remaining strikingly sparkly.
All of my swatches show three thin coats, with no base coat or top coat, which I think looks great, but I bet it’d look just as gorgeous layered over a deep purple shade.
I’ve also found Fashion Icon to be impressively hard-wearing. Despite spending the whole day cleaning, unpacking boxes and generally being busy, my nails look just as good as they did when I first painted them.
I can really see this wonderful shade becoming one of my all time favourite glitters, and I can’t wait to swatch Rockstar to see if it’s as stunning as this one.
Barry M’s Glitterati nail paints cost £3.99 each, and are available in store and online from Superdrug and Boots, and online from Barry M.
Well, after two busy weeks of starting a new full time job and planning for a house move, I’m finally back to blogging! Today’s post features two China Glaze shades that were kindly gifted to me by nailpolish.co.uk for review.
Both shades are from the new China Glaze 2014 Autumn collections, and retail for £4.95 each. There are two autumn collections this year – All Aboard Fall and Apocalypse of Colour, and I picked a shade from each.
‘Choo-Choo Choose You’ is from the All Aboard Fall 2014 collection, which includes twelve stunning, on trend autumnal shades. At first glance the varnish looks to be a blue-grey shade with a hint of gold shimmer, but as soon as you move into natural light it explodes with purple, orange and green.
The varnish is a colour changing metallic, which with some brands makes for a streaky finish, but this one goes on perfectly without any imperfections. The formula is slightly runny, but applies nicely and two coats gives an opaque look. The only downside is it takes a little longer to dry than I’d like, but it’s worth the wait.
You can view the rest of the All Aboard Fall collection here.
‘Rest In Pieces’ is from the Apocalypse of Colour collection, which features five Halloween themed shades, all of which have brilliant names! Halloween is my favourite time of year so I was very excited about this range, and it doesn’t disappoint. ‘Rest In Pieces’ is a gorgeous metallic orange, black and gold holographic glitter that reminds me of pumpkins, autumnal leaves and fireworks. Some of my absolute favourite things!
The glitter comprises of various different types of glitter, large flecks, small flecks, micro and straw, which gives fantastic depth and texture. For maximum impact, the varnish is best applied in a dabbing motion rather than brushing, as dabbing leaves more glitter behind. This one dries a lot quicker than the other shade, and makes an amazing top coat. Perfect for adding a little something extra to any autumn mani! I love it.
You can view the rest of the Apocalypse of Colour collection here.
nailpolish.co.uk is a one stop shop for nail varnish, and they stock a HUGE range of brands, including OPI, Essie and Barry M, and over 350 colours! They also offer free first class delivery on every order. Check them out here.
What do you think of these new China Glaze shades?
*These two China Glaze nail varnishes were sent to me by nailpolish.co.uk for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Turn on the TV, scroll through social media, or open any magazine or newspaper on any given day, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a negative statement about how someone looks. Bodies and appearances are being shamed left, right and centre, and quite frankly I’m sick of it. Too fat, too thin, too hairy, not enough hair, too much make up, not enough make up, bad fashion sense etc etc. Basically, the media tries to sell us a completely unattainable and contradictory standard of “perfection”, and trying to achieve this impossible look just leads to unhappiness and low self-esteem. So, when Penny of Lillies and Love launched her #bodyUNashamed project, I knew I had to take part.
Penny’s project is simple, and aims to promote positivity and body confidence in all of us, whilst trying to put an end to body shaming and bullying, and it starts with bloggers like myself. Everyone taking part has been paired with another blogger, and must highlight three things about that person that are great, before highlighting three things about themselves that they love. I’ve been paired with Jan Ennis of StayHappyBeaut, and as soon as I saw her Twitter feed I knew it would be easy to find three great things about her.
1. Jan’s bio states that she is “obsessed with the value of a positive mindset”, and encourages us all to “stay happy stay beautiful”. Such infectious positivity is a really wonderful thing to have, and is perfect for this project as it promotes happiness and confidence, which can be difficult to achieve when we’re constantly being bombarded with negativity. Well done Jan for being such a positive person, and for advocating positivity in the rest of us!
2. Jan also has really pretty eyes! They look so striking and kind in her Twitter profile picture, and her eye make up also looks fab.
3. Her hair is gorgeous. The colour, the length, the style, the way it falls – it just suits her so much, and she knows how to dress to make the most of it. I wish I could get mine to look so nice!
A few years ago, I would have struggled to find three things about myself that I love, but over the past few years, particularly since starting this blog, my self-confidence has grown, and I’m now really content with myself. So here are my three things…
1. I really like my eyes. They’re bright blue and a nice shape, and people always tell me they’re very expressive. They’re definitely my favourite thing about my face.
2. I’ve always been the “tall one” – at school I was taller than my friends and I’m one of the tallest people in my family, and it bothered me for years. I always felt like I looked the odd one out and hated all the “wow you’re tall!” comments I’d get, but recently I’ve been embracing my height. So what if I’m 5’10″? If I want to wear heels, I’ll wear heels! Admittedly I still have issues finding trousers and jeans to fit my 36″ inside leg, but at least I have the advantage of being able to see over everyone’s heads at the cinema/concerts/crowds!
3. I’m also quite proud of my current level of fitness. A few years ago I was slightly overweight, which in itself wasn’t a problem, but it was affecting my health. I have mild asthma, but it was made a lot worse by my excess weight, and I got out of breath very quickly. I worked hard to improve my diet and lifestyle, and have since lost weight, which has led to me becoming a lot healthier. My asthma is now pretty much non-existent, and I can do so much more than I used to be able to.
If you want to join in with Penny’s #bodyUNashamed project, then please do! Compliment people whenever you can. Smile at people in the street. Call people out for body shaming others. Make a stand to the media for doing the same. And most importantly, be proud of who you are! Everyone is unique and that’s what makes us beautiful, so recognise your positive attributes and show them to the world!
Last weekend I bought this PS Love lip gloss from Primark, to replace the day-to-day gloss that I was using previously. At £1.50 I wasn’t expecting much, and was even slightly dubious about buying it as I thought it would be sticky like a lot of cheap glosses tend to be, but it’s actually a really lovely gloss.
The gloss comes in a squeezy tube, with a square applicator brush attached. To apply, you just squeeze the tube gently and a small amount of gloss oozes into the brush, which can then be applied to the lips. I actually prefer this method of application to the typical sponge wand, as the gloss seems to go on more evenly in a thinner layer.
The consistency of the gloss is also really nice. Rather than being sticky it’s light and moisturising, so doesn’t feel uncomfortable and drying on the lips. I’d even go as far to say I like it more than Illamasqua’s lip glosses in terms of consistency, as theirs tend to be quite gloopy! It also lasts a fair while compared to a lot of glosses I own, and stays put without fading for a good few hours before reapplication is needed.
There are a few different shades of this gloss available, including a red and a pale pink, but I settled for this purple toned fuchsia pink as I think it best suits my skin tone. I wasn’t expecting amazing pigmentation considering the price, but I was proven wrong. The colour is really pretty and perfect for spring, and it’s actually quite highly pigmented, so gives fairly bold coverage rather than sheer. It also tints the lips slightly, so even when it wears off, there is still a subtle hint of colour left behind.
Overall, the quality of this Primark lip gloss is impressively high, and at £1.50 it’s worth stocking up on.
Have you ever tried any Primark make up? What did you think of it?
You may remember that at the beginning of January I swatched and reviewed a gorgeous glitter varnish from GOSH’s Frosted Sand collection, called ‘Frosted Purple‘. Well, it officially became one of my favourite varnishes of all time, and I couldn’t wait to add more frosted shades to my collection. In particular I was trying to get hold of ‘Frosted Plum’, but the only bottle in my local Superdrug for months was a damaged one. Then, earlier this week, I noticed that they had a few more in stock, and luckily for me all of GOSH’s varnishes were on offer for £1.99 each! Obviously I bought it straight away and applied it when I got home, so today I thought I’d share the swatches with you.
Like its purple counterpart, ‘Frosted Plum’ is a pleasure to apply, looks opaque in just one coat (although I applied two), and dries really quickly. It’s also rather hard-wearing, and stays put for a good few days without chipping, even without a base or top coat.
The best thing about it though is the colour. The base shade, as you’d expect, is a beautiful deep plum purple, but throughout it are flecks of gold, bronze and bright pink, which give it a brilliant depth. It looks absolutely amazing in the sun, and even indoors it still looks impressive. The glitter in this one is a lot more consistently sized than in ‘Frosted Purple’, and I think it looks a bit like a caviar manicure.
I’ll stand by my previous statement that GOSH’s Frosted Sand glitters are honestly the best glitters I’ve tried, and I will continue to add to my collection! I have my eye on a couple of their spring pastel shades, ‘Soft Blue’ and ‘Soft Green’, which are also currently £1.99 in Superdrug (reduced from £3.99).
Will you be buying any of GOSH’s frosted glitters?
I’ve been wanting Illamasqua’s Speckled nail polishes ever since they were released, but at £14.50 each I just couldn’t justify buying them. Then, whilst queueing in Primark at the weekend, I spotted this Spotty nail polish, which is a dupe of Illamasqua’s Speckle – their discontinued speckled lilac shade. And the best part? Primark’s Spotty was discounted from £2 to just £1!
The polish has a creme base, and is crammed full of black glitter and micro glitter, which in the right light has a beautiful holographic sheen. The overall finish reminds me of a Cadbury Mini Egg, which is perfect for Spring and the run up to Easter! The polish has a smooth consistency and applies evenly, giving opaque coverage in two coats, but it takes a while to dry. Not ideal, but not really a problem if you’re not in a rush.
My only issue with the polish is that, when I first used it, lots of little air bubbles got trapped underneath (as you can see above), so it looked and felt a bit lumpy. It could’ve been due to the base coat I used though, so next time I’ll give it a miss to see if it makes a difference.
In terms of staying power, I wore this for three days before removing it, and by that point it had barely chipped at all. I imagine it would last for almost a week before starting to look scruffy.
Overall, this is a lovely, pretty polish, and I’m so pleased I finally have a speckled polish in my collection. I just wish I’d picked up the other shades too!
What do you think of my bargain find?
Last night my family and I went to see Cirque Berserk at the Curve theatre in Leicester. I have absolutely adored circuses ever since my childhood, and have been to many, but this was my first time going to a circus that wasn’t in a big top tent. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the show and set really suited the stage. There was a slight Steampunk theme which was cool, and though the show wasn’t flawless, it still had that magical and exciting charm that I like. I even enjoyed the clown’s antics, which is unusual for me as they usually freak me out a little bit!
My outfit of choice for the evening was quite the opposite to the colourful spectacle of the circus, as it consisted of, you guessed it, black, black, and more black! I wore quite a few of my January sale pieces (mostly from Primark), including my leather cap sleeve black dress, and my new leather-look biker jacket, which is one of my favourite recent buys. The jacket is lined with thick fluffy fleece so is incredibly warm, so much so that I was toasty even with it open!
I also added a snood and tights for a bit of extra warmth, my Zatchels Gothic Lace saddle bag, and my trusty Kurt Geiger Sally Ankle Boots. The bag was a huge bargain as well, as it only cost £38.99 for the large size in the Zatchels sale, which I think was about half price!
Apologies for the low quality photos by the way – they were taken outside at night, with the flash on.
Primark Leather Cap Sleeve Dress / Primark Leather-Look Biker Jacket / Primark Snood and Tights / Zatchels Gothic Lace Saddle Bag / Kurt Geiger Sally Ankle Boots
Oh, and here’s my face of the night too! The lipstick is by Sleek in the gorgeous purple shade of ‘Smother’. I love this lipstick as it lasts for ages, and when it finally does wear off it does so evenly, so it still looks fab.
What do you think of circuses? You can check out the Cirque Berserk Facebook page here.
As a sufferer of dry, sensitive skin, I am always on the lookout for delicate skin care products that may be able to help me, so when I discovered miamoo via Twitter I was keen to give them a try.
miamoo is the brainchild of ‘The Apprentice’ runner-up and TV personality Saira Khan, who herself struggles with very dry and sensitive skin. After spending years trying (and failing) to find high street products to suit and soothe her skin, Saira took it upon herself to create a range that eliminated the chemicals that made her condition worse, and miamoo was born.
All miamoo products are formulated especially for those with dry, sensitive skin, and are 98% natural; only using synthetic ingredients when absolutely necessary. As such, miamoo is free from Parabens, Petrochemicals, SLS, Synthetic colours and fragrances, and PEGS, as well as other nasties that can irritate sensitive skin.
I was recently lucky enough to receive a miamoo travel goodies set to try out. The set contains miniature versions of six miamoo products, and a lovely cotton wash cloth which is kind on the skin. One thing that stood out to me about miamoo is the packaging. It’s simple and soft-looking, and also very cute with the little cow drawings, and though it looks like it’s aimed towards children, the products are suitable for any age group. Granted, the miamoo website says the travel set is ideal for mummy-to-be’s hospital bag, and can be used for both mum and baby, but that just shows how gentle the products are! If it’s good enough for baby, it’s good enough for my delicate skin too.
Together, the travel goodies form a 3 step skincare routine that not only moisturises dry skin, but also keeps it clean and clear.
Step 1 – Cleanse
Fresh Locks Shampoo
‘bursting with lavender and geranium’
My thoughts: This shampoo has a sweet, fresh scent which is nice and soothing. It’s also a pleasure to use as, unlike chemical-laden shampoos, it doesn’t cling to the hair. As such, it leaves hair feeling soft, clean and bouncy rather than heavy, and doesn’t make my head itch at all!
‘brimming with lemon oil & aloe vera’
My thoughts: The lemon oil in miamoo’s splashy wash gives it an invigorating citrus scent which is ideal for a refreshing morning wake up. It has quite a runny consistency, but it foams up incredibly well and a little goes a very long way! A lot of shower gels make my skin feel tight and dry after use, but this one does the opposite and actually leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised.
Spritz and Wipe
‘overflowing with lime water & minerals’
My thoughts: spritz and wipe can be used to cleanse away dirt, moisturise the skin, or even just refresh and cool the skin, so it’s a fab little product to carry with you when you’re out and about as it covers all bases. I personally like to use it to remove my make up and it does a pretty good job. It doesn’t have much of a scent, but it does what it says on the bottle which is ultimately what matters.
Step 2 – Moisturise
‘crammed with sweet almond oil & marshmallow extract’
My thoughts: The huggy lotion is my favourite product from the whole set. It’s light and pretty much scentless, but it’s intensely moisturising, and also has a slight cooling effect on sore, sensitive skin. It’s non-greasy and easily absorbed, but seems to create a protective barrier which is just what I need in the harsh winter weather. This one gets five stars from me!
My thoughts: Cheeky cream is another favourite of mine. This one has a thicker consistency than the huggy lotion and perhaps doesn’t massage in as easily, but it has a lovely softening effect and is very gentle. I’m not sure I’d use it in the morning as I found it didn’t make a very good base for make up, but it’s an excellent, rich night-time moisturiser.
Spritz and Wipe
Step 3 – Massage
‘infused with lavender & sweet almond oil’
My thoughts: Baba oil is another versatile product as it can be used on the skin, but also as a hair treatment. I like to use this one at night as it has a calming lavender scent which helps me to relax before I go to sleep. The oil warms up nicely in the hands and feels amazingly silky on the skin.
This little set would be the perfect way to try out miamoo’s products and see whether they suit your skin, and it would also be great for travel – just throw it in your suitcase and off you go! I’m really impressed with the quality and effectiveness of the products, and am considering buying full-size versions of the huggy lotion and cheeky cream.
miamoo’s travel goodies set costs £15, and can be purchased here. You can also view the rest of the miamoo range here, and if you use the code ‘blog13′ at the checkout, you can get 10% off all products!
*This miamoo travel goodies set was sent to me by miamoo for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*