Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation in 200 Soft Beige

I'm always looking for an alternative to Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation* for everyday use as it's expensive and for me is a bit heavy to wear every day so I did a bit of research and decided to try this Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation* - not that I'm going to wear foundation for over a day but you know, might as well try it!

I was pretty pleased with the range of colours and the fact that - unlike Double Wear - the bottle already comes with a pump dispenser so it's a lot neater and less wasteful.  At £7.99 a bottle it's about a third of the price of Double Wear so much more purse friendly for every day use!

The consistency feels a bit runny and ever so slightly oily to me.  You do need to be careful to blend well as I've found it streaks a bit during application, that's easily resolved though.  I find it sort of sits on the skin rather than soaking in and the finish isn't totally matte but it's still medium/high coverage - expect your face to be "whited out" in any flash photography - so covers a multitude of sins.  I prefer it to be more matte on my nose so I add a dusting of pressed powder a couple of times a day if I feel like I'm getting a bit shiny.

So does it last 25 hours?  Um, well I haven't worn it for quite that long but I have slept in it (tut tut) and it still looked pretty decent when I woke up!  I'd say it comfortably lasts about 8 or 9 hours, I don't think I'd want to go out after work without retouching it first but I'm not having to do it every couple of hours or anything.  Overall it's a decent enough every day foundation at a budget friendly price and I wouldn't hesitate to buy this again

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Jerome Russell Bblonde Platinum Blonde Colour Toner Review (and a bit about my experience with lightening my hair to platinum at home)

I'm bleaching my own hair to a light blonde/platinum colour at the minute and I've found that the toner I've been using (La Riche Directions White Toner) is "taking" too much at the roots - I'm ending up with a bit of a purple halo at the front and top of my hair!  I can't get away with not using a toner really as my hair can be a bit too warm/yellow when I bleach it.

I was sent this Jerome Russell Bblonde Platinum Blonde Colour Toner to review, excellent timing to give it a  go - I've heard of the brand before but as someone pretty new to the whole home dying thing I hadn't tried it until now.

There are a few more steps in my process to my normal toner (which is really just a "slap it on with a tinting brush and leave for 15 mins" type of affair) so in addition to about 90 mins to lighten, there's another 30 mins of toning on top.  Obviously read the instructions that come with the product rather than rely on mine but you need to patch test 48 hours in advance, use a clarifying shampoo, towel dry your hair, apply toner evenly then cover in plastic, blow dry for 5 mins then leave it on for a maximum of 30.  Not all as complicated as it sounds though,  honest.

The toner itself is a purple gel so doesn't drip or run.  It lathers up a bit too.  It was easy to apply and smells mildly chemically but nothing too strong.  As you can see from the pic below after I used the toner - not a hint of purple and a clean white finish.  Well worth taking the extra 30 mins to tone my hair.  I'm really pleased with the results of this and will definitely be buying this again - it's easy to use and totally does the trick on my hair to remove brassiness.  I've just had a bit of a Google and you can pick this up really reasonably so I'm going to stock up I think as it's meant to last 8 washes.

I've enjoyed my platinum blonde experience but it was only ever going to be temporary and in autumn I think I'm going to go back to the hairdressers for highlights/lowlights and a bit more of a natural blonde colour.  DIY bleaching to platinum's been ok, way cheaper than getting it done professionally and I can get it really light without a hairdresser saying "ooh well you can't in one go - it'll be 6-12 months of highlights".

However it's time consuming keeping up with roots, it's not pampering/relaxing/glamorous at all in the way getting your hair done is, my hair's been purple/grey/yellow a few times and to be honest the damage I'm probably doing to my hair worries me a bit - condition wise it feels fine, especially for bleached hair, but I don't really want to end up bald!  I use an intensive conditioner after each wash and keep up with coconut oil and serum.  I also wouldn't recommend a DIY job if you're really precious about your hair colour or you're likely to go into a meltdown if it goes wrong!

To keep yellow hair at bay I've also previously used Loreal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo* (good all rounder, can be bought in huge bottles from hairdressing suppliers) and Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo* (definitely keeps yellow tones out of my hair but can make it a bit too ashy/grey looking) to maintain platinum between washes, and I try to just wash my hair a few times a week now.

Just thought I'd add these photos in too, they're of a couple of previous toning disasters with other products - grey hair on the left and lilac roots on the right (excuse the silly face I was in shock a bit!) - let me make this clear the pics below aren't after using the Bblonde Platinum Toner but just goes to show what a difference the right toner can make as I've used exactly the same bleach and process in all of the pics on this review!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Xen Tan Moroccan Tan Medium 148ml Review

I ran out of my usual tan so I took the opportunity to try out a new one - Xen Tan Moroccan Tan*.  I've tried other Xen Tan products before and I'd probably say they're my favourite tanning brand.

My first thought was that the bottle was small - it isn't, it just doesn't have loads of excess packaging and you'll easily get 4 or so full body applications from the bottle.  I applied mine using a mitt and I have to say this is some of the easiest to apply tan I've ever used.  It must be the Argan oil in the formula but it totally just glides on smoothly with no pulling or patchiness.  It also doesn't smell like tan (though that does come later after it's developed) and has a sweet vanilla scent instead.

After applying I was worried.  My boyfriend was worried too.  It was really really really dark.  Like ridiculously dark.  Luckily it was just the guide colour and washed off the next day!  I slept with mine on but the good think about Xen Tan is that it only takes 3 hours to develop.

I was really pleased with the colour, it was a proper tan (i.e. not too light or subtle) without being orange or streaky.  It clung a bit at my heel and elbows but to be honest most tans do because these parts of my body are so dry. 4 days later the tan is still looking great.

I'd definitely use this again in future, it really suits me and I think it's a great product.  If you're thinking about trying it out it's definitely worth giving it a go - you can buy it here*.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Couch to 5k - how am I doing?

In the last few years I've put on a bit of er...should we say "happy weight" and it really does need to come off, especially since I'm going to be getting married at some point in the next few years.  I want to get a bit more toned as well which is where exercise is going to have to come in.

I'm not a natural exerciser and I never seem to get the bug with exercise that other people get which keeps them going to their weekly classes and going for a run every night.  It's also the reason that over the years I've probably wasted a ton of money on gym memberships that I've never used properly!  I start off with great intentions and sort of taper off.

So I need a method of exercising that doesn't involve a massive outlay of money...hence, I've decided to try running and got these great running shoes from - they're Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Print in White/Purple and they're so much better than what I've been running in previously.

They're really, really light and flexible without compromising on the level of cushioning they give the soles of your feet on impact.  I can't explain how comfy and lightweight they are! I love the colour and pattern on these too, bright and colourful trainers are way better than something plain and boring.

They're really breathable and cool on the feet too which is important when you're running.  I'm not doing so great with my couch to 5k at the min, my fitness is actually better than I thought it's just my legs and muscles that can't keep up which I know will get better in time!  I think rather than couch to 5k, which gradually builds up your running/walking splits until you're running a full 5k in quite a rigid programme, I just need to get out and run a bit more and really push myself as much as possible.

Overall, I'd really recommend couch to 5k if you're a bit more disciplined than I am.  It's got me off the couch anyway which is a great step!  I would definitely recommend these trainers if you're looking for a great pair of shoes to run in, especially for a first pair - the Nike Free range do some that are even more natural feeling than these, it must be like bare feet!  These are totally lightweight, don't constrict my feet in any way but still absorb the shock from running on pavement etc.

I've gotten really into trainers now, there are so many nice ones on - definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a new pair.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

GIVEAWAY - Win tickets to the National Wedding Show Autumn 2014!

I can't remember if I posted about this, I don't think I did because the last few months have been pretty hectic, but in February I got engaged to my amazing boyfriend of 5 years.  It was totally unexpected and he did it when we were away in Scotland, just the two of us.

I'm not the kind of girl who's had every aspect of the wedding planned in their head since they were 5 so to be honest I'm a bit overwhelmed by planning a wedding.  I'm using Pinterest to get plenty of inspiration (check out my Wedding board here), practically taking notes at every wedding we go to, constantly watching Don't Tell the Bride/Four Weddings/Say Yes To The Dress/I Found The Gown and later on in the year I plan to attend some wedding shows/events.

One of the events I'm going to be attending in October is The National Wedding Show at Manchester Central, it's the UK's biggest wedding show with over 150 exhibitors there showing everything from dresses to cakes to flowers to venues and honeymoons - they have thousands of dresses even have catwalk shows and changing rooms to try dresses on...eek!  Hopefully this will help me get some more ideas!

There are experts from a variety of high street brands there such as Essie, Moss Bros, John Lewis, Sandals, Thomas Cook, Debenhams, House of Fraser and Virgin Holidays.  There's also a Vintage Team Room and Champagne Bar where you can head to relax after a hard day's planning.

The shows are at the following venues (as I mentioned, I'll be going along to the Manchester one!):

London Earls Court - 26th-28th September
Birmingham NEC - 3rd-5th October
Manchester Central - 11-12th October

Standard tickets are £15 in advance or £18 on the door on the day, VIP tickets are £35 in advance or £40 on the day (with the VIP tickets you get a fast track entrance, reserved seating at the catwalk shows, unlimited access to the VIP lounge, complimentary champagne and a goody bag full of beauty products).

I've got 2 pairs of tickets to The National Wedding Show to offer to readers of Beauty and the Blogger so they can attend this fantastic wedding event absolutely free!

To enter, all you need to do is fill in the form below by 31st July 2014 - if you're chosen you'll win a free pair of tickets to the National Wedding Show at the venue of your choice:

For more information about the show or to buy tickets in advance visit  or call the ticket hotline on 0844 874 0486.  You can also follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Ardell Demi Wispies False Eyelashes Color Impact in Plum (enhances brown, hazel and green eyes) - Review

To cut a long story short, Ardell Demi Wispies are one of my favourite lash styles and purple is one of my favourite colours so when I spotted these Color Impact lashes I had to try them!

The theory is that the colour purple will enhance brown, hazel and green eyes.  They also do other colours to enhance different eye colours but since my eyes are green I went for these ones.  I've heard the premise about using colours other than black to bring out specific eye colours with mascara but I've never really tried it.

The picture above shows the purple in the lashes quite well but it's actually a bit more subtle than that in normal light as I think the pics below show:

You can just see a little flash of purple when the light hits them which I think it better than full on purple lashes - I wore these on a normal night out, not fancy dress! I can't say I felt that the colour really enhanced my own eye colour but they were nice, easy to use lashes in a style that I like and the purple in them is definitely subtle enough that other's probably won't notice the colour - I think I'll be sticking with my black Demi Wispies in future, I wanted to put mascara on to blend my own lashes in a bit more but didn't want to take the colour out of them! 

I bought these from Ebay as I'm not sure if they're being sold in the UK (they might be, I'm not sure!) but you can find more out about the Color Impact range on the Ardell website

P.S. As you can see from these pics my hair is really light at the minute - it's the look I wanted as I've always hankered after white blonde hair but never got that light at the hairdressers.  I think I'll be ready for a colour change to something a bit more natural in the not too distant future though

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Believe in the weave - BW by Beauty Works 18" Mixed Blonde Weft Hair Extensions in 613/24

Last week I was invited to Pro Hair Live in Manchester by Beauty Works to get hair extensions fitted as part of the show as a demo to the hundreds of hairdressers who attended. I got a weave which involves creating a braid across the back of the head underneath the hair with braiding thread then sewing a weft of hair into the braid with a curved needle.

I've worn wefts before and find them easy to wear, they're relatively quick to fit, especially compared to something like micro rings or stick tips which take ages as little clumps of hair are attached.  My weave took about 45 minutes plus time for styling at the end - they were fitted by hair extension specialist Jason Meacher who did an absolutely fab job and was so knowledgeable about the whole process (bear in mind it was a trade show so loads of hairdressers were asking him questions).  People kept asking if my head was hurting during the braiding and it really wasn't - you can tell the braiding is tight but it isn't painful. I've had them in for a week now and there way less noticeable.  I'm not having any problems with covering the braids either.

I had BW by Beauty Works 18" Extensions in LA Blonde (613/24) put in, they're human hair - interestingly this is the I hair colour I thought I'd be when I looked at the website beforehand so hey at least I know my colour! I wanted more thickness rather than loads of length as I just wanted it to look like my hair but better so these extensions are only just a little bit longer than my own hair.  Years of bleaching and straightening have taken their toll on my hair which was really thick as a kid.

I'm really impressed with the quality of the hair, it's the same thickness all the way through and the ends are just as full as the roots, they look really natural and shedding so far is pretty minimal and I've had them in for a week now. They're 105g, just one pack and for me that's enough but if you were wanting them to add loads of length you might want a bit thicker.  The quality of the hair for the price is absolutely great and I'd happily buy these in future.  I've been umming and aahing about getting extensions and buying some online for ages but I've never been able to decide on where to get them from, now I know!

I actually got asked out on a date on my way home from the show, this never happens so I'm definitely putting it down to the power of the weave!  I had to decline though as don't think my fiance would be happy with me and my weave heading out on a date...

On a more serious note, hair extensions need a bit more TLC than your own hair.  As they don't get natural oils from your scalp they can look a bit dry which is when they start to tangle up too - I've been using Moroccan oil on mine near enough daily and coconut oil as a bit of a treat.  As I'm lazy I can't be bothered washing and drying my hair and extensions all the time so dry shampoo has become my friend and I've actually just washed my own hair on top in the past - I used to have a 24 inch weave put in years ago which was way more high maintenance than what I have in now.

Pro Hair Live was fab, I was a little early for my appointment so I had a good wander around the stalls and stages and saw some fantastic hairstyles and demos.  There was literally everything hair you could ever want for sale so if you like hair or you're looking for inspiration, I'd recommend it though it is a trade show.

There's a short video on Beauty Works Online's Facebook page of me getting my weave which I've embedded below but in case you're on a phone or something you can see it here.

Beauty Works do a massive range of hair extensions and accessories - some of the fishtail plaits and buns they have available look gorgeous and I definitely plan to try them out in future.  You can buy Beauty Works hair extensions here.  Celebs are often spotted rocking their Beauty Works hair - most recently Georgia May Foote from Corrie and Sam Faiers from Towie.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A gorgeous Mothers Day gift (and exclusive discount code!)


If you're like me and don't live around the corner from your Mum then delivered bouquets are always an absolute winner - they're easy/convenient to order and make a fantastic impact. I was sent these flowers to review from the Debenhams Flowers Mothers Day range (click here to see more of the range), my bouquet is the Mums Lily and Rose one which funnily enough contains scented oriental lilies, lilac memory lane roses, pink aqua roses and greenbell.  I love tropical flowers and roses (especially pink and lilac ones) so this is a really great choice for me.

My experiences with Debenhams Flowers have always been really good - quick delivery, well packaged and beautiful flowers that last.  These have been in my house for over a week (about 10 days) and only one of the flowers is starting to look a little bit wilted now which I think is pretty good going.  The lilies were all closed when these arrived but they've all opened now and I love them!  I think my Mum would prefer planted rather than cut flowers and luckily they do them too - I'm thinking about getting her something like this from the range.

If you want to say it with flowers this Mothers Day I have an exclusive 15% discount code to use on Debenhams Flowers, just enter the code MDBLOG15 at the checkout to receive 15% off any bouquet.  As I said my experiences with them have always been great so I would recommend.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I have a real love of cut flowers and would have them fresh in my house all the time if my boyfriend didn't rein me in!  Just call me Elton John.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums out there!  Have you got anything special planned for your Mum this weekend?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

L'Oreal Preference Les Blondissimes Extreme Platinum Review

After thinking about it for ages I finally decided to try going a lot lighter at home.  After shelling out over £100 on a full set of highlights I went to Superdrug on the way home and picked up a couple of box dyes with the vague notion that at some point in time I'd try and get my hair really light. My hair is sort of mousy mid brown but it hasn't been that colour - at least not naturally - for years and I was still trying to get back to blonde after experimenting with ombre last year.

I then decided (when my roots needed done) to try another local hairdressers to save money and had the worst hairdressing experience of my life - to cut a long story short I had to dry my own hair and I came away with gingery highlights at the roots.  Not what I wanted.

After 2 weeks of being annoyed with my hair and watching loads of YouTube videos doing plenty of research I decided to just go for it and use the L'Oreal Extreme Platinum kit* that I had bought when I had a Sunday spare.  As someone who has never dyed her own hair (my Mam dyed it for me once or twice when I was at school much to her behest) I was really nervous but I found this kit and instructions really easy to use.  It comes with dye, developer and purple conditioner to use after bleaching which I really liked.  I also watched this video which helped my technique a bit I think.

What did I think of the end result? Well it's certainly lighter! On the lengths of my hair (where the colour was already kind of light due to highlights/bleach) the colour has really lightened up to a pale blonde but my roots fairly pretty yellow where I just had orangey highlights and my natural colour.  My hair doesn't look or feel to damaged but I think it could do with a little trim on the ends to neaten it up.

I'm a big fan of ashy/white toned blonde hair so the colour is a tiny bit too warm for me so again I've been doing my research only this time I've been looking at toners and purple shampoos to get and maintain that ashy look (as purple counteracts warmer colours such as yellow).  I've bought Fudge Clean Blonde Shampoo* and La Riche Directions Toner in White so I'll let you know how I get on with those.

Would I use this kit again? Quite possibly yes but I'd be a bit more prepared with toners and things next time! It's relatively inexpensive, easy to use and does lighten but as with every home hair dye make sure your expectations are realistic.  They seem to be on offer quite a bit too, plus you get everything you need in the right quantities, packaging and instruction.  I really like the conditioner it comes with too, the fact it's purple is great for light hair.

Now that I feel a bit more confident about bleaching my hair and happier that it isn't going to fall out/turn orange/green (top tip: don't wear or use anything metal when dealing with bleach) I've continued my research and actually just bought myself some bleach powder and developer from Salon Services to give it a shot without an actual kit next time...eek.  I'll let you know how I get on!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

#NOTD Essie Ballet Slippers with Models Own Pink Paradise and Essie Matte About You Topcoat

Today's #NOTD is Essie Ballet Slippers (reviewed here) - it's a bit whiter than I'd like so I added Models Own Pink Paradise, a pink toned flakie polish (also reviewed here) to pink it up a bit.  I thought it was a bit too girly so I added Essie Matte About You, a matte topcoat to flatten it out.

It looks like icing paste now!  This was one of those polishes that I can't stop looking at on my nails!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Models Own Hed Kandi Beach Party Nail Polish - neon orange!

If you follow me on Twitter (@LucyBATB) you might have already seen a swatch of this polish.  This is one of the polishes I bought in the Models Own 50% off sale.  I'm not going to say much really as I think the pics speak for themselves!  It's a gorgeous neon orange that will look great on tanned feet in summer!

Buy Models Own Hed Kandi Beach Party here.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Models Own HyperGel - is it worth the hype? (Red Lustre swatch)

I went a bit crazy in the Models Own 50% off sale.  One of the polishes I bought was one of Models Own's HyperGel, their new gel effect nail polishes.  I did have several of them in my basket at one point but I did a bit of basket editing bearing in mind I didn't even know if I'd like the HyperGel formula.

I kind of get annoyed by "gel effect" polishes - they're just shiny and most of the time you can just get that effect with a high shine topcoat like Seche Vite*.  I have to say I don't really think this polish is any different - this is 3 coats but I probably could have done with a fourth.  I was a bit worried as the first two coats looked really sheer but it evened out on coat 3.

Overall it's a nice enough polish but I'm not in a big rush to buy the other colours in the range but for £2.50 in the sale I can't complain!

You can find the HyperGel range here, currently 5 for £20.  Look out for more of my Models Own sale haul coming up!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

New discoveries...

Over the last month or so I've made some new beauty discoveries that I want to keep in my repertoire:

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Oriental* - I love Batiste and use it a couple of times a week, it's a godsend when I don't always have time to wash my hair in the morning.  I was in Boots stocking up when I spotted they'd brought out some fragrances I haven't seen before.  Oriental is my favourite out of the new ones I've tried though it hasn't quite beat Batiste Wild (the leopard one) as my overall fave.  They're currently on Buy 1 get 2nd half price at Boots*.

Weleda Skin Food* - I tried this as a sample before Christmas (a 10ml sample which I'm only just about to finish as you only need to use a tiny amount) and fell in love.  It's a rich moisturiser that isn't greasy which is perfect for putting on overnight to combat the cold weather which, combined with heating etc, tends to dry out my skin.  I actually thought this would be way more expensive than it is but it's only £9.95 for 75ml and as I said it lasts ages as you only need a tiny amount!

Tresemme Heat Defence Serum* - I've been toying with the idea of going platinum blonde (eek) or at least much lighter and I've been watching loads of YouTube videos about the process of getting your hair platinum and taking care of it.  Anyway, I saw this mentioned in one of the videos I watched and decided to give it a go.  It's a good serum that protects your hair up to 230 degrees without making it greasy at all - important when you consider how hot straighteners go now!

Orly Bonder* - I'm a bit hit and miss when it comes to using a base coat, I sometimes find them a bit of an unnecessary step when I'm in a rush to get my nails dried and out the door.  I got this in my Boots Beauty Advent Calendar as a sample and I've fallen in love.  It seems to reduce chipping and stops any staining.  Plus if you're using a glitter it's way easier to remove it!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ciate Bada Bloom Flower Manicure

Another nail post!  I was sent this for review and really looked forward to the weekend when I could have a play.  I loved the imagery on the packaging and was intrigued by the idea of putting real dried flowers on my nails - somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I've seen this done on liquid/powder nails but not on DIY nails.

This beautifully packaged set comes with a Ciate mini polish, speed dry topcoat, two pots of dried flowers, tweezers and a file.  The colour I got was Ferris Wheel, a really pale blue which initially I wasn't that into at all (I don't tend to wear blues and greens on my nails) but I absolutely loved the colour once it was on and actually thought about not adding the flowers just yet!  I got purple, blue and red flowers which all worked well the the colour of polish.

Application was really easy, you just apply two coats of polish, leave them to dry and then apply the speed dry topcoat.  You then use the tweezers to apply the flowers (I pressed them down with my other hand too just to fix them in place) and apply another layer of topcoat before gently buffing away any flowers overhanging the free edge of your nail.  Here's what I came up with on my first attempt:

I actually liked them a lot more than I initially thought I would (they're better from a distance than close up though!), I think the index and middle fingers are my faves.  I found the purple flowers a bit more fiddly to apply so I don't know if I'd bother with them next time.  This kit would be great for a more subtle accent nail look too I think.  The flowers actually don't feel too rough or bumpy on the nail either, I prefer this as sometimes I get annoyed with nail art if I'm forever catching it on things!

Overall I enjoyed using this and liked the look quite a lot, it was really easy to use and I'll definitely be rocking the flower manicure again sometime in the near future.  The kit contained everything I needed to pull it off and I've got a polish colour that I wouldn't have chosen myself but now love, result!  The packaging on this is absolutely gorgeous too and would make a great gift for someone who's into their nail art.

Exclusively available from Selfridges*, the flower manicure set costs £18 and comes in two different designs (I love the colour of the polish and flowers in the Strike-A-Posy one too) - check them both out here*.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Models Own 50% off sale could be coming soon...

I'm a huge Models Own fan - I love their range of colours, the fact the prices don't break the bank and that they're really easy to pick up nowadays on the high street - so to hear that they're planning another 50% sale if they hit 250,000 Facebook followers is a little bit exciting to me!

If you're not already a fan, or you've been meaning to try Models Own for a while, now's the time to get involved!  Just head over to and like their page.  If they get 250,000 followers by 31st January 2014 then everyone gets 50% off...woo hoo!

Here's a little preview of some of the items I've got my beady little eye on:

I'm sure I'll end up adding more to my basket once there's 50% off going on!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

2014 seems to have given me expensive taste...

For some reason, everything I'm really coveting at the moment is around the £200+ mark...which isn't really going to happen so I'm hoping that by blogging about them it'll get that stuff out of my system!

Topshop Boxy Leather Biker Jacket in Blue - I've coveted a blue leather jacket for such a long time and I don't really know why!  I love the colour, style and leather quality on this one...I want it bad but I'm going to wait and see if it gets reduced like the red version.  There's also a pretty gorgeous pink version too that I like nearly as much!  Both are £185.

Cutler & Gross Sunglasses in 0740 - how amazing are these!  After spotting them on a certain Cheryl Cole I totally fell in love with them.  I've sourced what I hope is a good alternative from Ebay for about £5 but I doubt they'll be a patch on the real thing.  Aviators are my favourite sunglasses style, I love mirrored ones and the rainbow effect is just too much!  These are in Dark Turtle and cost £310.

Whistles Spray Print Dress - I think this dress is just the right mix of classic and interesting.  I really want it!  This one's £195.

So there you have it...the best part of £700 mentally dropped on three items.  Just think of all the stuff I could buy from ASOS or River Island with that £700!

Monday, 6 January 2014

House of Holland by Elegant Touch Zig Zag Stardust False Nails

Another nail post!  I bought these during a particularly stressful bout of Christmas shopping and I don't really know what I was thinking...I definitely do love my nail art and neon nails but these are too bright even for me.  I can't ever see myself wearing these out and about.

I kind of wish these were a bit pointier too.  There's also another design with green and yellow neon that wouldn't fit on any of my nails (it was my least favourite one anyway), I probably like the one on my thumb nail and pinkie nails the best.

These don't feel as plasticky as other false nails that I've worn, initially I thought it was just the design that was overlaid on it in paper or something but I think it's just the actual nail, they feel quite thin and papery.  I don't think that's a bad thing in terms of look and they're definitely not flimsy, they're just different.  These come with glue and a nail file, the Elegant Touch glue it comes with is amazing!

Available for £8.99 from* - there are loads of other designs on there that they didn't have in my local Boots!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

NOTD - Bourjois So Lacque! in Orange Creation

You might have noticed I've had a bit of a break in December!  Things just got really busy with work and Christmas so I gave myself a bit of time off.  Hope you had a great Christmas and Mr Claus was good to you.

Anyway, I got a very random hankering for glossy, bright orange nails so I treated myself to a Bourjois nail varnish.  I don't really buy much from Bourjois, not sure why, it just never appeals to me that much.  So here we have it:

I also used Orly Bonder as a basecoat which I got as part of my Boots Advent Calendar and I really liked it! I topped this with Seche Vite too for a bit of extra shine.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Weleda goes crackers this Christmas!

I was sent this and I just think it's such a fab stocking filler, especially when Skin Food is such a fab winter product!  It comes in gorgeous cracker packaging which you open up to reveal.....

I love Weleda Skin Food, it's so nourishing and moisturising, especially when your skin's suffering from that annoying mix of central heating and cold weather outside!  Available from £3.50 from Weleda , it comes in a range of other products too.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Environ Active Vitamin Facial at Harvey Nichols, Manchester

Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit Harvey Nichols in Manchester for an Environ facial.  Environ is a cosmeceutical company developed by a South African plastic surgeon which fuses traditional beauty therapy and modern medical science.

First of all I had a really in depth consultation to get an idea about my skins condition and what my needs were.  My therapist was called Mary by the way, she was absolutely great, that perfect mix of professional, knowledgeable and friendly.  Another part of the consultation is taking really close up photos in this futuristic looking machine:

The photos are a real eye opener and highlights where there are signs of ageing, bacteria on the skin and areas damage etc.  The biggest shock for me was the one that showed damage under the top layer of skin and also the "fast forward" which showed how my skin will be in 3 years time if it continues on the way it is.  From this, Mary recommended me various products which I'll review later once I've tried them out properly - they include vitamin supplements as well as skincare as the principle behind Environ is to take care of inside and outside.

Back to the facial - this was easily the best, and most interesting, facial I've ever had.  It uses a combination of pulsed electrical currents and low frequency sound waves to boost the penetration of high-dosage anti-ageing and re-hydrating ingredients, including vitamin A and C, into your skin.  It's all pretty high tech and I imagine I looked a bit like a science experiment during my facial!

It starts off as a normal facial where your skin is cleansed etc. and then a metal tool is used on your face (which I believe is the ultrasound/galvanic part) you sort of hear a little electrical sound when this goes near your face but it isn't uncomfortable or disturbing or anything.  After this, a thick, plasticised mask is applied over your entire face including your eyes and mouth - they can leave these parts out if you're claustrophobic - and then you're hooked up to a low electrical field (which you can't feel other than the occassional little twitch).  After which point the mask is peeled off in one go to leave you with dewy, fresh skin.

It doesn't sound relaxing at all but it really is and at one point I definitely fell asleep!  I just sorted of floated away out of the salon - I'd planned to do all sorts in town but I was far too chilled out so I just went home.  My skin felt amazing and looked fantastic, the ultimate evidence of this was that a couple of people at work commented on how good my skin was looking which NEVER happens.

The treatment rooms at Harvey Nichols were really relaxing and kind of high tech too.  As I mentioned, the girl who did my facial was really nice and very professional.  I would fully recommend this and I actually can't wait to book my next appointment, it was the first facial I've had that was relaxing and made a visible difference to my skin.  No wonder it has a celebrity following!

To make an appointment contact the Beyond Beauty counter at Harvey Nichols here.  You can also find Environ products at the counter too.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

So, Aldi do beauty products?

Right, as a recent Aldi convert for my weekly shop (exciting insight there!), a few people at work have said they swear by some of Aldi's own beauty products.  As I can be a bit of a beauty snob at times I hadn't tried them until recently when I was sent some items to review.  None of them are branded as "Aldi's own" which I think is a good move as it means people are more likely to have them on display in their bathroom/on their dressing table.  So, on with the review!

The first thing I used was the Miracle Oil with Argan Oil - this is one of the exact products that one of my colleagues swears by - and I'm actually pretty impressed by it.  It's not in a squeeze, pump action or open neck bottle so you only get a tiny amount dispensed which is right and means that you don't add too much oil to your hair.  It doesn't smell really strongly or anything and actually feels really nourishing on you hair.  I'd happily buy this in future as it helps smooth down my damaged ends without totally weighing it down.

The Hand and Nail Cream is pretty good too, very nourishing without being greasy.  It absorbs quickly, comes in a squeeze tube and I think it's ideal for carrying in your bag or keeping in your desk at work.  It's a pretty good budget option.  It's not too heavily scented but I'm not wildly keen on the smell of it, but that's just me.

The Aqua Complete Serum is really light, absorbs well and feels great on the skin.  It's a decent enough everyday moisturiser that I'll happily use.

I've also got a moisturiser that I'm getting my boyfriend to test without revealing that it's an Aldi one (I normally buy him pretty high end moisturisers, bless him) - so far his feedback is that it's his favourite moisturiser and feels really good on his skin, albeit quite rich.  We'll see what his thoughts continue to be!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Winter fashion

There's so much stuff in the shops that I want at the minute, most of it's totally wintery things with fur and in pale colours.

As camouflage is also one of the big trends this winter, I've also been checking out womens military jackets too, I actually used to have a jacket like this from ASOS a few years ago but ended up either throwing it away or Ebaying it (can't remember which) as I never quite felt it was my style as I'm not really into the grunge look usually!  I really regret getting rid of it though because it was so comfy and easy to throw on without being too heavy or hot.  It was also an essential companion when I went to V Fest a few years ago, even though the weather was gorgeous through the day it was freezing at night!

I know loads of people have this jacket (or a variation of it) but I love this one too, think it takes me back to my youth when All Saints were big and everyone had a fancy camo coat:

I've also been looking at cheap skater dresses too - I'm not convinced the dress style actually suits me so I don't want to spend too much money on something I might only wear a couple of times.

What are your winter fashion picks this year?

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