Friday, 30 July 2010

Orange nail polish just makes me think "summer!"

This is Rimmel Lasting Finish Nail Polish in 050 Tangerine Queen – I can’t find any of my orange polishes so wanted a new one, not too neon or bright but not dull or frosted either. This is perfect, the exact colour I wanted. A nice juicy, glossy orange.
Please excuse the slight crapplication on the middle two fingers, I swatched this whilst writing an essay, in a dimly lit room, with sleep deprivation and without my swanky D&G specs on. I should really wear them more, they make me look smarter (oh, and I can see of course).

I actually don’t own any other Rimmel polishes and I was pretty impressed with this one (especially for the price). Application was easy, the formulation is a little thick, dry time was ok though this it two coats and you can still sort of see VNL . I love the finish too, it’s really shiny and plasticised. I’ve got Leighton Denny All for One Base and Top Coat on with it.

It lasted 2 days without chipping or tipwear, quite a feat since my nails are getting long.

This gets a thumbs (with orange painted nails, of course) up from me for summer. Oh yes, Tangerine Queen, you shall travel in my suitcase all the way to Florida next week!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Refresh and Revive Spa Day at Crewe Hall - review

I got this spa day for £120 for two people from (you can get a percentage cashback too if you go through Quidco, which I am a big fan of – seriously, Google it!). How fancy does Crewe Hall look!

Included in the price is an aromatherapy facial, deep cleansing back exfoliation, a back, neck and shoulder massage with aromatic oils, two course lunch and use of the facilities (steam room, pool, sauna, ice fountain, gym etc).

I’ve divided this into sections to make it a bit easier to read and less of a ramble by me.

These were lovely and relaxing – the back exfoliation and massage definitely worked at getting the tension out of my shoulders and at the bottom of my back. The facial was so nice too and included a head massage (which I loved!). They used ESPA products, which I have heard of but haven’t used before – they smell amazing, and by the looks of the brochures dotted around are pretty expensive. They use male ESPA products for mens facials.

The girl who did my treatment was really friendly, professional and good at her job, she also knew when to talk and when not to (that sounds awful but you know what I mean don’t you? I’ve had a bikini wax before where the lass was telling me intimate details of her life as she ripped the hairs out of There is a time and a place!)

The girl on reception was very helpful too, explaining where things were and what to do – she also gave us our complimentary robes and slippers.

Crewe Hall is very impressive when you drive up to it – the spa bits are around the back in a more modern building. The treatment rooms are lovely, dim lights, wood and tranquil music everywhere, plenty of room too and the whole place was very well kept and clean.

Even the swimming pool changing rooms were nicer than average!

The whole place is pretty huge, we didn’t walk round much of it, I bet if it had been a nicer day though a little walk around the grounds or surrounding area would have been in order.

Disappointingly the Jacuzzi and ice fountain (which isn’t as impressive as it sounds) were out of order when we were there. However, the gym, sauna, pool and steam room were all in working order. We didn’t check out the gym (what a surprise!) but the pool was nice, albeit a bit cold. The sauna was nicer than others I’ve been to (but I always feel a bit weird in saunas as I feel like I can’t breathe because it’s so dry in there)! The steam room was nice too – it had twinkly lights in the ceiling and periodically sprayed out further scented steam. There was also a very posh shower and some heated stone seats (I spent a lot of time on one of these seats).

Towels are provided by reception as well so no need to take your own. You do need £1 for the lockers in the changing rooms though.

Food is an important factor to me (which is why none of my clothes fit). Our meal in the brasserie was buffet style, but way fancier than a normal buffet. They had soup and rolls, a selection of hot foods (posh chicken tikka breasts, paprika roast potatoes, lasagne, veg and other stuff). I went for the healthier option and had salad stuff, there was a fab selection of things on there! Desserts were good too, fresh fruit with cream or lemon mousse stuff, I think there was something else too? Tea, coffee and water were available too.

I was a bit worried that because we had booked as part of a package we’d get fobbed off with food but it was really nice.

All in all, we spent 4 ½ hours there (they had rang up the day after I booked and we had booked our treatments to start at 11am), and probably could have spent longer there if we’d gymmed it and things. I can definitely say we both felt refreshed and revived afterwards, though I came home and had a massive sleep when I got in! I still feel like I could have another sleep now, might have to set two alarms tomorrow morning. I definately think it was worth the money, I feel loads better for it and it was a really nice treat. I feel like I've used the word "nice" a lot in this review but it really is the best way to describe the day and how I feel about it.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Decleor Aroma Cleanse Cleansing Milk - Face and Eyes

Decleor is generally a little out of my price range so I was pretty pleased to receive this as a gift, especially as my Dermalogica cleanser has ran out and I can't afford more at the moment.

The instructions recommend that you apply the cream to your face with your fingertips and remove with cotton wool, then use the recommended Decleor toner. Since I find toner a bit harsh, and certainly don't own the Decleor one, I skipped the last step and left it on my skin. I certainly had no negative reactions with my skin but I do wonder if having the product lying on my skin (i.e. not using a toner) is doing it any good, so I'm not recommending that you do that.
This felt so moisturising, my skin feels very soft and smooth after use but the product doesn't feel heavy. It's gentle enough to use on your eyes and though it didn't quite get all of my lash primer off (seriously, Shiseido lash base it like concrete mixed with superglue but it gives such amazing results) it had a good go. You can also see the make up that you've removed on the cotton wool, which I personally find very satisfying! It's very lightly scented as well, but not overpowering or chemically.

The downsides are having to use the cotton wool - kind of wasteful - and the fact that this isn't at all "scrubby", so you'd need to use an exfoliator regularly; really this is just my personal preference though. I don't think I'd repurchase but that's mainly because I can't afford to!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Anatomicals Stop Cracking Up Lip Balm

I bought this on a whim last winter when my lips were dry and sore, nothing was doing the trick to make them look lovely again until I used this. I was mainly attracted by the quirky packaging and the price and just added it into my ASOS basket when I was ordering some other stuff but I've since repurchased it quite a few times, each tube lasts a surprising amount of time.

It's more like a gloss than a balm (see pic below), it's clear but it isn't at all sticky or gooey. It has a very slight sweet taste but nothing too noticeable. It's SO hydrating and applies really smoothly. Whether the weather is freezing cold/windy and chapping my lips or the weather's warm and they just need a bit more moisture, this really does the trick and has dry skin gone in no time.
It's not expensive either (£2.50) and I think you can get it in some supermarkets. I really want to try more of the Anatomicals range actually, if this is anything to go by!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Revlon Scents of Summer 2010 Polish in Cotton Candy – candy floss scented polish!

I’m a sucker for a gimmick, so when I saw that Revlon had brought out some scented polish, I knew I’d have to try it. I chose Cotton Candy because the colour looked wearable and I love sweet smells (some of my favourite perfumes are ridiculous).

Cotton candy is a pale pink with a hint of gold shimmer to it and is “scented when dry”. Application was so-so, after 3 coats I could still see bald patches on my nails. The consistency of the polish was pretty good but I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t really see the gold shimmer in it; this might be because it wasn’t really sunny when I tried this though as I’ve seen other pics and the gold is slightly more visible. The polish did last less than a day before chipping which was a bit disappointing too.

But back to the main point of the purchase…the smell! Did it really smell like cotton candy when it dried? Well yes, pretty much, a very sweet and synthetic smell anyway that doesn’t quite smell like candyfloss to me, but isn’t far off at all. The smell actually lasts quite long and is pretty noticeable for a while. I could even still smell it after using Seche Vite!

As a novelty purchase, this gets the thumbs up from me but I don’t think I’d have bothered if it didn’t have that unique selling point. I don’t think this is available in the UK at the moment and/or whether it will be but mine is from the US.

Friday, 16 July 2010

My Friday Favourites :-)

Ah Friday, you're finally here. Just thought I’d do a quick round up of some of my favourite beauty-related things at the moment rather than doing loads of different review posts.

1. Flower hair accessories – nice and summery, perfect for when you can’t be bothered with your hair but still want to look like you made an effort.
2. Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara in Rich Black – highly pigmented, works wonders with my tiny stubby lashes, comes off easily without taking any lashes with it, brush is easy to use.
3. E45 cream – been using this rather than my Clinique (credit crunch and all that) and my skin is just as good

4. Wella Toners & Shaders Sachets – keeping my hair looking half decent until I go to the hairdressers to get my highlights done for my hols, all for the princely sum of 99p

5. Topshop White Stud Clutch – this is what I shall be dragging around all summer.

6. No7 Cleanse and Care Eye Make Up Remover – this removes absolutely everything easily from your eye area and feels nice and nourishing!

7. Aussie Dual Personality Hairspray – this stuff smells amazing and really holds hair. I like! I'm actually impressed with everything I've used from the Aussie range - this, Dual Personality Heat Protection Spray, Luscious Long Leave In Conditioner and any of the 3 minute miracles are my fave

(Pics are from Ebay and Google, not my own)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Fun with nail decals and stickers

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the crapness of the white polish in these pics, the only white crème I had was a one for French tips so it just hasn’t worked well as a proper polish, it looks like Tippex! I did think white was best to show these off and can assure you I will be rectifying the “not owning a white crème polish” as soon as possible.

Here we have some fab nail decals and stickers from – I’ve tested my favourites on my hand here:

The decals are a little more tricky than the stickers (but even then, hardly so) but both types come with very clear instructions on how to apply – I’d got the hang of it by the time I came to apply the unicorn one, which is a bit better positioned than the best. I’d say the top tip is to cut them out as close to the sticker as possible. Also, just to add, they don’t feel rough in any way either!

The seller was even kind enough to send me the playing card ones with a thicker outline to see if they were easier to cut out. I think he does custom nail stickers/decals too if you ask, I couldn’t see the playing card ones in his items for sale so I just asked and he made :-)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Legally Blonde - The Musical

I went to London at the weekend and part of my trip was to see Legally Blonde - The Musical at the Savoy Theatre. Quite frankly I bloody loved it!

It was camp, cute, funny, frothy and lots of fun - true to the film and just what I expected. The songs are catchy, the comedy element is there and the dance routines were good. Sheridan Smith wasn't playing the lead role when we went which was a bit disappointing but Richard Fleeshman and Gill Halfpenny (both of whom can really belt out a tune!) were in it, you'd never know Gill Halfpenny was the same person as dowdy Kate from Eastenders though, she looks totally different.

The cutest cast members however, were the two little dogs playing Bruiser and Paulette's dog. Actual, real, cute little doggies on stage, I loved it! I felt so sorry for the little chihuahua at one point though, he/she misjudged a jump onto a bed and fell over, looking very startled. Aaaaw!

I would totally recommend this if you're in London and like the film Legally Blonde (which incidentally I have realised I don't own, how did this happen?!! I must rectify this at Amazon immediately). It's probably my favourite girly film and as a blonde myself who is prone to being a bit ditsy I like the idea that in theory I could be super-successful in a traditionally "demanding" career, I think the film sends out a good message. Yes, I know it's only a film - and a pretty unrealistic one at that - but we can dream right?!

I also did a lot of the tourist attractions whilst I was there, ate at Pret a Manger a lot and went to see Wicked at the Apollo (also great) - I hardly shopped at all though, apart from buying two plain tops in Topshop for my hols (less than 4 weeks to go, yeah!).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Green People Organic Formula Self Tan Lotion

I was given this to try by our resident organic champion at work. It contains 88.57% certified organically grown ingredients and works by sugar derivatives reacting with your skin to create pigments (basically the same as a "chemical" fake tan would). I googled and it seems to cost between £13-17 online.

It doesn’t look like fake tan – it’s a slightly yellow cream that looks a bit like cocoa butter and when you rub it into your skin it leaves a startling thick white residue that thankfully sinks in after 5-10 minutes. But other than the initial shock application is pretty straightforward (I did manage to mess up my ankles though, which I happen to do every single time I try any fake tannage!) and at least you can see where you’ve applied.

It also smells nothing like fake tan – it has a strong herbal scent (that’ll be the rosehip, geranium and sandalwood then) that stays even when the tan is developing, and you definitely don’t get that horrible biscuity smell that usually comes post–tan development. My boyfriend described me as “smelling like a lovely curry”, which I’m not sure is a good thing. I think the smell might be a bit much for some people.

The other thing about this tan is that it develops FAST, the colour was coming out in about 2 hours and fully developed after about 5. It gives a nice golden colour – quite subtle, but definitely still noticeable.

The con of this tan for me was it’s longevity - 2 showers later and you’d be hard pressed to tell I ever had tan on apart from a few little areas. But this also has a plus point as it means that you’re not ending up really patchy like with some other tans, but who wants to be reapplying tan every 2 days? I’m sporadic enough with tan application as it is!

If you want a quick developing tan that doesn’t stink or you're a bit scared of tan and want some where any mistakes aren't there for long, then this is the stuff for you! I have actually applied this just before work before, then left it to develop throughout my working day (no awful tan smell), then showered off when I got home and went out. I think I’ll be sticking with my L’Oreal Nutrisummer though– sorry colleague, your organic mission has failed on this occasion.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

This warm weather we've been having has really played havoc with my Mac Cremesheen Lipstick in Speed Dial...

This WAS my 3 week old Mac Cremesheen in Speed Dial - it's died a death in the warm weather before I even had a chance to review it. I loved it and it had quickly become my go-to lippy. I even tried to resuscitate it in the fridge but no joy :-(

Here's a swatch of it to show just how pretty it was:

Weirdly, Mac Chatterbox (not a Cremesheen) which I bought at the same time and kept in the same conditions is ok. Has anyone elses makeup gone strange? How do people who have hot weather all the time cope with their lipsticks melting?!


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