Wednesday, 18 July 2012

See you in 2 weeks!

Well, I had plans to squeeze in a load of posts before I went to Mexico today but between work, events, weddings, packing and uni I just haven't had the chance!  I haven't scheduled any posts while I'm away either because I like reading your comments and seeing what you have to say.

Here's what's coming up when I'm back though:
  • Skin Art temporary tattoos
  • Xen Tan Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe and the Xen Tan event I attended last week
  • Glamglow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask
  • Recipe for Australian Crunch from my very retro recipe book
  • Whatever new foundation (and whatever else) I decide to pick up at Duty Free
  • Nail art designs
  • Essie Good as Gold
  • Dirt and Glitter Luxury soaps
I'm sure by the time I get back there'll be some more stuff I have in mind too.  So I'll just leave you with a promise that I won't drink too much tequila while I'm away (possibly a lie).  Adios, see you in two weeks!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Getting crafty at home - square picture frames and fancy paper

We moved into our house over a year ago and our decor is pretty neutral overall, I'm not a fan of clutter plus unfortunately we don't have oodles of money to spend (as I spend all of mine on clothes and beauty products, oops). We've got a proper hallway that is painted a very light grey, it looks pretty nice but I just feel like it's missing a bit of something as you walk in.  I want my personality to show a bit more in the house.  I love vintage and antique french styles (see my dressing table here) but think it's a bit OTT for an everyday house all over.

After being massively inspired by this picture, I decided to have a go myself. Boyfriend was highly dubious about this - as he is about a lot of my interior design choices until he sees the finished article and is like "oh, that's actually really nice." I'm sure he'll start trusting my judgement at some point.

I bought a load of fancy paper from Paperchase - I spent about £8 here - but you could really do it with anything such as wrapping paper, wallpaper, images you like, even fabric I suppose!  I bought a variety of different papers, more than I needed, as I like the idea that when I get bored I can just mix them up again and change the design fairly easily (and reuse ny spare paper as wrapping paper).

I then bought four 8" x 8" square white photoframes from Ebay.  I decided on white because it would go with the picture rails and staircase in our house which are all glossed white.  I struggled to find any really cheap ones but I paid about a fiver each for this plus about a fiver postage so not too expensive really.  With hindsight, I was looking at 10" x 10" frames initially but decided they'd be too big, after seeing the smaller ones in the flesh I kind of wish I'd got the bigger ones (though they were more expensive again) but hey that's a risk you take buying off the internet and I did measure and make my decision.  I'm still happy with how it looks.

Anyway, this was really easy to do, I just cut the paper to size, popped them in the frames then enlisted the help of my boyfriend and his spirit level to get the pictures straight and evenly spaced.  When you're cutting to size, take into account what the pattern on the paper will look like, sometimes bits of the paper are plainer than other.  I also used little scissors to fold out the clips holding the frames together as I didn't want to wreck my nails.  The trickiest part was hanging them, you need to measure the distances you want them and make sure they're all even and straight or it looks silly.  I enlisted the assistance of boyfriend and his spirit level for this and despite some bickering, I think they've turned out pretty well.

I really like it and it totally adds what I wanted to the hallway, way more interesting than how it looked before without it actually looking as weird as I was worried it was going to.  At some point I might just put the pink and black paper in all four frames but for now I'm sticking with the pink and gold and yellow and pink bird print.  Boyfriend likes it too, despite his initial misgivings.

I also recently bought this from Etsy...this is probably a bit overly quirky for the rest of the house but never mind, I like it.  Just waiting for it to arrive now!  The seller does loads of other designs, check them out on the link under the picture.  These are popping up more and more (here's one you can get from Debenhams) and apparently you can make your own but it looks a bit too complicated for me - plus I really like this double handled pink teacup and haven't been able to find any similar.

If you're interested in what kind of house stuff I like and my inspiration, have a look at my homewares Pinterest board (it's a to say the least).

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

China Glaze Stone Cold (from the Capitol Colours know, the Hunger Games one)

I rarely go for things that are really hyped up, I don't know why, I just seem averse to it.  As soon as there's a huge media storm about something I go off it.  This is the reason I've never read 50 Shades of Grey (or intend to), bought an iPhone, watched a Twilight film or used a BB Cream.  Clearly this is something slightly askew in my head but never mind.  It's also the reason I have never gotten involved with anything to do with the Hunger Games, be it books, games or nail polishes.  The whole thing has passed me by.

But I spotted Stone Cold on a blog recently and thought "oooh, hello!", I didn't realise it was even part of the Capitol Colours collection until I was googling to find out where I could get it (Ebay by the way...why is it cheaper to get polishes from the US than in the UK, even taking into account shipping?).

Stone Cold is a matte charcoal with glitter.  I love grey and black polishes, I love matte polishes, I love glitter.  So this is a huge thumbs up for me, I love it.  I'll probably wear it more in winter but I think it's quite an unusual finish and looks so nice on.  I don't have anything else like this in my collection, especially since my matte topcoat dried up and went strange.  Very happy I bought this!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Unexpected shopping haul...

I didn't mean or plan to buy any of this stuff, it just sort of happened, and some of it from shops I would never normally go to or buy things from so I'm calling this the unexpected haul.

This hummingbird bag is from Next (a shop I've never bought anything for myself from except for house stuff).  I'd seen a couple of women with it when I was out and about and the hummingbird print really caught my eye.  Anyway, I spotted it on another woman on Saturday and filed it away as a "must have a look in the shops for that", then as we were passing Next I saw it in the window so we bought it.  It was actually one of two Next's we have where I live, and we were meant to be going to the other one but forgot so went to one near where our car was parked...I call that fate.  I think it'll make a great beach bag but it's a bit different to things I usually buy, it feels a bit more mature!

The flamingo bikini is from M&S, another shop that I've never bought an item of clothing from I don't think?  But I saw this in a magazine so hunted it down.  The blue bikini is by Pour Moi and I got it from ASOS, I've got it in red as well and I kind of have my eye on the purple one too.

I bought this on my lunch break  in New Look, I was actually meant to be buying tights. I love lasercut stuff and the pop of pink really did it for me.  It's also big for a clutch and feels nice and sturdy (i.e. it won't go all squishy when I'm carrying it and everything in my bag falls out).  I used my NUS discount, and I hide the chain for it inside the bag as I'm not that keen.

And finally, ASOS Lucy ballet flats in white leopard.  I've had these in every colour they've ever made so far I think, and when I saw neon leopard print with pink bows, I went for it.  if you buy them in the sale or when there's a discount code going they work out really reasonable and are way better quality than Primark etc.  The plain white ones are £7 at the minute.

So there you have it, my unexpected haul!  Shopping in M&S and Next has made me feel a bit middleaged, but hey I'm 26 in September so maybe it's time to start getting a bit more mature.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My favourite go-to polishes at the moment

These are the polishes that I've been reaching for lately when I want to do my nails quickly and have something on that's easy to wear - I don't really do unpolished nails as mine peel and I get way too tempted to nibble them (once a nailbiter, always a nailbiter). I'm trying to keep them long until next Monday when I'm getting Gelac on again for my holiday, bet it gets to Friday and all my nails snap off!

The formulas and wear time on these are all pretty good. Obviously I like the colours and most of these have pretty good coverage so I can get away with two hanging around wating for layers of polish to dry.

We have (L-R) Essie Ole Caliente, Leighton Denny Madison, OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, Models Own Nude Beige and 17 Lasting Fix Parma Violet.

Ole Caliente is the newest addition to the group and Nude Beige is probably the polish I've been using for the longest (think this is my second bottle).  Lincoln Park After Dark isn't quite black but it's a really dark purple that looks black in some lights, this is probably the least-worn out of these five favourites but it still gets a good outing nevertheless.  I have all sorts of colours in my nail polish drawer but these are the ones I find easiest to apply and wear.

What are you reaching for lately?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I'm nearly on holiday (Boots holiday haul)...

I've been going on about holidays for a while, but it's finally less than 2 weeks until I go to Mexico.  Yeah! Just thought I'd show you what I ordered from Boots as holiday essentials, I got it delivered out of laziness as I didn't want to drag all this back from the shops:

Suncream with insect repellent, aftersun and insect repellent - I'm obsessed with not getting bitten on holiday so I use this suncream, along with repellent and a little insect repellent bracelet thing.  In Cuba I even had a plug thing for the room but haven't this time.  Hey, I didn't get bitten once in Cuba and some people got eaten alive, especially as some of the restaurants were open air by the water!  I'd totally recommend this suncream as it's something you use anyway, it's waterproof and it keeps bugs away, it's on offer at the moment too so worth stocking up if you're going away.

Original Mint Source Shower Gel - as above really, I don't think it's intended for this but I think this repels bugs too (ha!).  When I went to Spain on my first girlie hol I took this and didn't get bitten once, despite using no repellent or anything - except for when I nicked some of my mates different shower gel instead of using mine so I got nibbled!  I swear by this on holiday, whether it's just a psychological thing or not.
Then we've got Aussie Miracle Take The Heat Shampoo and 3 Minute Miracle, Aussie Leave In Conditioner, Palmers Cocoa Butter, Veet, hairclips and Just Good Things facewipes.  Think all this stuff is fairly self explanatory.  I also already have Batiste Wild (favourite Batiste), hairspray and Superdrug Nail Varnish Remover wipes (holiday essential!) in my collection to take.

We didn't go abroad last year as we'd just bought our house, we had a good old fashioned British seaside holiday in Devon though which was good. I had planned loads of beauty appointments - hair, gel polish, pedicure, waxing, lash extensions and brow tinting - but in the end fitting everything in was getting tricky and I thought "oh sod it!". So I'm getting my hair done, gel polish on fingernails (on my lunch break!) and some temporary lash extensions. To be honest the hair and lashes are for the wedding I'm going to next week rather than the holiday.

What are your holiday essentials - treatments and products?  Is there anything I've missed out?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Loreal Professionnel Silver Shine Shampoo for Grey and White Hair

My hairdresser recommended this to me, she's blonde like I am, except she's a really really light cool blonde - almost verging on grey - her hair is gorgeous.  Not a look I can pull off, but nevertheless I still don't want any brassy yellowy or orange tones in my hair.  I've been using a silver shampoo from Boots but haven't really had results I'd like so she suggested this (and this isn't the brand they use and promote in my salon...oops).  My hair's naturally quite dark so my blonde tends to discolour easily.

I really like this product - it's a bright purple colour (much brighter than my Boots one) and the instructions warn you not to leave it on your hands too long in case it stains them, so I'm quite careful when I use this (after I had a disaster with some Lee Stafford purple stuff that left my hair like a blue rinse) but I haven't had any disasters, just shiny, bright blonde hair.  It's been left really manageable and not at all weighed down either.

If you're blonde I really would recommend this to keep your hair looking at its best, after red I'd say blonde is one of the hardest colours to maintain nicely.  I'm going to look more into Loreal Professionnel products as I've been really impressed with this.  I put off trying purple shampoo for ages as a lot of them say for white or grey hair, but don't worry about this, honestly, as long as you're careful you won't end up with purple hair.

I'm getting really bored with my hair lately but I'm a bridesmaid in a few weeks so I've been keeping my hair a sensible colour (quite a light, one colour blonde at the moment) and the length long so it can be put up easily and last all day.  I think come September when it's time to get my hair done again I'm going to get something different as I've had my hair like this for a while - I'm thinking a proper side fringe (instead of the sort of non committal side parting with shorter layers at the front I have now), all the dead ends cut off so it's a fair bit shorter, more layers and maybe my dark brown panels back in.  I'm so boring, I'm only ever really blonde or I sometimes get a bit of brown in the layers underneath.  Have you had any hair style changes lately?  What have you had?  I need inspiration!

Anyway, I bought this shampoo from (I wish I'd waited as they're currently giving away free samples of YSL's new Touche Eclat foundation with every order that uses the code ILOVEYSL).

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Cuticle care - Mavala Cuticle Remover and Nubar Passionfruit Cuticle Oil

My cuticles - fingers and toes - are really getting on my nerves lately, they're more dry than overgrown so they just need a bit of TLC.  So I bought Mavala Cuticle Remover and Nubar Cuticle Oil to try and sort them out.

I originally bought the vanilla scented Nubar Cuticle Oil and was a tiny bit disappointed in the lack of a really sweet vanilla smell, it was pretty subtle. I thought it was still a good product (and contains a variety of different oils) but not quite what I was expecting. But long story short, I popped it in my bag to use at work and the whole thing leaked. Even when I twisted the lid back on it came loose again. Hello greasy ASOS satchel! So basically, this isn't really travel friendly. I did like the product so I repurchased this time and bought the passionfruit one, so glad I did! It smells really yummy, like fruit juice (but not overpowering), and I much prefer it to the vanilla.  The oil works well and my cuticles are looking much more nourished than they did.  I'm trying to use it regularly.

The cuticle remover, to be honest I can take or leave, it hasn't really done much for me but I think perhaps it was the wrong product as my cuticles aren't overgrown, just dry.  Would really recommend the oil if you're looking for a new one.  I bought mine from


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