Friday, 31 August 2012

Elegant Touch Funked Up French Limited Edition Storm (False Nails)

Another Savers find!  These falsies are shorter length and come with glue and a mini nail file.  There are 24 individual nails in each pack so I'd say there's a decent enough variety of size to fit everyone.  They're a light grey with a large black half moon design on them.  I can't even find anything about this design on Google so who knows where they've come from.  It's fairly apt that the design is called Storm though, as there's currently a proper thunderstorm taking place with the rain to go with it!

They're really easy to apply - despite the fact my glue bottle broke and the little nozzle came away meaning I had to sort of pour glue onto my nails then stick them on - and come with little tabs on them so you can a) match up nail sizes on your left and right hand and b) to make them a little bit easier to apply as you can hold on to the tabs.  You do have to snap these off and you might have to file away a rough edge with the file provided but this is pretty easy.  Sorry for the rubbish quality of these pics, I'm on my old camera and I'm really not impressed!

Overall I do quite like these but I wish the black part was smaller - more of a natural half moon size - as they kind of look like those acrylics where the white smile line has been taken down too far.  They've lasted a couple of days now but I have had to replace a few, probably due to by hindered application process.  They looked a bit worn after a couple of days as the paint had scraped off a bit.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A rival to Batiste? Inecto Pure Coconut Dry Shampoo

I randomly discovered a Savers near work!  In case you don't know Savers is like a dicount beauty place where they sell a lot of well known beauty brands a bit cheaper. I was merrily stocking up on Batiste when I picked up Inecto too as given that it's coconut I thought I'd like the smell. I didn't really have high hopes for this but thought it might be alright to try.

As a dry shampoo it isn't as white or heavy as Batiste, which is a plus and a minus as it means no white roots (which can sometimes be the case with Batiste especially if there's flash photography), white shoulders or discoloured hair but it also means that I don't think its grease reduction is quite as powerful so if your roots are really greasy it might not do the trick for you, by all means give it a try. It smells quite nice, a bit like coconut but quite like Ojon products if you've ever smelled them? Its not overpoweringly scented, I'd say less so than Batiste.

Where this stuff comes into its own though is adding volume and oomph to your hair.  It's a secret super volumiser! The first time I used this I hadn't had time to wash my hair before work so I used this and tied my hair in a low ponytail. When I took my hair down at the end of the day I was like WOW! My hair looked amazing, like I'd had a blow dry, totally unexpectedly as normally my hairs just a mess if I've had it up.  And not at all dusty or matted looking.

I've done a bit of research on this product since I bought it and apparently Alex Gerrard (who I secretly love along with Abbey Clancy/Crouch) recommended this in her OK column earlier in the year. Bet she didn't pop into Savers to get hers though!

Pretty sure I'll be buying this again and it might even take over from Batiste as my dry shampoo of choice. Also pretty sure I'll be hitting Savers on a regular basis! 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Topshop Lip Stick in Powder Room

I bought this on a whim when I was returning some stuff to Topshop as I fell in love with the colour!  It's a matte pale pink pencil that reminds me a little bit of MAC Pink Nouveau (one of my fave lippies).  It is quite light and has the potential to apply quite chalkily as it has a matte finish so I'd say make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturised before you try and wear this.  It doesn't feel drying or chalky on the lips though and is nicely pigmented.

Wear on this is ok, it's similar to a normal lipstick. I'm a big fan of the colour and the finish, even though it's pale, it's wearable and doesn't look too 'concealer lips' or washed out - not a look I'm a big fan of or I can pull off.  Application is pretty foolproof, only problem is I have to root out my big pencil sharpener now that I haven't seen for ages, I much prefer stuff that twists up or applies from a tube but that's me being lazy.

Yet another Topshop make up item I like, I've yet to be disappointed.  I might have to try some of the other colours, though I had my eye on a gloss when I bought this so maybe I'll try that (even though I'm not really a gloss kinda gal).  Powder Room is available from your local Topshop branch or on the Topshop website.  I also bought this Faux Matt Croc Phone Purse, although my phone won't fit in this as I've got the Samsung Galaxy note which is nearly the size of a tablet and I don't even have a phone at the moment but I bought it nevertheless!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Essie Good as Gold

Another Essie polish!  I'd been looking at this every time I was in Boots and eventually bought it.  I really really really like this, and I wore it about 75% of the time when I was on holiday. It looks good with a tan (sadly fading now) and it's so easy to wear.  The colour is a light pale metallic gold rather than a yellowy gold.  I prefer a lighter gold to be honest.

The finish on it is really metallic and pretty streak free if you're careful.  This polish is probably one of the most Minx-like that I've seen, still not as metallic as that though. I found it chips quite quickly on fingers but not as badly on toes, if it does chip one coat over the top covers it up so it's low maintenance-ish.  It dries really quickly and applies pretty well in just one coat but I have 3 - it will show up any imperfections in your nails, as you can see from my nails I probably should have used a ridge filling basecoat underneath to even out the application even more.

Removal is really straightforward, don't rub onto your skin when you're removing though as you'll end up with it all over fingers and look a bit Tinman-esque (yeah, I know he's silver, not gold), you know how some red polishes do that and you end up with a pink tinge to your fingers?

My nails are getting pretty long now, to the point where they're getting in the way of things like typing and stuff, can't decide whether to just adapt and get gel polish to keep them strong and long or be sensible and just chop them to a more manageable length.  Don't think I want them short just yet!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Meet Pearl

At the risk of being a bit like those people who post baby updates and pics all day long on Facebook, there's someone I'd like you to meet.

She's called Pearl and she's our 10 week old pug puppy who is currently asleep on my chest as I type and snoring VERY loudly (ignore my panda pyjamas from Topshop in the pic by the way, I've been getting up really early with her, even at weekends).  Here's some more gratuitous pug pics:

Needless to say we both love her loads!  When we first got her she was so quiet, we were actually a little bit worried she was going to be sad without her little family but after a few days she got more used to her new home and is now a lively, mischevious little dog.  She loves cuddles and being outdoors where she manages to strip the flowers out of the borders and run with them in her mouth - so cute but pretty naughty!

I'm sure I'll be posting some updates somewhere along the line so keep your eyes peeled, I'll try not to go on about her constantly as I'm fully aware that not everyone likes dogs.  If you've got any pug/puppy questions let me know, I'm no expert by any means and learning more all the time but we did a lot of research before we got her so hopefully I can be of some help.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

NOTD Topshop Deceptive with Models Own Ibiza Mix

I've managed to beg/borrow/steal (I'll let you decide which) a camera so thought I'd show you what's on my nails at the moment.  I wanted to wear Topshop Deceptive (previous post on Topshop polishes here) as I haven't had it on for a while but the weather was really nice so it felt a bit too wintery.  So I rooted through my collection and decided to add some Models Own Ibiza Mix (more pics here) to liven things up.  I think it worked, what do you think?

Really like this combination and was surprised by how well the two went together - I can't stop staring at my nails, think I'll wear this again in the future!  I need to have a look at some more Topshop and Models Own polishes, my love of Essie seems to have taken over now they're more available. So far I've tried Ibiza Mix over this, white, black, bright pink and I think it looks great over them all.  I'd recommend getting this polish if you haven't already as it's pretty versatile for layering and adds a little extra something to a plain mani. 

As you can probably guess, removing Ibiza Mix is a pain because of how glittery it is but not too bad here as it's just one layer on top.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lancome La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum

I find perfume really difficult to review and write about, it's very much a personal thing and describing a smell is pretty tricky.  I received this for review.  The packaging is quite cute, it comes in a white glittery box (it's cute but I don't think the box really goes with the bottle or the perfume) and the bottle is a bit of an unusual shape but feels nice and sturdy.

Described as "an eau de parfum with the noblest ingredients combines concrete of iris pallida, jasmin sambac absolute, orange blossom absolute and patchouli essence, lain on a bed of fine delicacies."
I actually really liked this, and I didn't expect to, it's fresh and light without being too clean-smelling or floral despite the orange blossom and patchouli (not a huge fan of overly floral perfumes).  I've been using this every day since I received it as I find it really wearable and not at all heavy.  There's a bit of a sweetness to it which I personally really like.

I'd definitely give this a try if you're looking for a new every day perfume that's easy to wear or possibly if you're looking for a gift for someone as I honestly this is the type of perfume that a lot of people would like.  Lancome La Vie Est Belle available from Selfridges from £39.

Have you tried this perfume?  What did you think?  Any other recent perfumes you've tried and liked?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Baking from the Home Recipes with Bero: Centenary Edition (Australian Crunchie)

I've never done a baking post before, mainly because it's pretty rare that I bake even though I enjoy it.  I can knock up some pretty mean shortbread, scones, butterfly cakes and chocolate chip cookies when the need arises - I know, I know, all fairly easy stuff but still.  The thing with baking is that it can work out expensive (especially when your oven is as temperamental/unpredictable as ours) plus, there's only me and boyfriend at home and though he's a cake/chocolate fiend we can't finish off a big batch of cakes on our own!

Anyway, when I moved out my Mam gave me her much treasured Home Recipes with Bero: Centenary Edition, we used to bake from this all the time when I was a kid and I used to love it!  How ace is this?  It's particularly retro as it's about 20-30 years old I think, but the recipes are still great and the instructions are really clear. 

The only thing that throws me a bit is oven times - as I said earlier, it might be my oven but I find stuff seems to be done before the timings in here, I suppose ovens will have improved in the last few decades maybe! We used to make something that no-one ever seems to have heard of called Australian Crunchie, this one was my favourite and I randomly got a craving to eat/make some when I was off over Easter despite not having it since I was at primary school and or ever having made it myself.

Recipe can also be found on the Bero website (but I prefer my recipe book!)

I didn't have the right tin so the first time I did it I spread it a bit thinly and the edges burnt.  It's important to remember that if it feels squishy in the tin a bit not to worry as it hardens up into more of  biscuit when left to cool.  All in all, this was a hit!  And for those of you that are thinking "ew, coconut", it actually doesn't taste like coconut at all - I hate coconut too but it seems to just add texture to it.  I'd have love to have shown you some picture of the finished product but as I mentioned, the sea has claimed my phone/camera at the moment!

So yeah, I'm no domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination but I can knock out a mean Australian Crunchie if I have to  Do let me know if you try out any of these recipes and how they turn out.  These are the two I probably use the most:

Have you heard of Australian Crunchie?  Have you made it?  Do you have any fail-safe recipes I need to know about?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

GlamGlow Mud Mask Review (including GlamGlow and Xen Tan discount codes)

Hello, I'm back!  I had an AMAZING time in Mexico - as well as eating, drinking and sunbathing we went to Chichen Itza, swimming in a cenote (a kind of underground rock pool like something out of James Bond with vines hanging down a little black catfish everywhere, totally gorgeous), saw the oldest church in Mexico, went turtle spotting and had a little look round the towns near us.  Sadly my trusty boyfriend went swimming with my phone/camera in his pocket so no photos, including my blog pictures which were on there so muchos apologies for the stock images that I'll be using for the time being.  D'oh.  I'm getting it sorted on my insurance and hopefully it'll be back soon as I feel like I've lost an arm at the moment!

Anyway, on to Glam Glow. I was given a sample of this at the brilliant Xen Tan event I attended in July as both products are distributed by the same people.  I hadn't heard of GlamGlow before but it's an exfoliant mud mask made with volcanic rock, french sea clay and green tea leaf pieces.  The size I have is the 15ml which is meant to be 3 applications (I got 4 out of it!).  GlamGlow is 100% natural, cruelty-free, contains no animal products, artificial colors or artificial fragrance, and is suitable for all skin types of all ages.

First off, I'm not wild about the packaging, it feels like good quality but I don't necessarily think the way it looks does it justice but it's really a personal preference more than anything, I'm actually coming to like the packaging a bit more though.  It comes in a pot that you dip into and you need to make sure the lid's on properly so it doesn't dry out.  It doesn't look like the most gorgeous product in the world as it's a clay mask but it smells really refreshing.

You apply this to clean skin (it recommends a foundation brush but I used my fingers), leave for 10 minutes or so and then rinse off, using your hands or a cloth to rub and remove.  As with most clay/mud masks, this hardens and dries after application but it didn't make my face feel really tight like I was wearing cement.  It feels quite tingly on application so don't worry about that.

After removal, I really noticed a difference in my skin, it was smooth and looked (and felt) really fresh, I even had some comments saying how nice my skin was looking, which never happens.  The exfoliating effect and the smoothing effect of the clay are really something, and I didn't feel like the clay dried out my skin at all.  I then add a moisturiser or a face oil to keep the moisture in.  I was so pleased with the results and I actually want to stock up on some more as I've ran out now.  I'd really recommend this and say if you're not sure, buy the smaller tub to give it a try - it isn't a cheap product but it's well worth it if you ask me.  There are great reviews of this all over the internet

For more info on GlamGlow or to buy some and try for yourself visit the GlamGlow UK website.  It's priced at £19.99 for 15ml or £49.99 for 50ml.  I also have an exclusive GlamGlow discount code if you visit the site - BBGLAM20 - and for those of you who use Xen Tan, here's a code to use on their website too - BBTAN20 - I've got a pretty good real one at the moment so I won't need my favourite fake tan for a little while at least.  Both are valid for one purchase until 31/08/12 (can you believe we're in August already?!!). 


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