Friday, 28 December 2012

Seasons Greetings

001.  Quality Streets!
002.  Cracker toys
003.  Table decorations
004.  Presents
005.  Nice hat!

Christmas is over.  Can you believe it?  It’s my favourite time of the year and it came and went far too quickly for my liking.  I hardly felt Christmassy and didn’t have time to do any of my normal traditions this year, such as watching as many xmas movies as possible and spending all of my time at the shops.  Nonetheless, Christmas Eve came and I did feel suitably festive and I had a great couple of days (see my snapshots above).

Today was my first day back to work which has totally thrown my body clock.  I’ve got the Monday blues on a Friday.  What’s the deal with that?  All of the seasonal partying has caught up with me and I’ve been exhausted today.  Plus, to make matters worse, all of my beauty routines have been replaced with ‘falling asleep drunk with my make up on’ so I have a face which looks like a pizza and it’s really sore :( ouch!

And that’s not the end of it for my poor skin as on Sunday I’m off to Butlin’s to see in the New Year, which means more alcohol, more bad food and more naughty beauty habits.  I’m going to try and get one or two product reviews in before I go but if not I shall have lots to update you with once I’m back.  Hope you all have a great New Year!


Monday, 24 December 2012

The not so secret Santa

Dress - Primark
Bag - Faith
Boots - Jeffrey Campbell Lita Boots
Lipstick - MAC Saigon Summer
Nails - OPI Don't Mess With OPI

This is what I wore for my secret Santa night with the girls.  It’s our annual tradition to all get together, exchange presents, drink plenty of wine and then hit the town.  This year I managed to let slip who I’d bought for just before we were about to start and everyone worked out who had who.  My bad!  Despite that we all had a really good, really drunken, night and I love my presents from my secret Santa.  I’ll be sure to blog about what I got along with my other Christmas presents too (ooo - not long now!)

Anyway, on to the outfit.  My dress was from Primark, which after a dry spell I think now has some amazing stuff in.  I’m not really a black dress sort of person but if ever there’s a time to pull out a LBD it’s Christmas isn’t it?  I paired the dress with my lovely Lita boots and finished the look with a slick of orange/coral lipstick to give my outfit a pop of colour.  I had my hair cut and blow-dried but after doing some last minute Christmas shopping in the rain all day I shouldn’t have bothered.  I do love my vintage style curl however!  I think it adds a little something extra to my outfit.

I shall wish you all a Merry Christmas as I won’t be doing anything involving a laptop, mobile phone or iPad tomorrow!  Christmas Day is family day in our house.  Hope you have a good one and the fat man is kind to you all.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Benefit The POREfessional

My first experience with make up primers was awful.  I can’t remember the exact name of the first one I used but it was a drug-store, clear, gel-like product which made my make up look worse not better.  The primer appeared to have wore off in patches by the end of the day and all of my make up went with it, giving me a ‘leper-like’ appearance.  You can imagine why I therefore deemed primers a pointless product.

Oh how my opinion changed when Benefit The POREfessional came into my life.  I could no longer ignore the hype about this miracle product and had to give it a try.  It glides onto your skin effortlessly making it feel silky smooth and prepped for foundation.  My skin seems brighter when wearing the product and my make up definitely lasts longer - all day in fact!  I can certainly see the difference if I miss this step from my morning routine.  

The only thing that I don’t love is the price.  At £23.50 for 22ml, this little beauty is very expensive.  Benefit have recently introduced a value size version which is double the product for £29.50 but it’s limited edition and has been sold out for ages otherwise I would have stocked up.  You’d probably find me buying this product if it was payday or I was feeling thrifty but when I’m not, I will be looking for cheaper alternatives that do the same job.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Bourjois Paris Express Eye Make Up Remover

I have as much trouble removing my eye make-up as I do perfecting it.  I’m paranoid about getting wrinkles so when it comes to cleansing my eyes I like to do as little rubbing as possible, which for me means finding a product that dissolves make up without applying too much pressure.  Bourjois Paris Express Eye Make Up Remover is a two phase formula: phase one (the blue liquid) contains oil components which remove even waterproof mascara and phase two (the clear liquid) is water based and designed to leave your peepers feeling fresh.  

This product claims to work in ‘one swipe’ of a pad but it does take a little more work than that.  I found that soaking two pads with the liquid and letting them rest on the eyes for a little worked best.  Overall, it did a good job of removing my mascara.  I think £4.99 is a great price for this product.  It lasted me two months and I used it almost every day.  You may have a little trouble finding this in the skincare aisle as in most Boots and Superdrug stores they keep it on the Bourjois make up stand.  Also, another word of warning, be careful when opening the bottle.  I was a little too forceful with the plastic ball on the top and it snapped off, leaving it almost impossible to open without breaking a nail!


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Benefit They're Real! mascara

I’m not normally too fussed about paying loads for wonder mascaras as I always rely on fake lashes when I want to enhance my eyes.  I’ve never used a mascara that really lives up to it’s claims...until now.  Benefit They’re Real! mascara is simply amazing.  It works wonders on my stumpy little lashes, making them longer, fuller and thicker.  This will sound like such a cliche but the first day I wore this mascara someone asked me if I was wearing falsies to which I replied “they’re real!” (cheesy I know.)  At £18.50 this mascara is so expensive but it works so well and I will definitely be re-purchasing it.  My picture doesn’t do it justice and please excuse the black and white tint.  It’s a cop-out but my skin is awful at the minute and my camera loves picking up every imperfection!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

If you wannabe my lover

Top - Topshop
Skirt - River Island
Bag - Topshop (old)
Rings - Portugese Market Stall & Muse

This is what I wore to my friend’s leaving party at his house last weekend.  I always struggle with what to wear at house parties as it’s hard to find the perfect balance between smart and casual.  This skirt is great for dressing up or down.  It’s not quite maxi, not quite midi length but has a slit going up the side (very Angelina-esque) which shows off the right amount of flesh.  I paired it with my ‘Spice Girl‘ top which I got from Topshop.  It’s basically just a high-neck lycra crop top but it reminds me of what the Spice Girls used to wear in the Wannabe days!

It’s so nice to be able to blog about clothes which are actually in the shops at the minute.  It feels like it’s been ages since I treat myself to some new togs.  Lately I’ve just been delving into the depths of my wardrobe and pulling out old stuff and trying to make it look new again but buying new things is a lot more fun!  I’ve been getting some new stuff for the festive season so will certainly be posting some new outfits soon.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I heart Grazia

At the beginning of November I had the opportunity to spend three fabulous weeks at Grazia HQ, interning on the beauty desk.  I'm an aspiring writer trying to make it in the magazine world so was extremely excited at the thought of going to the big city to work for a big mag.  Being my first ever internship I had no idea what to expect but I had a fantastic experience and would definitely recommend doing an internship to anyone wanting to get into the fashion/beauty/magazine industry.  I know there's a great debate over unpaid internships and exploitation but I can honestly say money couldn't buy the knowledge and contacts I gained during my time at the magazine.  Yes it's hard work, unpaid hard work at that, but it's the best and probably only way to show your dedication to potential

I learnt the 'interning basics' during my first few days.  'Calling in products' and 'pricing items' felt like foreign phrases for me at first but after a couple of days I was well in the swing of it.  The girls on the beauty desk were super nice and made me feel really welcome.  I worked on the magazine during the mega important Cheryl Cole cover shoot so it was very hectic and really sink or swim for a newbie like me but I think I managed to keep my head above water.  I had other admin tasks such as answering the phone and organising press releases and I was lucky enough to do some writing for the website too which was great.  Plus, I got to spend time in Aladdin's cave, known formally as the beauty cupboard.  Imagine a room where the walls are lined from floor to ceiling with boxes upon boxes of beauty products.  Everything you could ever need was in there: foundations, eyeliners, nail varnish, shampoo, creams, lotions, potions and god's gift to all women...lipstick!  Imagine my excitement when I was allowed to pick some items to keep on my last day.  I came away with a box full of goodies which I'm going to review for you all.  It's mostly stuff that I haven't tried before so it might not necessarily be brand new but it's all new to me and I hope you find my posts useful.

So, to sum up, if you are someone who is looking to intern and maybe having reservations about it, my advice would be to go for it.  You would be absolutely crazy not too!  Before I went I was feeling uninspired about my career, having graduated with my degree and not yet doing anything with it, but my internship has really cemented my goal to work in magazines and now to work in beauty.  I can't wait to line up my next internship and get back down to London!  Life definitely seemed a little more colourful down there and it wasn't just because of all that make up.


Monday, 10 December 2012

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Sometimes I find myself in a bit of a make-up rut.  If I come across something I like I stick to it, hence the reason I've used the same foundation since I was 16.  I'd been ever faithful to L'oreal Infallible but following many months of denial and picture after picture of my make up looking 'a bit iffy', I accepted the fact I needed a change.  I can't pinpoint what was wrong with L'oreal Infallible other than the fact it just didn't suit my skin anymore.  It was time to look for something new and so the hunt for the perfect foundation began.

I decided my first stop would be my favourite make up brand and after many recommendations from friends and beauty blogs, I settled on MAC Studio Fluid Fix in NW20.  At £20.50 for 30ml it was almost twice the price of what I was currently paying for my base but I'd pay double again for the perfect product.  I was matched by one of the counter girls and happily skipped away thinking my foundation woes were over.  I was wrong.  Before this post starts to get really negative I want to say that I do LOVE the way this foundation looks on my skin.  It's a great colour match (well done counter girl) and makes my skin look fresh and bright.  I only needed a few pumps to achieve full coverage and it was great at covering blemishes and imperfections.  Imagine my disappointment when I realised a few weeks down the line that it was the foundation itself that was causing said spots and pimples.  In fact, it was completely breaking me out!  I've had breakouts in the past but have never been able to pinpoint the cause to a specific product.  This time, it was undoubtedly the foundation so I had no other choice but to stop using it.

Reading a few forums online, it seems as though I'm not the only person to have had issues with this product.  My skin for reference is combination and can get a little sore during the colder months but I wouldn't say it was particularly sensitive.  Since I've stopped using it my face has cleared a little but it's not completely back to normal yet.  It's so disappointing because breakout aside I really liked this product and wouldn't want to put anyone off buying it.  Instead, I would recommend asking for a 7 day sample first just to be sure you're skin is okay before fully committing to buying.  I know that's what I will be doing in future as the search for my perfect foundation continues.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

So claw me

Top - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Tights - Primark
Rings - Both Primark
Fur Stole - H&M

Bit of a Primark party going on with this outfit but I love does every girl I know!  This is what I wore for my first shift back at my "day job" after coming home from London with a bang :( I don't normally make this much effort for work but I was in the habit of dressing a bit smarter as I had done during my time at the magazine.  For those of you who don't know I had a three week internship at Grazia and in short, it was amazing.  I'll soon be posting about the time I spent there if anyone is interested and wants to have a read.  For me, there's nothing too exciting about this outfit other than my nails, which I haven't stopped looking at since I had them done. Yes they're long and yes they're pointy and yes they are making typing this post almost impossible but meh!  Almost every superstar we know is rocking the "claw" look right now so I wanted in!  New dilemma - what colour do I paint them next?


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Velcro Sleep Rollers

Velcro Sleep Rollers - £17.95

Throughout my quest for big, voluminous hair I'm always looking for new quick and easy ways to give my hair some life.  I've used velcro rollers for about 6 years now and personally find them to be really effective for my type of hair.

When I heard about Sleep Rollers I knew I had to give them a go.  Created by a company in Liverpool, the city who made velcro rollers fashionable, the rollers retail at £17.95, which is a very reasonable price.  For this price you get 2 packs of 10 rollers and a drawstring bag to store them in. If I'm being picky, I'm not keen on the font on the packaging but it doesn't take away from the product at all.

Unlike regular velcro rollers, the centre of the Sleep Rollers are made of sponge, making them squash down when pressure is applied so they're easier to sleep in.  I've tried to sleep in regular velcro rollers before and it's not easy.  I can manage a quick disco nap at the most but a full night's sleep is out of the question so you can imagine my joy at finding Sleep Rollers.  I find them comfortable and easy to sleep in and they sort of act like extra cushioning for your head.  If you haven't worn rollers much in the past then you may find the general feeling a little awkward but it's something you can get used to I think.

I put my rollers in when my hair is damp and secure them with a kirby grip.  I give them a quick blast with the hairdryer just before bed and then leave them to dry overnight.  When I wake up, I give them one more go with the hairdryer to make sure they are all dry and then finish with a quick squirt of hairspray.  I take them out, give my hair a shake and then another spritz of hairspray et voila, I'm done!

I really love my Sleep Rollers and they're now my 'go to' rollers, even if I'm not sleeping in them!  If you love big hair but hate the fuss, then these are perfect for you.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada lipbalms

Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada lipbalms (€19 - bought in airport)
(L-R Cherry, Raspberry, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Tutti Frutti)

I bought these Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada lipbalms at the airport in Portugal back in April and have been meaning to blog about them ever since.  Designer lipbalms, who'd have thought it? I first came across them back in 2007 when I went on my first ever girls holiday to Magaluf (whoop whoop).  I went for the Raspberry flavour and it was divine.  It lasted me for years and I've literally just ran out.  When I saw the full set this year I just knew I had to have them.

The five flavours in this set are Cherry, Raspberry, Papaya, Passion Fruit and Tutti Frutti.  I love the packaging: it's very bright exotic and just reminds me of holidays.  I've been told they all smell gorgeous too but can't vouch for this myself thanks to my broken nose.  I know they taste delicious though and they leave my lips super soft.  My only gripe with these lipbalms is that the lids are sometimes a little hard to get off.  I spent so long trying to get the Papaya lid off and then just give up because it wasn't budging.  I popped it in the fridge for a while and it seemed to do the trick but it's not ideal.

The colour of the Passion Fruit balm is a bit questionable but it doesn't show up blue on the lips.  It's more of a clear, 'vaseline-style' balm, in fact most of the shades are.  I know the Summer holiday season is over and done with now but if you're jetting off for some Winter sun and see these on your travels, I definitely recommend you buy!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The top shop

Blazer - New Look
Trousers - Topshop
Shoes - Primark
Vest - H&M
Bag - H&M

Oh my goodness.  First EVER blog post.  After much procrastination and messing around, I’ve finally found a blog layout that I’m relatively happy with and now feel like I’ve got something I want to start posting on.  My uni days are finally over :’( so I now have plenty of free time to type out my ramblings for the rest of the web to peruse if they so wish.
Tonight I’m going to the relaunch of every girl’s favourite shop: Topshop!  My local store (Sunderland) has just had a make over and is now twice the size which can only mean one thing - more beautiful clothes!  Anyone who has visited Toppers in Sunderland knows it used to be no bigger than a shoebox so I’m really excited to see the new look store.
Outfit tonight is casual/dressy.  I’m going out for cocktails with my uni girls after the launch so need to be dressed up for that but still look respectable while I’m in Topshop.  The blazer is one of my all time favourites as it’s perfect for adding a bit of colour to any outfit and the trousers are my ‘go-to’ item for casual/dressy events.  I love them!
Unfortunately I’m not wearing anything new as I haven’t had the time or money to shop in what feels like years but never mind.  I’m sure a bit of retail therapy is in order as a reward for my dedication to the library.  When I’m not shopping I feel like I’m so out of the fashion loop!  Hopefully after tonight’s launch I’ll be completely in the know again so I will be sure to let you all know what I think.  


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