December 13, 2012

DIY: Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser

Products: Nivea Express hydration Primer (for dry skin), No7 Skin Illuminator in Peach, Benefit High Beam, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair and Real Techniques foundation brush.

I am not a foundation girl, I never have been. I used to have very good skin throughout my teens, so apart from a brief love affair with Maybelline's Dream Matte mousse, I never really used much. I bought The Body Shop's Extra Virgin Minerals Foundation about a year ago. I did enjoy using it, but most days I forgot/didn't have time to incorporate it into my routine. However I did manage to use it all up, and rather than purchase another, I've been on the lookout for something better.

I like the look of Bourjois Healthy Mix serum, but unfortunately not even the lightest shade matches my skin tone. I really like the look of YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat and I think either B10/BR10 would be a good match for me, but Yves Saint Laurent is a little out of my price range.

I'm still hunting for something that meets my needs - light, illuminating and pale - but in the mean time I've come up with my own concoction for days when I want a little more than a touch of concealer.

On the back of my hand I swatch about three swipes of Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer, then add a dab of Benefit's High Beam, pat on a smidgen of No7 Skin Illuminator in Peach (I've decanted this into a travel put because I hate using the brush!), and finally mix it all together with a drop of Nivea's Express Hydration Primer. This makes a nice tinted moisturiser type base which is brightening and give me a very light coverage. The beauty of this is that you could mix it to whatever coverage you like, swap the primer for your moisturiser if you like, or take out the concealer if you just want an illuminating layer under your usual base.



December 11, 2012

Getting ready - soft pinks



A flush of pink with Bourjois Rose frisson, dustings of shadow from Mua's Undressed Palette and a swipe of Rimmel's Scandal eyes in Nude.


December 10, 2012

My Naked Shower

SAM_3858-001 From left to right: Naked Volume Body Building Shampoo, Naked Rescue Intensive Care Conditioner, Love Me Naked Rose Body Wash & Ooh La La Naked Coco De Mer body wash.

I love Naked, as a brand they have really brilliant values - all the bottles are 50-100% already recycled  and fully recyclable plastic, they buy from sustainable sources, cut down their carbon footprint by producing in the UK, and they do not test on animals. The actual products are all great too which is why I seem to be slowly switching every product in my shower to naked!

The first Naked product I picked up was the Coco de Mer body wash when wanted to try a sulphate free shower gel. Firstly this smells amazing, it's light and floral, very feminine and pretty. It's so good that I've gone out and bought the matching body butter and I deeply regret not picking up the bubble bath when it was half off in boots. Despite being sulphate free, this lathers up really well, cleans me and again, smells gorgeous. This is probably my favourite Naked product.

I then went out to try a different scent for some more variety in my shower, and I chose Rose. The scent is natural and not synthetic, it's not overpowering which makes it a subtle alternative to Coco de Mer. I think it lathers up slightly less but still does the job well.

I've noticed since I've been using sulphate free body washes that my skin is less itchy and dry, something I really struggled with before. I thought I should treat my scalp with better care too, so when I noticed that boots were running a £6 for two Naked hair products offer, I snapped up a shampoo and conditioner.

I went for the Body Building Shampoo as I have fine, limp hair. Unfortunately, I was a little unimpressed. This takes a double wash to make my hair feel as clean as I like it and once I'd used it for a few weeks I began to get a greasy build up (yuck) so had to switch back to my trusty Pantene Aqua Light. I do have a very oily scalp (but dry ends) so I imagine that this product would work far better on dry hair - I know that my mum recommends it on her post swim dry hair. I won't repurchase this but I plan to keep on using it alternatively with Aqua Light.

Finally, I picked up the Intensive Care Conditioner which contains shea nut butter and olive and brassicacae oil extract to keep hair nourished and fight frizz. I love this conditioner, it nourishes my hair, and although it hasn't repaired my split ends, I doubt anything other than a good hair cut will do that, and it keeps my hair very soft and hydrated in the mean time. I also like using this as a treatment in my hair the night before I want to wash it.

You can find Naked products in your local Boots. Unfortunately they don't stock half as many of the products as I would like. Naked do facial care products that I would love to try as well as a gorgeous looking leave in conditioner and this thirst quenching moisturiser which haven't yet made it into my local boots. And I'm not quite ready to depart with £4 for delivery from the website.
Naked Body washes retail for just under £4 and shampoo's and conditioners are just over depending on where you buy.


p.s. Nakeds Coco de Mer body butter is well worth picking up. It's intensely nourishing on dry skin, smells amazing and costs less than a Body Shop body butter.

December 02, 2012

Weekend Getaway

On Friday afternoon my mum came to pick me up and whisk me away (to Harrogate) for the weekend. We're staying in lovely old house with stone floors and iron fireplaces. It's been freezing cold - so much that I actually put on a pair of jeans, it's the third time I've worn them since I bought them a few months ago - but lovely and sunny and I've enjoyed eating proper food (and cupcakes!).

Sorry for the lack of posts again, I've been pretty busy with deadlines coming up in the next two weeks. But I am planning a few things including a travel make up post.

Floodlights at Fountains Abbey, Grandpa's 90th Birthday cake

Sweet duck with wellies, morning view from my bedroom


November 25, 2012


...enjoying cupcakes and putting up Christmas decorations

...making paper snowflakes and buying sparkling shoes


November 14, 2012

Waitrose Pure Gentle Eye Make-up Remover


This is my current eye make-up remover of choice, I've used it since I was about 15 and my mum would buy it for me from Waitrose (she still does as I don't have one near at uni). I forgot about it for a few years until I recently discovered a half used bottle, tried it out and remembered how brilliant it is at taking off my make-up.

I always use an eye make-up remover before I take off the rest of my make-up, it makes my evening routine so much quicker and it's kinder to my eyes. I've tried out a lot in the past year and this beats them all, even etat pur's micellar cleansing water. It's gently on my eyes, but strong enough to take off all of my eye make up with one cotton pad and a few sweeps across the eyes.

It's also only £1.94 from your local Waitrose -  bargain!


November 13, 2012

What's in my bag?

What's in my bag

These are my daily essentials that I cart around. I think I do quite well really, I have a lot packed in quite a small space and on the most part it's quite organised.

1. Phone: I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace and I do like it. It isn't an iPhone but for the price it really does the job, and I think when I upgrade I'll be sticking with Samsung.
2. Headphones: for walking somewhere on my own.
3. Hair Accessories: I always like to have a stash of bobby pins and hair ties incase I need to put my hair up. Also keeping bobby pins on a piece of card means that I don't lose them in the bottom of my bag.
4. Mints: always handy.
5. Lip Balm: nothing beats Blistex relief cream, it keeps my lips nourished for the longest and stops them cracking and drying out.
6. Tissues: essential for cold weather.
7. Mini Hair Brush: this tiny brush is perfect for on the go and makes my hair shine.
8. Hand Cream: I got this Flowerbomb body cream with a perfume gift set for my birthday. It smells gorgeous and keeps my hands soft.
9. Pen: I always have a few pens in my bag as I take it to lectures. This one is from Accessorize.
10. Lucky Purse: This is a little odd, it's a purse that I keep little bits and bobs I've collected inside that I consider 'lucky'. This includes a piece of rose quartz, mini signalling lantern, a bean from Starbucks, a Guatemalan worry doll, Ariel Barbie's shoe, a 20 pence piece from New Years eve 2011/12 and a fortune cookie slip (see below).
11. Small Change Purse: I have three different purses, each with a different purpose to keep myself organised. In this one I keep my lose change. (both little purses are from Accessorize)
12. Card Purse: In this little leather Topshop wallet I keep notes and my four essential cards: debit card, student card, provisional licence and (perhaps the most important) my boots card.
13. Cards & Vouchers Purse: In this bigger purse from River Island, I keep my non essential cards and my vouchers.
14. Rail Card: And finally my (expired) Rail Card, no student should be without one.



November 12, 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Nail Polish


I bought this mini nail varnish on a whim last week when I was feeling moody and noticed that boots had buy one get one half price on almost everything. So I snapped up two mini max factor nail polishes for £6 (is there a better way for a girl to pick her self up? I dont think so).

As far as the formula goes I was pretty impressed. Both this polish and 'Red Bronze' the second shade I bought, apply cleanly, dry quickly and leave you with hard shiny nails. However the colour wasn't what I was expecting.

This polish looks pretty amazing. It has about a bagillion-zillion (very technical term) different colours that shine through and looks just gorgeous in the bottle. I was however a little disappointed when I applied it. As you can see in the photo above it does not look the same as it does in the bottles. In the bottle the formula looks like a vibrant purple with sparkling pink and red tones running through it but when I carefully painted on two coats, it came out with all kinds of tones, mainly a deep shimmering red but with flashes of copper, blue and even a khaki green. While I'm not indifferent to having a cacophony of colours on my nails I'm not sure that I like the effect. On the one hand it the constantly different colours are really impressive and remind me of seeing colours in oil, but I'm not sure that all the colours compliment each other and I  think that I would prefer the striking purple colour that I expected.

However hope is not lost,  I think that I might be able to achieve a colour closer to the bottle with a different base. In the photograph I used one coat of Sally Hansen's 'Navy Baby' which is a very deep blue but I think if I used a lighter purple then I'd get nicer tones. Fee from Make up Savvy shows how you can achieve different effects with different bases here.

Overall this is an interesting polish, it' applies well and the colour is unique and variable and I think that a lot of people would love the versatility of this. I just wish that the bottle was bigger!

Max Factor Mini nail Polishes are £3.99 from Boots.


November 02, 2012

This week I've been...


This week I've been a little like an unofficial half term for me. There isn't a half term or reading week at my university, but I have missed a few of my lectures this week and have slipped into bad habits of late nights and later mornings (I didn't get into my bed until 5am on Wednesday night/Thursday morning).

I haven't just been skiving off though, I've been eating cupcakes and cookies, reading, I had my first ever eye test, we went to see Skyfall (brilliant), of course I dressed up and partied into the early hours on Wednesday, and I've been enjoying the Autumn days thoroughly when the sun shines.

I also bought some shortcrust pastry and mincemeat so I'll be baking some Christmas treats as soon as I get the chance - after all it's November now so I think Christmas excitement is allowed!


October 25, 2012

Lily Cole for the Body Shop: Shimmer Cube Palette


Just a quick post to say that I picked up this Shimmer Cube Palette from The Body Shop a couple of days ago as it was on offer for £5. I've always wanted to try out The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes as they look really sweet and always swatch very well when I've tried them in store. I wasn't so sure on the colours as I usually stick to neutrals but actually I really like the shades especially with a deep plum lip for Autumn.

I was actually a little disappointed with the pigmentation of the shadows. They swatch quite well (aside from the palest shade) but it's hard to get a strong colour onto the eyelid. However, I'm still really pleased with my purchase, I love the colours, the packaging is beyond cute and with a little work you can create a lovely purple smoky eye.

If you manage to find any on sale in your local Body Shop then I recommend you try one out, I think they're a bargain for £5, or £4.50 if you have a Body Shop card.


October 23, 2012

Autumn's Oxblood Lip


One of the biggest trend this Autumn is the oxblood/burgundy/crushed berry lip. This colour comes around every year and although it may look scary it's an easy shade to wear if you can find the right shade for your skin.

I have two favourite lip products for a berry lip. Firstly Bourjois Sweet Kisses lipstick in 78 Rouge Intemporel. This is a really deep raspberry lipstick with slight purple tones and it's highly pigmented. For the daytime this makes a great stain when dabbed onto lips. I love the Revlon Kissable Balm Stains and the colour 005 Crush is a beautiful easy to wear crushed berry colour. It's more moisturising and sheer than the Bourjois lipstick, so it's easy to swipe on for a low maintenance lip.

I think that these two make  a perfect pair. This morning I applied the Balm Stain and let it sink in before dabbing on the Bourjois Lipstick, blotting and dabbing again, then applied the Balm Stain on top to keep my lips bright all day.

Left: Bourjois Sweet Kisses lipstick in 78 Rouge Intemporel, Right: Revlon's Kissable Balm Stain in Crush


October 22, 2012

Dahlia Feline Fashion Giveaway


Just a quick post to let you know about Dahlia's cat themed giveaway. I've been eyeing up those sweet pearl cat ears for a while now so I'd love to nab them! There are loads of ways to enter daily on Dahlia's Facebook page. Good luck!!


Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner

After I saw Alix of I covet thee using a Collection 2000 Extreme 24h felt tip liner in this video, I ran out to get one. I went for black and teal.


Both pens are really easy to apply thanks to the fine tipped flexible nib. The black pen has replaced my liquid and gel eyeliner as it's so quick to apply. I use it daily; just a sweep across the lids, a flick at the edge and I'm done.

The quality of the pens differs between the two colours. The black pen isn't as strongly pigmented as I would like - I have apply heavily to get an opaque colour. The staying power of the black pen is also lacking. For everyday wear to my lectures it does the job but I'll swap it for my Maybelline Gel liner for a night out or an 8 hour day.

Unlike the black pen, the teal has massive staying power, it's almost semi-permanent. It's pretty hard to get off without leaving faint green lines. The teal pen is is also more pigmented, and it feels a wetter to apply than the black. The problem with this pen is that it transfers onto my upper lid and no amount of priming or powdering my lids overcomes this. This is such a shame because the colour looks beautiful on, but I can't wear it because I'm constantly worrying about getting green lines in my creases.

As for the 24h hour staying power, I haven't tested them for 24 hours but I definitely don't think that the black shade would last that long, in fact it would be unlikely to last just 8 hours. The teal on the other hand might last you though the night, but would probably leave you with some 60's style green lines as well.


Overall, I do like these pens. The black is my go to daily eye liner, although the formula could be improved, it definitely does the job for me, it's really easy to apply, and at £2.99 it doesn't burn a hole in my pocket.



October 21, 2012

It's been a while

So, it's been nearly two months since my last post, and for a few months before that they were becoming more sparse. I've taken a little break - I had planned on creating my own website as I'm tired of the blogger format and I'd like to run a blog with more control over the design than blogger allows. But that hasn't happened yet. I hope I do move on to a website at some point in the near future, but until then, I'm going to pick up from where I left and resume. I miss blogging, and in my time away, I've picked up lots of lovely products I want to share with you.


My sister took the picture above.

August 24, 2012

This week



I've spent the last week at my grandparents house in Hartlepool and they live just ten minutes from the beautiful (but very cold) Northern English coast. So I've spend the last few days dipping my toes, and on occasion knees, thighs and waist too, into the sea until my feet get so cold I have to leave the water to prevent my toes from falling off!


August 20, 2012

Naked Coco De Mer


I recently decided to switch to a sulphate free body wash because my skin was feeling constantly itchy, I didn't really put any research into what might be causing it but I know that Sodium Laureth / Layrl Sulpate is a known irritant and I thought a sulphate free body wash might help.

I popped into my local boots and scoured the shelves for skin friendly shower gel but my only options seemed to be from E45 or Naked. I've used Naked hair products before and liked them and I know that they get a thumbs up from Fee. Naked products aren't just SLS free but also free from Parabens, Petrochemicals and Phthalates, they're all packaged in already recycled plastic and the ingredients are ethically sourced and not tested on animals.

So I picked out the 'Ooh La La Naked' Creamy Bliss Coco De Mer Body wash - partially because it promised to moisturise my skin, mainly because it was pink. The body wash does not lather up as much as your regular shower gels. Sodium Laureth / Laryl Sulpate is a cheap foaming agent which is why you find it in everything from hand wash to toothpaste, the alternative are not always as effective but it's still easy enough to lather up the Coco De Mer body wash especially if you're using a body polisher.

It smells heavenly but it isn't overpowering, it's a light floral fragrance that reminds me of Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum. And it does a good job of cleaning me. However I can't say that I noticed my skin feeling more moisturised when I was out of the shower.

What I have noticed is that the irritable itchiness of my skin has gone away. I can't be sure it it's down to Naked especially as I forgot to pack it when I went to stay with my boyfriend so I used his lynx shower gel for a week  and didn't notice any difference but SLS can cause irritancy after prolonged use so perhaps I just needed a break.

What I can be sure of is that I'm definitely going to buy another when this bottle runs out and I think that this time I'm going to go for rose

Naked body washes and other products are widely available. You can pick up Coco De La Mer body was from boots or from the Naked website for £3.79 or £3.98 respectively.


August 18, 2012

Maybelline Forever Strong Pro Polishes

SAM_2479-001In Ivory Rose, Ceramic Blue and Really Rose

SAM_2481-001Really Rosy

I've seen a lot of Maybelline's Forever Strong Pro Polishes from Fee at Make up Savvy and she always praises them so when I spotted that Maybelline had a 3 for 2 offer on in Boots I snapped some up.

I've tried the three colours I picked out over the last week and can only praise them. The formula of every polish is thick enough to easily be opaque in two coats, and the brush is the perfect size with lots of bristles to make application quick and easy.

These last a long time as well. I rarely keep nail polish on for more than a day or two without any chips or signs of wear but these managed to stay on until I was ready to remove them.

I was a little disappointed with Ceramic Blue when I painted it on because in the bottle it looks like it has a slight iridescent shimmer but when painted on it's just a plain blue. It's still very pretty though and I don't have a similar colour.

I'm undecided on Ivory Rose, I think it looks gorgeous on Fee's nails but on mine I think the colour isn't quite right, it's darker than I expected but then again in some lights I like it. It is still a brilliant polish, despite being pale it applies completely opaque in two coats and lasts really well.

I've been wearing Really Rosy for the last few days and although I somehow managed to chip one of my nails the day after I painted them the wear has been really good, the gorgeous slightly dusty raspberry colour hasn't faded and there has been no tip wear.

Overall these are brilliant polishes, I think I even prefer them to Essie polishes and they're half the price at £4.09 from boots. if only the colour range was as vast.


August 07, 2012

The Secret to Kissable Soft Lips


I've had extremely dry and cracked lips for as long as I can remember, I used to constantly pick at the dead and dry skin. It was a nervous habit and left me with undesirably rough lips. My boyfriend hated it and my family would constantly tell me off for picking away but I couldn't stand the feeling of dry flaky patches on my lips (I still can't) so I'd pull the flakes away, often to the point that I'd draw blood.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to stop (not for the first time), but I find it indescribably hard not to pick away at the flaking bits of skin on my lips and all of my lip balms were wearing off in less than half an hour and leaving me with dry lips. I decided I needed to give in and buy the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm that I'd been pining after for a long time in the hope that it would sort them out and deeply hydrate them. Unfortunately it's not a balm that's easy to find, I planned to order it into my local M&S store but my lips were in such a state that I went out to boots and bought some Blistex Relief Cream and a Nivea Essential Care Balm to tide me over until I could get the Nuxe Balm.

As it turns out I didn't need to order the expensive Nuxe balm. I nursed my lips into a lovely plump and smooth pair with a few cheap products.


○ Blistex Relief Cream ○
This is a medicated relief balm for 'occasional cold sores, cracked, chapped & sore lips' and it's really really good.
It comes out of the tube as an opaque thick off white cream but it won't leave your lips white once rubbed in. It tingles on your lips like any Blistex balm and leaves my lips feeling deeply hydrated.

This was the key ingredient in my routine that helped hydrate and repair my lips so that there wasn't any dry flaky skin for me to pick at.

• Available at Superdrug for £2.25

○ Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I really love this lip scrub mostly as it smells so gorgeous I just want to eat it all. In reality it isn't a miracle product - it's a great lip scrub but something you could easily recreate at home for a fraction of the price. Aside from sugar it contains Jojoba oil along with flavour and colour, but I'm not sure that the Jojoba oil does anything for my lips, I always apply a balm right after so I don't need any hydration from it. I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift and I do love using it but I think once it's empty I'll refill it with my own concoction.

I used this lip scrub to help get rid of any flaking bits of skin on my lips in the morning or whenever I remembered. A lip scrub is something essential to anybody who puts anything on their lips, perfect for prepping your lips before applying lipstick or just to keep them smooth and soft. You can easily whip up your own with a little honey and sugar.

• Available at Lush for £5.25

○ Nivea Essential Care
This lip balm is pretty basic but it does the job, I wanted a balm to apply when I was on the go and when I didn't need to put on more Blistex but I felt that all my others were drying my lips out. I bought this because it is so basic and because Nivea is a brand that I trust. Vaseline would be a great alternative if you like it but personally I feel that Vaseline doesn't penetrate my lips, it just floats on the skin without moisturising them.

◦ Available at Boots for £1.99 ◦


August 06, 2012

Honey Glazed Soya Scones


I've been craving scones for a little while now, until today I hadn't had one for at least a year and while watching my dad and sister tuck into scrummy looking scones slathered with thick cream yesterday for lunch I decided that I had to have one. Unfortunately I can't have milk and therefore couldn't order one of the lovely looking cream teas that my family were enjoying at Kedleston Hall yesterday so I made my own this afternoon.

I used this recipe but replaced the milk & butter with soya milk (alpro soya is my favourite) and dairy free spread (I love Pure dairy free olive spread)


- 8oz Self Raising Flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2oz Dairy Free Spread
- 1oz Caster Sugar
- 5floz Soya Milk
- 1 beaten egg to glaze

1. Rub the butter into the flour and salt then stir in the sugar and milk for a soft wet dough.
2. On a floured surface gently kneed your dough and then pat or roll it to an inch thick.
3. Using a fluted cutter cut out your scones and place onto a greased baking sheet. Don't twist as you cut out the scones as this leads to uneven rising.
4. Be careful not to handle the dough too much when re-rolling.
5. Glaze the tops with beaten eggs (My eggs were out of date and I couldn't find a pastry brush so I skipped this and they turned out just fine).
6. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees (200 fan) for 12-15 minutes until golden and eat any leftovers!
7. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Honey Glaze I just mixed 4oz of icing sugar with about a tablespoon of honey and of milk, more/less for a runnier/thicker glaze. It should be thick enough to just dollop on a little in the middle of each scone and let it spread over the top.


I was quite pleased with my first scones but they didn't rise as well as I'd hoped they would and were a little chewy, any tips?


July 29, 2012

Sunday Post



Lincoln Cathedral

Today I'm missing Lincoln. It's where I go to university and really, it's become my hometown. I just moved out of my flat, although only temporarily as I'll be back there in September but I already miss it. I'll actually be back in Lincoln in less than two weeks but I think I miss having somewhere that I own - my own place.

I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful place and I've built a lot of ties there over the last year, I can't wait until September come sand I can move back in!


Boots Botanics Purifying Face Scrub ALL BRIGHT


I picked up this face scrub on a whim, I was um-ing and ah-ing about it at the counter thinking, do I really need this? But I am so pleased that I did because I love it! I'm a big fan of the Botanics range and although I'm not sure on the new packaging I really love the appearance of this scrub. It's bright and summery and it popped out at me on the shelves.

The exfoliator contains 'refining walnut shell' and crushed apricot seeds to buff away dead skin and impurities, and hibiscus to brighten skin. I also noticed that there is Shea butter is listed in the ingredients along with almond oil and cocoa seed butter which are all most welcome on my dry skin.

Out of the tube it feels creamy with sandy like grains, but it doesn't feel harsh on your skin. I like to use this daily (although it is recommended only every 2-3 days) on top of my cleansing balm just around my t-zone. Then once every 2-3 days I will use it all over my face after washing off my cleansing balm. As soon as I wash this off my face my skin feels incredibly smooth, even before I dry my face my wet skin feels velvety soft to touch and I immediately noticed that any areas with spots felt less bumpy.
Because of this super soft feeling, I was a bit disappointed when looked in the mirror to find that my spots looked just the same as before, but after just a few uses the red bumpy area around my nose (that I've had for years!) has become less red and smoother which is a miracle really. Does anybody else have areas of skin which aren't really spotty but come up in red spot-like bumps?

All in all this is my new favourite scrub, it leaves my skin astonishingly soft and smooth and is helping to clear any spots that I have. The only downside is that I haven't noticed any brightening effect, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest considering it's other wonderful attributes.

The Purifying Face Scrub is currently available in boots at 1/3rd off for just £2.66, bargain!