Monday, 25 February 2013

Sunday Catch-Up #10

Camera stall in Camden // Tattoo's booked in, can't wait! // Finally got myself an Oyster card // Late night munchies // New look Elle // Comfort food // Valentine's chocolates (sadly not from the boyfriend) // Parcels // Hate being ill // Neon yellow nails

I forgot to publish a catch-up type post last week, so I'm making up for it with two weeks' worth of Instagram pictures in one. Blog posts have been relatively sparse lately, as I've been working loads and as soon as I got home and got warm and comfy I pretty much drifted off to sleep straight away. I've also left my camera charger at my parents' house, so now I've got to wait until I can use my camera again - how annoying??

In other news, last week I was ill for the majority of the time, for the second time this year despite all my efforts to avoid the cold everyone around me was catching. I also managed to mess up my hair and had to have an emergency appointment to get it fixed at the hairdressers. On this note can I just thoroughly recommend Stylelounge for anyone who lives in south-west London? Nick sorted my hair beautifully without any of the snidy comments and pitying glances you'd get at a lot of other salons. I'll post some pictures as soon as my camera is juiced up again.

Valentine's Day was pretty dull as I expected. The boyfriend was at work all day and as we'd both agreed that it's a pretty pointless occasion it was pretty much like every other day in our lives. I did enjoy my Lindt chocolates that came in the post in the morning, though.

This week I managed to finally book in for my next tattoo, which I've been going on about to everyone around me for ages. Expect a big fat blog post with plenty of pictures once it's done on Wednesday!

What have you been up to this week?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Simple Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser

It seems somehow unbelievable that less than a year ago I would not let any other cleanser other than Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish so much as touch my skin. It took me moving to Germany, where it's incredibly hard to get hold of, to finally try out a different one and lo and behold I found my new holy grail cleanser: Biotherm's Eau Auto-Moussante. Needless to say, I am so over Cleanse and Polish now.
Fast-forward a few month's and now, back in the UK, I can't get hold of the Biotherm cleanser.
But when I saw this on the shelves of Boots my heart made a little somersault. Could this replace my beloved Biotherm foam? (And at a fraction of the price?? But shush, don't tell anyone!)

The basic idea is the same. This foaming cleanser is a water in the bottle and comes out of the pump as a foam. While the Biotherm cleanser turned into a milk once rubbed onto the skin, this one just sort of melts into the face. As a result it's easier to wash off, but doesn't feel quite as indulgent.

I find that this is a great cleanser if you're in a hurry. No lathering up, no rubbing, no faffing about with a muslin cloth makes for a quick morning and bedtime routine.
As is the case with Biotherm products, I find that the Simple Kind to Skin range just works really well with my skin and doesn't irritate it resulting in breakouts, pulling sensations or the dreaded film of grease.

While I cannot deny that this is a lovely, gentle cleanser, the downside is that it doesn't quite get my skin clean enough. A cotton pad soaked in toner doesn't come out crystal clean like it did with my Biotherm cleanser, but will show up leftover foundation and dirt. As a result using toner is not a step I can skip if I'm in a hurry.

For this reason my search for a new holy grail product continues. As much as I still love simple, I need my cleanser to, well, clean my face - the hint is sort of in the name. And while this is not a bad product, it's not thorough enough for my liking. (Maybe I just have a ridiculously dirty face, haha??)

The one thing that still speaks in its favour is the purse friendly price of £4.49 for 150ml which lasts forever.

If after all my raving, you still haven't heard enough about the Biotherm foaming cleanser, you can read a full review here.

What's your holy grail cleanser?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Guest Post: How To Avoid Fake Tanning Disasters

Some of you may already know that I keep banging on and on about how ridiculously pale I am, making it difficult to find matching foundations and face products. While I do try to embrace my natural skin colour, sometimes I find myself lusting after a golden bronzed glow. There's no denying that tanned skin makes you look, well.. healthier and slimmer as an added bonus.
The problem? We all know how harmful sun rays can be, so I always make sure I cover myself in SPF. The only other option is fake tanning, but quite frankly, I am absolutely terrified of using fake tan. I've never done it before and the potential disasters, such as patchy, orange skin and messy bed sheets have always put me off.
This is where the lovely people over at Beau Bronz come in with a handy list of tips and hints how to avoid fake tanning mistakes - even if you're a complete newbie just like me. Please let me know if you've found this post helpful or if you've even got any more handy tricks you'd like to share!

How to Avoid Fake Tanning Disasters for Complete Newbies

If you’ve never experimented with fake tan before, the whole thing can seem a bit daunting. Sure, we all know the benefits – an all-over glow, an even complexion, and that beautiful sun kissed look – but the dreaded fake tan disasters can put you off even trying.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most common tanning disasters, and provide solutions for ensuring that you get to grips with the perfect application in no time at all!

Stained clothing and bedding

Fake tanning products can be intense when they transfer onto materials, and it can be tough to shift the stains. Before applying, make sure that you’ve got some old towels nearby, and never wear your best or light coloured clothing for at least a day.

In the event that you do stain your clothing or bed sheets, wash them straight away on a hot wash.

Streaks and blotches

Streaks and blotches can totally ruin your look, and we’ve all seen tanning disasters in this form. Thankfully, they’re really easy to avoid. By taking the time to exfoliate and moisturise before applying your product, you’ll have the perfect blank canvas for a smooth finish.

If you do find that you have streaks or blotches, use an exfoliator to minimise the problem.

Orange hands

So you’ve achieved your desired bronzed look, but there’s a problem – your palms are bright orange! This is a common complaint, but it’s so easy to prevent. As soon as you’ve applied your tanning product, wash your hands thoroughly, using a little exfoliator on the palms.

If you’ve accidently missed this part out of your tanning regime, you can rectify the problem by using some exfoliator on the necessary areas.

Quick fading

Once you’re bronzed and beautiful, you’ll want to keep your tan looking fresh for as long as you can. One way to do this is by picking a product that builds up over time, rather than something that’s intended for one-off usage.

To keep your skin looking at its best between applications, moisturise every day with your favourite body moisturiser.

By following these tips, you could find that fake tan becomes your new favourite go-to beauty product!

Have you used fake tan before? What tips would you share with other readers who want to give it a go for the first time?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NOTD - Models Own Peaches & Cream

I love Models Own for a great nail polish on a budget. The thing that always lures me in is their huge selection of colours - classic reds, nudes, pastels, neon brights, a myriad of glitters.... it's almost impossible to choose just one! And their nail polish bottle shaped store in Westfield? Absolutely brilliant!

Models Own Peaches & Cream with flash
I bought Peaches & Cream expecting a delicate nude, but it turned out to be a little more punchy than I originally thought. The first coat was horribly patchy and streaky, but fortunately a second coat evened everything out nicely and left me with a high gloss, creamy and opaque finish.

Models Own Peaches & Cream in daylight
As for the colour, I absolutely cannot fault this shade. The milky peach shade is incredibly flattering. The pastel shade makes me dream of spring, but the strong orange undertones add just that little extra oomph to prevent that washed out look that many pastel shades can create.

Week in Pictures

Forever argued that I don't like gin and tonics, turns out I was wrong! // Nothing better than a slice of pie after a hard day's work // Current read - a must for anyone who's as obsessed with to-do lists as I am // New look Zest: MEH on the outside, brilliant on the inside // Monday's movie marathon // Second time I ever cut anyone's hair and no bald patch this time! // Cheeky little shop on a budget

Whoops, a little late this week - I was too tired to upload my pictures yesterday and today I couldn't get it to work. Fiddling around with Instagram made me look through all my old pictures, however, which brought back quite a few lovely memories. All the more reason to make an effort to take snaps more regularly!
If you've got any "Week in pictures" style posts then please leave me a link, as I have an ongoing obsession with them (creepy? No......)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Lush Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic

Sorry, sorry, sorry! I know I am ridiculously late to this party as even somebody who is as obsessed with anything Christmassy has to admit that the festive season is very much over and far from beginning again.
In fact, I wasn't going to write about this bath ballistic which I bought just before Christmas and almost forgot all about, but it turned out to be so lovely I just had to share it!

The two other Christmas bath goodies I reviewed from Lush turned out to be just a little so-and-so, but this one truly blew me away. A golden present with a shimmery overspray which cracks open and houses little colourful, bobbly mini bath fizzers.

I am unashamedly childish about things with hidden surprises (I still buy Kinder Eggs from time to time as a treat at the check out line), so this got me ridiculously excited.

Of course, if you were a reasonable person you'd break this down into chunks and you could probably get up to four baths out of it to make your money go just that little bit further. But as I am not reasonable and I was also already covered in blue dust after cracking it open to photograph the insides I just chucked in the whole lot.

The result was an explosion of colours in my tub and more excited giggles from me. The main body of the ballistic turned the water a bright turquoise while the little bobbles (technical term here) floated to the top and made little colourful puddles on the surface of the water.

The smell is absolutely gorgeous. A fresh, ocean-type scent with a hint of citrus. So relaxing yet completely invigorating at the same time. Ahhhh, bliss....
My only bugbear was that the golden overspray on the surface stuck to the tub when I pulled the plug and took forever to get off - not quite so relaxing. And of course, I'm pretty peeved that this isn't available all year round. Trust me to leave the best item till last and not crack it open till a month after Christmas.

Oh well, as soon as this year's Christmas items come out I'll be racing you to the Lush stores and stocking up on Golden Wonders as well as extra-strong bathroom cleaner.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

NSpa Mango Shower Scrub Review

Whoops, look what magically slipped into my shopping basket while doing the grocery shop in Asda a while ago?

I'm a massive fan of fruity scented shower goodies and as far as scent goes this scrub is pretty amazing. It's so deliciously fruity I have to keep reminding myself that it's a shower product and not a fruity spread to put on my toast!

As gorgeous as it smells, I couldn't wait to finish this tube and move onto something else. In its defence, the fact that it's a daily scrub should have given it away, but as I only used it about twice a week, I felt no skin benefits whatsoever.
It's nowhere near grainy enough for my likings - I like it rough when it comes to exfoliation, you see.

As soon as it comes into contact with water it lathers up into a soft foam, but unfortunately it makes the grains slip off before they manage to do any of their good work. It also doesn't offer any moisturising benefits, as some oil based scrubs do. On the upside that also means to sticky, greasy residue.

My verdict? As a daily, slightly roughed up shower gel it would work well, as it's a very gentle product which will get your skin just a little cleaner than the average shower cream. For hardcore scrubbers like me, or if you only remember to exfoliate occasionally, however, you're much better off with something a little grainier.

A tube containing 225ml will set you back £3.00. Look out for special offers, as Asda often have a 3 for 2 or similar offer going on their N-Spa products.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sephora Jumbo Liner in 08 Gold

Whoops, I meant to write this review for ages, but somehow it kept slipping under the radar lately! I went for a very short trip to Poland last summer and as soon as I saw the first Sephora I was like a small (sugar addicted) child in a candy store. I would have been quite happy buying every single item they had on sale, but the budget didn't quite stretch that far.
So I left with one of their Jumbo Liners instead.

As it was summer, I thought that gold would be a pretty colour to go for (it was that or bright turquoise), and the waterproof claim lured me in even further. It just seemed like such a great idea to not worry about primers and shadows and make-up brushes, but just to slick on a pop of colour instead and be done within seconds.

As for ease of use, this really lived up to my expectations. One quick slick around my eyes and I'm done. I've also used it as a cream shadow all over the lid, but it does require some blending with a fluffy eye shadow brush, or the edges will look too harsh.
I'm also not a big fan of the one-dimensional look it leaves when slicked all over the lid, as it tends to make my face look a little flat and washed out.

Due to its fairly hard and waxy texture the liner is naturally waterproof, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to its 12 hour wear claim and began creasing after about 7 hours which is very disappointing. Using a primer underneath made no difference to length of wear whatsoever.
On the lids, however, it glides on and leaves a rich colour without tugging on the skin.

Sephora Jumbo Liner in 08 Gold swatch in direct sunlight
Sephora Jumbo Liner in 08 Gold swatch with camera flash
Now, the shade is something else entirely. A beautiful, rich antique gold which doesn't lean overly yellow like a lot of other gold liners do. It leaves a gorgeous metallic finish without looking shimmery which makes for an interesting effect.

I quite like this pencil, but while it's certainly easy to use I am disappointed in the amount it creased. It's not a bad performance, but somehow my hopes were just a tad higher. It's still a great thing to have in your travel make-up bag and come summer, I'm sure I'll be using it loads more again.

If you're lucky enough to be able to get to a Sephora store, you can pick up one of these for $14.00

Monday, 4 February 2013

February Wish List

February Wish List

Tropical Graphic Tee, Forever 21, £9.35 // Speckled nail polish in "Fragile", Illamasqua, £15 // "Shooting Firework" Leggings, Romwe, £20.14 // Maeve Pin Stud Flats, Missguided, £19.99 // Hot Pink Coco Nail Polish Phone Case, Phonefancy, $35.00

I'm loving big and colourful prints at the moment, so both the top and the leggings are right up my alley right now. There's just nothing to cheer you up on a dreary, grey winter's day than a big splash of colour all over your clothes.
I also admit that I am starting to develop an unhealthy obsession with Illamasqua make-up and their latest collection "I'mperfection" is another one of those where I just want to buy everything! If I had to choose just one item though, it would be this greyish blue speckled effect nail polish.
I've also gradually worn away pretty much all of my flats and these are exactly what I've been hunting for in high street shops, but could never ever find. I can't get enough of studs and spikes on shoes, bags and jewellery!
And last, but not least, the ultimate phone cover for pretty much any beauty blogger. As soon as I saw this featured in a post on I was smitten. There's also a dark blue version, but as these cases have become so popular, the manufacturer's actually on a backlog right now, so it would take forever to get one now - not fair!