Thursday, 16 August 2012

watermelon nail art

yesterday i was a bit bored and so decided to do something proactive (nail art counts as proactive in my world) and summery as it was wet and grey outside, not how august is meant to be as far as i remember! those of you that read my liebster award post  will know that i've just finished a law degree and so i'm in the slow process of moving everything home and sorting my room out. this meant leaving my beloved bag of nail varnishes behind and so i only have a few here and had to make do with what i've got! i opted for watermelon nails as i've seen a lot recently and pretty much only have pink and green nail varnishes!

firstly i did two coats of NYC - bubblegum pink  as the majority of it shows and i didn't want it to be streaky. i then used models own - jade stone  to paint a large french tip over the pink base.

i then used a dark red nail varnish (i would have used black if i had it with me!) to create the look of the watermelon seeds. i did this by putting a blob of the nail varnish on some paper and then using a sharpened pencil as a dotting tool to make some little polka dots all over the remaining pink area. i finished with a top coat once the dots were dry.

having seen a few pictures recently of watermelon nail art i wish i had my white nail varnish with me to draw a thin line over the join of the pink and green to make it look more realistic and detailed but oh well, you can't have everything! i'm quite pleased with the look as it's so bright and also quite childish in a way too - perfect for cheering up a rainy day! plus, it's really easy to do. let me know if you try it out!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

l'oreal lumi magique foundation

so i'm around four months too late to be reviewing l'oreal's lumi magique foundation but i thought i'd do it anyway! i really do try and cut my spending on certain products and foundation is one of them as not only are even the cheap ones quite expensive, but also if i like the way a foundation makes my skin look then i generally stick to it!

having said that, with all the great reviews i've read about this foundation i decided to give it a try as opposed to repurchasing rimmel's wake me up foundation when it ran out. so far, i'm impressed! it took me a while to work out which shade matched my skin tone - it seems the range only really covers various shades of light skin which isn't great for darker skin tones but also makes it a little trickier when trying to find a match! yellow undertones? pink undertones? arghhhhh!

i ended up picking 'gold linen' (after about 10 minutes...) and i've found it matches my skin well. lumi magique is quite runny in consistency (i didn't find this as much with rimmel's wake me up) although this makes it quite easy to blend. however for some reason i find i use more foundation than i usually would despite this - i can't blame lumi magique though, maybe it's just me wanting more coverage?! 

coverage wise i'd say that lumi magique is medium although is easily buildable. i've used it for nights out when i've wanted a heavier coverage and it's worked really well and stayed put all night.

about the 'as lit from within' claims - o.k it is a bit dramatic and i would really never ever describe someone's skin as being 'lit from within'. in l'oreal's defense though, lumi magique is illuminating and really does brighten your complexion. if you haven't already (i thought i was the only one..?!) then i'd give this a go :) even better, superdrug have a 3 for 2 offer on all l'oreal products at the moment and it's spf 18. yay!

Monday, 13 August 2012

boots essentials lipsalve: strawberry, tinted and spearmint

i ran out of my favourite nivea essential care lip balm the other day and went to boots to repurchase it. for some reason i got sidetracked by a classic boots deal - 3 for 2 - and so ended up with these instead! overall, i wouldn't say i'm disappointed that i bought them (i can never ever have too many lip balms and at 99p each you can't really complain!) but they definitely don't match up to nivea! i thought i'd do a mini review of each of them anyway, just in case anyone's looking for a cheap lipsalve :)

the strawberry lipsalve comes out clear which generally i like as it means i can put as much as i want on without looking in a mirror and don't need to worry about what i look like. the strawberry scent is really sweet but in a good way - think haribo as opposed to over perfumed. i'd say it moisturises my lips for around an hour which isn't so bad and the pink lid is a nice colour too!

i can't really get on with this tinted lipsalve. it's a really light pink and i'm just not sure who it would suit? it's pretty much scent free which can sometimes be a good thing but even one slick of this lipsalve is too much, especially when your lips are a bit chapped and colour builds in certain areas. a bit of a shame but i'll consider this as my 'free' lipsalve and so i'm not too disappointed!

this is probably my favourite lipsalve of the three. the spearment scent is really yummy and quite unusual i think (at least for me - i don't think i own any mint lip balms). like the strawberry it comes out clear so is easy to use and does the job of protecting my lips pretty well.

montagne jeunesse: passion peel off face mask

i don't generally use face masks. i think it's laziness really as i quite like using them but never seem to find the time! i bought this the other day though as i've seen a few reviews recently of the montagne jeunesse face masks and as i had a free sunday and i hadn't planned anything (apart from watching the last day of the olympics - can't believe they're over... boo!) i put it on in the morning before my shower.

i chose the deep cleansing pomegranate and passion flower peel off mask as my skin hasn't looked as clear as i'd like it to recently. it's a bright red gel and there's plenty in the packet - i'd say enough for two uses if you applied it in a thin enough layer. it smells lovely and fruity but i have to say it seemed to irritate my eyes a bit. not enough to make them water and it was probably my fault for applying it too close to my eyes (so don't let this put you off trying it for yourself!) but i do think it's always worth mentioning reactions like that as i know many users would rather avoid them!

anyway, as the packet told me to i relaxed for about 20 minutes as the face mask dried. it didn't make my face feel tight whilst it was drying as many face masks do so it didn't feel too long to wait as originally i thought 20 minutes would be too much. after 20 minutes i went to peel it off - the best bit! as i said before, there is probably enough of this face mask for two applications as you can only peel off the thin layers. i ended up putting the excess on my cheeks and had to wipe this off with cotton pads - not as fun as peeling!

overall i'd say that my face does feel a lot fresher and cleaner than it did before. i'm not sure how much of the deep cleansing is visible but i'd be willing to purchase a few more of these to use weekly to see if it has any long term effects. plus, at 99p it doesn't cost a lot to feel like you're giving yourself a little treat!

Friday, 10 August 2012

the liebster award

recently i found out that i had been nominated for the liebster award by helen at and kirsty at how lovely! the liebster award isn't something that i'd heard of before but i have subsequently found out that it's an award given by bloggers to other bloggers with less than 200 followers. it's a really sweet idea and just shows the level of support that is generally seen throughout blogging communities.

the rules of the award are:
  • each person nominated must post 11 things about themselves
  • they must answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for you  and then write out 11 new questions for their nominated blogs
  • each person must nominate 11 other blogs
  • finally, the person nominated must follow the tagger

so, 11 things about myself:

  • i've just finished a law degree. i knew it wasn't for me quite early on but wasn't sure what else to do and didn't want to quit. now i'm glad i've finished it and pleased with my results!
  • i start a beauty therapy course in september; i decided to turn my hobby into a career! 
  •  in 2008 i went to south america for 3 months with 2 friends. i visited peru, bolivia, chile, argentina and brazil - amazing fun!
  • artisitic gymnastics is my favourite olympic sport (i thought i'd put a seasonal point in!) and i wish i could do what they do! unfortunately, i can't even cartwheel. having said that...
  • if i had to be 'made' into something it would be a professional ice skater.
  • my boyfriend is from sheffield but i met him in thailand on another travelling expedition!
  • whilst i was in thailand i got a tattoo of a diamond on the instep of my foot.
  • grandma still doesn't know about my tattoo. oops!
  •  i have a really sweet tooth and consider myself to have a separate stomach reserved only for dessert that needs to be filled!
  • i hate brown sauce. yuck!
  •  i love tv series like 24, homeland and of course sex and the city <3
11 questions from helen at

1. who is your beauty inspiration? - i couldn't call a particular person a beauty inspiration but i find make up tutorial videos pretty inspirational as you can see the transformation of the person as opposed to just the final look.

2. who is your fashion inspiration? - ooo i don't have a fashion inspiration either really! i love clothes but wouldn't call myself fashionable... sometimes i'm inspired by the outfits on the plastic models in shop windows - is that wrong?!

3. what are your first beauty/fashion memories? - my first beauty memory is of me and a friend playing around with make up when we were about 8 i think. she put navy eyeshadow in my eyebrows. needless to say it isn't my favourite beauty memory!

4. which subjects did you love/hate studying at school? - i loved art and english and hate hate hated drama!

5. which celebrity do you really want to slap and why? - i can't say i want to slap any celeb in particular but i'm really not a fan of people that haven't actually done anything (e.g reality tv stars) but then bring out an autobiography. baffling!

6. have you got any tattoos/piercings and if you have where and what are they? - ahh i've already answered this but yes, a tattoo on my foot and my ears are pierced.

7. which magazines do you religiously buy every month without fail? - none at all!

8. what would you do if you were a boy for 24 hours? - attempt to work out why match of the day really is so necessary to watch!

9. can you describe your personality in five words? - not really! but if i had to i'd say quite girly, optimistic (i try to be anyway!), calm and friendly (again, i try!)i struggled to think of a fifth one so asked my boyfriend to help. he said i was funny but he mainly laughs at me and not with me so not sure if that counts!

10. do you prefer silver or gold? - i wear silver daily but i love gold for going out.

11. what is your favorite time of year and why? - probably the summer when it's actually sunny..!

11 questions from kirsty at

1. what is your favourite brand of clothing and why? - i like high street brands like h&m and new look because it's usually quite cheap and they have lots of pretty, girly pieces.

2. tell us about your favourite childhood memory? - i couldn't choose! there really are too many but i had a lot of lovely friends that lived on my road when i was younger and i also got the opportunity to travel a lot. all great memories.

3. if you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why? - i'd probably be a penguin. the way they walk makes me laugh so much i'd probably enjoy giving it a try myself ha!

4. choose between telepathy or telekinesis and give reasons why? - telekenesis definitely! telepathy could become annoying after realising that a lot of people don't say what they think but being like matilda would always be fun!

5. are you sporty? Have you ever been sporty? - not particularly. i've been a member of a gym before and used to play netball and badminton at school but i don't do any team sports now. i had a go on the wii fit the other day though, does that count?!

6. what's one fashion or beauty faux pas that you can't abide by? - i'm ashamed to say leggings and uggs! hey, i never said i was fashionable....!

7. designer or high street? why? - high street because i can't afford designer clothes!

8. do you have a favourite video game or console? - i used to have a playstation and loved crash bandicoot.

9. what was your best subject at school or college/university? - probably art.

10. would you rather skydive or bungee jump? - skydive preferably but i'd do both! 

11. what got you interested in becoming a blogger? - i started reading lots of beauty blogs and just thought that i may be able contribute something myself so why not?!

11 people i'm tagging:

11 questions i'm asking:

1. what are your top 3 beauty products?
2. what's your current job and how does it compare to your dream job?
3.what's your favourite dinner?
4. which country would you most like to live in?
5. what's the worst date you've ever been on?
6. if you had to walk around with your face painted for the rest of your life what design would you choose?
7. which advert on tv irritates you the most?
8. if you were in a rush in the morning and only had time for one would you choose to do your make up or have breakfast?
9. lipstick or lip gloss?
10. did you have a childhood teddy? if so, what was its name and do you still have it?!
11. how did people react when you told them you had started writing a blog?

woah! that was a long, long post but there was so much to get through! i hope you enjoyed reading anyhow and once again thank you to helen and kirsty for the nominations :) xx

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

wishlist #1

wishlist #1

i've been meaning to do a wishlist for about a month now and have only just gotten round to it! who knows why because i always want something or other, but anyway, here are my current wants/needs/must-have-almost-immediately! so, clockwise from the bottom left:

dressing table - i've recently re-painted my room and am slowly but surely in the process of doing my bi-annual clear out! i no longer need a desk so have decided to replace it with a pretty dressing table instead. some people say it's twee but i'm in love with anything that could be considered shabby chic so something like this would be ideal. originally i wanted mine to be more ornate and cream but actually as my room is completely white and quite small i'm not sure if this is the best idea. any thoughts?! as soon as i make up my mind and get it delivered i'll put up some pictures too!

tan and gold shoes - these are from new look and i think they're pretty perfect for this weird summer/winter weather we're having (although the suede may not appreciate the rain...) i wear my only pair of gold heels constantly so maybe these will shake up my usual footwear selection?!

mac mineralise skinfinish natural powder - i currently use an e.l.f cosmetics powder and although i think it does the job i know it'll be too warm toned for the winter months. plus i'd like to experiment with a higher end pressed powder as i think the increased quality is likely to show when using a product like this.

mac 217 blending brush - i don't have this blending brush and i don't know why. everytime i watch a tutorial on pixiwoo (if you haven't watched any yourself then you really need to check them out, they're amazing!) i want one more and more. it'll be my next 'investment' purchase!

real techniques stippling brush - and talking of pixiwoo, for those of you that don't already know, the real techniques brushes were developed by samantha chapman (a make up artist who makes up half of pixiwoo) and are discussed and praised constantly by beauty bloggers. again, why have i not already invested in one of these?!

nivea essential care lip balm

this has got to be one of my all time favourite lip balms. i started using it last winter as i suffer from really dry, chapped lips. i didn't read any reviews on it before i bought it, i just liked that it didn't mention any kind of scent. i do like carmex/lypsil/chapstick etc etc, but sometimes i feel that the added fruity scents can actually aggravate my lips and make them worse. as i hoped, this essential care lip balm is pretty much scent free so removes that source of aggravation.

the packaging isn't particularly luxurious looking but the blue makes it easy to find in a bag and i like that you don't have to apply it with your fingers as most of the time i find that too messy and impractical! 

the best bit about it though is the creamy formula. it really is soothing and isn't too sticky or too hard (sometimes i find that brands such as lypsil can be so hard that they're actually really difficult to apply). i have to say i get through them quite quickly though although this is entirely my fault as i probably apply it over 10 times a day! however, considering that it's only £1.65 in boots i don't see this as being much of a problem!

beauty forever - rose gold nail varnish

just a little post about a new nail colour i picked up the other day. it's called rose gold which i thought could be interesting as although lots of jewellery is rose gold nowadays, i personally haven't seen any nail varnish that looks particularly rose gold. it does look a little more bronze than i had hoped but it's still a pretty metallic shade that would go with a lot of other colours/outfits and best of all cost 99p! it's by a brand called beauty forever which unfortunately i can't seem to find online, but for any londoners, i got mine from pak cosmetics store which has stores all over the city.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

NYC nail varnish - bubblegum pink


i'm really starting to become quite a fan of NYC nail varnishes. they're really cheap (around £2, and superdrug usually have a 2 for £2.99 offer on too) and there are quite a lot of colours which are bright and fun :) i'm sure i've got plenty of colours just like bubblegum pink (i know i do but i feel bad saying it) but this was too cute to resist!

the wear is quite good - i got a few days out of mine - and coverage is good too. in the pictures i'm wearing two coats. i like the bottles too, similar to M.A.C, no? definitely one of my new favourite cheap treats!

avene skin recovery cream - calming formula


this is one of my favourite moisturisers because of the amazing effect it has on my skin. it feels quite light and has no strong smell like the rest of the avene brand i've tried (it's aimed at sensitive and irritated skin which is probably why.)

i use about a pea-sized amount morning and evening and it doesn't leave a greasy residue as some moisturisers do. it also absorbs quickly and feels very soothing. in terms of how it makes my skin look, i'd say it was just a lot clearer and fresher than usual. in the winter i need something heavier (i usually use olay double action day cream) but this winter i'm considering just getting this moisturiser in the 'riche' version. howver, when it's not freezing cold, this works really well and as an occasional sufferer of dry skin i haven't seen any dry patches since i started using this moisturiser again!

you can purchase avene products from boots and this moisturiser costs £12.50 - well worth the money in my opinion!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

comme des garcons leather purse


i thought i'd show you all my new little purse given to me by my boyfriend. i love the dark grey and the gold details... even the zip pull is pretty! i haven't decided quite what to use it for yet though. originally i was thinking oyster card/other daytime essentials but really i don't want to associate this beauty with spending a fortune to sit on a smelly tube. 

i've already got a large wallet but regularly take everything out of it and put it directly in my bag when going out (why are bags so small nowadays? or is my wallet too big?) so maybe this should be used as an evening change purse? hmm... i'll have to think about it! and ooh the leather is sooo soft too... <3

Monday, 16 July 2012

models own ultra-waterproof mascara


of the five different models own mascaras, this is the second one i have tried. the first was the grow fast mascara which i reviewed here and love love LOVE. i have to say, unfortunately i don't love this mascara as much. personally, i like my lashes to look thick and very black. this waterproof mascara leaves a lot less impact and creates almost wispy lashes.

having said that, it is nice to have a mascara to hand that creates more of a lighter daytime look and i have also started using it over my grow fast mascara as a sort of waterproof top coat. sadly, my reason for doing this isn't because i'm repeatedly jumping in the sea somewhere in the mediterranean, but it does give a bit of extra staying power to the grow fast mascara - much needed in this endless rain the U.K is getting!

the mascara is as waterproof as i'd hope it to be, it can deal with a few splashes so should be fine to swim in but excessive eye rubbing is likely to result in an under eye shadow. i have found it as easy as a non-waterproof mascara to remove with make up remover though which makes life a lot easier.

i think i'd be unlikely to repurchase this mascara as i'm sure there are other options out there that are waterproof and provide the look that i like, but also because i'm such a massive fan of the models own grow fast mascara that i'd be inclined to go for that one instead!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

garnier intensive seven day challenge - update

a couple of weeks a go i took on the garnier intensive seven day challenge which involved using a sachet of their shea butter moisturiser on one area of the body (i chose my legs) every day for a week. before and after the week i used the enclosed 'skin reader' to measure the amount of dry skin on my legs. as promised, here's my (very late - oops!) update on how it went and some before and after shots of the skin reader provided. sorry if this grosses anyone out and if so look away now because here they are!

before - top; after - bottom

as you can see from the 'before' skin reader, my legs were a sorry state of affairs. i have to admit i hadn't been keeping up on the moisturising routine i had forced myself into and i'd run out of exfoliator - double whammy! i can at least say it was an incentive to carry out the challenge for the full seven days.

 i also have to admit that my 'after' skin reader wasn't actually used as directed - two hours after the final application. this was mainly down to me choosing to apply the moisturiser at night and although i carried the full challenge out, there was no way i was sitting up waiting for two hours just to do a skin 'reading'!

instead, i did it the next day after my shower and was pleasantly surprised when in fact the moisturiser appeared to have made a difference. i'm sure this could have happened with any moituriser and for anyone wondering, i'm well aware that this test isn't a scientific skin-softness phenomenon! but either way, any kind of visual evidence that my skin is less dry is encouraging.

overall, i did like using the shea butter moisturiser and it made my skin feel softer too. plus it's really cheap (around £2.99) and there are loads of varieties if you don't like the smell of shea butter. i will be purchasing a full sized bottle soon!

Friday, 6 July 2012

avène extremely gentle cleanser


i blogged about avene skincare a while ago (which you can read here) having received a couple of freebies after filling out their online skin diagnosis form. using the samples reminded me how much i loved everything i had tried from the brand so i went out a few days ago and repurchased the 'extremely gentle cleanser'. why i ever stopped buying it i do not know - at £8 it isn't exactly dirt cheap but it lasts for months and does wonders for my skin. after using a few cleansers that really didn't do me any favours the £8 seems a small price to pay!

the consistency of the extremely gentle cleanser is a sort of milky gel, but more creamy than a gel if that makes sense?! (probably not). i apply it using a cotton pad and tend to then use another wet cotton pad to wipe it off. the directions state that this isn't necessary and sometimes i wonder if i'm doing myself a disservice by washing it off but generally i don't feel i have properly cleansed without a splash of water!

i think this is my third or fourth bottle of this cleanser and for me it really does keep my skin clear and bright - well worth a go, particularly for those with sensitive or problem skin as it feels so gentle. i plan on making this a staple in my beauty cupboard from now on!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

superdrug dry shampoo - buy one get two free!

any dry shampoo fans out there? if you are then have a look at this... superdrug currently have a buy one get two free offer on selected dry shampoos here and as they're only £1.99 each i found it hard to say no! that works out as about 65p each which is a bargain and they all smell different or are coloured to match your hair as well as being covered in different cute summery festival designs.

i thought i'd do a mini review of each of the three dry shampoos i picked up but i seem to have developed a summer cold in the past couple of days (i say summer cold... here in england it may aswell be november considering the rain and current temperatures!) so my description of how they smell may not be as accurate as i would've liked so i apologise in advance - feeling sorry for myself right now, boo!

anyway... 'heart on your sleeve' is a classic sweet floral smell and although it's quite strong it personally wouldn't prevent me from wearing it. i'd probably avoid wearing perfume on the day though just in case it clashed and you had to let out your dry shampoo secret as a result!

also, most importantly i have found that all of the dry shampoos provide good coverage and do their job effectively. i've only ever been able to wear it for a day as an i-woke-up-too-late-to-wash-my-hair pick me up and it lasted the full day so served me well. for those of you that use dry shampoo to cover up growing out roots (see chocolate brownie mini review!) or for styling purposes then i'm not sure that this would work as well as something like batiste as to me it feels a bit stickier than usual, but do let me know if this isn't the case!

chocolate brownie is a coloured dry shampoo and prevents the ashy look that can come from using dry shampoo (which is generally some form of white) on brunette hair. this was something i only recently discovered having been blonde and then dying my hair brown so wasn't something i was aware of but is in fact an issue! i'd say that in terms of colour chocolate brownie is a bit darker than my hair (i'd say it was light brown) but isn't unwearable by any means. 

the only thing you need to remember to do with coloured dry shampoo that doesn't necessarily apply to regular dry shampoo is that you need to take a bit more care with application and remember to check your neck, face and hands afterwards for any excess colour that may have found itself onto somewhere unwanted!

scent wise i'd say chocolate brownie was similarly floral to heart on your sleeve but not as strong.

away with the fairies is probably my favourite bottle of the three - i like the butterflies and the flowers! packaging aside, i assume that as this isn't coloured it is the same formula as heart on your sleeve and it has exactly the same coverage and effect on my hair.

although the scent is also floral i think it's a bit more subtle than heart on your sleeve - less roses, more other types of flower that i can't think of right now... oops! overall, i'd probably be most likely to repurchase away with the fairies or chocolate brownie but i'm glad superdrug's deal allowed me to test all three. for those of you who haven't yet used dry shampoo either, here's your bargain opportunity to find out what you're missing!

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