Tuesday, 28 August 2012

empties + mini reviews #1

Hellooooo! I am in fact not dead, I've just been getting iller and iller. I'm better again now though.
So, I've been planning an empties post for a while, as I like reading them because you get to see more about what people use regularly. I saved up all my empty packaging and here we are!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

instagram + life no.1

smokey being the cutest thing ever // fantastic grafitti over a specsavers poster // being drunk on the bus looking like a cartoon // roooots! // home made earl greay iced tea // enjoying the sunshine + looking naked

I've been ummimg and aahing over doing instagram posts for a while now, I know some people think they're a bit of a cop out but I'd rather have something to post than nothing, and I enjoy them so I thought I'd go for it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

glossybox august 2012; international superstars

I saw on my blogroll that others had recieved this box today and was slightly surprised that mine hadn't been delivered yet, and then when I got home I realised when I'd cancelled and resubbed earlier in the month I'd put my home address and not my work one! Silly!
However, I wasn't too excited as I'd (as always) peeked through other people's boxes, and I have to say I was not overwhelmed at all.
This month's theme is International Superstars, which I assume is olympics related. It supposedly contains "cult" products from a selection of countries.
Onto the products:

Alessandro Pro White Nail Polish (top right)
this is a clear polish with UV blue added to it, which is meant to make yellow nails look whiter. Now this is virtually useless for me as I always wear polish, but I may wear it over other colours for clubbing.
I can't work out if this is full size (10ml) or not, but if it is it's worth £7.50.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (top left)
this is a water soluble cleansing oil, which was the only product I was particularly excited about in this month's box. I haven't yet checked the ingredients but it smells a hell of a lot like pure Vitamin E oil. I used it to take my makeup off just now, and it did quite well, although I wouldn't say it did any better than pure Vitamin E if I'm honest, and it left my eyes very cloudy and slightly watery after use.
This is a 30ml sample, full size is 200ml and retails at £18.50

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press on Manicure (far right)
I've had these in a previous Glossybox (February, possibly?), and didn't find them particularly great. They're good for a quick manicure, but really do not last well. The main reason I'd buy them would be for some of the very nice prints they have, like the leopard ones, but these are basically a gold, red and purple water marble effect, which is a) pointless and b) rather ugly in my opinion.
This is a full size product with 24 nails, retails at £7.99

Vera Valentini L'ombre á Paupière Margarita (middle top)
an eyeshadow palette containing 6 beige/browns and 4 greens. although the packaging of this is VERY tacky and cheap looking, I thought I could put it to some use as I wear a selection of neutral eyeshadows on a daily basis, but the quality of this is just horrific. All of the shadows are incredibly powdery, and give virtually no colour payoff whatsoever. I wasn't expecting the sponge applicatior that comes with it to be particularly great, but I tried to swatch with it and it doesn't pick up any product at all! It really does look and feel like "toy makeup" that I got with one of those plastic doll heads that you used to be able to get and apply makeup on. Awful.
This is a full size product and the RRP is £3.85

Lipcote (bottom left)
Lipcote is a lipstick sealer that has been around for absolutely yonks, I remember my mum using it when I was young. I have purchased it myself a couple of times and never really got on with it; it does keep lipstick on but always wrinkles no matter how wide I keep my mouth after applying it! It seems that they've tried to re-brand this recently, which I remember them doing when I was younger by adding glitter. I had a purple one, it was vile. Anyway, I tried this just now and I still don't much like it.
This is also full size, RRP £3.99

Glossybox Lipstick in Glossy Pink
Glossybox Special
So this is another product Glossybox have manufactured themselves as an "extra" product. It's a kind of dusky pink, which looks horrific with my hair as expected, which isn't their fault. The texture is okay,a little bit waxy, but it smells very very cheap. The packaging is very clunky and horrid. The Glossybox logo is printed on the top but it's wonky, which I find a bit strange... Tbh I wish Glossybox would put more effort into the prodcuts that go into the boxes rather than making their own stuff to grow their brand, it's a bit cheeky.
They claim this is worth £9.50, which is an absolute joke.

I'm sorry to be so negative but I really don't like this box. I've seen people raving about it and I can understand that most of the products are pretty usable for people (including myself I guess), my issue is that Glossybox claim to provide "5 luxury samples. None I wouldn't consider any of these luxury other than the cleansing oil.

Also, sorry for the lack of pictures, but I just wasn't remotely excited enough to take a picture of each product.
I could only afford one sample box this month so went with Glossybox instead of Joliebox, because I did them the other way round last month, but to be honest I really wish I hadn't. Although for some reason I haven't got round to posting any of my Jolieboxes, I have found them highly superior to Glossybox lately, and I'm disappointed I gave up what is probably going to be a better box for this one.

Have you got this box? Am I alone in my disappointment? What's your favourite sample box?



Wednesday, 8 August 2012

notd: china glaze street chic

I've been really loving autumnal shades again recently, which is probably lucky due to the great british weather at the moment!
this is Street Chic, part of the China Glaze Metro collection released last fall, and it's a taupey brown with a very slight purple undertone, I like that it's not too warm but not so cool it makes my skin look funny.
I couldn't for the life of me get a good picture of the colour (desperately need an actual camera), so the first picture I changed the colouring of slightly and it's now pretty damn close.
The colour looks a lot like cadbury chocolate; a kind of muted chocolately brown.
This polish, like 99% of the China Glaze colours I own, goes on like a dream. This was two coats, and applying it actually feels like applying a smooth chocolate sauce to my nails! It's naturally really shiny on its own but I've added one coat of Seche Vite as always to enhance this shine.
I don't actually like chocolate, but I shall be getting my chocolate fix from this at work tomorrow!

You may have noticed how long my nails are getting, I'm absolutely chuffed, although I keep breaking my right index finger so I then have to file the rest down, which is annoying. I talked about my experience with Nail Envy when I first started this blog, but I've continued using it and it actually seems to be working rather well. I just apply one coat before my base coat (china glaze strong adhesion), and it doesn't seem to be affecting the wear a at all. I might do an updated review of it shortly...


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

st tropez dark mousse: review and comparison

I'm currently running a giveaway of either this or the original bronzing mousse; enter here

Yeeahh wooohoooo I got it!
This is the St Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse, which is the much awaited dark version of their cult Bronzing Mousse.
This also comes in the lotion and spray forms. I purchased this one because although I find the lotion lasts better and is more moisturising; it takes far too much effort to blend it in properly, whereas I've got so used to the mousse it only takes me around 10 minutes.
Although it's generally agreed that the St Tropez is one of the best available fake tans around, one thing that I think puts a lot of people off is the price, to which this is no exception. It retails at £33 and only contains 200ml and when compared to the original, which is £31 and 240ml (there is a smaller bottle), actually makes it seem cheap (maybe not quite).
At the moment though, most St Tropez products are up to £5 off in Boots, including this which had the whole £5 off, so I paid a slightly less eye watering £28.

Now I love my fake tan, I am a constant shade of orangey-brown, usually brought to me by the St Tropez Bronzing Mousse, but I really don't find the colour to be dark enough. On a Sunday I exfoliate all my tan off and then apply 2-3 coats 2 hours apart throughout the evening, but then still have to apply another on the Monday, which gets really annoying and expensive, as you can imagine.
With this, I think I could probably use 1 coat on the sunday, and then top up again on either the Tuesday or the Wednesday, and then more as it faded..

When I was looking for information about this I couldn't find anything directly comparing it to the original, so I thought I'd do a little experiment for you.
Above is the original Bronzing Mousse and the Dark both squirted on a bit of kitchen towel, and the 2nd picture is 10 minutes later. As you can see, the original has a brown undertone but the dark is an undeniable dark green!

don't worry, these are just the colour guides!
I decided to do one leg in the dark and one in the original (I wonder if you can guess which one is which?) to have a direct comparison between the ease of application and colour result of both products.
I prepped my skin as normal, exfoliating with gloves in the morning and epilating my legs, then moisturising with oil, and then when I got home from work I exfoliated again, just moisturising my knees and feet, and gave my skin a couple of hours to chill.
When actually applying the products I used a new mitt from superdrug. The original applied slightly streaky as always, which I tend to just ignore after a certain amount of rubbing, or you will actually make yourself streaky.
Putting the dark (or green) tan on was hilarious. It was actually dark green. It's exactly the same texture as the other one though, so it was fine.

I then buffed, and went off to bed. In the morning I rinsed them off and moisturised, and was left with this. As you can see, the dark is considerably darker than the normal one, but still not great. I do wish I'd been able to do this post last week so I could have used my arms, but there was no way I was going to work this week with half my body dark and the other half less dark! 

The problem is my legs just don't take to tan that well, and the first coat always just seems to seep into my follicles, as you can see. I do also think I may have overbuffed, as the colour came out a lot darker on my body. The original doesn't seem to have done anything, and the dark colour is barely there.The lighting here is terrible, but as I've said my legs are rubbish at fake tan anyway.
Do keep in mind my legs were deathly white before; both products take a lot better on already lightly tanned skin.
I do think the dark mousse makes the original leg look a lot paler than it normally would, one coat of the original would definitely be enough for a lot of people, despite it looking pale.

The rest of my skin, which already had 2 layers of the original tan applied the previous day is the perfect colour for me, it's a gorgeous dark brown. I didn't talke a before picture of my arm because I am a moron.
I can't wait until the weekend when I can scrub everything off and just see how the dark turns out alone on my body.
I also used this product on my face, which was fine, it didn't seem to do much different than the original on my face for some reason, other than be green before I washed it off!

sooo, here's my natural colour, the colour guides and my finished tan(s)
A clear difference is how much guide colour washed off from the dark one. I find this makes it easier to apply, but there is no way you could go out with it on. It also might be a bit of a shock for people showering in the morning; a lot are confused by the colour coming off the original! But don't be scared of the guide colours, they're harmless. Unless you're a white towel or sheet, in which case you're dead.

Overall I really like this product and will continue to purchase it, but I do wish they did it in the standard bottle sizes, as I feel a lot of people would be more willing to buy the small one to try, and then the bigger one once they loved it.
I'd say if you already use the original and are considering buying this, but scared it'll be too dark, just go for it. It is quite a lot darker if you apply it thickly, but is probably the equivalent of two thin layers of the original when applied thinly with a mitt.

I hope this is helpful for those of you not too sure about this product, and sorry if it doesn't flow very well but I've been back to work this week and I'm knackered this evening, but I really wanted to get this post up.
Also, how muscular do  my legs look in those pictures?! I'm assuming it's because I had to take them whilst bent forwards if that makes any sense, and therefore they were tensed to stop me falling over...

Has anyone else tried this?
Am I going OTT with my tan?
Give me answers!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

new purchases

Helloooo! Thought I'd show you some stuff I've bought over the past couple of days.
daddy took me shopping earlier (I swear this has never happened before. it was weird) because I needed some new flats as my current ones have a huge hole in them. I wear heels at work and only ever have one pair of flats at a time because I only really wear them for running to the bus stop in the mornings haha. I liked the look of these loafery things; they did have them in leopard print but they looked a bit too much like slippers AND I always wear black tights so I prefer having black shoes. They were £6.
I also got some new tights... I get through these SO fast; they don't ladder but I'm forever burning holes in them or catching them on stuff. I always get a medium for some reason even though they'e a bit too big. It makes them more opaque so I prefer them. These were £3 for 3 pairs!
On the way to the till I demanded that my dad get me a wallet, because I lost my last one. I really liked this because it has a clippy open thing as well as loads of compartments. I was going to get it in brown but realised the black one matches my bag!

Now this I am very very excited about. I finally got LiLash!
I've literally wanted this for about 3 years, and finally decided to take the plunge. I've used the Kiss EverLash MD and Revitalash but neither of them really did much. I also have the Mavala Double Lash but always forget to apply it. I'm gonna post an update of my progress with this in a month or so, I've already taken pictures with and without (!!) mascara so we can all track its effectiveness!
I have heard that this is amazing so I'm hoping for big things (mainly lashes). I got it from Amazon for £51 and got free next day delivery because I have Amazon Prime.

And finally I got Missguided nail polish in Misslead free in Cosmo. They also have an orange (Missmatch) and a hot pink (Misstify). They did this a couple of years ago and I got a black with gold glitter which I quite liked so I thought I'd try this out.
I really couldn't choose which colour to get but went for Misslead because I don't have a yellow. When I applied it I remembered why I always give yellows away. 5 coats in and I was still seeing the smile line! So I removed it all and started again, but this time beginning with two coats of China Glaze White on White (the only white cream I've ever found that isn't a psycho), and this was much better. It's a proper bright yellow with silver microglitter which lifts it up a bit. With one coat over White on White it applied really nicely and pastel yellow, but I added another and it's now bright as you can see! I still don't really like yellows on my skintone but I'll see what I can do with it. I think it might try it as an accent nail with a purple polish.

So that's that! Have you bought anything exciting (or not), recently? Are you looking forward to my LiLash review?


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

what's in my bag!

I've always loved these "what's in your bag" posts and when I saw that the wonderful Lydia had just done one here (her blog's brill, follow it!), I decided to do a blatant copy!

My bag itself is the Aldo Lanford and it's pretty much the love of my life at the moment, I was looking in the shoes in the  sale last month and spotted it on a shelf, and once I'd tried it on I knew I had to have it, despite being at full price! It was only £50 though and I've been buying Primark bags for the last year or so which just break, so this one should last me a while!
I love everything about it, the Chanel style quilt and chain handles, the bow, the studs on the bow, the gold metal details, the front pocket, everything! And super duper bonus, I discovered that the back pocket is the perfect size for a small bottle of alcohol, so I've used it for my handbag vodka and surpassed bouncers with it a couple of times... sshh!

I carry a lot of crap in my bag so I've split it into three pictures, first one being my makeup bag. The clasp on it's broken so a lot of the time most of these items are just floating about in the bag.
I've tried to go in a kind of ordered clockwisey spiral type thing, but I'm assuming you'll be able to put the names to the items anyway!
  • lush it started with a kiss lipstain pot
  • powder brush from glossybox
  • duo eyelash glue
  • divaderme lash extender fibres (my favourite thing ever, review here)
  • l'oreal volume million lashes mascara
  • nail envy
  • bourjois 3 second nail polish remover (I carry this and the nail envy in case I get a chip; I have to remove ALL nail polish if this happens)
  • revlon colorstay foundation in fresh beige
  • bourjois blusher in 03 brun cuvre
  • maybelline 10hr tint gloss in endless ruby
  • maybelline the falsies black drama mascara
  • benefit the porefessional primer mini (I use this on top of my foundation throughout the day instead of powder)

Now for the stuff in the main bag, when I was arranging these I realised some of this stuff should have been in the makeup bag picture but oh well!
*Big breath*
  • guerlain my insolence perfume
  • a wide tooth comb (so much better on my extensions than a brush, and smaller!)
  • passport (for ID, I'm not planning on fleeing the country at any minute)
  • robot clipper lighter and mini lilac for back up (dirty smoker, sshhh)
  • a hairband. with a bow on
  • couldn't take a picture of my phone so I took the case off. it's a panda
  • a book (at the moment it's The Final Testament by James Frey; it's brilllliant)
  • softlips lipbalm in french vanilla
  • bottle opener with corkscrew
  • a rechargeable torch that looks like a pig
  • a big gold necklace for jewellery emergencies (?!)
  • a red pen (because I'm constantly marking my life..?)
  • burt's bees hand salve mini pot
  • nail glue
  • a bar blade (because one bottle opener wasn't enough. and this is cooler)

aaaaaand finally
  • ipod classic + headphones
  • sunnies (love primark. £2!)
  • argan oil for frizz drama throughout the day
  • body shop clementine lotion (I also carry a mini lush vanilla dee-lite but I think I've left it at work)
  • liz earle skin tonic mini spritzer (sometimes I use this for setting make up, and I just like carrying it around really)
  • neal's yard lavender essential oil (in a eucalyptus bottle because me and my mum took half each. I carry lavender around instead of painkillers because it helps headaches and also cuts etc. it's magical)
  • debit cards (also a boots, superdrug and debenhams beauty card but I forgot to photograph them. oops)
  • card reader (for impromtu money transfers. also I'd lose it otherwise)
  • the key (it's like the brighton equivalent of an oyster card. this is my third replacement)
  • house key with my super cool corona bottle keyring
  • hairclip (theres also loads of kirby grips floating about but I forgot about them)
  • and my purse (I've had this since I was about 14. I did have a real wallet but I lost it.)
Good freakin lawwwd! I carry around SO much stuff! There's also normally loads of bits of paper floating around in there but I tidied it up the other day.
I actually can't believe how much stuff I have in my bag!


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

my love of reality tv.

Hello all.

Slightly different post.

I've been going through something my whole life which has plagued me. I feel like a freak if I'm honest.

I am obsessed with trash tv. Yes, full on, reality trash.
As I type this post I have just finished watching this week's episode of Geordie Shore, and I'm not gonna lie, it was the best part of my week and the best part of last week was also Geordie Shore. And the week before that... and so on. Now that says one of two things; either I lead a very sad life, or for some reason I enjoy Geordie shore more than my actual life; both are definitely possible, but I actually think it's the latter.
I don't know what it is about that show but seeing people of well under average intelligence falling about and shagging just really gets me going.

*someone posted this on twitter.
I actually thought it was me.

From Jay and his ridiculously femenine eyebrows, to Charlotte and her pooey knickers (if you didn't see last week's episode you won't get this. and to be honest if you didn't you should be proud), I just love it all. And if I'm being entirely honest, my hair may have been slightly inspired by Holly's*.
I literally dream about being out with the Geordie Shore lot. Deficating myself etc. When the programme does finally come to its inevitable demise I do genuinely think I'll cry.

And it's not just Geordie Shore, oh no! Jersey shore is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, the fact that TOWIE is on twice a week makes my life complete and before Big Brother switched to Channel 5 I found myself watching the live footage for a ridiculous amount of time a day. I used to watch them sleep. Yes, really. Before it's aforementioned move over to C5, when it was flat out cancelled by Channel 4 and nobody knew its fate, I mourned over the loss of my summer. Obviously I would have still had one but there would have been no point to it.

Now Jersey and Geordie Shore are still my favourites, because they're clearly not scripted at all (or if so, very slightly) unlike TOWIE, and yet not remotely boring, like BB has a tendency to be. They are literally just people living in a house, getting absolutely smashed and going out. And sometimes they are even in the house hungover and tanning. It's actually like they based it on my life. Just based in the north. 

Now I know this has nothing to do with beauty or anything like that, I just wanted to let all you terrible people out there like me know that we shouldn't be ashamed of our terrible taste in television! We should embrace it! Not just thick people watch these programmes. I have had to explain to people whose only interests similar to mine are our (despicable) tastes in television why Big Brother is called Big Brother and not "CCTV" (this actually has happened). I do watch other stuff. I just prefer trash.

And yet even I think X Factor is despicable. 

Love xx

notd: opi did you 'ear about van gough

I bought this polish a while ago and have only just got round to wearing it. It's from the OPI Dutch Treats collection that I swatched some of here I bought it because although I can't get enough nudish cremes, I don't have anything much like this.
First picture is without flash, second with.
It's a putty grey nude, definitely too cool to be a true nude, but rather unique and I really like it. The picture without flash is closest to what it actually looks like but still not entirely accurate, it's a little bit bluer than that. And it's nothing like the flash picture, which looks quite similar to Stranger Tides from the Pirates of the Carribean collection, which is probably actually a mixture between those two above pictures. Confusing.
Anyway, this was three coats, but I'm pretty sure that was because my first coat was waaaayyyy too thin.

In other news, it's payday tomorrow FINALLY. I'm going shopping so there should be lots of fun stuff to post about! I'm definitely getting St Tropez Dark so I'll be posting a comparison between the original in the next few days, and I'm seriously considering buying LiLash... Seen it on amazon for a bargainlicious £52 and I've wanted to try it for years. Watch this space!

Monday, 30 July 2012

montagne jeunesse dead sea mud spa mask: review

hey guys!
I have a non nail post for your today at last!
I absolutely love skincare. I am obsessed with my face to the point of insanity; and I have to be pretty ill (self inflicted or not) to leave my make up on over night. I moisturise myself so much I can't hold a phone without it slipping off my face. That was a lie but you get my point.
I do a face mask at least once a week, but I try to do one on a Sunday and one on a Wednesday. I just think that the skin needs a little extra attention every now and then, whether that be a deep cleanse, a moisture boost, or just a bit of a pamper for the sake of it.

I'm sure you've at least heard of Montagne Jeunesse, but in case you haven't they're a skincare company that sell a huge selection of face masks, and hair and body products. I first noticed them because of their fun ingredients and natural ingredients, including fruits as well as the standard clay and herb based masks.
I've always found their products to be of a good quality, and especially good as most of their facial sachets are under £3, which means you can pick and choose what you fancy at any particuar time, rather than having loads of big tubes of products you don't really like (one day I'll show you my facial skincare drawer. it's a perfect example of this!)
So, as I said, their products are all made of natural ingredients, as well as being vegetarian approved (some are vegan), and paraben free. They also list all of their ingredients on their website, which I think is a very very good sign; there's nothing worse than a company who's scared to tell us what we're putting on our skin. Montagne Jeunesse is proud of its uncompromising natural credentials and ethos for ‘Conservation of Energy, Protection of Animals and the Environment.

So, this is one of two new fabric masks from Montagne Jeunesse, and I'll be reviewing the other one soon. They're both natural clay based masks soaked into a bamboo fabric mask, which claim to deep cleanse your skin, as well as brightening it up a bit.

I washed my face with my usual cleanser, using a muslin cloth to remove any dead skin (I always do this before a mask, and recommend you do too!), let skin dry and then got on with application.

Now, I've never used a fabric mask before so was a bit scared, and having read others' reviews on this expecting it to be massive on my face... which it wasn't, so I clearly have a huge face. 
The only issue I had with the fit of the mask was the nose area, as you can see from the above picture it's a got eye, nose and mouth holes (thank god!), and the nose area covered the middle of my nose but not the crooks (?!) on the sides, which is where I personally find I need the most extra cleansing. I did manage to get it to cover these areas but it took a bit of manouvering. 

The mask is really quite wet, I was expecting it to be drier, but it wasn't wet enough that it would drip. It felt very cooling on, but I couldn't help but feel a bit like a burns victim, although I assume this is something to get used to with fabric masks in general. It was very pleasant on the face, cooling and comfortable.
The mask smells really lovely and fresh, but unfortunately this made my eyes water slightly, although they do tend to do this with most strongly scented (natural or otherwise) products, and it died down after a few minutes.

Once it was safely on my face and my eyes had been dabbed appropriately, I sat down with my book and chilled for about 20 minutes (they recommend 10-15, but I got too into my book!), and then inspected it in the mirror. My face was feeling a little bit tight but not too bad, as the mask hadn't entirely dried like classic clay based masks. The chin had dried quite a lot and detatched itself from my face but this was possibly due to tea sipping. I'm not sure if this is meant to dry out entirely, but I doubt it as it would fall off your face I imagine! 
I peeled off the mask and was pleasantly surprised to see a very small (slightly green) residue on my face, which washed off really easily, which is my usual gripe with clay masks. I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of when you get the dry mask wet, I know that sounds so bizarre but the feeling of my skin suddenly releasing makes me shudder. This wasn't an issue however and I was all cleaned up in a couple of seconds, with some help from a trusty flannel.
I then let my face dry and toned/serumed/eyecreamed/moisturised (told you I was into it) as usual.

MY GOD MY FACE WAS SMOOTH. I did the mask a good few hours ago now and my face is still insanely soft, it's amazing. I've had a good inspection with my magnifying mirror and my pores look a lot clearer as well, especially around my nose.

Both of the new Clay Spa masks retail at £1.49* (absolute bargain), and are available in Boots from mid August, and Asda from September. They can be purchased now from the Montagne Jeunesse website here.

Okay, I saved this until the end in case any of you have nightmares, but here is me laughing at how much of a weirdo I look with the mask on:

*This product was sent to me for review but all opinions are my own.