A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Upcycle, recycle, repurpose

I'm not normally one for recycling old objects into something new, I don't really have that creative flare. There are some really rare occasions where I see something old and need it in my life such at this old school/vintage Quality Street sweet tin...



How cute is that? 

There is just something about this tin that when I first saw it, I just wanted it. It's been knocking about for a while and my mum asked if I wanted it. I couldn't bear the thought of it being thrown out. Don't get me wrong it's not in the best condition but it's different and I like it. 



My struggle was to think about what I could put in it? I don't have lots of knickknacks, I own a couple of trinkets but nothing special in there. I had to do something with the inside though, it just didn't look pretty. So in a moment of genius I thought, I've always got tissue paper laying about from online deliveries and stuff like that so why not just add a layer on the inside.



It just tidies everything up and adds a splash of colour. 

You can buy these tins for next to nothing on eBay, personally I wouldn't have bought one it was only the fact I couldn't bear to see it cast aside with the rest of the rubbish. 

Right now, I'm using it to store some little nail varnishes in, but I know now I have real nails my collection is going to grow vastly. But I like to think I'll keep the tin and just use it for something else. 

What vintage items do you love? 
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Nails of the day (well, week)

As you may know I used to have fake nails, huge fan of fake nails. However as time went on I knew my love affair would have to end so I had them soaked off and replaced with shellac because they were obviously quite weak. 

The only problem with shellac is that it gets kinda boring, having the same shade for 2 weeks and they look less fresh with every day that goes by. 

I keep seeing all these beautiful bloggers with utterly stunning nail colours so I just decided to just soak them off myself. 



Now I'm Shellac free I've managed to experiment with some nail colours this week. 

Usually I never, ever stray from my beloved ruby red nails. I've probably worn every shade of red known to man on my nails. But this year I have really fallen in love with the pastel shades and muted tones. My first choice was...

Ciaté - Shooting Star
This actually came as a set with some tiny pearls but I really liked the taupe kinda colour and the formula is perfect! It's a little bit thicker than most nail polishes it's almost has a gel like texture. It dries super quick as well. I love it! It's such a different colour to what I usually go for. 



Soigné - Créme Au Beurre
I got this little beauty in my Birchbox this month. I have been keeping my eye out for the perfect, pinky nude colour for a while and here it is. It's gorgeous, I was so happy when I received this colour. The only very minor issue I have is it takes a few coats to ensure that your nail colour doesn't seep through. In this picture I had 3 coats of it on.



Barry M - Meadow
I have actually worn this colour before over my acrylic nails and loved it however I forgot to take a pic of this on my natural nails. This is one nail polish where I love the colour but it chips so damn quickly. 

Right now there are literally so may different colours I want to try out and add to my modest collection now that I can because I have natural nails. 

What shades/colours and brands are you loving at the moment? 
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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Fruit burst Muffins | Recipe

This is a recipe that I found on the BBC Good Food Cake app, this isn't my own recipe I just love it so much I though I would share it with you guys! 

I tend to go through phases where I love to bake, usually it's when I'm feeling a bit down it takes my mind off of things. 

I've been trying to eat better because I'm just snacking on utter rubbish. In work we have a snack table that is filled to the top with very naughty treats so I've started bringing in my muffins. 

I found this recipe a couple of years ago and loved it because they are actually pretty healthy, or at least a healthier version of muffins. Has no sugar, minimal butter and lots of yummy fruit... 



Don't they look good?! 

Now the fun bit, the recipe... 

•225g plain flour
•2 tsp baking powder 
•2 large eggs
•50g melted butter 
•175ml skimmed milk 
•100ml clear honey 
•140g fresh blueberries
•85g dried cranberries 
•140g raisins 
•140g apricots (chopped)
•1 tsp orange zest 
•1tsp cinnamon 

Literally mix it all the wet ingredients together including the flour then pour the yummy fruit in. The mixture is quite sticky, so don't worry, you don't want it runny anyway. 

Simply put it in your muffin tin (with muffin cases) and whack it in the oven for 20-25mins on gas mark 6 and you're done. 



Sometimes I don't add honey, sometimes I don't add orange zest it really depends on what's in my cupboard and what I fancy at that time. They really are so nice. 

Let me know if you bake some of these muffins!! 
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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Beauty protector shampoo and conditioner | Review

So if you looked at my Birchbox post over the weekend you'll know that I didn't get around to actually using this product. So this is just a follow up because I've finally had a chance to try it. 



Firstly, I just love the packaging of this product, the colour contrast, the lace detailing, everything! I think it's super cute and very different to other hair brands. 

It smells gorgeous, really light I'll be honest I can't really liken the scent to anything else, kinda sweet, kinda floral but lovely. Also, it's a vegan product, I never really consider much about what's in my products but this lists a few harmful things that it doesn't include which is pretty cool. 

The actual product itself is good. It definitely left my hair looking soft and smooth and actually I'd say that it did feel pretty protected and looked after. My hair also smelled lovely even after I had dried it. Great shampoo and conditioner.

Have you tried anything from this range? 
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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Geeking it up with my new glasses

I have been putting off getting my eyes tested for quite some time now but I know the more I'm at the computer the more I realise that I do need glasses. 

It's been so long since I had them tested but the last time they were I was prescribed glasses so it comes as no surprise that I, of course, needed glasses this time around. 

I guess I can be a bit shy, I don't really like drawing too much attention to my face which is a nightmare because when I'm at my desk at work and people notice them they will shout out, naturally. I've just gotta man up! 

So here they are... 








I have got another pair on it's way, bit different from these ones. 

It's amazing actually being able to see the computer screen clearly again! 

What do you think? 
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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Inside May's Birchbox

I was so excited when my Birchbox came last weekend, I know it's taken me a little while to post up but I wanted to use as many products this week to get a good review. 

This month's box is a collaboration with Harper's Bazaar and the box was so utterly beautiful on the outside that my expectations for the inside were high, I wanted it to be filled with goodies that were just as beautiful. 




I can honestly say that I love everything that came in this box I was so surprised.


 

So where shall I start how about with this turquoise gem...



Aromatherapy Associates - Revive Morning bath and shower oil. 

When I first opened the box, I though this was a little perfume sample but when i read it i was actually quite interested to learn that it was a bath and/or shower oil. Now I'm the type of girl who loves bubbles, though bath oils have been around for quite sometime, I can't help it I just love copious amounts of bubbles in my bath. I did consider using this in the shower, but it was only a little sample and I have a lot of body so I didn't think it would work so well in the shower. I emptied the entire contents, as instructed, into my bath and was overcome by the scent. It was beautiful fresh and quite strong. It was a real mix of scents though ranging from grapefruit, rosemary, juniper and eucalyptus. It definitely made my skin feel a little more nourished than after my standard bubble bath. A little different but I would probably try bath oils again in the future. 




Liz Earle - Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
One thing I love about Liz Earle samples is that they are always beautifully wrapped, it still keeps you guessing, even though you know it's from Liz Earle you still wonder what little treat for your skin it could be. As you know I'm super cautious about things that go on my face but I do have a little bit of trust in Liz Earle because the ingredients are a more gentle on my skin as they are more natural. This cream is a little indulgent too with rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus (I'm sensing a box theme!) I actually quite liked this, I think the texture is quite similar to Simple's cleansing face mask that I use often. It even came with a little cloth to wash it off with. My skin felt lovely after using it. I was super impressed, I actually would even consider buying this. 






Benefit - They're Real mascara
Now, I know this might be a slightly unpopular comment about this brand, but I just don't see they hype. This is my second sample that I have tried of this mascara and to be fair I think that it doesn't live up to my expectations. Every blogger absolutely loves this mascara, I'm a fan of the brand just not this particular mascara. I'm fairly lucky because I have naturally long eyelashes anyway so most mascara makes them look good but I'm such a fan of my L'Oreal's Volume Million lashes that nothing else really compares. I don't really like They're Real brush it's too hard and doesn't really get all of my eyelashes coated the way I like. Sorry guys!!




Beauty Protector - Protect and Shampoo/Conditioner
This is one product I've actually yet to try so I'm gonna have to follow this up in a separate post. But let's just have a little look at the packaging, because I love it! I love the contrast between white and red, it really stands out and I think the design it really cute. It really looks like nothing I've seen before in shampoo or conditioners branding. I love the scent of this product which is why I'm pretty excited to use it.The shampoo is also sulfate free, paraben free and vegan. How cool is that? So keep an eye out for my post next week about these products. 




Soigné - Créme Au Beurre nail polish
I had to save the best til last! I practically swooned when I saw this in my box, the packaging is just to die for and it's full sized. I was super excited to see what colour I had and it was just the perfect shade between nude and pink. I have been looking for a shade like this. I'm in love! Also, this polish claims to have 85% ingredients that are from natural origins, free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and camphor. I'll be honest I don't pay much attention to the indegrents of my products (I know I should) but this will probably make me consider what's in my products a little more.The shade is just perfect, it's a little sheer on first application it definitely needs a second coat but looks lovely. The colour has a very very subtle shimmer to it which is only picked up in certain lights but it's gorgeous!



So that was my box, another utterly fabulous box this month. 



Have you signed up to Birchbox? What shade of Soigné did you recieve?



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Thursday, 15 May 2014

My Olay Essentials miracle cream

I've been awful with posting things lately, work and life has been too busy. So I thought I would post about what I deem to be my miracle cream. 

As you may know I'm super fussy about what goes on my face regarding products. I used to have horrific acne and went on hardcore medication which completely dried out my skin. My skin was so dry that is was literally flaking off everywhere and looked just awful. 

I tried every cream out there but so many were too greasy and actually did nothing for my dry skin. I really was getting so tired of trying all these products, spending an absolute fortune and having rubbish results. My friend mentioned that she used Olay beauty products and her skin is gorgeous, literally flawless so I thought I'd try something from this range to see whether it could work for me. This was about 3/4 years ago and I've never looked back...



This is Olay essentials double action sensitive day cream. As soon as I started using it I knew that I'd picked up something special. It really did feel nourishing without feeling heavy and my skin started looking better with everyday that went past. All my dry patches started to disappear and I didn't have to use too much of it, just little dabs here and there. It's a fair sized pot that probably lasts me about 2 months to get through and is priced around the £5 mark it's so worth it.

As I said I still use it today my skin isn't dry anymore, I came off the medication a couple of years ago but I still love the way it leaves my skin. Even if I have a tiny patch that's dry I know that this will fix it every time. 

What are you miracle products? 
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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Am I a POREfessional or do I say Pores No More | Review

Recently I've really been looking for a pore refining cream but one that would give me pretty good coverage because I have a lot of acne scars. However I really don't know what to try, I've read through tones of blogs and reviews trying to find something but the opinions are so varied I may as well just try everything and figure out what's right in the end. 

So where better to start than with the tiny free samples?

Pores No More by Dr Brandt was actually in my March's Birchbox and my Benefits POREfessional was a freebie with this months Elle magazine. 



I have seen review upon review about Benefit's POREfessional, all of which raving about how fab this product is. The cynic in me wondered whether they just had a very good PR team. But I've never seen any reviews at all on Pores No More maybe I've been living under a rock?!

To be fair I think both are pretty similar products but I'm going to be fussy about it, what it boils down to is the texture, the scent and the coverage. 

POREfessional is definitely a smoother texture, really creamy. Also the scent with this product is amazing, really fresh, it's hard to pinpoint the exact scent but it's somewhere between fruity and floral. When I first tried this I think I used too little so I didn't really think is was that great, when I used a little more (still less than a pea size) I realised that the coverage was far better. I mean it didn't cover some of my scars but let's face it, it can't work miracles but it was a perfect base for my foundation. 

Pores No More, is a little but more lumpy in texture, but only fractionally. The one thing that put me off it was in fact the scent, it had an almost antiseptic smell to it. The formula is a little heavier too! The coverage was good but it didn't feel as smooth as Benefit's POREfessional. 

Both great products but I'm going to have to say, POREfessional is a winner, it just went that little bit further. 

I need some help though, what would you advise as a good primer or acne scar concealer? 
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A River Island treat

rarely shop in River Island but I was looking for a light weight jacket when I stumbled across this lovely dress. 



I just loved the colours bright and summery!! It's a super comfy jersey material so it's really light and easy to wear.

Another reason I love this dress is because it's so bloody versatile, I wore this on a night out in Shoreditch with a leather jacket, heeled boots and a spikey necklace. Makes it a little edgy. 

Then I wore it on a date to just have a wander around London, keeping my jewellery very simple and it still looked great.

I'm in love with this dress. What do you think? 

What are your River Island goodies? 
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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Barry M Natural Glow palette

I’ve seen many reviews about various different eye shadow palettes and I never quite know what to try. The problem with my make-up regime is it’s very simple in the fact that I never wear eye shadow mainly because I never know what shades to wear and never really sure how to apply and blend.

I was having a wander around my local Superdrug as saw this palette in the Barry M range, it seemed to have everything I wanted, kind of a starter eye shadow palette I’d say. 




As you will see the colours aren’t very fancy, they are quite simple and easy to wear with most skin tones I’d imagine. It also comes with a little bit of blush too, something again I never use. Whilst I know many amazing beauty bloggers will be looking at this thinking Urban Decay or Naked do a much better better, personally I just wanted to have a bit of a play around with my make-up to see whether I would actually start wearing eye shadows.

To be fair I do actually like the selection, the colours aren’t too pigmented or concentrated so it allows for an unskilled hand to blend them together. 



The second shade in is almost non-existent but actually it works as a pretty good base for my eyes to then put some of the other shimmery colours on top. All of them can be worn together, for an everyday eye look, apart from the last shade on the right, that would probably be best to try out when I’m going on a night out or something.



Overall I’m really happy with the palette, a great newbie eye shadow palette. I really like that just a simple bit of colour or shade gives my eyes a really different look.

I also bought the Real Techniques eye shadow brush set from Boots to apply it with which I’m really impressed with. Admittedly they were a little pricey, but I definitely think anything from the Real Techniques range is definitely worth it. 

Have you tried this palette? 
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My week

Oh I've neglected my blog this week, not only that I've barely read any blogs I have no idea what's going on in Blogger Land. 

Here are the images of my week...















How's your week been?!
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