Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Stay Perfect Foundation

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation - £14.50 (Shade - Calico)

This foundation deserves a little round of applause. It's medium to full coverage but by no means is it heavy on the skin, in fact it's the most lightweight foundation I've ever used. It's lightweight formula means it's easily buildable, blends well into the skin and is comfortable to wear. The foundation has a goldilocks effect to it... not too matte, not too dewy, it's just right. It also gives a fresh feeling to the skin, almost like the feeling you get when you've done an intense skin clean and then apply a moisturiser.

Stay Perfect is a life proof, weather proof, transfer proof foundation that has a intense longevity to leave you with 'non-stop complexion perfection'. It lasts up to 24 hours, has SPF15 and it's hypo-allergenic. Plus it's great for any skin type as it doesn't flake on dry skin or slip and slide on oily skin. 

Let's not forget, the packaging is exquisite. It come in a minimalist frosted glass bottle which make the product feel much more expensive than it's £14.50. Also it comes with a pump which I'm most thankful about because it just makes things easy. 

Have you tried this foundation? What're your thoughts?
I'd definitely recommend trying it if you haven't and they have 17 shades to choose from!


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Clothes Show 2014


 Rimmel Gift Bag - £10

Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss in Jet Black (004)
New mascara and the first by Kate Moss, this one has a volumising formula with a broken heart shaped brush. 

Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in 01
Long lasting lipstick with a creamy texture and a cupcake like smell. This particular colour is slightly deeper than your typical red. My friend swears by this lipstick and I've always noticed it hasn't budged hours and hours after applying. 

BB Cream Matte in Light (Sample Size)
The matte take on Rimmel's original BB cream. A 9-in-1 skin perfecting make-up that minimises pores, controls shine and smooths the skin. 
I've used the original BB cream and really enjoyed it so I'm excited to see how this turns out. 

Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Starlit Black (263)
Retractable waterproof eyeliner pencil with a defined tip, smudger and built-in sharpener. High longevity with a creamy pigmented texture. 

Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Ultimate (046)
Retractable lip liner with a defined tip for precision and a long lasting formula.
The colour is a deep brown - I thought it was an eyeliner at first! I'm going to have to do some research before I use this! 

Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint in Sunkissed Cherry (004)
A lightweight liquid cheek tint that blends well and has a long lasting formula. Only available in 2 shades in the UK (but 5 in the US!?) of which the other is 'Pop of Pink' a bright pink shade. I owe Pop of Pink and needed to buy Sunkissed Cherry too so I was thrilled to see it in my gift bag!

Glitter Bomb Nail Varnish in Disco Fever (018)
Clear polish with big chunks of silver reflective glitter. I love glitter nail varnish (even if it is a pain to remove) but I've never tried one so bold before!

 Barry M Gift Bag - £10

Nail Paint Limited Edition in Seaside
A sheeney blue nail polish with purple shimmer. This is what I'd picture mermaids would use if they wore nail varnish. 

Nail Paint in Magenta Glitter
Exactly what it says on the tin - magenta nail varnish with subtle sized glitter. One of the most out there nail varnishes in the gift bag - bold colour and glitter but I'll certainly give it a go!

Nail Paint Sequin Nail Effects in White
White sheer nail varnish with green, blue, pink, gold and silver glitter.  

Nail Paint Magnetic in Violet 
Shimmery violet with white/violet through it. I'm a bit disappointed as I'm missing the magnetic to the top of the nail varnish. I'd previously purchased two more of these shades so I do have some magnetics handy but they're different patterns!

Nail Paint Textured Nail Effects in Ridley Road 
A mint green textured nail varnish. Always admired mint shades but never thought they'd suit me! A little background - this nail varnish is named after a place where Mr Barry Mero himself spent his early working days in markets. 

Nail Paint Limited Edition for Boots in Tinsel Town (Discontinued)
Clear nail varnish with tinsel effect pieces in magenta, green and purple. Big fan of Christmas nail varnishes - I think they're a subtle way to incorporate the holiday cheer! 

Loudmouth Extreme Lip Colour in Chatterbox
Highly pigmented liquid lipstick in a bright rose pink shade. I was a little disappointed with this as it's a tester. Not sure if that was a mistake but either way it hadn't been used. Little unsure that it comes from a tube but it can always be applied with a lip brush. 

Super Soft Eye Crayon in No1
Chubby eyeliner (wasn't sure if this was an eyeshadow crayon but SprinkleofGlitter mentioned she uses it as an eyeliner!). This reminds me of Benefit' Bad Gal eyeliner (unfortunately it's discontinued now).  

Super Soft Eye Crayon in Matt Green (No6)
Chubby eyeliner with a soft formula in a matt green. I'm currently looking for a subtle way of using this in an eye look for Christmas!

Metallic Liquid Eyeliner in 18
Silver pale pink metallic liquid eyeliner - subtle take on the current metallic eyeliners. Unfortunately I can't seem to find this particular shade online. 

Dazzle Dust in 64
Loose highly pearlised pigment with reflective colour. A bright magenta pink shade.

Dazzle Dust in 34
As mentioned above, a reflective loose pigment. A shimmery deep violet shade. 

Talbots Petites Jacket - £22 
Purchased from The Vintage Scene

A year ago I used to constantly wear blazers and I loved the way they make causal outfits instantly smarter. However my blazers got traded in for a leather jacket and they have taken a back seat. I showed this to my friends and they both said 'it was me'. Although it's quite thin, it sits nicely on my frame and it look great with black jeans. 
And I couldn't help add another photo of Benjamin exploring the clothes!

Salt & Pepper Combat Boots - £30
Purchased at 4feet

One of the main reason these boots were purchased is because I wore heeled boots and a few hours into the Clothes Show, I was literally limping. Although I needed a pair of shoes, I also wanted some I'd actually wear. I've wanted combat boots for ages but was afraid they'd look too masculine on me, however these are quite tight to the leg and I love how they look with black jeans. I've been wearing these constantly! 

I need to apologise for my lack of Blogmas posts - I missed two days due to the Clothes Show trip away (for which I should have scheduled posts) and then I got out of the routine of blogging! 

 I went to the Clothes Show with two friends and unfortunately due to a difficult morning we missed the beginning of the catwalk show. Luckily we didn't miss too much and arrived just in time to see the models walking down the runway. It was a really fun experience - the show has great backdrops, up beat music and dancers (not to mention the topless men). We then moved onto the shopping portion and the whole place was pretty manic! There was lots of bumping into people with bags everyone and squeezing through crowds. After a few hour shopping, we made the journey to Leicester where we were spending the rest of the weekend. 

We went to Las Iguanas for dinner which I've been dying to go for ages but never got round to. Because we arrived early evening there were great deals like 2 for 1 cocktails so we got 2 pitchers to share. They also provided a vegan/vegetarian menu which was a great first impression as some restaurants only have a single vegetarian option to chose from. We also went for the tapas deal so got 3 starters between us - I had nachos which was a huge portion filled with cheese, salsa, guac, sour cream and jalapenos. For the main I had 'The Full Enchilada' which was incredible - it was a fully packed wrap with butternut squash and spinach and was pretty spicy but the right amount. It also came on a bed of onion and garlic rice with refried beans. WOW.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant - It has a lovely atmosphere, great food and I was really impressed with how they catered for vegetarians.

Did you go to the Clothes Show? How was your experience?
Also, recommend any mexican restaurants that are worth trying out! 


Friday, 5 December 2014

The November Sounds


A short post today but I've had a lot of music favourites throughout the month of November so I thought I'd share them with you! There's quite a variety here so you're bound to discover a song that you like!

The most played song on the playlist is Breathe by IYES and you only listen to one song from this post, listen that one. IYES are an electronic duo from Brighton and something about their songs that remind me of older Clean Bandit songs (listen to A&E)  combined with The XX. I recently missed out on seeing IYES at the Thekla in Bristol and was absolutely gutted. All of their songs that I've listened to are incredible but there's just something about Breathe that I can't get enough of. It's the kind of song you want to get under the covers, close your eyes and listen to it with headphones in. IYES covered Crazy in Love by Beyonce which is definitely worth checking out here. The lyrics seem to suit IYES' cover much more than the original as you can really understand the thought behind them, something which I feel gets lost in a pop song.

What have you been listening to the past month? I love hearing other people's favourite songs!


Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Christmas Tag

What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?
This is one of my favourite parts of getting ready for Christmas. I could be here all day listing Christmas films but a few of my favourites are - the Muppet's Christmas Carol, The Santa Clause, The Grinch, Jingle all the Way, Jack Frost and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I first watched most of these when I was young so they really remind me of my childhood!

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Me and my family always open our presents on Christmas morning. We've always had a tradition where we first sit in my parent's room to open our stockings, then my parents go into the front room while me and my brother wait outside. We then have to knock on the door to see if everything's ready and then my Dad films everyone opening their presents!

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I don't think I have a specific Christmas memory that's a favourite, all of our Christmases tend to be quite similar each year. Although, I did used to love everything that came with believing in Santa - putting out mince pies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and trying hard to go to sleep because I knew Santa would come once I'd drifted off!

Favourite festive food?
I'm not actually a fan of typical Christmas food like mince pies and Christmas puddings, but I do love the things my family only have at Christmas like Roses and Quality Street chocolates. I also love parsnips, which I know you can have at any time but it's my favourite part of a Christmas dinner.

Favourite Christmas gift?
It sounds corny but my family are so generous and lovely with their gifts so I don't have a specific favourite. Also my birthday is the month before Christmas and I always get confused what I got for my birthday and Christmas!

Favourite Christmas scent?
This relates to winter as well, but I love the smell of the cold. I can't describe it at all but there's a certain scent to the air when it's biting cold outside. Also I just love the smell of my house at Christmas, we always have a real tree which smells so festive and my mum only uses candles at Christmas so the house smells really good around that time of the year.

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
We have a real coal fire in my front room so I love to sit by the fire and watch Christmas films. Also, we're an unorganised family so usually everyone goes off to different rooms of the house to wrap their presents!

What tops your tree?
At one point we had an angel I made out of a toilet roll when I was little haha. But now we have a big glittery star that we always struggle to get to stay straight!

As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I genuinely don't think I've ever asked for anything insane for Christmas! When I was little my lists were probably way too long but I think I always asked for toys. Any special presents I've got have been planned by my parents and not asked for by me!

What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Now that me and my brother are older, our family are busier and we don't always spend a lot of time together, I love Christmas because we get to spend the whole day together whether it's watching films or playing board games. Also my tiady (that's what we call my grandad) comes for Christmas and as he lives in North Wales I don't see him very often. I just love the feeling that everyone's happy!

I found this tag on Kemples' blog - check her out, her blog is great!
What are you some of your favourite Christmas traditions?


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The At Home Drugstore Manicure

Regardless of whether I'm wearing nail varnish, I like to start off by sweeping some nail varnish remover over my nails. This ensures that any remaining nail varnish is fully removed and that the nail is entirely clean of dirt and oil before you begin the manicure.

I then use a cuticle removal cream (I'm using one from Boots) as I've personally never liked the idea of cuticle scissors. My cuticles just need some neatening up rather than completely cutting back. As you can see, I place a small amount of the cream onto my cuticles. massage it in and leave it for 1-2 minutes. I then wrap a cotton wool pad around an orange stick (you can get 10 from Superdrug for 99p!) and use that the gentle push back my cuticles.

After pushing back my cuticles, I wash my hands to get rid of any cream that may be leftover. My nails tend to maintain their natural shape as they grow but I use an emery board (five from Superdrug for 99p) to make sure all my nails are an even shape and length. Personally I think it's best to stick to your natural nail shape as it's quite easy to get carried away with filing (like plucking your eyebrows). Now would also be the time to cut your nails if you prefer them short. 

After putting my nails through filing and cuticle removal, I like to replenish and moisturise with a nail/cuticle oil. I particularly like the Nail and Cuticle Oil from Boots as it comes with a roller ball which I just swipe across my cuticle. I then take some time to massage the oil into my nails and go on to apply a hand cream. This is my favourite step of the manicure as it's relaxing and my nails feel so smooth and nourished. This step is particularly important during Winter, especially if you get dry and flaky nails. 

The Polishes
I like to apply a base coat before any polish in order to completely smooth out the nail and to protect my nails from staining (particularly a problem with dark colours).  I particularly like this Rimmel Nail Nurse polish as it acts as a base coat and top coat and it sets out to make your nails smoother, stronger, longer, moisturised and shiner. 

I'd recommend waiting as long as you can between coats to fully ensure each layer is dry and thus, no smudging. While waiting for my base coat to dry, I had a cup of detox tea and caught up on Made in Chelsea! I then applied two coats of Rimmel Salon Pro in Urban Purple (this was featured in my autumn/winter nails post - here). I think this is a gorgeous berry shade for Autumn and I love the gel effect it gives to the nails. 

These are steps I've followed for a number of years as I've personally never been able to justify the price of getting my nails done professionally! Let me know if you follow these steps for your own at home manicure!


 Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert/professional in this area, these are just the steps I personally take. This post is written in order to share with my readers the things which I find work for me. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Autumn/Winter Nails

Carry on reading to find out about the top 5 nail colours I've been loving for Autumn/Winter!

We're starting with a typical autumn colour here - a purple toned berry shade. This is the type of colour I tend to reach for as soon as a chill creeps into the air. Potentially the most feminine colour in this post, I think this would look great for winter date nights. This particular polish has a thick formula which leaves a gel-like finish on the nails.

The Salon Pro nail varnishes are slightly more expensive (£4.49) compared to the standard 'I love lasting finish' polishes (£2.99), but with good reason. Due to the gel-like formula, these polishes aim to give up to 10 days chip resistance. While I wouldn't say they quite last up to 10 days (particularly on long nails) they do have good longevity.

Barry M - Nail Paint in Grey (293)
This polish is a standard steel grey that's cool toned and reminds me of typical English winter weather. This is probably the most masculine colour out of the five and thus I think it's best suited to edgy, street style type outfits. I'd likely reach for this for gigs or smaller, gritty clubs in Bristol.

I'm particularly drawn to Barry M's deeper shades as I think they have great colour pay-off and glide on well. The brush is long and thin which allows great precision, particularly good for darker colours.

This colour is described by Essie as a 'stone-cold fox grey' and I can see a definite purple running throughout the grey. I love this colour as I think it's quite unique and is the perfect mix of edgy and feminine. This is a colour that I'd reach for regardless of the event - it's not too dark or too girly, it's a good twist on typical winter colours.

This is the first Essie polish I've tried, it was given to me as a gift, and I'm really impressed. I was never sure if they were worth the price (£7.99) but I definitely think I'd purchase them now!

H&M Nail Polish in Purple
I wouldn't describe this as a purple like the name suggests, it's definitely more of a inky indigo. This ink colour looks really sophisticated on the nails and makes a nice change from typical berry/burgundy colours we usually see. I think this colour would suit a deep red dress for more grown up parties. 

I've never dared to wear blue on my nails before, I didn't think it would suit me. But I picked this out of my collection purely because I felt guilty that I'd never worn it. Once applied I really loved how this look on the nails, I genuinely couldn't stop looking at my hands!

Unfortunately I was gifted this by a friend a few Christmases ago and it's no longer in stock. However, there's comparable colour by Barry M in Indigo (312). 'Indigo' leans towards a blue whereas H&M obviously leans towards purple but otherwise they're pretty similar. I think the Barry M polish would actually be better consistency too! 

Radley Nail Varnish in Cardinal Red
Red is by far one of my all-time colours for the nails, I always think it looks so elegant. While I love bright pillarbox reds, I like to deeper it up for the colder months with a rich blue-toned or true red colour like this one.

I won't get your hopes up with this one - I'm almost certain this was a one-off gift with purchase from Radley. However, I included it for it's lovely colour and Rimmel have a similar shade called 'Venus' in their Salon Pro Range. It's darker than Cardinal Red but you can't fault that it's a stunning shade.

What are your favourite colours for Autumn and Winter?
Look out for my favourite Christmas party colours coming soon!


Monday, 1 December 2014

The No7 and More Haul

This mascara was quite literally waved in front of my face by a sales assistant and as I listened to the features of it, I was completely taken in. I followed the assistant over the counter where I purchased this mascara, received gifts with purchase and booked in for a make over. 

This mascara is described as "a dazzling combination of black pearl and sapphire" with black pigment that forms "dramatic black lashes". This is a volumising mascara with a medium-sized curved wand - great for wiggling between lashes. It has an extremely lightweight formula which means it's easy to build up a good few coats. Plus - it's hypo-allergenic, great if you ever get sensitive eyes!

After purchasing the mascara above, I chose to book in for a makeover with No7. This particular foundation was chosen for me as I wanted something that would last hours throughout my night out later on that evening. Also, my skin was recovering from a bad reaction to a unknown product so I wanted something that wouldn't further irritate my skin (this is where the hypo-allergenic bit comes in). The match made device (check it out here if you haven't heard of it) chose a slightly darker shade for me but we picked a lighter shade in order to accommodate the colour difference between my face and neck.

I could talk forever about why I love this foundation so I'll leave that for another blog post. But I will say this - it's medium coverage but lightweight so it's buildable. It blends well into the skin and gives a natural but really flawless finish. And it lasts for ages. 

Another product used during the makeover, I purchased this as No7 understood the skin troubles I was having a picked out a suitable moisturiser that suited me. This day cream uses a multivitamin and mineral blend to hydrate, energise and mattify for radiant skin. It also has zinc to regulate oil production and thus prevent breakouts. It's also hypo-allergenic and has SPF15. Sounds pretty good to me!

The consistency of the cream is quite thick so it feels quite luxurious but it still sinks quickly into the skin. While I tend to use a primer in my morning make-up routine, I found there hasn't been a need for one with this moisturiser. As I mentioned before, it mattifies and it just generally creates a good base for foundation. I need to leave some time to see how my skin takes to this but so far. no complaints.

This was another product that was used on me during the make over and was applied with a fan brush. Personally I've been applying this straight from the tube onto the apples of my cheeks and using my fingers to blend the products up towards my temples. The make up artist at No7 described this at a cream to powder finish and it feels extremely lightweight on the skin when compared to other cream blushers I've used.

This blush is highly pigmented (a lot more baby pink than it seems in the photos) but using your fingers allows you to warm the product up when blending and gives a lot more control. It gives a lovely winter flushed look when blended! 

I was given this as a sample when I purchased the mascara during my first trip to No7. Unfortunately the colour name isn't on the packaging but I think it's the colour 'mink'. I'd describe it as a purple grey with high shimmer. I am yet to use this eyeshadow but I think it would like really nice involved in a smokey eye - especially for brown eyes.

This was a gift with purchase during my mascara purchase and I think it's a huge shame I didn't receive it during summer! The lip gloss is a coral peach with a subtle shimmer and has an extremely thick consistency so I think this one would look great on it's own. No7 describe this as a collagen boosting moisturising gloss that contains vitamins so I can image this being really nourishing on the lips. 

No7 High Shine Lip Crayon - Delicate Pink
Sample Size
This lip crayon was another sample I received during my second visit to No7. I find the formulas of lip crayons tend to be quite moisturising and it seems this one is no different. It gives a sheer wash of colour but is somewhat buildable. This colour is a soft, delicate pink (if you hadn't already guessed by the name) and has a high shine with underlying gold shimmer. I think this would be a great lip product if you're just getting into make-up as it's not too bold and doesn't require much effort to apply. 

Sample Size
Yet another sample given to me at the makeover! This is a radiance boosting beauty fluid, very different to any highlighting products I've tried before. The consistency is almost water like, which makes it easy to work with, in a pearlescent gold. No7 suggest placing this under foundation which is something I've never thought of doing and I can image it makes you look lovely and glowy. I think it would also look gorgeous swept across the cheekbones for more of a bold look - a good one for Christmas parties! 

Sample size
I received this sample with the products I purchased from the make over and I'm glad I got a lengthening mascara as the other one I purchased was a volumising one. It aims to give fluttering lashes which are my favourite everyday lashes and it's easy to build layers without creating clumps. It has a plastic wand (which I also prefer for day mascaras) and is flexible with lots of fine bristles making it easy for coating the smallest lashes. 

Let me stop the post here and talk about the service I received at No7. As I mentioned before, I was swept away with the mascara and the sales assistant (Sedat at Boots in Cribbs Causeway) took time with me to explain about the features and also book me in for a make over. The make over itself was a such lovely experience, all the staff made me feel at ease and I didn't feel at all rushed. All of my skin concerns and personal make-up preferences were taken into consideration and Sedat talked through all the products being used on my face. Furthermore, No7 are one of the most generous companies I have come across it terms of giving samples and gifts with purchase! 

I've heard these glosses, particularly this colour, raved about in the beauty community and was so excited to see my local Next stocked Nyx products. The colour is a brown/peach nude and the formula is extremely creamy and moisturising. I actually find the consistency similar to Tanya Burr's lip glosses (see a review here). I wore this gloss to my graduation which I think proves that it's a winner! Bonus - Nyx are cruelty free! 

I slack on eye products as a general rule. If I'm running late - I always chose lip products over eyeshadows. I tend to reserve eye products if I want to look more put together. But there's something about jumbo eye pencils that make an eye look seem so easy to do. The colour is a deep bronze colour with a slight sheen to it. I can't help but gravitate towards browns as they make blue eyes pop! I also used this in my graduation make-up along with Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette to create a subtle brown smokey eye.

Since completely wearing out a pair of slip on trainers, I've it at the back of my mind to buy some more. Originally £20, I found these slip on skater shoes in the sale section of |Topshop for £10 and when I got to the till they were £7! This particular pair are a mock croc material which I wouldn't usually go for but the print looks very subtle in white. 

I first wore these on a trip to the hairdressers and paired them with the trousers below, a white lace t-shirt and a black leather jacket. The shoes felt a little stiff when I put them on and as I began walking I could feel them digging into my heels. By the time I had finished at the hairdressers and begun walking home, I genuinely had to take them off and walk barefoot as I was in so much pain. I'm hoping that they're just a bit difficult to wear in and that I'll eventually be able to wear them again. I'm thinking of putting them in the wash on a low heat to soften them up - if anyone has any tips for wearing in difficult shoes, let me know in the comments! 

Topshop Trousers - Tall Range
I've always wanted a pair of trousers like these but wasn't sure if I could pull them off.  I love the off-duty look these have and I think they'd look great paired with wedged trainers and a leather jacket. I was more than happy to see these in the sale at Topshop for £20. Another bonus - these are from the Topshop tall range which is designed for women 5'7" and taller. Being 5'11", finding the right length trousers can sometimes be a struggle. Let's just say I have a lot of 7/8th jeans without intending to!

The trousers have an elastic waistband and bottoms with deep pockets. There's a main pattern down the front/back of the trousers with a more intrinsic pattern at the sides but it doesn't look too busy. I've been wearing these a ton recently - they're so comfortable and easy to throw on. Oh, and I also couldn't help throwing in a photo of my bunny Benjamin exploring the new things on the front room floor!

Have you tried any products from No7 or Nyx? Is there anything you would recommend?