Sunday, 29 August 2010

Blog for Look Magazine!

Ok, so it is official. I want Nadine Coyle's wardrobe (throw in the hair too please, Nad). I love this look that I spied in the latest Look magazine.

Now I don't stand anywhere on the whole Nadine v Girls Aloud thing but plainly this look just works, doesn't it?! Very classic and simple and if you've got the money in the first place, easy to wear.

I absolutely adore that bag (even through we can only see half ot it) and I love the way she has balanced the look with the gorgeous trinkets on her opposite wrist. Even the nail varnish, which I suspect could look a bit dull and flat elsewhere, complements this look perfectly.

However, today's post is not about my wardrobe envy (well,not much) but about the Blogging competition for Look. I keep meaning to blog about this and er, forgetting  (oops!) but now the closing date is almost here I'm going sit here and type before I forget. Again!

Look magazine are currently running a competition to blog for them from the front row of the Look Show in September. You will also get to stay overnight in a luxury London hotel.

You can find details of how to enter here  but be warned, the closing date is next Friday at 5pm.

I read some of your blogs everyday and think you should ALL enter asap.

So, good luck!


Saturday, 28 August 2010


Hands up, all those who have slathered their skin in olive oil in the hope that it might transform in to something more silky and smooth.

Oh yes, me!

In fact, I guess I should put up not only one hand but two.

For I have not only slathered my skin in olive oil several times, I have also been known to pour vast qauntities in to the bath where it sort of lingers in a lump before sticking stubbornly to all surfaces once the water has ran away.

Be warned, the olive oil may be economical but the cost of cleaning in time and money will accelerate.

Now, although I'm not going to suggest pouring olive oil in to the bath, slathering myself in olive oil after a bath or shower does seem to go a little way in to moisturising my skin and making it a little softer. The oil can also give you a little bit of that much sought after 'healthy glow'. However, you do have to be careful as it is easy to go beyond the glow and in to grease territory. Unfortunately this is not the only negative with the kitchen remedy.

Used daily, Olive Oil can become a bit of a chore. I went through a phase this year of using olive oil daily to moisturise my body, more often then not I would also use it to soften bath water and even as a hair treatment. Usually, the olive oil delivered great results.

Still once the bottle was finished, I felt I had earnt the right to fork out on other body products to do the same work. Olive oil is great as a one off but to be honest, frequent use got a little bit tiresome.

Olive oil is very sticky. It is hard to dress afterwards without everything clinging. Seriously pulling on skinny jeans equals mission impossible. Then even if you decide to stay in and give the olive oil time to soak in overnight, it has the strangest smell and to be honest, it was one that after half an hour or so really put me on edge. So although it works, it is not the most sociable of body treatments and probably should be kept aside as an emergency remedy or something.

So I've used various gels, bubble baths and melts and body butters since but one of my more recent acquisations has really impressed me and that is the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Moisturising Body Oil.

Image from here

This can be used in your bath water to moisturise your skin and also on damp skin after showering or bathing prior to patting yourself dry.

This oil is easy to use. It washes out of your bath tub easily and seems to be absorbed in to your skin relatively easily and with very little stickiness. Oh and the scent is slightly remniscent of the Body Butter one but a little lighter and a little prettier. As you are using it on damp skin, it will not only moisturise your skin but it will trap some of the water in your skin from your bath or shower mutiplying the moisturising function.

I have used Palmer Products before and have never been disappointed. I am a fan of their body butters although I hate the old style bottle and lid packaging. That is useless for thick body butter, I get so little out. Even after throwing the bottle across the room, I just get a dollop. Great!

Alas, similar packaging does work for the oil and I like the fact you can use the cap to measure it out. You can't do this with the metal olive oil caps, I have caught my skin on those a few times. Ouch!

I have used the oil all over my body except my face and neck and gained near enough instant results especially on my legs and elbows. The skin feels so much softer then I am used to especially around the notorious dry knee and elbow areas.

I was a bit wary of using the oil around my decolletage as in the past, some lotions and oils seem to have broken me out there but that is not the case with this beautiful oil. My skin just looks happy and well looked after.

Yay and that is all for the small price of £4.79!

Now if only I could find such a product to work such wonders on my face and neck.


Tag 8 questions???

I have been tagged by the gorgeous Nicoletta, thank you, with eight questions.

So here we go . . .

1. What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

I love Ben and Jerry's Phish Food which is the primary reason that I try to avoid it! Otherwise, I think it has to be a tub (not so keen on cornets) of vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and I like to let it melt a little 'cos it is easier on the teeth and quite frankly, tastes even yummier that way.

2. How many times have you really been in love?


3. Favourite body lotion?

Hmmm at the moment, it is all about the body oil for me and yes, there will be a post;) However, I love the Soap and Glory Daily Smooth body lotion. It smells so pretty and layers with many perfumes so fragrantly. I also like the Body Shop Butters especially Vanilla but feel that they may be slightly overpriced.

4. Do you believe in spirits/ ghosts?

My head says no but in my heart, I do! I'm not in to horror but I do find some tales, the less scary ones, fascinating. There are just too many unexplained happenings out there.

5. Whats your favourite drink? Alcoholic or soft drink?

When I was at uni, it was all about the tequila and aftershock (ouch!) but now it is all about the odd cocktail or orange and tia maria once or twice a year.

Ahem, that is the official line anyway.

On a day to day, it tends to be tap water for me although I've ridden the green tea wave.

6. Do you have a big family?

Yes, I do! I have so many cousins, aunties, uncles and the most gorgeous little nephew in the whole wide world.

7. Did you have a nickname at school?

I don't think so. Not one that I knew about anyway.
Some of my family call me Number One because I'm the eldest of three girls and I've also been called Spam because my christian name is Samantha.
My gorgeous little nephew calls me 'Ammie' and consequently, that is my favourite word in the whole wide world but he is the only one allowed to call me it.

8. What 1 makeup/ skincare item are you lusting after?

Boring and predictable but the Naked pallette, it looks gorgeous and so usable.

Laura also tagged me with the eight questions, you can see that post here. This time I am going to pass the tag on and try to come up with some questions of my own.


Let me think. . . tick tock . . .tick tock . . .

My questions are

1/ What was your last make up purchase?

2/ What is your favourite perfume?

3/ What would your 'perfect' Sunday entail?

4/ You can only buy one eyeshadow or one lipstick, which do you choose?

5/ What do you spend the most energy (and maybe even money) on, your hair cut or your hair colour?

6/ If you could spend a month anywhere in the world, where would you go?

7/ You're shopping and your friend has lost you. Are you at the make up counter, rummaging in among the clothes rails or in the shoe department?

8/ Who is the one person that you would like to speak to today?

The chosen ones I tag are

belles boutique


Get Gawjus

I Heart Cosmetics

Life, love and lipgloss


Tacky Blue Eyeshadow

The fashionteller notes

Happy Bank Holiday!
All images in this post were found in a google image search.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

POST REWIND: Moroccan magic, Hair delight!


Those of you who are, oh so fashionable, and already following me on Twitter may already know what I thought when I tried the Moroccan Oil for the first time on Sunday.

In a nutshell, I thought I was dreaming!

This time, it seems the hairdressers are not exaggerating. This oil rocks. It is very early days, I have only used it once myself and want to use it longer before I endorse it fully and suggest that anybody goes out and purchases it, especially at £29. Update 26/8/10: It still rocks!!!

However, I can tell you that I’m pretty certain that I’m going to come up with the cash and purchase the full size. Update 26/8/10 I did buy a full size bottle and it has lasted me a good four months and there is still some left! We all have very different hair and needs but for me, this worked like a dream.

Let me tell you what I liked about it.

* I liked the fact that my hair did dry quicker then normal. Also my hair didn’t go quite as mad when I was drying it. Normally it flies this way and that and then whizzes down the back of the hairdryer sometimes even causing it to cut out. (Note: I don’t always pay the attention I should when I’m drying my hair and I suggest for safety reasons that everybody gives hairdrying a little more attention then me). My hair seemed more controlled and better behaved when drying after an application of the Moroccan Oil.

* I loved the fact that I could style my locks so easily after drying. I only ran the straighteners through the head once quite throughly and I was ready to go. No serum or additional product required. I always need to run the straightners through more then once if my hair is freshly washed and I want a sleekish, lasting style immediately after washing. Often I either wash my hair the night before or have to wear my hair tied up for 3/4 of a day after a hairwash in order to look half decent and groomed. My hair can be very manic and fluffs up so quickly. On this occasion, I also required no additional styling product. All I used on my hair was the oil and a heat protector. Normally to style freshly washed hair, it would take some S-factor Serum from Tigi and maybe some Bedhead flattening mousse on the ends of my natural hair to blend in with my extensions and eliminating the step effect. Er, not this week.

* I adore how soft and silky (that does sound like a hair ad, doesn’t it?) my hair felt and how shiny it felt. It also still feels that way 36 hours later. It looks sleeker and flatter then normal but not too much so. The product does not seem to be weighing it down unnecessarily, there is also no horrible sticky, gooey feel to give away my shamful little secret (ie. that these healthy, groomed perfectly behaved locks are not purely a work of nature). Update 26/08/10: My hairdresser actually asked what I had been using on my hair last time I visited. She said it felt very silky. I think that is a result of both the moroccan oil and phyto products I was using.

* I adore that the effect seems to be lasting. I haven’t straightened my hair today. Granted, it was up for work but I work in a Care environment and more often then not at the end of the shift come out with a birds nest and frizz galore and those silly little baby kinks in the sillest and most obvious of places. Not yesterday, not today. Update 26/08/10: My hair is certainly more manageble

I should admit here that my hair is always a bit better behaved for the first two weeks or so after I have had a major hair appointment but I still think that this is better then that.

I wanted to try and show you the effect of the Moroccan Oil (and I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t imagining the top notch results). So I washed and styled an old hair extension of mine in exactly the same way as I did my hair on Sunday (using Curly Wurly shampoo once and Aussie Long Hair Conditioning treatment for 2-3 mins) except I used Moroccan Oil on one half of the extension hair only.

This is the before. The extension is folded in half so the hair does appear quite thick.

Here are the two afters. Can you see a difference? Please note in the afters, less thickness will be percieved because the extension is laid flat out and not doubled over as above. Oops!

Styled without Moroccan Oil

Styled with Moroccan Oil

I think you may see a slight difference between the two after pictures if you are really squinting. Where the oil has been used, the hair appears slightly shinier and possibly fuller (although the extension may vary in volume, it is an old one!)

In reality, I have to admit that I can not see the dramatic difference that I feel there was when my locks was coated in the oil on Sunday. However, I can see some extra shine and vitality in the oiled extensions here. Also it was easier to dry the oiled side of the extensions and easier to lay these out straight. When you add all these little differences up and multiply by the number of hairs on my head (I normally have at least four to six of these extensions sewn in to my hair plus my own hair which is not much shorter), I think you will agree that the wow factor I thought was achieved is certainly attainable.

Let’s not forget even if with long term use, it just stregthens and conditions, this oil could be worth something. Not sure about £29 though, I guess in my heart of hearts I am hoping that it will provide all the gimmicky bits too. It is early days but my heart and the mirror is telling me that there could be something in this ‘magic oil’ marlarkey. Update 26/08/10: I have concluded that Moroccan Oil is a 'magic oil' or something very close.

Now I’m just waiting to see how long my hair will go before it needs another wash. I’m thinking if there are any downers with this product, it may be that the oil makes it look greasier sooner or/and that it may look limper earlier because it is already a bit sleeker and has less puff to lose. If these hurdles occur, I’ll have to deal with them but for now, I’m floating in a little bubble of hair delight!!! Update:26/08/10: There is a build up of oil but not every time that I wash. Maybe once every couple of weeks, it needs a super wash. Don't forget I'm the girl that overuses products with lots of very fine hair so you might not even have a problem!

At the moment, this product gets a big thumbs up. Who knows? All could change but I don’t think it would be too much to say that this is one product that could be heading for holy grail status. Update 26/08/10: I think I'm about to endorse it Holy grail!!!

Well, I’m off to enjoy having slighter nicer and more managable hair. Hee hee, I don’t know which I will appreciate more, the pretty factor or the less maintenance one?

What is your favourite hair product? Do you spend hours maintaining your hair or do you prefer something more manageable?

You can also read about Moroccan Oil here



Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Handbag lipsticks!

Gemma recently talked of the gorgeous Ambre Rose as a 'Handbag Lipstick'.

I love the term 'Handbag Lipstick'. I think I have used the term 'Go to' before but that sounds so boring and functional in comparison to 'Handbag Lipstick'.

Handbag lipsticks are those lipsticks that you keep in your bag everyday, the ones that you know you can just slap straight on to your lips, sans mirror, and they deliver a perfected finish without you giving a thought.

So this got me thinking what are my handbag lipsticks?
Please be warned, this post is picture heavy and some of them are not good but it should give you an idea of shades to google etc!

Ambre Rose, Patisserie, Hue, Beehive and Skinny Dip!

Ambre Rose from Maybelline

Firstly, I agree with Gemma. Anybody who has read my earlier Ambre Rose post will know that this is a lippie that I turn to. It is not particularly exciting but it always does the job and complements just about any look. It is also cheap and long lasting. With this in my bag, there is no reason why my lips should not look polished!

Patisserie from MAC

For some reason in reality, this reminds me a little of Ambre Rose and I tend to carry one or the other. I have to say that Patisserie is not a lipstick that I find myself daydreaming about or jumping out of bed to wear. I don't find the colour of the stick or the swatch that inspiring but it does flatter the lips and add something once applied to the lips. I was surprised when Tanya Burr tweeted about this as a failsafe bridal lipstick. However, when I see pictures of looks using Patisserie, the lips always look lovely so I hope mine do too when I use it. It may not be my favourite MAC mate but there is no denying that Patisserie never really lets me down. There are never any tell tale lippie lines or patches. It almost looks so natural and maybe that is what disappoints me slightly but nevertheless, Patisserie does make the perfect handbag lipstick!

Hue from MAC

I love Hue. I have used her tirelessly. She gives a very pretty finish to the lips which I find particularly noticeable on camera. Unlike the pinky pinks, this peachy pink is less noticeable if you smudge or go over your lipline. It just seems to merge in to my natural lips seamlessly no matter how slap dash my application. I can't resent paying MAC prices when I end up with a lippie as lush (and useful) as Hue, my very first MAC lippie and my original handbag lipstick!

Beehive from the No 17 MirrorShine line

This is currently my most worn lipstick. It has been endorsed by Holly and Laura and many others. It has been so well hyped and I'm pleased to say it more then lives up to all the raves. It is easy to apply and the colour is one I love, very similar to Hue although these pictures don't really show this. Beehive is pinker then Hue but not as pink as my camera suggests and I certainly can not go wrong with Beehive. I have never noticed a blotched lipline(and I get a lot of those) with this gem. However, I have certainly noticed the mirror shine. This lippie finishes with the most flattering, subtle gloss and also as if it couldn't get any better, Beehive also feels very soft and soothing when applied. This has been especially appreciated recently as my current skincare woes mean my skin and lips have become a little dried out and sensitive. This particular handbag lipstick was retailed below £5 in Boots and it is certainly worth every single penny!

Skinny Dip from Benefit

I have used this shade for years. It was my first 'grown up' lipstick. It is my perfect nude and for me, it can not be duped (let me know if you know one). It is a pinky nude, very pretty and feminine. I would say it doesn't give me a lipstick finish but a pretty bare lip finish. My lips seem to be quite pigmented and so this works for me especially with my pale skintone which instantly looks softer after a swipe with Skinny Dip. It might not work so well for you but you never know, i it matches your colouring then I bet you will love this beauty. I suggest you all take two minutes to pop along to a Benefit counter just to check out my perfect nude, it may be the handbag lipstick you are looking for.

My handbag lipsticks all seem to be more nude then bright. I guess that is no surprise since handbag lipstick can be applied with no care and instantly deliver a polished look. You could hardly slap St Germain on and expect it to merge seemlessly in to your lips. However (and this is where you and I may differ) nor can I slap the notorious nude nudes such as Gosh Darling or Barry M 101 on my lips without chalky, tacky tell tell lines.

For me personally, it seems a handbag lipstick it needs to be a slightly muted pink or peach. Nothing brighter, nothing lighter.

What are your handbag lipsticks?



Hi everybody!
Long time, no post. Sorry, I've been trying to find my feet in my new job. I will make amends and catch up with you all very soon.
One of the posts will probably be a skincare update. In the meantime, you may want to check out my wordpress blog and in particular, 'The Doctor Brand' post where a couple of lovely people have left some feedback about the brand which you might want to consider if such products are of interest to you.
I hope you are all ok. I have been trying to keep up with the blogs I follow and there have been some very good posts  lately so that has given me even less time to post!
I hope you don't get too wet in all this rain we are having.
Until next time . . .

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

My kind of floral!

I know that florals have been all the rage recently but after trying a few on, I came to the conclusion that unless I was on holiday ( or needed a nice pretty background for my blog pics) then they were not for me.

Well after trying this little gem on, I have changed my mind. It is from George at Asda and costs £10. I know the nights are getting darker and autumn already seems to be kicking in so I'm a bit late on this but this floral top looks really pretty with a pair of skinny jeans and flats. I love the two vertical strips at the front, very flattering.

And hurrah, it doesn't cling!

It is also quite low cut so I did buy a size bigger then usual. Huh, a size bigger you might be asking, surely then it will be even more low cut?! Er yep but I can layer it and layering always makes me feel a little more confident.

Oh and I watched a great video on wearing florals after purchasing this top. Dawn advises to avoid big flowers, busy patterns or loud colours. I think my top passes on the colour and although my flowers are quite big, there are actually not too many of them and they are well spaced. So they are not exactly in your face. All in all, a top that seems to redeem what I find a 'difficult to wear' trend.

Do you like florals? Are there certain trends you love or hate?


Monday, 9 August 2010


Ooh, have you seen Cheryl Cole's new hair?


Btw, I love the colour of her dress too.

As unoriginal as it may make me, Cheryl is one of my style inspirations.

This image was found through a Google image search. It is from

I have tried a few different tutorials based on Cheryl's look and in celebration of her new hair (and health), I thought that I would share a couple of them with you.

This first one is based on a couple of tutorials on the Barry M website It was one that I wore out (that is why the photo is blurry. Oops, it seems I was not the only one drinking!) so I did tweak it a little to suit me.

This look uses the Barry M dazzledusts.

I used mushroom (51, my favourite dazzledust) on the lid and chocolate to contour (53). You can see I also used a lot of black shadow and liner. I'm sure for once I actually managed to stick a pair of false lashes on (whoo!) but interestingly they are Nadine's and not Cheryl's from the orginal GA lash collection. I think you can see that I tried to wing the shadow and liner out a bit as Cheryl has that cat look going on. I remember it all got a bit messy and as usual when using dazzledusts, I did the eye look before I did the rest of my face (phew). Hmm, dazzledusts are messy but there is something (maybe the dazzle) very starry and glitzy about them!

I have also created a Cheryl look based on a Pixi2Woo tutorial I was trying to see what colours worked together.
This time I used MAC Sable, Jest and Carbon with lots of liner and mascara to make up the eyes pictured above. Tanya used the MAC lipstick, Girl About Town. However I improvised and used another lipstick, Barry M 144. I love this lipstick but I never really wear it. Well, not outside the house. It is such a beautiful, vibrant colour. It is quite classy too. 

Sometimes it can be hard to find a strong pink that does not look too tacky and indeed, lasts. This pink is blue toned and original. It reminds me of a very, very full on Creme de la femme even though they do not look that alike when swatched.

However, there seems to be a some resemblance between them on the lips. 144 is very, very bright but as I've said before, I like it a lot and would like to wear it out and about. However, I still have one problem. Look at my inner lip here.

I painted it but lipstick just doesn't seem to stay in this area and I always end up with these horrible patches. Does anybody else have this problem, what can I do so that I can wear these beautiful colours?

So what do you think of Cheryl's new hair and her look in general? Who are your style inspirations?


Saturday, 7 August 2010

Cinderella shoes!

Ok, I'm not really a shoe lover compared to many Girls but at last, I think I have found my Cinderella shoes.

Introducing the Eternal Diamond stiletto.
Pictures took from the Daily Mail article detailed below.


They are so, so, beautiful. In fact, Christopher Michael Shellis, the shoe designer, thinks of them as a fine piece of jewellery and not shoes at all.

I like a few diamonds (2200 actually). They remind me of a carriage. Ha, a royal coach for your feet, look at the little red cushions.

Yep, they are certainly a little treat that my poor, tired feet deserve.

And they could be mine for . . , £100 000.

You do get a 1000 year guarantee but £100 000!!!!

If I was rich, rich, rich then I have to admit that maybe I would splash out on these shoes (reportedly Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole have), it would be amazing to have such a treasure to pass through the generations. I just know happy things would happen to anybody luckily enough to adorn these shoes.

However, I'm not rich rich and even if I started saving now, I would need a thousand years to get the cash (a big aaah, please) so instead I'll be keeping a beady eye on the High Street for some cheap but cost efficient copies of the shoes that have reminded me how excited a good pair of shoes can make me.

You can read more about these shoes here

Are you a shoe lover ? What shoes are you swooning over? What is the most that you would spend on a pair of shoes? Have you spotted a copy that I need to check out?


Friday, 6 August 2010

Operation Beautiful!

Ok, I need some courage.

Hmmm, anyone know where I can buy that from?!

Thought so.

You see I want to post an Operation Beautiful note. I haven't got the guts yet so while I'm growing some, let me tell you a little bit about Operation Beautiful.

Operation Beautiful is about 'transforming the way you see yourself one post-it note at a time'. It is all about reminding yourself just how beautiful you are. It started with Caitlin who posted notes on mirrors in public bathrooms carrying messages such as you are beautiful or you are amazing and suchlike.

Now her positivity has grown and people all over North America are posting notes, in bathrooms, in gyms, on shop windows, on exercise videos in HMV, on weighing scales and anywhere else you can think of, reminding people like you and me that they are beautiful enough right now as they are and giving them something to smile about for a few seconds during a day otherwise full of nit-picking and criticism. And of course, the note writer is smiling too and so they should be, for spreading a little happiness to a stranger.

An Operation Beautiful book has been released this week which details some of these notes and the stories behind them.

I just think this is a really sweet, nice idea. Hmmm. . .

Yay, there we go!You have recieved your first note and I have posted mine!! Bet we are both smiling!!! Oh and don't you always feel beautiful when you are smiling?!

Hee hee, I like this!

I might post some more, anybody going to join me?

Want to smile, check out the website where you can view posted notes, stories and Caitlin's appearence on the Today show


The Doctor Brand.

This is it!

The Blemish Relief Kit from The Doctor Brand is going to be the last product I purchase solely to try and heal my skin.

Hopefully I won't need to buy any more products anyway because The Doctor Brand works some magic but if not, then it will be time for my wake up call. I will have to relax and accept that I have tried so many products and now, it is nature's turn.

Oh but . . !

However, deep breath because The Doctor Brand sounds promising (but then what skincare doesn't?!).

It works a bit like the Clinique, three products and three steps. There is the Purifying Cleanser, the Pore Clearing Gel and the Oil free soothing lotion. These products have been designed by doctors, each a specialist in different areas. One doctor was a dermatologist(skincare), one a endocrinologist (hormonal changes) and one a nutritionist (who knows a lot about antioxidants, nutrients and anti-inflammatory ingredients). I think this kit has been billed along the lines as treatment from the doctor without a prescription. I have to admit this attracted me to the products as did the fact that these products are sulfate-free, paraben-free and antioxidant.

Interestingly for a blemish relief kit, none of these products contain Benzoyl Peroxide. Now Benzoyl Peroxide is meant to be a super spot fighter but it can also dry the skin so I'm quite excited about going in to battle without it!

I purchased this kit in Boots for £19.96. There was 1/3 off. It is normally £29.95. I guess this is an expensive product and I was tempted to get the Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Control kit (which has earnt very positive reviews on the Boots website) instead for £12.99 but I am kind of fed up of chemicals and "spot fighting technology" and in fact, I was actually put off by the claim that 100% of people had clearer skin within 24 hours. I wish! It just sounded too good to be true.

Clean and Clear also billed itself as a treatment for teenage skin and as much as I would love to believe my skin problems (if I have to have such problems) are due to the fact that my skin is young for its age, I'm in my late twenties and maybe it is more appropiate that I should be investing in my aging (let's have an immature eurgh!) skin.

So let's see what happens, fingers crossed!

You can find out more about The Doctor Brand at

Have any of you heard of or used The Doctor Brand?


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

My July Favourites!

- L'Oreal Volume Million Lash
This mascara has lived up to my initial expectations. It is fantastic. If anything, I like it even more now. I haven't noticed the overpowering scent for a while; the careful light hand approach (which is required) now seems effortless and it still looks very classy in it's gold casing.
You can read my review here

- Sable and Satin Taupe
I'm loving Sable eyeshadow at the moment. I know that you might think it quite a dark, heavy colour for the summer but since I've been laying off the foundation, I have needed more striking eye make up. I'm finding that shades closer to my skin tone such as Modellette and All That Glitters just highlight my poor skin and the lack of foundation.
Sable is a way to get striking eyes with the minimal of effort. Colour block it, a slick of mascara and that is my eyes done. I love Satin Taupe but I feel it needs more work (usually with another shadow and liner) to create the same impact.

- Hue
I can never stay away from my first Mac lippie for long. I love Hue. A nice natural, low maintenance lip for the summer. I also like the fact that it is not that red or pink as I'm finding some of my more pink/red lips draw attention to any imperfections or sore skin on my face. You can read more about Hue here

- Lipgloss
I am not the biggest gloss fan but I have worked them a little this month. I'm finding that they have felt increasingly refreshing and moisturising on my lips as the temperature has risen. I have found myself picking up two lipglosses often. One is Underage from Mac ( pictured above). I have always been a bit wary of this gloss as sometimes it looks a bit artificial on my lips and messy like the lipsticks, Barry M 101 and Gosh Darling. However when I use a light hand with Underage, the slight shimmer is much more flattering. You can read about my first impressions of Underage back in January here
Also Kim has done a great review of Underage here
Gloss-wise, I also like the Jodie Kidd Shell and not just because it was a freebie from a magazine. Shell is very similar to Underage but I prefer the formulation. I find Shell nicer (easier) to apply. I'm always surprised that it looks less pink then Underge in the tube as I think they give a similar finish on the lips with Shell maybe finishing slightly more neatly.

- Dark hair
I have dyed my hair again. Last time I dyed it, I chose Medium Golden Brown. This time, I have gone a shade darker to a Warm Dark Brown and I like it. The Medium Golden Brown was ok but I preferred the colour before it started lifting. So I thought it would be an idea to go one shade darker.

In my dreams, I would love to be a blonde. Oh, how I would! However, I am now starting to face the fact that in reality, I'm always happier when I keep my hair at the dark end of the spectrum. It seems to frame my features better.

- Intimately Beckham
This is an old favourite but I particularly like it in the summer (yes, I do wear it in the day), it is one of those scents that seems to intensify in the heat and linger a while. It is gorgeous and reminds me of carefree days in Ibiza. This perfume never fails to make me smile.

- Eat Love Pray
I have always been a little bit curious about this book. Angela's ( recent posts and news of the forthcoming film only heightened this. So when I finally got my hands on Eat Love Pray,  I devoured it in less then a week. It is a brilliant read and very thought provoking. I might go through it again now with a marker. I do like a good quote!

So that was my July favourites. Interestingly, there are not really any new products in there. So that makes me think that either there isn't anything that new and exciting out there at the moment or just maybe I'm getting the hang of this saving thing (yeah, right, after that TopShop haul)! What do you think? Have you any July favourites? Is there anything I'm missing out on?


Sunday, 1 August 2010

Shop and shred!

So the clothes shopping did not end with the TopShop haul the other day, there is one more item (just one though, not so bad, is it?) that I picked up.

This simple one shouldered, red top from Republic.

There was no question when I saw it on the hanger that it was coming home with me. This is quite a simple top with a ruffle along the shoulder and round the neck line. With another one down the shoulderless side seam. There are probably lots of similar tops out there but not this one, in this exact shade of red. There are many shades of red that I can not pull off but this top is in the one very precise and maybe only hue that flatters me (tanned or natural) and in fact, seems to give me the "glow".

Just looking at this bright colour makes me smile and feel more alive.

However sadly, this top is not 100% perfect. It clings (in whatever size I try). In fact, a lot of tops seem to be clinging around my tummy area lately. I'm hoping that all the good fruit and veg I'm eating is just causing a little bloating but I fear otherwise.

Nevertheless, I wanted this top!

After all, it is red (that red), one shouldered and very flattering (as long as I cross my arms or keep my gaze up). I doubt I will find a top as near to perfect for a long time and in the meantime, I know that if I walked away then I would regret it.

So I brought the gorgeous red top!
And promised myself that I would just have to use some control underwear or some layering or a big belt to wear it or some very high waisted trousers. That is, if I haven't toned up a little more by then.

Which brings me to, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.

I have started shredding. So far I have done it three days straight and I WILL be doing it for another 27. At the moment, I'm shamelessly clinging to level 1 but I will push myself up to level 2 and then level 3 soon. I will, I've promised myself!

Jillian is tough with all her 'pain is fear leaving the body' talk and suchlike. Yet in twenty minutes, I do get a sweat and aches start, which last the day, so surely it is doing some good.

The twenty minute regime is made up of three circuits. Each circuit has three minutes of strength training (you need weights), two minutes of cardio and one minute of abs. Then of course, the workout includes a warm up and a cool down.

The two things I like about this fitness regime is that you don't need any coordination and it only lasts twenty minutes. I've been doing it first thing in the morning before my Green Monster.

I think if I left it any later in the day then I might not find the motivation and also, I'm finding once the workout is done then I feel good. So the last couple of days, I have felt pretty good all day and I'm sure it is because I dragged myself out of bed and in to some jumping jacks!

Has anybody else done the shred? Did you keep it up? What can I realistically expect to achieve in 30 days? Do you find yourself making some compromises in order to add another gorgeous addition to your wardrobe?


Ocean Salt from Lush!

So the quest for skin wonders continues. This week I have started to use two MORE products. Ocean Salt from Lush and the Neutrogena Wave.

Today I will talk about the Ocean Salt.

I have wanted Ocean Salt for a long time. It is a Lush product that I've heard mentioned so many times. Most people seem to love it. I get the impression that this little concoction is meant to be the exfoliator of exfoliators. Lush haven't used this title though. Instead they label the product as 'a facial scrub for a complexion that glows.'

Now, is it just me or does this look delicious?

It is made up with lime, grapefruit, coconut and sea salt and these are mixed together in a fruity, vodka based scrub. The sea salt is meant to scrub away the dead skin and all the horrors blocking the pores. The coconut hydrates and meanwhile the lime and alcohol have antibacterial effects. So it all sounds quite promising but then is there any skincare product that doesn't sound promising?!

Despite being labelled as a facial scrub, I brought the Ocean Salt to use mainly as a body scrub. I have a few dry patches where I caught the sun a month or so ago and nothing seems to have brought these areas up to par yet. I'm hoping that the Ocean Salt will do the trick!

My first attempt was a tentative one as I know the few who do not like this exfoliator generally find it too harsh for their skin. I was expecting some stinging. In fact, I was a little bit scared as one of the Sanctuary scrubs really seems to sting me but no, I haven't experienced any stinging at all with the Ocean Salt, even after shaving. The product actually looks and feels a lot creamier then I was expecting and even foams a little. Consequently I'm finding that I'm not using much product at all. I have used this on my body about three times now and have experienced no stinging or soreness. The dry areas that I wanted to work on feel smoother. My skin is certainly less bumpy near the top of my arms and may in fact also, be a tad softer.

With caution, I have used this product on my face maybe three times. Again I have had no stinging and it certainly does not seem to have irritated any blemishes or caused further breakout. Fingers crossed, my damaged skin seems to be healing. However, I don't think that is due to this product. I have only used it a couple of times. Though I might be wrong as I am using so many things in my skincare at the moment that it is impossible to identify cause and effect. Currently I'm using everything a bit haphazardly as and when. However, I'm hoping that this product will prove itself a staple in my face routine and I can use it every other day once my skin returns to a more 'normal' state.

The only area where I may have had a slight reaction to this product is on the thinner skin around my decolletage where I noticed some scratch and prick-like marks after a relaxing bath. Now I'm not sure if this was the Ocean Salt but to be just sure, I have refrained from using it again in this area which luckily is quite smooth and clear anyway. The scratches and prick marks cleared within 36 hours.

I have encountered no further problems with Ocean Salt and am actually looking forward to using it. For me, it feels like more of a treatment for my skin then so many of the other exfoliators I've used out there including my own Coconut Oil concoctions.

I have only just started using this product but let me tell you now, I love the scent of this. For me, the scent is more remniscent of a moisturiser and body butter. It is lovely and lingers all day. I'm not sure how to describe it. You can certainly smell the lime and maybe even the ocean air . . ! When you add this gorgeous, yummy scent to the creamy soft texture then I'm so glad that this product got to the top of my wishlist and on to my skin.

250g of Ocean Salt currently costs £11.20 so fingers crossed that this does indeed go a long way!

Have you tried Ocean Salt? What do you think?



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