Monday, 24 September 2012

The, New Look, Skull Vest Tops!

Just a little post today, to share two of my recent purchases with you, New Look vests.

See, we're talking skulls (and by the way, New Look is full of them)!!!

Now, I'm not usually the type of girl to adorn herself in skulls. It has always seemed a bit dangerous and edgy for me but it seems my inner rock chick has finally declared herself.

Not that these tops are particularly daring in any other way.

The shape of the black vest (this one is similar to mine but the back and skull appear to be a little different) is sassy, flattering and feminine with it's racer back, long line length and dipped hem.  Meanwhile, the sparkle of the skull is not only eye catching but seems to take the edge from the skull a little and make it more friendly. I think, mine is called Stan!

The white vest is a little cheaper and has three skulls. I loved the cheekiness of the middle one and it reminded me a little of the Japanese, Three Monkeys fable particularly 'See no evil'. Oh and also it reminds me of 'Peekaboo' with my nephew and niece but to be honest, what got it to the till point is the fact that it looks so darn cute.

More often then not on a day off, give me a cute vest top; a cropped black cardi; a pair of skinny jeans, sketchers and the chunky watch then that's me dressed for the day.

This girl can never have too many cute vest tops . . !

What clothes have you been buying lately?


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tag: 10 Things I Would Repurchase!

I was tagged by the lovely M of C.S.I Beauty Blog to do the 'Ten Things I'd Repurchase' tag.
Thank you, M!

I love the idea of this tag as it is so easy to get carried away when you first try a product and go 'Oh, I love it so' and then six months later find 3/4 of a tube etc in some dark, dusty corner.

Yep, we've all been there. . !

This tag makes me think about putting my money where my mouth is. What products have I actually finished? Will I/have I brought these products again?

And whoa, some of the products where I can confidently say yes, yes and yes in reply to such ponders are not necessarily the products that I get too excited about or talk about a lot here. Sometimes, daily staples are overshadowed by a newer purchase or cleverly marketed novelties.

Well, not today! Here are ten little gems that maybe I take a little too much for granted because thinking about it, I'd actually be quite lost/sad if suddenly I could not get hold of them anymore.

1/ Revlon Colorstay

The first one, Revlon Colorstay, a foundation was actually the most obvious choice for me. I love this foundation and have brought it over and over since my first bottle about three years ago. It is the only foundation I have ever found to offer a shade (Ivory) which completely blends in with my natural skin shade. I like the fact that I can buy a version in this appropriate shade that caters specifically for my dry skin too. This may be why I find that despite quite deep coverage (and I'm quite heavy handed, slapping quite a lot on), this foundation sits so well on my skin and looks natural in that 'she looks as if she has caught the right light' way. I also work very strange hours and I can say that I'm confident that this foundation looks good without touch up for ten hours straight. Though, I rarely touch it up at all as after that long, I care a lot less about what I look like. I initially had doubts about this foundation, my first bottle was very watery and difficult to work with but I think, I had a dodgy bottle as otherwise, I have found these so easy to apply. A lot of people say you have to blend quickly to get a good finish. I haven't really noticed that. The only foundation that comes close is L'Oreal True Match but it is Revlon I come back to, I love it such a lot.

2/ L'Oreal Volume Million Lash

No surprise here, I've raved about this mascara so many times on this blog. This IS the mascara to give you lashes. Yep, this one delivers volume; length and separation. In fact, if I had to design a pair of falsies for me. The lashes would basically be a blatant copy of what this mascara delivers. Yes, sometimes it can be a bit of a diva but with steady hands, dry weather and a little patience, this mascara always magics me up some fantastic lashes that no other mascara has mustered. Honestly, this mascara is worth any extra effort that may be required.

3/ The Daily Smooth

Now I'm a fan of all the Soap and Glory body butters but when we consider the gorgeous scent, the mid range price and the good emollient job delivered by the Daily Smooth then it is no wonder, that this is my body moisturiser of choice.

4/ Gucci Rush 2

This scent, with notes that include Banana, Blackcurrant and Rose, is like no other. It is the one scent that always makes me smile and sometimes, it is the only scent that will do.

5/ All That Glitters Eyeshadow (MAC)

I've read time and time again that this MAC eyeshadow may be a little orange for pale skins but I really like how this one looks on my eyes. It tends to be one of my go to shadows for work. I tend to colour block it, blend out and then poof, suddenly my eyes seem to come to life. No more work or shadows required. The result of this very, very simple eye make up is subtle in the way that it catches the attention of others and is just quite pretty. I think I've said before, this is the shadow that gets you the 'pretty eyes' rather then 'pretty eye make up' comments. Blimey, this one could become holy grail!

6/Angel lipstick (MAC)

Another daily staple for work, Angel from MAC just makes my lips look a little bit more. However, slap some gloss on top and this lippie actually becomes rather alluring.

7/ No 7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

This is my cleanser of choice now and I tend to stock up when Boots have their frequent £5 off NO 7 voucher on. It seems to cleanse my skin well, without irritating or drying it out leaving a great base for my moisturisers to begin working their magic.

8/ La Roche-Posay Hydreane Riche

I've done a rave on this one, it makes my skin so soo soft after just one application and seems to keep my complexion pretty clear. Hands down, the best (face) moisturiser I've ever tried.

9/ Benefit Erase Paste (not pictured)

I wore this for about two years and only went through three pots at the most. It lasts almost forever and gives me the finish I want (and one that lasts all day). It blends well over my colourstay and covers up my dark circles so well. The only con is the price tag and that is why recently I have been using the Collection 2000 Lasting finish concealer which is good (though probably not as good as the Erase Paste) and a lot cheaper per an item but each tube only lasts a couple of weeks making it a bit of a false economy so I think, I will be switching back to my beloved Erase paste soon.

10/ L'Oreal Elnett (not pictured)

I think most people agree that this is one of the best hairsprays ever (TIGI Headrush is good but more expensive). It holds the hair in place without stickiness, seems to add shine, brushes out easily and smells divine. I'm not really very curious (or knowledgeable) about other hairsprays because whenever I need one, I can always get hold of Elnett and it does exactly what a hairspray should promise to do.

I tag:
. . . because I currently really enjoy all these blogs but to be honest, I'd love to tag all of you!!! Please let me know in the comments what you'd repurchase or do a tag post like this one and link me to it in the comments. It'll be fun to see what you all buy and recommend.

Oh and don't forget to check out C.S.I Beauty Blog written by M and L. Great posts, fabulous reviews and posts almost every day. Wonder Women or what, how do they do it?!!
Have a good night.


Monday, 17 September 2012

The New York Candle from Next.

After a busy few days at work, I'm all ready to hide away at home and pamper myself tonight. I'm all stocked up on hair products; bubble baths; scrubs; body butters; masks, varnishes; feel good DVDs and books.

Yes, indeed. I'm going to be shattered in the morning.

In fact, the only thing my stocks lacked was a scented candle, an essential for utter indulgence.

Needless to say, I, er, soon corrected that!

Over the last year, scented candles have become a feature in my everyday. Obviously, I love scent, we all know that perfume is my thing so reserving a place in my heart for scented candles logically follows. Now while I find that perfume, more often then not, either manipulates or reflects my mood, scented candles seem to be more of a mark of time. As soon as I step through my front door, I can smell the lingering aroma of the candle I burnt the evening before and I know, I'm home and can unwind. Bliss x

I've tried a few different candles over the last year. Over the summer, I had a little bit of a fling with a simple Vanilla candle from Morrisons, the supermarket. I was surprised, considering the relatively low price, just how well it's sweet scent filled the air. However, generally Yankee seems to be where I'm at candle-wise. I've tried a number of them now and have a few favourites, Sparkling Sugar (very sweet, hints of baby lotion); Vanilla Satin (soft and vanillary!); Evening Air (powdery, musky and masculine), Pumpkin Spice (I know this is a cliche but yep, Halloween!). I'm sure, it must be testament to Yankee that I like so many of their candles so much yet my favourites actually cross different scent 'families'. It seems to be that no matter what the scent is, Yankee can burn it well.

However, today I didn't really have any access to Yankee gems (sob!) so I popped in to my local Next as I'd recently given the Black Cedar candle a quick sniff and remember been quite impressed.

Today I still liked the Black Cedar candle (only £3ish. Here is a link to the reed diffusor £5!) but I liked the offerings from the Luxury Fragrance line even more.

This line seems to offer candles, perfume, reed diffusers and a bath creme. In my local store, there were four different fragrances available, Milan; Paris; London and New York (Yes, I love the idea that the candles were named after such fashion capitals). I liked all of them. However, for me, Milan just smelt a little too simple. It seemed very static with none of the fluttering notes that I refer to when I babble about perfumes. Yes, I'll say it again I like my scents to almost have a rhythm, some added dimension.

I found it very hard to choose between the other three scents available. However, after a lot of sniffing, I opted for what I believe was the muskiest of the three, New York which has a top note of Bergamot.

Yes, it does seem to be that unknowingly every scent I favour features Bergamot.

New York also has a top note of orange blossom; a heart of Tuberose and Gardenia against a base of amber and patchouli.

Next describe it as 'A radiant, white floral fragrance with elegant jasmine and sun-kissed orange blossom. Inspiring and cosmopolitan. This blend captivates and engages the senses.'

I agree.

New York is burning beside me now and the aroma can not be missed. It is not particularly flowery or feminine. It seems to have a beautifully warm scent, clean and powdery, that seems in sync with the dark nights that are drawing in earlier and earlier now.

While simple basic scents such as Vanilla can be nice, the scent of New York is more complex and compelling. I would say it is more sophisticated then Milan, Paris and London. From what I smelt in store, Milan and Paris seemed to be a bit more feeble. Milan was sweet but Paris had the edge not quite as sweet but more endearing. I'd say London was quite similar to New York but the scent not quite as intense and for me, when it comes to scent, it's usually about the full works.

Obviously I only got this candle today but I thought I'd share it with you as until now, I wasn't aware of this affordable line (my candle was just £9) and so far, I'm very impressed. The ultimate test, will be answered tomorrow:

Does New York linger and if so, does it linger in an ever-so charming way?

If so then I think, New York could be the perfect scent to make my home that little more inviting and enticing as we move in to the colder months.

While we're talking seasons, let me tell you just how inspired I am by this little colour feature in the most recent Boots, 'Health and Beauty magazine'. I love these tones of green and am hoping that they work on me as I've now decided that I want green to be my new black this autumn/winter!!!

What colours are you embracing at the moment? Have you tried the Next candles? What is your favourite scented candle?

And finally, a question for me. . . Downton Abbey Series 1+2 Boxset (I'm determined to watch these then get in to this current season, everyone else seems obsessed) or The Notebook (the sweetest film ever)?!!!

Oh and if you haven't already, check out this post by The Sunday Girl, Why I Blog. Such a fab post!

Hope your week has started well.


Monday, 10 September 2012

My favourite face mask, music and a little ramble!

My poor skin . . , it was only a couple of years ago that I started to pay it any attention at all and even then, I tended to focus purely on the moisturisers.

Then for the first time in a decade I started to breakout and I went on the defence piling one harsh anti-blemish product on after another.

Lesson learnt!

When things started to settle down (and they did but it took a while, a lot longer then I would have hoped), I vowed to start looking after my skin properly.

As well as plenty of blog posts (search skincare, skin routine), there were a few mistakes and disappointments along the way but gentle products and routine seemed to be key (though I know I should drink more water too, I WILL start tomorrow) in maintaining a clear, hydrated complexion and harbouring some glow.

I have done a few posts about my skincare routine and faves but I will quickly list here the few skincare products that I will (and do!) return to again and again.

Cleanser: The No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser

Toner: The Botanics Rosewater and Skin Brightening ones; The Lush Tea Tree Water

Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Hydreane Riche; Embryolisse

I have also started to develop a weekly skincare routine. I try to use masks at least two or three times a week. I have tried and liked the Mask of Magnaminty from Lush. Likewise, the Manuka Honey one from Doctor Organic. I find both of these refresh the face and while they might not always heal a blemish. The skin does feel soothed after use and problem areas appear less red and appear a little more discreet.

However, there is only one mask that wows me and my dry skin enough to suggest that you all give it a shot and that is the Brightening Facial Moisture Boosting Mask from The Sanctuary who bill it as the 'ultimate moisture boost to revive thirsty skin for a glowing skin'.

This mask contains organic shea butter and honey and organic rosehip oil. Consequently, it is supposed to nourish the skin and protect it from ageing.

The Moisture Boosting Mask can be left on clean skin for ten minutes or as an overnight mask. I tend to go for the latter, overnight option. When I wash it away in the morning, my skin always looks better. I personally thinks it looks a little plumper and polished. Any red areas have gone while my under eye area looks so smooth and bag free. My skin also feels so soft to touch and any dry patches appear to have gone (Hydreane Riche is fab for dry patches too).

When a mask reaps such rewards, I'm obviously going to feel a little better about waking up in the morning. The lavender scent is supposed to relax the senses too. Bonus, bonus, bonus. I certainly need any extra help I can get in the mornings.

The only other skin mask that I have found to give such good results is Dragons Blood from Rodial. That one certainly gave me pepped up skin in the morning but I don't think it was quite as moisturising (my parched skin can never have enough moisture) and it was a lot more expensive.

At the moment, you can pick up a sachet of the Sanctuary mask (and I can normally get two or three uses from one sachet) for £2.03 from Boots online and I really suggest you all do if you want a little hydration, some glow or just a little skin kick.

Lately I have been doing as I believe Caroline and Anna do and use a couple of different masks one after another to give my skin the ultimate treat. I try to do this twice a week. Usually I use The Sanctuary Deep Cleanse 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask then the Moisture Boosting one. More often then not, I will also use the Botanics new Microdermabrasion Polish to gently exfoliate my skin before slapping the masks on.

Ah, the Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish. Now that's another product I currently love and can see becoming a staple in my skincare routine. We will have to talk a little more about that one soon. Talking of post teasers, I have started a list of ones I want to write and I'm determined to get on it. One thing which will feature heavily in a couple of posts is ink . . .

I hope you've all had a good few days. I've done some mooching and window (both glass and computer) shopping. I'm more then a little obsessed with these gold skinny belts from the 'Go Wild' collection in Warehouse stores and just need to choose which animal I want now. Which is your favourite?

The Jaguar

The Kissing Birds
The Lion Head

I'm also trying to finish, Beautiful Disaster, which I could not put down to start with but over the last few days and more then halfway through, I'm not quite as excited to pick it up again. I will though and I'm sure given a solid hour or so of reading, I will get back in to it again.

Music-wise, I'm loving 'Anything Could Happen' from Ellie Goulding and got to say loving Adam Levine (again!) in the video for 'One More Night'.

What are you loving right now? What skin treatments do you love?

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Benefit, Benefit and Benefit!

If you were to go way, wayyy back to some of my early posts then you would notice a couple of things, namely Benefit and well, a whole lot more Benefit.

You see, even then I knew that Benefit were capable of producing quality make up products and often did/do with a price tag to match. I've never been particularly loyal to individual make up products yet top notch offerings such as Benefit's Erase Paste and That Gal primer secured their own place in my make up stash frequently. To be honest, when I find a product I like from Benefit, the quality has always been good enough to hit pan and to repeat the purchase again and again.

Yep, three Erase pastes (and let me tell you those little pots last forever, that is probably over two years worth), three or four That Gals down the line and now, I'm here, well on my way to finishing a third or fourth Dandelion blush (quite an achievement for sure, you Guys know how much product Benefit deliver in those boxes!).

So it is no surprise that after a casual visit to say hello to one of my little sisters in her new job on the Benefit counter (and yes, I am more then a tad jealous about that), I soon walked away poorer.

Yes, people, there was a small Benefit haul!!!

First up is Jing-a-ling. A lippie I have cavorted from afar for a while.

It is early days, I only purchased this beauty less then 24 hours ago but at the moment, I adore it and can't stop looking at my lips. Yes, it falls in the same family as my other lipstick regulars Angel, Creme Cup and Beehive and my lips just look pink again as normal but woah, what a pretty pink.

You've heard it all before but there does seem to be something a little different about this mid pink neutral and that makes it so easy and enticing to wear. For a start, it is light to mid pink. I wouldn't say it is a cocher light pink and it certainly doesn't wash me out. There are slight hints of red and maybe even a little blue(?) in there. I think it looks a little brighter in real life. It really brightens the face up and just looks so healthy. Now healthy, what a boring term for make up but honestly, this lippie is so pretty especially when it catches the light. It seems to catch it in the most flattering manner showcasing just enough shimmer (gloss NOT required although I had to er, try one or two out. Y'got to be polite!) and that too makes it different. I remember saying in the past that one of my handbag favourites, another Benefit offering, Skinny Dip really seemed to soften my pale complexion. It instantly seemed to wake my skin up and I can say the same here. Jing-a- ling appears to possess the same magic. I've got to say from the three or four I've encountered, these silky finish lipsticks from Benefit always seem to equal instant radiance to some degree. Got to love that! : )

Yep, so, soo pretty but then many a lipstick is but the clincher here was just how moisturising the silky finish felt on my (Very dry, of late) lips. I have yet to regret this purchase as for three or four hours, the soothing feel seemed to last on my lips. Given the current state of my lips, this means the world (not that I'm overly dramatic or anything ; ) ) and the beautifully smooth, strongly pigmented finish is just a bonus.

So right now, I've got to say I'm pretty excited about my first lipstick purchase in a while and can see it getting a lot of wear. In fact, I must admit if Jing-a-ling lives up to early expectations then a further purchase WILL be made and you will find Lady 's Choice, the stunning lipstick sister to Jing-a-ling, featured here soon!

I also picked up Hervana. As soon as I saw the colours in the box, I just wanted to swirllll. My initial thoughts again are cor, there is some mighty pigmentation here (as usual from Benefit, I've always found their pigmentation fab) so I must remember to apply with a light hand and blend, blend, blend.

I do like these Benefit boxed powders and have purchased a few but my go-to would be Dandelion and I think, this is just because the light colour means that what appears to be a heavily pigmented product never appears too much on me. Hervana seems a little more obvious on me but I think tentatively, I like it! Here is a little peek at a swatch on my hand.

My initial thought is that when applied just above the apple of my cheek, it really draws attention to my eyes. However, I'm going to wear this one a little bit more and then I will probably do a post. Some things never change, I always take a while to form an opinion on blush products but one thing is for sure, Hervana would look lovely on a dressing table and just taking the lid from the box and peeking at the multi-toned powder inside makes me smile.

Finally, we have an eyeshadow, Rich Beach. Again, this one is not a million miles away from the eyeshadows I already own. I'm thinking All That Glitters, Tempting, Modellette and like these it just looked great on my lid (considering we're talking my lids. It's all relative, people!!) and seemed to bring out the golden specks in my eyes and make the green look that ever so more alluring. As long as it can last a good few hours on the lid, I have hopes that this one will get a lot of wear and we will reach pan. I just know this one was an investment purchase and it will be reached for. A lot! I love golden, sandy shades. They are so easy to wear. This one crosses over to the light brown/bronze end of the spectrum with some depth and without any horrible cheap-looking orange tones or chunks of glitter. Ideal!

Here is a very blurred snap (every post needs a pic fail!) but I feel it does show what the colour looks like on my lid quite well when it fleetingly catches the eye.

Ahem, sorry, I will try to do a proper FOTD/EOTD soon.

So there we go, that was my little "haul" and yes, I'm quite chuffed with what I picked up and can see myself returning soon as a few other gems caught my eye.

My word, the newish 'They're real!' really gave me some lashes. Now we all know that I can never have too much lash. Well, that was until now! This mascara really, really worked my lashes and honestly completely transformed my eyes delivering glossy, defined, very, very long and thick lashes. It almost seemed to encase each lash creating even more lash then L'Oreal, Million Lashes and I don't think I've ever been able to say that about a mascara before! I actually felt it was a little much since I was going straight back to work after my make up play and I actually removed 'They're Real!' and then reapplied it very lightly over the Benefit faithful, Bad Gal. Although I'm not convinced that alone, They're Real! would be a practical every day product for me, I'm still tempted to return again today and make a naughty purchase crossing the line hitting destination, excess lash! We are talking about one mighty mascara that would certainly shake my look up a bit, it could be the perfect weekend/night out mascara especially for someone as cack-handed as me who struggles to work falsies. On a more serious note, for anyone who feels they lack in the lash area, this IS more then likely your remedy.

And finally, I have made a mental note to investigate the Benefit skincare further. The products smell divinnneeee. A beautician told me once something along the lines of, that when it comes to skincare, give the product a sniff and if you feel compelled to take another sniff then your skin is needing those ingredients and the product is likely to work for you. Now I absolutely loved the smell of the Benefit products (though I suspect there are 'fragrance ingredients' added to this line, I think my beautician was talking about more natural products. Still, a good scent always means something. . .) and they felt so gentle and soothing on my skin. I'm pretty happy with my current skincare routine right now but a mental note has been made and I can see the Ultra Radiance Facial Re-hydrating Mist sitting in my handbag very soon.

Phew, that was quite a post. Now I think I deserve an episode or two of Miranda, how late am I with this but I love it, it's so funny.

I hope you are all well and have a fabulous weekend. A special little *wave* to my new followers, thank you! And now one for my not so new followers *wave* and finally, finally a quick thank you, 'Thank you' for all the comments on my River Island watch post. I love hearing from you xxx

Do you buy Benefit? What is your favourite Benefit product?


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