Monday, 31 March 2014

My Mum's New Facial Skincare Routine!

My mum is the biggest product-phobe you will ever meet. She has never used proper skincare products, apart from the odd Body Shop face mask here and there. Her usual routine is to wash her face in the shower with soap (!!!) and that's pretty much it! She actually does have very good skin considering, but doing her make-up the other day (another first for her, not a drop of make-up has touched that face ever, not even on her wedding day) I mentioned her skin was slightly on the dry side and she agreed to at least try a skin care routine. This decision was helped by the fact that she does actually have a few decent products that she has been bought by family members etc and so she didn't even have to go and purchase any. These are the products I advised her to start using regularly:

From top left clockwise - nSPa Brightening Detox Scrub, nSpa Replenishing Moisture Mask, Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm and Lift Day Cream (SPF 15) and nSpa Youthful Eye Cream. Before going any further I thought I better mention as well that another reason my mum has agreed to start a routine (and let me try different make up looks for her) is because my brother's wedding is very quickly approaching and being the mother of the groom she wants to look her very best!

So, I had advised her to use the Detox Scrub once every few days, roughly twice a week. This is just to help buff away any dry skin and leave her face looking radiant, but not to overly use as that can lead to your skin overcompensating and producing a lot of oil. Her skin is also quite sensitive really and so would probably react if she used it more often than this. This product smells lovely and not at all harsh on the skin. It is actually perfect for her skin type, and she has already commented that she really likes this, well done nSpa, you may have my mum converted!

I have told her to only use this Moisturising Mask once a week, after exfoliating preferably. Again this smells LOVELY, but then I really think all nSpa products do, I really am a fan. I was once told not to use a face mask the day before a big event as they can cause break outs as they draw the impurities out of the skin and so your skin is always better a couple of days after using. Almost as in a 'it has to get worse to get better' sense. I strongly believe this and always make sure I use a mask at least 2 days before so that my skin looks great for that special occassion. Therefore, I have advised my mum not to use this within 2 days of the Wedding!!

I remember reading another blogger saying (sorry it slips my mind where I read it but it was quite recent!) that you should always apply your eye cream BEFORE your moisturiser so that all that lovely cream can sink in to your eye area without being interrupted by the moisturiser, and then once it's all absorbed apply your moisturiser. In theory this sounds a good idea and so I have been following this advice since. And so obviously I passed that advice on to mum. So now after washing her face (which she is still using soap for, not quite fully converted yet!) she applies a very small dab of her Eye Cream around her under-eye area and then continues getting ready. Then when she's all ready to go she just needs to rub in a little of her Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream before heading out for the day, simple!!

I tried to keep her routine simple as I knew that if I tried getting her to do a lot straight off she would have been put off completely. But as they say, every little helps. And I'm sure she will look positively radiant in all the upcoming wedding pictures!!

Can you recommend any good, simple skincare products for older women that can be easily done on the go?

Fading Nail Art

I was so excited on Saturday because my new nail art tools had arrived, yay!! I had been impatiently waiting for these since I ordered them and couldn't wait to try out some new designs with them.

As you can see, I went for a very pale pink fading in to an almost red background but then thought it needed something extra. When looking through a lot of other blogs and magazines it seemed that spots were a very big thing at the moment so decided it was another opportunity to use my new dotting tools and did some silver spots over the top. To do this design I used:

From left to right - my Nivea Calcium Power Base Coat (which doesn't dry as cloudy as it looks in the bottle), Seche shade Precious, Seche shade Rendezvous, Barry M shade 273 Raspberry, Barry M shade 319 Foil, Barry M Top Coat, a Nail Art Sponge (very cheap on eBay) and a medium nail dotter tool.

I first covered the whole nail in the base coat and left to dry (it's very important to let the varnish dry between each stage) then applied Precious, Rendezvous and Raspberry to the sponge just by painting it on with the brush. I did this in such a way that Precious would appear near the cuticle when applied, fading through to the dark Raspberry at the end of my nail. Then gently sponged this against the nail to apply the varnish to the nail in such a way that it looks like they blend in to each other. You will have to paint over the sponge a few times to be able to adequately cover all your nails. Once this dried I did the dots with Foil by pouring a very small amount on to a piece of cling film so that I could dip the dotting tool in to it and did the dots in a random fashion over every nail. Once all was done and dry I painted the top coat over to protect the design and make it last longer.

And voila, it's done!

I'm really happy with how they have turned out. I know they aren't perfect but I am still very new to Nail Artistry (is that a word?!). I shall carry on trying out different ideas and techniques and see what I can come up with!

Have any of you been trying out any nail art? Can you suggest any designs that I should try next? I currently have dotting tools, sponges and nail art brushes. I was also thinking of trying the cuticle tattoos that I have been seeing a lot of people talking about...

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Empties of the Month

So this month I'm sad to say I've used up all of my (from left to right) Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque (massive sad face!), my small bottles of Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo & Nourish Conditioner, FCUK Body Spray, nSPa Illuminating Beauty Serum, Rimmel Day to Night Mascara, Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Cat Eyes Mascara, DKNY Red Delicious Lip Gloss and a small bottle of St. Tropez Light Bronzing Mousse. I have actually had a couple more empties this month but I stupidly forgot I was saving them up to do an 'Empties of the Month' post and threw them away, I guess I'm still new to blogging!

So firstly, Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque: I love this product!! I got bought it as part of a set a long while ago and for some reason I put it away in my cupboard and only rediscovered it in the last couple of months, and I'm so glad I did! This is a clay masque that is recommended for oily skin (therefore perfect for me) and it definitely helped reduce the amount of oil my skin produced. It has a lovely smooth texture that was so easy to apply evenly over my face and then I used to just sit back and enjoy the smell and the soothing feel of the masque for 10 minutes whilst it dried and then rinsed it off with warm water. My skin would then feel so soft and clean without being in anyway dried out. Perfect!! I'll definitely be repurchasing this.

Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo Nourish Conditioner: My friend bought me full sized bottles of these as part of my Christmas present and I fell in love with just how soft and shiny they left my hair! So I went out and bought a couple of mini bottles from Boots as well to keep in my wash bag for when I go to the gym in the morning before work. They smell divine and leave my hair feeling clean, soft and cared for.

FCUK Body Spray: This is another item that was bought for me (seems to be a recurring pattern!) and came as part of a set. I loved this gentle, oriental fragrance and kept it in my handbag for a little spritz of refreshment during the day. It wasn't a particularly durable fragrance but what body sprays are really? But it did smell lovely and I really enjoyed it. Just as a side note - the body lotion and scrub that were in this set were also lovely and the scrub is still going strong!

nSPa Illuminating Beauty Serum: I took my mum to Nirvana Spa in Reading for her birthday last year for a day of pampering and treatments and whilst we were there we wandered in to their shop (still in our gowns as we had come straight from the jacuzzi, luxury!) and I was recommended this beauty serum from their range (by a family member that works there) as I had said that I was worried that my skin was looking a bit dull . At first I was using this product exactly how it instructs and applied it to my face following cleansing and, although I loved the smell, I wasn't particularly impressed by the product. This was until I was told to mix a small amount in with my foundation and apply it like that instead. What a difference this made!! My skin suddenly looked radiant and well illuminated. A really lovely, inexpensive product and I think you can purchase these in Asda and so it is very easy to pick up.

Rimmel Day to Night Mascara: I really liked the idea of this mascara, having one brush designed to lengthen your eyelashes and another to add volume. Sadly I wasn't quite as impressed by it as I had hoped. I found that the brush that added volume was quite good and did seem to add a bit of volume but to be honest I didn't really see any difference in length from the lengthening brush. I also found the consistency slightly on the thin side. I did quite like using this product with the volumising brush over the top of the Cat Eyes mascara that I am also about to talk about though...

Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Cat Eyes Mascara: I really liked this mascara, it added great length and definition to my eyelashes and the consistency was perfect. I did used to use my Day to Night mascara over the top once it dried (as earlier mentioned) to give it extra volume but the length it gave my eyelashes was to die for!

DKNY Red Delicious Lip Gloss: I actually wasn't a massive fan of this lipgloss, but then I'm not a massive fan of lipglosses in general really. This came as a promotional freebie with the DKNY Red Delicious perfume and although the colour was quite nice, I found it incredibly tacky and thick and just felt horrible to wear on your lips. This isn't exactly an Empty of the Month, I just found it still hanging around the depths of my make-up draw and tried it, rediscovered why I disliked it so much and decided to quickly throw it out before it found it's way back in to the murky depths to become forgotten about again!

St. Tropez Light Bronzing Mousse: I bought this off of because I wanted to try using a tanning MOUSSE rather than a lotion, but didn't want to go for a full sized bottle in case I couldn't get along with it, it turns out I should have got a full sized bottle! I loved this tanning mousse, it was so easy to apply evenly without accidentally putting on too much at a time and getting that horrible streaky look that no-one wants. The smell is just like any other St. Tropez tan, not a nasty biscuit smell but not exactly delicious either, just average. But the tan itself is great and a lot less messy than the spray on tans or lotions. I would definitely recommend this!

Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts on them?

Micellar Cleansing Water

I don't think anyone could have missed the recent hype surrounding the use of micellar cleansing water to clean the face and remove make-up, I've certainly seen a lot of people raving about how wonderful it is. I was quite sceptical as I am quite funny about removing my make-up in the evening and making sure my skin is nice and clean before going to bed. I had my concerns that 'water' wouldn't have the good cleaning effect that I like. But being the type of person who likes to try something new I decided to at least give it a try, so I looked around at different reviews and saw a lot of positive comments about the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water. I picked this up in Boots, and even better is that it's currently on offer for £3.33 for 400ml (down from £4.99).

What's so brilliant about Micellar water is that it's good for even the most sensitive skin as it isn't packed with loads of harsh chemicals. This is brilliant for me as my skin can be a bit temperamental and have a bit of a reaction to some products.

All you have to do to use this is apply it to a cotton wool pad (I personally prefer the large oval shaped pads) and wipe it over your face, simple! I was surprised at just how gentle this feels against your skin and yet how well it cleans your face. It even removed my waterproof mascara without  having to scrub at my face. I usually remove my make-up with face wipes that do state that they can even remove waterproof make-up but even they require some scrubbing so I was really impressed with how good this is. What I also really liked is that it doesn't feel like any residue has been left on your face as with some cleansers, and it feels really natural, partly to do with the fact that it doesn't have a strong chemical scent (Clean & Clear, I'm looking at you!). I would have quite liked if it had been slightly scented but I'm not too fussed as I was more than happy with the product.

Overall, I'm really glad I gave in to my curiosity and decided to give this product a go. I can easily see this becoming a permanent part of my nightly routine as it had such a gentle soothing effect on my skin whilst removing even the most stubborn make-up. Definitely worth a try if you haven't already invested in some!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

My quest for whiter teeth...

I've always been quite lucky with my teeth, I've never had braces or fillings or really any work on my teeth. Thank God as I'm terrified of the dentist! But as pictures of people with perfect white teeth are shined at us every day through magazines and television and all other forms of media I decided to try ways of whitening my teeth without having to pay out for ridiculously expensive treatments. Therefore I picked up some Pearl Drops Ultimate Whitening Toothpolish. This toothpaste promises up to 4 shades whiter teeth in 3 weeks, a big claim to make.

This is just to be used like a normal toothpaste - twice a day brushing. And so it seemed the perfect hassle-free method of tooth whitening to try as a first off. I've only been using it for a few days (since last Sunday) and I can honestly say that I'm already seeing results, and my teeth were quite white before - I promise!! So so far I am agreeing with their claims. It also has a lovely minty taste which I prefer, I personally am not a fan of any flavours other than mint when it comes to toothpaste. 

I'm thinking of trying also the whitening strips that you apply to your teeth and leave to dissolve. I'll most likely try these out once I've finished my Pearl Drops!

Do you use any teeth whitening products? What are your favourites??

Pearl Drops are available at Boots and Superdrug - £4.85

Awesome Clinique offer at Boots!

I love Clinique products and after seeing so many raving reviews from bloggers about the new Anti-Blemish Solutions range, I new I really had to get them! So I wandered down to Boots in my lunch break on Thursday to see if I could pick up a couple of products from the new range. Much to my surprise and sheer delight, I discovered that if you bought 2 Clinique products (one of which has to be a skincare product) you got a free tin of Clinique products!! These included Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +, Even Better Foundation (in a choice of four shades), All About Eyes, Superbalm Moisturizing Lipgloss and High Impact Mascara.

These are not full sized products, with the largest being a 30ml bottle. But they are perfect for travel or in my case, taking in my gym bag. And it is always nice to get little freebies to try!! The tin that it comes in is also very cute and summery.

The products from the new range that I purchased were Clinical Clearing Gel and Cleansing Foam.

The foaming face wash is a face wash that you use twice daily (morning and night) and it helps to lift oils and balance your skin. The clinical clearing gel is a gel that you apply evenly over the face twice a day (only a small amount is required). I have been told that it takes a few uses to notice any difference but then the differences are very noticeable!!

I haven't had time to really use these products enough to write a review on them, I mainly just wanted to share with you the amazing deal that they have on at Boots at the moment, but I shall write a full review after having used them for a while. I don't think this deal is going on for very much longer so make sure you get down to Boots soon!!

Clinical Clearing Gel can be purchased for £20 for 30ml
Cleansing Foam can be purchased for £15.50 for 125ml

My Oily Skin Saviour!

My skin is ridiculously oily, this is in no way an exaggeration, it is bad! I can use primers, foundations that promise an all day matte complexion, pore refiners, oil controlling name it! But within a couple of hours my face will be so oily that it will look like my face has been dipped in oil, not a good look. I'm quite lucky in the sense that I don't really get spots and blemishes apart from the odd hormone related one, but it does make me feel quite self-concious. Then in walked my skin saviour: oil blotting tissues!!

The ones I am currently using are by a company called Palladio which were completely unknown to me before purchasing, but they are very good. They use rice powder in their products as it has oil absorbing properties, which is what makes these so good for my skin. With these, I just dab them across my face anytime I start to look a bit oily (mainly my T-zone) and they absorb all the oil without affecting any of my make-up, leaving me looking lovely and matte again! You'll be surprised at just how much oil is absorbed though, I was horrified the first time I used them! These particular sheets are jumbo size and so I do tend to rip them in half and only use half at a time but this just means they last twice as long.

You can get many different types of blotting tissues from many places, including Body Shop which have another of my favourites. These Palladio ones can be found at for £4.50 for 40 large sheets, which is quite reasonable.

Do you have any products that you consider your skin saviours? Or can you recommend any other oil control products that are worth me trying out?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Boots - 17 Make-up Range

I was quite pleased to receive my bundle of Boots card vouchers a few days ago, one of which was for Boots own 'Seventeen' make-up range. I decided to seize the opportunity and try some of it out as otherwise it probably wouldn't have been something that I would have thought of to try. When I reached the stand I also saw that Seventeen was also on 3 for 2 at the moment. So obviously I had to buy three items (it would have been wrong not to!).

I chose 2 of the Mirror Shine Lipstick's and a Va Va Voom Mascara (which I'll come back to in a later post). The lipstick shades I picked up were 'Roserie' - a very pale lilac and 'Cheeky Secret' - a light coral/orange.

The main thing I loved about these lipsticks was the packaging. They look very sophisticated in the vinyl black casing anyway, but when you remove the lid you find that a small mirror is hidden away in the case, what a fab idea! Unfortunately I wasn't as impressed with the actual product, which let's face it is the important part.

Firstly, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of pigment when I applied these to my lips. I was hoping for bright, bold colours but instead it was more like a slightly tinted sheen. The lilac shade showed up a lot better than the orange (which may be to do with the natural pigmentation of my lips) but was still relatively weak. A large factor in this may be the fact that I chose quite pale shades, it may be that the darker shades have a lot more pigment in them, although I'm of the opinion that you should be able to expect the same level of colour saturation from both dark and pale shades. I can't say I'll be rushing to buy any of  the darker shades to test this theory but if there were more discounts available again I may be tempted.

Secondly, I didn't find these in anyway durable. Yes, I was drinking cups of tea etc throughout the day but even my £1 lipstick from Primark lasted a hell of a lot longer under the same conditions! Being quite a bit more expensive I had expected it to be a bit more long-lasting than it actually was.

Lastly, I just didn't like the actual shape of the lipstick, which you don't notice until you find one you can't quite agree with. I definitely wouldn't go so far as to describe it as 'bad', just not as easy to work with as others. I find those that taper to a point are brilliant for application as they make it so easy to apply around your cupids bow and right to the edges of your lip with no mess or hassle. These had a very rounded tip and so meant that you couldn't quite achieve this with such ease.

On a positive note though (as it is always nice to end things on a positive note), I did find these lipsticks VERY moisturising and soft on the lips, which is a massive bonus to me. Therefore if these were advertised as tinted lip balms instead I would have written this post very differently, as I think that would be a far more fitting title for them.

Have you tried any 17 products? What was our opinion of the brand?

Mirror Shine Lipsticks are available at Boots for £4.79

Branching out!

Now that I have successfully set up my blog on Twitter I have decided to take it even further and set it up on Bloglovin!

Hopefully what I have to say interests you and you choose to follow me :)

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The only powder for me - or so it seems!

The last few weeks I have been having real trouble with face powders. It started off with me finishing the compact I had of my usual face powder and deciding not to repurchase it (always a risky move!) but try something different so as not to get stuck in a make-up rut. The one that I chose, on a whim, was Maybelline Super Stay 24H Waterproof Powder. When I purchased this there wasn't an awful lot of selection when it came to shades, but thought that as I'm usually a 'Nude' shade in most other powders I thought I would be safe with shade 21 NUDE in this also, despite the fact it looked slightly dark... It turns out this was FAR too dark for me (I think I was hoping that my skin had clung on to whatever tan I had managed to accrue whilst living in Lanzarote!).

So following this slight mishap, I decided to keep looking for another face powder, although putting my new Maybelline one away for the summer in the hope that I would have a tan by then. I had read a lot of positive reviews by other bloggers on Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder in 021 Translucent, and so that's what I chose to try.

This was described as a face powder with no pigmentation (hence translucent) and so can be used for all skin tones just to mattify your face or fix your base. After making such a bad choice on shade with the last powder this was a winner in my eyes. This went on really nicely and did match in with my own skin colour and so all seemed perfect! But then a few hours later I noticed patches on my T-zone that just looked really odd. It was difficult to describe, but looked like dry patches of skin that make-up was showing up really badly. As I (unfortunately) have quite oily skin, dry skin on my face isn't something I'm used to having. As this was the only new product I was using at the time I knew it had to be this that was causing the lizard-skin look (believe me, not attractive). I carried on using it lightly for a few days to see if my skin would settle in to it but it just wasn't working out for me. A friend told me you could only notice it if you looked closely or were looking for it but you know what it's like, if you can see it you just instantly believe the rest of the world can! I'm not sure why my skin had such an odd reaction to this as others had commented on how great it was, I guess everyone's skin is different and mine just wasn't a fan.

So I decided to just give up for the time-being and go back to my old, trusted face powder - L'Oreal True Match The Powder. 

The shade 'Rose Beige' is the perfect shade for me and just applies really lightly and gives the perfect matte finish. As soon as I switched back to this my skin went straight back to normal and I have had no problems since. I take the Rimmel powder to work to just touch up (lightly!) my T-zone whilst at work and for this it seems to work pretty well, it may be because I am only using the tiniest amount at a time.

What's your go to face powder? Do you have any recommendations of what I should try in future seeing as my attempts to try something different ended so badly? Maybe just any shade number 21 is cursed for me!!

All face powders mentioned are available from Boots and Superdrug - RRP £8.19 for L'Oreal True Match and £3.99 for Rimmel Clear Complexion.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Beauty - Maybelline Colour Show Street Artist

Whilst shopping at the weekend I decided to treat myself to 3 new nail varnishes, well it was on offer at 3 for 2 in Boots so how could I deprive myself?! I went for 3 top costs from the new Maybelline Color Show Street Artist range; 02 White Splatter, 03 Urban Vibe and 04 Alley Attitude.

These really caught my eye as soon as I saw them and I just had to get them! Since purchasing them though, I have read a couple of really good reviews so I was really looking forward to trying them out. Especially seeing as I seem to have developed a love for all things nail art related. The first I tried out was 04 Alley Attitude.

I used Sally Hansen Smooth And Perfect in shade 07 Sea as my colour underneath the top coat. This is a very pale, pearlesent turquoise (which sadly doesn't show up quite the same in the picture due to reflecting the light, it really is pearlesent). The top coat then looked really good over the top and was shown off really well by the colour. It was really easy to apply, I know with some textured top coats the glitter can be a bit clumpy and difficult to spread over the nail but this wasn't the case with this particular one. I love the fact that all the glitter is of different shapes and sizes which gives it a really modern edgy look. It also hasn't chipped in the slightest so is hard wearing!

I'm really pleased with this effect, I can't wait to try the others that I picked up and buy more from this range :)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Beauty - Rediscoveries!

I've been meaning to sort through all my make-up, beauty products and nail varnishes for a very long time and just haven't got round to doing it. I just literally have far too much stuff for what I have space for and so much of it I don't even use! So this weekend I bit the bullet and set myself the task of at least getting rid of enough stuff so that my cupboards weren't brimming over anymore.... I didn't do particularly well!

I don't think I chucked away any of my body lotions or face creams or hair spray so I guess I didn't really do brilliantly there at all. But I think with things like that, they are products that I do use everyday so I will get round to using them at some point... Which I always say and then something will catch my eye when I'm shopping and all those products I already had will be pushed further back into the cupboard they came from. But I did manage to tidy them up a lot so it at least looks a lot nicer.

I had the main intention when starting out on this clear out mission to throw out a lot of my old make-up. I have stupid amounts of mascara (I think I had about 8 mascaras), most of which I don't even use because I have my favourites that I use all the time. Trying them out before throwing away though I fell in love with a waterproof Barry M one all over again and so couldn't bear to throw it out! I did manage to cut my collection down to 4 though, no mean feat!

This kind of set the tone for the rest of the clear out really. All my intentions of throwing out all my lip glosses (I never wear lip gloss!) failed, I only managed to let go of 3 nail varnishes (and then bought 3 more the next day). So in this sense, the whole plan completely failed!

What I did find though, was that I rediscovered a load of products that I hadn't even remembered owning. This means that it now feels like I have loads of new makeup and nail varnishes that feel almost like new but I haven't had to spend a single penny. I love it when that happens!!

So I'm now very happy using a couple of new favourite products without having to fork out loads of money and my storage looks a lot tidier! I just may have to buy more storage items as I'm sure it won't be long before I start buying more...

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Beauty - Nail Art Attempt

I have recently been looking at a lot of blogs involving nail art and found myself desperately wanting to give it a try myself, despite the fact that I am in no way artistic, what could go wrong?! I looked around on eBay and found some nail dotter pens, sponges and nail art brushes. The dotters arrived yesterday and I have been desperate to try them out all day at work!!

These are the pens that I ordered (very cheaply!) and as you can see they are doubled ended and each one has 2 different size ends in order to create different size dots. You simply apply your nail varnish to the dotters and dab them on to your nails for the perfect dots which you can use to create all different patterns. This is what I did on my own nails:

I tried to keep them very simple for my first try, I didn't want to be too over ambitious straight away! But I am actually very happy with the results. After applying the base coat I used a light chocolate brown as my main colour, covering the entire nail. I then used a medium sized dotter to do lines of purple and emerald green dots in to triangular shapes. Simple but effective :)

Overall I'm very happy with the results. I'll keep experimenting with my nail art and post any that I'm particularly happy with, especially when my new items arrive, I can't wait!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Beauty - Primark Haul!

I am writing this blog post after a particularly tough spinning session and so I am very achey and stuffing myself with fizzy cola bottles (guilty pleasure!) to keep myself awake to write this. This is all because I HAD to share with you all the make-up items I picked up from Primark at the weekend!!

I know what you are probably thinking - 'make-up from Primark?! I bet it's rubbish!' - and yes, I thought exactly the same but with it being so cheap I thought that there couldn't be any harm in trying a few items. It turns out, I was actually really impressed with what I got!

I'll start with the lipsticks and lip crayon I bought. I went for a VERY bright neon pink lipstick, a quite coral shade of red  lipstick and a pale pink/nude shimmery lip crayon.

From the swatches you can see just how bright the lipsticks are, I love them!! I couldn't quite find the right light to show how they have a slight gloss finish to them (they look incredibly matte in comparison in this photo). They have a lush, creamy texture, making them so easy to apply and they last a surprisingly long time, just as long as some of my more expensive lipsticks. They did quite dry my lips out, but I found that this wasn't really the case if I made sure I applied lip balm first.

On the other hand, I was slightly disappointed by the lip crayon. I had hoped it would apply with more colour like with my other lip crayons, but actually just looked like a clear gloss on, you can barely even see it in the picture! It has a nice texture (not in anyway sticky like with a lip gloss) but it's not at all what I was hoping for, but I think it would look nice as a shimmer over a colour. They had other colour lip crayons in Primark, so it may be that some of the darker colours show more colour but I'm not overly keen to try them now if I'm perfectly honest.

The eye-shadow palette I got was called 'Loveable luxuries -Eye-shadow' and consists of nudes and dark shades, perfect for creating that smokey eye look. They all have a shimmer to them, some heavier than others.

The darks are very easy to apply and you can see from the swatches that the colours only have a light shimmer. You do not need to apply loads for the colours to show, these were all just one swipe of the applicator. I wasn't quite as impressed by the nudes, but still fell in love with a couple. The blue was so weak that you really have to look closely to even see it, and this was after going over and over it many times!! I wasn't too bothered by this as baby blue is really not my shade when it comes to eye-shadow. The tan/gold shimmer (2nd from bottom) looks beautiful on though, much more me! The lighter pink and white you can also see on the swatches are also lovely and would be perfect for highlighting your eyes and brows, even a little highlight on your cheeks, everyone lives a multitasker!!

Overall I found make-up from Primark surprisingly more hit than miss (trust me, I'm just as shocked as you are!). Plus, the added bonus of being £1 each for the lipsticks and crayons and £2 each for the eye-shadow palettes makes them a winner, especially if you are trying to buy make-up on a budget. Just be careful to buy those items that are still sealed.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Beauty - Lipstick lover

I love a good lipstick and always feel like something is missing if I ever leave the house without it! I love trying new colours and brands to find different shades that suit me... and others that don't.

At the moment I am absolutely loving my Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte lipstick by Kate Moss in shade 101. This is a very pale pastel pink which I originally didn't think would be my colour at all but it is gorgeous on the lips, very soft and girly. The actual texture of the  lipstick is beautifully creamy and so easy to apply, you can just swipe it on and it's perfect, no need to keep going over and over your lips like with some matte lipsticks. What's great about it having this texture is that I found it did not dry my lips out at all.

I've heard of some people being slightly off about a citrus-y scent with this range of lipsticks but in my opinion it is a quite soft, almost powdery citrus scent. It is incredibly subtle and barely noticeable to me when it's on and I think it is a rather nice fragrance all the same.

The only minor pitfall with this lipstick, I would say, is it's lack of durability. Obviously you expect some rubbing off of your lipstick when eating/drinking but I had really hoped it would last longer than it did before having to do touch ups. It's such a winning lipstick in other aspects though so I'm prepared to let this one slide...

Rimmel London lasting finish matte lipstick - £5.49 rrp

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Beauty - Perfume obsession

Any one that knows me well knows that I have a slight perfume obsession. I currently own 20 perfumes...Ridiculous!! Of all of them though, my long term favourite is - Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

I have been a massive fan of this perfume for years, ever since I first set eyes on that beautifully designed bottle, who  couldn't fall in love with that lacey bodice? Luckily though, there is more to this than the appealing style - the scent is gorgeous as well! It is quite a strong (not overpowering), durable smell and a small amount really does last all day.

I'd describe the fragrance as very feminine but not girly, if that makes sense. It's a more sophisticated smell. It has the sweet scent of vanilla (which I'm glad is not too strong as I find vanilla quite sickly if it's too overdone) complimented by rose, vanilla bourbon and sandalwood. This on paper may sound like it would be really overpowering but it's just not. I highly recommend you at least go and see for yourself, many shops often have this perfume in a test bottle for you to try.

What do you think of this perfume? Is it already a go to favourite of yours or are you personally not a fan?

Classique EDP by Jean Paul Gaultier - £56.50 for 50ml (the Perfume Shop)

Monday, 10 March 2014

Fitness -Spinning

I personally love doing group exercise classes and find that they are the only way that I really push myself. I have a bad habit of not really giving my full effort and being a bit lazy if I attempt to go it alone in the gym. But doing a class, my competitive (some would say stubborn!) side really comes into effect. Plus it's great fun and motivational being part of a group.

My favourite class has to be spinning and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good cardio workout. In one 45 minute class you can burn up to 500 calories, sometimes even more! And I sure you, it's not as scary as you may believe. Before I started spinning I was dead set against it thinking I wouldn't be any good at it. It was only by chance that I one day took the plunge and gave it a go... and enjoyed it so much that I now go 2-3 times a week!

I think many people assume that spinning is just riding a bike and isn't anything special but there's much more to it than that. With the use of the gear, you can turn up the resistance to simulate hill climbs or turn it down for flat out sprints. Sometimes push ups are even incorporated to give you a full body workout. And all done to music!

If you are looking to get in to doing spinning classes I would definitely suggest in investing in some padded cycling shorts/trousers, they aren't 100% perfect but do help to prevent a sore saddle bum! Sadly they don't look overly attractive but I promise you will learn to appreciate them. The one I use are from a brand called 'Muddyfox' and are not expensive.