Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Chocolate Orange Mince Pies

I'm huge fan of baking and I love having Christmas as an excuse to cook up plenty of treats. Mince pies are definitely festive favourites of mine, so when I received a recipe book as a present and found the 'chocolate mince pie' recipe inside I couldn't help but try it out.


I've tried a few different recipes since then and the BBC Food one has to be my favourite.

I added a couple of handfuls of cranberries to the mincemeat and cut out small circles rather than covering the top with pastry but other than that I've kept the same recipe.

I'd love to try out adding orange zest to the pastry to add an extra orangey kick.

What's your favourite Christmas recipe?

(apologies for the rubbish photo, I didn't have my camera with me - bad blogger!)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Where have I been?!

So I've been away from my poor blog for nearly three months now and my goodness have I missed it!

I think it's fair to say I didn't really appreciate quite how full on the final year of a law degree would be, but here I am, I survived the first term! The last three months have seen me turn 21, start a placement as a Family Law paralegal, take fifteen of my Brownies away for the weekend and open twenty doors of my Boots Beauty Advent Calendar.

my 21st birthday//owl at Harry Potter themed Brownie Holiday//Carnage

I can't wait to start blogging again and review some of the products I've been using recently (including the famous Effaclar Duo!) and share some more of my money saving tips.

What's been your most recent beauty find?

Jade Rebecca
x

Monday, 23 September 2013

What's in My beauty Products #2 - AHAs

I've been away from blogging for what seems like ages, I've been really busy and finding time for writing blog posts and taking photos has just been impossible. I'm now back from a short break in Ireland (sadly no haul post, everything was so expensive!) and here's my second 'What's in my Beauty Products' post.

The first I heard of AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, was in a product review that said something along the lines of 'this product contains AHAs - beware'. Needless to say I mentally put AHAs in the skincare ingredient sinbin and didn't touch anything containing them for quite a while. Whilst on my 'I don't like AHAs rampage' I kept seeing products advertising AHAs as a key ingredient and realised I didn't actually know what was wrong with them and afterall, why would a product be screaming and shouting about an ingredient that does no good?

AHAs are naturally found in fruits and milk but can also be synthetically produced, their benefits mostly stem from their ability to aid the natural shedding of dead skin cells. The exfoliating properties of AHAs are great for achieving extra soft skin and helping to unclog pores, they are even thought to decrease the appearance of fine lines.

So where's the catch? The only downside to AHAs is that they cause the skin to be more sensitive to the sun, I don't really see that as much of a problem because you should already be using SPF on your face (at least) every day and that will protect against the heightened sun sensitivity.

A lot of skincare products contain a small amount of AHAs and chemical peels contain a much more concentrated amount, high levels of AHAs can cause irritation which is why such levels are left for professionals to handle.

Like the sound of some AHAs for a good old exfoliate? It is unlikely that you'll actually find 'AHA' on the ingredients of any skincare products, they actually come in the form of many acids, including glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid.

Here's a couple of products containing AHAs:


Soap & Glory The Daily Smooth Body Lotion
£10.00

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser
£7.99

Don't forget to enter my Smashbox Giveaway before midnight tonight!

x

Friday, 13 September 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Mystery Shopping

I know it's not technically Thursday anymore but I desperately needed an old person nap before work this evening so my blog post was sacraficed slightly!

I'll admit it, when I was at college with a part-time job and nothing to spend my earnings on other than my car, I was a rather frivolous spender. Coffee shops and the inevitable accompanying cake was verging on a daily expense and it was easy to not think twice about buying the latest Topshop outfit I had my eye on.

Since starting university two years ago, my bank card spends less time in Starbucks and Topshop and more time in my purse, as moving out brings with it many financial commitments. My boyfriend and I have also started to save for a house so that means being even more savvy when it comes to spending.
 
Image courtesy of twobee at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I'm no money expert and we could have saved more money by working every day and only spending money on essentials like food, bills and rent, but we've managed to strike a good balance. We still socialise and treat ourselves and travel, as that's what we love but we've definitely picked up some money-saving tips along the way.

This is the first in what will be a series of posts sharing with you some ways that we have saved money so I thought I'd start with one of the first things I did to save money - Mystery Shopping.

Firstly, it's important to note that very few people are able to actually make money mystery shopping. You should see mystery shopping more as a way to treat yourself for free, that's not to say that people don't make money, I know someone living in London who made around £350 a month mystery shopping (not accounting for his travel expenses). But how many assignments you can get and how much they pay is very much location dependant.

I signed up to a few mystery shopping sites and passed the required tests (they vary from site to site but they generally aim to test your writing/spelling skills). Once I was officially a mystery shopper, I was able to start accepting assignments. Until I turned 20, age restriction mystery shops were the most common assignments that I completed - they're generally quick and it's possible to make a worthwhile amount of money. Age restriction assignments involve purchasing age restricted products in stores where there is a Think 21 or Think 25 policy, other assignments can range from restaurant trips to making purchases in high street clothing retailers.


Image courtesy of Apolonia at www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Payment is divided into two or three categories, depending on the company. All companies tend to have a completion fee and a reimbursement, and some also cover travel costs. Where travels costs aren't covered it's important to consider whether you'll actually end up spending more than you are saving, or getting for 'free'.

Seems like a great way to get something for nothing right? It is a great idea, but there are some important things to remember:

  • Don't ever pay to become a mystery shopper unless you are completely sure that the site is genuine. I'm aware of a few sites that ask you to hand over money before you can begin mystery shopping and I stay well clear. There are plenty of sites that don't ask for money.
  • Make sure you read and completely understand the assignment instructions, otherwise you may not get any money for the assignment.
  • Consider how long the post-visit report will take you to write before you accept the assignment.

There are loads of Mystery Shopping companies out there but here are a few to get you started, just remember -do your research before you sign up!

Marketforce
TNS Global
GfK Mystery Shopping

x

Saturday, 31 August 2013

August Empties

I have to admit, I'm not generally one for using things up, it's rare that I find a product that I really love and when I don't I tend to flit between different products.

This month I have actually managed to use up a grand total of... (drum roll please!)... three products! This is actually quite an achievement for me, I was helped by the increasing number of things on my mental wishlist that blogging has introduced me to. Using up one product means it's compulsory to find a replacement right?


Boots Dry Shampoo Paradise Island
I try not to wash my hair more often than once every other day so I regularly use dry shampoo to freshen my hair, I've generally used Batiste in the past but I don't find it to be amazing and it's not particularly cheap. I saw the new Boots dry shampoo that, at £2.29 for 200ml, is slightly cheaper than Batiste, at £2.99, and decided to give it a go.

The Boots Paradise Island Dry Shampoo is a good dupe for the Bastiste range and I actually think it smells a lot better than some of the Batiste dry shampoos. If you love Batiste, I'd definitely recommend giving the Boots version a try. As I was looking for something a bit better than Batiste, that would make my hair look generally fresher and not just less oily, I'm still on my quest to find my perfect dry shampoo.

Would I repurchase? No, I'm sure there are much better products out there and I'm currently enjoying trying out the Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo.

Remove It Benefit Makeup Remover
This was a bit of a spontaneous purchase when I was picking up some bits from a Benefit counter a while ago. For the price I expected something amazing, I'm not sure what but I definitely thought I would use it and have a 'wow' moment. Unfortunately it did its job, removed makeup and waterproof mascara well, but nothing extra.

Would I repurchase? No, for £16.50 for less than 200ml (177.4ml to be exact...) I'm sure there are much better/cheaper products out there.

No7 Stay Perfect Liquid Foundation - Calico
I'm rather in love with my Smashbox foundation but I like to have a cheaper brand to hand for less special occassions (like when I'm working a five hour shift and amazing staying power and a flawless look isn't essential). I actually really like the No7 Stay Perfect, it has a good coverage and lasted well even on my combination skin.

Would I repurchase? Definitely, in fact I already have. It's a great everyday foundation and I think £14 is a really reasonable price.

Have you tried any of these products?

x

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

My Top Lush Products

My mum’s loved Lush for as long as I can remember, her birthdays and Christmases always mean a house filled with the gorgeous smells of lush bath bombs. I used to get so excited when I was allowed to choose a bath bomb for my own bath, there’s just something so relaxing about jumping into a bath full of coloured water with a wonderful scent. I soon began receiving Lush bath bombs and soaps for my own birthday and Christmas presents and would carefully choose some treats for myself using my pocket money.


Lush was the first beauty brand that I got into, as I got older I became more experimental with my choices and began to purchase products other than the famous Lush bath bombs. I have now developed better knowledge of the skincare and beauty world and use a much wider variety of products and brands but there is still something about Lush that keeps me going back.
Here are my top five Lush products that I just keep buying:




Big Shampoo - £11.50
This shampoo is great, it leaves my hair feeling so soft and silky, the main ingredient is sea salt which gives it an unusual texture but it works up an amazing lather on hair and goes a long way. I have frizzy long hair which means it needs quite an intense shampoo and conditioner with all sorts of unnatural ingredients that help to tame and hydrate my locks, but there’s something really refreshing about having a bit of a hair detox and using a completely natural product on it every once in a while. Unfortunately I haven’t found Big’s perfect partner in a Lush conditioner yet!


This isn't the full size bar, I've broken at least two pieces off to use already!

The Comforter - £4.50
In my opinion this is definitely the best smelling bath bomb, well technically it’s a bubble bar which is even better because you can get more than one use from it. The whole idea of the bubble bar is, as the name suggests, to be comforting, I don’t very often have a bath (I shower though, promise!) but when I do I pop a bit of The Comforter in and enjoy relaxing for a bit.



You Snap the Whip - £6.25
Like The Comforter, the amazing smell was the first thing to attract me to this body butter, it has a strong blackcurrant scent. I was surprised that this was classed as a body butter as I tend to use it as an exfoliator but it does have great moisturising ingredients. Using the body butter bar leads to a messy charcoaled shower experience but it’s definitely worth it.



Caca Rouge - £8.25
I’m rather precious about my long hair and the thought of using chemical dyes terrifies me so henna is the perfect product for me to use to give my hair colour a bit of a boost. I use the Caca Rouge as my hair is so dark that the others don’t make much of a difference. Applying the henna is quite a messy and long process that is near impossible to do without help, but I love the slightly red tint it gives my hair. The ingredients added to henna to make Caca Rouge (including cocoa butter) are great for hair and my hair is so soft and shiny once I’ve used the henna.


 
Mint Julips Lip Scrub - £5.50
This scrub is great; it’s actually the only lip scrub that I’ve ever come across. I love using it before applying lipstick, especially in the winter when my lips tend to get a little rough. The best thing about this scrub is that you can lick it off after and it tastes great!
Apologies for the photo from the Lush website, I've managed to misplace my Mint Julips for now, sadsad face!

What are your Lush favourties?

x


Monday, 26 August 2013

Giveaway - Smashbox Try It Kit!

On Friday my blog will be one month old so, with it also being Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, I decided it's a great opportunity for me to host my blog's first ever giveaway.

I'm excited to thank my current readers and get to know some more bloggers and readers. To enter you just need to fill in the Rafflecopter form below, you will receive one entry for following via Bloglovin, one for following via GFC, one for following on twitter, two for tweeting about the giveaway and two for mentioning the giveaway on your blog.

I spent so long deciding what to include in the giveaway (I now have plenty of ideas for future giveaways) but I eventually decided on the Smashbox Try It Kit. I love all the Smashbox products I have tried and the box contains a really good combination of products for you to try out.


The giveaway is open to UK residents only but I hope to host an international giveaway soon.

You can do as many or as few entries as you like (you could just follow on Twitter etc).

Good luck!

x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting Fit For... Winter

I missed out on the traditional 'getting fit for summer' so I'm going for my very own 'getting fit for winter'. There's reason for my madness I promise!

You probably know that I'm studying law at university, I've always had a fascination with the subject and have really enjoyed the work experience that I have been lucky enough to have done. The thing is I also really really love working closely with people who I feel I can really help and whose lives I can make even a tiny difference to.

SO... I'm looking into other careers where I can work with a wide range of people, one day I'd love to work with young offenders or as a probabtion officer but that's just not the sort of thing you can walk out of uni into (not that anything really is at the moment).

I've applied to volunteer at a prison and am currently applying to be a Special Constable (a volunteer policewoman) to get some experience in the kind of thing I'd like to do. To be a Special Constable a certain level of fitness is required, I wouldn't consider myself to be unfit as such but there's certainly room for improvement!


 This post needed a picture so here's m doing some aqua aerobics with my sister and dad in St Lucia!

I used to trampoline, play netball and go to aerobics classes, then university took over and I just ran out of time. I find motivation really difficult in the gym so I decided to try out a few group excercise classes and see if I can find a perfect match. Over the next few weeks I hope to try aerobics, cycling, step aerobics, circuit training, aqua fitness and outdoor fitness. After each session I will write a review and keep you updated with how I'm getting on.

Have you tried any fitness classes?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask


I've never been one to buy a face mask tube before, usually I buy single use sachets and never really stick to the same one. I was intrigued by the Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask's claims:

As well as purifying, the mask also rebalances the skin’s oil levels to clarify, cleanse and leave skin with a silky touch, essential oil of myrrh helps soothe and calm. 

Purifying and rebalancing oil levels seemed like the perfect treat for my spot-prone combination skin, the idea of a thermal mask was also an incentive.

The mask is quite thick and heats as soon as it is rubbed into the skin. I thought that the thermal aspect may be a little disappointing but I was actually really surprised at how warm the mask got.


The mask does have a plasticy smell that I wasn't expecting as it is something that I have never noticed with face masks before, I think the smell is probably due to the thermal property of the mask and is noticable but not overpowering or enough to ruin the relaxing experience.


The name suggests that the face mask should be left on for five minutes, I got a bit carried away and left it on for fifteen minutes, it was still easy to remove with a face cloth and warm water but it had lost its warmth by the time I took it off.

The mask left my skin really really soft and the warmth felt like it was great for cleansing pores. I'm interested to see what sort of long term effect the mask has on my skin after regular use but for now I'll really enjoy using it as a relaxing treat.



I can safely say that I have been converted from randomly selecting single use sachet masks, at £10.50 this mask is great value for money.

What's your favourtie face mask?

x

Saturday, 24 August 2013

NOTD: Models Own Hot Stuff - Mirrorball

I have a thing for sparkly nails, they can make any polish that little bit more exciting. I recently had Barry M Prickly Pear under a glitter blue OPI polish and when that started looking a little worse for wear I couldn't help but create a similar style with different colours, I can be more adventurous, I promise!

So here's Models Own Hot Stuff - Mirrorball over a Boots manicure pink polish. I love the glitter colours of Hot Stuff so wanted quite a pale base that would really show them off.


Hot Stuff is a great polish, it took a bit of patience to get the glitter relatively even as the polish is quite thick but a bit of patience is worth it for the finish. I always use a top coat as most polishes would be gone in secondsif I didn't, thanks to my job, but if you're inclined to give the top coat stage a miss, Hot Stuff would still look great.

Unfortunately I realised I was in a bit of a rush to leave for work after doing my nails so I attempted to put my hair up with not quite dry nails, needless to say it all went a bit wrong and I had to take it all off. My impatience does mean that there may be another NOTD post very soon though!

What Models Own polishes do you use?

x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Foody Friday - Goats Cheese Pasta



I have my dad to thank for this amazing recipe, it's now one of my favourite meals and it's so quick and easy to make, which of course makes it even better! This recipe serves two but can easily be adapted.


Ingredients:
75g Butter (or alternative)
1-2tsp Crushed Chilli (adjust to taste)
2tsp Rosemary
220g Green Beans
150g Pasta
125g Soft Goats Cheese (make sure you get the type that is in my picture)
30g Pine Nuts

  • Boil the pasta in a large pan.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan and add the chilli and rosemary. Leave on a low heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the green beans, cook green beans until soft.
  • Toast the pine nuts under the grill until golden brown.
  • Remove green beans from heat when they are soft.
  • When pasta is cooked, drain and return to the large pan.
  • Add the butter mixture to the pasta and mix.
  • Stir the goats cheese into the pasta until mixed well.
  • Serve sprinkled with toasted pine nuts.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Review: Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

I've been wanting to try pore strips for a while and, after watching a few Youtube reviews yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and give them a go. I chose to use Bioré strips, as there seems to be little choice in the UK (drugstore brands, T-Zone or Bioré) and I had heard most good reviews about Bioré.


Pore strips work by removing dirt from and unclogging pores, although many sources suggest that they don't actually reach deep-down dirt they do claim to reduce the appearance of blackheads and, overtime, make pores appear smaller. I have the unfortunate gift of a nose full of glorious blackheads so I was keen to discovered whether the pore strips would live up to their claims and make my blackheads at least a little less prominent.

There seems to be a lot of pore strip controversy in the skincare world, some people claim that they are amazing and their go-to product when it comes to lessening the appearance of blackheads, yet others believe that they are an awful product that does nothing but strip surface dirt and enlarge pores. As the dirt that is removed from pores by the pore strips tends to be tear-drop shaped, I can see how dirt removal may result in pores being stretched, however pores can also become enlarged as a result of being clogged - can we win when it comes to avoiding enlarged pores?! Perhaps not!

I enlisted my boyfriend, Russell, to provide a 'not so dirty porey' perspective, as I probably have about 10 times more blackheads than he does and I doubt I provide a true representation of the population!




Bioré pore strips should be applied to a clean face over a wet nose and left on for between 10 and 15 minutes, until hard.



The strips are soft when first applied and harden as they dry. The Bioré instructions warn that the strips should be removed promptly when they become hard. We left the strips on for around 15 minutes, they were hard when we removed them and probably could have been removed a little earlier, I wouldn't recommend leaving them on for too long as they may become painful to remove!

Removing the strip wasn't particualrly painful, it did make my eyes water a bit, but nothing like the pain of waxing. I was quite disgusted at what my used strip looked like so if you'd rather not know, don't scroll any further down.

Drumroll please...




It's safe to say I definitely achieved more than Russell did, as soon as I removed the strip I could see the difference in the appearance of blackheads across my nose. I would use the strips again but, at £7.99 for 6 strips, I wouldn't do so particularly regularly. The instructions warn against using the strips more regularly than once every three days, I think I would actually use them once every week or two.

Ultimately, dirt will always return to pores, and pore strips alone won't completely rid you of blackheads but I have to say pore strips are very satisfying. If you don't particularly suffer from blackheads I doubt pore strips will make a massive difference and you may prefer to stay away from them as the positives will be unlikely to outweigh the negative opinions. If your nose is blackhead city like mine, pore strips are definitely worth a try!

Have you used pore strips?
What are your opinions?

x

Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub


As soon as I smelt the Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub exfoliator I fell in love, it has an amazing sweet maple syrup oaty smell (if I didn't know better I would probably be tempted to eat it...). I've read some reviews that say the smell is too sickly sweet, I think that the sweetness is just right, but maybe I'm just an extra sweet kind of person!

Aside from the wonderful smell, the Breakfast Scrub has some other great features. We all know that exfoliators can be drying but the scrub contains shea butter, as well as all the scrubbing ingredients, which is a great moisturiser. There is also something really reassuring about how the scrub takes on a milky consistency when it is mixed with water, almost proof that it's hydrating as well as exfoliating the skin.


The scrub is really quite thick which gives it quite a luxurious feel and I much prefer the packaging to that of the cylinders of the other Soap & Glory scrubs. The bowl shaped pot contains 300ml and costs £8.00, it's not the cheapest body scrub but there are also plenty that are more expensive. One pot goes a long way as it lathers well for a scrub and I definitely think it is well worth the money.

I use the scrub around three times a week and I find it leaves my skin looking and feeling really soft. I sometimes think it would be great if the smell stayed for longer but it's probably a good thing that it doesn't as it's so distinctive that it would interfere with any other fragrances used.


I will definitely buy this again when it eventually runs out, it seems to be really moisturising and exfoliates well without being too harsh. I don't fake tan often, but if I do this is the perfect pre-tan exfoliator and the gorgeous smell makes up for the infamous fake tan scent.

This product has definitely reassured me that Soap & Glory isn't just about great smells and jazzy packaging!

What's your favourite Soap & Glory product?

x

Sunday, 18 August 2013

My Week in Pictures

Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat week in pictures, it's more like 'Since I Started Blogging In Pictures' but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. But here you go...

- Flavalanche frozen yoghurt - Gromit spotting - dinner in London - my babies -
- The Burger Joint - tea and cake in the park -

x

What's In My Beauty Products #1 - Jojoba Oil

I've been wanting to do a 'What's In My Beauty Products?' series of posts since I started my blog, how many times do you look at a product and think 'wow, that looks great, it's got x in it' but not actually know what x is or does? I certainly do, so I'll be researching various beauty ingredients and sharing my findings with you each week.

The reason it took me a while to write this post is that I just didn't know where to start, there are so many ingredients that crop up in many beauty products and claim to do amazing things and I discovered even more when I started researching a couple!

I finally decided that I’m going to start with jojoba oil; it’s in quite a range of products, especially those with more natural ingredients and I’ve seen it sold in its pure form in health food stores like Holland and Barratt.

First things first, I feel that I should point out that jojoba is pronounced ‘hoh-hoh-buh’ (yes, I’ve been pronouncing it jo-jo-bah for years, oops!) and that jojoba oil is not actually an oil, it just got that name because it has oil-like properties. Jojoba oil is the liquid wax produced by the jojoba plant’s seeds and, refined, it is colourless and oudorless.

Jojoba oil became more widely used in the cosmetic industry in the 1970s when, following the US ban on importing whale oil in 1971, it was discovered that jojoba oil is in fact superior to whale oil for many cosmetic applications.

Jojoba oil is structurally and chemically similar to the skin’s natural sebum so it is readily accepted by the skin as a moisturiser and can be used on both the hair and body in its pure form.

Jojoba oil is naturally high in iodine (don’t worry, not high enough to be toxic) and will not clog pores, so is great for spot-prone skin. The oil is also high in antioxidants (they help to prevent and repair damage to the body’s tissue), non-toxic, non-allergenic and is even thought by some to have anti-aging properties.

So, we’ve discovered that jojoba oil is probably best and most widely used for moisturising and here are a few products that make use of jojoba’s properties:

 
Boots Botanics Hydrating Day Cream
£5.99


Wilkinson Sword Extreme 3 Beauty Disposable Razors
£6.93


Clarins Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream
£19.00

Have you tried products with jojoba? What do you think?

x

Friday, 16 August 2013

Foody Friday - Cranberry and White Chocolate Flapjack

I love flapjack but the same old plain or raisin variety gets a bit boring so I thought I'd create something a bit more exciting, and here is it!

Ingredients:
175g Butter
175g Golden Syrup
175g Muscovado Sugar
350g Oats
75g Cranberries
50g White Chocolate



  • Preheat the oven to 150°C, Gas Mark 2.
  • Start to melt the butter in a large pan and grease and line a 20cmx20cm cake tin.
  • Once the butter has started to melt, add the syrup and sugar until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
  • Stir the oats into the syrup mixture and mix well.
  • Add the cranberries to the mixture and mix.

  • Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning out onto a chopping board and cutting into portions.
  • When the flapjack is completely cool, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the flapjack pieces using a spoon.
  • Leave the chocolate to set.
  • Enjoy!

x


My Fragrance Direct Parcel


The postman delivered my Fragrance Direct parcel today - happy Jade! I was really surprised that I received it so soon, I chose standard delivery (£1.99) for my order to arrive 5-7 days after dispatch. I placed my order on Friday the 9th, it was dispatched on Monday the 12th and delivery was originally attempted on Wednesday the 14th - great prices and great delivery, this could be my new favourite site!

The products were packed well and everything arrived in great condition and not a ridiuclously oversized box - environmental points for Fragrance Direct!


If you read my original Fragrance Direct post, you may notice that I snuck in an extra product before I finalised the order. The 7 Way Nail Buffer was £0.99 and I've never used a buffer before so I thought I'd give it a go.

From my experiences so far I'd definitely recommend Fragrance Direct, I'm just waiting for them to have some exciting Essie Nail Polishes now.

Have you used any of these products?
What do you want to see a review of?

x

London Haul

As promised, here's my London Haul post! I didn't actually manage to shop anywhere unique to London (sobsob), my friend and I got far too distracted looking at the cute puppies in Harrods and maxing out her bank card in Oxford Street Primark. I'm definitely going to have to go back to London before the summer is over, there's so much more shopping to be done! But for now here's my recent haul.


I found this in the sale racks of Topshop, as soon as I saw the lace detail and the colour I fell in love. It's great to wear with sandles in the summer and I'm hoping to style it with black opaque tights, black heels and a blazer so I can wear it in the winter too.

I was looking for the leggings I posted in my London Wishlist post, unfortunately it turns out they have been discontinued, determined to get my hands on a pair of black Topshop leggings, (they seem to be the only brand of leggings that haven't got so thin that my underwear can be seen through them!) I tried these on. The leggings are great, I was initially put off by the high waist but it's really not a problem, if anything it feels like it acts as a tummy tucking feature!


After my first experience with Barry M Nail Paints a couple of weeks ago I was excited to pick up some summery pastel colours. 

I'm excited to try the Gelly range and see how 'hi-shine' it really is.


I visited the Benefit counter to repurchase Erase Paste to cover the circles under my eyes, my last pot had finally almost run out and I'd had it almost two years (yucky yuck!). The first assistant showed me the Erase Paste and Fakeup and the assistant who helped me with Brow Zings introduced me to Boi-ing - dilemma! I chose boi-ing as I felt that it had better coverage than Fakeup and was told that it is less likely to crease than Erase Paste.

I noticed this on the Benefit counter in my local boots the other day so I asked the Benefit assistant if I could try it, she did an amazing job and my brows looked great after. Hopefully I can do a job as good as the Benefit assistant!


Boots Metal Free Hair Bands
Probably my least exciting purchase!

Primark Anti-Bacterial Hand Wipes - £1
I love having these in my hand bag and the car.

I hope you enjoyed the haul post - have you tried any of these products?
Reviews will come soon!

x


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Liebster Award

I just got in from work to a lovely suprise from Megan (Megan Roisinn), she nominated me for the Liebster Award, obviously work isn't the most exciting thing in the world so this certainly made my evening more cheerful!

I've noticed the Liebster Award on other blogs but wasn't entirely sure of it's history so I did a quick google search and found a wonderful explanation by Sopphey (Sopphey Says). Basically liebster is German for dearest and the Liebster Award is a chain style nomination award that started in 2010. The rules seem to have changed over time but the idea remains the same - spread the award to bloggers who aren't yet that well established to spread the love and to help get their blog recognised.


The rules I received with the nomination from Megan are as follows:
1. You must link back to the person that nominated you.
2. You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.
4. You must come up with 11 questions for you nominees to answer.
5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

So here are my answers...

Name something you never leave your house without (not your keys, phone or purse).
I do sometimes leave the house without it, but I take my Nook (ebook) anywhere where there may be an opportunity for some reading.

What is the name of your newest friend?
Chelsea, a wonderful girl I work with.

What do your favourite socks look like?
This is such a boring answer - I don't wear socks. I really don't like socks, I hate how the poke out and get in the way! Okay, I do wear socks when I wear trainers for excercising, so my 'favourite' and only socks are double layer trainer socks (they stop you getting blisters).

Have you ever seen a shooting star?
I thought I did with one of my best friends, sadly it turned out she was actually only pointing to random things in the sky to create a romantic atmosphere as we were on a double date :(.

Do your friends and family know about your blog?
My boyfriend does, he reads all my posts! :)
My sister started following my blog twitter today so I'm guessing she does too. I haven't started publicising my blog to my family and friends yet!  

What's the craziest colour you've ever died your hair?
I'm so precious about my hair and my hair's so dark it would take a massive chemical beating to make it in any kind of crazy colour, so just good old henna reddy brown.

How do you take your tea?
Strong! No sugar, a little milk.

If you could sum yourself up with an item of clothing what would you pick?
A dress! Especially this dress that I picked up whilst I was in London (sneak peak of the haul post I'll be posting later). I love everything about dresses. And how I sum myself up as a dress, I wear them at every opportunity.

What's your oldest favourite film?
Schindler's List, I've loved that film for as long as I can remember.
 
What colour are your bedroom walls?
I live in a rented house as the moment so my walls are (drum roll please......) cream. I can't wait to have a deep purple accent wall to complement my black and purple accessories when I have my very own home though!

If you could choose a musician to swap lives with who would you pick?
I was thinking only yesterday about how I wouldn't like to be famous, that eliminates most musicians unless I'd like to swap lives with the lady who plays the accodian in the pub I used to work at. Ignoring fame I'd love to swap lives with Beyoncé, I don't think that choice requires an explanation! Preferably a swap to before she cut all her gorgeous hair off though...

And here are my questions:
What achievement are you most proud of?
Were you naughty or a goody two-shoes at school?
One lesson you've learned since you started blogging?
Which country would you most like to visit?
What's your guilty food pleasure?
And your guilty TV pleasure?
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose?
If you have children, what's one characteristic of yours that you would want them to have?
One item that loads of bloggers rave about but you haven't tried yet?
If you could have any job what would it be?

Are you a spender or a saver?

My nominees - I struggled finding eleven blogs to nominate, I didn't want to nominate people who had already been nominated this year. Here are my five nominees for the moment, there may be more coming soon!

Laura Thinks About
My Mint Nails

Monday, 12 August 2013

London Wishlist

I'm with my boyfriend visiting his parents in London for a couple of days and I'm excited to meet one of my best friends tomorrow for a much needed shopping session.

I've put together a small wishlist of things I hope to purchase, hopefully I'll come back with a 'few' extra things as well, I just can't help myself!

Petite Grey Ethnic Print Midi Dress - New Look - £14.99
Erase Paste - Benefit - £18.50
Lazy Days A5 Wiro Notebook - Paperchase - £8.00
Petite Black Ponte Panel Leggings - Topshop - £18.00
No7 High Shine Lip Crayon - Boots - £9.00
Bobble Round Necklace Gold - Accessorize - £10.00

I'll do a haul post over the next few days and show you what I manage to get properly.

Where's your favourite place to shop in London?