Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas Feet: Glitter Boots

Since starting my job in September, I wear heels on a daily basis; granted, I wear Vans on the commute and only ever walk around inside with them, but despite this, my ability to walk in heels has definitely improved. This improvement has meant that I've started to wear my Topshop MIGHTY ankle boots quite regularly and I absolutely love them. When I fall in love with items of clothing/shoes/accessories, I have a really bad habit of stocking up on things that look very similar to them. So, yesterday when I was browsing Deichmann Shoes in Birmingham city centre and I saw these sparkly black ankle boots, I knew that I had to have them. My mom grimaced at me when I tried them on and I'm sure that many others will share her distaste, but I *love* them. 

Glitter Panel Ankle Boots from Deichmann 
The best part is that they only cost me £12.49 as they were on sale with 50% off. I'm not one for buying extremely cheap shoes as they tend to fall apart with a couple of wears and are very uncomfortable, BUT, Deichmann shoes are not like this, oh no. Deichmann is fantastic if you're looking for affordable but fairly sturdy shoes. I also love that most of their shoes--regardless of whether they are flats, heels, boots, whatever-- have surfaces with GRIP. I hate when I buy shoes and fear for my life while wearing them because the sole is slippery. I've bought about five pairs of shoes from Deichmann thus far, and I've been pretty much pleased with all of them!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Post-Christmas Day Blues

I'm currently clicking my way through every Yahoo Answers post about the post-Christmas Day blues, trying to find a way to cure myself. There's something about Christmas that makes everything seem magical and happy and exciting, even when it's pissing down with rain outside and there aren't any more gluten-free Yorkshire puddings left in ASDA because--despite being the UK's second largest supermarket--they don't cater well enough for coeliacs. 

I was standing in the supermarket the other day, becoming quite angry at my mother for needlessly purchasing ten giant packs of sprouts that had been reduced to 5p, when two women bumped into each other. On any other normal day in inner-city Birmingham, a fight would have broken out; on that day, however, the women placed forgiving hands on each other, smiled, and wished one and other Merry Christmas. Tears of joy were shed, and my lip wobbled with emotion for the remainder of the trip.

I know that Christmas isn't technically over, but I always feel a little pooped after the 25th. I hope you all enjoyed it, though! 


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Fingers.

As you may remember, I suffer from THE FEAR when it comes to nail polish, and this means that I struggle to wear reds and a variety of other daring or dark colours on my nails. It's not because I don't like them, because I do; it's just... I don't know what it is. The point is, THE FEAR stops me from wearing the traditional red nail around Christmastime, so I have decided that I will have sparkly, purplish nails instead. Barry M's Pink Iridescent layered over Berry Ice Cream. Done! 
Barry M Berry Ice Cream and Pink Iridescent

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' and 'Lovesick'

Back in July I bought my first Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Romantic'--you'll find the original review here-- and I loved that; so now, with my new job and a bit of spare change, I've been able to pick up a couple more. I decided to go with Honey and Lovesick this time round, as Honey seems  to be a favourite amongst...well, everyone... and 'Lovesick' reminds me of the 'Barry M's 'Touch of Magic' lipstick that I wear on a daily basis.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey 001' and 'Lovesick 020'


Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Stain Swatches. L: Lovesick. R: Honey.
'Lovesick' is a bright fuchsia  which is quite intimidating at first, but is perfectly wearable if you apply it with a light hand and then blend it in with a finger. Like Barry M's 'Touch of Magic', 'Lovesick' is quickly becoming one of those lip products which I'm wearing everyday. For the low down on texture and staying power, read the original review.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Lovesick'
I was excited about trying 'Honey', but unfortunately, it doesn't do much for me. It's a  dusty pink kind of colour, and due to the pigmentation of my lips it just doesn't really show up-- I may as well not be wearing anything but a balm when I'm wearing this colour. I will still wear it, but definitely not for the colour pay-off  This colour is GREAT for a lot of other people, though, so don't knock it 'til you've tried it, I suppose.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey'

Monday, 29 October 2012

Review: Cambridge Satchel Company Batchel

Cambridge Satchel Company Batchel in Tan

Since May, I haven't really stopped using my Batchel. (Click HERE to remind yourself of my first Batchel post, written about 5 minutes after it turned up on my doorstep). The picture above was taken to illustrate what I carry in my Batchel most days: my purse, my phone, my emergency make-up and tampon case, my lesson planning notepad for school, and my (very serious and mature) fork and spoon set which I also use for school. I also carry around a small umbrella every day but that's not pictured because it was somewhere else drying! The Batchel does get very heavy sometimes and before buying it I did worry that the handles wouldn't be able to manage the stress-- I honestly expected some kind of snapping/tearing after about 6 months... However, I must say, I've been pleasantly surprised.

Signs of wear on the buckles: although this may look slightly frazzled, it's only an aesthetic thing; there is no thinning of the leather here, so I'm not worried about it ripping/tearing/snapping any time soon.

Wear and Tear:

The fact that the Cambridge Satchel Company use proper buckle closures on their bags is a nice, authentic touch; however, I was concerned that the constant doing-up and undoing of the buckles would cause the leather to quickly wear away and the buckle holes to eventually tear. It seems--so far-- that this isn't the case. As you can see from the picture above, there is some fraying of the leather and it obviously doesn't look brand new anymore, BUT, there is no real thinning of the leather, which significantly eases my initial concerns. I'm the kind of person who is constantly checking that my mobile is still in my bag (literally every 5 minutes while I'm out), so I'm quite impressed that the buckles are still holding out well.

I normally carry around EVERYTHING with me in my bags, so don't let that first image deceive you-- all you see there are the basics that MUST be included.  I will often carry my DSLR around, a pencil case, a book, a bottle of water, etc etc; so naturally, I was concerned about how well the shoulder strap on the Batchel would cope; however, as you can see from the image below, the straps are managing the bulk just fine. There is some fraying of the leather, but you'll notice that there isn't any thinning of the leather at the point where it rubs against the bag itself. There is also no thinning anywhere else on the strap at this point.

Protecting the leather

Seven months in and I have ONE scratch on my batchel... thanks to my boyfriend. He rammed a shopping trolley into me during a stint in Tesco. Many bricks were shat that day. Other than this unfortunate incident, and despite daily abuse by me, the leather is looking in top condition.

As far as protection goes, I've just covered it with that leather protection spray you can get from most shoe shops. GUYS, I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS THE PROPER WAY TO GO ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR BATCHEL, so please do not take this as some kind of Batchel-Protection-Gospel. I tried a small test spot at the base of the bag and it all seemed fine, so I went ahead and sprayed the rest. It all worked out okay for me. I mean, you're not even really supposed to wear leather out in the rain, but, hello. This is England.

Conclusion

TO CONCLUDE, then... I love this bag. Lots of other people love this bag (I get SO. MANY. COMPLIMENTS and admiring stares). The Cambridge Satchel Company Batchel is fantastic. There's really nothing else to say. You want one? You can afford it? You're going to use it everyday? Just do it. I'm thinking of getting another one myself.



Edit: Click the link below for a couple of pictures demonstrating the capacity of the Batchel + various other images:

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and on Bronze


When the Maybelline Colour Tattoos came out in England quite recently, I popped into Superdrug and had a play around with them on the back of my hand, but didn't end up buying any of them because I wasn't all that impressed with the colour selection. I was a little bit disappointed because I'd read so many amazing reviews of them, and everybody else seemed to love them, so I tried again... and I still don't like them.

Review: Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint

About three years ago, caught up in a gimmick, my mom picked up a tube of Barry M's Touch of Magic Lip Paint and two days later it was dumped in a box never to be used--by her-- again. Fast forward two years and I find myself stealing the lipstick from my mom's collection, and then dumping it in mine. After a few months of occasional use, I suddenly started to use TMLP on a daily basis and it's now my go-to lip colour. I hate gimmicks, seriously. Infact, I think I actually told my mom off for buying into TMLP. It turns out, however, that this is actually a pretty nice lipstick...

Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint 43 £4.99 
So, how does it work? My attempts at science: When this product comes into contact with your skin/lips, it changes to a pink which has a hue dependent on the alkaline levels (so, in a nutshell, the kinds of foods you eat, whether or not you've washed your face recently, etc) [Click the "Read More" link below to read about my scientific experiment, which took place with a grape in the early hours of this morning]

Application: Depending on how I feel, I will either a) apply a small amount, rub it into my lips and call it a stain, or b) apply it quite heavily for a deeper colour. This doesn't give you the same kind of finish as a 'normal' lipstick, in the sense that it doesn't blank out your natural lip colour, you know? It's really more of a stain, in my opinion, and that's probably why I like it so much. Also, I find that I use a lot less lip balm when I'm using this product as it's really quite moisturising-- what's not to love here, really?

Staying Power: Brilliant. Lasts longer than all of the stains I own, doesn't leave a dodgy rim of colour around my lips on fading and doesn't bleed outside of my lip line. Overall, this is just a really fantastic, simple to use lip product that you will now (maybe) be able to explain the science behind. BOOM!


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Moving out? LET'S GO TO IKEA!

So, I'm moving down to Reading in less than three weeks, moving into a new flat in less than a month, and starting my first, brand new, grown-ass-adult job one week before that. September is going to be interesting. Boyfriend and I found our new place just over a week ago ON THE FIRST DAY OF VIEWINGS. We walked in and I think we knew it was the one immediately.We had something like 7 more viewings booked in the following two days, and stressed about whether or not we should go and see if there was anything better, but decided that we should go for the one we liked RIGHT THERE, THAT EVENING before anybody else did. 

In an attempt to take my mind off of all things terrifying, I decided that I would focus on decorating and furnishing the flat! When we went to view it, the current tenant was in, and I just loved all of the furniture that she had bought; when she mentioned IKEA in passing, I made a mental note to go check out the site so that I could go and buy everything that she had IMMEDIATELY. After one on-line spree (the spoils of which arrive in Reading on Tuesday) and a fun Ikea-day-out with my mom, I feel like I have enough stuff to make the place feel like "ours". All I can say now is, goodbye remnants of my student loan (I think I did well to save it up to this point!).

I was sitting around one day wondering if I was going to lug all of my horrible, cheap, plastic storage drawers down to Reading when I move out, when I suddenly decided to browse the internet and find out what other people with make-up/little odd bits and bobs use to store their stuff in. The HELMER came up a bunch of times and I decided that I would just go for it! I also ordered the ANTONIUS drawer inserts/separators (£1.70) because I read that they fit nicely inside. I bought 5 of the inserts, because I think I will use one of the drawers to store my bulkier things (perhaps hair products).

Read More, click below!

I love Dorothy Perkins!

Sometimes I feel like me and my mom are the only people in the universe who shop at Dorothy Perkins, because anytime I mention to friends that I get a lot of my clothing from there, they're always quite surprised because they never really shop there. My mom says the same thing happens with her at work. I'm not entirely sure why it's not a more popular shop, really-- anybody have any ideas? I feel like their clothing usually fits me INCREDIBLY well and the quality is usually very good. I'm particularly fond of their sales, which is where most of the accessories below have been purchased! 

Adjustable Leaf Ring~~ £4

Thursday, 26 July 2012

7 Deadly Beauty Sins

What is your most inexpensive beauty item?
What is your most expensive beauty item?


My most inexpensive beauty item is probably my Boots Natural Collection Eyeshadow in Crushed Walnut coming in at something like £1? Or perhaps it was £2. This was probably one of the first eyeshadows that I ever bought. I used/occasionally use it as an eyebrow powder! As for my most expensive beauty item, hmm... I think my Clinique Superbalanced foundation is the most expensive, coming in at around £23. See, I don't think I'm at that stage in my relationship with make-up, where I allow myself to buy VERY expensive items. I'm sure that time will come, though. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Romantic'

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic
So it's Saturday, and my boyfriend's dragging me into Superdrug to go look for electric toothbrush heads, when the next thing I know, I've pulled him over to the make-up aisle and I'm standing in front of the Revlon section mouth-agape because the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are on sale. I swatch all of them while considering my financial situation, and somehow leave telling myself that I didn't need them. That didn't last long, however, because a couple of days later I was in Superdrug spending money that I don't have (meant to be moving out soon, hello) and leaving with Romantic
Packaging: The packaging is super cute, and very similar to Clinique's Chubby Sticks, with the only real difference being that the Chubby Sticks have a silver-coloured lid whereas the Revlon Balm Stains don't. No biggie, though-- it still feels and looks like a nice product. When you first take the lid off you get the pointed tip of the balm, and once that's all used up, you twist the silver part at the bottom to push the rest up (you can see how much product you get in the picture I've provided below). 

Texture, application and scent: When you apply this balm stain, it's... I don't know. I suppose in a way it feels sort of like Revlon's lip butters (creamy, balmy), but at the same time, you can see that the colour is getting "soaked up" (for lack of a better description) and not just "sitting" on your lips in a kind of lip butter-esque fashion. So you're getting that nice balmy feeling but with a stronger more penetrative colour experience (lolwut). I like it, it's nice. In terms of scent, it smells kind of like minted tooth floss; you know, a kind of weak, ephemeral peppermint smell-- it's quite inoffensive, really. 
Colouring: My lips naturally have a lot of colour in them, and I always find that lip products rarely ever look the same on me as they do in the tube; sometimes I'm okay with this, but other times it can be frustrating-- THANKFULLY, this is one of those occasions where I'm okay with it.The colourings in the picture above are pretty true to life, and as you can see, Romantic doesn't really look like that BRIGHT of a red on me, which is exactly why I love it. This colour is also very warm-toned which is great for my colouring-- a lot of the others on offer seemed quite cool as far as I could tell at the time, but I am hoping to try out Honey at some point!

Staying power: The balmy/creamy feeling that you get on immediate application disappeared for me within 30 minutes, but then the stain itself has remained for about 2.5 hours with gradual fading. This probably isn't going to be the same deal for everybody as I find things generally tend to fade on me quite quickly (constantly rubbing my lips together, eating, drinking, etc); I have heard other bloggers say that the stain remains on their lips for quite a long time. So I'm going to just give this the benefit of the doubt for a while here. 

On the whole, I would definitely recommend you go try this product out, particularly if like me--I've said this before--you're a little scared of full on lipsticks, but enjoy some colour on the lips. It's on offer for £5.99 in Superdrug at the moment, and lawd knows what kind of extortionate price they're going to be demanding in a week's time! 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Congratulations! Apparently I have won Revlon's PhotoReady Perfecting Primer


So I get home after just under a fortnight in Reading, and was surprised to find that I had won myself Revlon's PhotoReady Perfecting Primer!? I don't remember entering anything or leaving my address anywhere so this is all quite strange. The paranoid part of me is concerned that it has been sent by some unknown enemy and is laced with poison. Anybody know anything about this?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ramblings about The Fault in our Stars by John Green

"...I told him that he was fearing something universal and inevitable, and how really, the problem is not suffering itself or oblivion itself but the depraved meaninglessness of these things, the absolutely inhuman nihilism of suffering. I thought of my dad telling me that the universe wants to be noticed. But what we want is to be noticed by the universe, to have the universe give a shit about what happens to us--not the collective idea of a sentient life but each of us, as individuals."   -John Green, The Fault in our Stars, p. 281 
John Green, The Fault in our Stars. SIGNED COPY, BOOM!

A Saturday in Cardiff, Wales.


DSC_1148
The Castle House
Getting me to commit to outings and events is like drawing blood from the proverbial stone, but a couple of weeks ago I took arms against my crippling anxiety and agreed to accompany my pal on a university-organised trip to Cardiff in Wales. After over 4 hours on the coach (I know, right?) we ended up in sunny Cardiff with rumbling stomachs and a bad sense of direction. However, we sooned gained our bearings, ate some food, and eventually found ourselves exploring the beautiful Cardiff Castle. 
DSC_1183
The ceiling of the Arab room. Absolutely stunning. 
C'est moi... Being incredibly fashionable
If you would like to see some more photos, check out my Flickr, here.

Friday, 29 June 2012

What's in my make up bag? 20-ish Mini Reviews!

Sanctuary Cosmetics Case. 
So, above is a photo of my current make-up bag. When at home, I store my make up in a set of drawers, but I travel to and from Reading A LOT thanks to ~some guy~ that I happen to be moving in with in a couple of months, so I'm always having to carry around a ton of make-up. Obviously, not everything in the images below fits into the bag, so all of the bigger things are just shoved in whatever hand luggage I'm carrying when travelling. 

On a day to day basis I don't carry around a make up bag per se, but I do have a 'just-in-case' pouch where I have a tiny little urban decay liner and some tampons for emergency situations. I'll also occasionally throw in the concealer I'm using if I think I'm going to end up crying that day i.e. every single day of my teaching placements. HAHAHAAaaaugghh... my life. Anyway.

Face/base products.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

My New 15" Cambridge Satchel Company Batchel

Hullo,

On Saturday the 14th of April just before 12am, I placed an order for a Cambridge Satchel Company 'Batchel', and it FINALLY arrived today after 26 patient days of waiting-- as the bags are handmade, CSC do state that the bags can take up to 30 days to make and ship, but I did not-so-secretly hope that mine would arrive a lot earlier. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I got an e-mail from CSC yesterday saying that my order had finally been despatched and was on its way to me with FedEx Next Day Delivery!

Before placing an order for the bag (as a birthday present from my mom), I travelled to the dusty corners of the internet and back in an attempt to find a useful review of the Batchel, but alas, it's surprisingly difficult to find many of any substance, despite the massive following that CSC are quickly gaining. Granted, I'm not in a position to give a 'proper' review yet as I haven't used it properly, so my intention here is to provide readers with a good amount of pictures and a clearer idea of the size and what it's capable of holding, because if you are anything like me, you won't/don't have the opportunity to go and see one in the flesh before buying online.
15" Cambridge Satchel Company 'Batchel' in Vintage Brown
This bag is absolutely beautiful. It's incredibly well made and looks very expensive. The whole thing feels very, very luxurious and the vintage brown colour is lovely. I was pleased to find that it's also a lot lighter than I expected after hearing quite a few people comment on the product's weight; although, it may just be that I've become accustomed to weighty leather after carrying around my slouchy leather ASOS satchel day in and day out lately.

Before placing my order, I was a little concerned that the 15inch bag would swamp me, because some of the articles/reviews I did stumble upon seemed to suggest that nobody under a certain height should get a 15". Rubbish. Rubbish. Rubbish. I'm 5'5" and I love it. I would still love it if I was  4'11". It really irritates me when people try to put height/weight/whatever limits on what people should and shouldn't wear or use. Such tosh. If you need a roomier bag and will actually be using the Batchel for anything practical, I would definitely suggest going for the 15", because I'm not entirely sure how you would fit much else in smaller sizes (unless, unlike me, you don't carry much around).

The Batchel is described as being 10cm wide at the base, and indeed, when considering it from the outside, the Batchel does look quite roomy. At first, looking at it from the outside, it seemed as though my DSLR would fit, but in actual fact, it doesn't have a chance of fitting without extreme, unsightly bulges. Due to the stiffness of the leather, and the way that they bag is stitched, you actually loose about 2-3 centimetres of that width on the inside, meaning that the total 'usable' width inside of the bag is around 7.5cm. This isn't really an issue for me (although I would love to be able to fit my DSLR in there) because CSC does specify that the measurement is taken from the base and I expected that it would be significantly less spacious inside.
Inside of the bag: this picture shows you how reduced the space is once you look inside the Batchel. 
Although I'm quite aware that the real buckles will get tedious and frustrating at times, I actually love that they're not imitation buckles/magnetic buckles/clip buckles or anything like that, and besides, I hear that through time they become easier to do and undo because the leather becomes softer.
The handle: The CSC Designer Batchel also comes with a handle, however, the style is quite different not only in colour, but in the formation of the handle. On the original Batchel you don't get the top handle panel, which I feel makes the whole thing look a lot more pulled together and structured.
Cambridge Satchel Company 'Batchel' holding an A4 folder.
You can quite easily add an A4 folder plus a few other things (purse, pencil case, phone, ipod) in the batchel. Although I didn't picture it buckled, it buckles just fine with the folder in it. If anybody would like to me to "test" out things that will fit in the bag, then I'd be happy to do that providing I have the object or something of a similar size. 

The inside of the Batchel isn't lined, and for that reason you don't have the little pocket most bags normally have for mobile phones/travel cards/bits and bobs, etc.; however, you do get quite a roomy front pocket which makes up for the lack of inner pocket. 

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Rant: Bad service at make-up counters.

So,

The thought of approaching a sales assistant at a make-up counter--whether it be in a department store or at a stand-alone shop-- fills me with a mixture of anxiety, anger and mild self-loathing. I don't know whether it's just me, but I find that often times when I go to these places and ask for help, I end up leaving feeling just a little bit shit. I am always extremely polite when speaking to people, so it's doubly upsetting when I end up having a rubbish experience.

The "What-are-you-doing-here,-commoner?" stare:
Last year while shopping around with a university friend I found myself at the Bobbi Brown counter in Debenhams, Leicester, wanting to purchase a replacement gel liner in 'Black Ink'. On finally getting the sales assistant's attention, she greeted me with what was possibly the most snooty, stuck-up facial expression I have ever had the misfortune to come across in my life. It took me everything that I had not to say "forget it" and walk away. I honestly believe that this woman wondered what business somebody not made up to the nines like her could have with Bobbi Brown.

It annoys me that just because I go to a make-up counter with very little make-up on, wearing jeans and Vans, some assistants seem to feel that I either a) have no clue what I'm going on about or b) can't afford to be there in the first place. Excuse me, I love make-up and I could really help with your commission if you weren't acting like such a dick.

The "Oh well, never mind" attitude:

Today I went to a MAC store with the intention of finding a new concealer because I am currently running out and it's a little cheaper to buy from there than it is Bobbi Brown. On applying ONE concealer on me (badly) the assistant points me in the direction of the mirror, SAYING NOTHING, and waits for me to say "it's too ashy" before saying "yeah" and making no move to try another colour on me. Surely if I ask for help and the first colour is wrong, the assistant should offer to help me out with another? She did absolutely nothing. Left with nothing. I'll just go buy from Bobbi Brown again, providing the person selling to me is pleasant.

On the other hand...

I have had the odd good experience with make-up artists/assistants at counters. On going to the Clinique counter in Selfridge's, Birmingham, there was a lovely woman helping me out there. I wanted a new foundation and she cleansed my face properly first, talked me through the various foundations, tried THREE shades on my lower cheek to find the best colour match, applied one beautifully (I've never looked so flawless) talking me through application, etc etc. She was fantastic and I left with something that was perfect for me at the time. But this kind of service seems extremely rare.

Just sort it out,  guys. It's not that hard to be nice.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Gluten Free Birthday Cake featuring ~Expertly Sliced Strawberry~


It was my mom's birthday yesterday and it was my job to bake the cake! I have coeliac disease and that means I cannot eat any gluten (which is in everything) AT ALL, EVER AGAIN. For the most part, I'm pretty comfortable with having coeliac disease now and I manage my diet well; however, baking without gluten can come to be quite troublesome. Thanks to xanthan gum, though, I can usually whip together a pretty good cake. 


Recipe/how I altered it to make it gluten free:

I used THIS recipe from BBC Good food, added about a tablespoon more milk* and about a 3/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum. My mom and I have learnt the hard way that too much xanthan gum=a very unpleasant cake. So use it sparingly-ish.

*If you're using a normal gluten-filled recipe and converting it to gluten free with a gf flour (i.e. Dove's Farm), you will probably find that you need to add a little more liquid than the recipe calls for-- not too much though! I don't have any exact figures to give you, but I tend to guess and it normally turns out alright for me! 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Review: Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow

Hullo,

Last Friday I met up with my good friend, Natalie, from University after FAR TOO LONG. Twenty minutes before we were due to meet, I found myself loitering in Boots when I noticed that Max Factor had quite a good offer going on: buy one mascara (out of a named selection) and get one of their new Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow pens free. On its own, the pen would cost £7.99, and I mean, I needed a new mascara anyway so I figured WHY NOT. I ended up buying the new 24 Hour False Lash Effect mascara (not loving it so far) and the bronze/brown Smoky Eye Effect pen/crayon. 

Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow  £7.99/FREE with offer
Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow Swatch Swatch Swatch

Saturday, 14 April 2012

F&F for Tesco: Mini Haul

Hullo,

My mom and I always go late-night shopping at Tesco, and sad as it is, I really really enjoy it. I don't know what it is, but I like browsing supermarkets late in the evening when it's quieter and all the good offers start coming out. Between the two of us, we are TERRIBLE when it comes to browsing clothes and make up in supermarkets. As soon as we enter, one of us starts gravitating towards either F&F or George and the other tends to sigh a little bit--maybe exclaim "NO, NOT THERE, STRAIGHT TO THE VEG"--before following quickly (and eagerly) in the other's footsteps.

I'm guilty of buying a ton of my clothes from George and F&F, not even going to lie. I tend not to go out to the city centre with the intention of buying clothes (my budget is far too low to PLAN shopping trips), but I go grocery shopping at least once a week, and I kind of end up buying clothes without really meaning to. While I feel a little bit ashamed about this, I don't think that I should per se because I find that both George and F&F tend to sell clothes of quite a high quality. I mean, on the rare occasion that I actually find myself in Miss Selfridge or Topshop, say, I'm genuinely shocked by how rubbish the quality of some of the clothing is in there. I can't justify paying £45 for a flimsy see-through top made of polyester and viscose, when I get something similar and sometimes better, from George or F&F. It can be hit and miss sometimes, but I think that's the same everywhere; besides, supermarket clothing lines are much more suited to my student budget.

Anyway, last night I popped into Tesco with my mom to buy JUST BREAD AND SANDWICH MEATS, but ended up coming out with a top and some really cute loafers. 

Tassel .Loafers £14

These are SO comfortable, and that's coming from somebody who lives in Vans, Converse and boots from Clarks lol

I love the fact that these have rubber soles. This means that they are actually practical for walking in xD I'm completely incompetent when it comes to talking in shoes with plastic soles that have no grip whatsoever.

Flowy animal print (?) top. £8. This top actually features in F&F's most recent TV advertisement ^_^

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Review: Revlon Lip Butters in Macaroon and Tutti Frutti

Revlon Lip Butters in Macaroon and Tutti Frutti
So, 

I FINALLY got my hands on a couple of the highly sought after Revlon Lip Butters now that they have been released in the UK. I tried to order some the night they were released on the Boots website, but unfortunately I was tardy to the party (half an hour late to be precise) and everything was sold out. Thankfully though, I checked  back last weekend and they were all back again! Then to make things even better, it was 2 for £10 as opposed to the usual RRP of £7.99 each ^_^

I did originally add four different colours to my basket, but I really don't need that many so I narrowed it down to two and decided on Macaroon and Tutti Frutti:

Left: Macaroon; Right: Tutti Frutti
Out of all of the colour choices, Tutti Frutti was the most appealing to me and the first I added to my basket on the site. I know this seems pretty odd considering I never really gravitate towards bright-coloured make-up, but  I've always really liked the idea of an orange/peachy colour on the lip, but have never come across something fairly sheer like the Revlon Lip Butters. When Tutti Frutti arrived, I was really really pleased to find that it was almost exactly what I wanted. You can see in the photograph that it's actually quite a nice peach colour, which I feel is really quite wearable (not the first word that comes to mind when you catch that initial glance of it in the tube)!

Tutti Frutti 

Although I say Tutti Frutti is exactly what I wanted/hoped for, I did have a strange experience with it at University! I wore it out this morning and thought everything was fine,  but on reapplying later it just looked SO VIBRANT and *ORANGE* in the bathroom lighting. I think I need some kind of natural-light generator (i.e. the sun) in my bedroom in the morning so that I can see what I'm wearing really looks like. I'm a bit concerned that in reality I actually look like a traffic cone while wearing this, despite it appearing to be a pretty muted peachy colour in my bedroom and in the pictures :-/ Ah. I guess you can build up the colour on this one and make it as bright as you want, really. I think I'll just stick with one modest swipe!

Anyway, below is a picture of me ~modelling~ xD Macaroon  ^_^ This one is really quite pigmented and has the tiniest bit of gold sparkle in it, but I don't really notice it on my lips. But yeah, yes (I'm so tired and lethargic right now I'm struggling to write a coherent post!) yes, Macroon is a really nice colour and I can see myself using it quite a lot. Again, like Tutti Frutti, I feel you can really build this up to get a stronger colour depending on your preference.

Macaroon and I've-been-working-for-7-hours--I'm-bloody-knackered smudged eye liner.
Longevity: I've got to say that the staying power of these butters... sucks. They barely last on my lips for an hour, perhaps even less. Granted, many things work differently depending on the person using them, so it doesn't mean these butters won't last better for you ^_^

That's balmy!: How did I forget to talk about the MOISTURE FACTOR of these butters?! It's great. Yup. When I wear these I don't really feel the need to apply any extra lip balm or anything, and my lips are constantly drying out so that's saying a lot.

Just to conclude here, I would definitely recommend the Revlon Lip Butters to other people, particularly if like me, you like the idea of colour on your lips, but actual lipsticks scare and intimidate you. They're also quite practical in that they are actually quite competent at being a moisturising balm for the lips. Thanks, Revlon!

P.s. I'm using a 35mm prime lens at the moment and as much as I love the improved quality of the photographs, face shots are so CLOSE and awkward. Soz. 

I need my bed~ ;__;

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Review: Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot

£Too much
A few nights ago, probably while avoiding work, I found that I had begun convincing myself that I needed a new concealer and possibly a new blush. I do actually need a new concealer because the one I currently use (MAC NW30) is just slightly too pink for me, and I believe Bobbi Brown's are all yellow based. Anyway, I added Honey to my basket and found myself browsing their blush selection. For a very long time I was into rusty/bronze/red blushes, but I'm a big fan of medium-toned pinks lately. I added Nectar to my cart at first, but for some reason-- I honestly can't even recall now--I removed it and added Apricot instead. After looking at some swatches and reading reviews about Apricot online (AFTER buying it, I know, I know), I was slightly concerned that it would be far too bright and wouldn't work for my skin at all, but it arrived yesterday and I've decided that... It's perfect.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Review: Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman

G'morning!

Exactly 8 days ago, I popped into Boots for a sneaky browse before catching a train to Reading and it was then that I FINALLY became the proud owner of my Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brushes. I've been watching Sam and her sister Nic as Pixiwoo on Youtube for nearly two years now and when it was announced that Sam was going to be releasing her own line of brushes I was *ecstatic*. While the brushes have been available to UK customers online for a while, it's always seemed a bit tedious to me that way and I've been waiting for them to be released in shops here for a long time, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard recently that Boots were going to start stocking them.
Blush Brush + Starter Eye Set

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