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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

H&M S/S Accessories

H&M S/S Accessories

I love brighter colours for Spring/Summer and looking on the H&M website I was seriously impressed by some of their offerings in the accessories department. There's definitely a neon trend coming through this year and although I'm not brave enough to wear neon clothing, a bag or a pair of shoes can incorporate a trend without going OTT. 

The shoes are amazing but even on a night out where I live may be a little to smart. I wouldn't advise going into some of the nightclubs where I live in open toed shoes! I love both bags and can't decide which one deserves a place in my wardrobe (I think the pink would go with a little more in my wardrobe but the yellow is so different)! I have been leaning towards silver jewellery a little more lately and the ring reminds of the rings Dixi sells but a little cheaper. A statement necklace is something that is becoming more popular in my outfits and the added colour in the necklace above makes it a lot more Spring/Summer.

What shop is impressing you right now with their accessories? I'm always on the look out for new pretty things!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Beauty Parlour Salt Scrub

The Beauty Parlour Salt Scrub - £3.99 - Morrisons

I gave up trying to live without an exfoliator and as I wandered the aisles of Morrisons, found a range of pretty products which were slightly reminiscent of our favourite brand, Soap and Glory. Pretty pink packaging? Check. Slightly vintage slogans and feel? Check. 

I picked up the salt scrub as I knew I wouldn't get down to Boots to pick up Flake Away anytime soon which is a firm favourite of mine but also around £7 a pop. Could I have found the perfect dupe? I rushed home to compare the ingredients of them both. They both contain Almond Oil, salt and sugar but the Beauty Parlour's Salt Scrub contains macadamia oil and dead sea salt whereas Soap and Glory's Flake Away has shea butter.

The both have very similar scents and textures but the the salt scrub is a lot lighter and rubs in a lot easier than Flake Away. It leaves your skin feeling moisturised when you leave the shower which is the feeling I love the most! I find Flake Away is a lot thicker and therefore a little goes a long way whereas I can imagine the salt scrub running out a lot sooner. 

It's a very close call between the two. I have been informed this retails for £6-7 in Superdrug and would definitely go for Flake Away if the price was the same.  But for a £3/4 saving in the supermarkets I would pick the Beauty Parlour's dupe as it is pretty darn great. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

My Picks #003

#01 Favourite Thing: Nights in versus nights out

I love going out but when the weather is snowing (in late March nonetheless) I like to spend nights in with the girls. It's my best friend's last weekend in her current flat so we went round for junk food and a lot of it! I promised I would share my baking with you today but I forgot a few vital ingredients and didn't want to venture into the cold! I whipped up some brownies which went down well though. A few competitive rounds of Articulate (which my team won, twice) and it was already midnight. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

#02 Favourite TV Show: Modern Family

I love this programme and have watched every episode. If you don't know it's about a family which is filming a mockumentary, so the characters break the fourth wall. It's very funny and is based on family situations. I am very drawn into TV shows with sarcasm and there's so much put into the show. The characters are brilliant and each funny in their own way!

#03 Favourite Purchases this week: Shower stuff

I needed to get my skin into gear. I rummaged around my local supermarket and picked up these gems. Now I have soft, great smelling skin!

# 04 Things I'm looking forward to!

I currently work 2 jobs and next week is my last week in both of them before I start a new one. Very sad as I have been with one for over 4 years! Next Saturday is a huge staff night out we do so it will be a happy and tipsy send off. 

Tuesday I am going shopping in Birmingham with a great friend of mine. I just know we will be bad influences on each other!

Finally getting a HD Brows treatment later this week, it's been ages and my brows are in need of some TLC. 

I am planning on dragging someone to come and see The Croods with me this week, it looks brilliant!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Original Source Vanilla Milk & Raspberry Shower Gel

I don't know about you but when it comes to shower gel, I really couldn't care less. I rarely have to buy it as I get endless supplies for my birthday, Christmas and in my sample boxes! If I do have to buy it, it's always one that's on offer. I would rather spend my money on scrubs and moisturisers personally! And then I found this...

Original Source Vanilla Milk & Raspberry Shower Gel - £1.50 on offer - Morrisons

I've never tried Original Source but have been told the mint one is pretty amazing and I like the idea of them putting natural ingredients in their products. I sniffed a few bottles as I saw them on offer. The chocolate ones smelt great but I don't really feel like washing in chocolate, it seems weird. I smelt the Vanilla milk and Raspberry one and oh my god. It smells like a eton mess/strawberry milkshake and if it was drinkable, I would drink it. There's not much else I can say, it gets me clean and leaves me smelling yummy. 

Maybe I should pay more attention to shower gels if there's more that smell this good!

Sephora Eau de Toilette

Knowing that the Sephora store's in the US sell lots of rollerball perfumes which for some reason haven't caught on in the UK, I was determined to find some whilst in Barcelona, the biggest Sephora store in Europe. I may have gotten a little sidetracked by the hundreds of concessions and swatching my arm like a mad woman. 

Luckily as I waited in the queue to pay for my proudly small basket of items, I noticed a stand of thin shaped viles which had around 50 different floral, sweet and fruity scents. Knowing I only had one person in front of me (and not wanting to annoy my sister as an hour really was a long time for a new beauty addict to be in the store) I knew what I had to find...and quick.

My main reason for wanting these is to throw in my handbag so I can spritz if I feel the need. I didn't want them to be like all my other perfumes; just a nice smell for me when I need it. Vanilla wasn't my first choice and isn't my favourite out of the two I purchase but it has a sweet subtle smell which isn't two overpowering. I found the fruity scents a bit too synthetic so rushed to find the floral ones. I picked up vanilla and thought "Who doesn't like vanilla?" so it went in. 

Peony is the star of the two. You all know me and no, I couldn't find a jasmine one. Oh woe is me. But here's something you didn't know; I may love the smell of jasmine but it's not my favourite flower. Peonies are! Closely followed by sunflowers and daffodils. So finding Peony, a very light but lovely smell was a great score!

It's hard to describe the products scents as they only have one scent; the one that's on the label. I'm sure there's one to suit all out there! Oh and I forgot to mention these aren't actually rollerballs, you spritz them but ah well, it's the same effect. And all I found. 

Pretty please UK fragrance distributors, give us rollerballs. If you made Marc Jacobs Daisy and Paco Rabanne's Lady Million into one you will make this girl very happy and broke.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Small change.

Hi everyone!

As you can tell the blog looks a little different but I thought I would try something modern and a little different. I hope you like it. Of course, if you find it harder to navigate or prefer reading it in it's old format let me know as I want to make it easy and enjoyable for you!

Enjoy your weekends, I have a day of baking ahead of me tomorrow and will share my recipes and results with you on Sunday!

Sephora waterproof eye makeup remover

I get a bit lazy when it comes to removing eyeliner and mascara and noticed I've been being a little rough with the skin around my eyes. So it was high time I got a product dedicated to the cause. 

The thing that drew me to this product over others was that it says suitable for contact lens wearers, which I am! Sometimes I want to remove and redo my make up without taking out my lenses so this lets me. It also doesn't contain parabens and is suitable for sensitive skin. It has olive extracts to help strengthen eye lashes which is something I've never seen in a make up remover class. 

As you can see from the photo, there's a blue liquid which is heavier than the clear one (which I assume is water from the ingredient list). You shake the bottle up and then use cotton wool pads to remove your make up. Simples.

I have used this product for about 2 weeks and as you can see it goes down quite rapidly and you do use quite a lot each time!

You can grab this from Sephora online (but only in the US or Europe) for around 6 euros for 125ml! I have found a few other similar products that are easy to get hold of in the UK!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

10 of life's little things

Sometimes it doesn't take massive things to make your day, some of the smaller things can actually make a huge difference to your mood. Here's a few things that have made my day recently!

Having some new gym gear to motivate you.

Finding X amount of money in your jacket pocket/bottom of your bag.

Knowing you have eaten well all day.

A friend you haven't spoken to for a couple of weeks texts you. 

Arranging to go out to dinner with friends on a whim rather than staying in on a weeknight.

Having a really good cup of tea.

Seeing some lovely flowers.

Finding your tight skinny jeans aren't actually that tight anymore.

Looking at something online and deciding you are going to buy it for a friend rather than yourself.

Changing your bed covers.

I would love to know what random little things really make your day and hopefully reading this you can go off and appreciate the rest of your day!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Harry Potter Studio Tour

On Mother's Day me and my friend Mia took our friend Lyn to the Warner Brother's Harry Potter Studio Tour as her birthday treat. It was something we all talked about for ages and finally had a free day we could all go. I am the biggest Harry Potter geek and they are still my favourite books ever and always will be!

I would like to put a huge SPOILER ALERT right here as I do go into detail and share some secrets of the tour and really don't want to ruin it for you if you don't want to find them out just yet!

The Great Hall was actually smaller than I thought it would be but the tour guide told us 400 people have gotten in for scenes along with cameras! The floor is actually the same stone used in old churches; the designers knew this set would be used for around 10 years and have thousands of people go past so needed it to last!

Costumes aren't the biggest part of the Harry Potter films as there is too much brilliant action to care usually! Hermione's Yule Ball dress is perhaps the only outfit that wowed viewers as it was a shock to see her all girly for a change! It was interesting to see how the costumes alter throughout a fight scene; the picture above shows how Daniel Radcliffe's costume gets more worn and torn throughout a battle scene!

We were left to walk around a sound stage and learn some more magic about Harry Potter. I loved the Gryffindor common room and it actually looks comfy! What really fascinated us was how every little detail was designed and made. There were so many props used to make Hogwarts look old, I wondered why they couldn't source and hire old artefacts! My question was answered when I read a sign saying certain items just weren't magical enough. My favourite knowledge bomb was when we found out the oil paintings hung on Hogwarts walls are actually members of team that weren't on camera. Producers, designers and graphic designers all got to be immortalised in an oil portrait and got to be in the film without us knowing!

We all tried butter beer although just didn't get it. Fizzy coloured cream soda (our closest guess) with actual cream poured on top to look like beer. Drink it quick of the cream will drop down due to it's weight and make the drink look like curdle milk. Not appetising. Neither is the £2.95 price tag. We should have shared... Outside was a few more famous sets and props which we couldn't fully appreciate because it was freezing and really dark but we took a few photo ops as usual! I also got to see Buckbeak, one of my favourite animals in the films!

Into the second stage set we got to see Diagon Alley which was my favourite set of all. When Harry goes there for the first time it is perhaps one of my favourite scenes ever! The tour's pièce de résistance is the scale model of Hogwarts. You forget it's not a real place and all the outdoor scenes are done based on this amazingly intricate model and then with CGI. It really is so amazing and so so big! On the way out the above quote from J.K. Rowling was aired. I grew up with these books and films and as they became teenagers so did I. It may be silly and I may not be alone but when you re-read the books or watch the films it does feel like you're with old friends and that it isn't just a story, it's a part of us. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Red Lip

I rarely sport a red lip unless I'm feeling particularly brave but due to Comic Relief and Red nose's I feel to wear one today! I only have 3 lip products for red lips and here they are.

Sephora's Nano Lip Liner in Real Red. It was about time I invested in some lip liners as whenever I wear a red lip it always bleeds! On my hand it really is a post box red but on the lips it is more toned down. The above picture is my lips with one coat of the lip liner; I think 2 coats would look more intense. It is very drying on the lips and you definitely couldn't wear it alone! Obviously Sephora isn't available in the UK so check out Boots for a cheap liner or I've heard MAC's red lip liner is the best!

Sleek True Colour Matte Lipstick in Stiletto

Yves Rocher Moisturising Cream Lipstick in Framboise

The only two red lipsticks I own are Sleek's True Colour Matte in Stiletto (£4.99) and  Yves Rocher's Moisturising Cream Lipstick in Framboise (£14.50). Very similar in colour but with completely different finishes. I like Sleek's matte finish as it can finish a make up look without looking overdone so you can wear a bit of a smoky eye and not look like a drag queen. The Yves Rocher one has a very shiny satin finish so the rest of your make up needs to be toned down. 

Is anyone doing any fundraising for Comic Relief today? We are all wearing red to work and donating! I wish we could have gone in fancy dress....that would have been fun!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Empties 01.

One of my 101 things to do 1001 days is use up all my skincare. I have now realised this is impossible but am determined to use up as much as I can before I repurchase. So I have set myself the new challenge of using 20 skincare products before I can buy some new things. I haven't bought any new skincare since before Christmas so am doing really well! Here's the first 9 I have used up!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme - A great pre-wash treatment but a little out of my price range at the moment to repurchase. I have a few other treatments I'm trying at the moment and finding that a high price doesn't mean it's the best!

Rituals Hamman Delight Fresh Eucalyptus and Rosemary - I love the smell of this and it's a lovely shower gel but not very moisturising. As this is a foam I love using it for shaving my legs but not so much for washing!

Rituals Magic Touch Cherry Blosson & Rice Milk Whipped Body Cream - Again a lovely smelling Rituals product but doesn't actually moisturise that much. As I had a sample size I used this more as a hand cream as it made no difference to my skin!

Soap and Glory Clean, Girls Body Wash - I'm really sad to say this but this is the only Soap and Glory product I have been disappointed with! It doesn't foam or make bubbles and you need to use a lot  of it for it to have an impact. Basically use any other Soap and Glory shower gel about from this one and you're set!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - I loved this! A gentle exfoliator you can use everyday, it strips away make up and loves your face squeaky clean. It's a strange concept; a powder you mix with water to make a paste and rub it on your face but it works. A little goes a long way but it is £40 for 75g so a luxury purchase!

First Aid Beauty Body Moisturiser Daily Treatment - A lovely light moisturiser. It isn't a thick one but is a great one to take on the go and relieve dry spots. It's great for sensitive skin as it is fragrance free but won't help people like me with very dry skin!

Johnson's Baby Lotion - A standard in my drawer. I use it most mornings and use something a bit thicker before bed!

Vichy Idéalia - A nice face cream with such an amazing scent! Saying that I would rather use the Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Optimizing Skin Serum which is a little bit more money but in my opinion better!

Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Body Butter - First off I think the main selling point of this is supposed to be the smell. I do not like it one bit didn't use a lot of it. I did test it and it is quite moisturising but nothing special!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Barcelona Day Four.

Ahh...look at that sky. We checked out of our hotel and stored our luggage in a room so we could go off exploring. We headed to a relatively unknown park called the Parc del laberint d'horta. It is the oldest park in Barcelona and is stunning. It is called a romantic style garden and is the type of place you can imagine people being proposed to!

The main focal point is the maze which was very funny to navigate our way around when there was a class trip of screaming 7/8 year olds (another school trip). 

Parc Guell was another place I was determined to visit before I left. The sun brought out the masses and it was very busy. I can't imagine I would enjoy it at the height of summer! It was very interesting to walk around and see some more of Gaudi's influence in an outside environment. I loved the mosaic snake bench, it must have taken forever to smash up and then put back together!

We had a little bit of time before we had to catch the bus so got a drink and ice cream and sat on the marina pier, along with the rest of Barcelona. It's a lovely place and people just sit on the wooden boardwalk and soak in the sun for a little while. 

I really didn't want to leave. But all good things come to an end otherwise they wouldn't be good things. It was really nice to spend some time with my sister just us two and I would definitely go back to Barcelona. I plan to go when the Sagrada Familia is finished so I can compare! Although by 2026 I'll be 35. Oh dear God.