Thursday, 29 July 2010

It's the little things....

....that make me smile. Like finding things I love in unexpected places. I've been on the hunt for a teapot recently! I saw a few nice ones in Cath Kidston which I thought were quite fitting, I wanted one that's kinda retro and old fashioned since really who uses a teapot under the age of 80 these days?! I love my tea, and drink so much of it, it made sense for me to own one, there's something quite satisfying about using one, I feel like a Desperate Housewife. I found this in Matalan of all the places I could've found one. I wouldn't have bought it if it was a regular Union Jack print, but I loved the checked and floral design that really made it appealing. I couldn't resist it at £10. I also found these wonderful sandals for £5. I needed a new pair after an embarrassing scenario which involved them breaking. Imagine the toe post snapping when you're walking through town! So freaking annoying, luckily though they had support at the back so at least I had something to hold my foot in. I had to walk very slowly and carefully to the nearest shoe shop, which with nothing to support the front of my foot was a bit of a quest. I had to buy literally the closest pair I could find, and they just happened to be god awful patent blue ones, just disgusting really. So anyway, they needed replacing with sandals I actually like, and I found these, I love the fact they're not toe post sandals because they're more comfortable, but still look modern. On the same spree I visited New Look, a shop that goes up and down in my expectations, I used to hate it, but just recently have been finding some real gems in there. The only thing I find consistent about that place is the shoes, they always have something I like, and are so affordable. I found this top, which when I describe as cropped and tie-dyed sounds like an 80s throwback and bloody awful, but for some reason I love it. It looks nothing on the hanger, so I will have to post a picture of an OOTD to convince you otherwise. It's slightly slanted so is slightly shorter on one side than the other and is tied in a knot on one side.
I also found this t-shirt dress with ruched flower detailing on the sleeves. It's available in a few colours, but it's very slim fitting, so not very forgiving I'm afraid, black is the only colour I thought I could pull it off in, the nude pink was gorgeous, but a bit on the revealing side.
It looks kind of boring as it is, but teamed with a contrasting belt and shoes looks pretty nice. The detailing on the sleeves just gives it that delicate edge. I left my umbrella at work and since I've now left for the summer and will be starting somewhere new soon, I won't really be able to go back for it, so I bought a new one. It's a similar style to my old one, except my old had white detailing, so a white frill at the bottom and a white handle and stitching. It was also plain and transparent, whereas this one has a cherry print all over it, it's very cute. I have a feeling it might actually have been from the 915 range as it was all on it's own with more grown up looking ones! Oh well, I like it. The top was £14, the dress £20, and the umbrella £8. Bargainous! So I was very content with my shopping experience, I spent quite little for what I bought which is always a good thing, especially when you get just what you want.

It's not only material things I buy that put a smile on my face, but even smaller things like coming home and making my own capuccino. Yum! A bit of effort but worth it, and tastes great. Another thing that I've come to realise made me happy was my garden at my parent's house. I took it for granted when I lived there because everyone had a garden where I grew up. Living in London, I have a balcony, which I realise even that it somewhat of a luxury in my area. It's not huge but we are making the most of it. I will have to tidy it up a little better and show you pictures. But here is the sunflower I planted a few weeks ago. I can't believe how quick it's grown and it seems like it's reached it's peak now and is ready to flower soon. I was quite surprised how easy it was to grow, I thought I would kill it as I'm not reknown for keeping plantlife alive, but it's thriving really well, and I'm actually quite proud of it!
Anyway, I realise I've gone off at a complete tangent on this post. Well done if you read this far! So I guess I'd like to know...what are the little things that make you smile? They might be beauty related or otherwise, write a comment or your own blog post! xXx

Stereo Rose - How I love thee

I got suckered in to the hype of Stereo Rose after browsing several beauty blogs the day the In The Groove collection was released in the UK. I normally like to wait for swatches and reviews before I buy anything myself. I am quite good and restrained usually, I won't buy something just because everyone says I HAVE to. But honestly when I saw this in the flesh, i HAD to have it! So I went and I bought it the very next day I saw it on beauty blogs. And here is the little beauty. The colour is peachy toned, and not a million miles away from the shade of Too Faced Brightening Blush in Papa Don't Peach. It has that same irridescent quality that I love to a blush, just a slight sheen when the light catches you. I'm not the biggest MSF fan in the world, but I think Stereo Rose is an exception. It doesn't make you look shiny like a lot of MSF's will (I don't actually mind that btw) and the colour pay off is actually very decent. I also own Triple Fusion MSF and the colour pay off was next to non-existant, don't get me wrong I like the colour, but it was more sheen than colour, whereas Stereo Rose is a healthy mix of just the right amount of colour to sheen. This is exactly what I hope and expect from a mineralised or "baked" cosmetic product and it makes me wonder why MAC haven't made them all this consistency.

Here is the sheen I am talking about. I have layered this on more than I probably would to go out in public, but for photographic purposes it really shows how gorgeous the colour is. A perfect peachy pink, with just a dash of bronze which would look stunning if I was a little more tanned! This is a versatile product, MSF's aren't specifically for blusher purposes, there are mineralised blushes also available, but an MSF can be used all over the face in some way. It's easy to achieve a light application with MSF's so if you like to wear blusher as well as bronzer, this would be perfect to dust over your bronzer, just to give you that extra bit of glow.
I know this is now a hard to come by product, but it is the stand out product (by a mile!) of this collection and worth trying to hunt down.
I hope that your shopping experience is more successful than mine...when I bought it, I asked for "a Stereo Rose MSF please", expecting the guy that worked there to know what I was talking about. I felt so geeky afterwards, because apparently he didn't know that MSF was shorthand for mineralise skin finish. I thought "Stereo Rose" would give it away, lol I just expected him to know instantly what I was talking about, because jeez, doesn't everyone know what Stereo Rose is! I guess even the people that work in MAC aren't as obsessed as us beauty junkies!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Barry M Nail Paint in Lemon Ice Cream

I went back to Superdrug for another installment of Barry M about a week or two ago. From time to time Superdrug do offers on Barry M, and again they were offering two Nail Paints for £5. It's hard to resist since there's always more than one colour I want to buy. Still a fan of the pastel shades, I thought Lemon Ice Cream was a perfect summer shade. Yellow is never an easy colour to wear, but the pastel tone makes it a little more wearable and less garish. The picture above is probably a little lighter than real life which is a shame because this is the exact colour I hoped for. Like I've experienced before with Barry M Nail Paints, the final colour pay-off is a little darker than the bottle. I'm not sure why this is, in the picture I'd only used two coats, maybe I needed more? But I thought that would surely make it darker, I'd like to maybe try this over a coat of white polish to make it more of a pastel shade. Confusion aside, this is still a lovely colour, I think Summertime is the perfect excuse to be a bit more experimental with colour, and yellow is one of those instantly lift-you-up kind of colours.

If you're not convinced about yellow finger nails, you can always give it a go on your toes.

Beauty Product of the Month: June - Purity Facial Exfoliator

I've swapped my trusty Lush Angels on Bare Skin to try something new. This is what I've been using for the last couple of months or so, it's another Purity product, and this is their facial exfoliator, deep pore cleanser. I won't delve into what I like about this brand as I've touched on that before, but this is a great daily exfoliator. The key ingredients are ground coconut shell which acts as the exfoliant, coconut oil, almond oil and aloe vera. The oils make this a very nourishing, moisturising cleanser, the texture is almost a bit silky. It might seem a bit harsh to have coconut shell in a facial wash, but it's ground so fine that it's not scratchy like you'd expect, but quite kind to your skin. This is therefore suitable for people with sensitive skin since it is not perfumed either, I can't imagine a reason for this product not agreeing with your skin type.

The cleanser is free from parabens which is good news if you're eager to avoid them like I am a little! I know so many products contain them, but even without them, this product lasts 18 months once opened which makes me wonder why they're really needed.

I'll keep this review short, I just want to say I'm sorry for a lack of posts recently, I realise I'm like a month behind with my products of the month, but I hope to be back now, and want to make more of an effort with the blogging world now it's summer and I have a bit more time on my hands! I have a few posts lined up so look out for them, and thankyou for sticking with my blog while things have been a bit quiet.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Make-up Product of the Month: June - MUA single eyeshadow

Last month I noticed a new make-up stand had popped up in Superdrug. Make-up Academy, or MUA for short is a range where everything is available for £1! I usually steer clear of collections like this, there are already a few similar brands available in Superdrug, one of which is the 2True range, where there are often no testers to the products and since believing everything would be poor quality and therefore false economy, I never bought anything. (if anyone knows any differently about this brand please let me know!). However there was something quite appealing about MUA, it doesn't scream tacky like some other brands and there are testers available for the products so you know exactly what you're getting. OK, I know £1 isn't going to break the bank if you don't like the product, but seriously what's the point in owning something rubbish no matter how cheap it might be. If something is a bargain and actually works though, that's entirely different! That's why I was so pleasantly surprised with MUA. The range features eyeliners, glitter eyeliners, solo eyeshadows, mascaras, powders, blushers and bronzers, and other things I'm sure I've missed out. The first thing I want to point out about MUA is the range of colours. I think they are filling a gap, other cosmetics brands have missed out by stocking a few quite unusual and striking colours. The solo eyeshadows are possibly the stand out product of this brand. There are a lot of shades to choose from, a few neutrals, but mostly quite bright, fun colours, perfect if you want to experiment with a new colour before you invest in a more expensive brand. I went for shade 11 which is called Pearl. Not the most suitable name I don't believe, since it's quite a dark, taupey shade but there you go. This is a gorgeous colour, quite shimmery and very comparable to MAC's Satin Taupe which is a staple in anyone's eyeshadow collection. It's a little darker than Satin Taupe, but makes it more suitable as a crease colour for that reason, and I find the consistency of the shadow really blends well with other eyeshadows. Another plus, which was also a surprise to me was just how pigmented the eyeshadow is.The other swatch in the picture is the glitter eyeliner I bought in shade 7. This is just something fun I picked up, I don't wear something like this very often but I think something like this is great for going out. You could wear it over black eyeliner and your usual eye make-up for quite an intense look, it would perk up any neutral look. Of course it would look great with a purple smokey eye, or alternatively, you could just wear a slick of this with mascara for a less dramatic look. I went over the line on my hand twice to build up the colour you can see. Slightly annoying downside of this product, there's no guarantee where the glitter will end up so it goes on a little patchy and therefore two coats are probably needed. I prefer to do just the one line of eyeliner, but like I say, I wouldn't wear this every day, so it's not a big deal.
So overall, a lot of good things to say about this brand. I can imagine it appealing to a younger target market, with the price and range of colours, (I did spy a neon yellow glitter eyeliner btw!) but I think this is great for all make-up lovers who like to experiment with colour without breaking the bank.
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