Friday, 27 August 2010

NOTD Matte Barry M Shocking Pink

Whenever I look at Barry M, I always gravitate to the shades that are probably the most obscure and unusual, the purples, the blues, the greens...I overlook the more normal colours. I'm sure I could find a hot pink shade like this by most cosmetic brands. Truth be told though, there aren't many brands of nail polish that please me as much as Barry M in terms of quality and value for money. It's the most long lasting nail polish I've tried and that's comparing it with brands such as OPI and YSL, and this is cheap as chips, almost. So rather than reserving Barry M for times when I want to pick up a new, outlandish shade, I'm going to make a point of picking up more every day, easy to find colours, so this one, Shocking Pink, was a start. It's not neon and nothing you haven't seen before, just a good quality hot pink shade. I've noticed a lot of hype around matte shades lately and realise they are making a bit of a comeback. I wasn't about to go out and buy a load of matte shades, instead I found this rather amazing, (well it amazes me!) product from Rimmel called Matte Finish, Mattifying Topcoat. Does exactly what it says, and worked even better than I expected it to. I thought it might need a couple of layers to become completely matte, or that it might somehow change the colour I'd already painted, but it did neither of these. It's literally just a quick one coat paint job and it dries incredibly quick. It turns even a very glossy finish like Barry M's Shocking Pink into a completely matte finish.It's always a good idea to use a topcoat to make your polish last longer, so now I can use this in place of my normal topcoat and get even longer wear out of my nails with a matte finish. I'm very impressed so far, I've actually been wearing this for about 4 or 5 days now, and there is only signs of chipping on the corner of a few nails. I'm going to redo them today, because I feel like a change, but I could get away with probably another couple of days if I wanted.

I like that this topcoat is a true matte finish aswell, it doesn't have that semi-matte, more of a satin finish, it's a pretty straight, flat matte!

So for around £4.95 this is a great value nail polish if you want to update your nail look. Definitely more purse-friendly than buying a whole bunch of new matte shades which you probably won't get to finish the bottle of, and you have the added bonus of being able to transform any shade you own.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Cornwall August 2010

Last week I went to Cornwall for a couple of nights. I braved the six-hour drive on the way down there, and an even longer drive on the way back. We decided to take the "scenic" route which inevitably means the longer route. I hate motorways though, and some of the countryside we drove through was very beautiful so it was worth it. We took the road that passes Stonehenge which I'd never seen before. It was a bit surreal seeing it this close, it's somewhere I associate with having a lot of mystique about it, and attract a lot of tourists, but it was strange how isolated it is from anywhere else, it just kind of pops up in a field. Here's one of the shots I managed to take from the car as we drove by.
Once we arrived in Cornwall and checked into the B&B we went to the harbour for lunch. It was so sweet and idyllic, and obviously a lot of other people thought so too, it's so busy this time of year.After lunch, we decided to head to the beach to escape the crowds, afterall we'd left for a break from the chaos of the city. This was so not how I remembered British beaches to be, white sand, and clean turquoise sea, so beautiful. It wasn't very hot whilst we were there, in the low 20 degrees, so the beaches were pretty quiet. Next day we decided to go for a walk along the coast. The weather really wasn't typical of summer so we gave up the hope of having a beach day and soaked up the scenic coastal walk instead.
Near to where we parked, there were signs for the walk which took us up a steep slope to the cliff edge, then in the middle of the grass there was this giant hole which the picture doesn't really give you much of an idea of just how giant and deep it was. I think it was caused by the waves crashing underneath and causing a collapsed cave.
I saw corn and wall! Back to the start of our walk near the beach where we ate lunch that day, the houses in the background are so pretty.

So it wasn't quite the same as a summer vacation abroad, and if the weather had have been sunny it would have made it a million times better, but I still had fun and was reminded by the beautiful sites we have without leaving our shores.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

New Lush Bath Ballistics Review

I waited until I tried out all of the new bath ballistics before reviewing any of them. Supposedly it's still summertime, so I thought it would be a while before I used up all of these, but I really feel like summer has passed us by here in the UK, after only visiting us for briefly, oh I don't know 3 weeks or so! Colder weather definitely calls for more baths rather than showers, and I've really enjoyed trying out these new installments from Lush.

Top right of the picture is Mrs. Whippy. Love this. Love the name, loved everything about this one. It's a lot creamier/frothier than any Lush bath ballistic experience I've had. Most have been fruity and colourful, but this one left the bath water very white and milky. It's made with soya milk powder and it's more pleasant than it sounds I promise! I imagine a milk bath sounds pretty gross to a lot of people, but it's actually really moisturising and the scent of the bath ballistic also features a strong presence of "tonka" which I'd never heard of until I checked out the Lush site. Not sure what it smells of?... think stawberries.

Dragon's Egg was the ballistic I was most excited to try. I'd seen a demo of this one in the shop in Covent garden, it was dropped into a little bowl and fizzed and hissed brilliantly. Have to say, a little disappointing once dropped into a bath full of water, the fizz spectacle wasn't as intense, but it was still more impressive than the older bath ballistics that just tend to melt innocently away.
This is supposed to resemble...and I'm quoting the website here, "a baby dragon breathing fire as it hatches into the world". It's things like that, that are the reason I love Lush! It didn't quite look that way, but it was still pretty. I love the way the orange kind of fizzed out like a catherine wheel without me having to make it go that way, and along with the orange, lots of glittery bits were dispersed all around the bath. It was pretty, relaxing and refreshing!

Twilight: This one fizzed similarly to Dragon's Egg. It seemed to be a bath ballistic in two parts. Once the main part had fizzed a while, a new part seemed to break off and it was like having two bath bombs in there. It made a nice bathing experience, a pink and blue bath ballistic, both releasing lots of glitter in to the bath, and mixing together to make an unusual shade of violet bath water, which the glitter made seem even more alluring. Out of the four ballistics, this one was the most relaxing scent, it also features tonka, as well as lavendar, which we all know is famous for it's relaxing properties and ability to bring calm. Interestingly, Twilight also contains Ovaltine, which I only know as the nasty smelling drink people used to drink to help them sleep. Somehow it works. One thing I will say with Twilight and Dragon's Egg, is "Beware Glitter". Serious glitteriness faces you when you get out of this bath, so you'll need a good hose down, that's all.

Finally Fizzbanger. I didn't see this coming, but this is one of my absolute favourite bath ballistics/melts/anything I've put in my bath water. (Sakura holds top spot though.) It's an invigorating scent, relaxing yet uplifting at the same time. It's a citrusey scent, but there's also heavy undertones of cinnamon and a little hint of apple. I love the way the water changes colour with this one, yellow, to blue, finally green, and it takes so long to fizz away. Even when the ballistic appears to have all dissolved, there's still lots of crackling sounds. That's why this really reminds me of late autumn and Bonfire Night, and so I will be buying a few more of these once summer has ended. I love how smells remind you of certain things, and this really reminds me of freezing my ass off whilst watching impressive fireworks displays. It's also exactly the kind of smell I love, relaxing but not too heady that it's going to send you to sleep in the bath, invigorating enough to clear your head. It wakes up your mind but relaxes your body, perfect!

It feels ages since I last blogged, I've been away in Cornwall as I tweeted about, I will post a few pictures of this beautiful part of the world soon.


Friday, 13 August 2010

Tag! 10 Things I Love.

I was tagged by Laura to do this 10 things I love post, and since I never do these, I really thought it was high time I did. This is a nice one anyway, and easy to think of 10 things I love.
Rules are as follows.

1. Post who gave you this award.

2. State 10 things that you love.

3. Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment.

So firstly, it goes without saying, the people in my life are the most loved things, so maybe cheating a little, I'd like to put my friends, family and boyfriend at number 1.2. Blogging/ writing in general. When I was 5 years old I was asked what I wanted to do when I was older.I remember saying I wanted to be a writer along with the job actually do for a living. I'm glad to say all these years on, I'm still as passionate with both.
3. Guitar. I still can't play mine, but one day it will come. I enjoy learning which is the important part.

4. TEA! All varieties, but green is probably my favourite.
5. Chocolate, because I don't actually know where I'd be without it.
6. The sunshine. I'm so dependent on a bit of sun. I think I could quite happily live somewhere that had permanent sunshine, how can you not smile when the sun is shining?
7. Make-up. Blatantly.
8. Puppies/dogs. Best animal ever. My life will not be complete without one. I'd love a bichon frise/schitzu cross, they're adorable, or maybe a larger dog like a border collie or alsatian. I love cute, small dogs, but I'd like a dog with some intelligence too! I know it's not the right time in my life to get one yet though, but soon I hope.

9. Travelling. There's so many places in the world I want to visit, and so many places I've been that I've loved. I loved visiting Montreal and want to explore Canada a lot more, North America in general, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, anywhere!
10. Creativity. A bit broad I know, but I love designing, making things, whether it be song lyrics, a drawing, clothing, I love creating.

So I tag:


Beauty Blog of a Giddy Princess



Alice in a New Wonderland

Lily loves Lola

Miss Kei Kei

Dance as if no-one's watching

Beauty Love

Viviana does make-up

or anyone else that wants to do it!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

MAC Dazzle Lipstick Win-Win

I knew I was going to like the Dazzle lipsticks. It was actually Tali's post that drew my attention to the beauty of these. I avoided the Dazzleglass's with the chunky glitter in, purely because it looked too chunky. Admittedly these lipsticks are a little scary to look at, and even to swatch but they are surprisingly very nice and very wearable on the lips.

I've tried to take a number of pictures here in different lights and different settings to give you an idea of the colour of this lipstick, and to see how different it looks in different lights. It proved really difficult to capture the true colour which is one of the things I like most about these lipsticks, they are so eye-catching and appear a different colour in different light. Win-Win is a pink shade with gold glitter. I'd say it's one of the least intimidating colours to choose from and definitely more "me" than the others. Having said that, when you swatch the lipsticks, you'll see they're actually not as bold as the colour in the tube. It's almost like the light reflecting off the glitter takes the emphasis off the colour.

Here's a picture with and without flash on my lips. I'm glad to say these lipsticks have great staying power. They've survived a few drinks and a meal without my lips looking like one hot glitter mess. The colour is still visible after a few hours although when the colour does start to fade, the glitter seems to linger a while longer. I actually don't mind it though, it doesn't look as you would expect with a glitter lipstick, at least in my experience, the glitter tends to stay put, I can see me having issues trying to remove it without rubbing glitter over my face, but during normal wear throughout the day, it's stayed just on my lips.
I think if you want to wear this in the day it's perfectly suitable, keeping your eyes simple, but might be best kept fresh by applying plain/clear lip balm over the top every couple of hours, rather than just adding to the glitteriness with another coat of the lipstick. It's definitely wearable during daylight though, I mean it's glittery and it draws a little attention but it's not so in-your-face as other glitter lipsticks I've seen or wearing a classic red lip during the day. You could say it's a sophisticated glitter lipstick if such a thing exists.
I am looking forward to wearing this on a night out though, when glitter is more socially acceptable and less risque. I think this will complete a grey smokey eye shadow look.
I also love that these are lipstick you can wear without worrying about priming before or coating your lips with a gloss afterwards. The glitter speaks for itself really, I wouldn't say you'd want to wear this with dry lips but it's not gonna dry out your lips anymore like you would probably expect. It's actually quite moisturising, and you don't notice the glitter at all. They're not obvious chunks that you can physically feel, yet they're obviously pretty visible and you don't need a gloss to finish this look, it looks pretty finished and polished by itself.
Now I said I avoided the Dazzleglasses, especially those recent chunky glitter ones, BUT, I would like to see the result of these topped with a Dazzleglass, just for interest.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Maybelline Colour Sensational lipsticks

I was first introduced to these wonderful lipsticks when I won Ambre Rose on a blog competition (I love fellow bloggers!). Ambre Rose is in the pink family of these lipsticks and the other week I was browsing Superdrug on The Strand (probably my favourite Superdrug, it's so well stocked and organised) and Maybelline had 3 for 2 on certain products.

Impressed the first time round with Colour Sensational, I knew I could trust the quality of these and there were so many great shades to choose from. I like how the shades are organised into colour families, it makes it a little easier choosing the right colour for you. Nothing from the Plums appealed to me, I don't know if plum would suit me, I've just always avoided it so I guess I'll never find out. So I got 3 from the remaining 3 families, Pearl, Brown, and Red.

Red is again a colour I struggle with, I think it's the fear factor that stops me reaching for red lipsticks. Amongst the red family, there were a few coral numbers which is a colour I adore. I found the perfect lipstick to wear under Revlon's Coral Reef lipgloss. It's almost an exact match, unfortunately the pictures below don't show the vibrancy. It's called Coral Pop (number 420) a peachy/red tone that's quite bold and so best paired with a toned down eyeshadow look. I think you could still go quite bold on your cheeks though and pair this with a coral blusher like MAC's Peach or a nice bronzer. The consistency of this one is a little more drying than the others, I would recommend exfoliating your lips before applying as even the tiniest amount of dry skin seems magnified by this. Having said that, the pigmentation is fantastic, as is how long this lipstick lasts, I'd say a good few hours and because it's quite a matte finish, doesn't rub off on your glass when you drink. Applied well, it looks great.

Next we have Rose Pearl (822) from not surpringly the Pearl family. These shades were released later than the other colour families and are probably the most appealing to me. I think these are the hardest colours to find as I haven't found them in all the Superdrugs I visit. Rose Pearl is this gorgeous shimmery shade. It looks like a nude in the tube, but with a very fine bluey silver shimmer to it which is more apparent when applied. Think crushed pearls on your lips! I think nude fans will love this shade, I wear it mostly during the day time but this would look so glamourous with a smoky eye instead of a classic plain nude lipstick.
And finally, Velvet Beige (630) from the Browns family. I think this might be my favourite of the three I bought because I took a bit of a risk with it and found a colour that I never go near, but actually really love and think I will reach for this the most. I happen to be a big fan of browns but I usually go for the nudey browns, for example my favourite shade is MAC's High Tea. This is still a nudey brown but somewhat darker than I've tried before.
I love darker colours that suit my skin tone because I find them more long lasting than lighter shades. My lips are really pigmented too so I need quite a strong colour that's just as pigmented to show up on my lips. Velvet Beige leaves my lips with this wine stained colour that really warms my entire face up. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, this is also a lipstick that makes me feel "sophisticated" and "grown-up"! I guess it's a shade I associate with older women than myself, but I think if something looks right on you, or more to the point, feels right on you, you should wear it, over something you feel you should be wearing for your age. I love the creamy texture of Velvet Beige, (it's funny how all the Colour Sensational lipsticks feel like they have different consistencies, yet they still have that same marzipan smell!) it's moisturising without being overly glossy. This will definitely be my most used lipstick over Autumn/Winter.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lush Loot, I went Bath Ballistic

As the title suggests, I did go on a bit of a jolly with the new bath ballistics. I only really wanted my AOBS face wash and to trade in 5 washed black pots for a free face mask, but then I saw all the new bath ballistics. There was quite a crowd in there at the time so I couldn't really see anything properly so I figured try them all out and decide which one's best at home! I've never really had a bad experience with Lush bath ballistics anyway.

So from top right going clockwise, we have Dragon's Egg, Twilight, Mrs. Whippy and Fizzbanger. Twilight had practically sold out at the Lush in Covent Garden, I got the second to last Twilight left! Clever marketing by Lush on their part, I'm not expecting much from this one, it seems like it's a lavendar scented, relaxing bath bomb, nothing too out of the ordinary but it's seen a surge in popularity just as it's name sake film.

I'm looking forward to trying all of these ballistics out, I will post a review separately, the one I'm most looking forward to trying is the Dragon's Egg as the lasy was demonstrating the product in the store, it did a colour changing, noise making spectacle I can't wait to see in my own bath-tub! I do love Lush for making bath-time fun! Above are the more essential products I bought, AOBS which I have previously reviewed, Brazened Honey face mask which was a freebie after trading in 5 old pots. Again it was difficult navigating my way around the store so I just grabbed the one nearest/most appealing to me, which happened to be this. I liked the look and the name of it, but I should've paid a bit more attention because this is actually more suitable for dry skin which I don't have. There are a few others that would certainly be more appropriate for my combination skin, I'm thinking more along the lines of Cosmetic Warrior to try out as I've tried Sacred Truth before. This one actually smells how I remember Sacred Truth to smell, which made me think I'd picked up a wrongly labelled mask. I don't know, but it just doesn't smell anything like honey to me. It does have exfoliating properties in it which I think is good for any skin from time to time and I think all of Lush face masks will leave you feeling pampered and that's what it's all about for me.

Also in the picture is Summer Pudding soap which I threw in as a last minute whim because it was love at first sniff! Absolutely amazing. It has glacier cherries in it and I know everyone says this about Lush, but this soap really does smell good enough to eat. Cherries are my favourite fruit so that's a bonus. I love how in the shop it actually looked like a big summer fruit pudding as well, I needed me a slice! It looks and makes my bathroom smell great and is very kind to my skin. I'd used Sea Vegetable before this which was a lovely, fresh smelling soap but somewhat drying, so I'm pleased this one doesn't dry my skin out.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Getting crafty

I have always had a thing for crafts, sewing and making things from fabric. I sometimes wish I had have gone down that route with my career, but in a way it's probably best I didn't as it's now just a hobby and something I can enjoy doing. I love being creative and decided as it's my birthday month this month, I would get a sewing machine and get creating! I'm starting off quite simple, my first project will be making cushion covers! I have plain white bed linen (it was really difficult to find anything for Superking size :s), and cream/taupe cushions. The cushions suited the old bed, but now they just look a bit drab, so I need a colour injection. I'm not really one for matchy matchy, so I thought I'd just find some fabrics I like and not bother if they clash. On plain white it doesn't look too overboard, they are only cushions after all. I looked online for fabric, mostly on ebay, and there are so many beautiful fabrics on there, but a little overpriced when you add on shipping. I wanted to go into an actual shop so I could see the fabric for myself. That's where I found out about a shop in Clapham called Fabrics Galore. Oh. My. God. I'm so glad I went over there. It's like fabric heaven! I read some reviews online and people were saying that they had a great variety of fabrics, some designer, at knock down prices. They specialise in end of line fabrics so I guess that's how they're able to keep their prices low. Amongst their lines, they had a lot of Liberty, Alexander Henry and Paul Smith fabrics. It was hard to pick out material for my three cushions but I'm happy with what I found in there. I got these three, along with a zip for each and it came to around £19. I bought the multi-coloured pins separately off ebay. I think that's quite reasonable as the blue skull one is Alexander Henry, and the other two feel like good quality cotton. The flower one is a very thick good quality cotton, it looks like you could cover your sofa with this. There were a lot of different patterns available in this range, and many of them were quite retro looking, reminiscent of Cath Kidston.
This one was the most expensive at I think £9 a metre, but the detailing is just gorgeous. I love the flower detailing on the skulls, who knew a skull could look so pretty?! And it has this hint of gold painted over some of the lines. It's pretty stunning. I'm thinking of going back for more and making a tote bag out of this or something similar. So now I have everything I need to make my cushions! I can't wait to start on them, and I will post pictures when they're finished.

I've also been getting creative with old bangles, and covering them with fabrics that I like. I'm thinking of making these to sell,maybe sewing buttons on them. I think I'm going to sell this one as it is. I hope no-one minds posts like this too much, I know it's going off the beauty theme a little.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Weekend on the Thames

This weekend I went with my boyfriend to do a spot of rowing! We tried to do it a few weekends back when it was super hot, but because the weather was so beautiful, a lot of other people had got the same idea and so if we wanted to do it, it would mean queueing for an age. I'm glad we waited and went back this weekend because we were able to hop straight on a rowing boat.
My boyfriend seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly, and it was so relaxing and peaceful being rowed along the river. I decided I wanted in on the rowing action so I took over. I found out it wasn't as easy as it looked and I wasn't able to navigate the rowing boat too well. I ended up going in to the river bank.I eventually got the hang of it though and was able to row us in a straight-ish line. We saw a few other people out on the river, including a boat full of people dressed up as Jack Sparrow. This was easily £5 for the hour very well spent!

(Lace sleeve detail top and Baxter Jeans from Topshop, necklace from Accessorize, bangle from Primark.)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Revlon 3 for 2

I picked up three items by Revlon recently, they are still currently on an offer of 3 for 2 which is always worth taking advantage of. I have to say Revlon is not a brand I spend a lot of time looking at, I've tried a few of their products but always find the choice of colours a little uninspiring and a little overpriced for what they are. Having said that, I think recently they've released much more appealing products, in more fashionable colours so I felt compelled to give them another chance. I'm glad to say I've not been disappointed. I purchased Coral Reef lipgloss which is a gorgeous vibrant coral colour. It was difficult to get an accurate photograph of the gloss, I feel like it's considerably brighter than this in real life. I like the way this product applies, although if you have dry lips you will really need to use a lip balm first as I've noticed the colour concentrates more in the cracks, and I didn't really notice any cracks before I put this on! I don't get this with any other lip gloss I own, but I think that's because this is more pigmented than other glosses. I'd say it's pigmented enough to wear on its own but I recently purchased a coral lipstick I could pair this with which I think will give a great pop of coral. I'd probably wear this as more of a statement lip with a neutral eye. Coral isn't as bright and noticeable as a hot pink or classic red lip, but it's still quite a statement. I love how coral really brightens your face up, and warms your complexion, I think it's a colour that would suit everyone, and is just so perfect for summer.
So much so...I obviously had to buy Tropical Temptation too! The gloss actually looks the same shade as this in the tube but obviously it didn't turn out that bright. This is the perfect shade of coral nail varnish I have ever seen. It's verging on neon in some lights, but not enough to look silly. It's just a beautiful, vivid colour that will perk your fingers and toes up, and make you look summery, with or without a tan. I'm also super impressed at the quality of Revlon nail polishes as this is my first experience of them. I used three coats in the picture above, I had two coats on for about 2-3 days, then decided to top it up with a third coat. It wasn't majorly streaky, but I just felt a third coat would show it's true colour as I hadn't applied my first two coats very liberally. I was surprised that two coats lasted as long as they did, a third should mean I get another couple of days out of them.

So the freebie, was this: the infamous Minted. Why oh why did I wait til now to buy?! I love it! I bought it because I had on outfit I wanted my nails to match with that was a mint green colour, The top was lighter than this shade, but this was the closest I could find, and it complimented it really nicely. I had wanted Barry M's mint green for a while, which is a little darker than this, but this is far nicer in my opinion and would suit a lot more people's skin tones. It's a quirky colour, but the fact that it's still quite light makes it more wearable and not too "out-there! It's a lovely creamy consistency, equally as long lasting as Tropical Temptation, and the picture below is with two coats applied.

The lipgloss is priced at just under £7 I believe, and the nail polishes just over £6, I can't remember the exact amount. The nail polishes may seem overpriced for a drugstore brand, but I actually think it's not too bad since they are a good sized bottle. They are worth buying if there is a specific colour you really like, or use a lot of.
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