Saturday, 16 November 2013

Essence Quattro Eyeshadow- Over The Taupe

So my sister has finally returned from her internship in Spain and kindly brought back this eyeshadow quad for me to try. I had my eye on this whilst I was in Majorca but managed to resist temptation so I'm pleased she got it me.
Aesthetically it's simple but nice looking for want of a much better 'wow' word (the kids have been learning adjectives in class lately!). As the case is clear it'll be easy to spot when I'm searching for it in my rather full makeup bag and it also feels quite solid considering it's price. Anyways, no one really cares too much about packaging, what they want to know is how good are the actual shadows. Sadly this is where I have to say that only two out of the four have impressed me. The two paler shades are a bit pap in that when you swatch them with your finger it looks like they'll be pretty pigmented, but then when you go to transfer it the colour pay off is next to nothing. Even with a primer they refused to stick- it's like they're anti skin! The two darker shades perform much better and are very pigmented with just one swipe. I'm very pleased about this as it was the bottom left shade that drew me to it in the first place.
I'm looking forward to experimenting with the two usable one and I think they'll go nicely with some of the shades in my MUA palettes.

I would still like to try more Essence products out though and I'm a but miffed that they're not being brought out at a Wilkinson's near me!

What do you recommend from Essence?

The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Haircare Set

I should have blogged about this ages ago but better late than never! I was in an outlet store a while ago and bought two of these for £7 which I thought was pretty good for 8 60 ml bottles and two combs! I love having a nosey in the outlet store- I always manage to find a bargain! I don't think I'll be keeping both sets though, one will more than likely be a Christmas gift. The shampoo and conditioner is for coloured hair and contains no silicones, sulphates,colourants or parabens. I've been meaning to try more 'natural' hair products for a while so I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform as I've not tried them yet. They also contain pracaxi oil, bilberry extract and linseed oil. All very good for your hair I'm sure! In any case they smell delicious-really fruity. The bottles also state that they contain UV filters, which I'm guessing helps protect your colour.
I'm nearly at the end of my current shampoo so hopefully I'll be able to write a little review on them soon. Fingers crossed it'll be a positive one!

Have you picked up any bargains from the outlet stores lately?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Creightons Vanilla & Macadamia Cocoon Shower Burst

This is a  recent empty of mine and I have to say I'm a bit sad that it's finished. I got this for less than a quid from Home Bargains (I want to say 80 something pence?) and it's been lovely to use. It's top selling point is definitely how it smells- it's gorgeous! If you love foody, cake-like scents then this will be right up your street. Whilst sweet it's not too cloying and sickly. I can find vanilla scented products overpowering but this one seems to strike the right balance. It also contains macadamia oil and vanilla extract so it's not all artificial which is a big plus point. It lathers really well and I find that when used with a body puff a little goes a long way. The texture is luxurious and creamy and makes a great shaving cream too! Some cheaper shower gels can make my skin feel a bit tight but this one leaves my skin feeling soft and not stripped in the slightest.
If I remember rightly they also do a grapefruit and lime one which would be nice to try as I like fresh, zingy scents too. If you live near a Home Bargains I'd definitely recommend popping in to see if they have these in stock. Otherwise I'm sure they're stocked elsewhere in places like Savers and Bodycare-though I haven't checked.

What's your favourite shower product lately?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

E.L.F 50% Off Sale

My package finally arrived the other day and I couldn't wait to dig in and check out what I'd ordered. It's hard to get a true representation of what products look like on the site so a lot of the time things aren't quite what you expected them to be, good or bad! Thankfully, on the whole, I'm pleased with what I bought. I didn't actually get this in one order as I used a free delivery code for one of them and then about a week later they were doing the 50% off code so obviously I had to splurge again... My make up hoarding is getting a bit shameful now when I consider that most days I don't wear an awful lot of it! Ah well! Anyways here is what I bought the first time.

I got the studio line powder brush as I think my current one is on it's way out- I've had it for years! This feels lovely and soft whilst still being 'solid'- it feels well made. I also got the brush cleaner as I'm very lazy when it comes to washing my brushes so I thought this could be a quicker alternative. My lips are in a awful state at the moment so I'm hope the lip exfoliator will work and let me wear lipsticks again without it looking horrible. This smells gorgeous, like vanilla- even more of an incentive to use it. Lastly I got a Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in the shade Pink Umbrellas. This is the one product I'm a bit disappointed with on initial looks. It's very sheer and not as bright as I was hoping. The swatch below took a lot of going over! Smells nice and minty though! 

When the 50% off code rolled around I then got this lot. 

I've been tempted to get the maximum coverage concealer for a long time now as I do get quite bad blemishes at times. I chose the shade Porcelain but I think it's still a smidge too dark, though I think it will be passable when blended out. It definitely feels very thick and high coverage which is just what I need. Another item that has been on my wish list is the high definition powder. I always powder after using foundations but it can get a little heavy looking so hopefully using this will give me a better, more flawless finish. The powder is extremely fine and silky feeling but very messy! I love blushers so I was very interested in trying out one of the HD blushes. I chose the shade Headliner which is a gorgeous bright pink shade that I think would be flattering on a lot of people. The blush is very creamy and pigmented and a little seems to go a very long way. As well as blushes, I've also been on a foundation mission lately as I just can't seem to find the perfect one. I thought I'd try the mineral foundation in Fair as in the past I've loved the L'Oreal True Match mineral foundation but at £15 it's rather pricey. Hopefully I'll like this just as much but we shall see! Finally I bought the eyebrow kit in the shade Ash as I never bother with my eyebrows and thought this might entice me to have a go at making them more groomed. 

Swatches of the concealer and blush. 

This was very messy when I was opening it! Managed to get it everywhere! 

'Fair' seems to be a good colour match-can't wait to test it our properly! 

Again this seems to be a good colour match for my brows. The powder is very pale-I couldn't get it to show up in a swatch. Hopefully this is a good thing, I'd hate to have brows that were too obvious!

There's been a lot of ELF reviews lately on blogs so I hope you're not too bored of them! I'm looking forward to trying these out properly and giving my opinions later on. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Pure Exfoliating Cleansing Wipes

I know that a lot of people aren't a fan of face wipes, but I'm not ashamed to say that I couldn't do without them! I tend to use these at night as I'm often just too tired to faff about with a cleanser and water. Lazy maybe but this way means I can be done in seconds whilst all snuggled up in bed. I give my face a good clean in the shower in the morning so it's not like they're my sole cleanser. I've tried loads of wipes but these are my current faves as they're really gentle and don't irritate my skin or sting my eyes. They're not flimsy or overly wet or dry either. These are 'exfoliating' wipes but they're not rough at all, they are just more textured than normal ones to help remove dirt and makeup. You'd still need to use a normal exfoliator if they're part of your routine. I get these from Poundland as they're a great bargain at 2 packs for a quid. You get 20 wipes in a pack and they're paraben free and contain vitamin E and witch hazel. All good stuff.
I do think wipes get a bad rap when they possibly shouldn't. Ultimately I think a persons lifestyle and hormones has a bigger effect on skin than any cleanser but different things work for different people- we're not all the same! I can definitely recommend these though and these will stay in my skincare arsenal for the time being!

Are you anti-wipes or do you find them useful like me?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Time to put the laptop down!

I realised the other day that I don't read as much as I used to any more and in the evenings I'm practically attached to my laptop. I really want to break this habit as I used to be such a bookworm- I loved going to the library and perusing the shelves. Now I just get in from work and plonk myself down on the sofa, log on, and stay there all night! With this in mind, last week I chose some library books that I hope will help reignite my love for reading. I spied 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in the new book section and thought I'd give it a go as I've seen it on so many blogs and of course there was the movie. I'm hoping I enjoy it as much as other people have but we'll see! I'm sure many of you know what it's about but if you don't here's the description- 
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. 
The second book I chose was 'Penelope' by Rebecca Harrington. This seemed a good choice at the time but
it hasn't got favourable reviews on Amazon! Ah, well. Again I'll have to see for myself! Here's the book description-
Meet Penelope O'Shaughnessy, Harvard freshman.
Armed with her Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights poster and party conversation modelled on the repartee of Noel Coward, Penelope is ready to take her place on campus. But where are the kindred spirits who will share her passion for Morse code and Tetris? Penelope's roommates, over-achieving Emma and the sullen Lan, seem to have already got to grips with university life, and she is finding it hard to work out if the dashing but elusive Gustav matches up to her hero, Hercule Poirot.
Penelope follows our heroine's progress through her first year among America's elite, as she navigates the mysteries of life, love, inappropriate tutors, marionette operation and how to kiss on both cheeks and avoid disaster.

I can't wait to get stuck into these and I'll keep you updated on what I think about them! 

Do you have any book recommendations? If you've read any of these what did you think? 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Deborah Lippmann Fade To Black & Across The Universe NOTD

When I bought these on Thursday I couldn't wait to try them out and I have to say that I am in love with this combination! It's so fitting for bonfire night- reminds me of fireworks! This is the first time I've ever tried a Deborah Lippmann polish but I wish I had sooner as they are really good. I thought the black polish would be hard to apply, as is often the case with dark colours, but it went on really smoothly. The formula wasn't too thin or thick and dried quickly. I used two coats but I could have gotten away with one I think, especially as I was adding a sparkly topper. I was most excited to try out the gorgeously glittery Across The Universe and it didn't let me down! Against the black it's just stunning- I love the mix of large and fine glitter particles in shades of blue and green. Again glitter polish can be hard to apply as it sometimes requires you to do a fair bit of dabbing in order to get an even distribution but this applied well- I got the result I wanted after two coats, but it still would have looked lovely after one. Even though I had four coats of polish on in total it didn't take long to dry at all, and in any case it was worth it for the fab effect.
I think I'll be sad when this starts to chip but I'm looking forward to trying the other shade I got, Modern Love. I still can't get over the fact that if I had bought these separately on Beauty Bay then it would have cost £47 instead of the £8 I paid at TK Maxx! Most Bargainous!

I also posted a pic of my nails on Twitter-it's a bit closer and clearer too! 

Have you tried any Deborah Lippmann polishes? I'd love some recommendations. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Mini Hol to Torquay!

During the school holidays I usually do playscheme work but this time I decided to take the whole week off and go on a little trip away with my boyfriend to Torquay. We booked it a while ago when there was a deal on for 2 nights at a hotel/b&b for 2 people for just £75. Bargain! There were lots of places to choose from but after extensive Trip Advisor research we plumped for the Crown Lodge Hotel in Torquay. Of course the cost of petrol was going to bump up the cost of our trip but it was still very affordable between us. After 8 weeks of stress and madness at school though I just HAD to get away this half term! I was very willing to cough up!
We definitely made the right decision as the hotel was lovely- the rooms were spotless and very comfortable and breakfast was excellent, particularly the French toast and maple syrup I had on our second day- perfect for me and my sweet tooth! The owners were also very friendly and helpful. Whilst we were there we visited Paignton Zoo as well as Living Coasts. I particularly liked the sweepy otters at Living Coasts-they were so cute all curled up together! We were really lucky that on the whole the weather was good, especially whilst we were trekking around the zoo! We also had some yummy food (I'd recommend Amici in Torquay for some great Italian food as well as The Singing Kettle for an amazing cream tea!) and wasted some money in the arcades. Well you just have to at a seaside resort! On our way back home we also stopped by my uni friends house near Tewkesbury for a quick visit which was lovely. We managed to pack a lot in but there was so much more we could have done if we had stayed longer. I'd never been to Devon before but now I definitely want to go back. 

I miss this bed-it was so comfy! 

Homemade cherry scone- so very gorgeous! 

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, I think! These had lovely long eyelashes- was very jealous! 

Love Giraffes, they are so elegant and interesting looking. 

Me and a goat. He was thrilled, obviously. 

View from Paignton Pier 

We won a whole pound! 


Choppy sea! 

Cutie pie penguins. 

Sweepy otters! 

Look at their little faces, squee! 

I've got a bit of the holiday blues now though- I don't want to go back to school again!  Have you been anywhere nice lately? 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Half Term Shopping Spree! Amie, Deborah Lippmann, The Bodyshop...!

Well I say spree but it really wasn't up to that standard! I was feeling a bit sorry for myself after having a blood test done (I'm a wimp when it comes to needles and I get myself really worked up, I'm just impressed I didn't faint!) so I thought that I would have a wander around town. I don't get to shop in Wrexham as much anymore due to spending most of my time in Oswestry so it was nice to have a little scout about. Firstly I ended up getting quite a lot in Tesco even though I was only meant to be getting some sweets in for Halloween! It was half price on Amie stuff so I ended up getting the purifying face wash and the matte finish moisturiser for £2.47 each. I've read lots of positive reviews so I thought it was worth getting them whilst they were on offer. I have enough face wash and moisturisers so I didn't really need them but they'll keep, I'm not planning on opening them until I've finished some more up. I also got a tub of the Tresemme Keratin Smooth hair mask as that was also on offer for £2.75. I've used this previously and been super impressed with it so I'm glad I've got it again.
Soz for the flash/non flash pics. My camera isn't great lately and I'm too sleepy to keep faffing about!

I also got a bottle of Brazil Nut perfume at The Body Shop for £4.25 as it's being discontinued. I love, love, love this scent and as I'm quickly running out of my body mist it's good I managed to nab this before it goes from shops completely! 

I think my fave purchase of the day has to be the trio of Deborah Lippmann polishes I got in the clearance section of TK Maxx for £8. I nearly passed it by but then I spied the super pretty Across The Universe shade and it just had to be mine. The other shades included are Fade To Black and Modern Love which are also very lovely. Fade To Black will be the perfect partner to Across The Universe! I've never tried a Deborah Lippmann polish before so I'm looking forward to seeing what the quality is like. 

Finally, I picked up a copy of Elle magazine just to get the little Benefit lipgloss freebie. I almost didn't buy this as £4 is steep for a mag I don't read but I just thought sod it and gave in to temptation! I chose the shade Dandelion as it thought it would suit me the most. It's a weeny tube so I might actually be able to finish a lipgloss for once in my life! 

In other news yesterday I got back from a mini holiday with my boyfriend to Torquay. We had a lovely time and I shall be posting about the trip shortly :) 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Helly Kitty Lipstick-Koala Berry

So I finally found these on Thursday in B&M Bargains after seeing them on a couple of blogs- sad as it is I was very excited! They are just so cute! In the end I only chose one lipstick as the other colours didn't really appeal to me. The one I got is called Koala Berry (such a great name!) and is a deep red berry wine coloured shade. Perfect for Autumn/Winter! It applies much lighter than it looks so it is very wearable. I thought it might look a tad too vampy on, in contrast to my pale skin, but it really doesn't as more of the red tones come out. Formula wise it feels very smooth and moisturising. My lips are super dry at the moment but surprisingly it doesn't cling too badly at all. I can't remember exactly how much they were, but I do know it was less than £2 so, for the price, this is an excellent lipstick.

I also got two nail varnishes from the range so expect a post on them shortly!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo & Conditioner

Wow I got this duo ages ago now, think it was last year! I didn't start using them though until fairly recently and as I only wash my hair about twice a week they're lasting me a long time. These were a complete steal as I didn't pay a thing for them!The shampoo is normally £21 and the conditioner is £23 but all I had to do was bring in an empty shampoo bottle (any old one, I think mine was a cheapo Boots own one)  to exchange. I say 'all I had to do' but actually it was my dad who did it for me as I was working at the time and I knew they would run out of them in record time. Bless him, he was up at sparrows fart to go into town for me! The Damage Reverse range of products is aimed at very dry and damaged hair and contains ingredients such as Ojon oil, wheat protein, passiflora oil, buriti oil and murumuru butter. I have no real idea what these are but I'm sure it's all good stuff! My hair definitely needs all the butters and oils it can get at the moment, it's like shredded wheat.  Out of the two I prefer the conditioner as it is really thick (so thick it's a bit of a pain to get out of the bottle!) and nourishing. I nearly took this away on holiday with me but then didn't' as it was taking too long to decant into the travel bottle! I was kicking myself in the end though- my sun frazzled hair desperately needed a hardcore conditioner! The shampoo is alright, again it is thick and luxurious in texture and lathers well but it hasn't given me amazing results. I've gotten better results from much cheaper shampoos so whilst this has been nice to try it's not something I would repurchase. It definitely works a bit better in conjunction with the conditioner but there is no way I am paying £44 for both!
Apologies for the glare, had to use flash as it's been so dark and miserable lately.

Did you take advantage of this offer? Have you been impressed by any higher end haircare or do you think the cheaper brands are better? 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Revlon Nail Enamel- Really Rosy

I bought this polish last week from Poundland as I surprisingly don't have any pinks in my collection that look quite like this one. It's a gorgeous dark dusky pink shade that I am in love with! I think it's quite season appropriate in that it's a bright but warm shade- a sort of 'cosy colour' if that make sense! No application problems to report apart from accidentally dropping it on the floor- cue my peeved off boyfriend scrubbing the carpet with window cleaner (Google says) in the hope of getting it out before it set. Seemed to work! Carpet drama aside, it took the standard two coats and dried relatively fast. Sometimes too quickly thinking about it, as on a few nails it did drag a bit on the second coat, but that was down to me not having enough polish on the brush I reckon. Overall I'm so glad I got this little bargain. If you like your pink shades I'd definitely recommend you have a hunt in your local Poundland for it! 

Got any nail polish bargains yourself lately? 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Roma Rant

Well not really a rant but Romanian gypsies have been very prominent in the news lately and are generally getting some very bad press. Obviously I can't defend the ones who actually have been engaging in illegal activities, but they only represent a small percentage of the Roma population. I have been to Romania twice now to work with the gypsy children in the village of Urvind, near Oradea. Even in there own country, where they have lived for hundred of years, they are victims of discrimination and have not been able to integrate. As a result there are extremely high levels of poverty, unemployment and poor education. Many are illiterate and it is estimated that 1 in 10 cannot read or write. Though the living conditions have improved for the gypsy village I visited, I also went to another village where they are only just beginning to get help, here the living conditions were overcrowded and squalid. Families were packed into tiny spaces and there was rubbish and human/animal waste everywhere.  Birth rates are high within the Roma community so families are large and often times the parents are very young themselves. Education as a result isn't a high priority though many of the children would love to go to school and learn. During my time there last year we worked in partnership with the village school and carried out some educational activities with them. I saw lots of gypsy children who showed great potential and a real eagerness to learn who, sadly, will more than likely not be able to reach their fullest potential. Education programmes are in place for the Urvind gypsy children but it is never going to compare to what the other children are getting, especially when in some instances parents try to keep the children at home to help with the chores. One of the most horrific sights I saw in Romania was a girl getting repeatedly hit across the face by her mum for being at school and not home. The poor girl was dragged away in tears when just minutes earlier she had been having fun and enjoying herself. A real rarity, she always looked so sad. The scene really broke my heart and it still upsets me to think about it now. Thankfully Teams4U, the organisation who have been helping the Urvind gypsies, have reported that the majority of children are now attending the state funded government school and are being able to graduate high school. A pre-school programme and after school club have greatly helped the children on their way but many gypsy communities do not have this support. What I am basically getting at is that education is the best way out of poverty and without the right opportunities then they will continue to be unemployed and have to cope in the only way they can which, ultimately, is by illegal means for many. Without the opportunities how can they escape a lifestyle which to them is the norm? Of course this problem is never going to be eradicated, as in every ethnic group there are always going to be criminals, but what I'm hoping to get across is that if everyone keeps pushing the Roma away then surely the problems will only get worse. I understand there are arguments for and against every situation but this is just how I feel.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bit of a FOTD Fail

I thought I would do a FOTD today as I don't tend to do them. But then the lighting was crappy and my camera is perpetually crappy and so the end result is not very useful in regards to seeing what the products actually look like on. I've decided to stick it up regardless as frankly I've got lots of cleaning to do and this is helping me put it off just a little bit longer!  :-p
As I've said you can't tell what I'm wearing but I'll list them anyways!
Witch primer (best primer I've used yet!)
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in 51
MUA cream blusher in Blossom
MUA eyeshadows in Ghost (Smokin' palette) and Reveal (Undress Me Too palette)
Max Factor Wild Mega Volume mascara

I'm missing the slight tan I had in the summer so much! I look too pale :( I have got a bit of a cold again though so I think that is a contributing factor. The star product here is definitely the cream blush. It applies so well with my stipple brush and looks really natural. Such a bargain too!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

It's Nearly Half Term And I'm Getting Grumpy Shopping

Ok so I got a bogey on me today. It wasn't mine.
The joys of working with little kids... but hey! Just 5 more school days then I get a weeks break and a little trip to Devon with my boyfriend. Nice.

So yeah, when I left school today I was feeling a little frazzled and in need of a Poundland browse. Here's what I got, minus the chocolate orange bars!

So how cute are these Hello Kitty fluffy socks?! Well cute if you like Hello Kitty of course! These are lovely and soft and perfect for cosy nights in. Which is every night for me really, I'm such a granny. 
I eyed up this Revlon polish last weekend and managed to resist it but today I had zero willpower! The shade is 'Really Rosy' and is a gorgeous mid toned dusky sort of pink. I don't think I have anything like this in my vast collection! 
Next up I got a can of got2b rockin' it dry shampoo as I go through loads of the stuff. Anything that saves time in the mornings is a boon (love that word). 
Yes, I have bought 2 packets of the evil wipes but I actually find them really useful when I'm tired, and as of yet my face hasn't fallen off as a result of using them. 

I'm so looking forward to the weekend now and I'm not even doing anything! 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fragrance Direct Order

I placed a Fragrance Direct order last week after a particularly stressful day at work to cheer me up a little bit-can't beat a bit of retail therapy after all! Everything I got was chosen on a whim, as is often the case when I'm comfort shopping! I got the package a couple of days ago now so I thought I'd share what I bought. More detailed reviews of the individual items should hopefully follow on. 

Firstly I got a 250 ml tube of Osmo Intensive Deep Repair hair mask as I love using hair treatments to try and get my hair softer and sleeker. The packaging says its formulated for 'over stressed, heat traumatised and chemically abused hair' Wow, strong words there. Anyways, this was £2.95.

Next up is Laidbare For Richer, For Porer Pore minimiser facial masque. This is for oily skin and contains no petrochemicals, sulphates,parabens, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours, TEA,DEA, glycols and is not tested on animals. What it does contain is kaolin clay, Japanese seaweed extract, shea butter, liquorice and rose water along many other ingredients of course! I got this as I have recently ran out of Soap & Glory's The Fab Pore mask and thought this might be a good, and cheaper, alternative. We shall see! Oh and it's |£2.99 for 50ml. 

I've been loving brown polish lately, particularly OPI's You Don't Know Jacques!, so I was on the hunt for some similar shades.  Here we have a Revlon Top Speed nail colour in Espresso (99p) and a  Astor Lacque Deluxe polish in Taupe (75p). Bargains! The Revlon one has some shimmer running through it whilst the Astor one is a cream finish. I'm intrigued most by this one as I have never tried any products from the brand. I hope I like it as it was so cheap! 

I also got a Manhattan Soft Mat Lip Cream in the creative shade name 31S. This is more orangey than I would have liked but at 99p I can't really grumble. I'm sure I can make it work if I apply it lightly enough. 

I can't wait to try all this out now! 
Got yourself any good bargains lately?