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Friday, 28 February 2014

February Empties

February has been a busy month for me, which unfortunately has left my blog a little bit neglected; I had a whole list of posts planned but just haven't had the time to sit down and get them written up! Along with starting my new job at the end of last month, we also had problems with our internet connection because of the storms mid-month, and we had the little ones for ten days over half term which kept us nicely busy with trips to the swimming pool and the playground. I'm hoping things will settle down a little moving into March and I'll be able to get back to a proper, regular blogging schedule. In the meantime, here are the products I've used up in February!
Febuary Empties
Feb Empties 2
Naked Soft Touch Starflower Body Wash I love this stuff, I rave about it pretty much every month; it smells gorgeous and doesn't dry my skin out, instead leaving it soft and gently cleaned. I have two or three bottles of this in my stash currently as I stocked up whilst it was half price in Boots!
Repurchase? Yes!
Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo I don't think a month passes without a trusty can of Batiste featuring in my Empties. I actually have completely run out now so I'm popping into Superdrug on my way to work today to stock up as I can't be without it!
Repurchase? Yes.
Impulse True Love Body Spray Another can of Impulse which I've had for longer than I care to think about; I wasn't particularly keen on the fragrance of this one as it was too floral for my liking. Nonetheless, I've used it up now!
Repurchase? No.
The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo & Conditioner Duo (x2) I got these four mini bottles in a set in the January sales and was really excited to try them. Whilst they smelt beautiful, they sadly didn't do much for me, with the shampoo not cleaning my hair/scalp to my liking, and the conditioner not being rich enough for my dry ends. Sadly, these just weren't for me!
Repurchase? No.
Feb Empties 1
Collection Longer Lash Lengthening Mascara This worked pretty well for me and is definitely a good budget choice, as well as being easy to remove with eye make-up remover or standard cleanser, but I still prefer my beloved Soap & Glory Thick & Fast mascara for the length and volume it gives.
Repurchase? Probably not.
Laidbare Working 9 to 5 Anti-Ageing Hydration Cream I really enjoyed using this moisturiser, it hydrated my oily skin well without making it sticky or greasy, which is exactly what I'm after in a moisturiser. I also liked that the ingredients list is free of nasties such as parabens and petroleum-based ingredients. I've got a few sample-sized moisturisers to use before I make another day cream purchase, but this is definitely on my list of potentials.
Repurchase? Maybe.
Superdrug Acetone Nail Polish Remover I deliberately chose the acetone version when buying this nail polish remover, to see if it made the removal of glitter polish any easier; I honestly didn't notice a difference, but did find that it dried out my cuticles, so in future I'll be sticking to the more conditioning, acetone-free versions.
Repurchase? No.
Mitchum Advanced Control 48 Hour Cream Deodorant This is the only deodorant I buy as it's the only one I've found to be effective for me; I don't rely on it lasting 48 hours as I reapply daily, but it does the job, has a pleasant scent, and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, which make it pretty much perfect in my book.
Repurchase? Already have.
The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter This is one of my favourite body butter scents and I was pretty excited to pick this up just before Christmas (it's a limited edition festive scent). Like all the Body Shop body butters, I found this moisturised my skin well and left a beautiful scent behind.
Repurchase? Not currently available, but if the range is re-released this year, I'll definitely pick a couple up!
Boots Smooth Care Shave Gel This did the job just fine for me, giving a lovely lather with which to shave my legs and underarms. I only bought the Boots version because it was on offer; it's now full price again which makes it more expensive than picking up Gillette from Body Care, so that's what I'll be doing until there's another offer!
Repurchase? Not at the moment.
So, those are my Empties from February! What have you used up this month? Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any moisturiser recommendations for oily skin?


Saturday, 22 February 2014

#NailArtWeeklyProject 4: Birth Month

Wow, the last week has flown by with not a single post on my blog - sorry guys! This has basically been a combination of our Internet going down in the storms last week, and then having the little ones for half term this week - I've barely had time to shower, never mind think about blogging! Nevertheless, I'm back now, with my post for week four of Danni's #NailArtWeeklyProject; this week the theme is Birth Month. I was born in September and not much happens in September, so I decided to work with my birth stone, which is a Sapphire. I've not done any leopard print nail art in aaages and it's one of my favourites, so I decided to do that! I started with two coats on Barry M 'Blueberry' from the Gelly Hi-Shine range, with three coats of Born Pretty's Holo Polish in shade 8 on my ring and index fingers. I then dotted the Born Pretty polish randomly onto my other three nails, before roughly outlining the splodges with my black Barry M Nail Art Pen. I then called my Gran whilst I waited for the polish to dry (that woman can talk - I can see where I get it from!) before applying a coat of Jacava London's top coat for a lovely glossy finish. February weather isn't the best for capturing holo polish in its true beauty, but we did have a bit of sun this morning so hopefully these photos are halfway decent. The first is in natural light, and the others are in direct sunlight.
#NailArtWeeklyProject Birth Month
NOTD #NailArtWeeklyProject
#NailArtWeeklyProject NOTD Birth Month
#NailArtWeeklyProject September
I'm actually really happy with how this turned out, I love the holo leopard spots! This is definitely my favourite mani from the #NailArtWeeklyProject so far. What do you think? What would you pick for nail art inspired by your birth month? Let me know if you've posted for this week's theme!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

#NailArtWeeklyProject 3: Valentine's Day

Week Three of the #NailArtWeeklyProject organised by Danni is themed on Valentine's Day, which is of course tomorrow! I've sadly been quite pushed for time this week what with work and training courses, so I went with a simple heart design. Over a base of OPI Nail Envy, I started with three coats of Models Own 'Snow White' on all nails but my ring finger, which I painted with two coats of Rimmel Lycra 'Ruby Me', pressing the heart sequins into the second coat before it dried. I then used a dotting tool to create the hearts and polka dots on the white nails with the Rimmel polish. I finished off with a coat of Jacava LONDON's topcoat although, as you can see, I didn't wait quite long enough before applying it which caused some of the hearts to smudge. Otherwise, I'm fairly happy with how this turned out!
Valentine's Nail Art NOTD
NOTD Valentine's Nail Art
What will you be wearing on your nails this Valentine's Day? Are you attempting any nail art? What do you think to my efforts?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Interview Outfit Tips

Being offered an interview for a job you would love is simultaneously one of the most exciting, and daunting, concepts you will have to deal with when it comes to your working life. It's not just the idea of the actual interview, either – the questions you’ll be asked, the answers you'll be expected to give and the overwhelming desire to show a little personality to stand out from the crowd – it's the build up to the interview, too. Preparing yourself ahead of an interview can mean the difference between being offered the position or being let down; making sure you have researched the role and done all that you can to prepare yourself will ensure that by the time the interview arrives, you will have the confidence and knowledge to succeed. However, the worries don't stop there - you also have an interview outfit to think about!
What you wear to an interview will depend largely on the type of establishment you're going to see and the industry in which you hope to work. If you're being interviewed for a managerial position, or for a company that expects their employees to look formal and business-like at all times, you will be expected to wear a completely different outfit than somewhere a little more casual. Make sure, before even considering what to wear for your interview, that you know the type of person they want to employ, and dress accordingly.
It's important to make a great first impression – after all, this tends to be one of the things that the interviewer will remember you by – so here are a few helpful tips and pieces of advice that will help you choose a killer outfit which will be a contributing factor to you bagging the job of your dreams.
• For men, a smart shirt and pair of tailored trousers should be the minimum. Depending on the formality expected, you may wish to wear a two piece suit and tie as well, or for a more casual environment, smart trousers and a cool jacket or blazer. Make sure that clothes are ironed, too.
• For women, pencil skirts are a winner. They're a great way of looking sophisticated and business-like, without showing off too much skin. Team with a flattering blouse with a statement collar, and court shoes, for a formal, interview-perfect outfit. Don't worry too much about spending a fortune on interview gear either; you can find some gorgeous outfits, including Pencil skirts from George at ASDA, for affordable prices.
Interview Outfits from George at Asda
• Make sure that you look your best. Wash and style your hair, paint your nails a subtle colour, add some natural makeup and wear some delicate perfume so that your scent doesn't overpower the room as soon as you walk in.
• Give the HR department a call if you'd like to find out more information about the dress code. It's a good idea to dress like you're already part of the company, so that they can see that you'd be perfect for the position.
Most of all, don't overdo it but make sure that you're dressed the part. While clothes alone won't get you the job, dressing appropriately will definitely help your chances!
What do you like to wear for an interview? Which of the skirts above is your favourite? Do you have any top tips for interview outfits, or interviews in general?

[Please note this is a sponsored post.]

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

OOTD: Tartan Dress

Here is my first OOTD post of 2014; as promised, featuring my lovely tartan dress from In Love With Fashion! I paired it with a simple pair of black tights and my comfy studded boots - which are an added bonus as they're furry inside! I was sent the tights from TightsPlease and they are also hiding a little secret; they have a cosy fleecy lining which is just the ticket in this horrible cold weather. I obviously didn't stay outside like this for long; I also wore a massive cosy black hoodie over the top to keep me warm, but you couldn't see much of the dress then... The tartan worked perfectly with my The Blackout hoodie, though, for a rock chick kind of outfit.
OOTD In Love With Fashion Tartan Dress
In Love With Fashion Tartan Dress
Dress: In Love With Fashion [Purchased with store credit]
Tights: c/o TightsPlease*
Boots: TKMaxx [Old]
This beautiful dress is still available for just £19 in In Love With Fashion's sale, in a Medium or Large; mine is a Medium if that helps you guessing sizes! Are you still loving the tartan trend? How would you style this dress? I can't wait to wear it with bare legs in the summer, so the lace trim round the hem stands out a little more!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Skincare Wishlist

I'm the first to admit I have a bit of a skincare problem; even more so than make-up, I love buying and trying new skincare products. From moisturisers to masks, I'm always looking for something new to aid me in my quest for perfect skin and as a beauty blogger, the number of reviews I read is quite frankly dangerous! At any given moment, my skincare wishlist could easily reach up to twenty  or thirty products, and yet I don't think I've ever shared a dedicated skincare wishlist - all that is about to change!
Skincare Wishlist
I've never tried any Elemis products but I love the sound of their Papaya Enzyme Peel for exfoliation with abrasive products. I've really liked what I've tried of The Body Shop's Seaweed range and would love to see how their Night Treatment, which is essentially a night cream, worked out with my oily skin. Similarly, I've heard only good things about Origins' High Potency Night-A-Mins and would really like to try the oil-free version to see how it fares at keeping my oily skin under control. The Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm has become something of a cult product for bloggers, which is pretty much why I'd love to try it; no way can I justify spending that much money on a cleanser, but it would be nice to give it a try! I really want to find a decent toner and love the sound of this mattifying number from Decléor, as well as the mint-green bottle being super pretty... Origins' GinZing moisturiser has been massively hyped since its release and I've love to try it as, despite being oily, my skin can tend towards the dull side. Finally, The Body Shop's new Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil is a product I'm finding really intriguing and I'd love to see how my skin gets on with it!
Have you tried any of these products? What's on your skincare wishlist currently?


Friday, 7 February 2014

Review: Zoejewel*

I was recently sent this beautiful necklace* from Zoejewel to share with you all; Zoejewel stock a range of beautiful jewellery from a variety of brands, with something to suit pretty much everyone. The website is easy to use, allowing you to search by brand, or by jewellery type, and filter by price and style.
Zoe Jewel Review
My necklace came in a pretty white drawstring bag printed with the Zoejewel logo, which would be perfect for storage to prevent the necklace getting scratched or otherwise damaged. It's easy to put on and fastens securely with a lobster-style clasp, meaning I'm not worrying about losing it the whole time I'm wearing it. I think this is a lovely versatile piece, which is easy to wear with both casual outfits, as I am here, or with dressier pieces; it'd offset a little black dress beautifully! I really like that it's a double-strand necklace, too, I think it works perfectly with the style.
ZoeJewel Necklace
ZoeJewel Necklace Review
I'm really happy with the quality of my Zoejewel necklace and would definitely recommend the website if you're looking for some new jewellery, either for yourself or as a gift; I particularly like the fact that there's a 'Made in the UK' section, allowing you to support British designers! Do you like this necklace? Have you heard of Zoejewel before? What's your favourite piece from the site?

[*Please note this necklace was provided for review purposes; as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!]

Thursday, 6 February 2014

#NailArtWeeklyProject 2: Film or TV Show

Week Two of the #NailArtWeeklyProject which Danni has organised features a Film or TV Show theme; this was quite a tough one for me as I don't watch TV and rarely watch films, but in the end I went with Harry Potter. I'm definitely much more of a book person than a film watcher, but I do love the Harry Potter films, so actually this was a fairly obvious choice...
I started, as always, with a base of Nail Envy, then two coats of 'Crush' from Barry M's Matte Nail Paint collection, with two coats of 'Espresso' on my thumb and ring finger. I then taped diagonally across the 'Crush' nails and painted on two coats of an unnamed gold polish by Technic, to represent the Gryffindor house colours (I'd definitely be a Gryffindor ;D). Unfortunately, the tape left behind some of its sticky when I removed it, which is why the burgundy looks all lumpy. I did pop another coat of 'Crush' on which evened things out a little but it's still not as smooth as it should have been, which I'm quite disappointed with. A top coat would probably have helped but I didn't want to lose the matte effect. I used my Barry M Nail Art Pen in 'Silver' to draw the Deathly Hallows symbol onto my thumb and ring finger. I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, although I do think they would have been better the other way up, on reflection!
NOTD Deathly Hallows Gryffindor Harry Potter
Harry Potter Nail Art Gryffindor Deathly Hallows
Have you ever attempted Harry Potter-inspired nail art? Which Hogwarts house would you be in? What film or TV show would you have chosen for this week's theme?


Monday, 3 February 2014

Review | The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Haircare Set

Always on the lookout for new options which won't irritate my eczema-prone skin, I picked up the Rainforest Balance Haircare Set from The Body Shop in the sales in January. I've been testing the shampoo and conditioner duo out over the past couple of weeks and wanted to share how I've been getting on!
The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Review
Rainforest Balance Review TBS
TBS Rainforest Balance Set Review
Packaged in a cardboard box giving you all the details and ingredients, the Rainforest Balance set contains two 60ml bottles of shampoo, two 60ml bottles of conditioner, and a comb. According to the box, these products will, "Rebalance oily hair to leave it clean and fresh all day. New Rainforest Balance Hair Care range includes pracaxi oil, white nettle and Community Trade ingredients. No silicones, parabens or colourants." The products also feature eco-friendly packaging, which is an important factor for me.
TBS Rainforest Balance Review
I felt that the comb was a nice inclusion; believe it or not, I didn't actually own a comb prior to this one, opting to just comb my hair with my fingers after washing it. I've found that this has done a great job of detangling my hair whilst it's still wet, making my life much easier after drying my hair. If you already own a comb or two then obviously this might be an unnecessary inclusion, but for me it was an extra which I appreciated.
Review TBS Rainforest Balance Set
"Cleanses to reduce excess oil for hair that looks clean and fresh all day. Mix in the ahnds with water. Work through hair. Rinse thoroughly." The shampoo is clear in colour and quite a thick consistency; as recommended, I've found it best to lather it slightly between my hands before working through my hair. It's still harder than I would ideally like to work it through my hair, but it's not impossible, and it's definitely easier on the second shampoo. The product has a light scent to it, which is pleasant whilst using but doesn't linger on the hair. After rinsing, my hair feels well-cleaned and quite soft.
The Body Shop Rainforest Balance
"Lightly conditions to reduce excess oil, leaving hair fresh all day without weighing it down. Mix in the hands with water. Work through hair. Rinse thoroughly." The conditioner is a thick, white cream with a similar scent to the shampoo; I actually found it quite difficult to get it out of the bottle, it was so thick! Obviously I've only used the miniature versions so that may not be a problem in the same way with the full-size products. I found that the ends of my hair literally drank this up; I think this is the first conditioner EVER where I've finished the bottle at the same time as the shampoo, usually shampoo goes twice as quickly. This unfortunately didn't feel hydrating enough for my dry ends, but if your hair is shorter, less thick, or less dry at the ends than mine, then you shouldn't have a problem. The conditioner still did a good job of smoothing and de-tangling, but I've definitely had to follow it with a leave-in conditioner to keep my ends happy.
TBS Rainforest Balance Haircare
Once I've dried my hair, I've found that my roots still feel slightly oily and if I wash my hair in the evening, I need to use dry shampoo by the next morning; I know my hair is oily, but that's some going even by my standards! For this reason, I wouldn't repurchase these products; the shampoo didn't do anything to help my oily scalp, and the conditioner wasn't hydrating enough for my dry ends. I feel like if your scalp is only slightly oily and your ends are normal rather than dry, this would be a great set, but for me it just wasn't quite right.
The Rainforest Balance Shampoo and Conditioner are available to purchase from The Body Shop priced at £4.50 each for 250ml of product, making them an affordable option for those who prefer to avoid SLS in their products.
Have you tried the Rainforest Balance range? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for SLS-free shampoo for oily hair?


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Valentine's Day Lingerie

Now we're into February, Valentine's Day is fast approaching! Personally, I think it's important to show the ones we love that we love them year-round, but then again it's also nice to have a special day to celebrate those who mean the most to us. The classic gift to buy a lady for Valentine's Day is of course lingerie (and flowers!), meaning there's plenty of gorgeous underwear sets in the shops at the minute! These are some of my favourites.
Valentine's Day Lingerie
1. Limited Collection Silk Push-Up Balcony Bra With Lace, £19.50, & Brazilian Knickers, £9.50, Marks & Spencer
2. Limited Collection Push-Up Balcony Bra, £16, & Brazilian Knickers, £7.50, Marks & Spencer
3. Hello Sugar Lace Detail Push-Up Bra, £35, & Thong, £10, La Senza
4. Miranda Embroidered Plunge Bra, £12, & Brazilian Briefs, £5, F+F at Tesco
5. Monochrome Spot & Lace Balcony Bra, £8, & Mini Briefs, £4, George at Asda
Marks & Spencer are a British institution as far as underwear is concerned and you always know your undies will be well-made! I love both the gorgeous red lace of #1 and the cheeky style of #2. I used to love shopping at La Senza before it disappeared from my local High Street, and although I was quite disappointed at the range online (a lot of it sadly seemed quite cheap and tacky), this lovely teal set really caught my eye. I love the supermarket fashion selections these days, and both Asda and Tesco have plenty to offer; the Miranda set from F+F is so pretty and feminine, whilst the monochrome George set has a slight vintage edge to it which again, I really like. So, those are my top five picks for lingerie at the moment - which is your favourite? Will you be asking for lingerie this Valentine's Day? Where is your favourite place to buy underwear?


Saturday, 1 February 2014

#NailArtWeeklyProject 1: A Piece of Clothing

The lovely Danni from Gingerbread Smiles has organised a fab nail art collaboration project with a whole bunch of bloggers, whereby there is a theme each week and each blogger shares their nail art related to that theme! I thought this sounded like fun and so here I am with week one, inspired by a piece of clothing. I've gone for this blue and grey striped top, something nice and simple to start off with - or so I thought!
I'm pretty happy with the colours I've used, but the execution could definitely have been better; I started with my little finger and I think that's actually the best nail, so maybe I needed to clean my brush between nails to avoid the stripes getting thicker each time? I definitely need to practice my stripe-making, that's for sure! As always, I started with OPI Nail Envy as my base, then used one coat of Barry M's 'Cobalt Blue' as the base colour, before mixing Sally Hansen 'Gray by Gray' with a little bit of Models Own 'Snow White' for the stripes, which I painted on with a fine brush.
So what do you think to my attempt? Do you have any tips for painting stripes on your nails!? If you're taking part in the #NailArtWeeklyProject, please let me know so I can have a nosey at what you came up with for this week's challenge!
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