Wednesday, 31 October 2012

NOTD: Princess Nails

At the moment I've been really into layering glitter over the top of my plain nail varnishes to make them a bit more interesting and brighten up the dull weather. In this NOTD I've started with a few coats of Stay Perfect by No7 in 'Pinky Pure' and then layered on Barry M's 'pink iridescent'. I really like the combination of the two as I think it looks girly while still being a little understated and elegant and that's why I named it princess nails :). I havn't included a picture of the No7 bottle as it is pretty grotty and old but you can see the glitter above. This combination lasted up to a week on my nails without any serious chips which I think is really good going. I never normally wear 'pinky pure' by itself as I think it can look a bit streaky, needing 3-4 coats to get an even and opaque finish, but with the glitter I get a lot of compliments on my nails and think it is a great combination for many occasions.

Have you tried any of these colours before? What would you recommend from both brands? xxx
Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tea and Tides

This post has been a long time coming as I've had these for ages but just not got round to talking about them! Tea and Tides is a local company from Exeter which up cycle vintage crockery and china into cake stands and hand made candles. Every item is unique and very cute and would not look out of place on Etsy. The candles are made from organic soya wax which means it burns clean and a selling point which would appeal to many, especially due to the massive hype around Neom candles at the moment - these are priced at just £5 each though so are a fraction of the price. They are also scented with essential oils, and make my room at uni look so cute and cosy during the evening. I love candles anyway and think these are a great addition to my bedroom, especially as they are unique. I think these would make great gifts which are a little bit different.

Have you seen anything like this before? xxx
Monday, 29 October 2012

Review: Balmi Lip Balm

As a girl with many hand bags, I can never have enough lip balms as I am constantly loosing them and rediscovering them a few weeks later. So I was pleased to see a new raved about lip balm in a recent Joliebox. It is meant to be very similar to the US EOS lip balms but I've never tried them so can't do a comparison in this review.

Firstly the packaging is great - it is definitely more chunky than my standard twist up tube but it means it is easier to find  in your hand bag and there is also a little clip meaning you can attach it things for easy use such as maybe your keys. You can either unscrew the top or take off the clip at the back to access the product, and due to the spherical nature of the product you can just pop it on your lips without having to dunk your finger in a tub, which I think is great and makes for easy application. The colour of the packaging also reflects which flavour you have - in case you couldn't guess I received blackcurrant. To be honest out of all the flavours you can get this would be my least favourite which is a shame, and the smell of it is so pungent. I don't normally have an issue with scents and I think if it had been strawberry or coconut it would be fine but this particular smell was a bit too sickly for me and meant that although I think the product is good it puts me off reaching for it.

The actual product contains UVA protection with an SPF of 15 which means it would be perfect for holiday as well as every day use. It is also moisturising which is what I look for in a lip balm, containing ingredients such as vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil. The product sits quite thin on the lips as I think the oils sink into them rather than sitting as a protective layer, so for winter time you may want something a little thicker. However, the nature of this product makes it great for under lipsticks. I think the price is very reasonable for the amount of product you get as well - my standard tubes may be a bit cheaper but with them you only get 4g of product and this lasts me ages anyway, so with 10g of product in the Balmi lip balms they will last you forever and are great value for money.

All in all I think the product is lovely, but you can get similar balms for cheaper and it's a shame I didn't like this particular scent. The product does offer the novelty factor of being a unique spherical balm which will definitely appeal to a lot of people and makes it that bit different to your standard balm.

Have you tried these or the EOS balms? xxx
Friday, 26 October 2012

Review: Rimmel Vinyl Max Lipgloss

Top: Addictive, Bottom: Dazzle // £5.49 each at Boots

On a recent shopping trip I picked these up on a whim from Superdrug. I'm running out of my current light pink gloss from Avon and was looking for a replacement when I saw these. I ended up buying a hot pink too because the colour was gorgeous and if I bought a second I got a free eyeliner (I love a deal!)

I really like the packaging although it might not be to everyone's taste. It is a chunky tube with a huge doe foot applicator which I think is meant to represent the 'max' aspect of the product and was quite a surprise when I pulled it out the tube! The brush is meant to enable you to apply the product in one quick swipe, although I think it takes a bit more precision than that with such a large applicator. The actual formula is very pigmented, glossy and sparkly which is a big plus point and is very long wearing on the lips - this is probably due to the very sticky and thick nature of the gloss which I know a lot of people probably wouldn't be a fan of. I'm not the biggest fan of the stickiness but for some reason it still hasn't put me off the product. I've used them alone and on top of lipsticks and like the finish both times. A little product goes a long way and due to the size of the tubes I reckon these will last me quite a long time, making them good value for money.

Although it has aspects which might not be to everyone's taste, I've actually really enjoyed using these glosses and think they are great for the day or a night out, providing intense gloss, pigment and longevity.

Have you tried these before? xxx
Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #6

I havn't done this type of post in ages so thought now was a good time to give a little update of what I'm lusting after. I've been updating my wishlist like crazy with all kinds of bits including make up, books, skincare etc in preparation for Christmas :) Even though that sounds ridiculously early (which it probably is) I'm trying to buy presents for my loved ones early so I don't run out of time and money so if they are thinking the same it is nice to have an updated list! Plus I can't get enough of Christmas and have even started burning my first Christmas candle to get me into the spirit! 

Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar: There is literally nothing to not like about this product! It creates lots of lovely bubbles with a "Sweet Wild Orange" scent, plus turns your bath water gold with lots of glitter! I don't have a bath at uni (sob) so when I go home I like to indulge myself with quite a few soaks in the tub. I'll be sure to stock up in Lush with some of their bombs, melts and bubble bars to give myself a little treat. I think they would make great stocking fillers too :)

Origins Vitazing: This particular product has been on my wishlist a while as I've been developing my collection of bases. It's described as 'a multi-tasking moisturiser', with mangosteen that provides radiance and a sheer tint meaning it can give you a bit of a glow on a 'no makeup' day or provide as a good primer for your base of choice. I'm still loving my light bases so this would be a great addition.

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel: After reading a review on the Sunday Girl I knew I needed this in my life! She has the same skin type as me (oily) but still raved about this even though the gel transforms into an oil when washing away your make up. It sounds like an indulgent treat and in the evening I like something to pamper me to make the dull task of taking off make up a little bit more enjoyable.

Fushi Really Good Hair Oil: I've been getting more into my oils, but was left feeling a little let down by some such as the Macadamia Oil. I love the VO5 miracle oil though which is a pre-shampoo treatment and this product is along the same lines. You can leave it as an overnight mask or before shampooing and it is meant to really repair any damage while being 100% natural. 

Essie Topless and Barefoot: This is such a gorgeous sophisticated shade that would go with pretty much any outfit for any occasion. I don't have any other nail varnishes this colour so it would be a lovely addition to my collection.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of this weeks wishlist? xxx
Monday, 22 October 2012

Bits and Bobs from Burt's Bees

The other month I did a big haul at the Bullring and bought 2 items from Burt's Bees: the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Mango Nourishing Lip Balm. They are the first products I've tried from the range and I'm pleased to say I've enjoyed my first Burt's Bees experience! All products from the company are either 99% or 100% natural, which I'm not too fussy about but given the option I would rather choose to use natural products that will do what they say on the tin.

Around the blogging community I had heard a lot of great reviews on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and so decided to try it myself as nourished cuticles = stronger, longer nails. I love the tin packaging and it is just the right size for your bedside/bag etc. It has a strong citrus scent which I love and sticks around for ages. A little really goes a long way with this product - I've been using it every night before bed and through out the day too when I remember and am yet to make a dent in the product, so although I thought it was a little pricey this will last me ages and think it is justified. By swirling your finger around the pot, the product melts into a rich oil which can then be massaged into your cuticles with lemon and sweet almond oil and cocoa butter nourishing and moisturising them and the skin around your nail bed. I would recommend this product as it is 100% natural, smells amazing and last forever - there is really nothing to dislike about this.

The Nourishing Lip Balm has a lovely strong scent and taste of mango that I personally enjoy and as the product is quite thick and moisturising, you only really need one swipe and lasts a long time. It is 100% natural and the oils in the product tend to sink into my lips so I can feel it nourishing them rather than just sitting there. This reminds me of the little pots of lip butter from the Body Shop although I think this is better for on the go as the twisty tube makes it hygienic and great for travel, plus the Burt's Bees is slightly cheaper. I would definitely repurchase this and would like to try some of the other flavours such as honey and pomegranate.

Since I loved these products so much, what else would you suggest for me to try? What are your opinions on the two products mentioned? xxx
Friday, 19 October 2012

October Joliebox

I don't normally bother doing this type of post as there are always so many every month on the various beauty boxes, but this month's box was too good not to share. At the moment I am just subscribed to Joliebox and am rarely let down by the contents delivered, although if you are thinking of subscribing to a service like this you should manage your expectations as they can be a bit hit and miss.

This month's box was the first after Joliebox had teamed up with American beauty box brand 'Birchbox' (sorry for the alliteration!) and had a 'Pure and Natural' theme which included 2 full size products, with most of the samples being a generous size too. It also comes with a 'JolieMag' which is a lovely addition I enjoy reading every month.  I normally wait a few weeks at least to test the things I get before reviewing them on here but for an overview the box includes:

Jason Bee Healthier Lip Balm Stick: I recently purchased a Burt's Bees lip balm which is a very similar product but I wasn't disappointed as this is full size and I personally don't think you can have enough lip balms! It is 70% organic and contains Aloe and Beeswax to 'moisturise and protect' - great for those who love natural products. It also smells like mint chocolate chip icecream (like Palmer's Dark Chocolate and Peppermint lipbutter that I also have) and tingles your lips, which is a plus point for me!

Lov Organic herbal tea bags in 'Lov is Beautiful' flavour: This is the 'lifestyle' product. I love tea and am always looking for new herbal ones to try as they have greater health benefits than your standard cuppa. Within this pack you get 6 muslin teabags, which I think is pretty generous. The ingredients include white tea, green tea, pieces of mango, pineapple and apricot - it sounds like a delicious combination so I'm excited to try these out.

Moa The Green Balm: The smallest sample in the box, but I have a feeling that a little will go a long way. It is 100% natural and indeed light green! It's smell and texture is very reminiscent of Vicks Vapour Rub and melts into the skin easily. It is described as 'an intense, multi-purpose balm that gives moisture to chapped, dehydrated skin' for all parts of your body and suitable for even sensitive skin.

Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm: I love the cardboard tube it comes in and it is a handy size for travel but still with a generous amount of product. It's described as a 'multi-tasking beauty balm' and is really similar to Nars The Multiple Bronzer. The actual product is a thick stick of instant bronzing balm which you can twist up and down like a lip balm. Again it is 100% natural and can be used anywhere you like, with organic olive, coconut and jojoba oils 'to moisturise and soften'. I'm really looking forward to giving this a go as I've been wanting to try a cream bronzer for a while.

Ritessens Exfoliating Face Care: With this month's box you could either receive the face wash or the exfoliant - I got the latter. This was the product I was most excited about as it is full size (125 ml) and really generous for a beauty box. It claims to purify and refine your skin's texture leaving it clean and radiant by including nautral plant extracts and Moroccan Argan Oil in the formula.

Although this box might not be for everyone, it was just the ticket for me! What do you think of this month's Joliebox? Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? xxx
Thursday, 18 October 2012

NOTD: Barry M | Coral |

Barry M Nail Paint in Coral // £2.99

Out of all Barry M's products, their nail paints are my favourite. They have a great selection of colours, glitters and cracking polishes and now they have introduced their gelly line too which delivers high shine to your nails much like a gellac/shellac manicure. The one gripe I do have though is that the formula can be very hit and miss - sometimes it last forever and is a dream to apply, other times it chips in less than a day. This particular varnish falls in the latter category as you can see from the pictures above there was already some tip wear after less than a full day of wear. 

You can also see from the pictures that it is much more of an orange shade than a true coral. In the bottle it does look more pinkey than orange but this doesn't translate to the nails and instead is almost identical to 'Block Orange' - another Barry M Nail Paint that I own. 

All in all it isn't the best of Barry M's nail varnishes due to formulation and shade so I wouldn't repurchase, however there are lots of other great shades from the Barry M collection which are a hit for me, for example this shade here.

What do you think of Barry M Nail Paints? xxx
Tuesday, 16 October 2012

OOTD: Autumn Leaves When The Grass Is Jewelled...

Does anyone else remember that hymn from primary school? It was one of my favourites that we had to sing in assembly :) Anyway, I thought I would do a simple outfit of the day which is perfect for Autumn/Winter as it is comfy and warm. It is a mixture of more expensive investment pieces such as my Urban Outfitters Parka which I bought in first year and has lasted me so well and goes with everything with cheaper bargain bits such as the jumper from Primark. The jumper is one of my favourite purchases recently as I love thick knitted jumpers, the colour and the detail of the elbow patches - plus it was a bargain for £14! As it is quite a simple outfit I paid attention to detail: the gold stripe down my leggings and the matching pearl headband and earrings which incorporated the gold too. I opted for Uggs on my feet as they are so warm and snuggly but I know people either love or hate them. I thought this look could also be paired with chelsea boots or my aviator style boots that I got from Missguided around 2 years ago. I'm not claiming to be ultra-stylish so I normally shy away from OOTDs but I liked this as a casual outfit and thought it would be a nice idea for other not so fashion concious people to relate to!

What I wore:
* Tan Ugg Boots
* Gold strip leggings from Topsohp
* Jumper with suede elbow patches from Primark
* Green Parka from Urban Outfitters
* Pearl headband from Forever 21
* Pearl stud earrings from Topshop

I went for a simple fresh face with a pop of colour on my lips. Recently I've been testing out the highly raved about Healthy Mix foundation by Bourjois and mixed it with some Hocus Focus (mentioned in my September favourites here) to add even more luminosity to my face. I also used 'rose shine' blush by Fashionista from a 4 quad palette which I recently purchased and will be sure to review soon. It is a lovely light pink that gives a wind bitten flush to the cheeks which is great for autumn/winter.I chose 'Brighton Rock' by Topshop for my lips - a colour and formulation I just can't get enough of and with toned down eyes it makes a lovely daytime look. I didn't do anything to my hair as I've successfully stopped using unecessary heat on my hair, so it was natural waves for me!

Whats on my face:
* Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation in '52 Vanille'
* Soap and Glory Hocus Focus
* Benefit Erase Paste in '1 Fair'
* Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in '1 Fair'
* 17 Miracle Matte Pressed Powder
* Fashionista blush in 'Rose Shine'
* Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige (for highlight)
* Bobbi Brown eyeshadow (for brows) in 'Mahogany'
* UD eyeshadow in 'Maui Wowie' all over the lid and a light application of 'Smog' from the Naked Palette in the crease
* Maxfactor 2000 Calorie Mascara in Black
* L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Extra Black
* Topshop Lipstick in 'Brighton Rock' (swatches here)

Swatched L-R: 'Smog' and 'Maui Wowie'

Thanks to Matt for being a fab photographer ;) What do you think of my outfit? xxx
Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: Provoke Touch of Silver Shampoo

As I highlight my hair, over time the blonde can begin to fade and look a bit more yellow and brassy. A purple shampoo used once a week can aid in lifting the hair colour and banishing brassy tones. You might remember that in my first empties post I featured John Frieda's purple shampoo which had lasted me ages and was my first type of toning shampoo. I liked it but the effect it gave only lasted a day and I wanted to try some other options. This search for a new toning shampoo led to 'Touch of Silver' by Provoke, which I picked up in a haul a while ago.

Although it looks like a relatively small bottle compared to other shampoos, you only need a little and considering I use it around once a week it will last me a really long time. The size also means it is great for travel. It states it is for use with grey, white or platinum hair but its been great for my hair too. I have a range of three colours in my hair which are close to my natural colour meaning my hair is lifted but still very natural. Because the colour of this shampoo is so intense I choose to mix it with my regular shampoo and leave it in for a few minutes - you need to be wary of leaving it on too long as you can end up with purple tinges! It really depends on how blonde you are. The John Frieda shampoo in comparison was a light purple where as this is properly violet, almost blue in colour. It also says it is for twice weekly use but to be honest I don't wash my hair enough to do this (I was it around every 3 days) so once a week is a maximum for me. The formula lathers up nicely even though it is quite thin and also smells floral. You need to make sure you don't use this product too often as it can lead to colour build up of purple, therefore it is better to rotate it with your regular shampoo.

The effects of this shampoo are evident as soon as I take the towel off my head. My hair when wet looks the same as when I've just had it coloured - you can really see the blonde tones coming through. This shampoo lifts my hair colour and definitely banishes yellow tones, which is great if you want to stretch out the time you next get your hair bleached at the salon to renew the colour. When using this I'm also sure to follow up with an intensive conditioner as toners aren't the kindest thing for your hair.

I've been really happy with the results of this shampoo and would recommend it for all shades of blonde - you just need to be aware with how long you want to leave it etc to get the best results for you. It does the job of more expensive brands for a much lower price, so if you are looking for a purple shampoo at a budget price but not sure what to choose I urge you to try this! xxx
Saturday, 13 October 2012

What's On My Bedside Table?

Every night without fail I apply a generous helping of hand cream due to every day chores such as doing the washing up (the woes of not having a dishwasher in my student house), making my hands feel and appear a bit dry. The current choice of hand cream by my bedside at the moment is Jergens Ultra Hydrating Intensive Hand Cream for Extra Dry Skin. The bottle pictured is the old-style as they have recently rebranded.  I like this brand because they are cruelty free and their products are composed of a majority of natural ingredients, but apart from a nice scent I don’t think it has much more to offer. It does moisturise my hands but not that much so I’m trying to use it up and move on to another one. In conjunction with this, I rub a good amount of Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream into my cuticles and skin surrounding my nails. Not only does this product smell amazing and citrusy, it moisturises and nourishes with natural ingredients including sweet almond and lemon oil, beeswax and rosemary. A little goes a long way with this and is lasting me ages, even though I apply it throughout the day too.
Moving on from my hands to my feet – I’ve tried to get into the habit of applying a foot lotion before bed to keep my feet nice and soft for the next morning. I like this Peppermint Foot Lotion from the Body Shop as it smells good and isn’t too thick so it sinks in nicely. The last moisturising product I use is for my lips. I love to wear bright lipsticks but to do this you have to have smooth, hydrated lips. Applying a thick layer of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisturising Lip Balm ensures they are smooth with a combination of cocoa butter and vitamin E, ready for lip products the next day. This also has an added SPF in so is great for the day too. Origins Super Spot Remover is a fab addition to my night routine that I couldn’t be without now. It is great at treating blemishes over night and also fades dark marks over time. I have done a full review of it here. If I am having trouble sleeping then the Perfect Sleep Pillow Mist by Champneys is lovely to spray on my pillow. It has a relaxing scent of mandarin, chamomile and predominantly lavender which help to relax and soothe you to sleep.
I normally have a book on the go when I can and it is great way to send me to sleep. At the moment I am reading One Day by David Nicholls. I have seen the film adaptation to this but have heard that the book is way better so am looking foward to getting stuck into it. Last but not least is my Forever Friends alarm clock that I have had since I was about 2 and I think is rather cute!
What do you think of these items? Do you have any of the same items at your bedside? xxx
Wednesday, 10 October 2012

In The Nude

Swatched L-R: Revlon lipbutter in 'Creme Brulee' - Topshop lipstick in 'Nevada' - Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in '03'

Every beauty blogger knows that within the sphere of 'beauty' there is always one slight obsession  they have with a particular section whether it be skincare, haircare, bodycare etc... mine is make up at the moment and in particular I can't get enough of lipsticks! Over the summer I expanded my stash quite a lot and with the new additions came these three nudes. 

Before purchasing these lip products I didn't actually own any nudes instead mainly opting for pinks and reds. This all changed though after buying the first of my nudes which was Rimmel's '03' in a blog sale. In relation to the other nudes I have this is the darkest and its great for pulling together an evening/more sophisticated look. I like to wear it if I'm going out for a meal (see this post) or sometimes in the day with a gloss over the top. It is in the 'lasting finish' range by Kate Moss and I can verify it does last a good while on the lips without being drying.

I purchased the shade 'Creme Brulee' around the time the blogging world seemed obsessed with Revlon lipbutters. I've already done a review on what I thought of the actual product (here) so I won't go into too much detail about the formulation. The colour is a browny-nude which is quite sheer and glossy due to the nature of the lipbutters. I really like this and it is great for every day use when I don't want to look too 'done' or if I have heavy make up elsewhere it tones it down a bit and balances out my face. It's really easy to wear so if you are new to nudes I would suggest checking this out.

The final lipstick of the bunch is 'Nevada' which I think just takes first place as my favourite overall. It is a really pretty light shade which can be perfect for day time with just one swipe or layered up for more intensity. It isn't the most universal shade however as its not suitable for all skintones the way 'creme brulee' is more inclined as it is quite pale. If you would like a more detailed opinion then I reviewed it here in a post about my Topshop lipstick collection.

Do you have any favourite nude lipsticks? Have you tried any of the ones mentioned? xxx
Monday, 8 October 2012

My Prettiest Palette

One of the main things that attract me to beauty items are the packaging. I love products that look pretty on your dressing table and reflect the quality of the product inside. This is especially true with more expensive products as when you spend over a certain amount you want it to have the full package (excuse the pun!) I have quite a few palettes from companies such as MAC, Urban Decay and Benefit which include face products, eye shadows, and travel kits. This little beauty from MAC is definitely the most beautiful in my collection. It is lightweight and compact so excellent for travel and the combination of pink (my favourite colour) gold and multi-coloured heart gems make it look rather luxurious. My dad picked this up for me as a surprise present when he was on business in Dubai quite a while ago and although he knows nothing about make up he does know that I think MAC is a lovely brand and I think the design and colours of the product inside made him think of me.

This compact palette comes with a good size mirror and good quality mini brush that I normally use for highlighter under my eyebrows. Although this palette hasn't got the best colours for every day wear I do use it everyday for the far left colour as my highlight. I also love the two blues which are really vivid and have great colour pay off like you would expect from this brand. The lighter bright blue is lovely for a pop of colour in the form of an eyeliner and the darker blue which has a slight shimmer running through it I also use as a liner or blended into my crease for a more dramatic look - you can see an example of this here. I would like to get more use out of the green, yellow and pink but I find these shades are a bit harder to work with and not something I would use all the time. I don't know the name of the palette or the majority of colour names because all the writing has worn off and I've had it a long time, sorry! If you could fill me in that would be helpful :)

I think a great contender which I don't currently have are the new Clarins Odyssey palettes which are so amazing and beautiful!!

What is your favourite palette/prettiest beauty item? I've decided this would be a fun tag to do so I tag all of you who read this to do this post! Make sure you tweet me (@LilMisLifestyle) leave a comment below with your link and include a link back to my blog to let me know you have taken part :) xxx


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