Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Beauty-Steals.co.uk feat. Rimmel & Revlon

A few weeks ago a little twitter bird told me about Beauty-steals.co.uk - a brand new website dedicated to providing well known quality cosmetics for less dosh.
You'll find brands including Benefit, MAC, Urban Decay, Rimmel, Max Factor, Revlon and Fake Bake on their virtual shelves, all for a fraction of the RRP.
Beauty-steals.co.uk also stock a number of discontinued items so chances are you'll be able to track down a favourite lipstick or eyeshadow that you'll no longer find in Superdrug or Boots.

The Beauty Steals babes sent me a couple of examples of the products they sell, so everyone can get in the loop!


Revlon Colorstay 12 Hour Quad Shadow in Sunrise/ Sunset

£3.59
The shades in this quad pallet are born to blend together and claim to stay put for 12 hours. I've not tested the longevity of these yet but shade wise, I'm particularly partial to the metallic chocolate-plum colour at the bottom there.

Rimmel London Vinyl Jelly Gloss Lip Liner Duo in Tasty/ Hot Spark

£2.45
The Vinyl Jelly lip liners are smooth, creamy and glossy and don't leave a harsh tell-tale line. I'll be using these to line and fill my lips.
with flash
without flash


Rimmel London 60 Second Nail Varnish 730 Silver Bullet

£3.79
Silver Bullet is a silvery fairytale-in-space kind of colour that's pretty easy to apply thanks to the iconic wide brush. I have pretty gross fingernails at the moment so thought it would be best not to plaster them all over the interwebs.

Beauty Steals deliver for free in the UK and there's no minimum order restrictions so your bargain find remains a bargain without the dreaded addition of delivery costs to burst your bubble!
Have a peek at Beauty-steals.co.uk for yourself HERE.

Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Oasap Classic Striped Jacquard Suspender Tights

The newest addition to my collection of weird and wonderful tights and leggings are these striped suspender style delights from Oasap*
I'm a massive fan of faux suspender tights and I'm loving these ones because of their unique chocolatey colour and striped design.
A quirky and playful way to spice up a black outfit indeed!
You can find these at Oasap here for $15 (US), which equates to under £10 including delivery. Not bad really!
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Maybelline The Rocket Volum Express Mascara


I don't know how I managed this but I actually ran out of mascara a few days ago ( nothing but a few scrapes left in my Jemma Kidd mag freebie) so I popped into Boots and picked up Maybelline's latest offering -The Rocket Volum Express Mascara.

While I find the name of this utterly hilarious and slightly irrelevant, there's nothing funny about the product itself. It's actually pretty awesome.

I found that I only need a couple of strokes of the 'jet glide brush with flexi-fine bristles' to achieve long, thick, glossy lashes.


Comparable to Diorshow New Look mascara, the smooth formula of the Rocket is awfully good at lasting all day on my lashes rather than around my eyes and is virtually clump free, which is always a bonus, though of course it does stick the lashes together if you use more than one coat.
Here are some before and after shots featuring my eyes and The Rocket.
No Mascara!

With The Rocket

With The Rocket

With The Rocket


I'm seriously impressed with Maybelline The Rocket Volum Express - have you tried it??

I picked mine up at Boots for an introductory price of £5.99 instead of the rrp of £7.99.

Thanks for reading!


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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cheap Thrills: Vitapointe Leave in Conditioner

Since I bleached my hair recently, I knew I was going to need some seriously nourishing products to keep my frazzled ends in check.
While there are loads of excellent wash out treatments on the market, I was keen to find something heavy duty that I could leave in during the day to keep things silky.

And once again Superdrug comes through with the goods!
After a bit of googling, I came across Vitapointe - a leave in conditioner that's used on dry hair to improve manageability and add softness.


To use, squeeze the amount you think you need into your palm, rub hands together gently and smooth through lengths and ends, then brush through.

I've found that less is more with this product - it's quite a heavy cream so a little goes a long way to tame frizz and make my hair look a little healthier in general. The weirdly cool thing about this conditioner is that it's not sticky or greasy and just sort of 'becomes one' with your hair. From what I can find, it doesn't actually contain anything particularly nourishing for the hair but rather coats your locks in a formula that includes beeswax to keep things at least looking good!


Vitapointe has quite a heavy scent that reminds me of Stefan's hairdressers in Australia - a sort of chemical and bitter smell that strangely isn't as unpleasant as it sounds.

At £2.09 for 50ml, this product is an absolute beauty steal and a cheap thrill indeed!
Check out Vitapointe at Superdrug online here.

Thanks for reading!
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Saturday, 26 January 2013

L'Oreal CC Creams!

2013 is set  to be 'the year of the CC cream' so when an email popped into my inbox yesterday from L'Oreal all about their versions of the CC cream I figured it was only fair to share!

L'Oreal have released 3 CC creams - Anti-Redness, Anti-Fatigue and Anti-Dullness but they're only available exclusively online at the moment so hop on over to Boots and pick your favourite for £9.99 or take advantage of the 3 for 2 offer and grab them all.
I'm already a major fan of the L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB cream - you can read my review on it here.

Are you going to jump on the CC wagon?
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Lipstick I Love: Rocking Red by Smooch Cosmetics

A girl can never have too many red lipsticks and I'm no exception.
The latest member of my red lippie clan comes in the shape of this pin-up-perfect red from Smooch Cosmetics.

Richly pigmented and vibrant with a glossy finish, *Rocking Red is one of those shades that I think would suit pretty much every skin tone.

After a few hours of wear, the lipstick sort of stains the lips, leaving them looking lovely and 'bitten' but the gloss factor only sticks around for a short while. The formula is quite 'wet' so my only criticism of the lipstick is that it does tend to bleed and feather a little on my lips, though that's not really a deal breaker in my book.

The packaging? Don't even get me started! This lippie is encased in the cutest, most kitschy tube I've seen in a while.


Rocking Red (and 11 other gorgeous shades) are available for £7.50 from Smooch Cosmetics UK.
Smooch Cosmetics are currently offering a free Glowing Bronzer worth £13.95 when you spend £15 or more so why not treat yourself to two lipsticks and get the bronzer free?

Have you tried any products by Smooch Cosmetics?
Thanks for reading :)

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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Flowers- They're Not Just a Pretty Face


When you’re walking down the street admiring the flora and fauna that surrounds you, little do you think about the hidden powers that plants have to heal our many ailments. Sweetly swaying in our front gardens, these innocent little organisms continue to go unnoticed in their ability to save lives. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s true; many of nature’s beauties do have magical elements that often get overlooked. Did you know that the dandelion, that seemingly unimportant weed, is considered as a good source of vitamins? Who’d have thought it! Our environment’s just full of surprises, so we wanted to check out which of our favourite flowers have been helping the nation for years.

Sunflowers

Like little bundles of sunshine, this burst of yellow is enough to bring any greenery to life. Reaching high into the sky for the entire world to see how pretty they are, it’s no wonder why Van Gough chose to paint them. However, it’s key to remember that sunflower seeds also contain a lot of important health essentials, such as vitamin E and magnesium; a combination that can both improve your skin and calm your nerves. But that’s not all! Much of the sunflower family have beneficial qualities, such as arnicas, which are used for their ability to help wounds heal. (There are arnica creams and tablets available for you to buy).

Lavender

Famous for its calming effect and assistance in providing a good night’s sleep, lavender is a scent which is both recognised and loved by many. But why? For years this flower has been popular with the masses, dating back as far as 2500 years ago when the Egyptian’s would use it for perfume... and mummification. However, nowadays it’s mostly appreciated for its relaxing qualities. Suffer from insomnia? Then a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow is said to do the trick, helping to ward off any pesky stress and anxiety.

Rose

Roses are a very symbolic flower. They connote love, passion and beauty, something which the old romantic in British culture seems to embrace. Although, the truth is, that the significance of this emblem of l’amour does extend beyond its physical appearance. Rose oil is also known for its endless healing properties. From its use as an anti- depressant and ability to fight off infection, to the effect it has on dry and sensitive skin, rose oil is certainly a remedy that shouldn’t be ignored.  

*Sponsored Post
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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Hair Adventures: feat. Creative Image Adore

I'm at my man friend's place tonight so I'm restricted to posting from the trusty iPhone.
I just wanted to write a quick update about my red hair dye adventures, the latest being a semi-permanent colour by Creative Image Adore in Crimson.
I picked two little bottles of this stuff up from a hair extensions and wigs shop on Uxbridge road for £3.45 each.
It turns out I only needed one bottle so I've now got a spare ready for when this inevitably rinses out in the next few weeks.
To use this colour, I shampooed and towel dried my hair (no conditioner!) spread the very runny formula through my hair, wrapped my head in plastic, blasted it with a hair dryer for a few minutes, vacuumed the flat, had a cup of tea then jumped in the shower to wash it out
(Development time for Creative Image Adore is 30 mins).
After successfully dying my bathtub pink, I emerged from the ordeal looking like this:
*stock photo of the Creative Image Adore range from ensleybeautysupply.com
Thanks for reading!









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Top Trends for 2013 - Guest Post from Matalan


No doubt 2013 will see the emergence of an amazing number of trends that many people never expected to see, in a great variety of areas likely including those of tablet computers, children's toys, chocolate treats and ladies clothes or ladies coats. Ultimately, there are far too many trends that we consider likely to occur in 2013 for us to list here - and you might not agree with all of our choices for likely trends in 2013 anyway. However, below is just a brief list of what we reckon you could become suddenly very interested in this year...

Small beer

About a decade ago, Gordon Brown - as Chancellor of the Exchequer - gave tax breaks to breweries below a particular size. As a result, dozens of small breweries have been set up, to the extent that Britain now has as many breweries as it did about 70 years ago. Many small breweries have been used to brew what have been dubbed 'craft beers', which have been said to have more flavour and character and increased complexity and structure.

African prints

Many homes could soon be adorned with the bright and busy patterns of western Africa. Though such patterns are currently used only rarely in homes, it is thought that they, along with bright and bold colours in general, could become part of a much more mainstream trend during 2013. So you could soon expect visiting other people's homes to be a literally rather more colourful experience.

Budget cars

If you have long wanted to buy a car but seem to lack enough cash to do so, then you might be interested in knowing that the Dacia Sandero car will be going on sale in the UK in February and will be the cheapest car on the market. It has obviously become popular worldwide, as Dacia cars now account for 10% of all Romanian exports. You will be able to buy a white model for a mere £5,995, while other models will be only slightly pricier.

Pressure cooking

Although pressure cookers were popular in the 1970s, they soon declined in popularity. However, they could soon be making a comeback - as, a few years ago, chef Catherine Phipps saw her sister-in-law create a meal of black beans with sausages in only half an hour, and the chef has recently published The Pressure Cooker Cookbook, which reveals how dishes that once needed only hours of stirring can now take only minutes.

 *Sponsored guest post
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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hair Adventures: Red-dy Round 2!

You may have seen last week's post about my hair faux pas featuring Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance.
Though this particular product is designed to lighten and colour dark hair, I failed to take notice of the fact that it wasn't going to do anything to the black dye that still lingered in my lengths.
So I was left with a slightly bizarre light red on top, black through the lengths, fiery on the ends look that led my own brother to enquire as to why I looked like a 'red skunk head'. Whatever that is.

Anyway, long story short, I wasn't happy rocking the reverse-ombre look but I wasn't ready to go back to the dark side just yet. What's a girl to do?

Pop into Superdrug on her lunch break of course and pick up a packet of pre-lightener and two packs of red dye!

I finally admitted to myself that if I wanted to turn my locks red, bleach was going to be involved.
Here's what happened:

This is the result (in a variety of different lighting) after pre-bleaching with Clairol Born Blonde Lightener and two packs of Superdrug Colour Vibrance Permanent Colour in 8:45 Fire Red.
I need to mention that the pre-lightener was really effective at lifting the black dye and was probably the most pleasant bleach I've used in terms of minimal stinging/ itchiness and odour!

I did the dye job two days ago and washed my hair today and was a little surprised by the amount of dye that ran out when I washed it - the shower scene from Hitchcock's Psycho sprang to mind.
I know that red dyes fade incredibly fast so I think this time next week I'll be topping up the colour with a semi-permanent. Stay tuned :0

Superdrug Colour Vibrance dyes are currently on offer at 2 for £4.99.

Thanks for reading!





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The Two LBDs

I've made a resolution this year to brush off the cobwebs and socialise more often.
I have a problem though - a distinct lack of LBDs.
Obviously these days it's not difficult for us to find ladies clothes online thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the rise of the Smart Phone!
Picture boards are a pretty good way of putting a few ideas together and mulling over them for a while and here are a few picks from fashion and home wares boutique kaleidoscope.co.uk.


While strictly speaking LBD is an acronym for 'Little Black Dress', I feel that an equally important wardrobe staple is the other LBD - the long black dress.
For me, the long black dress is a spring staple that can be dressed up with a flashy belt or statement costume jewellery, or paired down with simple sandals and minimal jewellery.
The 'mid- length' LBDs picture are a good pick for me because they're a little bit retro, rather modest in length (no accidental crotch flashing here) and a bit off the wall with mesh, panel and lace detailing.

Thanks for reading! xx

*Sponsored Post




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Friday, 18 January 2013

Knitting, Afternoon Tea and Vintage Beauties - Atrixo Event

I attended an AMAZING event last week in celebration of Atrixo hand creams.


 Hosted by the beautiful Vintage Patisserie ladies and complete with a knitting class headed by the seriously talented Catherine Hirst, this gorgeous event introduced me to a cult classic product that I hadn't tried before, despite the fact it has been a handbag staple for over 50 years!
Bloggers were treated to a delicious afternoon tea while learning the ins and outs of basic knitting techniques and were given stunning retro makeovers by the Vintage Patisserie girls.
It was all a bit of a treat really!
Atrixo creams aplenty 

Obligatory rabbit head

Knitting instructions and tools

The gorgeous Vintage Patisserie gals

This was actually a cake. It was delicious. I'm serious

With prices starting at around £2, you can find Atrixo products at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Ocado.

Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

And....Sleep.

I'm one of those people who has major issues getting out of bed in the morning, has a burst of energy between about 11am and 2pm, can't keep my eyes open by 5pm, then can't actually get to sleep until about 1am.
I will settle down for the night with a book or the TV, get all yawny and sleepy but then when it's time for lights out, BAM that silly brain of mine slips into overdrive thinking and worrying about EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING.

Staying up late is fine when you have nothing on the next day, but being stuck in this cycle constantly is pretty unpleasant to say the least.

Today I wanted to share a couple of little bits and pieces that encourage relaxation and sleep which you might find handy if you're anything like me!



Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a wonderful night serum that is supposed to improve skin texture and replenish moisture overnight, but my favourite thing about it is the smell. Evening primrose oil and soothing essential oils including a hefty dose of lavender means this little product smells like refreshingly deep sleep in a bottle!

Elemis Quiet Mind Room Mist is the perfect way to prep my whole room for sleepy time - this stuff can be sprayed around the room and onto pillows and bed sheets, leaving everything delicately scented with soothing patchouli, eucalyptus and lemon. All in all it's just really lovely stuff!

Sranrom is a brand I wasn't familiar with until a couple of weeks ago when I was introduced to the Urban Wellness range - a lovely natural collection of body products.

One of my favourite's from Sranrom's Urban Wellness collection is the Sleep Tight Pulse Point Roller*, a lovely little tube packed full of a beautiful, relaxing blend of ylang ylang, lavender, white champaca and other snooze-inducing ingredients.

Using this is pretty self explanatory - just roll it onto temples and wrists and breathe in the soothing goodness to help you relax.
Then of course there is the humble Badger Sleep Balm which is essentially a beeswax formula brimmining with rosemary, bergamot and lavender. I'm afraid my tin of this is far too battered to photograph...

You can find out more about the gorgeous, natural brand Sranrom by visiting them at sranrom.co.uk.

I picked up the Elemis Quiet Mind Room Mist at Debenhams around Christmas and I've had the Badger Balm for far too long to remember where I got it, but I'm sure you can find it at Boots.

Thanks for reading and Goodnight!
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance

So a few days ago I decided it might be fun to dye my hair red. Pretty much everyone I mentioned this to told me it was a bad idea so today when I was perusing the hair colourants at Superdrug in Islington (they have a huge range there by the way) I had a pretty bad feeling in my gut.
Never one to be sensible with these things, I ignored my own instincts and left with Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance in Infrared - a fiery, bright hue that looked pretty close to exactly what I wanted.



The selling point of the Luminance range is that it claims to dye your hair all kinds of fantastic bright colours without the need for pre-lightening or bleaching first and was in fact especially developed for dark haired girls like me who don't want to miss out on having bright hair should we fancy it!


This seemed right up my street but I knew I might come up against one issue - the black dye still in my lengths from about six months ago...
 So my issue is that my roots are the colour of the model's hair on the box...

But my lengths are still pretty dark...
And thanks to my grown out ombre, my tips match my roots! (p.s. I'm not nude)

Strictly speaking, this could be a bit of a hair fail but I'm interested to see how the colour will look in the sunlight tomorrow, if we get any here in London of course :0

So there you have it, that's what happened when I dyed my hair with Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance.
My advice? If you've got dark hair and you want a bright colour, go for it, just don't try and use it over an existing colour. Obviously...ahem.

You can find Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance at Boots and Superdrug for around £5.49
P.S. Luminance has since been rebranded as 'Intense Colour + Lift'
P.S.S. My lipstick in these pics is Topshop Lips in Infrared. I thought it was rather fitting. x
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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Pretty Polly Secret Socks!

I've wanted a pair of Secret Socks since I first saw them on Twitter a few months ago and now I can proudly say that I actually own some.

The selling point of these is that they're essentially opaque socks and 20 denier tights in one - perfect for chilly days when your regular tights just aren't going to cut the mustard.

These are such a cool idea and I'm looking forward to actually wearing these in public rather than just putting them on and taking awkward photographs of my knees in my bedroom.

Secret Socks are available in 3 different styles - knee high, thigh high and patterned.
These are actually the thigh high version but for the purpose of the photos (and to maintain what little dignity I have left) I'm wearing them at knee length.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the socks and tights combo?
I found mine at John Lewis for £7.50 but you can find them at various shops on the high street including River Island, or online at www.prettypolly.co.uk

Thanks for reading!
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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cheap Thrills: Boots Traditional Skin Care


Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of high end products with prices to match but sometimes a gal's got to budget and strip things down to the basics.
Thanks to Christmas spending my trusty little Boots Advantage Card had accumulated a few points for me to spend so I thought I'd use them to try a couple of super thrifty products I've had my eye one.
The  Boots Traditional Skin Care range consists of products that your nan would have used in her day - traditional cleansing and moisturising creams, cold creams and a rosewater and glycerine concoction that promises to tone and soften, all at under £3.50 a pop.
I recently picked up the Traditional Skin Care Skin Cream and Glycerin and Rosewater.

The Skin Cream is an ultra rich, thick and luxurious concoction with a consistency to rival that of the much coveted Creme de la Mer.

But that's where the similarities end. Instead of ocean-derived miracle broths and meticulous fermentation processes, the Skin Care Cream boasts time tested ingredients such as lanolin and paraffin to do the trick.
At first I felt a little bit weary of these particular additives,but after a bit of research I've found that both paraffin and lanolin are ingredients in the humble E45 cream so I'm willing to give it a go!

At £2.54 this cream is not only ultra affordable, but multitasking as well - use it as a gentle and soothing cleanser or simply as a comforting, rich moisturiser.
I've found that the cream makes a great base under makeup too!

The Glycerin and Rosewater is pretty much what it says on the bottle - a skin softening combination of fragrant rosewater and moisturising glycerin that can be used as a toner or subtle moisturising treat for the face and body.

This stuff is quite heavily fragranced for a facial product and I think this is something that will make people love or hate the product. If you're a fan of roses, get yourself a bottle but if you're not keen on scented products, I suggest you steer clear!

So far I'm in two minds about toning with the Glycerin and Rosewater in the morning as it might be a tad too oily for my skin but I'm loving it as a little pre- night cream treat for an extra moisture boost.
Boots Traditional Skin Care Glycerin and Rosewater is a steal at £2.32.

Have you tried any products from the Traditional Skin Care Range at Boots? I really like these products and their slightly retro appearance!
You can find out more by clicking HERE

Thanks for reading!
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