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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Rimmel Apocalips | 'Big Bang' 'Galaxy' & 'Luna'

Rimmel Apocalips | £5.99 each

When I first heard about the Rimmel Apocalips hitting the stores, I knew straight away they would be a winner in my books. So much so, I actually got into town superly-duperly-extra-specially early on the day they were released so that I could get my mitts on a few of them before the rest of the beauty bloggers in my area got there first. Yes.. I know... we are talking extreme measures here but surely you fellow bloggers know that as soon as there is hype created over something, rest assured the shelves of Boots and Superdrug will be empty within days - and I just couldn't risk such a thing happening. I simply HAD to have my pick of every single shade. I settled on 'Luna' - a bright orangey peach, 'Galaxy' - a rich purple-plum shade and 'Big Bang' - a classic bright red.  Already I'm really regretting not buying more. These lip lacquers are right up my street. Let me explain why...

Firstly, these little beauties are essentially a lipstick, a stain and a lipgloss all packaged to perfection into one tube. I wore 'Big Bang' on a recent night out and never before have I been so excited by a drugstore lip product on first application - the coverage is completely opaque right from the start. The consistency is thicker than a gloss, almost creamy in texture, but I don't find it at all sticky - once on it feels like any regular glossy/creamy lipstick (and that's coming from someone who cannot stand the majority of lipglosses on the market..fussy little madam, I know). I went out for drinks the night I wore this and it was still going strong a few hours later. The colour was almost exactly the same as when I'd applied it earlier (even after sipping drinks). Admittedly, the gloss does wear off after a while, but you are left with a satin-finish stain that still looks bright and smooth in texture on the lips. I find them to be the perfect lip product rolled into one - you're essentially skipping the need for gloss over the top, and are still getting the benefit of a lip stain and a pigmented lipstick. The doe-foot applicator is also surprisingly easy to use - and I managed to get a pretty even line without too much hassle.  I've recently been looking into the YSL Glossy Stains, and these are very similar in concept - just with a smaller price tag!

Big Bang has to be my favourite so far - it's such a wearable, classic red and looks so bright once applied. Luna is a lovely shade for every day wear - and I find it looks really nice dabbed over Mac's 'Shy Girl' for a more toned down look.  Galaxy admittedly isn't for everyone - I'm still unsure as to whether I can pull this one off but I don't own any other shade like this in my collection and I must have been feeling somewhat daring when I took it to the till! Lastly, I love the space-related shade names and the shape of the packaging (easily pleased) - it adds a little dose of quirkiness that helps to set them aside from any other products on the shelf.  It goes without saying that you will most certainly find me lurking around the Rimmel aisle sometime this week.  I really want to get my hands on 'Celestial' next - sadly, it's out of stock everywhere near me right now. Never mind... I shall sit and twiddle my thumbs, wait patiently for it to make an appearance and in the meantime I shall stock up on the rest of the collection.. I really love the shade range and simply need them all in my life. Like.. now.

Have you tried the Apocalips? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Liz Earle | Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle | Cleanse & Polish | Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit - £14.25

One thing that I've been more aware of ever since I started reading blogs, let along writing my own, is skincare.  I have ridiculously sensitive skin and I struggle no end finding products to suit it. It's mostly normal - I don't struggle over the top with dryness or excessive oil but I do suffer from a bit of uneven skintone here and there, visible pores and the odd pesky spot now and again. I've been using the Hot Cloth Cleanser now since Christmas time, and have noticed the benefits of it already - not only has it helped to clear some of the uneven skin tone around my inner cheeks, it has also seemed to aid the healing of blemishes at the same time as helping to keep winter skin moisturised. I can really see now why this product receives as much praise as it does...

My Motherbear bought me the starter kit for Christmas containing the 100ml Cleanser and 2 muslin cloths. You simply apply and massage the cream into a dry face and neck - you can even apply it over the eyes as its removes all makeup. You then rinse the muslin cloth in warm/hot water, and 'polish' off the cream. This feels absolutely divine. Honestly, it's addictive. The hot water feels as if it's bringing all of the impurities to the surface and polishing with the cloth exfoliates all of the 'badness' away. The cream is really rich and smooths out easily, and smells really natural and fresh. It contains naturally active ingredients such as cocoa butter, rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus - and has a very refreshing and soothing aroma that I find rather relaxing both in the morning and at night.  After removing my makeup and cleansing with the cloth, I splash my face with cool water and proceed with the rest of my skincare regime. My face always feels so soft at the end - it really does remove all the cruddy-stuff your skin has collected during the day.

At first, I wasn't sure how i was going to get on with a hot cloth cleanser. It has received such good reviews but part of me always wondered if I could personally be bothered to use one (that sounds so lazy, i know). When I'm tired I really just want to get into bed and i really don't enjoy cleanse, toning and moisturising at night - but at the moment this is something I really enjoy and it's nice that I'm starting to see the benefits of it.  It's just really soothing, and the heat from the cloth makes you feel as if you are getting a really good, thorough deep cleanse.  Overall, a really big thumbs up for Liz Earle so far - it's not given me any grief with my silly sensitive skin, and it's helped to soothe some of my uneven skin tone. It's safe to say that at the moment, I've been converted to a completely different cleansing routine.

What are your thoughts on Liz Earle/hot cloth cleansers?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Halo Hair | The Halo Review

 Halo Hair Extensions | 'The Halo' in 'Dark Blonde' (20inch) £99.99* -

A while back, I had the chance to try some hair extensions from the lovely folks at 'Halo Hair' and was so excited to give their infamous 'halo' concept a whirl. I've tried clip-in extensions in the past and I love how much volume they provide, but hate how much of a 'faff' they can be - The Halo is glue-free, clip-free and sits on the crown of your head without the need for spending ages on application.  If you wish to read my first impressions and learn a little more about the concept then you can read my previous post here.  I thought I would take the chance to answer a few questions I had at the beginning, offer an all round general opinion and hopefully help some of you decide whether or not the Halo is for you. If you want to learn more about application then there are videos and step-by-steps provided on Halo's website here.  

Is application as easy as it looks?
Yes. Although it is best applied on completely tangle free hair (I use my tangle teezer before applying). I also find it is best to style your own hair after you have secured the Halo in place so as to avoid having to pull any curls or waves over the wire.  If you're a fellow curly-barnet fan like me, bare this in mind.  It does take a little getting used to and if I'm honest it took me a good while to get the 'knack' - I find it best to start pulling hair through with a tail comb at the back of my head and working up towards the sides. I also find it easier when I haven't got any hairspray already in my hair - the smoother you own hair is, the better.

Is the wire completely invisible?
It is completely undetectable in your hair and as long as you pull enough hair over towards the crown of your head.  I've just realised I have no close-up photos of the top of my head.. but trust me, it isn't noticeable in the slightest.

Does it feel secure?
This is the bit I was most worried about. When you first place it on the head it feels a little strange. But once you begin pulling hair over it feels completely secure and even if you tip your head backwards there is very little movement. The weight of your own hair will keep the Halo secure and in place, and even in windy conditions it will be just as secure as clip-ins.

Can you dye the extensions and how good is colour match?
This is the bit I struggled with slightly. I have dark blonde hair that has about 4 different tones running through it and I always struggle finding a perfect match if I opt for extensions.  I had to dye mine to get them to match as the Dark Blonde shade was a little too warm for my hair and also a little light for some of the light brown tones I have.  I applied a gentle dye to tone the warmth down, and then highlighted/low lighted sections so that they blended more with the mousy tones I have towards the bottom of my hair.  The quality hasn't been ruined - just make sure you use a good conditioner and that you don't use heat to dry them afterwards! If you're worried then ask a hairdresser to colour match them to your hair - I recommend using a dye that's only a shade lighter or darker.  Halo offer a colour match service so if you send them a photo of your hair colour in natural light they will get back to you with the closest match.  This is what I found most helpful - I had so many questions about colour and they were so helpful and patient with me.

Can you see the extensions in your hair/feel them on your head?
No you can't. Although people with thinner hair might find clip-ins a better option as the weft is quite thick.  I have thick hair and had to backcomb around the sides and at the back so that it was undetectable. The only bit I found a little 'niggly' was the side where I'd adjusted the wire - it can come up slightly and show through a teeny-tiny bit at the side but I often tease my hair so I didn't find it to be too much of a problem - and a little bobby pin underneath the hair will do wonders. As for feeling them on your head, you can - but hardly! No more than clip-ins.. if not less so! The wire doesn't hurt - you can't feel it and they don't feel heavy or itchy.

Can you style it as usual?
As with most extensions - the Halo can be styled with heat just like your own hair.  I try not to spray mine too much with hairspray but they brush through and curl like a dream. 

How about quality?
Halo hair is really soft and looks so sleek and frizz-free (human remi-hair is the best quality hair available as all the cuticles are still in tact and running in the same direction).  Even after dying mine twice and applying a bleach they remained in good condition.  Treat them like they're your own hair and you won't have any problems. I also haven't experienced any shedding, which I've found to be a massive problem with cheaper hair extensions.

What about length?
There are two options in length - 16", 20" and 24" (in certain shades). I opted for 20" inch as I have fairly long hair to begin with. In fact, the Halo is more or less the same length but I liked it because it added so much volume!

Do I prefer the Halo to clip-ins?
The Halo is fabulous for nights out and when I need a lot of volume in my hair. The hair is really thick and luxurious and blends in perfectly whilst adding a lot of 'oomph' to the lengths. I must admit I personally like clip-ins due to the fact I can choose how much to put in and where to place them on my head but on the other hand it's great to have a one-step option. The quality of Halo Hair has been amazing and they look so natural at the same time as being easy to maintain and style. I guess I'm still undecided as to whether or not I prefer the Halo - I think I prefer each one for different things and occasions.  For nights out it looks incredible and achieves volume I very much struggle to get with clip-ins. The only thing I had trouble with was colour match - I think there needs to be a cooler toned dark blonde, as those with 'in-betweeny' shades like me might struggle to find a perfect match between the lightest brown and the darkest blonde if they haven't got a lot of warm tones in their hair. Overall though, I've been impressed. The site is easy to navigate, delivery is speedy and customer service is fabulous.

Have you tried Halo hair? What are your thoughts on the concept?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Nars | Highlighting Powder in 'Albatross'

Nars Highlighting Powder in 'Albatross' | £21.00 | John Lewis (link)

Nars is fast becoming one of my go-to high end brands for makeup. Their eyeshadows are among some of the best I've ever tried, and I must admit I'm a huge lover of their 'Laguna' bronzer and blush powders.  Next on my list of things to try was their ever popular 'Albatross' highlighter - a beautiful white powder that blends into a yellow-toned bright highlight colour, perfect for cheekbones and contouring.  During the winter, my skin can tend to look very dull and lifeless, and I often feel as if it needs a little bit of lift; this is the perfect product for doing just that, as it brings light to the cheekbones and generally just makes you look more awake and fresh-faced. Perfect for those mornings when you feel far from bright-eyed and bushy tailed!

I apply this using my Real Techniques contouring brush (seen in a recent post here), and just the tiniest amount is all you need as it's very decently pigmented, - you do have to build it up rather than applying lots to begin with.  I'm really into contouring and concentrating on my skin-base at the moment, and I've been using this daily since Christmas - to say I've hardly tapped into the surface says a lot about the quality of Nars products - they last ages. 

The powder looks pure white in the pan, but when blended merges into a gold/yellow toned white that looks both natural and flattering as a highlighting colour.  It also doesn't look overly shimmery which completely wins me over when it comes down to highlighting products - there's nothing I hate more than leaving the house, glancing in the mirror and realising I look like I've been in a fist-fight with the glitter-fairy! 'Albatross' provides just the right amount of 'sheen' and looks lovely in both photographs and natural light (you can see it in action in my makeup posts here and here).  Needless to say, I'm superly-duperly chuffed I have this in my collection - it's the perfect compliment to the 'Laguna' bronzer and the yellow tone looks really soft and natural.

Have you tried Nars highlighting powders? Any others you could recommend?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A New Chapter...

Today, I said goodbye to something that has been a big part of my life and worked my last shift at the shop I've been working in for the past 4 (and a bit) years, and it's been quite a strange day to say the least. I started there as a weekend girl when I was still at college and I remember my first day like it was yesterday! I remember going to grab some lunch on my dinner hour and not having a clue where to go or what to do with myself, and I ended up with a Greggs sausage roll and a donut, awkwardly sitting on a bench because I didn't want to disturb anyone already in the tea room (don't we all just hate that awkward introductory period when you start a new job?!) After college, I made it a full-time thing and enjoyed my 9-5s, 5 days a week (what a way to make a living..Dolly Parton wasn't joking..) and became 'part of the shop furniture'.. for a good 2 years I honestly thought it was where I wanted to go with my life. But then the little niggle started and I haven't shifted it ever since... making the decision to go to uni was the beginning of it.. and here I am a year or so later concentrating on a completely different career path.

I decided that I wanted a change for 2013, and I knew if i didn't make the change now then I would have gone through another year of umming and arring over the job pages of the newspaper, wondering what else could be out there. It was a very big decision for me, and a rather scary one at that, as I'm leaving before I've found something new (cue lots of gasps and 'are you sure's' from family and friends). Admittedly, I'm a natural worrier and doing this has just been a massive leap into the unknown for me - It could either make or break me and I could well find out that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.. but I'm determined to turn it into a positive. I get attached to places and people very quickly and changing things I'm comfortable with doesn't sit right with me.. So I'm now in the ever so horrible position of trawling job sections of papers and job websites looking for something new.. I forgot how horrible it is trying to find a job, and it's even worse knowing I've put myself in this position. But hey-ho! We live and learn... This said, I'm so set on making this work for me, and I really needed a new start this year. I'm so serious about what I now want from life and I just wanted to step back, think about it all and concentrate on that for a while. I suppose that sometimes in life we all have to throw the dice a little and do things we are unsure of, otherwise we would never progress..

My wonderful colleagues suprised me at the end of my shift with a lovely card and presents (wrapped beautifully in bird patterned wrapping paper..they know me so very well!) I really wasn't expecting it and as soon as I'd served my last customer they all presented it to me and I was honestly so amazed as to how thoughtful they had been.  They're all aware I write this blog, and they'd treated me to some Benefit goodies ('Big Beautiful Eyes contouring kit' & 'Go Tropi-Coral' containing High Beam, Cha Cha Tint, Coralista Blush and Coralista Lip Gloss!)  I'd mentioned in the past how I hadn't tried much of their stuff - so it was a lovely suprise and I was totally over the moon about it - they had thoroughly spoilt me! The card was just the best bit though, and I'll keep it forever and ever. They'd all written their own message inside and it just reminded me of how many good times I've had in that little shop over the years with all of them. I've had many a giggle, with both the staff and my customers, and I know that I'm just going to look back on that stage of my life when I'm older and be glad that I stayed there for as long as I did.  It's given me so many life skills and bags of confidence I wouldn't have necessarily gained out of another job, and on the whole it's really shaped me as a person.

Needless to say, it was such a challenge battling back the tears when I hugged everyone goodbye at 5:00 this's very strange how your colleagues become your little work family isn't it?.. If any of you are reading this.. I shall miss you very much... and I thoroughly look forward to sharing a beverage or two with you at my leaving do (although now i'm living off my student loan & 'rainy day savings', the drinks are on you ;))

Keep your eyes peeled for my Benefit goodies popping up on my blog in the near future!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

My Mac Lipstick Collection

Swatches | L - R | Top Row: Velvet Teddy / Shy Girl | Second Row: Plink! / Creme Cup / Saint Germain | Third Row: Speed Dial / Viva Glam Nicki / Costa Chic | Bottom Row: Ravishing / Saigon Summer / Lady Danger

There's something about a row of lipsticks that I find rather pleasing to the eye, so forgive me for the photo heavy post - but I've also just received my new macro lens for my camera so to say I got a little bit snap-happy is an understatement!  I thought it would be the perfect time to do a Mac Lipstick collection post - as they are something I personally like to have a nosey at on other blogs as they give me ideas for my next purchase and new colours to add to the ever growing wishlist! I thought I'd give you a rundown of the colours I own and hopefully help a few of you pick your next in line - or maybe even your first one! I have a grand total of 11 Mac lipsticks.. which I think is a nice amount to call it a 'collection' if I don't say so myself. Although I must admit I cannot wait to make it 12.. there's something about odd numbers that doesn't sit right with me... (please reassure me I'm not alone with this hatred of odd numbers!)

Velvet Teddy (Matte) - A deep brown-ish nude. I find this to be a 'your lips but better shade', although on me it does look quite noticeable.  Great for those days where you don't want to be too over the top but still want the lips to stand out. The matte finish means it is quite pigmented and paler skins might find it a little too dark for a nude shade.

Shy Girl (Cremesheen) - One of my absolute favourites. I've had this for a couple of months and it's been used more than some of the others I've had for longer! A peachy nude shade that looks so flattering on paler skin and really awakens a dull complexion. If you're after an everyday shade and need a bit of warmth then I really recommend this one (post here)

Plink! (Lustre) -  A warm 'seashell' pink. The newest addition to my collection and a favourite of Mollie King from the Saturdays (if it's good enough for Mollie then by heck, I'll be having me some of that!). A very sheer wash of colour due to the lustre finish but one that is very glossy and flattering. A fabulous everyday pink. If you like a bit of gloss to your lippies then look no further.

Creme Cup (Cremesheen) - Another old favourite of mine. Similar to shy girl but pink instead of peachy toned. Great for everyday wear and those who like pinky nudes will love Creme Cup. 

Saint Germain (Amplified) - Not for the faint hearted. A very bright, bubblegum blue-toned pink that is very 'in your face'. Personally I love it, although I must admit i feel very 'Barbie-esque' when I adorn this lipstick. Definitely a fun addition to your makeup collection. The amplified formula is the most pigmented of the bunch so rest assured you will be getting your colour pay-off with this one, it's completely opaque and covers the lips instantly.

Speed Dial (Cremesheen) - The first Mac lipstick I ever bought and one that I will continue to repurchase. A mid-tone blue-ish pink that's understated enough to be worn everyday but bright enough to make an impact. A very good little all-rounder and the cremesheen finish makes it a dream to apply.

Viva-Glam Nicki (Satin) - An extremely bright pink and surprisingly wearable. It's superly-duperly pigmented and lasts very well on the lips. I struggle to wear this through winter but it's a gorgeous summery pink if you're into your bright colours!

Costa Chic (Frost) - I think this has to be one of my summer favourites and if i had to pick one lipstick to last me all summer it would be this.  Just seeing it reminds me of sunny afternoons sipping pina coladas by a pool and walks on the beach at sunset (can you tell i'm craving a holiday right now?). It's just the perfect eye-popping coral and it really does look amazing with a tan. Trust me on this one - if you're jetting away to sunnier climes this year, you need this in your suitcase...

Ravishing (Cremesheen) - Mid-tone coral. A lovely wearable shade if you're scared of going for full-on orange! It looks lovely even with paler skin (I've been wearing it through winter) and it a great option if you like warmer tones on your lips.

Saigon Summer (Cremesheen) - Part of the new range available at Mac. It has a slight frosty finish to it but is amazingly pigmented and is a super bright orange tone. I set out to buy 'Morange' but I saw this one and preferred it! It's amazingly bright - the camera doesn't pick it up to be as bright as it is in 'real life'. I urge you to go and swatch it! It's beautiful. Definitely going to be a summer staple for me!

Lady Danger (Matte) - Another new addition! Amazingly pigmented orange-toned red. If you're after a bright red then look no further.  I prefer orangey reds as opposed to blue-ish reds on my skin tone.. and this one is just the perfect addition to my collection.

And there we have it.  My collection as it stands. In a few months I will probably have to do another since I'm planning on updating it over the next couple of weeks or so (I have no willpower whatsoever when it comes to Mac lippies..) I think it's fair to say I do like my mid-tone corals and pinks.. I really need to get more daring with my lipstick - but I much prefer classic reds if i'm going to go for a bright colour (hence why Lady Danger is the only 'darker' colour I own!) I have a few more on my wish list and definitely want to expand on the darker colours slightly.. I really want 'Russian Red' and 'Sunny Seoul'.. and I'd really love to add 'Up The Amp' to my collection too since I don't own any of Mac's purple-y shades!

Whats your favourite Mac Lipstick?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Barry M Lipgloss Collection

Barry M Lipglosses | £3.99-£4.49 each 
L - R / 9 - Cherry Glitter / 5 - Bubblegum Pink / Limited Edition - Strawberry /  2 - Toffee / 3 - Strawberries & Cream / Glossy Tube - Iridescent Violet Glitter /

Admittedly, I'm the fussiest little madam you will ever meet when it comes to lip gloss.  I am a huge collector of lipstick and if i ever treat myself to something then rest assured it will be a lip product, but one thing I really struggle with is glosses. I've tried all kinds - stains, long-wear, cheap as chips, high-end.. the lot. And so far none of them I've found have come close to my trusty Barry M's.  I hate feeling like I've dunked my lips in PVA glue or chip fat.. (hmm lovely thought for you all there..) but Barry M have ticked the box for a fuss-free lipgloss for me.

Barry M glosses are available in an array of shades (although i do wish they had a few more red/brighter options) - and so far I have 6 in my collection. Each one smells like the name of the colour (toffee is by far the yummiest in my opinion) and are decently pigmented to provide colour pay-off even without lipstick underneath.  They aren't the most long lasting but they don't feel sticky at all which is what matter the most to me with a gloss.. they just smooth on really easily and I don't feel the need to wipe it straight off again! I slightly prefer the gloss wands over the glossy tubes - just because I much prefer a doe-foot applicator as there is more control over how you apply them to the lips. Those who find glitter lip products might find the glitter glosses slightly irritating but the texture and consistency overrides this for me and I just find them very comfortable to wear on a daily basis. Overall they're just really good little lipglosses to have in your collection - and if like me, you can't stand lipglosses, then give these a go - they're currently the only ones I can wear with ease and I will without a doubt be completing my collection for the full set (next in line is the coral shade!) You can view the collection here.

What is your favourite lipgloss? I'd love to discover some more fabulous ones!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

1K followers | BIG Hair Giveaway!

I promised a while back when I hit the grand total of 1000 followers on my blog that I would do a giveaway. I've finally got around to sorting it all out, and settled on the idea of a 'big hair' related giveaway. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know I love volumising products and big glamorous hair, and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the products I use with one of you lovely bunch. The products i'm giving away have been featured in a few of my recent posts (here and here) and are products I use on a regular basis (you will also find a little pampering suprise tucked away in the parcel...don't we all love suprises!) The nail polish is actually one of my favourite reds.. and is rather appropriately named 'Big Hair'...

The Rules
- This giveaway is a UK only giveaway - apologies for all of my overseas readers.. I shall try and make my next giveaway international.
- Any entries made through accounts set up purely for giveaways will not be counted
- It goes without saying, but please be fair and only enter if you've done the requirements for the giveaway - any entries found that have falsely entered will not be counted
- If you are under 16, please ask permission from your parents to enter this giveaway as I will need you address to post the prize to you
- The giveaway runs for 2 weeks and will end on Sunday 27th January.
- The winner will be announced and contacted soon after the giveaway has ended. If i get no response with 48 hours of contacting the winner, I will pick another. 


  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations to SOPHIE over at sophierosehearts. Youre the winner of this giveaway :) 

Good luck to all of you entering and thankyou for being a reader of my blog

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

January Sales Buys | Clothing, Accessories & Jewellery

| Jewellery |
Maroon Stones - £4 £2 Primark / Triangles £4 £2 Primark / Stud/Spike Bracelet £3 Primark / Gold & Black £4 Primark / Blue Gems £8 £3 New Look/

| Accessories |
Belts - £2.50 each Primark /  Bobble Hat - £4.99 New Look / Leopard Beret -£16 £7 Topshop /

| Photos 3 & 4 |
Floral Cami £15 (sale price) - Topshop / Studded Body £6 Primark / Bird Collar Shirt - £10 Primark

| Photos 5, 6, & 7 |
Blue mini - £8 (sale price) Topshop / Dalmatian Shorts - £39 £12 Motel Vintage at Topshop / Jack Wills V Neck £39 £15 - Jack Wills / Aztec Jumper - £24 New Look /

|Photos 8, 9 & 10|
Studded Hotpants - £40 £15 Topshop / Bird Slouch Tee - £18 Topshop / #Awkward Tee - £7.99 New Look / Geek Tee - £18 Topshop / St Tropez Gradual Tan Medium/Dark - £20 £10 - Boots /


I must admit, every year, the thought of shopping in the January Sales fills me full of pure dread. There's nothing I'd rather not do after Christmas than battle the crowds in the hope of finding bargains I don't really want. I think working in retail around this time of year puts you off going shopping! However, this year, I decided to take to the shops shortly after the New Year & over the past couple of weeks I've picked up a few things..

I'm so excited to have finally found a slouchy bobble hat that looks decent on me! A while back, I owned a lovely little black bobble hat and I was completely in love with it. Until I lost it on a rather snowy winters evening, have no idea where it tottled off to.. and as a result spent a good while sulking that I would never find one the same ever again (so much so I refused to wear any other hat until I'd replaced THAT one). Ohh how good things come to those who wait because a year or so later, I've found my perfect replacement in New Look for under a fiver. Spiffing.

I'm addicted to casual t-shirts at the moment, which totally goes against my usual dressy/girly style but I love wearing them with jeans when I'm having a lazy day or when one simply can't be bothered to put together an outfit in the morning. I don't usually go in Jack Wills - as much as I love their stuff I often feel as if its full of 11 year old 'Mummy, buy me a horse' types...(ahahaa you know the one's, fellow Wills shoppers..i'm sure they ruin your shopping experience too). This was reduced to a rather purse friendly £15 down from £30-ish so I was quite chuffed with that as I get a lot of wear out of slouchy tees like this..

And of course, the Primark shirt had to be mine - simply because of the birds on the collar! How CUTE?! and I also adore the little dalmatian print shorts from 'Motel Vintage' in Toppyshoppy - they were around £12 down for £40 which is just bargainous in my eyes and it would have been criminal if I hadn't took them straight to the tills... I also stocked up on another GEEK tee - I have the bright blue and love it to shreds! (& the #awkward tee is for wearing to bed..i love a good hashtag, me...)

What have you been buying in the sales?
Please forgive if i have priced things wrongly here.. I've been collecting stuff for ages..

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Advertising on Bird's Words

I've been running my blog for just over a year now, and by no means am I the biggest fish in the blogging pond, but I take blogging very seriously and it is part of me and my everyday life.  I understand some people are a little 'iffy' when it comes to bloggers offering advertising, and that's fine. But Bird's Words is all i do in my spare time - it is more than a hobby for me and naturally, I want to see it develop and grow more. I have 4 packages, all available to other blogs and small shops, and have tried to reasonably price them compared to other blogs of a similar size to mine..

If you wish to take a look at my advertising slots and packages then click here
Since it's my first month offering advertising, i've lowered my prices as an introductory little offer - my cheapest package this month is just £2.

If you wish to book a slot for February then send me over an email and I shall do my very bestest to get it all sorted for you!

Monday, 7 January 2013

My Love For.. Soap & Glory's The Righteous Butter

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter | 300ml £10.50 (here) | 50ml £2.50 (travel size)

One thing I really enjoy using as part of my shower routine is body butter.  I have had a copious amount of tubs over the years, and have tried so many different brands and variations; my poor motherbear must get very annoyed at how many lotions and potions of mine adorn her bathroom shelves! I have recently rekindled my love for a very well known product - Soap & Glory's Righteous Butter.  I was recently sent the travel size in a giveaway win from the lovely Natalie over at youralmostalice (thankyou so so much I owe my re-discovery of this product to you!), and remembered how much I adore the scent of it (so much so it's sat in my handbag for a multipurpose little cream and for daily sniffing purposes - wow that makes me sound like an addict!). If you have never tried Soap & Glory then this would be the first thing I'd recommend to you - it's fabulous for all year round (I used to buy the travel size for taking away on holiday with me as it's really soothing).. but I usually use it after I shower to lock in moisture and to keep my skin smooth and soft in the winter.With 'softening shea butter and aloe vera' it's deliciously creamy and sinks in amazingly quickly to say it's a rather thick in consistency. It leaves your skin feeling smooth all day and I can still smell the scent hours later.

'Relax and take in the wonderful aroma's of leafy greens, bergamot and mandarin, with a floral and fruity middle note that makes your nose tingle a little, followed by soft, sexy, musk, oakmoss, amber and woody notes'.

I'm still yet to find a body butter than keeps my skin moisturised for as long as this one. It's not greasy, sinks in like a dream and is easy to massage - it's really rich and creamy and smells good enough to eat. I really recommend this for dry skin - it's instant nourishment in a tub.  I'm so chuffed to bits Natalie sent me the travel size - I've certainly rediscovered the love for The Righteous Butter - it really is pampering heaven!

What's your favourite Soap&Glory product right now?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year's Eve Makeup | FOTD

Since one of my New Year's blog related resolutions was to upload more 'Face of the Day' posts, I figured I'd include a photograph of my 'NYE makeup' - I'm sorry I didn't manage to get any close-ups or further photographs - I'm waiting on my macro lens for my new camera so make-up photos will be a doddle and I'll be able to capture more detail... & also I was in a bit of a rush to pick my friend up! Excuses aside,  New Years Eve calls for a bit of glamour when it comes to hair and make-up, and I opted for smokey eyes, a mild orange/peach lip, and side swept hair. I love wearing blue, and always seem to pair it with an orange shade on my lips - it creates such a lovely colourful contrast. I also went for a stronger contour on my cheeks than I usually wear in the day, and just generally dramatised my everyday makeup and made it more night appropriate..

Topshop's Charmed is a beautiful shade of peachy orange, and is bright enough to make a statement but not so bright you can't get away with it in the daytime.  I applied it lightly and smudged it with my fingers to get more of a softer look, and applied a nude gloss over the top to tone it down. I bought this shade way back when it was part of a limited edition collection, but I've seen it in my local store just recently so I'm pretty sure it's now part of the permanent collection.

| Face |

YSL | Touche Eclat Foundation in 'B40' (review here)
Chanel | Soleil Tan De Chanel (contour) 
Mac | Mineralise Skinfinsh Natural in 'Medium'
Illamasqua | Powder blush in 'Lover'
Nars | Albatross Highligher
Nars | Laguna Bronzer
Sleek | Eyebrow Kit in 'Dark' with Mac | 'Beguiled' brow set

| Eyes |

Illamasqua | 'Obisidian' eyeshadow smoked out from lash line
Urban Decay | 'Bootcall' (Naked2) in corners
Loreal | Superliner Carbon Gloss
Maybelline | The Falsies Mascara
Eyelure | Cheryl 'Girls Aloud' False Eyelashes

| Lips |

| Lipstick in 'Charmed'
Barry M | Gloss in 'Toffee'

Dress - Motel via Topshop

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Blog Resolutions & Personal Aims

Tree & Decorations - John Lewis

With the festive season at an end and the New Years celebrations of last night over with, I thought I would write a little chit-chatty post for you all.  I thought my readers might like to know what they can expect from me in 2013, as well as helping me along with some of my more personal goals. 2012 has been a pretty good year for me. It has seen me land a work placement within the Graphic Design field - giving me a clearer a path as to where I'm headed and making me realise exactly what I want out of a career. It's also been a fabulous year for my blog - even though i began writing in October 2011, it was this year that I really got my head down and began to really emerge myself in the whole blogger community and I have enjoyed every single minute of it. I raise my imaginary champagne glass and propose an imaginary toast to all of you sat behind your laptops and say 'here's to another year'...! Let's make it a good'un girls!

Blogging Aims and Resolutions 

Continue to grow as a blogger and continue to post regularly.
I always try to write 2-3 posts a week, and I'd love to keep this up as it's something I really enjoy and I like having a routine for my blog. I'm always learning every step of the way and I'm really proud that I've designed every aspect of this blog - Google has most certainly been my friend this past year!

Try my hand in YouTube
I'm still unsure as to whether I will ever reach this goal or not. There is something about YouTube that absolutely terrifies me but I love the idea of you all being able to get to know me better as a person - this way, when you read my posts you will be getting a much more personal experience.

Post more Outfit and Face of the Day posts
I've always been wary of posting photos of myself on the interwebs, and it's the reason I've always held back in doing a lot of outfit and face posts. The Internet is a scary place and I've always been very aware of this - I just hate the thought of my blog falling into the wrong hands but in a way I just think, why should I hold back from enjoying my blog and being a beauty blogger just because of this? The internet can also be a wonderful place full of fabulous opportunities and if I do more posts like this then hopefully you as readers will feel as if you know me a little better. Now I have my new camera I feel really inspired to get more creative with my posts.

After receiving my new camera, I really want to step my game up a notch and develop a more professional looking blog.

Attend a meet-up & an event
The past year I've gotten to know so many of you and I'd love it so much if I could attend a meet-up. I'd also love to experience an event - I enjoy blogging no matter what, but it would be lovely to have that experience.

Personal Aims and Resolutions

Have more make-up free days
A recent trip to hospital and being poorly meant I didn't wear makeup for over a week. This week saw my skin look better than it has in a very long time and I saw instant benefits. I have vowed to myself I will take off my face makeup as soon as I get home from now on - the less time I have it on the better.

Bring back my confidence with driving & purchase a sat-nav
When I was doing my driving lessons, I was such a cocky little girl-racer! Now, that's all gone. I haven't driven on a regular basis now for a good few months and it shows. I want to learn to overcome this in 2013. I have found myself only feeling comfortable driving to places I know the way to, which is ridiculous since I've been driving since the day i passed my test! I'm going to buy myself a really good sat-nav to help me with this and if that fails then I'll look into other ways to bring my self-confidence back. I often see glimmers of it returning but 2013 shall be the year I have my girl-racer car-loving tendencies back!

Stop being so worried about everything 
Suffering from panic attacks has a bit of an impact on me as a person. I often say no to doing things out of the ordinary because they make me feel anxious.  I really tried to overcome this in 2011 and 2012, and want to continue to do so. I'd love to stop being such a worrier and tackle things head on.

Get another work placement
I'm a very driven little person sometimes, and I'd love to add another placement to my CV to give me the leading-way above the rest when I finally graduate from university.

A big one for me. I spend my money like it's water. As soon as I get paid I go shopping and although I somehow manage to keep a savings account, I'd love to save a hell of a lot more and stop being so materialistic (pah - who's betting this resolution will be a big fat fail!?)

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Are any of yours the same as mine?

Is there anything you would like to see on my blog in 2013?