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Wednesday 29 August 2012

Fashion Favourite | Sheer Maxi Skirts

1. Maxi Skirt - Primark - £15 / 2. Dipped Hem Skirt - ASOS - £25

One thing I'm loving right now is maxi skirts and dresses. They're something I wouldn't wear on an every day basis yet they make for an interesting altenative for nights out and holiday outfits. One thing I do enjoy about summer is getting the legs out so I'm loving the side split and dipped hem styles that seem to be everywhere this year as it means I can still show off my tan but feel like a bit more of a 'classy bird' at the same time! 

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the black skirt in Primark - it's something you wouldn't usually find in there and i'd expect to pay double the price for a piece like this. The skirt it sheer material all the way down and has little knicker-shorts underneath so you can see your legs through it, and has side splits down both sides. I might be booking a last minute holiday for the week before I'm back at uni and if i do i'll definitely be bringing this with me - it will look amazing with a tan!

The second outfit is one i wore on a recent holiday to Lanzarote. I wish I hadn't worn the belt with it now as I think it ruins it slightly but I still love the skirt and I adore the pink/nude shade as I can pair it with most things. Here I paired it with a lace crop corset top from River Island and nude wedges (not seen). I love ASOS - it always has things I wouldn't normally pick up in the shops and I always grab my student discount too - if you're after some pretty skirts for a holiday or occasion I really recommend them; they're my favourite go-to online store for pay day treats!

Monday 27 August 2012

Lush | Feeling Younger Skin Tint

Lush - 'Feeling Younger' Skin Tint - £12 

'Feeling Younger contains 'magic orange' pigment which works as a reflector on the skin, making it look bright and youthful' 

After making an impulsive pur-chase of Lush's 'Charisma' skint tint (review here) and falling head over heels in love with it, I found myself back at the Lush counter with a pot of their highlighting skin tint in my hands. I've only ever used powder highlighters so I was really excited to try this as i've really got into cream products just recently - I've found they look more dewy on me and tend to last a bit longer without going patchy.

Yet again, Lush have won me over. I like the fact it's more versatile than a powder - the gel-like formula means you can mix it in with your daily moisturiser or foundation for a dewy base, as well as applying it directly onto your foundation for a more precise finish. I use it on my cheekbones, under my brow bone and on my collar bone - the sales assistant even mentioned to me that you can use it in the corner of your eyes so i've been using it as a highlighting alternative to eyeshadow in my tear duct too. It has a pink/golden undertone to it and looks really natural and glowy - not overpowering like a few other highlighters i've tried. I also mix this with my under-eye cream before applying my make up and concentrate on brightening any dark circles. It all depends on what i fancy: an all over brightening effect mixed with my moisturiser or a more precise highlight. It gives a really smooth finish and lasts me most of the day - the good thing about cream products is that they wear off rather than just going patchy - and the gel formula of the Lush Skin Tints mean that they don't feel heavy on your skin. There's no doubt they are my favourite product from the new Lush make up range.

Have you tried the Lush Skin Tints?
Love them as much as me?

 (You can also read my review of the Lush Liquid Lips here)

Sunday 26 August 2012

Floral & Polka Dot Nails

Thought I would do a quick post on the nail design i've been sporting this week - I'm obsessed with floral nails at the moment - they're so easy to do and fairly quick once you know what you're doing. I've been on a work placement this past week at a design company near to where I live so I wanted something a little bit more creative - obviously! Since I've cut down my hours at the shop, my nails have been in such good condition and although I suffer the odd breakage - they are noticeably longer because I'm not so hands on all the time - WIN.

I used the same polishes as I used in my Cath Kidston design (post here) but painted the floral pattern straight onto the blue and applied the polish more simply. I've seen the dotty design paired with floral a lot just recently so I was inspired to try it myself.  

What's your favourite nail design at the moment? 
I'm after some more inspiration!

Thursday 23 August 2012

Haul | Basics & Tees

1. Crop Striped T-Shirt £12 - Republic | Grey Slouch T-Shirt £12 - ASOS / 2. Striped T-Shirt £3 - H&M (sale) | Loose Knit Black Jumper £14.99 - H&M

One thing I love having in my wardrobe is basics. I've recently got back into wearing jeans and i've invested in a couple of pairs from Topshop (why I never discovered their Leigh jeans until now I will never know..) So I've been collecting slouchy tees to pair with them on those days where I just don't know what to wear (happens often enough). The £3 bargain from H&M is perfect for me - it's 4 sizes too big but I like things loose fitted as I find it more flattering with skinny jeans. The H&M jumper will take me into autumn but it isn't too heavy that I can't wear it now (its similar to the one i wore in this previous OOTD here). I'm also planning on wearing this with some crazy jungle print leggings I bought recently from Primark..

Tuesday 21 August 2012

My Top 5 Drugstore Lipsticks

Swatches L-R: Rimmel 'Nude Pink' / Barry M '129' / Sleek Pout Paint 'Peachy Keen' / Revlon Lip Butter 'Lollipop' / MUA 'Shade 13' /

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you will know that I make no secret of the fact that I'm the biggest lipstick junkie. I often splurge on my lipsticks simply because I get so much wear out of them, but sometimes I just want an affordable thrill to settle the lipstick-buying cravings! I thought I'd do my next post in my 'Top 5' series on 'drugstore' lipsticks - It took me a very long time to pick just 5 but I've tried to give an option for everyone here! If you're after something to satisfy your lipstick cravings without a ridiculous price tag or if you're still waiting for pay day then fear not, there are some fabulous lipsticks on the market that will still leave you change from a tenner...

Rimmel Lasting Finish in 'Nude Pink' - £4.99: A beautiful everyday shade that's easily wearable and has a slight sheen which helps to combat the look of dry lips. If I'm looking for a barely there colour I'll often opt for this one - it also looks fabulous with a tan in summer. A really great little all rounder. 

Barry M '129' - £4.99: One of the first lip products I ever bought and one that probably started my love affair with lipsticks - it's been a repurchase for me for a couple of years. The consistency is really creamy and soft and the lilac shade is really versatile - I often wear one layer of this for a flattering sheer finish but it can be built up. I'm aware the texture of these lipsticks vary depending on colour (i find the coral shade to be quite drying) but nonetheless they're worth a try if you like brighter, opaque shades.

Sleek Pout Paint in 'Peachy Keen' £4.99: The idea behind the Pout Paints is fantastic - there are 11 shades that you can mix together to create your own unique colours (I only own one at the moment because I like the colour as it is on it's own). They appear like a gloss at first but once patted onto the lips give a really opaque finish - a little goes a very long way with this one! A real fun concept if you're into really bold, bright colour then look no further.

Revlon Lip Butter in 'Lollipop' £7.99: Words cannot describe how much I love the lip butters. This blue toned pink is surprisingly pigmented and is really soft and er... buttery. If you suffer from dry lips then they're worth a try. If you fancy a peek at the other shades in the range/a more in depth review then I have a previous post on them here.

MUA 'Shade 13' £1: MUA lipsticks are the most purse friendly lip products you will find - and are of a really decent quality. My favourite shade is this red colour - it's really pigmented and applies really well, without being drying in the slightest. A perfect option if you want to try out statement lips and one that will suit a wide variety of skin tones.

Whats your favourite drugstore lippie?

Other Top 5's:

Sunday 19 August 2012

Haul | Shoes, Baroque & Floral

1. Nude Studded Slipper Shoes £10 - Primark | Black Suede Mini-Studded Slipper Shoes £17.99 - New Look | Black Studded Heels £12 - Primark / 2. Baroque Print Bodycon Dress £14.99 - H&M / 3. Floral Print Trousers £14 £5 - Primark(sale) / 4. Jungle Print Leggings £6 - Primark /

Believe it or not, but I'm obsessed with studs at the moment! The nude slippers from Primark are a cheaper alternative to the ever-famous Topshop Vectras and are the comfiest pair of flats I have. Perfect for days out shopping! I also picked up the black version of the Primark studded heels I featured in a previous post (here).  Heels for nights out that look good and are also comfy are a rare find so i figured i'd grab both colours. The slipper shoes from New Look have to be one of the comfiest pairs I've owned. I love their shoe range - they're always bang on trend, are affordable and they have the biggest selection to fulfil any shoe-fanatic's dreams... If you fancy taking a look at their selection click here.

The Baroque print dress was a really good little find - it didn't look amazing on the hanger but once on its fits perfectly and is a really versatile little piece to take me through to autumn. The floral trousers were a 'reet bargain - I have a work placement next week and I wanted something a bit more exciting to wear; something that I wouldn't wear on a day to day basis. I've never had the joy of having a 'work wardrobe' (I have a work uniform and it's far from fashion-foward) so for this coming week I can be a bit more experimental with smart/casual dress.

Friday 17 August 2012

22nd Birthday | Haul

1. Lush Bath Bombs - Ickle Baby Bot/ Big Blue/ Butterball /& Lush Bubble Bar - Creamy Candy
2. Body Shop - Mango Body Butter/ Fuzzy Peach Shower Gel/ Coconut Body Mist
3. Diesel 'Loverdose'/ Taylor Swift 'Wonderstruck'
4. YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in '144 Sparkling Fuschia'/ Mac 'Viva Glam Nicki'
5&6. Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

It was my birthday last week, so I thought I'd do a little birthday beauty haul! I've seen a few people do these little birthday present posts - I asked for a few beauty products off my friends and family this year so I'm sure most of these will be popping up on my blog very soon once I've given them a try! Everyone always gets me Lush stuff because I'm addicted to smellies - so I'm rather chuffed I now have a complete new stash to get through with a few bits I haven't sampled before! OO the excitement is unbearable.. As for the Taylor Swift perfume - I don't think i'm ever.EVER throwing that bottle away. I'm a little bit in love with the magicness of it.

After falling in love with YSL Rouge Volupte lipsticks (my review here) my mum treated me to one off my wish list from the 'Perle' range - Its a shocking pink shade that's wearable for both day or night, and contains tiny bits of shimmer. Right up my street. I've also had my eye on Mac's Viva Glam Nicki for a while now (I'm aware I'm a bit late on the bandwagon with this one!) so I'm exited to give this a try.

I also finally got my Naked 2 palette! *high five* I use my beloved Naked palette everyday but it's beginning to look a little worse for wear, so this will be better for travel due to the sturdier packaging. I like the fact this one comes with a double-ended brush for blending.

1. Shopper Bag - Cath Kidston/ Pencilcase - Accessorise
2&3. Bag and Purse - River Island
4. Pandora Charm

As for non-beauty bits, my best friend absolutely spoilt me this year (you little rascal I know you'll read this) and bought me a brand spanking new bag and purse from River Island along with the Taylor Swift perfume (which by the way, smells just as amazing as the bottle). My boyfriend also treated me to a new Pandora charm - it's one I've wanted for ages yet he had no idea - the little mind reader he is...
Of course, my birthday isn't complete with at least one thing with a bird on it, so I now have a new pencil case to shove in my bag for uni.

Anything specifically you'd like to see a review on? After all, this is a beauty blog and I'm here to put my opinions into the mix...

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Lush Charisma Skin Tint | Review & Swatch

Lush Charisma Skin Tint - £12

Words cannot describe how much I love this product. I know what you're thinking, 'Beth, this is ridiculously orange, no way am I trusting your review' -  please understand the photographs were taken in bright sunlight on the one sunny day we've had this month! I spoke to the lovely young fellow at the till about it, and was sold. The Lush Skintint is so versatile, it is meant for underneath your foundation or to be mixed with your everyday moisturiser or base for a glowy finish. I find applying over my daily BB cream works just as well and provides a subtle, natural yet noticeable bit of colour. I apply this with my fingers if i'm using it all over the face, but I must admit i've also used this for a contour and it applies quite nicely with my stippling brush for a more natural effect on the cheeks when compared with my powder bronzers which can look a bit false. This is the exact opposite and looks dewy and soft. I wasn't expecting it to blend as well as it did either - the consistency is very gel-like and light, and sheers out really well to leave you with a natural flush of bronze and isn't at all drying on my skin.

'Charisma is a blend of golden colours to wear under your make-up to give you a healthy, warm glow. Great on tanned skins, or for paler skins to give a bronzed effect.'

This, i'm sure, is going to last me ages. I currently have a tan on my face from a recent holiday so I only apply the tiniest bit each time and it provides me with a more natural looking option to my powder bronzers. It has a tiny bit of shimmer in it but it doesn't appear glittery on the skin - it just provides a gentle glow. I've since been back to purchase the 'Feeling Younger' highlighting/reflecting tint so it just goes to show how impressed i've been with this product to want to shell out another £12. I can imagine i'll be using this even after summer is long gone - I'm addicted, and I know a few fellow bloggers with paler skin tones have tried this and also been pleasantly suprised. (You can read my review of the Lush Liquid Lips also from the range, here)

Have you tried the Charisma Skint Tint? (Link)

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Range: Mini Reviews & Hair Tutorials

As a blonde, I like to take extra care of my hair colour to keep it in good condition and stop it from becoming brassy and unmanageable. John Frieda's Sheer Blonde range has been a firm favourite of mine now for quite some time and ever since I've used their products I haven't looked back. I thought I'd talk through a few of my favourites from the range for you fellow blondies out there!

Sheer Blonde Shampoo: There's a great choice when it comes to the Sheer Blonde shampoos. There's a variation for darker blondes (the darker yellow packaging) which I use in the winter months when my hair is duller, and the version for lighter blondes which I use in the summer when my hair is naturally lighter. They are also available in 'Moisturising' or 'Enhancing' - I find both enhance my highlights pretty well and I always notice a difference after using both, but if you bleach your hair often or it has become particularly dry in the sun, then the moisturising shampoo is a nice option to have. They smell amazing and are nice and thick in consistency, whilst having a subtle shimmer.

They also have a 'Colour Renew' range for toning - the purple toned shampoo is really gentle on the hair but knocks out any brassy tones and generally helps to keep the 'salon fresh' look for longer.

Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Spray: This is a product you're either going to love or hate and I think it depends on your hair type and colour of root regrowth. Personally, this is perfect for me as my hair is naturally quite light anyway. If I'm ever looking a bit 'mousey' around my roots I'll use this when blow drying and after a few uses my hair is back to bright blonde again.

Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo: I always pick up the travel size of this for when I fancy a bit of a 'blonde injection' as I don't like to use it on a regular basis. Again, it works on my hair colour perfectly and I find it helps to blend in any roots without needing to dye my hair.

Sheer Blonde Hair Repair Treatment: I grab a sachet or two of this for holidays or just when the mid-lengths of my hair are feeling a bit frazzled. Works like a dream and smells amazing. I find my hair looks less brassy after using this, particularly on the ends.

Sheer Blonde Spun Gold Shape + Shine Balm*: I've used this in the past when I had a few layers in my hair, as it works a treat for separating and styling. I've recently had the chance to try this again and I find it works well shaping the ends and also creating volume and texture when backcombing.  It has a beautiful shimmery finish which catches the light so it won't dull your colour. 

Sheer Blonde Boost Mousse: A colour correcting mousse to create volume and eliminate yellow tones in the hair. Now, I've had this a while and I believe they've now changed the packaging to purple to match the 'Sheer Blonde Colour Renew' range - a selection of purple toned products. I'll definitely be repurchasing when this one finally runs out as it's lightweight enough to create volume and also helps to keep any brassiness at bay.

The John Frieda Sheer Blonde range is by far one of the best ranges I've seen catered specifically towards us blondes. I've used it for a few years now and even though it's slightly pricier than your average, I really do think it's worth it for taking care of my colour.  John Frieda have also recently released some summer hair tutorials/inspiration on their Youtube channel which you can find here.

'The four distinct styles are designed to put the spotlight on blondes and compliment their individual style and hair type. The styles match each of the four lines within the Sheer Blonde® range, which offers tailor made solutions based on the following hair needs – Lightening, Tone Correcting, Moisturising and Enhancing.'

Have you tried the Sheer Blonde range? Any other products from the line you can recommend me?

Thursday 9 August 2012

Cath Kidston Nails #2 | Pink & Glitter

Topshop - Green Room / Barry M - Mint Green / Nyx Glitter - 161 / White Nail Art Brush (from Home Bargains) / Barry M - Strawberry Ice Cream / Barry M - Pink Flamingo / Barry M - Pink Glitter / No7 - Jammy

After my first attempt at Cath Kidston-ing my nails (you can read my post here), I decided to give nail art another whirl. I was rather chuffed at work on Saturday when a little girl came up to me in the kids section, took hold of my hand and said 'wow I really like your flower nails' - cue massive 'aww' and a rather chuffed sales assistant - it certainly made my day. Every time a customer walked in with a Cath Kidston bag I just wanted to run up to them and show them how they could match their nails with their choice of arm-garment - I didn't though - obviously.

So this time I went for a more intricate design - all in shades of pink (last time I used pastel blue) - It's my second attempt at nail art and I was feeling rather brave. I applied the polish in the same 'steps' as before (again see my previous post for this - it's easier than you think!) but before painting on the roses I applied a Barry M's Pink Glitter half way up my nail for a glitter gradient effect (the photo doesn't show it so much but trust me, it's there and it glitters!) I applied the turquoise glitter to the leaves of the roses after the design was dry to set off the green colour. I also went a little crazy and added in two shades of pink for the flowers. 

Any other flowery designs I should try?
Have you tried a Cath Kidston design? If so, pop me a link in the comments I'd love to have a nosey..

Wednesday 8 August 2012

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks | Review

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks | £23.50
Shade 1 'Nude Beige' | Shade 8 'Fetish Pink'

I've had these lipsticks on my wish list ever since I first started reading blogs an age ago and I finally decided to splurge on my most recent holiday. Quite understandably, I couldn't just buy one - I've been waiting to treat myself for so long and a combination of the sunshine and general happy holiday mood meant I happened to buy two (but it's OK - holiday spending money isn't 'real' money is it?) I opted for 'Nude Beige' - a flesh toned pink colour which is perfect for those 'barely there' days, and 'Fetish Pink' - a bright pink tone which is great for both day and night.

'An object of desire, this award-winning lipstick is wrapped in a romantic, elegant gold case that exudes luxury. Each signature shade saturates lips in captivating color that’s intensely pigmented, and imparts an irresistible glossy shine. The long-lasting, comforting formula is highlighted with a unique Color-shine Complex that leaves lips visibly smoother, plumper and more radiant. Light, silky texture smoothes on a veil of satiny, sensual color that’s altogether alluring. SPF 15.'

I'm in love. I must admit I'd be lying if i told you the packaging isn't part of the reason why I've been lusting after them for so long. Who wouldn't want to whip this little beauty out of their handbag on a bus?! I love the weighty gold tube and the intricate detailing around the middle which clearly shows the colour of the product inside (something that comes in very handy for someone with a ridiculously extensive lippie collection like me!) There's no doubt that these are expensive but you're getting a beautifully presented luxury product for your money.

The lipsticks themselves are the most creamy formulation I've ever tried and glide on effortlessly and smoothly. The pigmentation is incredible, and only one layer is needed to provide intense colour pay-off. They're really soft and silky, don't drag your lips in the slightest when applied and provide a wash of opaque glossy colour. Understandably, they aren't the most long lasting lip product I've tried due to the texture (I can imagine darker colours last much longer). I wore 'Fetish Pink' at work over the weekend and needed to reapply about 3 times over an 8 hour shift - although they do wear off, they don't leave horrible residue and they fade evenly. I now have a selection of other shades on my wish list.

Do you need one of these in your life? No. But if you're a lipstick fanatic and lover of the odd luxury purchase on pay day like me - yes - it's of paramount importance that you have one of these little beauties sitting prettily at the bottom of your handbag..

Have you ever tried the YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks? If so, what's your favourite shade?

Sunday 5 August 2012

Pantene Clarifying Shampoo

Being blonde, I'm always on the lookout for products that will help keep my hair looking bright and fresh. I noticed a while back that my hair was becoming difficult to manage - it was starting to feel dry and brittle, and the roots would become greasy after just a day. This was so impractical for me - having long hair means that washing and drying can be a chore, and after a busy week at uni/work it wasn't too fantastic having to spend a couple of hours washing, drying and styling my hair every night. The colour also looked dull and brassy. I'd heard about clarifying shampoos before, and I've used them in the past in handy sachets and small bottles - so i thought I'd hunt one down and give them another go.

This shampoo has solved my hair nightmare. For under a fiver, I've picked up a fantastic budget product that will last me ages and the most important thing is - it works. I was a little worried at first that this would strip my hair completely and I'd be left with dry ends and an even more un-tameable barnet that what I started with. I found it to be the complete opposite - even when washing the product out I found my hair felt so much softer and smoother, and when dry, looked bright and clean, as well as feeling light and 'swishy' (yes..swishy..) It's very gentle and won't strip your hair of moisture like other product removal shampoos ive tried - it leaves my hair feeling in really good condition. I'd gone from having to wash my hair every day to being back to being able to leave it a day or two in between washes. 

I don't use this everyday - I try to use it once or week or I'll just save it for when I can feel my hair is becoming weighed down with product or looking a bit lifeless and dull. I walked into work yesterday after using it the night before and my colleagues all said how blonde my hair looked - some even thought i had dyed it. It just goes to show you don't have to spend a fortune for a decent clarifying shampoo - I don't know how I ever lived without it and for the price, I'm certainly not complaining!

Any other clarifying shampoos you recommend?

Thursday 2 August 2012

OOTD | Striped Shirt & AA Disco Pants

Striped Shirt - Primark / Disco Pants - American Apparel / Heels - Primark / Clutch - Select / Lipstick - Lush 'Passionate' 

Alreet me ducks! Outfit of the days are a rare occurance on my blog - I just haven't worked out a good place to take my photos yet and I often struggle to get blog-worthy pictures of an outfit. I've been wearing my American Apparel disco pants non-stop since I bought them - they just go with anything and are so versatile and wearable. They can be easily dressed up or down and look fabulous with a pair of black heels for nights out. Here, I've teamed them with a striped shirt for a daytime look - and added studded accessories for a bit of detail. I also went for a bright lip for a bit of colour! 

I'm really loving disco pants at the moment - yes, they're on the expensive side but they're worth every penny and fit amazingly - as well as being really good quality (i'm contemplating getting a pair of the American Apparel riding pants too - if you have any, would you recommend them?)  I also have the Glamorous 'dupes' which I may feature in a later OOTD post - please let me know if you want to know how I think they differ and I can maybe do a post comparing the two. 

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Lush Liquid Lips | 'Passionate'

 Lush - Liquid Lips in 'Passionate' £14.50

I literally could not wait for the Emotional Brilliance range to launch in the Lush stores late last month. As soon as pay day rolled around I was straight in there. I have to say I was blown away by the choice of colours available - most colours seem very bright and girly, but if you tend to sway more towards barely there nude shades then fear not - they had some lovely subtle browny nudes and a selection of pink shades for every occasion. I figured I'd be a brave soul and opted for 'Passionate' - an eyepopping shade of purple/pink (think Mac's 'Show Orchid). I'm a big fan of statement lips this summer so this colour is just my cuppa tea! 'Passionate' is by no means an every day lip product. It is unbelievably bright and even the pictures don't show it up to its full potential.

I've never worn such a long wearing colour - FACT. This beats even some of my most high end lipsticks in the longevity stakes. Once applied, it settles to a stain on the lips and looks just as bright at the end of the day than when first applied. I got through an entire mexican meal out, a walk to into work and a few hours sitting around and there was minimal fade - I even attempted to try and wipe it off on the back of my hand and it didn't budge. The forumla is also suprisingly soft and moisturising - the Liquid Lips contain a blend of jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax and are said to be 'skin softening' and 'soothing'. One swipe and you're provided with intense, opaque colour - the pigmentation is just incredible. I love that the Liquid Lips are so versatile too - if you aren't feeling full-on colour, then simply apply lightly over a lipbalm for a toned down variation.

The only slight niggle I have, is that the packaging isn't very 'on the go' - yes it's beautifully made and I love it, but being a glass bottle it's also not the type of thing to just throw into your handbag - so bare this in mind. That said, I'm loving the new range and i'm dying to get my hands on some more colours now - I really want to try some of the lighter pinks and toned down shades. Look out for my review on the Charisma Skin Tint soon..

Have you tried Lush Liquid Lips?
What were your thoughts? Which colour did you go for?