Friday, 28 February 2014

beauty | lips and tips

Recently I've been seeing the retro trend of matching your lips to your nails going around, and wanted to put my own spin on it. Usually the trend includes the classic red lips and nails, but I've decided to up the amp and do it with a bright pink instead.

These are all products that have appeared on my blog at some point already (reviews above!) but it was only the other day that I realised how well they go together. I absolutely adore my lipstick from Topshop in 'macaroon' and the OPI nail polish from the euro centrale giftset.

I also added the confetti topcoat as I haven't used it in so long and always forget about it. I think it adds a really lovely touch and makes the look a lot more modern. Sadly though, my confetti topcoat is beginning to get a little gloopy so I found it pretty hard to get an even cover!

What do you think of my matchy-matchy look?

Monday, 24 February 2014

style | New Look purchases

So the other day I decided that I really needed to get some clothes for summer. I'm going to London for a few days at the end of May and wanted to get some clothes that will be warm enough to wear even if the weather isn't that nice (it is England after all!). I went online to New Look with the mindset to only put things in my basket that are colourful and summery and not monochrome, which I have a penchant for wearing.

I think we can all clearly say that I failed on that! I bought all black and white which is so frustrating but hey ho, maybe I can paint my nails bright colours instead!

1. White Stripe Pocket Tunic Dress (£19.99); First up I decided to buy this striped tunic. I've seen one similar in Tosphop for around the £27 mark, but thought this one was lovely and I really love the detailing on the pockets. Plus, anything with pockets just makes me love it even more (is this just me?!). I think this will be lovely with a pair of sandals and floppy hat.

2. Black V Neck Strappy Jumpsuit (£22.99); I've been wanting a jumpsuit for a while now, just because I think they are so versatile and can look really lovely on a night out as well as during the day. I love the straps and cinched in waist and think it'll be really flattering. This one is an online exclusive.

3. Black Strappy Midi Dress (£17.99); I've also wanted to delve into the world of midi dresses and think that this one is a pretty simple one to ease me in. I just think it would look lovely with a tan and, again, can be dressed up or down.

4. Leather Look Tunic (£10 down from £22.99); This was definitely a really random buy for me. I just saw it on the model and thought it looked pretty weird, but for £10 I might as well give it a go! I do like this style of dress and think it could look nice on a night out. I'm just worried that it won't actually fit me that well just because I have a big chest!

So these are my most recent orders from New Look that should be arriving any day now. Hopefully they will all look very pretty - and if they do you'll be the first to know with a bunch of outfit posts going up!
I've also got my eye on these gladiator sandals and this lovely maroon hat so might have to make another order soon!

What do you think?

Friday, 21 February 2014

beauty | Kate Moss for Rimmel '101'

I've never been a fan of nude lips - I always thought that if it's not noticeable, what's the point? However, it's not exactly the norm to wear a deep plum lippy to go food shopping or to work (I work at a small village newsagents where the usual customer is over 40 and they think I've 'made an effort' when I've painted my nails), so I decided to delve into the world of nude lips for the first time.

I headed straight to Rimmel for my nude lipstick, as I already own shade '107' from this range and love it dearly. I've also seen various people talk about this shade, and saying it was worth it so I jumped straight in. 

The shade itself is powder pink with blue undertones, and it goes on smoothly and pigmented - you could easily get full coverage with one swipe. However, I'm pretty bad with my lips and they are constantly in bad condition so I have to really scrub away the dead skin and put some lip balm down before I apply this lipstick. It can settle into lines and become noticeable if you don't prep first.

It has a matte finish on the lips but doesn't feeling drying at all, which is a major hate for me with matte lipsticks! It also smells really lovely, but it doesn't hang around after you've applied it.

Overall I really love this lipstick. I've found myself reaching for it on a daily basis and find it adds just the right amount of colour without being 'too much'. I'm definitely going to have to expand my nude lipstick collection as this product has really got me excited for them!

What do you think?
Do you own this lipstick, or any others from the collection?

These lipsticks retail for £5.49 and can be bought from Boots and Superdrug

Monday, 17 February 2014

beauty | Benefit realness of concealness

Today I'm coming at you with a concealing and highlighting kit from Benefit. I've been a huge fan of Benefit for years now and they are definitely one of my favourite high-end brands. I love the kitsch packaging and the quality of their products always lives up to the hype.

This 'mini "fake-it" kit' was a gift from my aunt and uncle for Christmas (they know me so well!) and contains five sample-size products to hide any blemishes you might be suffering from. 

Firstly, the packaging is so lovely. It's a small brown polka-dot case with a magnetic opening and a mirror in the lid. It's perfect for travelling with as it easily fits in the palm of my hand.

Then inside, there are three small vials of liquid products - each containing 2.5g of product - and then two trays of cream product which range from 1g-1.2g.

From left to right we have lip plump; ooh la lift; high beam; lemon aid and then boi-ing concealer in shade 02.

I'm not too keen on how Benefit package their cream products in their giftsets - I prefer having the option to take just a concealer with me rather than having to take the entire set with me - but at least this one is a smaller set.
On the other hand I really love the vials of liquid product as they can easily be taken singley, plus they have a doefoot applicator which i prefer compared to the brushes you sometimes get in the full-size products.

Now onto swatches;

lip plump: described as a neutral toned primer for the lips, it helps to 'smooth and fill in lines while building the lip contour'. This sounds like a wonder product that helps to make lipstick last longer and fill in any lines. Sadly, I've had really dry and chapped lips for the past couple of weeks so haven't been able to properly road-test this product. I did try it on a better day though and found it really emphasised all my dry patches so you really need lips in tip-top condition for this one!

high beam: Benefit's famous highlighter also features, and this satin-pink one can be used anywhere you want to draw attention to - cheekbone, browbone, cupid's bow etc. - and I've been a fan of this for a while. It adds just the right amount of sheen without being too much like a glitterball.

ooh la lift: this product has extracts of raspberry and chamomile in it, and you pat it under the eye to 'help de-puff and firm'. I absolutely love this product - I wear it under my under-eye concealer and I think it really helps on those days where I haven't had any sleep (and look haggard!) as it brightens everything up.

lemon aid: this is a yellow-coloured correcting cream that you apply to the upper lid to cancel out veins and any discolouration. I've never really had a problem with veiny eyelids but this works as a good base for eyeshadows as it gives them something to cling to. Not a product that I find myself reaching for often.

boi-ing (shade 02): I've had this concealer before in previous sets and have found it to be pretty good at hiding blemishes and anything else on my face. However, from the swatch you can easily see that this is way to dark for my current skin tone so I prefer to use '01' over winter and '02' in the summer months when I have a tan. I can get away with wearing this shade now - as long as I take time to make sure it's well blended.

Overall I'm really happy with this kit - I've been able to try a variety of new products that I wouldn't have bought full-size and been able to use a few old favourites. I'm definitely contemplating buying the full-size version of ooh la lift once this one runs out as it's becoming a daily staple for me!

What do you think of this kit and Benefit?

Benefit's realness of concealness retails for £23.50 and can be bought from Boots here

Thursday, 13 February 2014

beauty | OPI outrageous neons

L-R: Riotously Pink | Seriously Purple | White Base | Formidably Orange | Ridiculously Yellow
For Christmas my lovely mother got me this set of neon nail polishes from OPI. I always get some sort of nail varnish for Christmas and am always excited to see what's coming next. This particular set screams spring/summer at me as everyone knows that as soon as the sun comes out we're looking at pastels or neons. 

The set contains 4 different neon shades, a white base and a clear top coat all in OPI's trademark shade but travel-sized.

To begin, you need to paint the nails with the white base coat. This goes on pretty patchy to begin with and in the end I used three coats to make it bold and opaque. This is obviously pretty time consuming so you need a LOT of time spare to use this set. This white base is really lovely though - goes on smoothly and dries in a quite speedy time. I love to wear white polish on it's own as well so it's great for this too.

I then painted on two coats of each of the neon shades. These dry matte on their own which look quite pretty, or you can add the top coat once dry.

Ridiculously Yellow | This is a banana-yellow shade that I personally think is the least wearable. I always think that any yellow polish that isn't pastel can look garish and can stain your nails - but with the base coat you can get away with it. Not my favourite shade but is definitely bright and summery.
Seriously Purple | This is the darkest shade so is much easier to get an opaque finish. Its definitely a more muted neon shade, and is more rich and warm purple. This is the one I'd lean to in the colder months as it isn't as in your face as the rest.
Formidably Orange | This is by far my favourite shade of the collection - a punchy red/orange that takes me back to Ibiza and party holidays. I cannot wait to wear this all through summer.
Riotously Pink | This is my second favourite of the set, as you can never go wrong with a hot pink. This is such a beautiful and eye-catching colour and not like anything in my collection. 

I really do love this set and think I'll get a lot of use out of it. The only negatives I could find was obviously how time consuming it was - I didn't five layers on each nail overall - and the fact that some of the white base can sometimes show around the edges.

But the colours of each polish and the quality that OPI is known for more than make up for it. I'm super happy with these polishes and they will definitely be making an appearance on my nails all through summer!

What do you think?
Do you have a favourite nail polish for summer?

The OPI Outrageous Neons set can be bought from Beauty Bay for £13.62.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

style | new things

T O P - River Island via ASOS
C O A T - New Look
N E C K L A C E - Primark

Two posts in two days, what is this madness?!
Today I had a lot of spare time so decided to spend my time wisely on my blog instead of watching Loose Women and whatever trash I can find on TV!
Today I'm literally wearing an entirely new outfit - I got this lovely bright blue top in the January sales from RI via ASOS. It was down to £15 from £28 or so, and I am so in love with it! I love this shade of blue and have recently found myself buying lots of textured tops as they look like I've made an effort when really they are the most comfortable things to wear. I can't find it online anymore though, sorry!

I'm also wearing my new disco pants from New Look. I've wanted a pair for literally 6 months or so but have never found any of good quality for a cheap price. These were £23 which is a little steep as they aren't the best quality, but they definitely look lovely on. The material can really catch on stuff like velcro and wood though so whenever I wear them I get really paranoid of catching them! 

And of course, my new babies - these boots! I literally only got them yesterday in the post but as soon as I put them on I knew I would be wearing them every day literally! I first saw these on Sian from SianShutterbug in one of her latest videos, and I'm so glad I bought them. For £25 they are the perfect knock offs of the Vagabond Dioon's.

I think this outfit could easily pass on a casual night out for drinks, but today I'll be wearing it food shopping (my life >>>> your life) and then I'm going out for tea tonight with my girlfriends - my first time at Chiquito's and I literally cannot wait. Expect many pictures of amazing food on my Instagram tonight!! 

Do you like my outfit?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

beauty | new hair

So I got my hair chopped off!

I've been growing my hair out ever since Year 7 when I have my hair cut into an extremely questionable bob and over the years I've had a few inches off or grown it out a little, but this past year my hair was the longest it's ever been since I was a kid. Last Tuesday I had my hair up in a  ponytail and my hair was at a really lovely length (see this picture on instagram here) and decided to go for the chop. I booked in on Wednesday and by Thursday my hair was all cut off!

I'm definitely not one to think these things through so it was a spur of the moment thing, and I'm so glad I did it. My hair feels so much more healthy and I've gotten rid of a lot of over-dyed hair at the ends. I got it all cut to the same length around the bottom with no layers, as I think it looks a lot nicer than choppy layers. My hair is quite thick though and I have a LOT of it, so it can look quite heavy but that can be sorted out with a few hair products to lift it up. 

I've been having fun finding out how to style it and have started using my GHDs to create loose waves and then spraying it with salt spray. I'm definitely into the more scruffy windswept look, which helps with the weather we're having lately!

I've seen so many people getting their hair chopped off recently and I really am completely on the bandwagon! It's almost as though I've given my hair a spring clean as it was getting so annoying with how long it was - getting caught in literally everything and whipping me in the face all the time!

What do you think?
Would you chop your hair off?

PS; how awkward do I look in these pictures?! I've definitely fallen out of the blogging loop and become so uncomfortable in front of the camera!