A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

31 Jan 2013

Heeled Chelsea Boots

A couple of weeks ago, Barratts sent me some boots. I haven't shopped in Barratts for years, and was actually really impressed with their range. I was looking for some Chelsea Boots and they had a fab selection including these beauties

These are the "Shark" twin gusset Chelsea Boots and are reduced to £20

Aren't they beautiful? I love the curved heel. They are really gorgeous, and quite high! I've been wearing them all weekend (and getting used to wearing heels again, I hardly wear them with my job!). Check them out in lots of outfit posts to come!


29 Jan 2013

Marks & Spencer Shapewear Finder Tool

Last week, I was introduced to the new Marks & Spencer Shapewear Finder Tool - a handy helper Marks & Spencer have created where you input what body shape you’d like, problem areas, dress size, colour of underwear and if the outfit you’re wearing is strapless/backless etc and it will generate your ideal shapewear!

I gave it a go a couple of weeks ago and it came up with the control waist sculpt sheer cami to flatter my tummy and smooth my hips. I was sent it which arrived a couple of days later and was really pretty! For shapewear, their range is huge and there is something for every taste.

Here's the top, which can actually be worn as a top! It has sheer shoulders and sheer panels down the sides with a more controlling panel in the middle. The cups are also flattering as they don't pull you in like the stomach so you still have some boobs!

Overall, it's a great tool if you have a beautiful dress or outfit you can't find shapewear for and if you struggle with certain areas.


25 Jan 2013

How to get big hair using the ghd Air Hairdryer (and a review)

My number 1 favourite hair tool of the last year (and maybe forever) is the ghd Air Hairdryer. I was sent this to review and was blown away (excuse any puns). It’s an amazing hairdryer cutting frizz and drying times.

Whenever I read hairdryer blurb, I always think “yeah whatever, the technology locks in moisture, cuts frizz etc” because it’s hard to believe. However I actually take back what I said when I once said “all hairdryers are the same”. The ghd Air boasts a super-powerful 2,100W motor, ionic technology which locks in moisture and cuts frizz, variable temperatures and speeds as well as a cool shot (which actually gets really cool unlike most other hairdryers I’ve owned) 2 sizes of nozzles and a really long cord. 

There are 2 temperature options and 2 speed options as well as a cool button (not shown), making hairstyling really easy

The results - 
I have very long, fine hair with lots of whispy baby hairs which get annoyingly frizzy and curly. I have to be honest I was so surprised when I first used this and my baby hairs on my forehead were flat and smooth without loads of product and hairspray! It also makes blowdrying hair straight and smooth really easy due to the shaped nozzles so I haven’t needed to straighten my hair for a smooth texture.

How to get big hair - styling guide

You will need:
- Hairdryer
- Volumising mousse and blowdry spray. My favourites are Got2b sexy mousse and VO5 volumising sprays
- Medium sized Velcro rollers - I use 2 packs from Primark which cost £1.50
- Vent brush

Step 1. Separate hair into 2 sections, upper and lower from around the ears. Apply the products to the lower section throughout hair to the ends and comb through. Repeat for the upper sections ensuring there is an even amount of product throughout.

Step 2. Attach wide nozzle. Dry your fringe normally (if you have one)

Step 3. Tip head upside-down and dry hair, focussing on the roots, until it is completely dry.

Step 4. Now attach the narrow nozzle. Section off hair starting from the nape of the neck in 1 inch thick sections. Split this into sections as wide as each roller. Using the vent brush, dry each section aiming the hairdryer down the shaft of the hair until completely dry. Quickly wrap a roller into the section while the hair is still hot and pin if necessary. Once you’ve completed a whole row, blast them on the lowest speed, hottest temperature. Repeat this process working up the head until you get to the front. If you have thick hair or a lot of it like me, you will need a couple of packets of rollers.

Step 5. If you don’t have time to wait, blast the whole head with cold hair on the lowest speed setting until your hair feels cold - the cool shot sets the style ensuring it lasts. If you have time to wait around and watch tv, leave the rollers in until hair has cooled.

Step 6. Take out the rollers and gently brush hair through. Taking sections from the crown, gently backcomb hair and then brush out slightly when the whole crown and front section has been backcombed.

The hairdryer costs £99, but with many hairdryers not lasting when it comes to my super-long hair getting tangled, it’s worth the investment if you have the money. It beats my other hairdryers by miles. (I have 3 others, don’t judge me! I could never find a good one!)


23 Jan 2013

Primark Hask Argan Hair Oil

Hair oils are obviously big news at the moment and with people buying expensive ones like Moroccan Oil, I thought I’d try out the cheaper Primark Alternative

This is Hask Argan Oil and it was 99pm from the little bins as you queue up in Primark. It comes in a tiny test-tube type plastic container with a press-on rubber lid and it’s the perfect size for my makeup bag for when I’m travelling around.

The product itself is more a gel than an oil, making it really easy to apply and it doesn’t slip off your hands and ruin the carpet! It has a really lovely, sweet orange smell and doesn’t make your hair or hands feel greasy at all like I’d expect of an oil.

To use it, Firstly I towel dry my wet hair; then I put a 5p amount in the palm of my hands, rub my hands together and then with my head tipped upside-down, pull my hands through the lengths of my hair, avoiding the roots until all the product is off my hands. After this comb hair through with a wide-tooth comb and blowdry as normal.

The product leaves my hair feeling so soft, but not greasy or weighed down and limp. It’s really great stuff and for 99p I’d really recommend everyone try it for baby-soft hair

20 Jan 2013

Spending Ban Update and Wish List

So I've been on a spending ban since the beginning of the month (see this post here for the rules). Here's the update so far:

I've bought

  • new shampoo, conditioner and mousse because that's necessary. 
  • A boiler service (the excitement of owning a home)
  • Food shopping
  • Petrol (but I get this back from work)

However I have accumulated a rather expensive "want" list for next month

Essie Penny Talks nailvarnish - it's rose gold! 

Image taken from polishandpearls.com

Deep, narrow cake tins to make my own Red Velvet Cake - my boyfriend took me to the Hummingbird Bakery in Kensington a couple of weeks ago and they were delicious. I've bought the cake days book since!

Image from lexeat.co.uk


10 Jan 2013

My favourite products of 2012

I love reading people’s yearly round-up posts so thought I’d do one with my favourite beauty products in too.
Favourite skincare
I’m hugely in love with Dermalogica at the moment! 

I was suffering with really bad skin recently and decided to change up from my previously beloved Liz Earle. I bought the oily skin kit for £20 which lasted a month and since have started buying full sizes. Yes, they are quite expensive but shop around for bargains because they’re worth it. My favourites are

  • Dermal Clay Cleanser – this cleanser doesn’t strip my skin and helps clear spots
  • Oil Control Moisturiser – I suffer with greasy skin so this is a saviour!
  • Skin prep Scrub – this exfoliator is so good! The particles are tiny and really help remove dead cells leaving skin so soft, but doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin

Favourite foundation, concealer and powder
Foundation – for a second year in a row, Dior Skin Nude is my favourite foundation. I’ve cut back on foundation and try to only wear it for occasions, but when I need something this foundation gives a really natural “nude” look and is so light. It has a lovely light-reflecting finish but isn’t too shiny for a naturally oily girl like myself. It also comes in a great range of colours, particularly for people with pink-toned skin who find most foundations too orange.

Concealer – I am still in love with Boi-ing by Benefit; the only concealer pale enough for me but with amazing coverage. For under eyes I like Bourjois 12 hour sleep effect concealer
Powder – 17 Oil Control pressed powder is brilliant and again not too orange so I can layer it up for a foundation-free day
Favourite mascara
I’m always recommending it, but my best mascara of the year is L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic in black. I’ve repurchased this so many times and am still obsessed with it for creating super-long looking lashes that don’t flake. Check out my review here

Favourite lipstick
my go-to colour of the season is Bourjois Sweet Kiss lipstick in Rouge Glamour. A Beautiful berry colour with matte finish, great staying power and really moisturising.
Favourite haircare
Shampoo and conditioner – TIGI Epic Volume shampoo and conditioner - these smell so fruity, like strawberries. I love them! They are moisturising and don’t weigh down hair too much.

Products - VO5 Plump it Up mousse and blow dry lotions/sprays - I use all three styling products in the range to get huge hair. They’re just as good as the TIGI Superstar range at a percentage of the price.
Hair styling tool – ghd hairdryer! I’ve yet to review this but keep your eyes peeled!

What have been your favourite products?


7 Jan 2013

Spending Ban!

I'm on a spending ban!

I know other bloggers talk about this sometimes but I'm joining in the bandwagon and I'm on a spending ban until March. I'm totally broke already and it's only the beginning of the month (I got paid about 2 weeks ago, then my boiler broke and I had lots of unexpected costs including Christmas... I need to budget!).

This means I won't buy unnecessary items, I'll try to note down everything I spend for the next 2 months and will try to save money! 

I will not buy any makeup, unnecessary beauty products, clothes, accessories, books, stationary, items in sales (no matter how cheap!). I will obviously buy essentials like food, necessary beauty products etc but will try my best to be good with money! I'll give you an update in a few weeks on how it's going. 

Have any of you done spending bans before? What are your tips? 

2 Jan 2013

New Year’s resolutions

I love New Year's Resolution posts so thought I'd join in. 2012 has been a strange year for me... My Nan, who I was incredibly close to, developed cancer in May and died in October which I really struggled with, I split up with a long-term boyfriend and met someone amazing. I moved into my own house in January and am now living there with my cat. I got a new job in January and started a voluntary one too... lots! I feel like I’ve grown hugely and although it’s been really difficult at times I’ve come out much happier and much closer to my family and friends. I’m hoping 2013 will be an exciting, fresh new start so here are my resolutions.

Pay more attention to my blog
This last year has been a really strange one for me. I have had a lot going on in my personal life so sadly the blog has been my last priority even though I’ve got long lists of what to blog about. In the new year I hope to always set aside time to post at least once a week, and would greatly appreciate prompts on twitter when I’m slacking!
Say yes more

In the last year I have learnt the value of saying yes to opportunities and trying to ignore the cold feet. When asked last minute in November if I wanted to spend a weekend in Spain, I said yes even though old me would have dithered and eventually said no because I was afraid. As a result I had an amazing adventure and it was so much fun. I’ve also said yes to going to London even though it terrifies me (I grew up in Shetland – there weren’t many people so I get a bit scared!), to meeting people and going out places I wouldn’t have before and to new opportunities.
Say sorry less
I say sorry way too much, about everything even when it’s not my fault. I know it’s totally annoying and I will stop
Try to be less clumsy

I am that girl in a film who will fall over, knock over things or bang her knees on everything.  On rom-coms it’s shown as cutesy and the guy always totally loves her for her cute inability to do anything gracefully but in real life it’s incredibly annoying. I don’t think I go a day without spilling something, knocking over something or stubbing my toes and my legs are permanently covered in bruises. I’m going to try really hard this year to be careful!

Make more time for my friends
I think this goes along with saying yes more, but I will make an effort to go out to see my friends other than big events. I’m going to see my friends for cups of tea or just a half hour lunch break.
Watch more films
I've apparently lived a sheltered life and not seen loads of films which I'm currently trying to remedy.

Look after my skin
I have irritable skin and need to learn my lesson and stick to a skincare routine. I know Dermalogica works for me so have invested in a big order

Keep a diary

I'm not sure why this has sprung into my head but it seems like something I should do. I've never kept a diary before but like to look at emails, texts and photos so maybe keeping a diary/scrapbook would do the job. I bought a lovely notebook so will try very hard (which is what my resolution list is written on!)

Take More photos
Going with the diary thing - I love photos and I want to document my next year so will try to photograph as much as I can and I can always delete the rubbish ones!

Always have something to look forwards to (inspired by Tabitha of Scared Toast)

  • Going away over the summer
  • Going to London more – I was inspired by a visit a few months ago and there’s so much there to see and do. I just need to get over my fear of crowds
  • Seeing Stomp – my boyfriend’s mum got us tickets!
  • Seeing old university friends I haven’t seen in years
  • Doing “Come Dine With Me” with my friends, which also means travelling to Cardiff, London, Southampton and other homes
  • My 25th Birthday! AAAHHHH!!!

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