Wednesday 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween - Nails Of The Day Featuring Essie And Viva La Nails

You guys really are being spoilt aren't you no post for a day or so then two in a day ;) I hope your all having a fabulous Halloween so far though, isn't my pumpkin an absolute giant!!! I think the bits of green make him look a bit more menacing lol. Asda was definitely the place for Pumpkins we got two this size for just £3. The carving isn't the best this year I'm afraid but he was so big it was a bit difficult :) I will be using him to make my Halloween staple Delia's Pumpkin and Toasted Sweetcorn Soup later ;) Yum - definitely the best part of Halloween for me :). In the meantime though I though I'd show you my Halloween themed nails of the day -  thankfully I photographed my nails before I attacked the pumpkin I managed to lose half my thumbnail in the process x

It's not showing up quite as orange here as it is in real life but Essie Orange It's Obvious really is a bright bright orange - the first picture is probably the most accurate colour wise. Application was great if a little thick and I probably could have got away with one coat but as per usual this is two. The colour on it's own screams Halloween but I thought I'd have a play with some nail decals I bought a couple of years ago from Viva La Nails. Water decals are a bit fiddly to use but I think they gave a much nicer finish than the majority of stickers which create a more 3D look - the only problem with these is that they are quite large and I have quite a slim nail bed, so I decided just to do a few accent nails on each hand. In case you can't tell what they are they are scary black cats, which I've sealed in with some Perfect Formula My Favourite Top Coat. Apologies that the photos aren't the best the lighting wasn't great x

I love this colour it's equally as great for the autumn months, as it would be against tanned skin at the height of summer, and the kitty cats give it a fun twist. I'm going to be reviving my Changing Your Nail Polish series over the next month or so and having a real play with some of my nail art bits, so don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss a thing. What do you think of Orange It's Obvious, and what do you think of my kitty cats? let me know in the comments xx and Happy Halloween xx

October Haul - Ebay, H&M, Top Shop, Beauty, Gifts And More x

It's the last of the month so what does that mean, yes it time for my monthly haul post :). Unsurprisingly this month I've went a bit over budget again thanks to illness and stress grrr but I've tried to rein things in a little bit at least. My main purchases this month have been clothes and accessories - starting with this jumper from H&M

I first saw this jumper on special offer in the mailings that H&M seem to bombard you with - I got it for just£9.99 instead of £19.00 - It's now been reduced to £12.99 and a relative has very kindly got me the white one for Christmas I love it so much - result. The fabric includes angora and it is sooooo soft, and cosy - and it's a really nice jumper to boot :)

My next clothing purchase was a bit of an impulse buy - did I need it? no, did I want it? hell yeah! £20 is a lot of money for a scarf but what can I say I live up north and it's cold ;)

I love my kitty cats so I went for the cat variation, Top Shop also do a dog version which is equally cute. This scarf is absolutely massive so I guess the price isn't too bad in fact you could probably use it as a bed runner or blanket lol

I've said in the past that blogging and You Tube has been bad for my finances, and again it showed with this purchase. I saw the black version of this Top Shop split side tunic in the lovely Zoella's video and I knew I needed it in my life. I love long tops and whilst this one fits the bell superbly length and size wise, the fabric is a bit thin so I don't think I'll be buying another one. It was £16.

My only other fashion purchases of the month came from you've got it - ebay ! No clothes involved here just jewellery and accessories :) First up this Hermes esq purse.

I saw this purse in one of Victoria's ebay posts sometime ago and I saved it in my favourites list for when I had some ebay funds. There are a few shades to choose from and I went for the typical orange shade. I'm not 100% sure what it's made of but I don't think it's leather. Inside you have plenty of card slots, a photo / pass section, a zipped compartment and an open note pocket. I wasn't in desperate need of a new purse but I always like having a spare just in case. This purse came to just £2.98 including postage from this seller.

I also bought a few more jewellery bits from ebay this month including this turquoise and silver tone bracelet.

This is another one for my layering plans and it cost just £1.26 including postage from this selller.

It wouldn't be a haul from me if I didn't buy any nail varnish and I picked up a couple of colours this month including this one :)

I've lost count of the number of silver holograph polishes that I have but I love them so much I thought I'd pick this one up too. The Boots 17 Silver Holo Nail Polish is £3.99.

My final purchase of the month came from a shop near to me called The Original Factory Shop, I've mentioned this shop quite a few times on my blog and I have to say I love it, you get a lot of ex catalogue and chain store clothing, and loads of unusual, discontinued and hard to find beauty bits. The object of my desire this month was nail polish and in particular the W7 sprinkles polishes - The one I went for was 96 Mosiac. It's a gorgeous turquoise with lot of different coloured glitter sprinkles in it - I love it and it's really similar to Nails Inc's Pudding Lane - I paid just £2.00 for it :)

On the same visit Mummy Lou kindly bought me a few bits too which were originally for Christmas, but she gave up and ave me them straight away first up another W7 sprinkled themed polish - this time in 98 Salt N Pepper.

This colour has a very pale grey / white base and it contains loads of black / dark grey sprinkles - again this was £2.00

When we visited The Original Factory Shop they had loads of fab brands including some old style Boots Botanics products, some Essie and this..

Yes they had various blushers from Smooch Cosmetics - I've seen their products on a few blogs now and I \have to say the range looks really impressive - Mummy Lou kindly bought my a duo blush in the shade Peachy - this was just £3.00 and this shade still retail for £8.50 on the Smooch website.

The packaging is rubberised and similar in appearance to NARS hence the stray fingerprint, the blusher itself it beautifully soft and pigmented, in this duo you got a peach shade and a slightly deeper coral tone - I love it it's so, so pretty and a bargain - especially since I didn't pay for it ;)

Mummy Lou also bought me a few magazines this month which contained a few freebies - first up Marie Claire which contained a free 30ml L'Occitane Hand Cream. I love L'Occitane so I had to pick one of these up there were four varieties to choose from and the one me and Mummy Lou chose together was Rose Petals, it has a really fresh yet powdery rose aroma. The magazine also came with a 50ml tube of Dove Hair Therapy Colour Radiance Express Treatment Conditioner which was a bonus.

She also got me Elle which had no freebies :( and Instyle which included a free Benefit mini, there were 3 options Cha Cha Tint, Benetint, and the one I went for Sun Beam. I have to say I love this and I'll definitely consider buying the full size - it's a lovely golden highlighter, which can either be subtle or obvious depending on how much you apply.

The final thing that my amazing mummy bought me this month is this khaki belted stud detail shirt dress from George at Asda.

This comes in the black as well, it is a tiny bit short for me to wear as a dress so I think I'll be wearing it over leggings - I think it was £16.

As well as things I've purchased and things that Mummy Lou bought me I've also acquired another few bits this month that were well nearly free. First up I had a Back 2 MAC, which I normally do via mail, the colour I received was one that I've wanted for some time - Pervette

Pervette is in the glaze formulations is is described as a soft bright pink with a violet opalescent shimmer - I would probably describe it as a light pink with a bit of shimmer :)

As well as Back 2 MAC I also got a very exciting parcel from WIMH What's In My Handbag, If you haven't signed up to this site then do it - you can nosey in people's handbags and read lots of beauty articles and you can shop and try new products. Every so often they give so many of their members a chance to try a beauty product. I've applied for quite a few but this one is the first time I've ever been lucky enough to get something.

Yes it's the famous Emma Hardie Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm - I got a 15ml jar and one of the specially designed cloths where one side is muslin and the other side is microfibre.

I have wanted to try this for ages and ages so I was thrilled when it came - As it happens I'm nearly finished the cleanser I'm using so I will be ignoring the tubes and bottles in my drawer and trying this straight away.

The final think that I got this month was the empty Stila eyeshadow palette that I've been wanting for ages. One of my lovely followers Sarah Jane was kind enough to send me one she had picked up in Poundland (the same one I go to but I could never find one lol) as part payment for some blog sale items. She's pretty new to the blogging world so I'd love for you to all check her out at Geordie Beauty Junkie - come she's a fellow Geordie what's not to love :)

Anyways the reason that I wanted the palette is that I have two old style Stila eyeshadows in the cardboard pots. They were pretty easy to depot bar the massive knife gouge :( - the shade on the left is 45 Wheat and the shade on the right is 41 Shell. I really want some more shadows to fill my palette up - does anyone know if the new style Stila singles fit into these palettes? It doesn't matter if they don't I've found a few refills floating around on the interweb for pretty reasonable prices - who cares if there old stock my two shadows are ancient and their still in great condition, smell the same and are as soft and pigmented as they ever were ;)

So that was October's haul - have you bought anything nice this month? let me know in the comments xx

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Cute Christmas Gift Ideas From Bev Ridge And Friends

I'm probably going to sound a bit smug here, but I've already done more than half of my Christmas shopping, yes I know you can get more bargains the closer you get to Christmas but I personally can't take the stress. I've thought about doing an all encompassing Christmas gift post but instead I'm going to show you a few of my picks as I discover them. I've already shown you some gift ideas from Baylis and Harding that would perfect for your mum or gran, but what about younger sisters, or your friends? Well take my advice and pop into Debenhams or Heals.

Bev Ridge and Friends is a beauty gift range sold exclusively in Debenhams and Heals stores in the UK. This  competitively priced  range is characterised by it's retro style packaging, and for it's quirky product names. The range contains everything from purses, to nail care sets, to eye palettes, and bath products but these are my top gift picks (Please click on the pictures to enlarge)

Talk To The Hand Manicure Set - £8.00

This cute retro design faux leather manicure case contains 2 patterned cushioned nail files, as well as a metal cuticle pusher, scissors, tweezers and nail clippers all featuring a cute floral design

This Is What Gorgeous Looks Like Face Palette - £8.00

Again in the retro design, this palette contains a mirror, 6 vibrant eyeshadows, and 2 lip glosses.and an applicator.

Distracted By Shiny Things Lipgloss Trio - £10.00

This boxed set contains 3 lovely 10ml lipglosses, one in pale pink, one in rose, and one in a darker shade of pink. All the glosses are shot through with a bronze shimmer

Let's Be Honest I'm Totally Hot Hot Cosmetic Bag - £10.00

Let's be honest who doesn't need a toiletry or make up bag - these are always a great gift. This one features a retro 60's style design on one side and a floral pattern on the other.

Say Anyone Fancy A Dip Indulgent Bath Set - £16.00

Sets like this are a real Christmas present staple. This pampering boxed set contains a satin eye mask, hibiscus and aloe vera bath soak, hibiscus and shea butter body cream, and a mango and walnut shell body scrub.

Goodbye Chaps, Hello Boys Lip Balm - £3.50

I have to be honest and say that this is the only product that I've tried so I can't comment on the quality of the other products but I was kindly sent one of these lip balms to try out for you. This lip balm comes carded, and the packaging features a retro style design.

This lip balms comes packaged in the familiar style twist up tube, which features a retro style label. Unfortunately I can't find a size on any of the packaging but this looks about the same size as similar products on the high street.

The balm is off white in colour, and it has a waxy type feel. It looks slightly white on the lips as you can see here but it has a moisturising rather than greasy finish that does the job and keeps the lips smooth. Once blotted down a bit it also makes a good lipstick base x

Goodbye Chaps, only comes in one flavour, Voluptuous Vanilla. The flavour and smell isn't that strong, but it is a little synthetic. If your lips are super dry this balm probably isn't for you, and isn't the cheapest balm like this out there, but if your after a useful stocking filler, that's nicely packaged then this could be something worth picking up.

If you need to buy gifts for teenagers or friends that like this style of quirky, retro gifts, and you don't want to stretch to Benefit then this line from Bev Ridge and Friends could be something worth looking into. You can find Bev Ridge exclusively at Debenhams, Debenhams Online, and in Heals. Prices for the line range from just £3.50 to £16.00, meaning there is a gift for most budgets. If you have any questions or if you have seen any fab gifts out there on the high street then please leave me a comment and let me know x

(Bev Ridge And Friends Goodbye Chaps, Hello Boys Lip Balm Was Provided For Review Purposes - The Images Come From PR And From The Debenhams Website)

Saturday 27 October 2012

Give Me 5 With Right Guard Total Defence 5

I've done a few posts lately on the less glamorous side of beauty, and whilst I do have some prettier and more fluffy posts coming it's time for another more workman like post ;)

This post is probably best suited towards the summer months, after all we don't really associate the cold weather with getting sweaty, but no matter what the weather I use deodorant every day. In fact in reality we probably need it in the winter just as much as we do in the summer, not just for keeping us fresh for the party season, but also for keeping us fresh while we're wearing layers and layers of clothing, warm jumpers, and waterproofs.

I'm pretty experimental when it comes to my beauty products, I love drying new things, but I'm pretty loyal to my deodorant brands. I've had some pretty nasty rashes, and skin irritations from using even natural products so I'm always carefully. I was recently offered the chance though to try it some anti-perspirant deodorants from a brand that I'd never tried before - Right Guard, I'm learning to bite the bullet and be a bit braver so I said yes :)

Right Guard recently launched their new Total Defence 5 range of deodorant , which combine the 5 main benefits of an anti-perspirant into just spray

1. Fights Perspiration
2. Prevents Odour
3. Long Lasting Freshness
4. Heat Response Formula Adapts To Your Level Of Activity
5. Low Residue

Right Guard claim that their new formulation will keep you fresh and dry no matter what the day brings, with an anti perspirant that fights odour causing bacteria, and that releases freshness when you need it most for up to 48 hours. They also claim that their new Total Defence 5 range offers you 30% more protection than any of Right Guards previous formulations. As I say I've never used Right Guard before so I can't comment on any previous products from their range but I was kindly sent the 3 new varieties from the Total Defence 5 range for women to try out - first up I'm going to do an overview of the 3 varieties then I'm going to review them all together x

Right Guard Women Total Defence 5 Unscented 

One of the biggest irritants in deodorants is fragrance, this spray from the Total Defence 5 range is promoted as being unscented. Like all the deodorants in this range it is alcohol free, and dermatologically tested, and it comes in an easy to spray aerosol can.

Being labelled as unscented you would expect to have no smell at all but that isn't the case, many products use what they call masking agents to disguise the sometime unpleasant smells of the ingredients, and this is one of those products. It has a subtle fresh almost aftershave esq aroma, it's not that obvious but it's there - this could be a unisex product in my opinion.

Right Guard Women Total Defence 5 Sensitive

I have to be honest and say that this was the first one that I tried, as I said before I do have quite sensitive underarms, so it was the word sensitive that jumped out at me straight away.

Like the rest of the deodorants in this series, this is also alcohol free - alcohol can be a real irritant and it can dry out the delicate skin on our under arms, and again it's dermatologically tested. The ingredients are slightly different from the previous product though which probably means that it has been altered to produce a more sensitive formulation. This anti-perspirant spray has a lovely slightly sexy warm  fruit / floral fragrance, if this exists as a perfume Mummy Lou wants it :)

Right Guard Women Total Defence 5 Invisible

There is nothing worse than deodorant stains on your clothes. This spray from the Total Defence 5 range claims to be invisible.

This was my favourite fragrance wise,I'm useless at describing fragrances but the fragrance is beautifully fresh and clean :)

All of these products smelled great but how did they perform? Well first of all I used all of these deodorants before I got dressed. I followed the instruction on the can and sprayed my underarms from a distance of around 15 cm. The sprays all felt immediately cooling on to the skin but they caused no immediate irritation. I   used the sprays before I got dressed and I did make a point of leaving them to dry for a few minutes before I got dressed. I have to be honest and say that I did get a few white powdery marks on my clothing when I used the Sensitive and Unscented varieties, they were a bit annoying bit they sponged away really easily. The Invisible variant as you would expect barely left no residue - it actually seemed to be a slightly different consistency to the other two, and more creamy rather than powdery.

Whilst I didn't go to the gym or anything overtly taxing during the time I tested them I do suffer from poor temperature control due to my medication and various illnesses so I can get quite erm sweaty. Add to that wearing a waterproof jacket, and a thick jumper on a few occasions and yes I think I gave these babies a good work out. First up sensitivity - I didn't get a single reaction from any of these sprays, I didn't feel sore or itchy at any point, despite the fact that the deodorants seemed to leave a film or coating on my underarms. Now the biggie, freshness and effectiveness - well I have to say these sprays left me feeling fresh, and clean, and smelling great. I was sceptical about the heat response aspect of the formulation but I have to say I think it worked - when I got hotter, the smell of the anti-perspirant seemed to increase strange but true.

Whilst deodorants aren't the most exciting beauty purchases out there, it's something we all buy, and to be honest you could do worse than buy these ones. They do what they claim, and keep your fresh and clean throughout the day. That said the only one that I would possible repurchase would be the Invisible variant. The other two sprays - the Sensitive and the Unscented as I said do have a tendency to leave a white, powdery residue which can get onto clothes -  not good if you wear dark clothes as often as I do though - if you wear a lot of white you'd be fine though, you pays your money you takes your choice, and even if your not keen these anti-perspirants certainly won't break the bank. The three varieties of Right Guard Total Defence 5 Women retail at around £2.89 for 250 ml and around £1.99 for a 150 ml. If you have any questions please leave me a comment x

(Right Guard Total Defence 5 Women Anti- Perspirants In Unscented, Sensitive And Invisible 250 ml Were Provided For Review Purposes)