Saturday 31 March 2018

A Little March 2018 Primark Haul - Clothes, Accessories, And Some Beauty Reviews

Suffering from several chronic illnesses as I do, I've come to rely on online shopping quite a bit, and even more so this year, when I just haven't had the energy to get out there into real shops and enjoy one of my favourite pastimes . Online shopping definitely fills the void but you really can't beat getting out there and getting into a bricks and mortar shop. I've the odd look out but a couple of weeks ago I managed my first trip into Intu Metrocentre since before Christmas and whilst it damn near killed me off, it was well worth the effort, I had my eyebrows waxed and I managed a trip to Primark!!

It's one of those things that just can't be explained, why oh why doesn't  Primark have an online store? My own personal theory is that they would probably get way too many returns thanks to the less that consistent sizing but hey I would take the risk and I'm sure lots of other people would as well, so come on Primark do it and help me save a few spoons!

I'm not going to lie despite the fact that this trip was so long coming and so long awaited I didn't actually buy that much. I stocked up on a few of my Primark essentials including some more oil balancing facial wipes, some blue jeggings and some black leggings, and I picked a few other bits including another one of their basic t-shirts.

As someone who at the moment detests her tummy, and her hips, I need something to cover it up and with a bit of length, and Primark's long length t-shirts do exactly that. As someone who is at the limit of Primarks sizing scale I find these tees pretty generous, they have a lot of stretch in them and they are so so comfy to wear. This is one of the short sleeve versions, and whilst their are various necklines available my favourite is either the crew neck or the scooped neckline like this one. Again there were a few colours to choose from but I decided to switch it up a bit a leave the blues and stripes behind and go for this nice classic khaki green shade. These t-shirts are real staples for me at the moment and for just £3.50 I can really afford to stock up.

I know I've just talked about length, and how I need long line things, but my next purchase though is just a little bit shorter than what I normally go for.

There is no way that you could describe this as a cropped jumper but compared to my usual bum and tum covering numbers this is pretty short for me. I couldn't resist it though, I love the ribbed detail, and the baguette style crystals on the neckline, and grey really is one of those classic colours, that I'm personally learning to love again. There was a huge muck up price wise with this one, this jumper and all of it's sale rail friends in this shade and in a wine colour were tagged as £13 reduced to £5 - Bargain! When I got to the till though they had been a big mistake and they shouldn't have been reduced! Since both the tag and the price on the rail said £5 though that's what they had to give me it for! - abiding by the rules = one happy LouLou.

That was it for clothes but I did pick a jewellery item from a sale rack, and this time there was no argument about the price, this super cute real semi precious stone (amethyst?)  friendship bracelet was just £1 reduced from £3.

Featuring faceted purple and lilac crystal stones, with a clear crystal, silver tone disco hanging from the middle, it fastens with a Chinese knot style fastening, with tiny silver tone hearts on the end of each strand. This bracelet is so pretty and could easily pass for something like Lola Rose, and if you weren't a fan of the circle charm they you could easily remove it with some wire cutters without ruining the rest of the bracelet.

I think I pretty much say it every time I go into Primark now but their beauty range keeps getting better and better!! The selection has improved dramatically and the quality on the majority of things that I've tried has been excellent for the price.

At the moment Primark seems to have a glut of how can I put this? high end dupes, not quite out and out copies, but you know, clearly getting there, does that bother me? no not really, as I've said before I'd rather buy a dupe than an out and out fake product from ebay or from a local buy and sell group, and if it's done well then I'm definitely not complaining. They have quite a few Too Faced inspired lines in at the moment but I thought I'd give one of their Kylie inspired products a go.

I've got to be honest and admit that all of those matte lip kits did nothing for me, I'm not the hugest matte lip fan and I'm definitely not a fan of the butt hole lip look but whilst I've had an indifferent relationship with lip gloss for a while, give me a plump glossy lip, over a dry, lined matte one any day.

I do love a nude / pink lip so I though I'd give this PS Nudes Lip Collection kit a try. This kit in the shade Hypnotise contains a 10ml Lip Gloss, and a 1.5g lip pencil, both in a pink / nude / almost mauve shade.

The gloss is a touch sticky but the pigmentation is excellent, and it wears incredibly well, it comes out a touch darker than it appears in the tube, but it applies really easily with the sponge applicator, and it actually feels quite creamy, and smooth on the lips.

The coordinating lip liner pencil is easy to sharpen and comes in a plastic feel, barrel. It's a touch paler than the gloss and again the pigmentation is excellent. It feels smooth to the touch, but it isn't so creamy that it will end up all over your face.

Apologies that I haven't managed to get a shot of either of these products on my actual face but this is what I'm wearing in the You Tube video that you can see at the end of this. For just £3 I'm so, so impressed with this kit, the pigmentation, and feel of the products and the wear time, easily beats a lot of high end brands. Both of the products work perfectly together but since this is the type of shade that I go for in lipsticks I think I'll get a lot of extra use out of the lip liner, which is pretty similar to the Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 063 East End Snob. If this shade isn't for you, there are are several other colour combinations available so you if you're a nude lip fan you're bound to find something you like.

I debated whether or not to pick up one of the Too Faced inspired cheek kits but in the end I decided to try out this highlighting palette, which may or may not be inspired by various products including the Anastasia Sugar Glow palette ;)

The PS Pure Glow Highlighting Palette comes in very on trend, and blogger friendly rose gold, and marble print cardboard packaging. I'm not the biggest fan of cardboard packaging because after a while I think it can look a little grubby but in this case again I'll make an exception. It feels sturdy enough and it fastens with a magnet so your highlighters will be kept safe and secure.

The palette itself contains a little section, which tells you where to put your highlighters (just in case you don't know), and four good sized, round pans crammed full of beautiful metallic and shimmery loveliness.

On the top row you have Desert, a gorgeous shimmery, metallic white, and Glimmer, a beautiful, metallic gold

and underneath you have a Eden a shimmery, nude pink, and Firefly, a rich metallic copper, bronze.

As you can see the pigmentation is excellent, and all of these shade are beautifully soft and buttery. Again no face shots but I am wearing a lot of this palette in the accompanying You Tube video. There is probably no wear on earth that you'll be able to see the shades on my face but I actually did virtually a full face look with this palette, I used Glimmer, and Firefly to create a rich metallic golden bronze eye look, with just a hint of Desert under the brow, and I used Eden on my cheeks, for a pale shimmery blush look. This is beautiful and super versatile and well worth the £5 that I paid for it. Yes you could probably get some sort of highlighting palette for less but would it be as good as this and would you be getting 4 x 7g, smooth and high pigmented colours for your money? I doubt it and I'm so glad that I picked this up. I've been so, so impressed with both of these items, and I'm definitely going to be heading straight to the beauty section next time I'm in Primark which will probably be next week because my mum needs to take something back :)

I know I've already mentioned it a few times but just in case it hasn't clicked yet, I've made a video to accompany this haul which you can see below or via this link.

If you like haul videos then definitely make sure that your subscribed to my You Tube channel, because I've got a few exclusive hauls coming up ever the next few days, including one that you won't want to miss x In the meantime if you've bought anything exciting in Primark recently or if you have any Primark beauty recommendations then please leave me a comment and let me know, or link me up to your blog post, or You Tube video x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with my March beauty empties post x

Sunday 25 March 2018

Nails Of The Day - Orly - Space Cadet - Reshot And Redone

Well it's been just over two weeks since my last post and unfortunately my nails still aren't any better or any longer so instead I thought I'd  share one of my old nails of the day posts with you.

As you know I lost quite a few photographs when Photobucket changed it third party hosting options, and whilst it was bloody annoying and inconvenient, it has given me the opportunity to revisit some of my older blog posts and in this particular case it has given me the opportunity to rediscover some forgotten gems in my nail polish collection.

To be honest though this is a colour that you just don't forget about, originally introduced as part of their Fall 2010 Cosmic FX Collection, over the years Orly - Space Cadet has gained an almost cult reputation and it is so easy to see why.

Officially described by Orly as a green / purple duo chrome, shimmer, Space Cadet is probably one of the most amazing polishes that's ever been released by one of the big boy brands. Packed full of iridescence, duo chrome effects and sparkles in gold, bronzes, pinks, greens, purples and just about any other colour that you can think of, this polish is constantly changing, and flashing, as you move your hands and as the lighting conditions change. I've shot these pictures in a variety of lighting conditions so you can hopefully see just how versatile and changeable this shade really is.

Thankfully I did have a bit more of a nail when I shot these pictures a few months ago, but this colour would look amazing no matter what your nail length or shape.

It isn't the thickest of polishes to apply, so don't expect one coat coverage. The more coats that you apply, the more you actually see just how beautiful this polish actually is. Every coat almost seems to add another dimension to it, and another array of colour and sparkle. I normally apply around 3 coats for full coverage but if you have really white nail tips then you might need another coat. If you want to skip all of those coats though, then you could pop a coat or two over a dark coloured polish, to get a similar, if not quite as dramatic effect.

I know that sounds like a lot of coats and a lot of effort but as long as you keep your coats thin, it's no great hassle and it's well worth it, it dries pretty quickly and thanks to the glitter and sparkle content it wears pretty well, even though it can be a bit of a pain to remove.

No pictures will ever do this one justice but I did film a little You Tube video on my iPhone to give you an idea of how the polish changes and flashes when you move your hands.

Even though my bottle is around 8 years old now this polish still applies like a dream, and looks as fabulous as it ever did. Orly Space Cadet was a must have way back in 2010 and if you're a real nail polish aficionado then it's still a must have. To be honest I thought that this one had been discontinued years ago but after a quick look online, I can confirm that it does still seem to be still available from various retailers, in both the old and the new style Orly packaging, so if you love it, what are you waiting for? Buy it before it disappears for good  Are you a fan of Space Cadet? Let me know in the comments x

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Maggie Anne Nail Polishes And A Nails Of The Day - Maggie Anne - Carmella

I know blog posts have been a bit thin on the ground generally, recently but nails of the day posts in particular have been practically non existent - I'm not going to lie to you my nails at the moment are appalling their very, very short and they look dry and not very Instagram worthy. I'm dousing them in treatments and oils, and praying that some day soon I'll have nails that are worthy of all of the pretty polishes in my collection.  In the meantime though I've got a couple of nails of the day posts coming up for you that I managed to shoot pre dryness, and pre breakage, one is a reshot post featuring an amazing shade that if you're a real nail buff you'll probably have seen before, and in today's post I'm introducing you to a new (to me at least!) and exciting nail polish brand.

As obsessed as I am with the big nail polish brands I love discovering new brands, new formulations and new colours, and believe their are a lot of lesser known and cult brands out their that are doing amazing things when it comes to nail polish.

If you've ever watched any of the videos on my You Tube channel you will know that I'm partial to the odd unboxing video. Although I don't get anywhere near as many beauty subscription boxes as I used to, you can still regular Glossybox, and Pink Parcel unboxings. I know that these boxes have their critics and to some they don't always represent good value for money but personally I love them. Yes in some cases you are taking a bit of a risk but the amount of amazing products that I've discovered, for me makes it a risk worth taking.

Pink Parcel is definitely one of my favourites, it's basically a period subscription box, that contains sanitary products and some beauty and lifestyle products specially selected to make that time of the month just that little bit easier (You can find out more about Pink Parcel here). In a recent box I was really excited to receive a bottle of nail polish from a brand that was brand new to me, Maggie Anne (You can watch my unboxing video here).

Like a lot of brands in Pink Parcel Maggie Anne are a UK based company. They produce a wide range of ultra glossy, streak free, nail polishes in just about every colour that you can think of from basic reds, to blues and greens. They also produce a large range of specialist polishes including chromes, holographic sparkles (NEED!), and metallics, as well as nail accessories, top coats and polish removers.

As well as being a UK brand and having an amazing array of polishes,  Maggie Anne is also a vegan, cruelty free and toxin free nail brand. All of their polishes are free from the 6 chemicals that you will find in a lot of nail polishes on the high street, and as a result their polishes are ideal for people with sensitivities and allergies, and perfect for pregnant women and people undergoing cancer treatments, so if you've experienced nail polish allergies or irritations in the past this could be a brand to try.

Without The Flash

With The Flash

The polish that I received in my Pink Parcel, was a metallic shade called Carmella, now I can't currently find this on the official Maggie Anne site but if you like the look of it then you can still buy it on Nail Polish Direct.

Without The Flash

Packaged in a square bottle, that's very reminiscent of a certain brand that begins with the letter C, it has the same type of lid, the chunky, glossy black, square lid pulls off easily to reveal an easy to hold brush cap style lid, and a short but wide brush.

With The Flash

Carmella is decscribed as a "bronzed, gold shimmer" but for me it more of gold shimmer with a hint of metallic khaki, or golden olive. I've taken a few pictures in different lighting conditions, both with and without the flash to give you an idea of how it almost seems to morph between several shades. Without the flash it looks a little bit more green where as the flash almost seems to highlight the metallic, gold shimmer element. It's a very unusual shade and I'm not sure I've quite done it justice here.

The Maggie Anne polishes are described as having a gel like formulation and as a result I did find this polish to be quite thick, and a little slow to dry. I did find that this was one of those shades that needed pretty A1 application, some metallics and chromes have a way of highlighting every application error and this was one of them, so a steady hand was definitely needed. The first coat was quite sheer but two coats was enough on most nails for full coverage, smooth, glossy and sparkly nails.

With The Flash

I managed about 4 days wear without a top coat which is pretty decent for me and considering the slightly thicker nature of the polish.

Without The Flash

As I say I love being introduced to new brands and I can definitely see myself picking some more Maggie Anne polishes in the future, the Holographic Sparkles range in particular is calling my name. Maggie Anne Nail Polishes come in a 10ml bottle and have an RRP of around £10.50, and they are available from the Maggie Anne website, and from various retailers including Nail Polish Direct and Love Lula. Have you tried any of Maggie Anne's polishes before? Let me know below and let me know what you think about this shade x 

Monday 5 March 2018

Trimming My Stash - February 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

"March Comes In Like A Lion, And Goes Out Like A Lamb"

I must admit I love old saying and proverbs like this and if the last few days are anything to go by then hopefully things can only get better weather wise, from here on it. With Storm Emma and the Beast From The East the last few days in the UK have pretty much blurred into one, thanks to a windy and snowy viewpoint - I mean isn't it supposed to be Spring by now? Never mind we've officially said goodbye to February and since it was another pretty useless month for me I'm more then happy to turn over the page of the calendar and hopefully move on to brighter weather and better things.

Before that we need to take a quick look back into the depths of February and have a little peek at my February beauty empties.

Gatineau Floracil Gentle Eye Make Up Remover - 400ml
The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Body Butter - 200ml
The Body Shop Spiced Apple Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 300g
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Coconut Breeze - 40ml
Prada Candy Florale Eau De Toilette -50ml
Erno Laszlo Firm And Lift Firmarine Hydrogel Mask - 1 x Mask - 25g

Total - 6 Items 

Considering February is the shortest month of the year, I have to say that I am pretty pleased with myself for finishing 6 whole, beauty products. It goes without saying that I would liked to have finished a few more but since I managed to finish a nice combination of body, hair, and skin products I'm going to give myself a pat on the back. No make up again, unfortunately, so that's something that I need to work on, but I did manage to finish a bottle of perfume, for the first time in goodness knows how long, so I'm counting February as a win, at least when it comes to Trimming My Stash, anyways.

1. Gatineau Floracil Gentle Eye Make Up Remover - 400ml

Whilst I don't consider myself a typical Gatineau customer, (anti-ageing isn't my biggest skin concern) - I am slightly in love with two of their products, their tan accelerator and this eye make up remover. It isn't the most budget friendly product on the market but it works, it takes every scrap of eye make up off, it smells nice and it doesn't sting or irritate my increasingly sensitive eyes. I would buy this product again and again but and here is the big but, this particular formulation has been discontinued!

It always, always worries me when this happens, especially with eye make up remover, in fact I'm still bitter about the whole Boots Botanics revamp! but fingers crossed that one of the two new eye make up removers that Gatineau have introduced will work as well as this one did for me. It's a pricey gamble admittedly but thanks to a recent QVC UK TILI Box (you can watch my unboxing here) I do have a bottle of the new Floracil Plus Gentle Eye Make Up Remover to try so here's hoping that it does the business. My old, old fall back is Lancome Bi-Facil but I always on the look out for a more budget friendly option so if you can recommend an eye make up remover for sensitive eyes then let me know x

2. The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Body Butter - 200ml

Like most bloggers I'm probably guilty of using the phrase "love" and "holy grail" way too often, but in this case it's justified. The Body Shop Body Butters really are one of my holy grail products for when my skin is at it's driest, I swear by them for saving sun ravaged skin in the summer and it goes without saying that a must have in the winter months.

I've bought so many over the years that I've lost count of all of the scents and the formulations that I've tried but I particularly love their festive and Christmas scents. Alas this one has been AWOL for the last few years now but it's one of my all time favourites. It's sweet, and fruity and at the same time slightly tart, and despite being a "festive" fragrance, I'm a fruity fan and it's definitely something that I would use all year round. I'm really hoping that The Body Shop will bring this fragrance back at some point but in the meantime I'm really enjoy their Frosted Berries scent.

3. The Body Shop Spiced Apple Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 300g

Another festive product from The Body Shop, and another product that I'm going to use the word LOVE about! Again this scent wasn't brought back for Christmas 2017, but as always if I love a scent enough I'll stock up! I've loved both of festive apple scents that The Body Shop have released over the past few years but this one in particular just screams Christmas and baking! Spiced Apple reminds me of hot spiced apple juice (Costa Coffee Anyone?), apple pie and cinnamon rolls. It has a sweet yet tart apple scent, combined with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and all of the spices that you would associate with Christmas. I love the scent and I love sugar based body scrubs so this one was always going to be a winner. It was nice and gritty, but it contained enough scented oils, to leave the skin both exfoliated, and moisturised, and did I mention that it smelled amazing? A winner and I'm sorry to see this one go.

4. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Coconut Breeze - 40ml

I've talked about this product a few times already both on the blog and on my You Tube channel, and I'm sorry but it's another product love in! I feel as though I need to keep talking about because it really has made such a difference to my hair, and it is without a doubt one of the best hair products that I've used. I know some people don't get the hype around this product but if your hair is crap, damaged, and dry then please try this product! Originally invented for the icon that is Audrey Hepburn, this pre-wash conditioner has made my hair feel like hair again, it's not only softer, and smoother, but it feels stronger and more resilient.

This is one of the limited edition scented versions and it's a product that I received in the Third Edition of the QVC UK TILI Box (see my unboxing here). Coconut Breeze is the perfect summer scent, I'm not always the biggest fan of coconut based scents but this wasn't just pure coconut, it was a warm summery mix of coconut, almond, vanilla and jasmine. You can still get your hands on this version in the larger size, but if this one isn't to your taste you can still get the original fragrance free Elasticizer, and both the Geranium and Neroli, and the Elderflower and Rhubarb fragranced varieties. Which ever scent you choose just try it! I honestly can't recommend this stuff highly enough x

5. Prada Candy Florale Eau De Toilette -50ml

It's that word again love, well after all February was the month of love so it makes sense I guess that I finished so many products that I really do love. I love perfume anyway and even if I'm having a drab t-shirt and leggings day, like today, then I'll still apply a few squirts of fragrance. I love to smell clean and fragrant, what can I say that's my thing and this is one of my favourite fragrances.

I have a lot of fragrances in my collection but this is one that I just keep coming back to, the original Prada Candy was just way too sweet for me, I like sweetness in a fragrance but I don't like anything too sickly, and Prada Candy Florale has a gorgeous floral note that just knocks the edge off the sweetness of the original.

I'm useless at describing scents but according to all of the descriptions ;) Candy Florale features top notes of limoncello, with the floral scent of peonies at its heart before damping down to a sweeter, warmer base of caramel, benzoin and musk.

Whatever, lol all I know is that I like it a lot! Thankfully I have another bottle and a roller ball in back up but it's a fragrance that I will continue to purchase and ask for.

6. Erno Laszlo Firm And Lift Firmarine Hydrogel Mask - 1 x Mask - 25g

Finally, another skincare product and this was another product that I acquired via the QVC UK TILI Box (Have a watch of my unboxing here), and this is another product with an Audrey Hepburn connection. Dr Erno Laszlo was a dermatologist and skincare specialist who could count both Ms Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe amongst his clients. Although he passed away in 1973 his high end skincare line and his philosophy still carries on to this day.

After recently trying and loving a hydrogel mask from another brand I couldn't resist giving this one a go after I rediscovered it whilst tidying out my skin care drawer and it was another winner. Basically hydrogel masks are like a pumped up sheet mask. In this case you got a two piece face fabric / paper type sheet mask which is covered with a thick gel like layer, which in this case is infused with essential oils and botanicals including argan oil, and grapefruit extract. Simply pop it onto your face and sit back and relax and let it do it's thing.

This mask is designed to help firm, tone and improve the appearance of fine line, and the elasticity of the skin, and for me it certainly did that. Where are the previous hydrogel mask that I used was all about moisture, this one definitely left my skin feeling cool and soothed but at the same time, tighter and more toned.

Masks like this are a real treat, they are easy to use, there is no mess and you can usually see a result of some sort in less than 30 minutes. I'm definitely going to look into trying some more hydrogel masks in the future, and whilst I did really like this one it is pretty price prohibitive at around £50 for four masks so I probably won't be repurchasing. If you want to treat yourself though you can find this Erno Laszlo at various retailers including lookfantastic, Sephora, Harvey Nichols, Beauty Expert and Harrods.

So they were my February empties x  If you have any questions on any of the products that I've mentioned or on anything else that troubles you then please leave me a comment below, and don't forget to leave me your eye make up remover recommendations x