Most Popular Posts of 2013

31 Dec 2013

In less than 12 hours it is going to be 2014, can you believe it?! This year has certainly flown by.  My blog has grown hugely over the past year, I have been lucky enough to attend a fair few events and sent some lovely products to try out - and it is all thanks to you guys, so thank you all so so much :)  I hope the same can be said for 2014 and I aim to blog more than I did this year.

I thought a nice round up to the year would be to look at my top 5 most viewed of the year.  Surprisingly, the most viewed post of 2013 was the Lucy Mecklenburgh post about her gorgeous blue dress - possibly down to all the TOWIE fans! Next up was my review of the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer.  To this day this is still one of my favourite primers and something I look to purchase again in the new year.  This was closely followed by '10 ways to use Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil' which I thoroughly enjoyed writing - who knew you could use an oil 10 different ways!

The fourth most viewed post was my review of the L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Excess Mascara and I actually forgot how much I love this mascara.  As you can see from the review, this really does make your lashes look long and beautiful. Next was my Battle of the Highlighters post proving that for a fraction of the price you can still achieve the same effect. Lastly, the sixth most popular post of the year goes to the beauty advent calendars for 2013.  I am surprised this is up there as it was only posted this month, but who doesn't love an advent calendar?

It is certainly interesting seeing which are the most viewed posts, and gives me an idea of what you like to see! So let me know, which has been your favourite post/type of post!

I hope you all have an amazing evening tonight and stay safe :) Speak to you in 2014!

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Christmas Nails

24 Dec 2013

Every Christmas I like to make that little extra effort to make it special - I spend a little more time doing my make up and dressing up, and I also like to paint my nails a special colour. I therefore spent part of today going through all my nail polishes and choosing some festive colours - golds, greens, reds - you know! Anyway, I managed to whittle it down to 5, and this is what I chose :)

The first has unfortunately lost its name, but it's a lovely festive shimmery red from No.7 which I absolutely love. The next polish is from Kiko (number 246), which is a gorgeous purpley pink with subtle glitter - unfortunately it doesn't seem to show well on photos. The biggest contender is Essie - Penny Talk.  I love Gold nail polish at Christmas time, so I am very tempted to pair this with a beautiful gold glitter that I have.  Next, something a bit different, is Models Own - Emerald Black. It's from their Beetle Juice collection and is such a pretty shimmery emerald colour. This is another real contender as I love how unusual it is.  Lastly we have Raspberry Ripple from Kolor Kube which is your typical festive red.

Which do you think I should wear? Also, let me know what colour Polish you will be wearing this Christmas!

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Christmas Tag

19 Dec 2013

The Christmas tag has been floating around for a while now, and I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s answers so thought I would join in too :)

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I LOVE Christmas movies, it’s the one time of year that I have a collection of movies that I just love to sit down and watch (unfortunately for my boyfriend!). As for my favourite, I am not sure I can pick just one but the two that I can watch again and again are The Grinch and Miracle on 34th street.

Do you stay in your PJ's or dress up for Christmas?
I definitely like to dress up, and have done every year! I usually stay in my PJ’s for a littile longer than usual, but then I like to wear something new, or a nice dress that I have. It’s always nice to make that little extra effort as it is a special day spent with friends and family!

Do you and your family open gifts on Christmas Eve or on Christmas day?
Nowadays we open all our presents on Christmas day, however when I was younger my parents would let my brother and I choose a small gift to open the night before. I always loved this little tradition and is something I would like to do when I have children.

Favourite Holiday song?
This is going to make me sound like the Grinch, but I really can’t stand most Christmas songs. I do like Christmas songs in movies, but I would never choose to listen to them elsewhere. I would therefore say my favourite Christmas song to be played in a movie is Silent Night.

Favourite Christmas meal or treat?
I love love love Christmas dinner, I could honestly eat it everyday if it was served to me. I love the vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, turkey and all the rest. This is making me crave a roast just writing about it.

What happens on a typical Christmas Eve night in your house?
We do not really do anything particularly special on Christmas Eve but this year we are going to the pub. I'm spending Christmas Eve & Christmas Day with my boyfriends family this year so it will be a little different!

Does it snow where you live? 
On Christmas day - rarely, in the winter months - yes. I remember it last snowing on Christmas day a good 10 years ago and I am hoping it doesn’t this year as I am travelling around the country to see various family members.

Is your Christmas tree real or a fake?
Growing up we always had a fake Christmas tree, but this year is my first Christmas in my own place and we have gone for a real tree! I can definitely see the pro’s and con’s for both, but I am definitely loving having a real one this year, it’s just so pretty!

Let me know if you have done the Christmas tag or are going to, I would love to read all your answers! Also, I tag everyone who is reading this to go and do this tag!

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Christmas Gift Idea 2 : Charmed Ivy Jewellery

16 Dec 2013

There are only 9 days left till Christmas now so I hope you have all finished most of your Christmas shopping! If not, I am posting a few Christmas Gift Ideas which may be able to help – my first one is here. If you are looking for a stocking filler then Charmed Ivy is a great place to look as they have some lovely jewellery at very affordable prices.

My favourite piece is the Wishbone Necklace (£2.50*), which although simple, is beautifully designed. I absolutely love pieces like this where you can layer it with other necklaces to create different looks. The Heart Bangle (£2.50*) is also very simple and goes with almost anything, I love how the heart turns a plain simple bangle into an elegant looking accessory. Again, this could be stacked with other bracelets to create different looks. Lastly the Invisibobble (£1.00*), a hair bobble that does not leave any kinks in your hair – amazing! It doesn’t pull on your hair like some bobbles do and I can confirm it does not leave any kinks when you take it out.

Do check out their website as they stock some very unique and pretty things - I have my eye on the studded hair cuff and these earrings, both at only £1.50. Prices start from as little as £1 and go up to just £5 and best of all it is free delivery to the UK & Ireland, so what are you waiting for!

Where do you go for your more affordable jewellery?

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Area H2O Healthy Hair Challenge

12 Dec 2013

I always find when I am on holiday my hair is so much softer than usual, coming from a hard water area I find myself longing for that holiday hair! Area H2O have come up with an ingenious idea of producing different shampoo & conditioner formulations for different water types.  I was asked to take part in the Area H2O challenge which involved using the products over two weeks and posting my results.  As I live in London I have been trialling the Hard Water Shampoo and Conditioner for coloured hair. 

In hard water areas there are more minerals present, these react with your shampoo to form mineral deposits that cling to your hair and can be very damaging. In soft water areas you may find your hair is very slippery, meaning it is very hard to manage. Area H20 shampoo works just like a magnet, attracting these ions and therefore leaving your hair much cleaner, smoother and shinier.

Anyway, enough of the science mumbo jumbo – what did I really think? After using both the shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks now I can safetly say I am uber impressed. As someone who suffers from greasy roots and dry ends I often find that I stick to the same hair products, otherwise my hair can have a hissy fit and become ultra greasy. However using these, my hair stays cleaner for longer, my roots do not get greasy after just one or two day and my hair is super shiny which is usually hard work for blonde hair!

The first time I used them it was a bit “meh” but apparently this is normal as the shampoo is removing all the mineral ions. It wasn't actually until the second or third use that I began to notice a real difference.  Now I find that after repeated use my hair feels soft, lightweight and does not tangle as much as usual. I also noticed a huge improvement with my scalp (which usually is usually dry and sensitive in the winter months) when using these products.

The shampoo is quite thick and I find it does not lather up as much as I would like, however it still does a very good job at cleaning my hair and removing product build up. The conditioner on the other hand has quite an unusual consistency, it is quite runny and I therefore feel as though I have to use more than usual, but it is just as moisturising as other thick conditioners I have used. The scent for both is very subtle, nothing too overpowering, but nice and refreshing.

These products may be more expensive than your average shampoo and conditioner, however I honestly think they are worth the extra money - I shall definitely be repurchasing! They have designed a range of shampoo and conditioners for soft, medium and hard water, all available for coloured hair or normal/fine hair.

What do you think about using a different shampoo depending on the water type you live in?

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Christmas Gift Idea 1 : Wholesome Bling Fabric Watch

10 Dec 2013

Blogging over the Christmas period is proving to be a little difficult! What with work being very busy, and all the Christmas parties, it leaves little time to actually blog. This therefore means I am bit late on the Christmas gift guide wagon, however I just had to share this idea with you.

I was recently contacted by a company called Wholesome Bling and asked if I wanted to try one of their watches. I instantly built up an image in my head of a blingy watch that was OTT, and I couldn't have been more wrong! Wholesome bling watches are beautiful hand made fabric watches that come in a variety of designs and sizes.  The fabric is hand pasted onto the dial so you will not find two that are the same.  It took me a while to decide on my favourite design, but I finally chose the purple glitter one.

When the watch arrived it was beautifully packaged in a jam jar with ribbon. At first I tried putting it on my wrist without reading the instructions and failed miserably. As shown in the photos you need to pull the fabric behind the face to make a gap for your wrist, then tie it around your wrist. As I have quite a small wrist I find there is still a bit of fabric left so I just tuck it underneath the strap, but it can also be left out.  It is extremely comfortable and I do not have any problems with it ever untieing.

What I love most about this watch is just how unique it is, I have never seen anything like it - I have had multiple compliments on this watch as it is so eye catching and different.  I think this would make a great little present at Christmas and they are so affordable too! They come in 2 sizes, £22 for a small watch and £24 for a large watch and they currently have 10% off to celebrate the launch of their new website if you enter New10%off at the checkout. 
What do you think of these beauties?

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Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold

4 Dec 2013

Ever since I purchased the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze (review here), I have been obsessed. I picked up Pink Gold (Inked in Pink in the USA) last week and as the name would suggest, it is a light pink with some subtle gold undertones - it is oh so very pretty.

If you have never used the Colour Tatto’s before, they are marketed as a gel-cream eyeshadow which lasts throughout the day. They can also be used as a primer, teamed up with a cream or powder eyeshadow, which will give you a more intense look. Personally I apply this to my eyelids as an all over wash, but I am definitely going to experiment and try it as a primer.

As you can see from the swatch, it is incredibly pigmented but you can also blend it out for a more subtle look. The eyeshadow is solid, but melts on your finger tips when applied - there is no need for a brush and it only takes a few minutes.  I am a big fan of the packaging, the glass makes it feel quite luxurious and it looks very similar to the MAC paint pots.

As mentioned in my previous review, these really do last all day. I have found that the Pink Gold colour does tend to fade a little, but it is still noticeable at the end of the day. At £4.99 these are great value for money, and I have yet to find anything better at this price! My only niggle is that I wish they had more colour offerings. There are a lot of bright colours, however for everyday wear there are only a few suitable colours.

What cream eyeshadows do you recommend?

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Lush Candy Mountain Bubble Bar Review

27 Nov 2013

I haven’t posted a Lush review for a while now, mostly because I have been trying to get through all of my bath products before I buy anymore! However, with Christmas coming up I had to head to Lush and buy Snow Fairy, and ended up treating myself to a few other bombs/melts.

Candy Mountain instantly caught my eye (how can it not when it is bright pink and white with a dusting of silver shimmer?!) and so I popped it into my basket. Personally I think it smells quite similar to Snow Fairy, a bubble gum/sweet type scent, but with a hint of vanilla. You are able to get a few baths out of this melt, so I cut it in half and this worked out to be plenty.

Once it had melted, my bath was full of bubbles and the water was left feeling lovely and soft. It had a subtle pink tint and was also slightly shimmery - but do not worry, this does not transfer to your skin, nor does it leave a residue in your bath! Afterwards my skin felt soft and hydrated and the scent still lingered on my skin for a few hours – which I love!

Candy Mountain is one of your cheaper bath melts so it is great value for money, especially when you can get 2+ baths out of this product. It is definitely more for those who like sweet scents (which I personally love as a bath product). This is a Christmas special however, so if you want to buy it, go buy it now!

What Lush products do you recommend?

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Boots Beauty Haul

22 Nov 2013

When Boots have their 3 for 2 offer I can’t help but find myself in there looking at what I can buy. Quite often I don’t even need anything, but I can always find something I would like to buy to get that one free make-up product! So as you may know, this offer is currently on at Boots so I went in at the weekend and I was actually quite restrained and only bought what I needed.

Firstly I wanted to buy a new under eye concealer as I have run out of my trusty Collection 2000 16 hour wear one, so I picked up the Seventeen Phwaorr Heavy Duty Concealer (£5.49) after hearing good things. First impressions – it’s OK, however I have a feeling I may be going back to purchase the Collection 2000 one. I also wanted a new black eyeliner as the one I am currently using doesn't last very long at all. I picked up the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Eye Liners (£3.99) in Black and Taupe and having used them a few times I really quite like them. As they are waterproof they are pretty hard to remove, but this means they stay for the majority of the day.

The Real Techniques Setting Brush (£8.99) has been on my wish list for a while now so I knew I wanted to pick this up. So far I have been using it to apply my under the eye concealor along with the powder on top. Having seen llymlrs use the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara (£4.99) I knew it was something I wanted to try out. I have never used a mascara on my brows before so I am still adjusting, however it is nice for a more natural look! Lastly, I also wanted to purchase a new Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow (£4.99) as I have been loving my on and on Bronze one recently. Some of the colours are a little gareish for my liking however the pink gold is so pretty and again, great for a natural look.

When buying all of this I actually got 2 £5 off No.7 skincare vouchers and a £3 off when buying 3 for 2 on make-up, so no doubt I will be heading to Boots again very soon!

What have you bought from Boots recently?

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Riding Boots Wish List

19 Nov 2013

Top Row

Bottom Row

More boots you say? Well, this Christmas I am hoping for a pair of knee high boots, in particular some riding boots. I have yet to make up my mind on which colour I would like (I think I want black but I keep seeing some tan/brown boots I like), but I know that I want a riding boot style.  I have a budget of around £100 and this is what I have found so far!

If you are looking for boots that have a bit of give, both Clarks and Next do wide and extra wide boots. I often find that some boots are a bit too snug and are made for the slimmest of legs! I am loving the look of the Steve Madden pair, and I especially love the Vince Camuto pair but having tried on the M&S pair yesterday - I also really like those!  If only I could order them all...

Which are your favourite pair?

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*written in association with Clarks

October Empties

16 Nov 2013

These months really are whizzing by, I cannot believe it is time for my October empties already! I have used up a lot of products that I have loved this month, which is sad but means that I can go out and buy more :) I appear to have gone through quite a bit of skin care which I am actually very happy about as my skincare cupboard is over flowing with products!  

The Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face wash (£18.40) is the first product I have tried from Bliss and what a great first product it was. It smells amazing, it is so refreshing and lovely to use in the morning. My skin can be quite sensitive yet this does not irritate it one bit and leaves my skin clean and soft. Would I buy these again? Most definitely

If you are after a delicate scrub which can be used daily, then the Elemis Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash (£12) is the one for you. I however am quite indifferent, I use an exfoliant once a week and I wash my face everyday, so do I really need this product? I don’t think so… Having said that, it is lovely, it cleans my face well and is very gentle. Would I buy these again? Possibly if it was on offer.

Every now and then I like to buy face wipes for when I am feeling lazy. The Simple Face Wipes (£2.99) are great for sensitive skin and they do not contain alcohol or oil so they are not going to dry your skin out. These face wipes are full of moisture and very soft, so it does not feel like they are tugging at your skin and they leave you feeling nice and refreshed. Would I buy these again? Yes.

This is my second bottle of Bioderma (£4.50) and I absolutely love it. I have yet to try any other micellar water, however I am tempted by the L’Oreal one which is a fraction of the cost. If you are ever in Paris, make sure you head to the City Pharma pharmacy where you can pick up large Bioderma bottles for very cheap. Would I buy these again? Without doubt

I reviewed the Nourifusion Toner in dry to normal (£14.05) over a year ago now and I have finally got through this beast of a bottle. I actually really liked it and would definitely recommend. It is not drying in the slightest and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. To read my review, see here. Would I buy these again? Yes

I wrote a full review on the Vichy Soothing Eye Make-up Remover (£10.25) here and my thoughts still stand! Since finishing this product I have replaced it with the No.7 eye make-up remove (see review here) and what a mistake that was. I cannot wait to purchase this again. Would I buy this again? YES!

My mum introduced me to the Olay Regenerist Replenishing Cream (£21.99) and it has become my favourite daily affordable night cream. It is such a nice consistency that when applied it sinks in straight away and there is no residue left on the skin. It is quite a rich moisturiser which I why I use it at night, but I can definitely see and feel a difference when using this. Would I buy this again? Yes, definitely!

I received the Vichy Idealia Moisturiser (£22.75) in a Glossy Box and unfortunately it really wasn't right for my skin. It didn't do much for my skin and my make-up did not apply well at all, it looked patchy and actually felt quite dry. It's a shame as I do like Vichy, but I am sure another will suit my skin better! Would I buy this again? No

I got the Hello Kitty Liberty Bath Bubbles in a gift set at Christmas and in terms of the actual product it has a nice scent, lathers up well and my skin generally feels soft after, but it was nothing special. I am in love with the packagaing though – such a lovely design. Would I buy this again? I would for the packaging

When you next go into The Body Shop, smell the Satsuma Shower Gel (£4) - it smells amazing. It is very uplifting in the morning and I can still smell it when I am out of the shower, I can see why it is a best seller. I am not sure what else to say other than try it if you like fruity scents!! Would I buy this again? Most definitely

The Vaseline Aloe Sensitive Deodorant (£1.95) is ok as far as deodorants go. I do like the scent, it is. Ice and fresh, and it does leave my feeling refreshed for a good part of the day, however my favourite is still the Sure Maximum Protection, which I reviewed here. Would I buy this again? Only if I couldn't get hold of the Sure deodorant. 

The YSL Shocking Mascara (£23.50) is amazing and up there as one of my favourites, along with the Lancome Baby Doll Mascara. It lengthens, volumises and seperates lashes, which is all that I look for in a mascara. Once applied, my eyes appear more open and I also find it lasts a lot longer than your average mascara. Would I buy this again? Yes, when I am looking to treat myself!

What products have you used up this month and what have you been loving?

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New Look Ankle Boots

13 Nov 2013

As we are hitting the colder months, I am officially beginning to live in boots. My toes have a habit of going numb when it’s cold so I like to wrap them up in socks and boots to keep them warm and dry. Most years I stick to boots with small heels, but this year I really wanted to find some black heeled ankle boots. Whilst in New Look I found these beauties and as soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them. Unfortunately they did not have my size in stock, so on to I went!

At £24.99 these boots are not going to break the bank, but also feel like they are well made. They are ever so comfortable to wear and because they have a thick heel they are very easy to walk in. The outside is suedette, which I love; just ensure you buy a spray to protect them from getting ruined. The side zip is what attracted me the most to these boots, I love the positioning on the outside rather than the inside (like most).

I have been wearing these non stop recently, they just seem to go with everything! My favourite combination at the moment is a dress, tights and a leather jacket, something which can be dressed up or down. Unfortunately they do not appear to be in stock at the moment, but do check out your New Look store!

What boots are you loving this Autumn/Winter?

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