Try the Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Starter Kit for Free!

27 Jan 2014

Manuka Doctor are a brand that I have heard so much about, but haven't had the chance to try any of their products yet. Now, if you don't know much about Manuka Doctor they have won many awards for their natural, bee friendly products that have been designed to be kind to your skin. They currently have an amazing offer on their ApiNourish range (which aims to protect and moisturise the skin) where you can try 3 of their products for FREE - you only need to pay £2.50 for p&p.     

Included in the kit is a rejuvenating face mask, an age-defying serum and a restoring night cream - so it is a great way to try out the brand and see what you think. You also get 25% off your next order, which is likely to more than cover the price you paid for the delivery of these three products.

As you may know I am on a spending ban so I am using all my will power to resist this offer, but do let me know if you are tempted by it :)

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Barry M Natural Glow Shadow & Blush Palette

22 Jan 2014

Over the past few months Barry M have released an abundance of new products, and having only ever tried their nail polishes I have been very excited by this. In particular the Natural Glow Shadow & Blush Palette caught my eye; I am a bit of a sucker for nude colour palettes. There are two other palettes in the collection; Smokin' Hot - a smoky palette and Glamour Puss – a bold colour palette (limited edition).

First impressions of the palette were very good. Although the packaging is made from cardboard, it still feels sturdy enough and looks very sleek. There is a large mirror included in the lid and two brush applicators, which to be honest are unnecessary – they are never any good! The range of colours is great, with a mixture of four shimmer shades and two matte shades, which gives you the ability to create both a natural and a smoky look, ideal for when you are travelling.

Moving on to the application. The pigmentation of the matte eye shadows is not the best, they are heavily swatched in the photo and they still don't look great. On the other hand, the shimmer eye shadows are lovely and pigmented (especially the 4th from the left) and easy to work with. Some do feel slightly chalky, but are very soft and therefore easy to blend. They also have relatively good staying power, which improves with the use of a primer. Unfortunately the blush is a disappointment, even with my light complexion it is barely visible – I would be more inclined to use this as a highlighter.

All in all I think this is a great palette for the price you pay and if you are looking to create a natural look, or you are just starting to use make-up, then this is perfect for you. However, I can’t help but compare it to its competitors, Sleek and MUA, which have great pigmentation. The let down of this palette is definitely the pigmentation of the matte eye shadows and the blush.

Have you tried this palette? If so, what did you think?

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Georgia Three-Hand Bangle Fossil Watch

19 Jan 2014

Having worn my Micheal Kors Watch almost every day for the past two years, which unfortunately is deteriorating day by day (more on this in another post); I thought it was about time I look for a new watch. My main needs were for it to be silver, smaller than a Micheal Kors watch, but not too small and most importantly I must be able to wear it with a tennis bracelet (something which most definitely did not go with my Michael Kors watch).

My lovely boyfriend decided to buy me one for Christmas so we went on the hunt for a new watch. Having spent most of the day going into every watch and jewellery shop that exists in Westfield Shepherds Bush, I finally found the perfect watch. The Fossil Georgia Three-Hand Bangle Watch has it all and I am so in love with it!

I am always instantly attracted to two-toned watches and this watch was no exception, the rose gold and silver go beautifully together and make it that little more unique. The unique bangle band is not something I often see and the 72 clear stones around the edge really finish it off nicely. I was also amazed that you can easily adjust the watchband, without going to the jewellers - a bit of a rarity! It has an adjust-o-link which means you can remove links yourself by simply using your hands.

This watch is so delicate yet striking – something which can be dressed both up and down. You can easily layer it with other jewellery to create different looks, and most importantly it will go with that all important item – a tennis bracelet!

What do you think of the Fossil Georgia watch?

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Sizers - The solution to ill-fitting shoes!

15 Jan 2014

Court shoes are the bane of my life, I love wearing them yet I just cannot seem to find a pair that fit me without slipping off my feet. Like many of you, I have tried heel grips, but unless the shoes are only marginally too big, these are no good. Thankfully, Sizers have come up with a solution – shoe inserts to make your shoes smaller! Such a simple concept, yet so effective!

I first tried the ¼ Sizer on New Years Eve and was suitably impressed. You place the soft foam insert at the front of your shoe, effectively making your shoe a smaller size, which is held in place by your feet. There are ridges on the foam to help cushion your toes and I can honestly say, although it felt a little odd at first, once they mold to your feet you cannot even feel that they are there.  They lasted all night and my feet stayed firmly in my shoes - always good when you have been drinking!

I would highly recommend trying Sizers out if you do suffer from ill-fitting shoes - they have saved many of my shoes from being given away. They come in three different sizes; ¼, ½ and 1, so if you have size 6 shoes yet you are a 5 ½, insert the ½ Sizer and you are good to go. These can be used again and again, whether it is because your shoes are too loose or because you want to borrow a friends pair of shoes! You can also mix and match if you have different sized feet (apparently over 60% of the population see a difference in size between their left and right foot - sometimes as much as two sizes!) :)

Do you struggle with shoes not fitting correctly?

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Kir Royale & Missled Lip Combo

12 Jan 2014

Lipstick is something I have always shyed away from. I often felt quite self conscious and felt that it never looked quite right., however recently I have started experimenting a little and finding what works for me, leaving me quite frankly obsessed! At the moment, I am loving the combination of W7's Kir Royale along with Missguided Lipsplash in Missled.

I received W7's Kir Royale in a goody bag at an event I went to last year, and I am very glad that I did. This is not a colour I would usually pick and it is definitely out of my comfort zone, but after using it a few times I have actually grown to love it. It is a beautiful deep purple with a gorgeous pink sheen that is very moisturising and applies very nicely.  The only negative I would say is that it does not have the best staying power, however for £3.43 you can't complain!

During the day I like to mute it a little so I pair it with a nude lip gloss from Missguided to create the most beautiful combination.  Unfortunately it does not seem as though Missguided do this colour anymore, which is a shame as it is a lovely colour and it smells amazing - just like toffee, but any nude or light lipgloss would work! 

It looks like 2014 is the year for me and lipsticks :) Let me know what lip products you are loving at the moment?

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NARS Sin Blush

9 Jan 2014

Would you believe that I only bought my first ever NARS blush in December 2013? I don't know why it has taken me this long, but I know it won't be the last!  NARS Sin may look a little boring in the pan, but when applied it is a lovely berry colour with a hint of gold shimmer, perfect for the Autumn and Winter months.  Paired with a nude or berry lip colour and you are good to go.

This blush is very soft and highly pigmented therefore do not need to use very much at all, if you do apply too much you can end up looking a little dirty or bruised.  Having said that it blends very nicely, so you can always rectify the problem. It also stays on with minimal fading and although it does contains shimmer, it is very subtle and leaves a lovely glowy sheen on your cheeks.

As for the packaging, I have a love hate relationship with it.  I love how minimalistic it is, much classier than MAC blush packaging, however the black casing will pick up dirty fingertips which are a pain to remove.  It is very sturdy and I do not worry about the product breaking in my make-up bag, like some that I may chuck about a little too much.

Overall I am highly impressed with NARS blush and I absolutely love Sin.  If you are concerned at shelling out that little more for NARS blush I would definitely say go ahead, they really are worth the money and will last you fora good few years.  As for Sin, go ahead and swatch it and you will see how beautiful it really is!

What is your favourite NARS blush?

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November & December Empties

6 Jan 2014

It has been a while since I did an empties post so I thought I would combine my November and December empties into one. I didn't get through as much as usual in those two months so hopefully this post will not be too long, but I can tell you now I used up a lot of products that I have been loving, so be prepared for what may read as a favourites post :)

First up are the hair products. I find John Frieda products to be a little hit and miss, however I have found the Everlasting Blonde Range (£5.99) to be very pleasant. It keeps my hair looking bright and clean, whilst preserving my highlights. You can usually pick them both up for £8 which I would happily pay. Would I buy these again? Most definitely

Next up is the Osmo Silverising Conditioner (£7.50).  I was on the hunt for a new purple shampoo and conditioner and came across the Osmo range so thought I would give them a go. The conditioner is very nourishing and leaves my hair looking shiny and bright, unfortunately I am not as big a fan of the shampoo. Would I buy this again? Quite possibly

Lastly is a favourite of mine, Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry* (£2.99). This is the first time I have tried this scent and oh my it is amazing! I typically pick up the Tropical scent but having tried Cherry I will definitely be picking it up again! As I have mentioned in past empties posts, I love Batiste and have yet to find a better dry shampoo. Would I buy this again? Definitely

My boyfriend stayed in a hotel that had Bliss goodies in the bathroom so he bought some home for me, this meant I got to try out the Bliss Body Lotion (£20.50 full size). I am sad to see it empty as I absolutely loved  this lotion, its a shame it's so expensive!  It sinks into your skin instantly and is very moisturising, it also has a lovely fresh scent that lingers on your skin. Would I buy this again? If it was on offer yes

I received a sample of the Angelica Hyrdration Cream (£30.00 full size) in a Glossy Box and was very excited to try it. As you can tell from the name, this is a hydrating cream that moisturises and revitalizes the skin.  I used this every morning and after continuous use I could really see an improvement in my skin, it was much more smooth, radiant and hydrated. Would I buy this again? Yes, definitely

I purchased The Body Shop Body Butter in Blueberry on a bit of a whim, they had 50% off online and although I knew I loved their body butters, I could either love the scent or hate it. Thankfully I loved the smell and like all their body butters it is so very soft and moisturising. Unfortunately I can no longer find it online, so I am not sure if The Body Shop have stopped selling this particular one but thy have plenty of other scents available here. Would I buy this again? Yes!

Yet another favourite is the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19).  If you have not tried this yet, where have you been?! I thoroughly recommend that you go out and purchase this now as it is one of the best drug store concealers out there. As the name would suggest it lasts all day and does a great job at covering imperfections. Would I buy this again? Always!

Lastly, the Sure Maximum Protection Deodorant (£5.30) is my favourite deodorant of all time, which I posted a full review on here. It does everything you want in a deodorant and lasts all day long. I am now using the same deodorant, but in 'Sensitive Dry', and it is not my favourite scent so I will definitely be picking up 'Everyday Fresh' next time. Would I buy this again? Yes, yes, yes

So that's it for November and December! Let me know your thoughts on the products I have got through the past two months :)

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January & February Spending Ban

3 Jan 2014

The past few months have not been easy on my bank balance making it a struggle to save! I already have a few holidays planned this year, and my boyfriend and I are still looking to buy our first house together so I need to get a welly on and save!  I have therefore decided to go on a spending ban in the hope that I save a few pennies.  The last time I went on a spending ban was February 2012 and it was a success, however I was only banned from buying beauty related products.

To make it that little harder I will be doing it for both the months of January & February and I have extended it to include all non-essentials such as clothes, books, Jewellery etc (this will not include some nights/meals out). This means I am not allowed to buy any items unless; I run out of the product and have no other alternative, I use a gift voucher that I received for Christmas or someone else purchases the product for me.

As there are so many great sales on at the moment, it is probably the worst time of the year to go on a spending ban, however I am hoping it won't be too hard. My birthday is also in February so this will help make it a little easier with some gifts :) I will keep you updated at the end of each month!

Who else is on a spending ban? Let me know how it is going and best of luck :)

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