Mulled Wine Scented Candle

27 Feb 2014

There is something very relaxing and tranquil about lighting some candles, removing your make-up, putting on some comfortable clothes and turning the lights down. At Christmas I received a few candles, one of them being a mulled wine candle from my parents.  Surprisingly it came from The Works, a place I would not think to look for candles, and I am officially obsessed with it, so much so I don’t want to use it up!

The packaging is very similar to that of a Yankee Candle but smaller and like Yankee Candles the main ingredient is Soy. I was very surprised when I smelt the candle as it is not warm and spicy as you would expect. I would describe it to be quite a sweet scent that is still absolutely devine and not very Christmas like at all. Even when it isn’t lit, I find my self smelling the candle as I cannot get enough of the scent.

When lit I do find that the wick becomes slightly sooty, but there are no issues of black smoke and it fills the room with a lovely aroma. In terms of burning time I cannot yet comment, but I have been very pleased with the progress so far and it burns nice and slowly.

You can purchase this candle instore or online for just £5.99 and if you sign up to their newsletter you will get a 15% off code online. They also have other scents available in Spiced Apple, along with some floral scents and some Love Heart scents! At £5.99 this is amazing value, especially compared to the price you pay for Yankee Candles. So if you go near The Works head in a give them a sniff - you won't be disappointed!

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Top 5 Spring Nail Polish Colours

24 Feb 2014

At last, Spring is on it’s way! We have had a few days of beautiful, sunny weather and I have been loving every minute of it. During Spring I stop reaching for darker nail polishes and begin to introduce pastels to my nails. Here are my top 5 picks for this season.

Firstly, two of my must have colours for spring are nude and grey. The light taupe Barry M matte polish in 338 Vanilla* (paired with a top coat) and the Rimmel 60 seconds polish in 805 Grey Matter are the perfect colours for transitioning into spring. They go with any outfit and are great for wearing to work! I have also gone for three beautiful pastel colours that I envisage will be my most used this Spring. I am absolutely in love with both the Nails inc for Instyle polish (unfortunately from 2013) and the Bourjois So Laque in 44 Bleu Modeland and can see myself reaching for these the most. Lastly, I chose the Headline Colors polish in Twisted Silk which is different to what I usually go for, but I just love how girly it is.

What are your must have nail polishes for this Spring?

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Fudge Urban Dry Shampoo - a Batiste contender?

21 Feb 2014

As you may know Batiste dry shampoo has been a favourite of mine for a while now and I have yet to find anything better. The Fudge Urban dry shampoo however has huge potential to knock Batiste off that number one spot.

Firstly, we have to talk about the packaging. Its bright orange casing with graffiti design is exceptionally eye catchy and one that I am instantly drawn to on the shelf. I actually prefer this to Batistes designs, which can often look a little dated next to this bottle. The design of the spray is much better than Batiste as it allows you to have more control over where the spray goes and the size of the bottle is perfect for just chucking in your handbag.

What I love most about this dry shampoo is that it does not leave any white residue when you spray it in your hair, and it is therefore very easy to brush out. My hair instantly looks refreshed and lasts all day without a top up. I am not massively keen on the scent however, I can’t even begin to describe it – it is not horrible, just not nice either. However, stating the obvious – Batiste smells like you are wearing dry shampoo which can sometimes be overpowering, whereas this does not so in some ways I do prefer this scent.

It would appear that you can only but this in Superdrug as I have yet to see it else where, whereas Batiste you can purchase in most drug stores and supermarkets. At £7 a piece I do think it is over priced and would only ever buy it on offer, whereas Batiste is a lot cheaper. Because of this Batiste is still a winner in my heart.

So the hunt continues - what dry shampoo do you recommend?

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The Beauty Blogger Tag

18 Feb 2014

After reading this tag over on the beautiful Beleza by Ems blog, I thought this would be a fun tag to share with you guys! Credit to the lovely Alice for the photo of Alice, Victoria and I from an event tonight - do check out their blogs! I hope you learn a bit about me and do let me know if you do this tag on your blog :) 

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
Straight. It has a slight wave if left to dry naturally.

2. What is your natural hair colour?
Dirty blonde.

3. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I always get it done at the salon as I am too scared to do anything myself. Plus, I only ever get highlights which I would definitely never try to do myself!

4. How often do you wash your hair?
I try and get away with washing it every 3 days. Thankfully, down to a few products, I can get away with it as washing and drying my hair is such a chore.

5. Do you wear the same style every day or change it?
I work a full time job, so I guess during the week I pretty much wear the same style, but at the weekend I definitely enjoy being more comfortable.

6. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I love getting my nails done but I am a little lazy so just do it myself.

7. How often to you change your nail polish?
Around once a week.

8. Do you polish your toes in the winter, too or just in the summer?
I have to have nail polish on my toes otherwise I feel that my feet look so weird! Having said that, I do tend to wear less polish on my toes in the winter as I like to give my toes a break.

9. How long does it take to put on your makeup?
Before work it takes me ten minutes, but if I am heading out for the evening I like to put more effort in and it takes around half an hour.

10. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
I know you are meant to do your eyes first, but out of habit I always do my face first. If I use an eyeshadow that has massive fallout I tend to use a tissue to catch it.

11. Do you "collect" makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I have too much makeup, end of. Since going on a spending ban I now only buy what I need, but when I head to New York in May this will definitely change.

12. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Very rarely as I cannot for the life of me put them on!

13. Do you do a full face of makeup every day?
Most days I wear a full face of makeup, the only time I don’t is if I am staying in or on holiday.

14. Do you wear makeup when you are home alone (or with family)?
Nope, although I love makeup I love having a clean face and giving my skin a break.

15. Will you leave the house without makeup?
I would, but I rarely do. If I have to I will always be wearing concealer and mascara.

16. How many high end products do you have?
I tend to splurge mostly on foundation, primer and blusher. Off the top of my head I have a few high end products of each.

17. How often do you wash your makeup brushes?
I wash them around every other week.

18. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you are getting dressed?
If I am heading somewhere special I always like to plan in advance, but for day to day I just decide when getting dressed.

19. How often do you change your handbag?
Not hat often actually. I use a different handbag for each season, but within season I rarely change it up.

20. What time do you get up & go to sleep?
I usually go to sleep around 11.30pm and my alarm is set for 7.40am.

21. How often & when do you workout?
I always head to the gym in the evening or at the weekend, around two or three times a week.

22. Left-handed or Right-handed?

23. How tall are you?
5ft 5 and a half.

24. Do you speak a foreign language?
I learnt French and German at school but haven't practiced for years.

25. How many pets do you have?
Just the one Chinchilla called Roo. I also have three cats at my parents who I absolutely love.

26. How often are you on Blogger?
To blog: every third day, to read blogs: a few times a week.

27. Do you read the comments posted blogs?
Not quite sure what this means? I sometimes read comments posted on other blogs if that’s what it means.

28. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
Yes, I am always updating a list on my phone. That gives me an idea for a post :)

29. How did you come up with your blog name?
No interesting story here. I love Vanilla and like the sound of Vanilla Crush. In hindsight it’s not the best name for a beauty blog, but hey ho, life carries on!

30. What kind of camera do you use for photographs?
Fuji Film HS30 EXR.

31. How often do you clean your house?
I am tidying somewhere in the house most days, but I tend to do a big clean at the weekend when I have more time.

32. What is your favourite colour?
I have always loved duck egg blue. My bedroom at my parents is based on this colour and I absolutely love it.

33. What is your favourite beauty/fashion magazine?
I read Glamour and Cosmopolitan the most but I am wanting to branch out a little so let me know your recommendations!

34. Do you swear?
I only swear when I am very angry, in pain or panicking that I have lost something.

35. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Go to bed as it's late!

Well done if you have read all of this and please do let me know if you post your answers! I tag everyone who reads this :)

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Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Primer

15 Feb 2014

Primers are one of my weaknesses. I truly believe that if you have a good base, in terms of skincare and primer, then your make-up will apply and look much better.  I therefore tend to invest money into good skincare and primers. One that has received a lot of press is the Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Perfection Primer. It promises to reduce shine, minimise the appearance of wrinkles and pores and make your skin appear smoother by blurring those imperfections. Sounds great right?

On first impressions, this silicone based primer shares similarities to Benefits Porefessional - both in terms of consistency and application. Squeezing the tube causes the product to “splatter” out a moose like consistency in small chunks, but upon touch it smoothes out. It may not be the most attractive looking packaging, but it is very user friendly and hygienic and you are able to get every last bit out. There are some primers I have used, for example the Revelon Photoready primer, which are in glass containers with pumps and although I can see that there is a fair bit left I cannot get any more out!

When first applied, your skin is left looking very matte with a soft, smooth finish, and after a few minutes (not seconds as it claims!) you can see a real difference in terms of your complexion and pores. I find applying foundation much easier as it just smoothes onto my skin and gives my makeup a velvety smooth finish. Because of this I find I use less foundation as the primer has really improved my face as a base. In terms of staying power, my make-up does stay on much longer than without primer, but compared to other primers this is no better or worse for longevity.

Although I feel it is a little pricey for a drugstore primer, it is definitely a great cheaper alternative to Benefit Porefessional and Clarins Instant Smooth primer, which are double the price. At the time of publishing, it is on offer in Boots for just £9.99 so I would definitely recommend heading there!

What is your favourite primer?

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Spending Ban Update

12 Feb 2014

So I am just over a month into my spending ban and I have to say it hasn’t been too bad. I have been to a few places where there has been temptation all around - namely Oxford Street and Westfield - and managed to restrain myself from purchasing anything, which is not the easiest of tasks! Surprisingly I still haven’t spent any of my gift vouchers that I received for Christmas, mostly because I can’t decide what to spend them on! I recently unsubscribed from Glossy Box to save a bit of money, it has been very hit and miss recently and I have built up quite a collection of samples that I need to get through.

On the beauty side I have managed to use up quite a few products (empties post coming soon), only replacing two products where I had no back ups - eye make-up remover for around £3 and a new bronzer which I purchased with my boots points. The only other item that I have purchased is a black roll neck, which I have been looking for since Christmas to no avail. I therefore decided before starting my spending ban that if I found a black roll neck I would allow myself to purchase it. Other than that money has only been spent on essentials (and maybe a holiday or two..).

I have therefore decided to extend my spending ban as I now have multiple holidays booked from April until July, along with Glastonbury Festival, and we are still looking to buy our first place. I have also learnt in the past month that I have way too much skincare and make-up and quite often forget I have certain products.  I therefore want to try and minimise what I have by using some of it up! I am not sure when I am going to extend it too, but I am thinking at least another 2 months…we shall see.

For those of you on a spending ban, how are you finding it?

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6 Tips for going to your first gym class

9 Feb 2014

I have been attending classes at the gym for a few months now and have found them a great way to work out, they are very motivating and actually great fun. Here are six tips on going to your first gym class:

1) Take a Friend
It is always quite daunting when you first step into a gym class and have no idea what you are doing. Therefore, why not bring a friend? Not only can you laugh with one another if you mess up, but you motivate one another to get into a routine of attending classes.

2) Make sure you arrive early
There is nothing worse then arriving to your first class late – the instructor will not wait for you. Give yourself plenty of time so that you know exactly where you need to be and you have time to set up your equipment (even if it is just a mat). You can also introduce yourself to the instructor, helping you to feel at ease.

3) Take some water
Although it is likely that your gym will provide water, having a bottle of water beside you will stop you getting dehydrated. If the class is particularly intense you will need some water to help keep you going.

4) Stand where you can see the instructor
This may be obvious but if you are feeling a little nervous you may gravitate towards the back of the room. Stand somewhere in the middle of the room where you can see the exactly what the instructor is doing.

5) Always start off easy
Regardless of what everyone else is doing, do not push yourself too much. If you are required to use weights do not start by picking up the heaviest ones there (unless you use weights a lot already). Start light and gradually move up to the heavier weights when you are more confident in the class. You do not want to injure yourself!

6) If you cant do something, don’t give up
Lastly, you will not be perfect first time. Watch the instructor when they first do something so you get an idea of what you need to do, then try it out. If you cannot do it, do not worry and just try your best. The instructor will tell you where you are going wrong and after a few classes you will be on your way to the top!

I hope you enjoyed this kind of post as it is a little different to usual. Let me know if you have any tips!

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The Book Lover Survey

6 Feb 2014

I recently read The Book Lover Survey on one of my favourite Blogs, Sail Boat by Jennie, and thought this would be a fun tag! Let me know if you do this tag as I would love to read your answers :)

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading. From a young age my mum would read to me before bed, then when I was old enough to read myself she would take me to the library so I could pick my own. My mum is also an avid reader so I definitely think it has stemmed from there.

Where do you usually read?
There are two places that I like to read, on the train and in bed. However, my favourite is definitely reading in bed in the morning. Although I only get to do this at the weekend, I love snuggling up and getting lost in my book – a great way to start the day.

Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
I have only ever read one book at a time and can’t ever imagine reading several at once. Once I get into a book I find it hard to put down and couldn’t imagine starting a new story line until I have finished the first. Plus, it would take me too long to finish a book if I had several on the go at once!

What is your favourite genre?
Oh man, this is a hard one! I love thrillers, and they are definitely one of my favourites but if you were to look on my book shelf you would mostly find easy reads – Sophie Kinsella, Lidsey Kelk, you know the ones! Because I mostly read on my commute to work, which consists of 3 15 minute train/tube journeys, these are the easiest kind of books to read. I also love dystopian books like The Hunger Games and non-fiction books! (I’m a geek at heart).

Is there a genre you will not read?
There isn’t really a genre that I would avoid, but I am not really tempted by sci-fi books or your typical romantic books (I.E Milnes and Boon). I definitely want to branch out a bit though as I tend to stick to the same type of books, so let me know your recommendations!

Do you have a favourite book?
Just like picking a favourite genre, I am struggling to pick a favourite book so I am going to list a few that I have enjoyed recently. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is definitely up there as one of my favourites and I would recommend this to anyone. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Hunger Games series as it was my first dystopian read. Lastly, like Jennie, The Tale of Peter Rabbit will always have a special place in my heart as it brings back so many great memories.

What is your least favourite book?
To be honest, if I struggle to get into a book I stop reading it, therefore there are not many books that I have read and not enjoyed. The only one that does come to mind is Bright Young Things by Scarlett Thomas. The concept of the book is good, however the ending was really disappointing and boring.

What is the longest book you have ever read?
I honestly don’t know the answer to this question. Looking at my bookcase right now all of the books that I have read tend to be around the same length – therefore I cannot answer this question unfortunately!

What was the last book you bought?
I am on a spending ban at the moment so it has been a while since I last purchased a book. However I did receive some books for Christmas which were Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain – which I cannot wait to read, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - which I have already read and Information is Beautiful by David McCandless – which is a great coffee table book.

Do you prefer library books or buying books?
As of now it would have to be buying books, however when I was younger I loved going to the library and having the choice from hundreds of books! Where I live there are quite a few charity shops, which have a great selection of books for 75p each. So I often pop in there at the weekend to see what they have and find myself buying a little more than necessary! I also have a Kindle, where it is a little to easy to spend money on books!

What are you currently reading?
Working it Out by Nicola May.

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Molecule 01 Escentric Molecules

3 Feb 2014

Over the past few years there has been a lot of hype around Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules, claiming that wearing this perfume will cause hordes of admirers! Now if this doesn’t intrigue you then I don’t know what will! This is not like your typical perfume, which contains multiple active ingredients, instead this perfume contains one active ingredient; Iso E Super. It is also different in that you will rarely smell it on your self, but it will have a huge effect on others.

Essentially, this unisex perfume mixes with your natural pheromones to create your own unique scent. For this reason, do not smell the perfume straight from the bottle, spray it onto your skin or clothes and let it work it's magic. When I first spray the perfume I am hit with a warm, woody, earthy scent, which I feel smells more masculine than feminine, however after a few minutes it develops into a very subtle scent that then disappears from my radar.  Although I can no longer smell it, others around me can and every now and then it does resurface - reassuring me it is still there!

In terms of packaging, the design is simple yet alluring – the only downfall is that it does not come with a lid so I keep it inside its main packaging. What impresses me the most is the longevity of this perfume. Never have I ever worn a perfume that I can still smell after 24 hours and a shower – it is truly impressive.

Overall I am thoroughly impressed with this perfume. Although it has yet to have the desired effects of flocks of people asking what I am wearing, I do enjoy the fact that I do not smell like everybody else. I would say do try before you buy as it works differently on everyone and if you are more into fresh, floral, feminine scents then this may not be for you, but then I typically gravitate towards those kind of scents and have surprised myself by how much I like this! It is available in both 30ml and 100ml, or you can purchase a 30ml refill, but I believe this does not come with casing nor a lid (hence why it is a refill).

Have you tried Molecule 01? If so, what did you think?

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