About Me

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tea Party!

Who else is in LOVE with this glorious weather that we are having?!

I am so excited about organising some tea parties for my friends and I over the Easter holidays! My dad bought me a cupcake teapot yesterday (I was over the moon) and my brain went into overdrive. Bunting, cakes, sandwiches, pink lemonade, ya-de-ya-de-ya-de-ya! I cannot wait to get planning. It really is those simple moments that make summer what it is; sitting in the sunshine with friends and family, giving into cake temptation, sipping on lemonade, and just taking a step back from your life and enjoying the moment.

Here are some photos that have been inspiring me...








What is your favourite thing about summer?

Monday, 26 March 2012

17 mini haul

No visit into town is complete without a trip to BOOTS! I was not happy at all to see that '17' had a '3 for the price of 2' offer on...because it meant I had to buy things...Oh, why must I fall into this consumer trap every.single.time!

This is what I bought!


This 17 Photo Flawless Skin Primer boasts of minimising pores (but it ain't no Porefessional) and prolonging foundation wear. I got this because (as silly as this may sound) I didn't want to use Porefessional from Benefit every single I applied make-up. I'm going to have this for those days where I don't really want to make too much of an effort but make-up is necessary. It says at the back of this primer that it can be worn on its own but I've never been a fan of wearing primer on its own so I won't be doing that. It has a lovely feel to it and it does minimise pores (slightly) so I think my £4.99 was well spent.


I also got this Berry Crush lipstain. It has a lipstain on one side and a balm containing Vitamin C to keep your lips hydrated on the other other side. I tried it on in the shop and fell in love! I have been looking for a new stain because I have been using Benetint for months now and it's always nice to have a change. This is more of a plum colour and richer than Benetint but it doesn't last as long so I have to keep topping it up but I knew what I was paying for. 


I love this new Instant Glow Bronze that 17 have come out with in their summer range. It contains a sponge with it but I will be using a brush because I find the application is a lot easier. The sheen and glitter is gorgeous for summer evenings and I know I will be using this throughout the next few months.

17 is an under rated brand at times. They have some amazing products and always have deals on so keep an eye out next time you are shopping in your local drug store. I got all this for £10!

What's your favourite drug store brand?

Exfoliate away!

I don't normally exfoliate my skin but with all this heat I know how important it is to keep on top of your  skin maintenance regime so I decided to try this No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator. I had a £5 off voucher so I got it relatively cheap!


For best results you should use it once or twice a week. I use it once because I don't want to dry my skin out too much. The exfoliator 'sweeps away dead skin cells and impurities to reveal brighter, more beautiful skin'. My skin did feel a lot cleaner and fresher after I used it but it wasn't brighter. I would still recommend it because it is good value for money and your skin does feel ah-may-zing!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hunger Games Nail Art

Everyone has been raving about 'Hunger Games'. The film buffs can't get enough of the movie, the literature geeks can't stop raving about the books, and the blogasphere can't get enough of the nails!

I watched a video by Cute Polish that showed step by step how to get the nail art on Effie Trinket. It is such a simple tutorial and you don't need any materials that you won't have lying around the house.

This is my attempt. Bare in mind that it is past 3am so they aren't as good as they could be.


I used my MaxDactor 'Deep Plum' polish for the base.

I used one of my mini Nail Inc gold glitter nail varnishes for the special star dust effect.

I used the Rimmel 60 seconds clear nail varnish to coat the top.


What nail art are you currently into?


J'adore Impulse!

Breaking News!

The new limited edition Impulse smells like the perfume J'adore from the Dior range. I was ecstatic when I found out (literally by mistake) and stocked up sooper quickly. They are going for 97p at Tesco and smell b-e-a-u-t-i-ful!

I have the perfume but I do use it sparsely (it's so expensive) so it's nice to overload on this.




Saviour!

The heat this week has really effected my skin and it's become really dehydrated. The sun ALWAYS has this effect on my skin and the area around my nose suffers the most as I get really bad dry skin around there. This was a real problem for me when I was younger because no amount of moisturiser would solve the problem and I was oblivious to all the other solutions. 

A few years I came across my favourite skincare product EVER! I have a lot of favourites but this one I have been using for years and it always works. It is the Elizabeth Arden  Eight Hour Cream. It claims to sooth minor skin irritation, cracked lips, minor burns, sunburn, scrapes and abrasions. I use it literally for the dry skin around my nose and it clears it RIGHT UP! 


The cream has a thick, greasy consistency so I always wear it after I have took off my make-up and am getting ready to go to bed. The cream rehydrates the skin and soothes the skin around any problem areas.


I have had this for over a year now and I am not even half way through it. It is an amazing product and it really helps you look after your skin. I got it in a gift set with two hand moisturisers last year so I'm not sure what it is currently retailing at.

If you do have an issue with dry, irritating or flaky skin then I highly recommend this. If you want to try a sample before you purchase it then ask for a small sample at your local Elizabeth Arden counter. 

Do you have any remedies for dry skin?

Benefit Obsession

I have been eagerly awaiting this day and it did not fail to live up to my expectations! As you know, I am a massive Benefit Cosmetics fan, and for the past 2 weeks they have been doing a road show with their head make-up artist, Lisa Potter-Dixon, to promote their new liquid 'Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow' foundation. All across the country Benefit addicts (myself included) were freaking out because Benefit were allowing you the chance to meet Lisa, get a mini makeover, AND be the first ones to try the new foundation. £20 for a 15 minute session with the original BeneBabe seemed too good an offer to pass, so I rang up one of my best friends and we booked for an appointment for today.


We arrived at Harvey Nichols in Manchester for our appointment and were met by a very friendly Lisa. She talked us through all the make-up and techniques she used, and gave us advice on how to apply it. It's been a mad two weeks for her because she has been city hopping like crazy doing this promotion but she was ever so nice and helpful.

After our makeovers, we were given a sample size of the foundation to take away and use before it is released on the 31st of this month. I love it! I am nearing the end of my Clinique foundation so will definitely be getting this one. There are 9 shades to this foundation, it has SPF 25 and it can be layered so you can decide what type of coverage you want. The sample is a large size so I will be wearing this until I buy the full size foundation. 


I was able to use the £20 that I paid for the session and redeem it against a product that I wanted to buy. HOW FRICKIN AWESOME IS THAT?! I decided to buy PoreFessional because I have been dying to buy it ever since the BeneBabes at my local counter introduced me to it. It came to a measly £3.50 because I had paid the £20 for the session in advance. The PoreFessional is a primer for the face but also works at minimising the pores in your face. It's oil free so you don'y get any of that oily residue that you get with some others.


You would think I'd be happy with this...but I wasnt't! I needed to buy something else. If you bought two products then you were given a free eye shadow...so as you can see I HAD to buy another product. Lisa introduced me to a Benetint Lip Balm that I never even knew existed. I normally use Benetint stain but this looks more practical and it means I can use my stain just for the cheeks now. It's a gorgeous balm and leaves your lips feeling smooth but not greasy. At £14 I thought it was a good bargain. It also has SPF 15!


This is the free eye shadow I got with my purchases. It is a creaseless natural champagne coloured eye shadow. It retails at £14 (but I got it for freeeeeeeeeeeeeee).


As you can see I was a very happy girl! I got to meet the lovely Lisa, get a great makeover, some amazing make-up tips, and some great products!

I spent the rest of the day catching up with my friend, window shopping, enjoying the sun and drinking some mocktails (which were yummy).



How has your weekend been?
What is your favourite Benefit product?


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow...

This is the cake that I baked for my mum's birthday. It was vanilla sponge with white chocolate butter cream sandwiched between all the layers and a white chocolate raspberry ripple. I was very pleased that the colours came out looking so vibrant because I did have my concerns when I started making it. 

I will do a recipe for it in the near future.



What cake would you like to bake right now? 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Benefit my skin!

I have been meaning to blog about my favourite skin care product EVER for a long time but never had the time. However, I am currently sitting in a pile of papers with deadlines looming so naturally I am going to procrastinate and BLOG!

Anyway! I am currently IN LOVE with the Benefit 'Total Moisturiser Facial Cream'. At £26.50 it is a tad bit pricey but trust me it is worth every penny. It has a very thick creamy feel to it but it is a very light formula which leaves your skin feeling very hydrated. Despite its thick formula it absorbs into my skin very easily and has a gorgeous fragrance to it. I have had my tub for over 2 months now and I'm not even a quarter of a way through it because a little really does go a long way. 

I tend to get very dry skin around my nose area but since I have started using this it seems to have calmed down (yay). I wear as part of my morning routine but it is also perfect for a night cream because you wake up in the morning with your skin feeling oh-so-fresh and not have the greasy residue I find that you get with some other brands. 


Erm, did I mention how much I love this product? 

The Bene-babes at the Benefit counters are amazing! Before I purchased this facial cream  I visited the counter a numerous time to make sure it was the right cream for me (£26.50 is a LOT to spend on face cream). The girls were fab and always gave me a lot of advice and samples of the Total Moisturiser to take away and try at home. So if you do want to try this I suggest you visit your local Benefit counter and get a sample before you buy this product (because trust me you will!).

I recycled one of the sample tubs they gave me, filled it with the Total Moisturiser and stuck it in my bag. It's a great product for using on the go for when you have those dry skin emergencies.



As you can see it is a tiny sample tub so it doesn't take up a lot of space in your bag.


Have you tried this product?
What product are you obsessed with right now?

Nailed it!

I finally used one of my Mini Nail Inc nail varnishes that I got as a free gift with my Debenhams purchases a few weeks ago. I used the Warwick Way Polish which is a vibrant teal shade and leaved a glossy finish. I was really impressed with the fact that I only needed one coat and got such great colour. I coated my nails with a clear polish to ensure that the colour lasted (I'm always chipping them). The Nail Inc lady suggested using the 'Farringdon Glitter Crackle' top coat for a more dramatic effect but I'm really not a fan of that trend so didn't bother with it.

The nail varnish was a little sample size but I still have loads left! I'm not one for spending loads of money on nail varnishes but Nail Inc is quickly becoming a strong favourite of mine.

Excuse the messy nails but it was past 1am and I was watching a really scary episode of Criminal Minds...


Something else I would like to share with you lovely bloggers out there is a give away by the lovely Beauty Balm. Check out her blog for more details (you won't be disappointed).



Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tea-Total!

A combination of assignments, lack of sleep and around £20 in the bank leads to the strangest yet some of my best purchases! I stumbled across the Canton Tea website around 2 weeks ago and have been meaning to purchase some of their items since. These guys have a great reputation even though they only opened in 2007 (like...in business years they are like a toddler). Canton Tea Co is a British tea company trading in 'high grade, whole leaf Chinese tea'. They sell the best jasmine, white, green, oolong, black and authentic puerh teas. In their first year, they even won Six Golds at the 2009 Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards! 

They company had great service as the package got here 2 days after I made the order! Here is what I got :)

                        
I ordered a small Shen Glass Teapot for the full experience. I have always wanted a glass teapot since I began my Twinings tea obsession so I knew it would be worth the money. It cost be £10 on sale on the website. It comes in bigger sizes but a small teapot is just right for me.
I got the matching Shen Glass cup and saucer for a mere £5! 
Aaaah, my flowering teas! It was because of my curiosity of this tea that I stumbled onto the Canton Tea website in the first place. I got 5 different samples of their large tea collection to taste. These little beauties bloom into gorgeous flowers in hot water as well as infusing the mouth watering flavours into the teapot (I just tried one and I am on a Canton Tea hype right now!)...

These were the three items I ordered off the website and I got them for approximately £20 because I got £5 off due to a special offer on the website. I was really happy with the company but I got a few little treats thrown in as well...

I got sample bags for their 'yellow gold oolong' and 'jasmine' tea which I was not expecting at all! I cannot wait to try these little babies.
I got a lovely welcome letter thanking me for my purchase and gave me a code which will give me 15% off my next order. I also got two voucher cards for 2 friends that will give them £5 off their order too! I wonder if I can give those as birthday presents...hmm! I got a lovely little little booklet as well explaining all the different types of tea and how to brew them that I am very excited to read.

Here is my first attempt at making flowering dragon eye tea...

My little teapot holds 250ml of water (perfect for my cup!) so I filled it with hot (but not boiling) water and added my tea to it.
I watched in anticipation as the tea opened up. *side note: it takes a while so if you're like me and are just sitting there waiting...it will get a bit boring* I was CRAZY HAPPY when the flower opened up and the I was able to smell the exotic blend of flavours. 
I cannot remember for the life of me what tea I tried today but I do remember it was delicious! There was a strong flavour of green tea but occasionally I got a burst of jasmine or an undertone of lilies (yummy). 


How do you like your tea?






Sunday, 11 March 2012

Rainbow Cakes

 I have been inspired by these rainbow cakes to try something different for my mum's birthday cake next week. I love how versatile you can be with the designs, the shock of colour and how yummy they look!






What is your favourite yummy treat?

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Splendidly Splendid!

This month's Glamour magazine included a range of hair products from Percy & Reed Hair Care. This included their shampoo, conditioner and serum. I tried the conditioner as my hair is getting slightly damaged by the constant straightening EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! I know, I know, I should be a lot nicer to it but I find that universally hair is the one thing that gets abused (I apologise, I meant groomed) but isn't looked after properly. So like I said, I was very excited about trying out the new conditioner - even more excited when I discovered that it retailed for £16.00 and I got it for £2! 


As you can see, it is the full size and has a really cute, unique design on the bottle. Normally when I use shampoo and conditioner and then allow my hair to dry naturally it gets very very very frizzy, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how my hair tumbled down my shoulders with very little frizz. My curls fell perfectly AND my hair smelled divine!


I feel more confident about leaving my hair curly using this conditioner because I know I won't have to weigh it down using serums and oils (cue limp and slightly greasy looking hair). It is expensive at £16 from the internet so I'm not sure whether or not I would buy it at full price, but I will see if it causes a drastic improvement to my hair and might re-consider. 

What is your favourite hair product? 


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sense of smell...

These past few days have been amazing and sad at the same time. I have started a placement for my course which is focused on students with special educational needs (SEN), and my experience has been such an eye-opener. I now have a new found respect for all teachers and carers who work with SEN children because it is so hard to imagine what they go through if you are not there to witness it first hand. The sheer look of joy on children's faces when they are able to lift their arm to hit the drum constantly reminds me of all the things that we take for granted. So next time you are depressed or down because something isn't going your way, take a minute and remember all things that you take for granted but someone else in this world only wishes that they had.

On a more 'retail therapy' note, I have been looking for a new perfume to add my collection. I am torn between 'Oh, Lola!' by Marc Jacobs, Pure DKNY, 'Valentina' byValentino and 'Whisper' by Ghost; they are all so gorgeous which makes my decision harder. I will probably look into investing in one of these over the Summer period so I can have a fragrance to remember the summer by. I love it when a scent can just take you back years and unleash countless memories...







What's your all time favourite perfume?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Wishing for a money tree...

Letting me loose in Manchester town centre when I have just had my student grant through is the worst possible thing ever! I have a few very hectic months coming up so I thought I'd get a few essentials (and treat myself whilst at it). I spent the day with my little sister smooching around shops and blowing money that really should be kept away from me.

Here are a few of my purchases;


I got this adorable clutch that resembles the Marc Jacobs bag I wanted! I love the bright yellow colour, patent material, the chain handle, and the fact that it over £500 cheaper than the one on my 'wish list'. It was a bargain at just £10.


I gave into temptation and got these Nail Inc Magnetic nail varnishes because they.are.just.too.pretty! I got the green and purple polishes because I felt that they had stronger magnetic pattern to them. At £13 a pop they were expensive BUT it was worth it because....


I got these 10 mini Nail Inc nail varnishes for FREE! There a variety of different colours in the free gift pack. I cannot wait to try these out. 2 magnetic nail varnishes and 10 mini ones for £26 sounded like a reasonable price and completed sealed the deal for me.


I got this bag satchel from Primark for £5. BARGAIN! I have needed a new one for university ever since my leather Jane Norman gave up on me. I hope it is sturdy and doesn't live up to normal Primark standards.


I fell in love with this white lace top the second my gaze crossed it in Primark. I've seen the 'Peter Pan collar' trent in most shops but this is the only top that has really grabbed my attention. I'm planning on layering this over a white shirt and wearing it over black trousers for a smart slash casual look on my new placement. At a mere £6 it was totally within my *ahem* student budget.


I was so happy when I saw this bronzer brush in Primark for £1(!). I was even happier when I got home and realised that the brush was soft against my skin and pretty good quality. I don't like spending too much money on make up brushes because I always tend to lose them or they get ruined.


I also purchased this concealer brush from Boots. It's a No.7 concealer brush and was originally £8 but I got it for £3 because I had one of their £5 off vouchers. Those vouchers are a life saver for me at the moment (I have 3 more) because I get to top up on eye shadows and brushes without making a dent in my bank account.


Even as I'm typing this I can see the money adding up (yikes!) BUT it was worth it (must.justify.this.to.myself). I have heard a lot about felt tip liners on other bloggers pages so thought I'd try one out. I got the one from MaxFactor because it was the ONLY one in store, and then, after finding out that you get a free gift containing a makeup bag, 2 mini nail varnishes, a mini mascara and a mini eye liner if you spend over £12, I decided to add the Creme Puff face powder in Translucent to my shopping basket. I will do a review on these when I get around to trying them out. I am the most excited about the powder because I need something to set my make up especially now that I need to look professional.


I cannot make up my mind about whether or not I like Lipsy; sometimes I find some great bargains in there but other times it just seems a bit chavvy. However, on this trip I saw this cute cloth bag that I have been trying to order on their website (but it's always out of stock) for just £3. It's cute, flirty and funky so I just HAD to buy it.


Being a trainee teacher means that any stationary shop is HEAVEN and that is how I feel about Paperchase. I got the cutest little heart paper clips, cat highlighters, normal 'boring' paperclips (because it's not ALL fun and games), and some star stickers to make marking more fun. I spent over an hour browsing through all their stuff because I wanted to buy EVERYTHING...and it took a looong time to narrow it down to these items...


I am a Glamour girl so was very excited to see that this month's issue came with a FREE Beauty Guide magazine and a FREE hair conditioner. I am looking forward to trying out the conditioner because I'm growing my hair longer and it needs some looking after.

What was your latest shopping spree like?