Friday, 30 December 2011

impassioned

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MAC impassioned lipstick
Described as an amped-up fuchsia, this lipstick is a true beauty to behold. On me it is a little less fuchsia, a lot more bright pink with a warm orange undertone running through it. Gorgeously creamy on the lips and perfectly opaque after one application. It is a bit of an unsung hero in my lipstick collection but definitely a rediscovered love!

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas presents

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1.Matthew Williamson bulldog cushion. 2.Yankee candles Christmas Cake and Christmas Cookie.
3.Vera Wang Lovestruck perfume. 4.Lush Handy Gurugu handcream.
5.Illamasqua Static pigment. 6.Paperchase diary. 7.Star cookie cutters. 8.Topshop voucher.
9.Hotel Chocolat gemstones. 10.Homemade hot chocolate mix. 11.River Island bobble hat and gloves.
12.Hollister joggers. 13.Canon EOS 600D camera

I love love love all the presents I received this Christmas. I feel so privileged to have been given such personal and thoughtful gifts; I really am extremely lucky. Probably one of the most endearing presents I received was the homemade hot chocolate mix which my boyfriend made up for me. If you saw the Jamie Oliver programme over Christmas, THIS is the hot chocolate mix he created, but Rob went one step further and added even more chocolate and hidden spices to the blend to give me a heavenly, heart-warming mug of loveliness!

Also, needless to say that I was more than ecstatic when I was surprised with the Canon EOS 600d, the very baby I have been lusting after for months now. I still haven't fully mastered how to use it, and have been avidly studying the manual at every opportune moment, but it really is a fantastic camera! I am over the moon.

I hope you all have had gorgeous Christmases and feel rested and ready for 2012! I have been making the most of my last day off work today, as I am back to the grindstone come tomorrow! Pretty sure I won't get away with an afternoon nap at my desk, or have the time to continuously devour endless supplies of Quality Street and cups of tea! But, like they say, all good things have to come to an end and I had such a wonderful time with family and friends over this festive break. Roll on New Year's Eve!

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

the Christmas jumper

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Jumper - Topshop
Nails - Barry M Berry Ice Cream w/ Models Own Juicy Jules

Well Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a Christmas jumper! I received this beauty from my boyfriend and have lived in it ever since. It is perfectly warm and snug, having taken it on a post-dinner walk yesterday, and is such a lush concoction of colours. 

I hope you have all had joyful yet restful Christmases and are enjoying the festive break. I had such a lovely time with my family and feel very content with life right about now. Today I had to brave the shops to return a few bits and bobs and was absolutely terrified at the volume of people going barmy over the sales! I for one have absolutely no desire to go sale shopping after Christmas. I am more than happy drawing out my last few days off work surrounded by burning Yankee candles and a mountain of chocolate begging to be eaten. I will not be defeated by the tray of Ferrero Rocher calling my name!

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

mistletoe and wine

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Cardigan - Topshop
Shirt - H&M
Leggings - Topshop
Earrings - gift

Happy Christmas Eve girls! I just managed to squeeze in a quick outfit post in between visiting some family bearing gifts, and braving the supermarket for some last minute essentials. I now plan to watch some festive films and scour the Radio Times, highlighting the unmissable tv programmes this Christmas. To be fair, Christmas television is often quite naff, but providing they show Love Actually at some point, I will be happy.

I truly hope you all have an absolutely wonderful Christmas tomorrow. I hope it is filled with much joy, happiness and plenty of mince pies, and you just have a really lovely time with family and friends. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
x

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Real Techniques

I am pretty positive that many of you will have heard of Real Techniques brushes. If not, then most definitely you will be familiar with Samantha Chapman, the sister who puts the woo in Pixiwoo and is quite a big deal on YouTube! I am not really one to gush over YouTube gurus as such, but Sam and Nic are by far one of my favourite people to watch on YouTube. I admire them as makeup artists and avidly watch their tutorials and reviews because of their professional, yet lovely, friendly nature. I just think they are brilliant and their foundation reviews are absolute gospel in my eyes and have helped me many a time when seeking out a new foundation.

Real Techniques are a collection of hi-tech makeup brushes designed and used by Sam; neatly colour coded and offering a concise range for all aspects of your makeup application. Real Techniques have a blog which Sam actively writes for and keeps updated with tips, tricks, trends and tutorials. I was really honoured when asked if I would like to write a guest post and contribute to the Real Techniques blog, given the freedom to write about whatever I fancied, based around the brushes of course.

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I was sent the complete range of Real Techniques brushes to have a little play with and to help inspire my guest post. I was instantly drawn to the Travel Essentials kit, a perfectly portable brush case housing three essential brushes; a foundation brush, a shadow brush and a powder brush. I decided to create a simple, natural look solely using these three brushes, proving that makeup on the go can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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And this was my finished look!. If you want to see how I achieved it and what products I used, then my guest post is now live on the Real Techniques blog. I am no makeup artist by any stretch of the imagination but really enjoyed writing this post so I hope you like it.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Carmine: the December box

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Apparently 'tis the season to be jolly and all, but I am feeling anything but as I am snuggled up at home nursing the dreaded lurgy. One benefit however of being bed-bound, with only some balsam tissues for company, is that I was actually able to receive my post today as it arrived rather than impatiently waiting until I get home from work. In between drinking gallons of orange juice and blowing my ridiculously red nose, I managed to muster up some strength to open up Carmine's December box and share with you its Christmas offerings. This month we have been treated to not five, but six, products. This will just be a quick overview in case you wanted a sneak peak inside the Christmas box; obviously I haven't had a chance to try any of the products so can't comment too much on how great (or not) they are.

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Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash
 I have been using Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil recently which I absolutely love, so I was very happy to see a (full sized) Weleda product in this box. This body wash smells heavenly, a fruity and herbal combination, and is packed full of nutrients and organic pomegranate oil.

KMS California Freeshape Quick Blow Dry
A small sample of KMS California's Quick blow dry spray. It apparently can reduce your blowdrying time by up to 50% and leaves your hair soft and smooth. Blowdrying my mane is a mammoth task so anything that might help make the task a little less arduous is a winner with me.

Institut Esthederm Time Technology Cream
This is described as a miracle, light reflecting cream for all ages. It gives your face an instant glow whilst providing deep moisturisation to your skin. It is nice to receive a cream that is suitable for all ages, rather than an anti-aging product like last month which would not have suited everybody.

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MyFace Cosmetics Blingtone (Silver Screen)
This Grazia awarding winning pot of colour will definitely add some bling to your eyes during this festive time. I received Silver Screen, a fierce metallic shimmer with a pretty pewter finish, but there are two other colours in the boxes. I really like this shadow, just perfect for creating a sparkly eye look. These retail at £9.99 so I think this was a fabulous addition to the box and will definitely appease those who like to make sure they get their money's worth.

Japonesque Smudger Brush
I recently reviewed some Japonesque brushes and was highly impressed with them, so it was great to see one of their brushes in this month's box. The smudger brush gives you control for creating a variety of looks and blending eyeliner or shadows. I think it is a nice touch that they have included two products that can be used together, ie: the blingtone and the brush. 

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Benito Brow Bar Eyebrow Threading voucher
This card entitles you to a free brow threading at any Benito Brow Bar, as well as offering you 20% off a wow lash treatment. There are quite a few Benito Brow Bars nationwide, a full list is available here, and I had a great experience there last week when I went and had some eyelash extensions done. I have wanted to get my brows threaded for a while now so I am looking forward to using this.

So there we have it. What are your thoughts on this month's Carmine box?

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

sweet peacock

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Orly Sweet Peacock* from the Birds of a Feather AW11 Collection

I love this shade, such a stunning peacock foil blue with a very fine, silver iridescent shimmer. It is wonderfully vibrant and would actually suffice just after one coat, but I played it safe and applied two. Like a strutting peacock, this polish is extremely majestic and certainly isn't a shy colour to wear on your nails. I am usually quite wary of blue nail varnishes, finding them a little too garish, but there is something very wearable about this shade and I find the electric blue hue really enchanting. It does dry a little bit gritty, but nothing that a swift addition of a top coat didn't sort out!

Would you flock towards this polish?

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Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10

Lift Activ Derm Source Serum
So apparently once you reach your mid-twenties it is the perfect time to start introducing anti-aging products into your beauty regime, which means I had better sit up and take note!

Back in Spring 2011, the Vichy laboratories were busy concocting a new anti-aging skincare range, Vichy LiftActiv Derm Source, which is a now a breakthrough range that helps reactivate youthful skin. By targeting the Derm Source, which is the uppermost layers of your skin, it can help make your skin look re-plumped and feel velvety soft. The essential, and some may say, secret ingredient to making this range so effective is Rhamnose: a sugar derivative and active ingredient of plant origin which is capable of reactivating the youthful activity in the Derm Source.

The LiftActiv Serum 10 is a powerful anti-aging serum from this range which contains this much heralded ingredient Rhamnose, along with Vichy Thermal Spa Water and soothing, regenerating minerals. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid, an ingredient that helps plump and hydrate the skin. Vichy say that the result is an effective re-plumping, anti-aging serum which is specially formulated for sensitive skin. It is light and soft in texture, hypoallergenic and paraben-free. A few drops can be used every day and/or night leaving skin smooth, supple and with improved elasticity.

This serum is available exclusively from Boots and retails at £29.50.
It all sounds very fancy but I just don't know if I am ready to commit to anti-aging products just yet. Give me five more years and I am sure I will have an entirely different perspective!
What anti-aging products do you use, if any?

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Monday, 19 December 2011

please please please

H&M pink
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Jumper - H&M
Skirt - H&M

Can you believe it is only six days until Christmas?! With all my shopping done, bar a few cheeky last minute online orders today, I feel I can now start getting properly excited. I have been so busy recently, I haven't felt Christmassy at all and even discovered today that I had five, yes five, advent calendar windows to catch up on! I braved Oxford Street with sharpened elbows on Saturday which was quite an experience - children and slow moving people everywhere! However I really wanted to see the lights and the wintery windows of Selfridges and I definitely left feeling suitably festive. Whilst I was there I went and had some eyelash extensions done which you can see in the photos above. Laying back with my eyes closed for 45 minutes was such a welcome relief from all the hustle and bustle going on outside. I feel really happy with the results; very natural with some lovely added length and volume. I will be writing all about my experience at Benito Brow Bar over on the Carmine blog, which is the column I freelance write for, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

I hope you are all well and counting down the days until Christmas! Whenever I see the John Lewis advent, I get a little bit more excited and my heart melts all over again. It's just so sweet.

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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Serengeti

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Cargo Cosmetics lipgloss (Serengeti) from the December Glossybox*

I had high hopes for this product - it looked so impressive in the tube, a gorgeous peachy hue with a thread of iridescent blue and pink shimmer running through it. On the website it is described as 'tropical melon' so I thought it would be a wonderfully punchy colour on the lips. However, I was left a little bit disheartened. 

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A very pretty colour nonetheless, but decidedly less bright and colourful than I had imagined. The consistency is very nice though, not too sticky and it does give the lips a really glossy sparkle with a subtle blue/pink duochrome shimmer. For maximum impact I plan to layer this gloss over a bright lipstick such as Barry M 147 (Peachy Pink). I think this combination would be gorgeous together!

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Friday, 16 December 2011

glossybox - the christmas edition

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What's red and shiny and comes through your letterbox a few days before Christmas? It's the Glossybox Christmas Edition!* 
The usually girlish pink box has had a festive facelift and is as shiny and red as Rudolph's nose! This box is part two of the Glossybox Christmas Gift Guide and is packed full of products to get you in the seasonal spirit. 

This is the first time I have decided to feature my Glossybox contents on my blog, despite kindly being sent a few boxes in the past. I am always a bit too late to the table with my posts and then I feel I have nothing much to add to whatever has already been said. However I am so impressed with this month's offerings, so much so I may have even snuffled a little squeak of glee as I raised the lid and revealed its goodies, that I really wanted to share them with you.

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Blink + Go Eyeshadow and Blush Palette, (full size - RRP 14.95)
Popping a full sized makeup item in the box is a sure fire way to get my eyes dancing with delight! I was really pleased to unearth this palette rather than the mascara that I have seen in some of the other Christmas glossyboxes. I think it is nice that they have varied the contents slightly, but that is because I am smugly happy with my box. This is way more exciting than a mascara. The palette has two layers, the top layer offering six very wearable eyeshadow colours, the bottom revealing two pink-toned blushers. I can't vouch for the quality of this product yet, but am looking forward to giving it a whirl.

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Bioniva Eye Wrinkle Treatment (small sample size)
Possible the consolation product in this month's box. No not a perfume sample, but a small pot of Bionova's eye wrinkle treatment cream. This doesn't really float my boat, but that's because I don't have eye wrinkles...yet. Others may be thrilled that they can trial something that retails at £43 for a full-sized product, and isn't that the whole point?

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel (full size - £6.50)
At first glance I thought this was a deodorant which I thought was an odd addition to the Christmas Glossybox, unless they suspect us all getting a little bit sweaty as we race around the shops doing our last minute shopping! But no, it is a foaming shower gel from Rituals which has an amazingly sweet, floral aroma.

Cargo Cosmetics Classic Lip Gloss, Serengeti (travel size)
A lipgloss: thumbs up. A lipgloss in a gorgeous, iridescent peach colour: double thumbs up! The full size of this lipgloss retails at £10, but I think this dinky travel-sized product is more than adequate. Lipgloss seems to last me ages anyway. I really love the look of this and am excited to review it in more detail in a future post.

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Deborah Lippmann Razzle Dazzle Mini Nail Vanish (mini) with Stripped to Go Sachet
Possibly the trump card of this month's offerings. This mini Deborah Lippmann nail colour is an enticing blackened raspberry varnish with magenta and red glitter. It is really quite fabulous and perfect for the impending party season! Full size, this would cost £16 so I am more than happy with my little pot of Razzle Dazzle. Along with the nail varnish there was also a Deborah Lippmann polish remover finger nail mitt. Can't say I have ever used a finger mitt before but sure it will be very handy.

 So all in all, Glossybox's Special Christmas Edition certainly got my bells a ringing-dinging and it really did feel like Christmas had come early when this box arrived!
To sign up or to find out more about Glossybox, then you can find all the info here.

What are your thoughts on this month's box?

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