High end vs. high street : the paintpot edition

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Chilled on Ice and Maybelline Colour Tattoo Permanent Taupe

I love a beauty bargain, but sometimes cheaper products are just too good to be true. There is nothing worse that the disappointment of your drugstore product not living up to its promises. So in the name of science (errrr not really but we can pretend…) I am putting two similar products to the test to find out if high end or high street comes out on top.Continue Reading . . .

500 follower beauty bundle giveaway

It’s official, last week I hit 500 followers on Bloglovin’! Woohooo! I never really imagined that 500 of you would be interested in what I have to say, so to thank you for sticking around and reading my ramblings about the latest products I’ve been trying out, I am hosting a giveaway!

I’ve had a little help with this from the La Roche-Posay Team who have kindly given me two tubes of Effaclar Duo*, one for me and one for you (if you’re lucky!) I have mentioned this wonderful product on my blog before, and I genuinely believe that this (along with other products in the range) helped to clear up my skin. I used to have those horrid under the skin type spots around my chin and jawline that could sometimes last for weeks. But after a few months of using Effaclar Duo my skin began to clear up. A year later I am still using it as a precautionary measure and it is still working wonders, so I cannot recommend this enough if you are prone to spots.

Along with a tube of Effaclar Duo, I am also giving away a few other beauty bits and bobs:

  • Makeup Revolution Essential Shimmers palette
  • Bee Natural Pomegranate Lip Balm
  • Benefit’s Roller Lash Mini
  • Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum Mini
  • Primark Fashion Nails with an ice cream print
To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below! Please check the Terms and Conditions at the end of the post before entering

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and Conditions

1. You must be at least 18 years old, or have parental consent to enter.
2. This giveaway is only open to UK entries.
3. You must complete all compulsory entries to qualify.
4. You must provide the correct evidence as requested in the Rafflecopter widget.
5. The giveaway will close at midnight on 15 July.
6. A winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter.
7. A winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the competition ending and from the initial point of contact, the winner will have 28 days to respond, or another winner will be randomly selected.

Good luck!

Why you need to try the Vichy Dermablend range

I’ve mentioned before that I have suffered with bad skin through my teenage years and it is only in the last year or so that I have managed to get some control over it. One of the products that has helped me on my bad days in the Vichy Dermablend Foundation which I have previously reviewed. The coverage is amazing and really helps to boost my confidence when I am having a bad skin day. So I was thrilled to be asked if I’d like to try out the Dermablend Corrective Stick* the Dermablend Setting Powder*.

While I have been trying to opt for a lighter coverage now the weather is getting better, I still have those days where I have a couple of blemishes and patches of redness. During times like these I reach for the Vichy Dermablend range to improve the appearance of my skin.

For the Dermanblend Corrective Stick, I went for the matching shade to the foundation I already own, Opal 15. It is slightly darker than my actually skin tone, but it does blend really well so it isn’t obvious. Because it is slightly more orange than my skin (not in a terrible fake tan kind of way, don’t panic), the colour is perfect for erasing the blue toned dark circles under my eyes. As orange is a complementary colour, it neutralises the dark circles making my eye area look brighter and more awake.

The coverage is brilliant, especially when used with the foundation. Any blemish or redness is completely hidden. When I wear these products I actually feel like my skin has been airbrushed, that’s how perfect it looks! I usually worry that concealers can be quite drying, but not Dermablend. My skin genuinely looks flawless all day long. What more can a girl really ask for?!

As my skin gets pretty oily as the day goes on, I have previously had problems wearing the Dermablend Foundation with powders which just can’t hold up to the test. I’d have to blot and reapply powder throughout the day to stop my face looking greasy and horrible. Since using the Dermablend Setting Powder this just hasn’t been an issue. Despite walking two miles to work in the sun my make up was still flawless when I arrived at work. When I got a chance to look in a mirror at lunch time it was still oil free – usually by this point I’ve needed to touch up! It was only as I was taking my makeup off late that evening there was a slight sheen of oil, which for me is very impressive!

Trying the Corrective Stick and the Setting Powder has just reinforced my love for Vichy products even more and I will definitely be repurchasing these when they run out – which wont be for ages because a little goes a long way with the concealer and there is loads of powder in the pot!

I highly recommend the Vichy Dermablend range for anyone who needs a little extra coverage from time to time and those with oily skin looking for a powder that lasts. It’s currently 1/3 off of all Vichy products from Escentual at the moment so the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick is just £10 and the Setting powder is only £11.33 – bargain!

Have you tried anything from the Vichy Dermablend range?

Your summer Face Of The Day for less than £25

New Look Beauty Range
With summer well and truly here now, it is about time that I start thinking about saying goodbye to full coverage foundation and berry lipsticks and hello to dewy sun kissed skin. So when I was asked if I’d like to get involved with New Look’s beauty on a shoestring campaign I jumped at the chance to update my makeup bag for a summer look.

The challenge involves spending just £25 (or less) on the beauty goodies from New Look Pure Colour collection and creating a whole makeup look using just these products. I had a good look through the beauty section on the New Look website and decided to go for:

The Pure Colour Foundation pleasantly surprised me. Typically I am not a fan of drugstore and high street foundations because I feel I need a bit more coverage and longevity, so I was a little skeptical of New Look’s offering. However I was having a really good skin day with no blemishes (woohoo!) and so the light to medium coverage of this foundation was just perfect! In lieu of a concealer, I built up the foundation more on my weak spots – under my eyes, around my nose and my chin for a more even coverage.
The Pure Colour Foundation is quite dewy which is ideal for summer, but I have quite oily skin so like to set my foundation to prevent a makeup moving around my face situation – not a good look! So I used a powder brush to swish a small amount of the bronzer over my face for a more sun kissed look and mattify the foundation.
I love the Pure Colour Bronze Baked Bronzer, it isn’t too dark for those who have paler skin and it also has a small amount of shimmer to give your skin a youthful and radiant boost. The powder is picked up very easily by the brush, so make sure you gently dab and tap off any excess because a little goes a long way! The bronzer helped to give my pasty skin a little more colour so I felt less like a ghost, and ready to head out into the sunshine.
Then using my Real Techniques blush brush I picked up some product from the Pure Colour Pink Baked Blusher, again, a little goes a long way! And I buffed as small amount into my cheekbones. I love the shade of the blusher, it is really natural looking and so I think it would suit most skin tones. I only used a small amount of the blusher to avoid my base being overpowering next to my eyes and lips.
New Look Pure Colour Beauty Range
For the eyes I used a delicate wash of the bronzer across the lids and built it up more in the middle of the eyelid which really brought out the shimmer. Then I used the Pure Colour Mid Brown Baked Eye Shadow to create some definition in the crease for a bronzed summery look. The eye shadow is really pigmented and lasted all day, which for a budget product is very good in my books! I’d definitely try out some other shades and I hope they widen the product line.
Now I did cheat a little bit here because I added a little mascara! My lashes are really blonde, so without it they look see through. However when I go on holiday later in the year I am planning to get my lashes tinted, so as this would be a great holiday look I definitely haven’t cheated…. right?!
Last but not least, I used the Pure Colour Mid Pink Lip Liner to carefully line my lips and then I filled them in. I normally find liners quite drying, but this was pretty good! Staying power wasn’t amazing, but I typically do touch up my lips throughout the day so this didn’t bother me at all. Again, I hope they bring out more shades as for just £1.99 they are a bargain.
Overall I am really impressed with the New Look beauty range because of the good quality of the products for such a great price. I really recommend the Pure Colour products that I tried out, particularly if your makeup needs to be pocket money friendly. I have my eye on a few more of their products, including the highlighter and the eye shadows palettes.
New Look Pure Colour Beauty Range FOTD
What do you think of the New Look beauty range?

Six things I need for summer…

Summer wishlist
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
The sun is shining, the weatherman has predicted a heatwave so summer is officially here! With a new season comes a new wishlist, and these are the items I need for summer 2015. I’ve (hopefully) got a summer holiday in the pipeline, plus a week in Vegas in October, so I need to start collecting my summer wardrobe so I look the part.
I love the daisy print and I am always a fan of darker florals because they make great transitional pieces. I know I will probably look like an overgrown toddler in this getup, but I love it! It has the perfect festival vibe and would look great layered over a white tee and converse.
Jones Bootmaker have lots of lovely sandals right now including these rose gold wedges. This is pretty much a dream come true! Everyone in the world has been crazy over all things rose gold for the last few years and I need these shoes in my life. The different textures on the wedge and the heel make the sandals more versatile whether you are going for a casual or dressy look.
The polka dot print on these beauties is simply the cutest thing! I usually prefer to go with a black/brown pair of sunnies so they go with everything. This pair would work so well with the dungarees. I’m also loving the ombre tint on the lenses, they look so effortlessly cool.
4. Secret Garden Floral Crown from Dolly Bow Bow, £15
Everyone needs a floral crown in their life for summer and this one is just up my street because the blue flowers are a little bit different from the typically pink based crowns. I might also feel a little bit like Frozen’s Elsa wearing it….
5. Pink Mini Frame Flap Handbag from River Island, £35
You’ve got to have a bit or arm candy suitable for the summer and this candy pink bag is just calling out to me. I tend to go for bags that have the option to be carried on the crook or your arm, but also have a strap for days when you want to be hands free so this is perfect for my summer needs.
I already own four kimonos….but this one is really cute! At only £18 I think it is very reasonable for how lovely the tropical print is. Kimonos are a great way to cover up a little without wearing anything too thick or heavy like a cardigan or jacket. I like that it is quite short too as my other kimonos are longer. Does that justify buying it?!

What is on your summer wishlist? 
*This post contains featured content. All opinions are my own.

May Must Haves

May Must Haves
Oh my god, how is it the end of May already?! This year is just flying by! Well as it is the end of the month, it is time to resurrect my Monthly Must Haves. So without further ado, these are the fab items that I have been loving this month!


haircare favourites

I have just bought my third lot of the L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology shampoo and conditioner, so it is safe to say I am loving them. My hair is already very thick, but I often feel I need a bit of a boost at my roots. This fab duo leaves my hair smelling great and feeling thicker and bouncier. Even my boyfriend has commented that his hair feels thicker!

I have also been loving the Aussie Miracle Recharge Conditioning Spray to keep my hair from getting dry and horrible. I have reviewed this bad boy for a guest post on Parie’s blog, Class and Glitter, which should be up very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for some haircare tips!

Makeup bag Essentials

Makeup Bag Favourites

Let’s first of all start with this beauty of a makeup bag from Primark. I love tribal prints and the monochrome fabric with the pop of bright yellow on the zip is summertime perfection for me. My current makeup bag needed an update and this one was calling out to me!

My lips always seem to get quite dry, and certain lipsticks make it worse, particularly matte finishes (sob), so my must have lip product is LUSH’s lip scrub. They come in a variety of flavours, but my fave is Mint Julips which is just like mint choc chip…yum! I have reviewed this before, so definitely check it out if you are considering popping this is your shopping basket.

Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara could actually be my all time favourite mascara. Bold claim, I know. But this stuff works wonders! I did try Roller Lash when it came out, and if I’m honest, it didn’t really do it for me. A lot of people have said this baby is a great dupe for Roller Lash, but I actually think it is much better, plus it half the price. My lashes look so full and long that people have asked me if I am wearing false lashes!

Primark Fashion Nails

I’ve mentioned Primark’s £1 stick on nails before, but they have lots of super cute summer time patterns in store at the moment, I just couldn’t resist the little flaminigos and pastel icecream cones! They are the perfect way to jazz up an outfit if you don’t have time for a full mani. They are so easy to apply and they last for a good couple of days before they start to ping off.


Pure Chimp Super Body Cream

I’m a huge fan of Purechimp products after trying out their Super Face Cream. Their products are completely natural and so they are ideal for those who have sensitive skin. Since I loved the face cream so much, I decided to purchase the body cream too. I’ve been stressed a lot at work recently, and this causes a dermatitis flare up (sorry if this is TMI!) on my elbows and fingers. This is really itchy and sore and can lead to my skin cracking and peeling. This fantastic cream can help to stop the rash plus it heals the cracked skin really fast. To put this into perspective, I had been applying a really rich hand cream to my sore fingers three or four times a day and was having no luck relieving it. I put this cream on once and the itching and soreness was gone overnight and within a few days it had healed. My sister gets the same thing and this is the only product that helps her out too. This really is a miracle cream if you suffer from skin allergies, I can’t recommend it enough.


Keri Smith Wreck This Journal

I recently won a copy of Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal in a blog giveaway and I was so excited because I have wanted to get it for ages! The moment it came through the letterbox I began flicking through the pages looking at all the different ways I will be destroying it. I have already completed a few of the pages and once it is finished I will write a post showing you what I have done! I really recommend this for anyone who likes to be a bit creative – or destructive! It would make a fantastic present as well.

What are your Must Have products? Have you tried any of mine?

Why Soap and Glory’s Supercat liner doesn’t live up to the hype

Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner
So this is going to be a little controversial. I have seen this Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner all over the blogosphere for the last few months, and when I asked for recommendations for a new eyeliner in a bbloggers chat, numerous people recommended it to me. So naturally I assumed this was gong to be the greatest invention since MAC lipsticks and I picked one up to try out.

I tested one out on my hand in store and it seemed pretty good, I liked the felt tip nib and thought that application would be mess free, unlike some of my favourite gel based liners. So into the basket it went! I tried it out for work the very next morning, and as usual I went through the motions of my makeup routine, and after adding a delicate wash of eyeshadow, I reached for Supercat to create my go to flicks.
Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner
The first eye was ok. It wasn’t as black as I could have hoped for, but it was fairly easy to control the flick which is great for applying make up at the crack of dawn. But when I got to the second flick the colour was almost grey. Not the strong bold black that I wanted. I tried to go over the line a couple of times, and it did go a bit darker but it ended up bodging it slightly and it added an extra 5 minutes onto my routine – which is not great on a work day!

So the next morning I decided I would give it another go, I left the eyeshadow out this time to see if it made a difference. Just like last time, the first eye was ok, but by the second eye the colour was just as rubbish as the morning before. This is really frustrating because I expect eyeliner to be a solid colour and apply consistently. I have to come to the conclusion that the liner just can’t handle being applied on top of makeup, which is a shame as most people to wear a little something something underneath whether it is full on eyemakeup or just a touch of concealer.

Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner swatch

You can even see in the swatch above, that on bare skin the pigmentation is pretty naff with a fading toward the ends of the lines. For a shade called “carbon black extreme”, this just isn’t very black or extreme. Perhaps I have been spoiled by higher end liner, but for me, this just doesn’t hit the mark and I wont be continuing to use the Supercat eyeliner which is a shame as I had such high expectations for it.

What do you thing of Supercat? What eyeliner do you recommend?

How I’ve lost two stone since Janaury

I’ve never been the kind of person that could stick to new year’s resolutions. Every year since I can remember I have pledged at midnight I will become a better version of myself. I will work harder. I will cut out junk food. I will eat more fruit and the list goes on. This year, I made the same pledges, but for once I decided to do something about it, rather than hope it would happen by itself.

On 5 January I went to a Slimming World group all on my own. I sat in the car in the carpark for about five minutes, completely scared. Scared because I had to go in alone. Scared because I might not go in. Scared of what I would have to give up and scared of who I might become. That all seems very melodramatic, I know, but my self confidence was at an all time low.

Eventually I got out of the car and walked through those doors and joined the semi circle of people sat inside the hall. The consultant came over and introduced herself, she was friendly and handed me an application form to fill out. I was also given a little pack (pictured above) containing books packed full of information and food diaries which I had a read through while the current members were weighed in.

When everything had settled down, the consultant went through the book inside the pack, it turned out the plan had changed slightly over Christmas, so it was new to the current members as well. I had done some research over the Christmas holidays, so I knew roughly what to expect already. I picked Slimming World over any other diet plan or slimming group because is not a calorie restricted diet, so you will never be hungry. It is about changing your lifestyle and learning to make good choices.

You can eat as much meat, fruits and veggies, and carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes as you want. The only rule is a third of your plate should be filled with “speed” foods which as certain types of fruit and vegetables. The only foods that are limited are cheese and milk which you can have one measured portion of a day. And bread and cereal which again you can have one measured portion a day. On top of this, you can have between five and 15 “syns” a day which include naughty foods like chocolate, crisps, mayonnaise, oils etc.

With this plan you never have to cut things out, just moderate them which is perfect, if like me, you have tried to give up chocolate for lent and failed every year. When you ban yourself from food you crave it more and end up giving up, so a measured amount keeps the cravings at bay, and the pounds too.

The plan involves a lot of cooking from scratch, which I love to do anyway, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment for me. I found that all I needed to do was swap what I was already having for lower fat versions. So using Frylight instead of oil to cook with, fat free yoghurt instead of full fat.

I have cut some foods out of my diet, and that is because I simply don’t miss them, and I’d rather use my syns on something else. I never realised just how bad fruit juice is for you. It is packed full of sugar. Just because a glass is one of your five a day, doesn’t make it healthy. I’ve also cut out houmous which I used to eat all the time with chopped up veggies, thinking I was being really healthy. If I want it now, I make it from scratch which is much better for you.

A typical day

30g of granola with a big dollop of Total 0% fat greek yoghurt and half a bowl of strawberries. If I need a sugar boost I will add a little drizzle of honey, which is “synned”.

An apple

Leftover chili con carne from the night before (made with 5% fat mince) packed full of peppers, a big handful of spinach and some brown rice (you can have white rice too, I find brown rice more filling and tasty).

Mullerlight vanilla yoghurt

Pasta with chicken, bacon (all fat removed before cooking), peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pesto (synned) and quark (a very low fat cream cheese) with 30g of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and a salad and low fat dressing.

If later on I fancy something sweet I might have a Freddo bar (synned).

As you can see from my sample menu I can eat plenty of food. The naughty things are limited and every plate had a decent amount of fruit or vegetables which helps to control portion sizes. I find eating a typical menu like this (obviously I eat a wide variety of things, not just this every day!!) would result in a 2lb weight loss at the end of the week.

I’ve had my ups and downs since joining with a little holiday to Berlin, days out, and nights out. These things do get in the way sometimes and can hinder progress. Life can get in the way, but 95% of the time I am on plan and I am loving it.

So today I am two stone lighter than when I first stepped on those scales. I have lost a total of 15 inches from my body with a massive 6 inches coming off my hips alone! I’ve had to buy smaller bras and a smaller pair of jeans and a lot of my clothes are looking too big for me now. I’m not really sure what clothes size I am now, but I’d suspect I have gone down two sizes.

I was terrified going in to group for the first time, but everyone there is in the same boat and is understanding. A six months ago I would have told you I’d be fat forever. But now I can see a future where I am smaller, healthier and fitter.

A summer cocktail with Prairie Charms

When Prairie Charms announced their latest collaboration with the Make A Wish Foundation, I was really keen to get involved. 25% of every order goes straight to this fantastic charity who work with children with life-threatening illnesses to grant their wishes. I bought the Aalia Pink Chevron Paper Straws and the Beatrix Washi Tape to help me accessorise my summery cocktail. Plus Prairie Charms also sent me two lovely gifts, a pot of the Dalia Nail Glitter*, a black glitter that is perfect for a statement nail or nail art and a gold Willow Heart Clip* that can jazz up any outfit!

We have had some gorgeous weather recently, and hopefully it will just keep getting better and better as we get closer to summer. Last weekend was particularly sunny where I live, so I took advantage of this by grabbing my copy of Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes, my sunnies and beach towel for a little sunbathe on the balcony. The only thing missing was a summer drink to cool my down in the heat!

Summer berry fizz

50ml of gin (you could also use vodka)
A small handful of mixed frozen berries
Top up with white grape and blackberry sparkling flavoured water

Before I started, I decorated my jar with the purple polka dot tape from the Beatrix Washi Tape set. This is a great way to jazz up your glassware without spending a fortune. Plus you can go crazy with all sorts of colours and patterns.

There is no “method” for this cocktail, it is really quick and simple, just literally put all the ingredients together and you are ready to go! To enhance the flavour, I’d suggest mixing the cocktail half an hour or so before you want to serve it and pop in the fridge to give the berries a chance to infuse with the sparkling water.

When you are ready to serve, remove from the fridge and add ice if you want. You could also add a few mint leaves and some lime for a fresher taste. To top off the cocktail I added an Aalia Pink Chevron Paper Straw which is so summery and fun. Plus I made my own flag straw using a plain white straw from Ikea, then I wrapped some washi tape around it and cut a triangle out to make the flag shape. Super easy, and very cute.

Prairie Charms have so many lovely products including jewellery, floral crowns, nail art and cute packaging, so you are sure to find something you love. Plus 10% of profits go to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, so it really is guilt-free shopping! 
What is your favourite cocktail recipe? Which is your favourite Prairie Charms product?