Monday, 17 October 2016

A First Impressions Post

Hi everyone! I'm really sorry about the lack of posts and interaction recently. A few weeks ago I got a chest infection, and even now after being on antibiotics I still feel like rubbish really. I've still got an awful hacking cough aswell, and that's after trying all the remedies and decongestants you can think of! As you can imagine, I am so behind with everything so I've got my hands full!

Anyway, I had a few skincare bits and other products I was trialling so I thought I'd sum them out and let you know what I think of them so far.

FABY Nail Lacquer in Via Montenapoleone*
I recently came across FABY polishes and their Autumn/Winter range 2016 called POSH which looks amazing! As you know, I have plenty of Winter polishes but I still found myself lusting over these. Each of their shades puts a fresh twist on the classic Winter shades we're used to, be it the burnt oranges or the deep burgundies. I was really glad when I got to try Via Montenapoleone* as I don't normally go for greys but I was keen to give this one a go, and I'm glad I did, because I love it! The formula of the polish is great, it's fully opaque in two coats (at the most) and it gives a lovely, incredibly glossy finish. The shade is perfect, it's a cool toned, medium steel grey that would suit everybody and I can see it being hugely popular!

You can see the shade here, each polish contains 15ml and costs £11.75.

Aloe Clear*
I think the main annoyance with hair removal is the horrible after effects, especially with sensitive skin. However, Aloe Clear* is designed to minimise ingrown hairs and reduce the discomfort of hair removal. I'm already a keen fan of aloe vera in it's gel format, so I was really keen to give this roll on a go too. It comes in a few formats, including a bigger roll on (which looks a bit like a deodorant), and also some smaller roll ones. The roll on includes the ingredients: glycolic acid, willow bark extract, aloe vera, multifruit acids and mentha piperita oil. This format is really convenient to apply, and it sinks in almost instantly so you can go and apply your moisturiser straight afterwards. You can really feel the cooling sensation it has too, which is probably down to the cooling mentha. However, I did find it hard to monitor whether it really did minimise the ingrown hairs (unless you kept count!). Also, exfoliation plays a part here too so it's hard to attribute it to one product. However, I would still carry on using this just to see the results in the long term.

You can shop the full range here.

Puriskin Resurfacing Cream*
The Puriskin resurfacing cream* is designed for normal to dry skin, and is marketed as a soothing therapy to help with a range of skin conditions, such as acne scars, blemishes, burns, cracks, split skin etc. I was a bit apprehensive at first as those are a lot of claims for one cream, but at the same time I was intrigued as well. My skin's not too bad at the moment, so I've mainly been using this on the skin between my fingers. The cream comes in a really small screw pot, so it's really convenient for carrying around but there's only 15ml of product in it. At first, the cream does look quite thick, but once you scoop some up it feels like more of a jelly hybrid, more like an emollient. It also doesn't feel thick or greasy when you apply it, it just massages into the skin right away. I do feel like this will be super useful in Winter, but I'm not too sure that it's a miracle product in itself, as there are a lot of moisturisers and lotions on the market that might also have the same effect.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do any of these products catch your eye?

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Friday, 30 September 2016

Essence Matt Touch Blush in 20 Berry Me Up! Review

In the blogosphere I've heard a lot about Essence and their very affordable but great products. There's a small stand in my local Wilkinsons where you can buy their products but nothing had caught my eye, until now! Anyway, for the first time I'm actually looking forward to the return of Autumn for those delightful red, burgundy and berry hues (just not the cold weather!). So when I saw this blush in 20 berry me up! I thought it looked like an affordable dupe of my favourite Bare Minerals blush (here) which is slightly more on the dusky pink side. For £1 I had to give it a try!

The Essence blushers are matte, however they're supposed to have a 'super-soft' finish that gives them more of a freshly, pinched look, rather than in your face matte. I can see this when I swatch them, the formula feels light and airy, although this means it also kicks some of the powder up.

The packaging for £1 is not too bad at all. It's a basic plastic tub with a flip up lid, I don't think it looks too cheap. Although, to be fair, if the product is really good and super affordable, then what's some packaging!

The Matt touch blushers are also available in 10 peach me up! and 30 rose me up! However, I was so preoccupied with this blush that I didn't really take a look at the other shades.

As you can see in the picture above, 20 berry me up! is more on the muted side of the berry scale. However, when swatched it is a lot brighter than expected and there is a bit of fallout. It's not really a dupe for the Bare Minerals Ready Blush in The One as this is a slightly more on the pinky side and it's also a lot more vivid compared to the Bare Minerals blush.

The blush applies really smoothly, and the one thing I didn't expect is that it in infact much more pigmented than the Bare Minerals blush, which for £1 is pretty amazing! It gives a lovely soft berry glow, and the formula just sort of melts into your skin so it all becomes one. They really do live up to their 'super-soft' claims giving a lovely result without a powdery look. I like to apply this quite high on my cheeks to give a sculpted look, and I use it with a dense angled blush brush to blend as I go along.

Overall, for £1 you are getting WAY more than your money's worth! I would recommend this wholeheartedly, the shade is also universally flattering.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any Essence recommendation for me?

P.S To view more in this Budget Beauty series, click on the logo in the sidebar!

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Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Classic Black Dress Revamped

So I'm really excited to be featuring more Fashion on here, continuing on from my summer wardrobe here. First of all, I wanted to show you a really easy go to look when you want to dress up a little but still be ready for whatever the weather throws at you.

The main item in this look is a black dress, which we all probably have tucked away somewhere in the wardrobe. Any will do, seriously, the thing with wearing black is that it all merges into one anyway! I'm wearing one from H&M which I picked up a few years ago.

I then teamed this with a black jacket. The duster coat trend was going around last year when l I picked up one from Primark but I rarely wore it because it just looked strange with jeans.It works perfectly with the dress though, and at £17 it's a really affordable trendy piece.

Then, to pull this look together you'll need some ankle boots. This time I opted for ones that had a block heel, as I think it looks rather nice with a dress. I received these Madisyn ankle boots* from Brantano here. Brantano have many other ladies ankles boots too, if you wanted to browse some more styles.

I just have to add how much I love these boots! It takes me ages to normally break into a pair of boots, but these are some of the most comfortable boots ever! Also, I CANNOT for the life of me walk in heels, but with these boots I really forgot that they even had a heel! So if you're like me, a block heel is the way to go! The suede detailing also gives them a lovely look. As for sizing, I'm somewhere weird between a 4 and a half and a 5, so I went for a 5. These are quite spacious size wise, but it's just right for me as it means I have plenty of room. Best of all, they actually have some grip! I mean, I can go through the entire boot collection in department stores and not find one pair of boots with some decent grip, which isn't ideal for the icy weather here!

I added a necklace for a touch of sparkle. I'm pretty sure I got this years ago from an Argos catalogue, of all places! I just wish I had the matching earrings, but unfortunately one of them went down the plughole (long hair problems!).

Lastly, when it's chilly or you want to protect your hair from the rainstorms, I'd add a scarf. I brought this from Zara last year for £20. I love the colour, but unfortunately on certain clothes (like soft coats) it sheds, so you end up covered with orange fur. It didn't stick to this dress or jacket, but I would still say it's overpriced because you can't wear it with everything.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What do you think of more fashion posts, please let me know your thoughts?

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Crafting with Stampin' Up!

Growing up, we were quite arty in my house, always doing a DIY project of some kind or drawing and painting. Lately, my Sister really got into scrapbooking and introduced me to the whole concept. You can use it as a way of documenting your adventures or even creating a memoir for someone else. What really surprised me about crafting and scrapbooking were all the things that go into it; washi tapes, adhesives, stickers, ribbons, paper, stamps, I could go on!

Stampin' Up! UK is one of those companies that really specialises in everything to do with crafts. They kindly sent me over their Oh Happy Day card making kit* (here). These kits have everything you could possible need for the project, and I mean everything.

In this kit I received:

* Set of 13 photopolymer stamps
* 20 card bases and coordinating envelopes
* Giftable kraft box
* Die-cut glittered chipboard shapes
* Embossed sheets
* Printed die-cut images
* Die-cut gold foil sheet
* Die-cut white sheets
* Basic Black Archival Stampin’ Spot
* Printed color doilies
* Baker’s Twine
* Glittered dots
* Stampin’ Dimensionals
* Acrylic stamp block

To make a card you can either use the instructions included, which involve getting all the pieces relating to a card ready and then basically sticking them together. You can also mix it up, but I went for a simpler card for my first go. So for this one I only needed five pieces at hand, the printed pink card, the frame and the 3D embossments, the stars and the stamping set. I then stuck all the pieces together with some PVA glue. For the 'Hello There', I peeled off the 'Hello' and the 'There' stencils and placed them on the acrylic board. I then used the stamping ink to colour them, and I then stamped them onto the card which transferred the ink. I really needed to have a steady hand for this part, but it turned out much better than I had anticipated. What do you think?

(They also have a youtube channel (here) for some tips)

This kit retailed for £31.50, which does look pricey initially, but it does offer good value for everything you get. You might be thinking how expensive can some pieces of paper or cardboard be? The answer to that is very expensive! We normally buy these pieces individually and I can say we've probably spent upwards of £40. Clear stamps are quite expensive on their own too, so if you can get them in sets like this then it's a very big bonus!

Overall, I loved using this set and letting the creative juices flow. I was so impressed by the Autumn/Winter range I saw on their website too that I did a little moodboard for you, enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Are you into DIY/Crafts?

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