Friday, 19 April 2013

A Few Of My Favourite Things #2

I seem to have a good habit of missing that gap at the beginning/end of the month where everybody uploads their favourites!

Nevertheless, here I am with a mid-month post on a couple of bits I've been loving recently. 

First up is the very popular Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque (£27). This miracle product has made the top of my list in April because of its wonderful calming, cleansing and skin brightening properties. This hasn't been the easiest month for me and my skin has had a rough time as a result, so this liquorice-y scented face masque has helped me maintain a squeaky clean complexion, despite the stress. Overall I feel this has balanced out my combination skin and it's just a nice treat when you need a good pamper!
My hair has also been really suffering these past few months so I ordered a nice, big tub of the Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Mask (£33.95). I'd never tried anything from this brand in the past but a lot of my amigos claimed it was a lot better than Moroccan Oil so, I decided to give it a go. And I am so glad I took their word for it! This stuff feels like marshmallow-y, magic angels coming to fix your dry, frizzy hair. It is amazing. Smells delightful, really makes my hair feel incredibly soft and only takes seven minutes to do its job. I will definitely be repurchasing this when it has gone!
Next is something I was always a bit dubious about mentioning, as it is/was a limited edition product... Introducing the Mac Smoke & Mirrors Palette! The only link I can find is an eBay one, for £10. Anyway, this, to me, is the most perfect, all round, eye-shadow compact. As you can probably see, it has been very well loved and has seen me through many day time looks and nights out to boot. I'm not too sure what I'll do when it finally bites the dust, but I am tempted to try get someone in Mac to match the colours (I am that desperate) so I can at least attempt to carry on its legacy! Basically, if you've ever met me, I was probably wearing this palette, particularly the bottom three. Enough said.

Another favourite this month is the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Black (£7.99). Nine times out of ten, I wear a feline flick of eyeliner so a good, very black, non-smudgy product is a must and I've got to admit this does a great job. I'd seen it used many a time on Youtube but as I'd never used a gel eyeliner before I wasn't too sure how it was going to turn out. After a bit of practise with a mix of the Mac 266 and 210 brushes, I feel like I've found a quick and easy way to perfecting that cat-eyed look! It is super black, doesn't budge throughout the day and its a fairly reasonable price too! Perhaps not the easiest method for those that have never used eyeliner before but I would definitely recommend it!
As for scents, as the sun has been slightly shining, I've been leaning towards Spring/Summer-y fragrances and to me, Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia (£38) is perfect. If you don't like pear, or freesia, with a hint of patchouli, this probably won't be for you but if you love fresh yet sweet perfumes, then you need to go give it a sniff! It's very light, classy and elegant, not overly powerful but will hang around all day. I bought this for my birthday last year and every time I wear it, it brings back a lot of lovely memories. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a unique Spring perfume!
Finally, this month I have been reading and re-reading a wonderful book by Steve Hagen; Buddhism, Is Not What You Think Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs (£7.99). In life I have always struggled to understand/find a path which feels right to me as far as religion/spiritualism is concerned, strictly speaking I am a Christian but I can't say I fully believe in God. I bought this book at a bit of a difficult time in my life & I suppose my answer to that was to find some kind of spiritual guidance. This book is a very refreshing look at Buddhism as a way of thinking and not as a religion, or 'belief', pretty similar to the Power of Now in that is very much focuses on 'living in the moment', for want of a better expression (not 'YOLO' might I add)! It's not the easiest read but it has some very poignant quotes and advice on achieving enlightenment, and also seeing the world for what it really is, not what we hope or fear. It's definitely one of those books you will read & read again. 

And there you have my March/April favourites!

What have you been loving this month?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mission : Get Nails

Anyone that knows me will know that I spend half the day biting my nails.

Gross, gross. Yes, I know. 

It's a habit I cannot shake and one that actually hurts me to do it, (1. to look at and 2. sometimes they're so short and sore I don't even want to use my hands to do anything). I have managed to stop and grow them a handful of times but it always results in the same thing; nerves or boredom or a chipped bit of nail varnish get the better of me and off comes all of the progress.

Fun fact: my mum once put plasters on every single finger at Primary school so that I couldn't nibble my nails... It didn't work. 

It's an irritating and vicious circle, trust me, I've been doing this for nearly 16 years now, but the time has come where I need to stop. I hate to look at my dry, unkempt, uneven fingernails. I was so embarrassed yesterday to be surrounded by primped and perfect Blogger nails at the #LDNBBMeet (more on that later) that I thought - enough is enough. My conclusion was to treat my hands in hope that showing them some love will encourage me to stop destroying them any chance I get. So, after watching Essie Buttons manicure video I practically bought every item she mentioned in the hope to finally see some white tips on these stubs. 

The products that will hopefully help me on my way are...
Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File. I'd never really heard of 'crystal' nail files before & I certainly hadn't used one, but as it claims to reduce chipping and your nails breaking (one of the triggers of my nibbling!) I thought I'd give it a go. I've got to say this is a little difficult to use on very short nails, as you can't really get to where you need to be, but it does work, and I'm sure when my nails are longer it will work amazingly well.

Boots Salon Cuticle Remover. This was something quite necessary as I've noticed, although I don't have long nails, my cuticles were pretty bad. This is quite a nice smelling product that seems to do the job nicely & for a fairly reasonable price.

Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. I think my biggest pet peeve with painting my nails is the amount of time it takes for them to try, so for something to speed up the process seemed like a big plus point. I haven't used this much at the moment but it does seem like a nice product & I'm hoping for good things!

OPI Nail Envy. One of the most talked about/popular products when it comes to nail-care is this OPI number. Claiming to strengthen your nails and encourage growth it seemed like a great little thing to pick up for a nail biter like myself. You simply apply two coats for the first time then apply over your nail varnish every other day for the rest of the week. It isn't a cheap product so I'm hoping it does what it says on the tin!

Obviously this will be a post in progress, as I will save you from a picture of these grim paws, but maybe, if the time comes when I have something nice to show you I will do a comparison!

What are your favourite nail products? Any tips are welcome!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Coral Haul : Asos, Mango, River Island

HELLO! I'm back.

After a pretty upsetting couple of weeks, I've decided to claim back my little space on the internet. Last time I blogged I was headed to Amsterdam and if I were to sum that up in one word I'd probably go with - queasy. Seems ferry's aren't for everyone, but we did have a good time. Then, a week after arriving home, my Grandad unfortunately passed away after months of suffering with cancer. It has definitely been a testing time, hence the small break, as I tried to get my head around things.... I felt very uninspired and didn't particularly know how to get back into the swing of things, but nevertheless here I am, boring you with waffle once again.

While I had some time off I got a little bit online-shopping-happy and decided to buy a couple of pieces to cheer up my wardrobe. I did say when I started the Spending Ban that I wouldn't buy clothes but as I've spent winter swapping and changing between a grand total of three jumpers, I decided it needed to be done. 

Asos was the online shop of choice and I picked up these three coral/red based items. I didn't really realise I'd done that until I got to the 'checkout' but it does seem like quite a happy colour - something I'd been lacking! I decided on two jumpers & one tea dress. Apparently I'm not yet ready to let go of comfy clothes and lets face it, the weather isn't getting any warmer any faster.
So, first up, and probably my favourite of the bunch, is this Mango sluby/slouchy textured jumper (£29.99, size large). I'm never great at picking things that I think will suit me when online shopping so I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this. It is such a lovely, bright colour that I think will be a nice transitional piece in this undecided Spring/Winter/Generally Cold weather. It is also extremely comfy, not itchy or too heavy, which I like. 
Next is another lightweight jumper/top, Asos own brand with a scoop back design (£17.50, size 14). Again, this is super comfy with cute little rolled back arms and a nice, but not too revealing, open back. It's not too smothering and I love the colour! 
Finally, the River Island bright tea dress (£28.00, size 14). I was a liiiittle bit unsure about this as I am slightly fussy when it comes to dresses, mainly because of my shape/size and of course I want them to look flattering. This is quite loose fitting (perhaps a bit too big) but it's a great colour, light and airy & would look nice with a tan/on holiday! I like to wear this with a belt around the middle as I'm not too keen on the self-tie detail around the back but apart from that I am happy with it! I think I just need some cojones to go out and wear it in public!

And there you have it. I think I can see myself becoming a little bit obsessed with different variations of coral! 

What's your favourite Spring/Summer colour? 
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