Thursday, 25 April 2013

Real Techniques Brushes

Real Techniques brushes have been raved about so much, and although some would say they are affordable, I didn't want to pay around the £10 mark because I'm used to paying ELF's £3.75. Last month, I was very close to purchasing some from because they worked out a lot cheaper than buying them from the likes of Boots. However, I reluctantly closed the page because I didn't need any more brushes. However, a couple of weeks ago I found them discounted on Amazon, and couldn't resist (they've gone up in price now). I paid £7.99 for the Stippling brush instead of £11.99, and £8.66 for the Powder brush instead of £12.99. Although many would say these were bargains, I still paid more than double what I normally pay for a brush. So, do I like them? Yes. They're soft, dense, don't shed, and wash well. However, I don't think they're that much better than my ELF Studio ones. They are different in shape to the ELF Studio Stipple and Complexion comparisons, though. The Stippling brush is more dense, and the Powder brush is much bigger. I also like how these stand up on their own because I have no room left in my brush pots!

So, these get a big thumbs up from me, but if you don't want to spend £8+ on a brush, ELF's Studio range is a great alternative, in my opinion.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Washi Tape Haul, Collection, Storage, and Ideas

This wasn't planned. But then I stumbled across the pretty patterns and colours, and couldn't help myself! The green polka dots, orange flowers, plain blue, geometrical red, and pink rolls are from this eBay seller, who is the main one I buy from. The patterned blue, plain lilac, zig zag orange, and diagonal yellow rolls are from this eBay seller. They were all £1.60-70 each, and postage was 70p no matter how many I bought. It can get expensive if you go on a spree like I did, but I suppose it's cheaper than some craft hobbies (just trying to make myself feel less guilty here!).

And here is my washi tape collection so far. I just store them on a string that is wrapped around two handles. I've also seen people use kitchen roll holders to store them, which looks nice!

So, so far I've used washi tape to decorate a couple of notebooks, my nail polish shelves, and my light switch. I want to start using it more, though, to make me feel better about how many rolls I've bought! I'm going to start making birthday cards with them, and I want to decorate a large, wooden 'N' for my sister's birthday. There's so much you can do with these little rolls of tape, and just a quick Google search shows this!

I'm not a hoarding shopaholic. I'm just passionate! Okay, maybe I am a hoarding shopaholic. As long as I'm happy and not harming anyone, it's okay ;)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Beauty Products from Holland & Barrett

Holland & Barrett isn't a shop I usually go to for beauty products, so when I was offered to try some, I was curious. The products I received are all to help achieve a good night's sleep. I've been using them for a few weeks now, so here are my thoughts!

The Black Cherry Concentrate (£11.69/473ml) isn't a beauty product, but a food supplement, and cherries apparently contain the sleep hormone melatonin. I've been using this as a squash, and really like it. It tastes different from other squashes because it doesn't contain a load of sugar, so it takes getting used to, but I feel healthier when I drink it.

The Wonder Oil (£10.99/273ml) is my favourite of the products I received. It contains all kinds of oils and natural goodness. It also smells amazing, like sweet orange, and moisturises well. I like putting a few drops of this in my foot soaks to make my feet soft. The packaging isn't the best, but I can live with that.

The Dr Organic Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Night Cream (£9.49/50ml) is my second favourite product. It comes in a sturdy glass jar, is super thick in consistency, and leaves my skin feeling so soft. It feels a lot more expensive than it is.

I hate the scent of lavender. Instead of being a calming scent for me, it makes me urge and want to be sick. However, I thought I'd at least sniff the Lavender Essential Oil (£4.99/10ml) for this post. Let's just say I had to run to the toilet. If you like the scent of lavender, and it calms you, this would be great on your pillow, though.

Have you tried any beauty products from Holland & Barrett?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Superdrug Purchases and First Impressions - New Barry M Nail Art Pens, MUA Power Pout and More

Another beauty haul! Sometimes, I won't buy anything for weeks and weeks, but then I'll place 4-5 beauty orders in one week, like last week (Lush, Fragrance Direct, Superdrug and Real Techniques - Naughty!). 

So, onto the first product in the photo: Garnier's Summer Body Moisturising Lotion (£2.54, normally £5.09). Most for most part, I don't care about expiry dates. I'll have make-up, shower gels and body butters for years, and I'll only throw something away if it smells or looks funny. However, I throw away fake tan more regularly because I'm scared it'll go off and leave me a streaky, orange mess. Also, I'm not a big tanner, and prefer gradual ones over instant ones. So, for all of those reasons, I bought this product! It smells really nice, like apricot yoghurt. I've read a lot of positive reviews, but I've also read some negative ones, so we'll see how this goes.

I then bought MUA's Power Pout in Rendezvous (£3). I've actually already swatched and reviewed this, so you can take a look at that post here. You can also see swatches of 4 of the other shades here. I love them, and the price is great.

The main reason I wanted to order was because of the new Barry M Nail Art Pens (£4.99). At first, I wanted all of the shades (black, white, silver and pink), but then I realised that when I do nail art, I either do polka dots or flowers, and I use a white for them. I also ordered the pink one because it'll go well with so many shades I have, and it was 3 for 2. At first, I was disappointed that you only get 3ml of product, but it should last because you really don't need to use a lot. So far, I'm loving these, and will be reviewing them soon. They are so, so easy to use because you don't need to constantly squeeze the pen. They also don't have a metal nib, meaning they don't drag across your nail. The designs you draw on your nail are flat and dry quickly, which I'm so thankful for. Last month, I said I wasn't going to do nail art for a long time because the designs I did took hours, were thick with polish, and just didn't dry. Another positive point about these pens is that 15 minutes after I tested them out, I had a really hot shower, and the designs stayed put, even without a topcoat. I'm just hoping the polish doesn't dry around the tip and clog them up.

The last product I bought was Barry M's Matt White Nail Paint (Free with 3 for 2, normally £2.99). White base coats are great for neon, sheer or streaky nail polishes, and the bring out the best in a colour. I'm running low on my China Glaze Snow, so thought I'd try this cheaper, more easy to get hold of nail polish.

Have you tried any of these products? Will you be buying the Barry M Nail Art Pens?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fragrance Direct Order

Sally Hansen Himalayan Blue £1.49, Rimmel Coralicious 99p, Astor 070 x2 75p, Astor 086 75p, Astor 112 75p, Astor 119 x2 75p

Grace Cole Peach & Pear Hand Wash 500ml £2.50

If you haven't already guessed, I love Fragrance Direct. I didn't realise how much I order from there until I looked at my order history the other day! Just so you know, half of the nail polishes above are for my sister's birthday (in August...). I love the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish brushes, so whenever they have new stock, I add one (or more) to my basket. I already own a couple of coral shades, but I'm always drawn to the colour, so couldn't resist Rimmel's Coralicious for just 99p. The Astor polishes are the main components of this order. I had never heard of the brand before, but apparently it's a budget Spanish brand. It's blogged about very little, which made searching for swatches very difficult, especially because the polishes don't have names! The bottles are only 6ml, but I never finish a nail polish anyway, and they were only 75p! How beautiful is 070? I've been after a blue like this for a while. I let my sister have this one early, and it took 2-3 coats to become opaque, which is quite good. I already own a couple of berry shades similar to 086, but I love the colour so much. The bright red/coral (112) is another one of my sister's, and so is 119. The second 119 is mine, and, again, I own 1 or 2 shades similar, but it's pretty. I then added the Grace Cole Peach & Pear hand wash to my basket. After using The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach shower gel, I have been loving all things peach scented. This isn't as nice of the Vineyard Peach shower gel (I don't think anything will ever be), but it's subtle, and smells like peaches and pears (you don't say?!).

I have a browse through Fragrance Direct once or twice a week to look at the new stock. I usually keep up to date with the nail polishes and lipsticks. Do you like Fragrance Direct? Have you placed an order recently?

MUA Power Pout in Rendezvous

A few weeks ago, I bought 4/6 of the MUA Power Pout shades, and you can see those swatches here. I prefer pinks and berry toned lip products over nudes, so decided not to purchase Rendezvous. However, lip swatches showed it to look more like a natural pink when applied. I then decided to add it to the Superdrug order I was placing (I was purchasing some of the new Barry M nail art pens, which I'll be reviewing soon!). As you can see, the packaging and bullet are very brown, but Rendezvous becomes an understated pink once on the lips. I have to say that the flash is making it look more pink than it is, but even in natural light, it leans towards being pink. I really like this shade, and can see myself wearing it a lot. If you're after a true brown, this isn't it, but if you're after an everyday, understated, natural lip colour, I'd recommend giving this a go. For £3, you may as well!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Lush Haul

I recently received a Lush gift card, and used it as soon as I could! I wanted to branch out a little bit and buy things I wouldn't normally buy, but knew I'd get a lot of use from. I also repurchased a couple favourites.

Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter - £6.25/50g - I was initially drawn to this product because of the scent. I love the smell of fresh lemons. As well as your cuticles, you can use this on any part of your body. This should last ages if you only use it on dry patches (I would love to smother myself in the stuff, though!). The ingredients sound promising, too. They include shea butter, mango butter, and a load of oils.

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub - £7.95/330g - This was used on my arm a couple of years ago, and I loved how soft my skin felt afterwards. I never purchased it, though, because the price put me off. This smells so fresh, and is a beautiful blue shade. I normally prefer to use exfoliating gloves with a shower gel, but I'll see how this goes.

Grease Lightning Spot Treatment - £5.95/45g - Up until recently, I didn't know if blemish gels worked/were worth the money. I never knew if the product was reducing the spot, or time was, and it was healing on its own. However, in the last couple of months, I've tried a couple, and have really noticed a difference. A spot treatment is easy to incorporate into your routine, and can be used whenever you like, so thought I'd give this a go.

Whoosh Shower Jelly - £3.50/100g - I bought this for the novelty, really. And the smell. It smells amazing! So citrusy. I was given a pot of the Sweetie Pie one a few years ago, and liked it, but it's a novelty over anything else. I'd rather buy a bottle of shower gel for £1-2, to be honest, but seeing as I wasn't paying for it, I added it to my basket!

Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Bath Melt - £3.85/100g - This is a repurchase, and one of my favourite products from Lush. I like using chunks of bath melts in foot soaks to make my feet soft, soft, soft.

You've Been Mangoed Bath Melt - £3.10/30g - This is also a repurchase. I really hope Lush bring out some more mango scented products!

Rose Jam Bubbleroon (Bubble Bar) - £3.50/each - I had to add a bubble bar to my basket! I've been wanting to try this one for a while, so went for it. It smells so good! Lush describe it as a 'seductively sweet rose and coconut oil' scent. Beautiful.

And that's everything I bought! I can't wait to start using it all. Have you tried any of these products? Or bought anything from Lush recently?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Affordable Lipstick Storage

Hello! So, I wanted something to store my lipsticks in, but also wanted to have them clearly displayed so I wouldn't forget about certain shades. After seeing numerous bloggers with storage similar to the one above, I decided to head to eBay myself. I bought this for £3.59, including P&P, from here. It's able to store 24 lipsticks, which is useful. Some of the 'slots' aren't big enough for certain lipsticks (you can see this with a couple of the lipsticks in the first row), but it's not too much of a big deal. My lip crayons/lip creams are taller and thinner than an average lipstick, so do wobble when you move the storage around, but they're my most used lip products, so wanted them on display. I'm really happy with this purchase, and am considering getting another one for my lip balms!

How do you store your lip products?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

My Weekend - Hairdressers, Food Markets, Charity Shops, Car Boot Sales and More

I've done a lot more than I usually do this weekend, so thought I'd document it!

On Friday, at 9am, I had my hair cut. I had 5 inches taken off, and it feels so short and soft now! I love that feeling.

Afterwards, we looked around the charity shops, and I came across this Cath Kidston mug in Woodside for just 50p. I'm currently using it as a plant pot because I have far too many mugs in the cupboard as it is!

Then, around 11am on Friday, my sister and I went into town so I could take photos of the Continental Food Market for one of my uni modules. I was nervous and embarrassed at first, but once I started taking photos, I was fine!

After I took the photos, we went shopping. I only bought one thing, and that was the throw. It was from Primark and was down to just £3. I already own it, and love it, so thought I'd get another. My sister bought a Soul Cal jumper from Republic for £16, and 3 Sinful Colour nail polishes from Boots for £3.98 (they're £1.99 each, and were on 3 for 2). The colours she chose are Timbleberry, Rise & Shine, and Nail Junkie.

On Saturday, we went to a load of big charity shops and homeware/DIY stores. In one charity shop, St Luke's Hospice, the books were just 20p! I restrained myself and settled for 5. I don't know if they're going to be any good, but I recognised some of the authors, so grabbed them. The Kiss & Die one sounds good. It's about a serial killer who tortures and decapitates people. Sounds cheery, doesn't it? ;)

We also went to B&Q and bought a load of paint and painting supplies because we're giving our house a much needed makeover. While there, I couldn't resist these Kalanchoes for £1.50 each. We also bought some pre-made hanging baskets for the front of our house for £5 each.

We also went to Buyology on Saturday, where I finally found some plant pot saucers, which were 79p for 5. They're turquoise, the perfect size, and are 100% natural. This means they'll only last 2-3 years, but I don't mind that at all. These plant pot saucers were the finishing touch for my windowsill makeover. Now it's all bright and happy. For more information and photos, see the post below this. I also bought a few dog toys because they were a great price. Now the dogs are spoilt for choice!

On Saturday evening, I played around with my blog header and colour theme. I must have changed it over 20 times! I'm still not sure about it, but it'll do for now.

I didn't take any photos today, but I'll just write about what we did. This morning, we went to a car boot sale, but it was rubbish. We'll be going to a different one next time! Then we had breakfast at a little cafe, and it was delicious. Cafe sausages always taste better to me. Then we went to a bed store and my dad bought my sister a cabin bed. She's had the same bed for nearly her whole life, so she needed a new one. She also has the smallest room, so she wanted a cabin bed to make the most of the space. I've also decided that I need a new bed frame, so will be buying one next week. Even though my bed isn't that old, I want to get rid of the base because it doesn't have any room underneath it, and it's such a waste of space. This week, I'm planning on getting a simple metal frame, and a load of storage boxes to go underneath. I'll be keeping my mattress because it's not that old (and mattresses are expensive!)

Phew! If you managed to get through this, I applaud you!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Windowsill Makeover!

Big photo - Before. Small photos - After.

Hello! So, today, I finished my windowsill makeover. I got rid of my old, mouldy, terracotta plant pots, and replanted my plants into bright, metal buckets (for the most part). The buckets are from this eBay seller. The 10cm small, cream buckets with floral designs on them were £1.60 each, the 13cm buckets were £2.10 each, and the 16cm buckets were £2.90 each. With some of them, I just put smaller plastic pots inside, but with others, I replanted straight into them. With these ones, I got my dad to drill holes in the bottom (I don't want the roots of my plants to rot!). P&P is £2.30, so it can be quite expensive if you're just buying 1 or 2. I ordered all of mine together and combined the postage, so P&P was just £3.30 for the lot. The ceramic pots (you can see a yellow one in the first small photo) are from Tesco and already come with plants in them. These are usually £3. I had a hard time finding the plant pot saucers. The only ones I could find were either plastic orange ones, or stupidly large ones. I went to Buyology today and found the ones in the photos. These were 79p for 5. They're a nice colour, the perfect size, and are 100% natural. This means that they'll only last 2-3 years, but I don't mind. I'll just buy more! The mug you can see in the first small photo is a Cath Kidston one, and I found it in a charity shop yesterday for just 50p. I'm not using it as a mug at the moment because I have far too many in the cupboard as it is (another obsession of mine... I have many!)

I don't think I'll be buying any more plants now because I have no more room on my windowsill! I only just managed to fit the three I bought today on. Looking forward to getting my own place ;) Not every windowsill will be as crowded as this though! Some may say it's excessive, and I agree with them haha, but I like it! Plants and colours make me happy.

Kallo Rice & Corn Cakes

I love rice cakes. They're a quick and healthy snack. So when offered a couple packs of Kallo's new flavours to try, I kindly accepted. I only like sweet flavoured rice cakes, and have tried caramel ones before, but was intrigued by the blueberry & vanilla ones (as you can see, I couldn't resist opening them before taking photos!). Both flavours don't have strong tastes, and this could be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences. Some people love the Snack a Jacks caramel rice cakes (including me), but some people find them overly sweet. If you do, you'll probably like these ones better. Also, I really like the packaging!

If you're interested, these retail for £1.79 each.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Throwback Thursday - Mum Edition

These are the only two photos I have of my mum and I together (without my sister). There are probably more in old photo albums and with other family members, but these are just the ones in my possession. My mum hasn't really changed!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Yellow Kitty

This is my first yellow manicure! Yellow isn't a common colour to wear on the nails, and I don't know why. I love the colour of this polish, but didn't get on with the formula. It's very streaky. Because of this, I'm wearing a white base coat (China Glaze's Snow) underneath. Even with a base coat though, it took 2-3 coats. I'm now on the look out for some other yellows, possibly brighter ones. I have a neon yellow from Models Own, which also requires a white base coat (yellows are tricky!), but I want a mid-toned, sunshine yellow. I also filed my nails right down before this manicure. I love going from long to short nails - It just feels nice!

What do you think about yellow nails? Do you own any yellow nail polishes you'd recommend me buying?

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