Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Sale Purchases

I set out Christmas sale shopping this year with the goal to buy birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Christmas presents. I bought a few things, but not a lot caught my eye.

The two pairs of slipper boots were from Accessorize, and were £10 each down from £20. I bought them for my mum for Mother's Day and my sister for her birthday in August.

The tea mug set was from Boots, and cost £3.75 down from £7.50. I thought this would make a nice little gift for anyone I know. Nothing else appealed to me, though! I wanted the Aroma hand warmers, but they were out of stock straight away, both online and instore.

The Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava sets were from Tesco Direct, and were just £5 down from £15 (£18 on Feel Unique). I worked out that the individual products are worth $28, which is about £17-18. However, this is directly converting. These products are more expensive to buy in the UK, and would cost £25+ (the roller ball perfume alone is £12 on Holland & Barrett). The scent is nice, but different to what I was expecting. It starts off very citrus-y, like grapefruit, and then the coconut comes through. My mum isn't a fan, which kind of killed my buzz about them, but I still like the scent. I'm just hoping the people I bought them for like it, too. My sister bought me my own for my birthday, and I tried out the products last night. The perfume is stronger than expected, which was a pleasant surprise, and doesn't smell alcohol-y. The body butter is more subtle and sinks in quickly. The lip balm feels nice on the lips, and gives them a pink-y, nude-y, can't quite describe-y tint. I'm now hoping the other scents go down in price, too. Tuscan Blood Orange, Indian Coconut Nectar, and Island Vanilla all sound amazing.

Have you bought anything in the sales?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Barry M Matte Crush

No flash, flash

After trying Barry M's Matte Vanilla Nail Paint last month (see here), I was surprised at how much I liked the effect, so wanted to get my hands on Crush, this deep, wine red. For some reason, though, I didn't, but then Christmas day rolled around, and I found a bottle in my stocking from my sister! After not painting my nails in over a month, I thought it was about time I did. I don't feel like Crush is a true matte, but rather a satin, because it still has some shine to it. I'm wearing two coats here, and it didn't brutally highlight any imperfections I have on my nails, so the formula gets a thumbs up from me. I'm not going to test, or comment, on wear time because everyone is different and does different things throughout their days. For me, personally, most polishes last around a week before any major chipping occurs. I found Vanilla to last 4-5 days, if I remember correctly, which isn't too bad. I'm still tempted to apply a topcoat to this to prolong the application, though. I think it'd look great with a high shine.

What do you think of matte nails, and this shade?

Friday, 27 December 2013

Update! Uni, Christmas, Sales, and More

You can find me on Instagram here!

Hello, everyone! I haven't written an update post for a few months, and haven't blogged for a few weeks, so thought it was about time I did so. I was going to update you guys at the beginning of this month, but then Jacksie died, and I didn't feel like it. He's the black and white cat in the photos, and they're some of the last I took of him. Then, deadlines and not buying anything really affected my blogging mojo.

So, what have I been up to? Not a lot, really! October was filled with uni work, November was filled with worrying about whether Jacks would survive and more uni work, and December has involved deadlines and obviously Christmas.

I got the results back for my first year three assignment a week or so ago and was so surprised and relieved at the grade. Another uni update is that I handed in part one of my dissertation a couple weeks ago. 3,000 words down, 7,000 to go! I now have to start collecting data, which is going to be incredibly tedious.

Like I said, I haven't been buying anything recently, and that's because nothing has taken my fancy, especially beauty/makeup wise. I haven't even been painting my nails. I think the last time I did was 6 weeks ago! I just hate the process, even though I love the results.

Christmas was okay. Our family (mum, dad, sister and I) don't do a lot of Christmas traditions, and don't really like spending time with our wider family. Or should I say, my dad, sister, and I don't like spending time with our wider family. We're antisocial beings, and prefer to just stay at home. I feel awkward and uncomfortable around my other relatives, and am relieved when we leave! For New Year's Eve, we're going to order Chinese and start watching a new TV series. We're thinking Dexter, even though my dad's already watched a few episodes. Oh! And I received my first ever stocking from my sister this Christmas. It was great opening all these little treats and surprises (I normally know what I'm getting). It made Christmas, even though we didn't even have a tree or decorations (there was nowhere to put it, and people rarely come round anyway).

I've done a spot of Christmas sale shopping, both online and in store, but everything I've bought has been for other people. I've already bought my mum and sister a pair of slippers each for Mother's Day and my sister's birthday in August. They were half price from Accessorize, and then I found a student discount code which worked on top. My sister and I then bought a few Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava sets from Tesco for just £5 each, down from £15 (they're £18 on Feel Unique). I'm so pleased because I was eyeing them up a couple weeks prior, and the scent I wanted was this one! The roller ball perfume alone retails for about £10-12 over here (it's $12 in America), and then you get a small tube of body butter and a tinted lip balm. I don't know why the other scents aren't reduced, though, but I'll be keeping an eye on them. My sister and I went in town yesterday, Boxing Day, and to our surprise, it wasn't that busy! I didn't pick up much, though. The Aroma hand warmers I wanted from Boots were sold out. I bought an owl mug from BHS for £3, which wasn't in the sale, and the Quality Street Purely Purple Ones gift from Superdrug for £2.99, which was in the sale. I bought it for my dad's birthday in February because he loves them.

I hope you've been well and have had a good Christmas. Let me know what you received and if you've bought anything in the sales!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An Affordable Gift Idea for Everyone

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I'd write a little post about a gift that's suitable for all budgets, ages, genders, and hobbies. I wouldn't normally do a Christmas gift guide so close to the holiday, but this is a present that you can easily put together while doing your food shop. I personally love mugs, and everyone I know drinks from them, so I think they're a nice, yet practical present to give. Filling them with treats of the person's interest really makes the present you're giving personal, although you can buy pre-made hot chocolate and sweet ones if you're unsure of what the person likes (if you're doing a secret santa at work, for example). There are endless possibilities of the things you can include. The wolf mug above was the one I bought my dad last year, and he was in need of a new computer mouse, so I popped one inside. The rose mug on the far right was only £1-2 from a supermarket, and the chocolate figures inside were about £1, too. Slightly more expensive is the Cath Kidston mug in the middle, which was about £6, and I've filled it with beauty treats. If someone is into crafts, you could pop in some rolls of washi tape and ribbon, or if they're into baking, you could add some cake decorations and cookie cutters. I could go on and on!

Will you be gifting someone a mug filled with treats this year?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Lush Haul!

Apologies for the photo not being aesthetically pleasing, but I've had to keep the products in their wrappers because a lot of them are presents! So, I placed an order with Lush this week, and stuck with the classic soaps, bath bombs, bubble bars, and bath melts. Granted, they're overpriced, but I don't think they're too bad when you're giving them as gifts. Also, a treat once in a while is allowed! Let me talk you through what I bought. 

The pink and white one on the far left is Candy Mountain (£2.65), and is one of my favourite Christmas bubble bars because it's oh so sweet. The pink chunk of soap next to it is Rock Star (£3.40/100g), and I bought this for my mum for Christmas because she loved the chunk I bought her last year. In front of that you have the You've Been Mangoed bath melt (£3.25). This is one of my favourite products from Lush, and I love using a third of it in a foot soak to make my tootsies soft. Next to that you have the Christmas Penguin (£2.95), which is a new Christmas bubble bar. From the packet, he smells slightly citrus-y, which is right up my street. 

Behind is the yellow and orange Happy Pill bath bomb (£3.75), which is huge! I remember this bath bomb from when a Lush store first opened in Plymouth, but then it was discontinued. It's now available to buy online again, so thought I'd give it a go. The yellow half smells like grapefruit, and the orange half smells like mandarin. I don't have baths, but will be breaking this up for foot soaks. Next to it is the Snowman bath bomb (£2.50), which is the Butterball bath bomb in snowman form. Then, in front of that little guy is the yellow and white Bombardino bath bomb (£2.50). This smells so comforting to me. It has lemon in, but reminds me of a creamy, hot drink. Then you have the big yellow chunk of soap called Sunny Citrus (£4.95/100g), which contains all kinds of citrus oils - Yum! 

Next to that is the Pineapple Grunt soap (£3.95/100g), which smells of sweet pineapple! This is another product only available online and in Lush's Poole shop. In front of that, we have the Melting Snowman bath melt (£2.25). I've never tried this little guy before because I thought he was similar in scent to the Snowcake soap, which I don't like. However, from what I can smell from the packet, he smells really nice! I'll have to pick a couple up for myself during the Christmas sale. 

The two little chunks of soap at the very front were samples, and are Banana Moon (£4.20/100g) and Orange Jelly (£3.40/100g). Banana Moon is another exclusive soap that is not available in most stores, and contains banana and yoghurt. From what I can smell, it smells good! Orange Jelly simply smells of orange, so I already love it.

Have you bought anything from Lush recently? Are you planning on picking anything up during the Christmas sale?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Rest in Peace, Jacks.

Just 4 months after losing Puddin', we had to say goodbye to our youngest cat, Jacks, on Saturday, 30th November. He was only 4 years old. On the 9th November, he was suddenly in a lot of pain, and was unable to go toilet. We assumed it was something to do with his bladder or kidneys, so took him to the vets. They told us it could possibly be crystals. They then told us his kidneys weren't functioning properly, so he ended up staying at the vets for a few, long, agonising days. When he eventually came home, we were so happy because we were sure he wasn't going to make it. We knew he wasn't in the clear just yet, but we were happy nonetheless. He was his usual cheeky, affectionate self straight away. We weren't sure if he was weeing properly, but after about a week and half, we heard him do a long one. I've never been so happy to hear such news. Then, the weekend just gone, he went back to being in a lot of pain again. We knew then that we had to put him down because treatment was unlikely to work if it didn't work the first time, and we couldn't afford another £800. We took him in, and the vet confirmed that his kidneys were failing and that it would be best to put him down. We said our goodbyes and let him go. He was an incredible cat. We had raised and handled him since birth, so he was very trusting in the hands of humans. We could hang him upside down and he would still be purring. He was also very cheeky, and loved to chase the other cats. I'm glad we had a few weeks to really appreciate him, but knowing we could lose him didn't make us any more prepared.

Rest in Peace, Jacksie.

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