Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Winter Favourites - L O'ccitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Throughout every other season I seem to skate by using handcream a couple of times a month if that, However in winter I tend to get horribly dry skin on my hands that only gets worse if I don't moisturise enough. It's mainly due to my skins sensitivity to the cold weather mixed with how often I have to wash my hands at work so as they are both unavoidable things, hand cream is my saviour. I use a cheaper hand cream such as hand food or Vaseline hand and nail on a daily basis as I need to use a lot to keep my hands from cracking and getting sore but every now and again I like to use something a little bit luxurious to give myself a manicure with and this is where L O'ccitane steps in.

I've tried a few of their hand creams but my favourite has to be the Shea Butter Version, It may not look like anything special but when it comes to moisturising it works like magic. A little bit goes a long way which is a great thing as it's £7 for a small tube so it isn't the most budget friendly product but It is worth the money. I like to keep this with my other nail essentials to use once a week, that way it ensures I use it often enough to get my money's worth but not so often that I finish it in a few days. It also has a lovely smell that's quite powdery and reminds me of something my Nan would have used. (In a good way, she loved her high quality products.)

I had a version a few years ago that I think was in a metal tube but since then they have changed it to plastic that looks as though it is metal which I actually prefer as it still has that  old school paint tube look to it but without the annoying holes that seem to pop up out of nowhere with metal tubes that waste half of the product.

If your looking for something a little bit luxurious for your home manicures then pop into L'Occitane and take a look at their selection of hand creams, They also do sets which are great as gifts all year round but are especially good as stocking fillers.

Have you tried any of the L'Occitane handcreams? Which one is your favourite?

Monday, 25 November 2013

My Mac Lipstick Collection

This post has been a long time coming after I've seen them popping up here, there and everywhere, I attempted to try not to jump on the bandwagon but I caved, I need to share my love of Mac with all of you. After months of trying to convince myself that I don't have a lipstick buying problem, It really hit me that I do when I was struggling to fit all of my Mac Lipsticks onto one photo and they don't even make up a quarter of my lip product collection, I think It's safe to say I have a problem.

Ruby Woo - This is one of the newer shades in my collection and I was lucky enough to win it in a giveway from the lovely Sade - Go and check out her blog, you'll love it - and I'm very happy I did. It's a gorgeous bright red that is very matte so I find it's best to wear a lipbalm underneath, I tend to pair it with my eight hour cream, I give it a little time to sink in before I apply Ruby Woo but it gives me the best application as it can be a little drying but it really is a great colour for when you feel like standing out.

Russian Red - This is my go to red all year round, I'm so addicted to it that when my second tube got stolen along with my makeup bag I had to go and buy a new one straight away before anyone else as I had an audition coming up and I couldn't possibly go without it (silly I know but we all have our rituals.) It's another matte but it's not quite as dry as ruby woo, it has more of a velvety texture which means it's harder to keep on the lips but it is such a lovely deep red shade, really lovely in Winter.

Lady Danger - I've actually come to the realisation that I own more red lipsticks than any other colour so I'm using that as an excuse to why this doesn't get used that often as I don't actually know the real reason. Lady Danger is a bright orange toned red that I absolutely love in the summertime, It's probably the brightest colour I own and is only for the days when I'm feeling particularly brave (and I think we just found our reason as to why it's not used.)

Viva Glam Cyndi Lauper - I've had this lipstick for a long time (probably longer than your supposed to keep them) and it makes me sad that it's now discontinued as it's such a gorgeous colour. It's a muted pink toned red and I also have the matching gloss that is slightly more pigmented. It has a gorgeous creamy finish and is so easy to wear if I want a little bit of a bold lip but I don't want to fully commit.

Girl About Town - This one I have a little soft spot for, I've never had so many compliments on a lipstick (or been told that I look like one of Little Mix) as I've had when wearing this, everyone seems to love it and It does make a great alternative to a red lip. It's a bright blue toned pink with an amplified finish which means it's insanely pigmented, not one for the faint hearted but it does make me feel happy when I wear it and I don't really know why.

 (let's pretend I didn't get the order in the second photo back to front shall we...)

Hue - This is the colour I tend to use the least, not because I don't love it but purely because it melted and snapped in the summer and using it is a bit of a pain, I have to faff about with a lip brush and I just don't have the time for that. I do the colour, it's quite a nude toned light pink and it has a lovely finish, the glaze finishes are my second favourite next to Cremesheen's but it can look a bit strange when my skin is quite pale r.e most of the time so I would say it's better for those who have a tan.

Creme Cup - This was my first ever lipstick purchase and to be honest I mainly keep in for sentimental value as It just doesn't suit me. It's kind of like a more blue toned version of hue which means it can look a little bit Barbie on me which is not a look that I go for (If you do like that kind of look then you really should try this one out) I preferred this on me when I had dark haired. I do love the finish as I don't think you can beat Cremesheens in that department to be honest and it does have good staying power.

Peach Blossom - I didn't buy this all that long ago and I actually picked it up on a whim when I wanted Blankety and it was out of stock but it has become my most used lipstick next to Russian Red. It's a lovely peachy pink which for me is the perfect daytime shade, one of those and I dread to say it 'my lips but better' colours that adds a little something to your makeup without taking it too far. The finish is great Cremesheen is a winner once again) and it lasts for a good few hours and as it's such a subtle shade it's very easy to reapply even without a mirror.

Shy Girl -  This is my latest purchase and I love it almost as much as Peach Blossom but not quite. It's also a pinky peach colour but leans a lot more to the peach side and toes the line between being a lovely nude shade and being too matchy matchy with my face, I find it works best for me if I have a slight (fake) tan. Again Cremesheen finish, Love it.

Vegas Volt - This is probably the most unique colour in my whole collection, including my non Mac lipsticks as I don't tend to go for orange shades but this has a slightly neon quality and looks amazing with a tan in summer so I just had to buy it. As I am pale as a milk bottle I tend not to wear it all that often but once I have bothered to fake tan I love taking this on nights out with me. Like Girl about Town it has an amplified finish which means this little one is bright so if you love a bold lip with a twist then give this one a try.

Do you own any mac lipsticks? What's you favourite? Let me know if you've written a post like this as I love to read them.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Christmas Tag

I recently saw this tag over on Ella's blog and as I am a Christmas obsessive I decided to give it a go, I love tags like these and if you love christmassy posts then you should definitely check her posts out at Hello Ella as she has some seriously lovely Christmas posts (and the rest of the year it's lovely too of course!)

What time of the year do you start your Christmas shopping?
I normally start Early in September.October but this year I am ridiculously poor so I'm thinking there will be a lot of Homemade and we'll say Heartfelt gifts (and of course lots of people will be getting chocolate but who doesn't love that?)

Do you have any festive recipes for food or drink you limit solely to the Christmas season to share?
I make a Christmas version of my Rocky Road (but not Nigella's Christmas version) with a shitload of sprinkles which I stand by that as the technical term for it and I make a mean mince pie but my real specialty is hot chocolate or vanilla latte's with cream and every kind of marshmallow and sprinkle imaginable.

Tell me how Christmas goes down in your home
We normally sleep till about 9 as that is a lie in in the world of me and my mama, then we open presents and have croissants and bucks fizz for breakfast. Subsequently we get bored of the bucks fizz and make a pot of tea to keep us going. The Christmas movie channel goes on and my mum starts coking a bit later, my sister pops round for dinner and to open her presents, more Christmas movies, This year we will probably spend a little while with Jon and his family before going back for my special hot chocolates and family time in front of the fire.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
We always go to my Grandma's house for her annual Boxing Day Family Buffet which she swears is getting smaller every year but the food still never fits on the table and there's always a few board games that go on throughout the Christmas period that I sometimes win and don't cheat at or my sister wins and she definitely does cheat!

Do you have a favourite festive coffee?
I do love a good Creme Brulee latte and I love Chai latte's all year round but they just feel a bit more special around Christmas time.

What's your favourite Christmas song?
The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York, is my ultimate Christmas song, I adore it and I've also been known to crack out my own versions of Silent night and Walking in a Winter Wonderland when I've been on the Baileys.

What do you do on Christmas Eve?
I normally work in the daytime and pop to see my Grandpa in the afternoon to give him is presents and see some of my Chesterfield family before coming home to watch Christmas movies in front of the fire (that is my fave Christmas thing if you can't tell by now.)

What's your Christmas wrapping strategy? Do you have a strategy?
I'm a present wrapping demon in that I go way ott and the presents end up with ribbons and bows and reindeer confetti inside and they are ridiculously difficult to open because I take after my Nan in the sense that I sellotape presents half to death, there's no way that's accidentally coming open. I also tend to colour coordinate and use a different scheme for each person so it does take a whole evening but I actually love it.

What's your dream gift this year?
I'd love a lot of new dance clothes and normal clothes just because I haven't been able to buy myself anything in a while and it would be amazing. My ultimate present would be Royal Ballet or West End tickets but I've already had one West End trip this year so that would be asking a little much.

Describe your Christmas tree. How tall? Real or artificial? How is it decorated?
I have a artificial tree that cost £8 from Argos on Christmas eve last year but it's a 6 footer and it actually looks pretty good, I have a mix of red, gold and green baubles with white lights, I tend to use beads instead of tinsel as It just annoys me a bit but I like tinsel everywhere else. I have cute little personal baubles to that remind me of my childhood and people in my life which are my favourites. My mama's also bought a little tree for the dining room so I have another to decorate!

Do you decorate just the tree or other areas of your house e.g. windows, bannisters?
I normally have a lot of christmassy candles dotted about the house and  I love putting our cards up everywhere, I do have a few bits of tinsel up here and there but not too much and we always have fairy lights in our windows to put on at night time.

What do you wear to Christmas parties and what do you wear on Christmas day?
I tend to wear my pjs in the morning and then I put on a nice outfit (or a new outfit if I'm lucky) for dinner and if I see Jon's parents and then back to pj's in the evening. For nights out/parties I tend to wear something sparkly with heels and red lips, can't go wrong with sequins for a Christmas do.

What are you favourite things to do at Christmas time?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Series - Happiness is a Sunday

I haven't blogged for a little while because as much as I love this little corner of the Internet, sometimes life gets in the way of being able to sit and write the way I'd like. This past week I've been giving everything I have and every spare bit of time I've found to my college work, to my performances and making sure that I'm improving myself the way I need to be which hasn't left much time for anything else. This next week is going to be a little bit less full on so I'll be able to get a few posts. As being so busy has drained me a little bit I thought it would be the perfect time to do one of these posts to remind myself that the struggle is worth it and to keep this blog going in a positive direction. 

1. I've spent a lot of time auditioning and performing this week and even though there's been quite a bit of dissapointment It's been good to see what I need to do to improve and just how much I need to be pushing myself. Just got to keep going and keep working hard.
2. I've been able to relax this weekend and finally get round to sitting with a cuppa and reading my stack of magazines that have been sitting on my bedside table for too long.
3. Finally got myself a travel mug so no more burning my throat in a morning trying to drink my coffee before I leave.
4. Even though I've been so busy I've still been able to spend time with the people I care about and have a good laugh, there's a few people in my life that I am so grateful to have there and really know how to cheer me up.
5. The Hunger Games Catching Fire will be out soon and I can't wait to go and see it. Jennifer Lawrence has grown on me in the past year, at first I just didn't get the casting but now I adore her.
6. As I haven't had much money this month I've been going back to my old makeup when I fancied something new and I've managed to find some gems that I'd completely forgotten about, I may do a post soon so keep an eye out.
7. I've finally managed to get a bubble bath in and nothing beats a good pamper after a long week.
8. I've been filling up Jon's sky + with all of my rubbish programs to watch when I finally get a day of and I'm looking forward to sitting a watching Beverly Hills Bride, KUWTK, Cake Boss and NY Ink all day. (I am that person who watches all the programmes you think no one will ever watch such as extreme couponing, Those people know how to find a Bargain!)
9. My mum bough us tickets to the Clothes Show Live and I actually can't wait, I'm also looking forward to the East Mids Bloggers meet up at the end of this month and finally getting to meet fellow beauty blogging obsessives.
10. Christmas is coming and I'm so excited. I adore Christmas and I know that my mum and Jon are not looking forward to having the Christmas Movie Channel on at all times but they're just going to have to deal with it.

What's been making you smile this week?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil - The Review

I think we all know of my love for hair oils by now, mainly Morroccanoil which is my number one, however as good as it is, it has the price tag to show it so when my last bottle ran out, I needed something a little more inexpensive and that's where the Loreal extraordinary oil came into things. There are three versions of this, an oil for all hair types, a dry oil mist for fine hair and the version that I have which is an oil for coloured hair so it's probably best to go for the one that suits your hair the best as I have a feeling that they are pretty similar.

I like to use this when my hair is roughly towel dried (still a little bit wet) and before blow drying for the best results, it does also work when I leave my hair to dry naturally but I don't do that very often as my natural hair has a mind of it's own and can get a little crazy no matter what I put on it. I find that three pumps of this is enough for my hair as it isn't that long but it is quite thick, I tend to put this all over my hair, concentrating mainly on the ends and working up to the roots but if you have hair that can get oily very quickly then you should probably stick to the ends as is the usual with all conditioners and treatment products, I just have very dry hair. 

It is quite a thin oil which is clear in colour, it doesn't quite feel as luxurious as Morroccanoil but it doesn't leave your hands anywhere near as oily which is a positive note. I do find that at first it has quite a masculine smell which i'm not a fan of but luckily it doesn't linger and my hair ends up smelling of lovely shampoo rather than a man. It leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth, I do have a bit of frizz for a while after blow drying but I tend to wash my hair at night and by morning all the frizziness is gone and I'm left with smooth shiny hair that's easy to manage which is no mean feat for saying that A.) my hair has been bleached a heck of a lot and B.) I'm constantly taking my hair up and down all day which means my hair is quite weak in certain places.

This product retails for £9.99 but is currently on offer in boots for £6.66 so it's worth popping in (especially with their 3 for 2 offer on all makeup, may as well take a look whilst your there) and if your looking for a cheaper alternative to the expensive hair oils that are out there then this one is definitely worth giving a try as it does make your hair soft and shiny without breaking the bank and it lasts a very long time as you use so little and really what more can you want?

Have you tried any of the Loreal Oil's? What are your thoughts so far?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Essie Autumn Collection - The Lace is on

I was supposed to be on a nail polish buying ban however I'm a sucker for a pretty metallic so as soon as I spotted this on the Essie stand I snapped it up. It's a metallic pink/purple which changes shade depending on the lighting, In daylight as you can see above it has a very pink tone however when it's darker or I'm in artificial lighting it has a distinct purple tone, It was very difficult to get a picture that does it any justice, the last photo is taken with flash and is the closest to the effect you get in the sunlight. The only likeness I can think of is a Quality street wrapper, somewhere in between the big purple one and the pink shiny one. (I'm hoping that my British readers at least get where I'm coming from, everyone else I do apologise but you might have to google that one.) Whatever the actual colour is, it's safe to say that I don't have another colour like it in my collecion, this little one is unique.

It's what I like to call a 'one coat wonder' as in it's opaque on the first coat and if you were in a rush for a night out you could get away with one quick coat of this especially as it dries very quickly. I prefer to do two coats however I do find that it loses it's glossiness quite quickly but this tends to happen with metallic polishes so a good topcoat is a must. My only issue with this polish is that without a top coat it does chip very quickly so if you are a normal person who likes to just paint and go this might not be the polish for you however if you are a bit obsessive with your nails and like to faff about with topcaots/base coats/strengtheners etc. the way that I do then this will most likely work for you.

If your looking for a darker shade that's a little bit different to take you into Autumn but aren't quite ready to let go of summer or for the sombre dark Burgundy's and Navy's that come with this season then this could be the polish for you.

This polish retails for £8.99 and can be purchased from Boots and other retailers.

Have you found any new perfect autumn/winter nail polishes so far this year ?

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Marylin lied, Loungewear is a girls best friend.

Leggings Jack Wills | Slippers New Look | Hoodie Jack Wills | Top Topshop | Vest Skin | Playsuit Eberjay | Slippers Next | Robe Skin | Shorts New Look | Slippers Next

I would love to be able to say that I wear nice outfits all the time and present myself well everyday but it would be one hell of a lie since I spend seven days a week in uniform (either my black dance uniform or my work uniform) and save for the occasional evening out the rest of my life is spent in my pj's or joggers because after dancing/working all day the thought of real clothes is just too much. Since I don't have a choice with my uniforms what better things to spend my money on than lovely pj's and lounge wear that isn't my usual sports direct chic, seriously as ugly as they are you can't beat a pair of mens joggers when your aching so much you can't move and you just want to relax in front of a cosy fire with a cuppa and watch Strictly Come Dancing. So I thought I would put together a list of all the pretty but cosy items I'm wanting this month.

Leggings are a staple for me when I want to be relaxed and Jack Wills have a great selection of printed ones that are perfect for lounging round the house. Most of them are on sale at the moment and I'm thinking I might have to pop this fairisle pair on my Christmas list and maybe a few others as a girl can never have too many pairs of leggings. Or slippers for that matter, My favourite kinds are the slip on pairs like this light brown pair from New Look or these adorable Panda ones from next, They are so comfy and keep your feet warm. I'm also slightly obsessed with Boot Slippers like this grey pair from Next, I don't really know why but I actually love them for mooching about the house and they are ridiculously toasty warm in winter.

You also can't go wrong with a good hoodie, I normally steal borrow Jon's but I'd quite like a cosy one all of my own and this one from Jack Wills looks so cosy, definitely appropriate for curling up in front of the fire in. I also love these baggy long sleeved tops that are so comfortable and easy to wear but are also okay to wear outside of the house. Topshop bring out a slightly different version every year and I've lost count of how many of them I've had over the years, they really are so versatile, Primark also do a nice version this year which you can see in this post, which are a lot cheaper but I do have a soft spot for the Topshop versions. Vest tops are a staple too as they can be layered under everything for exra warmth and I love this grey version by skin from Net a Porter.

There's also some pretty items on my list which are the kinds of things that I wish I wore to lounge around in but being the coldest person ever I just can't do it. These little new look shorts are adorable and I might actually get them to wear in summer so at least I can pretend to be glamorous at some point in my life. I also love this silk playsuit/teddy from Eberjay/Net a Porter which is stunning, you'd definitely feel like a VS angel in something like this (because clearly not having the outfit is the only thing stopping me from being one...) but I think there's no way you wouldn't feel glamorous in this. I've also become obsessed with dressing gowns at the moment, I already have two (one at my house and one at my mums) but of course I need one at Jon's too so I never have to go without one, This grey version would be perfect but I'm thinking it will more likely be a Primark wonder for me (I do have my eye on a big fluffy polka dot number that is not man repelling in the slightest...might have to find something else aha.)

How do you feel about Loungewear? If your a little obsessed like me then let me know what your favourite brands/shops are, I always love a good recommendation when it comes to being cosy.