Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Empties #6

This is quite soon after my last empties post actually, I must have been very busy over the festive period!  I've been working my way through some non cruelty free items which is good, also some samples I've accumulated over the years!  These will be in the next empties post :)

Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover
Thoughts:  I really liked this, it worked pretty well.  It was a bit oily but this didn't really both me as I would cleanse or tone (or both) afterwards.  
Cruelty-free?: Yes, although there is some questioning about Boots own brands, however their statement seems okay to me.
Repurchase?: No, they have rebranded and it now has a different formula.

Bionsen Stick Deodorant
Thoughts:  I bought this in the hope it would be cruelty free.  Trying to find cruelty free deodorant is a nightmare, especially on the high street or in supermarkets!  It was average, I don't feel like it kept me dry all day.
Cruelty-free?: I emailed them and I got automated reply that they would "endeavour to respond as soon as possible".  This was in September.  SEPTEMBER.  I'm going to assume NO.
Repurchase?: No.

Rituals Yogi Flow Foaming Shower Gel Sensation
Thoughts:  I loved this!  It was so fun because it foamed (such a child!) and felt so soft and lovely on the skin.  It smells really good too even though it's got sweet almond oil in it and I hate almondy things!  
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Definitely! It is quite pricey though but perhaps as wee treat!

Benefit They're Real Mascara
Thoughts:  This mascara was pretty good.  However I found that you would have to leave it to dry for a couple of days before it gets good, I hated it when I first got it!!  
Cruelty-free?: No, they sell in China.
Repurchase?: No.

Lush Ultimate Shine Solid Shampoo Bar (not pictured)
Thoughts:  You can see my full review here, but I just wanted to say how I really liked using this to clean my make up brushes! 
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Yes, to share between my hair and my brushes!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Boost

I've had my eye on this lipgloss ever since it first came out in the Generation Q collection but as it was £14 and I'm not a huge lipgloss fan I decided to leave it.  However just before Christmas Illamasqua were offering 40% off full price items to make up students (it's usually 20%) so I just decided to get it as I probably won't get that opportunity again for a while! I also got the blusher in Kiss which I will be doing a post on too (when I can get a decent picture of it on my face!) and a medium pencil in Spell which is a bright pillar box red.  This cheeky wee discount brought the price down to £8.40 which isn't too bad although still pricey for a lipgloss!

The lipgloss is stunning, according to Illamasqua it's 'blueberry violet', but to be more exact it's a light purple with a shimmery blue duochrome to it.  Alone it isn't too opaque but it is still noticeable and looks really unusual, but over a purple lipstick it looks amazing.

I like that it comes with a brush rather than those ridiculous squeezy tubes or doe foot applicators, but I think that I got a dodgy one because it seems to have a bit of plastic sticking out from the bristles which isn't great!  It's only tiny but still annoying.

Onto the swatches!  Apologies for my gross dry lips... I tried to pick the best one out of a bad bunch haha!  In the bottom two I have applied it over Topshop Inhibition which is a combination I absolutely love!

Bare lips for comparison


Saturday, 19 January 2013

NOTD: The One That Got Away

Today I'm wearing The One That Got Away from the O.P.I. Katy Perry Collection (not CF).  It's a deep pink with similar coloured shimmer in it.  I probably wouldn't have picked out this one if it hadn't been in the mini set I got as it is quite generic pinky colour which I'd usually avoid.  However I do quite like it for a change, it's nice and shiny with a subtle shimmer!


Friday, 18 January 2013

Clubworks: Got It Nailed Nail Decoration Set

Clubworks Got It Nailed

I've mentioned this little set in a few posts.  I received this (along with another 2 sets) from my Secret Santa at work which is amazing because they are BUAV Approved so either it was lucky or they know me quite well!  As far as I can tell Clubworks is a Superdrug brand, although I have never actually seen it in store.  I think that it is a limited edition brand they bring out every Christmas, so apologies if you like the look of this and can't find it - you never know, it might be lurking around in a sale corner somewhere!

I have already worn the green on the far left which you can see here.  These colours are lovely and bright; this is with two coats, no topcoat.  They apply very well considering their price (the Secret Santa budget was £10).  My only complaint is with the two purpley shades, I think instead of the middle pink, they should have included a more neon pink to create more of a difference between the two.

nail varnish swatches

Has anyone heard of this brand, or tried anything from them?


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Night Time Skincare Routine

Ever since the #bbloggers chat just after Christmas which was all about skincare, I decided that I needed to sort myself out!  I would always just use makeup remover wipes every night to take of my makeup, and cleanse maybe once or twice a fortnight?!  I started my transition slowly, I would take off my eye makeup with remover and a cottonball, then cleanse if I was going for a shower if not I'd use wipes to take the rest off when I got into bed (I keep them in my bedside drawer for ease of use!).  Now I have actually got the whole shebang going on: eye makeup remover, cleanser, toner and moisturiser!  How long this lasts remains to be seen but I will definitely keep using eye makeup remover every night and try to do the rest at least twice a week.  The only thing I am missing is an eye cream for night time, feel free to leave me recommendations below!

I guess before I go on I should mention my skin type: in general I am combination but with this cold weather I have become dry, flaky and dehydrated - fun!

Eye Makeup Remover:
The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

I bought this when my Boot Botanics one ran out, I had heard bad things about their rebranding and I didn't want to repurchase.  Amy from A Little Boat Sailing had reviewed this is and said it was quite good so I bought the big bottle in the sale for £4.80 instead of £8.  I am quite pleased with it at the moment but I won't repurchase it straight away as I would quite like to try the Neal's Yard one next time.  I will give it another few weeks then see if it is good or bad enough for a review.
[£8/250ml - The Body Shop]

 Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm

I was lucky enough to receive this at the Neal's Yard Remedies Blogger event in Glasgow last year.  I had my eye on it when we were in the shop and one of the lovely girls had said there would be a sample of it in the goody bag.  However, we all got full size items!!!  It was actually amazing.  I wasn't going to start using this until my other cleanser ran out but I realised it was drying out my skin so I just put it aside and moved onto this.  It is so lovely and soothing.  It comes with a muslin cloth and the balm contains little particles too so that combination gives a soft exfoliating effect when you remove it from your skin.  I will probably do a review on this later on as it's a very versatile product which I would definitely repurchase.
[£37/50g - Neal's Yard Remedies]  

Lush Breath of Fresh Air/Eau Roma Water

Toner is my favourite skincare item, which is pretty weird yes... but I just find it so lovely and refreshing!  Sometimes your skin can feel sticky with cleanser residue and the toner just gets rid of anything left over on the skin.  I haven't tried any other toners expect for the Liz Earle one which was years ago when a family friend bought me the the little starter set, but I really didn't use it and most of it got poured away.  At the moment I am using Breath of Fresh Air which contains seaweed and aloe vera for a refreshing seaside scent.  I am nearly finished this and my friends very kindly bought me Eau Roma Water for my birthday which is lavender and rose water, so I look forward to trying that and deciding which I prefer.
[£7.25/250g - Lush]

Liz Earle Skin Repair in Normal/Combination

As I mentioned above I first tried this when I was given the starter set as a present.  When the moisturiser ran out I repurchased it a few times, often sharing with my mum who loved it too!  Then I fell out of the habit as my skin became more oily and the dry skin one I had was too rich for it.  Now, a few years later I really found I missed it.  I had been using Oilatum (not sure if this is CF or not) but I found it had a funny smell after a while and wasn't very pleasant to apply, and my day one is a Clarins (not CF) one I got ages ago which is mattifying for combination skin - so not good for night time on very dry skin!  I am so glad to have repurchased this, it feels so nice on the skin and smells amazing!
[£18.75/50ml - Liz Earle]


Friday, 11 January 2013

Lush Ultimate Shine Solid Shampoo Bar

Apologies for the stock photo, mine is currently a lump of squidge in my shower!
[Photo from Lush no copyright infringement intended]

I bought this shampoo at least a year ago and it has been lying in cupboard until a few weeks ago when I ran out of my previous shampoo.  I haven't done a shampoo review before as I'm not particularly enthusiastic about hair products, as long as my hair is clean and I can get a brush through it I'm quite happy, so here we go...

Ultimate Shine is solid shampoo from Lush and one bar costs £5.25.

The smell is quite subtle, clean and fresh, but it doesn't really linger on the hair.

It lathers up really nicely and you only need one use as after rinsing it left my hair literally squeaky clean!

Unfortunately this contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate as the main ingredient which is disappointing for Lush, so it wouldn't be suitable for people who try to avoid this.

I actually used this for cleaning my makeup brushes as it works really well for that so I can't say for sure how long it would last if you used it solely on your hair.  I would say that for me - although I haven't finished it yet - it seems to be lasting a similar time as a 100ml bottle of shampoo, with me washing it about twice a week.  So it would probably last slightly longer than this if you weren't using it to wash your brushes!

If you have not used a shampoo bar before, don't be scared of them!  They are actually fine, albeit slightly messy to work with.  I recommend keeping them in a soap travel container rather then then tins you can buy from Lush.  I got one of the tins the first time and it just gets stuck, it sort of suctions itself once it's wet making it very difficult to get back out again!

Once dry my hair did look a bit shinier I think, and I got quite a lot of comments from people asking if I had dyed it!  I think that because I had been using a colour protecting shampoo before, when I moved onto this one it stripped any dye residue which had been holding on?!  I don't even know if this is possible but that's my theory!  I also found myself washing my hair less often but then again that could be sheer laziness and nothing to do with the shampoo!

I would repurchase this, however not straight away as I have ordered the Liz Earle shampoo and conditioner so I'm looking forward to trying them!


College #3: 19th Century Hairstyle

I am putting this under the heading of 'college' rather than the previous hair tutorials I have done because this probably isn't something you would be creating for your average night out!  We are doing 'Postiche and Padding' unit of hairdressing where we have to create styles from 19th, 20th and 21st century.

This was my first attempt at a 19th century (1800s) style which I roughly copied from my research.  It's not perfect but I was quite pleased with it so I thought I'd show you all!

19th century hairstyle

hair tutorial

  1. I decided on the area where I wanted to fit on the padding.  Because I looked really big I used two pieces.  Then I started pin curling the area.
  2. Finished pin curled area.
  3. I attached the padding and secured with hair pins.
  4. Next I backcombed the hair surrounding the padding to create volume and thickness.
  5. I folded all the backcombed hair in, smoothed the top, and folded it in under itself using more hair pins.
  6. I took the whole front area and curled it using tongs, then ruched it and piled it on top of the head.

19th century hairstyle
Finished front

19th century hairstyle
Finished back
19th century hairstyle


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Rory Update!

Rory is now (roughly) nearly 4 months old!  We don't know when exactly he was born, but going from how old the woman we got him from said he was, I am guessing he was born around the 16th of September.

He is getting so big, it's hard to tell because I'm seeing him everyday but looking at photos now, and then ones from when we first got him you can really see the difference!

He is the sweetest kitten ever when he is tired, he loves cuddles and being snuggled up really close.  However he has these crazy turns where you would actually think he is spawn of the devil.  He rounds around mental and attacks everything that moves: bare feet, other cats, fingers, hair...  I can't wait for him to stop so all my cuts can heal :(

We took him outside for the first time which was fairly unexciting.  He was in a harness (photo below!) which used to be Tia's from when she was a kitten, so it is pink!  So cute!  Even though he had kept making a mad dash for freedom every time we opened the door, once outside he was very wary of the surroundings and didn't go very far.  The second time I took him out and he literally just stood on the patio and shivered, it was so pathetic!  He will be neutered in a couple of months and then he will be allowed out by himself so I'm not sure what he'll think of that.  It's probably better if he is a bit scared and just stays close by - nice and safe!



kitten cuddles
Cuddles with dad!
Best Friends!






He has bonded with Theo which is good because the girls, Tia and Kali, hate him haha!  They do a lot of play (sometimes it gets a bit more serious...) fighting, and Rory pesters the hell out of him but most of the time it is in a friendly sort of way.

Wearing his harness, adorable!!

He was washing and then forgot he'd left his leg up there....

kitten up the christmas tree
On the day before the decorations came down, he discovered he could climb up the tree!

Taking a risk by cuddling up to Kali

This is the first photo of him when we brought him home, for comparison
And lastly, here is a photo of Tia on Christmas Day so she doesn't feel left out!



Monday, 7 January 2013

NOTD: Emerald Green

Clubworks green nail varnish
Clubworks green nail varnish
Clubworks green nail varnish
Clubworks green nail varnish

This is one of the nail varnishes from one of the Clubworks set I got from my secret Santa at work.  I went for this colour as I had recently heard about how the Pantone colour for 2013 is emerald green.  My camera really made the colours go funny so I added a couple to try and show the true colour, the best ones are those in the middle.

It isn't completely opaque and has a sort of semi-jelly finish and it applied quite well considering it would have been quite cheap.  I used two coats for these photos.

I didn't find that it lasted very well but I went to work the day after applying it which is really tough on my nails, and then over the next few days it peeled off half a nail at a time!  However, again, considering the whole set (6 plus nail file and stickers) probably wouldn't have cost more than £4 I think it's not too bad.

I am going to do swatches of all the colours in the set on a nail wheel very soon.


Friday, 4 January 2013

Empties #5

Here is my first empties post of 2013!  I've actually had these lying around for ages and ideally I wanted this post up on the 31st of December, but between one thing and another that did not happen!  Never mind, better late than never :)

Boots Provitamin and Avon

Boots Provitamin Colour Radiance Shampoo
Thoughts:  Pretty average shampoo, but I do think it helped prolong the colour I had in my hair.  I was only using it to use it up though after a while so I really didn't need that as I was/am trying to get the colour out of my hair!!
Cruelty-free?: Yes, although there is some questioning about Boots own brands, however their statement seems okay to me.
Repurchase?: Unlikely.

Boots Provitamin Colour Radiance Conditioner
Thoughts: Not the best conditioner as I found it left my hair quite tangled. 
Cruelty-free?: As above.
Repurchase?: No.

Avon Foot Works Sugar Lime Mojito Exfoliating Scrub
Thoughts:  I did quite like this, smells really good and felt nice to use.
Cruelty-free?: No.
Repurchase?: No.

Neal's Yard Remedies and Montagne Jeunesse

Neal's Yard Organic Facial Wipes
Thoughts: These smell really nice as they are camomile and lavender so perfect for bedtime.  They weren't much use for taking off eye makeup but seeing as that's not really what they're meant for I will let that slide!  They stayed nice and moist (gross word...) for ages too which is good, nothing worse than getting to the last few wipes to find they're dry as a bone!  The downside for me is the price, at £5.50 a pack it's not something that I could afford on a regular basis.    
Cruelty-free?: Yes, BUAV Approved and suitable for vegans.
Repurchase?: If they were reduced!

Montagne Jeunesse Strawberry Soufflé Moisturising & Purifying Masque
Thoughts:  I'm not a big face mask fan but I won this along with a white chocolate one in a giveaway so I decided to give it a go.  The cold weather made my skin really dry and dehydrated so I went for this one as it seemed the most moisturising of the two.  It smelled good but unfortunately it irritated my skin!!  I still left it on for the recommended amount of time (oops) as it wasn't that bad and it didn't have any last effect on my skin but it was uncomfortable.  I think my skin just became really sensitive because of the weather too?!
Cruelty-free?: Yes, BUAV Approved.
Repurchase?: No.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Some Christmas Pressies!!

I do love seeing what people have got for Christmas, it's so exciting!  I've decided to do a sort of abridged version just including my bigger presents rather than going through every sweetie and pair of socks haha!

I wasn't expecting much this year as I'm over 21 now and apparently that's the age when everyone decides you're too old for presents!  However I ended up with a good wee haul anyway, I am very lucky!

So first, one of my main presents from my mum and dad was the Sigma Mrs Bunny Travel Kit, which also comes in black.  I got this on Black Friday when they did free international shipping, and I also treated myself to the Kabuki Kit!  It was then passed onto the parents and put away until Christmas.  I really like it, it comes with synthetic versions of the E40, E30, E55, E65, F30, F40 and F60!

Makeup Brushes
Makeup Brushes

Next is a coat I wanted from work, I brought it home a week before Christmas like, can you buy me this for a present?  They didn't even wrap it :( I've not had it on yet but I love it, and it was a bargain too!

Faux fur leopard print coat

I got loads of books this year!  My Auntie Tricia got me the Enid Blyton Adventure set, and my parents got me the new Jodi Picoult book, Lone Wolf.  I'm looking forward to reading these, Enid Blyton takes me back to my childhood!

Enid Blyton and Jodi Picoult Books

My Auntie Tricia also got me Lgns London Roses & Diamonds perfume which I had asked for.  This is a BUAV Approved company so finally I can have some fancy cruelty free perfume!  It is also pretty cheap too, I think it's about £20 for 30ml.  It smells so nice but you don't need to take my word for it because they send out free paper samples - which I had already got.  There is also another perfume called Serenity which I haven't tried, and they are currently doing a deal where you get a free mascara when you buy that perfume.

Cruelty free perfume

I got this bag from my Auntie Heather and family.  It's so big and squishy, I love it!!  I'm getting a bit fed up of my tiny little bag so I am going to transfer everything over into this one.  It means I can get a nice big purse to go with it too!  I'm not 100% sure which it's made of which worried me at first but I think it is faux leather - hopefully!

...And my Auntie Tricia gave me this wee charm too (she spoils us!!!) so I attached it onto my new bag!

From my mum's friend and her daughter I got a Soap & Glory set which I was really excited about.  I've never actually tried any of their stuff so I can't wait to try it out and see if they live up to the hype!

Soap and Glory set

And finally from my neighbour, a L'Occitane hand cream set.  The packaging on this is just stunning, I'm definitely keeping the box!  Sadly L'Occitane started selling in China last year so I wouldn't be able to repurchase but I'm sure this will keep me going for a while!

L'Occitane Hand Set

Have you got a favourite present from this Christmas?

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