Friday, 27 July 2012

Freebie Friday | Freebie BB

Since the recent explosion of BB Creams into the UK make-up world every company has bought their own out which means an abundance of accessible samples. The three that appeared on my radar were Maybelline Dream Fresh BB, L’Oreal Revitalift 10 Repair BB Cream and Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector. Each company sent out 3 sachets of product storing between 1-2ml each (more than enough to cover your face in each circumstance).

With L’Oreal Revitalift I didn’t check the shade of the sample before putting it on, presuming I had requested the lightest shade and was shocked at how dark it (Medium Tinted) was. I do have fair skin but this was like applying facepaint so I threw the other samples out. It did apply fairly easily but ends up drying into the skin; I’m unsure if you can see from the photo but when applied to the back of my hand it went quite patchy and actually peeled in places. It does contain SPF 20, which puts it above the Garnier product in terms of protection, but below the Maybelline one.

Maybelline Dream Fresh has SPF 30 which is pretty good, but it don’t know if working towards this coverage has affected the consistency in any way as it is different to the other two, it’s incredibly watery this makes it hard to blend without spreading it too much. However, if you used small amounts to add to your natural glow I think this would work well. It makes the skin look dewy but not overly so. It says it’s an 8-in-1 product but I think this is its main attribute.

Garnier is the least liquidy of the 3 which could possibly be why it is my favourite, as I find the concentration makes it easier to work with. It would make a good base, or give a light coverage if you already have lovely skin. I used the ‘Light’ shade of this, and unfortunately I do think it’s still a bit dark for me. I find that all the creams have a light fresh scent and this is strongest with the Garnier product which could put some people off, but is something I find quite enjoyable.

Overall I think BB creams are something that represent different things to different people; whilst I think that the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector is the best product I would be reluctant to buy a full size bottle as it creates a dewy effect and I’m very much a matte girl. If I had a long time to prep my make I might consider using Maybelline Dream Fresh as its final finish is nice and natural, however, if I’m in a rush it’s not going to make my morning routine any easier. The only one I won’t be in a hurry to try again is the L’Oreal version, however I did notice today they do have another version L’Oreal Nude Magique which perhaps I might get on better with..

You can get your own samples using these links; L’Oreal Magique Sample or try L'Oreal Revitalift,

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Correspondence Club

There is an American blogger called Nnenna who runs a project called ‘Correspondence Club’ since I have an unnatural love for receiving mail I couldn’t wait to get involved. The premise is simple; each month you say you fancy getting involved, then are paired (via email) with another blogger whose url & address Nnenna sends out to you. You check out this persons blog, write them a letter and include a little gift to make them smile.

The first one I was able to get involved with was July and I was paired with Jessica from BeautyGnome. I wrote her a rambling letter, then wrapped up some nail foils, a lipstick and a freddo! (Freddo’s aren’t sold in the US).

Shortly after I found this adorable little envelope on my doormat containing a cute little letter, some page flags (something I actually love at the moment, hello the 100s of books I have to read for my dissertation) and adorable little woodland creature stickers.

If this sounds like something you would like to get involve with you can check it out here; Join the Correspondence Club

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Birmingham Bullring Haul

You might be saying ‘why is a girl on a spending ban doing haul posts?’. Weeell. Firstly, I am quite weak willed, and secondly, I was offered the chance to go to Birmingham and I’ve actually never been before despite it being fairly close to my uni home. It turned out to be a pretty good day, and because of the ridiculous summer sales (and a few surprise freebies!) I don’t feel too bad for shelling out a bit of cash during what meant to be my month of restraint.

Firstly, heres what I wore; Jacket – H&M // Shirt – Primark via eBay // Skirt – H&M US. It felt nice to wear something feminine as I'd been stuck in my work uniform for ages. To give it a bit more edge I tried the double floral, a trend which I'm a bit in love with.

We went straight to Birmingham Bullring because it was raining, and you don’t even have to really leave the station to get there. My first purchase was these Topshop ‘Leigh’ Jeans for £15. I was originally looking for floral jeans but I have a bit of a thing for yellow and these were my measurements. They are super soft and stretchy and I have fallen in love with them a little bit. (However, I am also at risk of turning into my 13 year old emo self if I run out of adult ways to wear these. If anyone has done an OOTD with yellow , please link it below)

I think went into H&M, why are there not more H&M’s in smaller places in the UK? And picked up this playsuit for ridiculous money - £5! - as well us some napkins (exciting) for 49p.

This dress is from the Fashion Against AIDS collection for H&M. I got it for half price at £7. Unfortunately it photographs like a optical illusion, but in real life is a bit more lovely and has an amazing fit. I actually found H&M seemed to have a lot of clothes in for ladies with less ample bosoms, I was impressed.

Then out of the blue we met some ladies advertising Special K. I got a t-shirt and a little Special K goody bag, which to my surprise had a full size Max Factor 'Ruby Tuesday' Colour Elixir Lipstick in. Not bad at all.

On the hunt for lunch we passed the ‘Malibutique’ where we sipped free cocktails and picked up this Models Own freebie. It’s a nice thick gloss which smells (and a little bit tastes) like Malibu. I also had used some Boots points to pick up a lipliner in Rose.

After lunch, I had one of the most restrained Primark trips that I have ever done. Can you tell from the photo what type of shirts are my favourite? These cost between 4-6 pounds, however I also saw a cat print one on the way to the checkout so may be picking that up soon.

Despite 90% of my clothes already having collars I picked up this necklace from Dorothy Perkins as it was £2 down from £10 and means that I can pretend all my clothes have collars! (Excuse the beautiful reflection of my phone).

I was surprised how much self-control I exercised around so much sale jewellery since usually this is my weakness, but it might have been because I received one of the things I had actually said I could get during No Buy July.

The eBay listings for 4 rings ended on the 8th and they appeared at my doorstep on the 17th, which is not bad for a Chinese listing. Baring in mind I paid 81p for four, I was unlikely to be disappointed regardless of what showed up. But they are infact, amazing and came in the most adorable little boxes which will be recycled for Christmas. You can check out the seller here.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


The title of this post looks overly aggressive if you don't read it properly the first time, but I couldn't think of anything better to name it! When I say 'dye' what I'm talking about is simply changing the colour of your clothes to different (better) one. I have dyed clothes once before; I dyed some black highwaist shorts black. I know that makes me sound crazy, but I wore these shorts aaall the time and couldn't stand the fact that they'd faded because of the numerous washes.

This time however I branched out a little bit as the item I chose to dye was a bit too dark to accept colour as it was (I should probably introduce the item I chose to play with. It’s a yoga jumper from Sweaty Betty which I love since it has thumbholes, but don’t wear often because of its ugly grey/green colour, which oddly does not show up in the photo) so I purchased Dylon Pre-Dye. I was a bit wary of this as it has to go inside the washing machine, something I’d rather not be responsible for breaking! The instructions say to put the item on the hottest, longest wash then add in the pre-dye mixed into boiling water. I chose to do this in my student house - less backlash if I accidentally dye the floor -  and didn’t really fancy the expense of the longest wash so stuck it on for the standard 30 minute quick wash. The pre-dye mix smelt absolutely disgusting so I quickly poured it in the drawer and let it be. 

30 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised, my jumper had lightened to a yellowy/green colour. I put it back in for a quick rinse to be sure there was no residue left on it. Then set about prepping the dye. I has been waiting for Wilkinson’s to re-stock pre-dye for so long that I couldn’t be bothered to wait for them to get the pastel colour I wanted to try out, I  picked up ‘Burlesque Red’ instead. This is an odd choice of name since even the picture on it is a displays a maroon/purple colour. Hand Dying takes 15 minutes of constant attention and 45 minutes of ‘checking up on’ so that the item moves enough as not to absorb more dye into creases.

I am quite happy with the final product, I think the burgundy colour is nice for sports/leisureware and the process to transform this into a new item was releatively easy. I will definitely be using these dyes again (especially at £2.99 each), and would probably purchase the pre-day pack (£3) too providing the smell comes out in the wash as I really dislike it!

Please excuse the horrendous photos, I was using my phone :/

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wonderful Wednesday ♥ Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

I will openly admit that before I received this product as part of a mystery package I had no desire or knowledge that I needed cuticle balm in my life. However, I am now a little bit in love with this 8g pot of lemon scented cuticle cream.

This pot is supposedly a ‘sample size’ but it actually contains half the product of a full size jar (that retails for £5.99) so is a fair amount product. The first thing you notice is that it smells luscious, similar to lemon and honey cough drops. The smell absorbs into the skin when the product is applied, leaving smooth, scented skin and no greasy residue.

The second thing about this butter is that it genuinely works wonders. I have a (horrible) tendency to bother the skin around my nails when I’m waitng or nervous and this cleans these blemishes up quickly and leaves the nail bed and surrounding skin feeling soft and healthy.

This tin has graduated from my desk drawer (for application when removing/apply nail varnish) to living in my hand bag so I can massage it into my fingers whenever I have a bit of free time. I would be interested in trying out Lush’s Lemony Flutter, but considering this pot has a shelf life of 12 months and will probably last me that long even with frequent applications I probably won’t be converting any time soon.

You can purchase this product here, or in Boots stores, and I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday. x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Deep Fried Freckles

I recently spoke to Malia Carter (from Deep Fried Freckles) and she asked if I would consider 'reviewing' her blog, I put reviewing in inverted commas as I am not entirely sure I'm qualified to review another person's blog! There were in fact two things that swayed me into agreeing to do it; one, her blog is good! and two, her blog is not the same as traditional blogs...

Malia's blog infact contains a few less words than most blogs that I have stumbled across and this is because she uses it to showcase her (excellent) graphic illustrations. I infact came across her first when Abelia, from Abelia's Corner, showcased her new blog button which featured a shiny watercolour(?) portrait by Malia.

Deep Fried Freckles in fact contains a fair few pictures of members of the blogging community, I particularly like the one of Laura (Petit Chatons) shown here on the far right. However, Malia also spent two years studying fashion before switching to graphics and many of her drawings include beautiful clothes. My personal favourite (below) is an image of two models wearing aztec print swimsuits which she designed.

 As well as posting these faboosh mixtures of paint and computing Malia often includes a few words about each picture which I like reading and has (very) recently added a 'Printables' page which despite being 20something years old and not ever thinking I needed colouring pages before is very appealling to me! There are line drawings of people and faces, as well as some cute images of food and cosmetics which can be downloaded by readers to be used for whatever your heart desires.


Since this is meant to be a review I will just stick in a tiny critique which is that her links bar does not match the rest of the blog since it uses a different font than the rest of her sidebar links/titles. But, realistically you'll probably be too distracted by the pictures to even notice this!


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wonderful Wednesday ♥ The End of June

Today is unfortunately not a wonderful Wednesday for me due to circumstances beyond my control (and now because this post is going up late it is actually Friday!) However, it does have one redeeming factor about it though, as I am back down South for a short period of time. This excites me for many reasons , not least because for the last week I have been stuck in an empty house working overtime - woo. This means that I haven't really done anything particularly exciting, but I do have a few cute photos to make up my roundup of last month.

I booked my driving test! Yes, I'm 20 years old and cannot drive. Cringe. - Had to walk through this ridiculous collection of pigeons - Adorable loo roll at my friends house
- I passed this as I came out of the tunnel to exit the station. I was a bit down at the time and this reminded me to smile. - I picked up my Olympic accreditation pass. - A Reeses cab which drove past me, I had to snap a pic to send to my old housemates in Canada. If you've never had Reeses Cups you should check them out (: -
My very old puddy-cat taking a nap. - I had such a craving for Egg Custard Tarts the other day (and was able to indulge since it was before my spending ban was introduced) - the Roberto Cavalli jubilee crown

Hope Everyone Had a Wonderful Wednesday, and here's to a good July! x

Monday, 2 July 2012

No.7 Natural Blush Cheek Colour

I recently tried out a few blushes (mainly baked ones cos they look so snazzy) but found myself making my way back to this product. No.7 Natural Blush has been my staple blush for a few years now mainly because it’s classic and easy to wear.

Admittedly their is not much choice within the range as these ‘Cheek Colours’ are only available in  4 shades. I have tried others but my favourite is 10. Soft Damson (how do they choose the numbers when there are only 4 colours?). They use a fairly sheer, powder formula and come in simple 5g pots, which is the same weight of product you’d find in a traditional Nars blush.

Soft Damson is a matte carnation pink. To my eye it also has a very subtle peach undertone. Each of the four shades seems designed for a certain skin tone and Soft Damson is definitely for the paler girl and it works to enhance the cheeks with a nice girly glow but isn’t overpowering. However, depending on your personal choice it is also fairly easy to build up as it has quite good pigmentation. It also has amazing staying power, and I very rarely have to re-apply during the day/ night-out.

At £9.50 a pot, i think it’s a good, mid-range product. Plus, with the ever present Boots £5 off vouchers it becomes an excellent, low-end product.

Do you use these blushes? What's your staple brand?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

No-Buy July

I don’t know if it’s having my own blog, or just reading other blogs that makes me continually want to buy and try new beauty products, but something defininetly causes me to have a minor shopping addiction. I finally realised the other day just how much make-up/skincare/haircare etc I actually owned, and how much time I spent browsing shops (either online or in real life). Unfortunately, this prompted me to work out a rough estimate of my yearly spend. I’m not going to tell you the figure I came out with but later, when I read an article (which I won’t be linking as it was horrendously sexist) which included the quote that women spend over £100,000 on make-up in their lifetime I realised that judging by the rate I’m going - and the fact I intend to have a greater income when I become ‘all grown up’ -  I’m probably not going to disprove that statistic.

This prompted me to go through the exciting process of what I’m grandly entitling ‘No-Buy July’. For the month of July I’m not going to buy any new cosmetics (with a few tiny exceptions which I will list below) and I’m even going to go one step further and attempt to not buy any “unnessecery” clothes or jewellery. aaand, cos I have soo much willpower, I’m going to attempt to stop purchasing all the silly foods which seem to make there way into my basket. My last shop featured Egg Custard Tarts, White Chocolate Buttons and Brownie Mix... none of those can be turned into a meal!

Anyways, please wish me luck! And if you are participating in anything similar (I know that Angela at High Heels and Hairspray is currently working on a 5 out – 1 in beauty budget) then please let me know?

PS: The things I am allowed to buy;
MUA Professional Shade 12 Heaven and Earth Pallette (if I am lucky enough to stumble upon a Supedrug that stocks the ‘Professional Range').
A Ring from eBay, whose listing unfortunately ends during July!
The Primark Handbag featured in this video. I very rarely like the look of Primark bags, but I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that business-like black beauty.
AND foundation/powder if they run out. I am, quite simply, not willing to go foundation-less!

Freebie Friday | Nivea Q10 Day Cream

Q10+ Anti-Wrinkle (for Normal to Combination Skin) Pore Refining Day Cream
I’m not sure what this product aims to do most; help fight the appearance of wrinkles or minimise the appearance of pores. As a wrinkle cream I don’t need it so much, however, I’m quite interested in pore treatments at the moment. I recieved three 1ml samples and I slapped a sachet (there is a generous amount, more than enough for my face) on one morning a few minutes before doing my make-up and it created a good base and made my skin feel moisturised and soft. It smells a bit like sun cream, due to the fact it is an SPF 15 product, but not to the extent that it drove me mad.

A 50ml pot retails for £9.99 in Boots (and the entire Q10 range is 2 for £12 there at the moment) and I did indeed take advantage of this offer and pick up 2 pots of this.

I can't find the exact link for this sample, but Nivea often have samples of various products that you can check out here.

PS: Because the Q10 brand is undergoing a re-vamp, a lot of their products are beings sold cheaply in Wilkinsons. The Original version of this, which doesn’t claim to be ‘Pore Refining’ (it infact has slightly different ingredients) is £5 for 50ml.

Other samples pictured;