Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Uni is OVER!!

Finally! As many of you know I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. I have been so busy with all the work and revision that I have had no time at all to do anything. I have posted some fairly quick blogs but now I am very pleased to say that they will be much more in depth and planned. Yay! There's other aspects of life that I need to spend time sorting too. This week I have started a diet, making sure I get plenty of exercise, and today I am starting to apply for jobs. I already feel like a weight has been lifted - I've not had time to do anything for pleasure for what feels like forever, so I'm looking forward to getting back to reading, writing for pleasure, and crafting. I will be blogging about all of these interests in the not too distant future, and I cannot wait! The future is definitely looking bright with so many opportunities to come!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Review: L'Occitane Lipstick

I have to admit that I am a total lipstick failure. It took me so long to be able to get the confidence to be able to wear any kind of lipstick, which probably sounds ridiculous. But most lipsticks seem to look terrible on me. With MUA having so many lipsticks for just £1 each, I was able to try a few different colours without spending much money at all - if I didn't like the colour it wouldn't matter if I just threw them away! But, I liked a few of the nude and pink shades and while I was feeling brave I purchased a nude L'Occitane lipstick and I absolutely love it! It has turned into one of my favourite products, and I very rarely go anywhere without it now. I love it because it's so moisturizing - it actually feels more like a balm to wear and my lips always feel so much better after wearing it.

This colour is called "Rose Sequins" which the L'Occitane website refers to as a "sequin pink" which I think is a great description of it as it comes out much more pink than it looks in the stick.

As you can see it's a lovely nude barely there shade which gives a lovely shine when caught in the right light, but it is by no means glossy or shimmery, which makes it perfect for daytime wear if you're a lipstick fiend. Even with my fear of lipstick, I feel comfortable and confident wearing this in the daytime because it is such a subtle and pretty colour, which gives just the right amount of coverage without looking over the top.

If you'd like to try it out for yourself, it'll cost you £12.50 and you can get hold of it here

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

XXXtina Is Back!

It's no secret how much I love Christina Aguilera. She is my absolute idol and role model and has been for the past decade. In fact, more than that, I don't even remember when my obsession with her began. To me, she is the perfect woman. She is immensely talented, beautiful, sexy, with a warm personality to boot. However, in recent years she has been slated in the media for gaining weight, despite speaking out about being pressured to be as skinny as possible in the past. As I have mentioned in my Samantha Brick post, I feel very strongly about image and weight issues and pressures, particularly in women, so it has been awful to sit back and watch the media tear Christina to shreds for gaining a bit of weight - which let's face it everyone does around her age especially after having a child.

Christina recently tweeted a picture of herself showing off what appears to be a new svelte yet curvy figure.

It's wonderful to see that Christina is once again looking absolutely amazing, and personally I think that her body is looking better than ever. No wonder she can hardly keep her kit on!

Leighton Denny Crystal Finish

Hello ladies, since I have been posting my nails of the week, I have had a few people ask me how on earth my nails last me for a whole week. I keep hearing the same complaint that after only a couple of days, your look has been ruined due to chipping. I cannot express enough how much of a difference a high quality top coat really makes. By sealing your colour with a top coat you will not only achieve a high shine look, but it will also ensure that your look stays in tact for however long you want it to.

I choose to use Leighton Denny's Crystal Finish which is the best top coat I have ever tried. My nails are strong anyway, but after using Leighton's products for the first time, I was shocked at how glossy my nails both looked and felt - they were like glass! I know that a lot of you ladies won't want to spend £11 on "just" a top coat, but I can't tell you how much money I've saved since using this product. I now indulge in any cheap nail colour that I see because I know that I will still be able to achieve the high sheen look that I love, and that I will be able to keep it on for 1-2 weeks. This means using less colour polish as no touch ups are necessary through the week, and of course you only need to spend 10-20 minutes on your look for the whole week. If your nails are in and out of water a lot you may need another quick coat of Crystal Finish halfway through the week, but this is something that I have never had to do personally.

If you'd like to purchase Crystal Finish you can do so here or if you would like to bargain hunt there are plenty to bid on via Ebay (if you have the patience). Let me know if you try it!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Nails of the Week: Coral Glitter

It's a new week which in my world always means new nails! The lovely weather we've recently been enjoying is now starting to dwindle, and we're preparing for rain (boo!) so I wanted to make sure I kept a bright colour on my nails to help cheer me up. I tried taking pictures of these nails from several angles because the colour doesn't seem to show up brilliantly in photos, but they are coral and I sealed them with a glitter top coat for extra sparkle. I'm not 100% sure on the brand but I think this particular polish was from a Colour Works set from Superdrug which I received as a stocking filler for Christmas. 

This is going to make me sound quite odd considering how much care and attention I put into my nails, but not much makes me cringe more than filing my nails, however, I was play fighting with my boyfriend which resulted in me accidentally leaving four huge scratches all down his arm. I'm not even joking, he was bleeding pretty bad! So, I have filed them down slightly and squared them off a bit, which I intend to do a bit more but by the time I had done this I was really starting to feel ill! It's weird isn't it?! But I think it's making them look even nicer so I will continue in a few days!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The INSTANT Skin Fixer Lurking in EVERYONE'S Bathroom Cupboard....

So ladies, first of all I have to say yes I am serious! And secondly I need to point out that this is not my discovery, neither do I use this method. As I have before stated I do fortunately have very good skin at the moment, however, I do have a friend (who shall remain nameless) who has struggled with acne and finding something that not only helps but also instantly improves the look of skin instantly.

Her plight has not been helped by the fact that she has very sensitive skin and often finds herself coming out in terrible reactions to quite a lot of different brands, so trying new products is often a scary and wasted process. In desperation, one day she was searching through her bathroom cupboards and found something that nobody had ever suggested to her, but she noticed that the small print claimed that it can help acne. Why not? Nothing else was working. So she applied it all over her face and rubbed in well before bed and within a week noticed a big difference in her skin. After a while, she realised that it also made a huge difference when used as a base coat before applying her makeup.

So, this product helps:

  • foundation grip to the skin
  • fill and smooth the skin
  • improve blemishes
  • makeup last longer
  • combat redness
So, what is this miracle elixir?! Well, believe it or not, it's actually Sudocrem! 

Seriously, who doesn't have this in their house somewhere? In case you don't believe me, my friend has supplied me with before and after pictures, all taken in the same evening. From left to right: natural skin, foundation only and finally Sudocrem as a base with foundation on top (no concealer). 

I absolutely promise you that these photos are completely unedited. I know what you're thinking! "Oh my goodness I don't want to look this pale!!" It will not make you look this pale. I assure you that my friend is ghostly white to the point that she does look ill without any blusher, which she has specifically avoided using in these pictures so you can see how dramatic the Sudocrem results are. 

If you would like to try this instant skin fixer, I would suggest to only use it if you have bad skin. For someone like me who has clear skin, it is not for you. It will make your skin look ever so slightly paler than usual if you use it as a makeup base, so you may want to use slightly darker foundation than you usually would. You only need to apply a small amount and of course a tub of this is probably sitting in the bathroom somewhere. Not to mention that if you start to use it regularly, it is cheap enough to buy once every month or two, though you probably won't need to restock that often.

I strongly suggest that any girls suffering with bad skin give Sudocrem a go, and if you do, please let me and my friend know how you get on!

My Skincare Routine

As I stated in a previous post, I do like to look after my skin and very rarely get any spots or blemishes, but I spend hardly any time or money on it. I simply wash my face daily with Clean and Clear exfoliating wash and then moisturize with Garnier Essentials hydrating day care cream. The only other product that I regularly use is the Good Things 5 minute facial mask once a week for a really deep clean through my pores. This routine keeps my skin clear and soft which means that very little effort has to go into hiding blemishes while applying my makeup, which is just how I like it! One thing to remember is that everyone has different skin so make sure you use the products that suit you. Even some unbranded products can be brilliant - I love the Morrison's own face wipes for removing makeup and a friend of mine says she won't use anything besides the Tesco value ones - it's worth having a go with some of the cheaper products because your skin might just love them! You'll save yourself so much money in the long run too!

Friday, 10 May 2013

The 10 Minute Face

Especially since being at university, I have had a lot of girls tell me that they wish they could do their makeup like mine - if only they had the time. This is something that truly baffles me because on a daily basis, I spend no more than 10 minutes applying makeup before leaving the house, and if I really can't be bothered it's only 5. I believe that you simply need to use the right products, so in this post I will be sharing what I used and how to create my daily look. After all, if I can look nice in only 10 minutes I absolutely assure you that anyone can!

To create this look I used:

BB Cream in Ivory from Avon (the main reason why this look is so quick!)
Concealer from MUA
Mascara (Rocket Volum' Express) from Maybelline
Eye Shadow Primer from Avon
Eye shadow Undressed Palette from MUA
Pressed Powder from Models Prefer (now called YBF)
Bronzer from MUA
Cream Blusher Models Prefer (now called YBF)
Eye Liner in Black from Bare Minerals
Lip Gloss in Sugar Cookie from Bare Minerals

The biggest tip for anyone who wants to be out the door quick in the morning is to make sure you look after your skin. A good skin care routine will mean that you don't have to spend loads of time covering up blemishes and clogged up pores, and ironically, the heavier makeup you apply to this bad skin the worse it will get. I much prefer to take my makeup off whenever I can, wash it daily and apply moisturizer daily. This means I very rarely get any spots and a bit of BB cream and concealer is all I need as my base.

Once I applied my concealer to my problem areas (baggy eyes mostly) I applied my BB cream - this is done within about 2 minutes. Then I applied my pressed powder to set it. I then applied my blusher - using a cream blush will mean that you can literally slap it on and rub it in within seconds - and that's not even an exaggeration! A little bronzer means I can pretend to have caught the sun in this nice weather and then my eye shadow primer goes on, which means that my shadow won't budge throughout the day, making it a necessary extra in my opinion. I recently invested in this MUA "Undressed" palette which is amazing. At only £4 for 12 creamy colours you can achieve almost any look for almost no money at all. Bargain! I then swept a tiny bit of eyeliner on my water line and applied a coat of mascara, leaving just the lip gloss. 

And this is what the end result looks like:

I hope to create a "groomed yet natural" look by using fairly nude colours and using BB cream instead of foundation is a great way to keep your skin looking fresh without caking it in heavy makeup.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Reasons to Become a Pilgrim

Everyone who really knows me is aware of my love for Deal or No Deal. I remember when it first started, my Mum told me that Noel Edmonds was going to be back on the TV, spending an hour opening some boxes. We both thought it seemed like an odd, and to be honest, a rather rubbish idea for a show, but we gave it a chance anyway as I used to absolutely love Noel when I was young. The idea soon caught on and we absolutely loved it. A few years of working full time interrupted my love affair with Deal slightly but the decision to go back to education and start working towards my degree meant that I could yet again immerse myself in the boxy love on Channel 4. I am now just finishing my degree and over the past 3 years I have not quite become obsessed with the show... but certainly had my fair share of enjoyment from it. Over those 3 years I have tweeted along at 4pm and so become good friends with the Banker on Twitter. It was only this past Christmas that I received my card from one of my best friends Jo, which had the Pilgrim (audience member) confidentiality form tucked inside it. Yay I was actually going to see a live show! You can't even imagine my excitement. So I tweeted the Banker to let him know that I was going & he instantly replied saying he would call me for a chat while I was there - and he kept his promise! His voice is seriously amazing! His tweets regarding my phone call lead me to make even more friends on Twitter - Pilgrims and hardcore Deal fans are some of the nicest people I have ever met (& not met!). Since then we have been back twice and every time we are left desperate to go back for more, it's just a shame that my friends and I can't get the same days off very often!

So, with all that in mind here is my list of "Reasons to Become a Pilgrim" at least once:

1. I seriously cannot stress this one enough. It's free!
2. The atmosphere inside the Dream Factory is absolutely crazy. The moment you step in the door it feels like you're at a party - enough to cheer even the most miserable gits up!
3. It's a fabulous day out. My girl friends and I don't engage in much drinking anymore (particularly with one of the group now being pregnant) so it's a great way for us to do something together.
4. Both Noel and the Banker are incredibly quick witted, which means that you know you're going to see a good bit of fun and banter as the boxes are being opened.
5. You get to see how a TV show is made. We were both surprised and impressed that the filming runs so smoothly.
6. You get to see Noel Edmonds up close and personal. Not going to lie. He's hot.
7. If you are lucky and get to see a decent win you will see someone improve their life massively. It is so amazing to see someone turn their life around within the space of a couple of hours.
8. If you're interested in the Deal or No Deal game play and reading the board like I am - there's really nothing better than seeing it live. It'll make you change your mind on how you read the board too. Especially if you see a heart breaker.
9.You will get your face on the Television. This isn't really appealing to me to be honest but my friends love it!
10. The overall experience is amazing. Every single person we've come across while we have been there has been lovely, including all the staff and crew members.

So, as you can see, it is well worth becoming a Pilgrim at least once! Go to for details.

Nails of the Week

This week I wanted something simple but effective. I didn't have a lot of time to play with nail art so that is when a different colour comes into play for me. I'm afraid this colour doesn't actually belong to me so I can't quote exactly what the colour is called but I do know where it came from. It is part of a set that Boots were selling around Christmas time - a Strictly Come Dancing nail set that was full of bright and sparkly numbers. This one really reminded me of summer and the glitter really shone in the sunshine on Monday when I spent the day at deal or no deal with the girls. My only regret is not taking a picture quick enough (I did them Sunday evening) as they are just starting to chip around the edges! Another Example of how having nice nails for a week doesn't take much time or effort!