Friday, 29 April 2011

New Primark Pieces April 2011

So another trip to Primark, actually to return some things resulting in another spend, although only 5 items, 3 of which were jewellery and sort of don’t count!

Starting with the jewellery, a love or hate item, I found this gorgeous triple fingered flower ring. There were only small sizes left and this one loose ring with no packaging but which fits perfectly, so I am not sure what size I eventually got. I personally love it, I am all about big statement jewellery and for only £2.50 a bargain! Surprisingly the rings are all a slightly different size to accommodate for the fact that your three fingers are slightly different sizes, so it fits better one way round that another. Small detail I noticed!

Next this beautiful elephant head long length necklace in a lovely ‘dirty’ gold colour encrusted with yellow/gold stones. I do not like the chain as much since it is more of a yellow gold, and to my eye doesn’t match as well on closer inspection, so if I can find a better chain at some point I will replace it. Considering I make jewellery as a hobby I know it would cost me £4 or more to get a pendant like this so I do not consider it a waste. I also brought a tusk necklace which, although long, is slightly shorter than the elephant, but matches and fits in well to wear as a pair if I chose to. I like addition of the brown rope chain in the design. It reminds me of the necklace J-Lo wore back in her first ever music video, anyone else remember?

Finally I picked up this sheer loose fit top. It has an elasticated waist where the excess fabric is all gathered, with a slight sleeve. The fabric is not your typical sheer shirt fabric, with more of a textured effect/feel to it. I picked up the coral, they also had white, violet and green. These were £10 each and I plan to style with both skirts and jeans.

I have spied some nice things on other blogs but I am going to try and resist the temptation to spend, I won’t ban myself though since that never works out well!

Top 3 Products…..

…… can never have enough of.

I found this blog post about beauty products women seem to have an infinite supply of, and thought I would share my personal top 3.

1. Scrunchies - I always have my hair tied up at home, and generally take scrunchies on and off in my bathroom, but somehow they always disappear and I end up buying more!

2. Lip balms - I have these all over the place, there is always one in whatever hand bag I am using, bed side table, bathroom cabinets. That being said I can never find one when I really want one!

3. Face masks - I always have multiple in my cupboards and these are the only things I don’t use up before starting another, since what I use is determined by my mood, the time I have and the effect I want.

Please share you personal top 3 with me either as a blog post (give me the link) or just leave a comment below :-)  

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Avon Anew Eyeshadow Review and FOTD

Thought I would post a face of the day, showing what is in fact my typical face most days! I love this look, it conceals, enhances and most importantly is quick and easy!

I have been finding myself getting ready in a rush these days. I don’t feel made up without a little eyeliner and mascara, but I do love eyeshadows. 

I have had the Avon Anew lifting eyeshadow in golden for a while now, I am not sure why I originally purchased but it is meant to lift and tighten sagging lids and reduce puffiness. Although I have been using this frequently for the last week I cannot say I have noticed an affect, although on the Avon website there is mention of results being seen after 8 weeks (if this needs to be consistent use, then I suspect I will not see a result!)

The colour is a beautiful light bronze/golden tone, which is very shimmery. I tend to apply this all over the lid and look complete. A small amount applies very smoothly all over the eyelid, and the total amount given is very generous, so I expect it will last a while. The applicator is a brush, but I tend to add a little to the centre of my lid and then work it around with my fingertips. I would say that this could be used as an eyeshadow base, however it does crease quickly, and this shade is very forgiving (I never actually noticed until I took photographs), but darker eyeshadows on top may not be. I like the light this shade gives to my eyes without being too made up, so I may well purchase some of the other lighter colours to use in combination. 

As for the rest of my face, the usual; bella pierre mineral foundation, bourgeois mineral radiance, mememe blush in rouge and eyebrows!


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sunday Night Thoughts #5

I hope everyone is having a lovely easter weekend. I love London in the sunshine, the good mood it brings to everyone and how pretty it makes everything look!

Now at the risk of sounding like a kill-joy, I hope everyone is protecting their skin!! Being a science graduate (and a skin care geek), I went to plenty of lectures about skin, cancers, and skin cancer, and remember being very scared by the things I was told. What I do think is good though, is that every summer, in magazines and on the television we are told about the best ways to protect our skin. Where with some topics, I find the information, confused and contradictory, with regard to sun protection I don’t think that there is any reason that people are not sure of the best way to use and apply their sun screen/block.

So just to add to the masses of information out there, I wanted to remind all of a few key points, since one thing which upsets me a lot, is the sight of burnt skin.

  • Sun screen should be applied at least half an hour before sun exposure, take advantage of being able to strip off in your room and apply fully all over. Then reapply every 1-3 hours. Sun block on the other hand provides instant protection. 
  • Be generous with it, you’ve brought it, you won’t be able to use it again at a later date, so use it!! I think as a rule 1 standard size bottle for a week away, per person! With sun screens in particular cover yourself so your skin is white and let it soak in if you want the full protection.
  • Factor 15 or higher, preferably higher, with UVA and UVB protection.
  • For those of you who sit under an umbrella you still need sun screen! It only blocks out 50% of sun rays. 
  • Ladies, take advantage of the opportunity to wear that oversized hat, and that colourful printed coverup you brought!!
Having learnt that a tan is essentially a sign of damaged skin, it has changed my view somewhat, and I am not disappointed if I end up the fairest in my holiday group. It does seem strange to me that the majority of the year round we use anti-ageing moisturisers and serums and when the main culprit of skin damage literally shines on us, we abandon our concern and expose as much of our skin possible. 

This is a subject I could actually ramble on and on about, especially when you start to think about different cultures viewpoint on tans/skin colour, which sun protectors actually do the job, if different parts of the worlds rays are different and who is the most at risk of serious damage. However, I will stop here and make my final plee with all to protect your skin!! Would love if people would comment on good reasons not to get a tan, mine is the money I will save not having to buy another shade of foundation! 

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Scented Carex Hand Gel

It may seem odd to do a post all about antibacterial hand gel, but I was really pleased to find these offerings in Boots today.

Ever since I received a lovely coconut scented hand gel from Bath and Body Works after my best friends trip to the States, I have always been disappointed using my Carex moisturising hand gel. It is amazing how much difference the scent can make in your enjoyment of using a product, which is essentially alcohol. I have used the ‘caribbean escape’  sparingly knowing that I won’t be able to get my hands on any more bottles soon! The scent is very strong and lingers for a long time after you initially use it.

On promotion for £1 each, Carex have now introduced scented hand gels, ‘relaxing’ lavender and rosewood, and ‘refreshing’ grapefruit and lime aroma. The consistency and way you use the gel, is the same as any other antibacterial hand gel. I would not consider the scents subtle, but there is still the strong scent of alcohol accompanied, which ruins it somewhat. I can’t help but compare the scents to the Bath and Body Works, the combinations do not quite work as well for me. The refreshing scent is very citrus and probably the one I prefer of the two, since the lavender smell of the relaxing scent comes second to that of the alcohol. Both then last for a similar amount of time on the skin as my Bath and Body Works fav, but the smell doesn’t quite fill the room as the Bath and Works does, which every time I have used, people have asked where the coconut smell has suddenly come from!

I do think these are great value, and I like the pump system for being able to control how much gel you use. I did spy a Soap and Glory scented hand gel (also a citrus scent), but at £2.50 for a smaller bottle I opted for two Carex ones instead! I am pleased to see that there could be a trend for scented hand gels, and that sometime in the future I might be able to find something close to my caribbean escape!   

Friday, 22 April 2011

Halo Eye Makeup Remover Wipes

Just a quick post about this amazing eye makeup wipes from Halo. I showed these briefly, in my vitality haul post. I picked these up initially for the hygienic hand and deodorant wipes, with an offer of 4 for £3 and decided to opt for the eye makeup remover without really too much thought or expectation. Of the three items, these happen to be the ones I am most impressed with, now wishing I had brought more!

Stored in a small pink packet, each containing 30 wipes, one wipe is enough to remove any makeup from both eyes completely (including waterproof mascara!). The wipes are gentle, fragrance free and really effective. I use these on my way back from a night out, since generally I prefer oil based eye makeup removers, however, for the sake of getting into bed quicker, these come in really handy! They are about the size of your palm, and are slightly textured. Additionally, considering I do not use them that regularly, I have not experienced an issue with them drying out.

I am yet to spot these wipes in Tesco or Superdrug, which is where I was told they could be found retailing at £1.99. As a bonus with these packets, 10% of the profits go to Cancer Research UK. These Halo wipes have certainly changed my impression of eye makeup remover wipes, and I will definitely repurchase and keep a packet of these in my handbag at all times. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Skittles Nails of the Week

Having had a nail polish break, I decided to come back with the skittles look. I love doing this in the summer when the weather is good, adding to that happy feeling.

Featuring 5 Barry M colours; lemon ice cream, spring green, turquoise, (Boots special edition) lilac and bright pink.

I know the look is not for everyone but I love it, and it doesn’t clash with outfits as much as you might think! 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Outfit of the Day - Wide Leg Trousers

I am so happy the sunshine is here!! I brought these trousers last week,  being instantly attracted to the print. For my body shape, I am actually surprised that they are flattering (well at least I think so). I love how feminine I feel today, with the comfort and confidence that I would get from wearing trousers, but that ‘pretty’ feeling that you get from a skirt.

I styled the trousers very simply, with a black t-shirt, and an large waisted belt. The trousers are high waisted so generally I feel that they look best with something which breaks the body into sections. A more loose fit top would have worked well also, although I do not have one!

The shoes I chose, may not seem to match but the height works perfectly, and the majority of the time the shoes do not actually show through which means that it works well. I also added my Primark flower necklace, and flower double finger ring from Aldo.

Lets hope the sunshine continues! 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

No7 Extravagant Lashes Mascara Review

The label on the picture may say new, but I actually purchased this mascara a while ago when it was first released and being heavily promoted by Boots. It has sat in my mascara collection since and is finally its turn to be featured in my makeup bag.

I have previously reviewed the No7 Extreme Length mascara, which I have numerous sample sizes of from No7 promotions and actually really like that. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the extravagant lashes.

The main feature of this mascara is the square shaped applicator, which is made up of a series of square disc stacked ontop of one another. As you can hopefully tell from the picture, its is the corners of these squares which are then used to apply the mascara. Although this design means that the wand picks up a lot of mascara, as someone with quite big eyes even I found this too big to use without it being awkward. I find myself being scared each time that I will end up transferring mascara all over my eyelid and now rarely apply mascara to my lower lashes. I am not sure what the logic behind the square applicator design is, but since I don’t recall seeing any other brands using it, I imagine it hasn’t been successful.

The mascara claims; volumising, lifting and curling effects. I did notice a slight curling effect, considering I do not always curl my lashes before applying mascara. The main effect I noticed was a huge amount of clumping. I believe this may be due to the formulation of the mascara, which contains a polymer (similar to eyelash glue I believe) which is meant to provide the curling effect. This makes the mascara feel sticky on the lashes, and also clumps. Also having spoken to a No7 assistant, the strong PVC glue like smell is normal, and is also due to the polymer used. She even told me that they do not actually advise this mascara!

On the positive side, the colour is very intense and because I do not like wastage, I will strictly use this to the 6 month advised time, and promptly replace!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

‘The Flick’ Winged Eyeliner Stencil

My vitality show purchase, an eyeliner stencil called ‘The Flick’ and black gel eyeliner by Saffron. I have always struggled with doing winged eyeliner so this seemed like a perfect solution. The kit comes with two stencils. I have to admit at first I thought, why? since if you just turn it over it will be fine…… then I thought that through :-)

They are made of a flexible, but not flimsy plastic and allow you to place over your lid and fill in the area you want your eyeliner. You determine where to begin your eyeliner and how thick, and all I do is try to match up the edges with key point on my face, for example, placing part of the plastic up against my nose or inner eye so that I can get approximately the same area on the other eye and make the liner even. The only difficulty I have found is this initial lining up and making sure you are holding it down well so that you do not end up ‘colouring outside the line’. It is then just a case of practice to achieve the look you are going for.

The eyeliner provided is by Saffron. It is extremely creamy and applies easily and then ‘sets’ so that it is nearly smudge-proof. I have been impressed with the intensity of the black which lasts throughout the day. The brush supplied works perfectly with the stencil since it is small and dense. However, since I always like to take my eyeliner to the inner corner, it also works well to let me do this free hand. I have also tested out its water-proof capability and it has passed the test!

My first, through to my most recent eyeliner attempts using ’the flick’. As you can hopefully see, the first attempt was a much thicker and a longer ‘flick'. My most recent was more subtle and a thinner line, which is the way I prefer to do my eyeliner on a daily basis.

I am sure both the eyeliner and the stencils can be found reasonably priced on eBay, although I have not checked since I probably paid more than I should have, but I am impressed with both so I can get over that!

Blinc Resurf.a.stick Face Review

A lazy microexfoliator stick, designed for use once a week. The product claims to give skin a deep clean, removing dead skin, and reducing the appearance of fine lines, blemishes as well as evening out skin tone. I purchased mine on eBay for significantly cheaper than the £30 price tag, I have seen on the salonskincare website (which is the only UK stockist I have found after a quick google search).

I have a mixed opinion on this product, having now used it for a few months. I initially used once a week as recommended, and then every so often would increase that to twice a week, as and when I remembered/could be bothered. Although I have dry skin, I have never suffered too much from the effects of over exfoliation, feeling only that it was beneficial in helping me to get reduce/get rid of my scarring.

After wetting the stick, you gently press it to your face and in circular motions, work all over your face, pressing as hard or lightly as you feel comfortable with, for 1-2 minutes. At first the feel of the exfoliating crystals was a little odd in comparison to traditional exfoliating beads. You then rinse your face throughly, since I have found that if you do not, when you then go to moisturise you can still feel the small crystals on your face. Immediately after, as with most exfloiators, my skin felt smooth and looked clear. The product boast being a hydrating product, and this is very true, unlike other exfloiators, once you have rinsed, it feels as though there is a moisturing film left on your skin which is maintained.

In terms of the negaive aspects, as much as I like the convienience of using the product as a stick, I have found that a lot of product builds up around the edges, as if I am wearing the stick down more than I should. Considering the price, I do not like to feel like I am wasting anything! Another issue is that, over time, I do not feel the exfoliating effect as much as I initially did. Although I appreciate this may be down to the fact that I have got used to the sensation of the crystals. I wouldn’t say this one product has improved the condition of my skin overall, but it has certainly helped in preparing my skin as a good base for the other products I use.

Again as with most things for me the price is a down point, especially when I feel that there is wastage. I would purchase this again, hopefully finding another UK stockist on eBay or just waiting until I am employed and can afford it. There is also a body version, which is essentially just bigger to cover the bigger areas, and I would love to try this where I have scarring on my upper arms.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Face of the Day - War Paint (featuring Sleek)

Having got the disappointing news that I was not selected for the job I wanted, I needed war paint today to stop myself getting too down about it all.

I have been experimenting with my Sleek palette a lot recently, as well as my eyeliner stencil (which I think I have finally got the hang of), and really like the look I achieved today. 

This look was achieved by placing peach gold on across the outer two thirds of the lid, then taking parfait and concentrating that in the inner corner before bringing it lighting across the rest of the lid. Concentrated in the crease is bittersweet and a tiny bit of the colour stone. Finally belini was used as a highlight. I apologise I did not have the foresight to take pictures step by step, but I do intend on doing another tutorial soon. 

A mid blink picture which actually showed the eye makeup well! What do you think of the lipliner over gloss application?……..yea I can’t tell the difference either. 

My face with finished off with the usual suspects at the moment, Sleek sugar may gloss, and ELF mineral apricot lip liner, and mememe blush in rouge. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment part 1

Last night, I went to the Bare Escentuals make-up masterclass hosted by make-up artist SJ. It was a lovely event, the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and I found myself surrounded by a store full of BE superfans. Only recently did I post about my favourite mineral foundation, (which is not BE), so feeling quite shameful, I had to say that I was not a bare minerals user but that my sister is, and loves it (which is true).

BE is a brand I want to love, but I just can’t agree with the hype. None the less, the class was very good, a typical promotional event, with as many product plugs as could be given, but I understand that. I did pick up a few extra makeup tips to try, for example, using lip liner after gloss, which although sounds odd looked very pretty. We were then assigned an ambassador between 2 and given our ‘make-unders’. For the third time, I was colour matched, and again a completely new shade to previous times, but I think on this occasion, having come home and had a chance to look at my face in different lighting that I now have the correct shade. I was told that this shade is new, so maybe I should forgive the previous matching attempts.

This was the makeup look achieved. Looking at it now the eyes are a little dark and I personally would have blended out more! I do really like the eyeshadow and blush used, and I like the fact that these are sold in good value kits which are matched for skin tone.

Having reserved our places for the master-class for £15, we were able to redeem this against any purchases. I was most intrigued by the new skin care range, which I have just found online is actually a revamped range! This includes two cleansers, two moisturisers and an overnight make-up treatment. Another lady attending asked why no toner was included, and it was said that it is not needed with the routine because of the properties of the cleansers. It didn’t sit well with me though that they said ‘we may create a toner since we know people like using it’, so you don’t actually think that a toner is needed with your routine, but you will happily let me buy one?

I did purchase the overnight treatment, but with a huge amount of doubt. Firstly, it is made out of active-soil, a blend of 73 minerals (if I remember correctly) which BE have put together. The product makes a number of claims, that it will shrink pores, yes you read correctly, not reduce the appearance, but actually shrink pores (you don’t need to ask me why I purchased!) It also claims that it will increase cell turnover, thereby evening out skin tone and improving blemishes. All sounds great. Then came the part that really bothered me. I asked how does it work? I can’t remember word for word what was said but something like this, 'positive energy from the soil-complex (minerals) is transferred into the skin promoting the mother cells to replenish’ ‘as skin ages the cells become more negative, this helps in transferring positive energy to the cells’ ‘plants grow from positive energy from the soil'. I must admit I was pretty shocked to hear this and restrained myself from commenting. I must point out that no where on the packaging, or on the skincare leaflet is there mention of the product working by 'positive energy’ nor actually the claims made by the make-up artist this evening with relation to actually shrinking pores rather than just reducing the appearance. Apparently, there is convincing scientific evidence of pore shrinkage, however, they could not show this since the subjects have not agreed for the images to seen, but maybe in the future.

The thing is, after all this negativity, I still purchased, purely from being completely intrigued by it. It is expensive, but having read mixed reviews, being sceptical now, I can only be pleasantly surprised. I do believe that a concentrated mineral treatment could have beneficial skin effects.

As I mentioned this does act as a night make-up, and being a medium skin tone, I was given the medium shade to use. The studies have reported changes in 8 weeks of use, so beginning last night and without changing any aspects of my skin care if I don’t have to, I will be carrying out my own study for you. I have taken close up pictures of my skin in the hope that in 8 weeks time or less I will see an improvement.

I would love to hear from anyone with a positive experience of this product, maybe save the negative until after my trial!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Probably my only foundation review…….Bella Pierre

After the longest title ever, this post is a review of my favourite, and only foundation that I now use, Bella Pierre Mineral Foundation.

I first discovered Bella Pierre after being stopped at a shopping centre and asked if I wanted to try their foundation out, I agreed and sat down and was then colour matched and explained the benefits of minerals in general as well as their product. I had been aware of the idea of mineral foundations previously having used an L’Oreal version (which I know isn’t a true mineral foundation) and having seen other brands.

There are a few things that made me love Bella Pierre the most, compared to other brands. Firstly and most importantly, every time I have sat down to be colour matched, I have had the same shade selected. Every makeup artist/sales assistant has picked the same colour for me first time, I have no idea how they do this, but it gives me a huge amount of confidence that when I do hand over money I am walking away with the right product. I personally hate the process of shade matching and have ended up disappointed with other brands when I have come home and realised they are clearly not right.

Another plus of Bella Pierre for me, is that the foundation acts as an all in one under eye concealer, blemish concealer and setting powder. Other brands will try and sell you separate components to cover these areas and I have never seen the value in this. I like to know that for weekends away, holidays etc, I can use this one product.

The finish on it in my opinion is perfect, I don’t get any transfer, it covers marks and evens out my skin tone well with what I consider being a light application of product. It also lasts fairly well throughout the day without a primer. I believe you can layer it up to be full coverage, although in my opinion there is a fine line between it looking great and then looking overdone, as long as most marks are concealed I am happy. The key for application is to keep buffing the product in, occasionally I will also use a small, dense concealer brush to add extra foundation to any blemish on that one area rather than all over. There is a temptation for me to pick up the Vichy Dermablend just for times that I do want full, flawless coverage which is why I probably said this will be my only foundation review! However, I am aware that with that product it will have an expiry point and potentially be wasted on me since I am happy not having full coverage on a daily basis. The benefit with this mineral foundation is that there is no expiry.

Other points to mention, having dry skin I have not found the foundation took look cakey or to cling to dry patches, which I would expect since mineral foundations are meant to be suitable for all skin types. It also contains SPF which is great if you are not in the habit of applying sun protection daily.

The cost is probably the only negative, only because I have always been a drug store brands girl and never paid more than £12, so anything more than that seems very pricey. If you buy from House of Fraser, the loose mineral foundation is £34 for 9g of product. I was told that this should last you a year if used daily. I don’t actually remember when I started using it to judge if that would be true. I personally brought a starter kit which included 2 brushes and a blush suited to my skin tone (based on my foundation colour - cinnamon) which was better value for me since I did not have the suitable brushes. If you were interested in this foundation, I would recommend visiting House of Fraser for a colour match, then going home, seeing how you look and feel with it and then decide. The staff I haven’t found to be extremely pushy which is always a good thing (plus you can find the foundation cheaper with some sellers on eBay!)

Now, the moment I have been dreading, the scary bare faced photos. I really dislike my face without makeup, so it is scary for me to be so bare, and I am sure the camera makes my skin look worse than it is! Anyway, needs must, since you will only see what I am raving on about with this foundation with before and after photos.

Up close, my clean, bare skin, unevenness, blemishes, scarring, large blocked pores, the works, everything I am wishing I will solve with a good skin care routine (suggestions welcome!!)

Using just the Bella Pierre foundation as an under eye concealer, blemish concealer and all over cover. Before and after! 

My everyday face, adding a bit of blusher, contour and filling in my eyebrows to look a little more acceptable. Done.

I hope this review was helpful to someone! Let me know your experiences with Bella Pierre or any other mineral foundations if you have tried it. 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

TRESemme Waterless Foam Shampoo Review

I do not use dry shampoo often, but I imagine we all have those days where we have not made time or are just being lazy and a touch up is needed. Although overall I would just rather give my hair a good wash, I have liked the TRESemme dry shampoo, spraying it on to my roots letting it sit for a while and then ruffling it out, getting rid of the grease and adding a bit of volume too, reviving my look.

I then spotted the waterless foam version and thought that having curly hair this may act to remove the greasy patch and revive the curls a bit. The directions say to work it through your whole hair and then rub with a towel to finish the style. Considering the product is aimed at dry, frizz prone hair, rubbing with a towel doesn’t seem like a good idea!

Using two pumps I concentrated most of the foam at my roots rather than working through to the ends as suggested. I didn’t notice any particularly strong scent to comment on and just rubbed the foam into my roots and scrunched it into the hair further down. Although it worked to remove the greasy look, my hair looked wet where I had applied it, which I did not like. Maybe I apply too much? Since it left my hair a bit ‘crunchy’.  I also didn’t notice any moisturising effect considering I do have dry hair and the product is aimed for dry hair.

Although it does work to get rid of the grease, I just find it difficult to use and is the reason why I won’t be repurchasing. I don’t hate it enough to stop using it when needed, although I may begin to work it through my whole hair just to get through it faster!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Thank you Truly Madly Beauty

I found a parcel on my bed this morning and knew instantly what it was, having entered a give-away on Truly Madly Beauty’s blogspot and won, I was anticipating its arrival.

First inside the parcel, 3 polishes by 17. Lilac storm, mint choc chip and orange soda. I can’t decide which of these I like more!  

The main prize, a now unavailable holographic nail polish by GOSH.

How stunning is the holographic nail polish?! In my excitement I only tried it on the one nail but now I can’t stop staring at it, it almost looks surreal. I also love the colours of the other polishes also included, I don’t actually have any similar in my collection and I have never tried 17 polishes so I am looking forward to trying these out. In fact before this I had also never tried GOSH so I will definitely be checking out the rest of their range on my next shopping trip.

So THANK YOU so much to aysha from Truly Madly Beauty, to anyone unfamiliar, check out her blog, it’s fab! Receiving this package really made my day and got me excited about potentially doing my own contest/give-away in the future so someone gets to feel as good as me :-) 

Thank you again 

Nails of the week - Barry M Lemon Ice Cream

You may have spied my nail colour this week in a few of my previous posts. I read somewhere that yellow was the celebrity trend this spring/summer, which prompted me to get out my yellow shade. Generally I have only ever used this on the one nail, when I have gone for the multicoloured look. Admittedly, when I first applied I wasn’t keen, but with the sunshine we have had over the last few days I have grown to love it.

As with all Barry M polishes, the application was easy and 2 coats was sufficient for good coverage. If you are conscious of the nail tip showing (which is more obvious in the photograph), a third coat should deal with that. It has been 4 days of wear so far, and no chips. Unfortunately, the photographs don’t give a great representation of the shade, looking more of a bright yellow than the pastel shade which it is.

It cannot go unnoticed that I love Barry M, I hope that no one is getting tired of seeing their swatches but I just love them! In fact, I delayed posting this, since after a peek around on their website I noticed that they have 3 new nail effects/crackle shades! I think it goes without saying that I NEED to get these. I had been hoping to see if I could find them in stores and include that this weeks post, but I haven’t had the chance to get into town. When they do appear in the shops, you can be sure that will be my next look!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Outfit of the day - Maxi Dress

Another outfit post, I am loving the weather and making the most of being able to wear summer clothes while it lasts.

If you did check out my last Primark haul post, then you would have seen that I purchased a beautiful blue maxi dress. Completely by luck after having it hang in my wardrobe for a few days, I noticed that there was a cut at the bottom of the dress :-( I quickly returned it, but didn’t manage to find any blue ones left and instead picked it up in the black. I wasn’t completed disappointed since I had been wanted to get a black maxi so I could accessorise it in lots of different ways.

I am hoping to do a post in the near future featuring lots of pictures of the different ways I accessorise this one dress, but for now this is a very simple look. The cardigan and belt were both purchased from Primark last year, and the shoes from a local market stall.  

Fingers crossed the good weather continues!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Outfit of the day - Playsuit

I love my playsuit, I remember aways wearing these as a kid in the summer. A little more of a grown up look now though, with tights, an oversized cardigan and belt, I love how this has turned out and I think it is a completely appropriate way of styling for the english warm weather we have today. I’ve paired it all with shoe boots, I love to add heels to an outfit to make me feel extra feminine. Top it off with a hat and minimal jewellery and the look is complete.

Let me know what you think. I would love to replace the cardigan with a well fitted blazer, but I am still on the look out for the perfect one.

omgPOLISHem 100 followers giveaway!

As you are probably aware by now I do love a bit of nail polish and art. omgPOLISHem is doing a massive giveaway marking her 100 followers. She has some amazing prizes she on offer (as shown in the picture above) and I wanted to let all my lovely readers know about it (and help my chances of winning too :-s). If you haven’t already, click on the link and check out her blog, follow and enter. She is very talented and creative with her nail art so I am sure you will enjoy. 
In the mean time I have my fingers crossed for expanding my collection :-) 


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sunday Night Thoughts #4

Tonight feels like the right night to talk about the name of my blog and my whole reason for starting. Please don’t take this as a pity post, or attention/compliment seeking, I just intend to be completely honest and share a side of myself which I might not choose to if I was asked face to face and I certainly haven’t spoken about in detail with anyone in my life.

I have never considered myself to be an attractive person, I always saw my features as being a bit odd. This impression of myself was negatively reinforced by being bullied at school and I can specifically remember times when people commented on the way I looked, laughing and mocking. I briefly mentioned last week, that even my own family would comment on how I looked. I know I was an easy target at school, I was shy and awkward and to a certain extent I still am. I can’t help but feel that image of myself has carried on through until now in my late 20s and it does make me insecure, even about forming friendships with people. Having also suffered from acne I am sure many can relate to the insecurity that brings. I thought that once I left puberty behind me my skin would be spot free and flawless, instead I still break out and have scars I won’t even deny that there are days when that really bothers me.

However, with age comes a confidence and an acceptance of yourself. I think at 25 I became really comfortable with who I was as an individual. I knew my character, my beliefs and I noticed that I liked the way I think about things and how I treat people. I think it was really important for me to find things about myself that I liked, since feeling good on the inside, takes you half way to feeling good about how you are on the outside. After all only on the days where I am feeling a little low do I look in the mirror and not like the reflection. I believe it is so important to have that inner level of confidence that is completely your own and not reliant on others impressions of you. It was at this age I also became more interested in beauty, I found a means of escape in watching YouTube videos, practising makeup looks and nail designs. It was the creative outlet I needed at a time when I felt very pressurised.

The major turn around for me was last year, having got into a fight, my character was put down and I was told how ugly I looked, how the scars on my face made me so unattractive. Without context I know that that won’t sound like a big deal, but I don’t want to go into that. Needless to say those words rung in my head, even stopped me going out for a few days and I avoided looking in the mirror for a long time after. It was only when I clicked that I never ever wanted to feel that way again and I certainly didn’t want to think that was true, that my impression of myself changed permanently. The thing is, as I mentioned, in that fight, my character was put down too, but it was only those words ‘you’re so ugly’ that really bothered me, and I can only think that is because I was happy with who I was/am as an individual, but I was always insecure about the way I looked. In a twisted way I should be grateful that that whole episode happened since, after that I finally applied all that acceptance into the way I looked and started to find things that I liked.

‘Discovering Beauty’ is was happened after that. I still have my off days, but on the whole I feel so much better about myself. It was important for me to first recognise that I let myself be made to feel bad, then to find my outlet and things which made me feel better about who I am. Luckily these things all work on positive feedback, or a cycle, which ever way you like to see it, so working on the inside helps with the outside and visa versa.

I thought it was important to do posts like this sunday night series as a reminder that we all have deeper layers and that although I may post my opinions of products and makeup looks, there is always more to someone than meets the eye. I hope that I can inspire someone to look at themselves and see things they like, not to let comments consume you and try to turn negatives into something positive.

With love all,

Ayshe (Discovering Beauty)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Nails of the week x2 Feeling Blue

In keeping with my peach themed week I decided to go for ‘Apricot Punch' by Rimmel as this weeks nail polish choice.

From the same collection as last weeks cranberry zest, this is also a fruity polish. I love the colour, however, I had so much trouble with this polish that I just can’t find anything good to say about it in terms of finish. First of all it was extremely streaky even with three coats. I patiently waited for coats to dry in between application and even after that and thinking that my nails were dry I managed to smudge two nails and get an imprint on a third. I have never experienced this with a polish before, and cannot think of a reason why since I did wait for it to dry. It is such a shame since it is such a lovely colour but I can’t see myself picking this out of my collection again.

In the end, I decided to go back to Barry M and selected ‘Cyan Blue’, a deep sky blue colour it is just the sort of shade which matches the colour blocking trend this spring/summer. Standard to my experience with other Barry M polishes, two coats was perfect, no streaks and dried without smudging it. I have never worn all blue on my nails before, but I really like it.

I decided to go one step further and make the shade matte, with my matte magic china glaze top coat. Finally with the konad stamping kit and new stencil plate, I added a butterfly to my ring finger in white. I had always tried to repeat the pattern I was going for on each finger, getting frustrated when they weren’t all straight/even, so I really like the effect of having one print on a single finger.


Friday, 1 April 2011

Me Me Me Blush Rouge

I only own three blushes, an ELF blush and bronzer duo, Benefit Coralista and a pink Bourgeois one. I tend to reach for Coralista on a daily basis since I love everything about it, but I know it is not always suitable!

I have had my eye on MeMeMe blushes for a while, I have heard they are very similar to Benefit, the packaging is almost identical but they only have 4 shades, a bronze, pink, coral and peach shade. Each are beautiful, I love the bronze shade but I don’t know how often I could wear that and opted for the shade ‘rouge’. I am always nervous swatching products in stores since the lighting is so misleading. I assumed from the name rouge would be a red shade but it is actually more of a peach/orange tone. Although it is not a matte shade, it does not have a lot of shimmer and to me makes it more wearable daily than coralista. It is also more pigmented than I expected so only a light touch is needed and I imagine even with daily use this will last for a very long time.

Coralista above and Rouge below, both with blended and unblended swatch
Other blog posts have compared rouge as a potential dupe to coralista, which at first got me very worried that I had chosen the wrong thing! However, I do not think this at all. If anything MeMeMe’s coral shade may be more comparable although I have not looked at them together. Rouge is far more of a peach tone in my opinion while coralista is more shimmery and is more pink.

I am really pleased with my purchase, and would love to go back and pick up the other shades in the future. You can find MeMeMe in Superdrug and the blushes usually retail at £8.50, at the moment they are on promotion for £1.50 off making them £7 each.
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