25 May 2010

Weekend Summary: car boots, handbags and ice-cream...

We had the most glorious weather this weekend, I hope you all had a lovely couple of days, it really felt like summer with the smell of sun lotion and BBQ's in the air.

Here’s what my weekend involved...


My fiancé and I went to visit some friends in Melbourne, the little village in Derbyshire, where they had recently moved to. It was absolutely charming and beautiful. It made me think of a real life Sylvanian Families village (my absolute favourite when I was little!) It was full of quaint little stone cottages...

Beautiful yellow corn fields...

...and swans waddling around the lake...

(Pics from Google except for the above which was taken by moi!)

I loved how the shop fronts were so retro and the front doors of the little cottages were all painted in various pastel shades. We definitely want to settle down somewhere like this to raise a family, it was blissful! We ate at a local pub were I had my much loved bacon and brie sandwich with redcurrant jelly, it’s become somewhat of any unhealthy addiction, I seem to be eating it every weekend, it's just so delicious!


We set off to another car boot. Despite there being double the amount of tables we’ve seen in the past due to the lovely weather, no furniture caught our eye. Instead, I saw this sweet pink jug for £2, I'm planning on putting some flowers in it...

and this Iacucci Italian leather bag...

I bought this for £25 – pricey for a car boot but cheap considering how much the these bags cost brand new. (The lady said she'd paid £200 but I'm not sure whether to believe her!) It's lovely and soft with suede inside. I love it, it has a hint of a Mulberry Bayswater about it and I needed a lighter coloured bag for the summer months so this camel tone is perfect.

We spent the rest of the day in a park that's nearby to our new home. It was huge, beautiful and very peaceful. We strolled around hand in hand, relaxed on a blanket to browse through house magazines, ate one of these...

... then finished with dinner at The Orange Tree, where I had a yummy croque monsieur and chunky chips.

It really felt like we were on holiday this weekend, let's hope the sun remains for the upcoming bank holiday weekend! I also experimented with some Lancome goodies, Xen-Tan and some products from the new makeup brand Une. Reviews to follow soon...

24 May 2010

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup

New from Clinique is their Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup - a product designed to treat skin whilst also providing a beautiful base.

Clinique's new anti-blemish solutions liquid makeup promises to camouflage blemishes, neutralise visible skin redness and help conceal the appearance of pores. Not only this, but the main concept behind this foundation is to actively treat blemishes. And, even during those times when you're lucky enough not to have any blemishes, continued use of this foundation maintains moisture balance and controls oil to safeguard skin against future breakouts. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, it claims to give up to eight hours of a skin perfecting, natural finish that doesn't sacrifice on comfort.
Here's a demonstration of the product in use...

Over the past month I've been using this foundation daily and from the first application I've loved it. The colour match (Fresh Ivory) was perfect - a rarity for me, I find all the foundations I own to be too pink or too dark. This is the first high-end foundation I've used and I have to say it's better than any other I've used before. Which is fantastic for my skin, but not so great for my bank balance!

One of the first things I noticed about this foundation was how lightweight it felt on my skin. This is ideal for the summer months when I still want to wear makeup but like to feel fresh faced. Despite feeling 'barely there,'
Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup gives a good amount of coverage. When I first used this product I had a small cluster of blemishes on my chin and it covered them perfectly without the need for concealer. It also disguises the scattering of fair freckles I have dotted along my cheekbones. Once applied (I use my MAC 187 brush) my skin is left looking flawless - what I've always wanted to achieve but never quite managed. I must try and do a FOTD to show just how lovely this product is.

One of the big perks of this foundation is the oil control. A common complaint I've had with the drugstore foundations I've used is that they've left my face with an oily sheen, particularly under the eyes and on the nose, despite me having 'normal' skin. This means I need to liberally apply face powder to mattify the bits that shouldn't be giving off a glow!

However, with Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation, I was left with a matte finish and most impressive of all, my nose didn't need powdering until about 4pm. Usually 10am sees me reaching for my powder to de-glaze the shine that has accumulated on my nose. It's never occurred to me before to try an oil-free foundation but it really makes a huge difference. It lasted all day without the need for any touch ups. In fact, this foundation managed to hold up throughout the tropic-temperatures this weekend, very impressive!

Overall this has a big thumbs up from me. Anything that leaves a beautiful finish as well as treating blemishes is a winner in my eyes. I'll definitely be purchasing this in the future.

Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup has an RRP of £20.00 for 30ml and is available nationwide at Clinique counters.

Allergy Tested. 100% Fragrance Free. Oil-Free. Dermatologist Tested. Ophthalmologist Tested. Non-Comedogenic.

*This is an advertorial post for Clinique

21 May 2010

Soap & Glory - Mighty Mouth 3 in 1 Lip Plumping Kit

If you’re like me and suffer from dry or chapped lips occasionally, this may be the perfect little kit for you. Soap & Glory's Mighty Mouth Kit is designed to smooth, soften and plump up your lips. Containing a gentle exfoliator, balm and gloss, this is everything you need for smooth, luscious lips.

Inside the box is a double-ended stick, one side containing the exfoliator and the other side the balm. Here's a closer look...

The exfoliator is essentially a balm with gritty bits ingrained to gently buff away rough skin. I like the format of this exfoliator, it's a lot less messy and easy to use than something like Lush’s Sugar Scrub, meaning you can use it on the go whenever you need to. The balm smells of coconut (yum!) and leaves lips smooth so I've found it's a great base for lipstick.

I love the colour of the gloss. A gorgeous nude coral shade that adds a lovely touch of colour. The gloss gives the lips a light tingle, but I wouldn't put it on the same scale as Sexy Mother Pucker glosses which are a bit too tingly for my liking! It smells like a delicious fruit cocktail, tastes just as good and has a good consistency - not at all gloopy or sticky like the Mother Pucker glosses.

This is a fab little kit that contains everything you need for lovely lips.

Soap & Glory's Mighty Mouth is priced at £10.00 and is available in Boots

19 May 2010

NOTD: Nails Inc - London

Another NOTD, this time around it's London, the greige shade from the Nails Inc and Diet Coke City Collection.

In a similar colour family to Eyeko’s Posh Polish, Nails Inc's London is a more milky shade, with almost a hint of mauve (although it doesn't show up in the photo) and so this is my preference of the two. Eyeko’s Posh Polish was just too brown for my liking! London is a creamy, glossy shade that looks very city chic, fab for any occassion.

What do you think? Will you be buying some Coke to get this nail varnish?

17 May 2010

Weekend Summary

This weekend was very productive. To begin, my fiancé and I went to view a sofa. I’d spotted it on my work’s ‘For Sale and Wanted’ website - a fantastic place where staff can list any items they want to sell. We’ve kicked ourselves a few times because we’ve missed some real bargains on there, such as a gorgeous pine dining table and four chairs for just £10! This sofa bed was going for £60, a bargain considering it was originally from Marks and Spencer’s where brand new sofa beds are around the £600+ mark.

It seemed us owning the sofa bed was meant to be as when we rang to arrange a viewing, we discovered they lived in the same block of flats as us! Once we’ve moved house my mum will re-cover it so it looks lovely and new. Now we just have to get some male friends around to try and lug it up 3 flights of stairs into our flat. (I think I'll make myself scarce whilst that's happening!)

The rest of Saturday saw us sorting through clothes, magazines and paperwork. I came across tops I’d worn when I was 15, I really am a hoarder! I slowly made my way through a huge tower of magazines I’d accumulated over the past few years, ripping out any pictures I liked and recycling the rest. Then we sifted through bank statements, payslips and other important documents, sorting them into these lovely files from Tesco...

Sunday saw us returning to the car boot sale. I think they’re addictive, I love hunting for bargains! I wore my new Wellington boots I’d bought from Primark. Pretty, practical and only £8!

We only found one item this time, but what a find it was!

This wooden floor lamp was just £2! It’s still in working order but we’re going to re-wire it as it looked a bit old and dodgy. We thought it would look lovely with the stand painted white and with the shade re-covered in some pretty fabric. Perfect for a shabby chic home!

I was in a bit of a DIY mood so we headed to Homebase to stock up on essentials for re-painting furniture and I spent the rest of the day sprucing up our second hand furniture. It's amazing what a coat of paint will do!

We also decided this weekend that we are going to buy a Smeg fridge. We need to buy a fridge for our new house and we didn't know whether to get a small temporary one for the time being or splash out on the Smeg which is the one we really wanted. It's a big purchase but hopefully one that will last many years. We’re going to get it in pastel green, it's so pretty. Maybe this will inspire me to start cooking more!

It really was a lovely weekend in all. Despite cleaning, sorting and tidying (not what you’d consider fun tasks) we were blissfully happy in each other’s company, getting excited about the move into our first home, listening to Motown and drinking ice cold pear cider (it’s yummy!)
A perfect weekend!

11 May 2010

Car Boot Sale Goodies!

When I was little my mum and I regularly frequented our local car boot sale, scouring the tables for bargains. I hadn't thought about it in years until a few bloggers started posting pictures of bargains they'd found. This stirred up some nostalgia and I found myself wanting to re-visit a car boot sale in my own search for some shabby chic goodies for our new home.

It was difficult for my fiance and I to get up so early on a Sunday morning, (especially when it was so dreary and wet) but we managed it and set off on our journey. I love the hustle and bustle of car boot sales and it was lovely strolling around looking for bargains. Amongst a lot of baby clothes, childrens toys and bric-a-brac, we found some pretty things.

Here are our finds...

Bone china tea set: 4 cups & saucers, 4 side plates and a milk jug - £4
Wooden shelf unit - £7
We're going to sand this down and paint it cream. When it's finished I'll adorn it with some little tea cups and tea lights (and maybe add some lace on the shelves.)
Tin wall hanging - £2
I was very pleased with our finds and think we'll be returning soon. We also saw a wooden rocking chair which we were tempted to buy but we thought we'd wait until we've moved and have some more space. It was selling for a mere £5. With a bit of sanding and painting it would have looked exactly this Laura Ashley rocking chair with an RRP of £250! Car boot sales are the places to be!

9 May 2010

NOTD: Eyeko Posh Polish

Another nail polish from Eyeko, this time Posh Polish. When I first saw this, I wasn’t too keen. My first thought was ‘who wants brown nails?!’ But I knew other people had liked it so I gave it a go. It took a few days, but the colour eventually grew on me. Although I still can’t help but think of Xen-Tan every time I look at it as it seems to be the same colour.

So far I’ve been very impressed with Eyeko’s nail polishes. They’re cheap, nicely packaged and the quality of the polish itself is very good – highly pigmented, streak free and with a quick drying time.

PS. I also have to mention that since I’ve been eating more healthy foods my nails have improved dramatically. Whereas before they would constantly peel and break, now they grow long and stay that way, at last I have nails that are all the same length! I was wondering what had suddenly made them so much stronger and it was fiancé who made the connection, lots of fruit and vegetables=healthy nails!

8 May 2010

Paul's Boutique Large Maisy Bag

For the past 6 months I’ve been besotted with the Mulberry Bayswater bag. I’ve fallen in love with both the classic Oak and the black patent bag. However, costing around £600, I knew it was unrealistic to wait for these bags to come into my life. I've wanted a really smart, sleek looking structured bag for a while but I knew I could get a cheaper black patent bag elsewhere.

Paul’s Boutique large Maisy bag fit the bill perfectly. With a glossy finish, this bag is the perfect size to carry in the crook of your arm...

I like how it has studs on the bottom to protect it from the floor and it comes with a detachable strap so if one day I fancy having it a longer length, I can. The interior is lined with leopard-print fabric...

At £55, it’s still the most I’ve ever spent on a bag but a fraction of the cost of a Mulberry. I'm not a fan of the bright accessory as I don't think it fits with the style of the bag so I'll be removing it and using it as a key-chain. Otherwise I love it, I finally have a smart black bag!

I also love the cream version...

(And the navy blue but it's only in my dreams where I can own the same bag in 3 different colours!)

PS. I still have my hopes set on the oak leather Mulberry Bayswater. Huge hints have been dropped to my fiancé, so fingers crossed one day I'll be writing a post about being the proud owner of a Mulberry bag!

5 May 2010

Nails Inc & Diet Coke City Collection

All you nails inc fans out there will be pleased to hear about the Diet Coke City Collection - the result of a collaboration between the two brands. Diet Coke is giving away a set of brand new colours exclusively created by nails inc, just purchase two 500ml bottles of Diet Coke in selected Boots stores nationwide between 5th May – 30th June and get a free polish.

Inspired by the four fashion capitals of the world – New York, London, Milan and Paris – these limited-edition polishes are available in four gorgeous shades that are perfect for this season.

From left to right, here's how the colours are described:

♥ London- a trendy nude colour, inspired by Brit passion for cool fashion.

♥ Paris - a deep purple, a tribute to the most romantic city in the world and a beautiful sunset over the Eiffel Tower

♥ New York - a vibrant fuchsia pink inspired by the attitude of the city that never sleeps

♥ Milan - a fiery Italian red

With nails inc nail polishes retailing at an RRP of £10.50, this is a fab way to try them for less.

What do you think? Will you be purchasing some Diet Coke to get your hands on this collection?

3 May 2010

Weekend Shopping

I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. The weather has been terrible (although the sun has now just appeared, how typical!) but this allowed for some shopping. Here are my purchases...

♥ John Lewis Bird House - £8

This sweet little bird house has no purpose in life except to look pretty! I'm not sure where I'll put this in our new home yet, but I just couldn't resist!

♥ Laura Ashley Beth Mirror - £189 reduced from £300

We've wanted a big shabby chic style mirror for a while, so when this mirror had 40% off, we thought it too good an opportunity to pass up. I love it! We'll be placing this on the chimney breast above the fireplace in our new house.

♥ H&M: Shower Gel & Body Lotion - £2.99 each
Hair Clips - £1.99

These caught my eye as the packaging was so lovely; simplistic yet girly. They smell wonderful too! The little clips will be perfect for summer beachy hair.

♥ Miso Maxi Dress (from Republic) - £29.99

I have developed an obsession with maxi dresses this summer. This is my fifth one, I can't seem to stop myself! I liked how light and airy this one looked.

♥ Soul Cal Sandals (from Republic) - £24.99

I needed some pretty sandals to wear with my maxi dresses and I loved the beading detail of these...

♥ River Island Sandals - £29.99

Some more sandals I spotted which I couldn't say no to!

♥ Samsung Tocco Lite - £69.95

And finally, a Samsung Tocco Lite. Now I'm earning I thought I'd treat myself to a new phone. I've been sporting a brick-like mobile for quite some time, it didn't even have a camera! I didn't fancy paying iPhone prices so I bought this one instead. I love it, happy days!

Have you done any shopping this bank holiday?

1 May 2010

Illamasqua - Body Electrics

Along with a few other beauty bloggers, I was recently sent some products from Illamasqua’s new Body Electrics collection. The goodies came beautifully presented in a purple gift box (which will come in handy for storing little bits and bobs!)

I’d never tried anything from Illamasqua before but I’d head great things about the brand so I couldn’t wait to see what the products were like. Here's what was inside...

Liquid Metals Palette - RRP £29.50

Clockwise from top left: Enrapture, Surge, Solstice, Phenomena

Illamasqua's Liquid Metals have become somewhat of a cult product and I can see why. The palette was creamy and smooth to apply. With rich pigmentation, this product is great for making eyes stand out. I particularly like the shade Surge, a gun-metal grey that is subtle enough to be worn in the day.

Illumine Dry Body Oil in Volt - RRP £32.00 for 100ml

I don't own any shimmers or illuminators for my body so I was keen to see how this looked. A clear liquid with small violet coloured reflects, straight from the bottle the oil looked like this...

When blended into the skin, the oil transforms into a subtle shimmer. As the name suggested, within seconds the oil was dry, so no problems with waiting around for the product to absorb or any stickiness. Illamasqua's Dry Body Oil is a great product to have with summer coming up. Worn along the shin bone, this will add a glow to the skin, giving the appearance of longer and more slender legs. Although a little pricey, the bottle is large and I can see this product lasting a long time.

Two other products from the collection which have caught my eye are the Kabuki Body Brush (perfect for a fair skinned person who likes their whole body to be bronzed and glowing) and the Bronzer in Burnish which looks simply gorgeous.

Illamasqua products are available to buy online here

What are your favourite Illamasqua products?