29 October 2010

NOTD: Estee Lauder Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Extravagant Night

With Halloween almost upon us and Christmas just around the corner, Estée Lauder's Extravagant Night nail polish offers the perfect combination of glamour and fun, ideal for party nails.

I hadn't worn a sparkle-infused nail polish since I was a teenager so I wasn't too sure of the glitter at first, but once applied, I loved the sparkle. The colour is lovely-a deep aubergine that merges into a milky brown depending on the light. Despite containing glitter, the finish is smooth with no grittiness and it's easy to remove.

If you want to add a bit of pizazz to your nails, this is the polish for you! It's definitely got me in the Christmas spirit!

Estée Lauder Pure Colour Nail Lacquers are priced at £12.00 for 9ml and are available from counters or online

27 October 2010

Frontcover To Go Eye Collection

When I discovered the beauty community, there were a few products that seemed to have developed a cult status from their huge popularity. One of these was the Frontcover palette - a collection of beautiful eyeshadows available from Boots for a reasonable price.

Autumn has seen a new launch from Frontcover-the To Go Eye Collection. Their cult eye encyclopedia concept has been made portable, so not only is there the usual array of beautiful eyeshadows, they're been made removable and the palette also includes a new sleek interchangeable compact to place them in, so when you need to, you can just pop in your bag and go!

The inside front cover includes tips and advice from Frontcover's own make-up expert Leanne Shaw on how to create a range of looks.

The new palette features an interchangeable compact, double ended applicator and Shadowline Liquid...

The compact contains four compartments for your pick of your favourite eyeshadows. I love how Frontcover has been made portable with the ability to pick and mix eyeshadows. It's perfect for travelling or popping in your handbag for touch ups throughout the day. The compact also features a mirror and a space for an applicator or brush.

Another handy product included with the palette is the Shadowline Liquid, to transform eyeshadow into eyeliner. A great way to experiment with different colours.

The palette features 25 baked and pressed removable eyeshadows

  Here's a closer look at the various shades...

I love the combination of colours in this palette. My favourite neutrals are there with a touch of shimmer, whilst the palette also offers bold pops of colour, darker Autumnal  shades and the eye catching white, silver and gold shadows. I've loved sitting down with this palette and experimenting with various colour combinations to create different looks. 

The quality of the shadows is great; highly pigmented, easy to blend and long lasting.
This is definitely one to add to your Christmas list girls!

Frontcover To Go Eye Collection is priced at £35 and is available in Boots stores or online

21 October 2010

DIY Ombre Hair

Back in July I blogged about my Blondette Hair Inspiration before I took the plunge and ventured into lighter hair tones I'd yet to experiment with. I'd intended on going to the hairdressers for the change and had collected an array of images ready to illustrate the look I was after. Then I read a blog post and I was delighted to find that ombre hair (the hair colour I'd always envied but never knew the official name of!) could be achieved DIY stylee for a fraction of the price.

I've never been precious about my hair, I regularly chop at it myself and I've experimented with red and plum shades à la Cheryl Cole as a teen, so luckily the thought of slapping some bleach on the ends of my hair didn't scare me and I was raring to transform my locks. My bleach of choice was L'Oreal's Perfect Blonde Highlighting Creme. The whole process of mixing the formula was simple enough, and before I knew it I was scooping up globules of the lilac foam and applying it to my hair like an old pro.

I didn't want to go too blonde or have too much of it, so for a more subtle look, I thought it best I leave the bleach on for small increments of time so I could keep an eye on the colour.

For the first step, I applied the bleach to the lengths of my hair starting just below my shoulder and left for around 15 minutes. Then I washed off, dried, and reapplied to the last 4 inches of my hair to get the ends a more intense shade of blonde. I then washed off, dried again, and as it still wasn't looking much different, I applied bleach for a third time and left for another 10 minutes. A bit of a pain but I've now learned that brunettes need to leave bleach on for at least 25 minutes before any kind of bleaching effect takes place.

I was very pleased with the results and got the look I was after - a subtle change in tone from light brown to dark blonde. I'm also glad the blonde was kept to the very ends of my hair, rather than reaching up further towards my face.

When the colour begins to fade, I just repeat the process. When I re-ombred, I decided to go a little blonder and this was the result...

19 October 2010

Barielle Autumn Collection - Wool You Marry Me?

With leaves changing colour, morning frosts and the longing for a comforting hot chocolate, Autumn has well and truly arrived. Barielle's Argyle collection feature six new shades, all with with cosy, Autumnal names: Cashmere or Loose Me, Tight Knit, Aura Angora, Unraveled Rust, Wool You Marry Me and Cowl of the Wild.

The first colour I trialled was Wool You Marry Me, what Barielle describes as a plum brown crème.

I was pleasantly surprised by this shade. A glossy, rich burgundy with hints of brown depending on the light, this offers a lovely alternative to the array of greys and browns on offer for Autumn. The polish applied beautifully, as all Barielle polishes seem to, dried quickly and only needed two coats. The colour is reminiscent of a true Autumn day and evokes images of stepping on crunchy leaves, playing conkers and the warmth of bonfires - I love it!

Barielle Fall nail polishes are priced at £8.00 each and are available online here

15 October 2010

Ins & Outs


♥ Losing weight

(from weheartit)

 I've never been into weighing myself but this year we bought a pair of scales before going on holiday to ensure our suitcases weren't over the limit. After returning after holiday I felt bigger, and stepping on the scales I got quite a shock! Two weeks of eating huge carb-laden meals hadn't gone unnoticed by my body. However, since returning home and going back to my normal eating habits, the weight has dropped off and I've lost a stone. Luckily I didn't have to resort to exercise!

Following on from this, I was delighted when I weighed myself on the scales at a spa I recently visited and discovered that I'm actually half a stone lighter than our cheap Wilko scales tell me. My target weight has now been obliterated!

♥ Wedding planning

(from Google images)

The planning for the wedding is coming along nicely. Sometimes I have a little panic when I realise there's only 10 months to go, as it feels as though we've done so little. But when I take a moment, I can relax as the reception and caterer have been booked, I've tried on a few beautiful dresses which I'd quite happily get married in, found a beautiful florist and we have plans to meet up with a number of stunning photographers.

DIY Nails

After a bad experience at the nail salon (see Outs below) I was delighted to have my natural nails back. I decided to have a go at a french manicure, a look I've always coveted. In the past I've tried using a guide for the tip but it left an obvious raised line so I free-handed this time. Although not perfect, I love how it looks and I surprised myself with how steady my left had was!


♥ Gel nails
The day my fiancé and I were due to go on holiday I decided to treat myself to some gel nails which I'd enviously eyed up on other women for ages. Unfortunately, the only salon open wasn't my salon of choice, but I was desperate to finally get them done. The lady didn't speak English very well, and this being my first time in a nails salon, not being able to communicate properly was a bit of a problem. I'd planned on overlays but she said my nails weren't the same length so she clipped them all off (to my dismay, I'd been growing them specially) and on hindsight, she could have simply filed them all to the same length. She placed the horrific white tips which I'd been hoping to avoid halfway down my nail and left them square, so I was left with stumpy looking fingers. They grew out quickly, and having them taken off was a pain and cost yet more money. Never again!

♥ Health Scares
My fiancé and I had a bit of fright the other morning. As I got up to hug him as he left for work, I fainted and collapsed on the floor, my body started shaking and apparently I was also making weird noises. I eventually came around and was very bewildered about where I was and how I'd got there, it was all very scary.

We went to the doctor who reassured us and said fainting can sometimes lead to the body twitching so luckily it's nothing serious and apparently it's quite common for 'young, slender women' to faint. Still, I'm booked in for an ECG just to check all is ok. I've had dizzy spells and occasional faints for the past 7 years and have been to see the doctor about it numerous times before, but there's nothing you can do about it so I suppose I just have to accept that standing up and stretching result in seeing stars for a couple of seconds.

♥ Looking for a job
The job market is crapola at the moment and I'm struggling to find a new one. I want to get into marketing but it's that rubbish situation where you can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience if no one gives you a job. Grrr. 


8 October 2010

Makeup Storage & Organisation

I've longed for a beautiful dressing table since I was a little girl. After years of using a cheap, ugly Ikea table as a dressing table during my student years and having makeup overflowing from all sorts of unsightly storage solutions, I finally have the dressing table of my dreams! It feels so good to now have everything in a place and stored completely out of sight.

I spent a long time browsing various shabby chic dressing tables and eventually settled on the one below. Bought from an online store called Classics Direct, the total for both the stool and the dressing table was around £820, which is a lot of money but we felt it was justified as it's hand carved from mahogany and is something that will last for, and be treasured for a lifetime.

I wanted a dressing table big enough for my increasing makeup collection, so this one was perfect with five drawers and a large tabletop.

Inside the largest drawer I've placed a drawer organiser from Muji (£14.99) to create different compartments. Here I keep all my face products - foundation, concealer, primer, highlighter, blusher, bronzer and powder. I also added a drawer from the Laura Ashley organiser in which I previously stored my makeup to create a compartment for my mascara's and lip balms.

I was shocked how little space my lipsticks took up in the drawer below. Previously spilling out of their home in the Laura Ashley drawers, I was startled to discover I had accumulated over 40. However, once I placed them neatly in this drawer, it looked as though I barely owned any so I can use this as an excuse to buy more! I keep my favourite colours at the front and place the brighter, less used shades at the back.

Lip glosses have been placed in the drawer below, again utilising an old drawer from my previous storage.

Eyeshadows are kept here, with the ones I don't use but can't bear to throw away stuffed away at the back.

The final drawer is home to my eyeliners, eyebrow pencils, pencil sharpeners and a random collection of things that didn't fit elsewhere - my Naked palette, eyelash curlers, facial spray etc.

I didn't want to clutter the top of the dressing too much so I've just added a few of my favourite perfume bottles and a tin containing a few makeup brushes.

On the other side I've just placed a few of my favourite candles and my makeup brushes in a little shabby chic pot which my mum bought for me (part of a set of 3).

I'm a bit concerned as the dressing table  only just contains my makeup collection. I think it's inevitable it's going to increase (although I already have too much) so I shall have to be ruthless and get rid of anything I haven't used in a while. I love how organised everything is now and would like to keep it that way. After years of being an untidy student I am finally striving for neatness and orderliness in my life!

4 October 2010

Helping Hands Christmas Collection

Christmas 2010 sees the launch of thisworks Helping Hands, a limited edition skincare collection designed to raise money for vulnerable children. £1.80 is being donated from each Helping Hands product sold to make a child’s wish come true this Christmas. With our help, thisworks and Kids Company can provide 2,000 Christmas dinners for children who would otherwise be alone.

Since 2008, thisworks has supported London-based charity Kids Company through sales of selected products from the Good Works range. To date, thisworks has raised nearly £80,000 for Kids Company. Helping Hands was inspired as another way for thisworks to give back to the community.

Helping Hands Christmas Collection

Perfect Hands - £18
Perfect Hands is a hydrating natural hand cream blended with Rose Oil, Mimosa and Musk Mallow for smooth and young looking hands. It contains powerful natural actives such as Larch extract which tightens and firms the skin while anti-aging Hyaluronic acid locks moisture in. Rape Seed extract also helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin.

Wish - £14
Wish is the perfect handbag accessory with three mini skincare solutions for beautiful skin: the 100% natural multi-purpose Super Lips with Monoi Oil to hydrate the lips (as well as elbows, heels or any other part of the body in need of a moisture boost), Tired Eye Serum with arnica to eliminate dark circles and cucumber and aloe vera to soothe and a refreshing facial spray, Quick Spritz with Rosewood Oil to keep you when you're out and about.

I love the packaging of this collection and it's a lovely cause so I'll be purchasing the Perfect Hands cream, ideal for this time of year when cold weather and central heating can dry out the skin.

Helping Hands Christmas Collection is available online here
For more information on the charity Kids Company, click here
*This is a sponsored post