30 January 2011

My Perfume Collection

Like most girly girls, I love collecting perfumes. With such a huge array of fragrances available with various brands and packaging on offer for a range of budgets, it's one of those things where you can never have too many!

Lacoste Joy of Pink - £36.99 for 50ml EDT
I received this at the Lacoste Joy of Pink launch and it's perfect for Spring time, a fresh and invigorating scent.
Vivienne Westwood Naughty Alice - £50 for 50ml EDP
Beautiful fragrance and with gorgeous packaging too. The charm can be worn but I think it adds a certain something to the bottle.
Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Baby - £20.43 for 30ml EDT
A cute little perfume to have in my collection, this is a musky floral scent.
Miss Dior Cherie - £69.45 for 100ml EDT
Perhaps my favourite scent of all time, this perfume is fabulously girly and light. Katie Price's Stunning and Next Diamonds and are more affordable dupes.
Britney Spears Fantasy - £25 for 100ml EDP
A touch more musk than I usually go for, but I love it all the same. My fiance always comments on how lovely I smell when I wear this.
Balenciaga Paris - £60 for 50ml EDP
This is the most 'grown up' scent I own and I adore it. It lingers for a long time and makes me feel like a fabulous sophisticated lady!
Paris Hilton - £20 for 100ml EDP
A favourite of mine at age 17 and now a guilty pleasure at age 24, this is a sweet, delicious and cheap perfume!
Marc Jacobs Daisy - £60 for 100ml EDP
I will never tire of this scent, it is perfection in a bottle!
Benefit Crescent Row: Garden of Eva, So Hooked on Carmella, Lookin' to Rock Rita - £30 each for 30ml EDT
I reviewed Benefit's Crescent Row fragrances when they were released last year and Eva has since become a firm favourite of mine and a handbag essential, I urge you to try it!
Givenchy Play For Her (pink) & Intense (purple) - £50 for 50ml EDP
Both are lovely scents with the Intense version having a slightly more musky note. Unique packaging too!
Liz Earle Botanical Essence - £40.35 for 50ml EDP
A very fresh fragrance with strong citrus notes, this is one to wear on crisp Spring mornings.
 I also have a mini Dior collection which I keep on my dressing table. Although the miniature Miss Dior Cherie and J'adore are now empty, the diddy bottles are so cute I've kept them to display. I definitely want to add a full size J'adore to my collection, such a divine scent!
I keep the majority of my perfumes in this big box on top of my chest of drawers so they're protected and easy to reach.
I know it's advised you keep all of your perfumes away from sunlight to prolong their life but Naughty Alice and Miss Dior Cherie have such pretty bottles I just couldn't resist setting these two out on top of my dressing table.

What's in your perfume collection? Any favourites you'd recommend?

27 January 2011

Nivea Pure & Natural Skincare Range

For the past month I've set aside my usual skincare routine to trial Nivea's new Pure & Natural range. With 95% of the ingredients of natural origin, new Nivea Pure & Natural Face, Body and Hand Care has been developed to deliver incredible results with natural ingredients in affordable products. With the products being free from parabens, silicones, colourants and mineral oils, the range is ideal for those who look for natural skincare products.

Cleansing Toner £3.36
I don't often use a toner in my skincare routine so I can't compare this to others I've used, however, I found it to be a refreshing extra step that left my skin feeling super cleansed and lovely. 

Body Lotion £3.57
Enriched with Argan Oil, a natural source of Vitamin E, this body lotion not only smells delicious, it offers long lasting protection with plenty of moisture. I loved how this body lotion was thicker than others I've used and left a beautiful dewy glow to the skin.

Hand Cream £3.05
This was my favourite product of the Nivea Pure & Natural range. Neither sticky or greasy, the creamy formula is instantly absorbed and leaves silky soft hands. So soft that not only did my fiancé comment on how soft my hands were, but I couldn't stop touching them myself! I love the fresh fragrance and how my hands felt hydrated for hours afterwards.

Anti-Wrinkle Day and Night Cream £8.49 each
Whilst the day cream is thicker than other creams I've tried, I found it absorbed quickly, didn't leave a greasy residue and left my skin plumped up and hydrated. I now use this daily as a base for makeup.
I love the night cream. Ultra thick and luxurious, it felt like I was giving my skin an intensive treat at bedtime. With promises of firmer, younger looking skin whilst helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this is a night cream worth trying!

Lip Balm £1.99
With a soft and delicious scent of milk and honey, Nivea Pure & Natural Lip Balm is packed with natural ingredients to intensively care for lips leaving them soft and nourished. With milk to act as a cooling and anti-inflammatory agent, and honey to hydrate and increase lips’ essential moisture, the two combine to create a lip balm I love that keeps lips moisturised and protected. 

Nivea Pure & Natural is available from 20th February 2011

*This is a sponsored post

25 January 2011

Estee Lauder Vanilla Truffle Lipstick

Estée Lauder has done it again. Here I am gushing about another product from their range. I'd heard a lot about Estée Lauder's Vanilla Truffle lipstick so I had to try it for myself. The name alone sounds too scrumptious to resist. Despite the lovely name, I wasn't expecting to like this lipstick as nudes have always left me disappointed and pondering why everyone else seemed to love them so much when they did nothing for me. But surprisingly, I was smitten. The first nude lipstick to ever suit me. Estée Lauder manages the feat of taking shades that I always thought hadn't suited me and transforming them into gems I can't live without.
With the same lovely formulation and packaging as Estée Lauder's Crystal Baby, Vanilla Truffle is a beautiful nude that has just the right amount of pink to avoid the deathly look.

This is now a staple in my makeup bag along with Estée Lauder's Crystal Baby. So whether you are a nude lipstick fanatic or a nude-newbie, I recommend trying this shade. 

I now have my eye on Estée Lauder's Pure Colour Gloss Sticks, they look divine!

23 January 2011

Matalan Spring/Summer 2011 Preview

I was delighted when I saw what Matalan is due to release for Spring/Summer 2011. With pretty pastel shades, floral skirts, playsuits, shorts and girly 50s style dresses, Matalan's SS11 collection has elements of everything I love. Looking at these outfits has made me so exited for Spring/Summer, evoking images of strolls in the sunshine, melting ice creams and picnics in the park!

What do you think? Will you be buying anything from Matalan's Spring/Summer 2011 collection?

21 January 2011

Nailene 200 Full Cover Nails Kit - Active Square

I've tried various false nails over the years and I've found that although I loved how they looked, the French manicure always chipped and wore off quickly so they needed to be removed. It had never occurred to me to try plain false nails instead of French nails but whilst browsing the nails in Boots one day, I spotted Nailene's 200 Full Cover Nails and saw the solution to my problem. 

The kit contains 200 undecorated, full cover glue on nails in 12 different sizes along with a nail buffer/file and nail glue.
 Left: Freshly glued nails         
Right: Nails once painted

I love the uniform look these give my nails. They're the ideal length for me; short enough not to inhibit but long enough to look glamorous. These nails are a dream to polish. I discovered nail polish applies a lot better and more easily to false nails and lasts longer too. To my amazement, I didn't have any chipping of the colour what so ever, just perfect nails until I chose to remove them. 

The glue is amazing. I've had nails in the past which have popped off within a few days. These held strong for a good 10-12 days before a couple fell off. I could have glued them back on, but they had lasted so long my own nails had begun to grow out so I removed them all and re-applied a new set. 

My nails didn't look in too bad condition after these had been removed. In the past my nails have been subject to some major tearing and breaking as a result of false nails, but there was minor damage with Nailene's Full Cover nails so I felt happy to re-apply a fresh set shortly afterwards.

These are by far the most natural false nails I've ever worn. It may be due to their length or the way they're designed to have a strong tip and a flexible base, but they were so comfortable to wear and felt completely natural, as if they were my own. 

The Nailene 200 Full Cover Nails Kit retails for around £8.00. I've tried to find them online to no avail so it's best just to have a wonder around your local Boots and Superdrug to see if they're available.

19 January 2011

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Lipstick

I had to dedicate a blog post to a product I have become quite obsessed with. Estée Lauder's Crystal Baby lipstick is my dream lipstick come true. I cannot say enough good things about this lipstick, it is my all time favourite. It smells good. It looks good. It makes me happy. 

I've tried various shades of pink lipsticks over the years and for some reason or another I've never liked them. Then I tried Estée Lauder's Crystal Baby lipstick and I was wowed by how much I loved it. It is just the most lovely, flattering soft pink I have ever come across. The perfect shade of pink; pale yet delicate and romantic all the same. 

Not only is the colour perfection, I adore the formulation of this lipstick. Soft and creamy, it glides onto the lips, leaving a beautiful gloss of colour. This lipstick gives a slight sheen and almost a balm-like finish which I love. No dry, matte lips in sight. 

To top it all off, the packaging is lovely and luxurious - a lipstick you'd be happy to parade in public.

I attempted a close-up lips shot but my camera wasn't having any of it and I think you get a better idea of the colour if you can see it in relation to the rest of the face so here it is from a recent FOTD...

The price is steep for a lipstick, but when a product is this fantastic I'm quite happy to hand the money over. I feel the beginning of an Estée Lauder love affair coming on. I have yet to try a product that I haven't loved and I'm excited to try more.

Which are your favourite Estée Lauder lipstick shades?

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13 January 2011

RapidLash - The Results!

Back in September, I was given the opportunity to try RapidLash, the latest lash serum to cause a buzz in the beauty world. With the promise of longer, thicker lashes, I was intrigued to discover whether the new wonder product would really live up to its claims.

RapidLash strengthens lashes against breakages and improves the appearance of lash length by delivering a blend of essential proteins that help restore lashes to optimum condition. Lashes look longer, stronger and fuller in as few as 8 weeks.

The applicator brush resembles liquid eyeliner and is just as simple to use. The instructions advise applying RapidLash one a day in the evening before bedtime, using the applicator brush to apply a thin line of RapidLash to the base of the upper lashes.

As I already have fairly long eyelashes, I wondered if I'd see a difference at all. I had my doubts until I reached around week 10. The key to this product is perseverance and I finally saw the reward to my painstaking applications each night.

I began to notice that my lashes were longer, particularly the outer lashes which were a lot longer and more curly. Since this revelation with RapidLash, I haven't needed to reach for my eyelash curlers once, a momentous outcome for someone who was prone to straight lashes which neither curlers or mascara could cure. I also noticed a difference in the length of my inner baby lashes which are usually rather short even with mascara. My fiancé noticed my longer, more fluttery lashes too. Even without mascara the were long and lustrous.



I don't know how well the photo's show the difference but in real life it's definitely noticeable and I'm very proud of my new long, curly lashes! I was delighted to find this product works and would highly recommend it to those who need a boost to their lash length. 

RapidLash retails for around £39.99 and is available from Boots, where more RapidLash reviews can be found.

9 January 2011

Shop at TW OOTD

 Shop at TW recently contacted me asking if I'd like to try some pieces from their range, and after having a look at their website which features feminine Taiwan clothing, I was keen to give their clothes a try and try something a bit different to my usual style. 

I was sent two pieces of clothing, the first being this satin-look black tunic top. I love the square shoulders that give an otherwise ordinary top some added detail. I paired it with some leggings, a nude pink waist belt and some super high studded suede platforms.

Tunic: Shop at TW
Leggings: Primark
Belt: Primark
Shoes: New Look

The second piece is this chiffon tunic top. I love the black floral print against the cream background and it feels a bit 60s to me. I don't own anything else like this and it's versatile so I can wear it with jeans/leggings or as a dress.

Tunic: Shop at TW
Belt: Primark

Both of these items can be found in the Classic Women section on the Shop at TW website.

In other news, I have become an aunty for the first time! He was born 6 weeks earlier than expected but mum and tiny baby Oliver are doing well. I can't wait until he's out of hospital so I can give him a cuddle! I expect my broodiness will go into overdrive when I get to hold him. Congratulations François and Jenny!

6 January 2011

ELF Studio Line Blush

I've tried quite a few products from ELF, and whilst there were a lot of disappointments, there are a couple of things which I absolutely love, namely three items from the Studio Line - the eyebrow kit, Kabuki and flat-topped Powder brush. So I thought it was time to try a few more of their studio line products and decided on the blush. After a bit of research on Makeupalley to see which shades had got the best reviews and recommendations, I made my order. 

I love the packaging of the ELF Studio Line blushes. They're the same size and design as NARS blush (minus the rubber packaging) with the added bonus of a little window so you can see at a glance which shade it is.

Pink Passion, Mellow Mauve and Blushing Rose
The compacts each feature a little mirror inside, very handy for touch-ups on the move.

 Pink Passion
This vibrant, bubblegum pink looks rather scary in the compact but once applied to cheeks it gives a beautiful natural flush. It's highly pigmented so only a small touch with the brush is needed and it's easily buildable so you can choose whether to have a subtle blush or a more intense colour for evenings out.

 Mellow Mauve
Mellow Mauve offers a very natural looking hint of colour to add a touch of warmth to the cheeks. When I see this colour I always think of Kim Kardashian's makeup for some reason, a gorgeous matte pink/mauve that looks natural but glamorous.

Blushing Rose
This is a beautiful berry shade which I think is perfect for this time of year to give a natural flushed glow as if you've spent the afternoon frolicking in the snow! This blush is smooth and silky, blends beautifully and gives a slight shimmer with the gold reflects.

Overall I'm very impressed with ELF's Studio Line blushes. They're soft, easy to blend and highly pigmented. Amazing quality for just £3.50! I'll try and feature some in a few FOTD posts to show how they look.

ELF Studio Line blushes are priced at £3.50 and are available to buy here

Which ELF products would you recommend?

4 January 2011

Looking Back & Going Forward

It seems just like yesterday I wrote last year's Looking Back & Going Forward. This year seems to have passed more quickly than any other and I fear as I get older, time passes faster. Here's a little summary of the past year and my hopes for the year ahead...

What happened in 2010...

♥ I had my first real job
♥ I experimented with ombre hair
♥ I joined the organ donation register
♥ My fiancé and I bought our dream house and made it a home
 ♥ My brother got engaged on Christmas Eve (congratulations James and Rachael!)
♥ I discovered I was going to become an aunty for the first time (he's due next month, so exciting!)
♥ My fiancé and I planned a romantic, shabby chic inspired wedding. Everything is coming along nicely and I feel we're at a place where we know how everything will look and feel on the day, it's just a matter of finalising everything!

My plans for 2011...

♥ Learn to drive
I've wanted to drive for so long, but it's so expensive I've had to wait. It has to happen this year!

♥ Get a job I love
I'm not sure how likely this is, but I have hope.

♥ Get my teeth straightened
My lower teeth seem to get more crooked every day. I have my sights set on the 6 Month Smile clear brace, it's just a matter of when.

♥ Get married!
Despite getting engaged all the way back in August 2009, the time has just flown by and now there's less than 8 months until the big day! I'm already having sleepless nights with excitement so I don't know how I'll cope as the day draws closer!

What are your hopes for 2011?

3 January 2011

New Years Eve OOTN

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I can't believe just how quickly this year has gone. I had a bit of a panic when it came to getting ready for New Years Eve this year. I assumed I had a whole host of dresses to choose from, but when I actually looked through them, nothing took my fancy. My style seems to have changed a lot over the past year or two since finishing Uni and my 'going out clothes' collection has shrunk considerably as my fiancé and I now favour staying in with a good film and snuggling over braving the drunken crowds on the weekend!

In the end I opted for a dress I bought last Christmas from Topshop...

Dress: Topshop
Shoes: Schuh & New Look (a change was required to protect the toes!)

We had a lovely low key New Years, going for dinner at Piccolino's and then heading to Coco Tang for a few delicious cocktails afterwards. We had fun trying out the huge array of cocktails on offer and discovered a favourite in the Refreshers cocktail - it tastes exactly like the sweets, so delicious!

I hope you all had an amazing night & a great start to 2011...