Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year Giveaway: CLOSED

Even if you don't read all my drivel, read everything that's in BOLD. 
So I've just finished my last trip into town for the year and I've decided to get my giveaway up now!
This is just a little mix of goodies to say thank you for your support. I've had such an amazing time already and was astounded when I recently hit 100 followers. I've already had the luck of winning a giveaway and I know how much fun it is! I really hope I can inspire as much happiness with my prizes.

Just a quick heads up:
You must be a blogger to win this.
You must be following this blog to win this.

I've seen way too many people upset because of serial competitors who only have an account to try and win giveaways. Naturally, I want this prize to go to someone who actually reads my blog and is part of the community so I have to ask that you please leave a comment with a link to your blog and a way to contact you. Not only will this help keep serial competitors away but it's also a fun way to get a bit of exposure! I urge you to check out each others blogs if you have the time because there is such a ridiculous amount of talent out there on the blogosphere and you all deserve recognition.

Enough technical chat. Here's what you could win:
 And a better picture of the palettes:

I tried to essentially give you everything you could need for a few full looks! Minus your base and cleanser. I hope you like everything :)
The giveaway is running from today until January 21st 2013 and will all go to one winner. Update: I'm sorry I am a total idiot, this is UK only I'm afraid because the postage would cripple me :( 
Enter via the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, and good luck!


Recent Purchases Haul

Head's up: this is gonna be quite picture heavy!
I've been doing quite a bit of purchasing here and there for various things. Mainly because of all the awesome deals on at the moment, plus I've been buying things for my giveaway! You'll see a couple of the pieces in these pictures. It's not going to be massive, it's just a few bits that I really like and wanted to pass on to one of my lovely followers. Hopefully I'll have that up today or tomorrow so everyone can enter then.
First up:

Masses of beauty booty.

1. Yankee Sampler Candles  
Wild Passion Fruit  
 Pink Dragon Fruit
My very first Yankee candles! I went into Clintons with the intention of having a look at the 50% off Christmas candles but the shelves had been raided and nothing there took my fancy. I started circling the stand and spotted these babies. I love fresh fruity scents and these are utterly divine. I'm going to try and keep them for Spring/Summer and use up the more Wintery themed candles I have in the mean time. Wish me luck.

2. Kiss Me Quick Nice Ice Lip Balm Set
I actually got these as part of my Secret Santa but I think they're so adorable I just wanted to show them off! I'll do a more detailed post on them soon because they're really lovely.

3. MUA
Lip Boom in It's A Situation
Undressed Palette*
The Artiste Collection Palette*
Eye Liner Pencil in Snow White
Have you seen the colour of It's A Situation?! Stunning deep plum. I'm not a massive fan of glittery lipglosses but I'll try it nonetheless. The palettes are for you lovely people! I love my Undressed Palette and the Artiste Collection came free with it so I thought I'd pass on the love. 

4. Collection
Lock 'n' Hold Lip Gloss in Break Dance
24hr Felt Liner in Teal
Bedazzled Nail Effects in Tea at the Glitz*

5. Maybelline
Master Smokey Eye Liner in Smokey Violet
I've read a lot of negative reviews about the product but I don't know what it is... I just wanted it so bad! Luckily the girl working in Superdrug offered me this one for just £1 because it was missing the lid on the smudger. For a £5 saving, I didn't really mind and snapped this up with minimal thought!

6. Soap and Glory
Arch de Triumph in Buff
I b*tch about my brows constantly and never do anything about it. UNTIL NOW! Here's hoping this will give me the definition my heart desires.

7. James Brown
Photo Fabulous High Shine Spray

8. The Body Shop Body Butter
Vineyard Peach
(just seen since I missed them out of my big picture) I used up my 50ml of the Satsuma so fast I had to get another one! Also, if you like the Peach, get it now whilst it's on half price. It's sadly being discontinued since it was only a limited edition scent.

9. Nivea Extreme Resist Glossy
Joli Cherry
Radiant Plum
Pretty Berry
Bright Rose
I know. I went and bought the whole collection! I adore these Poundland bargain gems and was thinking of including a couple in the giveaway, providing they're in stock still. If they are, which colours would you most like? Or do you want them all?

10. Revlon
Lip Butters in:
Raspberry Pie
Peach Parfait 
Berry Smoothie
Balm Stains in:
Nail Varnish in:
It's the big one. I've gone Revlon crazy recently because they're all on offer and there's so many products I wanted! I got sequins for free with a 3 for 2 offer and then I went back again and the lip butters were £5 each so I bought 3 more. I'm utterly thrilled with these. Here's some close ups to wet your whistle:

Next up is the Soap and Glory Best of All. Everyone and their dog knows about how amazing these are. Particularly when you get them for £27!

Heel Genius, Clean On Me, Smoothie Star (my new favourite, it smells like sweet popcorn!) Peach and Clean, Sugar Crush Body Scrub, The Righteous Butter* Hand Food* Thick and Fast Mascara, Sexy Mother Pucker in Punchbowl. All full size, all fabulous.

And finally something a little bit different...

I was lucky enough to receive a Waterstones voucher for Christmas so I put it towards these gorgeous specimens. There's quite a bit of variety here and I'm tempted to start doing the occasional book review in 2013 for a bit of variety. Plus I love hearing about books that other people love and can talk for hours about my favourites. And besides, everyone know that smart girls equal sexy girls and girls reading equals smart girls. It's basic beauty math.

So that's my mahoosive beauty booty recent purchases. I hope you liked it! It took me blimmin' ages. Sorry about the bizarre lighting changes. It's so dark that I had to use flash for some pictures.

If there's anything particular you want reviewing quickly, leave me a comment.
Let me know if you'd like any Nivea Extreme Resist Glossy's in my giveaway!
* indicates that it's going to be in the giveaway

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was actually nominated for this almost a full week ago but have only now had the time to sit down and do it! I was nominated by the beautiful Hannagrace from The Beauty Diary. Thank you! She's a lovely girl studying to be a make up artist, go check out her blog!

Here are the rules that I swiped from Hannagrace:

There's a few rules to this award, but what are they?
1) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post
2) Post 7 random facts about yourself
3) Nominate up to 15 bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
4) Let the bloggers know they're nominated for the award
5) Be kind - Thank the blogger that nominated you!

Okay here we go, 7 more totally interesting facts.

1. I counted my nails varnishes last night, 44! Pretty impressive since I only bought my first one a few months ago. 

2. I don't like kids. They scream, they poop, they ask inane questions. I'm sure I'll love my own in ten years or whatever when I have one, but for now, do not show me your baby pictures. No, it does not have your nose, they all look exactly the same.

3. I struggle to pick a favourite colour. I think it's green. But some days it raspberry or gold or cobalt or blahblahblah. I'm so indecisive. 

4. I find choosing what to eat really stressful. I get upset when people rush me for a decision so I tend to have the same thing over and over again. It's a source of much irritation to my boyfriend who firmly believes that variety is the spice of life.

5. I hate crackle top coats! I think they look so messy and rough.

6. If I could change one thing about myself (after my weight) it would be the size of my feet. I'm a wide size 8 and it is a friggin' nightmare going shoe shopping! I literally hate it. I have one pair of trainers, one pair of plain black flats and one pair of suedette pixie boots and thats it. When they fall apart I'll grudgingly start hunting for a replacement.

7. I don't hate what I see in the mirror and sometimes I wonder if it that's normal. It's strange to say it, but I don't think I'm ugly. Yes, I'm overweight, but I don't hate my body. It gets me from A to B and it's not broken in any way. I have stretch marks and freckles but I don't hate my skin. I have frizzy hair that is neither straight nor curly. There are things I would change about myself if I had a magic pen, but I don't stand in the mirror and wish I was someone different. I'm happy that I feel that way, but it makes me sad and confused that so many other people don't. In fact, some people hate themselves so much that it confuses them when I say I don't hate myself. They wonder why someone who looks like me can possibly be happy, and yet there they are, thin and perfectly groomed and still miserable because they spend so much time comparing themselves to everyone else. I also don't understand why so many people dislike the colour of their skin. It makes me so sad hearing about beautiful dark skinned girls bleaching themselves with chemicals and gorgeous pale girls roasting in sunbeds to get tans - I just don't get it. I didn't intend to turn this into a speech about body acceptance but it kind of did and I don't feel too bad about it.  Anyone reading this that has ever felt bad because of the way they look, particularly if it's something impossible to change, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are alive and breathing and wonderful, and you do not have to change for anyone but yourself. 

Stay safe and stay beautiful. :)

I nominate:
Holly at Summer Holly Day
Ellie at Misellyre
Safira at Miss Stylicious
The Little Things
Becca at The English Rose
Louise at Swirlicious Beauty
Laura at Pale Girl Reviews

I'm not sure if any of you have done it before, if so, I'm sorry!


Boxing Day Sales Haul

I was feeling very brave on Boxing Day and decided to battle my way through the sea of people in such of some bargains! Sadly the only thing that I desperately wanted was the only thing I couldn't get - The Clinique Whole Lotta Colour set. Literally sold out EVERYWHERE. If you chat to me on Twitter you will have seen my pitiful moans about finding one. No success yet. Maybe there'll be a few about in January? Here's hoping. Here's what I did manage to find:

I picked up these ten W7 polishes from my new favourite nail varnish store - TKMaxx. I've had some fantastic luck in there recently, as you can see from this recent haul. I've never used W7 before but I just couldn't pass up this fantastic set of pastels for just £10! They are screaming SPRING at me and I can't wait for the daffodils that will be the backdrop to these ice cream shades. I can only hope that the formula will be up to scratch for me! Let me know if you've tried this brand before. Also, there's a massive amount of product in them, I've never seen 15ml nail polishes before! The only negative is that they don't come with names, only numbers. I love pretty names for products and I won't lie, I've spent some time fantasising about what I would name these. I won't tell you what I've named them because it's sad and embarrassing... how about Pina Colada for the yellow though?!

I also took a trip into one of my favourite shops - The Body Shop. They have an amazing selection of body butters in there for half price at the moment. I spent a while holding Cherry, Blueberry, Raspberry and Passion Fruit before I finally reasoned with myself that I should only take one. As you can see, I walked away with Passion Fruit but my heart is telling me that I'll have Raspberry by the end of the week. Oops. I adore the Green Apple shower gel and this is my second bottle. I recently drained my last one and it's going to be in my 2012 favourites. It's so fresh and not too sickly sweet. I'm gutted that it's been discontinued and I urge you to pick one up if you can find it, particularly for only £2 (or £1.80 with the loyalty card)! I'm in love with the Ginger Sparkle Christmas Range and recently reviewed quite a few pieces of it here. It was a no-brainer for me to grab this adorable little half price hand cream since my Soap and Glory Hand Food is on the way out. The three cosmetic bits were all in the sale AND on 3 for 2! I paid £4.05 (including my 10% discount) for two eye shadows in pretty green colours and a Delipscious Sheer Lip Colour in Pomegranate. I'd never heard of the Delipscious range before and I'm excited to try this one!

This Soap and Glory lip palette was £6 in the Boots sale and contains 6 pretty colours. I haven't tried any yet but I like the slightly brown/pink tones in some of these colours and I haven't got anything like them in my current collection. It also comes with a double ended applicator - I'm not sure about the quality of it yet but I'll let you know!

I've never shopped in Internacionale before but I decided to have a quick look on a whim and fell in love with these little pieces from the jewellery section. They were buy one get one half price (including sale stuff, yay!) so I picked these up for £3.49. Serious bargain. The cross is a lovely rose gold colour but I'm afraid the lighting was so bad it's impossible to tell from the picture. I wore the earrings yesterday and got a lot of compliments! People couldn't believe I'd got them for less than £2. They're not too heavy but look much more expensive than they are and I know I'm going to be wearing them a lot in the months to come.

So that's my little sales haul! Did you brave the shops on Boxing Day? Leave some links to show me what you picked up!


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas NOTD: Nails Inc, Aldford Street

As you all know I was recently very very lucky and won a giveaway from Ellie at Misellyre which included three Nails Inc polishes. The second I saw Aldford Street (a bright gold glitter) I knew it would be adorning my fingers for Christmas.

It's not quite so thick as it looks on my fingers because I painted on four gorgeous layers of the stuff. I was originally going to do just one layer over a layer of Barry M's Nude, but comically I literally could not open the bottle so I had to give up on that. Frankly I'm glad I did because I don't think it would have looked half as nice as this does! I didn't really need four layers, I just kept on painting away because it was so pretty and I wanted to see how good it could get (seriously good.) It's a beautiful multi-faceted shade that includes tiny specks of green and pink shimmer sparsely strewn throughout the polish. You can't see them straight away, in fact I've found that they can only be seen in low artificial light. It dries amazingly fast and is a lot more forgiving to smudges (I had one teensy accident on my right index finger when I put my socks on)This is actually my first ever glitter nail varnish and if they're all like this, then I'm a convert.

What's your favourite glitter polish?


FOTD: Christmas

 This was actually worn on Christmas Eve. I get way too sleepy and rub my eyes on Christmas Day! Plus even the most long wearing lipstick won't fully survive the turkey onslaught and I don't fancy dragging a make up bag around with me.

I decided to go with some classic Christmas colours of red and gold. Always cheerful and pretty in my opinion.
Here are the ingredients:

The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in 03
The Body Shop All-In-One Face Base in 03
The Body Shop Lightening Touch Concealer in 03
Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch Concealer in Natural
e.l.f Blush in Twinkle Pink
I love that my Body Shop base is all 03. So much easier when it all matches!

MUA Single Eyeshadow in Shade 30
Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner in Black
The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara in Black
I applied the MUA shadow with a slightly damp brush to get a more intense colour.

Nivea Extreme Resist Glossy in Joli Cherry
I have all four shades of these now and I absolutely swear by them. One of my top products of 2012 and only £1 each. I do feel that it leans a little pink - it's not a true red and I certainly wouldn't describe it as cherry red.

I hope you liked my Christmas look! Would love to see some links to what you wore for this season. 


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Display Picture Lip Make-Up Ingredients (a.k.a The £5 Perfect Red Lips!)

I've had a few people give me some lovely compliments on the make up that I'm wearing in my profile picture. I've already shown everyone what's on my eyes through this post but I have yet to share my lipstick secrets! I decided it would be nice to do a kind of mini tutorial for it.

This is Barry M Lip Liner in Red, £2.99 and Natural Collection Moisture Lipstick in Cherry Red, £1.99

Step One: Line your lips with the pencil. It doesn't have to be perfectly neat and feel free to create more of an exaggerated lip shape. I like to make my cupids bow a little rounder when I do this look.

Step Two: Fill your lips in with the pencil. I find that this one is really smooth when you warm it up a little bit and doesn't feel drying or uncomfortable at all. It's actually a fantastic matte look on it's own which I think looks gorgeous with some retro curls! 

Step Three: Go over your lips with your lipstick. You can do it from the tube but a lip brush will create a much more precise line. You also want to neaten up any splodges (as I've had to do!) and optionally, pop a little concealer around your lips to make the edges really sharp and pronounced. If you want to add some serious staying power, apply a little translucent loose powder to the lips through a piece of single ply tissue. You could also add a bit of gloss to the centre of your lips for a really shiny pout.

I love this lipstick. It's so shiny and beautiful (and cheap!) It does transfer really easily though, so you definitely want to add some powder if you're going to be drinking or eating. I think this is such a festive look and I love wearing red around Christmas. 
I hope you liked this little tutorial!

What are the ingredients for your perfect red lip? And have you tried either of these bargain products?

P.S. I discovered today that a few people are following me on bloglovin' so I've decied to sign up and claim my blog! It's told me to paste some code in a new post...
Here goes nothin' 

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Liebster Award

The lovely Wanischa from Wanischa S has yet again been showing me some love and has nominated me for a Liebster Award! 

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

I am actually a horrifically boring human being so this is an absolutely terrifying thing that I'm doing. What if you all suddenly realise that I am horrifically boring and stop caring about my drivel?! It'd break my heart it really would. Well, here goes nothin'.

11 Totally Interesting Facts About Lauren

1. My flatmate has a bearded dragon named Wrex. It lives with us in it's light-up hot-house (vivarium for all you nerds) and spends it's time being painfully shit and exhausting to look at. It also falls off of the shelves of the vivarium all the time and scratches at the glass while staring into your soul. I used to think lizards were cool. THEN I MET ONE.

2. I cannot cook to save my life. If it doesn't come in a box with strict oven instructions, it will end up as ash/gloop/meat paste. I'm infamous for burning pasta and one rather ill thought out lamb roast. I can however, make a cracking batch of muffins.

3. I have never been out drinking. I had a cocktail in a restaurant for my birthday and that's about it. I literally just hate the whole culture of going out to just to get drunk... I live in the town centre and have to put up with the music and screaming 3 nights a week. As a fun example, there were two men having a fight last week outside my flat, one of them left with one ear less than he came in with. Would it have happened if they weren't ridiculously drunk? Probably not. 

4. I'm applying for University! I'm currently 75% through my application for a journalism course. I'm hoping it'll put me on the way to being the beauty editor at Company magazine. SHUT UP, I CAN DREAM.

5. A couple of months ago my boyfriend asked me to buy some faux fur throws for the bed. I bought them in some seriously obnoxious shades of bright pink and  a lurid teal. He still hasn't forgiven me.

6. My favourite dinner in the world is Old El Paso Enchiladas. Mmph. It comes in a box with strict instructions and it's lurvley. If I'm ever on death row, it'll be my last meal.

7. The Quality Street boxes from my Holly Jolly Christmas Tag are the second lot that we had to buy. We ate the first two.

8. This is one for all the gamer chicks: I have maxed out level characters on both Borderlands games. Muffin is my gorgeous emotionally disturbed Berserker and Cupcake is my kickass Siren. I love them very much and I haven't been excited about a game as much in a long time.

9. I do all my editing on  MS Paint because I'm a pro.

10. I've seen every single episode of the following shows: Dexter, American Horror Story, Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs, The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, New Girl, The B*tch in Apartment 23, Americas Next Top Model (I'm so sorry, no regrets,) Elfen Lied, Glee, Mad Men, Stargate Universe (for shame,) Cake Boss, Barbecue Pit Masters, Modern Family, No Ordinary Family, Sex and the City (most recent addition,) Black Books, IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, Frasier, Man V Food, Firefly, Misfits, Fresh Meat, Friends, The Cleveland Show, Futurama.
I can't think of any more but you can guarantee there'll be something I've missed.
Since you'll inevitably try and count them to get the full, shocking number, it's 29. Yeah I know. Bad.

11. I don't have a mobile phone. 

Wanischa's Questions: 

1. What do you like best about blogging?
I love love love the fantastic community. Everyone is so welcoming and kind and full of useful information! I've learnt so much from the other blogging girls already.

2. What is your one holy grail item?
I haven't been collecting for long at all so I can't really give a favourite item with any certainty. However, I've not been able to put down my Body Shop Dragon Fruit Lip Butter. I use it all the time and it makes my lips feel so soft. I think a perfect lip balm is one thing that every one needs.

3. If you have 3 wishes what would you wish for?
I would of course wish that my Mum was still with me, I would wish that my stepfather had never come into our lives and I would wish for unlimited monies! As a bonus, maybe a fabulously sexy body? Although I feel that wishes should be kept for impossible things. A fabulous body is technically possible. Though highly unlikely. 

4. Tea or coffee?
Neither! I don't really do hot drinks. Plus tea and coffee taste vile. If I ever a hot drink it's a flavoured hot chocolate and that comes maybe once or twice a year. Cranberry juice anyone?

5. Who is your ultimate girl crush?
Maybe Emily Browning? I've thought she was beautiful even since I saw her in Ghost Ship. She was very young then but you could see she was going to be stunning. Prophecy: fulfilled.
Also, any woman that has reached seriously high levels of power in any business. You go girl!

6. If you could live in one of the fictional world, what would it be?
I'd live in Erin Morgenstern's Night Circus. Real magic is exciting.

7. Are you guilty of buying things you don't need because there's some offers on?
I personally think of all make up as something that I don't need. I don't need it to survive, it's not a basic necessity. So all of my lovely bits and pieces are gloriously frivolous and I don't feel an ounce of guilt for wanting to feel beautiful. 

8. If you could go travelling anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd probably do America. Great land of excess it is. I want to see all there is to see.

9. What is your favourite movie?
Erh god who knows. I've tried to answer this before. Probably The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It always cheers me up.

10. What is your favourite season?
Autumn. I love the colours.

11. Do you speak any foreign language? If so, what and how many?
I can give you some basic conversational French, Qu'est-ce tu va faire? Je voudrais un stylo noir. etc. Haha. I could blag my way through ordering food and a spot of shopping, but don't expect any speeches.

So here are my questions:
1. How old were you when you first wore foundation?
2. What is your natural hair colour?
3. What is the most embarrassing moment of your life? (Try and keep it light hearted, I don't want to upset anyone if it's something really awful!)
4. Just out of interest, which television shows have you seen every episode of?
5. How far could you get through DJ Casper's Cha-Cha Slide without the song in the background?! Admit it, you danced it back in good ol' 2004.
6. If you could only pick one accessory for the rest of your life, what would it be? e.g. scarf/hat/chunky rings
7. How many lipsticks do you own?
8. Do you have any phobias? / if so, what are they and do you know why you have them?
9. What is your dream career?
10. If you could only shop in once clothing store for the rest of your life, where would it be?
11. If you could only buy from one beauty brand for the rest of your life, which would it be?

I tag:

Louise at Swirlicious Beauty
Nokhuthula at Crystal Cosmic Chic
Lucy at Louminous
Naomi at naomijadex5
Kirsty-Anne at 5FEET10
Sarah at Sarah's Secrets
Ceri-Louise at Wardrobe Misfit
Safira at Miss Stylicious
Shannyn at I Heart Makeup

Well I hope everyone sees this! God this took me ages! I hope you all appreciate it ;) haha. It was an honour to be nominated :) Thank you again Wanischa.

P.S. I know I'm behind on my December Challenge, I've been so busy and I just haven't had the chance to sit down with my kit and have a play! I haven't abandoned it, just postponed :)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Giveaway Win: Mixed Beauty Bits From Misellyre

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I recently won my first giveaway! It was from the lovely Ellie at Misellyre. Please please please check out her blog, it's absolutely fantastic and is just not getting the recognition it deserves at all! And do also check out the original giveaway post because it contains photos VASTLY superior to my own. They're also not all taken on a vivarium with bits of paper and spare change in the background. Clearly I need to get bigger pieces of white card. I also need to immediately say that I completely understand that some people do not like these posts. It's not my intention to show off or brag at all. I just really wanted to share my excitement and promote Ellie's wonderful blog and her generosity towards her followers. Honestly, I'll be reviewing everything in the weeks to come anyway, and I'd offer full disclosure and state that I didn't pay for this with my own money, so you'd know eventually! Of course, if this really bothers you, it won't hurt my feelings if you stop reading now.

So without further ado...

No Ellie, thank you! I love my prizes and I will definitely have a wonderful Christmas now.

 All the little bits and bobs came in these gorgeous Revlon make-up bags. I was actually shopping around for a new make-up bag, so this couldn't come at a more opportune moment! I love the classic monochrome styling and coral details, simple and beautiful.

 Here are all my lovely goodies! From bottom left clockwise: Blistex Moisture Max Lip Balm, Philosophy (OMG PHILOSOPHY! First ever Philosophy!) Crumb Berry Pie Body Souffle, The Jelly Bean Factory Snow Beans (my boyfriend thinks he's having these. Good luck sweetheart. You'll die trying,) StarGazer Feather False Eyelashes (I have never in my life worn false eye lashes. Time to jump in the deep end!) Nail Rock Nail Wraps (have no idea why they look bright red, they're actually a beautiful classic gold,) Nails Inc Colour Collection including Aldford Street (officially my first glitter polish) Royal Mews (a subtle holographic, YAY) and Belgrave Mews (forest green that shines gold, absolutely incredible, it's so up my alley,) MUA Immaculate Palette (I'm a recent convert and full on lover of MUA cosmetics, can't wait to sink my claws into these fantastic eyshadows) and finally Violent Lips in The Rainbow (have no idea when I'm going to wear this. Who wants to invite me to a fancy dress party or go to the next gay pride event with me?!)

The only thing not pictured here is the red Twistband because I'm currently wearing it. Swish!

Thank you again Ellie, I love my prizes! They came so much faster than I thought they would!

I'm hoping to post my own giveaway in the new year because I recently hit 100 followers on GFC! It's such a huge achievement to me and I'm absolutely honoured by the lovely comments I get from everyone. I won't give you any clues yet about the contents because I love surprises and I hope you do too!

Have you ever won a blog giveaway? What was your favourite thing that you won?


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Review: e.l.f Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink

I haven't taken much interest in blushers at all until recently, but now I'm noticing them every where and can't wait to build up a collection. I picked up this e.l.f Blush in my haul when the website had 50% off.

Twinkle Pink is a pretty rose pink with quite a bit of gold glitter. This looks seriously intimidating in the pan, but it's not even half as noticeable on the face. I wore it all day yesterday and I only occasionally caught a few bits of glitter in the mirror. (Mind you, it's been pretty dark!)
You get 4.75g of product for £3.75 which is a bargain no matter how you look at it. Particularly when you consider how many offers are usually on at elf. The packaging is neat and professional and sturdy enough for travel. It does contain a tiny mirror but I think that when you're applying face products you need to be able to look at your whole face at once so you don't overdo it. I won't be using the mirror but it's nice to have one included.

Elf say: The soft sheer texture blends into the skin for a silky finish. Designed to be worn alone or layered for more depth. Highlight your complexion with a subtle healthy glow!

Generally I have to agree with them. The blush is super soft and not at all gritty, despite the substantial amount of glitter in the pan. And it does work as a highlighter. And it does give me a nice healthy glow with fairly subtle colour pay off. No lies there. However, the wear time isn't amazing. It started to fade around 4 hours on me. Admittedly, I was outside a lot and it was raining... so I think it needs another chance to wow me for longevity!

As you can see, it looks very glittery when swatched thickly on my arm, but blends out into a very wearable peachy pink.
I applied this using just my fingers and am really happy with the coverage! The sparkle is much more subtle on the face.

I think this gave me a really nice warm glow and the glitter wasn't too much for me at all. Even for shopping in Sainsbury's on a dull December day! I really like this and I'm glad I made the decision to buy it. It even kind of makes me look like I have cheek bones!
If you're looking for something matte, obviously this isn't it. But if you don't mind a bit of sparkle, I urge you to give this a try.

I'm hoping to pick up the shade Fuschia Fusion next which leans a little more purple/blue.

What do you think of this shade? 


Review: The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Collection

It's safe to say I'm an avid Body Shop fan...(HaulHaulCollectionStar Product if you needed any proof.) But, there is one collection that I am in love with at the moment and that is the fantastic Christmas range Ginger Sparkle. I can't even begin to explain how good they smell. It's a rich, spicy, sweet ginger. For me, it's incredible. However, I have found that amongst my friends it's a love/hate scent. When you like it you love it, but I've seen more than one person turn away from eagerly extended pot! Insanity.
I currently have the shower gel, body polish and body butter.

Separately, this would set you back £27 which is a lot, in my opinion, for any bath product/skin care. But there is always a fantastic offer on at The Body Shop and the Ginger Sparkle Collection has already gone down to half price in the sale online

I seriously urge you to at least go and get a sniff of these. The scent is really consistent across the range (unlike the Cranberry Joy, which frankly, I thought smelt a bit cheap and synthetic, which has never been my experience with TBS before) and it lingers all day.

Here are some little swatches of each product, butter, shower gel and polish. They all contain natural ginger root extract. The butter also boasts shea butter, cocoa butter, soy bean oil and sesame oil. The soap-free gel and polish both contain fair trade honey and the polish has the additional ingredient of walnut shell which creates the majority of the exfoliant. The polish is probably the stand out for me because although I have other scrubs, I don't really own anything quite like this. It's light enough to be used every day and isn't at all harsh. I love that the exfoliating is done with a natural ingredient and it leaves my skin so smooth and soft. I actually already have a back up of this as I somehow managed to get one in my Secret Santa. Thank you Santa!
The Body Butter is up to the usual standard, it's thick and creamy and sinks in super fast. I think everyone has a favourite scent, it's a classic skincare staple.
The only thing I'll say about the gel is that it's very thick when you squeeze it out. It's not a bad thing at all, for me it simply means that I don't use too much each time. The amount I've used in the picture is probably 5 or 6 washes, so you can see how well it's lasting!
The adorable packaging also needs an honourable mention. It's so pretty and I love the metallic details and snowflakes! Very festive. Structurally-wise, these are very sturdy and I'd feel comfortable travelling with them. They're also really easy to open and actually get at the product.

I don't have any negatives of these products apart from their limited edition status. Boo! I think I'll be popping along to The Body Shop when these are on sale in store. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of back-ups...right?

Have you tried this scent? Which is your favourite Body Butter from The Body Shop?

Let me know in the comments!


Monday, 17 December 2012

December Eye Make-Up Challenge: Day 8, Smokey

I actually did this look a few days ago but I've kept it because I thought it would be nice for smokey!

I don't wear dark eye shadow very often at all so this was definitely out of my comfort zone. I know I should have used more eyeliner/shadow on my lower lid but I feel like it just makes my eyes look so small... I decided I wanted to adapt the smokey look to suit me. I also need to apologise for how uneven the sizes of these pictures are! For some reason I didn't manage to get two equal photos. Idiot. At least the bigger one is the one with all the impact!

I created this look with my elf Beauty Book in Smoky which I will be blogging about in the future. I must say, I was really impressed with the included black eye liner, it was very pigmented and easy to use, and you know me, I never use pencils!

 I used the 3 shadows on the right hand side as well as the included primer. It's the first primer I've ever used. I won't explain too much about this because hopefully you'll be able to read all about it on the elf blog soon enough as I had the opportunity to guest blog for them recently!

I really hope you like my interpretation! 
Let me know in the comments which celebrity you think I should take my inspiration from for the next look!


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Holly Jolly Christmas Tag

The beautiful, vibrant and intelligent Wanischa from Wanischa S tagged me for this little quiz, so here it is! Do check out her blog, it's so so good and she has hardly any followers! This is an issue that needs rectifying.

1. Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last minute?

Black Friday doesn't exist in the land of tea and crumpets. We either start in the January sales or wait until Christmas eve. I lean more to the latter. I've been pretty good this year though and I've almost totally finished! Just need to pick up one more thing for my boyfriend and a purse for my beautiful, inspirational Grandma who is sadly recovering from a broken hip.

2. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?

I'm probably going to have to steal Wanischa's answer of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I think I would make an awesome halloween monster. Or a fabulous female Sandy Claws. Sidenote: much to my boyfriend's abject horror, I only properly watched this film for the first time a few years ago at my friends house. 
I also love A Christmas Carol, but I know I'd be on the poor side of life and don't fancy Christmas at the work house... please sir?


3. Which do you like better: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day of course! The build up is all well and good, but it'll never compare to the main event. Plus, I don't eat turkey and spend all day playing with presents on Christmas Eve. No competition.

4. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?

The Christmas tree was always my mothers pride and joy. She would proudly bring people over so they could ooh and aah over her magnificent creation. It was totally justified, they were amazebaubles (getit?) Last year me and my flatmate decorated our donated Christmas tree and it was lovely, but it's just not the same.  p.s. Oh, usually in the first week of December, but we haven't done it yet this year.

5. White lights or coloured lights?

White of course! Well actually, that slightly cream coloured light that you get in leds, so much softer and prettier! Coloured lights are all well and good for a bit of tack, but you can't beat a classic.

6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like the surprise?

I never peek! My boyfriend likes to leave things "hidden" in plain sight in nondescript boxes. He'll then loudly announce that my presents are inside but I mustn't peek. He hasn't broken me yet the fool! I love my surprises.

7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or in Santa's Workshop?

Gingerbread please. I feel like if you're in the're probably working. And in that cold too! Can you imagine the hand cream you'd go through? Urgh and the splinters...

8. Tell us your Christmas Eve traditions!

We only really have one. We always open one present each, and it's always pyjamas or slippers, so that we can wear them for Christmas morning! We also like having hot chocolate or tea before bed time to put us to sleep quicker.

It tends to look about an 8th as good as these do. Pride!

9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone who would it be?

Mark Ruffalo circa 2004  My boyfriend! Of course. Love of my life.

10. What tops your tree?

A big silver glittery star. It came in at a ghetto fabulous 99p.

11. Can you name the 12 days of Christmas?

I could maybe give you a few reindeer. And I know the partridge in the pear tree and the five gold rings. So sue me, I like animals and jewellery.

12. Have you ever gone Christmas carolling?

Only in my dreams! I imagine I'd get spat on or something these days. I like to associate carolling with the grand old days of yore that I wasn't alive for. Sigh.

13. Do you countdown to Christmas? If so, how many days are left?

Some years I do. Not this one for some reason. Just not feeling it? Christmas is kind of depressing for me sometimes. It's such a fun family thing and I kinda feel like I don't have much of a family to really do it with me. Urgh.

14. What are some foods and treats you can count on having every Christmas season?

Definitely chocolate. We always end up inundated with tins and boxes of Quality Street, Roses, Heroes, Celebrations... etc We don't complain too much though... ;) Also a fabulous selection of cheeses. Yummers.

All I need are my weapons of cheese destruction... (cream crackers)

15. How has Christmas kept its magic for you as you've grown older?

Can I be really grouchy and say it hasn't? It feels more and more commercial and rushed and forced every year. Although, I am looking forward to Christmas day at my boyfriends Nan's house. It'll be nice to have someone cook for me :) 

I tag anyone who has no Christmas Spirit. ;)


Here are the lovely presents that I wrapped up today. (Yes, I have included obligatory Quality Street for Jake's enormous Italian side of the family.)

My beautiful rat Anchovy exploring the presents! She loves the crumpling paper sound.

Little buggers caught trying to lick sugar out of a doughnut bag that they stole from my boyfriend and ran off with. I managed to snap this before they fled from the scene of the crime! Cashew (blonde) is looking particularly evil here.

When it comes to my rats: I know a lot of people can't get over the fact that wild ones are considered "vermin" or they have weird tails or whatever... but take Thumpers advice, "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." ;)