Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Haul: The Body Shop Aloe Skincare and More

I have to apologise in advance because I know my photography isn't up to the usual standard that I like to have on my blog but I'm having a few teething problems with my new surroundings! I sort of live in an indent where the halls join onto another building so I get very little light and what does come through is from an awkward angle. I've spent a few days putting this post off and taking photos every day to improve it but this is the best I can do at the moment. Sorry!

The good news is that I have lots of fabulous products to show you!

I've been using the aloe skincare on and off for about a year and a half now and I love it. It's so gentle. It never dries out my skin or causes the redness which I so strive to avoid and I can't recommend it enough for anyone with sensitive skin! These are all stars in their own right and I'll probably put together a more comprehensive post of my current skincare routine in the future to really highlight them. The serum is the newest edition to my regime and so far I've found it to be gorgeous - really smooth and light and perfect for prepping the skin before moisturising.
The absinthe hand cream is stunning! I tried a sample in the Summer and fell in love with it's fresh, herby scent and think it's the ideal alternative to the hemp hand cream if you can't handle the scent of that one! (I know I can't...blech)

The Vineyard Peach is one of my absolute favourite scents so I couldn't resist grabbing this exfoliator to perk up my A/W skin which always gets a bit lack-lustre and dry around this time of year.
I also decided to step out of my comfort zone a bit and try the Moringa body butter. I'm a bit of a body butter addict and have waaay too many at home but I only brought one with me to Uni (the peach, yum) so I thought I'd try something new! I sometimes find floral scents a bit over powering but this one is light, airy and reminds me of jasmine in Summer...ahh.

Must have accessories! In my opinion The Body Shop bath lilies (their name for what I call scrunchies, what do you call them?) are the absolute best on the market and I wouldn't use any other. They always stay nice and tight and the material is super fine but gently exfoliating - can't go wrong. My boyfriend got into the annoying habit of stealing mine so I got him his own in the olive shade and it's already a firm favourite. Mani-pedi accessoriess were bought on a whim but I know I'll get plenty of use out of them. My old nail-buffing block was looking a bit tired but this one is so far looking like a stellar replacement!

The Body Shop always have a startling array of offers on and I snapped all this up with a 50% off voucher.

Nail Buffer - £2.00
Foot Buffer - £4.00
Ultra Fine Bath Lily - £2.00

The vineyard peach stuff isn't available at the moment but you can almost guarantee they'll wheel out the stock again at some point. For now, I recommend the mango body scrub as similar and just as delicious smelling! 

In the end I got all this for just £30 since the body butters were also half price. Absolute bargain!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?


P.S. again, sorry for the photography. I will find a way to make it work I promise. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review: Nanshy Luxury Makeup Brush Set

As you may know I discovered Nanshy when they were advertising for some bloggers to review their face brushes which it turned out I full on ADORED. They literally revolutionised my makeup application (you can read my review here) and I can't recommend them enough to any novices like me. As time passed Nanshy have been hard at work and have produced a couple more collections; one of which is the Luxury Makeup Brush Set* which is a set of 13 brushes of all different types which come in a pretty ivory carry case. I've been lucky again and have had the opportunity to review them here!

As aforementioned, the set comes in a silky, ivory, check-stitched, tri-fold carry case. Every brush has it's own little slot and comes with a protective plastic cover. I really love all the attention to detail in here, particularly the textured lining material. It also has a slightly plastic feeling to it so it can be easily wiped clean which is handy.

If you've seen my previous Nanshy review post you'll be able to tell that these are much slimmer than the face collection and the shape of the handle is different; they are more ergonomically designed and have a pearlised coating which extends over the ferrule. I think this design is even prettier than before and I love that they've kept everything white, it's so clean and crisp looking and a nice change to the usual black of most brushes.

These really are just ridiculously soft to the touch. The face brushes in particular are so gentle and densely packed with bristles. They blend powder and cream products effortlessly. One of my favourite brushes is the slim angled face brush which is ideal for using in the hollow of your cheeks for contouring or even for precise blush application. Admittedly the eye brushes are slightly stiffer which can sometimes scratch the surface a bit too much on pressed shadows so there is occasionally some wastage. I'm happy to report that this doesn't affect their use on the lid though - they still feel very soft and blend beautifully. As an added bonus, these brushes are PETA approved and are 100% cruelty free and vegan, woo!

This collection is the same price as the previous one at £29.95 and can be bought here if you like the look of them!

Final Verdict: Another hit from Nanshy and an ideal kit for travelling with. There are some slightly better eye brushes on the market but not by much!

What do you think to this set? Do you have a favourite brand for makeup brushes and accessories? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Rather than have an entire post dedicated to the fact that I've been M.I.A for the best part of two months I decided to jump in with a big ol' review and have just a smidge of exposition as an introduction...

I am officially now a resident of LONDON! I'm at the University of Westminster and am a whole week into my BA Journalism. I've been a total whirlwind of emotion and activity recently and it's so good to finally sit down and just breathe. Right up until the moment I left my little East Midlands town I was working as an Assistant Manager at Coral. I was literally doing 40-45 hour weeks in a desperate attempt to save as much money as possible for university and whilst it has really helped me financially, pretty much everything else fell by the wayside. I hardly saw my boyfriend or my family and organising and packing was left until the last minute (much the aforementioned boyfriend's irritation.) Needless to say I all but abandoned my little corner of the internet and it's looking very sorry for itself at the minute. But! I have a ton of time to myself now so I shall be getting creative with my new frugal student lifestyle and start producing some fun content in the very near future.
But for now...

As a celebration of my new freedom and the beginning of what should be the best time of my life I decided to take a wander to the Debenhams on Oxford Street to see some Urban Decay products in real life, something I'd never been able to do before. In a total contradiction to my insistence that I wasn't going to be spending any money I ended up walking out with the truly lovely Naked Basics Palette. Shout-out to Rickie who served me at the Urban Decay counter as you were super sweet and helpful. Go you.

First things first, I do love the packaging and presentation of this palette. It's neat, sleek and a great size for just slinging in your bag for top-ups during the day. The design and colours are sophisticated, grown-up and seem ideal for a whole host of simple, neutral looks. 

I genuinely wanted to adore this. I mean I spent £20 on it! But I think I may have expected a bit too much. No matter how I tried, I just couldn't get the pigmentation I'd seen elsewhere in my swatches. I don't think the variation between colours is great enough and the fall out is substantial in the darker colours. 

The above is a single, dry swipe on clean, bare skin without primer. I found that the shades could be built up with two or three heavy swipes but that's not how I usually do my swatches and I wanted a fair representation of what I was actually getting. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad product. The pigmentation is fair and I think with a really good primer I could get a much better colour pay-off. However, I personally feel that when it comes to £20 for six shades, I shouldn't need to buy a great primer just to get the shade in the pan. The fact that these are matte shades (bar Venus which has a light shimmer) was always going to mean that they were a little dryer but I still can't help but be a touch disappointed.

It's not all doom and gloom though, as I say, these can be built up to produce better pigmentation and they do work well on the lid. They blend easily and the shade range means that you can pretty much put anything together and it won't look ridiculous. They're ideal for a range of daytime looks and the deliciously dark Crave can smoke out any look for a gorgeous night transition (but do have some tissues/wipes on hand to deal with fall out!) These also wear extremely well, no creasing or migration and easily 8+ hours of wear so they're ideal for a busy working day.

Final Verdict: A compact, neutral palette that may require a bit more effort than expected. Great if you're looking specifically for more matte shadows, but by no means essential.

I would LOVE some advice about how to work with this palette and please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong! What did you think of the Basics? Do you agree that it may have been a touch over-hyped and therefore a touch disappointing like me?


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Review: Deborah Milano Shine Creator Lipstick in 6

I've reviewed a couple of pieces from this brand before and have generally found their products (so far) to be of a really fantastic quality. Deborah Milano are the leading cosmetic company in Italy and are currently breaking into the UK market. I really recommend a browse around the site which you can find right here. A couple of weeks ago they got in contact with me about their line of lipsticks and asked if I'd like to review one. I requested a pretty pink and got exactly what I asked for! 

Deborah Milano often has this curvaceous feminine shaped packaging (also present in my favourite mascara, review here) which I really love. It's so unique and makes the products easy to find amongst my modest but still somehow overflowing stash. The colour of the packaging is another plus for the same reason. I love when lipstick packaging diverges from the usual black tube and this translucent magenta plastic is no exception. The packaging itself feels solid but not heavy and closes securely. I've left this rolling around the bottom of my bag on more than one occasion (oops) and it's in perfect condition.

Engraved cosmetics are usually left just to high end companies so I was pleasantly surprised to see the cute flower insignia of Deborah Milano etched onto the tip on this lipstick. I find it's little touches like this that really elevate cosmetics into one of life's little luxuries and makes the act of purchasing and wearing them that touch more exciting. So shallow but I love it!

I imagined the colour of this lipstick to be a little deeper in tone but I'm not at all disappointed in the shade choice. This pale, creamy pink is a perfect day time shade to add to almost any look. I'd liken the texture to that of the Revlon Lip Butters (think more creamy Raspberry Pie than shimmer-loaded Peach Parfait) and as such, it doesn't last an enormous amount of time but does glide on smoothly and is extremely comfortable to wear. As an extra plus it's hypo-allergenic and has an SPF of 15 which has certainly been a benefit in these past weeks. This lipstick has all the shine of a thin gloss with none of the stickiness and so I find it perfect for slicking on before bolting out of the house in the mornings!

Deborah Milano Shine Creator Lipstick £8.50*

Final Verdict: Creamy, shiny, fuss-free colour that doesn't last forever but goes with everything.

What do you think to this lipstick? Have you tried Deborah Milano yet?


Monday, 8 July 2013

Money Supermarket's Big Night In

A short while ago I contacted Money Supermarket about taking part in their home improvement challenge which I was woefully a smidge too late on. But, because they're really lovely people they asked me to take part in the next competition to design a fab night in for under £50! Being the total night-in lover that I am I just couldn't refuse. It's so easy to spend a fortune on a night out. A trip to the cinema and simple dinner will take a hefty chunk from your bank balance nowadays and that's just for two people. When you want to involve family it becomes absolutely extortionate.

Here's how I decided to spend £50 on a night in for the lovely people in my life:

I decided to make my all time favourite dish, enchiladas (a delicious mexican classic with chicken, cheese, and spicy tomato sauce baked inside tortilla wraps) and garnish it with some tasty grown up sides. Since we're non-drinkers I picked up some sparkling juices which went down a storm and are so much cheaper than cocktails!

 Even my Grandma who swears by the simple meat and two veg rule for every dinner tried an enchilada and I now have a potential Mexican cuisine convert! How adorable is she?  Every day is a night in for her so it's so nice to see her smiling and enjoying time with us like this.

For dessert I set up a mini ice cream cone factory with flakes, sauces and sprinkles which my brother adored. I went for a vanilla ice cream waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles, raspberry sauce and flake. Things were melting so quickly I was only able to get this one quick snap. But yum, so, so good.

We rounded off the evening by watching Despicable Me. Who else can't wait for the sequel?

A big thank you to for letting me take part! How would you spend your perfect evening?


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Melt Candle in Joy

I love scented candles and usually try to keep a few around the house for relaxing evenings. Since my life has been turned upside down this month I've really been craving one of those nights! Starting a new job and moving home are so ridiculously stressful and doing both at the same time have left me with zero down time. Luckily I was sent a gorgeous handmade scented candle from Melt* and finally now have the time to tell you all about it!

I really love the modern monochromatic packaging. It goes with everything and lends an elegance to the candle. The pattern even matches my current quilt cover which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise! I also love that it comes in a box - many candles don't. It's a bit shallow but I appreciate the "high end" feel I get from boxed items. For me personally, a huge plus of Melt candles is that they're handmade in England. This means that we get to support our economy and reduce the harm done to the environment that's caused by importing which makes me feel a little bit better about spoiling myself!

Joy is described as "A sparkling citrus floral on a complex woody and musk base, over a rich, floral heart of iris, rose and lily" which is pretty accurate! I mostly picked up on the rose and wood scents which are some of my favourites. I actually have Lancome's Midnight Rose perfume which is a similar sort of fragrance with the addition of blackcurrant so it's definitely a winner for me. This size of tumbler will burn for up to 25 hours and the fragrance really fills up a room. Besides the gorgeous fragrance, my favourite thing about this candle is how evenly it burns. The entire width of the candle melts which means nothing is wasted. One of the worst things about larger candles is how they can leave such an enormous amount of wax around the edge. It feels like such a waste having to cut it down!

This size candle will set you back £21 which to be honest, I don't think is too bad. Other brands charge a lot more for very similar products and I think the quality and longevity of this one makes it worth it. I would definitely be up for trying another of the 30 scents. I currently have my eye on Violet and Black Pepper! Perhaps a cheeky first pay day treat.

Final Verdict: A beautifully scented candle handmade in England. Definitely worth a try if you love brands like Neom and Jo Malone.

Have you tried any of Melts candles? Which fragrance should I try next?


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Daily Make Up/How Much Is My Face Worth?

For the longest time my daily make up was literally just a flick of liquid liner and some mascara but frankly, that wasn't cutting it. I've since upgraded into a full face of make up and love the freedom I have over my look. These are the products that I use pretty much every day for work etc. I don't bother with make up if I'm just nipping out shopping or slumming it around the house so I can give my skin a break.

My base hasn't changed in quite a while. I currently use The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in 03, Lightening Touch Concealer in 01 and All-in-One Face Base in 03. The colour match is essentially perfect for me and I love the included SPF. Check out this post for extra details! Sleek's Face Form (Light) is the most recent addition to my daily make up bag and it's revolutionised my base. I love how transformative it is! I have so much more warmth and definition to my face now and feel much more confident. I tend to always use the contouring powder and highlighter but swap up my blush depending on my mood. For blushes I switch between the blush included (Rose Gold,) TBS Macaroon Blush and Maybelline's Cream Blush in 06 Berry.

I always use some combination of my MUA Undressed Palette, Rimmel Liquid Liner and Illamasqua Sophie pencil for my eyes. As you can see I use every colour in the palette and never wear the same look twice in a row just to make myself experiment more. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut (coming from liner flick and mascara girl, so trust me!) so I love my new philosophy. I don't always wear liner but when I do these are my go to products. The Rimmel liquid is so easy to use and this is my second bottle already, forever repurchase! The Sophie pencil is the blackest of blacks and is really soft and blendable but doesn't smudge when it sets. Pretty much perfection in a pencil. Deborah Milano Mascara is an essential for me; I originally got it  for reviewing purposes but I adore it so it became my daily mascara. I get a ton of volume and length with a couple of coats and it's the perfect finishing touch to every look for me.

For day to day, I just wear a clear balm or lip butter to keep my lips in good condition. That way they're looking gorgeous and smooth for when I go all out with a fabulous bright lip in the evenings. I swear by Nivea Lip Butter for the most kissable lips going!

So how much is my face worth?

The Body Shop Moisture Foundation SPF 15
The Body Shop Lightening Touch Concealer Pen
The Body Shop All-in-One Face Base
Sleek Face Form in Light

Mua Undressed Palette
Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner in Black
Illamasqua S.O.P.H.I.E Pencil
Deborah Milano 24 Ore Absolute Volume Mascara

Nivea Lip Butter (Not Pictured)

Total: £83.78

I so was not expecting it to be that high! I didn't include any of my brushes or moisturiser so that's pretty shocking. I don't even use any high end products aside from the Illamasqua pencil. I guess my only defence is that I've seen worse...? Not very good defence!

Do you use any of the same products as me? What do you think of my philosophy of never wearing the same eye make up twice in a row? And how much is your face worth?! Add it up and let me know!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

June Make-Up Wishlist: Nude Eyes and Bright Lips

I really have my head in the clouds if I think that I'll be able to afford any of this for this month but isn't that what wishes are for?! Recently I've been wearing a lot of neutral shadows and bright lipsticks. I've completely ditched my signature liquid liner flick for a much more subtle, sculpted look and I'm loving it for Summer. I've even started some gentle contouring with bronzer and I'm feeling so much more confident with my beauty choices these days. The bright lips are turning a lot of heads in my small town but I'm putting it down to the classic "jealousy-gawk." As such, I think it's high time to get some higher quality shadows as "investment" pieces (wink) and throw some even more fun lipsticks into my collection!

1. Maybelline Vivid Lipstick Hot Plum, 2. Benefit Most Glamorous Nudes Ever, 3. Lime Crime My Beautiful Rocket, 4. Stila In The Light, 5. Lime Crime Velvetine, 6. Urban Decay Naked Basics

See? Gorgeous. Am I right or am I right? 
1. I have been declaring my unending love for Maybelline's Color Sensational Vivids for a while now and already have 3 (review and swatches here) but Hot Plum is calling my name. I originally deemed it too close in colour to Fuchsia Flash to warrant a purchase but I'm officially retracting the statement, I want! Being the cheapest product in my list it's possible I'll be able to smuggle this one into my collection... I'll keep you posted. 
2. I had Benefits Most Glamorous Nudes in my clutches in Cambridge after I had scrimped and saved my Boots points for MONTHS and what do you know, the tills weren't working and I couldn't spend my points. I reluctantly handed my beloved palette back to the grumpy assistant and never saw it again. My lust hasn't subsided and I'm determined to get it one day!
3. Lime Crime is the stuff of my dreams. I adore oranges and My Beautiful Rocket is perfection in a tube. I have a similar shade from Models Own but I imagine the pigmentation and lasting power of this is infinitely superior. One please!
4. The In The Light palette is so friggin' pretty! I love the colours and the swatches I've seen have been incredible. I'm also really excited about the liner included as I've been searching for the perfect brown liner for a while and I love this deep chestnut shade.
5. Lime Crime makes an impressive second appearance with it's beautiful Velvetines. I've heard tell that there will be some new colours in the future and I can't wait to see them! Frankly I'd take any of them; it's the stunning rose petal texture that has me clamouring for my purse and I think these are the epitome of old Hollywood Glamour.
6. Last but far from least. Velvety smooth and richly pigmented, the much loved Basics have been at the top of my list for way too long and it's high time I took them home. One day, I promise you Naked Basics, one day.

Has your wishlist just grown? I would love to hear any comments about the products shown if you've tried them!


Sleek Palette Giveaway

I had long planned a giveaway for my 500 follower milestone but sadly just didn't have the resources at the time. Recently things have started turning around for me and I find myself filled with positivity and excitement for the future. I have just been offered a job and I'm starting a whole new chapter of my life in September when I go to University (better late than never!) This is just a little giveaway to say thank you for sticking by me during my hiatus. I continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for all your support and lovely comments and I really want to give something back! 

These are my all time favourite Sleek Palettes, the Sunset i-Divine and the Lace Blush by 3. Beautiful reds, coppers and golds and some fab Summer brights in the shadows - there's something for everyone there! Lace is a collection of corals and pinks that are universally flattering and have amazing pigmentation. I know Sleek is difficult to get hold of outside of the UK so this is of course INTERNATIONAL - woo!

Enter using the widget below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Please, please, please don't lie about your entries, I do check them and I hate having to remove people so play nice!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Orange Nail Varnish Collection and Swatches

Orange is one of my all time favourite colours. It always perks me up to have a pop of orange in my look and nail varnishes are ideal for this. I think orange is one of the most lively and positive colours there is and I find myself picking up cosmetics in this shade far more often than I'm willing to admit! As I was packing away some of my things for my upcoming move (nothing dramatic, just going back to Grandma's before University so we can help each other out) I started idly scanning my polishes and a few really stuck out to me. So here are my five favourite orange nail varnishes!

From Thumb to Pinky: Models Own Fluro Orange, Nails Inc Porchester Place, Essie Fear or Desire, Rimmel Tangy Tangerine, W7 Pastel 16

Fluro Orange is ridiculously bright, no camera on earth could capture it's insane beauty. I didn't keep this bizarre (but kinda cool right? No? Just me then...) mani on for long but it's definitely the one that I couldn't keep my eyes off. If you're after some seriously attention grabbing talons I can't recommend this enough. It has a semi-matte finish but you could easily add a glossy top coat for a little more finesse. Porchester Place and Fear or Desire are fairly similar but Porchester Place has a touch more pink and is a little more muted. Both perfect for holiday toes! Tangy Tangerine is a classic apricot and was my boyfriends favourite of the lot for some reason. When I first asked his opinion he replied that they were all the same (my jaw nearly hit the floor at his blindness) but when pressed he claimed that Rimmel's offering was "more subtle and pretty."  I have to agree, it's a great transitional shade for Spring/Summer and won't offend your poor blind boyfriend. W7 is such a pain in the bum to effectively track down but I do so love them! I got a ten pack of pastels from TK Maxx and this is one of my favourites. Very delicate and cool and gorgeous with a tan.

I really hoped you like this! I have a real soft spot for colour-themed collections and adore seeing them on blogs so I couldn't resist! I think I may go for pink lip products next time. What do you think?

Which is your favourite shade? Any others that I have to try?


Monday, 3 June 2013

Review: Lush Oatifix Fresh Face Mask

Oatmeal, bananas and almonds. Perfect for breakfast and apparently also fabulous for your face. I had my first ever visit to a Lush store in Cambridge during my birthday weekend and I have to agree with the majority of beauty bloggers in that it's gorgeous and smells lovely. The displays are beautiful and really draw you in for a tactile shopping experience. Sadly, as lovely as my boyfriend is he couldn't cope with more than 15 minutes of me mooning over lumps of soap so he offered to buy me anything I wanted so long as I promised to make it quick! Seemed like a fair deal to me. Enter Oatifix, the sweet, lumpy face mask that promises soft, moisturised skin for the even scaliest of ladies (or gentlemen for that matter.)

75g of product is packaged in a neat, black, (recycled) plastic tub with a screw top lid. It's not the most beautiful thing in the world but it's certainly very functional and secure and I love that it's eco-friendly. I also adore the scent of Oatifix, it's light and sweet and you can really smell the fresh ingredients - it's something akin to a fruity flapjack with a hint of vanilla. As an added plus, it's preservative free and suitable for vegans.

It's definitely a bit of a pain to put on but a little goes a long way. I only used a dab more than shown above for my entire face and it was really well covered. When you first scoop it out it's fairly solid and a bit intimidating but as I went on I found that the best way to do it is apply in small circles so that the oils within warm up and help to spread it more easily. This has the added benefit of lightly exfoliating the skin with the ground almonds for a brighter complexion. I still had to catch a few stray lumps though!

It was definitely a bit of trial and error for me as I've never applied a face mask like this one before but I don't think my coverage was too bad. I'd appreciate some advice in the comments in regards to application and the amount I should use if you have any!

After letting it do it's thing for 10 minutes I rinsed it off and was left with, I kid you not, baby soft skin. My skin has never felt this smooth I swear! It appeared brighter and more radiant than usual - simply lovely. I don't think it did much for my redness but perhaps with a few more uses? Who knows. I think with the amount in the pot I could get another 3 uses at least so I shall update if anything special happens! I didn't experience any sensitivity or breakouts but I've read some reviews saying that it can do for those with oily skin so do bear that in mind. For £5.95 I wholeheartedly recommend this for people with dry skin, I loved it.

Final Verdict: Fiddly but worth it. Leaves dry skin smooth and radiant.

Have you tried Oatifix? What do you rate most highly from Lush?


Monday, 13 May 2013

Review: Maybelline Color Sensational Popsticks

Ahh my first review after a whole month! And it's not going to be pretty. I'll be honest straight away and say that these products are the worst that I've ever tried from Maybelline which is usually a brand that I rely on for high quality drugstore makeup. Luckily I bought these Color Sensational Popsticks from Wilkinsons where they were only £3 each in a little bargain box. I'd be a lot more upset if I'd paid the usual £7.99 for them. I imagined that these were going to be something akin to a more waxy version of the Clinique Chubby Sticks. In theory this is great, a little sturdier and less prone to melting but still imparting sheer, shiny colour with a moisturising balm texture. Sadly these actually do nothing. I feel like Maybelline were relying on the gimmick of the translucent bullets to sell these and forgot to make them do anything.

One of the few praises I have for these products is the cute neon pink packaging. It's similar to what Maybelline uses for their other lipsticks but really fits in well with the bright translucent theme of the product. It also has a slight fruity scent which I personally don't like - it's very acrid and fake smelling. The colours themselves seem very vibrant and I loved the idea of a solid lip balm for Summer. However, if I'd wanted a clear lip balm, I would have bought one.

I don't even know if this is Citrus Slice or Crystal Pink as they are literally identical. There was really no point putting more than one swatch up. I wouldn't have been quite so heartbroken if it wasn't for the fact that these aren't even that moisturising! The only thing I can liken them to is very cheap children's lip balms. Waxy, thin and short-wearing. Just disappointing all round.

Final Verdict: It's pretty clear, I am very unhappy with these. If you're looking for moisturising colour I'd definitely recommend the Revlon Balm Stains or Lip Butters or even better, the Clinique Chubby Sticks. If it's just lip care you're after, save your pennies and get a Nivea lip butter - they're awesome!


P.S. Thank you so much for all your kind and supportive words on my last post. I really appreciate your patience and understanding and am very happy to be back! I hope you liked this (particularly scathing) review!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Hello Again

So you may or may not have noticed that this blog has been quiet for almost a month now. Things took a turn for the worst with my Grandma's health recently and she ended up in hospital. She's been living with a broken hip for several months now and they're refusing to operate until her respiratory problems clear up since they don't know if she could survive the anaesthetic. Sadly her breathing only got worse and she had to spend a few days in hospital. She was discharged on April 16th (her 78th Birthday bless her) and I'm happy to report that she's feeling a lot better! She couldn't do anything around the house though so I've been spending a lot of time over there helping her out. She's literally the most important person in my life, we've always been close and she took me and brother in when my Mum died so she's essentially the only parent figure I have.

Honestly I've been feeling so miserable at the notion of anything worse happening that blogging just totally fell to the wayside. I actually had my birthday on April 23rd and spent two days in Cambridge with my wonderfully supportive boyfriend from April 30th - both things that I would have loved to share with you lovely people - but I just haven't felt up to it. As with most things, the longer I stayed away from blogging the harder it felt to jump back into it. I somehow felt that I'd no longer be any good at it or that people would no longer care about me and all sorts of ridiculous notions that one thinks when miserable and anxious about uncontrollable things. But my boyfriend sat me down and reminded me how happy this made me and that no matter what I may think right now, there are so many amazing people that really do care about my feelings and opinions, and that's everyone who cares enough to still be reading this right now. I was amazed today when I logged on to see that I actually had several new followers and even people asking where I was on Twitter. So I just wanted to say thank you and that Peachy Curves is going nowhere soon.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

NOTD: Models Own in Juicy Jules and Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Prickly Pear

It's taken me a long time to purchase any of the Gelly Hi-Shines from Barry M and I'm not really sure why... Fast forward from 3 weeks ago and I've now got a mini collection of six shades which I'll be reviewing once I've finished swatching but, spoiler alert, I really like them! Prickly Pear is a beautiful pastel lilac which is perfect for Spring. I decided to pair it with Models Own Juicy Jules just to inject a little girly glamour into the look. I've recently been on a week long varnish ban to give my nails a rest since they were beginning to get a little dry and even flaky in some places. I can report that after some intensive moisturising they're back on form and look lovely and healthy! I definitely recommend taking a week out and applying some thick moisturiser (I used The Body Shop Shea Body Butter) if your nails are looking less than perfect. It felt really weird having naked nails for so long and I feel much better now I have my colourful talons back!

I think this is a fab combo. Sadly the glitter wasn't photographing very well but I can assure you it looks lovely and catches the light beautifully with pink and green shimmers. I'm wearing two coats of Prickly Pear here and one coat of Juicy Jules. This is the first time I've tried to do something like this using a glitter polish but it was really easy and worth the little extra effort.

Have you been embracing the Spring shades lately (despite the weather not cooperating)? What do you think of my look?


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Joules Leather Clutch

I've always been someone who's a total pain for carrying things. If my boyfriend tries to make me carry more than a single bag of groceries I will whine all the way home about how awful my life is. Bizarrely it doesn't seem to affect me when shopping for make-up, jewellery and skincare though... 
I do find that the one thing that really softens the blow of hauling around my essential items is something truly gorgeous to haul them in. I've been keeping an eye out for a gorgeous clutch for a little while now. I'm having a weekend in Cambridge at the start of May and I've spent longer than I'd like to admit fantasising about looking totally chic and heritage-cool with a new clutch bag. Imagine my surprise and delight when an email popped into my inbox asking if I'd like to try out a clutch from Joules. I'll admit that I'm not overly familiar with Joules. I was aware that they were a British brand that sold toiletries (thanks Boots Christmas 3 for 2) and I had a vague idea that they probably sold other things too. I wasn't told exactly what style or colour I was getting so I decided to leave it a surprise for myself.

And this is what I got:

I so love the Joules hare! Such an adorable logo.

I was immediately in sweet dreamy love. I mean really, I don't even know if heritage-cool is a term that should ever be used in real life but I genuinely think this is the epitome of it. It's exactly what I had in mind when I imagined myself strolling by canals and lounging in cafes (I can dream.) The clutch is a tan leather envelope which seals with a magnetic "popper". It contains three separate compartments including a zip-up centre compartment ideal for storing money and other valuables.The lining is a beautiful, floral printed, silky material which I'm assuming is polyester but I can't be sure since it isn't listed on the website nor on the label. It's an ideal size for carrying around essentials like money, a mobile phone and a few cosmetic items but obviously, there isn't an enormous amount of space. I also have to say that I love the colour pop of the pink strap and think it acts as a perfect contrast to the neutral clutch! But... it was £70. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I turned the ticket over. I'm a girl of limited means and I know that hand on heart, I wouldn't really have been able to afford this for myself. However, after having fully examined it and after using it for a couple of weeks, I completely agree that it's worth it. It's a timeless piece that will age with you and the craftsmanship is impeccable. There isn't a stitch out of line and the leather feels soft and supple. The colours are beautifully rich and vibrant and the lining pattern is stunning. I'd have no qualms about ordering anything from Joules in the future and am tempted for a duvet set as a post birthday-money treat! (So long as my long-suffering boyfriend will chip in!)

Some handy tips for leather care that were included! So cute.

Final Verdict: Absolutely beautiful and wonderfully made but certainly not cheap.

Joules Tan Leather Clutch £70*
This particular clutch is no longer available online but may be in stock at your local store. You can still get it in a pastel pink shade (yay Spring!) here.

Have you ever shopped at Joules? Know of any gorgeous handbags I should be looking at?