Friday, 29 March 2013

Zalando Home and Storage Mini Haul

A little while ago I was contacted by a company called Zalando to see if I'd like to review anything from their website. Zalando to me is like a giant online TK Maxx. It's a great mix of European designer and high street products to match all budgets. Naturally, I immediately said yes and went shopping. I first started trawling through all the beauty items and was very tempted to try a Shiseido lipstick but as I was exploring the website I absolutely fell in love with the homeware. Zalando is best known for it's women's clothing (here) and extensive range of fabulous shoes (here) but nothing in the plus size range jumped out at me and the only shoes I need are trainers (functional but painfully boring to review I fear.) In the end I plumped for the cutest little candle holder I've ever seen and some brand new makeup storage.

This adorable and surprisingly massive candle holder was only £4 and I love how it looks when it's lit up. I think this is going to be perfect to take away to University with me to remind me of home. The only slightly infuriating thing about it is that it doesn't lift off the base so you have to physically reach in to put the candles in and light them. Luckily it is really wide so you can get your arm in easily but it's such a pain! I can forgive and forget though since it's so beautiful. Coincidentally, the Yankee samplers are amazing. It was just what I needed to give my mood a boost and remind me that Summer will eventually come. I definitely recommend the scents if you haven't tried them yet.

And here is my storage. This was by no means cheap at £25 but I definitely think it was worth it. My collection just, and I mean just, squeezes in completely. It's an absolute dream to not have lying all over the house. So much more organised! I really like the milky, translucent acrylic. Very neat. It feels really sturdy and you can open the drawers all the way without any ominous creaking. It's also fairly light and easy to transport which is a big plus for me. Even being completely filled I can easily carry it up the stairs without wobbling. As you can see, I've included a photo of my favourite drawer - the lip drawer! Let me know if you'd like to see any collection posts. I've actually shamefully added to this since I took the photo...oops. 

I have to say, Zalando shipping is great. Free delivery and returns no matter what you order and it's really fast and well packed. I definitely recommend having a least a browse! I have my sights trained on some jewellery... and maybe a handbag or two!

Zalando Home Tealight Holder £4* (sadly no longer in stock)
Nomess Copenhagen Bathroom Storage £25*

Have you bought anything from Zalando before? What do you think to my picks?


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: 17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Beehive | A.K.A The Most Perfect Shiny Nude Ever

I've been on the lookout for a perfect natural lip colour for ages and Beehive has been at the top of my wishlist for months. After a long fruitless search I just so happened to nip into Boots for a drink at St Pancras Station and the make up stands caught my eye (as usual.) Much to my surprise, there was the illusive Beehive. All nonchalant and beautiful. Needless to say I was ecstatic and it immediately went into my basket, along with a few other things... read about my day in London here.

I genuinely had no idea that the packaging had changed so dramatically from the old metallic turquoise tubes. I was totally unaware of the handy little mirror that popped out when I opened this! I definitely prefer the new sleek black look and find it much less garish than the old ones. They're still very easy to find in my collection because of the distinctive oblong shape and because this is actually my only lip product in black packaging. The only downside to the mirror is that it often pops out as you open the tube, but I've found that it's doing this less and less as I use it so I guess it's just a little snug at first. The lid fits very securely and there's a satisfying click as it snaps shut which I find very reassuring. There's no strong scent either, just a light typical lipstick scent that's certainly not offensive.

I had to take swatch photos from two angles here because the lighting washed the colour out a little. 

Ahh I love it! It was love at first swatch. Smooth, shiny and moisturising with a beautiful sheer peachy-pink tint. It's almost like a lip butter texture because it's so soft. I've worn this ridiculously often since purchasing and I love how full and shiny it makes my lips look. It's certainly not an opaque lip colour so the natural pigmentation of your lips will change the shade to what I like to think of as a custom match. It's so easy to slick on with any make up look and is the ideal finishing touch to a natural every day look. Wear time isn't amazing due to the texture but it fades very evenly and I really don't mind topping up every three hours or so. I generally try not to buy into blogger hype but this one was well deserved!

£4.59 from Boots and currently included in the 3 for 2 deal!

Final Verdict: The blogger hype is well deserved. A perfect sheer, shiny, neutral for all skin tones.

Have you tried Beehive? What's your neutral lip holy grail product?


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sleek Haul

A little while ago Sleek had an offer on their Facebook page where you could get a 25% off voucher in return for a quick opinion poll about the products and their image. I'm forever wanting Sleek products and sadly they're not stocked in my local Superdrug so this seemed like the ideal time to get a few of the things I've been dying to try! There's a couple of other things I bought but they're not for me so I want to keep them a surprise.

Pout Paints in: Cloud 9, Lava, Peek-a-Bloo, Port and Pin-Up £4.99    Face Form in Light £10     Blush by 3 in Lace £10    True Colour Lipstick in Barely There £4.99    Kohl Pencil in Green Ivy £1.99

The Pout Paints have been on my wishlist for months and months and I'm really excited to start custom designing my own shade. I think I picked a nice mix of colours and will get a lot out of them. Barely There was recommended to me on Twitter during a #bblogger chat as a pretty much perfect nude so I'll be putting it through it's paces this Spring (if it ever comes.) The stunning face palettes are going to be perfect for injecting a bit of colour into my lacklustre complexion and I'm thrilled that I'm going to be trying the much hyped Rose Gold. And finally, my new kohl pencil was such a gorgeous colour I couldn't resist it. I remember years ago that my Mother had similar one from Avon called Jungle Green which I wore to death in my early teens. I really hope it lives up to my rose-tinted memories!

Have you picked up anything from Sleek lately? Do you have a favourite Sleek product? Is there anything you'd particularly like reviewed?


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

NOTD: Essie, Bikini So Teeny

I've actually had this little gem knocking about in my collection since December when I picked it up in a spur of the moment TK Maxx haul and have only now tried it. This is my first ever Essie polish and I have some mixed feelings...

Essie polishes come in rectangular bottles, contain 15ml of product and retail at £7.99 each. This shade is from the Summer 2012 collection and was enormously popular at the time. I'll admit, I'd been lusting after it for an absolute age. I'm a huge fan of pastels and pale blues are a particular favourite of mine so it was only a matter of time (and TK Maxx sales) until it was with me. Bikini So Teeny is a beautiful cornflower blue which can read almost sky blue in artificial light. The pale shimmer running through it makes for a really multi-faceted colour and I constantly find myself looking at my nails when I'm wearing it.

I really like the packaging of Essie polishes, they're very distinctive and the raised logo on the glass gives them a slightly higher end feel. The biggest disappointment for me was how sheer this shade is. I ended up having to apply four coats which is absolutely ridiculous. I could still see the faint outline of the white tips after that. The drying time was fair but nothing to get excited about. BUT, the wear time is outstanding! It's been a week now and there isn't a single chip. I applied it without a base coat or top coat and it's still just as perfect as when it was first applied. For that reason alone I can understand why Essie is so raved about. However, I'm usually the sort of person that changes my nail varnish every two or three days so longevity isn't so much of a selling point for me personally so I wouldn't pay full price for them. Luckily there are a few great bargains around and you can usually find select colours on Fragrance Direct for £1.99 each.

Final Verdict: Takes several coats to reach opacity but lasts forever when it's on. Beautiful colour.

Do you have a favourite Essie shade? How often do you like to change your nail colour?


Monday, 18 March 2013

What I've Been Up To: London and a Mini Haul

Howdy stranger! As it usually is, your slowest blogging months are invariably your busiest "life" months. I was pretty shocked when I looked at the calender and realised it's been almost a week and a half since I last blogged! This is by far my longest break and I've really missed blogging. I could have squished in a couple of posts but to be honest they would have been very lack lustre. This week has been all about University preparation. Last Wednesday I had an interview at Westminster University to try and win a place on their Journalism course. I've always loved writing but blogging has been a total revelation for me; I never imagined myself forging a career in journalism but now I know what I want to do with my life. In a dream world I'll one day be working in the beauty department for a magazine but any kind of writing would be great for now, you never know!

I'm one of those people that always remembers the camera and then totally forgets to take photos. Halfway through my great London journey I suddenly remembered it nestled in my bag and whipped it out to take a few shots in the Natural History Museum. If you get a chance to go exploring around London I wholeheartedly recommend a wander through it, if for nothing but the stunning architecture in the foyer.

Bar the first image which is the foyer, all of these photos were taken in the mammal room. There's something truly awe-inspiring about the sheer size and majesty of these animals. There were a lot of interesting exhibitions but this was one of my favourites (hence I remembered I had a camera!) The museum also housed a mini gallery of works inspired by nature. Animals and plants have always been my favourite things to work from and I'd actually forgotten how much I enjoyed and appreciated art so it was wonderful to see everything. The most bizarre and disturbing thing for me was the human biology exhibit - lots of terrifying massive babies and glowing red "womb" walls. I'm the least maternal person ever and myself and my flatmates were all suitably disturbed.

Just as we were leaving the museum my boyfriend pointed out the sunset and I had to a nab a photo. It was so beautiful and the surrounding buildings were stunning. A very fitting end to the day.

If I sound like a major tourist it's because I really am. I've only been to London once before and it was an awful College trip experience. All I did that day was walk up and down a packed Oxford Street (it was January 3rd and ridiculous) whilst other people tried on clothes in stores that didn't carry my sizes. This second trip has shown me a whole new side to the city and I really want to study there. It's so full of inspiration and colour. It's also full of some seriously stylish women. I remember in particular this one Asian girl in the tube station with a slick, black graduated bob, bare skin and bright red, matte lipstick. She was wearing a big voluminous coat and black tights and I just kept thinking about how incredible she looked. So if you're ever in a style rut, go and people watch in London, you wouldn't ever get bored.

This mine and my boyfriend's ridiculous tower of plates at Yo! Sushi. We'd never been there before but he and my flatmate were adamant that it's where they were eating dinner so off I went. I have to honest, I'm a firm cooked-food eater. The one piece of raw tuna sushi that my boyfriend forced on me was horrific. All I could taste was blood and it had the most repulsive texture; squishy, slimy and jelly-like. I still haven't forgiven him for his enthusiastic offering. I was also rather perplexed at the wait staff's apparent disgust when I asked for tap water. The glasses were tiny so I had to ask for a second and they seemed very stressed about it. Certainly not the best service I've ever had. Regardless, the noodles, prawns and chicken dishes were fantastic and I'd definitely eat there again.

And of course you know me... I couldn't leave without buying some beauty bits!

Clearly I was in an orange mood! Sadly I didn't have time to go for a serious shop at Selfridges or Debenhams so these were actually nabbed at the St. Pancras station Boots. I originally went in on the off chance that they'd have 17's Beehive in stock since I've been searching for it for lord knows how long. Lo and behold, the whole glorious shelf was filled to the brim! I also considered buying the Doll'd Up mascara that everyone has been raving about but decided to try "Belle," another rarely-found lipstick (at least in my local Boots.) The rest were kind of bought on a whim which is a bit unusual for me but they'd all been fully researched so why not?! I've been putting off buying the Tangle Teezer for so long because of the price but I figured since it was a day out I could treat myself. I've also decided that this Summer I'm going to really embrace orange cosmetics so I popped a couple more Revlon products in my basket to add to my collection.

Honourable mention of the day goes to this ridiculous doughnut. They do say everything is bigger in cities. Unbelievably it was only 99p which I think is a very fair price for something that could feed a family of four.

And that's my little trip all summed up! The University was really wonderful and I'm so hoping I get in. If anyone else has a group interview coming up please don't stress too much about it. I almost made myself ill with worrying and it was so unnecessary. Everything was really relaxed and informal and I turned up in black trousers and a red shirt and was completely overdressed. There was even a couple of people in jumpers and leggings and they looked much more at home than I did. So try not to worry and don't be afraid to chat to the other interviewees, they're all feeling the exact same way and you might even connect with someone. I was really lucky and managed to meet another beauty and fashion blogger who was absolutely lovely and happens to be the first blogger I've ever met!

Are you hoping to attend University this year? Do you spend much time in London? Let me know where I should visit when I (hopefully) start studying there!


P.S. I know there's been a total palaver over Google Reader (which is being killed soon) and GFC recently. I'm fairly certain that GFC isn't going anywhere in the near future, but just as a little bit of shameless self promotion and precaution, I'd love a follow on Bloglovin'! You can find my profile here.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Review: Deborah Milano 5 in 1 BB Cream in 00 Fair Rose

BB cream is something that I have very little experience with. I've always used quite a light coverage, dewy foundation but I really wanted to try a BB cream because of the added promise of skincare benefits. It really sounded like the perfect thing for "good" skin days, particularly in warmer weather. Deborah Milano is the leading cosmetics provider in Italy so I really felt like I was in good hands when they offered to let me try out their BB cream!

Shown here is also a gorgeous mascara which I recently reviewed here. For me this is the bare minimum for makeup, I could quite happily go out with just mascara and a light foundation!

Like 24 Ore mascara, Deborah Milano BB cream comes in sleek, shiny black packaging. Like most BB creams, this one is simply squeezed out of the tube and has a small opening which helps prevent product wastage. The cap fits tightly and securely and I'd feel comfortable chucking it in a bag and travelling with it. This product comes in 6 shades which would fit a wide range of skin tones. I think BB creams are possibly the worst offenders when it comes to tiny shade ranges so it's refreshing to see a brand cater to so many people. I received shade 00 Fair Rose which is the lightest in the range and honestly, absolutely PERFECT! I was thrilled with the colour match. It's possibly even a very very tiny bit better than my current foundation so it's quickly become my go-to base for every day.



You can see from the swatches above that it evens the skin out beautifully. My main issues with my skin are it's dryness and uneven tone so this is an ideal match for me. It really eliminates redness and I also feel it gives a brightening effect, you can see that the area under my eye is much lighter and less "tired-looking." The formula is really light and smooth and I completely agree that it's moisturising. It doesn't cake or cling to dry patches and blends perfectly into the skin. It's also hypo-allergenic and contains SPF 20 so it's ideal for those with sensitive skin and allergies. I'm totally in love with this! The only possible negative is that initially it has a strong sweet scent that reminds me of parma violets but this does fade quickly when you're wearing it. Personally the scent doesn't bother me and could in no way outweigh the enormous positive aspects of this product.

Deborah Milano BB Cream* £9.95

Final Verdict: A fantastic and affordable product which I personally adore!

What do you think to this product? Do you have a favourite BB cream?


Wednesday, 6 March 2013


A few weeks ago I started hearing about a new website called Baobella. It didn't really impinge on my consciousness much until I started looking into it and found out what it's all about. It's essentially a social network dedicated to beauty (I know you're already hooked) where you can share your photography and inspiration. It was officially launched on Friday and I'm already well and truly addicted! It's a great way to show off your makeup looks and product swatches and is useful for driving traffic to your blog.

It's incredibly easy to navigate and everything has been linked up so that you can add all of your social networks and blog to your Baobella profile. There are sections for your favourite products and posts so you always have a place to grab some beauty inspiration and keep your wishlist up to date! 

Here are my favourite posts which I've "loved" by some of the best bloggers around:

Coco of The Beauty Milk - here   Kat of Tales of a Pale Face - here   LaaLaa of Dolce Vanity - here
Miranda and Mackenzie from Pretty Squared - here

I love making all the collages and I've uploaded something every day since I joined. Yesterday I even put in an entry for the competition that Baobella are currently running for bloggers! It took me a while to decide what sort of look I wanted to go for but in the end I chose something quite natural with some light bronzing and I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Click here to find out more about the competition (and pop in an entry!) The prizes include a 6 week professional make up training course, personal shopping at MAC and luxury afternoon tea with the Baobella team. There's also a runner up prize of a £150 voucher to spend at UK department stores.

You can find my profile here and I'd love to get your links too! Below is my competition entry and of course I'd love some feedback and maybe even a few cheeky "love"s here.

I hope I see you on Baobella soon and if you have any questions the Baobella team are really helpful and active on Twitter @Baobella.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Review: Deborah Milano 24 Ore Absolute Volume Mascara in Nero

I feel like the quest for the perfect mascara is never ending for womankind. There's always something bigger and better calling out to you with the promise of unbelievable lashes. Luckily for me, a representative of Deborah Milano contacted me about trying a couple of their products out and a fabulous mascara was one of them. Deborah Milano is a prominent Italian cosmetics company which is branching out into the UK this year which is absolutely fantastic. I love trying products from brands which I don't usually have access to and think it's wonderful that the internet is allowing us to try things we never would have heard of otherwise!

Massive thumbs up for this gorgeous packaging. It's a very feminine "hourglass" kind of shape and the shiny black plastic just screams "sexy" to me. I love the look of it and it feels really comfortable to handle. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into it and I definitely appreciate the effort. It feels super sturdy and I'd be more than happy to travel with it. Also it doesn't usually have that little strip of space between the top and tube, that was me being silly and not closing it tightly enough!

I assure you it is extremely black, I just had to over-edit this a bit to properly show off the bristles! This is without a doubt the biggest spoolie I've ever used! The website advertises this as a "jumbo wand" and they're not lying. My immediate worry was that it would be a nightmare to manoeuvre around my lashes but it was surprisingly easy and I think I actually prefer a larger applicator for my mascaras now. My only issue is that there's nothing inside the tube that properly scrapes off the excess product so you end up with a clump of it at the end of the wand as you can see above. Obviously it's not a deal breaker but I do get a little tired of smearing the end of the wand against the opening of the tube.

Bare Lashes

One Coat 

Two Coats
(No eyelash curlers used throughout)

As you can see I'm not gifted with the best natural lashes. They cross over and have blonde tips which makes them look really short! I have to say, I love how this mascara makes them look. I get fantastic length and can build up volume without clumping. It also gives quite a nice lift and holds a curl well. The formula is perfect for me, not too thick and dry, not too wet or thin. It dries really fast to a deep, dark black. The shape of the spoolie makes it a little difficult to get at the lashes in the inner corner though which is a disappointing. I also don't think there's anything particularly volumising about it either; it's no more volumising than any other mascara I've tried so I'm not sure how I feel about the "Absolute Volume" subtitle. Sadly it also smudged under my eyes. I'm yet to meet a mascara that doesn't do this on me (so it might not do the same to you!) It drives me absolutely mad! I don't rub my eyes and I don't have ridiculously long bottom lashes so I don't understand what the problem is. My hunt continues! Regardless of the negatives, I genuinely really like this mascara; a picture is worth a thousand words so I'm sure you can see why I like it!

Final Verdict: Fantastic formula and gorgeous packaging. Well worth £9.50. Not particularly volumising without layering though.

What do you think to this mascara? What's your all time favourite mascara?


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Life Update

I've been a bit out of the loop for the past few days because I've had the most wretched cold-type illness. I've got some fun posts coming up but sadly I haven't been able to do proper swatches of things yet because my skin has taken it's dryness to a whole new level so do bare with me! I haven't dropped off the blogosphere just yet. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a couple of fun, personal things from the last week or so:

Introducing the amazingly glorious oreo cupcakes that I made for my flatmates 23rd Birthday. I used the recipe that Alessandra guest posted on my blog in January (here) and they went down an absolute storm! (Despite my questionable icing.) They tasted absolutely beautiful so thank you for the recipe Alessandra!

I also had a shopping miracle and came across this total bargain:

Super gorgeous satchel which I got for an amazing £10! I was shocked at how cheap it was. I love the little clasp, it looks like an old tap. I think this is going to be perfect for my University interview at Westminster (wish me luck!) as it strikes just the right note of professional and stylish. It's from a brand called LYDC and I picked it up at a local shop that's been here for over 100 years. I'm pretty sure it isn't leather, I'd be shocked if it is for the price, but it definitely looks more expensive than it is. I've been looking for a satchel for ages and they don't come cheap, so I'm incredibly happy with this find.

And I've finally got my order in for the Real Techniques brush sets! is an American site that ships to the UK and the brushes are so much cheaper there, $17.99 is £11.98 which is just amazing. You're saving £20 if you buy the core collection and eye set which is what I've done. I also picked up a Physicians Formula Happy Booster Blush so I'm looking forward to trying that! There's an offer on at the moment where you can get $10 off when you spend $40 (which isn't difficult) so get on it! It's only $4 for non-tracked delivery so I'm not too fussed about the wait; the saving makes it worth it!

So that's my little lifestyle update for this week, what have you been up to?