Sunday, 26 February 2012

London Haulin'

A few weeks ago, Nic and I headed to the big smoke for a day out shopping.  This is what I bought!

We popped into the Flagship store of Nails Inc on South Molton Street. Whilst browsing through their colours, Nic decided she was getting a manicure and I duly acquiesced and got one too!  I picked Kabaret for my mani. and made a few choice purchases.  I'd wanted Electric Lane holographic topcoat for a while and when you spent £25, you got to pick a trio of mini polishes (pictured above).  Clearly I went with the dark colours!

L-R Kabaret, Warwick Way and Windsor

Nails Inc manicure using Kabaret

L-R Topshop Hidden Treasure, OPI Designer, De Better and Topshop Gypsy Night

I've never tried any Topshop make up, so while in the Oxford Street store, I spotted a Chanel Peridot dupe.  I don't own the Chanel version, but Topshop Hidden Treasure looks pretty close to me.  I also scooped up Gypsy Night. Pretty!

We then trotted off to Liberty of London and I actually paid full price for a bottle of OPI Designer, De Better.   I must be crazy, but I haven't been able to source a decent OPI seller on Evil-Bay!  I've wanted the full size of this since Christmas.  The Boy bought me the OPI Mini Muppet set and it was instantaneous love.

At last, I saw the lovely Samantha Chapman's Real Techniques brushes in Boots.  Nic had already picked this set up and had been singing its praises.  Of course, I wanted my own set. I've only used the buffing brush so far, but I'm impressed.

Finally, the one thing I was actually on the hunt for, YSL Glossy Stains.  Since reading about the launch of these on BritishBeautyBlogger I knew I had to try them.  I'm obsessed with lip stains and I love gloss - so this sounded like a total winner for me.  I headed straight for the YSL counter at Selfridges and before I'd even swatched the colours, Naughty Nic had lassoed a Sales Assistant and was making a purchase! It made me laugh.  I finally decided on Number 5 (Rouge Vintage), although I'd have loved them all!!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain in 5 - Rouge Vintage

Final stop was Laduree in Covent Garden, where we stumbled across the lovely beauty bloggers,  Annabella from Skin Scrubs and Aysh from Truly Madly Beauty.  After a spot of late lunch/afternoon tea and a natter we all headed off home,  not before a macaroon purchase had been made.  The Boy would have been devastated if I'd come home empty-handed.  How pretty is the box?!

The macaroons were pretty fabulous too!  I had such a lovely day and it was really nice to finally meet Annabella and Aysh.  Must do it again soon, ladies. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

a-england: Lady of the Lake

Even though my Saint George manicure could have lasted a few more days, I was desperate to mix it up and try another of my a-england acquisitions.  So here is the divine Lady of the Lake (the name of which always makes me think of the lovely Charlie aka Lady of the Lane - just thought I'd throw that in there!)  from The Mythicals collection.  Isn't she a stunner?

A deep purple base with holographic particles. Okay, there is nothing about that description that I don't like. It is another beauty to apply.  Really, even the clumsiest application  (and believe me I'm no nail technician as you can plainly see!) looks pretty damn perfect.  I always appreciate products and formula's that 'perfect' the application of said product, even if the user is quite inept! 

Again I've included a few blurry shots to show of the holographic particles, because these nail varnishes are just mesmerising.  

Last picture of Lady of the Lake is taken with flash so you can see some of the holo effect.  Trust me, nothing is going to do these polishes justice until you see them with your own eyes.  I've taken a shed load of pictures.  Most of which don't even come close to capturing their true unique beauty.  

Next up from my a-england collection is Bridal Veil... Well, until my next order arrives!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Dr Bronner is Magic!

This year I decided that I was going to head down a more natural skin/hair care route, I've always enjoyed natural products anyway so I've enjoyed learning more about natural skincare.

Having read Carla Oats "Feeding Your Skin" I learnt about Castile Soap and by the power of google I discovered Dr Bronner's traditionally made castile soaps, they come in a variety of 'flavours' I adore rose scents so that was the winner for me.

There is some odd writing all over the bottle which is 'interesting' but what's inside is a lovely versatile little product.

According to Dr Bronner there are at least 18 uses for this soap from washing your hair and body to your clothes and your dog! I've just been using it in the bath, it's not at all drying on my sensitive skin, foams nicely, smells good £5.49 from ASOS, that'll do nicely!

The star if the Dr Bronner show, for me, is the Hair Cream, again I got this from ASOS for £8. There are two flavours Lavender Coconut or Peppermint, again being a floral kinda gal and thinking the Coconut sounded a bit more hydrating I went for the Lavender.

It calls itse;f a Hair Creme for Leave In Conditioning and Styling but as it's made a largely from organic oils I was interested in this product as an alternative to the Macadamia/Moroccan Oil I'd been using. I wanted something with a much higher oil content and no silicone and that's exactly what I got.

This product has literally changed my hair, it's gone from being dry, rough, frizzy and impossible to style to smooth, silky and manageable and it stays that way until the next wash!

I use the tiniest petit pois sized amount on my very thick, but short, hair when wet and it blow dries smooth and bouncy.

I also use it on the tiny humans after a bath to tame their very tangly hair - it's awesome stuff! Even The Man has used some after he buzzes his hair off to hydrate his scalp.

I've been using this for about three months now and I'm only about an inch down the bottle, this stuff will last forever!

How do you feel about natural products? Have you tried Dr Bronner?

Saturday, 18 February 2012

January 2012 Empties

So this is much later than I'd anticipated,  but here are my empties for January!
  • Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream stick - I've had this for ages.  I like the fact that the famous 8hr cream comes in a stick format. Sometimes you just don't want to get your hands all messed up.
  • Victoria Secret Balmy Days lip balm - This is another product I've had for yonks. Nice vanilla scent however, nothing special in my humble opinion. 
  • OPI Remover - Mini size that came from a QVC kit. Again, nothing special.  Can't imagine me being in a massive rush to re-purchase.
  • The Body Shop Neroli Jasmine shimmering scent - Got this about 2 Christmases ago in the sale.  This was my bedtime scent, as it was packed full of glitter.  I love the smell, but I would have never worn the glitter out of the house. To bed, was fine though. Okay, I know I'm weird. But you knew that already!

  • La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution - Love it. Trying out a different brand now this one has finished, but pretty sure I will return and repurchase.
  • L'Occitane Body Lotion - Love This! Have backups, so no need for an immediate repurchase.
  • Original Source Vanilla and Cocoa bath soak -Smelled okay but made me a bit itchy when I got out of the bath. Won't be in a rush to buy this again. 
  • Bath and Body Works Mistletoe Kiss Foaming Soap - I LOVE THIS! Damn you B&BW for not being easily available in the UK.  I got this in my Black Friday gift.  I'm not sure it is a scent that I would have picked out myself, but I certainly enjoyed using it over the festive period. 

  • MAC Cleansing Oil - I'm glad I decieded to try the travel size version. Wasn't overly impressed with this (apart from the packaging). I prefer to use Origins Clean Energy, so I won't repurchase this.
  • Bath and Body Works Twilight Woods shower gel - Sadly, I LOVE THIS TOO! My lovely friend Jeanie picked this scent out for me and stupidly I didn't buy myself another bottle while I was in the States. Big Mistake! 
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple - Really like this cleanser.  Good job as I have a massive bottle in my bathroom, ready to use! 
  • bareMinerals Purifying Facial Cleanser - It was nice, but I wasn't bowled over. Also feel the same about...
  • bareMinerals Purely Nourishing moisturiser - Nice, but nothing special.

  • Angel Perfuming Shower Gel - I've always been a bit stupid and not used these bath/body products that come with my perfume.  I'm making an effort to use these up this year. Love the scent and it really seemed to linger on my skin, even without the addition of the perfume.
  • Angel Perfuming Body Lotion - Obviously I love the scent, but I was surprised at how moisturising this actually was.  I'm not sure I'd buy either of these products again, but I did enjoy using them, much to my surprise! 
  • Aveda Shampure Shampoo and Conditioner - Really enjoy Aveda products. Nic actually bought these for me ages ago.  I love the beautiful scent and how my hair looks and feels.  Will repurchase.

  • DKNY Delicious Night EDP - I really like this perfume.  The Boy bought it for me a few years ago, wont repurchase immediately as he also got me a back up - God, I love that man!

So there you have it, my (very late) January empties.  I'm going to aim to use up some make up products over the next few months. What have you been using up?

a-england: Saint George

 The beauty blogging community have been all abuzz about a-england and their beautiful nail varnishes and of course, I wanted in on the action! 

 Unless you have been living under a freaking rock, I'm sure you'll have heard all about the newly released "The Legend" collection.  The website states the collections are " inspired by the enchanting spirit of England and its myths through unusual and sophisticated shades."

I quickly logged on and decided my first purchases would be Saint George and Bridal Veil from The Legend collection and Lady of the Lake from The Mythicals.

All I can say is WOW!  

Being a massive Teal fan, I decided my first manicure would be Saint George, so here he is in all his resplendent glory.  

This colour reminds me of a blue/green mother of pearl bracelet that I got from my family in New Zealand.  Just look at how pretty this is!

I could have so easily got away with a single coat, but I finally went with two. This polish applied like a dream, was super glossy and without any hint of grittiness (which you know is a major pet hate of mine!). 

 Saint George is the most beautiful teal shade that looks lovely in natural light.  But view it in direct sunlight or under artificial light and you will be amazed.

I've included a few intentionally blurry shots in this post, because I think it gives a better idea of the density of the polish. It almost glows when the light hits the multi-faceted particles.  Saint George is truly unique, its one of those shades that I just can't stop looking at.  

Put simply: it's stunning and I am so glad that I purchased this. I feel a new obsession coming on...

You can purchase a-england polish from and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will have some new a-england nail mail arriving soon!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Nails Inc TSV - Tuesday 14th February 2012

Love Nails Inc? Then you might be interested to see this sneak peek of the upcoming QVC TSV due to go live on Tuesday14th February. This could be a nice Valentines gift, if you point people in the right direction!  

Clearly, I'm excited by the colours here. The cobalt blue is gorgeous, coral is bang on trend and I hear mutterings of a silver holographic polish in the bunch.  Best news is, this little beauty is going on Auto-Delivery for a further six months, with a range of seasonal colours hitting your doorstep in May and August. Count me in! 

I've heard the price is under £25 - total steal! I was at Nails Inc yesterday and know they have 3 polishes for £22 on a buy 2, get 1 free offer. So, 7 fashion forward shades for £25 is a bargain.

I'll be purchasing. Will you? 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Tarte SmolderEYES

Tarte is a brand I've long been interested in.  Sadly, it's not something I can get hold of in the UK. So please don't hate me, when I had to take full advantage of snapping up this SmolderEYES limited edition liner collection from Sephora.

The collection includes SmolderEYES pencils in  Golden Beige, Moss, Violet, Espresso, Smoke and Silver Black and retails for $39 (including a pencil sharpener - so handy!!)  The pencils are waterproof and are paraben free. The smudger tip is a really useful addition to the pencil, enabling you to create a true smoky, smudgy eye without the need for additional brushes.  $39 for the set is a bit of a steal, when a single pencil retails for $25. It was a no brainer for me!

I've used these a few times and I am really impressed with their longevity.  The first time I spotted them, I swatched them all over my hand - not too dissimilar to the picture below, made some purchases and headed off for the day.  I kid you not, I couldn't get rid of these liners through various thorough hand washings throughout the day.  People must have thought I was mental - Oh well!  When I got back to the hotel and removed the swatches (with a bit of a scrub) with eye make-up remover, I knew I would have to buy them.  

Colours (L-R) are Golden Beige, Smoke, Espresso, Moss, Violet and Silver Black

I have also used Smoke and Violet as an all over eye colour to great success. Golden Beige would probably create a pretty,  quick everyday look.  These pencils remind me quite a lot of the infamous Avon SuperShock liners. They're creamy, effortless to blend - well, as long as you are quick! And they stay put.  What more can a girl ask for?!

Anyone else tried Tarte products? Any recommendations? 

There will certainly be a few more Tarte/LV purchases popping up here in the near future... 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Springtime Shopping at No7

After a surprise early escape from work on Friday, I found myself in Boots.  Luckily I had remembered that I had a few of the No7 £5 vouchers to use.   So I treated myself to the No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water (from the normal/oily collection) and the most beautiful pink cream blusher from the new Floral Brights collection, called Blooming Pink. 

Look at how gorgeous this is and it's SO pigmented! I cannot wait to try this out.  The packaging is really fun too. Those vivid flowers on a white background were a good choice (well done Boots/No7/Lisa Eldridge), it really stands out amongst the other rudimentary No7 packaging.

I'm really pleased with my little bargains. I love the No7 vouchers. I'm sure it wont be long until they are back in circulation...again! 

QVC February 2012 Beauty TSV's

Saturday 4th February - Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare
Tuesday 7th February - Judith Williams Skincare
Friday 10th February - Beauty Tools and Accessories
Tuesday 14th February - Nails Inc
Sunday 26th February - In the Salon with Decleor
Wednesday 29th February - Laura Geller Makeup

Happy Shopping! 


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