Saturday, June 30, 2012

bobbi brown bronzer review

I have been wanted a nice matte bronzing powder for a while now - I had been using an old MAC Sculpt and Shape Duo (Bone Beige/Emphasise) for years but it cracked and shattered and I eventually just chucked it. I had been making do with a Nars blush but I felt it was about time to replace it. I had a good browse around John Lewis and eventually came to these. I don't really stop that often at the Bobbi Brown counter. Like MAC, I feel they have good, staple items (I really love their gel eyeliners) but they are quite pricey and they don't always have the luxurious feel of a Chanel or YSL product, as much as I love them.
Or at least thats what I used to think because I do really love this! The powder itself is amazingly soft and finely milled, it's very velvety and feels very rich, so I am a huge fan. It's the perfect shade for me, too - I'm quite pale in the summer but I go quite olive-y with a tan, so this is the perfect inbetween. With a light hand it just adds enough colour to give me a slightly glow, and then I can build it when (if!) I get a tan. So I am a huge fan. I really love the giant mirror, too, which means I can chuck it in my makeup back and not need to take an extra mirror.
Price: 4/5 (I got this for just under £20, using my discount!)
Packaging: 4/5
Product: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Would I buy this again?: Yes!
Have you tried these? Or do you have another favourite bronzer of the moment? Let me know!

Friday, June 29, 2012

burning up

Passionflower and Mango, Sainsbury's, £8-9

Now I've had a bit of a sort out in my room (more on that one shortly) I can get to my candles better, so I've been lighting them at every available chance. Some of my pretty unscented ones are at uni, so I have a couple here to keep me going, and I really love these.

The Quince one I picked up on a whim from my local Marks and Spencers when looking for duvet covers.. It smells absolutely amazing, very fruity and fresh without being too sickly, and I really love the jar it comes in, because when it's done I'm definitely going to use it to store something in. I don't know what, though. I don't know what the burning time of this is, but it seems to be burning very slowly, so that's good!

The pink one, is very pretty but I can't smell enough of the mango? I straddle a thin line between floral and fruity and this one leans slightly too far into the former for my liking. It's pretty, but it cost the same as the others and its burning much quicker, and I don't like it as much. However, I do think Sainsbury's have a good line in candles. I can't find them online (their website is shocking), but both my local ones have a good stock selection!

And finally we come to Yankee Candle. Whilst I haven't ventured as far a Diptyque candle yet (although my housemate has a beautiful one), this is about as much as I can stand to pay for something that literally burns your money. A slightly smaller jar than the other two for a similar price, Bahama Breeze has an amazingly summery, fruity scent. It borders on being too fruity, but for the summer, it's amazing. 

Basically, though, this boils down (burns down? ohh, the puns I could do) to whatever scent you like. I wouldn't disregard the 'cheaper' ones, but they don't seem that much cheaper? And I think sometimes the more you pay, you do get a slightly better quality candle, and therefore burns for longer. Just my two scents, really, and I thought I'd show you what my room currently smells like! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

oh gosh

I am fully aware that I have already posted once today.. but I didn't think that I would have such an enjoyable day that I wanted to post when I got home! (Or have the energy! Hence the scheduled post.) Anywayyyy, me and my mama popped upto London today - it was sort of my birthday treat, because I didn't really do anything with my parents for my birthday earlier in the month. I got a pair of beautiful sunglasses, but my mum says she would've given me money towards them anyway, so she wanted to treat me, and goshhh, did she treat me! My mum wanted to see something at the Royal Academy, and I wanted to see something nearby at the Haunch of Venison, so we thought we would have a little wander around the area, something I haven't done in a long while. We had a lovely lunch at The Living Room (and a few Pineapple Sidecars..!) and browsed many a shop. My huge treat was something I've had my eye on for a while - a perfume from Penhaligon's.. more on that in a later post though! I also tried the Laduree macarons for the first time, popped into Illamasqua and saw a bit of art.. so all in all, a very lovely day for me! Right up my street, so to speak.
So even despite the overwhelming humidity & heat, I had such a lovely day and feel very spoilt and it was so very lovely.
How have you been enjoying this heat? I saw this online earlier today, and it accurately describes how I was on the tube this evening! haha.
There have been too many exclamation marks and elongated words in this post.. oops! And another one.

american apparel sheer polishes

I was bumming around on Tumblr yesterday, as you do, and these were on the Radar and caught my eye because, well, look at these pictures! Those nails are insaneee. Apparently they're the new line of American Apparel's sheer nail polishes, which I have not heard much about? The one that really takes my fancy is the yellow-green-blue nail, because that just looks amazing! I am so tempted by these, but they are quite steep at £9 each, which is the same as the regular AA polishes, which makes me a bit sad, because they obviously don't have the pigmentation of a regular polish, so I thought they might be a bit cheaper - or is that just my logic? The other thing that bothers me is that these are the pictures from the AA website, so you'd think they might be really slick and well done - and the application is a bit dodgy? Like look at that orange-purple nail in the middle, it looks a little crappy. So I wonder if that is just a bad promo image or they apply badly. Either way, I am sort of desperate to try these out! I'm off to London today so I might pop in and have a look at them.  
What do you think - would you give these a go?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

better than skin - mac hug me review

MAC Lipstick in Hug Me, £13.50

Just a speedy post from me today, I thought I would show you all the lipstick I'm currently reaching for nearly all the time. I have always said that I never saw the point of "my lips but better" shades.. and here I am, writing a post about one! Oh well. I kept reaching for this during a week of overtime, when I wanted to wear a little bit of lipstick but not something so loud and overwhelming that I wouldn't be allowed at work. This is one of the first MAC lipsticks I ever bought, I bought it because it was so 'nude', and I thought I could get away with it for school! It's just a little nub now, and I have to wind it up all the way to use it and I know it won't be long before it's gone! Anyway, it's a very glossy lipstick, because it's a Lustre, but I like that, because the fleshy kind of colour could look quite tacky and drying if it wasn't that glossy. It looks a weird colour in the tube - sort of a dirty greyed flesh tone, but it changes when it's on the lips.
Price: 5/5 (bought when MAC lipsticks were a tad cheaper)
Packaging: 5/5
Colour: 4/5
Texture: 5/5
Would I buy this product again?: I'm leaning that way..!
What lipstick are you currently loving? 

Friday, June 22, 2012

florentine sunshine - chanel mimosa review

Chanel Mimosa, £18-ish

Two nail posts in a week? What madness. Still, you know a love of it runs deep in my heart! This little bottle holds a special place in my heart because I bought it when I was in Italy. Sadly, that's sort of where the love ends. I still really love the colour - and in the bottle it looks beautiful! It has a really amazing shimmer in the bottle that doesn't stand up on the nails. The formula is awful, even with three or four coats, it's still not opaque, and that bothers me. Also, it's pretty streaky. I feel like Chanel either do really amazing formulas, or really shitty, and this is one of the worst ones. Oh well, I still keep it around in the hope that one day it'll magically work! haha. It is a gorgeous colour, and will forever remind me of Italian sunshine and the botanical gardens in Florence where I sat and painted my nails with it, but still, it wasn't really worth the Chanel-price-tag!
Price: 2/5
Packaging: 5/5
Colour: 5/5
Formula: 1/5
Overall: 2/5
Would I buy it again?: I will buy other Chanel's, but not this one.
Did you get this when it came out? What do you think of it..?

Monday, June 18, 2012

blast from the past - fotd

I used to be obsessed with really bright eyeshadow, to the extent where I have 4 MAC palettes full of insane, bright eyeshadows which I fear will never be used up.. So I have made it my mission to start wearing eyeshadow again! I do this every so often, because I get so lazy with makeup. Black liquid eyeliner and mascara is my go-to look, virtually every day it seems.
So, today I tried something different. I slicked on Illamasqua's Surge Liquid Metal all over my lid and covered in their Pure Pigment in Fervent. Fervent is an amazing reddish-coppery-blue with silver glitter that is unphotographable, but beautiful! Then a little bit of brown and black along the lashline and you're done. It took me the same time as applying my eyeliner, and people seem to think I've gone to a lot more effort. Now, I just have to work out what to do with that fluorescent green eyeshadows I own..
Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Surge
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Fervent
Sleek Au Naturel Palette (the matte brown and the black)
Rimmel Liquid Eyeliner in Black
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara 
Collection 2000 Concealer in Fair
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Warmed

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ginger snaps

When I get bored.. I bake. I don't think this is necessarily a bad habit, do you? My mum seems to appreciate it, it means she doesn't have to go out and buy cakes or anything, and theres something for the rest of my family to snack on. I made these when my mums friend was coming round for a coffee, I thought it would be nice for them to eat whilst they gossip.. My mum really loves biscuits, and particularly ginger biscuits, so I found this recipe on one of my favourite favourite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen (I'm going to snap up her cookbook when it's released!). I generally really trust any recipe from her website, even if they're a bit fiddly!

Here's the recipe, you can find it in cups, grams and ounces on her website, though:
280g plain flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt 
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
8oz/227g unsalted button (at room temperature)
100g granulated sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 large egg
80ml unsulphured molasses
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and spices until just combined, but evenly mixed throughout. If necessary, wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for a bit, and then roll into 1-inch balls and place on lined baking trays, about two inches apart incase they spread. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, and bake for around 10-15 minutes, depending on how soft or snappy you want your snaps!
A few notes; I didn't have any white pepper, all spice, or molasses! I put in a bit extra ginger and cinnamon, but I think next time I might use chunks of stem ginger, as that always tastes good! And instead of using molasses, I used golden treacle, which I think is why my biscuits are much lighter in colour than hers. Next time, I'd probably go for black treacle, which is as close to molasses as I've ever managed to find in this country! If you do manage to get hold of any, let me know!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

summer brights - china glaze neons

China Glaze Sun Worshipper 
China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, both £5.99

My love for China Glaze neons has been going on for a long, long time - as long as this blog infact.. See my post from back in 2010 about some of the green neons I own. Anyway, I've had these two for a long time, also, and I promised a full swatch and review back then, and never gave you one..Nearly two years later, I come through on that promise! Haha, I'm useless. Anyway, neons photograph.. horrifically, and I'm no camera expert, so these aren't really accurate shades. They're as close as I could get. They're these shades, but.. fluorescent! Temptalia has the most accurate swatches, colour wise.
Sun Worshipper is an amazing, not quite traffic cone orange, and not quite yellow, it's somewhere inbetween. It practically glows in the dark! And because it's so bright, it makes me look really tan. However, on overcast or dull days, it looks obscenely bright. Wear indoors, and you risk blinding people - my mother hates it!
Flip Flop Fantasy is a neon-coral, I suppose. It looks pink in the bottle, but takes on an orange tone when on the nails. It's less bright than Sun Worshipper.. though that's not saying much. It has a better formula though.
Neons are notoriously tricky - although I do own some good ones (In the Limelight, Turned Up Turquoise, Purple Panic). They are very thin, and watery, and require several coats to build it up to a flat colour. China Glaze recommend three coats, and with some polishes, that is enough. Sun Worshipper, I find, takes a lot more. And even then, you can still sort of see the nail lines through, so be warned, it takes patience! I also hate the matte/satin finish, so I always top-coat them. It protects them from chips, but it shortens the wear, I think.
Price: 5/5 (They're around £6 which is VERY reasonable)
Packaging: 5/5
Colour: 5/5
Formula: 2/5
Overall: 4/5
Would I buy it again?: Oh yes, yes, yes. In fact, China Glaze has a Neon Collection coming out for Summer 2012.. Oh, my wallet..

Sunday, June 10, 2012

birthday stories

Birthday cake!
Dress from Billie & Blossom at Dorothy Perkins
Massive cocktails and geeky presents!

It was my birthday on Thursday, and whilst it didn't get off to the best start (I woke up feeling really sick and quite depressed because of a few things) so my housemate Alex and I drove through the pouring rain (which wasn't helping my depression!) to Winchester, and I actually ended up having a really lovely day, mostly thanks to Alex! We found a really cute little coffee shop with amazinggg coffee, found a great vintage clothing store, and an amazing Oxfam bookshop with an extensive collection of 60's penguin books and short stories, vintage sci-fi novels and old postcards.. It was so good!
In the evening I went for amazing mexican food with my two good friends from uni, and then went to my universities degree show. Afterwards we had lots of cheap cocktails and came home to eat cake! 
I came home on Friday and saw a couple of other friends from home and went to the pub and had cake at home.. so I was really lucky to have lovely friends to keep my mood up. 

On a side note - isn't my cake amazing? My mum always comes up with amazing cakes for my birthday - see tiger cake and rainbow cake - and I didn't know how she would come up with cakes better than those.. but she did. This was a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate dipped strawberries on top! There is this running joke in my family that when I was little and wouldn't go to bed, I asked for chocolate and strawberries together and I would do as I was told.. so this combines my two favourite things!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

you got your hair slicked back and your wayfarers on, baby

Hello everyone, guess who is 22 tomorrow?! Oh yes. I am now old! I definitely feel old, because for my birthday I asked for a new carpet, a couple of books, and a portfolio, haha. I mentioned to my mum that I was going to get myself from prescription sunglasses because I do really hate wearing contact lenses when it's sunny. She came with me to help pick them.. and ended up getting me them! They came last week and I wasn't supposed to be able to have them until my birthday but she let me have them a bit earlier. I have wanted Ray Ban's for ageeees, I adore the Wayfarers beyond words, but I told myself I wouldn't let myself have them until I could be trusted with nice things. Both my brother and I have an unfortunate habit of buying sunglasses and then leaving them in places (mine are usually cheap H&M sunnies, but his have been Oakley's, Ray Ban's and a pair of Prada ones I dare not mention to my mother!). As these are prescription lenses, they don't have the iconic Ray Ban logo in the corner but I can live with that to be able to wear them to wear them when driving and such.

(PS, if you love Boys of Summer as much as me, you are amazing, why aren't we friends?)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

notd, bourjois red

Bourjois 10 Day Nail Polish in 11 Coquelicot, £5.99

I bought this a while ago on my quest for a perfect orange-red, and I was going to sell it when I did it like it, or give it to a friend, but I dug it out the other day in my quest for a red nail varnish and I actually quite like it! It's a pretty, warm red, with orange-hints. It also has the teensiest bit of shimmer to it, which is barely noticeable in the second picture. It also apparently lasts for 10 days with no chips. I didn't leave it on that long to tell, but it was very good with chips after a few days. Now I've got some time off work, I might leave it on for longer to tell. I know some people really care about the chipping of a polish, but I change my nails like I change my underwear, so I never really notice! 
It does have a weirdly angled brush, though, like an eyeliner brush or something. I don't really it it, if I'm honest. I'm a fan of short, wide brushes, and the angle doesn't work for me. Supposedly it's for "touch ups" but it just irritated me. Also, I didn't like the shape of the handle/lid. You can't really tell but they're short of pinched in the middle, which does sort of make it easy to hold, but I like to sort of flip the brush around and paint two nails with one dip in the bottle, and I kept on dropping it when I tried this. 

Price: 3/5 
Packaging: 2/5
Colour: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Overall: 3/5
Would I buy it again?: Probably not. I've tried a few Bourjois nail polishes and  I just don't find them that spectacular for £6ish! 

Monday, June 04, 2012

he's taken one of his socks off, and he appears to be crying

Bit of a picture heavy post from me today, but I wanted to share a teensy bit of my love for Wes Anderson, whilst it's sort of relevant. Someone introduced me to The Royal Tenenbaums a few years ago, and it was sort of like falling in love, haha. His films are really amazing, he's a great director. He currently has a new film in the cinemas, Moonrise Kingdom, and I'm so, so excited to go and see it. Annoyingly, it's only showing at super selective cinemas at stupid times, but hopefully I'll get a chance before they stop showing it! Fingers crossed, anyway. That aside, even if you don't get a chance to go and see it, I urge you to check out some of his other films, they're so good. They're very romantic, and not always in a boy/girl way, in a way that makes you want to drop everything and live on a boat with some dolphins with cameras or take a train across India, or just sit on rooftops in New York. If you watch a couple of his films, you see that he has some really trademark cues, like shots from above, books, titles, bits of paper, sweeping side shots.. I could go on, but instead, I just really urge you to watch his films! In order of watching, I suggest; The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox (not just a kids film!), The Darjeeling Limited, Bottle Rocket.