Saturday, 29 December 2012

December Favourites

I don't have a huge number of favourites this month as I've been at home rather than uni and have mostly just been spending time with my family. I got some gorgeous bits and bobs for Christmas, but I haven't included any of those here since I'll soon be doing a 'what I got for Christmas' type blog post!

First up my biggest favourite this month is Taylor Swift's new album. Love love LOVE! My favourite track at the moment on it is '22' but I love every single one.
I've also been loving to use the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush to apply concealer really delicately over blemishes. It's the perfect shape and no hairs ever fall out.



I've been wearing Essie's popular 'Mint Candy Apple' lots even though it's not really a wintery colour. TCP (Liquid Antiseptic) has been good for both clearing up acne and soothing sore throats from winter colds. And lastly I've been loving my cheesy Christmas jumper! It was from Primark and I wore to take some Christmassy photos to give to my parents - blog post here!


Tomorrow I'm off to Bruge, Belgium to see in the New Year, and I'm super excited! Hope you're doing something nice, and Happy New Year!

Amy
xxx

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Personalised Christmas (or any other occasion!) Gift Idea

I got the idea for this gift from SprinkleOfGlitter, my favourite Blogger and Youtuber. Here's her posts where she makes similar presents for her Dad: Her first post and Her second post.
As my gift was to be a Christmas present (well two, one for my parents and one for my boyfriend's parents) I decided to make it a Christmas theme, and picked out the 3D cardboard letters N O E L from Hobbycraft. 



I then nuked the front of the letters with silver Glitter (a really cheap tub of it I had lying around) by spreading PVA glue onto the letters with a paintbrush and tipping the glitter on top. I tipped off any excess glitter and left them to dry overnight.



Then was the cheesy part! My boyfriend and I put on our cheesy Christmas jumpers to pose with the letters, and I picked the best photos to edit a little on my laptop.



I cut this gorgeous wrapping paper from Paperchase to the correct size for my frames...




Next I printed the photos onto photo paper and stuck them on. Then I just popped the paper into the frames (also from Paperchase) and VoilĂ  - two cheesy Christmas Gifts! Both parents absolutely loved them!


Hope you're having a lovely festive time, and have a very happy and healthy New Years!



Amy
xxx



Sunday, 23 December 2012

My Current Favourite Foundation - Revlon Colourstay


Yep, my current favourite foundation is the much talked about Revlon Colourstay. I think I first heard about this one from Ingrid (Miss Glamoratzzi on Youtube) who has similarly oily/combination skin to me. Revlon Colourstay comes in two formulas, so I'll be reviewing the one specifically for Oily/Combination Skin. It's a medium to full coverage foundation with a fairly matte finish. 



Pros
♥ Staying Power - the claim that the bottle makes, that it will last for 24 hours, is of course, wildly unrealistic, unless perhaps you are sat doing nothing in a perfectly temperatur-ised and conditioned room for those 24 hours! To be honest, I only really wear foundation if I'm going out somewhere, like a dinner or something, but it has lasted every time perfectly (longest wear around eight hours). On oily skin this is impressive.
♥ Coverage - I apply this foundation with a damp cosmetic sponge and find that it doesn't cake, but gives a pretty full coverage. It's also build-able for those really pesky areas.
♥ Price Point - It's £12.49 in most places which I think is a great price for a foundation of this quality. It comes in a glass bottle, comes in a great colour-range and is a generally great product. Boots also generally offers a 3 for 2 deal on this, which makes it even better value for money.

Cons
♥ Removal - The drawback of the fact that it's so long-lasting is that it's also a bugger to remove! There's no way this is coming off with just warm water and soap, and most cleansers struggle too. I know some people suggest MAC something-or-other, but I've found that Superdrug's TeaTree and Peppermint Foaming Face Wash rubbed into the face completely breaks it down and makes it easy to wash off. I follow this up with my regular cleanser applied with my Clarisonic to get it completely out of my pores.
♥ Packaging - This isn't actually a problem for me, but I feel I should mention it since it's bound to annoy a lot of people. There is no pump, and pouring out the liquid can be a bit messy. 

All in all, I love love love this foundation, and will be repurchasing again and again for the foreseeable future!

Have any of you tried the Revlon Colourstay Foundation? Did you love it as much as I did?
And of course a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Amy
xxx

Friday, 14 December 2012

Festive Baking - Edible Santa Hats!



Today I made these adorable Chocolate and Strawberry Santa Hats! Full credit goes to Jamielyn at I Heart Nap Time - here's the original recipe I followed, except for using my own secret brownie mixture! They taste INCREDIBLE as well as looking so cute and being great gifts.


OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!

My little army of Santa Hats!
Amy
xxx

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Gift Wrapping Idea!

Just a little post on how I'm wrapping my presents this year!
Eeee I love wrapping! It makes me feel so festive and excited for people's reactions to their gifts.  I've only wrapped a few for my parents so far but I'm loving how they're looking! I bought both the plain brown and patterned brown wrapping papers from Paperchase (WE LOVE YOU PAPERCHASE!), as well as the ribbons, and just cut out the tags from the plain brown paper.

My Dad's presents with the green ribbons and my Mum's with the red.



How are you wrapping your gifts this year? :)

Amy
xxx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Piercings... Yay or Nay?

I've quite recently become really interested in piercings; how they can make people look and societies perceptions of them. I've only got a total of 3 piercings myself, and all on my earlobes, but I'm considering getting a couple more on my lobes and one or two in my cartilage, as I think if you wear the right jewellery in them, and with the right kind of clothes and personality they can look actually very cute and be a good way to show your personality. 

Scarlett Johansson, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Hilary Duff, and an image found on WeHeartIt

I'm also interested in getting a belly button piercing (ok I've become a little obsessed about getting one!) and again I think that whilst the perception of this piercing is a negative one, often associated with chavs and sluts, some people can pull them off and look cute, whilst accentuating an attractive stomach.


An adorable belly button ring you can purchase here from etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/86770733/belly-button-ring-anchor

Another cute belly button ring from etsy -
http://www.etsy.com/listing/99738503/rugged-turquoise-double-feather-dream

I read an interesting article in the January 2013 (most recent) edition of Vogue about piercings, which mentioned that people often tend to get pierced on body parts they like about themselves, as it draws people's eye to something that they're not self-concious about. I'd never thought about it like that before, but actually, my ears and my stomach are two of my favourite parts of my body!

I'd be interested to hear your opinions about piercings (particularly the ones I'm thinking of getting)  and which ones you guys have!

Amy
xxx


Monday, 10 December 2012

Quick Review - Soap&Glory Body Buff 'Scrub 'em and Leave' em'

I am a sucker for adorable names and cute packaging, meaning I just love Soap & Glory products, and my lovely boyfriend being the gentleman that he is, knows this, and surprised me with this little travel-sized present of wonderful scrubby-dub-dub today. Perfect timing too, since it's just gotten really cold where I live, and I needed a new scrub to stop my skin being a little dry and scratchy.



I've tried 'Fake Away', another of Soap and Glory's scrubs, and LOVED it, so I thought this couldn't live up to that one. 'Scrub 'em and Leave 'em' (Their puns get me every time... I'm so easily amused!) has a much more perfume-y scent, which I actually really like and is just incredible at it's job. Once I'd dried off after using this in the shower, I could immediately tell that my skin was so so soft, from just a teeny bit of the product.

Mmm, pink mooshie goodness...

'Addicted to Scrub? Scoop out a handful and rub it all over, then rinse' Don't Mind if I do!

From my experience so far, Soap&Glory scrubs are really really good ones, that do their job super-well as well as feeling luxurious. I'd love to try their famed 'Sugar Crush' and 'The Scrub of your life' as my next scrubs.


Amy
xxx



Sunday, 9 December 2012

Winter Reads - My Recommendations

One of my favourite things to do during the Winter Holidays is to find a nice warm spot, next to the radiator (or the fire if you're lucky!) and snuggle down with a mug of hot chocolate and a really good book. Here are my top picks that I've read before but will definitely be in my reading pile for this winter break. They don't necessarily have a Christmas theme in the storyline, but are perfect for this time of year.




1 - 'If I stay' by Gayle Forman
An absolute tear-jerker of a book, in fact, it's pretty much heart-breaking. A brilliant book, but only read this if you're willing to have a good cry!

2 - 'The Gift' by Cecelia Ahern
This is one of favourite books of all time. If you only read one of these books I've recommended, it should be this one. Brilliantly written, entertaining and emotive, it leaves you with a great message and makes you want to change how you act. It's also set around Christmas time, so is a good one for reading the week before Christmas.

3 - 'Confessions of an Air Hostess' by Marisa Mackle
Part of the little black dress series, this is the girliest book of the 5. If it were a film it would be a chick flick; naughty and light.

4 - I don't need to write the name as EVERYONE will know (and love) this!
Reading the Harry Potter series, especially the older books, makes me all nostalgic and gets me back in the kiddie mentality to really feel the magic of Christmas!

5 - 'The Perfect Man' by Sheila O'Flanagan
This is a good one for after Christmas, when you are starting to wish for warmer weather again. It's mostly set on a cruise, and I love the way Shelia O'Flanagan writes; you can't put her novels down.



Amy
xxx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

November Favourites!


1 - Hugo Boss perfume 'Deep Red'
This is my staple scent that I've worn since my 14th birthday when my Grandma picked me out this scent. I've got a lot of memories to this perfume and it's quite heady/heavy so I use it more in the winter months.

2- Asos Snood
I got this snuggly snood from Asos last winter but it's stayed soft and I wear it nearly every day!

3 - Clarisonic Mia
If you've read my Clarisonic review you'll know that I recently got my Clarisonic replaced after a long wait. I've been LOVING using it again.

4 - New Look Shoe Boots
Although I haven't worn these much (I love staring at them in my room!), I'm looking forward to pairing them with lots of different looks.

5 - No7 Kabuki Brush
I've been finding this really good at blending powder over foundation, and it doesn't shed much at all.

6 - BaByliss Curler
I LOVE YOU BABYLISS! With this beauty I can curl my hair softly in less than ten minutes. It's so easy and comes with a heatproof glove which I definitely need!


Other favourites this month have been Jason Mraz' Album 'Love is a four letter word' - I'd totally recommend this for sleepy evenings in, and a food favourite - Heinz Tomato Soup. It's yummy and warming and half a can counts for one of your five a day, what's not to love?

I hope you all had a lovely November :)

Amy
xxx


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hyped Product Review: Original NAKED Palette


I was a bit late on the NAKED bandwagon (that sounds weird!) when I got my original palette a few months back. Since purchasing mine for £36 from Debanhams, I've used it almost every day. The quality of the shadows is as good everyone raves about; they stay put and are brilliant for blending. Every single shade in this palette seems to suit my skin tone and my eye colour which is just amazing and means I will get my money's worth.


I love the look of the palette, but it's just a bit too flimsy and picks up too much dirt to be carried around in my bag.


My most worn shades are 'Sin' (second from left) as a brow and inner corner highlight, 'Naked' (third from left) as an all over lid colour, 'Buck' (fifth from left) through the crease, with 'Darkhorse' (fifth from right) or 'Hustle' (third from right) in the outer corner and a little through the crease.


 Here's all the shadows closer. The only matte shades are 'Naked' and 'Buck' which I thought might make the palette more suitable for evening looks, but actually the shimmer in most of the shadows (other than 'Half-baked') isn't too overpowering for the day time. The only slight let down to this palette is the included brush. It doesn't pick up much product and isn't good at blending either. I just stick with my Real Techniques brushes to apply these shadows. 


 FINAL VERDICT:

I LOVE it. If I could only live with one palette for the rest of my life this would be the one!


Amy
xxx


Friday, 30 November 2012

Quick Review: Mac Creme Cup Lipstick


MAC's CremeCup is one of the most talked about of their Lipsticks. In the Cremesheen formula, it's easy to apply and looks glossy but quite natural on the lip. Retailing at £14, CremeCup is a great 'your lips but better' colour and there's no shimmer in the product which I like. I would mention that like with most MAC lipsticks, this one tends to melt if kept in your bag on a hot day, but that's only to be expected really.



Swatched.


Amy
xxx


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review: Bodyshop Brow&Liner Kit


I don't generally buy make-up from the bodyshop, but this little brow and liner set seemed really handy, and a reasonable price at £10. I will only use powder through my eyebrows as I find pencil too harsh and unnatural. This body shop one comes in three shades, and being a dark blonde I picked the middle shade. You get two different shades of powder in a shell-like compact, with a mirror and a little brush. The brush was so useless and fiddly I threw it away immediately! I guess if you need to touch up during the day it would do though.



I apply the powders lightly through my eyebrows using the Real Techniques Brow Brush (pictured above). The product stays on well throughout the day and doesn't smudge easily, so you don't look like your eyebrow has wandered around on your face! The shades are perfect for me and look very natural.


This product does work well as a liner also; I just wet the brush before putting it into the product.
I've tried using the darker colour through the crease as an eyeshadow, but found that it creased and smudged within a few hours, so wouldn't recommend that.
Overall though, as a brow powder, this little set does it's job very well and I will most probably be repurchasing.

Amy
xxx




Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Winter Wishlist!

A few of the beautiful bits and bobs that I've been lusting over recently and would be in my hands in a snap if I were a lucky rich person!


Abella Lace & Sequin Flared Dress - Missguided - £29.99


Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Bag - approx £126


Orelia Chunky Star Necklace - Asos - £7.50


Stila 'In the light palette  - £25


Mac Lipstick in CremeCup - £14


Basic Fake Leather Jacket - Pull and Bear - £39.99


Amy
xxx



Monday, 5 November 2012

I ♥ Fall Tag

It's a little bit late but here's my answers to the I ♥ Fall Tag, because it just has to be done!
(I feel so American calling it fall, hehe!)

Oh Herro little baby hedgehog that I found scurrying around Tumblr!

Favourite Fall Lip Product
I'm going to rock the boat and go for something crazily basic - Vaseline! Without it I wouldn't be able to wear any other lip products without my lips looking all flakey and horrible!

Favourite Fall Nail Polish
17's Lasting Fix Nail Polish in the colour Exquisite. It's a very dark and festive shimmery green.

Favourite Fall Starbucks Drink
So there is no way I can afford Starbucks, I'm a poor uni student after all (!), so I'll just tell you what my favourite drink is that I like to make in the autumn. I love Turkish Apple Tea which I believe you can get from Whittards, and of course Hot Chocolate, but with added maple syrup, mmm...

Favourite Fall Candle
In uni accommodation we are banned from lighting candles, which sucks, but I suppose is fair enough.  Instead of burning candles, I pop on my fairy lights which are shaped like little lanterns, and they give the room a really calm and festive glow.

Favourite Fall scarf or accessory
Do boots count as an accessory? I recently got some biker style boots from Republic - here's the link - http://www.republic.co.uk/women/new-in/miso-biker-strap-boots-69723/#  and I love to wear them with long songs to keep my feet warm.

Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
I wish I could go on a haunted hay ride but we have literally none of these things in England!

Favourite Halloween movie?
Again, I'd love to go to America to experience a real Halloween as we don't really do anything for Halloween over here. I've never even heard of a single Halloween movie...

Favourite candy to eat on Halloween
We don't even have special Halloween sweets here! If I had to pick a kind of sweet to eat at this kind of year though, I'd pick a Terry's chocolate orange any day.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
On Halloween, I had a night in with my housemates and didn't dress up at all! I'm such a Scrooge!

What is your Favourite thing about Fall?
Snuggling up under my duvet with my hot water bottle and having chats in the dark evenings with friends that go on for hours :)


Have fun getting Festive and keep warm!


Amy
xxx

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Review: Urban Decay 'Dew Me' Moisturizing Setting Spray


Just a quick post to share my love for this awesome product. It's one of urban decay's make up setting sprays, 'Dew Me Moisturizing Makeup Setting Spray'. This one is advertised as making your make-up look dewy and glowing whilst holding it in place and stopping it from being cakey. I deliberated between this and their De-Slick Oil Control spray and their All Nighter spray (all £19), but settled for this one since I wanted one that added that dewy affect too.


Did it deliver?
Yes, Yes and YES! I no longer have to carry around a powder with me to prevent having a yucky shiny face AND my face is no longer cakey with make-up at all; it looks natural for hours and hours. The only thing I would change is the spray nozzle as sometimes it doesn't spray as finely as I would like. I'll definitely be repurchasing when I run out.

Amy
xxx




Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October Favourites


October was a really fun month for me this year. I haven't had too much uni work and have had so many good evenings with my house-mates.  I've loved snuggling up with a mug of apple tea and my hot water bottle in the evenings, and just staying up chatting until the early hours of the morning. I've also loved:

 Indian Food 
We live really close to an authentic Indian place and they do really yummy curries in a small restuarant with a really nice atmosphere. Great price and you can bring your own alcohol - always a plus!



 Tumblr 

This month I was introduced to the wonderfully time-wasting world of tumblr. I'm tumbling (is that a word?) over at http://thelittlekoala.tumblr.com/



 Teasing Comb 
I just use this to give my hair some body at the roots and also to easily part my hair once I've washed it. Now I've got it, I don't know what I'd do without it! This one is the Denman 'dressing out hairbrush' and you can get it from Amazon.





 Handfood Handcream 
This handcream has the most lovely scent and isn't all sticky like most handcreams. It's super moisturising too.



 Cross Earrings 
I got these from River Island, I think in their sale. Being a Christian, they actually hold a meaning for me, rather than just being a cute trend at the moment. They're not too heavy (does anyone else find that even slightly heavy earrings give them a headache?) and look really nice with loosely curled hair.


I hope your October has been full of happy moments too and I'm excited to start getting festive in November!


Amy
xxx







Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How to make your Uni Room home

My current uni room

Your first few weeks after moving into your uni accomodation are crazy. There's something every day and every night and when you come back to your room alone, you can feel very lonely. Making it your little sanctury can help you relax and feel more at home. Here's my tips...

♥ Go shopping for a new duvet cover and pillow set, and pick something that you love, not that you think other people will love. Even places like Tescos do great ones for super cheap
♥ If you've got space in the car, bring some cusions to throw on your bed. They'll make the room so much more cosy
♥  Get some photos printed. I get mine printed at photobox online. If you don't have any fames, you can just pop them on the wall with whitetac (don't use blue-tac, it rips the paint off!)
♥ Bring cute little decorations that you love and place them around your room. Fake flowers in a glass bottle and bunting are some of the things I have that make my room feel like home
♥ Make sure you have the essentials which can be really annoying if you're without them - a little plastic bin, a radio/alarm clock, a desk lamp, a mirror, plenty of hangers and a pen pot

Amy
xxx



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Clarisonic Review (and my customer service experience story)

Today I was reunited with my Clarisonic! Here's the story...

I bought my Clarisonic Mia from Amazon in January 2012. If you don't know anything about Clarisonics, they are basically an electronic skin-cleansing system, mainly for the face, which aids your skincare routine. You use the brush with your cleanser for 60 seconds, once or twice a day, to "remove 6x more makeup than manual cleansing, reduce appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin tone."


With the protective brush cap on
I didn't get it for the purpose of removing fine lines and wrinkles (yet!) but for the claim of reducing pore size, improving skin tone and I'd also heard it was good for keeping oily skin under control and therefore reducing breakouts. I'm also super lazy at removing my make-up and fine it a chore, so wanted this thing to do the work for me.

Initially I used the brush every evening with my cleanser (Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Deep Pore Unclog Wash), and found that my skin was getting very red, a little sore, and I was breaking out pretty badly. I'd heard about 'purging'; where the skin is being sort of deep-cleaned, so all the badness is coming to the surface, but this was awful. I started using the Clarisonic every other day instead and after maybe two weeks my skin was back to normal. I continued using it just every other evening, and I slowly began to notice differences:
  • My skin felt softer (I think due to the exfoliating that the Clarisonic does)
  • My moisturiser sank in better
  • My skin was less red, and I had less break-outs
I didn't really notice any difference in pore size, which was annoying as my pores are MAHOOSIVE. euurgh. But it really did deliver on everything else.



And then... Last month my beloved little Clarisonic died. It wouldn't turn on, it wouldn't charge, nothing. I'm ashamed to say I shed a little tear. I'd heard that the customer service from the Clarisonic people was really good though, and all Clarisonics come with a one-year warranty (as long as their bought from a proper seller), so I contacted them via email.
They got back the very next day and said they'd send me a free-post envelope to send my poor little dead Clarisonic back to them in. It took FIFTEEN DAYS for them to get that envelope to me! I'd say that's a pretty long time. Once I'd sent back my Clarisonic, It took another FIFTEEN days for my new one to arrive. Altogether a full month waiting for my replacement.

RIP Clarisonic

During this time, I did find out that Clarisonic was changing hands, the company having been bought by another, which somewhat explains how long I had to wait, but I'd say a month is still really too long.

Did I miss my Clarisonic/see any changes in the month without it?
Definitely. I used an exfoliating scrub every other day instead, but it wasn't the same at all. It took alot longer for me to feel I'd got all the make-up off, and I still evidently hadn't as I broke out a lot more. My skin felt generally oilier too.

Would I recommend the Clarisonic?
Yes! Particularly if you have a problem with oily/combination skin and want a hassle-free way to remove make-up. The UK site is http://www.clarisonic.co.uk/ if you are interested in looking at the different colours and models they do. Now it's time to start using my Clarisonic again, and whilst I'm really not looking forward to that 'purging' stage, it's totally worth it in the long run.


Amy
xxx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle – Hyped Product Review


So everyone is always talking about mac mineralise skin finish, and for ages I ignored their gushings about it, passing it off as just another over-hyped product. But the little sheep inside of me finally got the better of me and I found myself pressing the add to cart button. £21 is pretty steep for 10g of product and you can’t help but think of all the other lovely things your hard-earned money could have got you. However, upon taking the first swatch, I was just as besotted as everyone else.

Oh Mac, your packaging is so srummy



Mac products always feel so luxurious, packaged up in their little cosy black boxes. I was a little disappointed at the quality of the inner main packaging though; the plastic feels cheap and the product has little weight when you hold it in your hands.



The product inside fully makes up for any other flaws. I’m sure you know exactly what it’s like by now, but it’s a bronzey-gold pressed powder, in a dome shape in the pan, highly reflective and simply beautiful.


Beatuful Gorgeousness mmmm...
For it’s actually purpose as a highlighter, this is actually the best highlighter I’ve used so far. I’m not a huge fan of liquid and cream highlighters anyway, as I find they interfere with my foundation and don’t really sit right on the skin, and this powder just blends effortlessly into your base. The effect it gives is one of sculpted cheekbones, healthiness, and awakeness! If you use it in the right way it can transform your face of makeup from pretty but dull, into Goddess!

To apply I use the real techniques ‘contour brush’, which I would highly recommend. Be careful not to overdue it, or you can look a bit too metallic!


FINAL VERDICT: The hype is not just hype! Give in and buy one!


Amy
xxx