Friday, 28 February 2014

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure

Revlon Colorburst Demure

I posted last week about  a Revlon Colourburst Matte balm, and so it only seemed fair to give its glossier sister a moment in the spotlight this week. The Lacquer Balms come in the same crayon format, but are easily distinguished by their shiny packaging; like the Matte Balms, their tubes match the colour inside, making it easy to spot the shade you are looking for. They also contain the same Triple Butter mix of mango, shea and coconut butters, which makes them lovely and soft to apply, and really moisturising. 

I chose the shade Demure, as I wanted a really wearable everyday shade. This pretty nudey-pink is definitely that, and I can slick it on at any time (not even needing a mirror) and be good to go. I didn't find this one as pigmented as the Matte Balm I tried, although in fairness that one was a very bold shade, and this one is obviously meant to be far more subtle. Demure can be worn very sheer (barely there) or built up a bit for a stronger pink colour. The Lacquer Balms also contain large shimmer particles, however although I can see them in the crayon and when I swatch on the back of my hand, I really can't see any glitter on my lips (which is fine by me). 

My one criticism of this product is that this does not have a great wear time; like an actual lip balm, it needs to be reapplied quite frequently throughout the day. I would say that in that sense, it is rather like a glossier version of the lip butters, and as with those, I like applying it so much that I don't mind having to do it a bit more often. It also fades very evenly, so I don't have to worry about walking around with patchy lip colour. 

Revlon Colorburst Demure Swatch

Overall, I am really happy with this new little addition to my lip collection, and would love to try a few more from the range. Next time I'd give one of the brighter shades a go, such as Flirtatious or Tease.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

iPhone Case Wishlist (or how to destroy things with nail polish remover)

My trusty Cath Kidston iPhone case had been with me for over a year and a half, and protected my phone from sand, fire and plain old being dropped. It was looking a little battered, but doing okay, all things considered. Until I absent-mindedly placed a used bit of nail-polish-remover-soaked cotton wool on top of it when doing my nails, and picked it up a few minutes later to find that my phone case was now a sticky, melty mess. Oops. 

I am not enjoying carrying around a naked iPhone; it feels vulnerable and I don't trust myself with it. However, I have found that lots of the cute cases I have seen whilst on the hunt for a replacement are only suitable for iPhone 5, and although I am due an upgrade later this year, I can't wait that long to get a case! So here's my pick of what's still out there for those of us who are still 4 or 4s users.

1. Orla Kiely Optic Stem case (£24.95 at John Lewis)
2. Thornback & Peel Pigeon and Jelly case (£23 at NotOnTheHighStreet)
3. Alphabet Bags Ampersand case (£20 at NotOnTheHighStreet)
4. Rifle Paper Co Botanical Rose case ($32 at Rifle Paper Co)
5. Alphabet Bags Meow case (£20 at NotOnTheHighStreet)
6. Rifle Paper Co Leopard case ($32 at Rifle Paper Co)

Currently winning for me is No.2, which is odd, since I like neither pigeons nor jelly. Together however, they seem to have won my heart. Let me know in the comments which one you like the best, or if there are any good places to look for iPhone 4 cases!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Manicure Monday: Top and Bottom

I may be as fickle as can be when it comes to the colour on my nails, but there are two products that adorn my tips every single day. I've found my holy grails, and for me, no manicure is complete without these two little gems sandwiching it in.

For a base coat, I have used OPI Original Nail Envy for years and years, ever since fifteen year old me decided to stop biting once and for all, and needed plenty of help in strengthening those tips. If I run out of this and don't replace it for a little while, telling myself it's expensive and my nails aren't in bad shape, before long they are peeling and bendy. I've no doubt that this product works. Futhermore, it goes on nice and thin, and dries in a flash, so it really is no inconvenience to apply.

As for top coat, the ever-hyped and ever-controversial Seche Vite has been in my life for around six years, which tells you how I feel about it. I know it goes horrendously gloopy, I know the ingredients list freaks people out, and I know there's lots of really nice top coats available for half the price. And I don't care. This is the one. It gives the thick, high gloss shine I am addicted to, dries rock hard and super-fast (I don't have the patience for sitting around with wet nails!) and makes my mani last. I really don't feel my nails are complete without a slick of Seche Vite on the top of them. 

What are you base and top coat must-haves? Are you a Seche Vite addict like me? 

Seche Vite available at FeelUnique, Nail Envy at Boots.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Yankee Candle Fireside Treats

I love a scented candle, and whilst it does sometimes alarm me that I am essentially burning money, at least with Yankee Candles I know that my money will take ages to burn and scent quite a few rooms of my house. They're a decent price too, and always on offer somewhere; I bought this one on Brandalley a few months ago, and have been getting a lot of use out of it. 

I did worry when placing the order that Fireside Treats was going to be sickly-sweet, but that's actually not the case. Don't get me wrong, it is sugary, but with cosiness and warmth! It basically smells exactly like toasted marshmallows, complete with a fire. A traditionally Summery activity I know, but I've used this throughout the Winter, and to be honest I think it's perfect for any evening, at any time of year. I also love the look of this candle, as the white wax means it goes with all of my rooms. It is so annoying when I love the way a candle smells, but find the colour of the wax really garish, as can sometimes be the case with Yankee. 

I'll be curling up with a book and Fireside Treats this evening. Which Yankee Candle is your current favourite? 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious

Whilst browsing the aisles of Boots last week, I spotted a 3 for 2 deal on Revlon.  Having seen the gorgeous Lily Melrose modelling these ColorBurst Matte Balms on her blog, I knew they'd make up one of my three. A couple of swatches later (of what they actually had in stock) and I had chosen Audacious, a gorgeous bright coral. These balms were pretty much love at first swatch for me, as I just loved the creamy texture, but to be on the safe side I only got one. My lips can get dry, so I am wary of matte products. I needn't have worried. 

This formula is really soft, and the balm texture means it really doesn't dry out the lips at all. This is really rare for me, as usually a matte product would require lots of lip balm to compensate. Instead, it feels lovely and soft on the lips, and has a very subtle minty smell, which I actually quite like. The colour also lasts fairly nicely, for a good couple of hours. I was hoping it would fade evenly to a stain, but it doesn't really, although I don't much mind as I find crayon-style products easy to apply when I'm out and about. 

Despite the bright shade, I find this really wearable for day-to-day use, and have received lots of compliments on it. I think coral is really flattering for most skintones, so I would definitely recommend checking it out next time you are near a Revlon stand. I also want to point out how much I love the packaging - these look so pretty, and bright, and I love that the colour of the tube is the same as the colour of the crayon inside. If you had a few of these, this feature would make it so much easier to find the shade you were looking for!

This leans very slightly pinker on my lips!
I wish I had grabbed a few more of these, and already have my eye on Elusive and Sultry. Have you tried any of the Colorburst Matte Balms?

Available from Boots (£7.99).

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bagels, cake, a new addition and seasonal confusion.

This week, the boyfriend and I have been off work, and although we've not really done anything that exciting, it really has been just what I needed. A combination of little errands, browsing shops, baking and seeing family and friends has done us both a world of good, as we both were a bit burned out and in need of a break. 

The relaxation started on Friday evening, with our own laid-back version of Valentine's Day. We have spent way too much this month as it is (we did book a wedding after all, which is enough of a romantic gift, really), so we decided to forgo presents, but we did of course exchange cards. We didn't bother cooking, as that makes washing up, so we had a good old M&S dine in, complete with a glass or two of fizz, then snuggled up with a DVD. Sofas and Friday nights are a perfection combination in my book.

The most romantic of cards, no?

Over the next few days, we did a spot of baking, including a delicious lemon and poppyseed cake, one of my absolute favourites. We also made bagels, something we only learnt how to bake a few months ago, and have been addicted to ever since. We usually put poppyseeds on them, but had used them all up in the cake, so experimented with parmesan and walnuts instead. They were fantastic, and I definitely recommend trying out that combination if you ever do make bagels (which you should - they are easy, and far better than anything you can buy in a shop) - the only downside is that parmesan doesn't go with Nutella! 

A little mosey into town to run some errands led to me perusing the aisles of T K Maxx, as usual, and falling madly in love with a little lamp shaped like a dog. The last thing I needed to be spending extra money on was a lamp, but within 15 seconds I had named him Howard, so really it was only ever going to end with him coming home with us. I always did want a dog. Now I need to find a space for the poor, rejected lamp that used to sit in our dining room, as that is Howard's new home. I've also just realised that I would probably  be less of a hoarder if I stopped imaging that household items could feel rejection.

Keeping an eye on Howard from above
Other than a little meal out with the sister-in-law(ish), a trip to see some of my relatives, and a fish-buying expedition (I am now the proud owner of two guppies), we have just been at home. Watching The Killing, reading lots of books, and enjoying the little things that I so love. In an attempt to hurry the seasons along I have been buying tulips and daffodils, as both blooms say Spring to me. However, I am also burning my Christmas Rose Yankee Candle non-stop in an attempt to get rid of it once and for all. I can't bear to have something out that says Christmas on it any longer, but there's only a little left so I don't want to save it for next year. I don't much like this post-Christmas-but-not-Spring-yet time of year. A late Easter means I have so long to wait before I can start hanging little pastel-coloured eggs up, and making bunny-shaped biscuits, so I will try to put it out of my mind and curl up with a book, a hot chocolate and my silly festive candle. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review: Becca Rejuvenating Primer

I make no secret of my love for Fragrance Direct, and I am forever placing cheeky little orders on there and marvelling at the low prices. One little treat that arrived a few weeks ago now is this Rejuvenating Primer by Becca, a brand I have seen and read lots about, but never dabbled in until now. There are a good few bits by Becca on Fragrance Direct at the moment, so if you have been wanting to give their stuff a go, now might be a good time.

The packaging looks quite simple and chic, although I think something about it is lacking the luxurious look I would expect from a brand sold in Space NK. Also, you really have to squeeze hard to get the product out, which I find a bit odd. 

As you can see from the photo below, this primer is a white cream, and it is really very thin and lightweight. If you aren't a fan of heavier primers that you can feel on your skin, such as POREfessional, something like this would be ideal for you. A little goes a long way, and it feels lovely and hydrating to apply. I can't comment on it's ability to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as it promises to on the bottle, but it does give the skin a glowy look. That said, so does my moisturiser. I think that's where my problem with this product lies; it doesn't have a very obvious effect, and so I kind of can't see that much point to it. It does make my skin feel nice and at this time of year, any extra nourishment is welcome, so I am using it. However, it's not exactly changing the appearance of my skin, therefore I can't see myself repurchasing this one.

 I have heard truly excellent things about other items by Becca, including their Resurfacing and Radiance primers, but I guess that's why this one was on Fragrance Direct and those ones weren't. Harsh, I know, but I would have been a bit gutted if I had spent the RRP of £32 on this; for £5 however, I don't regret buying it.

Have you tried anything from Becca? Do their other products live up to their reputation as a high-quality brand?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Battle of the L'Oreal Mascaras: Miss Manga vs Telescopic

Remember how I am a total fool for a good product name? I'm also a pretty big sucker for an exciting advert, and L'Oreal hit both nails on the head with their Miss Manga mascara. The moment I saw the advert, with Barbara Palvin and all those panda-cartoon things, I knew this mascara would be mine. As I am not getting on with my current mascara, The Falsies, I felt like this purchase wasn't total madness. However, L'Oreal was on buy one get on half price, and I have no way of justifying my decision to use that buy a second mascara. I've never even tried a L'Oreal mascara before, so I thought I'd let two of them, one newly-hyped, and one old favourite, battle it out for my affections. Let's go!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Fantastic Mr Foxes: Simply Suzy Q

simply suzy q fox earrings rose gold

However hard I may try to be a grown-up, I can't resist cute animals. One of my absolute favourite Christmas presents this year was this pair of rose-gold earrings, shaped like little fox faces, given to me by my boyfriend. These little beauties tick all the woodland-creature-loving boxes, whist looking chic and a little unusual. I am totally in love, and have worn them non-stop since Christmas day. 

They were from, a website I can spend hours browsing, and one that lets me find all sorts of new brands and sellers that I would never have stumbled upon otherwise. These earrings were by a company called Simply Suzy Q, and after a little research I found out that Suzy makes all of her products in a garden studio in Brighton. As a former Brighton resident, who misses the seaside town so very much, this little bit of information made me love my earrings even more. After all, the last piece of jewellery I had given to me that was made in Brighton was my engagement ring. 

Simply Suzy Q is the diffusion line, meant as a more affordable alternative to the main Suzy Q line (which is beautiful). I've found quite a few other items in the collection that I quite fancy getting my hands on. Here's my wishlist:

I love the wishbone, it makes me think of a book I fell in love with a couple of years ago called Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I am madly in love with the stunning colour of those earrings, they look so elegant (whilst reminding me of Jasmine from Aladdin!).  I think these little bracelets would make lovely presents, and they'd look good worn together. Finally, those stars are so cute - the rose gold one would go beautifully with my earrings! 

If you fancy a little peek at Simply Suzy Q's stuff, you can find it here. Prices start at £18, which I think is really good for something pretty, good-quality and handmade. 

Do you like any of the products on my wishlist? Also, I am so proud of myself for getting through that entire post without making any What Does The Fox Say? references.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Manicure Monday: Tanya Burr Nail Polishes

tanya burr nails swatches of mischief managed and penguin chic

I know the whole point of this Manicure Monday business was to get me to revisit, use and appreciate the nail polishes I already have, and stop buying new ones, but I just had to try out Tanya Burr's line. You know, to support a fellow blogger and stuff. Shh.

Besides, I was never going to be able to turn my back on a nail polish named Mischief Managed. A beauty blog/Harry Potter crossover like that isn't going to happen often, and as soon as it arrived, this one was straight onto my nails. It is an awesomely bright, orange-toned red, with a really glossy finish. I mean really glossy, like the Barry M Gelly polishes.You could probably get away with one coat of this, but I have used two, and it seems to be lasting pretty nicely (in my pictures I have not used a top coat, but on my own nails I have, and always do). I must admit, I am not usually that impressed by cheaper polishes, and tend to buy higher end ones, and usually from brands that only make nail polish, but this shade has truly impressed me.

Penguin Chic was the other polish I snapped up, basically because penguins are my favourite animal. I can't think of a more enjoyable job than naming nail polishes, by the way, she must have had a blast. I am really glad I got Penguin Chic, as this glossy taupe is another fantastic polish, and again has a wonderful finish. If you saw my first Manicure Monday post, you'll know I love a good neutral shade, and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this. 

I already am eyeing up a few colours in the range, including the extremely popular Little Duck. and the shimmery Midnight Sparkles. I need to be put on a lead. Do you have either of the polishes I bought? Which shades do you recommend? 

Available for £5.99 at FeelUnique.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Review: Tanya Burr Lip Gloss

tanya burr lip gloss vampire kiss and aurora

I think that if you are here, reading this blog, it's highly unlikely that you need me to tell you who Tanya Burr is.  One of the first Youtubers I ever watched (and one of the few that I watch with any regularity - I'm more of a blog-reader), Tanya's incredible success is an inspiration to lots of bloggers, and I felt very excited and proud for her when I was able to pop a few items from her new line into my FeelUnique basket. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Review: Timothy Han Wild Rose Candle

timothy han candle wild rose

I'm quite surprised at myself for only being on my second ever candle review since starting this blog over a month ago, as I am a bit of a candle hoarder. I just think a candle changes the whole room, making it feel instantly more relaxing and adding a touch of luxury. I love reading reviews of candles, so will definitely start writing a few more. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Unboxing: February Birchbox

As a fairly recent subscriber to Birchbox, I am so excited to be writing my first unboxing post! This box arrived today, and it's a good one, so I couldn't wait to share it on here. I love receiving a beauty box in the post, it's so nice to come home from work to a beautifully packaged selection of goodies, and really feels like getting a little present. Even if I've seen a spoiler online, the actual items you receive can vary, as do the colours Birchbox choose for you, so it always feels like an exciting surprise when I see what's inside my box.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Snooze Button Beauty

As a primary school teacher, I am no stranger to early mornings and a general lack of sleep. However, there's something about this time of year that makes it particularly hard to drag myself out of bed when the unwelcome sound of my alarm clock fills my ears and disrupts my dreams. Consequently, I've found myself promising "just five more minutes," increasingly often...and increasingly often, I've been waking up half an hour later. Oops. With only 20 minutes to get ready, I've found certain products really help to get me looking presentable in minimum time, and thought I'd share them with you. After all, I doubt I'm the only one.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The NARSissist Blush Palette

I held back on the eye shadow palette, but there's only so much restraint a girl can have.Three NARS products in one compact, one of which is limited edition, and all for the bargain (let me believe it) price of £35? As a massive Orgasm fan (Nars makes me write awkward things), a long-time Laguna-coveter and a highlighter lover, this palette had my name written all over it. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Gadi 21 Minerals Dead Sea Scrub

I will happily admit to being a right scrubber; there is nothing I can use in the shower that will make me happier than a good scrub, and I hoard exfoliators as though there's a sugar shortage. When I spotted a lovely 400g jar of Gadi Dead Sea Body Scrub for £5 (RRP £50 apparently...can that be true?) on Fragrance Direct, I had to pop it in the basket. That website is dangerous. 

The packaging of the product is lovely, minimalist and classic, plus I love scrubs that come in big tubs, which is, come to think of it, probably because they tend to be grainier. However, if I had paid £50, I would probably have wanted the packaging to feel more expensive. The same goes for the scent, Orange Vanilla, which is perfectly pleasant (boyfriend's verdict: "that smells like toffee"), but not quite to my taste. However, for £5, my first impressions were very positive indeed and had me excited to get scrubbing!

The scrub itself is quite oily, with decent-sized grains of Dead Sea Salt that really get to work on buffing the skin to perfection. It feels very luxurious, and the oil really lingers afterwards, leaving the skin incredibly smooth and silky. If you aren't keen on the feeling of oil on your skin, I would not recommend this at all, as even after I had shaved my legs and used shower gel, I could still feel a fine layer of oil on my legs. I however, consider this to be the best thing about the product, as I love that I can either skip moisturiser afterwards, or use it and get a double-whammy of softness. This is the best scrub I've used in a while, so I just wish that I liked the scent better.

Have you ever heard of Gadi, or tried their products? What scrubs do I need to get my hands on next?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Manicure Monday: Chic Neutrals

I doubt it's considered healthy, my relationship with nail polish. It really is a full-scale obsession, and despite my frankly ridiculous stash, all it takes is for one of my favourite brands to release a new collection, and I go all Pokemon. To try and hold myself back from trying to catch 'em all this year, I have decided to have a bit of a buying-ban, and rediscover some old gems from my stash. To encourage myself in this noble endeavour, I will be sharing some of my favourites on this little blog, to remind myself of the beauties currently in my possession. 

Kicking things off with the basics, in the last couple of weeks, once I finally tore myself away from Essie's The Twill of It, I have been loving a chic neutral nail (or ten). Low-maintenance, subtle shades that flatter the skin, are a nail essential, and I think everyone needs at least one in their stash. Here are the ones I have been loving lately.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Lancome French Ballerine Collection: Ombre Hypnose Dazzling Shadow

Look at how this incredible cream shadow catches the light! It is so reflective, it is very easy to see why it is named 'Dazzling'. For me, it was love at first sight the moment I set eyes on LancĂ´me’s limited edition French Ballerine collection, and this stunner is the first item I have been lucky enough to own.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Review: Avojo Skincare The Black Peel Off Mask

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that quite a few bloggers, such as Shannon at Raspberry Kiss, had received this mask from Danish brand Avojo to review. The idea behind this mask is that it draws out impurities and blackheads, which are removed when the mask is peeled off. I was totally intrigued by the idea of a peel-off mask, having not used one since pre-teen sleepovers, as well as the idea of seeing the blackheads removed from my skin (I don't get many blackheads, so am totally fascinated by them. Gross, I know.) As a sachet of this is only £3, I ordered one to try out for myself. 

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