Bring Out the Caviar, Darling!

Caviar

I have been experimenting with a little bit of nail effects for the last few days and I think my favourite has to be the caviar from Claire’s Accessories paired with MUA’s ‘Pistachio Ice Cream’ (yummy name right!?) nail varnish. The fresh minty-blue colour is perfect for summer and it works so well with the striking gold caviar on the middle finger, sealed in on the nail with a bit of Seche Vite top-coat. The quality of these products is surprisingly very good: the nail varnish is very long lasting and the caviar was extremely difficult to remove, which is a good thing in terms of longevity, but a can be bit of a pain if you’re in a hurry!

As a little extra I have also found the chunky gold ring from Primark looks amazing with these nails. Overall this look (the MUA nail varnish, Claire’s Accessories nail caviar and the Primark ring) could not have cost more than £5, which is fantastic since I’m already spending money on stocking up on loads of summer clothes!

Healthy Banana Ice Cream!

When the sun starts making more and more appearances all I want to do is laze around on a sun-lounger, sipping lemonade and indulging in a refreshing ice cream. However, I have a little holiday just around the corner so I need to start getting my bikini body on, and it isn’t enough to just have ‘low-fat’ ice cream. So a couple of clicks on my laptop later I end up on blogilates and what I found was so exciting I just had to share it with you!

Introducing the healthiest, tastiest snack ever, that I know will be a staple this summer: banana ice cream, with only one ingredient: a banana!

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Step 1: Chop a banana into coin shapes. Obviously use the amount of bananas that you would require to make the amount of ice cream you would want (I have found that one average sized banana is equal to one portion).

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Step 2: Pop the banana coins in a bowl or Tupperware box and leave them in the freezer for a couple of hours until completely frozen solid.

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Step 3: Take them out to blend, blend and blend a bit more in a food processor/blender until you have achieved a thick, whipped-cream-like product.

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Step 4: Serve in a pretty little bowl either by itself or with a trickle of toffee sauce which, I know, kind of negates the whole ‘healthy’ thing, but come on, bananas and toffee… Hmmm…

Enjoy!

P.S. Let me know if you liked this post and I may put up more yummy recipes; suggestions are welcome!

Bargain Haul

Bargain Haul

As a break from endless revision for exams I decided to pop out to mooch around some bargain shops, and what should happen but I end up coming home with a little bit of a haul! I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that there are some real beauty gems in those places, so I decided to share them with you… (Apologies if you don’t have the same shops over in other countries, but I’m sure the same bargaining principal applies!)

From ‘B+M Bargains’:

A set of three NYC nail varnishes in the shades Lincoln Center, Sidewalkers (my favourite) and Central Park – £1.99

Loreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara (I have been dying to try this out!) – £3.99

Rimmel Glam Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara (my all time favourite mascara!) – £2.99

Argon Oil Conditioner – £2.99

Aussie Volume Shampoo – £3.99

And From ‘Boyes’:

Technic Vintage Cheek and Lip Tint – £2.99

Rimmel Stay Matte Duel Action Concealer – £2.00

Tan Up!

Tan Up!

To start with I am going to jump right in with the obvious choice when wanting to get your tan on – fake tan! We all know that going through tubes and bottles of the stuff can get expensive, so it’s always a good idea to have an idea of a cheaper alternative in mind. Enter ‘Asda Self Tan Instant Lotion’! Before you judge, this product really is incredible – it is the most natural looking tan I have tried yet and it only costs around the £3 mark! It does not lather your body in an excessive amount of glitter particles, unlike quite a few high-end tans (it really annoys me when a brand ruin a perfectly good product with glitter as I end up walking around in the sun conscious that I look like a vampire out of the Twilight Saga!) and smells divine! All in all a really impressive product, coming in three shades, that wont break your bank even if you decide you don’t like it after one use.

(If you’re wondering, the tanning mitt in the background of the image is from Home Bargins and cost £1, to fit in with the budget fake-tan!)

Secondly, Garnier have recently launched a range of BB products including a concealer, an original BB Cream and other BB Creams targeted to specific skin types, and so far I have tried the Miracle Skin Perfector Original BB Cream. I am the shade 02 in ‘light’ (I know that on the website there is a page where you can find out your shade if you’re interested), and I have found that, due to this product being low coverage yet highly pigmented, it gives my face a natural tanned effect – perfect for those, like myself, who are a little nervous of fake-tanning their face! I find it is great for a day when you want a summer glow in your face, with a low coverage base to avoid appearing cakey in the sun.

The less obvious choice out of the three is a nail varnish by Essie in the colour ‘Fiji’. I first saw this on the stands in Boots and decided to pick it up purely for the name: I lived in Fiji for a few months when I was younger and it was one of the best times in my life so far! Then the hype happened. I recon that everybody and their dog walker (what haha!) has heard of this summery varnish; a pretty pastel pink that, I realised after purchasing it, is named Fiji because of its natural tanning qualities. The contrast between my natural skin tone and the off-white pink made my skin appear darker than usual so is going to be my go-to nail varnish of this summer!

So there you have it, a few products that will help to achieve a natural tan in the run up to summer! Ladies, it time to tan up!’

April Favourites!

April Favourites

April is one of my favourite months: the weather is just starting to turn, gracing us with glorious days of sunshine, the days are getting longer and the baby birds in the nest outside my window wake me up each morning with their cheerful chirping. Sigh… Anyway! There have been several products that I have been loving this month, and I thought I would share them with you!

The product I have been using most this past month has got to be the Jelly Pong Pong ‘lip stain’ (the shade Marshmallow Pink), another dupe of the Clinique Chubby Sticks and this featured in my previous post because I received this in the March GlossyBox. This is the best colour for spring since it is really bright and…would you know what I mean if I say it’s a ‘happy pink’!? The colour is also the perfect shade to contrast with my skin tone making my skin look tanned, just in time to welcome the upcoming summer months. This lip stain is really moisturising which is excellent to help treat chapped lips that have been affected by the harsh winter weather, and to protect against the sun that has gradually been making more and more appearances (yippee!).

Another makeup item that I have been loving this month is a peachy-pink natural blush that would suit all skin tones that I picked up when I was in London browsing those beautifully enticing counters in Selfridges; MAC Melba blush. I first found out about this from Charlotte who had this colour and had been raving about it. We stood in front of a huge shelf covered in a myriad of blushes and, by some miracle, she managed to point out ‘Melba’ to me immediately without having seen the names of any of them. The colour is THAT lovely! After a typical-girl-moment of giggling and freaking out about how weird it was that she could do that, I applied the beautiful colour to my face. Then, I kid you not, a lady approached me, who clearly did NOT work there, and asked me what the colour was that I had on my cheeks. I answered “MAC Melba”, and she replied “Oh, it’s beautiful!”, she promptly proceeded to pick one up and take it over to the counter to purchase! Yes. Proof enough.

The third item…well… items, are two hair care products that I think compliment each other really well; Batiste ‘light + blonde’ Dry Shampoo and Sassoon Spray Shine. I had been using the XXVolume dry shampoo by Batiste, which is very good at creating volume: ideal if you want to backcomb your hair. However, I was getting really fed up with constantly sporting an aging lady-in-denial-who-dyes-her-hair-blonde look due to the grey powdery residue left around the roots of my hair from the spray. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t seem to brush all of it out. Enter Batiste ‘light + blonde’ Dry Shampoo! This is ideal for my hair colour as it does not leave behind the grey deposit, but rather dispenses a yellowy coloured spray, thus eradicating my problem. However, this product is not enough on it’s own; enter Sassoon Spray Shine! All dry shampoos leave a slightly dry, matte look to your hair so I simply spray a little of the shine-in-a-can to the lower two thirds of my hair to ensure naturally shiny, yet very non-greasy locks!

Finally, a couple of little extras…The Barry M Gelly Nail Varnishes have really been impressing me lately: the formula is great – it really has the appearance of gel nails and they are cheap as chips! My favourite shade is ‘Lychee’: a nude concrete colour with pink undertones. My non-beauty favourites of April include a necklace that I picked up in the Topshop spring sale. It was down from £8.50 to £1.50 and I absolutely love this tribal interpretation of an eagle design. It goes with pretty much any outfit as it can be paired with a casual everyday look, or added to a dressy outfit for an evening out. And lastly: Disney and Dreamworks films! This April has been a lovely month of reminiscing the good old days (the 90s!) when Prince Charmings sweep Princesses off their one-shoed feet and ancient Egyptian Princes save their suffering slaves (haha)! Hooray!

Happy Spring!

March 2013 GlossyBox

IMG_0185I don’t normally do GlossyBox monthly posts because sometimes the products aren’t really worth a post, not because they are awfully bad, but they’re just…meh, or I haven’t had chance to use them yet and they have been chucked into my samples box. However, this is the last GlossyBox of my subscription, and I thought the products that were sent are the perfect balance of beauty products; a nail varnish, a makeup item, a skin care product, a hair care product and a perfume sample! Fab! I wish that every box could be this great! There are a couple of little hiccups in this particular box, but overall I am really pleased.

I have said before that I am not keen on perfume samples in beauty boxes; you can just as easily get them for free at the counter in which they sit, perfectly happy in a little glass bowl ready to be taken away by an inquisitive customer, right? The sample I received from this month’s GlossyBox is the Juicy Couture ‘Lala’ perfume. This perfume is usually encased in its impressive glass cut bottle, quite literally tied up with a bow, and frankly I have always wanted a Juicy Couture perfume… just for the bottle! The smell is lovely also; floral, yet fruity, just the way I like it.

The second item I received is a mini version of Nails inc. St James’; a hot pinky-red varnish. I have to say; I am not all that impressed. Firstly, I am not all that keen on the colour, I have always thought that reds and intense pinks wash out my olive skin tone, making it look yellow rather than naturally a little tanned. The first coat applied perfectly fine, however, when I applied the much-needed (even after three coats you can see the small amount of dirt that may have gathered under your fingernails during the day through the colour… ew, I know but we all get a bit now and then!) second coat it took nearly half an hour to dry, which, when you’re doing your nails in bed, already nearly drifting off asleep at eleven o’clock at night, is not ideal. I awoke in the morning with the pattern on my duvet imprinted in the varnish. Also I found that, even after all those coats, it did not have good longevity and chipped very quickly.

I have not yet tried the third product in this month’s edition, however I have heard great things about the Elizabeth Arden 8hr Balm/Cream, and I am impressed that they have managed to include this sample as I have wanted to try this product without spending the money it would cost for the full size, and possibly end up not liking it so much. So I’m really excited about trying this product!

TRESemmé Salon Finish Hairspray is another product that I have heard a lot about, seen in plenty of monthly favourites videos, so I was surprised to find the full size can snugly sat in the puffs of padding at the size of the box. However, having tried this product, I am a little disappointed by the quality. I found that the spray did not hold my hair as well as I thought it would, keeping a backcombed piece of hair for a maximum of half an hour. Despite this, I am giving this product the benefit of the doubt in wondering if it’s ‘not you, it’s me’; I have very, very thick hair. I have never met anyone, except maybe my mum, with hair that is as thick and long as mine (sounds nice, but you should see how many bottles of shampoo I go through!), so naturally my hair requires a very strong hairspray. I will continue to use this spray though; I am determined to get through each product I own and learn to love the ones I dislike, but maybe next time I use it I shall just apply it for a little extra hold in light curls or waves, rather than a messy backcombed look.

And finally, my favourite product: a Jelly Pong Pong lip staining balm. This is yet another dupe of the Clinique Chubby Stick (read my previous post for other dupes), and unfortunately it arrived a little broken – the lipstick was detached from the holder and kept falling out. I have since contacted the GlossyBox team to inform them of this little ‘hiccup’ and received a helpful, friendly email the next day telling me they will be sending out a replacement. However, I have tested this pretty product (a…few times!) and I absolutely love it! It is the perfect pink; very bright and vibrant, a wonderful spring shade that contrasts against your skin tone, causing it to look tanned. The moisturising element to this lip ‘crayon’, as I referred to this type of product in my last post, is excellent and it feels like a lip balm, therefore it is very easy to apply and is very light weight on the lips while still maintaining the longevity of a normal lipstick.

I know that overall actually this sounds like a bit of negative review, but if GlossyBox had items similar to this month’s in every box, I would definitely be a happy bunny!

My Collection collection…

Collection

When I was in Boots the other day a deal on ‘Collection’ makeup caught my eye –

Buy Any Two ‘Collection’ Products and Get an EXTREME 24 hr Felt Tip Liner!

So, naturally, I rush over to the stand, not caring how good the liner would be or the fact that it was clearly rather old as is actually from when ‘Collection’ was ‘Collection 2000’. I repurchased the pressed powder and also nabbed myself a Collection Lasting Perfection concealer and I have since tried these products and I thought I would share them with you guys!

So, the Collection Pressed Powder is a powder that I have repurchased and repurchased and repurchased…and repurchased; because I absolutely love it! I have tried other high-street pressed powders that have been raved about on you-tube and in the blogging world, for example ‘Stay Matte’ by Rimmel, and found that it mattes my face out too much. I know that that is the point, and it does do exactly what it says on the tin, however, I am personally one for a ‘no-makeup’ makeup for every day and I find that it is much more natural and effortless looking to have a slight dewy finish to your face. I’m not talking about a forehead-that-looks-polished look, but with Collection’s pressed powder I can achieve a flawless finish to my foundation, matte where it matters like my cheeks and upper forehead, and still a little shiny on the light-catching areas of my face, for example, my cheekbones. However, my skin is combination so this pretty pressed powder may not achieve the same effect on oily skin.

Word to describe it: LOVE!

Unfortunately, I am very disappointed with the Lasting Perfection concealer. I bought the lightest shade to brighten the main area I need it: my under eyes. Again, it does do what it says on the tin and really does last the whole day (I’m not sure about 16 hours because I’ve never needed to keep my makeup on that long) but I found that this product was very, very, very cakey!  Also, I found it to be very unflattering on the greeny areas of my under eye circles and the tiny veins on my lids as the colour turned almost grey, however, I am open to the idea that maybe the colour was a little too light for me.

Word to describe it: u-n-i-m-p-r-e-s-s-e-d!

The free Felt Tip Liner was, although a bonus to a miniature ‘Collection’ haul, okay. Personally I am not one for a felt tip eyeliner as I find them very difficult to apply, but the longevity of the product was okay, and all-in-all I am not dissatisfied although I don’t think I will be using it a lot.

Word to describe it: Meh!

Let me know if you agree/disagree with this review, or if there are any other Collection products that you would recommend? I am currently covering the ‘Peach Melba’ blush…?