Thursday, 29 August 2013

Autumn is the time for new hair!

So while trawling through Pinterest which I tend to do most days I decided to check out some new hair ideas. I've been blonde since May time now and I'm spending way too much money on maintaining it as my hair seems to grow so darn fast. I've been toying with the idea of going gingery, just because I haven't (intentionally) been it before. I keep going back and forth with it, as it's taken me so long to actually get my hair this light. Ah girl problems, the stuff we have to deal with hey? These are a couple pictures of what's convincing me take the plunge to gingery, and also some cool styles I'm thinking of trying for Autumn.

As we all know the lovely British Autumn is just three or four months of wind and gloomy rain, I'm probably going to become very best friends with my enrapture rollers and I love these different takes on ponytails. Anything to make sure the windswept look won't look horrid! Think if I don't go ginger I'll probably try my hand a bit of dip dye :)

Any other trends you've seen for Autumn hair so far?

My everyday

Morning everyone! Realise I haven't done a beauty blog in quite a while so thought I'd take the typical blogger plunge and show you what I use everyday at the moment.

So this is my everyday hair styling equipment. On the left we have my Andrew Barton blown away hairdryer and on the right my Andrew Barton straight answer straighteners. These two are my most trusted tools (as well as my enrapture rollers which are becoming a favourite) and I've had them well over a year, which means they are a little faded and battered in places, but they still work perfectly (even if I could do with cleaning them more often!). Also we have just a normal clip for separating my hair as it's irritatingly thick somedays and the Scwarchzkopf (think that's spelled right!) Guardian angel heat protect spray. This is quite a new product of mine, and I love the smell of it. Despite this though, I found that I can only spray on the lengths, any higher than my ears and it makes my hair greasy :(. 

My everyday make up!
I apologise for the darkness of the pictures, my room's like a cave in the mornings. Okay so looking at it all together, it looks like a lot, but I can actually do my make up in about 15 minutes on a good day.

Top: Breath of fresh air toner Lush
Steam cream moisturiser Asos
Bottom: Max factor eyelash curler (savers) 
My trusty UBU brushes (see my post on them Here)
Barry M eyeshadow brush Superdrug

Yes, I am one of those girls, like many others, who has a little lush obsession. It's not as bad as when I first went in there, but anyone who's been in knows, the smell in there is just luring you in and makes you buy stuff. Bath bombs are my downfall.. Anyway, this is the Breath of fresh air toner, I used to use the tea tree one, but I found this made my face feel dry, this one however, is pretty darn good. It cleans your face as well as tones, even if you think you've gotten all the make up and dirt off your face, this will surprise you! The steam cream I did originally get from Tesco, but I found that there are so many more different tins on Asos, so I think I'll be buying from there in the future. It is £13 so not the cheapest, but definitely affordable. It's can also be used as a body moisturiser and it just makes your skin feel amazing, so I recommend it highly!
As mentioned, I've written a review on my UBU brushes previously, but I do tend to use them everyday (excuse the foundation brush, it's in need of a wash!). I also have my Barry M eyeshadow brush which I use for if I want a quick application of one colour, I did have a superdrug own brand one, but the hairs were pulling themselves out with every use so that unfortunately had to be thrown away. I also have my max factor eyelash curler which I did get from savers for £2 (you know I love a bargain) which I'll admit I only use when I remember to. The blusher brush is quite old and I don't remember where it's from, I really need to invest in a more high end one, it's just finding the money! Ooh also the little black one is a Maybelline eyeliner brush that I got with the little pot of eyeliner. Not sure if you can buy this particular brush separate though.

These are my base products, I think I have a bit of a thing for Natural collection! It can be found at Boots. The foundation is pretty good, I have sensitive skin so when I find a foundation that doesn't make me break out I tend to stick with it. Plus, this range is really cheap, which is useful when you've suddenly realised you're running low. Only problem with this brand (particularly the powder and foundation) is that it doesn't tend to stick to your face in terms of lasting very long. And the blusher doesn't tend to show up very well, but that might just be the little amount I put on. I have the fear of looking like a rag doll with those bright rosy cheeks.. The concealer is amazing, it's the Miss Sporty (yes I am the drugstore make up Queen) liquid concealer. It's quite light, but it works wonders on those puffy dark circles that I'm a victim of.

Again apologise for the dark picture. These are my everyday eye heroes. I have the collection 2000 gel eyeliner, I used to use the Maybelline eyeliner pot, but I'm trying to be good and actually pay attention to my make up's use by dates. I'm sure none of us pay as much as we probably should though. It works just as well as the more expensive one although I wouldn't rely on their supplied brush as it's teeny. Ah my MUA pallet. I would probably buy up every single one of these if I had the money, they are amazing. I did actually have a little Mua/fashionista splurge last night online, so will do a post when they are delivered! This pallet is the glitter ball pallet and has both daytime and nighttime colours in. My go to colours are the silver in the top right corner mixed with the pale pink in the top row. I must buy another one of the white as my darling daughter decided she'd try to scoop it out with my old brush.. 
Again with the cheaper make ups, I have the collection 2000 longer lash mascara. I have tried so many of the £7 to £15 priced mascaras and I can honestly say that none of them work as well as this one does. And it's not clupmy like some of the others! 

Well there you have it, my everyday make up and hair styling tools. It will probably change as the weather does as I need more moisturising foundations etc etc so will have to keep shopping around. Have you used any of these products? What are your favourite make ups at the moment? Would love to hear!

Friday, 23 August 2013

A day in food

Trying to have a little bit of a health kick at the moment, what with all the hot weather, I don't see how people can still be eating big heavy hot meals! Think this was actually last week, as I've not actually moved off the couch this morning, kind of wishing I was one of those greek Goddesses with people cooling me with the huge leaf fans (think they were leaves..) but I doubt that will ever happen. Anyways, onto the food!

You can't go wrong with a bit of fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, it's light, it's healthy and it will fill you up 'til lunch (if you don't constantly think about food!). This was simply just some berries tossed in a bit of natural yoghurt with some honey :)

Okay now I'm not always one for salads, I think they're quite boring to be honest. My mum could strangely have the same thing everyday but I tend to not eat the food if I find it boring, which yes I know is quite weird. But, saying that I found these chilli bruschetta bites (they're croutons, no matter what the packet says!) from Tesco and they added a little more flavour to the dish.

Yep, more veg! But I absolutely love a stir fry at the moment. I find beef's better than chicken, but I'm quite fussy with my steak so chicken's usually easier. Quick and easy, pretty much anyone who knows how to work a frying pan (or wok if you have one) can make it. This one was also a sweet chilli flavour, I think I have a bit of an obsession with chilli at the moment. But we can't be healthy all the time so I had to add some prawn crackers to the side, just to have a bit of crunch.

Urm so pretty much nothing to do with beauty or fashion whatsoever, but we all like to keep healthy once in a while don't we? If you are interested in food, then give my Instagram a look as I seem to be one of those annoying people who constantly photographs food (although I only started it recently so there won't be much on there). I'll also be posting some fashion and beauty pictures on there and pretty much anything I find mildly interesting, just like everyone else!

Hope you have a great weekend in what I'm assuming will probably be our last heatwave of the year :( But bring on those autumn fashions!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Enrapture rollers review

After months of talking about them non-stop and looking at tutorial videos on youtube, I finally took the plunge and bought some of the beautiful Enrapture hair rollers! I was very excited about these especially seeing as the retail price is usually £74.99 and I managed to get them for only £32 here at Tesco Direct! They were out of stock for quite some time so I recommend snapping them up now while they're £42 cheaper.

So here they are :) 
The box comes with 10 larger sized rollers and 10 medium sized rollers. Apparently the new duo technology in these stops them from being too hot to touch, but me being the numpty I am decided not to read the instructions about turning them off after they've warmed up and managed to burn my hand.. only me. There's a little LED screen on the front panel that tells you when they're ready to use, heating up took probably about a minute and a half which is faster than my straighteners!

This is my hair before - quite limp and lifeless after being shoved up so it didn't get blown about to much in the horrible wind we're having here today.

This is me with the rollers in, looking great, I think this look may catch on you know! I did have some trouble with putting the rollers in, but this is the first time I've ever used them and expected a little bit of difficulty :) You start with the top in a 'mohawk' kind of strip as these will need the most time so they can create volume. I didn't really use a specific size for each bit, but the bigger ones I'd say are better for the top of your hair and medium for the underneath. You roll them all up and then leave them in 'til they get cool - probably about 20 minutes altogether.  I would say this is a lot harder to do when you have layers as the hair doesn't all stay together as you're rolling. I found it easier to twist the hair first then roll it up.

This is the final result!
So I feel like a Barbie doll. In a good way though :) It's created loads of volume and quite big waves and curls, although some parts could have done with being put in better. I ran my fingers through my hair and brushed the tops just to control them and stop them flicking all over the place.
The backs of my hair did fall out really quickly but I don't think I'd actually rolled them properly so only myself to blame! I then sprayed a bit of the Elnett supreme hold hair spray just to make sure they hold.

All in all I am extremely pleased with this purchase and definitely recommend them to anyone looking for some heated rollers. Well worth the extra money than you pay on normal cold velcro ones!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Nail Art Deco!

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days, silly sky internet around here tends to be a tad temperamental, which is a pain and will unfortunately stop you from being able to buy tickets to Bastille gigs when they go on sale! But anyway, had a bit of spare time earlier and thought I'd redo my nails as they were looking a little bit worse for wear. 
I've been seeing a lot of nail art around at the moment and people reviewing different nail art tools, so I thought I'd give it a go myself, but with more of a homemade kind of tool. Here's what I used:

 Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover
Rimmel  Lycra pro 391 celebrity bash
Asda Skin System cotton wool buds
Collection 2000 1 Liquorice
Collection 2000 2in1 strengthener and hardener

So I always start painting my nails by just rubbing my nails with a little of the remover, just to get off any previous colour or dirt. I then always start with a clear coating of the 2in1 strengthener and hardener. This has been a constant in my nail polish collection for well over a year now. It works great as a top coat and a base and it makes the varnish last at least 5-10 days without chipping, depending on how much you put on (if you're like me, you dollop it on so it's quite thick).
 I love the whole alternating nails thing at the moment too, although I usually go for more pastel shades.  After waiting for the colours to dry, and I mean completely dry, I just dipped the cotton bud (pointy end obviously) into the black polish and drew on some zig zags! this is what I ended up with:

Okay so I'm not the most dab hand at painting my nails cleanly. My thumb was probably the best one out of all of them, I won't show you my left hand it's not all too amazing, need a steadier hand!
I did intend on actually drawing something onto the black as well, but the red didn't want to go over it. Ah well, not too bad for a quick ten minute job using a cotton bud! 
Have any of you had a go at your own nail art? Which tools do you find best?

Monday, 12 August 2013

sale style picks

So we know that the summer sales are in full swing at the moment, everywhere you look there's that huge red sign that fills us with joy and our bank balance with dread. I think the sales have been pretty good this year, I swear there have been more sales than any other year, especially online! Thought I'd just share a few of my favourite sale style picks of the season.

                                                        Skirt - was £16.99 reduced to £11.89
                  Denim panel leggings - was £16.99 reduced to £8.49
                         Dress - was £26.99 reduced to £16.19

I actually do have the leggings (bought them a while back for full price) and they are quite comfy, with a high waisted panel, although I got a size smaller than I usually buy with jeans as I've found that missguided's leggings are a little big, but hey not going to complain about fitting into smaller clothes! I've also asked about the dress and unfortunately the cups are not padded but have been told that it's quite well fitted so you probably wouldn't need a bra :) (I know this is always an issue with me when buying backless/panel tops and dresses)

Dress - was £37 reduced to £18
Top - was £24 reduced to £12
shoes - were £75 reduced to £35 

I am in love with these shoes completely. But I'm afraid I'd just buy them and they'd sit pretty in my wardrobe as I don't really tend to go anywhere that warrants heels often. I love a good casual dress and at only £18 I think this one's a bargain, especially as this could be worn in autumn as well with a nice pair of boots and cream jacket.

Skirt - was £16.99 reduced to £7
Shirt - was £24.99 reduced to £13.99

I've been looking for one of these skirts for ages, and I love the fact it's got little polka dots on to make it a little unique :) I think the shirt's very on trend about now as I'm seeing neutral colours with a little neon colour pop everywhere!

These are probably the three sites I shop on the most and besides, there are so many sales I've been browsing that if I posted my favourites from all of them you'd probably be reading this post for a couple of hours.. so I'll just leave you with a few links to some more great sales:

It's what I always tell myself!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Sneaky little savings

As I'm having a bit of a cash flow problem myself lately, (damn nursery is so expensive!) thought it'd be a good idea to share with you how I can still afford to indulge my online shopping habit. By the way, what do we think about the new layout? Give me a quick comment below! :)

1. Social media
Some websites actually have their own facebook/twitter pages, this can be a great way to find out about  what's going on. Many times they'll post a link to the sales a couple of days before they become live to non-fans and you all know there's nothing like a sale to make a girl feel good about burning the plastic ;).  They also post quite a lot of competitions, I know this can be a long shot at times, but you still have a chance and might even get vouchers or free clothes out of it!

2. Unidays
If you're a student, then this is the site for you. Just put in your details and the year you started and when your course ends and then they will add you to the site so that you can claim exclusive discounts off of certain sites. It might not look like there's a lot of sites on there, but they are partnering with new companies all the time so just keep checking back for new perks :) Some sites like Missguided and Miss Selfridge even let you have the discounts off of sale items!

3. Mailing lists
Okay, so I know we're all prone to hating the 'junk mail' we get via ordering with certain websites and I'm no different. But, with sites like Ark and Fashion Union they often send you exclusive codes for free delivery and discounts that wouldn't be available if you weren't signed up. One of my favourites (this happened to me last week) is New Look. I opened up my emails last week to a 'We miss you' email from the New look team, they actually gave me a 20% off discount code as I hadn't shopped there online in a while, talk about incentive! As if we needed any to shop in the first place, but money off is not something to say no to in my book.

4. Stockists
Now we all have our favourite sites that we browse through all the time and I know many of us are reluctant to change once we've found good quality in a site. I know it can be hard once you've found that perfect dress or bag to not hit 'add to basket' and checkout straight away, despite knowing it's a little out of our price range. I've found, especially with Asos and other sites similar that they stock different brands and are, majority of the time selling the same thing as the brand's main site, but for a cheaper price! (and you get a 10% student discount at Asos with unidays to make it even better) Another site I've found that are like this, is Bank. I was in desperate need of a Paul's boutique bag last year (I just love their little charms!) and found the exact same bag I was looking at on sale in Bank for a quarter of the price! See? It is good to shop around.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

30 day shred, is it worth it?

Hey there! So after 34 days I've finally finished the 30 day shred and thought I'd post my results/review of the DVD :)
Right so first thing's first, I've been trying different exercise videos and programmes for over a year now, trying to beat that post baby weight and I'm happy to say I've nearly gotten down to where I want to be! I used to do Tiffany Rothe workouts a couple days a week along with healthy eating and I lost a stone in just over 6 months so I'd definitely recommend her for beginners and people who aren't so into exercise! 
But after christmas this year I still had about 8 or 9lb left to lose and the youtube workouts weren't working for me anymore, I'd hit that stupid plateau. I might have mentioned before that me and my friend are off to Greece for a girly holiday next year and she told me about the 30 day shred and as she was also going to be doing it I thought I'd give it a go. I have previously tried the Insanity workout but it actually made me ill so I had to stop :(.

The 30 Day shred is by a fabulous woman named Jillian Michaels, who's a fitness trainer featured on Biggest Lose USA. It's a 25-30 minute daily workout based on circuit training and three different levels of fitness. Each level contains 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio followed by 1 minute of abs. You're supposed to do each level for 10 days then move onto the next one until the 30 days are up. Now on the actual DVD, Jillian mentions nothing about taking any rest days, but on a podcast I've heard about, she says you're supposed to take at least one rest a week so I think it depends on your personal preference and how you're feeling.
I didn't follow an actual diet plan during this workout, but I do tend to eat quite healthily 4 days out of 7, it would be more but I just have such an addiction to pasta!

The first day of level one I'm not ashamed to say, killed me. I thought I was quite fit, considering all the youtube workouts I'd been doing but after the first workout I was on the floor panting and sweating away. The second day I was in quite a bit of muscle pain, but I pushed through and just did a more relaxed version of the workout. Ooh forgot to mention that as well as Jillian there are two girls - Natalie and Anita that you can follow. Natalie's the more advanced version and Anita the beginner 'easier' version. (I put quotes here as on level one I wasn't finding this particularly easy either!)
By day 7 I was finding it quite a bit easier and I found myself pushing to do the more advanced versions of the workout an by the end of the first level I was feeling pretty confident about my improved strength.

Three words can describe level two: Oh. My. God. I've read it before, but I now agree with it whole heartedly - level two is the devil's work. It was the worst 10 days worth of exercise I've ever done. I mentioned above about the rest days and although I was adamant I didn't want to take any, I actually ended up having three during level two. Not making excuses but those darned lunges actually gave me a knee injury that I still feel the ache of now! Although I didn't want to rest, it wasn't 3 consecutive days of rest so I let myself off. I was so insanely happy to have finished level two though and ended up dreading level three.

Okay so despite my fear of these last 10 days due to the horror of level two, I actually genuinely found myself looking forward to doing each day of level three's workout! Safe to say I was shocked at this. I found that if you put on some more upbeat music as by day 21 that stupid 'music' played in the background was doing my head in. The only thing about level three is that there's quite a bit of jumping so if you have weak ankles try just following Anita's version of the cardio. 
I did end up having one more break two days before the end, but that was due to a shopping trip last Saturday and getting in quite late. 

I don't actually know how much (if any) actual weight in pounds I've lost as I don't like looking at the scales anymore as it puts me off, especially seeing as you probably will put on a bit of muscle weight through this. But, saying that I have actually gone down to my previous bra size in the back giving my bust size a loss of 2 inches. I've also lost an inch on my waist and about half an inch round my hips and legs. Although this little loss on the lower body hasn't actually allowed me to comfortably fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, they do successfully do up now! I've kind of resigned myself to the fact now I'm not going to lose anymore as my hips widened quite a bit having my little monster, but I don't mind :) I'm most proud of my stomach and bum. I'll never be flat stomached, I know that but both my stomach and bum have lifted slightly giving them more of a defined look. I can also feel the difference in my stomach, as it's like a rock when I tense :)

All in all I think the 30 day shred is worth it. Even if you don't lose anything, you still feel a lot stronger than before you start, knowing you've done some good to your body which is always a bonus! 
Anyone else tried this and had good results? Give me a comment below and let me know what you thought of it :)

Monday, 5 August 2013

My UBU obsession

I mentioned in a previous post my trusty UBU brushes and thought I'd do a little post on them :) I only have a small collection, and at a fiver a brush they can get a little expensive when buying all together, but I'm a little addicted to them at the moment!

From left to right, No.20 'Glow Stick' foundation brush
No.31 'Drama Queen' angled eye defining brush
No. 35 'Eyemazing' tapered blending brush
No. 36 'Holy Smoke' blending brush
No. 12 'Kabuki Crush' powder brush

Now the foundation and powder brushes are new, I was previously using a cheapy H&M powder brush, but I found that the hairs on the brush were becoming quite coarse and loose. This powder brush is great, only used it once but it applied even coverage and the powder didn't get lost in the bristles as common with some of the cheaper ones. I've never actually used a foundation brush before, I tend to use my finger or a sponge (don't really find sponges all too helpful ended up wasting more foundation as it was all soaked up) but I saw a post on another blog about how using a foundation brush had made her face look a lot more even and she'd had quite a few comments on how good her skin looked. I don't actually remember the name of this blog, (there's that sieve mind of mine again!) but if I find it I'll be sure to post and give her the credit :) 
I must say though, I do agree that the brush is a lot easier to use and great for getting into all the crevices of your face evenly. Plus you don't get the horrible oily feel on your hands afterwards! Although I really do recommend washing it after each use so that it doesn't get all clumpy, just run it under a little cold water.

Onto the eye shadow brushes. These actually come together in a pack of three for £6 in Tesco and are the best brushes I own. They are amazing for creating a smokey eye but also work great for a more casual look. The angled brush is great also for if you don't want to use an actual eyeliner and prefer to line your eyes with eyeshadow (which is sometimes way more flattering if you're wearing lighter make up) and is really easy for any make up artist wannabe to use!
Did I mention how much I love the colours of these brushes? The bright colours, especially in my make up bag which seems to be like the bag belonging to Mary Poppins, makes them a lot easier to find.

In order to keep these brushes as soft as they are when you take them out of the packet, (and it's like putting your make up on with a feather) make sure you rinse them out every once in a while with warm soapy water and leave to dry naturally :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Just a few things

So luckily picked yesterday to go shopping, great day for it, nice and hot but wow was Leicester busy. Some carnival going on in the high street, ended up nearly getting lost in a mob of people on my way to Lush, but I got there in the end!
      I didn't buy a lot, really trying to save money for next years trip to Greece, but I couldn't avoid the sales, I am a sucker for a good sale and there are just so many of them at the moment. Got a couple of bath bombs from lush (not pictured as they're in bags and I used one this morning) I always go in for one thing and get distracted by the smell of the bath stuff and have to get a couple :) Also got the 'Lush Lettuce' facemask for free as I've been collecting Lush pots for ages now. My two favourite things I bought are this blazer and jeans from New look

Both in the sale of course, jeans were £12 and blazer was £10 so quite a steal! I'm not usually one for floral patterns, and despite my brother telling me they look like my Nanna's curtains I love them! They fit perfectly as well which is always a plus as you probably know as well as I do how hard it is to find a good fitting pair of jeans. The blazer is definitely something going to be staying in my wardrobe for quite some time. I've recently gotten into them as they're a great way of livening up a simple outfit and it's good for going out when it's not too hot but not cold enough for a big jacket. Also another plus with this particular blazer is how soft it is, as it has bit of a jersey feel to it. 
The top in this picture is quite old, but they still sell similar ones (I think it was from new look too) as I also got a peach one for £3.99 which will go great with the pastel colours of this outfit. 

Also bought this lovely simple tee from USC for only £7 :). I'm not usually one for t-shirts but this one's a really loose fit under the arms so you don't feel as if it's sticking to you and the colour just caught my eye and I had to get it! Would have uploaded a picture of my actual one, but as you can see it's quite a dark top so thought a stock photo would be better :)