Friday, 30 March 2012

MUA lipstick - shade 12

i bought this MUA lipstick as another addition to my slow-growing lipstick collection. as i've mentioned before, i'm not really a lipstick fan but i am trying to branch out! and what better way to do it than with a cute pink lipstick that only cost £1?!

the formula is quite creamy and doesn't feel that different from wearing a lip balm. it was easy to apply but only lasted about an hour and a half before i had to reapply. this is mainly because the colour is so bright (brighter than expected!) and so it didn't take long to dull a bit. for a daytime look though, i actually preferred it after a bit of wear, although constantly having to reapply may be frustrating when out and about. alternatively, i think it would be a good colour to dress up an evening outfit, and the packinging is quite sleek and plain so would fit and look nice in any tiny handbag!

my only problem with shade 12 (other than the boring name!) is the little flecks of glitter throughout the lipstick. initially, i think it looks quite nice and girly, but after a bit of wear glitter lipsticks tend to leave no colour and lots of excess glitter which isn't a great look in my eyes! i still think the purchase was worth it though and i hope to wear shade 12 out soon!

glamping holiday!

so this week i haven't had a proper chance to blog as i've been away glamping! for those of you who don't already know, glamping stands for 'glamorous camping', something that appealed to me as generally, camping isn't my thing! 

i went for two nights to jollydays luxury campsite with my boyfriend and i'm so glad it was sunny as i can't imagine what we would have done if it had been raining! there is practically no electricity on site and even with the sun out during the day it was freezing at night! we still had a great time though so i thought i'd share some pictures to let you all know what it was like and maybe see if i could even convince the reluctant camper to give it a go?!

jollydays is about 10 miles from york city centre and is situated down a long path away from any roads. we walked about a mile to the local village for a pub lunch but even there it was pretty quiet!

the campsite has a campfire area and feels really secluded. we didn't actually spend any time here but i'm sure it would get busier in summer and it's nice to know that jollydays encourage socialising with fellow campers :)

here is our tent! this was a 'deluxe lodge tent' which meant it came with its own kitchen and bathroom and is also very spacious. it feels like a proper house inside!

this one came out a lot darker than i would've liked.. oops! this was our living room which had a full-size corner sofa and wood burner. the reason it looks like there's a shed in the background is because there is! two (beautifully painted and decorated) garden sheds broke up the tent into two halves and were also home to a kitchen and bathroom - clever idea!

does it count as glamping without a four poster bed? i'm not sure that it does so luckily they had this covered! they also provided a hot water bottle for each person staying but as there were only two of us i insisted that we use all four to keep us warm at night!

another glamping requirement (as far as i'm concerned) is a beautiful free-standing bath. it looked so pretty in the corner of the bathroom shed and there was instant hot water. that, and not having to share with other campers was a massive blessing!

apart from the fridge and the hob in the kitchen, nothing else is powered on electricity in the camp! plenty of candles were provided, all perfectly fitting with the shabby chic interior.

the campsite has a tea tent open at all times equipped with drinks, marshmallows (we cooked most of our food on the bbq but didn't think to bring marshmallows with us so this was well thought out and much appreciated!) and delicious homemade cakes. there's noone serving you here, just an honesty box to leave any payments in.


all in all, a really great holiday. we had loads of fun and could have stayed for a lot longer! it was nice to do something different and not have a tv or laptop constantly on for a change! given the chance i'd definitely go back :) you can find more info about jollydays luxury camping here.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

lush - free face mask!

courtesy of clipper green tea, i spent thursday evening making my own lush face mask and thought i'd share the experience with you all before the offer expires!

first, go buy yourself a box of green tea with a pink tag on the front. then log onto the lush website (pretty quickly! the offer expires on 28/4/12) and book yourself onto a face mask workshop at your local store. me and a few friends went as a little group outing so make sure there are enough spaces for you all if you decide to go as a group.

when we got there, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and explained what we were going to be doing for the next couple of hours. we then all sat round a table with a big bowl in the middle and one of the girls started making the blueberry face mask. i thought we were all going to be making them separately but actually she made a big joint one whilst we watched. they did encourage us to join in at one point though so we all had a go at mushing up fresh blueberries and adding almond oil, calamine powder, talc, and a 'secret blend of essential oils'.

we were then all treated to a mini facial which was tailored to our personal needs. the girls asked us if we had any particular skin problems and if there was anything we wanted to achieve from our skin. they then showed us the products they were going to use on our skin before giving us each the facial and a lovely face massage. the face mask was then applied to our skin and left for 5-10 minutes and then washed off.

some of the girls found that later in the day the products did work out a bit too heavy for their skin, but generally i was quite pleased with my results as my skin felt smooth and looked brighter. i especially liked the feel of their creamy cleanser 'ultrabland', but ending up picking up a couple of other bits that i've wanted for a while instead and will review for you soon!

we were all sent off two hours later with a good sized tub of face mask to take home and carry on using. i'll let you know how it's worked out once i've used it a few times. overall, a nice evening out that was a bit different! thanks to my friend at thisheartofgold for spotting the deal :) you can read more about 'catastrophe cosmetic', the blueberry face mask we made, here.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

floral manicure

here's my attempt at floral nails, perfect for the spring days we've been having recently! i used a light pink as a base and then used a nail dotting tool to paint little yellow dots over the nail as the centre of the flower.

i then used a coral nail varnish to paint little half moons around the yellow dot to symbolise petals.  i did the same on the other half of the yellow dot with a lilac colour and finally did a tiny fleck of mint green to symbolise the stalk. as an added touch i placed a little diamond nail jewel on two accent nails just to make it extra summery. a cute little manicure which doesn't require much precision, just patience! next time i'd like to try it with a light blue base so it's slightly less girly and a bit more cath kidston-esque.

.....and as a little guest post, the friend who lent me her (99p store!) nail jewellery kit decided to let rip on my nails and go the whole hog by COVERING them in sequins! they only lasted one and a half days - unfortunately they weren't that practical! - and i looked like my hands belonged to a six year old, but i know she'll be pleased to know that (after much pleading) i have put them on my blog for the world to see! enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

collection 2000 - shimmering glow

i picked up this bronzer in an 'i'm-getting-excited-about-summer' moment in superdrug. i'm always a bit cautious with bronzer because i have pale skin and anything too dark makes me look ultra orange so i chose the lighter shade 'sunkissed'.

i have to admit, i wish i'd taken the risk and got myself one of their 'mosaic glowbronzers. sunkissed is a nice shade but it's too light even for me which is saying something! i also tend to only wear bronzer as a blusher replacement as opposed to all over the face so this may be another reason why it's too light. plus, it probably isn't that buildable as eventually i think it would end up more orange than bronze.

it was only cheap though (i think £1.99, can't seem to find it online!) and it definitely warms up my skin tone on colder days. not a completely wasted purchase, just one i wish had a slightly different outcome!

Monday, 19 March 2012

matte nails

here's a little look at my latest manicure... it's a sort of coral red colour from O.P.I ('big hair...big nails' for anyone wondering) with an h&m matte top coat over the top. it's quite a weird effect and not one i've seen in person before but i actually do like it. 

i wasn't sure how exactly it worked but it turns out it paints on like a normal top coat and then turns matte as it dries. if i had known thid i would've been a bit a bit more careful because around the base of the nail the uncovered nail varnish is still a bit shiny. nothing you can see unless you're really close up though, i'm just being a perfectionist!

i think the best thing about the matte top coat is that it's transferrable to other colours. also, as my first experience of h&m cosmetics i'm quite impressed! i think next time i may use it over a darker colour like navy so the effect is a bit more prominent, or even over some kind of nail art design. you can find a matte top coat at h&m for £1.99.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

galaxy nails

another night in, another attempt at some nail art! this time i used my willing friend to try out some galaxy nails...

i didn't have any particular plan with colours, i just picked out the most shimmery i could find and hoped that they worked well together! firstly, i painted two coats of models own 'emerald black' from the beetlejuice collection as a base. then i used the corner of a clean washing up sponge and sponged on some 'golden green', also from the models own beetlejuice collection.

i then sponged on a layer of 'pinky brown' (models own beetlejuice again!) in a different area of the nail. i wasn't too worried about getting it on the surrounding skin or whereabouts i sponged it on as it's meant to have a lot of depth and doesn't require any clean lines.

finally, i sponged on a thin layer of NYC 'long time lavender' as another back drop to the stars. i then used a small nail dotting tool to paint a few white stars on each nail with e.l.f cosmetics 'white'. you could do this with a kirby grip or toothpick if you don't have any nail dotting tools.

to finish it off, i painted over a layer of NYC 'lights-camera-glitter' to add to the starry effect and removed the excess nail varnish from around the nails with a nail varnish remover soaked cotton bud.

and here's the finished result! i'm really pleased with it as it came out a lot better than expected and was surprisingly quick and easy to do, even though it looks quite complex. let me know if you have a go... next time i plan to do them on my nails too!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

l'oreal - gentle eye make-up remover

i picked up the l'oreal gentle eye make-up remover the other day on my weekly shop. i have to admit, i haven't actually used a specific eye make-up remover in a long time (shock!) and have just been using cleanser which isn't great at removing mascara and liquid eyeliner. finally, the time has come to get back into taking care of my eyes and a gentle formula is definitely the way forward.

l'oreal gentle eye make-up remover is a clear, watery liquid and i haven't found it at all greasy. initially it did sting my eyes a bit but i'm going to put this down to being too rough and rushed which resulted in managing to get some of it directly in my eye... my fault! now i've slowed down a bit, it manages to get my eye make-up off pretty quickly and i can see it lasting a long time.

unfortunately, i haven't tested it on waterproof mascara but as it's currently £1.48 at sainsbury's, it's definitely worth giving it a go!

Friday, 16 March 2012

a little lifesaver...

oooweeee it's been a stressful week! the combination of bad eating, lack of sleep and (usually technology related) stressful moments has made me reach for one of my new favourite relaxing treatments. 

lavandin is an essential oil i picked up from neal's yard that quickly became a nighttime essential. the shop assistant told me that lavandin is a derivative of lavender and that they smell slightly different and have different uses. personally, i couldn't really smell the difference and ultimately i chose the lavandin over the lavender because it was almost half the price (£3.25 rather than £5.90).

as far as i know lavender can be applied directly to the skin as an anti-inflammatory which is not the case for lavandin, so for those looking for this to double as a beauty product you may have to pay the extra £2.65. instead, i just put a few drops on my pillow before bed and it helps me drift off to sleep :) very useful when i'm stressed out! it also makes my room smell really good, but isn't overpowering like some candles or incense can be. and it's organic! a really good buy and one i'd recommend to anyone feeling a little tense or in need of some well-deserved beauty sleep!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

miss sporty - clubbing colours: orange crush and taxi

i have to admit, this isn't the first time i've used the bright yellow 'taxi' by miss sporty. i painted my nails the other day but really wasn't a massive fan. the outcome was messy and streaky - all in all a bad nail day! i wanted to give it another go though so decided to do some quick and easy nail art on top of 'orange crush' that i painted my nails with yesterday, and here's the finished product!

overall i'm pleased with the result. it's a lot brighter than the pictures look (i blame the bad lighting!) and i think the colours work well together to create quite a dramatic nail art look. i used masking tape to cover the base colour because i think it's less sticky than other sorts of tapes so is less likely to pull off the base coat. i had to use two coats of the yellow to get full coverage though which made it quite thick and so the result wasn't as clean as i would have liked when i pulled off the masking tape. still, i'd try it again for a relatively easy but different look, maybe next time with pastel colours... any suggestions?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

miss sporty - clubbing colours: orange crush

apologies for these pictures... all of them look like i've photographed a different nail varnish!
i picked up this miss sporty 'clubbing colour' the other day in superdrug because they had an offer on for two for £3. the range of colours are really bright and some are different colours to what i would usually wear (look out for my yellow nail varnish review coming soon!) i do think the idea of 'clubbing colours' is a bit 90's but i'm willing to look past that!

orange crush is a neon pink with a touch of orange. it looks a lot pinker than the photos show so it's worth having a look in store if you want to try it out. it applies quite streaky, even after two coats, but the colour is really bright and it dried pretty quickly. i think it looks good on shorter nails but the fact that it's a bit streaky means that it probably won't be great for any detailed nail art which is a shame.

all in all, a nice colour for the summer and worth the £1.50, but definitely not the best quality nail varnish overall!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

the half moon manicure

in preparation for a well-deserved (in my opinion!) saturday night out, i decided to experiment with a half-moon manicure on myself and a friend and i thought i'd show you the results and let you know how we did it. i've tried this type of nail art a few times now and so far this has been my best result so i'm quite pleased with myself!

firstly, paint your nails the colour you want the half moon to be. i chose gold and my friend chose black. do a couple of coats if need be so the colour is opaque enough to make an impact.

the crucial part of the manicure and the reason why its never worked particularly well for me before is because the base colour needs to be COMPLETELY dry before you go onto the next stage. this week we were prepared and painted our nails yesterday to ensure that they were dry. otherwise, the sticker just peels off the base colour and it's a total waste of time and a bit of a mess!

so, once the base colour is dry... 

to get the rounded half moon effect, use hole punch reinforcement stickers. i got a pack of about 200 from paperchase for about 75p. i've found that they're much easier to use when you cut a small chunk out of them as you can see in the picture above. once you've done this, stick the stickers directly onto your nails. make sure you stick them down well, otherwise the nail varnish will seep underneath.

then paint the top colour over the base colour. make sure you don't go beyond the base of the sticker so try and keep a steady hand! 

once the top coat is dry, slowly peel off the stickers making sure that the base colour isn't coming with it! if some does, use a small brush to fill in the gap. finally, to soften the edges, paint over the half moon manicure with a top coat.
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