Friday, 29 November 2013

PARTY SEASON NAILS

When this time of year comes around, so does the Christmas parties. If you've got one to attend, or simply want to make yourself a little more festive, here are some of my favourite glitzy polishes for Christmas and the New Year.


To start with, my first ever OPI, Metallic for Life, that still holds a place in my heart! (Very sad, I know.) It's a very pretty opaque black jelly base with silver glitter, that I wear all the time. It's a little harder to get hold of as it was from the Nicki Minaj collection a year or so back, but I've spotted a fair few on eBay and Amazon, so get shopping!

If you're on the hunt for a nail lacquer that is a little more versatile, to turn every manicure into a party, then NYX 24k Glitter is a good one to try. The clear base and gold glitter mean that there are lots of ways to layer it, or you could try a personal favourite of mine, and do a glitter gradient - what ever takes your fancy.

A bargainous polish to check out is Max Factor Fantasy Fire, at only £3.99. If you've ever read a nail blog, you should probably be aware about the supposed Clarins 230 dupe. (If you google it and find one selling for $100+, I wouldn't be surprised.) This one sure is a chameleon, changing from purple to red, to green to gold. Layer it over Barry M Indigo and you'll have people mesmerised by your colour changing fingertips!

Essie Leading Lady is probably one of the most Christmas themed of the bunch. It's a rather opaque elegant red with glitter as well, one of the reasons why this could possibly be my Christmas manicure on December 25th - we'll see!

Carrying on with red, is Deborah Lippmann Through The Fire. This is glittery free, but uber shimmery, to the point where it has a 'glowy' appearance. Once again, a very festive shade!

I couldn't not include a Revlon polish, so here is Rainforest. This is completely unique in my approximately 250 bottle strong nail polish collection. The base is green with flaky green shimmer, that looks very glossy on the nails. A more wearable approach to green nails I think!

Lastly, another Max Factor. This is Red Bronze, a foil-type copper colour which I use time and time again, and that's a rare thing for me to do! I can't think of much more to say, other than I get a lot of use out of this one!

It's always at this time of year I get more into nails, mainly because of all the new glitter additions that grace the shelves of Boots and Superdrug. Behold, I'm not done shopping for them yet...

Megan x


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

LUSH STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT

A trip to Lush at the weekend meant that another Christmas buy was in order. Star Light Star Bright, the most glitter cover bath product I've ever seen with a scent akin to that in Dragons Egg - citrus, almost sherbet like.








The actual product is a large star, covered in silver sparkles. If you're not a fan of glitter in your bath, then perhaps this won't be for you, but I can claim that the particles didn't transfer nor stay on my skin whilst in or after I used it in the bath. However, pick it up in the store and your finger will be covered in silver!

This is a bath melt, which I believe is designed to be a skin softening, nice smelling item, that makes the water feel silky. It took a good 5 or so minutes to melt away, and that was with a bit of squishing and breaking. As you can see in the above images, it was a slow process as it didn't fizz like a bath bomb would (I was not expecting it to). Because the glitter drifted away, I was left with a cream coloured shape which looked kind of boring, until the blue was unleashed from the centre. This made the water a tinged aqua shade, but nothing too drastic at all.

I didn't notice that this did much for my skin. It felt the same when I got out as when I got in, and the scent was just kind of average. It didn't linger for long really, which is a shame because that's one of the things I love the most about Lush products. I have to say, I wasn't overly impressed by this one. I think if it was a bubble bar I would have preferred it more, because I love the scent, shape, size and colour, just sadly not how it performed!

Megan x

(My mum also said a day after I used it that the bath was quite greasy, just thought that was worth adding!)

Monday, 25 November 2013

A HOMAGE TO TKMAXX

November is rapidly disappearing and on its way is December. If you have yet to buy your Christmas gifts or  you're looking for a few extras, I cannot recommend TKMaxx enough. I thought I'd share some brilliant unique finds from the store, especially presents for those who have everything, or are just downright awkward to buy for!


Rolson 4 Piece Microfibre Cloth Set £3.99 - Yes, rather boring, but the perfect stocking filler type gift for any self-confessed car devotee. I'm actually going to be giving this to my Grandad, who is the most hard to buy for person you'd ever know. I know he regularly washes his van, so I thought this would be a very practical prezzie.

Decorative Perfume Bottle £3.99 - Since my great grandmother died, my nan has inherited her very beautiful old dressing table. For a penny less than four quid, I thought this was would be a very pretty addition to her trinkets.

Jamie Oliver 4 Piece Salt Set £9.99 - I have already wrapped this one, but inside there is a set of four Jamie Oliver salts. My dad likes to cook and watch Jamie Oliver all the time, and plus, I get to eat the food he comes up with using them!

Jelly Bean Cup £2.29 - Also for my dad, is a small cup of jelly beans (you know, the 'gourmet' ones). I thought the price was very reasonable for the amount you get in the pack.

Dartington Fine Bone China Two Tier Cake Stand £11.00 -  The RRP of this cake stand was £30.00, so there's a saving of £19.00 there! My nan loves to bake lovely cakes and desserts, but surprisingly doesn't have a cake stand, so this is one for her that hopefully wll be very useful and something she'd like!

Urbanknit Slipper Socks - Fluffy lined, cosy socks for my dad. These were £14.99 from £30, and I know he'll like these as he asked for them!

Transport Origami £3.99 - My dad has always liked motorbikes and cars, and enjoys puzzle type activities. Therefore, pop them both together and you get this gift set. Inside is 30 sheets of origami paper with 8 different vehicles, boats and aircrafts to make.

LED Copter Twin Pack £3.99 - A set of two 'helicopter' type things with LED lights and a catapult to shoot them up into the sky. My mum got these for my 12 year old brother, as more of a filler gift. Either way, they're very cool!

Cygnett Hard iPad Mini Case £4.00 - a very heavy duty iPad Mini case for my brother. Quite standard, but very cheap for what it is I think!

Although there's no beauty bits up there in my recent buys, I'm very impressed with TKMaxx because finding gifts for the most difficult family members becomes a breeze. I love that in many cases, items are one of a kind, because it makes them all the more original and thoughtful.

Please let me know if you liked this post, I sure did enjoy writing it! Are you excited for Christmas?

Megan x

Thursday, 21 November 2013

BOBBI BROWN MAKEUP MANUAL

I love to read as it is, so when you put makeup into that equation I'm ready to snuggle up in a onesie and hibernate for hours with the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual in my hands. I actually got his for Christmas 2/3 years ago now, way before I even considered makeup. Still, the pictures had me drawn in and there's something about fresh, crisp glossy pages I couldn't resist.






As far as I'm concerned, if you are going to buy one makeup related book, let it be this. Seriously, it's the ultimate guide to general cosmetics, as well as the beauty industry. My favourite part of the book has to be a section at the back, which entails many famous beauty companies, who started them and when in the 'Memorable Makeup Moments and Legends' section, Chapter 12. Another area I love is the section on brushes, which is called the 'Tool Guide'.

Also very useful are the detailed step by step tutorials, for all skin tones, eye shapes and more. No one is left out in this book which is what I love!

Whenever I need to know something, this is the place I turn. It also looks great displayed in your bedroom - even more the reason to pop this on your letter to Santa this year!

(I even saw this book in TKMaxx for £7.99. Ladies and gents, grab your purses and run to find one!)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

LUSH CANDY MOUNTAIN BUBBLE BAR

I must admit, Lush is one of those brands that I only really visit around the festive period. I don't tend to buy too much before Christmas, as we all know about the legendary boxing day sales, so I tend to hold off until then. However, I could not resist the Candy Mountain bubble bar once again.

Last year, I know it was pink and green, and I have in my head it was £2.45. However, this year it is pink and white with a few dots and sparkles. It now retails for £2.65, which is still rather cheap compared to other Lush items.


I haven't included images of it in the water, as truth be told it just sends your bath a pinky shade with lots of fluffy bubbles. Not to mention that it also lingers for ages afterwards, which I love. If you've been to Lush before, you'll know that when you bring your products home and leave them somewhere they scent the whole place. My room currently smells like a sweet shop - I'm not complaining!

I'm a very fussy person when it comes to scents. I wish I could understand the whole cinnamon, spicy winter product theme but it's not at all for me. This, however, is right up my alley, as it is not the kind of smell that will give you a headache at all. It's sweet, and candy-like. Therefore, I think the bubble bar is named very aptly! Also something I'd like to touch upon, is how much I adore the uses you get out of one product. Occasionally I am hesitant to purchase bath bombs at £3.50 a piece, because they're generally one hit wonders.

I'm sure I'll dive into the Christmas range further in due time, but as soon as possible, I have to get another of these. If you like Creamy Candy, you'll love this!

Megan x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

THE BODY SHOP 'JOY CARD'

I've quickly put together this short post to inform you of a great little perk me up in Glamour magazine's December 2013 issue. Not only is the mag £2, with a free Nails Inc Kate Spade nail polish (4 colours to find), inside there is an offer by The Body Shop, dubbed 'The Joy Card', a green little piece of cardboard that has a code to determine the value (as far as I know). On the card, there is either £3, £15, or £100 to spend in store. Although on mine there was only £3, the magazine only cost £2, so if you're planning on doing some Christmas shopping in the store, which you could see I've done as I've wrapped something already, pick up a copy and save yourself a little penny (or a big penny if you're lucky enough to get a £100 card).


With mine, I got my mum the White Musk Smokey Rose 30ml Eau De Toilette, which cost £7, as I saved £3. I suppose this is a miniature haul post too, because I also took advantage of another offer in store, which was half price hand cream (I got the almond one, also for my mum), making it £5. I couldn't use my card on the hand cream purchase because it involved an offer, so the transactions were split into two. I just thought I'd add it in anyway!

I really should get a few more of this Glamour copy, who knows, maybe you'll find a £100 Joy Card? If you did, I'd be very jealous!

Megan x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

ANASTASIA LAVISH PALETTE

I think I should probably thank my nan for getting me this whilst in New York, but moreover I'm jealous that she got to experience Sephora as well as see the sights of supposedly one of the best cities in the world. Oh well, I'm content enough with my new Anastasia Lavish palette.

Housed inside a slightly impractical but unique box, are 10 eyeshadows, one mini liner, a mini brow pencil, full size tweezers (which on their own are $28, whilst the palette retails at $38) and a double sided decent quality brush. I don't mind the prints on the outside, they're very different to anything else I own but the only downside I have is that it's cardboard, and the palette has a plastic slip to protect the shadows which for a while will retain general wear and tear, but could have trouble keeping in tact whilst floating around in my makeup bag.



Inside you can be sure to be full of ideas, as a little booklet is included with tutorials from ladies who do YouTube which is lovely!




The pigmentation of the eyeshadows is very nice. Although some are a little chalkier than others, all have decent colour pay off, especially Pink Sapphire and Black Diamond. My favourites are...:  Antique (makes silver so much more wearable), Rum Cake, Sienna and Pink Sapphire. Sienna is an autumn staple, being a warm rust shade that is the perfect partner to blend out an autumn copper look.


As briefly mentioned, you get 4 items in the base of the box. The tweezers are the best I've ever owned, they grab every hair so easily with no annoying fumbling around, pinching your own skin. The brow pencil is a nice addition, as such product is not something I tend to use often so a miniature size is very handy to have, because I'd never finish a full stick. The colour is perfect for me too I must add. Thirdly, the liner which is incredibly pigmented, dark and long wearing. I'm very tempted to buy the Christmas set of these to try out some more shades! Finally, last but not least, the brush. It's double sided so slightly hard to store, but the bristles are both very soft and blend eyeshadows like a dream. I'm a very big fan of the smaller, tapered pencil style side for the lash line as it is the perfect size without being too much.

For my first Anastasia product, I've got a good impression so far. The value of this nifty set is unbelievable, not to mention a complete staple for numerous eye combinations to see you through the colder seasons.

Buy it from Cult Beauty - link.

Megan x

Saturday, 9 November 2013

VICTORIA'S SECRET SHEER LOVE

Airports are possibly one of my top three places to shop. You can't be told 'ugh, I want to do something else', because browsing the stalls is the only option apart from have something to eat or drink. Plus, I absolutely love the duty free. This perfume purchase was a teeny tiny £9.20, which is why I also took one all the way to Cyprus and back for Lauren, and even kept the bag and tissue paper to rebuild the presentation as it was when I skipped out of the shop. Yes, it was that pretty I couldn't help myself but do so.

 

The Victoria's Secret store was really pretty, donning illuminated body product areas as well as some rather extortionately priced cosmetic bags, phone cases and the odd cosmetic item and pairs of underwear. Being the beauty addict I am, I gravitated to the scents. After around half an hour sniffing and choosing, trialling and testing, I decided upon Sheer Love, described by the store lady as a best seller. I would say that the scent is quite suited to Spring, being rather fresh, slightly fruity, a little floral. Neither of each fragrance category predominates really though, it's a perfect balance of all I would say. It lasts well enough for me, and I'm glad it isn't too over powering because I hate it when a perfume gives me a headache -  ugh. Although after a few hours you can't smell it as much as you could when you first applied, give your wrists a sniff and this stuff is well and truly still there.

My only complaint is that it's so hard to get hold of unless you're in Manchester (am I right?) or London. Please Victoria's Secret, make your stores easy to come across like the Body Shop and Boots?

Megan x

Thursday, 7 November 2013

THE £50 BODY BUTTER

Okay, I'm lying *slightly*, it actually costs £49.

Perhaps more widely know for her cleansing balm, adored by everyone and their grandmothers, Emma Hardie has been a brand I have drooled over for a while. Those luxurious gold pots had me weak at the knees, but it would never be realistic for me to purchase anything in my tight budget... sigh. You might want to read this next part twice: I paid £12 for a full size tub in TKMaxx. Firstly it was half price at £24.99, which was further halved once again leaving me no choice but to purchase it. A few weeks on, I've gathered a some thoughts and whether it is worth the extortionate price tag.


Packaging wise, albeit a bit bulky, this is not a cheap tub on my bathroom shelf, rather, a luxury ornament. Sneakily, the plastic magnifies the centre, inclining there's more product inside than the 200ml. Sadly, I don't think this is practical for travelling with in the slightest. I suppose you could decant it, but we all know that would ruin things completely.

Housed inside, is a very thick, almost sudocream like substance. The scent is herbal, and supposedly similar to that of the moringa cleansing balm, however I obviously cannot truthfully compare as the ability to smell items through my computer screen has not been invented yet... another sigh. I must admit, I'm not too fond of the fragrance, but I'm pleased it's not overpowering. In my head, I'd imagined it to be more of a creamy, milky scent so that was a slight disappointment but nothing too major.

On the skin, there are no complaints. A little goes an extremely long way, and as you massage it into your limbs it almost becomes thinner in texture because of the warmth. I had also expected it to be tacky for hours, but this was most certainly not the case. Within 10 or so minutes, it has absorbed completely. My skin is so silky-soft, most likely the most moisturised it has ever been.

So... would I repurchase at £49? Although if I was a millionaire, the answer would change, it's currently a no. However, if I find it in TKMaxx again for a more reasonable amount less than £20, I'd definitely take it to the tills once more.

Megan x

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Red Eye

Whether we like love it or loathe it, Autumn has arrived as I'm sure I've mentioned many a time in my posts. For me, there's no complaining. I adore the rich, jewel -like deep tones, my favourite of which is burgundy. It seems I'm not the only one either, as the magazine behind the images is actually Instyle, a great page with some ideas to set your head spinning about one of the most predominant colours of the season. Therefore, it was only fitting to share my new discovered love for a more adventurous eye combination.



As Mac had a short time period before Halloween of free delivery, I got my desperate mits on Cranberry, the most beautiful shade of shimmering...well... cranberry I suppose! Although most are frightened such colours will cause the eye area to look sore, I've found no problem at all with it. I would say that if you're worried about that, line your waterline and upper lashline with either black or brown and admire the end result.

A nice base is Prune Nocturne, one of the new cream eyeshadows from Bourjois. If you don't want to dive in at the deep end, and rather just dip your little toe into the water, this is the one to go for. Due to it being more of a brown/plum berry base it becomes more wearable; even better for those of you who are just wanting to subtly experiment with a minute amount of colour (me).

The best part? Popping them on together. My next stop is navy... now that's how you embrace Autumn.

Megan x

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Trialling Toni & Guy

To me, Toni & Guy has always been more of a luxury brand in the aisles of Boots. With most products around the £7 mark, I wasn't going to go on a big spend-up without a deal on, which in this case was 3 for £12. After all, hair care is not my forte. In fact, as similar with makeup a few years ago, it's all a little daunting to me.I've never died my hair, hardly ever blow dry it, or actually use any form of heat, unless it's a once in a month decision to go out with waves. Therefore, the products I chose were rather catered to what I actually do to my 'barnet'.



Toni & Guy Nourish Reconstruction Mask - Hair masks have intrigued me for the last few months now, and because it came in a tub, I found it made me even more curious. I've discovered in order to get silky soft ends, you just slap a bit on the mid-lengths to tips, avoiding the roots, on damp, clean hair. Wash it off after a few minutes and that's it! I'm not lying when I say my hair has never been softer. Seriously, this is a wonder product.

Toni & Guy Dry Shampoo - Yes, yes, we've all been there with Batiste. It's alright... decent smelling, does the job, but I can never get over that white powdery residue it leaves behind, everywhere. Therefore, I had lost faith in products which claim to refresh in between washes, and banish those nasty roots the day after. I can thankfully say this is perfect. Totally colourless, no white residue and no stickiness/overly dry-ness. The packaging is also more up my alley, being a slight monotone theme. I will HAVE to repurchase this. I'm so glad that I realised there's more than just Batiste sold in Boots and Superdrug!

Toni & Guy Shine Serum - Truthfully, I was a little stick as to which third product would make my 3 for £12 basket. I so wish there was an oil, but instead I settled for a shine serum. My hair can be frizzy at times, and although this does a good job at smoothing the ends, other than that, it's nothing special. I think I should have gotten another dry shampoo instead!

Although the 3 for £12 deal is no longer available, 3 for 2 is on instead so there's no excuse. Go and try yourself a few bits and bobs, you probably won't be disappointed - I know I wasn't!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Autumn Look #2

Seasons are huge times that both the fashion and beauty industry depend on. The changes of colours, textures and styles mean that a lot of us like to change our whole looks. For me, autumn is by far my favourite season as I adore the rich shades of burgundy, navy and hunter green. So, for the second time, here's a look I wore a few weeks back that made me feel like I should be out in the park, kicking the crispy leaves and frolicking in the soft breeze (or rather, angry storm). Who am I kidding... that would mean I would have to be parted with my cosy onesie - erm, no thank you.
 
 
For the eyes, if my memory serves me correct, there's a combination of Mac Amber Lights (mainly), a copper from a LancĂ´me palette, and a deep shimmery brown from a Kelly Brook for New Look palette. I also warmed the crease with the contour shade of the Sleek Face Form compact. I do apologise for the dry eye area, this is post-holiday skin. I'm sure chlorine did nothing in terms of moisture for my dry under-eyes.
 
 
Lip-wise, I applied the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 107. I say applied... well I slapped some one in order to take a picture for this post. It frustrates me so much that it's just a number, the names are the fun part of cosmetics! Miniature rant aside, the shade is a deep burgundy red with a matte finish. Vampy lipsticks are so gorgeous at this time of the year! I'm not brave enough to don such a dark colour just yet - perhaps if I was a little older I would feel more comfortable.
 
Who knows what kind of shadow concoction I'll apply next, but be expecting a little cranberry... *cough cough* someone ordered from Mac...
 
Megan x