Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Valentine's Glossybox: my thoughts...

glossybox-review
Yes, I know we're onto February's Glossybox but rather than bombard you with another "What's in my Glossybox"-style post of which there are aplenty, I figured that one month on was a good time to share my thoughts on the products that I received after having a good old go with them.

I think it's important to note that this is not a review of Glossybox itself.  I think it's a fantastic idea and an organisation with great blogger-relationships which is very important in today's social media-driven world.  I have yet to subscribe to Glossybox, as I'm not a person who copes with randomness too well and I already have far too many self-inflicted outgoings.  That said, coming home to a cheeky surprise is always lovely and me and a friend were just talking today about how lovely a Glossybox would be as a present for someone who is unsure of what to invest in beauty-wise.

So now that's out of the way, how did the products themselves measure up?

First up is the Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner in Plum. Eyeko really have gotten slick these days and their new website is worlds away from the kitsch, girly pink one, complete with doe-eyed cartoon girl of yester-year.  I was disappointed with this product.  I like the auberginey colour that appeared when I swatched it on my hand, but I got zero pay-off when it actually came to using it.  I'm not sure if this is because it isn't supposed to be used in the waterline, but either way I found it hard to work with and in actual fact needn't have bothered.

I also got an Orly Nail Lacquer in Ruby, a beautiful maroon wine sort of colour.  This goes on so easily and was very nearly opaque and streak-free with a lovely glossy finish after just one coat.  I only applied this to my toes, so can't comment on how long it would last on fingers but as soon as my silk wraps are off, I'm trying it!

At first I wasn't inspired by the FAB Gentle Body Wash, figuring it was just like any other shower gel until I bothered reading the label.  It's got "antioxidant booster" and can be used to "cleanse, calm redness and relieve dry skin."  I'm a massive sufferer of dry skin, and have enjoyed using this instead of my hot cloth cleanser.

Finally comes my favourite product; Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer - Dewy Finish.  I don't actually own a proper primer to use before my foundation but I'll be purchasing this when the sample runs out (that's right, I've been using the sample regularly and it still hasn't run out!  Glossybox were generous...)  It's tinted, so if you wanted you could wear this on its own, but as a primer it definitely helps the longevity of my foundation.

I also received a Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner, but because I'm lazy and my make up wipes are 4-in-1 I don't actually bother cleansing or toning so can't comment!

So there you have it!  I'm very grateful to Glossybox for sending me January's box and as I said, think this is a great idea for someone who wants to get a feel for different products available without committing to buying.  Glossyboxes costs £10 a month + £2.95 P&P with no minimum subscription term.  If you would like to sign up, you can do so here.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What I bought in Primark: 24/2/2012

~ Shopping in Primark can be frantic for even the most seasoned of shoppers. I'll be bringing these posts to you as a friendly guide, showing you what's in stores and when, to help you next time you shop ~
Coloured Skinny Jeans - £11
This mint green shade is perfect for spring, and for once a pair of Primark skinny jeans genuinely are skinny on me!  You might be able to spot that I have ridiculously out of proportion legs, so no matter how hard I try, skinny jeans are just never skinny on my calves and ankles but these ones do the trick!  They do come with a metallic pink belt that I absolutely detest...it's gone straight into the bin!
Polka Dot Dress - £10
I love skater dresses and although this is in a thinner fabric than Primark's other offerings which means it doesn't hold its shape as well it's still a really cute dress for spring.  In fact, the lightweight material will also make it nice and cool to wear in the summer as well.  It's less eye-watering to look at in real life and not as busy as the photo would suggest!  As usual though, the belt that came with it is far too big for me.
Butterfly Print Dress - £15
Firstly...majorly annoyed I didn't sort the belt out for this shot!  I've gotten into a bit of a style-rut at work and I think I bought this and the polka dot dress with the idea that I'd start wearing dresses more to school.  Not sure if that'll work out, but this is a nice length to wear without tights once the weather warms up.  It comes with a slip underneath and makes a nice change to the plain shirt-style dresses that Primark also stocks.
Bambi T-shirt - £6
Total mannequin copycat here; I spotted the top at first and then saw it paired with the coloured jeans and had to get them both!  This top is so Emma and I really wanted her Bambi jumper.  I didn't get it and I'm glad I didn't though, as it's from H&M's kids range and a couple of the children at work have the same one!  How embarrassing that would be turning up to work in the same clothes as the kids... 
Moustache T-shirt - £3
I was surprised this top was so cheap, as it's a striking print and a really nice fit.  It reminds me of the asos moustache top from last year that I never got my hands and I think it'll look cute with my pleather skirt.
Skull Print Scarf - £4
Yes, I know, like I really needed another scarf.  But you know me, scarves and skulls and I was sold.  This is uber similar not only to a genuine McQueen but also the H&M dupe which is £7.  I couldn't say no.
Belts - £1, £2, £1
As I said before, I either (a) hated the attached belt or, (b) it didn't fit.  I needed to stock up so picked up these basics.  The thicker, tan belt on the left was £1 whilst the pink, floral and cream ones which I thought would look cute with the skinny jeans.  The last three were reduced to £1.
A mammoth haul, and I don't really want to add up how much I've spent because I've spent far too much this month!  What have you been buying?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Night time essentials

So, Mum gave us this hidious ottoman which used to belong to my grandparents and apparently was quite expensive.  Hence I feel bad throwing it out, but it's just too ugly and dated to be given a spot at the end of our bed.  That said, it is good storage and makes a very good bedside table, so I've tucked it away in the corner next to my side of the bed.

Until recently I pretty much just slung all of my lotions and potions either on the floor or on the ottoman until this weekend I had the bright idea to recycle my old Glossyboxes and stop admiring them for being pretty.  So I am now using my Valentine's box to house all of my bedtime essentials.

So what's in there?
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion - I use this religiously, day and night, around my eyes.
  • Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream - my ultimate favourite hand cream is by Burt's Bees but this is a handy size to keep close by for emergencies (that's right, sometimes my hands get so dry and sore that it warrants being called an emergency).
  • Vitamin E Skin Care Skin Oil - I reviewed this here and it remains a favourite for dry skin around my nose which I've been getting thanks to the cold I've had.
  • Zineryt - according to the doctors I suffer from acne; I'd call it a few pimples on my chest, but either way, at least I get medicine for it I suppose.  I've got this solution to rub on because tablets wouldn't work with my pill.  I don't need this all the time so keep it here to stop me losing it!
  • Towelled Headband
  • Garnier Youthful Radiance Night - this smells yummy and is nice and creamy.  Review to follow!
  • Garnier Pure Extra Strength SOS Pen - bought this a few weeks ago when my skin kept breaking out.  It really worked, so I keep this close by.
  • Vaseline Pocket Size - I wear so so much lipstick so need to keep this handy!
  • Body Shop Glitter Nail File
  • Betty Hula 'The Secret' Anti-Aging Oil - I reviewed this ages ago and apply it when I remember, to try and get rid of my wrinkles!
  • Make Believe Night Time Facial Self-Tan - as soon as it starts getting warmer I'll be tanning again so will need this to make my face match the rest of me!
  • Cotton Balls - to apply The Secret.
  • No. 7 Quick Thinking 4 in 1 Wipes - I'm lazy, these get rid of my make up quickly and easily.  Simples!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

new jeans

- Jeans: River Island - Jumper: H&M - Shoes: H&M - Bag: Michael Kors - Earrings: Topshop -
After dinner out for my sister's birthday she persuaded me to hit the shops the next day to help her spend her birthday money...like I need an excuse.  Seriously, thank God it's payday this week.  Whilst off sick for two days I accidentally placed two separate MAC orders (blame it on the fever...), visited Primark on Friday and then again on Saturday.  It was the excitement of finding a lovely summer dress in H&M I tell ya, a slippery slope.

Anyhow these are my new jeans that I found in -shock- River Island.  I never buy from there, it's just a shop I'm adverse to and I'm not entirely sure why.  Some of their prices are ridiculous, but sometimes they do do genuinely nice stuff.  Maybe it's just the shop itself.  My local is so overlit and full of bright colours that it just feels chavvy, whilst the other one nearby has had a revamp and now looks like a rip off of All Saints.  These were reduced from £40 to £20 and are seriously amazing.  They're super soft, comfy and fit like a dream.  If you ignore the fact that I have stumpy legs that is.  They fit my sister perfectly with her long legs, but as I pointed out to her, if I were to only purchase jeans that actually fitted my leg length I would have none in my wardrobe.  I think I'll be paying a visit to Mum to have her turn these up!  Have a look in River Island though, they had lots of jeans down to £20 and not in the sale bit; most of their regular stuff seemed to be on offer.  I'm going back next weekend for a pair of black jeans.

And yesssss that is MAC's Viva Glam Nicki you spy on my lips.  I'm besotted.  It's a lovely opaque pink which also looks beautiful washed down with a layer of vaseline.  Who else got their hands on it?
p.s.  Did you spot my new Instagram widget on the sidebar?  Go and follow me, you know you want to!  My username's "scaredtoast".

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

6 of the Best: MAC Lipsticks

the-best-mac-lipsticks
mac-russian-red-girl-about-town-cut-a-caper-speed-dial-please-me-vegas-volt
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Clockwise from top left: Girl About Town, Speed Dial, Vegas Volt, Please Me, Cut A Caper, Russian Red
So upon counting my collection, I found that I now own 28 MAC lipsticks...enough to wear one a day in February without duplicating!  For those who don't have a compulsion when it comes to buying their lippies, I've whittled it down to my top 6.

Girl About Town
This was my first ever MAC purchase and it's been treasured ever since.  A beautiful statement shade that started the love ever....it couldn't not be in my top 6!  It's an Amplified formula, which for me equals amazing colour payoff.  A gorgeous fuschia that tops Impassioned for me and creates a perfectly polished look. 

Speed Dial
I've long considered this my favourite daytime shade and judging by how much is left, this is definitely my most used lipstick.  Speed Dial is a cremesheen which means it's soft and creamy to apply....perhaps explaining how I've got through so much?!  It's not a true nude, but looks great with all manner of looks making it a must-have for any girl.

Vegas Volt
Another Amplified finish, this shade is far more vibrant than the swatch would suggest.  It's a gorgeous orangey-red which looks amazing with low-key winged out eyeliner.  This is the lipstick that I'm always drawn to in stores, only to be disappointed/pleased when I realise I already own it!

Please Me
Matte finishes are notoriously drying, but I don't find that to be the case with Please Me at all.  It looks quite bright in bullet form, but transfers to a surprisingly wearable everyday shade. 

Cut A Caper
Without a doubt, my all time favourite lipstick.  It's a beautiful coral/pink shade which looks nothing like the swatch!  I'm gutted this was limited edition (with the Tartan Tale collection) and despite the fact that I always look at my make up and think Cut A Caper would finish the look off, I try to use it sparingly.  I'm always on the hunt for a dupe but sadly am yet to find it.  If you know of any, please let me know in the comments!

Russian Red
The ultimate red for me.  I don't find this to be too drying, and with an application of lip liner underneath it has amazing staying power.  The matte finish helps this lipstick to be surprisingly wearable, whilst the blue undertones help avoid the dreaded yellow-tinged teeth!

Do you own any of these shades?  Which would make your top 6?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Balm Hot Mama! Eye Shadow/Blush

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the-balm-hot-mama
Hot Mama! Eye Shadow/Blush kit c/o www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk
The Balm's eye shadow/blush combo is a shade that I'm always happy to welcome to my collection.  I find these golden-laced peachy blushes so flattering on the skin, as well as super easy to wear.

The product itself is nicely pigmented, but not so much so that a light-handed approach is needed to prevent looking like you've spent too long in the sun.  Don't be put off by the glitter; it's finely milled and the powder is silky smooth to the touch.  

As with the Mary-Lou Manizer, The Balm haven't failed with their packaging.  It's girly and kitsch, in a similar vein to Benefit with a cute pin up-style girl on the front.  The mirror included is a decent size, making it fully functional as opposed to many so-called "compacts" with a mirror to small to use.


But what does it look like on the skin? 
the-balm-hot-mama-blush-swatch
 A beautiful wash of colour that provides the perfect pick-me-up!  I have to admit, I'm all for dual-purpose cosmetics, but I'm not sold on using this product as an eye shadow.  It's a beautiful shade that I'm sure would look gorgeous on tanned skin during the Summer, but the thought of applying blush to my eyes just doesn't sit well with me.

What do you think of this product?  It retails for £14.99, but at the moment is £12.99 on www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

Friday, 17 February 2012

Blogger Necessity: The Flatform (or pretty close to it!)

black-flatform-shoes
I realise I'm late joining the flatform bandwagon; as a true high heel lover I was unsure whether the style was just a little safe and mumsy for me.  But at under £20 from H&M I figured I'd be a fool not to give them a go.  And d'you know what?  I actually like them!  They make a nice change from my usual ankle boots and smarten up an outfit a treat.

What's your take on the flatform trend?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Skulls

grey-jumper-pink-circle-skirt
links-of-london-grey-skulls-bracelet
- Jumper & Skirt: H&M - Bracelet & Necklace: Links of London -
A bit of shameless exhibition here....I got my skull bracelet!  After years of wanting it, then scrubbing it off my birthday/Christmas wishlist for other things, I finally caved and treated myself to this beauty.  I love it, the skulls are perfect (some look too evil) and it's the perfect "edgy" piece of jewellery.

I went for a fairly simple outfit for my third day shopping in a row.  Seriously, half term is so bad for my bank balance.  Looking forward to payday and glad that next week I'll be back at work and unable to spend my time and money in shops!

On another note, how evil does Coco look here?  I don't know why cats are so unphotogenic, but if you do want some more, nice pictures of her, Beau and a lot more of my life then add me on instagram (username 'Scaredtoast') or follow me on tumblr.  Oh, and while you're at it, I also got a Facebook!  I'm a little rusty on how to use it and seem to be unable to like anyone else's page....can anybody shed some light on this?!

Monday, 13 February 2012

I do love a good scarf...

- Jumper: Topshop - Jeans: asos - Scarf: Primark - Bag: Michael Kors -
This Primark scarf is a welcome addition to my collection; it's much softer than my other Primark offerings and the pink is bold enough to make a statement without pushing it into the realm of Primarni Chav.  Or so I think anyway!

Managed to pick up some amazing sale bargains over the weekend; this jumper was £5 so I picked it up in grey as well.  I also got a hat, a dress from Topshop, two necklaces and a pair of earrings from Topshop as well and a cardigan from H&M for under £30!  The sales were rubbish just after Christmas, but now that the crowds have died down it's definitely a good time to check what's left for next to nothing.

Off to Bicester tomorrow.  I love it there and even though I'm trying not to spend too much before my visit again after payday (when hopefully a Burberry trenchcoat will be mine) I'll probably treat myself in Links of London.  Last time I went I got a ring and necklace for £40 so I've got my fingers crossed there'll be some more decent discounts this time.

Lastly, I've got my stepmum's birthday coming up.  It's a big bash, where the dress code is "glamorous" - any tips on where to look for a fairly glam dress on a fairly inexpensive budget?
* Edit - I forgot to ask earlier, is anyone planning to go to the Bourjois Boutique on Thursday?  I was hoping to go but don't want to be all on my own!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

6 of the Best: Motel Rocks

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
I'm loving what Motel Rocks has to offer at the moment.  Without a doubt, one of the best places to look for bold, on-trend prints if you ask me!  I love the fact that if there's a print you like it'll be available in a range of styles....a good way to cater for all/obsessive people with the desire to own it all like me!  Similarly, there's also the plus point that you can find a style you like in all different patterns and colours, again meaning that this brand definitely has something for everyone.

Now here's the best bit.  Motel Rocks has an amazing selection of beautiful dresses and playsuits....perfect for Valentine's Day.  Until Tuesday 14th February there's 20% off the Valentine's range; just enter LOVE20 at the checkout.  Let me know if you buy anything!