Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday's Favourite #3

the-balm-mary-lou-manizer
Why?
  • Cute, kitsch Benefit-esque packaging...
  • ...But cheaper than Benefit's offerings
  • Creates perfectly scuplted cheek bones
  • Gives a beautiful dewy-looking highlight

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Buy Less, Wear More

Image taken from weheartit
We bloggers are a fickle bunch.  I personally am constantly influenced by what others are wearing, and find it all too easy to fall into the trap of "needing" something just because everyone else likes it.  And on the odd occasion that I have bought something before the trend hits, I find myself reluctant to post about it for fear that I'll look like I'm just jumping on board.  Case in point, those neon shoes from H&M that Lily wears so well.  I bought them way back in July but just can't wear them on here incase you all think I'm a copy cat.

The other day I was watching YouTube when I had a revelation.  Who cares what I'm wearing?  The YouTuber I was watching looked nice, but her clothes just weren't my style.  Did it matter?  No!  I still watched and enjoyed her video, regardless of the fact that I wouldn't wear her outfit.

Then I read Paige Joanna's post and it clicked.  Why am I going out to buy the same clothes that everyone else has?  I'm never going to be able to put together an inspirational outfit....my style is just middle of the road.  And blogs with middle of the road clothes are, in my opinion, a pound a penny.  Why am I spending a small fortune on clothes to be worn once (heaven forbid I post a similar outfit twice!) when I have an overflowing wardrobe of clothes waiting to be styled?

So I hereby pledge to stop my spending.  There are a few bits I'm going to buy for my Autumn wardrobe following payday, but besides that I'm going to stop impulse buying just because I've seen a blogger wearing an item/think it'd look good on my blog.  I'm not going to be sucked in by special offers on make up at Boots because quite frankly I have an overflowing make up cabinet and a whole lot of Empties posts to collect for.

Paige Joanna is hoping to get a better relationship with the wardrobe she already has, while I've got my fingers crossed that this is the road to better spending habits and a healthier bank balance.  Who will join us and what's your journey?

Don't forget to use the hashtag #buylesswearmore to keep us updated with your progress!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Getting old

This photo is a softener really, for the mild rant that's about to take place.  I also included it because a) they're too damn cute, and b) it seemed fitting, in a post about age, to include new born puppies just starting out.

Over the bank holiday, Ed had a friend and his girlfriend come to stay.  We went for a day trip to London which was really nice, but after a mild moment of confusion all hell broke loose and I was left baffled by what was apparently normal behaviour for the two of them.

Let me set the scene....we were running late for the train home and they had an argument following her wrong turn, failure to catch up, and his thoughtlessness at not waiting for her.  The word 'thoughtless' is hers, not mine.  We were all rushing to catch a train and figured she'd catch up.  What followed was obscenities, childish behaviour and refusal to hurry to the platform because she didn't "f***ing care about the f***ing train."  She refused to sit with us and announced on many mediums (Twitter, loud phone calls to anyone who would listen) that she was "having a s**t time" and that her boyfriend was "a c***".  Yes, the c-word.  In public.  Love, if our company's that bad then please do feel free to go home.

I'd like to point out that I'm a girl who is good at stropping.  But never in my life would I behave like that in public and in front of people I'd met twice.  They were staying the night and it just created an atmosphere that was uncomfortable for everyone.  For the good of the house, I decided to suck it up and make small talk in an effort to smooth things over.  It took a lot of time for her to stop talking so loudly with him in earshot about how thoughtless he was, and how he should be single, and for the two of them to eventually make up.    

The icing on the cake however, happened the following morning when she SHOUTED AT MY CAT.  Sounds minor, but when Beau had finally ventured out from under the bed where she'd been staying for two days only to get shouted at, I had to take a moment to myself.  In fact, I went and sat in the dog bed with Dudley who hadn't been allowed out all weekend because she's "terrified" of our dog.  I can put up with a lot....her making the boys nearly miss the train because she wanted them to get off and get her a drink, traipsing through London so she could buy tinted moisturiser, creating arguments in the queue because a lady was waiting for her partner to join her, her outrage that her boyfriend leafed through Ed's copy of Nuts magazine, her refusal to go to the place we all fancied for a holiday because her boyfriend went to the same country before with his ex....but shout at my cat and you're done.

Thankfully, she had one final strop about how long the journey home would take and they left early.  Her with a face on, and him with his tail between his legs like a scolded child.

When did I get so old?  I remember when Bank Holiday weekends meant three nights of partying, finishing off with a final night out in chavvy old Liquid.  So how did I end up spending an evening trying to talk around a petulant, childish, pampered princess?  I just can't believe there are people who behave in that way, nor that there are people surrounding her who allow it to happen.

Roll on my friend's 26th next weekend....where I fully intend to get wasted and dance like I'm 18 again.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Empties 01

I love watching Empties videos; they give an idea of which products bloggers/youtubers actually like, and definitely help me to curb my spending by encouraging me to use up what I've got and fill up my Empties box!  Something strangely addictive about collecting empty packaging...

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo & Conditioner
These were the bigger bottles which you may remember I received just before Christmas.  Yes, I've only just managed to use them up despite using these pretty much faithfully.  Amazing value for money, and like all Aussie products, great quality.
Would I repurchase? Yes, but not straight away because I have hoards of other Aussie products to make me way through first.

Batiste Dry Shampoo for Medium & Brunette
Nothing much to say here, other than I love this stuff.  It helps banish any oil in my hair and the hint of colour means there's no telltale white marks left behind.  Definitely prolongs the life of my hair between washes and can be used to add a bit of texture to limp hair.
Would I repurchase? Already have!

M&S Fairtrade Cotton Pads
Pretty standard cotton pads which I used with the Botanics eye make up remover at night.  Didn't think they were anything special, but after purchasing a pack of Tesco's own brand cotton pads I've realised that these were far softer.
Would I repurchase? If I had to, but right now I'm using another brand which are even softer on my eyes.

Tesco Wake Up! Shower Cream with Coconut and Mango
Have I mentioned that I'm obsessed with all things coconut scented?  This shower cream is the best smelling I've come across yet and only cost £1.  Gives me that holiday feeling whenever I use it.
Would I repurchase? I'm onto a new bottle already.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Make Up Remover
I bought these for when I had my eyelash extensions; make up can only be removed using oil-free cleansers and these were the only wipes I'd come across that clearly stated they contained no oil.  These were nice, moist and did the job.
Would I repurchase? Yes, if I had eyelash extensions again, but not for everyday use.

Palmer's Shea Butter Formula Concentrated Cream
My battle with the sore dry skin on my hands is well documented and I'm forever on the lookout for a solution.  This cream is nice and thick, smells ok (not the usual Palmer's scent) and definitely did the job.  It didn't cure anything, but certainly soothed my irritated hands.  And the fact that it costs under £2 was definitely a bonus - usually I expect to pay a lot more.
Would I repurchase? Yes, but everywhere seems to be sold out!

Have you tried any of these products?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tribal Leggings

h-and-m-grey-tribal-leggings
gold-cuff-necklace-buckle-bracelet
- Leggings: H&M - Bracelet: Accessorize - Necklace: H&M -
I've always shied away from patterned leggings because, to put it lightly, I have a fat ass and thunder thighs.  Anything with a great deal of detail in those areas will only serve to highlight this, so when I spotted these leggings with their subtle burst of pattern around my (disproportionately slimmer) calves I eagerly hunted them down in my size.  And, oh my.  Never before has a pair of leggings fit so well.  People always say leggings are comfy...well they never were for me.  The waistband was always too tight, and on occasion did that annoying flippy thing where the elastic twists and causes a constant ridge.  These are dreamy.  Nice material, fits perfectly down the leg and manages to avoid cutting me in half.  My first foray into patterned leggings and I'm hooked.

I wore this (along with a fairly standard black vest) to meet up with the lovely Blue October.  I didn't realise how locally she lived, and seeing as we're both on our summer holidays we decided to go on a trip for cakes and shopping.  I'm always nervous about meeting up with people, but we got on really well and it felt like I'd known her for ages.  We chatted about bloggy things over her milkshake and my scone (<< for some reason this sounds a bit rude?!), which was really nice because none of my friends know about Scaredtoast so there's no one I can chat to about all things blog-related!  If you're not following her you really must; her blog is lovely and so is she!

Are you a fan of patterned leggings?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Things I (don't really) Need #2

Saw these trousers in Zara and some bint literally grabbed the last pair in my size out of my hands!  Who does that?!  If someone is looking at a rack of clothes you don't start rifling through them from the other side right?  Anyway, it's only served to fuel my lust for these trousers, and after looking on the website I can safely say there are loads of other patterned trousers which I think may need to get in my wardrobe.

The chain on this ring gives it a nice bit of detail, and at £3 it'd be rude not to give it a home.  I'm loving all of River Island's cheaper jewellery at the moment, it's nowhere near as tacky as the normal range and purse-friendly too.

I love the smell of this perfume, and Mum identified that it smells quite a bit like chocolate on me, which probably explains why I love it.  Their going away on a cruise next week, so I've asked her to keep an eye out for it at duty free.  I think it'll look great with the lipstick....

These dresses are so versatile and a really good price for Topshop.  I'll be picking up this colour for Autumn, but may need to get the navy, black and white versions too.  I just bought a new pair of boots, but I'm loving the detail on these.  Think I'd have to look at them IRL though, because sometimes the quality of H&M pleather shoes just isn't quite right for me.  And now, if only I can convince everyone I know that wedge trainers are not to be mocked and I'd happily purchase these!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fierce

dip-hem-skirt-tiger-print-top
- Top: Primark - Skirt: Primark - Necklace: H&M -
Outfit posts seem to be thin on the ground lately. Or in my reading list at least. More and more posts feature skincare or make up, and whilst I do love these posts, I miss the regular stream of OOTDs that my old favourite bloggers used to post.  I'm definitely guilty of this, so will be making more of an effort to take photos of my clothes!  I'm really excited for Autumn; layering, knitwear and berry tones all float my boat, so I've found myself feeling much more inspired by shops, my wardrobe and possible outfits. 

 I've been trying really hard to limit my spending lately.  I've been spoilt a bit by Mum this holiday which is lovely, and following a trip to Westfield after payday I think I'll be putting myself on a spending ban.  There are a few bits I want to get beforehand (Marant-style trainers - yay or nay?) but I'll definitely be trying to limit the amount of rubbish I buy!

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Face: Drugstore Essentials

Too often I get sucked into the idea that higher end is better.  Yes, it's true of some products that you get what you pay for, but on the whole there's a plethora of great quality make up available in our very own Boots or Superdrug.  I've deliberately left some of my favourite Topshop blushers out of this list, as although they're "high street", they're not strictly drugstore.

The base...
17 Photo Flawless Primer (£4.99) - primer really helps the staying power of your foundation and while I'm yet to find my holy grail product, this one from Boots does the job just as well as any others I've tried.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation (£12.49) - a great foundation, tailored either to normal/dry skin or combination/oily in a wide range of shades.  I'd say this is on par with my Chanel Mat Lumier.
17 Hide & Chic Eye Brightening Concealer (£4.99) - this light reflecting concealer is available from Boots.  Read my review here
Rimmel Professional Eye Brow Pencil (£2.99) - although I prefer using shadow to fill in my brows, pencil versions do the trick just as well.   This was my first step towards more groomed brows, and I still use the spooly-type brush on the end now.

Eyes...
MUA Trio Eyeshadow (£2.50) - the MUA products in Superdrug really are a great line.  These trios are dirt cheap, and this one in Chocolate Box has the perfect shades of pinky browns.
L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara (£10.99) - I'd previously tried just the Telescopic mascara and wasn't blown away, but after hearing Vivianna mention the False Lash Telescopic on multiple occasions I knew I had to give it a go.  It's a great mascara that really does give length without creating a mess on my eyelid as so many others love to do!
Rimmel Soft Kohl Eye Pencil (£2.99) - an essential in my teenage make up bag that I still use today; these eyeliners apply easily, have good staying power and are nice and cheap.

Cheeks...
Rimmel Natural Bronzer (£5.59) - this matte bronzer is perfect for giving an all-over dusky bronze look or makes a great contour for creating sculpted cheekbones.
Sleek MakeUP Blush (£4.49) - Sleek products are available in Superdrug, and this blush in Rose Gold is apparently a good dupe for Nars Orgasm.  It's so pretty and shimmery, meaning you can skip highlighter.

Lips...
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain (£7.99) - I've fallen in love with these easy to wear balm stains.  If you can ignore the slightly chalky mint fragrance, these really are great alternatives to heavy lipstick in the summer.  Review to come!

Whether you're a newcomer to make up on the lookout for a starter kit, or just wanting to find a few alternatives to higher end products, I hope I've shared with you some products you perhaps didn't know about.  What would make your drugstore essentials?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Gelish Manicure

gelish-manicure-nails
A couple of weeks ago I had a Gelish manicure.  I'm not really one for nail extensions, shellac etc because my nails are so weak, that while they look good for the time being, when it comes to removal my nails are wrecked underneath.  But noticing my sister's pretty mint nail varnish she offered to do my nails in the same way using her Gelish kit.

She used a UV light, which meant the polish dried straight away, and because it's a gel formula it's pretty chip resistant and can stay on for up to two weeks (although the website says three).  My nails feel so strong, and when she removed the green to apply this bright pink polish, my nails still felt relatively sturdy underneath, rather than paper thin like when my silk wraps were removed.  The strength it gives also means it helps your nails to grow by preventing breakages, and according to my sister, depending on your nail type it can also help to strengthen the nail underneath.

I'm really impressed with the Gelish manicure, and although you'll have to excuse my untidy grown out nails, it just goes to show how much my nails have grown in the space of a few weeks.  Although I'm planning to get them removed before my sister goes on holiday next week, they're still going strong and I'd say I could get another 7 days out of these.  I will say give these a miss if you're a keen swimmer however; the chlorine in the water caused my last set to peel off.

My sister is a trained beauty therapist who also does mobile work.  Some of her beauty treatments include:
* ORLY Gel FX Manicure/Pedicure *
* Manicure/Pedicure *
* Full Body Massage *
* Back Massage *
*Dermalogica Facial *
* Eyebrow Shape/Tint *
* Eyelash Tint *
* Eyelash Extensions *
Her prices are really reasonable, so if you're in the Berkshire/Hampshire/Surrey area and fancy treating yourself, email her (zarahorrill@hotmail.co.uk) to see if she can come to you!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Friday's Favourite #2

moschino-tortoiseshell-sunglasses
Why?
  • They were a TK Maxx bargain
  • They have just enough detail without being flashy
  • They're Moschino(!)
  • It's been hot...these mean I don't have to squint
What's been your item of the week?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Museum of London

Today Mum and I went on one of our customary trips to London, as we always tend to during school holidays.  This time we went for The Museum of London which was awesome.  Seriously, best museum I've been to in a long time and it definitely satisfied my inner geek.  The Victorian walk made me wish we could have streets like that again and the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were really charming and whimsical.  I happily spent 2 hours there and would definitely recommend it and go again.

After that we went for lunch, spotted a man who looked very familiar but neither of us knew why, wandered around St. Paul's Cathedral grounds and then headed for Carnaby Street.  Oh, and call me easy to please, but how good is the H&M on Regent Street?  So light and airy...I loved it!

Where would you recommend I head to on my next trip to LDN?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover

boots-botanics-all-bright-soothing-eye-make-up-remover
Botanics is a bit of a controversial brand at the moment.  Having revamped their packaging and reformulating a few products, people seem to either love it or hate it.  Let me hold my hands up and say that I.  Love. It!

On the whole I don't tend to buy products just because of their packaging, but I actually really like the make over the Botanics range has been given.  And it's even better when the product inside is a good'un too.

This eye make up remover is of the oil variety, so needs a good shake before use to mix all of the contents together.  I've never used an oil-based make up remover before, and I've found that this really helps to keep my sensitive eyes feeling hydrated.  With all other make up removers I've used I find that I need to moisturise my eyes immediately afterwards, but that isn't the case here.

I'm really pleased with this purchase.  I can't say I've noticed any brightening of my eye area, but it works well to remove all traces of eye make up.  It doesn't sting or irritate and works quickly.  Definitely worth a try!

Have you bought any of the new-look Botanics range?

Monday, 13 August 2012

6 of the Best: Maxi Skirts

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
I literally am obsessed with maxi skirts at the moment.  I've gone from having one in my wardrobe for well over a year that I didn't wear until I got a painful insect bite on my leg and physically couldn't get trousers on, to now owning three.  Whether they're bright and colourful for the brief summer I'm still holding out for, or dark and rich ready for wear in autumn with tights and chelsea boots, I can't get enough.

Have you spotted any maxi skirts anywhere that I should check out? 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Friday's Favourite #1

body-shop-chocomania-body-butter
Why? 
  • It was only £6.25 when I bought it
  • Smells amazing and is a chocaholic's dream
  • Double the moisturisation of any other Body Butter; 48 hours instead of 24
  • Made my skin so soft I couldn't stop touching my arms
  • When I went onto The Body Shop's website to get the link to this, I spotted a 50% off code when you spend £30
What's been your product of the week?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Virginia Waters

virginia-waters-waterfall
virginia-waters-ruins
I'm lucky enough to live close by to Virginia Waters; the most picturesque, beautiful park just outside of Windsor.  Taking advantage of the weather today, Mum, Lucy the Springer and I decided to head there for a picnic.  It's like a haven; when I see The Cascade or The Ruins it's hard to believe that there's that much peace and serenity to be found in the middle of the everyday hustle and bustle.

Where do you like to escape to?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Swan print

swan-print-trousers
dreamcatcher-necklace
primark-swan-print-trousers
- Vest: Topshop - Trousers: Primark - Necklace: H&M -
I wore this outfit a couple of weeks ago back when the sun was shining....not in this stupid rainforest wet-yet-muggy climate we've got going on now!

So I've been truly bitten by the retail therapy bug.  Not that I wasn't already.  But with Ed at work and me sitting at home everyday, all I can think of is shopping.  Online, at my local town, further afield.  Anywhere, as long as there's shops!  Today I went with my mum and sister to get a Frankie & Benny's breakfast (Triple Stack Pancakes were amazing!) and we accidentally managed to spend a good 5 hours mooching around the shops.  Mother Bear treated me to this jacket....I missed out on the Zara version because as usual I didn't decide I liked it in time, and although I prefer the sleeves on the Topshop one, it was way too big and yet the sleeves were too tight!  Anyway, I've got one and I'm happy!  Trouble is, I've come home, started catching up on blogs and now I want to spend more!  I've got my eye on this dress for starters....

What have you been buying lately?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

DIY Heart Canvas

city-heart-canvas
I won't lie, this isn't an entirely original piece of artwork.  I was inspired by a canvas I spotted, but when I read about it I discovered it was based on a place in Cornwall.  Having spent a few Summers in Cornwall I am fond of it, but don't feel enough of an attachment to want to hang a canvas dedicated to it on my wall. 

And so the idea struck to create a canvas about a place that really means something to me.  Some of you may know that Ed is originally from Norwich, so I spent a good 18 months travelling there every weekend.  Never before had a place stolen my heart, but I truly do love Norwich.  So I put into this canvas some landmarks (the cathedral, the city wall, the market place, Cow Tower and a lion from the town hall) and a few places that bring back warm memories (the pub Ed's mum worked at, The Range(!) and Norwich castle).

I'm by no means an artist, but I am incredibly proud of the way this simple piece of art turned out, and I love that I can now hang a on-off, sentimental canvas on our wall.  If you wanted to have a go yourself it really is ridiculously easy.  All you need is a blank canvas and a place that holds special memories in mind.  Decorate the edge of the heart like I have, with recognisable landmarks and fill any gaps with cutesy houses and buildings.  I drafted mine on paper first and planned to only have the canvas drawn in pencil, but drawing on a canvas turned out to be trickier than I first thought!  It's so easy to smudge, so you're best keeping the buildings simple, sketching the basic outline and then going over and embellishing it in pen after.  For reference, I used a black Berol handwriting pen that I 'borrowed' from work.

What do you think?  Will you be giving this a go?  I'd love to have a look if you do!