Thursday, 31 January 2013

Essie Sew Psyched.

Yesterday, I was well and truly sucked into an ill advised Boots spree. Essie 'Sew Psyched' fell into my basket... 

This is the only way I'll ever wear green on my nails. It's a subtle khaki pewter mix that is a very slight departure from my usual muted tones but is a pretty alternative to my usual polish choices. Is it wild? No. Is it a new favourite? Oh Yeah. 

In certain lights this does just look full on grey, but I like that it's a subtle camo. It's the secret service of the khaki nail polish world. 

Before I launch into a full blown army related metaphor about this polish, I'll just advise you check it out. 

That's an order private!


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday Wishlist: Pastel Polish.

Nail Varnish

I'm having the expected love affair with pastel polish at the moment. I've shyed away from the brighter pastels of last summer and settled on a few muted beauties that I'm anxious to get my mitts on. 

Which nail polish are you lusting after? 


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Lipstick Project: YSL Rouge Volupte No 2 Sensual Silk

Oh YSL, Why do you have to be so damn pretty? 

This my friends, is the sort of lipstick you want to reapply in public and maybe throw a "just one second, I need to use my BEAUUTIFUL lipstick" in for good measure. 

If I was judging on packaging alone, it wins hands down. But I'm just not sold on the contents. 

It all works on paper. It's a warm toned nude that suits most skin tones and the product itself has a dreamy texture, it glides onto the lips. 

But I just can't get on with it. It clings to any hint of dry lip and has very questionable lasting power. It's a good job you actually want to flaunt this lipstick in public because you need to reapply this regularly. 

It's a definite splurge product but I don't rate it if you want a lipstick that lasts all day. 

It still doesn't mean I won't keep it in my purse just for the kudos though...


Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Day Survival.

Have you heard it's snowing? News to me too...! 

Day 4 in Big Freeze Britain yadadada. On the plus side, It does mean you can fully embrace the urge to stay wrapped up indoors and relax. 

These are just a few things that have made snow induced isolation just that little bit more bearable. 

Cookbooks & Movies. 

I'm not baking but I am drooling over the Great British Bake Off cookbook. So many lovely things! Movies are a must during a snow day, and I do love a bit of Amelie. Mean Girls is the perfect snow day film, it requires zero concentration! 


I won't bang on about candles too much. You get the jist. This Peppermint & Green Tea number has made my whole bedroom smell like an After Eight. I can't wish for anything more. 


Obvious, but a definite must. 

Other advisable added extras. 

Cosy Slippers.
Kitty Cats.
More Snacks. 

Happy Snow Day! 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Real Deal.

Without a doubt, Real Techniques have taken the place of most of my MAC brushes, and I'm developing a bit of a habit... 

I decided on a whim to pick up the Expert Face Brush and the Blush Brush

Both brushes are made with taklon fibre so they're super soft, I could just brush them against my cheek with nothing on and that would be enough to justify the purchase. They also receive bonus points for their 100% cruelty free status. 

I find that the Blush Brush gives a much softer application than my MAC 129 brush, therefore it's been perfect to apply any matte blushes that I have (I'm talking MAC Fleur Power, Frankly Scarlet etc) as it creates a much more diffused effect. I'm not so keen if I want to whack on a bit of shimmer though, I find this works against itself and doesn't apply enough product if I want to pack it on. 

The Expert Face Brush was a completely novelty purchase. I have a multitude of densely packed foundation/cream blush brushes and I really didn't need another one. It's a lovely brush and I love having it in my brush pot (not a good reason to buy a brush) but I really need to find a proper use for it. I have a serious RT Buffing Brush habit when it comes to foundation or liquid concealer and my Sigma F82 has monopolised the cream blush corner. I've tried the brush for both of these uses and I'm still happier with the alternative. I might give this a whirl with foundation as it's the only thing I haven't tried it with yet. I still adore it though!

Overall, if you factor in quality and value, you really cannot go wrong with the range. I certainly haven't had enough yet and I see more in my future...if I can justify it! #beautybloggerproblems. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday Favourite.

I was originally going to name this Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday. But I resisted. As a) I would never get Miss Black out of my head and b) I'm actually writing this on a Thursday, wild! 

This weeks quick Friday Favourite is this snazzy Toppers bag that I've been toting around for the past few weeks. 

Either my mother is secretly a massive blogger follower or has incredible taste, but when I unwrapped this on Christmas Day I immidiately recognised it as a bag Zoe showed previously in a what's in my bag, unitentional blogger lemming has to be my favourite!

All that aside, It really is a lovely bag. Enough room to stash your 'essentials' (receipts, receipts, more receipts?) but the over the shoulder strap makes it easier to sling on if you want to go hands free. We all love a bit of studding, and this bag fits the bill. 

I wish I could put a juicy link here, but I'm afraid I couldn't find it! 

What's your Friday Favourite? 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Desk Job. Latest Additions.

I've begun a new mission to try and strike the right balance between a productive workspace and an organised relaxing area to beautify, primp and preen. I'm currently into lots of white and glass. I'm a big fan of clean elegance and I think I'm slowly starting to get there. 

You will have undoubtedly seen these Ikea candle holders somewhere before but I couldn't resist them when I popped in last week. I'm just using this one to hold my most used brushes. I have another that's sitting on my windowsill waiting for a purpose. 

One of my lovely friends bought me this beautiful jewellery hanger from Sass & Belle for Christmas. I've not yet put it into the wall but it's still pretty! My jewellery is currently all over the shop, so I need to get organised by using this. 

This is my favourite little corner of my desk, It has my already raved about ginger products and the new addition glass jar that I snapped up from TK Maxx for £1.99. If you want some cheap glass storage jars I couldn't recommend TK Maxx enough. The home section is like kryptonite to me!

This is what I originally went into Ikea for this lamp (I left with a lot more than I intended). I've been after a decent desk lamp for a while and this white enamel finished light ticks all the boxes. I will admit it looked quite a bit smaller in the store but I like it all the same! It's perfect for doing precision work and can be angled in a variety of ways. It certainly helps with the dark nights to take the glare of the computer screen away. 

Altogether I'm feeling much more at peace in my space now! 

Laura xx

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Blueberry and Yoghurt Muffins.

Last Sunday afternoon was a rare treat, I baked my little heart out all afternoon. 

As much as I adore baking and would probably do it all day everyday if time and my waistline weren't an issue, every so often I find it incredibly therapeutic to have a mini baking/cooking blow out. 

Like most of the nation, I'm still recovering from my ill advised 'see-food' diet over the Christmas/New Year period so despite the urge to bake some delicious looking cupcakes with cream cheese frosting I opted for these Blueberry & Yoghurt Muffins. It has fruit, therefore it's healthy?? 

I found this incredibly helpful blog post that made whipping these up as easy as can be. Yoghurt cake itself is a gem of a recipe by itself, completely versatile and adaptable I can see this becoming a replacement for the more traditional sponge in recipes. 

The amount made easily filled 12 large muffin cases and even had enough left over to make a mini cake for 'testing' (read eating straight from the oven like the glutton you are). 

These went down a treat and I'd make them again. If you're looking for something that isn't overly sweet, these could be for you. I'd even pass it off as a breakfast item. 


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Glossy Dreams: Glossybox January 2013.

The theme of this months box is quite appropriately, Detox. After an overdose of everything in December, the refreshing contents of this box are a sight for sore eyes. For once, I didn't miss the inclusion of a single make up item. It's all about skincare and pampering this January. 

I received: 

Premae Skincare Balance Rescue Face Tonique 30ml (full size 50ml £27.50). 
Monu Renu Flash Relax Mask 30ml (full size 100ml £32)
Jason Lips Bee Healthier (full size 4.6g £1.99)
Vichy Normaderm 3in1Cleanser 50ml (full size 125ml £11)
Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse Thermal Transformation Mask (full size £27.50)
Bonus Glossybox Eye Mask. 

First Impressions: 

I'm happy with this box, despite not being to overwhelmed by the Vichy Cleanser (only due to the fact I'm  very happy with my current one) I was pleased to see it can also be used as a mask, which is how I will use this up if I like it. It smells fresh and contains both glycolic acid & salicylic acid. My only reservation about using this in the winter is due to the clay content it may be too drying for me. I'll give it a go and get back to you.
Despite not being previously aware of Premae, I'll look forward to adding the toner into my evening routine tonight. I've been lacking a good toner recently so I'll see if this can perk up my dull skin. I have faith in the sandalwood oil, lemongrass and rose water and I'm impressed that it's alcohol and fragrance free. Nothing is worse for your skin (especially in winter) than a stripping product. 
I was pleased to see the Monu face mask included in the box, I'm currently in the market for a good face mask as too my horror I realised I'm fresh out. I almost find it more appealing to work my way through smaller amounts of mask, as unless I'm crazy about it I can rarely justify buying a full size tube as I simple don't make enough time to apply face masks that often! 
The one product I dismissed until I popped it on my lips is the Jason Lips Bee Healthier. I does win massive points for using a top quality pun in the product name though! It smells like peppermint creams and feels instantly nourishing. I've just done a quick side by side with my Burts Bees version and I might tentatively have to say I prefer the Jason one. It might also by my favourite in the box this month. 
I'm also interested to try the final mask in the box, the Sanctuary Spa mask. It's a two step thermal mask, and I haven't previously tried something similar. It's intriguing! 

Finally, who can resist a chintzy eye mask? Not me. Bonus! 

If you truly want a spa experience this month, why not enter Glossybox's competition to win a luxury getaway to Scotland? Just click here to be in with the chance of winning this fabulous prize (closes 31st January). 

What do you think of this months box?

*PR Sample.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Ginger Nut.

It is safe to say, I'm having a bit of a renewed love affair with Ginger at the moment. It just yields the perfect balance between a warm inviting scent but the fresh, spicy slap in the face the scent provides is why it will always score highly in my book. I caught myself last night applying the products above, whilst burning the candle above and eating a ginger oatcake. It has no boundaries. 

In particular I've been obsessed with these three products. 

I'm an existing lover of the Origins Ginger Essence, I was more than happy when I received this at Christmas .Almost like a hybrid between a cream and a lighter lotion, it sinks into the skin leaving it soft and most importantly smelling like the good stuff. I've been using this on my legs in particular as it's the perfect solution if you're in a rush and need to pull on skinny jeans in an instant. I mean, have you tried doing that with a Body Butter? No Bueno.

My sister knows me well. After toting around a full size bottle of the stuff in my handbag, I was forever complaining about losing the lid. Enter the rollerball. I'm a big fan of rollerballs as they just make sense when you're travelling. Light, easy to use and if you're in a public situation, not everybody appreciates a spritz of your latest fragrance in there mouth/eyes/general direction. The slight hint of citrus makes this the perfect scent to perk you up after a hard day or apply straight from the shower. An absolute winner. 

The perfect balance between the woody Christmas scents I've been burning and the fresh floral scents I don't yet feel ready to embrace, it's a warming scent that almost has a spa quality about it. Herbal but clean. Unfortunately I can't find this on the website and I presume it's gone MIA as I bought it a little while ago. One quick note about MUJI candles in general, they smoke like a bitch if you don't keep an eye on the length of the wick. My ceiling can testify... 

What's your favourite scent of the moment? 

Friday, 11 January 2013

The Red Lip.

Nothing screams classic glamour like the perfect red lip. Polished skin, groomed brows and a killer red pout pretty much scream make up ecstasy.

Three red lipsticks in particular have found a place in my heart. One old staple, two new favourites.

MAC Lady Danger: This has long been my red lip of choice. Matte but surprisingly moisturising and practically foolproof to apply, it's a winner. It's quite heavily yellow based so if you're looking to utilise the teeth whitening tricks of a blue based red, steer clear. But it's a youthful spin on a classic red and one that will remain in my top ten for a long time.

Yves Rocher Rouge Crème Hydratant 101 Framboise*: Surprisingly both of my new dalliances arrived wrapped up neatly in a Glossybox. I wouldn't put this down as a raspberry as described, but it's a lovely shade all the same. Yves Rocher is fast becoming a favourite, I've placed an order for a couple of products so expect thoughts soon.

Sleek True Colour Lipstick Stiletto*: The second Glossybox gem. This is a tricky one to pull off but when I do, it's a goodun. Very matte, meticulous preparation needed! A perfect party red, slightly more blue based which is perfect for the camera. I take time applying this though, it's not the easiest nut to crack!

(l-r) MAC Lady Danger, Yves Rocher Fromboise 101, Sleek True Colour Stiletto. 

What's your go to red lip?

Laura xx

*PR Samples

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A New Year.

I was going to begin this post by apologising for the dismal lack of activity over the last few weeks. But, that would go against the grain of this entire post. 

It's a new year, let's begin how we intend to go on. 

New Years Blog Resolutions. 

1. Enjoy It. 

My absolute golden rule is, if I'm not enjoying it or feel like I'm pressured to churn out posts. I'll take a step back. The bottom line is, this isn't my job. It is a hobby that has turned into far more than I thought it would be. I think in 2012 I lost sight of this a little bit, I was forever feeling guilty about not having time to spend writing, and when I did get the time, I was banging out posts that I didn't feel 100% happy with. I want to be proud of what I produce and not feel like it's just to satisfy x,y or z. 

2. Quality not Quantity. 

Trust me, I would love to be able to have time to produce a good quality post a day but that's just not going to happen. I'd much rather set myself a realistic two times a week schedule but even that can be pressing at time. As long as I feel that my content is readable, enjoyable and useful, I'm happy.

3. Spread my wings. 

If the name of the blog didn't give it a away, I have a little thing about beauty. But, It's not entirely what I'm about. Believe it or not, I'm interested in lots of other things too! In fact, if I went into detail about what I do for a living, I think you'd all be surprised! (FYI: It's the anti-glamour personified!). I feel I want to diversify but I'm unsure whether to plonk it all on here. I'm toying with starting a new blog on the side and keeping this all about it's namesake, what do you think? 

4. Involve. 

The thing I do feel most guilty about is not having enough time to really engage with you all like I want to. I'm thinking about opening up the floor to guest bloggers etc, would you be interested? 

Finally, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas & NYE and are looking forward to a fruitful 2013, I know I am! 

Laura xx

p.s listen to this song. obsessed. 

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