Saturday, 30 June 2012

Light up, light up

Wednesday afternoon was a bit of an exciting time in my little corner of middle England because the Olympic Torch was running through our town. 

In a rather generous move, my employer gave our entire workforce time off to go and see it! Gathered just metres from our building along the main road through town, we saw the procession of entertainment before and after the torch passed through.

The crowds in the main street

Union Jack Dude

The new torchbearer - Debbie Chessum

She was really good with the kids and had lots of photos taken

The relay handover from Suzanne Bolton to Debbie Chessum

♥ ♥ ♥

The atmosphere was amazing and it was lovely to see so many people out in force in support of the torch and the London 2012 games. Have you seen the torch in your local area?

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

NOTD: Ringer finger accent mani

In episode 56432 of being late to the party, I tried a ring finger accent mani. I was feeling the need for glitter but I can never be bothered with removal so this was a happy compromise for me!

Products Used

Bourjois So Laque in Rose Lounge
Look Beauty Nail Pop in Bling
Illamasqua Top Coat

♥ ♥ ♥

Are you a fan of ring finger accent manis?

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Review: Decolour Remover

Can you believe I've not dyed my hair since 2011? I'm in desperate need of a hair makeover, and what better place to start than my natural hair colour? I hadn't really heard much about Decolour apart from a press release and a review from the lovely Lily so I thought I'd give it a go.

How it works

Decolour Remover uses the latest technology to safely and effectively 'shatter' the colour molecule. Hair requires minimal rinsing, has a reduced risk of 'reoxidisation' and it's kinder to hair. It only removes artificial colour pigments so it doesn't change the underlying natural hair colour.


Decolour Remover is a bit like a standard home hair dye in that you mix the Activator and Remover, shake then apply. It's a non-drip cream formula and it's very easy to apply (with gloved hands of course) to clean, dry hair. It absolutely reeks - reminds me of toilet cleaner and hydrogen *vom* - so ensure you apply in a well ventilated area. You can barely smell it once you've wrapped your hair in cling film. Be warned - this is difficult to do alone especially if you have long hair. I found it to be very frustrating so in the end I put my hair up then continued as instructed, wrapping it in cling film and a towel. Then you leave for the desired time, depending on what you're using the product for, then rinse, add some more cream, rinse, add the Conclude balm, wait 5 minutes and rinse again. So much for minimal rinsing... Although I did end up shampooing and conditioning as well to try and rid my hair of the smell of the remover and even that didn't quite rid my locks of the scent.


I was expecting to see a lot of coloured water running from my hair when I rinsed but I didn't really see much. At this point I was convinced of course it hadn't worked until I started really looking at my hair. I could see strands of light brown and dark blonde. Hurrah. After drying my hair, I found it had pretty much returned to my natural colour, or as close as could be. Really impressed and would definitely use Decolour Remover again if I ever decide to dye my hair. Although I can't see that happening any time soon!

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you ever used a colour remover?

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Friday, 22 June 2012

Super savvy shopping

My favourite day of the month arrived this week - that's right girls - pay day!! So it's totally time to reward myself for all the hard work I've done. Thanks to PayPal this is all too easy... whoops ;) But you know me, I'm a bit of a Scrooge. If I can get a bargain I will.

As beauty bloggers, we all know that looking beautiful these days can be expensive. There are so many different products, each with a unique way of making us look and feel our best. It can be very easy to get carried away with the latest super products, all promising to make us look and feel amazing. And then there's the great lure of treating ourselves to the latest relaxing treatments, innovative products and exciting beauty tools. 

However, in reality it usually comes down to choosing the most important beauty essentials. These
are the products that we rely on and use as a part of our regular beauty regime. I'm a staples girl over whimsical purchases it would seem! But, what if you could save money every time you make an order? 

A few months ago, a friend introduced me to TopCashBack. Not only can I shop in the sales and use discount codes, I can earn cashback from my favourite retailers. Of course I signed up straight away and I've recouped a small fortune :D

How does it work?

For those who aren't familiar with the website, TopCashBack* offer cashback when you buy products through their site, as well as housing a wide range of beauty coupons and discount codes.

It's so simple to get started - create a free account, search for a retailer, click through from the link given and start shopping! Your transaction is tracked, confirmed by the retailer and then after a short period of time made payable to you.


Which retailers can I earn cashback through?

There's a loooong list of retailers that you can earn cashback from on purchases. Here are 5 top online beauty stores that offer money back through TopCashBack:


Boots are ideal for all your beauty essentials. They offer a wide range of products from false
eyelashes to massage and hair products. You will find lots of your daily products here and using their
8.08% cashback offer you can save a lot of money. Currently, they're also offering a free gift when you spend over £25 on No 7, doubling the benefit. I actually picked this up in store and it's a pretty good gift bag as it includes lots of trial sized products and a full sized mascara!

The Body Shop

The Body Shop is a very popular brand in the beauty world and for all the right reasons. They were
one of the first companies to bring ethical sourcing to the industry. You can get a huge 15.15%
cashback on beauty essentials such as moisturiser, make up and body scrubs from the Body Shop.
You can also snap up some Body Shop discount codes on the TopCashback site, such as their new offer of buy 3 get 3 free!

Look Fantastic

Look Fantastic are a brilliant all round online beauty provider where you can get a huge range of
beauty essentials. They have hair, face, body, make up, nails and perfume products and are currently
offering 7.07% cashback.


Avon is a large, well established beauty brand. They have a new online makeover studio on their
website where you can try some of their beauty essentials. The main products they offer are
skincare, make-up, fragrance and bath products. They are currently offering a generous 10.1%
cashback. I've been loving Avon recently especially as they always have offers on. They also offer sample sized foundations and primers for £1.50 so you can try before you commit to the full size!

Elemis is the new official virtual spa shop by Elemis. Although their products are more
on the more expensive side of the scale, they are offering 8.08% cashback, making some of their
products more affordable. Their site has anti-ageing, skincare, nail care and bath products to choose

You can check out a list of other cosmetics retailers here which include beauty box subscription services and department stores :D

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you ever used Top Cash Back? I would totally recommend it, I've earned £50 in cashback over the past few months from lots of different retailers. And the best thing about it is that you can get your cashback paid to you by BACS transfer, PayPal or in the form of topped up Amazon vouchers.

Shopping online has never felt so good!

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* Content provided but I am not affiliated with Top Cashback or the brands mentioned. I just know a good deal when I see one and want to share!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

June Glossybox: The Sexy Summer Edition

The weather seems to have it's summer hat on and it's been lovely for the past few days. What better time to receive the Sexy Summer Glossybox*!

Vichy is a brand I've tried before - remember the corrective foundation that everyone went crazy for? (But only actually works if you're the colour of an Oompa Loompa?) I'm hoping for better luck this time with the Dermablend Starter Kit. Although the majority of the shades are too dark for me, I think I'll get use out of the top row for concealing.

A brand new item to be featured in Glossybox is their very own make up brush. Made entirely out of natural hair, it is designed to work well with powders. How very handy that this month's box includes a Summer Warmth bronzer from BM Beauty! The brush is ok for applying colour, but I wouldn't use it for contouring. 

The bronzer is beautiful and a really good shade. It gives a lovely sheen once blended.

If the sun sticks around (pretty please?) I think a good leave-in conditioner is a bit of a must have. This month's Glossybox contains a 100ml bottle of Paul Mitchell's Original The Conditioner, designed for applying on damp hair and doesn't need washing out. Perfect if you're a wash and go kinda gal!

HD Brows are making yet another appearance in Glossyboxes. This time we've been treated to a pair of precision tweezers worth a whopping £19.95! Good call.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you received this month's box? What are your must have products for summer?

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* Item received for my consideration - read my disclaimer

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review: sk:n Brightening & Firming Eye Cream

I'm always on the quest for products that disguise my dark circles, but hadn't tried anything to combat them. When this landed on my doormat I was super chuffed! Prevention is better than cure right?


sk:n say: Active ingredients supply moisture and nutrients to the skin around the eyes. They are clinically proven to reduce the signs of puffiness and dark circles, protects against photo-ageing and also target fine lines and wrinkles, achieving visible results within 28 days.

I say: Thanks to it containing lots of skin-loving goodies, the eye cream moisturises whilst helping to firm, regenerate and brighten skin. I've found the skin around my eyes is super soft now - I was prone to the odd dry patch - so I've seen a definite improvement. My dark circles are a lot less pronounced. Overall I have to say I'm super impressed with this product. I find I have to conceal a lot less now. I can get away with a swipe of YSL Touche Eclat and voila! That's something I thought I'd never be able to say!


sk:n sayTo be applied in the morning and evening after cleansing. Smooth onto the skin around the eye.

I say: I've been using this for well over a month now, morning and night as instructed. The product looks and feels the same as a regular moisturising eye cream. It's not scented at all and it sinks into the skin really quickly without leaving skin feeling sticky or greasy. I dab on and pat in and leave it to do its magic. And magic it does.

Price: £20.00
Size: 20ml
Available from: sk:n


Product: 10/10
Packaging: 10/10
Price: 8/10
Overall: 9/10
Purchase: Absolutely!

♥ ♥ ♥

What are your go to products for combatting dark circles?

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*Item sent for my consideration - read my disclaimer

Friday, 15 June 2012

NOTD: French Manicure

I always feel the need to share a good French mani. You'd think it was such a simple design but oh no no no. It's hard work, right girls?!

Products used

Illamasqua Base Coat
Eyeko Petite Polish
China Glaze Wireless
Illamasqua Precision Liner in Scribe
d'Anu Nail Colour in 01 Silk Base
Illamasqua Top Coat
(and a heck of a lot of patience)

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you love a French mani? How do you achieve yours?

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Review: Orly Polishes

It feels like its been an absolute age since I posted a review! Today I'm reviewing Orly polishes. Normally I wouldn't bother reviewing polishes but this is my first experience with Orly and I've thoroughly enjoyed using the brand, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

L-R: Lola, Passionfruit and Butterflies.


The polishes apply well, with both Passionfruit* and Lola* needing the standard two coats. Butterflies* took a bit of building to achieve opacity but I was being picky as I don't like to see my nail tips through polish. Passionfruit is a matte shade although I feel it was more of a satin finish. Lola and Butterflies are both creme polishes and I found they gave a beautiful glossy finish sans top coat! The only thing that I didn't like was that these polishes have that strong nail polish scent. But as application is pretty quick, it wasn't a major issue.

Application & Removal

As I mentioned above, 2-3 coats is adequate for achieving opacity and the polishes dry quite quickly which is always a bonus. The standard cremes give such a glossy finish you don't need a top coat, however I always use one to help prolong wear. I had Lola on for 6 days which is a record for me and I had absolutely zero tip wear or chips. This is somewhat unprecedented considering I spend my working week typing away like crazy. Removal was super quick with all three polishes. I used my trusty Pretty Quik Instant Polish Remover (a not so fragrant version of the new Bourjois 1 Second Polish Remover that I've been purchasing for donkey's years) and all traces of polish were gone in seconds with no staining.

Price: £10.25
Size: 18ml
Availability: Look Fantastic, Beauty Bay, and Boots


Product: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Packaging: 10/10
Overall: 9/10
Purchase?: Absolutely

♥ ♥ ♥

Nail polish that gives such a gorgeous long-lasting wear are my idea of heaven so I'll definitely be stocking up on some more colours soon!

Pssst. Did you know Orly are launching in Topshop?! The 'Feel the Vibe' mini trio (RRP £13) is a set of gorgeous neons perfect for accompanying that holiday tan.

Are you a fan of Orly?

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*PR samples - read my disclaimer

Friday, 8 June 2012

These are a few of my favourite things

As I was on holiday for two weeks, May was the perfect opportunity for me to find my must have products in my collection to take away with me. Oddly, it didn't even take me that long to pack my make up - I think I went for my most used and most versatile products.

♥ Ahava Leave-On Deadsea Mud Dermud Intensive Hand Cream
Lately my hands have been needing a bit of extra TLC and this is the perfect hand cream for the job. Designed for dry and sensitive skin, this perks up my hands a treat with long lasting hydration that leaves my hands baby soft

♥ Sk:n Anti-Ageing Brightening & Firming Eye Cream
In my eternal hunt to find something to lessen my under eye circles, I jumped at the chance to try this from Sk:n. I've been using this religiously every night for about a month now and I have to say I think my dark circles have decreased. Although that could be down to the ridiculously good amounts of sleep, rest and relaxation I had on holiday. Bliss.

♥ Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover
At first I thought this was a bit of a joke. One second to remove polish? No. Try 4 seconds. Whilst initially it really does pong, your nails are left smelling fruity rather than of nail polish remover and your fingers feel moisturised like you've slathered them in cuticle oil and not at all dry like nail polish remover! Impressed!

♥ Sleek Blush by 3 in Lace
This was the only blush I took away on holiday with me. I used this pretty much every day and really can't fault it. A beautiful palette.

♥ No 7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush
This is perfect for giving a bit of definition under the eye. The brush is soft but firm and I haven't had any issues with shedding. If you're looking for something to spend your £5 No 7 voucher on, this is well worth it!

♥ Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Baked
When I've been using bronze shades on my lid I've been using this on my waterline and had quite a few compliments. It adds colour without being harsh or too obvious. And it applies like a dream.

♥ ♥ ♥

Which products have been your favourites over the past month? What are you planning to take on holiday with you?

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Glossybox: The Birthday Edition!

I'm a bit late to the party with this post but this last week has been MAD. Returning from holiday and going straight back to work is just mental. Don't do it kids.

Anywho, here we are another month, another Glossybox*! We've returned to the traditional pastel pink boxes for Glossybox's first birthday.

I really liked the wrapping for this box, so cute!

Behold the treats inside!

There are two sample sachets of Apivita's express beauty with honey moisturizing and nourishing mask.  I like the cute packaging of this and the mask is lovely.

Next up we have Noble Isle's Summer Rising Bath & Shower Gel. This is a really generously sized sample and perfect for travelling. The name is very apt - it smells like summer! Also in the box is Osmo's Berber Oil Hair Treatment with Argan Oil - if you've not caught on to this trend (where the devil have you been?) Argan Oil is AMAZING and I wouldn't be without it. My hair has never been so soft and silky smooth. I love the small bottle - again its perfect for stashing in my bag when I'm away from home so I can still treat my hair rather than take lots of different products with me.

Last time HD Brows was featured in Glossybox it was a real hit, and I was glad to see the brand in this month's birthday box. I received Brow Beater, a product designed to tame, condition and set brows. I've not used this before so it'll be interesting to see how well it works.

Just a few days ago I was eyeing up the Lolita Lempicka fragrances, thinking how lovely the packaging was. Then they arrived in Glossybox! L'Eau en Blanc reminds me of babies (is that just me?!) and the Eau de Parfum sort of reminds me of candyfloss - sweet and sugary. They both smell absolutely lovely. I might have to make a purchase soon!

Also included in the birthday box was a Glossybox compact mirror - can never have enough of them! - and a Glossybox balloon! More on that later.

A couple of days after Glossybox was delivered I found another one waiting for me. I was taken completely by surprise when I opened it to find a little present! I've been subscribed to Glossybox since the beginning and this was a thank you gift. And a very yummy one at that. Thanks Glossybox! x

Om nom nom! *Makes mental note to purchase these*

On a final note:

♥ ♥ ♥

Did you receive the birthday Glossybox? What did you think?

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*PR gift sent for my consideration - read my disclaimer