Friday, 30 November 2012

Things I learnt in November 2012

001. Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ;)

002. Costa Coffee's Honeycomb Hot Chocolates are gorgeous!

003. I am losing the plot.

004. I have a love/hate relationship with Primark.

005. Society needs to learn what manners are.

006. Daniel Craig can save my life any day.

007. No matter how bad you think things are, there's always someone going through something worse.

008. I need more sleep. I'm becoming a yawner.


009. I need a holiday. And some of that stuff Derren Brown was prescribing.

010. Ovaltine Hot Chocolate is good. Sleep inducing :)

011. So erm, One Direction are my guilty pleasure.

012. I am turning into a middle aged moaning Minnie. Le sigh.

013. A good night's sleep can make you feel ever so good.

014. Having a smile on your face all day feels so good. Positive Petunia for the win.

015. If you want something doing properly, do it yourself.


016. Working on a PC all day with a migraine is not advisable.

017. Having a good clear out is so cleansing

018. Galaxy nails are so easy!!

019. Even brunettes have their blonde moments!

020. China Glaze Fairy Dust is the prettiest polish in the world. There I said it.

021. I need an MUA in my life to create perfect eyeliner for me every day.

022. Migraines suck.

023. Birthdays at work aren't as bad as I thought!


024. Apparently you can have a Christmas party with no Christmas music.

025. I really do have a thing for older men. Oh dear.

026. Being part of a team is a really nice feeling.

027. Making cakes for other people is nice :)

028. I really do think BBQ sauce is the best condiment.

029. Shrimp sweets are awesome!

030. Not having a lie-in on your day off should be illegal. Let the Christmas shopping commence!

♥ ♥ ♥

How was November for you? Did you learn anything new?

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

These are a few of my favourite things

♥ Benefit Sunbeam
I bought a recent copy of In Style magazine because this was the free gift. I like to try out Benefit samples. The brand isn't one I've tried much of so these mini sample sizes are always helpful. I've been disappointed with previous samples of Benefit products in magazines (Posietint and Benetint I'm looking at you!) but Sunbeam is a fantastic product. I was so sceptical beforehand but I'm really impressed with the gorgeous natural glow it gives to skin. In this dull weather, anything that perks my skin up is a winner in my book!

♥ Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Illusoire
I always love an opportunity to use my beloved Illusiore and I've discovered this makes a beautiful smudgy purple eye liner! To be fair it does advise of this on the box but I hadn't tried it. I love to pair this with a simple shimmery nude shadow like Urban Decay Virgin or Illamasqua Slink to give a subtle definition to the eye.

♥ Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
I thought for ages that a mascara designed specifically for your bottom lashes was a bit of a con. Turns out I was wrong! The super tiny brush coats each individual lash to add definition without clumping. I love using this when I've used Illamasqua Vow on my waterline to accentuate my lashes which look beautifully defined with no smudging, fading or transfer.

♥ 17 Blush & Glow in Peachy*
I fell in love with the original Blush & Glow a couple of years ago whilst I was at uni. There are two new shades out now and this is right up my street. It gives such a lovely warm flush to the cheeks to give you that 'just come in from the cold' look. Perfect for this time of the year!

♥ China Glaze Fairy Dust
I adore this polish for adding a bit of sparkle to any nail design. A beautiful holographic glitter topcoat that adds a bit of bling to any manicure.

♥ ♥ ♥

Which products have you been favouring on these cold, dark mornings?

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Monday, 26 November 2012

Weekly Wishlist

1. Now the cold weather has well and truly settled in, I'm in need of a lovely warm coat to wrap up in to brave the nippy mornings and dark nights. This snood coat looks perfect :)

2. I'm on the hunt for a long-lasting foundation for Winter. I've seen so many reviews of this Bobbi Brown product that I've started lusting after it. Oh you enablers ;)

3. I'm loving art deco inspired jewellery and accessories at the moment and Accessorize has really hit the nail on the head. I think this bracelet may well find itself being added to my collection in the very near future!

4. There's something about Topshop makeup that just keeps me coming back for more and I've decided I want the whole of the Dark Side of Nude collection. My bank balance is going to hate me...

5. Light Blue has been a fragrance I have been loving since my mid-teens. The beautiful citrus scent never fails to keep me coming back for more. I certainly hope Santa feels I've been a good girl this year.

6. I'm trying to give my workwear wardrobe a much needed update and I'm loving gorgeous neutrals with statement accessories. I think this shirt would look great with long necklaces.

♥ ♥ ♥

Are you lusting over anything in particular? Are you all wrapped up for Winter?

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Friday, 23 November 2012

NOTD: Galaxy Nails

I've been eyeing up so many photos of Galaxy Nails and dismissing the design because I thought it was too complicated and would take forever. How wrong could I be? When my BBBFF* Leanne posted a tutorial I thought I'd give it a go. Even if I did think her 30 minutes was a bit of a stretch ;)

* That's short for beauty blogging best friend forever don't ya know?

I couldn't have been more wrong. 30 minutes later I had amazing galaxy nails.

Products Used

Illamasqua Base Coat
Rimmel Lasting Finish Black Cab
LA Colors Tropical Storm (sponged)
ELF Party Purple (sponged)
LA Girl Metal Nail Polish in Alkaline Blue (sponged)
China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald (sponged)
LA Colors Nail Art Brush in White (dotted)
China Glaze Fairy Dust
Illamasqua Top Coat

Foam eyeshadow applicator
Dotting Tool

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried Galaxy Nails? Would you like to see me do a tutorial post for this design?

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Review: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters

Today I wanted to show you my two newest additions to my Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter collection, Berry Smoothie* and Raspberry Pie*. They are the perfect update for my winter makeup. Who doesn't like to embrace a trend? *Hops on bandwagon*

L-R: Berry Smoothie Lip Butter, Vixen Nail Enamel, Raspberry Pie Lip Butter

L-R: Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie

L-R: Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie

One of the most exciting cosmetic launches of 2012 was undoubtedly the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters. I've got quite a few in my collection and they're something that I reach for time and time again over a regular lipstick.

I love how hydrating they feel thanks to the mango, shea and coconut butter formula. The finish is the reason that I really love the Lip Butters. The hydrating gel formula feels very much like a lip balm with their gorgeous glossy sheen but they have the colour intensity of a lipstick and a much better longevity. Anything that doesn't leave me reaching for my lip balm on a frequent basis is a winner for me, especially in these cold winter months when my lips need the extra hydration.

I'm loving the matchy matchy berry trend at the moment and what better way to do it than with a gorgeous berry shade on your nails? I've been in search of a perfect rich, deep berry shade because I don't seem to own any - how ridiculous is that? I have about 200 polishes and no berry shades. Luckily Revlon's Vixen* came into my life and I'm in love! Two coats gives a beautiful opaque coverage et voila! Your on trend winter nails. What more could you ask for?

I have some exciting news for you ladies! 

Revlon's Sweet Boutique is back!

Launching today, the Sweet Boutique is back on the Revlon Facebook page. Revlon will be giving away 100 Lip Butters every day until 4th December. So what are you waiting for? Pop on over for your chance to win!

♥ ♥ ♥

Are you embracing berry shades into your winter makeup?

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Review: Dr Renaud Peach Hydrating Body Milk

With the change in weather usually comes a change in the condition of my skin. A few weeks ago, our weather went from fairly mild to quite cold very quickly and I certainly noticed the difference in my skin. All of a sudden it was rather lacklustre and dry. I was definitely in the need of a good moisturiser.

I'm not a fan of thicker moisturisers as I find them really heavy and I personally don't like that. I much prefer a lotion that's light and sinks into the skin quickly and effortlessly without leaving it greasy or sticky. Step forward Dr Renaud's Peach Hydrating Body Milk* which is described as an incredibly silky smooth moisturising body lotion which combines the softness of Peach (organic Peach Pulp extract and Peach Butter) with nourishing plant oils (Sweet Almond and Jojoba) and a gourmand moisturising complex (Honey, Pear, Passion fruit and Prickly pear). Intended for use every morning and/or evening depending on your personal preference, this body milk leaves skin appearing more hydrated, softer and suppler and feeling comfortable.

I always apply after showering and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it sinks into the skin. I adore the peach scent which is light and doesn't seem to linger too long after application if you're not a fan of scented products. A little goes a long way and I can see this bottle lasting me a while. Using this body milk has really helped improve the condition of my skin and it has perked it up a treat!

Dr Renaud Peach Hydrating Body Milk (400ml) is available from Dr Renaud for £22.45 (£3.50 P&P) or M&S for £22.50 (£3.50 P&P or free in-store collection)

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you have a favourite moisturiser for winter skin?

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Friday, 16 November 2012

Blog Sale

Hi everyone! Just a quick heads up about my blog sale! I've popped it all on one page so please feel free to pop over and have a look and snap up some bargains.

I've got so many duplicates and products that just weren't for me so I thought it was about time I offer them to good homes.

The brands range from YSL to Illamasqua to Benefit to MAC and there's a few high street bits and bobs on there too. I've tried to price everything generously but I am open to offers. This stuff is just taking up valuable space after all!

Rules and info are up on the page so have a nosey, leave a comment on the page and I'll do my very best to respond to comments as soon as I can (I am at work today) but I aim to get everything sorted out this weekend so it can be shipped early next week.

♥ ♥ ♥

Happy shopping :)

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Avon Arctic Goddess Collection

I was recently invited to the launch of Avon's Winter 2012 collection, Arctic Goddess at the very lovely Mayfair Hotel in London with the gorgeous Alesha Dixon, my favourite YouTubers Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo and the talented nail artist Marian Newman.

Sam (left) snapping Nic through the Avon Ice Sculpture!

Alesha Dixon wearing H&M and looking absolutely flipping stunning!


I was lucky enough to receive a goody bag of items from the new collection including the Arctic Goddess Palette*, the three new polishes, the lipgloss and some super cute and yummy snowflake biscuits. I spent a LOT of time checking out the cosmetics counter and a lovely member of the Avon team offered to let me take home and try the new Ideal Flawless foundation as well.

Arctic Goddess Palette

I have never failed to be impressed by the Avon True Colour Shadow Quads. For the price (usually £8.50 full price) the colour payoff and quality is amazing. The Arctic Goddess quad has two light shimmery shades and two darker matte shades. The swatches above are on bare skin. Amazing huh? The shadows apply beautifully and the matte shades are not the slightest bit chalky.

Ultra Colour Rich Brilliance Lip Gloss in Pink Icicle

I have been a fan of Avon glosses since I was in my teens. I had this one gloss that I was obsessed with and repurchased countless times until it was discontinued. They are beautifully glossy, delightfully sweet scented and not in the slightest bit sticky. Pink Icicle* is no different and it'll definitely be stowed away in my handbag this season. I always love a neutral, frosted lip so this is right up my street.

Arctic Goddess Nailwear Pro+ Polishes

L-R: Chilling Teal, Arctic Waters and Green Goddess

I don't own many of the Avon polishes so to see three new shades released with the Arctic Goddess Collection were a nice way to try more. These aren't colours I'd usually go for I'm always up for trying something new and since I saw Leanne's fab Mirrorball mani, I've had a few ideas so keep your eyes peeled for some Arctic Goddess inspired nail posts! Chilling Teal* is a peppermint green with a silver shimmer running through it infused with silver and blue micro glitter. The photos above of Arctic Waters* doesn't really do the polish justice. It's a good solid opaque blue with a metallic blue/silver almost duochrome finish to it. Green Goddess* is a metallic green polish with a beautiful antique gold finish.

Ideal Flawless Foundation

The Ideal Flawless liquid foundation launched toward the beginning of 2012 and is part of the permanent Avon cosmetics range. Ideal Flawless claims to be a full-coverage foundation which creates a virtually undetectable veil of natural-looking, flawless perfection. I wouldn't say this is a full-coverage foundation, its definitely more of a medium coverage that you can build on if required. I liked the finish of the foundation, it wasn't dewy but it wasn't completely matte. It left my skin looking like skin and didn't feel heavy or cakey which is always a bonus. It contains SPF15 so it will help to protect your skin year round. For reference, the shade I have is Light Pink which I do believe was the lightest shade available.


I'll leave you with this view from the Penthouse Suite!

♥ ♥ ♥

Avon's Arctic Goddess Collection launches in November 2012 with prices starting from a very purse-friendly £6.00. Have you seen anything that takes your fancy?

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Monday, 12 November 2012

NOTD: Black Cherries

I am absolutely loving dark, berry shades on my nails lately. I picked up Black Cherries in Boots last week and there was an offer on so I picked up Black Cab too as I couldn't find a black polish in my collection. I originally was going to use Black Cherries alone but I found it to be missing something on its own. I decided to layer it over Black Cab and got this much deeper, richer finish. Under a good light or sunlight this has a beautiful ruby shimmer to it which I love. Its not quite up there with my love for Barry M's Gelly Polish in Blackcurrant but that's a story for another post :) Stay tuned!

Products Used

Illamasqua Base Coat
Rimmel Lasting Finish Black Cab
Rimmel Lasting Finish Black Cherries
Illamasqua Top Coat

♥ ♥ ♥

Are you loving berry shades on your nails for A/W 2012? What are your polishes of choice?

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Friday, 9 November 2012

Winter Hair Care

Just as you think your hair is finally getting over the summer months, winter starts to roll in. So with
a new season comes a new hair care regime. The ravages of winter such as cold winds, pouring rain,
icy snaps and central heating can all wreak havoc on your tresses. So here are some top tips to keep
your hair looking healthy during the cold winter months!

Don't over wash your hair - Shampoo your hair less frequently during the winter months and make
sure to condition after each wash. Frizz is a result of dry, broken strands of hair aka lack of moisture
so to combat frizz wash your hair every third day or every other day if you must. Also avoid washing
your hair in excessively hot water as it can be very drying and to lock in moisture rinse with cold
water (eek!)

Deep condition more often - During the winter months your hair tends to become dryer, so once
a week treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment to keep it soft and silky smooth. Deep
conditioning your hair will also will give your hair more protection and prevent damage. My absolute favourite conditioning treatment is the VO5 Treat Me Right Rinse Out Deep Conditioning Treatment. It smells lovely and leaves my hair super soft and silky!

Cut back on heat - Avoid using heated appliances as much as possible. Over using your blow dryer,
curling iron or flat iron will all contribute to dry damaged hair. Since I had my fringe cut in recently, I've been whipping my GHDs out frequently but I'm trying to limit the number of uses in a week. And I haven't turned into a haystack yet!

Wrap up - Wear a scarf, hat or cap which will protect your hair from the cold and from getting
tangled in the wind. Personally I'm all over this. Wearing a hat helps to keep my hair in place when it's chilly and windy. And if I do get caught out, my handy Tangle Teezer saves the day without damaging my hair.

Tie your hair up - Tying your hair up as much as possible will limit your hair’s exposure to the harsh
winter elements that can cause frizzy, static hair. Why not choose a topknot or fishtail braid; both of
these hairstyles are bang on trend this winter.

Haircuts - Make sure to go for a trim every 6 to 8 weeks to eliminate any split ends which will keep
your hair looking healthy and shiny.

I've had a fringe cut in :D

Avoid leaving the house with wet hair - Make sure to dry your hair completely before going
outside, the cold weather can cause your hair to freeze at the cuticle and cause it to break resulting
in frizzy damaged looking hair. Nobody wants to look like a frizzy Fiona do they? I'll admit I used to do this a lot (hope my hairdresser doesn't read this!), but if I give myself an extra 20 minutes or so in the morning I can ensure my hair is nice and dry before braving the chilly temperatures.

Avoid static hair/wind struck hair - Spray a small amount of hairspray onto your hair brush and
brush through. Use a good leave in conditioner to avoid tangling and breakage from windy weather. Static hair is driving me insane lately and I've recently rediscovered a hair saviour to help. I've also found a good hair serum can be a god send! My favourites are the Biosilk Silk Therapy serum to use on wet hair, and the VO5 Smoothly Does It serum on dry hair.

Eat a good balanced diet - Make sure to eat protein rich foods and to drink plenty of water. Protein
is essential for growth and repair and water will rehydrate your hair and scalp. I really must try to drink more water, I'm terrible especially at work when I get so carried away I forget to stop and rehydrate.

Don’t succumb to dry frizzy unmanageable hair this winter by booking a treatment or haircut at one
of SalonAddict’s member salons. Salon Addict takes the headache out of desperately telephoning around salons to book an appointment. The online salon booking service is perfect for those who need a last minute hair or beauty appointment. Perfect for the upcoming party season!

♥ ♥ ♥

How will you be styling your hair this winter?

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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

These are a few of my favourite things

October saw a flurry of new products quickly becoming my new favourites but in a bid to cut down my stash, I've rediscovered a couple of old favourites too!

♥ Jemma Kidd Light As Air Foundation
Lately the weather is up and down and my skin with it. What better to use than a reliable foundation. I'd forgotten I had Light As Air to be honest, despite me raving about it when I first discovered it. What a fickle Fiona! On my not so good skin days or when I feel like I've needed extra coverage, I've been reaching for this foundation. It's a shame about the Jemma Kidd range, but I hope she finds new investors soon so we can all get our mitts on this foundation again.

♥ Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blackberry
Oh girls, I'm in love. With this polish. I can't stop applying it. I've used this in consecutive manis lately. And trust me, this never happens. It is unheard of. Well, I did say I was a fickle Fiona. Blackberry is a beautiful dark purple with incredible staying power. My first mani lasted 6 days without chipping. For me that is amazing. And the colour goes with everything. Absolutely everything. Its my A/W polish of choice.

♥ GOSH Boombastic Mascara
I hadn't used a GOSH mascara in quite some time until Leanne gave me this. I was a bit sceptical when I saw the chunky tube because this usually means humongous brush that clumsy Claudia here will poke her eye out with. Just for the record, I don't recommend it. It freaking hurts. If any of you have tried the Avon Supershock Mascara, then the brush is similar to that. The mascara itself is quite good. It coats all of my lashes defining and adding volume and length. The one thing that niggles me a teeny bit is the consistency. It reminds me of Urban Decay Curling Mascara as its quite sort of 'wet' for want of a better word. I always manage to get it everywhere. What a messy pup.

♥ Clinique Chubby Stick in Two Ton Tomato
This is my go to lip product. Simple make up, slick of black liner and this on the lips has become my usual look lately. It's a lipstick/lip balm hybrid with a fabulous staying power. It applies easily, is well pigmented and has a great texture. There are quite a few more that I'm eyeing up too! And with the Chubby Stick Intense range launching this month, I suspect a few of those will end up in my collection too.

♥ VO5 Ultimate Hold Weather Resistant Hairspray
I've always had a love/hate relationship with hairspray. I'd hate the smell, the way it left my hair feeling, the way it covered everything in a film and that it would never survive inclement weather. But I loved the way it'd tame my hair and keep my style looking good. I picked this up on a whim after I saw a fellow blogger mention how good this was. I'm a fan of brand in general so I had no hesitation in dropping it into my shopping basket. I'm pleased to say, the scent is not offensive, it doesn't leave my hair feeling horrible and my hair survives this wintery weather. Hurrah!

♥ NYX Cream Blush in Glow
Cream blushes are the one thing that I can rely on when I'm in a rush. They give a lovely effortless finish to my cheeks and I can never over do it thanks to easy way they blend into the skin. I remember when I first bought this, I barely used anything else. I tidied up my make up drawer a few weeks ago and I found this lingering at the back. I've fallen back in love. The teeniest dab of this gives me such a natural flush of colour that really perks me up. I'm holding out for the Cherry Culture sale in late November when I can pick up some more NYX products.

♥ GOSH Intense Eyeliner Pen in Black
This is another item that I must thank Leanne for. I was a bit of a wary Wanda when I opened it. I've never gotten on with these marker pen type liners. I pushed my doubts aside to give this a try. I'm so glad I did. This liner is a true black, easy to apply and very long lasting. I've actually found it a lot easier to do my eye liner using this lately!

♥ ♥ ♥

Are any of your favourites here? Tell me which items you've been loving this month :)

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Monday, 5 November 2012

Things I learnt in October 2012


001. Lazy Mondays are the best

002. If you want something doing properly, do it yourself.

003. I need a PA.

004. I'm too much of a perfectionist for my own good.

005. Going to work when you're ill sucks. But free coffee and cake helps.

006. Do not underestimate the power of Night Nurse!

007. Nickelback are AMAZING live!!!

008. You can't buy CDs anywhere these days.

009. Unexpected traffic jams suck.

010. Midweek PJ and DVD days are the best

011. You can't beat old school comedy for cheering you up

012. Cooking for one is just boring

013. Barry M's Gelly polishes are amazing!

014. Simple make up with a statement lip is pure perfection.

015. You can get Hersheys in Asda!


016. I have a thing for guys with accents.

017. Live TV drama is always a buzz!

018. Bingo is a bit of a bore off sometimes.

019. Sleek Rose Gold Blush is my holy grail blush. There, I said it.

020. Planes amaze me.

021. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara is brilliant!

022. I'm always too concerned about what other people think.

023. I love being an organised Olivia.


024. Nights out with the girls are always a perfect pick me up :)

025. Its surprising how good a new hair cut feels!

026. I hate being messed around.

027. Winter is most definitely here.

028. Mother Nature is scary.

029. Homemade soup is the best.

030. CBeebies is surprisingly addictive...

031. Halloween is always a laugh at work!

♥ ♥ ♥

How was October for you? Did you learn anything new?

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