Thursday, 25 July 2013

Little Boy Blue - Blue Nail Polishes in Honour of Baby Cambridge

So unless you've been living under a massive rock you will know that here in England we have had a royal birth.  That's right Kate and William (aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) have had their first child and future king, George Alexander Louis.  To celebrate this lovely event I thought I would gather some of my favourite blue nail polishes to celebrate the birth of this already famous little boy.

I have gathered quite a collection in a variety of finishes and shades of blue.  They range in price from eye watering OPIs to the wonderfully purse friendly Barry Ms.  I was somewhat horrified to find that I owned quite so many shades of blue, shamefully this isn't all of them, just my favourites.  I need to go on a spending ban, that much is quite obvious.  However in searching through my collection I have found two dupes for you, I knew my hoarding collecting would come in useful at some point.

Here are all the colours that I selected.  Starting from the top and continuing clockwise:

Denim by Barry M is a wonderfully glittery matte navy.  This colour really is quite unique in my collection (which considering it's size is a real achievement).  The colour is stunning and the formula is amazing as always.  Quite a few Barry Ms appear in this list as they really are incredible for the price.

Blueberry Ice-Cream by Barry M is a lovely pale sky blue.  Not unique but the superb formula and price make this a wonderful addition to any collection.

Up All Night by China Glaze is a shimmering dark blue, almost the glossy equivalent of Denim.  I have also managed to find a near dupe for this colour - Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Navy Baby.

Navy Baby is ever so slightly darker but also has the magical shimmer that makes Up All Night so special. From a distance you wouldn't be able to tell them apart and you certainly don't need both of these.  In terms of formula I slightly prefer the Sally Hansen but I know some people dislike the wide brush.

Kendall on the Catwalk by Nicole for OPI is a spectacular blue, green and purple glitter explosion.  I like to wear this when I am living out my mermaid fantasies.  I really gorgeous colour whose only fault is a stupidly shaped bottle and the fact that it is a pain in the bum to remove.

Rue Montmatre by L'oreal is a greyed out dark blue that almost verges on purple.  I really do love this colour, its dark without being too vampy.

Sea Spray by China Glaze is a beautiful pale grey with a blue hue.  This is a lovely colour with a tan and is a sneaky work colour.  Subtle and elegant without giving the dreaded mannequin hands.

Serpentine Road by Nails Inc is an amazing shimmering bright blue which seems to be lit from within. Gorgeous, that's the only word for it.

The Sky's the Limit by Sally Hansen is a bright blue that verges on turquoise.  A lovely bright summery colour.

Bobbing for Baubles by Essie is a dark almost black blue colour.  Very vampy and sexy.

Lorelei's Tiara by China Glaze is a mixture of silver and light blue glitters and another colour with a cheaper dupe - Sally Hansen's Gem Crush in Showgirl Chic.

As you can see they are practically identical.  Showgirl Chic has slightly more blue particles which I personally prefer.  They are both wonderful though - particularly nice as a snowy winter polish.

Cobalt Blue by Barry M is the standard primary bright blue colour, it is so vibrant and lovely for these summer months.

Thinking of Blue by Sally Hansen is a slightly darker blue and not as vibrant, slightly more subtle.

Bikini So Teeny by Essie is a pale blue with tiny (practically invisible) silver glitters.  I wish the glitter was more visible but it is still a lovely colour.

Road House Blues by OPI is a dark navy which leans a little purple.  

Cyan Blue by Barry M is a bright light blue, a really fun colour,

Paris Avenues by L'oreal is a dark grey which looks blue in the light.  I love this one, I will have to get a back up bottle just in case (L'oreal's bottles are too tiny).

First Mate by China Glaze is another classic blue colour with a wonderful formula.  This is from the 2011 Anchors Away collection which is one of my favourite ever collections.

Queensgate Terrace by Nails Inc is the perfect cornflower blue, this one is so pretty and girly it makes me want to skip through meadows and pick wildflowers.

So those are my picks for baby blue nails.  What are you favourite blue nail polishes?  Are you celebrating the prince's birth?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Travalo - not just for perfume

Travalos (Travali?) are one of my favourite ever finds.  I think I bought my first one in October of last year and I soon bought a second.  For a while I was really happy with my set up, I had one in my bag filled with 'day-time' perfume and I had another that I could put in my clutch bag which I filled with my favourite 'night-time' perfume.  So that's how it stayed, I flitted between my two travalos and it was a wonderful system. Until  I had an idea about how to pack my toiletries efficiently for trips away.

So I went online and stalked the Fragrance Direct and Cheap Smells websites (my favourites for beauty bargains .  In the end I bought the following from Cheap Smells: a set of pink and gold travalos, a clear travalo with a black lid and a clear travalo with a purple lid.  So I ended up with four travalos (more than I had planned on, but when the internet shopping monsters comes out it me it is hard to control) for under £30.  A bit of a bargain I think.

The two clear travalos are going to be used for something a bit special - skincare.  I wanted a way to easily see the difference between perfume and skincare bottles and I thought the clear ones would serve this purpose well.  Nobody wants a face full of perfume.  The one with the black lid has been filled with my favourite toner of the moment - This Works 5 in 1 water.  The one with the purple lid is for my Urban Decay all-nighter spray, and yes I did buy the purple lidded one because it matched the UD colours - I'm that sad.

I love my new system, much better than travel spray bottles, takes up far less space and is more than adequate for short trips away.  As always the travalos are easy as pie to fill up and wonderfully simple to use.  I'm so glad I have done this, and I'm pretty sure this won't be the end of my travalo buying days.

Have you got a travalo?  Do you love it as much as I love mine?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Selfridges Festival Beauty Box

You may remember me mentioning a rather naughty Selfridges haul and all of the lovely goodies it contained.

As promised I am going to show you the contents of the Festival Beauty Box and give you my first impressions of each of the items.

Here you can see all of the things that I found within the box, a bit of a bargain at £25 I think, especially as the value of all of the items is £110.  Also as a slight aside the background for each of these photos is in fact my favourite dress of the moment, I bought it when Dorothy Perkins started their sale and I have been loving wearing since the sun has come out.  You can find it here for only £15, it really is quite beautiful.  Anyway, back to the beauty...

First up a definite essential at festivals, wipes! These do smell good but I'm not totally sure I would chose these over any other brand.  I am a big believer in massive packs of Johnson's baby wipes, I use them all the time.

Next up we have a stunningly beautiful glitter nail polish in 'Champagne'.  Azature made headlines last year with their extortionate ($250,000) real diamond nail varnish.  This bottle apparently also contains a diamond which is super fancy, if a little pointless, if you ask me.  However this colour is has completely sold it to me.  It reminds me of China Glaze's 'I herd that' - I'll have to do a comparison post for you all.

Next up is a massive disappointment, I have always had Topshop makeup on my wishlist but never got around to purchasing anything.  I was really excited for this as I love matte lips at the moment and this looked like a nice natural lip colour.  However...this is horribly drying on my lips, it exaggerates every tiny flaw.  I could live with that if I loved the colour but I don't I hate it.  Instead of a nice natural colour it comes out as a garish barbie pink which looks horrendous on me.  It reminds me of bad lipstick from the 80's - not good.  I'm going to try to find a loving home for this but honestly I think I might struggle.

This lipgloss has a similar colour and as such is equally unsuitable for my colouring and my tastes.  However the formula on this is much nicer.  I would look in to other colours in the range but if I'm honest I'm not a massive lipgloss fan.

These look fab, I cannot wait to have an occasion to wear these.  If only my uni days weren't behind me.  Ah well only a few months until Halloween.  Ideas on how I can incorporate these into an outfit will be much appreciated.  

Antibacterial hand gels are always handy (no pun intended) so this will happily live in by bag.  I usually swear by the Soap and Glory 'Hand Maid' but this smells just as good and claims to be hydrating.  I have high hopes so hopefully it can live up to the claims.

I was very excited for this, I have been loving the trend for pastel hair.  Unfortunately I have very dark brown hair so I'm not sure if this will show up, I'll do a full review soon.  I really do hope that it does work as I would love to rock some pink streaks this summer, or maybe pink dip dyed tips...the possibilities are endless.

This is an item I have used and loved previously.  The Eyeko skinny liners are fab, go on easily and last for ages.  I bought one years ago and loved it however when I went to repurchase I saw that the prices had been hiked up by quite a bit alongside their re-brand.  Feeling stubborn I decided to resist but I am happy to have it back in my life (and makeup bag).  On the other hand there are lots of liners of the high street that are equally nice so I would never buy this at retail price.

This is an item that helped sell the box to me.  It is a beautiful Illamasqua cream shadow in 'Surge'.  This is stunning, I will definitely be using this a lot this summer.  A beautiful smokey silver colour.  If this is the standard of Illamasqua products I will definitely be invested in some other pieces.

I can imagine this glitter stick being really fun to use at a festival, but for me I think it might be one of the dressing up box.  I really wish it was more acceptable to wear large amounts of glitter on a daily basis...maybe I'll try to spear head the campaign.

This coconut cooling spray may become my new best friend this summer.  I love coconut and I like the idea of it contains lots of nice natural things.  I'll be spritz, spritz, spritzing away.

Overall I am really happy with this box, although some things aren't for me I have also discovered lots of brands and items that I had't tried before.  My favourite items are the Illamasqua cream eyeshadow, the coconut cooling spray and the Azature nail polish.  A lovely to plan a festival trip for next summer.

You can find the Selfridges Festival Box here for only £25.  But you'd better hurry if you're interested its limited edition and with gems like these inside I cannot believe it will be around for long.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Selfridges Haul - Exclusives and Limited Editions

So I've been a bit naughty.  I may have stumbled across some limited edition items on and then some wonderful yellow boxes may have appeared at my house.  Tut tut.

Such beautiful packages.  Warning: everything I bought is limited edition and exclusive to Selfridges so credit cards at the ready if you want to get your beauty obsessed hands on these gems.

Here they are...

First of all I got the limited edition candle for Bourjois' 150th anniversary.  I remember being obsessed with the round pot eye shadows during my teens, I thought they were the height of sophistication.  

This little candle comes in a ceramic/glass holder and has a picture of the iconic Babette (The original Bourjois muse from the 20's).  This thing smells amazing just like their blushes and also exactly like parma violets.  I have spent a strange amount of time sniffing it, though I have yet to light it.  I plan on using the holder a way of storage cotton buds or some such beauty item.  If I''m honest I bought it more for that than for its candle properties.  This was £9.99 and can be found here.  

The next item I bought was the Kissing Make-up bag designed by Charlotte Tilbury.  I love all of the famous lips that adorn one side and the phrase on the other side makes me giggle every time I read it.  

If I'm honest I have no need for another make-up bag but I fell in love with it.  Plus it was designed for the charity Kids Company, so really I didn't have a choice.  Right?   It has a zip that comes a long way around so it can be opened up really wide which is so handy when sods law strikes and the thing you want is waaaayyyyyy at the bottom of your bag.  This cost just £15.00 (for a good cause) and can be found here

The last item I ordered was the Selfridges Festival Beauty Box.  This little baby is full of lots of goodies to see you through the collision of music and mud that is the festival season.  The retail price of all the beauty items in this box is £110 but Selfridges is treating us to the whole lot for only £25 and you can find it here.  After weighing up what I was and wasn't interested in I decided the numbers were on my side and that this was a bit of a bargain.  In this lovely yellow box there is: Topshop lip crayon in Powder Room, Sol de Janeiro Coconut Water Cooling Mist, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Navy, Coloursmash Hair Shadow, Violent Lips Lip Appliques in Warm Rainbow, Illamasqua Liquid Metal metallic cream, Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Moxie lip gloss, Azature nail polish in Champagne, Cowshed anti-bacterial hand gel, NPW mini scented hand & face wet wipes and a NPW chubby glitter stick.  I will be doing a full post on this box soon and will be give you my first opinions on each product.

So that's my little haul.  I can honestly say I love everything I bought.  It came to about £55 with postage and packing and came ridiculously quickly.  I couldn't be more impressed by my first online Selfridges shopping experience.

Have you bought any of these things?  What do you think of them?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Glossybox July 2013 - Seaside Splash

I have received quite a few Glossyboxes now and I'll admit I go from being thrilled one month to being very underwhelmed (Can you ever just be whelmed? - name that film) the next.  I suppose that is the gamble you take with boxes like these.

So boring details first.  Glossyboxes cost £10 plus £2.95 for postage and packaging.  However you can make savings if you pay for more than a month at a time.  If you do want to look at the different subscription options you can find them here.

To go with the recent heatwave that England has been enjoying Glossybox is beach themed.

 Can we all just take a minute to appreciate how freaking gorgeous this box is!  Even the tissue paper is beautiful!  I wish every month looked like this.  I'm not a massive fan of pink but bright colour like this totally float my boat.  Also fact of the day I actually lived in the Caribbean for a while as child so I have a massive love of the ocean and coral reefs in particular.  To the point that, as part of my undergraduate degree, I gave a presentation about saving the coral reefs.  The poster I made to go along with it had a colour scheme freakishly similar to this.  Anyway I digress.  Onto the products...

Ila Spa's Face Oil for Glowing Radiance.  This is a tiny 1.75ml vial of a sample so I'm not sure how I am meant to know if it works or not.  It will probably end up in my draw of minis waiting for my next holiday. The full size retails for an amazing £75.00 for only 30ml.  It does mean that the poultry amount I received is worth £4.40.  Mental.   I'd give this a 2/5

Alterna Haircare's Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist.  Now this I was very excited to see I have naturally curly hair and a naturally lazy mentally when it comes to styling my hair.  I've always been intrigued by the idea of salt sprays but never got round to invested in one  (laziness strikes again).  I will definitely be trying this out this summer and report back.  This is a decent 25ml sample, the full size costs £23.00 for 125ml making this bottle worth £4.60.  This one gets a 4/5

Inecto Pure Coconut Refreshing Dry Shampoo.  I nice addition to a box.  I'm not a massive user of dry shampoo but it will probably come in handy over summer.  Plus this one smells amazing.  Coconut is one of favourite scents so I will happily use this just to give my hair a spritz of coconutty goodness.  This is a full size item at 150ml and retails for £2.49, so if I do like it I can repurchase as a bargain price.  A middle of the road 3/5.

Coola Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented.  I was glad to see this, I like the idea of a tinted sun tan lotion, I am very naughty when it comes to sun protection and I need to develop better habits before I wake up and look 50 when I'm only 23.  That is my vow for this summer - I will not forget about SPFs.  I will be letting you know how I get on with this, if it's nice it could become a summer staple for me.  The only downside is taht the sample size is a bit on the stingy side it's only 7mls.  The full size is an eye watering £29.99 for 50ml making this tiny tube worth £4.20.  A potentially good 3/5.

Last but certainly not least is a Ciate Paint Pot in Island Hopping.  First - Awesome name, Second - is this not the most beautiful summer colour?  This is actually my first Ciate nail polish and I am thinking I may become a convert.  It is so lovely,  a beautiful pink/ orange colour with gorgeous sparkles of orange and gold.  It's like a sunset on my nails.  Amazing.  A stunning 5/5.

Overall I would say that this box has knocked my socks off (or would have it I was wearing some and it wasn't so freakishly hot).  Its for boxes like these that I stay subscribed.  Overall I would give it a 4/5

Did you get this months glossybox?  What was your favourite item?

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The blogger previously known as stressed out

I am the blogger previously known as stressed out.  The last 6 months have been more hectic than any other period in my life.  I am currently doing a postgraduate course (only 2 weeks to go) and have been trying to juggle uni work, placement work, old friends and new friends and not going stir crazy.  Unfortunately the thing which slipped was this here blog, my precious little corner of the interwebs.

I love blogging and receiving your comments.  What I didn't want was to feel that posting was an obligation or a chore when I had so many other (pretty boring) things on my plate.

But...I'm back now, I'm only 2 weeks from finishing uni forever and I have loads of amazing things to tell you about.  I have so much lined up, I feel like taking a break has made me all the more eager to write.  Got them creative juices flowing, oh yeah.

In the next month expect to see:
The I heart Summer TAG
My top 10 summer beauty items under £10 
My favourite nail colours for summer
My how to on brush washing
My favourite lip colours for summer

and much more.

I am so glad to be back.  If you have any posts you would like to see let me know.  Love you all xxx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Battle of the Beauty Boxes - January 2013

Welcome to my comparison of January's Glossybox and Birchbox (previously known as Joliebox).  I have done full reviews of each box but I thought it would be interesting to see which box deem to be better each month.

Let us begin...

In all photos Glossybox is on the left and Birchbox is on the right.  Here you can the full contents and packaging   I prefer the packaging of Birchbox, the drawstring bag and magazine mean they get the point for this round.  

Glossybox: 0
Birchbox: 1

They both came with rubbishy freebies this month.  On the basis that I may be able to give away the teabags whereas I don't think anyone would want a polyester eye mask Birchbox wins the points yet again.

Glossybox: 0
Birchbox: 2

The worst products in both boxes were body lotions.  However the sample in the Glossybox is bigger so I feel I will get more use out of it.  Therefore Glossybox wins the point.

Glossybox: 1
Birchbox: 2

The best products were a Monu Mask in Glossybox and a Fresh lip treatment   Although I am really happy to receive both of these I almost squealed with delight when I saw a Fresh product.  Therefore I have to give the point to Birchbox.  

Glossybox: 1
Birchbox: 3

This month Birchbox wins happily.  Having said that I am happy with the contents of both boxes.

I can't wait to see what next month's beauty boxes bring.

Birchbox/Joliebox - January 2013

This is the third Joliebox that I have received, however this month Joliebox became Birchbox.  I liked the first two boxes but this month's has blown them both out of the water.

So boring details first.  Birchboxes cost £10 plus £2.95 for postage and packaging.  However you can make savings if you pay for more than a month at a time.  If you do want to look at the different subscription options you can find them here.

So what was in this months box?

For the first ever Birchbox they decided upon the theme of 'fresh starts' which obviously goes perfectly with the start of the new year as well.

I am really glad that Birchbox decided to continue with the drawstring bags and the magazine.  These are the things that set them apart of other beauty boxes in my humble opinion.

Chamomile Flower Tea from Teapigs: I'm not a fan of 'lifestyle extras' because lets be honest - this is a teabag.  its not exciting or glamourous, its just a teabag.  Plus to add insult to injury I don't even drink tea and neither do anyone in my family so I fear this may end up either in a cupboard for years or in the bin.  I really hate wasting things so I'd rather just not receive things like this.

Deep Massage Body Cream with Myrrh from I Coloniali: I always feel a bit miffed when I get sachets of things like body cream.  I don't know about anyone else but this tiny sachet is not enough to cover my body let alone make a decision about whether or not I would repurchase this.  The packaging is lovely though.  A 1/5 on first impressions.

Taaj Crème Mains Delhicates Hand Cream from Taaj:  I was really pleased to see this.  I love getting hand cream samples as they are perfect to have in my handbags.  Plus Taaj is a brand that makes me happy - products that work, natural ingredients and packaging that is simplistically beautiful.  A 3/5 for this one.

KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry from KMS California:   I am ashamed to say that I have never tried KMS products before.  This smells lovely, like when you go into the hairdressers.  This is meant to make your hair dry faster whilst you are blow drying it.  Unfortunately I don't blow dry my hair so I'm not sure how much use I will get out of this for that reason it gets a 2/5 from me.

WEI Jujube Age Control Serum from WEI: I have always been curious about WEI as a brand so I was happy to see this.  I do like using serums but at 22 I'm not sure if I need one with 'age control'.  At least I hope I don't.  I'm still excited to try this out though.  I'd give it a 3/5.

Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment from Fresh:  This is the absolute stand out in my opinion.  I have wanted to try Fresh lip treatments for ages but they always seemed very pricey.  I was glad to get a tinted version as it makes it that bit more useful than usual lip balm.  The packaging on this is divine and I personally like the scent.  I think I would almost have been happy to receive this alone.  A massive 4/5 for this little gem.

Overall I'd give this box a 4/5.  If this is a sign of things to come from Birchbox I am very excited.

You can see all the things that could have been in the box here.

Glossybox - January 2013

This is the second Glossybox I have received, if I'm honest the reason I first subscribed was because I was hoping for a really fab Christmas box.  I liked the December box but I wasn't blown away.  I definitely like this months box more.

So boring details first.  Glossyboxes cost £10 plus £2.95 for postage and packaging.  However you can make savings if you pay for more than a month at a time.  If you do want to look at the different subscription options you can find them here.

So what was in this months box?

This month, to go with January promises, Glossybox was Detox themed.  I thought this was a really nice theme to have at this time of the year.

So these are the contents of the box, as always the box is beautifully packaged.

First I am going to start with a bit of a moan.  I really don't like it when beauty boxes put in 'extras'.  I don't like wasting things but I really don't see when I will want a polyester eye mask.  If the things they included were better quality I would love it but I don't want to receive cheap extras that will just end up in the bin.  Rant over.

Super Strong Daily Conditioner from Paul Mitchell: On a more positive note I was pleased to receive this conditioner.  I am always happy to try new conditioners especially if they promise to sort out my damaged hair.  I'd give it a 3/5 on first impressions.

Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash from Elemis: This was another product I was excited to see.  I like Elemis as a brand and am always happy to try their products.  On first impressions i would give this a 4/5.

Body lotion from Duck Island: This was a strange one as I had never heard of the brand before.  Plus I am terribly lazy when it comes to body lotions so this didn't blow me away.  It does smells quite nice though, I just couldn't decide if it looked a little too much like the toiletries you find in hotel bathrooms.  For me this was a 2/5 on first impressions and probably the weakest item in the box.

Lip Balm from Jason: Another brand I had never heard of. I am always happy to have extra lip balms especially if they involve natural ingredients.  It wasn't an exciting product but it will get used.  A 2/5 from me for this one.

Aromatic Mask from Monu: This was my favourite item in the box.  I have wanted to try Monu products for ages and I love face masks so this was a winner for me.  This will hopefully help my poor winter skin recover.  A strong 4/5 

Overall a fairly good box, I would give it a 3/5.

If you want to see what else could have been in the January box you can have a sneaky peak here.