Wednesday, 30 January 2013

REVIEW: Naked Skin Blinking Lovely Eye Make Up Remover (★★★★☆)

Okay, I confess: I am lazy when it comes to taking my make up off. I'm all for grabbing a Simple Cleansing Wipe, especially since they are often on offer (3 for £5) and they're just so convenient. However, I do realise that these types of wipes can leave some make up residue (waterproof mascara, oh my days!) and aren't the best solution to rid your skin of your artwork.

I'm not gonna lie, I still find myself going for a Simple wipe on my really lazy days or when I'm away for the weekend. Nonetheless, I got myself an eye make up remover for the purpose of getting rid of that extra stubborn gel liner and mascara.

Whilst browsing Superdrug a few months ago, I stumbled upon the Naked Skin Blinking Lovely Eye Make Up Remover and I was instantly attracted by the product description and the cute packaging.

Naked Skin Blinking Lovely Eye Make Up Remover (for sensitive eyes)
Naked Skin Blinking Lovely Eye Make Up Remover (available here, currently on offer for £2.99)

Naked claims that
The hills are alive with alpine herbs! These fresh air fanatics tone and refresh tired eyes. Meanwhile witch hazel and aloe vera help to cool (a bit like the T-birds but without the greasiness). Our eye make up remover has been clinically tested for sensitive skin, is dermatologically tested, fragrance free and alcohol free.
How cute is that description? I'm glad to say that it's not just a marketing gag. This product does a great job at removing those traces of mascara. I usually put a generous amount onto a cotton pad, softly press it onto my eye area, wait a few seconds, and then gently wipe my make up off. For eyeliner and mascara left overs, I soak a cotton bud in the product and use it along my lash line.

Naked Skin Blinking Lovely Eye Make Up Remover (for sensitive eyes)

It really is great for sensitive eyes. I originally bought this product as my eyes were suffering from horrible sore patches caused by the dry winter weather and I didn't want to irritate my skin even more. The Naked range almost entirely relies on natural ingredients, in this case alpine herbs, aloe vera and witch hazel—with the exception of preservatives keeping the product from going off all too soon.

So far, so good. I only have one thing to moan about... the quality of the packaging. Whilst packing for a weekend away, planning on taking this with me, I thought I'd make sure that the lid was on nice and tight. Unfortunately, I ended up breaking the screw-on bit of the lid, resulting in me not being able to close the bottle properly. Thus, I won't be taking this one anywhere. I did a bit of research and Naked admits that 'the appearance of these bottles is slightly flawed; they have a greenish/brown tings and [...] may look poor quality. The truth is quite contrary as recycled materials are a more expensive option and great time and care is taken in sourcing them.'

Fair enough. Maybe I handled the bottle too brutally, but then I'm only a little, weak, 5'2'' girl. Anyhow, I'm marking the product down slightly, which means this one is getting 4 stars from me.

What do you use to remove your make up? Do you rely on cleansing wipes or make up removers?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dorothy Perkins jewellery haul... thank you, Mr Boyfriend

This weekend was supposed to be a lazy, let's-stay-in-bed-and-watch-tv-all-day kind of weekend. However, the Mister and I spontaneously decided to go out for lunch... and then do a little bit of shopping. Good bye, new years resolutions. My 'eat out and shop less' resolution was soon forgotten.

Well, technically I didn't spend any money... The Boyfriend was very generous and decided to treat me to my lovely finds in the Dorothy Perkins jewellery sale.

£6.50 £1

£8.50 £2

£14 £3

£5 £2

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Chop, chop... new hair cut

I needed a change. My hair just got too long, and whilst I adore long locks I believe that they don't really suit me. They make me look a lot younger than I am.

I decided to keep my hair long, but manageable. One thing I disliked about my long hair was the fact that I couldn't do anything with it. Weird, I know: you'd think that the possibilities are endless. However, I'd spend twenty minutes on a blowout only to then look like blah. All I could do to make it look 'done' and like I made an effort was curl it or put it in a bun.

That's why I wanted a cut that would look good straight as well, without losing too much length.

New shorter hair cut

I think my hairdresser got it just right. Finally I decided to get a semi-fringe cut in as well, i.e. two shorter strands in the front to frame my face a little.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and I'm excited to wear my hair curly too! My hair looks thicker now (my hair has thinned so much over the last year) and most of all, a lot healthier. I just needed to chop off those long, damaged and thin ends.

Are any of you considering going shorter for a change?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Button Swap!

I've only just discovered the button swapping phenomenon and decided to give it a go. If you are interested in swapping buttons, please do get in touch!

 I will be putting your button in my sidebar in exchange for you displaying my button for a month.

There's a code in the sidebar up for grabs!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blogger Design Service

In case you haven't spotted it already, I'll announce it properly: I am now offering custom Blogger designs

There are many designers out there offering to create your blog layout, however most of them are very expensive. Some creators ask for as much as $300 for a design!

I believe that I can offer you the same quality at a reasonable price. Here are the details:

Teal saran wrap (cling film) nails... my first attempt

Until a few minutes ago I had no idea that 'saran wrap' is not some Arabic term for something fancy or exotic. In fact, it's what the Brits call cling film, but I'll admit that saran wrap sounds way cooler.

Anyhow, it'd be more accurate to call the following experiment Boots plastic bag nails, because that's what I had lying around and inspired me to give this nail art technique a go.

Teal saran wrap nails with dabs of gold 

I have to say I am quite pleased with the result, and while at first I was aiming for a jade stone inspired look, it turned out to be something a lot more random. But I like it!

I used a teal nail varnish as a base (Manhattan, a European brand available in Germany), followed by a dark blue varnish for the stamping (also Manhattan, in 'Ultra Quarz') and a few dabs of gold (Peggy Sage in Nr 485 'Scintillant Beige').

Teal saran wrap nails with dabs of gold

I realise that this is essentially a European manicure in the sense that all these nail varnishes are exclusive to the continent and not available in the UK. However there are similar (if not identical) varnishes around if you wanted to recreate this look.

Have you tried saran wrap nails?

Friday, 18 January 2013

REVIEW: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (★★★☆☆)

My dry and flaky winter skin demanded some TLC, so upon reaching December I thought I'd get myself a new moisturiser.

At the time I happened to be Christmas shopping and popped into The Body Shop. I stumbled upon the Vitamin E Moisture Cream and—admittedly lured in by the pretty pink/black packaging—I thought I'd give it a go.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream
The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (50ml), available online.

I really believe that this moisturiser's fragrance is identical to the classic Nivea Creme, so I had a nice nostalgic moment when I first opened it. The texture on the other hand is different: slightly lighter, a little less creamy. So far, so good.

The Body Shop describes this product as their 'bestselling daily moisturiser' which 'hydrates skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.' Furthermore:
  • Hydrates and protects
  • Light and easily absorbed
  • Leaves skin soft and healthy-looking
The moisturiser does a fairly good job at moisturising, provided that you use it twice a day. My skin tends to get flaky near my hair line and around my nose. At times I'd find myself randomly reapplying some of this a couple of times a day, because it seemed like my flaky patches needed another boost of moisture.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream

It is relatively light, but not the lightest. It does absorb quickly; in fact you have to move fast if you want to avoid massaging over sticky patches on your face! I find that when I apply it, it absorbs quickly, but not easily, if that makes any sense. My skin feels sticky for a minute before it starts to feel soft. Put in simple terms: I find it a little difficult to apply.

I have mixed feelings about this product's moisturising abilities. Applied once a day, it would improve the overall moisture balance of my face, yet not enough to help me get rid of flakiness. Applied morning and night, my t-zone actually started getting a little greasy, which I'm not really a fan of. I'd say that if you have overall super dry skin, and love the classic Nivea smell, give this one a go.

Anyhow. Well... it's okay. I honestly don't think it deserves the numerous 5 star reviews on the official website. I am convinced that there is better stuff out there... even if I haven't found it yet. I'm ashamed to admit that moisturisers are usually at the bottom of my beauty priority list so it might be a while until I find my holy grail product. At £10 (£8 in the outlet) I think that this product is a little too pricey. There is nothing too luxurious about it, and it's comparable to drugstore moisturisers.

It's a decent product, but I doubt I will be repurchasing it. Maybe one of the other The Body Shop moisturisers is better suited for me! Three stars.


What's your daily moisturiser, ladies?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

REVIEW: Enrapture Encode Totem Styler (★★★★★)

People rarely see me with straight hair. Funnily enough, my hair used to be curly in my teenage years, and from one day to the next it went straight again. Whilst at the time I was straightening it nearly every day (in vain), I am now doing the complete opposite and rarely leave the house without curls.

Anyhow, the point is I like curls. Curls curls curls. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, there's curls! I am struggling to think of any characters in my favourite tv series who do not wear their hair curly. Nope, not one.

As you might expect from a curling-junkie, I own a variety of hair tools designed for that purpose. Hence I'm a sucker for anything that is slightly innovative (the Babyliss Waving Wand for instance).

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler

I had heard only little of the Enrapture Encode Totem Styler. Lily from ETC LLYMLRS mentioned a few months ago but I have to admit that the price put me off buying it. Already owning a variety of curling irons I just couldn't justify spending £75 on another curling iron.

When I discovered it on sale for £30 on Amazon however, I simply couldn't help myself—a few clicks later the Totem Styler was on its way to me.

Now, you ask, how is this curling iron different from all the others on the market? Well, whereas most hair tools (Babyliss etc.) have ceramic barrels the Totem Styler is made of polished titanium which, Enrapture promises, creates 'snag free shiny curls'.

However, what really makes this tool so unique is:
  1. the 'mini flipper'/clamp, which allows you to use the Totem Styler as both a traditional curling as well as a curling wand,
  2. the 'encoder dial' controlling the temperature of three independent heat zones
Meaning, the barrel is divided into three separate zones, all of which can be set to heat up to different temperatures. The lower the temperature, the looser the curl; the higher the temperature the tighter the curl. Thus various code combinations achieve different results, from loose waves to tight ringlets.

Apart from coming in the most gorgeous packaging the tool really does feel luxurious. It is quite heavy, I admit, but styling your hair with it is so easy you won't have to suffer any arm injuries!

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler

The Totem Styler comes with a pouch for storage purposes and manuals. No heat-resistant glove, unfortunately. Being the clumsiest girl on the planet I live by the 'better safe than sorry' philosophy when it comes to playing with hot tools, so I wear the gloves that came with my two Babyliss wands (yes, I wear gloves on both hands. Both. That's how clumsy I am).

Okay, let me tell you: this tool is amazing. So far, I have only used it a couple of times (codes 1-1-1 and 1-2-2) but I am loving it.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

REVIEW: Essie's "Pennytalk", a unique metallic varnish (★★★☆☆)

Essie's "Pennytalk" has been on my beauty wish list for quite a while. As I was browsing the web just after Christmas (unwilling to face the sales in town) I thought I'd look for this gorgeous metallic. I got lucky and managed to find "Pennytalk" for £5. What a steal!

Essie "Pennytalk", one coat

"Pennytalk" is an extremely pigmented copper. Depending on the light, it appears rose gold. I only needed one coat of this varnish to get good coverage, so I'm impressed.

The thing that bothers me is that it is a little tricky to apply. I thought I'd done a good job until it dried up and looked a bit streaky. But maybe I was just too quick... Patience must be the key for this one. Moreover, it already chipped a little the very next day, despite top coat. Not ideal.

This is my very first Essie varnish, but I am likely to be getting more as I am happy with this one. I thought that "Pennytalk" would make a nice addition to my nail varnish collection because I don't own anything like it. I think the colour works all year round—the metallic shine is gorgeous over the dark winter months, yet it's brightness will also be gorgeous in the summer. Win win.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

[CLOSED] Offer / 'Giveaway': Free custom Blogger layout!

Today I would like to announce something rather exciting: I am giving away a custom Blogger layout for your blog!

I am just starting up a little design service, and would like to offer one of you a taste of what I can do.

A custom layout by me is all-inclusive. I will be designing your blog according to your wishes (header, colour scheme, other graphics, ...) and provide the CSS coding.

If you are interested, comment on this post and...
  1. ... provide a link to your blog,
  2. and tell me why you think I should design your blog.
 Good luck!

Oh happy days! The Enrapture Encode Totem Styler

Oh, the smile on my face when I picked this up from the post room earlier! I cannot wait to try this one out.

Review coming very soon!

The Enrapture Encode Totem Stylermore information on their website

Sunday, 6 January 2013

REVIEW: Goody Spin Pin... Dupe! (★★★★★)

Today I have an amazing little find for you. I popped into Primark last week and stumbled upon a true gem.

Some of you might have heard about the Goody Spin Pins available at Boots. They describe the product as follows:
Create a top knot, bun or chic side bun without the need for bobbypins with the Goody® Simple Styles™ Spin Pin.
Sounds good, right? However, the price for two pins is £5.49. I found an exact duplicate in Primark for an amazing £1.50!

Goody Spin Pin Dupe
The secret behind these strange looking hairpins (corkscrew, anyone?) is that they are twisted into your bun in order to hold it in place. Twist and shape your hair into a bun, then simply spin in one of the pins from the top of your bun and the other from the bottom (click here for video instructions).

The big advantage of the spin pins is that they sit comfortably on your head whilst holding the bun in place. I often find standard bobby pins irritating because they tend to press against my scalp or unnecessarily pull at my hair. However this isn't an issue at all with the spin pins. Moreover, if placed correctly, the spin pins are completely invisible!

The original is available in various colours to match your hair. The Primark ones come in the bronze colour pictured above only, but since they are invisible it doesn't really matter, does it?

At £1.50, these are definitely a steal and will save you on those can't-be-bothered and bad-hair days.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

REVIEW: Tangle Teezer (★★★★★)

I'm fairly late jumping on the bandwagon, but I've finally been introduced to the wonder that is the Tangle Teezer. Back in 2007, creator Shaun Pulfrey first pitched his product in the BBC series Dragon's Den. Rejected by the "dragons", Shaun eventually became lucky and ended up selling his unique product to Boots.

I'd been planning on buying this hairbrush promising "rapid, pain-free detangling" for months now, but being a cheap student I couldn't justify spending £10.99 on a hairbrush.

However, let me tell you, ladies—how wrong I was! I was lucky enough to have a very beauty savvy family member give me a Tangle Teezer for Christmas. I was so pleasantly surprised, I thought my boyfriend had been telling people what to get me!

Tangle Teezer
Tangle Teezer in "Purple Glitter", available at Boots online and in-store. 

This little baby does everything it claims: it detangles almost painlessly. Anyone with long hair will know what I'm on about. Brushing your long mane is usually an excruciating experience, but not anymore. My long-hair-frustrations are finally over, and maybe I won't chop off those few inches as planned after all.

After trying out the Tangle Teezer, I now wish I'd bought this little gem months ago. Definitely worth the £10.99.

In case you're interested in watching Shaun's pitch, click here for the 2007 Dragon's Den episode on Youtube. The investors didn't see the potential of the Tangle Teezer, but luckily for us Shaun has realised his dream anyway.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Best of 2012: non-beauty

It's unhealthy to dwell on the past, but I thought it'd be nice to look back at some of the things I enjoyed in 2012.

 Clockwise: Ted, Revenge, Lana Del Rey, Kathryn Stockett's The Help

(Image credits: ABCUniversal, Amazon, Complex Magazine)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Done my hair up real big beauty queen style

My friends know that I am completely obsessed with Lana Del Rey. Not only do I adore her music, but I've entirely fallen in love with her! She is incredibly gorgeous, and the first thing about her that caught my eye was her hair.

About a month ago I decided to take the plunge and dye my hair the signature "Lana auburn/ginger", and the stylist did an absolutely fantastic job.

Pretty accurate, huh? Even though I have had this colour for a while now I am still getting used to it. It's a nice change from my standard dark brunette. The four hour long process was definitely worth it!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New blog design! Plus: more new things to come

New year, new motivations. I'm currently really busy (still) with my final year at university, but I'm planning on having a few new posts up on here very soon. Watch this spot!

I would love to hear your feedback on the new blog design. It took days to be coded to perfection!
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