Saturday 30 June 2012

Welcome To Loserville

Shirt - New Look / Jumper - H&M / Skirt - H&M / Jacket - Primark / Bag - Zara / Necklace - River Island
Brooches - Stolen Thunder & Helpless Romantic / Rings - ASOS & Regal Rose

This is what I wore last week when I went to see Loserville the musical at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. One thing you might not know about me is that I used to be a die-hard Busted fan. My friends & I would stalk them everywhere. We even used to get drunk on the train at 7am before CD:UK recordings so we wouldn't seem quite so lame on the off chance that they would speak to us. Ahh the logic of 16 year olds... I digress but the point is that even after all this time they still hold a special place in my heart. So when I heard that James was making a musical based on some of the songs by his second band Son Of Dork, I knew I had to go see it. It told the story of a geek called Michael Dork who is trying to invent e-mail in the 1970s. It doesn't sound like the best plot ever but it definitely made for a really fun musical and brought new life to songs that I never really paid attention to. The best part was that Lil' Chris is one of the stars! I bloody love Lil' Chris and still listen to Checkin' It Out all the time haha! The whole cast were amazing actually. Gareth Gates was pretty good too even if he does look really old these days! I think its only on for another two weeks but you should definitely go check it out if you're in the area. I left with a huge smile on my face & keep finding myself singing along to all the songs.

I popped into Topshop on the way home and now I am desperate for some of their new shoes. I really want these three pairs. I secretly hated the Vectra shoes for the longest time and never got the appeal but the new canvas versions are amazing. I am poor though so help me decide which ones to get! Surely three pairs of studded shoes is overkill anyway?

Friday 29 June 2012

New Nails: imPress Press-On Manicure TGIF

False nail sets aren't normally something that I find to be particularly interesting. I tend to be loyal to my Nailene Petite Square falsies as they give me the freedom to do all the nail art that I want. But I was having a browse in Boots the other day and these babies caught my eye. Isn't the pattern just divine? I can't stop looking at them. They're really striking yet elegant and I've been having compliments on them all week long.

These are the TGIF nails from the imPress range by Broadway Nails. In a nutshell, they're false nails but with the added bonus of having a sticky tab already attached. They take just a couple of minutes to apply but last on your nails for days. They're brilliant for travelling with or if you're in a rush. I always end up doing my nails on the bus or train so these save me the hassle & the mess. In each pack you get 24 nails in a range of sizes so its easy to find ones that fit you. The nails themselves are very short so you do need to cut off your nails before applying these. I like short falsies because you get that clean look & can still go about your daily tasks. You also get a prep pad which just cleans your nails before application & a nail file. The nail file was pretty crap so I had to get out my normal one but otherwise I'm really impressed (excuse the pun!) with this range. I love the packaging & the idea of keeping the nails in a little nail polish bottle is really cute. The nails come in loads of different colours & patterns that you don't really see in any other brands so they're worth checking out. I'm not sure they're worth £8.99 but they sure are purdy!

Monday 25 June 2012

Laura Mercier Crème de Pistache Trio

When it comes to body care products the thing I value most is a good scent. I first fell in love with Laura Mercier's offerings about 6 years ago when my mum bought me some of their Crème Brûlée hand cream. The sickly sweet vanilla caramel smell was so divine & that product never strayed from my handbag. Last Christmas I wandered into Space.NK and noticed that they had a special trio of body creams. I decided to try some of the pistachio one on my arm & it was love at first sniff. Sadly I never got round to buying that set because it was way too pricey. Fast forward to a few weeks ago & I noticed that they sell a trio of just the pistachio products. I ordered my set from Space.NK as my local store didn't have any in stock. It cost £35 which I thought was a good deal considering how much these products cost individually.

The set contains a 200ml bottle of Crème Body Wash, a 100g pot of Soufflé Body Crème & a 50g tube of Hand Crème. All of these products have a strong sweet nutty scent. Its quite incredible how good these smell. You might think that actual pistachio nuts don't really smell of much so if anything these products smell more like pistachio ice cream, yummy. The scent is most prominent in the shower cream. It fills the bathroom & lingers in there long after you've finished bathing. Unfortunately it doesn't last on your skin but the other products in the set soon rectify that. The body wash itself is very creamy & indulgent. It foams up nicely so you don't need to use much of it at all. It doesn't leave any residue once washed off & leaves my skin feeling very fresh.

The body cream is very moisturising & sinks into my skin quickly. I normally don't bother with moisturising after showering because I hate having to wait to put my clothes on but this just melts into your skin so easily & you can get dressed right away. This product definitely succeeds where the shower cream failed at leaving my skin smelling like pistachios. The hand cream is probably my favourite product out of the set because the smell is very long lasting & it makes my hands feel like silk. I find that some hand creams can leave your hands feeling slightly tacky or greasy but this formula sinks into the skin so quickly & does a brilliant job of making your hands lovely & soft. I keep finding myself having a quick sniff of my hands which probably sounds mental but I am just obsessed with this scent. The whole Laura Mercier range of bath & body products is so luxurious & all four of the available scents are absolutely gorgeous. I definitely recommend checking out their products if you're after a bit of indulgence.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Sheinside Giveaway

Sheinside are generously giving away this lovely silk dress as well as $50 to spend on their site to one of my lucky readers. The dress is available in size S-XL & you can take a closer look at it here. Sheinside offer free delivery worldwide so everyone is welcome to enter.

Terms & Conditions
- Register an account on
- Follow my blog via GFC, Bloglovin' or Hellocotton
- Comment on this post with your name and email address
- Giveaway will end midnight Saturday 30th June

Good luck!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Illamasqua Promise Cream Blusher

I'm sure you all know by now that Illamasqua are one of my favourite makeup brands. If you're looking to try out anything from their vast selection, their blushers are a great place to start. They come in a shade range that you just can't find elsewhere & the quality is on par with the likes of MAC & NARS, if not better. I own three of their powder blushers but everytime I visit one of their counters I find myself drooling over the cream ones. For some reason I don't really own that many cream blushers, the only other ones I have are from Topshop. After much deliberation I decided that the colour I wanted to buy was Promise, a warm candy pink shade.

Just like their powder blushers, the cream blushers are insanely pigmented. The only real problem I had using this product is that its way too easy to give yourself clown cheeks with it. I made the mistake of putting my stippling brush straight into the pan. Even though I only touched the product once, there was way too much blusher on the brush. The way I find this blusher works best is to use your finger to dot a tiny amount onto the apples of your cheeks & then blend it out using a clean stippling brush. It blends beautifully & its good to know that a little goes a long way. This blush will probably last you forever.

The finish of Illamasqua's cream blushers is very dewy. If you want gorgeous glowing cheeks then this could be the ideal product for you. I tend to use powder blushers on an every day basis & most of the ones I have are matte finishes so I use a lot of highlighter to perk my skin up. These blushers don't dry to a powder finish unlike the Topshop cream blushers so you're left with a lovely sheen on your cheeks. When I use cream blushers I like to add a tiny bit of Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow to the tops of my cheekbones just to add a little bit of shimmer to my face too.

My cheeks are the driest area of my face so I found that this blush managed to last quite a while on me. But if you're on the oilier side you might want to powder over it. A great way to use cream blushers is to use them as a base. Just like powdering over your foundation, cream blushers will last all day long if you sweep a similarly coloured powder blush over the top. Illamasqua Katie is a good match for this shade & is also one of my faves. Promise also looks fab when applied on the lips which makes it great for traveling with because you only need one product for lips & cheeks.

Illamasqua are currently offering free shipping on all their products so this is the perfect time to place an order.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Forget It

Dress - Dahlia / Collar - Little Me / Belt - Topshop / Heart Hair Clip - Crown & Glory

Ahhhh I am finally the proud owner of a Dahlia dress! I think one of the first blog posts I ever did was about how much I wanted one of their dresses. Sadly they no longer make that particular one but their current Summer collection is full of gorgeous frocks. At the weekend they were offering a 50% discount so I snapped this one up. I love the colour & the lacy hem. And, shock horror, it doesn't have a collar! So obvs I couldn't resist adding this one from Little Me (who are sadly now closed) to my outfit. I jazzed up my hair with this glittery lilac heart from Crown & Glory. I keep finding myself going on their website & lusting over the new floral headbands. I pretty much want one of these in every colour!

I was planning to wear this on a trip to Meadowhall today. We were nearly there when Andy got flashed by a speed camera so he just turned back home! So instead of a nicey meal out at Wagamamas, we had KFC & Krispy Kremes from the services. Another failure of a day! Oh well at least I managed to get Chloe registered for a different pre-school today, yay me.

Monday 18 June 2012


Shirt - New Look / Cardigan - H&M / Skirt - Primark / Necklace - Kukee

I think I have a bit of an addiction to buying white chiffon shirts. I just couldn't resist buying this sleeveless one & its black counterpart from New Look. I'm justifying it by saying I'll add collar tips or stud them to make each one different but so far I haven't bothered to do anything, whoops! Since I wore that lovely dip hemmed skirt from Glamorous I've been after some other similar skirts. I spotted this one in Primark & thought it'd fit nicely into my mainly monochrome wardrobe. My lovely little cross necklace is from what is probably the cheapest jewellery shop ever, Kukee. I noticed the gorgeous Amy wearing some of their jewellery and ordered this necklace and an above knuckle ring right away. On my nails I have the current blogger's nail polish of choice in the form of Essie Fuji. This was the first polish I've tried from their diffusion line and I absolutely love the wider brush. It makes it so quick to apply. Definitely gonna buy some more with my Boots points.

Well today has pretty much been a bit of a massive fail. I decided to dress on the smart side today mainly because we were gonna go register for the 15 free hours that Chloe will get at pre-school next year. But apparently all of the places have been taken already so we're just gonna have to go on the waiting list or try to find somewhere else. Such a serious pain in the arse. I'm obvs failing as a parent :p On the bright side I whacked some pork with cider & sweet potatoes into the slow cooker before we left so I came home to a delicious home cooked meal tonight. Nothing like some good old comfort food to cheer yourself up. Its probably sad to admit but I am loving my slow cooker right now. Next time I want to make some proper barbecue pulled pork a la Bodean's, yum.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Valar Morghulis

Shirt - OASAP / Dress - Topshop / Necklace - OASAP / Ring - Regal Rose

Open shoulder tops have quickly become my new obsession. I was sent this blouse by OASAP. I love the style of it and I was really impressed by how quickly it arrived. You can't really see any of the details, which I'm gonna blame on the horrendous lighting. Looks like Summer is over already! I threw it over this floral skater dress from Topshop. I have quite a few of these now. They're just so comfy & flattering on my figure. I'm definitely someone who goes for comfort over fashion, which is probably something I shouldn't admit to! I didn't really have anything exciting to do today, just had to run some errands and package up some stuff I sold on my blogshop. I'm gonna try to take pictures of some shoes tomorrow as theres loads I have that I've never worn, so check back tomorrow if you're a size 5 & want some new heels. Then Chloe's cousin came over this afternoon for a little play date which was really nice. They used to be a bit wary of each other but they've been hugging loads today & were generally very cute together!

Monday 4 June 2012

May Favourites

Alpha-H Liquid Gold
This stuff has been working absolute wonders on my face. I did a full review of this the other day and despite the high price this is something I can see myself using for years to come. The effects are practically immediate which really sets it apart from most skincare products. It has certainly helped to keep my blemishes at bay and leaves the rest of my face feeling soft and smooth. My face also looks positively radiant. If like me you suffer from closed comedones (those annoying little bumps under the skin that no blemish treatment seems to shift) then this product is a bit of a godsend. I can't sing its praises highly enough!

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
I recently ran out of my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish as well as my Philosophy Purity Cleanser and to purchase either of these I have to order them online or hop on a train. So I had a look through my local Boots to see if there were any cleansers I liked the look of. I actually found this in the pharmacy section rather than the skin care section but I'm glad I spotted it as its something I've always wanted to try. Cetaphil is a cleanser that you hear a lot about mainly because its so basic & gentle on the skin. Since I've started using my Alpha-H Liquid Gold I've not really felt the need for a fancy cleanser as that product seems to be doing all of the hard work for me. I wouldn't say that Cetaphil is brilliant at taking off makeup but I use this in the morning and after using my Bioderma at night so thats not really a great concern of mine. A lot of acne sufferers use this product because its really good for sensitive skin. Theres no fragrance in it at all. Its a kind of gel formula that you can either just apply to your face and tissue off or wash off. Like all cleansers you should actually use this on your face while its still dry. It doesn't foam up at all but I still think it works nicely with the Clarisonic Mia (I just wet the brush head after massaging the product into my skin). Whichever way you use this it leaves your skin simply feeling clean, fresh & supple. It does contain parabens which isn't brilliant but for the price I really quite like this cleanser.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream
This eye cream is the best one I've ever used. It contains light reflecting particles that help to brighten the under eye area. A lot of eye creams claim to reduce dark circles but this is the only one I've found that actually lives up to the claim. The effects are not really a solution to the dark circle problem but it works more as a temporary pick me up for your eyes. Its especially great to use in the morning because it brightens your eye before you apply your concealer meaning that you don't need to use as much makeup in that area. I have pretty bad dark circles so its really nice being able to just use a light concealer rather than a full coverage one. Its brilliant at keeping your eye area hydrated so I use this morning and night. It also de-puffs your eyes and feels very cooling on that area. My hayfever has just started playing up and I've found that this does help to stop your eyes feeling quite so dreadful.

Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil
I bought this mainly because I needed to buy a second Clarins item to get a ton of gift with purchase samples & 1000 Boots points but I am absolutely loving this facial oil. I know a lot of people can be funny about putting more oil on their face especially if they already have oily skin but this oil is specially formulated for oily or combination skin. Therefore it actually works to balance the amount of oil that your skin will naturally produce and help to stop spots. They also do two other facial oils for dehydrated and dry skin but I have combination skin so I went for this one. It contains Clarins exclusive blend of rosewood, geranium & lotus oils which smell incredible. Its really calming to massage this into your skin before bed and whenever I wake up after using this my skin feels beautifully plump & smooth, not greasy at all.

Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face SPF50+
I spent a couple of weeks last month researching facial sunscreens because this summer I am determined to keep my freckly face under control. The moisturiser I've been using lately (Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré) doesn't contain any SPF so I bought this to use on top of it to protect my pale skin. Theres a lot of moisturisers out there that already contain SPF but they tend to only go up to factor 30 and I need a lot more protection. This is a really nice sunscreen because it doesn't leave any white cast to your skin and actually smells quite nice. I was tempted by the La Roche Posay and No.7 facial sunscreens but they smelled horrible. The lady at the Clarins counter told me that if you're using this as an everyday sun protection product you should wear your normal moisturiser underneath but I found that my face felt a bit too greasy after that. So I've just been using this product instead and used alone it does a great job of hydrating your face without making it super greasy. It might not be ideal for someone with really oily skin but I've found that as soon as you apply your foundation the greasiness goes away anyway. Since discovering the wondrousness of Alpha-H products I'm tempted to buy their Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ when this runs out because thats two products I want in one. Plus its important to wear sun protection all year round which is something I've failed to do in the past & its doubly important if like me you've been fiddling about with glycolic acid products recently!

MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl
Since we've had this recent heatwave I've been trying to wear less eye makeup because it does tend to melt onto my face. My hayfever has also been flaring up a bit so if I do rub my itchy eyes, my black liquid liner and mascara go absolutely everywhere. So I've been wearing this golden bronzey eyeliner smudged over my top and bottom lashes to give them some definition without looking too harsh. The good thing about smudged eyeliner is that if it does get a bit messed up as the day goes on, it looks intentional haha. I'm not too keen on loads of black kohl liner on my waterline because it does make my piggy eyes look even smaller than usual. This colour is a gorgeous alternative that also highlights the green in my hazel eyes.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Another month, another highlighter it seems! I just can't get enough of this champagne coloured powder highlighter. The shimmer in this is comparable to that of MAC Soft & Gentle MSF but its perhaps a touch more metallic. The colour is more golden than the peachyness of Soft & Gentle and I think it looks really nice on my skintone. I know that Christine of Temptalia is a big fan of this product and if its good enough for her, then its good enough for me!

Alpro Almond Milk
I've never really been too fond of cows milk. I don't put milk in my tea or eat loads of cheese or yoghurt but I have it on my cereal every morning. When I do buy cows milk I always go for Cravendale because they filter it loads so it contains less bacteria. In the past I've tried soy milk (vom!) as well as rice milk & oat milk but recently I saw that Alpro have started selling almond milk. This seems to be the healthiest out of all the faux milk products as it contains less calories, less fat, more vitamins and more fibre. I know a lot of people have been wanting to go dairy-free after watching Barbara's video about how it has helped her skin so this is a good milk alternative to buy. It tastes amazing and even though its more expensive than normal milk (at about £1.50 a carton!) I'm definitely going to be buying this from now on. My new addiction is having this warm with golden syrup flavour Weetabix, nom!

Saturday 2 June 2012

The Dangerous Type

Top - The Orphans Arms / Skirt - Glamorous* / Flatforms - ASOS
Necklace - Marc Jacobs / Rings - Regal Rose & H&M

Well my hair is looking a bit mental today isn't it! I had my roots done a couple of weeks ago which was a bit of a disaster. They were adamant on getting the remaining bits of pink out of my hair even though I told them not to, which resulted in two lots of bleach over my entire hair and a horrible chemical burn at the top of my head. Ouch. I decided to make it properly pink again today but my hair was so white that some of the pink appears to have turned neon! I think the pastel pink was a lot more flattering so I'm hoping that it starts to fade a bit soon.

Today I'm wearing this awesome skirt from Glamorous. I've wanted a dip hem skirt for ages but being so short, it was difficult to find one that didn't completely drown me. This is the perfect length and looks exactly how I hoped it would. Glamorous currently have a 20% discount offer on if you enter the code 'Glamorous20' at the checkout. They have loads of gorgeous clothes on there. I think I'm gonna order this skirt next because its a perfect dupe for one of my fave styles from American Apparel but at half the price! I paired the skirt with this t-shirt from The Orphans Arms which I really love because its so comfy. It makes me wish there really was a London School Of Sorcery! I've always wanted to look like Nancy in The Craft so thats the style I'm channeling today haha.

I've not really blogged for the past few weeks, so sorry about that! I've been a busy bee looking after a poorly child, doing some special blogging projects and just enjoying the sunshine. I probably would've gone to the park again today but Mumford & Sons have taken it over and you have to pay £50 to get in even if you don't want to watch them play. I really would've liked to see Willy Mason play live today though. I used to listen to his albums everyday when I walked to my art foundation course back in 2006. Six years later and 'Save Myself' is still the most played track on my iTunes library! Anyways I feel like June is gonna be a lot calmer so I should be posting more often.

Friday 1 June 2012

Alpha-H Liquid Gold

I have suffered with various forms of blemishes for years now and subsequently have tried an absolute ton of different masks and blemish treatments in an attempt to get rid of them. Investing in the Clarisonic Mia was one of the best things I've done for my skin and although it managed to get rid of the closed comedones I had on my cheeks, nothing has ever managed to properly shift the ones of my forehead. If you don't know what they are, closed comedones are those annoying little bumps under your skin. They aren't really spots in the traditional sense of the word as they never come to a head or look red or anything like that but they're bloody annoying and look terrible under your makeup. I've heard that one of the main causes of this type of spot is the amount of makeup you use so its a vicious cycle, especially as I don't think I'll ever give up wearing makeup. Even if I had perfect skin I'd probably still wear a light foundation or mineral powder. I recently heard that glycolic acid is the best thing to use to get rid of closed comedones for good. Mario Badescu's Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is something I reviewed a long time ago and I recently dug this out in attempt to clear up my skin but I found that this cleanser strips my skin a bit too much. Thats one of the reasons I wanted to try Liquid Gold instead.

Liquid Gold is a clear lotion that contains a mixture of 5% glycolic acid, licorice extract & silk proteins that you pour onto a cotton pad and sweep over your face after cleansing at night. It claims to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, acne, scarring and breakouts. In order to reap the benefits of this product you should use it straight without applying any serums or moisturiser afterwards. It essentially resurfaces your skin overnight and you can feel it working right away, but in a nice way. I normally apply it as soon as I take off my makeup at about 9pm and by the time I go to bed at midnight my skin already looks and feels plump and smooth. It has tightened my pores and shrunk any active blemishes I had as well as reducing the amount of blemishes I get overall. Its great on blackheads and keeps my chin & nose really clear. Its also brilliant at getting rid of the scarring that previous breakouts have left on my chin. Best of all is that it did exactly what I was hoping it would do - it got rid of the closed comedones on my forehead. I've had that problem for years and this product cleared them up in less than a week! For me that makes Liquid Gold nothing short of miraculous and I'm ridiculously happy to finally have a clear forehead.

There are some things to note if you're thinking about trying this product. Using glycolic acid on your skin is a form of chemical exfoliation so its important that you don't use any other exfoliants on the same day that you use Liquid Gold. Otherwise it might be too much for your skin to take. I still use my Clarisonic but on alternative days so that I'm not overdoing it. The main plus point of using a chemical exfoliant is that it removes all the dead skin cells on your face without being abrasive so its not actually traumatic to your skin at all. I know the thought of using pure acid on your face sounds super scary but its actually one of the gentlest yet effective exfoliants I've ever used. I've been applying Liquid Gold every other night and on the other days I've either used my Clarins Lotus Facial Oil or Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair mixed with my normal moisturiser. I think that the combination of all of these products is really helping my skin to look more glowing & radiant as well as feeling beautifully soft & smooth. My face has never felt quite so balanced and its like its actually becoming 'good' skin. Another important thing to remember is to wear sun protection even on cloudy days as using chemical exfoliants can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. This product does help to get rid of previous sun damage but you don't want to make it worse by not wearing sunscreen afterwards.

Liquid Gold definitely lives up to its name and its fast become a product that I couldn't be without. Most products take a while to show their effects on your skin but the effects of this product were instantaneous and my skin keeps on getting better every time I use it. I normally wouldn't review skincare products so soon after purchasing them but you get results from this so quickly that I just had to wax lyrical about it. Since trying this I have become eager to try some of the other Alpha-H products. I think I might order one of the sets off QVC as they are really good value for money. I ordered my 100ml bottle from Amazon because it was cheapest there. This product is suitable for normal, oily, dry, mature and combination skin so I'd highly recommend trying this product out. It has worked wonders for my skin already even though I've only been using it for the past month so I'm excited to see how much more it will improve my skin after a few more months of use.