Tuesday 30 April 2013

TRESemmé Platinum Strength 60 Second Treatment Shot

TRESemmé Platinum Strength 60 Second Treatment Shot - £1.49

Whenever I get my roots done I like to use a good conditioning treatment on my hair to try and reverse some of the damage. TRESemmé aren't normally a brand I opt for but I've heard lots of good things about their new Platinum Strength range. Sainsbury's have all the new products at half price so I decided to give this treatment shot a go. At just 79p it would've been silly not to! The Platinum Strength range claims to reverse two years worth of damage in just a few uses. The products contain a renewing complex that will supposedly reinforce & restore the condition of your hair. I've not tested the shampoo & conditioner out as I wanted to see the merits of this treatment on it's own. It's quite thick & there's a lot of product in the tube despite it's small appearance. You could probably get a couple of uses out of this one shot but considering how damaged my hair is I whacked the whole lot on. The instructions say to leave it on for just 60 seconds before washing off but I kept it on for a couple of minutes for good measure. It makes your hair feel incredibly silky even when it's still wet. It also says to just use it on the lengths & ends of your hair, avoiding the roots but seeing as that's where my hair was just bleached I used it there too. This didn't make it greasy at all, just added some nourishment to where my hair needed it most.

After drying my hair the difference was instantly noticeable. It didn't actually make my hair feel as soft and sleek as other treatments I've used previously (although it does do a good job of that too!) but what I really like about this product is the thickness & fullness it adds to my hair. I have quite thin hair so this gave me a rather welcome volume boost. Overall my heavily bleached barnet was left in a much healthier state after just one use of this treatment. This is something I can see myself repurchasing again & again as it really works and that super low price makes it all too easy to slip one into my shopping basket!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Sunday 28 April 2013

Collar & Cuffs

Dress - Missguided* / Jacket - Primark / Flatforms - ASOS
Badges - Stolen Thunder, Helpless Romantic / Rings - Regal Rose, Kukee, ASOS

This is what I wore out last night for a few cocktails in Revs. I can't remember the last time I wore a bodycon dress or skirt as I'm a bit on the lumpy side these days but for some reason I was drawn to this one from Missguided. I just adore the leather collar & cuffs! It's knitted so it was surprisingly comfy & warm. I can never resist going for a few drinks when there's a bit of sun even if it's actually freezing outside! I paired it with my trusty old leather jacket from Primark and my ASOS flatforms.

As you can see I also dyed my hair pink! I've been itching to dye it a pastel colour again for ages. I was gonna go for mint green this time but when I got my roots done last weekend I just asked them to mix a bit more pink into my toner. It's faded a lot already so I think I'll have to get some Directions Carnation Pink to top it up soon. I'm really happy with it though & I think it looks even better this time as my hair is a bit longer now. Maybe I'll do green next time eh?

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Thursday 25 April 2013

Matcha May With teapigs

Next month teapigs are celebrating Matcha May. Matcha is basically a souped up version of green tea. Instead of loose leaves or teabags, matcha is tea ground down into a superfine powder. You can then utilise it in a variety of ways. I love regular green tea so I've been wanting to try some of this stuff for ages. When I was offered the chance to try a sample sachet of tea I simply couldn't say no.

The first thing I tried making with my sample was a Matcha Latte. I added one spoonful of powder to a glass, topped it up with almond milk and then heated it in the microwave for two minutes. Then I used my Aerolatte to froth up the milk. It was really good! The taste is very similar to normal green tea but almost milder in a way despite being a more powerful drink. The main thing I don't like about regular green tea is that it often leaves me with a very dry aftertaste in my mouth. This organic matcha powder doesn't do that at all. The recipe card also suggested adding it to porridge so I mixed one spoonful with my normal oats, almond milk & banana concoction. Green porridge doesn't look particularly appetising but it was seriously yummy. You can mix the powder with loads of stuff such as water, juice, smoothies, ice cream & yoghurt. You can even bake with it!

Green tea is packed full of health benefits but one serving of matcha is the equivalent of drinking 15 cups of normal green tea! The most immediate difference I noticed was how energising it is. It really helped to take the edge off my tiredness. It does contain caffeine but it's so much healthier for you than drinking regular tea or coffee. Matcha is packed full of antioxidants, much more than what is contained in any other 'superfood'. A lot of people claim that drinking matcha tea every day has helped them to lose weight as it boosts your metabolism and helps burn fat. I'm forever struggling with my weight so I'm thinking of buying a full size pot to test that out. Drinking this is also supposed to help improve the condition of your hair, skin and nails. I've had quite a few blemishes lately so I'm sure my skin would welcome the addition of matcha to my diet.

teapigs organic matcha powder costs £25 for a 30g box (30 servings) or £50 for an 80g box (80 servings). If you're interested in trying out some matcha or any other of their delicious teas, teapigs have kindly treated all of you to 15% off at www.teapigs.co.uk using the code BLOGGERS12 (discount does not apply to gifts and cheeky deals as these are already discounted). To receive teapigs news and the latest discounts don't forget to sign up for their newsletter on the homepage. You can also like them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Superfacialist By Una Brennan

Superfacialist Tea Flower Purifying Cleansing Wash - £7.99
Superfacialist Rose Miracle Makeover Facial Oil - £14.99 / Superfacialist Rose Calming Creamy Cleanser - £7.99

On a daily basis I normally opt for three different cleansers - Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm twice a day followed by REN Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel in the morning and REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser at night. This trio is absolutely perfect for my combination skin type but all together they come to a total cost of £70! I'm determined to stick to a budget this month so when they all ran out at the same time a couple of weeks ago I decided not to repurchase any of them. I bought some cleansers from the Superfacialist By Una Brennan range instead for a total of £30. I might've been playing with fire by changing out three of my skincare staples but my more frugal replacements have actually been serving me rather well.

There are three ranges available: Rose for hydration, Tea Flower for deep cleansing and Neroli for firming. First of all I went for the double cleanse system in the Rose collection. I tend to think of facial oils as an alternative for moisturiser like the Clarins Lotus Oil but the Miracle Makeover Facial Oil is a pre-cleanse product. I've used a couple of cleansing oils in the past such as Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse and a Shu Uemura cleansing oil but both of those are quite pricey so I've never repurchased them. I do really like this one though. The rose scent is gorgeous & it feels lovely on the skin. Some oils can leave a greasy film when you wash them off but this one doesn't at all. It does a decent job of clearing off makeup, even mascara & eyeliner. Oils are brilliant at unblocking pores, especially blackheads. If you struggle with blackheads then you need to try a cleansing oil ASAP! The Rose Calming Creamy Cleanser is a great follow up cleanser to the facial oil. It's very soothing & effective at reducing redness in my skin. The rose products leave my skin feeling so soft & supple. They are so gentle & suitable for even the most sensitive skin. These products would be great for anyone with dry, dehydrated or combination skin as they cleanse, hydrate and balance skin very effectively.

I also bought the Tea Flower cleanser for those days when I'm feeling a bit oily or spotty. It contains Salicylic Acid, a BHA that really clears out congested pores & combats blemishes. It is a gel based cleanser that foams up a tiny bit so it's a nice one to use with my Clarisonic. It does leave my skin feeling very clean, albeit a little bit tight. The rest of my skincare routine soon sorts this out though. The Tea Flower range is ideal for anyone with blemish-prone skin so I think I'll be trying some more of those products soon.

Superfacialist By Una Brennan is currently exclusive to Boots. At the moment you can save 1/3 off all the Superfacialist products so now would be the ideal time to try out these fab cleansers. I'm really impressed with everything I've tried so far. I have never come across skincare products as good as these at such a low price. Think I need to buy the Tea Flower Pore Purifying Clay Mask next!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Sunday 14 April 2013

Peachy Keen

Blouse - Goldie* / Pinafore - Topshop / Wedges - Office
Bracelets - Black Tied, Ginger Pickle* / Rings - Regal Rose, Kukee, The Bohemian Collective

I cannot tell you how happy I am with this pinafore from Topshop! I'd been trying loads of them on in different stores to try and find 'the one' but most of them just made me look frumpy. Although I was hesitant about it being made from corduroy this one has the most perfect shape & is very flattering. I've hardly taken it off this month as I just love it so much. Yesterday I paired it with this beautiful peachy blouse from Goldie. I don't think I'll ever get fed up of shirts with embellished collars. The clear gems look so pretty and add a nice bit of sparkle to an otherwise plain outfit. Not sure why my tights look blue but they're definitely black, I assure you haha. I wore this with my t-bar wedges from Office. I bought these years ago but they're still one of my most worn pairs of heels. They make me so much taller without killing my feet.

I wore this yesterday when I went to Birstall to pick up a few knick knacks for the house & a (very naughty) trip to the Krispy Kreme drive thru. There's nothing I want more right now than to redecorate my hideous bedroom but as I live in a rented house I can't really do anything to it or get rid of any of the furniture. All of you bloggers with nice bedrooms & dressing tables are making me incredibly jealous! So to make up for it I just got a few decorative things to organise all my stuff a bit better. Maybe then I'll be able to give you all a sneaky peak at my makeup & jewellery collections. But I think I'll have to change my walls from disgusting orange to white before I do!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Friday 12 April 2013

Chloe's 3rd Birthday

The birthday girl

On April 4th it was Chloe's 3rd birthday. It's so weird to think that I had her three whole years ago. I know its cliche but time really does fly. Soon she'll be going off to pre-school :( Unlike last year when we got trapped inside due to the snow we managed to have a little party with some of the family. I made a little buffet lunch and Chloe's Minnie Mouse themed cake. It was absolutely smothered in pink buttercream icing! At least I didn't end up eating half of it like I did last year haha. Chloe was well & truly spoiled. I bought her all the Disney princess costumes & the rest of the figurines for her Disney princess castle, a cuddly Daisy Duck, some books & a couple of Innotab games. Andy & I also went halves on her first big girl bike which she loves. Not to mention all the presents she got from everyone else! It was such a nice day & it reminded me how lucky I am to have such a clever, sweet & beautiful little girly. The day was topped off with her birthday card being shown on CBeebies! We also took her to see Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Live at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on Saturday which was a lot of fun. Here's some pictures of her special day:

Excited about all the presents


Unwrapping some more presents

Playing Hungry Hippos with cousin Joshua

Trying out her bike for the first time

Getting the hang of pedaling

Minnie Mouse cake

Blowing out the candles with a birthday kiss

Serving up cake for everyone

Watching the card being shown on iPlayer

Poking through Princess Holly's head

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Wednesday 10 April 2013

What's In My Makeup Bag?

I store all of my makeup collection in some acrylic drawers from Homebase but I keep the stuff I tend to wear on a daily basis inside my makeup bag. I bought this from MAC a few years ago & it's still going strong. It is the signature medium rectangle bag. It's a good size as it can hold a lot of stuff and has a separate pocket to keep my brushes in. I tend to keep far too many things in here as I like to have a little bit of choice when it comes to what I'm gonna use that day. I would clear some of the products out but I just like too many things! Anyway here's a little peak at some of my most used makeup products.

Dr Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream / Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation / Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
By Terry Touche Veloutee / Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer / Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

I keep a couple of different base products in my bag to use depending on how my skin is behaving & how much time I have to get ready. If I have time I prefer to use the Laura Mercier Silk Creme applied with a Beautyblender. If I'm running late a blob of the Dr Jart BB cream mixed with a tiny dot of the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer helps to even out my skin and hide some of my blemishes & scarring. The BB cream alone is far too dark & sheer for me so adding the Sensual Skin Enhancer lightens it up & adds a bit more coverage. I use a few different concealers but tend to just go for some of the Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector under my eyes most days.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer / Illamasqua Naked Rose Blusher / NARS Deep Throat Blusher / theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer / MAC Omega Eyeshadow / Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

As well as the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer I also keep the Clarins Instant Smooth one in my bag. The Clarins primer is better if I want to hide my pores & smooth over my skin so I use this one more often. I love blushers & have tons in my collection but the ones I've been using most are NARS Deep Throat & Illamasqua Naked Rose. They're both nice peachy pinks that add a much needed burst of colour to my complexion. My go-to highlighter is theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer, I recommend this product for anyone who wants a highly metallic sheen to their skin. It's one of the most pigmented I've tried & really makes my skin glow. I use the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette every day as it's a great selection of neutral colours that are ideal for day or night. If I fancy using a powder to fill in my eyebrows I opt between the shade Naked2 from this palette and MAC's Omega eyeshadow.

Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara* / MAC Clear Brow Set / NUXE Reve De Miel Lip Balm / Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara / Benefit They're Real Mascara / MAC Fling Eye Brow Pencil / Anastasia Granite Tinted Brow Gel / Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara / Beaute Girlina Weightless Lip Creme / L'Oreal Carbon Gloss Superliner / Revlon Strawberry Shortcake Lip Butter / Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion / MAC NC15/NW20 Pencil
LORAC Front Of The Line Pro Eyeliner / SUQQU Eyebrow Liquid Pen

I have four mascaras in here which is probably overkill! At the minute I like to layer the last dregs of my Lancome Doll Eyes mascara with Benefit They're Real mascara and then use the Clinique mascara on my bottom lashes to stop them smudging. I didn't really like They're Real to begin with but it's starting to get better as it dries out a bit. Still clinging on to the Lancome one though! There's some more eye brow products here depending on how I want them to look. I love brushing on some of the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel when I don't have time to fill them in properly. I have lip products galore but I tend to go for the Beaute Lip Creme or Revlon Lip Butter as I do love a nice pink lip. I use the L'Oreal Superliner to do my regular cat flick but the LORAC one is amazing for really thin lines. I use this to fill in any tiny gaps, neaten the end of the flick & sometimes I draw on bottom lashes with it a la Twiggy. And I can't go a day without using my MAC NC15/NW20 pencil on my lower lash line to brighten up my eyes.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush / Real Techniques Contour Brush x2 / Real Techniques Setting Brush / Sigma Tapered Highlighter Brush / Real Techniques Brow Brush / Laura Mercier Double Ended Eye Brow Brush / MAC 239 Brush / MAC 222 Brush / MAC 219 Brush / MAC 227 Brush / Tweezerman Tweezers / Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I keep a few essential brushes in here but often dip into my brush pots when I'm getting ready. I typically apply foundation with a Beautyblender (but I keep that in a separate jar) or the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I always keep two of the Contour Brushes in here - one for blending concealer & one for applying blusher. I use the setting brush with some loose powder to set under my eyes and the Sigma brush to apply highlighter. There's two angled brushes in here but they're quite different, the Real Techniques one is better for lining my eyes with black eyeshadow & the Laura Mercier one is my favourite eye brow brush. The bristles are a lot stiffer so it works a lot better. I also keep several eyeshadow brushes in here but I probably use the MAC 219 the most as I like to apply some brown eyeshadow under my eyes with it. Finally I have my tweezers & eyelash curlers, total essentials for me & you can't get better than Tweezerman & Shu Uemura.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Currently Loving #2

Lotus Original Caramelised Biscuit Spread
Whenever I go to the hairdressers they always bring me copious amounts of hot chocolate and those little caramel biscuits. They're a welcome bit of sustenance when I'm starving after four hours of bleaching & toning. Recently when I was doing my weekly shop in Sainsburys I came across those very biscuits but IN SPREAD FORM. This stuff is absolutely delicious. I went through this jar in about a week (oops!). This is the smooth version made with the blended biscuits but there's also a 'crunchy' one too. If you spread it on hot toast it transforms into this amazingly gooey melted caramel cinnamon concoction. So good!

Rupaul's Drag Race
Words cannot describe how much I love this programme and look forward to watching it every week! The basic premise is quite similar to America's Next Top Model but with drag queens instead of models. Its a hell of a lot more fun and entertaining though. They do a couple of challenges in each episode before displaying a runway look. The bottom two have to lip synch for their lives before one is eliminated each week. The queens are so bitchy & hilarious and its fascinating to see how they transform themselves with wigs & makeup. Some of them look prettier than actual women! There's so many internet memes and gifs that have originated from this show. I love all the sayings like 'no tea no shade' and 'read to filth'. I watched all the seasons in a few weeks and I've been streaming the current season. I really hope Jinkx Monsoon wins season 5, she is simply amazing. RuPaul is such an inspirational person too. I always feel happier after the watching the show, it's just got such a feel good factor to it. I have to admit that RuPaul's music has also become a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine lately. I love a bit of Glamazon & Jealous Of My Boogie.

I don't get the chance to go to the gym anymore as I don't have anyone to look after Chloe so power walking is my main form of exercise. With all the snow we had last month I found it difficult to walk anywhere seeing as I couldn't even push the pram through it. So instead I dug out one of my old Wii games to make me feel like less of a lazy slob. Exerbeat is probably my favourite out of all the Wii fitness games as it has lots of cardio activities such as boxercise & hip hop dancing. Whenever I do this my arms really ache the next day so I think its pretty good for toning. It also has a fairly accurate calorie counting system as my Fitbit seems to add a similar amount to my daily burn. The controls aren't amazing even with the MotionPlus controller as sometimes I do the right movements & they don't register but as long as I'm burning calories I'm not too fussed. I totally recommend this if you're looking for a workout game that is fun but really makes you sweat too.

Skinny Caramel Lattes
My normal drink at Starbucks is a Caramel Macchiato but I live in crappy Huddersfield where Starbucks doesn't even exist. I hate the taste of Costa & Nero's coffee so I refuse to go to those either. To get my caffeine fix I decided to recreate my favourite coffee at home. I had previously bought the Starbucks caramel syrup but always felt guilty using it as it contains so much sugar & is rather pricey for such a tiny bottle. I was browsing in TK Maxx the other week when I spotted this sugar free caramel syrup. It was only £3.99 for this huge bottle & it adds the perfect amount of caramel-y sweetness to my drink. The company who make it also do skinny cocktail mixes which I think I might have to buy too! I also use this electric whisk from Amazon called the Aerolatte. It works in a similar way to a milk frother but it's so much cheaper. These two products help me to make the perfect caramel latte at home without the Starbucks price tag.

Final Fantasy
At the risk of sounding like a huge geek, I am obsessed with turn-based role playing games. Final Fantasy was one of the first games in this genre and although I completed III & IV on the DS, I'd never played any of the others. I was bored the other day so I downloaded the original Final Fantasy game for iPhone and beat the whole thing in 16 hours. It was really fun & fairly easy for a RPG. I think it's cool to see how the franchise has evolved over the years to the games they produce today. I can't wait to start playing Final Fantasy II & V now.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Tuesday 2 April 2013

MAC Veronica's Blush Pearlmatte Face Powder

MAC Veronica's Blush Pearlmatte Face Powder - £21.50

As soon as I saw the previews for the MAC Archie's Girls collection I had my heart set on buying just this one item. It was love at first sight. Veronica's Blush is one of the prettiest products I've ever seen. How cute are those hearts?! There's nothing I love more than highlighting products but I hadn't bought any new ones for a whole year after finding my holy grail highlighter in the form of theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer. However I knew this Pearlmatte Face Powder was too good to miss out on.

Being such a pale person, I find this doesn't actually work as a highlighter on me as it is far too pink. Instead I've been using it as a blush by swirling together the light shimmery part with the darker pink hearts and then applying it with a small duo fibre brush. The texture of this powder is silky smooth so it applies likes a dream. The colour is very subtle, adding a light touch of pink to the cheeks. But the real beauty of this powder is the gorgeous glow it gives to the skin. It can sometimes be difficult to properly showcase highlighting products as the sheen often doesn't translate on camera but this one clearly adds a healthy bit of shine to my face. I love how it looks on my skin & unlike many other highlighters it doesn't emphasise my pores or imperfections.

Sadly this product is now sold out on the MAC website but it is still available on the Selfridges website & you might be able to find it at your local MAC counter. MAC also launched another Pearlmatte Face Powder in this collection called 'Flatter Me' which might be more suited to the peachy blush lovers amongst you. These powders are so lovely to use and look amazing so I'd really recommend trying one out if you can. Did you pick up anything from the Archie's Girls collection?

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'